The Lean Content Marketing Blog

How to get more return on investment from content

Content Marketing

No man is an island: content curation for content creators

No man is an island: content curation for content creators

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

What do you think of that quote? Is it depressing? Dismissive?

True?

True or not, that quote evokes a dilemma every content creator struggles with. We have a lot of content to create, and in one way or another, it’s all been created before.

Before you get on the defensive, let me explain what I mean by that.

Why we tend to create similar content

Our job is to create content that both serves our audience and meets business goals. To do that efficiently, we use proven formats (blog posts, white papers, tweets, etc). We answer common questions. We do this in ways that are familiar to our audience and easy for them to understand.

If we get too creative and too cutting-edge, we become hard to understand. As soon as our audience doesn’t understand us, they’re gone. The rest of the Internet – the easy-to-understand and endlessly diverting Internet – is only a click away.

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Content marketing happy hour – August 27th in San Francisco

happy hour SF content marketing

We’re sad summer is ending… so we decided to make it last a bit longer!

Come at our content marketing happy hour to discuss marketing best practices with our team and your peers over food and drinks!

What – Happy hour in our office

Who – Marketers and content marketers

Where – Downtown San Francisco

When – Next Thursday August 27th starting at 6pm

We’ll stack the fridge with wine and beers and there will be cheese and pizzas.

Come with your marketer friends and let’s make it a party!

Of course, it’s free 🙂

But hurry… our office can’t host the entire content marketing scene so it’s first come first serve!

Register here. 

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Why you need to create a content marketing strategy

Why you need to create a content marketing strategy

The most popular digital marketing mantra in recent years has been “Content is King”, and while the mantra itself may be a touch overused, it is by no means inaccurate. Now more than ever it’s incredibly important to create – not just a content marketing strategy but – your own unique content marketing strategy if you hope to drive traffic and boost brand awareness from online channels.

This article dives into a bit of background on the recent popularity of content marketing, why you need to develop a content marketing strategy that is unique, and shows you where to find some of the newest strategies to set yourself apart from your competitors.

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How to balance virality and utility in content marketing

How to balance virality and utility in content marketing

When people talk of the “quality” of a piece of content, they’re generally referring to its value in terms of captivating an audience or attracting attention to the brand. They might be referring to the depth of research, the style of the writing, or the overall appeal of the topic, but if you boil down the value of a piece to its capacity to engage an audience, you end up with two major factors: its virality and its utility. 

Virality is the potential for a piece of content to “go viral” or circulate amongst audience members and achieve more visibility. Viral pieces are important because they cause the piece to have a greater range of impact, and grant greater overall visibility for the brand. Utility is the overall usefulness of a piece of content for an individual reader. For example, a how-to article holds more utility for a reader than a piece about a company’s operational anniversary.

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Content hubs: your secret to success in publishing (free eBook)

Content hubs are here - the secret to a long and prosperous life in publishing - ebook by scoopit and barry feldman

Content marketing sucks. What’s more, the coolest content marketers no longer have blogs. Wait. What? Has guest blogger Barry Feldman (please excuse the weird switch to the third-person voice) flown kamikaze into the Scoop.it blog to burn the place down? No. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your eyes; I come to praise the power of […]

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Persona mapping can improve your content marketing strategy

Persona mapping can improve your content marketing strategy

Content marketing — the use of blogs, social media, whitepapers, and webinars to attract and convert leads — has essentially replaced all other forms of lead acquisition. Sharp marketing leaders know that becoming a trusted advisor is essential to scalable sales; according to the 2015 State of Inbound (an annual marketing report published by Hubspot), the use of inbound tactics alone, independent of […]

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12 signs you’re wasting time on content marketing

12 signs you're wasting time on content marketing

Lack of time came in as the #1 challenge for both B2B and B2C marketers in the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends surveys.

If you’re not sure you’re using your time well enough, or if you’d like a checklist of content marketing areas to emphasize, the following list may be helpful. Each item of this list is a sign you’re wasting time on content marketing. Or – on the brighter side – an opportunity to boost your productivity.

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SMBs can generate leads through content thanks to lean content marketing

content hub and goog distribution to landing pages for lead generation

“No matter what your business model is, content is still king. One research study a few years ago revealed that many B2B marketers have documented plans to increase their lead generation budgets by up to 50% the following year. That investment is still on the rise overall.” Read the full article at: neilpatel.com When we think about […]

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Does ethical content curation exist? A data-driven answer

Does ethical content curation exist

Ever since we started to work on Scoop.it, we’ve had this question: is it fair to use other people’s content for your own good: in other words, how ethical is content curation? Is it even legal?

A quick look at history clearly shows that artists and scientists never created in a vacuum but have always leveraged pre-existing work to develop their own. And that’s for the greater good. Closer to us, there is a multitude of online media sites which embraced content curation as an alternative or a complement to the content they produce: the Huffington Post is a famous example but Upworthy and BuzzFeed are others and even the respected New York times started doing it.

Of course, such an answer won’t satisfy your legal department or your own need to have a more pragmatic answer. So as we’ve now been arounds for several years and, more importantly, have seen millions of users publish more than 100 million pieces of content, we feel we can not only give you a recap of the facts that make content curation ethical but also back that out with data.

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5 easy ways to curate content on your blog

5 easy ways to curate content on your blog

Content curation is a bit of an art form, and takes some time to perfect. But once you’ve figured out a strategy that works, you’ll have a process in place for regularly finding, compiling and editorializing content your audience will love!

Where to source content for curation

In order to curate content, you first need to find it. The net is teeming with information ripe for curation, but the challenge is finding relevant content in a timely manner.

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How to blog more in 30 minutes a day or less – eBook

how to blog more and blog consistently in 30 min a day or less - ebook by scoop it - download now CTA

The key to content marketing success is to publish good content, but also to publish more content: you need to blog more and to blog consistently if you want to get tangible results. The times where you could publish an occasional epic piece of content such as a quarterly white paper or a yearly survey report and be “good to go” are gone.

Blog more consistently if you want more traffic and leads.

That’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? You know that you need to have a blog, and a blog that doesn’t suck like many do. But having a blog and publishing a good piece of content every month is not enough. Why? Because for your audience to find your content when they ask Google a question, you need your content to answer the new SEO rules:

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Increase Facebook reach without paying for advertising

Increase Facebook reach without paying for advertising

Ahh, Facebook. We love to hate on them don’t we. It’s no surprise by now that Facebook organic reach is on its way out. We feel it on our pages and I’m sure you feel it on your pages too.
It’s getting harder and harder to avoid paying Facebook for visibility. The idyllic days when you could build a following and engagement on social networks through the shear strength of your community management skills seem like a fading memory.

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How to find the perfect blog post title: focus on everything else!

How to find the perfect blog post title- focus on everything else!

I find the best titles come to me AFTER I have already written a post. Sometimes you need to have a clear idea of the ‘hook’ you’re using before you can come up with a killer title – and often that hook only comes to you WHILE you are writing the post.

 

Read the full article at kimgarst.com

Kim’s article is great: she gives you 6 easy and highly effective ways to create the perfect blog titles. And just like her, it takes me a while to find the title of my blog post: in fact I often have a title in mind but end up changing it until I publish it.

Why?

Because the title may be the last thing you should worry about when you’re writing a blog post. Not that you shouldn’t think about it and optimize it, that’s not what I said. But if you write a good blog post that adds value to your readers and is SEO-proofed, then the perfect blog post title should almost automatically be revealed to you.

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10 content curation pros to convince you to start curating now

10 content curation pros to convince you to start curating now

There are so many content curation pros that it can seem too good to be true, especially if you struggle to create your own content. The idea that you can to attract and engage an audience, meet business goals and improve your ROI with other people’s content seems too easy. Surely there’s something else going […]

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Scoop.it ranks best content marketing software app by GetApp

Scoop.it ranked best content marketing software app by GetApp

We’re proud to be ranked best content marketing software app in GetApp’s Q2 2015 GetRank of the t​op 25 content marketing solutions.

GetApp is the largest cloud­-based business apps marketplace. In the four different categories evaluated, Infusionsoft took the top spot in Marketing Automation, Mailchimp in Email Marketing, Scoop.it in Content Marketing and Hootsuite in Social Media Marketing.

The goal of the ranking is to provide valuable data to businesses looking to make a first assessment when looking for the best content marketing software. GetApp’s ranking was determined using data collected from GetApp and other third­-party sources. Factors used to calculate an app’s ranking include User Generated Reviews, Integrations, Mobile Platforms, Media Presence, and Security. The ranking will be updated every quarter to reflect newly available data.

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Is your content marketing strategy paying off?

Is your content marketing strategy paying off?

Content marketing strategy is one of the most popular online strategies nowadays, and for good reason. It’s generally hailed as a cost-effective strategy that generates compounding returns over time, as the longer you remain consistent with your approach, the more growth you’ll inevitably see. However, because content marketing affects many different areas of your business’s online visibility—from search engine ranks to far less quantifiable metrics like brand awareness—it can be difficult to tell whether all your efforts are actually paying off.

Some benefits of content marketing are simply unquantifiable—they’re qualitative and often subjective, and because of that it’s hard to reach an objective value. Still, with the knowledge and tools you do have, it’s possible to calculate whether or not your current content marketing efforts are adding value to your online marketing campaign.

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Content curation should be a daily habit for all marketers

Content curation should be a daily habit for all marketers

It is possible to build daily habits that guarantee to give you higher ranking and greater marketing success. Here are the habits you should cultivate.

Read the full article at: www.searchenginejournal.com

In his article, Neil Patel lists 5 daily habits you can (and should) start doing if you want your rankings to go up and get more results out of your content marketing efforts:

1. Write and publish one article – 1 hour per day for 1 to 2 articles per week.

2. Update one old article – 10 min per day.

3. Post a link to an article on every social media platform – 5 min per day.

4. Interact on one forum – 10 min per day.

5. Reply to one Tweet, Google+ update, Facebook post, and LinkedIn discussion, etc. – 10 min per day.

He explains exactly why you should get these 5 habits to ensure you greater results in your content marketing strategy and then gives you practical insights on how to master those habits.

This list is great and I try my best to spend about an hour doing them every day, simply because they do work. Given our experience, I’d like to talk about a sixth practice that has had a real impact on our content marketing ROI, and that I’m sure Neil would like. Let me know Neil! 🙂

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How to improve SEO – the power of content curation

How to improve SEO - the power of content curation - eBook by Scoop.it

90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years? Faced with this huge, ever-increasing amount of data, threatened by social networks such as Facebook, search engines had to adapt or die. They found a better way of identifying quality and relevant content that genuinely addressed users’ needs. How can companies improve SEO to comply with secret algorithms that are constantly being revised by search engines?

Improve SEO by not doing SEO

That’s right! The old SEO is dead. Backlinks-only strategies are not only inefficient but condoned by search engines. As Neil Patel says, “you can’t just pop up an ugly website, throw up mediocre content, build a few links and expect to rank well”.
The only way to improve SEO now is to understand the new SEO: content marketing. Don’t do SEO, Search Engine Optimization like we meant it when the acronym was invented. Do content. Content that you audience cares about. Content that brings them added value. That’s how search engines feed their first page.

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How we built a resource center without resources (and doubled our traffic)

The new Scoop.it resource center: useful content for content marketers

Content Marketing is about sharing and education. It’s about being useful to your audience. As Carlton Hoyt was pointing out on the Content Marketing Institute’s blog: “Stop Thinking Content, Start Thinking Resources

At Scoop.it, we’ve always been eager to learn. We do that by curating great content from influencers, by deriving our own conclusions from our own experiments and by sharing with the Scoop.it community on this blog and on our social channels to spread the results and collect feedback.

We’ve been doing that for some time now and even though we never had more than one full-time employee in charge of content, we now have a pretty big collection of content published including:

While we’re certainly happy with this ramp-up and while this content helps on a daily or weekly basis, we’ve been progressively wondering about the following questions:
  • How should we structure this wide variety of content so that it’s useful for our audience not just today but over time?
  • How do we do that in such a way that is the least time-consuming and the most efficient?

So as we’ve seen many marketers go through the same questions, we felt it would be interesting to share what we learned on this question, what mistakes we made and what successes we had.

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How to be good at marketing without a CMO (or a good one) – tips for marketers

Tips to marketing professionals who have to live without a (good) CMO

I really liked Dan Stasiewski’s article about the 8 mistakes CMOs make when structuring their marketing teams and I was going to curate it and add a few lines about what to do to be good at marketing without a CMO (or a good one). I got carried away. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but sharing my own experience on how to manage and thrive as a marketing professional even when you’re not lucky enough to have a CMO or marketing leader – or even a team!- to help you structure things around.

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A simple SEO guide in 2015 (Infographic)

“Penguin. Panda. Pigeon. Phantom. Navigating the constant pace of Google algorithm updates makes SEO in 2015 a much harder game to play. But companies and individuals who are producing high-quality branded content on a consistent basis are the ones that have the edge in terms of search visibility.”
Is SEO really a harder game to play as KunoCreative’s Dan Stasiewski put it in this excellent SEO guide infographic?

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Is content marketing hard? 7 lessons learned +1 (curation)

In this article, Mike Huber rightly says “more is what you need when it comes to content marketing”, and then points out in 6. that “your team needs to be all in”.  And since “the best time to start a content marketing program is 5 years ago and the second best time is today”, you’d better start publishing content regularly now.
Our experience adds one lesson to this post: “curation helps you publish more”. And not just more, also better.

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5 Content Marketing Rules for Google’s New Algorithm

5 Content Marketing Rules for Google ’s New Algorithm

On April 21, 2015, Google made a massive update to their SEO algorithm and was clear that they’d be handing out manual penalties to websites that didn’t abide by mobile best practices. Don’t panic just yet—Google doesn’t expect every website to run out and develop and app or otherwise become their “best” mobile ready self. In order to appease Google’s algorithm and avoid a penalty, consider these your new content marketing rules for a very mobile ready world (and marketing campaign).

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How to efficiently measure the impact of content marketing on lead generation

How many leads does your content generate

Sooner or later, especially for B2B companies, you’re going to be asked how much of an impact your content marketing efforts had on the #1 metric of all: revenue.

Lead generation is already a key objective for 83% of B2B content marketers and the trend is going up.

So how do you effectively measure the impact of your content marketing on lead generation for your company?

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How to adapt your content marketing to the rise of big content

Are you ready to adapt to the Rise of Big Content

“According to Gartner surveys, content is the most important thing marketers can do and yet they’re unequipped to take it on from a skills and sourcing level.”

Source: www.gartner.com

Last week, Gartner released the results of their study around the 5 top emerging trends in digital marketing, and one of the big 5 is around the “rise of big content”.

Most marketers understand how important content is for their audience and their overall marketing strategy, but they critically lack resources/skills to either create good content or source good content to curate.

The choice of words Gartner used was very wise: we all know “marketers understanding that” does not mean “CEOs understanding that. So just like most marketers, you might be facing a situation where you and anyone within your company who can and would write has millions of other things to do with deadlines that can’t be pushed.  

In my opinion there are three answers you can bring to scale your content marketing and address the challenges created by the rise of big content:

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Want to Make Blog Posts More Engaging? Apply These 15 Tricks

Want to Make Blog Posts More Engaging - Apply These 15 Tricks

Do you read online? Come on… be honest. Because if you’re like most people, you don’t read online. You scan. According to usability specialist Jakob Nielsen, on average readers actually read only about 28% of words on the page. Nielsen wrote an entire study about how web users read the web.  He estimates that while […]

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Don’t Limit Your Content Marketing Team: Grow Your Content Production and Reach with Contributors

You Can’t Do it All on Your Own- Extend Your Content Marketing Team

Despite what my friend Eddie would say, even Messi can’t do it alone. Let’s see if some of these quotes I heard or felt about my content marketing team sound familiar:

“I’m always behind on my publishing goals”.

“I know if I had more content to distribute I would have more traffic on my website, but I don’t have enough resources to write this content”.

“My co-workers who are supposed to write something for me keep pushing back the deadline”.

“I can’t constantly follow up with all my co-workers to make sure they share my content to their social network”.

Rings a bell? Don’t worry there are ways to cope with that.

First of all, if you’re still not sure how content curation can solve some of your content struggles, then have a look at this must-read post by Heidi Cohen on the 3 no-brainer reasons you should start curating content, and then come back here for more tips.

I’ve identified two reasons to expand your content marketing team that can really help you increase your content production and your content reach: extend the party committee so others can write and curate with you, and/or leverage your co-workers’ social audience.

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