The Lean Content Marketing Blog

How to get more return on investment from content

Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing: the power of content curation

Inbound marketing is definitely more efficient and appealing to the sophisticated modern customer than traditional interruptive outbound techniques. But for inbound marketing to work, you need to have its lifeblood: content.

Source: www.slideshare.net

This Slideshare is from a talk @Marc Rougier recently gave on how content curation helps to solve inbound marketing #1 pain point: scaling the content you publish to feed your landing pages and conversion loops.

Content curation has played an important role in content marketing for some time now. And as content Marketing and inbound marketing are converging – especially for B2B marketers who are looking for ROI – we wanted to look specifically at what it brought to inbound marketers specifically.

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Are you using Lego blocks to make your Content Marketing lean?

Creating original content on an ongoing basis can be a challenge, so most marketers practice the fine art of content repurposing.

Source: www.toprankblog.com

As a kid my favorite game was to play Lego and build, deconstruct and rebuild stuff (spaceships mostly: I’m a geek…). As a father, I’ve been fascinated to see that construction game becoming my kids’ favorite too and see what they came out with in terms of new ideas to build. This is what this post by Leed Odden made me think about so here’s a good question for all content marketers:

Are you thinking of your content as modular lego-type building blocks?

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3 Practical Ideas To Make Content Marketing Everybody’s Job

content marketing should be team work

“The need for content has moved beyond a traditional marketing department’s ability to create and is now everyone’s job.”

Source: www.ducttapemarketing.com

Or why Content Marketing needs to grow beyond the marketing team (as I also wrote about in that post). Now, where I disagree with John Jantsch is when he uses the word “creation”. I talk to hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs and even VP Marketing at larger companies which all tell me how incredibly hard it is to get non-marketers to create content.

Don’t fool yourself: you won’t get everybody to create content.

But here’s what you can do very easily.

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Your Business Blog Sucks. Here are 6 Reasons Why.

“Content is king!”

“Content is the new SEO!”

“Content is the new PR!”

What isn’t content these days? You hear about it all the time, you know you have to do it, you might even be doing it. But, are you doing it right? Just because you’ve started a blog, doesn’t mean you’re a content marketer. Don’t worry, though, I’m here with a few reasons why your blog might suck and some tips to change that

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3 Key Take-Aways for Content Marketers From the 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs Benchmark

“This is the fifth year that MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute have put together this report on how marketers use content in their marketing mix. With changes in the industry, the report may look a little different than you remember.”

Source: www.slideshare.net

Content Marketing is being adopted very quickly, especially by B2B Marketers. The Content Marketing Institute together with MarketingProfs published this great report that gives many enlightening facts about the key challenges they face and how they resolve them.

Among other great findings, here’s what I found particularly interesting:

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Why even IBM needs SMB marketing software

“Employees at the brand at IBM. How about at your company?”

Marketers used to buy ads, PR and creative work. Now they also buy software. This is new and this is a big change. A clear example of that trend, Marketo‘s massive success is 100% built on marketing software – a category which didn’t exist 10 years ago. Beyond Marketo, an entire ecosystem has developed ranking from marketing automation to inbound marketing and content marketing. Some say this space is crowded but the fact is no one denies anymore that software tools have proven useful to understand “which 50% of my marketing spending is efficient“.

The success of these tools has been to be designed for marketers by marketers. The same way Salesforce.com used the language of the VP Sales and not the language of CFO’s, marketing software vendors owe a big part of their success to speaking the language of marketers. Demand generation, campaigns, leads, funnel, nurturing, editorial calendars, brand assets, landing pages, open rates, click-through rates… The jargon is undoubtably omnipresent in these tools because they’re focused on being understood and used by one unique user category: marketers.

This needs to change.

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SMBs: You Don’t Need an Expensive Content Calendar Tool

…you need good content.

Last week, back from Content Marketing World 2014, Jay Baer noted that over the last 12 months, the number of content marketing software vendors had exploded, forcing the vendor and expo area to massively expand. How many exactly were participating? Too many according to him. And because these companies were not sustainable yet but spending their VC’s money, he predicted a big shakeout will happen.

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How You Can Prepare for Twitter’s Potential Upcoming Changes

Twitter strategy might be shifting and the implications for our personal and business experience could be profound.

Source: www.businessesgrow.com

If you’re in social media marketing, you probably cringe at the mention of the word EdgeRank. I know I do, because it makes me think of how frustrating it is that even the best of my brand’s Facebook content might not be seen by more than 200 or 300 of our 57,000 fans unless I spend money to promote it.

Brace yourselves, social marketers, because algorithms just like Facebook’s EdgeRank might be coming to Twitter. In this post by our friend Mark Schaeffer, you can learn about some of the reasons why Twitter is thinking about implementing this, including the pressure from investors now that Twitter has gone public.

Mark brings up some great points for both sides like the fact that, with so many active users, “an unfiltered news stream can seem overwhelming,” but one of the best things about Twitter is that it’s completely unfiltered because  it allows for news to break in real time; something we see happening more and more each day.

According to Mark – and most marketers including myself happen to agree – Twitter will ultimately end up implementing an algorithm that determines what updates you see depending on elements like trending topics and interaction history, which will make organic reach plummet which would effectively eliminate the main differentiator of Twitter from Facebook.

What can do you, then, to prepare for this change?  

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Can you afford to have a content strategy that isn’t lean?

“As content marketing has become a vital strategy for brands and agencies, the need to measure the success of that content has grown as well.  An Aberdeen Group report revealed that the most effective content marketers are also those most likely to measure.”

Source: blog.visual.ly

This report by the Aberdeen Group highlights the need to measure results as a key success factor in content marketing.

Beyond this key findings – companies which measure tend to do better – there are interesting numbers as those in the above chart. The companies surveyed in this report had a customer acquisition cost of $20-$30,000.

Does this feel a lot to you?

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Third-party content is 4x to 7x more trusted than your own

“I had always believed that most of the marketing content used by a company should be developed internally (…). Because of three recent research studies, I now have a different view on this issue.”

Source: customerthink.com

Some people still think that the only type of content that can demonstrate your expertise and show your thought leadership is the one you create.

If you’re still thinking that, think again as the data has spoken.

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6 Ways to Infuse Your Content Marketing with Personality

When it comes to content marketing, businesses can easily lose their personality behind lackluster, “robotic” blogs and other web content. This can result in disengaged audiences, reduced thought leadership standing, and lower search engine ratings.

According to GetResponse blogger Marya Jan, creating quality content requires that you infuse the unique, mutual personality characteristics of businesses and their customers into whatever gets written.

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16 B2B Content Marketing Stats You Need to Know Today

Jeff Zabin, CEO of Starfleet Media and celebrated business researcher, recently released his 2014 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation. The report was created with the intention of “provid[ing] a rich, up-to-date snapshot of how B2B companies are creating, licensing and utilizing content assets in their incessant quest to demonstrate thought leadership, raise brand visibility, and, perhaps most importantly, generate qualified leads.”

B2B content marketing is a unique field that’s still constantly developing, and this report has some important insights into it’s current state as well as where it’s headed. I’d recommend reading it for yourself, but in the meantime, I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting statistics and findings.

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5 Ways To Prove To Your Boss You Need Content Curation

Have You Made the Business Case For Content Curation? If not, this data will help persuade your management to invest in content curation.

Source: heidicohen.com

This is a solid summary by Heidi Cohen on why content curation is besoming essential to businesses. Its role to content strategy mix has evolved from being anecdotical a few years ago to becoming central as it not only helps fill the gap but provides meaningful synergies for your created content.

 

Now as Heidi puts it, content curation is not free: while it’s – as she puts it – “a low cost way to fill your content marketing pipeline“, low doesn’t mean zero. I still regularly have debates with people who think that automated aggregation can replace content curation: it doesn’t. There’s no way to set it up once and forget about it. You’ll need to invest as little as 15 minutes a day to achieve results but these 15′ need to be spent.

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Should you re-publish your content to other blogs, Medium or LinkedIn blog? A data-driven answer

One of the Lean Content best practices we’ve seen several speakers at our meetups recommend is to leverage existing audiences on top of your own to increase the reach and the impact of your content. While your blog may or may not yet have a strong audience, there’s always more people to reach. By placing your content on publishing platforms which offer interesting discovery mechanisms or having blogs that are read in your industry re-publish it, you could in theory multiply your own reach by not doing much more.

Though the idea makes perfect sense, it also comes with questions:

1. Re-publishing on other platforms can be more or less complex: some like LinkedIn publishing platform or Medium are public or in the process of being public; some industry blogs (for example, in our space, Social Media Today or Business 2 Community) recruit contributors based on their own selection criteria.

2. Re-publishing content is creating potentially duplicate content which could hurt SEO and defeat the purpose.

3. Re-publishing content means it’s read on a platform from where we can’t convert our audience: to subscribe to our blog, to sign up for a demo of Scoop.it, etc. As part of our own Content Marketing efforts, conversion is an important metric.

At Scoop.it, we like to put ideas to the test so we did an experiment a few weeks ago to come out with data that would support or reject this.

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Your employees are your brand

In this talk, Mark Burgess brings to our attention how employees, through social media, are changing how companies market to, and engage with, customers and prospects. With the transparency and opportunity for personal connections that social media offers, pushing fabricated, unauthentic sales pitches doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we are witnessing the rise of the social employee who creates a win/win proposition by leveraging their personal brands to build trust and increase the digital “surface area” of the brands for which they work. The result is nothing short of a revolution.

Source: www.youtube.com

“Employees are the brand at IBM” said IBM’s Ethan McCarty. But isn’t it true in a lot of companies? 


Are your employees thought leaders then? Or rather, what are you doing to develop – and show – their thought leadership?


As Burgess develops in his talk, there is a clear synergy between developing employees into thought leaders and building the corporate brand. 


But how can this be achieved? 


As shown in this topic, thought leadership is highly connected to knowledge. Empowering employees to share their knowledge easily and in an engaging and rewarding way therefore becomes critical:

– easily because they don’t have (much) time,

– engaging because they won’t do it if it’s not impacting,

– rewarding because that’s what’s in it for them.

Aggregating, promoting and spreading that knowledge through collaborative content hubs like the ones Scoop.it Enterprise offers that show the collective curation work of your brand’s employees is one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand: by promoting them.

A win-win deal for all. 

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How Content Curation and Repurposing Extend the Life of Your Content Marketing

Content Repurposing – Updating or changing content into a different form than the original to serve a different audience or the same audience differently.

Source: www.toprankblog.com

When I started to publish content, I felt frustrated that it didn’t have the impact I wanted. I had spent hours, sometimes day on trying to get thoughts, data and examples together and when hitting publish, the post only lasted for a few minutes before being drowned in the social media flow. 

Several techniques like the ones Lee Odden mentions here addressing just that and prevents your content from “melting like wet snow as soon as it hits the ground“.

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Sharing is not enough: why you need a content hub for your online presence.

Social media needs to be part of an overall sales and marketing strategy that includes your website, not something that is isolated from everything else you do to promote your business. It isn’t a one hit wonder that will magically drive people to your business.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

Sue Cockburn makes a great point on SocialMediaToday; and one that I’ve often seen underestimated: just like in ancient Rome, all your social media roads should lead to the center of your online presence, aka your website (as a matter of fact, I was highlighting it myself in a talk last week).

As she pointed out, one of the reasons for this is certainly the hype on social media (and its apparent simplicity).

With the Scoop.it team, we’ve been trying to identify the other reasons explaining that by observing many companies – small or large – implementing their content strategy:

– small businesses are often finding it difficult to…

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Important Stats You Should Know from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Last week, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers presented her Internet Trends report for 2014 at the Code Conference in California. Each year since 2001, KPCB has partnered with some of the best data analysts in the country to create a comprehensive report of rising Internet trends across all industries. This year, the presentation resulted in a 164-slide deck that you can read in its entirety here. Since we’re fans of tl;dr analyses & content curation, though, here are some of the most important points from the first half of the report.

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The benefits of content curation for seo

In a recent survey of 1,550 US professionals on the impact of content curation for their business goals, 65% said content curation helped with regards to SEO. Not only that but data from 65M+ pieces of content curated on the Scoop.it platform show that an average of 40% of traffic comes from Google Search.

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Can SMB’s afford the impressive ROI of Content Marketing?

Is content marketing worth it? Can your company achieve a positive ROI by investing in blogging, social media, and marketing automation?

Guillaume Decugis‘s insight:

A great compilation of studies on the ROI of content marketing from Eloqua and Hubspot. There are lots of interesting numbers which show how valuable content marketing can be in the long run: unlike advertising which costs increase with success, content marketing scales up by delivering economies of scale with lower and lower costs per lead or visitor.

Now, the caveat is that these studies focus on sizeable organizations who can afford the following investments: “According to Eloqua’s findings, a mid-sized organization should expect to spend approximately $12,000 a month and a larger-sized company could expect about $33,000 a month.”

This raises the question of the accessibility of content marketing to small and mid-size businesses. To really be the new advertising, Content Marketing needs to become accessible to all – hence the growing interest for leancontent solutions and tools. 

See on www.business2community.com

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5 lessons we learned experimenting SlideShare as a visual blog

SlideShare is a great platform for visual content and an amazing company: in just a few years, it has become the YouTube of presentations, one of the Top 150 sites in the world with an impressive 3 Billion views per month from 60 million unique visitors. Perhaps like many others, I originally thought of SlideShare as a platform to use only on specific occasions: when I had talked at a conference, when we had produced great slides worth sharing or when we had something specifically visual to communicate. I had had great experience and results but I don’t talk to conferences every day and so I sometimes felt I was missing out. And then, one night of September last year, I heard Jason Miller present at one of our #leancontent events and it became all clear: the team and I realized we could use SlideShare in a very different way – not just as a tool to recycle and share what you already created for other purposes but as a media channel that we would update on a regular basis. In a word, as a visual blog.

We decided to try it: over the next few months, we tried to publish at least every other week to SlideShare, integrating it in our content calendar alongside our blog and our Scoop.it content curations.

These are the first results after 4 months running this experiment.

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6 Facts About Content Curation and SEO You May Not Know

If you struggle with providing a steady stream of fresh, relevant content for your website, you’re not alone. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome this challenge, while also increasing the value you provide to your audience, is through the process of editorialized content curation.

But while we know that this process (when done right) is beneficial in terms of driving traffic, extending reach and providing interesting and valuable content, what does Google think about content curation?

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