A Marketer’s Guide to Content Curation

Here’s how marketers can get started with content curation to improve lead generation, increase trust, and reduce content development costs.

Here’s how marketers can get started with content curation to improve lead generation, increase trust, and reduce content development costs.

Have you been sold on the benefits of content curation and decided to make it an integral part of your content marketing strategy? Welcome to the club. After all, curation is an excellent way to augment content marketing investments and supplement original content assets. Content curation accelerates marketing initiatives, increases trust, and improves lead generation, while also reducing content development costs.

When making the transition from theory to action, what is required to curate content? There are five key steps for successful content curation:

  1. Identify the topic area
  2. Find relevant sources
  3. Curate assets
  4. Share results
  5. Analyze outcomes

Let’s highlight what each step entails.

1. Identify the Topic Area

First, it is essential to identify a relevant topic area. It should be related to your area of expertise, as well as your target market and value proposition. When identifying the types of content to curate, focus on three perspectives.

  • Audience interest: The best place to start is to consider your audience, and what you consider relevant to meet your customers’ and prospects’ needs.
  • Content: Consider the overall landscape, and make sure there is sufficient third-party content in a topic area to be worth the effort to organize it.
  • Competitor landscape: Consider what your competitors are doing. You want to ensure assets are curated in a relevant area that your audience finds valuable and that competitors have not (yet, or adequately) addressed.

Curation allows anyone to bring in the best content industry experts have to offer. The topic area should be broad enough to encompass a range of perspectives, while also sufficiently focused to address key concerns.

2. Find Relevant Sources

Once the topic is selected, identify relevant and trusted sources as candidates for content curation. Sources can include:

  • Trade publications
  • News sites
  • RSS feeds
  • Industry blogs
  • Electronic journals, and more.

With a well-chosen topic, it should be easy to identify at least a dozen sources by reviewing content you already consume. Be prepared to add new sources, particularly if you are part of a fast-changing marketplace.

Curation exploits the link power of the web, so link to related articles on an ongoing basis. Provide a balanced mix of experts, dissenters, and up-and-comers (different views and perspectives) in order to optimize value for your audience.

3. Curate Assets

Curating entails organizing content assets and adding value to them. Curating content is, by definition, a human process. Think like a librarian when setting up your categories; tag and group assets, and develop indices about the collections.

Remember, unlike physical collections, digital collections can be organized according to multiple criteria. In addition:

  • Be sure to add value to curated collections.
  • Annotate individual items, analyze trends, summarize, ask questions, and provide both insights and guidance.
  • Always attribute sources and provide the links so your audience can easily access them.

Set up a process and task somebody with reviewing sources on a periodic basis—daily or weekly, depending on the frequency of your curated postings. This can be quite simple when using one of the many tools available for automating your curation process. Crowdsourcing may also be relevant. Curation is more efficient and effective when your organization considers it a cross-functional practice instead of the exclusive domain of the marketing department.

4. Share Results

The next step is sharing results with your target audience, utilizing whatever communications channels they prefer. Remember, they have choices. Different segments of any target audience consume content in different ways.

  • Some people go to their inbox first thing in the morning or choose content to read through a newsletter in their spare time.
  • Others rely on Twitter, LinkedIn, or a feed reader to stay abreast of current events.
  • Web sites and microsites that focus on a particular topic are also relevant. Often people will want to browse through entries and summaries to find relevant information.

As a content curator, find which channels best suit your audience’s content consumption habits and preferences. Often it pays to invest in a multi-channel strategy, optimized for the strength of each channel. For instance, trends can be summarized in a tweet, and the audience referred to the complete article on a microsite.

5. Analyze Outcomes

As a content marketing strategy, content curation is unique because it relies on third-party content developed by external parties. As a result, audience behavior is different from traditional online marketing campaigns where all content is consumed within a brand’s online properties.

When it comes to websites and blog posts, it’s still important to track page views and visitor growth to determine the size of your audience and whether it is increasing. But total site visits and length of site visits may be misleading. This is because a few people with a passionate interest are more valuable than many people with a general concern. (highlight to tweet) Similarly, if audience members are clicking through to the third party content, their time onsite does not reflect their actual interest.

Similarly, subscriber growth rates and click-through rates are important metrics for email newsletters. Open rates are less relevant, as they do not capture all activity.

There are many social media metrics to watch, including followers, fan growth, and retweets. These help to gauge popularity. By using these metrics to assess the performance of content curation initiatives, they can be ranked in terms of reach, conversion, and ROI against your specific business goals.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.convinceandconvert.com

 

Digital Drinkers’ Runnin’, Stretchin’, Sportin’, Home-Buyin’ Week in Review

An ode to Sarah Palin -suddenly sane sounded member of the GOP.

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Enough gun-totin’, rally-goin’, Trump-lovin’ politics.  We had a great week running, stretching, traveling and writing. Get in formation and get ready for an awesome review of our group’s content this week!

 

This week, Melissa followed up with a list of stretches to achieve flexibility and expanded her approach to marketing. Learn how you, too, can bust a split! 

 

Lauren is still running toward her goal, finishing the Disney half-marathon and gives us all a good primer on starting a personal blog. Unsurprisingly, she can’ t Dory. 

 

David gathered some useful insights from industry leaders about how to market your business during times of crisis or tragedy.  Learn how to avoid massive social media mistakes that could cost your company millions. 

 

David also posted a second article in his series on how to successfully invest in real estate – part 2 is here!  Start with his series if you’re interested in buying homes as investments. 

 

Finally, Sophia spoke with Jeff Garcia and Chelsea Mojo on their approach to digital marketing and growing their respective businesses.  Absolute must reads! 

 

 

 

Social Media Discussion with Ms. Mojo Risin’

This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Mojo Risin’ (@mojowriting), founder of Mojo Writing, a full-service online marketing provider for Loudoun County and Northern Virginia businesses and organizations. On twitter, her bio  states, “Writer, single mom, feminist, social media strategist, copywriting & SEO’ing your world. Random lyrics. I eat brains. #amwriting #intj #yoga #FriesBeforeGuys.” For me, that was enough to earn an instant follow.

Our conversation covers her business and marketing approach, how she helps women business owners, and her advice to companies using social media. My questions are in bold.

Q: In a few words, describe what your business does.

 

My business provides online marketing solutions like blogging, articles, social media and strategy services.

 

Q: How did you get started in this field ? What is your background and how long have you been doing this work?

 

I learned layout and design in high school (yearbook, actually). I’ve always been pretty tech-savvy and was in several “right places” at the right time, so it was a pretty seamless transition into web and graphic design with the small businesses I worked for. Eventually, I worked at a start-up web design company and spent a lot of time learning HTML there and on my own.

 

Eventually, I decided that everything I was doing could be done on my own and I began freelancing web and graphic design. Once social media became a thing, I started building discussion forums (the web side and the administration side).

 

It all pretty much came together after that. The business side of things and how that connects directly to online marketing and those efforts.

 

In one way or another, I’ve been at this for 23 years.

 

Q: Compare the way you marketed your business at the beginning to how you do so now?

At the beginning, I had the normal freelancer mentality, I believe. It’s hard to start out and you pretty much are grateful for even an inquiry, much less an actual gig. However, the majority of my clients (then and now) have been women, who not only hesitate in business but also with computers and technology. So I’d like to think my early marketing was simply keeping lines of communication open with those clients and getting referrals as a result.

 

Honestly, I don’t do things much differently right now, just a better understanding of where to focus the energy and when to walk away from a campaign, client or project.

 

I have a new division, if you will, that I’m launching. Along with a fairly niche community project that I’m testing out. Those projects and the campaigns I run for clients require a pretty complicated strategy, but one that is soaked in social media. I refer to it as the old  “spokes on a wheel” concept and it holds true at all times, no matter the niche or the client. Online marketing is integrating those spokes into a seamless experience for both the client and the customer.

 

Q: I’ve known you through twitter, how important have social media accounts been to your business and promoting yourself  and your business?

 

I often tell people not to be like me on Twitter, at least not if they want to be taken seriously. I’m fortunate that what I do requires a certain level of risk-taking and showing I can be technical, swamped in pop culture, in the throes of #momlife, and still a very accessible person.

 

For what I do, social media is vital on all levels. You can’t sell social media without being social media.

 

Q: So you mentioned that you largely work with women, you still do to this day, why is that? Was that a natural targeting decision or something done more strategically ?

 

Most of my clients are women still. I think a lot of that came from helping friends  launch websites in the past or encouraging them to register as an LLC or just supporting their ideas. I feel there’s a natural affinity between women in business that is a lot like when we get together to cook a big meal or go sailing or whatever.  I’m drawn to that and I like to think I help bring that same vibe to the women I work with.

 

Q: What is one piece of social media marketing advice that you have for business owners?

 

If you wouldn’t trust your intern (child, nephew, pet goat, neighbor’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend, etc.) to drive your car, don’t trust them to run your social media. You and your business deserve better.

 

Sports and Social Media – A Conversation With Jeff Garcia

This week, Sophia had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Garcia (@JeffGSpursZone) of WOAI News 4 San Antonio, KABB Fox 29 San Antonio, and host of “Locked On Spurs.”
Sophia has known Jeff through Twitter for 5 years and has always admired his work. She discussed his approach to using social media to market his work and build his sports-media empire through digital relationship building. Sophia’s questions are in bold.


Q: Tell me a little about your background and how you came to do what you do today for work?

Many know me as a Spurs writer/media personality but I am actually an attorney. I practiced Immigration Law for years but moonlighted as a sports writer since 2004. I started off as a co-founder of Project Spurs and from there  my love of sports media/writing took off. From covering the Spurs as a credentialed member of the media, covering Team USA basketball, attending major NBA events such as the 2014 NBA Finals and multiple NBA Drafts to co-hosting a sports talk show on 1250 ESPN San Antonio all led me to where I am today. Now, I am the Spurs beat writer for two local news outlets in San Antonio (WOAI News 4 San Antonio and KABB Fox 29 San Antonio). And yes, I am still an attorney.

Q: How do you approach digital marketing of your content?

 

I approached it by what I like to call the new “word of mouth” approach – Twitter! Heavy use of Twitter. That platform was actually the first social media outlet I used to promote my content. From there, I developed Twitter relationships where people who enjoy reading my work would re-Tweet my work. Today, I have the back of the two local San Antonio media outlets who in turn promote my work on their official Twitter feeds as well as on their Facebook pages.
My approach also involves a balancing act where I will promote my work multiple times on Twitter but in different forms. For example, I will tweet my own work, then re-Tweet others who Tweet my work and space out my self-promotion by an hour. With tweets getting “buried” on people’s timeline, I feel one has to stay on top of it (see what I did there?) and tweet as much as one can to keep my articles fresh on people’s minds and eyes.
I believe with digital marketing being so fast and furious, so can people’s memories. Fans get swamped with so much digital marketing, I have to be unique, and mix it up.

Q: What is it about social media that makes sporting events so fun to talk about online as they are happening?.

 

That is the best isn’t it? I fall into the drama of it all. And that is what makes it fun. The passion, drama, angst, etc. from fans who give you their emotions in an instant. I can “feel” the excitement that it only enhances the fun of watching events. It also gives me a sense of the pulse of the fan that I can use in my articles.

Q: Is twitter the new sports bar?

 

Yes but at a whole other level. It is a 24-hour sports bar. A mega water cooler for people to gather around and talk sports. You meet new people with similar interests, viewpoints and build from there. It’s a sports bar that never closes. You can go in and out of it and catch up on what the talk is or sit back and watch the drama unfold.
Q: How can businesses capitalize, in an authentic way, on massive social media user-ship during sporting events?
Simple – play to the emotions of fans. If their team is winning and fans are ecstatic then a business can capitalize on that and, for example, have free social media codes for a discount for whatever they are selling. Another example is what the Spurs do at games. If the Spurs win at home, everyone in San Antonio gets free coffee at their business. Same can be done online.
Q: What is your most popular social media driven piece of work?
I noticed anything where a team’s rival opponent is giving them some juicy locker room material or if the team they are cheering for gets crushed on the scoreboard is when I have popular social media driven content. Anytime there is some sort of “emotion inducing” moment during the season gets fans going and it gets popular. Oh and odd-ball, random posts. For example, I can write a 1,000 worded piece on why the Spurs need to change their lineup. It will get views but if I find a video of Tony Parker dancing with a teddy bear in Portland while singing a Taylor Swift song, well that will explode on Twitter. My suggestion, do both.
Q: What advice do you have for newcomers to the online world of sports reporting?
Be consistent. Find out your strengths and run with it. If  you are good at writing from the hip, then do it but do it well. If you notice you get more views from Facebook and not Twitter, then focus your strengths there and eventually it will even out. Meaning eventually fans will ask “Why aren’t you on Twitter?” and vise versa. Then you can branch out.
Write a lot. I mean even if there is nothing going on with your team – find something. It makes you stand out. You got to satisfy a fan’s thirst for the love of their team. Quench it.
Do not give up. Keep on writing even if your work gets hardly noticed at first. I recall starting off with no one knowing who I was and couldn’t care less about my articles. But perseverance paid off for me. Do not be afraid to ask. Seriously. My first big “break” into the larger NBA writing world was in 2004 when I just asked the NBA if I can cover the Vegas Summer League. Days later I got a “yes” and from there I established myself.
If I can do it, so can you.

How to Select the Right Property (Part 2) – Delivering Returns on a Skyrocketing Real Estate Market

Always wanted to build a Real Estate empire?

Want to know how to get started?

This 3 part series will get you well on your way with real life examples and experiences using proven techniques for generating huge returns.

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If you missed part 1 , get caught up here first to learn the basics.

Selecting the Right Property: By Type

“How do I select the right property?”

This is a one of the biggest questions I get from those seeking real estate advice. First, decide what type of income you want from this property: rental, long-term investment, short-term investment, or vacation rental income?

1) Rental Income

If its rental income, I would highly suggest seeking out multi-unit properties. Anything 4 units or less and you can still use a conventional loan and take advantage of conventional rates. Research rentals in the area, occupancy rates and learn how to be a landlord.

Property management companies are great but you will be paying 10% of your gross. Be sure to do your research on home warranty companies and landlord laws. There are also landlord associations that can help with legal advice, and reputable handy men.  

2) Long-term Investment (more than 2 years)

With long-terms investment the biggest factor is location, location, location. Find the most distressed house in the best neighborhood you can afford. This can prove to be huge payouts if you chose the right area and time your sale. A perfect area will never lose value, but choose carefully. For example, walkability is huge and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Segmenting the market for a long term investment is also important, ensure you are aiming for the right clientele when making improvements, target the wrong customer and your home improvement investments could end up not delivering a return (which is key to any home improvement on a long term investment).  Plus, if it you’re the primary resident for 2 out of 5 years, you will pay 0 capital gains, a big bonus.

Long term capital gains can be as much as 25%, depending on your tax bracket and state. We also recently sold a property at the exact 2 year mark. It was a huge fixer upper and we built an additional guest house in the back. The house sold for nearly 50% higher than we purchased it for 2 years ago. We chose the perfect neighborhood, and put a ton of work into it, which included a renovated guest house and new bathroom.  

If your going for a fixer upper, the contract is key. If you live in the NW Portland/Gorge area, Pinnacle Concepts LLC is a great company to work with. They have done a lot of our remodel work, the owner Randy is one of the best guys you can hope to find.

Before and after dining room renovation:

 reno 1

Before and after kitchen guest house renovation:

reno 2

3. Short term investment (less than 1 year)

Again, location is key, but here you will be looking for something that is quick to fix up. No foundation, roof, electric, or plumbing work. Cosmetic updates, landscaping, and low dollar fix ups. Also, you have to consider short term capital gains, upwards of 39%! This is not a path I have headed down before, be careful with this option, it’s risky and most real estate is a long term investment unless you are doing this full time and are a contractor yourself.

4. Vacation Rental

This option is reserved for mainly vacation destinations and in great locations. You can often find distressed properties for this investment, but they will go fast and often paid for cash due to condition. Bedrooms are the one of the biggest income generators for these sorts of investments, the more people you can house, the more you can charge per night. This requires extensive managing on a weekly or even daily basis, a true part time job. Also, check with local laws as many states and or cities do not allow short term rentals (defined as less than 30 days).  You also have to figure in the cost of furniture, bedding and supplies, which can be significant depending on the size of the home.

According to the Financial Samurai at Personal Capital, you must decide on a realistic income from your rental property:

It’s all about income. As a real estate investor you must ascertain what is the realistic income the target property can generate on a sustainable basis every year. Once you have an income range then you can calculate a property’s gross rental yield and price to earnings to compare it with other properties on your acquisitions list.

 

We used social media marketing to advertise the vacation rental we invested in, check out this link for a full tour.

We purchased that property at an auction, fixed it up, rented it out as a vacation rental (for 4 years), and sold for a great profit.  We purchased the property off an auction website, Williams and Williams, a great place to find auctions. Check out this link to the vacation rental we purchased, and pictures of the original condition of the home when we purchased it.

reno 3

Exit strategy

Develop an exit strategy no matter what property you buy.

Put every property in your ROI calculator I mentioned in Part 1, and decide how long you want to keep it. Five years is a reasonable time frame for a long investment to properly forecast.  Examining the market and properly forecasting will bring in huge returns. I’ve been asked by others to invest in their real estate ventures with no clear exist strategy, I would not recommend it as this should be your biggest criteria when deciding how to invest.

Bottom Line

Find a property you feel confident in, and trust your gut! Don’t settle just because you want to get in the market, you will find the right property if your consistent and have an open mind. Keep your eye on the cash-in (exit strategy), we will be discussing that in Part 3: Cashing in on your Investment — next week!


Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    |     Investing In A Home, Part 1   |   The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon  | 5 Things to Chant in Your Head While Running

 


References

Financial Samurai, October 6, 2014, https://blog.personalcapital.com/investing/what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-rental-property/ 

Nike’s Newest Unique Marketing Venture: BIKETOWN PDX

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Starting today, Portlanders are going to start seeing orange bikes everywhere. In a partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Nike is placing 100 new bike racks with 1,000 orange bicycles all over Portland. This new bike-sharing program, called BIKETOWN PDX, already has 1,000 people signed up for their annual membership.Nike_BIKETOWN_det_001_native_1600

This a huge marketing venture for Nike. The model has been tested and been successful in other cities. The largest bike sharing system in the US is called Citibike and is sponsored by Citi Bank. Nike is spending $10 million to sponsor the Portland program for the next 5 years.

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The bikes are bright orange, reminding consumers of the bright orange boxes on the shelves of their local shoe store. All of the bikes have swooshes. 100 of the bikes are colored to look like some of Nike’s most famous shoe brands: Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Trainer 1, and the Nike Air Safari.

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How does it work?

1) First you join on your smartphone through a mobile app or on your computer through their website.

2) Choose your plan (see below)

3) They will send you a 6-digit account number and a 4-digit pin that you use to unlock the bike.

4) Then you ride around town.

5) Return to any Biketown bike rack, or you can lock it at any rack for a $2 fee.

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Cost:

A single ride is $2.50

A day pass is $12.00

Annual membership (90 mins of daily ride time, unlimited trips) is $12 a month.

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Also check out:

Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play on the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Pictures and Sources:

http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2016/07/nike_dressing_up_some_biketown.html

http://koin.com/2016/07/19/biketown-rolls-out-on-portland-streets/

http://news.nike.com/news/portland-bike-share

How to Sell Yourself in 5 Steps

After you’ve mastered selling yourself, it’s time to take your marketing to the next level and learn to Growth Hack ANYTHING.

Whether you’re looking for a new job, a promotion, or honing your skills in your current role, developing your own personal brand will help you keep your eyes on the prize – getting the most out of your career.

  1. Establish your personal brand.

Your brand is the sum total of your reputation, the quality of your work, what you stand for, and how you represent yourself to the world. Your brand can build on itself in a positive way, if you play your cards right.

Brand Loop

 

Who you are and what you stand for will come across in the quality of your work. Assuming you’re producing high-quality work, this builds trust and confidence in you from your employer and peers. This increase in trust and recognition can generate rewards, such as promotions, accolades, awards, or bonuses. And these, in turn, may elevate you in the eyes of others, build your confidence, and continues to grow your positive brand image.

  1. Identify your target “customers”.

Since you’re marketing yourself, your “customer” will be your future employer. So identifying the target customer you are after will help you hone in on what position and/or industry is the right fit for you. Then, you can highlight the skills and qualities you have that make you the best fit for that industry or position.

Know your audience:

  • What industry do you want to work in? (i.e. Technology, Transportation, Government)
  • Does industry matter to you or are you looking for a line of work that will transfer across industries? (i.e. Project management, Communications, Purchasing)
  • What are the skills you bring to a particular industry or position that make you the best fit?
  1. Develop a strategy.

Now that you know who you are and who your target “customers” are, it’s time to develop a plan of action for getting your name out there. Just like any company would work to differentiate themselves from other companies, you can set yourself apart from all those other job seekers out there.

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  • Be consistent – Find ways to build your reputation in the field you’re passionate about and politely decline those that take you off course.
    • For instance, if grant writing is where it’s at for you, find volunteer opportunities or apply for positions having to do with grant writing. It can be easier to tell your story if connections from one experience to the next are clear.
  • Reinforce your brand – Join professional associations and other groups to find networking opportunities and practice telling your story. Reinforce your brand by telling your story in these places as well:
    • LinkedIn
    • Personal website or blog
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

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  1. Gather intelligence.

Doing your market research, your homework, or whatever you want to call it is critical for success. How will you know who’s hiring or what skills are required for a particular line of work if you don’t do your research? You can get a lot about where your skills and those of your dream job align or learn what you need to do to brush up to things to meet the requirements of your next job, just by looking around or asking:

  • Check job postings on specific company websites
  • Read job descriptions on job boards
  • Meet industry “insiders” for informational interviews
  • Go to networking events
  1. Be You!

Most important – be the authentic you. People can tell when you’re faking and it doesn’t feel good either. So be genuine and honest and let your true self come through. It’s the best brand there is!

Knowing yourself, what your strengths are, and what you want from your career will help you develop your own personal brand. Now get out there and brand yourself!

 

What is Growth Hacking? Take your marketing to the next level and learn to Growth Hack ANYTHING.

Of These Advertising Marketing Agencies, Which Industry Leaders Have Name Recognition?

Team Ruckus

This is a digital marketing experiment by Team Ruckus with Willamette University’s MBA for Professional Program.

Of these advertising marketing agencies, which names do you recognize?

Ogilvy & Mather, Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, IDEO, iProspect, Razorfish, Ruckus, Edelman, Interbrand, Wunderman

Copy and paste the survey link to choose.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YB3H3X9

 

 

 

 

 

How-To Growth Hack ANYTHING with Content Marketing

What IS Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. This term was coined and made famous by Sean Ellis (@seanellis) who later started a company of the same name.

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Case Study: How One Company Growth Hacks through Content Marketing

The Good, a trusted conversion advisory in Portland, Oregon uses content marketing to growth hack their own marketing efforts. The Good creates 100% original content on digital marketing topics and distributes the content through a variety of channels:

  • Weekly emails to 140,000 loyal subscribers
  • Syndicated content on social media
  • Guest posts on partner websites like UXPin, Leadpages, etc.

All topics for the original content are carefully selected based on the latest trends in digital marketing and website conversion rate optimization. The content marketing staff at The Good culls through a variety of sources to learn what the hot topics are in the industry:

  • Google Trends
  • Twitter Trends
  • Recent findings from real research
  • Expert opinions
  • What the loyal subscribers are asking for

The goal of this company’s content-driven growth hacking is to consistently generate Thought Leadership in their area of expertise so that potential clients view The Good as the first place to go when they need to purchase these professional services.

Through growth hacking experimentation, The Good determined the two most effective content types are “Timely” and “Timeless” content:

Timely

  • Topics that match pop culture to business
  • Hot and trending topics
  • Ranking lists (e.g. Top 10 Best ___ of 2016)
  • Listicles (a list-based article)
  • Controversial topics

Timeless

  • “How to…”
  • “What is…”
  • “The Definitive Guide to…”
  • Case Studies

Scannability is KEY

For the largely business-based subscribers to The Good’s original content, time is always at a premium so The Good optimizes all articles for key components of scannable layout:

  • Headers
  • Sub-headers
  • Short paragraphs
  • Numbered lists
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Tell stories, not boring research

Heatmapping is a key tool used to help gain insights about the effectiveness of an article layout. Real visitor data is tracked and aggregated to show where clicks, movement and scrolling occurs on a given page.

Sample movement map on an article
Sample movement map on an article

Content effectiveness is then measured daily using the following metrics:

  • Visits by time of day
  • Pageviews
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Pages per visit
  • Traffic sources
  • Popular social posts

Popular Tools to Help Content Marketing

  1. AHREFs – an online tool to show topic popularity and which keywords are most effective to drive organic search traffic to your content.
  2. Google Trends – shows what people are searching for, how they’re forming their search terms, and when they’re searching for it.
  3. Canva – tool that allows users without Photoshop expertise to make high quality graphics–easy and free-ish.
  4. Hootsuite and Buffer – tools to schedule and syndicate content across social media channels
  5. Reddit – the original message board is still wildly popular. Great for finding trending and controversial topics.
  6. SlideShare – a LinkedIn tool that turn PPTs into digital content.
  7. Hotjar – a heatmapping service.

Advanced Strategies

  • Influencer Marketing
    1. Identify key people with large base of followers
    2. Develop content that mentions influencer in a way that benefits them
    3. Ask influencer to share your content with their audience
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    1. Find highly-ranked keywords
    2. Use keywords in all the right places
    3. But don’t use TOO many of the keywords
    4. Meet as many of Google’s standards as possible
  • Backlinking
    1. Find popular ranked content
    2. Create better “timeless” content
    3. Ask related content owners to “backlink” to your content

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5 Marketing Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley

(Warning: Spoilers)

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HBO’s Silicon Valley is a hilarious hit show that may, or may not, represent the real Silicon Valley. It just grabbed 11 nominations for the upcoming Emmy awards. It is no doubt great TV, however, within the show, there are real marketing lessons.

1) Be customer-centric not product-centric

Many innovators believe their products will sell themselves. A “build it and they will come” mind set. Most of the time this is not true.

Pied Piper created revolutionary compression software. However, it’s incredibly complex, hard to integrate, and all the work is behind the scenes and not visible to the consumer (Gourville, 2006).

2) Have Vision

Every company needs to be able to explain their product effectively and efficiently. It is important to provide an easily understood picture of your brand and demonstrate value to the customer (Gupta, 2014).

Throughout the series Pied Piper and Hoolie have trouble articulating the product to anyone who is not an engineer. They don’t have a good vision for the product they want to create, just the technical background specs.

3) Have a targeted marketing strategy

Michael Porter defines strategy as: “the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.” A good strategic position meets the needs of a targeted group of people.

Pied Piper doesn’t have a specific type of product offering, or demographic to sell to. Richard wants to serve all the needs of everyone. This is too broad, and is ultimately unsuccessful. Many of the problems they face with launching their company could be fixed with a targeted strategy (Porter, 1996).

4) Listen to Market Research

Unbiased, thorough, and strategic market research can help a firm segment their potential customers, and tailor their products to customer needs to create value (Dolan & John, 2015).

Pied Piper and Hoolie constantly believe their products are perfect. All of their market research (the little they do) tells them their products are too complicated, not user friendly, or not working properly, yet they don’t listen. Pied Piper sends their beta to only engineers, who love it, but the first few end customers that try it, are turned off.

5) Don’t Cheat

Just don’t.

 

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Work Cited:

Dolan, R., & John, L. (2015). Marketing Intelligence. Harvard Business Publishing.

Gourville, J. (2006). Note of Innovation Diffusion: Rogers’ Five Factors. Harvard Business School, 2.

Gupta, S. (2014). Creating Customer Value. Harvard Business Publishing.

Porter, M. (1996). What Is Strategy. Harvard Business Review.