How To Make Millenials Read Your Content

Millennials, generally described as those who were born between 1982 and 2004, account for a large portion of the online audience, with 15-35-year old users making up over half of the global internet population.

As such, they’re a highly important and influential group when it comes to digital marketing. This age group also has significant spending power, and with it comes a great opportunity for brands to harness this power through digital marketing. Although their disposable income may not be as high as those of older generations, millennials still account for 28% of consumer spending, and almost half of them say their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media.

Unlike the generations before them, they’ve grown up with the internet being a normal part of daily life and with mobile devices making information accessible anywhere at any time. They’re used to technological convenience and often expect instant gratification. For these reasons, they consume online content differently compared to previous generations. So, if you’re aiming for a digital marketing strategy for your business, given the aforementioned facts, it’s wise to make Millennials part of your plan as well.

Part of your online strategy should be creating content that will appeal to Millennials, and you can start on this road by following these simple tips:

Make it Visually Appealing

Studies have shown that younger online users will actually avoid reading content if it’s unattractive in terms of appearance and layout. As such, publishing visually attractive content is important if your business is targeting Millennials. You could start by using high-quality images, infographics, and videos, especially since content containing images or videos is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than plain text content.

Aside from making it visually appealing, make sure that your content can also be viewed and renders properly on mobile devices. As many Millennials access the internet mainly from their smartphones, mobile readability is highly important.

Make it Shareable

Millennials love sharing content on social media. This is good news for businesses, especially for small and medium businesses using content marketing, as it makes it easier for others to find their content and increases awareness and buzz around their brand. This means that creating something shareable not only attracts Millennials, it also increases your business’ chances of being viewed by a wider audience on social media.

The types of content most commonly shared include:

  • List posts
  • How-to posts
  • Amusing or entertaining content
  • Content that inspires emotion
  • Long-form content (over 1,000 words)

Following this list as a base for your content strategy increases the likelihood of more Millennials knowing about your brand, and your content being shared online.

Make it Highlight Key Information

It’s frequently claimed that Millennials have a short attention span when in actuality they’re just research-focused and don’t want to waste time hunting for key information in a lengthy piece of content. Making this information easier to view and extract increases the chances of the whole article being read and also provides visual breaks in the text, enhancing its visual appeal.

Drawing the reader’s attention to key facts, quotes, and statistics not only makes it easier for the audience to read the article and find out the main points more quickly, doing so also provides an ideal hook for social media sharing.

Make it Clear and Informal

It’s best to ditch the formality when you’re writing for Millennials, even in a B2B context. Business buzzwords are seen as being old-fashioned, and formally written content can be very off-putting and intimidating to read for a younger audience. Aside from writing in a more informal style, most content marketing tips highlight the importance of being concise and straightforward. To make sure your content is easier to understand, use subheadings so that the reader can get the gist of the article with a quick scan.

It’s a myth that Millennials don’t read as much as older generations; 18-29-year-olds actually read more than older age groups. However, Millennials read in a different way compared to their parents and will scan quickly through an online page to determine if it contains useful content, rather than immediately reading it from start to finish.

To avoid the reader getting bogged down in the details, provide links to additional information and keep your content focused on the core topic.

Make it Topical

Another common myth about Millennials is that they are less interested in news than previous generations, when in fact 85% of them say keeping up with the latest developments is important to them.

Many millennials also pay for at least one news app or digital subscription. While they’re not as likely to sit down and read a newspaper, it’s just as important for younger people to stay informed on important topics such as politics, social issues, and world events.

Social media plays a big part in the distribution of news for Millennials, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram commonly being the primary gateways to discover news topics for them. It’s therefore important that a good proportion of the content you produce is newsworthy or linked to topical subjects in one way or another. This increases the probability that it will be shared online and takes advantage of Millennials’ preferences for consuming news stories via social media.

Make it Authentic

There’s no pulling the wool over the eyes of a Millennial. They’ll sniff out hidden marketing messages and insincere content in an instant. Your content should be backed by facts, statistics, and references from reputable sources. A recent survey about news consumption revealed that Millennials view having references and links as the most important aspect in deciding whether or not a piece of content is useful.

Millennials also have a deep distrust of advertising, and only 1% claim to be influenced by online ads. This means that it’s important to create content that is truly useful and valuable and not a thinly veiled advertisement for your brand.

Creating content for Millennials isn’t hard, but it does require a different approach compared to writing for other demographics. By using the aforementioned tips and advice, you’ll be boosting the chances of your content being read and shared on social media by Millennials and possibly being converted to a sale or new business opportunity.

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We Answer 6 of the Most Common Content Marketing Questions!

There’s no denying it: Content marketing is here to stay. For SMEs without the marketing budgets of large corporations, it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your business and build a solid presence online.

But what is it, exactly?

Content marketing relates to the information you share with your audience online. This includes blog posts, social media content, video marketing, and webinars. If you’re new to content marketing, it can be overwhelming—but we’re here to help!

Here are six of the most common content marketing questions (and the answers to each one!) to get you started on your journey of bringing effective and engaging content to your target audience:

1. How will content marketing benefit my business?

According to the 2016 Digital Australia report, the average person spends over 10 hours each day on their devices. Each time they go online, they’re consuming content—making it the easiest way to reach your target market online.

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is the same with any other marketing activity: To increase your bottom line.

When it’s done right, content marketing will increase your revenue and help you achieve your wider business goals, but there’s more to it than that.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Helping your business climb the search engine rankings, resulting to more visits to your website
  • Increasing your reach and visibility on social media
  • Increasing trust within your audience and establishing your business as a thought leader.

2. How long will it take for me to get results?

There’s no magic number when it comes to getting results from content marketing. Some established SMEs might notice an increase in traffic straight away. For others, especially those building their online presence from scratch, it may take a little longer.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. To get the best results, it’s important to develop a consistent approach. With a consistent approach, most businesses can expect to see some results (e.g. increased site traffic, social media followers, business leads) within six months from implementing their content marketing strategy.

3. What type of content should we be creating?

Content marketing is often split into two main categories: on-site content and off-site content. It’s a good idea to create both, as they will benefit your business in different ways.

On-site content relates to the content you share on your own website. This includes things such as blog posts, downloadable ebooks, and on-site videos.

Off-site content is the content you share elsewhere on the Internet, including guest blogging and social media posts.

It’s usually a good idea to include different content types in your online marketing plan, and experiment a little to find what works best with your audience.

You should also aim to include a mix of topical content covering the latest industry news, trending topics, and events, and evergreen content which will continue to stay relevant long after you hit “publish.”

4. How much content do we need?

Again, there’s no magic number when it comes to how much content you should be creating. As a general rule, the quality of the content is much more important than the quantity of the content you produce. It’s a better idea to create high quality content that adds value, rather than trying to rush content through just for the sake of getting more out there.

Search engines and social media algorithms prefer high quality content as well. Taking longer to produce quality content may seem counterintuitive, but it will increase your reach and engagement, making it more worthwhile in the long run.

That said, it’s important to stay consistent. How much content can you create on a regular basis? If you’re short on time or can’t afford to outsource your content marketing efforts, set yourself a target that feels manageable. From there, you’ll be able to manage your content schedule better, and see how much content you need to create to actually get results.

5. How do we know it’s working?

When it comes to content marketing, metrics are very important. Yet keeping track of the results is something many small business owners seem to overlook.

To avoid this, make sure you have tools such as Google Analytics set up properly for your website. This will help you keep track of the results, and determine which content is the most popular with your audience. You’ll also be able to tell where your traffic comes from, which can help you measure social media growth and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Over time, you should see your website conversions increase, too, as your readers become your customers.

6. What’s a brand voice, and how do we get one?

Your brand voice is like your business’ personality online. When you have a clearly defined brand voice, you ensure consistency in the content you produce, and a way to set yourself apart from other brands.

When creating your brand voice, consider how you would like your audience to see you. If you’re going for friendly and approachable, using stiff, formal language in your content isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, if you’re a business that requires a certain level of formality and professionalism, using lots of slang and colloquialisms probably isn’t the best choice of language to convey your brand image.

To determine your brand voice, spend some time thinking about your business’ core values and how you plan to demonstrate them online. From there, you can create a framework for your content writers to follow.

Ready to get started with content marketing, but need more support?

Getting started with content marketing can be tricky and even intimidating for the uninitiated. This is exactly why, especially for SMEs, employing the help of experts is a great way to get started. Here at Curate Bee, we specialise in helping brands enhance their presence online through our digital marketing tools and expertise. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our services, or take a look at more content marketing advice from our blogs.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Evergreen Content

“Evergreen content” is a popular buzzword in the online marketing industry. But what is it, really? Put simply, evergreen content is content that still holds its value even after months or even years have passed since it was published. It is not beholden to current trends or topical content; rather, it provides information that will continue to be of interest to readers over time.

Due to their nature, evergreen posts hold great potential in attracting hits from search engines and in generating consistent traffic to your business’ website or blog. However, many businesses, especially those which are digital in nature, are still belittling what evergreen content can bring them in terms of online marketing rewards.

Of course, that shouldn’t be the case—and here are the reasons why you need to include this type of content in your business’ digital marketing arsenal:

Stay at the Top of Search Engine Rankings

Although each search engine’s ranking algorithm is slightly different from the others, one thing that they all have in common is that they love evergreen content. This type of content tends to get more backlinks from other sites and blogs, making it more valuable to the search engines which, in turn, results to them sitting at the top or near the top of many search results. These posts also generate a lot of traffic over time, which also speaks positively to the search engines.

Having a strong search engine ranking is crucial to gaining readers and potential new leads from your online content. Most readers do not go past the first page of search results when looking for information, so you want your site’s content to be right there at the top. This leads to more site visits which, in time, can result to more conversions.

Encourage Social Sharing

Evergreen posts are more likely to be shared on social media, even well after they have been published. While topical posts usually only receive significant amounts of shares in the time immediately after posting, evergreen posts continue to be shared over the long-term. What this means for your business is that your post will have a better chances of reaching new audiences with every share, no matter how long it has been since you published it. This is value that cannot be ignored for your digital marketing efforts.

Boost Site Traffic within Your Blog

On your company’s blog page, you likely have a widget or section in the sidebar that lists your most popular posts (if you don’t, you really should have one). This tool encourages your readers to stay on your site longer and read more of your content, thus solidifying your brand in their brains. Because evergreen content brings in a lot of search traffic, these posts will usually be your most popular. They’ll gain even more traffic by being visible alongside your other content.

Most people only stay on a particular site for a few minutes before navigating to another site. The longer you can keep readers on your site, the better your chances are of turning them into customers. As they have already invested a larger chunk of time reading your material, they will be more inclined to choose your business over your competitors.

Establish Your Authority

Evergreen content provides a great opportunity for your organisation to provide your readers with the background information they need to understand your other content and what your business does or offers, in general. Much of evergreen content is geared towards beginners to a topic, so you have a unique chance here to set your business up in your readers’ minds as an authority in your particular industry. This way, they’ll have confidence that the information you provide is solid and valuable for them.

Topical content is great and often has a chance to go viral, which can be a great boon for your business. However, it does not complete the whole picture. You need evergreen content as well to form the foundation of your business’ content marketing. Without it, you’ll likely only receive large amounts of traffic to your post in the period immediately after you hit the publish button. No new posts equals no new traffic. With evergreen content, on the other hand, you’ll generate consistent traffic as your online readers search for the information you provide.

Get Expert Help with Your Content and Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of digital marketing agencies. We at Curate Bee have the digital tools and expertise to jumpstart your content marketing efforts and help you gain a truly effective online presence for your business.

Still Don’t Have an Online Profile? Here’s Why It’s a Must for Your Business

Any business that does not yet have an online profile is perhaps not aware of the many benefits that come with it and an accompanying social media strategy. Just look at established companies—the likes of Amazon, Google, Dell, and Microsoft are using their online presence to grow and are experiencing immense success.

These companies were early adopters of the internet and established their brand profile online. They also leverage social media to its maximum, continually sharing interactive and engaging content with their customers. With these big businesses as real life examples, it goes without saying that having an online profile for a business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs, is a step into the right direction.

But just in case you need more convincing, read on!

What is an Online Profile?

An online profile is not a single item or piece and is not in only one place, but rather is an amalgamation of pieces that together represent a business’ brand on the internet. The components that comprise an online profile are unique for each enterprise. Some businesses have only a domain and a basic non-interactive website; maybe even just single page on a shared domain. This is the minimal online profile and is likely not particularly effective in terms of marketing online. Others have built a strong presence not only through a dedicated website but also by leaving a digital footprint on social media and other online platforms.

What are the Components of an Effective Online Profile?

An effective online profile will, at the very minimum, include a complete website, with the business profile, contact information, and ideally engaging online content the company wants to share with its customers. Next the SME will want to dip their toe into the interactive social media space using the current popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumbler, etc.). It is wise to participate in a few of these at least, linking them where possible to have a better chance of gaining more followers and interactions.

Developing professional, high quality online content like short videos (leveraging free and paid video sites), the SME can share their content in a manner that engages. Adding further components completes the strategy, with marketing tools like email, newsletters, and a regular blog allowing the SME to tell an ongoing “story” of their business and to help drive views and clicks. With a more complete online profile containing these components, a business can more effectively represent its brand and products/services online.

5 Solid Benefits for an SME of Having an Online Profile

Many businesses are familiar with online profiles but don’t yet see how having one can be a useful tool. The competition online and offline is fierce in nearly every field. According to recent studies there are now 2.1 million small businesses in Australia alone. An online profile is another tool an SME should carry in its competitive tool belt. Below are five reasons why:

Increased sales

An online store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and requires no additional personnel to man (aside from developers on standby, unless live persons are regularly needed for a live chat with customers). This relates more to those in retail; it’s always better to have more options in terms of marketing and selling your products.

Exposure to new global markets and customers

It is now as convenient to buy a product from a large established company in the U.S. as it is to purchase from an SME online in Sydney. Many people prefer the SME for service reasons. Don’t miss that chance to build new client relationships. Having an online profile makes you more visible and easier for potential clients—even those overseas—to know more about your business and your offerings.

More effective and rapid communication with clients

Having an online profile via digital platforms gives you the speed and convenience of electronic communications and feedback, which in turn bolsters the service (and after-service) capability of your business, allowing it to respond more rapidly to clients. And we all know that happy clients are great for business, especially in terms of promotions.

Increased brand awareness

With an effective online profile, an SME will enjoy the ability to reach more clients than by word-of-mouth in the physical world. More awareness equals more brand power, which ultimately translates into more loyal customers and more sales.

A chance to compete with the big guns online

The internet levels the playing field considerably for all businesses. Online, an SME’s website, social media profile, and other components of their online profile has the same opportunity as the largest companies in the world to get the attention of a potential buyer and close that sale. As long as the online profile is executed and managed effectively, it will be able to bring in the same kind of advantages more established companies are currently getting via the internet.

Many Australian SMEs are Already Succeeding with their Online Profiles

All an interested digital marketer looking for proof needs to do is browse the web and he or she will find a plethora of real-world examples of small companies that have made a large impact using their online profile.

One nice example of an Australian SME that enjoyed the benefits of having an online profile is the company Shoes of Prey. A quick read reveals that 10 million pairs of shoes were sold on their website. It is clear from reviewing their website that the business has been working diligently on their online profile, leveraging social media and online tools like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, email, online feedback, and more.

Shoes of Prey’s success tells us that the benefits of having a strong online profile are not reserved for the big companies. Diligence, patience, proper management, and the strategic use of digital tools combined with enthusiasm for what the internet can offer ensures not only having an online profile but having one that’s effective as well.

Convinced now that having a legit online profile is beneficial for your business? If you need help to get started or to strengthen your current online profile, don’t hesitate to contact us. Curate Bee’s hardworking bees will help you use the internet to create a truly awesome and effective online presence for your business.

5 Important Steps to Win with your Evergreen Content

Digital marketers know that evergreen content keeps bringing readers back to your website. Wikipedia pages are a great example of evergreen content—that which remains fresh or relevant, and doesn’t lose appeal with time.

News articles, blogs on current affairs, and quarterly statistical reports are some examples of content that might be popular for a period of time, but are not evergreen. List based content like FAQs and How-to articles for beginners are some that never go out of style and will constantly bring visitors to your website. Let’s look at 5 important steps to win with your evergreen content:

1. Choose your topic, content, and keywords wisely

Choose the topic of your page or article with care, as it’s one of the first things that will catch the attention of your target audience, especially in the search engine results. Once you’ve come up with your title of choice, you can then follow the tips below to ensure that your content is engaging enough to prompt more people to read and share it:

  • The tone of your writing should be conversational and approachable, and should be aimed at the beginner rather than the expert reader.
  • Go into the topic in detail, and this means the length of the article would probably be on the longer side. This piece references top digital marketers like Brian Dean and Neil Patel, who often put out longer articles on topics of their expertise.
  • Add links to other resources when necessary, to ensure that the reader can use your page as a central point of information on the topic.
  • Keywords should never limit the scope of your writing, but it is essential that they be interspersed well within the article. This helps not just in SEO, but also in keeping the attention of the reader.

2. Updating and highlighting is key

Just because evergreen content is meant to stay relevant doesn’t mean you should let it stagnate with time. There may be some new pointers or trends that would be useful to the readers of your article, and you should make sure to update the article with these whenever possible. More frequent updates on your website would also contribute to your SEO ratings.

For the times when there are no updates to a subject, you can find other ways to keep an article highlighted on your blog or website. One way is to add links or tabs on the main page, so that readers could easily access the evergreen content. An FAQ article is a good example of this, as it can almost always be referenced from every page in the website.

3. Share, but be smart about it!

Sharing on social media is an effective way to improve readership of your evergreen content, but this must be done with a strategy in mind. Facebook and Twitter will bring in readers for a short period of time, but attention on these social sites is ephemeral, and your article will not stay in the attention of audience for long. Pinterest and Google+ are platforms that are much friendlier to evergreen content, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It’s also wise to use interesting/catchy or stunning photos (or both!) to capture the attention of users, especially if you’re planning to share the article on social media. Collections on Google+ can be used to gather your evergreen content into sub-topics to make them more accessible.

4. Stay flexible and connect to your audience

We’ve already mentioned that evergreen content is aimed more at beginners than at experts. What are some other ways to connect with your readers?

  • How-to articles could provide a download or print option, to make it easier for DIY-ers to save or print out a page for reference when necessary.
  • Step-by-step tutorials could include photos and infographics for every step, keeping readers more visually engaged with your content.
  • Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, and this figure is only going to get higher in the next few years. As such, it is essential to keep your pages mobile-friendly.
  • Include “like” and “share” buttons that are easily visible to the reader. This adds to the possibility of social media engagement which in turns contributes more hits for your content.

5. To date or not to date?

Some writers believe that content that stays relevant does not require a date on the article. This makes sense for how-to articles, tutorials, and FAQs, for example. There are many cases of smartly-written evergreen content—including movie reviews and parenting articles—that are constantly searched due to relevant topics and keywords, and will keep coming up in search results, even with an older date attached to them. It is up to you as a brand or a writer/editor to make the call and choose what works for you. Some content experts advise to leave out the date, and add it later depending on feedback from your readers.

As with most websites, evergreen content will not be the only type of SEO content on your site. You would also need to write currently relevant and trending articles to provide a well-rounded experience to your readers. Evergreen content however, will only increase in importance, and if planned and used well, will remain a constant source of traffic to your pages.

Write a Head-Turning Blog With These Six Tips

When was the last time you were able to complete a single task without your attention being whisked away by the pinging of your phone, or a pop-up advertisement that suspiciously advertises exactly what you were searching for on the web the other day?

A hurricane of creativity has blitzed the internet with trolls, memes, witty cartoons, mind-boggling infographics and funny videos of talking Siberian huskies. Faceit, can your blog really compete with a fuzzy singing canine that could put Miley Cyrus to shame?

Yes, it can. You just need to know how.

According to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being now stands at a proud 8 seconds in 2013, from 12 seconds in 2000. This is one second less than that of a goldfish. Which means you have exactly 8 seconds to hook your customers with gripping content!

Here’s how:

  1. Write from the heart– As sappy and clichéd as this sounds, it’s true! Write from the deepest echelons of your heart. People want to know that behind all that corporate speak, companies have souls too. Write about behind-the-scenes moments that audiences aren’t going to find out about through those stringently PR-monitored news nuggets.
  2. Make sure your headline turns headsDavid Ogilvy once famously said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as they read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Write a catchy headline that will make your audience hungry for more.
  3. Hijack ideas like a cuckoo bird– Don’t be afraid to hijack or piggyback on ideas that are already floating about the blogosphere. And if you find a funny meme or comic that describes your brand, share it. Just be sure to give out due credit!
  4. It’s not always about you–Your blog doesn’t always have to be all about you. Find a way to connect the dots between trending topics, current affairs and your brand.
  5. Post regularly and consistently–You need to blog consistently as your regular visitors will expect new and improved content. This will help you build and increase your online community. Include keyword research for search engine optimization.
  6. Substance is great, but don’t forget the style!– It doesn’t matter if your content is tight. If it looks like a boring mess of textbook gibberish, your visitor’s eyes are going to glaze right past it. Break up lumps of text with descriptive headings, bold captions, paragraphs and bullets. Intersperse your content with images, infographics and tweetable quotes to provide relief.

Churning out good content is only half the battle. You need to share it on the right forums to ensure that it gets the eyeballs it deserves. According to the Global Web Index, we now spend 28% of our time online. Include social media plugins on your blogs, and regularly reply to comments to generate conversations. Share your blogs on social media sites, forums and social threads.

Follow these tips to write unique blogs that will have your visitors’ heads turning. In the right direction, of course!

Two Major Elements of an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.

Robert Rose

Consider the following statistics from a research on Australian businesses conducted by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • 89% of the businesses engage in content marketing activities, with the aim to drive “profitable customer action”.
  • Of these businesses, only 37% of them have a documented strategy, as opposed to a verbal one
  • Content marketers felt the effectiveness of their strategy was less this year than last year (29% as opposed to 33%). But 44% of those who documented their strategy had a better result from content marketing activities.

Content marketing is engaging people while providing relevant and valuable information to either alter or enhance their consumption pattern. The above statistics reflect three things: the need for a strategy, the need to document the strategy, and finally, the need to analyse the effectiveness against preset objectives.

Why can content marketing do wonders for your business?

The answer is quite simple. Since content marketing is all about building relationship with your fans and followers by providing them with value, it is one of the most effective and affordable ways to get eyeballs on your website. From customer evangelism and upselling to engagement and lead nurturing, businesses are using content marketing to connect with their customers. And here are TWO critical strategies to get your content marketing right:

Chalk out a Plan

Effective content marketing needs consistency and commitment. It is not a one time activity. You need to keep the content flowing, not just on your blogs or websites, but also using different social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Social media content, articles on websites and eNewsletters rank top amongst the content marketing tactics used in Australia, with in-person events and blogs rounding up the top 5 effective tactics.

­Things to keep in mind:

  • Publish content as often as you can. 72% of the most effective content marketers publish daily, or multiple times a week
  • Create a specific budget for your content marketing activities. On an average, 27% of the total marketing budget is allocated for content activities (this does not include staffing).
  • Allocate enough resources to produce sufficient content regularly and consistently (the number one challenge faced by businesses).
Track your performance

When it comes to effectiveness, Australian businesses still find in-person events and newsletters to be the most effective, with research reports and articles on websites as the least. Things to keep in mind:

  • Set clear goals and define metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Goals may be individual, team or company wide depending upon the composition of targeted audience.
  • The effectiveness of the campaign needs to be measured in order to change or improve the approach of marketing. Keeping track of key factors such as Consumption, Engagement and Conversion is essential to determine your course of action.

Creating a content marketing plan, and measuring its effectiveness, is a cyclical process. With increased understanding of your target audience’s motivation and requirements, your plan will constantly undergo changes. And become more effective as a result.

Is it possible to track ROI of content marketing and win customers at the same time?

Yes, it is possible; when marketers use the correct approach for tracking ROI. This blog post will outline the approach to guide them in creating compelling and effective content, and turn audiences into customers. 

According to the report of the ALF Business Development, about 43% of brands have been monitoring the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing. 62% of those surveyed said they find web traffic as the most reliable metric to track the performance of their content marketing. Nevertheless, these brands state that they still find it difficult to attract audiences, and convert them into customers.

What seems to be the problem? It would make sense that if they are tracking their content marketing ROI, they should have determined what part of their strategy works and what does not, to ensure it is effective.

Maybe there is something lacking in the way that these brands measure their ROI. It is important to address this now since the ALF report found that 80% of marketers plan to invest in content marketing in the coming year. To ensure a worthy investment, it is crucial for us to know the proper way to track ROI, to be able to implement an effective strategy.

So, what’s wrong?

The problem may lie in how brands approach content marketing. Since content marketing is a fairly new way to reach out to customers, marketers often fall into the trap of thinking it is similar to advertising or traditional marketing. Unfortunately, it is vastly different from these two. With this mindset, however, marketers tend to see content from a ROI perspective. Their purpose of creating content would be to directly increase sales, which would undermine the intention of the material itself. The content would look like an advertisement or a promotional pitch, which your audiences are used to tuning out.

Consequently, having this understanding of content marketing leads brands to become obsessed about metrics that fail to provide them a complete assessment of their strategy. If you are only aiming to use your content to build buzz for your product or your service, you are putting limits on its potential to build a relationship with your audience. For instance, most marketers rely on website traffic to track their content marketing. The increasing number of clicks, or visitors, may lead them to think that their strategy is doing well, but it is not turning audiences into customers. Of course, web traffic is important, but it should not be the only metric to measure the performance of your content.

To become effective in their content marketing, brands need to rethink how they understand content marketing, to be able to measure accurately its ROI. With advertising, you pitch your products or services directly to your audience. In content marketing, however, you provide your audiences with content that is helpful, or useful. You give them information that can solve their problem. Eventually, you gain their trust and their loyalty. And over time, they will be enticed to purchase products or services from you.

The goal of content marketing is essentially to build a relationship with your audience in order to win loyal customers to your business. This will help you ensure long-term profits, as compared to customers that only transact with your business sporadically. But, how do marketers measure the ROI of trust and customer loyalty? Though difficult to assess, there may be some metrics that can give you a glimpse about the sentiment of your consumers.

Some useful indicators for content marketing ROI

As mentioned earlier, relying solely on website traffic will not accurately measure the performance of content. Used with other metrics, however, it can give you a complete picture on how your content is engaging your audience. To measure the traffic on your site, you can use web analytics programs that monitor the number of visits, the average time spent on the site, downloads and bounce rate. You can also track how your visitors navigated different sections of your website. And then, observe how the traffic changes weekly, monthly and annually, to track the ROI of your content.

Another metric that is useful for measuring ROI is lead generation. For instance, you can gauge the interest of your audiences on your content by making your e-book available to those that are willing to fill up a contact form in exchange. They may have read blogs in your site and wanted to know more information. With lead-capture forms, you can see the extent of how much your audience likes your content that they are willing to share their contact details with you.

Aside from this, you can also assess the ROI of your content through the likes and shares it obtains in social media. These social media responses can add traffic to your website, and complement your work on customer relationship management and engagement. The number of shares may indicate the credibility of your material. Take note of the sentiments of your audience on social media, and use these to build a relationship with them.

You can also directly calculate the ROI of your content by measuring how it leads to actual sales. For instance, a how-to video may have led your audience to purchase your product. With a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can track how your content led to a sales conversion. This should trace how your content caught the interest of your prospect and eventually encouraged them to make a purchase. Through sales conversion rates, you can determine how your content brought in actual revenue.

By understanding the real objective of content marketing, you can properly track the ROI of your strategy. See your content as a means to build a relationship with your audience. Provide helpful and useful information, and observe their feedback to measure ROI. By knowing what works and what doesn’t, you can improve your content marketing strategy and win loyal customers.


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5 Secrets to Creating Great Headlines That Catch Your Audience’s Attention

If there’s one part of your content that it is extremely important, it’s got to be your headline. Headlines are what your audience see first when they happen to catch a glance on your articles. They also encourage people to check out each and every post you make on your website or blog.

But if you think headlines are just for grabbing attention, think again. According to, great headlines can also communicate a full message to their intended audience. With people’s shrinking attention span, a great headline is just the thing you need to get your point across.

But how exactly can you make your headlines irresistible and note-worthy?

Go straight to the point

Most people these days have extremely busy schedules, so many of them don’t have the patience or the time for guessing games. If you want to attract the attention of these people, create headlines that go straight into the heart of the matter. Be specific and sell the benefits as much as possible.

For example, if you’re having a sale, consider this headline: “Get 50% Off on Our Premium Items” instead of “We’re Having a Sale.” It is more direct and it conveys the message that you want to send to your audience while using just a handful of words.

Sometimes, taking an indirect approach doesn’t hurt

It is also a great idea to take the indirect approach from time to time to pique your audience’s curiosity. David Moth of suggested using vague, curiosity-driven statements as headlines, much like what folks at Upworthy are doing. According to David, these headlines make it seem that the readers will be missing out on a lot of things if they don’t check out what your article is all about. As a result, they will be compelled to investigate and read on the rest of the content.

Use numbers and adjectives

Numbers and adjectives add muscle to your headlines. They make them more forceful and interesting. Just take a look at BuzzFeed. You’ll notice that most of the articles posted on the site have headlines with numbers and/or fancy adjectives in them.

According to David, this is one of the reasons why BuzzFeed content is very popular. Numbers make the articles look “digestible” and it encourages people to see what tips or examples have made it onto the list. Adjectives, on the other hand, add excitement to the headlines and make the articles sound useful.

Let your audience decide

Don’t know which type of headlines works best for your readers? Then let them decide. Daniel Burstein of Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recommended conducting an A/B testing to determine what kind of headlines is more suited for the readers you currently have.

In an A/B or split test, Daniel explained that your readers will be randomly segmented and assigned a different treatment of a variable you want to test, like the two, proposed headlines for a baseball team in this case. By measuring the results, you can avoid hit-or-miss headlines. You will be able to tell for sure which of them is more effective at catching your audience’s attention.

Nevertheless, there is also a need to be cautious on the use of attention-grabbing headlines, said Joe Pulizzi from CMI. Your headlines might bring numerous readers, but not the right ones that will contribute to your business. In creating headlines, always keep your target audience in mind to be able to reach your marketing goals.


Not all of us are born great writers. Therefore, the key to writing better and more interesting headlines is to practise. Despite your busy schedule, you should take the time to improve and sharpen your writing skills. You should also develop a good reading habit. Learn from the examples of other copywriters and content marketers so you’ll know how to vary your headlines and make them more catchy and worthy of a second look.

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A Glance at This Year’s Top 10 Digital Marketing Highlights

By Sandra D’Souza

As 2014 comes to an end, we take a look at some of the major developments in the sphere of digital marketing. Here’s a rundown of the 10 digital marketing trends of the year.

Take a step back to move forward

Chambers inside medieval castles are often lined with metal sconces so that torches can light the way of the dark hallways and prevent people from stumbling. In the same manner, businesses need to look back at the beacons that lighted the way of digital marketing in 2014. This is especially important, as majority of various organisations plan to raise their budget for digital marketing by 17% in 2015. So how can we make the most out of our investment? We need to remain well-informed of the trends that emerged this year, so that we can improve on how we reach out and relate to our prospective customers.

Let’s take a look at the Top 10 trends that rocked the digital marketing landscape in 2014.

1. Responsive, multi-faceted marketing

To gain an edge in marketing, companies are learning more about their customers to offer the right products and/or services for their needs. This includes studying the behaviour of your website visitors to measure the likelihood that they can become your customers. It also entailspaying attention to the platforms that people use to learn more about your business. If your prospects spend more time on their mobile devices, then capitalise on that.

Of course, you will also want to retain your customers. Keep them coming back by setting up your site to be responsive to their needs in order to enrich their experience. For instance, Pinterestorients its new users by showing them high-profile members to follow so that they can immediately access attractive content.

2. Interactive screens

Thanks to touchscreen technology, you can make your advertising more attractive and responsive to your potential customers. In shopping malls for instance, retailers can employdigital out-of-home media with interactive screens to encourage people to interact with their business and purchase from them. Combined with Wi-Fi, you can use digital displays to lead people to check-in at your store in exchange for coupons. Or you can set up games on your interactive screen and invite people to play, with assorted goodies for prizes.

3. Experience design in digital marketing

To truly become attentive to their prospects, organisations are also implementing the tenets ofexperience design into their digital marketing. Through this, you can customise your interactionwith your prospects with the aid of attractive interfaces and responsive features in your website. For this to be achieved, you need to understand Big Data to learn more about your customers. An effective experience design will illicit powerful emotions in your prospects such that you can convert them to become your followers. For instance, Airbnb has achieved success in the design of its user experience by encouraging property owners to disclose the condition of their homes while assuring renters that they made the right choice.

4. Programmatic advertising

When it comes to advertising, the delivery of content is expected to become more personalisedas more people use mobile devices across the world. Digital advertising is even expected to trump over broadcast media as this allows users to access information at their own pace. Furthermore,programmatic advertising is allowing different organisations to buy and sell ads depending on the data available about their prospects. This will enable them to become more effective in the audience they are trying to reach, thus becoming more efficient in their strategy.

5. Widespread use of mobile in advertising

As mentioned above, the widespread use of mobile devices can power up digital advertising. Theproliferation of smartphones nowadays has redefined our interaction and decision-making processes, and this carries implications for marketers. Mobile devices can carry businesses through the “last mile in marketing” – the point where customers are closest in making the choice to purchase a product or a service. You can send out your messages through apps, social media or mobile messaging. However, you may be more successful at interacting with your audience through mobile messaging rather than mobile ads, because users can easily block the former on their device. On the contrary, mobile messaging can help you engage your prospects even offline.

6. Use of social media for revenues

For various brands, social media has proven to be effective in converting followers into customers. It offers a new way for companies to connect with their audience, and increase their sales pipeline eventually. Moreover, reviews left by users in the social media often influence others to make their purchase. The ability of social media to strengthen sales has led some social networks to make the most out of this trend. Twitter will roll out its “Buy” button for the holiday season. Meanwhile, part of Facebook’s updates to its privacy policies includes a “buy now” button that will allow users to purchase products without having to exit the social media platform. These changes may go live by January 1.

7. Marketing automation replacing traditional email marketing

Companies that aspire toward growth, or are experiencing growth spurts may find it hard to keep track with all their customers through regular email marketing. Oftentimes, the need to send email-blasts can be time-consuming, without any real assurance that these messages are contributing to sales. Through marketing automation, you can reach out to your prospects with minimal effort. In addition, the process can be tailor-made for each customer so that they will not be overwhelmed with useless information. For instance, Australian sleep therapy company ResMed has implemented a responsive email marketing platform known as Silverpop along with the upgrade of its customer relationship management platform to Salesforce. Together, these two help the company to learn the behaviour of their clients, and send them the appropriate email.

8. Combination of PR, SEO and social media for marketing campaigns

Smart marketing campaigns combine PR, SEO and social media to gain a wider reach. Through agood public relations strategy, your brand can be covered by media outlets, renowned writers and reliable websites. As a result, your business can climb higher in search engines such as Google. After all, “Google is like a mean girl in high school,” said Andy Crestodina at the Social Media Masters Summit of the Digital Megaphone. “Once you get everybody else to like you first, only then will the mean girl like you.” Aside from being mentioned in media outlets, PR can also be used to request influencers in the social media to spread your content. Doing so will take your content farther, and enable your business to reach new customers.

9. Storytelling gives a new face to advertising

Stories are increasingly re-shaping the game in advertising nowadays. To engage their audiences, brands are using storytelling to provide value to their customers, to show them what they can accomplish with this product. For engaging content, marketers are leveraging the impact of storytelling, according to the Nonprofit Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report. Google, for instance, touched the heartstrings of many with its“Parisian Love” ad where a young man sought for love in Paris through Google search. Aside from creating a relatable and compelling narrative, storytelling also includes sharing your plot across social media channels, and employing different tools to expand its reach. Visa scattered its“GoInSix” campaign across different social media channels, where it informs people that brands may only get 6.5 seconds of attention from a person. The company also encouraged influencers to share their six-second stories to increase engagement on its initiative.

10. Marketing to the senses for stronger impact

Aside from sight, brands are shaping their marketing strategies to appeal to the senses of taste, touch and smell to attract their customers. Those that have left a lasting impression on their audience are more likely to stay on top. Nowadays, this marketing strategy is accompanied bytechnology. For instance, the “Teleporter” from Marriott Hotel simulates the sights, sounds and feelings of a vacation in Hawaii or in London through the help of Oculus Rift technology.Meanwhile, the Fat Duck restaurant enhances the experience of eating its “Sound of Sea” dish by serving it up with an iPod that plays the sound of waves. This sensory approach to marketing is expected to be more effective, than the traditional method. “What you’re trying to do is buy time in people’s brains. The more time you have to spend in someone’s brain in a positive way, the more likely they are to buy your product,” said Sam Bompas, co-founder of Bompas and Parr, a company specialising in food art.

This article originally appeared on

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