Whatever level you are at when it comes to content marketing –- beginner, intermediate or advanced – it is important to know (and master) the fundamentals.
Here is an A to Z guide to content marketing.
Action. Your content should get your audience to take action. When you boil down your content, your message should compel your audience to do something. Read proven formulas of call to actions.
Budget. To grow your content marketing efforts, you will need to grow your budget. While you can still do a lot of innovative content marketing tactics on a shoestring budget, it always helps to have money to add staff and create more original content.
Commitment. There are a lot of C’s when it comes to content marketing: content, creation, curation, choice, and conversion, to name a few. But the biggest C that content marketers should have is: commitment. Content marketing requires taking a commitment mindset not a campaign mindset. Your audience (and the search engines) expects that you or your brand to produce a lot of content.
Different. Your content should be different than you can find anywhere else. Are your perspectives on a topic or topics different than others? Does your content stand out compared to your competitors? To be successful in content marketing, you should be different.
Earned. Content marketing requires that you take the earned media approach. Read defining earned, owned and paid media. It requires a lot of work to build trust from your audience. Through a consistent effort over time, you will earn a reputation as a “go to” place to get useful and relevant content.
Format. It is important to remember that content can take many different forms such as blog posts, videos, images, presentations, and slideshows. Make sure your content has a variety of formats because your audience wants variety. And different formats will attract different audiences.
Gathering. Get your audience coming back for more. Every piece of content you create should help your audience: solve problems, entertain, inform and provoke new ideas.
Helpful. Your content should be helpful not promotional. Don’t talk about yourself too much just like when you go to a networking event you don’t want to get stuck in a conversation with someone who only talks about himself or herself. Read creating talkable and useful content.
Imagery. The saying “a picture paints a thousand words,” fits here. Your story or content should paint a picture by using infographics, photos, slideshows and videos. Read 15 reasons to make your content marketing more visual.
Journalism. Learn from professional journalists and what they do well. Implement those best practices. Read 6 things content marketers can take from professional journalists. Sometimes, content marketing is called brand journalism. Whatever it is called, it is important to tell compelling and relevant stories.
Karaoke. Get your audience to participate with such tactics like encouraging guest blogging, getting them to comment on articles and developing case studies about them. Just like Karaoke encourages you to sing along to songs, your content should encourage your audience to join in.
Lists. People love to read lists. We live in a world where we now scan content. Lists are easy to digest and easy to understand. Read 3 reasons why list stories work.
Measure. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” the old management adage goes. Unless you measure how well your content is doing with your audience, you don’t know how well you are doing or not doing. You don’t have to spend money to do it. Use a free tool like Google Analytics to find out your most popular articles and how much time they spend on an article.
Numbers. People love facts and numbers. Just like the best resumes have numbers included, the same goes for content. For example, 91 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing and 86 percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing.
Objective. Before you start anything, it is vital that you set goals and develop a plan to know where you want to go. Even though content marketing is becoming a bigger part of the marketing mix, only 38 percent have a content marketing strategy.
Print. Print is NOT dead. Even though the world is going digital, there is still a tremendous opportunity to connect with your audience via print. Read 7 reasons to rethink print.
Quality. With content marketing, quality trumps quantity any day. Read Zen and the art of content marketing.
Recycle. Since we are all doing more with less, it is important to recycle content and put a new angle on it or freshen it up. Read 56 ways to reuse content marketing.
Story. What is your content trying to communicate? Effective content marketing is all about mastering the art of storytelling. Watch this video: Justina Chen and the importance of story-telling.
Team. You can’t create or curate content without a good team. Throughout the content marketing process, make sure your roles are identified and defined. Read creating a content marketing team and workflow plan.
Utility. As Mitch Joel, the author of Six Pixels of Separation, says marketing today is all about utility marketing or giving your audience something so useful and valuable. It is similar to what Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, calls refrigerator journalism. It is creating content so compelling, so relevant and so brief that you want to cut it out and stick it on your fridge.
Vision. Content marketing may require a mind shift change at your company. The key is to paint the picture for your team and senior leaders at your organization how your content marketing efforts will impact the bottom line and help your company grow.
Writing. Write, write and write some more. As Copyblogger, says you only way to become a good writer is practice, practice and practice. Read 10 steps to becoming a better writer.
X-ray. Just like an x-ray examines a person, it is important to examine your content. Assess and audit your content so you know what content you need to create, how your content ties together and what content you should produce more or less of.
Year-end. Do you summarize your best content at the end of the year? What better way to close out the year than giving your audience a very accessible snapshot of your best work. You can also do it on a monthly or weekly basis but it should be done at least on a yearly basis.
Zeal. Are you passionate about creating or curating content? How enthusiastic are you? Only those who are have a strong interest and desire for content will be successful.
What words would you suggest as alternatives in this A to Z guide?
We all want our tweets to get noticed, read and retweeted—whether they are your personal tweets or you are tweeting on behalf of a brand.
The purpose of this blog post is to give you some information about what research says about the best time to tweet and show you some tools so you can tailor your tweeting times to your followers’ habits.
Time of Day
According to the Twitter vs. Time infographic produced by the marketing company Lemon.ly referencing Twitter and Sysomos data, the most traffic on Twitter occurs between 9 to 11 a.m. ET and 1 to 3 p.m. ET. According to Hubspot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s research, the best time to tweet is 5 p.m. ET. The takeaway: Spread your tweets out throughout the day with an emphasis toward later in the day.
Pulling data from Dan Zarrella, the Science of Social Timing infographic created by KISSMetrics, shows that the breakdown of tweets in U.S. 48% of tweets are from the East Coast, 33% of tweets are from the Central time zone and 14% are from the West Coast. It is important to remember that nearly 80% of the general U.S. population is located in the Central and Eastern time zones. The takeaway: Think East Coast time.
Day of the Week
According to Dan Zarrella’s How to Get More Clicks on Twitter, you are more likely to get clicks on your Twitter links toward the end of the week and weekends. From my personal experience, I have been successful with Sunday evenings. In terms of followers clicking on your Twitter links, followers are more likely to do so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The takeaway: Don’t forget about the weekends.
Optimizing you or your brand’s daily tweeting habits is important in making sure you reach your followers. I found 13 tools that can help you figure out and maximize the timing of your tweets.
1. WhenToTweet. This tool will help you figure out when most of your followers are online.
2. TweetWhen. This free tool shows you the best times to tweet based on your past 1,000 tweets.
3. Tweriod. This free tool looks at you and your Twitter followers’ tweets to provide times on when you should tweet.
4. TweetStats. This free tool will show you detailed analysis of your best tweeting time.
5. Timely. This free tool analyzes your past 199 tweets and figures out the best time slots for you to tweet.
6. Tweue. This free tool is basically a Twitter queue that will evenly space up to 10 tweet from 15 minutes to eight hours apart.
7. TweetReports. This free tool gathers the stats from your top 25 influential followers and analyzes the times where keywords are talked about the most, and when you may want to participate in these conversations.
8. Lookacross. This paid tool (30-day free trial) to find the best time to reach people.
9. 14Blocks. A paid tool ($5-$49/month) that analyzes your followers’ activities to find out the best times to tweet each day of the week.
10. Socialflow. A paid tool ($1 for first month) publishes your content when it will resonate the most with your Twitter followers.
11. Hootsuite. A free web-based social media dashboard that allows you to queue up and post updates in a timely fashion.
12. Buffer. This free app allows you to add articles, photos and videos to it anytime of the day and then it automatically shares them throughout the day
13. TweetDeck. This free tool allows you to schedule tweets and can help you manage your social media platforms.
Conclusion: Success Lies in Frequency Not Timing
In the end, success on Twitter does not rely on when you tweet but how frequently you tweet. Not too much but not too little. If you post at least 5 times a day, spaced throughout the day, you will mostly likely achieve the maximum impact of your tweets.