35 Takeaways From the Linkdex eBook “Rethink Your Content Marketing”
Holy content marketing! If every tangible takeaway from the 214-page Linkdex “Rethink Your Content Marketing” eBook were a dollar I’d be doing the backstroke in hundos like Scrooge McDuck right now.
That said, since time is money, I thought I’d save you some by offering my top 35 takeaways from the first 100 pages of the gift that keeps on giving (my pet name for this content marketing eBook having just finished reading it).
Scan through this post if you’re short on time, but please do check out the complete eBook which includes curated content from 30-plus industry thought leaders such as Avinash Kaushik, Lee Odden, Joe Pulizzi, and Bas van den Beld. Oh yeah, and ME! I have an article about using content marketing for lead generation published on page 178 of this bad boy. (I may never be able to brag about being in section Z of a content marketing book that also houses Avinash Kaushik again, so please forgive me for needing this moment to gloat/celebrate/point both thumbs at my own chest/etc.)
Now, without further ado …
35 Content Marketing Takeaways From the Linkdex eBook “Rethink Your Content Marketing”
- There is no singular approach to Content Marketing. (Concise and to the point, but seriously important and not to be overlooked.)
- “Treasure this moment in time. As content marketers, we may never see another.” (Tweet this!)
- Content marketing is not new. The industry is now officially well over 100 years old. So, saying the art and practice of content marketing is here to stay is easy.
- Companies like Red Bull, Procter & Gamble and River Pools & Spas have shown us that a content-first approach works. (1-4 from Joe Pulizzi)
- The number of mobile devices being purchased has surpassed computers
- According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs Content Marketing, 86% of B2C marketers and 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing respectively.
- Businesses must engage in smarter, customer focused content marketing, not simply creating more information.
- Since most consumers are confronted by thousands of marketing messages every day, it’s essential that companies understand their customers and those who influence them.
- Great content isn’t great until it’s discovered, consumed and acted on. (Tweet this!)
- Continuously analyze key performance indicators and business outcomes to optimize the performance of your content marketing investment (5-10 from Lee Odden)
- The realization that content written with search engines in mind might get you visible for many people simply led to an explosion of content. You could often hear the phrase ‘you don’t need SEO, just good content will do.’ And that is where it actually went wrong for content marketing: marketers started to diffuse content marketing with just content. The definition got grey. (Tweet This!)
- A good reason for Content Marketing is to make people talk, preferably even recommend you as a brand to their peers. But that means the content you provide people with has to be marketed in a way that will make these people share.
- It is now hugely important for marketers to create, share and market the right content for the right reasons and the right people. Content which fits their needs, which will help them take the next step in whatever they are doing. (11-13 from Bas van den Beld)
- Every industry has thought leaders that command the most attention in their respective space. The easiest way to become well known within your industry is to start a continuing content marketing strategy. This will help position your brand in an authentic way as a leader in the space.
- Content marketing is like the turtle in the classic tale about the race against the rabbit, slow and steady wins the race. (Tweet this!)
- A study by MarketingSherpa found that organic traffic converts into high quality sales leads at a 30% greater rate when the user is presented with high quality content.
- When you stop trying to sell so hard, the user puts down their guard and becomes more open to your message. (Tweet this!) (14-17 from Rick Ramos)
- Content designed for Organic Visibility is about providing searchers with the best answer possible to a query. Not what old school SEO’s would do which is get a worse than average page to rank and disappoint the searcher.
- Success in maximizing the ROI of search, social, PR and content depends on teamwork. SEO’s can’t exist in a silo. Neither can Content Marketers, PR’s and the other channels. Businesses that don’t get departments / disciplines to work in teams will struggle to compete. (Tweet this!) (18-19 from Matt Roberts)
- Companies like Zappos and Billboard are embracing a new definition of the term “publishing.” The new definition takes into account a brand’s applications, databases, image and video publishing. For every tweet, every vote, every like, and every conversation, a new link and page is created, and it becomes part of the brand’s digital publishing trail. Understanding this is what separates a mediocre social publisher and a great one.
- As search engines have become more social, and social networks have become more algorithmic, marketers must stop considering these mediums separately. This basic fact is lost on many, if not most, social and content marketers. They are thinking about search the wrong way. Search is not a tactic to make your content more visible; it’s a critical success factor that underpins your content strategy. (Tweet this!)
- When considering the real-time user experience, it is important to note that your audience doesn’t magically gravitate to your website, but they rather ask questions and engage outside of your owned spaces to talk about your company or relevant service or product. Use keyword research and audience research to find out how they speak, how they connect, where they connect, and who they connect with. (Tweet this!)
- [We live in a] networked society that lives digitally, [and] from a content perspective, they expect your business to act less like a dusty old library, and more like TMZ.com. (Tweet this!) (20-23 from Rob Garner)
- A useful metric for Social Influence is the Online Reputation Score™(ORS) which attributes a ‘persuasiveness score’ to any item of content. The scores are tallied up and are summarized in a positive or negative percentile. This is an excellent way to understand whether your online reputation persuades or dissuades potential consumers to buy from you. (Nick Garner)
- The key for brands is to have omni-channel touch points for its customers in place providing real, live and data driven content. (Phil MacKechnie)
- Great content marketing will only come from a distinct and remarkable point of view. In short, if you can take the content in your content marketing approach and put your competitor’s logo on the top, you need to rethink your plan. (Tweet this!)
- Success in content marketing — and marketing on the whole — will come from our ability to render meaning. What this means, from a content marketing perspective, is that thoughtful planning and a strong focus on creating differentiating, remarkable content that communicates from a strong point of view will be what separates the rare from the commodity. (26-27 from Robert Rose)
- In order to visualize what great content looks like, you need to know the goals you’re looking to achieve first – otherwise you’ll never know what success looks like!
- There’s a key difference here between your goals and what good content looks like, too. SEO isn’t what good content looks like, links should be a by-product of great content and increasing organic visibility is a knock-on effect of publishing content that resonates with your target audience, which is aligned with your SEO strategy.
- Everything you publish should support, re-enforce and strengthen your brands reputation. (Tweet this!) (28-30 from Kevin Gibbons)
- To stand out from the competition, we have to be remarkable and memorable, take chances, put our audiences’ needs and goals ahead of our own, bring value to their lives, and help them find success and happiness.
- The challenge with a traditional funnel is that it tends to focus on lead generation and stop at the sale, when your marketing strategy should start with the most profitable and valuable audience—your existing customers. By putting greater emphasis on customer retention and recurring sales, your organization can dramatically increase revenue and profits. (Tweet this!)
- Now, more than ever, quality is what matters in content marketing. Concentrate on solving problems, answering questions and positioning your organization and its leaders as indispensable industry resources. (Tweet this!) (31-33 from Paul Roetzer)
- Ultimately, as different content serves different purposes it can be difficult to judge whether or not it’s ‘good’ or ‘great’ at launch. However, post launch you can review and see how well or otherwise your content is performing versus the goals you’ve set out.
- If they hate your content, they’ll likely hate you. If they love your content, they love you. If they don’t notice your content, it probably means they aren’t aware you even exist. (Tweet this!) (34-45 from Hannah Smith)
Did You Skim To This Section?
Seriously, though…If you just skimmed down to the end (or even if you read the whole thing!) know that these 35 tips are just the very tiniest tip of the content iceberg this Linkdex eBook offers. If you’re looking for a really well-rounded way to understand content marketing and organic optimization I highly recommend you download the full book and give it a jump-around, half-read, skim/scan (c’mon, I know how you people consume online content…).
If you’re interested in content marketing, you may also be interested to know that our very own Bruce Clay is actually publishing a content marketing book of his own in November 2013. The book will be co-authored by Search Engine Journal deputy editor, Murray Newlands, and aims to show marketing professionals how to create content and SEO that communicates with impact, generates sales, and gets you found by search engines. If that idea floats your boat, sign up for early newsletter information about the content marketing book.