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Posts Tagged ‘blog ideas’

During the last week in August I, along with 2,800 other marketers, attended Inbound 2012 (an inbound marketing conference) in Boston. It was an absolutely fantastic week full of wonderful keynotes and great breakout sessions. One of my favourite breakout sessions was ‘How To Create eBooks and Webinars Your Prospects Will Love’, presented by Maggie Georgieva, as I came away with so many ideas for my own marketing.

Here’s what I learnt from Maggie during her 45 minute presentation …

Test Test Test

Marketing should never be based on superstitions or gut feelings. Everything we do should be based on the results of tests we have carried out. Each campaign needs to be built from a solid foundation upwards, with your marketing offer being the foundation, and upon that you build (in order) your landing page, your email, your blog and finally your social media.

There are 3 steps to creating ‘lovable’ offers for your prospects …

1. How To Approach Content Creation

Good content is where the lead generation process starts. Your content should be based on your data:

  • Blog analytics. Check what the top ranking blog topics are to give you ideas for content;
  • Page performance. Check page views to see what pages are the most popular and use this intelligence to produce an offer
  • Landing page analytics. Conversion rates e.g. if your landing pages with ebook offers convert highest, then you should be doing more ebooks.

The format of your offers matter, so see which medium works best for your target market and offer your content to them via that medium, whether it be ebooks, videos, photos etc.

Review your email marketing analytics  to check for patterns in your click through rates (CTR) in order to get more content ideas.

Think of content creation not as a silo but as something you can do across all your channels e.g. if Pinterest is a topic of interest to your target audience don’t just do an ebook, also look at publishing blog posts and webinars on the same topic.

If you don’t have enough internal data to review for content ideas, check out other sources of data e.g. Google News and leverage the current buzz for your own marketing.

All your content decisions should have data to back them up. If you take this approach your offer will be much more successful.

2. Know When To Publish

Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire.

If you constantly chase perfection in your marketing offers, then you will never publish anything. However, if you publish and review your data, then you can improve for your next offer.

The more you publish the more opportunities you have to drive lead conversion.

If time is an issue consider the following tips for creating high quality content fast…

  • Repackage your own existing content:
    • 20 ‘how-to’ blog posts becomes an ebook;
    • An ebook becomes a webinar; or
    • A webinar becomes an ebook.
  • Curate public content (this way you’re gathering existence content and repackaging it, as opposed to creating original content, which is more time consuming to produce):
    • 101 awesome marketing quotes;
    • 54 pearls of marketing wisdom; or
    • Learning Linkedin from the experts.

3. Double Down On What’s Working

Monitor your landing page conversion rates frequently to identify your winning offers, then repeat the activity that got you there.

Discover the offers that deserve your time; check the data and decide which of your offers to maintain, create again or ignore and move on. Focus on what is doing well and optimise those offers to increase conversion even further e.g. A/B test your landing pages and CTAs (call-to-actions).

Also consider incorporating some product information on your company into your top of the funnel content e.g. on your ‘thank you for downloading our whitepaper’ page, add a CTA for a secondary offer to, for example, demo your product.

What If Things Go Wrong?

If something doesn’t work, ask yourself …

  • Is my offer compelling enough?
  • Did I target the right audience?
  • Am I not sending enough traffic to it?

If any of the answers are no, review the data, re-evaluate and try again.

To Summarise … The Key Steps To Succeeding With Marketing Offers Are

  1. Don’t optimise before you build strong foundations.
  2. Use real data to drive your content strategy.
  3. Publish often and iterate later.
  4. Do more of what’s working!

Link to Maggie Georgieva’s presentation slides

 

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blog content ideasMany companies now realise just how important blogging is for their business, but can find the idea of regularly coming up with new posts extremely daunting. I previously wrote a post with advice on ways to come up with content for a new blog.

But, coming up with new content after the first few months can potentially be even more daunting than starting a blog in the first place, as all that “low hanging fruit” has already been picked.

Here are 9 easy ways to get you unstuck and help you develop new blog posts.

1.     Repurpose Content

Your company has already produced content in one format or another over the years, so take a whitepaper and turn it into 4 or 5 blog posts, each dealing with one aspect of the paper. Or, publish an old article commenting on the content and how the industry has changed since then.

2.     Keywords

Blog posts are a great way to rank for long tail keywords.  Review your web traffic and see what long tail keywords are bringing low volume traffic to your site and turn it into a blog post.

3.     Solve Problems

Think about what problems your customers have that you can solve for them. Talk to staff and customers to see what new problems are being faced and write about how they can be solved.

4.     Events

I’ve written a few blog posts about webinars I’ve attended and they always get great traffic. Write about a seminar, trade show or conference you’ve attended, giving a synopsis and your own views on the event.

5.     Interviews

Interviews are a great way to develop a post as you can just write the questions and then your interviewee gives you the rest of the content. Interview someone in your industry, or even the manager of one of your departments, about trends in the industry or common problems faced by your target customer.

6.     Polls

New, or unexpected, data can make for great blog content. Take a poll among industry experts, or customers, and write about your findings.

7.     Current Events

Be quick to capitalise on events. For example, bloggers who wrote about the new Facebook page changes within hours, or even a few days, of the changes going live would have received a lot more traffic from people looking for answers that week, than a few weeks down the line when most people have gotten used to the changes. Write about sudden changes in your industry and what they mean for people.

8.     Lists

Numbered lists always make great blog content, not only for the reader, but search engines love list. Compile list of the top trends, changes or people to watch in your industry.

9.     Other Blogs

Reading blogs from your industry can not only help keep your finger on the pulse, but can help develop content for your own blog. Perhaps you disagree with a recent blog post from an industry leader? Write about their post and why you disagree. Or simple discuss an article you did agree with, but add some extra insight.

And don’t forget, when you publish is just as important as what you publish:

  • The best time to publish is in the morning;
  • Blog posts shared on social media in the afternoons are retweeted most;
  • Posts published on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays get more views and links; and
  • Posts published at the weekends get more comments.

 

If you have any great tips of your own  for coming up with blog content, please share them in the comments below.


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