The Evolution of Content Marketing: What We Can Learn From the Past?

Content marketing is one of the most popular long-term marketing strategies that, if done right, can significantly increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. It’s a highly effective tactic. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing, while at the same time creating 3 times more leads. Content marketing comes down to offering people relevant info related to your industry on a regular basis. You do promote your brand through content, but the emphasis is not on advertising, but instead on providing value for those who consume the content. The ultimate goal then is to slowly and spontaneously turn your audience into your customers.

This strategy has been around for a long time, although it’s gained real significance on a global scale just a decade or two ago. Let’s have a brief look at the history of content marketing and then we’ll try to point out to a few valuable lessons it can teach us.

Pre-internet era

It’s possible to trace the roots of content marketing to as early as 19th century. It was far from being as widespread as today, but a few standalone examples have showed the way to the marketers of the future and basically relied on the same principles as content marketing nowadays.

In 1895, Deere & Company started publishing The Furrow Magazine, which provided farmers with valuable pieces of advice and information on topics related to agriculture. And by 1912, it had more than 4 million readers. This was a great marketing move for a company that produces agricultural tools, machinery and equipment, and has done wonders for the image of the brand.

Other early examples of this kind include Michelin’s Guide from 1900, Jell-O’s booklets of recipes from 1904, as well as Procter & Gamble’s radio drama soap campaign from 1930s. All these were a huge success, but these content marketing attempts were still just isolated examples rather than a trend. This has all changed with the emergence of the internet.

Online opportunities: 1990s-2010

The trouble with content marketing was the lack of channels for such a long-term marketing effort. Anything more than a few inches of a printed page or a 30-second TV ad was simply too expensive for most companies. And for content marketing to be done right, you need your own channel where you can regularly publish new content that normally has to be long enough in order to be really relevant and informative.

With the emergence of internet, the circumstances have changed radically. People started using the power of blogs and social media – channels that are basically free and that you can use to publish an unlimited amount of content. This event is often referred to as “democratization” of content marketing. It has opened the door for the real expansion of this marketing strategy in the last decade.

The golden age: 2010 – ?

The explosion of online channels and opportunities has resulted in the explosion of content marketing as well, since 88% of B2B companies reportedly used it in their marketing efforts in 2015. Today, more than 2 million blog posts are published every day and this has resulted in a lot of noise and poor-quality content.

Thus, in order to stand out, it has become extremely important to deliver first-rate content, and both brands and top content marketing companies have recognized this. Moreover, Google’s algorithm updates guarantee low rankings for low-quality and short-form content, which has put additional emphasis on creating top-class, long-form articles that provide real value.

Another novelty that 2010s have brought is the way content is promoted. Companies have realized how useful influencer marketing and paid ads are. Furthermore, the amount of content produced every day is such that you have to invest in promotion in order to be noticed, no matter how good your content is. This has been reflected in the fact that companies today spend a lot more money on promoting the content than on creating it.

Lessons to be learned

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Source: burst.shopifycdn.com

When we look at the history of content marketing, one constant becomes obvious immediately. The most important condition for this type of marketing to be successful is simply providing purposeful and interesting content that answers your audience’s questions. This is becoming more essential as the amount of available content grows.

Another constant is the necessity of careful targeting and narrowing your niche. You can’t and shouldn’t let the topics become too dispersed or completely irrelevant for your products and your industry. Stick to what you do and know best and tell stories that will not only benefit your audience right away, but that will also do good things for your business on the long run.

Furthermore, you ought to take advantage of the fact that content marketing has been “democratized”. It has apparently always been effective, but it was too expensive to be done properly. Today, you have all the necessary tools at your disposal basically for free and a multitude of channels ready to be utilized. And with careful targeting and distribution of the content, the resources you’ll have to invest in promotion can also be minimized.

At the end of the day, the ultimate message is to not be afraid to employ new strategies and put innovative ideas to work. Stay in touch with the latest trends and take chances. Some particular rules and practices applied in content marketing are going to change constantly and you have to be familiar with them and put them to use. Currently, these trends include the use of videos, strong links with journalism, as well as employing latest technological tools to analyze your content and feedback. So do your homework, see what works for you and include it in your strategy starting from today.

Guest author Meaghan is a web designer who is also quite passionate about digital marketing. These days she is all about researching various IT related topics and collaborating with other bloggers. When she is not working she enjoys dancing classical ballet.

How to Keep Your Company On-Brand at all Times

Working toward brand excellence is so important as a small business owner, and this is something that you should be striving for every day when running a business. There are some excellent ways of enhancing and boosting your brand, and there are plenty of things you can do to help you make the company a little more on-brand as much as possible.

The best way of impressing your customers and taking your business further is to make sure you are always on-brand. Your company will have an ethos, and a way of doing things, and your daily activities must exude this at all times. So, these are some of the best ideas you can use that will help keep the company on-brand at all times!

  • Never Compromise

You must never compromise from what makes your business and brand what it is. You will have plenty of business ideals that you want to make sure are important parts of the business every day. Never compromise on your beliefs, your plans for the company, or how you want the business to come across. It is important that you stick to your beliefs and ideals, and always make sure they are a focal point of the business, as this is one of the great ways of staying on-brand.

  • Keep Your Marketing Consistent

Another way of ensuring that you keep the company on-brand at all times is to make sure your marketing is as consistent as possible. The best way to keep the business branding on the right track is to make sure you improve your customer service, and that the marketing has the right focus. Too many companies seem to have a disjointed marketing strategy, and this can be detrimental to the company.

  • Cohesive Content

One of the most important things when it comes to staying on-brand is making sure you have cohesive content. So much of the time, your content can feel disjointed and not representative of the way you want your brand to come across. This is the sort of situation in which you need to use sites like https://www.templafy.com to get the correct sort of document and content management. This is so important in ensuring you are able to keep things cohesive and on-brand.

  • It’s Easy to Describe Your Brand

You know when you have kept everything on-brand when it is easy to summarize your brand in just a few short words. This is the most important thing to remember, and you need to put yourself in the place of your customers. Can your brand be summed up in just a few words? If the answer is no, then you need to make sure you work on improving your brand identity and make sure you better understand how to get back on-brand.

This is such an important thing for your business, and you have to do what you can to ensure your company is going to improve and thrive as a result. There are so many things to consider when trying to keep your business on-brand as much as possible.

How to Rank in Google Using the Best SEO Practices?

There are numerous methods to rank in Google. Ordinarily, Google and other search engines use many similar algorithms to determine a website’s ranking. The most extensive and popular method to rank your website in Google is by exhibiting proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Digital marketing evolved as a result of the Internet revolution. SEO, for anyone who doesn’t know, is one of the branches of digital marketing or online marketing. Who knew something like SEO would become popular in the days of conventional marketing.

Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs are commonly used to refer to Google’s pages. In the SEO community, you will encounter a very typical question that says: how high do you rank in SERPs for a particular keyword? However, you must not be dazzled and remain firm on grounds that lead you to your destiny. In this article, we will cover simple yet authentic SEO methods to improve website rankings. Furthermore, you must keep these three things in mind for a better SEO: the quality and amount of the content (off-page content), backlinks, and things you can do to improve within the website (on-page content).

Method 1

Natural Optimization is the Best SEO Practice

  1. The Hunt for Keywords

Google Keyword Planner is a tool that helps you search for the right keywords. You must get familiar with this SEO tool so you can use it to your benefit. If your website is about beauty products, you can search for keywords specific to the beauty industry. In addition, they must have a higher monthly search volume i.e. many people type in that particular keyword in Google search regularly. It is a ‘best SEO practice’ to do ‘keyword research’ at the beginning.

  1. Google Trends Manifest Changing Priorities

‘Google Trends’ is an online facility showing the changing behaviors over a period of time. You see, keywords don’t always remain the same. As a general rule, the priorities in industries keep on changing giving birth to newer search phrases. Therefore, you mustn’t hold on to the same set of keywords forever. Keep vibrant and maintain your website according to the recent trends.

  1. Mobile Optimization is Essential in the Age of Smartphones

You must optimize your website for the mobile audience. Mobiles are handy instruments and quickly becoming the leading search devices leaving behind computers & laptops. If your website doesn’t load quickly on mobiles, Google won’t rank it higher in SERPs. Nonetheless, getting your website AMP-friendly will make it run like a horse in derby race. It becomes responsive to user’s commands.

  1. Adopt Google As Much As You Can

Ensuring your businesses are part of Google Plus and have ‘Google My Business Listings’ will definitely push the rankings upward. Google, by far, is the most popular search engine in the world. We must respect that and adopt Google as much as we can.

Method 2

Content Creation

  1. Content Must Not Be Plagiarized

You must write highly relevant, error-free content for your website. Google appreciates the uniqueness and rejects any plagiarism. Distinctive content creation is easily the best SEO practice. Keep it simple, to the point, and don’t forget to add keywords you want the search engine to rank you for. You mustn’t sell any wrongful information either so the users get what they want.

A graphic designer can help you with the outlook of the website.

  1. High-Quality Content

If your website is in English, not making any grammar, spelling, and sentence structure mistakes can help you earn a good position in SERPs. On the contrary, if you are simply copy-pasting content, Google knows and it will penalize your website for doing that. Your website may never be able to rank.

  1. Significance of Images

Whether you are writing on your website or promoting your website, never forget to add images to the content. Tag them with your targeted keywords which is one of the best SEO practices.

  1. LSI Keywords

You can use lsigraph.com to find the related LSI keywords against your targeted keywords. Use them throughout your content. Google appreciates those pages that include the LSI keywords. But don’t add those that are not relevant. You must use those keywords which are the most relevant to your data.

Tip – Don’t overdo keywords. Keyword stuffing can cost you.

  1. Which Keywords to Select?

You must target those keywords which have less competition. For instance, instead of choosing ‘beauty salon’, you can choose a longer keyword such as ‘beauty salon in Brentwood’ because long-tail keywords are generally easier to rank for. But it must have some searches. Targeting longer keywords is part of the best SEO practices.

Tip – Google Adwords can tell you about the competition of keywords.

  1. Sitemap – A Must SEO Tactic

A ‘sitemap’ is like a complete guide to your website and a ‘best SEO practice’. It is like a road system of your website leading people to the right products or services. Click through rate (CTR) increases by 1 % after creating a sitemap. Google likes sitemaps and you shouldn’t ignore anything that it likes to move up the rankings.

Guest Author, Fizza Arshad, has a passion for writing on various subjects.

Six tips to improve your video marketing strategy

Marketing is an integral part of any business. In the past, businesses have used email and content marketing to get their message out there. Presently, online videos are trending, and businesses are using them to increase their outreach.

The reason why video is a very effective marketing medium is that it is very engaging and captivating. Using videos on a landing page can increase conversion by more than 80%. A video is a very powerful tool that businesses are presently using to reach their audiences.

If you have been using videos for some time and have not really gotten any result, chances are there is something wrong with your video marketing strategy. In this article, we are going to be looking at six tips that can improve your video marketing strategy. Ensure that you take a review of IPage before making a video for your business.

  1. Start with a story

Telling stories in your video is going to make it more appealing to your audience. When you tell them a story that has a link to something they are going through, they are likely going to connect with you. Most viral video usually has a fun and engaging story.

A simple video without any story is likely going to give you an average or no result. On the other hand, if you add a compelling story to your video, the results are going to be mind-blowing.

  1. Keep it short

Videos do not need to be very long in order for them to be captivating. Presently, a lot of research is going video marketing. The results of these researchers have shown that customers prefer watching a short video. The obvious reason for this is because they have a very short attention span.

When making a video for your product or services, you need to have it in mind that your customers or prospects are busy and may have a lot of issues to attend to. The ideal length of a video ranges from 30 seconds to 1 minutes.

  1. Make your video interactive

The behaviour of your customers is changing by the day. If you don’t keep pace with it, you are going to be left behind. You will agree that making a video is expensive, even more, it takes a lot of time and effort. Video contents that are very interactive usually go viral. If you want to get more out of your videos, you have to make it more interactive. If your videos are interactive, your customer will follow you closely.

  1. Add a call to action

Making a great video content without any call to action is a complete waste of time and resources. Businesses that create excellent content, but do not have a call to action, usually struggle and find it difficult to increase their revenue.

Use the last few seconds at the end of your video to tell your customers or viewers what you want them to do next. You should add links that will take your viewers to your sales page or your membership site.

  1. Use data effectively

Data is what runs the business world. If you ignore the valuable data from your business, you are going end up making the same mistake over and over again. Having a data gathering strategy will help you chart the progress of your video content. In the long run, the data you have collected will show you the kind of videos your customers love.

  1. Optimize your video

This is something you should never ignore. If you do, all your hard work is going to go to waste. Optimizing each of your video content is going to make it easier for your customers or audience to find it. One of the most effective ways to improve your ranking is to transcribe your videos.

Applying the tips in this article will improve the overall outreach of your business.

Essential Advice When Setting Up A Website for First-Timers

Essential Advice When Setting Up A Website for First-Timers

If you’re one of those people who thinks that designing a website from scratch is a difficult thing to do that requires coding and design skills, then think again. Content management systems (CMS) have created user friendly website-building that can be accessible to everyone, even when you don’t have the technical knowledge. There are many tips to make your business more professional and one of these is to have an attractive website to entice new customers or readers about what you have on offer. But, where do you start? Here’s some advice for first-timers thinking of starting a website.

Which CMS and hosting company to use?

Your first decisions are going to concentrate on which CMS and hosting company you should use. There are many to choose from but undoubtedly, the most popular is WordPress. Although all of them offer the possibility of setting up a website with your own domain name for a few dollars, WordPress is one of the easier website-builders to use: templates are fully customized and yet you can adjust them to suit your style and needs accordingly. Once you’ve decided on a template of which many designs are free and varied, and domain name, your next task is to select a WordPress hosting provider to use. Try not to be overwhelmed by the basics of web hosting and choose a faster provider for an enhanced performance.

What are you trying to achieve?

Now that you have a website name, CMS and hosting provider, you next need to plan how you intend to convey your information, images and products, if you have any. By setting out a plan of action, it will be easier to clarify the goals of your website as you delve further into your design. Are you building a website for business? Or a blog site for pleasure? Who do you expect your audience to be? When thinking of the layout of your new website, these are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself so that you have a clear idea of what message you want to convey to your target audience. Put yourself in the shoes of the individuals who will be likely to click on your website and try and determine the priorities that people want when visiting your site.

How are you going to plan your pages?

This aspect of website building should incorporate a fun element as you create and plan the content of your pages. Think about whether you want to impress your visitors with beautiful images on your homepage, or if you more concerned with providing them with detailed information about what your site is about. Look at other websites who offer a similar service or product and get some inspiration around designing your pages. Remember that once you have uploaded images and information, you can tweak them along with background colors, fonts and sizes until you reach the precise look you are going for.

Creating a website doesn’t have to be a complicated or daunting affair, and once it’s completed your next step is to get it out there for people to see your marvelous creation.

The Costs of Giving up on Offline Marketing

With the rise of digital, brands are faced with a dilemma of whether or not to pursue their traditional, offline efforts in parallel with their essential online game? So much emphasis has been put on the world wide web that some of the older, extremely efficient strategies have been abandoned out of sheer fear that you’ll lose business if you don’t invest enough in the digital aspect of your marketing.

But the truth is, there would be no online had it not been for the offline, and when a business knows how to integrate them to work together, it can grow beyond those that only opt for one or the other. And no, offline marketing is not on its deathbed, on the contrary, this is a time of an offline renaissance that will help brands become more memorable and creative with their customer outreach than ever before.

Networking contacts

If you want your name to reverberate in the halls of an international conference where all the tech gurus cluster, then you should become a sponsor of such massive events and make your brand become a part of the story. Supporting like-minded individuals gives you exposure to the right audience, elevates your reputation and allows you a foot in the door that would otherwise remain closed.

Joining regular conferences, seminars and other events that are specific to your business can also serve as an entrance to a new clientele or partnership waiting to happen. But what do you need with you to make your brand remembered? A business card, of course. Carrying those is still an essential part of networking in Europe, but the rest of the world still cherishes this tradition as well. Craft such branded business cards that they’ll have to take another look.

Branding done right

People crave anything palpable, tangible and relatable in this day and age, especially because we’re so perpetually overwhelmed by the online noise and chatter that we yearn for something real. When all your digital imagery and language are spotless, people still need something to make your brand more personal. And what could better serve the purpose than branded merchandise, or branded gift cards?

If you make an effort to give people what they need or like, such as pens, t-shirts, notepads or flash drives with your logo, they are bound to remember you, make a connection with your brand and are much more likely to give your product/service a go. That’s why branded printing in Sydney is still a flourishing marketing approach that allows your customers to create a more personal connection to the brand. The physical products representing your brand are at least as important as your online presentation (freebies included), so making an effort will be worth your while to make your marketing truly omnichannel.

Offline content matters

Newspapers and magazines are not only popular in the waiting rooms of every dental office, but they are still one of the main sources of information and entertainment for the majority of the world. They are an experience in and of itself, one that is still sought-after despite the search engine frenzy that drives your online sales.

But it’s not just advertising in newspapers that’s still very powerful for reaching the right customer polls. Rest assured that publishing an article in a printed paper will also be an invaluable way to get in front of as many eyes as possible, although tracking it may be a tougher nut to crack. Financially speaking, it’s not such a pricey endeavor, but it can lead to plenty of exposure to your brand.

Pick up the phone

Gone are the days when cold calls were the main and sometimes only source of attaining new customers, but this somewhat aged technique is still an important part of the modern-day marketing chase. In fact, such conversations, when done properly, are appreciated by the customer, since most of the touchpoints for brands and customers involve digital and faceless interaction, that they are now eager for more up-close and personal communication.

Be mindful of the intricacies of cold-calling, however, since choosing the wrong approach can backfire gloriously. You need to be sure that your audience will enjoy this particular strategy. Is your language focused on what they need, and how they might benefit from the conversation? Is it timed not to interrupt their lunch and family time? All of these details matter in the eyes of the modern customer, since we’re all pressed for time.

Knowledge-sharing face to face

The most valuable form of a “freebie” that you can give to your customers is organizing a workshop or a lecture that will help them overcome some of their issues without imposing yourself as the solution.

Giving actual value in the form of knowledge and information means that you truly care for your potential customers, and the fact that you moved away from the digital realm only gives you a chance to follow their reactions, improve your attitude and presentation, and establish a more meaningful connection with your audience.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

3 Ways You Can Cut The Costs Of A Small Business Marketing Strategy

Having the right marketing strategy can help drive customers to your business. It will generate a buzz around your company, and promote your products or services. Many things factor into the perfect marketing strategy, one of which is the price.

Keeping the costs as low as possible – without compromising the results – is a tough task. However, it’s not impossible. There are ways you can do this, and it will help you create a marketing strategy that does everything you want, without costing too much.

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Do A Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Each Technique

No matter what marketing techniques you use, it’s crucial that you work out how much you’ll get out of your investment. If something costs money to implement, then you should run a cost-benefit analysis to predict how much you’ll benefit from it. This allows you to see which things are worth your time, and which things you should maybe forget about. There are sites like https://www.mindtools.com that have some useful resources to help you figure out how beneficial something is for the price. As a result of doing this analysis, you can save money by not spending loads of cash on techniques that won’t generate many benefits for your business.

Only Focus On Digital Marketing

There are loads of different marketing ideas out there for you to explore. You’ve got plenty of traditional ideas that many businesses are still using. This includes print advertising, commercials, billboards, attending trade shows, and so on. My gripe with traditional ideas is that they’re often expensive, and don’t bring in brilliant results. As you can see on www.Coforge.com, digital marketing strategies normally comprise of SEO, social media, and web design. All three of these things are inexpensive, yet highly effective. Modern consumers spend most of their time online, so it makes sense to focus all your efforts on digital marketing. It will save money, as you don’t have to pay for traditional ideas as well.

Get As Much Free Help As Possible

The best way to save money is to avoid spending any money in the first place. Obviously, it’s nigh on impossible to create a marketing strategy for nothing at all. However, you can attempt to get as much free help as possible. One idea that springs to mind is asking friends or customers to share your social media accounts online. This helps spread the reach of your content, and build up followers. Another idea is to encourage customers to leave reviews of your business. Good reviews are often the best way to market and promote your business as it shows people that you’re trustworthy and professional. Most consumers check reviews before buying something, so this makes a lot of sense to do. The best thing is, they don’t cost you a penny!

See, it’s definitely possible to create a great marketing strategy without overspending. One of the great business tips is to save money at every possibility. Reducing the cost of your marketing campaign is one way to lower overall expenses, and possibly widen profit margins.