“We wrote our first blog post before we wrote our first line of code.”
- Jon Miller, founder, Marketo

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Tag: content marketing strategy

What does the latest research tell us about content marketing?

Marketing is changing fast. So fast, in fact, that it’s hard to keep up. That’s according to academic researchers. But they also note that “keeping up” is no longer optional for most businesses today – it’s a must for any organisation that wants to survive.

Content marketing has become one of the must-do strategies for those looking to keep up, at the very least.

Know where you are going

“Content marketing has gone from a technique which would get a business ahead to one that merely keeps it equal,” marketing professor PJ Forrest writes in a recent research paper. “Content marketing is now the industry standard.”

While a wide variety of content types can be effective, “[j]ust any old copy will not work”, Forrest notes.

“One of the worst mistakes a company can make is a failure to be useful,” she writes. “The content can provide value to the target market in many ways such as being interesting to read, teaching or providing knowledge, presenting solutions to problems, or just being humorous or entertaining.”

It’s also critical to have a clear, well thought-out strategy for content marketing, Forrest adds.

“Not having a strategy leads to failure in any type of marketing but businesses often do not realise they should have a strategy specifically for content marketing,” she writes. “Without knowing what the company was trying to achieve it is impossible to measure whether it succeeded or failed… As the old saying goes, if you do not know where you are going you are likely to end up someplace else.”

Build trust by being useful and user-friendly

Today’s cyber consumer has different habits, interests and needs than past brick-and-mortar consumers, write a pair of Italian researchers in a recent issue of the European Scientific Journal. Those differences, according to Giuseppe Granata and Giancarlo Scozzese, have “highlighted the inadequacy of traditional marketing methodologies…”

Internet-based strategies such as digital marketing, e-branding and storytelling, they say, can improve marketing content and help businesses build more lasting relationships with customers. And essential to such strategies is ensuring they are relevant, secure and easy to use.

“A customer is satisfied when his overall evaluation of the experience with a brand and its products over time is positive,” Granata and Scozzese write. “With this in mind, it is about the initial phase of the marketing funnel that marketing experts should pay more attention to. The stage of research and initial information exchange is in fact that in which the perceived value of the brand for the consumer plays a crucial role. A website that offers relevant content and a secure, intuitive and simple-to-use architecture will encourage the user to revisit the site and potentially repeat the purchase.”

One study, they add, “demonstrated the positive relationship between content quality and brand trust.”

Format content with mobile in mind

In a recent article for the Mexican journal Mercados y Negocios (Markets and Businesses), Nancy Church, a retired professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the State University of New York-Plattsburgh, reviews a range of activities that will become increasingly important for marketers in years to come. In addition to artificial intelligence, video marketing and augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality, these include mobile-first/mobile-only strategies.

“In order to provide the best search results in terms of content and quality of websites, ‘Google’s move to mobile-first indexing means the robots will look at your mobile website first before crawling the desktop version’,” Church writes, citing a 2018 study. “In order to rank higher in Google searches, marketers must ensure that the information, images and videos for mobile sites [are] comparable to the desktop version and mobile optimised.”

Church cites further research that recommends that “marketers ensure that their websites are mobile-optimised with shorter headlines and smaller chunks of text, with instantaneous mobile page load times, and with more videos, especially videos presented in vertical format”.

Having a content strategy, always being useful and keeping mobile front of mind are all essential – some would say obvious, today – ways to be successful with your marketing.

Read Further

11 essential content marketing links from Q2 18

  1. The best way to pitch a content marketing plan to your boss

We kick off with a story we saw back in April, but it’s among the biggest things you can do. Don’t forget that the whole idea of content marketing is still new to most people. So know the WHY as well as the HOW.

 

  1. 5 stellar examples of emotional storytelling in B2B marketing

We don’t always associate the B2B space with the same use of emotions and empathy as consumer marketing. Why not? Here are some examples you might not know, along with one or two classics.

 

  1. ‘Home run for us’: Inside Chase’s in-house agency

Believe it or not, we’re big fans of doing work in-house. It’s just that most can’t… or at least can’t do so as much as they’d like. Here’s a success story.

 

  1. 11 branded content masterminds who are elevating the art of marketing

Follow these people. Follow their work. Inspiring, eclectic stuff. (Bonus: Young Bjork! Double bonus: Rule of 11. Hey, where’d they learn that?!)

 

  1. How to be a copywriting genius: The brilliantly sneaky trick you must learn

Getting tactical for a moment, this isn’t about clickbait headlines. Think CTA – the humble ‘call to action’ – and always having a next step for your reader in mind.

 

  1. 5 journalistic tips for conducting better interviews

As we’re a bunch of ex-journalists ourselves, this Contently piece caught our eye. Journalists can be your not-so-secret weapon, but understand this isn’t about aggressive questioning and pork pie hats.

 

  1. 10 (mostly) quick wins to steal for your original research project

So much longform content is based on research, but what else can you do when you have unique and (hopefully) interesting data? This is a great breakdown by the Content Marketing Institute.

 

  1. Consulting firms are now a serious alternative in the eyes of more advertisers

How is the industry changing? It hasn’t taken long for Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and other big boys to punch their weight in an ecosystem once dominated by marketing agencies. Meaning what, for the rest of us?

 

  1. Travel content marketing 2018: Top trends + takeaways

Every quarter, we like to mention a specific vertical in this round-up. Travel has spawned more than one content marketing guru. And there’s a natural fit. What can we learn?

 

  1. Why you should ditch the idea of the perfect publishing time

We’ve long argued about this. Publishing online should always be about the group of people you’re trying to reach, not average numbers across whole populations. This, and more, in this must-read.

 

  1. The pie chart: Why data visualization’s greatest villain will never die

And finally, we thought we’d end on a pet hate of ours: a cliché of visual presentation. What other techniques can we use instead of the time-honoured pie chart? Well, quite a few, it turns out.

 

And why 11 links? Traditionally the shirt number of a tricky winger.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

Read Further

11 essential content marketing links from Q1 18

  1. A Take on 3 Confusing Terms: Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Content Marketing Strategy

This is the kind of foundational piece that everyone in who works with commercial content should read. You’re welcome.

 

  1. Don’t be a stickler: Why good copy often means bad grammar

We like this because it comes back to something we say again and again – consistency is really important… but not as important as pragmatism. You can break the rules. It’s about what works.

 

  1. Are You a Curator or a Dumper?

In a quarterly curated article like this, how could we leave out this piece? It’s a savvy look at the difference between real curation and just going through the motions of link gathering.

 

  1. The One Thing That Can Make a Big Difference in Your Infographics

We’re still being asked about infographics like it’s 2013. This is a handy checklist for constructing them well. Clue: you need more than a great designer.

 

  1. How a Journalist Constructs an Article that Google Will Love

From an agency made up of ex journos, we’d always be partial to a piece that shows our methods. And this article does.

 

  1. The newsroom approach to brand storytelling

Sticking with following how the media goes about producing great content, here’s another piece about newsrooms, which brands are increasingly using, with staff writers, editor-in-chiefs and more.

 

  1. How United Airlines is taking more video content creation in-house

Those brands doing more content in-house? United is an example. This piece looks at the airline’s video output.

 

  1. Evergreen Content Case Study: Why Long Form Content Performs Infinitely Better on Google’s Search Engine

This is a comprehensive guide to long-form content that keeps on giving and giving. Suitably, it’s a long piece – but worth your time.

 

  1. How to Get Huge Fines for Using Images (Do THIS Instead)

Before we wrap for this quarter, here’s a tactical piece on an overlooked subject (which is why we like sharing this). Use images the right way, which includes not getting into trouble over copyright.

 

  1. Five quick content opportunities for time-poor B2B marketers

As 2018 began, we liked this reminder of some useful tactics plenty of content marketers are neglecting.

 

  1. What Do CMOs Predict for 2018? [Infographic]

And finally, we began the year with some general CMO advice. But also dig the way this piece presents a vox pop in a neat infographic format.

 

And why 11 links? Our boss was born on the 11th.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

Read Further

Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

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