5 Ways Content Marketing Can Benefit PR

5 Ways Content Marketing Can Benefit PR - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit PicJumbo

With the advent of social media, the tables turned for professionals working in the PR industry. All of the sudden, everyone was a publisher. What took weeks to organize – in terms of promotion for businesses and causes – now happened in a blink of an eye.

Some will say that social media networks are the worst imaginable PR nightmare there is. In some cases, this is true. It’s true for businesses and professionals who don’t know how to leverage the power of social media and who are ill-equipped to handle the challenges.

However, PR professionals who manage to rise about this superstition quickly learn that social media such as blogs and networking platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the rest – are a cost-effective and efficient way to get your message out there without it always appearing as a marketing effort.

This is because PR goals remain largely unchanged – you want to use it to:

  • Grow your customer base
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader
  • Build awareness in the community
  • Nurture a responsive and loyal community

You can use your content to smartly market and position yourself and achieve everything listed above much cheaper than when you’re paying for advertising.

1. Company blogs are an asset

Company blogs are read extensively. Just take a look at Moz, Kissmetrics, and Unbounce. They have thousands of daily visitors and readers on a regular basis and have managed to create a dedicated following that evangelizes their products.

So what’s the trick? Quality and unique content, that’s what. If you can publish helpful content on a regular basis you will so start building a strong base or readers. You can then subtly weave your PR efforts into it.

The important thing is that you publish good, quality content that will help you grow your reader base. If you are publishing fluff you won’t get too much traction. If you want your company to do it right consider hiring a professional writing service, such as AussieWriter, to tackle that bit for you.

2. Harness the power of influencers

Before, it was quite difficult to get an endorsement from someone who stands for something in your industry. Content marketing changed all that pretty quickly. Everyone wants mentions and recognition.

One of the best things you can do with a piece of content before you publish it is to send it to an influencer in your industry. Solicit their opinion and suggestions and make sure to mention any work that they’ve done on the piece. Not only will you end up with better content, there is also a chance that they will share it on their social networks maximizing your exposure.

3. Think about guest posting

Paid media placement is all well and good but today it feels a bit out of place and untrustworthy. Readers are much more likely to read and believe content that appears naturally on blogs that are industry-related.

Establish a working relationship with top bloggers in your industry and try to regularly contribute to their blogs. Remember, these don’t even have to be completely new pieces of content. You can easily revamp and repurpose some of the content you have on your own blog and syndicate it out to those you think might be interested in it.

4. Leverage your expertise

Online publications have a difficult time filling the need for quality content that is consistently on the rise. That is why they reach out to contributors on a regular basis. However, you don’t have to wait until you are contacted.

CEOs, CFOs, and other big shots in your company definitely have something to say. Sit down with them and draft an article that you’re going to send to Entrepreneur, Forbes, or to some other publisher. The key consideration here is quality – if your content is good editors will jump at an opportunity to feature you in their publication.

One other thing that will help you get that placement is the author’s social following. If the author of the text has a large Twitter following your job finding the placement will be that much easier.

5. Don’t neglect your paid promotion

Even though content marketing and PR go hand in hand, one does not replace the other. Have a healthy mix of both – favoring, of course, natural content marketing as much as you can.

But if you pay for something make sure to get eyeballs on it as well. It might seem braggy but you spent time making it and creating it – it should not go unnoticed.

Content creation and PR are a match made in heaven. If you are not leveraging and combining both, you’re not doing a very good job. Jump down to the comment section and let us know about how you use content marketing to fuel your PR efforts!

Kiara HalliganKiara Halligan works as a content marketing consultant for Aussiessay. Kiara believes that every marketing and PR campaign could be spiced up greatly with quality content.

5 Ways to Incorporate Your Community into Content Creation

5 Ways to Incorporate Your Community into Content Creation

photo credit Pixabay

There’s a simple truth that many marketers come to understand as they build up a brand: a company’s brand belongs to the community. Yes, we work to build it up and spread awareness, but ultimately it lives and dies in their hands.

We constantly seek to create new and engaging content that grabs the attention of our online communities and followers, but what if we were to not only accept, but encourage the community to help in the content creation process? It’s time we started working with our audience, and today I’ll show you five ways to do just that.

5 Ways to Include Your Community in Content Creation

As human beings, we crave personal connections and storytelling in our marketing. Your brand is a story that has many different authors. Content creation should become a cooperative effort, not something exclusive to the writers on your staff.

Here are five ways to bring people into your content creation process:

1. Crowd-Sourced Solutions

There’s an art to asking for a referral from a member of your community, but think about it like this:

You are an expert, as are the people on your staff, but there are also experts within your online following that can also provide assistance and solutions. Many of them would be happy to do so! If you have any particular questions or issues that seem to appear more often than not, try asking experts in your community to weigh in on this process:

  • Pose the question on your social media channels
  • Compile the accurate answers
  • Write a round-up style blog post and give credit to those who helped out.

These types of knowledge-heavy posts can be compiled into a huge base of information for your audience members to easily access when they need it. Not only that, but you’re also harnessing a powerful social media strategy to create engaging posts.

2. Engage Your Community in Real Time

When a breaking news story hits, we often scramble to produce something before the opportunity to capitalize on the trending topic is gone. Using a tool like Storify, you can quickly curate trending news and post within the heat of the moment.

You can also use moments like these to source additional content from the community. Much like the point above, these responses work great in a post where you highlight the most insightful comments.

For 51% of brands, creating real-time engagement is their largest challenge. Here are some ways to create this type of engagement for your brand:

  • Ask for your community’s opinion on hot-button topics
  • Encourage people to share photos from events or business gatherings associated with your brand.
  • Announce an upcoming deadline for your company and let your community know how they can help.

3. Harness The Hashtag

While it was born on Twitter, the hashtag is spreading to other platforms like Instagram as well. This method of categorizing posts and tweets offers you the ability to join and involve your community in any conversation taking place in real time.

It could be a hashtag related to an event or news story, but utilizing it in your tweets, and retweeting other messages within the same conversation will allow you to not participate and monitor the developments.

Retweeting your community’s messages offers another avenue for involving them in the content creation process as you can also curate these tweets into a future post on your blog.

Start this process by looking through tweets associated with a certain hashtag. Retweet the useful ones and save them for later if you want to incorporate them into a full post.

4. Show Interest in Their Opinions (Ask for Feedback)

Sometimes, all it takes is the right question in the right place to immediately involve your community in your content marketing. Social media, newsletters, surveys, these are all touch points you can utilize to engage your audience members.

When you have their attention, ask questions that show an interest in their opinions and values, like these:

  • How can we improve in the coming year?
  • What do you like most about our product/service?
  • Where is your dream vacation?
  • What are your new year’s resolutions?

Focus on simple questions with simple answers to maximize your response rate.

5. Incorporate Music

Regardless of what industry or theme your audience encompasses, music is a universal language that works each and every time. Try thinking out of the box with this one by using services like Spotify and SoundCloud to create community-created playlists that fit your theme.

As an example, let’s say you’re a travel agency. Why not ask people to submit their favorite tropical-themed songs one month and publish the playlist on one of the aforementioned services? This a fun and unique way to incorporate more than just text or video content into your marketing.

Final Thoughts

Our communities are what define the brands we try so hard to grow and nurture. By incorporating them into our content creation, we’re not only fostering better content and engagement, but we’re also strengthening the brands we know and love.

How do you incorporate your community into your marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below!

Matt BannerMatt Banner is the owner and author of On Blast Blog, a resource for both beginners and seasoned veterans in the world of online blogging. Contact him via email at matt (@) On Blast Blog (dot) com or on Twitter @BlastYourBlog.

Marketer’s Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools

Marketer's Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools – Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Unsplash

Today, with over 152 billion blogs inhabiting the content landscape, it’s almost impossible for a small business to stand out of the crowd.

The best method for leading new audiences to a website that doesn’t require a huge marketing budget is attracting organic traffic. High rankings on Google SERPs (search engine results pages) do not happen overnight and require hard work of improving the search engine optimization of every single piece of content.

The surefire way to win the competition for high SERP rankings is to use the right content optimization tools. These (mostly free) tools help to find the right keywords and take a blog article from the graveyard of forgotten content to the first page of Google search results, leading more traffic to your company’s website.

Google Keyword Planner

After finding a suitable topic for a blog article and before starting to write it, successful content marketers conduct a quick research to find relevant keywords. Google Keyword Planner helps to find subject-related keywords and gives an overview of their monthly search rate and keyword difficulty (how competitive a keyword is).

For blogs that do not yet have a broad readership, the best practice is to find keywords with under 1000 monthly searches and low to medium competition.

If you want to cover a widely popular topic with highly competitive keywords, use long-term keywords that are more specific, but less difficult to rank high for. After finding 1-3 keywords that could potentially lead people to your article, move on to making your article worthy to appear in top ten SERPs.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a freemium tool that helps publishers find the most-shared content on specific topics. It is also highly beneficial when gathering ideas to write a detailed piece on a certain subject.

By typing pre-defined keywords to Buzzsumo, content creators can discover other popular articles on related subjects. By reading the articles, you can learn what angles of a topic interest your potential audience the most. Moreover, these articles serve as a useful resource for new ideas and subjects to include to your own content.

Make sure to read at least three popular articles on the topic you’re about to write about. You’ll get invaluable insight about what triggers the audience to share an article, and learn from the best resources to be in the know when compiling your own piece of content.

Google Search

To rank high in search engine results, your content needs to be helpful and profound, meaning that it has to be the very best resource for learning about a certain topic.

Many content marketers use the skyscraper technique to create high-ranking content. The skyscraper method means gathering information from all the existing articles covering a topic you’re about to write about. The end goal is to make your guide or article even more detailed and helpful than the current top-rankers.

Google Search is the best resource for gathering high-quality information and implementing skyscraper technique, as all your competitor’s high-ranking content is laid out in the open.

Moz On-Page Grader

This content optimization tool enters the game after a new piece of content has been written and published. Moz On-Page Grader evaluates how well a web page is optimized for a specific keyword.

It’s a super easy-to-use tool – all you have to do is to enter a keyword and a link to the webpage, and you’ll get a grade for your page optimization alongside suggestions for improving the SEO.

Don’t accept an on-page ranking of under 95 points (out of 100). Keep fixing the SEO problems and don’t forget to use an SEO plugin for WordPress, add the metadata and insert your primary keyword to article’s headline and image alt tags.

Alright… Now you should be all set and can have a huge cup of coffee while Google does all the ranking for you. Sorry, just kidding.

This was just the beginning. After publishing a well-optimized piece of content, the hard work to get the keywords ranking high on SERPs only begins.

Google Documents

You can significantly increase your search engine rankings by adding link to your new piece of content inside previously published blog posts and vice versa.

By interlinking articles on related topics, you show Google that you have a lot of valuable information on a specific subject that will benefit the readers. For this purpose, the best tool for content optimization is the Google Sheets where you can store information about all your published content, categorized by topics and keywords.

Take an extra step and create a Google Sheet with the names of all your published articles, complemented with the keyword data. This spreadsheet will help you avoid using the exact same keyword phrase in the headlines of multiple articles. You’ll attract a wider audience by targeting slightly modified keywords in every article covering a similar topic.

Moz Keyword Rankings

After publishing the content and checking its optimization score with Moz On-Page Grader, marketers need a tool to keep their eye on the SERP rankings of their web pages. By adding targeted keywords to Moz, you can get weekly reports on the rankings of all your targeted keywords.

Take notice that usually, pages may take up to two weeks to appear in Google’s search results. If a certain keyword starts to appear high on SERPs, you might want to boost its ranking by adding more links to the page inside other content on your website, and improving the article by adding even more relevant and helpful information.

Moz recently released a new Related Topics feature for page optimization that helps to find related keywords and topics that publishers might want to include in their content (or in upcoming articles). By checking the related topics, content marketers can gather new ideas to create complementary content, leading to higher SERP rankings.

By now, you should have a clear overview of the basic content optimization tools that help to identify the right keywords, create optimized content, and boost its rankings even after the publication.

Remember that Google doesn’t praise web pages only for clever SEO. To rank high, you need to create content that’s detailed, relevant, and answers the queries of the people searching for the particular keywords used in your blog articles.

Here’s the Golden Rule: create content that’s both meaningful and SEO-optimized, and you’ll soon see your web pages appear in the top ten of Google’s search results.

Karola KarlsonKarola Karlson is the Content Marketing Manager in Scoro, the business management platform for agile companies. Her passion for superior writing combined with strategic thinking make her focus all her energy on becoming a successful digital marketer and creative writer. For more on Karola, find her on Medium and connect to her on Twitter @KarolaKarlson

 

5 WordPress Plugins you Don’t Use that Boost user Engagement and Monetization

5 WordPress plugins you don't use that boost user engagement - and Monetization - Duct Tape Marketing

Photo Credit: StockSnap

Running a blog or online publication is no easy feat. Especially when you are looking to monetize and boost engagement at the same time. Users engage in pages that are built to suit their needs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they steer away from the ads that appear overly promotional and fail to blend into the context of the rest of the site.

Thankfully however, intrusive ads are not the most common way to boost monetization. In fact, WordPress offers plenty of monetization plugins that enhance the user experience and help to achieve engagement at the same time. Read on to discover some of my favorites:

1. TrenDemon

As we mentioned before, your users come to your site in order to achieve something. Whether its knowledge, a sense of belonging, or entertainment–your site can help provide much of it through insightful content. But remember, content that appeals to one person, does not necessarily appeal to someone else.

That’s why there’s TrenDemon. TrendDemon delivers personalized content recommendations– ensuring your users discover the most valuable material every time they visit your site. Their advanced algorithm detects the most beneficial user journey for each user segment.  As a result, the tool boosts conversions by around 380%. Of course, not only is this plugin great for conversions, but because it guides the user along his or her most ideal path, it’s likely to increase both your engagement and monetization as well.

As an added bonus, you can also choose to monetize on their unique Media Exchange Network, specifically geared for online publishers.

2. Comments Reloaded

Every decent blogger knows the importance of responding to your user’s comments. It goes without saying that if a user takes the time out of his or her day to share insights and cultivate conversation surrounding your content, that it’s both respectful and beneficial for your community to respond. By doing so, you keep the conversation flowing and help to better educate your users. Just as important, you acknowledge your user’s efforts and encourage them to continue to engage in your content.

But what happens when your overworked content/community manager misses a comment? What if they respond too late? The results of this small faux pas can be detrimental to building a robust community full of flourishing conversation. That’s where Comments Reloaded comes in. Comments Reloaded automatically notifies you via email everytime someone comments on your post. This way, you can respond to each and every comment in a timely manner for a better real-time conversation.

3. TinyPass

TinyPass is a simple, yet powerful tool specifically created for content monetization. Whether you choose to charge for particular articles, a section of content, or even an ebook–TinyPass sets up an easy to use pay wall that is simple and unobtrusive. In addition, you are able to take control, setting the price as low as just two cents, making it easier than ever to monetize.

4. Viglink

The goal of all content should be to provide useful and meaningful advice. Often times, in order to do that, we link to products, services, and other articles that help the reader accomplish a specific task. Since these links naturally serve the purpose of the article, they enrich the content and make it more valuable to the end user.

However, as we know, someone else is gaining something from these links other than just the reader. When you link a product, often times, that product is getting a free advertisement or at the very least, an SEO benefit by being mentioned in your article.

Viglink helps you benefit from those mentions. The plugin recognizes specific words in your content and helps suggest various links that would work for specific keywords. The links you add are then easily monetized as the brands that are mentioned within the content bid to be featured. As a result, you instantly benefit by being able to link to the most useful products and services while also monetizing in one easy step.

5. Easy Tweet Embed

Just as it sounds, Easy Tweet Embed helps your users easily tweet a quote from anywhere within your content. Since often times the most valuable part of your content isn’t necessarily the title, Easy Tweet Embed makes tweeting meaningful content instantaneous. Your user simply clicks on a relevant sentence and the quote will automatically be featured in their Twitter feed.

Of course, part of engaging in content is discussing and sharing. It goes without saying that Twitter provides a great open platform for sharing and discussing ideas. That’s why Easy Tweet Embed is so useful for promoting deeper audience engagement. By using it, your users will be able to have a deeper interaction and connection to your content and promote it to their friends.

Producing great engagement and monetization strategies is a necessary part of building a successful blog or online publication. Though it’s important to consider an advanced methodology to do most of the work, having tools to help you get in the right direction is not only smart, but extremely worthwhile. Do you have any more plugins to add? Comment below and let us know.

Nadav ShovalNadav Shoval is the CEO & Co-Founder of Spot.IM, an on-site community that brings the power back to the publisher. Prior to Spot.IM, Nadav has developed and founded 4 technology startups. Spot.IM is his fifth venture. Nadav is a technology erudite and a sports addict.