Content Marketing

 


Social Media Marketing For a Millennial Audience

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Editor's Note: Luisa Brenton is a former brand developer, and currently works as an educational blogger. Today she joins us to discuss how brands can more effectively tailor their social media marketing strategies to a millennial demographic.

 

Whenever developing a marketing strategy, brands should spend time considering their target demographic. Unsurprisingly, selling products and services to millennials requires a very different approach than launching a generic social marketing strategy and waiting for results.

While every individual is different, two rules generally apply to millennials: first, they want to feel your brand has a vested interest in them before they commit to any services that you might provide. Second, they differentiate themselves from other consumer generations with high interactivity and an open nature towards new technology and customer engagement.

From these two facts, it's obvious that catering to the needs of a millennial target audience through social media is important. And while this can sometimes be a difficult task, it's not impossible, and not nearly as hard as some commentators pretend. In this article, we'll look at some important aspects of consumer psychology with millennials in mind, and how they can be applied to your social media marketing strategy. Let's get started -

Digital shopping

Millennials are known for shopping online instead of using retail stores for their needs. They would prefer to order a product with a few easy clicks than wait for it to arrive in the mail. This means that an e-commerce website for your company is a must if you hope to target millennials as your primary customer base.

The generation in question values interactivity and versatility, and pushing that message on social media is a great way to attract them. For example, consider including direct links to your online store in any published content on your blog (you do have one, don’t you?). Similarly, including content that promotes digital shopping and featuring a blog on your website which showcases the possibilities of digital shopping will make your brand stand out in the eyes of your customer base.

New feature adoption

The millennial generation is defined by the adoption of new technologies. They were born at the dawn of a technological revolution, and this is a motif to reference in your social marketing outreach. 

The truth is that most of us carry smartphones wherever we go. Use that to your advantage and focus on new, unexplored marketing strategies that will attract a new generation of consumers to your brand. While you might have detractors in the form of an older demographic and people who are accustomed to more traditional means of marketing, the millennial generation will embrace it wholeheartedly.

Platform doesn’t dictate information

Information should be the same no matter what platform you publish it on. This is a stance that millennials have largely taken when it comes to receiving marketing messages and consuming content online in general.

This means that the information in your Facebook ads shouldn't be different from that in your Instagram posts, and video commercials shouldn’t have fundamentally different content than email marketing messages. Any form of marketing that you employ should focus around the same key message that you have developed before your campaign started. If you aren't sure how to develop an effective message, hiring a writer can be helpful.

A unified message - whether it is published to LinkedIn or Tumblr - should sound and feel genuinely the same. This is one way to attract the millennial generation with your social media marketing and ensure that your credibility stays high and safe from any doubts.

Social media engagement

Posting content on social media and hoping for the best won’t be enough if you want millennials to buy and use your products. Customer engagement is still a fairly new subject on the digital marketing playground, but it certainly makes a difference.

For example, responding to customers via private messages, live Q&A, and comments on posts will publicly will raise the awareness of your brand by allowing you to discuss products and questions that your audience might have. Best of all, millennials around the world will be more willing to accept your product as adequate for their needs and ways of thinking.

Even something as simple as using emoticons on social media to answer a customer query can help you to establish a friendly tone with your audience and ensure that you are seen as positive and communicative. Showing a level of interactivity and willingness to treat people like equals is crucial to the millennial generation, and something that shouldn’t be overlooked in your social media marketing.

Simpler is usually better

You might think that detailed and complex marketing content with huge amounts of data can help you win over new customers. But as a matter of fact, the more irrelevant content you include in your content, the more likely you are to divert your audience to a different brand. This is because customers - especially millennials - want simplicity and directness without any sales pitches that might sound forced or generalized.

Simplifying your marketing message and including any detailed content behind a click barrier is always a smarter way to promote new content. This will ensure that people who want to know more do so by clicking on a link, leaving others with an overview of the content you are trying to promote, but not forcing anything on them.

Paid marketing content

Contrary to common opinion, millennials are open to both advertisement and paid, promotional content. In fact, relying too much on organically marketed content can backfire if it is not upfront about its intention to bring in business. Paid content ensures a level of curation from your side, and anything they see will look professional and properly targeted.

Hiring a marketing expert and creating original content may not be in your predicted budget, but if you want to attract millennials, this is an aspect of marketing to consider seriously. Facebook and Instagram ads use demographic data to ensure the maximum effectiveness of any content that reaches users, meaning that they can be used to easily target millennials and give them the content they would prefer to see in their feeds.

Conclusion

Best practices for reaching the millennial generation will continue to evolve just like the generation itself. But while newer generations will always have different worldviews than the ones that came before, some basic rules of social media marketing will always stay the same.

Make sure to include test groups in your marketing strategy and try pushing new content to controlled groups of millennials before publishing them to anyone else. By acting on informed strategy rather than assumptions, you will save money in the process and ensure that your brand gets even more recognition from the people you want to reach most.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

How to Market to Millennials, a Practical Guide to Instagram and Snapchat: How Grubhub Rocks the Apps for Millennials

Fundamentals of Business Blogging

Testing, Behavioral Analytics & Metrics Best Practices

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media market

 


Perfecting Digital Content Strategy for Real Estate Professionals

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Editor's Note: Sundeep Kapur, Industry Training Director at The Online Marketing Institute, is an educator and digital evangelist who has helped brands define and implement powerfully effective digital strategies. He joins us today to discuss how realtors can improve their content strategy to gain the interest of prospects. Don't forget to join our upcoming webinar to learn more.

 

Nowadays, the search to buy or sell property tends to begin on the Internet. A few words typed into the search box can yield so many pages of "useful” results. But given the piles of information returned by search engines, what can you do to make sure your brand reaches those who may be looking for it?

For real estate professionals, this struggle is an important aspect of maintaining an online presence. When every other part of your brand is properly tailored for prospects, being found and seen is the deciding factor in the formation of new business relationships.

Here are seven considerations that can increase the visibility of your content to potential clients, and keep them coming back to your company for more:

1. Getting Attention

Attracting interested visitors begins with your ability to grab and keep their attention. Headlines, formatting and image usage can influence the behavior of readers, and raise sign-up rates for relevant offers. What keeps a consumer engaged are the following factors –

  • Is your content relevant to what they want– is the information useful or important?
  • Is your content engaging – is it interesting to the seeker of information, and does it invite questions or offer food for thought?
  • Is the information you provide up to date?

2. Using Multimedia Content

A message can be delivered by words, pictures, and video. Supplementing text with images is a good idea, because overly wordy or difficult articles often prompt visitors to look elsewhere for the information they want.

Adding powerful images or infographics help to keep readers engaged. Top it off by using video to deliver a summarizing conversational snippet. Focusing on a multimedia content strategy will draw in more readers, and aid them in retaining information.

3. The Right Length

Studies have proven time and time again that Internet readers click away from articles that are too long or too short. Avoid “walls of text” without any breaks, and steer clear of making redundant or unnecessary points. Be especially wary of paragraph size: what looks small on a desktop computer can look exponentially larger on a mobile device.  

The sweet spot for an article is three to five paragraphs of useful information broken up by one to three pictures. You can also add a 30 – 60 second video to further personalize your message and keep readers interested.

4. Maintaining a Presence

Your digital channel strategy should prominently include your website and social media. Maintaining an active account on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will not only give prospects an opportunity to learn more about your brand and keep up with the latest content, but gives them an extra channel to ask questions or express concerns.

Those you seek and serve will also appreciate content published to YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Bear in mind that these visually oriented websites have different purposes: YouTube is a good place to publish ‘edutainment’, or content that is both educational and entertaining. Instagram is for “oh-wow” moments, and Pinterest is where people look for tips, mainly in the form of condensed infographics.

5. An Appealing Structure

Your communication style should incorporate a proven five-step formula.

  1. A powerful and intelligent headline will grab attention instantly, and make your content stand out.
  2. Discuss features of your product, services or solution - these are important, distinctive qualities that could be listed on a package.
  3. Describe the function of these features, or the purpose that they are meant to serve.
  4. Explain the benefit of your value proposition. This is where features and functions become practical: how will they help your prospects’ lives?
  5. Finally, use a call to action to motivate a decision in your readers to sign-up, buy, or get more information.

6. Thinking About Psychology

Consumer behavior is driven by three simple attributes that you should understand if you want to communicate with them effectively. These are need, value, or aspiration. A need is a basic necessity that has to be fulfilled. Value is a deal that the consumer finds valuable, but might forgo if they are not motivated to act immediately. Aspiration is what the consumer dreams about in abstract terms.

These categories often crop up in the buying cycle, and they’re useful for thinking about how to market yourself and your services - what might be a need for one consumer could be an investment value for another and completely aspirational for someone else.

Integrating Better Content

As the above tips should demonstrate, increasing the value of your brand for web searchers isn’t rocket science. A little digital pixie dust can help your content rise to the top. This includes making sure that the content you create is relevant to the seeker, that you use the right words to optimize your content, and that through effective calls to action you are able to generate engagement and user feedback.

To help you create personalized digital magic for your brand, the Online Marketing Institute is hosting a webinar on November 16th. Register for free to learn more about key digital channels including social media, search, email, mobile, and the power of interactive multimedia content. Our approach to learning will focus on ideal practices to help you become digitally visible, assist with engagement (from attracting to qualifying), and getting the buyer/seller to interact with you.

 


A Realtor’s Guide to Digital Selling: Leveraging The Web to Find Buyers

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Editor's Note: Sundeep Kapur is the OMI Training Industry Director, digital consultant and successful real estate agent. To celebrate our new Real Estate learning series and upcoming webinar, he joins us today to discuss how realtors can use the power of the web to boost their business.

How can you leverage the power of digital media to attract buyers to your property listings? As a real estate professional, you already work hard to connect buyers with sellers - earning their business is even harder, and your time is limited. The digital storefront, on the other hand, is always open. Buyers peruse online listings 24/7, and sellers are always looking for the best way to make an impression. Both buyers and sellers are looking for three things:

  1. A trustworthy brand
  2. Relevant advice
  3. Easy access to information

Starting with your profile, here are some ideas that can enhance your digital presence to address clients’ needs, and win their business:

Profile Do’s

Build and maintain a website that clearly identifies your value proposition – think of it as a digital business card that tells the consumer:

  • Who you are
  • Your expertise
  • The area(s) that you serve.

Your site needs content that can engage readers – think useful, important, and entertaining.

Leverage social media channels to describe yourself – good platforms include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. A LinkedIn profile should provide a succinct overview of who you are as a business, your experience, and your value proposition. A good Facebook presence is similar, but expands to include content like images and articles - being a Facebook brand constitutes a balance of professionalism and personality.. Twitter is also a great way to be found online - tweet useful information, follow people relevant to your business, and learn the art of tagging (#hashtag) key content.

The content you share doesn’t have to be original, and you may have little time to create it - but consider curating and publishing relevant articles that your prospective clients will find useful. Mix up your content with text, pictures, and even video: good multimedia content goes a long way to keep people engaged, and raises your visibility in the digital world.

Collect leads by offering something of value, and using a form on your website called a lead form to capture the contact information of prospective clients. Your value or incentive could include valuable information on buying or selling; the lead form you create should be as simple as possible – contact information, area of interest, and permission to get in touch via digital channels (allowing them to opt into your messaging).

Email leads as soon as possible, and use your messages to learn more about their needs. Keep emails short, and include a short survey (one or two questions) that will allow them to share additional information about their requirements. If it makes sense, send out two to three messages spaced at regular intervals, each containing information that builds on the last.

Because so many consumers now use smartphones, your strategy to connect with them should be “smarter.” Ensure that the content you share is brief and your website is responsive. Just because the consumer has a phone with them at all times does not mean that it is okay to message them excessively. Make every interaction simple, engaging, and useful.

Stay in touch with those you serve by providing a useful amount of information on a regular basis. Determining frequency can be a challenge, but an ideal goal is to ensure that every question asked on your digital channels is responded to within a day. This encourages prospects and clients to ask questions, and reduces your posting burden.

What Drives Success

Successful digital brands ensure that the information they share is current, that they have conversations to nurture a relationship with the consumer, and that they are timely in responding. Being responsive does not mean that you have to monitor your digital assets around the clock: a well-defined strategy of organizing the right information, automating responses to frequently asked questions and adding a personal touch goes a long way in driving digital success.

Consumers seek approachable brands that inspire confidence and earn trust. You build confidence by providing relevant information and showcasing your thought leadership. Trust comes from good customer experiences and (digital) word of mouth. Being approachable comes from a combination of a number of factors, including your ability to respond quickly and personably.

Listings abound and buyers are out there looking. As a real estate professional you work hard to connect the buyer and seller. You are busy, and there are so many hands to shake/contacts to make.

  • How can you leverage the power of digital to attract buyers to your listing?
  • How do you get sellers to list with you?
  • How do you answer their questions/concerns 24x7?
  • How do you bring them in/convert them?
  • How do you nurture these relationships forever?

To find answers to these questions and to learn more about using the web to boost your real estate business, join us for a FREE webinar on digital best practices and dramatically increase your success.

 


12 Tips for Creating Shareable Social Media Content

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Editor's Note: Rachel Bartee is an experienced content writer, and joins us today to discuss several content creation tips that will encourage social media followers to like and share.

 

Content creation is a vital element in contemporary marketing strategies. However, while nearly 90% of all companies engage in content marketing on some level, few manage to produce contagious content that Internet users share. Without this level of engagement, content can hardly fulfill its true purpose.

Fortunately, there are many ways to create interesting content that is more likely to spread across social media, and in this article I will present you with practical tips for doing so. But first, let’s talk about what goes on behind the scenes of social media sharing -

What Motivates Users to Share Content?

There is a science behind what motivates users to share digital content. Researchers have discovered a number of psychological triggers that inspire people to engage in online activities, and here are some of the most important ones:

  • Social Approval: People love to express their attitudes and receive affirmative feedback from their circle of friends and acquaintances. Sharing content is a way to express one's personality to a group.
  • Communication: Humans are social beings. We all want to nurture relationships with other people, and digital content enables us to do this more easily and frequently.
  • Support Ideas: Social media is often used to signal support for ideas, political views and personal beliefs; in this is way, users connect with a greater, altruistic good.
  • Entertainment: At the end of the day, plenty of people use social media to wind down. Entertaining content includes humor, memes, videos, music, and more.

It can be difficult to segment the way people interact online, since these categories can and frequently do overlap. However, thinking about these basic motivations is still a useful starting point for developing content that will motivate users to get involved. With that being said, here are:

12 Tips to Make Your Social Media Content More Shareable

1. Create High-Quality Content

This seems like the most obvious point, and it is, but it's also forgotten too often. There are no shortcuts: shareable content is always high-quality content. If you focus on superficial topics and don’t invest enough time into research or content creation, you cannot expect your followers to become interested and engaged. This is one reason why longform content is doing better than ever.

Content development can take time and effort, so if you need professional help, here are some simple resources I have used in the past:

  • Blog Title Generator: This tool will show you the list of the most relevant topics in any given niche.
  • Headline Analyzer: Headline is the first thing that your readers notice and you have to come up with a catchy and intriguing solution. Headline Analyzer will tell you if you’ve succeeded.
  • Essaysontime: If you decide that serious content creation is out of your reach, you can always ask for help from this expert writing service.

2. Use Smart Structuring

Internet users read very quickly, and nothing will turn them off more than a "wall of text". Format your content intelligently by using numbered lists, bullet points and headers to easily highlight key information points.

3. Add Value to Users' Lives

Informative content is good, but if your readers and clients can’t put your words in practice then they will not benefit from what you publish. A primary goal of content is to solve users' problems and show how to overcome them; this will not only build brand loyalty, but it will keep them coming back for more. As long as the content you create is genuinely helpful, it's also certain to be passed around.

4. Keep Your Audience in Mind

Before ever creating or sharing content, think about your audience: ask yourself if it's something they would like to see and share with their friends. Once you have some ideas, you can even poll your audience to generate comments and perhaps initiate debate. This not only creates engagement, but gives you special insight into what they want.

5. Create Infographics

Infographics are informative but easy to understand. And because they come in the form of images, they are convenient for the majority of Internet users who mostly share visual content on social media. Using tools like Piktochart, you don’t even need the knowledge of a graphic designer to create a reasonably high quality infographic. The most important thing is to use your business expertise and data to create something your audience will find valuable.

6. Trigger Emotions

Some of the most successful marketing campaigns went viral because they sparked strong emotional reactions among users. A lot of studies have proven that emotions like happiness, anger, or sorrow have the power to engage people and make them share digital content. Do you remember the #ItCanWait campaign? Study how AT&T used narrative, art and user engagement to skyrocket this public safety campaign. Be careful not to co-opt causes that are unrelated to your business, since insincerity can backfire. But when you see an opportunity to contribute, do it well.

7. Remember the good old times

Talking about emotions, never forget nostalgia. Users universally enjoy content that hearkens back to old memories, and if you analyze your audience precisely, you can get an easy target for what will appeal to them. Consider this 90s themed commercial by Microsoft, aimed at Millennials to promote its Internet Explorer web browser (and be sure to notice the tremendously positive response it elicited):

8. Offer Incentives

People love free stuff. It’s a fact that you can occasionally use to boost interest in your products or services. Frequently social media pages will offer a giveaway based on a random drawing, and to enter the drawing users are simply asked to share, like, or follow a page. This can create a big ripple effect that more than compensates for the investment in a reward.

9. Exploit Trendy Topics

Staying up to date with trendy topics is obligatory for all marketers. You should always follow the latest industry news, and use them to create shareable content when appropriate. Consider how this Norwegian Airlines commercial provoked positive reactions by responding to celebrity news surrounding Brad Pitt.

10. Organize Contests

Contests are a great way to engage your audience and inspire them to share your content. Users love to compete and they usually do it with their friends and colleagues, which is the main sharing motive for them. All it takes is a nice idea and a little bit of budget to launch the contest – just take a look at the KFC football challenge.

11. Be Funny

Your business is serious but your content doesn’t have to be. On the contrary, funny posts, images, and videos grab the users’ attention and promise you a fair portion of shares, so don’t run away from it.   

12. Use video content

Video is quickly becoming the dominant form of online content, and some studies even say that video content will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2018. As a result, you have to embrace video as part of your content strategy. This is also why Twitter – once known as the photo-sharing network – added video to its portfolio. This kind of content has a big potential to go viral, just like this Nike video did.

About the Author: Rachel Bartee is a content writer and a marketing consultant from Davenport. She is content-oriented and knows how to put words into action. She feels passionate about travelling and inspired by her morning yoga. Reach her on Facebook or Twitter.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Introduction to Content Marketing Strategy

8 Steps to Discovering and Creating Content Your Audience Will Love

B2B Social Visual Storytelling on Instagram, Pinterest & Tumblr

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 

 

 


Infographic: How to Start a Business Blog

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Editor's Note: Wanda Carlson is a business writer and graphic designer who contributes to WebsiteSetup. Today, she joins us to share an original graphic that concisely explains how to build and maintain a blog for your company.

 

As a business maintaining or striving to maintain an online presence, there is almost nothing better you can do than to keep a blog. According to the 2016 Content Preferences Survey by Demand Gen, about 47% of buyers read 3 to 5 pieces of content before initiating a purchase. Consequently, by failing to adequately focus on content, businesses can forfeit up to half of their potential revenue!

It's worth considering why businesses make this mistake. One answer could be the sheer number of good, productive marketing strategies for an online business. These include maintaining an active social media presence, an email list, or targeted advertising campaigns.

Depending on the company and product, any one of these strategies may be well worth pursuing. But one thing tends to remain constant from business to business: a single strategy should not be pursued at the expense of everything else. Online marketing is no different; publishing original content on a blog is not only a great way to earn and convert inbound traffic all on its own, but complements social media and email marketing activities very nicely.

Infographic Summary

In the following infographic, we will explain the basic steps you should know to create and maintain a business blog. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • There are numerous blogging platforms, and depending on your needs, you may decide to choose something specialized to an industry. However, after many years, WordPress remains the strongest multi-purpose platform on the web. Not only is it fast, easily customized and free, but has a large support community that can help if you run into any issues.
  • Craft diverse and genuinely valuable (rather than salesy) content for your blog on a regular schedule, in a voice that comes naturally to you and reflects your brand identity, with a carefully considered audience in mind
  • Be engaged with your own audience, and other influencers in your community to build authority and backlinks. Integrate content into your other marketing strategies by sending blog posts to social media, or to email subscribers.
  • Stay relevant by paying attention to important trends, and bring search engine traffic to your blog by optimizing content for SEO.

With that, here's the infographic - feel free to save and share with colleagues or friends!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Expressing the Brand Through Content Marketing

Creating and Curating Content People Love

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


Mobile Content Strategy: 6 Ways to Engage Your Mobile Readers

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Editor's Note: Mary Walton works as a professional editor for Politics Assignment Help Australia and writes for Simple Grad. Today, she joins us to discuss strategies for optimizing mobile content for higher conversion rates. A version of this article first appeared on SplitMetrics.

Wondering how you can make your posts, descriptions and emails more engaging for mobile readers?

Whether you’re creating content for a blog, struggling to write a high-converting app description or optimizing text for App Store banners, there are several basic rules for building a successful mobile content strategy that will help you optimize each and every element on a user’s journey.

In this article, we will review 6 ways to refine your app descriptions and improve content for mobile devices.

Mobile has become the top way that many people to engage with content online. As smartphones become ever more ubiquitous, your content is making its way to a whole new market. Because of this, you have to look at copywriting in a whole new way. Here are 6 tips for writing mobile content that will engage mobile readers, and lead to higher conversion rates.

1. The key to a successful mobile content strategy isn’t to write less

It’s no secret that there’s less screen real estate when it comes to mobile. Some marketers take that to mean they have to write less content to keep a reader’s attention. But this kind of thinking is a trap. However limited they are by technology, mobile readers are not substantially different from desktop users: quality matters more than quantity. Remember, you can’t cut quality into truncated copy. In your mobile content strategy, focus on creating content that your readers will find useful.

2. Front load your mobile content

On desktop, you can show the reader several paragraphs before they have to scroll. But on mobile though, you have less space. This means you need to grab your audience's attention right away. As such, try front loading the most important information to the top of an app description, article, or post.

app description mobile content strategy splitmetrics

‘The important, attention grabbing copy needs to be in the first few sentences," says admissions officer Tim Leyman at Academized Paper Writing Service. "For example, if you were writing about cooking barbecue food, you may start out by saying ‘It’s summer and you’re looking for the perfect barbecue foods. We’ve rounded up all the recipes you should try this season.’ This tells the reader exactly what you’re going to do, and encourages them to scroll down."

3. Use plenty of images

On mobile, readers are much more interested in dynamic images. This doesn’t mean that text content doesn’t have a role to play, it just means that you need to find a way to complement app screenshots, icons or images in blog posts with your text content.

Sites like Buzzfeed have got this mobile content strategy down to an art. They use images to illustrate their points, and their text content simply elaborates on what they’re showing.

buzzfeed splitmetrics mobile content strategy

4. Short paragraphs work best on mobile

Readers tend to view paragraphs as a complete thought: the longer the paragraph, the longer the thought.

On mobile, this can look far too complicated and readers can get lost. The best way to deal with this is writing shorter paragraphs. Make it your goal to make a point in as few sentences as possible. Your content should still flow, but be ruthless about cutting unneeded words.

description mobile content strategy splitmetrics

5. Create short and snappy headlines

Again, because you don’t have a lot of screen real estate, your headlines should be short and snappy. Creating good headlines for mobile is a real art. You have to give readers information about what the app or article is about, but at the same time you need to keep it short so it’s not taking up too much room on the initial page or screenshots.

mobile content screenshots splitmetrics

6. Online tools can help with creating mobile content

There are plenty of online tools that can help you write good online content for mobile. Give some of these a try and see if they help you:

– Easy Word Count: This site gives you an accurate word count of your text, helpful when you’re trying to keep it short. It also highlights any mistakes you’ve made in text.

– Click To Tweet: This tool creates sharing buttons for your website. Simply include one with your post, and your reader can click it to share with all their followers.

– Paper Fellows: If you need some encouragement with your writing, turn to this writing community. It’s full of other writers who can help you out.

– Citation Generator: This tool gives you the right citation for any source you use. Make your writing informed and trustworthy using this.

– Marketing Essay Help: Need some help with your editing? There are lots of helpful editing guides on this site.

– Ideaflip: If you have more than one copywriter, this is the app for you. You can share ideas in real time, wherever you are.

– Do My Assignment: This is the tool for you if you need proofreading assistance. It’s definitely one of the best proofreading tools online right now.

– Calmly Writer: The internet is full of distractions, making it hard to write. This tool helps you avoid all those distractions and get on with the job.

– Cheap Essay: This writing service is an excellent grammar help. Talk to the experts here if you feel your grammar needs improving.

– Snip.ly: This tool is the perfect call to action. It adds buttons that readers can click on to read anything you want to link to.

– SplitMetrics: Use SplitMetrics if you want to A/B test app descriptions and develop a mobile content strategy that drives installs.

These tips will help you write for a rapidly growing and important market. Get it right, and you’ll see conversion go through the roof.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Foundational Principles for Website Conversions

Engaging with Mobile Marketing: Choosing the Right Mobile Content

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


3 Ways Content Marketing is More Than Just Managing a Blog

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content marketers

Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To complement the brand new content marketing classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to explain the responsibilities of a content marketing master.

 

After spending hours and hours of planning and posting content, many content marketers slip into thinking their role is simply an exercise in blog management.

They think, "As long as my blog is populated with new content, gets clicks (and the occasional conversion), my job here is done." Then they brush off their hands, and go home for the day.

Most content marketers know their role is not that simple - that there are search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) concerns that must factor into every editorial decision before posting an article.

But sometimes even great content marketers fall into the camp of complacency, and forget that producing quality content means wearing more than one (or even two) professional hats.

The best content marketers balance at least three professional hats, all of which intersect with other corporate departments: They are one part researcher, one part brand ambassador, and one part SEO expert. That’s why today’s blog manager should be working like a Content Marketer in Chief, otherwise known as a Chief Content Officer (CCO).

1. How Content Marketing is Being a Researcher

Content marketers - and especially blog managers - know they need to do their homework. They know that producing good content means researching what other blogs are releasing, teasing out trends in industry discussions, and developing new ideas that will establish their brands as thought leaders and innovators in the public arena.

If they are aware of search engine optimization practices, they also know that executing a good search engine marketing strategy means staying up to date on changes to search algorithms from the most popular search engines, which could affect their company’s place in search rankings.

With all these knowledge bases, a Chief Content Officer should  know how and where to allocate resources in order to optimize content reach and production. This includes knowing when to hire out talent, when to pull the trigger on ad buys, and when to invest time and money in marketing technology that will provide further insight into the company’s target market.

2. How Content Marketing is Being an SEO Expert

Good blog managers know they need to get creative to produce the type of content that helps them rise in rankings. They should also know that to achieve brand recognition, they must encourage, manage, and project their own authority as an organization that pushes the envelope of thought leadership in their industry and knows what places them in Google Search’s top 10 search results.

For content marketers who have the mentality of a Chief Content Officer, this is where it becomes important to not only be a creative expert but also an SEO expert.

Chief Content Officers know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to search engine optimization. They are uniquely suited to harness the power of a variety of softwares and dashboards, pick up on industry trends, and find innovative ways to enhance their content’s placement via PageRank. The goal for Chief Content Officers is not just to make as many search results as possible, but also to expand their organic presence, quality scores, and relevant search traffic through an advanced understanding of how search engines and other websites value their content.

3. How Content Marketing is Being a Brand Ambassador

Blog managers and content marketers of all stripes should know that they operate on their company’s front lines. They should know that what they post and publish represents the voice of their brand; they are brand ambassadors, and first impressions  determine how their organization is perceived by the public.

For content marketers that have the mentality of a Chief Content Officer, the content they publish is more than an exercise in brand management: it is an exercise in brand execution. Every blog post that’s published, every video or social comment that’s posted is where the proverbial rubber meets the road, where not only the content marketer’s vision for the brand comes into play, but also where each and every executive’s voice and vision for the company comes into play.

In other words, content marketing is how every theory about how a brand should impact its audience meets practice, where customer meets executive, and vice versa. That’s  why content marketing is so much more than managing a blog.

Do you have what it takes to market content like a Chief Content Officer?

To learn how you can adopt the strategies of today’s best content marketers, check out our classes on content marketing from Content Marketers in Chief: Joe Pulizzi, Lisa Buyer, and Denise Robert McKee.

 


A Strategic Guide to Promoting and Selling Digital Goods Online

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Editor's Note: Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist who writes for SEO Sandwitch. Today he joins us to discuss digital goods, and how to sell them online.

 

Selling digital goods was once a complicated venture, but over the years and with the introduction of numerous online services and tools, it is now much simpler.

Digital products are informational in nature. They may exist in many formats, including eBooks, audio or video courses, bulletins, programming and access to membership sites.

7 unique aspects of marketing digital goods

  1. The target audience for digital goods is unique. Your customer base stands to be benefited by your product, but may not be aware of its existence precisely because it did not exist before.
  2. It follows that product discovery is often not accompanied by a desire to purchase; this makes your marketing message highly important.
  3. Price is less of an issue because it costs less (or even nothing) to create copies of digital content for the maker.
  4. Mechanism of sale is very different from traditional or online commerce; whereas physical goods may be sold in online stores, digital goods often require an individual landing + sales page. This is especially well for one-off items like e-books. 
  5. There are also specialized selling platforms for digital products, and some will be reviewed in this article.
  6. ‘Packaging’ heavily influences the sale of a digital product. The way you design your landing page, cover art, etc. will influence the initial interest it generates among audiences.
  7. Digital goods often come with additional bonuses that raise the perceived value of the purchase for the audience.

These core differences in the nature of e-commerce of digital and physical goods change the game for marketers. Read on to learn how you can formulate and execute a better plan for selling digital goods - 

Selling Your Products Directly

E-junkie

E-junkie is a very simple marketplace that uses HTML codes to generate great product pages for your digital goods. It's a great and easy choice for beginners: simply create an account on the E-junkie website, list your item and install the code on your site.

Once you get started, you'll be able to manage a lot of different options including inventory management, affiliate management, Google Analytics tracking, and more.

An advantage to E-junkie that sets it apart from other options is that you will not be charged a percentage or portion of your sales. Rather, you'll have flat monthly subscription fee which starts from $5/month.

There are many services similar to E-junkie if the format works well for you: others include Easy Digital Downloads, SendOwl, Gumroad and Sellfy.

PayPal

It's impossible to mention digital goods without discussing PayPal. PayPal has been a staple of digital commerce for many years, especially because of its strong protection policies that prevent sellers and buyers from being scammed. has always put their efforts in protecting buyers and sellers from all kind of scam. You can integrate PayPal into a WordPress website and use it to sell digital goods with a simple plugin.

The WordPress PayPal Shopping cart is simply a plugin which will help you to sell your products from your WordPress website with one click.

In order to set up:

  • Download the WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin and upload it your site.        
  • Activate the plugin through your WordPress “Plugins” menu.
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Configure the options to your liking. This can include your email address, your shopping cart name, and the URL users will return to after purchasing.
  • Navigate to a page where you want your product to appear.
  • Make use of the trigger text to insert the product into your page.
  • Publish your page when you’re ready.

Marketing Your Digital Goods – How It’s Done

Finding Opinion Formers or Influencers

Influencers are those whose opinions, attitudes and activities influence others. Getting these people to like your product is a great way to spread the word. Start by researching the most important figures in the market you are selling to; then, reach out to them and pitch your product.

Blogger Outreach and Guest Blogging

This is a 2-pronged strategy that works well when your digital products are centered around information or education (for instance, courses, webinars, books, etc.).

First, identify the most influential bloggers in your niche, and reach out to them with your product hoping for some coverage on their blogs.

Sharing free samples often does the trick here. You can also become a guest blogger on their blog or invite them to become a guest blogger on your blog and target readers with proper landing pages that lead to your course.

Sam Ovensmaster entrepreneur and online educator - does this brilliantly, not only by maintaining a high quality and much followed blog of his own, but also by contributing to other blogs and getting fellow bloggers to chip in with their insight on his courses.

Tip: AllTop is a great tool for finding popular blogs relevant to a topic. Just search with your main keyword and you’ll see a list of categories. Click on the closest match to make your list.

Get Some Product Reviews

Expect any potential customer to research your company on Google, and prepare for this by making sure that solid and positive customer feedback is easy to find. Invest effort towards:-

  • Capturing genuine positive messages by sharing free samples and curating them on your landing pages, along with proof of authenticity.
  • Requesting that shoppers leave reviews on at least a couple of review websites, in exchange for discounts on subsequent purchases.
  • Looking to be innovative? Create a podcast with a customer who’s benefited from your product; host a webinar, and think out of the box.

Note: Never solicit positive feedback, as this is considered unethical by most major online retailers and users. Ask for honest feedback, and make your product great so the reviews will be too.

Final Suggestsions

There are a few important tips to adopt if you want to gain a bigger presence in the marketplace of digital goods. Here are a few -

Offer a special reward: Everybody adores free gifts with a purchase. That is the reason numerous digital products include free digital books, worksheets or other resources with a download. It’s an additional perceived value that can persuade doubtful customers to finish a transaction.

Always test: Testing is time consuming, but gives you the sort of information that you need to set the ideal price for every product. It will also help you in to see the real results with every methodology you apply, which will enable you to pick the best pricing approach.

Know the market and price competitively: Finish a competitive analysis and assessment in order to know how others in the business are selling similar digital products. At that point price yours to position it against the opposition. On the off chance that your product is especially unique, include content that your competitor’s products do not include and consider pricing that is marginally higher.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

How to Find & Engage Brand Influencers

Beyond Blogging: How to Create a Vibrant Thought Leadership Community

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


The 4-Step Content Marketing Strategy for Growth-Hacking Conversions

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To complement the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss a growth hacking strategy that content marketers can use to boost their conversion rates.

 

There are thousands of workable content marketing strategies, but a select few have higher-than-average conversion rates. These content strategies fall under the category of growth-hacking strategies, which include ways of enhancing leads and conversions in a very short period of time.

One of these content strategies is the four-step process outlined below, which I’ve personally seen increase conversion rates for nearly a dozen affiliate marketing websites focused on growth hacking. Let's dive in!

1. Research and Develop Consumer Insight

Every business has indicators of success, or success signals. These success signals range from the number of leads generated by a single blog post (obvious), to a single click through to a landing page (less obvious).

Growth hackers and conversion-oriented content strategists research and develop consumer insights by harnessing the power of data to narrow down exactly what these success signals tell us about our users. Their methods might include conducting polls, surveys, and interviews—each of which can be achieved with ease on social media—as well as implementing user tests or following the trail of web analytics wherever it goes, which can require some buy-in.

(Source: Inflow)

All of these methods can and should be used to pinpoint exactly what your business is doing that is working to convert casual users into customers, and what your site is doing that isn’t working to convert casual users into customers.

Pro-Tip: Use at least two different methods to test your insights into what’s driving users to convert.

2. Publish Information Most Relevant to Incoming Traffic

One easy success signal we haven’t mentioned is incoming traffic to your website.

Most businesses know that if users perform a search and click through to our website, then we’re doing something right in terms of relevance.

But content strategists and growth hackers also know that a steady stream of traffic doesn’t always spell a steady stream of conversions. They also know that the right kind of traffic does.

So what’s the right kind of traffic? Organic search traffic.

Organic search traffic is drawn to your website because you publish some of the most relevant information pertaining to a certain set of keywords, whether that information appears in an advertisement, a search result, or both.

Now having the most relevant information available on a certain set of keywords also means publishing content well and publishing ads often, both of which should focus on repeating the set of keywords that best draws your organic search traffic.

Pro-Tip: Match your calls-to-action with the keywords that incoming traffic is searching before they are referred to you. That means if users who search “content marketing strategy” are coming to you, you should probably include a call-to-action that says “Get Our Content Marketing Strategy” on a landing page.

3. Appeal to Authority for Credibility

If content strategists want to enhance the pagerank for their content on Google (or any of the Internet’s most popular search engines), they need credibility.

What most people underestimate is how long the path to earning credibility usually is. Even sites that start with a bona fide audience or brand name can lose public interest quickly if the content doesn’t measure up to that audience’s expectations. This is why earning credibility is arguably the most difficult step to surmount in this four-step process: it requires knowing how to build relationships and play the long game, fast.

Growth hackers and content marketing strategists know that in order to gain credibility, they must efficiently use each and every piece of content they publish to build trust and establish relationships with authorities in their industry.

The most surefire way to build trust and establish relationships is to curate content that appeals to authority. Publish content you want those big names to read. Build a network of company reviews, logos, and backlinks that connects your brand with some of the biggest and brightest names in industry. Then watch your conversions start to grow.

This takes time, patience, and maintenance, but it will pay large dividends if you persist.

Pro-Tip: Post company email addresses with a person’s name attached to them on your contact or support pages. Doing so enhances transparency, trust, and ultimately credibility.

4. Offer an Option with Calls-To-Action

Think about the last time someone asked you to do something. Now think about whether or not you were happy to do it. If you were, chances are the person gave you an option, and you chose to do what they asked because you felt it wasn’t too much to ask, especially if the other option didn’t sound as good.

If you didn’t choose to do what they asked, then chances are they offered you too many options when too much was at stake, and you felt the offer was too much to ask, which may have forced you into a state of so-called “analysis paralysis,” or worse, to simply ignore the offer in the first place.

So why do people prefer fewer options to more? According to two studies by the same two researchers, giving people fewer options increases their likelihood of making a decision to buy something.

That means it is a virtue in sales to provide consumers with a simple choice.

The same can be said for the content marketing and conversion strategies of growth hackers.

Growth hackers know that less is more, as well as how to avoid overwhelming users with too much information and too many options. One of the best ways to do this is giving users a choice on your call-to-action pages, even if that choice is as simple as a Sign-Up or Login button. Allowing users to choose between two versions of free content (e.g., Free Trial and a Study) is also a great way to increase conversion rates and gain some insight about what your users prefer.

Pro-Tip: Remove the navigation bar from CTA landing pages. Doing so has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 16% for Free Trial offers and 28% for Demo offers.

Is the conversion rate for your content marketing strategy optimized? To learn more about how you can implement a content marketing strategy that optimizes your conversion rates with consumer insights, credibility, and calls-to-action, join OMI's newest classes on Content Marketing Consumer Insights and Content Marketing Channels.

For ten days, access to our new courses is completely free.