Videos work great for content marketing for three reasons:
Now, the days when video content was so hard to create that most people were just shying away are over. Videos are no-brainer now. When it comes to video tutorials and mashups, I am simply using iMovie (free easy time-saver). However, in many cases, you won’t even need any desktop software.
There are some awesome online tools that allow you to create professional videos that will diversify your video marketing and let you experiment with genres, styles and types. The first one that comes to mind is of course Youtube Hangouts on Air.
But it’s not the only one!
The following four tools are all freemium, so you’ll have a chance to play for free first:
Animoto is a huge time-saver! Grab your screenshots and videos, choose (or upload your own) music, add text breaks – you are done! A new video is ready to distribute.
I like using it for screenshot showcase (for tutorials) and for summing up discussions, hangouts, etc but I am sure there can be lots of other ideas (this about weekly user photo showcase, testimonial showcase, etc etc.)
Powtoon is a freemium tool to create animated presentations and video instructions. The best thing about this tool is that it lets you create video instructions that grab attention and have huge viral potential as opposed to traditional step-by-step video guides.
It has lots of templates with different mascots:
There are lots of available elements inside: Characters, animations, text affects, image holders, etc. The free version will keep its watermark on the final version.
Powtoon is awesome for creating concept explanations, fun tutorials and even promo videos.
They also have #slides project in private beta which I am really looking forward to playing with! Stay tuned!
Vidtrack is a new tool I’ll need to play with. It lets you user-generate your videos by enabling your readers to send you video messages. I think it may work for testimonials, contests, etc
You can try it for free and create 5 videos. I imagine you can use those videos in lots of ways (especially if you need some editing in place).
Just look at some examples of videos featured on the site get inspired
Their newest feature is the website recorder which also has a WordPress plugin allowing your users to create content for you:
Our video recorder will allow you to put a video record button anywhere on your website. Whenever someone clicks the record button it will activate a webcam or mobile camera. Site visitors can record any type of fan videos, crowdsourced videos or user generated videos. These could be video testimonials, video interviews, video contests, video auditions, video reviews, video feedback, etc….
Are there any other time-saving video creation tools you are aware of?
The post 4 Tools to Easily Create Videos to Diversify Your Content Marketing appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.
Whether you’re fresh on the job— getting the lay of the land, or you’re a veteran at your organization, as a content marketer you probably face the constant challenge of delivering interesting, valuable, and relevant content at the pace that your organization demands. And while part of that problem can be solved with a bit of internal education around delivering value over volume, some of the need for fresh content will still exist.
There are many different ways to create the content you need in order to publish at the cadence that your audience and organization requires—freelancers, repurposing assets, and curation, just to name a few. But this blog will cover one incredibly productive content source that will not only help you provide value to your audience, and hit your objectives by publishing at the pace you need but will help shine a spotlight on content internally at your organization. That source? Your own employees.
As a content marketer at Marketo, I’m responsible for making sure a blog goes live five days a week that is informative, entertaining and offers value to our audience (based on a detailed matrix of topics and audiences). As a lean team, doing this alone is an impossible task and, quite frankly, sounds scary. And that’s a feeling that it seems other marketers also have, because one of the most frequent questions I get asked when I am at an event, talking to a prospect or customer, or speaking is, “How do you scale your content?” Consistently, my answer is to be savvy about the resources you have at your disposal. Similar to repurposing content, I invite other marketers to ask themselves, “how can you get the most out of what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t?”
One of the best ways to get the most out of the resources at your disposal is to broaden your view of what counts as a resource. If your resources are limited to already published blogs, and other assets (like whitepapers, ebooks, datasheets, and infographics), you can definitely find ways to create new content by repurposing, which will help you produce a few more pieces of content. But, if you shift your focus to include your human resources—across the organization—you have successfully found a content jackpot. Think about it for a second. If you have 1,000 employees and you are able to get even 1% of them (10 people) to blog for you, you’re already ahead of the game (vs. repurposing). If those authors, or even half of them, write a second post, you will have knocked it out of the park.
Ok, so let’s talk about how you actually make this happen. Guest content, specifically guest blogs, sounds amazing until you consider that you’re going to have to do the editing. To prevent a guest blogging program from descending into unmanageable chaos, you’re going to want to start with a few foundational elements:
Just to recap., don’t launch your program without those three elements in place. They. Are. Critical.
Once you have the foundation of your program, it’s time to add some important details. You will want your program guidelines to not only include the editiorial expectations like I covered above, but the rewards (who doesn’t love a prize?), resources to get started, and examples. Basically, your program guidelines, whether they are on an internal wiki, a landing page, in an ebook, or part of an internally shareable slide deck, need to tell your audience what’s in it for them, how they can get started, what to expect, and the expectations. Here’s a deeper look at some of the elements you may want to include:
So you created an awesome program that’s going to generate a crazy-amazing amount of content for your organization, but that’s only true if you share your program with your organization and get people excited. At this stage, you will want to come up with a launch plan. Launch plans will be unique to each organization, but you may want to consider some of these activities to launch it.
Effectively launching your program internally has many variations and ultimately you need to understand your audience, and company culture and craft a launch strategy that will get people engaged and keep them engaged.
Launching your program is just the beginning! The real key to success is to make this program sustainable. There are a few things you can do to ensure it’s ongoing success, like:
I hope that this gave you some good ideas to go mine a new content source, or if you are already having employees blog, to create a program that’s more robust and scalable. This method could work for more than blogs, so don’t be afraid to brand out. Are you running a content submission program at your organization? I’d love to hear what’s working and not working in the comments below.
The post 1 Awesome Way To Create Great Content appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Instagram is taking over the world! Seriously, according to a study by Hootsuite, in 2015 the average number of photo shares per day on the platform was 70 million. And this year there are even more users, so the number is climbing every day.
Obviously it is a network with increasing influence. So you should be taking advantage of it, and the only way to do that properly is by posting incredible, eye catching content that gets plenty of attention.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to do it. You just need a few tricks up your sleeve.
Instagram works only through a mobile app. But did you know it can be customized using supporting apps? Or that you can create photos on other apps, and then post the results on Instagram?
Considering IG isn’t exactly the feature-heavy powerhouse we all might like it to be, this is a must for anyone serious about the platform.
These are the ones I can personally recommend.
Create beautiful images and graphics on either an iPhone or iPad, save to your gallery, and upload to IG.
It is easy to use and customize, comes with its own overlays and filters, has a large library of typography, and is perfect for even those who have never tried an imaging program before.
InstaPad is a gorgeous way to use and look at Instagram using your iPad.
It will seriously change the way you look at the platform, and the layout is so much better.
This is hands down one of the best photo editing apps I have seen. It is intuitive and simple to use right on your phone, with advanced features that will make gorgeous images.
What I love about it is that it takes you beyond the IG filters that make everyone’s photos look the same. Your content will stand out, which is crucial.
Tiny Planet is so much fun! It works by taking your photos and folding them into a circled panorama that look like a little planet.
It is certainly attention grabbing, and looks really cool. Not a lot of people are making them on IG, so you can get away with posting a handful and getting some likes and comments.
Take multiple photos, fit them into the framing requirements of IG, and present them as a collage. A lot of apps do the same thing, but this is the best one I have found.
It gives you plenty of options, and is just simpler to use than most, less clunky. Anyone who has used some of the other apps will know what I mean.
Who doesn’t love charts? IG is seeing a lot more chart and infographics making their way on, and this is a pretty easy way to make some.
Since most people reading this aren’t graphic designers, it is a good alternative to hiring people to make one for you.
I will admit that in the beginning I didn’t get the visual quotes phenomenon, and I avoided making my own for a long time. Now they are some of my most shared content on every platform, not just Instagram.
Easy to make, effective and attractive, you should add them to your content regularly. You can make your own on any image editor, but I like to simplify things by using Recite. It is a super quick generator with plenty of background images to choose from.
A great tip someone gave me a few years ago about photography was not to waste my time on images no one cared about seeing. That really hit me, because I definitely took a lot of pictures just to take them, and they never came out well (much less got any praise).
One of the best things you can do for your Instagram gallery is only fill it with worthwhile shots that meant something to you at the time you took them. For example, say you are sitting in a park and you seem a woman sitting on a bench, reading a book. Is it worthy of capturing? Does something about her stand out? Can something be enhanced, like the yellow of her coat?
Don’t waste your time on shots that mean nothing just because you have space on your phone. If you question each shot while framing it, you will take better photos naturally.
Instagram photos are a dime a dozen, and so many of them look the same. Seriously, these so-called “models” on the platform are all either pouting, over-painted women in hipster dresses, or muscle bound men in denim and shirtless doing some kind of sensitive post.
Do we really need more of that? Or can we start to push Instagram into a place more like Flickr used to be, where genuinely unique photography could be found?
Don’t be like everyone else, be different.
Have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!
The post How To Create Awesome, Eye Catching Instagram Content appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.
Customer-experience technology is highly fragmented, and companies are looking for ways to bring all their different technologies together in one location. That’s why, just over one year ago, Adobe announced the Adobe Exchange partner program for Adobe Experience Cloud. The Adobe Exchange partner program is designed to cultivate and drive innovation with our ever-expanding ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs) and data partners — giving them the tools to build and market their integrations. Customers can then easily implement these integrations to increase the functionality of their Adobe solutions and create better customer experiences.
Today at Summit EMEA, we’re introducing new capabilities within our Adobe Exchange partner program that will not only help partners maximize their efforts, but also create better experiences for our tech-partner community.
New Adobe Exchange Program Website
We’re unveiling a new and improved Adobe Exchange partner program website for Adobe Experience Cloud — complete with content that caters to the needs of ISVs. This new website gives our partners access to the information and resources they need to build and go to market around integrated solutions. In addition to details on how to join the program, new features include a news section (to keep our community up to date), a program-benefits page, and additional resources that will provide partners with the technical integration details needed to ensure the highest-quality integrations.
New Adobe Exchange Marketplace
An updated version of our Adobe Exchange marketplace — Adobe’s cross-cloud marketplace for third-party integrations, applications, and solutions — will launch in August 2017. The new site will make it easy for Adobe customers to discover integrations that extend the values of their existing Adobe investments. Updates to the Adobe Exchange marketplace include:
Partners will have the opportunity to start creating content for their listings after Summit EMEA.
How to Get Started
Existing Adobe Exchange Partners:
ISV and Data Partners Who Want to Join the Adobe Exchange Partner Program:
If you’re interested in becoming a Business or Premier Partner, please contact Bryson Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recognize the value that every technology and data partner brings to Adobe. We appreciate and thank our partners for their investments and commitments to Adobe — helping us enable brands to deliver effective and delightful experiences to their customers. As consumer expectations continue to grow, so does our need to innovate and build against those expectations. The Adobe Exchange partner program is an integral part of Adobe’s vision to meet the future needs of consumers everywhere.
For any questions about the Adobe Exchange partner program, please contact us at ExchangeXCprogram@adobe.com.Read More
Author: Vanessa Porter
People demand a lot from marketers these days.
Marketers aren’t just expected to generate more leads, they’re also being asked to create more engaging experiences that convert visitors every time.
That is, of course, far easier said than done. It might seem like creating these win-win scenarios–when your audience is satisfied with an awesome experience, and you get the lead information you need–is like finding a four-leaf clover. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Fortunately, interactive content makes a marketer’s job just a little easier. Interactive content is an experience where individuals can participate with the information they’re consuming, creating an immediate two-way dialogue. It can come in many forms–a knowledge quiz, persona assessment, a poll, or a dynamic ebook or whitepaper with questions layered in.
Not only is interactive content quick and fun for prospects to interact with, it’s proven to be effective. The average reported metrics from SnapApp users include a 30% click-through rate, 85% completion rate, and 45% lead conversion. And, perhaps best of all, it can be fully integrated with your digital or engagement marketing platform.
Here are four easy steps to get started with interactive content:
This first step requires some big-picture thinking. Before you get into the specifics of creating an interactive asset, determine what you’re looking to get out of it. Are you looking for better engagement from new visitors and early-stage leads? Or are you looking to weed out lesser qualified leads? Maybe it’s re-engaging dormant leads in your database?
Your objective(s) will help shape the content experience. If we look at how Paycor, an online payroll solution, strategized their interactive content, we can see a funnel-based approach:
Paycor created three specific pieces of content for every stage of the funnel to accomplish the following goals:
It’s important to consider interactive content as a part of your larger content strategy and its goals and objectives. Because interactive content is a newer medium, it can be helpful to use a planning guide and campaign outline as a springboard to get started.
Another key starting point is understanding subjects and themes that resonate well with your audience. After all, regardless of what segments you’re targeting, they are simply made up of walking, talking people who have a broad range of interests, even outside their industry (gasp!).
Once you determine the different topics that will engage your target audience, you can move on to choosing the specific content format and theme of your interactive content. As we saw above, calculators and product pickers are options to help demonstrate a value point of your product or service. However, these can come in a variety of formats. Think of interactive infographics used by The New York Times, or more fun-focused assessments and quizzes published by Buzzfeed.
One of the biggest benefits of interactive content is that you can collect valuable information about your leads to pass on to your sales team, without being too obvious or pushy.
For example, we created a personality test based on Game of Thrones. We went with this theme for two reasons. The first is that in March of that year, we launched an interactive bracket about marketers’ most binge-worthy TV show and Game of Thrones won. And the second is that the new Game of Thrones season was starting at the time of the assessment, so it was top-of-mind.
On a standard static-content campaign, what’s the typical practice? Usually, marketers promote their assets across social media or in emails or blog posts that lead to a landing page. On the landing page is a lead form that visitors must fill out to access the content, such as an ebook, whitepaper, or infographic. Some lead forms are neither enticing nor effective. Most of the time, marketers can only collect a few fields of lead information (anything more increases the bounce rate).
An interactive asset can transform this experience and gather lead data in a less obtrusive way by following these practices:
Combine your interactive content with an integrated marketing platform, and you can do so much more. For instance, if you are using Marketo’s Munchkin code, your known leads will have their contact information preloaded into an interactive experience. This allows them to skip the lead form altogether. Their answers are sent to your database, but they don’t get interrupted by a lead form.
An engagement platform, like Marketo, should be the heart of your marketing efforts. Therefore, all the information you collect from your content should flow seamlessly from your content marketing platform to your engagement platform and vice versa.
To accomplish this, add the content you create in your content marketing platform into a specific marketing program. Within that campaign, you can direct and use the information you collected in any way you want. For example, if a prospect identifies as a content marketer, we’ll send them helpful information focused on content. If they are more involved in marketing operations, we’ll focus on that subject instead. Think of how you can assign different subjects to different personas in your own strategy.
What does this integration look like? Check it out below.
From your interactive content platform (just a few fields and presto!):
From your marketing platform:
Bonus tip: Once you’ve synched your content marketing platform with your marketing platform, you can leverage the valuable information you collected in a follow-up email. For example, we used dynamic content in our follow-up campaign to call out which Game of Thrones house prospects were assigned to during the assessment. We tailored the email copy to match the house’s description and suggested how our platform could help with their priorities.
All of these steps combined–from initial ideation and goal definition to theme selection, promotion, and personalized follow-up–creates campaign cohesion across your revenue teams. However, this only scratches the surface of interactive content. As you get used to the medium, you can improvise and optimize in numerous ways.
Have you already had success with interactive content? Have a question about how to get started? Start the discussion in the comments below!
4 Steps to Create Awesome Interactive Content was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com
The post 4 Steps to Create Awesome Interactive Content appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
If you can’t earn consumers’ trust, you’re fighting a losing battle.
And what’s a specific area that makes many consumers wary?
That’s simple. It’s the way in which businesses handle payment information.
In fact, a lack of trust in credit card processing is one of the top reasons for checkout abandonment.
Research from the Baymard Institute found that “18% of American shoppers abandon the checkout because they don’t trust the website with their credit card information.”
This means you can kiss one out of every five shoppers goodbye.
And I totally get it.
I completely understand why some shoppers feel uncomfortable sharing their credit card information.
Identity theft and cyber crime are on the rise. This is people’s money and identity we’re talking about! I don’t blame people for being super cautious.
A study from Javelin Strategy & Research found that identity fraud hit a record high in 2016.
$16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016, compared with $15.3 billion and 13.1 million victims a year earlier.
In the past six years, identity theft thieves have stolen over $107 billion.
Here’s what that looks like in graphs:
It has become a serious problem.
If you haven’t been the victim of identity theft yourself, there’s a good chance you know someone who has.
Just look at the increase in the number of identity theft and fraud complaints between 2012 and 2015:
This means one thing.
Most people don’t want to hand over their credit card information to just anyone.
They want to know for sure that the company they’re doing business with is taking every possible security precaution to ensure that their sensitive information doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands.
And I definitely understand where they’re coming from.
I know I avoid doing business with any website that looks sketchy and where security could be a potential issue.
In fact, I’ve found myself abandoning the checkout page several times on account of this.
It’s just not worth the risk.
This puts modern business owners in a bit of a quandary.
You need to come up with an effective way to put shoppers’ minds at ease and let them know they’re in good hands when they do business with you.
What can you do?
There are several factors that shoppers take into consideration when determining whether or not they trust a particular website.
Some examples include:
But there’s one factor that reassures shoppers above all else.
And that’s a trust seal.
a survey conducted by Econsultancy/Toluna confirmed the power of trust seals when it asked participants which factors help them to decide whether or not to trust a website.
Just think about it.
How many times have you had your fears or doubts quelled when you saw a trust seal when you’re checking out?
I know this puts me at ease.
And there’s evidence that shows just how big of an impact trust seals can have.
This great article from ConversionXL tackles the topic of checkout optimization and the way trust seals affect security perception.
The post includes data from a study that used eye tracking to determine the exact impact trust seals have.
Here’s a screenshot of what this study entailed:
Participants then saw one of the following six trust seals:
As you can see, there are trust seals from several notable companies such as McAfee, PayPal, the BBB, and so on.
And here are the observational patterns (the patterns respondents’ eyes followed):
By examining these findings, it’s easy to see that trust seals are huge.
After shoppers initially look at the logo and “payment method” section, their eyes inevitably shift to the trust seal at the bottom.
This goes to show that it’s an integral factor in whether a shopper decides to go through with the checkout process and actually make a purchase.
It makes sense that displaying a trust seal on your checkout page will increase trust, thereby boosting your conversion rate.
You may be wondering whether shoppers respond more favorably to certain trust seals than others.
This chart shows us the specifics:
As you can see, the “PayPal Verified” seal was noticed the most, at 67%.
This was followed by the “Google Trusted Store” seal at 63% and “Norton Secured” seal at 59%.
It’s also important to note that survey respondents remembered certain trust seals more than others:
However, ConversionXL reports that the differences were fairly minimal.
According to them,
it’s clear that there weren’t huge differences between trust seals. Using eye tracking, we confirmed that all trust seals are equally noticeable.
In other words, it doesn’t make a massive difference which specific trust seal you use.
As long as you have one from a fairly reputable company, it should have a positive impact in terms of gaining the trust of your shoppers.
If you haven’t yet installed a trust seal on your checkout page, I highly recommend that you do so immediately.
This can have a tremendous impact on your conversion rate and overall revenue.
Look no further than a split test performed by Blue Fountain Media.
Here’s what their original checkout page looked like before they added a trust seal:
Here’s their checkout page with a Verisign seal:
Guess what impact this had?
Sales increased by a whopping 42%!
Notice that nothing else on the page changed—except for the “Your Privacy” section, which got replaced by the Verisign seal.
This isn’t to say that your sales will instantly jump up by 42%, but I can pretty much guarantee some type of increase.
Just imagine what a trust seal could do for your long-term profits—it could be major.
Here’s how the general process works.
Of course, this is an oversimplification of things, so let me walk you through the process step by step.
I’ll just use McAfee as an example because I’m familiar with it.
The specific steps may vary slightly depending on the security company you choose, but the overall process should be basically the same.
Visit McAfee SECURE to check out plans and pricing.
In the case of McAfee, it’s very straightforward.
There are two plans to choose from: “Free” and “Pro.”
Here’s how the two plans break down:
FYI, “Pro” costs $29 per month as I’m writing this.
Next, install the McAfee SECURE plugin on WordPress.
You can find it by searching the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard:
Click on “Add New:”
Now type in “McAfee” in the “Search Plugins” search box:
Here we go:
Click on “Install Now:”
Once you’ve activated the plugin, visit Settings > McAfee Secure to configure it.
You’ll see this screen:
Fill out the information:
At this point, McAfee will run some tests on your site:
Because you’ve already installed the McAfee SECURE plugin, the trust seal will automatically appear on your site.
It’s really quite easy.
As long as your website passes, you’ll have a trust seal installed on your checkout page in no time.
If you would like to see a video tutorial on this process, check out this post from WPBeginner.
Online security has arguably never been more important than it is today.
And the fear and skepticism so many people have is by no means unfounded.
They have a very good reason to be concerned and even a little paranoid.
As a business owner, you must address these concerns and put your customers’ minds at ease.
People want to know they’re not putting themselves at unnecessary risk by completing a transaction on your website.
According to research, one of the best ways to do this is by installing a trust seal on your checkout page.
This lets shoppers know that your site has been thoroughly tested and meets today’s security standards.
As a result, they can complete a purchase with confidence, which should bring about a higher conversion rate and an overall increase in customer satisfaction.
Fortunately, installing a trust seal on your checkout page is fairly simple, and some basic plans can be set up for free.
Find the security company that’s the best fit for you and complete the necessary steps to have a trust seal installed.
How big of a factor is a trust seal when you’re deciding whether you want to complete a transaction?
Author: Josh Ritchie
“Brands need to be pushing out new content all the time.”
That’s what marketers have been hearing for the past few years—and many of us have bought into this thinking.
In response to this, and to fill the need of an “always on” content operation, there’s been a push for content teams to function as publishers. That push for more content is so intense that some brands are using the 24-hour newsroom approach to create more and more content in an attempt to be relevant.
This is understandable, but it’s not always the most efficient approach. Maintaining high-quality production without a break is hard. And, if the quality of your content starts slipping to the point where it’s not engaging, it’s not worth it. Weaker content brings down the quality of your overall content efforts. According to a 2016 Content Marketing Institute report, 60% of marketers say “creating enough engaging content” is their biggest challenge.
It seems, for some, that “creating enough engaging content” has been wrongly interpreted as “creating tons of content.” This is the core problem: many marketers are overly focused on the word “enough.” Instead, marketers should put a greater emphasis on the word “engaging.”
Good content means creating better and more engaging content. Simply put: Quality > Quantity.
Here are four ways to focus on creating engaging content and not just pumping out content to fill your editorial calendar:
This may sound counter-intuitive, but I’ve learned over the years that putting more of your eggs in fewer baskets often makes the most sense—at least for our team. Why is that, you may ask?
Well, say you had a plan to produce and buy media for 12 three-minute videos over the course of the year. That’s a lot of videos, and it will be hard to maintain momentum and quality. And this route may not make the most sense.
Instead, consider doing four videos throughout the year—and making each one the best possible video you can produce. Better yet, make each one you put out better than the one before. And then, after the release of each video, make sure that it makes sense to keep producing videos. If it does, then keep making them, and keep making them better. If it doesn’t, then consider stopping or reducing the volume of work you’re planning. Most brands have limited time and resources, and it’s better to allocate these things where they make the most sense.
Also, consider this: people will remember one beautiful video that you spent a lot of time fine-tuning and perfecting. People won’t remember a bunch of video pieces you rushed through production because the editorial calendar ruled supreme, and if they do remember them, it’ll likely be for the wrong reasons.
If, however, producing a lot of video content is a non-negotiable priority for your marketing team, consider the idea of scaling up gradually over time. It’s smarter to increase your investment gradually, and to develop momentum over time, than it is to come out of the gates at a pace that’s difficult to sustain.
Content marketing is a marathon not a sprint. And, there’s no finish line. That can sound daunting, but I personally prefer to be realistic so that I can plan accordingly.
Are you creating content because you have reason to believe that it will work (based on previous successes)? Or are you creating something simply because you decided to do so months ago?
Content strategy is iterative (everyone’s figuring it out as they go), and you need to make sure that you are always making room for changes in plans that are based on what’s working and not working.
How do you determine whether your content is working? You measure it, regularly. One of the ways that we sanity check our content plan is to talk about it, a lot. We have bi-weekly brainstorms to come up with new ideas and kill ideas that we don’t love (if we can’t make them better). Search plays a big role in our marketing efforts, so we do a comprehensive KPI check-in on a monthly basis. This enables us, on a rolling basis, to determine what type of content works and what doesn’t. This intel then shapes our brainstorming sessions and helps us to determine what to create in the future.
Then, at the end of each quarter, we do a debrief and we discuss a) what worked, b) what didn’t work, and c) what could work if we did things better/differently. This helps us ensure that we’re not spinning our wheels and just creating content because it sounded like a good idea months ago and we have the people and time to do it.
There’s a saying that I love: “Doing something right is better than doing something fast.”
Obviously, you don’t want to procrastinate so much that you never actually get anything done. On the contrary, the first draft or version of most things usually needs to be polished. Also, doing things right tends to take more time than you initially thought… this is just the nature of the beast; so, whenever possible, set more conservative timelines for the work that your team produces.
In an ideal scenario, this means giving yourself the time and space to create something great every time you set out to create a piece of content. Not doing this is counter-productive. Why kill yourself to hit a deadline, if what you ultimately put out is not something you’re proud of? You’re going to hate it, and it’ll dilute your brand.
While this can be difficult when you are on a limited timeline, it gets easier when you really pursue a quality over quantity approach with your content, whereby you’ve got more of your eggs in one basket, and you are constantly sanity checking what you’re working on.
It’s good to be aware of what your competitors are doing, but you can’t let your marketing efforts devolve into a competition with other brands.
IMO, the best brands are the ones that know who they are, what they stand for, and stay true to this. Conversely, weaker brands follow the crowd, constantly looking for the next novel thing to tinker around with.
While it can sometimes be difficult, and it always takes a lot of dedication, you need to do what is right for you and your audience. They are ultimately the most important consideration when it comes to what you’re doing with your content efforts. Also, it’s important that you stay true to your brand because, chances are, people (read: customers) were drawn into it and don’t want it to change.
The best way to know if what you’re doing is working for the people you’re trying to reach? Ask them. Conduct surveys. Email your customers. Take them out to dinner. Whatever feedback mechanism works best for your business, do that.
If you remember one thing from this post, I hope that it’s that people don’t care about how often you post, they care about what you post; they crave content that is useful, relevant, and valuable. Keeping this in mind is key to developing a content approach that prioritizes quality over quantity.
What other tips do you have for creating better content, not just more content? Share them below!
Less, But Better: 4 Practical Ways to Create Enough Engaging Content was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com
Visual tweets attract more clicks and shares. Despite various levels of skepticism (many people were claiming visual tweets to be annoying), visual tweets are getting more and more adopted.
Here are three free tools allowing you to create stunning visual tweets in seconds.
(Online, Mac App, Google Chrome Extension)
TwitShot.com is a cool app that extracts an image from the given page and creates an instant visual tweet. If you don’t use Google Chrome or a Mac (whaaat??), you can still use the web-based app.
Be careful with the web based version: It didn’t give me any status update that my tweet went live, so I tweeted the same URL+image three times:
Here’s one of them:
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) July 25, 2015
(Mac and Windows)
Record.it is a free Mac and Windows application that lets you record screencasts and instantly turn them into animated gif pictures that can be instantly tweeted.
The Windows version doesn’t have Twitter support yet (it seems but I have tested it on Mac) but they say it’s coming soon.
Here’s a tweet I created on how to apply to Internet Marketing Ninjas free competitor analysis (Took me 1 minute to create):
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) July 25, 2015
I’ve tested a lot of animated GIF creators and this one seems to provide the highest quality of animation.
Buffer Pablo is the quickest way to create tweetable visual quotes. If you sign in to Buffer, you’ll be able to share the visual quote to Facebook too.
Which tools are you using to create visual tweets? Share them in the comments!