The future is uncertain and this also applies to Marketing. We will surely be introduced to all kinds of strategies, tactics and technologies. Along with these changes, we should also keep in mind the audience’s needs because they have suddenly been reprioritized. According to a research from McKinsey & Company, 78% of US consumers have changed stores, brands or the way they shop online. As customer behaviors continue to shift, we need to be always up on our toes to ensure that we are delivering relevant content to the right audience. This year has been a real test of grit and character as we faced challenges in this “new normal”. Looking at the positive side of things, this has proven that human-connectedness is essential, and whatever the future throws at us out customers will always be the heart of our business.
7 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Follow in 2021
Here are some of the major content marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
Being aware of the following trends will help you shape a content marketing strategy and give your business direction and outcomes to expect.
1. Documented Content Marketing Strategies
As more and more small businesses switch to eCommerce as their primary means of carrying out work, it becomes necessary to create organized and documented content marketing strategies.
Studies on content marketing show that one of the key differences between the most successful and least successful businesses is the use of documented content marketing strategies.
Even today, business owners approach content creation and distribution on an ‘on the fly’ basis. They have loose ideas about the kind of content they’ll create and many people do not use content marketing calendars or social media tools to help with their marketing efforts.
To combat the growing competition, we should see a rise in the use of documented content marketing strategies. However, it is also essential to have the flexibility and the ability to change baked into your efforts.
To create a more organized and documented content marketing strategy for 2021, do the following:
- Establish a clear goal like boosting your brand image, improving conversions, and more
- Create complete customer journeys with touchpoints
- Build customer avatars to have a clear picture of your market
- Use an editorial calendar for social media, ads, email newsletters, and your blog content
5 SEO Tactics to Maximize Internal Links — Whiteboard Friday
I love internal links. There are a lot of guides out there, internal link best practices — they explain everything. This is not that video. This is not that guide. Instead, I want to show you ways to maximize your internal links for maximum SEO gain, because I see a lot of people who don’t leverage their full power, and they think internal links simply aren’t as powerful.
Number one, strive for engagement. When you add internal links to your page, it gives people the opportunity to visit other relevant pages on your site, thereby improving your engagement metrics. That’s when you know that your internal links are working when you improve engagement. If you’re just adding SEO links for SEO value and there’s no engagement change, are you really adding value?
No. So you want to go after engagement. There are some technical Google reasons for this. Google has several patents that we’ve discussed over the years — reasonable surfer. There’s a patent called User Sensitive PageRank. Through these patents, Google describes how they want to count links that people actually click.
If people aren’t clicking on your links, should they really count? So Google has several processes in place to sort of measure what people are clicking or what they might click and actually pass more weight through those links. So you get help with the engagement, but you also pass more link signals through those links that people are actually clicking.
Now think about where you might be putting your internal links now. Are you putting them at the bottom of the page, like in a related post? Is anybody clicking those widget links? Maybe not, probably not. Look at the top of this post, the top of this page. I’m going to add some links about internal linking at the very top of the post. Do you think people are going to click those links?
You bet they are. There’s a good chance you’re going to click one of those links after you watch this video. Or maybe you clicked on it before you watch those videos. So we would expect those links to pass more value than adding those links further down on the page or in a widget or something like that. You can tell your internal links are working and have value when you see your engagement metrics start to move.
Make Content Integral to Your Lead Generation
Can content marketing help (or even drive) your brand’s lead-generation and nurturing strategy?
It sure can. Let’s see how:
1. Match content to search intent
Just about any website out there is optimized to generate Google organic traffic. In most cases, this process includes identifying relevant keywords and including them in the on-page copy and the anchor text of backlinks.
Yet, the most important piece of the optimization puzzle is giving searchers what they were looking for – optimizing for search intent.
Different search queries imply different search intent:
- Informational intent: Searchers want quick answers, often considered top-funnel intent.
- Commercial investigation: Searchers compare options. They are closer to the sale.
- Commercial intent: Searchers look for product reviews. These people are ready to buy.
- Navigational intent: Searchers want (video) tutorials on how to use a product. These are your current customers who may become your returning buyers or free-trial users who may be converted into paying users.
You need to create different content assets targeting each of those search intents.
2. Match CTAs to content
Modify your in-content calls to action to match search intent.
For example, if your content is built to address basic how-to queries, there may be no reason to sell them your products. Instead, the content could include useful downloads (or printouts) making information easier to digest.
Incredible Content Marketing: 6 Tips for Infusing Credibility into B2B Content
..Today’s post examines how you can make sure this foundational credibility is showing up in the content marketing you create and distribute.
Speaking of table stakes:
1 — Don’t lie to your audience
We’re living in an age where misinformation runs rampant. Frankly, it can make the entire experience of being online very draining and exhausting. And while folks might have no choice but to put up with the zany Facebook post by their uncle, or the click-baity headline on Google News, they are less likely to tolerate it from companies they do business with.
To be clear, I’m not under the impression that many B2B brands are out here attempting to flat-out fib to people. On this subject, I’ll make two points:
- It’s all too easy to be untruthful with your audience unintentionally. If careless, marketers can fall into the same disinformation traps that plague many users of the web. Always fact-check and verify information before sharing it with your audience, and don’t make a habit of running with assumptions.
- Shying away from the truth isn’t much different from lying. It might not feel dishonest to downplay your solution’s weaknesses, or hide negative reviews, but will your customers feel the same?
2 — Gain credibility through association
One of the primary advantages of influencer marketing is that it allows brands to co-opt the credibility of respected experts and business leaders they partner with. When audiences see these individuals collaborating with a company, producing useful and enjoyable content together, it infuses an instant element of trust.
Google: Core Web Vitals Becoming Ranking Signals in May 2021
Google confirms Core Web Vitals are becoming ranking signals for search results in May 2021.
The ‘page experience’ signal combines Core Web Vitals with the following signals:
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines
Core Web Vitals were introduced earlier this and are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a page.
Specifically, these are defined as the Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.
- First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.
How to Turn SEO Into a Measurable Revenue Generator
Tired of constantly defending your SEO budget to the C-suite? This new approach can help you attribute your company’s revenue growth to your SEO efforts.
Since Google took away keyword-level analytics data in 2013, SEO pros had found work-arounds to calculating SEO ROI.
Here are just some a few of them.
1. Google Analytics Organic Search Channel YoY Comparison
Comparing your organic traffic from the current year to the previous year in Google Analytics is one of the options that SEO pros resorted to.
The downside is that:
- You have no idea whether the keywords driving the traffic are branded or generic.
- Revenue increase could come entirely from TV advertising while actual non-brand SEO performance is down.
2. Google Search Console YoY comparison
You can also do a year-on-year comparison in GSC, however:
- No revenue = No ROI.
- Keyword data only shows subset of top 1,000 keywords (when your paid search term report might have 500,000 revenue-contributing keywords in the same timeframe)
How to Address These Problems
Here are a few steps you can take to measure SEO ROI.
Measure Brand vs. Non-Brand Baseline
This unlocks the real value of organic search that’s not related to brand searches.
It also serves as a basis for calculating ROI over time (i.e., Investment vs. YoY changes).
7 Content Experts Share What Matters Most in 2021
Know your audience’s current priorities
David: For our clients, there’s been a really interesting focus on understanding the audience, resetting the audience’s needs because they’ve suddenly been reprioritized – the more basic needs are now much more important than ever before. If you get that right, everything else becomes easier, and you get out of the tactical game of developing thousands of pieces of content that are, frankly, irrelevant.
Deanna: You’re spot on with community and connectedness. We even thought about how we could not only help and connect peer-to-peer but also give them time back and make it so that they could connect on their terms. So, we started with biweekly 15-minute chats over coffee to give it that more human connection. “Join us here, learn from each other, take it back into your day, and let us know how it’s working and if it’s valuable.” It’s bidirectional, yet human; it’s less about a marketing message and more about peer-to-peer learning. I think those types of experiences are going to be key.
Lead with empathy and get emotional
Marcus: It’s not enough for us to “walk a mile in (our audience’s) shoes.” We have to see how they see the world and remove our own biases, our own judgments, right? Because if we understand how people make meaning, then we can take that understanding of who they really are and solve the problems that they have, be it wants or needs. And a lot of that comes from being a part of the discourse that we see in social listening – asking the right questions to get the answers that really unearth the things that are in people’s hearts.
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