How to Make B2B Content Curation a Win-Win [Podcast]

What role should content aggregation play in your B2B blogging strategy? What value does content syndication provide to B2B bloggers? How can B2B marketers capitalize on aggregation as part of their overall content marketing strategy? And what exactly is web presence optimization?

Paul Gillin - FIR podcast

Paul Gillin, host of the For Immediate Release (FIR) B2B podcast

These are a few of the questions that Tony Karrer, co-founder of the B2B Marketing Zone and I fielded from Paul Gillin in this week’s FIR B2B podcast. This is a great listen for anyone interested in B2B content marketing trends and guidance for 2016.

Tony (who was also, incidentally, the original CTO of eHarmony.com and co-founder with me of Social Media Informer) explains how the Aggregage platform (the underlying engine for B2B Marketing Zone, Social Media Informer, and roughly 20 other vertically focused content aggregation sites) works, and the benefits that content curation generally, and the Aggregage platform specifically, provides to B2B marketers.

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What Exactly Do You Do?

“So—what exactly do you do?” the delightful Shelly Kramer asked me when I met her recently face-to-face for the first time, at a Minneapolis internet marketing event.

A common enough question, but it got me thinking: in more than five years and nearly 500 posts about web presence optimization, SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media, and inbound marketing on this blog, I’ve never actually answered that question here.

The Web Presence Optimization Model - WPO

(click to enlarge)

I guess that’s because I’ve always wanted this blog to be about you, the reader, and your need for digital marketing information and guidance. Not a place for me to “sell.”

But I probably should answer that question, and this is particularly good time to do so, as a small agency I do a fair amount of work with recently lost a sizable client–not unhappy by any means, we just helped make them so successful they were acquired by a larger industry player. It happens.

So—I’m a digital marketing consultant who helps B2B clients improve their online visibility and business results through SEO, search and social advertising, content marketing, and social media. All components of the web presence optimization (WPO) model: content strategy and development, optimization and promotion, and actionable analytics.

A few quick notes regarding the client mentioned above: prior to the acquisition, the company’s total website traffic had increased on a year-over-year basis for 11 straight months. Monthly pageviews rose 80% over than time period, and monthly white paper downloads 50%. A weekly industry news roundup I introduced on their blog helped double visits to the “news” category on the company blog in less than a year.

So—if your business could use help in these areas, or you know of someone who could, let’s connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email (tomATtompick.com).

And thanks as always for reading the Webbiquity blog. So, what exactly do you do?

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Want to Double Your Blog Earnings? Take the Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge

The brilliant Ann Smarty and her team at MyBlogU are launching a new blogging contest which could win your new blog a big prize—if you’re up for the challenge.

In The MyBlogU Blog Launchpad: Content Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge, participants will be required to start a brand new site (with a new domain; no expired domains or old blogs) and build up the content and traffic for six months (with the help and support of the MyBlogU community!)

After six months, entrants will compare results (traffic, subscribers, profit) and the MyBlogU team will pick the winner; then commit to work together to double the winning site’s results!

The contest offers an opportunity for blogging pros to build a new web presence and a great way for newbie bloggers to find ways to succeed!

Participants will share their results regularly, learning strategies and practices from each other as the contest progresses.

Intrigued? Learn more about the contest from Small Business Trends, Growmap and MarCom Land.

Think you’re ready to take this on? Check out all the details of the challenge here.

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Megaposts vs. Themed Blog Series – Which Draw More Traffic?

We’ve all seen example of megaposts: multiple-thousand-word posts promising an exhaustive take on a topic. They carry titles like “The Comprehensive Guide to…” blah blah or “101 Ways to…” yada yada.

People may click on them. And they definitely share them. But do they read them? Or do busy professionals really prefer “content snacking” to a big sit-down meal of information?

Long content tends to rank higher in search

Image credit: Buffer

Let’s say you’re a Facebook marketing expert, for example. Is it better to write one big post along the lines of “105 Ways to Master Facebook Marketing” or to break up that content into a series of smaller posts: 20 Tips for Facebook Advertising, 17 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Audience, etc.?

To test that, here’s a comparison of three marketing statistics megaposts published on Webbiquity within the past 18 months or so, and a series of similar but shorter, more tightly categorized posts.

The megaposts:

103 Compelling Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2013 (and 2014)

104 Fascinating Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014 (and 2015)

106 More Amazing Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014 and 2015

Versus this themed series of posts:

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

#7: 14 Dazzling Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

#9: 20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

Which approach works better? The answer is a crystal clear…it depends.

If your goal is short-term shares and traffic, there’s no question megaposts drive more activity than individual, shorter themed posts—but the themed series generates more shares and traffic as a group.

On average, the megaposts received three times as many tweets and five times as much 30-day traffic as the individual themed posts. But the themed series in total got nearly triple the number of retweets and roughly twice as many 30-day visits as the average megapost.

Another advantage of producing a series is that, for a relatively small amount of extra effort, you’ve covered several days (or weeks, depending on your publishing frequency) rather than just a single post.

However, megaposts have their advantages as well. They help establish you as an expert on the topic; they tend to draw traffic over a longer period of time; and they may rank more highly in search (as shown in the chart above).

So which format should you use: megaposts or themed series? As Deion Sanders famously said: “both.”

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34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

Content marketing is now ubiquitous, with 93% of all marketers saying they do content marketing (it’s not clear what the other 7% are doing). But with so much content being produced, distributed and shared, how do you make your efforts stand out and grab the attention of your prospects?

2015 compelling content marketing stats and factsBased on the research detailed below, here are five key takeaways:

  • • Tell, don’t sell. Sales are a top goal of content marketing—but website traffic is the most common metric used to measure success. Only about half of marketers try to connect content to sales. Why? Because with the exception of direct response (a small part of content marketing), content supports sales rather than driving them directly. And trying to use content too blatantly to drive sales often backfires.
  • • Blog. Blogs are one of the most effective tools for increasing organic search traffic, and are highly influential with buyers. Yet just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog.
  • • Make email a key component. While most content sharing efforts by marketers are focused on the “big four” social networks, most (72%) content sharing done by buyers is on “dark social”–primarily email and apps.
  • And use video. Half of buyers say they are more likely to seek out more information about a product and more confident in making an online purchase after viewing related video. It’s also “sticky” (users spend, on average, 88% more time on sites with video) and attracts more inbound links than text-only content.
  • • But get out and meet people, too. In-person events are still the most effective channel for B2B marketers.

Want to know more? Check out these 34 compelling content marketing statistics and facts from a variety of expert sources.

22 Content Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. (TopRank)

2. 42% of B2B marketers viewed themselves as successful with their content marketing efforts in 2014 – up from 36% in 2013. (TopRank)

3. The most effective content marketing tactics according to B2B marketers are:

– In-person events (70%)
– Case studies (65%)
– Videos (63%)
– Webinars (63%)
– Blogs (62%)
– eNewsletters (60%)
– White papers and research reports (59%)

(TopRank)

4. More than 70% of B2B marketers use the “big four” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to distribute content. Just 55% use Google+. And only 34% use Pinterest, 22% Instagram, 22% Vimeo, 15% StumbleUpon, and 14% Tumblr. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

5. However – only 28% of content sharing happens through the big social networks. The other 72% is shared through “Dark Social,” the private sharing that happens behind closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps. (Social Media Today)

6. Brands that use shortened URLs with a “vanity domain” experience an average increased click volume of 25% compared to long URLs or generic URL shorteners. (Social Media Today)

7. Content shared on Thursdays has the longest “link lifespan” (people still clicking on those links several days later). (Social Media Today)

8. 41% of marketers say driving sales is the No. 1 goal for their content marketing strategies; 94% put sales in their top five content marketing goals. Brand awareness was the second-most-popular goal with 88% adding it to their top five, while 21% ranked lead generation as their No. 1 goal. (MediaPost)

9. The most-trusted types of online promotional content include peer reviews, natural search results, and brand Web sites, while display advertising and push text messages are the least trusted. (MediaPost)

10. The top metrics used to measure content marketing success are website traffic (cited by 71% of marketers), revenue (57%), keyword traffic and conversions (46%), and search engine rankings (46%). (MediaPost)

11. The top content marketing goals for B2C companies are customer retention/loyalty (88%), engagement (88%), brand awareness (87%) and sales (77%). (Heidi Cohen)

12. The top metrics used by B2C marketers to measure content marketing success are website traffic (62%), sales (54%), higher conversion rates (39%), and SEO ranking (39%). (Heidi Cohen)

13. Companies spend, on average, 25% of total marketing budgets on content marketing. (Heidi Cohen)

14. The most effective B2B content marketing tactics are in-person events (cited by 69% of marketers), webinars/webcasts (64%), video (60%), and blogs (60%). (eMarketer)

15. 57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)

16. The top three reasons consumers share content online are to entertain (44%); to educate (25%); and to reflect their identity (families, friendships, values, etc. – 20%). (MarketingProfs)

17. Though men share more content on average, women expect more engagement: 69% of women expect five or more comments, likes, or shares on their posts. (MarketingProfs)

18. B2B marketing is often misfocused. While B2B marketers tend to emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainability, global reach, and shaping the direction of the market, buyers care most about open honest dialog with customers, responsibility across the suppy chain, and market leadership. The only major area of overlap is in “high level of specialist expertise.” Neither group places much priority on having the lowest price. (Barraclough & Co)

19. The most useful forms of content when making online B2B purchases are technical brochures / specification sheets (cited by 61% of buyers), followed by instruction manuals / how-to documents (46%), videos (38%) and case studies (31%). Less than a third said webinars, while a quarter value inforgraphics and social media activity. (V3B Blog)

20. 85% of corporate marketers are using buyer personas for content marketing and messaging. But only 15% say their buyer personas are very to significantly effective. (Tony Zambito)

21. And 60% of corporate marketers say they have no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development. (Tony Zambito)

22. 54% of corporate marketers say that quality content is among the most effective SEO tactics their company uses, while 50% also cite (closely related) frequent website updates. (MediaPost)

5 Business Blogging Statistics and Facts

23. Trailing only retail and brand sites, blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions. (Marketing Magazine)

24. A whopping 93% of bloggers say they either “don’t mind” or enjoy being approached by brands. (Marketing Magazine)

25. 55% of bloggers say the question of whether or not to expect payment from a brand in return for blogging was dependent on the agency, brand or the blogging activity in question. 26% said that they would always expect monetary compensation in return for blogging. This varies widely by blog subject matter, however; over 90% of bloggers in fashion, lifestyle and beauty now expect to receive payment or compensation in return for blogging. (Marketing Magazine)

26. Just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog, down from 34% in 2013. (Sword and the Script)

27. 28% of corporate marketers cite the difficulty of frequent blogging as a top SEO challenge. (MediaPost)

7 Video and Image Marketing Facts and Statistics

28. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. (The Wonder of Tech)

29. The number of photos shared online increased 50% in 2014, primarily on Snapchat and WhatsApp. (TechCrunch)

30. Marketers looking to drive more traffic to their Web content without an overhaul of programs should rethink visual images; video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content. (MediaPost)

31. Nearly half (46%) of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (41 Stories)

32. Video is “sticky.” The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (41 Stories)

33. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (41 Stories)

34. 52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Ber|Art)

This was post #2 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

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