Archive for the ‘Business Blogging’ Category
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.
Think you’re ready to take this on? Check out all the details of the challenge here.
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?
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.
Versus this themed series of posts:
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.”
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?
- • 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%)
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.
#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts
A well-written and consistently updates business blog is a vital core element of a successful content marketing program. As noted below, blogs are among the most effective tools for increasing website traffic, generating leads, and acquiring customers. Yet blogging requires considerably less expense and effort than other top marketing tactics like live events, webinars, and video.
What are the key elements of a successful business blog? How can you plan a consistent stream of compelling post topics? What are the most effective techniques for crafting killer headlines and gripping copy? How can you increase your content marketing footprint through guest blogging?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in almost two dozen of the best guides to business blogging strategy and tactics of the past year.
Two Guides to Business Blogging Benefits
Why the Company Blog is More Important Than You Think by Business2Community
According to recent research reported on by Business.com, “Three of the top (marketing) tactics (in-person events, webinars and video) require significantly more resources to deliver”than business blogs, though “compared to these three tactics, blogging is relatively cheap and easy to produce; and as a bonus, it provides a nimble and consistent message platform.” As if that isn’t enough, this post details four more “benefits an authentic company blog can deliver to the organization, beyond the top line” that make the effort required to maintain a high-quality, relevant blog presence worthwhile.
It really shouldn’t be necessary at this point to “sell” top executives on the concept of business blogging, but for those still struggling, Kapil Jekishan supplies “ten of the most persuasive statistics you can bring to the presentation you’re no doubt already preparing for your boss,” including the impacts of blogging on website traffic and customer acquisition, its advantages over advertising, and big-company validation: “Fortune 500 companies have never had reputations as early adopters, but even they have been forced into the business blogging arena to compete for customers”—which is why the percentage of Fortune 500 firms that blog more than doubled from 2008 to 2013.
Six Blogging Strategy Guides
Six Crucial Attributes of a Successful Business Blog by MarketingProfs
Michael Gerard details six attributes needed to “to launch and sustain a successful business blog” based on an analysis of more than 400 blogs at the 10,000+ visitors-per-month level. One noteworthy piece of advice: the best content marketers “market their marketing” though social channel, promotional tactics, collaboration with other internal teams, and tapping into “paid media such as Outbrain, Disqus, Taboola, and other types of promotional services.”
Corporate blogging guide: strategy and tips by i-SCOOP
***** 5 STARS
J-P De Clerck provides an outstanding detailed guide to corporate blogging, including consideration of various corporate marketing goals for a company blog, a look at 14 business blogging success factors, and an infographic loaded with statistics and facts about why blogging matters, e.g.: 128 million Americans read blogs; 57% of companies have acquired customers through their blogs; and companies that blog regularly have better relationships with their customers.
29 Musts You Need to Do Before Launching Your Blog by SteamFeed
DJ Thistle writes that building a successful blog “takes preparation, time, promotion, commitment, constant education, and most of all awesome”—and by that last word, he means following these two-dozen-plus recommendations, from starting with 10-12 posts in the bank to periodically creating evergreen content to connecting with “like-minded bloggers and influencers,” building an email list, and more.
B2B Blogging: Beyond the Basics by MLT Creative on SlideShare
This presentation from Billy Mitchell and the team at MLT Creative covers the benefits of blogging, how to keep company politics out of business blogging (“Everything starts with strategy. The blog must be aligned to strategy or you are doomed”), how to create a blogging strategy, how to get people inside and the company engaged with the blog, how to drive conversions, and more.
The State Of Blogging 2014 [Research – Charts] by Heidi Cohen
***** 5 STARS
First, yes, the helpful facts and statistics in this post still apply in 2015. Among the actionable treasures from Heidi Cohen here: the average blog post is 800 words—but the ideal length of a search-optimized blog post is 1,500 words. And 54% of bloggers say they publish at least weekly—but “to generate leads from your blog, the sweet spot for is 2-3 times per week according to HubSpot.”
30 Tips to Freshen-up & Rock Your Blog in 2014 by Pam Moore
These tips still work for 2015! Pam Moore details “30 tips to freshen up and rock your website,” starting with defining your objectives and audience and progressing through refreshing your content, creating an editorial calendar, inviting contributions from guest bloggers, engaging your audience (bring site visitors “in closer with social links, surveys, video, comment plug-ins, audio”) and more.
Two Guides to Generating Blog Topic Ideas
Stuck for post topic ideas? Amanda Gallucci provides more than six dozen ideas to kickstart your creativity, organized into 15 categories including tools (e.g., “Create a video tutorial that walks people through how to use a tool for a specific task”), lists, internal resources (“Find out what questions your account managers get asked most frequently. Put together a blog post or other resource that lays out the answers”), events, and “out of the box” ideas.
This Is One Of The Best Sources of Blogging/Social Media Information by Joshua Wilner
Joshua Wilner sings the praises of the Support section at WordPress.com, which provides answers to both common and not-so-common questions, “ideas and information about how to use social tools on your blog so that you can drive more traffic,” resources and information about how to change the appearance of your blog, and other do-it-yourself blogging resources.
Nine Blog Writing Guides
Kevan Lee outlines “the 7 essential elements of a perfect blog post,” from how to write the perfect headline (‘Readers tend to absorb the first three words of a headline and the last three words…[but] of course, few headlines will be six words long in total. In those cases, it’s important to make the first three words and the last three words stand out as much as possible”) to how to optimally use subheads, time your posts, and plan killer post topics.
No Time to Blog? 11 Tips to Create Content Faster by Blue Kite Marketing
Writing that “although many businesses see the benefits of it content marketing, they struggle with committing the time it takes to create content on a regular basis,” Laura Click serves up 11 “quick tips to help you create blog content quickly and easily,” such as recording short videos, publishing infographics, and re-purposing content (“Every company produces tons of content every day—it just might not be in the form of a blog post. Take a look around and see how you can re-purpose emails, FAQs, presentations, etc.”).
30 Stellar Blog Tips For Posts Your Audience Loves by Heidi Cohen
Heidi Cohen (again) lists 30 useful “blog tips for creating blog posts your audience loves to read,” such as design factors, use of images (“Take the time to ensure your images support your blog goals”), utilizing other content formats like video and presentations, crafting concise headlines, and focusing on helpful content over self-promotion (though using calls to action where appropriate is fine).
23 Tips for Writing Click Worthy Blog Titles by Prof KRG
Kenna Griffin summarizes the attributes of an effective blog title along with nearly two dozen tips for writing click-worthy titles, such as using strong verbs (“Use strong action verbs in your titles. Avoid passive verbs and ‘be’ verbs”), including a number (“Scannable list posts are popular among blog readers. If your post is a numbered list, use the number of items in the title”) and avoiding abbreviations.
This is a long post and the steps outlined require a fair amount of effort, but the process outlined here by Adam Connell can certainly deliver results. He delves into how to create high-impact visuals using Canva, how to use WordPress plugins to create shareable quotes, how to identify and get the attention of influencers (and how not to do this), and how to leverage niche social bookmarking sites.
10 Steps to Building More Effective Blog Posts by Blue Kite Marketing
Laura Click (again) explains her methods for “how to build and structure blog posts in a way that’s optimized for today’s website visitor,” from writing a compelling headline (useful tips plus links to additional resources) and including a strong introduction (“Next to the headline, the opening paragraph is the most read part of your blog post…Ask a question. Tell a quick story. Start with a problem. Share some statistics”) to including a call to action.
Scott Ayres shares the strategies Post Planner used to achieve some very impressive 12-month growth figures, all done with content marketing. Daily posting, aggressive list-building, and utilization of “11 key blog post ingredients” ranging from an irresistable headline and opening with a bang (“if you don’t capture the reader’s attention in the first couple sentences of the the post, they’ll just bounce”) to maintaining attention with internal cliffhangers and choosing an arresting image.
Sarah Goliger reveals results of testing on various types of titles and which work best. Among the findings: questions work slightly better than statements (“Frame your blog post title as a question to make it more intriguing”), “you-focused” language beats “me-focused” (“Craft your title language to be about the reader and what is interesting to them, not you”), and beginning your blog post with a number helps.
How to Stick to Your Blogging Schedule by Blue Kite Marketing
Pointing out that “One of the biggest reasons company blogs fail is lack of consistency” in serving up fresh content, Laura Click (yet again) offers 10 helpful tips for sticking to a regular blogging schedule, among them building a content plan (a simple, flexible editorial calendar), eliminating distractions, collecting ideas and researching as you go (the way posts like this are built!), and working ahead when your schedule permits.
Three Guides to (Properly) Using Guest Blogging
Proof That Guest Blogging Is Not Dead, Coming Right From Google by Monitor Backlinks
Felix Tarcomnicu argues that guest blogging isn’t dead, despite earlier statements from Matt Cutts, because Google accepts guest posts (with do-follow backlinks) on their blog, and “If Google is accepting guest posts on their Analytics blog…that’s the proof that guest blogging is not dead, and you should not stick a fork in it. Period! What you should do, is to raise your guest blogging standards.”
The Pros And Cons Of A Guest Blogging Strategy In 2014 by BirdBrain Logic
Frequent best-of honoree Amanda DiSilvestro outlines the pros (e.g., building relationships: “Part of guest blogging is building relationships with editors across the web. This is an excellent way to find new opportunities and stay involved in the community”), cons (keyword links have become less important), and the ultimate verdict on the benefits of guest blogging—concepts that still apply in 2015.
The Five Types of Guest Bloggers (Funny Graphic) by SteamFeed
Reviewing the panic caused by Matt Cutts and his “fall of guest blogging for SEO” announcement, and the ensuing clarifications, Jesse Aaron shares an amusing infographic characterizing the five types of guest bloggers, such as “The Guru” (the self-proclaimed expert who values image and follower count) and “The Spinner” (submits to hundreds of sites; what’s plagiarism?).
This was post #5, the final post, of Blogging for Business Week 2015 (#b4bweek) on Webbiquity.
#5: 22 Exceptional Business Blogging Guides, Tips & Tactics
At the core of any successful blog is valuable content—helping readers solve a problem, increase their knowledge, work more effectively. But text alone isn’t enough; to really make a blog stand out, it needs to include compelling images as well.
As noted on the CyberChimps blog, “a picture is worth a thousand words. But a 1000-word blog post with a great picture to go with it? That’s worth gold.”
Interesting visuals add value beyond blog posts as well, of course: they’re useful in presentations, videos, e-books, and other types of content at the core of an effective web presence optimization strategy.
While there is no shortage of “free’ image sources on the web, not all are worth your time. Some are difficult to use, have very limited or poor-quality selections, or include “fine print” that limits what you can actually do with their images.
To help you be efficient and find great collections of free or low-cost images, here are links to six excellent image sources along with guides to and reviews of dozens more free image sites.
Reviews of Free Image Sites
20 Sites to Get Free Stock Images for Commercial Use by Social Media Today
Finding free, high-quality images for commercial use can be a pain, but in this post Giancarlo Massaro has “done the dirty work for you and compiled this resource of 20 different sites so you can get free stock images that fall under the Creative Commons Zero license or similar; meaning you can copy, modify, and use any photo you find, even for commercial purposes, without having to ask permission or provide attribution.” His recommendations include Realistic Shots, Free Nature Stock and Kaboompics.
20 Awesome Websites for Free, High Quality Stock Photos by To Make A Website
Matt Clark presents his list of “some of the better stock photo sites” he’s come across, which are also “completely free.” Among his favorites are several popular free images sites as well as lesser-known options like Picjumbo, Pexels, and Getrefe, a “tumblr blog that has free photos for personal or commercial purposes.”
53+ Free Image Sources For Your Blog and Social Media Posts by Buffer Social
Courtney Seiter helpfully reviews more than 50 sources for free blog images, from Buffer’s own Pablo tool to some of the popular tools mentioned below to unique sources like Dreamstime, IM Free, Public Domain Pictures, BigFoto and Foter.
14 Sites for Free Stock Photos by Practical Ecommerce
Sig Ueland shares “a list of resources to find free stock photos for commercial use. There are stock photo search engines, huge image collections from stock photography sites, smaller curated collections from design sites, and some additional sources for free high quality photographs” including some interesting lesser-known sites like RGBStock and New Old Stock (which “features vintage photos from the public archive, free of known copyright restrictions”).
How to Find Free Images With Google’s Advanced Image Search by Search Engine Watch
Noting that images “capture the attention of many more readers by giving your words a boost with a little visual appeal,” Matt Morgan provides step-by-step instructions for how to find and verify the status of freely usable images on Google, to avoid threatening or demanding letters from commercial image sources.
By Request – Good Alternatives to Google Image Search by Free Technology for Teachers
Richard Byrne responds to a teacher frustrated by “students are getting when they search on Google Images” with details of eight free-image alternatives, including the Morgue File, everystockphoto.com (“a search engine for public domain and Creative Commons licensed pictures. When you search on Every Stock Photo it pulls images from dozens of sources across the web”), and Wikimedia Commons.
Premium photography provider Getty Images got lots of attention last spring when they announced they were offering free images. But, Ginny Soskey cautions, read the fine print: you generally can’t use the images for any type of “commercial” purpose (defined quite broadly), and Getty’s plans for monetization are unclear: “They can make money through this…because the code is an iframe. An iframe is a type of code that takes a piece of content that lives on another website and puts it on your site, and the site that hosts the code has complete control over what displays on your site.”
Other Sources for Free Images
This was post #4 of Blogging for Business Week 2015 (#b4bweek) on Webbiquity.