Pengarang: mlemangpanas

Why Content Is Still King

Long before the internet was invented, the defining axiom in print was that “content is king.” Today, where online content dominates print content, many of the world’s top SEO and web marketing experts still say that “content is king.”

Why is this the case? That even after decades, no matter the medium, content is still the crux of good marketing?

==> It’s What Builds Loyalty

Businesses aren’t built on first-time visitors. Companies like the Wall Street Journal don’t make most of their money from people picking up their papers for the first time.

They make money from people who’ve read their content and then decided it was good enough that they either want to purchase again or subscribe to a subscription. If the business had to get a new customer every time in order to get paid, they’d all have gone under by now.

Yet many online publications approach their business that way. Instead of focusing on repeat visitors, they focus on optimizing for search engines so they get more new customers.

At the end of the day, however, the really famous and successful blogs like Huffington Post or TechCrunch ultimately still get most of their traffic from repeat visitors. Yes, search engines love them – but their businesses would be a fraction of what they are today if they didn’t have great content.

==> The Evolution of Search Engines

For many years Google and other search engines have worked towards making their search results pull up better and better results. They want people who search on their engines to find the best content possible in relationship to what they’re looking for.

As search engines get smarter, marketers who focus primarily on marketing tactics rather than actual content will die away.

Google has proven this repeatedly by continually downgrading the importance of low-quality links and upgrading the importance of usage statistics and other metrics to actually measure the content of a website.

If you build your website around great content while having a decent understanding of basic SEO, your site will flourish. If you put all your attention on SEO and don’t pay much attention to your content, you’ll always be trying to stay one step ahead of the search engines.

==> The Ability to Sell High Ticket Items

A low quality content website might be able to sell $0.20 clicks via AdSense. But a high quality website could sell $5,000 DVD sets by the hundreds.

Having great quality content allows you to build a relationship with your readers. That relationship allows you to sell any number of things to your readers. From high end items to recurring memberships to one on one coaching, it all starts from having high quality content.

In the long run, only content that really helps people is going to succeed. Content that doesn’t do so is likely to get downgraded more and more as time passes.

Julai 3, 2018

Why Your Content Should Pack an Emotional Punch

When you’re writing content online, you can write it in such a way that it sounds very factual and impersonal. Or, you can write in a way that really packs an emotional punch.

By and large, most small publishers will do better with the latter approach. Of course, if you’re starting a website like Wikipedia or WebMD you’ll probably want to take on a professional tone. However, if you’re a smaller website looking to gain traction, you’ll want to aim to engage your reader’s emotions.

Why?

==> It Makes People Remember You

People browse dozens if not hundreds of websites every day. Most websites fail to draw their readers in emotionally.

How many website do you visit each day that gets you to laugh, gets you to feel touched or gets you to get angry about something? How often do you feel like a website is talking directly to you and your problems and that they understand where you’re coming from?

These kinds of websites stand out. There’s a reason why YouTube videos of shocking clips, funny clips or touching clips tend to get passed around a lot. They make people feel something, and that’s memorable.

==> It Gets You More Links

Content that evokes a lot of emotion tends to get linked to a lot more. Naturally, people are a lot more likely to want to share or endorse something that really got them riled up.

It gets more shares on Facebook and gets more retweets. In other words, it has a higher chance of getting passed around immediately, but also has much stronger long-term potential.

==> Develop a Stronger Reader Relationship

Finally, emotional content will help you build a much stronger bond with your readers.

People reading your content will feel like they can relate with you, as opposed to feeling that you’re just an objective website on the internet.

This translates to people coming back more often, to a more lively community around your blog or business and finally to more loyal buyers and customers.

As an added benefit, people will also want to partner with you more. If they can tell you’re really passionate about something or that you have a way of being able to move an audience, they’re likely to want to invite you to speak at their events, do teleseminars for their audience and in general open up their customer base to you.

There are many benefits to creating content with an emotional punch rather than just factual information. Adding a dose of personality is great for just about any small to medium sized business. Unless you’re trying to build an encyclopedia-type site, try to make your website as emotionally engaging as possible.

Julai 2, 2018

What Motivates People to Pass Content On?

If you know what motivates people to pass your content on, you have a much better chance of getting them to keep doing so in the future. Why is it that people are willing to continually pass on content from certain sites to friends, while not at all for other sites?

These are some of the main factors in play when it comes to why people pass on certain pieces of content.

==> Thinking Emotionally Rather Than Logically

Really great marketing gets people to take action by having them think emotionally rather than logically.

For example, if a video gets someone really shocked and outraged about some political position, they might post that video on their Facebook wall without necessarily double-checking any of the facts in the video.

It wasn’t necessarily that the video presented shocking facts, but the fact that they managed to get the watcher in an outraged emotional stage.

If you can get your content to really get people fired up, they’ll often be much more willing to pass it on to their network.

==> Wanting Their Friends to Have a Good Experience

This principle is very basic. It’s the same reason why we recommend restaurants and movies to friends: we just want them to have a better experience.

If you create a website that helps people in a certain industry do things faster and cheaper, there’s a good chance your content will get passed around simply because people want their friends to have a better experience.

To make this process easier, it often helps to have “sound bite sized” pieces of information. For example, if you run a website about how to repair your credit, instead of having someone just pass on your website, it’s much easier for them to pass on an infographic specifically about how to repair your credit before buying a home, if they had a friend who’s on the verge of buying.

==> You Helped Them; They Want to Help You

Have you ever had the experience of getting such great customer service that you wanted to return the favor? For example, you go to a restaurant whose service is so spectacular that you feel like you want to bring more people to their establishment just because you want to help them out.

If your clients get the sense that you’re really looking out for them and that you really care about them, they’ll often be willing to return the favor.

Ordinary service doesn’t elicit this kind of loyalty. But if you provide exceptional service, this kind of marketing can be one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.

Many viral campaigns work just based on using one of these principles. A few of them activate all three principles and really take off. Which ones make the most sense for your business?

Julai 1, 2018

What Is “User Generated Content” and How Can It Help Your Business

User generated content is a new buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention recently. Websites can take off in popularity if they have great user generated content, without the creators having to put much work into content creation.

What exactly is user generated content? How does it work? How do you encourage user generated content? Let’s take a look.

==> What Is User Generated Content?

User generated content is any content that’s generated by the user base and not by content creators of the company.

High profile examples include Wikipedia and YouTube. The staff at Wikipedia and YouTube don’t spend all their time creating entries or videos. Instead, their job is to make it easy for other people to create content.

Other people do, and Wikipedia and YouTube benefit from it.

Lower profile examples include forums and blog comments. Again, these aren’t created by the site owner, but can still draw a lot of search engine traffic.

So how does one encourage people to create more content?

==> Give Them Room to Express Something They Want to Express

It’s very hard to create desire. Trying to get someone to want something they don’t already naturally want is very hard.

On the other hand, giving someone an avenue to talk about things they already want to talk about can be a great shortcut to amassing a ton of user generated content.

YouTube exemplifies this principle. YouTube didn’t create the desire for people to share videos, they just made that desire possible through the internet.

What do your users already want to talk about that they’re not able to talk about yet?

==> Make Them Feel Like They’re Part of Something

A sense of community and purpose can go a long way towards inspiring content generation.

A forum, for example, often thrives when there’s a sense of people helping one another out. People are more inspired to post their success stories and help other people out in their hardships.

On the other hand, forums where there’s animosity and lack of community tend to die down over time.

Wikipedia also does this really well. People feel like they’re part of a larger purpose and that their time put into generating content is for a good cause.

==> Make It Fun

Don’t make it feel like work to generate content. Make it fun.

For example, when Gmail wanted to have users create a video for them, they didn’t make it sound like work.

Instead, they made it sound like a contest and made all the descriptions of the video they wanted very bright. They got tons of submissions and had a stellar video to use at the end of the day.

If you’re not employing user generated content as part of your web strategy, you’re missing out. The content generated can bring a lot of traffic to your website with barely any additional cost.

Jun 30, 2018

What Kind of Content Tends to Go Viral?

If you’re trying to get your content to “spark” and go viral, it really helps to have a strong understanding of what kind of content tends to go viral. Of course, nobody can predict what will go viral, nor can they make something go viral 100% of the time. But by understanding what kind of content tends to go viral, you stand a much better chance of creating something viral yourself.

Here are a few of the main attributes of things that tend to go viral.

==> It’s Human

It’s rare that a factual, statistical or economical video goes viral. Instead, it’s usually the most human videos that go viral.

The singing homeless man on the street. The baby laughing at something senseless. An incredible display of guitar prowess.

==> Strong Emotional Content

The more emotions you can arouse in your audience, the better.

Let’s take one of the world’s most viewed videos, the “Charlie Bit my Finger” video. The video features a baby whose brother bit his finger; he sits there laughing and complaining at the same time.

This video has an astounding 367 million views at the time of this writing. That’s more than the population of the United States!

One of the main reasons this video took off so strongly is because of how palpable the emotions were in the video. The watcher can almost “follow along” with the baby’s emotions and also experience the joy of playing with your baby brother.

==> Videos That Provide Unique Information

Another type of content that does really well are videos that are informational. The key here is that the videos really have to provide content that can’t be found anywhere else.

For example, one video that went viral featured a science professor showing how to light a candle without ever touching the wick.

A content video that went viral during the 2008 election was a video of a dozen famous actors all asking people to vote.

Informational videos work in many different industries, but the most important thing is that there’s something truly unique to them.

==> Content That Appeals to Specific Groups of People

Content that tends to appeal to specific groups of people tends to do very well if they have strong emotional or informational content.

For example, political videos that are either informational or emotional can go viral just by being passed among a party’s members.

New food laws, something which may be seen as boring, could be very interesting to vegans if it affects the foods they’ll be able to purchase. A video about the new laws could really take off among that specific community.

These are some of the factors that go into determining whether or not a video goes viral. At the end of the day, a video going viral really means that a lot of people want to pass on your content. The key, as with many other things in business, is to just create something so amazing that people want to share it.

Jun 29, 2018

Using StumbleUpon for Instant Viral Traffic

StumbleUpon is one of the most powerful websites you could utilize for getting viral traffic to your content. StumbleUpon can send tens of thousands of visitors to your site in a few hours, but it can also become a consistent source of traffic over time.

Because of the nature of StumbleUpon, content which people like has a very good chance of being seen by even more people.

Here’s how to use StumbleUpon for instant viral traffic.

==> Understanding the Mindset

Before designing a campaign for StumbleUpon, it’s crucial that you understand the mindset of Stumblers.

StumbleUpon is a lot like flicking through different channels on a TV, except it’s on the internet and people are flicking through different websites.

StumbleUpon will serve up unique pages and websites to people. If they like it, they can “Thumbs Up” the content, if they don’t they can “Thumbs Down” the content. At any time they can click “Stumble” and see a different site.

It’s very easy for someone who’s bored to “Stumble” away from your site. Likewise, if you get a lot of Stumblers to thumbs up your content, you can quickly get a flood of Stumblers coming in.

==> The Most Important Thing for Targeting Stumblers

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re targeting StumbleUpon users is that they’re in a very “quick entertainment” mindset.

You need to catch their attention, and you need to do it immediately. In other words, the above the fold area of your website needs to have some sort of shocking or captivating headline or graphic.

People should feel immediately drawn in upon seeing your site. Remember, if you don’t catch their attention, they’ll be gone before you can say “Stumble.”

==> Keeping Their Attention

Throughout your page should be very interesting, emotionally engaging pieces of content. It doesn’t matter if it gets them to laugh, to be outraged or to be shocked – it just has to be emotionally engaging.

You’ll also want to tone down the ads on the page which Stumblers land on. Pages with a lot of ads tend to get downvoted, while pages with fewer ads and more engaging content tends to get upvoted.

==> Getting Your Content on StumbleUpon

So how do you actually get your content on to StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon frowns on people submitting their own content. You can, but if you do it too often you’ll get your account disabled.

The best way to do it is to first spend a week or so using StumbleUpon yourself. That way you build up some usage history so it doesn’t look like you’re just there to promote; and you also get some experience with the StumbleUpon’s system.

Then, pick one of the best pages on your website and submit it to StumbleUpon. Ideally, you should get enough of a following from StumbleUpon that others will submit your content from then on.

If your content isn’t getting enough uptake, submit another piece of your own content a few weeks later. But make sure you’re also submitting other things and that there’s an interval between your submissions of your own content.

Jun 28, 2018

Use Customer Feedback to Answer

When you first started your content marketing business, chances are you had no trouble coming up with content ideas. But as you continually put out content, you’ll at some point hit a wall where you’ll start to have trouble coming up with new content ideas.

When you get to this point, instead of trying to figure out all your content ideas on your own, why not try asking your user? After all, at the end of the day it’s their opinion that really matters.

Here’s how to do this.

==> Asking through Direct Email

One great way to ask for feedback is to just ask by email. If you have a list of buyers or customers, just send out an email asking if they have any feedback.

If they get the sense that you’re really trying to help them by offering better content, they’ll be very willing to help you out.

This works especially well in environments that have a strong sense of community or a “we’re in it together” sense.

==> Using Surveys to Ask for Opinions

Surveys can be another great way to ask for people’s opinions.

Surveys can be a lot more involved, where you ask customers several questions and get a lot of useful feedback. You can ask questions about how they like the content so far, what they’d like to see more of in the future, any unanswered questions they have, demographic questions and so on.

Because surveys take more time to answer, usually you’ll need to create some sort of prize or incentive to get people interested. For example, you can give away a free eBook to anyone who answers the survey. Or you can give away a higher ticket item in a sweepstakes style.

==> Using the Phone

For marketers who want to go one step beyond what most people do, there’s the phone option.

If someone orders from you, chances are on their order form they needed to fill out their phone number. One way to get powerful feedback as well as to send a message that you really care is to pick up the phone and give them a call.

Let them know you’re calling because you want to make sure you’re providing the best service possible. Ask them if they have any feedback, or ask them 3-5 questions you prepared beforehand.

Once you have your feedback, use it to structure your future content so it really answers your customer’s unmet needs. If you do the feedback process well, you should have a very good idea of exactly what your customers want to know. If you provide that information for them now and consistently in the future, you’ll have loyal readers for life.

Jun 27, 2018

Turning Viral Traffic into Cash

Making money from viral traffic is a bit different than making money from any other kind of traffic. People who land on your website generally come there for a specific piece of content, because a friend of theirs shared it. They often don’t know who you are or what your site is about.

As a result, most people find that the bounce rate on viral traffic is much higher and their conversion rates much lower. That said, there are still many ways to make money from viral traffic.

==> Get People on a List

It’s quite hard to get viral traffic to convert on a sale right away. Instead, a much more effective tactic is to get them on an email list and continually send them content they’re interested in with an occasional marketing message.

If your opt-in rates are significantly lower than your home screen opt-in rates, don’t be surprised. It’s just the nature of the traffic.

==> Get Them on an RSS Feed

If you have a blog that’s regularly putting out the same kind of content that got people to your site in the first place, they’ll likely be interested in getting more content from you in the future.

Make your RSS feed big on your site and prominently promote your RSS feed. Once you have someone on your RSS feed, you’ll be able to get them coming back again and again and build a relationship with them. Over time, the likelihood of them buying something from you goes up significantly.

==> Advertising

If you have a consistently high volume of traffic that you’re not earning much money from with your own products and/or services, look into advertising.

Advertising is tough to make money with unless you have a lot of traffic. But if you already have the traffic, it can be an easy monetization method.

Start with self-serve platforms like Google AdSense, then move on to direct advertising deals when it makes sense.

If you’re getting a lot of viral traffic in YouTube, you may have a shot at getting into YouTube’s partner program. You’ll need to be regularly producing videos that get over 100,000 views to qualify, but the money can be quite decent. It’s basically a revenue split arrangement with YouTube.

==> Get Paid for Leads

If you can’t convert viral traffic into actual sales, one great way to monetize instead might be to get them to fill out leads.

Cost Per Action (CPA) companies are often willing to pay anywhere from $2 to $12 just for leads filled out in specific industries.

Let’s say you’re in the habit of producing videos about tricking out your car that tend to go viral. You can easily find insurance companies who’ll pay you $2 per email that they get when you send people to their site. They never have to take out their credit card and you’ll still get paid decent money.

These are some of the best ways to monetize viral traffic. As a rule of thumb, you want to move away from trying to make a first-time sale and instead use lower commitment methods of monetization.

Jun 26, 2018

The Four Different Forms of Content

There are four main kinds of content on the internet: text, graphics, audio and video. Each of these kinds of content has its own benefits and drawbacks, with each appealing most to different audiences.

Here’s an overview of each of these four kinds of content and when they should be used.

==> Text-Based Content

This is by far the most common type of content on the internet. Just about every webpage you see is based on text content.

One of the biggest benefits of text-based content is that it’s very search engine friendly. Search engines can’t understand videos or audios, but they definitely can understand text.

In other words, if you’re running text-based content you stand a good chance of ranking.

It also requires less preparation to create text content. You don’t need microphones or videos, or expensive graphic editing programs. All you need to do is type.

==> Graphic-Based Content

The main type of graphic-based content online is infographics. These are essentially graphics that contain information in and of themselves.

One of the biggest benefits of infographics is that it’s often more entertaining and informative than just text.

For example, if you’re illustrating the history of a war, it’s much more alive to actually have graphics than just to describe it in words.

==> Audio

Audio content has really taken off ever since the iPod became popular.

In the past, audio content had to be consumed in cassette or CD format. That was both expensive and quite a bit of hassle, and it just wasn’t that popular as a format.

But today, people can listen to audios anywhere they go. In the car, on the bus, while walking, at lunch, etc. It saves time and is extremely convenient. Audio content works really well for many businesses.

==> Video

Video content is one of the most dynamic methods of distributing content on the internet. You can put funny content, informational content, interesting content, high tech content, personal content – just about anything you can think of.

Video content also has some of the strongest “share culture.” It’s very easy to share video content with friends on Facebook for example.

A video has a much higher chance of going viral than say an audio podcast.

The only downside to video content is that it does take more effort to produce. You need to shoot the video, edit the video and finally render the video. The whole process could take many hours, rather than just 30 minutes to write an article.

So which content format is right for you and your business? It really depends on what kind of content you’re creating and who your market is. There’s no harm in trying all four different kinds of content and seeing which one(s) your audience responds the best to.

Jun 25, 2018

The Basics of Good Content Structure

Having good content structure is crucial to writing content that people can easily consume and understand. Having a good structure also makes the writing process easier for you. Here are the main elements to well-structured content.

==> The Introduction

The first sentence of any article needs to be carefully crafted to catch attention. People should instantly be able to grasp what the gist of the article is just by reading the first sentence.

Likewise, the first paragraph should elaborate on the first sentence and get people interested in reading the rest of the content.

==> Let Them Know What to Expect

Before jumping into the meat of the content, let them know what to expect in the rest of the content.

This can be as detailed as “we’ll cover X, Y and Z now” to as simple as “here’s how to do X.”

The most important thing is to prepare people to receive whatever you’re about to discuss.

==> Main Talking Points

Go through each of your talking points, one by one.

Make sure to separate your content into easily digestible chunks. Don’t just write a 500-word article from top to bottom, but break it up into subsections and subheads.

Also make sure that you word as much of your content in “what’s in it for you” terms. Users should feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

It often helps to present a few different solutions, angles or opinions in your main points. If you’re talking about investing for example, give them a few different techniques they can use.

Give examples. The more theoretical your article is, the less likely they are to remember it a few weeks from now. Examples help take something that’s theoretical and turn it into something more concrete. People are much more likely to remember an example demonstrating a principle than just the theory.

==> The Conclusion

The last paragraph of your article is the conclusion. The conclusion should sum up everything you just wrote about, plus perhaps reiterate the most important point.

Sometimes it’s best to leave the user with a concrete piece of action they can immediate take at the end of the conclusion. At other times, the conclusion just wraps up the whole article nicely.

If you’re selling a product, the conclusion is where you want to put your call to action. Tell people exactly what it is you want them to do. Be assertive and make sure to recap all the main benefits to them taking action now rather than later.

These are the main parts of good content structure. Following this structure will help give your users a good sense of what to expect from your article and keep them engaged as they’re reading. It’ll also make it easier for you to organize your thoughts into a coherent chronological order before you start writing.

Jun 24, 2018

Marketing Stunts: Coming Up with a Brilliant Angle

Throughout marketing history, one of the most effective and unconventional ways of marketing a product is to use a marketing stunt. The cake company that made the world’s largest cake, for example, launched a successful company off the back of a single marketing campaign. History is littered with such examples.

How can you come up with an idea like that for your company? Something that will really get the attention of both media and potential customers? Here’s how.

==> Start Journaling

The moment you decide to start coming up with potential marketing ideas, you’re going to start having ideas in some very strange places.

You might think of an idea while in the car. Or while in the shower. Or while on a jog, or while eating a meal. Write all these ideas down.

Come back to these ideas later and elaborate on them.

==> Brainstorm with Other People

Don’t try to do all your brainstorming on your own. Even if you’re the head of your company, try to get other people involved, even if they’re just friends in the same industry.

Many founders struggle with the belief that they’re better off doing things on their own rather than bringing other people on board to help. This is especially common when it comes to coming up with new ideas. It’s very hard to let go of the sole responsibility to come up with good ideas.

But if your company is going to grow, it needs to happen. That’s why companies like Google encourage their employees to spend 20% of their paid work time on their own ideas. Google knows that Larry Page and Sergey Brin can’t come up with enough good ideas to sustain the company.

The lesson: get other people involved with the brainstorming process.

==> Ask Yourself: How Can I Make This Even Bigger?

Anytime you come up with an idea that sounds good, ask yourself how you can make the idea even bigger.

Let’s say you’re promoting a marketing product and you decide to host a contest where you give away two all-expenses paid trips to a marketing conference.

Instead of just hosting the contest and publishing it on your website, ask yourself: how can I make this even bigger?

You might partner with the marketing conference to open the conference up to all participants. You might do an ad buying campaign to let everyone in the industry know about the contest. These two ideas could take your idea from a 500-person exposure project to a 10,000-people exposure project.

Always ask yourself: how can I make this even bigger?

If you follow these three tips – writing down all your ideas, brainstorming with other people and asking yourself how you can make things even bigger – you’ll quickly develop some winning high-impact campaigns.

Jun 23, 2018

How to Get More Likes, Follows, Stumbles or Subscribes

Getting more likes, follows, stumbles or subscribes at the end of the day means you’ll get more traffic to your website and more money in your bank account. It also means you’ll have more long-term reach to launch viral campaigns from and promote new products.

So how do you get more likes, follows, stumbles or subscribes?

==> Make It Prominent on Your Website

By default, Facebook has a very small “Like” button. The same is true for the default “retweet” buttons. In fact, each social network generally doesn’t have buttons that are very well optimized for conversions.

Did you know that you can actually create much bigger buttons? Depending on the service, you might need to use a program or just get someone to do a tiny bit of code for you ($5 to $10 outsourced), but you can really make your “Like” or “retweet” buttons look any way you want.

The same is true for subscribes. Make sure it’s large and prominent on your website. Don’t just put your opt-in box in the upper right corner of your website and hope someone opts in.

==> Use Social Proof

Another powerful element you can use to get more likes, stumbles, follows or subscriptions is to post how many other people have already done the same.

Are you more likely to “Like” something if nobody’s liked it, or if a hundred of your friends already have?

There are many ways to take advantage of this principle. For example, for StumbleUpon, you can display the number of stumbles you’ve already gotten on your website. For RSS subscriptions, you can display the number of existing subscribers.

==> Ask for It in Your Content

One overlooked technique is to simply ask. Want more follows on your Twitter? Ask! The call to action is so intuitive that some people leave it out. Yet the simple act of asking for it can make a big difference.

An even more effective way to ask for actions is to give some sort of incentive for it. For example, tell people to “Like” your page, then post on your wall if they want to enter a contest. Since there’s such a strong incentive, they’re much more likely to do so than if it were free.

==> Give People Options

Some people will prefer to “Like” you on Facebook. Others prefer to follow you on Twitter. Others prefer subscribing by RSS or by email. Still others want to “Thumbs Up” you on StumbleUpon and so on.

Give people the option of interacting with your website in whatever way they like. If you only have the “Like” option, you’ll miss out on all the RSS users. The opposite is also true.

If you use social proof, make your buttons prominent, ask for the action in your content and give people options, you’ll have a very high visitor-to-action ratio at the end of the day.

Jun 22, 2018
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