Content marketing can help you create awareness, build your brand and establish credibility. Its purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Here are 25 more things you need to know about content marketing:

  1. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
  2. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
  3. If your content is irrelevant to your customers, it might as well be invisible. 
  4. 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
  5. 57% of respondents said quality content is their most effective SEO tactic; keyword research/mgmt next highest (46%).
  6. Three biggest complaints of B2B buyers regarding content are: 1) too many requirements to download; 2) too promotional, self-serving; 3) non-substantive, uninformed.
  7. Over half (57%) of millionaires surveyed use Facebook; 41% use LinkedIn, says Spectrum Group survey of 13k millionaires. 
  8. The most valuable content marketing efforts are collaborative, & draw on strengths from marketing, sales & customers. 
  9. Nostalgia can make users more likely to share.
  10. Surveys show that nearly half of all Millennials don't trust branded content.
  11. 50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom #content.
  12. Never use a photograph without putting a caption under. On average, 2X as many people read captions as body copy.
  13. The best content marketers are crowd-sourcing from within their organization.
  14. Respect the 4C's of digital marketing: Creating, Curating, Connecting, Culture.
  15. Art is content. Every Trader Joe's has its own in-house artist. What could an artist do to increase interest for your business? 
  16. Blogs give websites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  17. Powerful headlines help your readers imagine a better life.
  18. Outsource your content to get quick turnaround. Content marketers deliver good-quality work in a short time; meet any deadline.
  19. Identify what topics you can own and create the best pages on the Internet for that topic. 
  20. Quality content helps build a community of advocates.
  21. If you don't have enough resources for a steady stream of newly created content, re-purposing is great way to keep it flowing.
  22. Make content that prospects/customers can learn from quickly and share with their friends
  23. Consumers far more likely to choose brands that engage their interests than to select those that only urge them to buy.
  24.  27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day.
  25. Only 1 out of 5 readers gets beyond your headline.

 

________________________________________________________________________

Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content and social media to businesses nationally and internationally.

 
Namarketer.comLogo.jpg
Posted
Authorbob namar

SEO isn't dead. Or dying. But the industry surrounding it is getting people to focus less on the tactical and more on a strategic approach to their authority, semantic relevance, and the user experience.

I have many clients and prospective clients whom, in the course of our discussion about content, ask about our ability and proficiency with SEO. It's clear what they are looking for - someone to fool the Google algorithm into getting their site - no matter its quality - higher in the rankings.

 Among the many benefits of frequent, quality content is enhanced search rankings.

Among the many benefits of frequent, quality content is enhanced search rankings.


These are like the people who want to learn the 'trick' to winning the Home of the Year contest. But instead of simply planning to design and build the best house they can and fill it with the most attractive and useful contents, they look at the elements of previous winners and try to incorporate all of those to shortcut their way to the finals.

But Google, --like the judges in the Home of the Year contest--keeps evolving their idea of a what is best. The same home--or even the the same style home--won't win in successive years because the judges don't want you to follow a formula. They want you to build something great. 

So it is with your website. Make it smart. Delight the people who come to visit by giving them what they need and expect from you. And fill it with great content. That is your best chance to be a winner -- whether for home of the year, or in building a successful online business.

Our friends at Mashable recently published a powerful view about this topic (Are we coming to the end of SEO?). While 'optimization' will likely always play a role, at least in the basic efficiency of a website, we concur that the way to go forward, the direction that Google and the rest of the industry is looking to move, is away from the gaming of search results, with a focus on strong content quality.

Build something great.


Marketing with content more often than not requires a reliance on words, (pictures can rarely tell the whole story) and certain words are more powerful than others when it come to helping attract attention, drive sales, or deliver a message. There are thousands to choose from, but here are six tried and true, powerful words to wake up, or flag your content.

because
now
free
how

(ok, so that was really two words)

new

Here's how to make your business successful. Use these pathfinders as an easy way to alert your prospects and customers, divine new content, or refresh previously published material. Because they are worth your time and effort. Act now. They're free.

__________________________________________________

Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey.

Video. Not only is everyone in marketing discussing it, but online video is now the dominant medium for getting your message heard. The big brands and top agencies are there, and to be sure, your audience is too. 

Image

You may not be able to create a viral video, --please don't even try-- but you can still maximize the impact of a video, no matter if you're a brand marketer, B2B marketer, agency or anyone who wants to deliver a message.

I ran into Rob Ciampa, VP of Marketing at Pixability, at the Custom Content Council's Content Strategy Exchange in New York City this summer. He has five tips he shared for getting started with video marketing. They are:

  1. Video content is king. 87% of marketers are now using video as their primary source of content. They've discovered the impressive results video produces compared to other types of content.
  2. Don't be afraid to use YouTube. The YouTube community is massive, and the service is the second largest search engine on the Internet. If you're seen on YouTube, you'll be seen on the Internet.
  3. Don't get hung up on production. High production values do not mean a high return on investment. Even big brands like Dell have found success with uncomplicated employee demos.
  4. Video marketing matters. Your work doesn't end with production; you need to put at least as much effort into your promotional efforts. Proper video marketing delivers a ten-fold increase in clickthroughs.
  5. Social media and video work together. Video drives your social media to work better because it enhances the two-way dialog that is crucial to social media success.
What you need to know above all is, when organizations do YouTube right, they get incredible results. When they don't, they stink.

How do you 'get it right?' It's not too hard, really. 

  1. Make lots of video content: be a consistent video content machine
  2. Practice good video SEO: take video optimization and YouTube channel architecture seriously
  3. Use different videos for multiple touch-points: Don't get caught in the overproduction trap. Lesser quality video works well.
  4. Link your video to marketing initiatives: apply the "always on" strategy to video marketing
  5. Ensure your video has branding: apply it consistently, intelligently and methodically
  6. Content vs. channels: adding more content is more important than adding more channels
  7. Engage your community via social media: audience is everything on YouTube

Good Luck. Roll'em! 

__________________________________________________

Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey.

 

Posted
Authorbob namar
attract-customers-to-your-blog2.jpg

Every business, big or small, has the opportunity to be showcasing its expertise. For larger businesses, you may already have a blog installed (though have you developed a strategy and are you a regular publisher?). Smaller business may have been dragging their feet, but they should not. You can embed one in your site for little more than the cost of assigning an editor to it; or even if you do not have a web site for your business, you can still promote yourself by creating one for free.

But your blog has to be used and used well. To serve up content that will drive business, I suggest you P-L-A-T-E it:

  • Provide a call to action. Tell readers what they should do with information you just shared. Read more about the product or service, click to ask a question, visit the online Q&A, or another meaningful activity. Get them moving.
  • Link to other sources for your customers. Industry associations, news sites, experts, even other blogs that support your vision, all serve to educate, motivate and engage your readers.
  • Aggregate content for your visitors. That means bring information from other sites to yours. Putting a lot of good content in one place is convenient for your readers, projects authority as your readers see you can recognize good content, and can create a spring board from which ideas can grow. You can find some help here.
  • Target your community, and by that I mean your customers and prospects. This isn't a forum for your political or social beliefs, or your personal complaint department. You're doing this to be a leader and to attract people who want to do business with you.
  • Embed visuals. It's eye candy and makes your posts more interesting. Use charts, product pics, photos of your staff and operation, events and tradeshows, etc. Show AND tell. 'Nuff said.

If you aren't already blogging about your business, dive in. If you are, make sure you're doing it well and have a qualified editor putting it together for you (this is not an intern project). PLATE it, and you'll be serving a new wave of customers sooner than you think. It's your blog...Use it.

 

Bob Namar is president of Namarketer, a content marketing, publicity and promotion agency in the NY-NJ metropolitan area. Visit Namarketer.com.

Posted
Authorbob namar
 listhead

listhead

There are many who favor lists as a way to attract an audience or eyeballs to a website. Similarly, there are many who find them contrived, overused and dull.

It's all about what you have to say and how you say it. Lists are easily digestible and eye-catching; nothing wrong with either of those.

So why top tens? Here's a double-handful of reasons to go with lists:

 

 

 

 

1. Eye catching. People respond

2. Easily digestible. Readers can get to the points quickly and time is money.

3. Promise and deliver. Any headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways makes a very specific promise of what’s in store for the reader.

4. They build your authority. Lists demonstrate a mastery of your area of expertise.

5. Easy to share. Need I explain?

6. Headlines containing numbers receive higher responses.

7. Longevity. Lists attract long-term traffic; they have a good shelf life.

8. Re-purpose. It's easy to reuse lists in emails, newsletters, etc.

9. Food for thought. A good list gets people thinking, talking, engaged.

10. Left brain. The list format has been successful for decades with direct marketers, magazine publishers, and others because it lets readers know exactly what they’re getting, and the list format speaks to the organized left side of the brain.

Generally, for a list to be successful it should be relevant to the brand and the product/service, though you can present it in a unique way. Just be sure to elaborate sufficiently to bring value to the reader.

Oh, and lists of ten are over abundant. make your 6, or 9 or 13.

How do you feel about list stories?

 

__________________________________________________

Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey.

 

Posted
Authorbob namar

ImageYou do not need a social media strategy. Collecting "Likes" or Followers nets you nothing in and of itself. And chasing those will frustrate you waste your time and money and do nothing for your business.

What you have to understand is that social media tools enable people to have conversations, and However, if you are a useful contributor of helpful information  through social media tools, you will gain trust, credibility and positive word of mouth.

So first, you must have something to say.

The bad news is, few people are saying much that is worthwhile. The good news is, if you have a business,you have plenty to say.

Truth is, customers and prospects no longer depend on traditional sources to find businesses that can solve their problems. They look for solutions to their problems online today. And your business needs to show up in the first few pages of Google to be found.

How do you get there?

I told you once.

Buying Ad Words? Very expensive.

Hire someone who bills themselves as a “search engine optimization” expert? Just remember that Google hires Ph.D. computer scientists and mathematicians by the boatload. Will your expert beat their system?

But there is one way to top the pages of a Google search-- create content that Google indexes. Because Google gives a much higher score to pages that are updated frequently and contain “rich media,” meaning photos, audio, and video.

What we like to call "content".

I bet I know where you put your content. In your blog, right? Or your What's New page?

Meanwhile, the front door to your business, your home page, continues to be the boring, static, "welcome" with beauty shots and links to other pages. Where's the vibrancy? Where's the news? Why hasn't it changed since I saw it last year, last month, last week?

Don't you have something to say, to tell?

Go Live. Be Fresh.

Put it on your website and THEN Tweet it and post to Facebook and everything else with it. Having your story told on your website, and teasing it out there on social media gives you the steak and the sizzle. An unbeatable combination.

Oh, and then?

Produce more content.

Re Namar Namarketing

Redesign  ... Reimagine     ... Reinvent

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the same mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." As a marketing leader, you have to be able to see the a company image as it really is, and also to imagine what it could become. Then you can bridge the gap.

Your brand image is who you are as a business. But even though the business may not change (though certainly many do) it is vital that your brand REmain fresh, new and inviting.

Companies are increasingly recognizing that today's turbulent times require nothing short of continual reinvention. Weathering today's storm isn't enough. You have got to REact.

REcreate your customer pledge, or your look. Add a word or a color, or change one. REplace old content. Use different copy, case studies, images; ones that REflect your company values.  REimagine your service; what if you performed-delivered-created things differently? Could it be better? Ask your staff; employees know how the company works and they are the closest to seeing its flaws or ways to improve. Use that knowledge to REinvent a new approach.

Pointing a critical or at least inquisitive eye at a company's image is bound to help it REvitalize, REjuvinate and REanimate.

REally.

QUALITY. It's the buzzword we all chase, for our businesses, for our clients or customers, and for our personal lives. But what is quality?

image

It is sometimes called 'excellence' or 'merit' or something else clever that the company is using to communicate they are "better than" somebody else. But it is usually a false chase. What quality is not is perfection. Too many minds get caught up in the 'it's got to be perfect to please, to work, to serve'. But it doesn't; because nothing is perfect.

But it can be free of mistakes; and it should be.

Namar on quality

So proofread that sales sheet three times over, then give it to someone else to proof, too. Double-check that list you are about to send to. Recheck those logos; are they the right color/size/shape? Is the copy saying what you really meant it to?...what you want it to?

Customers, clients, business partners may overlook an error; but they won't forget it. And repeating those errors is worse that being wrong, because it says you are being sloppy and uncaring about your relationship with them.

Quality is getting it as right as you can, consistently, confidently.

Go forth and make quality.

noerrors

Namarketinggears2 Social Media is an important part of every digital marketing playbook. But many marketers still struggle with using it effectively. Keeping up with the constant changes that evolve seemingly daily separate weak marketing from strong marketing. Those who are able to adapt quickly will be far more successful than those who don't.

How to leverage this newest medium? Here's a few tips:

  1. The highest engaged piece of content is an image. Stills and videos; graphics, art. The picture is worth many thousand words.
  2. Tell Don't sell. 80 percent of your marketing should be education for the audience; information that they're want to interact with and is not disruptive to their user experience. Only 20 percent of the content that you push out should be promotional.
  3. Have a call to action. After all, that is what you are there for, to get a reaction.

For 2013, and likely forever beyond, the keyword is optimize.

Their has always been a historically shaky relationship between IT and marketing, one that evolved  is out of necessity. Namarketing - New Things for 2013 While the two have to be on the same page to engage with consumers who are now more connected than ever, as marketing technology makes new breakthroughs, marketers need to take ownership of the new tools that they will be using. For IT to make solid technology recommendations, they must understand what matters to marketers, like customer experience and responsive communication. Marketers that are set up to efficiently use new technology will have an advantage over those stuck on outdated approaches.

It's a new year. Time to embrace new things.

Happy New Year.

 

 

Posted
Authorbob namar

A social enterprise is an internal social network. Think business version of Facebook where all colleagues are able to collaborate in real-time on documents and projects. It  is a truly collaborative environment to service and support customers and prospects and make better use of employee time. No more waiting for email or hoping someone will pick up the phone. It takes away the geographic boundaries and massively increases business efficiency.

Namarketer social enterprise

Made possible through cloud computing, businesses are extending this familiar model to establish a similar synergy between their employees, customers and business partners — thus, employing a new social enterprise.

The value of the social enterprise is simple. It allows customers to get closer to their favorite brands, offers them a voice when they have something to say (good or bad) and encourages them to make better buying decisions. For companies, it magnifies the voice of the customer, allows them to identify macro trends, improve their customer service, maximize sales through new channels and even improve employee satisfaction.

The social enterprise is a strategy, not simply a single system or idea. It impacts an organization’s culture, processes, systems and bottom line. Leveraging social media in the enterprise is new to many, but time is ticking for those who haven’t developed a social enterprise strategy — chances are competitors have a head start. The cost of not taking action could be high.

Posted
Authorbob namar

Namarketing: Habits, and Social MediaHabit: A learned response to a stimulus that has become automatic and routine, requiring little or no cognitive effort. Influence is the ability to cause action, and action is the ability to act within and across social and private networks.  The people we influence the most are our friends and acquaintances in our private networks: family, friends, neighbors, classmates, churches and clubs.

The sum total of our private and social networks allows us to influence others. In network, content and relationships, the quality of the network, content and relationships is the most important thing. The social media habit of sharing quality content is where we add value and trigger action.

New Habit: Adopt Social Media

Personal branding and the responsibility and power of social media is demonstrated every day. The line between public and private life is a blurred one. We begin a conversation at school or work, and it leaps onto a social network, and then into text-based comments.

In a world where awareness of connections and degrees of separation are openly discussed, where networks are consciously cultivated and nurtured, people are connecting us to their networks, content and relationships. Those who change their social habits to include the private networks will be those who have the power to listen, to act and to change.

Is the Content Void continually harassing you? 

Posted
Authorbob namar

Namar  and Namarketing Designed by England's Ministry of Information during WWII, the Keep Calm and Carry On poster has regained a place in the social fabric of the U.S. will versions representing everything from video games to dietary choices, appearing on tee shirts, key rings and, yes blogs. Never underestimate the power of a slogan.

Posted
Authorbob namar

1. What do you do? 2. What problem do you solve?

3. How is your product or service different?

4. Why should I care?

Describe your product or service in 140 characters or less, short enough for a tweet. Business professionals who stand out are the ones who deliver their pitch in less than a minute, but still make their points quite persuasively.

But it is not all about speed or brevity as the infographic below details quite nicely.

Content communications

Posted
Authorbob namar

Not every site needs an FAQ section, though if you’re selling something, providing a service, or giving information about a complex subject, an FAQ can make life much easier for your visitors.

There’s no “right” design method for delivering FAQs, but any way you shape it, FAQs are content, and content is king. You must be sure the content you’re presenting is efficient and effective.

Bad FAQs

  • have outdated information
  • answer nothing
  • are not organized
  • take the user through circular links
  • are recycled information from the sit

Good FAQs

  • answer questions your customers are really asking. If you have a customer service department, support center or call center, find out what questions they regularly answer.
  • include timely questions. Are you answering the same questions today as you were last year? Maybe there is an issue there to be fixed.
  • are straightforward in their answers and clear in their expression.
  • resist the temptation to use marketing-speak. Customers want answers to a question, not a commercial.
  • are professionally written. Nothing turns off  customers faster than getting a techno-geek answer when what they need is well-written, plain-language instructions.
  • are easy to find and search.
  • are referenced throughout your site.
Posted
Authorbob namar

AN advisory board helps you focus your editorial marketing content

Content Advice

One of the most underrated, but most valuable parts of any content generating groups is the editorial advisory board (EAB). Even if your business isn't content, if you publish anything tot the outside world (and if you don't you likely should) then you should have an EAB to help you with your content and your content calendar.

These boards are generally made up of the publication editors or your chief content office and a handful of internal (and occasionally external) experts on your business. Keeping the group small will make it exclusive, more desirable and sought-after. Their expertise could be about your product, your service or even you sales force.

Your content will improve immeasurable with input, advice and suggestion from these boards. Now, they do not direct your content, so you are not surrendering power or decision making; rather they provide subject matter ideas, comment on content that was produced, and provide opinion on topics or projects underway.  Often, the cross-talk generated between board members in your regularly scheduled meetings (important) will be valuable in itself.

Who to choose?  In  compiling a board, choose members from different disciplines, regions or business groups; you want a variety of opinion. Don't pick friends; you will learn more from agnostics or even those who not so friendly -- they will be more honest (and you may improve a relationship). Most importantly, they must commit to you schedule of meetings. It is pointless to have an adviser who never makes it to the meeting. Compensation is generally the honor of being asked, but can also include where appropriate a listing  within the publication or on a company website.

Start simple, but start now. The creation of a content marketing advisory board will completely revolutionize your content marketing and your marketing overall. You will see and hear about  things that you had never considered. Content ideas will flow like a river and direction and priority over content will reveal itself in a golden shaft of light.

Start emailing invitations.

_______________________________________________________________

February is Library Lovers Month

Perpetual calendar pictured available here.

One of the keys to creating a competitive advantage over your business competitors is to develop a strong marketing message. Some companies lose their way getting there. Some are inflexible, adhering to a concept or a theme that doesn't resonate, doesn't motivate or simply doesn't get attention. The message the committee developed last January in the seclusion of a meeting room may not be the one that will work today, in this economy, under today's circumstances. Change, evolution is a necessary part of the process.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of films such as Patton, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, said that producers create a picture three times. First they write it; then they shoot it; then they edit it.

Those changes can be very significant, changing the entire message of a story. Important films have often changed even the ending of the story.

The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 film directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,  switches the order of story sequences from the book so that the family ends up in a "good" camp provided by the government and events turn out relatively well. The ending of the book is far less optimistic.

In the film, The Natural, from the 1952 book by Bernard Malamud, Roy Hobbs is victorious and fulfilling his dreams of glory, hitting the game-winning, pennant-clinching homer. The novel shows a Hobbs who is crushed by his own hubris and must live as a forgotten man, striking out in his ultimate moment.

If filmmakers, the executives of arguably America's most successive industry, can change the message  of their film to accommodate their audience (clients), why shouldn't you?

Posted
Authorbob namar