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

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

Why is it that the best results for email are seen in the p.m., but the vast majority are sent in a.m.? Performance is everything. As a marketer, when you launch an email campaign, you try to focus on all the elements that could make it a success--or a failure: subject line. length, offer, creativity, images, and so on. One factor that usually gets the most attention is: When do we send?

email as social media

Conventional wisdom has long held that early in the day, when people are fresh and at work, is the best for performance (open rates and clickthroughs). But new research from Experian shows that while a.m. is by far the most popular time to send out that email, p.m. is better in terms of performance--far better. While performance will obvious vary by industry and other factors, in general, later--much later--is better. Between 8 p.m. and midnight, the open rate is more than 30% higher; and the clickthrough rate is almost 80% higher than their early-to-rise counterparts.

The reason? While open for debate, it seems rather straightforward that people have more time in the evening, to not only to spend time online, but to engage. The Internet, like a good nightclub, is a place to go for action after dark.

Namarketeers, take note.

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.

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

"We really felt that the tomato is the hero of ketchup, and it was the right time to make the switch on our label," -- Noel Geoffrey, director of ketchup for Pittsburgh-based Heinz. Namarketing branding brand

After more than 110 years, H.J. Heinz Co. gave the tomato top billing on its namesake ketchup, bumping the pickle from the label of one of America's most iconic brands. Founder H.J. Heinz used a "pickle pin" to attract attention to his booth at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. The pins were popular, and the branding stuck.

Along with the "Grown not made" tagline, the new branding set Heinz apart from the growing threat from private-label brands, which often cost less, as consumers look to save on their food costs.

Never compete on price because, (all together now): brand beats pricing.

Before the Renaissance, the letter J had been merely a glyph variant of I. After the Renaissance, it became conventional to treat I as a vowel, and J and as a consonant. Thus, the Latin "gesta" for "deeds," turned to "geste" in Old French, "to carry, behave, act, perform, and became the root for words such as con-gest-ion, in-di-gest-ion, sug-gest, re-gist-er, belli-ger-ent, con-ger-ies, and ex-ag-ger-ate.

The letter J was officially set apart from I in the 16th century; probably first been used by Petrus Ramus, a French humanist philosopher, logician, and educational reformer, known for being an outspoken critic of the Aristotelian philosophy which dominated European universities at that time. He advocated a more natural approach to logic which would conform to the way in which the human mind actually approaches the world around it, and made a distinction between logic and rhetoric.

Ramus objected to the way in which young students were made to memorize meaningless facts and rules of logic, and set out to reform the curriculum of the faculty of the arts into one that would teach students to use reason to advance their knowledge. He advocated the “freedom to philosophize,” maintaining that the use of reason would eventually lead a person to discover the truth.By emphasising the central importance of mathematics and by insisting on the application of scientific theory to practical problem solving, Ramus helped to formulate the quest for operational knowledge of nature that marks the Scientific Revolution.

Science and math have not only advanced the world politically and socially, but economically as well.  This is no more evident that with the recent introduction of Microsoft's gesture controlled advertising

Lynx, Toyota and Samsung are the first brands to take advantage of Microsoft’s “game-changing” NUads platform for Xbox that uses Kinect gesture control to make ads interactive.  The ads will appear on Xbox Live this autumn.

Lynx

Xbox says the NUads platform “transforms standard TV ads into engaging experiences” by allowing users to use the voice and gesture controls on Xbox 360 to control the ads.

Unilever will adapt its Lynx brand’s cops and robbers themed ad for Lynx Attract - its first fragrance for women - to ask users whether the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers can then answer yes or no using Kinect’s gesture controls.

Toyota will use its “Reinvented” ad that ran during the 2012 Superbowl to ask viewers what they would like to reinvent. The car marque then plans to use the feedback from users to inform the direction of future campaigns.

Gesture controlled ads deliver the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing - engagement. Brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time, helping establish a dialogue with consumers.

Gesture and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. No jest.

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.

It's the time of year for Top Ten Lists. Here's ten of the most interesting ones:

Forbes list starts with autos in the $1 million range.

10. Top Ten Most Expensive Cars for 2012. The Forbes list starts with autos in the $1 million range.

barranquilla-carnaval-columbia

9. Top Ten World Carnivals of 2012. Ancient hedonistic feasts have become modern version of drinking, dancing, and dressing up!

Byron Wein's endlessly entertaining year end forecasts,

8. Top Ten Surprises for 2012. Byron Wein's endlessly entertaining year-end forecasts,

Quantum Conundrum is the latest project of Kim Swift, co-creator of the classic PC puzzle game Portal. Like Portal,

7. Top Ten Original Video Games for 2012. Quantum Conundrum is by the creator of puzzle game Portal.

Commodities, the recession and President Obama's future.

6. Top Ten Market Predictions for 2012. Commodities, the recession and President Obama's future.

food and drink trends

5. Top Ten Food and Drink Trends for 2012. Trends in food and drink from the Ingredients Network.

bad music

4. Top Ten Worst Albums of 2012. Music you won't want to hear...or will you?

privacy and security

3. Top Ten Privacy Trends for 2012.   Privacy and security professionals look into the crystal-ball for 2012.

2. Top Ten Tech Trends for 2012. Nokia has a prototype of a flexible screen.

Space tourism is a job that will be hot in the next several years.

1. Top Ten Hot Careers of Tomorrow to Prepare for in 2012. Space tourism is a job that will be hot in the next several years.
Posted
Authorbob namar

Christmas is a season where people are predisposed to spending and therefore an excellent marketing opportunity for most businesses. And the time to plan your Christmas marketing campaign may be right now. Yes...for next year... Take some notes on what impressed, what impacted and what cut through to you this season and file it away for consideration when you plan your campaign in the late summer.

Developing a strategic marketing campaign to reach your target market, engage with them, and achieve your goals is a lot more difficult.

Your Advantage: Planning three months in advance, yes in the summer time, is the best way to kick off an amazing, results-driven Christmas campaign.

But, first you need to figure out what your objectives are, how you are going to measure your success and who you want to reach out to. Then you will need to develop deadlines to make sure you campaign achieves everything you wanted it to. After all that "shopping," you'll finally be able to relax and unwrap the gift you are giving yourself.

Merry Christmas.

Posted
Authorbob namar

Your business card is a marketing tool Birds of a feather will gather together. 

Centuries ago , English clergyman and scholar Thomas Burton studied and wrote about the nature of man, as well as science, history, politics... and social reform. His insight into social behavior--how beings of a like kind gather--has borne fruit in today's social media revolution.

A shorter time ago, the president of the company I was consulting for called his staff together to announce some changes to help the business. Among the items he presented was a plan to give everyone a business card. At that time, only employees who were in a sales position or had vendor relationships were given the little deck of 50-100 cards with their name on them. But this initiative would put business cards in the hands of everyone -- admins, designers, assistants, accounting personnel, production staff... everyone!

Why? He explained he wanted all employees to be ambassadors for the company. Even in social settings, he wanted everyone to be proud (and able) to show and share the brand with their own card. "You should be proud of where you work and the business should be proud of all of you," he said. "It's a small cost to give everyone cards," I remember him saying "and the return can be enormous."

His vision was for each one of his team to carry the brand out into the real world. He wanted to take advantage of their social networks to spread the name, and the reputation, of the firm. It was a great idea. Simple to explain and understand, cheap to execute and easy to implement. And it created buzz throughout the company as people felt empowered and validated by this simplest of measures.

Then it all crashed.

The business manager would not approve the expense. There was not a proper business case for an expenditure on business cards for people who had no business purpose to have business cards.

And like that, it was over. Get back to work. Opportunity avoided.

Thomas Burton had another famous saying that applies: Penny wise and pound foolish.

Your Advantage: Your employees. While some envision the growth for business that social behavior could bring, there is always skepticism about expenses associated with "experiments", just as there is an unwillingness to allow all employees to speak for the brand. FLASH: They already do.

Epilogue: I find it interesting that today, a couple of decades after my experience, we are on the verge of a new paradigm, total employee engagement, or what IBM is calling social business.

Posted
Authorbob namar