Internet Marketing: Lessons Learned & Best Practices Part 4 – Content is King



By Hector Cisneros

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When we started our journey in content marketing, we never envisioned our blog would grow to 35,000-plus page views on average each month.  We wrote articles because we wanted consumers and businesses to understand the sea change that was taking place in Internet marketing.  From our humble beginning of one blog a week to the phenomenal following our blog has acquired, we’re amazed and grateful for what has transpired.

Understand that our blog’s growth is not some random, viral occurrence.  Its remarkable growth is based on excellence, consistency and science.  We measure everything we try and we keep the elements that works.  



To access and read the other three articles in this series, type the word "marketing" in the search bar at the above right of this page.
 
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There is no doubt that blogging is now becoming the new go-to medium on the Internet for printed content. More and more people are turning to blogs for their information.  There are numerous routes to access these blogs: search engine news services, social media, curated posts, RSS feeds, and of course, all the major news networks, reporters and columnists provide blogs.  Blogs also provide more credibility than search ads, banner ads, and in-column news ads.  Yet many businesses are slow to adopt this dynamic medium.  Whether it’s because it’s time-consuming or requires specific skills to pursue, nonetheless, there’s no doubt blogging will be in every business's future in one way or another.  This article provides the lessons learned and best practices we’ve developed in 15 years of writing articles and blogs.  More importantly, it covers the marketing secrets we’ve developed over the last five years during the explosion of information that blogging has provided.  So read on to learn Working the Web to Win’s  lessons and best practices about blogging.  

Blogging and Current Content

 

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If you’re not providing a unique, authoritative blog post/article each week, you’re missing out on a huge audience and tons of visitor traffic. Google and other search engines place a significant value on this kind of authoritative content.  More importantly, most people do, too.

Unique content is king.  A newly written, high-quality, relevant, timely and published article/blog post will outperform most curated blogs or other recycled articles both on your blog site and in your social nets.  This unique, authoritative content is the most valuable item you can post to your social networks.  It proves you‘re adding value to the world and that you’re sharing your knowledge and expertise, thus making you a credible source of information.  

You Need to Check out Blogger

 

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If you’re going to use a blogging platform, we recommend Google’s Blogger for three important reasons. First, it’s owned by Google, and we believe Google likes, understands, and knows how to index its own properties.  Secondly, Google indexes Blogger every day, which means your blog content will be entered into its search engines daily.  And third, it’s easy to use, has built in analytics, and has wide industry support for plugins and add-ons that work very well.

Long Copy is Better than Short

 

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For the longest time, I was told that people only read short blogs and articles.  However, my current research and that of others directly contradicts this idea. We’ve found that the key elements to getting your article read are its “quality,” “relevance,” “timeliness,” and “usefulness.”  Also, your ability to get your message out through various distribution channels plays an important role.  Articles of any length will be read and shared if they are of good quality.  If they contain all four of the previously mentioned elements, all the more so.  

I can tell you from our own experience that medium to long-length articles receive as many, if not more, reads than their shorter counterparts.  Especially if they are of an “evergreen” nature and provide a comprehensive view of a given subject.  I believe this occurs because long articles are like getting a free eBook without having to pay for it.  As a matter of fact, longer articles lend themselves to the production of a full sized eBook.  It doesn’t take long to produce enough content to create a full-sized eBook, if you consistently write high-quality articles in related subject areas over a years’ time. If you wrote 52 articles in a year (that’s one per week, you’d have enough content to create a book of 100 pages or more.  You can then use this book as a money maker on Amazon.com, or at  Barnes and Nobles, or as an incentive to get prospects to give you their contact information.


Consistency Wins in Audience/Follower Development

 

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Consistency is extremely important.  We’ve found that our clients who are able to consistently meet social media postings and blog publishing deadlines out-perform clients who don’t ― as much as four to tenfold.  When a client drags their feet on approving an article (that we’ve ghost written for them), or they try to micromanage the creative process by being too restrictive about the content, the production process comes to a stop.  This also stunts their audience growth and their fan base’s perception about the company’s consistency and credibility. Readers like regularity. 

If you like a product (a blog is a product) and you anti-up for it either by subscribing to it or just looking for it on Twitter, and then suddenly it doesn’t show up, the news medium itself loses credibility.  In other words, if I put money in a vending machine and nothing comes out, I’ll go to a different (better) machine.  Also, consider the fact that your blog articles are authoritative content for all your social networks.  No blog, no authoritative content.  And no authoritative content means you’re not adding much value to what your are posting.  Adding value increases your credibility in your clients’ and prospects’ eyes.  One last benefit of consistency, it facilitates building a larger library of published articles that will keep on working for you years into the future.  The larger your library, the more recyclable content you have to work with.

Principles Outperforms Trendiness 

 

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Evergreen articles will generally out-perform seasonal or non-evergreen articles at almost a five-to-one ratio.They’ll also keep producing page views more often, long after other the types of articles’ draw has faded away.

Clients who have a large number of evergreen articles in their library can take advantage of recycled posting in a big way.  The articles still need to be high-quality, timely and be relevant to their fan base.  Once a client reaches around 28 evergreen articles, they can begin recycling their previous articles in their social posts.  This will easily double the number of blog page views they’ll receive.  When their library of evergreen articles reaches 90+ posts, they can recycle them daily.  This will make a really big impact on their total page views and can produce 10 times the page views than their previous efforts.

Multimedia is the Smart Bomb 


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Combination campaigns that use lots of multimedia venues (at least five elements) coupled with lots of social posts, will more easily produce Page One organic position than any single, dual or triple element campaign. We design our campaigns to attack the competition’s weaknesses.  If they’re weak in video,  we produce more quality relevant videos.  If the completion is weak in social posts or blogging, we attack those venues.  However, we will always do this with a multimedia approach with at least four elements in play at once (assuming the client can afford four elements).

Email Marketing = Touch Marketing When Implemented the Right Way


Don’t neglect direct email marketing.  This is one of the best touch marketing elements you can engage in.  It’s very important that you don’t spam people by sending them unsolicited email.  It can not only get you branded as a spammer (which can carry hefty fines) it can also get your domain name blacklisted as well.  If you use email as an informational touch piece (i.e., an email newsletter) you can use it to build credibility and to remain top-of-mind with your customers and prospects.  Make sure that the bulk of your newsletters and email contain useful information, not just a sales pitch of your latest specials. Build trust by creating content that is 90 % informational and entertaining, with the last 10% including product and service specials.

Video Content Marketing Adds Sizzle to Your Blog

 

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Today, video is more important on the Web than ever.  YouTube has become a social network with billions of views per day.  Now that people can leave comments and share their videos, it has become more viral than ever before.  Many businesses are ignoring this venue because of the perceived time and cost it takes for quality video production.  This means it’s also a huge opportunity for many businesses to out-position their competition because many just aren’t posting video content.  A great way to create videos is to make short vignettes (90 seconds to three minutes long) that follow the content in your blogs.  This makes your video a “vlog” and a great add-in for your blog.  This type of cross pollination expands the effectiveness of your articles and also give you a new social network and medium to grow an audience with.

Facebook believes in the importance of video and has spent a considerable amount of time and money revving up their infrastructure to handle video.  Facebook’s video views are now starting to rival YouTube’s and surpass other video portals such as Vimeo.

Our "Social Slam Dunk" ... Check it Out. 

In this article, I provided many examples of the lessons learned and best practices we’ve discovered in our many years of Internet publishing, blogging and content marketing.  Using these best practices will help businesses avoid the most common mistakes and allow them to take advantages of tips and techniques that produce the most bang for the time invested.

You can find more than a dozen articles about Internet marketing and how it has evolved on our blog site by entering “Blogging” or “Content Marketing” in the search box, at the top of this blog. I also recommend reading the “How to Use Storytelling to Save the Day - 3 Secrets to Content Marketing Success,” “Blogging Secrets of the Pros,” and the “The Magic Formula for Blogging Success: a Training Series for Bloggers,” just to name a few.  Thanks for sharing your valuable time with us.To access the other articles in this four-part series, simply click on the following direct links: Part 1 – The Big Picture, Part 2 – Website and SEO Principles, Part 3 – The Social Media Dynamic, and Part 4 – Content is King.  Thanks for sharing your valuable time with us.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.



Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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3 comments:

  1. Very informative article about blogging; thanks so much for the expert information. I also really liked the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

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