8 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing May Fail

8 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing May Fail

Today, nearly every business is attempting to become a content marketer. The results aren’t pretty. The noise is deafening and while there’s plenty of great content, every industry is being bombarded with junk-cheap imitations of the idea of content marketing-create original, compelling, helpful content. You can trace the problem to a long list of problems.

Customers care about themselves, not you. Content marketing is not advertising. If it doesn’t deliver value, it has no value to your marketing.

In addition to content marketing, don’t forget online marketing sites. You can visit 40billion.com which is a fastest-growing network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders. They specialize in promotion of small businesses by broadcasting and promoting to its large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites for small businesses – including Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services such as promoted company listings were created for small entrepreneurs to tap into a growing, active network online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising. They also offer crowdfunding promotion and promote crowdfunders and their campaigns/projects.

Avoid Following 8 Mistakes:

1. Playing it safe

If you’re afraid to take chances with your content, you’ll travel down the middle of the road and become roadkill in the noisy media.

2. Perfection paralysis

You publish too infrequently for fear that everything has to be perfect.

3. Low standards

Too many marketers just contribute to the clutter and noise with their content. Aim high and aspire to be the premier voice of authority in your industry.

4. Talent shortage

Your content planning and creation team should comprise experienced strategists, writers, designers and producers. If you don’t have them, hire them.

5. Disconnected

Content marketing efforts backfire when they take place in silos, that is different departments and entities within your company fail to integrate efforts. You need to tell a consistent story.
Your content should provide clear direction regarding what you want the reader/viewer to do. Use a call to action that maps to your marketing objectives-every time.

6. Fire. Ready. Aim.

Enormous problem: marketers think channel before strategy. Think about the problem you are solving for your customer. Establish where your customer is, what they’re doing there and create your content accordingly.

7. Unbelievers

If your C-suite, fellow marketers, or peers don’t faithfully join the party, you’re doomed.

8. Too broad

Content marketing is niche marketing. You’ll fail trying to be the expert in everything or an overly broad subject. Focus.

About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable digital marketing and social media promotion, and show off your creations to the world. Awarded Best Small Business Marketing Platform by US Business News!

Source: http://www.40billion.com/post/71576

Why Link Building Should Still Be An SEO Priority In 2019

The Moz update on March 5 this year was the proverbial straw that broke GoodFirms’ back.

GoodFirms’ Domain Rankings had gone down, not like spiraling down, but by a few notches – from 48 to 44, and we knew we had to pull the plug on low-quality content activities such as guest posting on lower DAs, half-baked blogs and so on.

For starters, Google, of the many factors involved, uses link quality to determine the authority and relevancy of your site. For example, if Jeffbullas.com is linking one of their articles to GoodFirms’ research papers, or blogs, it means the former is passing link juice to the latter, which is incredibly valuable in Google’s eyes. By the same token, if our blog posts are linking to other top sites articles that are also considered a good thing from Google’s point of view.

So, when things went wrong, we knew we had to re-align our link building activities in keeping with Google’s algorithm. For instance, we had shelved guest blogging on top sites for some time now because it had become a huge pain in our neck. But then, when our DA took a beating at the hands of grouchy Google, we knew, in our mind, that partly our DA crises could be related to going slow on generating high-quality content, whether it was in terms of guest blogs, research papers, in-house blogs and more.

As it turns out, all these strategies help generate quality inbound links.

So, here we go, a bunch of link building tactics we are already using to fire up your link building activities in 2019.

#1. Be game to guest blog

I am the CEO of a Guest Posting Corporation.

Wait! Scratch that!

I am the President of a Guest Posting Corporation.

Ah! Just kidding guys!

But then, on a serious note, I keep using these pseudo profiles to pep myself up and to be on my toes, simply because guest posting is so, so challenging.

Because you pitch. And you pitch. And you pitch over and over again until a few get an affirmative nod.

The point I am drawing home is, though darn difficult, Guest Posting is still a big deal.  So, if you are thinking to take your eyes off the guest posting ball this year (as we did this year) all I can say is: No. Don’t. C’mon no one digs their own grave.

GoodFirms has been milking this strategy for a couple of years now, and it has helped improve our Domain Authority like never before.

To cut to the chase: Guest Posting, which is one form of our link building strategy, is still very much relevant in 2019.

However, as I mentioned above, you need to target only good quality sites – no carpet bombing in terms of your email pitches.

According to an article How to Do Guest Blogging for Natural Looking Link Building on Search Engine Journal, you could take the guesswork out of guest posting by factoring in the following elements.

Guesswork out of guest posting for link building in 2019

Further, you could also find those sites that are into content syndication with other top sites. For instance, JeffBullas.com syndicates content with Business2Community. So, there are chances that your content gets shared on Business2Community as well if you write for Jeff.

In summary:

  • There are content syndication benefits.
  • It’s a scalable form of guest posting.
  • You can take advantage of high-quality content multiple times.
  • It gives you an edge over the competition.

#2. Conduct a thorough post-mortem of competitors’ backlinks

Competitor’s backlinks act as an excellent sounding board. Seriously! Because dissecting those backlinks will help map out your backlinking strategy.

So, no matter what, undertake this exercise first and foremost: Conduct a link audit of competitor sites by Googling top competitors that offer the same or similar products and services as you.

Once you have identified your top competitors, add them to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, or Ahrefs or the SEMrush tool, to get a complete picture of your competitor’s backlinking profile.

Moz open site explorer for link building in 2019

Then export the competitors’ backlink details to a spreadsheet to start an extensive audit in terms of their domain authority, external followed links, internal followed links, and specifically the links that fall in the below category:

  • Links from top URLs
  • Dead links

Links with anchor text opens various backlink opportunities such as:

  • Resource pages
  • Directories
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Citations
  • Guest posts

The new Moz feature called “Link Intersect” will help you investigate those sites that link to your competitors, but not to you. This will help you focus your efforts, particularly, on those sites that you are still to crack.

Moz Link Intersect for link building in 2019

What’s more, you can even analyze a client’s content based on their shares, which will give you an idea as to what content works best in terms of audience engagement.

The tool can also be used to find competitor’s Top Pages based on their backlink profile and social engagement. This will give you a fair idea as to what they are doing right in their content marketing strategy.

Moz Top Pages for link building in 2019

The other method you could use is to place top keywords in the Ahrefs ‘Batch Analysis’ to find the backlink sources of the top 200 URLs.

For instance, if you are selling a unique product such as a Spy Camera Lighter – designed for detectives and their like, you may also want to check out other sites that talk about similar spying instruments.

You could use keywords such as security sites or gadget review sites in ‘Batch Analysis’ to fetch links from different sites that refer to this product.

Further, you could produce a backlink profile of the highest authority, trusted sites by placing an Ahrefs filter ‘one link per domain’ to filter out any spammy links.

Once you have the spreadsheet containing the highest authority websites, you could reach out to them for guest posting based on their readership.

Additionally, you could use a simple search such as “author name” inurl: author” to find industry-leading authors on Google and the sites they have got their guest posts published.

#3. Turn brand love into links

If you still haven’t worked on this strategy, it’s time to pull up your socks.

That is to keep your eyes open for online brand mentions.

Why? Because it’s an effective strategy for building links and reputation.

Benefits of turning online brand mentions into links:

  • Easy link generation
  • Associating with communities interested in your brand

If you think about it a little, you will know that this is the best thing that could happen to your brand as you won’t have to put in any kind of hard work, literally, in generating these links.

It could be some sponsored event posting on Instagram or a sports event posted on Facebook, you could just ask the people involved to insert a link for your brand name.

For monitoring brand mentions, you could use tools such as Google Alerts to receive daily alerts on your brand mentions.

Turn simple brand mentions into authority increasing backlinks.

#4. Deliver evergreen content on blogs

It goes without saying: News content has a shorter shelf life. So, focus on creating evergreen content that will always remain useful and relevant to the audience and might generate inbound links for you.

It could be in the form of:

  • How-to posts
  • Ebooks
  • Lists

Don’t forget to come up with a compelling, but SEO optimized title, to attract lots of clicks.

#5. Conduct expert roundup posts

Our website has been trying to build content around expert roundups and it’s working. Recently, we spoke to 10 industry leading experts on how AI and Machine Learning are greasing the PPC campaign wheels, and the results were quite extraordinary. Shares on LinkedIn, for this post, increased significantly. This is because most of the marketers tend to share and even link back to your article.

Expert round up post for link building in 2019

Wrapping up

There you go! Five ways to generate quality links for your brand.

Link building is still important from an SEO perspective in 2019. In fact, high-quality backlinks are the master key to ace organic traffic.

But since every second marketer you meet is trying to do the same it’s gonna be one hell of a job for you to get quality backlinks through guest posts and more. So roll up your sleeves and be prepared to work for it.

Guest author: This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with GoodFirms, a review and research platform for eCommerce development companies, digital marketing companies among many others.  I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sunshine sons.  

Source: Why Link Building Should Still Be An SEO Priority In 2019

Transform Your Content Marketing Program with a Message Architecture – Katie Del Angel

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It’s necessary for content marketing teams to constantly evaluate where they’re at. From measuring performance KPIs to the strategic trajectory, it’s important to ensure that your programs are aligned and on-track for success.

One important aspect that may not be on your radar to assess? Your message architecture.

A message architecture is a prioritized set of communication goals to guide team efforts across the organization. Generally, it originates at the corporate marketing level with input from key, cross-functional stakeholders. For global content teams, it can – and should – serve as a North Star to ensure that all the content you produce supports your company’s overarching goals.

More than likely, your brand may not yet have a message architecture to evaluate. Yet, there’s never a bad time to establish a message architecture, and it’s never too late. So why not now?

Beyond content marketing, a message architecture can help teams guide decisions around everything from site structure and taxonomy to product design and partnerships. Arming your teams with a hierarchy of communication goals ensures everything you “say,” regardless of channel, conveys a unified message.

Why your team needs a message architecture ASAP

At this year’s ThinkContent 2018 conference, the idea of amplifying content efforts with integrated planning and collaborative tools was a frequent focus. One system to unify workflows and marketing assets across content, social media, PR, design, and/or product teams may seem like the holy grail of efficient collaboration we’ve all been waiting for, but we can’t forget the fundamental rule of successful content marketing programs:

Marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are five times more likely to succeed.

Although many marketing teams typically include some variation of voice and tone guidelines within their content marketing strategy, a message architecture takes this one step further: While voice and tone guides help us decide how to say things, a message architecture guides what we say. In particular, what we say about who our brand is and what we care about. And when it comes to crafting impactful content, knowing what your brand needs to say is the first step.

What a message architecture looks like

A message architecture summarizes a brand’s prioritized communication goals in a short list of attributes and phrases. This should be part of your documented content strategy to be shared among teams – which is especially useful when new members join or projects begin.

For example, Facebook might have a message architecture that looks something like this:

Considerate

Proactively transparent

Thoughtful and helpful

Friendly

Familiar, occasionally playful

Welcoming, community-oriented

Creative

Pioneering

Innovative, yet consistent

Open to user feedback

Image result for Content Marketing Program

We can see these attributes in everything from Facebook’s new feature announcements to privacy update notices to error messages. Although they never say “we do this because we are considerate,” it’s evident that Facebook prioritizes that characteristic in the way it communicates with users on a daily basis.

A quick note about what a message architecture is NOT

The concept of a message architecture stems from the content strategy discipline. Author and strategist Margot Bloomstein was an early proponent of the term in her book “Content Strategy at Work,” sharing advice for building a message architecture to guide digital content initiatives like website redesigns. As Bloomstein underscored in her book, a message architecture differs from a mission statement (which is more about what we aim to achieve as a company) and a vision statement (which establishes where we are heading) because it is both actionable and specific to communication. (These are also the primary distinguishing factors between a message architecture versus a brand personality.)

A message architecture is also not a glossary for the actual words we will use in content or marketing copy. Rather, your message architecture is a reference point for cross-functional, internal teams to decide what to communicate.

Although the message architecture isn’t a glossary, the exercise of developing one will help your teams define a shared vocabulary. And that’s at least half of the magic!

How to establish a message architecture

Option 1: Card sort approach

A 45-60 minute card sort exercise is a great way to align internal stakeholders – from both within and outside of marketing –  around a shared vocabulary, spurring conversation around a visual hierarchy of characteristics.

Step 1: Gather your words

You’ll want to compile a list of 50-100 adjectives to guide the conversation in your workshop.

In her book, Bloomstein shares an excellent list of words to use as a starting point. You can find the list in an excerpt of “Content Strategy at Work” online. She also sells a set of premade cards.

I typically make my own set by hand-picking the more relevant words from Bloomstein’s list, and supplementing with tailored additions for my client’s industry. I compile them in a Google spreadsheet, then write each word on its own index card.

Step 2: Invite your stakeholders

Workshops tend to go much smoother when everyone has a moment to digest the instructions beforehand, so it’s ideal to send an email to stakeholders explaining the workshop well in advance. (A note on timing: As most people tend not to consider themselves “word people,” I find that this workshop is best at the beginning of the week when minds are fresh and ambition is high.)

I also share the adjective list and welcome stakeholders to add their own ideas. This saves time in explaining when you get everyone together, and also makes the team feel more involved right off the bat.

Step 3: Sort your cards

Bring your stakeholders into a room (be sure to have a long table and plenty of space to move) and begin by asking the team to sort the index cards into three distinct buckets:

  • Who We Are NOT
  • Who We Are (Today)
  • Who We Want To Be (in two years, five years, etc. depending on how agile your organization is)

Take a few minutes to review outliers or words that caused dissent at the end of this round, asking the team to discuss and articulate presumptions or bias about words. For instance, does “innovative” make one member crinkle their nose in disdain, conjuring images of aggressively sleek tech startups, while another envisions a premium, industry-leading enterprise?

After documenting the “NOT” pile (I usually snap a picture and make notes), ask the team to focus its attention on weeding out any aspects of their brand “TODAY” that they may want to shed or outgrow down the line. Document, then clear away anything that isn’t part of “Who We Want To Be.”

Step 4: Group and prioritize

Although many adjectives may appear to be similar, this is the time to dig into nuances and preferences. For instance, maybe the brand is both “approachable” and “friendly,” but really wants to lean into being proactively “friendly.”

Typically, I encourage teams to group affinities like this, stacking one directly on top of the other to show preference and priority within buckets.

Once these buckets are defined, it’s time to prioritize the buckets, themselves. For instance, one client chose to group characteristics by the following themes:

  • Words that describe our product
  • How our community sees us
  • How our customers see us
  • Who we are at our core

Depending on the organization or industry, each bucket may get prioritized higher or lower. InVision, a design software company, for example, may place the most emphasis on the product – which then influences how the community views the company.

Step 5: Find affinities and document

Now is the time to sort through notes and pictures from the workshop. Remembering that the message architecture is not a glossary, find clear and concise ways to define your “buckets.” Check out the Facebook example above for inspiration.

2. Spectrum shortcut approach

This 10-15 minute exercise is a good way to visualize and verbalize priorities. This is a quick hack of the familiar brand personality spectrum to help us establish a message hierarchy. Because there is less opportunity to find nuance in this exercise, this is good for brands that already have a good idea about who they are and where they’re going.

Step 1: Share the spectrum

Ideally, this speedy exercise can happen during a project kickoff or another in-person meeting. If so, post the “Brand Personality Spectrum” on a whiteboard or using large (8×6 inch) Post-It notes.

Brand-Personality-Spectrum-1.jpg

If you are unable to do this in person, you can email the image to stakeholders separately, including instructions from Step 2.

Step 2: Mark your priorities

Once the spectrum is up, give each stakeholder two different-colored Post-Its or sticky dots per row. (For example, each participant would receive one pink and one yellow Post-It for “Personable and friendly” vs. “Corporate, professional,” another pair of pink and yellow for the “Spontaneous…” row, and so on.)

Ask each stakeholder to place the first color (say, pink) on each row where they believe the organization’s priority is TODAY. Then, ask them to place the second color (yellow) where they believe the organization’s priority can or should evolve to in the future. Each participant should contribute two colored markers for each row.

Take a moment to discuss here if there are obvious discrepancies or large leaps to uncover any assumptions or bias.

(If this is being done virtually, you will need to do a bit of extra legwork to follow up. A video conference call would be a great way to share findings and bring the conversation into the open.)

Step 3: Determine priority

Finally, ask each stakeholder to rank each row in terms of significance. You can do this by handing each participant a stack of Post-Its labeled 1-6, or by a color-coded tallying system on the whiteboard.

Again, this is a good opportunity to dig into the “Why” for each person, identify nuances, and find alignment.

Step 4: Document

As in the first approach, your output should look something similar to the Facebook example: concise, descriptive, and unique. (Because you won’t have a list of adjectives to get you going, you may need to be a little creative. Tap into the discussions you’ve heard to dig beyond the brand spectrum surface.)

Bringing the message architecture into your content marketing program

Once you’ve established a message architecture your organization can agree on, it’s time to socialize and fully incorporate it into your content marketing strategy. A few things you should do next:

  • Make sure to document the message architecture.
  • Update your content marketing strategy with the message architecture and ensure that all team members are aligned.
  • Explain what it is (and is not!).
  • Encourage your team to use this as a validation tool at the beginning of content planning cycles to 1. Ensure all content meets at least one stated communication goal and 2. Help prioritize scheduling or quantity of content in a certain focus area.
  • Take a look at your content hub. Is the UX supportive of your message hierarchy? Use the message architecture to consider how navigation, taxonomy, and overall layout can be improved to underscore your goals.
  • Share the message architecture with new team members and at the start of new projects, to maintain consistency.

When you know what your team really wants to communicate, it becomes that much easier to ensure you’re working toward the same goals – and measure success as you grow.

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