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Making Sure Your Content Distribution Strategy Connects at the Right Time and Place – Kyle Harper

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In the same way that each person has a unique fingerprint, every brand seems to have their own complex publishing workflow. Your mix of ideation, editorial creation, and distribution sets you apart from any other—and your audience notices. For all the work involved in bringing even a simple blog post to a page, marketers want to know that their content will actually be seen……

Read more: https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/marketing/making-sure-your-content-distribution-strategy-connects-at-the-right-time-and-place/

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Visual Content Marketing: Why It Matters and How It Differs from Content Writing – Aby Nicole League

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Content is king in digital marketing, with written words still ruling today. But a content marketing trend has become so mainstream it’s hard to ignore its value: visual content.

No wonder Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social networks worldwide. Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest are also catching up. Visual elements like images and videos dominate these social media channels, with some of them getting viral.

All-text-without-visuals is a thing of the past—visuals reign in content marketing nowadays. For your campaigns to stay relevant to the times and your audience’s ever-changing needs, beef them up with the right mix of text and visuals.

Why You Need a Visual Content Strategy

Let’s define first what it means to integrate visuals into a content marketing strategy.

In visual content marketing, you use images, videos, infographics, memes, or other types of visual content (may be accompanied by informative or inspirational text) for your marketing campaigns. Visuals come in an appealing, engaging format to entice people to visit your website, know your brand better, or buy your product or service.

Content marketing becomes successful with the use of well-designed visuals. According to PR Daily, visual content gets viewed 94% times more than content without any visuals.

Marketers see the valuable impact of visual content on growing their business. In the 2018 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study, B2C marketers chose pre-produced videos (45%) and illustrations or photos (29%) as among the most effective content marketing types for meeting their company’s specific goals.

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In the future, visual content will still be the bread and butter of both B2C and B2B content marketing campaigns. Marketers plan to use more pre-recorded videos (77%), images (68%), and live videos (63%), according to a 2018 Social Media Examiner report.

If your peers in the digital marketing industry can do it, so can you. Here are four specific ways a visual content strategy can help you achieve your business objectives.

  1. Raising brand awareness

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners— they can retain information better with images, videos, and other visuals than with written words.

Additionally, the Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2018 survey found that 83% of consumers who have watched a branded video would consider sharing it with their friends. More shares mean more visibility for your brand.

Want your audience to remember your brand? Use visual content to increase your brand recognition and recall. For one, you can put a watermark of your brand logo in all the visual assets you use online. When an image gets viral, people can easily associate that with your brand.

Check your company website or e-commerce site, as well as your landing pages. Are they just static? Make your brand easier to remember by updating them with compelling photos, videos, and other visuals. Just don’t overdo it.

  1. Increasing website traffic

By 2021, videos will account for 82% of all consumer Internet traffic worldwide, based on the latest forecast by the Cisco Visual Networking Index.

Video production costs a lot of money, but it’s a necessary investment to attract more people to your website. If you hesitate to make videos a part of your content marketing strategy due to budget concerns, consider how much your business will lose in terms of website traffic. Videos have been the rage these days—embrace it.

  1. Engaging customers through visual storytelling

Adding visuals to written content makes your content marketing campaigns more interesting and keeps your audience engaged. Rather than having long blocks of text, for instance, several images that break them up makes your content easier for people to skim and digest.

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According to BuzzSumo data, Facebook posts with images had 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Meanwhile, including images to Twitter updates resulted in 150% more retweets than plain text updates.

Visual content also helps you to keep your site visitors on your landing page. This raises the click-through rates to other parts of your website and the visitor’s engagement with your brand.

Why do people prefer to engage with visual content? With just an image that resonates with your audience, you can elicit joy, sadness, shock, fear or anger. That’s how powerful visual storytelling is.

  1. Improving conversion rates

Ultimately, higher brand awareness, site traffic, and customer engagement from a successful visual content marketing strategy can all lead to increased lead generation and sales.

Video content, for example, is a key driver in the buyer’s journey. The 2018 Wyzowl Video Marketing Statistics Report notes that video has become “a decisive factor” that convinces consumers to purchase or download a product or piece of software.

The report found that a brand’s video influences 81% of viewers to buy a product or service. Also, 95% of people learn more about a product or service by watching an explainer video.

How is Visual Content Marketing Different from Content Writing?

Visual content creation and content writing aren’t mutually exclusive. Together with content planning and promotion, these critical parts make up the content marketing process.

Nevertheless, it helps to know the differences between the two types of content, so you can better strategize your campaigns.

  1. Visual content gets your message across faster

The human brain processes visuals in its visual cortex, a less busy and faster part that’s separate from the busier section that processes words. This is why it’s faster and easier to understand, for instance, a cooking instruction through a video rather than text.

  1. Visuals are easier to remember

Images, videos, and other visuals are processed in the brain’s long-term memory, while words are processed in the short-term memory. When people read text-based information, only 10% to 20% of it gets retained. Add a picture to a written information, and people will recall 65% of it.

  1. Creating visuals is harder than content writing, but not as hard as you think it is

It takes a specialized skill set to produce a stunning infographic or educational video. But even if you’re not a designer, you can still create great visuals. A lot of online visual content marketing tools can help you easily edit images, create memes, and animated GIFs, convert PowerPoint slides to video files, and more.

  1. They’re suitable for different business-customer relationships

Should you use more text or more visuals in your content marketing campaigns? It depends on whether you’re marketing to consumers or to other businesses.

B2C marketers prefer visual content over textual content. The 2018 B2C Content Marketing Report shows that most B2C marketers use pre-produced videos (76%), illustrations or photos (67%), and infographics (59%).

On the other hand, B2B marketers use text-based content more than their B2C counterparts do. According to the 2018 B2B report, B2B marketers use case studies (73%) and ebooks or white papers (71%). Additionally, most B2B marketers said ebooks or white papers (62%) and case studies (47%) were the most effective content marketing type.

Moreover, blogging is more important to B2B (36%) than B2C (22%) marketing, found a recent study by the Social Media Examiner. Meanwhile, more B2C marketers (36%) see the importance of visual content than B2B marketers (25%). 

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10 Easy Ways to Generate Content for New Blog

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reating shareable and exciting content is essential for those who desire to draw as many readers to their blog as possible.

And, despite the amount of enthusiasm you might have, producing unique and engaging content every week is not an easy thing to do. We work in a world filled with distractions that keep us from maintaining clarity and purpose.

Clarity of purpose is essential for a new blog. To void wasting vast amounts of time on content that misses the mark with your audience, you need to have a strategy for sourcing your material.

Where should your ideas come from? Who will you listen to generate ideas that are focused on your business or blog goals?

Here are ten practical ways to come up with new content ideas and maintain the focus of your blog writing:

1. Be Active on Reddit

From understanding reading habits to discovering “trending” hot topics, on Reddit, you will come across a variety of informative resources.

Being one of the most visited platforms now on the internet, you can use the site as your idea sourcing tool. And as long as you appeal to Reddit users, you will bring more than enough traffic to your blog.

2. See what your Competition is Doing

It’s important to browse through blog sites perhaps a bit more successful than yours and see what other writers are doing, which you might not.

Checking the competition and finding inspiration in their work will often pay off. It may be that you can produce something on the same topic but in greater depth or you may provide a compelling rebuttal to your competitors content.

The important thing is to do more than simply ape their ideas or mimic their work. Their work should be a springboard for innovation, not an opportunity for plagiarism.

Also Read: 8 Simple Tips to Improve Your Business’ Blog

3. Make use of  Online Tools

Bloggers today have the advantage of accessing various online writing tools.

From UberSuggest, which you can use for keyword research to HubSpot’s blog topic generator, try out a few of these systems and see how they can help you move past your writer’s block.

4. Join Online Groups

From Facebook to LinkedIn, you will find plenty of groups to join on the web, which focuses on different niche topics, and the discussions held there can help you in creating new blog content.

Find groups in your niche – or a parallel niche – that are talking about the subjects you want to engage with on your blog. Avoid joining too many groups. Remember, the goal at this point is the development of a content calendar, not the making of 150 new friends (yet).

5. Read Comment Sections

Whether it’s on your website or someone else’s platform, never skip the comment section, because you can find there more ideas than you would expect.

You can create worthwhile content through what people are suggesting or talking about in the comments.

6. Go to Events

Being an active person who engages in all sorts of activities will enable you to find topics easier and to feed your creativity.

Conferences and trade shows are the types of events that you should focus on, and the speakers that are likely to inspire you.

Also Read: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Business Blog

7. Be your Biggest Fan

If the topic you are writing about bores you, then the odds are it will bore your readers to.

For the best content creation process, you should simultaneously be your biggest fan and critic, so read your articles carefully, and make sure they are appealing to you.

Effective writing means writing in a way most natural to you. Don’t be a mimic. Go with your natural writing style, your natural talent for humour, stats, facts and stories.

And, if your temperament doesn’t sync with the blog’s brand or business aims, hire someone whose writing more closely reflects your brand or blog image.

8. Repurpose old Content

Work through your site and see which articles were the most popular among visitors. You can always reprise old content and give a topic you have already written about (as long as it has appealed to users) a new life.

Part of repurposing your content should include ways to make existing content even better. Look for ways you can improve your blog and strengthen existing content – as well as transform it into new shareable media.

9. Social Media

Whether it’s following popular hashtags on Instagram or asking your followers questions, Social Media channels are perfect for picking up on new ideas.

Social Media enables you to gather data quickly on what online readers are mostly interested, how they feel, react and engage with online content.

Social media is one of the most straightforward ways to observe your target audience in their natural habitat and learn what makes them tick.

10. Brainstorming

Sometimes, the best ideas are only one thought away; you simply need to make the most out of brainstorming. It may mean gathering with friends, family or co-workers and asking them to help you generate ideas.

For others, brainstorming might yield the best results when you pull yourself away from the buzz and hubbub of life and sit by yourself – watching the commotion pass. Find a quiet, peaceful location that inspires you, lay back, and leave your thoughts to run freely, and a fantastic blog concept might just naturally come to you.

Developing a content calendar with ideas that are going to resonate with users is not always easy to do. It is especially true when we are just starting out. The key is to narrow down your goals and thereby narrow down the number of possible content ideas.

Decide why you’re blogging and what you hope to achieve – and be willing to bin anything that doesn’t further those goals and bring you closer to your ultimate aim. Working through these simple ideas is one way to bring your focus in and streamline the content creation process.

All images created by David Trounce using Canva. CC0 license, 2018.

 

David Trounce

David is a business consultant and writer with a background in publishing and marketing. David writes about customer relations, digital marketing and management for small business.

What Is Content Planning? How It Differs from Content Strategy

If you use the words “planning” and “strategy” interchangeably, it’s probably time to stop. Especially if the word “content” comes before them.

We’re not exactly breaking news here: the world of content marketing is more complex and wide-reaching than ever before. It’s also more ingrained. Joe Pulizzi has argued that in 10 years, content marketing will just be marketing, and one could make a good case we’re close to that point already.

A well constructed content strategy is critical for attracting customers and growing your brand. But you’ll never execute one without a structured and organized content plan, fueled by a sustainable workflow and consistent process.

Let’s explore the key distinctions between content strategy and content planning and how to connect them for harmonious results.

What is Content Strategy?

There are many different ways to define the term, but I like this one via Distilled: “A content strategy is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver against a specific business objective.”

The most important words in this content strategy definition, in my opinion, are “vision” and “objective.” In many ways, strategy is ambiguous and intangible — a guiding framework that accounts for every element of your content operation. And it always needs to lead toward a concrete goal (usually, some variation of “make more money”).

Strategy is the umbrella under which all of your content marketing tools and tactics nest. But turning a strategic vision into reality won’t happen on its own. Content planning makes it so.

What is Content Planning?

The quote “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” has been thrown around for ages. Like most quotes, it’s frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, although he probably never said it. Regardless of its source, this statement endures and gets repeated ad nauseum for one simple reason: it’s absolutely true.

Even the most well-crafted content strategy is doomed without a clear and transparent plan for setting it into action practically. This tends to be one of the foremost challenges for larger, more dispersed, or just plain busy content marketing teams.

In the 2018 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report compiled by CMI and MarketingProfs, only 8% of respondents rated the project management flow in their content creation process as “Excellent,” and only 28% dubbed theirs “Very Good.” Many organizations are fraught with inefficiencies and bottlenecks. These typically sprout up due to poor planning or a lack of planning, and they throw strategies into disarray.

Here are the integral components of effective content planning:

Building a Bridge from Strategy to Execution

Getting from Point A (a strategic vision) to a Point B (a fruitful and efficient content marketing engine) is a journey that many companies fail to complete. But when everyone works from the same detailed map, it’s far easier to avoid steering off-course.

Rigorous and regimented content planning helps alleviate many of the most prevalent and pressing strategic struggles inherent to content marketing today:

Keeping Content Powerful and Unique

Collaborative planning helps activate all the creative voices on your team, and enables you to easily tap into your own data to see what’s resonating most with your audience.

Insufficient Resources

The workflow efficiencies yielded by a repeatable and well-defined process tend to reduce the number of requisite resources needed. Better organization and prioritization are crucial benefits of content planning.

Maintaining Engagement

One of the biggest issues we see in content marketing is the “finish and forget” phenomenon. Teams will publish an asset they’ve worked tirelessly to develop, and then move onto the next project. Improved content planning ensures that every piece of content gets the follow-up and ongoing love it deserves, leading to superior reach and engagement.

Measuring Effectiveness

Measurement continues to be one of the top hurdles for marketing teams. Tracking results and consulting metrics, then implementing adjustments, are instrumental aspects of content planning.

Creating and Adhering to a Schedule

An interactive editorial calendar that everyone can access and use eliminates many of the issues that teams (especially larger ones) commonly experience in this regard.

Identifying Buyer Pain Points

This is more strategic, driven by research and development of personas, but applying the knowledge you compile requires the right plan.

Fending Off Competition

When you’re more organized and efficient than others, you inevitably start distancing yourself from them. Because content planning remains a sticking point for a high percentage of businesses, shoring up this area equips you with a big advantage.

To be sure, content planning entails its own set of challenges, but with the right focus and the right tools you can overcome them.

Planning (Content) for Success

“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.” — Jack Welch, Executive Chairman for The Jack Welch Management Institute

Well said, Mr. Welch. That really is what it’s all about, and there’s no use in trying to make it any more complicated than that. The “general direction” of marketing strategy will be dictated by your company and its vision. As for implementing like hell? That’s all about nailing down your content planning.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your own content planning and solidify your strategy, we suggest taking DivvyHQ for a test-spin to see what kind of difference it can make for you.

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