Google Panda Ranking Factors, Recovery and Other Implications

Google Panda is no longer a separate algorithm to decide content quality. It is now a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm. In case you haven’t gotten the news, here’s the link to the update.

It’s been a few days since Google announced it, and SEOs are confused already.

The confusion is nothing new; it’s been in the industry for long because of Google Panda ranking factors being undisclosed. The latest announcement takes it to a new level. Two things that we know for sure about Panda are it scales content in terms of quality, and it’s

Not real time

Back in July, when the news of the refresh broke out, some speculated it to be a real time update, chiefly because of its extremely slow nature. Webmasters failed to reach to a consensus over whether the update is real time.

But Google’s Gary Illyes has recently made clear that Panda is not real time.

What this means is neither Google will check anything, nor will the webmasters receive any update in real time. Beyond these two things, we don’t know much. Some webmasters are insisting us to expect

Silence from Google

Google has always been tight-lipped about its core ranking algorithm. Does that mean we won’t get to hear anything about Google Panda ranking factors in the future? If it’s indeed the case, then webmasters, especially the ones, whose sites have been hit by Panda have reasons to worry.

That’s because Google Panda recovery has hitherto been easy thanks to information provided by Google. For instance, Google’s representative Pierre Far spoke a volume when Panda 4.1 update was released in September, 2014. But in future, Google may not disclose anything, making Google Panda recovery hard.

Panda will be regular

It’s not an anticipation, it’s been confirmed by Google’s John Mueller. The following is what he said from a Google Hangout session:

It’s something where we we we try to look at the quality of the website and understand which ones are higher quality, which ones in general are lower quality and take that into account when ranking the site. This is essentially just a way of kind of making those updates a little [bit] faster, a little bit more regular.”

Even though he added that it’s his anticipation, and he’s not 100% sure, given how all the tips from him turned true in the past, we should believe him.

What differences will it make?

More penalties

After speeding up and becoming regular, Panda may hit more sites than it did in the past. Webmasters fear Google Panda ranking factors because they don’t fully understand those factors. Those, who got hit, did their best to recover, and those who didn’t get hit became afraid to play the game without the rules. They resorted to using and safe and industry approved techniques.

If Panda becomes regular, this fear may cement and become permanent. The subservient marketers may feel scared to venture out from the outdated SEO frame, and the daredevils may get penalized. And the regularity of the update might make a Google Panda recovery difficult because webmasters may not get enough time to recover from the hit.

Search query percentage

All the hitherto released Panda updates have affected some specific percentages of search queries in English language. Whenever Google officially admitted the release of a Panda version, it articulated what percentage of search queries would be affected by the update.

On a technical level, the information didn’t help webmasters much. But it helped them understand the expansion of a particular update. For example, many webmasters had a sigh of relief in July knowing Panda 4.2 will affect only 2-3% of search queries.

If this info remains undisclosed, they’d have a difficult time picking from the pool of search queries.

Quality guidelines

We know Panda deals with content quality. But Google doesn’t seem to be satisfied with Panda alone. In May 2015, Google released an update, and later confirmed it as the sequel of 2013 Phantom update, focused on quality. What this indicates is after making Panda classified, Google in future, may lay down quality instructions via Phantom.

Details on how Phantom assessees quality are not available. The industry is busy speculating. Among some of the popular opinions, one is “How-to” type posts are given better quality score than other posts.

My suggestion to content marketers is keep following the content marketing tips that you are following now until these start to hurt you. There’s no harm in writing “How-to” posts. In fact, it’s recommended because such posts are read by many, and trigger scores shares. Alongside, work on your site’s layout, and make it mobile-friendly. Gauging the Google Panda ranking factors could save you from possible hits, and make Google Panda recovery measures unnecessary.

What do you think of the article? Do you agree with our analysis? Do you want to differ with us? Why? Let us know what you think in the comment section below

5 Content Marketing Tips You Need to Follow in 2016

Digital marketers hail content as the king. It seems the king’s empire will expand in 2016. SEO best practices are endorsing quality content. In 2015, it was recommended, but in 2016, it’ll be necessary.

Assuming you are a digital marketer, who doesn’t want his site to end up as a boilerplate, you need to take in what quality content means.

The changing definition

It’s the outset of 2016, and the definition of quality content has changed. To help your site rank better than competitor sites, you need to understand the change. Quality content no longer means lengthy and reader-friendly content, triggering scores of shares. Visits and shares do matter, but these are not the only factors as some new factors have also crept in.

The new factors include

Graphic and multimedia

Content no longer means written content. In fact, purely written content scores far below in the performance chart than graphic and audio-visual content. Multimedia content quickly draws the attention of site visitors, thereby increasing the retention rate and the level of interaction.

A recent survey done by Moz in collaboration with BuzzSumo reveals that videos and infographics leave positive impacts on link building. While infographic doesn’t generate too many shares, videos generate millions of them pushing a site to a better search engine ranking. Explainer videos with 3D animated characters on them provide information, and entertain the viewers.

#Takeaway: Upload videos on your site. Use the top video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion for link building. Embed images and custom graphics to make written content more quality focused.

Are they reading it?

Readers ignore the majority of online content. You might have a hard time believing it, but all the efforts you’ve been putting up to create content may be going all the way down to the drain.

content Marketing Tips You Need to Follow in 2016

Nevertheless, you can change this. All you need to do is apply some simple hacks. Start with the title; is the title catchy enough? If not, then work on it. Does it give new information? If it doesn’t, then rephrase it, so it looks like it has something new to add. Consider the two titles below:

  1. Plane crash in Alabama claimed two lives.
  2. Plane crash in Alabama does unspeakable damages.

The first title tells us the consequences of the plane crash, whereas the second title cleverly stokes our curiosity, so we read the first paragraph, at least, the first line. Apply similar tricks to keep users glued to their screens at the time of going through your content. Work out newer strategies, and apply them to get your content read.

If you are posting a video, make the title and description as attractive as you could, so that viewers don’t skip it to the next video.

Opinionated content

The survey mentioned above brings something very insightful into notice. Opinionated content is shared and linked more than non-opinionated content. When the author expresses his opinions instead of putting few facts together, the acceptability of the content increases to the readers.

Consider the below-mentioned findings. You’ll see these are coherent to each other:

  • Research-backed content fares better in terms of linking and sharing than other content types.
  • Internal linking fetches a content more share than external linking.

Research helps you form an opinion, which you implant in the content. When you link a post to a previous one, published earlier on the site, previously mentioned data and analysis back your opinion.

Hence, your takeaway is having a take in whatever you are writing on, do sound research to back your claim, and then putting it on the site in a readable manner.

Content length

According to some marketers, the lengthier the content is the better; that’s only partially true. Readers are unlikely to enjoy and share content, which are less than 1000 words long. All latest data, obtained from surveys indicate this.

Surveys didn’t bring out the reason behind a reader’s preference for lengthy content. The readers may feel content length equals to the amount of information. They’d be wrong in thinking this as an uninformative and unimpressive content, regardless of how lengthy it is, won’t get shared much.

Other than being lengthy, content should contain valuable information, entertain readers, and conclude only after satisfying them. Readers now have reduced attention span, which means it all depends on the details that you are stuffing, and how you are presenting them. When you add detailed information, the content becomes lengthy.

The takeaway here is, try to write 1000+ content, but don’t blabber. Rather, put relevant information into the content, so that readers find value in it.

What about keywords?

I don’t agree to those, who think keywords have died a silent death. I’ve explained the reason in one of my previous articles. It’s true that the importance of keywords has been eroding ever since the last few updates by Google, but to say they are no longer important is an exaggerated statement.

As long as the existing search interface is functional, keywords are important. The outdated practices such as keyword stuffing and using one or two fixed campaign keywords can put your site in the harm’s way. I suggest you to generate LSI keywords ideas, so the content vocabulary appears extended to the readers, and also to search engine bots.

No penalty

Google is no longer going gentle on those, who don’t follow the recommended practices. Want to save your site from Google’s penalties? Then follow the tips given above. At the onset of 2016, resort to the safest techniques, discussed above.

What do you think of the five tips given here? Do you want to add any of your tips? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Steps in Creating Your Successful Content Marketing Campaign

Content Marketing” is a buzzword all over the web these days. Content comprises a variety of things. It can be blog posts, videos, webinars, and social network shares, among the many. Is sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? If you get to do it right, you can yield considerable benefits from a well-executed content marketing campaign. Businesses and entrepreneurs can surely take advantage of this. With this kind of strategy, businesses can have the power to position themselves as a topical authority, making the owners and executives as the experts.

Just like what we always hear, “the devil is in the details.” We can say that it is also true for such a campaign. Just because it’s a digital campaign doesn’t mean it’s as easy as clicking a button, no. It will take a bit more effort than that. The time you will need in aligning your company to its online persona and with your customers’ needs will highly depend on your business goals.

Successful Content Marketing Campaign

But once you post your content, the shares you need to get still needs interactions from your end. Here, you should directly interact with your community. Say something that’s meaningful, useful, and interesting. Continually stimulate an engaging conversation with them.  In this article, we will look at some of the steps that can help boost your content marketing campaign.

Get to Know You Audience and Keep Your Content Relevant

Every social network has its unique audience and identity. Part of the research you should do must be the demographics of the social media platforms you will be using. No site is the same. For example, more men use Google+ while more women use Pinterest. You can check these kinds of information on the sites so that you will get to know on which social media platform is the best one to share your content and get the best possible effect.

Maybe you market to consumers or businesses, either way, you ought to have a grasp of their interests. To build an engaged community with your brand and interests in mind, blogs can still do wonders. One example of a blog that is successful in using content marketing is SavvySeller.co. With its community site, it offers very helpful advice for other online sellers while also displaying advertisements for its parent company, World Lister.

You can also check what your customers are sharing in their social media. When you make your blog posts relevant to your readers, you make it possible for them to pass your content among their friends and possible. It will in turn award you with free and valuable marketing.

Be Cautious of Constant Self-reference

One thing that will surely kill engagement is constant self-reference. The days of broadcast advertising are long gone. These days, you have to give your message a twist. Simply broadcasting will just discourage your readers. What you can do is to use stories so you can illustrate what the benefits will be if they engage in your business and what it has to offer.

Get personal with your message to the reader, be direct and use the pronoun “you.” It is in this way that your posts can directly address your community and spike their interests. When it comes to promotional content, remember the 1-to-7 ration and nothing more. In this way, you can stop talking about yourself and instead talk as yourself.

Share Something of Value

Consider your time and your talents when it comes to creating your contents for your business. You may not be comfortable in sitting down and writing, or you may not have the time and resources to produce them. What you can do is consider the format you are more comfortable with when it comes to communicating your messages. You may experiment with the following:

  • Short-form articles such as this one
  • Infographics or small sharable graphics that can easily be produced on a platform such as Canva
  • Photographs of products in action that you can instantly share on Instagram
  • Short product demonstrations or instructional videos (It is best to keep them under two minutes)
  • And other related business content

Remember to share content that you are passionate about. Post ideas and subjects that are relevant to you as the business owner. It is in this way that your company can project your humanity through the influence you gain online.

Consider Curating

These days, a growing trend is content aggregation. It is deriving content straight from others’ RSS feeds and then turning them into shares automatically. However, aggregating is not curating. It is quite different. Curating content requires that a human being able to find, read, and qualify the digital contents relevant to their audience. It may sound like quite a lot of work, but it can take just thirty minutes a day. If you have a team to work with you, they can regularly read digital content that is relevant to your business. They can find articles with simple propositions that they can share.

Owners of niche businesses can also find articles that their audiences can relate to. Curating and sharing content from others will allow you to become the reliable source of your audience for information on a specific topic. Another benefit of sharing third-party contents is that you can build relationships by widening the conversations with other people within your industry.

Measure and Analyze Once and Then Again

For your contents, always track the comments and responses. When sharing your links on social media platforms, use some of the free metrics tools so you can analyze which of the posts are on track. Posts that are on track are those that are read, shared, and acted upon. Remember that if a platform or content seems like it isn’t working for you, focus more and put more effort in the ones that are doing good.

Takeaway

Two more factors you ought to consider in building your content marketing is time and continuity. So you have to be patient with it. Remember that social content may not necessarily and immediately translate into sales. With this in mind, you have to set up a plan for the future and have reasonable expectations about your campaign. Your content marketing campaign is your way of building your brand for the long haul.

A Look inside the Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a huge concept and defining it in one simple line definition is like saying the sea is huge and has all kinds of water creatures. Nevertheless, content marketing in its simplest form can be defined as an online marketing strategy that focuses on creating quality contents, publishing and distributing those contents across various platforms like social media and blogs for the target audiences with the aim of generating more customers.

Content marketing is also somewhat unpredictable with so many online marketing tools coming up every few weeks. For a content marketing strategy to succeed, it is vital that you use the latest and the hottest trends to stay on top of the competition.

Content Marketing Strategy

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Today, social media platforms have become one of the most powerful content marketing tools. With millions and millions of people present online across the world, you have the best opportunity to reach out to your target audience.

Basically, a business needs content marketing strategy to take it to the next level. It’s not just the established business that need content strategy. Anyone who wants to create a fan base or customer base and want to make their product or services known ( not entirely for sales purposes) will need a solid content marketing strategy to reach out to a vast target audience.

Compared to the other medium, social media platforms are one of the best ways to start with online promotion.

How Content Marketing Helps Your Business

Businesses whether small or big, know that they need content marketing as much as they need traditional marketing strategies. But, how does it actually help?

For instance, you have a home cleaning business specializing in all round house cleaning from floors to carpets to kitchen. You don’t have a very successful business so you want to improve it. You start blogging about various house cleaning issues, such as how to remove stain from the floor or how to clean tiles. With regular posts your blogs gets ranking in the Google and other search engines.

There are many people who find it difficult to clean house on their own.  So, when they search for house cleaning tips and methods online they find your blog. With information rich posts and easy DIY solutions, people start following your blogs and soon you start getting cleaning assignments when they find it too difficult to handle it own their own.

Likewise, you can also share those blog posts in social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and many more. This way you increase your customer base with a content strategy that offers them solutions and advice they are seeking. And, once you establish yourself as an expert or reliable resource, you will start getting more work.

Why Content Marketing makes more sense than Other Strategies

Surely, content marketing makes more sense when you compare other marketing strategies like PPC. PPC or the Pay Per Click is a costly affair with a very limited lead generation results. This can be easily deduced by simple analysis. After a month long campaign, you have managed to generate a lead and spend some money. Well and good since you don’t mind paying if you are getting what you need. But, the problem is you have to repeat the same thing the next month as well, which means spending more money. But, once you stop spending money, the leads will too stop coming.

Now, take content marketing.

Once you write a blog and add a link to the website where your target audiences or general followers can sign up for your weekly or monthly newsletter or say 1 free cleaning service, you will have a lead. You will notice that you have same number of leads with your content marketing campaign as you had with your PPC campaign. The only difference is that you didn’t have to spend money on it and it is long lasting. As you keep writing blogs, you will get more followers and eventually generate more leads.

Content marketing offers a cost effective and scalable solution to lead generation that every business wants.

What your Content Marketing Team Should Look Like

This purely depends on your goals and budget among few other things like the size of the company and your marketing team. A single person marketing team will have to:

  1. Create Content
  2. Optimize it for the SEO
  3. Manage social media profiles

As the team grows, the content marketing strategies can be approached in more different ways, such as each person becomes responsible for a particular part. One person or team could take the responsibility of content creation, other for purely search engine optimization purpose and other for managing social media profiles. When these responsibilities are handled by different team or people the focus becomes more sharp and specified.

Hiring the right person for your content marketing team will require understanding the specific goal you want to achieve. You need to decide whether you need an expert content creator or designer or SEO manager or just anyone with good knowledge will do.

Getting the right Tools for content marketing strategy is important so that you get the best chance to market your content.

Measuring the Effect of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Creating and distributing content using the right tools is not enough. You need to constantly measure the effect to see what your growth level is. Regular reporting keeps you on the line and lets you eliminate anything that is having a negative effect or having no effect on your content strategy at all.

Content marketing can take your business to the next level when you realize its true potential. It’s out there. It is a cost effective solutions that you have been looking for and with a marketing strategy as big as this, you have a plethora of opportunities.

How to Make Your Small Business Succeed with Effective Content Marketing?

The right content marketing strategy for a small business can do wonders for them. The internet is just the right place to find the potential customers and grow the base without spending million on the marketing. The best way for any small business to make a mark in the ever competitive market is to create an image of a  reliable, trustworthy and expert source of information. Today, the audiences are trying to get past the heaps and heaps of ads and garbage content to find that one true content that matches their need. The information overload has made it difficult for the people to find the right information and with the help of an effective content marketing strategy you can quickly establish yourself as the expert.

Effective Content Marketing

Whether it is the social media post or blog or article, it is essential to create content strategy that focuses on communication, which is the ultimate goal of content marketing. Having a content marketing strategy is not enough, having the right one does. It is important to create content that matters and then place it in the precise location.

So, how can content marketing take your small business to the next level? Here are some interesting points:

Create brand awareness

Unless people know you exists, your business will never grow. Creating a brand awareness will put you on the map and let people know who you are, what you are offering and why it’s worth buying. Creating high quality, engaging and informative content will make the target audience come back for more equally quality content. No matter what trick you use to get to the top of SEO, unless you are offering something valuable, nothing will work. Create and share fresh contents and always stay on top of the mind of your audiences. Frequently remind them through your content why you are the best.

Show Off Your Expertise

Forget about hardcore marketing. Offer something valuable like DIY solution to carpet cleaning or anything that you are offering. This will help you create a unique brand identity for your business. People will remember you as an industry expert because of the helpful information you share and set you apart from your competition. Finding your niche is the ultimate goal you need to focus on because it will take your business to the next level.

Persuade People to Visit your website

Give people a reason to visit your website through sharing of high quality content on various medium like social media, blogging sites, your own website blogs and many other media. Sharing enables you to create even more popularity for your website. Tools like pay-per-click and digital banners cannot do much if you do not have content to promote. More visitors will flow in if you attract them through high quality content. This will greatly effect your search engine rankings and help you gain advantage over your competition. Rank well in the search engine and be the first one to be found by your target audience.

Keep your Website ready with fresh new contents

Once you have established a healthy following, it is important to keep them interested. This is only possible through fresh new contents. People often rely on the website for information. Be their ultimate source of information like the Wikipedia website and the traffic flow will never cease. Create and promote new content regularly and you will have even more opportunity to grow your business further.

Effective content marketing is the ultimate low cost tool for making any small business a success. It does everything from creating the buzz to providing the kind of service your customers are looking for. Create the right content marketing strategy and see the magic happen.

Essential Elements for Creating Content to Ranks Better in SERPs

While writing for the web may sound easy, it is far from it especially when you are trying to rank better in search engines. No matter how excellent your writing is, if it does not satisfy the criteria, your content may never get noticed. It is not always necessary to keep the Google in mind or the algorithm when writing a piece. But, there are a few things that definitely help contents to rank better than the others.

There are instance that some high quality content do not get noticed while other contents easily get excellent ranking. This happens when the content lacks the technical structure or terms or keywords that are so necessary for the search engines to rank content. Along with a great writing ability, you must have the flair for using all the technical techniques for creating that perfect content your website.

creating content to rank

Whether you are a company or an individual trying to make your content rank better, here are some important ingredients that quality content should have:

Use appropriate title

Meta titles are very important for better ranking. Although, the title character limit for the Meta is juts 55, you can still create title that is both descriptive yet in appropriate length. What this will do is give the readers clear idea about the page as well as satisfy the ranking needs of the SERPs. Social media platforms like the Facebook has decided to put an end to click bait titles, which are often found to be misleading, false and sometimes vague. The motto behind creating a genuine title is to respect your audiences and provide them with quality content.

Headlines that Speaks Volume of the content

For any content to generate the fair amount of popularity, it is important to have a very engaging headline. The headlines should be short enough to be very read in one instance. Just like the Meta titles, your content headlines should be short, crisp and full of information. The right headlines will also make search engines like the Google to recognize the motto of the content and help in ranking better in the SERPs. Again, you can go all creative with your headlines. You can use subheadings to make the content even more organized and easy to skim. You can also use more than one H1 headline in your content but only if it does justice to your content.

Thorough Research for quality content

It is vital that whatever content you write for your audiences, it should add value to their lives. For that, you need to write a thoroughly researched content. A thoroughly researched content will be rich in quality and information that actually benefits your audiences. For instant, if your content is about writing a book, then your target audiences must feel that they have gained some knowledge and techniques about writing a great piece.

Optimized content for Social media

If you want to rank better then you cannot ignore the social media, which has become a vital part of internet marketing. Create social media content that are easy to read, has optimized headlines, images and body that people will find it easy to connect with. Remember, social media is a whole different territory and need a different approach.

Use keywords carefully

When it comes to keywords, the jury is still out there. Some may consider it very important while others don’t see it as important as it was before. The Google no longer takes keyword stuffing as the main criteria for ranking, but that doesn’t mean you should not use them. All you have to do is use the relevant keywords that does not look forced, and serves the purpose of providing you better ranking in the SERPs.

Length of the Content

The length of the content greatly depends on the industry you are writing for. While longer content may help you get the desired ranks in the SERPs, it may become tedious for your readers, which will affect the amount of time they spend on the website. Make sure that you create content that is in appropriate length, is engaging, and the ranking will come in its own accord.

There are like so many important ingredients for creating the right content for your target audiences, but you only need a few of them to create an engaging content that matters.

Content Marketing Rules for Successfully Promoting Brands

When it comes to content strategy, businesses always make the mistake of focusing on just one aspect while ignoring the others. For a successful online campaign and brand building it is vital that every aspect of content marketing is equally taken care of.

Building conversion is important for moving your business forward; at the same time having an active engagement of the potential customers is again vital for keeping them in the loop. This together helps in building trust, which is again important for building a longtime business-customer relationship. Focusing on one aspect while ignoring the others may backfire and result in more loss than the gain.

Content Marketing Ruled for Brand Promotion

Creating a Clear Purpose of the Brand

Brands want to put too much effort on the engagement, but engagement alone will not drive your business unless you clearly define your brand or the purpose of your content marketing. Once you do that engagement will follow as your target audience will identify with the purpose. And, once that is established engagement becomes as easy as the pie.

Creating a Buzz

For any brand to become successful, it is vital that it creates engagement with the target audience. This keeps them informed, involved and interested. To keep them engaged it is vital to do a thorough research on what kind of content similar brands are creating and which one has maximum engagement. This will give you clear idea of how to create an engaging campaign. It is not stealing as long as you make the content better and more helpful for the target audience to find. Again engagement requires a clean vision without which you cannot pull your brand forward.

Trust Factors Builds Your Audience And Drives Your Brand

Brand trust is vital in today’s competition as your target audience have plenty of options out there. In the sea of content and brands floating every corner, viewers and customers are looking for brands that they can trust. You need to build a brand that your target audience can trust and see it is a reliable source. Again, the trust factor cannot be built without the others content marketing strategies – brand identity, conversion and active engagement.

Your viewers and potential customers will trust your brand when you create engaging content with the help of the valuable content. Engaging in a meaningful conversation on social media platforms and blogs and including contents from the non-competition brands as well will help expand your horizon.

Multi-dimensional Content Creation

Why restrict yourself to just blog and posts when you can do so much more. You can create podcast, Vblogs, answering queries and questions, doing a video tutorial or live streaming. These are some of the most exciting ways of creating content and engaging with the target audience. With so many websites craving for their attention, your target audience needs something new and fresh to go by.

Making your brand visible and to stay on top of the competition requires active participation from you as well as your niche audience. Brand loyalty will only come when you are loyal in your content. The trust factor comes not with just one aspect of content marketing– it requires involvement of all the factors.

Content Marketing, Content Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy

In the digital marketing world, the terms content marketing, content strategy and content marketing strategy are often used interchangeably. But, contrary to the popular conception they are not the same things. They might come close to sharing a couple of things, but their objectives and functions remain entirely exclusive to their respective fields.

The confusion and ignorance regarding the terms still exist because not many have put efforts to clarify the difference. Even the job skills required for content marketing and content strategist sometimes overlap, thus creating even more confusion.

content strategy vs content marketing

It is vital to understand the difference and importance of each term so that they can be used rightly for the maximum benefits. Foraying into the content marketing world is like going into the sea to find a one tiny thing. So, here is a basic understanding of the content marketing, content strategy and content marketing strategy:

Content Strategy

Any campaign requires planning and organizing and online campaign is no different. For a business to achieve its goal and succeed in the tough competition scenario will need a strong content strategy, which basically deals with planning, creation, delivery and controlling of the contents across the various platforms. The content includes everything from words to images to videos – anything that is needed to convey the message or provide specific information. The basic goal of the content strategy is to create contents that are meaningful, engaging and has the power to move the readers or viewers.

Your content strategy tells you what contents need to be created and why it should be created – the objective and requirements of your business or personal goals.

The goal of a content strategist is to identify how the contents of the organization can be created and used to influence people’s experience with the brand through a strategy which includes:

  • Creating a blueprint of what content you need in order to accomplish your goals.
  • Creating content plan and formats to be used
  • What style to be used across all media channels for creating a consistent brand image?
  • Using keyword research to drive content strategy

Content Marketing

Content marketing on the other hand is totally different thing even though it is a part of the content strategy when seen in the larger perspective. Like the marketing department of any organization and anywhere else, the purpose of content marketing is to deal with distribution of the content over the media and attract and retain customers through relevant contents and information sharing. It exits to improve user’s experience with the brand so that they remain loyal to it for a long time.

Content marketing uses various social media tools like the blogs, podcasts, articles, videos, infographics, email newsletters and social media post to generate interest which ultimately leads to traffic and then conversion.

Content marketing goals are:

  • Creating brand awareness across all the platforms
  • Lead generation.
  • Engagement and participation of the target audiences
  • Promoting sales
  • Customer retention and loyalty

What is the Basic Difference Between the two?

Although, at some point of time they may sound similar, there is a great difference between the content strategy and content marketing. They are both needed to create the strong online campaign that your business or client needs. The content strategy is the foundation of content marketing as it provides the basic ingredient for marketing. Yet creating a marketing strategy is totally different than content strategy as the later doesn’t actually focus on the distribution and generating leads.

Content strategy is all about producing the product or services while content marketing concerns itself with the distribution and promotion of the same product and services.

Now, where does the content marketing strategy come into play?

Now, you know what content strategy is and what content marketing is. The next part of the enigma is the content marketing strategy. Again, this term is widely used interchangeably with content strategy and content marketing.

The most interesting thing is content marketing strategy combines some of the objectives and functions of both content strategy and content marketing. Content marketing strategy lies somewhere in between the content strategy and content marketing. When the objectives of both content strategy and content marketing overlap, you have your content marketing strategy as depicted in the picture.

The Importance of knowing the difference

The only benefit of knowing the difference between this seemingly similar terms is that it helps you set the goals and that too the right one. When you understand the difference and importance of each term, you will end up with a better strategy and plan for achieving the goals.

Since, the confusion over the terms isn’t going to clear up in near future, it is important that the marketers and anyone who is interested in content marketing must be aware of such confusions.

Marketing your Content the Right Way

Creating a highly engaging content is not enough if you are looking to reach a wider audience. Like a product is marketed, you need to advertize and market your content. This includes boosting engagement and inviting more and more people to participate. In the content marketing world, it is very easy to make mistakes. But, you can learn and improve on these mistakes to create a better and more intensified content marketing strategy.

Moving away for the regular and most common content marketing strategies, you can now tweak a few changes in the game plan.

content marketing tips

Here are some of the few things you can do to improve engagement of audiences for your content.

Creating a Killer Headline

The headline is what attracts the readers the most and so you need a headline that will make readers click on the link. There are many forms of headlines like the list based. One of the most powerful headline formats is the question mark. Is SEO dead for real? This kind of content headlines are more impactful that anything else. When creating a headline go for a more interrogating headline to arouse curiosity of the readers.

Always add a “leave a comment” section below

How do you know whether people liked your post or not?  Read the comment section. Whether the comment is positive or negative, if you have a comment its means the readers did have an impact and this is basically what content are meant for – to create a buzz. Adding a “leave comments below” at the end of the post actually invites readers to participate. This goes on to show that you have an open mind and you are willing to take part in a debate (if there is any).

 Asking Questions

“Going online and asking a question is the best way to learn”. ~ Tom Felton

The quote comes from a popular actor well known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movie franchise. He is quite regular on the twitter, has a huge following and knows that the best way to engage audiences is through questions. You can apply the same rule and start asking relevant questions on various social media platforms. The question could be anything – a suggestion, an answer or an opinion. This is one of the best ways to get people engaged in your content. Also, it will give you an insight whether the audiences liked your post or not.

Replying to the comment

If you are over the moon on seeing so many comments on your post, then you need to get back on earth and start replying to those comments. Comments will be beneficial as long as you regulate them. Some negative comments could impact you content’s reputation. Kill the spam as it is vital for inviting quality content. Reply and moderate discussions so that the engagement level never drops down.

The Art of Sharing

When you are sourcing your contents, it is imperative that you first seek permission to use the quotes, pictures or the link. This sets the right tone for sharing as you seek permission; you are showing that you are an authentic content creator and respect other’s work as well. You can send the link to the originator. This could help you get the much needed share.

Visual effects

It is a well known fact that images, GIFs and videos work better than just plain words, especially on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Use visuals as much as possible while sharing your content on these sites.

Content amplification is vital in increasing the engagement of your target audience. With the high competition and new sharing platforms coming up almost every day, you need an intensified content marketing strategy.

Content Marketing and Social Media Nexus Benefiting Brands

SEO, as we know it, is a B2B process. Nobody goes to a retail outlet expecting to buy an SEO package. The buyers and sellers are both businesses. True, DIY SEO has been a phenomenon for a while, but nine out of ten clients are still interested in hiring a company or, at least, freelancers.

Content marketing and B2B

Content marketing has been encircling the B2B vertical for a while. The circle is yet to complete, and will complete over time. Maybe this year itself because content marketing now allows quality scaling, which is essential to gauge ROI outcomes for a B2B campaign.

Search engine optimizers taking note of this are excluding the unnecessary marketing workarounds from their SEO packages.

Is it helping them? The answer is yes. See below yourself:

B2B Content Marketing Infographic

Figure 1

Source

Figure 1 shows buyers are becoming better informed about what a digital marketer can offer. Yesteryear’s marketers often deliberately kept them in the dark. The reason? If clients figured out web directory submission or social bookmarking won’t help in ranking, they’d have stopped paying for those a long time back.

The interaction between two equally informed individuals is a productive interaction. Content marketing is creating the space for such interactions in the B2B domain.

Social media for B2B

Now, let’s discuss the importance of social media for B2B.

B2B brands were earlier hesitant about using social media for marketing. But the mindset has now changed. A research done by Accenture Digital and SAP Hybris shows B2B clients crave for personalized engagement just like their B2C counterparts. Because social media accounts for the majority of engagement, not making their campaigns social can stop B2B marketers from reaping the benefits.

For anyone who might doubt this, see below:

B2B Social Marketing

Figure 2

Source

Figure 2 is an infographic created with the help of several case study findings. The infographic shows social media has the potential to dominate the B2B marketplace, similar to the B2C marketplace.

Content social nexus

In the last two paragraphs, we’ve discussed content and social media separately. It’s time we link them up to get the most out of a social campaign. There’s an overlapping area where social media and content influence each other.

You see status update, pics, videos, slides, messages, pinboards, etc. All these are content. A microblog is content. A picture qualifies as content. An explainer video is content. No matter what social marketing strategy you apply, content always has to be its part and parcel.

Basically, social media is like a photo frame. Content circulating across social channels is the photo that fits the frame.

Content customization

Customizing content so it suits a variety of leads is a leading trend that we can observe in the B2B industry. Customization of content owes to factors like the social channel, the brand’s reputation, the niche the brand belongs in, etc.

If the channel is Pinterest, then the content should be a pinboard with beautiful pictures on it. For LinkedIn, the content is an insightful blog, published on LinkedIn Pulse.

Thought leadership

Social media allows you to flaunt your expertise and create a thought leadership position for yourself, so others in the industry value your thoughts and look at you as an influencer. But again, social media alone cannot get you going. You need the social media-content-nexus to achieve the stature.

LinkedIn and Slideshare

The two are among the platforms that help you in the pursuit of thought leadership. Through blogging, you can connect with leading industry figures on LinkedIn. Articles on LinkedIn Pulse can trigger a remarkable level of engagement.

See the image below:

LinkedIn Pulse Article

Figure 3

Figure 3 show an enormous level of engagement in a blog published on LinkedIn. The post got over 2 million views, 27K likes and more than 7K comments. The author Dave Kerpen sends out the message to influencers in his industry that he’s a thought leader.

In 2013, Forbes published an article explaining why Slideshare is the quiet giant of B2B marketing. Sadly, the article brought little change; B2B marketers and advertisers continued to under-utilize this platform. Slideshare adds a social quotient to otherwise boring white papers. Some saw it as the resurgence of white paper when the content format was losing value.

The slides have .ppt extension. You can create them using Microsoft PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress (If you are on Linux). The content has to be crisp, concise yet informative. Slideshare gets more than 3 billion views every month with 10 million+ presentations, which can give brands visibility and create engagement, so they build a thought leadership position for themselves.

Evolution of B2B

Social media and content are two formidable allies, and together they can drive visibility and exposure to a brand, which finally lead to sales. As new experiments will take place involving content marketing and social media, branding will evolve, forcing marketers to devise new strategies.

What do you think of the article? Would you connect your social media strategies with content marketing? Let us know in the comment section