5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting Today’s Marketing Landscape

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Artificial intelligence used to be something of the future — something that was only fathomable in The Jetsons when we were children.

Alas, 2020 is nearly here, and while we may not have flying cars, what we do have is artificial intelligence (AI). If you have ever used Siri, you’re familiar with how one form of AI works. You can also see it when Facebook automatically suggests whom to tag when you upload new photos.

Many industries have already seen the impact of AI in their industry, the best example could be Uber’s mission to automate driving using AI by developing self-driven cars and processes. Website building & development is another industry currently being disrupted by AI in the case of Bookmark’s Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) which builds a whole new website that fits a certain niche in a matter of minutes.

What is Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is a complex combination of algorithms that imitate certain human actions: speaking, seeing, making decisions, and translating. In a limited way (for now), it’s a machine that can think for itself and make sophisticated decisions using networks of information and data

As AI’s uses and implications are catching on, more and more industries are finding ways to use this disruptive technology to transform the “normal flow” of work. The marketing industry, among other industries, is the latest to be impacted by AI.

The changes are not bad; in fact, we are seeing a lot more positive impacts with the right use of AI. With artificial intelligence, for example, “human error” might just become something of the past, increasing our efficiency and productivity.

 

The Disruption of the Marketing Landscape by AI

Prior to the use of artificial intelligence in marketing, we used to trust our gut when it came to improving our marketing process.

However, that left a lot of place for something we call human error. We might like to believe that we make objective decisions with regards to our marketing campaigns, but we can also be hindered by our being human — our biases rising from our backgrounds and experiences, our personality, our energy level at that time.

All these could mean mistakes in how we proceed with the campaign, mistakes that could prove expensive later on.

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An AI software, on the other hand, won’t have this human error problem and will be able to go through all data tirelessly and objectively. It will work round the clock at a speed unmatched by any human, and will never get tired.

This raises the question: what will happen to the human in this equation? Will there no longer be any need for us? Will we be staring at the world as our creation is literally taking over?

While that’s not going to be likely, and will remain in the domain of science fiction, there will, however, be some changes that will modify the way marketing works. Here are some of them:

 

1. Automated Decision Making

Making a decision can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. Whether we like it or not, humans will have a lot of “what ifs” in mind, and this will prevent us from making a timely decision.

AI, on the other hand, won’t face this limitation, simply because there is no “feeling” involved. It’s just hard data. The AI can go through hundreds of algorithms in just a few seconds and analyze all the information necessary to make an objective decision.

When AI software makes a decision, it will back it up with reports on customer behavior, strategies, and real-time trend analysis. It will tell you exactly where you are in the marketplace and where you will be if you make a certain decision.

With artificial intelligence, all actions are done logically and with profit in mind, with fewer chances of human error affecting the decision making process.

 

2. Advertising Goes from Art to Science

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When companies first started advertising their business in the marketplace, they had the tendency to focus on aesthetics, making campaigns into a work of art that they believed would suit the image of their business well.

Unfortunately, there is a big difference between what looks good and what will actually bring you profit.

AI has a predictive nature, and it will know beforehand whether a campaign will be successful or not, without having to subject it through numerous test runs. It will know, for example, if using the blue button will be more successful, or if you’ll have more success with the red one. This will be based primarily on understanding certain key metrics such as consumer behaviors, past purchasing history and marketing campaign performances.

With the use of AI, advertising will go from art to science, potentially contributing much to the company’s growth.

Plus, since all the reports on the campaign will be done automatically, there will no longer be a need to waste workforce on this kind of tedious work. You will reduce human error, improve productivity, and more importantly, you will have freed up time for yourself to focus on other things that are more important for growing your company.

 

3. Personalized Customer Experience

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Have you ever noticed how all the online ads seem to lead to things that actually interest you? You look up your favorite cell phone type, and soon enough you’ll be getting ads on the same kinds of phones. You probably didn’t realize this, but an AI is also responsible for all this.

The AI will “map” your online behavior, understanding how you think (by noting which websites you checked out, what links you clicked, etc.), and then use that data to make your experience even more pleasant by bringing you exactly what you want.

Some may describe this as creepy, but this is also an attempt to improve sales and the overall user experience. For instance, AI can predict where you are most likely to click on an ad and when, therefore improving your marketing experience.

The idea of an AI is to be a true detective that will always see what the customer is doing. That way, a company will be able to offer the right item to the right person, making it much easier for both parties.

 

4. Boosting Customer Service

In the past, customer service means a team of people somewhere in the world answering phones, emails, or chatting with clients regarding a product line.

These people get tired at the end of their shift, and sleepy, and more likely to commit mistakes. Sometimes, they are also short-handed, leading to long waiting times on the phone or chatbox, often leading to reduced customer satisfaction.

With the introduction of artificial intelligence in customer service, there’s no longer the need to wait. The system, unlike the human, has access to unlimited data — and they can scan through all of it very fast, giving answers just when the customer needs them the most. It doesn’t get tired and it doesn’t go to sleep.

With increased efficiency in the use of AI in customer service, the customer experience will definitely improve, leading to potentially higher sales for the company. Some experts however, believe that AI shouldn’t replace customer service as it will take human empathy out of the process. Nevertheless, AI will definitely become an integral component of the customer service process.

 

5. Optimized Schedules

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If there’s something we actually dislike in marketing, it’s coming up with the schedules. It’s cumbersome, it’s time-consuming, and the risk of “human error” is very high.

An AI, on the other hand, will be able to properly schedule everything for you, so that you will no longer have to work long hours on putting a program together — especially when you could use that time to do something more important for your company.

 

In Conclusion

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Surely, artificial intelligence is on pace to become one of the most disruptive technologies in recent years. It’s disruptive nature will have a major impact on various industries around the world. We are yet to see exactly how it’ll impact the world as we know it, but small business owners who want to get ahead of their competition will definitely need to take AI seriously and assess how they will integrate AI into their everyday business operation. Whether it’s by using an AI-powered marketing software, web design platform or even simply by using Siri, the potential of using AI to make your business operations highly effective & efficient is higher than ever!

Visual Marketing Strategies Your Business Depends On

Depending on the medium used, you may spend a considerable amount of time and energy trying to create the most appealing and eye-catching written or verbal messages to convey to your target audience. The matter of visual content may seem less meaningful and impactful than what your message textually or verbally says, but this is actually not the case. In fact, visual content actually tells a story to your target audience as well, and it can increase memory recall that benefits your brand image substantially.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Photos

To save time, energy and money, your business may be one of many that pulls stock photos from the Internet to finalize your marketing efforts or to add to your website. In fact, according to a Venngage survey, approximately 35 percent of the 300 marketers surveyed used stock photos. After all, these are readily available through a simple online download, and it may seem like a more advantageous option than creating your own photographic images.

However, some people may have seen stock images in other areas, and this could dramatically reduce the overall credibility of your website and your brand. In addition, the image quality may not be superior with some stock photos, and this also could negatively reflect on your business and brand.

It may be beneficial to use your own customized photos. However, you could also customize stock images through a photo editor, such as Canva, to create more unique visuals for your marketing material.

If you choose to use one of the many free stock photos found online, remember that the number of images you use is less important than the combination of quality images mixed with concise and focused text. The ideal amount of text to use per image is 75 to 100 words.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Infographics

Another excellent way to communicate effectively with your target audience through visuals is to use infographics. In fact, approximately one-third of all marketers surveyed use infographics in various ways because of how effective they are.

Infographics are usually supported by scientific data or research. The visual element of these graphics makes them easier for your target audience to learn from and absorb in comparison to plain text. Therefore, the power of statistics and other data that you use may be more impactful and memorable.

When creating an infographic for your marketing material

  • be sure to incorporate supporting websites to back up your facts and figures
  • choose an eye-catching design
  • remember to use color psychology for maximum benefit
  • only use data that actually supports your case and
  • avoid using so much data that the graphic is overwhelming for your target audience to review and understand.

After you have created an exceptional infographic, use multiple methods to share it. For example, you may use social media to encourage views, and you can even pass it on to bloggers for them to use in different ways. They likely will reference your website when introducing the infographic to their followers, which may draw traffic to your website.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Videos

More than half of all marketers surveyed have cited videos as the type of content that generates the best overall return on investment. One reason for this is because studies have indicated that those who view related videos are 1.81 times more likely to buy a related product than those who do not view videos.

One of the great things about video marketing is that it can be used to sell almost any type of product or service. For example, product features can be highlighted in videos, or the benefits of specific services can be visually demonstrated to your target audience.

However, if you are selling luxury items or collectibles, such as high-end clothes, antiques or something else, you likely need to use audio in your video. For example, while you are showing the exceptional features of your products on video, audio can be used to further emphasize the luxurious or high-end attributes of the images in the video.

Remember to maximize the benefits of videos when you are incorporating them into your website, and this is particularly relevant to live videos or webcasts. Because the technology for this type of marketing is readily available and more affordable than it has been in previous years, it is increasingly popular for businesses to use.

Live videos can be used to directly communicate with your audience and even to answer live phone calls or chatted-in messages. You may also be able to use 360-degree views of your products and communicate with jargon or lingo that has direct appeal to your target audience.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Final Word

While it may be common for many marketers to focus more heavily on text and verbal content in a marketing message than on images and videos, you can see now how important it is to use customized videos, images and graphics.

More than that, there are various ways for you to incorporate different visual elements into your marketing efforts so that you can more effectively take advantage of the benefits. In fact, almost any type of visual may have so much appeal to your target audience that it can potentially go viral and have pronounced reach and benefits to your brand and company.

As you prepare future marketing materials, keep these valuable tips about visual content in mind so that you can make a more impactful statement with your many marketing images and other visuals.

About the Author:

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88

The A/B Advantage

10 CTA design mistakes you’ve been making & their solutions

CTA designing is one of the trickiest part of web design and yet, in every way important. More than of 90% online visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy.

Over the years, CTAs have evolved and today they come in all forms and patterns. It could easily be a subscription to your blog or newsletter, it could be an offer you give out on your products or services, and it could even be an offer for a free trial and so on.

CTAs are one of the many factors that affect conversions. And these are the commonest of the mistakes that are made while designing a CTA. Read on to find out what they are and how you can correct them.

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Irrelevant CTA

How many of you have come across a CTA that falls short of a head and a tail? Relevancy matters because of the following reasons:

Let’s say you own a website that sells email marketing services and web development services. When users visit the service pages of web development services, it’s because they want to know more about the kind of web development services you provide. Now if you put up a CTA related to email marketing on the service page of web development services, you aren’t making the most out of a CTA.

Users won’t be able to find a connection between the CTA and the rest of the page, and that, is the biggest mistake in the rulebook of web design.

Wrongly Timed CTA

A wrongly timed CTA usually happens with the following kinds of CTAs:

  1. Inline CTA
  2. Slide In CTA
  3. Scroll Intent CTA
  4. Time Intent CTA
  5. Exit Intent CTA

An Inline CTA will be considered as a wrongly placed CTA when it is not placed in a way that the content written right above the CTA connects with it. Long story short, anything and everything about the offer in the CTA must be explained or talked about in the content written above the CTA.

The Slide In CTA must be placed in a way that it slides into the page after relevant information about the CTA has been given.

The Scroll Intent CTA shows up only after the user has done a specific amount of scrolling. In this case, again, information related to the offer in the CTA must be talked about within the amount of scrolling the user does before the scrolling point where the CTA is shown to him.

The Time Intent CTA, just like the name suggests, comes up only after a certain amount of time has spent by the user on the website. The time intent CTA must be timed in a way that the content relevant to the CTA has been disclosed prior the placement of the CTA.

The Exit Intent CTA, the easiest and yet somehow, the edgiest one. This CTA holds no scope for follies. The exit intent CTA must offer unconventional offers that provide the users with an incentive to stay. Read on to find how you should incentives to stay.

Long CTA

As businessmen, we are all greedy – greedy for customer data. And when it comes to customer data, we all want to know a customer inside out by asking for all the information in the world for creating personalized CTAs and personalized emails.

Do you know what the users feel when they are asked for their contact number (unnecessary information) just to download a guide on better CTA design? They feel that you are being creepy, that there is something fishy about your business, that they shouldn’t be making the mistake of trusting you and everything.

Asking for more information is not wrong. But like everything, there is a time and place for that as well. If you are giving out a free trial of a product/service, you have the right to ask for more information like the customer’s contact number, the name of the company they work with etc.

Poorly Written CTA

We have all been a victim to reading those long CTA copies that strained our eyes merely by thinking about reading those five long sentences that described the download free buyer persona templates.

Keep the main heading of the CTA short, crisp and to the point. You wouldn’t need more than 7 – 10 words to describe the content of the eBook in one line.

Too much content on a CTA is a turn off for people because they wouldn’t want to waste too much time behind swimming in a sea of words.

Unsubscribe CTA

We all want our users to stay subscribed and we try almost every possible way to make that happen. We don’t want our subscribers to get reduced and hence, we don’t even provide the unsubscribe button sometimes. But here’s the thing – the first thought that they go through before hitting a subscribe button is the fear of email bombardment.

This fear makes users not want to choose subscribing to your newsletters. So here’s what you can and should do to decrease the unsubscribe rate. If you are creating a CTA that is a subscription form, you must add a line like this ‘You can unsubscribe any time you want’.

It’s not like users don’t know that they can unsubscribe, it’s more like you’re reassuring what they already know and that works like magic.

Entrapping CTA

Have you ever felt trapped in a website?

Many of us have and all of this is because a CTA doesn’t provide the option to quit the CTA and continue browsing the website. The one and only option you would be provided with is to quit the website.

Many of us here are under the misconception that not providing the alternate option might make the users choose what’s available. But that’s not how it works. You cannot merely force someone to make a choice he doesn’t want to. On the contrary, this is what you should be doing – Giving them an option to accept the offer and a dumb option.

Yes, I want the conversions to increase.

No, I don’t want to grow.

Other than this, it is very much important to provide a cross sign at the top of the CTA. It lets the users quit the CTA and continue browsing the website.

Forever CTA

The Forever CTA is the one that implies that whatever that is being offered through the CTA will last forever. But how the users see it as something they can come back to if they don’t find anything else anywhere. What amiss in such cases is the element of scarcity.

The element of scarcity is where you show the users that what you are offering is going to get over pretty soon and they won’t be able to get it if they don’t grab it then and there.

You might have come across various Amazon sales that last for about 3-4 days and that is shown in the CTA because they want the users to know that they would be missing out on everything being sold at a discounted rate if they wouldn’t take immediate action.

No Urgency CTA

Urgency plays a big role in conversions through CTA. How many webinar CTAs have you come across as “59 seats remaining” or “Webinar starts in 15 minutes”? These are two most common cases of urgency.

The human mind works that way – they won’t grab anything until and unless they are shown the quick exhaustion rate. That works the magic of a catalyst when it comes to conversions through CTA.

When you show the urgency factor through words in the CTA, you are indirectly giving the user an incentive to take up the offer then and there.

Wrong Colored CTA

We have all seen an example of a wrong colored CTA and wrong colors affect conversion in a more powerful way than you can imagine. Different colors have different psychological effects on a human mind. And before we move forward, we need to break the myth of ‘right color CTAs’. There is nothing of that sort.

What matters here is that the color you choose for your CTA must contrast with the color of the website or at least look good with it. For e.g., a red CTA won’t work on a red website. It might easily go unnoticed. However, a red CTA button will work wonders on a green website.

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(Source: Webdesigner Depot)

Invisible CTA

An invisible CTA is a CTA that is bland and mellow to the point that the users just look past it and keep wondering if you are even interested in growing your business.

The entire CTA design depends initially on visibility first and then its noticeability. There just has to be a separate outline around it to make sure it is visible. But it needs to stand out to be noticed. And to make it stand out, the design of the CTA must go one sensible level above the rest of the web design. And for that to happen, the CTA must have the following attributes:

  1. Font size one size larger than the size of the font size of the content and two sizes smaller than the subheading on the page.
  2. If you are looking for a different font format altogether, make sure that it aligns with the feel of the font format used on the rest of the page.
  3. Color that has been implemented the least on the website/page.

Conclusion

CTAs are tricky and they need to be given an extra thought while creation. It needs to catchy, subtle, short and yet should not hit the user in the eye, should be attention trapping and descriptive in a limit of maximum 10 words.

But before you finalize on one CTA, make sure you do an A/B testing and then decide on any one of the two. CTAs also must be changed every once in a while so that users frequent users don’t get bored by seeing the same CTA over and over again.

Let us know if you’ve made similar mistakes and have corrected those mistakes in different ways in the comments below.

Author Bio:

Nick Patel is Marketing Head at WebbyMonks, agencies’ most preferred Front End and WordPress Development Partner. He pens down his knowledge and experience on WordPress, Digital Marketing, and Web Design. He loves to explore cutting-edge technology in the digital world. When not writing for technology, you can find him fishing, shooting with his camera or brewing coffee. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn

7 mistakes copywriters should avoid

Copywriting isn’t easy. Like any form of creativity, from filmmaking and graphic design to dance and theatre, it’s easy to get started but takes a lifetime to master, and the very best copywriters are the ones who know that there’s always something else to learn about the craft.

There are books, of course – Stephen King’s On Writing is great for writers of any genre, and Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style belongs on every copywriter’s bookcase. But books can only get you so far, and if you’re looking for quick wins, then the best bet is to critically evaluate your own writing style and to work with colleagues to identify weaknesses.

A good place to start is by checking your work for these seven major mistakes that have plagued copywriters almost since the very first time someone painted some words on a sign. Let’s get to it.

Ignoring tones of voice

The tone of voice documents is there for a reason. Every brand has a different tone of voice, which is why it’d be super weird if Red Bull suddenly took on a corporate tone. Agency writers, in particular, need to adapt themselves to different tones of voice on a regular basis, but even in-house copywriters are occasionally guilty of flouting their company’s guidelines. Your tone of voice document is like a holy book, so make sure you study it so much you could quote scripture from it.

Failing to proofread

It’s true that there’s a certain joy in creation, which is why it’s often tempting to skip editing and proofreading and to hand in a first draft – especially if you’re under pressure to deliver it. Whatever you do, don’t – a single spelling mistake can cut sales in half, and proofreading is a vital part of a copywriter’s role. If possible, strike up a deal with another copywriter so you proofread each other’s work – after all, two heads are better than one! If you don’t have any copywriting friends (hopefully you do) or don’t want to bother them with your problems, you can use editing services like assignment masters.

Dismissing SEO

Copywriters never used to worry about SEO because that was historically dealt with by the web development team and largely involved the technical build of the website. These days, though, copywriting and SEO go hand in hand, which is why it’s important for copywriters to learn how the words they create fit into a wider SEO strategy. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Not complementing imagery

Copywriters and designers need to work together if they’re to generate the best results. In fact, many copywriters form creative partnerships with designers to make sure that words and visuals are always tightly aligned. You could create the most engaging copy in the world, but if it’s overshadowed by bad design or accompanied by a seemingly irrelevant image then it’s going to lose much of its impact. As a copywriter, you should maintain constant communication with designers throughout the process so that you’re working together instead of in separate silos.

Failing to adapt to different platforms

Facebook isn’t the same as Twitter, and a brochure isn’t the same as a website. That’s why you’ll need to invest the time to tailor your copy for different platforms, always focussing on where it’s actually going to end up. If you’re writing copy for a billboard at the side of a road, for example, then there’s no point writing a long paragraph that motorists will never have time to process.

Missing a call-to-action

A call-to-action is a small section, usually at the end of an article, which tells people what you want them to do next. You might want them to sign up for a free trial, buy a product, sign up to a mailing list or follow you on social networking sites. Whatever it is, you need to take the time to tell people what to do – otherwise, they won’t do it.

Trying to be something you’re not

Copywriters specialize in different disciplines and subject matters for a reason. With writing, in particular, you can tell whether the author is passionate about what they’re talking about, and it rings false if you’re a vegetarian trying to sell bacon or a baby boomer who’s trying to sound ‘down with the kids’. The very best writers find a niche and stick to it, becoming an authority on their chosen subject instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.

Conclusion

Copywriting is undergoing something of a renaissance thanks to the rise of blogging and social media marketing. That means that copywriting is likely to be a relevant skill to marketing departments worldwide for plenty of years to come – and the copywriters who are able to command the largest salaries will be the ones who are the best at what they do.

This list will help, but ultimately the best way to practice is to practice. So go on, get out there – stop reading and start writing. Good luck.

Bio

Carol Henderson is a passionate copywriter who loves to share her knowledge about applying writing skills to effective social media, online marketing, and SEO.

4 Easy Tactics to Make Your Content Stand Out from the Crowd

Every day, Internet users publish and share countless bits of information. Additionally, practically every article has links to additional content. Meanwhile, social media has an endless stream of content vying for attention. In the end, the people you want to reach with your material might never see it amidst all the noise.

For this reason, the job of getting your content noticed by your desired audience can seem like a daunting task. After all, people are already limited on the account of their time and attention span. Consequently, even if you create high-quality material, you still might not adequately communicate your message.

Being that the success of your content affects the performance of your business, you must take decisive action. For starters, consider the following four easy tactics to make your content stand out from the crowd.

1. Write a Strong Headline

Most people will read a headline, but only about twenty percent of them will read an entire article. With this in mind, you must create an intriguing headline to captivate your readers. In other words, your headline influences the success of everything you publish.

Try including numeric or statistical data. Similarly, articles in the form of lists, so-called listicles, appeal to readers because these announce that the content discusses a certain number of facts or tips. You can also boost your headlines by including emotionally charged adjectives and by asking questions that begin with how or why.

As you write, challenge your reader to react by providing a clear call to take definite and immediate action. Also, without making unrealistic promises, make sure you explain how your readers will benefit from their response.

2. Educate and Entertain with Interactive Content

Interactive content is more attractive to casual viewers. Do everything possible to create a personalized experience that keeps your readers engaged from the time they open your page until the time they leave.

To achieve an educational and entertaining experience for your readers, create content that induces dialog. Regardless of whether you publish blog content or send marketing emails, make sure you give your audience a chance to interact with buttons, text boxes, videos and other tools.

Overall, customers want to get value from their online experience. As a result, if you make sure that your content informs and entertains, your content will stand out. Regardless of whether your content simplifies life, resolves a question or supplies information, it adds value to your audience by delivering immediate, relevant and personalized results.

3. Use Infographics to Grab Your Reader’s Attention

Communicate your messages visually by encapsulating complex ideas in an easy to read graphic. Not only will this add to the information value of your content but also give you a chance to make your content more entertaining and fun to read.

As you begin creating your infographics, however, make sure that you also compose a complementary text. Doing so can create synergy between the two content types and improve your results. In other words, make sure that your infographics and text concisely communicate your message and compel action.

Infographics will continue to work for you long after your readers have left your website or social media page. In the first place, people tend to remember images more accurately and longer than they do words in print. Furthermore, people often share this type of content and thereby extend your reach over the course of time.

4. Impress Your Audience with Video Content

High bandwidth mobile Internet connections have driven the popularity of video content. You can now quickly and affordably produce video content that attracts and fascinates audiences as you tell your story. Regardless of whether you create video tutorials and “how-to” clips or if you use video to demonstrate your goods and services, you can create a unique look and feel for your brand.

Of course, in many cases, the appeal of video content attracts more traffic to your website or blog, so it should play a major role in any marketing effort. Not all video content is equal, however, so use your creativity to make an experience for your viewers that is as entertaining as it is informative.

When it comes to your videos, make sure you make them long enough to concisely accomplish your goals yet short enough to keep the attention of your viewers. Moreover, you can add links to related videos and other material at the end of each clip to make sure people can always learn more.

Conclusion

The selling ranks of digital publishers have caused an abundance of information online. Additionally, most people face a deluge of information in their inboxes. As competition for the attention of Internet users increases, you must deliver value through your strategic use of headlines as well as your text-based, graphic and video content. As a result, you will stand out from the crowd.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.

Why the Skyscraper Content Strategy Opens a World of Possibilities for Bloggers

According to Statista, there were 173 million blogs on the Internet in 2011. You can only imagine how much content is on the Internet today. With the convenience of the Internet to access any blogs and articles, how can you ensure that your blogs are being seen?

Many SEO professionals rely on a popular strategy known as the Skyscraper Technique, which consists of three easy steps. SEO expert Brian Dean spearheaded this strategy and successfully used this technique to increase search traffic by 110% in 14 days. The technique begins with researching popular topics and link-worthy content. Then, you take the topic and create something even better. Finally, reaching out and promoting your content to the right people.

Sounds easy, right?

The technique works extremely well and can bring great possibilities for bloggers too.

Increase Organic Traffic and Awareness for Your Blog

Outreaching is one of the most critical steps of the Skyscraper technique. Once you’ve curated a list of potential bloggers to outreach, make sure you find the correct email and start sending them your blog. While people may not always link to your website, emailing them your blog allows them to be aware of your content and blog.

Additionally, many bloggers are willing to share your blog on their social media channels instead. This exposes your article to their followers and increases the traffic to your blog. A domino effect tends to happen in which their followers will share the article on their social channels, and so forth.

Build Connections with People of Similar Interest

Because you’re contacting professionals and bloggers that have already linked to similar content, you know that they will be interested in the blog you have written. In fact, these are writers or blog owners that likely have similar interests as you.

More often than not, they will respond to you and thank you for sharing a piece of article with them. Therefore, take this as an opportunity to follow them and build a connection with them on social media. This way, you can reach out to them in the future for other articles you’ve written or the possibility of them guest blogging on your website.

Building Links and Increasing Authority

Of course, we can’t forget about the SEO benefits that the Skyscraper technique has for bloggers. The links through the Skyscraper techniques are generally of higher quality because you’re contacting bloggers that are related to your topic of interest. Since you’re choosing who to contact and what blogs to reach out to, you’re ultimately the quality control for the links.

With a great backlink profile, Google and other search engines will rank your blog higher. Thus, increasing your domain authority.

Become an Influential Blogger

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence includes reciprocity, authority, and credibility. By giving someone a valuable blog, one that is better than the one they’ve linked to, you’re hoping for them to reciprocate with a backlink or social shares to your website.

In addition, you’re increasing your authority and credibility as a blogger and expert.

But how?

The social shares from other bloggers are perfect ways of them demonstrating their support for your work.

It’s Successful!

Finally, this technique is tried and true. SEO expert, Brian Dean, and many other marketing professionals have given it a try, and while results may vary, bloggers have had positive outcomes from the technique.

Even if it doesn’t generate a number of backlinks or traffic streams to your website, you’ll definitely increase your blog exposure and develop connections with other influencers.

5 Simple Tips To Up Your Content Marketing Game

A content marketing campaign is crucial to any business trying to make a name for itself in the online world. Content marketing has become so prevalent that over 90% of small businesses now employ it as part of a broader marketing push. That means that today it is not enough to create content, one now needs content that is of the highest quality and greatest relevance.

Many people are finding that achieving their desired goals is more difficult than they thought and some are flat-out failing with their content marketing strategy. Thankfully there are many tried and true methods to not only improving your strategy but to achieving long-term success as well.

Listed below are the top four ways to improve your content marketing campaigns.

1. Refine Your Strategy

When you created a content marketing campaign, you probably (hopefully) set out with a strategy for implementing it. Unfortunately, most people fail to realize that a strategy is not a one-and-done prospect. It requires the flexibility to change and adapt.

A good strategy begins with identifying key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI can be anything from a view ,to a share, or even a conversion – as long as it is something you can track. These KPIs could, and perhaps even should change over time.

Once you have a refined strategy with set expectations, you can begin testing what content works, and what doesn’t. There is no single method of creating killer content (no matter what anyone might tell you), so trying different things until you find the one that works for your business is always necessary.

2. Stop Underestimating Cost

If you’re like most businesses I have consulted, you expect the world at the lowest cost possible. Unfortunately, companies that are not willing to spend the money necessary for a successful content marketing campaign usually don’t see success.

When it comes to marketing you get what you pay for. Writing is not a science, yet many businesses treat it as such, hiring anyone who claims they can create effective content. Finding the top content creators is as important as finding the best person for any other position at your company.

All of this is worthwhile in the long run, as generating leads through content is actually less expensive than it is through traditional marketing techniques.

3. Promote Your Content

On the internet, the phrase “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. It is not enough to create an optimized website and write content. You have to work hard to promote it as well. Of course, great content generally gets rewarded by search engines, but even the best content needs a boost. With so many ways of promoting your work, there is no excuse not to.

You may start out by including it in an email newsletter to your subscribers. Your base is your most reliable source of views, so always cater to them first. Next, make use of all social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Google+. Even the most minor of online mentions can boost your content.

Finally, pitch your work to others. Influencers are usually happy to share great content and other site owners are always looking for some new ideas to share. The best part about content promotion is that everyone benefits from the cycle of sharing.

4. Implement Systems Instead of Goals

Most businesses create lists of goals that they wish to achieve when considering a marketing campaign. These can be anything from aiming to get X number of site visits every day or hoping to earn X dollars in a single year. This style of thinking, especially when it comes to content marketing campaigns, isn’t always best, however.

In his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams discusses the benefits of creating systems instead of goals. He argues that systems are more effective at creating lasting results than goals, which are fleeting and limit your output. After all, if you have an endpoint, you will work only to achieve that and nothing more.

Adams also happens to talk about his personal content creation process. When he first began, he treated the process as a kind of research and development. He wrote on a variety of topics, in a variety of different tones, and analyzed which garnered the best response. He continued to build on the content that worked and his style eventually got him so much attention that publishers and publications sought him out.

Adams understood that had he set out with a specific goal in mind, he would not have had the opportunity to feel around for his own personal voice and command the respect and response that he eventually received.

5. Listen to Feedback

One of the best ways to find out how effective your content marketing campaigns are is to simply ask your audience. You can do this simply by adding a comments section to your blog and opening yourself up to constructive criticism. You can also analyze your data.

Analytics provide an unspoken testimony about what your visitors truly think. Do they spend time reading your content or do they bounce quickly? Is your content converting or are you targeting the wrong audience? It’s easy to figure this information out if you approach the data wisely.

Finally, keep an eye out on your social media posts. It’s important that your content be packaged differently for each platform and that you understand the desires of your followers on each one. Feedback in the form of likes and comments can go a long way in helping you shape your message.

6. Curb Your Expectations

Content marketing is not the end-all solution to your company’s success. It is just one of many strategies you should have in place. When used as a supplement to your overall online marketing plan, it can be very effective, but many people have extremely high expectations – especially in the beginning.

It is important to remember that you are competing with hundreds of other companies just like yours. Even minor results are great results, however, and every view counts. Just because your site isn’t bringing in millions of visitors, doesn’t mean your campaign isn’t providing you with worthwhile outcomes.

Always remember to keep things in perspective, be grateful for your successes, and remain flexible with your plans. Using these four methods, your content marketing is sure to take you places.

Author: Brandon David is the founder of Website Builder Insider. Although he didn’t receive any formal training, he has dedicated most of his time to becoming an authority on everything web related. When not online, Brandon is most likely eating, sleeping, or doing something else to maintain his unhealthy addiction to the internet.

How to Make Content Marketing Work Without Breaking the Bank

On today’s Internet, content is king. The days of being able to throw together a website and do some search engine optimization magic to get immediate traffic are over. Google and other search engines value high-quality content more than ever, and creating it is the key to your online success. Content creation has a high return on investment, helps tremendously with search engine optimization, and can bring you increased leads and sales. When compared to other methods of customer acquisition, it is typically much more profitable as well.

If your company has a large budget to work with in the content creation realm, that can significantly speed up the process of implementing your content plan. However, many companies don’t have the budget to pay for a great deal of custom content. Although you can definitely spend as much money as you want on content creation, there are ways to go about it that won’t bankrupt your company. In reality, you can create great content without spending a lot of money. In some cases, you can do it for almost nothing.

Content Marketing Strategy

While content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, it can cost you a lot of wasted time and energy if you’re not careful. What do you want to accomplish with your content marketing strategy? Do you want to convey a certain image or voice for your brand? Are you hoping to educate people on a complex topic or generate some buzz and attention? Do you hope to get more leads, more visits to your website, or look like the authority in your area of expertise?

Set achievable goals in relation to your content strategy. Make sure that the goals are specific, written down and measurable. Using vague descriptions of what you want to accomplish will result in vague results. The more specific you can be, the more realistic your goals become.

Start doing some research. Think about the ideal person that you’re trying to reach with your content. What are they searching for? What are they hoping to accomplish? Look at their current pain points and what issues they are having. In addition to looking at the pain points of your ideal customer, you should also take a look at the types of content that your competitors are making. If you can make similar content, only better, your chances of success will increase substantially. You don’t have to recreate the wheel if you find something that’s working well.

Before getting started with the content creation, you should also figure out a way to measure your performance. If necessary, get some software that will track all of the key performance indicators (KPI) that will determine if you’re successful. Google Analytics is a free platform that does much of what you’ll need, but if it’s not what you are looking for, there are many other programs out there to choose from.

Spend some time thinking about how you will promote your content. Depending on your target customer and your region, you’ll want to make sure you choose the correct social media platform to work with.

Before you begin making the content, you should also create a content calendar. A content calendar will guide your content creation strategy and help you stay on task.

Starting a Blog

One of the most basic and most important steps you can take in content creation is starting a blog. It only takes a couple of minutes to get started on WordPress, and it is a very simple platform to use. Although you always have the option of hiring a copywriter to write your posts for you, it’s not always necessary. You can write the posts yourself. If you have a staff to work with, pick some with the best writing ability and take turns writing posts. The writing quality doesn’t have to be perfect to make a difference. The important thing is that you’re creating content and improving as you go.

If you are going to utilize the talents of your staff for writing, you should give them the option to do it from home. Working remotely can increase productivity and it will make them more likely to actually do it. Your employees may jump at the chance to do some work from home.

If you’re in a situation where you don’t have any employees and you don’t have the time, you could consider hiring a copywriter. It’s possible to get a quality post written for $20 to $30, depending on the level of depth required. If you’re going to do a lot of content, that adds up quickly, but it’s definitely better than not creating content at all.

Another option is to hire a staff writer. If you decide to go this route, consider letting them work from home. This will be less expensive than giving them office space.

Content Creation

Go for quality over quantity. Search engines love quality content and do not value quantity anymore. Try to repurpose existing content that you have into new content instead of coming up with it all from scratch. You can spin the same content into a few different formats.

For example, you could turn a blog post into a video, slideshow, or podcast. Instead of creating a new post from scratch, you can also use old content that is outdated and update it with current information. This can cut your content creation time in half for each piece of repurposed content and costs next to nothing.

Another great way to get content is to accept guest posts. Other bloggers may want to offer you a free piece of content to put on your blog in exchange for a link to their website. You don’t have to accept every pitch for an article, but you can pick some of the best to feature. Accept only high-quality writers who are willing to contribute in exchange for exposure.

You can make a page about guest posting on your site and even reach out to some other blogs. Consider writing guest posts on other blogs and link back to your own articles on your blog, this will help you build additional exposure.

Promotion

Once you have content, it’s time to promote it. Share it on Facebook, tweet it, and post it to Instagram. If you have a mailing list, send it out. Use a variety of platforms to promote it. Visit other similar sites and comment about your content with a link. Get the word out.

Regardless of what kind of content you decide to create, focus on quality. Even if you’ve got a small budget to start with, content can take you from relative obscurity to a massively popular online brand. Focus on adding value in your content and the results will come.

About the author

Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie