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Inbound Marketing Age

Is thin content damaging your online presence?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you've produced reams of B2B marketing content and are not seeing the results you expected, 'Thin Content' might be the culprit. So what is it and how do you fix it?

Google defines thin content as content that has little or no value. It’s the opposite of deep content – if Google hadn’t already named it, I’d be calling it shallow content. Examples could be automatically generated content, pages which are mostly affiliate links, doorway pages, content from other sources or low-quality guest posts.

For most legitimate B2B businesses who publish content, it's most likely to be either the last two, or simply pages that don't appear to be really useful to visitors.

Let’s look at three ways thin content harms your online presence.

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Why you need to be writing online content like a journalist

Written by Eric Swain  |  9, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in June 2014.

A few years back, I spoke to Anna Lawlor, who at the time was the writer and director of Social i Media, who offered some fascinating insights into why writing and thinking like a journalist can give content creators a real edge. Anna is now co-founder and Head of Content & PR at Luminescence Communications Ltd, a company specialising in creating high quality communications for professional services.

What Anna had to say back in 2014 still rings true today, and she offers some interesting thoughts on how content marketers should be thinking like journalists.

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The future of long-form content. Do words really matter?

Written by Osian Barnes  |  1, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Long form written content is traditionally highly prized by marketers because we know its power. It gets better SERP rankings than short form, it’s seen as more authoritative by search engines, and quite often it's considered more shareable. 

Well-written, with the right keywords and centred around carefully chosen topics of ‘evergreen’ relevance, a long form piece of content (such as an ebook) can become a cornerstone of your digital real estate.

It will drive traffic to your site and support a virtuous circle of discovery, sharing and conversion.

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How to create deep content your audiences will love

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, April, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There are around 170 million active* websites in the world today (*out of a grand total of around 1.7 billion hostnames) with an estimated 5.6 billion web pages indexed in search engines. WordPress alone sees around 70 million new posts a month.

So if you are writing a blog post and you want that blog post to be seen, how can you possibly reach your audience when there is just so much content out there?

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Can the future of content marketing be found in the past?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  9, April, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Last month was Equinet's first ever Certification Day, where the company dedicated a whole day to training.

While studying for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification, I was reminded that once upon a time, as little as 350 words was sufficient enough to rank well, as long as you included the right balance of links and keywords.

That’s a stark contrast from today, where the average blog post currently sits at 1151 words.

It got me thinking about how content marketing has changed over the years. In some ways, it seems as though we are worlds apart from the way things once were.

But are we really creating content that differently to how we did it in the past?

I thought it was time for a little refresh…

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Clarity is the key to B2B content success

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the guiding principles for content success is clarity. Without a clear approach, a clear understanding, and a clear delivery your efforts will be lost along the way.

In this article, we are going to concentrate on four key areas where clarity is the watchword.

1. Clarity of strategy

Once you’ve gone through the process of defining your company’s marketing strategy you should ensure that everyone on the team, or at least those involved in the delivery of the strategy, understand it and all that it is designed to achieve. That also includes senior managers and directors of the company – everyone should be on the same page.

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How to inject more life into your blog posts with visual media

Written by Katie Hughes  |  14, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. But, in a world where companies are starting to think more like media publishers, are text-only blog posts still holding people’s attention?

According to one study, “91% of consumers now prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based or static media.” Plus, 65% of the population are visual learners.

But this doesn’t mean we should be putting our pens down and aborting blogging altogether. And if you’re not convinced of this, I implore you to read this blog post.

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How to maximise your content's performance

Written by Keith Errington  |  13, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

How can you tell whether your content is truly performing at its best?

One way of course, is to consult your analytics. This will tell you how many people are landing on the page, how long they are spending there, and whether they are clicking on links.

Analyse your content continuously and you'll start to spot patterns and trends which will help you form a picture of what content works well and what doesn’t.

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5 ways to better serve your B2B customers

Written by Keith Errington  |  27, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You could argue that the success or failure of any business-to-business (B2B) company scores is completely linked to customer service – far more than business-to-consumer (B2C). The buying process is longer, usually involves more people and the sums of money involved are much higher. There is often a deeper level of contact with prospects and a stronger relationship with customers once they buy.

According to McKinsey, while B2C companies enjoy an average customer service score in the 65 to 85 per cent range, business-to-business B2B company scores average less than 50 per cent. And as B2B customer expectations rise, the gap between the two offerings likely will widen.

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How to write content in a productivity slump

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  4, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Picture me as an art student half-way through a still life class. I'm focussed on the drawing. I'm frowning and fussing - erasing and redrawing the same area of the page over and over. 

I'm totally over-invested in the minutiae.

And, every week, as the tutor paces the room, he invariably pauses behind me and says something along the lines of...

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Top Ten Content Marketing Pros and Cons

Written by Keith Errington  |  30, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content marketing has risen to prominence amongst both B2C and B2B marketers, driven in part by the significant influence of search engines on today’s shoppers and buyers and the diminishing power of conventional advertising.

Compared to traditional marketing programs, content marketing costs 62% less and generates approximately three times the volume of leads.

Countless numbers of companies have embraced it and placed it at the core of their marketing strategies, but what is the case for it? Is it a no-brainer, or are their downsides too?

To help you consider it, plan for it or even review your ongoing strategy, here are ten pros and cons of Content Marketing.

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How to make your video content more inclusive

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  29, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As a creator of online content, it’s important to have a keen awareness of your audience. Not surprisingly, this includes people from all backgrounds. The internet is for everybody - and businesses have a social responsibility to strive for more inclusive design.

People tune in for more than pure sound or image. Videos carry a message, and viewers with hearing or vision loss shouldn’t be made to feel excluded from global communications. Screen readers are making it easier for people with poor vision or hearing to browse the web, and content makers need to step up to the mark. 

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Back to Basics for B2B Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

I’m one of these strange people that actually enjoy hearing about the latest marketing theories, reading up on best practice, researching the most recent thoughts on marketing strategy and tactics and all those articles on how to maximise your results. It’s great to know about the theory and hear what the greatest marketing gurus in the land think you should be doing.

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Sitting comfortably? How to create content that really connects

Written by Nicola Risi  |  14, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

I can’t stand reading my old blogs.

I'd go around the houses about five times before saying anything concrete. I used vocabulary I wasn’t totally comfortable with. And I always seemed to think more was ...more. More words, more examples, more regurgitations of the same ideas.

Of course, that’s reflected in the stats.

Even if traffic was high, nobody was hanging around long enough to extract any value from my posts.

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Content marketing success factors in 2019

Written by Nicola Risi  |  4, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you have an inbound strategy or not, I think it's fair to assume that  staying competitive, profitable and on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) is a priority for most businesses.

But that requires you to constantly have your finger on the pulse - algorithm updates, ranking factors and changes in your readers’ behaviour will all influence not just a content marketing strategy, but a marketing strategy full stop.

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Image alt-text: the good the bad and the ugly

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  12, December, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Images are a key component for almost every website - it’s hard to find a page online that doesn’t contain at least one. 

For this reason, image optimisation plays a vital role in B2B website housekeeping. The benefits are plentiful. Optimising your images helps them to rank higher on SERPs, makes them more voice search friendly, funnels higher quality traffic to your page and ultimately improves UX.

With that in mind, alt-text is one of the most obvious places to start.

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5 ways for marketers to make an impact in the age of fake news

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, December, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

What if I were to tell you that 73% of the content posted to the Internet was fiction, that in the past ten years the number of verifiable facts within web pages had dropped by 48%, and that the vast majority of content was now being produced by trained squirrels in Tanzania?

Hopefully, you would realise that these are all pretty good examples of fake news - one of the biggest threats facing the Western World today (according to some commentators).

It varies from the almost believable to the absolute absurd, but has one thing in common: it bears little resemblance to the truth.

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Account Based Marketing: Don’t Believe the Hype Cycle

Written by Osian Barnes  |  14, November, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

According to Gartner, when it comes to Account Based Marketing (ABM) we have just past the peak of the hype cycle. That means it’s downhill all the way from here, until expectations are readjusted and its true merits discovered once again.

At the moment the breathless blogging about its value to business might be sounding a little hollow. 15 Captivating Statistics That Prove You Need ABM Right Now, for example, seems to be suggesting it’s a magic bullet for everyone, which it certainly is not. There is also hype around ‘hands-free ABM’, which is promising effortless, fully automated solutions for what is, in reality, a detailed and complex task of analysis and execution.

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Getting your marketing mix right is more important than ever

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  6, November, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2012 but has since been updated for optimal accuracy and relevance.

Marketing is changing faster than ever. As you likely remember, there was once a time when B2B businesses would make cold calls or pay unsolicited visits to prospects to sell their products and services.

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How artificial intelligence has changed B2B marketing

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  19, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The world can be a pretty noisy place. We're constantly bombarded with messages, advertisements and stimuli online. Today, consumers are becoming increasingly hardened against traditional marketing tactics.

However, personalisation can play a key role in making your brand stand out, and advancements in artificial intelligence technology are designed to support this. AI is flourishing across website design, social media, email campaigns, customer segmentation and content optimisation.

Artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and data analytics are helping businesses to become more responsive to consumer demands in real-time.

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4 digital marketing trends to watch in 2019

Written by Katie Hughes  |  12, September, 2018  |  3 Comments  Subscribe

September has arrived. The kids are back at school, this summer’s heatwave is a distant memory, and it’s starting to feel very autumnal. Dare I say it, but it will be Christmas before we know it. So it’s not too early to start thinking about the new year, right?

With the world changing a mile a minute, it certainly pays to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some thoughts about the digital marketing trends you need to keep an eye out for in 2019.

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Generation Z: Ushering in a new age

Written by Aidan Swain  |  3, September, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Until recently, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials have been the target demographics for most modern businesses when marketing their services/products.

However, businesses should consider the purchasing power and the burgeoning influence of another: Generation Z. Generally considered to include people born between 1996 and 2014, they are the rising demographic armed with an economic force to be reckoned with. So, turn your attention to the effects of the youngest generation of consumers. Many B2C and B2B businesses have already started.

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The staying power of white papers in B2B content marketing

Written by Katie Hughes  |  30, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The popularity of video marketing, podcasts and webinars are expanding the horizon for B2B content marketers. By comparison, the written word may seem unexciting and a little out of date. But sometimes, it's worth going back to basics.

White papers certainly aren’t the newest platform for sharing your company’s content - but the power they can yield is far from being extinct. 

And the stats speak for themselves: 71% of B2B buyers have used white papers in the last 12 months to research purchasing decisions.

Here’s a reminder of why white papers are still a powerful magnet for B2B buyers in 2018 and beyond.

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How to do B2B influencer marketing better

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In recent months influencer marketing has started to lose its popularity as a way to generate business with big companies such as Unilever reviewing their use of influencers. Some would argue that influencer marketing is a waste of money. So what’s the problem? And can the B2B world use influencer marketing at all?

Well, the fact of the matter is, even if you are in a B2B business, you are almost certainly using influencer marketing right now to a lesser or greater extent.

Part of the problem seems to be the perception of who an influencer is and what they do. The popular image is of a celebrity tweeting about products and posing for Instagram selfies with products. And while there is no doubt that this happens – and is even very successful for some B2C brands, it comes with a whole raft of issues, and does not reflect the vast majority of influencers out there.

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8 tips for promoting your blog posts on social media

Written by Katie Hughes  |  16, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

94% of content marketers are using social media as part of their strategy. And for good reason - 54% of buyers use social media to research potential vendors and solutions.

But social media is a crowded space, and the challenge is getting your content heard above the noise.

To really illustrate this point, here are some stats about what happens on social media every minute;

  • 448,800 tweets are published
  • 3.3 million Facebook posts are published
  • 65,972 photos are uploaded on Instagram
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How to write case studies that convert

Written by Nicola Risi  |  27, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s not uncommon for marketers to shy away from creating case studies.

Customers are often reticent about publishing those telling numbers and details and, more importantly, revealing their secrets to competitors. 

Or perhaps, like many, you underestimate the impressiveness of your results and success.

In this post, we'll address each of those challenges, but not before we touch on some of the most vital features of a case study.

Case studies can be important content marketing tools. There is ample reason for considering them as a part of your strategy. So let's dive straight in; here's how you can craft a winning and most a crucially, a converting case study.

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4 things you need to know about the B2B buyer's journey in 2018

Written by Katie Hughes  |  26, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Demand Gen Report recently published the results of their B2B Buyers Survey 2018, their seventh annual survey on buyers’ purchasing behaviours. This year they polled 259 executives in a variety of industries, including High Tech (31%), Manufacturing (19%) and Professional Services (14%).

B2B buyer behaviour has evolved considerably since the first survey was launched in 2012. While B2B buying has often been synonymous with a long-term research process and a complex eco-system of decision-makers, buyer behaviour has expanded in a number of ways.

Here is our take on the four biggest marketing insights from this year’s survey.

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How to write B2B blogs that are voice search friendly

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  28, June, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

The rising popularity of mobile devices has changed the way consumers search for information online, and marketers are already adapting their search engine optimisation tactics in response.

In 2018, SEO needs to consider the prominence of AI-powered voice search too.

According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches come from voice queries. 50 percent of smartphone users use voice technology on their device, and 33 percent use it daily.

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How to use quantitative research to enhance your content marketing

Written by Katie Hughes  |  25, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Research is regularly hailed as one of the most effective forms of content. Why? Because it encapsulates the very essence of thought leadership.

If you think about it, what better way is there to position your company as a voice of authority in your field than by sharing new insights on industry trends?

But carrying out your own research is an investment that can require a significant amount of time and attention. Perhaps that’s why just 49 per cent of B2B marketers are creating research as part of their content marketing strategy.

However, it’s not as difficult or demanding as you might think.

And research that delivers useful, relevant and interesting insights for your target buyers can be repurposed into multiple pieces of powerful content, making it the gift that keeps on giving.

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5 ways to repurpose content to boost your web traffic

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  7, March, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

To succeed at inbound marketing you need a constant stream of fresh content. And those who write content as part of their job will tell you the challenges they face continually coming up with new ideas, or angles to take.

But what if the answers are already in your content library, you're just not looking in the right places?

Repurposing content means reusing your existing content in a different way.

Here are some ideas.

Blogs into Vlogs

Turning your old posts into video blogs, or as they’re more commonly known, ‘vlogs’ are an informal, conversational way to get your message across to potential customers.

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