Content Marketing

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

What Should Your Content Really Look Like in 2019

What’s at the centre of your digital and social activity? Chances are its content, which bridges the gap between brand and customer like no other media or medium could do previously.

Content marketing has come a long way since the early days of publishing multiple (and mostly mediocre) blogs each week on your website in the vain hope of getting noticed or ranking for a couple of obscure, long tail search queries.

These days, content marketing is a multi-channel, cross-platform behemoth, consisting of everything from landing pages and infographics to podcasts and videos.

The increasingly competitive space in which content sits has also changed dramatically, with things like featured snippets and voice search making any marketing objective even more difficult to achieve.

But that doesn’t mean to say boosting your brand identity, increasing online awareness and engaging with customers through content marketing is impossible…

Here’s the content that performs best in 2019:

Long-form authoritative content

So, if regular blogging doesn’t cut it anymore, what does?

The answer is long-form authoritative content.

This means going into great detail about a particular theme or topic and updating it regularly with fresh insight, imagery and video.

After analysing 912 million blog posts to better understand the world of content marketing, Brian Dean from Backlinko discovered that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than shorter articles. It also generates significantly more social shares, especially within the ‘sweet spot’ of 1,000-2,000 words.

Other industry studies have also found a direct correlation between long-form content and first page Google rankings. This is because long-form content stands a better chance of satisfying intent and maintaining engagement by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of a particular subject.

Best practice: Identify topics or themes that strongly correlate with your brand’s products, services, or industry. Think about how you could demonstrate your authority with long-form content that meets your customer’s wants and needs.

Short-form video

Every year, the importance of video content continues to grow – you only have to look at the success and influence of platforms like Instagram to realise that its here to stay for the long haul.

According to a recent study by Altimeter, short-form video (less than two minutes) is the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. By contrast, long-form video (greater than two minutes) was said to be 20% less effective.

In addition to greater engagement, short-form video can also improve your SEO, make content more accessible to a wider audience, generate a strong emotional connection with customers and lead to more conversions.

Best practice: Generate ideas for short-term video content that will resonate with your audience. Remember to optimise for mobile viewing (where most video is watched), create captions, include a CTA and keep it short!

Influencer marketing

Despite the exponential rise of social media influencers in recent years, this marketing trend is nothing new. However, several brands are reluctant to explore the idea of influencer marketing due to misconceptions that you need to spend thousands (or even millions) getting high-profile celebrities on board.

More often than not, brands have the most success with influencer marketing when they choose people directly related to their industry or niche. Better yet, they collaborate with influencers throughout the content ideation and creation process.

The following influencer marketing statistics speak volumes about its effectiveness:

  • Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar Spent
  • 67% of Marketers Promote Content With the Help of Influencers
  • Influencer Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method

Best practice: Think of influencers as an ad-hoc extension of your own content team. Take advantage of their creativity and audience, relieve some pressure from in-house efforts and add credibility to your brand in the eyes of followers.

Voice search

Voice search is slowly but surely becoming a daily fixture for many, especially given the increasingly popularity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants. Estimates suggest there are over one billion voice searches per month, while 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

So with more and more text-based digital tasks moving over to voice thanks to the speed and convenience it affords, every marketer should adjust their content strategy accordingly.

Unfortunately, each device seems to pull data from different sources and offer completely different results. But by creating pieces of content that deliver quick answers to quick questions, you should be able to position yourself ahead of the competition.

Best practice: Think about the words people say, not just what they’re likely to type. Also, most voice-activated searches take place on mobile, so make sure your website is responsive and optimised for smartphones.

Storytelling and Digital PR

There’s a reason why storytelling remains one of the most popular approaches to content marketing – it works, and will continue to work for many years to come. By conveying facts through narrative, you’ll create a connection with your audience and encourage action thanks to the number of decisions people make based on emotion.

One excellent example comes from National Geographic and its content marketing activity that engages with 350 million combined global followers on social media. As Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership, explains: “Staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories.”

Key ingredients to any story include a main character/hero, a conflict/journey, and an ending/resolution. Don’t forget to make it easy-to-follow, relatable and memorable. Support your stories with visuals and data to drive the message home.

Next steps: Try to gain an in-depth understanding of your audience – their needs, pains, hopes and aspirations. Know exactly what you want to say and what you want your audience to do before launching any storytelling campaign.

Take your content marketing to the next level with JBH – let’s create something awesome together.

Content Marketing Trends for 2019
1024 679 Kerri Rogers

Content marketing trends for 2019: 6 experts share their predictions

The world of content marketing is changing every day, new tools and technology are emerging constantly and the bar for high quality content continues to rise. Even with all these changes one thing is still certain, Content is King and it won’t be giving up its reign any time soon. As content marketing changes and our approach to it evolves, we’ve caught up with 6 of the leading digital PR and content marketing experts to get an idea for what content marketing trends 2019 holds in store.

Check out their content marketing trends for 2019 below:

 

Michelle Garrett, Digital PR expert shares content marketing trends for 2019

Michelle Garrett | Writer / Public Relations Consultant | Garrett Public Relations

LinkedIn | Twitter

Aligning your marketing channels

As we look ahead to next year, I see content marketing, public relations and social media becoming more closely aligned. These three cry out to be better integrated in order to get the most from each of them. Keeping them in separate silos limits their power. Brands who are able to integrate the three will see stronger results with less effort.

For example, a piece of content touting the results of a survey or research conducted by the brand can be leveraged for earned media coverage (= PR). That earned media hit can then be used as social media posts.

 

Ashley Norris, Content Marketing Consultant

Ashley Norris | Consultant | The CMA

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

Action and Reaction

I think this year has been one in which brands have been forced to react to external events from changing policies to accommodate GDPR through to re-assessing their social approach in response to Facebook’s news feed algorithm change.

This year, however, I think there will be fewer seismic changes, enabling brands to be more proactive. More will embrace social issues, hopefully in a subtle and supportive way.

 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

I think we will begin to see more automation too as companies move from wondering what to do about Artificial Intelligence through to actually finding really useful applications for automation.

 

Long form content

At the same time I think brands will also look to engage with journalists in creating longform, sometimes challenging content.

 

There is a growing premium on longform now, words, videos and increasingly podcasts and I think companies will see significant returns in brand awareness by comissiong this type of content.

 

 

Perri Robinson, Head of Marketing

Perri Robinson | Head of Marketing, UK & N Ireland | Meltwater

LinkedIn | Twitter

Shift in marketing budget

There’s no denying that the numerous social media algorithm updates rolled out in 2018 have impacted content organic brand reach. We’ve been forced into a pay to play world as a result and as soon as we start putting budgets behind campaigns, the need for ROI measurement becomes greater.

I predict that there’ll be a shift in how marketing budget is traditionally allocated, with more emphasis placed on content measurement tools to help content marketers justify their spend (and existence) in 2019.

 

Shift in influencers marketing

Influencer fraud is rife right now. We’ve seen major brands such as P&G pull out of using paid for influencers to support their content marketing efforts due to ever-growing influencer trust issues. Consumers are also becoming more cynical over their favourite Insta account constantly posting #ad and “in partnership with” content too.

In 2019, I expect we’ll see more brands (large and small) replacing paid for influencers with authentic brand advocates who are happy to share brand love due to their genuine passion for the company.

Greater emphasis will be placed on user-generated content because of this. That’s not to say that paid for influencer marketing will cease to exist, but marketing departments will need to adjust how they measure what influence is (in order to combat influencer fraud) and also how they measure the ROI of influencer marketing.

 

Rebecca Moss, Digital PR Manager

Rebecca Moss | Digital PR Manager | JBH – The Content Agency

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

News outlets using a pay-per-read model

With many of the larger news outlets moving towards subscription based models and paywalls, I predict that the way that we both consume news stories and sell campaigns into news outlets is going to change drastically.

But just what does this mean from an online PR standpoint? Back in 2017, Google discontinued their ‘first click free’ (FCF) rule, whereby publishers were asked to grant access to one page of their paywalled content, allowing indexation. Google has since introduced their ‘flexible sampling’ framework, which allows the publishers themselves to decide just how much of their content they want to give away for free.

There is plenty of documentation from Google itself, explaining how to mark-up content that would be inaccessible to non-subscribers (using structured markup called JSON-LD). This helps Google to understand which parts of the content is included and which parts would not be visible within the publications ‘flexible sampling’ framework. Even with all this in place, we are still reliant on the news outlet implementing this in full.

One solution to this (and something I predict that we will see rolling out in 2019) is the pay-as-you or pay-per-read model, where readers would be able to decide on an article-by-article basis whether they want to commit to purchasing that piece of content to read.

Whether this is rolled out using Apple Pay, Android Pay or something else entirely, it would help to give consumers more choice and flexibility in the way that they consume news.

Whilst this would be a fantastic move for readers of news (as it could help to ensure that editorial quality remains high), it still doesn’t really help online PR specialists who are working to secure indexable coverage for their clients. A small client mention, link or citation may not be included in the ‘flexible sampling’ framework.

 

 

Adam Neale Managing Director of Bold Content

Adam Neale | Managing Director | Bold Content

LinkedIn | Twitter

Aligning marketing goals and video storytelling

2019 will be the year of bold and daring strategies for the use of video. Especially in businesses use of documentaries.

Businesses have become familiar with the documentary format, having used it’s techniques to tell case study stories, customer testimonials, explainer videos and the like. But the corporate documentary format is becoming familiar and audiences are used to seeing the standard talking head shot, cut with B-roll.

In order to grab attention brands need to try something different. It could be as simple as the use of creative editing techniques or adding a layer of animation or it could go as far as subverting the genre conventions.

Often, too little thought goes into what the video strategy should yield and marketing managers fail to see the potential of a truly standout documentary film.

As authenticity was the buzzword of 2018, 2019 will see the rise of experimentation to make brand content stand out from the crowd and that’s where talented filmmakers come into play.

By sitting down with filmmakers to discuss their marketing goals and determining how they can be aligned with the potential for high quality non-fiction storytelling, marketing managers can open the doors to content creation that can find new audiences, change perspectives, raise awareness, start a movement and ultimately change lives.

The exciting thing about brand documentaries is the many different forms they can take. There’s huge potential to tell great stories whether they are in the form of branded content about a subject that is unrelated to your brand, or in a piece of integrated comms about your brand, your founder or a CSR strategy.

The potential for positive PR, winning awards, film festival entries, should not be underestimated. The uplift in positive brand sentiment from a great short documentary film can be a powerful marketing tool.

Brands have to be brave enough to commission filmmakers with the remit of telling a good story. If they write a traditional brief they run the risk of inserting brand messages and diluting the story. Bland corporate messages and familiar testimonial videos lay down that path.

Especially in the B2B space where brands have traditionally relied on explainer videos, they now need to devote budget to making content that will reward the audience for watching. Content that will educate them, engage them, grab them and expand their worldview.

 

Liane Grimshaw, Founder & Managing Director of SupaReal

Liane Grimshaw | Founder & Managing Director | SupaReal

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

Branded content hubs

Although content has always been at the centre of forward thinking B2B marketing, its growth and proliferation has resulted in often inconsistent assets and fragmented content experiences. Large brands, especially in the B2B space, are starting to do something about this and here at SupaReal we see this as a core consideration for 2019.

Developing branded content hubs that support a single brand across diverse product and service offerings, and across numerous target sectors and international regions, is going to be a key trend for 2019. Housing all brand content in one place, in multiple formats and for all stages of the buying journey, will help brands better leverage their investment in content marketing, not least in building awareness and authority around the key topics they want to be know for.

 

Content marketing essentials for 2019

Looking ahead, it is clear that content marketing will continue to evolve and grow with the rise of new and more sophisticated technology. It’s essential that content marketing strategies incorporate this technology in new and exciting ways to drive their campaign strategies forward.  

 

Want to learn more about content marketing? Read everything you need to know in our definitive guide.

Use these tips for instagram growth
1024 684 Kerri Rogers

7 reasons your Instagram account isn’t growing

We’ve all read the blogs posts about “how to get more followers on Instagram.”

They tell you to:

  • Post more, post at a specific time of day
  • Use hashtags
  • Tag your location
  • Network with other Instagrammers.

But what if you’re doing all of this and none of it is working? Here are 7 key reasons you’re not seeing growth on your Instagram account:

 

Using Insights analytics for Instagram growth

Source: Buffer.com

 

1. You’re not using Instagram Insights

Instagram provides its own native analytics tool called Insights that has all kinds of features giving you statistics on each post. By taking the time understand which posts are performing well, you can better understand your audience and create more of the content that they want to see and will engage with.

For example, when a post gets high engagement, the Instagram algorithm understands that it’s valuable content and will, therefore be more likely to share it on the explore page.  This places your account in front of new users who don’t already follow you and provides more opportunity for growth.

 

Top Tip: Figure out which posts have the highest engagement signals and post more content like that.

 

Let’s say you own a bakery, you post lifestyle images of your shop and images of the items you sell – cakes, bagels, donuts etc. If your audience is engaging with the pictures of the donuts you can take that insight and post more images like this.  

That’s not to say every image should be a donut, but do be aware that this is the most popular content on your account and use this insight  to your advantage by posting similar imagery on a regular basis.

 

Use stories for Instagram growth

2. You’re not making the most of Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are one of the best features Instagram has to offer but if you’re not seeing the growth you expect, it might be because your not maximising their full potential.

According to Hootsuite, over 400 million stories are created each day, but a lot of accounts are underutilising Stories, posting perhaps unrelated or random moments in their day that don’t particularly hold a lot of interest for their followers.

Instead, you should be telling a story with your Stories. Whether that’s a quick 15 second story or multiple stories strung together, you need to include a beginning middle and end.

The great thing about Stories is that they are so easy to create. You only have to fill 15 seconds, and they disappear after 24 hours have passed, so the content doesn’t have to be high quality video – you can just shoot them on your iphone.

By expanding your content to other include other elements, you not only make your profile more appealing, as followers get more value, but you also increase the amount of time that your content is in front of your followers giving you more brand exposure.

Having a clear theme on your Instagram account will help attract the right followers

3. You don’t have a clear and concise theme

Having a page with a theme that is all over the place – dog photos, fashion photography, city images, landscapes, product photography etc, means your followers never know what to expect and they can’t guarantee that by following you they will see content they enjoy, consistently.

If your main goal is to grow your following, and getting active and engaged users, having a clear theme is a must. The Instagram algorithm places  posts on explore pages based on their interests using broad match categories such as travel, style, nature, fitness etc.

If your account has a clear theme that matches a users interests then you will be more likely to be shared with that person.

 

4. You are buying followers or participating in questionable giveaway schemes

Buying followers or participating in giveaway schemes  where you have to follow lots of accounts to win a prize can be detrimental to the organic growth of your Instagram account.

If you are using  Instagram as part of your brand building strategy,  or to help you generate sales, leads or traffic to your website, this is probably one of the worst things you can do.

‘Buying’ followers in this way can lower your overall engagement levels  and as a result your account can suffer.

 

5. You’re editing is all over the place

Not only does the theme of your Instagram need to be consistent but so does your editing. If your pictures are all over the place, black and white, over saturated, unsaturated etc, you need to take a step back and pick one style that suits you the best.

If you have too many things going on at once, this can be distracting for your audience and can take away the value of the content you are trying to showcase.

6. You’re cropping your photos wrong

Most of your followers will be engaging with Instagram with their device in a vertical position, meaning that landscape imagery can be tricky.   

 

Top Tip: You should always try to crop your photos at 4 X 5 as it takes up the most space on your followers feed. When they are scrolling it will occupy the most amount of space on their screen and be more likely to catch their eye than a tiny landscape photo that has another photo visible beneath it.

 

Use other platforms such as YouTube to help grow your Instagram account

7. You’re only trying to get Instagram followers through Instagram

Instagram is not the only platform out there. You can utilise other platforms to get people to visit your instagram, especially other social media platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest can all be invaluable tools in helping you grow your Instagram page.

According to Hootsuite, 95% of Instagrammers also use YouTube, so by including  multiple social media channels within your strategy, you have a greater chance of building your following organically, and reaching an audience that will want to engage with your posts.

For example, let’s say you own a company that sells makeup. You post pictures on your instagram of your products and of models wearing your products.

To generate more traffic to your instagram page, you could also start making YouTube tutorials using your makeup, offering an incentive for your YouTube audience to follow you over on your Instagram account.  

 

Having trouble posting consistent high quality posts on your Instagram? These 6 FREE tools can help.

Utilising video marketing in your content strategy
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5 great examples of video content marketing done right

Have you heard the news about video yet? It becoming a vital part of content marketing.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, and in other news, the Popes Catholic”

YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google and according to Cisco, by 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

It’s clear that video is a great tool for content marketing and that it’s what users are demanding, but you probably already knew that, so here are 5 great video marketing examples to give you some inspiration for your next campaign.

 

1. Blendtec

Blendtec seems like the obvious place to start. They have proved that there is no such thing as a boring industry and that video works no matter what product or service you are trying to sell.

Blenders are probably one of the duller products on the market – but start putting unusual stuff in them, they suddenly become a lot more interesting.

Blendtecs video marketing campaign is what put them on the map, and while certainly not everyone who watches their videos is going to buy a blender, they have definitely built a lot of brand recognition.

Their YouTube channel now has over 879K subscribers, with their videos still receiving hundreds of thousands of views.

It’s not just subscribers and brand awareness that their video campaigns have built. They saw a massive ROI for their videos, with a 700% increase in sales over a 3 year period.

 

2. Moz

Moz approaches their video marketing in a slightly different way, rather than trying to sell anything they use video to establish themselves as a thought leader within their industry.

Every week, Moz host its educational video series called ‘Whiteboard Fridays.’ The host uses this as an opportunity to share their knowledge on all things SEO. By having a regular series and using knowledge from experts, Moz has become the go-to for any and all SEO questions.

Another element of their series success is that the Moz team are active in the comments section on their posts. They have built a great relationship with their audience and if you write a comment you can actually expect to get an answer, which leads to regular engagement.

 

3. BuzzFeed

Anyone who has social media is thoroughly aware of just how addictive Buzzfeed’s video content can be. Whether its breaking news, funny memes or new recipes, BuzzFeed’s marketing team are social media savvy and able to put together engaging bite-size videos that make their audience stop scrolling.

BuzzFeed knows that social media distribution is the key to their success and create content that will appeal to their audience’s interest – putting a focus on engagement and value.

They have such a varied audience that they have created an umbrella of content with a number of different subtopic underneath it such as Tasty, Celeb, News and have given them all their own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages, meaning their audiences only get content they want to see on their feeds.

This intuitive way of thinking about what their audience wants, and creating of high-quality content that works on the platform it is being viewed on (in BuzzFeed’s case, mobile) has led to a staggering 3 billion video views a month on BuzzFeed.

 

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is a company who has utilised content marketing to thrive and their video marketing is doing just as well.

They use strong storytelling in their videos to create a sense of community and build trust in the brand. Through their videos, they humanise their brand and they build relationships with their audience by creating regular video content for their YouTube channel every week.

They also use video as their main form of communication with their audience, for large company announcements, rebranding and even for PR crisis’.

Rather than shy away from the scandal, they used video to apologise, explain and cut through all the gossip.

 

5. JBH / Youth Employment Skills

Not to brag or anything, but we’ve put together a few great video marketing campaigns in our time as well. One of our favourites is a campaign we created for Youth Employment Skills.

The aim of the campaign was to boost signups for their service and we did just that – they had a 1,425% increase in signups as a result of the videos.

The targeted audience was hard to reach and wouldn’t want to listen to content created by people that assumed to know their needs. The brand was also unknown and the budget was extremely limited meaning we had to get creative with video ideas.

We achieved such great results by working with influencers at The Wall of Comedy to create funny, authentic video content that was specifically targeted at Facebook users as that was where the audience was spending time online.

The response from the target audience great and in total the videos accumulated:

  • 650,250+ Facebook video views
  • 4,662 Facebook engagements
  • 2,459,413+ Overall reach

Learn everything you need to know about influencer marketing with our definitive guide.

1024 533 Kerri Rogers

How House of Cards changed the marketing game

Like many Netflix addicts, I’m all ready to spend my weekend binge-watching the new and final season of House of Cards.

But, before House of Cards became one of the most popular shows around (ranked 44 on IMDB), Netflix took a huge $100 million gamble on an unlikely season that no one was sure would succeed.

Today, we’re all hooked, and all your colleagues will be plugging their ears and moaning about spoilers when you want to talk about it on Monday morning. But just how did House of Cards pull Netflix out of a hole and change the content marketing game?

 

Obtaining the rights

Did you know that House of Cards was originally a four-part series that aired on the BBC way back in 1990? No, me neither until I started doing research for this blog post.

That version of House of Cards is also available on Netflix, set after Margaret Thatcher’s tenure at No. 10; it received really good ratings and momentarily was very popular.

An intern at MRC studios watched the series and wouldn’t stop talking about it, to the point that the studio decided they would look into buying the rights for the show.

Rights obtained all they needed was a director and a star. Naturally, they decided to pitch the show to David Fincher, director of other hits such as Fight Club and were interested in going after Kevin Spacey as their lead.  

A bidding war then began between a number of major networks, which Netflix ultimately won.

 

Where was Netflix before House of Cards?

Netflix was founded in 1977 (that’s just one year after Apple!) and became a public company in 2002 – way back when they were shipping out DVDs to people homes and relying on the postal service.

After seeing the success of YouTube and the popularity of streaming, Netflix began their own streaming project which went live in 2007, and they began to move away from their DVD business model.

At this point, Netflix had 1.2 million subscribers and saw steady growth over the coming years. It helped contribute to the distribution of indie movies and began acquiring rights for its own original content library but in 2011 Netflix took a dip.

Its CEO decided to split off the DVD rental side of the business into its own company called Qwikster, a decision that fostered nothing but ill will with their audience. The new service meant that customers had to create new accounts, something users weren’t happy about and led to Qwiksters short, one month, existence.

 

person streaming Netflix original content, house of cards

 

Then came House of Cards

House of Cards turned things around for Netflix. It aired in February of 2013 and according to The Wire it brought with it 3 million new subscribers worldwide (2 million in the US). This was a huge win for the company and they found that just 3 months after its launch they had already broken even on their $100 million investment.  

Netflix proved that there is incredible value in creating your own content.

With House of Cards, Netflix brought in the golden age of internet TV. From it, we have seen just how powerful original content can be; even the likes of Amazon jumped on the bandwagon, creating original content for its Prime customers such as Mr Robot.

 

Creating original content

You might not have a million dollar budget for your content like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Facebook but that doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power of original video content.

Even smaller brands are creating their own video series for their audiences to enjoy.

Original video content as part of your content marketing strategy

Moz – Whiteboard Fridays

Moz is a company that creates some great tools and products for SEO who for years now have been creating a segment every Friday called Whiteboard Fridays.

The short (usually under 10 min) segment covers a range of topics related to SEO with the aim to educate marketers. Some of their videos have amassed over 40K views and they have acquired a steady fan base which has helped establish their reputation as the go-to place for anything SEO related.

 

Want to learn more about Content Marketing? Read everything you need to know in our definitive guide.

Person using search engine
1000 667 Kerri Rogers

The 3 elements of SEO success

There are hundreds of ranking factors that determine where your website sits on Googles search engine results pages (SERPS). Most of them fit into three key areas, that if you improve you should see your site ranking higher for relevant search terms.

 

Technical SEO

Possibly the most important part of SEO is Google (or any search engines) crawlers being able to find your website. Without being able to find your site there is no way for Google to be able to show it in their search results.

Not only does Google need to be able to find your site but it also needs to be able to crawl the content on it. By scanning your site it can identify keywords and the topic of your site so it can be displayed in appropriate SEPRs.

You might look at your site and think because you can see everything on your site without a problem Google can too. However, Googles crawlers can only crawl text – this means any nice images, audio, or other media you have Google can’t see.

This is where technical/onsite SEO comes in; it helps Google index your content.

 

Elements of technical SEO:

Navigation

Google crawls sites the same way you would – through the navigation and links. Ensuring all vital pages are linked (as text-only) means Google can find all of your important content and index it. Having internal links within your pages means that Google will also be able to find your less important content that isn’t directly linked in the navigation such as blog posts.

 

Page displaying 404 error

Links

Broken links can be bad for SEO but also for user experience. If you click on a link and get the 404 – ‘Page not found’ error then you need to redirect to either the new version of the page or an alternative page if that page is no longer available. This stops you losing valuable traffic and means once the crawler has clicked on that link it hasn’t reached a dead end and can keep crawling your site.  

 

URL structure effects SEO

URL structure

Both search engines and your users don’t like lengthy URLs or a URL that ends with a random string of characters or with a complicated structure. They are confusing and spammy; instead you should focus on creating sort, clear URL’s that have the focus keyword of the page included in them.

Page load times

Page speed can have a huge impact on user experience; a survey conducted by Akamai and Gomez.com showed that nearly half of web users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded in this time.

Not only is a slow site bad for your users but it is ranking factor for Google on desktop, and since July 2018 the Google Speed Update means its a ranking factor for mobile as well.

 

Content

Content is King – you’re probably sick of hearing it, but it’s true. Whenever you enter a search term into Google you are searching for content, this might come in different formats – infographics, videos, podcasts, blog posts – but its all content.

For SEO, content is what gets you visibility in results pages. This is because your content is providing answers to users search queries.

Regardless of what is being searched for the results are going to bring up some form of content. It might be different forms of content but it’s all content; having content published is the only way to appear in search results.

While crawling the page Google determines the topic of the page so that it can display it in relevant search queries. It will also determine the quality of the page through things like page length and structure, with higher quality pages displayed higher in the search results.

Keyword research

Keyword research is a way you can optimise your content for search engines. It can help you attract high quality and relevant traffic that will be more likely to turn into leads and convert into customers.

By discovering what phrases your potential customers are entering into search engines when looking for products or services like the ones you offer, you can then target those keywords and include them in your content for better search engine visibility.

On page SEO

On page SEO helps Google crawlers understand the page it’s on and mainly focuses on the words you use and where you use them.

  • Post title: place your keyword as close to the start of the title as possible
  • URL: include your keyword and remove your stop words
  • First 100 words: finding the keyword at the beginning of your page helps Google know that the page topic is correct
  • Atl tags: search engines can’t see images so using your keyword in alt tags helps add SEO value to your images

Link Building

Relevance, expertise, and authority are key factors that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration when ranking pages.

Backlinks can help you establish all three of these.

A backlink is content on another site that links to a page on your site.

 

Example of content linking back to JBH website

 

For example, the article above on unbounce features an infographic that our agency created so it links back to our site.

This link comes from a site relevant to ours (covering the same topic; content marketing) which provides more authority than coming from a random and irrelevant domain.

The more high quality links your site has the more of an authority on your topic you appear to Gooogle which is why when building links for SEO it’s not about quantity but quality.

Guest post JBH did for The CMA

Guest post JBH did for The CMA

Ways to generate links for your site:

  • Organic links: links that come organically from sites referencing great content you have created
  • Outreach: contact websites and pitching them ideas for content that they will find valuable and feature on their site that you can put a link back to your own site in
  • Guest posting: publishing a blog post on a third party website in return for being able to add a link back to your site in the post
  • Profile links: many websites offer the ability to add a link when setting up a profile.

 

These elements are responsible for your sites SEO success, by making effort to improve each one of them then you’ll start to see better rankings in the SERPS and in turn more high-quality traffic that will convert into customers.

 

Want to learn more about SEO and where it’s heading in future? Check out our key takeaways from this years BrightonSEO conference.

 

BrightonSEO front window
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BrightonSEO: What we learned

BrightonSEO is a twice-yearly search marketing conference that welcomes 4,000 SEOs from across the globe to listen to some of the world’s top search marketers discuss the future of the industry.

For their September event, the conference chose a slogan of ‘Understand algorithms, understand the future’ and, of course, this meant they had a Back to the Future theme. Kelvin Newman, the conference’s founder, even came onstage to open the conference wearing a pair of Nike self-lace shoes and carrying a pink hoverboard.

 

the Delorean at brightonSEO

Source: Twitter

 

The conference bought in professionals from all backgrounds in digital marketing to give some great talks and share their keen insight into various aspects of the industry, covering everything from voice search to content strategy.

 

Key takeaways from BrightonSEO:

  • Web design is an important element of SEO. It helps build trust with your audience and provides them with a better user experience – user experience metrics (such as time spent on page) are having a greater ranking influence than ever before.

 

  • Inputting clients first party data into Facebook audience insights can give you insight into their audience, such as who they are, what they’re interested in and what they’ll engage with.

 

  • FOI (Freedom of Information) Requests can be used to gain access to public information that can help with idea generation and pitches to journalists.

 

  • 78% of online audiences are already watching Facebook Live videos.

 

  • Finding broken links to your competitor’s site and offering to replace them with your own content is a great tactic for keeping link building cheap.

 

  • When pitching to a journalist, don’t assume who their audience is, study their publications media and what you find might surprise you – The Daily Mails audience is 78% millennials, 68% mums, 6/10 are foodies.

 

  • Reputation is a ranking factor.

 

  • Related videos and Browse/Featured sections on YouTube are bigger sources of traffic than organic search.

 

  • For every 10 organic clicks on the SERPs, there are 8.8 searches that end in no clicks.

 

  • Google is monopolising its advertising space and trying to answer queries in the SERPS so now is the time to make your website the centre of your campaigns.

 

Rand Fishkin's Keynote at BrightonSEO

Source: Twitter

Highlights

Even though his talk encountered a few technical difficulties, Rand Fishkin’s keynote was one of the standout talks of the day. He covered the future of SEO, focusing primarily on the SEPRs, in a funny, if not slightly cynical 30-minute presentation, that delivered a ton of interesting insights into how Google has started taking advantage of its over 90% search market share.

 

Other highlights included a look into Data Journalism by Ross Tavendale, Marie Haynes dive into Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines and Laura Hogans presentation on Using Your Competitors For Free Links.

 

Want to learn more about optimising your content for search results? Check out our post on why content auditing is essential for SEO

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The Top 7 Content Marketing podcasts to listen to in 2018

The word of content marketing is constantly changing. From AI to voice search new technologies are emerging every day and staying on top of them all can be difficult.

So, to stay relevant and keep your content marketing strategy on top form, give some of these podcasts, authored by great thought leaders in content marketing, a listen.

In no particular order, here they are:

Content marketing podcast - marketing smarts

1. Marketing Smarts Podcast

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone’s, Marketing Smarts podcast covers a whole range of topics from social media to PR and even media law. Even though she covers so many topics, she still manages to provide in-depth analysis in every discussion and provide you with original and insightful information.

Listen for:

  • In-depth analysis of a wide range of marketing topics.

 

Social Pros content marketing podcast

2. Social Pros

Industry thought leaders Jay Baer and Adam Brown host the Social Pros podcast, airing a new episode every week. It’s one of the most popular marketing podcasts around, and for good reason. Every episode will give you unique insights into social media strategy and discuss current trends and ideas that are then ratified or debunked.

Listen for:

  • Insights into current trends.

 

CMO Moves podcast

3. CMO Moves

The host of CMO Moves, Nadine Dietz, made our list of top content marketers top content marketers to follow in 2018 because of the top-notch wisdom she shares with her followers on Twitter. But she also has a great podcast you should listen to which boasts an impressive range of guests that include the likes of David Rubin, Head of Audience and Brand at NYT and Chris Capossela, CMO of Microsoft. 

Listen for:

  • Industry-leading guest who share their tips for success.

 

Copyblogger FM podcast

4. Copyblogger FM

We’re huge fans of the Copyblogger blog which is constantly sharing interesting information that we have incorporated into our content marketing strategy – but they don’t just run a blog, they have a podcast too. Their podcast is hosted by Sonia Simone and has regular guests who are experts on a range of topics such as content marketing, copywriting, email marketing and conversion optimization.

Listen for:

  • Industry news and practical content marketing strategies.

 

Marketing speak podcast

5. Marketing Speak

Hosted by Stephan Spencer, Marketing Speak discusses a range of marketing topics from SEO and Facebook ads to conversion rate optimisation. Spencer and his expert guests have a wealth of knowledge on all these topics and can help you boost your digital marketing know-how.

Listen for:

  • Tips and tricks that will help you grow your business.

 

The Sophisticated Marketer podcast

6. The Sophisticated Marketer

The Sophisticated Marketer is hosted by Jason Miller, the Sr. Content Marketing Manager for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. In a position like that you know he has a wealth of content marketing knowledge to share. Each episode he divulges new tips and trick that can you give your content marketing strategy a step up as well as giving you insight into the latest trends and topics that matter most to marketers.

Listen for:

  • No fluff or frills, just real marketers talking about what matters.

 

The Digiday Podcast

 

7. Digiday

The Digiday Podcast is a weekly show where they discuss big stories that matter to brands, agencies and publishers as they transition to the digital age. Episodes include interviews with executives from some of the biggest names in publishing such as HuffPost, The Daily Beast and CNN where they discuss the latest trends in advertising.

Listen for:

  • The latest industry trends.

 

Learn everything you need to know about content marketing with our Complete Guide.

Content Marketer using instagram tools
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6 of the best FREE Instagram tools every content marketer should be using

With an estimated 71% of business using Instagram, the platform has been growing at an exponential rate. This is great for users but for businesses means that you now have more competition than ever.

As a content marketer, keeping consistent, high-quality posts on your Instagram is no easy task; so here are 6 great, FREE tools you can use to make your life a little easier.

 

1. Buffer

Being able to schedule your Instagram posts in advance helps you keep your feed consistent and makes sure its easy for you to get content out every day.

 

Content marketer using buffer to schedule instagram posts

 

It can also save you a lot of time; you can prepare a week’s worth of posts in one sitting and upload them all at once and not have to worry about your Instagram content creation for the rest of the week. 

Buffer allows you to connect one Instagram account (as well as other social media accounts) on its free service, so link up your business profile and start scheduling.

 

2. StoriesAds

Instagram mobile ad revenue is estimated to hit $7 Billion this year. More and more businesses are seeing the advantages of using Insta ads, especially stories. But how can you create professional looking ads that will stand out as your audience tap through their stories?  

 

Create Instagram Story ads with StoriesAds

 

StoriesAds is a free tool that can help you make professional and engaging Instagram Story ads. There are 16 great templates for you to choose from that will help you create stunning story videos.

The site does state “Free for a limited time”, so in future, it may become a paid tool (but fingers crossed that won’t be any time soon).

 

3. Canva

If paying a designer to create all of your Instagram images is just not in your budget, try Canva. It’s an amazing free design tool that allows you to create images for social media and the web.

There are a number of great templates that are specifically for Instagram you can use to get yourself started. Using the templates also allows you to create graphics knowing that the size and aspect ratio has been optimised for the platform.

 

Create Instagram Graphics using Canva

 

Considering it’s free, it’s a very powerful tool. It might not quite be photoshop, but it is very easy to use and can create some great images – brands of all sizes have started using it to stop their reliance on professional designers.

 

4. Display purposes

Don’t know what hashtags to use on your next Insta post? No problem, Display Purposes has you covered.

Simply type in a couple of hashtags related to your brand or post and the tool will generate a list of relevant hashtags for you to use. Another great feature of this tools is that is will ‘cross out’ spammy and banned hashtags so you know not to use them.

 

Use Daily Purposes to generate relevant hashtags for your instagram posts

 

You can then select hashtags from the list or use the combination of hashtags that Display Purposes algorithm has picked for you.

 

5. Auto Hash

Auto hash is another hashtag generator but this one works a little differently. It uses a computer vision algorithm to determine relevant hashtags for any image you upload.

 

Auto Hash Instagram Tool

 

This tool can save you a lot of time that you would otherwise spend searching for hashtags on Instagram manually. The algorithm recognizes objects in your uploaded photo and then offers you the most relevant hashtags so you no longer need to copy paste hashtags that might not match your image.

 

6. Instagram Insights 

Instagram Insights is the native analytics tool for Instagram and gives you information on your follows, their actions and engagements as well as insights into your content.

 

Instagram Insights

Source: Facebook

You can use this tool to see how your posts and stories are performing as well as get insights about your followers such as what time of day and day of the week they are most active.

 

Now that you’re all caught up on the top Instagram tools, why not go read our top 5 apps for digital PR pros.

How the blockchain in changing content mar
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How blockchain is changing content marketing

When you think of the blockchain you immediately think of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. While this is the most commonly reported use of the technology, as it was invented as a decentralised ledger for the currency, there are loads of other applications for it – including content marketing.

 

What is the blockchain?

The blockchain is one of those inventions like the car – you don’t need to know how it works to use it. But, as marketers having some basic knowledge of how the tech works can help you apply it in the best way.

Invented by someone (or someones) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the blockchain is one of the most significant technological innovations of the last decade.

The blockchain is a digital ledger that cannot be corrupted. It is a public log in which data between users is stored in a secure, verifiable and permanent way – making it unhackable.

Once a record is in the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted and can be made available for anyone to see. Each new transaction or addition to the ledger gets stacked on top of the last making it impossible to hack as you would need to access millions of databases. This provides an accurate and accountable ledger for data where no one person or entity is in control.

Still confused about the blockchain? Check out this great TED talk by Don Tapscott.

 

How does the blockchain effect content marketing?

Content marketing has evolved a lot over the last decade. From ads and articles in magazines and newspapers to SEO, video content, blog posts and more. These days almost all the content marketing we do is digital, allowing us to instantly access our audience and reach new customers. Online content also has better analytics, giving us an understanding of our customers so we can keep creating content they love.

Learn everything there is to learn about content marketing with our Complete Guide.

 

That doesn’t mean that content marketing doesn’t have its issues though. Plagiarism, fake news and low-quality content are rife on the internet and lead to misinformation circling social media and websites.

 

Fake News

Content marketing: Blockchain can help stop the spread of fake news

 

As the blockchain is entirely secure It can be used to tackle the issue of Fake News. Fake news can be disproven by tracing back statements and data to their original sources. By looking at the facts that have been presented from the source you can have confidence in the legitimacy of any articles or news you wish to share online.

 

Plagiarism

Content marketers all know the pain of spending hours labouring over a campaign only to have it copied and published by someone else. While there are some ways to deal with this and Google can penalise duplicate content, often by the time it is published, the damage is already done and your time and work will not see the results you were hoping for.

Content creators who use the blockchain will no longer have to dispute the origin of their work or worry about someone plagiarising it as the block will show where the content came from and serve as proof that the content creator was the original author.

 

Analytics

The way the blockchain keeps track of all changes makes it useful for reviewing the type and amount of engagement a piece of content gets. Although there are loads of great analytics tools out there, the data you would get from the blockchain would be far more detailed and accurate, giving you a more precise direction to go in on future pieces of content.

 

Transparency

Most content marketers have probably spent some of their campaign budgets on paid ads before. When you set up your ads, you usually pick a demographic of people who you want your ads to be shown to – choosing from things like gender, age, location and interests.

 

You may have wondered a few times when doing this if you can be sure that your ad is actually being shown to these people. The ad networks own the placements of where the ads are, so there is no way for you to be 100% sure that your ads are getting in front of your desired audience.

 

Once the blockchain enters paid ad space and is used to re-broker ads, you will be able to track the placement of ads as well as verify that they are going in front of the audience you have targeted.

 

The Future

The blockchain is still a relatively new technology and is only just starting to be used by many industries and in the process revolutionising how they work. Content marketing is no exception – as blockchain continues to develop it will likely be adopted by more and more marketer who want to use the safe network to put out trustworthy content with facts that can be traced back to their original source.

 

Keeping pace with the latest content marketing trends isn’t easy so to keep up check out our list of exceptional content marketing thought leaders to follow.