Digital Marketing

1000 666 Rebecca Moss

How E-A-T impacts your link building efforts

For the past two years there has been an acronym that kept SEOs around the world on their toes; SEO and Digital PR agencies are no exception: E-A-T. It has been around since 2014 but it only was towards the end of 2018 that it became more obvious that those three aspects have a direct impact on a websites’ rankings in Google Search. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. But what does that mean?

Book with words "From the real experts". Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Expertise

If we take this whole discussion offline: Would you trust the medical advice your neighbour gives, or would you rather ask somebody with a medical degree? If you have a question on your tax return, would you ask your taxi driver for advice or rather see an accountant? Would you let your roommate take photos of your products or would you rather hire an experienced and skilled photographer? Well, the same applies online. If your business or your website is about a topic that can directly impact somebody’s life (e.g. financial trading, medical or legal advice), contribute to public opinion (journalism for example) or provide a service that requires knowledge, you should inform your readers and clients why you are qualified to do so. It builds trust and shows that you know what you are talking about.

How to show expertise on your website

A clear About Us page and author profiles are the first and foremost thing to do. Tell readers who you are, why you offer the service you offer and what qualifies you to write the things you write. If you have a legal website, tell them where you got your law degree. If you have a medical website, tell them where your authors got their knowledge from and what scientific evidence they can provide. If it is financial trading, list the experience your authors have in trading, financial markets and technical analysis.

Ideally, there is more than an author bio for each person publishing for your business. Social media profiles, activity in specialised forums, an own expert blog or publications (e.g. books, whitepapers), are just a few of those things that can increase credibility. It goes without saying that the information must be correct! If you are lying about education and experience, you will never be able to be trusted as an expert.

Equally beneficial are case studies of previous work where you state what you have done, why you have done it in that particular way and why it was successful.

Expertise in your link building campaigns

The same applies to link building campaigns. Add the information as to who created the content asset, where the information comes from and how you came to your conclusion/the statement you make. If your campaign contains quotes or information from an expert in the field, it can also increase your reach. A true expert usually has quite some following on social media or own platforms. Your campaign could reach that audience too.

Apart from that, it is much more likely to get a link if a respected expert stands behind a campaign.

"Product Review" in scrabble letters.Photo by Shotkit from Pexels.

Photo by Shotkit from Pexels

Authoritativeness

Authority refers directly to reputation and is built over time. If your website is the go-to resource for a certain topic, you are the authority in the field. It is almost impossible to measure authority. However, there are some clear indications. The most important one are links to your websites. All link metrics, DR in Moz, DA in Ahrefs or TF in Majestic refer directly to backlinks coming from authoritative websites.

If you want to get an understanding of your authority, mentions and branding are equally important. How do others talk about your brand? In which context are you mentioned? Who mentions you? Those references do not have to be from another authority in the field, but also your customers or business partners can contribute to your reputation. Positive customer reviews on external resources (e.g. Trustpilot) help building authority.

How to show authoritativeness on your website

Authority is mostly measured externally through links and mentions on third party sites. What you can do is replicate what is being said about your brand on your own website. The positive reviews you get on websites like Trustpilot or Google Reviews can be mentioned on your website with a link to the original source. If you have worked with other reputable companies or brands, you can mention them on a partners page.

Authoritativeness in your link building campaigns

Authority is directly related to link building. If your website has backlinks from other reputable sites in your niche and if your brand is mentioned in a positive way on external websites, it increases authoritativeness. Building authority, just as link building, takes time. It does not come overnight.

What you should not do is try to manipulate it by building PBNs or buying links. At JBH, we strongly advise against these tactics. It might seem as if they can speed up the process, but sooner or later you might lose all credibility. If you are being caught for paid links, also the organic links will lose their impact and you can never become an authority in the field. The same is true for selling links on your website. It might bring you some short-term cash but will hurt your reputation in the long-term.

Two pairs of hands holding each other. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Trustworthiness

Let us perform the same test as for expertise and take the question offline: Would you buy a property that you cannot find on a map because the address is incorrect? Do you buy from a shop on the high street that shows different prices in the shop window than the prices on the shelf? The same is true for your website. If visitors do not trust you, they are not going to buy from you either. If Google does not perceive your website as being trust-worthy, it will not rank your website in search.

Trustworthiness is a very subjective measure and if you are unsure about it, just ask yourself: would you trust your website if you looked at it for the first time?

How to show trustworthiness on your website

As with any human interaction, trust is built as the result of a multitude of things and is destroyed quickly. The most important aspect is truthfulness. Be transparent about who you are and what you do. All information provided on your website must be true. If they catch you with a lie, you will never be trusted.

This refers mostly to your About Us page and the contact information. Provide true information and as much about yourself and your business as you can. Any address or contact information should be correct and if a customer contacts you, make sure you reply. Nothing could hurt your trustworthiness more than a disconnected telephone line or bad customer service.

In the same way that customer reviews can help with authority, user-generated content can help building trust. Make sure you monitor any comments left on your website and respond in due time.

Other important aspects of trust building are brand consistency, professional layout/design and of course proper grammar and language use. Readers will not trust your website if your content is a bad machine translation with obvious spelling mistakes.

We spoke about case studies to show expertise. Part of transparency is to also mention the failures and the things that did not work. Nobody is getting things right all the time. If your success seems to be too perfect, you might also lose trust.

Not to forget are commercial links, pop ups and ads. Use them wisely and only where appropriate. Would you trust a website that is cluttered with ads that distract from the content?

Trustworthiness in your link building campaigns

This aspect can be summarized in a very simple way: If people don’t trust you, they won’t link to you. Simple as that!

It becomes especially important for data-led campaigns for link building. Place a methodology and sources below the content or the infographic where you state clearly where your data came from and how you came to the conclusion you made. If you ran a survey to collect the data, provide the details about where, when, who and how. List the steps you went through when you analysed the data. If you took statistics from third party websites, ensure that those are trustworthy and list every single source you used.

When you contact journalists and distribute your content, mention who you are and how you can be contacted.

E-A-T for link building

If we look at all those recommendations once again, it becomes obvious that those should be part of a good editorial standard. Unfortunately, bad practices on the internet have caused for those to be forgotten over time and many publishers need to be reminded again. If you get your E-A-T right and remember it in everything you do for your business online, it will not only improve your organic rankings. It will also facilitate any link building campaign. The moment you are a trusted expert that is perceived as an authority, others will happily refer to your website with a backlink.

1024 682 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

The digital marketers reading list

It does not matter how many years you have spent in marketing, there are always new things to learn. Reading is an important part of being a marketer: Books not only provide information and education, but they can also be a valuable source of inspiration for our marketing campaigns and the way we approach the audience.

For this post, we have asked fellow marketers (that we know personally) for their book recommendations. Before we dive in: Thank you to all the marketing-bookworms that contributed!

The result is a reading list that covers different aspects of marketing: the different channels, the psychology behind words, and how to spark creativity – to only name a few. We tried to group them in a logical way, but there will always be overlap between the categories.

A strategic approach to marketing:

Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

Traction provides a practical framework for testing different growth channels methodically and in a timely manner. It is aimed at startup businesses and how they can shift focus slightly form the product they create to the way how they market this product and build a customer base.

On the journey through different marketing channels such as viral marketing, PR, SEO, advertising and content marketing, you will understand what could work for your industry or company.

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters by Richard Rumelt

This book combines theory and practice when it comes to creating and implementing strategies. It goes beyond just marketing by looking at intelligent business thinking and the way how to come up with a differentiated and successful strategy that improves performance. The examples are not only business focused, but also take global history into account to make you rethink the way you think.

The Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey

This book was recommended by Helen Hill in the ContentUK community with the following words: “This book is blooming marvellous for content strategy. It was absolute gold when a project I was working on as a designer became more about content strategy and I had to quickly learn some more stuff.”

We could not have said it better as this is the perfect read to quickly learn about content strategy from audit to analysis and implementation.

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson

In line and a classic for content marketers is this one by Kristina Halvorson. It is an in-depth guide that will teach you how to audit existing content, decide what is good or bad and to come up with a content strategy that allows you to create meaningful content. It takes timely delivery and budgeting into account and goes beyond website content by including any type of content that contributes to your brand, e.g. social media and digital PR.

Advertising and Copywriting:

Why I Write by George Orwell

It is short and to the point: Why I Write teaches you everything you need to know about copywriting from the perspective of a political writer and his journey. Orwell’s writing was inspired by the Spanish Civil War and the essay published in 1946 but it is still a popular read for everybody who wants to show his passion for words.

Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

It was published 1963 but is still a required reading in many advertising courses in the USA. This indicates that the basics of marketing are still the same, they only manifest themselves today in new ways and on new platforms. Confessions of an Advertising Man focuses on advertising and copy writing and the entire book is written as advertising copy. As such it makes you a better copy writer.

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

We are going back in time even further with this publication from 1923. Hopkins can be seen as the father of modern advertising techniques and he laid a foundation that is still valid in 2020. The book covers all aspects of advertising – headlines, psychology, strategy, budgeting, campaigns. If we hadn’t mentioned the year, you would not have thought that it is almost 100 years old as these aspects still matter in everything we do in digital marketing these days.

The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR by Al Ries

We are reaching the 21st century with this classic by Al Ries. At JBH we know about the importance of Public Relations and visibility for your brand. Ries also focuses on brand building and PR campaigns by providing case studies, successful and unsuccessful ones. The book provides an understanding of what happened to traditional advertising and the changed landscape towards digital marketing.

Creativity and great ideas:

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

The idea behind this book goes back to another classic, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. He introduced the idea of “stickiness” and the Heath brothers provide more detail into what makes an idea memorable, or sticky. The book contains plenty of case studies from all areas of life: business, society and private that will all show you what makes an idea stick and leads to SUCCESS – Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Stories.

Purple Cow: Transform your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

This book also takes the reduced significance of advertising these days and provides a solution to advertising avoidance by creating remarkable products and marketing them in remarkable ways. Seth Godin understands remarkable as the opposite of boring.

Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan

For some, this is a history of advertising, for others a great source of inspiration for marketing copy. Luke Sullivan looks at the day-to-day operations of advertising agencies through time and presents plenty of advertising campaigns in different mediums throughout the 20th century. He shows why bad ads sometimes work where great ads fail and how to balance creativity and sales. The title is inspired by the 1960’s Mr. Whipple ad for Charmin toilet paper.

Can We Do That? Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them by Peter Shankman

In a similar way to Luke Sullivan, Peter Shankman analyses campaigns, but his focus is on PR. He reveals in several case studies why certain PR campaigns worked or not. You will see impressive creative examples you would have never thought possible.

Psychology:

Influence: Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Marketing has the ultimate goal of selling a product. The examples and lessons provided by Cialdini are real-life situations that happen in direct contact that can be taken into marketing. It is about listening and using the right words to influence people. You will learn why people say yes and take these learnings into your marketing copy.

This is Marketing: You can’t be seen until you learn to see by Seth Godin

Seth Godin equally embeds a psychological approach by looking at the way how purchase decisions are made and how you can connect with your target audience once you have defined who that is and who not. Based on those insights, you can reframe how your product or service is presented.

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

In Don’t Make Me Think, Krug focuses on changed human behaviour due to technology. Decreased attention spans and brevity of focus lead to users taking the first available solution to their problem. As long as you manage to present your solution first, you win. Kruger provides insight in how to do that.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Now this is a surprising one. Dr.Seuss is not exactly known to have been a marketer and yet, this last book that had been published during his lifetime was suggested. We know why. It is about the journey of life and its challenges; one thing we have noticed in almost all marketing books: You always learn something about life – private and business. Marketing is related to being human, to talking to humans and to use psychology. It always comes back to how we think, how we make decisions and what inspires us. When we learn about marketing, we learn about ourselves.

Content Marketing Conferences to Attend in 2020
1024 682 Jane Hunt

Marketing Conferences to attend in 2020

After a positive experience at MozCon 2020 last month, it is time to look at other conferences – virtual and in real life – that the year 2020 has to offer. Many conferences have been cancelled or postponed but there is still plenty of choice.

As experts in digital PR and outreach those talks are the ones we prefer, but we are taking a look at other marketing areas such as SEO, content marketing, advertising, social media and analytics too.

Here’s what marketers can look forward to for the remainder of this year:

Social Media: Social Media Marketing Festival

September 1st to 3rd

Passes start at £99

Fully Virtual

This conference is aimed at any social media marketer. During Social Day, there will be talks about Instagram, TikTok, Facebook Ads, Influencer marketing and social listening. There will be networking opportunities at this virtual event to discuss latest trends and updated in social media. Ticket prices start from £99.

All-round Marketing: Inbound

September 22nd to 23rd

Free tickets available

Fully virtual

This conference offers something for everyone in marketing with talks about SEO, content, customer success, social media and analytics. There are still Starter Passes available for free, Powerhouse Passes are priced at $89 and provide full access.

Digital Analytics: Measure Camp

September 26th

Free to attend (limited availability)

London

Measure Camp is a London-based conference about anything related to analytics and measuring success. It is labelled as “unconference” because there is no agenda. It is decided on the day and talks will be held by fellow attendees. There will be training workshops on Friday 20th September. Tickets are available for free but are issued in batches and limited to 3 attendees per company. The next release will be on 15th August at 8pm.

SEO: BrightonSEO

October 1st to 2nd

Passes start at £235

Brighton, UK

After this must-go conference for any SEO in the UK had been cancelled in April due to COVID-19, it is now planned for October. Tickets remain valid, any new ticket can be purchased for £235, but the price will increase on 18th September. JBH’s co-founder Jane Hunt will be speaking about digital marketing at the next BrightonSEO conference.

All-round marketing: Festival of Marketing

October 5th to 9th

Early bird tickets for £199

Fully Virtual

FoM is going virtual in 2020 and will cover several aspects of marketing and branding from client relationships to lead generation, customer journeys, market research and data-driven strategies. Early bird tickets are still available for £199, the price will go up to £249. If you buy 5 tickets, it will be £149 per person.

Advertising: Advertising Week

September 29th to October 8th

Delegate Passes for £99

Fully Virtual

Advertising week has gone fully virtual this year with talks from different angles: academic, technology, marketing, brands, creative and more. If you buy 2 passes, the third one is free with access to all sessions, masterclasses and networking.

User-experience: UX Camp Brighton

October 10th

Awaiting next ticket release

Hove (near Brighton, UK)

UX Camp Brighton is an unconference and a non-profit event run by volunteers. Sessions will be held by attendees. It covers UX and design topics including product design, user research and information architecture. The conference had been postponed from March to October due to COVID-19 and tickets remain valid. More tickets might be released soon.

All-round marketing: PubCon Pro Las Vegas

October 12th to 15th

Passes start at $149

Fully Virtual

This all-round marketing conference is one of the most popular ones and this year, it will be available as a virtual event. You won’t have to fly to Las Vegas to attend PubCon Pro. If you only want to watch the video recordings, you can get access for $149. Full access to sessions, exhibit hall and events are included in the gold pass starting at $199. Prices will increase on September 1st.

Content Marketing: Content Marketing World

October 13th to 16th

Passes start at $699

Fully virtual

In over 100 sessions, workshops and forums, every aspect of content marketing will be covered. from storytelling to email marketing, in-house or agency side to tips and tricks for better collaboration with other teams. There are 3 different access passes available from $699 to $999.

Social Media: Social Media Week London

October 21st to 22nd

Ticket prices TBC

London, UK

With more than 200 speakers, every aspect of social media marketing will be explored during Social Media Week. The main themes for 2020 focus on what it means to take a human-first and experience-driven approach to marketing and will cover everything from content creation to measurement and monetization. Tickets have not been released yet, but you can register your interest.

B2B Marketing: MarketingProfs B2B Forum

November 4th to 5th

Passes for $595

Fully virtual

This conference is aimed at B2B marketing with more than 40 talks from industry experts. The ticket price includes a one-year Pro Subscription and provides access to all training materials by Marketing Profs.

Product Marketing: Product Marketing Summit

December 2nd to 3rd

Passes start at £795

London, UK

The Product Marketing Summit is the conference for Product Marketing Managers all around the world. The London conference will be held on 2nd and 3rd December 2020, further summits will be held across the USA, Australia and Europe in 2021. Early bird tickets are available until the end of September and start at £795.

7 Reasons Why Journalists Could Make The Best SEO's
1024 682 Jane Hunt

7 Reasons Why Journalists Could Make the Best SEOs

Owing to the large number of digital media outlets and the declining profitability of print-based publications, there’s no wonder that many people believe traditional journalism is in its death throes.  

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed revealed it was laying off 200 people globally as efforts to diversify revenue weren’t working, while the Sun newspaper is now facing major job cuts in order to slash costs at the loss-making tabloid.

While this will come as worrying news to any aspiring journalist, several established professionals have described themselves as ‘huddling in a foxhole’ for quite some time now. 

Thankfully, it isn’t all doom and gloom from a creative writing perspective thanks to numerous opportunities in the world of marketing. In fact, you could easily argue that SEO and journalism go hand-in-hand…

Here’s why journalists make the best SEOs

1. They’re willing to put in the hard yards – research, reporting and writing

To answer the questions they’re asking in their stories, journalists will explore almost every avenue to find the most accurate information or best insights possible. They’re natural investigators that will make multiple phone calls, interview difficult subjects, and research offline sources in order to sculpt the best story.  

As opposed to the vast majority of online publications that simply regurgitate what other online publications have already written, this kind of original and unique content will resonate strongly with Google, resulting in higher search engine rankings.

2. They’re inquisitive and formulaic in their approach

Critical thinking is in every good journalist’s DNA. They want to know the answer to every question in life, often regardless of subject matter. While some SEO experts might be too closely tied to their organisation or industry, journalists will be able to give a fresh perspective on things, leading to excellent ideas for content and campaigns. 

Professional journalists are also formally trained to write an opening sentence, an explanatory body, and a conclusion that wraps everything up nicely. This formulaic approach to work is how the very best search marketers manage to achieve success again and again.

3. They know how to write a killer headline that attracts and engages

It’s long been said that headlines sell newspapers. And in the good old days of print, it was the job of journalists to entice passers-by with an outlandish claim or clever turn of phrase to keep the papers in business. 

In many respects, the same can still be said today. Some believe that headlines are the single most important factor when writing great content online or crafting a click-worthy subject line for outreach emails. It needs to build a relationship with the reader, create a sense of urgency, generate a need for knowledge and begin the message. Headline best practice includes:

  • Using specific numbers and data in your headline
  • Using formulas that have proven their efficiency
  • Using keywords to signal to Google what you would like the piece to rank for
  • Using appealing adjectives
  • Thinking of what it will look like on social media

4. They’ve got the creativity to stand out from congested online crowds

An insane amount of information is produced on a daily basis. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • 500 million tweets are sent
  • 294 billion emails are sent
  • 4 petabytes of data are created on Facebook
  • 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp
  • 5 billion searches are made

To stand a chance of getting noticed organically online, SEO-focused content needs to strongly resonate with users, generate an emotional response or provide something nobody else has thought of. This is what journalists specialise in – being able to tell engaging and entertaining stories where every sentence counts.

5. They know that distribution is just as important as the content

Any journalist who has been around since the advent of the internet will know that their content is only as good as the channels it is distributed on. After all, no amount of exclusive stories or top quality features can seemingly save print newspapers from their rapid decline. 

Therefore, if a journalist was to trade the newsroom for the SERPs, chances are they’d do everything in their power to optimise for web, mobile, social media, and any other platform you can think of. This kind of attitude and outlook lends itself well to the world of digital PR too.

6. They’re able to influence the right people in the right places

Journalists who write about difficult issues or investigate controversial subjects are often seen as the most respected and influential individuals in society. They provoke us to think about and question our beliefs on a journey for truth and justice. 

And as you may or may not be aware, influencer marketing is one of the industry’s top trends. What’s more, leveraging the reputation of a journalist to generate backlinks to your website from authoritative sources is bound to do wonders for your SEO.

7. They’re good at analysing data and optimising performance

Along with their intuitiveness, creativity, and intrepidness, the very best journalists are also exceptional at utilising data and tracking performance with the help of audience analytics. 

This description is also true of the finest SEO practitioners, who will stop at nothing to achieve their objectives. SEO for journalists might seem like a completely foreign career path, but those with a penchant for facts and figures will find themselves one step ahead of the rest straight away. 

SEO and its impact on journalism

In the early days of the internet, many journalists resented SEO because it forced them to write more robotic sounding pieces that followed a certain keyword-led formula. But since then, Google has developed an increasingly intelligent search algorithm that rewards the kind of work journalists have been known to create for decades. 

As a result, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to suggest that SEO and quality content are the future of journalism.

With a team comprising journalists and SEO experts, our digital PR campaigns deliver effective and guaranteed results. Contact us to discover more.

Why choose a career in content marketing?
1024 768 Jack Lloyd

Why is content marketing a popular career path?

According to statistics from Page Fair, in 2015 the UK saw ad-blocking spike by 82%: great news for the person browsing online, but terrible news for marketers. Most companies relied heavily on paid advertisements to increase brand awareness, forcing savvy marketers to focus on a new trend: content marketing.  

 

As opposed to directly pitching a product or services, content marketing is a specific marketing approach, which focusses on the creation and distribution of valuable and relevant content. The purpose is to attract and retain a target audience that ultimately leads to driving profit.

 

Content marketing aims to educate audiences, but not specifically about the product or service the company sells. Instead, it will be something consumers want to interact with. In turn, the end-user becomes loyal to the brand: a sign of great content marketing.

Interested in finding out more? Read our insights on why content marketing is a popular career path.

 

via GIPHY

Content marketing provides a range of opportunities

For those looking to get into content marketing, it certainly provides the chance to obtain a wide range of skills. Here are just a few of the tasks that an average content marketer would do on a daily basis:

  • Blogging
  • Copywriting
  • Handling Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Image creation
  • Design
  • Video production
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media management
  • Analysing data

It also encourages you to be code-literate. But don’t panic, usually knowing a few techniques in WordPress should be enough.  

 

via GIPHY

Candidates with varied skills and experience can apply

Due to its high demand and opportunities for those with varied qualifications and experience, content marketing has become a widely popular career path.

 

While it’s not an essential, having experience or a degree in journalism or English literature certainly encourages the novelist, editor and journalistic ear that is so often required in content marketing.

 

And for those that have studied for a degree, you’ll know the importance of research. Content marketing is no exception. Research is a vital asset that adds insight into your work and enables you to write solid content based on facts and figures.

Alternatively, those with a background in media can also utilise their skills, such as video and audio production and apply it to content marketing.

 

It’s great for social media influencers

Another appeal to content marketing is its distribution. Being a content marketer isn’t just about the creation of good content, but knowing how to effectively distribute it to ensure it achieves maximum engagement.

This means that you need to understand the tools around you to grow and cultivate your content to a wide audience. One tool that has proved hugely successful time and time again is social media.

So a degree may not even be required if you know how to keep fans and followers engaged with informative and personal posts, designed to capture their attention and increase their knowledge.

If you have demonstrable experience in presenting and promoting popular posts along with knowledge in social media algorithms, then you certainly show what it takes to have a career in content marketing.

 

via GIPHY

It’s also good for those who love data

Having a strong understanding of Google Analytics is a powerful weapon in content marketing. It enables you to understand what content is performing well and what needs improving, along with what readers are responding too.

Having a head for data means that you can successfully measure page views, analyse your KPI’s and plan your content based on in-depth knowledge and a solid understanding of your audience.

 

via GIPHY

It’s popular with passionate people

Arguably, one the simplest reasons why content marketing is a popular career path is that it welcomes passionate people. Imagine your job was to write about what you love every day! How strong would your content be?

Content marketing is constantly crying out for those that write with excitement and genuine enthusiasm because it’s inspiring to read. That’s exactly what content marketing aims to achieve, to inspire and ensure trust between the brand and the consumer.

Final thoughts

Content marketing opens the door to many people with a diverse range of skills and experience. It’s effective and attracts both the creative and the analytical. It welcomes passionate people and is a great career choice for anyone looking to work within an innovative and exciting industry.

 

CV-Library is one of the UK’s fastest growing job boards, advertising a range of marketing and sales roles across the country. It also owns an array of other career sites, including Education Jobs.

 

Chatbots
1000 667 Jane Hunt

The Beginner’s Guide to (Useful and Lovable) Chatbots

Chatbots are transforming customer experience and redefining how brands engage their audiences – but not all are created equal. A lovable chatbot is a great way to keep your visitor hanging on, dish out efficient customer service and nail down a conversion. A bad one is annoying and a great way to get them to close their browser window.

Here we talk you through all things chatbot – what they can do, who needs them and how to use them in 2018.

Imagine this. You’re walking past a shoe shop. You spy a couple of things that interest you through the window so you go in. It’s brilliant – you’re not sure what kind of shoes you’re after or how much anything is but you’re happy to look around, knowing the sales assistant there if you need him. But then he comes over and asks the worst question in the world: “Can I help you?”

He can’t. If you needed help, you’d have asked for it. He can see you’ve just stepped through the door. After awkwardly stumbling around fingering a few pairs of loafers, you breathe a flustered ‘bye’ and hurry out feeling mildly irritated.

If you put one of those “Hi, can I help you?” chatbots on the homepage of your site to pop up as soon as the visitor arrives – I’m sorry to tell you but you’re that annoying sales guy.

What is a chatbot?

Chatbots are agents that streamline interactions with customers via text or voice command. They communicate and perform basic tasks like answering questions and placing product orders – when they work, that is.

In 2017, Facebook announced it had a 70% failure rate with chatbots on its Messenger app. Critics took this to mean that bots could only fulfil 30% of requests without a human stepping in.

Last year Forrester’s article in Forbes surprised us with the claim that “new conversational interfaces will drive deeper relationships between consumers and brands.”

This begs the obvious question: “how on earth can robots help create stronger relationships with human beings?”

The answer (as it always is for us) is great content. Delivering it in an efficient, meaningful way creates trust with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.

Why we love chatbots

To be clear, we only love helpful chatbots – not annoying ones. Less C3PO, more R2D2. Good chatbots:

– Streamline customer service
– Enable scale and personalisation
– Foster stronger customer relationships

They can interrupt the visitor by offering something of value (e.g. on your website) or be there to respond when they need something (e.g. on Facebook Messenger).

Examples of some killer chatbots

Playful usefulness is the key to a great chatbot. There are bots out there that can order your favourite pizza, hail you a cab, help you apply your makeup, keep you up to date with news and deliver delicious recipes.

Smashbox
Cosmetics brand Smashbox employed Manning Gottlieb to design and build its first chatbot. Far from being a simple extension of its existing customer service channels, the bot lets users explore new products, read content, find their nearest store, book beauty appointments and even try on makeup products with augmented reality.

Smashbox chatbot

Spotify
Spotify’s bot on Facebook Messenger recommends playlists based on your mood, what you’re doing or any other criteria you might have.

Spotify chatbots

Mitsuku
The three-time winner of the Loebner Prize (awarded for achievements in AI) Mitsuku is known as the world’s best conversational chatbot. I went to her to shoot the breeze:

Mitsuku chatbots

How to create lovable chatbots

Think strategically The kind of action you want people to take on your site will have a big impact on how you use your chatbots. Google Analytics means we don’t have to guess what people are doing on our site – if we want we can review each individual journey. Whether someone is a potential buyer or just interested in the content on your site they are giving you value. Use insight to find the point where they are dropping off –  this is where your bot should swoop in and offer the thing they didn’t know they needed.

Personalise Bots or no bots, people like to see brand’s understanding them and their specific needs. What has attracted the visitor? Say we’re talking about our recent blog post: “Keep Up With the Kardashians on Instagram.”  Did they visit because they are interested in the Kardashians? Are they a competitor wanting to check our what you’ve been up to? Or are they a potential customer? Using what the site has learned from the user’s behaviour past and present, it can work intelligently to serve them in a relevant, personalised way.

Your website’s biggest problems solved with bots

“They are reading my killer blog posts – then leaving straight away”
So long as customers are on your site they are passing you SEO value. This makes your mission relatively simple. If they’ve come to you to read a killer piece of content, you need to be one hand to offer them something new. A content bot can slide in at just the right moment, without being too intrusive and offer that content. HubSpot do this really well:

Chatbots hubspot

Their bot has suggested a resource relevant to the blog post the visitor is reading. The result? The customer skips around your site and you lap up that all-important SEO juice. Best case scenario – your bot serves your visitor highly targeted content, then delivers CTAs in the chat window to get a conversion out of them there and then.

“They are looking at my products/ services, then leaving before buying.”
People can only pay attention for so long. You want that distraction to happen on your site rather than off in another browser window. Assess your sales pipeline. Use bots to suggest products your customers might be interested in, or to serve product discount codes or offers at just the right time as indicated by Google Analytics.

“As long as they stay on my site, I don’t really care what they do.”
Good answer. Whether you’re dealing with a customer, competitor or curious cruiser, use bots to keep them on your site for as long as possible.

Remember …

Not everyone loves a bot
The crux – is a bot right for my audience? Lots of people Most questions you have can be solved by rounding up a quick focus group and telling them what you could do for them – would they like a personal assistant? Maybe, maybe not …

Things evolve quickly.
With NLP and personal assistants like Siri and Alexa moving on and integrating ever more into our lives, things are moving on quickly. According to our digital director Andy, chatbots are set to revolutionise absolutely everything we do online – with some of th mos content is no exception.

Don’t expect instant results

Your chatbot can’t do all the work for you (no matter how lovable). Stick with your strategy and collect data every step of the way so you can sharpen things up in the future.

Want to know what other tech you need to look out for in 2018? Checkout, Rage Against the Machines: Will AI Destroy Content Marketing?