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How to do a content marketing audit in 8-steps (plus, best practices for fixing your content)

It’s the 80/20 rule of content marketing: 80% of results come from 20% of content. This is true for every website and for every content marketing audit I’ve ever done. A handful of articles pull in the largest percentage of traffic and conversions. Just look at your own data. A report of your top posts by traffic probably looks something like this. A few posts bring in a lot of traffic, while most articles drive little or no traffic.   If you calculate the conversion rate for each piece of content, you’ll see a similar curve. A few articles convert visitors at a high rate, while most articles convert few or no visitors.   A Content Audit for Finding the Top Performers If it’s true that 20% of articles create 80% of the results, then why aren’t we focused more on these performers? The problem is that we usually don’t know which articles are the real heroes. To find out, we need to do an audit. Here’s our content audit checklist. Use the links below to skip to the sections you want. ✪ Advanced Readers: Skip down to section seven for the deeper analysis. FINDING TRAFFIC CHAMPIONS 1. SEO: Content that attracts visitors from search 2. SEO: Content with declining search traffic 3. SEO: Content that has search ranking potential 4. Email: Campaigns that attract visitors 5. Email: Measuring the engagement of visitors from email campaigns 6. Social: Content that gets the shared the most FINDING CONVERSION CHAMPIONS 7. Content that converts visitors into leads at the greatest rate ACTIONS 8. What to do now that you know the strengths and weaknesses of each piece of content. This is a step-by-step guide for auditing content marketing [...]

By |April 17th, 2018|

Use Content to Tell Your Agency’s Story

You have to tell a story — a great story — to get people to listen. You need to create a narrative that grabs and holds their attention. This isn’t easy, and there are many misguided attempts to master “storytelling” as a marketing tool, especially with how popular and buzzworthy this phrase has become of late. So why do so many agencies fail at creating compelling stories? Here are a few points to pass on the road map to successful conversation building. Create Useful Content Creating and utilizing content is deceivingly simple to describe but incredibly difficult to do well. When you create content that speaks to your clients’ needs, you’ll capture their interest. If you go out of your way to be helpful and relevant, they’ll want to talk to you about the content. If your content helps them get more of what they want, like sales, or less of what they don’t want, like wasted time, you’ll be perceived as credible. Stories to Start Conversations Credibility is established by the value of what you share. It’s no different from having a regular conversation with someone. We all want to keep talking to people who are interesting to us, as well as people whose words are relevant to our own lives and experiences. If we’re introduced to someone who just talks about themselves or about topics we don't care about, we’re much less likely to stay engaged in the conversation. As an agency, you have to make the conversation about your clients, their needs and what they care about. Don’t tell them how great your business is; show them how much your business could help them. Create client-centered conversations. They should walk away intrigued [...]

By |October 11th, 2017|

‘Helpfulness’ May Have a Delayed ROI, But Hang in There Anyway

About five years ago, a business owner requested a meeting with my team to help rebrand his company. When we met, he set down a three-ring binder filled with copies of my weekly marketing column and said, “I’ve been reading you and saving your columns for three years. I’m finally in a position to hire you. I don’t want to work with anyone else.” So, instead of obsessing over immediate ROI, solve problems by teaching, sharing and being helpful in your content. Some readers may never be ready to buy, but their trust in you may lead to valuable referrals, recommendations and introductions. The lesson here is that being helpful doesn’t immediately translate to sales, but it does earn trust. Most people hitting the web for information are in the early stages of the sales funnel. But sharing content on your website that makes them smarter -- via podcasts and newsletters -- will keep potential customers coming back. Eventually, if and when they’re in the market to buy, they’ll choose the person they trust. Case in point: The client who collected my weekly columns has remained our customer for more than five years and brought in nearly half a million dollars since that first project. In short, invest in the long term. Time is a limited commodity, and it could take years to create a bank of helpful content that draws new clients. But in our case, it’s been worth it. Since launching our agency blog in 2007, we’ve brought in more than a million dollars in billings from the readers we’ve helped. Here are five of our strategies: 1. Share your knowledge. Content comes in many forms: podcasts, ebooks, webinars, blog posts, newsletters. Employing a variety of mediums [...]

By |August 14th, 2017|
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