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Monthly Archives: August 2018

How to Use Google Data Studio to Report on Facebook Campaigns

Want a better way to report on and visualize your social media campaign data? Have you considered Google Data Studio? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Google Data Studio to create easy-to-update reports on your website, Facebook, or Instagram marketing. #1: Import Data Sources Into Google Data Studio Google Data Studio is a [...]

The post How to Use Google Data Studio to Report on Facebook Campaigns appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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New Facebook Business Page Layout for Mobile

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Facebook rolling out a business page redesign on mobile with Andrea Vahl, Facebook bringing mentorship to Facebook [...]

The post New Facebook Business Page Layout for Mobile appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Playable Ads & Business Pages Update, Gen Z Mom Trends, & B2B’s Video Uptick

Facebook redesigns biz Pages for utility as feed reach declines Facebook has released a slew of changes to its popular Business Pages offering, including updates to mobile, recommendations, events, jobs, and Facebook Local. The updates bring marketers new opportunities along with the need to re-think certain strategies that may no longer be relevant. TechCruch Twitter [...]

The post Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Playable Ads & Business Pages Update, Gen Z Mom Trends, & B2B’s Video Uptick appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Grow: Wisdom From 6 Years of Podcasting

In this special edition of the Social Media Marketing podcast, I reveal four lessons I have picked up from 6 years of podcasting (and growing Social Media Examiner). The topics I’ll cover include how to grow anything, how to succeed via omission, how to achieve thought leadership, and my view on competition. I’ll also share [...]

The post How to Grow: Wisdom From 6 Years of Podcasting appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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A/B Testing Prioritization: The surprising ROI impact of test order

It’s not enough to run the right tests, you will get a higher ROI if you run them in the right order. Let’s look at a few example scenarios.

The post A/B Testing Prioritization: The surprising ROI impact of test order appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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How to Safely Share Access to Your Facebook Ads and Google Analytics Data

Do others manage your Facebook ads? Wondering how to get others to securely share account access to advertising assets? In this article, you’ll discover how to provide sharing access to Facebook ads, Google Analytics, and lead page assets. How Client Control Protects All Parties When creating digital marketing funnels, you deal with an array of [...]

The post How to Safely Share Access to Your Facebook Ads and Google Analytics Data appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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How to Build a Resilient Evergreen Content Marketing Forest

Evergreen Content Marketing

Evergreen Content Marketing

Evergreen trees are a symbol of life and renewal because they never lose their leaves; they stay green year-round.

Tell that to anyone who has dragged a Christmas tree to the garbage on New Year’s Day.

The truth is, evergreen trees are part of an ecosystem. When they’re rooted and cared for, they thrive and the whole forest benefits. Cut one down and take it home, and it won’t be green for long.

Evergreen content is the same way. We tend to think of it as stand-alone pieces of content that bring in traffic without any additional effort. Something isolated, set-it-and-forget-it. But if you treat your content that way, it will start dropping needles on the carpet with a quickness.

Here’s how to create, care for, and bolster a thriving content marketing forest with your evergreen content.

[bctt tweet="Evergreen trees are part of an ecosystem. When they’re rooted and cared for, they thrive and the whole forest benefits. #EvergreenContent is the same way. - @NiteWrites #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

How to Create Evergreen Content

As a famous content marketer (probably Ann Handley) once said:

Some posts are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them.

Some evergreen posts will naturally arise from your content library. However, unlike a viral post, evergreen is something you can actually do on purpose.

Before you start adding to your content calendar, check out analytics and search data to find existing content that reliably gets traffic. You can promote and refresh these posts (more about that later), and you can use them as springboards to generate new content ideas.

Once you find your old-growth evergreens, put some new ones in your content calendar. The following types of post are good candidates for evergreen status:

Influencer Content

When you co-create content with influencers, you're providing your audience with content that has authority, credibility, insight, and expertise. And that kind of content tends to have enduring interest for an audience — provided the influencer stays influential. 

Read: What is Influencer Marketing? Definitions, Examples, and Resources

In-depth Guides

It’s hard for short content to get attention now — there’s just too much mediocre, shallow content to compete with. But long-form content is having a renaissance. Give your readers something they can really dig into, something that covers everything they need to know about a specific, relevant topic.

How-To Posts

There’s no simpler value proposition than learning how to do something you need to do. Make sure your how-to is simple, direct, easy to follow, and not overly-promotional, and you can create a resource built to last.

Tool Roundups

These posts are both easy to create and incredibly valuable for the reader when done properly. There are hundreds of software tools available for virtually every industry. People need help navigating the landscape. Publish your comprehensive guide to the tools you and your brand find useful, and update it frequently as the landscape changes. Here's an example of one of our own (recently refreshed) pieces on social media marketing tools.

Example of Refreshed Tools List

History or Timeline Posts

The internet tends to have a short memory. Content that captures the historical context of your industry, or technology that your audience uses at work, is bound to get attention and stay relevant over the years. Just make sure to update your timeline with the latest developments!

How to Promote Evergreen Content

In theory, evergreen content (when crafted with a best-answer mentality) should bring in search traffic without much extra attention on your part. But you shouldn't settle for search alone. You know the content is resonating with your desired audience, so give it as much of a chance to be seen as possible.

Influencer Promotion

We always ask influencers to amplify content at least once, when it initially goes live. But it’s also okay to check back with influencers and ask them to promote again. There’s always a reason to reach back out: “Your post is almost to 10,000 views!” “We added some stats to your post!” “People have shared your post almost 5,000 times!”

Organic Social

Don’t make your social promotion a one-and-done proposition. Social feeds move so fast, and organic reach is so limited that posting the same content multiple times is practically required. Establish a cadence with unique messaging to consistently promote your evergreen content long-term.

Paid Social

You want to put your best content forward when investing in paid social, so it makes sense to promote content that has proven to have lasting value for your brand and your audience. Promote your evergreen content with ads and test different audiences with each post.

SEO

All content should be created with SEO in mind. But as algorithms and how people search evolves, make your content even more of a search engine magnet by sprucing up your SEO. Make sure your title and tags are optimized, and that your meta description makes a compelling case for clicking through. You can also take a look at competitor content that’s ranking for similar keywords and fill in gaps in your own content.

Newsletter

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to reach an audience. Use your monthly/weekly newsletter to get your evergreen content in front of your most valuable audience — you already know the content is worth their time, so be bold.

How to Keep Content Fresh

Once your evergreen forest is growing and thriving, make sure to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Here are a few ways to keep your content ecosystem healthy.

Don’t Include Dates in Your URLs

Okay, I admit that we break this rule on the TopRank Marketing Blog from time to time. So do as I say, not as I do: Keep your posts timeless by not embedding the date in your file structure. Your how-to guide may still be relevant, but if the URL says 2010, people will be disinclined to read further.

Refresh on the Regular

When you audit evergreen content, look for elements that are no longer adding value for the reader. Trim irrelevant content, update outdated info, and check for dead links. If you have influencer material, make sure their job title and bio are up-to-date as well.

Trim Invasive Species

Odds are there are a few evergreens in your forest that you don’t want around. For example, you might have a post about services your company no longer offers, or on a topic your brand doesn’t want to be known for. If these evergreens are still pulling in traffic, they can hurt your brand’s reputation. Look for posts with high traffic but high bounce rates as well — rework or remove them to improve your search engine credibility.

O, Contentbaum

Let’s be honest: Most content is temporary. No one is digging deep into a blog’s archives looking for content when there’s plenty of new stuff out there. As the content keeps piling up, it’s more and more important for brands to invest in content meant to provide value for months, even years, to come.

[bctt tweet="As the content keeps piling up, it’s more and more important for brands to invest in content meant to provide value for months, even years, to come. - @NiteWrites #EvergreenContent #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

Start planting your evergreen saplings now, cultivate your forest, and you can make your site a destination for your audience.

How else can you power your evergreen content and overall content marketing strategy? Earning links. Learn how to create link-worthy content and see examples.

The post How to Build a Resilient Evergreen Content Marketing Forest appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Improve the Page Speed of Your Blog

Is your blog slow to load? Wondering if your site’s speed is affecting search traffic? In this article, you’ll discover how to assess and improve the page speed and mobile-friendliness of your site. Why Page Speed Matters to Social Media Marketers and Bloggers One of the biggest takeaways from the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry [...]

The post How to Improve the Page Speed of Your Blog appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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How to Engage a Warm Audience With Facebook Video Ad Sequences

Are you using a Facebook video ad campaign to build awareness of your business and products? Wondering how to stay top of mind with a warm audience? In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a sequence of Facebook video ads to keep warm Facebook audiences engaged with your business. #1: Identify High-Performing Facebook [...]

The post How to Engage a Warm Audience With Facebook Video Ad Sequences appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content

Design Tips for Non-Designers

Marketing Design Tips for Non-Designers

I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.

As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.

My belief is that any writer who wants their work to be seen should be seeking to sharpen expertise in this area.

Design is Essential to Content Marketing

A compelling and unique graphic on a social media link can be the deciding factor when it comes to earning a click. Once a visitor arrives at a blog post, they’re liable to quickly move on if there isn’t an eye-catching visual to immediately pull them in.

via GIPHY

These statistics help portray the vital importance of keeping design front-and-center:

“Design is content,” asserts Patrick Pineda, motion designer for TopRank Marketing. And he’s right: treating visual elements as separate add-ons for your content is a mistake. Without the help of integrated imagery, great writing can easily go unnoticed.

[bctt tweet="Treating visual elements as separate add-ons for your content is a mistake. - @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #Design" username="toprank"]

The trouble, of course, is that your design department may be stretched thin or you need super quick turnaround. And while this is never an ideal scenario, if the need arises, you can create simple, professional-looking visuals that enhance your content by adhering to a few simple guidelines.

1. Find a Tool You Love

The emergence of user-friendly apps for graphic design has been huge for folks like me. No longer must we stare blankly at a Photoshop interface while trying to figure out the functional differences between three different paint-brush icons.

There are plenty of different options out there for executing simple design tasks. Find one you like and take some time to get comfortable with it. These apps are usually free up to some level, and offer efficiencies like drag-and-drop editing and templates.

Here are a few worth trying:

  • Canva: My personal go-to. Tons of templates, backgrounds, and free illustrations you can use.
  • Desygner: Very similar to Canva, with a focus on straightforward ease of use.
  • Piktochart: An intuitive tool for creating infographics.
  • Pixlr: Super helpful for quick photo editing and resizing.
  • PicMonkey: Paid app with robust feature set

Here’s an example of a recent ad template in Canva. It’s sharp and simple, and if the design and dimensions are what you’re looking for, all you need to do is edit the text.

Canva Web Ad Template Example

2. Think About Design at Every Step

Don’t treat visuals as an afterthought. Instead, build them into your content planning. When developing new concepts, think not only, “How can I write about this in a compelling way?” but also, “How can I illustrate these ideas?”

Just as written content should be strategic and purposeful, so too should visual content.

“I always ask: What's the story? Who's the audience? Where will my design reside?” says Pineda.

Here’s an example of a pull-quote design template from Canva. Whether you’re conducting an interview or there’s a specific takeaway you want to call out in your writing, consider turning it into a graphic to add a little pizzazz.

Canva Quote Design Template

3. Simplicity is Golden

Our eyeballs are drawn to striking visuals, but they’ll be quickly repelled by overly busy graphics. Focus on conveying the necessary information as clearly and cleanly as possible. Modern design is often defined by its simplicity (think Apple or Nike).

In the words of Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.

4. Colors Have Feelings

Be thoughtful in your color choices. Not only is it important to stay on-brand, but colors also encompass their own spectrum of emotions. This awesome Color Emotion Guide infographic from Visually offers a framework:

Color Emotion Guide from Visually

5. Get Creative with Fonts and Layouts

The trouble with using free online design apps is that, well, lots of other people use them, too. And when you’re relying on the same default fonts and templates, your productions will inevitably end up looking like much of what’s already out there.

Whenever possible, add unique touches and flares. Maybe your company’s designers are too busy to create graphics for each blog post you write, but can provide a few customized templates or fonts for you to upload and use.

Make sure you’re balancing creativity with readability. Poppy elements to catch the eye are critical, but you always want viewers to easily find and understand the message.

[bctt tweet="When it comes to designing visual content elements, balance creativity with readability. - @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #Design" username="toprank"]

An Eye on Better Marketing Design

When I need a high-quality visual asset for a client, our tremendously talented TopRank Marketing design team is always my first stop. But for quick one-off graphics to promote or accompany a blog post, these practices have proven really critical.

The design below took all of 10 minutes to put together in Canva. Honestly, the majority of the time was spent on finding just the right background photo. But, it looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself.

Design Tips for Non-Designers

If you can find the time, I recommend taking introductory design classes or working alongside your design team to see what you can pick up. Any skills you’re able develop in this regard as a writer will be helpful as we forge ahead into the era of content saturation and shortening attention spans.

Speaking of captivating visual imagery, there may be no more important platform to add some of that wow-factor than on social media. But you have to select the right visual content for the right platform. Learn best practices for choosing effective social media visuals.

The post Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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