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Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing

Northern lights over mountains with astounded person below.

Northern lights over mountains with astounded person below. Two little letters. On the surface that’s all separating your standard issue “marketing” from the extraordinary and entirely different practice of “marveling.” Marvel Word Definition Image At TopRank Marketing, “Content Marveling” is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing, and can be applied in both the worlds of direct-to-consumer and enterprise business-to-business, to engage and delight your audience. Marketing efforts spending huge amounts of paid placement advertising, ever-more-ludicrous click-bait headlines and tactics, and even illicit black-hat methods are all used to simply get us to pay attention to marketing messages. Among senior B2B marketers, a sizable 82 percent view content as important for achieving marketing goals, however only 48 percent believe their content is somewhat effective — or even ineffective, according to recent study data. Uberflip / Heinz Chart Image In the U.S. alone digital ad spending grew to $28.4 billion for the first quarter of 2019, up 18 percent from the same quarter a year ago. IAB 2019 Q1 Ad Spend Chart Image Thankfully there are still many genuine people and professional organizations delivering truly helpful content in beautifully-delivered formats — the type of material that builds long-term fans and keeps audiences subscribing, liking, and coming back for more. We’ve explored a variety of B2B brands delivering great content recently, including Cannes Lions award winners, which are some of the best examples to learn from:

They say the more things change the more they remain the same, and people have known the power of all things marvelous for thousands of years, as Aristotle himself observed. [bctt tweet=”“In all things of nature there is something marvelous.” — Aristotle ” username=”toprank”] via GIPHY

Content Marveling: A Marvelous Peak With No Summit

Infinity Symbol Image Content marveling sets the bar higher. It aims to inspire us to use marketing to deliver a sense of awe, gives us cause to stop and reflect, and can become a profound example we’ll refer back to throughout the rest of our career. At first glance this may seem nearly unattainable. Thankfully, another tenet of content marveling is to simply think of marketing as a peak with no physical summit, offering an ever-evolving and infinite pinnacle of the very best marketing. via GIPHY Our greatest emotional reactions know no bounds, and similarly, no matter how much a superb marketing effort has succeeded, by its very nature there is always the opportunity to do better the next time out, and push to newfound levels of marketing achievements. [bctt tweet=”“‘Content Marveling’ is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Finding a Quark or Neutrino In a Sea of Marketing Messages

Colorful element particle image. It’s no secret that online interactions today see us inundated with vast numbers of efforts to catch our attention, coming at us a mile a minute from seemingly every possible digital direction. Today’s professional has just an eight-second attention span, according to Debra Jasper, and working within this speedy framework of micro-moments is harder than ever. Finding great authentic marketing examples that inspire a sense of wonder these days can be difficult — not quite like detecting a quark or a neutrino wave — yet surprisingly challenging. Striving to incorporate the wonder and astonishment of content marveling can go far in taking your own campaigns to a level of content marketing greatest, and we’ll look at examples from several marketing superheroes who are doing this today. Taking a cue once again from the distant past, however, we can learn the importance of wonder in marketing and elsewhere from Socrates. [bctt tweet=”“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” — Socrates ” username=”toprank”] via GIPHY

The Longstanding Successes of Ann Handley

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, is an outstanding content marketing practitioner who has been at the forefront of crafting innovative and memorable marketing wisdom for years.Ann Handley Ann produces one of the content marketing industry’s most popular newsletters — Total Annarchy — offering up a deftly-curated collection of inspiring and hyper-relevant digital marketing news, on display most recently in the newsletter’s forty-third edition, “TA #43: ? Mindy Kaling’s Marketing Tips, What’s Wrong with Newsletters, B2B Influencers Done Right.” In it, Ann shared writing and marketing advice from comedian, actress and writer Mindy Kaling, who was the closing keynote speaker during the most recent Content Marketing World conference. Fear of the unknown is common in marketing, and Mindy revealed how it can be used to create the kind of memorable content and messaging that content marveling encourages. [bctt tweet=”“When you’re scared, that’s when the most memorable things happen.” — Mindy Kaling @mindykaling” username=”toprank”] At the event Ann delivered a much-anticipated presentation on using a strategic approach for achieving marketing success that’s both sane and sustainable, and our own Senior Digital Strategy Director Ashley Zeckman was there to cover it in the following article:

50 More Content Marvelers To Follow & Learn From

50 Content Marvelers Image At TopRank Marketing we strive to highlight top marketers in a variety of marketing niches, and our most recent is a list of 50 of the world’s best content marketers who presented at Content Marketing World — a handy resource for easily following great marketers and learning how to create your own marvelous campaigns by watching their fine examples. You can find it here:

During the event, our CEO Lee Odden and Ashley Zeckman each presented insightful sessions, and a team of our staff was also on hand to provide in-depth coverage of many of the top speakers delivering presentations throughout the week, culminating in a complete wrap-up with top take-aways and insights. To help drive your content marveling efforts, here are some of our live-blogging articles from the event:

I hope that you’ll use the information and examples we’ve explored here as you strive to be your own content marveler, and that you’ll work to infuse your marketing campaigns with a new level of wonder and delight.

The post Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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