Why SEO and Big Data Don't Show Your Audience Love

I've been thinking a lot, like many of you have been, about big data and it's impact on audiences. All the stuff in the news about Google's algorithm changes and what it's done to some sites traffic, traffic farms, and the supposed attempt of some to game the search system only in the end to lose, badly. For more details on that ongoing debacle, I'd recommend Tim Fernholz's article titled "Anonymous's first stock tip: Buy the internet company Wall Street hates".

I could have convened a focus group, sent out a survey to my email database or polled the visitors to my website, and asked if any of them cared about any of this news. I suspect not a single person would have responded. You know why? Because they don't care about big data, or SEO or any of the other buzz words around how they "fit in" by our digital big brothers. They care I concede to the extent that their privacy is constantly being brought into question, but savvy web and social media platform participants have figured out ways to protect themselves from threat.What they do, is quality content, that speaks to them, and their needs. We need to create art that informs, entertains and garners an audience on its own merit, instead of worrying about how it's page rank is going to end up. The truth is, that strong content that resonates with an audience, I suggest, will always rise to the top organically, and there is no cheating your way to that top.

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Why Even the Best Journalists Need Help Writing Digital Content

Posted on May 29, 2014
By Jeanne

Using the written word is not that "easy". Even seeing first hand what my twelve year old is learning and working toward in Language Arts reminds me of the journey and effort it takes to write and communicate well. And the "rules of the road" when it comes to the English language go back to Latin. All our thinking around the best way to write and communicate developed over hundreds and hundreds of years.

The internet started becoming another outlet for written communication in the mid 90's and the impact it had and is still having on the written form of communication (amongst many others) is profound. This "new" medium has literally changed how we think about what we write and how we write it. It has given us countless choices and options and changed the face of journalism.

By definition journalism is a literary style that aims to provide a service to the public by providing new information and analysis. And journalistic mediums range from print and broadcast to the web and mobile platforms.

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Content Marketers: How Do You Get By Without an Editorial Calendar?

Posted on May 27, 2014
By Summer

When it comes to content marketing, it is absolutely critical to have a well documented editorial calendar to be successful. Research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ fourth annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report reveals that having a documented content strategy would not only improve content marketing effectiveness, but it makes a huge difference.

A documented strategy includes a plan and the tool to achieve marketing success is the editorial calendar. Using a calendar is important in managing the content marketing process and acts as a roadmap for providing audiences with quality content on a regular basis.

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Why Audience Segmentation Will Save Your Content Marketing Program From Failure

Reliable, sound and detailed insights about your audience predicates a high performing content marketing program. Without access to this mission critical information, we lack the necessary data to make informed decisions that will result in meaningful interactions with our customers.

Imagine an interior designer creating a theme for your new house without understanding your vision or taste. How would you feel about your investment advisor allocating your money without first learning about your goals or appetite for risk. Would you allow your travel agent to book you on a trip not knowing about your interests in rest, activity or adventure?

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5 Ways to Engage Your Audience Through Curated Social Media Content

Posted on May 22, 2014
By Summer

How awesome is it when you share something online that no one else has? You’ll usually know it’s awesome because you’ll receive re-shares, retweets, likes and comments. Good curators are able to experience this on a daily basis.

Here’s why you should care about curating content for your social media and how you can do it effectively and efficiently.

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6 Ways to Beat Your Struggle for Audience

I get it. It's a battle out there for audience, and the competition has never been more fierce. Traditional media companies are trying to hang on and re-tool, the up and comers are trying to make their mark and somewhere in all of this, brands are re-deploying their resources to find their voice in the carnage. But more to the point: all of us want more connected and larger audiences. It's an exciting time and just when you think you have it all figured out, the game on a dime changes.

We hear news that one day Facebook is no longer the go to platform for a certain audience or that Twitter is ailing. It's bedlam, almost chaotic, and all any of us can do is make sure we're being strategic and hope that, through the noise of what is an undeniable time of instant gratification, we figure it out.

There are likely a few things you should do to ensure that you are reaching that audience through all the tumult. Believe me, none of this is monumental insight, I'm not that bright. It's just stuff I believe in and adhere to. Yeah, we're all starved for resources, time and money, but here are 6 ways to get smarter and more resourceful.

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5 Heinous Mistakes Companies Make When Audience Engagement Isn't Your First Priority

Content marketers, what do you do when you have a tool or a service that you know can help a business but they tell you they don't need your help?  What happens when they tell you that their site gets so much traffic that they cannot even monetize what they currently have with recurring ad revenue?  What do you tell these companies?

Introducing an innovative tool is never a piece of cake.  This tool in particular helps perfect content with results that will not only help create better content but also grow traffic and engagement across web and social properties. I am not going to plug the product I represent, however, it is the response that I would like to share, because when you hear this, it will blow your mind!

Even when I am about to type this out I am cringing and want to shout out a thousand words of profanity.  Here we go, I am ready to tell you.  This is the best one I've come across thus far; "We do not need to improve our content and increase our web metrics because we cannot even monetize all the page views that we currently have".  "Deep breath sister," I tell myself inside my head as I feel the steam coming out of my ears  "Listen to this objection and react appropriately."  So instead of acting impulsively, I decide to nod and smile and say absolutely nothing until I can reflect and think of an appropriate answer.

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How You Can Get the Most Value Out of Minimal Blog Content in 6 Simple Steps

Posted on May 15, 2014
By Jeanne

There's a lot of excitement around content marketing.  And yet it's still a pretty new focus and struggle for many marketers.  For every company that has the right people and a full on content marketing strategy, there's another that does not.

The recent article by Joe Pulizzi at the CMI,  states that only 41% of corporate marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.  And only 58% of them have someone in place to oversee that strategy.  And although small businesses are further ahead, (48% have a strategy and 78% have a person overseeing it) there's still quite a long ways to go!

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5 Ways to Get Emotional With Your Content

If you're anything like me, you're getting sick and tired with people posting pictures of small animals doing cutesy things on social media. I get it. Small animals doing human stuff  is funny and cute. I guess the question is, why does anyone care? That kind of content is incredibly polarizing, and at the end of the day, we get emotionally charged, one way or another about it.

The lesson though, is that content that connects with us emotionally works. There are five things that you can do right now to get more emotional with your content, without feeding a hamster a burrito (did the hamster enjoy the burrito, we actually don't know).

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5 Sure-Fire Ways You Can Write Click-Worthy Blog Titles

Posted on May 09, 2014
By Summer

Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest? When it comes to writing your blog title, first impressions are everything. You get one chance to make them click so make it count!

Here are 5 sure-fire ways to make sure people will click on your titles.

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How Can You Content Market Like a Champ?

The truth is, there are no easy answers. If you do a simple search for "content marketing plan" google returns 315,000,000 possible links. That's the sign of either a buzz word or buzz kill.
There are all kinds of experts in the area, and some great organizations like the Content Marketing Institute that are readily available to offer advice and tools to help, but maybe, even that is too much.
I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about content marketing strategies, first for a small music publication, next for a bunch of radio stations, and now for an emerging tech-startup. In all cases, my goal is always the same. Drive audience engagement ultimately to the brand, its content, and its product or service.
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