Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Content Marketing Success in 2016

The second edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 27th Feb 2016 received a great response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion was achieving content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.

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As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:

Why Content Marketing is essential:

Content marketing is a key part of any marketing strategy and is known to produce business results, as shown by the Hubspot survey below:

Hubspot Survey

Also, as compared to paid media, it has a more sustained long-term impact:

Earned Media Source: Neil Patel

Also, with most users being bombarded with ads from a large number of brands and with the use of ad blocking growing at a rapid pace, inbound marketing through valuable content works better and helps reach out to an audience that paid ads would never reach.

Ad Fatigue

“10x Content” is required to make your content stand out:

With over 27 million pieces of content being produced every day, creating content that is good and unique alone doesn’t work. You need to create content which as defined by Rand Fishkin is “Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”

Creating 10X Content:

Read your audience’s minds:

The key is to find questions that your target audience is looking for answers to and problems they are looking to solve. Tools and platforms that could help you with this research are:

Combine User-focused content with search engine focused content:

Once you find topics that you could create 10x content on you would also need to check if there is a large enough number of users who are searching for content around those topics. This is where Google Keyword Planner comes into play and helps you figure out which topics you should create content on to get large volumes of organic traffic.

Find the most successful content around the topic:

Once you decide on a topic to create content on, you need to research the topic, do a competitive analysis and find the most successful content around it. This can be done by searching for different keyword variations on Google Search to identify top ranked content or by using a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the topic.

Make your content better than any other top content out there:

Ensure your content:

  • Is longer, detailed, more thorough
  • Is more up-to-date
  • Contains better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos
  • Has an enhanced User Experience

For more detailed steps on creating 10x content check out our blog on 10 ways to create 10x content. Some examples of what 10x content could possibly look like are listed below:

Content Amplification is Key:

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. Some avenues for content amplification that you could use would be:

  • Promote on Social Networks
  • Use LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads & Promoted Tweets.
  • Notify your email list
  • Respond to questions on Quora, Reddit, comment on blogs, take part in industry forums
  • Leverage the reach of influencers
  • Get featured in industry roundups

You could also check out or blogs on 21 SEO Link Building Techniques for 2016 and the 15 Best Social Bookmarking Websites to promote your content. For other useful content amplification strategies, you can also take a look at our slideshare below:

Q & A from the session:

Some of the questions that came up during the discussion with the answers are listed below as well:

Q: Is content marketing the way forward for SEO as well?

A: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO and creating 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016.

Q: How do you measure results from Content Marketing?

A: Three metrics would help measure the impact of your content marketing efforts:

  • The social impact – Shares on social media platforms
  • Organic and Referral Traffic – Number of visitors to the blog from Google Search, Social Media and other referral sites
  • Conversions from the blog – Enquiries generated from your content marketing efforts.

Q: How long do content marketing efforts take to start showing tangible business results?

A: There is only one right answer here and that is – it depends. There are multiple factors that will impact your success timelines like your existing domain authority, the time and effort invested in content creation and promotion and the content promotion budgets, if any. Typically content gets indexed in a few days and you can start getting traffic but time period to get business results can vary from 3-4 months all the way up to even a year. For example, when we started our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in it took us 4 months before we started getting tangible results in the form of enquiries via our content or via google organic traffic.

Q: What tools can be used to create Infographics when one does not have a design team?

A: Piktochart, Infogram and Canva are good tools to help you craft beautiful infographics

Q: Does post regional language content help content marketing efforts?

A: Yes, translating content to regional languages can help reach out to a newer audience, provided that audience is relevant to your business. Regional language content can also help increasing search traffic to your website, as shown in this article on the growth of regional content as well as this case study by Neil Patel.

Q: How do I know my content is 10x?

A: Whether your content is 10x or not is a little subjective – what may appear 10x to you may not look like 10x to someone else. Nevertheless, below are some validation questions to help you figure out if your content is 10x:

  • Is your content longer, detailed, more thorough and more up-to-date than any other content on the web?
  • Does the content contain better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos?
  • Does your blog have an excellent User Experience?
  • If you were your target audience, would you find this content valuable enough to link to it or share it?

Here’s what some of our participants had to say about the session:

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Those of you who missed the inaugural edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha last month can check out the meeting summary here. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.

Are there any digital marketing challenges or problems you face in your organization? Do let us know and we would be happy to include them as discussion topics in upcoming Digital Chai Pe Charcha sessions.

7 Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed

“Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes for your website to load”

 

You just created the sleekest website on WordPress that has a super responsive user interface and killer content, but you’re not getting any conversions! It all boils down to page load time at the end of the day. No matter how wonderfully you craft your website, if your page loads slowly, your visitor will navigate away. They’ll navigate to an uglier website with terrible content but that loads quicker. You don’t want that.

Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes your website to load. All hope is not lost, however. With just a few simple and easy to implement ideas, take your tortoise of a webpage and give it a turbo boost.

First of all, test your website’s load time with this handy tool from Pingdom or pagespeed from Google. Does your website pass the 2-second rule? According to several surveys that a Kissmetric article researched, most web users look for a website that loads within 2 seconds. The longest they’ll wait is 3 seconds! Any longer than that and your page needs heavy optimizing.

Before reading any further make sure you have a good server and has servers based in India (if you are targetting the Indian market. We would recommend Bluehost for a shared Linux hosting or a WordPress optimised hosting if your site is on WordPress.

So you’ve run the test for your website and it’s pretty slow. What next? Check out these scientifically-backed tips to improve your website’s speed.

1. Be lazy

Yes, implement LazyLoad into your website design to improve the amount of time it takes for your site to load. With LazyLoad, you can cut back on the page load time, and allow users to save their bandwidth. Win-win for all!

2. Compress images

Images (in sizes) are indirectly proportional to any website speed. Bigger the image, slower the loading, best solution is to compress images without losing quality. You can use free image compression tools like Caesium to compress images without losing much of its sharpness & clarity. In wordpress, there are plugins like Smush.It or Ewww Image Optimizer which use lossless/lossy method to optimize the images. The great thing about these plugins is that they work in the background every time you upload a new image you can also run it retrospectively on all of the images uploaded to your media library. They come with limitations that the base image should not be more than 1mb in size (so Caesium can be used to compress initially).

3. Free it Up

The WP-Optimize plugin allows you the freedom to optimize your MySQL database with just a click!

4. Cache them all

Want to be a cache-all master? With the W3 Total Cache, make caching a breeze. This will let your website load at blazing hot speeds, and ultimately lead to better conversions and leads. It can take care of elements like browser caching, Javascript, CSS & HTML Minification, setting expiry headers etc. Be careful in using the tool as it can affect your design & CSS files too.

5. Divide and conquer

Are your images, content, Javascript code and CSS in the same location? Consider having them on external files via a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare for the same.

6. No cookies for you

Want a winning idea for speeding up your website? Reduce or get rid of cookies altogether. Your visitor will also be thankful that cookies don’t bog their system down.

7. Don’t Send them away

Don’t redirect. When you redirect your visitor to another page, you’re only adding an additional HTTP which makes your page load slower.

Go all out and give your visitor a faster website today!

Content Marketing vs Native Advertising

  • 86% businesses now leverage content marketing in one form or another
  • 70% audience want to learn about products via content instead of direct advertisement
  • More than 67% clients ask their content marketing agencies about native advertising

Outbound and Interruption Marketing is losing its sheen in favor of Content Marketing and Native Advertising. Though they seem similar but there is quite a difference between the two forms of marketing. This article will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.

content-marketingVsNativemarketing

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating valuable and useful non-promotional content by brands. The important part in the first sentence is “valuable and “useful”. Self-serving and promotional content cannot be placed in the content marketing bucket: Value-add is the only secret.

Goals of Content Marketing:

The goals for content marketing can be broadly categorized as follows:

Different Forms of Content Marketing

Content Marketing can be done in varied formats but some of the key ones are discussed here.

  • Videos are one of the most engaging form of content on the web. The consumer web video traffic is expected to reach ~80% by 2019-2020. For a long time, video marketing was considered a game for the big brands. But off late, this trend has been broken with small businesses and startups leveraging the medium to showcase excellent meaningful content. OYO Rooms launched a video on the occasion of Independence Day that garnered more than 3 lakh views in a couple of days. The Madras Song by Murugappa Group was launched as a tribute to the city of Madras on the occasion of Madras Week. The video stole the limelight during the 375th year celebrations of Madras.
  • Blogs are an excellent way to build an engaged audience, showcase your company as an industry thought-leader and the same time boost search engine rankings. According to a recent Hubspot Survey, regularly blogging boosts lead generation by ~126%. It also provides fresh, unique content to your website that is an important factor considered in Google search rankings.
  • Infographics are graphics that showcase long content in a visual and interesting manner. Our brain absorbs and process visuals faster than any other form of content. Hence, infographics as a form of content can be a great way to showcase information and make your blog more engaging.
  • Slideshares and Case Studies are another fascinating form of content marketing. These are more suggested for B2B businesses. Companies are looking out for specific information and if your case study or a Slide Share can help fit into the gap, you will gain a relevant mindspace among your potential customers.
  • Relevant and Informative Social Media Content can go a long way to help create an engaged community of potential customers. Innovative and clutter-breaking content can help your brand quickly carve out a niche on social media. Petwish – a startup in the pet food space, did an interesting content series around different dog breeds in India. The content quickly became viral among the pet lovers across India, which was an excellent audience for the brand.
  • Podcasts or audio telecasts are possibly one of the most underrated content marketing tactics. It gives you access and visibility to a different set of audience – who are tuned to short content in a format where they can multitask “on the go”. For example, a motivational podcast while on the way to office in the morning or solid investment advice from an avid investor that will help you plan your investment strategy for the coming week.

Metrics to track the effectiveness of Content Marketing:

  • Number of shares and likes
  • Number of backlinks/mentions to your content
  • Number of leads

Tips for an effective content marketing strategy:

  • Identify the needs of your target audience
  • Create 10x content – make it better and more thorough than anyone out there
  • User-generated content needs to be a part of your content strategy
  • Content Amplification is important – creating content alone won’t help until it reaches the right audience
  • It’s a long term game so do not expect quick-fire results

 

What is Native Advertising?

Native Advertising is a form of paid advertising where the content put out seems similar to the native content of the platform. You would have come across one or the other form of native advertising daily – while reading an e-newspaper, browsing through an ecommerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine. According to Business Insider, The global native advertising spend is estimated to cross $21 billion by the year 2018.

Goals of Native Advertising

  • Increase brand / product awareness
  • Supplement Content Marketing in amplification
  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Boost lead generation and Sales

Different Forms of Native Advertising

  • Content Recommendations are one of the most prominent form of native advertising. You would have seen sections at the end of news articles under the title “Recommended Articles” powered by recommendation engines. These native ads are done via platforms like Outbrain, Taboola and Content.Ad.
  • Influencer Marketing is a rapidly growing form of native advertising. Under this, the influencers and bloggers talk about your brand or product on their blogs or social media channels with a backlink to your online property. The articles are seeded along with the other articles on the blog.
  • Search Engine Ads are those that surface on top of your search results. This form turns out cheaper than the other forms of native advertising, based on the cost per lead or sale.
  • In-Feed Ads are presented within the list of natural articles from the publication. Though these ads are well-blended within the native experience of the reader on the platform but they are marked as sponsored ads for the benefit of the customer.
  • Promoted Listings are the product listings that show up on top of the category page on ecommerce websites.

Metrics to track in Native Advertising

  • Reach or Impressions
  • Clicks or Traffic to your website/landing page
  • Leads or Sales
  • Cost per Click
  • Cost per Lead

Tips for Native Advertising

  • Create separate landing pages for different native ad ideas. The hook to get people on your landing page and the content on the page need to speak the same story.
  • Research your audience well to create and experiment with multiple hooks to see what works well for your audience.
  • Make it interesting. Only bragging about the brand doesn’t work anymore. Show the content and convince the reader that you are the one who can deliver the experience or service to the user.
  • Do not shy away from allocating a good budget for this to show results. The cost per lead or sale from native advertising is traditionally higher from content marketing.
  • If SEO is a prime goal for your experimentation with Native Advertising, then you should pause it immediately. There is no SEO takeaway from this exercise.

 

Content Marketing To Make Your Brand Trend

Content is any brand’s most powerful weapon which can be used to fulfill marketing and branding objectives. A strategic approach towards creating and distributing content creatively can attract customers and propel them to take the desired action. While all brand managers are aware of this mantra and are working towards it, how can you differentiate your brand amongst the rest and make it trend?

content-marketing-to-make-your-brand-trend

Here are some interesting content marketing tips to make your brand famous and captivate your audience:

THINK DIFFERENTLY

While most brands that fall under the same industry or category have similar social media strategy, the one who thinks differently always reaps better results. Having a fresh perspective towards generic concepts can help in delivering content that interests the user and eventually improves your organic reach and engagement.

To quote an example, Planet SuperHeroes came up with an infographic on the New Year’s to show its audience how their lives will look like in 2016. Unlike many brands that did run-of-the-mill updates and wishes on this occasion, PSH went ahead with content that’s relevant to its audience. Boy, did this unique approach towards content marketing bring them organic results? See for yourself below!

PSH - Think Differently

Here’s another example of unique content marketing strategy by the Tamil Nadu’s Chief Election Officer, where movie and television references were used to spread awareness about the upcoming State Assembly Elections.

TNECThinkDifferently


CREATE USER-FOCUSED CONTENT

Instead of just talking about your brand’s product and services, create useful content that interests your audience. This way, understanding your target group’s expectations and behavior can positively impact your social media content strategy. Spend time on public forums and communities to study the relevant topics discussed by your consumers. Create content that your customers are most likely to consume and will come back to you for more such information.

Petwish is an online pet portal brand who published a series of posts on different dog breeds and their lifestyle characteristics – to help customers choose the ideal dog breed for their family. This being an example of a customer-centric content approach, the campaign went viral garnering 42K shares and 20K likes on the page, all organically. Through this campaign, the brand was able to position itself as a knowledge source for its customer base and indirectly boost its branding and marketing efforts.

Consumer focused approach

TAKE PLATFORM-SPECIFIC APPROACH

While planning your content marketing strategy, keep the communication same across platforms but approach them differently. Design your content to suit the language, environment and behaviors on different digital media platforms. While creating unique content is one thing, distributing it thoughtfully across platforms will help get the most value out of it.

Thus, understanding the potential of each platform and taking a channel-specific approach could result in reaching the right audience, the right way.

HIJACK LATEST TRENDS OR TOPICS

Creating content around trending topics or events is an age old technique that many brands have used and succeeded in the past. Spontaneity, messaging and creative presentation are the three important factors to keep in mind while plugging-in your content around a trending event. Use the right hashtags or keywords to make your content easily discoverable. And a tinge of good humour or objective take on a social issue would go a long way in increasing the shareability and making your brand trend along with the topic.

Below are some of the examples of brands that capitalized on the ‘Be like Bill’ meme that took over the Internet few weeks back.

BeLikeBill Apple

BeLikeBill_PH

USE HUMOUR, IF RELEVANT

Who doesn’t love humour when it’s appropriate and impressive? With memes and funny illustrations dominating the social media world, humour is undoubtedly the best universal language that brands love to speak.

Witty or good humour bridges the gap between a brand and its customer in so many levels and helps in building a community. Spontaneity coupled with creative humour has resulted in a number of successful brand campaigns in the past and will continue to do so.

MAKE USE OF VISUAL MEDIUM

2016 seems to be year of Visual Marketing with video content and infographics having the best ROI and reception amongst the users. Visual content grabs the audiences’ attention much faster than text and generates more social engagement. According to a recent study by Cisco, video will account for 80 percent of the global internet traffic by 2019. And the numbers have already begun to rise, as more and more brands are gradually moving some of their TV budgets to digital videos.

With the increasing availability of platforms such as YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Blab, Flipagram, etc. and the user community shifting to mobile and social, brand managers should make use of these visually appealing content forms to gain valuable results.

VisualContentInfluencer

VisualContentMurugappa

ROPE IN INFLUENCERS TO AMPLIFY CONTENT

If you have great content and are trying to amplify it through impactful sources, look no further. Influencer marketing helps in identifying leaders with a significant follower base, who can deliver your brand’s message to a wider audience and influencer their opinions / purchase decisions. Using influencers for your content campaigns can result in higher reach and engagement, thus giving you more mileage than your competitors.

What are the content marketing efforts that you’ve taken so far to improve your brand’s online presence? Do let us know about your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section!

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