Machine Learning & Content Marketing

Machine Learning

 

Machine Learning is one of the biggest things that is happening in the online marketing world right now. On first read, it sounds like something out of the future. The crazy thing is that it’s been in existence since the 1950s, but really blew up in its current use in the 2010s.

Here are some typical forms of Machine Learning that we all know:

 

  • The Google Self-Driving Car

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The Google Self-Driving car is probably the epitome of machine learning as we all know it. With advanced algorithms that adapt and optimize driving style based on its surroundings without any reprogramming necessary, the Google car is simply amazing.

 

  • Siri / “Okay Google”

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Our mobile phone assistants are another amazing example of Machine Learning as we all know it. With adaptive interfaces that change based on our location, time of day, and mobile browsing habits, we have a fine example of Machine Learning in our own pockets.

 

How is Machine Learning used in Marketing?

Google RankBrain is one of the main catalysts when it comes to Machine Learning and Marketing. With its main goal of having a more “conversational” approach to search engine usage, RankBrain really brings its own intuition and AI into the search engine marketing game.

Check out this example of RankBrain’s Machine Learning hard at work!

 

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You guessed it, The Hangover.

 

Why should we use Machine Learning in Marketing?

  • We have a huge amount of available data, given the shift in our browsing habits towards mobile & app use. We ought to use this data, and it’s a win-win situation. Our advertisements become more targeted, and marketers get amazing insights on their data!
  • We can learn about what marketing efforts were worth conducting, and what efforts were not working as well – all in real time.

 

What are some things we can do as content marketers?

  1. Take advantage of your long-form content! By leveraging your long-form content to add more keywords and relevant search terms, you are able to naturally implement recurring target keywords without sounding massively redundant. As a result, you are also allowed to have more chances to use relevant keywords!
  2. One thing we can do to work with Machine Learning is to tailor your content towards a specific target audience. A major update with Google’s RankBrain includes its capability to better understand conversational content, and even make educated inferences based on its AI algorithm.
    • By tailoring your content towards a specific target audience, your results will be more likely to rank higher in the search engine results.
  3. Another thing that we can do as content marketers to work better with Machine Learning is to create content that sounds natural! As web surfers, we are no longer bound by specific search terms and rules.
  4. Much like our school projects, it is alway great to incorporate references from case studies, white papers, and authoritative knowledge sources! With Machine Learning becoming more prevalent with our online search engines, part of the new intuition that the AI algorithms will seek is the validity of information. Having greater quality sources will result in your content being “vouched” better by the search engines.

 

In Conclusion:

  • Don’t act like a bot to beat the bot!
  • Craft your content in a conversational tone – be comfortable.
  • Leverage your long form content to incorporate key phrases and words (in a conversational way).

 

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Sources:

  1. http://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2015/6/16/applying-machine-learning-to-marketing.html#gs.gknfXFM
  2. https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/
  3. http://www.optimove.com/learning-center/machine-learning
  4. https://www.webtrends.com/blog/2016/03/four-benefits-of-machine-learning-for-marketing/
  5. https://www.toptal.com/machine-learning/machine-learning-theory-an-introductory-primer

 

How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Blog, For FREE!

blogging, keywordsFree, Blog, blogging, keywords

Taking The Guess Work Out Of Target Audience Questions And Keyword Planning For Your Blog, For FREE! 

WHOA, that’s a lot of blogging!

Blogging, World, Face, CultureDid you know that there is currently more than 100 million blogs on the Internet? According to WordPress Statistics, users produce about 58.3 million new posts and 43.8 million new comments each month. So why then does the world need another blog post? Better yet, how do you get your blog to stand out from all the others? Where do you even start? If you don’t want to waste your time writing a post that will go unseen, then there are a few things you can do to get your words noticed.

Target Audience, Keywords, Blogging

Breaking It Down

With so much blogging going on, it’s easy for your blog to go unnoticed. There are a few simple steps you can do to help optimize your content so your blog is relevant and content rich.

 

  1. Target Audience: Determine who your target audience is and where they’re located. There are many sights that can help you with this such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and Pinterest Analytics. A good tutorial on how to get started can be found on Facebook Insights.
  2. Questions They May Be Asking: Once you’ve identified your target audience, you want to then determine what questions they are asking about your topic. There are many “question and answer” type websites you can use to get this information. One that I like is QUORA. You can also try Ask.com. Both of these offer free accounts. Create an account and then search your topic or keyword for the most trending questions.
  3. Keyword Search in Google: Now that you have an idea of who your target audience is and what questions they are asking, it’s time to start creating the content of your blog. The next few steps are essential for finding and using the right words. Google offers a very useful and FREE tool to help you ensure that the keywords you choose for your blog are relevant and current. All you have to do is go to the Google Keyword Planning Tool, and type in your keywords or phrases to show the search volume of them. This will ensure that your blog is full of keywords that are trending. Next, take your keyword or phrase chosen from Google, and construct “long tail” phrases to make your article more targeted. My favorite FREE tool to use for this is Ubersuggest. Search your keyword/phrase and ubersuggest will give you both a word cloud with the most commonly used words in large letters that are being searched on the Internet, and a list in alphabetical order of all the keyword topics for your search. You can download and save your results. Use these results to construct your blog title and content.
  4. Keywords with Highest Search Volume: One last step to ensure you have the right keywords to create your blog content is to take your long tail results from Ubersuggest and check them again for search volume. Go back to Google Keyword Planning and copy/paste or upload your saved results from Ubersuggest. This will tell you on average, how many monthly searches there are for each keyword and its competiveness among other advertisers. Once you have the keywords and long tail phrases with the largest volume chosen, you’re ready to start blogging!keywords, blogging

Visual Content… Not Just another pretty picture.

Using visual content is nothing new but these days it is the thing you must do. Whether you’re a blogger, marketer, brand, entrepreneur or business who needs pretty pictures for their blog, website, social media posts or infographics, you need visual content to enhance your message. Using visual content is very powerful and helps communicate information in a way that the consumer can understand and will help your information stick in the brain of the end user.  I know that sounds great, but how can you make your visual content work for you and how will it help you enhance your message and reach your goals?  That’s what I’m here to answer.

First, we have to figure out what is visual content?

Visual content is the images, video and/or graphics that your end user views, interacts with, takes in and consumes in the following formats: photography, videos, motion, and interactive graphics, slide shows, infographics, charts, graphs, memes, cartoons, digital publishing, and e-books.

How and why does visual content work for you and/or your brand? 

In the past brands published traditional content marketing by using print ads, created press releases and sales materials.  This is a valid approach to content marketing, but in 2016 this type of content marketing with great visual assets just isn’t fast enough and is not as targeted as we would like it to be.  With the new platforms, visual content is more important than ever and can deliver content over various channels that reaches far beyond print content marketing or press releases of the past.

Consumers are looking for that authentic relationship with a brand.  They are attracted to brands because of their products, services, customer service, company culture, values, personality and visual content helps to showcase these brand assets and tells a complete story about what the brand truly cares about.

Marketing efforts today need to go beyond traditional marketing efforts.  It’s time for your brand to spread the word with mass appeal through visual shareable content over a variety of channels. With today’s engaging visual content, it is much easier to publish an image with a link and get instant traction then it was in the past with traditional visual content marketing.

What makes visual content successful and effective when communicating with your audience.

Attraction: Is the content attractive, stimulating, and engaging? Does it grab the audience attention?

Comprehension: Is the consumer able to interpret the visual information instantly with little to no effort and understand and engage with it?

Recall: Is the visual content memorable and will the consumer be able to recall it in a few days after initial interaction.

Visual content can come in many forms.  The question you have to ask yourself when choosing what type of visual content, you want to use is, what is the message and what are the goals and objectives for the content?  Then you need to choose the type of visual content that best serves the purpose, photos, videos, motion, and interactive graphics, slide shows, infographics, charts, graphs, memes, cartoons, digital publishing, e-books and more.

How does visual content support your marketing efforts?

It is important that your visual content supports your marketing effort in each stage of the customer journey.  The visual content reaches specific audiences and customers and helps them move along the path from awareness to engagement to purchase to advocate.

In the awareness stage of the customer journey, visual content is informative and/or entertaining and has mass appeal.  It captures the attention of your target audience and helps them move into the consideration stage of the journey. This is when your visual content helps to build your brand’s credibility and trust. Once you have the trust of the consumer the next step is to educate the consumer on the benefits of your product or service and provide a call to action for engagement then to purchase. Once you have the loyal customer the next step is to make them your advocate and encourage them to spread the word about your brand and product or service by sharing your visual content.

Depending on your brand or service you will have many choices of visual platforms to use.

Not all platforms are right for every brand so study your target market carefully before choosing the best platforms to engage with your audience.

Age distribution
Age distribution at the top social networks

Source

Track ROI

Lastly, it is important to track your ROI on your visual content marketing.  How do you do that and what metrics do you use?  There is no simple answer to this question.  Likes, shares, clicks are all great things, but how engaged are the end users really?  Likes are engagement with a specific post or page but it is not guaranteed that the end users will connect with the content beyond clicking the like button. Shares are powerful because an end user has endorsed the page or post but it still doesn’t guarantee that the shared content will be viewed or reach new end users.

What is your reach? 

Reach is the number of people who see your visual content, even if it is only for a second or two.  This means very little to the real ROI.  Conversions are the best way to track ROI.  This is visual content that had a call to action that the consumer engaged with or took action, like signing up or purchasing.  Many of the platforms have analytics for tracking engagement and reach, but for me, it is easier to track everything with Google Analytics (GA).  GA is great at following the traffic of your brand over social media channels and your website, as well as, across the internet.  It is important to know your reach and the data you get from GA will help you know and understand your ROI.

telling stats
Telling stats on just how big visual content has become

Source

Visual content statistics

  • Content that is colorful increases viewer’s willingness to read by 80% Source
  • Content you hear has a 10% retention rate three days later, but if that same content is paired with a visual the retention rate goes up to 65% Source
  • 46% of marketing professionals say photography is critical to their marketing and storytelling efforts Source
46 percent
Marketing professionals say photography is critical

Source

  • 34% of Marketers list visual content as the most important piece of their marketing effort, 45% list blogging, 19% list videos. Source
  • 65% of marketing executives believe that photos, illustrations, infographics, and videos are the core of how they communicate their brand story. Source
60 percent
The use of infographics will increase in 2016

Source

  • 60% of marketers predict the use of infographics will increase in 2016 compared to 2015. Source
Infographics
Infographics shared more

Source

 

  • Content with images gets reviewed 94% more often than content without images Source
get more views
Content with images will get more views

Source

  • Only 27% of marketing professionals have an organized and managed visual asset system being used across all their marketing platforms Source
  • 39% of marketers believe that more of their budget should go into creating compelling visual assets to use in their marketing efforts Source
  • 73% of content creators plan to create more engaging visual content in 2016 and 55% plan to make it a priority to create engaging visual content 2016 Source

 

b2c
Top priorities for B2C content creators

Source

  • 40% of users online will provide better and more favorable responses to a particular piece of visual content than other plain and text-based content Source
  • 85% of internet users in the United States watch online video Source
Most shared visual content

Source

  • The most popular content type for Baby Boomers is video, at 27 percent  Source
  • Millennials share memes the most, while less than 10 percent of Baby Boomers share similar content  Source

Conclusion

In today’s marketing environment visual content is not a fad, it is critical.  Visual content is the most powerful way to get your message in front of your target audience.  By using engaging visual content you can share your brand’s voice in a way that is more interactive and meaningful than ever before.   If content is King, visual content is the CROWN!

Original Title Treatment created in Canva (didn’t preview correctly)

Canva image Jennifer_visual content

3 Tips & Tricks for Google Analytics

For the past few weeks, we have been learning how to effectively utilize Google Analytics to manage our website and understand our audiences’ visits. Looking over and analyzing visitor data is extremely crucial to the success of the website, brand, and company overall. Whether you are managing data for a company or simple blog (like ours!), it is important to understand what metrics you should be looking at so that you can make informed decisions for your company. This will result in a better understanding of your audience and what type of content they really want to look at.

In this article, I will be highlighting 3 Tips & Tricks for Google Analytics that you can test out yourself. The beauty of Google Analytics is that you can do so much with it! You can study how users are finding your content and website, where exactly they’re coming from (or what led them here), and how long they are staying on your pages.

1) Understand your Audience Locations

How To: Audience > Geo > Location

google-analytics-geo-report

Where are your visitors coming from? How are people from all around the world finding your website? The maps displays the amount of users that visit your website from different parts of the globe. The darker blue shades on the map reflects more visitors from that location. How many of you were surprised to see the number of foreign visitors on your website?

By understanding where your users are coming from (and what sources led them to your site), you can capitalize on this traffic through ads, marketing campaigns, and other marketing ideas. You might even consider providing translated content if you notice a certain trend of users coming from the same foreign location.

2) Content with Popular Keywords

How To: Acquisitions > Campaigns > Organic Keywords

organic-keywords

What keywords are users searching that led them to your website? Among these keywords, which ones are the most popular? You can essentially track every action of a user and study this data to discover larger trends – you can study which pages they visit, how many pages they visit, and for how long they are staying on it.

After you see all the popular keywords that are leading people to your site, you should think about what you can do with this important data. The main key is to provide specific content for those targeted, popular keywords. For example, if “content marketing” is popular on your website, try using keywords such as “5 tips for strong content marketing” or “content marketing tips and tricks.”

3) Visitor Flow Chart

How To: Audience > Users Flow

 

behavior-flow-google-analytics

For some reason, this is a feature that is often overlooked but I think it’s an extremely helpful one. This shows the starting point of when a user is first brought to your website through their entire chain of actions until the end of their visit. This section of Google Analytics might be a little confusing at first but try your best to see important trends. Are your visitors stopping on certain blog posts or a certain part of your website? What patterns are you seeing?

Ultimately, I think it’s important that you use Google Analytics not just to see this data, but to strategize with it. Spending time to really understand the data will teach you more about your audience and help you make informed decisions. There are a ton of other ways to efficiently use this tool and I hope these three tips can encourage you to utilize Google Analytics more for your website. We’re all learning after all!

Content Marketing: Enhancing your Strategy

Content Marketing

Content MarketingEver wonder how all the big companies drive people to their business? Are you looking for the next best thing to get a leg up on your competition? You want to be the force that drives your company? Its called, Content Marketing and it’s your answer to all those questions.

In this post we will go over a few things that will help drive home your content marketing and bring you or your company to the top.

 

What is Content Marketing?

“Content marketing can be defined as the creation and distribution of meaningful insights, perspectives, and best practices that are valuable to a specific audience. The aim is to retain existing clients including doing more business with them and to attract new high-quality clients.” ~Bruce Rogers

content life cycle

Different Tools and Tips

There are many different platforms and tools that people use for their marketing. I will go over just a few basic tools that marketers use to reach the public about industry and company news.

Tools & TipsContent Marketing

  • Google Analytics
  • Social Media
    • LinkedIn
  • Blogs

These three tools are the basis of your strategy. They will help you drive out content and get it in front of the target audience you or your company is going after.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool to track your website or blogs activity. It has all the information you can imagine when it comes to tracking the site. It has everything from:

  • What pages they visitedGoogle Analytics
  • How long they visited
  • What links they clicked
  • General location
  • What device they used to search your site
    • Smart Phone
    • Laptop
    • Desktop
  • Even in some cases age and gender

 

Other Google Tools

Google has many helpful tools to help boost marketing.

  • Google Trends
    • Shows list of popular news headlines and what’s trending most
    • Great for finding content
  • Google Adwords
    • Helpful for businesses to select specific keywords to optimize their website and blog posts

Social Media

There are so many options for social media and marketing. We will focus on LinkedIn, how to post, join groups and company pages.

LinkedIn

 

  • Groups
    • Many groups on LinkedInJoin ones specific to your industry or target audience
    • Read posts made and comment on them to make connections
    • Share your own posts to these group and make comments to start conversation
    • Interact and make connections
  •  Making Posts
    • Find relating content to your target audience
    • Share to the public after making the post
    • Share to specific groups you are a member of
    • Make sure it a good conversation piece
    • Like and comment on your posts to spark interest
  • Company Page
    • You can make an account for your company
    • Great for making posts specific to your company
    • Can share posts to groups directly related to your company
    • Can share posts to the public and all your personal followers
    • Great for exposure of your brand
    • Make posts that are engaging and will spark conversation

Content Marketing

Blogs

Blogs are a very important tool for content marketing. They can be the element that drives people to your site or personal account. Making a quality post with engaging material that your target audience will enjoy is hard to do. You need to have content that relates and draws the attention quick and keeps it there.

biggest-content-marketing-challenge

  • Different types of blog posts
    • “How-to – Posts that teach readers how to do something; these typically perform very well in organic search if they align with long-tail search terms.
    • List Posts – Curated examples that can be informative, and thus also rather search-friendly, or simply entertaining.
    • Thought Leadership – Posts that explain fundamental shifts in an industry, or ask the reader to rethink convention wisdom.
    • Newsjacks – Timely content that either reports on industry news, or finds unexpected tie-ins with popular news items.
    • Infographics/SlideShares – Blog posts that primarily use visual content to tell a story.” ~ Corey Wainwright
  • Types of Visual Content to Create
    • Infographics – These can be embedded in blog posts, and shared on social media.
    • SlideShares – Some social media managers focus a lot of energy on SlideShare as a channel, and create content exclusively for it.
    • Video – Whether for YouTube or a blog post embed, short videos for the sake of entertainment or education can help you diversify your content portfolio and improve your SEO.” ~Corey Wainwright

tips

 

 

 

  • Headlines can drive the audience to the text or not! Be captivating
  • Text should be broken up with headers and bullet points, no strung on paragraphs
  • Mix and match images from practical to creative. Don’t want to be to stale
  • Make sure you have quality content worth sharing
  • You have ten seconds to get the attention of your visitor
  • Have a target audience and know what they want to read and how you can educate

Content Marketing is a uphill battle

Content Marketing Enhanced!

Now with the few tips and trick I talked about, you are ready to go out and get your start in become a content marketing master! With these new skills, you can now become to go to person in your business or go to blog for information!  Along the way you will continue to grow and learn new skills and tricks. The sky is the limit and the options are endless to reach your captive audience. Go out and make a difference!

Now You’re Ready!!

To view my power point click: HERE

 

Sources:

LinkedIn. “Top 25 Content Marketing Platforms for Content Syndication – Linked Media Group.” Linked Media Group. LinkedIn, 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. http://www.linkedmediagroup.com/content-marketing-best-practices/

Wainwright, Corey. “Content Marketing Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide for Modern Marketers.” Content Marketing Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide for Modern Marketers. Hubspot, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing-strategy-guide

DeMers, Jayson. “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/10/08/the-top-7-content-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/#3579d8ad68d4

 

 

7 Content Marketing Skills to Help You Thrive

7 Skills to help you thriive

These 7 Content Marketing Skills listed below will help you become the best of the best marketing person in the market.

What comes into your mind when you think of ‘Content Marketing’?

From the average people that I have encountered, they tend to think of soft skill related editors. They think anyone can write and complete the job.

But with the ever changing web platforms, almost everything we encounter are becoming more and more data driven.

Especially with marketing, it is no longer soft skill related traditional marketing.

The era we live in today entails digital marketing- a strategic marketing tactic that is data driven.

So, what is content marketing?

According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Why should we, as people in the marketing realm, care about all this?

To put in an analogy…

We can’t start cooking without…

  • the ingredients (marketing tools)
  • learning how to cook (marketing skill sets)

As mentioned above, today’s marketing is not the same as how it was a decade ago. It is data driven and requires more technical skills.

As stated by Neil Patel, from Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, “[Content marketing] used to be that a decent writer was all you needed to run a content marketing campaign. write a few blog posts. Publish. Awesome. Times have changed.”

Pretty much everyone knows how to write, but these 7 skills will help you thrive as a content marketer.


 

Here are the 7 content marketing skills to help you thrive:

 

1. Writing Skills

  • Attention grabbing header/ title
  • Easy to read content
  • Compelling conclusion
  • Correct grammar, punctuation, and style

 

2. Adaptability

  • Agile development
    • Make and adjust to quick changes

 

3. Analytics

  • Data Driven
    • Ask the right questions to gather the right information
      • Where are your audiences located?
      • What is the most popular content topic?
      • Which blog is bringing in the most revenue?

 

4. Research

  • Competitive analysis
    • Keyword research
    • Price
    • Features
    • Marketing Channels
    • Sales channels
  • Customer preferences and their changing needs

 

5. Search Engine Optimization

  • Crawl-able pages
  • Using correct tags
  • Black hat/ White hat

 

6. Graphic Design

  • Quick changes and fixes
  • Your vision to real images
  • No third party contract or part time employee required

 

7. Video Production and Editing

  • Less time being used out sourcing and managing

 

Conclusion: Strive to become a unicorn! Specialize in one field of your interest but have all the skills necessary to fill in any missing gaps within your company.

Unicorn


View the blog in power-point slides:


Sources and resources:

5 Essential Skills for Content Marketing Copywriters Today

What skills Are Necessary to Be a Great Content Marketer?

New Era of Marketing Requires New Skills

The New Era of the Hybrid Marketer

50 Things Every Content Marketer Should Know

The Essential Skills of a Content Marketer