Tag Archive | "Fresh"

How to Keep Your Copywriting Skills Fresh

When I started out as a professional copywriter — exactly 40 years ago this year — I was full of…

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7 Ideas for Keeping Your Brand’s Content Marketing Fresh & Relevant


vegetable dish

Have you ever opened the fridge and realized that all of the produce that you painstakingly picked out at the farmers market had gone bad? Maybe there were a few items that were salvageable but the rest had to be tossed. You wouldn’t want to serve your guests a rotten ratatouille would you?

Today’s content marketers should be using only the freshest of ingredients (tactics) to keep their audience engaged and coming back for seconds.

Keeping an online audience engaged is getting harder and harder. They are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of content which makes it very difficult to hold their attention. In fact, the Statistic Brain Research Institute found that the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds and only 4% of page views on the internet last longer than 10 minutes. Remember that blog post it took you 3 hours to write? Chances are your customers are speed reading and moving on.

However, there are steps that you can take to keep your content marketing fresh, interesting and innovative for your audience. In today’s market, Content marketing can take on many different forms and be published on a variety of platforms. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

Below are some of the ideas for how you can keep your content marketing program fresh and delicious. Bon apetite!

#1 – Study the Works of Other “Chefs”

Today’s foodies love everything from Indian street food, to fine French dining. What has become even more popular over the past few years is the concept of food fusion, which takes notes from different types of cuisines and mashes them together to produce the best possible dishes.

In order to create these tasty recipes, chefs had to go outside of their base knowledge of a particular cuisine and incorporate ideas from other cultures.

It can be easy to fall into a routine of strictly following what other marketers in your industry are doing to help determine your content marketing strategy.

Instead, look for innovative ideas that are outside of your industry and may not even be a part of marketing. For example, take a look at your personal email inbox, is there anything that caught your eye as a consumer or that you found to be an interesting concept? Use these ideas that you find in other industries to fuel your content marketing ideas.

#2 – Ditch the Recipe Book & Try Something New

Some of my best dishes have come from throwing together ingredients that I thought went well together. Other times I have been left with an inedible goopy mess. But at least I knew not to do it again.

Believe it or not, failure can be a good thing. Why? Because if you failed, that means that you made an attempt. One of the worst things you can do as a marketer is to remain stagnant and keep executing on the same old safe, tried and true digital marketing tactics.

Now that doesn’t mean that you should just go chasing after any idea. You should still be mindful of your approach and determine what it is that you expect to get out of it.

#3 – Mother Sauces Require Key Ingredients

You can’t make a bechamel sauce without butter and a hollandaise without lemon just isn’t quite right. While there are variations of these mother sauces, there are core ingredients that bring them together and make your tastebuds sing.

One of the most overlooked opportunities for marketing is combining your different digital teams (either internal or external). The convergence of search, social and content is not a new concept. However, there is a big difference between creating an integrated digital marketing strategy, and getting your different teams together to collaborate.

It doesn’t matter if you have a large team, a small team or are working with an outside digital marketing agency, there is always an opportunity to collaborate. This approach will help each team understand what it is that the other is working on and can lead to some creative brainstorming for content marketing solutions.

#4 – Small Touches Create a Better Diner Experience

Personally, I eat just as much with my eyes as I do with my mouth. There is almost no replacement for a beautiful plate of food that tastes equally delicious. The perfect combination of ambiance, a beautiful table, good parking and alluring food can create a truly epic dining experience.

Similarly, you should always use content marketing to create a good customer experience.

This means:

  • Create Content for Need: Does your content marketing program help solve a business problem or meet a customer need?
  • Optimize for Device: Can your customers access your website, blog and any other assets both on desktop and a mobile device?
  • Incorporate Storytelling: Connect customers to your content by incorporating storytelling into your strategy.

#5 – Do Your Customers Like Their Steak Rare, Medium or Well Done?

Let’s pretend that you went out to the nicest steak restaurant in town and everyone in your party ordered a nice juicy steak. Now imagine that the server assumed that everyone at the table wanted their steak well done without asking? Chances are, there would be some pretty unhappy people at the table.

Many companies are afraid of asking current customers simple questions about the helpfulness of their content. There is the fear of negative feedback or that the customer will decide that they no longer want to do business with you.

Instead of being fearful, consider this an opportunity to improve your marketing program by better providing your customers what they need. They’ll also appreciate your willingness to hear what they have to say. Ultimately, this temperature check will tell you what you’re doing well (and need to do more of) as well as opportunities for improvement for content.

You can either contact customers directly and ask them or survey your community at large through email, social media or other means.

#6 – Add Your Own Flair

Part of what makes celebrity chefs so great is that you get to experience “what they’re really like” simply by tuning in to the Food Network or Cooking channel. In all fairness, their cooking chops is largely what got them to where they are today, but their personalities are what have made them celebrities.

Few brands are able to inject the proper amount of personality and authority into their content marketing. Often, brands are fearful of towing the line and offending the audience. Always err on the side of professionalism but don’t be afraid to use humor, personality and wit where appropriate.

Another option is to provide your audience with a “behind the scenes” look at your organization. This can be accomplished through “candid” videos, images shared on social media and contributions from team members from across the organization on their experience working with the company.

#7 – Throw Spaghetti at the Wall & See What Sticks

While you want your noodles al-dente, crunchy just won’t cut it. Sometimes the only way to tell if they’re good is to throw them at the wall and see if they stick.

The same can be said for creative content marketing brainstorms. It’s better to throw in a bunch of ideas and see which ones end up sticking.

To keep your content marketing fresh, consider adding some impromptu brainstorming sessions when needed. Consider inviting team members outside of the marketing department for a fresh set of eyes, ears and brains.

Provide the team an overview of what you’re hoping to accomplish as well as any relevant information about the target audience. Then, set them loose. Truthfully, you won’t use every idea that is concocted during your session, but there is always something useful that comes out of a brainstorm. Even if it’s just inspiration.

Are You Hungry to Innovate Your Content Marketing Program?

I don’t know about you, but this blog post is making me incredibly hungry. If you’re stuck in a content marketing rut, hopefully this post has helped you think of some different ways that you can innovate your marketing, without getting egg on your face.

What have you found to be the best way to get your creative content marketing juices flowing?

Image: Shutterstock

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6 Ways to Use Fresh Links & Mentions to Improve Your Marketing Efforts – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

This week, we announced the release of our newest tool, Fresh Web Explorer. We're so excited to give marketers incredibly recent data in a tool to keep track of their mentions and links in a scalable way.

In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand walks us through improving our marketing through fresh links and mentions, and he explains how you can use Fresh Web Explorer to achieve the best results. 

Excited about Fresh Web Explorer? Have questions you'd like answered? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Transcription

"Howdy SEOmoz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, as you may know, we've been very excited to release Fresh Web Explorer. It's one of our latest tools. We've been working on it for a long time. A lot of work and effort goes into that project. Huge congrats and thank you to Dan Lecocq and Tamara Hubble and to the entire team who has been working on that project. Kelsey and Carin and everyone.

So I wanted to take some time and talk through the value that marketers can get from Fresh Web Explorer and not just from Fresh Web Explorer, because I realize it's one in a set of tools, but also from things like doing regular Google 24 hour searches to look for brand mentions and links, using other tools like Radian6 or an uberVU, which is inside empowering, Raven Tools fresh links and fresh mentions section. You can do a lot of these things with any of those tools.

I'm going to focus on Fresh Web Explorer for this part, but you can extrapolate out some ways to use this stuff in other tools too.

So number one, one of the most obvious ones is trying to find opportunities for your brand, for your site to get coverage and press, and that often will lead to links that can help with SEO, lead to co-occurrence citations of your brand name next to industry terms, which can help with SEO, could help with local for those of you who are doing local and have local businesses mentioned. It certainly can help with branding and brand growth, and a lot of times helps with direct traffic too.

So, when I perform a search inside Fresh Web Explorer, I'm getting a list of the URLs and the domains that they're on, along with a feed authority score, and I can see then that I can get all sorts of information. I can plug in my competitors and see links, who's pointing to my competitor's sites. Perhaps those are opportunities for me to get a press mention or a link. I can see links to industry sites. So, for example, it may not be a competitor, but anyone who's doing coverage in my space is probably interesting for me to potentially reach out to build a relationship with.

Mentions of industry terms. If I find, you know whatever it is, print magazines that are on the web, or blogs, or forums, or news sites, feeds that are coming from places that are indicative of, wow, they're talking about a lot of things that are relevant to my industry, relevant to my brand and to what our company's doing, that's probably an opportunity for a potential press mention.

Mentions of competitors brands. If a press outlet is covering, or a blog or whoever, is covering one of your competitors, chances are good that you have an opportunity to get coverage from that source as well, particularly if they try to be editorially balanced.

Mentions of industry brands. It could be that you're in an industry that, and you're not necessarily competitive with someone, but you want to find those people who are relevant to your brand. So for example, for us this could include things like a brand like Gnip or a brand like HubSpot. We're not competitive with these brands, SEOmoz is not. But they are industry brands and places who cover Gnip and HubSpot may indeed cover Moz as well.

Number two, I can find some content opportunities, opportunities to create content based on what I'm discovering from Fresh Web Explorer. So I plugged in "HTC One," the new phone from HTC, and I'm looking at maybe I can curate and aggregate some of the best of the content that's been produced around the HTC One. I can aggregate reviews, get really interesting information about what's coming out about the phone. I might even be able to discover information to share with my audience.

So, for example, we focus on SEO topics and on local topics. If we expect the HTC One to be big and we want to cover several different phones and how that's affecting the mobile search space, we can look at their default search providers, what sorts of things they do in terms of voice search versus web search, whether they have special contracts and deals with any providers to be tracking that data and who that might be going to, all those kinds of things, and we can relate it back to what we're doing in our industry.

You can also Fresh Web Explorer to find the best time to share this type of information. So, for example, the HTC One comes out and maybe you're working for a mobile review site and you're like, "Oh, you know what? This has already been covered to death. Let's do something else this week, or let's cover some other stuff. Maybe we'll hit up the HTC One." Or, "Boy, you know what? This is just starting to get hot. Now is a great time to share. We can get on Techmeme and get the link from there. We can be mentioned in some of the other press coverages. We still have a chance, a shot to cover this new technology, new trend early on in its life cycle."

Number three, we can track fresh brand and link growth versus our competitors. So a lot of the time one of the things that marketers are asking themselves, especially in the inbound field is, "How am I doing against my competition?" So I might be Fitbit, which is a Foundry cousin of ours. They're also funded by Foundry Group. They compete with the Nike FuelBand, and they might be curious about who's getting more press this week. We released a new version of the Fitbit, or we're about to, or whatever it is, and let's see how we're doing against the Nike FuelBand. Then when we have our press release, our launch, let's see how that compares to the coverage we're getting. Where are they getting covered that we are not getting covered? Where are we getting coverage where they are not?

We can then use things like the CSV Export feature, which is in the top right-hand corner of the Fresh Web Explorer, and we can look at CSV Export to do things like, "Oh, I want to filter out these types of sites. Or I only want a report on the high feed authority sites versus the low feed authority one. So I want to see only the places where my coverage is high."

A note on feed authority though. Be very careful here because remember that a great page on a great site might be discovered through a low quality feed. It could be that a relatively junky feed is linking to some high quality stuff. We'll discover it and report on the feed authority of the source where we discovered it. So you may want to try using metrics like page authority and domain authority to figure out where are you being mentioned and is that a high quality site, not just feed authority.

All right. Number four. Find fresh sources that link to or mention two or more of your competitors, but don't mention you. Now, this has been a classic tool. We've had a tool in our library at Moz, which is similar to SEO Book's HubFinder. Ours is called the Link Intersect tool, and what you can do here is you can plug in something like some ice cream brands and see how it writes. So "Full Tilt" and "Molly Moons" ice cream, and I actually want to put quotes around those brand names so that I can get mentions every time someone mentions the Moon and the name Molly that would pop in there, that wouldn't be ideal, minus D'Ambrosio, which is the best Seattle ice cream shop obviously. It's a gelateria. It's fantastic. Side note, it's possible that maybe owned by my cousin-in-law, but shh, let's not tell anybody.

Okay, and then if I'm Marco over at D'Ambrosio Gelato, I can see where are Full Tilt and Molly Moons getting mentioned that aren't mentioning me. If it's, "Hey, there was an article in The Stranger about ice cream and they didn't cover us." And, "Hey the Capitol Hill blog didn't cover us." Maybe they don't know that we also have a Capitol Hill location. We should get in there and talk to those folks. We should mention, maybe leave a comment, maybe just tweet at the author of the post, whatever it is and tell them, "Hey, next time you cover ice cream, you should also write about us."

Number five. Compare sources coverage. So this is actually a bit of a teaser, and I apologize for that. So the operator site colon will not be available at lunch. So when you're watching this video, you probably can't use the site colon operator to see different sources and to run a search like the CRO site colon SEOmoz. However, it will be coming soon.

When it is, you'll be able to compare, hey is SEOmoz or is HubSpot more active in covering the CRO topic? Are there different sources out there that maybe don't have coverage of a topic and I could go and pitch them for a guest post? I could find those content opportunities. I could know if a topic is saturated or if it hasn't been covered enough. Maybe I find sites or blogs that might be interested in covering a topic that I would like them to write about. I can see who's covered and who hasn't using this site colon operator to figure out the source and the level of coverage that they might have or not.

The last one, number six, is really about reporting. Fresh Web Explorer is going to show you these great sort of trends about how is a particular term or phrase or link doing, links to a site, mentions of a brand name, mentions of a phrase or an industry term, whatever it is. So I can plug in things like my brand, SD, which is our link operator for just seeing links to anything on the sub-domain. I can plug in my sub-domain, and then I can see, here's how that's gone over the past 7 days or 30 days. I can screen shot that and put it in a report. I can download using the export functionality. I can download the CSV and then filter or scrub.

A lot of times, for example, PR companies, companies that help you with your press will do this type of work. They'll assemble this kind of reporting. In fact, at Moz we use a firm called Barokas here in Seattle. Every week they send us a report of here are all the places that you were mentioned, and here are places that mentioned industry terms and that kind of stuff, which is really nice, but you're oftentimes paying a lot of money to get that reporting. You can actually do that yourself if you don't have a PR company that you're already using for this type of work. Of course, if you are a PR company, this might be an option for you to do that type of reporting.

These six, they are only scratching the surface of what you can do with Fresh Web Explorer, and I don't doubt that I haven't thought of hundreds of uses yet for the data that's inside Fresh Web Explorer. I really look forward to seeing some cool creative uses from you guys out there, and I hope that you are enjoying the product. If you would like, please give us feedback. I know the team would love to hear from you on this, and they're constantly working and iterating and updating and adding in things like the site colon operator. So very cool.

Thank you very much, and we will join you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care."


Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013: Social media is email with fresh paint

Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert, spoke on day one of MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 on the relationship between email and social media, and how to use data from both to reach consumers more directly.
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Majestic SEO Fresh Index

Majestic SEO has long had great link data, but their biggest issue has been usability. They sorta built with the approach of “let’s give them everything” as a default, and then allowed advanced filtering to be done over the top to generate custom reports.

For advanced users this type of set up is ideal, because you are able to slice and dice it in many ways on your own terms. It allows you to spot nepotistic networks, pinpoint strategies quickly, and generally just give you a good look at what is going on in ways that wouldn’t be able to do if you couldn’t get all the data in a table. There are so many valuable edge case uses that can’t practically be put in a single interface while keeping usability high for the average use.

But for people newer to the SEO game & those looking for a quick source of data the level of options can be a bit overwhelming when compared against something like Open Site Explorer. A parallel analogy would be that when I want to spot check rankings real quick I rely on our rank checker, but if you want to have a variety of in-depth historical views then something like Advanced Web Ranking can be a quite helpful tool.

In an attempt to improve the “at a glance” style functionality Majestic SEO announced their new site explorer, which puts more data at your fingertips without requiring you to open up an Excel spreadsheet:

How much can you use the Majestic Site Explorer?
The system is designed for silver users and above. Silver subscribers can query upto 10 different domains an HOUR. Gold subscribers can query upto 30 different domains an hour and Platinum subscribers can query upto 100 different domains an hour. All levels are subject to fair use terms.

These allow you to view data on a sitewide basis, at the subdomain level, or drill down to individual pages.

Here is an example of a site level report

and if you wanted data down to the URL level, here is an overview of a top few links (note that the report goes on for numerous pages with data)

This update helped Majestic SEO close the gap a bit with Open Site Explorer, but a couple more things they may want to consider doing are

  • adding result crowding / limit results to x per domain
  • allowing you to filter out internal link data

Those features are available via their advanced reports, but making it easier to do some of that stuff in the “at a glance” interface would allow Majestic SEO to provide as a best in breed solution for both the “at a glance” function and the “in-depth deep research” options.

Majestic SEO also announced their new fresh index, which allows you to view fresh link data as recently as within the past day. It doesn’t require waiting for a monthly update or such, but offers link data right away. To help spread the word & give everyone a chance to see some of the new features they gave us free discount voucher codes to give out to get a 20% discount on your first month at any level.

If you have any questions about how Majestic SEO works you can sign up & register your own site, which allows you to access many of their features free. As a comparison SEOmoz (which offers Open Site Explorer) is also running a free 1-month trial right now.


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