Tag Archive | "Stop"

5 Social Media Tactics You Need to STOP Using (And What You Should Do Instead)

These days, it seems like everybody is using social media. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. Statistics have shown that there are now 2.2 billion social media users around the world, and the numbers are expected to reach 3 billion by 2020. With such a massive reach, it’s no wonder that every year more companies use social media as part of their marketing strategy.

However, it’s not enough to have a social media account; you also need to use effective strategies to make them work. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are still behind the times and are using outdated tactics that may actually be doing them more harm than good.

Are you guilty of any of these social media faux pas?

1. Engaging Only When You Need Something

Social media is a communication tool and the interaction goes two ways. Some brands look at social media strictly as a promotional tool and only post when they need something. But today’s consumers are pretty savvy and know when they’re being used so don’t expect this strategy to be well-received.

Better Tactic:

Engage your audience regularly. Ask questions. Join conversations and make sure you actually have something worthwhile to say. Don’t just show up, post a link, and then disappear. Personalizing your interactions with customers is time-consuming, but it’s a great way of engaging them and build a rapport.

2. Using Too Many Hashtags

Hashtags are great! They make your post easy to find on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Plus, it’s fun trying to come up with witty hashtags. What’s not fun is when hashtags are used excessively so stop if you’re guilty of this. An avalanche of hashtags makes you look desperate and spammy, especially if you’re hashtagging every adjective that comes to your mind even if they’re not relevant to your product (ex. #blue, #cool, #nice, #small).

Better Tactic:

Take the time to come up with an appropriate hashtag. Be deliberate in your description and ensure they’re relevant to your product. More importantly, make sure your post has more words than hashtags. This will ensure that your audience is focusing on your message and not on the #.

3. Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon

Reacting to every trending topic is one social media trick that you need to let go. Some brands jump on a popular topic or meme simply to start a conversation or to appear relevant. If it doesn’t fit your demographic or brand then your audience doesn’t need to hear your thoughts about it. For instance, your post congratulating Prince Harry about becoming a father will fall flat when your main audience is in Southeast Asia.

Better Tactic:

If you are going to say something about a particular topic, make sure your post will bring something to the table. Ask yourself if what you’ll be sharing is relevant to the discussion, your brand and market. If not, then there’s no need to post that meme.

4. Inappropriate Tagging of People or Companies

Tagging is a great way of calling attention to your posts. But it doesn’t make sense to tag people or brands in promos or images when they’re not in it or have no clear connection to the post. This move is reminiscent to a mass email campaign. It’s obviously generic, sloppy, and just as irritating. It’s also quite rude to tag someone without making an effort to personalize the request or post.

Better Tactic:

You’ll have a higher chance of getting a brand to help you if you send a direct message or tag them in a separate post first. If the company or influencer is someone you have worked with in the past, then include their links in your post. For instance, you can thank the influencer for their article on your company and include the link. Then segue to your promo and call-to-action.

5. Limiting Posts to the “Best Time”

Studies have shown that there are best times to post on social media. However, these are calculated based on averages; on the times that the majority of users are active and engaged. But every demographic is different. What if your specific followers are not active during those reported “best times?”

Better Tactic:

Instead of relying on the aforementioned study, you should also conduct your own research. Utilize your social media tools and check when your audiences are really online. FB Insights will display this for your Page. There are also tools that will tell you when your Twitter followers are active. Experiment and post at different times and days. This will help you come up with your own unique pattern of engagement.

Social media is a great marketing tool. However, a strategy that works for one brand might not work for another. So make sure that the tactics you use are relevant to your company and your market.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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5 Ways to Stop Ad Fatigue From Killing Your Facebook Campaign

The Internet and social media have made it easy for brands to get their message out to millions of people. In fact, the average American is reportedly exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements every single day. But this accessibility has also led to “Banner Blindness,” a psychological effect wherein people become blind or indifferent to the ads they see.

Banner blindness is essentially the consumer’s defense mechanism in the face of an abundance of information. This means that at some point, your ads will no longer be effective as your audience starts to suffer from ad fatigue.

Understanding Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue occurs when your target market becomes so used to your advertisements that they become bored and stop paying attention to them.

One platform where ad fatigue can be felt is Facebook, where account holders frequently see advertisements fighting for space amidst the numerous statuses and photos on their News Feeds. Marketers understand the impact ad fatigue can have on a company’s investment. When the Frequency rate of a Facebook ad goes up, its click-through-rate (CTR) tends to go down. Conversely, the cost-per-click for the company will increase.

Luckily, the platform’s robust rotation display and audience-targeting network mean there are strategies that can be utilized to prevent ad fatigue from setting in.

5 Ways to Prevent Facebook Ad Fatigue

1. Change Your Headline and Use Power Words

Image result for free

Mix up the wording in your ad. Consider changing your headline to include a question, your brand name or even a call-to-action (CTA). Another option would be to change the language to target a specific audience. For instance, men would prefer a more humorous content while women opt for something subtle. Power words like “Instantly,” “Sensational,” “Free” and “Now” can boost the odds of having a more positive response to your ads.

2. Tweak Ad Displays

Tweak the design of your ads to capture your audience’s interest once more. Something as simple as changing the background color can make a huge difference so try experimenting with different hues. You can also utilize a simpler image to catch people’s eyes. A photo of a happy woman apparently works best in Facebook ads. Avoid images with lots of details and keep the use of text in the picture to a minimum.

3. Rotate Demographics and Audience Network

When you keep utilizing the same group on the platform’s Audience Network, desktop, and mobile iterations, the ad frequency will increase, thereby raising the dangers of ad fatigue. Separate your ad groups for every placement. This will make tracking bidding and frequency rates more effective. You should also consider rotating your ads and the target audience every few days to reduce individual ad frequency and keep things fresh.

4. Try Out Different Call-to-ActionsRelated image

Your ad requires a strong call-to-action if you want to nab those conversions. Test five to six distinct CTAs as you rotate your ads and see which one gives the best result. For instance, you can start with a straight CTA this week (ex. Take that vacation now!). You can then try one that begins with a question (Need a break from work?) the following week.

5. Stop Underperforming Campaigns

If all else fails, you have the option to stop underperforming campaigns until you can develop something better. Evaluate every aspect of your marketing campaign, from the images you used to the target groups to the value proposition, to see what is causing the sluggish conversion rates. You can also freeze your ads once the frequency becomes too high and wait until people don’t recognize them anymore.

Fighting ad fatigue on Facebook is crucial to the success of your campaign. Utilize a variety of strategies like changing background colors or rotating the audience network to keep things interesting. Bear in mind that these ads are pay-per-click, so you have more than enough leeway to try something different.

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4 Reasons Why People Stop Reading Before the End of a Page

Every page you create has a purpose. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sales page, a subscription page, an about page, a blog post, or any other kind of page. You publish it for a reason. You want something to happen. Maybe you want someone to share the page on social media. Or you want
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Authentic Blogging: Stop Trying To Make The Right Impression And Start Being Yourself

Have you ever written a blog post and read it back only to find it sounds nothing like your style or voice? A lot of new bloggers create a frame in their mind about how they think they need to present themselves to the world. This is especially true when starting…

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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How to Stop Wishing You Had More Time to Write

“If only I had all the time in the world, my blog would be perfect.” That thought has probably crossed your mind more than once. I know it’s crossed mine. I find myself lost in daydreams about how amazing my motorcycle blog could be — if only I had more time. When writerly productivity is
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When Do Expired Redirects Stop Passing Signals With Google?

We cover redirects here a lot, I mean a lot, and Google has documented a lot of these things for us around redirects but often…


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Stop Making These 12 Word Choice Errors Once and for All

"Write the correct words the first time, and you’ll spend less time editing later." – Stefanie Flaxman

Bill is at a wine bar on Saturday night, enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir.

After striking up a playful conversation with Lisa (who prefers Syrah), he asks for her telephone number. Lisa agrees to Bill’s request, and he creates a new “contact” in his cell phone.

“No,” Lisa stops Bill. “You’ll have to memorize it. I don’t want you to write it down.”

Bill accepts the challenge and confidently repeats the 10-digit number a few times aloud. Lisa proceeds to talk about her cat Nibbles for an hour and then leaves the bar after she realizes how late in the evening it has become.

By the next day, Bill has forgotten Lisa’s phone number. He remembers how much Nibbles loves playing with yarn because he used to have a cat that loved yarn … and although he wants to send Lisa a text message, her digits weren’t meaningful to him.

The same thing happens when you memorize the definitions of two similar words instead of learning how to use them.

When you memorize without any meaningful context, you may quickly forget a definition and continually select a word that doesn’t mean what you think it means.

When you learn how to use the following 12 pairs of words, it will be easier to choose the proper one for your content.

Write the correct words the first time, and you’ll spend less time editing later.

1. Compliment vs. Complement

Compliment

A “compliment (noun)” is an “expression of praise.” When you “compliment (verb)” someone, you praise something about her.

“I like your neon-rainbow, unicorn t-shirt” is a compliment.

The word “compliment,” spelled with the letter “i,” should remind you of saying “I like” — how you begin a compliment.

Complement

A “complement (noun)” is “something that completes something else.” When something “complements (verb)” something else, it “makes it whole/adds value to it/completes it.”

Complete is part of the word “complement.”

2. Premiere vs. Premier

Premiere

“Premiere (noun)” is “the first showing of an event.” “Premiere” as other parts of speech conveys a similar meaning.

Premiere could describe a movie premiere. The words “premiere” and “movie” both end with the letter “e.”

Premier

Use the adjective “premier” to describe “the best ___.”

Premier means premium. Neither word ends with the letter “e.”

“Premier (noun)” is less common. The term describes a person who is first in rank.

For example, a “premier” may be a chief executive officer or president of a company.

3. Effect vs. Affect

Effect

The noun “effect” refers to an “outcome or result.”

If you associate “special effects” in movies with “effects,” you’ll remember that “effect” should be used as the noun to describe an outcome.

Affect

The verb “affect” describes something that “manipulates or causes a change.”

An emotional piece of news may affect how you feel after you hear it.

4. Accept vs. Except

Accept

The verb “accept” means “to take in or receive.”

When using the word “accept,” associate it with the word “acceptance” — you take something in; you receive it.

Except

The word “except” is not a verb. It can be used as a preposition, a conjunction, or an idiom. In each form, the word “except” means “with the exclusion of ___.”

When you use the word “except,” you want to exclude something.

5. Ensure vs. Insure

Ensure

Use the verb “ensure” to convey “make certain or guarantee.”

To remember when to use “ensure,” note that the last two letters of the word “guarantee” are “e” and the word “ensure” begins with the letter “e.”

Insure

The verb “insure” communicates “protecting assets against loss or harm.”

If you are discussing the protection of assets, think of car insurance and then use the word “insure.”

6. Regard vs. Regards

Regard

Use “regard” when you want to express consideration or reference something specific.

Writing “in regards to” is one of my content pet peeves.

“Regard” is typically the proper word choice, unless you are sending your feelings of empathy to someone else. Which brings us to …

Regards

“Regards” are your “best wishes or warm greetings.”

7. Beside vs. Besides

Beside

If you want to convey the meaning of “next to or alongside,” use “beside.”

Associate the word “beside” with the word “alongside.” Both words end with the letters “s-i-d-e.”

Beside can also mean “not connected to.” You would write “that is beside the point.”

Besides

The word “besides” means “in addition to.”

“Besides” ends with the letter “s,” which reminds us of a plural word — two or more of something, additional items.

“Besides can also mean “other than/except.”

Associate the “s” sound in the word “except” with the word “besides,” which ends with the letter “s.”

8. Stationery vs. Stationary

Stationery

“Stationery” is always a noun. It’s typically decorative paper and ornate pens. You might use it to jot down quotes from your favorite writing books.

Associate the noun “stationery” with “paper.” The last three letters of the noun “stationery” contain the letters “er.” The word “paper” also ends with the letters “er.”

Stationary

“Stationary” means “still, grounded, or motionless.” It can be used as a noun or adjective.

Since the word “stationary” can also be used as an adjective, associate the “a” in the word “adjective” with the letter “a” in the last three letters in the adjective “stationary.”

9. Precede vs. Proceed

Precede

“Precede” means “to go before.” It is a verb.

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999) was a “prequel” to the original Star Wars film (1977).

The events that took place during the prequel came before (or preceded) Star Wars.

Proceed

“Proceed” is also a verb, but it means “carry on, continue, move forward.”

Think of “proceed” as “proactive, taking the next step in a sequence.”

“Precede” is “before” and “proceed” is “after.”

10. Who’s vs. Whose

Who’s

“Who’s” is a contraction of two words — most commonly, “who is” (present tense), “who has,” or “who was” (past tense).

If you are combining a verb with the word “who,” it’s appropriate to use “who’s” (with an apostrophe).

Whose

“Whose” is a possessive pronoun, similar to “mine,” “yours,” “his,” or “hers.”

If you don’t intend to combine two words with an apostrophe, use the possessive pronoun “whose.”

11. Sometime vs. Some time

Sometime

When “sometime” is one word, it’s an adverb that refers to “one point in time.” For example, “I’d love to have coffee with you sometime.”

Some time

When “some” and “time” are separated as two words, think of the word “some” as an “amount.”

“Some time” is “an amount of time.” For example, “I just ate so much ice cream. It will take some time before I’m hungry again.”

12. Into vs. In to

Into

“Into” is a preposition that means “entering or transforming.” For example, “The fashion designer transformed the ugly fabric into a chic dress.”

A noun typically follows the word “into.”

In to

A verb that pairs with the word “in” typically goes before “in to.”

For example, “During the baseball game, the outfielder moved in to catch the ball.”

Your turn …

Do you have any word choice pet peeves? What are your favorite tips for learning how to use certain words correctly?

How could Lisa have helped Bill learn her phone number, rather than memorize it? ”</p

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Podcasters: Stop Looking for an Audience (and Let Them Find You)

"What if you could spend 10 minutes doing one simple task and get new listeners for years to come?" – Jon Nastor

“Three … two … one … Ready or not, here I come!”

My daughter Sadie hides anxiously behind the living room couch, while her best friend is searching, calling out her name, and trying to find her.

Hide-and-seek, a game played out millions of times.

If you don’t know, hide-and-seek is a popular children’s game in which any number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers.

The hiding is not what makes it fun.

Kids will play for hours and hours when they continually find each other. When one of the children stays hidden for even five minutes too long, the others quickly lose interest.

It is a quest fueled by the moment of discovery.

Hey podcaster, stop hiding behind the couch

Now let’s think about why thousands upon thousands of content marketers, business owners, hobbyists, and fans start podcasts. More often than not, it’s to build an audience around a topic they love.

They start with enthusiasm and determination, only to quit after 10, 12, or 20 episodes (the number doesn’t matter, the quitting does).

Listeners couldn’t find their podcasts, so they quit. Like Sadie hiding behind the couch, when no one finds us, the game ceases to be fun and we quit.

Podcasts need to be actively optimized — not only to help you build an audience and authority, but also to help you stay motivated to not quit.

The search begins

The consensus amongst podcasters is that since Google can’t index audio, you can throw your standard SEO practices out the window.

It is true; Google can’t listen to or index your podcast episodes. It is also true, and more pertinent to this discussion, that Google is not where people go to find podcasts.

Where do people search when they want to find a new podcast?

  • iTunes
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • iHeartRadio
  • YouTube
  • Spreaker
  • SoundCloud

These are “alternative” search engines — directories where people search for podcasts.

It’s not accidental when podcasts rise to the top of the directories. We need to understand our audiences and anticipate what they search for just like we do when we write, but with a slight twist.

Why you should submit your show to podcast directories

What if you could spend 10 minutes doing one simple task and get new listeners for years to come?

We need to find audience-building strategies we can leverage. Repeatable steps we can take upfront, yet will continue to provide us with new listeners for months and years to come.

The way to do this is simple: submit your show to podcast directories.

As with most things, how you use podcast directories will change and evolve with your show. A brand-new show will benefit from a different strategy than a podcast that has been around for 50+ episodes.

  • New podcasters: Focus on one or two directories to maximize early exposure. Use iTunes and Stitcher to start.
  • Veteran podcasters (50+ episodes): Submit to as many podcast directories as possible. Here’s a list to get you started.

Optimize for discoverability

As podcasters, we value audio over text. The reason is simple: we are more comfortable behind a microphone than we are behind a keyboard.

Our thoughts and ideas flow when we speak, and we stare impatiently at a blank page when it’s time to write.

Don’t fight it. It’s what makes us podcasters.

It also stops us from being found.

There are a few places where words matter in podcasting. Not a lot of words, but they are essential to help listeners find your show.

For our discussion today about optimizing for discoverability, we are not going to get into anything involving extra work. Yes, having transcripts for your show can be beneficial, but we are focusing on tasks you already must do for your podcast — but doing them with a purpose.

How to win the name game

Deciding on a name for your show can be a fun and creative process, but we need to stay focused on our goal of discoverability.

Here are three things to keep in mind when naming your show for discoverability:

  1. Know your audience. Who are they, where do they listen, and how can your show help them?
  2. Use their words, not yours. How would a listener describe your show to a friend? Use those words.
  3. Stand out. Be bold and clear.

Next time you’re on the subway or at a coffee shop, look at how fast people scroll up and down on their phones.

Your name needs to effectively communicate your show’s purpose, and it needs to do it in seconds.

A good name isn’t easy to find, but never sacrifice clarity for creativity.

Craft a better show description (your elevator pitch)

Where a show description is displayed varies from directory to directory. Currently, iTunes still generates the majority of all podcast downloads. So we will focus on iTunes when discussing show descriptions.

A show description is the block of text displayed on your podcast page within iTunes. More importantly, it is the main place where you get to tell iTunes and potential listeners what your show is about.

Here are three ways to optimize your show description:

  1. Choose the right keywords. Include the words and phrases your audience uses.
  2. Max it out. iTunes has a 4,000-character limit — use every last one.
  3. Call to action. Listeners will read your show description, so explain what they should do next.

Think of crafting your show description the same way you would think about writing your next blog post.

Keywords matter, but not more than other important elements that help you create a compelling case for a potential listener to download and subscribe to your show.

Write captivating episode titles

Content marketers and copywriters stress over their headlines more than any other part of their work. It makes sense when we understand how a headline can make or break an article.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

The title of your episode is your headline. It is the single most powerful way to make people stop scrolling and listen to an episode. So don’t treat episode titles like afterthoughts.

Here’s how to write better episode titles:

  1. Don’t mislead. The goal is to attract listeners, not make them despise you for wasting their time.
  2. Be specific. What is the single most useful benefit your episode will provide? Yes, be that specific.
  3. Consistency is key. Number your episodes or don’t. Include your guests’ names in your titles or don’t. Either way, be consistent.

Writing great episode titles takes practice. When you get stuck, you can jump-start your process with these smart headline-writing tactics.

Make noise from behind the couch

When you listen to kids playing hide-and-seek, you will notice all of the noises they make — laughter, whispering, and yelling — all signals that will help them be found.

We need to make noise, get noticed, and be discovered.

Creating useful content on a consistent basis is essential if you want to create a remarkable podcast.

Your usefulness stems from your passion and knowledge.

Podcasting is hard, but having your show discovered by new listeners on a consistent basis will keep you motivated through the dips and struggles.

You started a podcast to build an audience. Don’t hide it from listeners.

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How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It)

Posted by kerryjones

Do your link building results look something like this?

  1. Start doing outreach
  2. Get links
  3. Stop doing outreach
  4. No more links

Everyone talks about the long-term benefits of using content marketing as part of a link building strategy. But without the right type of content, your experience may be that you stop earning links as soon as you stop doing outreach.

In this sense, you have to keep putting gas in the car for it to keep running (marketing “gas” = time, effort, and resources). But what if there was a way to fill up the car once, and that would give it enough momentum to run for months or even years?

An example of this is a salary negotiations survey we published last year on Harvard Business Review. The study was picked up by TechCrunch months after we had finished actively promoting it. We didn’t reach out to TechCrunch. Rather, this writer presumably stumbled upon our content while doing research for his article.

techcrunch-link.png

So what’s the key to long-term links? Content that acts as a source.

The goal is to create something that people will find and link to when they’re in need of sources to cite in content they are creating. Writers constantly seek out sources that will back up their claims, strengthen an argument, or provide further context for readers. If your content can serve as a citation, you can be in a good position to earn a lot of passive links.

Read on for information about which content types are most likely to satisfy people in need of sources and tips on how to execute these content types yourself.

Original research and new data

Content featuring new research can be extremely powerful for building authoritative links via a PR outreach strategy.

A lot of the content we create for our clients falls under this category, but not every single link that our client campaigns earn are directly a result of us doing outreach.

In many cases, a large number of links to our client research campaigns earn come from what we call syndication. This is what typically plays out when we get a client’s campaign featured on a popular, authoritative site (which is Site A in the following scenario):

  • Send content pitch to Site A.
  • Site A publishes article linking to content.
  • Site B sees content featured on Site A. Site B publishes article linking to content.
  • Site C sees content featured on Site A. Site C publishes article linking to content.
  • And so on…

So, what does this have to do with long-term link earning? Once the content is strategically seeded on relevant sites using outreach and syndication, it is well-positioned to be found by other publishers.

Site A’s content functions as the perfect citation for these additional publishers because it’s the original source of the newsworthy information, establishing it as the authority and thus making it more likely to be linked to. (This is what happened in the TechCrunch example I shared above.)

Examples

In a recent Experts on the Wire podcast, guest Andy Crestodina talked about the “missing stat.” According to Andy, most industries have “commonly asserted, but rarely supported” statements. These “stats” are begging for someone to conduct research that will confirm or debunk them. (Side note: this particular podcast episode inspired this post – definitely worth a listen!)

To find examples of content that uncovers a missing stat in the wild, we can look right here on the Moz blog…

Confirming industry assumptions

When we did our native advertising versus content marketing study, we went into it with a hypothesis that many fellow marketers would agree with: Content marketing campaigns perform better than native advertising campaigns.

This was a missing stat; there hadn’t been any studies done proving or debunking this assumption. Furthermore, there wasn’t any publicly available data about the average number of links acquired for content marketing campaigns. This was a concrete data point a lot of marketers (including us!) wanted to know since it would serve as a performance benchmark.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 1.16.47 PM.png

As part of the study, we surveyed 30 content marketing agencies about how many links the average content marketing campaign earned, in addition to other questions related to pricing, client KPIs, and more.

After the research was published here on Moz, we did some promotion to get our data featured on Harvard Business Review, Inc, and Marketing Land. This data is still being linked to and shared today without us actively promoting it, such as this mention on SEMRush’s blog and this mention on the Scoop It blog (pictured below).

scoop-it-citation.png

To date, it’s been featured on more than 80 root domains and earned dozens of co-citations. It’s worth noting that this has been about far more than acquiring high-quality links; this research has been extremely effective for driving new business to our agency, which it continues to do to this day.

Debunking industry assumptions

But research doesn’t always confirm presumptions. For example, Buzzsumo and Moz’s research collaboration examined a million online articles. A key finding of their research: There was no overall correlation between sharing and linking. This debunked a commonly held assumption among marketers that content that gets a lot of shares will earn a lot of links, and vice versa. To date, this post has received an impressive 403 links from 190 root domains (RDs) according to Open Site Explorer.

How to use this strategy

To find original research ideas, look at how many backlinks the top results have gotten for terms like:

  • [Industry topic] report
  • [Industry topic] study
  • [Industry topic] research

Then, using the MozBar, evaluate what you see in the top SERPs:

  • Have the top results gotten a sizable number of backlinks? (This tells you if this type of research has potential to attract links.)
  • Is the top-ranking content outdated? Can you provide new information? (Try Rand’s tips on leveraging keywords + year.)
  • Is there a subtopic you could explore?

Additionally, seeing what has already succeeded will allow you to determine two very important things: what can be updated and what can be improved upon. This is a great place to launch a brainstorm session for new data acquisition ideas.

Industry trend and benchmark reports

Sure, this content type overlaps with “New Research and Studies,” but it merits its own section because of its specificity and high potential.

If your vertical experiences significant change from one year, quarter, or month to the next, there may be an opportunity to create recurring reports that analyze the state of your industry. This is a great opportunity to engage all different kinds of brands within your industry while also showcasing your authority in the subject.

How?

People often like to take trends and add their own commentary as to why trends are occurring or how to make the most of a new, popular strategy. That means they’ll often link to your report to provide the context.

And there’s an added promotional benefit: Once you begin regularly publishing and promoting this type of content, your industry will anticipate future releases.

Examples

HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, which features survey data from thousands of HubSpot customers, has been published annually for the last eight years. To date, the URL that hosts the report has links from 495 RDs.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have teamed up for the last seven years to release two annual content marketing benchmark reports. The most recent report on B2B content marketing has earned links from 130 RDs. To gather the data, CMI and MarketingProfs emailed a survey to a sample of marketers from their own email marketing lists as well as a few lists from partner companies.

In addition to static reports, you can take this a step further and create something dynamic that is continually updated, like Indeed’s Job Trends Search (171 RDs) which pulls from their internal job listing data.

How to use this strategy

Where can you find fresh industry data? Here are a few suggestions:

Survey your customers/clients

You have a whole pool of people who have been involved in your industry, so why not ask them some questions to learn more about their thoughts, needs, fears, and experiences?

Talking directly to customers and clients is a great way to cut through speculation and discover exactly what problems they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking.

Survey your industry

There are most likely companies in your industry that aren’t direct competitors but have a wealth of insight to provide to the overall niche.

For example, we at Fractl surveyed 1,300 publishers because we wanted to learn more about what they were looking for in content pitches. This knowledge is valuable to any content marketers involved in content promotions (including ourselves!).

Ask yourself: What aspect of your industry might need some more clarification, and who can you reach out to for more information?

Use your internal company data

This is often the easiest and most effective option. You probably have a ton of interesting data based on your interactions with customers and clients that would benefit fellow professionals in your industry.

Think about these internal data sets you have and consider how you can break it down to reveal trends in your niche while also providing actionable insights to readers.

Curated resources

Research can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating content. If someone has pulled together a substantial amount of information on the topic in one place, it can save anyone else writing about it a lot of time.

If you’re willing to put in the work of digging up data and examples, curated resource content may be your key to evergreen link building. Let’s look at a few common applications of this style of content.

Examples

Collections of statistics and facts

Don’t have the means to conduct your own research? Combining insightful data points from credible sources into one massive resource is also effective for long-term link attraction, especially if you keep updating your list with fresh data.

HubSpot’s marketing statistics list has attracted links from 963 root domains. For someone looking for data points to cite, a list like this can be a gold mine. This comprehensive data collection features their original data plus data from external sources. It’s regularly updated with new data, and there’s even a call-to-action at the end of the list to submit new stats.

Your list doesn’t need to be as broad as the HubSpot example, which covers a wide range of marketing topics. A curated list around a more granular topic can work, too, such as this page filled with mobile email statistics (550 RDs).

Concrete examples

Good writers help readers visualize what they’re writing about. To do this, you need to show concrete evidence of abstract ideas. As my 7th grade English teacher used to tell us: show, don’t tell.

By grouping a bunch of relevant examples in a single resource, you can save someone a lot of time when they’re in need of examples to illustrate the points they make in their writing. I can write thousands of words about the idea of 10x content, but without showing examples of what it looks like in action, you’re probably going to have a hard time understanding it. Similarly, the bulk of time it took me to create this post was spent finding concrete examples of the types of content I refer to.

The resource below showcases 50 examples of responsive design. Simple in its execution, the content features screenshots of each responsive website and a descriptive paragraph or two. It’s earned links from 184 RDs.

Authority Nutrition’s list of 20 high-protein foods has links from 53 RDs. If I’m writing a nutrition article where I mention high-protein foods, linking to this page will save me from researching and listing out a handful of protein-rich foods.

How to use this strategy

The first step is to determine what kind of information would be valuable to have all in one place for other professionals in your industry to access.

Often times, it’s the same information that would be valuable for you.

Here are some ways to brainstorm:

  • Explore your recent blog posts or other on-site content. What needed a lot of explaining? What topics did you wish you had more examples to link to? Take careful note of your own content needs while tackling your own work.
  • Examine comments on other industry articles and resources. What are people asking for? This is a gold mine for the needs of potential customers. You can take a similar approach on Reddit and Quora.
  • What works for other industries that you can apply to your own? Search for terms like the following to see what has been successful for other niches that you can apply to yours:
    • [Industry topic] examples
    • types of [industry topic]
    • list of [Industry topic]
    • [Industry topic] statistics OR stats
    • [Industry topic] facts

No matter which way you choose to proceed, the time investment can help you garner many links down the line.

Beginner content

Every niche has a learning curve, with various words, concepts, and ideas being foreign to a beginner.

Content that teaches noobs the ins and outs of your vertical has long-term linking potential. This type of content is popular for citations because it saves the writer from explaining things in their own words. Instead, they can link to the expert’s explanation.

And the best part is you can tap your internal experts to provide great insights that can serve as the foundation for this type of content.

Examples

101 Content

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO is a master class in how comprehensive beginner-level content becomes a link magnet. Not only does the guide have backlinks from more than 1,700 RDs, it also edges out the home page as the most-trafficked page on the site, according to SEMrush.

“What is…?”

Beginner content need not be as massive and thorough as the Moz guide to be linkable. It can be as simple as defining an industry term or concept.

Moz’s meta description page, which has backlinks from 244 RDs, is a solid example of an authoritative yet simple answer to a “what is?” query.

Another example is the first result in Google for the query “what is the Paleo diet,” which has 731 links from 228 RDs. It’s not a 10,000-word academic paper about the paleo diet. Rather, it’s a concise answer to the question. This page has served as an excellent source for anyone writing about the Paleo diet within the last several years.

screenshot-robbwolf.com 2017-02-21 14-17-01.png

If a lot of adequate top-level, definition-style content already exists about topics related to your vertical, consider creating content around emerging terms and concepts that aren’t yet widely understood, but may soon be more mainstream.

The perfect example of this? Creating a definitive explanation about content marketing before the entire world knew what content marketing meant. Case in point: Content Marketing Institute’s “What is Content Marketing?” page has amassed an impressive from 12,462 links from 1,100 root domains.

How to use this strategy

Buzzsumo recently released a new tool called Bloomberry which scours forums including Reddit and Quora for questions being asked about a keyword. You can search by time period (ex. questions asked within the last 6 months, all-time results, etc.) and filter by source (ex. only see questions asked in Reddit).

Use Bloomberry to see what beginner questions are being asked about your keyword/topic. Keyword ideas include:

  • [Industry topic] definition
  • How does [industry topic] work
  • [Industry topic] guide
  • What is [industry topic]

After doing the search, ask yourself:

  • What questions keep coming up?
  • How are these common questions being answered?

Bloomberry is also useful for spotting research opportunities. Within the first few results for “SaaS” I found three potential research ideas.

bloomberry.png

Pro tip: Return to these threads and provide an answer plus link to your content once it’s published.

Yes, you still need to promote your content

Don’t mistake this post as a call to stop actively doing outreach and promotion to earn links. Content promotion should serve as the push that gives your content the momentum to continue earning links. After you put in the hard work of getting your content featured on reputable sites with sizable audiences, you have strong potential to organically attract more links. And the more links your content has, the easier it will be for writers and publishers in need of sources to find it.

What types of content do you think are best for earning citation links? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you – please share your experiences in the comments below.

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Confirmed: Google To Stop Showing Ads On Right Side Of Desktop Search Results Worldwide

A long-running test is now rolling out for desktop queries: Google will no longer show ads to the right of its search results, with one exception.

The post Confirmed: Google To Stop Showing Ads On Right Side Of Desktop Search Results Worldwide appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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