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Content-Centric Search

www.nationalpositions.com
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CONTENT
CENTRIC
SEARCH
SEO Strategies to Help Your Business
Succeed Online in 2014 and Beyond
A Publication of
Content-Centric Search
www.nationalpositions.com
2
Content-Centric
Search
Author: Bernard May, CEO National Positions
Bernard May is the founder and CEO of
National Positions, an industry-leading digital
marketing agency based in Agoura Hills, CA.
Bernard started National Positions in 2004
out of his garage in Calabasas, California.
Ten years later, the company has worked
with over 1,500 companies and has over
500 employees, with ofces in the US, South
America, Europe, South Africa, and India.
Bernard has more than 20 years experience in digital marketing for some
of the worldwide leaders in technology and innovation. Prior to founding
National Positions, Bernard served as Vice President Marketing at First
Advantage Corp; Vice President of US Search.com; and Senior Product
Manager at Symantec Corp.
Bernard earned a bachelors degree in business science from the
University of Cape Town and a Masters of Commerce in marketing and
information systems from the University of Natal, South Africa.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
SEO 1.0................................................................................................................. 7
Theming Your Content..........................................................................................11
Latent Semantic Indexing Technology..................................................................17
Preparing Your Content Pillar.............................................................................. 22
Buyer Personas....................................................................................................23
Title and Meta Tags..............................................................................................12
SEO Yesterday Versus Today..................................................................................7
INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... 5
TECHNICALLY OPTIMIZED SEARCH-AWARE DIGITAL ASSETS........................................10
CONTENT PRODUCTION....................................................................................................14
Your Website.........................................................................................................................11
Old SEO Content Techniques No Longer Work...................................................................15
The Elements of Great Content............................................................................................15
Developing Great Content....................................................................................................19
Becoming an Authority.........................................................................................................20
How to Harness National Positions Technology to Write Better Content..............................16
Rich Snippets.......................................................................................................12
Technical SEO......................................................................................................12
A Fast-Loading Website........................................................................................13
Negative SEO.......................................................................................................13
The Top Page Optimizer Tool...............................................................................18
Content Presentation and Conversion.................................................................................20
The Content Pillar (Creating Reusable Content)...................................................................21
Managing the Process of Writing Great Content..................................................................23
The Kapost Content Marketing Platform..............................................................................24
Content Goals.......................................................................................................22
Buying Stages......................................................................................................23
About Kapost........................................................................................................24
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Benefts of Owned Media Channels.....................................................................28
Benefts of Paid Media..........................................................................................30
Benefts of Earned Media.....................................................................................32
CONTENT PROMOTION......................................................................................................25
MEASUREMENT....................................................................................................................33
Owned Media........................................................................................................................27
Paid Media............................................................................................................................29
Earned Media........................................................................................................................31
Challenges of Owned Media Channels................................................................28
Challenges of Paid Media.....................................................................................30
Challenges of Earned Media.................................................................................32
CONCLUSION.......................................................................................................................36
FURTHER READING............................................................................................................38
ABOUT NATIONAL POSITIONS............................................................................................39
GET A FREE MARKETING AUDIT.........................................................................................40
Challenges with Content Marketing Scoring........................................................34
Measuring the Success of Your Content Marketing Campaign...........................................34
How to Measure Your Most Valuable Content.....................................................35
Content Marketing Measurement: A Key Diferentiator........................................35
INTRODUCTION
Over the past three years, Google has released over
45 algorithm updates. As a result, old tried-and-tested
techniques for delivering organic search results have
become obsolete. Gone are the days where one could
easily game the Google algorithm and quickly gain
frst-page results. Today, newer and more efective
digital marketing strategies are needed that support
and leverage the changes that Google is making.
This eBook provides a practical step-by-step guide to
building your online organic presence in 2014
and beyond.
Content-Centric Search
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HISTORY OF
GOOGLE
ALGORITHM
UPDATES
Source: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change
Google
Toolbar
Supp.
Update
Buffy Dewey
Boston
Dominic
Esmerelda
Fritz
Florida
Supp.
Index
Cassandra
Panda
24
Panda
25
Host
Crowding
Host
Crowding
Penguin
2.0
PayDay
Update
Multi-
Week
Update
Panda
Dance
Panda
Recovery
In-depth
Articles
Humming
-bird
Penguin
2.1
Unnamed
Update
Knowledge
Graph
Expansion
Panda
23
Panda
22
Panda
21
Page
Layout
Update
Penguin
1.3
EMD
Update
Panda
20
Panda
3.9.2
Panda
3.9.1
Panda
3.9
Panda
3.8
Penguin
1.1
Panda
3.6
Penguin
Update
Panda
3.5
Panda
3.4
Panda
3.4
Panda
3.3
Venice
Update
Above
the fold
Panda
3.2
Panda
3.1
Panda
Flux
Panda
2.5
Panda
2.3
Panda
2.2
Panda
2.1
Panda
2.0
Panda
Update
Attribution
Update
Panda 2.4
(Global)
Freshness
Update
Caffeine
Sentiment
Adj.
May
Day
Big
Daddy
Jagger
Gilligan
Bourbon
Allegra
Austin
Brandy
First
Documented
Google
Dance
2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013
Page
Layout
#3
Unnamed
Update
Payday
Loan 2.0
Panda
4.0
2014
Vince
Caffeine
Preview
2009
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SEO Yesterday Versus Today
In the past, SEO consisted of mostly technical changes; these included title tags, meta
tags, internal linking, and site structure. Although content creation was utilized, it was
usually content written specifcally for top search engine placement and not for end
users.
The emphasis has, however, changed. While Onsite and Technical SEO is still important
for visibility in search, today it is content and social media that are the core strategies
driving exposure on the web. The search engine placement of a brand is largely defned
by the brands ability to use content to build authority and popularity.
SEO 1.0
The days of old SEO are over. You can no longer get rankings by generating lots of
low-level inbound links, creating low-quality content, and updating your website with
spammy title tags and meta tags.
In fact, many of the techniques that once generated fantastic frst-page results are
seriously hindering the performance of many websites today.
Google rocked the SEO community by introducing the Penguin 1.0 Algorithm Update
in April 2012. Penguin targeted sites that were using spammy and unnatural linking to
manufacture top search engine placement. This change, coupled with Panda Updates
targeting spammy and thin content, has changed the SEO landscape forever.
These algorithm updates have left marketers confused, angry, and directionless. The
efects of these algorithm changes have, in many cases, resulted in Google penalties
that have decimated thousands of businesses that depend on organic search engine
trafc to generate new business. Not only has this detrimentally afected online
businesses, but it has also left most marketers uncertain as to how to restore rankings
to previous Penguin 1.0 levels.
This eBook will outline strategies that are Google-friendly and that ofer a sustainable
solution for generating positive SEO results in 2014 and beyond.
So let us begin by looking at search engine optimization in the past and comparing it to
SEO today and in the future.
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TODAY
YESTERDAY
TECHNICAL
SEO
Traditional
SEO
CONTENT
MARKETING
SOCIAL
MEDIA
TECHNICALLY
OPTIMIZED
SEARCH
ASSETS
CONTENT
CENTRIC
SEO
www.nationalpositions.com
Technically Optimized Search-Aware Digital Assets
Ensuring that your website and all technical assets are
optimized for the search engines.
Content Production
Creating compelling content that will help grow your
business.
Content Promotion
Marketing your content across your owned and paid media
channels, while working to fnd infuencers, bloggers, and
journalists to promote your content through earned media.
CONTENT-
CENTRIC SEO
Content-Centric Search consists of three elements,
each of which is critical to your online organic success.
The three factors are:
1
2
3
TECHNICALLY
OPTIMIZED
SEARCH-AWARE
DIGITAL ASSETS
An important element of SEO 2.0 is ensuring that all
of your digital assets are search-aware. Search-aware
means optimizing your content assets (web pages,
videos, infographics, etc.) and all of your web properties
(your website, your blog, and social media profles) so
that they are easily found and indexed by the
search engines.
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YOUR WEBSITE
Theming Your Content
Your website forms the core of all your online marketing activities. The goal for all of your
marketing is to drive visitors to your site so they become customers. For that reason, the
way you structure your site is extremely important, not only for the search engines, but
also for users. Good organization and a clear and intuitive navigation system are vital for
rankings as well as for converting visitors into buyers.
One often overlooked but critical factor to your success online is to build your website
around content themes. This means building your content around meaningful topics that
defne your brand. For example, if you sell lighting products you might consider grouping
indoor and outdoor lighting as themes. Or you might consider chandeliers, ceiling
lights, wall lights and outdoor lights as another way of theming your content. When you
structure your site, it is important that products within a theme are interlinked with each
other. The interlinking of similar content is one of the most efective ways to show the
search engines the depth and breadth of your websites content.
WEBSITE
THEME
SILO 1
CATEGORY
1
ARTICLE 1 ARTICLE 1 ARTICLE 1 ARTICLE 2
CATEGORY
2
CATEGORY
1
CATEGORY
2
SILO 2
THEME
SECTION
CATEGORY
CONTENT/PAGE
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Rich Snippets
Technical SEO
Rich Snippets are a markup format that can be inserted into your page code to enable
the search engines to crawl and index your site and get richer data about your web
presence. This richer data can include the author or publisher of content, reviews,
recipes, locations, events, and can be displayed to users from the SERPs.
As of 2014, only two rich snippets seem to afect rankings: the Author and Publisher
tags that associate a writer or company with a piece of content; location-based snippets
impact rankings by enabling the search engines to verify the address of your business.
Having a technically sound website is critical to your success. Broken links, server
errors, empty titles tags and canonical errors (duplicate pages with similar or identical
content) all contribute to a poor user experience and, thus, hinder your SEO.
At National Positions, we utilize technology that monitors 54 major technical SEO
factors. Our team of developers fxes these issues to ensure the sites technical structure
is optimized. There are a few other great SEO tools, such as Raven SEO and Analytics
SEO, which help you check your sites technical health.
Title and Meta Tags
Title tags and meta tags are one of the few original ranking factors that are still important
as we move into the new age of Search. Title tags, however, are less important today
than they were in the past. Keyword stufng in title tags should be avoided and rather
should be replaced by naturally written tags that help the search engines understand the
context of the page.
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A Fast-Loading Website
Negative SEO
In addition to technical errors, poor website load times afect rankings. (If a site loads
slowly, it will cause a poor user experience, which is why Google rewards fast-loading
sites.) Poor site construction, hosting and server issues all impact load times. Google
Webmaster Tools ofers insights and tips into load times and how to improve them.
Negative SEO is a new development that webmasters are only starting to understand
and address. Negative SEO is defned as factors that hinder your sites performance. It
can be malicious and intentional, as in the case of a competitor adding toxic backlinks
back to your site, or innocent and unintentional, as in the case of a webmaster who uses
spammy anchor texts or inadvertently creates a site-wide link.
Toxic links is the most common and harmful Negative SEO element; it harms your link
profle and can get the search engines to fag you as an SEO spammer. It is imperative
to monitor and protect your link profle on a consistent basis, which includes the removal
of toxic inbound inks. Toxic links that cannot be removed should be disavowed through
Google Webmaster Tools.
Now that we have discussed technical SEO we can move onto the second step in the
Content-Centric Search process, Content Production.
CONTENT
PRODUCTION
1
2
3
CONTENT
PRODUCTION
In todays media environment, the traditional dynamics
of marketing have been turned on their head. Instead
of buying media, marketers and business owners are
becoming part of the media. In fact, creating great
media (text, videos, infographics and presentations),
specifcally targeted at your niche is the essence of
great online marketing. This is how Content Marketing
evolved. In this eBook we will discuss the techniques
for building compelling and helpful content and
promoting this content to drive quality trafc to your
site and new customers from around the web.
In theory, generating quality content sounds simple.
Unfortunately, it is just the opposite. Generating quality
content is difcult and requires a concerted efort.
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OLD SEO CONTENT TECHNIQUES NO LONGER WORK
THE ELEMENTS OF GREAT CONTENT
Old SEO content techniques didnt involve much more than using a keyword phrase
three to fve times every 100 words in the body of an article and putting the keyword in
the titles on the page. These types of engineered to rank content writing techniques
might still work in some cases, but they are dangerous and will be wiped out over time.
It is better to write quality content around a theme than to try to trick the search engines
through keyword density, frequency, and keyword stufng.
Content needs to be engaging. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to
overtly sell their brand and talk about themselves. Creating great content requires
you to consider the needs of your readers and provide information they fnd
informative, thoughtful and entertaining.
QUALITY
CONTENT
MEMORABLE
UNIQUE
AUDIENCE
DRIVEN
NEED-BASED
INFORMATIVE
VIRAL
PERSUASIVE
ENGAGING
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It goes without saying that content needs be unique. That does not mean that
everything you write needs to be completely original, but it needs to be presented in a
new way and cannot consist of plagiarized material.
Good content needs to be persuasive, it needs to be memorable and, in the best case
scenario, go viral with a wide audience. Additonally, content should add value to the
search engine results or it will never rank. The best content contains information that
visitors are unlikely to know. It answers client questions, it intrigues, it entertains, and it
makes readers laugh. The information should be new or at least presented in a new way.
At the end of the day, the most important attribute of great content is that it helps users
fnd what theyre looking for, and aids them as customers in making an informed buying
decision.
For many business owners generating great content is daunting. Creative content is a
difcult undertaking in which they have little to no experience. Moreover, the expense
and time required to generate content leads many business owners to avoid content
generation altogether.
This raises the question, is there a way to more easily and efciently create
great content?
HOW TO HARNESS NATIONAL POSITIONS TECHNOLOGY
TO WRITE BETTER CONTENT
There are a number of ways to create
helpful, engaging content for your brand.
One way is to hire industry renowned
writers and leverage their expertise and
network. But that is expensive and often not
a realistic option. A viable alternative is to
utilize professional writers who can harness
technology to write great content. Utilizing
technology comes in two diferent forms:
Utilizing latent semantic indexing tools (to
understand the themes to write about) and
the Top Page Optimizer tool, to help writers
understand the other key factors that will
allow content to rank well. Well start by
discussing the semantic indexing tools.
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Latent Semantic Indexing Technology
Google Hummingbird, the latest version of Googles search engine, was introduced
in late August 2013. The algorithm uses advanced technology to better understand
natural search queries by factoring in the context of the search. The Hummingbird
search engine was built to take advantage of the growing use of mobile devices, which
often alter searchers query structure because of the small screen and desire to type
something conversational and short.
For example, if you search Taj
and you are located in Agoura
Hills, California, Hummingbird
will assume that you are more
likely looking for directions to a
local Indian restaurant than for
travel information to the Taj Mahal
in India. As a result, the SERPs
deliver geo-targeted results for
restaurants and hotels in the
surrounding area.
However, if you search Taj and
you are located in New Jersey,
Hummingbird will assume you are
looking for the Trump Taj Mahal
Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
As a result, the SERPs deliver a
number of results related to the
hotel and casino as well as a
Knowledge Graph profle of the
Trump Taj Mahal.
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces
www.tajhotels.com/ Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
The group runs the largest hotel chain in the country.
Its hotels are in the luxury class. Links to individual hotels.
Taj Mahal Cuisine of India - Encino
tajmahaldining.com/
tajmahaldining.com - Taj Mahal offers a full selection of authentic
Cuisine of India including specialties prepared in a ...
taj
Atlantic City New Jersey Casino Hotels |
Trump Taj Mahal....
www.trumptaj.com/ Trump Taj Mahal
For five star Atlantic City Casino hotels, Trump Taj Mahal Casino
Hotel offers restaurants, nightlife and a casino floor ...
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces
www.tajhotels.com Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
The group runs the largest hotel chain in the country.
Its hotels are in the luxury class. Links to individual hotels.
taj
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The Top Page Optimizer Tool
Although great content is the most important factor determining whether content
will show up at the top of the search engines, it is not the only factor. Our Top Page
Optimizer technology will review the top pages of your competitors to understand the
factors that infuence the top placement in the search engines.
Hummingbird is based on semantic queries, so it is important to understand the words
that are highly relevant to the context of the search.

Our latent semantic indexing (LSI) technology can identify the keywords that are ranking
at the top of the search engines for any given phrase. With our technology we can then
extract the phrases or themes that are most prevalent in the content. By doing so, we
can identify key topics and longtail keywords that can assist good writers in producing
quality content that ranks.
YOU HAVE TO IMPROVE YOUR PAGE
The web page meets only 76.9% of the requirements for a top
ranking on Google USA for the search term Cloud Solutions. It is
not likely yet the web page will get a top ranking for Cloud Solu-
tions on Google USA.
How to get your page in the top 10 results on Google USA:
Improve the elements that are marked with the symbol in the
report below until you get a 95% score or more. When your web
page gets a 95% score, it will take a maximum of 4 weeks until you
can see your page on the first results page on Google USA for the
keyword Cloud Solutions.
Content-Centric Search
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The Factors considered include:
On page factors, such as URL structures, title tags, meta-tags, internal
linking as well as many other secondary on page factors.
Linking is the next important factor to consider. Inbound links to a
particular page has and will continue to have a big impact on the
success of your content. Today, inbound links need to come from
relevant and quality websites to be efective. The context of the page
linking back to your content is far more important that the anchor text
itself.
Social factors, also known as social signals, are important factors that
are only growing in signfcance. Social signals include shares, Facebook
likes, Google plus ones, re-tweets, pins and other sharing factors.
Rich Snippets, such as author tags, indicate to Google who wrote the
content and whether the writer is a credible resource.
Finally, by combining latent semantic indexing to the factors listed above, we have
developed a formula that helps us produce content with an excellent chance of meeting
the needs of the Google search engine.
DEVELOPING GREAT CONTENT
When it comes to content, quality is far more important than quantity. One of the most
efective ways to generate quality content thats built around a specifc theme is the use
of the content pillar. One of the biggest mistakes online brands make is creating content
about themselves (i.e. about their products and services). There are literally thousands of
pieces of content that talk about features and benefts. Users are much more interested
in content written from a consumers perspective that tries to meet their own needs,
desires, and interests. Only by writing with the consumer in mind can you produce
trustworthy and authoritative content. And only by engendering trust do we have a
mechanism for attracting new clients.
1
2
3
4
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BECOMING AN AUTHORITY
To be seen as an authority online you need to be an accepted source of advice in a
particular area.
In his book Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi suggests that fnding a niche that you
can own is the key to becoming an authority. He gives an example of a pet store owner
who decided they could never become an authority in the Pet Supplies marketplace but
could instead become an expert in the Pet Travel Advice Business.
Irrespective of your industry, there is always some way for you to fnd something unique
about your business that you can own. To become an authority today, you cannot
depend on your website alone. You need to make sure that your brand and advice are
promoted all around the Web.
One of the accepted realities of
Search is that quality backlinks
to your site remain the Holy Grail.
Links from relevant sites validate
your brand as a trusted resource,
which is why they are such an
important ranking factor. The best
way to generate backlinks to your
site is to develop great content
that your visitors love and want to
share with others.
CONTENT PRESENTATION AND CONVERSION
The fact that content needs to be well presented and formatted seems like such an
obvious point, but one often overlooked by marketers.
Nothing is worse than a high bounce rate caused by poorly presented content. Make
sure that your content utilizes nice formatting with a lot of white space, strong images
and multimedia to enhance the user experience.
Here are some further tips:
Try to keep sentences short (20 35 words)
Keep paragraphs short (4 or 5 sentences)
Make your article easy to read with sub-heading and bullet points
Use pictures and diagrams to visualize as much as possible
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THE CONTENT PILLAR (CREATING REUSABLE CONTENT)
Creating a scalable content marketing campaign is not easy, but the use of a content
pillar makes the process much easier and more efective. A content pillar is defned as
an authoritative work on a specifc theme that can be broken into many derivative pieces
of content to cover multiple topics across all your content and social media channels.
So what does that mean in laymans terms? It means writing one great piece of content
around a niche, industry-specifc idea that can be repurposed across many diferent
content types. Examples of content pillars include long-form articles, evergreen content,
eBooks, videos, infographics, webinars and presentations.
Each pillar needs a theme. The theme is typically determined by a need that exists for
one or more of your customer personas. The pillar should be created not to overtly sell
your business, but to establish your brand as an industry leader.
Once a pillar is in place, it can
be turned into multiple pieces of
content that can be leveraged for
many marketing purposes. For
example, you can produce various
pieces of content for your blog,
newsletter list, Facebook, Twitter,
Google+, Slideshare, YouTube,
and more.
Ebook
Source: The Blueprint of a Modern
Marketing Campaign, Kapost
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Preparing your Content Pillar
Content Goals
A content pillar requires you to deliver a consistent topical theme. The most efective
types of themes include questions that may be asked by your audience, such as
interesting facts or information. Then, consider how theyll fnd you across particular
channels. Consider what your audience cares about and how they will interact with you.
It is also important to consider why someone would not interact with your content and
try to overcome these objections before the content is produced.
Like everything in business, it is important to have goals for your content. These goals
might include brand awareness, trafc, link-building and/or lead generation. Every piece
of content should have a desired outcome that can be measured.
ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
FOR B2B CONTENT MARKETING
2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends-North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Brand Awareness
Lead Generation
Customer Acquisition
Thought Leadership
Engagement
Customer Retention/Loyalty
Website Traffic
Lead Management/Nurturing
Sales
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MANAGING THE PROCESS OF WRITING GREAT CONTENT
Buyer Personas
Most modern marketers understand that they need to produce great content to drive
customers to their website. However, they realize that a challenge remains - how to
successfully manage and publish the content production process in a scalable way.
A content marketing platform makes managing every step of the content process easier.
Having an all-in-one platform helps you set your strategy, prioritize your goals, align
your resources, and integrate workfow distribution and marketing automation all into an
efective content marketing machine.
Of course, content marketing alone is not helpful if you cannot evaluate the success of
each piece of content that is written. Understanding the return on investment for each
piece of content has historically been a challenge. Now, software exists that can score
the success of content so that you can easily understand the benefts or issues related
to your content campaign.
We will briefy address the core components of an efective content management
platform. Before we do that, however, its important to understand how to use buyer
personas to identify what type of content your users will want to read and share.
Buyer personas are more than just demographics. Personas
are actually examples of your top customers. This includes
understanding your customers needs and concerns, and
where theyre going online to fnd answers to their questions.
Typically, its a good idea to limit your personas to just a
handful and to build your content around a niche. The niche
that you choose should be one that you know you can
dominate. Selecting and building content to meet the needs
of your personas means that over time you can appeal to
passionate readers who will ultimately become customers.
Buying Stages
The key to efective content marketing is to match each of your prospects to each stage in the
sales funnel. At each stage in the sales funnel we match the customers degree of readiness
to buy your products. Typically, the sales funnel will include content targeted toward cold
prospects, interested prospects, qualifed leads, motivated buyers, colleagues and infuencers,
and returning customers.
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THE KAPOST CONTENT MARKETING PLATFORM
A content marketing platform can help you scale an efective process. The one we
recommend is Kapost, a powerful platform for many of the leading brands. National
Positions is one of only a few select agencies using Kapost for clients campaigns.
About Kapost
The Kapost content marketing platform enables companies to efectively produce more
compelling content, and to grow trafc and sales. The Kapost platform features include
the ability to generate quality content ideas, efectively manage the content production
and distribution process, track trafc through infuencer relationships and help users
make better decisions from insightful analytics. Customers include LOreal, Trip Advisor,
Fortune and the Discovery Channel. Kapost is located in Boulder, Colorado.
CONTENT
PROMOTION
Most marketers fnd that they can create quality
content when they need to. The biggest challenge is
how to promote their content so that it is found, shared
and converted into new customers.
Content promotion is not impossible. Content is
promoted through three channels - owned, earned,
and paid media. In this section we will examine the
benefts and challenges of each channel.
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PAID
MEDIA
EARNED
MEDIA
OWNED
MEDIA
MEDIA ELEMENTS
OF MARKETING
FANS
Mentions
Reviews
Links
Shares
PROSPECTS
Native Ads
Retargeting
Paid Social Media
Paid Infuencers
Afliates
CUSTOMERS
Site
Blog
Email
Social Networks
Mobile Site
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OWNED MEDIA
Owned media is a media channel comprised of any web property that you can control
and is unique to your brand. Typical examples of fully-owned media include your
website and your blog, while partially-owned media include social media profles on
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Other partially owned media
sites might include your YouTube channel, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Vimeo,
Instagram or Slideshare, Vine, and others.
2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends-North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
2014 B2C Content Marketing Trends-North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
B2B
B2C
91%
71%
LinkedIn
85%
80%
Twitter
81%
89%
Facebook
73%
72%
YouTube
55%
55%
Google+
40%
19%
SlideShare
34%
53%
Pinterest
22%
32%
Instagram
22%
16%
Vimeo
16%
18%
Flickr
15%
13%
StumbleUpon
14%
16%
Foursquare
14%
18%
Tumblr
14%
13%
Vine
Content-Centric Search
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In each case, the common denominator is that you own or control these properties.
Owned media provides you with the ability to extend your brand and build long-term
relationships with your audience.
Owned media channels should be chosen based on your target market. If you are a B2B
enterprise, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter might be your best channels. If you are a B2C
company, you might rather consider Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as channels.
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Time: Building an audience takes
time and efort.
No Guarantees: There are no
guarantees that your strategy will
generate trafc or sales on your
website.
Reputation Issues: Social
networking can open up
companies to reputation issues if
not handled correctly.
Control: You own and control the
channel, which means that you can post
content whenever you like.
Low Cost: Owned media channels are
either free or inexpensive to own and
operate.
Niche: You can use owned media
to reach out to very specifc niche
audiences.
Longevity: These are long-term
strategies.
Versatility: Owned media channels
ofer a variety of diferent media and
mechanisms to promote your content.
Content-Centric Search
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PAID MEDIA
Paid media can be a quick and efective way to reach your audience. The challenge
with paid media is to fnd a cost-efective channel that ofers you a positive return on
investment. When using paid media it is always important to understand your metrics
and to vigilantly track the success of each channel. Paid media is most often used to
promote your best content. Used wisely, paid media can be an excellent option. The
table below shows a few examples of paid media channels and their characteristics.
OutBrain
Needs good content
High-end editorial, articles or blog
posts, videos, earned media and
positive reviews, slideshows
Young Male Audience
Reddit
No traditional advertising
Best for awareness
StumbleUpon
Cool Products
A cheap ad platform for the
appropriate product or service
Twitter
An effective way to quickly
reach influencers
Linkedin
Offers 3 types of ads:
Text only, Image and text,
Video ads
Facebook
Ability to target by
demographic data
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Competition: As more and more
companies are looking for an
alternative to Google Adwords, the
competition for paid social media and
native advertising has increased. An
increase in competition means an
increase in cost.
Return on Investment: Social media
platforms are new to many advertisers
and the return on investment varies.
Credibility: The audiences on social
networks can be averse to any
advertising. If handled badly, they can
actually hurt rather than help your
brand.
Immediate gratifcation: Quickly
reach your audience.
Easily scalable: Based on your
budget you can quickly fnd and grow
an audience.
Full control: As you are typically
paying for a click or an impression,
you can control every aspect of your
campaign.
Content-Centric Search
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EARNED MEDIA
Earned media is a channel defned by the traction your content earns organically
amongst your online community. Simply put, it is online word of mouth. Earned media
consists of backlinks, mentions, social shares, reposts, reviews, recommendations, or
content picked up by third party sites, bloggers and journalists.
Earned media should be thought of as online PR for a new age of media. Its often
thought of as the Holy Grail of content marketing. Finding infuencers to promote your
content, and hopefully link back to your site, is the pinnacle of content marketing
success. However, it is not simple. It takes time and efort.
Strategies for a successful earned media campaign include creating a list of infuencers,
typically industry relevant bloggers or journalists, who may be interested in discussing or
including your content on their site. Utilizing software programs such as BuzzStream or
Traackr can help to manage the outreach process.
It is often a helpful strategy to track content that goes viral in order to understand its
key success factors. At the end of the day, the earned media process is hard and time
consuming. Its important to plan and manage your outreach and tie it to specifc goals.
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B
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Most credible: As earned media is
unpaid, social sharing of your content
is more authentic and, thus, valued
more highly by the search engines.
Highly efective: Backlinks and trafc
from third-party infuencers are often
very valuable and helpful.
Enduring: Third party content often
has a long shelf life and can beneft a
site for a very long time.
Little control: As no payment is
exchanged, it is beyond your control
as to when and how the infuencer will
use you content.
Hard to measure: It is often harder to
track the outcome of an earned media
campaign vs. paid or owned media.
Can be negative: You can never be
sure whether or not your content will
be used in a positive way.
MEASUREMENT
At the end of the day, your content marketing has to serve
a greater business purpose. It is important that you have
a mechanism to track the efectiveness of your content.
Typically, your analytics program is not a sufcient way to
measure content efectiveness, and marketers are often
lost as to how to evaluate the success of their content
marketing initiatives.
In our last section, we will address a key factor to your
marketing success: how to measure the return on your
content marketing investment.
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MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF YOUR CONTENT MARKETING
CAMPAIGN
Challenges With Content Marketing Scoring
A gap exists today between the clear realization that content generates sales and leads,
and the ability for marketers to prove through analytics the success of their content
marketing activities.
Scoring content is still in its infancy, but sophisticated methods are emerging to ofer
marketers a clearer content marketing ROI. The frst challenge with content scoring is
agreeing on metrics that matter. According to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends
North America survey, the top four factors that marketers care most about are web
trafc, sales lead quality, social shares, and SEO rankings. Unsurprisingly, marketers care
mostly about generating more leads but that branding factors such as social shares are
still very important.
The next challenge is assigning a value or attribution to each piece of content. Many
will agree that the frst and last interactions with your content are probably the most
important and should be the most heavily weighted. Put another way, the interaction
where a prospect frst learns about your company and the interaction that pushes that
prospect to actually transact with your company are the most important.
Metrics for B2B
Content Marketing Success
2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends-North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Web Traffic
Sales Lead Quality
Social Media Sharing
Sales Lead Quantity
SEO Ranking
Time Spent on Website
Qualitative Feedback from Customers
Inbound Links
Subscriber Growth
Benchmark Lift of Company Awareness
Benchmark Lift of Product/ Service Awareness
Increased Customer Loyalty
Cross Selling
Cost Savings
Direct Sales
Content-Centric Search
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Content Measurement: A Key Diferentiator
Closing the gap between content and revenue will be a key diferentiator for many
marketers. In the world of increased content development and increasingly competitive
consumption, understanding where to focus your limited marketing budget is one of the
major keys to online success.
How To Measure Your Most Valuable Content
The following methodology for scoring content is put forth by Kapost CEO Toby
Murdock. First, identify all pieces of content that you want to score. You would do this
by considering each piece of content and the related stage in the buying cycle. Next,
assign a weighting to each piece of content based on frst interactions, last interactions,
and those in-between. You really need a software like Kapost to help with assigning the
scoring, as the frst and last interactions with content can vary greatly based on how
awareness was frst generated, as well as thousands of other potential variables. Once
you have a score, you can assign a value based on the cost of a qualifed lead or sale.
You can accomplish this by fguring our the cost of a lead generated through other
mechanisms such as paid search or ofine lead generation costs. Take each piece of
content in your funnel, along with the associated weighting, and divide the cost per lead
by the weighting. This will provide you with the relevant value or ROI of each piece of
content. As long as you are tracking each piece of content in your sales funnel, you will
quickly be able to understand which content pieces generated the most value.
CONCLUSION
The days of quick SEO results are over. The new strategies
for successful digital marketing in 2014 and beyond require
that you work within, rather than against, the Google
guidelines. The solution: Content-Centric Search, which
requires an intuitive and well-performing website, great
content, scalable and efective content promotion, and a
way to efectively measure the performance of your content.
Above all else, Content-Centric Search requires an
understanding of your online audience--their questions,
concerns, and where theyre looking for answers. Creating
great content for your audience will enable you to grow your
brand in new and more powerful ways.
Content-Centric Search
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37
Marketers also understand that creating great content is expensive, and that reusable
content is a great way to more cost-efectively address their audiences. This means using
content pillars, and working towards content goals.
An efective content strategy includes understanding your personas, and matching these
to buying stages. To handle the complexity of content marketing, a platform such as
Kapost is needed to manage the everyday writing needs.
Finally, Content-Centric Search is of little use if the content is not read and acted upon
by your audience. Marketers need to understand how to harness Owned media, Paid,
and Earned media to successfully build a thriving business online. Those that are able
to use these ideas, and strategies are the companies that will enjoy the benefts of more
trafc, better conversions and ultimately more business online in 2014 and beyond.
FURTHER READING
Joe Pulizzi: Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Diferent Story, Break
Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
Jay Baer: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype
Roy Peter Clark: How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times
Christine Chopyak: Picture Your Business Strategy: Transform
Decisions with the Power of Visuals
Stephanie Diamond: The Visual Marketing Revolution
Jocelyn Glei: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your
Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind
Debra Kaye, with Karen Kelly: Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together
Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Proftable Innovation
Gary Keller, with Jay Papasan: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly
Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Lee LeFever: The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products, and
Services Easier to Understand
David Meerman Scott: The New Rules of Marketing & PR (4th edition)
Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfeld: The Art of Doing: How
Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well
Susan Weinschenk: 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About
People
Seth Godin: Permission Marketing
Jonah Berger: Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Olivier Blanchard: Social Media ROI
Robert Cialdini: Infuence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Jef Rohrs: Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans, and
Followers
ABOUT
NATIONAL
POSITIONS
National Positions is an industry-leading digital marketing agency based
in Agoura Hills, CA. Founded in 2004, National Positions has helped
more than 1,500 companies grow their business online. The company
has over 500 employees, with ofces in the US, South America, Europe,
South Africa, and India.
National Positions has won numerous awards for its work, and has
been named in Inc. Magazines list of fastest-growing privately held
companies in the US from 2009-2012. National Positions specializes
in Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertising, Content
Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Some of the brands the
company currently services include Wal-Mart, Colgate and Land Rover.
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GET A FREE
MARKETING AUDIT!
National Positions has helped over 1,500 businesses thrive online. If youre looking for
any help with your online marketing, feel free to get in touch!
Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have about SEO and
Content Marketing, including the following:
How do you analyze your site from top to bottom?
How do you fnd the technical errors that hinder your sites visibility?
What are the best ways to boost trafc from Search and Social?
What can I do to improve my sites conversion rate and proftability?
WERE HERE TO HELP!
info@nationalpositions.com www.nationalpositions.com 877-866-6699