Tag Archives: content development

Top 3 Content Marketing Techniques for Capturing (and Keeping) their Attention

In the past, we’ve written in-depth articles on how to succeed in content marketing by writing effective white papers or winning landing pages, but the fact is that most readers will only skim through the material. In today’s Thursday Trends post, we’re going to break it down and present the 3 key elements every piece of marketing content needs to keep readers reading.

Keep your readers awake

Killer Headlines

The make-it-or-break-it moment for a piece of content is when a visitor reads the title, whether it is an email, article, social media link, or other call-to-action (CTA). The median open-rate for 2013 was 17%, according to Marketing Charts, while the best performers had an over 35% open-rate. That means, on average, 83% of readers are only reading your headline or title. That’s a lot of missed opportunity. Never mind the wonderful description below it – if you can’t immediately capture your audience’s attention in the first 8 words, chances are, the article will not be read.

Headlines inside your content are just as important, not only for SEO, but to break up the monotony of the content and leading the reader by continued interest. When composing your title and headlines, certain techniques have a better click-through-rate, such as:

  • The use of numbered lists in the title (for example: “3 Top Tips for…”; “101 Ways to…”)
  • Including the appropriate keywords so the reader knows exactly what they are about to read
  • The use of questions, alliteration, and unexpected words to create a catchy headline or title
  • Adding benefits-oriented subheadings in the content body to break up the text

Eye-Catching Images

Speaking of breaking up text, research has shown that audiences are being drawn to marketing content that includes the use of photos, diagrams, and charts. It’s true that “a picture is worth 1000 words,” and a well-placed graphic can slow skimming readers enough to entice them to increase the amount of information they read and retain.

Tips on adding graphics to your content:

  • Use pictures that will make content standout in both SEO and social media
  • Find images that are copyright-cleared for commercial use with CC Search
  • Write image captions that summarize the surrounding text for fast skimmers
  • Create enticing title images and infographics for free with Canva

b2binfographic

Interesting images, like this popular TREW infographic, can quickly convey data and summarize information for skimmers.

Captivating Beginning and Ending

Like all good novels, your content should have a fascinating beginning and a stellar ending to be memorable.  The introduction is where you define the problem, provide relevant background info, and concisely explain what the rest of the article will cover.

The first sentence is the most important, so hook your reader early on with clear, enticing statements. Every additional sentence is a chance to lose your reader, so make every word count. Cut out any wordy “fluff,” and tie every sentence into your argument.

The conclusion should not only contain a summary of the most important points, but also offer a plan of action and next steps. Consider adding a bulleted list of to-do’s or a button or banner that clearly features the main call-to-action (CTAs).

“Don’t underestimate the power of an attention-grabbing headline, picture, or intro. Plan to spend 50% of your writing time on these three key areas in order to make the rest of your content count.”

–Rebecca Geier, CEO, TREW Marketing

Content marketing is crucial to lead generation, branding and thought leadership. Technical audiences expect high-quality, accurate information but, like all audiences, need to be drawn to read the content in order to find what they are looking for. The use of precise, relevant and interesting titles, imagery to cut out monotony, quality introductions and strong conclusions are some ways to keep this technical audience from skimming by your content.

Need help with creating highly effective technical content? Learn about our Content Development Services.

 

Video- Part 2: Why You Should Treat Your Content Like a Product

Building quality content can be one of the most challenging elements in content marketing, but it is also one of the most valuable. Based on our recent survey conducted with CFE Media, we know that engineers and scientists in particular value content that is technically accurate, highly detailed, and current. This is great information to know, but also means that you must give your content the time and effort it takes to make it truly valuable to an audience with relatively high standards.

Your prospects are depending on your content to provide them with the information and expertise they need to do their job better, faster, and cheaper. Content assists in growing awareness and trust of your company brand, improves your search engine optimization performance, and generates leads. Quality content is so valuable, in fact, that you should consider it as its own product for your company, dedicating time and resources to build it and refine it.

Watch the video, "Content Planning Part 2" now.

Watch the video to learn the importance of building quality content, creating a content calendar, and examples of content marketing methods for technical audiences.

Content Planning and Marketing Methods for Technical Audiences

In this video, we continue the series on content planning with Part II, focusing on brainstorming and building your content, the importance of creating a content calendar, and examples of companies that have used these content marketing methods for their technical audiences.

In part I of the video series, “Content Planning,” TREW Marketing CEO and co-founder, Rebecca Geier, described the benefits of a content marketing plan and introduced the content planning tool used to create it.  She explained that it is natural, as you complete the table, to find gaps in your content path.

Investing in Content for Multiple Uses and Longevity

In Part II of this tutorial, Geier discusses best practices for addressing these gaps, as well as questions to ask yourself when brainstorming new content ideas. She also walks through examples of companies who have invested in their content with great success, creating content that can have multiple uses and surprising longevity.

Watch the video "Content Planning Part 2" now.

Watch the video “Content Planning Part 2″ now.

One piece of well-written, well-placed content can have multiple uses and surprising longevity. Through examples of companies who have created quality content in Part II, Geier explains how to think of your content as a product and how you can leverage it for many years to come.

As found in the TREW and CFE survey of over 700 engineers about their marketing preferences, creating quality content is essential in taking advantage of your audience’s captive web presence to ensure they find your company, visit your website and move into your sales cycle.

Watch the video now.

To learn more on Content Marketing for lead creation, check out our free ebook, Lead Generation, in our series, Smart Marketing for Engineers.

Thurs. Trends: Google Authorship: The New Buzzword Affecting Content Marketing

Technical audiences are in need of following Google’s newest update by placing more weight on optimized Google Authorship for longer lasting SEO and quality content marketing.

Gone are the days when you can outsource content to “ghost writers” that fill your blog and website with keywords and links in order to shoot to the top of the search engine rank page (SERP).  Additionally, simply adding an “expert” author to your blog along with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics will no longer automatically and exponentially raise your “Author Rank.”

Google puts more effort into ‘author rank’ algorithm

Just like previous SEO trends, Google has decided it is tired of trying to weed out the quality content from the spam content through simple link building and authorship algorithms. Instead, Google has drilled deeper into its version of “Author Rank” in order to decipher accurate and useful content based on the quality of the author, or as Google has coined, ‘Authorship.’

Google Authorship Using Google+ for Author Rank

Source: wpseotricks.com

Rich Snippets are becoming more selective

Additionally, Google cut the use of rich snippets (the few lines of text under a search result that give more information) for low quality sites by 15%. It also indicates that rich snippets using authorship found in the SERP will be focused on more in-depth content. This means that author rank is more competitive and the gap between authoritative authors and “ghost” authors will be larger, which is very good news for technical audiences who seek out in-depth content.

Rich Snippets in the Google SERP

Summary: Authorship is key

As content marketing becomes as important as – and interchangeable with – search engine optimization, expert authors become more important to Google and its searchers. Predicted in the near future by Forbes, sites that do not create and maintain author rank will be in risk of not ranking at all on the SERP. Fortunately, technical content for marketing to engineers and scientists is tends to be already naturally optimized for the high quality and in-depth content Google is now valuing more highly, so long as the author is following authorship best practices.

To get started on building your authorship, contact TREW Marketing about our Search Engine Marketing and Content Marketing services.

Want To Be More Effective With Your Content Marketing?

Watch the video “Marketing Content Planning to Drive Leads” as part of our two-part series to learn how strong marketing content builds your B2B company’s reputation, improves your site’s SEO, and increases leads.

Thursday Trends: Search Engine Optimization for People, not just Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a hot-topic in website design, traffic generation and lead conversion for years. Recently, however, as Google continues to update its ever-changing algorithm, companies are beginning to focus SEO efforts on the people using the search engines, rather than just the search engines themselves. In other words, it’s not just about quantity – the number of clicks; it’s more and more about the quality – who is clicking.

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New Data: How Engineers Search Google

In March 2014, TREW Marketing teamed up with CFE Media – publisher of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, among other publications – to survey engineers about their preferences and behaviors online. The official survey results will be launched later this quarter, but we didn’t want to wait to share a few highlights from the findings.

Over 700 participants in North America completed the survey, and primarily qualified themselves as in R&D/Engineering departments (>60%) or General Management (>20%). One of the first highlights is respondents’ opinions about content.

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4 Ways to Get More Blog Traffic

Looking for additional insight? Check out our checklist: A 15-Point Checklist to Evaluate Your B2B Technical Website

I attended the Inbound conference by HubSpot, and one of my favorite sessions was on blogging. The session was called Getting 100K followers to your Blog. As an author to this blog, they had my full attention – who doesn’t want 100,000 people reading their blog?

We’ve already established that increased, quality traffic fuels growth in leads, and that blogs are great traffic-generators. So how do you increase traffic to your site through your blog?

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Buyer Personas: 8 Questions to Profile Your Customer

This blog post is based on an excerpt from our e-book Smart Marketing for Engineers: Lead Generation. Download the full version for free to learn about generating and nurturing leads with engaging content.

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Marketing toolbox - Segmentation of Personas

During the marketing strategy phase, it’s important to know the different personalities that make up your target audience, what they care about, and what they need so you can communicate with them in the most relevant way possible.

If you only generate a few leads a month, this is easy to do manually by looking up the company’s website, finding the person on LinkedIn, and making your best judgment about the optimal approach to follow up. But as you attract a greater audience using content marketing, you can no longer do this manually because you’ll be generating many more leads, and your time will need to be focused on creating new content and following up on your growing pipeline of sales-qualified leads. So you need an automated way to bucket leads by common care-abouts, so you can more effectively nurture them using marketing automation, or do what SilverPop calls “mass one-to-one marketing.”

To do this, you need to create buyer personas.

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Four Trends in Content Marketing

Content marketing is a term that we’ve seen used more and more often over the last 10 years, and in varying contexts. Simply put, it’s the use of content – web pages, blog posts, white papers, video, case studies, etc – to drive traffic and conversion online. And it is one of the fastest areas of growth in marketing.

The number of searches on Google for the term “content marketing”, 2007 - 2014.

The number of searches on Google for the term “content marketing”, 2007 – 2014. 

Note: In this blog post we are going to share some trends about content marketing. If you want to learn more about what content marketing is, or best practices to execute, check out our website here.

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Thursday Trends: (Blogging) Information is Power

If you have any doubts as to whether or not blogging is necessary or appropriate for your business, data from research begs the question, “Can you afford not to blog?”

Can you afford not to blog?

Studies show that B2B business blogging drives traffic and generates leads, regardless of industry. In his September 2013 Forbes article, Derek Klobucher notes that nearly 88% of corporate shoppers prefer to research purchases online. We know online shopping behavior includes searching for a solution to a problem, finding the best deal for that solution, and ultimately deciding on the most trustworthy company to do business with. You can help connect these B2B shoppers with your solution by blogging. As mentioned last week, Guy Kawasaki points out that deals ultimately are made between two people; your prospects need to be able to evaluate your capacity to deliver to their expectations. A blog is an ideal channel for you to educate consumers about your area of expertise and demonstrate your trustworthiness and reliability.

 

Powerful Data 

In the article, Top 5 B2B Benefits of Blogging, author Phil Vallender states, “Bogging is demanding – requiring commitment, persistence and ingenuity – but the rewards far outweigh the effort.”  No truer words were ever spoken in the B2B community.  Consider these statistics from the HubSpot study, Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000+ Businesses, demonstrating that companies that blog get more traffic and leads than companies that don’t blog:

The power of blogging

If you don’t already have a blog started, the thought of writing 100 blog articles is certainly overwhelming, but when you break it down into months and weeks it’s very doable. Identify multiple authors inside your company (at TREW, we have close to 10!) and start writing. By publishing one blog article weekly you’ll be halfway there next year; twice weekly and you’re there!

Need help getting started? Download our case study, TREW Marketing Unveils the Secrets of Its Own Marketing Strategy, or contact us.  TREW Marketing is ready to help you achieve your business goals.

Related blog posts:

15 Inbound Activities to Include in Your B2B Content Marketing Plan

4 Ways to Get More Blog Traffic

New Case Study: TREW Marketing Unveils the Secrets of Its Own Marketing Strategy