content-analysis-buzzsumo

6 Content Analysis Methods Using Buzzsumo

6 Content Analysis Methods Using Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is relatively new to the market when I first saw its features that are useful in content ideation and content promotion activities. The easy to use dashboard and navigation makes the tool highly regarded by many marketing professionals as one of the best content marketing tools in 2014 both for advanced and new content marketers.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate marketer of Buzzsumo but just want to share my knowledge with you on how this product can help you get tremendous results for your content marketing campaign.

Content analysis is searching for specific content assets (either hosted on your site or on other brands) and identifying and analyzing their potential business values in order to set goal-oriented actions for your campaign.

In order to deeply this topic, let me share and discuss to you 17 content analysis methods that you can apply using Buzzsumo.

1. Insight-driven analysis based on other brands' content assets

Competitive analysis is the most common and underrated techniques to improve current set of actions based on insights formulated from analyzing other brands’ existing strategy or tactics.

This can easily be performed using Buzzsumo’s top content feature.

buzzsumo-top-content-feature

Few things to consider in order to get the most value out of the search results (domain’s internal pages):

  • Filter the results by content type if your website is only hosting one or two types of content (e.g. news sites covering text-based content or video blogs publishing video posts).
  • Sort the results by specific social shares (i.e. Twitter shares). Base it on your current social media stats. If you are getting several shares on Twitter, then you can push your other social profiles (Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc..) to leverage your overall social campaign. If you’re not really concerned with just one social site, then simply sort the results by total shares.
  • If the site covers general topics in your space, you can be very specific with the results by adding keywords to the search bar (e.g. kaiserthesage.com “content marketing”)
  • See if the post/page is consistently earning links and shares (this is a good signal that the site has an outstanding position in SERPs).

view-backlinks

One other tool that I’m very much acquainted with Buzzsumo is its domain alert feature.

The feature allows you to send alerts to your email every time the brand/site was mentioned on other blogs.

create-domain-alert-buzzsumo

You can set the alert by realtime or daily digest (daily digest can save you time, good for productivity, since you can just read all emails once every minute/hour of the day).

You can also use link feature if you want to receive alerts about links generated on other blogs pointing to the domain/site you want to monitor regularly.

link-alert

I suggest you use the search scope, “links to any page on the domain” so you don’t have to create another alert to monitor the other pages of the domain (in case you use the search scope, “links to the exact url”.

Insights from other brands’ content assets that you can consider for your own campaign:

  • See if your competitors or domains that you regularly monitor are focusing on producing high quality content and earning links or are just building links from other blogs (guest posts) (links generated by your competitors can be tracked using Buzzsumo’s link feature). Replicate their strategies or invest on two activities: high quality content production and active content promotion.
  • To which level of readers are they tailoring their content to? Check out social shares of their content, look at the # of social followers of their sharers and from that, you can determine the level of audience that they target (either common readers or influencers). This is not an absolute metric but a good factor to consider.
  • Identify their most engaged content type. There are times that a blog will have most successful social performance on its video content rather than on other content types (text-based), because it is what the community is interested to consume among all content types.

2. Focusing on author relationships rather than on hosted domains

Marketing is generally focused on relationships. Any type of relationships when built with strong foundation can largely impact one campaign’s results.

So it is important to not just focus on creating a huge list of domains but on investing on relationships with authors/people whom you want to engage with for deals or content partnerships.

If you still don’t have a spreadsheet of authors’ names, you can apply any of the methods to create your own database of authors:

  • Do a Google search for industry personalities (e.g. “authors” OR “journalists” OR “bloggers” “industry”). You will commonly see blog posts curating lists of the best blogs/bloggers in 2014 or previous years. Check if listed blogs still exist and jot them down in your note/sheet.
  • Use Alltop or DMOZ to find popular/authority blogs in your space and identify the owners of those blogs by looking at the site’s branded pages (about us, team us, blog section, etc.).
  • Identify multiple authors of a popular blog (where several contributors are allowed) by using the domain-specific filter of Buzzsumo (domain.com).

multiple-authors-buzzsumo

Actionable points to analyze author relationships:

  • Utilize contributed content by authors to spark interests in conversations. Adding the site’s URL (where the author contributed his/her content) to your pitch will signify commonality between you and the other author.
  • See what topics are being discussed by the author on his contributed blogs and niches he’s penetrating (e.g. entreprepreneurship, marketing, startups) so you can use this as your own advantage of widening your content outreach and connecting to other niches’ community as well.
  • Set author alert (Buzzsumo’s feature) to track future posts of the author. Engage with the author by sharing his new posts on social and/or linking to his future content. Letting him know your pre-outreach activities can secure positive response from him.

author-alert

3. Identifying commonality in social sharing by popular authors or brands

Brands that are connected to each other always have at least one similar attitude or characteristic in terms of sharing popular content and linking to useful and trending posts in the community.

Using social’s commonality can help you identify which posts had been shared by popular authors/brands, which only proves the quality of the content.

Buzzsumo can help you identify the most-shared content in your space, basing it on the common shared post by popular brands. Shared all functionality of Buzzsumo allows you to do that.

shared-all

 

Few things to keep in mind in this content analysis approach:

  • Note websites that are not hosted by social profiles you included in the query (shared:@hubspot, @moz, @buzzsumo). Getting exposure on those websites have high amplification rate given that there is a solid community composing of popular brands/authors/influencers in the industry that are ready to share new posts published on those websites.
  • Find other social influencers who’d shared the content (use the view sharers feature). These influencers when engaged can become your potential brand partners/evangelists, so keep an eye on them.
  • Look for potential linkers (use the view backlinks feature). Because content listed in the search results are highly recommended by popular brands or social influencers, the link acquisition rate (in terms of link earning) in the blog where content is published is higher.

4. Tapping engagement signals for press coverage

There are thousands of content managers and outreach specialists that aim to get their brand stories covered on top news sites (whether local or niche-specific). However, there are only a few companies that are able to penetrate the press market because of not being able to create a strategy that will benefit not only their websites but journalists they’re trying to connect with.

Content prospecting and analysis for press coverage is now easy with Buzzsumo. Filtering the results by journalists will help you find top press professionals in your industry. Pro tip: If you are working in the local scene, filter the results by location as well (type in the country or city in the left side of the dashboard).

journalists-buzzsumo

To find more journalists, type in the domain’s URL in the search bar plus a niche phrase/keyword. In the given example, you can use www.wsjd.com “link building” to search for more journalists working on WSJ and writing about the same topic.

Engagement activities that you can try out for effective press coverage:

  • Analyze what type of links and which blogs journalists are most commonly sharing on social platforms.
  • Use the commonality function of Buzzsumo (shared:@hubspot. @moz, @buzzsumo) to find posts commonly shared by journalists you’ve found in the dashboard’s search results. You can focus your pitch on what interests your target content amplifiers (journalists) to increase response rate in your outreach campaign.
  • Tweet journalists (with personalization) straight from Buzzsumo’s dashboard.

5. Leveraging topical analysis in a regular basis

Consistently monitoring the changes happening in your industry’s content environment is an effective tactic to improve your brand’s current content strategy.

Using Buzzsumo, you can analyze content in your space and use the gathered data to make decisions that can refine your content marketing campaign.

topical-analysis

Notable features of Buzzsumo’s content analysis feature:

  • Average shares by network – helps you to focus on one or two social networks that have high chances of amplifying your future content pieces.
  • Average shares by content type – gives you a more specific overview of what social platforms (by content type) you should really invest your time and effort in content promotion.
  • Total shares by date published – provides you insights on what day(s) you should schedule your social updates and earn the maximum engagement signals for your content.
  • Average shares by content length – you can consider this data when creating your content to ensure higher engagement performance on social sites.
  • Most shared domains by networks – domains in the graph are good to monitor for future link opportunities. Submitting content to those sites can give a boost to your brand’s exposure and social following.
  • Popular topics for content related to “keyword” - you can gear your content creation activity towards these popular topics so you can quickly attract exposure and social shares for your content/brand.
  • Top pieces of content for “keyword” – do a competitive analysis (identifying social sharers and potential linkers) to understand the behavior of your linkers and what type of content is already working effective in your niche.

6. Setting content and link alerts to improve current content strategy

In online marketing, setting email alerts for your campaigns is one of the best strategies to stay up-to-date with industry changes and learning from what works with other brands and related niches.

Getting inspirations from other niches/companies can help you make unique actions that can guarantee results for your brand. You may want to check out this post on SiegeMedia about 10 content creators that you can inspire your content marketing.

One way to constantly seek for inspirations is to set an alert system in your email (monitoring new posts, brand mentions and link opportunities in your space).

Buzzsumo has a keyword/brand alert feature that can help you keep track of content and link opportunities.

keyword-brand-alert

Things that you can do with Buzzsumo’s keyword/brand alert:

  • Track targeted keywords and related industry phrases to open up opportunities for link outreach (new posts are more inclined for changes than old/outdated posts – so make sure you perform link request outreach after you’ve tracked new posts).
  • Be broader with keyword monitoring. You can also track entity names and associations to widen your reach. This is effective if you have a content that discussed tools or products in your industry.
  • Don’t forget to find new sites that publish regular roundup posts. Bloggers who’re still building their brands from scratch are willing to commit their time for brand partnerships.

Content analysis can provide great insights for your content marketing campaign which are vital to improve your content assets in terms of link acquisition, social performance and branding.

Other Resources:

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scalable-content-marketing

How to Improve the Value and Volume in Content Marketing

scalable-content-marketing

The uprising trend for the term, “content marketing” is inevitable. Perhaps, the primary reason would be the growing benefits of it as the core part of a business’ inbound marketing strategy.

The enabling power to amplify the reach of the brand to its targeted audience is the benefit that I loved the most with content. It almost becomes the business’ automation tool for brand promotion and traffic generation that allows its visitors to tie up to the brand instantly.

Ensuring that the value and volume of content increases over time is a perfect way to enhance content amplification strategy and to stay ahead of the competition given that almost all brands  do content marketing in their space.

Scaling content marketing lies directly on each phase of the content marketing process. Improving the quantity and quality of each element in the phase can positively affect the outcome of each content piece produced by the business.

Here are a few tips to help you get started at scaling your content marketing.

Automate topic discovery

Topic research is a time-consuming task given that it requires an extensive amount of time and energy to digest the market’s needs and align it with the message of the content asset.

However, you can ease the process of finding keywords/topics and at the same time getting assured of its results by using a few handy tools.

First in the list is IFTT. Utilize this tool to receive email updates from sites/blogs that regularly publish thematically-related content assets. Tie IFTT with HARO (use its RSS feed) to generate timely niche-specific news and blog posts right in your inbox.

haro

Buzzsumo is another topic discovery tool that you can also take advantage of. Its filter options allows you to track the most-shared posts in your industry based on the preferred date and content type.

Collaborate with your client’s other departments to get insights about the most common queries your client’s customers asked. Customer inquiries represent the needs of the large portion of the market sector which can strengthen the brand’s mindshare if these inquiries were used as an inspiration for the content.

For small brands, comments from webmasters on their blogs are good opportunities to track questions that your readers want to be answered through your blog posts. Use this plugin created by SEER Interactive to grab all comments on your blog.

Use Content Discovery Scraper List to automate the process of combining content templates with a specific topic (e.g. “The History of Weight Loss”). In almost all industries, this list can be used to get quick inspirations for your blog especially on your site’s first month of content creation.

Start with authors to prospect for more content topics. Use advanced search operators, blog directories and content submission sites to find industry influencers. You can check out this guide for easy influencer prospecting.

Co-authorship

Quality is much more evident when two heads are combined to create a great piece of content (ebook, guest contributions, guide, etc..). The reach of co-authored content asset is being amplified by the combined efforts of both parties involved and by their social and blog’s followers.

art-of-seo-co-authorship

Shameless plug: I and Moosa will be launching an awesome link building book soon.

Content conversion

Turning your piece into other content formats is a cost-efficient method in content marketing. For low-budgeted marketing campaigns, content conversion maximizes the value of every piece of content which can give you more time and energy in planning for your future content assets.

For video product reviews, you can convert them into “still images” and upload to image sharing sites. Check out this list of image sharing sites.

Turn your highly linked/most visited and/or most shared blog posts to pages. Pages tend to rank higher on search engines than blog posts which can add more search traffic to your site. Use Google Analytics to track the top ten blog posts with the most number of visits, Ahrefs to identify your blog’s top pages and Social plugins for social shares evaluation.

Content sourcing

Content sourcing is placing your content piece on other related websites to increase your brand’s signals on search engines, absorb followers/readers from those sites and build hard to do things that your competitors can’t replicate (i.e. relationships).

If you want to start or have started with regular contributions, then here are some tips to improve the value of your content efforts:

  • Start with those who’ve already linked to you in the post or have shared your posts. There is a higher chance of accepting your submissions from those bloggers since they know the caliber of your content and you have built relationships with them beforehand. Start pitching them by thinking for linking/sharing your content, and then eventually ask if they’re looking for regular columnists.
  • Build a content portfolio on your site so you can link to them from your regular contributions. Your site’s inner pages will then pass its link value to other pages where they had linked to.
  • Set stricter metrics when prospecting for content placement sites. Domain authority (using Mozbar), SE traffic price (SEMRush metric), engagement (blog comments) and social shares are some key considerations of the quality of the pages. Contributions on these highly-valued domains have higher chances of ranking for long tail keywords.
  • Standing out when pitching would really require a solid sample (preferably content published on the client's site - to effectively demonstrate expertise).

These actionable tips came from the one and only, Jason Acidre.

Continuously sharing new industry insights on roundup posts both from closely related and general niches can strengthen your site’s domain authority and influence in your community. Tip: You can use this as an angle when pitching for guest blogs given that this is a proof of your expertise in the field.

how-to-promote-your-blog-roundup

Build a solid content team

Continuous improvement on the part of the content workforce is a solid method in scaling content marketing given that the team members are the most important element in content creation.

Kyra Kulk wrote a comprehensive guide on how to develop and maintain a content marketing team. You can check out that post (it’s worth reading!).

Here are some key tips to get you started with running a content marketing team:

  • Set strict editorial guidelines for all content pieces (i.e. no duplication, proper external links to authoritative sources, etc..)
  • Provide training resources to team members to enhance their skills and improve their output. Tip: Get them read at least two blog posts from Inbound.org that are related to content marketing.
  • If you’re not an expert in the industry, then this guide will help you.

Content optimization

Proper optimization of a content piece both for search engines and users helps you win the 50% of the battle. Given that search engines are using relevancy and authority to rank well-optimized pages higher on search results, it is a must to consider to improve the value of your content assets.

Here are a few tips to a proper content optimization:

  • Use keywords in the title, header tags and first 50 words of your content.
  • Include industry-related terms in the context of your content so it will have a better chance to rank for other long tail phrases (learn the concept of latent semantic indexing here).
  • For internal linking, use long-stringed anchor texts to increase their click through rates for the other inner pages of your site. You can also check out this guide about internal linking.
  • For guest contributions, link to your site’s related blog posts to get them receive more referral traffic from guest blogs and improve their rankings on search results.

Strategic content promotion

The 50% success of the battle lies on your brand’s content promotion strategy.

Using other inbound marketing channels will help your content promotion perform better in  terms of gaining new visitors/subscribers and/or potential customers.

One channel that you shouldn’t miss out is email marketing. Combining its power with content marketing is a solid foundation in brand promotion since these two channels can support each other. Content becomes an email generator for potential customers of the brand whereas emails get the content in front of its interested readers.

Bryan Harris from Video Fruit shared a case study on how he got his first 100 email subscribers using ten email strategies. You can check out that post together with this case study on Smart Passive Income blog and with this eCommerce email marketing tips.

Another effective channel to maximize the value of a content piece is social media advertising (i.e. Facebook ads). Matthew Woodward wrote a case study on the different ROIs he got from testing different Facebook campaigns. He emphasized the use of different images to capture clicks from Facebook users (check out the post to learn more).

My most favorite content promotion method is blogger outreach. This enables the content publisher to establish strong relationships with other webmasters (especially when both parties are given the benefit/value).

Outreach Resources:

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content-development

Creating and Developing Content Assets Like A Pro

Content assets had been one of the greatest investments of almost all size of brands today. It became such a phenomenon in the industry that everyone wants to have a piece of asset for their site's content development.

However, content marketing is not just about creating content pieces. It’s more on delivering the best value to your target audience. Without including your audience as a contributing factor in your marketing campaign, you would be more likely to lose track with your goals/objectives. Remember that your customers are the reasons why your brand exists in the industry. Therefore, they should be given the top priority in your content marketing campaign.

I’ve seen a lot of improvements in content marketing and how those improvements affect the thinking of many content marketers in delivering a useful and targeted content. This made every phase in the content process looks more challenging than before.

Five Stages of a High Quality Content Development

To surely make the most value out of your content efforts, it’s very important to take every stage in the content creation process as a chance to win over your competitors. This may require strategic planning in those stages to truly provide a reliable and useful content piece for your audience.

creating-and-developing-your-content-assets

In this post, I will share to you actionable tips to help you outrank your competitors with every content piece that you will be creating.

Ideation

There are several ways to get ideas for your content that are not only catchy to the eyes of your audience but are also seasonal and/or traffic-based keywords (which means that they can give a boost to the traffic of your site if those keywords/ideas are optimized on your content and your content pieces ranked high on search results for those certain keywords).

Let’s get started..

1. Comments on other site’s content

Blog commenting is not only used for link building purposes but also for finding keywords for your content. If you have a list of authority sites in your mind, you may want to visit once in a while to get some ideas.

I’ll get Moz as my example.

Every post on Moz (the main blog) managed to get an average of a hundred comments just the time they were published on the site.

This Whiteboard Friday edition by Michael King received 119 comments which is a good amount of blog comments for one post.

whiteboard-friday-michael-king-number-of-comments

Those comments would give a significant value when looking for content ideas given that every word commented by a blogger could be words/phrases that they may/might be searching for in the search engines.

What I’m gonna do is to find keywords in the comment section that are related to link building, content and branding (because this is my field!).

By using the Find and Replace in Chrome Web Browser, I was able to find phrases that are related to my keywords.

first-moz-comment

second-moz-comment

third-moz-comment

Oh! An expression!

Finding these keywords is not enough. You have to see whether or not they are the most commonly searched terms in your industry. To do this, we can use Google Keyword Planner (for search volume) or Google Trends (for seasonality).

Let’s see the trend of each keyword.

google-trends-content-related-terms

As you can see, the word “great content” seems like a good keyword and the interest for that keyword progresses over time. Gold!

“Amazing content” (though it may not be a seasonal term for now), looking at its seasonality would give us an idea that it might be an interest-rich keyword for content in the future.

And if you’re targeting an audience located in India and USA, those aforementioned content-related terms is a must to consider for your campaign.

Another Tip: Click the box saying, “email me when new comments are posted” right below the post of your target site, this would help you track if there is a new comment on the blog post (you’ll receive a Wordpress email).

comment-section-moz

2. Authority Sites through RSS Feeds

Competitive research will never be excluded in every marketing campaign of SEO practitioners given that it would help them identify their strengths and weaknesses as brands which are necessary to bring those campaigns into success.

Determining what authority sites are doing with their blogs based on the content they’re publishing would give you a feel of what you can also do for your content strategy (outranking them with better content than they have).

If you still don’t have any authority site in your list (perhaps, you’re new to the industry), you can use this tool to look for websites that have a large number of subscribers. The reason you want to consider the number of subscribers when finding authority sites is that most of the time, those websites with a large amount of subscribers managed to build a community for their brands. This community could get them share their content on social and provide useful insights (which is commonly about their offerings) in the comment section of their blogs.

Type in your keyword in the search bar of the tool and it will give you a list of websites that are ranked according to the number of subscribers. Use Feedly to get those sites on track. Once in a while, visit those authority sites, read their content pieces and analyze how they create content (based on content format, concept, posting frequency, etc…).

instant-rss-search

 

You can check out this huge list of free link building tools to find more link prospects.

3. Repurpose other people’s content

Most of the time, posts that get a lot of attention are those content that are just repurposed from another content (made by them or other brands). This would save you time and money especially if you’re tight with your budget.

Repurposing blog posts to UGC content pieces is a good strategy especially if the original content garnered several shares/links. Outreaching to the linkers/sharers of the original version would yield much better results in terms of outreach response rates.

original-content

Original content

repurpose-content

Repurposed content

4. Keyword-rich URLs

Authority sites don’t rank easily without optimizing their pages for search (unless they’ve been in the webspace for over 2 years or so). For those sites that are new in the industry (6 months to 2 years) but tend to get  to the top spots of search results for targeted keywords, there must be some on-page optimization that they are doing for their pages.

Let’s take Kaiserthesage as my example (do you still wonder why I always link to him?).

By simply looking at each url of every page, you have an idea of what keyword the webmaster is trying to rank for that page.

kaiserthesage-scalable-content-marketing

Or you can use Ahrefs to find their top pages (where you can see their keyword-rich URLs). Click on the top pages.

top-page

kaiserthesage-top-pages

5. Anchor texts of referring domains of your competitors’ content

If you’re tired of searching for an idea that doesn’t have a potential to gain continuous traffic to your site (through search), you should make some analysis of your competitor’s backlink profile. You won’t be getting the list of referring domains that linked to your competitor’s site/page (to reach out and get the same types of links). Instead, you will only look at the anchor texts that your competitor’s referring domains used to link to your competitor’s page.

anchors

anchor-texts-referring-domains-kaiserthesage

Get those anchor texts and put them in a spreadsheet. Use your keyword tool to identify which of them could be considered gold for search volume.

6. Ultimate Industry Guides

Not all industry guides are perfect guides. Every portion in the guide would support the main subject/theme of the content. However, those portions are just descriptions, which means that they are not so detailed (which is a good content idea that you can use for your own content piece).

Let’s give an example.

hobo-beginners-guide-seo

There are portions in this industry guide that are not so detailed but when you see it in the overall view, it is a comprehensive and useful content. Use those portions to create another content piece (not necessarily be an industry guide, could be visuals) but ensure that the content piece is specifically optimize for the keyword you’re looking at.

rich-snippets

7. FAQs

You’re familiar with this. I’m sure a lot of brands have their Frequently Ask Questions page to better serve their customers by answering their most common questions. This would help the brand to know any problems that their customers might be experiencing when they use their products (questions that are not answered or solved by their FAQs page).

personal-finance-FAQs

FAQ pages could also be used for content ideation. What you will do is to get all the listed questions, place them all in a spreadsheet and take each one of them into Google search (don’t put all the phrases; pick up those related terms in the question).

If there is any page that is already targeting those questions, you could put another phrase in Google search until you find one that has not yet been targeted by someone.

8. Dissect Google+ Hangout videos

You will not strip the video into shorter ones but you want to know what ideas/insights have been discussed in the hangout that can be covered in a blog post (or any other content format).

Listen to the hangout video (it would be great if you could listen to a group interview). There are tons of ideas that are accidentally shared by industry experts (they could just say anything that is sometimes not specifically pointing to the topic they’re discussing about).

List those points in the spreadsheet and get back to the list once you’re done with the content ideation.

9. Two seemingly-irrelevant but relevant topics

Connections are what would make your content looks more natural and appealing to your readers. You could connect two seemingly-unrelated topics and turn that combined idea into a blog post.

You might need a thorough research to make this thing works! It would take time and effort to create awesome piece like this.

Forbes-news

Imagine if you can create several pieces like this (related to your industry terms), you might be surprised by how many people would link to your content or at least share it to their peers.

10.  Niche-related communities

There is at least one community related to your field that could be a useful resource for your content development assets. Use Google search to find at least one (inurl:forum + “your industry”) and identify if that is really awesome (users participate well and not spammy).

Use the intext:query to find niche-specific phrase/ideas.

Try this one: intext:your keyword + site:yourforum.com

You should only use one word (your main keyword) to find relevant ideas in the forum.

Example:

niche-related-communities-moz

As you can see, there are tons of ideas that you could use to develop your own content. Use again your preferred keyword tool to get the highest search volume and use your personal judgment on which keyword you’ll be using for your own content.

11. Anchor texts of linking domains to your site.

You can’t control the anchor texts that other webmasters are using to link to you (unless you’re the one who approach them about those link opportunities). They might be using phrases/keywords which are uncommon to you but related to your industry terms.

This is great if you have that list of anchor texts that your linkers link to you. However, you can use those texts to create a solid content that matches to each of the phrase. Simply, find a phrase you have not optimized yet for your site. Create a page targeting that phrase/keyword and build links to it (just like what you did for your site’s other pages).

12. Branded link mentions.

You may be tracking every site/page that linked to your website. If you’re already doing this for link building purposes, make sure you do it also for your content strategy. Those webmasters (those who linked to you) have reasons why they did that linking. If you will know their reasons of linking to you, you can have good partnership/relationships with them. Who knows? They might collaborate with you to create an awesome content piece.

You could also interview the person who linked to you (especially if that is a customer). Ask him what pushes him to give credit or mention your brand on his blog/page. Incentivize him to encourage him to talk more about you. Interviewing that person would improve your site’s performance given that people would like to know the feedback(s) from the users of your product.

Remember that you don’t want to make the content be a self-promotional one. Add some twists in it (like asking the person, “Give me some experiences in using the product that almost pushes you to stop using it?”

People love brands that are transparent with their situations/offerings as this would prove how they truly value their customers.

13.  Interview speakers of upcoming webinars/events.

If you’re looking for an easy content piece, this one is good for you. The only thing that you need is to do is to make a list of events (webinar/conference/seminar) that people in your community (local) is so excited to participate in. Gather all the details about each event like the names of the speakers, location and other important details that could help your content (if you’re using this as an angle) to be detailed and useful for your followers.

I wrote a piece of content a few weeks ago about a conference that will be held here in the Philippines. Review that post on how I use event details to make the post more valuable to my local followers.

14.  Product Reviews

You have a product and you got product reviews in the past. You can use that to make an awesome content piece for your brand.

Here is what you can do.

Look at the sites (your own website if you allow ratings/reviews for each of your product or product review sites where your product had been mentioned). Some websites allow you to sort reviews based on ratings so you can get the most value out of those comments/reviews. Check industy-related terms that people had used in their comments. Those terms is what you’ll be using for your content piece given that those are informational keywords (people are using those phrases in their searches).

coffee-amazon-reviews

15. Intext Query

You’re probably familiar with this query. You can use this to find keywords that are placed on any sites (that you should be analyzing as to the content format).

To get the best content ideas from sites that you’re not almost familiar with, don’t add any specific website to this query. Just use the plain query, like this: intext:”financial calculator”.

The reason for doing this is that you want to see all the pages where that keyword/phrase has been mentioned. You will probably see the top pages ranking for that keyword (most of the time, those are authority sites in your industry). In my opinion, you can’t get much value from those pages (as they already had built an authority in the space). You want pages that are still new but are authoritative already in terms of followers/readers and analyze what they did to create a page targeting that keyword.

Click on the lower pages (page 7 or higher) to see how are those sites use that keyword in their content assets.

intext-query-financial-calculator

16. Ask someone about your brand through email or social.

Know what captivates your readers’ interest by asking questions to them. You may have not known they’re waiting for you to reach out and ask their content suggestions. This is one of the most effective ways to get content ideas as those customers/readers/followers is part of the group (target audience) that you’re trying to please with your content. If one of them replies and suggest one idea for your content, don’t ignore him. He might also suggest a content format (infographic, blog post, etc..) that you had never done before for your brand which can make a significant difference to what your site is already doing for them.

17. Use tools to organize your content.

I have Mindmeister in my mobile phone which I use to organize my content ideas and add more to it as I think another idea. The best content ideas that I had for my recent posts came from nowhere. When I’m not facing at my computer, those ideas pumped up!

You can try this technique. It might work for you also.

Another tool that you can also use is wordcloud. This will help you see the common keyword/phrase and some combined thoughts that you can use for your content.

Research

Sixty-five percent of the respondents in the survey conducted by the team of Colleen Jones say that web is an unreliable source.

But there’s still some (45%) who’re looking for sources from web for their own research/content. The reason is that people go to web to get true help or advice. So if you want to get the most value out of your content, you have to consider the credibility of your sources/references which you will use to point out facts/info/data that are relevant to the topic/subject of your content piece.

Aside from what I mentioned in this post about attributes/characteristics that I consider valuable factors when looking for resources for content, credibility should also be taken into consideration.

Why do you have to look for credible sources?

Most often than not, people get confused with the content they searched on the web given that the cited sources are not really credible. The sources were outdated and they don’t really support the main point that the content wants to convey.

This is something that you should be looking at when looking for credible sources.

Now let’s know what factors that would make the source(s) credible (added info to what I mentioned in that post about content resources)

  • It has a distinct voice. When the content publisher of that source says something, everyone listens to him given that he has proven his authority and influence to his audience. So if you’re looking for credible sources, determine if they have distinct voices (or personality). Does their audience agree with their saying/thoughts? Does the brand owner get several complaints rather than compliments/praises?
  • It makes a clear point. The source should only give emphasis on one subject. I haven’t seen any content piece that already tackles all the terms in the industry. There are pieces that managed to do that (ultimate guides) but most of the time, there’s one topic that the content asset is specifically talking about. Sources are credible when they managed to show off their expertise through those sources (pointing only to one topic).
  • It is useful. As you always get the most useful sources, you enable your content to become more credible in the eyes of your audience (users will learn much from your content and to its sources). This would give them a reason to come back to your site once in a while (to read/consume your content).
  • It guides you to the next step. A source always guides to your next step of learning. If your source does not do it for you, it will not also guide your users. Make sure that you are satisfied first with the value that you’re getting from your sources before enticing others to be satisfied with your content. Otherwise, your users will not read those sources for additional knowledge.

Note: Not because it ranks in one of the top five spots in the search results for the target keyword doesn’t mean it is a credible source.

Here are a few ways to get sources for your content:

  • Use this tool to find industry-related sources/references. Use this as your own advantage to identify which of them could pass credibility and value to your content. Data-driven content is a good source if the content publisher provides source documents of their content.
  • Expert’s insights/advices. Get help from people who know their stuff really well. This post by Rohit Palit is a good example of this. Below that page, there is a section that allows experts to share their own insights about the topic.

Indeed, research takes time. To maximize your research efforts, ensure that you only get credible and relevant sources for your content.

Other Resource:

6 Ways to Find Data to Support Your Content

Conceptual Framework

All the data/sources should be gathered at one place. This phase, “Conceptual Framework” would ensure that your content has a logical flow of information.

One of the mistakes of every blogger or content publisher is gathering all the data at one place without even arranging every single thought that they collected. This would look like a scratch paper (scattered ideas).

Note: There’s no rule in the method of outlining your ideas. Use your own if you already have one.

But here are some tools (they’re the common, ha!) that you can try to make your ideas flow smoothly within your content:

  • Excel Spreadsheet. One way to organize your ideas is using an excel spreadsheet. Make sure that you add a column for “what is lacking” to take down notes on what is lacking in your resources so you can add insights/hooks to it to improve the context of your content.
  • Problem-to-Recommedation Table. This an effective tool to use when you’re creating a guide (how-to) that is focused on helping your target audience solve their own problems. Use this spreadsheet to list down all those problems and take down notes for recommendations.
  • Visualization. It’s easy to create a content when you can see the whole picture of it. Visualization allows you to do this by picking up the main principles/ideas and visualize them in a good format.

visualizations

  • Basic Outline. Use your document tool for this one (e.g. Microsoft Word).Here’s an example of a basic outline.

draft-link-worthy-content

Optimization

I already covered this phase in my post about content promotion. But for additional tips, here are some that you can apply for your content piece.

  • Based on the list of anchor texts you’ve gathered earlier, pick up the best ones and use it to optimize your content. Additionally, you can use this query: (site:abc.com inanchor:content) to find pages where your competitor used anchor texts related to your industry terms.

Make sure that you strategically use those anchor texts to ensure that you’re also passing value to your site’s other content assets. You can also use those anchor texts for your content distribution efforts like guest posts.

  • Optimize the page with the basic on-page SEO. Putting your keyword at the page’s title tag, H1 and at the first sentence of your page would help your page to rank high on SERPs.

It’s also best to use the exact keyword at the first place of your title (there’s an added factor for rankings when you use this).

relationsphip-building

  • Link to your site’s other content assets (especially to your money pages or your top converting pages). Use Google Analytics to find your top converting pages.

You can link to those pages strategically when you optimize your future content assets.

The most common mistake of webmasters is the use of generic words (e.g. click here) as anchor texts for their content. Though you don’t want to use your exact match anchor texts (so as not to have anchor text over optimization), the use of generic words could be replaced by using your alternatives (partial match, long-stringed, etc..) which is more powerful to use than generic words.

  • Don’t worry about keyword density. Focus more on getting links for your content. As long as your keywords are positioned in the right spots (title, h1, first sentence) of your content, you don’t have to make an effort counting how many times you use that keyword alongside your page.

Here is a cool video by Brian Dean about the upside down guest post (where you can get tips on how to optimize your page for search engines and users).

Content Placement

Reminder: There’s no rule in determining where to place your content (on your site or other’s site(s) – guest posts).

But here are a few tips by Moosa Hermani on how to determine if the site (where you will place your guest post on) matches to your brand.

“I always keep few things in mind when reaching out to any place (for guest post or my content)” – M.Hemani

  • Is my audience there?
  • Do they agree my core principles (for instance I do not like Google's idea of hiding keyword data in GA. If there is a great website who have an opinion that is negative to this then I probably will drop the idea of placing my content there as this differs my ideology)
  • Do they have a positive name in the market?
  • DA (obviously)
  • Will I be able to grab some traffic and make them my continuous reader?

Using this list of guidelines when identifying the right site/blog to place your content would help you get the most value of your content distribution efforts.

Other Resources:

Conclusion:

Strategic planning is necessary to every marketing campaign (the same goes with your content marketing). If you perform really well for each phase (ideation to content placement), you’ll be surprised that you almost win half of the battle. The other half is obviously promoting your content.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3

 If you're looking for high quality links to support your content and grow your business, get in touch with us for effective link building services


how-to-find-resources-for-your-content

How to Find Resources for Your Content

I found many content marketers fail in the researching activity of their content strategy because too often, they just rely on this iterative process: keyword research, identifying a topic and setting up to write a 500-word article.

Though the aforementioned activities are obviously essential in content creation, a thorough research about a certain topic is one of the overlooked steps in content marketing. Research, if not carefully done, can result to poor quality content and negative user experience.

Acquiring resources and/or ideas to come up with a concrete concept or main point for the content is a major part in content research. Though this requires human effort, time and creativity, collecting useful resources/references would be a simple task for team members and/or those involve in the content creation (freelance writers, graphic designers, etc..) given that, they can easily get help from each other if there are some parts of the activity that are not clear to them.

how-to-find-resources-for-your-content

Here are some guidelines that I personally follow when finding resources for my content.

  • Topical relevance of the resource to the content (e.g. theme).
  • Contains fresh and unique ideas/concepts (e.g. market trends)
  • Potentiality to solve industry issues/problems (e.g. how-to’s)

I listed down seven ways on how you can find valuable and relevant resources for your content.

1. Industry Guides

This is my first in the list, seeing industry guides are one of the best sources to find insights for your content because most brands/sites have already done extensive research to create this type of content piece, which in my opinion can give credibility to your content.

One thing that I also love with industry guides is that you can get insights of what form of content you can create for your own site. For instance, I found this “100 Content Marketing Examples” by CMI where they managed to collect great examples of branded content and created one solid industry guide. Though at first glance, you’ll not see bullet points that would tell you how to create each content piece. But by taking time to read at least five of the examples, you’ll have an idea that insightful answers from top brand owners would make your content piece credible in the eyes of your targeted audience. (This brought me into an idea of creating my first group interview – The 33 Creative Ideas from Content Creators.

How to find industry guides?

Doing a Google search will give you a list of industry guides that you can start reading and get data from them.

Use the following queries:

filetype:pdf + “your keyword”

filetype:ppt + “you keyword”

filetype:xls + “your keyword”

top industry guides + “your keyword” industry-guides-pdfs

2. .Edu libraries

Academic studies/research can be found on online libraries. By typing this search query (inurl:.edu + “libraries” + “your keyword”), you’ll find educational websites that have online libraries where studies by professors, students and by those persons involved in the community, can be seen.

.edu libraries

3. Community Discussions

Not all resources need to be in good formats (PDFs, PPTs), some are just texts (sentence/paragraph) which are insights from experts who participate in comment sections of popular blogs or community threads (e.g. forums).

Let’s first try the comment section.

Comment sections

If you have a list of authority sites in mind that have decent amount of comments in their blog posts, you can use them to find resources for your content.

You can use this search query: site:domain + intext:http://www + “your keyword” to find pages where your keyword is mentioned. With the intext query (intext:http://www), there are two types of pages that will come up in the search results:

  • Pages where the author cited URLs (his own content or other site’s content) which he thinks are relevant to the topic.
  • Pages where a person comments and include URLs of pages which he thinks can add value to the discussion.

The URLs in the second type of page are resources listed by active bloggers in the community of the website you typed in.

comment-section-1

 

Here are the comments in one blog post written by Peter Attia.

comment-section-2

There are people who are active in contributing insights in the comment sections of popular blogs. A good example of a blogger who enjoys leaving comments on authority blogs like Moz is Gianluca Florelli. One thing that I admire him is he actually put resources in his comments by adding URLs.

I know that there’s someone in your industry who is so active in blog commenting like Gianluca. You should only find that person.

Anyway, if you want to find URLs listed by an active blogger, add his/her name in the search query I mentioned above.

site:moz.com + intext:http://www. + "gianluca"

Knowing the active people in your industry will help you in your content research given that they’re not only adding comments but also including resources which can be relevant and valuable to the content you’re researching for.

Forum Threads

Using search queries like inurl:/forums+ “your keyword” will give you a list of pages with plain forum threads (threads where you can’t get much value from). By adding some commonly-used words like “advices” can yield to better results.

Use this query: inurl:/forums OR inurl:/thread + intext:http://www. + advices + "your keyword"

forum-threads

If you’re a member of a forum site (e.g. warriorforum.com), you can just type this query in Google search. site:warriorforum.com + intext:http://www. + "your keyword" to find threads where your keyword is mentioned. (Some sites require you to login first before you see the forum thread).

warrior-forum

If you’re looking for resources for your content related to inbound marketing, why not use Inbound.org as your advantage? There are tons of resources that are shared daily on Inbound.

Discussions are what make the site more valuable than other IM sites given that experts freely give their opinions about a particular topic which can be used as a reference for your content piece.

Look at how Matthew Barby did in his post - Why Local Businesses Don't Need Big Budgets for Their Content Marketing. He mentioned in his post the discussion he started on Inbound.org  where he managed to get insights from experts about the topic, content marketing.

Asking people in your community about a certain issue can be your first initiative to get plenty of content ideas.

These search queries may help you a lot if you’re working in the Internet Marketing space:

  • site:inbound.org + “your keyword" + "?”
  • site:inbound.org + intext:www + "your keyword" + "?"  (Use this if you want to see discussions that contain URLs on the side).

4. Round-up Posts

There may be at least one person in your industry who do round-up posts on his blog in a regular basis (weekly/monthly). Find that person. You don’t even know that he always curate lists of awesome resources.

Do a Google search to find those round-up pages. Use the following search queries:

“weekly round-up” + “your keyword”

“round-up” + “your keyword”

“mash-up” + “your keyword”

5. Social

I bet you know this technique, but there are still some secrets that I want to share with you about finding resources using social networks that you may or may not know about.

Facebook

Brands that have online accounts like Facebook share two types of content: their own content and others’ content. Use this as you own advantage to get resources from those brands.

Like their page. If you are active on your Facebook account, you can see their posts on their wall. Include those posts in your list of resources.

search-engine-journal-resources

Have you tried using Facebook notes for any of your content strategy? There are some Facebook notes that are insightful; you just have to pick the best ones.

Use this search queries to find those notes:

inurl:facebook.com/notes +  “your keyword”

inurl:facebook.com/notes + "how to" + “your keyword”

Twitter

Twitter search is one of my coolest techniques to find recent and awesome picks of content. I type each of the following search term to find content resources:

"awesome post" “your keyword”

“nice post” “your keyword”

“solid post” “your keyword”

“good read” “your keyword”

“thanks for sharing” “your keyword”

You’ll notice that I include in the keyword expressions that are most commonly added  by people when they tweet someone’s content. Influencers always do that. They add a short phrase that explains how they appreciate the content.

Tweets about "good read linkbuilding"

6. Slide Presentations

Oftentimes, industry influencers repurpose their article to a slide presentation where people can easily grasp every thought that they’re telling to their audience. This can be a big help for you especially if you want to gain knowledge from an influencer who talked in a conference in which you did not participate in (due to location conflict, low budget and other reasons…)

Slideshare is my top priority when looking for awesome slide presentations. When I search for a term, I filter the results by changing the time frame based on the content that I’m researching about. If the content is timely and it needs an updated resource, you can adjust your results by the filter option (Last 7days)

slide-presentation-resource

The good thing with Slideshare is you can directly save the presentation by clicking its “Save” button. This can help you collect enough resources for your future content without going back over and over again to your first research.

Be on the radar of those influencers whom you think can present topics with branding. Follow them on their social accounts and let them know that their content piece is one of your resources (tip for relationship building).

This leads us to our last method of finding resources..

7. Tips/Insights from Influencers

One of the key techniques to make your content credible and epic is getting insights from industry experts. They in this case, can become your brand advocates if you’ve setup relationship with them at the start of your marketing campaign.

The first key point that I’d like to emphasize is relationship building. This matters in every aspect of content marketing including content research. It’s easy to get answers to a question you’ve sent to an expert who knows you already than sending a cold email to a stranger. This will make your research easier and faster than the usual.

Note: Give attribution to the person you get an answer from.

Let’s move on..

How I get resources from industry experts?

  • Interviews. Search in Google the name of an industry expert. You’ll see interviews where he participated in and most of the time, they share their best secrets during their interviews – gold! You can also type in this query: “interview with” + “Name” to find more interviews.
  • Subscribe to their blogs. If they write epic posts, you surely want to get resources from them. Add their blogs on Feedly so you can track if they release a new content piece on their sites.
  • Follow them on Twitter. Influencers are active on this social platform. If they’ve read a good content, they immediately share it on Twitter. Making a list of top influencers can help you track their behavior and easily see what type of content they share in public.

 

twitter-list

If you still don’t have a list of influencers, start with using Followerwonk. Use your niche as a keyword and sort the results by social authority (you want influencers who have strong social following so they can help you promote your content).

followerwonk

 

  • Guest Posts. I believed influencers don’t write low quality guest posts. Even if they’re not writing for their own blogs, they give effort to create unique posts for someone’s blog which are also worthy of being shared and linked to same with their own posts.

Use this search query to find your influencers’ guest posts: inpostauthor:Name

inpostauthor

Or try Allmytweets to find all your influencer’s tweets. The advantage of using this is that you can track all their guest posts given that they always tweet their content. Some of the articles they contributed to other blogs may not be attributed to them as authors (Google Authorship).

allmytweets

Conclusion:

List of resources is the foundation of your content research. Creating it for your own content doesn’t require a huge budget to perform. There are free web resources that everyone like you can access. Some are already mentioned on this post. Try each of them to get tons of resources and create epic content for your site!

 If you liked this post, kindly share it to your circles/networks and follow me on twitter @venchito14.


creative-content-marketing

The 38 Most Creative Ideas I've Ever Seen

Creativity is one of the essential characteristics a marketer must possess to become competitive in the online marketing scene. With that being said, a lot of content creators had already proven their creativity on their outputs seen on their own sites or services they rendered to their clients.

creative-content-marketing

I sent an email to 38 content creators and ask this question:

What is the most creative content you’ve made for your site or client’s site?

You can start scrolling to read their answers or use these quick links:

Adam Connell
Ben Harper,Bill Sebald, Bob Jones
Chris Gilchrist, Chris Guthrie
Dan Petrovic,Dan Shure,Daniel Law,David Jenyns,David Scott,Dechay Watts
Giuseppe Pastore, Gregory Ciotti
Harris Schachter
James Richardson, Joe Pulizzi, John Doherty
Kane Jamison
Lisa Buben, Lisa Irby
Mary Bowling, Matthew Barby, Mauro D’Andrea, Mike Ramsey, Moosa Hemani
Nathan Whitaker, Nathanael Vanderkolk, Nick Leroy, Nicole Beckett, Neil Patel
Peter Attia, Phil Rozek, Piers Moore Ede
Rand Fishkin, Ryan Clark
Traian Neacsu
Zac Johnson


Dan Petrovic – Dejan SEO

dan-petrovic

 

 

 

There are many great examples but since I had to pick one, here is my favourite:

google-skynet

The reason we did this one is to make fun of all the conspiracy theories which claim that Google will soon become self-aware and take over the world. We felt this would really resonate within the search industry and weren't work about it. The post went viral and it still gets visitors today. It even ranks for crazy terms such as "Google Skynet".

Kane Jamison – Content Harmony

kane-jamison

 

 

 

My favorite example is this one: Graphic Guide to Hawaiian Solar Tax Credits & Financial Incentives.

hawaiian-solar-infographic

While I'm getting weary of infographics in general, I love this project because it hits home on a ton of criteria that I look for in a content project - it's useful to the end user, it's highly relevant to the needs of the business, it pulls in users who are in both an early stage and a later stage of the buying funnel, it has wide promotional potential, it can be updated and has a long lifespan, and it even works as an offline print promotion.

Nick Leroy – Back Breaking SEO LLC

nick-leroy

 

 

 

 

The most creative content I have personally written or created is probably in the SEO space.  When broken link building first starting gaining steam I wrote a post about how to do it and included an example of how i successfully used it with just a bit of manipulation. You can see the reaction to my being 'outed' (even though i wasn't trying to hide it) here.

At that point the comments exploded into an SEO vs Ethics vs Hat color type post.  I tend to think the SEO crowd can get stuffy at time (sorry!) so i decided to poke the monster just a little more by publishing a post to dig up even more conversation.  This one was antagonistic and targeted "white hat" SEOs.  "Why "White Hat" SEO is Just Another Exuse For Not Delivering Results".

white-hat-seo

This blog post went somewhat viral very quickly.  Not only did i get repeat visitors from the previous post but it also got a lot of attention on the old Sphinn and even grabbed the attention of Reddit users.    Between these two posts that took maybe 2-3 hours total in writing and maybe another 2 hours if responding to comments I received thousands of visitors and dozens of valuable links to the site.

Gregory Ciotti – Sparring Mind

Gregory-Ciotti

 

 

 

My most creative piece of content for Sparring Mind is definitely my The Science of Productivity.

science-of-productivity

As you can see, it's an animated video that's garnered over 1,000,000 (yup) views on YouTube. I collaborated with the channel ASAP science to get it done—I did the research, and they animated the video. They don't do collaborations anymore, but it was really great getting to work with Mitchell to come up with something that been seen and used by so many people!

Peter Attia – Cucumber Nebula

peter-attia

 

 

 

I think my favorite creative piece I worked on was Personalities That Make Great SEOs.

gamer-seo

I really wanted to make a visual post that was industry related and not boring. Don't get me wrong, I like visual data as much as anyone else, but it's ridiculous how many times I've seen an infographic about "When the best time to tweet is".

Instead, I decided to reach out to the artist of a blog I personally follow - Books of Adam. He's not related to the SEO industry in any way. I simply liked his content, drawing style, and taste so I decided to reach out. I then reached out to several SEO's I knew or was acquainted with to see if they would be interested in participating.

The response was great. Lots of people were commenting and tweeting about what category they fell into and gave lots of ideas on doing a followup piece. It was a lot of fun collaborating with some great SEOs, as well as making a connection with an artist I could use for future projects. The backlinks were welcome too :)

Chris Gilchrist - HitReach

Chris-Gilchrist

 

 

 

It’s probably the video we made in response to the news that Google Reader was being shut down.

Google-Reader-Closing-Down
Because we got it live at just the right time it got featured on DA:80+ sites like Buzzfeed, KnowYourMeme, News.com.au, NetworkWorld, MarketingLand, MakeUseOf, GeeksAreSexy, LaughingSquid and plenty of smaller sites ranging from DA:50-80.

It took about a day to conceive/write/plan, less than $100 on Fiverr for the song and 1 day to make the video and do some outreach.

Giuseppe Pastore - Posizionamento Zen

giuseppe-pastore

 

 

 

 

I’ve published a few good posts in my opinion, even if more than being creative content they are creative approaches. I don’t know if this fits your question, anyway, I’d say my most creative post up to now has been my Hacked Link Building post that worthed me a mention in Jon Cooper’s Most Creative Link Building Post Ever.

hacked-link-building
Basically, I gave a spin to Broken Link Building by varying my target: instead of focusing on broken links and expired content, I suggested targeting links pointing to hacked websites. Basically, every outbound link pointing to a bad resource might be targeted, since a webmaster would be probably grateful if you made them notice they’re linking to a site that distributes malware or redirects to a viagra ecommerce. This led me also to a next twist suggesting to target sites that are full of spam comments. They can be targets as well, since people wouldn’t like to know they’re linking to a page that hosts hundreds of spam comments. So, like in BLB you get in touch to suggest a webmaster to replace broken links, you can do the same to suggest replacing links that give a different type of bad experience.

Harris Schachter – Optimize Prime

Harris-Schachter

 

 

 

The most creative piece of content I've made for my own site was about iPad Apps for SEO.

ipad-apps-for-seo

It was hard (and boring) to just describe the apps and their utility though written word, so I included at least one screenshot for each of the six tools on the iPad. I went through each of them with a common research task (mountain biking content) to illustrate the differences between them and the features of each. I wrote it because I spent a fair amount of time downloading and test driving various SEO apps for myself, and decided to publish it in the event that others were also interested. So, although the motive didn't have to do with sales or any type of conversion, it was a creative way to display the content of one device type on another.

Ben Harper – Datify

Ben-Harper

Probably the best example we have at present is this:

football-debt

This is for a debt management client (not a very glamorous topic), but we've created an interactive environment where users can find out interesting debt stats about football.  There's also a salary comparison tool which has been particularly popular.  This drove over months worth of traffic to the clients site on the first day.

We created this piece as we needed an innovative way to outreach about and build links for our client as sites are often reluctant to take debt management related content.  We created it by designing this in a microsite style strategy, adding in data from various sources to create a data-hub for football debt.  This is all custom built, with a custom CMS that powers the data in the piece.  We've used an innovative data source from Facebook to come up with some custom metrics around which player from each club is "most-valued" by their supporters.

In terms of outreach, we sent out an actual physical piece of mail that was custom designed for this piece to the top influencers, and then undertook a full outreach campaign including on social where we approached footballers, clubs, fan clubs, and football journalists to get the best result.

Adam Connell – Blogging Wizard

adam-connell

Earlier this year, I published a group interview on building reader engagement. To put this piece of content together, I approached 33 industry experts. This consisted of marketing professionals, bloggers, published authors and speakers.

reader-engagement

I started off with the idea because I identified a content gap in the industry – people talk about building reader engagement and most of it consists of general list posts but nobody really says exactly how they do it and what works for them – at least not the people that you would want to hear from.

Putting the piece of content together was a lengthy task and the post ended up being around 12,000+ words.

The aim of this was to create an incredibly valuable piece of content and get all of the experts involved to share it and spread the word – this worked incredibly well.

It resulted in over 270 Google+1’s, 210+ Facebook Likes, 440+ Tweets and it earned links from over 40 unique domains, around 20 of which were from really good sites.

In terms of the layout of the content, I wouldn’t consider it all that creative but it just goes to show that when you put a great piece of content out there and the right people promote it, it will do well.    

Mauro D’Andrea – Blog Growth

Mauro-DAndrea

 

 

 

I think my most creative content is my post 101 Shocking Helpful Online Marketing Quotes in which I show a collection of 101 marketing quotes from some of the most successful people on Earth.

online-marketing-quotes

I made that post thinking of my previous post 101 Experts Share Their Tips for Online Success: I wanted to make a list post with 101 elements.

I came out with the idea of using quotes for my list, so that it could help people find motivation or inspiration. But I wanted it to be different from other posts about quotes, so I included images to better express the quotes.

Zac Johnson – Zac Johnson

zac-johnson

 

 

 

 

One of the best ways to create content for a site and your audience is to provide value and offer it for free. One ZacJohnson.com I created a free landing page template a few years ago and still to this day it's one of my most visited pages. The landing pages has been downloaded thousands of time and it's a great resource for my audience while bringing new people to the site every day.

landing-page

Another example is when I created a myspace resource site back in 2006. The site was completely free and made it easy for people to add images and widgets to their myspace pages. While I was paying over $10,000 a month in server costs and over 100,000 people were visiting the site per day, the site went on to generate over a million dollars.

insider-secrets

In both of these examples, the key is to offering a very simple product and service for free!

Nicole Beckett – Premier Content Source

Nicole-Beckett

 

 

 

 

I think the most creative piece of content I've written was an article I wrote for Site Pro News about a year ago titled "Is Your Web Content Worth Less Than Horse Poop?"

press-release-marketing

It was designed to make people realize just how important an expert content writer is -- but with plenty of humor and sarcasm thrown in!  The title alone got a lot of attention, and from some of the comments and emails I got afterwards, I think it made an impact on just about all of the people who read it!

Neil Patel – Quicksprout

neil-patel

 

 

 

The most creative and effective content I have ever produced has been Advanced Guides. A good example of this is the Advanced Guide to SEO on Quick Sprout. These guides not only have increased my overall traffic and link profile, but they continually grow in traffic each month. The key with these guides is to be so detailed that no one would dare to copy them.

advanced-guide-to-seo

Once you have the content you need to wrap it in a beautiful design, as the guide won’t spread as far socially without the design investment. When hiring a designer, make sure you choose someone who is a good illustrator.

Ryan Clark - Linkbuildr

ryan-clark

 

 

 

Our infographic designer and us built this up and we murdered our server it got so much traffic and shares.

how-a-car-engine-works

Moral of the story, you have to create above and beyond content these days to get the viral effect. It was so easy thanks to the brilliant work by Jacob. Thanks to Reddit and submitting the "news tip" to the authority niche blogs in the automotive industry we managed to score amazing links and traffic.

topsy-how-a-car-engine-works

John Doherty Distilled  

john-doherty

 

 

 

The content that I'm most proud of shipping for a client is an interactive graphic we made for my client MyAssetTag. It's a graphical representation of cycling statistics by state in the United States. It's here:

american-bicycle-commuters

We did this to help with the launch of a free bike registry that the company created, called BikeGuard. This free bike registry has helped them partner with different universities, earning much-needed EDU links to their very technical website.

Nathanael Vanderkolk – Smart SEO

Nathanael-Vanderkolk

 

 

 

Correct content marketing is a mix between great SEO content and creativity.  Obviously more visits, interactions and traffic then the greater the SEO benefit as people link to and use your content and point back to your website as the source.  An example of content that has been super helpful to our visitors is our SEO Process infographic.

your-website-ranking-well

This infographic explains what sometimes is a very complicated process into a graphic that clearly explains the SEO process.

James Richardson – Optimising

james-richardson

Content Marketing is very important to our own, and our client strategy. We try and tailor, and create new ideas based on the client - as fresh ideas get the best uptake.

Recently Optimising launched the 'Small Business Online Marketing Report' which was aimed at putting together some valuable information for us to use as an agency, but also to create some publicity for our brand in industry publications and social media.

optimising-sbom-report

This concept was easy to execute and put together, and creates a valuable piece of content we can use in a wide variety of ways.

Daniel Law – Big Vision SEO

daniel-law

 

 

 

One of the most successful content pieces we've had over the past few months would be our very own Big Vision SEO glossary.

seo-glossary

We've had great feedback from numerous of our clients as well as new prospects informing us about the value of our glossary. Not only does the glossary act as a valuable piece of evergreen content but it also conveys to potential clients that we know our industry and this in turn gives them the confidence they need in order to trust us with their website. One crucial element which I've only recently added is the addition of an author box towards the end of the post. Being able to claim our content, put a face to

a large quantity of text and to convey to our clients know that we've personally invested the time and effort to write up a 6,000+ word article on a field we're highly passionate about automatically allows them to connect with us on a rather personal level. This empowers the client with confidence and trust, and would apply to any local business looking to achieve the same.

Creation of valuable evergreen content certainly goes a long way without saying and it's important that every business, no matter how big or small endeavor to create such content. For small electrical companies, you may leverage your spare time to create in-demand DIY guides about common electrical problems locals face around the household. Whether you're a local arborist, you may create evergreen articles detailing the steps required to seek local council approval. The principle of creating in-demand evergreen content is limitless and there are certainly always new avenues to explore for every local business.

Piers Moore Ede – Bare Foot SEO

Piers-Moore-Ede

 

 

 

It would be hard to isolate a single piece of content that we might call the most creative. All of the content we work on stems from the same principle, which is to combine research, resourcefulness and inspiration! Also, each piece of content has a different goal. Sometimes it’s brand awareness, sometimes we’re going for a link, sometimes traffic. More often than not, though, we’re going for the link. So the question is first, what’s the best link we can get for this client? That might yield a shortlist of possible targets: magazines, high profile blogs, newspapers and so forth. The next question is what is it going to take to get a link on that site? So we focus on the goal, then engineer the mean of attaining it. In that sense, our work is coming closer to conventional PR than ever before. We’re promoting stories about a brand, and finding media streams which match with that.

Effective strategies we’ve used during the last 12 months, include publishing original research, working with journalists to conduct in-house interviews which we then offer to industry journals, and data visualizations: an old favourite that still works.

If you’re on a budget, go for the puppet guy on Fiverr!

puppet-fiverr

That is the most hilarious content you can produce for 5 dollars and always makes people laugh.  Ultimately, I don’t see any secret method any marketer is going to be able to share which is going to blow this whole issue of creating content open: it’s simply about the quality of the writers, first and foremost, and it’s about the relationships you have built up with commissioning editors. That’s why Rand is always going on about networking because, ultimately, contacts are everything.

Phil Rozek – Local Visibility System

phil-rozek

 

 

 

One of my more-creative posts is called “The Afterlives of Filtered Google+ and Yelp Reviews.”  It deals with something business owners and SEOs talk about and worry about even more: legitimate customer reviews that get killed by the anti-spam filters on those two sites.

afterlives-google-yelp-reviews

The questions most people have are, “Why do my reviews get filtered?” and “How can I prevent it from happening?”  I do touch on that question in the “Afterlives” post (and I deal with it more in other posts I’ve done).  But I think one reason it’s a relatively creative post is that I tackle the question from an unusual angle: “When my reviews vanish, are they really gone?”  The other main reason it’s a creative post is that I wasn’t the only “creator”: I had a couple gaps in my knowledge, and asked a couple of very sharp experts I know to take a crack at some of the questions – which they did very successfully, I might add.

So I think one way to craft a creative (but useful) piece is to think of an unusual question about a common problem.  Another is to realize that your tune doesn’t have to come from a one-man-band (i.e. just you writing) OR from an orchestra (; think of different ways to bring in other people’s voices.

Mike Ramsey – Nifty Marketing

Mike-Ramsey

 

 

 

I would say that Why Small Businesses Hate Google+ Local went over really well.

why-small-business-hate-Google-local

I drew it when I was frustrated with Google and it hit a chord with others who were as well. We got business off of the comigraphic and a ton of shares and links. It was just a fun idea and an easy read compared to most of content that floats around the internet marketing space.  I heard through the grapevine that it also went through the Google local team. That part was a bit scary.

Dan Shure – Evolving SEO

dan-shure

 

 

 

I think most creative content I've made for Evolving SEO has been the post about "Propwords" - otherwise known as "Proprietary Keywords". I still do not see many people talking about this concept, never mind actually implementing it.

The concept of Propwrods about in early 2013 when I found myself reviewing lots of websites that has been hit by Penguin - some dating back to the first hit in April of 2012. I noticed not only did they all have certain things in common such as too much exact match commercial anchor text - but also noticed what they were lacking. They were lacking what other good sites had - uniqueness. So the idea for Propwords really developed over a few months of me telling clients about it, and refining my message.

Something I didn't say right in the post is that "Propword" itself falls under tip #9 "Coin A New Phrase" - so I am actually putting into action what I teach in that very post. My goal was to first get people talking about the word in social media, which you can see in the screenshot from Topsy - and I hope over the long term back links and search volume will follow - and the word will be a part of the Evolving SEO brand.

propwords

Mary Bowling – Ignitor Digital 

mary-bowling

 

 

 

We have very good luck re-purposing content from presentations.  We take the slides from the presentation, upload them to Slideshare.net, write a post about the presentation and embed the slides.  This offers people who didn't attend the presentation to see the slides and learn from our expertise.  It also boosts our credibility and trustworthiness because potential clients can see the different speaking opportunities we've had and our areas of expertise.

This has brought good traffic and links to our new website.

data-management-for-local-search

Matthew BarbyWow Internet

matthew-barby

 

 

 

I’ve worked on a lot of creative content pieces in the past, both for my clients and for our own (Wow Internet) content/search marketing campaigns. Trying to pick on as my favourite is pretty tough, but I’m currently working on a pretty exciting campaign at the moment for one of my clients, Music Matters – a UK-based AV distributor.

I’ve been working with Music Matters to build their content marketing strategy and drive more traffic through to the site. We’ve been putting a lot of work into the social media side of things, and we ran a pretty funky competition that gave us some great results. The issue that we now had was there was a lack of fresh content, and there’s only so much you can talk about without this. With this in mind, we created the ‘Hifi Festival’.

We’ve planned to run a roadshow of 15 small events throughout the UK within a single month. Each of the events will have a different theme to it and we’ve reached out to a load of local artists to get them to play at the shows. We will also be showcasing all of the new products that Music Matters have at each event.

Where’s the ROI?

So... you might be thinking, “That’s all great, but where’s the creative content?”

This is where myself and the team at Wow Internet have been getting our creative heads on to bridge the gap between offline and online.

The first stage was to brand everything up and get a full events page sorted on the website – this can be a great way to drive through local links and some traffic that could turn into sales. We also made sure that there was clear branding for the event and some awesome looking graphics...

hifi-festival-header

The next step thing that we wanted to do was try and get as many influential social media users involved with the event as possible. To do this, we used some of our prospecting techniques to find a list of tech/AV/music bloggers based near Birmingham and London. As well as this, we scouted out a load of influential YouTube channel owners and complied them into a master spreadsheet (check out Peter Attia’s YouTube outreach tutorial – it’s awesome).

Once we had a list of the bloggers/YouTubers, we started getting in touch with them to let them know about the events and get them involved – here’s how we incentivised them:

  • Paid travel to and from the events.
  • A goody bag filled with freebies and a flash drive that contained a load of product/event imagery that they could use on their blog (referencing Music Matters, of course – easy link win!).
  • Exclusive access to get hands-on with all of the new and existing products.
  • A private ‘live-blogging station’ that all of the bloggers can use (we made sure the WiFi is great at the event locations).
  • Exclusive access to interview the special guests at the event – including follow-up text interview materials.
  • Entry into the event give-away competition.

We have around 6/7 bloggers attending the events and they have a special hashtag that they have to use throughout the event, which will give a load of extra social media buzz and some more data for us to pull into a live feed on the events page.

Not only this, but all of the YouTubers have to add our event graphic to their product demo videos, which will dramatically increase the YouTube following – an area that we have started to focus on in the past month.

Not only does this boost our social media following and bring in lots of high quality, contextual links to the site, but it helps us to build relationships with influencers. Having good relationships with influential bloggers and YouTubers, and getting the chance to sit down and have a beer with them, can be invaluable to the long-term content marketing campaign – if you really want to build your local business, this is the kind of stuff you should be doing.”

Bob Jones - Visible

bob-jones

 

 

 

The most creative content I have made for one of my old websites would have been a fake cease and desist take-down notice from another blogger (John Chow) because he didn't like my blog. It got a lot of attention back then and stirred up some controversy which eventually led into a lot of additional incoming links for both our sites.

After the joke was played I explained that it was just a joke obviously, and that gathered another round of incoming links by bloggers who wanted to report "the news". We had a lot of fun with it back then :)

The original page doesn't exist anymore but here's a snapshot from that page on archive.org:

bob-jones

David Scott – Web Ink Now

david-scott

 

 

 

My first free ebook which I released in early 2006 was well received. It has been downloaded more than one million times and led directly to a book deal with Wiley for The New Rules of Marketing and PR, my international bestseller now in its 4th edition with  more than 300,000 copies sold in English and available in over 25 languages from Bulgarian to Vietnamese.

the-new-rules-of-pr

I realized that press releases were more valuable than PR and marketing people were giving them credit for so I wrote it.

Dechay Watts – Sprout Content

dechay-watts

 

 

 

I'd have to say the most creative content we've developed is an interactive e-book about editorial calendars.

interactive-ebook

The most viewed and downloaded e-book on our website is this one about editorial calendars: www.sproutcontent.com/5-steps-to-creating-an-editorial-calendar.  It has a consistent conversion rate (28%) on average/year and we get a lot of questions about how to create editorial calendars and see new tools pop up all the time.  So, we decided to test a few of the tools and then thought it would be interesting to share our findings in a more visual way than a typical ebook. We also wanted to experiment with video and tie everything together into an informative guide.  Hence, the interactive format. It has questionnaires you can fill out and little quizzes to take along the way.  I think it would be a great way for a company to offer e-learning classes too because you can incorporate video, images, quizzes and many other interactive features.

David Jenyns – Melbourne SEO Services

david-jenyns

 

 

 

Firstly, our primary ways to create a whole bunch of content are workshops. Typically speaking, a whole day workshop is professionally recorded and chopped into pieces to come up with high quality six-minute videos. This can be transcribed and polish to get chop articles (text) that matches with the video.

One workshop can get 100 different clicks and this was done for our sales and also for our clients.

The further the content creation gets from the initial person who has the content, the less it is in the voice of that person. The message and ideas are well represented in that case.

Another couple strategies are branded content videos. A good quality content that gets a message across has usually the brand or the company intertwined in it. We interview a whole lot of people about how they use Google to find our services. This is another way to create a high quality content.

Interviews are incredibly effective, with the thinking of who already has the target market and who’s already got the audience. It helps the interviewees get the exposure they want. (a win-win situation!)

Lisa Irby – 2 Creative a Website

lisa-irby

 

 

 

 

The most creative thing I've done recently was create an infographic for my NapturallyCurly.com hair blog.

napturally-curly-infographic

I whipped it up in Photoshop in about 30 minutes.  Five months later it has over 11,000 Pins on Pinterest and brings in hundreds of visitors every month.

What people don't realize is that infographics don't always have to be about stats and figures.  You can use them to create eye-catching images that share useful information about your niche.

Chris Guthrie – Entrepreneur Boost

chris-guthrie

 

 

 

I wrote this post to show I built and sold a website in a six figure deal.

entrepreneur-boost

Ultimately, my content is based on my experience. So what I like to do when I write is to think back to what I've done in my business while paying particular attention to challenges or successes I experienced while trying something and discuss those in the work that I cover.

Lisa Buben – Inspire to Thrive

lisa-buben

 

 

 

I would say this post:

seo-vs-social-media

It remains a battle between SEO and Social Media to see which is the best way to get traffic to one's blog. Many are claiming social is the new SEO, but is it really? I don't believe it is yet but the gap between the two is closing. Social signals are getting louder and SEO is becoming softer and much more fragmented. It sure will look a lot different in the coming years ahead when people search online for information or products.

Bill Sebald – Greenlane SEO

bill-sebald

 

 

 

I have a tendency to neglect my own site – I know I should practice what I preach.  However, my favorite piece of content on my own site is the Outdated Content Finder.

outdated-content-finder

I love free SEO tools and wanted to add to the mix.  I disagree with anyone who says, “free tools are usually free for a reason,” when it comes to SEO.  There’s some great free tools out there.

I came up with a tactic for link outreach in 2012  that proved to work pretty well for me.  In true fashion of the SEO industry, I wanted to share it with the peers who have given me so much.  So, we went to work to create the tool and a blog post describing the value.  It was well regarded with a write-up in Search Engine Land, a call-out at Mozcon 2013 by the great Ross Hudgens, and several other sites.  It got me some links of course, but my true joy is that people really find the tool useful.  That’s why it’s my favorite piece of homegrown content so far.

As far as clients are concerned, well, NDA’s are in the way of that, but by far my best work has been things that are altruistic in nature.  If you help your readership, the appreciation often comes back in the form of SEO signals.

Moosa Hemani - SETalks

moosa-hemani

 

 

 

I think playing around with content and create buzz within the targeted audience is actually a part of our Job and obviously I have done quite a few for my clients and for my blog too.

What I did last time was successful more than I was expecting so I would love to share that with you!

Moz.com has a great positive name in the market and locally (in my country) they are considered to be the GOD of SEO. I am an active member there and I reached to a level where Moz passed me a Tee with a Moz logo on it!

moosa-hemani-moz

The moment that tee arrived my home; I took a snap and wrote a post on my blog to thanks Moz for a special Gift!

My expectation was a few shares from influencers, some new relationships and few good links but it was more than this! After a week Jennifer Sable Lopez discussed my post in her Webinar on Integrating Community in to Inbound Marketing which did not only bring me new followers but some solid leads as well.

My Image with a SEOmoz tee gone viral locally and people started to connect with me to twitter, email and overall I didn’t only see an increase in traffic but earn a lot of respect and business from that post!

Traian Neacsu – Pitstop Media

Traian-Neacsu

 

 

 

Rather than sharing a creative piece of content that generated links, I will share a strategy that generated new business. It's more about content for lead nurturing than is about SEO and backlinks.

We worked on a campaign to attract new clients from the ecommerce industry. We started by identifying the personas we needed to approach and identified three major buyer profiles: Vera, The Seasoned Marketer, Chris, The IT Geek and Brad, The Economic Buyer. Since we were helping to sell marketing and IT services, we focused on Vera, and a bit on Chris.

Creating her profile was exhaustive. Everyone involved in marketing and sales had to answer a long questionnaire (about 50 questions) based on their experience and knowledge, but also based on research they were requested to conduct online.

We ended up with a 50-page Q&A profile that proved to be unbelievably insightful, not only for that single campaign, but also for months after it ended. We went as far as collecting and analyzing almost 50 public resumes to identify the career path for the VP/Director of E-commerce (and we were pretty surprised to see their backgrounds). If you're curious, here's what the word cloud for marketing managers (accountabilities) looks like:

pitstop-media-content

Some of the most important facts we uncovered were Vera's pain points. We got those by engaging on sites where she was reading or asking for help.

Once we knew the top five challenges they were facing, we analyzed each business in the target market (relatively low numbers, but highly specific). We put them in five different buckets of content, based on the most stringent challenge they faced. Then we prepared separate pieces of content to address each challenge. In total we created 15 different emails, case studies and "how to" guides.

The first piece of content we sent out by email was to raise awareness about the issue. The second piece of content was a guide on how to address the issues, with examples of how other businesses dealt with the same problem. The third one was a case study. None of the touches were salesy.

Simply put, we identified their most important problem, made it top of mind, educated, and then showed proof of expertise. Non-engaged prospects were then moved into the regular lead nurturing programs.

The success of the campaign came from the following factors:

  • It was highly customized (each prospect received only content that was super relevant to their situation and their industry).
  • It was personalized (emails were addressed by name and to the right people).
  • No sales pitches

Next campaign? Probably even more customization, targeting specific verticals.   

Rand Fishkin – Moz

rand-fishkin

I made some comics many years ago:

search-related-comics

They were pretty awful, but it's one of the more creative types of content I've personally done. As for Moz, I think Huge, Amazing Changes at SEOmoz and Introducing Moz Reader were some of the best.

Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute

joe-pulizzi

 

 

 

This one is one of my favorites.

brief-history-content-marketing

It was part of our promotion plan for Content Marketing World 2012...then, all the Content Marketing Award winners for the event got an actual poster.  The sharing was fantastic and helped drive a ton of social media exposure for us (we went from 600 to 100 attendees that year).

Nathan Whitaker – E Magic

Nathan-Whitaker

 

 

 

One thing that immediately springs to mind when you say creative content are things like free reports or resources for your target market. This is a fantastic way to provide value, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and establish yourself as an authority within your market.

One example of how we have successfully used this content strategy was by creating the free Ecommerce report - "The Top 5 Quick & Easy Revenue Boosting Tips That 97% of Online Stores Fail to Implement!"

e-magic-report

We have scored some of our biggest Ecommerce clients through this simple report, and it even lead to a partnership with a leading Ecommerce web design company who downloaded the report, and then contacted us about working together.

This is also a full proof way of building highly targeted lists and can be used to replace traditional, low converting marketing strategies such as email marketing. Instead of simply sending prospects an email trying to sell them (yawn, and do you want to look like a spammer?!), send them some awesome free content they will love instead. This helps you build trust, credibility and also increases the chances of that prospect wanting to do business with you over your competition.

Note: If you want to add your most creative content, you can comment below or email me at venchitotampon[at]gmail.com

You can also check out my latest infographic about blog promotion - 120 Ways to Promote Your Blog.