Posts tagged makes

Shift Q&A: “Content is not a conceit or a vanity project, it makes people money”

Content marketing has been one of the industry’s buzz phrases for the last few years, but as the medium rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations change, are businesses still getting it right?

Amy Nicholson, managing editor at content strategy agency Sticky Content, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy.

ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.

Where might an organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated content leader find someone within their company who fits the bill?

Look for people who really know your customers. Sometimes you’ll find great content people in marketing, customer service, or digital. Find someone who can, without bias, balance your customers’ needs with those of your business.

You can outsource a lot of your content strategy, but not all of it. Any organisation that wants to do better at content needs to remember you’ve got to keep some of the work at home – usually the bits that draw directly on your business strategy.

That said, a smart content agency can help on almost every element of the execution – from helping you define and shape your tone of voice, coming up with some brilliant, creative ideas and also helping in distribution and measurement.

But that big, overall direction has to come from you.

What are businesses getting wrong with their content strategies?

They don’t appreciate how wide and deep they need to go. A real content strategy defines everything it touches.

So it’s not an editorial calendar or a CRM plan. It’s not a tone of voice, an attribution model, some templates or guidelines. It’s not just a spreadsheet (no matter how hot the colour coding) or a meeting agenda. It’s the idea that ties all of those things, and plenty more besides, together.

The other thing that tripwires content projects of all kinds is the people. Shooting some video or writing some nice blogs is the easy bit – getting the right people on board first and making sure the strategy actually gets executed is the much more nebulous (but much more valuable) work.

For that, you’ll need someone who can balance creative and commercial needs with a really clear sense of how to get things done.

Good content is always collaborative. We’re not writing novels here, we’re selling things on the internet. You need a varied, skilled and ego-free squad to do that really well.

What trends should content marketers be aware of for 2016?

Content marketers should spend less time worrying about trends and more about figuring out what’s actually going to make their customers’ lives better.

Sort your CRM out, then worry about whether or not you need a better presence on Snapchat, or whether or not VR is A Thing.

Who should attend your session at Shift?

Anyone who’s not sure if they’re taking content seriously enough. And anyone who’s sure they’re not, but isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Don’t miss Amy’s session ‘7 behaviours of brilliant content leaders’ at ClickZ & SEW’s flagship event Shift, taking place from 24th to 25th May.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

How one small word makes a huge difference on Google SERPs

Recently we’ve had a lot of internal discussions about the importance of keywords and the various combinations, including match type.

This discussion revealed a few interesting nuances that I thought were worth sharing.

The focus will be how the search results page changes with just one additional change to the search query and what the implications of that word mean.

For this article I picked the keyword “best.” This is certainly worth looking into as much as a number of other terms like “near me,” “cheap,” or “men/women/kids,” however “best” also makes all the points I’d like to share.

How does the search results page change?

Let’s start by searching for “HD TVs” and then adding the word “best.”

From a user intent perspective you would assume that this is still pretty high in the funnel. The customer isn’t sure which TV or brand they are looking for. But by adding the word “best” to the query Google makes a few key changes to the search results;

  • In-store only appears on the more generic “HD TV” search. Google makes an assumption that local inventory has a greater level of influence on this type of search.
  • Ranking bubbles are included when the term “best” is included. Google is inferring that some type of ranking is desired by the consumer and uses ratings and reviews as the driver behind these rankings.
  • Star ratings are included for all ads when “best” is included. Similar to the ranking bubbles Google is assuming that consumer feedback will be the most helpful in this situation.

best and no best results

What does the data say?

I also wanted to take a quick look at the data to see how these keywords performed. I pulled a search term report and filtered for keywords containing “best.”

What I found was pretty interesting. In all the metrics “best” keyword metrics were roughly 2X of the average across all keywords. This indicates two things:

  1. Consumers are responding at a very high level to these keywords with high interest.
  2. Due to this consumer reaction the cost for these queries is also much higher than the norm. This makes sense and is really the beauty of a free market economy.

best ctr cpc conv

What does it mean?

The keys to consider here are less about the inclusion of the keyword and more about how you support a robust search listing and how you use the data:

1) Robust listings

It is important not only that your product listing ads are included, but also that your local inventory and ratings are robust.

You can see that between these two queries not only are those 3 factors different in the results, but there is not a single repeat product shown between the two, although the same brands appear. This means that having multiple options and a deep product set available for Google to rank is key to getting displayed for these impressions.

2) Data use

Just because a keyword has a high CTR or CPC, it doesn’t mean that it is valuable or not unless those are your key performance metrics.

Even the lower conversion % for keywords containing best doesn’t mean that they are bad. You have to look at attribution, or their additive incremental impact your campaigns. Understand what metrics move your business and look at the problem through multiple lenses.

For example, does this keyword introduce you to new customers and therefore a higher CPC and lower conversion rate is worth the traffic? Only you know that answer for your business, but there is plenty of data to help make that decision.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

Go to Top
Copyright © 1992-2016, DC2NET All rights reserved