15 Reports Charting the Future of Content Marketing

Office interior with graphs and diagrams - Image.

Office interior with graphs and diagrams - Image.

How can you be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible for the complex and challenging future ahead for content marketing?

Here are 15 insightful reports loaded with B2B data to help you define and chart your optimal content marketing future, and provide the best-answer and trust-building solutions clients expect today.

The reports here, presented in random order, are all excellent sources of information to help you gain a clearer understanding of B2B content marketing, while keeping more than an eye open towards the future as marketers push onward to 2020.
1 — Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study
Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study Image.

The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn* B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study examines the theme that thought leadership digital content is in high demand, and that it remains hard to find, presenting an opportunity gap.

“Senior decision-makers are willing to pay a premium. B2B buyers are likely to pay more to work with companies who have clearly articulated their vision through thought leadership,” the study notes, pointing to a rising leadership vision trend, as our own CEO Lee Odden has examined in detail in his recent “7 Top B2B Influencer Marketing Trends for 2020.”

[bctt tweet=”“The growth of influence on individual and organizational effectiveness in the B2B marketing world will continue for years to come.”  @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

MarketingProfs’ Ayaz Nanji also digs into some of the Edelman-LinkedIn study’s findings in “What B2B Firms Get Wrong About Thought-Leadership Content.”

Also worth exploring is another fine new report from Edelman, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust?, which Ethan Jakob Craft recently explored for AdAge.
2 — Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
B2B Content Marketing 2019 Image

Agency content marketing statistics and budgeting trends for 2019 are examined in the fascinating and detailed “B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America” report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, which is explored in Lisa Murton Beets’ “2019 B2B Content Marketing Research: It Pays to Put Audience First.”
3 — Chief Marketer 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey
Chief Marketer 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey Image

The Chief Marketer 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey offers a wealth of B2B marketing data to learn from and apply to your own campaign strategies. Whether it’s which marketing channels are performing the best for B2B lead generation and nurturing, the increasing demand for higher-quality B2B content, or data to help increase support from the corporate suite, this report offers helpful insight.
4 — Vidyard: Video in Business Benchmark Report
Vidyard Video in Business Benchmark Report Image

The average length of B2B video has decreased by 33 percent to just over four minutes, while the number of viewers watching the entirety of videos has climbed to 52 percent, up from 2017’s 46 percent — just a few of the detailed statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in the newly-released 2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report from Vidyard.

The report is explored by Chief Marketer in “B2B Video Length Drops, but Engagement Increases,” and additional bonus video insight comes from a separate recent study, with MediaRadar’s “Research Insight: Video Ads Are Getting Longer.”
5 — Cision 2019 Global State of the Media Report
Cision 2019 Global State of the Media Report Image

For 2019, the tenth-annual Cision Global State of the Media Report surveyed some 2,000 journalists to find out what matters the most in the push towards 2020, including insights into social media, trust and distrust in the media, and how big data will inform the future of content marketing.
6 — Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing
Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing Image

A different take on the future of content comes from the Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing report, examining the changing roles of micro-influencers, data privacy and blockchain, micro-moments, social segmentation and personalization, plus other trends to follow.
7 — Mary Meeker 2019 Internet Trends Report
Mary Meeker 2019 Internet Trends Report Image

Since 1995, one of the most anticipated reports containing B2B trend data is the “Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report,” and for 2019 it comes in packing a whopping 333 pages of information.

Mary Meeker is founder of venture capital firm Bond Capital and former Kleiner Perkins general partner, and I recently took a close look at many of the B2B elements contained in her new report in “Key B2B Takeaways From the 2019 Internet Trends Report.”

[bctt tweet=”“Mary Meeker’s 2019 report paints a picture of a world where it’s more challenging than ever to find new growth in certain areas, but one that also shows very real opportunities in others.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
8 — LinkedIn: The Enlightened Tech Buyer: Powering Customer Decisions from Acquisition to Renewal
LinkedIn The Enlightened Tech Buyer Image

LinkedIn’s 2019 global report “The Enlightened Tech Buyer: Powering Customer Decisions from Acquisition to Renewal” includes many insights for B2B marketers, taken from a survey of over 5,200 global professionals with roles centered around adopting new technology solutions.

Our Senior Content Strategist Nick Nelson examines the report in detail in “Top Takeaways from LinkedIn’s New ‘Enlightened Tech Buyer’ Report,” a great way to quickly dig in to how B2B technology brands can market and sell more effectively.

[bctt tweet=”“Effective marketing now goes beyond the scope of traditional functions. Brands need to be readily available, with the right content at the right time.” @NickNelsonMN ” username=”toprank”]
9 — Buffer: 2019 State of Social
Buffer 2019 State of Social Image

Buffer’s detailed 2019 State of Social report offers an in-depth look at what digital marketers are focusing on, along with an examination of many new and ongoing trends, and how the industry is changing.

In conjunction with Social Chain, the newest Buffer report utilizes survey data gathered from over 1,800 marketers at firms of all sizes, and looks at issues such as how businesses are investing in influencer marketing and which social platforms businesses are having the most success with.
10 — Edison Research and Triton Digital: The Social Habit
Edison Research and Triton Digital The Social Habit Image

The latest Edison Research and Triton Digital The Social Habit 2019 study includes many B2B marketing insights, leaning towards the social media side, showing how we’ve entered a new era now that social media usage has remained largely unchanged over the past four years, while Instagram has seen newfound success especially among young Americans.

Jay Baer, Founder of Convince and Convert, takes a look at the study in “Social Media Usage Statistics for 2019 Reveal Surprising Shifts.”
11 — Pew Research Center: Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019
Pew Research Center Mobile Technology Image

How the mobile landscape is changing in 2019 will have an impact on B2B marketers, and the Pew Research Center offers up a selection of related insights in its Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019 report.
12 — Sprout Social: Sprout Social Index: Edition XV: Empower & Elevate (2019)
Sprout Social Index Image

Sprout Social’s most recent Sprout Social Index: Edition XV: Empower & Elevate (2019) surveyed more than 1,000 social media marketers to find out where their biggest successes are coming from, and where they plan to place their focus moving ahead.

The report shows that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, and LinkedIn are the most-used social media platforms among social marketers, and includes data relevant to B2B marketers well worth researching.

Nathan Mendenhall took a look at some of the study results in “8 Social Media Marketing Stats You Shouldn’t Ignore.”

Sprout Social has also recently updated its study of the optimal times for publishing content on various social media platforms.

13 — Hootsuite / We Are Social: Digital 2019 Q2 Global Digital Statshot
Hootsuite / We Are Social Digital 2019 Image

Hootsuite and We Are Social have produced another report filled with helpful information for B2B marketers, with their latest Digital 2019 Q2 Global Digital Statshot. The report utilized numerous sources and offers plenty of insight into where social media marketing currently stands and where it appears likely to be heading.
14 — Pew Research Center: January 2019 Core Trends Survey (2019)
Pew Research Center: January 2019 Core Trends Image

The Pew Research Center has also taken a close look at how U.S. adults are using social media, in its recent “Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018,” offering additional data to help B2B marketers prepare for the social world of 2020 and beyond.
15 — Social Media Examiner: 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Social Media Examiner 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Image

The final of our 15 reports is Social Media Examiner’s eleventh-annual social media marketing industry report, the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Company founder Michael Stelzner shares 46 pages of various statistical data pulled in from surveying over 4,800 marketers, and the report offers interpretation on how various aspects of social media are working for marketers today.
Fly High & Implement What You’ve Learned From 15 Reports

via GIPHY

The 15 insightful and data-packed reports we’ve explored here from the Pew Research Center, Edelman, Edison Research, Cision, Shutterstock, Mary Meeker, Buffer, LinkedIn, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, Chief Marketer, Vidyard, Triton Digital, Sprout Social, Social Media Examiner, Hootsuite, and We Are Social will help you be as prepared and up-to-date as possible for whatever the future of content marketing may hold.

Because it takes considerable time, top skills, and plenty of effort to create best-answer content marketing, it’s often wise to partner with a top-tier marketing agency, such as TopRank Marketing. We’ve had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its latest “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

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The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complementary

Social media marketing and search engine optimization are often viewed as two disparate components of a holistic digital strategy. In some ways, they are distinct, but there is far more convergence and crossover than we’re often led to believe.

I find that looking at one side through the lens of the other invariably helps me better understand the more ambiguous aspects of each. So today I thought I’d share this perspective, with a focus on how these tactical areas can work cohesively to strengthen your brand’s visibility and impact on the web.
Similarities Between Social and Search
Let’s begin by exploring some commonalities between social media networks and social engines.

Both are massively popular internet entry points. Google processes 3.5 billion searches every day. Nearly the same number of people (3.48 billion) are active social media users. That’s roughly half the planet’s population. These numbers, in a nutshell, illustrate why digital marketers everywhere need to account for both search and social. They’re the first places most people go when they hop online.

People use both to answer questions. We all know this is the primary purpose of search engines. Whether users are typing in a literal semantic question, or simply inputting keywords in hopes of finding information, they are trying to find answers and solve problems. Social media doesn’t necessarily present the same direct question-and-answer format, but we usually log on to satisfy some type of curiosity. (What are people talking about right now? What do my friends and connections have to say about recent events? Is this dress white and gold, or black and blue?)

Both are critical brand touchpoints. Two of the easiest ways for any customer to vet a company are by: A) Pulling them up in a Google search, or B) Checking out their social media accounts. It’s pretty easy to tell based on a brand’s search rankings, SERP display, and site structure whether they have a sound digital strategy. The same is true of a quick glance at their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. If it’s difficult to find your company through search or social — or if you give off a poor first impression on either front — that’s an immediate credibility-crusher.
Where Search and Social Can Work Together Strategically
SEO and social media marketing are fundamentally different. There are job titles, and entire companies, dedicated specifically to each. But in an integrated digital marketing strategy, it’s important to recognize where these two facets intersect and complement one another.

#1: Keyword Research and Application

Keywords (and extensions thereof) form the backbone of a best-answer content strategy. The intel derived from these efforts can also be applied to social media marketing. As mentioned above, people use both these channels to answer questions.

With a defined understanding of which search phrases and queries are pertinent to our audiences, we can better align the content we provide. This is true on social as well. When you use the right keywords (and, in this case, hashtags) more frequently in your posts, driving conversations and engagement around them, your brand will be more likely to show up on the feeds of people interested in them.

In either instance, it comes down to the same foundational crux of almost any content strategy: What do your customers want to know, and how can you deliver it?

#2: Social Content Can Show Up in Search

Try entering your company’s name into a Google search. What’s the first result? Hopefully your website’s homepage. The second and third might also be pages from your own domain. But very frequently, the first third-party link will be your LinkedIn Page. (See the SERP for TopRank Marketing below as a typical example.)

LinkedIn* is a particularly impactful platform in this regard; search engines crawl it, so incorporating savvy SEO tactics on your company’s LinkedIn Page can actually benefit your rankings. This hasn’t been quite as true for other networks, which were once almost invisible to Google, but research from HootSuite did find a dramatic increase in the appearance of Facebook and Twitter content in SERPS starting in late 2015:

“Admittedly, the majority of social links within the SERPs appear for branded search terms, but this should not be discounted,” writes Simon Ensor at Search Engine Watch. “If we are in fact looking at marketing as a more holistic practice in the digital age, then we have to ensure that your branded search terms result in high click-through rates from search.”

#3: Social Signals (Indirectly) Affect Search

It’s been a hotly debated topic in the digital marketing world. Google has claimed for years that social signals are not a ranking factor. Yet, HootSuite’s experimentation found that “there appears to be a strong correlation between social activity and rankings.” Another study last year from Searchmetrics reached the same conclusion.

We still don’t have complete clarity around this relationship, which would earn a Facebook status of “It’s complicated.” Although we don’t believe social signals directly impact search rankings, there is definitely a correlation, which is widely attributed to the byproducts of highly successful social content. As Sharon Hurley Hall puts it, “Social media may not be a ranking factor for Google, but it can amplify the ranking factors that Google DOES consider.”

In other words, when a link to your content gains traction on social media, it tends to gain more general prominence: pageviews, backlinks, brand authority, etc. This, in turn, helps the page earn more visibility in the eyes of Google.

The key is simply getting people to click through on those links, which brings us to the final point of convergence.

#4: Compelling Clicks is Crucial

Search engine optimization today isn’t so much about keyword-stuffing; Google is too smart to be gamed by it. The engine’s sole mission is to deliver the most satisfactory results for a given query, meaning it will weigh click-throughs and time on page more heavily than text arrangement. That’s why an irresistible headline and meta description are so vital to SERP success.

This is also at the heart of social media marketing. In a sea of competing ephemeral content, you’ve really gotta stand out to capture someone’s attention and compel a click. (Especially since social media networks, unlike search engines, aren’t all that interested in sending users over to your website, so the algorithms will often work against you for outbound links.)  

If you find a particular angle or message is especially resonant on social platforms (even if just for driving engagement, not clicks), you might consider adopting it for your meta descriptions to see if it improves CTRs, and vice versa.
Social and SEO: Two Keys to the Content Kingdom
These are separate tactical areas of digital marketing, but to treat them as completely independent would be a mistake. At TopRank Marketing, we view SEO and social media marketing as two complementary aspects of a fully integrated content marketing strategy, with numerous functional similarities and intersectional opportunities. Understanding how to maximize both in unison is instrumental to unleashing your brand’s full potential.

Want to learn more about how different tactics can work together harmoniously in today’s digital strategies? Check out our recent post from Caitlin on The Intersection of SEO & Influencer Marketing: What B2B Marketers Need to Know.

* Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client

The post The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complementary appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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How to Generate 100 Content Ideas in 60 Seconds (Seriously)

content ideas

I have a question for you…

How do you figure out what you should blog about?

If I had to take a guess, you probably come up with ideas based on one of two strategies.

The first is to use tools like Ubersuggest to come up with a list of keywords.

keyword overview

But once you find popular keywords, you have to brainstorm topic and titles ideas.

What a drag, right?  

Now, the second way you probably come up with ideas is by using tools like Buzzsumo.

You type in a keyword and it shows you the most popular blog posts that have performed well in the past based on social shares.

buzzsumo

But there’s an issue… actually a few issues:

Buzzsumo only shows you 10 ideas… unless you pay them $99 a month.
And just because a blog post has a ton of social shares, it doesn’t mean it will get consistent traffic like you would through SEO. Social shares typically provide a boost in traffic for only a few days and that’s it.
Tools like Ubersuggest show you popular keywords, but it’s not easy to come up with titles based on those keywords.

There must be a better way to find topics you should blog about, right?

There will be in 30 days with your help!

Content marketing made simple

A few weeks ago I made an upgrade to Ubersuggest: I added a free backlink checker called Backlinks.

But why stop there?

I now plan to release a new feature on Ubersuggest that will provide data similar to what you would find on Buzzsumo, but I need your help to do so.

Let’s say you are interested in creating content that gets a lot of traffic.

What’s the process you use?

Well, you probably head over to Ubersuggest and type in a keyword. You’ll see a report that looks something like this:

keyword ideas

You then pick a few keywords and create articles about them. Now sure, at least with this approach you are writing content about keywords that have decent search volume.

But what about the title?

Here’s an interesting stat for you… 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will click through and read the rest of your article.

So how do you come up with that title or headline? One that grabs attention.

What if I made that easy for you?

What do you think of the idea of seeing a list of blog articles that have done well anytime you type in a keyword into Ubersuggest? Something that looks like this.

content ideas

*The screenshot has fake data… the real version would show real data with real-time results.

It would list out all of the articles that people have written in the past that contain the keywords you researched in both the title and meta description.

The results would then be sorted by:

Social shares – which content got the most shares on social sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
Estimated visits – how many visits is each article receiving from Google? And what are the keywords that each article ranks for?
Backlinks – how many people are linking to each article? What are the URLs, their domain score, and even page score?

What if I showed you all of that in this “Content Ideas” report that I’m going to add to Ubersuggest?

Here are some more screenshots that’ll help describe what I am trying to create for you… this one shows keywords that a blog post ranks for.

keywords

And here is one that shows the web pages linking to a blog post.

links

Would it help you come up with better content topics to write about?

Why should you want this new Ubersuggest report?

When you write any type of content, as a marketer, you want to ensure that it gets the most amount of traffic.

The current tools will either show you how many social shares a similar article received in the past or how people shared content with specific keywords.

But that’s the problem… you aren’t presented with enough data, which means you are more likely to write content that doesn’t perform well.

See, social algorithms are much harder than they were in the past, which means you probably won’t get as many social shares as some of the other articles that have done well.

And SEO is also harder than what it was in the past, which means it won’t be as easy to get rankings.

By seeing content broken down by social share count, estimated visits (organic monthly Google traffic), and backlinks you will have the data you need to pick the right topic to write about. Because if you are picking topics that have a lot of all 3, the chances are that the topic is worth writing about and will do well.

Social shares will provide you that quick influx of traffic at the beginning. Backlinks will help you with referral traffic and over time help you boost your search engine rankings. And estimated visits shows you which keywords to focus on for that article.

And best of all, you’ll see over 100 content (topic) ideas so you’ll have a lot to choose from. I don’t know how long it will take to show you 100 ideas per keywords, but I do know I can do it well under 60 seconds. 🙂

Competitor analysis

I don’t know if you knew this but I already have half of what you can get from Buzzsumo built into Ubersuggest. This part is already live.

Did you know that you can enter a URL into Ubersuggest?

Then when you click on the “Top Pages” navigational button you can then see a list of all of the top articles and pages on your competitor’s site.

top pages

The results are broken down based on estimated visits a page receives from Google on a monthly basis, the backlink count, and the number of social shares each page has.

Just click “view all” under “estimated visits” and you will see all of the top keywords that drive traffic to that page.

top pages keywords

And under backlinks, if you click “view all” you can see all of the sites linking to that page.

top pages links

Conclusion

What do you think of this new content ideas report that I am trying to create?

In other words, something similar to Buzzsumo, but I will show you more results as well as show you who is linking to each of those articles and how many visits each article is generating from Google each month?

My goal is to make it easier to find ideas for your next blog post. And of course, increase the odds of you creating content that actually gets traffic and backlinks.

So, what do you think, should I release this free feature within the next 30 days?

And if you think I should do it, what other features would you want me to release?

The post How to Generate 100 Content Ideas in 60 Seconds (Seriously) appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Ubersuggest 4.0: The Ultimate Content Marketing Tool

content ideas

Why do you do keyword research?

It’s to find more lucrative keywords to rank for on Google, right?

But once you find these keywords, you still have to figure out how to rank for them.

For that reason, I decided to update Ubersuggest because I wanted to show you what kind of content to create and even how to promote it.

That way you can start ranking for these newly found keywords.

Here’s what’s new…

Content ideas

The way you rank for a keyword is by creating content around it. I know content isn’t king anymore and that’s because there are over 1 billion blogs on the web. That means Google can be really picky about what they decide to rank.

So now, not only do you need to write amazing content, but you also have to promote it if you want to do well.

To help you with this I created a Content Ideas report in Ubersuggest. So whenever you do keyword research, you’ll see an overview that looks like this:

overview

Just like before, you’ll see a graph at the top with the search volume over time, some keyword recommendations and, at the very bottom, a list of blog posts that performed exceptionally well for that keyword.

When you click on “content ideas” in the navigational menu or you click on “view all content ideas,” you’ll then be taken to a page that looks something like this:

content ideas

This page shows you all of the popular blog posts that have been written related to the keyword or phrase you searched.

The list is ordered by social shares, so the posts with the highest social shares are at the top. At the bottom, you can keep clicking to see more results. Even if your screen only shows 1 or 2 pages, just keep clicking next and you’ll start to see results for pages 3, 4, 5, etc.

We only show you 20 results per page, but each key phrase will typically have hundreds, if not thousands, of results as our database has over 500,000,000 blog posts from around the world.

And because there are so many results, we’ve also created an easy to use filtering system so you can fine-tune your search by including certain keywords or excluding other ones and even putting minimum and maximum thresholds on social shares.

filters

My favorite part about the content ideas report

I know you can do similar things with Buzzsumo and other tools, but this is why I created the Content Ideas report.

As I mentioned earlier, content isn’t king. You not only have to write amazing content (that’s why I sort the content by social shares as more shares typically mean people love it), but you also have to promote it.

You’ll notice that there are two other columns in this report that make the tool unique… one is “Estimated Visits” and the other is “Backlinks”.

headings

Estimated visits will show you how many visits the blog post generated from Google each month. Just click on “Keywords” and it will even show you the keywords that drive those visits and the position the article ranks for each of those terms.

keywords

Backlinks, on the other hand, are all of the referring domains that point to each article. So if 12 unique domains link to that blog post, then you’ll see the number “12” in that column. All you have to do is click on “links” and you’ll see the full list of backlinks.

links

Not only do I provide a thorough list of backlinks, but I also show you the overall page score, domain score, anchor text, and even the type of link.

The reasons I made the Content Ideas report like this are:

By creating content similar to posts that have a lot of social shares, it increases the chances that the content you are writing is going to do well as people have already shown interest in that topic and even shared it on the social web.
By showing you the keywords a blog post ranks for, you’ll know what keywords to focus on when writing the content. This way your post can rank as well.
By showing you who links to your competition, you can now hit up everyone who links to competing articles and ask them to link to your piece of content.

Less fluff and more data

In addition to the Content Ideas report, you’ll now find that Ubersuggest provides you with more data and less fluff when you perform a keyword query.

For example, if you search for the term “dog food,” it will tell you that the average result that ranks in the top 10 has 72 backlinks and a domain score of 82.

speech bubble

This way, if you want to rank for that term or any other term, you’ll have a rough idea of what you need from an authority and backlink standpoint to achieve a spot on page one.

Conclusion

If you are going to create content or write a blog post, you should check out the Content Ideas report each time before you write.

The last thing you want to do is create content that people don’t care about reading. And this report will give you good feedback so that way you aren’t wasting your time creating content that doesn’t generate social shares, backlinks, or rankings.

You’ll also notice that some posts do extremely well from a social sharing standpoint but terrible from a backlink and a search traffic perspective.

Social shares will bring you more short-term traffic and search engines bring you less traffic upfront, but more consistent traffic over time.

This report will help you find a balance so that you can get both short-term traffic and consistent traffic over the long-haul.

So, head on over and try the new Content Ideas report.

What do you think about the content ideas report?

The post Ubersuggest 4.0: The Ultimate Content Marketing Tool appeared first on Neil Patel.

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The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complimentary

Social media marketing and search engine optimization are often viewed as two disparate components of a holistic digital strategy. In some ways, they are distinct, but there is far more convergence and crossover than we’re often led to believe.

I find that looking at one side through the lens of the other invariably helps me better understand the more ambiguous aspects of each. So today I thought I’d share this perspective, with a focus on how these tactical areas can work cohesively to strengthen your brand’s visibility and impact on the web.
Similarities Between Social and Search
Let’s begin by exploring some commonalities between social media networks and social engines.

Both are massively popular internet entry points. Google processes 3.5 billion searches every day. Nearly the same number of people (3.48 billion) are active social media users. That’s roughly half the planet’s population. These numbers, in a nutshell, illustrate why digital marketers everywhere need to account for both search and social. They’re the first places most people go when they hop online.

People use both to answer questions. We all know this is the primary purpose of search engines. Whether users are typing in a literal semantic question, or simply inputting keywords in hopes of finding information, they are trying to find answers and solve problems. Social media doesn’t necessarily present the same direct question-and-answer format, but we usually log on to satisfy some type of curiosity. (What are people talking about right now? What do my friends and connections have to say about recent events? Is this dress white and gold, or black and blue?)

Both are critical brand touchpoints. Two of the easiest ways for any customer to vet a company are by: A) Pulling them up in a Google search, or B) Checking out their social media accounts. It’s pretty easy to tell based on a brand’s search rankings, SERP display, and site structure whether they have a sound digital strategy. The same is true of a quick glance at their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. If it’s difficult to find your company through search or social — or if you give off a poor first impression on either front — that’s an immediate credibility-crusher.
Where Search and Social Can Work Together Strategically
SEO and social media marketing are fundamentally different. There are job titles, and entire companies, dedicated specifically to each. But in an integrated digital marketing strategy, it’s important to recognize where these two facets intersect and complement one another.

#1: Keyword Research and Application

Keywords (and extensions thereof) form the backbone of a best-answer content strategy. The intel derived from these efforts can also be applied to social media marketing. As mentioned above, people use both these channels to answer questions.

With a defined understanding of which search phrases and queries are pertinent to our audiences, we can better align the content we provide. This is true on social as well. When you use the right keywords (and, in this case, hashtags) more frequently in your posts, driving conversations and engagement around them, your brand will be more likely to show up on the feeds of people interested in them.

In either instance, it comes down to the same foundational crux of almost any content strategy: What do your customers want to know, and how can you deliver it?

#2: Social Content Can Show Up in Search

Try entering your company’s name into a Google search. What’s the first result? Hopefully your website’s homepage. The second and third might also be pages from your own domain. But very frequently, the first third-party link will be your LinkedIn Page. (See the SERP for TopRank Marketing below as a typical example.)

LinkedIn* is a particularly impactful platform in this regard; search engines crawl it, so incorporating savvy SEO tactics on your company’s LinkedIn Page can actually benefit your rankings. This hasn’t been quite as true for other networks, which were once almost invisible to Google, but research from HootSuite did find a dramatic increase in the appearance of Facebook and Twitter content in SERPS starting in late 2015:

“Admittedly, the majority of social links within the SERPs appear for branded search terms, but this should not be discounted,” writes Simon Ensor at Search Engine Watch. “If we are in fact looking at marketing as a more holistic practice in the digital age, then we have to ensure that your branded search terms result in high click-through rates from search.”

#3: Social Signals (Indirectly) Affect Search

It’s been a hotly debated topic in the digital marketing world. Google has claimed for years that social signals are not a ranking factor. Yet, HootSuite’s experimentation found that “there appears to be a strong correlation between social activity and rankings.” Another study last year from Searchmetrics reached the same conclusion.

We still don’t have complete clarity around this relationship, which would earn a Facebook status of “It’s complicated.” Although we don’t believe social signals directly impact search rankings, there is definitely a correlation, which is widely attributed to the byproducts of highly successful social content. As Sharon Hurley Hall puts it, “Social media may not be a ranking factor for Google, but it can amplify the ranking factors that Google DOES consider.”

In other words, when a link to your content gains traction on social media, it tends to gain more general prominence: pageviews, backlinks, brand authority, etc. This, in turn, helps the page earn more visibility in the eyes of Google.

The key is simply getting people to click through on those links, which brings us to the final point of convergence.

#4: Compelling Clicks is Crucial

Search engine optimization today isn’t so much about keyword-stuffing; Google is too smart to be gamed by it. The engine’s sole mission is to deliver the most satisfactory results for a given query, meaning it will weigh click-throughs and time on page more heavily than text arrangement. That’s why an irresistible headline and meta description are so vital to SERP success.

This is also at the heart of social media marketing. In a sea of competing ephemeral content, you’ve really gotta stand out to capture someone’s attention and compel a click. (Especially since social media networks, unlike search engines, aren’t all that interested in sending users over to your website, so the algorithms will often work against you for outbound links.)  

If you find a particular angle or message is especially resonant on social platforms (even if just for driving engagement, not clicks), you might consider adopting it for your meta descriptions to see if it improves CTRs, and vice versa.
Social and SEO: Two Keys to the Content Kingdom
These are separate tactical areas of digital marketing, but to treat them as completely independent would be a mistake. At TopRank Marketing, we view SEO and social media marketing as two complementary aspects of a fully integrated content marketing strategy, with numerous functional similarities and intersectional opportunities. Understanding how to maximize both in unison is instrumental to unleashing your brand’s full potential.

Want to learn more about how different tactics can work together harmoniously in today’s digital strategies? Check out our recent post from Caitlin on The Intersection of SEO & Influencer Marketing: What B2B Marketers Need to Know.

* Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client

The post The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complimentary appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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7 Social Media Hacks That’ll Make Your Business Grow Faster | Neil Patel


Today I’m going to share with you 7 content creation hacks to grow your business faster.

You’re on Facebook, you’re on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. But are you even generating sales from these social networks? I bet you’re not. As a beginner, all of this is overwhelming and complicated. So how do you start?

In this video I’m going to share with you 7 social media hacks that will help your business grow faster. These social media marketing tips and hacks will help you get more engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
__________________________________________

RESOURCES & LINKS:

Neil Patel Digital Agency:
https://neilpateldigital.com/

Neil Patel on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/neilkpatel/

Neil Patel on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilkpatel

Hellobar:
https://www.hellobar.com/

“Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide” (blog):
https://neilpatel.com/what-is-social-media-marketing/

“9 Powerful LinkedIn Marketing Tips (That Actually Work)” (blog):
https://neilpatel.com/blog/linkedin-marketing-tips/

“How to Start Social Media Marketing (4 ESSENTIAL Tips for Beginners)” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tdFvJLw2UQ&t=2s

“How to STAND OUT on Social Media as a New Entrepreneur | Grow Your Brand with Social Media Marketing” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CYQTg4_zQo&t=5s

“How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019” (video):
https://youtu.be/b-gwbVJqi9Y

Read more Content Creation Hacks on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog
____________________________________________

►Subscribe: https://goo.gl/ScRTwc to learn more secret SEO tips.
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neilkpatel/
Read more on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog

The first hack I have for you, and this works for all social sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, if you respond to every single comment, you’re gonna get more engagement.

The second tip I have for you is specific to LinkedIn. Whenever you’re writing your descriptions, so let’s say you’re sharing content, or something from your website on LinkedIn, keep your sentences very short.

The third tip I have for you is don’t just promote your business. Everyone’s like, “Yeah, I want sales from Facebook. “I want sales from LinkedIn. “I’m just going to start promoting “my products and services.” Well if you keep doing that, and you’re not being social, because that’s the whole purpose of these social sites is to be social, you’re going to find that your reach is going to tank, and no one’s going to see your content, like, or engage with it.

The fourth tip is to leverage stories on Instagram and Facebook. They get so much engagement. What I like doing is sharing stories multiple times a day. Not just one or two stories but like 10, 12, 13. And even on Instagram what you can do that’s really cool is that you’re sharing stories. You can tell people to swipe up. Gary V. does this a ton. When he has a podcast or a blog post, he’s like, “Swipe up, swipe up.” It gets so much more engagement. That way his podcast is getting more downloads, people are going more to his site, he’s getting more conversion and sales. It’s a simple hack; it works well. And if you do multiple updates to your story each and every single day, it gives you more opportunities to get people to swipe up.

The fifth tip I have for you is cross promote your social profiles. You’re not just on Facebook. You’re not just on LinkedIn. You’re on all of them, or at least you’re on the major ones. So tell all your Twitter fans or followers to follow you on Facebook. Tell your Facebook people to follow you on Twitter. Tell your people on LinkedIn to check out your Twitter and your Facebook and your Instagram, and do that vice versa with all your profiles.

The sixth tip I have for you is to use exit popup. You know why I leverage exit popups? It’s one of the highest converting things you can do. Someone’s going to leave your site, might as well create that last ditch effort to get ’em to convert. And I don’t recommend doing it on mobile. I would recommend doing it just for desktop. If you want to do it on mobile, I would recommend that you wait at least 30 seconds before you show it because it’s too hard to detect when they’re going to leave your site.

The last tip I have for you is to test out video. Social platforms love video. So if you create video, you’re giving them more potential eyeballs instead of the television networks. That’s why companies like Netflix and Hulu, they’re pushing so much on paid content. Everyone, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all these social sites want that video content. So consider creating because when you do, you’re going to get more engagement.

#NeilPatel #ContentMarketing #SocialMedia

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Stop Making These Social Media Marketing Mistakes | Neil Patel


Today I’m going to share with you the biggest social media mistakes that you’re making that’s causing you to not do well. I don’t think I need to tell you how big social media is. Everyone’s on the social web. But why is it that no one follows your account, or you can’t get any traffic on your social profiles? Well, it’s about to change. Watch the video and stop making these 5 social media marketing mistakes that I see people making on a daily basis.
__________________________________________

RESOURCES & LINKS:

“How to Start Social Media Marketing (4 ESSENTIAL Tips for beginners)” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tdFvJLw2UQ

“How to Stand Out From the Crowd in 2018 | 4 Secret Social Media Marketing Tips” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usKMKq977iA

“How to STAND OUT on Social Media as a New Entrepreneur | Grow Your Brand with Social Media” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CYQTg4_zQo

BuzzSumo: https://buzzsumo.com/

“Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide”:
https://neilpatel.com/what-is-social-media-marketing/

Read more Social Media Marketing tips on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog
____________________________________________

►Subscribe: https://goo.gl/ScRTwc to learn more secret SEO tips.
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neilkpatel/
Read more on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog

TRANSCRIPT:
The first mistake that you need to avoid is posting content too often. Everyone believes that, Hey, you wanna do well on Facebook? Post 10 times a day. The more you post, the more people will see you. That may work for Twitter, but for most social sites, if you post too much, you’re not gonna do well. You only have a certain amount of people following you. If you keep posting too much information, you’re going to wear them out, and they’re gonna start ignoring you’re content. Try to post no more than once a day. I’m not talking about live video, or stories, or anything like that. I’m talking about posting a image, or a video, a status update. Try not to post more than one a day. The second mistake that you need to avoid is posting mediocre content. Now that you know you only wanna post once a day, when you do post once a day, that content has to be amazing. If people don’t like it, they’re not going to engage or comment. You know what? If you posted content that’s mediocre, or you think is great, and you got no comments, or engagements or likes, leave a comment below with the word yes. That way I know you’re struggling with creating amazing content. And think of it this way, if that content isn’t something that you would tell your friends about, or you would share, or you don’t think has a slight possibility of going viral, then, it’s not gonna do that well. If you’re not sure what great content is, go to Buzzsumo. Put in keywords within your space. It’ll show you what’s popular on the social web already. You wanna use tools like Buzzsumo and Social Blade to come up with better content. That way, whenever you do post, it’s amazing content. The third mistake that most people are making is they’re not leveraging videos. Videos is the future. Facebook. Youtube. LinkedIn. All of these players wanna get your attention, more so than even a live TV. I’m talking ’bout, you know, that big LCD. If you upload video content, you’ll get 2-3 times more engagement and views, than if you just upload a photo or a text update. The fourth mistake that many people make is they’re not engaging in the first hour. The way most social algorithms work is whatever does extremely well in the first hour, continually goes viral. It’s like the opposite of SEO. With SEO, it’s a long-term game. You release content, you never do well in the first hour. You’re lucky if that content ranks really well after 30 days, or six months. In many cases, it’ll take over a year. With the social web, it’s all about the first hour. So if you have an email list, promote your email list. Or technically, promote that video or status update you did to that email list, that way, you can drive more engagement. If you have a push notification subscriber list, from tools like subscribers.com, send them to your social profile when you have a status update. That way it gets more views, engagement. And that way, over the next 30 days, 60 days, it’ll rank higher on YouTube. Or over the next 24 hours, it’ll get way more views and shares on Facebook. You wanna push things hard in the first hour it goes live. And the last mistake that I want you to avoid is not engaging. Social’s all about being a two-way street. If you ask me a question and I didn’t answer, that’d be rude of me. That’s how social media works. You need to engage with other people.

#NeilPatel #SocialMedia #socialmediamarketing

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Get More Social Media Traffic Using These 7 Free Tools | Neil Patel


In this video I’m going to teach you how to get more social media traffic using these seven free tools.

Do you find it hard to get traffic from the social web? Well, who doesn’t? Social algorithms are tough, they’re getting harder and harder to get more traffic from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other social site out there.

The tools I’m going to show you today won’t just help you get more traffic from Facebook or Twitter, but they’ll help you get more traffic from all the major social media sites.
__________________________________________

RESOURCES & LINKS:

“How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019” (video):
https://youtu.be/b-gwbVJqi9Y

“STOP Making These Social Media Marketing Mistakes” (video):
https://youtu.be/TnQt_-uwR7g

“Facebook Groups For Email List Building” (video):
https://youtu.be/MjQRmT82JBM

“Favorite Hack To Increase Website Traffic That You’re Not Doing” (video):
https://youtu.be/WTWZQ_4_zNk

“SEO in 2019 What Will And Won’t Work” (video):
https://youtu.be/I0joqcqpiO4

“Does Blogging Still Work in 2019?” (video):
https://youtu.be/i4CY-XD6agM

“SEO For Beginners: 3 Powerful SEO Tips to Rank #1 on Google in 2019”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmB_TC92I8w&t=30s

“The 3 SEO Tools I Use Rank #1 on Google | Neil Patel” (video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK-0Ix1fUz8&t=4s

Neil Patel Digital AGENCY:
https://neilpateldigital.com/

Hootsuite:
https://hootsuite.com/

ManyChat:
https://manychat.com/

Buzzsumo:
https://buzzsumo.com/

Socialblade:
https://socialblade.com/

Hellobar:
https://www.hellobar.com/

Subscribers:
https://subscribers.com/

Zoho Social:
https://www.zoho.com/social/

Read more Social Media and SEO tips on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog
____________________________________________

►Subscribe: https://goo.gl/ScRTwc to learn more secret SEO tips.
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neilkpatel/
Read more on my blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog

The first tool I have for you guys is a easy one. Hootsuite, it allows you to schedule your social content out. With Hootsuite not only can you share content on all social sites with ease and a few clicks but you can also schedule out your content many months in advance. This is important because most people share their content once on social sites like Twitter, but if you share your content on Twitter six times in a year that same piece of content, you’ll roughly get two to three times more traffic. It’s a simple hack, it works well and you should be doing that.

The next tool I have for you is ManyChat. Although you’re struggling to get traffic from Facebook, ManyChat will solve that. It’s a chatbot tool, leverages Facebook Messenger and what you’ll find is the click through and the open rates are ridiculous. It beats out email. If you want easy traffic leverage ManyChat. What it’ll do is when people come to your website they can subscribe to you through Facebook Messenger and then when you have a blog post or message you can push it out through ManyChat. You’ll get open rates above 60% and you’ll get click through rates well above 30, 40, 50%.

The third tool I have for you Buzzsumo. You end up writing content, when you write content a lot of times you share it on the social web and no one wants to like it or comment or engage with it.

The fourth free tool I have for you is SocialBlade. I know it’s that site that everyone knows when it comes to YouTube but they do more than YouTube, but they do more than YouTube. They also do Instagram, they do Twitter, they do all the major social sites out there. What’s cool about SocialBlade is it’ll show you your subscriber growth over time as well as how much content you’re pushing out.

The next tool I want you to use is Hello Bar. You’re probably wondering what is Hello Bar have to do with social media? Hello Bar helps you collect emails from your website. Here’s the thing. In the first hour that you’re posting content on the social web, any social site, if it does really well the chances are it’ll go viral.

The sixth tool I have for you is Subscribers. Subscribers is similar to Hello Bar but instead of helping you collect emails it helps you collect browser notifications subscribers. That way when people are browsing your site on Chrome they can click one button, subscribe and you can push out a notification and let all these people know when you have new content that just came out and you can even push ’em to the social sites.

The seventh free tool I have for you is Zoho Social. Zoho Social makes it easy to work with your team members and on top of that they help you research keywords. By using Zoho Social it’ll help you determine what keyword you be targeting when you’re going after these social sites, because if you’re using the wrong keywords in your titles, descriptions, throughout the whole text you’ll find that not as many people will see it.

#NeilPatel #SocialMedia #SEO

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