August 2017

From the Edge of the Great Plains

Dear Content Marketers:

In August’s Content Marketing Newsletter, Publisher John Heaston and I offer eight online posts we think will help you improve your skills as Content Marketers. We focus on some fundamentals of the writing process, as well as issues like social media and review fraud.

The stories we share with you this month include:

·         Social Media: These Are the Trends You Need to Know
·         Paint by Numbers: Using Data to Produce Great Content
·         6 High Impact Ways to Enhance Local Business Visibility Online
·         Fight Review Spam: The Complete Guide for the Local Enterprise
·         How To Use Visual Content To Drive Results
·         How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone
·         The Content Marketer’s Guide to Story Structure
·         Why You Need Both Personalization and Humanization

If there’s a topic you want us to address in the future, let us know. We promise to share the best content we find. And if you have suggestions, bring ‘em on!

And I apologize for sending this so late in the month. I allowed family issues to overwhelm me.

All the best to you and yours.

Thomas Gunning

Content Marketing Editor


Social Media: These Are the Trends You Need to Know

It’s time we talked about how you use social media. That’s right, this is an intervention. We’re concerned about what you do, and more importantly what you don’t. Your lack of adoption of new channels. Your total disrespect of mobile first users. Your reluctance to try video. Your fear of spending money on social ads. Your results. We’re concerned. We bring up these concerns out of love for you and modern marketing. You see, social media marketing has changed, but most social media marketers haven’t, says Marcus Andrews, a HubSpot product marketing manager

Paint by Numbers: Using Data to Produce Great Content

Prior to joining Moz, I was a consultant at an agency like many of you. More often than not, one of the key concerns of my clients was what to write about, says Russ Jones, search scientist at Moz. It seems that webmasters and business owners alike can easily acquire writer’s block after trudging through the uninspiring task of turning a list of keywords into website copy. So where do you look when you have run out of words? Numbers. What I hope to show you is how data can be an incredible source of inspiration in writing, especially if you can hit a few key principles: expose, relate, surprise, and share.

6 High Impact Ways to Enhance Local Business Visibility Online

Although potential customers already look for local businesses online – and there are billions of Google searches each month – they’re unlikely to discover those nearby stores that don’t have a solid local presence management strategy in place, says Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive Group. So what’s a local business to do? To begin, start taking local presence management more seriously. Today I want to share six simple yet clever ways a business can optimize its local presence online. These actions will drive more traffic to the website – and more customers through the front door.

Fighting Review Spam: The Complete Guide for Local Enterprise

It’s 105 degrees outside my office right now, and the only thing hotter in this summer of 2017 is the local SEO industry’s discussion of review spam, says Miriam Ellis at Moz. It’s become increasingly clear that major review sites represent an irresistible temptation to spammers, highlighting systemic platform weaknesses and the critical need for review monitoring that scales. Just as every local brand, large and small, has had to adjust to the reality of reviews’ substantial impact on modern consumer behavior, competitive businesses must now prepare themselves to manage the facts of fraudulent sentiment.

How To Use Visual Content To Drive Results

If you are a content marketer, you probably realize a picture is worth a thousand words. Quality writing is crucial to your content success, but to really stand, visual content must become part of your marketing arsena, says Lucia Wang of VisMe. Effective use of visuals goes beyond just pleasing the eye. The value of visual content is literally a cascade effect: people find visual content irresistible because it is engaging, easy to understand and fun. Marketers love visual content because it makes it easier for them to reach their target audiences. And major search engines love visual content because people do.

How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone

The concept of content marketing has been around for hundreds of years (see this example from 1672), and the discipline has gained incredible popularity since 2007, according to Google Trends. But, when we recently launched a new e-book that answers common content marketing questions, we learned many readers are just starting, says Michele Linn, vice president of content at the Content Marketing Institute. We want to continually cover the basics. Whether you are new to the practice, need a new way to look at what you’ve been doing or need help explaining this to your relatives, this post is for you.

The Content Marketer’s Guide to Story Structure

Content is everywhere, most of it free and most of it utterly buried by other content. As content marketers, we struggle and fight to be heard. Meanwhile, author James Patterson earned $95 million in 2016. People pay to read his content. If you haven’t thought about that before – that people will pay a lot of money for great storytelling – then I hope you do now, says Pratik Dholakiya, co-founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency. Best-selling fiction authors know something. It’s something you ought to know too if you want to be heard.

Why You Need Both Personalization and Humanization

Last week, a student in my Content Marketing Master Class asked about the difference between personalization and humanization. Personalization and humanization are both foundational elements of modern marketing success, says Jay Baer, president of Both are valuable to companies and organizations, but for very different reasons. Personalization increases message relevancy, which boosts behavior rates (the likelihood a consumer will open, click, share, buy). Humanization increases kinship, which boosts trust (impacting behavior rates, advocacy, and retention).