June 2017

From the Edge of the Great Plains

Dear PioneerMedia Content Marketers:

In this month’s Content Marketing Newsletter, Publisher John Heaston and I propose a smorgasbord of seven online posts we think will increase your effectiveness as a Content Marketer.

The links we hope you will peruse this month include:

  • 6 Challenges Every Small Business Faces & How to Fix Them
  • Use Social Metrics, SEO and Questions for Content to Drive Inbound Traffic
  • SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid
  • 37+ Tips and Tools for Picture-Perfect Visual Content
  • 10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs
  • 3 Fundamental Ways to Write More Persuasive Content
  • 6 Secrets of Effective Digital Storytelling

Does anyone else note how often numbers are used in headlines these days? Five of these seven start with numbers. Over-saturation inevitably will have an impact. How much longer do you think such numbering will dominate our headers? Anyone willing to kick $1 into a predictive pool?

Give us your reasons and we’ll share the results with your colleagues. And, who knows, you may add a few bucks to your hard-earned CM wages. Sometime. Soon. When numbers lose their appeal. Yeah, right.

If there’s a topic you want addressed in future editions of this newsletter, let us know. We’ll share the best material we find.

All our best as summer returns.

Thomas Gunning

Content Marketing Editor


6 Challenges Every Small Business Faces & How to Fix Them

In the first few years of business, small companies face many challenges, says Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent fail by the end of their first year. By the end of their fifth year, half go under. By the tenth, that number rises to 80%. But many common business challenges are fixable. These can range from difficulty finding customers and building an email list to hiring the right people and balancing quality and growth. Here are six challenges every small business will face, along with some tactical advice about how to fix them.


Use Social Metrics, SEO & Questions for Content to Drive Inbound Traffic

How do you create great content that captures organic search and social traffic alike? Content marketing delivers results when it addresses what potential customers search for and share on social media. Content marketing delivers great results when it addresses what a large number of customers search for that your competitors don’t cover. So how do you learn exactly what customers look for in search and social and identify potential competitive gaps? Columnist Matthew Barby explains his method for identifying content themes and topics.


SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid

With so much online content being published and promoted, competition for attention has never been more fierce, says Caitlin Burgess of the Top Rank Marketing blog. Also, consumers are increasingly self-directed in their quest for answers. So quality and strategic SEO has never been more important. But SEO has gone through a tremendous evolution since its early days of keyword-focused content. With more than 2 trillion searches on Google each year, today’s SEO must find a balance between user-centric content and an ability to persuade search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.


37+ Tips and Tools for Picture-Perfect Visual Content

Visuals are essential to create content that helps your client’s businesses stand out and draw in an audience, says Jodi Harris, director of editorial content & curation at the Content Marketing Institute. Not only do images make text-centric content more readable, digestible and memorable, they can also craft compelling messages that speak volumes without a single word. Here is a collection of best-practice tips from some of the industry’s most creative and design-minded content experts. They explain how photos, videos and graphics can do the talking for your clients.


10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs

“Curation” is one of those words that’s always conveyed coolness, says Patrick Armitage, director of marketing at BlogMutt. Take, for example, curating art for a gallery, or curating music for a soundtrack. Cool, right? Content curation is just as fun – and just as important. Content curation finds material relevant to your audience from many sources and shares it strategically through your communication channels. And while very cool, it can be tricky. There are many, many social networks, news feeds, emails and infographics full of such content that demand your time and attention.


3 Fundamental Ways to Write More Persuasive Content

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle’s Rhetoric theorized three fundamental elements of persuasion: ethos, logos and pathos. The first depends on the speaker’s personal character (ethos). The second depends on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind (pathos). The third is based on the proof provided by the words themselves (logos). According to Aristotle, a speaker must have ethos, pathos and logos to effectively persuade their audience. This comparable to how top brands reach their customers, says Jacob Warwick, founder of ThinkWarwick Communications, a strategic marketing company.


6 Secrets of Effective Digital Storytelling

Humans are programmed to look for a story in everything we see. Each word, picture or phrase, no matter how simple, is imbued with deeper meaning, says Peter Minnium, president of Ipsos Connect. This hardwiring helps us understand, contextualize and retain details about the world we face. For that reason alone, good stories can also function as potent strategic business tools — the ways and means to communicate marketing ideas, change perceptions, forge emotional connections and alter behaviors. But in recent years, “storytelling” has become overused and overprescribed by Content Marketers.