In March’s Content Marketing Newsletter, John Heaston and I recommend seven posts. These include “The SEO Copywriting Checklist,” which John says is a must-read. The others discuss how to scale content to the buyer’s journey, SEO best practices, secrets of digital storytelling and Neil Patel on why emotional connections with website visitors are so important. We also provide 43 tips on how to future-proof content strategies.

Coming in the near future from John and I will be a usable process to create keyword lists for your clients, an updated breakdown of CM best practices, and a guide to the CM Planning Master.

If there’s a topic you want address in this newsletter, let us know. We’ll share the best material we find with you and your colleagues.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. All our best.

Thomas Gunning

Content Marketing Editor

The SEO Copywriting Checklist

You want your site to work smarter for you. You know that search engine optimization (SEO) is what you do to get your blog or site to show up when your audience uses Google to find you. You might hope to boost your content with the competitive advantage of higher search rankings, better click-through rates and improved like- and share-ability. Get started with SEO for copywriting using a standard series of steps to optimize your content, as we call it in the SEO biz, says Jessica Lee, founder and chief creative for bizbuzzcontent Inc.

43 Expert Tips on How to Future-Proof Your Content Strategy

Two years ago, well-known blogger Mark Schaefer coined the term “content shock” to describe the inevitable fate of digital marketing: too much content and not enough time to consume it all. He argued the “supply” of web content doubles every nine to 24 months, while “demand” – Internet users’ ability to consume content – is finite. Much like climate change deniers, some content creators hoped that, somehow, content creation possibilities were limitless. They were wrong, says Nayomi Chibana, a journalist and writer for Visme’s Visual Learning Center.

How to Scale Content Creation for Each Stage of Buyer’s Journey

As marketers, we often create content for every stage of the buyer journey. We produce “top-of-funnel content,” like social media and blog posts. We create “middle-” and “bottom-of-funnel” content, like in-depth, long-form blog posts, whitepapers and webinars, says Heather Eng, NewsCred’s managing editor. Although the buyer journey isn’t necessarily linear, content is a proven part of the process. So we must create content for all stages of the trip from search to purchase. But that’s a lot of material. And most content marketing teams are very lean.

How to Create Content People Actually Search For

It doesn’t matter what your content team has fallen in love with, what you think is the next hot topic, or what products you want people to know about: If your target customers aren’t looking for the type of content you’re producing, you’re already losing the organic search game, says Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures. He says content marketing success depends more on thoughtful content ideation, as well as framing the content’s headline, meta description, and tags to be attractive to search engines based on existing or even future queries.

SEO Best Practices for Content Marketing

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” That’s how Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, summarizes the current state of content marketing. But it’s harder than ever for brands to reach consumers, according to Michael Peggs, founder of Marccx Media. There’s a lot of competition, so marketers use claw, tooth and nail to fight for the attention of their target audiences. If you want to optimize your existing content and drive new readers to your clients’ website, here are some tips you can use to improve your content’s reach.

6 Essential Secrets of Digital Storytelling

Humans are hard-wired to find stories in everything we see. This helps our brains understand, contextualize and retain details about the world, notes Peter Minnium, president of Ipsos Connect. So it’s reasonable that good stories can also function as ways to communicate marketing ideas, change perceptions, forge emotional connections and alter behavior. But in recent years, the term “storytelling” has become overused and overprescribed by marketers. By reducing this powerful mechanism to an industry buzzword, it became an excuse to avoid responsibility for solving those problems.

Without Emotional Connections, Your Landing Page Won’t Work

Emotions guide nearly every facet of our lives, notes Neil Patel, New York Times best-selling author. And it’s no different when it comes to what we choose to buy. Purchasing decisions are largely guided by emotions rather than logic or objectivity. Some experts even suggest, “90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.” One of the biggest mistakes marketers make with their landing pages is to not make emotional connections. Maybe that’s why “only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”