June 2017 Content Marketing Newsletter

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

402.830.2072

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.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/author/lindsay-kolowich

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.

http://searchengineland.com/using-social-metrics-seo-questions-create-content-drives-inbound-traffic-255373

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.

http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/02/common-seo-mistakes-to-avoid/

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.

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/09/tools-visual-content/

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.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-curation-tools

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.

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/write-more-persuasive-content/

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.

http://marketingland.com/6-secrets-digital-storytelling-190386

Programmatic Advertising – IP Targeting

Real Stories from Nebraska

Last installment we outlined the targeting options for programmatic advertising and the ability to deliver specific ads to targeted users across any device in any location at any time. Among the wide range of targeting possibilities was one that was NOT cookie-based.

It’s also the only targeting method that has one provider (one we at PioneerMedia know personally) and a couple of very specific and recent Nebraksa examples to share, including a campaign for a small business based in Ralston that happened just a couple of months ago.

Household IP targeting uses IP addresses, assigned to a specific geographic address, to deliver online display ads. That makes it a strong compliment any direct mail campaign. While cookies can be altered, deleted or blocked, an IP address is critical to routing internet traffic and is involved in every browser session.

Long story short, technology and relationships developed to reduce credit card fraud have been redeployed to match IP addresses with physical addresses, effectively allowing businesses to target households and buildings.

IP targeting starts with a list of addresses. Because wi-fi IP addresses can change and not every consumer can be tracked online, there is typically only a 50-70% match rate for any given list of addresses. To maintain a level of anonymity and protect privacy, a minimum number of addresses must be targeted. Both of these things also allow a healthy level of validation, by letting businesses test response rates between matched and unmatched targets.

You can also purchase a list of addresses – Omaha’s Infogroup is one of the top providers nationally for residential targeting lists – based on demographic details you want to use to target potential customers.

Only one company in the entire world – El Toro in Louisville, Kentucky — offers this type of programmatic targeting. While there are many resellers, all of them place their household IP campaigns with this one source. We’ve been a partner with this company since 2015 and briefly hosted the CEO about three weeks ago, while he was in Omaha meeting with some of the largest marketing departments in our community and looking up old friends in Omaha’s start-up community. We were able to make some good introductions and deploy some last-minute political advertising that early returns suggest delivered superior results.

Nebraska is actually a case study for El Toro’s household IP targeting and political advertising. To borrow from their own literature . . . in the 2016 election cycle, the Nebraska Civic Engagment Table used household IP targeting to get out the vote.

Of the 55,523 Nebraskans targeted, 35,141 addresses were positively matched to an IP address. Those 35k Nebraska voters received digital ads reminding them to vote starting the weekend before the election and continuing through Election Day [delivering at least 15 impressions per household].

By comparing the voting behavior of those Nebraskans who received ads to that of those who didn’t, it can be stated with confidence that this vote reminder campaign increased voter participation in the 2016 election. The vote reminders increased voting participation among those targeted by 3.14%, which calculates out to an additional 500 plus votes cast as a result of this program. In financial terms, this campaign equated to only $22 per vote. Direct mail can cost more than $80 per vote.

IP Targeting and Direct Mail

Local business Platinum Pools added household IP targeting to its annual Spring direct mail campaign to experience impressive results. This business, which cleans, services and repairs pools, targeted household IP addresses with online display ads timed to coincide with start of the pool season right before and right after a direct mail piece landed in homes that had pools.

This campaign ran about the time poolowners start thinking about readying their pools for summer. Just as the homeowner was thinking these services are needed, the solution – Platinum Pools – appeared in their mailbox and on their computer.

Good timing in the right place – that is what IP targeted marketing can do for a business. It’s cost effective and incredibly efficient. Let us help you start an IP targeted marketing campaign for your business so you can reach the people most likely to become your customers.

New GMB Insights, Getting Down to the Neighborhood with Content and SEO

Google Insights Testing Returning Customers

Spotted in Google My Business Insights is a new graphic showing visitors who return more than once to your GMB pages. [Search Engine Journal]

Juiciest Comments from the 2017 Local Search Survey

From ongoing SEO work and the value of citations to fighting spam and beating the big boys. [Local Visibility System]

How to Do SEO at the Neighborhood Level

Citations, Reviews and Schema. [Search Engine People]

Strengthen Your SEO Strategy in 2017

Get the basic perfectly correct and make your local content plan. [Content Marketing Institute]

The Best Content for Local Business

A great overview of a content strategy that covers fundamentals to build geo-authority. [Moz]

Google Finally Adds Link from GMB to Menu

Sorry SinglePlatform, but now the GMB owner sets the menu link (and it can’t be a PDF, yet). [Blumenthals]

The Flexible SEO Strategy

With updates and search trends a moving target, make your SEO plan a living document. [Search Engine Land]

19 Multicultural Millennial Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

They consume a lot of media (including more print as they get older) and 28% take digital diets. [Hubspot]

Get Found Using Google My Business

Yep, some folks are still new to this. A good recap that you should already know blindfolded.

Content Audits, SSL Checks, Rank Tracking & Dropping and more

How to Do a Content Audit

The exhaustive guide updated from the SEO source. [Moz]

Which Content Marketing Strategies Have the Biggest Impact?

If organic search drives at least half of ALL website traffic, be sure you have the right content strategies. [Quicksprout]

Website Launches that Boost Rankings

The mission-critical SEO checklist for website launches. [Search Engine Journal]

The Problem With Obsessive Rank Tracking

Focus on behaviors and conversions to sort through the rank tracking yo-yo. [Search Engine Land]

How to Check if Your HTTPS Website Still Uses HTTP URLs

Nothing says “not secure” like insecure resources on your supposedly secure (HTTPS compliant) website. [Search Engine People]

GMB Suggested Changes Out of Control!

Copp Marketing calls out the flood of suggested changes Google users can make on GMB pages. [Linkedin]

Understanding Google Schema Guidelines

Blumenthal breaks down his perfect schema scores. [Get Five Stars]

An Open Letter to the SEO Industry

As competitive as rankings can be, there’s a lot of love to go around. [Polemic Digital]

3 Tips on Using SEO to Get a Small Business Noticed

Manta’s CEO recommends embracing keywords, crafting action-inducing content and keeping user-experience ToM. [Martech Advisor]

Programmatic Advertising Targeting Options

If two of the top 3 online advertising channels are dominated by Google (Adwords) and Facebook (Facebook Exchange) respectively, that leaves programmatic as the 3rd channel available to most businesses testing online advertising.

To quote last installment’s explanation: “[P]rogrammatic [is] data-driven online ad exchanges that buy remnant display advertising space on almost every website and app out there, in online auctions that last milliseconds. Ever noticed local ads on national websites or ads that followed you around the internet? That’s programmatic.”

Google and Facebook both gather reams of information on your online activity. It’s how they are best able to target advertising to the right consumers while delivering more than 90% of each company’s total revenues.

So, what kind of targeting is available for programmatic?

There is much that can be learned about consumers based on their online behavior. There are three primary methods behind the targeting options available with programmatic, all of which are best used when matched with the information you have collected on current customers or prospects, your business objectives and your real world experience.

Time and Place Targeting

The first method is driven by time and place. That will set two important considerations when targeting your online advertising:

Day Parting

Set the times of the day you want your ad to be served. If you’re a restaurant, for instance, targeting the hours before lunch or dinner will maximize targeting hungry consumers before their next meal.

Geographic Targeting

Unless specifically blocked, internet devices (phones, tablets, desktop computers) will reveal their location by the network they use to reach the web. Geographic targeting serves ads by the location of the audience – from zip code, city, state and county to custom radiuses and geo-fencing.

Micro-Proximity Targeting

One type of geographic targeting is micro-proximity targeting. Micro-proximity reaches a precise level of targeting by using the information provided by location-enabled apps on mobile devices. Using that data from the app, ads will be served inside the app.

PioneerMedia is partnered with one of the pioneers (seriously, we can’t make this up) in programmatic, allowing us to target micro-proximity to 5 decimal places – down to 1 meter of accuracy. Most providers only offer geo-fencing technology to 2-3 decimal places – within 100 to 1000 meters.

Cookie-Based Targeting

The second targeting method is cookie-based, information stored by your web browser whenever you visit most websites. Cookies can track a lot of online activity and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) aggregate the data for modeling and targeting purposes.

Digilant has a good introductory overview of cookies. While most programmatic is cookie-based, it’s also the “loosest” of the targeting methods because of its widespread use and how different cookie providers parse and share their data. Not only is there a challenge separating robot traffic from human traffic, it’s also a challenge to separate different humans sharing the same browser on the same device.

It’s the only method, however, that actually tracks online behavior. There are broadly four types of cookie-based targeting:

Behavioral Targeting

Target consumers based on their behavior and tracked interest online. Based on your online activity, modeling will also infer your interests and overall profile. There is a wide-range of behavioral targeting options – from purchasing behavior to lifestyle interests. Brand affinity is a type of behavioral targeting, using brand preferences tracked by online activity as a targeting tool.

Retargeting

A type of behavioral targeting, this uses cookies to serve ads to anyone who has visited your website. If you’ve ever researched a product on a shopping website (like Amazon), you most likely have been followed by ads for the product you were researching, long after you’ve left that website.

Search Retargeting

Another type of retargeting that ties in search engine marketing (usually Google Adwords) with programmatic advertising, search retargeting uses cookies that track keyword searches conducted on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to drive online display advertising.

Content Targeting

Target consumers when they are interacting or viewing relevant content online. This requires the exchange serving ads to have a clear idea of the type of content being offered where the ad is being served. The range of content targeting options often matches the range of lifestyle interests. If there’s a magazine or online site dedicated to a certain type of content, then it’s probably a content targteting option.

Demographic Targeting

Modeling your online behavior and the content you consumer, basic demographic assumptions will start being made. Basic demographic modeled include age range, household income, gender, ethnicity and education.

IP-Based Targeting

While demographic modeling is relatively new in the cookie-based world, it’s been around for decades in the direct mail world. Our third method, IP-based targeting, bridges the gap between the two by tying online information to real world presence – specifically network nodes like the IP address on a wifi network and the unique ID every device provides on any network.

There’s only one company in the world that provides this type of information and PioneerMedia was an early partner. Long story short, technology and relationships developed to reduce credit card fraud have been redeployed to match IP addresses with physical addresses, effectively allowing businesses to target households and buildings.

You have to provide the addresses. Because wifi IP addresses can change and not every consumer can be tracked online, there is typically a 50-60% match rate. To maintain a minimum level of anonymity, a minimum number of households must be targeted. Both of these things also allow a healthy level of validation, however, allowing businesses to test response rates between matched and unmatched targets.

Venue Replay allows a business to map a location, say a sports stadium, by its wifi IP address and to gather individual device IDs that can later be matched to household IPs. This allows sports teams or sponsors, for instance, to follow the fans home.

These targeting options are invaluable to small businesses trying to attract new customers who are motivated to make purchases.

The use of programmatic targeting lets businesses pinpoint their target markets at an effective level never imagined before. Targeting maximizes marketing dollars, only presenting messages to those most likely to make purchases, based on your target market. It’s an excellent way to reach motivated buyers without first wading through people less likely to be interested in your product or service.

Compare the benefit of a marketing message tailored to specific consumers that appears on their devices with a blanket marketing effort that may or may not reach your intended audience.

There are only two things that can provide a higher return on investment (ROI) in digital marketing – a strong organic search position supported by search engine optimization (SEO) and content or an email campaign with a strong email list.

We can help you get started with programmatic targeting to grow your customer base quickly and efficiently.