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Be an expert, or go home. They’re strong words, but they were a key takeaway from a recent interview with Google’s Matt Cutts, one of the driving forces behind modern search. The world’s leading spam fighter revealed a plethora of insights for your content strategy, including a strong recommendation to differentiate. Don’t write something your competitors have already covered; take the time to describe it better than anyone else. Adopt new tools, follow thought leaders, and don’t be afraid to try new tactics in order to produce content that search engines and consumers can’t help but notice. In order to help you elevate your content strategy in the coming week, we’ve compiled 5 of the most brilliant articles to hit the web in recent days.
If you only read one piece of content marketing this week, make it this one. The Content Marketing Institute’s Michelle Linn used a Tweet chat with some of the brightest minds in the industry to curate expert thoughts on just what defines a content strategy. The quick question-and-answer format covers essential topics like first steps toward developing a solid strategy, tools that leading marketers are actively using, and deciding how to balance text, images, and video content. Even if you’re well-versed in the difference between content marketing and content strategy, there’s a lot to learn from this outstanding article.
Neil Patel, co-founder of Kissmetrics, really hit it out of the park with this post, which should probably be retitled “almost everything a content marketer needs to know.” From hitting quality guidelines to effective promotion principles, every aspect of creating content and driving traffic to your company website is addressed in this article. Patel perfectly covers many of the biggest questions practitioners have, including how to best destroy your strategy (hint: it’s duplicate content), and the types of content that have driven the best results for his own startups.
If your content marketing isn’t driving return on investment, you may need to transform your blog into more of a hangout, sort of like a coffee shop. We have to love the analogy created by Rachel Terry of Zerys, who points out that powerful SEO isn’t enough to maintain an audience. Keyword strategy can drive organic search traffic, but it’s up to you to keep your audience interested. Your small business strategy should focus on being welcoming in the same way that a coffee house is, in order to bring people back after their first visit. In addition to this brilliant thought, there’s plenty of actionable tips in this great content.
A company tagline may be the most important piece of content marketing you ever write. Where would Nike be without “Just Do it,” or Maxwell House without “Good to the Last Drop?” As Katherine Kotaw points out, taglines engage an audience before they’re even ready to listen to your elevator pitch or engage with your blog. Her concept of using Hollywood principles to tell a story in just a sentence or two is positively brilliant. Even if your company isn’t in the market for a new company slogan, this article’s lessons on succinctness and narrative are well worth the read.
Some of this week’s best insights on B2B content marketing for advanced practitioners come from the Eloqua blog, thanks to Amanda F. Bautista. Whether you’re struggling to accelerate your content strategy or you’re in an acknowledged, tough-to-shake rut, there’s bound to be something new to you in this article. Bautista’s suggestions include actionable advice on how to better leverage your coworker’s expertise, creating a pop culture-inspired campaign, and integrating Foursquare into your content. Make a point of adopting at least one of these tips, and you’re bound to see amazing results.
How do you make your business blog a more welcoming place for first-time website visitors? Which ideas are you most excited to apply to your content strategy this week? Let us know – we can’t wait to discuss!