Podcasting is becoming a rapidly increasing multi-media communication tool, especially for business as a marketing strategy. It is reported by Edison Research that podcast listeners are rising at a rate of 21%-24% year on year, probably due to its ease of consumption; in the home or driving and the top 2 ways to listen. This… Continue reading How to easily get the most from your podcast
Marcus Miller on December 28, 2015 A 2015 study by Smart Insights showed that 50 percent of businesses doing digital marketing had no form of digital marketing plan or strategy. They were doing digital marketing, yet there were no clearly defined objectives or goals. Does this seem a little crazy to you? In our experience helping… Continue reading Planning For SEO Success In 2016
From content and social to analytics and retargeting, you’re staying up to date on it all. It’s a lot easier when you can do so with simple, easy-to-digest guides. So I’ve pulled together 30 cheat sheets and checklists to keep your digital marketing fresh and make your life easier.
1. Periodic Table of Content Marketing
This periodic table is a unique chart highlighting the important terms in content marketing. it covers everything you need to keep an eye on. From content strategy to metrics, it’s an all-inclusive index that can help you deliver great content.
2. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Awesome Marketing Emails
Email marketing is a key element of any campaign. From the subject line to the email footer, every section of your email contributes to its overall ability to convert. If you think you’re having trouble with your email outreach, this cheat sheet from HubSpot can help you dissect your emails and optimize each aspect of your campaign to obtain the best results.
3. A Detailed Guide to Photo and Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More
When it comes to social media, great visuals increase engagement. But this only applies when your pictures are relevant, eye-catching, and of course, optimized. With so many types of images to choose from, it’s not easy to keep track of the rules for each network.
This handy infographic shows you all the different images in your social media profiles, along with what they’re used for. It includes recommended sizes, image scale, etc. to make it easier for you to get the most out of your images.
4. Advanced Content Promotion Checklist
Writing content is hard, but promoting it is even harder. With all the distribution tools and channels available to you, it gets tough to keep track of where you’ve promoted your piece and where you’ve yet to share it.
And that’s after figuring out what to do in the first place. Process Street has created a great checklist to streamline content promotion, originally made for themselves before giving us all access.
5. Google Analytics Cheat Sheet
Google Analytics is an absolute essential for any marketer, and this cheat sheet from Portent has you covered. From setting up your account to tracking your goals and conversions, this cheat sheet can really help you get the best out of Google Analytics.
6. Retargeting Cheat Sheet
This cheat sheet simplifies the process of retargeting your customers. It covers the basics to get you started, along with advanced tactics and tips to help you succeed.
7. The Ultimate SaaS Metrics Cheat Sheet
Chart Mogul created this cheat sheet with every important metric you need to know for your SaaS. What’s covered: which ones are important, why they’re important, and how they’re measured. All condensed into a simple 2-pager.
8. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0
Moz, an industry leader in SEO, created this fantastic cheat sheet for SEO newbies and professionals alike. It’s constantly updated by the Moz team, and is great help for web developers to keep their work SEO-friendly and up to date.
9. The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Checklist
This comprehensive checklist covers all the essentials of inbound marketing. Drafted like an ebook, it not only tells you what to do, but how to do it. This guide is a must-have for any marketer’s toolbox.
10. 101 Copywriting Dos and Don’ts
This PDF from Copy Hackers contains all the dos and don’ts of writing great copy that converts, from how to order your bulleted lists, to which famous authors should inspire your copywriting.
11. Google Adwords Cheat Sheet
Google Adwords can get a bit confusing, so Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd came together to create a resource to help. It shows you how to set up, the rules you need to keep in mind, and how to write ad copy that works. It also goes on to define some of terms that might have seemed like gibberish when you first got started.
11. Local SEO Checklist
This checklist is a great way to keep track of your local optimization. From on-page SEO to social signals, this list covers every aspect your SEO to manage your process in the easiest way.
12. Social Media Marketing Checklist
Social media is an essential channel for marketers and this infographic can help you manage your efforts and make sure you don’t miss a beat!
This fill-in-the-blank infographic will guide you through setting up the beginnings of a social media marketing strategy, from identifying your audience through measuring your results.
13. A Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist
Conversion science can get messy when you don’t know what exactly brings you conversions. This checklist helps you streamline the process and identify the factors that can be optimized to improve your overall CRO, from choosing KPIs through designing A/B/ tests.
14. Google Analytics Metrics and Dimensions Cheat Sheet
Google analytics can be confusing to a beginner. It can take forever to discover all the data it’s tracking without a guide. This PDF helps you understand the metrics and dimensions you need to figure out the various aspects of your customers’ interaction with your website.
15. The Ultimate SEO Checklist
The Ultimate SEO Checklist from Leapfroggr covers on-page and off-page SEO for anyone who’s looking to make sure that their website has a good foundation for their digital marketing strategy.
But unlike most other SEO checklists, it’s not a list of the ranking factors or how to optimize for them. It’s fully covers creating an SEO strategy, from performing market research to reputation management.
16. The Shelf’s Blogger Outreach Checklist
When it comes to reaching out to bloggers or influencers, any old email just will not do. This checklist from The Shelf covers the essentials of your outreach for the best results, including best practices and sample outreach emails.
17. Site Audit Checklist
Site audits can be intimidating, but Annie Cushing (aka Annielytics) makes it easy with her site audit checklist. It’s in the form of a Google Spreadsheet, so you can quickly make a copy and start tracking things yourself.
It becomes a lot less daunting to check track your work one section at a time. The sheet includes the initial data pulls, architecture, analytics, e-commerce, and pretty much everything you need to make your audit a breeze.
18. Universal Analytics Cheat Sheet
This comprehensive cheat sheet simplifies Google Analytics. It has three sheets that cover general usage, method and field reference, and limits and quotas.
19. Startup Launch List
The Startup Launch List is an amazing compilation for budding entrepreneurs. Its reading list gives insights into each aspect of building a startup – from the initial idea to raising finances from investors. These tidbits from experienced hands can help you get your idea up and running.
20. The Social Platform Cheat Sheet
There are so many social channels out there, and they’re constantly changing. This cheat sheet guides you through the main platforms, who’s on them, and how to engage them.
21. .htaccess Cheat Sheet
Redirecting pages can get a little tricky for anyone without a technical background. This cheat sheet teaches you the basics for redirection, security, and other rules.
22. The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Advanced Search
Twitter’s one of the best ways for a brand to engage with its customers. And advertising there has proven awesome for many marketers. Even if your company doesn’t even have a Twitter handle yet (but it does, right?), you can find leads, track brand mentions, follow important topics, etc.
This Zapier guide is your way into the world of tweets, with its step-by-step guide to using advanced search to get real time data about your customers.
23. The Google Guide to Making Search Easier
Google advanced search is an essential skill for any marketer. This search guide can help you use search operators to get specific search results on Google.
You can use this to find really specific content, search unique mediums, and perform any kind of research faster.
24. A 50-Point Checklist for Creating The Ultimate Landing Page
When your landing page is your key to conversions, it’s important to make sure that you’re not missing any key elements. This Unbounce checklist highlights all the essentials of a great landing page so that while you’re building one, you don’t miss anything.
25. Website Usability Checklist
Building websites can be difficult for marketers, and in the process of making a beautiful site, it’s easy to lost sight of usability when you’re not an expert.
The website usability checklist covers the common problems faced by users on a website. From forms to navigation, it helps you make sure that your site is not only well designed, but also user-friendly.
26. The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet
Google is constantly updating its algorithm to provide a better user experience. Neil Patel has created a cheat sheet to simplify these changes and help marketers make sense of the ranking factors and how they can affect your website.
27. The Keyword Research Cheat Sheet
As a marketer, you know how important SEO is. This keyword research cheat sheet covers the basics of the way keywords work and how you can use the best ones to bring in relevant, converting traffic.
28. The SEO Cheat Sheet for WordPress
WordPress is the easiest way for marketers to get their blog out there. By using themes, connecting your blog to useful plugins, and a few other tricks covered in this resource, you can optimize any page.
29. Website Launch Checklist
The launch of a website is stressful enough as it is, without the hassle of forgetting something simple like checking links. Launchlist makes sure that you’ve got all your bases covered before your site goes live.
Most marketing missteps come from skipping a step, rather than actually not knowing what to do. We’re busy, we’re stressed, and we handle it really well most of the time. And with checklists to ensure accuracy, we can handle it well all the time.
Content marketing is amazing for attracting your target audience and building a relationship with it.
There is just one problem, though…
How do you do it?
I share a lot of content marketing tips in my posts, but those posts usually assume you’re already doing content marketing, at least to some degree.
But if you haven’t started yet, or are very new to it, you won’t get as much out of those posts as those with some experience.
So, if you’ve felt that my past posts about content marketing have been too advanced for you, this one will help.
I’m going to give you a step-by-step process to follow to create a successful content marketing plan.
I’m talking about a plan that is simple to understand and execute but that can be used to drive thousands of qualified visitors to your website every month (in less than a year).
Why content marketing?
There are several dozen types of marketing.
They can all produce good results when applied in the right situation.
But I think we’re in a special time for content marketing.
Businesses and marketers are recognizing how effective it is in the modern consumer climate.
People have always liked to buy from businesses and people with whom they have relationships and whom they trust.
Until the Internet, it was hard for businesses to build those relationships.
But now, it’s easier than ever to deliver content to an audience.
This is important whether you’re selling straight to the consumer or to a business. A recent survey found that 67% of B2B buyers base their buying decisions on content.
And they don’t become just buyers—a large percentage of them also frequently share that content (most often in the form of a blog post – 40%).
Most marketers have just started recognizing all this.
Currently, 80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy.
However, 48% (overall) do not have a written plan. In 99% of cases, this means that they really have no clue what they’re doing.
That’s good news for you. Why? Because just by putting in some effort to go through this post and writing a few things down, you’ll be ahead of over 50% of online marketers.
I’ll let you in on a secret:
Most businesses suck at content marketing.
Seriously, look at the blogs for most businesses—they’re a joke.
But still, 30% of marketers find content marketing“effective”, and another 44% get some results from it.
Don’t be in those bottom three groups…
There’s no reason why you can’t find content marketing very effective for generating traffic and, most importantly, qualified leads for your business.
Follow the six steps I cover in the rest of this post, and write down your notes as you go.
In the end, you’ll have a short, clear, and effective content marketing plan to base your future work on.
Step 1: Why are you doing this?
Before you can start producing content of any kind, it pays to do a bit of planning.
If you just produce content for a general audience, chances are you won’t get much in the way of results.
To really see great results, you need to:
Identify your target audienceCreate content that resonates with those specific readers
When you create general content, it will never resonate with anyone, which is why it isn’t effective.
But it’s not enough to just target a specific audience. You need to understand their beliefs, problems, and desires so that your content matches them.
Part #1 – Who are they? Create a section in a blank document for Step 1. At the top of this section, you need to define who your target audience is.
For example, if you sell running gear, your audience may be “runners.”
But do you see the problem with that?
While “runners” is technically an audience, it’s not a well defined one.
There are many different kinds of runners:
professional marathonersprofessional sprintersrecreational joggers (do it for fun)runners trying to lose weightrunners trying to strengthen their legs…
…and so on.
Do you think you could create content that would speak to both a professional marathoner and a random guy that’s just trying to lose his beer gut?
Not a chance.
Get as specific as you can. You want to identify an audience who would agree with your label.
A professional marathoner would say:
I’m not just a runner; I’m a professional marathoner who trains year round and races six times a year.
I’m not a running expert, so six times might be too many, but you get the point…
Once you have the name of your audience, write it down.
Now you can start to build a reader persona.
Give your average audience member a fictional name before moving on to part #2. This allows you to write to one person, which is an old copywriting trick for writing in a more conversational tone that is more likely to resonate with your readers.
Part #2 – What are they struggling with? Here’s where serious research comes into play.
You need to start profiling your reader.
In this part, you’ll identify as many problems your target audience faces as possible. If you can, classify them by severity.
Let’s continue with the running example.
How do you find out what problems marathoners have?
The best way to gather that information is to simply talk to them. I know it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world to do for some people, but if you can, chat with a few for 10-20 minutes.
Ask them about their biggest problems and obstacles.
If that fails, head to online forums and community sites specifically set up for your target audience. You want to find a place where they talk to each other about their problems.
If you have no clue where to start, start with Reddit.
You can find a subreddit (basically a categorized community) for just about any topic.
In this case, a simple search on Google reveals a couple of “marathon” subreddits:
Spend at least 20-30 minutes looking through the threads you find.
Record any problems you see people talk about as well as how often they come up and how serious they seem to be.
On the first few results, I already see two problems:
beginner marathoners who are not sure about etiquette during a race and
racerunners having joint pain during a taper (when they reduce their mileage leading up to a race).
Ideally, get a list of over 100 problems.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s doable, and you’ll be set for content ideas for a while.
Alternatively, do a search for forums on Google.
In this case, these results are probably better.
They are geared towards experienced marathoners, whereas that first subreddit was focused on beginners (although it will have some experienced runners too).
You do the exact same thing here—look for problems.
Again, I see a few problems right off the bat:
How do you set your pace for a marathon?What do you do if you start getting pain leading up to the marathon?
Write down your list of problems (in your document or in a separate spreadsheet) before moving on.
Part #3 – Where do they look for solutions? In order to provide your audience with solutions to their problems, you need to find a way to get those solutions in front of them.
Most of these places are online, so that’s what you should focus on.
You need to compile a list of websites they visit.
That starts with the forums and communities you just found in part 2.
Other than those, you’ll just have to search around.
I would recommend starting with:
top (niche) sites
top (niche) blogs
You should be able to compile at least 20-30 “popular” sites they visit.
If it looks like a site only has a few dozen readers, don’t bother recording it.
Record these sites as we’ll be coming back to them later.
Part #4 – How will you solve their problems better than anyone else? No matter what your topic is, there are already at least a few popular sites that cover it.
Readers need very good reasons to either add your site to the ones they already follow or replace one of them with yours.
And the way you convince them to do that is bygiving more value.
If your content is clearly better than that of your competitors’, you will draw readers away from them.
Start by going to the most popular sites in your niche.
Look through their content, and note any weaknesses in it.
For example, I picked the first popular marathon site I found, which was a blog on a major running site.
The content is written by a true expert, but it’s quite basic, and it’s very anecdotal.
I would note under weaknesses:
Not enough images, lists, etc.Could use more data supporting pointsVery short, doesn’t dive into the topic thoroughly
Then, I would move on to the next blog.
After 5-10, you’ll start to see the same things pop up every time. These are your opportunities.
Go back to your document. Your goal here is to create a concise description of how your content will be more valuable to your target audience.
Our content will include a lot of relevant visual content as well as data-driven answers. We will go deep into subjects to try to satisfy our target audience.
Having that description to guide you in the future will ensure that you focus on the right things.
Step 2: Here’s how you figure out the best type of content to produce
The “content” in content marketing can mean a lot of different things.
Pretty much anything that can possibly contain a message is considered content. That includes:
blog postsinfographicspictures (drawings, comics, photographs, paintings)podcastsvideose-booksslideshows
and much more.
If you produce certain types of content for your audience, you’ll get better results than you would with other types.
To figure out what the best type is, you have to consider two factors.
What are your audience’s preferences? Some audiences prefer certain types of content over others.
For example, home decorators are mainly looking for visual content. Pictures and videos are the primary form of content in the home decorating niche.
On the other hand, a niche like nutrition mainly will have your standard text content with pictures mixed in.
The tough part is figuring out what is best for your niche.
To do this, we’re going to look at a few different indicators.
Start by heading to Buzzsumo. Create a free account if you don’t have one yet, and then search for your niche (you can choose a broader niche here).
What you’ll likely see is that one of the main social networks is much more popular than the others.
If Pinterest or Facebook are the most popular, image-based content is going to be crucial. Pinterest is a purely image-based network, while images are by far the most shared type of content on Facebook.
But that’s not a perfect overview of the whole situation.
What about things like podcasts?
That’s where you need to search individually. The two other forms of content you need to check for are podcasts and videos.
With podcasts, you can use two methods.
First, you can look at Stitcher’s top 100 podcasts in a relevant category.
In our example, I picked “sports” since that’s what running would fall under.
I looked through the top 100 and couldn’t find a single podcast about running. That tells me there isn’t a lot of interest.
Ideally, you’d like to see at least a few different podcasts about your niche as an indicator of some interest.
If you see 3-4 in the top 10, that tells you that audio content is huge in your niche and you should definitely incorporate it into your content strategy if you can.
Anther way you can check for podcasts is to simply Google “top (niche) podcasts”.
I found a few, run by some popular websites. Then, I looked them up on Stitcher and found that they had barely any reviews. This means they aren’t very popular.
In this case, audio content is out.
Finally, what about video content?
Well, that’s pretty easy to check for. Go to YouTube, and search for your niche. You can also try a few suggestions from the search bar.
This actually surprised me. There were many marathon-running videos with several thousand views.
I didn’t expect this, which is exactly why you need to check.
Look at the number of views on each video. You’ll have to decide what you’d consider a significant number, but I’d be looking for at least 10 videos to have at least 20,000 views to indicate serious interest.
If there’s only one video with a ton of views, it’s likely a one-off viral fluke and should be discounted.
What are your strengths and/or budget? The second main factor depends on your skillset. If you’re not a good writer, you probably want to lean towards a different type of content.
Often, you’ll find that multiple forms of content are equally popular in your niche. That gives you a lot of flexibility. You can use any combination of them.
But what if only one type of content is popular?Well, then you have no choice.
If you aren’t comfortable creating that content, you have a decision to make:
learn how to create it or
hire someone to do it for you
If you have a healthy budget for content marketing, hiring is always a good option.
If not, you’ll need to develop those skills on your own.
Now, combine the two: Now you’re looking for the intersection of these two areas:
the type of content desired by your target audience and
the type of content you can actually produce.
The type(s) of content that falls into both areas is the one(s) you should produce for your target audience.
Do you want to be seen as a Social Media leader in your Industry?
Is Content Marketing a part of your marketing strategy?
Providing valuable content to your audience can help you stand out on social channels. In this article Sarah shows you six way to raise your social media influence with content.