10 steps to Developing A Strategic Marketing Plan

9 Preparatory Steps To Developing A Strategic Marketing Plan

“Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military”. – By Barack Obama 

Preparation is everything. Whether you want to start a war or peacekeeping movement. The steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your success.

In the same vein, if you’re figuring out how to develop a strategic marketing plan. Then, you must know that preparation is not optional for you. Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it’s strategic and includes numbers, facts, and objectives that drive better ROI.

A good marketing plan provides all the tools and tactics required to achieve your sales goals. It’s your plan of marketing actions; what you sell and who you sell to?

In this article, I will give you 9 preparatory steps to developing a strategic marketing plan.

Our main focus is on digital marketing; we will expand on the concept of a marketing plan and how to develop a strategic marketing plan that encompasses the entirety of digital marketing.

The Concept of a Marketing Plan?

For today’s marketers, creating an integrated marketing plan that includes social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and SEO is necessary in order to attract and convert buyers consistently and repeatedly.

Let me guess: You are a marketer that works for a large corporation and has been tasked with developing a marketing plan for the year, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a marketing plan from scratch.

Maybe it’s been over 10 years since you graduated from business management school or wrote your last marketing plan, and you realize that things have changed a bit and you’re thinking of how to skill up.

Whatever the case may be, the steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your success – helping you to get measurable results.

To start with, you need to put down the following details:

1. List Your goals

While developing goals may not be the first step of your planning actions but listing them first on your marketing plan document sets the stage for everything to come in.

These are a few things you should never miss out when setting up your goals:

  • Plan your goals for success
  • Manage your risk
  • Set time-limit for goals
  • Evaluate and reflect on your goals
  • Set goals that you can control.
  • Write goals that align with your business values.

2. Research

why good marketing plan

Research is the foundation of your marketing plan. Here are 5 research steps to help you in your marketing plan:

– Know Your Competitors

You need to know the competition in your business space in order to determine the measure of success and define your marketing strategy.

Researching your competition will always help you through the next step of performing a SWOT analysis strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

In the world of inbound marketing, there are a good number of strategies that can be useful when researching on your competitors.

Here are some quick tips to help  you know your competitors:

  • Subscribe to receive your competitors’ emails (or those you perceive to be your competitors).
  • Follow your competitors on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other social media site where you can find them.
  • Evaluate what content your competitors are creating to identify who it is aimed at, how often is it produced, who is writing it, what the content topics are, etc.

– Perform a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a Standard for any business or marketing plan. The SWOT analysis helps you:

  • clearly define your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats so that you can develop goals and objectives that are on point and tied to your overall business value.
  • understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market.
  • develop your messaging and your unique selling proposition.

It’s helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan. Use bullets points and aim for 4–5 in each section.

However, limiting your lists will help you to focus on the most critical points and help retain focus. 

– Create Your Buyer Personas

Outbound marketing is no more a common practice.

No one look for customers aimless. Instead, inbound marketers are takes marketing actions on the segments for those audiences that they want to target.

Creating buyer personas will help you better understand:

  • Who you are marketing to
  • What their pain points are
  • Where they spend time online
  • And a number of other demographic traits

With these informations you’ll be able to personalize your marketing plans so they are targeted and highly relevant to your target audience.

Know this: Never try to catch every fish in the sea. You’re only trying to catch the ones you want, the ones you are targeting because they have the strongest potential to turn into leads. So cast your net precisely.

– Learn Your Buyers’ Buying Cycle

After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is to learn your buyer’s buying cycle by figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy.

According to HubSpot and many who believe in the inbound marketing model, there are three steps in the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Each of these stages is a major opportunity for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customers by providing what is valuable to them.

–  Narrow Down Your Budgets

Executing all of your marketing goals isn’t feasible if you don’t know how much money you’re up to investing.

Narrowing down your budgets will dictate which goals you can address first, the manpower you can recruit to help, and the extent to which your marketing plan can go for the month, quarter, or year.

3. Define KPIs & Measurement Methods

Now your strategy is in place and you have begun putting them together and implementing your plans, it’s time to measure.

In fact, even before you have implemented your strategy, you should be measuring to establish your baseline. To know what you have done in the past and what were the results? How can those strategies move to improve your ROI?

Measurement should be done before, during and after, throughout the year, on a monthly or even weekly basis to ensure that your plans are delivering measurable and expected results.

4. Define Your Strategy

You have understood your buyers and your marketing landscape, it’s time to explain the strategy.

This phase includes:

  • Defining Your Goals
  • Knowing Your USP (unique selling proposition)
  • Ensuring You Have a Strong Brand
  • Making Sure You Have an Optimized Website
  • Creating Kick-Ass Content
  • Defining Your Distribution Channels (email, social, etc.)
  • Creating an SEO Strategy

Now let’s get down to:

How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

Now that you’ve done your research, you’re ready to start formulating a strategy for your marketing plan. These may include:

1. Identify Your Goals

creating good marketing plan

Goals are the most important part of your marketing plan. If you have completed your research, you should have been able to identify your weaknesses and areas of opportunities.

It’s helpful to set both quantitative and qualitative goals around these findings, as well as developing KPIs.

They will help you set a clear path to identifying your goals, understand your marketing ROI and redirect your tactics as you move on.

Goals should be direct and obtainable

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when developing marketing goals and objectives:

  • Evaluate your current position in the market and set realistic goals.
  • Understand your growth year-to-date and set attainable but challenging goals accordingly.
  • Tie your goals to your businesses’ overall mission and vision.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself. Pick no more than 2 main goals and 3-5 supporting goals.
  • Accept that sometimes you will fail and not reach all of your goals. Be OK with that and learn from your failures.
  • Create goal milestones to make reaching the goal more digestible.

2. Know Your Unique Selling Position (USP)

Knowing your unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing that USP is critical if you want to beat your competitors and mark your business value in the marketplace.

Your USP ties in closely with your brand and your content because those are the condict your USP will be communicated through.

Communication is key. Clearly state your USP and do it often on your website, in your emails, through your ads, etc. 

3. Make Sure You Have A Strong Brand Presence

Branding can be fun, but it can also be tricky. A brand can be one of the strongest assets a company possesses and, if done right, will encourage customer loyalty.

But brand consistency is key. Some of the brand channels your brand should be consistently represented include:

  • Logo
  • Website design
  • Tradeshow booths and displays
  • Print marketing materials
  • Business cards and email signatures
  • Advertisements
  • Packaging design
  • Social media profiles
  • Sales collateral

Take a look at all the places where your audience comes in contact with your brand and ask yourself what each piece is saying about your brand as a whole.

If your brand encompasses several sub-brands or subsidiaries, have you strategically audited your brand architecture to leverage maximum brand equity? Not only will a well-designed, cohesive brand architecture benefit you in brand value and recognition, but an online brand strategy will benefit your SEO/search rankings as well.

4. Optimize Your Website

Website design is more than just a pretty homepage. Your website is often the first impression your prospects will get of your company.

That means that your website has to be more than pretty — it needs to be clear and functional. If your site is cluttered and hard to navigate, you will automatically lose potential buyers. Just think about the last time you went to a poorly designed, cluttered website.

Did you stay long? What was your immediate impression of that company? Similarly, if visitors can’t tell what you sell or why you sell it, they will leave.

All it takes is the click of a button and they are on to the next provider. There’s often a direct correlation that if your website is hard to work with, your company must be hard to work with.

So be clear in your messaging. Make sure your site is a place that people want to stay, not only because it’s nice to look at but also because the information visitors need is easily found.

There are an entire science and methodology behind website design including where to place buttons on the page, what content works best where colors convey certain feelings, and so on.

Check out stunning websites designed by harveyteck for inspiration and should you consider hiring a web designer who specializes in inbound marketing and SEO to ensure your website is reaching its full potential. They are always available for a consultation

5. Create Kick-Ass Content

content marketing

If you have read anything about inbound or content marketing you have likely heard the overused phrase “content is king.”

While it may be overused, when it comes to inbound marketing it’s pretty spot on. Content is the meat that will attract your buyers.

It is what Google uses to search for keywords and drive users to your site and what buyers use to glean information and knowledge about their problem as they move through the buyer’s journey.

Content is all of the written words used to convey your brand including:

  • Website copy
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Social media posts

But it’s not just having content that matters — it’s having quality content that is consistent. Content marketing is about providing useful information to your customer base.

It’s about informing rather than selling. Think of it this way: If you write intelligent and thought-provoking blog content on a weekly basis that in some way solves a problem, answers a question or simply entertains your target audience, you will become a go-to resource for those potential buyers.

They will come back to your site time and time again because you are providing a free service to them, all the while building trust and establishing brand clout in a non-intrusive way.

And when these devoted followers realize they need the product you sell, guess who they are most likely to buy it from? You got it. They are going to go to you, the company they trust. So, your content is essential for nurturing your customers as they move through the buyer’s journey.

But in order to do this successfully, you need to know what types of content to use and when.

Recommended content types for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

– Awareness Stage

  • eBooks
  • eGuides
  • White Papers
  • Editorial Content
  • Reports
  • Blog Posts

– Consideration Stage

  • Webinars/Webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Expert and Solution-Oriented Guides and White Papers

– Decision Stage

  • Product Comparisons
  • Case Studies
  • Free Trials/Downloads
  • Product-Focused Content

But it doesn’t stop there. Buyers aren’t the only ones that like helpful content. Google does too! Creating solid content is important for your SEO strategy.

To learn more about creating a content plan read: THE CONTENT CODE:10 Addictive Types of Content The “Elite” Copywriters Pray You Never Find Out.[internal link]

6. Define Your Distribution Channels

As important as content is, without distribution your content goes to waste. It is useless. So it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how each channel works and to use a mix of paid, owned and earned media.

Social Media In the world of social media, it pays to have an overall strategy that is tweaked depending on the social channel you are working in.

For example, the way you market on Twitter will differ from the way you market on LinkedIn or Facebook. They are different sites with different purposes and your messaging needs to reflect that. One strategy that does work across them all is using photographs.

Posts with pictures get higher clicks and engagement across the board. And because social media is all about getting your content and your message is seen, timing is important. According to sumall.com, the key is to catch people in their downtime, early in the morning, on their breaks or at night.

Here is what they recommend for timing:

  • Twitter: 1-3 pm weekdays
  • Facebook: 1-4 pm and 2-5 pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn: 7-8:30 am and 5-6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Tumblr: 7-10 pm weekdays and 4 pm on Fridays
  • Instagram: 5-6 pm weekdays and 8 pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6 pm
  • Pinterest: 2-4 pm and 8-11 pm weekdays with weekends being the best

Of course, depending on your industry and audience, these times could vary. The key is to test and re-test in order to see when your buyers are engaging. Look at the competition.

See who is doing social successfully in your space and note their patterns. And remember, your engagement on social media is key.

When you interact with your audience you are telling them you heard them, you are enhancing your brand and you are showing authenticity.

Much like your content plan, your social media plan needs a strategy of its own that is then integrated with your overall marketing plan.

For more on social media marketing read, The Ultimate Guide to Social media marketing [internal link] Email Email marketing is yet another tactic in your inbound marketing arsenal.

Email is used most effectively as a lead nurturing tool, in that it is used to engage with potential customers as they interact with specific content on your website.

For example, if a prospect visits your website and downloads an eBook, they will then begin to receive a set of triggered emails related to the eBook topic, encouraging them to further interact with your brand.

Email is also commonly used for announcements, newsletters, and promotions. Just as with social media, email frequency, and timing matters. While incorporating email into your marketing plan is important, overdoing it can backfire.

People don’t want to be overrun with emails and if you are overzealous you could risk losing potential buyers. When creating your emails, here are some tips:

  • Keep the content short
  • Include one main call-to-action
  • Add links back to your website
  • Use images
  • Make sure the subject line is catchy

And when it comes to email, you can never test or measure too much. For more on email marketing read, How To Start A Successful Email Marketing Campaign [internal links]

7. Get Found

SEO OPTIMIZATION

As we have already established, the content you create is important to your strategy, but it is only useful if it finds its way into the right hands. SEO is what Google and other search engines use to index your pages and allow your content to be found by your prospective customers. In the digital world, SEO is incredibly important.

You could think about it as another distribution channel with a whole different set of rules. In order to use SEO effectively, you must optimize your content. And when we say content we mean all your content — from your blogs to your landing pages to your social tags.

In order to do this, you need to create a keyword list, which will then allow you to create messaging around the words and phrases you are targeting. But SEO is much more than just targeting keywords. Link building, content and social media all play key roles in a successful SEO strategy.

For more on email marketing read: 7 Unbeatable Examples On How To Rank Higher On Google[internal links]

8. Measure, Measure, Measure!

MEASURE

This is the phase of your plan that should be ongoing. As soon as you put your marketing plan into action, start tracking, measuring and reporting.

The ability to measure your inbound marketing efforts is one of the most valuable parts of your plan and the beauty of inbound marketing.

The number of things to measure and test are endless. And that’s a good thing because when you are able to test and measure, you are able to improve areas of weakness, report quantitative results and prove the value of your marketing efforts to the broader organization.

You should be measuring, reporting and testing your inbound marketing on a monthly basis to see what is working and what isn’t and to learn more about your buyer base.

It might sound like overkill, but this actually can be a really fun part! Read: 10 Metrics That Will Help You Increase Your Sales [internal links]

9. Creating Tactical Plans

 Once you have your strategy in place, it’s time to decide what tactics are most important to the success of that strategy. For example, let’s say a company decides to focus on four main tactics for the year:

  • Blog creation
  • A website re-vamp
  • SEO improvements
  • Custom list development for email campaigns

While they may still want to work on their social media strategy and PR, for the year in question they will devote the majority of their budget towards the four main tactics listed.

But they will continue to allocate smaller budgets towards social media and PR, to keep them running. In addition, tactical calendars will be needed to help layout the specifics of each tactic. For example, an editorial calendar will be needed for the content blogging strategy.

 

BOOM YOU ARE IN

There is a lot that goes into creating a marketing plan. But when it’s done right, it will be the most valuable asset your marketing department has.

And remember: We’re are marketers, not heart surgeons. Have fun, get creative and don’t take yourself or your marketing too seriously!

DIGITAL MARKETING

The Golden Concept Of Internet Marketing

The world is drastically ever-changing in ways we can barely imagine. Shopping for and marketing has gone far beyond the usual practice. Every business wants to have a place on the web.

Today’s customers are self-directed, as the internet has offered a variety of options from which they can choose from. Within the same vein, providing good marketing opportunities for nearly all types of business.

It is correct to mention that 90% of each activity on internet centers around marketing. In straightforward words; finding visibility online.

This brings us to:

Internet Marketing

Any kind of activity that is done on the internet to promote any product, person, service, business or finding online visibility, will be deemed as internet marketing or online marketing or digital marketing.

In the real sense, once we point out marketing on the internet, we’re talking about driving traffic or boosting visibility via several online channels.

The concept of Internet marketing is viewed on the web in the following ways:

#1 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

SEO OPTIMIZATION

SEO is a core tactic in any marketing strategy. With more than 200+ ranking factors in Google’s current algorithms. Learning and successfully implementing good SEO tactics is essential to the success of your website or blog.

At first, it is usually challenging to grasp. But when you discover the right course, book or audiobook, and dedicate some time to learning, you will gain insight into best SEO practices that will help put your business directly in front of your ideal customers.

Here are a few ways to get the best from SEO:

#2 – Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM MARKETING

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) provides an advertising model for digital display advertisements through social networks like Google Adwords and different paid search platforms that exist across the web.

With SEM, you have the opportunity to put your advertisements right in front of a motivated audience at the exact time they’re ready to make paying actions.

There is no advertising medium that will offer such a great opportunity, which is why search engine marketing is so effective and such an awesome way to grow your business online.

However, when it comes to SEM, keywords are the foundation. But before you focus on a keyword to use in your search engine marketing campaigns, you need to engage in a keyword research strategy.

With the right budget, marketing on search engines for competitive keywords might be the right fit for you.  Keywords can range anywhere from a few cents to upwards of $50 and more.

But be prepared to scaleup.

First, you need to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and which prospective customers are likely to use when searching for your products and services.

One way to accomplish this is by using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.

Another crucial aspect of keywords that is essential for the success of a search engine marketing campaign is the site structure.

Logically speaking keyword strategy and site structure can help you achieve higher click-through rates, lower costs-per-click, and generally better website overall performance,

An optimally structured SEM campaign is comprised of five distinct elements:

  • Ad campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Keywords
  • Ad text
  • Landing pages

However, SEM doesn’t only cover paying for clicks but also paying for impressions. For instance, in every 1000 times your ad is displayed, you pay a pre-arranged amount, regardless of whether anyone clicked on it or not.

#3 – Social Media Marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA PLUS

 

One of the easiest ways to market anything without any delay is through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and many others.

Social media marketing provides a more direct approach to reach your targeted audience.

However, achieving great success doesn’t happen overnight. It demands a lot of effort.

Here are a few  things to do to gain influence and start productive marketing on social media:

  • Find your voice: decide your message and stick with it. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Find a voice and stay committed to it. Whether it’s a topic, idea, niche, business, or something else, do your best to be consistent with it.
  • Be real and be yourself: Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Be real and be yourself. It will resonate well with people. Your audience can see through what you’re up to if you’re real or not.
  • Always deliver value: Inspite of who you are and what you’re trying to achieve, always deliver value. Go as far as you can to help solve your audience’s pain point problem. The more you focus on delivering value, the quicker you’ll achieve your goals.
  • Constantly engage with social media influencers: Most social media superstars will tell you that during the start, they followed the social media influencers and constantly commenting, sharing, and engaged with their content. Not simply on their profiles, but by directly commenting on photos and engaging in conversations on other feeds.

If you’re serious with finding your voice and discovering the secrets to success in business, one of the best people to follow is Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media, and Neil Patel.

#4 – Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

PAY PER CLICK TECH

PPC advertising is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads.

PPC ads exist on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

However, if you’re going to engage in PPC advertising, you must confirm engagement rates by using tracking pixels. Using the Facebook tracking pixel or the Adwords pixel, helps you to define your audience, thus, helping you make targeted customers a returning visitor.

Let’s say you have prospects that didn’t end their purchase or they merely showed up and left once adding something to their shopping cart, or they filled out a lead form and disappeared, you can re-target those them.

Re-targeting is one of the most effective ways to market your business online because you’re marketing to “warm” traffic, or people who’ve already visited your site.

If you’ve ever gone to a website and then notice those ads following you around the internet, that’s what re-targeting is. It’s important to know that when running PPC ads, you must keep careful track of the specific ads and keywords that you’re targeting.

You will do that by using the Google Analytics UTM builder to create campaign URLs that you can use to track the campaign source, the medium, and any keywords or terms that you might be targeting.

This way, you will be able to confirm the effectiveness of any campaign that you simply run and figure out the precise conversion rate.

#5 — Affiliate Marketing

AFFILAITE-MARKETING PLUS

Affiliate marketing is the art of marketing products, services, or information for others and gets a commission for every sale made. It doesn’t require you to have a warehouse. But it does require that you have a targeted audience to market those things online.

Without that audience, whether it’s through search engines like Google or social media channels like Facebook, making a 6 digit income from affiliate marketing doesn’t come easy. You’ll find a difficult time with affiliate marketing.

However, if you are a seasoned digital marketer, and you’ve built a substantial following, then marketing as an affiliate might be the right fit.

Jason Stone from Millionaire Mentor has built a seven-figure business with affiliate marketing, while David Sharpe from Legendary Marketer has built up an eight-figure business by creating an army of affiliates that market products in collaboration with his team.

There are various affiliate programs and platforms to source affiliate products and services. However, a number of the largest sites are  ClickbankCommission JunctionLinkShare, and JVZoo.

You’ll need to go through an application process, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products.

Once approved, be prepared to hustle.

#6 – Email Marketing

HIDDEN EMAIL FACTS

For those that are not in the know, email marketing is a substantial money generator.

Email marketing can far outstrip standard website sales because, at least for unknown brands or websites that are not household names, clinching a sale on the first interaction often doesn’t happen.

That’s why seasoned online marketers build squeeze pages with lead magnets, webinars, and sales funnels to drip-deliver value and build a close personal relationship with their email subscribers, effectively moving them up a value chain to sell them high-ticket products and services.

If you have a website or a blog, be sure that you create a lead magnet or give something else of value away for free such as a trial software to a SaaS system or anything else for that matter that people could get value out of. Exchange your free offer for the email address and drop them into your sales funnel.

Use an email marketing system like InfusionSoft, ConvertKit, or MailChimp, amongst others, to drip-feed value to those subscribers while also working to move them up to your value chain.

Russell Bruson does a great job of explaining sales funnels and marketing virtually anything on the internet is his best-selling book, Dot Com Secrets.

#7 — Influencer Marketing

INFLUENCER MARKETING PLUS

Using influencers to market your products or services is a great way to quickly saturate yourself into the marketplace, no matter what you’re peddling.

However, finding the right influencer at the right price is the hard part. You don’t necessarily have to go to the top-tier influencers; you can also opt for micro-influencers (those that have 10,000 to 100,000 followers or fans). Some influencers charge a hefty sum for a simple post on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

You can expect to pay upwards of a million dollars and more for some of the top-tier influencers. If you’re looking for mid-level influencers, you’ll likely get away with paying roughly a couple hundred-thousand dollars and up.

The important part of influencer marketing is to find influencers that are in your niche. Be sure that they represent your target demographic audience before deciding to part ways with your hard-earned cash. It can get incredibly costly, but it can also bring you instant attention and business.

#8 — Blog

BLOGGING PLUS

Blogging is one of the best forms of marketing online. It’s free, and it gives you a platform to build a massive audience as long as you don’t give up.

While starting a blog is relatively easy, actually following through and growing the blog is nothing short of downright frustrating and seemingly impossible.

However, some of the world’s top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It’s a great source of passive income, and if you know what you’re doing, you could earn a substantial living from it.

You don’t need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.

#9 — Video Marketing

video marketing

Video marketing is a great avenue for exposure on the internet, and utilizing a platform like YouTube to deliver value in the form of tutorials and other useful information such as courses or entertainment is a great way to grow your brand and build a presence.

While there are several platforms for doing this, clearly YouTube is the most popular for doing this.

However, video marketing is also a great form of both content marketing and SEO on its own. It can help to provide visibility for several different ventures, and if the video is valuable enough in its message and content, it will be shared and liked by droves, pushing up the authority of that video through the roof.

#10 – Content Marketing

content marketing plus

Content marketing is one of my favorite go-to strategies when it comes to marketing on the web. It’s my favorite because it’s one of the most powerful, free, and organic methods that are available for online marketers no matter where they’re from.

However, marketing content is difficult. So be prepared to put in the sweat equity. My favorite style in this is article marketing. You create anchor content on your website or blog, then you build authority-content links to that content, effectively driving up the visibility.

I’ve used this single strategy to rank hundreds of keywords in the #1 spot on Google, and I would highly recommend that if you’re going to learn any marketing strategy, that you get good at this one.

The type of content you can market is wide open.

Aside from articles, you can use infographics, tutorials, ebooks, and many other forms of content marketing. As long as it’s done the right way, and it isn’t intentionally setup to trick or fool search engines, but rather to add value to human beings, you’ll see immense results from this.    

Boom You Are In

You’ve got all the key concepts of internet marketing, and you are on the move to gain hands-on experience on the requisite knowledge and skill to scale up in the digital marketing landscape.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell us which of these concepts works well for you, and don’t forget to share this article with your colleague.

CREATING EMAIL LIST

How To Create An Irresistible Email Teaser Campaign

Let me guess: You’ve wondered why building a solid email list is difficult? Then, you must understand how to create an irresistible email teaser campaign. Building a great email list is hard because you need to gain the trust of your subscribers with what is of utmost value to them.

An email teaser campaign can help you build buzz for your email list, well enough that your subscribers will be lining up for your mails. 

But first, you must segment your email list so that your email subscribers get exactly what they truly want. To achieve this, you need to constantly monitor your bounces and prune your email list to keep it updated.

With an irresistible email teaser campaign, you get your email subscribers on the frontend of your email campaign.

 What is Email Teaser Campaign?

EMAIL TEASER

An email teaser campaign is a perfect way to get your email subscribers excited about a new release. It’s a proven marketing strategy that builds interest via curiosity.

Most times, it is designed to intrigue and tantalize subscribers, leaving them with the eagerness to learn more. Its ultimate purpose is to arouse attention and build excitement and expectations through curiosity.

With a teaser campaign, you use your list of existing contacts to build buzz and generate excitement about an upcoming product or service. Irrespective of your product or service, you can use an email teaser campaign to get your list subscribers excited about it.

While implementing  teaser emails, we usually try to announce these three things:

1. Upcoming sales

This is the most common teaser campaign. As a business person, we all love sales, by announcing our upcoming sell we put our business in its unique selling position.

One perfect example of this type of email teaser is the “save the date” email teaser.

See what apple did with save the date email teaser : 

“Save The Date” email teaser.

It is a fact that Apple’s products, like iPhones, are the most awaited products of the year. Are they the only ones who produce good smartphones or smartwatches?

Definitely, not! 

But Apple marketers know for sure how to create the “Save The Date” email teaser campaign. Making their customer anticipate the next product yet to be released.

– See What is good about this teaser email: 

This email teaser campaign is best at creating curiosity.

They don’t tell us about what is to happen but ask us to save a specific date. No additional info is needed. However, to make this teaser email effective, you have to offer something really special and valuable to gain customers’ attention and win their trust.

2. Product Launch

This is one of the most special email teaser campaigns. This type of email teaser is implemented by big corporations especially those that produce phone gadgets and automobiles, like Samsung, Apple, Tesla, etc.

One perfect example of this type of email teaser is the “stay tuned” email teaser. See what Birchbox did with it. 

“stay tuned” email teaser.

This email teaser campaign focuses on time. Unlike the ‘Save the date’ teaser email campaign, the date was not mentioned.

But in this teaser email campaign, Birchbox mentioned the full date and a photo of the girl looking somewhere aside as if seeing something really exciting and intriguing. It spiced up the “Stay tuned and get excited” inscription.

– See What is good about this teaser email:

You already know that it is difficult for subscribers to stay on a given time and date as they are surrounded by constant distractions.

But with this “Stay Tuned” email campaign, it makes subscribers have a mental focus on the given time and date. Calling their desires and bringing it into focus.

However, to make this trick, you must have gained a high level of credibility in your product or services..

3. Special Event

Let me guess you are about to open a new shopping mall or an e-commerce store? Or you are releasing a new product or service?

Then definitely, you should inform your potential attendees about it.

Not only Apple and Birchbox can intrigue its subscribers with teaser emails. Some companies manage too, even you can.

 Take a look at it this email teaser campaign:

“It’s Big” email teaser campaign

 

It may surprise you to know that an email teaser campaign like this can take your subscribers off their feet putting them in a waiting queue for their anticipation.

– See What is good about this teaser email: 

This teaser email is a big sequence. It’s a great idea to make customers await the next email in long anticipation.

With this email teaser campaign subscribers becomes unrest until they take action on your promises. However, to make this work better, you must have delivered on your promise on many occasions.

What Benefits Can An Email Teaser Campaign Bring?

MORE EMAIL TEASER BENEFITS

The beauty of using an email teaser campaign is that it can stretch far beyond your existing list – If you succeed in getting your subscribers excited about your upcoming product, chances are they will share their excitement with their friends.

Did you know that If everyone who receives your teaser email shares the information with just ten friends, you have successfully multiplied the reach of your product tenfold and increase your list as well.

When Can a Teaser Campaign Be Profitable?

HOW EMEMAIL TEASER BENEFITS YOU

While an email teaser campaign can be a great way to build buzz and excitement, it is needful to look at a number of factors to make sure an email teaser campaign will be profitable in your case.

In order to be effective, the product you are touting must have a compelling story – something that readers can get behind and get excited about.

Though many products fit this description, others still do not. Knowing the difference can help you determine the best call to action.

You will also need to make sure you have enough content that enables multiple emails.

Please note that if all your teaser emails have the same message, you run the risk of discouraging your list members. But When properly used, an email teaser campaign can be remarkably effective.

I will tell you that it is a  great way to build word-of-mouth advertising that will help you succeed and sell more products.

As you can see, Now that you know that an email teaser campaign can be good for you and your business. Allow us to jump into:

How To Create An Irresistible Email Teaser Campaign

TEASER EMAIL ACESS

When it come to creating an irresistible email teaser campaign, it would be needless to come to this trick very often except for when you have something really huge to offer to your subscribers.

So when creating a teaser campaign you should think everything over and over again on:

  • the strategy, the object of your email campaign focus,
  • email subject line,
  • and certainly the email design.

This may take you a long time. But the result will be really impressive.

You can get a stunning email teaser template from HTML email templates and save a big amount of time.

Choose the one that fits your strategy, modify it in accordance with your goals just within 10 minutes, and surprise customers with sophisticated teaser emails.

These simple tips can help you put together a winning email teaser campaign that delivers the results you want:

#1 Know Your Goal

The first thing to do before planning an email teaser campaign is to know your goal.

By answering this question, you’ll be able to have a well define goal:

  • Do you want to build traffic for an upcoming website launch? 
  • Do you want to get pre-orders for a new product?
  • Are you touting a new contest for your subscribers?

Knowing what you want to achieve will make your teaser campaign more effective.

#2 Build Buzz With A Compelling Story.

Think about ways to entice and engage your subscribers with your content. Your email teaser campaign should tell a compelling story. The type that your subscribers will find irresistible and compelling to share.

By doing this, you’ll get them to share their excitement with the real world and social media friends.

#3 Create An Email Teaser Campaign Plan.

An email teaser campaign is not a single entity; it is actually a four-part strategy. The four parts of a successful email teaser campaign include the:

  • tease itself (something that will get the attention of the reader),
  • introduction (a look at what the product is all about and what is in it for the buyer),
  •  buildup (creating excitement and interest in your readers)
  •  conclusion (what your readers have been waiting for).

#4 Test and Optimize Your Content

Testing is a critical part of any email marketing campaign, and it is certainly important for a teaser campaign. You should constantly be tweaking your message and testing it for maximum effectiveness.

#5 Make Your emails Easily Readable

Test your messages to make sure they are easily readable across a wide variety of email platforms and formats, use text instead of images for important headlines and critical content, and utilize alt tags with real useful content.

Boom You Are In

You’ve taken a jump to create an irresistible email teaser campaign and have started getting the results you dream of. Tell us which of the strategy worked well for you and don’t forget to share this post.

Stay updated with our update on articles like this.

 

CONTENT RULE

THE CONTENT CODE:10 Addictive Types of Content The “Elite” Copywriters Pray You Never Find Out.

One major challenge of writers is providing content that will engage their audience. The type that will make readers anticipates more.

As a writer, you should bear in mind that your reader has a problem or a need to be solved or satisfied. Helping them find solutions and ideas for their pain points is an easy way of providing addictive content. Indeed you want your blog to be a “Go-To”. Then stay put as you will discover the:

10 Addictive Content-Type

#1. Reviews

Writing a review article is one way to help people have a better understanding of a particular topic without going through the stress of reading the entire detail of the topic.

It is more than just citing an interesting topic and gathering the relevant references to the topic.

But gives an opportunity as a writer to contribute to the development of expertise findings. A well-writing review article can end up becoming the definitive “go-to” guide for your audience.

Reviews of products, books or applications in a particular niche help them save time as they serve as shortcut solutions to their quest.

The best way to present your thoughts depends on what you’re writing about and who you are writing it for.  However, finding the right content may seem difficult.

Here is a simple structure that you can stick around with to helping you start writing good reviews that resonate in real ways with your audience:

 – Thesis

Knowing your message before you start putting up a review article is very important. A simple thesis can help you out, keeping you from going off-topic. This could be as straightforward as “I liked this dress!” or as direct as “These clothes took a while to wear it.”

 PROS and CONS

PROS and CONS in a review article create a balance. But in the most glowing review, you may not include the CONS. On the other hand for a critical review, try to include at least one PROS, just to provide a break in between.

– Recommendation

Most readers check out for recommendations, and this is the first thing they tend to look for. It doesn’t have to be lengthy.

You may make it short, like “I tripled my Christmas money bag many times before they knew it,” or “I’d recommend these tools, but only if you’re a Tech-savvy as I am.” If you need more directions, Grammarly is a great place to help you:

  • For a book review: Grammarly has tips and tricks on how to keep your review informative, enlightening, and kind.
  • For a movie review: Grammarly can help keep you from getting too stressed about how to rate the film you just watched:
  • For a review of your new favorite restaurant: You may need to paint a bigger picture of your experience in your favorite restaurant. Grammarly can help with that.

#2. Lists

target email list

Creating and sharing the list of content has remained viable and efficient in content marketing, making your content achieve a more optimal influence.

Although the list content-type is not a new technique. Writers have figured out that content arranged in list form is quicker to find, easier to remember, and more actionable, which makes lists a great deal for sharing content as part of a highly effective content plan.

It’s a good practice to include a long list of tips, tactics, and answers that provide readers with a resource that maps out many ideas that they can go back to as a reference.

Here are a few steps to helping you make a well-ordered content list that will connect with your readers in real ways:

– Create a Branded Community

Having a community of like-minded individuals, enthusiasts, or professionals can extend the reach of your content. This is where a well-ordered content list works better.

Example: In late January 2013, twenty Microsoft SharePoint consultants decided to embed a list of resources on their blogs.

Each member received a SharePoint Community Partner badge to display on his/her blog’s front page, which links to a Community page that contains the complete embedded list of members.

The SharePoint community awards the partner who earns the most views from his or her embedded content by featuring him or her at the top of the following week’s list. To add to this – the SharePoint Community has synchronized its own Twitter list of members with a Listly-based Twitter list, so the whole community can recommend people to follow on Twitter, and both lists will be updated with the relevant information. This helps community members find more people with which to share relevant content.

– Create A Contest

Designing contests around lists is a great way to attract a qualified audience to your content. Contests are all about creating awareness and exposure for a business or company brand.

Example: Here’s what leading gamification expert Gabe Zicherman does with lists for GSummit gamification events: GSummit runs multiple contests and acknowledges the best in the workplace — they focus each contest on a specific content niche (or domain), such as Human Resources, Start-ups, Enterprises, Education, Hospitality, and Health & Wellness. Each time it runs an event, GSummit creates a unique list of content on Listly for each domain and seeds that list among a few possible candidates. The candidates then embed these lists on their blogs, along with the rules and expectations of the contest and the contestant’s branding, and invite others in their networks to engage.

The GSummit model is easy for anyone engaged in a contest to replicate, providing a way to share content, showcase themselves (or their company), and attract votes. It’s an efficient and engaging way of putting crowd-sourced content in front of your audience and distributing it across multiple online locations both before and during an event.

– Create Buzz Around A Conference

                             

The ability for audiences to engage with conference speakers through lists is a great way to build buzz for your organization’s upcoming events.

Consider creating a list of your attendees ahead of your event, which allows people to prioritize how they should network, as well as how and what content they will likely want to share before, during, and after the event.

Distributing dynamic lists of conference speakers can extend the reach of the speakers’ insight, as well as serving as a way to curate their content for viewing after the conference, or to allow people who were unable to attend the conference to benefit from the subject matter.

Example: Consider the case of Tomorrow’s IT Service Future Today’s 2012 conference (TFT12), the first 24-hour global ITSM virtual conference.

Speakers were asked to make their submission following precise instructions to include presentation title, synopsis, biography, and preferred time zone (EMEA, Australasia, US).

The top 24 speakers for the event were chosen for their popularity, as voted on by the community on the Listly list.

This list participation created enormous pre-conference buzz and engagement as a result of the speakers adding themselves to the list, promoting themselves and the conference, and adding to this the voting by others.

#3. How To’s

target email list

If you’ve ever shared a recipe or do-it-yourself guide, then, you already understand the basic structure of writing a”how-to” article. How-to is written as a sequence to inform a reader necessary steps to follow.

One common question every writer asks when writing a how-to is, ‘what happens next?” When you want to write a how-to article, start at what is considered the beginning, and just keep answering that question over and over again.

Before you know it, you completed the draft of a how-to article. Here are a few steps to help you come up with a good how-to content

– Pick An Interesting Topic

Pick a topic that will catch your reader’s interest. Compelling enough to make them never want to take their eyes off your page till they exhaust the content. Narrow it if it is broad and be specific with your subject.

– Address Your Audience Pain Point

  Now you’ve been able to pick a perfect topic that will resonate well with your reader. But the question is: does it address their pain points? Better still! What ways will your content fit into your audience’s needs and concerns? Let’s switch gears for a moment – Imagine you’re the writer of this article. 

As the writer, what questions would you like answered? You might not know the answers yet but list the questions anyway.

– Research On The Topic

The research will ground your article, providing you with more details to include in your how-to article. Ensure to put together all information need in a draft. These may include:

  • Statistics
  • Quotes by well-known people
  • Definitions
  • Anecdotes (short, illustrative stories about yourself or someone else)
  • Quotes and examples from people like the reader, or popular books on the subject
  • References to other media (film, television, radio)
  • References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication)
  • Helpful tools, resources or products (if many, consider creating a sidebar)

– Get Your Draft Ready

Its time to get your draft ready. While you do that; ask yourself: Is it working? Is it too general, too lightweight, uninteresting, unclear or choppy? If so, comb break it down. 

Then, write a better one incorporating the new supporting information you’ve collected. See techniques the Elite writers are using that you might employ. [ internal link]

– Clearly Define Your Points

Double-check to see that you’ve included every pertinent step in the process. How-to articles have to be thorough.

You want your reader to walk away knowing exactly how to do exactly what is stated. If your narrative goes on and on, or off in too many directions, break it down into key points indicated with subheads (as in this article).

Synthesizing complicated information and breaking it down into steps is especially crucial for online writing, and is also a trend in print.

– Always Remember The 3Rs: READ, REVISE, REPEAT

Read the draft of your how-to article out loud to a supportive friend.

Then, ask a series of questions: Do they understand the process? Are there any steps missing? Is there more to know about the subject? Could they do the task themself? Revise the draft, With your friend’s suggestions in mind, use your best judgment in doing that. Rewrite, find a proofreader and, only when you’re satisfied you’ve written an effective how-to article, submit your piece to an appropriate publication with a short cover letter.

#4. Experts And Thought Leader Interviews

EXPERT INTERVIEW

One term that raises the eyeballs of a writer is thought leadership. But what is thought leadership? I define thought leadership as a type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience on a particular topic. In simpler words:

Thought Leadership means you provide the best and deepest answers, to your customer’s biggest questions, in the formats your audience likes to consume. Here are a few steps to help you start on a good page

– Know Your Audience

This is true of any marketing activity. You’ve got to know your audience before you begin strategizing, writing or designing. If it’s not written for the right people, they obviously won’t read it.

When it comes to thought leadership, you should know a little bit about your audience before you talk to a small to mid-size enterprise (SME). It’ll help you shape your questions and frame the content better.

–  Get a Primer

It’s important to get a primer. This will help you have a productive conversation. Sometimes we generate ideas on our own and pitch them to our clients; other times, our clients toss an idea to us and suggest someone who could serve as an SME.

The best way to understand the specific angle of a selected topic.

– Do Your Research

It’s hugely important to research before talking to an expert. While you may not be able to do a whole lot of research around the exact topic itself, it pays to have a general understanding of the main principles of your topic. That means you should:

  • Research your topic online and find authoritative sources. Obvious, content from competitors can provide context, but try to find other useful resources to learn about your topic.
  • Identify industry publications. Find spots where other similar thought leaders sound off and where your audience hangs out. You’ll get an idea of where your audience stands on the topic and any recent developments.
  • Explore social media. For a B2B audience, check out LinkedIn groups that might be applicable. You may also find a fair amount of chatter on Twitter and Facebook, depending on the topic.

– Develop Lots of Questions

You may place yourself in an awful position, if you don’t have enough background information and your goal is to get information out of your SME to write a thoughtful and intelligent piece of content.

You need to develop lots of questions before the interview. Better still! Get into the habit of sending SMEs the questions before your interview. It’ll help them prepare (if they have time) and help you avoid procrastinating.

– Be Specific

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be specific during the interview—and how difficult it is to be specific if you don’t understand a topic.

Asking specific questions and follow-ups are the best way to figure out the nuance of a content piece and make it as interesting as possible for your audience.

However, this is often easier said than done. It may mean driving your SME to avoid industry jargon and generalities and provide specific examples about a topic.

If I’m talking to an SME about insurance funding strategies, for example, I always ask for a real-life client example.

This helps me confirm that I understand what the SME is saying, and it’s also often useful to include in a piece of content.

– Think on Your Feet

Interviews are tough—you’ve got to phrase questions the right way, take notes and listen at the same time. You’ve also got to make sure you’re getting what you need out of your SME—which may require rephrasing a question or asking it in a different way to tease out the information.

We call this “thinking on your feet”—it’s a matter of digging deeper into a topic or offering a creative suggestion quickly, and the best way to get better at is with lots of practice.

– Ask

Even after spending time researching and planning for an SME interview, you might not uncover everything. Ask your SME if there’s anything else they’d like to add to the conversation.

Often it’s this question that helps to add context to the conversation or provides an opportunity to discuss other relevant information that can help shape the message.

We’ve even found these open-ended questions lead to other topics that could be covered in the future. Examples From Zero To 40,000 Facebook Fans: Interview With Mike Watkins

#5. Case Studies

Earning the trust of prospective customers can be a struggle. You will need to demonstrate your ability to deliver on what your product or service promises.

Writing a case study is a great way to do that. Sure, you could say that you’re great at providing “Y service”, or that you’re way ahead of the competition when it comes to “Z services”.

But the bottom line is that your prospective customers need a certain level of trust to influence their purchasing decisions. One of the best ways to prove your worth is through a compelling case study. Here are a few steps to help you out:

– Determine The Case Study’s Objective

All business case studies are designed to demonstrate the value of your services to meet client’s objectives or goals.

Your first step when writing a case study is to determine the objective or goal of the subject you’re featuring. In other words, what will the client have succeeded in doing by the end of the piece?

The client objective you focus on will depend on what you want to prove to your future customers as a result of publishing this case study. Your case study can focus on one of the following client objectives:

  • Complying with government regulation
  • Lowering business costs
  • Becoming profitable
  • Generating more leads
  • Closing on more customers
  • Generating more revenue
  • Expanding into a new market
  • Becoming more sustainable or energy-efficient

– Establish a Case Study Medium

Next, you’ll determine the medium in which you’ll create the case study. In other words, how will you tell this story? Case studies don’t have to be a simple, written one-page piece.

Using different media in your case study can allow you to promote your final piece on different channels. For example, while a written case study might just live on your website and get featured in a Facebook post, you can post an infographic case study on Pinterest, and a video case study on your YouTube channel. Here are some different case study mediums to consider:

  • Written Case Study: Consider writing this case study in the form of an ebook and converting it to a downloadable PDF. Then, gate the PDF behind a landing page and form for readers to fill out before downloading the piece, allowing this case study to generate leads for your business.
  • Video Case Study: Plan on meeting with the client and shooting an interview. Seeing the subject, in person, talk about the service you provided them can go a long way in the eyes of your potential customers.
  • Infographic Case Study: Use the long, vertical format of an infographic to tell your success story from top to bottom. As you progress down the infographic, emphasize major KPIs using bigger text and charts that show the successes your client has had since working with you.
  • Podcast Case Study: Podcasts are a platform for you to have a candid conversation with your client. This type of case study can sound more real and human to your audience — they’ll know the partnership between you and your client was a genuine success.

– Find the right case study candidate

Writing about a given project requires more than picking a client and telling a story. You need permission, quotes, and a plan. Better still! finding the right case study candidates.

To start, here are a few things to look for in potential candidates.

  • Product Knowledge: It helps to select a customer who’s well-versed in the logistics of your product or service. That way, he or she can better speak to the value of what you offer in a way that makes sense for future customers.
  • Remarkable Results: Clients that have seen the best results are going to make the strongest case studies. If their businesses have seen an exemplary ROI from your product or service, they’re more likely to convey the enthusiasm that you want prospects to feel, too. One part of this step is to choose clients who have experienced unexpected success from your product or service. When you’ve provided non-traditional customers — in industries that you don’t usually work with, for example — with positive results, it can help to remove doubts from prospects.
  • Recognizable Names: While small companies can have powerful stories, bigger or more notable brands tend to lend credibility to your own — in some cases, having brand recognition can lead to 24.4X as much growth as companies without it.
  • Switchers: Customers that came to you after working with a competitor help highlight your competitive advantage, and might even sway decisions in your favor

– Contact your candidate for permission to write about them

To get the case study candidate involved, you have to set the stage for clear and open communication. That means outlining expectations and a timeline right away — not having those is one of the biggest culprits in delayed case study creation.

Most importantly at this point, however, is getting your subject’s approval. When first reaching out to your case study candidate, provide them with the case study’s objective and format — both of which you will have come up within the first two steps above.

To get this initial permission from your subject, put yourself in their shoes — what would they want out of this case study? Although you’re writing this for your own company’s benefit, your subject is far more interested in the benefit it has for them.

Here are four potential benefits you can promise your case study candidate to gain their approval:

  • Brand Exposure: Explain to your subject whom this case study will be exposed to, and how this exposure can help increase their brand awareness both in and beyond their industry. In the B2B sector, brand awareness can be hard to collect outside one’s market, making case studies particularly useful to a client looking to expand their name’s reach.
  • Employee Exposure: Allow your subject to provide quotes with credits back to specific employees. When this is an option to them, their brand isn’t the only thing expanding its reach — their employees can get their name out there, too. This presents your subject with networking and career development opportunities they might not have otherwise.
  • Product Discount: This is a more tangible incentive you can offer your case study candidate, especially if they’re a current customer of yours. If they agree to be your subject, offer them a product discount — or free trial of another product — as a thank-you for their help creating your case study.
  • Backlinks and Website Traffic: Here’s a benefit that is sure to resonate with your subject’s marketing team: If you publish your case study to your website, and your study links back to your subject’s website — known as a “backlink” — this small gesture can give them website traffic from visitors who click through to your subject’s website. Additionally, a backlink from you increases your subject’s page authority in the eyes of Google. This helps them rank more highly in search engine results and collect traffic from readers who are already looking for information about their industry.

– Draft and send your subject a case study release form

Once your case study candidate approves of your case study, it’s time to send them a release form. A case study release form tells you what you’ll need from your chosen subject, like permission to use any brand names and share the project information publicly. Kick-off this process with an email that runs through exactly what they can expect from you, as well as what you need from them.

To give you an idea of what that might look like, check out this sample email: You might be wondering, “What’s a Case Study Release Form?” or, “What’s a Success Story Letter?” Let’s break those down. – Ensure you’re asking the right questions.

Before you execute the questionnaire and actual interview, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. A strong case study results from being prepared to ask the right questions. What do those look like? Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What are your goals?
  • What challenges were you experiencing before purchasing our product or service?
  • What made our product or service stand out against our competitors?
  • What did your decision-making process look like?
  • How have you benefited from using our product or service? (Where applicable, always ask for data.)

Examples:

1. “New England Journal of Medicine,” by Corey McPherson Nash

When branding and design studio Corey McPherson Nash showcases its work, it makes sense for it to be visual — after all, that’s what they do. So in building the case study for the studio’s work on the New England Journal of Medicine’s integrated advertising campaign — a project that included the goal of promoting the client’s digital presence — Corey McPherson Nash showed its audience what it did, rather than purely telling it. Notice that the case study does include some light written copy — which includes the major points we’ve suggested — but lets the visuals do the talking, allowing users to absorb the studio’s services.

2. “Shopify Uses HubSpot CRM to Transform High Volume Sales Organization,” by HubSpot

What’s interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. This reflects a major HubSpot credo, which is to always solve for the customer first.

The copy leads with a brief description of why Shopify uses HubSpot and is accompanied by a short video and some basic statistics on the company.

Notice that this case study uses mixed-media. Yes, there is a short video, but it’s elaborated upon in the additional text on the page. So, while case studies can use one or the other, don’t be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project’s success.

3. “Designing the Future of Urban Farming,” by IDEO

Here’s a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, he or she is greeted with a big, bold photo, and two very simple columns of text — “The Challenge” and “

The Outcome.” Immediately, IDEO has communicated two of the case study’s major pillars. And while that’s great — the company created a solution for vertical farming startup INFARM’s challenge — it doesn’t stop there.

As the user scrolls down, those pillars are elaborated upon with a comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and additional visuals.

4. “Secure Wi-Fi Wins Big for Tournament,” by WatchGuard

Then, there are the cases when visuals can tell almost the entire story — when executed correctly. Network security provider WatchGuard can do that through this video, which tells the story of how its services enhanced the attendee and vendor experience at the Windmill Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

#6. Negative or Contrarian Stories

It never ceases to surprise me that a negative headline and position will drive more traffic than a positive slant on a story or article. When you say something counter to received wisdom, people pay attention.

This works in every vertical, no matter how boring. Check this out:

 Hey, let’s be honest – PPC is pretty boring in the grand scheme!) Marketers often wonder, how can I create engaging content when I work in this boring industry? The truth is, the people who work in your industry don’t find it boring. You’re trying to hit a nerve with them, not the general population. As long as your content speaks to what matters to them, it won’t be boring.

Accordingly, contrarian content earns attention and boosts all your engagement metrics, getting more:

  • Traffic – Unexpected ideas are click magnets. This includes high return traffic – people come back to read the comments!
  • Social shares – When something is making the rounds, a lot of people share even if they don’t read the post. That’s still good for you: the more people who see the link, the more people are exposed to your brand.
  • Email shares – “OMG, check this out!”
  • Comments – Controversial topics always have higher comment counts, plus the comments are much more compelling than a string of people saying “Nice post.”
  • Links – Expect round-up links as well as response articles – people may refute or build on your argument.

Controversial ideas have a huge ripple effect because people take an interest – clicking, reading, commenting, and often sharing – whether or not they agree

 That’s because it tends to hit people’s emotional triggers, like surprise and anger. Since contrarian opinions tend to get your content in front of new audiences that weren’t familiar with you before, it’s often a way to expand your reach, get new email subscribers and blog readers, even trigger a chain of more first actions and conversions on your website.

The best way to stand out in a crowded, redundant space is to say something different. But how do you come up with those ideas? Here are two ways on how to come up with differentiating Ideas:

– News Scanning Tools

These tools will help you to stay on top of trending stories:

  • Twitter – Follow influencers in your space and spend a little time every day doing a news scan there. It’ll be obvious when everyone is talking about the same thing – no hashtags required.
  • News aggregators – In our industry, Inbound.org is a good indicator of what stories are earning attention from your peers. See also Reddit, Y Combinator, etc.
  • Email subscriptions – Again, using search marketing as an example, you can subscribe to newsletters like the Search Cap and the Moz Top 10 to see what stories and topics are having an impact.
  • Google Alerts – Subscribe to get alerts when topics you cover are getting a notice in the news.
  • Google Trends – This tool also could surface interesting trends to write about, depending on how niche your industry is.

– Appoint a News Scan Point Person

Another tactic you can deploy internally is naming a point person to do a near-daily news scan.

This way, everyone in your marketing department or company doesn’t need to devote time and resources to looking for stories to pounce on.

Someone on the content team can be responsible for scanning the news and sending out a digest-style email to stakeholders with interesting stories.

#7. Facts, Figures, and Statistics

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve discovered a fascinating statistic that clinches your persuasive argument. You save it for your last point and deliver it. 

You expect a wave of emotion to hit your audience, but… Nothing. Your audience doesn’t react at all.

Do they not get it? If this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. A Six Minutes subscriber, Akiko Takeshita, sends this question via email:

I wonder if you have any advice for working statistics into a speech. Sometimes it works for me, but I often feel like the audience isn’t impacted by the statistic when the statistic seems very powerful to me. What am I doing wrong?

In this article, we examine the importance of using statistics in your speech, and how to do so effectively. Knowing how to leverage statistics in your speech is an important skill.

Want to learn more?
You can read much more about these persuasive elements in an article series: Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 Pillars of Public Speaking
  • Statistics add realism to your speech. It’s okay to talk about big ideas in abstract terms, but you also have to make it real. Numbers and facts are one way to staple your speech arguments to reality (thus boosting logos). For example, claiming that correctly setting your tire pressure will increase your fuel mileage is one thing. But stating that it could save $500 a year in fuel costs is much better.
  • Statistics can have an emotional impact (pathos) on your audience. For example, you can amplify the emotional response in your speech about poverty by revealing the percentage of children in your community who will not be receiving gifts this holiday season.
  • Statistics raise your credibility (ethos) in two ways. First, using a statistic demonstrates that you’ve done the research and are working hard for the audience. Second, using statistics from trusted sources (e.g. the World Health Organization) boosts your credibility by association.
  • Statistics can be memorable, sticking with your audience beyond the duration of your speech.

Here are a few ways on how to choose the right statistics:

– Numbers and Facts

CONTENT CODE

“Numbers and facts are one way to staple your speech arguments to reality.”

If you plunge yourself into research for your topic, you’ll find that you are soon swimming in statistics. With so much data to choose from, how do you decide which material to use? Consider the following factors when making your choice:

  • Which statistics would impact your audience most? While it helps if you feel the statistic is powerful (so you can speak with sincerity), it’s more important to choose statistics that your audience will find powerful.
  • Which statistics are most surprising? This, too, is dependent on the audience. Your goal is to have your audience members leave the room and say to their friends, “You’ll never believe what I learned in a speech today…
  • Which statistics help validate your arguments? Statistics should not be included in your speech because they are merely interesting trivia; they must be closely tied to your core message or supporting points. If it isn’t relevant to your speech, your audience may remember the statistic, but they won’t remember you or your message.

– weaving the statistic into your speech

If you remember just one thing from this article, remember this: you must provide a meaningful context for your statistics. A naked statistic will not impact your audience if they do not have the background knowledge to assess it properly.

For example, suppose I tell you that Six Minutes has ten thousand subscribers. You may be impressed, but you may not. Is that a big number? A small number? However, if I also tell you that this makes Six Minutes one of the most popular speaking blogs on the planet (or perhaps the most popular), this allows you to interpret the statistic in a more meaningful context.

  • Follow up the statistic with a comparison in concrete terms to which your audience can relate.
  • Bring your statistic to life by telling the story of one of the “numbers”. For example, if your statistic is the number of people with breast cancer, you might begin by telling the story of a breast cancer victim and then reveal that “she is just one of 100,000 women in this country who will find out they have cancer this year.”
  • Compare the statistic to itself earlier. The most powerful aspect may be to see how the value has changed from one year to the next, or from one decade to the next.
  • Don’t rely on your audience to just “get it.” Explain the connection between the statistic and your message. A direct approach is usually best, such as “This is important because…

– Delivering the statistic for maximum effect

Want to learn more?
Using statistics well is one of the 25 essential speaking skills. What are the other 24?

Assuming you’ve used one of the earlier tips for weaving the statistic into your speech, your effectiveness still hinges on successful delivery. Here are a few techniques you can use to maximize the effect you desire:

  • Hint at its importance. You can do this earlier in the speech to build suspense (e.g. “In a few moments, I’m going to reveal a shocking statistic that will make you change the way you view civic politics…“) or use a quick, immediate approach (e.g. “If you remember just one thing from this speech, remember this…“)
  • Pause immediately before the statistic to create suspense.
  • Articulate clearly, and speak slightly slower than your normal rate. This will also signal the importance of the statistic.
  • Pause immediately after the statistic (a little longer than before) to give your audience time to process the meaning and “feel” the impact.
  • Use gestures to demonstrate the magnitude. Standing with your arms wide open, for example, creates a sense of size.
  • Use facial expressions to convey the appropriate reaction. (i.e. show your shock, surprise, sadness, etc.)
  • If you are speaking with slides, you might reveal a slide to coincide with your statistic. You could use a chart to highlight the magnitude of the number, or you could use a photograph to strike a more emotional tone. Whatever you do, make sure that the slide is simple! You want your audience to easily digest the meaning along with your spoken words.

People love facts and figures and aggregating the latest data about your industry will provide a focus on your blog that will keep your readers coming back for more.

Providing this regularly will assist you in positioning your blog and content as the hub to keep on top of the latest numbers.

Statistics help businesses pick trends and opportunities in their sector. Example 50 Fascinating Facebook Facts And Figures This is, in fact, a hybrid content type that mixes the mega list format with the facts and figures

#8. News Stories

It is a known fact that News stories has always been an attractive and valuable content type. Businesses don’t hesitate to put a slant on the news that displays the grasp of their industry.

However, writing well-structured news stories articles that inform, educate, and entertain is not as easy as it looks. There is, of course, a definite knack to writing well, especially about a newsy topic. Journalists are trained to write content that will hook readers from the first sentence and make them want to read on.

These journalistic principles can be adopted by content marketers to help engage their audiences. Here are ten rules for writing a captivating story on a hot topic, whether in print or online:

  1. Begin with the most important facts first. The intro to every article needs to grab the reader’s attention instantly and summarize the story with around 25 to 30 words.
  2. Make your text thorough but succinct. The first few sentences need to include “who, what, where, when, why, and how.” Remember most people will not read more than 250 words before they start to skim. You should try to give them all the information they need as quickly as possible.
  3. Use the active tense. It is faster and uses fewer words. For example, “Argentina was beaten by Germany in last night’s World Cup final …” takes longer to read than “Germany beat Argentina …”
  4. Communicate what’s new or different. Why would the reader care about what you have to say? Why is it relevant to them? Is there a trend happening in pop culture or the world that you can incorporate? What are people talking about right now, and how does this tie in with what you do?
  5. Focus on human interest. While people may be interested in the latest political polls, a new cancer treatment, a food or product recall, or what the weather will be like tomorrow, if you can put a human face to the story, you will create an emotional connection that will draw readers in and keep them engaged.
  6. Avoid jargon. Every industry has its language, including journalism. For example, do you know what a byline is? (The name of the author included in a box at the beginning or end of a story.) How about a NIB? (News in brief: short snippets of news, which run down the outer edge of a newspaper page.) Or a splash? (The lead story.) Think about the language you use — keep it clear, concise, and to the point.
  7. Write acronyms out in full in the first reference. Consider the following acronyms: ROI, ASBO, PCT, SATs, and FTSE. What do they stand for? Answers, respectively: Return on investment, Anti-social behavior order, Primary care trust, Standard Assessment Tests, and Financial Times Stock Exchange.
  8. Use quotes. It’s powerful to convey important thoughts with someone else’s words. However, when you quote others, make sure to get it right. Double-check the spelling of your interviewee’s name and make sure you don’t take quotes out of context in a way that distorts the person’s intentions.
  9. Keep it real. Although journalists often joke about never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, you should never, ever write something you know is untrue. We all make mistakes, but a mistake is very different from a lie.
  10. Have someone else proofread your work. Very few people can spot their own mistakes, so it’s wise to have a colleague double-check your work before you publish. Remember that the human brain reads words rather than letters, so if the first and last letter of a word is correct, we will often read it correctly, even if the others are jumbled up.

Example: Apple makes Huge Announcement about Twitter

#9. Infographics

Having infographics that simplify the presentation of complex information is proving to be most helpful in making content easily understandable.

This content type has lent itself to being embedded in blogs and websites. One way to come up great infographic idea is to figure out what your audience wants.

A common mistake that I’ve seen people make when creating an infographic is that they try to choose something that is generically popular rather than specifically relevant to their audience.

The infographics with the most traction, most attention, and most virality, are ones that meet your target audience right where they want it most.

Here are 8 Infographic Tips That You Wish You Knew Years Ago:

– Keep it simple

Like everything else in life, infographics are better when they are simple. One of its advantages is to distill advanced ideas into the simplest visual form producing the  “Oh, I get it” experience. Simplicity wins – a four or five Infographics would work better.

– Keep it focused

Simplicity, as mention above, is ultimately about focus. Infographics are not attempts to randomly assemble all the data you can compile. Instead, an infographic is intended to drive a single, focused point. So make it streamlined and focused on a single topic.

– Keep It Visual

Most infographics are short on the “graphic” and long on the “info” . The best infographics are ones that have a good balance of visual information with written information. To qualify for the “graphic” in an infographic, it needs some more visual pizzazz.

– Promote it

Infographics don’t automatically go viral. If you want your infographic to explode in popularity, you will have to promote it. You do so in the same way that you’d promote any other valuable piece of content:

  • Reach out to influential sources in your niche and ask them to feature your infographic.
  • Make your infographic shareable with social plugins.
  • Ask users to share it.

– Make it easy to read and view.

Your infographic should be easy to read and view, whether the user clicks to enlarge or not. 600 pixels wide is a good width to aim for. Sometimes, an infographic lost its readability in its resizing. The designer makes it huge, then the developer has to downsize it. In the process, the readability gets lost. Also, most infographics have a variety of font sizes. Make sure that the smallest font on your infographic can be seen without too much difficulty.

– Make it a manageable length and size

Infographics are supposed to be big. We get that. But go too big, and you’ll start losing views. I would recommend a limit length of 8,000 pixels. Anything longer, and you’ll start to presume upon your user’s attention span. Along with a length, another limitation is size. Users might be on a slow connection, so be courteous, and keep your infographic to 1.5 MB.

– Add white space

Any graphic designer will tell you that white space is important in every design. An infographic is no exceptional. Good infographic design includes a balance of visual elements with the necessary negative space to help guide the viewers as they look at the infographic.

– Create a killer headline

Your infographic’s headline is extremely important.  The infographic doesn’t get any attention if it doesn’t have a great headline. This principle is the same as with a great blog article. Good headlines will have these features:

  • They describe the infographic
  • They grab the user’s attention.
  • They are short enough to understand at a glance.
  • 70 characters is a good length.

Example 20 Stunning Social Media Statistics Plus Infographic  

Boom You Are In

These ten content types are very effective to drive traffic and sharing. What content types have worked for you on your website and blog? 

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