Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation of content that can be shared online through social media posts, videos, or blogs. Content marketing allows companies to promote their products and services with the focus on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content.
This 2019 ROI-driven IT Marketing Guide that every marketer should follow outlines the foundational components to a great IT marketing strategy and key steps to implementing a comprehensive marketing plan.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing and tactics can help you attract and engage with prospective customers by delivering quality content that provides high value to the people that visit your site. Content marketing has many benefits as it is one of the most effective and practical forms of digital marketing that your brand can use.
Below are some of the amazing benefits that content marketing has to offer:
Content marketing can help to drive conversions: Overtime, content marketing helps to drive more conversions on your site. Companies are able to create consistent marketing content have higher conversion rates than those who do not focus on content marketing at all. Your primary goal with content should be to engage, help, inform, and to bring value to your readers. If this is done tactfully, it can easily help you to increase the number of conversions that you get.
Effective content marketing can help to drive more traffic to your website: With consistent content being posted on your site, it helps to bring more traffic to your website over time. With high quality content being created, whether it’s through blog posts or web content, it will help to improve site traffic
Quality content helps to build trust with your target audience: By providing your readers with quality information, the more trust that your brand can build over time. By informing your readers about the struggles and problems that they are facing, you begin to establish a relationship with customers and start to build trust based on the value that your content provides.
Valuable content can help you to build credibility and authority with your readers: The quality content that you provide to your readers will translate into credibility and authority which means the readers will continue to come back to your site for more information.
Content Marketing Strategies for IT Marketers
Now that we have looked at the many benefits of content marketing, how can you use them to build your brand and grow your company? Below are some of the strategies that you, as IT marketers, can follow.
Create Content Marketing Goals
By setting short-term and long-term marketing goals, it helps to stay in track and see where your company is headed in a short-term and long-term perspective. It is best to sit down with your company and develop these goals. Any good content strategy requires good planning. By following these five essential steps listed below, it can help to create a foundation for a successful content strategy plan:
Know your business
Know your audience
Find an original voice
Write down your short-term and long-term goals
Make sure your goals are realistic and measurable
Do Not Overlook the Power of Social Media: IT marketers looking to grow their businesses should not overlook the potential social media has. Integrating social media into your content strategy can bring your business great success. Social media allows your brand to have its own voice and helps to bring any social media’s platform and its customers to your brand.
Content marketers publish content that meets intent in several channels where prospects are likely to be. Communicating with consumers on single marketing channels can be beneficial, however, with the use of multiple channels, you are able to reach even more potential consumers and increase your conversion rates. By creating promotions where customers of one products can be targeted with promotions of related products, it can help IT marketers to grow their business. Don’t have time to do this all by yourself? Check out this list of best consulting firms in Chicago to choose from.
Use Your Content to Drive Leads to Your Sales Funnel:
What exactly is a sales funnel? According to Leadpages, a sales funnel is “the process from when you first drive traffic to your landing page to the moment you finish the sale”. By learning the methods of attracting traffic to your site, you can slowly build your audience.
Higher the quality of the content, the more chances there are to drive more leads. Content can be leveraged in several different ways, and how to choose to leverage them depends on your goals and budget. You can also build sales funnels to drive leads. Follow these three processes on how to build a sales funnel.
Gain Authority Link By Guest Posting
Guest posting is one of the best ways to bring exposure to your content. Guest posting allows for search engine rankings to place your content at the top that allows for more traffic to come to your site.
Make Use of On-Page SEO
Search engine optimization (also known as SEO) is very effective in getting your site to rank higher on Google and is one of the most effective content marketing strategies. SEO is the practice of optimizing websites that align with search engine algorithms (in this case, Google). SEO tells the search engine that your website is relevant to specific search queries and makes your content available to the users seeking for your content. On-page SEO methods are free and with consistent efforts, produce great results.
The Bottom Line
Content marketing is one of the best ways to invest your marketing money into. There are many variables at play, that it can become difficult to juggle all things at once. By following these steps, IT marketers can help grow their businesses and see success in their companies.
Content marketing strategies offer a great return on your investment in marketing. It can help to drive conversions, bring more traffic to your site, help you to build a loyal following and trust amongst your readers, and help you to build a credible relationship with your readers.
Competition in the digital marketplace is fierce. Every day a new website pops up, a new social media platform emerges (or dwindles), and your potential clients are bombarded with messages from your competitors. The best way — and often easiest way — to get your business in front of the right customers is to optimize your website so that search engines can find them properly.
You can optimize your website for search engines yourself, or you can hire an SEO consultant. Skilled consultants, such as those found in a SEO Agency, can help your website cut through the clutter of competitors. Having an unbiased, skilled eye to analyze your content may be the leg up your business needs. So, how do you know the difference between a seasoned SEO consultant and a talentless hack trying to make a quick buck? The proof is in the pudding.
Before your consultant actually makes any changes to your content, they will do their homework. In other words, they will conduct an audit on your current website and find its weak links. Do you have irrelevant content? Are you not boosting the appropriate content well enough? Is your site organized in a comprehensible way to your audience? Be prepared to leave your ego at the door and take a long hard look at the content you are presenting on your website. Don’t be surprised if your SEO consultant starts to dive into the design of your website. The flow of your website should be able to lead your audience easily to the product, service or information that you have to offer. The presentation of your website should be appealing to your audience. The keyword is your audience, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all aesthetic. It all depends on who you are talking to.
The next step may be an obvious one, but many people overlook it: competition. What is the competition doing? Who is your competition? You may think you are competing with one particular group and wedging your business in a space that it does not belong. Are your competitors highly optimized? Are going up against nationwide or global corporations, or are you going up against regional and local businesses? Is your blog and content on par with similar blogs and content? Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, bigger is not always better.
A skilled SEO consultant should be able to look at the entire landscape of your industry and genre then begin to make a game plan for the trajectory of your business. A skilled and service-oriented consultant will converse with you to determine what is feasible and realistic. The more you do, of course, the more you will pay especially if you are wanting a complete overhaul in both content and design. Don’t let the price daunt you. A great SEO consultant worth their weight in gold is an investment that will produce a high ROI.
Another factor a skilled SEO consultant will take into account is your backlink profile. Backlinks are helpful, especially for newer websites. It’s another way for search engine bots to efficiently discover your site, crawl your content and index it, or organize and record it. It also helps tremendously with organically boosting your content.
Are there any external links leading to your website? If so, are the links of high quality? In other words, are reputable websites with substantial traffic linking to your website? Are the websites within the appropriate category and aligned with your business? For example, if you own a blog about motorcycles, it wouldn’t do your business much good to have external links on a site that attracts an audience interested in European automobiles. Relevance is the name of the game. Traffic that comes to your website from a quality backlink will have a low-bounce rate — meaning that it is relevant and useful to the audience that finds it. A tell-tale sign that your backlink is of low quality is a high bounce rate regardless of the amount of traffic that your content earns through time. Backlinking is all about quality, not quality. Quality backlink sites also come from sites that are index and SEO optimized. These sites are usually more established, have more authority and content. A reputable source is always the best kind.
Conducting a backlink audit isn’t as difficult as it is time-consuming. Though it is not as obvious of a step as looking at the content on your own site, analyzing backlink sites is a step that you cannot afford to overlook. Proper backlinking is as essential in the digital word as networking is essential in the real world. Your backlink audit doesn’t just determine where your backlinks are but potentially creating backlinks if there aren’t many.
Bringing in an SEO consultant to guide your website is an excellent first step to helping your business or blog shine in the digital landscape. While they do take on a majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to SEO programming, a lot of the work is done before they even begin to alter your content. You have to be willing to pull up to the table, roll up your sleeves and be involved in the game plan for your site.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: how much does a skilled SEO consultant cost. That’s a question without a straightforward answer. Depending on the size of the project and turn-around time, your SEO consultant may charge hourly or by the project. Rates can start as low as$55 and go up into the hundreds. Discuss your goals with your SEO consultant. Many tasks are easily completed by one person but some may need a team so that tasks can be delegated appropriately. While many hands make light work, it can also make a more expensive bill. You and your SEO consultant will discuss priorities and timing, and your budget before any billing takes place. It’s also important to remember that an SEO consultant may suggest the optimum level of improvement, but you can decide to break your project up as needed. Smaller tasks can be accomplished quickly even while working on major ones and without adverse consequence from search engines.
User Interface design & User Experience design, for most people, sound like “web design” and “web design”. At first sight, they look very similar, and almost nobody knows the difference. However, if you look at them closely, there are indeed differences to point out. Both have their own charms and qualities, but one can not do the job without the other.
In our today’s digital world, the competition is tremendous. Web designers have to perform magic and sell their soul to the devil, just to stay on top of the game, yet, clever developers know, that a big part of success lies in super-forces like UX and UI design.
Both disciplines sound very ‘2018’ and can undoubtedly take your product to a higher level. But, although the terms are often used interchangeably, the concepts that lie behind them are not quite the same, so it’s high time to find answers to some pressing questions:
Why are they relevant to the development of your product?
How can you apply them in your design process?
UI: The digital lick of paint
The UI of a website is, in fact, the point where the offered products/services and the potential customer (who would like to know more about it) — meet. It is an instrument with which you can present all the information you want to convey in bite-sized chunks. A “beautiful” interface is stimulating, holds the attention and invites the visitor to take action; after all, it is often the first (and sometimes the only) impression that he gets from your company.
The “wow” factor
UI design takes place in the foreground, is visible to the user and revolves around the “wow factor”. Sometimes, its’ charm is in the small details, such as the shape of a button or a breathtaking choice of typography. In any case, the style has to fit in with what you want to convey as a company. Are you a pioneer in technology? Then a sleek design is something for you. Do you organize neighborhood braziers? Then choose a theme that radiates coziness.
Case study: Bells and whistles are not always necessary for a successful UI design. Authentic Weather is a good example – it is a stubborn weather app with the slogan ‘No bullshit, just the f*cking weather’. The app is designed in such a humorous way that you still want to check what kind of (f*cking) weather it is today. The design is simple, straightforward yet very effective. The relatively bare layout fits well with the blunt language, without being boring.
The effectiveness of different UI elements can be tested easily with A / B testing. Does a red button produce more interaction than a green one? Are visitors more inclined to read a blog posts when you add images? Put together an experiment and let the data answer your questions. With that conversion data, you get an objective view of the behavior and the implicit preferences of your visitors. Most people think that A/B testing was designed for testing out the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, but in reality, it can (and should be!) used for testing the usability of your own web pages.
UX: An experience in itself
Now, let’s take one more step further and this is where UX design comes into the picture. Contrary to UI, the user experience (UX) continues from the point where the screen stops. The emphasis is on what happens in the head of the user during the visit, the emotions that are evoked and the judgment he makes after the interaction.
UX design plays a bit more in the background and is mainly about functionality and structure. It is essential that the purpose of your website and the needs of the user are aligned. What does the visitor want to know or what does he want to do? Which functionalities must be offered to enable him to do so? Besides, it is wise to pay some attention to the way you organize information. Is all information gathered at one place where the user expects it to be? Are all pages accessible within a few clicks?
Ensure a natural user flow
A good UX design is all about a pleasant user flow. The visitor does not have to be handled like a screaming toddler in an amusement park but must be able to follow a consistently smooth path through the website, depending on what he wants to know or find. Such a natural walking path makes the interaction between you and your client practical and meaningful. The user must be able to reflect on his visit with a satisfied smile so that he certainly has a reason to come back in the future. On the other hand, as a web designer who crafts that “walking path” — your goal is to keep the visitors as long as possible on your website.
Case study: The UX design from IKEA. IKEA is a textbook example of an ingenious UX design. The products and manuals are perfectly coordinated, the manuals are simple, universal and recognizable. They are very detailed so that you can effortlessly choose the right one from those 25 seemingly identical boards. Should you still be unable to assemble your Kallax, then you can go to their website for even more support and encouraging words. The UX does not stop immediately after the purchase but continues until that bookshelf finally stands tall in your living room.
By actively evaluating your target group, you can gain insight into the average wishes and characteristics of your website’s visitors. You can then use that knowledge to pick functionalities and shape your design. The perfect UX design requires patience; more often than not, that cycle has to be completed several times before all parts fall into place and even then — continuous A/B testing is still necessary for progressive improvement.
Can you “design” user experience?
By now, you may probably wonder whether this user experience can be planned out on paper… No. How someone interacts with your website depends on dozens of factors, which you do not have under control. A user who visits your page from a golden beach under a radiant sun will undoubtedly respond differently to someone who has just came home soaking wet from a strong storm. Visitor’s mood, lack or excess of free time, state of mind, weather and other facts may impact his behavior, so you cannot build your strategy from the comfort of your home before even launching your website.
As much control as possible
Although you may not be able to guarantee that your visitors will always load your webpage in a good mood, you can at least ensure that they do not get frustrated during their visit. You may not be able to secure a pleasant user experience, but an awkward structure or limited functionality will certainly damage that experience. You can build your website in such a way that all the ingredients for a positive UX are at least present and all possible obstacles have been eliminated.
Case study:Parxavenue Ltd. This is a Canadian-based web design company that offers only 2 main types of services – digital marketing and web design. Although this is basically all you need to get your product online, not every web design agency offers a fluent UX. Parxavenue have only one entry page where you can find all the information and services you need, without weighing yourself down by tons of useless information, prices, and 12 fake stock photos of “team members”.
Here comes your homework…
It is an absolute must to get started with UX and UI research. This way you can once again view your customers or users from a different angle and develop an even better experience based on their wishes and behavior. By involving your visitors in the design process (whether they are aware of it or not), you can better tailor your website to their needs.
Input from an expert can certainly help you build a more intuitive website design, provided that he does not just impose his own opinion. The only opinion that matters is that of the user. Copying web design elements and marketing strategy from your competitors may work as a good starting point but will not work in the long term, unless you continuously do split testing and optimize your website for YOUR users. What used to be “beautiful” or “in” mere 5 years ago is obsolete today. Bearing all this mind, try and test your website from different angles and remember, that web design, SEO and marketing work is never done. Good luck!
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Everyone is talking about Instagram influencers nowadays. But if you have never worked with influencers, it can be difficult to know where to start. When does an influencer campaign suit your brand and organization? What are the most important questions to ask? And how can you apply influencer marketing to the existing strategies?
Before you begin promoting your brand paying Instagrammers to get the word out, make sure you read about building a brand online – 4 strategies that will help establish your business. Generally speaking, a good influencer marketing campaign starts with a perfect match and ends with useful analytics, with which you can measure success. There are great influencers in virtually every niche, so with the right information, good research and a well-considered strategy, influencer marketing can be of use to any organization.
1. Does the influencer campaign match your brand?
Perhaps you think of the term ‘Instagram influencers’ mainly for fashion bloggers or vloggers… But the reality is that influencers represent a huge and diverse group of people who use social media to share stories with their audience about topics that interest them. So-called “content creators”. Influencers are important ambassadors for your brand if your strategy works well. Do not “use” them, just because it is a trend or because you hear everyone talking about it. Try and sense the needs of your company and the unique benefits of collaborations.
Public and trust
One of these benefits is the ready-made public that Instagram influencers have gathered during their online careers. Another advantage is the trust consumers have in their favorite bloggers. We know that consumers are often resistant to traditional advertisements. But as long as the content created for the collaboration is authentic and creative, you can be sure that your message will be delivered in a way that really impresses.
Are you looking for a more personal way to connect with your audience? Maybe you want to branch out and reach consumers who rarely engage with your brand or create a new brand image? In any case, there is most likely an effective way to integrate bloggers into your marketing strategy.
2. How does a collaboration with influencers fit into the strategy?
Maybe you think you do not have a budget, or that you can not think of a good concept. In this case, you just need the right influencer! The great thing about influencers is how diverse and flexible they are. There is almost always a way to fit a collaboration into your existing strategy. Depending on your budget and your needs, you can search for micro influencers or larger content creators. Discuss what kind of content they can create. Influencer campaigns are tailor-made. You can use the creativity of the influencer to build an appropriate collaboration.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to influencers, so be creative and do not be afraid to ask input from your future ambassadors!
3. Ensure the perfect match between the Instagrammer and brand
One of the most important steps for recording an influencer campaign is (not surprisingly): finding influencers. Many organizations logically tend to choose influencers with the largest communities. But first, determine the purpose of your campaign before making a choice. Do you want more visibility or more interaction?
If an influencer is really interested in a certain subject or brand, you have a recipe for a powerful collaboration.
A large community does not automatically go hand in hand with more engagement and interaction. Consider, for example, the range and how well an influencer fits your target group. If you aim to build a good relationship with your followers and position your brand and product in the right market, then you need a reliable influencer. Preferably someone who uses your product or service in an authentic way. Investigate the commitment to an influencer’s posts to avoid fake followers. If an influencer has many followers and little commitment, the followers are often fake. Also check out the interests of your chosen influencer.
4. Provide a solid strategy for approaching influencers
The way you approach an influencer is always different. Once you have chosen, do not forget to do your homework properly. Before you approach them, you need to know who you are working with, why you want to work with them and what you ask of them.
Every influencer approaches collaborations differently. Some work with agents, while some arrange everything via dm’s on Instagram. Once you have approached the influencer you have chosen, you need to be flexible in setting up your collaboration. Discuss each step with the influencer and his or her team (if applicable) and make sure you treat this as a professional collaboration.
Do not forget to look at all the relevant figures (reach, engagement, followers) and also at the history and customs of the person you want to approach. Investigate what kind of collaborations the influencer has already done, what content they usually post and how their audience usually responds to the messages.
You should also never assume that you can use free products or ‘exposure’ in exchange for actual payment. Some people – especially micro-influencers – may be open to collaborations in exchange for free products. But if someone’s career and a full-time job is content creation, it is actually a bit rough to assume that you do not have to pay them.
5. Provide clear KPIs
Once you’ve started your collaboration, it’s time to set clear goals. A successful campaign needs clear KPIs. Logical, because without goals you do not know when you are really successful.
To determine KPIs, discuss internally and with the influencer what exactly you want to achieve with the collaboration. Do you want to increase your own reach on social media? Then, for example, measure the range of all content you make with the influencer. Do you want multiple people to leave comments, or share content? Then look at the engagement figures.
Term of the campaign
You also need to determine the term of your campaign. Will it be a continuous collaboration or is it a one-off item in exchange for a fixed amount? In any case, you should know what you hope to achieve at the end of the collaboration. And if this is ongoing, you have to make a decision about the important moments to measure your KPIs.
The most important thing is that your goals are realistic. Make sure that you manage the expectations internally well, and discuss with the influencer what is feasible in the area of the chosen KPIs. Use all the data available to measure your successes and determine what the KPIs should be for the next campaign.
And now, how do you start?
Now that you’ve read the tips above, you can get started with the following steps:
Determine whether – and possibly how – an influencer collaboration applies to your organization. Look at your own needs and the benefits of influencer marketing.
Look at your budget and current marketing goals to see how an influencer campaign fits into existing strategies.
Do your homework to find the perfect influencer for your organization.
Develop a tailor-made strategy to approach the influencers of your choice and start defining your campaign.
Set up clear KPIs. Go into conversation with your leader people and influencers to get them as clear as possible.
Hopefully, you can get started right away with these steps. Do you have any questions? Ask them via the reaction option below!
Oregon is a great place to take pictures. There are so many wonderful opportunities to get that perfect shot, especially if you hit the road in an RV. It allows you to completely immerse yourself in your craft, enabling you to get the kinds of pictures you just can’t seem to get when you’re back at home.
That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get good pictures. In order to boost your chances of getting that perfect shot, make sure you follow these tips when you’re on the road in Oregon.
Know Where to Go
It’s true that you can find great shots anywhere you go, but you can greatly increase your chances of getting the perfect picture if you know where to go to get it.
There are a lot of great locations in Oregon that are worth a stop. A few ideas include:
Sweet Creek Falls
Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
The Oregon Caves
Crater Lake National Park
Don’t Forget About the City
When you think of taking photographs in Oregon, outdoor locales come to mind. It’s true that there’s no shortage of scenic beauty in Oregon, but you shouldn’t forget about the city!
Taking photos of the city is a lot different than taking photos of natural spaces, but they are tricks worth learning. Especially since cities like Portland, Salem, and Eugene contain many great photographic opportunities.
One of the best things about taking pictures in the city compared to taking pictures out in the woods is that it’s a lot easier to take pictures at night. Many of the most striking city photographs are taken after the sun goes down and the city lights are allowed to shine.
Don’t Shy Away from the Weather
Beginning photographers are always looking for clear, sunny weather when it’s time to take photos. More experienced photographers know the best shots come under some of the worst conditions.
Don’t think you have to be stuck in the RV when it starts raining. Make sure you protect your camera, but don’t be afraid to head outside and catch the rain glistening on the leaves.
Snow isn’t common in Oregon, and when it does snow, it doesn’t stick around. That can provide photographers with some great opportunities to catch waterfalls, fields, and the city in unique ways, even if it does mean you have to bundle up to get the shot.
Become a Morning Lark or a Night Owl
The easiest time to take photographs is during the day. Unfortunately, just because that’s the easiest time doesn’t mean it’s the best time.
When it comes to natural lighting, you simply can’t beat the early morning when the sun is rising or the early evening when the sun is setting. If you want to get the best shot, plan to get up early in the morning or stay up late to get it.
You don’t have to pick one over the other either. If your RV trip is all about getting the best photos, consider getting up early in the morning, taking a nap in the afternoon, and heading back out in the evening.
If you get lucky, and the sky is overcast or cloudy, you may be able to get some great shots during the day. Taking photographs in the shade is also an option if you don’t want to waste your entire day waiting for that perfect evening light.
Add Interesting Elements to Your Shots
May photographers like to allow nature’s beauty to shine through in photographs. That’s great, but why not have a little fun with your shots?
That can mean something as simple as taking a picture from a different point of view by laying on the ground or using an extension arm. You can even ask people to get in the shot.
Don’t be afraid to be a little quirky with your photographs! For example, one photographer adds plastic dinosaurs to his shots. Some look like the photographer jumped in a time machine to get the shot, while others, like the shot of the dinosaurs looking out the airplane window, are just plain silly!
It’s true that great photography takes plenty of practice, but knowing a few tricks of the trade can help too. The next time you find yourself on the road in Oregon, boost your chances of getting that perfect shot by following the tips on this list.
Spring Garden Watercolor Collection – There are 120 different hands painted floral element such as flowers, leaves, branches, combine them in flower compositions to add some unique touch for your print template or design, the possibilities are mostly endless! Also you will find 26 pre-made PNG scenes – floral corners, wreaths, frames that can be a great addition and final touch for cards, invitations, posters & more. Inside this pack, you will find great bonus files for you! 12 beautiful watercolor spring scenes, fully hand painted! All of the elements, compositions and artworks are super high resolution, up to 14000 pixels!
If you need something new in your vector graphics library or some cool illustrations for your new project we have a unique vector illustrations bundle for you.
With 100+ editable vector designs or illustrations, you can create unique t-shirt designs, posters, invitations or logo designs.
It’s true! During Black Friday we’re discounting one of the best deals and this year we are adding some extra bundles for the same price… It’s already massively discounted compared to getting each pack individually, but we’re going a step further. This means that starting now, you can get this bundle for $29 instead of $6473.
The bundle contains:
4,272 creative overlays by ArtPlanet
13,762 Stock photos and textures by Stock-graphics – You will get a lifetime account too for future updates.
2,940 vector files from Stock-Graphics – You will get a lifetime account too for future updates.
Desk – Awesome Scene Generator from Gfxstacks
159 Outdoor Advertising Mockups – from Gfxstacks
Please check out the following previews for 4272 creative overlays by ArtPlanet:
If you’re looking for a ton of unique and creative effects this bundle is just the thing you’re looking for. These actions will help you create amazing effects like an expert (see this article for more) in a couple of minutes. The Photoshop Actions that will add professional Fire, Smoke, Light, Glitch, Space and Art effects to your photos. Create the graphical creative effects the easy way!
You will get 63 actions!
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Requirements: Photoshop Cs6 and CC (English version only), don’t work with Cs5 and previous versions. The action works on an area of the image you define by brushing. The result is multiple layers with advanced customization possibilities: blending modes, adjustment layers and layer masks.
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