Blending Art with Strategy for Powerhouse Content

We talk a lot on Copyblogger about how to write content that’s more vivid, more memorable, more distinctive. But there’s always another side to that creative coin — the strategic side. Your content might be marvelously entertaining and engaging, but if it’s not placed in a strategic context, you’ve limited its power. Getting smarter about Read More…
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The Content Marketer’s Guide to UTM Parameters for Tracking Referrals

If you’ve ever used Google Analytics, you’ve probably heard about UTM parameters. UTM parameters aren’t a new technology. In fact, they’re ubiquitous. But they also may be one of the most misunderstood and most frequently abused website tracking tools around. So today, I’m here to explain what they are, why they were invented, when you Read More…
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A Strategic System that Produces Powerful Content Marketing Campaigns

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun parts of content marketing. Being creative, writing articles, and seeing a post go live are all exciting and enjoyable parts of the job.
So, a lot of us jump right in, quickly publishing and sharing without taking much time to think about what we are doing and why. We are just excited to get our work out in the world.
And this is a problem.
Because effective content marketing that drives pre-planned business goals is strategic — not just fueled by initial excitement.
Let’s look at a system that will help you incorporate the fun parts of content marketing with a thoughtful plan to track your results.
Why smart content marketing is goal-driven
Goals differentiate strategic, results-driven content marketing from random, haphazard publishing.
When you approach content marketing without goals, your content marketing strategy is based on guesses. It’s difficult to see if your content produces value for your business.
And key performance indicators (KPIs) turn that guessing game into a strategic plan.
Goals and KPIs help you see where you are going, how you will get there, and if you took the right route to the finish line.
At the beginning of a campaign, they help you create a plan and decide:

What type of content to create
How much content to create
How to promote the content
Where to promote the content
How long to wait for results

And at the end of a campaign, they help you reflect on your work and:

Measure your success in concrete numbers
Determine your

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Why #VanityMetrics Are Worthless (and What Really Matters)

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Web 2.0.
The original queen of mommy bloggers, Dooce, is retiring from blogging. And blogging’s original crown prince, Jason Kottke is having similar thoughts. For no other reason than what used to seem like a decent business model (ad-driven, independent blogging) isn’t so much anymore.
Across town, Twitter just lost billions of dollars in market cap, for pretty similar reasons — Web 2.0 just isn’t as valuable a place to spend time as it used to be.
At least, not for people hoping to make money.
According to McKinsey, “email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.”
My own email marketing experience using MailChimp with my company, Gapingvoid, would confirm this. Seth Godin also backs this up, citing the new online course he was selling recently:
I just looked at the stats for my course. 22% of the traffic came from my blog. 74% came from email and RSS. 4% came from social media. I think showing up in a trusted way, regularly, is priceless.
And don’t talk to me about the advertising business
“It’s not the same anymore,” my very smart-but-jaded advertising friend, Jeff recently told me. “We used to want to change the world. Now we just spend our days optimizing industrially-farmed content across different platforms. Nobody actually cares. Nor should they.”
It’s utterly tragic how so many people (and businesses) hope to get rich just by getting

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