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64 Statistics That Will Guide Your Content Marketing [Infographic]

A smart content plan can make your content marketing efforts more effective. But how do you know what content to focus on? This infographic shares stats about content marketing that can help you determine what’s going to actually work for you. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 1 hour ago from www.marketingprofs.com

How to Get Sales Prospects to Care About Your Marketing Content

Creating content is a waste of time if your target audience isn’t consuming it. Here are three steps to creating content that prospects will care about. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 1 hour ago from www.marketingprofs.com

The Complete Anatomy Of The Gutenberg WordPress Editor

The Complete Anatomy Of The Gutenberg WordPress Editor

The Complete Anatomy Of The Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Manish Dudharejia

2018-08-14T14:00:22+02:00
2018-08-14T18:39:34+00:00

It seems that Gutenberg has been a term of controversy in the world of WordPress lately. Hailed as the most significant change to WordPress 5.0 this year, the Gutenberg editor has received a mixed response from web developers and regular folk alike. All of this chaos is making it difficult to see Gutenberg for what it really is. So, I’ll try to put some of the confusion to rest once and for all.

In this article, I will cover the following:

  1. What is Gutenberg?
  2. More Than Just An Editor
  3. What Does Gutenberg Change In WordPress?
  4. Installing Gutenberg
  5. Exploring Gutenberg At Length
  6. Pros And Cons
  7. Understanding Compatibility Issues
  8. Gutenberg Is The Future
  9. Latest News And Further Resources

1. What Is Gutenberg?

Named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the mechanical printing press, Gutenberg was introduced to the world by Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp Europe in 2017. In essence, Gutenberg is a new WordPress editor, with dozens of cutting-edge features. It simplifies website creation and editing for the average non-technical user.

It has earned several accolades, from “WordPress’s new publishing experience” to “the future of website creation”. Some skeptics think it is the nail in the coffin for WordPress. All this babble aside, Gutenberg is going to be way more than just an editor for WordPress (which I will discuss next).

It allows website creators to build a website using blocks, which are small drag-and-drop units. Thus, it replaces the current inconsistent and distracting customization process. It also enables HTML tags such as section and figure, outputting solid HTML. At the time of writing, Gutenberg is still a plugin. However, the community is planning to merge it with WordPress 5.0 this year.

2. More Than Just An Editor

Gutenberg is more than just an editor because it allows you to handle website content in customizable chunks or blocks. You don’t need to be fluent in HTML or write shortcodes. You can control a website’s entire layout (both back end and front end) from a single console.

This new editor attempts to combine the best features from both page-builder plugins such as Divi and Visual Composer, as well as do-it-yourself platforms such as Medium, Wix and Squarespace. So, just like those page-builder plugins, you can handle multi-column layouts through a single interface.

Does this spell the end of plugins such as Divi and Beaver Builder? That’s a topic for another post, but the short answer is no. Gutenberg is unlikely to replace those plugins completely. You can continue to use them even once Gutenberg becomes the default editor.

3. What Does Gutenberg Change In WordPress?

The sole purpose of the Gutenberg editor is to provide an alternative to the current open text editor, not to mention the difficult-to-remember shortcodes, with an agile and visual user interface (UI). So, unlike the current WordPress editor, you don’t have to:

  • import images, multimedia and approved files from the media library or add HTML shortcodes;
  • copy and paste links for embeds;
  • write shortcodes for specialized assets of different plugins;
  • create featured images to be added at the top of a post or page;
  • add excerpts for subheads;
  • add widgets for content on the side of a page.

In short, Gutenberg doesn’t change how WordPress functions. It does, however, change the way website owners (or creators) interact with it. Instead of a whole lot of shortcodes and meta boxes, you will be using simple blocks.

What Are Blocks?

Consider a block as the most basic (therefore, smallest) unit of the new editor. They will be the building blocks of WordPress 5.0. In other words, everything—including content, images, quotes, galleries, cover images, audio, video, headings, embeds, custom codes, paragraphs, separators and buttons—will turn into distinct blocks. Because you can drag and drop each block, identifying these items and placing them on the page becomes a lot easier.

4. Installing Gutenberg

You can download the latest version of Gutenberg directly from the WordPress repository. You can also search for it under “Add New” plugins in your WordPress dashboard. I would recommend installing it in your staging environment. However, you’ll need the latest version of WordPress (version 4.8 or later) to install the Gutenberg editor.

  1. Sign into your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Go to the Plugins menu on the left side of the dashboard.
  3. Click “Plugins” to open the “Add New” menu.
  4. Type “Gutenberg” in the search box, located in the top-left corner.
  5. You will see the Gutenberg plugin in the results.
  6. Click the “Install Now” button.
  7. Click the “Activate” button to initiate the plugin.
Gutenberg Installation Steps (Large preview)

5. Exploring Gutenberg At Length

Once installed and activated, Gutenberg will show an icon in the left menu bar. When you launch it for the first time, you will see a new sample post, titled “Gutenberg Demo.” You can practice on the demo post before creating your own.


Gutenberg Demo
Gutenberg Sample Post (Large preview)

A. Add New

Go to “Posts” in the left menu bar of your WordPress dashboard. The new post will launch in Gutenberg first. You can later edit it in both the classic editor and Gutenberg.

Adding a new post in Gutenberg
Adding a new post in Gutenberg (Large preview)

B. Edit

Go to the “Posts” menu, and hover the mouse over a saved post to see the option to choose between the two editors. Although the classic editor option is available for the time being, it will most likely be removed with the launch of WordPress 5.0.

Editing a post in Gutenberg
Editing a post in Gutenberg (Large preview)

C. Switch Between Editors

You can also switch between the two editors when editing a post. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner to toggle between the visual editor mode and the text editor (i.e. code). Alternatively, you can also use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Alt + M to switch between editors.

Text editor:


The text editor in Gutenberg
The text editor in Gutenberg (Large preview)

Visual editor:


The visual editor in Gutenberg
The visual editor in Gutenberg (Large preview)

D. Copy All Content

This feature allows you to copy all content in the HTML version with just one click. You can open this feature in both editors by clicking on the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner of the dashboard.

The ‘Copy All Content’ tool in Gutenberg
“ The ‘Copy All Content’ tool in Gutenberg (Large preview)

E. Content Structures

This feature allows you to count the number of words in an entire post. You can also see the number of headings, paragraphs and blocks with just a click. Click the information icon (i) in the upper-left area.


Content Structures
Content information in Gutenberg (Large preview)

F. Redo and Undo

You can find these options next to the information icon (i). They allow you to undo or redo the last command.


Undo and Redo command
Undo/Redo Command (Large preview)

G. Page and Document Settings

This allows you to change various page and document settings. You can find it in the right menu bar. You can make the following adjustments:

  • Make a post public or private.
  • Change the publishing date.
  • Select a post’s format.
  • Add or edit categories and tags.
  • Upload featured images.
  • Write an excerpt.
  • Enable and disable comments, pingbacks and trackbacks.

Page and Document Settings
Page/Document Settings (Large preview)

H. Stick to Front Page

This feature will come handy if you’re running a blog. When you turn this on in the document settings, that particular post will always appear on the front page of your blog. And just turn it off to remove it from the front page.

Making your post stick to the front page
Making your post stick to the front page (Large preview)

I. Using Blocks

As mentioned, blocks are the fundamental unit of the new Gutenberg editor. To use Gutenberg efficiently, you need to understand how to use these blocks. I will cover the main blocks one by one. Click the plus (+) button next to the redo/undo option to open the blocks menu.

Common Blocks

Common blocks allow you to add the elements required to create a rich UI.

  • Paragraph
    The paragraph block comes with a few excellent features, such as custom font sizes, drop caps, background colors and text colors, among others. You are also able to add more CSS classes here.

Gutenberg Text Editor Options
Gutenberg Text Editor Options (Large preview)
  • Image
    This element comes with a new feature that allows you to toggle between gallery and image layouts. You also get more control over images because you can set particular size dimensions, percentage size ratios, and an alternative text description for each image.

Image Settings in Gutenberg
Image Settings in Gutenberg (Large preview)
  • Other elements include:
    • quotes,
    • galleries,
    • cover images,
    • headings,
    • lists,
    • audio,
    • files,
    • subheadings,
    • video.
Formatting

As the name suggests, these blocks comprise all of the formatting tools.

  • Table
    Adding a table using custom HTML code was a tedious job. With the table block, however, the task is a lot easier. You are able to add and remove rows and columns of a table without coding.

Table Block in Gutenberg
Table Block in Gutenberg (Large preview)
  • Custom HTML
    You can use a custom HTML code in Gutenberg. And the nice part is that you can insert your code and see a preview in the block itself.
Custom HTML in Gutenberg
Custom HTML in Gutenberg (Large preview)
  • Other elements include:
    • code,
    • classic,
    • preformatted,
    • pull quote,
    • verse.
Layout

Use your imagination to create a stunning layout using this block. Each element in this block comes with excellent features.

  • Button
    You can add buttons such as “Subscribe now” and “Buy now” using this block. It has different options, including alignment and font styles. You can also set the background color and shape of the button.

Button Layout in Gutenberg
Button Layout in Gutenberg (Large preview)
  • Columns (beta)
    Creating columns in the code-based editor is time-consuming and laborious. This block allows you to add text columns. You are able to add one to six columns in a single row.

Column Layout in Gutenberg
Column Layout in Gutenberg (Large preview)
  • Other elements include:
    • read more,
    • page break,
    • separator,
    • spacer.
Widgets

These blocks allow you to add an archive, categories, the latest posts and the latest comments with just a click anywhere on the page. You are also able to adjust these elements without any coding.

  • Latest Post
    With this block element, you can show posts in a grid view or list view, organize them in categories, and order them alphabetically or according to publication date. You can also choose to display the publication date.

Latest Posts Setting in Gutenberg
Latest Posts Setting in Gutenberg (Large preview)
Embeds

You can easily access any embeds using these blocks. Whether you want to add a YouTube or Twitter link, it’s super-easy and quick. All you need to do is paste the URL in the given blank space, and Gutenberg will embed the code for you. Here is an example of inserting a YouTube link:

Embed Youtube Link in Gutenberg
Embed Youtube Link in Gutenberg (Large preview)
Reusable Blocks

Reusable blocks give developers improved usability. You can convert any block into a reusable block so that you can use it in a different location. You can edit the same and save it as a new reusable block again.

You can also see a preview of a reusable block. All reusable blocks are available under the “Shared Block” options. Most importantly, you can turn one back into a regular block anytime.

Reusable Blocks in Gutenberg
Reusable Blocks in Gutenberg (Large preview)
Most Used

Under this option, you will see the most used blocks, for quick access. Alternatively, you can use the search box to find a block by name.

J. Edit Block

To edit any block, open the dropdown menu by clicking in the upper-right corner of the block. You will see different options, including to edit as HTML, duplicate and add to the reusable blocks.


Edit Block in Gutenberg
Edit Block in Gutenberg (Large preview)
K. Insert Blocks

Using this feature, you can insert a new block anytime. When you bring your mouse over a block, you will see a plus icon (+). Click it to insert a new block.


Insert Block in Gutenberg
Inserting a block in Gutenberg (Large preview)
L. Slash Autocomplete

The Slash Autocomplete feature is available in Gutenberg 1.1.0 and later versions. Chances are you are already familiar with the similar feature in Slack. It was added to reduce the amount of pointing and clicking required to create new blocks.

When you open a new block, just press / (slash key) on your keyboard to select any of the autocomplete options. It works in the default paragraph block only, but it might become a part of other types of blocks in the future.

Slash Autocomplete in Gutenberg
Slash Autocomplete in Gutenberg (Large preview)
M. Move Blocks

Gutenberg enables you to move each block up and down. You can use the arrows (on the left side of each block) to move them vertically.


Move Block in Gutenberg
Moving a block in Gutenberg (Large preview)

6. Gutenberg Pros And Cons

Pros

  • No technical skill is required to make a custom layout for a blog post or website. It works like Medium, so people looking for that kind of style and user-friendly editing experience will love it.
  • It allows you to create a consistent and advanced design without relying much on TinyMCE.
  • Furthermore, blocks are an excellent concept. They allow non-developers to intuitively craft complex layouts. If you are new to WordPress or have no knowledge of it whatsoever, you are still going to love it.
  • The Gutenberg editor itself works well on mobile (it’s responsive). Unlike its predecessor, it allows you to make quick edits on the go. In fact, mobile-savvy developers can manage to do more than just a few quick edits.
  • The increased screen space is proving to be a less distracting user experience for many developers.
  • Hardcore developers can still create customized reusable blocks using HTML5. So, it seems like a win-win for both geeks and non-technical users.

Cons

  • For the time being, there is no Markdown support in the beta version of the WordPress editor.
  • It still doesn’t support responsive columns. You will need to do some custom coding to make this feature responsive. So, using this feature on mobile isn’t an option right now.
  • The design layout options are inadequate at the moment.
  • Compatibility issues could be a significant concern for some WordPress users.
  • You get only partial support for meta boxes. For now, it only supports Yoast SEO. So, using most custom plugins in Gutenberg is not possible. However, developers are working hard to extend meta box support.
  • Backward compatibility is going to be a primary concern for most developers. It will destroy current plugins and themes, especially ones that require integration with TinyMCE.

7. Understanding Compatibility Issues

Despite its simplicity and agility, Gutenberg might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Most WordPress developers might find it difficult to work with, especially in the beginning. They will need to retrain their reflexes to get used to the new UX.

  • Owing to the backward-compatibility issue, you will need to update many plugins and themes to ensure they are fully compatible with the new editor.
  • For the time being, blocks are more focused on content. As a result, Gutenberg lacks precision and control over the layout of custom websites.
  • Shortcodes are replaced by shortcode blocks. However, you will still be able to add shortcodes from the widget block.
  • Meta boxes will be available under a new name and a new UI. Conflicting meta boxes are likely to lead to the classic editor, instead of Gutenberg, with an alert. While this system might prove helpful, some meta boxes will not be supported in Gutenberg.
  • Custom post types are supported and remain backward-compatible in Gutenberg.
  • You won’t be able to turn off Gutenberg once it is integrated in WordPress core. However, you can disable it using the official plugin anytime.

8. Gutenberg Is The Future

Contrary to popular opinion, Gutenberg is not a replacement for the current text editor. It is a new way to build websites. I like to think of it as Facebook for WordPress.

You don’t need to be a computer geek to publish things on Facebook or any other social media platform. Gutenberg is just a way to bring this simplicity and flexibility to WordPress, so that people don’t need to code in order to create and publish websites. That’s why I think it is going to be the future, not only for WordPress, but for the web in general.

Granted, Gutenberg has a long way to go. People (including me) have had issues with its implementation, but soon we will have Gutenberg-ready themes, plugins and tools surfacing everywhere. Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere. So, you might as well be a part of this change from the beginning.

9. Latest News And Further Resources

If you are interested in riding the Gutenberg train from the beginning, here are a few links to find the latest buzz. Keep in mind that none of these websites are officially endorsed by WordPress.

For official updates and news, you can try the following:

Wrapping Up

Whether you like it or not, Gutenberg is coming to WordPress 5.0. Do try to be a part of the ongoing discussion about it on the web. It will certainly help. In fact, while you’re at it, try to speed up the development process with your skills. Meanwhile, let me know if this post has shed some light on the topic. Drop your queries and suggestions in the comments section. I would love to keep the conversation going.

Smashing Editorial
(ra, il)
Reblogged 2 hours ago from www.smashingmagazine.com

Ranking the 6 Most Accurate Keyword Research Tools

Posted by Jeff_Baker

In January of 2018 Brafton began a massive organic keyword targeting campaign, amounting to over 90,000 words of blog content being published.

Did it work?

Well, yeah. We doubled the number of total keywords we rank for in less than six months. By using our advanced keyword research and topic writing process published earlier this year we also increased our organic traffic by 45% and the number of keywords ranking in the top ten results by 130%.

But we got a whole lot more than just traffic.

From planning to execution and performance tracking, we meticulously logged every aspect of the project. I’m talking blog word count, MarketMuse performance scores, on-page SEO scores, days indexed on Google. You name it, we recorded it.

As a byproduct of this nerdery, we were able to draw juicy correlations between our target keyword rankings and variables that can affect and predict those rankings. But specifically for this piece…

How well keyword research tools can predict where you will rank.

A little background

We created a list of keywords we wanted to target in blogs based on optimal combinations of search volume, organic keyword difficulty scores, SERP crowding, and searcher intent.

We then wrote a blog post targeting each individual keyword. We intended for each new piece of blog content to rank for the target keyword on its own.

With our keyword list in hand, my colleague and I manually created content briefs explaining how we would like each blog post written to maximize the likelihood of ranking for the target keyword. Here’s an example of a typical brief we would give to a writer:

This image links to an example of a content brief Brafton delivers to writers.

Between mid-January and late May, we ended up writing 55 blog posts each targeting 55 unique keywords. 50 of those blog posts ended up ranking in the top 100 of Google results.

We then paused and took a snapshot of each URL’s Google ranking position for its target keyword and its corresponding organic difficulty scores from Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, SpyFu, and KW Finder. We also took the PPC competition scores from the Keyword Planner Tool.

Our intention was to draw statistical correlations between between our keyword rankings and each tool’s organic difficulty score. With this data, we were able to report on how accurately each tool predicted where we would rank.

This study is uniquely scientific, in that each blog had one specific keyword target. We optimized the blog content specifically for that keyword. Therefore every post was created in a similar fashion.

Do keyword research tools actually work?

We use them every day, on faith. But has anyone ever actually asked, or better yet, measured how well keyword research tools report on the organic difficulty of a given keyword?

Today, we are doing just that. So let’s cut through the chit-chat and get to the results…

This image ranks each of the 6 keyword research tools, in order, Moz leads with 4.95 stars out of 5, followed by KW Finder, SEMrush, AHREFs, SpyFu, and lastly Keyword Planner Tool.

While Moz wins top-performing keyword research tool, note that any keyword research tool with organic difficulty functionality will give you an advantage over flipping a coin (or using Google Keyword Planner Tool).

As you will see in the following paragraphs, we have run each tool through a battery of statistical tests to ensure that we painted a fair and accurate representation of its performance. I’ll even provide the raw data for you to inspect for yourself.

Let’s dig in!

The Pearson Correlation Coefficient

Yes, statistics! For those of you currently feeling panicked and lobbing obscenities at your screen, don’t worry — we’re going to walk through this together.

In order to understand the relationship between two variables, our first step is to create a scatter plot chart.

Below is the scatter plot for our 50 keyword rankings compared to their corresponding Moz organic difficulty scores.

This image shows a scatter plot for Moz's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. In general, the data clusters fairly tight around the regression line.

We start with a visual inspection of the data to determine if there is a linear relationship between the two variables. Ideally for each tool, you would expect to see the X variable (keyword ranking) increase proportionately with the Y variable (organic difficulty). Put simply, if the tool is working, the higher the keyword difficulty, the less likely you will rank in a top position, and vice-versa.

This chart is all fine and dandy, however, it’s not very scientific. This is where the Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) comes into play.

The PCC measures the strength of a linear relationship between two variables. The output of the PCC is a score ranging from +1 to -1. A score greater than zero indicates a positive relationship; as one variable increases, the other increases as well. A score less than zero indicates a negative relationship; as one variable increases, the other decreases. Both scenarios would indicate a level of causal relationship between the two variables. The stronger the relationship between the two veriables, the closer to +1 or -1 the PCC will be. Scores near zero indicate a weak or no relatioship.

Phew. Still with me?

So each of these scatter plots will have a corresponding PCC score that will tell us how well each tool predicted where we would rank, based on its keyword difficulty score.

We will use the following table from statisticshowto.com to interpret the PCC score for each tool:

Coefficient Correlation R Score

Key

.70 or higher

Very strong positive relationship

.40 to +.69

Strong positive relationship

.30 to +.39

Moderate positive relationship

.20 to +.29

Weak positive relationship

.01 to +.19

No or negligible relationship

0

No relationship [zero correlation]

-.01 to -.19

No or negligible relationship

-.20 to -.29

Weak negative relationship

-.30 to -.39

Moderate negative relationship

-.40 to -.69

Strong negative relationship

-.70 or higher

Very strong negative relationship

In order to visually understand what some of these relationships would look like on a scatter plot, check out these sample charts from Laerd Statistics.

These scatter plots show three types of correlations: positive, negative, and no correlation. Positive correlations have data plots that move up and to the right. Negative correlations move down and to the right. No correlation has data that follows no linear pattern

And here are some examples of charts with their correlating PCC scores (r):

These scatter plots show what different PCC values look like visually. The tighter the grouping of data around the regression line, the higher the PCC value.

The closer the numbers cluster towards the regression line in either a positive or negative slope, the stronger the relationship.

That was the tough part – you still with me? Great, now let’s look at each tool’s results.

Test 1: The Pearson Correlation Coefficient

Now that we’ve all had our statistics refresher course, we will take a look at the results, in order of performance. We will evaluate each tool’s PCC score, the statistical significance of the data (P-val), the strength of the relationship, and the percentage of keywords the tool was able to find and report keyword difficulty values for.

In order of performance:

#1: Moz

This image shows a scatter plot for Moz's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. In general, the data clusters fairly tight around the regression line.

Revisiting Moz’s scatter plot, we observe a tight grouping of results relative to the regression line with few moderate outliers.

Moz Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.412

P-val

.003 (P<0.05)

Relationship

Strong

% Keywords Matched

100.00%

Moz came in first with the highest PCC of .412. As an added bonus, Moz grabs data on keyword difficulty in real time, rather than from a fixed database. This means that you can get any keyword difficulty score for any keyword.

In other words, Moz was able to generate keyword difficulty scores for 100% of the 50 keywords studied.

#2: SpyFu

This image shows a scatter plot for SpyFu's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. The plot is similar looking to Moz's, with a few larger outliers.

Visually, SpyFu shows a fairly tight clustering amongst low difficulty keywords, and a couple moderate outliers amongst the higher difficulty keywords.

SpyFu Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.405

P-val

.01 (P<0.05)

Relationship

Strong

% Keywords Matched

80.00%

SpyFu came in right under Moz with 1.7% weaker PCC (.405). However, the tool ran into the largest issue with keyword matching, with only 40 of 50 keywords producing keyword difficulty scores.

#3: SEMrush

This image shows a scatter plot for SEMrush's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. The data has a significant amount of outliers relative to the regression line.

SEMrush would certainly benefit from a couple mulligans (a second chance to perform an action). The Correlation Coefficient is very sensitive to outliers, which pushed SEMrush’s score down to third (.364).

SEMrush Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.364

P-val

.01 (P<0.05)

Relationship

Moderate

% Keywords Matched

92.00%

Further complicating the research process, only 46 of 50 keywords had keyword difficulty scores associated with them, and many of those had to be found through SEMrush’s “phrase match” feature individually, rather than through the difficulty tool.

The process was more laborious to dig around for data.

#4: KW Finder

This image shows a scatter plot for KW Finder's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. The data also has a significant amount of outliers relative to the regression line.

KW Finder definitely could have benefitted from more than a few mulligans with numerous strong outliers, coming in right behind SEMrush with a score of .360.

KW Finder Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.360

P-val

.01 (P<0.05)

Relationship

Moderate

% Keywords Matched

100.00%

Fortunately, the KW Finder tool had a 100% match rate without any trouble digging around for the data.

#5: Ahrefs

This image shows a scatter plot for AHREF's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. The data shows tight clustering amongst low difficulty score keywords, and a wide distribution amongst higher difficulty scores.

Ahrefs comes in fifth by a large margin at .316, barely passing the “weak relationship” threshold.

Ahrefs Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.316

P-val

.03 (P<0.05)

Relationship

Moderate

% Keywords Matched

100%

On a positive note, the tool seems to be very reliable with low difficulty scores (notice the tight clustering for low difficulty scores), and matched all 50 keywords.

#6: Google Keyword Planner Tool

This image shows a scatter plot for Google Keyword Planner Tool's keyword difficulty scores versus our keyword rankings. The data shows randomly distributed plots with no linear relationship.

Before you ask, yes, SEO companies still use the paid competition figures from Google’s Keyword Planner Tool (and other tools) to assess organic ranking potential. As you can see from the scatter plot, there is in fact no linear relationship between the two variables.

Google Keyword Planner Tool Organic Difficulty Predictability

PCC

0.045

P-val

Statistically insignificant/no linear relationship

Relationship

Negligible/None

% Keywords Matched

88.00%

SEO agencies still using KPT for organic research (you know who you are!) — let this serve as a warning: You need to evolve.

Test 1 summary

For scoring, we will use a ten-point scale and score every tool relative to the highest-scoring competitor. For example, if the second highest score is 98% of the highest score, the tool will receive a 9.8. As a reminder, here are the results from the PCC test:

This bar chart shows the final PCC values for the first test, summarized.

And the resulting scores are as follows:

Tool

PCC Test

Moz

10

SpyFu

9.8

SEMrush

8.8

KW Finder

8.7

Ahrefs

7.7

KPT

1.1

Moz takes the top position for the first test, followed closely by SpyFu (with an 80% match rate caveat).

Test 2: Adjusted Pearson Correlation Coefficient

Let’s call this the “Mulligan Round.” In this round, assuming sometimes things just go haywire and a tool just flat-out misses, we will remove the three most egregious outliers to each tool’s score.

Here are the adjusted results for the handicap round:

Adjusted Scores (3 Outliers removed)

PCC

Difference (+/-)

SpyFu

0.527

0.122

SEMrush

0.515

0.150

Moz

0.514

0.101

Ahrefs

0.478

0.162

KWFinder

0.470

0.110

Keyword Planner Tool

0.189

0.144

As noted in the original PCC test, some of these tools really took a big hit with major outliers. Specifically, Ahrefs and SEMrush benefitted the most from their outliers being removed, gaining .162 and .150 respectively to their scores, while Moz benefited the least from the adjustments.

For those of you crying out, “But this is real life, you don’t get mulligans with SEO!”, never fear, we will make adjustments for reliability at the end.

Here are the updated scores at the end of round two:

Tool

PCC Test

Adjusted PCC

Total

SpyFu

9.8

10

19.8

Moz

10

9.7

19.7

SEMrush

8.8

9.8

18.6

KW Finder

8.7

8.9

17.6

AHREFs

7.7

9.1

16.8

KPT

1.1

3.6

4.7

SpyFu takes the lead! Now let’s jump into the final round of statistical tests.

Test 3: Resampling

Being that there has never been a study performed on keyword research tools at this scale, we wanted to ensure that we explored multiple ways of looking at the data.

Big thanks to Russ Jones, who put together an entirely different model that answers the question: “What is the likelihood that the keyword difficulty of two randomly selected keywords will correctly predict the relative position of rankings?”

He randomly selected 2 keywords from the list and their associated difficulty scores.

Let’s assume one tool says that the difficulties are 30 and 60, respectively. What is the likelihood that the article written for a score of 30 ranks higher than the article written on 60? Then, he performed the same test 1,000 times.

He also threw out examples where the two randomly selected keywords shared the same rankings, or data points were missing. Here was the outcome:

Resampling

% Guessed correctly

Moz

62.2%

Ahrefs

61.2%

SEMrush

60.3%

Keyword Finder

58.9%

SpyFu

54.3%

KPT

45.9%

As you can see, this tool was particularly critical on each of the tools. As we are starting to see, no one tool is a silver bullet, so it is our job to see how much each tool helps make more educated decisions than guessing.

Most tools stayed pretty consistent with their levels of performance from the previous tests, except SpyFu, which struggled mightily with this test.

In order to score this test, we need to use 50% as the baseline (equivalent of a coin flip, or zero points), and scale each tool relative to how much better it performed over a coin flip, with the top scorer receiving ten points.

For example, Ahrefs scored 11.2% better than flipping a coin, which is 8.2% less than Moz which scored 12.2% better than flipping a coin, giving AHREFs a score of 9.2.

The updated scores are as follows:

Tool

PCC Test

Adjusted PCC

Resampling

Total

Moz

10

9.7

10

29.7

SEMrush

8.8

9.8

8.4

27

Ahrefs

7.7

9.1

9.2

26

KW Finder

8.7

8.9

7.3

24.9

SpyFu

9.8

10

3.5

23.3

KPT

1.1

3.6

-.4

.7

So after the last statistical accuracy test, we have Moz consistently performing alone in the top tier. SEMrush, Ahrefs, and KW Finder all turn in respectable scores in the second tier, followed by the unique case of SpyFu, which performed outstanding in the first two tests (albeit, only returning results on 80% of the tested keywords), then falling flat on the final test.

Finally, we need to make some usability adjustments.

Usability Adjustment 1: Keyword Matching

A keyword research tool doesn’t do you much good if it can’t provide results for the keywords you are researching. Plain and simple, we can’t treat two tools as equals if they don’t have the same level of practical functionality.

To explain in practical terms, if a tool doesn’t have data on a particular keyword, one of two things will happen:

  1. You have to use another tool to get the data, which devalues the entire point of using the original tool.
  2. You miss an opportunity to rank for a high-value keyword.

Neither scenario is good, therefore we developed a penalty system. For each 10% match rate under 100%, we deducted a single point from the final score, with a maximum deduction of 5 points. For example, if a tool matched 92% of the keywords, we would deduct .8 points from the final score.

One may argue that this penalty is actually too lenient considering the significance of the two unideal scenarios outlined above.

The penalties are as follows:

Tool

Match Rate

Penalty

KW Finder

100%

0

Ahrefs

100%

0

Moz

100%

0

SEMrush

92%

-.8

Keyword Planner Tool

88%

-1.2

SpyFu

80%

-2

Please note we gave SEMrush a lot of leniency, in that technically, many of the keywords evaluated were not found in its keyword difficulty tool, but rather through manually digging through the phrase match tool. We will give them a pass, but with a stern warning!

Usability Adjustment 2: Reliability

I told you we would come back to this! Revisiting the second test in which we threw away the three strongest outliers that negatively impacted each tool’s score, we will now make adjustments.

In real life, there are no mulligans. In real life, each of those three blog posts that were thrown out represented a significant monetary and time investment. Therefore, when a tool has a major blunder, the result can be a total waste of time and resources.

For that reason, we will impose a slight penalty on those tools that benefited the most from their handicap.

We will use the level of PCC improvement to evaluate how much a tool benefitted from removing their outliers. In doing so, we will be rewarding the tools that were the most consistently reliable. As a reminder, the amounts each tool benefitted were as follows:

Tool

Difference (+/-)

Ahrefs

0.162

SEMrush

0.150

Keyword Planner Tool

0.144

SpyFu

0.122

KWFinder

0.110

Moz

0.101

In calculating the penalty, we scored each of the tools relative to the top performer, giving the top performer zero penalty and imposing penalties based on how much additional benefit the tools received over the most reliable tool, on a scale of 0–100%, with a maximum deduction of 5 points.

So if a tool received twice the benefit of the top performing tool, it would have had a 100% benefit, receiving the maximum deduction of 5 points. If another tool received a 20% benefit over of the most reliable tool, it would get a 1-point deduction. And so on.

Tool

% Benefit

Penalty

Ahrefs

60%

-3

SEMrush

48%

-2.4

Keyword Planner Tool

42%

-2.1

SpyFu

20%

-1

KW Finder

8%

-.4

Moz

0

Results

All told, our penalties were fairly mild, with a slight shuffling in the middle tier. The final scores are as follows:

Tool

Total Score

Stars (5 max)

Moz

29.7

4.95

KW Finder

24.5

4.08

SEMrush

23.8

3.97

Ahrefs

23.0

3.83

Spyfu

20.3

3.38

KPT

-2.6

0.00

Conclusion

Using any organic keyword difficulty tool will give you an advantage over not doing so. While none of the tools are a crystal ball, providing perfect predictability, they will certainly give you an edge. Further, if you record enough data on your own blogs’ performance, you will get a clearer picture of the keyword difficulty scores you should target in order to rank on the first page.

For example, we know the following about how we should target keywords with each tool:

Tool

Average KD ranking ≤10

Average KD ranking ≥ 11

Moz

33.3

37.0

SpyFu

47.7

50.6

SEMrush

60.3

64.5

KWFinder

43.3

46.5

Ahrefs

11.9

23.6

This is pretty powerful information! It’s either first page or bust, so we now know the threshold for each tool that we should set when selecting keywords.

Stay tuned, because we made a lot more correlations between word count, days live, total keywords ranking, and all kinds of other juicy stuff. Tune in again in early September for updates!

We hope you found this test useful, and feel free to reach out with any questions on our math!

Disclaimer: These results are estimates based on 50 ranking keywords from 50 blog posts and keyword research data pulled from a single moment in time. Search is a shifting landscape, and these results have certainly changed since the data was pulled. In other words, this is about as accurate as we can get from analyzing a moving target.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 4 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com

Unlocking the full potential of transactional emails

Columnist Len Schneyder advises marketers how to get the most out of their transactional emails without stepping over the line.

The post Unlocking the full potential of transactional emails appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 4 hours ago from feeds.marketingland.com

7 Free Project Management Software Options to Keep Your Team On-Track

59% of U.S. workers say communication is their team’s biggest obstacle to success, followed by accountability.

Managing multiple projects at once, delegating tasks, and collaborating across teams is difficult on a good day — but can become downright impossible when unforeseen obstacles get in the way.

Miscommunication and inefficiencies in your project management process can lead to confusing and stressful experiences for your employees, and hinder your company’s ability to satisfy your clients’ needs or hit end-of-year goals. This can lead to major losses over time.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free project management software options to keep your team on-track without breaking the bank. To streamline your process and ensure everyone on your team is on the same page, take a look at these seven exceptional free project management tools.

1. Teamweek

Teamweek is an effective project management tool to automate your task delegation process, and visualize which project tasks have been completed and which haven’t. If your team often collaborates with other departments on projects, this could be a useful tool for you.

Features include:

  • Gantt-chart visualization to track important deadlines and projects
  • Integrations with Slack, Github, Evernote, and others
  • Team collaboration option through shared calendars and task notes

Cost: Free for an unlimited number of projects for up to five team members

2. Zoho Reports

Zoho Reports is easy to use and lets you create comprehensive dashboards and data visualizations to ensure your projects are on-track. You can import data from outside files, cloud drives, applications, and in-house apps, enabling you to create more accurate cross functional reports. (Zoho Reports is a HubSpot integration partner).

Features include:

  • Easy drag-and-drop interface with BI visualization tools
  • Ability to share and collaborate on reports and dashboards with colleagues privately.
  • Cloud BI reporting tool embedded within your own website or product
  • Integrations with Slack, Google Apps, and Dropbox, as well as mobile apps, making team collaboration easier.

Cost: Free for one project with multiple users, storage up to 10 GB

3. Asana

Asana, one of the most popular project management solutions used by millions of people across 192 countries, has a clean and user-friendly interface. The all-in-one tool lets you create boards to visualize which stage your project is in, and use reporting to keep track of finished tasks and tasks that need your attention.

Features include:

  • The ability to create templates to automate mundane tasks
  • The ability to collaborate and share information across the team, privately and securely
  • The option to set security controls and designate admins
  • Over 100 integrations for a more efficient start-to-finish process
  • Custom project fields, share documents, and filter tasks

Cost: Free for unlimited projects for teams up to 15 people.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork, a project management tool that specializes in bringing together remote workers, allows you to create team member status updates so your remote and flexible teams know their coworkers’ schedules. It also provides customer service functions, including the option to assign tickets or view customer emails in one place. (Teamwork is a HubSpot integration partner).

Features include:

  • Customizable navigation to prioritize your team’s needs
  • Gantt chart for visualizing due dates and project timelines
  • Private messaging, and option to make project details private
  • Team member status updates for remote or flexible team members

Cost: Free for two to five users

5. Wrike

Wrike stands out as an exceptional project management tool for teams who want the option to customize workflows and edit and revise projects from within the platform itself. The tool offers the ability to color code and layer calendars, and its mobile form allows colleagues to update project information on-the-go. You can add comments to sections, videos, or documents, and create custom fields to export data most relevant to your company.

Features include:

  • Security measures to ensure only authorized personnel can access information
  • Activity Stream to allow project managers to micromanage small tasks, see activities in chronological order, and tag team members
  • The option to unfollow activities to declutter your own personal Stream
  • Email and calendar synchronization
  • Built-in editing and approval features

Cost: Free for five team members

6. Paymo

Paymo’s free version only allows access for one user, but if you’ve got a small team or you’re a freelancer, this could be an efficient option for tracking billable hours and invoicing clients. Along with tracking finances, Paymo also allows you to organize project timelines, create to-do lists, and stay on top of your budgets for multiple projects at once.

Features include:

  • Kanban Boards
  • Time Tracking
  • File Sharing and Adobe CC Extension
  • Reporting
  • Three Invoices

Cost: Free for one user, one GB storage

7. ClickUp

ClickUp provides a few impressive features to customize the all-in-one project management tool to suit your team members, including the option for each user to choose one of three different ways to view their projects and tasks depending on individual preference. If your marketing team overlaps with sales, design, or development, this is an effective solution, as it provides features for all of those four teams.

Features include:

  • The ability to organize your projects based on priority, and assign tasks to groups
  • The option to set goals to remind teams what they’re aiming to accomplish
  • Google Calendar two-way sync
  • An easy way to filter, search, sorting, and customize options for managing specific tasks
  • Activity stream with mentions capability
  • Image mockups
  • 57 integrated apps

Cost: Free forever, with unlimited users and unlimited projects, and 100 MB of storage

Reblogged 4 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com

Link-building tools you may not know about

Contributor Julie Joyce breaks down the nuts and bolts of four unique link-building tools and shares how each can help analyze web pages and assist in your linking efforts.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 22 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Easy Email Inbox: Reply to 3 Types of Messages (and Don’t Sweat the Rest)

When you run a content marketing platform, you’ll get other types of messages from your audience in addition to blog comments. You’ll get emails. Many people have a love/hate relationship with email. When it’s good, it’s really good — but when it’s bad, managing your inbox feels like a huge waste of time. But like
Read More…

The post Easy Email Inbox: Reply to 3 Types of Messages (and Don’t Sweat the Rest) appeared first on Copyblogger.

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8 Competitive Benchmark Tactics to Measure Your Brand

Quick question: how does your brand’s social presence stack up against your competition?

Because if you’re looking at little more than followers and Likes as a measuring stick, you might be in the dark.

The reality? While these surface-level metrics can be valuable, they don’t tell the full story of your social presence.

Think about it. Comparing the Instagram activity of a small, local retailer to the likes of H&M or Old Navy would be apples and oranges.

And so if you want to accurately measure your brand via social, you need to measure yourself against metrics that makes sense.

That’s where your competitive benchmark strategy comes in.

By conducting a competitive benchmark analysis, you can better understand your own strengths and how to stand apart from the crowd.

And hey, that’s exactly why we’ve outlined eight benchmarks to keep an eye on. The more you dig into these data points, the more actionable insights you have toward beefing up your social presence.

1. Content Performance

First thing’s first: marketers should have a strong pulse on what’s considered top-performing content in their space.

When you have a post that explodes in “Likes” and shares, it’s a clear signal that you’re doing something right in the eyes of your audience.

And similarly, you should know what your competitors are posting that’s scoring them the same sort of love.

The good news? These numbers don’t have to be a secret.

With the wealth of competitive analysis tools, you can quickly see what sort of content is killing it in your industry. For example, with BuzzSumo you can see the most popular content in your niche broken down by keyword.

Tracking the shares of competing content via tools like Buzzsumo helps you understand how your own content stacks up

Meanwhile, Keyhole allows you to see the most liked and retweeted posts coming from a specific competitor you have in mind.

Keyhole allows marketers to see the top-performing Twitter content of any given account

Of course, none of this means much unless you know which sort of social content is working for you.

Analytics such as engagement reports in Sprout provide an in-depth breakdown on which of your pieces score the most traction. By analyzing impressions, engagements and clicks, brands have actionable insights on what they should be posting on a day-to-day basis.

With Sprout, brands have a better pulse on their top-performing content via detailed reporting

By weeding out underperforming posts and content, you can consistently fine-tune your posts’ performance over time.

2. Timing and Frequency

Timing is a critical competitive benchmark as brands try to maximize the number of eyeballs they get on any given piece of content.

Based on Sprout’s own data, the best times to post on social media varies from platform to platform.

Timing your posts to perfection maximizes engagement and also serves as a way to stand apart from your competitors

Either way, if you aren’t publishing your posts when your audience is most active, you’re inevitably stifling the reach of your content. Likewise, you’re providing an opportunity for competitors to swoop in for your followers’ precious attention.

Tools such as Sprout’s own ViralPost feature removes the guesswork so that brands can queue up their content based on the followers’ behavior. Oh, and the ability to schedule in advance takes away the pressure and headache of having to exclusively post in real-time.

Features of Sprout like Viralpost ensure that you're maximizing your content's reach in terms of engagement

Here’s some food for thought, though: brands should not only be aware of when they’re posting but also how often.

For example, if your competitors are consistently posing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter multiple times today and you’re not, there’s likely going to be a gulf of difference in terms of your social followings.

As such, take some time to conduct a competitive audit that examines when, where and how often your competitors are posting. Doing so can clue you in on “dead” periods of time where nobody in your industry is posting, and likewise social channels they might be neglecting.

This also helps you save time by posting only when it makes sense based on data. Rather than try to pump out as much content as possible, you should strive to make every post count whether it’s through captions, hashtags and, of course, scheduling.

3. Engagement Rate

It can’t be said enough: your follower count isn’t the be-all, end-all of your social presence.

As a competitive benchmark, your brand’s engagement rate is much more important.

In short, engagement rate pits your follower count against how many likes, shares or comments that your social content scores.

A brand with 1,000 engaged, active followers is much more valuable than a brand with 10,000 followers that sit on their hands. Whether it’s due to fake followers or lackluster content, there are brands that have seemingly massive “followings” on paper but low engagement rates. It’s also important to understand what constitutes a strong engagement rate in your area of business.

Here’s an example of an engagement rate analysis using Phlanx on Instagram. Denny’s is known for its rabid base of social followers and scores an awesome engagement rate in response.  If your brand was a competitor to Denny’s in this case, you could look at this engagement rate as a target for high performance.

Denny's is noted for it's sky high engagement on Instagram with a rate of 8.1%

Higher engagement means higher participation in your campaigns. This enthusiasm is much more likely to result in sales, brand advocates and a legitimate ROI for your efforts. Again, a massive follower count might look impressive but means little if it’s not producing results.

For this reason, brands should dig into their competitors’ follower counts to see how frequently they actually engage. Reports such as Simply Measured‘s comparative engagement analysis can clue you in without having to crunch the numbers yourself.

Marketers should be worried about their engagement rates versus their competitors rather than just obsessing over follower count

4. Types of Content

In pursuit of more engagement, brands should look at the types of content they publish as a key competitive benchmark.

Think about it. There’s so much diversity in terms of which formats perform best on which platforms. For example, consider the following:

For example, Hubspot’s Instagram boasts everything from how-to education content and memes to motivational videos and beyond.

Hubspot's Instagram feed is evidence to how diverse content marketing can be, including videos, memes and image macros

The takeaway here is that competitive brands don’t just post the same type of content again and again and expect results. Similarly, you should have an idea of how your content strategy serves as a contrast to others in your space.

As part of auditing your competition, try and see which types of content they might be neglecting.

Maybe it’s video. Perhaps they don’t do much in terms of user-generated content and hashtags.

Regardless, there are so many social media ideas to ensure your content strategy doesn’t look identical to your competitors’.

5. Growth Rate

Conventional wisdom tells us that if you consistently post and engage with your social followers, your presence will grow.

Publishing fresh content. Rolling out new campaigns. Going back-and-forth with fans. The list goes on and on.

And while these are all great actions to take, brands should be aware of just how much their social following grows as a result. As a competitive benchmark, growth rate examines how much your following has grown versus raw numbers which don’t mean much by themselves.

For example, while 1,000 followers in 6 months might seem like a flood to you, that might be a drop in the bucket to a big box brand (think: Starbucks, Target).

Reports such as Sprout’s audience growth analysis helps track your growth rate over time alongside your competition. This can help you see if certain campaigns were more effective than others, and likewise if your competitors did something that totally killed it.

Growth rate is a key competitive benchmark for understand if your social presence is actually moving in the right direction

And hey, as long as your numbers are ticking upward you’re golden.

6. Share of Voice

Do you consider yourself to be a leader in your industry? An up-and-comer? Somewhere in-between?

No matter what space you’re in, you’re likely jockeying for position among your competition.

Share of voice is a competitive benchmark that measures just how much you’re being heard against similar brands via social.

Share of Voice example graph

Boosting your share of voice ultimately involves contributing more to your industry’s conversation. This means posting thoughtful content, engaging with your audience and taking a stance on issues within your industry.

For example, are you up on all of your industry hashtags? Are you sitting on the sidelines when it comes to controversy in your space or are you taking a stand?

After all, you can’t expect much of a share of voice if your voice isn’t being heard.

7. Sentiment Analysis

Yet on a related note, there’s more to social media than just being the loudest voice in the room.

We live in a day and age where not all press is good press. Sentiment analysis as a competitive benchmark measures whether or not your brand mentions are positive, negative or neutral in the eyes of your audience.

This metric is especially important if you’re laser-focused on customer care and interacting with your followers. Likewise, you want to make sure you’re seen as the proverbial “good guy” in your space when placed next to your competition.

Sentiment analysis should most definitely be part of your social listening strategy to ensure that you capitalize on positive mentions and address negative ones.

Sentiment analysis helps brands understand whether or not their social interactions are leaving a positive impression on followers

8. Social Mentions

Scoring social mentions is the ultimate goal of any brand.

We want that sweet, sweet engagement. We want those conversations and moments to sell ourselves.

As a result, you need to know who’s talking about you and likewise who might be talking about your competitors. Again, this is why social listening is so important for tracking competitive benchmarks.

Because after all, not all mentions are created equal. Scoring a shout-out from a major industry player or influencer serves as social proof for your brand. The ability to track, measure and respond to mentions in real-time also signals you as a more active participant in your industry.

The ability to capitalize on mentions from influencers gives marketers a massive competitive advantage

And with that, we wrap up our list!

Which Competitive Benchmarks Are You Tracking?

Listen: if you want to build the best social presence possible, you need to take a data-driven approach to growth.

Conducting a competitive benchmark analysis is a game-changer for brands who’ve been focused on little more than follower count.

If you’re hungry for a better ROI from social and want to know what to do next, these are the metrics that deserve your undivided attention. And hey, given the wealth of tools out there to help you track them, you can take action on your insights sooner rather than later.

But we want to hear from you! How much do you research your competitors via social? Do you make a conscious effort to avoid copycatting your competition? Let us know in the comments below!

This post 8 Competitive Benchmark Tactics to Measure Your Brand originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Reblogged 23 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com

Storytelling on Social Media: How to Do It Better

The most common problem that brands have marketing themselves on social isn’t rooted in product strength or the quality and structure of marketing plans. It’s that we’re failing at the social media storytelling game. We’re not answering these questions clearly and specifically:

  • Who is my “built for you”? Who is my audience?
  • How do I get my idea into my audience’s head? And which tools do I need to understand them better?
  • How do I change the way my audience thinks? How do we prompt a pivot?
  • How do I change the way my audience behaves (ahem, buys)? How do we prompt desired behavior after we’ve changed their minds?

These are great questions to surface during your next campaign planning session. To change the way your audience behaves, no matter what your goal is as a brand, you must change the way they feel and think.

Get to Know Your Audience Better

Many brands fall into the trap of choosing too broad an audience. My first tip here is to get as specific as possible with your marketing personas. Social listening solutions can help you do this.

Social Media Personas

The more targeted an audience you have, the easier and more effective your work as a social marketer will be.

Once you’ve drilled down on the specific identities and proclivities of your audience(s), it’s time to get clear on each audience’s goal. What is the thing this audience wants that your brand will help them get? 

Your Audience’s (New) Problems

Now that you understand your audience on a fundamental level, you can understand their problems. But don’t find just any problem. Don’t find the problem that all your competitors have found. Find  the problem that your audience couldn’t see before, and aggressively go after both highlighting and prescribing the answer to that problem.

Listening
Easily run keyword and hashtag analysis with Advanced Listening, powered by Simply Measured.

Make the pain of the status quo seem more painful than the pain of acting.

Choose the Right Distribution Channels

Then double down on them, prioritize them, and shift away from channels that aren’t working as necessary. Use social analytics to identify the most robust social channels for your audience and product-relevant conversation.

Listening
Did you forget to listen to what your audience wants before planning? With Advanced Listening, you can sort the conversation easily by posts, social channels, hashtags, conversation keywords, and even most influential people in the conversation.

Be strategic about how you use these channels, and only focus on the channels where this conversation is already happening. This is especially important when you have limited resources for both content development and ads (which most of us do). Meet your audience where they are.

Think of it this way: You could have the best water in the world, but if it’s flowing through a leaking pipe, no one will ever taste it.

Use This Framework

This framework can help you tell better stories on social.

  • What’s the goal of your campaign and/or strategy?
  • What is the problem you solve? How can you tell that story?
  • What idea do you want to replace in your audience’s heads?
  • What change do you want to make?

Remember that the buying process is inherently emotional for every human being. Education is key, and delivering facts is important, but, ultimately, it’s changing the way people think and feel that will put the dollars in your brand’s bank and increase awareness, adoption, and advocacy for your brand.

Make Big Bets on Fewer Things

Most social marketers and brands pump out a ton of content, much of which is not valuable to their audiences. Instead, make big bets on fewer things: fewer pieces of content, fewer messages, fewer campaigns.

New Balance Instagram

For example, if you are a B2B brand, put over half your time and promotion resources into a major industry study. If you are an eCommerce brand, put half your time and promotion resources into a particular photo shoot, video campaign, or narrative. Look at the analytics often to understand what’s working and what’s not so you can swiftly pivot.

Simply Measured Social Analytics
Advanced Analytics, powered by Simply Measured

Want more creative planning fuel? Check out the webinar recording below, which walks through the biggest trends to navigate and strongest ways to tell your brand story with social in 2018.

This post Storytelling on Social Media: How to Do It Better originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Reblogged 23 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com