What is content marketing and why do I need it..?

Content marketing

Content marketing is the creation of various forms of customer communications, the overall purpose of which is to increase sales and profits. Typical forms of content include blogs, white papers, webinars, newsletters, infographics and videos.

Content marketing

Content marketing assets tend to be added to the website (such as to an online library) and customers are advised about this fresh material via social media and email. The key thing to remember is that there are two interlinked reasons why content marketing will increase sales – SEO performance and customer experience

SEO (search engine optimisation)

Content marketing improves SEO (search engine optimisation). This means that content marketing will need to form a crucial part of your company’s overall aim to achieve first page status on Google for natural (non-paid) search results. Content marketing on its own is weak. It requires traditional SEO activities (on-page optimisation and off-page link building) supported by social media marketing to be effective. Social media means normal conversation channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as social media repositories such as YouTube, Google + and Pinterest. These three repositories have what are called ‘barnacle SEO’ properties. They are where you can place your content marketing materials to provide off-page signals to search engine robots that sweep the internet looking for information to feed their algorithms. Remember, the ultimate aim of search engines like Google is to serve up the best results for customers when they type in a specific keyword search term. This means that they are looking for reputation and credibility in the websites which flag for a specific keyword search term – and content marketing is an excellent way to fly a bigger and more enticing flag than the rest of the crowd. In fact, pound-for-pound, digital marketing is by far the best strategy for start-up enterprises and SME businesses with ambitions to punch far above their weight and achieve first page status in a relatively short period of time, and for a relatively small financial investment. The bottom line is that most of your competitors won’t have great digital marketing strategies, so if you do decide to invest in the creation and deployment of a digital marketing plan (featuring content creation, bespoke SEO and social media marketing), your business is unquestionably going to be highly visible digitally in your marketplace.

Customer experience

The second reason why you need to invest in a content marketing strategy is to improve customer experience. Customers come in two primary forms: pre-sales and post-sales. In the pre-sales environment, in what is often referred to as the sales pipeline, customers can be categorised as suspects and prospects. The aim is to help the overall effort to turn as many leads into sales as possible. Well written and appropriate content will create a perception of a professional and credible organisation that knows what it is talking about. It will help it to stand out from the crowd. It will demonstrate added value and thought leadership. It will enhance the reputation of the brand and make potential customers much more willing to interact with staff involved in the sales conversion process, depending upon the shape of the business model in question, and then to complete a desired call to action. Content marketing helps to walk customers through ‘AIDA’ – Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action – which is a good way of understanding the underlying process which turns suspects into prospects, and then into customers. This is not the end of the story. A customer has the potential to become a repeat customer, of the same items as well as breadth of basket ancillaries, and can also be cross-sold other products and services too. They are also a valuable source of new business opportunities through word of mouth marketing.

Content marketing

That’s what content marketing is in a nutshell – the creation of various forms of media, the aim of which is to deliver high quality and interesting content to search engines and customers, the objective of which is to increase sales – by driving relevant traffic to the website, by turning suspects into customers, by increasing customer lifetime value, and by developing referral opportunities. One more very important thing to note – it should be desired that content marketing creates a conversation. Customers will share materials they like, and they might also provide valuable insight that you can use to improve future materials. Make sure you interact in an appropriate way, and be guided by common sense in such matters. On a final note, it clearly helps to have a large and willing audience to distribute your content through social media channels on your behalf – you will therefore need to create a strategy to ensure you have a good quantity (and quality) of followers on your communication channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The post What is content marketing and why do I need it..? appeared first on Abacus Marketing.

We are Undivided #wedemand


It began the week after the referendum; it launches today; it could change the face of British politics.

Thousands of young people from across the UK of all political persuasions, backgrounds and beliefs are rising above differing opinions to focus on their uniting principles as we head further into Brexit negotiations.

They’re doing this to rise above hate; to demand their voice be heard in the negotiations that will affect their generation longest; to get the best deal for young people from Brexit; to prove their differences make them stronger; and that they are not divided as we’re too often told.

Today I’m proud to share the launch of www.weareundivided.co.uk

In the four months since the referendum, young people from all corners of the UK have built a brand, developed a site, secured funding, created a team, designed a campaign that’s digital, physical, social, local and interactive, and today

My Media Week: Marc Nohr

Marc Nohr Fold7 CEO

Campaign magazine follow Fold7 CEO Marc Nohr while he joins the IPA to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising, sits in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg, teaches his children to cook burgers and more.

The article was first published in Campaign magazine.

MONDAY
It’s the Jewish New Year, so I take my family to Synagogue and then host friends for lunch. It’s always a bit odd to see regular London going about its business when Jewish London hunkers down for these autumn days. But kind of nice too.

TUESDAY
My daily morning ritual kicks in: wake up to the Today programme and straight to my home gym. Today yoga, with the Mrs. It’s the one form of exercise we both agree on.Jump on the train and read half a Harvard Business Review article. It’s an early start today to film a new AAR reel for the agency. This requires a couple of coffees and a few takes to get into my stride. But the director is personable, has a good interview technique and we get there in the end…90 minutes fly by.

Lunch is in the office with an old confidante. We discuss an opportunity to do a joint venture in a new market. I throw a few provocations his way and he throws a few back my way. As a form of problem solving this Socratic dialogue probably explains why creative teams still form pairs – and by the end of an hour we have a sense of how to proceed.In the afternoon I go across to the IPA at the invitation of director general Paul Bainsfair to join some other agency leaders to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising.

As a Remainer it’s interesting to now problem-solve around the reality of exit and to try to make the best of it. On the way back to the agency I have a long chat with a mate who is a leading political columnist on what is happening at the Tory conference. Tuesday evening is a late shift. A massive presentation the following day to a major client for their global campaign next year – which has some 15 people or so work until the early hours, fuelled by Uber Eats. Pitches are where it all comes together in our business – where problem identification turns into strategy which becomes creative work to solve the client’s business problem. Addictive but knackering.

WEDNESDAY
To the gym for high intensity training. It’s painful but the happiness hormone kicks in as soon as I finish. Hotfoot it to the agency Zone (recent recipient of BIMA’s digital agency of the year) where I serve on their Advisory Board. Three former agency chiefs, three clients and the agency’s management team. Every meeting centres around a big topic, which we all receive in advance and are required to come and talk about. It’s a mental workout for their executive team – as they get to test their ideas and have their assumptions challenged. The format is the brainchild of chairman James Freedman who sits back and largely enjoys the debate.

Arrive late morning in the agency’s reception dominated by stationary bikes and blaring music in aid of the NABS Ride Adland event. We appear to be going at a fraction of the speed of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. I console myself that they employ Lawrence Dallaglio who could probably do the race single handedly. Lunch is with a headhunter who recruited a star player for us a few months back – no agenda, other than his desire to recruit some more. I’m always up for discussing talent. Then, the afternoon is dominated by a creative presentation involving several clients in different cities. I’d much prefer to be doing it in person, but screen share technology at least gives us the chance to control the visual flow. After a series of internal meetings I remember my wife is out this evening. I call home to ask if any of my kids know how to cook a burger. By the third “no” I head straight home to show them how it’s done. An evening of news, box sets and red wine follows.

THURSDAY
Go for an early run, shower and jump on a train. Read news headlines on Twitter. Breakfast is with Annette King at Ogilvy. She shows we me their wonderful new office with views over… my kids’ school. I think of burgers. We discuss kids, clients, talent and the thrill of the chase in new business. Back to the agency for calls, internal meetings and the rehearsal of an afternoon presentation. Lunch with Chris Duncan, chief marketing officer of News UK and fellow political junkie. We discuss party conferences, paywalls and who is winning in online journalism.

Afternoon presentation to a client on how to win in the content wars. Then a prospect meeting with a fintech brand wanting to internationalise and seeking to understand how relevant their brand will be in the US. At the end of the day, head out to Soho to my favourite Chinese restaurant and to meet a former client who has now turned up as a client again – dinner followed by a gig at Ronnie Scott’s featuring drummer legend Steve Gadd (best known for the drum lick which starts Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover). Love that place.

FRIDAY
Gym: kettlebells. Breakfast in a local cafe with my cousin who is a City trader of some repute – I find his job as bewildering as he finds mine, but as my only extended relative in the UK (both my parents were immigrants) it’s always heartening to see him. A morning at my home office – a dozen or so calls including one to the US chief marketing officer of Audible whose UK campaign we have just launched, and a strategy call with the Hilton marketing chief in Virginia.

I get to the agency at 1pm, just in time to sit in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg for 2017. I am struck by the startling array of media we operate across as marketeers. Afternoon of one-to-one meetings with my senior team. Then, I have a meeting with the founder of our new experiential agency Hyperactive and Tony Spong of the AAR to discuss credentials. Finally, an end of day drink with someone keen to discuss an overseas venture. Then head home for the traditional Jewish Friday night meal – which I endeavour never to miss. When I reach home the phone goes off – 24 hour digital detox begins.

My Media Week: Marc Nohr

Marc Nohr Fold7 CEO

Campaign magazine follow Fold7 CEO Marc Nohr while he joins the IPA to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising, sits in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg, teaches his children to cook burgers and more.

The article was first published in Campaign magazine.

MONDAY
It’s the Jewish New Year, so I take my family to Synagogue and then host friends for lunch. It’s always a bit odd to see regular London going about its business when Jewish London hunkers down for these autumn days. But kind of nice too.

TUESDAY
My daily morning ritual kicks in: wake up to the Today programme and straight to my home gym. Today yoga, with the Mrs. It’s the one form of exercise we both agree on.Jump on the train and read half a Harvard Business Review article. It’s an early start today to film a new AAR reel for the agency. This requires a couple of coffees and a few takes to get into my stride. But the director is personable, has a good interview technique and we get there in the end…90 minutes fly by.

Lunch is in the office with an old confidante. We discuss an opportunity to do a joint venture in a new market. I throw a few provocations his way and he throws a few back my way. As a form of problem solving this Socratic dialogue probably explains why creative teams still form pairs – and by the end of an hour we have a sense of how to proceed.In the afternoon I go across to the IPA at the invitation of director general Paul Bainsfair to join some other agency leaders to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising.

As a Remainer it’s interesting to now problem-solve around the reality of exit and to try to make the best of it. On the way back to the agency I have a long chat with a mate who is a leading political columnist on what is happening at the Tory conference. Tuesday evening is a late shift. A massive presentation the following day to a major client for their global campaign next year – which has some 15 people or so work until the early hours, fuelled by Uber Eats. Pitches are where it all comes together in our business – where problem identification turns into strategy which becomes creative work to solve the client’s business problem. Addictive but knackering.

WEDNESDAY
To the gym for high intensity training. It’s painful but the happiness hormone kicks in as soon as I finish. Hotfoot it to the agency Zone (recent recipient of BIMA’s digital agency of the year) where I serve on their Advisory Board. Three former agency chiefs, three clients and the agency’s management team. Every meeting centres around a big topic, which we all receive in advance and are required to come and talk about. It’s a mental workout for their executive team – as they get to test their ideas and have their assumptions challenged. The format is the brainchild of chairman James Freedman who sits back and largely enjoys the debate.

Arrive late morning in the agency’s reception dominated by stationary bikes and blaring music in aid of the NABS Ride Adland event. We appear to be going at a fraction of the speed of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. I console myself that they employ Lawrence Dallaglio who could probably do the race single handedly. Lunch is with a headhunter who recruited a star player for us a few months back – no agenda, other than his desire to recruit some more. I’m always up for discussing talent. Then, the afternoon is dominated by a creative presentation involving several clients in different cities. I’d much prefer to be doing it in person, but screen share technology at least gives us the chance to control the visual flow. After a series of internal meetings I remember my wife is out this evening. I call home to ask if any of my kids know how to cook a burger. By the third “no” I head straight home to show them how it’s done. An evening of news, box sets and red wine follows.

THURSDAY
Go for an early run, shower and jump on a train. Read news headlines on Twitter. Breakfast is with Annette King at Ogilvy. She shows we me their wonderful new office with views over… my kids’ school. I think of burgers. We discuss kids, clients, talent and the thrill of the chase in new business. Back to the agency for calls, internal meetings and the rehearsal of an afternoon presentation. Lunch with Chris Duncan, chief marketing officer of News UK and fellow political junkie. We discuss party conferences, paywalls and who is winning in online journalism.

Afternoon presentation to a client on how to win in the content wars. Then a prospect meeting with a fintech brand wanting to internationalise and seeking to understand how relevant their brand will be in the US. At the end of the day, head out to Soho to my favourite Chinese restaurant and to meet a former client who has now turned up as a client again – dinner followed by a gig at Ronnie Scott’s featuring drummer legend Steve Gadd (best known for the drum lick which starts Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover). Love that place.

FRIDAY
Gym: kettlebells. Breakfast in a local cafe with my cousin who is a City trader of some repute – I find his job as bewildering as he finds mine, but as my only extended relative in the UK (both my parents were immigrants) it’s always heartening to see him. A morning at my home office – a dozen or so calls including one to the US chief marketing officer of Audible whose UK campaign we have just launched, and a strategy call with the Hilton marketing chief in Virginia.

I get to the agency at 1pm, just in time to sit in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg for 2017. I am struck by the startling array of media we operate across as marketeers. Afternoon of one-to-one meetings with my senior team. Then, I have a meeting with the founder of our new experiential agency Hyperactive and Tony Spong of the AAR to discuss credentials. Finally, an end of day drink with someone keen to discuss an overseas venture. Then head home for the traditional Jewish Friday night meal – which I endeavour never to miss. When I reach home the phone goes off – 24 hour digital detox begins.