One of the reasons we love content marketing is that we can prove results for our clients. It’s not like the old days where we had to get out Bacon’s Directory and calculate the “number of impressions” or show the circulation of a publication that mentions a brand name. It’s also not about generating data to show a lot of fancy numbers and reports without a real-life purpose. Nope, content marketing ties together creativity, conversation and calculations, which is why it works.
I’m not suggesting a completely formulaic approach to marketing. After all, we are still talking to humans at the end of the day. However, with our limited time it’s important to work effectively and Dan Zarrella’s book, The Science of Marketing, provides proven and researched analytics to help content marketers do just that.
1. Use organic to build trust. 60% of respondents click on paid search results either “never” or “less than once a month,” which means most people click on organic results first. They also believe that web pages that rank higher in search results are more trustworthy than those ranked lower. High-quality content is still the best way to boost your rankings.
2. Ask for what you want. In 20,000 randomly selected tweets, the ones that included the phrase please retweet were retweeted more than 50% of the time.
3. Watch the clock and the calendar. If you want your Twitter post to get more clicks, post it toward the end of the week, and especially on the weekends. If you want your post retweeted, send it out after 4 pm, especially on Friday afternoons. If you really want your post to get retweeted, try these additional tips from Dan:
- Use one of these phrases - New blog post, check out, how to, top 10.
- Keep it between 100 and 115 characters.
- Include a link (more than 56% of retweets contain a link).
- Add an action word instead of an adjective.
4. Remember, you’re speaking to humans. On Facebook, ask people to like, share, or comment on your post in simple ways such as, “If you agree… comment or share.” If you want comments, try asking simple “yes” or “no” questions or provide a multiple choice option so people can participate easily.
5. On Facebook, did you know?
- The average Facebook page has 624 fans.
- Photo posts perform the best, followed by status, video and lastly links.
- Fan count is highest for pages posting every other day (4-5 times/week).
6. Don’t get lost in the middle ground. Keep Facebook posts under 100 characters or go over 350.
7. Know what’s important to you. Most readers are reading 5 or more blogs at least once a day, generally in the morning. If your goal is to get more views, publish your post around 10 am EST. If your goal is to get more inbound links, publish around 7 am EST on Monday and consider including a video. If your goal is to get more comments, publish it when people have more time to chat, which is on the weekend.
If you are responsible for creating, distributing and monitoring the success of your content, try these methods on for size. Of course, we’re still at the mercy of Google updates, social media changes, and who knows what new technology feat around the corner, so the tactics in this book will change over time. There's a chance some of these suggestions may be outdated by the time you read this post. But, it can’t hurt to try a few out. Test them. See what works for you… and let us know if you have any new discoveries along the way.