Ever get screen paralysis considering which CTA to use with your content?
We obsess over them, right?
Get a demo?
Read/watch this other thing we published?
I think obsessing over getting it perfect is a big waste of time, though.
Give them a way to grow in relationship with your brand, yes.
Maybe even multiple paths (read more, learn more, free trial).
But your true objective is that the content itself creates a feeling of trust that grows over time.
Here’s an example of the mental journey you want to foster (note: it probably won’t be as perfectly ordered as this):
“Wow. I’m so glad I discovered this. This is good. They know what they’re talking about. I’m going to try this thing they’ve taught me.”
“I think I’ll subscribe / bookmark / follow / whatever because that was so good I don’t want to miss what they publish next.”
“I have a new problem to solve. I think I’ll look for an answer from that brand that publishes on this topic, or maybe ask them what they suggest.”
“It’s been a while and I’m still getting so much good advice from that brand. It’s like they’re giving away secrets. I’m getting really reliant on them as a credible resource.”
“I feel like I might need that thing they sell. I trust them. I’ve learned about it in snippets, have a feel for what it could do for my business, and I’d like to learn more.”
Do you see the hidden CTA that’s working on the prospect in this thought progression?
It’s not 2 snappy words on a button.
It’s a growing feeling of “I want to work with the team that created this content. I trust they know what they’re doing.”
It’s not a 1-newsletter, 1-ebook, 1-blog post, 1-LinkedIn post, 1-YouTube video, or 1-TikTok strategy.
It’s a relationship that requires your brand to publish quality consistently.
The hidden CTA matters more than the “Book a demo” CTA you want to squeeze in.
The hidden CTA is “Trust me.”
And that trust forms and grows over multiple encounters.
Make each piece you publish worth someone coming back for more.
Build The Right Metric System
If certain marketing efforts and channels are hard to measure, how do you prove their success?
Sparktoro’s Rand Fishkin lays out a framework and detailed plan here. Plus, he addresses how to convince leaders to let go of the analytics they’ve grown addicted to.
He hits on the following hard-to-measure tactics:
- Organic SEO
- Content marketing
- Organic social media
- Earning press & engaging in PR
- Co-Marketing with relevant partners
- Guest contributions to publications that reach your target audience
Extremely Helpful Advice For Navigating Google’s Helpful Content Update
Stephen Jeske, Senior Content Strategist at MarketMuse, deconstructs Google’s Helpful Content Update in this article. It captures a handful of expert opinions about what the update actually does and how marketers and publishers can navigate the changes.
Newsflash: It’s not as simple as ”just publish helpful content.” Scroll to the list of questions at the end if this has been your game plan.
I’ve rounded up a series of quotes you might find helpful:
“It’s one score in an ensemble of scores, but if you’re labeled a bad site due to the amount of unhelpful content, all your pages wear that scarlet letter.”
“Very few people will ever admit that their site has been affected by this update, because that’s like saying your baby is ugly.”
“...for this initial roll-out, Google has set the bar for helpful content low to initially catch the worst of the garbage – expect that to change.”
“This means you’ll need to re-evaluate using AI to scale low business-value content while leaving the high-value stuff to humans.”
Bookmark this piece if you need help with this topic.
“According to the researchers, rogue marketing occurs when an unaffiliated individual creates and posts an informal message about a brand on social media that becomes viral. Although the post is not funded or endorsed by the company that owns the brand, the viral status provides free and unexpected advertising.”
Sometimes, for better or worse, rogue marketing just happens. This article by Bryan Luhn explains how it may be time for your marketing strategy to have a plan for monitoring it and countering when necessary.
Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business.
Check Your Apostrophe: Buyers’ Journey
According to Sam Kuehnle, the apostrophe matters: buyers’ journey vs. buyer’s journey. His LinkedIn post explains why it matters and how to create content that doesn’t just “map to a buyer stage” but instead serves all individuals in a buying group simultaneously.
Mindset Shift: Invest In Content (Each Piece Is An Asset)
“Content marketing does not mean blog posts.”
Instead, each piece you create (article, video, social post, etc.) is an investment. Ross Simmonds explains this mindset in this 2-minute video.
Related: This Ghost article focuses on what to do once you create good content: distribute wisely.
Also Related: For MarketingProfs, Ayaz Nanji breaks down research from Orbit Media’s State of Blogging in 2022 here.
Time To Embrace AI?
Are you using AI in your marketing yet? This venture beat article explains how AI could help to increase conversions and productivity, but also explains why marketers have been slow to adapt.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
How To Implement Customer-Led Growth
Georgiana Laudi, CEO of Forget the Funnel, has a wealth of marketing wisdom and recently shared some of it on Lenny’s Podcast. In the 1-hour episode, she discusses:
- Identifying your ideal customer
- Mapping user flows for growth opportunities
- Examples of product changes that have led to growth
- Her processes for uncovering opportunities
- Increasing subscriptions and retention
Are Headline Best Practices Actually Best For You?
We know to create content specifically for our audiences…so why do we default to “magic formulas” when it comes to headlines?
Ann Gynn explains how to craft headlines based on your goal and your audience instead.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
Is Your Curation Creating Value?
In yet another 2022 content curation guide, Priscilla Tan offers some good insights into why you should curate, how to make it valuable, and how to create a framework for curating. To create value, she advocates that you:
- Grab a chair and take part in the conversation
- Reward your audience and help them win
- Make it content 80% original and 20% curated
While I agree with most of her advice, the 80/20 approach feels off, especially as a blanket statement. Many brands will do well to flip that and use curated content engagement to discover what they should invest in creating.
Curation Tips From TheCLIKK
As a curation-first publisher, writers of theCLIKK know what it takes to curate well…and it might not be as complicated as you think.
They included these curation tips in a recent issue (sorry, no email link available):
- Define the type(s) of value you’re trying to find among the headlines
- Be patient at first and let yourself be curious as you skim headlines
- Use some kind of curation tool (if not multiple)
- Develop a routine for gathering content
- Open all of your gathered links in new tabs, but then narrow them down before you stop to read any of them (not what I do but this works, too)
I also thought this was a smart perspective for those concerned about losing brand voice when curating:
“Curated content still has a voice; it’s just a different entrance to the same information…”
Opt In Challenge
Discover Your Ideal Email Length
Does email length matter?
I tend to think not. Knowing what will hold your audience’s attention means you can go long if you’d like.
BUT, if you haven’t figured out what truly resonates yet, your Opt In Challenge is to check out this Email on Acid article and run an email test to see what length your audience prefers.
Discovered via Email on Acid.