How to use Psychology to improve Design and Content Marketing

Design and content are inextricably linked. Confusing, dated, or unappealing design can reduce your content’s effectiveness. On the other hand, strong design can facilitate more conversions and content consumption.

As a content marketer, I’ve helped global corporations optimize their blogs, newsletters, and content destinations. During those processes, I realized that I was going beyond the boundaries of content marketing and web design. I was touching a new, unknown domain: psychology.

How to make advantage of psychology principles to improve design and content marketing? Here is my new post on the topic, just published on NewsCred Insights blog. Also, I am starting to dissect the post, adding lots more details and creating a three-post series on psychology and content marketing. The first post of the series can be found here on ContentXBorders: How to apply psychology to design and content marketing and attract visitors’ attention.

Enjoy the reading.

Featured image by Scott Webb

Content Hub strategy overview for global enterprises

Michael Brenner once wrote:

A content hub is the home of your content marketing efforts. It’s where most of your content lives, and it’s where you drive users. For many brands, it’s their strongest owned channel.

So, why would your company need a content hub? Why a content hub should be at the hearth of your global content marketing strategy? This presentation deck introduces and defines the content hubs, clarifies main points and put the content hub strategy into contest. Also, provides examples and can be reused by all content marketers who are putting together a wider global content marketing strategy for their enterprises.

Thanksgiving and Content Marketing

Thanksgiving analogy

What Thanksgiving and have in common? Why and  mention turkey slices when they explain content distribution? You will find all answers on my last post – the original has been published on NewsCred’s Insights blog.

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and U.S. content marketers are looking forward to spending time with their families and taking a little break from thinking about content strategies, distribution, and ROI.

But in the days leading up to the holiday, we’d all benefit from reviewing the Content Marketing Thanksgiving Turkey Analogy.

The concept is simple: Look for opportunities to repurpose content you already have exactly as you would do with turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. This analogy originated with content marketing strategist Rebecca Lieb. When asked about tips for companies struggling to produce enough content, she replied:

“I use a Thanksgiving analogy. You cook up this giant bird to serve up on one glorious occasion and then proceed to slice and dice this thing for weeks on end. If you are like most families, you are going to be repurposing this bird as leftovers for quite some time, creating everything from sandwiches, to soups, and more. Your content marketing strategy can be thought of in the same way.”

The idea is basic but straightforward. Marketers should not obsess over creating new content continuously. Instead, they should look for opportunities to repurpose the best-performing content they already have. For instance, through creative repurposing, an eBook can yield infographics, SlideShare presentations, blog posts, listicles, and videos – which marketers can then disseminate via social media channels.

Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s EMEA Head of Content and Social Media Marketing, has expanded this concept into the – now well-known among marketers – idea of “Big Rock Content.” He says:

“The Thanksgiving concept can be taken a step further and applied to ‘Big Rock’ pieces of content. The idea is to develop an all-encompassing guide to whatever your keywords or topics are, which is written strategically instead of instructionally. This type of content is very top-of-funnel and can serve many purposes such as SEO, fuel for social and lead generation, sales enablement, and event collateral, to name a few.”

Big rock content is a substantial piece, like “The Ultimate Guide to Problem-Solving,” for example. In his book “Welcome to the Funnel,” Miller explains: “A Big Rock content asset can be 20, 30, or more pages long. It should be visually compelling, of course. It can be gated for lead capture. Then, you ‘slice’ up the Big Rock content asset into blog posts, infographics, SlideShare decks, webinars, etc.” 

You then amplify those slices through owned and paid media.

My company, NewsCred, has used the Thanksgiving turkey analogy to create big rock content. For example, a long-form blog post, “Google Analytics: The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Content Hub to Measure Conversions” spawned a webinar, a video, a gated content collection, a newsletter, dozens of social media posts – not to mention leads, deals, and revenue influenced.

Other content marketing strategists have created their own variations on the turkey analogy. Jay Baer frequently writes about “content atomization,” which is taking a strong content marketing theme (your big rock content), and executing it in many strategically sound ways. There’s also the mixology of content marketing, in which you formulate content in different ways, depending on your goals.

They’re all good concepts to consider, especially while you’re planning your 2018 content marketing strategy.

But in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

How to apply psychology to design and content marketing (and attract audience’s attention)

Introduction

As a content marketer, I have always considered design as the best friend of content. Can better design bring more conversions and content consumption? The simple answer is yes.

In the past, when working on the creation of hubs, blogs, newsletters and content destinations of known international firms, I discovered though that design principles were not as simple and straightforward as I imagined; I realized I was going beyond the boundaries of content marketing, touching a new ‘undiscovered’ domain.

Why do web visitors and content consumers behave the way they do? What can drive readers’ behavior and facilitate content consumption? I realized soon enough that the domain I was investigating was no longer content strategy: it was psychology. Even better, it was psychology applied to content and design with the objective to facilitate and attract visitors’ attention.

Other questions came soon to my mind. How can I apply psychology to content and design? Isn’t persuasion a bad word, or even a dark art? And what does it look like to design without considering users’ psychology? Continue reading “How to apply psychology to design and content marketing (and attract audience’s attention)”

The Global Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content

Modern buyers are more educated and connected than ever before—making it increasingly difficult for marketers to capture their attention. As such, the traditional content marketing strategies of the past just won’t cut it anymore. So, what’s a marketer to do? Enter user-generated content.

User-generated content—or UGC—is exactly what it sounds like: content created by users. For brands, users are people who interact with your brand or products in some capacity but aren’t professionally affiliated with your company.

The difference between UGC and more traditional marketing tactics is that UGC relies on your customers to promote your brand, rather than doing it yourself.

Why Are Global Marketers Turning to User-Generated Content?

For global marketers it’s difficult to find one type of content that performs across all demographics, locations, and markets. This is largely due to the fact that each audience has a different set of buying habits, pain points, motivators, and other contributing factors.

The beauty of UGC is that it’s created by the customer for the customer. It naturally transcends the barriers that stand in the way of traditional content types—think language, cultural differences, and more.   Consider these statistics:

  • 41% of consumers only need to see between 1 and 4 pieces of UGC to be influenced to purchase (source) whereas 47% of consumers need to see 3 to 5 pieces of traditional content to even speak with a sales rep (source).
  • UGC is 35% more memorable than any other media and 50% more trusted (source).
  • UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it (source).

Looking for more reasons to jump on the UGC bandwagon? Keep reading.

Continue reading “The Global Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content”

Coming soon on CMAB

Coming Soon

Coming soon on Content Marketing Across Borders (title to be finalised):

  • How to Measure Content Marketing Performances
  • The Rise of the Data Scientist and Hybrid Marketer (original post to be published on NewsCred Insight’s blog)
  • How to win visitors applying the psychology of design to content marketing and social media

How to Measure Global Content Marketing Performances: my Slide Deck for #DBS17

Content Performance

Here it is. The deck presented last week at the Digital Branding Summit, October 2017, Barcelona. The full script is coming soon.

Summary:

  • The rise of data scientist and hybrid marketer;
  • How to embrace content marketing to drive measurable business results that impact the bottom line;
  • What to measure and how to gain actionable insights;
  • How to gain a better understanding of content efforts to reach new audiences, drive business, and become a more cost-effective marketing channel.

Featured image by Roman Mager

Global Content Marketing: How to Find the Right Balance Between Central and Local Teams

For a global content marketing strategy to be effective in a large and complex enterprise, central and local teams must find the right balance.

Just deploying a content marketing model across multiple regions will simply not work – even if you’ve successfully tested it in one country. In most regions, like Asia or Europe, for example, where there are dozens of countries and languages, it is unrealistic to expect that global and local teams will work together seamlessly from the beginning. It takes time for them to plan, pilot, iterate, and find the right global to local balance.

In this post, published by NewsCred’s Insight, I’ll discuss how you can find that balance.

Content Metrics: request your topic for my next speech in Barcelona

Metrics

The first week of October I will be attending the Digital Branding Summit 2017 in Barcelona. I’ve been requested to take the event chairman role (request which I gladly accepted) and, in addition, I will present the session ‘Back to Basics: how Content Marketing is driving measurable business success’.

Focus will be on content marketing metrics – what you should measure, what you should not. I will present a table of common KPIs by phase of the buyer journey. I will provide some examples from large businesses and I’ll show what they do measure. I will cover the point of this post by Doug Kessler (‘Why revenue is the wrong marketing metric‘).

What I want to discuss too if it’s always worth to measure content marketing performance; and if not, when it’s not (clear?). Have a quick look at this post from Carla Johnson. Intriguing. The core of the article sits in a few lines:

Numbers only tell part of the story. Most metrics only calculate the things that can be seen…which is why they can be measured. Becoming a slave to analytics means you miss opportunities to be massively creative and learn new things.

So the point I’d love to analyse with the event audience is: when it’s the case to measure? When it’s not? Also: what else do you want me to cover? Feel free to request topics and post questions here or anywhere else on my social channels. Friends in Barcelona: I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. All others: I’ll write a post on it, as a presentation script. And I’ll share my deck, as usual.

Featured photo by Gemma Evans