Content marketing has become a big part of consumer engagement and attracting the attention of the right audience online. That means that a lot more companies are doing it, and it’s getting harder to stand out amid the sea of audio, video, images, documents, blogs, and more.

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To make matters worse, virtually every marketer and business owner have found themselves in a rut trying to create enough content, get the desired engagement, and find interesting ways to innovate.

They’re not alone. Research shows that that 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they were the year before, and 54% find it difficult to produce engaging content.

There’s a distinct difference between B2B and B2C marketing, and each comes with its own unique challenges. Despite that, you can still benefit from these tips to get out of that rut and start to churn out something new and exciting.

Continue reading 25 Content Marketing Tips Every Marketer Needs To Know

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established content marketer, you will always have to be creative about the way you promote your content.

My friend Rob Wormley and I just recently wrote an eBook 100 Days of Growth and since we had $0 marketing budget, it forced us to get very creative about promotion. Through this process I’ve learned (relearned… it’s been a while since I’ve been this hands on) first hand how to effectively promote your content and site.

With that in mind, I wanted to share my list of ways that you can promote your content without breaking the bank. It doesn’t matter what level of experience you have, these are things that you can and should be doing right now.

I hope you find it as useful as I have!

Here’s a table of contents, to help you easily navigate through this guide:

Social Sharing from Individual accounts
Promote On Bookmarketing Sites
Paid Promotion (While Avoiding Low-ROI/Expensive Options)
Outreach
Repurposing Your Content
Internal Promotion
Stock Your Tool Belt
Get Into Groups and “Niche Networks”
Be Shareable
Strategize
Leverage Social Strategies

Social Sharing From Individual Accounts

Start on a personal level.

Engage with your networks, whether through publishing, commenting or promoting. The best tool that you have is your relationships, and you’ll only form those with a personal touch. So to start, get yourself out there with your own social profiles.

And don’t just stick to one platform:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is full of professionals and job seekers ready to gobble up everything that can about growing their personal brand.

Google+

Google+ taps into your current network and can help give you an awesome platform for publishing and promotion.

Facebook

Almost 100% of the content you see these days on Facebook is shared. Become a part of the conversation, and share some of your stuff!

Twitter

Twitter is the perfect resource for connecting with influencers, and engaging an audience that can quickly expand your reach.

Pinterest

We’re a visual generation, and Pinterest is one of the best platforms for sharing great content paired with pictures.

Tumblr

Tumblr has been around forever, but it’s certainly hitting its stride now more than ever, and is the perfect platform for connecting with a younger generation.

Instagram

Instagram looks better and better everyday, and is a great place for quick, strong-visuals and easy promotion.

Vine

With new Vine stars like the Final Cut King showing up every day, this app is brimming with promotional potential. Companies like Taco Bell are already tapping the amazing potential of what a 6-second video can do for promotion.

Snapchat

Snapchat is breaking records left and right, and now moving into innovative production like developing TV shows. Don’t underestimate the marketing potential of where Snapchat is headed.

Promote On Bookmarketing Sites

It’s hard to measure the true value of being invested in a community. But doing so enables word-of-mouth marketing on steroids.

Bookmarketing sites are aggregates of the best content geared towards a given community. The privilege the best content, and it’s all decided by the community at large.

If you become an active contributor, not only will you develop a better understanding of what works online, but you’ll also Here are some of the best for promoting content:

Reddit

Done right, you can promote your content on Reddit to an audience of millions in a single day. It’s a massive online forum with endless niche sub-forums for practically any interest—all aggregated on an upvote/downvote system.

HackerNews

Inherently Reddit-like, but designed for content marketers. HackerNews is a group of people who want to help each other out.

Inbound

Much like to HackerNews, the people on Inbound are excited to help each other out.

GrowthHackers

GrowthHackers is another great resource for finding, promoting and contributing to great content all based around site growth.

Create a Magazine on Flipboard

Creating a magazine on Flipboard gives other users the ability to share your content easily while also getting to promote others along the way.

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Paid Promotion (While Avoiding Low-ROI/Expensive Options)

Everyone wants to make money off of promoting you. But there are a handful that can do it well and cheap. By my estimation, these are the ones you should check out if you’re ready to put down dollars for promotion:

Targeted Facebook Ads

Most grandmas aren’t clicking on ads for Call of Duty. Targeted ads on Facebook can help you reach the people you actually want to.

Banner Ads on Similar Blogs

Reach out to other influencers and bloggers in your industry and see if they’d be willing to host your banner ads. They probably have the audience you’re looking for.

Promoted Tweets

Similar to Facebook ads, promoted tweets put your ads at the top of relevant users’ feeds—and Twitter can hone instant feedback to continue to refine your ad’s reach to relevant audiences.

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

What better way for people to find you than when they’re looking for something to find! Stumbleupon’s Paid Discovery will land users right on your page as they click through interest-based randomized browsing.

Reddit Ads

Less targeted than Facebook, Reddit Ads can still appeal to specific sub-Reddits (interest-specific forums), so that you’re still hitting the right audiences.

Outbrain

Outbrain, which is a “related articles” type recommendation tool, will blast your ads far and wide, and the price tag is nominal at best nominal.

Taboola

The power of their name recognition alone is a testament to how well Taboola does ad promotion. It’s essentially another take on Outbrain. What’s more is that it’s also an easy way for you to monetize your own site.

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Outreach

There’s nothing wrong with rolling up your sleeves and doing some cold outreach.

This is the other half of relationship forming that starts with creating your personal online presence.

People are often scared of outreach, but it can be as simple as a quick reply on Twitter. The point is that you’re reaching out at all.

But don’t just blindly go putting your stuff on blast. Be personal and personable. Try a couple of these ideas to get the ball rolling:

Email Influencers When You Mention Them in a Post

It’s a way to promote your content, and they may also in turn want to share it with their audience. If they’re being talked about, they’ll probably want to use that content to promote themselves. It ends up being a win-win for everyone.

Reach Out to Other Authors of Similar Content

They may be interested in guest blogging or cross promotion. If you have similar topics, you’re going to have a shared interest in each other’s audiences.

Reach Out to Sharers of Similar Content

If someone is curating industry-specific content, they may be looking for something fresh to share. Offer to share your content, or bring some of theirs over to your site. It’s a great way to gain traction with your target audience.

Invite Guests To Blog On Similar Subjects

Guest blogging benefits everyone. It gives you fresh content, and draws traffic for both you and the author.

Tag Influencers on Facebook When You Cite Them

If you can’t email them, let influencers and their audience know when you’ve mentioned them with a simple tag.

“Mention” Your Sources on Twitter

Twitter’s answer to tagging. It’s an easy way to give influencers a shout out, and with the click of a button, they can re-tweet it to their audience.

Comment on other Influential blogs

It’s an easy outlet for links and positive discussion. If people see and like your comments, they’ll begin to recognize and trust you as a voice of expertise and authority.

Get a Quote From an Influencer

It’s an exclusive tool that makes your site all the more appealing. Now your content has inherent value, simply by providing expert advice that can’t be found on other blogs.

Message Influencers on LinkedIn

If you have a LinkedIn premium account, you can even message 3rd connections. It’s a great way to reach out if you don’t have someone’s email address, or would prefer to

Befriend a Journalist

They’re always looking for fresh subjects and stories. Find the writers who are most commonly publishing in your fields of expertise, and give them stories that you know they can write about.

Join HARO

An easier way to befriend a journalist: HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, gives you the tools to do just that. It puts journalists’ needs and questions right in front of you, so that you can provide them with exceptional answers—helping you to establish yourself as an authority.

Don’t Give Up on Earned Media

If you’re doing something great, it deserves to be written about—and those stories’ value can be hard to put into numbers.

Publish a Press Release

A press release is a practical way to spread the word about new content and promotions fast. And there are plenty of sites that will even publish yours for free.

Update Your Email Signature

If you’re sending out hundreds (or thousands) of emails a week, a simple link in your signature can go a long way in exposing you to new readers.

Engage Your Comment Section

When people comment on your stuff—encourage it. Engage in a positive discussion with those that are commenting on your post—but don’t instigate!

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Repurpose Your Content

If you’ve got valuable information in your content, then it should be able to be shared in more than one way. Repurposing your content is a great way to diversify promotion for your most popular posts, evergreen content, and some underexposed posts that you’re looking to revitalize.

Just because a post seemed to flop doesn’t mean it was a bad post. Try rebranding it in a new medium. For example:

Create an Infographic

Sites like Submitinfographics.com and visual.ly are the perfect place to share one. They’re informative, eye-catching, and can pack a lot of information into a more digestible space.

Turn content into a slide deck on Slideshare

Slideshare is a platform where people are constantly submitting this very kind of content every day. By turning your content into a slideshow, you’re able to hit major points in an appealing, shareable way—breathing life back into old posts that may have been too dense.

Create a Video

Whether it’s a short explainer or a web-series, leverage your content for 2015 media. Videos are a way to spice up a blog post, promote engagement on social media, and attract new visitors who aren’t so interested in “reading.”

Animoto / Go Animate

If you don’t want to pay for talent, try animating your blog on Animoto to spice up a video or slideshow, or Go Animate to make a complete animation of your own.

Host a “Webinar”

Not only is a webinar a great way to get traffic, it’s a huge networking tool. Check out GoToMeeting if you need a host.

Publish an Email Campaign

Whether you use Drip or just a standard email, turn your content into a mini digest—delivering fresh, daily content to interested users’ inboxes.

Make it a PDF

Nothing says sharable quite like downloadable content. Turn your study into a whitepaper to be shared and harvested. It’s a great way to make yourself even more “shareable.”

Submit to LinkedIn

LinkedIn, acting as a professional’s Facebook, has a fantastic publishing platform just waiting to be filled with your great content. Submitting a new post is as easy as publishing an update.

Submit to Medium

Medium, founded by the guys over at Twitter, is a long-form content platform, and a great place to share your article again without worrying about duplicate content.

via moz.com

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Internal Promotion

Use your own resources for everything they’ve got. Don’t waste what you’ve cultivated!

Create Internal Links on Your Other Popular Posts

If one page is getting a lot of traffic, send them to another! Internal links are a great way boost a page, and keep users on your site for longer.

Don’t Forget About SEO

It’s a valuable tool for organic results. Even if you need to refresh yourself on some of the basics, SEO is a great way to give your site a boost on major search engines. The reality is, there are a few low-hanging improvements that almost any site can make that will give your blog a welcome bump.

Make Your Post a Part of a Series

Get yourself into a style that encourages subscribers. Series can be a way to stir up excitement around what you’re publishing, or a way to remind readers that there’s fresh content on your site each week. A great example of that would be Moz’s Whiteboard Friday.

Create a Link Round-Up

If people are looking for a series of great content, give them one. Take the searching work out of the equation. By providing a link roundup, people will be looking to you as a source of “insider info,” making you more of an authority.

Improve Your Headlines

Sometimes all an article needs is a finely-tuned title. Try A/B testing a few titles on Twitter to see which garner more attention.

Increase Your Word Count

These days, Google puts its stock in 2000+ word articles. Don’t shy away from long, quality, and information-rich posts. An increased word count (not a keyword-stuffed fluff piece) is a sure way to boost your chances of exposure.

Publish a Weekly Digest

Remind your subscribers of the great work you’re putting out each week—they might not have time to discover it all themselves.

Promote Across Microsites

Use your mini-network to your advantage! If you have a lot of readers coming to one site, use those popular posts/pages to promote some of your less exposed stuff.

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Stock Your Tool Belt

There are so many great tools out there for promoting content. It’s just a matter of knowing which ones are best for your needs. These are some of what I would consider the essentials in web promotion. You may be using some already, but a new favorite could be a few paragraphs away.

Quuu

Quuu offers hand curated content suggestions for social media. You can also submit your article to be promoted by hundreds of Quu-users (currently a free option).

The best submitters can also become Quuu-rators and promote their articles free for life.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo lets you find influencers and engage with others in your industry.

Papershare

The content distribution tool that makes full use of the cloud—Papershare makes getting the word out really easy, and helps you track who’s reading your stuff.

Snip.ly

A genius tool that turns normal sharing into promotion for your site. I would call snip.ly the realization of bit.ly; it’s a call to action packed in every link you share.

Scoop.it

Scoop.it makes it easier to find and share content, encouraging you to be and making you a more active contributor.

Flauntt

Flauntt is a simple tool designed to encourage others to promote your content through genuine online engagement. And it’s free!

BuzzBundle

BuzzBundle acts like a would-be social media manager, without the salary. It helps you find and engage in all of the conversations about your content.

Little Bird

Little Bird helps you to be smarter about connecting with influencers. You can map out influencers in different circles, and make a more targeted approach for outreach.

ISSUU

ISSUU is a free publishing platform for anything from books to magazines and more.

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Get Into Groups and “Niche Networks”

Combining outreach with a personal touch, finding groups and niche networks is a way that you can leverage communities on a small-scale level. You’re essentially creating relationships through mutual promotion. By strengthening your core circle, you’ll quickly expand your network to others eagerly looking to share.

Facebook Groups

You can start your own today based around any topic or interest—even promotion!

LinkedIn Groups

Find professionals, influencers and other marketers who are excited to share and discuss.

Circle Count – Google+

Google+ circles have untapped value for sharing, so don’t count them out!

Tailor Your Content For Various Subreddits

Subreddit communities are as niche as they get. Where one title works on one, the other community might need a different approach.

Triberr

Triberr is a platform designed specifically for marketers and influencers. More than just another social platform to publish content, it’s real influencers and talented bloggers who are excited about great new content.

New Forum Threads

Find those forums where people want to discuss your stuff. Or just start a thread of your own!

Blog Engage

Blog Engage has every topic you could imagine, making finding your niche a cinch.

BizSugar

BizSugar is another niche network of content sharing that is designed specifically for small business owners. You know, people who really get it.

Pinterest Sharing Board

Pinterest sharing boards can get you an extremely targeted following with picture-heavy curated interests. It helps others subscribe to the things that you’re interested in yourself.

Create a “Sharing Group”

Whatever platform you choose, a sharing group can bring together people with the same intentions to help pump each other pump.

Find Different Niches

Explore interests you never knew existed and tailor your promotion to them. There are a whole slew of groups out there you probably never knew existed, and they’re all looking for solid, fresh content.

Whether they’re outlets for new ideas and no content, or a great place to post some of your older blog articles, niche communities help you reach the audience you want faster. Here are just a few that give you a sample of just how broad your options are:

Quora

People have questions, your content has answers. Quora is a space where open questions can be answered at any length by you: the industry professional with already-written answers. It’s the perfect place to repost and reuse content.

Meetup

Meetups can be a great way to find like-minded folks looking for new ideas. Find a group to meet up with and you can begin brainstorm and exchange ideas about sharing and promoting each other’s content.

Care2

Care2 is a site that connects activists. It’s a passionate group of people excited about change—if your blogs fit that bill, they’ll be excited to share them.

GentleMint

GentleMint is a place to talk about “manly things.” Whether it’s about grooming products or daily habits, your testosterone-fueled content probably has a place here.

Cafemom

Probably the best-known blog site for all things mom, Cafemom is a great place to get your mommy blogs exposed to a massive targeted audience.

ThirdAge

For seniors who are ready to embrace a better way of living, ThirdAge is a great resource. It’s targeting a group that often only draws on click bait-y articles and unhelpful content. This kind of a network is a great way to reach seniors with great content.

Athlinks

For the competitive endurance athletes of this world, Athlinks is where your helpful content can find welcome company.

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Be Shareable

Sometimes it’s a matter of putting the power in your readers’ hands. If you can make sharing an irresistible, all-too-easy task, people will be glad to do it. Here are some of the tools that I use that make it impossible not to share:

Add a Call to Action Button

Remind them what their next step is. Sometimes the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity is a clickable CTA button.

Include Social Sharing Buttons

Everyone loves a different social platform. Make sure they’re all accounted for. Make it easy to share on all the social media platforms, not just the big three.

Make Subscribing Easy

Don’t make them look for the button. Make sure your “subscribe” link is prominent and enticing. You can even A/B test for more appealing colors and styles.

“Share This”

In-text sharing links can make it all the simpler for everyone. Make sharing as easy as clicking a button.

Click To Tweet

If you know you’ve written a very quotable piece, make it easy to tweet. Click to Tweet is a tool that turns any line of text into a tweetable link.

Shareaholic

Shareaholic is a content amplification platform that helps tailor articles to readers’ interests. It boasts an ability to reach over 450 million people through native advertisements. Impressive if not enticing.

Prepare Multiple Different “Snippets” For Sharing

Don’t just blast out the same snippet over and over again. Have 20 variations ready for your social posts. Sometimes varied headlines, pictures and quotes stick out to different people and can make the same article be appealing in a whole new light.

via kissmetrics.com

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Strategize

Sometimes sharing is a matter of timing. Knowing when to post, what to post, and how to post it make all the difference. You don’t have to waste a lot of time with social media, especially if you can strategize well up front. Make sure that you’re being smart about how and when you share. These are a few things I always keep in mind:

Increase Post Frequency

For starters, post more. Be sure not to spam, but once a day may not be cutting it. People won’t go out of their way to make sure they’ve caught up on all your posts. It’s your job to put it into view.

Schedule Social Media Activity For Optimal Times

3AM is not a good time to be putting out a fresh post. It has been proven time and time again that there are optimal post times—there’s no harm in trying them out. Each audience is unique in its own way, so learn how yours operates.

Tweriod

More than just going off of studies, Tweriod helps you know when your following is online, which can help you find that balance between visibility and frequency—without going overboard on either.

Buffer

Buffer App helps you be smart about posting everywhere at once. Instead of wasting time on each individual account, Buffer brings it all together for simultaneous, efficient posting.

Sprout Social

An easy, helpful way to find new customers: Sprout Social helps you to manage and engage on your social media account, while directing you to influencers and followers that can grow your audience.

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Leverage Social Strategies

Finally, you just need to be smart about how you’re using what social media and content marketers lay before you. Just like this list, there’s optimal use and abuse any tactic. Leverage them for good, not evil.

Be Smart About Hashtags

#Nobody #Likes #Posts #Like #This. #ContentMarketingFails #sohardtoread

Post Separate Images to Facebook

Try out one picture on the blog, and a separate unlinked one on Facebook.

Include Videos/Images in Tweets

It’s proven to have a higher engagement rate. Tweets with images receive 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.

Hold a Contest

Everyone can get excited about winning something.

Sponsor a Live Event

Some find this to be antiquated, but I think that a well-sponsored live event can return a huge boost online. If you can get people together in the context of similar interests, they’re going to want to engage beyond that stand-alone event. Strategic branding can turn that into real online engagement.

Create an Email List

Make it easy for your content to get in front of people’s faces. Have them sign up for an email list so your content comes straight to them.

Signature Links

Don’t let a single signature go to waste. It’s your space, so use it for promotion. Show off recent posts, top evergreen content, and partner sites. No one’s going to stop you!

Use BuzzStream To Find Other Influencers

There are a lot of great people out there who can use your help and who are ready to help you. BuzzStream brings them all to one place. It has link building tools as well as team-based software for growing your base.

Hold Off!

I’ll never stress this one enough—if you bring people to an empty lot, they aren’t going to wait for you to build the restaurant just so they can eat. They’ll go somewhere else.

Be smart about the way you promote, and when you promote, and you’ll find it can make all the difference for your already great content.

Free Course: Join my free content marketing course to learn how to create a content strategy that converts within two weeks.

One of the biggest objections I hear from companies when it comes to content marketing and their decision to invest in it (or not invest in it) is cost. A lot of companies believe that content marketing costs big bucks.

I can completely understand that when we have brands like Nestle reportedly spending $127,500 a day on Facebook posts alone, and posts like this stating that even the most basic content strategies (bearing in mind this is only the strategy – not the cost of actually producing the content) will cost around $5,000, with more comprehensive strategies running to $50,000 or more. Continue reading 10 Small Businesses Prove It’s Possible to Create Great Content on a Budget

Different publications, writers, and audiences do not all respond to the same type of content.

Want to get in the New York Times? You probably shouldn’t send them an infographic. Approach them with unique, topical data, however, and you might have a way in. Looking to be featured on Buzzfeed? Lengthy lists are the way to go. LinkedIn? You need to write long-form articles.

FREE ECOURSE: Want To Create A Content Strategy To Grow Your Business Within Two Weeks? Join My Free Ecourse Now!

The fact is that if you want to diversify your traffic – that is, if you want to get your brand featured in a variety of publications and want to attract a varied audience to your site — you need to mix up your content strategy.

Continue reading How to Use Multiple Content Formats to Diversify Your Traffic

Seventy-six percent of B2C marketers report using content marketing, yet only 37% say their strategy is actually effective. Blindly pursuing content marketing and hoping it works isn’t a useful strategy. In the early days of social media, a single tweet could be heard around the world. Brands just had to show up and chat, post a few coupons, engage with whatever audience happened to be hanging around, and their content would practically share itself. Today’s consumers are savvier and more discerning about what they pay attention to. Content fatigue overwhelms the masses, and it’s tough to attract the attention of your audience, let alone convert customers.

It’s not a revolutionary concept that you need a content strategy to succeed in marketing. But what does that actually look like? With rapid shifts in marketing trends, and the availability of new technology to track engagement and automate communication, it’s more important than ever to figure out how your content marketing plan works. Here’s how to get started. Continue reading What Your 2016 Content Marketing Strategy Should Look Like

Use it correctly, and a blog can be an excellent source of both traffic and links. However, while I’d never discourage you from creating the sort of content that can boost your traffic and potentially bring in links that will help you to climb further up the search engine’s rankings, on their own, traffic and/or links are not going to make a difference to your bottom line.

On that note, I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re here because you want your blog to do more than bring in traffic – you want it to drive sales, too. Well, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to get your blog working harder for you. Stick with me while we look at 10 of them.

1. The how-to

The how-to blog post is generally (though not always) a step-by-step guide that takes readers through a particular process. The best ones are based around clear, easy-to-follow instructions, and include images or video that help to illustrate each step. They should also be easy to skim through, so readers can quickly find a particular instruction.

The how-to is an effective sales tool in part, because it’s easy to optimize. Questions which begin with “how to” are common search terms – so much so, that whole websites have been built around answering these types of queries. Write detailed, useful, optimized how-tos and you should start to reap the rewards of additional targeted traffic arriving on your site.

Of course, we know that traffic alone won’t make us money. Real results happen when we’re able to convert that traffic.

To do this you need to…

1. Choose your topics wisely: Answer questions that your target market is likely to have and likely to ask towards the middle of the sales funnel.

For instance, a key goal of neilpatel.com is to encourage people to reserve consultations with Neil himself. It comes as no surprise then, that he’s writing posts like this.
“How to Determine if a Link is Good or Bad” is exactly the sort of question people who would be interested in one-on-one marketing consultancy would be asking.

2. Hold back just enough information to leave your readers wanting more.

Sometimes (though not always) if you give your visitors all the answers, they won’t need you. The more complicated your industry, the less this rule applies – sometimes you can give people all the information, but they will still need your help to apply the knowledge effectively. Still, it helps to keep a small part of the puzzle unsolved, to keep your readers wanting (and needing) more.

Key takeaway: Write detailed, long-form blog posts that answer “how-to” questions and target potential customers from the middle of the sales funnel onwards.

2. The cheat sheet

Cheat sheets are similar to how-tos in that they provide your visitors with valuable information that should help them to complete a particular action or set of actions. The cheat sheet differs from the how-to in its execution: they’re more of a “quick reference” kind of guide than a step-by-step walk-through. They also lend themselves well to infographic-style images.

Think:


And:


In contrast, the how-to is usually presented as a text-based article.

Like the how-to, cheat sheets drive sales because they bring in highly-qualified traffic. The trick is to create content that captures potential customers at the right point in the sales funnel. By all means, create cheat sheets that help existing customers get the most out of your product or service. Anything that helps your customers use you more effectively will increase customer loyalty and retention rates. However, if you want to drive new sales, you need to create cheat sheets that help assist those who are in need of something you sell – not those who already have what you sell. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Sorry for Marketing‘s Jay Acunzo’s specialism is guiding others on their content marketing. This cheat sheet fits the bill perfectly. It’s designed to help speed up the content editing process and is aimed at marketers who want to streamline and improve their content creation.


This cheat sheet on browsers that do or don’t support HTML5 targets consumers that are ready to – but probably haven’t yet started – design a new website. These are precisely the type of visitors that a company that offers web design and hosting services would want to capture.


Key takeaway: Create cheat sheets that act as quick reference guides to consumers who could benefit from your product or service. If you can get a designer involved to up their visual appeal, even better.

3. The checklist

Checklists are an excellent sales tool because they help readers identify missing components in an important equation. Imagine a store that sells products people buy before they go on vacation – a “packing checklist” would make a great piece of content for them.


In this context, a packing list could help drive sales because it would allow the store to link to relevant products from within the list and influence purchases from consumers who had forgotten they needed to buy x, y, or z.

A checklist can help drive sales in pretty much any industry. I see my fellow marketers use them all the time.

The brilliant Heidi Cohen rang in 2015 with a seriously-comprehensive marketing checklist.

Postplanner created a checklist to help ensure that marketers are getting the most out of social media.

Moz compiled a detailed site audit checklist (if you’re ever carrying out a site audit, you need to use this – it’s awesome).

In marketing, this type of content works because it can help a potential customer realize how much help they actually need. Maybe they hadn’t considered they needed to do x and y. Maybe they don’t know how to do y and z. Either way, it illustrates to visitors how much or how little they know and encourages them to pick up the phone and make that call.

Key takeaway: Create on-topic checklists that are designed to help potential customers realize what tools or knowledge they’re missing that your company can provide for them.

4. The comparison post

Comparison posts pit your product against one of your competitor’s, as we see here in this post where HubSpot compares their CMS with WordPress’s. Is this sneaky? Maybe a little, but we see this strategy used all the time, across the board – not just online, and certainly not only in blog posts.

Ever noticed a supermarket advertising how much cheaper they are than the competition?
That’s comparison marketing in action. The supermarket is selling their products to you by highlighting how much you can save when you shop with them, instead of the competition.

You might wonder how you can legally get away with stating how much better or cheaper you are than your competition, and I wouldn’t blame you. Naming your competitors in your own advertising and marketing strikes me as something that would land you on shaky ground, too, but it’s actually okay… most of the time, at least.

The law surrounding comparison marketing differs somewhat around the world. However, it generally comes down to this: as long as you’re truthful, it’s fine.

This means you have to be damn sure about any claims you make, and be sure to include a disclaimer that gives the date that the claim was found to be true, in case something changes down the road.

Key takeaway: Write comparison blog posts that explore how your product or service matches up to your competitors.’

5. The guest post from a brand advocate (think extended testimonial)

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of guest posting and that I regularly welcome guest authors to this blog. I do this to:

  • Diversify the voices on the blog
  • Build relationships with the people who write for the blog
  • Drive new audiences to the blog
  • Alleviate some of the pressure on me to keep the blog updated, all of the time

However… there’s another way you can leverage inviting a guest author to contribute to your blog – by asking a brand advocate to write for you.

Brand advocates are those people that love your brand so much that they regularly shout about it, and are willing to go out of their way to do so.

If you can track these advocates down, you should take the opportunity to speak to them about how you might be able to work together. This could entail getting them to write, or even film, a testimonial for you. It might mean asking them to mention your brand in some of their social media posts.

Alternatively, it could mean asking them to write you a guest post.

Walmart Moms” is an excellent example of a brand that leverages their advocates.
The Walmart Moms are a group of Walmart advocates that have been selected to speak out on behalf of the brand because of how they embody the average Walmart customer.

The “chosen” moms (who are, I assume, paid) write blog posts for Walmart that offer advice and touch on their own experiences, while also linking to Walmart products and additional articles. Take a look at Linsey Knerl’s post “Growing from baby to toddler” to see what I mean.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, as mentioned above, you may have to compensate your advocates for their time. Asking them to write a short review is one thing; asking them to craft a 500+ word blog post is quite different. This effort should be rewarded, if not with cold hard cash, then with some sort of freebie or special benefit.

Key takeaway: Invite a brand advocate to write a guest post for you in which they talk about the merits of your brand or your products or services (just be prepared to reward them for their time).

6. The case study

A case study dives deep into a particular “case” in order to demonstrate the potential and effectiveness of a certain product or service. A case study is an excellent sales tool because rather than simply saying to a customer, “Use our product and you can achieve x, y, and z,” you use real-world examples to show them exactly how your product or service is going to accomplish x, y, and z.

It’s understandable then, that they’re a popular sales tool – the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Prof’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report found that of all of the tactics B2B marketers use, 58% percent of those surveyed said they found case studies to be effective. This graph shows the case study as the 5th most-effective B2B marketing tactic.


Neil Patel regularly writes case studies. In this one, he details the processes used to help earn Timothy Sykes an extra $1.2 million a year:


Here he shows how he grew Gawker’s traffic by 5 million visitors:
Putting an alternative spin on things, in this post, Neil actually writes a case study about case studies. Its purpose is to demonstrate how case studies can be used to generate more leads and sales.

In short: Case studies work. Although publishing case studies didn’t have a huge effect on the number of leads Neil was generating, they clearly helped his leads convert: He saw his sales increase by an impressive 185%.

Key takeaway: Hone in on a particular example of how your product or service helped a customer achieve a goal by writing a case study.

7. The wake-up call

The “wake-up call” is geared toward shocking your visitors into the realization that they’re doing something wrong, or at the very least, could be doing something better. The idea is that this scares your visitors into action – that action ideally being to purchase your product or start using your service.

It’s a common strategy used by digital marketers and SEOs. There are still a lot of shady companies out there and in-house practitioners who know less than they think they do. Consequently, it’s not difficult to “shock” companies into action. You just need to help them realize that their own online efforts, or the efforts of the people they employ to improve the performance of their site, are not up to snuff.

Take this post by Kissmetrics that explores how to determine whether or not your SEO company is in fact hurting, rather than helping, you. Or this article from BlogPress, which looks at 7 things you might be getting wrong when trying to write click-worthy headlines. This post from New State Films is another great example of this strategy: It explores five things you might be getting wrong when promoting your brand through video.

The key here is to avoid getting into a slanging match, or making yourself look petty. Be the bigger company and use a “wake-up call” post to not only show how others are getting something wrong, but to demonstrate that you have the skills, knowledge, and resources to do it better.

Key takeaway: Write a blog post that details what your potential customers might be doing wrong and how their mistakes could be affecting them.

8. The unique-findings post

Make a bold statement online, and you should be prepared to back it up with evidence. Why? Because it lends credibility to your argument. As stated in Lifehacker, “Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power. If you want someone to rally to your cause, support your position, or put you in a position of authority, you need to be able to back up your position and sway others from theirs.” (See what I did there?)
However… sometimes you might have a theory or want to make a statement that can’t be proven with existing evidence. Alternatively, you might question or distrust the information that’s already available.

When that situation materializes, what’s the logical solution? To carry out your own research, of course. Especially when the information you hope to find has the potential to help drive sales.

Want to see what I mean?

Here’s a post in which Marie Haynes, author of “Unnatural Links: The Complete Guide to Recovery” uses first-hand data to demonstrate why removing thin content can help site owners recover from a Panda penalty.
This is the ideal topic for capturing visitors that have been hit by a Google penalty, and consequently, may be interested in purchasing her book.

In this excellent piece from Moz search scientist Russ Jones, we see Russ perform his own research to figure out what makes content from the little guys (i.e. sites that don’t have a huge domain authority) rank.

This sort of content has the potential to drive visitors to Moz’s Content tool, but it’s also a pretty neat plug for the content services offered by the post’s guest contributors – Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting and Garrett French of Citation Labs.

Key takeaway: Perform your own research and use it as evidence to help drive home why potential customers could benefit from your product or service.

9. The expert roundup post

An expert roundup is a post based around quotes from industry experts.

Sometimes a roundup post is formed almost entirely of quotes from experts, with nothing more than a short intro from the actual author. Take a look at this post on Small Business Ideas Blog to see what I mean.

Sometimes the expert’s quotes will provide the framework for the article, with the author adding their own commentary and filling in the blanks. I wrote a post back in July that should show how this works.

Bloggers love them because, with a bit of luck and/or the right connections, they’re really easy to create, they can be super-valuable to readers, and they make the author look good.
Most importantly however, they provide the opportunity to tap into new, big, and engaged audiences. How? Most of the time, the experts who have contributed to the post will share it. This can potentially cause a domino effect whereby the post goes viral.

I recently spoke to Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard and the topic of conversation quickly turned to roundup posts. Turns out he’s a big fan. He said he’s done “a few expert roundups over the years, always got a decent amount of shares from it and traffic has been huge.” Then… he published this. Within a few days, it had been shared about 2000 times and had about 5000 views. Not f*in bad.

He told me he did this by:

  • Tweeting the influencers mentioned
  • Mentioning the influencers in a Google Plus post
  • Sending individual emails to each influencer to let them know the post was live and to thank them for taking part

But he didn’t stop there. In Adam’s words, “I then got in touch with Niall at TweakYourBiz.com about repurposing it as an infographic and publishing on TYB, so it would be a unique infographic for them.”

The resulting infographic (which you can see here) has had more than 32,000 visitors and been shared more than 2000 times.

Of course, we know by now that while traffic and shares are pretty damn awesome things to get, they’re not sales. But they do provide the chance to make more sales.

So how do you get them?

Choosing the right topic is key. It should be heavily aligned with what you do and should encourage visitors to want to take action. If you offer pay-per-click management services, you probably wouldn’t want to ask experts to comment on growth hacking. But if you can get them to talk about the biggest mistakes they’ve seen companies make with their PPC campaigns, you might be onto something.

Key takeaway: Ask experts to contribute to a roundup post with their answer to a question that is intrinsically linked to why someone might use your product or service.

10. The reverse psychology post

When we use reverse psychology on somebody, we are getting them to do what we want by asking them to do the opposite. It doesn’t work on everybody all of the time, but when it does work, it’s because the person fears their control is being taken away from them. In other words: They don’t like being told what to do.
It’s particularly effective on children and teenagers. Ever tried telling a child not to play with a certain toy? Chances are, they grabbed it the moment your back was turned. Even more concerning, research has shown that warning labels on violent TV programs actually encourage young viewers to tune in.

But this doesn’t mean adults are immune to the effects of reverse psychology. In an experiment led by psychologist Daniel Wegner, participants were told not to think about a white bear. Over the next 5 minutes participants were asked to think aloud, saying everything that came to mind. If they thought, or spoke, about a white bear, they had to ring a bell. Participants were ringing that bell every minute. More interestingly, when the 5 minutes were over, those who had been told not to think about a white bear were thinking about a white bear twice as often as those who had been told to think about it. You can read a little more about this experiment over on Business Insider.

This research should mean it comes as no surprise that reverse psychology is a tactic commonly used in advertising and marketing.

Do you remember Little Caesars “Do Not Call” ad? It explicitly told customers not to call, and was accompanied by a clear instruction for visitors not to enter their address on their website.
How about Patagonia, who ran a full page ad in The New York Times instructing people not to buy a jacket?
Or Oakwood School’s celebrity-packed donation drive, which asked people not to give?

I think you get the point! But while we’re on the subject, whatever you do, do not share this post. (Cheers iMediaConnection for rounding up the above examples).

Key takeaway: Write a blog post that’s based around telling your visitors to do the exact opposite of what you want them to do. The trick is to be clear it’s tongue-in-cheek. You’ll tempt your visitors into doing exactly what you want them to do, without inadvertently making them think poorly of you or your product or service.

That’s it for today. Do you know of any other types of blog posts that drive sales? Or have you tried any of these out and are able to fill us in on the results you saw? Comments are below… you know what to do!

Free Course: Join my free content marketing course to learn how to create a content strategy that converts within two weeks.

A huge chunk of what I talk about on this site relates to content marketing. I’ll talk about how to create it, how to optimize it, and how to help it go viral. What I don’t often touch on, is the distinction between content marketing in B2C industries and content marketing in B2B industries.

This is because, despite sharing a lot of common ground, both B2C and B2B content marketing come with their own, unique challenges. So to cover both sides fairly, I would essentially have to write two versions of the same post, and at the risk of sounding like a child… I don’t want to do that.

Instead, I usually try to generalize a little and include tips and ideas that can be applied across the board.

Today, however, I’m going to distinguish clearly between both types of marketing and look at how to design an effective content strategy – whatever industry or audience you’re trying to tap into. Continue reading Difference Between B2B vs B2C Content Marketing

FREE ECOURSE: Want To Create A Content Strategy To Grow Your Business Within Two Weeks? Join My Free Ecourse Now!

There are few better ways of building brand buzz than content marketing. In short: done well, it works. But that’s easier said than done. Great content takes time and is hard work. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of tools that can help you create better content and get better results, faster.

Here are 10 of them:

Continue reading 10 Time-Saving Content Marketing Tools to Add to Your Arsenal

According to research from Fipp, of all the marketing channels used today, influencer marketing is experiencing the fastest growth.

This makes sense since in general, consumers trust influencers more than they trust brands.

In case you’re not yet familiar with influencer marketing, it’s a form of marketing that uses influencers (think bloggers, vloggers, journalists, and industry experts) to get your brand in front of new audiences (i.e. the influencer’s audience). This could be as simple as offering your product(s) to bloggers for review. It could involve inviting influential figures to events. Or it could mean forging long-term relationships in which influencers repeatedly create content that’s geared around your brand.

I spoke to Matthew Spurr recently about his thoughts on this (he’s the co-founder of Quuu, a very cool social media content tool that I strongly suggest you check out, if you haven’t already). He told me, “Influencer marketing is the most obvious strategy ever for improved engagement, yet so few people actually consider it in their marketing, let alone genuinely leverage it.”

Taru over at App Virality filled me in on a few of their favorite ways to work with influencers:

  • Influencer interviews
  • Writing about growth strategies of apps and including quotes of co-founders or early employees
  • Creating articles by blending in curation with influencer mentions
  • Including influencer experiences in relevant stories
  • Just writing age-old influencer lists!

It’s pretty clear that there are plenty of ways to get influencers involved with your brand. The hard part is getting them to agree to work with you. If you’re a big brand with a budget to match, you’ve got a head start on most of us (money talks and few influencers are willing to work for free – understandably).

But money isn’t everything.

If there are limited funds in the pot, all is not lost. You might have to try harder to get influencers to notice you, and you might have to give them more reasons to work with you, but there are ways to stand out and increase the odds that influencers will say “yes” to promoting your brand.

Let’s take a look at them…

Work with someone that’s just starting out

Instinct might tell us that we should work with the biggest and “best” influencer that we can afford – period. That makes sense – the bigger the influencer, the more people any resulting campaign will potentially reach.

And yet, while I would never discourage a brand from aiming high, I’d also encourage them to consider working with someone that’s up and coming. Why?

  • They’ll (most likely) ask for less compensation for their time, but more importantly…
  • It will allow you to “grow” together and build a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.

In my experience, working with the biggest names isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. You need them much more than they need you – and they know that. Sure, if they’re being compensated financially for their time, I doubt you’ll hear them complaining, but when you choose to end the relationship, there’ll probably be plenty of other brands lining up to take your place.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that working with someone smaller will be any different – a jerk is a jerk, whether they have five followers or five million. However, if you take the time to find someone that not only matches the interests of your brand, but that you trust and get along with on a personal level, you should be in a position to build a relationship that’s based on more than financial transactions.

Key takeaway: Work with someone that’s still finding their feet – that is in a similar place to you – and try to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

Meet them at events

Research from Augure found that 66% of marketers use email to reach out to influencers, 57% use Twitter, and 52% contact them via their blog.

In the same study we’re told that “80% of the UK market stated that email was the most effective manner [for reaching out to influencers].” And yet, “some users feel that face-to-face contact with influencers or meeting them at events are the best approaches.”

When it comes to contacting influencers, there is no single “best” approach. Everyone is different. Email’s awesome because it’s efficient and leaves a paper trail. Obviously I love it – I based a whole tool around contacting influencers over email. However, sometimes it can come across as impersonal, and while email may be convenient for the person you’re trying to contact, the opposite can be true for those that are trying to contact them.

In that case, you might want to try pushing your outreach up a notch – by meeting people you want to work with in person.

While I don’t have stats to illustrate precisely how many marketers are going to the length of attending the same events as their target influencers, I’m willing to bet it’s few and far between. That’s understandable. It’s a costly strategy – in both time, and in most cases, money. But if there’s anything that’s going to make you stand out and ensure an influencer remembers you, it’s meeting them in person.

I’m a big advocate of this strategy myself. Email’s great. A necessity. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. But I don’t hide behind it. Email is no substitute for real-time, face-to-face communication.

Key takeaway: Don’t rely upon, or hide behind, email. Make yourself stand out from everyone else that’s vying for an influencer’s attention by finding out which events they’re attending, and where possible, going along yourself. Just play it cool – you want to come across as genuinely interested in these people. You don’t want to come across as a stalker.

Send them a gift

This is another strategy that needs to be approached with a little caution: Send the wrong person the wrong gift and you could easily freak them out. You’ll generally get better results when you know a little bit about your recipient and are already in contact with them.

Let’s say, for instance, that you see someone you want to work with tweet about how much they’re craving chocolate. Sending them some chocolate and replying to their tweet to let them know it’s on its way opens the lines of communication. When the gift arrives, they’ll be happy and grateful rather than confused and concerned.

However… I think this tactic can also have a huge impact when you approach someone as a brand, not as an individual, and that gift is…your product.

Do you remember when Morton’s Steakhouse responded to this tweet…


…by actually showing up at Newark airport with a porterhouse?


That’s one surefire way to get yourself noticed.

Of course, as generous as Morton’s gift may have been, there’s no doubt it was a calculated gesture.

Peter Shankman’s a pretty famous guy. He’s a best-selling author, NASA advisor, and the founder of HARO. Today he has 168,000 followers on Twitter.

Would Morton’s have been quite so generous had Joe Average with 650 Twitter followers sent the same tweet? Probably not. And that’s okay. That’s marketing.

While this one was easy for Morton’s since Peter tweeted them directly, you can potentially do something similar if you keep tabs on the people you want to work with and jump in when an appropriate opportunity arises. The gift itself doesn’t have to be your product, but it definitely helps.

Tread carefully – choose a gift wisely, don’t send it cold (i.e. ensure you’ve initiated contact with the recipient first), and this sneaky tactic should prove to be a great way to make sure someone remembers you and will increase the odds they’ll say yes to working with you.

Key takeaway: Start monitoring the online activities of the influencers you want to work with (I like to create a specific Twitter list for people I’d like to connect with) and keep an eye out for opportunities to send them a gift they’ll genuinely appreciate and be grateful for.

Butter them up on your blog

When you have an influencer in mind that you really want to work with, you can start to get on their radar by featuring them on your blog.

This could mean just quoting them or linking to an article they’ve written. I do this regularly – sometimes it’s intentional, because I want to capture the attention of someone in particular. Most of the time it’s just a coincidence. I quote someone or link to them because it helps to illustrate a point I’m making. If it helps get my name onto the radar of someone new, that’s just a bonus.

Alternatively, you could base a whole post around them. You might write a post that further explores a theory, idea, or statistic they’ve penned. Take a look at a post on my personal blog in which I talk about how to apply Derek Halpern’s 80/20 rule to content creation and promotion to see what I mean.


Or, if they’ve been criticized in any way recently, you could write a piece that defends them. You might, in fact, simply write a piece that talks about how much they’ve influenced you and how you attribute some of your success to them. The trick is, of course, to “butter them up.” You need to make them feel good about themselves (just avoid being too overzealous – you don’t want to scare them!).

Once you’ve written and published your post, you need to make sure they know about it. Link to them from within the post (which you should do anyway) and they might find out naturally. Then again, if they don’t regularly look at who’s been linking to them, they won’t. So just tell them. Being bold and upfront will also open the lines of communication with them, which is exactly what you want.

Key takeaway: Feature your target influencer(s) in a blog post by quoting them, or if appropriate, linking to something they’ve written. Alternatively, write a post that’s specifically about them or an article they’ve written.

Target them using Facebook ads

One of the great things about Facebook ads is how specific they allow you to get with your targeting – so much so that it enables you to target certain people. So long as you have the email address, phone number, or Facebook user ID of the people you want to reach out to, you can target them specifically by creating a “custom audience.” Bear in mind that you need to target at least 20 people at once. If you only have one influencer in mind that you want to work with, this technique probably isn’t for you.

There are four ways to do this:

I’m personally most experienced with using Ads Manager, so let’s go through how to use the tool to create and target a custom audience.

1. Go to Ads Manager

2. Click on “Tools” and select “Audiences”
3. Click on “Create Audience” and “Custom Audience”


4. Choose how you want to create your audience. “Customer List” will enable you to create a custom audience by matching emails, phone numbers, or user IDs with Facebook users. “Website Traffic” targets ads at those who visit your site (this involves installing a pixel on your site – it’s an awesome feature, but not much use in this context). “App Activity” allows you to create a list based on people who are using your app – again this is really useful but not relevant to what we’re trying to do here.

We want to target specific people, so we need to select “Customer List.”


5. Next, you can choose to upload a file (which has to be a CSV), import a customer list from MailChimp, or simply copy and paste your list. In this instance, you’re either going to want to upload a CSV or copy and paste the details of the influencers you’re targeting.


I’ve chosen to copy and paste my list. If you’re adding contacts by phone number or IDs, make sure to change the default email setting under “Data Type.”


6. When you’ve entered all relevant details, click “Create Audience.” You’ll then need to give your audience a name and click “Next.” Bear in mind that your audience might not be ready to use right away.


From the next screen you can go straight on to creating your ad by selecting “Create an Ad Using the Audience.”

You will then be able to create an ad in the usual manner (click here for more info on creating a Facebook ad). Just remember to select the Custom Audience you want to target:


I should probably point out that if your custom audience is very small, you will see this message:


That’s okay – you can still target the people you actually want to get in front of. You just have to expand your audience to reach other people, too.

Key takeaway: Use Facebook’s custom audiences feature to target ads at specific influencers. Bear in mind you’ll need at least 20 emails to build an “audience” and may then have to expand your audience further before your ad will be shown.

Send them business referrals

If someone sends you a business referral, you feel pretty excited, right? You’re not only happy about the potential to secure some new business, but you’re also pretty thrilled that someone thinks highly enough of you and your work to recommend you. What’s not to like?

Let’s assume that you do feel this way. If so, it’s safe to say that others will too. This means that referring business to someone you’d like to work with is a great way to break the ice and get them on board.

As I see it, there are three tricks to pulling this one off:

Get the balance right – The bigger the influencer, the more significant the referral you’re probably going to need to send their way to get them to notice you. Money talks, and if someone’s used to getting new business every day without even trying, you’re going to have to pull something pretty special out of the bag if you want to get their attention.

This next one should be obvious, but…

Make sure whoever you’re referring actually explains who referred them and why they (i.e. you) are awesome. If they can get the influencer in question to follow you on Twitter (or something to that effect) even better.

Follow up – A few days, maybe a week (don’t leave it too much longer) after your referral confirms as a new customer, follow up with your chosen influencer. Send them a friendly, casual email that mentions:

  • The details of the referral itself (to jog their memory of who you are)
  • Why you chose to refer business to them in particular (in other words: butter them up)
  • A proposal for what you’d like to happen next (i.e. work together)

If you do all of the above, you should wind up in a pretty strong position for getting exactly what you want.

Key takeaway: Butter up your target influencers by sending new business their way – just make sure that they know you’re the one to thank!

Take their content and make it better

In short, this entails repurposing a piece of content that your chosen influencer has created, and making it that little bit better. You might rework it into a different format, add extra information, or offer a contrasting view.

Generally, when we talk about repurposing content, we talk about repurposing our own content. However… when handled correctly, there is no reason we can’t repurpose other’s content. After all, no idea is truly original.

Just be careful with this one – you don’t want to offend the very person you’re trying to impress, or piss them off if they deem you to have “stolen” their content. Done right, this can really make someone sit up and notice you. Get it wrong, and they probably won’t want to see you or your name ever again.

So how do you go about repurposing someone else’s content without crossing the line into the realm of “theft” or potentially pissing the original creator off?

Ask for permission

If you’re going to be republishing someone else’s content in any significant way – this could mean publishing large chunks of their text or taking their work and reworking it into a different format – then always ask their permission.

You might think that crediting the original author would suffice. In some cases you’d be correct – some people are happy to receive the exposure, whether or not they’ve given their permission. But not everyone feels this way.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution (especially when you’re trying to get on someone’s good side!) and ask their permission, just in case.

Be polite

If you’re writing a follow-up piece to someone else’s work – whether you’re adding to the conversation or offering a different point of view – seeking their permission isn’t necessary.

You’ll probably link to the original work and you might provide context to your own piece by quoting some of it. They would be well within their rights to request you remove references to their work if they had objections to its use, but free speech means you’re well within your rights to continue the dialogue as you see fit.

Of course, if you’re polite and respectful (and why wouldn’t you be?) I can’t see many people objecting to you using their work in this way.

The trick is to show how much you admire the original content and the person behind it – don’t criticize them, and certainly don’t try to hide the fact that you’ve based your content around their work.

Key takeaway: Repurpose content that an influencer has written. You might write a follow up, explore one of their ideas further, or rework their ideas into a new format. Just be sure to ask for permission if your repurposing could be perceived in any way as “content theft,” and make sure not to criticize the original work.

So that’s it for today. I really hope you’ve picked up a few ideas and strategies that you can take away and start putting into action. There’s more to working with influencers than the financial reward you can offer them – it’s pretty important that they like you and are on board with your brand and what it’s out to achieve, too.

As always, I love to hear if you have any ideas to add or your own experiences to share. Fire away in the comments below:

Join me for a webinar co-hosted with Sprout Social this Thursday at 10am PT/1pm ET. I’ll go over how to conduct a social media audit and how it helped me increase my social media traffic by 300% Click here to sign up.

The 2015 B2C content marketing survey from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found that 77% of B2C companies are currently using content marketing.

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Yet just 8% of those stated that their content marketing efforts were “very effective” while 5% said they were “not at all effective”.

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Overall, just 37% of B2C content marketers said their efforts were “effective” (i.e. rated them a 4 or a 5). These numbers may sound small, but historical data suggests that marketers are seeing better results than ever: three years ago, just 32% of B2C content marketers rated their efforts as effective, while 34% said the same last year.

In addition, 69% of B2C content marketers are creating more content today than they were a year ago. That’s great to hear, but what we really want is for more businesses (and their marketers) to be stating that the content they’re creating is either “effective” or (ideally) “very effective”.

So what is it that those 8% of content marketers are doing differently to the rest of us? Do they have better ideas? Better execution? A better plan? A bigger budget?

Let’s find out by taking a look at what 10 B2C ecommerce companies who are flat out killing it in the content marketing game are up to… Continue reading 10 Ecommerce Companies That are Killing the Content Marketing Game