When we meet someone in real life, we ask questions to get to know them better. We listen to their anecdotes, ideas, opinions, and beliefs.

We try to unearth their story, and to tell our own (or some of it, at least). The end goal is to connect. To find a kindred spirit with some similar likes, dislikes, and convictions for friendship, or romance, or some combination of both.

In business, the rules don’t really change. Telling your story is a critical part of building your brand. It helps to shape how people view you and enables consumers to begin forging a connection with you and your company. Do it right, and you’ll put building blocks in place that allow you to develop a thriving brand with an equally thriving future, one that people buy from simply because they love what you do, what you stand for, and the stories you share.

Continue reading 7 Companies That are Killing It with Brand-Driven Storytelling

Before a consumer makes a purchase, they go through a process of research and decision making. This has always been the case, but it’s only recently that businesses have really started paying attention to the full funnel, and how it can be used to market to consumers more effectively.

Continue reading Marketing to the Full Funnel: Growth Strategies for Every Stage

Update: I received a few dozen emails asking for more details so I recorded a 30-minute video describing my process and the timeline:

We all understand the value of guest blogging. It gains you new exposure with targeted traffic, positions you as an influencer, and connects you to new publications and sites that are in your industry. It’s a quick and very smart way to bolster your brand and outreach efforts online, to say nothing of the excellent backlinks it can generate.

Backlinks, authority, reputation, popularity, traffic, leads, and SEO are just a few of the benefits the strategy can deliver. Back when it first launched, Buffer used guest posting to generate 100,000 new customers. In only 9 months.

But how do you go about doing it?

Continue reading How to Secure Guest Posts on Large Publications (WSJ, Forbes & HuffPo)

You’ve slaved away over your site’s content marketing pieces – don’t let that effort go to waste by failing to give your creations the promotional bump they need to get found. Your job is just getting started when you finally hit publish or share.

Promoting your content isn’t nearly as much fun as creating it, but it’s a vital part of content marketing success. In fact, many prominent marketers and digital gurus suggest you spend much more time on promotion than you do on creation.

Continue reading 50 Promotion Tactics To Include In Your Content Marketing Strategy

Despite what some companies might try and peddle, there is no workable, one-size-fits-all approach to SEO. No two companies have the same budget, goals or expectations. These differences become even more apparent when we compare SEO for startups, SMBs, and enterprise companies.

Startups are desperate to get a business off the ground. SMBs are looking for new ways to grow and expand. Enterprise companies want to dominate their market.

I’m generalizing here, of course. Every business is different – which is why every SEO strategy should be unique – but there are some key differences all SEOs (and businesses considering employing one) should understand if they want to be successful in increasing the organic visibility of a startup, enterprise or SMB website.

Continue reading Strategy Teardown: How SEO Differs for SMBs, Startups and Enterprise Companies

There are lots of reasons you might want to find trending content, including:

  • Getting inspiration for your own content production
  • Finding interesting, relevant content to share with your audience (i.e. on social media)
  • Keeping up to speed on what sort of topics are (or are not) currently popular within your industry or niche

Staying on top of trending content gives you an edge. People are more likely to follow you and listen to what you have to say if you’re consistently sharing or producing quality content that your audience cares about. Bonus points for being among the first to share or comment on this content – you may be seen as a trend-setter or thought leader.

Of course, finding content is the easy part. Finding content that’s actually “trending” – and by that I mean content that’s being widely shared outside of its circle of creators – is a little trickier.

Continue reading 14 Ways to Find Trending Content

In the latest episode we talk about the differences between link-earning and link-building. These are both essential to SEO, but Google greatly prefers link-earning over link-building. Do you know the difference?

● 1:25: How link-earning works and how it compares with standard link development.
● 3:40: Where I publish the content that brings in links, as well as details on why my content works.
● 4:35: Why knowing your customers helps you earn links.
● 7:10: Aaron’s thoughts on the two most important qualities to have when you are trying to earn links, as well as my contrasting thoughts.
● 10:20: How gaps in the industry can help you build your brand and earn links.
● 11:55: Thoughts on creating a resource or anchor piece that does the work for you.

Launching a community takes more than a “build it and they will come” mentality. It requires a strategic approach to growth. Using content marketing can help supercharge your community, but it also works in reverse: your own community can help give your content marketing a boost, whether you’re promoting an ebook or new course product. Ideally, your community and content marketing should work in tandem to help grow your business.

Content marketing is worth it if you have a strategy in place that helps grow and nurture your community. Doing it blindly and producing content just for the sake of a few clicks is unlikely to be sustainable, but focusing on its fluidity and connecting its moving parts creates big gains. Here’s how to really use content marketing to launch, engage and scale a community.

Continue reading How to Use Content Marketing to Launch, Engage, and Scale a Community

In this episode I pick Aaron’s brain on LinkedIn and how he leverages it. Aaron has been crushing it and he shares his strategies and tactics that have helped him find and build an audience.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

● 00:54 How LinkedIn has changed and how they are trying to be a popular social media network.
● 02:17 Crafting impactful stories for a status update. Using pure text with no outbound links.
● 04:48 Crafting careful updates with a structure that generates curiosity about what is behind the “see more” button.
● 07:54 Tactics of getting an audience together and being smart about the direct message strategy.
● 10:47 Strategy of creating the story and then editing it down to 1300 characters.