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Powerful content, perfectly delivered: Developing an awesome strategy

By Morgan International Staff Writers

You already know that your content is the powerhouse behind your marketing success, but do you really know how to make it work?

For several years now, we’ve had it drummed into us that content is king. Whether we’re talking about on page SEO, social media marketing, Pay Per Click or something else, outstanding content is essential to any success. However, even the best content in the world might as well be pointless drivel without a robust, well thought out content strategy backing it up.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70 per cent of B2B marketers plant to create more content in 2017 than they did last year. In fact, most brands are spending between 25 and 43 per cent of their total marketing budget on content, and yet less than a quarter of CMO’s feel they are getting the most out of it.

Whether your business is planning to spend a little or a lot on content this year, it’s crucial that you have an amazing strategy in place to get the most from your efforts. Here’s how to form a truly brilliant content strategy for your brand in 2017.

Developing your strategy

 

You can’t just knock up a vague strategy overnight. To really maximise your potential, you’re going to need to knuckle down and do your homework, so that you can build a plan that really works for your business:

  • Be specific about your business objectives

You know you need content, but what are you generating content for? You need to be specific about your activities and goals, so that you can measure whether your actions are meeting those goals or not. Are you looking to increase subscribers? To get more traffic to your site? To boost your SEO? Whatever you’re trying to do, write it down, make it measurable and accountable, otherwise your efforts will be wasted.

  • Define your message clearly

A consistent message is critical if you want your brand to stand out amongst the competition. Think about who you are trying to reach, and what it is you can offer them. You may find it helpful to create a ‘mission statement’ for your content, which states clearly in black and white what you are trying to achieve, and why, so that your team is working in harmony towards a common goal.

  • Understand what your competitors are doing

Your competitors are your best learning platform, so take note of what they are doing well (and not so well) so that your team can learn from them. Analyse the keywords they are targeting, identify what content is popular in your niche right now, and pay attention to the language, types of content and distribution channels they are using to inform your strategy.

  • Make the most of available technology

Nobody wants to sit at their desktop, waiting on the perfect moment to click the ‘publish’ button on their latest blog post, and nobody has to, at least not any more. Tools for scheduling, controlling, optimising and sharing content are available in their thousands, so spend a little time evaluating which software and programmes are going to benefit your strategy, and make sure you know how to use them well.

  • Put a schedule in place

Your content shouldn’t just happen when you have the time or when the mood takes you. To really maximise your potential for making an impact, lay out your content goals into a schedule, also known as an ‘editorial calendar’. Understand how frequently you can and should post in different mediums. For example, Twitter may need to be fed several times a day, whereas your blog may work best once a week. Bigger projects like video or infographics could be monthly or less. Only you will know what works for your business; what matters is eliminating the ad-hoc nature of content creation and instead working from a defined calendar to make sure you are producing what you need, when you need it.

Content marketing is not the easiest form of marketing to master, but once you get it right, it can be one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal. If you’re ready to take your marketing skills to the next level, talk to us about our digital marketing training courses, and move ahead of the game in the digital marketing world.

 

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/09/content-marketing-research-b2b/

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/26154/2015-b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends

http://adage.com/article/digital/content-marketing-remains-a-fraction-budgets/296059/

 

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Are you ready? The skills every digital marketing guru needs in 2017

By Morgan International Staff Writers

So, you want to be at the top of your game. You want to be landing all the best marketing contracts, want to work with blue chip companies, want to become the next big thing in the digital sphere. But right now, you’re stuck analysing SEO keywords for the window cleaner down the road, and writing ten dollar blogs for your brother-in-law’s printing business. The top seems a long, long way up the ladder.

Digital marketing is tough, and it’s a truly competitive industry too. Even if you’re already working in the industry for a relatively successful business, your boss is still concerned about your abilities. Large businesses have admitted seeing skills gaps of between 12 and 37 per cent in key areas, leaving them searching for freelancers or specialist agencies to deliver where their in-house team cannot.

If you are serious about joining the ranks of high-flying digital marketers, isn’t it time you worked on shrinking your own personal skills gap?

The essential skills for digital marketing in 2017

Digital marketing is a term which envelops all manner of marketing strands, and yet most self-proclaimed ‘digital marketers’ are seriously lacking in many of these disciplines. Here are some of the most in-demand skills in 2017:

  • SEO/SEM: Of all your customers, all your engagements, all your website visitors and blog readers, 93 per cent will start with a search engine interaction. This means that unless you’ve already landed that coveted page one position on both Google and Bing, your business has a lot of work to do. If you don’t know what to do to improve (or maintain) your current ranking, you need to up your game right now.

 

  • Automated marketing: When it comes to marketing functions, there’s a tool out there for pretty much everything. Your job as a marketer is to know what’s available and how to use it to make your business better. Things like automated emails following abandoned carts, cross channel marketing to your Facebook followers and even text message marketing with special discounts for your previous customers; these are all tools that you need to know inside out if you want to stay ahead of the game.

 

  • Pay Per Click: PPC is here to stay, and if you’re looking to boost SEO, credibility or simply just to bring in more targeted traffic, it will already be a priority for your 2017 marketing budget. The trouble is, most marketers don’t really know what they’re doing, so all too many budgets get splurged on pointless keywords and ads in the wrong places. Skill up and be a confident PPC expert if you want to earn the big bucks.

 

  • Mobile marketing: If you were listening back in August last year, you will have noticed that an amazing thing took place. For the first time ever, mobile internet usage overtook desktops with an astounding 58 per cent of searches that month coming from either smartphones or tablets. Mobile is the future, so if you’re not confident on responsive design or other aspects of mobile marketing, you’re going to be about as much use as a chocolate coffee pot.

 

  • Community and social management: Social is so important today, and it’s not enough to just have a presence any more either. Social media, forums and other digital customer touch points are seen by your customers as a place they can truly interact with you as a brand. They want to be able to message your page and get a response back in good time. They want to share with you, to be heard and, most importantly, responded to in a manner in-keeping with your brand values.

 

  • Analytics: The big grey pachyderm in the room has to be analytics. Everyone wants to do digital marketing, but more than that they want to know if it’s working yet. You need to be able to analyse results and, most importantly, to translate them into something your CEO is going to be able to digest and understand. You should be competent with all sorts of tools and techniques, not just Google Analytics, and should be able to break down your data so you can really add value to your future marketing campaigns.

If you’re feeling distinctly underwhelmed by the prospect of picking up on all these key skills, don’t be. We run a number of outstanding, digital marketing courses targeted at digital marketers, all of which are designed to take your skills from just so-so to WOW and beyond. Call our team today to find out more about improving your skills in digital marketing, and putting yourself in the position to be at the top of the tree in no time.

 

http://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/resourcing-digital-marketing/popular-digital-marketing-jobs/

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/

http://searchengineland.com/report-nearly-60-percent-searches-now-mobile-devices-255025

 

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5 Most Important Digital Marketing Skills to Acquire in 2017

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Right now the need for digital marketers is an expanding demand that continues to persist. This can give a great many people the opportunity to show their value to businesses that are looking for skilled individuals to demonstrate their competency and skill with this type of work. To become a digital marketer you need to be able to display the type of skills that companies are looking for.

 

To establish yourself as a professional you’ll need to brush up on the right skills and make sure that you’ve a strong enough skill set to make you appealing to the right employer.

 

Here are the five skills you should think about refining if you’re looking to go into this field.

 

  1. Search Engine Optimization

 

An astounding percentage of people will visit a search engine when looking for anything online.

 

SEO skills are at a premium right now as they are considered to be one of the most marketable and desired assets that you can have at your disposal. Despite seeming like a rather vague and almost useless skill, search engines are continuing to evolve and as a result those that use them must be able to keep up. If you manage to become a master of SEO then you’ll have the beginnings of a skill that many employers will be looking for.

 

You don’t necessarily have to become a specialist, but this skill will take you much further than you might go without it.

 

  1. Video Content Marketing

 

Videos have the ability to gain the attention of more people than simple text does, and for good reason. If you can master this particular skill then your net worth will have increased almost exponentially. The idea of gaining an audience through video and all the insanely useful techniques that this medium affords are a marketers dream when it comes to gaining an audience.

 

  1. Community Management

 

Name one type of social media and it is likely that more than a few companies have already plastered their brand across it for everyone to see.

 

By becoming a master of social media and all it can offer you will only increase your worth to an employer. Social media is after all where many businesses go to get noticed, and where millions of consumers continually log on to see what’s new and what’s trending. This is where you meet the customers and listen to what they have to say after all. A business that treats its consumers well is a business that thrives.

 

  1. Analytics

 

Despite being overlooked on a constant basis, this practice is one of the most vital to digital marketing.

 

Possessing this skill means that you are not only aware of the pulse of the business and the consumer, but you know how to read them, anticipate them, and respond in kind. By being able to analyze the market in various ways you will have gained the necessary skill to predict what could happen and how to deal with such an eventuality.

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Advanced Methods of Creating Content Promotion Plans for Your Business

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Content is the most important aspect of online marketing activity. That is the driving focus you need to remember when considering what kind of marketing plan you will use to promote your brand. The process of digital marketing is quite intricate and demands a great deal of planning. With a carefully thought out strategy you should be able to experience the type of success that can elevate your business to great heights.

 

By following the methods mentioned below it is possible to devise a promotion plan that will allow your company the kind of success you desire.

 

  1. Learn how to set specific objectives

 

No matter what business endeavor you’re working on, having a specific goal and objectives to meet can keep your daily activities on point and keep you moving in the right direction. Identify your goals before making the first step and ask yourself what your intentions are when it comes to content marketing. You should know the specifics before making the first move.

 

  • Track your goals- keep in mind certain benchmarks and how you will measure whether you are achieving your goals.

 

  • Build a following on social media- if there is any place that can make a company it is social media. Establish your presence early on and include whichever social networks you are most eager to work with.

 

  1. Create a strong core message

 

You need to define the core of your content strategy to keep it balanced and on track. This will help to distinguish your brand and stay true to your own ideals, as well as the value that your company should maintain. The best way to do this is to devise an editorial mission statement that will create and maintain your identity as a company.

 

It will also detail the audience you are seeking to reach and what it is that you can do for them.

 

An editorial mission statement will need three key components:

  • The target audience- you need to know who you’re trying to reach.
  • The deliverables- what can you provide your audience with?
  • What the audience needs- what is your message for your audience?

 

  1. Size up your competition

 

Your competitors can actually be helpful to your business. They can help you identify what your business will need and what it might still have to work on. This can also help you to realize what you are doing right.

 

 

 

  1. Always use the tools you need

 

Pick the tools that match your budget and will be able to give your company the greatest boost when it comes to your promotional content.

 

Don’t go for the bargain basement programs when you can afford a system that will help your company make that leap you need to get to the next level. Word Press is a great example of a platform that many use considering that it is low to no cost and is filled with useful tools that can help you to build and elevate your company as you see fit.

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What NOT to do when choosing a career path!

By Morgan International Writers

Choosing a career path can be difficult enough without having obstacles along the way so here’s the top 10 things you definitely SHOULDN’T do when making that all life-changing decision!

  1. Don’t be pushed into a certain career based on someone else’s experience or advice. No two people are the same.  What might perfectly fit with someone else almost certainly won’t fit with you or your skill set.

 

  1. Don’t choose a career because either you (or someone else) considers it as being “easy”. You can almost guarantee that it won’t be.

 

  1. Don’t choose a certain career because you think it’ll make you a) famous or b) rich. That’s not to say that it won’t, of course, but you have to stay realistic on this.  And always remember that fame and fortune isn’t always quite what it’s cracked up to be!

 

  1. Never be afraid to explore your individual talents or instincts. More often than not these will almost certainly lead you in the right direction.  If there’s something you love doing then pursue it.  It doesn’t have to be a six figure salary.

 

  1. Never be afraid to challenge your own learning style to reach your ultimate goal. Whilst some students are happy in university others are equally as happy doing a practical job with no academic requirement.  Everyone is different.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to explore different careers before you settle on the right one. There’s no formula to achieving this so don’t be afraid to try your hand at more than one career before deciding on which is best for you.

 

  1. Never be put off by salaries. To get into the right career you might well have to make a financial sacrifice but remember, money isn’t everything.

 

  1. Don’t expect to go into your chosen career without encountering any obstacles because there will almost certainly be some along the way!

 

  1. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t land the career of your dreams. This could be for a multitude of reasons which very often can’t be helped.  Instead focus on the more positive attributes you have and turn those negative niggles on their head!

 

  1. Finally, don’t ever lose sight of your dreams. If you want to achieve it – you almost certainly can; so never give up hope or aspiration.

 

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Steps to growth and career success!

By Morgan International Writers

It perhaps goes without saying that most of us want to nurture our own careers and excel in what we do.  But how?  The word “growth” can be quite ambiguous and yet, broken down, it’s not so difficult to achieve.  Here’s how in 10 easy steps:

  1. Do what you’re good at! This might sound obvious but if you love your job it’ll soon rub off on others and above all else, your potential customers or clients.  No-one can possibly commit to growth without being passionate about what they do.

 

  1. Set yourself goals. It’s really important to prioritise your goals so that you not only utilise your time in the best way that you possibly can but also do so by delegating any tasks which can free up your time for more crucial things.

 

  1. Find the right support team! This will massively vary according to individual needs but if you’re truly committed to growth and success then you need the right people working with you and not against you  Whether it’s purely admin support, help around the house or even picking the kids up from school, success is very much dependent on multiple resources – and not just one.

 

  1. Always, always, look ahead. Whilst it’s obviously important to concentrate on the “now”; also be sure to look at what’s coming up in the pipeline and plan accordingly.  Don’t take anything for granted.

 

  1. Never rest on your laurels – complacency isn’t a great trait so never rely on it. Instead, continually ask for constructive feedback and act on it accordingly.

 

  1. Keep building your network of supporters. Whilst sometimes it might feel time consuming attending networking events, never underestimate the value of them either.  They can be absolutely crucial – particularly if you’re a new business or looking to expand.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to showcase your results! If you’ve done a good job – then let everyone know!  You’ll only ever achieve growth through reputation so be sure to keep working on it.

 

  1. Keep yourself visual in terms of marketing and make sure you maximise any space on free social websites. You’ll be surprised at how quickly good news travels fast!

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from satisfied customers or clients. There’s nothing more reassuring than a job well done!

 

  1. Above all else, believe in yourself!
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Think you’re not great at your job? … Well, you might be wrong there!

By Morgan International Writers

Ever had that sinking feeling when you’re convinced you’re simply not great at your job?  Well, don’t worry.  It’s not uncommon but here’s the thing … if it looks so easy to others then you’re getting it absolutely right – and here are just 10 great reasons why!

  1. Your input and ideas are not only acknowledged by the management team but even make their way into the official minutes of meetings.

 

  1. When you go on annual leave you have to leave precise instructions to a fellow colleague or manager. So here’s the crucial thing.  You’re the only person who knows your role inside out!  Be sure to maximise your potential on this!

 

  1. If you’re the type of person who’s not logging “in” at 08:59 hours and logging “out” at 16:59 hours then that’s a definite sign that you’re committed to your role - which naturally means that you’re reliable and a valuable asset to your firm.

 

  1. If colleagues ask for your opinion then your skill set already speaks volumes! You probably know a lot more than you think you do!

 

  1. Think about how long you’ve been with your company. If it’s beyond your initial probationary period then there has to be a reason for this!  You’re there because you’re needed and you’re valued.

 

  1. Have a good think about what sets you aside from your colleagues. For example, do you have a particular skill that sets you apart?  If so, maximise its potential and start making an even bigger impact!

 

  1. Always encourage constructive criticism from others – you’ll learn so much and get to do your role even better than before! Turning ‘negatives’ into ‘positives’ is unbelievably rewarding!

 

  1. If you find yourself musing on room for improvement then be sure to share your ideas with your colleagues or management team! Very often even the simplest of ideas can totally transform a project or procedure so don’t be afraid to share it!

 

  1. Compare your loyalty to that of others within the same department or company. This can easily be measured in terms of sick leave and other absences.

 

  1. Last, but not least, share your ultimate ambition with others. Embrace all the challenges that come your way. By doing this you’ll soon prove to be worth your weight in gold!

 

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A Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags on Instagram became a thing in 2007 and the practice was quickly adopted by social media and distributed to millions of users that locked onto the idea without hesitation.

 

Some people love them, others hate them, but no matter if you use them or not, hashtags are notorious for generating more attention than posts without them.

 

With a strategically-placed hashtag you can gain followers, increase your likes, and gain a following unlike anything you might have enjoyed in the past.

 

Hashtags are used in order to grant audiences a way to find out about branded content by sorting through different topics and specific forums that might catch their interest.  It is a strategic method that allows  people to pick up on ideas that might not seem as popular if you put them on the web for everyone to see.

 

A hashtag is in effect a label stating that “this is important”, or “this is interesting”. People will always take a glance at the very least to see what they might miss otherwise. In this manner a hashtag is a way to at least get noticed in passing.

 

Hashtags are composed of very simple words and aren’t meant to be overly descriptive, but the more clever you make your hashtag the more attention you are bound to get. In order to get this attention however you need to be smart about the hashtags you use and how you use them. For instance, it’s usually better to use the top Instagram hashtags that already possess an engaging community and are geared towards the type of audience you are seeking. The best way to do this is to take the time and see which hashtags your desired audience is already using.

 

This way you can at least fashion your own use of the hashtag in a manner that will get the attention of others and increase your following.

 

It’s also possible to reach a more engaged and larger audience by making use of more specific Instagram hashtags.

 

If you get too general, people won’t be likely to give it a look as it might seem too generic and not quite up to par.  If you key in a few specifics however you might find an audience that is quick to get on board and follow your link.

 

There is a limit of hashtags you can use on Instagram, so it pays to choose which ones you really want and forget about others for the time being.

 

You don’t want to fill your caption with little more than hashtags, as this looks ridiculous and could turn people off. In order to get a wider audience to pay attention you want your post to look authentic and a bit more professional. If you perform a gimmick just for the sake of the gimmick you will tend to lose a lot of the attention you desire. Try just picking one or two that best represent you or your selected photo and run with it.

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Optimizing your Digital Marketing Budget

 

By Luci M Iley

For both small and large businesses, it is important to maintain a tight watch on where funds are allocated in the digital marketing sector. With so many changing trends, it can be just as easy to get carried away with experimental techniques as it can be to stick to the same routine. Both methods set the business up for failure and will diminish the marketing budget over time. This guide offers some top tips for keeping your digital marketing budget lean, whilst allowing the freedom to explore new marketing avenues and improve your practices.

 

  • Get Specific

Doing your research before allocating a single penny will give you a great foundation. Make sure you have in-depth evidence of who your target market is, the best ways to reach them, the type of content needed to grab their attention and the specific points you want them to take away. This will allow you to create a more direct digital marketing plan, and avoid spending recklessly and without results.

 

  • Keep Impeccable Records

For smaller budgets, maintaining an accurate account of where every penny has gone will help with future planning. By keeping detailed records, it will also be easier to analyse the return on investment (ROI) and cut any spending which has not brought tangible results in the future.

 

  • Prepare for The Long-Haul

Budget maintenance is not a one-time occasion, you need to remain vigilant month on month to keep your budget and spending lean and beneficial to the business overall. By maintaining accurate records and keeping the specific targets detailed above in mind, you will be better equipped to make alterations along the way to better optimise your digital marketing budget each month.

 

  • Utilise the Up-And-Coming-Trends

Digital marketing trends change almost every month, so it is important to try to remain vigilant when planning your digital marketing strategy and allocating funds to different methods. Be sure to research which methods are generating success within your field and target market to capitalise on new and emerging digital marketing methods.

 

  • Remain Cautious

When a new digital marketing method is introduced, be careful. It may seem like a good idea to invest 80% of your digital marketing budget into a new marketing method which is “guaranteed” to lead to more conversions for your business, but there is always the opportunity for your target market to reject a new method, leading to a loss of investment and capital for your business. Stay wise when trying new methods and restrict the amounts spend on experimenting.

 

 

The main aim in digital marketing is to make the most of the platforms available, with minimal expenditure, for maximum return. To learn more techniques to make your digital marketing budget go further, why not browse our range of online digital marketing courses?

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The Top 3 Digital Skills Needed by Marketers in 2017

By Luci M Iley

If you are looking to develop your digital marketing career or maybe make the switch to digital marketing from another field, there are a few skills you will need to develop in order to be hireable in the 2017 digital marketing industry.

Whether brushing up your marketing team’s skills, or boosting your own knowledge, these six digital marketing skills will be the most relevant in 2017.

 

  1. Video

Video marketing is taking over digital content at a high pace. With video content influencing 63% of viewers to either find out more about a product or make a purchase after viewing a marketing video online.

With so much video content available, this means that digital marketers need to focus their energies on creating high-quality, ready-to-view video content which is short, concise and makes an impact on viewers.

Digital marketers also need to focus on ‘live’ content, with many platforms introducing live streaming services, this is an opportunity to be taken advantage of by marketers looking to get ahead in the industry.

 

  1. Analytics

Analytics have always been important, but with the ever-growing and developing landscape of digital marketing, it is important to keep an eye on the changing data and understand how it affects sales and community relations – staying informed is the first step to staying ahead, after all.

Staying ahead in analytics also involves making the most of free tools, whether you are an individual looking to seek out digital marketing opportunities, or a small business boosting your team’s skills, free tools can be found all over the internet and can provide excellent insights into your digital marketing activities. Make sure that you and your team are confident using Google’s tools, as well as the plethora of other well-known platforms available for digital marketing insights and analysis.

 

  1. Social Media and Community Management

With over 52% of the adult population using two or more social media sites and social media communications with businesses influencing purchasing decisions as much as television advertisements, there is a huge pressure on digital marketers to really engage with social media platforms to attract customers to the business.

This extends to reviews and feedback – customers love telling people what they think and a well-run social media site will benefit from the positive reviews left as many consumers base their purchasing decisions on the opinions of others, rather than the information given by businesses.

 

These three key skills are must-haves for the digital marketing industry in 2017, so whether you need to boost your whole team, or just your own skills, why not enrol on one of our digital marketing courses to stay up-to-date and keep your business and resume ahead of the game in 2017?