My 3 steps guide on Content Creation Process

content-creation-process

My 3 steps guide on Content Creation Process

Umair Qureshi one comments

We all have heard how “Content is the REAL King” but producing that killer content is all together a different thing than what it looks like. It is in itself a science to be re-purposing, recreating the same commonly published content repeatedly. Your content can be a simple blog post or it could be any detailed infographic to highlight any complex issue in your niche but there are always some processes that it must go through to be the KILLER. These steps include SEO and keywords, topic research and the latest industry trends to be finally able to create irresistible content for your website. Looking deeper into content marketing will only do you good and help you in coming up with something more effectively. Once you have made good use of all the elements of producing a killer content you can confidently share your masterpiece with your audience. Doing your homework the right way is the key to producing a killer content; always account for your audience and the current industry trends.

I, for one am a firm believer that when planning a content strategy, there should always be a well identified aim and certain goals that you plan on meeting before you can start writing content for your business. You must at first ask yourself why you feel the need to produce new content, what is the purpose of your content generation? Is it because you want to produce new content? Is it to get more leads? To create a greater brand awareness? or an attempt to acquire back links and domain authority? Once you get answers, it becomes easier to produce content that best serves your purposes and you can then devise and build your content creation strategy around it.

In this blog post, I have tried to highlight some of the most helpful steps that I usually take while going through a content creation process.

I will now be breaking down my content creation process into 3 stages. At stage 1, I’ll make sure, I find some topics that are relevant to my consumers and my brand; at stage 2, I’ll test social currency of the topics; and upon reaching stage 3 I will explain to you what is that makes a content stand out.

STAGE 1: What are consumers interested in? – brainstorm bunch of topics, that have to be in line with my brand and content strategy.

STAGE 2: What do they currently say on the topic / what is already written about it? – I would do a bit of a research first, find some statistic, researches … and use tools like Google Trends, Social Mentions, Moz, Topsy … to listen to the online conversation about the topic.

STAGE 3: Can my brand contribute to the discussion / can I find relevant angle, that would challenge or change consumer mind on the topic? – If the answer is not yes, I would go back to STAGE 1. If the answer is yes, I would use notes from stage 2 and follow 3 criteria to make content really great: storability, co-creation, utility.

Here are some of the tools and techniques I use as part of my content creation process.

Keyword Research Tools:

Content Marketing is the new SEO. Choose the right keywords that provides right context to what you offer. Here are some helpful tools to find right keywords for your content.

Audience Research Tools

Get to know your audience as well as you possibly can. Interviews with stakeholders, customers etc. are a big part of this, but there are some quick and dirty tools I love too, namely…

  • Facebook Audience Insights (Amazing tool! Dig deep into FB audience insights tool to find out demography and similar interests that matches your target audience)
  • Google Trends (Keep an eye on what your consumers are looking for in your niche)
  • Social Mention (Sentiment, strength, passion & reach scores around a topic + top keywords, users, hashtags and sources.)

Content Research Tools

  • BuzzSumo (See what’s popular around a certain topic, or on a certain domain… or combine the two)
  • Google News (See what authority publishers are doing around your topic – get up to speed)
  • Reddit (find a relevant sub, change view to ‘top’ links, set timeframe to ‘all time’ – inspiration awaits!)
  • Google Trends (See popular trends on any particular topic, region etc.)

Tools / Exercises for Generating Ideas

Deciding Whether Your Idea is Any Good…

  • Give bloggers / journalists / customers / whoever you want to like the content a sneak preview. Get their feedback before it’s too late!

It ultimately depends on the goals of the content. I work with a wide variety of clients on a daily basis to brainstorm and write content ideas, and each client has different goals:

If you want more search traffic:

Dig into Google Analytics to find keywords/topics that are already generating small amounts of organic traffic, then build a dedicated page/resource around them. The great thing about this approach is that you can study the existing results for a keyword, compare them, and then create a piece that’s by far the best. I’ve had clients go from getting 50-100 visitors a month for a small volume search keyword to getting 1,000+ just by building a page dedicated to that search term and its variations.

Interview clients to find out their most common questions:

A quick 15 minute interview with a client is often all it takes to get 10-20 questions that they’re asked on a frequent basis by their customers. From here, break each question off into a separate page and write a dedicated piece of content that answers the question. These are great for generating search traffic from informational queries and can also be used to build support resources that reduce demands on the client’s customer support staff.

Also Read: A COMPLETE guide to Story Writing: How to attract customers in your niche?

Find existing popular content, then make it better:

This strategy is a little boring and not so creative but it works very well. If there’s a leading resource that’s attracting a lot of attention in your vertical, you can write your own expanded and improved version. This works best when the current leading resource in your industry isn’t as good as it could be, and you can turn it into 10x content for your business with a few tweaks and changes.

seo-changes

SEO Updates: Google Search Algorithm Changes, Then & Now! [Infographic]

Umair Qureshi No Comments

The biggest fear of SEO industry is how to keep up with all the latest SEO algorithm changes over the years and how to shape up their search engine optimization strategy according to those changes.  In this post, we will try to catch up how all these SEO updates have changed the SEO of today compared to whats been done and had been considered useful over the years.

Below are links to some of the most important SEO updates rolled in over the past few years:

Some more SEO updates and algorithm change news:

Google Updates & Penguin:

Google SEO:

Google Search Console:

Google Features:

Our friends at MWI have come up with an interesting infographic, The Old Days of Google vs the New which highlights how it all started and where does it currently stands.

Integrated_Social_Insights

PART TWO: How to use Social Media Insights to your advantage?

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We have earlier talked about how you can as a social media marketer makes a greater impact with the help of insights that these powerful platforms come with.

We will now begin with LinkedIn, much like Facebook you can maintain a company page and a personal profile at once. The benefits that will come with a company page are the ability to not only update statuses but also files, slide share presentations and even videos.

Beginning with the Per Post Insights which are not only accurate to every status update made but also come with details such as the number of followers who viewed the post, and how many times this specific post got clicked.

linkedin-post-performance

What makes LinkedIn insights stand out is how they illustrate the engagement in percentages, which are totally based on the whole, the ratio of clicks to the impressions and hence if you don’t already know how many followers you have you will be clueless of the results. But they make up for it with their Follower insights. Not only will you be able to view your engagement rates and the growth but also get a deep look at your follower demographics.

linked-in-page-analytics-follower-demographics-685x335

This useful insight tool generates a report, which quickly illustrates the number of followers your page has together with the number of new followers within the last 7 days. In addition, to this you can also keep a check on how many status updates you have shared simultaneously with the average engagement per update. The follower demographics come loaded with astonishing details are accurate, they break down these insights into tabs such as industry that these followers belong to, their function in the company, regions, the company they belong to itself, employee, seniority leading you into looking at what exactly is your outreach and which market you have hit.

What do you need to learn about “Newly Improved LinkedIn Analytics”?

INSTAGRAM:

Almost all of the account insights have been designed to provide for one piece of crucial information where all essential information is listed which gives brands the leverage to be able to further evaluate their performances on these social media platforms. Instagram, however takes these insights to a whole new level of awesome, with its growing popularity Insta’s dashboard comes loaded with data that has to do with reach, with impressions and with engagement. The statics are also broken down into each week to give you a more insightful look into your performance.

ads insights

image source: http://blog.business.instagram.com/post/95314562151/businesstools

Instagram also features an Ad Insights dashboard which is inclusive of facts and figures that have to with the effectiveness of any given campaign.  Not only do these includes all the data related to the performance of the campaigns created and launched by brands. The statistics reflect impressions, but also answer for the reach and the display frequency ensuring all details for every post made. Instagram has a staggering outreach, with the per-follower engagement rate reaching out to that of a 4.21 percent which is almost 50 times as that of Facebook and almost a 125 times more than twitter!

ALSO READ: PART ONE: How to use Social Media Insights to your advantage?

Pinterest:
Pinterest was launched in the midst of all the social media hype and as the platforms were dominated by text updates it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that this largely visual, image-centric platform became such a great hit. The one magical thing about your pinterest account is that the number of people who actually view your posts is greater than your actual followers.

Your pin insights will be able to help you engage a greater number of audience and market your service or product and even your brand smoothly and effortlessly. However, for being able to access this feature you need to be in possession of a verified business account.

pinterest-analytics

image source: dreamgrow.com

You can track your board’s activity and gather data not only from your website but your board at pinterest too, hence you can effectively create a fusion and expand your insights, which will not only be limited to pinterest but also be stretched out to as far as Tumblr.

Where as state of the art features such as Curalate and PinReach add to the magic of mastering the use of pinterest as a social media platform.

Content marketing guide

A COMPLETE guide to Story Writing: How to attract customers in your niche?

Umair Qureshi one comments

Content marketing goes a long way and therefore stress needs to be laid upon making the best of your content. It is for a fact that most buzzing social media trends today will not be as effective tomorrow and therefore, to engage your audience’s attention you will need to constantly come up with new, updated strategies.  Just the right content marketing strategy will never go out of style and is a proven, effective method of getting your audience to be star struck!

Where must you begin? It is pretty simple to get started if you ask me.

Your content needs to be irresistible, tempting, and meaningful. Together with a few carefully developed strategies, attracting an audience should not be difficult.

How to use Storytelling as a Content Marketing Strategy?

Here are the ten secrets to remember as you get started with content development. If there was an Old Chinese wise man, who was an expert in content Marketing, he would be telling you exactly what you are about to read next:

Your content has to be a work of Magic and should be nothing less than enchanting.
If your content is not engaging, if it does not deliver what it is supposed to, if it does not come with your vision then you are at a terrible position over the world’s widest web! In this case, even all the paid promotion in the world will not be able to get you the results that you seek. And the real fun in making money online is lower investments and Higher Return On Investments, by investing too much and getting no results you will only be losing the essence of having started in the first place. Yes, the PROFITS.

The Early Birds do get the worm, strike before anyone else does.
The online world is very impulsive and fast to react, you need to enter it with a bang and make an impression to last a very long time in order to capture the market. Content marketing comes with a few added advantages, these being the need to revise the content much less frequently and high quality content not only engaging the audiences but also delivering the desired results. We therefore advice that if you want to keep it at a low budget, and get effective results your content will not only to be engaging but incredible and also represent your product and services in ways that they are impossible to resist and hence boast sales.

Speak your mind in a way that gets their attention!
You must give all your secrets away, that is one of the most effective ways to get their attention and besides if there is something that everyone knows but no one will say, don’t think twice and say it! Read your copy over and over, and over and over! Make changes until it is condense, until you see no room for changes and to the point where it is the definition of precision in itself. Say something brave that will connect you to your audiences and target market, they will not only love you for saying it but also begin to trust you and take your word for it. This is the most important and the most valuable asset, customer’s trust.

Make a solid point of why they should be listening to you in the first place.
Do not just over do your website with boring content, charge and load it with slide share presentation and info-graphics. Experiment with different formats, try new stuff out, let your writing style be the flare in your content.  Don’t forget to be original and invest into your content, make deep researches and produce a content that is not only incredibly thorough but effective, meaningful, engaging and gives new information. Don’t re-do what others have already done, differ and in the process create content that your readers are compelled to share, with your research and some excellent content you can make a ground-breaking discovery of how to capture the market.

Aim for all of your content to go VIRAL

You know how if you aim for the moon and miss, you will still land in the stars? Yes this is exactly what needs to be done, work really hard over your content, hard work always pays off.

You can always find out someone who is already working on similar things as you or shares similar beliefs and interview them. This way you will not only have something new for your audience but also reach to their audience for they will potentially be your target market too. Given that the interviewee is impressed with what you have produced and shares it.

Learning how to create a viral post is not difficult there are many tutorials out there, but just remember to keep it relevant to your topic and niche.

You really need quality over quantity in the longer run.
Write only when you have something meaningful to say, not because you have not posted in a while. Let us remind you it is all about quality and never the quantity, get your research done right before you put your cards on the table, there is no formula to win except striking at the right time. Timing is the key to great content marketing.

Headlines!
This a proven formula that has worked over centuries and not just decades and nothing better that incorporating a few effective old, tested remedies.

The more functional and appealing your headings are, the more audience you will be able to stumble upon for we are always in a rush and what does not interest us at first glance we do not give it a econd chance.

User friendly design.
The design of your website matters much more than you think it does, you will miss out, quite a lot of your audience with a bad design that is not even close to being user friendly. You will have a hard time keeping and retaining the attention of your visitors, and if the design does not engage your user at the first sight all your hard work over the content will go to waste. Design and content work hand in hand, do not ignore either of them and you will get there in no time. You need to design with your end goal in your mind all the time.

Social proof and SEO:
Let the search engines and your quality services and products do the talking for you, there is no marketing that is more effective than a mixture of these two. If a visitor is new to your website they will be seeking for clues to ensure that your website is valid, is interesting and if it is something you sell, then they will look for something that validates your claims. Customer reviews and feedbacks play an effective role for them to analyze in a glimpse if your website is worth spending any time on. Put simply testimonials help reinforce your value. Now that you have looked into social proofing your website next comes SEO.

You will always need to optimize not only your headline but also your content URL and do so specially for the search engines. You can always make use of an effective and freely available tool called the Google Keyword Tool, which will help you in finding the popular most keywords. There should be no keyword stuffing, the content needs to be written for humans and a website which has been designed to be both user friendly and Google friendly tends to shoot up higher on the ranking charts. You will need to offer not only a sitemap, but use an SEO-optimized platform to register with the Google Search Console.

Here is a million dollar tip:
Despite the contrary belief of link building producing the fastest and most effective results, you need to focus on and develop, optimized content. This will ensure a long-term success when it comes to SEO and hence the much wanted Search Engine Rankings.

Do it all at the speed of light:
Make sure that your websites functions fast and is light, if it takes too long to load no matter how appealing your content is, it is pointless. Today, with the advancement in technology Site speed is a direct contributor and factor that leads to higher search rankings.

You must consider moving towards a faster webhost, together with some high quality leverage caching and ensure that your website is reflexive, meaning it is fully functional on devices such as smart phones and tablets and works, just as it does on a regular PC.

Lastly, Bear in mind that a GREAT content is the key to everything else but the packaging that it comes in (being the website) is what decides and engages the user’s interests and hence the sales.

Are you getting the most out of your Content Marketing efforts? Request FREE Digital Marketing Assessment to review your performance.

Integrated_Social_Insights

PART ONE: How to use Social Media Insights to your advantage?

Umair Qureshi No Comments

The fact that Social media has become a very powerful tool is known far and wide, but with the growing popularity of social media all the many popular social media platforms it is becoming tricky to handle. One needs to ensure that all of these super popular platforms are used to their full potentials and the content put up is able to engage the target audiences. Since all of these tend to function in different ways, the use of social media insights for each is different and produces different results. For this very reason, we are breaking down the strategies into a few simple steps.

Let us begin with Twitter:

Twitter Impressions

Twitter Impressions

Twitter gives you a head start on insights with its free analytics dashboard. With this option, you can closely monitor the success of your content and the engagement you are able to create, providing a key statistics to your account. From new followers to the most effective tweets you will know it all, this feature provides a 28 day summary of your account.

If you track it from one month to other, you can measure the number of new followers and popularity that you have been able to bag.

Umair Qureshi - Twitter Insights

Twitter started to roll out its Redesign: Impressed or Not?

You can monitor closely and compare longer durations and your performances in the period, the 28 days range is a default you can alter the period. There is also a breakdown of your tweets where not only can you see the engagement but also the number of impressions. These insights, together with insights available for all your tweets, should be enough to help you make out a pattern that appeals to your target audience and help you figure out their likes and dislikes.

And here we are, the super hit: Facebook Insights:

Facebook comes powered with its very own analytics known as the Facebook Insights, the feature is not available if there are under 30 likes on your page. With these insights not only can you determine what best engages your audience but also figure out the best timings to make a post, the key is to be impactful. Posting the right thing at the right time to the right audience is just what can make your social media management not only the most productive but also effective in term of ROI short for Return On Investment.

FB Page Insights
All you have to do is click on the insights tab, which shows at the top of your Facebook page. Not only can you view your FIVE most recent posts here but also for each of your posts be able to view the outreach, if you sponsored the post, it will also show you how much money you spent and the volume of comments, shares, likes and clicks. You can hence judge the popularity of the post with these figures.

5 posts

 

How to build targeted social media audience for your niche from the scratch?

Facebook constantly updates for new likes on your pages, and you can select a certain time period and view the number of new likes if you choose to, you can view these subtracting the number of likes you got through a paid promotion too.  Good content has great organic reach, but if sponsored the results are phenomenal as Facebook boasts outreach and the post becomes available to audiences far and wide.

But this is not it… There is a lot more to tell you about social media and its insightful integrations, stay tuned for more!

Are you getting the most out of your Social Media Marketing efforts? Request FREE Digital Marketing Assessment to review your performance.

facebook dislike button

Facebook to launch New “DISLIKE” button. Like it or Dislike It?

Umair Qureshi No Comments

Facebook “Dislike” button!

“Not every moment is a good moment,” he said. Facebook is working on the tool, he said, but gave no release date.

Facebook announced to launch perhaps the most awaited “Dislike” feature but it is yet to see whether it will be only be for pages or personal timelines as well. During the Q&A session at Facebook headquarters earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said company will soon announce an alternatives to the “Like” button.

“People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years,” Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. “Today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it.”

Its not sure whether it is going to be a “dislike” feature but it might be something that can be used to show empathy over something you don’t like.

What does a new “Dislike” feature would meant to Brands?

I think the brands will actually have to think twice before posting an update as this might also contribute to newsfeed algorithm and could possibly make a negative impact on page performance. Although, its a bit early to jump on this but still brands have to make sure that they are posting what its audience demands and not something that could potentially goes against them. So, in the coming days it would be interesting to see how brands coup with this new feature.

If Facebook had a “Dislike” Button [Infographic]

if-facebook-had-a-dislike-button

Source: http://visual.ly/if-facebook-had-dislike-button

Is the Facebook Dislike button a good idea?

Share your thoughts and tweet at @umairquraishi

LinkedIn

How to get ranked #1 on LinkedIn Search?

Umair Qureshi No Comments

If you are reading this post, you have already realized how much important it is for you to be found on LinkedIn searches. Whether your goal is to get a job, talent hunt or creating a personal brand, there are things you need to consider to stay on top of the professional social network.

With growing number of 364 million registered users on LinkedIn, its not an easy ask to position your self like back in the days it was. Some people complain that they do everything right but still don’t see magical improvements in their profile rankings mainly due to other well optimized profiles than probably they have so may be its about time to make sure you are rising against the storm and not sitting behind the competition and missing out opportunities that you certainly don’t want to miss.

Here are some of the ways to fight the LinkedIn algorithms and stay on top of the LinkedIn searches.

Have a Complete Profile!

Include information designed to encourage your potential visitors to find out more about you. Profiles with complete information are 7x more likely to be viewed than those that are without display pictures, relevant keywords & professional headlines.

complete

Compelling Headline:

Expand upon your professional headline and support it, write a solid headline and make sure when your visitors view your profile they get the good first impression so they initiate to connect.

Visualize Your Work:

Show example of your work i.e presentations for the slide share, any skilled certifications that you passed or your latest blog.

visualize

Get Connected:

If you don’t have enough connections on LinkedIn, you might not show up on many LinkedIn searches as a 2nd degree connection as you should.

Don’t Ignore Endorsements:

Give endorsements and manage to take few back, endorsements might also affect how you appear in the LinkedIn search.

Get Recommendations, Build Credibility:

You have got to ask for them, recommendations give a real boost to your profile in the long run and help to establish credibility.

Recommendations

Make Your Self Reachable:

Don’t limit the potential growth of  your social network. Provide email address, social media links or any other point of contact so that people who are interested in your profile are able to contact you.

Make sure you include your:

  1. email address.
  2. website URL.
  3. or whatever channel you use to correspondence.

advice for contacting umair

Be Engaged!

Don’t forget LinkedIn is a social network, its always important to keep your account engaging and not rusty. LinkedIn has been introducing new features and given more options to interact and engage with colleagues and friends.

Whether you are liking, commenting on your friends updates in the news feeds, interacting in groups, creating or sharing informative posts related to your interests / work, all these tactics will help you to increase in profile views and LinkedIn search visibility.