I recently attended a presentation by Tom Martin that challenged the way I think about content marketing. One of my biggest “a-ha!” moments was when Tom said that 50% of the content he creates goes on other websites.
You see, today’s consumer is self-educating. On average, according to Google's ZMOT study, more than 10 sources of information are researched before a purchase decision is made. That means people are looking in places OTHER than your website to educate themselves on products or services that you offer. To take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior, you’ve got to publish content on websites where your visitors spend time, even (and especially if) it’s not your own.
But here’s the rub: Consumers can find the information they need anonymously. That makes it pretty darn tough to know who your prospects actually are, which begs the question…
How Do I Know Where Else I Should Publish My Content?
"Dogfooding" is a term to used to describe a company using it's own product or, essentially, practicing what you preach. Early last week, several members of the Aztek Development Team had the opportunity to travel to DogFoodCon in Columbus. This Microsoft-centric conference had everything from Azure to Xamarin; focusing on the .NET technology stack and the tools they've developed to assist customers with their products.
The conference started on a high note, when Byron Tardiff, Azure Program Manager, flew in from Redmond to talk to us about the usability and scale of Azure Websites. Oh, and he also demoed, for the first time in public, a migration tool to move web applications hosted on Windows Server 2003 environments to the cloud; a very cool exclusive!
As web application developers, we work with bleeding-edge technology on a day-to-day basis.
There are many possibilities, but in the end they all do the same thing. At a very high level, all software pushes pixels in some way or another to help you perform an action, especially on the web.
But It’s Not Just Software
Software is changing the world around us and helping innovate that movement is extremely rewarding, though the Internet of Things is among us. A world where every device we own is connected and quantified is only a few years away.
From the boom of the smartwatch to a toaster that will tweet you when it has finished your toast, we are beginning to live the sci-fi movies our parents watched as children.
That's why a few months ago I stopped at Radioshack to pick up a newer microcontroller called the Arduino. I read all over the internet how people were using this $30 chip to shape their everyday lives.
How Code Can Affect Physical Devices
In 2010 I went to one of my first developer conferences. I sat in on a talk where the speaker described how he was able to create a functioning, full-sized garage door opener using just this chip and a few servos. I even saw a demonstration showing how a car can be connected with this technology, allowing us to retrieve trip information, flash the headlights, or lock the doors. And then there was Scott Sullivan , a UX Designer from Columbus, who helped quantify foot traffic in his friend’s brick and mortar store with a whole network of these devices.
We love Content Marketing World. Every year, we walk away with tons of ideas and a renewed energy for our industry that we just don't get from other professional conferences. The conference feels less like work and more like a second honeymoon where you learn to fall in love with your profession all over again.
Since #CMWorld 2013, we have embraced the concept of Youtility (helping self-educated buyers instead of selling to them). We nailed down our persona creation process. We started mapping personas and messaging to specific pages in our sitemaps and wireframes. And in the process, we created higher-quality work that generated quality leads for our clients.
This year's takeaways promise even more changes for the better. Below are some of our favorite points from Content Marketing World 2014.
Does hearing Katy Perry’s “Roar” make you think about content marketing?
If the answer is yes, then you were at Content Marketing World last year in Cleveland, Ohio. And you remember the video that ended with Joe Pulizzi running into the conference in a bright orange suit...
Finding the right organic keywords for your website is hard. You need to understand your target audience. You have to consider the intent of each keyword (research, transactional, or branded). You have to identify which pages should be optimized for which keywords.
And that’s just the beginning!
Adding to the complexity is the fact that Google gets 500 million never-before-seen queries per day (about 15% of their daily total). In other words, people will search in different ways to find the same information, making it more difficult to uncover the keywords that are most valuable to your bottom line.
This is part 2 of our multi-part series: Get More Out of Google Analytics. If you missed it, make sure to read part 1: Getting Started with Google Analytics.
In our last post, we talked about how you can set up a new Google Analytics account with the new Universal tracking code.
But what if you already have an account and aren’t sure whether you have Universal Analytics? Or what if you know you don’t have Universal Analytics but can’t figure out how to upgrade?
Today’s blog post will answer both questions.
Every site we build launches with Google Analytics installed. Why?
Because it's a robust tool that helps our clients understand the value that their new websites bring to their business.
Have you ever wanted to:
- Track how many of your quote forms were completed?
- See how many times that PDF was opened?
- Know what your average order value is?
- Find out if that ad you bought generated leads?
Google Analytics can tell you all of this and more.
You might not need an app. There, I said it.
Not only that, you still need a website, and it needs to provide an amazing experience for viewing on mobile browsers.
Now, before you and Ewan Spence get the nice folks in the white coats to come and take me away, let me explain.
Have you ever been in this situation?
You’re sitting at a bar watching your favorite game of choice (possibly the World Cup, go #USMNT!) and the guy or gal next to you strikes up a conversation.
This can go one of two ways:
- They tell you something interesting, maybe some fun World Cup facts.
- They start on a long diatribe about an unrelated and miserably boring topic.
Now, imagine your marketing content is the conversation topic.
Would you try to escape the conversation?