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“How do I optmize our content for voice search?” is a question we are beginning to receive more and more from our clients.

Why optimize content for voice search?

Last week, I explained why now is the time for voice-activated content. To recap, here are three statistics that explain this shift and why we are going hard into voice-optimized content for our clients:

50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020

50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
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72% of people who own smart speakers say the devices are part of their daily routines

72% of people who own smart speakers say the devices are part of their daily routines
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In the past year, smart speaker users who own two or more devices moved from 38% to 52%

In the past year, smart speaker users who own two or more devices moved from 38% to 52%
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Voice is the future of web search. If you’re ready get your hands dirty and begin optimizing your content for voice search, use these 4 quick tips to get started. 

1. Focus on Phrases and Longtail Keywords

The search focus has shifted from terse, awkward keywords to long-tail phrases, or even entire sentences. That’s because voice searches make use of natural language. The way we talk is decidedly different than the way we type. The phrases and keywords that we use while speaking to digital assistants would therefore be different than those we use when entering text in Google search.

“What is the weather like in Miami today?” is an example of a conversational/natural language query more likely to be spoken to a digital assistant, as opposed to “weather miami,” which we would type into a search bar. Content optimized for voice SEO would therefore need to focus on this very important aspect of the nature of voice search.

2. Anticipate Specific Questions Asked in a Conversational Manner

Voice search might use entire sentences, but it’s also specific in nature. People do not ramble on when speaking to a digital assistant, possibly because a more specific question leads to a more accurate answer.

A query such as, “Find an Italian restaurant near me,” with the user’s location enabled can return precise results for users. Business owners would therefore want to optimize their websites and content for intuitive but specific queries. This can be accomplished via a detailed FAQ page or a blog containing authority content created around longtail keywords and conversational but specific questions. This would require you to research the kind of questions your target audience most frequently poses to digital assistants and produce content around those queries. It’s a good idea to take each of those questions and flesh out the answers in the form of quality blog posts.

As long as your content answers customer queries in the best and most useful manner possible, expect Google to take notice of it and rank the website/mobile site accordingly.

3. Optimize Your Website for Local SEO

The Meeker’s Internet Trends Report found that voice search is 3X times more likely to be local in nature. With this in mind, businesses should keep their profiles and contact information up to date, since this is what Google will pull for queries such as, “Where can I get the best coffee in Seattle?”

Voice search is 3X times more likely to be local in nature.
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For a coffee shop owner, this would mean including accurate opening hours in their profile, including the precise location of the shop, and optimizing the content on the website to be found via keywords such as “best coffee” or something more specific, such as “best spiced chai latte.”

Find out the kind of questions your target audience is most likely to pose to a digital voice assistant, and create content that provides specific answers to these queries.

4. Make Sure Your Website Is Ready for Voice Search

According to Google, micro moments (moments during which users need immediate, relevant, and ready-to-use information) are key to capitalizing on any kind of search, especially voice search. Since our smartphones are our constant companions, it is natural that with internet at our fingertips, they are going to be our first source of information. Google has therefore been encouraging businesses to be cognizant of the increasing use of mobile in internet search and accordingly optimize their sites for mobile.

We now have mobile and voice search to pay attention to. Businesses that take advantage of these micro moments stand a good chance of racing ahead of the competition:

  • Anticipate at which stage(s) a user is most likely to need the services your business provides.
  • Anticipate the nature of information they need to make a decision.
  • Provide users with the relevant information at that stage in order to help them make a decision, or leave them with clear further guidance.

For this to happen, businesses must ensure their websites are optimized for mobile, for local SEO, and for voice search. In order for a mobile site to be of use to someone during a micro moment, it needs to load quickly, be user-friendly, contain relevant information (local SEO), and produce the right answers in response to a voice search query. Taken together, this maximizes the chances of a user choosing your service.

Making the Leap to Voice Search

The nature of search and the evolution in search algorithms, based on changing technology and shifting consumer habits, require marketers to move in tandem with newer trends. That is the way to stay relevant and competitive.

Do you have any plans for incorporating voice search in your content marketing strategy? Contact us today. We’d love to hear about your plans, and walk you through how to create your own voice-activated content strategy.

This post was originally written by Michael Georgiou in 2016 and updated by Jay Baer in 2019.

The post How to Optimize Content for Voice Search appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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One of the questions we get asked most often at Convince & Convert is how to create a content marketing strategy and plan. Some people assume we’re holding onto special tricks or the ever-elusive yet way-over-hyped “content marketing secret sauce.”

The truth is there are no secrets to creating a content marketing strategy. Instead, we simply use our proven, 7-step framework as a guide, plus add plenty of meaningful time and effort (usually about 60 days or so for us).

These 7 core steps provide the quintessential framework for long-term success. We’ve outlined them here so you can take your own content marketing strategy and plan to the next level, too. Oh, and we also include a free content marketing strategy template to help guide you along the way.

Of course, if there’s anything else we can do to help you or your organization, please let us know. Or sign up for our on-demand content marketing course for even more in-depth and hands-on guidance.

Why Content Marketing Strategy Is Important

Before we jump straight into the steps, we want to emphasize that a content marketing strategy isn’t a “nice to have”—it’s a fundamental requirement for success.

In fact, Content Marketing Institute confirms this fact year after year with their Annual Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report. In 2019, 61% of content marketers still say they do not have a documented content strategy, yet those who do have a content marketing strategy consistently rate their efforts as far more successful than those who don’t.

61% of content marketers still say they do not have a documented content strategy via @CMInstitute
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These facts and figures also echo what we see every day at Convince & Convert, where we create content marketing strategies for some of the best-known brands in the world. And that’s exactly why we’ve put together this guide that outlines our methodology for creating a content marketing strategy. In addition, we have a handy content marketing strategy template help keep you on track and in alignment. You can download the PDF template here.

Downloadable Content Marketing Strategy Template

Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps

To help you get started on leveling up your content efforts, here’s an overview of each of the seven steps to creating your content marketing strategy:

1. Document Your Goals

It can be so easy to get caught up in the what, how and where of content marketing that we often skip over the single most important foundational piece: the why.

So why are you doing content marketing? Is it to create leads? Build relationships? Improve your customers’ experiences?

No matter what your content marketing goals are, just make sure they’re sustainable for the long-term and they actually connect to your organization’s overarching goals, mission and vision. To keep your strategy focused and crystal-clear, stick to three to five business goals max, and document them.

Remember: Creating content for content’s sake is never your goal.

Creating content for content’s sake is never your goal.
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2. Determine Your “One Thing”

There is an enormous glut of content, and more and more is being published every day. So what will you create in your content marketing program to set your organization apart? In other words, what is the heart and soul of your content program? Is it to:

  • Be disproportionately useful?
  • Create Youtility?
  • Motivate and inspire?
  • Educate and entertain?

The only appropriate response to all of the above is YES! Otherwise, you run the risk of providing more of the same and contributing to that enormous, growing content glut.

Going one step further, Jenny Magic, one of the superstar analysts at Convince & Convert, has a fantastic tip for gut-checking your “one thing.”  First, she recommends writing down all of the brand messages your company uses. Then, take your top three competitors and cross off any messages on your list that they’re using, too. What you’ll have left is a completely unique set of brand messages, which can help clarify your “one thing.”

Remember: Give yourself permission to make your story bigger.

3. Measure Your Content Marketing

If you want to track content, 
do something trackable and figure out how you’re going to 
prove the content works before 
you make the content. Warning: beware of using vanity metrics that don’t really say much of anything at all.

Instead, to understand if your content is really doing what it’s intended to, we need to look to action, not just eyeballs. That’s where the 4 categories of content marketing metrics come in:

  • Consumption metrics: This is one of the best and easiest places to start. Basically, what did audiences do with the content? Think actions: views, downloads, listens, visits, etc.
  • Sharing metrics: How resonant is this piece of content, and how often is it shared with others?
  • Lead generation metrics: The ultimate goal for most organizations; How many leads came from a piece of content?
  • Sales metrics: Did we make any money on this piece of content?

Remember: The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

4. Identify Your Top 5 Audiences

Relevancy magically creates 
time and attention. In order to be relevant, we have to understand who we’re talking to and targeting, and there are several versions of what that looks like:

  • Audience: High-level collections of similarly motivated individuals with some common interest or agenda. Think: repeat product purchasers.
  • Segment: Cross-sections of an audience or list in which individuals (or companies) share one or more common traits or can be grouped by a common trait.
 Think: Work-from-home parents.
  • Persona: A data-informed, detailed yet fictitious characterization of the goals and behavior of a hypothesized group of users. Think: In-Charge Charles or Happy-Go-Lucky Hank.

Whichever audience definition you use or look to to guide your content marketing efforts, make sure you’re focusing on your top 5 audiences only, and look at their psychographics, not just demographics. Also, consider replacing stock photos with icons or symbols to avoid getting stuck on what your audience physically looks like or stereotyping by age, race, or gender.

Remember: You are not your audience. Focus on their needs and motivations, not yours.

5. Research Audience Needs

No matter which approach you use to classify and identify your customers from step 4, get to know them with the 5x5x5 methodology.

The 5x5x5 takes your top 5 audiences, looks at their top 5 questions at each of the 5 key stages of the marketing funnel to better understand their wants, needs, and expectations, so you can create content that fulfills it all.

If you’re doing the math, you’ll notice that this method produces 125 questions to create content for. But don’t worry, once you distill the 125 questions down to unique questions and remove duplicates or near-matches, you’ll usually only have about 50-60 unique questions. And you most likely already have content that answers some of their questions, so start looking for the obvious content gaps first.

Once you have this list, you’ll know your audience much better, plus where your content stands with helping them.

Remember: Your content should answer their questions, not just fulfill your business goals.

6. Create More Content with Less

When it comes to content problems, almost everyone thinks the solution is to create more. But, as we’ve covered in Step 2, there is a glut of content, and we don’t want to add our content on top of the already massive heap. Plus, you probably have plenty of content created at this point, which means it’s time to remix and refresh our content before we even think about creating another new piece:

  • Repurpose or reuse content: Give content new life, by giving it a quick remix. That could include updating some still-relevant content with new information, turning an infographic into an animated video, or republishing content so it’s front and center for users to see.
  • Curate content: Why reinvent the wheel when there’s plenty of great content out there already? Curate content from trusted sources, but be sure to give credit where credit’s due and include your own perspective on the content piece, too.
  • User-generated content (UGC): Tap into your customers or your social community for additional content ideas and pieces.
  • Atomization: Take one huge piece of content and break it down into eight smaller pieces of content. This one is a tried-and-true Convince & Convert favorite.

Only after you’ve identified gaps in content or have remixed, refreshed and atomized content should you move on to new content creation.

Remember: Content isn’t free. Maximize what you have, and then create new, if needed.

7. Create a Content Calendar

We have an entire content calendar blog post, plus a free content calendar template, that walks you through exactly how, what and why to calendar content, but here’s the gist:

  1. Start with your binge-worthy shows: Add binge-worthy shows (aka ongoing content efforts that are executed at least 2x per month)  into your calendar first and make sure to pay attention to any key dates or big events.
  2. Add your one-time specials: Pay attention to how your quarterly content commitments, or one-time specials,  overlap or complement your binge-worthy shows.
  3. Round it out with regularly scheduled programming: Last, but definitely not least, add in your regularly scheduled programming. These should help fill any gaps in your cadence and keep content consistent.
  4. Add content to the content repository: Don’t have a place right now in the calendar for some great ideas? Add it to the repository. Let this be your storage solution for great ideas and check back on it often.

Remember: A content calendar is one part of, but never a substitute for, a content marketing strategy.

Click Here to Download Your Content Marketing Strategy Template

This post was originally published in 2014 by Jay Baer and updated extensively by Anna Hrach and Jenny Magic in 2019.

The post How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Easy Steps appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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According to new data from Edison Research, more than 53 million Americans now own a smart speaker (Amazon Echo, Google Home, et al). That is an increase of 14 million people in one year (36%), making smart speakers and voice assistants one of the fastest-adopted consumer technologies in history.

(tune in for Edison’s unveiling of their new research on smart audio)

More than 53 million Americans now own a smart speaker
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For frame of reference, approximately 31 million Americans currently read a newspaper each weekday. And while newspaper readership has been on the decline for quite some time, even at its absolute apex circa 1973, 63 million Americans read a paper daily.

Thus, today, right now, the number of people routinely using a smart speaker in the USA is within shouting distance of the number of people who consumed a daily newspaper in this country….ever.

There’s a lot of talk about the rise of voice search and voice-enabled content, but if anything there’s not enough talk, given the size of audience and present/future capabilities of these technologies.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Which is why I’m so excited to announce that Convince & Convert is now an official agency partner of Voicify, the world’s first Voice Experience Platform.

Voicify allows our strategy team to conceptualize and craft winning voice-activated content for Amazon and Google devices with minimized hassles and expense. We are already building out multiple proofs of concept for clients and will be showcasing more voice content case studies and examples here at the Convince & Convert site.

Why Voice?

Here are some other statistics to explain why we are going hard into voice content development for our clients:

50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020

50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
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72% of people who own smart speakers say the devices are part of their daily routines

72% of people who own smart speakers say the devices are part of their daily routines
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In the past year, smart speaker users who own two or more devices moved from 38% to 52%

In the past year, smart speaker users who own two or more devices moved from 38% to 52%
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In addition to freestanding smart speakers, Amazon and Google are hard at work embedding voice content technology into a huge array of other devices, including vehicles, Bose speakers, Sonos speakers, clock radios, the Chrome browser, and many, many more. We will be surrounded by voice interfaces, and SOON.

Business Executives Are Embracing Voice

A recent survey of business decision makers by Adobe found that 91% are preparing to make significant investments in voice, and 44% plan to release a voice app in 2019.

Adobe suggests that much of voice app development will enable commerce. Not a surprise, given their huge foothold in e-commerce and related fields. And today, their research shows that most voice programs are being funded by the mobile app or Internet of Things departments in major brands.

But here at Convince & Convert, we believe voice can just as easily be a major part of a different corner of the enterprise: content marketing.

There are two elements with which every brand and business must contend in terms of the convergence of content and voice.

1. Why Voice Needs to Be Part of Your Content Marketing Program: Consumer Engagement

First is the opportunity to drive increased customer engagement using voice-activated content. The reality is that consumers are using websites less overall, and relying more on social media, user-generated content, and third-party information aggregators.

Presenting compelling and Youtility-oriented voice-activated content to consumers opens an all-new avenue for engagement. It’s an opportunity that eschews the expensive and often clunky website, as well as the social media playgrounds that increasingly require ad budgets to reach customers.

Done right, voice-activated content is the easiest content for consumers to access, period. Easier than a mobile app (look ma, no hands!). Easier than a mobile website. Easier than email. Easier than video. Today, in this first phase of voice content strategy and development, much of what’s out there in the Alexa Skills and Google Actions directories are just okay; the same way the first websites (some of which I built) were just okay, and the same way the first mobile apps were just okay.

In conjunction with Voicify, we aim to help our clients create truly useful, helpful, interesting content in these platforms. And as the technology (and process of Skills/Action discovery) improves, I believe a voice-activated content strategy and corresponding program will become non-optional for B2C and B2B brands.

2. Why Voice Needs to Be Part of Your Content Marketing Program: Voice Search and the Land Rush

The second reason voice is a big part of where we’re headed is the growing importance of voice-driven search engine optimization. With half of all searches being voice searches by next year, what Google/Alexa/Siri/Cortana recommend to the searcher will be a huge driver of business.

Today, when you do a Google search, you get approximately 10 options on the first page, plus some multi-media options, and maybe some reviews as well. It of course is best to be first on a search engine results page, but if you’re on page one somewhere you’re in pretty good shape. But with voice search there is ONE and ONLY ONE winner. Alexa isn’t going to give you 10 options. You get one. In the world of voice search you win, or you’re invisible.

How do you win? Voice-activated content on Amazon and Google devices is served up using an “invocation phrase.” It works like this: “Alexa, give me some digital marketing tips.” Alexa’s first stop in assisting the human is to look to their own Alexa Skills Store (this is true for Google Assistant, Cortana and will be true for Samsung Bixby as well).  When it finds a skill that can supply an answer it recommends the skill to its user. “Jay, it looks like Convince & Convert can answer your question, do you want to enable the skill?”

Amazon allows for multiple invocation phrases. Thus, more than one brand could have “digital marketing tips.” If that were the case and no owner was specified in the query, Amazon will choose the app based on information matches in the “CanFulfillIntent” data stored in the app (which is metadata and invisible to the user), consumer reviews, and usage levels. Thus, app quality has a material impact on exposure (just like with most content and SEO).

Like typing an address into a URL bar for websites, there is a direct invocation model as well. For instance, if you say: “Alexa, ask Oracle for a digital marketing tip,” then Oracle’s voice app will launch. This is an incredibly important concept for brands to understand as they will be in charge of awareness in this channel, and how they are “invoked” using what phrases.

Makes sense, right? But here’s the really important part: Google doesn’t allow multiple invocation phrases. Thus, Google, which sees voice content and voice search as so important as to be nearly existential to their future in a post “webpage” world, is creating a voice content gold rush. Not dissimilar from domain name squatting, there can be only one “digital marketing tips” on Google, and the clock is ticking.

What Kind of Content Should You Create for Voice?

Just like early websites and early mobile apps, the use cases for voice-activated content are constantly evolving and being discovered. But today, consumers are primarily using smart speakers for questions and answers, music, weather, etc.

Thus, for 2019, most of the voice-activated content we’ll create for clients will be rooted in information, helpfulness, and Youtility. As consumers get more comfortable with using smart speakers for more complex, API-driven interactions, we’ll add layers of specificity and nuance to what we’re doing with voice-activated content.

And while voice-activated buying is at the bottom of the list in terms of smart speaker functions, research from Voicebot and Voicify suggest that 26% of smart speaker owners have made at least one purchase on these devices. Using the Edison Research number of 53 million American owners, you’d get a pool of nearly 14 million Americans that have bought something via smart speaker already. Not massive, but certainly not insignificant.

26% of smart speaker owners have made at least one purchase on these devices.
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Google’s own research shows that consumers are quite enthusiastic about receiving content from brands via these devices, especially when that content is viewed as useful in one or more ways. They found that 52% of smart speaker owners want information about deals, sales, and promotions. 48% want personalized information and tips. And 42% would like information about upcoming events, or activities.

52% of smart speaker owners want information about deals, sales, and promotions.
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One of the developments that will help dictate use cases for voice-activated content is the growing prevalence of screens on smart speaker devices. The first and second-generation appliances were audio-only. Consequently, a large share of smart speakers in homes and offices today lack a visual interface. However, the new Google Home Hub and Amazon’s Echo Show 5 are full-featured, with lovely video displays, solid speakers, and touch screens, priced at under $100.

Thus, we expect the next wave of smart speakers bought by consumers to be primarily multi-modal (audio + visuals + video), opening up many more opportunities for engaging content marketing, and interactive experiences including commerce.

The Choice of Voice

I’ve been in digital marketing since 1993. I have seen this movie before, when it was called “website.” When it was called “email.” When it was called “mobile app.” When it was called “SEO & SEM.” And when it was called “social media.”

Voice is next, and it’s now. It’s not going to replace anything. I hate pronouncements that X is going to “kill” Y. Because it never does. 31 million people — including me — still read a newspaper every day. So voice isn’t going to make your website unnecessary, or put Facebook out of business.

But the numbers don’t lie. Voice is easy to use, and it’s effective. And B2B and B2C consumers LOVE it. The train is accelerating. It’s time to jump on. We’re here to help, if you’d like.

The post Why The Time is Now for Voice-Activated Content appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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Content analysis is a marketing task that’s never really complete.

You need to come back to your old content again and again to see what should be updated, which new visibility opportunities can be pursued and how to better optimize it for more conversions.

With that in mind, there’s no set list of tools you should be using again and again. New tools bring new analysis methods and, hence, new ideas. Here are 5 tools to use for content assessment:

1. Which Keywords Have I Missed?

Any time I am assessing my existing content performance, I start with identifying which keywords I have missed.

Content gap analysis answers one of the most important content marketing questions: which topics have I failed to cover, and which questions have I failed to answer when creating that content?

It’s usually a multi-step process where you need to:

  • Identify competing URLs
  • Run organic analysis of current positions
  • Compare rankings with yours and identify which keywords your URL fails to rank in top 50

Serpstat is the SERP analysis platform that minimizes the whole process to only one step: simply enter your URL into their Missing Keywords tool, and it will generate a handy content analysis report including:

  • Search queries competing pages generate traffic from while your URL fails to rank in top 50
  • Search volume and “Competition Strength” for each query (“Competition Strength” is Serpstat’s own metric they calculate based on average authority of pages ranking in top 10 for the given query)
  • Other URLs from your domain that rank for any of those queries (For you to avoid internal organic competition, i.e. keyword cannibalization (the term I am not a big fan of by the way). This latter report section is pretty awesome: I’ve never seen this done by anyone else and for established blogs (that tend to have a lot of content on similar topics) it’s a time saver!

You can also filter the report by search volume, competition strength, any keyword in the query.

This is one of those reports that have too much going on: I always end up working on all “Other URLs”, as well to try and push them higher in SERPs.

2. Who Will Find My Page Content Satisfying?

Another fundamental question to answer is: is my page meeting the users’ expectations? In other words, have I done enough to optimize for search intent?

Not only is search intent playing a decisive role in engaging your visitors, but search intent optimization also is able to boost your rankings. That’s because Google has learned how to identify whether your page is meeting users’ needs when deciding how high it should rank.

Text Optimizer is a semantic analysis tool that identifies the type of audience your page caters to.

If you see that your text seems to be targeting the wrong type of audience, use Text Optimizer to better optimize your content for search intent for any given query.

Simply enter your query and provide your page URL: the tool will run Google search for your query and identify which related concepts should be covered in your content for it to better meet Google’s (and its users’) expectations. Include 20-25 of these concepts in your copy to better optimize it for search intent.

3. Does My Page Pass the 5-Second Test?

What’s the very first impression your page makes when users land on it? Is it instantly clear what the page is about? Are CTAs clearly visible on the page? Is the goal clear?

Studies have shown that most people need just a couple of seconds to decide whether they want to stay or leave a web page. In today’s fast-paced digital environment where most people browse the web on the go, from their mobile or smart assistant devices, this time frame is likely to become even shorter.

It takes most people about 5 seconds to decide whether they want to stay or leave a web page. #UX
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This makes your actual content quality almost secondary: most people won’t even see it unless they are instantly compelled to stay. This is where the 5-second test comes along: let strangers look at your page for five seconds, and then ask one simple question: “Was is this page about” or “What are you supposed to do on the page?”

If you recruit your own testers, this test is free to run. I usually use Usability Hub to quickly set up the tests. You can also recruit testers through the site which costs $30 (free for the first-time users).

4. What Distracts Users from Following the Conversion Funnel?

Besides understanding the instant impression your users get when landing on your page, it is helpful to know what exactly distracts them. The easiest way to collect this data is through running a one-day heatmap test.

A heatmap is the visual representation of user behavior on the page, including scrolling, clicking, mouse movements, etc.

If you need to identify what gets your users’ attention, set up a move map that tracks cursor movements on your page. In most cases, it is safe to assume that people look where their cursor moves, so move maps can give you a good idea where people look when landing on your page.

There are multiple platforms that you to run heatmap testing, as well as several WordPress plugins that integrate heatmaps into your A/B testing routine. In many cases, unless you have really heavy traffic, you can run simple move map testing for free.

5. What Is Interrupting Your Conversion Funnel Flow?

You probably have a few CTAs within your content, each leading your visitor down the conversion funnell, from clicking to opting-in to finally buying. Which of those steps is reducing your conversions?

Finteza is a free web analytics tool that allows you to monitor multiple events on a page and how they interact with one another.

It’s pretty obvious that an extra click reduces conversions, so eliminating the extra step is likely to boost conversions.

Finteza is pretty easy to set up. Adding events for tracking is very straightforward too. If you are not technical enough, you can simply add a new link attribute data-fz-event=”Event+Name” (Put your event name instead of “Event+Name”), and the new event will be automatically populated and monitored.

Monitor all kinds of conversion-focused links on within your content including clicks to lead magnets,

Putting It All Together

There’s an overwhelming amount of both traffic acquisition and conversion optimization tactics. With so much testing and analyzing, how do you put everything together in a most actionable way? In other words, how do you move from analyzing onto implementing?

When working on old content, I treat it as a new marketing campaign. As soon as I come across an existing article or landing page that needs some work, I put it down as a new content project in my calendar inside ContentCal.

ContentCal is a collaboration editorial tool that is every content manager’s dream. I don’t have time for creating tickets or distributing tasks, so ContentCal is ideal. It takes two seconds to schedule a content campaign and put together a content brief, including all the numbers and test results I was able to collect.

My team will be notified of an approaching campaign through the shared calendar and will be able to quickly share the tasks and implement the suggestions.

Having a centralized dashboard that consolidates all my plans keeps me very organized and productive.

Hopefully these new tools will breathe fresh air into your content assessment process and inspire you to look for new tactics and trends to boost your content marketing performance.

The post How to Assess Your Content Performance: 5 Tools You Haven’t Tried appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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Anyone even remotely related to the field of marketing today has heard it before — video marketing is an absolute must. And it’s true. The statistics back it up:

5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day
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1200% more shares are generated by social videos than text and images combined
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Marketers who use video receive 41% more web traffic from search than non-users
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52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
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What’s more, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.

In other words, if you are wondering whether video marketing is worth all the effort and investment, then go ahead and put your doubts to rest. Because it’s definitely worth it. The only question is, how do you do it effectively?

On the face of it, video marketing is simple: record and post videos with the intention of moving toward your business goals. The videos can be of various types depending on the stage of the marketing funnel, including but not limited to:

  • Product demos
  • Tutorials
  • Vlogs
  • Expert interviews
  • Customer Testimonials
  • Behind the scenes
  • Explainer animations
  • Live webinars

Plus, video production is more cost-effective than ever before — you can shoot a high-quality, 4K video with your smartphone. But, everyone can do that. You need a solid video marketing strategy in place if you wish to stand out.

And once you develop a concrete strategy aligned with your goals, there are certain things you can do to boost your video’s effectiveness. Here are five research-backed tips to make your video marketing efforts even more worthwhile.

1. Tell a story, don’t be salesy

You might say this is the golden rule of any form of content marketing, be it written, audio, or visual. You need to focus on adding value to your audience’s lives by providing actionable advice instead of directly promoting your products or services.

As with blog posts, video marketing is the perfect opportunity to leverage the power of storytelling and ignite strong emotions. For example, you can present real-life examples of how your product helped a customer solve a pressing problem.

In fact, research suggests that nearly 80% of people prefer brands that tell stories as part of their marketing.

80% of people prefer brands that tell stories as part of their marketing
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Sure, you can also create product videos specifically for the purpose of showcasing your product’s features without beating around the bush. But leave that for paid advertising placements only. And truth be told, even for paid promotions, you should opt for creating a video that narrates a fascinating story rather than simply shoving your product’s features down the audience’s throats.

Your audience is sick and tired of being constantly interrupted by advertisements and promotional nonsense. So your best bet is to avoid being that kind of a brand. It is only going to repel them and stir up negative brand image.

2. Make the first 10 seconds count

Don’t bother creating an Oscar-worthy video if you can’t manage to can’t hook the audience within the first 10 seconds. Why?

Because the average internet user has a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish. Boring won’t work, plain and simple. And so, about one-fifth of your audience will click away from the video within the first 10 seconds, unless you make it crystal-clear right from the start as to what they’ll gain from watching your content.

To answer your audience’s obligatory subconscious question “What’s in it for me?” (or WIIFM), you can:

  • Display the end result, proving your video’s value
  • Ask an enticing, difficult question
  • Introduce a problem and promise a solution
  • State a startling fact
  • Use the words “what if” or “imagine”

Simply put, do whatever it takes to hook them right off the bat, or your video will go unwatched.

3. Include closed captions

According to the same infographic by Renderforest, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. The trends are along the same lines for Instagram and Twitter.

Now, Facebook generates well over 8 billion video views per day and these posts have 135% higher organic reach than regular photo posts, according to this study. So rest assured, a huge chunk of your video marketing ROI will come from Facebook.

Furthermore, research from Facebook themselves suggests there’s a chance nobody understands your videos, as the mobile social media experience is designed for sound off.

So, if you think you’re already nailing your social media marketing with stunning video posts, odds are you can further improve your ROI by adding closed captions (or subtitles). This way you’ll increase engagement, click-throughs, and leads.

Check out this A/B test which found out how closed captioning Facebook videos can improve viewership.

Closed captioning will aid your YouTube marketing efforts too, as it:

  • Makes your videos accessible to a much wider audience: Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss. Closed captions allow them to better enjoy your content. Moreover, you can translate your captions and have multilingual subtitles for the non-English speaking audience, further increasing the scope of your content.
  • Lets viewers watch videos in inopportune moments or unsuitable environments, such as while studying in a library, riding a noisy train, and so on.
4. Optimize your video for search

Closed captioning serves another critical purpose: search engine optimization (SEO).

Arguably, search engine marketing (both, paid and organic) forms a big part of any digital marketing strategy. While text content such as blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies are tailor-made for achieving high rankings on Google, there is a lot you can do to get your video content up there as well.

Not to mention, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Thus, optimizing your video content for the top 2 search engines can take your video marketing ROI to a whole new level.

So, how do you do that? Here are a few pointers to get started with YouTube SEO:

  • Choose a highly relevant title incorporating keywords (do not clickbait!)
  • Write a comprehensive video description similar to the top performing videos in your niche
  • Add all relevant tags
  • Add a keyword rich transcript
  • And of course, add closed captions.

One thing you might have noticed is that each pointer talks about doing some text-related activity. You see, Google’s crawlers (or spiders/bots) can’t watch or understand video content. But they can crawl textual content to understand what your video is all about.

So, doing all this will not only help achieve higher rankings on YouTube, but your video will also stand a better chance to appear in the video results on Google SERP.

Additionally, to reap the maximum SEO value from your video, host it on your own domain before uploading it to any of the social sharing platforms.

By the way, Google can now extract specific snippets of your video and display it for relevant search queries. Consequently, having keyword rich transcriptions is a must.

5. End with a call-to-action (CTA)

This is important. Chances are, viewers who stick around and watch the entire video are now genuinely interested in your offerings. You might even call them “qualified leads”.

Now is your chance to guide them to perform some desired action such as browse your product catalog, start a free trial, subscribe, consume more of your content, and so on.

Therefore, always end your videos with a call-to-action button and let your audience know exactly what they have to do next. For example, add end-screen annotations to your YouTube videos such as a “Subscribe” button, or ask them to answer a poll.

Besides, when it specifically comes to hosting the video on your own domain, the CTA doesn’t have to be at the end of the video either. According to a study conducted by KISSmetrics, adding a single CTA within a video generates as much as 380% more clicks than a CTA on the sidebar of the same page. So, consider adding CTAs judiciously throughout the video.

Final Words

To wind up, your big-picture goal with video marketing should always be to educate customers and ultimately, establish thought leadership in your sphere.

Also, don’t forget to shamelessly share your content on whichever social space your audience hangs out. Onwards and upwards!

The post 5 Research-Backed Tips for Effective Video Marketing appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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Every year sees video leech more and more web traffic from other content types. As of 2018, worldwide internet users watched in excess of 500 million hours of content on YouTube every day. We collectively upload as much video content online, every 30 days, as all of the major American television networks have put out, combined, in the past three decades.

As of 2018, worldwide internet users watched in excess of 500 million hours of content on YouTube every day.
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But what does this mean for you, fellow content marketer? Some 64% of customers make a purchase after watching branded video content — and social media video content inspires 12-times as many shares as image- and text-based posts combined. Plus, the brain processes video up to 60,000 times faster than it does text, which means the right clip could help you make a more emotional connection with potential customers.

64% of customers make a purchase after watching branded video content.
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For these reasons, content marketers need to “up” their game when it comes to video — and to do that, they need the best tools they can find. From generating ideas to designing and deploying video content, here are 12 incredibly useful video tools your team can use to generate interest, broaden your audience and create tons of new brand converts, starting today.

Video Tool #1: Splasheo

Splasheo is a crowd favorite here at C&C. This is an easy-to-use tool that content marketers can use to “frame” their videos for a bigger visual impact.

Why is this important? For a start, it’s because most uploaded videos are shorter than two minutes. Videos longer than this — and even some that are shorter — need a bit of help when it comes to keeping your audience’s attention. Splasheo helps out by making it simple to add punchy, professional-looking, attention-grabbing captions that add visual interest (and additional information) and keep your audience glued to short and long videos alike.

Video Tool #2: Wistia

Wistia is far more than a video customization tool — it’s a whole channel customization tool. It’s a great ally for any brand that hosts a variety of video content natively on their website. For content marketing teams who are tired of the same old embeddable video players, Wistia is great for turning the viewing process into a branded experience in its own right.

Users can choose custom thumbnails and colors, easily add logos and branding, and strategically place calls to action on a stream of your own video content that has none of the competitor’s videos and none of the usual YouTube clutter. It’s also easy to integrate with marketing and analytics platforms, which saves you time. If you see a video on the C&C blog and it’s not hosted in YouTube, it’s hosted in Wistia.

Video Tool #3: Camtasia & SnagIt from TechSmith

There are many reasons why brand ambassadors and content marketers might want to record what’s happening on their screen and then share it with the world. Maybe you want to present a demo of a piece of software, create a video tutorial, or create a webinar or training video. Whatever the case, Camtasia is a user-friendly app for Windows and macOS that makes it easy to capture and polish your screen capture for a wide audience.

Camtasia helps you organize screen footage, webcam footage or both, and then offers a suite of editing tools such as effects, transitions, music, title cards, animations, captions and more. You can add interactivity with quizzes and other forms of audience participation — perfect for holding your viewers’ attention.

SnagIt is another tool from TechSmith for capturing and editing footage from your screen. SnagIt easily integrates with services from Google and Microsoft to save you time if you plan to export your video to presentations or documents.

C&C team members are big fans of TechSmith products, and when you see a video on the C&C website, it’s likely been edited in Camtasia or SnagIt.

Video Tool #4: Vidyard

There are three main pieces to Vidyard — video hosting, screen recording and sharing, and video personalization. The hosting feature provides customizability for your player plus deep analytics tools so you can better know your audience.

For content marketers, the video personalization feature might be the most exciting. Closing a sale is all about creating an emotional connection with your audience, and what better way to do it than incorporating their name, their company’s name or other personal details? Vidyard makes it easy to put together personalized offers for many prospects at once. Doing so could help you improve conversion and retention, build a more passionate audience and improve the quality of your sales calls.

Video Tool #5: PlaceIt

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense, financial or otherwise, to start your content marketing project from scratch. That’s where PlaceIt comes in. Billed as the internet’s largest repository of visual templates, the platform caters to those designing t-shirts, banners, book covers and, of course, many different kinds of videos.

For video, PlaceIt offers several hundred templates that can provide inspiration, concepts for storyboarding, or the raw materials you need to create professional-looking footage extremely quickly.

Video Tool #6: Wirecast

From Experian to Nissan to Nestle, the list of brands crushing it with live video grows longer by the day. In 2016, live streaming was already a $30 billion industry — and since it’s only going to get bigger, now’s the time to get your foot in the door.

Wirecast helps out by turning your computer into a television station. Maybe you have brand representatives at a panel discussion or lecture, or you want to give viewers a look behind the scenes at your operation. Whatever the case, Wirecast is a great tool for seamlessly recording live events, adding transitions and effects on the fly, and streaming them directly to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

Video Tool #7:  Videoshop

If you want a full-featured video editing tool that gets proven results, you can stop looking. Videoshop was Samsung’s weapon of choice when they rolled out a video-based campaign for a new set of multi-room speakers. After two weeks of running their ads, Samsung noted strong performance along a variety of key metrics — including 2 million views in total, a 50% jump in online brand searches, and 14% more on-site conversions.

So the question is — Why does Videoshop work so well? First, this iOS and Android app make it easy to create different versions of the same video. That makes it great for A/B testing. Furthermore, Videoshop offers a huge variety of filters and transitions along with easy editing tools for adding text, slow or fast motion, animations, voice-overs and more. When you’re done, it takes just a moment to send your finished work to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.

Video Tool #8. Magisto

Magisto takes a different approach to video editing. By using smart algorithms, this tool plucks out your best photographs and most interesting video clips and assembles them into an exciting, well-crafted piece of video content. You can add a cherry on top with your choice of musical selection, themes and effects.

As content marketers know, editing together a piece of content that keeps the audience’s interest can be an arduous task. Magisto takes the heavy lifting off your hands and makes it simple to create brand-new interpretations of existing footage and photos. It also supports cross-channel marketing thanks to easy exporting and analytics tools. Samsung, Mitsubishi and Zappos have all used and raved about the app — so give it a spin for yourself.

Video Tool #9: Promolta

You know a lot of legwork goes into video creation. But the act of promoting your video, and actually getting it in front of receptive eyeballs, might take just as much dedication. Promolta is one option for greatly reducing the effort involved.

Promolta is a self-service advertising tool that integrates with YouTube. The process is simple — you provide a link to the YouTube video you want more traction on, and Promolta pushes that video out to a trusted network of more than 10,000 websites, blogs, apps and social channels. One of many success stories is Canadian musician Bill Gottfried, whose video for “Psychopathic Traffic” jumped from a couple of hundred views to close to 90,000 after a helping hand from Promolta.

Video Tool #10: Stacker

Stacker is another promotion tool for video-minded marketers that’s worth consideration. There’s a good chance your campaigns are active on a variety of social media websites, and Stacker is a great way to publish your posts on all of them at once. More than that, it takes the hassle out of timing your posts according to your geographical target areas. You can easily set the desired day, and time of day, and let the tool do the rest.

Even more impressively, Stacker assembles all the comments and messages your content receives and places them in a universal inbox. No more hopping from site to site to respond to fans, customers and prospective converts. It also generates reports on the performance of your videos to help you further fine-tune the best time to reach out to each audience and see which videos get the most attention.

Video Tool #11: Canva

While most content marketers might use Canva primarily for graphic design, C&C’s community manager Christin Kardos is a fan of its animation features, too.

According to Kardos, “Canva can render your static designs as GIFs and videos. And here at C&C, we actually use it that way sometimes, ourselves. You can make things move and talk with very little time investment.”

Video Tool #12: Animoto

Another popular tool on the C&C team, Animoto is a drag-and-drop video marker for creating powerful, professional videos. C&C consulting co-lead Zontee Hou loves the platform. She says, “Animoto makes it so easy to turn still photos and text into a compelling video that’s perfect for the way people consume videos on social media (in short bursts and with the sound off).”

Time to Capture a Worldwide Audience

By now, you’re probably itching to get started on your own video productions to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Each of the tools we mentioned is intuitive and accessible — and ready to help you capture the attention of a worldwide audience. So what are you waiting for?

The post 12 Awesome Video Tools for Content Marketers appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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There are now more than 700,000 podcasts. And it’s no wonder that’s the case, as podcast statistics show that listening (and listeners) are on the rise. A larger potential audience = more shows, right?

And more shows = more need for podcast guests, as a large chunk of podcasts use an interview format (including my show Social Pros, and its sister podcast CONEX: The Content Experience).

I’ve interviewed more than 350 people on Social Pros and have been a podcast guest more than 150 times myself over the past decade. That’s nearing 500 hours on the microphone in one form or another, and while that’s way short of Gladwell’s famed (and ultimately, debunked) 10,000 hours, I feel like I’ve accumulated some knowledge on the topic of good vs. mediocre podcast guests.

Thus, this little guide to being a great podcast guest (with companion checklist you can print out). I wish you scintillating conversation, perfect audio, and no retakes!

Be a Great Podcast Guest: Before the Show

Here are 6 things you should do before the interview commences:

Listen to at least two full episodes

You want to have a feel for the cadence and rhythm of the podcast.

Note any consistent segments or “bits” the show uses

Many shows have a format that includes one or more segments that are the same every week. My Social Pros podcast, for example, asks each guest the same two questions to close the show, and has done so for nearly nine years. As a podcast guest, you want to know what these segments are, so you’re prepared to participate.

Read the reviews of the podcast

Go to iTunes and/or Chartable and look up the podcast and read the reviews. It will give you a better sense for the audience and what they like (or don’t like) about the show.

Write down a description of the typical listener and why he/she listens

If you understand the audience and their motivations for listening to THIS show among all others, you’ll be a much more relevant podcast guest. Take the time to literally write down a persona description of that representative listener.

Prepare at least three stories you can unfurl at any time

The truth is that being a great podcast guest isn’t about answering questions, it’s about telling stories. Make sure you have at least three relevant stories that you can tell whenever and however.

Do the requested podcast prep

Increasingly, podcast hosts ask their guests to complete a pre-show questionnaire to provide information and insights before the recording. This is the same system used by talk show hosts in the “pre-interview” with producers. At Social Pros, we have our guests complete this survey before each episode.

Be a Great Podcast Guest: During the Show

Six things you should do during the interview itself:

Have the best possible audio set-up

Nothing kills a podcast like bad audio, and it’s made geometrically more difficult in multi-host and multi-guest situations where everyone is in different locations, calling in via the Web. Pay attention to the background noise (even air conditioning or heating hum), get yourself a good microphone (I use a BLUE Yeti), and do a quick dry run before the show to make sure you have it hooked up correctly. To minimize audio issues, we send a USB headset/microphone to all of our guests at Social Pros, with our compliments. We’d rather spend $100 per episode than have the audio be terrible.

Also, because more shows are using video snippets as promotional assets, podcast guests should always assume they will be on camera unless specifically told that is not the case. Get yourself a good webcam like the Logitech c920.

Use the host(s) name

Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised. As a podcast guest, you are just that…a guest. Use the host(s) name(s) in some of your answers. Keep things warm and conversational. This is not a courtroom appearance!

Keep your answers concise

Almost all podcasts have an approximately recording length they are trying to hit. For my show, it’s 39 minutes (we usually blow it and end up at 43 or 44). As a podcast guest, you indeed want to tell good stories, but wherever possible keep your answers punchy and tight. This gives the host(s) air time and allows them to ask more questions and get to their standard segments, etc. without running short or having to rush the show.

Don’t ask for a do-over, unless….

Podcasts are taped live, but not broadcast live. Consequently, it is possible to make edits after the episode has been recorded. Some podcasts do a LOT of editing to make every utterance perfect. Others — like mine — do light editing and mostly correct for big issues like a dropped Internet connection, barking dog, etc.

As a guest, if you aren’t happy with an answer to a question, you can ask to do that part again, but make this request only if you REALLY think you messed up. Every edit costs time (and money) for the host(s). They’ll embrace a do-over when needed, as long as it’s for a legitimate reason. Also, if you want a do-over. ask for it IMMEDIATELY. Not the next day once you’ve thought about it, and certainly not once the show airs.

Reference prior episodes, if relevant

If you’ve listened to past editions of the show, it’s a nice touch to mention one or more of those shows, if it’s contextually relevant to do so in the conversation.

Have a specific call-to-action for listeners

It’s common for host(s) to ask guest(s). “tell the audience how to connect with you” or such. The best way to handle this is to create a simple landing page ONLY for listeners of that show, and include a special offer. For example, when Daniel Lemin and I were doing the podcast tour for the launch of our book, Talk Triggers, we often created landing pages for podcasts on which we appeared.

For example, here is a landing page we created for listeners to the popular podcast: Entrepreneurs on Fire. During the show, I asked the audience to go to TalkTriggers.com/fire for a special offer just for them.

Be a Great Podcast Guest: After the Show

Here are 4 things you should do after the interview:

Send a thank you note

The podcast host(s) are helping you spread your message. Give them some love. I often use a quick video thanks via the Vidyard GoVideo plug-in for Chrome.

Promote the episode

The host(s) want podcast guests to amplify the episode, helping them reach a larger potential audience. They may provide shareable graphics to promote the episode in social media. Use them. Tag the hosts wherever possible in your posts.

Recommend guests

If you know other people who would be a great podcast guest for this particular show, recommend them to the host(s). They’ll appreciate the referral.

Ask for referrals

By the same token, after the show airs, send a quick email to the host(s) thanking them again, and ask what other podcasts they know about where you would be a good fit as a guest. These referrals will help you get in the door with other shows.

How to be a Great Podcast Guest Checklist

The post How to Be a Great Podcast Guest {Checklist} appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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Podcast statistics unveil a lot of truths about modern consumer behavior and the rise of audio as a content marketing avenue.

My friends at Edison Research have released their 2019 podcast statistics via a new study called The Podcast Consumer 2019. Conducted with Triton Digital, this comprehensive report contains a ton of podcast statistics that show growth spikes in some cases, and continuation of trends that first appeared in 2015. To see how podcast statistics have changed, visit my prior recaps:

2016 podcast statistics     2017 podcast statistics      2018 podcast statistics

This year, I’ve pulled out 14 of the most interesting statistics about podcasting from The Podcast Consumer 2019 research. You’ll find even more in the full report, which I strongly encourage you to download (no cost).

This research was conducted with 5,600+ Americans, ages 12 and up, and was balanced to be a representative sample of age, gender, location and ethnicity.

70% of Americans Have Heard of Podcasts

This is up from 64% in 2018 podcast statistics and represents 197 million Americans. In just the past 12 months, approximately 20 million Americans discovered what a podcast is.

51% of Americans (12 or older) Have Listened to a Podcast

This is the tipping point. When a majority of the country is in favor of something, adoption usually picks up speed. Witness marijuana legalization, favored now by 62% of the nation.

Put a different way, 144 million Americans have listened to a podcast (20 million more than last year). 144 million people is roughly the equivalent of the total population of Canada, PLUS the total populations of New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Nicaragua, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, and Slovakia!

32% of Americans Listen to Podcasts Monthly

Up from 26% last year, this is the biggest one year jump in monthly podcast listening. Fully 90 million Americans listen to podcasts at least monthly, which is approximately the same ratio as Americans who regularly go to church.

Nearly One-Quarter of Americans Listen to Podcasts Weekly

These 2019 podcast statistics show that 22% of Americans listen each week. This is a big jump from 17% last year, and represents 62 million Americans. It’s also the largest spike in weekly listenership ever recorded in this study, which dates back to 2013.

For comparison purposes, nearly FOUR TIMES more people listen to podcasts every week than watched the Game of Thrones final season premiere.

Nearly 4X more people listen to podcasts every week than watched the Game of Thrones final season premiere.
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Men Are More Devoted Podcast Listeners

36% of American males (12 and older) listen to podcasts monthly, versus 29% of females.

40% of Americans 54 or Younger Listen to Podcasts Monthly

Across a very large age range, the ratio of podcast listening is 4 out of every 10 persons. It’s interesting that this “share of ear” is so consistent whether you’re 18, 29, or 50 years old. This is indicative of a widely adopted consumer technology: usage becomes pervasive among young people first, followed by middle-aged Americans, and then finally by older persons. It’s the same pattern the Web itself witnessed, as well as smartphone adoption, Facebook usage, and others.

Podcast Listeners Are Much More Likely to Earn $75,000+ per Year

According to these podcast statistics, monthly listeners are a relatively affluent group. In the United States overall, 29% of households earn $75,000 per year or above. Among podcast listeners, it’s 41%.

Podcast listeners are much more likely to earn $75,000+ per year.
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Habitual Fans Listen to 7 Podcasts Per Week

Among weekly podcast listeners, the average number of podcasts listened to each week is 7. Note that 14% of weekly listeners put their ears on 11 or more shows each week.

Podcast Consumers Listen to Podcasts More Than Any Other Type of Audio

Podcast listeners devote 28% of their audio consumption time to podcasts, on average, with 24% allocated to AM/FM radio, 15% to streamed audio, and 13% to their owned music.

Two-thirds of Podcast Consumers Most Often Listen on a Mobile Device

Through the years of these podcast statistics developed by Edison Research, this has been one of the biggest shifts, as podcast just a few years ago were primarily listened to on a computer. Now, most shows are digested on the go. Note, that podcast listening via “smart speaker” (Amazon Alexa, et al) is now up to 10%, after barely registering just two years ago.

More Than Half of Podcast Consumers Have Multi-tasked While Listening

One of the great drivers of podcast consumption growth is that podcasts are the ultimate multi-tasking content format. Ever try to mow your lawn while reading a blog post? Or while watching a YouTube video? Doable maybe, but not advisable. Podcasts, however, you can consume while you’re doing other stuff, making them perfect to fit into the same time window as other life activities.

These 2019 podcast statistics show that multi-tasking is in full force. 59% have listened while doing housework. 52% while driving. 51% while cooking. And 46% while going for a walk.

And, even more to the point, the NUMBER ONE reason people say they enjoy podcasts is because “you can do other things while listening.”

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78% of Podcast Fans Listen to More Than Half the Shows They Download

Among podcast subscribers, a whopping 58% listen to three-quarters or more of all the episodes they download via a podcast app. 20% of podcast consumers listen to half to three-quarters of what they download. Generally speaking, if a podcast fan downloads a show, she or he listens to it. Incidentally, this is why it’s so important to encourage listeners to subscribe to the podcast.

93% of Podcast Fans Listen to Most of an Episode

This is a shocking podcast statistic to me, and is good news for podcasters (like me). This research shows that 52% of listeners hear the entire episode, and 41% listen to most of the episode. This disproves the notion that most podcast fans listen to just the first few minutes of a particular episode.

Note, however, that percentage of podcast consumers who listen to episodes (at least on occasion) at fast speed went up from 19% to 26% between 2018 and 2019. So, they’re listening, but they may be listening at fast-forward speeds!

54% of Podcast Listeners Are More Likely to Consider Buying an Advertised Product

This is also good news for podcasting as an advertising/sponsorship opportunity. In 2019, 17% of listeners say that hearing about a product or service on an episode makes them much more likely to consider purchasing it, and a further 37% indicate they are somewhat more likely to do so.

(If we can help you sell your products or services via our network of podcasts here at Convince & Convert, let us know.)

54% of podcast listeners are more likely to consider buying an advertised product.
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There are your 14 critical podcast statistics for 2019. Definitely download the entire report.

Also, a reminder that I co-host the popular weekly Social Pros podcast, which covers how medium and large businesses handle social media marketing. Convince & Convert also produces The Content Experience podcast, which covers advanced content marketing strategies.

The post The 14 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2019 appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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Content marketing and customer reviews have historically been thought of as very different. Content marketing is largely pre-purchase and focuses on education and persuasion (sometimes, entertainment). Customer reviews are, by definition, post-purchase and focus on customer experience.

But as Mark Schaefer points out in Marketing Rebellion, large swaths of potential customers aren’t reachable by companies in any meaningful way — with content or by any other means — but they most definitely are reachable by each other.

We trust each other more than we trust businesses. This is a known fact. Which is why the balance of power in marketing is shifting away from companies tooting their own horn, and toward customers doing the tooting, via user-generated content (UGC), online reviews, and influencer marketing.

We trust each other more than we trust businesses.
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And that’s why an announcement this week from Promo.com and Trustpilot underscores one of the biggest trends we’ll see in marketing in the next three years: Customer Reviews Are the New Content Marketing.

Promo.com is a tool for making quality marketing videos with less effort. Trustpilot is a platform for companies to solicit and display consumer feedback. Trustpilot also maintains a website that collects and displays all of those reviews.

In this new integration, Promo.com customers will be able to identify and incorporate specific consumer reviews into their marketing videos with just a click or two.

Want to create a cool Instagram story about your new product and feature opinions from actual customers who have already bought and used it? This new API makes it a very simple process, and combines social proof (customer reviews) with video (the most engaging mode of content marketing).

This is a very smart move, as one of the shortcomings of most consumer ratings/reviews content is that it isn’t video. You have to read Yelp. You have to read TripAdvisor. You have to read G2 Crowd. And heretofore, you had to read Trustpilot.

But now, smart companies can cherry-pick their most adoring customer reviews and swiftly turn them into organic or paid social video — or longer form content marketing on their websites or Youtube. Wham, bam, thank you Sam (assuming the reviewer’s name is Sam, which is totally possible).

According to Pew Research, more than half of all adults now consult customer reviews before making a purchase. But with this Promo.com integration, Trustpilot is wisely providing the option to turn persuasive reviews into content marketing, and doing so in a format than can be targeted and “pushed” instead of relying on consumers to go visit a website.

More than half of all adults now consult customer reviews before making a purchase.
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This can fundamentally change the funnel stage where customer reviews are digested; from mid to low funnel, to much earlier in the consideration process, where content marketing typically lives.

Where customer reviews live in the funnel before/after they become content marketing assets

Already, companies like CrowdRiff and others will find user-generated content (mostly on Instagram) and ask the consumer/photographer for permission to reuse, turning UGC into content marketing.

But this Promo.com and Trustpilot integration takes the idea a step farther, as explicit customer reviews are more trusted and persuasive than any one photograph.

This is just the first move in what will become increasingly commonplace. Might a company like Linkedin buy G2 Crowd or TrustRadius (home to tons of B2B reviews) to help power Linkedin video ads?

Customer reviews and content marketing is just getting started, but watch the momentum pick up swiftly. Companies are desperate to add relevancy (and frankly, effectiveness) to their content marketing. If they can do so by embedded actual customer feedback, they absolutely will do so. And being able to make it work in video is a huge bonus.

The post Customer Reviews Are The New Content Marketing appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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The truth is….


It doesn’t get viewed, shared, or downloaded. It doesn’t generate leads, or sales. It just….IS.

But at the same time, content isn’t free. So when it doesn’t succeed, it’s a problem.

  • Content that fails wastes time
  • Content that fails wastes money
  • Content that fails takes your attention away from something that might work better
  • Content that fails often has to get propped up with expensive ads
  • Content that fails creates stress on you, and among your team

Content isn’t free, s when it doesn’t succeed, it’s a problem. #contentmarketing
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Plus, your boss (even if that’s YOU) hates content that fails.

I put together a short webinar that will help fix failing content.

My team at Convince & Convert and myself have worked closely with dozens of iconic brands on content marketing success and optimization. We took the best of what we’ve learned over 11 years and boiled it down into this no-cost training.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Increase content relevance
  • Calculate content value and true ROI
  • Think like a TV network and STOP random acts of content that never work.

Go here now to view Why Content Fails, And How to Fix It

In-Depth Fix for Your Broken Content Marketing

In addition to the Webinar, we just launched a brand-new, comprehensive, up-to-the-minute, online training academy:

Transform Your Content Marketing Course: The Ultimate Training to Boost Relevancy, Efficiency, and Success

We created the Transform Your Content Marketing Course to help you fix underperforming content once and for all, while giving yourself a new system that will increase relevancy and effectiveness.

The course has 8 modules that you’ll love. A workbook. An exclusive Facebook group for questions and interaction with me and my team. Plus, a ton of added bonuses and extra value, like downloadable, customizable templates. And, it’s super affordable, with a satisfaction guarantee.
Risa Engel was part of our previous course (this new one is better, frankly) and she said:

“I have learned so much from this course. It is so actionable! I feel like I’m saving the school $20,000 – $40,000 in consulting….and I’m in control.”

Here’s what you’ll learn across the 8 modules:

  • Do you have too much content, or too little?
  • How to tie content goals to business goals
  • How to calculate actual content marketing ROI
  • How to better understand your audience
  • How to use segments and personas to create content that succeeds
  • A proprietary process for uncovering what your audience needs to know before buying from you
  • How to map audience needs to content creation
  • The power of binge-worthy content shows, and how to plan and create them
  • Why you need quarterly “special” content, and what formats work best
  • How to determine the right content modality for your key audiences (text, video, audio)
  • The important difference between onsite and offsite content marketing
  • How to spy on your competitors to see what content is working for them
  • How to repurpose and repackage content you already have (time saver!!!)
  • The best way to curate content
  • How to get user-generated content and how to ask permission the right way
  • How to build the content atomization approach into your content marketing strategy
  • How to best create, populate, and update your editorial calendar to keep you SANE, HAPPY, and SUCCESSFUL

We absolutely guarantee Transform Your Content Marketing Course: The Ultimate Training to Boost Relevancy, Efficiency, and Success will be a worth your time and money.

If you go through the program and don’t like it, I’ll buy you any other course (from anyone, about anything) of the same price.

You have zero risk. Let’s make your content marketing work better in 2019 than EVER before, shall we?

The post Why Content Marketing Fails and How to Fix It appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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