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Ready for S’more? The MozCon 2022 Day Two Recap



Sneak Peek: The Initial MozCon 2022 Speaker Lineup

Day two of Camp MozCon was everything we expected it to be: more networking, more marshmallows, and more brilliant presentations from the top minds in the industry. Speakers covered the SEO gamut — from research and content creation, to e-commerce, and more!

Not only were the presentations chock-full of insights, but the storytelling had us feeling as though we were all sitting around the campfire. Everyone was dialed in and ready to turn insights into actions.

More Than Pageviews: Evaluating Content Success & Correcting Content Failure — Dana DiTomaso

Dana started the day by making us think: what is the best way to measure content success? And she didn’t just mean which KPIs should we measure, but also how we are going to track those KPIs.

The example she talked about was pageviews, which sounds easy enough. The issue though, is that every time a tab is refreshed (even by tag hoarders) a pageview is tracked. This can very easily skew your data.

To collect accurate data, Dana’s team used Data Studio connected to GA4, which uses events collected through Google Tag Manager. She did this by collecting the publish date, creating a custom formula that collects the publish date, and dividing the pageviews by day. Now the client can truly see how pages are performing without skewed data.

This wizardry was just the tip of the iceberg, though. Dana then went through how to measure whether people are reading your content, what percentage of people who actually see the CTA are clicking it, and more.

As always, Dana closed by reminding us to focus on what is important and ignore what isn’t. Don’t introduce doubt if you don’t have to.

Trash In, Garbage Out: A Guide to Non-Catastrophic Keyword Research — Tom Capper

Tom’s storytelling reminded us all too well of a situation we despise as SEO: clients focused on head terms. We’ve all had a client who just wants to rank for “flower delivery,” haven’t we? Our solution as SEOs is to create so-called exhaustive lists of metrics and keywords, but Tom argues this is just as useless.

Instead, Tom suggests:

  1. Capture intent instead of keywords

  2. Identify true opportunities for click traffic

  3. Aim for accuracy (pick good tools)

Should you choose to skip these suggestions, it’s likely you’ll end up with overly-inflated and far-from-helpful data. Tom showed us an example of Google Ads data overestimating clicks by a factor of 18x, what happens when a keyword list reports volume data without organic CTR estimates, and that over 15% of searches every day are brand new.

SEO in the Enterprise: Tips and Tricks for Growing Organic Traffic at Scale — Jackie Chu

It’s always a treat to learn from Jackie, and this year is no different. She walked us through how she works with enterprise teams to grow organic traffic. Anyone who has had this goal knows one thing – it takes a lot of convincing. Luckily for us, Jackie shared her solution for gaining buy-in.

First, she identifies the most impactful projects by asking these three questions:

  1. Does it impact crawling/indexing?

  2. Does it impact a lot of pages?

  3. Is it strategically relevant?

After identifying potential projects, it’s time to prioritize them through forecasting and storytelling. Jackie shared her thoughts on three forecasting strategies: top-down, bottom-up, and competitive share forecasting, along with the pros and cons of each one, and how she uses the RICE framework to prioritize projects.

To keep people in your corner after they’ve worked with you, be sure to thank them! Not just privately, but in front of their bosses and colleagues as well. Overthinking and over communicating your wins ensures that the cross-functional teams you work with understand the impact they’ve had through working with you.

The Future of Local Landing Pages — Amanda Jordan

This is Amanda’s very first MozCon and she spent it rocking the stage talking about local landing pages. Notice the added adjective “landing”? Amanda told us that she sees each local page as a landing page that should convince users to do business with her clients, kind of like a page built for PPC users.

She believes that if a user gets to your local page, they are trying to complete a goal, and it’s up to us to provide the tools they need in order to do so.

The top features included on top local landing pages include:

Aside from offering these tools, moving forward, local SEOs are going to need to pull data from their CRM to speak to the exact pain points of their customers, increase the use of local government statistics, and lean on user-generated content through surveys and polls.

How Marketing Data Intelligence Skyrocketed Our B2B Conversions — Tina Fleming

Tina took us down memory lane, and not necessarily in a good way. She reminded us of iOS 14 and the cookie-pocalypse, and how much that sent us spiraling. Tina used this example to assure us: it’s time for us to embrace being data-driven in order to create better user experiences (even when we feel like the data is impossible to collect).

And the best way to ensure you have data you can use is to collect your own! The first place this can be done is by using your CRM, but where the CRM falls off (i.e. unknown users) a data acquisition platform can pick up.

This data will then allow you to create personalized experiences for users. Tina even showed us the example of her company’s website, and how their homepage was optimized to speak directly to the user using the data they already had.

Lastly, Tina told us to focus on collecting the data we can’t collect using public data. If people are willing to share that information, they are much more likely to be sales qualified.

Achieve Accessibility Goals with Machine Learning — Miracle Inameti-Archibong

Asking for help in any situation is hard, which often means the ask isn’t brought to those who can help. For that reason, we feel so grateful to have Miracle at MozCon to remind our industry of the importance of site accessibility.

She reminded us that some of the tasks that we find to be “less important” for SEO are actually extremely important for site users. For instance, one-third of all images have questionable or repetitive alt text — despite the fact that we know how to monitor alt text, and how to change it for the better.

To be sure you aren’t contributing to the problem, Miracle equipped us all with the pillars of an accessibility audit. Your website should be:

  1. Perceivable

  2. Operable

  3. Understandable

  4. Robust

She also shared tools that help you with this audit, and demonstrated why using a screen reader yourself to assess your content is the best way to understand how your content will be consumed by a user who needs one.

How True Leaders Transform a Marketing Department into a Dream Team — Paxton Gray

You’re a badass marketer, which means you have likely — will likely — be asked to lead a team of marketers. Here’s the thing, though: our job changes every day, and there are very few resources to become educated on that job.

Due to this lack of education, once you become a part of the marketing leadership team, the fear of failure can become real. To overcome that fear, focus on clear, attainable goals. This may require you to dig a bit deeper than you’re used to and ask more questions, but it will help you to not just find more happiness in your role, but to help your clients more as well.

Once you have a clear focus to work toward, it’s time to close the feedback loop. Identify everyone involved with your campaigns and ensure they have access to all of the data. Doing so allows your team to work together more cohesively.

Lastly, remove the barriers to beneficial risk-taking by openly sharing the burden of campaign outcomes. Let your team know you are there with them, and you’re not going to let them fall.

Myths, Misconceptions, & Mistakes (Lessons Learned from a Decade in Digital PR) — Hannah Smith

Hannah used this talk to review some of the things she has said over the years. The first thing: “you don’t need luck, you just need to work really hard.” Which sounded nice, but she has come to realize that much of her success can be attributed to luck.

Hannah found that she just tended to downplay the role of luck, as she was afraid it made her appear as though she didn’t know what she was doing. She then reviewed a mistake she made which was simply stopping at “study what worked.” Instead, she admits the saying should have finished with “and find out why it worked.”

When it comes to PR, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. What stories were told in the pieces?

  2. Did the coverage of the piece feed into something else that was happening in the news cycle?

  3. Were there waves of coverage that led to the success of the piece?

  4. What emotions did this story invoke?

  5. What vertices covered the story?

  6. Did the piece get coverage in multiple countries?

She then closed by sharing a piece of misinformation she has been fueling: that it’s normal to be wildly successful. It’s not. Hannah assured us that only 10% of the pieces she’s been part of have generated notable results.

E-Commerce SEO Horror Stories: How to Tackle the Most Common Issues at Scale and Avoid an SEO Nightmare — Aleyda Solis

Aleyda brought so much energy to the stage as she spoke about e-commerce SEO. No matter the amount of tools we have access to as e-commerce SEOs, it’s still true that our job is really hard, which makes it very easy to overlook detrimental mistakes.

The first mistake Aleyda covered was allowing any and all internal search results to be indexable. This can create duplicate or thin content, and an overall poor user experience that will hurt your bottom line. While this is scary, the solution isn’t terribly complex, you could just canonicalize or 301 redirect these links to relevant facet pages.

Another mistake she discussed was poor unique descriptive content on product pages. The consequence of this mistake can be hundreds or even thousands of “crawled, not indexed” pages in Search Console. Google marks these pages as duplicate or thin content and therefore deem them unworthy of indexing.

To combat this problem you will want to add unique images, use descriptive language in your copy, incentivize reviews on product pages, and use structured data. By putting this effort in, Google will recognize that the product is unique and reward the page by indexing it. Alternatively, you may not want to index each page, instead you may want to focus on those facet pages.

These are just two of the issues Aleyda covered in her talk, but if we tried to cover all seven as in-depth as she was able to, we would be here all day. If you want to see all seven horror stories and how to defeat them, pick up the video bundle and watch her talk. Believe us, it’s worth it for this talk alone.

There is still one day left!

Can you believe MozCon is two-thirds of the way complete? We certainly can’t, but we aren’t letting anyone leave camp without enough new skills to fill their vest. Come back for day three to learn more about SEO, marketing, and growth.

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How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?



How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?

The very first commercial advertisement was shown on TV in 1941. It was only 10 seconds long and had an audience of 4,000 people. However, it became a strong trigger for rapid advertising development. The second half of the 20th century is known as the golden age of advertising until the Internet came to the forefront and entirely transformed the advertising landscape. The first commercial banner appeared in the mid-90s, then it was followed by pop-ups, pay-by-placement and paid-pay-click ads. Companies also started advertising their brands and adding their business logo designs, which contributes to consumer trust and trustworthiness.

The rise of social media in the mid-2000s opened a new dimension for advertising content to be integrated. The marketers were forced to make the ads less intrusive and more organic to attract younger users. This is how native advertising was born. This approach remains a perfect medium for goods and services promotion. Let’s see why and how native ads can become a win-win strategy for your business.

What is native advertising?

When it comes to digital marketing, every marketer talks about native advertising. What is the difference between traditional and native ones? You will not miss basic ads as they are typically promotional and gimmicky, while native advertising naturally blends into the content. The primary purpose of native ads is to create content that resonates with audience expectations and encourages users to perceive it seamlessly and harmoniously.

Simply put, native advertising is a paid media ad that organically aligns with the visual and operational features of the media format in which it appears. The concept is quite straightforward: while people just look through banner ads, they genuinely engage with native ads and read them. You may find a lot of native ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – they appear in the form of “in-feed” posts that engage users in search for more stories, opinions, goods and services. This unobtrusive approach turns native ads into a powerful booster for any brand.

How does native advertising benefit your business?

An average Internet user comes across around 10,000 ads a day. But even physically, it is impossible to perceive this amount of information in 24 hours. So, most of them use adblockers, nullifying all efforts of markers. Native ads successfully overcome this digital challenge thanks to their authenticity. And this is not the only advantage of native advertising. How else does your business benefit? Here are just a few major benefits that prove the value of native ads:

Better brand awareness. Native ads contribute to the brand’s visibility. They seamlessly blend into educational, emotional, and visual types of content that can easily become viral. While promotional content typically receives limited shares, users readily share valuable or entertaining content. Consequently, while you incur expenses only for the display of native ads, your audience may go the extra mile by sharing your content and organically promoting your brand or SaaS product at no additional cost.

Increased click-through rates. Native ads can generate a thrilling click-through rate (CTR) primarily because they are meticulously content-adaptable. Thus, native ads become an integral part of the user’s journey without disrupting their browsing experience. Regardless of whether your native advertising campaign is designed to build an audience or drive specific actions, compelling content will always entice users to click through.

Cost-efficient campaign performance. Native advertising proves to be cheaper compared to a traditional ad format. It mainly stems from a higher CTR. Thanks to precise targeting and less customer resistance, native ads allow to bring down cost-per-click.

Native ads are continuously evolving, enabling marketers to experiment with different formats and use them for successful multi-channel campaigns and global reach.

Types of native advertising

Any content can become native advertising as there are no strict format restrictions. For example, it can be an article rating the best fitness applications, an equipment review, or a post by an influencer on a microblog. The same refers to the channels – native ads can be placed on regular websites and social media feeds. Still, some forms tend to be most frequently used.

  • In-feed ads. This type of ad appears within the content feed. You have definitely seen such posts on Facebook and Instagram or such videos on TikTok. They look like regular content but are tagged with an advertising label. The user sees these native ads when scrolling the feed on social media platforms.
  • Paid search ads. These are native ads that are displayed on the top and bottom of the search engine results page. They always match user’s queries and aim to capture their attention at the moment of a particular search and generate leads and conversions. This type of ad is effective for big search platforms with substantial traffic.
  • Recommendation widgets. These come in the form of either texts or images and can be found at the end of the page or on a website’s sidebar. Widgets offer related or intriguing content from either the same publisher or similar sources. This type of native ads is great for retargeting campaigns.
  • Sponsored content. This is one of the most popular types of native advertising. Within this format, an advertiser sponsors the creation of an article or content that aligns with the interests and values of the platform’s audience. They can be marked as “sponsored” or “recommended” to help users differentiate them from organic content.
  • Influencer Advertising. In this case, advertisers partner with popular bloggers or celebrities to gain the attention and trust of the audience. Influencers integrate a product, service, or event into their content or create custom content that matches their style and topic.

Each of these formats can bring stunning results if your native ads are relevant and provide value to users. Use a creative automation platform like Creatopy to design effective ads for your business.

How to create a workable native ad?

Consider these 5 steps for creating a successful native advertising campaign:

  • Define your target audienceUsers will always ignore all ads that are not relevant to them. Unwanted ads are frustrating and can even harm your brand. If you run a store for pets, make sure your ads show content that will be interesting for pet owners. Otherwise, the whole campaign will be undermined. Regular market research and data analysis will help you refine your audience and its demographics.
  • Set your goals. Each advertising campaign should have a clear-cut objective. Without well-defined goals, it is a waste of money. It is a must to know what you want to achieve – introduce your brand, boost sales or increase your audience.
  • Select the proper channels. Now, you need to determine how you will reach out to your customers. Consider displaying ads on social media platforms, targeting search engine result pages (SERPs), distributing paid articles, or utilizing in-ad units on different websites. You may even be able to get creative and use email or SMS in a less salesy and more “native”-feeling way—you can find samples of texts online to help give you ideas. Exploring demand side platforms (DSP) can also bring good results.
  • Offer compelling content. Do not underestimate the quality of the content for your native ads. Besides being expertly written, it must ideally match the style and language of the chosen channel,whether you’re promoting professional headshots, pet products, or anything else. The main distinctive feature of native advertising is that it should fit naturally within the natural content.
  • Track your campaign. After the launch of native ads, it is crucial to monitor the progress, evaluating the costs spent and results. Use tools that help you gain insights beyond standard KPIs like CTR and CPC. You should get engagement metrics, customer data, campaign data, and third-party activity data for further campaign management.

Key takeaway

Summing up the above, it is time to embrace native advertising if you haven’t done it yet. Native ads seamlessly blend with organic content across various platforms, yielding superior engagement and conversion rates compared to traditional display ads. Marketers are allocating higher budgets to native ads because this format proves to be more and more effective – content that adds value can successfully deal with ad fatigue. Native advertising is experiencing a surge in popularity, and it is to reach its peak. So, do not miss a chance to grow your business with the power of native ads.or you can do digital marketing course from Digital Vidya.

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons



OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.

No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.

But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?

Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:

For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.

We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.

Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.

Let’s have Robert explain.

The right structure and governance matters

OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.

That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?

That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.

First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.

Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use. 

Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big

Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.

It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.

In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.

With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)

They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.

The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?

Why you should care

With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.

They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)

They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader



The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.

Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.

Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.

Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.

Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.

5. Establish communication channels (How)

Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:

Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.

Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.

Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.

Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.

Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.

6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts

As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.

Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:

  • Build awareness about your brand

  • Highlight the problems you solve

  • Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions

Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.

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