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Welcome, Happy Campers! The MozCon 2022 Day One Recap

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Welcome, Happy Campers! The MozCon 2022 Day One Recap

Today, after three years, we gathered some of our best friends in the industry to kick off the biggest SEO party of the year in Seattle. That’s right, Camp MozCon is back in all of its real-life glory and we could not be more excited! Cue all of the fist bumps, Roger selfies, and snacks, because we are back in action!

It wouldn’t be MozCon without the top minds in the industry sharing their findings, and we were not disappointed yesterday. They really brought the heat to the campfire.

SERP Strategies — Andy Crestodina

Andy is always a fan favorite as he combines analysis with strategy. This year he’s done the same as he walked us through his research on SERP pages.

We all knew SERPs have changed a ton, but Andy — the professional SERP screenshotter he is — has collected visuals of multiple SERPs over the last few years. Not only was he hoarding this data, but he has been using it to his advantage.

Andy walked us through his process of keyword research, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t just end with “difficulty, volume, CTR.”

The process he uses:

  1. Keyword research

  2. SERP analysis

  3. Optimize for the searcher experience within: SERP features, Directories, Marketplaces, Associations

Search What You See: Visual Search Tactics, Tools, and Optimizations — Crystal Carter

Crystal broke down visual search in a new way, explaining to us that “Visual Search turns our camera into a tool for understanding the world.” She then explained the difference between image search/optimization and visual search/optimization – contrary to popular belief, they’re not interchangeable! Image optimization is about making sure images can be returned for text queries. Visual optimization ensures visual queries can return necessary answers for the searcher.

If you want to start understanding what entities you have available to you, use your camera roll as a dataset. Google allows you to upload your images and will organize them into entities for you. Google also relies on your branding to match your business to photos uploaded by you and your customers. They are looking at your logos and color schemes and the images uploaded to the internet to see if they can match them.

Places you need to think of your visual search opportunities in real life (IRL):

  • Sponsorships

  • Merch and uniforms

  • Well placed logos in your facility

  • Photo op corners (ya know, 100% that pic)

Unlocking the Hidden Potential of Product Listing Pages — Areej AbuAli

In her research, Areej found that 60% of organic revenue came from product listing pages. This is interesting because as SEOs, we tend to focus on site-wide changes as opposed to identifying parts of a site that have the biggest impact. This doesn’t just apply to e-commerce, though, real estate sites have product listing pages.

Break things down into building blocks. For example, in e-commerce, the three main building blocks are:

  1. Content

  2. Tech

  3. Filters

She showed us how she went through an entire process of identifying a tech issue, doing the research, creating a workflow, sending in a ticket and getting it implemented without any breaks.

Now, while we were all excited for her, she then admitted that there was no impact of the change on the organic revenue.

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The moral of the story? It’s worth diving deep into the one opportunity that delivers value, but you’ve got to dive deep and deliver solutions with cross functionality. Because it’s not as effective to address one of the building blocks when you could address them all effectively.

Areej also hit on a TON of other stuff in her 250 slides, so you may wanna snag that MozCon video package.

Get Your Local SEO Recipe Right with Content & Schema — Emily Brady

Have you ever wondered how you can create unique content for each of your location pages? We have, too. That’s why we were so happy to have Emily, one of our amazing Community Speakers, grace the stage (for the very first time!) and share her recipe for unique content and schema.

The recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • Hyper-local content

  • Attributes

  • Staff bios

  • Hours

  • Address & phone number

  • Photos

  • Reviews

  • Inventory

  • Nearby locations

  • Specials & coupons

  • FAQs

  • Departments & services

Once the ingredients are in place, schema can be used to help provide context to the content you’ve been able to create. For instance, use person schema for your staff bio and place mark-up for your attribute.

Sometimes, the difference between you and the competitor is the time you are willing to take in order to implement the hard things. Hard work is truly unique.

SEO Gap Analysis: Leverage Your Competitor’s Performance — Lidia Infante

Lidia started off by reminding us that ranking is as easy, or as hard, as doing better than our competitors. She then broke SEO down into three main pillars: content, tech, and links.

As you think of how you can do better than your competitor, you have to identify which pillar(s) they’re executing better than you. But how do you do that? Well, first, you must identify who your true competitors are based on the keywords of which you’d like to rank.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, you can move into benchmarking their content metrics, brand metrics, and tech SEO metrics. You can compare these metrics to your metrics in order to identify your opportunities for improvement.

Now, go improve! As Lidia said, there is no growth without execution.

The Future of Link Building: What Got Us Here, Won’t Get Us There — Paddy Moogan

The fundamentals don’t change that often. In fact, 10 years ago Paddy went on stage and shared 35 link building ideas in 35 minutes. As he reviewed his epic talk from a decade ago, he found that over 20 of them are still “good” ideas. This just enforced the idea that the fundamentals of what we do as SEOs, don’t really change that often. Major core updates, they don’t “just happen” that often. But sometimes, they do.

Based on the changes that have come about the last 10 years, Paddy has decided that outreach alone isn’t a sustainable strategy. Aria found that SEOs spend about 3 hours to build a link, if you’re down 10,000 links.. Well, that’s a lot of hours. If you stop putting time in, you stop getting results. So, what’s the other option?

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Paddy talked about creating a link building strategy that outlasts you. The biggest difference here is pivoting from focusing on who can link to you, to thinking about who is doing business with you.

This strategy focuses on four things:

  • Audience (who are they)

  • Pain points (what do they struggle with)

  • Solutions (what can you offer)

  • Keywords (what can you rank for)

When you string these things together you force relevancy. And relevancy, friends, is what we are aiming for.

How to Capitalize on the Link Potential of a Research Report — Debbie Chu

As Debbie, our second amazing Community Speaker of the day, started to scour the pages for some of the keywords she wanted to rank for, she noticed they all had one thing in common: they linked to research reports. After uncovering this, Debbie went all in with research reports.

She came up with a process for creating these research reports:

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  1. Come up with the story by looking at the products, features, and related topics.

  2. Do research and identify any gaps of opportunities.

  3. Score your ideas using HOT: Headlines, Other Teams (like PR, data, etc.), and Timeliness.

  4. Gather data from multiple sources.

  5. Analyze data and find the newsworthy stats.

After going through this process, all that is left is to create the content and reach out to the appropriate people. For example, if you find that Seattle is the best city for working from home, reach out to Seattle associations, as they may want to share your findings.

Breaking into new areas with Topic Maps — Noah Learner

As most of you know, Noah nailed it last year with his presentation on using Google Data Studio to find opportunities in the keywords you currently rank for. But this year, Noah wanted to tackle finding opportunities for businesses who don’t rank for a ton of keywords.

He started by looking at the source: how they’re getting their data. He found things like the fact that Knowledge Panels point to Wikipedia more times than not. Google has documentation on how autocomplete works, and in it, Google cites that it’s pulling data from Google Trends — which has an API.

So naturally, as the curious guy he is, Noah found a way to use the API to map all of the related terms into a Google Sheet. From there, he removed irrelevant terms, pulled in keyword metrics using his favorite keyword tools API, and ran the cycle again for each related term.

The best part: he provided all the documentation you need to create this yourself!

With this tool, you’re able to make decisions based on client goals, high search volume, your ability to rank, and high transaction value. Then refer back to the clusters and find opportunities for internal linking.

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But most importantly, Noah closed with a piece of advice he received from the late Hamlet Batista: give, give, give to others, any time you can.

Building Remote Culture that Feels Like a Culture — Ruth Burr Reedy

The pandemic left marks that are likely to stand the test of time, and one of them is working from home. It’s awesome, but it’s also super hard to do well as a business. When we’re all distributed, there are far fewer built-in opportunities for connection.

We were super lucky to have Ruth come talk to us as someone who has managed remote teams over the last six years. She started by challenging managers to ask themselves, “what do we want it to feel like when you work here?” and to ask employees, “what does it actually feel like to work here?”

Once you know what feeling you want to create, you need to figure out when and where you can create that feeling remotely. This should start as early as onboarding. Have employees meet each other during onboarding, create an agenda for your new hires, etc.

The most important part of managing remote teams is having a concrete way to measure whether or not the work is getting done.

Moneyball is the Future of SEO — Will Critchlow

If something was *almost* as hard as the thing, but it was worth just as much as the easy thing, which would you choose?

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With SEO testing, we can focus on tested on-site changes, brand new content, lets skip the untested, hopeful stuff. Create a hypothesis and test both the control and the variant. Run the test and analyze your data.

Will shared a ton of tactics they’ve tested multiple times, and some of these tactics include things like moving hidden content out of an accordion, using pop ups, changing SERP appearance, using structured data, and so on.

Will assured us that we are able to run these tests ourselves, and encouraged us to do so! Even if we can’t have the tests 100% controlled or thought out, because in site testing Bing found that website experiments tend to bring rare but large wins.

So, as Dr. Pete would say, “run your own tests.”

On to day two!

Phew, can you believe that was just day one? Neither can we!

Now remember, what our speakers just shared with you is extremely valuable, but only if you put it into action! Take a second and write down one thing you can put into action next week.

Day one may be in the books, but we are so hype to see what today’s speakers bring to the picnic table.

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How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Personal Brand

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How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Personal Brand

Updated August 17, 2022

Anyone who didn’t win the billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot this year needs to read this article.

With the talk about the Great Resignation (or Great Reshuffle), I bet you’ve pondered the future of your money-making work. Even if you’re completely satisfied with your current employment, it’s smart to plan for future promotions and pivots (especially unexpected ones).

And that requires doing something today that should feel very familiar: creating a content marketing strategy.

This time, though, you’ll create it for your personal brand.

Not sure you need to invest the time?

Consider these wise words from a CMWorld Twitter chat a couple of years ago that still ring true today:

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“Careers in marketing make personal branding even more important. If you can’t develop your own brand, people might not have the confidence that you can help them develop a company’s/product’s/agency’s brand,” Mike Myers tweeted.

The chat’s guest speaker, Anh Nguyen, agreed: “All the knowledge and experience gained for your personal brand can be scaled for content marketing for a client or an employer.”

The knowledge and experience you gain from marketing your #PersonalBrand can be scaled for employer or client #ContentMarketing, says @AnhTNguyen via @AnnGynn @CMIContent.

What is a personal brand?

Before you can craft your personal content marketing strategy, it’s important to understand what a personal brand is.

“Think of it as your reputation and calling card to the world,” Anh said in the Twitter chat. “Your personal brand helps you connect with prospective employers, clients, customers, collaborators, and so on.”

Gabriela Cardoza explained in the chat that a personal brand helps you:

  • Differentiate yourself
  • Build thought leadership
  • Grow trust and credibility
  • Build a network

You have a personal brand already. Every time you engage with people, you create perceptions of who you are in their minds.

When you craft a content marketing strategy for your personal brand, you’ll set yourself on a path toward shaping those perceptions to help you achieve your goals.

Craft a #ContentMarketing strategy for your personal brand and get on an intentional path to achieving your goals, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

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Use these seven steps to create a documented content marketing strategy for your own brand.

1. Craft a brand mission statement

All good content marketing strategies start with understanding the mission and goals. Thus, the first step in your personal content marketing strategy is to create a mission statement.

Here’s how Gabriela broke down the components of a personal brand mission statement:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What you stand for
  • What your unique value is

I’ll add one more – What do you want to achieve with your brand?

Here’s a personal brand mission statement that might work for a content marketing writer:

I use my creativity and sense of business to help B2B brands engage with their audiences through compelling content. I work to ensure my content is equitable and inclusive. I want to grow my recognition as a go-to resource in the content marketing industry.

TIP: You can’t develop your personal brand without considering your employer’s brand because you’re tied together publicly. Tweak or supplement your personal mission statement accordingly.

You can’t develop your #PersonalBrand without considering your employer’s brand. You’re tied together publicly, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Write an editorial mission statement

Put together your personal editorial mission statement, which connects to your brand mission.

CMI’s Jodi Harris writes that a great content mission statement details three elements (I’ll go into more depth on each later):

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  • Core audience – who you aim to help (serve) with your audience
  • What you’ll deliver – the kind of information you provide
  • Outcome or benefit – the things your audience can do (or will know) because of your content

A content mission statement answers the why, who, and what of your #content, says @joderama via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #ContentMarketing #PersonalBrand Click To Tweet

You don’t need an elaborate statement. Just give a brief overview in a sentence or two.

With your personal brand and editorial mission statements complete, you now have the required footing to develop a content marketing strategy.

3. Detail your brand’s content marketing goals

Your personal content marketing can help you achieve your professional goals (to get a raise, a new job, more clients, etc.), but those aren’t your content marketing goals.

Content marketing involves creating and distributing content to attract and retain your audience and, ultimately, drive profitable action.

Here are some personal content marketing goals to consider:

  • Build brand awareness: Get your name out there.
  • Earn brand trust: Help people see you as a valuable, reputable resource.
  • Deepen brand loyalty: Connect with people on a deeper level (e.g., get them to sign up for your newsletter or share your content).
  • Attract strategic partners: Get people to want to help you (e.g., guest blogging and conference speaking).

Once you define your content marketing goals, you can zero in on the right audience.

4. Detail your target audience

You know what you want, but what does your audience want?

First, describe who your audience members are. What industries do they work in? What roles or titles do they have?

Then detail their interests and behaviors. What do they want to know? What are their pain points? Where do they live (online or geographically)?

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Let’s say you’re a content marketing specialist for a financial services company. Your goal is to build awareness of your name and skills. Your audience members are managers and directors of content marketing, communications, and marketing in the finance industry. They want to know more about how to get buy-in and budget support from their firm’s leaders. They check LinkedIn every few days but never use Facebook.

5. Identify your content sweet spot

Think of a Venn diagram. In one circle are your content marketing interests. In the other circle are your audience’s interests and needs. Where the two circles overlap is your content sweet spot.

These are the primary topics that your personal content marketing should cover.

You can also determine preferred content formats and distribution vehicles. For example, if your audience prefers podcasts over videos and you’re looking to build a subscriber database, you would want to create a podcast rather than start a YouTube channel. Or, if your audience usually attends an industry conference, you could submit a proposal to speak at the event. If your goal is brand awareness, you could offer guest blogs on sites your audience visits.

6. Build your content calendar

Now that you have identified your topics, formats, and distribution platforms, it’s time to build an editorial calendar. But remember, you’re just one person – and you probably already have a day job. This is not the time to be ambitious.

I recommend creating a minimum viable calendar – the least you know you can create and publish regularly. If that’s just one blog post a month or a quarterly LinkedIn profile review, that’s fine. If you attempt to do too much and fail to hit on every cylinder, you’re more likely to give up entirely. By setting realistic expectations, you’re more likely to keep going.

Create an editorial calendar for your personal #ContentMarketing. But don’t attempt to do too much, or you’ll give up, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #PersonalBrand Click To Tweet

7. Set measurable goals

Now that you have documented your purpose, audience, content formats, and frequency, you should add numbers and dates to the personal content marketing goals established in Step 3.

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For example, if your content marketing goal is to earn brand trust, your metric might be to gain 50 subscribers to your newsletter in the next three months.

It’s important to connect measurable goals to all your tactics – it’s key to understanding how well your content works.

TIP: You might struggle to come up with realistic numeric goals in the beginning. Don’t let that prevent you from setting them. If you find your numbers were unrealistic in your review, change them. That’s one of the perks of developing your brand – no clients or bosses to complain about the shift.

Connect measurable goals to all your tactics so you’ll know if your #Content is working, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Make yourself accountable

The hardest part of your personal content marketing strategy may be that you’re doing it alone. Without a boss or client expecting your content, it’s easier to push off the work.

Set deadlines for every step in the content production and distribution process. Mark them on your calendar. If you get overloaded and know you won’t meet one, move it out, but don’t remove it from the calendar, or you’ll never get it done.

Want to add one more layer to your accountability? Get an accountability partner. Share your production calendar with that person. Treat this partner as you would a client or boss – let them know when the step is done or tell them about the revised date for completion. (You can do this simply by using the calendar’s notification system.) Even better, become the accountability partner for them too.

Let’s get started. On what date will you complete your personal brand content marketing strategy? Note it in the comments, and I’ll reach out that day to see if you’re done.

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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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