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17 Awesome Examples Of Social Media Marketing

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17 Awesome Examples Of Social Media Marketing

Technology has made the world seem a lot smaller.

Keeping up with friends and family on the other side of the country or across the globe no longer requires an expensive telephone call or slow, one-way snail mail.

Instead, thanks to the power of social media, in just seconds, you can share updates about your life or check in with anyone who has internet access.

But there’s so much more to the world of social media than just making and maintaining connections – especially for savvy marketers.

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important For Brands?

For business purposes, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram present an opportunity to engage with a massive audience.

Last year, there were more than 4.7 billion people worldwide using social media platforms, which means a whole lot of potential customers.

Social media allows you to tell your story and humanize your brand.

Without a large budget allocation, it lets you build an audience and stay top of mind with your targets.

You can connect and interact with customers, deal with feedback (both positive and negative), and build authenticity just by being active on the right sites.

Not convinced? Here are some key stats about social media marketing:

From paid display ads targeting a highly specific demographic to organic posts that go viral, social media presents an incredible opportunity to evangelize your brand, increase your visibility, and find new customers.

But what separates the companies who are really killing it on social media from the thousands of also-rans who never quite seem to get any traction from their accounts?

In this piece, we’ll take a look at some outstanding ways popular brands are leveraging common platforms to inspire your campaigns.

How To Measure Social Media Marketing Effectiveness

Before we dive into the fun stuff, let’s take a moment to discuss how you can track the results of your social efforts.
Judge the effectiveness of your social media marketing by measuring your KPIs or key performance indicators.

Some KPIs you may consider include:

  • Reach (the number of people who saw your post).
  • Impressions (the number of times your post was seen).
  • Engagement (how many likes, shares, comments, etc., you received).
  • Conversions (button clicks, follow, forms filled out, etc.).

The ones you use to measure success will depend on your goals.

For example, if your goal is increasing awareness, you’ll want to examine your reach and impressions statistics.

If you’re trying to generate leads, you probably want to focus primarily on conversions.

Each brand is different, which means they will not only measure success differently but will also vary in which platforms are most effective for their social media marketing efforts.

With this in mind, we’ve broken down our examples and inspiration by platform. So, with no further ado, let’s jump in.


YouTube

1. Dove: Project #ShowUs

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

Recognizing beauty comes in many forms, Dove launched Project #ShowUS, a social media campaign intended to challenge stereotypes of what is and isn’t considered beautiful.

Employing women and non-binary people, this campaign is a collaboration with Getty Images and Girlgaze Photographers.

The Numbers:

  • The project has reached over 1.6 billion people with over 660 media pieces in 39 markets worldwide.
  • More than 2,000 women pledged to create a more inclusive vision of beauty.
  • In just the first year, the hashtag #ShowUs was used more than 7 million times on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Why Did It Work?

For generations, media and advertising have presented an image of what beauty is. However, this has left 70% of women feeling like they are not represented by media and advertising.

Dove spoke directly to the feelings of its target audience, engaging with them about the brand’s value and encouraging them to take pride in being themselves.

Strategic delivery helped reach women worldwide.

2. Gillette: “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

In January 2019, Gillette launched a social media campaign aiming at a modern interpretation of manhood.

The short film posted exclusively on YouTube depicted several cases of men struggling with traditional masculinity that Gillette itself used to glorify: the fear of showing their emotions, sexual harassment, and bullying others.

Then the film shows several examples of positive masculinity, such as standing up for others, caring for your loved ones, and so on.

The campaign was clearly inspired by the #MeToo movement.

On their Instagram, the company also posted positive male role models with short stories about their journey in the world:

  • Organizers.
  • Community leaders.
  • Non-profits’ CEOs.

In addition to that, the company promised to donate “$1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing the most interesting and impactful programs designed to help men of all ages achieve their personal best.”

The Numbers:

  • The short film that launched the campaign has over 30 million views.
  • The #GilletteAd hashtag reached more than 150 million people in one month, according to Awario (disclosure: I work for Awario), a social listening tool.
  • The Instagram posts related to the campaign gathered around 800 likes and 50 comments, which is higher than usual for Gillette.

Why Did It Work?

This campaign managed to tap into an extremely relevant and widely discussed issue.

It juxtaposed the previous branding of Gillette with a new one and showed the willingness to change.

At the same time, it was also quite controversial – some people didn’t agree with how the short film portrayed men and thought that it was offensive.

They even started a #boycottgillette hashtag. However, it only took up around 3.5% of all the conversations around the campaign on social media.

 

3. BuzzFeed x Friskies: Dear Kitten

When: 2016

Campaign Outline:

If there’s one thing the internet loves, it’s cat videos.

Buzzfeed and Friskies tapped into this sentiment with their “Dear Kitten” videos, in which an older house cat teaches a kitten how to be a cat.

The Numbers:

  • The launch video has been viewed on YouTube more than 32 million times.
  • 12 follow-up videos have been viewed upwards of 3 million times each.
  • The campaign led to viral TikTok parodies, with the hashtag #DearKitten receiving more than 3.6 million views.

Why Did It Work?

You don’t have to have genius-level insight into the human psyche to understand why this campaign was so successful. It has cute cats and a funny script.


Instagram

4. Apple: The Shot on iPhone Challenge

When: 2015

Campaign Outline:

The world’s most popular smartphone manufacturer, Apple, takes great pride in the quality of images that can be captured on its devices.

To highlight the great photos that it can take, it launched a competition that asked iPhone users to “capture the little things in a big way.”

Photographers were then invited to share their images on Instagram and other social media sites using the hashtag #ShotOniPhone.

A panel of judges then selected 10 winners from tens of thousands of entries, which were then featured on Apple’s website, the company’s Instagram, and on 10,000+ billboards in 25 countries.

It has since become an annual campaign for the brand.

The Numbers:

  • The first round of the campaign had more than 6.5 billion impressions.
  • It was mentioned by 24,000 influencers, with a 95% positive comment rating.

Why Did It Work?

User-generated content (UGC) is a low-investment way for companies to promote their brand on social media, but this isn’t the reason for this campaign’s success.

Instead, Shot on iPhone encouraged people to discuss the campaign, which closely aligned with Apple’s reputation for creativity, lifestyle, and innovation.

It encouraged existing users to participate in product launches and built a sense of excitement about being part of the iPhone community.

Additionally, it gave iPhone users a sense of being part of something cool, which everyone likes.

5. Starbucks U.K.: #WhatsYourName

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

Starbucks U.K. partnered with Mermaids, an organization to support transgender and gender-diverse youth, for a #WhatsYourName campaign focused on trans rights.

The campaign builds on a well-known aspect of the Starbucks experience – having your name written on the side of your cup – by committing to respect the names that customers want to be called by.

In addition to that, Starbucks started selling a mermaid tail cookie to raise funds for Mermaids.

Social media users were encouraged to use the hashtag on Instagram to tell about their experience with gender.

The Numbers:

  • The YouTube ad gathered 605,000+ views (with less than a thousand YouTube subscribers).
  • The Instagram post gathered 1,000+ comments, with an average comment rate for the Starbucks U.K. Instagram profile being around 40 comments.

Why Did It Work?

The team behind the campaign created a simple, clear campaign hashtag.

And they led with their values, which helped this campaign make a real, emotional impact.

Many brands avoid politicized topics, but ultimately, your employees and customers want you to take a stand.

Specifically, they want companies to lead on issues of diversity and community.

6. Spotify: #YearWrapped

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

Three years ago, Spotify launched a campaign where its users could see the most important musical highlights on their website.

The special webpage Spotify Wrapped showed you your most listened artists, genres, songs, and other fun data discoveries.

You could even see how the music you listened to coincided with your life events that year.

Once you went through all the data analysis, Spotify suggested you share these highlights on social media, specifically Twitter and Insta Stories, and tag your favorite artist of the year.

The Numbers:

  • According to Twitter, the campaign has been mentioned in at least 1.2 million posts in the launch month.
  • More than 60 million users engaged with the in-app story experience.
  • There were nearly 3 billion streams from Wrapped playlists.

Why Did It Work?

Spotify combined two big psychological triggers in this campaign: personalization and FOMO.

Firstly, the app provided a personalized story for each user – you could see how your music taste developed through the year and what songs accompanied you in your life.

Secondly, by enabling and encouraging sharing on social media, Spotify amplified the campaign’s reach.

People naturally wanted to show off their highlights to their friends, thus making more people eager to try this experience.

7.  Netflix: Wanna Talk About It?

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

Recognizing the importance of mental health and overcoming traumatic experiences, Netflix launched Wanna Talk About It?, a weekly Instagram LIVE series and accompanying website that addresses topics ranging from sexual violence and abuse to gender identity and suicidal thoughts.

It features stars from several Netflix movies and series, it was initially launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Numbers:

  • Wanna Talk About it? Works with 150 organizations in 45 countries, offering information, videos, downloadable guides, and nonprofit helplines in 26 languages.

Why Did It Work?

The global lockdown was a difficult time for many people. Unable to leave their homes, streaming services were a major source of entertainment.

With this campaign, Netflix addressed the mental health issues many were suffering through, giving them celebrities to whom they could relate.

8.  Daniel Wellington: #WheresWellington

When: 2016

Campaign Outline:

Swedish watch manufacturer Daniel Wellington was one of the first brands to recognize the power of social media influencers.

The company sent free watches to some of the most-followed individuals on Instagram, with the only requirement being that they post one photo on their feed using the hashtag #WheresWellington. Followers were then asked to guess the location where the photo was taken.

This, in turn, generated a significant buzz around the brand, which increased in popularity with teenagers and young adults.

The Numbers:

  • The Where’s Wellington content saw significantly higher engagement than the watch company’s normal social media posts.

Why Did It Work?

By gamifying visual content on social media, Daniel Wellington gave followers a reason to engage with its posts, whether in the form of a like, a comment, or a share.

Guessing formats is a simple yet powerful way to encourage interaction on platforms like Instagram, while a branded campaign hashtag makes it easy to track success.


Facebook

9. BuzzFeed: Tasty

When: 2016

Campaign Outline:

You’ve probably seen these quick and easy recipe videos popping up all over your Facebook news feed.

Screenshot from Facebook, December 202217 Awesome Examples Of Social Media Marketing

BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos are essentially cooking shows for the social media generation.

These videos, typically lasting less than two minutes, deliver on-trend recipes to a highly engaged audience.

The Numbers:

  • Nearly 15 months after launching, Tasty published 2,000 recipe videos, giving the brand a steady stream of new content.
  • Videos reach around 500 million users monthly.
  • 100 million Facebook fans.
  • In September 2016, Tasty generated more than 1.8 billion views of its videos. BuzzFeed now has a team of 75 people dedicated to producing content for Tasty.

Why Did It Work?

For starters, there’s the content.

“It taps into a simple truth: People love tasty foods and the kind of foods that remind them of their childhood, comfort food, or food that reminds them of an experience,” according to Frank Cooper, BuzzFeed’s chief marketing officer.

But more importantly, Tasty and Proper Tasty have exploded on Facebook because the content is tailor-made for that platform.

The videos are optimized for Facebook’s autoplay feature, which starts playing videos without the sound on. You don’t need sound to see, for example, a 45-second guide to making a cheese-stuffed pizza pretzel.

Within 24 hours, that video had 37 million views, 650,000 likes, and 750,000 shares. (It’s now up to 117 million views.)


Twitter

10. Houseparty: Fortnite Trivia Challenge

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

Epic Games combined two of its most popular offerings in the online game – Fortnite and the now-discontinued social networking app Houseparty – to create a trivia challenge.

Members of the Fortnite community collectively answered more than 20 million trivia questions about the game to unlock a special in-game skin for all players.

Running from April 10-16, it received thousands of engagements on Twitter.

The Numbers:

Why Did It Work?

Gamers are nothing if not loyal to their favorite video game.

By adding both a community element and gamification, Epic was able to generate significant engagement with its tweets about the campaign under both Fortnite and Houseparty accounts.

And by offering a tangible, exclusive, and limited-edition reward, it encouraged sharing and participation.

11. Getty: The Getty Museum Challenge

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

The Getty Museum is home to thousands of works by some of history’s greatest artists, including Rubens, Monet, Rembrandt, and Cezanne.

In 2020, the Los Angeles-based Museum took to Twitter and other social media platforms, challenging people to recreate famous artworks with just objects from their homes.

The Numbers:

  • The initial tweet saw more than 10,000 retweets, close to 3,500 quote tweets, and over 25,000 likes.
  • Thousands of recreations were submitted, including some recreating renaissance art with lasagna noodles and a vacuum serving in place of a harp.

Why Did It Work?

It was the pandemic’s beginning, and people were bored and looking for a creative outlet.

Getty’s Challenge allowed them to demonstrate their sense of humor while creating a positive diversion.

12. Greggs: #VeganSausageRoll

When: 2019

Campaign Outline:

Greggs is a British bakery chain loved by the Brits.

In January, they introduced their new vegan sausage roll, with a clever video ad parodying Apple ads.

However, it’s not the ad itself but the events that made the campaign memorable.

Piers Morgan, a controversial public figure, retweeted Greggs’ announcement and expressed irritation at the existence of a vegan sausage roll.

That made both pro-vegan roll and anti-vegan roll British people join the social media battle of the year!

Greggs responded to Piers Morgan along with 9,000+ other Twitter users.

And they didn’t shy away from responding both to sausage roll lovers and haters with witty remarks.

As a result, the vegan sausage roll became one of the most popular Greggs products that year.

The Numbers:

  • On Twitter alone, the Greggs vegan sausage roll conversation saw over 516 million impressions, according to Brandwatch.
  • The announcement tweet was retweeted more than 15 thousand times.
  • Greggs jumped 9.6% in sales in the first seven weeks of the launch.

Why Did It Work?

Even though the success of the campaign partly happened because of an organic retweet and not an action planned by Greggs, it once again shows us the power of influencer marketing.

Even a negative opinion expressed by an influencer draws an incredible amount of attention to your brand.

Plus, if it’s an influencer that most people hate, you only win due to this retweet.

Another lesson to take away from this campaign is the advantages of being witty on social media.

Greggs’ funny responses to haters are what won over a new audience, and it’s a good practice not to take yourself too seriously on social media.

13. Planters: The Death of Mr. Peanut – #RIPPeanut

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

Perhaps one of the most bizarre social media campaigns: The beloved mascot of Planters snack food company died at the beginning of January.

His death was announced with a tweet and later explained in a video ad posted to YouTube.

Apparently, Mr. Peanut sacrificed his life to save his commercial co-stars, Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes.

You could win some snacks by replying to a tweet with a #RIPPeanut hashtag.

The brands and regular social media users alike played along with the campaign, and it even got a mention on SNL.

The campaign was inspired by the reaction to celebrity deaths on social media.

It aimed to repeat the same level of engagement that Tony Stark’s death caused in “Avengers: Endgame.”

Later Mr. Peanut was reborn as a Baby Nut and now happily tweets from the Peanut Jr. account.

The Numbers:

  • The tweet announcing the death of Mr. Peanut gathered almost 50,000 retweets.
  • The hashtag was used more than a million times on Twitter.

Why Did It Work?

The campaign’s premise was so crazy that it immediately became a meme.

Many comedians and funny Twitter personalities “were making jokes about Mr. Peanut’s departure.”

This specific brand of internet humor makes certain things go viral – and it worked.

14. Airbnb: #GoNear

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

Another pandemic-birthed campaign, Airbnb introduced its Go Near campaign as an initiative to promote local travel and help the economy recover from the lockdown.
The travel industry was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and the short-term rental company launched the campaign on social media using the #GoNear hashtag to remind people that there are lots of fun destinations near where they live.

The Numbers:

Why Did It Work?

Recognizing not just its own livelihood but the income of the people who depend on it as a revenue stream, Airbnb reacted to the pandemic quickly.

The company deeply understood its audience’s needs and created data-driven content to address them.

Airbnb also focused on creating personal connections that humanized the brand at a time when many were feeling isolated.


TikTok

15. P&G: #DistanceDance

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

@charlidamelio

Stay home & do the distancedance. Tag me & the hashtag in your video. P&G will donate to Feeding America & Matthew 25 for first 3M videos #PGPartner

♬ Big Up’s (feat. Yung Nnelg) – Jordyn, Nic Da Kid

Created during the pandemic (seeing a trend here?), Proctor and Gamble took to TikTok with a campaign designed to encourage social distancing.

Under the hashtag #DistanceDance, the company teamed up with social media and former competitive dancer Charli D’Amelio to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

For the first 3 million videos posted to the short-form video apps, P&G donated to Feeding America and Matthew 25 Ministries.

The Numbers:

  • The hashtag has generated more than 18 billion views to date.
  • Charli D’Amelio’s video received almost 7 million likes and had more than 143,000 comments.

Why Did It Work?

Recognizing that to reach a younger audience, they needed to reach them on their platform of choice, P&G jumped fully into this TikTok campaign.

Partnering with an established influencer helped the company reach an audience it would otherwise have struggled to connect with.

The give-back component also created a feel-good reason to participate in the hashtag challenge.

16. UN Australia: #EmpowerMoves

When: 2021

Campaign Outline:

@unwomenaust #EmpowerMoves is the dance that’s also self-defence. Join the movement today #UNWomenAust ♬ Good Things (R3HAB Remix) – Wafia

United Nations Australia embraced the full potential of the short-form video site by creating a basic self-defense “dance” for women.

Consisting of four basic self-defense movements, #EmpowerMoves is intended to give women and girls the confidence and support to protect themselves and shape a strong and equal future.

This campaign follows on the heels of another UN Women Australia campaign, “When Will She Be Right?,” which seeks to accelerate progress toward gender equality.

The Numbers:

Why Did It Work?

TikTok has been home to popular dancing videos since its inception.

UN Australia capitalized on this by working with choreographers and celebrities to create movements that not only look good in time with the music but can also keep women safe.

It also serves as a rallying point for women who will no longer take a back seat to men or accept being a victim.


LinkedIn

17. Harvard Business Review: Special Coverage: Coronavirus

When: 2020

Campaign Outline:

Because it’s so commonly used as a professional networking site, it’s easy to forget that LinkedIn is a social media platform just like Facebook or YouTube.

Harvard Business Review recognized it could fill a valuable role during the height of the pandemic by offering resources about the coronavirus.

Gathering many resources in one convenient place, they provided a credible source of information at a time when misinformation was running rampant.

The special coverage included information about developing work-from-home policies, responding to new variants, and helping find a new normal.

The Numbers

  • The HBR has almost 14 million followers, many of whom benefited from this information.

Why Did It Work?

From fears of microchipping to governmental conspiracies, the sheer amount of outright false information about COVID-19 was staggering.

On top of this, this was uncharted territory for businesses of all types.

Leveraging the credibility of its parent institution, HBR provided quality, factual advice for dealing with a wide variety of pandemic-related issues.

Key Takeaway

While many of the campaigns featured here had COVID-ties, that’s about the only thing they had in common. Otherwise, they ran the gamut of platforms and audiences.

But something else tied these brands together: They all found innovative ways to appeal to their targets. And they gave something in return.

From the video game skin in the Houseparty Fortnite Trivia Challenge to the entertainment of the Dear Kitten videos to the mental support of Netflix’s IG live series, they all provided value for their audience.

Keep this in mind as you strive to create your own social media campaigns. And who knows? Maybe next year, you’ll be featured here.

More Resources:


Featured Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

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SEO

8 Ahrefs API Use Cases For Agencies and Enterprises

Published

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8 Ahrefs API Use Cases For Agencies and Enterprises

It’s no secret that APIs are a major time saver. They help automate many marketing tasks from creating reports to forecasting SEO opportunities.

They can also improve operational efficiency and provide insights for executives to make better decisions, faster.

Here are the top 8 use cases of our API and how you can leverage actionable SEO and website data in a jiffy.

Reporting is by far the biggest use case of our API. It is ideal for:

  • Building executive dashboards
  • Creating visuals for internal reports
  • Creating scorecards
  • Monitoring your search visibility for key segments
  • Monitoring website health over time

You can warehouse the data yourself and mix it with other sources, or you can visualize it with business intelligence tools like Tableau, Power BI, or even just Google Sheets.

For example, we use the API to pull referring domain data for our blog and aggregate by author. We have some nice little sparklines to visualize growth (or decline), too.

We also combine referring domain data with data from other sources like GSC.

For example, this view shows us actual traffic data from GSC alongside the number of followed DR40+ referring domains for each post:

Pulling referring domain data from Ahrefs API and merging with data from GSCPulling referring domain data from Ahrefs API and merging with data from GSC

No matter what reporting tools you use internally, we’ve made it easy to integrate many Ahrefs graphs and visuals directly into your dashboard so you can build similar reports.

Just use this nifty API button in any report with data that you’d like to pull into your internal dashboards:

Use the API button in Ahrefs to easily pull data with the APIUse the API button in Ahrefs to easily pull data with the API

The true power of using our API for reporting is how it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of every area of your business so you can make better decisions faster.

We recommend building reports to monitor the performance of the following:

  • Each of your business units
  • Different product lines and services
  • Custom segmentation
  • Individual authors and contributors

It’s the best way to identify underperforming or underresourced products and teams. These dashboards can also help you get SEO buy-in from executives so they approve new projects or budget increases.

If you ever need to pull big SEO data and mix it however you like, our API is the tool for the job. It can help with:

  • Large-scale SEO analysis
  • Enterprise audits
  • Data studies
  • SEO testing
  • Content inventory creation
  • Building outreach lists
  • And more

As with most APIs, the best part is that you can pull the data into almost any tool you’re already working with.

For example, say you have a massive list of websites for which you want to pull metrics like Domain Rating (DR). You can do this for up to 200 websites with Batch Analysis—but you can pull the metric for as many URLs as you like with the API.

Here’s a simple example in Google Sheets:

Pulling DR with the APIPulling DR with the API

Alternatively, say you want to enrich your content inventory by pulling the keyword data. Specifically, the keyword sending the most organic traffic to each URL, its ranking position, and the estimated traffic it sends. The API makes it possible to do this at the touch of a button.

Pulling keyword data with the APIPulling keyword data with the API

These are overly simple examples. You can pull as much or as little data as you want to suit pretty much any requirements. You can even mix and match data from Site Explorer, Site Audit, Keywords Explorer, and Rank Tracker.

The true power of an API kicks in when you automate strategic tasks that cannot easily be scaled manually and can be done better when you automate them.

It’s the secret to taking your strategies to the next level, especially for enterprise SEO projects.

For instance, you can automate many link building workflows like triggering alerts and actions based on discovering new or lost links.

Example link building workflow you could build with the Ahrefs APIExample link building workflow you could build with the Ahrefs API

You can also automate technical workflows like finding pages to redirect. On large websites, this can be an overwhelming task to do manually. A simple workflow you can consider instead might look like:

Example technical workflow you could build with the Ahrefs APIExample technical workflow you could build with the Ahrefs API

Sidenote.

If this use case sounds interesting, feel free to check out this free redirect-matching script created by our technical SEO genius, Patrick Stox. Once configured, it automatically runs through the above process for you.

The opportunities for automated workflows that harness our SEO API really are endless. We’ve seen folks use our API to:

  • Pull keywords into internal systems and tag them based on products, services, locations, or business units they relate to.
  • Pull domain metrics for domain buying.
  • Combine SEO data with Google Ads data to lower ad costs.
  • And so much more.

Many agency sales teams, digital investors, and B2B business development managers use our API data to assist with things like:

  • Lead scoring and enrichment
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Finding advertising partners
  • Doing due diligence on companies

For example, let’s say you’re evaluating the following companies as prospects for a new marketing product or service you’re launching.

Example of lead scoring with Ahrefs APIExample of lead scoring with Ahrefs API

In this example, we’ve pulled the following website metrics to help score these prospects:

  • Domain Rating (DR) can help determine the size and authority of a prospect’s company.
  • Organic Cost can indicate a website’s size and visibility potential.
  • Paid Cost can help indicate the current budget a company is investing in Google Ads.

Depending on what your ideal customer looks like, you can score these prospects in a few different ways using these three metrics alone.

For instance, you can favor indicators of underperformance if you sell a service that can help close a performance gap:

Qualifying prospects by growth potential with Ahrefs APIQualifying prospects by growth potential with Ahrefs API

Or if you offer a high-ticket product or service, you can qualify prospects based on indicators of business size or the size of their budgets:

Qualifying prospects by business size with Ahrefs APIQualifying prospects by business size with Ahrefs API

No matter the case, you can use the data available in our API to draw conclusions like the following about any prospects you’re evaluating:

  • Showit is the ideal candidate for us to work with. There’s a lot of room for growth and we can make a decent impact with our competitively priced marketing services.
  • WordPress is a great candidate for us to pitch our PPC services since it has the smallest spend among website-building platforms of similar size.
  • Webflow may be a great candidate for our non-search marketing services. They clearly have a marketing budget for PPC and SEO, and they may also be open to investing in other channels.

Bottom line? If website performance can be used as an indicator to segment your prospects or leads, our API can help enrich your sales processes big time.

While using SEO metrics to qualify leads is one potential use case for sales teams, another is to use these metrics to help close more deals by:

  • Creating data-driven case studies
  • Populating data into customized sales decks
  • Sharing the performance of your entire client portfolio

For example, some forward-thinking agency sales teams use our API to pull organic data across their client portfolios. They build performance dashboards that they then send to prospective clients.

And sure, at a small scale you can simply use our Portfolios feature that allows you to track multiple websites as a cohort:

Portfolios in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerPortfolios in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

But with the API, you can aggregate more metrics and track more projects so you can display real-time results to prospective clients.

Ever wanted to say (and prove) to potential clients things like the following?

  • “We’ve delivered over 10,000 position 1 rankings for our clients in the last 6 months.”
  • “Six of our clients have achieved over 1 million organic visits after partnering with us.”
  • “We’ve saved our clients an average of $100,000/month in ad spend.”

With our API, you can. It’s all about aggregating SEO performance metrics to help your proposals stand out from the crowd.

The global ecommerce market is forecast to hit $6.3 trillion in 2024, and with more people buying online now than ever before, digital performance data is vital for investors to be able to access in real time.

If you’re a venture capitalist, hedge fund manager, or private equity investor, you can use our API as an alternative data source to:

  • Monitor online market movements
  • Check your portfolio’s digital performance
  • Track online performance of any company
  • Be instantly notified of website traffic losses
  • Inform your investment decisions

For instance, in this video, Sam looks at how the websites with the most visibility in search engines perform as a custom stock portfolio against some of the most popular assets in the world like the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, real estate, gold, bonds, and Bitcoin.

For seasoned investors, the power of data available in our API can help take your investment decisions to the next level. You can integrate graphs from the Ahrefs dashboard directly into your tools (thanks to our nifty API button) or mix website traffic data with other data sets however you like.

For instance, let’s say you’re considering investing in a particular company. Everything looks good on paper, and you’ve been monitoring its growth over the last few months, including its website performance.

Had you not added a graph tracking their website performance in your dashboard (like the following), you may not have noticed this 25% loss of organic traffic early enough to take appropriate action:

Organic traffic graphOrganic traffic graph

In some industries, this may not matter regarding the stock value since website visits don’t necessarily translate into purchases or company valuation. In others, it could be a deal breaker.

If multiple companies in the same vertical are experiencing similar losses in visibility, this could indicate a widespread market movement you need to know about. Traffic losses across multiple websites can also often indicate revenue losses across the industry.

For instance, this is an example of two market-leading companies in a specific vertical experiencing traffic losses at a similar time.

Organic traffic graph for multiple websitesOrganic traffic graph for multiple websites

And here you can see their keyword ranking movements echo one another with similar rises and dips after January 2024:

Organic keywords graphOrganic keywords graph

Such patterns can indicate a bigger issue affecting the entire market, not just specific companies.

The data available in our API can help you monitor widespread market movements and changes in search behaviors across any vertical you’re interested in and in real-time.

While website performance data on its own is not enough to base investment decisions on, it is a vital alternative data source to help you beat the market and mitigate potential losses.

Competitive intelligence is what Ahrefs was built for. With analytics tools and Google Search Console, you can easily find performance data about your own website. But what about competitors?

Our tool allows you to compare apples to apples when looking at competitor data. In particular, our API can help you automate things like:

  • Creating competitor scorecards
  • Estimating resources needed to catch up to competitors
  • Monitoring competitor movements
  • Gathering historical insights
  • Finding and predicting untapped opportunities

For example, Patrick recently created a handful of beginner-friendly competitor scorecards that you can also take for a spin.

To use these you will need to first make a copy and add your Ahrefs API key. If you’re using the general scorecard, you’ll need to select a date (it must be the first date of a month to work). Then, add your domain and your competitors.

You won’t need to add a date with the MOM and YOY versions. Just add the API and competitor URLs.

Here’s an example of what the output will look like:

Example output for competitor scorecardExample output for competitor scorecard

If you find yourself running competitor gap analysis reports at scale, you may also benefit from using our API to automate competitor backlink analysis and closing content gaps against top competitors.

Making projections is a core staple of enterprise SEO. It’s how executive teams are able to approve projects and allocate funding appropriately.

It’s also how agency owners set their agencies apart from competitors by adding forecasts to their sales pitches.

With our API and these free templates that Patrick has pre-built, you can:

Check out Patrick’s detailed post on all things to do with SEO forecasting for more ideas and tips on how to use these free templates in your business today.

Final thoughts

With the power of seriously big data on your side, the possibilities for how you can automate SEO tasks, site audits, and reports are endless.

The Ahrefs API offers many data points no other tool offers. We’ve designed it that way on purpose.

Feel free to book a demo with our enterprise team to see what our API can do for your business.

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15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic

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15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic

You only need three tools to get sixteen highly actionable data points on your competitors’ traffic.

Before we dive in, let’s set the right expectations: no tool will give you your competitor’s exact traffic data. However, it’s still well enough to see what works for them, copy their best ideas, or set realistic benchmarks.

We’ll cover:

  • Types of data you can access, such as traffic volume, trends, organic and paid keywords, and audience insights.
  • Practical use cases, including benchmarking, tracking progress, identifying content gaps, boosting your SEO and SEM, and negotiating budgets.
  • Last but not least, how this data is gathered and its reliability.

With these tools and insights, you’ll be well-equipped to understand and outperform your competitors’ website traffic.

We’ll start with organic search traffic — the source on which you’ll get the most data.

How to analyze competitor organic search traffic

Organic search traffic refers to the clicks a site gets from search engines, excluding search ads.

There’s a lot you can tell about your competitors’ organic traffic and a lot you can tell from it. Here are my favorite twelve use cases with detailed instructions.

You can check that in seconds for free, right now:

The tool will also show you where in the world the traffic is coming from, some of the top pages and keywords, and traffic value (i.e., the value of the organic search traffic, if it were to be acquired via PPC in Google Ads).

Organic competitors are the sites that compete with you for the same organic keywords in search engines.

Typically, you’ll have more organic competitors than your regular direct business competitors. For example, a 3D printer manufacturer may be competing for a fair share of keywords with a 3D printing magazine — completely different businesses, same keywords.

So by rounding up your top organic competitors, you gain a bigger pool of keyword ideas you can potentially target. Much bigger than if you’d just take into account your direct competitors.

Here’s how to identify all organic competitors.

  1. Open Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and enter your domain.
  2. Go to the Organic competitors report.
Organic competitors report. Organic competitors report.

From there, you can look at the common keywords to see where they outrank you or click on Competitor’s keywords to see keywords you don’t rank for but they do (a.k.a. your content gap).

Top competing domains report showing keyword intersect. Top competing domains report showing keyword intersect.

If your competitor is doing SEO, typically their blog will attract most of their organic traffic. But this is not always the case. They may have found other ways of getting clicks from Google, like free tools or free resources, and you could do the same.

  1. Open Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Go to the Site structure report.
Site structure report. Site structure report.

For example, someone analyzing our site could see that our free writing tools get more organic traffic than years of writing on the blog.

Free writing tools get more organic traffic than years of writing on the blog. Free writing tools get more organic traffic than years of writing on the blog.

To see your competitor’s top performing pages:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Go to the Top pages report.
Top pages report.Top pages report.

The first use case here is targeting the same keywords as their top pages to channel some of that traffic your way.

Top keyword column in Top pages report. Top keyword column in Top pages report.

There’s more. You can use the report to see which pages contributed to an uptrend or downtrend in your competitor’s traffic.

Analyzing changes in traffic with the Top pages report. Analyzing changes in traffic with the Top pages report.

Or, focus on top-performing pages and use the Compare pages view to see when those pages started to pick up traffic.

Comparing pages in Top pages report.Comparing pages in Top pages report.

Now to see what the competitors did to improve the pages, click on the caret next to the page and click Inspect.

Accessing the Inspect tool contextually.  Accessing the Inspect tool contextually.

Then choose the date on the calendar and view changes made to the text in that time.

Calendar tool in Ahrefs. Calendar tool in Ahrefs.

If you’re already doing SEO or considering it, seeing a list of your competitors’ keywords is almost like they’ve shared their keyword research with you.

You can use keyword data to find:

  • Top-performing keywords and “steal” some of their traffic with your own content.
  • Top-performing keywords in specific countries.
  • Keywords with specific terms to find content ideas around certain topics or phrases.
  • Low-difficulty keywords (typically, faster to rank).

To see your competitors’ keywords:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report.
  3. Use the filters to find what you need. For instance, use the KD filter to find low-competition keywords.
Organic keywords report in Ahrefs. Organic keywords report in Ahrefs.

For example, you can track the ranking history of your competitor’s top traffic-generating keywords. If you see sudden spikes, it likely means they’ve updated the content to increase ranking. By using the calendar feature mentioned above, you can learn how they did it.

SERP history. SERP history.

One of the best ways to find organic traffic you’re potentially missing out on is to do a content gap analysis. In SEO, it means identifying the keywords that your competitors rank for but you don’t. Some of those keywords can make perfect topics for you to cover.

In Ahefs, you can do a content gap analysis automatically:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Competitive Analysis tool.
  2. Enter your domain in the Target section.
  3. Enter your competitors’ domains in the Competitors section.
  4. Hit “Compare”.
  5. Click the Content Gap report.
Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis tool.
Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis tool.

Toggle Main positions to exclude your competitors’ rankings in SERP features like “Top stories” and “Image packs.”

Toggling the "Main positions only" feature.
Toggling the "Main positions only" feature.

Now look through the report and identify keywords that are relevant for your site. The volume column will show you which keywords are likely to send the most traffic.

More than 60,000 potential keyword opportunities via Ahrefs' Content Gap report.
More than 60,000 potential keyword opportunities via Ahrefs' Content Gap report.

Short-term organic traffic performance can inform you of the latest developments in your competitors’ rankings (say, within the last 24 hours to a couple of weeks).

For example, you can observe the impact of the latest Google Update on their site, see how much traffic they gained or lost last month, or check if any of their newly launched pages are already picking up traffic.

To see short-term organic traffic performance:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. In the Overview report, choose a timeframe in the Changes mode.
Choosing a short-term data timeframe in Overview report. Choosing a short-term data timeframe in Overview report.

This will adjust the top-level metrics and traffic by location panel and show you the changes over the specified period.

1717077370 466 15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic1717077370 466 15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic

You can go as deep as day-to-day traffic changes — a very helpful thing if you want to see Google’s update impact on your competitors’ traffic.

Traffic performance graph showing exact day of a Google update. Traffic performance graph showing exact day of a Google update.

Date comparison is available in multiple tools and reports across Ahrefs.

As for long-term traffic performance, this allows to set a traffic goal to match or overtake your competitor’s traffic, and plan your budget based on competitor’s performance. You can also use it to forecast your competitors’ traffic.

To see long-term traffic performance:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Turn on the Years mode in the traffic graph.
  3. Adjust the time frame and export the data if needed.
Choosing a long-term data timeframe in Overview report. Choosing a long-term data timeframe in Overview report.

Seeing multiple sites on one graph is useful if you want to identify the leader in your niche, compare your site to a few competitors simultaneously, and determine if you are catching up to the leader or if someone is catching up to you.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your domain.
  2. Add competitors using the Competitors tab.
Zoho Desk's traffic (green) is catching up to Intercom (blue).
Zoho Desk's traffic (green) is catching up to Intercom (blue).

Organic share of voice (SOV) is an SEO metric that shows how much traffic goes to your pages compared to competitors’.

In other words, if you want to see your overall organic search traffic share in the market, and eventually increase it, this is the metric you’d want to use.

SOV is based on tracked keywords, so you first need to add them to the tool. These can be keywords you target on your blog, your product pages, or even all of your important keywords together.

  • Go to Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker.
  • Start a New project.
  • Select keywords to track. You can use the filters to refine the list suggested by the tool and add some keywords later on. Make sure to choose only important locations for your site.
Adding keywords to track in Ahrefs Rank Tracker. Adding keywords to track in Ahrefs Rank Tracker.
  • Add competitors. You can add specific sites or choose from the ones suggested by the tool. Notice the keyword intersect — the higher the number, the “closer” the competitor.
Adding competitors to analyze in Rank Tracker. Adding competitors to analyze in Rank Tracker.

Once you finish the set-up, you will be able to see and regularly track SOV in the Competitors Overview section in Rank Tracker.

Share of voice metric in Rank Tracker. Share of voice metric in Rank Tracker.

One of the ways your competitors could be getting traffic is from links from other sites (a.k.a. referral traffic).

Knowing who links to your competitors allows you to pursue the same or similar links which can help you not only get more referral traffic but also boost your SEO and increase your brand awareness.

To find pages with a high probability of sending traffic to your competitors, look for backlinks from pages with significant organic traffic. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Open Backlinks report. Pages with the most traffic will be displayed on top by default.
Backlinks report in Ahrefs. Backlinks report in Ahrefs.

From there you can use the Referring page title filter to see only reviews or rankings where you could be listed, too. Simply add in words like “vs, review, tool, tools, top” as a way to identify these pages.

Using the referring page title filter to see only reviews or rankings where you could be listed, too.Using the referring page title filter to see only reviews or rankings where you could be listed, too.

Here’s an example of such a page:

1717077372 49 15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic1717077372 49 15 Unique Ways to Check Competitor Website Traffic

Another way to analyze your competitors’ traffic is to treat them as one entity. This allows you to:

  • Benchmark your site traffic trend to your competitors as a market segment.
  • Identify broader industry trends and seasonal patterns in traffic.
  • Assess the collective impact of major events, such as changes in search engine algorithms or economic shifts.
  • Monitor the overall health and growth rate of your industry.

For this, use the Portfolios feature in Ahrefs. The image below shows aggregated data for four sites, including organic traffic and paid traffic (from Google Search Ads).

Example portfolio of sites. Example portfolio of sites.

Here’s how to set it up:

  • Dashboard and click Create > Portfolio.
How to create a new portfolio.  How to create a new portfolio.
  • Fill in the URLs you want to track. Note the URL mode selector. Use “Domain” to track the entire domain with subdomains, “Path” for folders, and “Exact URL” for single pages.
Filling details of a site portfolio. Filling details of a site portfolio.

How to analyze competitor paid search traffic

Paid search traffic refers to the clicks a site gets from search ads on search engine result pages. Here’s how to check your competitors’s paid search traffic and how to use that knowledge to your advantage.

If you’re running search ads, checking out your competitors’ paid keywords can give you ready-made keyword research. This lets you see which keywords are working for them and helps you fine-tune your own ad strategy to target those high-performing keywords.

What’s more, you can reveal paid search data Google Keyword Planner hides by default: search volume for a particular keyword instead of a search volume range for a group of keywords.

And even if you’re not investing in ads, this info can still be super useful. It usually means these keywords are important to your competitors because they know these keywords bring in customers. Chances are, these keywords could be important for your business, too.

To find your competitors’ paid keywords:

  1. Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor’s domain.
  2. Open Paid keywords report.
Paid keywords report in Intercom. Paid keywords report in Intercom.

From here, you can use filters to find keywords that meet your CPC, traffic, or relevance criteria, and sort the data to see the keywords which bring the most traffic.

Filters in paid keywords report. Filters in paid keywords report.

Notice the Paid/organic traffic share bar. If you see both blue and yellow color, that means your competitor has invested in the keyword twice (through content and ads) and is trying to get as much SERP real estate as possible — consider pursuing these keywords as well.

Paid traffic/organic traffic share. Paid traffic/organic traffic share.

Another way to gauge a keyword’s importance is to look at its ad position history. A long and consistent history suggests it’s likely a valuable ‘money’ keyword, while a short history might indicate your competitor is just experimenting with it.

Ad history report. Ad history report.

Want to check out their ad copy and landing pages? Head to the Ads report. You can set the location where your competitor runs their ads and see the landing pages and keywords associated with each ad.

Ads report in Ahrefs. Ads report in Ahrefs.

Interested to see how much your competitors spend to get all of that paid traffic?

  1. Go to Site Explorer.
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain.
  3. Open Paid pages report.
  4. Set the preferred location to see the budget per country (leave it set to all locations to see the total ad spend).
  5. Set the Performance report to Paid traffic cost set and adjust the timeframe.
Paid pages report in Ahrefs. Paid pages report in Ahrefs.

Use this data to set a benchmark for traffic performance relative to ad spend and to negotiate the budget for your campaigns.

How to analyze other traffic sources

If you’re interested in the overall competitor traffic performance, here’s where to look.

To get a quick answer to how much traffic your competitors get overall (from all traffic sources), you can get that information for free with Similarweb.

Once you set up a free account, simply go to Website analysis > Website performance report.

Website performance report in Similarweb. Website performance report in Similarweb.

Arguably, the best way to use Similarweb is in comparison mode. This approach ensures that the data is directionally accurate: whether the data is overestimated or underestimated, it is consistently so across all sites. By comparing your traffic with your competitors, you can identify the relative differences that set you apart.

Comparing websites in Similarweb. Comparing websites in Similarweb.

Similarweb is not the only tool with general traffic insights. Another one is Sparktoro, an audience research tool.

What’s great about Sparktoro is that its data and functionality revolve around the users behind the clicks. So you can use Similarweb to understand how popular the site is and then Sparktoro to get to know the people who visit it. Take that data and use it for persona development, fine-tuning your messaging, and looking up influencers to partner with or sites to advertise on.

Simply set up an account at Sparktoro and type your competitor’s domain in the search bar. Make sure the “Visit the website” mode is on.

Overview report in Sparktoro. Overview report in Sparktoro.

From there go to:

  • Social networks: scroll down a bit and see which social network the brand uses the most. This not only tells which social networks likely send the most traffic but also which proved to be the most engaging.
  • Demographics tab: see data like gender, age, geography and interests. What’s unique about this data is that it comes from social media profiles.
  • Social accounts tab: to see what social media accounts site visitors are likely to follow and engage with. This is a great source of potential influencers to work with.
  • YouTube channels, Reddit, and Podcast tabs: see where it’s highly likely to meet your competitors’ (and possibly yours) audience.

Where does the data come from? Is it accurate?

Depending on the tool, the data on your competitors will mostly come from:

This means that, in most cases, the data is estimated instead of actual data taken from your competitors and handed over to you.

So, when it comes to the data’s accuracy, you should expect a blend of estimated accuracy and directional accuracy. Despite best efforts, the data will be approximated and designed to give you an idea of relative performance because there’s no other way.

This also means that if you’re interested in a particular type of traffic, say traffic from search engines, it’s probably best to get a dedicated tool for that. You’ll get access to bigger data sets and more capable functionality, allowing you to do more.

Final thoughts

Want to go deeper into competitor analysis? Check out our other guides to go beyond traffic data:

Got questions or comments? Let me know on X or LinkedIn.



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The Top 10 Content Marketing Skills You Need

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10 Content Marketing Skills You Need to Master

Want to reach more of your target audience, connect with them, and have meaningful interactions?

Quality content marketing may be the ideal solution for you.

But gone are the days of simply writing and releasing content.

Effective content marketing requires various skills and strategies if you want to get it right.

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your brand and generate more interest in your target audience, here are the top 10 skills and strategies you’ll need.

1. Know Your Audience And Target Them Effectively

Ask anyone about content and content marketing, and chances are that audience targeting is one of the first suggestions.

But what does audience targeting actually mean? And why is it an essential content marketing skill?

First, understand who your audience is, what their day is like, their priorities, and what they’re doing or intending to do while they consume content.

Then, use that information to craft content that counts on a platform and in a format that suits your audience.

Take the Shoe Snob Blog as an example.

The content is photo-centric. The page has few distractions, and the storytelling and text are dense and chunked.

The topics range from stories of shoemakers, care tips, and all the insider info a lover of bespoke and top-of-the-line men’s shoes, shoe designer, or shoemaker could want to know about the objects of their obsessions.

These features tell us a lot about the blog’s readers.

Shoe Snob Blog readers are likely visual, busy, and view reading the blog’s content as almost a secret pleasure they indulge in while waiting in line for an expensive coffee.

The blog doesn’t have content on saving money, getting things for less, building shoes more cheaply, or reviews of shoes you’d find in your local department store.

Why? That’s not what the blog’s target audience is interested in. In fact, those topics would likely chase readers away.

For Justin FitzPatrick, the blog’s author, it’s about the luxury, the emotional connection and passion for the brands, and the smaller details most of us wouldn’t likely notice about a man’s dress shoe – in language that matches the audience’s expertise.

You might be tempted to skip audience exploration and targeting to this degree, particularly if you’re a B2B brand or sell something non-visual like insurance.

But this could be a fatal mistake for your content marketing.

Even if you’re selling to another company, that company is driven and shaped by humans you’ll need to get attention from.

2. Understand How Brand Strategy Influences Content

Content and content marketing could do more harm than good if they fail to blend seamlessly with a brand strategy.

So, if you’re looking to build content marketing skills, ensure you understand how brand strategy influences effective content.

Solid brand-driven content strategies consist of six core elements when it comes to content:

  • Brand foundations – What matters to the company, such as the image it wishes to project, etc.
  • Audience discovery and brand position – How the brand fits within the market.
  • Keywords and language – How the company wants people to find its brand, and what language it will use.
  • Authority building – Looking like an expert and a leader on a chosen topic.
  • Content creation – Any content strategy must be manageable, affordable, sustainable, scalable, and effective.
  • Organization – Utilizing an editorial and publishing calendar and post-publishing tracking and measurement to maintain and guide your content strategy.

3. Consider SEO, Search, And Search Engines

SEO and search are essential for getting found, gaining traffic, building authority, and overall growth.

If you want your content marketing to work, you can’t afford to avoid this content marketing skill because you’re not an expert.

  • Users make 1.2 trillion searches on Google per year.
  • 93% of all web traffic comes from a search engine.
  • 46% of searches are made to look for something local.

In January 2023, searches for phrases that included “gifts” increased 45%, while searches that included “presents” increased 15% over 2022. This equated to $47 billion in the two weeks following Christmas.

So, search is growing and becoming more important – not declining.

If you want to take advantage of search traffic, you need to ensure you’re considering several aspects of SEO when developing your content marketing skills, including:

  • Keyword research.
  • AI and how to humanize your content.
  • Link building.
  • Building authority.
  • Topic relevance and expertise.
  • Site structure, website performance, and analytics.

4. Humanize Your Content

Once you get started with content marketing, you’ll realize pretty quickly that AI-generated content is highly problematic.

You need to follow basic SEO formulas to have your content rank, another formula to make it interesting and catchy for readers, and how to maximize the usability of your content.

However, you also need to ensure you stand out from the crowd and surpass your competitors.

To make your content more human-friendly, learn how to:

  • Create content that supports a user journey rather than search engines or sections of a funnel.
  • Utilize customer communications and social channels to understand and connect with your audience. Then, use it to market your content.
  • Make use of internal experts. Not only is looking in-house a way to make excellent content more affordable, but audiences also love to see your brand’s passion for what it does.
  • Take a smart angle, get personal, and have an attitude. Personality and branding are vital, but so is the information you provide. Ensure it is something of value to your readers, and don’t be afraid to tell stories to build emotional connections.
  • Add personal videos to top-performing articles.

One of the best examples of all these tips for humanized content in action is the annual Christmas content campaign from WestJet.

5. Engage By Storytelling And Creative Writing

If you want to capture attention and use content to connect with your audience, you need to be able to tell a good story.

Stories make content emotionally engaging but also make it possible for readers to experience what it would be like if they purchased your product or service.

Want to strengthen your content marketing with storytelling?

  • Create relatable, believable content. To do this, know your audience, understand their experiences, and create content that aligns with this knowledge.
  • Have a clear message. Like an ad, every story or piece of content needs a goal and a clear message you want to convey to your audience.
  • Choose the right type of story. Do you need to make an emotional connection? Compel a reader to act? Convey values, a feature, or a concept? Build community?
  • Select the right platform and medium. If you want to share several statistics, video might not be the best option. Selling vacations? YouTube or TikTok might perform better than Reddit or a blog.
  • Know where to start and stop. Your content needs to appear at the right point in the customer journey and push readers to the next step. What should readers do next?
  • Organize and structure. Plan your content ahead of time. Make sure your stories have an arc, make sense, and take readers or views through an experience.

6. Do Your Research

The best content provides an audience with information or a look at something they normally don’t have access to.

To find this information, you must be prepared for deep research – and that means a lot more than just finding a statistic.

Find the original source or study. Ensure the number you’ve found is still relevant and accurate. Consider the source of the statistic and how they arrived at that number. What did the study not consider when finding their statistic?

To build additional authority, you may consider interviewing the source of a statistic or a subject area expert.

7. Improve Your Interviewing Skills

While it helps if you deeply understand the subject matter, it isn’t all lost if you’re new to the topic.

In fact, being a newbie to a topic can have advantages because you can see the topic with a fresh perspective.

One thing you must be knowledgeable about, however, is interviews. Interviewing is an essential content marketing skill.

Here are some tips:

Prepare

Arrive at the interview with an understanding of the topic. Know the pains and challenges individuals interested in the topic face.

Understand your priorities for your readers, the industry, and the individual you’re interviewing.

Have a list of questions that are thoughtful and organized, and work toward answering a single question or reaching a specific goal.

Set Interview Goal

Are you trying to get tips from an expert? A day in the life of? Solve or bring light to a certain issue? Make a human connection?

Choose a goal for your interview, organize it into an outline, and remove any question or information that doesn’t help you move toward that goal.

Be Personable And Make The Interviewee Comfortable

Awkward silences, a lack of rapport, nervousness, and other social aspects can interfere with an otherwise excellent interview and affect the information you collect.

You may want to consider using cognitive interview techniques, which have been adapted from criminal investigation for journalism.

Record Your Conversation

As humans, our brains prioritize stimuli to determine what is important and what we should pay attention to and remember.

This attentional filtering becomes more severe when you’re making notes, thinking about the technical aspects of an interview, and nervous. As a result, it’s easy to miss important details or implications.

So, save some time and improve your accuracy and insights into the information provided during the interview by making a recording that you can refer to as often as necessary.

Be Precise And Ask For Clarification

Some people love raisins in cinnamon buns. Others do not. And just like the raisins debate, how you define a word or concept may vary greatly from someone else.

So, if the information you collect during an interview seems vague, or you’re unsure of something the interviewee says, ask.

The worst thing you can do is assume that it isn’t true or deliberately influence the meaning of someone’s words.

8. Measure And Track Everything

Measuring something is generally easy. The difficult part of measurement and tracking is measuring and tracking the right things.

SEJ’s annual State of SEO Report reveals that SEO professionals often have a mismatch between their goals, the methods and strategies they use to reach them, and the variables they measure.

Content marketers and marketing are no exception.

Let’s say you want to use content marketing to increase conversions. So, you create a video for your hot tub company.

In this instance, tracking and analyzing traffic data to the video would be a mistake. Those numbers are only part of the story.

Instead, track clicks and use traffic data to better understand who clicks through to your content and where viewers go after they consume it.

And this is vital: Don’t stop your analysis at the click.

Every visit from a viewer is only one step in a larger journey – and this journey matters.

Returning to the previous example, your video might have generated fewer clicks and conversions overall.

Dig a little deeper, however, and you might discover that those few conversions were of much higher value than average, and the viewers return to your site more often than your average site viewer.

In this instance, while traffic numbers might make it look like your video failed, analysis of the customer journey reveals that your video was actually a big success, attracting a more qualified, valuable, and engaged audience.

9. Repackage Content With Purpose

You invest a lot of resources in creating amazing content. Don’t simply publish it in one format and waste the rest of its potential.

Before creating content, consider all the different formats and ways you can share it to get attention.

By planning, you can collect images, video footage, sound bites, expert quotes, and everything you’ll need to share and market your content in various ways to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

But refrain from repackaging content with the sole purpose of spreading it everywhere. Carefully plan your content to appear when and where you need to.

As explained in the video above, Search Engine Journal uses the data gathered for its State of SEO Report to create:

  • White paper reports.
  • Podcast.
  • Articles on data not included in the main reports.
  • Infographics.
  • Carousels for social media.
  • Video clips.

Some of these are released before the main report is published to help spread the word and generate interest while sharing interesting insights about the SEO industry.

Then, when the report is released, it is followed by additional content to help generate interest, links, and findings.

Therefore, instead of a week of interest, the reports generate traffic and attention while informing readers for months without significantly increasing the original investment.

10. Stand Out While Blending In

One of the more common pieces of advice is to copy successful content and do what others are doing.

Makes sense, right?

After all, SEO, good writing, and other skills all have best practices you need to follow. Your audience also has preferences, expectations, and requirements.

Your content needs to look like everyone else’s to some degree.

But here’s the problem with this advice: No one stands out if everyone does things the same way.

Therefore, learning how to blend in while standing out is an essential skill for content marketing.

So, instead of mimicking or copying successful content, collect several examples that have worked on a specific platform or for a specific audience and investigate to find out why they’re effective.

Then, you can use these insights to create and test your own content that allows you to stand out, be unique, and fulfill the needs of your target audience.

Conclusion

Effective marketing is more than choosing the right topic or quality writing.

By strengthening and utilizing these 10 content marketing skills, your content will help you generate the right traffic and connect with your audience in a way that will have you dominating the competition.

More resources:


Featured Image: Viktoria Kurpas/Shutterstock

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