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Digital PR Strategy: Building a Kickass Campaign

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Digital PR Strategy: Building a Kickass Campaign

Since Google News debuted in September 2002, I’ve created or co-created the digital PR strategy that produced kickass campaign results for various clients.

That list includes The Christian Science Monitor, Get City Dealz, Harlequin Enterprises, Parents magazine, Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference & Expo series, Southwest Airlines, and Rutgers University.

I initially used a five-step process for crafting digital PR strategies.

But, that’s evolved into a seven-step process as I’ve learned what worked (and what didn’t) from producing digital PR campaigns for clients with different business goals and marketing objectives.

Now, I wouldn’t describe this seven-step process as a digital PR strategy template.

Why? Because one size does not fit all.

However, it’s a tried-and-true framework for helping a wide variety of B2B and B2C organizations to:

  • Create brand awareness.
  • Generate demand and/or leads.
  • Increase sales and/or revenue.
  • Support the launch of a new product.
  • Build a subscribed audience.
  • Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events, or
  • Provide a return on marketing investment (ROMI).

Now, I wish that I could claim authorship for this framework.

But, that honor goes to Aristotle, who wrote his classic “Nicomachean Ethics” in the 4th Century BCE.

His “elements of circumstance” were: who, what, when, where, why, in what way, and by what means.

All I’ve done is apply them to craft successful digital public relations strategies and campaigns in the 21st Century.

Let’s examine each of the seven steps.

1. Who Are Your Target Audiences?

When you create a digital PR campaign, the first question you should ask is: “Who are my target audiences?”

Your answer should include “the public” as well as “the press.”

Why? Because the best digital PR campaigns put “the public” into public relations.

Before the beta version of Google News was launched in September 2002, the press was the only target audience for traditional PR campaigns.

But, Google News did something that shifted the paradigm: For the English language, it crawled and indexed over 4,000 sites, including multiple press release distribution services.

That allowed the public, as well as the press, to use Google News to search for and discover product and company news based on their search intent and interests.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of Google News users are not members of the press. They are members of the public.

Over time, this ratio has tilted even more towards the public.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, “Newsroom employment in the United States has dropped by 26% since 2008.”

In 2008, there were about 114,000 total newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers – in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable, and digital news publishers.

By 2020, that number had dropped to about 85,000: a loss of about 30,000 jobs.

So, consider why your target audiences should include the public – consumers or business buyers.

In April 2020, Rand Fishkin and Casey Henry launched SparkToro: an audience research tool that gives me crucial information about any online audience in seconds.

That information includes:

  • Demographics: Gender, age, and education.
  • Firmographics: Employment and skills.
  • Top words in bios: How they describe themselves.

For example, I used SparkToro and quickly found 844 people who frequently talk about “digital PR strategy.”

The tool provided a detailed breakdown of my audience by gender identity and age range.

Screenshot from SparkToro, August 2022

Beyond this, SparkToro provided me with data about my audience’s level of Education – whether they have an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s, a doctorate, or if their education is unknown – and their academic majors.

But demographics rarely tell the whole story. Fortunately, SparkToro also revealed this audience’s firmographics.

For example, 34% work in the marketing and advertising industry, while 31% work in public relations and communications. I can also see their years of experience in their respective fields.

In addition, 83% of this audience mentioned social media as one of their skills, 76% mentioned social media marketing, 74% mentioned marketing, and 73% mentioned public relations.

Finally, 17% of this audience use the word “agency” in their bio/profile/about fields on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

And 11% use “digital PR,” 10% “marketing PR,” and 9.5% “communications.”

This gives me a clearer picture of who this target audience is.

And it works for other target audiences, too.

2. What Is Their News Search Intent?

Given the profile I’ve built of this target audience, they will likely know how to use Google News and Google’s other “news surfaces” to find press releases, images, and videos from some of the companies and organizations that matter to them.

And based on the keyword research and audience research that I’ve conducted, their news search intent is often different from their web search intent.

For example, if you use Google Trends to explore a search term or a topic like “digital PR strategy,” you’ll see sporadic interest in the US over the past 12 months.

But, if you click on the web search tab and select news search instead, you’ll see, “Hmm, your search doesn’t have enough data to show here.”

So, what’s the alternative?

Go to Google News and start typing the same search term or topic.

Google’s autocomplete feature will generate predictions that help people save time by allowing them to quickly complete the search they already intended to do.

As you will see from the image below, people not only search for “digital PR strategy,” but they also search for “digital PR strategy template” because they haven’t learned that they need a framework instead.

Google News autocompleteScreenshot from search for [digital pr strategy], Google, August 2022

But, it’s worth noting that many of autocomplete’s predictions are for variations of “digital marketing strategy.”

Why?

Because many educated and experienced users of Google News have discovered over time that there’s a dearth of relevant news or interesting stories about the topic of “digital PR strategy.”

So, they’ve learned to broaden their searches instead.

You can also use SparkToro to see a similar phenomenon.

Although the tool identified 844 people who frequently talk about “digital PR strategy,” when you examine the top hashtags that they’ve used on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook over the past three to four months, they are #digitalmarketing, #contentmarketing, #advertising, #branding, and #socialmediamarketing.

And the most frequently used phrases they used were “marketing strategy,” “influencer marketing,” “account manager,” “customer service,” and “marketing trends.”

SparkToro hashtagsScreenshot from SparkToro, August 2022

 

So, you often need to go beyond what the keyword research tools can tell you when determining your target audiences’ news search intent.

Sometimes, you might go broader.

But, other times, you might want to remind yourself that 15% of searches conducted every day are ones Google hasn’t seen before.

Where do these brand-new search terms come from? Breaking news, most likely.

3. When Do They Conduct News Searches?

The next step in creating a kickass digital PR campaign is learning when your target audiences are more likely to conduct news searches.

One strategy is called “newsjacking.”

David Meerman Scott coined the term in 2011, and the Oxford Dictionaries shortlisted it as one of their “Words of the Year” in 2017.

According to Scott:

“Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed.”

He adds,

“When there is news in your marketplace reporters and analysts are looking for experts to comment on the story. Newsjacking gets you media attention.”

If you want more information about this digital PR strategy and examples of how to strike at the right time, read Scott’s book, “Newsjacking.”

He explains when a digital PR strategist should newsjack, and why this strategy favors players who are observant, quick to react, and skilled at communicating.

Or, if you want a quick preview, watch this short video from his publisher, Wiley.

Another strategy is to leverage the seasonal calendar that many retailers use to plan for the year ahead.

A typical seasonal calendar for U.K. retailers includes:

  • Valentine’s Day.
  • Mother’s Day.
  • Father’s Day.
  • Summer Sales.
  • Back to School.
  • Black Friday.
  • Holiday Season.

Or, you can create your own tentpole event to promote the launch of a new product.

Traditionally, tentpole events were used by movie studios to promote their big blockbusters each year.

But in July 1987, the Discovery Channel borrowed the concept to promote “Shark Week.”

My favorite campaign was: “Shark Week 2013 Promo – Snuffy the Seal.”

4. Where Do They Conduct News Searches?

In the early days of what was then called “online PR,” the primary place where target audiences could find your press release was Google News.

Today, Google has several different “news surfaces,” including Google News, News in Google Search, Discover, News on YouTube, and News on Google Assistant.

If you want to learn how to optimize your news for each of these surfaces, then read Google News Optimization: How to Boost Your Site’s Visibility & Traffic.

But, when planning your next digital PR campaign, it’s wise to broaden your perspective.

For example, SparkToro reveals that 52% of the people who talk about “digital PR strategy” are located in the U.S. It also breaks down where in the world the other 48% are located.

If you’re planning to drive attendance to one or more in-person events, you should leverage SparkToro’s audience research to see where they’re located.

And you shouldn’t forget the press.

SparkToro discloses which press accounts this audience reads, YouTube channels they watch, and podcasts they listen to.

SparkToro podcastsScreenshot from SparkToro, August 2022

The tool also identifies the social accounts they follow and engage with most and the websites they visit frequently.

It often makes sense to pitch your story – under a news or press embargo – to these journalists, social media influencers, and other key opinion leaders – before distributing your optimized press release.

Why?

Because many of these news sources will honor the embargo to receive advanced knowledge of details and can prepare their reports to coincide with the announcement date and yet still “scoop” their competition.

5. Why Does Your News Matter To Your Target Audiences?

The next question you should ask is: “Why would my news matter to my target audiences?”

In other words, is your subject line or headline newsworthy enough to get their attention, and is your pitch or story compelling enough to get them to respond?

In far too many cases, they aren’t – which explains why so few digital PR campaigns generate kickass results.

In fact, the Propel Media Barometer for Q2 2022 analyzed a sample of nearly 400,000 real pitches to figure out what makes up the “perfect” pitch today.

They found journalists open less than 36% of the PR pitches they receive. And, the press only responds to about 3 out of every 100 pitches they receive.

Although similar data isn’t available to the public, it seems reasonable to assume that your customers click on just a fraction of the headlines they find in news search results and respond to only a small percentage of the stories they read.

So, you may need to conduct some tests to better understand why your news matters to your target audiences.

For example, we teamed up with Get City Dealz and Business Wire in 2013 for such a test.

We wanted to see which would generate better results for three local merchants promoting their best daily deals in New Orleans: an online video news release, a photo press release, or a release without multimedia.

The release with a video had 55.4% more release views and 36.1% more link clicks, and the release with a photo had 4.6% more release views and 7.1% more link clicks than the release with no multimedia.

That won us the award for the “Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign” at the inaugural U.S. Search Awards, as well as the “SNCR Excellence in New Communications Award” in the Visual Media Category of the Corporate Division for our “solid campaign with impressive metrics and accurate attribution.”

But, we could generate kickass results because the target audiences for all three press releases were more than 1 million tourists and 5,000 media members converging on New Orleans for two major events: the “Big Game” and Mardi Gras.

We used Google’s Campaign URL Builder to add campaign parameters to URLs in the three releases, so we could measure our Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.

That enabled us to see a 407% increase in organic search traffic in February over January.

We also saw an 85% increase in referral traffic in February over January – coming from news sites like Yahoo! Finance, Reuters, and social media like Facebook and Pinterest.

Plus, we distributed the releases on successive Saturdays, and the number of unique visitors to GetCityDealz.com on weekends doubled in February over January.

The online video news release for Jazzy Nola featured some unique wine tumblers made in a distinctly New Orleans style with a gold fleur-de-lis imprinted on the tumbler.

The release helped sell out wine tumblers, which were great for tourists and visitors wandering the French Quarter during “The Big Game” or on the Mardi Gras parade route.

The online video news release also mentioned that Jazzy Nola was promoting their Roger Goodell (Commissioner of the National Football League) voodoo dolls.

At the press conference before “The Big Game,” the media asked Goodell about the voodoo dolls, and he joked that he’d read about them. They also sold out in a matter of days.

Who, what, when, and where often influence why your news matters to your target audiences.

6. In What Way Can You Change Hearts, Minds, And Actions?

In ”Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle said we must act voluntarily to be held morally responsible.

Today, your target audiences feel and think they’re in control of what they do.

For example, SparkToro shows us all accounts share stories from media sources and news websites with high levels of factual reporting, the credibility of information, and the consistency with which their content passes fact checks.

The people who talk about “digital PR strategy” have even higher levels.

SparkToro factual sharing statisticsScreenshot from SparkToro, August 2022

So, how can you ethically change their hearts, minds, and actions?

Start by reading What Is a Content Marketing Matrix & Do We Need One?

It explains that a content marketing matrix is a planning tool.

Below is one that I crafted and contributed to Guy Kawasaki, who included it in his book, “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.”

Content marketing matrixImage created by author, August 2022

As you can see, this Content Marketing Matrix had only two dimensions:

  • Awareness to action on the horizontal axis.
  • Rational to emotional on the vertical axis.

And a digital PR strategist can use one to create news content that will enchant the press and the public.

Just use one of the four quadrants – educate, entertain, enlighten, and inspire – as a starting point for deciding if your content will enchant the press based on their beats and the public based on their interests.

Now, this is a big idea. According to Kawasaki,

“Enchantment is not about manipulating people…. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.”

He adds,

“In business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people.

By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.”

For example: In cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and various entities concerned with tourism, culture, and heritage, the UAE Government Media Office launched the World’s Coolest Winter campaign in December 2020.

They distributed a press release to educate the press and the public about the country’s first domestic tourism campaign, which highlighted the wide variety of destinations in the Emirates worth visiting – to offset the dramatic drop in international tourists due to the global pandemic.

As part of the campaign, the New Media Academy teamed up in January 2021 with Beautiful Destinations to create “Let’s Go – The Emirates.”

The goal was to enlighten the public about the UAE’s hidden gems with beautiful cinematic videos, so they would take action.

I should disclose that I’m an instructor at the New Media Academy, and five of my students are featured in this video.

The second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign was launched in December 2021.

It expanded on the previous year’s campaign by targeting both domestic and foreign tourists.

The second year’s campaign invited citizens and visitors to share their most beautiful experiences, adventures, and memorable moments across digital platforms in various parts of the Emirates.

The campaign also asked influencers to create inspiring photo and video content like “A Winter Through My Eyes” to inspire tourists to take action.

The video’s description asks,

“Can a country be truly enjoyed by someone who cannot see? As the United Arab Emirates, we believe in making what seems impossible, possible. And this winter, we gave a young child, Clara, the opportunity to experience and enjoy the World’s Coolest Winter in the UAE.”

That’s how you can change hearts, minds, and actions in an ethical way.

7. By What Means Can You Measure Your Results?

Aristotle also wanted ethical people to understand by what means or how they achieved their ends. And today, measurement is so much more than counting.

As Katie Delahaye Paine says in her book “Measure What Matters,”:

“Counting just adds things up and gets a total. Measurement takes those totals, analyzes what they mean, and uses that meaning to improve business practices.”

She adds,

“Measurement of your processes and results … provides the data necessary to make sound decisions. It helps you set priorities, allocate resources, and make choices.

Without it, hunches and gut feelings prevail. Without it, mistakes get made and no one learns from them.”

For example, the first “World’s Coolest Winter” campaign generated:

  • More than 2,000 media reports reached over 20 million people across the world.
  • 215 million views of videos that captured UAE’s beauty.
  • 950,000 domestic tourists in 45 days.
  • 66% hotel occupancy rate vs. 58% in the U.S.
  • AED1 billion (US$272 million) of revenue for the UAE’s hospitality sector.

So, the UAE Government Media Office went far beyond counting the number of stories that mentioned their campaign.

They worked with hotels in the country to measure revenue per available room (REVPAR).

(REVPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.)

After analyzing these business outcomes instead of their PR outputs, the second “World’s Coolest Winter” campaign generated:

  • 71,000 photos and videos on social media.
  • 3 million tourists, up 36% from the year before.
  • A hotel occupancy rate of 73%, up from 66%.
  • 5 billion (US$408 million) for UAE hotels, up 50% from the first campaign.
  • Plus, US$11.5 million for a new initiative called “Warm Winter,” which extended humanitarian support to more than 110,000 refugees and people in need in Africa and the Arab world.

Now, that’s how you build a kickass campaign!

But, as I said earlier, there’s no digital PR strategy template.

You need to decide what really matters to your organization.

If you’re looking for metrics that you can use as KPIs (key performance indicators), then you should read:

Why? Because the last step in building a kickass campaign is measuring your results.

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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