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Trust Factors: How Best Answer Content Fuels Brand Credibility

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How Best Answer Content Builds Trust

How Best Answer Content Builds Trust

Page one. Answer box. The top result. In the minds of marketers, these prime destinations have largely been associated with SEO success.

From the days of keyword-stuffing and algorithmic alignment to more nuanced modern approaches accounting for semantic voice commands, influencer integration, and search intent, edging competitors on that SERP has been a key source of aspiration. As it should be: heightened visibility on Google makes a big difference in terms of driving traffic.

But it’s a little short-sighted to think only about that first, fleeting interaction — the search, the discovery, the click. What about the deeper impact? As customer experience becomes a central focus for brands everywhere, we should be more considerate of what happens after a user clicks through that search result, and how it affects your brand.

We talked recently about how best answer content helps fuel strong SEO results. But as part of our new “Trust Factors” series, which examines practical ways for marketers to strengthen trust with their audiences, we’ll shift our perspective and break down the critical benefits of effective best answer content when it comes to building credibility and authority in your niche.

[bctt tweet=”As #CX becomes a central focus for brands everywhere, we should be more considerate of what happens after a user clicks through that search result, and how it affects your brand. @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #SearchMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Beyond the Click: The Lasting Impact of Best Answer Content

Brian Dean of Backlinko is a masterful creator of best answer content. He preaches, and practices, a quality-over-quantity approach. At the recent Social Media Marketing World 2019 conference in San Diego, Andrew Pickering and Pete Gartland (the hilarious speaker duo @AndrewAndPete) shared the story of how Dean decided on a plan of publishing one blog post every 4-6 weeks, investing huge amounts of time into making sure each of those pieces was as robust, useful, and comprehensive as possible.

To get an idea of what this output looks like, you can check out his SEO in 2019 or Link-Building for SEO, either by clicking those links or simply typing the basic terms into Google; his posts will show up near the top.

Using this approach, Dean reported his blog was receiving more than 200,000 unique monthly visitors with just 51 total blog posts, which is a pretty amazing feat. Obviously, the premium SERP placements have helped him achieve those gaudy numbers. But it’s the substance beyond the headlines and meta descriptions that really makes his content powerful.

Perusing one of his in-depth resources, you’re going to learn a ton. The posts are extensive but navigable; technical but understandable; fun but serious. They include videos and images to illustrate concepts and break up the copy. Most importantly, they answer pretty much every ancillary question a searcher could ask about their respective topics — accurately and actionably.

Backlinko's Definitive Guide to SEO

And that’s how Dean turned his SEO training company from a humble startup to a seven-figure business in five years. His credibility speaks for itself. People trust him and want to learn from him because of the content he creates — not because it ranks so well, but because of how it ranks so well.

How Best Answers Build Trust

He’s a great example, but Dean is hardly the one out there building trust through best answer content. At TopRank Marketing, this methodology is fundamental to our integrated strategy mix, and we’ve seen plenty of awesome results with our clients. As two examples, there was this content and strategic PPC campaign for DivvyHQ, and this SEO-driven content program for Antea Group.

While both of those efforts drove excellent results in terms of traffic and reach, what’s really heartening in both cases is the deeper business impacts.

“Lead quality has definitely improved,” said DivvyHQ Co-Founder Brody Dorland. “The prospects coming through our website front door are much closer to our ideal customer than they have been in the past.”

“We’ve been able to marry our field and digital marketing efforts together, resulting in numerous digital leads, real revenue opportunities to the tune of millions of dollars, and credibility with our clients, partners, and media as a go-to source for EHS&S information,” said Antea Group USA Solutions Marketing Manager Margaret Uttke.

As any sales team can tell you, prospects who are both well qualified and predisposed to respect your brand are vastly more likely to convert and become happy customers. Here’s how effective best answer content achieves these outcomes:

Demonstrable Authority

This more or less speaks for itself. When someone finds content on a topic they’re looking for and it gives them everything they need, expertly articulated, it paints your company as a trusted source: These people know what they’re talking about. They know how to present the info. They’ve done it well enough that Google’s algorithm — which now heavily weighs dwell time and quality inbound links — has elevated it above most or all others.

Value First

Sometimes, content marketing can get away from its essential purpose: providing value. Pressured to show results — even if just vanity results — some practitioners blur the line between pull and push with strictly gated content or thinly veiled promotion.

Best answer content gets back to the basics. When done right, it’s all about delivering value and earning trust before you ask for anything. Dean spends weeks researching and composing his hefty Power Pages, which are freely available to anyone who visits. He even makes them downloadable in PDF form if you can’t consume all of that content in one sitting, and while the assets are technically gated, in that you must enter an email address to receive them, you aren’t required to fill out a long contact form.

[bctt tweet=”Best answer content gets back to the basics. When done right, it’s all about delivering value and earning trust before you ask for anything. – @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Competitive Positioning

Yes, it’s helpful to outrank competitors for key terms because you are more likely to bring in that search traffic. But there is also an important reputation element. When you outrank a direct competitor, the optics are compelling. And even if you’re not at the top, simply ranking in the vicinity of a giant company or reputed publication enables you to soak up some of that “second-hand trust.”  

It’s a simple psychological phenomenon, as Neil Patel explains on his blog: “This is not just a convenience issue for users. It’s a trust issue, too. When a result appears first, second, or third, users tend to trust it, believing that it is somehow more reliable, popular, or more legitimate than anything lower in the SERPs.”

Given that Google is increasingly structuring these SERPs based on indicators of query fulfillment, that’s a valid shorthand conclusion for searchers. And when your page delivers a definitive best answer to back up the ranking, you’ve made the right impression.

Organic and Inbound

It’s getting harder to build trust through ads. That doesn’t mean you should ditch the paid side by any means, but it does raise the stakes for organic content. As digitally native millennials grow to account for more and more of the buying population, we must be cognizant of their ingrained instincts. They are more likely to trust information they find themselves, as opposed to sponsored results or content that is (in truth or perception) pushed on them.

Gaining the Top Rank Is About More than Search Placement

Yes, it’s great to rank at the top of a SERP, for a variety of reasons. But it’s also vitally important to rank at the top of your audience’s mind for strategic topics, through content that satisfies their curiosities and provides legitimate value.

As Google’s algorithm continues to evolve and prioritize the most satisfying results rather than the most technically optimized results, you can trust that best answer content — which, when done right, covers both of those bases — is increasingly a no-brainer.

Want to learn more about TopRank Marketing’s best answer framework in action? Check out our CEO Lee Odden’s post on How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results.

The post Trust Factors: How Best Answer Content Fuels Brand Credibility appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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How to Improve Your Social Video Content: 10 Tips From the Pros

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Want to create better social video content? Looking for tips and tools to try? In this article, 10 video experts share the tactics and tools they use to create successful video content. #1: Simplify Live-Stream Production Flow With Elgato Stream Deck One of my favorite live-streaming tools is Elgato Stream Deck, a video switcher that’s […]

The post How to Improve Your Social Video Content: 10 Tips From the Pros appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Want to Prove Content Marketing ROI? You Need an Actionable Marketing Dashboard

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Why You Need an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Why You Need an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Content marketers are believers. We believe our content brings real value to our prospects, clients, and partners. We believe our content is essential for driving demand. And we believe that content marketing is essential for bolstering our company’s bottom line.

However, we’re also realistic; as it’s often said: Seeing is believing. So, we need to be able to show proof of content marketing ROI to get our key stakeholders to believe, too.

And to do this, we need a source of truth that artfully and easily shows how we’re performing against our benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as where we’ve identified opportunities to improve results. We need an actionable content marketing dashboard.

To put it simply, when set up right, an actionable dashboard allows us to answer two simple questions: 1) Is what we’re doing working? 2) Why is it (or isn’t) working?

How does this help you identify, show, and prove ROI across the organization? Let’s dive in.

How Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards Can Inform, Inspire, & Show ROI

What are the benefits of an actionable content marketing dashboard? All the fun and exciting benefits that come from knowing how your content is performing at a granular level aside, there are a ton of benefits that come from a holistic content marketing dashboard—especially when it comes to getting stakeholder engagement and buy-in.

An actionable marketing dashboard isn’t just a long, dry analytics report. It’s visually engaging and easy to digest.

[bctt tweet=”An actionable #marketing dashboard isn’t just a long, dry analytics report. It’s visually engaging and easy to digest. – @Tiffani_Allen” username=”toprank”]

Highlight the Bottom Line for Leadership

The executives hold the purse-strings. And they want to ensure the budget you’ve been given is being put to good use.

With an actionable dashboard, you can avoid the awkward “What have you done for me lately?” conversation with your leadership team by easily showing them how your content marketing efforts tie back to overall business objectives.

With the right data and insight readily available in your dashboard, you can showcase performance from visit to sale, so when they ask: “Is this content getting us an ROI?” Your answer can be: “You bet. In fact, overall our content marketing efforts drove 200% ROI in 2018 and we’re trending to exceed that benchmark in 2019 based on our goals.”

Of course, as a general rule, you don’t lose marketing funding for something that pays for itself and more.

Inspire Your Peers Inside & Outside the Marketing Department

When your marketing team members are able to see the fruits of their labor, they’ll be more driven to continue what’s working and looking for innovation opportunities to take it to the next level.

In addition, if you’ve been working with an internal subject matter expert such as your human resources director or sales manager to create content, showcasing how their contributions are making an impact will make them more open to ongoing collaboration—which can help all parties reach their goals.

As a little tip, consider making a leaderboard in your dashboard so contributors can easily track how the content they’ve contributed to is performing. Adding a little competition based on objectives is a fun way to level-up performance. (Betting on this performance is optional.)

[bctt tweet=”When your #marketing team members are able to see the fruits of their labor, they’ll be more driven to continue what’s working and looking for innovation opportunities to take it to the next level. @Tiffani_Allen” username=”toprank”]

Set New Hires Up for Scalable Marketing Success

Another key benefit is that actionable marketing dashboards can help you scale your content marketing efforts. For example, if you find yourself proving so much ROI that you need to expand your team to keep up with demand, you can easily transfer knowledge to your new hires about what kind of content works and doesn’t work, and how they can know the difference.

This kind of results-focused training and new hire orientation helps keep your full team aligned around what really matters—creating and marketing quality content that exceeds your benchmarks and blows your goals out of the water.

Strengthen Relationships With Clients & Influential Collaborators

Whether you’re working with industry influencers to co-create content or you regularly engage clients to provide testimonials and case studies, you have the opportunity to use your marketing dashboard to show them not only how valuable they are to your marketing efforts, but the mutual value being incurred.

For example, let’s say a client helped create a testimonial or case study that saw a 300% increase in visibility over benchmark for that content type. Your message to them can be that together you’ve driven an incredible amount of brand awareness for both of your organizations.

Your Actionable Next Step? Create Your Content Marketing Dashboard

The performance of your content marketing means much more than traditional success metrics—it can mean visibility for your business, strength for your bottom line, and alignment for your internal teams.

If you’re ready for more visibility and creating a stronger business case for your efforts, the first step is to create a dashboard of your own, tailored to your marketing and business objectives.

Again, when properly set up, an actionable dashboard should allow you to answer two simple questions: 1) Is what we’re doing working? 2) Why is it (or isn’t) working?

Wondering how to create this magical dashboard? Check out our guide to marketing dashboard essentials to get started on your path toward data-driven success.

The post Want to Prove Content Marketing ROI? You Need an Actionable Marketing Dashboard appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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