In his latest book, The Science of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog and Other Proven Strategies, Dan Zarrella, a social scientist at Hubspot, details the best known methods for using e-books, webinars, SEO, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, email marketing, lead generation, and analytics in marketing. He warns about ‘unicorns and rainbows’ advice that is prevalent and instead backs up his claims with solid data and analysis. If you’re looking for good advice, look here.
Want to learn more about using webinars in your business?
Zarrella holds the record for the most attendees to one of his webinars on The Science of Social Media. Over 30k people registered and over 10k people attended. He might know a thing or two about them.
Want to learn more about SEO?
According to Zarella, you likely already know enough about SEO. He writes, “you probably don’t need more SEO help. Most businesses would benefit much more from increasing content quantity and quality.” If you’ve been working in digital marketing for a business or brand for any time at all, you know It takes time and effort to keep content updated and relevant. But you can balance that expense by knowing that “not only are search engines the most used source of information for purchasing decisions, but they’re also consulted, by more than half of [Zarella's] respondents, at least once a month”. If you’re going to cut corners, don’t skimp on your content budget. And once you create it, promote it in social media to generate inbound links.
The surprising news about Twitter…
You don’t have to be a brilliant conversationalist to attract followers and links. You just have to share good content. And, stop talking about yourself; start talking as a real person. Be positive. This chapter is quite beefy, but if you’re not already sharing a bunch of other people’s content, then Zarella suggests you start there.
Test what works best for your brand on Facebook.
I was surprised to read Zarella recommend restraint here. In general, he recommends posting once every other day, and trying out Saturday and Sunday to see what happens.
Like other channels, he recommends staying positive, unless you want to generate controversy and comments every once in a while.
Think like a producer of prime time and supermarket checkout content.
In other words, you’ll be smarter than a 5th grader if you write for that grade level (not an easy task). It will take more work to connect your content with content types that audiences enjoy:
“Movies, television shows, books music, and athletes take the lead. This is the type of content you’d find on the cover of magazines at the checkout counter at the supermarket, the type of stuff you’d hear about if you turned on your television at prime time or listened to people talk at a bar next to you. This is normal people content, not geeky, corporate, or boring”.
Become a visual storyteller on Pinterest
Zarella advises, “The textual content should be used to provide context, but the image should tell the story”. Many brands are using Pinterest to generate successful inbound traffic.
If you’re publishing a blog, share a unique point of view
You can’t just build it and expect people to come anymore. Your content has to be “unique and worthwhile” if you expect people to read regularly. Again, he advises. Don’t write all the time about yourself, but as yourself. While Zarella advises that how much you’re posting matters more than when you’re posting, he does offer all the details on timing.
Paid traffic converts higher than other forms of traffic.
I’m happy to hear this fact, but as he says, we’re paying for it so it follows that it would have the highest conversion.
In general, “people prefer content that will teach them to do something or tools that can make their lives easier or their work more successful”.
If you’re looking to fine tune your marketing and content publishing efforts, you’d do well to check out The Science of Marketing.