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Why Do You Need Visual Content? (Infographic)

Be Visual

Humans are visual creatures and visual content is the key to get customers’ attention to consider you in the first place (and then buy your stuffs).

A lot can happen in a first glance and customers want information in the visual ways that entertain them, such as videos and infographics. If you don’t already know why your brand should invest in really strong visual content, today’s infographic presents some statistics that explain why. Here are some key points:

  • It takes about 50 milliseconds for a new site visitor to form a first impression.
  • The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.
  • Companies that create custom visual content have a 7x higher conversion rate.
  • Social activity that contains visuals has 40x more shares than text-only.

Take a look at the infographic below for more details.


Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit: Bandwagon

The Native Advertising Principles: A Definitive Advertising Guide For Brands And Publishers


Two major advertising organisations – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Australia and The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) – have collaborated to create a definitive guidelines around native advertising for both advertisers and publishers.

The “Native Advertising Principles” is created with the aim to provide protection tools for advertisers to reference, aimed at ensuring readers can easily distinguish between what is paid-for advertising versus editorial content in the online environment.

Matt Tapper, managing director global markets, Lion Beer, Cider and Wine and new chair of the AANA board, said with the increasing potential for blurred lines between editorial and paid-for advertising, it’s timely that these principles are being launched to provide guidance to advertisers and publishers about how they should guarantee transparency for consumers.

The IAB and AANA define native advertising as: “Paid for content that is assimilated to appear like surrounding editorial content in the online environment,” with the principles for doing native well mainly focusing on ensuring there are visible cues for consumers to devise the content was paid for. These cues could be the use of the brand’s logo in or around the content or the use of a different design, font or shading to clearly differentiate it from the editorial content.

Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia, said: “The rise of native advertising and storytelling by brands is fundamentally shifting the way in which we, as an industry, need to consider advertising. The Native Advertising Principles are an important addition to the IAB Australia’s Advertising Playbook and the AANA’s Code of Ethics and we expect they will provide valuable guidance to advertisers and publishers alike.

Ed Harrison, IAB chairman and CEO of Yahoo7 agreed and said native advertising is a strategically important format for the industry, particularly in the drive towards monetising mobile. Its ability to provide a seamless consumer experience is exceptional, but its successfulness will ultimately be defined by ensuring the advertisements are clearly delineated and defined for consumers

Five Steps You Need To Know About Content Targeting


Long time ago, digital content was anyone’s game. You created a piece of content, published it, and let the Internet decide whether it was worthwhile. If your content was good, it rose to the top. Well, not anymore.

Nowadays, the Internet world is suffocating. Content on every possible topic, in every possible format, presented in every possible way battles for people’s attention. The old ways of building an audience (creating relationships with other sites, link sharing, syndicating, cost-free social media promotion, and patience) are no longer enough to get your content seen. If you’re covering a subject that’s already saturated, then you’re guaranteed to be fighting with thousands, if not millions, other brands and publishers to be seen.

Does this mean there’s no point in even trying? Not at all. Rather than extort our efforts about the influx of competition, we need to get smart about a concept that’s become necessary for success: content amplification.

Content amplification is finding the best new way to get your content within eyeball range of your desired audience. While the classic audience-building strategies are mostly still free of charge (not counting time and resources), they’re also massively time-consuming, and rely heavily on luck. The new generation of amplification is all about tools which dig deep into solving the two most important questions for success with content marketing:

  1. What is the audience this post needs to reach?
  2. How do we get it to them?

Since data and the tools cost money, it’s critical to understand what your targeting options are, how they work, and which one is right for your content. Here are five steps you need to know before executing your own content targeting project.

1. The First Thing To Do

The content-amplification tools, which most of you are already using, are Facebook and LinkedIn. While both offer substantial organic reach, these social networks got wise to the fact that they can charge brands that want to get content in front of their billions of users and shrink organic reach accordingly, while ramping up their content targeting offerings.

Nowadays, paid distribution is arguably the most effective way to use both social networks. The targeting ranges in price, yet it’s all based on information that users provide in their profiles. So when you’re trying to figure out where to allocate your amplification dollars, you’ll need to do some analysis. Are you B2B? Looking to reach CMOs? LinkedIn is probably the better choice for you. Is your desired audience mothers of small children? Go for Facebook all the way. The pricing all depends on how many people you want to reach.

However, always keep in mind that the only data these networks have to work with is the data that users provide, which may be adequate for your needs.

2. The Next Level

Beyond the social networks are tools that target content based on basic info that they can obtain from large data management sources. So you can choose a demographic for your content based on data that the social networks may not have, like age, household income, recent browsing behavior, and other data points. Then the targeting tool dips into their data management source and pulls a population to target based on the data points you chose. Then your content gets spread out to this group, either via a social network or as an ad unit on a site with good web traffic.

These tools can be useful to spread a wide net while still keeping some targets in place, but they keep it somewhat surface level when it comes to the actual demographic you’re reaching. For example, women in urban areas might be the top layer of your audience/customer demographic, but adding even more specific criteria (education level, profession, marital status, online spending habits, and many more) will dramatically decrease your cost-per-lead.

3. Retargeting

These are the tools that focus specifically on people who’ve already visited your website and/or interacted with your content. It grabs their identity, then sorts them by demographic info and targets them with a sequence of additional content. The idea here is to keep people who’ve already expressed interest inside your orbit. The limitation, however, is that you’re only playing with a group that have already showed up. What about the masses who don’t even know there’s a game going on?

4. Going Deeper

Tools on the cutting edge of amplification treat targeting like a chess game. It involves seeing into the minds of your desired audience, then conducting large-scale surveys asking key questions that will help determine who the most likely people are to become your potential customers.

The job of these amplification tools is to craft surveys to this demographic that point to whether or not X or Y person will be more likely to use this service. An example survey question might be “Are you someone who’s willing to let a travel agent plan your yearly vacation?” or “Do you subscribe to a meal-delivery service that chooses a menu for you?” Once you’ve narrowed down those people, and targeted your content to them your cost per lead drops dramatically.

5. Paying For It All

So how much can you expect to spend on all this? Cost for each tool varies based on volume, targeting level, and other factors. Facebook tends to be the cheapest option, but that doesn’t mean it’s the lowest cost-per-lead. Choosing the right tool that will give you exactly what you need to reach your desired audience is critical to keeping your cost-per-lead optimised. How to choose? Working with a skilled content strategy firm will help you figure out which tools are worth your time and money—since choosing the wrong ones, or not using any at all, can severely limit the effectiveness of everything you produce in content marketing.

Four Excellent Interactive Content Models You Can Adapt To Elevate Your Content Marketing Campaign (Infographic)


Over the past decade, the content marketing industry has passed several changes. When the old time marketing focused on creating keyword-rich static site content, the industry is now built on fresh and interactive content that’s timely and relevant.

Along with this change has come an increased emphasis on visual content. While most businesses understand the power of infographics and video, some are still missing one key piece: interactive content. In response to this alarming trend, marketers are always looking for ways to develop stronger content that grabs attention and has lasting value.

For those who are not familiar with the concept, interactive content is content in which the user is required to take action in order to truly maximise the value of what’s being presented. The best way to explain interactive content is to provide some examples. Take a look at the four points below to get an idea of just how flexible this aspect of content marketing is.

1. Interactive Quizzes

There’s a reason you see so many quizzes and assessments being shared on social media. They simply work like a charm. Brands have discovered that people love taking fun tests that provide them with customised answers. These quizzes are a great way for a website to attract backlinks and traffic and are extremely easy to develop. They also retain their value and can be recycled for years to come.

2. Visualisation Tools

Visualisation tools are some of the most unique forms of interactive content. These are typically on-site tools or widgets that allow users to do an activity that’s directly aligned with the brand that’s backing the tool. For an IT company, this could look like an automated diagnostic tool that helps users understand the cause of a problem before proceeding. For a ticketing company, this would look like an interactive stadium map that allows users to select seats. There’s a lot of improvisational areas here, and the benefit is that visualisation tools are directly related to conversion goals.

3. Cost Calculators

Customers love knowing exactly how much a product or service will cost before making a purchase. In many cases, the cost fluctuates based on a number of different factors, though. In these situations, it’s wise for a business to offer customers a convenient cost calculator to cut down on customer service inquiries and make the purchase process smoother.

4. Interactive Infographics

While infographics are valuable on their own, there’s nothing better than an interactive infographic. As the name suggests, these are traditional infographics that allow the user to engage the data being displayed.


As a marketer or business owner, you can’t forget about interactive content. While it takes more time and effort to develop, interactive content provides more immediate engagement and better lasting value in the long run. Keep the ideas mentioned in this article in mind, but don’t be afraid to get creative and brainstorm your own. Anything you invest into quality interactive content will be returned multiple times over.

The Big Ten Visual Content Marketing Trends and Ideas for 2016 (infographic)


Visual content marketing will be one of the biggest hits in 2016.

The golden rules of marketing has changed. With billions of images shared in a daily basis, consumers now have more opportunities to find awesome products and useful content in whatever way they like. The result? Brands are now facing a growing need to tie visual content to commerce.

With a new year on the horizon, we will present another wonderful infographic which tips the big ten visual content marketing trends and ideas that (most likely) will become the next hit in 2016. Here are some fine points to consider:

  • Confidence In Creative Is Low.

Just 11 percent of marketers believe they are leveraging images across their marketing channels “very effectively”. And just 7 percent believe their visual content is successfully supporting their overall marketing goals.

  • Marketers Want To Tailor Their Visual Content – But Aren’t.

86 percent of marketers agree that “Type of channel” is important when selecting images to use in different marketing initiatives. But 78 percent still share the same images across every, or most channels on which they’re active.

  • Mobile Is A Must, But It’s Lagging.

Although one-third of marketers are using images to drive eCommerce, respondents agreed their creative assets are weakest within mobile and app environments.

For more detailed information, please take a look at the following infographic.


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Infographic credit: Curalate

What Does Make Creative Content Fail Miserably?


The most difficult conversations often come down to making room in their budgets for paid distribution.

One of the biggest mistakes today’s marketers make is focusing entirely on content creation without giving proper thought (or an appropriate budget) to distributing that content. In a way, you can’t really fault them. The initial promise of social media marketing was how inexpensive it was, with social media evangelists selling brands on the idea that if you took a little bit of time to put together a piece of content that struck a nerve with the public, you too could have an “Oreo moment” and reach a massive worldwide audience for next to nothing.

However, in the last few years, the landscape has changed dramatically. Social feeds are so saturated with content that it’s almost impossible to break through without paid distribution, and Facebook’s algorithm changes have put huge hurdles in the way of any brand that wants to go viral organically.

So, basically, it’s not effective for brands to create great content unless they have already developed a plan for how that content will be distributed and earmarked money for paid promotion. Before content creators shoot a single frame of video, they need to convene with the media relations team and paid distribution specialists to discuss how the content will reach its audience. In some cases, the distribution strategy will even dictate the details of the creative.

Even if you don’t have a big paid budget, it’s still important to think about where and how people will find your content.  If a story starts performing well on its own, you will double down on it by putting a small amount of paid promotion behind it. Even if you have great content and a brilliant distribution plan, the resulting eyeballs and social shares won’t do much to help your bottom line if no one knows what exactly your brand is supposed to stand for.

Millennials & Video: Why You Should Love Them (Infographic)


If you’re not incorporating video into your content marketing strategy because you think it’s too expensive or ambitious, you’re definitely missing a big chance to make an impression on millennial consumers.

Latest research has shown that Generation Y is primed to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017, and that video marketing plays a starring role when it comes to influencing what they buy. YouTube reaches more millennials than “any single US cable network” and the average mobile YouTube session lasts over 40 minutes. During that time, young people are watching everything from cat videos to movie trailers to even branded content. Statistic found that 76 percent of millennials follow brands on YouTube and a whopping 84 percent do so on Facebook.

Why is this so important? Because 80 percent of millennials use video to help them decide which products to purchase. Take a look at the infographic below for more useful data on the power of targeting millennials with video.


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How-To and Buyer Guides: The Real Value of Advisory Content For Internet Marketing

How To Influence Others

How-to guides, buyer’s guides and instructional videos can be an effective content marketing tactic for online retailers.

How-to guide is one of the most likable and shareable type of content for readers. It targets specific audiences and if the guide is specific and credible enough, the company will gain positive reputation and a lot of shares in social media. In today’s post, you will find some good examples from ecommerce sites and show how effective they can be.

What are how-to guides?

In this context, the how-to guide is the content on retail websites which offers useful advice for visitors. This may be help with product selection, advice on finding the right fit for clothing, or practical advice on how to fix something. This content works on-site as it addresses possible customer problems, where solving them may mean more sales. Off-site, this kind of useful content can attract visitors to you site through search. If you’re addressing common issues and concerns, then your potential customers may well be searching for solutions.

Why should we produce how-to guides?

Yes, why bother? Well there are some good reasons to do it, including:

  • How-to guide helps to target long tail search terms. There are lots of them out there, just find the ones that match your product or service.
  • It attracts specific users with specific intent. Searches with phrases like ‘how do I fix a leaky faucet’ obviously indicate that the searcher has an intent to solve the problem, and may also indicate an intent to purchase the tools needed to complete the task. 
  • It’s highly likable and shareable. This content is worth the investment as it works over a long period of time, providing a useful resource for visitors and a consistent source of traffic from search and other channels. Content like video or written guides are likely to be shared around, increasing the reach of the content.
  • It helps visitors. If you can help them solve a problem, then it generates a positive feeling towards the brand. Even if they don’t make a purchase now, customers will remember this. 
  • It makes you look like an expert on your field. If brands can show their expertise in an area, it increases the customer’s trust in the brand and products. 
  • Video content can increase search visibility. Video results stand out in the SERPs and can help to give you the edge over other results. 
  • It can drive sales. If a customer wants to buy jeans but isn’t sure about sizing, a well-written guide can solve this issue and nudge them towards a purchase.

Some examples of great how-to guides

1. eSpares

This retailer has a dedicated advice centre. Its focus on video guides has paid off in terms of search results:


The video also gives the brand a presence on YouTube, where it has amassed more than 25m views of its videos. It doesn’t sell too hard, and concentrates on providing useful advice, yet the links are there for viewers that need parts. It also helps to establish the brand as a go-to place for such advice.


2. Home Depot

DIY is another obvious area for this kind of content, and Home Depot provides a good example of how this can work. A search around weatherproofing windows generally brings up publishers, blogs and DIY advice sites.

However, Home Depot has managed to rank here thanks to the content it has produced to help solve this problem.


It also uses autocomplete on its site search and serves up buyers guides and other advice for searchers:


3. Nordstrom

Now for an example from a less obvious sector. Nordstrom has a suit fitting guide, providing some useful advice.


The beauty of this content is that, in being useful, it also helps customers to find the most suitable product for their need. It helps to drive sales, and also ensures that, if customers can find the best fit, then returns are minimised.


It also works in the SERPs:



Helpful and advisory content is one of the great way to reach customers and improve the SEO at the same time. It takes some expertise, staff investment and resources to produce it, but it surely can pay off in a big way. For shoppers, especially those looking for more technical products like spare parts and DIY equipment, this content often exists elsewhere, on blogs and publishers’ sites.

So, rather than having customers find these resources elsewhere, it makes a lot of sense to provide them on-site where you can provide links to related products. The SEO value may well be worth it alone.

4 Great Ways To Handle User-Generated Content Correctly


There’s no question how quick social media can be overwhelming. Marketers may sometimes feel that finding the right social content and maximising it for strategic use can be impractical and hopeless at times.

However, this should be a simple case. In the quick-paced era of Twitter and Instagram, users are doing a lot of our work. Eighty percent of all online content is created by users, and what’s more, user-generated content is fifty percent more trusted than any other media on the web. In short: consumers would much rather eat at a local restaurant with 5-star Yelp reviews or visible Facebook check-ins from their friends than a new joint down the street that’s relatively unknown to their social circle, even if the latter has a strong marketing campaign behind it.

Now that users have increasing autonomy over the content they consume, user-generated content (UGC) is more than just a trend – it’s a necessity for brands. Say goodbye to the days of brainstorming brand-specific content because every potential story you could tell about your brand is right in front of you with UGC. Your core responsibility becomes setting the high-level messaging strategy and then connecting those dynamic photos and 140-character thoughts into memorable stories that reflect the values of your brand. In today’s post, we will explore four great ways to harness the power of UGC. Pay attention fellow marketers. You won’t want to miss the slightest opportunity.


Where and how do you start looking for your brand’s UGC in the first place? Looking up your brand’s hashtag on Twitter and manually scrolling through the feed tweet-by-tweet won’t work, and employing a social listening platform just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Technology now allows us to go beyond manual filtering and curation. New tools enable you to discover content that supports brand messaging from the largest, most active social channels.


Social depth tools will help you quickly organise, and store UGC. With this kind of platform, you can pull content directly from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and store it for future use, when you choose to make that content available directly on your brand’s website and other digital properties to tell your brand’s story.


Just because something is online for everyone to see doesn’t necessarily mean you can use it. It’s imperative that marketers reach out to the user and request permission to use their content. A good social depth platform will have this feature built in, and foster a direct line of communication between the brand and the user.


This is the fun part. You can now instantly publish UGC directly to your brand’s digital assets and start interacting with your users. User-genera for brands is revolutionary because the most powerful image you can hand to a potential customer is their face as the representative of your brand and its values. People want to invest themselves in stories, and featuring a user’s content as part of your brand has the twofold effect of getting you the UGC you want and establishing brand loyalty.

Connect with your users right away. Remember, 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations above all forms of advertising.

Content Budgeting: How and Where Are Brands Spend Their Content Budgets (Infographic)

Have you prepared your content budget for 2016?

How and where are brands should placing their content budget? What kind of brands believe in content and invest in it as a major form of marketing? Find out the answers and more useful insights in this infographic that features statistics about the importance of content in the marketing sphere for 2015.


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Infographic credit: ExpressWriters