August Recap: This Month’s Top Marketing Insights

How many blogs do you follow for marketing insights? 1? 5? 15?

With all the helpful, influential advice out there, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s worth your time to read. That’s why I started creating recap articles with 7 of the top marketing insights for each month.

For August, I found a wide variety of influential and informative blog articles that I highly recommend for you to read and reference. You’ll find articles about content marketing, blog writing, social media campaigns, and more. Some of the thought leaders I included are Heidi Cohen, HubSpot, Sprout Social, and others.

Do you want to learn the best practices and influential lessons in marketing from this past month? Read on to become more knowledgeable and informed.

For Your Marketing Calendar Management

CoSchedule’s How to Plan a Marketing Calendar That Actually Works

Why you should read it

You want to keep your marketing efforts organized and manageable, and a calendar is key to achieving that. This article by Nathan Ellering of CoSchedule is thorough enough to educate you on every aspect of calendar development.

All CoSchedule blog posts come with additional resources you can download for further reference and activity. In this article, you can download a guide with actionable, step-by-step instructions as well as a calendar template in Excel. These content upgrades are helpful in taking this article’s advice and actually applying what you learn.

Nathan’s article takes you through 5 steps that’ll help you build and organize an effective marketing calendar, and each step has plenty of applicable advice to help you. If you’re looking for an article that will take you through each stage of calendar development, this resource has everything you need to know to get started.

Best tip

“… the aim is to plan content on your marketing calendar that will help prospects make purchase decisions instead of purely focusing on content that’s great for the top of the funnel…”

You should still create top-of-funnel content to attract a new audience. However, your focus should primarily be on creating content that brings sales. That’s key to proving your marketing efforts are worth all the invested business resources.


For Your Content Marketing Distribution Efforts

Heidi Cohen’s Ultimate Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Why you should read it

Content promotion is key to getting your hard work out in front of people. You want your article to gain traction and bring in an audience, but this requires a commitment to continuous content distribution.

In Heidi’s article, she offers 60+ ways that you can distribute your content for maximum reach and effectiveness. She divides her list into three categories so that you can take advantage of each form of distribution. It doesn’t seem like any distribution tactic was left out, making Heidi’s article one of the best resources on this subject.

What makes this article even better is the free download you can claim. It helps you bring Heidi’s content distribution list with you in an offline capacity. This is the kind of list you’ll want to reference regularly, so the download might be useful to you.

Best tip

“Since your audience continues to grow and evolve, many of them may not be familiar with your older quality content. It’s your responsibility to repromote your best and most useful content.”

Many content creators focus their promotional efforts on the most recent articles and resources. They stop promoting content after a certain amount of time has passed, which is a mistake.

Your older content, if effective before, still has potential to drive traffic to your blog. Don’t let it all fall into oblivion. Acquire a new audience by promoting all your quality content, not just your most recent.


For Your Blog Writing Efforts

HubSpot’s How to Write a Blog Post: A Bookmarkable Formula + 5 Free Blog Post Templates

Why you should read it

Whether you’re a veteran writer with hundreds of published articles, or you’re a brand new blogger, you’ll find this HubSpot article to be a huge time saver. If you’re like me, you want to create high-quality and thorough articles on a more frequent basis. Yet, you might be struggling to push out content on a more consistent basis.

That’s why this article is so helpful. Rachel Leist, the post author, makes it clear that her advice will both increase and improve your output as well as eliminate any excuses you might have. It truly is the definitive blog writing article you need to reference regularly.

To top it all off, HubSpot offers 5 templates you can download to assist with your blog formatting. You have 5 options for blog post types, and each one will guide your writing. This will lead to a blog post people will want to read and share.

Best tip

“Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.”

It’s obvious you want your blog post to lead somewhere, so you add a call-to-action to get readers to take the next step. It might be an offer for a content upgrade or a sign up for your newsletter. You might even have a product that’s relevant to your post topic, so you could add a free trial CTA.

The point is: your CTA needs to be of use to both you and your readers to be effective. If the CTA doesn’t benefit the reader somehow, they’re unlikely to act on it. This leaves you without any conversions on your offer – just blog visitors who leave soon after arriving.

Create a content upgrade, even if it’s just a PDF version of your article, and require contact information in exchange for the download. That’s just one way to offer a relevant, mutually-beneficial CTA for your blog posts.


For Your Next Social Media Campaign

Sprout Social’s How to Brilliantly Craft Your Next Social Media Campaign

Why you should read it

Jenn Chen, author of this handy guide, gives you six questions to answer when developing a social media campaign. Each one is critical to the success of your campaign, so you need to know how to answer them before you launch.

This article is a good one to include in this month’s roundup because it guides you through each stage of the campaign development process. As a result, you’re better prepared for your campaign launch. You’ll also be more likely to achieve the goal you had set for it.

When you are planning to create a social media campaign, refer to this article on the Sprout Social blog. It has great advice for each element and stage.

Best tip

“The more campaigns you execute, the more you’ll learn about what works for your company.”

Too often, a company will run one or two social media campaigns that don’t work well enough. So, they think social media isn’t right for them. At a minimum, they stop trying certain techniques or features.

The problem with that is:

You shouldn’t give up without experimenting thoroughly, with different variations of specific elements. As Jenn wrote, you’ll learn more when you execute more campaigns.

Run a variety of social media campaigns, making small changes to each. This will help you see what works and what doesn’t more effectively. Your company shouldn’t give up on an idea without giving it a fair shot. This might require separate campaigns with a few little tweaks here and there.


For Your Brand Advocacy Program

Hootsuite’s Social Media Advocacy: How to Build a Brand Advocate Program

Why you should read it

You’ve likely heard about the controversies around poor social media customer service or poor choices in ambassadors. The stories about brand advocates abandoning companies go viral quickly, so what can you do to build an advocacy program that works the other way?

Enter Rob Mathison’s article on social media advocacy. Rob wrote this rather thorough article for the Hootsuite blog, and it goes into detail about how to build a brand advocate program on social media.

You want your social media marketing to be successful, and a huge part of that is through word of mouth (WOM). When you develop a strategy for brand advocacy, you’ll see this WOM tactic spread from happy customers, employees, and influencers to their own friends and followers.

This article will give you what you need to know to get moving with an advocacy program. I don’t see a single element missing for the beginner to get started. Whether you need a clearer definition of social media advocacy or want to skip straight to the instructions, Rob’s article has it all.

Best tip

“When done right, fostering brand advocacy can lead to many company-wide benefits, including an increase in sales and positive brand sentiment, as well as a greater share of voice in your industry space.”

You won’t just see brand awareness grow from a social media advocacy program. You’ll see many benefits that impact multiple areas of your business.

People trust customers and influencers more than the company brand, so you’ll ideally see an increase in sales from the word of mouth that comes with an advocacy program.

When you have people speaking praise of your brand and offerings, their own audience will think more positively of your company. This also will help with future sales.

Use this article and all it offers to get started with a brand advocacy program for your own business.


For Your Facebook Marketing Efforts

Buffer’s Complete Guide to Facebook Groups: How to Create a Group, Build a Community, and Increase Your Organic Reach

Why you should read it

Not many businesses see the usefulness of or know how to use Facebook groups as part of their social media marketing efforts. Is your company hesitant to create one of your own?

It wasn’t until recently that Facebook pages could create their own groups, so brands would use an employee’s profile to create and manage one. Now, you can add a group directly to your page itself, so that excuse you might have had is over.

Buffer created this step-by-step instructional guide to Facebook groups to help any pages out there create a group to build a community of their own.

A big bonus that this article emphasizes is how groups can help pages with their organic reach. If you’re on Facebook, you know the pain – publishing posts from your page only to discover a small fraction of people saw it. By creating a group and making it work, you’ll improve on this reach potential without the need to boost posts or advertise. Buffer explains in more detail in their article.

The importance of this article stems from social media’s main purpose:

Each social platform has one simple purpose, which is to build communities. None of the social networks reward brands that broadcast alone. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram reward brands that engage with their audiences.

Use Buffer’s Facebook groups resource to follow that purpose and build a community.

Best tip

“Having an engaged community can help strengthen your community members’ relationship with your brand. This brand equity can then influence their decisions on purchasing from you.”

Yes, social media is about building community, but that doesn’t mean you should set aside your business needs. Instead, keep in mind that a strong community can actually improve your sales cycle.

When a group member has a positive opinion of your brand, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you. The group activity and your participation in it will keep your brand top of mind. When that interaction is positive in some way, it’ll influence members’ buying behavior.


For Your Video Marketing Education

Neil Patel’s Everything You Need to Know About Creating Marketing Videos

Why you should read it

Even if you’ve already started with video marketing, this article has advice you might not know about. Neil Patel’s articles always include pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about that topic. This article on creating marketing videos is no exception.

Do you doubt the need for video? Neil has statistics to prove how important it is.

Do you want to know each step to how you can create an effective video? This article has it all.

Are you unsure about a certain video tactic? Check the best practice do’s and don’ts that Neil includes.

Best tip

“The worst trap that marketing videos can fall into is trying to force a message to the viewer.”

Neil makes it clear early on that your videos shouldn’t be bluntly sales-y and force your products on the viewer. Remember that your video will appear to viewers at all stages of the buyer’s journey, especially if you host it on YouTube or another social platform. Many of your viewers will not be ready for a sales pitch, so they won’t appreciate seeing one in your video.

Instead of trying to push for a sale right away, follow Neil’s advice in his truly invaluable article.

That’s it for this month’s marketing insights recap! Did you find these articles useful, or would you want to add others? Share any August blog posts you’d recommend in a comment below!

I will be creating these article compilation posts at the end of every month, so if you ever want to see your new content featured, shoot me an email when it’s published. I’ll be sure to give it a chance.

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