August 23, 2017

Get Better Engagement Through Content Optimization

According to a study by AOL & Nielsen, 53% of time on the internet is content consumption and in the U.S. alone, 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, not counting status updates and tweets. In the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs report earlier this year, 9 out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business.

While content demand and interaction is high along with the reported levels of content marketing implementation by marketers, most companies are not satisfied with their ability to create compelling content over time, connect that content to relevant audiences and measure the full impact of the content investment.

How do I know? We get calls and emails from them every day, looking for help!

It’s one thing for talking heads to pontificate about the value of content and for marketers to nod their heads in agreement. But it’s another thing entirely to implement in a way that grows prospect awareness, customer engagement and ultimately value to the business.

At Content Marketing World in Columbus, OH this week I’ll be presenting a practical approach to solving the disconnect between content creation and connecting that content with interested audiences in a meaningful way. TopRank’s approach to optimization is holistic and customer centric. It focuses on understanding consumer preferences for content discovery, consumption and engagement.

It’s not enough simply to tell a great story in an engaging way.

Optimizing content marketing strategy is essential and that means understanding how target audiences find and seek out information sources. What are they searching on and what topics are they asking about on the social web? With that insight we can better optimize our editorial plan.

The same goes for understanding content format and device preferences. There’s a big push towards visual marketing with images and video, but is that really all you need to be successful with your content? What the creative agency thinks isn’t nearly as important as what content and media formats matter most to the prospects and influencers you’re trying to engage. It’s important to consider what devices drive the most productive outcomes. Is it mobile, tablet or laptop? Get those answers through web analytics and then optimize your content for better performance.

Speaking of engagement, it’s worth digging into what topics, formats and stories will engage both the customers you’re after as well as those thought leaders that influence them. Niche influencers are very powerful at inspiring action. Not everyone will be a customer, but compelling and relevant content can inspire social shares and referrals to those who are more likely prospects. To optimize for engagement also means optimizing for actions like micro conversions or sales inquiries.

Optimization is a continuous process of hypothesis, implementation, measurement and refinement.

Content Marketers that can see beyond the gross claims about SEO as well as the “SEO is dead” diatribe, will realize the necessity of continuous performance improvement from ongoing optimization.

At Content Marketing World, my presentation, “Optimize and Socialize Your Content Marketing” will provide a model of approach that helps develop and optimize content across the sales funnel.

I’ll also share some of what went into the wildly successful Content Marketing Secrets project we launched last week in partnership with Content Marketing Institute. The interviews have had thousands of views and hundreds of shares over the past 5 days. The e-book has been viewed on Slideshare over 40,000 times and there have been over 700 downloads of the PDF. Search for “content marketing world” on Google and you’ll also see the search impact of this project.

My session is on Thursday at 3:00pm and I’ll be giving away several copies of my new book Optimize. I’ll talk about how we optimized our approach with the Content Marketing Secrets project relevant to planning and execution for improved discovery, consumption and engagement. I hope to see you there!


About Lee Odden 41 Articles
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a provider of innovative Internet marketing consulting for progressive B2B companies ranging from Marketo to PRWeb to McKesson. Odden has been recognized for his expertise with enterprise social media, SEO and content marketing strategies by The Economist, Advertising Age and Mashable. He writes a monthly column called Social Media Smarts for ClickZ and his blog at has an active community with over 46,000 subscribers, 12,000 Facebook Fans and has been rated the #1 Content Marketing blog 3 times by Junta42. He is also the Author of "Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing" published by Wiley.

6 Comments on Get Better Engagement Through Content Optimization

  1. Hi Lee,
    That’s probably the hardest part of writing content for any webmaster, presenting it in a meaningful way to your target audience. I find that writing content is not the difficult part, getting it to the point of creating interest and sometimes even emotion at a psychological level is often the hard part. Thanks, Kevin

  2. Lee,

    This is great. I am going to share on LinkedIn today. My feelings tough are that origional content is difficult to produce. We are bombarded every day with content online that inspires us all but reproducing that content in your own words will often look like plagiarism and we know that we would be penalized for doing so should one choose that route. Creating compelling content is difficult – especially in competitive markets like Financial Services. I do agree with many of your points but still find it difficult to write new engaging copy that hasn’t been done already. It isn’t enough these days to simply put things in your own words & optimize it for SEO as when the optimization part is introduced, I find that I am using the same keywords as others and then the transformation occurs where an article for example transforms from my own work to someone elses because we all use the same optimization techniques. Just my 2 cents.

  3. Great article. The creation and presentation of content that is optimised for search as well as being meaningful and engaging to your target audience is an ongoing process and requires an ongoing dialogue with existing clients and customers as well as a deep understanding of what your audience wants and what you have to offer. Again, great article.

  4. ” What the creative agency thinks isn’t nearly as important as what content and media formats matter most to the prospects and influencers you’re trying to engage. It’s important to consider what devices drive the most productive outcomes. Is it mobile, tablet or laptop? Get those answers through web analytics and then optimize your content for better performance.”
    I laughed. Isn’t that what the Creative Agency’s job is?

  5. Lee that is the next step in the marketing online conversation. Now that we have this content how do we optimise it. However, I still think we have missed the mark in creating really valuable content. Content that gives value to our ideal customers. In any case, say we have the content right, sharing that content in many mediums is a great marketing resource but that must be tempered with time and resources and as Steve says where our audience is.

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