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The following is a guest post from Bill Widmer (@TheBillWidmer). Widmer is a content marketing expert and freelance writer. He’s also the author of The Proven 7-Step Method to Landing Guest Posts, a free step-by-step guide to help business owners get guest post spots on top sites.

Content marketing isn’t a sprint—it’s a marathon. You can’t expect to release a few good pieces and see immediate results. Even if you do consistently release a piece a month, a piece a week or even a piece a day, results aren’t guaranteed.

Why?

Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Why are you writing? If you’re just putting content out there for the sake of putting it out there, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see a high level of success.

I don’t mean “why” in some ethereal sense of doing a greater good (although I will talk about that), but why in a sense of strategic goals and purpose.

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The following is a guest post from Michael Peggs. Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University. You can connect with Michael (@MichaelPeggs) on Twitter. 

Generating traffic to your website requires going beyond the page, so to speak. It’s great that you used proper H1 headers, implemented powerful keywords, and sprinkled in a few internal links. But if you want to take your brand’s exposure up a notch, you must focus on building an effective off-page SEO strategy. If done correctly, your website will start earning backlinks on its own, improving your search engine rank and overall SEO. Plus, I think we would all like to work smarter instead of harder, right? Here are 3 link-building strategies to get you started.

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The following is a guest post from Shane Barker. Shane is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. You can connect with Shane (@Shane_Barker) on Twitter. 

From digital marketers to top brands, everyone is making the most of influencer marketing. You see dozens of articles talking about its effectiveness and tips on how to implement it. But, why is there such hype about influencer marketing?

Several studies have revealed that there’s a good reason why so many marketers and brands are flocking to influencers. Read on to find out more about how influencer marketing impacts all aspects of your performance.

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This post was written by PR 20/20 intern Emily Dann (@EmilyRDann). Emily is a dual major studying Public Relations at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as well as Marketing Management in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

 

New technology is being introduced in the marketing world every day, and the demand for top talent is greater than ever before. Modern marketers are expected to master both traditional and digital skills to deliver measureable results. 

However, these qualified hybrid marketing professionals are in short supply, and a full-fledged talent war has begun.

It’s imperative that businesses continuously adapt to evolving marketing trends. Founder and CEO of PR 20/20 Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) believes that the largest gaps impacting performance lie primarily within marketing talent, technology and strategy

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The following is a guest post from Matt Banner. Matt is a seasoned blogger and entrepreneur, with a decade of experience in the online world of blogging, SEO, and marketing. You can find him online @BlastYourBlog.

While some people like to interchange the two terms, link building and content marketing are very different from one another. That being said, both are aimed at providing value to the reader, and in that way they compliment each other in a number of ways.

Below, we’ll look at these two terms and how they fit together, plus an infographic packed with all the latest link building strategies.

Content Marketing & Link Building: Two Peas in a Pod

When you boil it down, link building can result in epic content and content marketing can help you build links. But, on their own, they are very different approaches with varying goals. Even so, they can work together.

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The following is a guest post from JP Misenas. JP is the Content Marketing Director & Audio/Visual Technician/Engineer of Interact, a place for creating entertaining and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about innovative ways to connect with customers and to build professional long-lasting relationships with them. You can connect with JP on Twitter or LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered how certain brands outperform others by thousands or even millions of pageviews? The secret has to be with the kind of content they’re producing, obviously. But what exactly is that content, and what makes it perform so well time and time again? We’ve got your standard blog posts, ebooks, infographics and videos, but even those types of content can only go so far.

Take a moment and try to surmise one of the more popular types of content that you’d normally see on social media. Did the thought of those commonly seen quizzes on social media networks pop into your mind? Now what if you could take those quizzes, and implement them into your content marketing strategy? Now we’re onto something.

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The following is a guest post from George Anderson (@GT_Anders). George is the lead content writer at 216digital, a web design, development, and digital marketing agency in Cleveland. Connect with him on LinkedIn, or find 216digital on Twitter.

When it comes to link-building services for SEO, it’s critical that we educate our prospects and clients. The theory behind white-hat link-building requires an explanation that’s both technically correct and easily understood. If digital marketers can’t articulate their link-building programs in layman’s terms, they’re setting everyone up for disappointment.

Many webmasters started practicing SEO before Google’s recent algorithm updates. The techniques these webmasters learned years ago will no longer help their SEO; in fact, black hat techniques (like spam links in comments and paid directory listings) will only harm SEO today. While there are many components to SEO, including onsite optimization and disavowing any spam links built in the black hat days, the number of quality links built to a domain is still the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Luckily, white-hat link-building still offers real SEO value. It’s arguably the only legitimate way to “play offense” in the game of SEO.

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The following is a guest post by Sabrina Fenster. Sabrina is the Marketing Manager for The Shelf, an influencer marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to connect with the most relevant influencers. They currently serve businesses in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, food and family space. She's also the co-creator of street style blog, Streetscoutme. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Valentine’s Day is almost here. With less than one week away from the annual day of love, last-minute shoppers are wracking their brains for the perfect gifts. 

Believe it or not, this is the perfect time to be kicking promotions up a notch because nearly two-thirds of Americans, who spend an average of $142 on Valentine’s Day, don’t begin planning until a week or less before the actual day. 

Businesses should be aiming their arrows straight for men between the ages of 25-34 because they’re the heaviest hitters—spending twice as much as women on the love-showering holiday. What’s more, pets get some good loving too. Just last year, $703 million was spent on our furry little friends, with an average of $5.28 per gift. 

If you’re not in the business of selling love (like flowers, jewelry or chocolates), don’t forget that people will be celebrating with their friends and families too. This annual day of love is not just reserved for couples anymore. 

There are only a few days left to do a big push for marketing promotions, so it’s time to kick it up a notch. Check out this  infographic by The Shelf for even more V-day insights. 

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The following is a guest post by Meaghan McBee. Meaghan is the Content Marketing Manager for ZenContent, a company that provides tailored, quality content for brands of all varieties. Say hi on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

 

2016 is finally here, and content marketers across the globe are working on social strategies that shine. New marketing challenges may bring a fresh range of tactics for your brand to tackle, but where should you even start?

Engagement, customer loyalty and brand awareness are top goals for marketers this year. A lot goes into achieving those goals, including a calculated blend of analytics, budgeting and customer feedback. Fortunately, crafting a Zen strategy for your brand is simple with a solid content marketing plan that follows goals and top trends.

Peruse ZenContent's infographic below for all of the statistics and tips you need to make your 2016 content marketing strategy a success.

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The following is a guest post by Sabrina Fenster. Sabrina is the Marketing Manager for The Shelf, an influencer marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to connect with the most relevant influencers. They currently serve businesses in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, food and family space. She's also the co-creator of street style blog, StreetScoutMeYou can connect with her on LinkedIn.

The majority of annual sales happen during the holiday season, which means if you haven’t started ramping up your holiday campaigns yet, now is the time! With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, businesses (both online and offline) can’t afford to miss out. 

While retail stores often think that the digital space isn’t as important for them, they’re dead wrong. The majority of shoppers do their research online before heading to the store and committing to a purchase. 

No matter where you go online, there’s inspiration everywhere you look: visuals on Instagram, gift guides on Pinterest, style tips on YouTube. The gift ideas are endless, and since this can often be overwhelming, many shoppers seek out their most trusted influencers for advice on what to buy their loved ones. These offers convert at a 3x -10x higher rate than ones shared by brands. After all, what customer is interested in that “Pick me, pick me!” approach, anyway? 

Check out the infographic below for tips on how to run your holiday marketing campaigns and let’s discuss in the comments! 

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