Every new year I like to think back to all of the articles and blog content I read the previous year, and compile a list of the best marketing tips and tricks that I picked up. Last year was certainly a great year for content marketing, and more and more companies began executing better researched and higher quality content. Here’s what I recommend you read before you begin planning your marketing tactics for 2016:
SEO and LINK BUILDING
1) The Link Building Book by Paddy Moogan
For anyone looking to improve the state of their SEO, this is the book for you! It’s a straight-forward, yet extensive ebook that will help you identify what the difference between good links and bad links are. It will help you strategize your link building process for 2016, and help boost you to the top of Google.
2) The Skyscraper Technique by Brian Dean
Brian Dean is one of my favourite SEO bloggers out there. After reading about his Skyscraper technique, I have seen incredible results. The level of quality backlinks that I’ve received after putting his technique into action has skyrocketed. I highly recommend this read to anyone looking to raise their DA.
3) 11 Fantastic Tools and Strategies to Recover from Link Penalties by Neil Patel
Neil Patel is one of those marketers who consistently produces great content. If you’ve ever been docked points and penalized for your link building strategies, this read will provide you with some insight to get you out of trouble.
4) The Ultimate SEO Tool Showdown by Benjamin Brandall
Deciding on an SEO tool can be a pain. You want a quality tool that will help you grow your business, but you want something that won’t break the bank. In this article, Ben Brandall analyzes two great tools and helps you come up with a process for picking the best one to suit your needs.
INFLUENCER OUTREACH AND GUEST BLOGGING
5) 8 Reasons Why Your Guest Blog Submissions Are Getting Rejected by Abbas Rajani
When I first started guest blogging, I struggled a lot with finding sites that would be interested in my contributions. This is probably because I would send out some very canned emails that contained little to no interesting or useful information. A lot has changed since then. If you find yourself struggling to get accepted as a guest blogger, take a look at this read.
6) The Advanced Guide To Partner Promotions by Viral Sweep
A huge part about influencer outreach is to network with potential co-marketers and collaborators. Establishing ongoing partnerships can take a lot of work, since there is a lot of follow-up required. This guide by Viral Sweep might just simplify your struggles with partner promotions. Definitely a must-read!
7) How To Find And Successfully Work With Influencers by Gail Gardner
Gail Gardner is an expert when it comes to influencer outreach, and her expertise is highlighted in this article. Learn how to find the right influencers for you, and how to work with them to promote your content and product.
TRAFFIC AND LEAD GENERATION
8) A Step by Step Guide To Increasing Your Blog’s Traffic by Adam Connell
Adam Connell has claimed to be the Blogging Wizard. In this post he provides you with 32 steps for boosting the traffic on your blog. Better yet, it’s all done in infographic format, making it much easier to read and share with your network.
9) Why You Should Use Webinars To Generate Leads by Tom DisCipio
If you’ve never attempted putting together a webinar to generate leads, then maybe Tom will convince you. He states that webinars are a great way to build brand trust and authority, and even provides a list of companies successfully using webinars for lead generation.
10) How One Startup Generated 400+ Leads Through Other People’s Content by David Schneider
This article blew my mind and has certainly led to generating some very effective leads. David states that you need to start by finding relevant articles in your niche. Find the contact information for the author, as well as the contact information from commenters. The next step is preparing to outreach to them and converting them into users, or bloggers who will eventually link back to you.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
11) How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch by Kevan Lee
Coming up with a social media marketing plan can be extremely tedious. Lucky for you, Kevan and the team at Buffer have put together a comprehensive infographic to simplify the process.
12) 10 Ways To Blow Up On Twitter Like Donald Trump by Garin Kilpatrick
With Donald Trump dominating the Presidential Campaign (and apparently social media), not only is this post timely, but also very informative. Garin analyzes just what Donald Trump and his team practice in order to get the most engagement from their twitter shares.
13) 7 Psychological Principles To Get More Engagement On Social Media by Neil Patel
Using methods from psychology, Neil Patel shares his expert tips on how to gain more engagement from your posts on social media. This article doesn’t just give you easy tips with no credibility to back them up, rather he helps you understand why certain approaches result in higher engagement rates.
14) We Analyzed Nearly 1 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned by Garrett Moon
Ok so this article might not be from 2015, but it’s packed with so much useful information that I couldn’t help share it! Garrett Moon is the Founder at CoSchedule and analyzed close to 1 million headlines then tracked a variety of different metrics to learn what headlines people engage with the most. The results are fascinating and definitely useful when coming up with your own content headlines.
15) How To Use Competitive Analysis To Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy by Jaykishan Panchal
In this article Jaykishan highlights what content marketing trends to look out for in 2016 and how to leverage social media in your content marketing efforts. He also recommends learning from your competitors and getting constant feedback about your industry!
16) 50% of Content Gets 8 Shares Or Less: Why Content Fails And How To Fix It by Steve Rayson
I love reading articles by Steve Rayson on Buzzsumo because they are so insightful, informative and backed up with tons of great research. I found this article very helpful because it’s pretty much a comprehensive guide on how to create valuable and high quality content. Read it through more than once and really apply his tips, because they work!
17) 46 Expert Tips For Creating Addictive Content [INFOGRAPHIC and EBOOK] by Sara McGuire
This article was put together by the team at Venngage. The team reached out to nearly 50 different marketing and SEO experts and acquired a list of exclusive tips and hacks over the course of a couple of months. More on their process can be read here.
18) 5 Ways To Create Infographics For Instagram by Eugene Woo
I suppose I could have featured this article in the social media section, but I think it fits better under infographics. Eugene Woo puts together a comprehensive guide on how to create static and animated infographics for Instagram. Marketing on Instagram is important, especially if you are hoping to reach out to millennials, so I highly recommend this read.
19) 6 Formulas For The Perfect Pinterest Infographic by Maria Parra
Anyone hoping to create an infographic that generates social shares should read this study. This is an original research piece by Venngage that analyzed over 200 infographics on Pinterest to understand what specifically results in more repins and likes on the social network. A very interesting and very informative study.
20) The Anatomy Of The Perfect Infographic by The Daily Egg
Full disclaimer: I wrote this article, but in all fairness I do know a lot about infographics. If you are looking to improve your understanding of the process for creating infographics, then you should take a look at this very comprehensive article. You’ll learn everything from selecting the appropriate copy, to picking the best charts and where to find the best data for your infographic.
21) 11 Best Practices For Infographic Design And Distribution by Column Five
When is comes to designing beautiful infographics, Column Five knows what they’re doing. This talented group of designers has put together a very useful breakdown of design tips for infographic creation.
22) 7 Design Principles That Star Wars Taught Us by Venngage
If you need help designing your own infographic, and you’re a fan of Star Wars, then you will love this post. The article and accompanying infographic outline some great tips that graphic designers and new designers can pick up from the Star Wars movies, including when to use negative space, depth, contrast and more.
23) How To Get Access To The Decision Maker Through Social Media by Lucas Walker
Although this article falls into the sales section, it can be incredibly useful for marketers, especially those looking to contact anyone who is incharge of making decisions (ie. blog editors and lead content marketers). Lucas uses social media as a main strategy for reaching out to the decision maker, and his tactics can be very useful when reaching out to influencers as well.
STATISTICS AND DATA
24) The Ultimate List Of Marketing Statistics 2015 by Freely
Many marketers are constantly looking for data and statistics to reference in their content. Well Freely has put together this huge list of marketing statistics for your use. They even featured a series of infographics in their post that can be easily shared on Instagram!
I hope that these articles will bring you much knowledge as you commence your new year. Feel free to comment with other suggestions or tweet me posts that you read last year which were truly eye-opening!