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The best online marketing articles of 2014 (so far)

best-online-marketing-articles-2014

Online marketing articles cover many topics and there are thousands of blogs out there publishing articles about different types of content. We’re exposed to masses of information every day, especially when trying to keep up with the news and trends. In this blog post, I curated my favorite online marketing articles of the last few months. Halfway through 2014, let’s see what blog posts have been the most shared on the web.

Content marketing

content-marketing-book

The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research
by Kevan Lee/Buffer

Isn’t it annoying when you’ve reached the 140 characters limit on Twitter and you have to shorten words, condense your ideas and really shatter your brilliant tweet? In this article, Buffer’s Kevan Lee goes even further than this material limit of words you can encounter on Twitter and other platforms by explaining what the ideal length of any type of content should be to have a maximum impact on your readers.

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Every so often when I’m tweeting or emailing, I’ll think: Should I really be writing so much? […] Solid research exists to show the value of writing, tweeting, and posting at certain lengths. – Kevan Lee

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Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us
by the Buzzsumo Team/Buzzsumo

If you don’t know Buzzsumo, you should take a look at their service to enhance your online marketing strategy. This site will help you find inspiration as they suggest the most viral content available on the web. If you’re looking to learn from the best bloggers, Buzzsumo is a site to bookmark and to check out everyday.
In this article, the team explains what makes content go viral, whether it’s its length, the emotion used, what type of post, etc.

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The longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares). – Buzzsumo

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Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing
by Chris Lake/Econsultancy

You probably have stumble upon this one before. As mentioned by Econsultancy’s director of content Chris Lake, nobody until then had created a periodic table of content marketing. It is pretty cool, informative and easy to embed as a great way to enhance a blog post about content marketing.
This periodic table of content marketing gives you the seven steps to success, including the strategy to adopt, the format to use, the content type, the best platforms, what metrics to look out for, the goals you should establish, the sharing triggers and finally, what you should double check before posting your content.

The_Periodic_Table_of_Content_Marketing

Emotion in Marketing: How Our Brains Decide Which Content is Shareable
by Courtney Seiter/The Next Web

So you’ve just read a blog post, you like it and decide to share it to your friends or community. But do you know what triggers the fact that you felt like you had to share it? Well according to many studies, emotions make content more shareable. Happiness makes us want to share, as for sadness it makes us connect and empathize. Read all about fear, disgust and many other emotions and their importance in online marketing content in Courtney’s blog post.

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Since emotions remain tied to base evolutionary processes that have kept humans safe for centuries, like detecting anger or fear, they’re so primal that we’ll always be wired to pay attention to them – often with surprisingly powerful results. – Courtney Seiter

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6 Ways to Measure B2B Content Marketing Performance
by Derek Edmond/Content Marketing Institute

Another practical online marketing article from the beginning of 2014 is about measuring the B2B content marketing performance. According to Derek Edmond, there are 6 ways you can do so through 3 primary challenges: brand awareness, thought leadership and engagement. In this article you’ll find the key tools to look at and analyze the right data to measure you B2B content marketing strategy’ state. These tools includes services such as Google Webmaster Tools, Twitter Analytics, etc.

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The value in measuring inbound link data lies with being able to establish the tie-in between quality content and attribution by third parties. You certainly want to know, and showcase, when your content is well-received by relevant audiences and influencers in your respective industries, by way of link references. – Derek Edmond

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Search Engine Optimization

seo-google

Big Changes Are Coming To Google Search Results — Are You Ready?
by Jayson DeMers/Forbes

This article on SEO changes by Jayson DeMers has been published a little more than one month ago, and already we’ve been seeing changes in search engines result pages starting by Google’s knowledge graph results. More over, Google just released Panda 4.0 to penalize websites with low quality content. A few weeks ago, Google also altered Authorship, taking authors pictures away.
In the next few months, Google SERPs are going to see many changes. Are you prepared?

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Search engines need to evolve to remain useful and relevant. But as the changes start to pile up, users are going to start to learn to adjust. Furthermore, the SEO (search engine optimization) industry is going to feel huge changes and pressures to change as well. – Jayson DeMers

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Are We Coming to the End of SEO?
by Andrew Edwards/Mashable

Here we have an interesting article by Andrew Edwards of ClickZ that will make SEO consultants cringe. Is search engine optimization really coming to an end? Surely we’ve seen Google fighting harder some dodgy SEO practices – the goal being to bring the best results to the user’s query. From now on, ranking for the sake of ranking is not enough, even though your site thematic is close to the user’s query.Google’s algorithm is refining results to be as precise as possible, with the help of AdWords.

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Drink a bottle of SEO and your site will zoom vigorously to the top of the heap. But too often, and partly because Google does not seem to want it to, it doesn’t work as advertised. – Andrew Edwards

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The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO
by Matt Cutts

Where have you been if you haven’t heard of this now famous blog post by Google’s webspam boss Matt Cutts? Guest blogging, a great practice to get your content out on famous blogs, to improve your link building strategy, etc. Perfect for SEO purpose. Expect Google is now penalizing those who guest blog for the sole purpose of getting links.

As you may have heard, Matt Cutts is taking a break, but this doesn’t mean guest blogging is any less risky!

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Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company. – Matt Cutts

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5 SEO Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know for 2014
by Jayson DeMers/Entrepreneur

This is the second blog post from Jayson DeMers I’m mentioning in this article. He is an incredible writer and his pieces are always interesting and relevant.
We’re halfway through 2014 but it is important to remember what are the 5 tops SEO trends of this year. From now on, SEO isn’t just links and keywords. It’s a combination of many different signals which you can read about in this simple yet complete article.

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A strong SEO strategy has three core components: links, content and social media. – Jayson DeMers

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3 Ways to Use Google+ to Increase Search Rankings
by James Thomas/Social Media Examiner

We’ve all heard about these social signals for SEO. But what actually works? As you know, Google + content is taken into account by search engines, or at least by Google. In this article from Social Media Examiner (I really recommend this blog for social media people!) you’ll learn what are the 3 main ways to use Google + to increase your search rankings.

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Google+ can help you increase search rankings for your website, but you have to take the time to optimize your page, profile and content. – James Thomas

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Social media marketing

social-media-marketing

9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014
by Scott Gerber/Mashable

Another great article that does not stop receiving visitors. Scott Gerber of Mashable asked 9 successful entrepreneurs what they will change in their social media marketing strategy in the next 6 months to stay ahead of the game. Among the answers: automation, LinkedIn, content, paid social media campaigns and of course, the rise of Google +, etc.

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 If there is one thing we know for sure about social media, it’s that few trends hold on for long — so marketers need to stay on their toes. – Scott Gerber

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53+ Free Image Sources For Your Blog and Social Media Posts
by Courtney Seiter/Buffer

We’re all tempted to just go on Google Image, look up for a picture and use it. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Pictures have licences that need to be respected, unless you want the owner to come up to you and claim what is rightfully theirs.
If you’re looking for an alternative, you’re in luck because Buffer’s Courtney Seiter came up with a list of free image sources.

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Nearly every image created in the last 30 years is still protected by copyright—a protection that gives virtually every author the exclusive right to use or reproduce their work. – Courtney Seiter

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The Year Ahead: 5 Social Media Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know
by Jayson DeMers/Entrepreneur

Jayson DeMers also write interesting articles about social media. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the top 5 social media trends of 2014. Once again, Google + importance is highlighted as well as the combination of content, SEO and social.
Even half a year in, these trends are still relevant and it’s not too late to incorporate them in your social media strategy.

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Being aware of trends in the social sphere can help you design better strategies, apply the most effective tactics and choose where to invest your staff as well as financial resources. – Jayson DeMers

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7 Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research
by Patricia Redsicker/Social Media Examiner

This article about social media trends by Patricia Redsicker also highlights some of the trends mentioned previously by Jayson DeMers. However some more insights provided by this article can be great sources of inspiration to help you define your social media strategy.
Google +, once again, is not to be avoided. Also, if you do not want to limit your social media strategy to organic actions, you should take a look at the many benefits offered by Facebook Ads.

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Blogging has become increasingly important to social media marketers—68% of marketers plan to increase their future use of blogging. – Patricia Redsicker

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch
by Kevan Lee/Buffer

Finally, an awesome article on how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch: a great way to get started! This article is very complete. You’ll learn step by step how to choose carefully what platforms you should be active on, how to effectively fill in your profiles, how to find your marketing voice and tone, how to pick up a posting strategy, how to analyze and automate your work for a successful strategy.

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If social media looks thrilling and overwhelming all at once, start with a plan. Once you see the blueprint in front of you, it’s a little easier to see what lies ahead. – Kevan Lee

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Your turn: what are you favorite online marketing articles so far?

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