Content Marketing

  • Catch an inside look at CES 2016 with videos from MZ’s CEO, Shama Hyder

    MZ’s founder and CEO, Shama Hyder, is at the always super-cool Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas right now, and like any great digital leader, she’s documenting the experience through video. We’ll be posting her video updates throughout the show here, so check back often!  

  • Content Marketing Tips for the Five Stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process

    If you’re a content marketer who got her start in writing, rather than marketing, then the consumer buying process might be something of a mystery to you. Maybe you’ve heard of it, along with other terms like “sales funnel.” Well, marketers are as bad as any other professional when it comes to jargon, and that’s basically what these two terms are. The consumer buying process is just a breakdown of the steps people generally go through before making a purchase. Different people may call each step something slightly different, but in general the stages are: awareness, evaluation, preference or alternative evaluation, purchase, and repurchase or post-purchase behavior. And the sales funnel is a way to visualize how your audience shrinks as you get farther into the buying process. (In other words, lots of people may want to know about your product and take a step to do some research into your product, but a lot fewer will actually end up making a final purchase.) Ideally, you want to be able to target people in every stage of the buying process. So how do you make your content marketing work for everyone? The answer is to create targeted content for people…

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  • A Day in the Life of an MZ Content Writer

    We have a pretty unique work set-up here at Marketing Zen – although we do have a physical office in Dallas, most of our team members work remotely. This leads to all kinds of questions from people intrigued by the idea of an almost completely virtual company. We have to admit, it is pretty darn awesome to be able to work from home, from Starbucks, even from different countries (yep, sometimes team members just decide to fly over to Spain, or maybe India, and work from there for a month or two… We’re looking at you, Imran and Frank!). And since there’s so much interest in how it all works, we’ve decided to lift the veil and share our day-to-day with you in our new blog series, detailing a day in the life of team members in each department of MZ! The Content Team The first department we’ll be dishing on is the Content Marketing Department. Not to brag or anything, but our writers have been published in print and online publications, have ghostwritten books, and have had their work featured on outlets like Inc. and Forbes, just to name a couple. On top of having amazing writing chops, they…

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  • 12 Days of Christmas Day 5: Crowdsourcing Content

    It’s Day 5 of our 12 Days of Christmas campaign and the very first weekend of December. Happy December everyone! We’d like to share with you trend number 5 – crowdsourcing content. In today’s video we talk about taking advantage of crowdsourcing content to fulfill your content needs. Scroll down for a transcript. Transcript: Hey Zen Nation! It’s Day 5 of our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway where you get a double treat – not only do I share my future predictions for 2016 with you one day at a time, but you also get a chance to win some fabulous prizes by subscribing to Shama TV on Youtube. It’s as simple as that. Every day one lucky winner gets a $25 Amazon giftcard and one winner at the end of it gets the grand prize of the Amazon Fire HD, it’s very cool. All right, trend number five is: crowdsourcing content. As content becomes more and more important – and we’ve seen that over the last few years – and will continue to be more important, businesses have to start looking at how we can take advantage of crowdsourcing content, getting content from their audiences, from your customers, whether in the form…

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  • shAMA: Ask Me Anything: How to Amplify Your Social Media Results

    In this week’s shAMA: Ask Me Anything, Shama shares tips on how to optimize your email marketing, get your employees to engage more on social media, and why it’s so important to create great content. For a transcript, scroll on down. Hey Zen Nation, Shama here! Welcome to another episode of Ask Me Anything, where you ask your burning questions and I do my best to answer all of them. Our first question comes from Aragon on Facebook – nice name! “What can be other good online marketing options other than social media, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. or spamming someone’s email?” So Aragon, boy, do I have news for you. One: if you’re doing email marketing you never have to spam anyone. You know, the olden days of buying lists and doing that, those practices are really coming to an end fast. What you want to do, though, is build up a permission-based email list. And it all starts with a good value, or something you can give in exchange for an email address, right. Whether you’re offering a piece of content, a webinar, a reported podcast, a guide to something – you want to make sure it is a…

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  • The 3 Secrets to Making Your Marketing Content Go Viral, Backed by Research

    It’s no wonder that marketers are, shall we say, a little obsessed with finding the secret formula to making their content go viral – after all, the more eyes that land on that content, the better, and viral content can reach millions in a very short period of time. If you do a Google search for “how to make content go viral,” you’ll see that a slew of major online publications have written pieces on the subject, from The Huffington Post to Mashable. Even Scientific American has gotten in on the act, performing research studies to determine just what exactly it is that triggers a viral sharing craze. As pretty obsessive marketers ourselves, we comb through every new piece of research on the subject of going viral – so we thought, why not compile everything we know from our own experience and from our research, and share it with you? So here you have it – the three ultimate secrets to making your marketing content go viral, backed by scientific research! 1. Know your audience. The most important key to making a piece of content take off is to make sure that it’s targeting the right people in the right…

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  • The Rise of Visual Content Marketing: 5 Reasons Infographics Rock

    There is a magic in graphs. The profile of a curve reveals in a flash a whole situation — the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.
    ―Henry D. Hubbard

    Can we really say it any better that that?! Graphics have come…

  • 4 Ways that BuzzSumo Improves Your Digital Marketing Efforts

    As digital marketers, we are constantly trying to keep up with all the things technology is making available to us. Thanks to many different applications and software, we’re able to increase our marketing efforts when strategizing for a client. One tool we’re really loving here at Marketing Zen is BuzzSumo. Whether your focus is social media, content, search engine optimization, or outreach, there is a ton of data and metrics you can get from the site to incorporate into your marketing strategies. Today we’re going to show you 4 of the ways that BuzzSumo can make your marketing team better.

  • How to Brainstorm Content: 6 Tips to Catalyze Ideas

    Are you a content writer? If you are, then, we’re offering you a high-five, up top! Why? Because writing content is hard work. Beyond that, if you are writing for the same client consistently, you’re going to need to be able to come up with unique content, whether it’s on landing pages, blogs, email newsletters, or anything else. But if you’re a content writer and a content marketer, you’re also going to have to make sure that your content can be easily found. What does that mean? Having a great strategy for search engine optimization (SEO). But even with a great strategy, it’s hard to constantly be coming up with fresh ideas for the same client and their same target keywords again and again. So, what can you do? Simple, you brainstorm. Or, is it simple? That’s just the thing. In order to be competitive and create truly good content that is going to have great SEO and result in a fantastic ROI for your client, you’re going to need to become an expert at brainstorming. That’s where Marketing Zen comes in. If you know us, you know our content, social media, and search teams are always working together. That…

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  • Who is Your Customer? Your Guide to Creating the Perfect Customer Profile

    We recently talked about how important it is that the content, social media, and search teams at a marketing company work together. But where can they start? A good point of focus to start at is who you’re doing all the work for in the first place. No, silly—not you. Your customer! Who are they and what do they want? What do they need that they don’t know they need? In our blog today, we’re going to give you some of our tips here at Marketing Zen for crafting the perfect Customer Profile. What are their demographics? The last time you may have read up on demographics may have been high school; what’s a country’s population, main export, main language, etc. But it’s time to start thinking of demographics in a whole new light—how they relate to your customer specifically. Or, if you’re an agency like us here at Marketing Zen, the customer of your client. Here are some demographic questions you should be able to answer about your customer: What is my customer’s age or age range? What is my customer’s gender? What is my customer’s relationship status? Are they single or are they married? Do they have children?…

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  • Why Should Marketers Start Thinking About Voice Search?

    Here at Marketing Zen, members of our team are always aware of the search marketing behind a campaign. Whenever we do work for a client, each team—social, content, and client relations—knows about search marketing and keeps it in mind. Why? Well, because we’ve got a kick-butt search team. But even more importantly, because they’ve taught us that every piece of content we publish on behalf of a client can improve their search engine optimization. Up until recently, we’ve worked around our knowledge of text-search, and many marketers have. But it’s time to step into the future, because SEO is changing. More prevalent than ever is voice search and in order to improve our search marketing efforts, we need to know more. In this article we’ll tell you what we know and factors to consider alongside voice search for the best optimization. What is Voice Search? The Basics Voice Search is the ability for users to speak into a microphone to perform their search, rather than type what they’re looking for into their mobile device or web browser. Many are familiar with Apple’s Siri, Google Voice, and Microsoft’s Cortana, which allow consumers to search in this manner. Voice search gained much…

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  • 4 Basic Rules for Approaching Influencers

    You’ve probably heard the word “Influencer” floating around the web lately. Yes, now those we follow and learn from have a name. While these influencers are members of our industry that we find authoritative, what’s cool about how they’re changing the industry is by creating a community. Labeling different companies, organizations, and people in industries who have an impact as “Influencers” is allowing us to have conversations with them and engage. It’s helping us build our followers and network to build stronger relationships. One of the ways we’re building relationships is to reach out to influencers about posting on their website. This can be intimidating at first and so we wanted to give you some tips on the best way to go about your approach. Be Real Working on the internet has us interacting with screens most of the time. That said, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t still capable of sniffing out a phony. When you approach an influencer, be honest about your motives (which should be genuine). Make sure that you stay on brand in your message. If your influencer goes to your website and your social media channels and sees that the site has a certain sort…

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