Sunday, February 19, 2017
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Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Larabars | by Natalie

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkvW_v5l5Yw&w=480&h=270]

Dreamy Mint Chocolate Smoothie | by Michelle

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yAmSFseT24&w=480&h=270]

Home-made Mint Chocolate Chip Shake | by Kristina

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V6FtBUYorU&w=480&h=270]

Home-made Mint Chocolate Chip Shake | by Kristina

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V6FtBUYorU&w=480&h=270]

Chocolate Mint & Nut Power Balls | by Melissa

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFqX2VLXUQ4&w=480&h=270]

Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream | by Kaylie

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGLmDOwHoYU&w=480&h=270]

Storytelling: The Power of Telling Stories | by James Wedmore

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cjllqUHQdNQJames Wedmore on the power of storytelling to connect with your audience, and the five different types of stories you can use. "There are five different types of stories that you can use to better engage and connect with your customer. Number 1: The personal journey Now for your business product or service exits because the personal experience that you have will make...

Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KxDwieKpawgFilmmaker Andrew Stanton, of "Toy Story," "WALL-E" fame, shares what he knows about the craft of storytelling  — beginning at the end and working back to the story's beginning. "Storytelling is joke telling. It's knowing your punchline, your ending, knowing that everything you're saying, from the first sentence to the last, is leading to a singular goal, and ideally confirming some...

Storytelling: What is the Monomyth?

The monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed. The concept was introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), who described the basic narrative...

Instagram is About to Change in a Huge Way: An Algorithm Based Timeline is Coming

Instagram is about to change in a massive way. The photo and video sharing app is taking a page from Facebook and testing an algorithm based timeline. This means that photos and videos shared to Instagram will no longer appear in chronological order and will instead appear based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content and your relationship with the person posting. The change could mean that if your best friend posted an image while you were away from your phone for a number of hours, Instagram might place that content at the top of your feed the next time you open the app. In a blog post announcing the change on March 15, Instagram says that they’re focusing on optimizing the ordering of posts and that most users miss on average 70% of their feeds. The post goes on to explain: As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most. To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most. Speaking to the New York Times, Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, also made reference the fact that users miss 70% of their feed, explaining: “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.” Systrom appears to be very mindful of how the change may feel to the Instagram community too, “if it’s one thing we do really well as a company, it’s that we take big change slowly and deliberately and bring the community along with us,” he said. “It’s not like people will wake up tomorrow and have a different Instagram.” Though the change is in testing with an unspecified single-digit percentage of users as of now, it’s yet to be confirmed when the change could be rolled out to all users. In their blog post, Instagram simply says the new experience will be seen in the coming months. Using an algorithm could seem like a natural progression for Instagram. The platform currently has more than 400 million regular users. And with 75% of Instagram’s audience coming from outside the United States, Mike Krieger, Instagram’s co-founder, and chief technology officer, believes this change may face less pushback as time isn’t quite as important to Instagram’s content as it is on other platforms. “Look at my feed now. I follow accounts from all over the world,” Krieger said to the New York Times, “it doesn’t really matter to me what time it is.” The announcement comes fresh off the back of some research by Quintly, who analyzed 10,000 Instagram 
profiles during the full year of 2015, and found that while the number of times brands are posting to Instagram is up, their engagement is falling. Quintly’s study found that marketing-led post frequency has increased from 0.84 posts per day to an average of 1.04 posts per day. At same the time interaction rate dropped from 4.96 to 3.10 during the year. The results of this study could simply be down to Instagram maturing as a product. And the switch to an algorithm-lead timeline could help brands to reach their most loyal followers and improve their interaction rates. The change could also bolster Instagram’s advertising product in the long run. If the algorithm-based timeline can succeed in showing users the most compelling and relevant content, then time people spend using Instagram could also increase, providing more opportunities to serve targeted ads to users. Over to you I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update. Does an algorithm based news feed feel right for Instagram? Should Twitter maybe follow suit? Share your thoughts in the comments and I’m excited to join the conversation. ➤ Sources: Instagram, New York Times, Quintly The post Instagram is About to Change in a Huge Way: An Algorithm Based Timeline is Coming appeared first on Social.

Content Marketers: Your WHAT Doesn’t Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking

After listening to This Old Marketing Episode 116, Professor Marc Resnick from Bentley University responded with the following commentary: “Which would energize me (or anyone) more as a creative business professional? Creating content that has the primary purpose of driving the sales pipeline and a secondary purpose of improving the life of my user. Creating content that has the primary purpose of improving the life of my user and a secondary purpose of driving the sales pipeline. Clearly #2. I find this to be a great value proposition for why organizations should use your content marketing approach. Having energized employees is great for productivity. It is touted as the Holy Grail for millennial generation employees. And unlike other management hypes, this one really works.” I believe most marketers would agree with Marc in theory but not in practice. Switching the mission In the documentary The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing, River Pools & Spas co-owner Marcus Sheridan shares the following about the company’s turnaround from near bankruptcy to the global leader in Fiberglass pool education (26:54 mark): The moment we stopped saying, ‘We’re pool builders,’ and started saying, ‘We are the best teachers in the world about Fiberglass pools and we just happen to install them as well,’ … that was one of the most prosperous days of our lives. Before this, River Pools was like every other pool company – it installed pools. What became the difference in River’s success was moving the product from primary to secondary in the mission. What do you sell? Most likely, what you sell is primary to your company’s mission, which is then passed down to your content marketing mission. Do you know what this creates? Self-serving content that does nothing for the audience and wastes time and resources of the brand. Let’s consider a large enterprise like 3M as an example of what you should be doing. Over the next five years, the majority of 3M sales will come from new products. If 3M focused its mission around specific products and services, it would not only be impossible (3M provides thousands of products), its mission would constantly change because the products change. In reality, 3M’s mission is all about helping people live a better life through advancements in science. This is a noble mission on which to base the direction of its content – focused on the needs of the audience with a specific content tilt (science). RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:One Thing Is Killing Content Marketing and Everyone Is Ignoring It More than ourselves This is why most marketers are so terrible at content creation. The “why” to most marketers is about driving demand and selling more widgets. Kirk Cheyfitz, CEO of Story Worldwide, says that “like a decent human being, brands need to be about more than themselves.” Like a decent human being, brands need to be about more than themselves says @KirkCheyfitz #contentmarketingClick To TweetIt seems too simple, but yet almost all brands get this wrong. We focus on what our organizational goal is and create content we believe drives that organizational goal. This works in advertising, why shouldn’t it work in content marketing? Sadly, it doesn’t. Sure, the organizational goal (e.g., sales, savings, customer loyalty) is important, but to hit that goal, we have to put all focus on the needs and wants of the audience. How can we be so useful and impactful to the audience outside of the products and services we sell? To Marc’s earlier point, the primary goal has to be focused totally on the audience, and the business goal needs to be secondary. Or, maybe better said, you can’t reach the business goal without first serving the needs of the audience. Once we deliver consistent value to our audience – and they begin to know, like, and trust us – then we can extract value from that relationship. Do you want a better lead-generation program? Then focus all your energy on building ongoing subscribers to your content, and THEN create leads from your subscriber base. We’ve worked with hundreds of B2B companies in the past six years and literally no one does this. Focus on building ongoing subscribers to your #content, & THEN create leads from your subscriber base.Click To TweetLet’s take CMI for example. We believe in Marc’s point in both theory and practice. Our mission is to advance the practice of content marketing so that enterprise marketers can be more successful in their jobs – getting buy-in for the practice, showing return for the investment, and organizing the approach so they are successful. That’s the primary focus for CMI. How do we “show” return for our efforts? We build an audience of subscribers to the content itself. Once we have an ongoing relationship with them (around their needs), and they begin to know, like, and trust us, then (and only then) do we present products (like Content Marketing World) in front of them that align with that audience need and helps CMI’s bottom line. Marriott believes that if it can solve its audience’s travel problems consistently, that audience will be more likely to stay at a Marriott. Indium believes that if it can solve its audience’s needs around industrial soldering equipment, the audience will be more likely to buy Indium’s soldering equipment. In contrast, if the real why to creating your content is an internal business goal, odds are 99-1 against success. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:Here’s Why Your Content Marketing Strategy is Totally Failing Your ‘why’ affects your ‘what’ You may be asking why this is so important. Here it is. This video from comedian Michael Jr. was going around Facebook last month. It’s worth the three minutes. Go ahead, I’ll wait. When people talk about their content marketing, they talk about the WHAT … the blogs, the podcasts, the videos, the events, the social posts. But the WHAT doesn’t matter if the WHY is lacking. The WHAT doesn’t matter if the WHY is lacking. Nobody cares about your products or services. If your why is based on selling more shoes or consulting services or routers, your WHAT will have no soul. Your content will be wanting. Why you exist is not your product. Your why is the problem your product solves. Why you exist is not your product. Your WHY is the problem your product solves via @joepulizziClick To TweetNext steps If you are reading this far, odds are you are in this exact situation. Changing your WHY is desperately challenging. It’s a cultural shift, which always takes time. IT MUST BE DONE. Start slowly but begin now. Presenting a visual content audit could be a solid first step. Just place samples of your content in front of your executive team and have them engage with the content you produce. Is the content in line with your brand’s deeper mission or does your content exist solely to pitch your product? Your findings may uncover that some of your WHAT should cease to exist until you can get your WHY straightened out. Good luck. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: The One Brief Statement That Will Refine Your Content Marketing Keep Your Content On-Strategy With This Single Statement [Templates] Want to learn more and be inspired by businesses that follow a subscriber-first model? Check out Joe’s newest book, Content Inc. Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute The post Content Marketers: Your WHAT Doesn’t Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

One Thing Is Killing Content Marketing and Everyone Is Ignoring It

A few weeks before the start of the New Year I led a workshop on content marketing for about 50 small-business CEOs and operations managers. They came from all different industries. Some were consultants. There was a plumber and a representative from an HVAC company present. Pest management? Check. A few small manufacturing companies, a nonprofit, and a jewelry store rounded it out. In other words, it was a diverse group of companies. What wasn’t diverse were the ways they were marketing their companies. Most had e-newsletters. All of them had Facebook pages. Every one of these senior leaders was concerned about search engine rankings. Another consistent characteristic? Not one of them was happy with their marketing. This is not unusual. It’s predictable that senior leaders are often disappointed with their marketing. Why? Mostly because they believe it should be easier than it is. They also feel they are just one secret-sauce answer away from Utopia. I mean, how hard could it really be? (Don’t answer that.) And that’s what I heard about their content efforts as well. Their blog posts weren’t getting much traffic or converting. Their email newsletters weren’t getting opened. Their customers were ignoring them on social media. Finding themselves on the first page on a search engine listing was equally hard. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:Ultimate Guide: 11 Sign-Up Strategies for Building Your Email List Changing course I’d heard enough. After the last complaint, I stopped my presentation. This is something I don’t normally do. I’ve been doing this particular workshop for a while, and the flow works well with small businesses. The last thing I wanted to do was alter course. But I did alter it with this one simple question, “Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?” I looked around at the business leaders. You could have heard a pin drop. I repeated the question. “Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?” I then rephrased and asked the question to each one directly. I asked the jewelry store executive with the e-newsletter if what they sent to customers was any different. They sent coupons and articles that you could find literally anywhere. I asked the plumber. He promoted content from the manufacturer on his YouTube page and his blog. I also found out that about 300 other plumbers used that same content. I asked the financial consultant. He said he purposely kept his articles general because he didn’t want to give away any intellectual property without compensation. “How’s that working for you?” I asked. “Not very well” was his response. At one point in the workshop, I told them that if they aren’t going to take this seriously, they should all just go out and buy advertising (and I meant it). RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:The One Content Marketing Question You Need to Ask (That May Scare You) Why should your customers care? For the rest of the morning, we focused on answering one simple question: “Why should my customers care?” That e-newsletter you are sending out. Why should they care? Your Facebook post? Why should they care? Your blog post, video or (God help us all) Snapchat? You get the point. Our job, as marketers, is not to create more content. It has never been about that. It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behavior change in our customers (hat tip to Robert Rose). For that to be possible, what you are creating has to be valuable, useful, compelling and, yes, different. Marketers: Create the min amount of #content with the max amount of behavior change in your customers.Click To TweetThe content tilt Somewhere along the line, we marketers became infatuated with the tools and less concerned about what we put inside them. This, my friends, has got to change. Of the six-step process of the Content Inc. model (from my latest book), the most important step is the second, the content tilt. The content tilt is that area of little to no competition on the web that actually gives you a fighter’s chance of breaking through and becoming relevant. It’s not only what makes you different, it’s so different that you get noticed by your audience. That audience rewards you with their attention. The content tilt is what will separate you from everyone else in your market area. Andrew Davis, author of Town Inc., calls this “the hook” – a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to entrap or ensnare your audience. Without “tilting” your content just enough to truly have a different story to tell, your content will fade into the rest of the clutter and be forgotten. How to find your tilt The real goal of this little story was to get you to ask the question – Is my content different? The majority, like over 99% of marketers, do not have differentiated content. They are not telling stories that are different. If you are like most marketers, then, your next question is “How do I make it different?” One question marketers should ask before creating #content: Is my content different from my competition?Click To TweetThis is easier said than done, but it is possible to tell a different and compelling story looking at different data points. Here are some things to consider: Audience – Are you really niche enough with your audience? “Pet owners” simply is too broad as a target audience. What about “homeowners who like to travel with a dog in their recreational vehicle and live in southwest Florida”? That may be too niche, but probably not. To be truly relevant with your story, you need to focus on a very specific reader. As Stephen Kings says in On Writing, you should think about this person every time you create content. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:Wonder What Content to Create? Try a Customer-Journey Map [Template] How you tell the story – Content marketing has been around for years and has been called many different things. But we at the Content Marketing Institute were the first to call it content marketing. That made a difference in how the audience responded. Platform – One of the HVAC contractors in the workshop told me there are a thousand blog posts a day on energy efficiency. We also learned that there were few, if any, podcasts about saving energy. Opportunity? I’m not sure, but it’s worth a look. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:A Crash Course in Narrative Podcasting (And Why You Should Create Them) Subject matter – Using tools like Google Trends, you can uncover breakout terms for which there are few instructional resources. Take this quote from Jay Baer as an example: It’s like, ‘Hey I like knitting, and I’m going to start a knitting blog.’ Really! There are 27 other knitting blogs. Why would anybody read yours? What is different? What is unique? What is interesting? Why would anyone stop reading the knitting blog that they’ve been reading for the last three years and read yours ever? And if you can’t articulate that, you need to go back to the drawing board. And most people I find who haven’t been doing this for a while just don’t go through that competitive calculus, and it’s dangerous. From the subject matter standpoint, knitting might be too broad. Are there certain types of knitting that are underserved, where you could be the leading expert in the world? RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:Stop Sounding Like Your Competition: How to Find Your Content Tilt What if your content was gone? Let’s end with this thought. Let’s say someone rounded up all your content and placed it in a box like it never existed. Would anyone miss it? Would you leave a gap in the marketplace? If the answer to this is no, then you have a problem (and this article is directed at you, bub). We want customers and prospects needing … no, longing for our content. It becomes part of their lives … their jobs. Today, it’s harder and harder to buy attention. You have to earn it. Earn it today, tomorrow, and five years from now by delivering the most impactful information your customers could ever ask for. “Good enough” won’t win the battle for customer attention. Be great. Want to learn tips, trends, and more to help you tilt your content? Subscribe for the free daily or weekly CMI blog. Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute The post One Thing Is Killing Content Marketing and Everyone Is Ignoring It appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Joe Pulizzi: Google Plus Returns From the Grave. Does It Matter?

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss a very funny South Park episode about sponsored content and native advertising that gets a lot of things right. Next, we react to Yahoo’s clumsy attempt to get users of its email service to turn off their ad blockers, and we take issue with a blog post that claims content marketing is about to “fade to black.” Finally, Google Plus gets a makeover, but should marketers invest time there? It depends. Rants and raves include Alibaba’s savvy plan to buy a media company and Seth Godin on the challenges of persuasion. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example of the week from The Chicken Whisperer. This week’s show (Recorded live November 29, 2015; Length: 1:02:45) Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast. If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes. 1. Content marketing in the news South Park hysterically satirized ad blocking and sponsored content (6:08): South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone hilariously took on several of the issues advertisers have been grappling with lately in a recent episode of the hit Comedy Central series, including sponsored content and native advertising. The show implies that it’s impossible for us to avoid ads because they have evolved and have become smarter than humans. I loved it because its take on native advertising and sponsored content is spot-on. Yahoo! restricts ad blocking software for some email users (8:51): Dozens of people took to web forums and social media to complain that they were blocked from their Yahoo email unless they turned off their ad blocking software, reports The New York Times. Yahoo responded to the brouhaha by issuing a statement saying it was conducting some tests for a small number of email users. Robert believes this was a clumsy way to test this approach. I’m disappointed that Yahoo always myopically turns to advertising, instead of experimenting with other ways to generate revenue. Watching the content marketing trend fade to black (18:35): Content isn’t going anywhere, but the content marketing trend may be disappearing much quicker than we think, warns blogger Geoff Livingston. I predicted at Content Marketing World that we would start to see blog posts proclaiming “the end of content marketing.” But just because it’s hard to do well doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on it. Robert disagrees with Livingston’s prediction that programmatic and account-based marketing will take its place. New ways to find and stream app content (31:00): When Google got started, search was focused on finding the best information on websites. Today, you’re more likely to be searching on your mobile device, and the best answers may be buried in an app. Google has announced it can now find and display data within the app’s interface, even if you don’t have that app loaded on your device. Robert believes this has big implications for brands that may have considered creating an app, but decided not to because the data it contained would have been hidden from Google. Meet the new Google Plus (36:21): Google+ continues to evolve, TechCrunch reports. Most recently, it rolled out a complete redesign, which provides a more cohesive experience between desktop and mobile devices. Google+ is focused on the parts of the service that have been working well: Communities and Collections. The former replaces discussion groups, while the latter enables users to build content collections based on topics and interests. I think its greatest potential is creating a community for your niche where you can build relationships with your audience. Robert doesn’t think it’s worth investing any time or effort there, because its fate is still uncertain. 2. Sponsor (41:17) Widen: You can’t have effective content marketing without efficient content management, especially when it comes to the rich media assets that require another layer of planning and investment. So, end 2015 with a bang (or get 2016 started out right) and get a handle on your marketing assets. Our sponsor, Widen, has created and made available a one-page “DAM Decision Guide” to help you put in place the right-fit digital asset management system for your business. This piece is straight up utility, offering a proven, repeatable process for making some good DAM (or DAM good) decisions. You can get it at http://bit.ly/widen-dam-guide. 3. Rants and raves (44:25) Joe’s rave: Alibaba is a multibillion dollar Chinese conglomerate that manages many businesses in many industries. Recently, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba may purchase the South China Morning Post newspaper. I think this is a great example of an organization purchasing an audience by acquiring a large, traditional print media company, rather than trying to build an audience itself. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:Why Brands Need to Acquire a Media Company [Here’s How] Robert’s rave: Robert loves Seth Godin’s article titled A reason persuasion is surprisingly difficult. It explains how we tend to push our line of reasoning on the people we’re trying to persuade. It’s rare that we ever take their worldview into consideration. Robert explains that this is the foundation of creating a great customer experience – to start with what the customer needs and wants rather than what we want to say. As Godin puts it, “Marketing is the empathetic act of telling a story that works.” 4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:58) The Chicken Whisperer: Andy Schneider decided to raise chickens in his backyard. When he searched online for information about this subject, he discovered that little was available. So he started collecting research on best practices for raising chickens. He learned so much that he started to share his knowledge with other backyard farmers. In 2009, Andy had his own show on a small AM radio station in his local Georgia town, which he eventually moved to a podcast format online. He now has 30,000 weekly downloads to his Backyard Poultry show. In 2007, he published his first book, The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and recently launched a quarterly publication, The Chicken Whisperer magazine. He also has a Chicken Whisperer calendar. I love Andy’s passion for his topic, which was what drove him to become the best-known expert on this niche topic, and helped him build a multimillion dollar business around it. The Chicken Whisperer is an awesome example of #ThisOldMarketing. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:How The Chicken Whisperer Built a Media Empire in Backyard Poultry For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page. How do I subscribe? The post This Week in Content Marketing: Google Plus Returns From the Grave. Does It Matter? appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Can We Please Stop Using Branded Content?

I’m going to be honest with you. I loathe the term “branded content.” Branded content gives content marketing a bad name. It’s a word created by the world of paid media … by advertisers, agencies, and media planners. First off, let’s look at the Wikipedia definition: Branded content is a form of advertising medium that blurs conventional distinctions between what constitutes advertising and what constitutes editorial content. Sounds disturbing doesn’t it? But Madison Avenue loves branded content, especially in our new-found world of native advertising. Branded content gives agencies permission to keep talking about themselves, adding a bit of storytelling to product pitches. At this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity, there were 1,394 total entries in the “branded content and entertainment” category. The judges awarded NO grand prize winner (same as 2014), citing no single piece of category-defining work. I took a non-scientific stroll through some of the entries. In general, here is what I found: Most of the entries are campaign-based. They are not ongoing editorial products serving an audience. There is heavy usage of product placement. It’s amazing how often the product becomes the central character of the story. In an interview with Advertising Age, Mark Fortner, jury member and head of innovation and branded content at Mediacom, said, “Many of the entrants in the branded content and entertainment category just slapped a logo onto something, or made an integration just for the brand’s sake without any larger narrative or natural partnership.” Simply put, branded content looks and feels like advertising. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, well … Content brands: A better way Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping and Town Inc., has been promoting the use of content brands instead of branded content. “Content brands are created for an audience, while branded content is created for a business,” he says. This is an important distinction. With a content brand, you are always focused on the needs and pain points of the audience first. The goal is to build a loyal audience, and then leverage that loyalty to drive a business goal. Branded content, on the other hand, is about getting the product or service out there in some way, albeit in a more entertaining way than just straight advertising. This is a quick-hit strategy. There is no need or want to build a relationship through content. Content brands, if given the right amount of time and patience, work. Just look at John Deere’s The Furrow content brand. Over 100 years, and John Deere has mentioned its products and services just a handful of times. The print and digital magazine just plainly helps farmers be more successful farmers. It’s now delivered to 1.5 million farmers in 40 countries and 14 languages. No, it’s not easy, but it creates a real asset for the organization. Commitment and a focus on the audience (not the product) make all the difference. So if you mean branded content, say branded content. But if you are talking content marketing, please don’t say branded content. The terms are different, and we need to treat them as such. This article originally appeared in the October issue of Chief Content Officer. Sign up to receive your free subscription to our bimonthly print magazine. Want to learn about entrepreneurs who started the businesses with content first? Read Joe’s latest book, Content Inc. Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute The post Can We Please Stop Using Branded Content? appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Joe Pulizzi: Can Content Save Advertising?

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. In this week’s episode of #ThisOldMarketing, Robert and I discuss whether content marketing can really save advertising – and whether it actually needs to be saved. Next, we admire Mitch Joel’s take on the state of blogging, but consider the forces affecting it to be evolutionary, rather than the end of blogging as we know it. Finally, we discuss what’s happening in the world of mega-agencies – a senior Pepsi executive contends they are threatened by clients reducing the number of agencies they work with and by the rise of content marketing. Rants and raves include some questionable content marketing stats and a brilliant native advertisement from LexCorp. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from Westinghouse. This week’s show (Recorded live October 19, 2015; Length: 1:01:09) Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast. If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes. 1. Content marketing in the news Can content save advertising? (8:11) What used to be regarded as one of the most skippable forms of advertising — custom content — is now being held up by many in the industry as the thing that just might save advertising from all manner of ad-avoidance behavior, including ad skipping and ad blocking, says Ad Age. This is another article that incorrectly lumps content marketing together with advertorials, native advertising, and branded content. It also treats web page traffic and social sharing as if they are the only important measures of engagement. Robert believes advertising doesn’t need to be “saved.” It’s evolving into something new. Is this the end of blogging? (17:37) In a thought-provoking blog post, Mitch Joel points out that it’s getting harder to lure readers from social channels and content aggregation sites to his excellent blog. As a result, he is starting to experiment with Facebook Notes and other channels to publish his content. Robert believes Joel’s thought-provoking argument may be the best answer for bloggers, but not for brands. I believe even well-known bloggers need to build a subscribed audience in order to survive. PepsiCo executive says agency model is going to break (30:34): The advertising agency model is under threat as big marketers make serious cuts in the number of agencies they work with, fight for better prices, and invest in video outside of the traditional confines of television. So says Bradley Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. He is also “absolutely baffled” that large advertising holding companies seem to be ignoring opportunities to purchase talented content producers. Robert and I agree that such acquisitions are starting to happen, but they don’t seem to be on the radar of big media covering advertising and large ad agencies. 2. Sponsor (36:29) 10 questions to ask before you commit to a content marketing platform: When you’re selecting a content marketing platform for your company or agency, asking the right questions up front can increase your odds of success. Consider these 10 questions from BrandpointHUB: http://bit.ly/brandpointhub2 3. Rants and raves (39:19) Joe’s rant and rave: I love Upvoted, a new publication launched by Reddit, which contains a diverse collection of original content created by the social channel’s staff. I think it’s an excellent move to further engage its already passionate community. There’s just one downside, which I outline in the podcast.I also want to call attention to new research from Forrester, which says 47% of companies have raised their content marketing budgets by 20% or more. That data doesn’t align with CMI’s latest benchmark survey. When I dug deeper, I discovered that the Forrester study was based on only 86 survey respondents – not very statistically accurate. Robert’s rave and rant: Robert is a huge fan of Superman. He is thrilled with a new native ad on Fortune that profiles the Man of Steel’s arch enemy, Lex Luthor, Jr. It describes LexCorp’s pivot into technology and Lex Jr.’s role in its transformation. A banner ad on the page takes you to a slick website for the faux company. It’s a great experience, but Robert identified several ways it could have been made even better.Robert’s rant: A new report from Aberdeen Group that says marketers who utilize data and analytics in their content marketing are seeing five times as much revenue as those who don’t. It’s a decent report, but it could have been so much better, he laments. 4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:10) Westinghouse: Radio broadcasting in the United States started with the Westinghouse Company. The company asked Frank Conrad, one of its engineers, to start broadcasting music while they would sell radios to pay for the new service. Westinghouse applied for a commercial radio license and started KDKA, the first government-licensed radio station, in 1920. In 1921, there were six licensed radio stations; by the following year, that number had quintupled to 30. In 1923, there were 556 radio stations. What’s remarkable is that Westinghouse realized that it needed to increase adoption of radio receivers for this new industry to be a success. That’s why early advertising focused on helping the company sell more radios, not to promote advertisers’ products (today’s predominant business model). Likewise, radio shows (content) were created to provide an engaging experience, which also helped drive the growth of this new form of media. This approach to evangelizing a new type of communication medium makes Westinghouse an excellent example of #ThisOldMarketing. Image source For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page. How do I subscribe? The post This Week in Content Marketing: Can Content Save Advertising? appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Joe Pulizzi: The Coming Crisis in #NativeAdvertising

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss the launch of Apple’s iOS 9 update, which may block more than ads – it may affect publishers’ and brands’ ability to do content tracking and optimization. Next, we discuss new research on reader distrust of native advertising, and share our predictions about its future. After that, we turn our attention to a new data-focused partnership between Twitter and Bloomberg, and ponder why content marketers don’t pay more attention to the value of data. Finally, we give two thumbs down to Facebook’s planned “dislike” button, and we reveal why it’s likely to be problematic. Rants and raves include Doug Kessler’s brilliant analysis of the state of content marketing, plus the problem of measurement myopia. We wrap up the show with this week’s #ThisOldMarketing example: Burger Chef. This week’s show (Recorded live September 19, 2015; Length: 1:01:29) Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast. If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes. 1. Content marketing in the news A correction from last week … John Cleese (4:30): Joe’s rant last week focused on a satirical European threat-level-warnings article that was mistakenly attributed to John Cleese. According to Snopes, earlier versions of this hilarious article appeared online in several previous iterations before someone attached Cleese’s name to it. He had nothing to do with writing or distributing it. iOS 9’s ad blocking features may affect content tracking (5:33): Though they’ve been dubbed “ad blockers,” it’s not just ads that marketers and publishers have to worry about with iOS 9’s new content blockers. Many of these new apps are also designed to shut out analytics and other trackers used to optimize web pages in Apple’s Safari browser, reports Marketing Land. This article is paired with one from Folio magazine that makes the case that the value of traditional advertising is no longer clear. Robert and I discuss the big implications of this trend to publishers and marketers. Consumers can’t tell the difference between sponsored and editorial content (16:44): A new study from Contently shows that consumers identify native advertisements as articles a large percentage of the time. The study also showed that native ads can lift brand approval. This article is paired with one from the Contently blog that states consumers distrust sponsored content and believe it diminishes a news site’s credibility. Robert and I believe this shows the limitations of native advertising; some marketers may dabble in it to help grow their audiences, but ultimately they need to stay focused on nurturing their own platform. Twitter announces new deal with Bloomberg – illustrates the value of social data (26:10): Twitter has become remarkably effective as a data source for stock market analysts – so much so that Bloomberg and Twitter just announced a deal to integrate more tweet data into Bloomberg’s analytics suite. This data will help financial professionals capitalize on breaking news and emerging trends. Robert believes this is a great example of the deep value of data that few marketers ever consider. The poster child for this approach is Kraft, and Robert explains the benefits it has extracted from data. I agree that most brands don’t pay enough attention to the value hiding within their customer data. A Facebook dislike button is coming soon (35:10): After years of speculation and member requests, Facebook is finally working on a “dislike” button, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said. But it’s probably not exactly what you think, warns Mashable. Most likely, it won’t be a way for users to “downvote” posts and instead will let users express other emotions, such as empathy. Robert and I shared some concerns about a “dislike,” which could be interpreted in multiple ways. It could provide some useful data to brands; we explain how one agency envisions using it. 2. Sponsor (40:25) This Old Marketing is sponsored by StudioD, a division of Demand Media. In The Content Marketing Files: Lessons Learned from the Last Decade, you’ll learn the ins and outs of content strategy, creation, and distribution. You’ll find over a decade of data and thought-leader tips to help you nail your strategy, track ROI, and publish content that resonates with your target audiences. Download this guide now at http://go.studiod.com/ebook. 3. Rants and raves (42:00) Joe’s rave: During my opening keynote talk at Content Marketing World, I presented my take on where content marketing is on the Gartner Hype Cycle. While I was only able to discuss it briefly in my talk, Doug Kessler from Velocity Partners wrote a blog post that takes a deeper dive into the Hype Cycle, explains why content marketing has reached an inflection point, and what will happen next. Thanks to Doug for such an insightful analysis of the trajectory of our industry. Robert’s rant: Ian Bell, in an opinion piece on the Folio website, laments the way in which everything publishers do has become overly quantified. In his mind, this has taken some of the joy out of producing high-quality content. Robert agrees with Bell’s assessment, and believes that both advertising and content have become too commoditized in the quest for performance. He challenges content marketers to develop more creative, engaging, memorable content. 4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:30) Burger Chef: Burger Chef was a big fast-food chain in Ohio when I was growing up. DoYouRemember.com recently published a profile of the popular fast-food chain that brought back a lot of memories for me. Five years before McDonald’s launched its Happy Meals for kids, Burger Chef pioneered the concept with its Funmeals. Burger Chef was one of the first fast-food chains to create characters and build stories around them. They had monsters, the Fangburger family of vampires and even Star Wars tie-ins when the movie franchise was launched in 1977. One of the ways Burger Chef brought these characters to life was through audio. It included a flimsy plastic record in its Funmeals that enabled children to listen to the adventures of Burger Chef, Jeff, and the Fangburger family. I fondly remember doing this with my brother when we were kids. This is an excellent application of creating value outside of the products and services you offer, and a terrific example of #ThisOldMarketing. Image source: DoYouRemember For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page. How do I subscribe? The post This Week in Content Marketing: The Coming Crisis in #NativeAdvertising appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Successful project management through storytelling

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Successful project management through storytelling 1. Successful ProjectLeadership through Storytelling Stephen Carver FAPM 2. The most important skill for Project Professionals? 3. Planning “People don’t like to plan - Planning is unnatural - It is much more fun just to do.And the nice thing about just doing is that failure comes as a complete surprise.Whereas if you have planned, the failure is...

Will You Be A Part of Change Or A Victim Of It? An Interview with @TheYoungTurks

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Right before everyone left for the Christmas/Holiday break, I flew down to Los Angeles to visit the The Young Turks studio. My good friend Francis Maxwell invited me to sit down with Cenk Uygar, host and co-founder of TYT to talk about the story of X and upcoming trends affecting business and society. While we did talk about those things, we got there via a conversation I don’t usually have, which is the story of (me) and how I got to where I am today. Perhaps it was the location of the studio and its proximity to where I grew up that was interesting to Cenk. Maybe it was also the crazy indirect path over the years to my current work. To be honest, it’s a story I rarely get to tell. If you have some time, please do watch as it’s a rare glimpse into my past. And, give it a “thumbs up” on Youtube and/or leave a comment there please. Appeasing the Youtube crowd isn’t easy! TYT Interviews Futurist and “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design” author Brian Solis sits down with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur to talk about the past, present and future and how more and faster change is coming, and the only question is whether you’re going to be a part of that change or a victim of it. Along the way, the two discuss how disruptive technologies and changing cultural standards will affect the news business, city planning, transportation and nearly every other aspect of how we live our lives. Specifically, Uygur and Solis address: – Why it’s not so terrible that people engage with their phones more than with one another face-to-face– Why Apple, a company that never designed a remote control, will soon revolutionize what a remote control can do.– How legacy-based decision making is killing both the taxi and TV news businesses– Why Cenk says he’s more afraid of a random kid in Nebraska than all the cable news organizations in the world.

The Embrace: Creating Experiences that Nurture Attention into Engagement | Brian Solis

Attention is a currency. We spend it. We earn it. And, sometimes we waste it. Experience is something special. It’s all the rage at the moment, yet, we often talk about it as is if it’s a thing. But, as we know, deep down, the best things in life aren’t things, they’re experiences. One of things that makes it so hard to make experience a strategic and actionable part of our work is that the word “experience” means so many things to so many different people across so many aspects of the organization. We continue to think operationally, which prevents us from feeling empathetically, which stops us from acting experientially. To CMOs, experience may be something creative, whether it’s a campaign, a viral video, an online journey, an event, a physical escapade, fantastic packaging, etc. To CX, it could be an optimized and frictionless customer journey, better customer support, more personalized CRM programs, et al. To those CDOs and CIOs, experiences could be technological, providing a modern foundation for engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. To product designers, experiences are great products. The truth is that experience is all of these and more. It’s everything. And, more importantly, it’s measured by the sum of each moment and its moving parts, not individually or departmentally. People don’t see departments, they see one brand. Your brand promise can no longer be rooted in clever wording or creative design and marketing. It must come alive in the experiences that you design and how they come to life in each moment of truth and measured holistically from a human-centered perspective. Again, experiences are not things. Experiences are emotional. They’re reactions to important moments and are something that’s felt and in turn, acted or not acted up in a variety of ways…great, bad or indifferently. Today, experiences are largely left to chance. I believe that the best relationships moving forward will be guided by experience architecture so that we shape those moments, nurture reactions and This means that experience must be… Thoughtful Meaningful Useful Engaging Personal Intentional Mutually beneficial Alluring Shareable Aspirational Inspirational Experience takes design. How people feel throughout their lifecycle takes an integrated approach to experience architecture. It takes a shift in perspective, collaboration and innovation to do things differently and experientially. Start with a vision for what an experience could be…how it engages the senses and the responses and reactions that unfold in each moment and also as one masterpiece. Think about those moments as the embrace…that moment when you my attention and I have yours and together we create unforgettable experiences together. The experience is yours to design… Connect with Brian on Social Media Twitter: @briansolisFacebook: TheBrianSolisLinkedIn: BrianSolisYoutube: BrianSolisTV Experience is everything…read my new book, X!

The Internet of Things Connects the Future of Business | Brian Solis

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most incredible feats of modern technology. With the right vision and architecture, IoT will bring to life new possibilities and experiences. It’s also one of the most confusing and ambiguous. To make sense of it all and specifically understand how IoT applies to business, I assembled a short list of examples of companies successfully employing this new web in interesting applications. Why is IoT so mystifying? First, it’s the name. The Internet of things doesn’t necessarily roll of the tongue. Second, it’s big. I mean, it’s everything that’s connected to the net, ranging from wearables to appliances to industrial equipment to cars. Yep, it’s more than your Nest thermostat, Apple Watch, FitBit, et al. There’s a reason Cisco refers to it as the Internet of Everything. That’s the thing. Anything and everything can connect to the Internet and share information with other devices, software platforms or direct to people. That information is dependent on the device, what it’s meant to do and also what it’s intended to communicate. For example, GE manufactures jet engines that send operational information to a cloud-based software platform that aviation engineers can monitor and study to gauge, streamline and improve performance. But that’s just one instance in a vast sea of diverse business applications. The Need for Feed: Tesla Races to the Front of IoT Tesla is making electric cars that are feats of engineering. More so, these connected automobiles are also stars in the constellation of IoT. In addition to being a luxury, performance vehicle, the car is one big IoT device. For starters, Tesla features an always-on 3G cell connection to the Internet, which is provided free by company. The car also features WiFi and bluetooth connectivity. This is the gateway to share and receive information about the car and its environment to Tesla (anonymously), to users, and ultimately to other vehicles and devices. For instance, the car can receive new software and firmware versions and upgrade itself automatically. Tesla captures pretty much everything that happens when the car is on. Instead of producing smog, it emits big data. From geolocation to internal and external climate to energy consumption and power to altitude and angle to driving patterns to user preferences and settings, etc., virtually all aspects are digitized and organized to be used inspection and utilization. The amount of data the car produces helps Tesla understand how to improve efficiencies and performance based on how and where people drive the car. Drivers too are rewarded with insights and upgrades to enhance the driving and owner experience. The Logistics of IoT UPS is a company that is built upon logistics. The global delivery network manages more than 16 million shipments a day. As such, UPS has integrated a sophisticated IoT infrastructure to learn how and where to streamline operations and also introduce opportunities for innovation. More importantly, the company is seeking ways to lessen its environmental impact. UPS uses a proprietary package flow system that determines what packages are loaded on each vehicle then also gathers a tremendous amount of fleet data using telematics. Dubbed “telepathic trucks,” UPS also integrated sensors into every facet of its operations tracking not only packages but also everything related to the running of its fleet, including: – Engine – Speed – Mileage – Fuel consumption – Location – Number of stops – Emissions – Devices for delivery and service – Maps One thing that’s inherent with IoT is data. And, the bigger the application or the installation, the bigger the data that comes from it. But Jack Levis, UPS Director of Process Management believes that data isn’t the secret sauce of IoT, it’s the insights and actions that bring to life new possibilities. “It’s not the data alone that helps us improve,” he said. “It’s what we do with it that makes the difference.” As a result, the company reported dramatic reductions in fuel usage, saving 1.5 million gallons and also 13,000 metric tons of carbon emissions in 2012 alone. While IoT and its everyday impact is nascent, the applications for and benefits of IoT in business are practically infinite. While we’ve explored just a few brief examples, what lies ahead is a new era of connected products and services. What ties everything together is the data and services exchanged between people, devices and systems. The real magic happens though when the vision to design new, integrated experiences are enhanced because the ecosystem is designed to improve itself with usage. The future of IoT is now beginning to unfold at the intersection of technology, design and data science. Connect with Brian on Social Media Twitter: @briansolisFacebook: BrianSolisFacebook Community: TheBrianSolisLinkedIn: BrianSolisYoutube: BrianSolisTV Experience is everything…read my new book, X! Image Credit: Shutterstock

HowTo: Use Powerful Cornerstone Content | CopyBlogger

We’ve been talking about cornerstone content a lot lately. Not sure what cornerstone content is? Here’s a quick explanation: Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the fundamental questions their newest prospects have. Cornerstone pages are informative, instructive, and they help your prospects understand the foundational information needed to interact with your business. Cornerstone content pages answer those cocktail party questions. You know the ones I mean, right? They’re those questions you get asked at a cocktail party right after you tell someone what you do: How does [your business] apply to me? Why did you get into [your business]? What motivates you? How can I get started with [your business]? What do I need to know to be smart about [your business]? How can [your product or service] help me? If I’m just learning about [your field of expertise], what do I need to know first? In this post, we’re going to cover how to use cornerstone content on your site and invite you to join us for free cornerstone content education we’ll offer next month. You heard that right: free cornerstone content education! If you can’t wait to sign up for that, scroll to the bottom of this post and get your name on the list. How to make cornerstone pages into content stars We recommend you set up cornerstone content as a page on your site, not a post. There’s a good reason for this. You’ll want to grant cornerstone content pages “most-favored content” status. You don’t want them to get lost in the mists of time, which can happen with blog posts. Make your cornerstone pages easy for your site visitors to find: Add them to your navigation menu. Link to them frequently in your regular content, like blog posts or podcast show notes. Cross-link between your cornerstone content pages. The role of cornerstone pages in a Minimum Viable Website A Minimum Viable Website includes the main pages all sites need. It’s something to aim for if you are starting a new site — a way to beat the overwhelm of starting from scratch so you can get some basics in place and start building on them. These are the pages you’ll want to have in place before you launch: Home page. This page confirms your visitors have arrived at the right place, tells them what you can do for them, and guides them toward what you’d like them to do next. About page. This page should cater to your site visitor. Think “Here’s what this site is about, and this is how it helps you.” Contact us page. This page should contain contact information and/or a form that allows site visitors to get in touch. Content page. Ideally, this is regularly updated content, like a blog. Google rewards fresh content by ranking it higher. If you’re just getting started, feature your cornerstone pages here. Once you’ve started a blog, leave your cornerstone pages in your menu, and link to them frequently. As you can see, cornerstone pages are considered part of the primary content you’ll feature on your site. Once you’re ready to expand, you’ll add: Store/Products/Services/Donations. Most sites have a commerce element, whether they’re for-profit or nonprofit. Landing pages for your calls to action. You’ll use landing pages to encourage site visitors to take action — subscribe, vote, attend an event, or buy a product. Free help to create your cornerstone content We’re going to be doing something new at Copyblogger in 2016, and we’re pretty excited about it. Every so often next year, we’ll offer a free Copyblogger Content Challenge. These challenges are open to the public, and they’re free for everyone. We’ll let you know here on the blog when a new challenge is coming, and we’ll share news about them on social media using the hashtag #cbchallenge. Each Copyblogger Content Challenge will have a theme, and January’s theme is going to be cornerstone content. Join the first free Copyblogger Content Challenge When you join the content challenge that starts in January, you’ll get free education about creating useful, powerful cornerstone content for your website. You’ll be invited to participate in a private forum where you can ask questions about the content challenge and share links to content you’ve created. And you’ll be invited to attend a free webinar for everyone who’s participated in the challenge. We have an ulterior motive, naturally. Everyone who participates in the challenge will also receive an invite to join us inside Authority, our advanced content marketing training program, to continue their education. Authority is moving full steam ahead with our current members but is closed to new members at present. We’ll open our doors to new members for one short week in January. Everyone who’s currently on the interest list will be invited inside, and everyone who joins us for the January Copyblogger Content Challenge will be invited, too. Start the year off by learning how to build strong cornerstone content for your site We’d love to have you join us for our free Copyblogger Content Challenge this January. You’ll learn how to create cornerstone content pages that boost your authority and help build a solid relationship with your prospects. The Copyblogger Content Challenge Join us in January 2016, and discover how to create useful, powerful cornerstone content for your website. You’ll get access to: A free email course that walks you through how to create your cornerstone content. A private forum where you can ask questions about the content challenge and share links to content you’ve created. An educational webinar about cornerstone content — exclusively for content challenge participants. Everyone who participates in the challenge will also receive an invite to join us inside Authority, our advanced content marketing training program, to continue their content marketing education. The doors to Authority will open up for one week only. Discover how to create cornerstone content pages that boost your authority and help build a solid relationship with your prospects. Join us in January for the first Copyblogger Content Challenge! Enter your Email: About the authorPamela Wilson Pamela Wilson is Executive Vice President of Educational Content at Rainmaker Digital. Follow her on Twitter, and find more from her at BigBrandSystem.com. The post A Practical Approach to Using Powerful Cornerstone Content on Your Site appeared first on Copyblogger.

Customer Experience is the Sum of Emotional Reactions

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As 2015 drew to a close, I flew to Düsseldorf from London to close out NEOCOM, an annual event for multichannel retail and commerce. There I spoke about “retail re-imagined,” redesigning the online and offline shopping experience based on the incredible technology and behavioral trends playing out now and over the next few years. Following the event, I met with the NEOCOM team to shoot a short three-minute video that I would love for you to see. Video Topics/Questions: – Iteration vs. Iteration – My message to German and retailers everywhere – The most important homework retailers should do around CX – The major differences between the German and American startup scenes Connect with Brian on Social Media Twitter: @briansolisFacebook: BrianSolisFacebook: TheBrianSolisLinkedIn: BrianSolisYoutube: BrianSolisTV Experience is everything…my new book is finally available!

What Is Content Marketing? | CopyBlogger

Listen. If you are even remotely connected to the business, marketing, and advertising world, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “content marketing.” You’ve at least been exposed to it through: Blogs Podcasts Videos Search engine optimization Email autoresponders White papers Copywriting Social media Landing pages But what exactly is content marketing? Glad you asked, because I’ve got answers for you. One short answer, and one really long. Here’s our official definition: Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. Which brings us to another question: how do you actually use content marketing? Well, even if you consider yourself a seasoned practitioner or you’re a fresh-out-of-the-box beginner, this handy, systematic, and exhaustive guide — loaded with 100 articles that cover content marketing essentials for building a viable money-making platform — is at your finger tips. How to use this content marketing reference library Content marketing can be simplified into the convergence of three spheres: your audience’s interests, your brand story, and your unique perspective or content medium. Combine these three to achieve content greatness. The 100-article list below reaches back to November 2008 and goes all the way up to the present. It contains 10 categories: Content essentials Content strategy Content research Idea creation Content creation Content promotion Traffic generation Content marketing case studies Content auditing Content business building Yes, I read all 100 articles. It took me 15 hours over six days. I recommend you do the same — but work through it at a pace that’s right for you! First, bookmark it. That way, it’ll be easy to find when you need to answer a question or reference one of our articles in your own content. Then, you could: Study one of the 10 categories each week, creating your own 10-week content marketing course Read one-to-three articles each day Identify the categories you need to brush up on the most, and make a note on your calendar to review them when you have free time Side note: This list makes for perfect Twitter content … drip out just one article each day to your followers over a 100-day period, and you’ll look like a content marketing genius. This guide will fill in the gaps in your knowledge. It will help you become a content marketing expert in your industry or company. And with that, I give you Copyblogger’s Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing. Content marketing essentials The Future of Content Marketing New York City should have been destroyed 33 years ago. Because of massive amounts of horse manure. Here’s the lesson you can draw about the future of content marketing from that failed prognosis. What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer? Five elements that separate high-quality content marketing from material that’s well-written but might not deliver the same business value. What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Digital Commerce? We’ve been talking a lot lately about “digital commerce.” This article for is anyone who’s wondered: “I thought content marketing was digital commerce: what’s the difference?” The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content Remarkable content takes a three-step journey. If we keep this journey in mind, we can craft a profound experience for our readers. Pamela Wilson walks you through you each step. Agile Content Marketing: How to Attract an Audience That Builds Your Business How do you create a content marketing strategy that actually works? The first step is to get your head right. The First Rule of Copyblogger Great content marketing begins here. Those who obey this rule share content that’s worth reading with an audience who is hungry for it. Long-term gains in traffic, leads, and profits follow. Those who break this rule might experience short bursts of traffic, leads, and profits — but not for long. What’s the Difference between Content Marketing and Copywriting? When you combine great content with great copywriting, you end up with a powerful marketing platform that can launch you into the realm of the world’s greatest content producers. The Three Essentials of Breakthrough Content Marketing The glut of content on the web means that the market is crowded and cluttered. Your content needs to rise above that confusion. Here’s how to do it. Why Content Marketing Doesn’t Suck As the saying goes, “Haters will hate.” Don’t let them talk you out of the benefits that content marketing can deliver over a long period of time. This episode of The Lede (when it was still hosted by Robert Bruce) will show you what Procter & Gamble, soap operas, and content marketing have in common. And then some. The Two Vital Attributes of Quality Content Ever wondered what makes some blog posts funny, vigorous, and meaningful? You know, the types of blog posts you not only share — but save. Print out. Study. Wonder no more. Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simple Words Try this sticky formula — one that basically consolidates what every guru, expert, and pundit has been saying about persuasion, usability, and web marketing — that will make creating compelling copy easy. Content marketing strategy Content Marketing: A Truly Winning Difference A simple lesson about learning how to accentuate the positives in your marketing from a little story about Claude Hopkins and Schlitz beer. 10 Content Marketing Goals worth Pursuing What do you want your content to accomplish? You do have goals, right? If not, start with these 10. How to Build an Agile Content Marketing Team Eric Enge provides nine tips on how to build an agile content marketing team in a way that might just make the size of the task a lot more manageable. A Content Marketing Innovation Cheat Sheet Successful content marketers often have deceptively simple cheats for churning out effective online publishing on a regular basis. Let’s take a look. Digital Sharecropping: The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Content Marketing Strategy We’re professional content marketers — not subsistence farmers — and our work doesn’t involve 12-hour days in grueling conditions. So, is sharecropping still dangerous? Yes. A Simple Content Marketing Strategy for Creative Folks How do you display your work while making it easy for prospective clients to learn about who you are? The conclusion is simple. A Quick-Start Guide to Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts Your job as a content marketer is to show your boss the money — not traffic, not links — mon-naay. Mike King talks about how to get started effectively measuring your content marketing efforts. 5 Steps to Revising Your Content Marketing Strategy to Attract and Retain Future Customers Whether you already have a product or are just getting started, here are five steps you need to take now to attract and retain future customers of your product or service. How to Use Customer Experience Maps to Develop a Winning Content Marketing Strategy Eighty percent of businesses say they are delivering an excellent customer experience. But only eight percent of customers believe these companies were actually delivering. That’s a huge discrepancy. Why such a big gap? 13 Simple Questions to Help You Draft a Winning Content Strategy Square away an afternoon, ask yourself these questions, and document the answers in a notebook, on a whiteboard, in Evernote, or in the handy PDF we’ve created for you. How to Create a Visual Brand and Fight the Dark Forces What can we learn about building a visual brand from Star Wars? Grab these top visual branding tips from Rainmaker Digitals’s Lead Designer Rafal Tomal. The 5 Keys to Content Marketing Mastery If you’re happy being an average content marketer, then you can ignore this post. But if you want to be a content marketing master, tap into these five strategies of “deliberate practice.” The Old-School Content Marketing Strategy that Scores Freelance Writing Clients While the Internet is more effective and efficient in many ways, you won’t want to throw this approach to getting more freelance clients in the marketing dustbin — it still works. And marvelously. Content marketing research Research Ain’t Easy (But it’s Necessary) What good research does for you and your readers. The first article in a three-part series by Beth Hayden. A 6-Step Content Marketing Research Process What should your research process look like? What steps can you take to gather the best possible data on your target audience? Beth Hayden answers those questions. Become a Content Marketing Secret Agent with Competitive Intelligence Using slick online snooping techniques and a little sweat equity, we can all find out what our competitors are doing well, what they could be doing better, and how we can adapt their best techniques to improve our own businesses. A 3-Step Process for Painless Keyword Research How to stay focused when doing your research and how to avoid getting bogged down in the stuff that doesn’t matter. Because you will. How to Find the Keywords that Work for Your Content Marketing Goals Accurate keyword research helps you optimize your website for the search engines, and it also allows you to shape your content strategy. So it’s vitally important that you use smart tactics to help you do your research in a fast, efficient way. 5 Ways Listening to Community Data Can Expand Your Content Marketing Strategy When talking about content marketing, discussions often focus on decisions about topics, headlines, platforms, and distribution. But how much do you consider the data that supports these decisions? Why Content Marketing is a Long Game (and How to Play It) Whether or not you know it, you’re playing a long game with content. Let’s take a look at just a few ways to improve your online strategy. How to Determine the Potential Size of Your Content Marketing Opportunity Are readers already displaying a passion for your space? Are they looking for the type of content you’re producing or want to produce? Are they sharing it? Eric Enge explains Don’t Create Your Content Strategy Until You Research These 6 Things Here are six areas you should research to avoid a content strategy that’s DOA (Dead on Arrival), so your content marketing gets — and holds — your audience’s attention. Empathy Maps: A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head The media you create can attract an audience. As that audience grows, you must learn their needs, wants, hopes, and fears. That information helps you learn about a customer’s worldview. Tap Into This Psychological Driver to Create the Ultimate Message Want to overcome content shock? Then you need to understand your audience’s outlook. In other words, you need to tap into their worldviews. Idea creation Surviving “Content Shock” and the Impending Content Marketing Collapse You and I both know that there is a hell of a lot of content out there. Here’s why Sonia Simone is not worried about it. Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas An illegitimate idea is one that is unnatural — a mongrel. We don’t know its origins. It comes out of left field and is so surprising and disruptive that we halt and pay attention to it. 49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing Build a membership website. Yellow page ads that look like a blog post. Address popular objections. And 46 more ideas to help stoke your content creativity. How to Use Content to Find Customers What do birthday cakes and content marketing have in common? More than you think. The 10-Step Content Marketing Checklist Sonia calls this blog post a “checklist” for building a solid content marketing platform. I prefer “law” or “commandment” because if you break one of these rules, you’ll pay. The Powerful Resource You’ve Always Wanted When Presented with Creative Challenges Avoid producing copycat content and discover how to create not-to-miss, valuable, unique online content that helps you achieve your business goals Zen and the Art of Content Marketing Content marketing in the 21st century might seem like an endless high-speed car chase. But it doesn’t have to be. Not when you apply the simple principles of quality used by this world-renowned Japanese sushi chef. Why Content Marketing Is the New Branding Your content defines you. And it becomes the vehicle in which you communicate promises and expectations to your customers. Check out the nifty infographic from PRWeb on different options for sharing your brand online. How to Brainstorm Brilliant Ideas for Your Blog You probably know what brainstorming is. But do you know how to do it correctly? Do you know what you need to do before, during, and after the event to make it actually successful? I didn’t. Not until I read this article. How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea Are you struggling to write articles for your blog? It’s time to get creative. Stefanie Flaxman describes 16 different types of blog posts that you can apply to any niche. Content creation Is Content Marketing a Hamster Wheel You Can’t Escape? Here is a technique that — in exchange for some bursts of intense hard work — will bring you long breaks from the content creation hamster wheel. The Unstoppable Rise of the Digital Content Creator Software and digital content creators have become a powerful pair. 3 Components of a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar that Works Are you strategic about your content creation? Or do you wing it, publishing content with a short-term view? One will help you be successful for the long-term. The other will stunt your growth. A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week Want a beautiful four-step procedure for creating a drop-dead gorgeous blog post each week? One that draws out the process leisurely over four days? And lets you do it in your slippers? Read on. 58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content Your Audience Will Love You want to be a great writer. Seduce readers. Climb above the competition. If that’s you, then start with this step-by-step guide to creating ridiculously good content. Henneke doesn’t disappoint. The Copyblogger “Secret” to Creating Better Content Content marketers use content to advertise a product, service, or idea. You want to attract attention. Create desire. Stoke interest. But you also want readers to actually do something. Here’s how. 22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue It happens to the best bloggers and content marketers. Idea dry spells. After dipping into the well every day for months … you come up empty. This infographic is a fast and helpful tool that jump-starts the content creation process. A Crash Course in Marketing With Stories Stories are easily the most powerful tool in the content marketer’s arsenal. People love good stories. Stories communicate complex ideas simply. And stories stick in people’s minds. But if you don’t know how to write a good story, then they won’t help you. How to Constantly Create Compelling Content Where are you supposed to get all your ideas for content? The answer can be found in a little-known intersection that artists, scientists, and songwriters have been crossing for centuries. The Simple 5-Step Formula for Effective Online Content Effective content marketing comes down to two things: education and personality. The right combination of these two elements will lead to leaps in traffic, subscribers and — ultimately — customers. The 3-Step Cure for Boring, Useless Content If your business could benefit from content marketing, the worse thing you could do is avoid it. The second worst thing is to create lame content. Geoff Livingston tells you how to make sure that never happens. The 7 Essential Steps to Creating Your Content Masterpiece Johann Sebastian Bach — one of the greatest composers who ever lived — had one of the most grueling production schedules one could imagine. And that, my friends, is one of the reasons he cranked out so many masterpieces. Mark McGuinness explains. How to Craft a Marketing Story that People Embrace and Share Storytelling isn’t limited to a blog post or a sales page. Storytelling works for your overall position in a market. So, how do you write a story? Use these three steps. Master This Storytelling Technique to Create an Irresistible Content Series Since your competitors are likely writing about similar topics, storyboarding is a technique you can use to craft a special experience readers won’t find anywhere else. Check out this storyboarding tutorial. Content marketing promotion The 7 Essential Elements of Effective Social Media Marketing Here are the seven essentials that will turn your social media marketing from an annoying time-waster to an effective bottom-line booster. Launching a New Product? These 5 Tips Will Get You the Testimonials You Need If your content, product, or service is new, then you’re likely wondering how to get testimonials. I show you a smart way to gather proof with these five tips. Content Marketing Is Easier When You (Partially) Delegate These 12 Tasks These are partial delegation workflows you can assign to someone else that will either give you back the most time or help you with activities you’ve been meaning to do but don’t get to. How to Create an Agile Content Marketing Strategy (and Stay Sane Doing It) Pamela Wilson admits: “I spent so much time this past year creating content that I didn’t make enough time to read. And reading is important when you’re a content creator.” The Proper Way to Automate Your Social Media Activities (and 5 Other Best Practices) Automating some of your content may be beneficial for both you and your audience. Keep these six automation tips in mind as you set your social media strategy. Why Content and Social Media are a Powerful Match It’s not enough to create jaw-dropping content. You need to take that content to your audience members, who are sitting around those digital campfires (think social media). They’re waiting for you. The Must-Have Social Media Tool Every Content Marketer Needs Introducing the ultra-powerful, infinitely flexible social media tool that allows you to publish effective content without holding you to any arbitrary rules. It’s not what you think. Promise. Are You Someone’s User-Generated Content? The dangers of failing to build a digital asset that you own are real. Casualties abound. Traffic generation The Right Way to Think About Google Google is going to shift. Sometimes abruptly. You don’t need to go along for the ride. Develop a sustainable approach, and leave the panic attacks behind. 5 Ways to Get More Traffic with Content Marketing We all want it: more traffic. But how do we get it? It’s the most common question new bloggers ask. And it’s the question seasoned bloggers never stop asking. Try these five strategies for solid, proven results. No Blog Traffic? Here’s a Simple Strategy to Seduce Readers and Win Clients Do you have the right building blocks in place to seduce readers and win clients? If you want to create a simple blog plan that will help you win more readers, fans, and clients, answer the five critical questions in this post. How to Make Winning Infographics Without Risk Research suggests that publishers who use infographics grow in traffic 12 percent more than those who don’t. This is because an infographic, unless it’s completely awful (and they exist), will more than likely go viral. Discover the best ways to create them for your content marketing. 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content Most content marketers are fighting a losing battle with obscurity. They write, publish, and promote — and get nothing out of it. That’s painful. To make matters worse, this goes on day in, day out. Follow Pamela Wilson’s advice and that will change. Should Your Content Aim for Traffic or Conversion? Cosmopolitan and The New Yorker approach content marketing in two entirely different ways. Both approaches are super-successful. And anybody can combine and use these approaches to create killer results. Content marketing case studies Our monthly Hero’s Journey feature taps the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. Here are five inspiring case studies: How One Entrepreneur Grew a Digital Business to Fit Her Life Guiding Online Dreams (and Dreaming of a New Community) From a Hidden Niche, an Empire Is Born How to Play the Long Game to Bring Your Idea to Life An Advocate Who Helps People Change the World with Content Marketing What The New Yorker Magazine Can Teach You About Content Marketing that Works In a few moments, you’ll know how to not only write content that engages but that also positions you as an authority in your space and dominates in the search engines. How Chris Brogan Built His Content Platform Look at Mr. Brogan now and you might think he’s a “master of social media.” He rules over one of the most recognizable independent content publishing empires. But life was not always easy for him. In fact, he struggled for eight years to get 100 subscribers. Here’s his story. 5 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from a Weird “Real World” Business Ideas are good. They are even better when they actually work. Here’s a content marketing case study of a business that creates high-end beauty products — for dogs. Weird, but true. What to Do When You Absolutely, Positively Must Know if Your Content Will Rock Predicting what content will resonate with readers is tough — if not impossible. You simply cannot know unless you do this one thing. Indie band Wilco did and discovered the truth. So will you. The Grateful Dead 4-Step Guide to the Magical Influence of Content Marketing I can hear you now: “Are you serious? An elderly, endlessly touring hippie band can teach me something about effective content marketing?” Yes, they can. Jerry Garcia was a genius. Or should I say “guru?” Content auditing 5 Powerful Ways to Keep Building Authority Once Your Content Has Matured In order to keep the early momentum of your blog launch and deepen that influence, you’ve got to adjust your content strategy to reflect the new demands of your audience. 8 Conversion-Boosting Ways to Personalize Your Content People love to get personalized content. Sadly, that message doesn’t seem to be getting through to marketers fast enough. 4 Ways to Identify Site Visitors (and Why It Matters) “With adaptive content we are supposed to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. But how do you even know who is on your site?” I asked. In his exquisite English accent he said, “You could start with cookies.” A Brief Guide to Fixing Your Old, Neglected, and Broken Content There are a number of good reasons why you shouldn’t ignore old, broken, and neglected sections of your website. Here are three benefits of attending to expired content. Is Content Marketing Worth the Effort? Let me be frank with you: content marketing is work. It is hard work. Hard work like laying bricks or teaching middle school children. But for the practitioner who loves the work? It’s a turn on. Why Nobody Cares about Your Content (and What to Do About It) Glen Allsopp of ViperChill explains how to build your personal brand and authority by giving your readers everything they want — and never once talking about yourself. Are You Creating Meaningful Content? Ever think to yourself, “What does this content mean? Does it even matter? Is it significant? Do my readers care?” Those are good questions to ask yourself. And here’s the five-step framework to help you answer them. How to Beat “Invisible Content” Syndrome I’ve got some bad news for you: every new blog is born with a disease. Professionals call it Invisible Content Syndrome — or ICS. Others call it obscurity. The good news is you can conquer it. Here’s how. The Foolproof Cure for Weak Content: 4 Ways to Get Some Perspective You have a sweet idea for a blog post. You pop out of bed and hammer out the first draft. When you are finished, you read what you wrote and think that sucks. Don’t worry. That happens to all of us. And there are four great ways to fix it. The Force that Powers Persuasive Content (And 3 Ways to Intensify It) Bet you didn’t know this, but character building and content marketing go hand in hand. There’s a person behind every piece of content. Is that person honest, credible, and an authority? If not, then here are three ways to improve those essential components. Content business building How to Build a Business Using Paid and Free Content Sonia will tell you how to raise your content marketing game by creating a platinum version of your content. How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free Not sure how much you should give away for free? Chris Garrett helps you find the line between freely available content and content that is locked behind a paywall. The Key to Innovative Business Ideas: Cross-Pollination No content marketer is an island. We all know this. But we don’t always take the initiative to strategically collaborate to generate the best content marketing ideas. Pamela Wilson reveals how you can get started. Why Content is No Longer King (And Who’s Taking His Place) Why would a novelist claim that content is not king? I mean, come one, this guy makes his living off of huge chunks of content. Check out his surprisingly good argument. How to Use Ebooks Strategically and Reach Your Content Marketing Goals Have you written an ebook yet? Some of the most respected content marketers have embraced ebooks for marketing their businesses and as a source of income. Educate to Dominate Your Competition Want to spark the buying process in your readers without resorting to a hyped-message? Dream of making your products so irresistible that customers hardly notice your sales offers? Then use the six psychological shortcuts of influence. How to Succeed at Content Marketing Even if Your Content Skills Suck Still a little weak in the knees about this whole content marketing thing because, well, you just don’t have any confidence in your skills? No sweat. Half the battle is doing this one thing. Your ultimate guide to content marketing Remember to bookmark this post and keep it as a resource to answer all of your content marketing questions! Editor’s note: This post is a greatly expanded and updated version of the original, which was published on October 12, 2012. About the authorDemian Farnworth Demian Farnworth is Chief Content Writer for Rainmaker Digital. The post What Is Content Marketing? appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Best Times to Post on Social Media 2015 [Infographic]

“What are the best times to post on social media?” It’s a question that every person who manages social media for a company has asked herself at some point. This infographic from Start a Blog 123 does a great job of laying out the best days and times to post on various platforms. Some of the [...]

5 Tips for Running a Twitter Promotion | Socially Stacked

Have you been looking for a way to expand your reach on Twitter? Engaging with like-minded people on Twitter has proven a successful business practice, but there’s a way to take it one step further: Twitter promotions. We know, you can’t actually run a promotion that is hosted within Twitter. But Twitter promotions can still be [...]

Case Study: How to Increase Your Contest Entries 107% This Holiday Season

The holidays are a vital time for marketers. Consumer spending increases, online activity increases, and acceptance of new brands and products increases. In fact, a recent ShortStack.com study revealed that 50% more marketing campaigns are built during the holiday months (September to December) than any other time of year. In addition, ShortStack.com users, on average, [...]

HowTo: Create Powerful Infographics

How to Marry Story, Data and Images to Cut Through the Clutter and Info Overload Infographics tell a story, almost any story, really well. Whether you want to communicate a few simple ideas in list form, explain some weird acronyms or if you have a new concept you want people to understand just go visual. It’s going to be...

SEO for Business Explained: A Conversation With Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, discusses all things SEO in this Google Hangout. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGwO1OO1w-w?list=UUNFGSWVOdVWEe9XJNnfTdyQ]

Content Strategy: 5 Ways to Scale Your Marketing Content | Kapost

Too often, in a mad rush to drive traffic, leads and engagement, marketers lean on aggressive attention-seeking tactics without taking the time to dig into what their prospects and customers actually want. The result? They get short-lived bursts of engagement that don't drive any revenue or new business for their company Read More... Liz O'Neill Dennison Marketing Profs Liz Dennison of Kapost on how...

By the Numbers: Top Video SEO Techniques

A 2014 survey – fielded among 318 video production professionals – reveals that the most popular video SEO tactics are tagging videos with keyword terms (73%) and annotating videos (58%), although only 1 in 5 create video sitemaps for videos on their websites. Other results from the survey indicate that respondents are most commonly producing videos for company websites...

HowTo: Use Schema Markup to Boost Your Rankings Overnight

The new advice for content writers is: write for your visitors, and let Google worry about the rest. It’s not bad advice. In fact, that’s what the writer should do. However, SEOs can, and often should, optimize that content further. Even if you write all your content yourself, you need to play the parts of both the writer and the SEO. How...

A Visual Guide: Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO

Your business is not your home. Your home, with all its aesthetics and function, is largely to serve you and those you live with. If you like a piece of art, you buy it and hang it in your house and enjoy it. If you want a newer refrigerator in your kitchen, you buy one to […] The post Marketing Money: It Isn’t For You appeared first on Successful Blog.

Content Delivery Network: Does Your Blog Need One?

Having a Content Delivery Network can make a huge impact on your website. Below are some of the advantages that we have seen on our site by using a CDN: Speed – Once we started using a CDN on our site, the site got faster. Crash Resistance – Thanks to you guys for sharing our articles, we have received huge spells...

Blog Post Freshness: Can it be Faked?

Over the years, you've certainly read something about how Google loves fresh content. Perhaps you've read that sometimes it takes its love of freshness too far.Now it's the middle of 2015. Does freshness still play a significant role in how Google ranks search results?To find out, I decided to conduct a small experiment on a blog. Specifically, I wanted to see if my test could answer the following questions:If you update a blog post's date, will it receive a boost in the search engine results pages (SERPs)? Can you fake freshness? Do you have to make changes to the content?If there is a boost present, how long does it last?Details of the testThis test was performed on 16 blog posts on the same siteAll posts were originally published between September 2010 and March 2014. Each post was at least one year old at the time of this experiment.Each post (except No. 16) received organic traffic throughout 2014, showing an ability to consistently rank in the SERPsURLs for these posts did not changeThe content was not edited at allThe content of focused on evergreen topics (not the type of queries that would be obvious for Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)Only the publishing date was changed. On April 17th, the dates of these posts were set to either April 16th or April 15th, making them all look like they were one to two days old.Each blog post shows the publishing date on-pagePosts were not intentionally shared on social media. A few of the more trafficked posts likely received a couple of tweets/likes/pins, but nothing out of the ordinary.Google Search Console, Ahrefs and Open Site Explorer (OSE) did not show any new external links pointed at the posts during the time of testingBaseline organic trafficBefore starting the test, I took a look at how the test posts were performing in organic search.The graph below shows the organic traffic received by each of the 16 test posts for the four full weeks (March 15 - April 11) prior to the test beginning.The important thing to note here is the organic traffic received by each page was relatively static. These posts were not bouncing around, going from 200 visits to 800 visits each week. There is little variation.The blue line and corresponding number highlights the weekly average for each post, which we will compare to the graph below.Turning the test onThis one was pretty easy to implement. It took me about 15 minutes to update all of the publishing dates for the blog posts.All posts were updated on April 17th. I began collecting traffic data again on April 26th, giving Google a week to crawl and process the changes.Organic traffic after republishingAll 16 posts received a boost in organic traffic.This graph shows the average organic traffic that each post received for the first four full weeks (April 26 through May 23) after republishing.I expected a lift, but I was surprised at how significant it was.Look at some of those posts, doubling in average traffic over a one month period. Crazy.Faking the date on a blog post had a major impact on my traffic levels.Post No. 16 received a lift as well, but was too small to register on the graph. The traffic numbers for that post were too low to be statistically significant in any way. It was thrown into the test to see if a post with almost no organic traffic could become relevant entirely from freshness alone.Percentage liftThe graph below shows the percentage lift each post received in organic traffic.Post No. 14 above actually received a 663% lift, but it skewed the visibility of the chart data so much that I intentionally cut it off.The 16 posts received 3,601 organic visits in four weeks, beginning March 15 and ending April 11. (That's an average of 225 organic visits per post, per week.) In the four weeks following republishing, these 16 posts received 6,003 organic visits (an average of 375 organic visits per post, per week).Overall, there was a 66% lift.Search impressions (individual post view)Below you will find a few screenshots from Google Search Console showing the search impressions for a couple of these posts.Note: Sixteen screenshots seemed like overkill, so here are a few that show a dramatic change. The rest look very similar.What surprised me the most was how quickly their visibility in the SERPs jumped up.Keyword rankingsIt's safe to assume the lift in search impressions was caused by improved keyword rankings.I wasn't tracking rankings for all of the queries these posts were targeting, but I was tracking a few.The first two graphs above show a dramatic improvement in rankings, both going from the middle of the second page to the middle of the first page. The third graph appears to show a smaller boost, but moving a post that is stuck around No. 6 up to the No. 2 spot in Google can lead to a large traffic increase.Organic traffic (individual posts view)Here is the weekly organic traffic data for four of the posts in this test.You can see an annotation in each screenshot below on the week each post was republished. You will notice how relatively flat the traffic is prior to the test, followed by an immediate jump in organic traffic.These only contain one annotation for the sake of this test, but I recommend that you heavily annotate your analytics accounts when you make website changes.Why does this work?Did these posts all receive a major traffic boost just from faking the publishing date alone?Better internal linking? Updating a post date brings a post from deep in the archive closer to your blog's home page. Link equity should flow through to it more easily. While that is certainly true, six of the 16 posts above were linked sitewide from the blog sidebar or top navigation. I wouldn't expect those posts to see a dramatic lift from moving up in the feed because they were already well linked from the blog's navigation.Mobilegeddon update? In the Search Console screenshots above, you will see the Mobilegeddon update highlighted just a couple of days after the test began. It is clear that each post jumped dramatically before this update hit. The blog that it was tested on had been responsive for over a year, and no other posts saw a dramatic lift during this time period.Google loves freshness? I certainly think this is still the case. Old posts that rank well appear to see an immediate boost when their publishing date is updated.ConclusionsLet's take a second look at the questions I originally hoped this small test would answer:If you update a blog post's date, will it receive a boost in the SERPs? Maybe.Can you fake freshness? Yes.Do you have to make changes to the content? No.If there is a boost present, how long does it last? In this case, approximately two months, but you should test!Should you go update all your post dates?Go ahead and update a few blog post dates of your own. It's possible you'll see a similar lift in the SERPs. Then report back in a few weeks with the results in the comments on this post. First, though, remember that the posts used in my test were solid posts that already brought in organic traffic. If your post never ranked to begin with, changing the date isn't going to do much, if anything. Don't mistake this as a trick for sustained growth or as a significant finding. This is just a small test I ran to satisfy my curiosity. There are a lot of variables that can influence SEO tests, so be sure to run your own tests. Instead of blinding trusting that what you read about working for others on SEO blogs will work for you, draw your own conclusions from your own data. For now, though, "fresh" content still wins. Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read! The post Case Study: Can You Fake Blog Post Freshness? appeared first on IMcyclopedia: Thinkers and Doers.

Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a large network of servers, which delivers content from website to end-user based on the user's geographic location The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. As such, it uses geographical proximity as a criterion for delivering Web content. This diagram shows...

WordPress: A Killer Checklist for Launching Your Website

99+ easy steps to launch your next website on Wordpress! This handy infographic by Capsicum Mediaworks, LLP is a great checklist that walks you through everything involved in setting up a WordPress website, from set-up to SEO, maintenance to security. .

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3 Ways to Incorporate Mobile And Social Analytics In Your Ad Campaigns

In today's competitive business environment, most advertising agencies are using data analytics to hone their clients' campaign strategies and to improve their job of targeting, tracking, and engaging customers. With mobile commerce growing at an annual rate of 42 percent, and with one-third of online shoppers making at least one purchase via smartphone over the last 12 months (and 20 percent via tablet), marketers that ignore mobile analytics are doing themselves a major disservice. The same goes for social, where tracking, measuring, and engaging consumers via sites like Facebook and Twitter is absolutely crucial. As an agency that was in on the ground floor of both the mobile and social advertising movements, and that has been employing analytics to create accountable advertising for decades, we can clearly see that everything digital is moving in a mobile direction. In fact, with some campaigns, we're seeing as much as 70 percent of orders coming through digital platforms - and the majority of those are being made via mobile devices, even for large, international brands. To get a better idea of how mobile and social campaigns are performing, consider using one or all three of these ways to leverage analytics: 1) To track consumer activity via their mobile devices. While mobile devices may appear to be "untethered" and therefore more difficult to track and measure, the reality is that it's quite easy to get a grasp on "m-commerce" activity. Not only can you track the direct sales that are coming in - and what devices are being used (phones, tablets, etc.) - but you can also tie that information back to specific consumers. This will help you create more accountable and profitable advertising in the future, and it will allow you to harness those 70+ percent of orders that will soon be coming in via mobile devices (if they aren't already). One of the simplest tools available to you is Google Mobile App Analytics, which allows you to track and measure activity taking place on your app, establish and measure goals, determine conversion rates, keep track of campaign consistency, and apply the resultant data for actionable insights. Having this information in hand, and then analyzing it for key points and patterns, will help you develop even more effective mobile campaigns in the future. 2) To parlay social activity into key campaign goals. What started out as a fun way for friends to keep in touch and share photos with one another has transformed into a powerful advertising and sales tools for organizations of all sizes. Today, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being folded into the campaigns of even the largest, most well known brands. And while tracking the performance of such efforts was elusive until recently, today's companies are keeping closer tabs on their social activity and using the information garnered to hone their campaigns. "In 2015, there are now companies whose sole job is to sift through social data and find emerging clues and patterns. Facebook has a billion users, Twitter has hundreds of millions, and LinkedIn is the de facto professional networking site," writes Jonathan Hassell in CIO. Remember that social allows you to track more than just "who is Tweeting about you" or "who is posting information about your firm on Facebook." It also helps you measure brand awareness, hone campaign goals, and determine the best possible approach for a specific marketer (brand awareness vs. direct sales vs. consumer engagement, and so forth). 3) To "listen" to your customers in new and innovative ways. There was a time when companies had to rely on "live" focus groups, written surveys, and customer feedback forms to find out exactly what their target customer groups were thinking. Today, most of that information is available online and a lot of it is at the marketer's fingertips (as in, the company doesn't have to ask for it). "If your customers are talking about you, you want to hear what they're saying. If you're spending good money to talk at them, why not devote some percentage to listening to what they have to say?" writes Mikal E. Belicove in Entrepreneur. "Research shows that the conversations your customers have among themselves drive about 13 percent of business decisions and can amplify your advertising by 15 percent." Becoming that "fly on the wall" is fairly simple. If you're running an engagement campaign, for example, look at whether customers are tweeting and/or re-tweeting information about their experiences with the product. If it's a direct sales campaign, then pay close attention to how those social interactions parlay into mobile and/or online sales. In the end, the only way to determine the effectiveness of a campaign's mobile or social efforts is by taking a hard look at the data and then using that information to take action. While this step was easy to ignore just 5-10 years ago, agencies that don't take the time to effectively measure their mobile and social efforts are doing their clients a disservice and overlooking a large chunk of potential business. This guest article was written by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne Direct.

8 ways to use data to tell a compelling story

This article is part of SWOT Team, a series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations. The increased use of data in journalism has paralleled the overall rise of big data. Today's strongest stories use real data that can enhance, corroborate or even challenge facts. In Newhouse’s Communications@Syracuse program, we are exploring this very topic. Based on some of the key takeaways from our data-driven journalism course, we’ve compiled best practices for making the most of your data. See also: 3 ways small businesses can use video marketing Read more...More about Storytelling, Big Data, Business, Marketing, and Media

Five Essential Tips for Getting Your Dream Job in Marketing

With increased competition in the workforce, it is essential that you put in the extra effort to push your career forward. But what does "extra effort" mean? Read the full article at MarketingProfs

The Big Deal About a Little Mobile ‘Buy’ Button

Mobile "buy" buttons are a hot trend. Companies are beginning to understand its huge benefits for marketers and customers. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Your Connected Product Could Be Your Best Customer Engagement Tool

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, futurist and author of X, What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business As Usual.In a time when connectedness is part of everyday life and people have become online media platforms, customer experiences either work for a company or against it. Those experiences, now widely spread and shared so easily, have become the new brand. Brands are, as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos once put it, "what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” See also: The Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs MakeThink about all the ways businesses have to engage customers before, during and after the transaction: social, mobile, digital (i.e. web), wearable devices, email, POS, signage, packaging, word of mouth, and so on. There’s also an entirely new channel arising that's flying under the radar of marketers today.While not new to engineers, developers and savvy tech execs, the Internet of things (IoT) is set to become the next big trend for marketers and anyone leading service and support, product management and e-commerce initiatives. Connecting The DotsMy colleague at Altimeter (now part of Prophet) Jessica Groopman learned in her latest research on IoT that consumers are expected to own over 20 simultaneous connected devices by the year 2020. Some of us are already close. For those unfamiliar with IoT and its relationship to customer experience, think of it this way: Imagine that everything is connected to the Internet via a private network—your camera, watch, car, printer, oven, thermostat, lights, and more. Now imagine that each device learns how you use it. Not only does the user experience improve through technology, but the information is managed through an intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) system of sorts. The manufacturer can learn about the customer's usage, behavior and preferences, and also anticipate needs—all in the name of personalizing and improving the user experience. Doc Searls, author of the groundbreaking book The Cluetrain Manifesto (1999), introduced the concept of "Products-as-Platforms” a couple of years ago. He asked businesses to look at possibilities beyond marketing gimmicks. He envisioned a scenario in which customers were in control of relationships before, during and after transactions. He called this VRM, or vendor relationship management. His point was that people should be in control of relationships and products, acting as conduits, not dumb terminals. Products, As Customer Engagement ToolsImagine that your printer is running out of ink. Instead of merely displaying an alert, the same screen could connect you to Amazon or your favorite retailer to order replacements. See also: How Your Need For Detergent And Coffee Will Fuel Amazon's Smart HomeAmazon’s Dash button offers a similar premise, but requires manual input. However, this could happen even before you’ve run out, because the printer already knows your usage behavior and has anticipated the need. This idea of “in product communication” is what companies like Aviata are working on. If they succeed, VRM not only becomes a viable option, it may even change the game for customer experience and ultimately the mathematics of the lifetime value of a customer. Within the context of IoT, products can continue to work for your company, even after they’ve been purchased. These items could open new channels of proactive engagement, allowing you to redefine customer engagement beyond all of the channels you lean on today.In other words, the product itself becomes a tool for engagement and personalized "experience architecture.” This is basis for the future of customer experience, a foundation based on personalization, meaningful engagement and additive value. This new type of product communication is incredibly promising. It could change the dynamic for how companies build relationships with their customers, beyond warranty registrations and product support. This is the future of customer relationships. What it takes is to get there is vision, purpose, a sharp eye for what your users need, and the drive to give it to them. Lead photo by William Murphy

Google Docs now lets you type with your voice

Getting stuff done in Google Docs just got a lot easier. Google unveiled a series of new features for Docs, Sheets and Slides Wednesday, including voice typing and new collaboration tools for Docs. The new features are aimed at students but available to anyone who uses the company's productivity suite. See also: Productivity startup aims to make the Internet less distracting Google Docs now supports voice dictation from Chrome and the Docs iOS and Android app. When the feature is enabled (from the Tools menu in Chrome), you can dictate documents using the microphone icon from Docs on Chrome, or with your phone's voice commands when using the Docs app on iOS or Android app Read more...More about Google, Android, Google Docs, Tech, and Chrome

How to Turn Bloggers (and Other Influencers) Into Your Brand Champions

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive sales and grow your brand online. But you'll need to take a structured approach to building a long-term relationship. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Great Content Creation: Good Ingredients Matter

Great Content Is King! Social Media is our current best friend. It allows us to talk regularly about our businesses (and ourselves) to anyone who’s interested. And there’s the rub: “anyone who�…Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.business2community.comSee on Scoop.it - Integrated Marketing Communications | IMC

Wrapping Your Brain Around Social Media Strategy | Pulse

Many businesses understand the need to cultivate a social media presence, but don’t know how or where to get started formulating a Social Media Strategy.

Turning Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

Turning Facebook Fans into Paying Customers should be the aim of every business that utilizes Facebook, after all businesses are here to make money. So How do you convert... Read More...  

The Science Behind Why Native Ads Work [Infographic]

Advertising - Native ads nab more attention, garner greater focus, and make more of a subconscious impact than other ads do. Here's a look at the science behind that engagement.Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.marketingprofs.comSee on Scoop.it - Integrated Marketing Communications | IMC

The inside story of why Google is becoming Alphabet now

Hint: it has to do with Legos.Sourced through Scoop.it from: mashable.comSee on Scoop.it - Integrated Marketing Communications | IMC

Twitter Tips: 19 Simple Retweet Tips

Shea Bennett | Want more retweets on Twitter? Of course you do! Here are 19 simple Twitter tips that get more retweets - and take 2 minutes or less!

The Birth of Wikipedia | IMcyclopedia

Video - Jim Walls on the birth of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales recalls how he assembled "a ragtag band of volunteers," gave them tools for collaborating and created Wikipedia, the self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia.

Advanced Search Operator’s Guide for SEO Link Building

Those who are still saying that SEO is dead are not talking about SEO they are talking about the old ways of SEO although they don’t know about it. SEO is not about tricking search engines for higher ranking, linking schemes, and web spam for traffic and links. If you think this is SEO then yes it is...

Writing Your Next Piece of Content | Ann Handley

Use these 12 steps from Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes to take your writing from a discombobulated mess to a coherent, useful piece of content that engages audiences Source: Ann Handley|Visual.ly

Keyword-Driven Personas | SEOmoz

In this Whiteboard Friday tutorial, Ruth Burr of SEOmoz discusses how to use your keywords to drive personas, which will ultimately affect your site mapping process for the better. A key take away on keyword-driven personas is her observation that you should begin building your keywords into the bones of your site, rather than adding them once your site is already completely mapped...

Matt Cutts on the Top 5 SEO Mistakes

In a 2013 Webmaster video, Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam team, listed the top five SEO mistakes many webmasters make. He noted that, while not the most devastating, these are the most common mistakes. Having no website or having one that is not crawl-able - this is the biggie. Failing to include the right words on the page. MCutts says:...

Pinterest Announces Buyable Pins for iPhone, iPad

Buyable Pins are coming to iPhone and iPad later this month. Rollouts for Android and desktop are planned in the future, but with no timetable yet. Source: www.adweek.com

Social Video Chart: Your At-A-Glance Guide To 7 Major Platforms

A side-by-side feature comparison of the seven major social video players -- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr. The post Social Video Chart: Your At-A-Glance Guide To 7 Major Platforms appeared first on Marketing Land. Sourced through Scoop.it from: marketingland.com See on Scoop.it - Integrated Marketing Communications | IMC

5 Key Strategies For Implementing Social Media For Small Business

I have looked recently at how some of the top 100 and the top 500 of corporate America are using Social Media, so this study by business.com is valuable as it takes a close look at the use of social media by small business  (those with less than...Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.jeffbullas.comSee on Scoop.it - Integrated Marketing Communications...

HowTo: Make the Perfect Pitch | Guy Kawasaki

The purpose of a pitch is to stimulate interest, not to cover every aspect of your startup and bludgeon you audience into submission. This infographic will guide you through creating the perfect pitch, to generate enough interest to net a second meeting. Source: Guy Kawasaki  

Google Hummingbird: SEO 3.0?

On the eve of its 15th birthday, Google Search held a special event in the garage where its ubiquitous search engine was born. It also marked the launch of a major algorithm update: Google Hummingbird. Hummingbird was the most ambitious rewrite of Google’s search algorithm since 2001. Google Hummingbird Named after yet another cute critter, “Hummingbird” denoted how “precise and...

64 Google+ Content Strategies | Copyblogger

This infographic outlines 64 branding strategies that you can put into action to engage intelligently via Google+. Related Posts: 22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue | Infographic How your phone analytics affect your content marketing strategies … and more – Brafton (blog) 15 WordPress User Errors That Make You Look Silly | CopyBlogger Related articles Infographic: How To Improve...

Engaging a business audience of One | Ogilvy One

"A brave, new business world." It’s difficult to imagine any landscape that’s changed more than business-to-business. The last 5 years has seen almost all the rules re-written, re-worked or simply revoked. Social platforms. Mobile connectivity. Niche business media. Content as a sales source. Targeting business people as people. They're just the tip of a moving landscape. In the pages of...

Forrester: Marketers Have Touchpoint Interruptus

“Today’s consumer uses a wide range of touchpoints in order to research, buy, and receive service from brands, and these touchpoints overlap and influence each other in ecosystems that are difficult to perceive,” writes Martin Gill, a principal analyst with Forrester. “Too many firms focus on each touchpoint in isolation and fail to enable their customers to transition easily...

How Finding Ten New Readers Can Lead to a Blog Traffic Explosion

Finding new readers is the bane of my blogging existence, and I don’t think I’m alone. Without blog traffic, you might as well write in a private journal, because you certainly won’t make money or spread your ideas online. I’m constantly on the lookout for new traffic-building techniques, and today I wanted to share with you one of my...

Twitter Ads: Leveraging Objective-Based Campaigns

With Twitter's objective-based campaigns, marketers can choose from a range of key goals including driving Tweet engagements, Web site clicks or conversions, app installs or engagements, followers, or leads. For each objective, Twitter’s self-serve ads tool will suggest the appropriate ad format. Read More...

Social Video Marketing: Facebook vs YouTube Platforms

The Web and mobile video landscape continues to evolve quickly and the digital titans are getting extremely aggressive about controlling how video is viewed on their platforms. With almost 2 Billion  mobile devices sold in 2014 and YouTube announcing that 40% of the minutes watched on their platform are from mobile devices, it is obvious why everyone is trying...

Web Analytics vs Mobile Analytics

Jason Wells, CEO of ContactPoint notes that marketers must approach mobile analytics differently from online analytics. The vast differences between mobile marketing and online marketing. The biggest difference, he points out, is in user engagement with mobile media compared to engagement with online media. For example, 90 per cent of mobile searchers take action within a day – with 70%...

First Steps in Google Adwords |Infographic

An infographic by the Promodo Company on the first steps in to take in developing a Google Adwords advertising campaign. Related articles Google AdWords introduces automatic conversion of Flash campaigns to HTML5 Google Analytics, AdWords & Website Optimizer Training Google makes Android app for AdWords available globally A Quick Overview of Associate Advertising Google AdWords Introduces Dynamic Structured Snippets by @mattsouthern

Thinkers & Tinkers: Chris Brogan and Jamie Anderson on “The Real Return on Engagement”

In this video, Butch Stearns, Chris Brogan and Jamie Anderson discuss what engagement really means, and how to go from the initial digital “touch point,” to making the sale [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7ilYvq4nBE]

Market Research: Twenty Two Qualitative Data Methods

This presentation by B2BWhiteboard provides an overview of twenty two qualitative data methods used in market research. Read More...

Best Practices: Online Communities Deployment

This presentation by Lithium, gives an overview of best practices for running successful online communities. Get started on focusing on the areas that can create the best returns on your community investment.  

Visual Content: Capture and Engage

"Content is evolving. No longer are white papers and webinars the secret to inbound marketing success, visual is becoming the norm. Get ready to kick the tires and light the fires around your content strategy as we show you how to effectively utilize visual content like infographics, video, visual note-taking, memes, and even Instagrams into your marketing campaigns. We’ll...

6 Content Curation Templates for Content Annotation | Curata Blog

A fundamental part of content curation is adding annotation and commentary to third-party content that you choose to share. It’s easy for novice curators to simply focus on finding and sharing relevant content while forgetting to annotate their content with their own perspectives. Read More...

Real World Marketing Syllabus

The Real World Marketing Syllabus is a new hybrid of original content from the likes of Brian Clark, Geeta Sachdev and Todd Defren, along with curated content featuring lectures, readings and lessons from the best marketers out there. It’s our attempt to spice up the stodgy principles of marketing. Related articles Smarter Content Marketing Versus Inbound Marketing How Original Content Is Driving...

7 Traits of Highly Effective Community Managers

This presentation was originally featured at a DNN webinar: The 7 Traits of Highly Effective his Community Managers Behind every successful online community is a highly effective community manager. While community members "make" the community, it takes an effective community manager to establish the ground rules, steer conversations, introduce members to one another and encourage activity and contributions. The seven traits...

Why Every Business Should Use Facebook | Infographic

This infographic by Sprout Social highlights some key Facebook stats that show the benefits businesses can gain from marketing on Facebook - in case you still have reservations.

A Minimum Viable Audience: An Unfair Business Advantage

You have a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) when: You’re receiving enough feedback from comments, emails, social networks, and social media news sites in order to adapt and evolve your content to better serve the audience. You’re growing your audience organically thanks to social media sharing by existing audience members and earned media. You’re gaining enough insight into what the audience needs...

Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends in 2015

In this infographic, Gal Borenstein summarizes 10 digital marketing trends to watch in 2015. In a nutshell, they are:  E-Payments & Social Media Create New Class of Global-Village Entrepreneurs                                                              Social Media Brand...

Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge.

A slideshow on leveraging content marketing to build a great brand

Search Engine Ranking Factors | MOZ

Moz surveyed over 120 leading search marketers who provided expert opinions to better understand the workings of search engine algorithms. The results included over 80 search engine ranking factors that that may help—or hurt—a web site's visibility with the search engines. You can review the results of the study presented below. While the search engine ranking factors listed below are not "proof-positive" of their actual use in...

HowTo: Creating Compelling Visual Content

From videos to infographics, I’m constantly leveraging visual media... because these visual content pieces are generating more backlinks than any other form of content I publish, which—in the long run—helps increase my search engine rankings and overall readership numbers. So, how do you create these visual masterpieces? Well, this infographic should help you. Source: Neil Patel Courtesy of: Quick Sprout                                          

Social Media Monitoring and Measurement

How to measure the success of social media efforts? How can you tell if it is worth it? A measurement process can help you track the results of your efforts to communicate hard and soft data. By mixing these two types of measurements, you will see what is and is not working within your social media strategy. You also will...

Why Use Content Marketing to Share your Brand Story?

Should you “Jump on the Content Marketing Bandwagon” to tell your brand story? This infographic by Come Recommended looks into the What and Why:    

Social Media and Storytelling – A Six-Part Series | Marketo

This is an excellent, six-part series on brand storytelling. It is adapted from a presentation by Cameron Uganec at Marketo’s 2013 Summit Conference in San Francisco. A must read! Social Media and Storytelling, Part 5: Six Principles of Social Video Social Media and Storytelling Part 1: Why Storytelling? Social Media and Storytelling, Part 4: The Growth of Visual Storytelling Social Media and Storytelling,...

On Creating Content Pillars | Kapost

A great article by Ann Murphy of Kapost on the benefits of content pillars and how to create them. A content pillar is a substantive and informative work on a specific topic or theme that can be broken into many derivative pieces of content and distributed to multiple channels. A content pillar can be an eBook, report, guide, long video,...

The Top Role Of Content Creation And Curation | Gartner

A Digital Marketing Spending Survey by Gartner found that investments in content creation and social marketing totaled 21% of digital marketing budgets. Drawing on this study, Jake Sorofman, Gartner's Research Director, discusses what differentiates content in the age of the social web. - It’s human: it speaks with a conversational voice, from one human being to another. Thought isn’t hidden behind stilted corporate...

ROI: Which Digital Channels Are Marketers Best Able to Measure for ROI?

A chart depicting the ROI by Digital Channel
Despite increasing pressures to prove their worth, American CMOs continue to have difficulty quantitatively demonstrating the impact of their activities, according to a recent study. Now, a newly-released survey from Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud that analyzes global marketers’ ability to measure ROI from a variety of digital channels finds that there is only a single discipline that...

Convert Pinners Into Customers Following This Recipe for Success | B2C

This infographic by Nadia James details how your business can build an inspirational, informative Pins that will help you convert Pinners into customers, driving ROI. "A pretty picture simply is not enough to inspire viewers to purchase from or interact with your business. Our recipe for delivering a captivating story on Pinterest addresses audience definition, keyword optimization, creating a strong visual, and constructing...

Brand Storytelling: What Makes it so Compelling?

"Brand storytelling is about connecting the outer value the brand provides to the inner values of the customer. There must be a deep affinity between the two or the relationship is just a transaction." Thomas Dawson Why Storytelling is so Compelling According to author Robert McKee (2003), the best way to persuade someone is by telling a compelling story. “In a story,...

How to Get More Likes on Facebook | Infographic

This infographic by Kissmetrics shows what creates the most engagement on Facebook, including post type, the length of post and time of posting.      

Seth Godin: The Tribes we lead

Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. In this ted Talk, he urges us to do so    

The Social Media Brandsphere | Brian Solis

The Social Media Brandsphere is a handy tool that breaks down the division of media opportunities for marketing professionals. The infographic goes beyond the standard opportunities of Paid, Owned, and Earned Media (P.O.E.M.) and includes the more recent strategies of Promoted and Shared to create a complete picture of the opportunities available to engage audiences. From there, Solis breaks it...

Two-Step Guide To Listening On Social Media | Awareness Inc.

In this infographic, Mike Lewis of Awareness Inc. shows a simple two-step process to better social listening, the better to tap in to the conversations happening about your brand. Using an example of a marathon runner in the market for new shoes, he walks you through the different stages of effectively listening to what your customers have to say on social media.            

The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags | Sprout Social

In this infographic, Neil Patel of Quick Sprout gives a great overview of how to leverage hashtags for social media marketing.