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Expanding Your Content Presence

Expanding Your Content Presence

Content marketing is becoming more important than ever.  The absolute best way to create a popular website and build a list of loyal readers is to deliver high quality, informative, and entertaining content.  This may sound easy but after a few months you begin to run out of ideas.

Since you don’t want to keep posting the same thing over and over again, you’ll need a strategy for creating engaging new content.  The following is a simple technique that will allow you to take one piece of content and turn it into a variety of different things.

Where to start

You should start with the most popular content that you already have.  What’s been liked, commented on, and shared the most? It could be a video, podcast, article, or email so long as it was well received and pulled in a lot of traffic.  Longer content works better than shorter pieces but any size will do.

Take this material and extract the main information.  You’ll want to have the general idea or topic of the content as well as the main points it touches on.  Take this and turn it into a rough outline that can be used again.

Books and Reports

The easiest thing to do is hire a writer.  Give them the outline you created from the popular content and tell them you want a short book or a report based around that information.  This can be written rather quickly and can be a great resource.  You can send it out for free to your list, use it to get new subscribers or even sell it on Kindle.

Videos

Videos are popular and high value pieces of content.  They can easily be created from the outline you made previously.  There are a few options but one of the easiest is to simply make a slide show based on the information.  With a little music and the right branding, a video like this can help drive traffic to your site and increase your presence on places like YouTube.

Serialized Articles

You may find that one of your most popular pieces of content is also one of the longest pieces you have.  These are great candidates for serialized articles.  Rather than simply writing one post, you can write a few and release them over a period of time.

This is a great option for newsletters but can also work well for blogs.  Since people will need to come back to read the new articles, you’ll have returning visitors.

It can be tough to come up with a constant stream of content.  High quality material is, however, more important than ever so implementing a strategy that helps you expand your content can be a great idea.

You probably already have a few great options and a little time or money is all that’s needed to turn them into something else. 

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Anatomy of a Good Advertisement

Anatomy of a Good Advertisement

Advertising is a major part of marketing.  As far as some people are concerned, it’s the only thing marketing really does.  While we know this isn’t exactly true, learning how to create a good advertisement will help you get the most out of your investments.

Most of the advertising you’ll do will be paid graphical ads which appear on other websites.  You may also do some sort of Google Pay-Per-Click, but the concepts are basically the same.  The goal is to grab people’s attention and get them to click your link.  This article will help you do exactly that.

Short and Sweet

 People are exposed to such an excessive amount of advertising these days that you don’t get much of their attention.  You may get a second, at most, before someone has decided to engage with or ignore your advertising.  This means the impact your ad makes needs to happen right away.

Simpler and shorter is better.  If it can be done in only a few words, that’s the best way to go.  Remember that your ad won’t be very big. It won’t be able to do much, because you want to keep your costs down.  Something short, direct, and engaging is what you’ll need.

Engage

 The biggest problem with a lot of advertising is that it tries to sell to customers.  While this might be the point of the ad itself, it would be far more successful if it could engage the customers somehow—just enough to click on the ad.  You want to make them think, to make them stop and consider your ad or click through to find more information.

The key to engaging your viewers is to understand them.  What are their hot-button topics?  What can you hit on to really get them going?  Consider being a little controversial.  Avoid the most obvious route and choose a message that will really force them to click.

Asking for their opinions can help.  Running a contest that requires player participation is great.  At the very least, use a message that might make them a little upset so they’ll be more inclined to click through and see what you’re talking about.

Tracking

 Tracking may not seem like a major part of a good advertisement, but that’s just because customers will never see it.  From the business side of things, however, tracking is one of the most important elements in any advertisement.  Tracking is important because you’ll never truly know how successful an ad is unless you have a way to track its effectiveness.

There are a number of great tracking programs you can use and many of them are free.  You’ll be able to see exactly how many times the ad was displayed, how many times it was clicked, and even things such as where the visitors went or how long they stayed.  This is invaluable information which lets you perfect your advertising in the future.

Creating great advertisements is hard when you’re doing everything yourself.  What you need is a team of experienced and dedicated professionals that can do all of the work for you. 

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The 4 Branding Questions You Must Answer

The Four Branding Questions You Must Answer

Building a strong brand isn’t difficult, but it does require focus. It’s not uncommon for new business owners—and experienced ones, too—to drop the ball when it comes to branding. It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing. Rather, it’s that they can’t articulate it.

The good news is that there’s something you do about it. Answering four key questions about your brand can help you focus on what’s most important. And that will make it easy to create a consistent and memorable brand.

Question #1: If your brand were a person, what three personality traits would it have?

It might seem strange to attribute human traits to a brand, but it’s one of the most essential elements of branding. Brands have personalities, or they should. Why? Because consumers want to identify with a brand. Often, they project themselves onto the brands they use.

A brand like Dove might choose these traits: warm, compassionate, and confident. A quick perusal of their website or Facebook page shows all three traits in spades. Their content celebrates women as they are, and encourages followers to share their stories.

Question #2: Which celebrity would you choose to narrate a documentary about your brand?

The second question is one that can help you determine the right voice to use for your brand. A brand’s voice should spring from its personality. It’s important to think about tone, language, and who the audience is for your brand.

A brand that targets affluent people who care about appearances might choose someone like Sean Connery or Gwyneth Paltrow. A young, hip brand might prefer a very different narrator. The key is to come up with someone who would be a good spokesperson for your brand.

Question #3: How do you want a prospect to feel when they read about your brand?

Branding is a two-way street. Ultimately, you want people to identify with your brand. They can only do that if their reaction to it is something you consider. You can’t control how people react, but a carefully created brand is likely to evoke the emotions you want your customers to feel.

A brand like Nike, for example, might want its followers to feel these emotions: empowered, inspired, and strong. You can see these feelings being evoked by their slogan, Just Do It, which encourages people to pursue their athletic goals and overcome any obstacles in their path.

Question #4: What characteristics do the people in your target audience have in common?

Your fans and followers aren’t all the same, but the chances are good that they share some common traits that can help you create a strong brand that appeals to them. These characteristics may be demographics, or they might be personality traits like the ones you assigned to your brand.

A brand like Red Bull, which uses a rather brash, irreverent tone in its marketing, might identify the following traits for its customers: young, daring, and unconventional. By contrast, a brand like Rolls Royce might choose words like affluent, educated, and status-conscious.

The words you choose should describe your target audience. They can also help you define and flesh out your brand so that it attracts the people who are most likely to buy from you. In other words, they work in concert with your brand’s personality and voice.

Conclusion

Creating a memorable brand is a cornerstone of good marketing. When your brand is clearly-defined, it will inform every aspect of your marketing. The voice, characteristics, and feelings you want to evoke will show up in every email, social media post, and ad campaign you run.

 

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How To Segment Your List To Improve Your ROI

How To Segment Your List To Improve Your ROI

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online marketing method. That alone makes it worth doing. But, did you know that you can maximize your ROI simply by segmenting your list?

List segmentation is considered an advanced email marketing technique. However, it’s not very complicated to do, and you can even ask subscribers to self-segment and eliminate the guesswork. Let’s talk about some of the ways to segment your list.

Segmentation Based on Behavior

The most common way marketers segment their lists is by tracking their subscribers’ behavior and using their actions as a guideline. Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1

A clothing manufacturer that sells apparel for women, men, and children tracks customer purchases to determine what products they want to hear about. A woman who buys clothing for herself might receive only emails about women’s clothing. If she switches it up and buys kids’ clothes, she might start getting emails for those too.

Example 2

A software company segments people who buy a certain product into a separate list. The people on that list then receive a series of emails designed to sell them on a complementary or upgraded product. Once they buy it, they’re then directed to a new list selling accessories or a related product… and so on.

These examples both illustrate ways that a marketer might segment based on behavior. Some basic email automation software doesn’t allow for list segmentation. But, most premium products do—and marketers who segment their lists get higher open, click-through, and conversion rates.

In fact, according to Mail Chimp, segmented emails outperform non-segmented emails across the board. They get:

14.31% more opens

100.95% more clicks

9.37% fewer unsubscribe requests

These statistics clearly illustrate the benefits of list segmentation.

Self-Segmentation

The second option is to ask your subscribers to self-segment. You can do this at the point of subscription, or later. Here are some suggestions.

Self-segmentation at the time of subscription can be effective. However, you’ll need to balance it against the fact that including additional fields in your opt-in form may drive some subscribers away. If you choose this option, keep the fields to a minimum.

Another option is to ask subscribers to self-segment when you send them a confirmation email. That way, they’ve already opted in. Now, you’re just asking them to help you out by indicating which topics they’re interested in. It’s a good way to reassure new subscribers that you won’t be spamming them.

A third option, and this is ideal if you already have a list, is to send out a link asking your subscribers to self-segment. Add a note about wanting to ensure they receive only the emails they want to receive.

If you select this option, you can either link them to a segmentation page on your website and connect it to your email automation service. Or, you can embed the form in your email, so they can respond without having to visit your website.

Whichever option you choose, make sure that you honor subscribers’ requests. This is not the time to bend the rules. The only exception would be if you’re sending out an email that applies to all subscribers. An example might be a store-wide sale or promotion.

Conclusion

Once your list is segmented, you’re likely to see an uptick in your key email metrics, including your unique open rate, your click-through rate, and—most importantly—your conversion rate. If you don’t, it may be an indication that additional segmentation is needed, or that your emails aren’t compelling.

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How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

Most of the time, businesses start blogging as a way to build an audience. However, the reverse seems to be happening. More and more people with blogs are starting to monetize their traffic. It makes sense because one of the hardest things to do as a business owner is grow your traffic. If you grow your blog first, you already have a solid following to support your business idea.

Starting a blog is easy, but if you want to make money later, you need to think about your strategy and set yourself up for success. It’s important to know what you need to grow your blog and grow your traffic.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a weblog of content updated regularly. It’s an online publication written in a personal tone, meant to share opinions, teach others, develop a personal brand, or sell products or services. Blogging is fulfilling, but it also requires commitment.

It’s important to be consistent, no matter how often you publish. Your audience grows to expect your posts, so keep at it, and don’t disappoint them.

How to Start a Blog

Finding the time to flush out your ideas and do it consistently is the hardest part of blogging. Once you find the time, starting a blog is straightforward. Consider your opportunities to monetize your blog, determine your audience, and plan a publishing strategy.

You need to think like an entrepreneur to make this venture profitable in the future, so map out the groundwork for your distribution and monetization now.

Ways to Make Money

Most people think of running ads on their blogs as a way to make money, but there are other ways. Building a loyal audience is more important than building a big one, and you won’t earn the trust of your followers by spamming them with ads all the time.

Instead, think of ways you can sell physical or digital products that align with your audience. Sell your services as a writer or designer. Publish a book. Create subscription-based packages with platforms like Patreon. Do paid reviews or become an affiliate for other brands.

You have to enjoy blogging for it to succeed. Dedicate yourself to serving your audience as best you can.

Pick a Niche

With all of the information on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Try to choose a topic that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s also critical to choose a niche audience. There are so many internet users that it’s impossible to appeal to all of them.

You can focus on a specific location, present your content in a different style, or focus on a smaller segment of a bigger market. For instance, writing about steakhouses in Kansas City that serve steaks larger than forty-two ounces allows you to focus more deeply on your topic that choosing to write about steakhouses in general.

Choosing a Platform

When it comes to hosting your blog, you have two choices. You can host it yourself or host it on a paid platform. If you host it yourself, you have more customization options. You still have to pay a fee, but it’s less than a paid platform, and you have more flexibility in design.

Using a service to host your blog is the best option for those who don’t know a lot about design or HTML. Some options include Blogger and WordPress. Think about how you want to monetize your blog because not every platform gives you what you need.

You can also use free platforms like Medium or Tumblr. They have built-in audiences, making it easier for you to get started, but they provide less customization, and your blog design ends up looking like everyone else’s on the platform.

Picking a Name

This is a great time to think about what you want to name your blog. Unless you plan to build a personal brand or portfolio, don’t use your name. Think of something catchy, fun, and descriptive of your brand. This name should reflect your blog’s identity, add personality, and be easy to remember and type.

Groundwork for Growth

Thinking about how to grow your blog and having a solid plan in place helps you to build momentum quickly once you get started. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up struggling with distribution because you don’t have a strategy. Publishing is nerve-wracking, but having a plan can alleviate some of that.

Planning for growth involves collecting emails as soon as possible. Use a service like MailChimp to store your subscriber list and make distribution easy. It’s free for up to two thousand subscribers. You can also use MailChimp for signup forms, which is a critical piece of capturing this information.

Embed your signup forms directly into your content with a call to action to subscribe, so the experience is seamless for your audience and easy to manage for you.

Blogging can be stressful, but it’s also a blast. Use these tips to think about how you can grow your blog to make money later. The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to quit your day job until you start making money. If done right, once you start making money, you’ll grow quickly.

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Strategies for Blog Traffic

Strategies for Blog Traffic

Blogging can be a great way to share your thoughts and opinions with the rest of the world. It can also be a wonderful way to attract droves of new visitors to your website. Millions of people check thousands of blogs every single day and posting high quality content will let you tap into that.

It is important, however, to remember that not all blog posts are created equal. Some will simply attract far more attention than others, often for years into the future.

You may also find that in your efforts to create quality content, it can be frustrating and challenging to come up with content ideas that won’t take forever to produce!

Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of your blog:

Reviews

Reviews are one of the most searched-for types of content on the web. People want to find reviews of products, movies, books, and even services.

Online reviews have become so popular, in fact, that many people won’t head out to a restaurant without first reading a review.

Finding things to review is easy. Simply look for some products or services that are relevant to your niche. Books are great because they don’t take long to read and are one of the most searched for types of reviews. Including the name of the book in the title of the post will also help with search engine optimization.

Tutorials

Instructional information is another popular variety of web content. Thousands of people search for tutorials on a vast range of topics every day. If you know how to do something particularly well, this could be a great option.

Tutorials can either be video or text based, although the text based tutorials generally have a healthy amount of example pictures. The best way to come up with a good tutorial is to think of things which people often ask about. They can be simple or truly complex topics. Best of all, tutorials are incredibly easy to share throughout the web.

Lists

Lists are another popular option. They’re easy to read, they deliver information in a concise manner, and they can be used to promote a variety of products or services. Most lists will follow a basic “Top 10 Best” or “Top 5 Worst” format.”

The best part about a list is that they don’t require much writing talent. You can easily compile a list of the 10 best marketing books or the 5 best affiliate programs in only a few minutes. Promotion can be done by including an affiliate or referral link for the last product on the list.

Why they work

All three of these can drive a significant amount of traffic to your site. They do this because they’re exceedingly useful pieces of content. Reviews, tutorials, and lists of suggestions actually offer something of real value to your readers.

If your visitors find the information to be helpful and informative, they will likely share it with other people they know. When your blog posts are shared on other websites, you’re essentially getting free promotion.

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Rethinking Slack for Marketing

Rethinking Slack for Marketing

Slack enables your ideas all the way to market by keeping everyone on the same page in real time. Slack is a communication super tool allowing your team to send notifications, get approvals, and sign off on the biggest marketing campaigns. From collaboration to integration, Slack has the capabilities your team needs to prepare the best marketing campaigns yet.

Slack helps you to stay organized with rooms for purposes designated by your team and inviting members on a need-to-know basis so that people don’t get notifications that waste their time. It serves as a central command post for all resources your team needs. App integrations to gain valuable insights from customer feedback as well as monitor how your campaigns are performing.

Centralized Communication

Slack provides real-time coordination amongst teammates, even in remote locations, allowing flexibility and availability in your workday. Define deliverables and discuss what you’ll need in a centralized location. You can create public channels to keep everyone on the same page, or you can create private channels for teammates working on specific tasks that don’t involve the entire organization. Each channel allows you to set topics, so everyone knows what the channel is for, and you can pin messages or files so you can easily find the most important information later.

Approvals

Slack is a great place to get input on marketing strategies and campaigns. You can share messages with internal colleagues or clients and emojis make the approval process fun. Try using a set of eyes to indicate something that needs reviews, or a heart to show how much you love the idea.

Gathering Insights

Data matters for marketing teams and Slack can integrate with a number of marketing tools, enabling you with valuable insights. By pulling in data from Statsbot, Amplitude, or Google Analytics, you can stay on top of performance metrics and trends to make informed decisions about the direction you’ll take the next campaign.

You can also pull in stats from SurveyMonkey for the support team or use the MailChimp integration to monitor click-throughs and open rates all on one dashboard. There are many other APIs available, and a talented development team can integrate or enable notifications for almost anything.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is critical to marketing teams. As you learn more about what the ideal customer in your target market wants, you can build more valuable campaigns to meet their needs. You can use Slack to implement real-time social media mentions, or automatically post tweets to your company’s account. You can also post feedback from your company’s help desk tool, or post survey results to a specific Slack channel.

Integrations

With a centralized dashboard for all of your communication and statistics, you can improve your workflow and make it more efficient. There are numerous Slack integrations with marketing apps, including:

Statsbot
• Drift
• GrowthBot
• Ark
• Slaask
• Translate
• Chatlio
• Smallchat
• Mention
• datacard.io
• Autopilot
• Drum Meetings
• So much more

Community

Sometimes it takes a village. If someone else has been there and done that, use their experience to your advantage. Ask questions, analyze patterns, and figure out the best way for your organizations to proceed. There are Slack communities specifically for this purpose, and here are some of the best marking communities:

Online Geniuses
• Inbound.org
• Conversion World
• Marketers Chat
• Designer Hangout
• Buffer
• Growmance
• SaaS Community
• Backlinks
• Grey Fedora

Slack is the ultimate tool for collaboration. With integration capability and enhanced communication, marketing teams can get the job done faster with minimal interference. Slack is easy to implement and even easier to use, giving you no excuse not to get started today.