Mistake Proof Your Post

What do you do when you finally hit the publish button only to realize later that your proof reading skills were a little off that day?

I say own it. While we strive for perfection sometimes we miss the mark. The image below is from our last blog post and it clearly has a typo. Did you see it?

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It is easy to see all of the typos in writing by others but it is pretty common to miss your own mistakes. We certainly didn’t mean to publish this with the typo, but it presents the perfect opportunity to share some tips on how to avoid this situation.

  • Give it a break. When you are passionate about what you are writing, you will often see what you think you wrote versus what is really there. For me, I usually need 24 hours away from my copy in order to see what I really wrote. I will sometimes try and do the backward reading trick, you know, where you read the copy from the end to the beginning. In the case of this typo, that wouldn’t work because “are” is a word, just not the word that was supposed to be there.
  • Enlist an editor. This is the best option even if the person reading it doesn’t have subject matter expertise. In fact that can be even better. We tend to be more focused if we are unfamiliar with the subject.
  • Run it through Hemingway. I will use this online tool to see if my copy is too fluffy and to check for typos.
  • I haven’t used it yet, but I hear that Grammarly is a great tool as well.

Of course none of this works unless you actually do it, as I have proven.

Best Content for B2B Marketers

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard one of our B2B clients say, “In my industry people don’t do that.” when referring to prospects researching a company online before contacting a sales person. In every other are of business, your prospects are researching online before buying. Why would they not do this in their business pursuits as it pertains to you?

The truth is that they are. But, we still like proof.

4188668871_1cdca993dd_mEveryone likes numbers to back up their reasoning, so check this out.

Here is one of the primary reasons you should be investing in content: in a recent survey conducted by DemandGen Report, 45% of the survey respondents said they typically view three to five pieces of content before they talk with a salesperson. Twenty-two percent said they consume five to seven pieces of content before they engage with a sales rep.

What happens if they don’t find any content from your brand? We guess they are talking to the folks that published something.

But, you also have to publish something that is of true value. And, it turns out that most people aren’t interested in your sales collateral.

The other important consideration from the survey was the request for more fact-based information and less sales speak. It’s not surprising that case studies and white papers are high on the list of types of content that buyers are most interested in. It takes time to produce a worthy case study, but if you get a plan in place to quantify the right information from the start, it will get easier with each study.

This type of content is ideal for repurposing.

Case studies and white papers can be supported with snack-size content like blog posts or articles on LinkedIn. Hit the highlights and provide a link to the complete document. It doesn’t have to be long to be informative.

With 67% of the respondents on the survey saying that they are relying more on content now to support purchase decisions than they did a year ago, this is not an area of your marketing strategy to ignore.

If you struggle with putting together a content strategy and/or plan, we would be delighted to help.

Give us a call at 720-334-7308.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fast Track of Communications

The Latest College Trend.  No, it’s not Social Media.

Communication is taking off and is on a fast track for super stardom.  The discipline of communication is becoming more widespread in all industries because experts are finding that their weakness is communicating what they know. There are amazing engineers oscreenshotut there, but they can’t always sell their products because they aren’t communicators. They are engineers.

This goes for many experts. They know their field, but it’s challenging to communicate their value because they aren’t communicators.

And, most importantly the world of communication is always evolving and must be studied.  Professional communicators must stay appraised of the latest and greatest trends.  We see this in the business community all of the time. Communicators are in high demand, and there is just never enough of us.  What is exciting is that the Universities are seeing the trend too.  Students are now seeking out Communication as a career path. And, their opportunities are endless.

It is very exciting to see that demand will be met, and we will have more communicators soon.  It’s an amazing field to be in with a lot of rewards on all levels.  We can’t wait to start working with the next generation of communicators.

Content and Blog is encouraged. And, we will help anyone looking to enter the field. Just shoot us an email at hello@contentandblog.com, if we can answer any questions for you as you seek our your own career in communications.

Click for full article.

 

Google Keyword Search Is Changing

Google’s Hummingbird update is changing search. The percentage of not-provided data for keyword searches is about to go way up.

What does that mean for marketers that have focused on keyword data for direction on content?

Google began encrypting keyword search results for logged-in Google users back in October of 2011. Reportedly this was done out of a concern for privacy. This meant that for marketers, they would not be able to track the keywords (for those logged-in users) that were searched before landing on a website. This was and still is the case regardless of the tools that you may be using to track web analytics.

search

Not provided. This is the category for search results where encryption is used. When Google first introduced this keyword encryption, it was anticipated to effect less than 10% of all searches but the trend has continued to climb up from the beginning.

Now Google will be encrypting all keyword data except for ad clicks. It looks suspicious but again Google cites extra protection for searchers as one of the reasons for this move. Is this an attempt to get more people using Google adWords? Not according to Google. They say that in addition to security, the change will place more attention on context and user intent to provide more relevant results to searches.

 

Don’t dispair, your content marketing plan will get you through this long dark tunnel of the unknown.

The veil over the keyword search data should be a non-issue anyway. If you have been creating your content primarily to provide useful and relevant information for people, the Hummingbird update will work in your favor. This move by Google forces the issue even further onto really great content rather than focusing so heavily on keywords. Sure there will always be specific language that is used more often when searching for a particular topic, but this further moves the focus to the content as a whole rather than a few words.

In tracking your data the focus will switch to page optimization versus keyword optimization. By adhering to a concise plan for URL structure with keywords consistent in your content, you should still be able to track what is getting attention and what is not.

Nothing will ever take the place of well written content that is of value to your audience. This loss of data will soon be old news as marketers adjust to the change. Soldier on with content that has real value for people.

Evergreen Content Needs Attention To Thrive

Evergreen trees still need attention from time to time. In order to thrive they need water when the rain doesn’t come for weeks on end and they need additional nutrition in the form of fertilizer. Even more important, as their environment changes around them, they too need to be shaped for those changes.

Evergreen content is like those trees. Evergreen content needs attention to thrive. The environment around your content is changing like the seasons (and sometimes even more frequently) and your content needs to reflect those changes.

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Some content, such as pages within a website, can be freshened up periodically with minimal time by changing out images and updating offerings. The blog on your website (if you contribute regularly) boosts SEO by providing new content for the search engines to index. Blog posts can even sometimes need refreshing depending on the topic. Lists of any type may need to be updated periodically in order to remain authentic.

One of the best ways to keep your evergreen content up to date is to first start with an editorial calendar.

You can easily review material that was previously published on a regular basis and determine if it needs updates. A best practice would be a quarterly review of published content.

The editorial calendar also keeps you on track to publish regularly. The added bonus is that occasionally you will need just a short process of updating rather than creating from scratch. You can use the extra time to add another month of topics to your editorial calendar!

Evergreen content doesn’t mean that it will never need tending, it just requires periodic attention so that it remains a fresh part of your landscape.

 

 

 

Social Media Is A Digital Face to Face

In our last blog post, we looked at a recent study by Searchmetrics on what works now in the game of SEO. It pointed out that one of the top criteria for search now involves social media signals. Considering that it is so important, it would be a good idea to use it properly.

Think of  social media as a digital networking event.     

Have you ever met the guy, or gal, at a networking event that is spitting out their elevator speech at rapid fire speed to everyone that will shake their hand? You hear it echoing around the room.  I’m not saying that I don’t want to hear your “one minute”, afterall it is an effective way to find out what you do. But if you are in a room of 100 people and your goal is to tell your “one minute” to as many people as possible, you have missed the point.

You can gain new customers and get leads from using your social channels but usually not from a chance encounter.

If you are flooding your every social media account with all of the same content over and over, you’re basically doing the same thing. Take the time to listen and discover what it is that your connections are talking about. Can you help? Directly or indirectly? It is OK to refer (that means share in the digital world)  good content that is not your own to your connections.

I learned back in the day –before social media–that if I attend an event and I know no one,  a realistic goal is three good connections before I leave. By good connections, I mean people that I think I can help directly, or indirectly with a referral.  Over time, if I am at the right events, I can continue to build those relationships and we both benefit.

If I attend an event where I know many people, I don’t ignore the people that I already know in favor of making new contacts. I engage the people that I do know, nurture those relationships, help them if I am able and connect them with other folks that may be helpful to them as well. Introductions and referrals are a natural occurrence flowing out of trust built over time.

The digital equivalent of referrals and introductions is having your content shared.

If you use your social media channels in much the same way that you would an in-person networking event, you will likely find that your connections expand to the right audience and trust is built. Listen and offer content that is helpful, whether it is your own or someone elses.

Content that is highly customized to your audience is going to make a more lasting impression. Solve a problem for your audience with content and you will be held in high esteem. So now you are remembered and trusted. That’s a good start to building a solid foundation with your social media channels.

Social media signals are going to continue to be a part of search engine metrics. You should contribute attention to increasing your followers, circles, friends, connections and all the rest. If you are intentional, you will not only gain followers, you will make lasting connections that become ambassadors for you.

Need help with content that gets shared? Laura.stein@contentandblog.com or 720-334-7308. 

Surviving Versus Winning SEO Challenge

Have you got what it takes just to survive the new Google metrics? It turns out that some of the activities that used to boost rank now only keep you in the game. Content will be the difference between surviving and winning.

Unfortunately your can’t eat your content and from a recent report by Searchmetrics,  it’s safe to say that there isn’t a “digital pill” that will make you surge to the top in 30 days.

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You must have food and shelter to survive from a natural perspective and you have to have some basics to survive from the search engine optimization perspective as well. Read on.

On Page SEO

Things that in the past were considered “good to have” are absolute “must haves” today and that means your on-page SEO needs to be set up correctly.

  • Quick site speed
  • H1 and H2 tags
  • Descriptions

These once were part of our plan to boost ranking, but now are just necessary. Today they don’t boost your ranking, but without them you fail. If you built your site 4 or 5 years ago you may not have even had a discussion about on-page SEO. We hear that all the time. If you are now ready to develop a new website, this must be part of the discussion with your website developer and SEO expert.

The Social Media Factor

The Searchmetrics report showed that URLs with top search result positions tend to have top ranking in the Google+ network as well. I don’t think I hear a collective gasp of astonishment as I don’t think this comes a surprise to anyone.

We have known pretty much since the launch of Google+ that being an active participant in this new social platform would be important for ranking in Google metrics. It obviously is playing out now. The important part now is to find out what type of content your market wants within this channel.

The next closest social channel affecting rank seems to be Facebook. With Shares and total in a tie for second and Facebook comments and Likes following respectively.

Last we have Pinterest and Tweets in a near tie.

 Keyword Placement

Having keywords in the actual URL or the domain name has come down in significance. But keywords on the page and in the page title have actually increased in relevance to ranking.

Which leads us to the star of this show–content.

Content continues to take huge strides in criteria for search rank. Overall, more text and additional media (images and video) were found with URLs enjoying higher rank. Going along with the higher text counts was good internal link structure.

I’ve seen the increase in content as two fold over the past year. There have been significant increases in the amount of content being published and created as more businesses realize that permission based marketing will one day be our only option. But I’m also seeing a measurable increase in the depth of individual pieces of content published.

Two years ago a 300 word blog post with some keywords and decent links would do the trick but no more.

As more brands engage in content marketing the bar is raised. You can’t ignore the traditional SEO tactics since they are akin to water and shelter–necessary to sustain life. Content marketing efforts are going to elevate your water to champagne and your fly-weight tent to a castle.

At Content and Blog we have watched the changing landscape with regard to all content. If your business struggles with what to say and where to say it, we may can lend a hand. Contact laura.stein@contentandblog.com or 720-334-7308

What Content Gets Shared?

Why should you care if your content gets shared?

As Google continues to refine the way content relates to search, you better start to care about whether your content gets shared and incorporate qualities that improve your chances of getting shared.

In our last blog post, we referred to the most recent updates to Google and how they are going to impact some of the “frowned upon” SEO tactics used in the past. It seems that we are always looking for an easier, faster way to accomplish our goals. In this case, the goal is to rank high (page one) in Google search engines. But, one change that Google continues to refine is placing high importance on content that gets passed around, shared, forwarded, liked, retweeted, plus 1’d, linked, and the list goes on.

So how do you create content that gets shared?

 

We’re not talking viral video, 2 million views in the first month, sharing. Lets face it. Those odds are pretty slim. We’re talking about content that your intended audience, people that you actually want to build a relationship with, will share with other people that you want to reach.

What we’ve seen is that almost all content that gets shared has one or more of the following qualities.

Write as if you’re talking to someone. Because you are. You’re not writing a dissertation or thesis now. Most of us leave the academic world behind and look forward to reading something other than a textbook. We are not talking dumb it down, but if you wouldn’t use the word or phrase in a conversation, don’t use it in your writing either.

Be generous.  We live in the land of plenty so give something you have away. It is ok to share some of your secrets. Yes, some people are going to use them and never engage you because they never had any intention of paying for your services to begin with. There is still plenty.

It’s good to be successful.  Toot your own horn by telling a story. It’s a heck of a lot more fun to read a story, and it’s a cool way to write case studies. We’ve had great success with the story telling method. The reader can connect with a character, and it increases the likelyhood that they will remember what they read about.

Try for a personal touch. Meaning distribute the type of content that your audience is looking for where they are looking for it.

Quantity does matter.  Ever tried to keep a long distance relationship going when you only connect a couple of times a year? Not much of a relationship. Quality combined with consistency gives you better odds of being shared at some point.

We could go on with this list, but these tips should get you headed in the right direction with getting your content to move from its starting point. It’s possible to produce something that goes viral overnight, but instead of  just hoping for the long odds, you might want to give these ideas a chance.

If you want help with creating content that actually gets read and shared, give us a shout.

720-334-7308

 

 

 

 

Patience Through the Process

As a service provider, it often occurs that we can “see” the end before we begin. And, hopefully, we have learned a thing or two about our trade so that the output is excellent.

What happens when a client jumps in the production process with their “idea” on how things should go? What if their ideas will derail or even just delay the train?

What does one do?

What we are learning is that patience is the biggest asset you can have in times like these. It takes a skilled craftsman to navigate these waters.

Everyone wants a voice.

If your client wants a voice, give it to them. They are they client. Certainly, the output very well could suffer. But, if you are in this for the long haul, you help them along, and hold their hand. Give them small victories, and the battle will eventually be won. Hopefully, the war too.

What’s this have to do with content marketing?

Everything and nothing.

We honor our clients and want to serve them to our best – even if that means our best is left on the table for the time being.

Series: Content Strategy For More Conversions #3

In our first post, we emphasized the importance of identifying with your audience and creating your message with a “WOW!” factor that is focused on your customer. In our second post, we discussed exposing your unique “How” message by giving away a little information but in very clear language.

Your first 5 and 15 seconds are taken up with “Wow” and  “How”. You have offered the invitation and now your primary target is poised to take the plunge and give you permission to take a little more of their time. The second phase falls into building relationships and trust through sharing your expertise, industry knowledge and testimonials.

Key #3 Build Trust and Relationships

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Access to an email subscription or newsletter is a great way to continue a dialog with a potential client that is still in the shopping mode. A blog on your site gives your business a voice with a personality and an on going way to speak about industry news in detail or to showcase your growing expertise. Not to mention that sites with blogs see over 50% more traffic than sites without a blog. Blogs, newsletters and email series subscriptions can be far more conversational and less salesy than other content, giving you the opportunity to show the personality behind your company.  Don’t limit yourself to text either. Videos are a great way to connect with your audience. And you can deliver quite a bit more information in a relatively short period of time.

Don’t Ignore the Other Big Reason For Blogging

The other component to ongoing content creations is the SEO value. We have touched on the subject of  Google search algorithms changing more and more. But, it is obvious that relevant, fresh, attention-getting content is going to play an ever increasing role in search.

Series: Content Strategy For More Conversions #1

One of the most consistent errors that we see in website content is that it is mostly focused internally on the business rather than externally on the visitor. There certainly is a place for hanging your diploma, your many awards and achievements and stating your qualifications.

But, the home page is NOT it.7000816209_7df8c0b4ef_m

 

We use a methodology at Content and Blog that says that you have ONLY 5 seconds when someone lands on your site, landing page, email, etc. to make such a dramatic connection that they just have to see more. What you state initially needs to be compelling. In so doing, you are sending out the invitation through relevance. Each subsequent invite asks the visitor to go deeper with you. Each one offers a tad bit more of “WIIFM”. Here are some of the ways that we develop that path from first sight to the deeper relationship.

Key #1: Identify With Your Audience

What is your prospect’s problem? Get inside their head, and look around. What obstacles are they facing? What is the big, nasty issue that needs addressing?  If you understand how they go about their business and the challenges that they face, then you have insight into helping them. And, that makes it much easier to connect with them and start to form a relationship.

There are four major questions that need to be answered through online marketing:

  1. Do you have or do what I need?
  2. Who have you done it for that I can identify with?
  3. What results have you achieved?
  4. Can you prove it?

 

People need to know that you can help them. This means that your message needs to really focus on them – not your business.

In our next issue, we will look at how much to reveal about your solutions without giving away all your secrets.

Stay tuned…

You Really Can’t Afford Not To Blog

Over half of the shoppers today begin their search online, and there is not a successful company today that doesn’t have a website to showcase their products or services. A few years ago, you probably could get away with just having a website, but those days are over. A company blog is no longer a “want to have”, it is a “gotta have!”

No Time to Blog? Hire someone else to do it for you.

Here are the most important reasons why you can’t afford to not blog.

1) Promote Yourself

Use your blog as a PR channel by releasing information about new products or services. Blogging is a great channel for promoting events such as trade shows or charitable events where your company is participating.

2) Be A Smarty Pants

Your blog is an opportunity to illustrate your knowledge of the industry, your clients and your skill in solving their problems.

3) Give Away Some Milk But Not the Whole Cow

Build relationships with your blog. Give away “some” good information in your blog to keep people coming back. Your blog then has the opportunity to develop a personality that your audience can relate to and trust and eventually purchase from.

4) Nurish Your Website

Your presence is only real if you can be found. As they say, the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google. Don’t let your website die! Feed it with a steady diet of blogging. It is essential to successful SEO.

To recap, use your blog as a tool to promote your company with new offerings and events where you can connect with your online audience. A blog is the perfect place to show off your insider knowledge and share up to date and relevant information. Develop a personality, further brand your company, and build trust with your blog. And lastly, keep your website alive and found with blogging to assist with your SEO program.

If you are not blogging, we can help you get started with advice and strategy or we can take over the whole project.

Let us know how we can help!

 

Google

The Question of the #hashtag?

If you were busy trying to get your Facebook and LinkedIn business pages in order and keeping up with the changes to those two social media platforms, you may have missed out on the Twitter train.

Just so that you are aware, it left the station quite a while ago. If you hurry, you might be able to get on at the next station, but there are a few things you need to know.

The hashtag is absolutely everywhere so here is what it is used for, how to use it and what it does for you.

  • What is the #hashtag used for? Simply put it is a search engine tool. It lets Twitter know what you are tweeting about, and it directs other people looking for that topic to your tweet. If you are tweeting about a specific topic with share-worthy content (news, helpful, uplifting or just plain funny), folks can find your tweet, and they can re-tweet your content, which is what you wanted to happen. We’ve seen stories in the news where pictures and text were shared when the author didn’t expect that much publicity. Also, a good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t send it to your mother, hit the delete button.
  • How do I use a #hashtag? Use #hashtags in front of your keywords. This is the best way to let the search engines know what your tweet is actually about. When considering your keywords, there are a few things that you should know about. The main one is that you should search for your keywords within Twitter first to see who and how often the keywords are being used. This is a great way to find others that you want to follow (see their tweets) as well.
  • What does all this #hashtagging do for you? Like we pointed out before, this is how others will find you and your great content. It is a powerful way to get out an extremely time-sensitive message such as information on a particular event. If your tweets are informative, entertaining, enlightening or otherwise positive in some way, hopefully they will be re-tweeted.

And just one mention about time sensitive information because of the sheer volume of tweets: 60% of re-tweets happen in the first 60 minutes. After that, your tweet is buried under piles of other tweets never to be heard from again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg using Twitter. As with all social media, the best place to start is with a plan. Figure out if Twitter fits into your strategy, and then map out a plan to integrate Twitter.

We can help you with content for Twitter, Facebook or any of your preferred platforms for social. Tweet me!

#contentandblog

 

Google

Most Memorable Thanksgiving That I Can’t Remember

Since my husband and I have been married, we have celebrated Thanksgiving in many different ways.

Sometimes, Thanksgiving was with his family, sometimes with mine, and for many years, we had both of our families together at our house for the annual feast. In terms of tradition, this one was probably the most long-standing, lasting around 10 years. We were blessed to live in a house with large rooms, a big yard and two refrigerators – an absolute necessity at Thanksgiving. We were also blessed to have almost our entire family living within a few hours of us, so a day trip was not out of the question. What is in question and mostly without recollection is the Thanksgiving we hosted our largest crowd, over twenty people.

You would think that this memory would be indelibly inscribed on my brain. But the thing is that neither my husband nor I could remember this holiday less than a year after it occurred. The only way that it was brought back to light was the discovery of the  pictures taken on this day. In each picture (we couldn’t fit everyone in one frame), I am holding my infant son. He was just a mere 7 weeks old, and I was averaging around 45 minutes of sleep in a stretch at this point.

If you have ever had children and experienced the effects of long-term sleep deprivation, you will understand why I thought hosting Thanksgiving at our house for 22 people was a great idea. To be honest, I really have no recollection of coming up with this idea or agreeing to the suggestion by anyone else. But, I know that it happened because of the pictures.

I can’t remember if the turkey was still frozen on the inside when we got ready to cook it early that morning. It probably was because that seems to be one of our family traditions. Independent of when I move the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw, it will still be frozen on the inside on the big day. I follow the directions and have even gone so far as to risk certain turkey induced illness, and moved it sooner than the package suggests. Still we have to give our turkey a bath in the kitchen sink virtually every Thanksgiving before we can put it in the oven.

I have tried to imagine myself with my newborn son and my 2 1/2 year old daughter, figuring out how to cook a turkey and eight casseroles so that they are all hot at the same time with only one oven and one microwave. This is a herculean task without adding in the aforementioned sleep deprivation and the necessity to stop and feed a newborn every 2 hours. And what about all the other details, serving dishes and flatware, drinks and paper products. What in the world did we all eat off of, and when did I have the time to shop for those things?

Certainly someone must have watched a football game or two, and maybe they turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for a while for the little ones. I don’t remember if it was sunny and warm, the way Thanksgiving usually is in Georgia, or what time we finally ate our colossal meal. It’s funny that I can’t really remember this particular holiday, but I can tell from the smiles on our faces that we must have enjoyed our time together.

I guess that if there is a lesson to be learned here, it has       nothing to do with how the turkey turns out or if you eat off of paper or fine china. The lesson seems to be that living in the moment is all that really counts – even if you can’t remember it later.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Business Pages on Pinterest | Read All About It

Follow these steps to convert your personal Pinterest Page to a Business Pinterest Page

So maybe this is not exactly breaking news since it was introduced last Wednesday, and that’s like forever ago in the world of online marketing. However, in case you missed the instructions on how to convert your existing personal page to a business page, read on.

  • Start at business.pinterest.com 
  • Click on the red button that says “Convert Your Existing Account” (assuming that you already had an account)
  • Choose a business type that best represents you
  • Update any information such as email or contact name

(The contact name is not made public and can be anyone in your organization. Using a business email address is advised so that it is not tied to a particular employee.)

  • Fill in your profile information. This is public now and will continue to be, so make sure that it reflects what you are trying to communicate with your Pinterest page.
  • Read the agreement, accept the terms to activate the “Convert Account” button.
  • Click on the red “Convert Account” button, and you are complete.

Verifying your website is a bit more complicated, but it allows you to include your full website URL so that folks following you can learn more about who they are following. The directions that I found suggested involving your in house techy, but since that may be you, here are those directions as well.

  1. First check the settings in your account to be sure that you’ve listed your website.
  2. Click “Verify Website”
  3. Next click on the “Download HTML verification file”. This should land you on a confirmation screen
  4. Click on “Go To Pinterest” and now you are back on the “Download HTML verification file” screen
  5. This is the tricky part, upload the file that your just downloaded to YOUR WEB SERVER being sure that it is not going to a subfolder. We had to copy the file to our “contentandblog” root folder through cPanel on our web host, if that means anything. If not, ask a web guy.
  6. Now you may complete the process of verification by clicking the “Click Here” on the verification screen. Pinterest will check your website for the HTML file that you uploaded. You will get a message if the process is successful, and you should see a check mark next to your websites URL.

Now you are pretty much set to go, but you definitely want to check out the What Works and the Case Studies for Pinterest. As with any social media campaign, planning is essential. Better to determine what your message should be and how you want to express that message, then execute with a solid plan. Don’t just start pinning willy nilly and end up with a mess.

We can help you create a profile on Pinterest or other social media outlets and we can help you figure out a strategy for delivering your message through those channels.

Give us a shout! Or a Pin!

Google

How To Build Lead Nurturing Campaigns

 

The use of  automated marketing to develop relationships and move the sales cycle along has been proven successful in converting leads to clients.

As the saying goes, you don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. Likewise,  not everyone that visits your website is ready to buy. For the folks that just discovered you but haven’t reached a trust level to buy yet, you need a way to stay on their radar and earn that trust.

People are quite concerned about what they get for their money. Is the ROI there? To engage, you need trust. But, it can take time. A great way to earn that trust is by using a lead nurturing campaign.

This is your opportunity to keep an interested visitor within your sphere of influence, to gain trust through showing your expertise in the field and offering insightful information.

Timing the delivery of messages and defining the message are critical factors in a successful campaign. Make sure that your message is something that they actually want to read.

Strike while the iron is hot!

Responding to a lead quickly can mean the difference between conversion or lost lead. If the visitor is investigating your website, odds are that they are investigating other sites as well. That first email should be sent quickly – like within “24 hours” quick. The first one to respond to a web inquiry is usually the winner.

Send Them What They Are Looking For!

Be sure that you are sending emails that are created to respond to the initial inquiry. They came looking for something specific. Therefore, you want to address that need first. Subsequent emails should offer related information to the needs or interest that was first uncovered. Dividing your audience into segments depending on the type of initial download or inquiry allows you to custom tailor follow up emails.

Keep The Content Current!

It is important to update the information in your email series periodically in order to stay relevant to changes in your industry and also to keep the information interesting. Keeping each email up to date will decrease the chances of your audience opting out of receiving future emails and encourage them to sign up for the next series. Better yet, hopefully they will share the email with someone else. Encourage it.

Lead nurturing is a great tool and has shown to be a significant tool in shortening the sales cycle and increasing conversion from lead to customer when used correctly.

Let us help you create a unique Lead Nurturing campaign for your website and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way!

Call us at 720-334-7308

Google

Facebook Changes in 2012 | Are You Current?

We know that Facebook is a great place to publish all that great content being created. Much to our chagrin, we have to keep up with the abundant and ever changing platform. So, the question is, how well have you done?

Trying To Keep Tabs On All The Facebook Changes 

Around and around and around we go. Just when we think that we have got the whole Facebook thing sorted out, whack, they change the game. All the continuing tweaking and updating can make you crazy. So, we thought that we would highlight some of the changes Facebook made in 2012, in case you missed something.

  • If you have been living in a cave, you may not know that the timeline format has a cover photo and a smaller profile picture. The profile picture is perfect for your logo.
  • Tabs now appear directly underneath the cover photo, and you now have the option of moving those tabs around, deleting tabs, adding tabs, etc. You get it.
  • You can pin your favorite posts up high on the list for seven days. Something that you want to keep front and center can remain there even while new posts are being added. You can also “star” a post making it larger and thereby more prominent.
  • Number of ‘likes’ and friend activity is also featured in a larger way. This reminds me of Junior High School and showing how many friends you have. More friends makes you way more cool. It did then, and it does now. Cool means greater reach on Facebook, and just like Junior High School, the more cool you are the more people are repeating what you say.
  • If someone ‘likes’ a business page, they can now send a personal message to the administrator. Great for businesses using Facebook for customer service, but you better have someone on top of this 24/7 lest it backfires in a big way.
  • Drum roll please….the biggy here is ‘offers‘. It appears that this little device is turning out to be quite the hit on Facebook. Offers on Facebook work like word of mouth marketing. Friends love to share a deal and sharing is exactly what we hope people will do with our content. New statistics from Facebook say that from the 100 most popular offers, 3/4 of the claims came not from the initial target, but from someone that the offer was shared with. This makes a big argument for the virality of offers ad campaigns.
  • The latest change focuses on receiving notifications. Fans will now be able to control whether or not they want to receive updates and if they want to see them in their news feed. The interesting thing is that fans that are already seeing your content in their new feeds will get the post detailing how to add you. It doesn’t really do anything for the people that were not seeing your content.
Of course, there were other changes but I think these are at the top of the pile for relevance in distributing content. We will continue to monitor changing events and update you periodically. As they say, stay tuned folks!

Any other big changes in 2012 that I left out? Let me know!

 

 

 

Landing Page Optimization

In our experience writing copy for landing pages, we have found some tried and true rules to follow. These ten rules have proven successful for us in writing copy for clients regardless of the offer.

  1. Clearly state your offer. Now is the time for being blatantly obvious about what you are offering. If the reader doesn’t understand your industry jargon or cute humor, they probably are not going to stick around to figure it out. Be sure you are speaking their language.
  2. Bring your best offer. Make sure that the visitor can easily understand the value of what your offer is to them. “It solves their problem now.”
  3. Remove distractions from the landing page. Keep the page clean and free from other links or navigation buttons. You have one goal on this page for marketing sites – get their contact information. For commerce, the goal is to get the sale.
  4. Get the most important information that you need to follow up with this lead.
  5. Keep your form as simple as possible. Get only what is needed for the offer on this page. Once you have permission to contact them, you can gather more information and determine what other offers you may have for them.
  6. Make sure that they know you have received and accepted their information by directing them to a “thank you” page or sending an automated email response. Nothing is more frustrating than not being sure that your request was received.
  7. Ask for a referral, “Do you know anyone else that we can help?”  Generally speaking, the time to ask for a referral is after you close the sale. Make it EASY to share this great offer with other people by way of social media. Put your Facebook, LinkedIn and  Twitter icons on your thank you email.
  8. Suggest other offers on your thank you page or your follow-up email. This may also be the perfect spot to allow sharing of the offer through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
  9. Track the conversion rate. Usually the first pass is not the touchdown. You will probably need some revision to nail it. Set your expectations accordingly.
  10. With regard to number 9, setting up two pages simultaneously and tracking the results of both (essentially A/B testing) has been most effective in optimizing landing pages.

These ten rules apply to any offer on a landing page, whether it be a free download of valuable information or a discount on a service or product.

The key point to remember is that there are no overnight successes.

You have to get the content right for SEO as well as convey the value of your offer to an actual human reader. This can take some time to get it perfect.

Certainly there are other elements that go into writing quality content for landing pages, these are just top of list for us.

Let us know what other techniques have worked well for you!