Management, Content Writing
Written by Stu Kushner

How You Can Optimize Your Content Marketing in 3 Data-Driven Steps

By Sean Work

3-item-fields

Today’s article is a guest post by David Cheng of ShareBloc.

Maintaining a steady blog publishing routine is hard to do. At ShareBloc, we try to blog at least two times a week, either on our blog or syndicated elsewhere. We’re a small team so an aggressive schedule can be overwhelming.

To get enough content to keep up the pace, we used data to help us figure out which topics would be most interesting to our readers. Here are the three data-driven steps we took that you also may want to consider.

Crowd source Your Blog Topics

Some of the most prolific blogs have two or three posts a day. We realized that, like any great artist, we could “borrow” from these blogs. We scraped 300 blog titles from some of the leading blogs in our space to see which key words or phrases were most popular.

The blogs we chose were KISSmetrics, Marketo, HubSpot, Social Media Today, Content Marketing Institute, and the leading posts from ShareBloc’s sales and marketing bloc. We used popular scraping tool ScrapingHub to get our titles.

To set up your ScrapingHub spider, select the website you’d like the spider to start scraping and input patterns to follow, along with any other special parameters you may have. In this case, we are asking the spider to start with the most recent posts, and include page two, three, etc.

We want the spider to go only one layer deep to get the post title. So, in the spider setting, I’ve set the depth limit to 1, in order to prevent the spider from entering a loop.

 Management, Content Writing

Next, you have to set up the item you want scraped. In this case, we want to scrape only the title.

After you set up your parameters, you can review the pages that have been spidered in …read more    

SEO, Content Writing,
Written by Stu Kushner

A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Conversion with Social Media

By Sean Work

 SEO, Content Writing, management

So, you’ve been publishing on Facebook, Twitter and maybe a few other social media platforms, and you’ve built up a decent following in each channel. Your audience is starting to engage more and more with your content.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Okay, what’s next? How can I take this to the next level? How can I use social media to drive leads for my business?”

Done right, social media can be an extremely powerful tool for lead generation, but getting there takes time, patience, a lot of testing and the dedication to post highly-valuable content for your audience.

This guide focuses on how to generate leads with non-paid content in social media. Social ads are also an excellent for leads, and maybe it’s something I’ll talk about in a future post. For now, we’ll learn how to create content for Facebook and Twitter that inspires clicks and conversions, and how to measure the results of your social lead gen efforts so that you can show your boss just how valuable social media can be for your business.

Here we go.

Optimize How You Link to Your External Content

In order to be effective at generating leads with social media you need to treat it as a key part of your overall content marketing machine. This means that social media becomes a place where you distribute high-value content to your audience––content found on your blog, the resources section of your site or on landing pages.

But it’s not just about the value of the content you’re linking to; what really counts is how you format the posts in each channel.

Before diving into how to optimize your posts for lead generation, let’s take a look at three possible lead generation paths for social:

  1. Social channel > Blog post with link to a relevant landing page (gated content) > lead
  2. Social channel > …read more    
Written by Stu Kushner

The Secrets of “Viral” Videos

VideoWhat are “viral videos”?  They are videos that act like a virus, they travel form viewer to viewer and web site to web site and are seen around the internet. They’re videos with hundreds of views or more.

Yes, it easier if you’re posting a music video, but there’s no reason that a well produced video about a product or service can’t get the same kind of attention on the Web.  Like any other type of advertising, it’s all about the market, and the marketing.

If you want a truly viral video that will get millions of people to watch content is key. But good content is not the whole story; how it’s presented is the key: It’s not just “Bread”, it’s “Wonder Bread”.

There are two options for getting a video on your website – you can make the video yourself, or hire a professional to create the video.  Unless you have the technical resources and knowledge it’s better to hire some professional. Remember, you’re not making a home movie, you’re advertising you product and services to millions of people

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online marketing, content writing,SEO
Written by Stu Kushner

The Real Truth About Google and Guest Blogging

By Sherice Jacob

online marketing, content writing,SEO

Matt Cutts, Google webmaster evangelist, recently stirred up a storm of controversy by announcing that guest blogging was “done.” He later clarified the statement by saying that guest blogging purely for SEO was done.

But you’re a KISSmetrics reader, and you already knew that – right?

So what’s the real truth behind Google’s newest announcement? Are you going to be penalized for blogging on other sites? Are your rankings going to collapse because you have blog contributors? Not likely. But there are a few caveats you’ll want to keep in mind whether you’re considering guest blogging as a promotional outlet or looking to bring guest bloggers on board to freshen up your site content.

If You’re a Blog Publisher

DON’T: send out waves of open invitations to anyone and everyone looking to contribute. You will get substandard writing, perhaps even content that has been “spun” (meaning words have been exchanged and sentences shifted to give the “appearance” of a new article to avoid Google’s duplicate content penalty).

DO: Take the time to research experts in your niche. Who are the prolific, consistently good writers that attract comments and invite discussion? Assemble your guest blogging “dream team” and don’t be afraid to reach out to knowledgeable professionals in your field to invite them to contribute. By the same token, don’t be surprised if they ask about your budget. You get what you pay for, and high quality, well-researched posts take time to write.

Quora is a great place to find knowledgeable professionals who may be open to the possibility of guest blogging for you. Simply type in your topic to find questions asked (and answered) around it.

Blogging is one broad topic on Quora with thousands of followers

You can then click on the avatar of the person answering to …read more    

Written by Stu Kushner

Lights, Camera, Interaction!

Making videos and posting them online may sound like a lot of expense, work and expertise, but it doesn’t have to be.

Sharing videos with an online audience was once impossible. Today, videos on sites like YouTube are available to anyone who can access a computer. And there are now permanent public archives for videos online: and generally, the most viewed videos are the ones who show up first in an online search list; and videos on those sites are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search than all-text sites!

Plus, video sharing is easy with sites like Google, Facebook and Twitter; and that‘s the difference between you and your business being a video “star”, rather than just another “extra”.

Ok. You’re ready to make your video – starring YOU and your Company. Great!

But what’s next?  What do I do? What do I say, and is my “slip” showing?

Here are some suggestions on making your video effective:

1. Educate. Videos can educate potential customers about your products and services. This can promote sales, especially for “online shopping”.

2. Answer questions. A short video where you personally respond to customer comments and questions is a great way to personalize both you and your business.

3. Review products and services. Provide an in depth, detailed review of a selected product or service to boost sales.

5. Showcase success. Report your growth, achievements and results. Read surveys and testimonials. Show a video of a successful project or product.

6. Tell your story. Create a video that shows how your business started and grew.

7. A guided tour.  “Humanize” your company. Show you and your employees at work, interacting, and recreating. Make it a story about working people, not just selling products.

Web design, management,marketing
Written by Stu Kushner

Project Management of Website Designs

 Web design, management,marketingDesigning a website is complicated. First, we have to come up with a mockup design. Then we set up a temporary domain, host the site, install software, install additional specialized modules and then customizing it all to the specifications of the client. There is a lot more to it and when you add on the logistics of initiating an Internet Marketing plan, it becomes a very involved process that requires communications and cooperation among our team and the client staff.

Up until recently, we have been able to manage all of our projects internally using shared calendars, email and our contact management system. But as we have grown we are doing more and more projects at the same time. So, we decided to look into project management systems. And since all of our processes (contact management, scheduling, faxes and documents) are already in the cloud, we decided to find a suitable cloud solution.

We were already using HighriseHQ by 37Signals.com for our contact management. So, it seemed like the likely choice. But I had also heard good things about CodeBaseHQ.com. So, we took a look at that too. CodeBase is very powerful but seemed to be geared towards very complex projects. And it was not nearly as easy to use as Basecamp. So, it was an easy choice. We chose Basecamp.

We setup a Template that describes all of the steps involved with developing a website and initiating an Internet Marketing campaign. It was a lot of work to get the template designed and to add all of our current projects into BaseCamp. But it only took a couple of days to get everything working right. Then we invited all of our clients to share the Projects. Now, we are all aware of what where we are in the Project, what needs to be done and communicating with each other within the system.

I highly recommend Basecamp for project management because it helps insure good communications, effective management and that makes for happy clients.

Website Design, Internet Marketing, DC, SEO, Content
Written by Stu Kushner

Allow All Users to Experience Your Content

 Website Design, Internet Marketing, DC “How often should I…?” is one of the most common beginnings to questions when it comes to any aspect of online marketing.  Unfortunately there isn’t always a clear cut answer for every part of the equation.  Even if you follow other successful businesses’ formulas when it comes to blog and social media schedule there is no guarantee that your followers will engage your efforts similarly.

According to information gathered by online research company Visibli the average Facebook post has already received more than half of its “likes” before the time it is ninety minutes old.  Following the first few hours’ engagement slows a bit until the average post has almost

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internet marketing, Management, Wordpress
Written by Stu Kushner

Reach a Wider Audience with Social Promotion of Video Content

internet marketing, Management, WordPressIf you’re relatively new to the online marketing game, generating a video for marketing purposes may seem like a frightening undertaking.  In reality though, a decent video won’t take you much longer to produce than a high quality blog post and could help you to reach and connect with a much larger audience.

You don’t need any special education or overly complex tools in order to create a video that will attract new contacts or generate interest in your business.  If you’ve got a smartphone or a basic video camera and a deep understanding of your own product you’ve got more than enough to take your online marketing to a more visual level.

Start this phase of your online marketing plan by shooting a short video that shows prospects how to use your product or a video that highlights the features that set it apart from the competition.  Upload your video to YouTube, share it via your social networking accounts and blog and ask your connections for shares and feedback.

Not all of your connections will have the time or patience to read a thousand word blog post a few days a week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t benefit from the information.  By sharing both well written blog posts and informative short videos you will be able to reach and help a much broader audience than you would through blog posts alone.  These additional connections can help to spread the word of your brand even further and will ultimately result in more chances for you to engage qualified leads.

Written by Stu Kushner

Short and Sweet Every Step of the Way

proofreadingIf you are attempting to make the biggest possible impact with your online marketing efforts you should make every effort to provide the most useful information in the least possible space.  This goes for just about every method of online marketing that you plan to use from blogging to e-mail and even social networking.

Now this isn’t to say that you should cut out valuable information for the sake of brevity, but you should limit the length of your posts by eliminating words or phrases that are unnecessary. If you get too wordy, 

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blogging,online marketing
Written by Stu Kushner

Stimulate Ongoing Conversations by Blogging your Opinion

online marketing,bloggingYou are an authority in your niche and you’ve worked and studied hard to become so.  There is no reason for you to simply report industry news when you can open a platform for dialogue by sharing your personal expert opinion on things that are occurring within your industry.

Some people are afraid of controversy and it is completely understandable to not want to rock the boat too much or to risk offending loyal customers.  There is a difference between attempting to be controversial just for the sake of ruffling feathers and openly sharing your personal view on an industry topic that don’t necessarily agree with though. 

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