Tag Archives: content marketing

10 Ways to Write More Effective Ads

Remember, if your prospect is 3000 miles away, it’s not easy for him to ask you a question. You must anticipate and answer all of his questions and overcome all objections in your copy if you are to be successful. And make sure you do not throw everything you can think of under the sun in there.

You only need to include as much information as you need to make the sale…and not one word more. If it takes a 10-page sales letter, so be it. If it takes a 16-page magalogue, fine. But if the 10-page sales letter tests better than the 16-page magalogue, then go with the winner.

Does that mean every prospect must read every word of your copy? before he will order your product? Of course not. Some will read every word and then go back and reread it again. Some will read the headline and lead, then skim much of the body

and land on the close. Some will scan the entire body, then go back and read it. All those prospects may end up purchasing the offer, but they also all may have different styles of reading and skimming. Which brings us to the next tip… Write to Be Scanned – Your layout is especially important in a sales letter, because you want your letter to look inviting, refreshing to the eyes. In short, you want your

prospect to stop what he’s doing and read your letter. If he sees a letter with tiny margins, no indentations, no breaks in the text, no white space, and no subheads…if he sees a page of nothing but densely-packed words, do you think he‘ll be tempted to read it? Not likely.

Great copies are made, not born. It is derived from proven test results designed to do one thing and do it well: sell. Effective advertising does not always use “grammatically correct” English. It uses short sentences, fragments. Like this. It convinces you to buy and buy now. Period. It talks about benefits, not features. It sells on emotion and reinforces the decision to buy with logic. It paints a compelling picture and irresistible offer that forces your prospect to act and act now!

And if it does not, then you drop that ad like a hot potato and go with one that does. Effective persuasion is like your top salesperson–the one who continues to break all your sales records year after year–on the job 24 x 7, multiplied by thousands or millions! Just imagine if that salesperson, the one with proven results, could be multiplied as much as you wanted. Now that would be effective (and cost-efficient) marketing! And that is the kind of proven marketing you need to employ.

Scripting Content for Affiliate Marketing

The biggest mistake that you can make when writing an article is to concentrate on the money you’ll make. If you do anything with your focus on money, it will elude you. In this case, every sale you make translates to money. Sales mean commissions for you.

While you aim to make money, you should add value to your customers. First concentrate on meeting the needs of your readers. The commissions will always follow your good work. The secret to great content is making your audience feel understood. Also, aim to solve the problems of your readers. Once people feel understood and their problems solved, a trust relationship will build.

Writing content for the sake of filling a page is a turn off for most readers. It is likely that the content will be boring and not engage your audience. Creating great content involves promoting a product in a story. Tell the truth about an experience and creating great content will be effortless. Affiliate marketing should be like that.

You will not find it hard to attract clients with stories told from the heart. Promote products that work. You build credibility and trust with your audience in the long run. Your business will flourish if your readers trust your judgment. Honesty is priceless. When you talk about a product, you are winning over your audience.

Honesty tells your reader that he or she will find the product to be useful, but with a few flaws. Analyzing a product does not mean that you become critical of the flaws. It states that you say your truth about a certain feature. In many instances, the benefits in a product are more than the flaws. If you want to captivate your audience with your article, make them the center of attention.

If you are promoting a product, focus on what impact the product will have on your audience. Tell your audience what you think is good about the product. How are the people going to enjoy purchasing that product? Is it going to solve a particular problem?

Tell your audience about an issue you had and how this particular product helped you. Do not promote products that you have never used. Experience with products helps you sell them; you also get original material to bring the product into the attention of the viewers.

Promoting products is almost like selling products, which are not yours. This is where honesty falls into place. Telling an audience about pets when they want to know about weight loss products is wrong. Reach out to the right audience with products that aim to solve their problems. If your audience shows interest in products that help in weight loss, stick to weight loss.

Tell pet lovers about pets. Concentrate one website on specific products. Do not mix products in different niches in an article. In conclusion, be honest about a review and target the right audience. Use experiences to captivate your audience and connect with them. This way, you will build a relationship. It is easy to promote products to people who feel they can relate with you.

What’s Rakuten LinkShare?

Online affiliate marketing is one of the most effective, cheapest and fastest ways to promote merchandise. With millions of people getting access to the Internet every day, there’s a great chance for a merchant to introduce his products and services to a wider market, thereby, maximizing his revenue.

Likewise, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate full-time income for a home-based affiliate marketer. For someone who is jaded of going through a grueling eight-hour work routine, affiliate marketing offers a great opportunity to earn big without wearing himself out physically, mentally and emotionally.

In affiliate marketing, both parties are benefited since as the merchant earns from each item sold, the marketer likewise earns a commission.

If you are interested in affiliate marketing but are finding it hard to look for affiliate programs, affiliates or merchants, you can start by checking sites of various affiliate networks. Many affiliate programs in the Internet are being offered through an affiliate program network, which acts as a link between the merchants and individual affiliates.

Among the most popular is LinkShare, it is through it that merchants and affiliates meet. LinkShare maintains and manages affiliate marketing programs for a great number of merchants with various kinds of businesses, products and services. It also has over 6,000 affiliate site members in its network. It gains profit from the set-up fees, monthly account maintenance fees and commissions.

Joining networks like LinkShare can be of great help in establishing your online marketing business. Whether you are a merchant or an affiliate marketer, you need to research well on your partners in order to choose the best for you.

LinkShare provides the facility of acquiring access to a large network of advertisers (merchants) who offer their affiliate programs to publishers (affiliates) who are willing to promote their products. In the same manner, it gives the merchants access to a large network of affiliates who are searching for affiliate marketing opportunities.

LinkShare is especially beneficial for an affiliate in choosing his partners since he can find his options all in one location. It would be easier for him to compare products, commission rates and other benefits given by the merchant. The merchant usually just waits for interested affiliates to sign up in his affiliate marketing program but being in the network increases his chance to promote his products to a larger market, thus, maximizing his potential to gain huge profit.

To help you decide whether to use large affiliate networks such as LinkShare or not, let us try to look deeper into its positive and negative sides. The primary advantage of LinkShare to you as an affiliate is convenience.

As earlier mentioned, you find different pieces of information about your choices simultaneously all in a single location, so you save time and effort looking for affiliate programs or merchants.

It’s also easier to track your business partners performance through monthly reports and statements, as well as its sales and commission rates, so you know whether the affiliate program is still worth continuing. If you have signed up for several affiliate programs, you can check all your statistics for each merchandiser you are affiliated with by logging in just once.

LinkShare helps you manage and maintain all records of your visitors click-throughs and sales transaction. It takes care of your commissions and gives it to you monthly in lump sum. Especially when you have more than one merchant partner, it would be easier for you to manage your accounts and track your earnings when you are affiliated through a marketing program network.

Furthermore, every information you get is accurate and secured, so you are protected from all the risk you might encounter. Above all, you can enjoy LinkShare’s benefits for free. You just must go to their site and register your website. Instantly, you get access to a great variety of affiliate programs available for you.

So, what’s on the negative side? Although, it is indeed helpful to join affiliate marketing networks such as LinkShare, there are some disadvantages, too.

For one, merchants offer lower commissions to affiliates who partner with them through the third-party program network. This because they still must pay for the use of service and the technology provided by LinkShare.

Direct partnership with the merchant cuts costs of advertising through the network and so the affiliate has bigger potential to earn more. Moreover, it is possible that your payment may be delayed for a month or more since program networks would pay you only after the advertiser or the merchant has paid them.

Do you need to use LinkShare or other networks? It depends. You can opt for direct partnership with the merchant, but this choice is not applicable all the time. There are a lot of merchandisers who offer their affiliate program only through affiliate program networks and thus, you have no choice other than joining the network to get into the affiliate marketing program.

So, you are faced with take it or leave it situation. But LinkShare and other program networks are not that disadvantageous. After all, whether you join it or not, earning big would depend more on your promotional strategies and persistence.

What Is Niche Marketing?

In ecology, a niche refers to the place or position occupied by an organism or a population within an ecological community called the ecosystem.  It is the term which defines the role the organism or the population plays in the general scheme of things.  The niche an organism or a population holds is the one responsible for dictating the ability of the species to survive.  It is the one which spell whether an organism or a population will perish or thrive.

In marketing, a niche refers to a service or a product that occupies a special area of demand.  It is that small corner in the market that accounts for a certain kind of specialty concerning an unmet customer need.  To be able to attract a strong, solid market, the choice of a niche product should ultimately complement the website one owns.  It is through this scheme that he can generate a specific market for the niche product he is trying to sell.

Niches are involved in niche marketing, the process of finding market segments that are small but potentially profitable, nonetheless.  To maintain a profitable quantity of sales, this marketing strategy relies on increasing the loyalty of customers so that their corporate objectives will be met or surpassed.  Illustrative of this is the fact that the quality of the product or service sold will generate customer satisfaction and, consequently, customer loyalty.  The result is profitability garnered through a solid market base that trusts in the ability of the product or service to really deliver.

One of the great things about niche marketing is that it encourages those who indulge in it to be unique and one-of-a-kind.  Here one is not forced into the lion’s den and made to compete against established marketers.  He is made to occupy a strong and secure position that ultimately wins him a real place in the market.  Niche marketing differs from other online marketing strategies because this quality allows it to operate almost autonomously and without having to contend with corporate sharks that tear each other to pieces.

One of the most important things that should be thought over by those involved in this type of business is the niche business that is going to be involved in the process.  It is important to consider the type of business that one is going to work on to be able to ensure himself of the success that he hopes to have.  It is also important for him to know everything about the niche business at hand.  Learning the tricks of the trade in is one of the things that one could do to make a niche business prosper tremendously.

Being able to reach the niche market is another consideration to make.  In doing so, one should know the exact phrases that people are searching for.  The use of tools can help a lot in knowing the type of keywords that should be used to make the business profitable. Targeting the right keywords does a lot in making this type of business soar.

Those who engage in niche marketing know that determining the potential of a niche before doing everything else is a must if one wants to save all the time and effort that might be wasted if he plunges into everything head on.  Building a niche marketing site that proves to be profitable should be done after an unsatisfied customer demand is identified, and marketing the site appropriately by reaching out to customers the best possible way is what niche marketers should consider if they want their business to reach skyrocketing success.

Is niche marketing needed in a world teeming with a hundred like systems designed for people to make money online?  Those who know how the system works will answer in the affirmative, because niche marketing is the only system capable of filling up a gaping hole in the market by catering to the unsatisfied needs of customers – needs that are usually not given notice by those in the big league.  Though niche marketing, one can gain a foothold in the market by being a needle in a haystack.  Small and inconspicuous it may be, but its ability to sting someone so madly once it is found will render him more than surprised.

Affiliate marketing has many descriptions, yet all have the same meaning. Affiliate marketing is a huge business piece on the Internet. It is a cooperative effort between merchants and an affiliates website. For many years now, affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost-efficient, measurable method of delivering long-tern results. It has become famous for Internet sites who are trying to make some extra or additional income for their site. Every day, people get interested to affiliate marketing and want to make money out of it. But in many cases, these new affiliates do not fully understand the affiliate world and make costly mistakes. In other words, affiliate marketing has often been misunderstood.

One of the common misconceptions that are being associated about affiliate marketing is selling, though selling is an important activity of affiliate marketing and the central function of a business operation. Another is that affiliate marketing is commonly linked with advertising. While the importance of advertising in marketing a certain product is not to be underestimated, the fact of the matter is, advertising like selling, is merely a part of the many functions of marketing.

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate is compensated for every visitor, subscriber and/or customer provided through his efforts. The said compensation may be made based on a certain value for each visit. The most attractive aspect of affiliate marketing from the merchant’s viewpoint is that no payment is due to an affiliate until results are appreciated.

Affiliate marketing is typically being run by affiliate networks and this affiliate networks are composed of two functional bodies, the group affiliates and the group merchants. Each has their special function and role when it comes to affiliate marketing. The affiliate network acts as a third party between the merchant and the associated affiliates. The network provides the technology to deliver the merchants campaigns and offers. The affiliate network also collects commission fees from the merchant and then pays the affiliates which are part of the program.

The merchant is any web site owner that wants or desires to take advantage of performance-based marketing. The benefits to the merchant are many. First, the merchant maintains and operates the affiliate program. If it would be extracted, the merchant needs to do their part by researching interested affiliate websites to ensure that they are a good fit for that website. Finding a fit for their merchandise would be the key to more generated income. The merchant has access to markets and customers without him spending valuable time searching out. Banner ads on affiliate sites are not distracting to the site user. It might produce interest for that product and drive the consumer to the merchant’s website. It is also the merchant who decides how much he is willing to pay for each sale that results from a visitor sent from an affiliate.

The affiliate or the affiliate marketer also sees a lot of benefits. The affiliate is a web site owner that promotes one or more merchants and their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing can generate a full-time income for the affiliate. But this is not an easy task to accomplish. The affiliate needs to have a better understanding with the merchant what the commission will be, expected payment method and time involved in the contract.  The affiliate has also the responsibility to stand for the merchandise their user based would be most interested in. For example, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then on-line job openings such as surveys would be a good match for them. This group would also appreciate direct links to children products and informational sites. Merchandisers often provide targeted, best-seller items and personal support to their affiliate. They often offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is a great situation for both the marketer and the affiliate. If they would work together, they can be an advantage to both. Plus, the fact that it seems to make sense, it is easy and inexpensive way to start, and you can be up and running within a few days. But there is one thing to consider, it is how to get traffic and make your offer different than all others.  

3 Tips to Create Content And Social Media Marketing That Sells

Powerful Social Media Targeting

As organic reach on Facebook continues to plummet to zero, investing in paid promotion is a necessity. One of the strengths of today’s social networks lies within the targeting capabilities available to advertisers. Social media platforms have amassed rich data on consumers that financial marketers can leverage.

Using your research and sales data, you can identify specific segments that can be targeted within social platforms. You can target people who are either engaged, married or pregnant, or those who are members of a credit union, or customers at a national/community banks. For example, 70% of people rolled over their 401k into an IRA due to a recent job change according to Oliver Wyman.

Here are some other great examples of targeting options available within Facebook, and the potential banking products that match with them:

  • First-Time Home Buyer – FHA Loans, Mortgages
  • Newly Engaged, Newlyweds – Mortgage, Joint Accounts, Savings Accounts, Financial Advisors
  • New Job – IRA Rollovers
  • New Mover, Recently Moved, Likely to Move – Checking Accounts, Mortgages, IRA Rollovers
  • New Vehicle Buyers & Shoppers – Vehicle Loans

2. Synch Sales With Marketing

To develop a sound content strategy, marketing and sales teams need to be aligned. They need to share knowledge, and agree on what qualifies as “good leads.” Working together, they should define common pain points and objections, plan upcoming initiatives and establish metrics for measuring progress.

A study by Marketo found that when both sales and marketing teams are both in synch, organizations became 67% better at closing deals and generated 209% more value from their marketing efforts.

3. Map Content to Personas

People have different needs and expectations as they get deeper into the sales funnel; accordingly, they seek specific information unique to each stage. Marketers need to develop the right content that speaks to prospects’ needs at each stage of the sales funnel. Personas and journey mapping can be a powerful way to determine appropriate messaging for different segments. Although it takes more effort to develop unique messages for different target audiences, there’s greater potential to make a bigger impact and produce better results. People want to feel like you are speaking directly to them. Let’s use the persona “Frank the First-Time Homebuyer” as an example for a quick content mapping exercise:

Awareness. Frank is newly engaged and is aware of a problem – he rents and feels it’s like throwing away money and isn’t sure if he can afford a home. Create content that helps him determine if it’s better to buy or rent and how much he can afford, like a blog post with a buy or rent calculator. This isn’t the time to hard-sell Frank on a mortgage. At this time, just introduce your financial institution and offer helpful advice for his specific needs. During this stage, drop a remarketing pixel on your website, so you can target Frank to return and continue to build awareness.

Consideration to Conversion. Frank is now considering a solution to his problem, buying his first home, but wants to know how to get the lowest mortgage rate, and is concerned about his ability to afford a 20% down payment. Create content that explains how rates aren’t the only factor in the final actual cost of a mortgage (to compete with online mortgage sites with super low rates and high closing costs), and share information on how he could get a home with no money down. You can also offer more calculators, information on how to get pre-approved or pre-qualified, and a mortgage checklist. At this stage, include a strong call to action to set up appointment with a loan officer or direct him to your online mortgage application.

Loyalty. Frank has become a happy customer and moved into his new home. Now is a wonderful time to introduce a referral program to get him to refer his friends, or ask to get a positive review on social media. Frank may also benefit from some of your other banking or loan products down the road so make sure you keep him engaged with your brand for the next time he’s in the market for another financial product.



The Future of Social Media Marketing

The world of social media marketing has changed drastically over the last couple of years, and it will continue to change. This makes staying ahead of the digital curve a critical factor in the success of businesses around the world. Understanding how to take advantage of new features social media platforms continually roll out is key and to do that, marketers have to be perpetually looking forward.

So what’s next in the world of social media marketing? For those looking to get the most out of their campaign, marketers will need to channel their efforts into live video, engaging influencers, and creating buzzworthy content. Let’s examine each one individually.

1. Live Video is the Way to Go

Video content has become an important avenue for social media marketers to reach their audiences. However, live streaming has proved itself to be an even more effective way to generate views. Studies show that people are watching live video three times more than pre-recorded videos on Facebook. The social media platform has even altered their algorithm to ensure live videos remain closer to the top in news feeds than pre-recorded content.

Videos have become imperative to marketing strategies, since they have a vastly greater organic reach than photo posts on most social media platforms. Also, live video takes things one step further by allowing your audience to engage with you directly. This makes live streaming an ideal platform for real-time Q&As, a great way to create brand advocates, and an effective tool to promote conversation about your product, service, and brand.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made the ability to go live incredibly easy. However, there are still some crucial aspects to consider before you make your live stream debut:

  • Make sure to test your connection. Use a dedicated hot spot to ensure that your live stream broadcast doesn’t drop unintentionally due to bandwidth issues.
  • Make your headline enticing. Your headline plays a major role in drawing in people to join your live stream. When creating a live stream title, make sure that you give the audience a reason to want to watch your content.
  • Promote before going live. An impromptu live stream won’t have nearly the same success as one that is scheduled and promoted. Promotion will help encourage participation from your audience.
  • Sound is important. Sound can make a huge difference in your live stream, which makes it crucial that you have the proper sound amplification.
  • Prepare for audience participation. Live stream allows a two-way conversation, and engaging your audience this way can be incredibly beneficial. It’s important to be prepared for potential questions and to monitor them so no one feels left behind.
  • Repurpose your live video. Just because you’ve wrapped up your broadcast doesn’t mean the live video has no further usage. You can repurpose your video by either posting it again at a later date, or even using portions of clips and GIFs from the stream.

2. Engage Influencers

Collaborating with an influencer has become one of the most effective ways to get a brand in front of a massive targeted audience. Influencers have proved themselves to be incredibly valuable to marketing campaigns, drastically increasing conversion rates and retention.


Considering the benefits that come with influencer marketing, it seems the only reason more businesses aren’t utilizing it is that they don’t know how or where to begin. Follow these tips to successfully secure and build a relationship with an effective influencer:

  • Work with a credible influencer marketing agency. There is much more value in developing a long-term engagement strategy with an influencer rather than a one-off stint. A qualified and experienced influencer marketing agency, can help develop the right strategy for you and will then find and build relationships on behalf of your company with influencers that best relate with your brand’s mission, goals, and target audience.
  • Build collaborative relationships with influencers. Successful influencer marketing takes a collaborative effort between the brand and the influencers, and the right agency can help ensure the collaboration efforts are as effective as possible. They are the experts of their arts and audience, and to get the most out of your campaign, work with the influencers to develop content that relays your brand’s message in an organic and authentic manner.
  • Build relationships. Don’t process transactions. When developing relationships with influencers, it’s crucial to find avenues that benefit both them and your business. When both parties are getting what they want out of a campaign, success is inevitable. Establish an influencer marketing program rather than treating it as an occasional project to ensure the most effective strategy is being put forward.
  • Use the right tools. There are a plethora of tools geared towards influencer marketers that will help you identify a campaign’s effectiveness and measure ROI of your influencer marketing initiatives. Use these tools to your advantage to ensure that you have chosen the right influencers for your brand and to help you better understand how to engage and measure your return on any investments.
  • Be creative. Influencer marketing is still fairly new and continues to evolve with each passing day. Think outside of the box and generate ideas of new ways to create and build relationships with your influencers. There are multiple uncharted avenues in influencer marketing that are just waiting to be explored.

3. Quality Content Is Key

The convergence between content and social media is continuing to become more frequent. It’s important that your business is rolling out quality content for your social media strategy to be successful. Content that resonates with users will prompt them to share it, which will only work to increase engagement.

Analyze the engagement your content is generating to understand what your target audience is responding to. This will help you learn to develop content in the future that further parallels the audience’s interest. Content and the audience have a relationship where they inform and depend on each other, which becomes amplified in the vein of live streaming.

Quality live video content can be reworked into an array of future content options, including:

  • Extract blog content. A blog post covering the video’s ideas and topics.
  • Produce multiple short clips. Highlights from the live video can be repackaged as 1-minute clips.
  • Create original memes and infographics. Eminent quotes from the live stream can be further promoted through graphics.
  • Develop podcasts. The audio from the live stream can be converted into a podcast.

Change is inevitable when it comes to social media marketing. Social media platforms are perpetually under renovation in hopes to serve users with innovative and unique features that separate themselves from competition. To stay ahead of the digital curve, it’s crucial to always be looking forward and finding ways to take advantage of what’s coming next.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/social-media/future-social-media-marketing-01836359#0KIizB1YtT2VBd30.99

The 7 Simple SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Content Marketing Strategy

High-quality, informative content is one of the most important success factors in B2B marketing.

In fact, research shows that 89% of B2B marketers are using content as a main channel in their marketing strategy. With that said, just 19% rate their organization’s efforts as successful and only 41% are clear on what an effective or successful content marketing strategy even looks like.

Though there is indeed an impressive growth in the use of content as an essential tool in their marketing strategy, B2B companies and marketers are still making SEO mistakes that are simply killing their content quality and marketing efforts. This post will teach you the core SEO mistakes that are killing your content strategy.

Although they are usually treated separately, content marketing and SEO goes together like cereals and milk. SEO is all about keywords, backlinks and great onsite optimization.

The best way to get backlinks is by publishing killer content, and letting the masses link back to it.

Now that we’ve established the connection between B2B content marketing and SEO, we can start laying down the SEO mistakes that are killing your content marketing strategy:

  1. Creating short content: Google loves long, in depth, informative content that satisfies the searchers needs. Generally, the more in-depth the content is, the more likely it solves the searcher’s intent or question. As opposed to that, what Google hates the most is when searchers click a link on a SERP, sees that it’s not what they were looking for, and immediately bounces off by hitting the back button – this is called Pogo Sticking.


  • This doesn’t mean you should be writing long for the sake of long (it also doesn’t grant you permission to be boring or paste large batches of text that are unscannable and tiring, but more on that later on). Do however make sure your content is comprehensive enough to answer searchers’ questions. A good strategy would be to determine the main keyword phrase and google it, to see how long the content in the 3 top SERPs is and make sure yours is longer, more concise and more in-depth. Make sure to add something to that content that others didn’t to make it more valuable to the readers (and the search engines).


  • Using too long paragraphs: Without refuting the above, a good way to lose your reader’s attention, is using long paragraphs. Most people SCAN, not read. Short paragraphs encourage reading by being easier on the eyes and are easier to understand


  • Not making content breaks: In the age of smartphones, the average reader’s attention span became even shorter than that of a goldfish. The importance of recapturing the reader’s attention continuously throughout an article became even bigger. Breaking up the text, using subheads, lists and images,


  1. Misspellings in content: According to Google’s Matt Cutts, while misspellings are not used as a direct signal in Google’s (over 200 different) rating factors, “reputable sites does tend to spell better than sites with low page rank”. While probably not hurting your ranking, misspellings sure can hurt your credibility in the eyes of the readers and chances of getting linked to.


  1. Not doing optimization: Your content is part of your website. Like the latter, every single piece of content should be optimized both for search engines and readers. You can, and should, optimize your content’s meta information like you do for your site. Write unique meta titles and descriptions for each of your content. Same goes for optimizing images and using CTAs. This will increase visibility on SERP and shareability on social networks.



  1. Not creating outbound links: The most unfortunate misconception in the SEO industry, is that a page/site will lose Authority/Page Rank/Trust if directing users to external sites with outbound links, this is utter BS. If your content is only “me talking” and does not link to other content, why would readers and search engines find it credible and authoritative enough to link to you (and rank you higher)? Content that is more well-researched usually cite sources by linking to it. Google also recognizes this as a signal for that site/page credibility and users will more likely trust and share (and link to) this content.


  1. Not promoting your content: Your content being better than anyone else’s doesn’t mean it will instantly go viral and reach No. 1 ranking on SERPs. Though it’s a more cost-effective way of promoting your content, a great (white hat) SEO strategy takes time. Today, marketers can’t afford to neglect any type of owned, paid or earned media in their strategy. Combining the three will help you attract, convert, nurture and close leads. Find what mix works for you by focusing on your overall marketing goals. Each goal will require a different combination of media, finding the right mix and constantly evaluating and measuring it against set KPIs will help you reach your marketing goals.


Ensure your content marketing success by applying these SEO techniques in its implementation. Implementing these techniques properly will lower your marketing costs and help boost the results of your content marketing efforts.

If you found this useful, it might interest you to learn how to leverage your marketing efforts by implementing and inbound marketing strategy. Download our How to create an effective inbound marketing strategy guide and learn all about it.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/7-simple-seo-mistakes-killing-content-marketing-strategy-01828816#jU34245P54l4i2kU.99


4 easy ways for real estate agents to boost their business with Google AdWords

With today’s online-first consumer marketplace, real estate agents must be as savvy with technology and marketing as ever to rise above their competition. Especially with the influx of millennials entering the real estate market, creating and maintaining a captivating online presence is a must.

Advertising through Google AdWords makes it possible for any agent to harness the undeniable power of online marketing, while staying cost-effective. The tool from Google allows you to select your desired audience and choose which search terms your ad will appear next to in the Google search results that relate to those keywords.

Putting the power in the hands of the advertiser, AdWords gives real estate agents creative and executional control. As a cherry on top, you only have to pay for your ad when the internet searcher clicks on it.

For real estate agents who are interested in opening a Google AdWords campaign, here are a few questions to consider from a user’s standpoint:

  1. Where will your ads take me? The last thing we want to see is for you to draw up a huge, elaborate Google AdWords campaign without thinking about what the internet searcher will land on. Before you put a campaign in motion, ensure your website is well-presented and well-written. If your site cannot easily handle all the leads pouring in it as a result of the advertising campaign, you’ve wasted your money.


  1. What do you want me to do? Make your call-to-action one of the first things the user sees when clicking through your ad. People online have notoriously short attention spans. Considering this, make sure they know what you want from them — their contact information, newsletter signup, or buying or listing a home with you.


  1. How can I work with you? Google AdWords allows you to easily list your business’ information and connect with the leads you’ve worked hard to garner. By having your address and contact information appear as part of your ad campaign, users will not have to frantically try to track you down and lose interest in the process. The most important thing for capturing a lead is making sure you are easy to get a hold of.


  1. Can you work in my area? The beauty of Google AdWords campaigns can be found within its customizability. Ads can be tweaked for variables like ZIP codes or specific neighborhoods so they can pertain to each unique user. Since real estate is such a community-based and location-specific industry, you can get extremely targeted with your advertising campaign to personally reach every lead.


Real estate agents are now able to take control of their own digital marketing. In an online-first marketplace, this becomes increasingly important. Google AdWords gives you the power to customize your campaign to connect with the right leads for your business. Keep these considerations in mind before putting together a cohesive AdWords plan, and users who land on your site will appreciate the personal touch.



How Chatbots Answer Incoming Text Leads and Optimizes AdWords’ Campaigns

Chatbots are ubiquitous on messenger apps and help answer consumer inquiries, yet they were being used with texting long before they made their entrance on social media. Olga Zakharenkava, Marketing Director at Telmetrics, takes a look at how chatbots can help optimize AdWords’ campaigns with message extensions

It may come as a surprise to you, but consumers don’t really care if they’re  texting with a robot or a person, at least for easy and straightforward questions, according to an eMarketer report. There’s just one caveat to it – the right answers need to come quick.

That’s great news for any business that wants to offer texting, but are hesitating, knowing that the volume of incoming texts will be difficult to manage with the number of employees on staff and with the immediate response expected by consumers.

Chatbots Can Answer Inbound Text Leads

And that’s where chatbots come in and save the day, taking a load off businesses. They can understand simple inquiries, respond appropriately, and at their most sophisticated, they learn as they go. One very smart chatbot for tweeting, tofu @tofu_product, can even reflect the personality of its users by reading their tweets and using their words in its answers.

Not just for fun, chatbots are being used for customer service and are currently exploding on messenger apps –  more than 11,000 bots have been added to Facebook Messenger and thousands of developers are at work producing more. More than another tech innovation, the explosion in chatbot development reflects a shift in consumer behavior that emphasizes immediacy for quick and easy questions and also an increasing acceptance of automation for certain types of customer service, including product recommendations.

Before messenger apps, sophisticated chatbots were already available for texting, such as Text Engine, a browser that gives users without a data plan access to search information. Yet, most chatbots for texting were developed before AdWords added message extensions to ads, a 2016 update that allows consumers on mobile devices to text directly to a business from an ad using their native app. Now that chatbots are being used to influence consumer purchase behavior, they can also be used to respond to incoming text leads. 

Don’t Lose Leads to Slow Response Times

Why would you need to have a chatbot for AdWords’ click-to-message? In short, you will need them to help you handle all your incoming text leads from ads. And if you offer the option to text, consumers will respond.

65% of consumers say they would consider using messaging to contact a business for information about products or services or to schedule an appointment. Yet, consumers who text expect an immediate response. If you aren’t prepared to handle the incoming texts with the level of instantaneous response demanded by consumers, then you may be losing leads to a competitor that offers texting and responds immediately.

See a 40% Reduction in Employee Workload

At Telmetrics, the company I work for, we saw that up to 40% of all incoming queries can be handled quite well by chatbots. If you need 10 employees to respond to texts, a chatbot can reduce that number to 6. That reduces the amount invested in the channel, immediately resulting in a higher ROI on the same ad spend.

Chatbots can be used as the first point of contact with the chat software you are already using for web chat, such as LiveChat, Slack or ContactAtOnce! to name a few. Incoming texts from ads are sent first to the chatbot via a response tracking and analytics platform that captures every interaction. Any unusual or complicated inquiries then route to a live agent at the contact center or on your sales team, using chat software to respond. The chat software allows a large volume of text leads sent to one number to be handled by multiple agents on their device of choice, and opens up click-to-message to businesses of all sizes.

Receive Comprehensive Offline Conversion Tracking with More Than Just Call Analytics

Call analytics has been the go-to for offline tracking of interactions like phone calls, but now there’s response analytics to cover calls, texting and all other possible responses on mobile devices.

Response analytics provides comprehensive lead attribution and conversion tracking that is currently unavailable on the AdWords dashboard for message extensions. Instead of just seeing the click-through rate, you will see which consumers sent a text versus just clicking to open the texting app – the conversion rate, and the source driving those texts.

From this information, you can improve your marketing strategy and decision-making through sound analysis and irrefutable evidence. 

Response analytics also allows you to analyze how the texts were handled by live agents and chatbots with text archives, the response time, caller ID, and the time the text was sent. You will know how quickly the chatbot responded to consumers and whether they answered questions appropriately.

A chatbot without data to prove its effectiveness would be like outsourcing sales and not asking for results – you’ll never know what happened to your money and you will have no idea how to improve your handling of incoming texts, much less if you’re getting the right kind of leads.

Getting started is easy.

  • Replace a regular textable phone number in the message extensions on AdWords with a call tracking number that is text-enabled from a reputable response analytics company that offers chatbots and chat software on their numbers.
  • Choose your preferred chat software for handling sales inquiries by live agents, minimizing the costs and responding to only the unusual and complicated inquiries.



How to Go Viral and Make Yourself Wildly Rich

Remember Candace Payne, the “Chewbacca Mom,” from literally three weeks ago? I know you do, because she was completely unavoidable; the four-minute clip of her laughing while wearing a roaring Chewbacca mask quickly became the most viewed Facebook Live video of all time (or at least since people actually started using it about six months ago), racking up more than 150 millions views.

Last week, it was revealed that Payne has made almost $500,000 since streaming her video, reaping rewards in the form of gifts, fees from talk-show appearances, and a handful of all-expenses paid holidays.


Of course, Chewbacca Mom is just one of many viral stars who’ve made serious, life-changing sums following their 15 minutes of fame. In the past year alone, Swedish vlogger PewDiePie earned an estimated $11.8 million via his YouTube videos, while the Sunday Times reports that British beauty vlogger Zoella earns at least $71,000 a month.

But how feasible is it for the average person to make it to that point? YouTube has more than a billion users, who collectively watch 4 billion videos every day. According to experts, 71 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every hour. Since the average clip lasts around 4.12 minutes, from the moment a new video is uploaded, users are competing with over 1.4 million other videos, not counting the trillions of videos already on YouTube and other similar platforms. The odds of going viral are so low that marketing and production company Curveball Media Limited has claimed users have “more chance of getting shot, dating a millionaire, or being flown by a drunken pilot than getting 10,000 views” on a video.

But if by some stroke of sheer dumb luck your video does go viral, how do you capitalize on that and cash in? I spoke to viral content studio the Viral Factory’s founder, Matt Smith, to find out.

VICE: The Chewbacca mask mom has supposedly made almost $500,000 off a single video—how is this even possible?
Matt Smith: I haven’t looked at the last view count, but the first way is obviously just monetizing the video. YouTube and Facebook will pay tiny amounts for each view, as long as you’ve gone into your account and switched on the relevant advertising deals, so effectively, whenever you look at any video with advertising around it, the user is getting paid. So [Payne] will be getting a check from Google because obviously her video’s been seen gazillions of times, and that’s a decent chunk of change.


In fairness, it sounds like a lot of that sum has been given to her in the form of various gifts, rather than in cold hard cash.
Yeah, I heard that Kohl’s sent her some money, and I imagine she will be getting appearance fees. She was on [The Late Late Show with] James Corden, and I’m guessing she made some money off of that. There will also be agencies like us who go, “My god, she’s really hot right now—what can we get her to endorse?” I don’t know specifically about her, but I know there are plenty of other fifteen-minutes-of-fame internet celebrities who have done quite well out of appearing in ads.

Like who?
Well, for instance, “Overly Attached Girlfriend,” the [girl who was a] massive meme on YouTube and Reddit with the crazy eyes—we did a video with her for Samsung that she got paid for. We had the initial idea, but she helped us with the execution and the writing, because obviously it was her character. We flew her out to London, and she’s the main aspect of the video. That’s one thing I can tell you about because we did it, but I’ve seen lots of others, like the Delta Airline inflight safety video. It’s got Charlie Bit My Finger, it’s got the hamster, it’s got the rainbow guy… it’s got the bloke from the Will It Blend? campaign—just loads and loads of internet celebs. They would have all been paid quite decent money to be in that, and there’s a whole bunch of them. It’s a thing now where those people are legitimate celebrities, so they get paid and they get featured in stuff.



Is it feasible that everyday YouTubers and Viners could make this kind of money, or do they need something to go wildly viral before anyone takes real notice?
In theory, anyone could do it. A lot of the people who have had their fifteen minutes of fame are pretty much ordinary people. The Chewbacca Mom is so obviously an ordinary person, which is one of the reasons the video is so great, because you’re totally with her. She’s so obviously just having fun and laughing her head off; there’s no agenda behind it, there’s no nothing, she’s just an average kind of Joe—or Josephine. So yes, it can happen, but you have to do something different. Although she’s a normal person, she’s done something actually pretty exceptional. That video is gold. You know, if we as an advertising agency who specialize in making viral videos tried to make that video, I think we’d fail. It’s almost impossible to conceive of it and direct it and cast it and make it as a film. The fact is it was great because it was completely spontaneous and off-the-cuff.

So it was just one moment of magic?
The odds are fairly stacked against the chances of your average person achieving that. But once it’s done, I think increasingly there are mechanisms that there weren’t ten years ago. I’ve met quite a lot of people at various conferences who had exactly that fifteen minutes of fame, but a while ago, and they found it very hard to make any money. In fact, some of them were upset by the fact they had all the downsides of fame and perhaps they didn’t necessarily want all that attention, but they made zero money from it because the structures weren’t in place. Now, they would probably be contacted by agents.

What kind of structures are you talking about?
YouTube has a representation system where they will talk to brands, and they will put forward their celebrities, so if you’re a girl who does makeup tutorials on YouTube and you’re really popular, YouTube will put you forward to makeup brands, fashion brands, etc, and help you monetize that. I know for a fact there’s a talent agency in LA that specializes in accidental YouTube celebrities. So these days, if that happens to you, even if you’re not that keen on the attention—some people obviously love it, some people hate it—but at the very least, you can make a few bucks. I mean, £350,000 [$500,000] isn’t bad, is it?


Take me through your working process—how are you able to determine what will go viral and what won’t?
As I said before, I think stuff like the Chewbacca mask is really tricky from a creative point of view. What we do is write loads and loads of ideas, and spend bloody hours thinking, and going, “Is that going to work or will it not work? How do we make it work?” We get it wrong sometimes, but more often than not, we get it right because we have the resources that the clients give us to spend on production. We can get really good people involved, we can use photo production, special effects, etc. So that’s one way. It’s not failsafe, but it’s decent.

How long after uploading something are you able to tell if it’s going to be successful or not?
Well there are algorithmic ways to predict viral content, so Facebook probably knew before more-or-less everybody else that the Chewbacca mask lady’s video was going viral, because they would have spotted it even when it was only seen by very few people and shared by very few people. I’m pretty sure it would have shown up on someone’s dashboard somewhere, saying, “This thing is going crazy—it’s on an exponential curve and it’s being shared a lot, far more than anything else we’re seeing today.” Again, YouTube has that. They can spot something that has been made and that is trending or starting to trend pretty much before everyone else does. So those are the two ways [of telling if something is going to go viral or not]; one is predicting it by just being very creative and making good stuff, and the other is, once the content is finished, if you’re the content distribution platform owner and you’ve got sophisticated algorithms, you can probably spot it.

What tips do you have for people who want to go viral and make loads of money out of it?
Think very carefully. That’s what I tell my own kids. They go, “Oh, Dad, can you help me go viral?” and I say, “Oh really? You want to go viral? Why do you want to be famous?” It’s crap being famous. It’s nowhere near as good as you might think it is. Just take a deep breath and go, “Why am I doing this again?” because you’ll have the piss ripped out of you. You’ll become a target—especially if you’re young. But if you’re someone who goes, “Well, actually, I just really want to be famous, so I’ll put up with the downsides,” I think on the internet it’s all about being human. Show your real self and then do something kind of exceptional, but as a normal human being.



Why you need to get back to SEO basics

Do a quick search on Google for “SEO tips” and you’ll get over 14 million results. That’s a lot of tips to wade through when trying to figure out the focus of your SEO strategy. What’s more overwhelming is that’s just one search.

Each year there are new posts of list of the “hottest” tips and tricks that are “guaranteed” to work. While many of these tips are great, to really see results, you need to have a good foundation. In this post, I want to talk about getting back to the basics of SEO and why they are essential to long-term success.

When it comes to optimizing your site for search, the basics are some of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of SEO. The recent push of “content is king” has also caused many to forget the essentials and just focus on content distribution.

Here’s the deal: you can post all the content you want, but if your site isn’t optimized, you’re not going to get the rankings you want. So here are few basics you should cover before ever diving into the more complex elements of search.

Crawler access

If search engine crawlers have a hard time crawling your site, they’ll have a hard time indexing and ranking your pages, too. As a site owner or SEO, your first and most important job is to make sure that your site is crawlable. Using the robots.txt file, you can help direct and assist the web crawlers that are crawling your site.

There are certain pages on your site that you probably don’t want the crawlers to index, such as login pages or private directories. You can block files, pages and/or directories by specifying them as “disallowed,” like so:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /folder
Disallow: /private.html

You can also block certain crawlers from accessing your site using the following (replace “BadBot” with the actual bot name you’re trying to block):

User-agent: BadBot
Disallow: /

Just be careful when blocking crawlers from your entire site; in fact, don’t do it unless you know for a fact that a particular bot is causing you trouble. Otherwise, you may end up blocking crawlers that should have access to your website, which could interfere with indexing.

If you are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that can help you do this. If you are not using WordPress, you can also easily set up a robots.txt file on your server. Learn more about robots.txt here.

After you’ve created your robots.txt, it’s important to make sure Google can crawl your site. To do so, you’ll first need to create a site map. This can be done manually or with third-party tools. (If you have a WordPress site, there are many plugins available to create site maps for you.)

Once you’ve created your site map, log in to Google Search Console. (If you haven’t set your site up on Search Console, check this out.) You’ll want to upload your site map by going to “Crawl,” then “Sitemaps” in the left-hand navigation, ten clicking on the “Add/Test Sitemap” button in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you can test the site map and submit it to Google for indexation. (Note that it will take some time for Google to crawl and index your site.)

If you have already submitted a site map and just want to test/submit an individual page on your site, you can use the “Fetch as Google” feature, which is also under “Crawl” in the left-hand navigation.

  1. Once logged in, click “Crawl” in the left-hand navigation.
  2. Then select “Fetch as Google.”
  3. From there, enter the URL path of the page you want to test and click “Fetch.” (Leave this blank if you want to test the home page.)
  4. Check status. It should have a green check and say “Complete.”
  5. Click “Request Indexing” if available.

Making sure that Google can crawl your site is essential to getting indexed. Without having your site indexed, you will not rank no matter what you do.

Site structure

In today’s mobile-first, user-obsessed web culture, we sometimes overlook the simple and practical. While I am all for a good user experience and a huge believer in being mobile-first, I also believe we can’t forget the search engines. Having a solid site structure will add to your user experience and will help you rank better.

While this seems like a simple idea, building a good site structure takes time and planning. Not only does it impact your navigation and site links, it also helps the crawlers better understand your content and context. Site structure is all about putting your content together in a logical fashion. Don’t make your users or the search engines dig to find what they came to your site for. Learn how to create a great site structure here.

Titles and meta descriptions

Titles and meta descriptions are some of the most basic elements of SEO. While “titles” are considered in the ranking algorithm and descriptions are not, they both are still very important. Google may not use descriptions as a ranking signal, but that doesn’t mean they ignore them. The crawlers still read the descriptions — and any chance you have to tell the crawlers about your page, you should take it.

The title and the description are often the first things your potential visitors come in contact with in the SERPs. Here are a few tips for creating better titles and descriptions.


  1. Optimize your title tag around the core focus of your page.
  2. Don’t “keyword stuff.”
  3. Stay within 50 to 60 characters.
  4. Make it relevant to your users.
  5. Don’t have duplicates.


  1. Make it action-oriented.
  2. Add your primary keyword.
  3. Make copy easy to understand.
  4. Stay within 135 to 160 characters.
  5. Don’t have duplicates.

Having better titles and descriptions can lead to higher click-through rates and increase the visibility of your site in search. It’s important to note that if Google thinks your provided meta data doesn’t meet the users’ intent, they will alter it.

Before jumping into the latest and greatest SEO tactic, make sure you do the basics first. It’s amazing what a few simple tweaks and adjustments can do for your site and overall online marketing strategy. Make sure your site is crawlable, create a structure that is both user0 and search engine-friendly, and take the time to create better titles and descriptions. Doing the basics will help you build a strong foundation for long-term success.



10 Tips to Help Shape Your SEO Strategy

Think back to Q4, 2016 – you and your team are sat around a conference table to review the emerging trends and technologies from the past year as you develop your 2017 strategy.

But even with your 2017 digital strategy in hand, it’s impossible to take into account how fast SEO trends and practices evolve. Things like customer usage and expectations – not to mention the roll out of Google’s master plan for the mobile web – are always changing, meaning agencies and companies must be agile and forward thinking in their 2017 approach to SEO.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a top ten list of tips to keep in mind throughout the year:

1. Embrace the evolution of SEO

The relationship between technical SEO, content marketing and link building is widely debated in terms of what strategies and how they should work together – or not. I’ve spoken about the future of SEO in the past, but to explain it simply, because SEO makes demands and content marketing fulfils those demands, a strategy that incorporates both makes for a perfect fit. The evolution of SEO doesn’t mean agencies aren’t doing traditional (or technical) SEO anymore, but that the ways in which we get links to our client’s site has changed.

A lot of what Content Marketing for SEO purposes involves is finding ways in which to get other websites to hyperlink to client’s websites. In theory, the more votes or links they have, the higher rankings they’ll get. This is still important because how Google ranks your SEO is based on the number of links you have and the quality of those links.

Many companies will hire an in-house team to look after the technical SEO, but often what those teams lack are resources to come up with ideas for content, someone who can design, write, build, implement these changes, and promote the content through PR. So, really, it’s all borne out of SEO – content for SEO purposes, link building for SEO purposes and PR for SEO purposes.

In short, your SEO campaign will fail unless you integrate content marketing and conversely, your content marketing campaign will fail unless you integrate SEO. At the moment, businesses are looking at SEO, but more forward thinking businesses are focusing on getting their content in front of the right audience for a very low cost. The link should just be an added value.

2. Focus more on building an API and less on your website

Especially this year and beyond, you need to focus on developing an API to serve your content across a multitude of screens and can provide the same experience across a number of devices, rather than focusing solely on your website.

To give you an idea of the power of APIs, MusixMatch, the world’s largest provider of lyrics, their app and website is all powered by the same API. Because the website talks to the API and the app talks to the same API to source all of its content, making updates across channels a streamlined process.

Because of this, brands are being advised to focus less on their website and more on developing an API. Unfortunately, many of companies aren’t doing this either because it’s just now known about or it’s perceived as too difficult an undertaking in the beginning. But the future of SEO isn’t your website, so investing the resources upfront to make this switch will put you in a much better position for the year ahead.


3. Embrace open data and what it can do for your technical SEO

This past summer, I wrote about the future of technical SEO, where I talk about how we’ll see a pivotal shift in technical SEO over the next few years from functioning as a performance auditor for websites to focusing their efforts on open data strategies. In other words, how brands can use their data to secure organic visibility across a wide range of apps, platforms and devices.

Because of this, companies should be working to ensure their apps are optimised as Google is pushing more traffic through open data. The future of this could mean optimising your apps via an API to allow a search engine to crawl your app or other platforms in the same way that Facebook gets its information from other websites or APIs. To utilise open data successfully, you’ll need to make sure to code your website or app in a way that simply points out to a search engine things like your business address, videos and reviews. Which leads me to my next point…

4. Find the beauty in simplicity

I’ve worked with many clients that have a fantastic website in terms of UX or they have thought a lot about their brand, but what they’ve forgotten is the common sense element of it. For example, they haven’t thought about how people actually describe what their product is and how they search for it online. Sometimes companies can get quite into their own specific language, but fundamentally a cup is a cup, at least when it comes to how people search online. While bespoke vocabulary can work for platforms like TV and print publications, you can’t call a cup an innovative circle solution on your website. It is what it says on the tin and sometimes companies that are very established, well respected brands, risk going too far with their own language.

Because while many brands spend quite a bit of creative resources and time creating a bespoke vocabulary for what they do and who they are, SEO is lay speak. It’s all about the average person who searches for your products service, so creating a simplified vocabulary on your mobile apps and website is imperative to ensure you’re optimising your SEO. For example, if an estate agent company that specialised in luxury property abroad uses their own vocabulary e.g. ‘investments beyond borders’ for what they do and who they are, while this may be good for branding purposes, if you were to cover the picture of properties on their website you would have no understanding of what they do, and neither will the search engines that you’re trying to rank higher on.

5. Accept that sometimes the sequel is better than the original

I could go into the history of HTTP/1 and how its successor HTTP/2 saved the day, but long story short HTTP/2 makes websites “naturally” faster which makes for much better user experience. Implementing HTTP/2 if you are building new site is a no brainer. If your site is already up and running, you should be checking whether any of your existing speed optimisation is not going to stand in the way. It’s quite a simple process to make the switch, but only about 11.5% of brands are adopting this protocol as of writing.

HTTP/2 can potentially up to double the speed of your websites loading time, along with being better suited to multitasking and efficiency. While there are no direct benefits to your SEO by using HTTP/2, increasing your loading speed will improve user experience, and through that improved user experience are an important signal for Google’s algorithm that your website means business. And as such Google might find it worthy of ranking boost.


6. Optimize your apps

There are newer elements of technical SEO which don’t involve your website, and it’s now possible to optimize an app like you would a website. App optimization includes the process of ranking highly in an app store’s search results and top charts rankings. Ranking higher in search results and top charts rankings will drive more downloads for an app. This ties in nicely with the capabilities of APIs, because by ensuring you’re optimizing your apps you’ll be able to more effectively utilize your API.

This is a very new, cutting edge process, but something that will definitely impact SEO strategies in the future due to the shift from website to mobile apps as user’s primary mode of researching, shopping and purchasing consumer goods.

7. Recruit Siri and Cortana for the job

No new news here, but still worth pointing out. Voice search queries have doubled from last year, and while the percentages may stay the same (20%) the volume is estimated to increase.

Our generation is the first one which openly prefers texting to calling. This can be seen as preference to deal with our problems and needs on our own, without the necessity to interact with other people: we prefer online shopping, order contractors and taxis through an app. We want to be saved the hassle of having to do the small talk, or negotiating with an actual human being. It saves time and makes our lives more comfortable.

The way in which users access information and content is changing, and you should be prepping your app for voice search. Check out Google’s has published guides on how to mark-up content of apps to help Google Assistant better understand and even execute purpose of your apps.

8. Understand your personas to help develop content strategically

This might seem like a no brainer, but a lot of what makes a successful SEO strategy is understanding your audience and how they consume information. Your company has worked hard to create a business proposition and you want to ensure you’re reaching the right audiences based on their online and mobile habits.

Building personas for the purposes of SEO helps companies understand who these people are and if they were going to buy their product, what would they search for online. From there you can develop a strategy of different keywords that those personas would search for and then you can look to see where gaps are on your website, and develop content that is specifically tailored to these personas.

9. Your personas may be different, but their attention span is not

According to a Nielsen Norman study, during an average website visit, readers only have time to read 28% of the content, skimming the rest and only focusing on paragraphs that target their search interests. While long pages liberally scattered with organic keywords might bump you up the search rankings, it’s no longer what the audience wants to read (outside of industry analysis data pieces).

If readers are spending such a minimal amount of time on your page, your job as an SEO specialist is done, since you’ve got them to the site. But your copywriting ability and your marketing skills are lacking – you’re not turning these readers into leads.

Embrace this minimalistic approach to your SEO by to improve user engagement. If you’re careful, you can ensure that all your most important points follow this design, to capture your “scanner’s” interest, and turn them into a reader. This requires good information architecture – ensuring your information is laid out in a readily accessible form. Good sub-titles go a long way, and leading your paragraphs with your most important point will catch the eye and drag the brain in.

10. Whatever your strategy, make sure it’s flexible

The shift from traditional commerce, communication and marketing to this digitally focused, more streamlined approach is a concern in the same way that people were concerned about the internet and people going to the store and shopping online. But these shifts in SEO are nothing more than a change in consumer behaviour that we as a business have to get used to. People prefer using mobile devices because they tend to be faster, easier to use, and provide a more consistent experience. Less and less people are going to be going on their website to figure out who they are and interact with their brands, and we need to accept that.

For the past 10 years, companies have seen the website as their home with everything pointing to the website. No one actually needs to go to the site (and no one really wants to). People will interact with a brand in different ways. Brands should think of themselves as entities that are visible across loads of different channels at once, rather than pushing everyone to one page. From a company’s point of view, it’s much more advantageous to get all of their customers to go to one place, because they can track it, they can build a community around it, but I think with websites becoming less and less relevant, 2017 will be more about diversifying how you communicate your business rather than focusing on one platform like a website.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/10-tips-help-shape-seo-strategy-01772612#9Ob1zMLBBUOIkWzZ.99

If Content Is King, Then SEO Is the Crown

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “content is king”. It is the mantra of digital marketers and online businesses. Do you really know why content is king, though? How does it relate to your SEO strategy?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the reasons you need to make sure your content strategy is in sync with your SEO strategy.

Why Is Content King?

The reason content is king is that it acts as the foundation for all information about your company or products. This is how you showcase your brand and tell your unique story. Because people search for information about your products or services, you need to make sure your content is optimized for organic search. Make sure your SEO strategy shines like a crown jewel to get you noticed.

How Do You Make Your SEO Shine?

Making the text on your website keyword-rich is probably something you’re already doing. If not, then put this on the top of your SEO checklist. By writing copy using keywords and phrases that are frequently searched for on Google (GOOG) and other search engines, you will quickly boost your search results.

Do your homework to find the relevant keywords you need to use in your copy. Get into the mind of your target demographic and test the best terms to use. Spend a little time becoming familiar with tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush to help you select the best keywords.

Writing copy is a creative endeavor, and writers often want their words to read well, be a compelling narrative, and convey specific ideas. The flip side to writing SEO-friendly copy is also knowing how to skillfully insert keywords and phrases without diminishing the impact of the message. No one likes to read text that’s so stuffed with keywords that it doesn’t make sense.

If you hire a copywriter, make sure they understand the fundamentals of SEO. Truly talented writers will also be able to do keyword research, optimize headers, and use tools like Google Trends to tap into hot topics.

Why SEO Experts Must Understand Good Content

A quality SEO expert knows that copy which is well-written is valuable for the reader. This means visitors will spend more time on the page, be more engaged, and are more likely to perform a conversion.

Good keyword optimization might bring readers in, but it is the well-written content which makes them stay. If you bring on an SEO strategist, make sure they also understand the importance of quality content so they don’t clash with your writer.

How Do You know if Your Content is Worthy of Wearing a SEO Crown?

Key performance indicators—KPIs—should be determined so you can measure the success of your content and SEO strategy. For example, your bounce rate measures how frequently visitors land on just one page of your website and then leave. Google and other search engines rewards websites with a low bounce rate.

Other KPIs to use when measuring your content and SEO strategy include: average session time and time spent on a page. The average session time evaluates how much time people spend on your entire site. If they are engaged by your content, they will explore and click around to other pages. Track this metric over time to see if it goes up as you step up your content and SEO game.

The time spent on page, especially pages that have been optimized compared to those that haven’t been, will give you a good idea if you are on the right track, too. They longer they are on a single page, the better that page’s content must be.

Content and SEO are not “one time” things that you do and then consider the task done. On the contrary, they are long-term strategies that should have goals. A good data analyst or marketer will be able to analyze your trajectory over time and determine strategies to use in the future. If done right, you will earn more and more organic traffic over time, and that means more conversions and customers.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer



Why You Need to Use AI in Email Marketing Now

As more and more software passes the Turing test — ensuring indistinguishability from humans versus robots — artificial intelligence (AI) will become more and more integrated into our lives (and our email).

Though still in the early stages of growth, the amount of AI that will be woven into marketing campaigns in the years to come will be truly astonishing.

Pushing Limits of Personalization

One of the biggest advantages to using automation and artificial intelligence in email marketing is that it enables developers (and marketers) to dedicate resources to creative elements and efficient messaging for each segmented vertical within a campaign.

Each year, personalization tops lists as a pain point for marketers and developers alike, most often because of the amount of data needed to make an informed decision, coupled with development and testing time for the most accurate readability and deliverability.


As AI technology expands to become more and more like a human brain, developers can be confident in the speed and accuracy of allowing a machine to fine-tune campaign lists and personalize the content to nearly each and every person within that list.

Enhanced Creativity

AI can help email developers craft more creative functions and designs into an email, such as the recent Minesweeper interactive email that went viral, while marketers benefit heavily from the ability to thoughtfully compose copy and analyze data to make more effective decisions.

Email service platforms such as MailChimp will increasingly improve their algorithms making it harder to ensure the maximum deliverability. Enhanced personalization and accurate list segmentations are quickly becoming one of the only ways to reach consumers, and artificial intelligence can provide both.

Critics of AI in business frequently cite job loss as an adverse conclusion to implementation of automated procedures, but a study performed by two Oxford researchers found this might not be the case for email marketers and developers specifically.

While “email marketer” isn’t an ideal job category for this study, it did find that data-heavy professions like research and development had a greater chance of being outsourced, while the creative aspects have very low chances of diminishing in a world owned by artificial intelligence.

The traits that make developers and marketers unique, such as originality, fine arts skills, social perceptiveness, and persuasion are not features that can be transferred to a machine, regardless of how well that machine performs as a “human.”

Deeper Insights

Thus, artificial intelligence should be seen as a primary tool to do the job more authentically.

Machine learning tools such as Boomtrain, Conversica, and others will help optimize original, creative and persuasive campaigns created by humans.

These tools will quickly adapt to provide optimizations for the types of campaigns a subscriber sees, the cadence and timing of each campaign, and maximization of value and revenue for each specific subscriber.

Marketers can then spend more time understanding what subscribers need on a deep level to create the most persuasive campaigns, and use the “out-of-the-box” thinking that makes their marketing copy special.

Human-driven analytics will then be more about identifying which programs work and less about how to deliver emails accurately. Likewise, developers will be able to tackle more creative development habits and interesting design implementation, in addition to continuous testing practices that enable the AI program to do its job.

Good, Not Perfect

While AI can offer predictive content, maximized subject lines, and generate compelling offers, it still can’t guarantee the email in question looks perfect in every inbox. Businesses may put their trust in algorithms and AI to develop emails, but campaigns will still need to go through a QA process before delivery.

Developers will quickly learn that continuous email campaign testing for email going through an AI program is an essential step. Like general web development agile principles, continuous testing should be a part of each organization as they develop more automated and artificial intelligence programs in their marketing efforts.

About the Author

Justin Khoo, a senior email developer at Email on Acid, writes about email techniques and new innovations. He has been involved in many aspects of email over the past decade, everything from building webmail clients and email campaign services to coding HTML emails.



Deciphering Influencer Marketing and Content Marketing

While both Influencer Marketing and Content Marketing strategies generate rich, compelling storytelling, copy, images and video, their approaches and results couldn’t be more different.

In today’s rapidly morphing marketing landscape, brands often find paid-for content confusing particularly when it comes to differentiating between content marketing and influencer marketing. With brands and their agency partners increasingly confusing the two, they risk diluting the powerful attributes that come with each.

With content marketing, brands pay to have very specific content developed. Recently, we’ve seen a dramatic rise of content-for-hire platforms offering up a plethora of freelance creators. By engaging the services of top journalists, video producers, photographers and other talented creators, brands can generate content that closely aligns with their brand messaging. Sometimes this content gets used anonymously, and sometimes it comes with attribution based on the creator’s expertise.

But for all these content creators, they come devoid of audiences of their own. Content marketing allows marketers to deeply control the scope of messaging and product storytelling, as well as retain full ownership of all content so it can be used as the brand sees fit, such as across advertising, branded channels and in paid social.

In contrast, influencer marketing engages influencers, who by their very definition, have built up their own sizeable audiences, based on their unique voice, perspective, storytelling, image-creation and video production style. Keeping true to the authenticity of their voices ensures that influencers continue to hold readership and viewership and that these audiences trust them enough to act on their recommendations. While influencers create powerful, high-quality content just like content creators do, they need to do the storytelling in their own voice and style to maintain this connection and credibility with their audience.

At the same time, influencers also seek compensation for their work on brand campaigns. As brands have accepted that influencers need product, experiences, and/or payments, they have sought to treat influencer work with the same exacting control as content marketing. Brands believe that because they’ve issued payment to influencers as a way of engaging them to speak to their audience, they feel they should also receive some of the elements of control that come with contentmMarketing. Increasingly, brands want to edit influencer content — from vetoing photos to changing up copy, descriptions, perspectives and the choice of storytelling.

As a result, legal contracts have gotten more complicated as brands seek increasing control over influencer content and want to expand their ability to edit words, images, and videos. This totally makes sense for ensuring factual accuracy and regulatory compliance. But the whole point of influencer marketing is for influencers to engage their audiences, and the more brands insist on inclusion of “branded language,” the more they eviscerate the power of influencers in driving consumer action such as purchasing decisions and changing consumer perceptions of a brand. The very nature of exercising this control undermines what influencers do best — serve as passionate brand advocates, telling a brand’s story in their own voice and on their own terms in ways that will most resonate with their audience. 

Yet from the brand perspective, it starts to seem a lot like playing the game of “Telephone” — the brand tells influencers at the start of a campaign, “Here’s the brief; here’s my message.” But when it comes out the other end, the brand says, “Wait, that wasn’t my original message. It’s been morphed; it’s been changed. Change it back!”

In that process, the influencers have taken the brand’s message and simply filtered it – overlaying their own perspective and personal storytelling, which is the overarching strategy behind Influencer Marketing. Brands engage influencers not just for them to become quality content producers — they engage them to produce content that’s going to resonate, and be read and acted upon by the audience they’ve accumulated.

Brands and their agency partners need to realize that for influencer marketing to be at its absolute best and most persuasive — with first-person recommendations that deeply resonate with audiences — then influencers must be allowed to act as free agents and have the flexibility to offer up their own overlay to brand messaging. We’ve included here several tips for brands:

  • Don’t marginalize the freedom of influencers to write in their own voice. When this happens, the individual patina of those voices gets lost because if everyone conforms to brand messaging, then influencers serve more as weak megaphones instead of interpreters or curators of the brand to select consumers.


  • Understand what you’re paying for. When embarking on an Influencer Marketing campaign, brands think they’re paying for influencers to create content — and influencers do produce high-quality copy, images and video. But the real value — and what brands actually pay for — proves to be the resonance with influencer audiences. The more brands push influencers away from authenticity, the less effective the brand’s outreach will be.


  • It’s OK if influencer content isn’t “professional” quality. Many times influencers generate photos or videos that while compelling, don’t quite measure up to what the brand would create with its own team of professionals. Brands need to realize this represents the dissonance of Influencer Marketing and Content Marketing. Influencers need to make their own interpretations regarding how they showcase content, and it won’t always conform exactly to what a brand would do.


  • Leverage the power of brand advocacy. The real value of influencer-generated content centers on the fact that it was created by brand advocates, and not the brand itself. Influencers have the ability to create content that truly, deeply resonates with their audience, and when they share this unique interpretation of a product or service, it has the power to make a difference in the lives of consumers.





1. Content doesn’t have to be a blog post

There are many marketers who are under the impression that content is restricted to a blog post, an article, or a press release – this is far from true. Although the content types just mentioned are, of course, examples of content, they’re just the tip of the iceberg! Content comes in a variety of formats including video, podcasts, infographics, memes, lists, how-to articles, quizzes, polls – the list goes on.

It’s so important that your brand experiments with different kinds of content to ultimately figure out the content that resonates with your audience and keeps them coming back to interact with your brand again and again.

2. Become an industry authority

This point is easier said than done, naturally. But just starting by blogging regularly can help your brand enormously. It was reported by HubSpot in 2015 that B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. Blogging can be a powerful content marketing tool (as the statistic indicated!), and it’s a tool that’s right at your fingertips!

Blogging regularly about topics and themes that are highly interesting to your audience will help you build a strong brand authority.

3. Pay attention to your buyer personas

You might have seen the term buyer personas floating around the internet over the past few years, and your company might even have a selection of them built already. In which case, that’s great. If you already have them built, have you simply built them, ticked a box and put it on a shelf? You need to be constantly thinking about that persona when you’re creating your content – otherwise, what was the point in creating them?!

4. Your content needs to solve a problem

You should aim to solve the problems that were highlighted as you went through your buyer persona creation process. This approach means your content strategy will continually have focus and a direction to work towards. Helping solve your audience’s problems through content is a less evasive and much more subtle way, let’s be honest, to promote your business and how it’s the best choice for your audience – without specifically giving them that hard sell that puts so many of us off!

5. You need to be social

We all know how much people live and breathe social media. Some fun Facebook facts: 72% of adult internet users use Facebook, and the platform has 1.13 billion daily active users! The potential locked inside social media can mean unbelievable opportunities for your brand. You can’t just churn out content on your blog and hit post all the time, even though your followers have chosen to follow your brand, doesn’t mean they constantly want to read the content you’ve written. Sharing is caring, as the saying goes, so don’t be afraid to hit retweet or share on the posts you think will interest your audience. Building a social community should be your aim here, not solely self-promotion!

6. Create content in collaboration with influencers

Getting the opinion of others through your content can not only give extra credibility to your piece but, if it’s a thought piece about the industry in general and not specifically mentioning your company, there’s more chance it’ll be organically shared. And when the influencer shares it with their audience you increase your brand exposure that little bit more through content marketing. Getting someone who is a well-known specialist in the subject you’re discussing can help build your brand’s audience and authority in the industry.

7. Get the most out of your content

If you’ve written a how-to guide, for example, don’t just publish it once and be done with it – you need to look at how you can get the most out of that one piece of content. Why spend a week or two researching, writing and designing a guide for it to be used once in a campaign? Chop up this content into manageable bites. You can write blog posts around each part of the guide, make the interesting statistics into a visually engaging infographic, or why not have someone discuss the how-to guide in a video format? Always look to squeeze as much potential out of your guide as possible!

8. Share your content on different platforms

You’ve spent a reasonable amount of time creating your content, so publishing it to your blog is a good start but you really need to start shouting about it – how else will everyone know it’s there? Sharing content to free platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn, can help you showcase your content in front of others. Spend some time researching which sites your audience is most likely to visit to read content like yours, this is a good starting point. Ask your current clients a few simple questions about where they visit – this way you’re at least on the right lines!



5 easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy

Content marketing strategy is all about providing information to consumers to both educate them on a topic and pique their interest in your company. It is one of the most important elements of operating a successful business. More often than not, businesses aren’t working from a top-notch content marketing strategy. To make that even more complicated, a poorly executed content marketing strategy is actually worse than none at all. Here are five ways to immediately improve your content marketing strategy.

Leverage existing content in new ways

There is no denying that creating truly good content takes work. To provide your customers with value, you have to put in time, energy, and research. One way to maximize your efforts is to give new life to content you have already researched and created. This isn’t simply taking your old posts and regurgitating them. It’s finding a new way to communicate important information to your audience.

By converting your existing content into additional media forms, you multiply its effects. Turn an article into a video lesson filled with engaging visuals and corresponding animations. Or turn a video into a podcast so your fans can enjoy your training program while they commute. You need to put your content where your audience is, so the more media forms offered, the better. This type of diversification is key to a well-rounded content marketing strategy.

Curate content with a detailed calendar

Content curation is the best friend of content marketing. Just as you can use your old content and refresh it, you can use valuable content from other influencers to help your audience. You don’t know everything, and sharing the expertise of others with your audience demonstrates that you are truly invested in their education.

The key to streamlining your content curation is an extremely detailed content calendar. Include deadlines for writing, editing and publishing. Select the content form (or forms) and choose a topic, or even the title. Finally, decide on what platforms the content will be published and when. Depending on the scale of your operation, your primary editor should manage content curation in addition to reviewing it before publication. Even the best writers need an editor.

Maximize your promotion efforts

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is expecting content to stand on its own. Your content is like a living thing: It needs to be nurtured and supported in order to grow. This means your promotion efforts are just as important as your content creation efforts for a successful content marketing strategy.

Any and all sources you’ve used to create the content, whether curated or original, should be given the opportunity to share and promote it on their channels and within their circles. Just shoot them an email with a link and a request for their outreach. Provide any relevant tags or handles so they can link back to you.

Each piece of content can be shared to your social media channels more than once, within reason. Your audience isn’t all on each channel at the same time, so maximize your opportunity of reaching everyone by sharing the same piece a couple of times within a week or month. That said, you should ensure your various media platforms complement one another and aren’t in competition. Worst case scenario, you wouldn’t want to curate one blog post on Facebook saying that long email subject lines are most effective, then share a tweet saying that short email subject lines are best. Best case scenario, your Facebook page promotes your blog and website seamlessly (i.e., when it flows with the content and not in a forced way) and your blog promotes your Facebook page and websites equally effectively. All of your platforms should promote one another’s content and share a consistent, branded message.

A healthy, growing subscriber list is also important to maximize your promotion efforts. Unlike social media, this list provides a direct link to your audience’s attention. By growing this list constantly, you are ensuring that each piece of content you create will have a wider reach. A free incentive, like an eBook, can be very effective in encouraging readers to sign up to your email list and gain access to all your future content.

Constantly evaluate your strategy

You can only evaluate the effectiveness of your content if you’re regularly monitoring your marketing strategy as a whole. One Facebook post got 2,000 links and 165 shares. That’s great, but how does it line up against other posts? What was the focus of the post? Or, you’ve noticed a rise in subscriptions to your product — but what’s driving it? You’ll have to track link clicks and check other data to see whether those new subscribers are coming from email or from social, or even from organic traffic.

Refine your strategy

In addition to evaluating your strategy regularly, you need to refine it. The best way to ensure your content marketing plan is improving is to employ A/B testing. With A/B testing you gain statistical evidence pointing to the success of one tactic over another, whereas simply tracking your performance tells you how you are doing but not necessarily how to improve.

You’ll notice that each of these suggestions for content marketing is an ongoing task. Your content marketing strategy will always have potential for improvement. Excellent content marketing takes diligence, but with these tips, the process will be easier and the results will be more impressive.

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, an online wholesale directory of over 8,000 prescreened suppliers; Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal with 300,000 members and over 100 free video lessons; and their parent company Doubledot Media Limited, which provides seven different training and software applications to over 500,000 customers worldwide.




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