first_imgStranorlar woman Annie McIntyre will feature on this evening’s UTV news at 6pm.The well-known lady celebrated her 100th birthday at the weekend and will be featured surrounded by more than 50 of her grandchildren during the TV interview.Annie received birthday wishes from President Obama, President Michael D Higgins and Daniel O’Donnell as she reached her milestone.  STRANORLAR’S MOST FAMOUS GRANNY TO FEATURE ON UTV! was last modified: July 24th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Why Apple Is Always On The Digg Front Page — And You’re Not

first_img StumbleUponis, my opinion, the best of these three options to promote a nichewebsite. You get traffic sometimes right from the first vote you get,when someone does discover your site. You can get up to 200 visitorsjust by being submitted. Thatshould of course not be your only goal. You can get popular on StumbleUpon aswell, although the antiquated front page metaphor stemming fromnewspapers does not work here. StumbleUpon is nonlinear and more “What’s good for General Motors is what’s good for the country”? With respect to social media sites like if you offer some valuable online resources users might want to come back for, online tools, big lists, tutorials Originally published Nov 30, 2007 10:53:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 In summary, it is good to understand the culture and goals of the social media sites. Don’t try to get on the front page of digg if you don’t have content that you think will likely appeal to its users. social news StumbleUpon a strong opinion on a popular topic if you sport a great design Like onDigg you need approx. 80 – 90 users to bookmark you in a short time periods to get popular and end up on the front page. If you’re If you manage to convince something between 60 – 90 other diggers toDigg it within less than 24 hours after submitting you will end up on thefront page. Unless your article gets buried. Which is pretty likely tohappen, especially if the digg user base thinks the article is spam orlame. . site out there. Digg is a great place for you to get big spikes in traffic if you arecreating content that is interesting and not overly promotional. Ifyou can’t do this, don’t waste your time on digg. You’re unlikely toget many diggs or much traffic. WhileDigg is about social news (which is often time-sensitive), ismore about saving links to websites you would want to return to. Thusresources, online tools or magazines and blogs which you will want tovisit at least twice will perform well at Digg .So, many (naive) people think: If Apple can get on the front page ofdigg so often, why can’t I? There’s a simple answer to this: You’renot Apple and you’re unlikely to get the loyal following that Applehas. So, what do you do to help promote your business on the socialmedia? This article looks at some of the top social media sites andwill help you understand them and how they work. . That means you either invest several months todigg and submit many stories as well as gain many friends onDigg .Or you contact a power user who already has done that. The average JohnDoe user has only minor chances to get on the front page, even if thecontent is brilliant. It’s just hard to rise above the noise.. you still won’t get traffic. A front page appearance might yield 5 – 10.000 visits though. UnlikeDigg where you disappear in the archives after a day you can get popularlater too. You just need a large amount of new bookmarks in a shorttime span at some point. so do not submit toDigg unless you have some confidence that your content will be interestingto the digg community.Otherwise it’s a waste of time and veryfrustrating, especially if you get buried and flamed. if you blog regularly and offer original content just popular The above is based on an article from a guest author, Tadeusz Szewczyk(you can call him “Tad”). You can find more of Tad’s writings at his To get on theDigg front page, it helps to be a Digg something green, organic and/or sustainable site. You probably know bookmarking in your browser (Internet Explorerusers call these “Favorites”). So, basically social bookmarking allowsyou to share bookmarks with others and store them online. Thus you canaccess them from anywhere on any computer. Even if you do not want todo that you still might want to use as by now it has such something strange, unusual or spectacular Remember the famous sentence social discovery tool Some people mistakeDigg for a social bookmarking site like (see below) which it is not. You do not useDigg to collect your bookmarks online. Many bloggers already get more traffic via StumbleUpon than any other source (including Google) is neither social news nor social bookmarking.SU describes itself as a .You can get popular in such a channel. If you manage to do that, youcan get more than 10,000 visitors. The traffic does not come all atonce, it’s more evenly distributed and comes in bursts. You can evenget popular with the same post or page twice or several times. You want to tell the world something important. like mentioned above is a ,as you browse the web with your peers and get suggested other websitesaccording to your interests, other sites you already visited and ratedas well as based on what your friends did. So you get automaticrecommendations out of the pages your friends submit or rate. to find websites you would normally not visit. The official term by now is StumbleUpon You won’t get any significant traffic if you’re not up front In shortDigg is a place where pages end up being popular which you want others to know:Like “Bush has invaded Iran” for instance would be news. Ask yourteenage son first before submitting if he would want his friends toknow. What’s good for Apple is not necessarily good for you or yourbusiness. You might want to promote your site on Digg is a social news site. In fact it’s the most popular if you not only sell something but also offer something for free you won’t have to make friends first to become “popular” asit’s a more down-to-earth platform with no comments or “bury features”.You can succeed in your own niche if you offer what others areinterested in. a critical mass that often you can find better resources there than in Google or elsewhere On social media sites likeDigg, users love Apple marketing, Apple news and just about all things Apple. comparable to TV with plenty of channels You will perform well on StumbleUpon with social bookmarking pictures, other funny or outstanding ones, so hire a photographer or caricaturist if you also appeal to the international market, as is used all over the world power user and get some friends. In fact you should stumble at least 50 sitesbefore trying to promote your own content. StumbleUpon has a largeuser base (over 3 million), an advanced rating system and some extrafeatures other social sites lack because StumbleUpon makes you downloada toolbar. .StumbleUpon is a place where people concentrate on their favoritetopics or hobby. So you even can stumble just sites about marketing, ifyou’re a marketing consultant. You will find like-minded people there. but you should not submit your site yourself to promote it but at firstmingle with other stumblers with similar interests. Try to make friendsby submitting great sites. Saying something nice about SU and SU usersdoesn’t hurt either. Therefore do not stumble 10 different subpages ofyour site but look for something useful or spectacular if you want somefriends. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You do not necessarily need to be a power user to be noticed on StumbleUpon It’ssocial news. Social news means that links are submitted if they arehighly relevant at a given moment, like breaking news for instance. Ifyou submit a news story you do it, ideally, out of altruistic motives: In fact Apple product news are regularly the most popular posts on SEO 2.0 blog social browsing digg, is what’s good for Apple also good for you and your business? I don’t think so.last_img read more

Foursquare’s New Blackberry Application Connects Businesses to More Users

center_img For example, since each user check-in equals free promotion to the user’s network, many businesses already utilize Foursquare as a marketing tool. Some businesses reward patrons for checking in to their store or giving free stuff to the store’s “mayor”. Why not come up with a plan to encourage your customers to update on Foursquare every time they visit you? Now is the best time to consider using Foursquare as a new interactive tool for and learn how to generate more business using social media. Have you adopted Foursquare into your marketing? For Blackberry users, do you plan to start using the application? Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers , a mobile application used to find and meet up with friends through location updates, Download the free video Foursquare Learn how to use other social media platforms to attract more customers. your marketing mix Foursquare is a fun service that makes updating your location into a game by rewarding Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Fix 4 Toxic Marketing Problems With Analytics

first_img Problem #3: I don’t know how to evaluate my social media. I’ll just swag it. use marketing analytics makes it a lot easier to invest in the best social media channels for your business and spend less time on those that aren’t generating marketing results. Even without sophisticated tools, you can use customized, short URLs and specific landing pages dedicated to your social campaigns to track their results. In the world of analytics, there is less room for this type of explosion, because data helps to tell the really for the most part closed-loop analytics Fix It: not really after a nice full glass of scotch, but before keyword research, marketers relied on their ‘gut feeling’ or costly and time consuming focus groups. Fix It : Enter to solve four of your most irksome marketing challenges!  be Problem #4: We missed our number, and I’m in a SMarketing war. targeted with keyword analytics. You cherry picked and didn’t work all the leads fast enough! Before you create your next ebook, blog post, or even email campaign, be sure to check out your (and your competitors’) traffic-driving keywords. Doing so will give you the insights to enable you to ) and website behavior shows marketers what is Marketing: why Now that’s a simple example, and most funnels are more complex. But no matter your process, in order to do this, you need your analytics to integrate with your CRM system so you can map that funnel all the way to the end. Yes, marketers know they Problem #1: I don’t know what will resonate. Should I resort to scotch-induced content? real We spent more on lead gen programs than ever before. Some of them were even YOUR ideas …  . Dissecting your funnel to understand what’s coming in at the top and the fallout at each stage along the way will help you identify the ‘leakiest’ parts of the funnel so you can start to fix it there. If you have stellar website traffic but only .05% of it converts into a lead, and leads close at a 50% rate, you’ll pretty quickly know that you need to work on that first conversion and investigate why your offers aren’t resonating or if you’re driving the WRONG types of traffic to your site. Have you ever seen sales and marketing managers at each others’ throats when the team missed quota?   should . Coming up with a ‘swag’ or ballpark estimate of value is all you can do if you aren’t using analytics. participating in social media that focuses on the keywords and topics your target audience wants, thus attracting more of the right prospects to your site. Problem #2: I don’t know where to start. What will have the biggest impact? Sales: Fix It:  make marketing easier. Data helps drive sound decisions and even settle arguments. Here’s how you can Mapping dollars and cents to social media campaigns Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you read this post and thought, “Wait… that sounds like my company’s marketing department,” don’t despair. With some careful implementation of marketing analytics tools, you can ) ( You didn’t give me enough high quality leads! Marketing: The beauty of doing marketing today is that tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, or . But so often, it’s hard to justify I worked all the leads, and even prospected my own …  Whoa… SMarketing breakdown! Data to the rescue! Fix It: MadMenYourself Image Courtesy of AMC – Get Yours Marketing Analytics Marketing is hard. Daily, marketers have to find new audiences, engage them with creative ideas, test out new concepts, justify their budgets, and defend their efforts from the onslaught of often unhappy sales teams. driving behavior. Search and analytics are no replacement for talking to your prospects and customers, but you can get a lot more efficient and story. Creating and maintaining a turn your organization into a data-driven marketing machine service level agreement How do most marketers come up with their content ideas? Okay, it’s ! create more compelling content What are your favorite analytics tools, and why? What tough marketing problems have you solved with numbers this year? Sales: HubSpot’s data and insights (SLA) between your sales and marketing departments and then measuring which type of leads (based on lead scoring) were generated and how many and quickly they were touched by sales is easier than ever. What used to become a knock-down, drag-out battle has grown up into a collaborative business discussion about tweaking lead criteria and optimizing sales processes to make the entire company successful. Topics: Today’s comprehensive online data about keyword traffic ( Not only can marketers use traffic analytics to show the volumes of traffic coming to their site from social media, but if they are using integrated marketing tools, they can also measure leads and even customers generated from a specific channel like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Originally published Dec 20, 2011 6:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

5 Savvy Ways to Segment Your Marketing Emails

first_img Email Lists and Segmentation Relevancy is becoming more and more central to today’s marketing strategy, and buyers have come to expect personalization in their communications . According to a study by MarketingSherpa , 4 out of 10 subscribers reported that they’ve marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant . On the flip side, MarketingSherpa also reports that emails that have been tailored to specific audiences through segmentation get 50% more clicks than their counterparts .There are a number of different ways to start segmenting your audience. For a segmentation method to work, however, it needs to reflect two things: (1) your core business strategy, and (2) what you know about your typical buyers’ purchasing decisions. Here are 5 great ways to segment your audience to create more tailored and effective email communications . 1. Geographic Segmentation Segmenting by geography works best when the location of a buyer plays a significant role in his or her purchasing decision (e.g. with events and other invitations). Here is a quick list of instances when you should segment by geography:When sending invitations to special events  When your company or service has geographic limitationsWhen your connection to a town or region is a strength. For example, with local landscaping companies, cleaning services, or restaurants. 2. Industry/Role Segmentation For B2B companies, a recipient’s role or division is an important factor in how he or she interprets your communications. In simpler terms, you would speak differently to a salesperson than you would to a marketer. They have different goals, and therefore different interests in your company. Targeting these interests can increase your click-through rates . 3. Segmentation Based on Content Interests The best segmentation tactics are based on true data about your audience rather than assumptions based on their role or geography. To segment based on interest, take a look at the content that members of your audience have viewed or the materials they have downloaded. The easiest way to start doing this is to pull a list of people who have downloaded a certain whitepaper or marketing offer, and then segment them into more targeted email or lead nurturing campaigns about that topic.   4. Behavior-Based Segmentation In addition to segmenting by interest area, you can also use audience behavior as a filter for your communications. This segmentation also relies on having the right closed-loop marketing analytics set up on your site to understand your typical sales cycle. Think about it: a person who has spent a lot of time on your site and viewed a lot of different marketing materials has different needs than someone who is just visiting for the first time. If you are using analytics that enable you to distinguish the browsing behavior of different website visitors, you can start to leverage this information to make your communications more relevant to how far along the recipient is in his or her purchasing decision. 5. Segmentation by Brand Advocates One of the most important segments to get right is your brand advocates . Before anything else, make sure you know who your best customers are. Your brand advocate segment should contain: Frequent buyers Social media fans Customers who have recommended you to othersNon-customers who have advocated for you onlineCustomer loyalty needs to be nurtured. Once you determine a list of your best (and most vocal) advocates, tailor your emails to acknowledge them. Send thank-you’s, advanced notice on new services or products, requests for feedback, rewards, and other communications to show you recognize and appreciate their support.  Start Small You can start small with segmentation. Take a look at your audience, and see if there are any stand-outs or natural differentiations. Even the slightest segmentation can increase your email success rates. The list above is just a starting point, and you’ll likely discover other ways to segment based on the individual characteristics of your audience and your industry. What other ways have you found to segment and send customized emails to your prospects and leads? Topics: Originally published Dec 28, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Use Email to Re-Engage Sleepy Subscribers

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Apr 4, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 16 2019 Email Newsletterscenter_img As an email marketer, you already know you’re losing about 25% of your email list every year. It happens; people lose interest in your company, change email addresses, unsubscribe — it’s all part of the email marketing game. But what if there was something you could do to re-engage some of those subscribers who actually are still interested in your company, but have just suffered a case of inbox overload? The way to do it is through an email re-engagement campaign, and it’s a pretty simple process once all the steps are broken down, your list segmentation parameters are set, and your content is created. This post will walk you through why email re-engagement campaigns are crucial to your email marketing program’s success, and exactly how you can implement one for yourself.Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template Why Email Re-Engagement Campaigns are ImportantBefore we dive in to the steps for implementing an email re-engagement campaign, I want to make sure it’s clear why a re-engagement campaign is a good best practice to include in any email marketing program. People on your email list could become inactive for a number of reasons (which we’ll discuss in more detail in the next section of this post):You’re going into their SPAM folders.They just haven’t gotten around to unsubscribing yet.You’re emailing them too much, so they gloss over your name.You’re not emailing them enough, and they forgot who you are.They just subscribed for a one-time perk, like a coupon or freebie.They subscribed to complete a one-time or infrequent transaction, like filling a yearly contact prescription, for example.Your emails don’t provide value for them.Your emails weren’t what they thought they would get when signing up.And there are many, many other reasons your email subscribers could have gone inactive. The thing is, some of these can be remedied, meaning there’s revenue potential out there in your email list that is sitting untapped.But even if there was absolutely no potential for new leads, reconversions, or customers in the inactive portion of your email list, keeping them on your email list puts your email deliverability at serious risk. Not only does every email you send offer them the opportunity to mark you as SPAM, but it also makes your email metrics look pretty bad to your boss. For example, wouldn’t you like to have a higher deliverability and click-through rate to show off? You can have that and a better sender reputation when you trim down the inactives on your list and focus on only emailing the engaged subscribers!How to Start an Email Re-Engagement CampaignNow that we’ve covered why email re-engagement campaigns are important, let’s break down the steps you need to take to run one for yourself.Step 1: Define What Success Looks LikeIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably not surprised by this first step. If you don’t have an idea of what success looks like, it’s hard to tell if you’ve accomplished your goal. The thing is, metrics for success in your first email re-engagement campaign are really tough to come up with, because the benchmarks are so different based on your industry and business model. Once you make these campaigns a regular part of your email marketing program, however, you’ll start to notice a pattern around:The percentage of email addresses you remove from your list as a result of the re-engagement campaign,The percentage of inactive subscribers that become re-engaged, andHow much your click-through rate improves after the re-engagement campaignBut if this is your first re-engagement campaign, adjust your mindset around the campaign metrics — because they can look bleak with the wrong perspective. What I mean by that is this: you know you’ve run a successful re-engagement campaign when you have a smaller email list. That’s a tad cringe-worthy, right?Well, it’s not so bad when you consider the end result. For example, HubSpot customer Bob Phibbs — the Retail Doctor — figured out that though his truly engaged email list was half the size of his email list that included inactive subscribers, it resulted in 3X more unique clicks. Email re-engagement campaigns give you an email list that is far more engaged, yields a higher click-through rate, drives more conversions and customers, and improves your email deliverability.Step 2: Identify Your InactivesLike we discussed before, someone can be inactive for a number of reasons. And here’s the thing — there’s no one definition for what inactivity means that fits all business models. You’re going to need to utilize a mixture of discrete metrics and business-specific information to make the final determination for the definition of an inactive subscriber. But let’s walk through exactly how to make that determination for yourself right now.First, consider the length of your buying cycle. For example, let’s say one of the products a business sells is contact lenses, and they notice there is a certain portion of their customers who purchase a yearly supply of contact lenses, well, yearly. The contact lens email marketer may not be emailing that segment of their email list because they take a very specific action — they transact once a year and don’t require monthly, weekly, or daily emails. But an e-retailer like ModCloth (whose email marketing I’ve featured on this blog a few times), would have much different parameters for inactivity; they email much more frequently because their subscribers interact with the brand more frequently and in more diverse ways.So while a rule of thumb for defining inactivity is often 3-6 months, look at your business model and ask: am I a “contact lens retailer” for whom 3-6 months of inactivity is normal, or am I a “ModCloth-type e-retailer” for whom even 1 month of inactivity is a bad sign? Or, of course, something in between.(Tip: If you find there are people on your email list who have been inactive for years (unless you truly have a several-years long buying cycle), don’t include them in the re-engagement campaign, as they will drive up SPAM complaint rates. Just remove them from your list altogether.)Once you have an idea of what a normal time span for inactivity looks like, mix it with a discrete metric to segment out your inactives. I recommend click-through rate, as it is a much better indication of engagement than open rate, but not so high-commitment as completing a transaction or filling out a landing page form.Be sure to create different list segments if you plan on sending re-engagement campaign content that is specific to, say, a particular buyer persona. For example, if you’re the contact lens retailer but you also sell glasses frames online, you might create three separate re-engagement campaign list segments — one for your recipients who purchase contact lenses, one for your recipients who purchase glasses frames, and one for your recipients who purchase both. This will allow you to create more targeted content that increases the likelihood your campaign actually does re-engage some subscribers.Step 3: Create & Send Your Engagement CampaignsSome companies have sent one email that asks people to make a decision — click through a call-to-action on our email now, or we’re taking you off our list! And for some companies, that approach may work. But let’s start slower, shall we?Think of your re-engagement campaign as, well, a campaign. That is to say there will be a series of emails you’re sending over several weeks to try to re-engage your inactive subscribers, not a batch and blast. This is recommended primarily because many of your inactives have suffered some kind of communication breakdown with you along the way that has caused the value of your emails to be lost. It’s only natural that it may take more than one email to find the value proposition that causes them to change their minds about your emails.To help you fill out your email campaign, here are several effective types of re-engagement emails that businesses often send.Update Email Preferences: Offer to change the frequency of the emails you send or to customize the subject matter about which your recipient receives emails. This helps recipients that are struggling with inbox overload.Email Feedback Survey: Ask your subscriber if there is something you can do to improve your email content to make them engage more frequently. Worst case scenario, you get feedback on your content. What marketer doesn’t love feedback?Incentivize Email Activity: Offer freebies or coupons for re-opting in to your email list, but make sure it’s based on their past purchase or download history. For example, if I noticed a segment of my list was particularly interested in educational inbound marketing content, I might invite them to attend our Inbound 2012 conference with a discount for certification at the conference.Get Emotional: You’ve probably received an email or two from a company that says how much they miss you. Maybe it doesn’t strike a chord with everyone, but it can be pretty refreshing to hear a company talk to you like a human being.Use a Deadline: Best reserved for the last email of your re-engagement campaign, this email graciously asks recipients to opt in by a certain date or be removed from the email list. Sometimes the deadline is enough of an impetus to get a subscriber to confirm that they do or don’t want to receive your emails. Be sure to make it easy for them to provide a response; say something like, “Yes, please keep me subscribed!” and “No, please remove me from your email communications.”There are other elements you may decide to test as you become more sophisticated with running re-engagement campaigns. For example, you could experiment with increasing or decreasing the frequency of your email sends to see if certain segments respond positively to the change in frequency. You may also notice that the format of your emails could benefit from some A/B testing — perhaps your emails are typically quite text heavy, and your inactive subscribers may be more interested in short and snappy emails. You may even need a more “out there” subject line that more effectively grabs the attention of your inactive subscribers.After you’ve established some baseline metrics for comparison from your first few re-engagement campaigns, experiment with more radical changes like these. You may just find a diamond email marketing idea in the rough!Step 4: Reduce Future Instances of Inactive SubscribersJust because you’ve completed your re-engagement campaign, doesn’t mean you’re done! The success of your next re-engagement campaign (and your email marketing program) depends on your ability to keep your currently healthy and engaged list … well, healthy and engaged. Make sure you’re doing these things to proactively keep your email list active:Set clear expectations in the opt-in process about email sending frequency, subject matter, and the content types they’ll receive. This will decrease the instances of subscribers thinking they’ll receive a certain type of email, only to be disappointed when they realize there was a misunderstanding later down the road.Make your first email really, really awesome — and send it right away. Often, the first email sent after a new subscriber opts in is a confirmation email. Use that opportunity to impress your newest subscriber with an enticing offer or interesting piece of content that will hook them, and set them up to be excited for every future email you send. In other words, strike while the iron’s hot.Adapt your lead nurturing content based on list segments. This doesn’t mean you have to create completely new content for every single list segment — but often, your content assets can be better targeted for each individual list segment. We’ve written a blog post that will help you adapt your content assets so your email content is far more targeted, resulting in happier email subscribers.Keep refining your list segments based on their on- and off-site behaviors. The more you communicate with your leads, the more you’ll know about them. If you use this information to continually refine your list segments and email content, you’ll be able to provide a more customized experience that results in more engaged email subscribers.What tactics do you use to re-engage email subscribers?Image credit: Alan Cleaverlast_img read more

Klout to Launch Brand Pages: Should Marketers Care?

first_img Originally published Apr 20, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Earlier this week, Klout announced its own version of brand pages — Brand “Squads.” Klout calls these pages a “way of giving influencers a place to be recognized and have a direct impact on the brands they care about most.”And while influencers get excited for their potential to be recognized by top brands, social media marketers also have plenty of reasons to be excited for this cool new tool.This post will break down all the new features Klout Brand Squads will provide, and why they matter to marketers. But first, take a look at the Brand Squad of Red Bull — the lucky brand being used to beta test this new feature — so you can get an idea of what the layout might look like when this rolls out to all brands.1) Brand InfluencersWhat It Is: Klout’s new Brand Squads will showcase the top 10 influencers of that brand. These are the people who most frequently talk about that brand on their own social networks. You also have the ability to see the top 100 influencers.How Marketers Can Benefit: If someone loves you enough to be listed as a top ten influencer, you better be sure to convert that influencer into a customer (or leverage their influence in some other beneficial way if they’re not a prospect, such as a partnership of some sort)! The top influencers are a snapshot of your most loving and active fans. And if that influencer is already a customer, you better be sure to make them a brand loyalist! Remember, Klout connects to twelve different social networks (with more to come). Thus, this list is providing an aggregate grouping of people who frequently talk about you across multiple social channels.So what do you do with these people? If you have a list of loving leads and brand loyalists, you have a list of people who are willing to provide you with feedback about your business — people who genuinely care about your growth because it has an impact on their life. Make them feel like an integral member of your community, and ask them to write reviews, be beta testers on new product rollouts, and refer you to others that might like to use your products or services.2) Social Media ButtonsWhat It Is: The new pages will allow brands to include social media buttons for their various social accounts.How Marketers Can Benefit: These help users more easily find your social media presence. While marketers know the basic importance of having such buttons, there’s an added benefit of having them on Klout. Think about it — when you’re on a brand’s Facebook page, there’s no Twitter button that lets you find their username. So you go over to Google and do a search for the brand, click through a few accounts, and then decide which account is the right one for the brand you’re looking for.Right now, a user can only get a look at your entire social presence on your website. Klout’s Brand Squads would be one of the few social brand pages where users can easily navigate to a brand’s various social accounts.3) Latest ActivityWhat It Is: Think of it as Klout’s version of the Facebook ticker. The Latest Activity bar showcases all Klout activity related to your brand — when someone gives you a +K, when an influencer of your brand gives another influencer of your brand a +K, and when someone adds your brand as a top influencer.How Marketers Can Benefit: You can share any activity that appears in this list. By hovering over the update, a pop-up will appear next to it asking if you’d like to share that update. If you click “tweet,” Klout will automatically pull the Twitter username of the person giving you a +K. This provides the cool opportunity to not only easily thank users giving you a +K, but also follow people who are clearly brand loyalists. And as all social media marketers should know, it’s just as important to follow the people who care about you as it is to gain followers.4) Brand PerksWhat It Is: Klout released Klout perks last year. Essentially, Klout perks “are exclusive products or experiences that you earn based on your influence.” Red Bull is testing this feature by having three different perks available. One for the top 10 influencers, one for the top 100 influencers, and one for the top 1,000 influencers.How Marketers Can Benefit: You have a free and easy to way to reward people who care about your brand! B2C companies could offer free samples of their products. B2B companies could provide trials or discounts. There’s plenty to try — and you have the comfort of knowing the perks are going to people who already showed interest in your brand — you might just learn what offers incite leads in the bottom of your buying funnel to pull the trigger on a purchase. Here at HubSpot, for example, we’re preparing for our annual Inbound conference. We might use the perks feature to reward people with discounted tickets to our inbound marketing conference!5) Top Brand ContentWhat It Is: At the bottom of each page, there’s a showcase of content being shared about your brand. While you can see who has tagged you in posts on Facebook or who mentioned your handle on Twitter, Klout Brand Squads will highlight content from all platforms.How Marketers Can Benefit: You have an easy way to see the top content being shared about your brand. You can easily share or tweet that content by hovering over the post. Just like the top influencers and Latest Activity bar, you have yet another way to see who is talking about you and what they’re saying. The unique benefit here is you can see who was influenced by that post. So not only can you see that someone is talking about your brand, you can see who was influenced by that initial user.While this isn’t something to be staring at all day, if you’re hosting a particular campaign, it’d be helpful to see if people are talking about it and influencing others to talk about it. If HubSpot tweeted about the Inbound conference, for example, we would want to see not only if others started talking about it, but also who that retweeter influenced. It’s a way of watching how a piece of content travels from a business account to a user, and from that user to another user.Deficiencies of Klout’s Brand PagesWhile Klout Brand Squads will offer some beneficial new features for marketers, it’s hard to tie it all back to a business’ entire marketing package, because there seem to be no analytics tied to all of these new features. The next step to make these brand pages worth marketers’ time would be the addition of an analytics tool. Data from HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella proves that a Klout score is “a surprisingly effective measure of overall online marketing success.” And if that’s the case, we want to see that these Klout Brand Squads contribute to that success.The other drawback is that it’s not clear if your top influencers are actually influencing positive discussions about your brand. For all you know, someone in your top 100 followers could be sending very negative messages, and in return you could be rewarding them in some form such as perks. While it never hurts to show everyone some love, it’d be helpful to know the tone of what is being discussed — especially because negative feedback, while painful to take, is how businesses make improvements.Are you looking forward to Klout Brand Squads? What other benefits do you see for marketers from these new features?Image Credit: Lan Nguyen Topics: Brand Management Don’t forget to share this post! 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New Study From LinkedIn Shows How User Mindset Affects Social Media Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

first_img LinkedIn Marketing Topics: Knowing this information, you might tailor your messaging on personal social networks to be more entertaining, casual, and focused on the interests of your audience rather than being heavily brand-focused. On the other hand, for a professional social network like LinkedIn, you’d probably want your updates to be more industry-focused and brand-centric.That being said, it’s important to recognize that while the report classifies individual social networks as “personal” or “professional,” that’s not to say that all users are using a particular social network exclusively in one particular way. Sure, you could assume that a site like LinkedIn is being used more exclusively as a professional social network, and besides marketers, users of a site like Pinterest probably aren’t users for any reason other than for personal use, but the lines are certainly a bit blurrier for other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. From a personal perspective, I mainly use Twitter for professional networking, and I use Facebook for a combination of the two.So while it’s definitely beneficial to understand the general mindsets and emotional drivers for usage of a particular social network, keep in mind that the specific mindsets of your own particular audience should be the ultimate foundation of your strategic social media marketing decisions on a given social network. Experiment with different types of updates, track your analytics, and let the data about what works and what doesn’t drive your social media marketing decision-making.What do you think of LinkedIn’s new research? How will you use it to adapt your social media marketing strategy? As a social media user, do you find yourself in a different frame of mind when you log in to a personal social network like Pinterest compared to a more professional social network like LinkedIn? Whether you realize it or not, you probably are, according to LinkedIn and TNS’s new study of 6,000+ social media users across 12 countries, aimed at uncovering how marketers can tap into users’ different mindsets on personal and professional social networks. Get ready. Things are about to get a little psychological on the blog.Marketing to the MindsetThe new research emphasizes the concept of “The Mindset Divide,” that social networkers have different needs, interests, and emotional drivers that put them in a particular frame of mind depending on which type of social networking — personal or professional — they’re engaging in. And as a result, marketers must make an effort to understand what these different mindsets are so they can better align their social media marketing strategies and tactics with their audience’s frame of mind on different social networks. In other words, we must learn to “market to the mindset.”To us, this makes perfect sense. It’s pretty easy to understand how someone logging in to Facebook to connect with their friends from high school would be in a different frame of mind than if they were logging in to LinkedIn, where their goal might be to gather information and insights to help them in their career.Key Research FindingsCurious about what the study revealed? Check out LinkedIn’s infographic below, which highlights some of the most interesting tidbits.(Click infographic to enlarge.)Applying Mindsets to Your Social Media Marketing StrategySo how should this research apply to your own social media marketing strategy? In essence, the key is to adapt your marketing to the way people use different types of social networks, in terms of variables like messaging, positioning, the types of content and information you share, and the tone of voice you use.According to the report, “professional” and “personal” social networks were classified in the following way, based on how survey respondents identified the majority of their connections:Professional Networks: Linkedin, BranchOut, BeKnown, Viadeo, XingPersonal Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, OrkutOne of the most useful nuggets of information from the study is the following, which highlights the type of content people expect from personal social networks (left) vs. the content they expect from professional social networks (right):center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 20, 2012 12:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

How You Can Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims and Survivors

first_img Topics: Originally published Nov 11, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated November 11 2013 Nonprofit Marketing With an estimated 10,000 people killed in the Central Philippines islands and almost 80% of structures in the typhoon’s path destroyed, life is brought to a standstill for hundreds of thousands displaced people. There are many organizations that have already moved into action to raise money and supply help and goods to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Here’s how you can help.How You Can Help the Relief EffortsSamaritan’s Purse With a response team on the ground in the Philippines, Samaritan’s Purse has sent water and nutrition experts to the affected islands. The organization is also providing community water filters, protective tarps, blankets, hygiene kits, and emergency family food packets, and has a team ready to help in Vietnam, which has since been hit as well.Donate to Samaritan’s Purse | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookFeed the HungryWith the goal of providing 1 million meal rations to the hardest-hit city of Tacloban, Feed the Hungry is asking for donations to help those affected by the typhoon. Donate to Feed the Hungry | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookSave the ChildrenWith disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam, Save the Children is asking for donations to provide emergency assistance to both children and families in all of the affected countries.Donate to Save the Children | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookOxfamWith people on the ground in the Philippines, Oxfam is looking for donations to provide for supplies including food, water, medicine, and shelter.Donate to Oxfam | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookWorld VisionFor as little as $24, you can donate to World Vision to provide a blanket and mosquito net. A donation of $33 can supply clean water and a hygiene kit for a family, while $184 can give a family emergency shelter.Donate to World Vision | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookHabitat for HumanityHabitat is trying to raise $10.3 million (or 450 million Philippine Pesos) to provide affected families with shelter.Donate to Habitat for Humanity | Follow the organization: Twitter | FacebookGoogle’s People FinderGoogle has launched a tool that helps individuals who are searching for the status of people affected by the storm. Individuals can either search for someone or provide information about someone they know. This is a very helpful resource for those who have relatives in the Philippines and are unable to contact them.If you know of any other helpful resources, please share them in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #29: Be Consistent

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Free Blog Post Templates Free Templates: Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page.center_img Topics: Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at, you might create a blog that looks like this: In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post How to Write a Blog Post How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your [Free Tool]last_img read more