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4 Ways To Optimize Blog Content So That It Actually Gets Read

4 Ways To Optimize Blog Content So That It Actually Gets Read

You probably already know that having a blog is important, but you may secretly be dubious about how often people actually read to the end of any post you publish.

No doubt you’ve crunched some data and noticed that the amount of time people spend on certain web pages doesn’t exactly correspond with in-depth reading habits.

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.

Optimizing your content for text consumption can significantly increase the amount of time users spend on your website. This can be a real game-changer when it comes to boosting your content within the first pages of Google’s search results.

While blogging obviously entails writing, search engine optimization is also incredibly important. When you optimize your blog posts to create deeper user engagement with your content, you will automatically achieve a lot of your conversion goals by making your website more visible to users looking for certain keywords associated with your brand or service.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s look at some of the best and most efficient ways to get people to actually read the content you publish and drive traffic to your website at scale.

1. Use bold formatting to break up text

If your bounce rate and time on site are being tracked properly, you will know that there are a lot of visitors who bounce off your content within the first 10 seconds of their visit.

Most of these people will not have read a single paragraph from your latest post. They might have scrolled down a bit but ultimately decided that they weren’t that interested. Pretty frustrating, to say the least.

The solution here is to change how you are formatting your posts so they look more scannable and ‘snackable’. A study conducted by Poynter Institute has revealed that when people stumble upon an article with a boldface introductory paragraph, 95% of visitors browse all or at least some part of it.

In fact, in many instances, the introductory paragraph is being read before the headline!

Research also shows that emphasizing visuals in your introductory paragraph may increase the amount of text consumption by readers. So ensure there’s some visual variety at a glance in your post.

2. Use bulleted points and listicle formats

What if I told you that making your writing more streamlined and applying a few formatting changes could significantly increase the amount of information your readers would take in?

A study conducted by Nielsen/Norman group looked at an article describing New York restaurants. The researchers found that by reducing the amount of information in the article, shortening paragraphs and ultimately increasing whitespace, they boosted text comprehension by a whopping 34% while reducing reading time by half.

Pretty impressive, right? Take a look below.

The lesson here is that ‘more text’ does not necessarily equal ‘more informative’. Even if you’re a capable writer, you can always tighten the direction and structure of your pieces. It’s not about how many words you include in a blog post – it’s about whether you offer something worth sticking around for.

When researching a different New York Times article, the same researchers concluded that subheadings and more concise writing could improve the overall comprehensiveness of an article by 12%.

What’s more, writing in a bulleted or listicle style can really help sharpen the focus of your content as well as leave users feeling more satisfied with their reading experience.

3. Use subheadings strategically

The careful placement of subheadings is critical to user engagement. Subheadings can not only increase the amount of text consumption for skim-readers but help maintain the attention of those whose attention spans may be short.

Unsurprisingly, a study by NN group shows that people pay a lot of attention to subheadings.

Research suggests that marketers and copywriters should prioritize the first two words in their subheadings, as they tend to get the most eye fixation from ‘skimming’ users.

Try to map out a rough structure for your blog posts by writing your subheadings out ahead of time – then combine them with strategic formatting choices like bolding or block quotes to make the most important text stand out.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that your subheadings should effectively convey the ‘big picture’ of your post and all its content. Make them easy to understand and ensure they connect with your introductory paragraph.

4. Use ads next to your best content

The idea is simple and as old as digital marketing itself – if you want to squeeze the value out of your ads to the last drop, you need to beat banner blindness among your website visitors.

This eye-tracking test showed that ads integrated and placed closer to your most valuable content were spotted 47% quicker than banner ads tossed at random around the page.

Furthermore, the actual area containing the integrated ads was viewed by 451% more people when compared to an area with banner ads. Impressive, right?

Well, that’s not all:

  • The test showed that banner blindness can be overcome by non-traditional ad placement. Users spend 4000% more time in areas with actual content, rather than in those with banner ads. This can significantly increase brand recall.
  • Users tend to spot more content at the top of a page, but often skim over leaderboards or skyscraper ads.
  • According to the study, ads placed in unconventional page locations – at the edges or in between text content – were actually more effective than ads located in more traditional areas.

It’s worth noting that one of the most effective ways to fight banner blindness is to make your ads or offerings look less like… well… ads. Eliminate contrasting colors or fixed frames around your promotional material.

In conclusion

Eye-tracking research has made significant progress over the past few years. When it comes to marketing, following your gut feeling is not always the best idea – instead, pay attention to the latest data to boost your text consumption levels.

In the long run, it will help you increase the number of your conversions in addition to the time your visitors spend on your website.

So go bigger: use boldface and increased font sizes in introductory paragraphs to make readers notice key info; be concise and switch to bulleted point or listicles; introduce subheadings to break up text; and beat banner blindness by placing your marketing material next to the things your readers actually want to read.

Do these four things alone, and you’ll be 4x closer to having super optimized content that web visitors can’t help but take time out to read.

Guest Author: Krzysztof Gilowski is CEO at Juicy – a company that offers copywriting services for small businesses.

The post 4 Ways To Optimize Blog Content So That It Actually Gets Read appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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4 Fundamental Mistakes That Are Killing Your Digital Agency’s Growth

The 4 P’s Killing Your Agency's Growth

You’re great at what you do, that’s why you built a digital agency around it.

But whether you niched out on social media, graphic design, website building, or software coding, we all run into similar fundamental problems.

These problems tend to look the same but the solutions all look different. Therein lies the problem.

These aren’t the 4 P’s you learned about in your Intro to Marketing class back in the day, and there is no textbook answer to turn to.

However, with a little guidance and knowledge you can avoid the school of hard knocks.

When reading the 4 P’s below, be open and honest with yourself… are you guilty of making these mistakes or letting important concepts fall by the wayside?

Even if your systems and processes are good, you should strive to make them great. We live in a world where consumers expect excellence, so if you don’t shine brighter and do better than all of your competitors then you’ll be left in the dust.

Being aware of the following factors will enable you to make the necessary strides to achieve greatness with your agency and its growth.

Click Here to get Lee’s Agency Success Toolkit. It includes a free proposal template, our 9 Steps to a Multi-Million Dollar Agency guidebook, and more…

1. Proposals

If you had a nickel for every hour you spent writing, revising, presenting, and worrying about a proposal you’d have enough money to retire early.

Instead, you’re sitting here working 80-hour work weeks and worrying about making payroll.

The worst part is when you spend all of that time and effort just to lose those deals to a competitor. Now you’ve wasted all of those precious resources with little to nothing to show for it. It happens time and time again unless you lowball on the price.

Why do your proposals keep flopping? What are your competitors doing that you’re not? You have countless people revise them and give feedback, so what is the issue?

One word: Value.

If your proposals aren’t building value every step of the way, they’re guaranteed to be a swing and a miss.

You need to slap the client across the face with how awesome your agency is and stun them with everything you can do for them. You need to remove barriers to entry and common objections before they ever arise. You need to leave no doubt in your prospects’ minds that your agency is the one for them.

Your competitors are giving that prospect a million reasons to purchase from them, so you need to give them a million and one. Instead, you’re sending over a glorified service description with a price tag and calling it a day. Of course you’re not winning the deals you want!

Think of all of those failed proposals that you slaved over. Did they have ROI projections? FAQs? Definitions? If you skip those sections, it doesn’t matter how great your grammar was or even how low your price was, all a client will see is a big line item with little justification.

Build value every step of the way. When the client sees the dollar sign, they won’t hesitate because they’ll know they’re making an investment in their business’s future.

2. Project Management

The digital space is full of so many business opportunities because so few people truly understand how to utilize it to its fullest potential. That’s why they’re hiring you!

However, this means clients don’t quite understand everything you do. So, during the course of the project, they have no issues asking for more, more, more because in their minds it’s just a “quick thing” or “small adjustment.” But to you it could mean an extra two hours of work. Suddenly a few “quick things” later and you’ve put in an additional 10 hours of work with no additional pay.

Let’s say you were a home builder and you got hired to build a house. Your client wanted a basic 2 bedroom home because they were on a tight budget. So construction began and halfway through, they decided they wanted 4 bedrooms, a home movie theater, hot tub, fountain, and helicopter landing pad and they expect you stay within budget and on time.

Project management image

No client in their right mind would ask for that! People understand that would mean more plumbing, electrical work, concrete, drywall, insulation… the list goes on.

Yet your agency’s clients seem to have no problem asking you to make one more graphic, to rework the design, or to create another landing page. Then you give it to them because you have a hard time saying no or because you don’t want to cause friction in the relationship, or whatever flawed logic you use to rationalize it. This little devil is called scope creep.

Scope creep is anything, and I mean anything, that falls outside of the predefined and agreed upon project scope. If you don’t strictly inform and enforce scope creep policies, it will take over your service bandwidth and your time will get absorbed in unprofitable projects.

Easier said than done, right? Especially when saying no to a client and keeping them happy seems a bit like mixing oil and vinegar.

To avoid disgruntled clients, you must tell them before the project begins that anything extra they want done outside of the original scope will cost them extra time and money. Then as soon as something pops up, you must enforce it. This will teach the client that you take the budget and timeline very seriously. They may get a bit peeved that they have to pay for the services they’re asking you to perform (sounds like a “duh” moment when you hear it like that) but good clients will understand they get what they pay for.

When a project gets delivered on time and on budget they’ll forget about that “just one more revision” they asked for weeks ago.

3. Pricing

There are dozens of pricing models, strategies, and techniques. Some agencies see great success with one, while others see the same one fail. So what’s the perfectly competitive price for your services?

High prices can make you seem elite, but if you set your prices too high you’ll scare people off. Low prices can attract more people, but if you set them too low you’ll be jeopardizing your profit margins.

The thing about setting low prices is that you’re automatically attracting a certain caliber of client. The bottom of the barrel client that expect you to jump through hoops at no additional cost. Then when a cheaper option comes along they won’t hesitate to leave your agency in the dust. Unless you’re the lowest price in the industry, you might as well be one of the highest. Nobody goes for the second cheapest option.

Can your agency truly sustain being the cheapest option?

Raising your prices will have its consequences too, and you will inevitably scare some people off. But think of it like this: You could be charging $100 and have 1,000 clients ,or you could be charging $1,000 and have 100 clients. Which strategy means less work for you? Which one will likely result in happier clients? Which one is more sustainable?

Underpricing your services won’t attract more people, and it certainly won’t attract the ones you want to work with. If you keep getting stuck working with bad clients it’s probably because your pricing model is attracting them. Stop doing yourself a disservice by charging too little. If you have a world class agency, you need to charge world class prices. The best clients will understand and accept it. The cheapskate clients will run away, but it was only a matter of time before they did that anyway.

4. Positioning

Brand positioning is like a vortex and your agency is the eye of the storm. When you first begin your agency, you’re a small vortex with a little pull, maybe causing some ripples in the market but certainly not making any waves. The bigger and stronger your agency and positioning gets, the more powerful you become.

Incorrectly positioning or failing to have a positioning strategy can be a detrimental mistake and wasted opportunity. Brand positioning is where your agency sits in the mind of the consumer. Regardless of the efforts you make, every single person that encounters your brand will form some kind of emotion or association with it. Having a strategy and defined brand positioning statement will help ensure that those emotions and associations are positive. This is especially important in the early stages of your agency.

Defining and establishing a clear brand position will allow you to do more with less. Positioning will do the heavy lifting and nurturing so when a lead is ready to buy, your agency will already be established in their mind as the trustworthy and superior option. Sounds pretty great right? So why is it that only 50% of employees believe their leadership team uses brand positioning to guide their decisions?

Are you guilty of this? Perhaps one of the reasons your brand positioning isn’t guiding your marketing initiatives is because your positioning statement was thrown together with little research and thought. Your positioning statement, if done correctly, should filter through to every single campaign, promotion, design, and decision. If it aligns with your positioning statement, you know it will reach and appeal to your target audience. If you’re not filtering every decision then you could potentially be putting out materials and making calls that will confuse or turn away your target audience. Not a wise move when every lead counts.

Wrapping up

These 4 P’s should have shed some light on the way your agency is running. Moving forward, you’ll be aware of the consequences that could ensue if you don’t give these factors the attention they need.

Remember: there is always room for improvement. So you should constantly be changing and improving. The 4 P’s aren’t something you should look at when you “have time.” The time is now. Your agency’s growth depends on it.

Click Here to get Lee’s Agency Success Toolkit. It includes a free proposal template, our 9 Steps to a Multi-Million Dollar Agency guidebook, and more…

Guest Author: Lee Goff is a serial entrepreneur who built, retired from, and sold his first multi-million dollar digital agency before the age of 43. He now coaches other digital agency owners on how to work less and make more time for their families without sacrificing quality of life. He is the CEO/Founder of Digital Business Architects, a company dedicated to providing world class coaching resources to other digital agency owners.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Digital Business Architects, but as always I am dedicated to providing content that is helpful and valuable to the reading audience.

The post 4 Fundamental Mistakes That Are Killing Your Digital Agency’s Growth appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are Crippling Your Campaigns

6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are Crippling Your Campaigns

Influencer campaigns are a major trend, one which show no signs of slowing down. If you open your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or just about any social media account, you’ll see influencers from all walks of life promoting various products or services.

So what’s the secret behind successful influencer campaigns? It’s simple – the brands and businesses behind them found out how to avoid the common pitfalls when constructing their campaigns. The good news is, you can too.

Read on to learn about the most common influencers marketing mistakes and how to avoid them easily.

But first, why is influencer marketing a big deal?

If you have tried dipping your toe into influencer marketing without success, you may be a bit bitter. However, when conducted properly, it can help you improve your brand’s reputation (which is always important), generate more traffic, turn more leads into customers, and promote your business to achieve the success you deserve.

No, this is not just mumbo-jumbo! The numbers don’t lie, and the diagram presented below will tell you everything you need to know about the importance of this marketing strategy.

So even if you’ve been burnt, it’s worth trying again – and even more important to identify which mistakes you’re making so you can avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Lacking a detailed campaign plan

Having a battle plan for influencer marketing is a must! You don’t want to implement an influencer campaign just because everyone else is doing it. This is not about jumping on the bandwagon. Collaborating with any old influencer is not what it takes to succeed.

Before you conduct social media outreach and start working with an influencer, nut out a clear vision of the campaign in question. Be decisive, set up measurable and realistic goals, and list all important points to cover. Having a detailed plan will give the campaign a vital dose of purpose and navigation, and ensure that both you and the influencer can work toward achieving a scaleable goal instead of just posting aimlessly.

Mistake #2 – Focusing solely on follower counts

Social media influencers are targeted by brands and different companies primarily because of their follower count. Therefore it is easy to conclude that the more followers, the better. Not necessarily!

Of course, follower count matters, but it is not the only factor to take into account when looking for an influencer. Don’t forget that the success of your campaign depends entirely on choosing the ideal person for the job.

If you focus on the number of followers primarily, you probably ignore engagement rates. It is not enough to have a lot of followers on the influencer’s account; the ideal influencer is one who also motivates and engages their audience.

To get the most out of your campaign, don’t ever overlook the power of engagement. Occasionally, someone with a lower follower count will have more engagement than those who are followed by more people. Instagram is the perfect example of the micro-influencer effect in action.

Image Source: SocialMediaToday.com

Mistake #3 – Sticking to one social media platform

Even when you have a presence on all social media platforms, there’s always one where you have more followers than anywhere else. This often makes marketers feel like they need an influencer who is also popular there, which can lead to the focus falling purely on that platform. Not only does this prevent you from achieving the success you want with influencer campaigns, but it also doesn’t allow your business to reach new and different groups of people.

If you already have a strong presence on one platform, try choosing an influencer from a different platform to branch out and increase the traffic and follower count on your other social media accounts.

Mistake #4 – Making the collaboration a one-time deal

You have a successful influencer campaign with one person yet decide to find someone else for the next gig. Sounds familiar? This is a common scenario primarily because marketers and business owners tend to believe that social media websites are a buffet, and they must try every meal on the menu. While this may seem like fun, it is not overly practical.

You see, just because one campaign ends according to the expectations, there is no guarantee that some other influencer would be the right fit and help you achieve your goals again. When you find an influencer that fits all the criteria and impeccably promotes your business, focus on establishing a long-term relationship. Future influencer campaigns will feel more natural as they truly understand your brand, and less forced or fake.

Mistake #5 – Assuming you ‘own’ an influencer

The ‘I pay you, so I own you’ mentality should not exist in 2018. Under no circumstances should you ever go ahead and assume that you are more important than an influencer, or that they have no power in the equation. They do, and that’s why they’re influencers in the first place.

Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships where both sides have equal power. Remember, you need an influencer just as much he or she needs you.

If you fail to acknowledge this, then your influencer campaign will inevitably not be fruitful due to all the negative energy. There’s an easy fix to this problem: collaborate with your influencer, exchange ideas, try to get to know him or her as a person and, most importantly, trust them. Influencers need creative freedom. Bear in mind that they gained thousands of followers primarily due to their creativity, and that they already know how different people respond to different posts.

Mistake #6 – Ignoring FTC endorsement rules

The days when posting a photo or a post on social media without flagging it as a paid or sponsored post are long gone. Now, influencers have to specify endorsements and sponsored content. Although both you and the influencer may find the legalities boring, they shouldn’t be messed with.

According to the changes in the US Federal Trade Commission’s rules for endorsements, failing to identify which posts are sponsored or act as an endorsement could lead to big trouble. Make sure you give your influencer (or influencers) precise instructions on how to label content associated with your products and services. It’s your responsibility.

In conclusion

Influencer campaigns can work wonders for brands and businesses when run effectively. It’s vital to avoid the common pitfalls that can prevent you from achieving your desired results.

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to renew your efforts with this marketing strategy. Let me know how you go.

Guest Author: Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional who has expertise in brand design and development. He is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill set in new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to Provenseo, and seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He writes blog posts on digital marketing trends which you can find by following him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

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25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

Facebook marketing whether it is a for a blogger, business, author or a musician must achieve the goals you have set out in your marketing strategy and plan.25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

The marketing strategy that you have created will keep you focused and on track otherwise you can be heading off  and engaged with all sorts of marketing tactics and activities that don’t achieve much but just keep you busy, distracted and scattered.

The Facebook page and the marketing activities you carry out on Facebook’s eco-system should be viewed as an extension of your blog. So tactics you maybe already doing on your blog can be enhanced and synergised by replicating some of those blogging platform activities on Facebook  that are relevant ad appropriate to the Facebook culture.

There are many goals you could set for yourself for your Facebook marketing.  Goals could include improving customer service, reducing traditional marketing costs, improving customer acquisition and optimizing your brand.

To keep it simple here are 3 core goals and 25 marketing tactics that you can action on your Facebook page that wil keep your blog growing and your business booming .

3 Key Goals for Facebook Marketing

  1. Increasing Facebook Likes – think of this as an additional asset that is similar to building your email subscriber database for your blog or business.
  2. Improve Engagement – This is where your subscribers, fans, followers can be nourished as part of your community from initial low level interest to a highly engaged raving fan.
  3. Increase Sales –  At the end of the day ‘likes’ are nice and engagement is good but you do need calls to action to ensure that something happens. This pays the bills and takes you on holidays.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips & Tactics

This section includes the multiple and various tactics for achieving 3 key goals of increasing Facebook likes (10 tips), improving engagement (10 tips) and increasing sales (5 tips). What needs to be kept in mind is that the first two goals are stepping stones in the process of achieving the ultimate goal which selling that ebook, consultancy or what ever service or product that you as a blogger provide

10 Tips to Increase Facebook ‘Likes’ and Subscribers

Facebook ‘likes’ are only a recent phenomenon in the history of marketing and acquiring Facebook ‘likes’ is a new and exciting additional tactic to distribute your content, news and ideas that build your client list in addition to your email marketing. Facebook likes do not replace your email marketing plans but add and enhance your marketing mix.

Mari Smith’s Facebook page provides a more than obvious example for capturing those important Facebook Likes.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips

So how do I start gaining those Facebook ‘likes”?

10 Tips to Increase your Facebook ‘Likes’

  1. Email existing prospects to let them know you have a Facebook page  and ask for them to drop in and like your page and provide a link to reduce the friction of making that effort. In other words don’t make them ‘think”. Make it easy.
  2. Invite friends to seed you page if you don’t have any likes yet.
  3. Embed a “Facebook social plugin” on your blog in the right side banner preferably up near the top that provides the functionality for readers to ‘like’ your page even when they are not on Facebook
  4. Create a landing page as your welcome page encouraging ‘likes’ that is highly visible and obvious
  5. Create a Facebook reveal page to provide that provides access to exclusive content but only when you ‘like’ the page. This exclusivity can make them feel like they are part of the ‘club’ at a very simple level.
  6. Offer them a free gift or PDF in the email to” like” your page
  7. Link to your Facebook page in your email newsletter banner. This could be at the top of the page the right hand side banner as well as at the bottom of the newsletter. Digtal design dictates that providing several options is much more effective than just one.
  8. Join Facebook groups in your categories of interest – and post a blog post that will drive traffic to your Fan page and connect with you on Facebook
  9. Capture emails for your email marketing database on your Facebook page. You need to keep in mind that email maybe old fashioned but it works and it works big time and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So make it easy for people to subscribe by email to receiving news, updates and your blog posts when they are on Facebook via email.
  10. Provide a link in Facebook to prospects to subscribe to your Blog via RSS

There is one thing to keep in mind with Facebook ‘likes’ and that is that Facebook does not update everyone’s news feeds that ‘like’ your page. Facebook uses a algorithm called “EdgeRank” that determines which fans will receive your page update. It is determined according to how closely engaged you are with the fan. Read more here “EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce that Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick.
The power of Facebook marketing is that it amplifies your content to not only your fans but the friends of your fans and this where the power and marketing leverage of social media starts to kick in that email cannot do at the same scale. Facebook provides a multiplier effect that is sharing at an “industrial scale”. Read more about that here: “Do People Share more on Facebook or Twitter?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement on your Facebook Page

There are many ways to improve engagement. Content is one of the most effective methods to start engaging your new ‘fans’ who have liked your page. Engagement can start with the low risk and entry level ‘like’  action on Facebook which is the dating equivalent of  “let’s catch up for a coffee” tactic. There are other higher levels of engagement with the end goal to take visitors to your blog from followers to “raving fans” and become an emotional member of your “tribe”.

I post my daily blog posts to my Jeffbullas.com facebook page this allows me to engage with my target audience that are hanging out on “Facebook”. I don’t wait for them to come to me, I go where they are. Valuable content that adds value to your viewers and readers creates deep engagement

Apple Makes Huge Announcement about Twitter Blog Post Update on Jeffbullas.com Facebook page

What are some other ways to increase engagement?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement

  1. Run polls using the standard Facebook ‘Question’ feature (above the ‘Write something’ box) to engage your audience with something that makes them actually do something.
  2. Implement ‘third  party” survey tools. One great service is Survey Monkey that provides much more functionality than the basic entry level Facebook “Questions” feature
  3. Include Twitter in your menu.  This is available as a standard setting on your Facebook fan page and provides another channel for engagement.
  4. As Facebook is a real time media you can publish the latest events, news on topics of interest that are happening in your industry or niche. In essence it is a real time sharing tool that will notify people that have liked your page about the latest ‘hottest’ news
  5. Update your Facebook ‘Page’ with your blog posts straight after publishing
  6. Respond to all comments on your Facebook page in a timely fashion
  7. Run a competition on Facebook
  8. Post your YouTube videos to your Facebook page. This provides another distribution point for your YouTube videos.
  9. Embed your Slideshare presentations on your Facebook page (Slideshare is a social media website that takes your Powerpoint presentations and converts them into a slideshow on the web). Just paste the link and your Slideshare presentation will embed within Facebook
  10. Photos at events can be uploaded to Facebook which humanize and personalize your brand. People just ‘love’ photos on Facebook and this will drive a deeper engagement with your prospects and customers. So mix up your media and this can be a challenge for a ‘text’ blogger. So think like a publisher and publish your content in as many places with as much rich multimedia as time and resources allow.

5 Tips to Make Sales on Facebook

At the  end of the day the final objective is to increase sales. You have  provided the incentives and tactics to let them like your page and become a fan. You have then engaged them with low level engagement from reading your blog post updates on your Facebook page or responding to a survey or a poll. It is now time to provide some calls to action and links and even an online store that can be created within Facebook to start making some sales from your Facebook Marketing.

Guy Kawasaki makes it easy for you to order and buy his book “Enchantment” on Facebook.

Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment Facebook site where you can order and buy his book

5 Tips to Make Sales

  1. Use a reveal tab that is set up as your landing page that provides access to a voucher that can be printed off or even emailed to the prospect that they need to bring into your store or claim online to get a discount on a product or service
  2. Consider an F-Commerce function – convert and sell within the Facebook ‘Page” without the customer ever having to leave Facebook. This will increase conversions. Every click or extra page in the process reduces your conversion rates by 15%.
  3. Provide a link on your Facebook page to your online store
  4. Link to the Apple store that may contains your PDF or if your a musician or band your music
  5. Link to the Amazon store where customers can buy your book or your Kindle ebook online.

So which one of these 25 Facebook marketing tips could you action today?

Image by mag3737

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How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

Technology has forever changed the way we see our world, as well as how we communicate with one another. Even the way we consume and access information has been transformed with the arrival of ebooks.

An eBook, or electronic book, is the digital form of the traditional book and can be accessed on any digital platform (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc).

There are typically two types of eBooks – paid and free. Businesses and bloggers often offer them for free as a clever tactic for effective lead generation.

Regardless of whether they’re paid or free, eBooks take a long time to write and edit. Authors often spend days, months or even years researching, writing, editing and then finally publishing their eBooks.

That’s why it’s heartbreaking to have to break this news to you: producing a good ebook is NOT enough to generate the sales results you desire.

No matter how many deep insights, incisive research and unique content you provide, all your efforts may go in vain unless your eBook is promoted on the right channels, at the right time, to the right people.

The digital world is an extremely noisy one, and this noise is only going to increase in future years. The eBook market, as it constantly evolves, is becoming oversaturated with products.

According to Statista, of the total book sales worldwide, the eBook market share is expected to reach 26% in 2018, up from just 12% in 2013.

Furthermore, in a 2017 research report by CMI, it was found that 65% of B2B marketers use eBooks as a content promotion tactic.

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

In a nutshell, everyone is jumping on the eBook bandwagon, which means it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Now, social advertising and PPC campaigns are great (if expensive) ways to promote an eBook. But they are NOT the only ways!

That’s right, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on advertising to get results. In this post, I’ll share how to take advantage of the enormous scope offered by the digital world and use a variety of platforms and techniques to popularize your eBook.

Let’s get started!

1. Create a killer landing page

This is not a part of your actual promotional campaign. But if you don’t have a high-converting landing page and a catchy eBook title, people may not click the link you shared and instead bounce right off the page, rendering your promotional efforts useless.

Remember, the goal of your promotional campaign is to drive people to the eBook landing page, then download it.

Take time, research your prospects’ pain points, brainstorm and write compelling copy about it.

If your eBook is a paid one, link the landing page to a payment gateway.

Also, don’t forget to add the all-important social sharing buttons to your landing page.

2. Promote it within your website

Before going all out on promoting the eBook on different platforms, first you need to optimize the platform you already have to encourage visitors to download the eBook. You can do this by:

Image Source: Social Media Examiner

  • Placing ‘Download the eBook’ calls-to-action (CTAs) in your top-performing posts wherever relevant (take a quick peek at your Google Analytics to find these posts).

  • Creating an eBook slide for your homepage slider, if you have one, or a sidebar callout.

3. Use supporting content formats

As I said earlier, the digital arena has various platforms. Each platform is popular for different visual representations – text, images, videos, etc. You can’t share a simple text link all the time that just says, ‘Hey! Here is my new eBook. Download it now!’

I’m going to run through a list of things you can do instead. Here’s the first one: write supporting blog posts.

As soon as you finish writing your eBook, write a couple of blog posts which relate to or complement your eBook. You can repurpose some of your eBook content for this.

Don’t have much time to write? Here’s a quick guide on how you can punch out a blog post in less than 4 hours!

If your eBook is on, say, ‘A social media marketer’s guide to generating leads’, your supporting post can be on ’10 easy social media hacks for increasing engagement’ or ‘Why social media is the greatest channel for lead generation’.

These posts will help establish you as a thought leader on the subject of your eBook, earn your reader’s trust and thereby further compel them to download the book.

You can also try keyword-optimizing the post’s content to convert more website traffic. Everyone may not be willing to go directly to the landing page and download the main asset, so by promoting other posts alongside your eBook, you will give visitors a different reason for them to check out your site.

Once you’ve written your blog posts, be sure to place the eBook CTAs at the end of each article. Here is a great example from HubSpot:

Ready for the next tip on how to use supporting content formats? Great: make quick infographics.

Infographics are a huge part of today’s content marketing. There are many ways and platforms where you can share them and attract your prospects to your landing page. You can use free default templates from Canva to quickly create a bunch of infographics. Just make sure you add the eBook CTA in your infographic’s footer.

Here’s another tip: make a slideshow presentation

Convert your supporting blog posts and even the first few pages of your eBook into a slide deck, MS Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation.

Conversely, create a short piece of video content for your eBook. Video is fast becoming the king of content marketing and according to a recent study published on HubSpot’s blog, online video currently accounts for 74% of all web traffic, and 59% of senior executives prefer video to text when both are available.

Don’t have that much time? Simply convert your slides into a video or use Lumen5 which allows you to quickly convert your blog posts to high-quality videos for free:

4. Go all-out on social media

You can still promote your offering and reach your prospects on social media without spending a lot of money. It’s true!

Social teasers are a critical aspect of your overall eBook social promotional campaign.

These teasers can be actionable tips, quick how-tos, interesting facts or key quotes from your eBook, presented in interesting and relevant content formats (videos, images, etc.)

Your followers won’t be too happy if you spam them with a salesy ‘check out my eBook’ post every single day, but with social teasers, you can keep them engaged and encourage them to download/buy it.

Here’s how you promote your eBook on various social platforms:

  • Facebook

Create a custom tab and integrate the eBook landing page (this requires a little bit of HTML coding, but it’s easy).

Build some pre-launch hype among your followers by promoting the supporting content (blog posts, images and videos). Put the eBook banner as the cover photo. Share the supporting content and eBook in all relevant groups… but don’t overdo it! Group admins hate spammers.

Pin the eBook post to your page. Use a lot of video teasers. Facebook videos have 10x higher reach as compared to Youtube links.

  • Twitter

Use the search box to find out who is tweeting using the related keywords of your eBook and reach out to them directly via email to see if they’re interested in reading it. Tease your followers with mini infographics and images; tweets with these visual representations also get higher engagement when compared to text-based ones.

Change your cover photo to the eBook banner and pin the eBook tweet to your feed. Tweet at least 10 times a day. Neil Patel claims that by increasing his number of tweets from 1 to 10, his monthly visits skyrocketed from 1,100 to 4,700.

  • LinkedIn

Add the landing page link to the publication section of your profile and include a testimonial or a positive review of the eBook in the description box, as below.

Post social teasers 1-2 times a day. Join groups where you think you can promote your asset and start engaging with other group members. Just remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. Group admins will not tolerate spam – craft your messages carefully so they are still relevant to the group and add value.

Linkedin even allows you to direct message 15 group members per month for free. Pick 15 target prospects, engage with them by commenting on their posts and finally message them to check out your eBook. Re-publish supporting articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform and add a CTA to your landing page at the end of each post.

  • Pinterest

Create a separate group board dedicated to your eBook social teasers (in this case, infographics and images). If you don’t have a strong following, contribute to boards which do. You can use Pingroupie to find boards relevant to your category. Reach out to the board owners and ask them to accept your contribution. A single post on these boards can drive a ton of traffic to your landing page!

  • Instagram

 Place the eBook CTA in the bio section of your profile.

Post social teasers (images and videos) continuously (2-3 times a day) and ask people to check out the eBook by clicking on the link in your bio. Search for users who have used your related hashtags and DM them to take a quick look at your offering.

Gary Vaynerchuk clearly explains how to use the Instagram DM for networking in this article.

  • Youtube

Create a channel and post video teasers with attractive titles. Be sure to add the eBook CTA in the video description box!

  • Slideshare

SlideShare has more than 5x the traffic from business owners than any other social media. According to the social media giant, infographics are liked 4x more than presentations. Upload all of the supporting presentations I mentioned earlier. Slideshare allows you to add links after the 3rd slide so put the eBook CTA at the end of each presentation. Convert your infographics into PDFs (I usually use Zamzar for this) and re-upload.

  • Quora

Quora is a great platform to reach a targeted audience and promote your eBook. Follow all the topics related to your niche, and answer all questions which receive a good following.

Repurpose your blog post’s content but don’t just copy and paste it. At the end of each answer, add a CTA to your landing page. Make sure your CTA looks as natural as possible. Quora is a place where people come to find answers so be helpful, not shallow.

  • Reddit

With more than 1 million communities (aka ‘subreddits’), Reddit is easily one of the most powerful places to perform targeted promotions. You can simply share the link to your landing page or write some description with the text post option and post the link.

Since new accounts with low karma scores aren’t generally trusted by Redditors, it is always good practice to engage with fellow subredditors before beginning to promote your eBook. Start by being active on 4-5 relevant subreddits, commenting where relevant, sharing your supporting blog posts and finally announcing the launch of your eBook.

  • Google Plus

 Even though marketers often overlook the importance of Google Plus, its communities feature allows you to promote your resource to a targeted audience.

Even better, Google Plus has the Collections feature. Just like group boards, Collections allow you to organize your posts, like on Pinterest. Create a collection around your eBook theme and start posting!

5. Explore other content sharing platforms

Social media is not the only place you can capture the attention of your audience. There are several platforms in the digital space where you can share/submit your content and subsequently drive a large amount of traffic back to your eBook landing page. The best thing about these sites is they are absolutely free.

Here are a few I always use:

  • Medium

Medium is one of every marketer’s go-to sites for republishing content to get more eyeballs on it. Just copy and paste your supporting blog posts and the first few chapters of your eBook, place CTAs to your landing pages, add the right tags, and hit publish. It’s that simple.

  • StumbleUpon

Used actively and consistently, StumbleUpon is a great way for your eBook to go viral. But for that to happen, you need to have a good following. Follow people in your niche, like and comment on their posts and share your supporting content once you are able to gather an audience.

  • Scoop.it

Just like StumbleUpon, Scoop.it is a dedicated content discovery platform and an amazing place to build exposure for your eBook. Give it a try!

6. Use free tools to make your eBook go viral

Viral Content Bee is my favorite free social media promotion tool and requires a special mention in this post. The whole concept of this tool is based on the mantra, ‘You share my posts and I’ll share yours’.

Basically, you earn credits when you share other’s posts, and they do too when they promote your offering.

A truly remarkable thing about this tool is it allows you to elect on which social platforms you want your resource to be shared. Currently, it allows users to promote on four platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

The best approach to Viral Content Bee is to accumulate as many credits as possible, elect the platforms where you think your potential buyers are most active, and sit back and relax while others make your eBook popular.

Pay With a Tweet is another effective tool to make your eBook go viral on social media. This tool allows people to access the content of your eBook for free in exchange for a social post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Xing or VK.

It allows you to set the number of free downloads you want to make available as well as an expiration date for the campaign. Don’t worry, a small amount of freebies in exchange for viral reach won’t hurt your sales!

7. Try guest blogging on authority sites

Guest blogging is one the most popular methods used by authors from all walks of life to promote their eBooks. Not only does it enhance your authority and reach, it also promotes your resource to those who are passionate about and interested in your subject.

Do a simple Google search with a keyword + ‘write for us’ + ‘submission guidelines’ and see what you find. Make a list of all the sites with good online authority, then pitch a guest post.

Carefully read the posting guidelines and eliminate the sites which won’t provide a direct backlink to your landing page or book. Remember, the idea here is to bring readers back to your page.

8. Invest time in traditional email outreach

 No, email marketing is NOT dead!

If your goal is lead generation, promoting your eBook instead of your main product makes you look less salesy and more helpful in your cold emailing campaigns.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Update your email signature and add the page URL to it
  • If you already have email subscribers, give them a heads-up about your eBook.
  • Create a Flipboard magazine themed around the eBook
  • Give away the first few chapters of the eBook in an email sequence
  • Do a free webinar with a thought leader in your industry to generate publicity for the eBook.
  • Enrol in Amazon’s KDP Select program and promote for free for up to five days.

Wrapping up

It is perfectly fine if you can’t afford to advertise your eBook. The internet is an enormous place and there are literally hundreds of free ways to grab people’s attention.

Take some time out, prepare a spreadsheet and outline all your promotional activities. You may not be able to undertake all the ideas I mentioned – but try to ensure that your reach isn’t limited to one single platform. Think carefully about your ideal reader so that you don’t miss any opportunities.

While cashing out to Facebook and Google does get the job done, you have probably spent weeks or months creating your eBooks so cut costs to create the same result – maximum publicity. Happy promoting!

Guest Author: Tirumala Vedurumudi is an inbound marketing specialist at The SMarketers, a B2B inbound marketing agency in India that helps companies achieve sales and marketing goals. Feel free to connect with The SMarketers for a free marketing review and evaluate your current marketing efforts.

The post How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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3 Books That May Change How You See The World

In a world of instant gratification and get quick rich schemes, the activities that are worth doing are often forgotten or ignored.

They are simple things like habits that produce change and results. The reality is that you may not notice because transformation creeps up on you. You practice or perform your routine one day at a time. It is often incremental and slow.

But success in life comes from playing the long game even when you have limited time. Reading books and taking the time to discover, learn and create sit in that frame.

What you read and ponder today will change you tomorrow.

Here are three books I have read recently that may change how you see your world.

1. Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The poet Mary Oliver wrote “Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

This quote from Essentialism maybe sums up the core messages that the author Greg McKeon is conveying to the reader.

He then forces us to look at the 3 realities of individual choice, the prevalence of noise and the reality of tradeoffs.

To help achieve living a successful life of passionate purpose that is yours and yours alone he outlines 3 essential steps.

  • Explore – Discerning the the trivial many from the vital few
  • Eliminate – Cutting out the trivial many from the vital few
  • Execute – Removing obstacles and making execution effortless

The author wrote this book by blocking 8 hours a day without phones, email or other distractions to interrupt his priority of doing something important. This is something that is also explored in the book “Deep Work“.

For me there is a genius and magic to routine. It eliminates distraction and creates focus. Focusing on these essentials can result in more clarity, control and joy.

2.  Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

The title of the book Life 3.0 is what the author, Max Tegmark sees as the 3rd stage of human evolution. The first being the biological, the second is cultural and the third, technological.

With the rise of maybe the most important development from the technology revolution “Artificial Intelligence” there are some implications for what it means to be human.

It also threatens to take away what gives us meaning. This includes our jobs, careers and an even creativity.

The authors take on what it means to be human involves setting goals and using creativity and intuition to tackle unsolved problems. Deep reinforcement learning using artificial intelligence technologies such as DeepMind are pushing into these areas.

DeepMind AI is now at a point where it learned to play 45 different games without being told anything about the game. On intuition, creativity and strategy it has evolved to the point where it applied creative strategy to beat Lee Sodol (the top player in the world) at AlphaGo.

In the book he also raises the idea that whatever the answers are to the question of what makes us truly human will need to slowly change.

He also sees the challenge with “AI” as managing and using it to grow prosperity without leaving people without income or purpose.

The analogy that he uses?

Thousands of years ago the Athenian citizens of antiquity lived lives of leisure and meaning where they could enjoy democracy, art and games. This was due mainly to the fact that they had slaves to do the work.

So Max postulates “Why not replace the slaves with AI powered robots, creating a digital utopia that everyone can enjoy?“.

But there are some challenges for democracies and also culturally in how we approach and solve this. It is about making sure that we don’t end up with the haves and have nots. And at the moment we are seeing the rise of inequality throughout the world.

For the bottom 90% of US households the average net worth in 2012 is the same as 25 years ago (at $85,000). While the top 1% have more more than doubled it to $14 million.

The 3 reasons for this from the learned economists?

  1. Replacing old jobs with ones that require more skills has rewarded the more educated.
  2. They claim that since the year 2000, an ever larger share of corporate income has gone to those who own the companies as opposed to those that work there.
  3. The digital economy rewards the superstars over everyone else.

How do we fix this rising inequality? This is a conversation we need to have.

3. The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink your Business for the Digital Age

In this book  David Rogers’s looks at the critical categories for every business: customers, competition, data, innovation, and the value proposition in the digital world.

Here are my key takeaways.

Adapt your value proposition –  How can you adapt and how you can best deliver value as technologies reshape opportunities and needs. This may mean finding new digital uses and customers for its current products. Eg. Encyclopaedia Brittanica re-envisioned itself as an educational resource. The New York Times has re-imagined what it means to be a news source.

Harness customer networks – The intangible value of customer networks goes beyond the transactional value and the participation, data and collective knowledge are now a business asset and competitive advantage. These are the key drivers of the stock price for companies like Facebook and LinkedIn. Yahoo paid $1 billion for Tumblr because of its customer network and not its revenue.

Revise and evolve your access strategy – Be faster, easier, everywhere and always on for your customers.

The real insight in the book that you need to grasp and consider for your business?

Build platforms, not just products – AirBNB is a platform that owns no hotels or physical assets for its customers. The same applies to Uber. Here are some insights on platforms.

  1. Customers interact with each other and you via the platform
  2. Competition – Platforms allow you to make it easier to collaborate and allow co-opetition with other companies. Amazon built its network with API’s to suppliers and even with competitors to allow this to happen easily and at scale.
  3. Data – The power of platforms power is in the data it collects. Facebook doesn’t own any content. But the data it collects on its platform is its source of revenue.
  4. Innovation – Platforms can help you scale innovation and at low cost. You can also experiment with minimal investment.
  5. Value – One of the great things about platforms is that it allows you to add value from the crowd for free.

Final thoughts

Making sense of this changing world means that you always need to keep learning. That’s why I love books

Also here are some other books that are maybe worth checking out.

The post 3 Books That May Change How You See The World appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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The Secret Code You Need For Your Site to Rank on the First Page of Search Engines

A Beginner’s Guide To Schema.org Markup and Structured Data

Can you guess the universal language that websites use to interact with search engines?

No? The answer should be obvious.

It’s Schema.org Markup!

Schema.org is a markup vocabulary for structured data developed by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. It’s one of the latest evolutions in the world of SEO. It takes the form of code that you can add to your website to define what different elements, including dates and images, all mean.

Essentially, it’s structured data, and without structured data your website is all information, no context. Adding structured data is what gives it context, because it’s data with a very high level of organization.

When you store information about your website in a highly predictable and structured way, search engines can display it more easily and in a more detailed manner. Basically, because search engines can more easily glean what your page is all about and what different elements it contains, they can rate and rank you higher.

So if you get a handle on how to use the superb language of Schema.org, you might just get a leg-up on the competition.

Getting started

To implement structured data, you need a vocabulary, Schema.org houses a collection of tags along with their properties for marking up the local business listings, products, reviews etc on your website in full detail.

Not everything is necessarily relevant to your website. Before implementing Schema.org on your website, you must first ascertain which elements of your website you need to markup. Do you own a restaurant? Do you sell products in an online store? Do you offer local businesses a service? Whatever your website is designed for, you need to carefully consider what you want to do with the available possibilities.

Once you understand the vocabulary, your applied structured data can be used by search engines to ‘read’ the contents of your web page. You might find you achieve a better display in search results in the form of rich snippets or rich cards.

Structured data in the form of Schema.org is very important for SEO because of its ability to increase the search engine rankings of your website. If your website listing has a rich snippet and your page actually does what your listing promises, then you are obviously a valid result for the customers. This will lead to a lower bounce rate.

Key terms

Structured data forms the basis for a lot of development in the SEO world, and comes with its own set of jargon. Here are some of the key terms you need to know:

  • Rich Snippets. Rich Snippets are the extra pieces of information provided by search engines in addition to the regular text in the meta description. They might contain product information like prices, reviews, breadcrumbs, site search, etc. See below.

  • Rich Cards. Rich Cards are a new type of rich search results that only appear on mobile devices for certain types of items including recipes, movies, local restaurants and courses. They are presented in a swipeable, touch-friendly way.

  • Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Graphs are a key section of information on the right side of Google SERPs. They contain important information about a particular topic: if you are a big recognized brand then you might see your name, logo, and social media profiles on a Knowledge Graph.

  • Featured Snippets. Featured snippets are also a kind of rich search result but they don’t mine their content from structured data. They answer a search question in the search results using regular content from the related web page.

Different markups

When you explore Schema.org, you will quickly realize that there are many chances to markup multiple things.

But wait!

As I mentioned before, not everything is relevant to your website. Before implementing it, you need to know what to markup.

Try to divide your major schema into two groups: Creative Works and Commerce.

The most popular items to markup in Creative Works are as follows:

  • Creative Works. This is the most generic group of creative works and relates to items that have been produced by someone or something. You’ll also find properties for sculptures, games and conversations. When you explore Schema.org, you’ll find that some of these properties are less valuable because they don’t have a rich presentation attached to them.
  • Articles. An article can be a new piece of text or an investigative report. You can make a distinction between a tech article, news article, blog post, or any other kind of article.
  • Books. A book can be in a paper form or in digital form as an eBook. You can mark it up in great detail, from its awards to its author.
  • Music. Music also receives the structured data treatment. You can include specific properties like MusicEvent, MusicAlbum, MusicGroup, and MusicRecording to generate a ‘rich’ result.
  • Recipes. If you add recipe data for your recipes on a cooking site, you can have your recipes featured directly in search engine results.
  • TV & Movies. Movies and TV shows have their own pieces of structured data, along with reviews, ratings, and even the chance to order tickets for the show directly.

The most important items to markup in Commerce, are as follows:

  • Events. Marking up your event listings might lead search engines to show your events in the search results directly. This is fanastic if you own a club, a venue or a business that regularly runs events.
  • Businesses and organizations. If you’re a site owner, you’ll find the business and organization section of Schema.org very beneficial. If you list yours well, you might get a nice Knowledge Graph or another type of rich listing.
  • Products. You can provide your product info to search engines with extra data to accumulate rich snippets. You can also enhance exclusive properties of your products with added information, like pricing, reviews, availability, etc. If you have products, then you should definitely add such properties in your structured data strategy.
  • Reviews. Reviews and ratings play a pivotal role in the search process. Service providers, business owners and online stores, can all benefit from showing how trustworthy their offerings are.

If you own a local business then your hierarchy schema would be:

How to implement structured data

These days, adding structured data to your pages is not at all scary, thanks to JSON-LD. It is a Javascript-based format which can help you easily add structured data without embedding a long piece of code in the HTML of your page. This innovation has made it much easy to write and maintain structured data making it more understandable for both humans and machines.

Using JSON-LD is the most preferred method for adding Schema.org to your website, however, just be aware that the search engine Bing does not yet support it. We can only hope that Microsoft will soon change this.

Below is a sample product listing of a grammar checker plugin. It’s just a small and basic listing of a product including its name, image, description, brand and price.

The old way of adding structured data to your page was by embedding them directly into HTML which makes the process quite inefficient and error-prone. This is partly why people have been slow to jump onto the Schema.org bandwagon. However, writing and maintaining them through RDFa and Microdata is much more complex than JSON-LD.

Below is an example for marking up a movie. Even visually, it looks too complex and hard to read.

Manually adding code is scary and overly complicated.

To switch over to Schema.org, and to make getting the hang of it easier, use the tools listed below:

Generators

Validators

WordPress Plugins

Wrapping up

There is no reason to run from structured data, and every reason to embrace it. If your site means anything to you, then you should figure out the best way to incorporate Schema.org. When implemented right, you can achieve great things for your business.

At the end of the day, search engines are constantly presenting search results in new ways and structured data is the best possible method of speaking their language.

Guest Author: Rajiv Partap Singh is a Digital Marketer at WebSpero Solutions. His passion is blog writing and he has been writing for the last six years on various niche activities and industries. He is a Google Adwords Certified Member who loves to connect with new people in new places.

The post The Secret Code You Need For Your Site to Rank on the First Page of Search Engines appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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4 AdWords Hacks That Could Dramatically Increase Your ROI Overnight

4 AdWords Hacks That Could Dramatically Increase Your ROI Overnight

By now, you should be well aware of Google AdWords’ capabilities of scaling your business.

If you use it effectively, it can improve your brand awareness and considerably boost your leads and revenue.

The problem with AdWords is that it can be a bit expensive. There are so many factors that you need to consider that it’s easy to end up spending more than you’ve planned. And, unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, you probably don’t enjoy wasting money for no reason.

On the flip side, if you plan everything strategically, paid ads can be 56% more profitable than other tactics, like social media, for example.

Now, the question you’re probably asking is: how can you ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table when it comes to Google AdWords?

Here are four simple AdWords hacks that could increase your ROI dramatically.

1. Use different keyword-specific landing pages for each keyword group

Yes, we live in a globalized society where you could, at least on paper, sell your products to all corners of the world. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Your AdWords campaign will probably target several keywords. Whether they are different products and services, relevant geographical areas, or they target distinct audience groups, each of these keywords needs a separate ad and a separate landing page corresponding to it.

It may sound like a hassle, but it creates relevancy for each of your ads and improves the eventual conversion rate.

For example, SEMrush have multiple landing pages that relate to the search queries of prospects.

When I searched for “keyword research tool” it took me through to this page:

SEMrush image 1 - AdWords Hacks

But when I searched for “SEO tool” the landing page was this one:

SEMrush image 2 - AdWords Hacks

Most businesses would simply have the same landing page for both keyword groups!

A lot of people base their searches on local geographies too. They don’t want to find a car service in the next city or state, but in their local area, preferably close to their home. By limiting your ads and copy to a manageable geographical area, not only will you improve your click-through rate and lead generation, but also increase the chance of people making purchases.

Here is an example of two separate landing pages, based on geographical regions, for a restaurant in Australia called Zeus:

Zeus image 1 - AdWords Hacks

Zeus image 2 - AdWords Hacks

In the example above, what do you think is the more compelling option for someone searching for a Greek restaurant in Surry Hills, a generic landing page or the very specific and tailored alternative?

You can also save money and wasted clicks if you set your location options to exclude people who express an interest in your location but aren’t physically anywhere near you.

Think about it this way: your prospects may have an interest in your product, but different audience segments approach solving problems in different ways, and subsequently search for different things.

2. Run ads for competitor keywords

It is a bit sneaky, but you are perfectly allowed to target your competitor’s keywords. Google’s policy doesn’t forbid marketers from bidding on a competitor’s brand and brand terms, although there are some trademark laws in certain countries. It’s, in fact, a common practice that could help you drive clicks to your landing page.

For example, if you look for Synthesis as a WordPress hosting solution, you will get four paid ads for its competition before you can see the official page of the company.

Competitor keywords image 1 - AdWords Hacks

Just make sure to run ads for your brand to avoid being the target of competitor keyword bidding yourself. And, always be on the lookout for new opportunities to gain more potential customers from new competitors.

3. Replicate your AdWords campaigns on Bing

Previously you could import your Google AdWords campaigns across to Bing by downloading a file and manually taking it across. But now it is even easier.

You can automatically sync your AdWords campaigns across to Bing using a new tool developed by Microsoft. The Google Import Tool saves you time and allows you to control how you run ads on both search platforms. You can decide if you would like to import now, later, or on a recurring basis. You can also schedule automatic imports at a frequency that suits you.

Think about it this way: Google controls 65% of the search market and Bing 33%. If you don’t advertise on Bing, you lose roughly one third of your potential clients.

4. Leverage trust signals

With the advance of artificial intelligence and contextual search, relying on keywords alone is no longer feasible. You need to look for new ways to persuade prospects to click on your ads and convert. In other words, you need to gain their trust.

But, here’s the thing: even with data to backup your claims, prospects aren’t very likely to trust your marketing messages. You need to provide them with social proof and give them assurance that others have used your products and were pleased in the past.

The best way to leverage social proof in your AdWords campaigns is to encourage happy customers to place Google reviews, and then use the “Ad Extensions” feature to include these reviews in your search ads.

Trust signals image - AdWords Hacks

Studies show that  84% of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends and family, while seven out of ten consumers will leave a review for a business if asked. So, don’t miss your chance.

Conclusion

Google AdWords can be an effective tool for driving new leads and increasing your bottom line.

Just remember to tailor your landing pages for each keyword you use, and to replicate your campaign on Bing to take advantage of the customers who don’t use Google.

Be smart about the way you advertise your company and use the brand name of your competitors to piggyback their search volume.

Plus, don’t forget to use Google reviews for social proof and limit your ads to a geographical area. You will see your conversion rates and ROI increase in no time.

Guest Author: Nital Shah is the CEO and Founder of Octos Digital Marketing Agency. He is an expert in search strategies, planning and management with ten years under his belt and is serving top corporate brands in Australia. Nital can be connected on Email and LinkedIn.

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5 Interactive Content Myths That Are Holding Your Content Strategy Back

5 Interactive Content Myths That Are Holding Your Content Strategy Back
No matter what challenges we face in life, there are always a million reasons why it might be easier to give up than persevere.

Humans are creatures of comfort – and getting out of our comfort zone has a tendency to scare us. This holds true in both our personal and professional lives, which is precisely why it’s often easier to stick with what we’ve always done rather than try out a new plan of attack.

Too often, we let our fears or the myths we’ve heard from others discourage us from diving into the latest trend or process. One of the biggest campaign trends in recent years has centered on creating interactive content. All of the world’s most successful brands, from Nike to Netflix, have been utilizing interactive content in order to drive engagement and increase brand awareness. But many of the smaller brands have been scared.

Just because you’re not a big multinational company doesn’t mean you should let fear or perceived obstacles hold you back. I’ve compiled five of the biggest myths about interactive content and plan to bust them in this post to prove that you can succeed with interactive content, no matter what roadblocks you may think are in your way.

MYTH #1: ‘It’s too expensive’

While it is indeed easy to sink your whole marketing budget into an overly elaborate interactive campaign, it’s definitely not essential! You can incorporate interactive content into your marketing plan today with very little investment.

Thanks to advances in software and platforms, you won’t need to sacrifice quality either. There are many options available for all kinds of businesses and budgets. International marketing trainer and speaker Michael Leander refers to affordable interactive options as ‘little apps’.

“Little apps are solutions that do a very specific thing – you can call it a niche thing – that anyone can implement if they want to,” Leander explains.

So-called ‘little apps’ such as Zembula, Wheelio and Gleam all offer affordable ways to incorporate interactive content into your marketing strategy without breaking the bank. Some of them even come with a free trial, so you can try before you buy and make sure you get the most out of what each one has to offer.

Here is what an experience from Zembula looks like:

MYTH #2: ‘It doesn’t really affect engagement levels’

For marketers, engagement is always the end goal. We know that an increase in engagement equals a boost in brand awareness and customer loyalty.

It’s been proven that interactive content fosters more engagement than static content. In fact, interactive content drives 2x the number of conversions as passive content.

So, why is interactive content more effective at driving conversions? Well, key psychological principles associated with interactive content, such as curiosity and conditioning, ensure that your recipients are neurologically motivated to respond to your call-to-action.

If your brand can figure out how to use interactive content to create a fun experience for your customers, you will not only increase engagement levels, you will also increase brand loyalty.  62% of Millennials, 55% of Generation X and 44% of Baby Boomers say that ‘fun’ is an important factor that impacts their brand loyalty. Brand loyalty, in turn, drives increased revenue from each customer. It’s a win-win!

MYTH #3: ‘Interactive content is just a lot of polls and quizzes’

In certain circles, interactive content has developed a bad reputation as the lazy marketer’s way out. It’s true that today’s customers are getting sick of polls and quizzes. However, there are a lot of different kinds of interactive content that many marketers are just now hearing about.

Stay ahead of the curve and offer unique interactive experiences to keep your customers interested in your content.

While there are many types of interactive content, make sure you pick the format that works best with your campaign goals. You could try your hand at interactive video, calculators or interactive white papers – just remember that whatever you chose, there is likely a software solution to help you.

MYTH #4: ‘It requires a lot of development time’

As busy digital marketers, our time is spread thinner than rice paper. From daily tasks like responding to emails to long-term activities such as boosting engagement, our minds are always torn between 10 different directions at once.

Many marketers shy away from experimenting with interactive content because they’re afraid of the development time associated with such tech-heavy campaigns. Not to fear! One of my favorite tips for saving time is to repurpose an existing campaign by adding an interactive element. It requires little to no creative development hours, and the easy-to-use interface of many interactive programs means it won’t spend forever passing through your development team either!

One way to experiment with this idea is to take a long-form piece of evergreen content that is already developed and pull a couple of pieces of trivia out of it. You can use your preferred strategy, like quizzes or ‘snackable’ reveal experiences, and wrap your trivia in interactivity. For instance, if you have an ebook or white paper, why not make a quiz from the contents? Or, try incorporating swiping, tapping, or scratching on an interactive experience to really make the questions stand out!

These techniques not only create fun, gamified experiences, they take very little time to think up and create.

MYTH #5: ‘It isn’t right for my industry’

Why leave all the fun to the online clothing retailers and the millennial TV networks? Interactive content is suitable for brands of all shapes and sizes! From manufacturing giants to B2B software companies, interactive content can provide a boost in your ROI regardless of your industry.

In fact, check out this example by GoToMeeting, and take a gander at this example by subscription service Bistro MD that got them 20x the conversion rate over their static content.

The bottom line is that you are marketing to people, even if you are a B2B company. The psychology behind the success of interactive content includes curiosity, the endowment effect, and FOMO, to name but a few. These are consistent across the board for all industries. All you need is a little creativity and motivation to create something truly awesome for your brand.

Wrapping up

Now that you know five of the most common myths about interactive content, I hope you’re feeling motivated to try something new and go in with guns blazing. After all, they’re just myths!

Go ahead and make the jump in your marketing campaigns. Interactive content can help you stand out from your competition, create a loyal and engaged customer base, and ultimately increase your bottom line.

Guest Author: Nicole Cordier is a marketing writer for Zembula. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, she is a Portland native who loves coloring, dogs and all things outdoors.

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A Day In The Life Of A Digital Marketer

A Day In The Life Of A Digital Marketer

Digital marketing is more than knowing how to run a Facebook ad campaign or conduct SEO research. It’s a set of skills and a way of thinking that, when taken holistically, can add incredible – even business-changing – insight to an organization, no matter how small.

This excerpt of a guide to digital marketing runs through what digital marketing is, exactly, and what one San Francisco based tech marketer’s day looks like.

What is digital marketing?

“At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.”Marketo

This quote dives into the ‘how’ of digital marketing – the tactics that power it. What it doesn’t do, though, is tackle the depth of digital marketing. It’s not just a series of tactics; modern-day online marketing involves an entirely different approach to marketing, one amplified by the fact that in a digital world, you can track customers down to their individual engagement level.

As the Financial Times puts it, “Most experts believe that ‘digital’ is not just yet another channel for marketing. It requires a new approach to marketing and a new understanding of customer behaviour.”

This new approach is part analytical, part technology-driven. It involves A/B split tests and embracing new ways of thinking, like the lean framework. It blends lessons from traditional marketing with the modern-day insights earned by startups at the edge of marketing innovation. Let’s see how that breaks down in the typical day of a digital marketing pro.

A day in the life of a digital marketer

Roger works on Springboard’s Growth team, overseeing content partnerships and paid marketing efforts. See what a digital marketer like Roger does each day.

9 am: Roger comes in and takes a look at the analytics data that has come in the day before from Google Analytics. It helps him prepare his priorities for the next few hours.

Google Analytics is a popular analytics tool for digital marketers that allows you to view the amount of traffic and engagement your website draws.

10 am: Roger starts to work through his emails, which include everything from SEO reports on upcoming content to contributor requests and more. It’s time to send a monthly report on key performance metrics to the team’s chief marketing officer. He also checks in on ad campaigns in progress, and tweaks campaigns to increase their efficiency.

11 am: Roger checks in on a Facebook ad campaign with the design team and a copywriter. He brings insights from what has worked before and has final approval on each ad that goes live.

Facebook ads are a major digital marketing channel. They involve dealing with media assets such as videos or photos complemented by lines of text. Marketers will work with copywriters for the text, and designers for the media assets.

12 pm: Roger has lunch with a fellow marketing manager to swap war stories, share insights, and compare notes.

Active marketing professionals are a treasure trove of insights and learning. Networking is one of the best ways to unlock that knowledge.

1 pm: Roger and the team checks in on an A/B split test, where they compared two different versions of the website to evaluate which users found more engaging. The team compares outcomes together, then Roger collaborates with engineering and design on how they can improve the website to reflect their findings.

A/B split tests are a digital marketing tool that sends different user groups to two different versions of a webpage (or email, ad, etc.)  in order to determine which version is most effective.

2 pm: Roger checks his email to find another deluge of messages, including requests for performance data, status updates on ad campaigns in progress, and more. He finishes sending off a bunch of updates.

Like most online-based occupations today, lots of the work of digital marketing happens over email. Expect to be in constant communication with people within and outside of your company if you work in digital marketing.

3 pm: Roger interviews a candidate who applied for a Google Adwords specialist role on the growth team.

A dynamic marketing team is always looking for new talent!

4 pm: Roger shares learnings from the A/B test with the rest of the marketing team. They found that displaying images of students who’ve completed Springboard courses increased conversions.

Drawing analytical insights from experiments such as A/B split tests is a large part of a digital marketer’s role.

5 pm: Roger wraps up the day by sending out updates on key campaigns, specifically Facebook ads, Adwords, and LinkedIn ads.

Adwords and LinkedIn are two other major digital marketing channels.

Want to become a digital marketer?

Check out Springboard’s guide to digital marketing salaries for more insight into careers in marketing.

Want to expand your marketing skill-set? Springboard’s curated course provides real-world training, Facebook ad and Google ad certifications upon completion, and training in everything from PPC to SEO to content marketing. And, students receive personalized career coaching and mentorship from an industry expert.

Guest Author: Kayleigh Karutis, Content Strategy Lead, Springboard

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Springboard, but as always I am dedicated to providing content that is helpful and valuable to the reading audience.

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