Archive for content marketing

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Attract More Viewers [Infographic]

You write what you think is a great blog article and share it on the social networks. However, when you check your stats a few days later, you see that only a 3 people clicked through to read it. What happened? Or what didn’t happen? It was probably your headline. Writing catchy headlines social media users will want to click on to read more is a skill anyone can develop with some free tools and the tips in this infographic.

One tool I use for both blog post headlines and email subject lines is Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer. You want to get a 65 or higher. Anything in the green — above 70 — is ideal. Now, you can drive yourself crazy trying to get in the green. Don’t. You can’t start each and every blog post with “What You Need to Know…”. (I use it often, but not every single one.)

This infographic from Squirrly, lists the Anatomy of Creative Headlines

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Drive More Traffic

If you don’t feel you have the creativity to write eye-catching headlines, we can help!

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Top 10 Best Marketing and Social Media News of the Week – 2-3-17

This will be the last of the Best Marketing and Social Media News articles that will be open to the public. Starting next week they’ll be part of the exclusive Members Only Resources. For only $20 a month you’ll have access to ALL video classes, update videos, how-to demonstrations on new features on the social […]

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What You Need to do to Jump-Start a Business Slump

Is your business slow? Has the phone stopped ringing? If you’re in a business slump, there are a few things you can do to jump-start it and attract new customers. Every business has it’s good times and bad times; feast or famine; flood or drought.

First, take a step back. To what can you attribute the slow-down?

  • The economy, the election, national news, a weather event? You can’t do much about those except wait. This is where that rainy-day fund comes in.
  • You’ve been relying on old-fashioned tactics like cold calling, telemarketing, Yellow Pages, etc.
  • Have you been avoiding online marketing like social media or content marketing because you find it overwhelming and confusing?
  • You haven’t updated your website since…. wait! You’ve never updated your website since it was created years ago.
  • If you have an updated website, you haven’t written a blog post in over a month… or is it over a year? Or does your site even have a blog?

Second, do you really understand your target market?

You need to clearly define and get to know your target market(s)….

  • What are their pain points (problems) that you, your product or service can alleviate?
  • Do you need to educate your target as to the benefits of using your product or service?
  • Do you know what your target market is going to enter in to the Google search box when they have the problem that you can solve?

What You Need to do to Jump-start a Business SlumpThird, is your online presence functioning as it should?

  • Are potential clients finding you? Where do you come up in Google search when someone searches for what it is that you do? Who does comes up on the first page? What are they doing that you’re not?
  • What are they doing when they land on your site? Do you have a call-to-action where you can capture their email address in exchange for an ebook or other giveaway?
  • Are you sending them a monthly newsletter to keep your name “top-of-mind”? Are you following up with marketing emails after they download the freebie?
  • Are your social media network profiles setup correctly and are they painting a positive image of you and your business?
  • Are you creating fresh content — blog posts, videos, graphics or podcasts — at least 3 times a week? Then are you sharing them on the social networks?
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  • Are you actively engaging with potential clients and referral sources on the social media networks? Is your social media following growing steadily?
  • Do you have a strategic marketing plan to reach your target with today’s media?

“If you’re not adding new followers on social media, you’re not growing.” ~Mark Cuban

These are tough questions that need to be asked. Moreover, you need to come up with the right answers. If you have more “nos” or “I don’t knows” as answers, then you need to make some changes.

What You Need to do to Jump-Start Your Business

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Top 5 Best marketing and Social Media News of the Week 1-27-17

Only 5 social media news stories this week! That’s not to say that there is a ton of news out there, but I’ve been swamped with new projects. This weekly feature will soon be part of the “Exclusive Members Only” content. Coming in a few days! Watch your email inbox for the announcement!

  1. Facebook News Feed Algorithm: Percent of a Video Watched By Users Given Weight – If someone watches only the first 10 seconds of a video, what good is it? You have to capture the viewers’ attention in the first 5 seconds. Now more than ever. Moreover, you have to plan out all your videos.
  2. 3 Changes Coming to Facebook Trending Stories – What’s trending is important because sometimes you can ride on a trend’s coattails and gain exposure.
  3. MailChimp moves toward becoming a marketing platform with Facebook ads feature – Some of you regulars know that I use MailChimp (affiliate link) for my email program and automation. Now, they’ve added Facebook Ads to their service. Very cool.
  4. How to Prepare for Voice Search – “OK, Google…” “Siri, where’s the closest bakery?” “Alexa, how do you unclog a garbage disposal?” No matter your business, you want to be found when someone searches for what you have to offer.
  5. How to Write Emotional Headlines That Get More Shares – How enticing are your blog post headlines? They have to be appealing enough that when someone sees it, they click on it. Then the content needs to deliver on the headline. If it’s good, you have more of a chance your visitor will become a lead and that they’ll share it with their friends. Oh, don’t forget to have share buttons on your site.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News for the Week of Jan. 6

So how’s the first week of 2017 been treating you? I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be assisting 2 new start-up businesses do market and keyword, research, strategic and tactical planning, setting up their social media platforms and building their following. You’ll hear more about them down the line as I record myself doing a lot of the work so you can learn how to do it yourselves! And that’s what this is all about!

Empowering You to Become Social Savvy!

Here again are this week’s Must-Read, Social Media News You Can Use!

      1. Marketing automation for the little guy is helping to power the new economy – Marketing automation has become very affordable. I use MailChimp (ad link) and it works like a charm for me. The marketing automation feature is only $30 a month. It’s pretty basic and for those of you starting out and trying to grow your email list, you can’t beat the price! However, you have to have an enticing offer so that a visitor will give you their email address. That’s a conversion.

        Related: 3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results


      2. 6 Tactics for Turning Your Website into a Lead Generating Machine – This one goes with the one above. Isn’t that the goal of your website to generate good, quality leads?
      3. Mixed Signals on Social Commerce – I wrote about this in my 2017 outlook for social media piece. 1 in 5 Internet users have actually bought something directly from social media. That’s impulse buying!
      4. 9 Ways to Sell on Social Media – Back when social media began, we were told not to “sell” on social. Social media was supposed to drive traffic to the website and that’s where they convert. Conversely, the social media networks are now making it easier to sell on social.
        Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
      5. Top LinkedIn Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers – Many B2C marketers ignore LinkedIn. Nonetheless, according to the demographics, LinkedIn users have buying power.
      6. Will StumbleUpon Help in Improving the Website Traffic – Some of you may not have even heard of StumbledUpon, but it is a free tool to help with search engine ranking.
      7. Does Content Actually Bring in Customers? – I know some of you are still not convinced that blogging and producing useful content for your target market(s) actually works. Maybe seeing it on Entrepreneur Magazine will persuade you to take it seriously.
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      8. Here’s the First Periscope Live 360° Video Taken Underwater – I wrote about 360° video in the 2017 Content Marketing outlook piece. Here’s another cool example. What you can do with this is only limited by your creativity.
      9. 21 Tips on Running a Great Social Media Contest – Contests are a great way to get exposure, grow a following and drive traffic to your website.
      10. Consumer Trust Is Evolving in the Digital Age – People buy from whom they know and trust. Embracing this fact is crucial to marketing success. Interesting data on generational breakdowns regarding the sources they trust. Furthermore, understanding how people in different age brackets use online media is important.
        What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics

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Top 12 Blogging Mistakes You Need to Fix in 2017

Blogging is a crucial part of online marketing in today’s digital world. Even if you’re blogging regularly, at least a few times a month, you may not be getting the results you want or expected. Moreover, it’s challenging to find the time to write an article that’s at least 300 words.

Blogging mistakes: take the time to do it right the first time. When I’m asked to do a free analysis, I usually find the same mistakes in many people’s blog sites. First, let me tell you that you’re in a big boat with lots of folks who just don’t know what they don’t know.

However, ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Here are the Top 12 Blogging Mistakes and Some Simple Fixes.

      1. Using the free WordPress or other free, third-party blogging platform. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. To boot, you have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish. I recommend having your own WordPress website.
      2. Using industry jargon. You’re the expert, your reader is not. Write for an 11-year-old. Use the Flesch Reading Score. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast, will test your post for you.
      3. Not creating fresh, relevant content regularly. To be effective and grow a following or build an email list, you should blog 2-3 times a week. And, once you’ve built an audience, you can get away with blogging weekly but, no less than that.

        Related Content Hand Picked for You: Blogging 3x a Week Increases Website Traffic – Here’s Proof


      4. Not writing for the human reader. Write for your target market with the search engine and keywords in mind. Use a thesaurus. Don’t overuse your keywords.
      5. Forgetting to proofread before publishing. Check spelling and grammar. It is your online reputation! Preview the post, then read it aloud to yourself.
      6. Writing long paragraphs. Break up your content with bullet points, lists and H2 and H3 sub-headings.Blogger and copywriter service
      7. Not sharing your content on social media. This is the main way to publicize your blog posts. Furthermore, it drives people to your site. Besides that, it helps with SEO. Google loves those relevant backlinks.
      8. No credible internal and external links. Add internal links to related content on your site and external links to related, relevant content on someone else’s site. The keyword here is “relevant”.
      9. Trying to be cute with your headline. Your headline should entice people to click on the link to get them to your website. Yet, creating “clickbait” is a no-no. Use this free Headline Analyzer to help you create catchy headlines. Write a good headline then deliver on the content.Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
      10. Not adding the title of the post or keywords to image “alt text” descriptions. If someone pins your picture on Pinterest, this is the description that comes up. Don’t make the user have to add their own description. On top of that, doing this also helps with SEO. The search engine doesn’t see the picture, it sees the file name and the “alt text” description. Also, don’t leave the file name with the original file number from a camera. Call it what it is.
      11. Leaving default widgets like “archives”. (Widgets are the boxes you see in the sidebar with calls-to-action). No one is going to look for what your wrote on a specific day. They’re looking for topics or categories. If anything, put a widget with a drop-down menu of your categories. Look for mine in the sidebar.
      12. Not having a “tag cloud” with the tags (keywords) that are relevant to your article. This is another way to keep people longer on your site. Additionally, keywords are what the search engine sees. Look over to the right sidebar and you’ll see mine. >>>>>

In conclusion, learning how to properly and effectively blog on your website can only benefit you.

Tip: Stop thinking of blogging as a chore. Think of it as a way to talk to your target market; to educate your potential customers; and to provide value to their lives.

Think these are a lot? Check out all the other mistakes that I see people making online with their marketing. Here’s a free ebook.

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

Stop making excuses about your blogging mistakes! Related articles

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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 Content Marketing Truths You Need to Know

To have good SEO, you need to have good content. Content Marketing is a crucial a part of your marketing plan as are SEO and Social Media.

Here’s what you need to know and do regarding Content Marketing in 2017:

1. Video – Hotter than Ever!Video marketing is still hot!

Good content doesn’t only need to be written. In 2016 we saw Facebook Live Streaming Video take off and Facebook also admitted that Native Videos (videos uploaded directly into Facebook) get more exposure than plain posts.

To give videos an extra lift, embed them into your blog posts. The text of your blog post can be your video’s transcript, like I do with my Q&A posts.

“I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” ~Mark Zuckerburg

What You Need to Do: Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix.

  • You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month.
  • Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
  • Get on Facebook and do a live video from anywhere — as long as you have wifi!
  • Do a voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
  • Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
  • Try Twitter live videos
  • Coming soon – Instagram live videos
  • Video Converts

In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert

2. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key

Focus on quality over quantityAbsolutely – Quality over Quantity! Don’t forgo quality in order to get more content out there.

  • No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
  • Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
  • Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?

What about unique?

“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert

What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?

What You Need to Do: Plan out what content you’re going to create.

3. Reshare Your Content on Social Media

Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!

Social Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebookSo you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or Google+ circle; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.

Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn’s Pulse. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people.

There’s a plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare to Twitter. With the upgraded version ($75/yr.), you can also reshare to LinkedIn and Facebook.  I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive.

Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out!

What You Need to Do: Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.

4. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy

Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.

People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.

What You Need to Do: Read some of my articles on blogging:

Blogger and copywriter service5. Build Relationships through Your Content

“Content builds Relationships, Relationships are built on Trust. Trust delivers Revenue.” ~ Andrew Davis

Good content marketing builds relationshipsAnd this applies not to just blogs, but what you post on social media and the videos and podcasts you produce. The more you post about what you know, the more you solidify and build credibility and trust.

Even if you use direct mail, people are going to check you out online, before they hire you or buy your products. People will…

  • Google your company or brand name
  • Look at reviews not just on Google, but on Facebook and Yelp
  • Compare prices and check out your competition
  • Read more information until they are satisfied that they can trust you

People buy from whom they know and trust.

What You Need to Do: Produce good, quality content, build your following and build your email list.

6. Visual Content

Change is tough, but the alternative is obsolesenceYes, videos, but also pictures, animated gifs and infographics work. Even if you don’t sell a product, you can share inspirational and motivational quotes as well as original graphics.

B2B or B2C, you can use these two social networks to share eye-catching visuals….

Instagram:

Here are some recent Instagram stats:

  • 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
  • Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
  • 50% of users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagrammers say that they learn about a product or service on the platform
  • 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend

Pinterest: “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”

Here are some recent Pinterest stats:

  • 150 Million monthly active users
  • 67% of pinners are under 40-years old
  • Male users have grown by 150% in the past year
  • 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
  • 72% of pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline

What You Need to Do: Go visual – figure out what will work for your business.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!7. Be Impactful

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookFor content to be Effective, it must have IMPACT. In order to be impactful, your content must be MEMORABLE. To be memorable, requires that you truly Understand Your Audience (target market).

Yes, we’re back to that again. What does it mean to Understand Your Target Market?

Knowing the answers to these questions as it applies to your perfect customer…

  • What makes them happy?
  • Who do they trust for information?
  • Where are they hanging out online? In other words, which networks do they prefer?
  • What angers them?
  • What are their pain points and problems that you can solve?
  • Who influences them?
  • What are their wants, desires and dreams?
  • How is your content going to impact their lives? To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

Is your content going to try to sell them something right away even if they’re not ready to buy? Or is it going to provide useful information that they can use right away hence building trust?

People Buy from whom the Know and Trust

You need to map where the customer is in their buying journey.

  • Do they need more information?
  • Have they developed trust towards your company?
  • Can they make a decision to buy right away, or do they have more questions?

What You Need to Do: Download my free Define Your Target Market Workbook

  1. Answer all the questions as it pertains to your business whether B2B or B2C. You can have more than one target market.
  2. Create buyer personas for your defined targets.
  3. Research your target and your industry so you can understand their buying habits as well as their online media usage.

8. Create Memorable and Evergreen Content

Content that's memorable builds trustIf your business is anything like mine, you need to educate your target market in why they need your product or service; why what you have to offer is better, different, more effective, etc.

Your content can, of course, be in the form of a blog or static pages on your website, but they can also be….

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Posts

The objective is to build trust and credibility. You need to us Truth as a Service.

Evergreen content is anything that’s not time-sensitive, seasonal, or talking about an event or specific day. It stands the test of time. You can share it over and over again and it still is applicable. Its information is useful and solves problems that people keep having.

Give them best practices to tackle their problems. Think emotion and functionality. The folks at Copyblogger define it this way….

These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.

Evergreen content is timeless.

What You Need to Do: Plan out your content marketing strategy.

9. Provide the AnswersYour content markeing should provide answers to the questions your target is asking.

It’s up to you to provide the answers to the questions Your Target Market Personas are asking. Are you getting it yet? You can’t answer the questions if you don’t know what they are!

I like Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora. I’m signed up to get an email every time someone asks a question in my fields of expertise. The idea is to try and be the first one to answer the question — providing the best answer. If you see that someone beat you to it and their answer is the same as yours, I give them a thumbs up and don’t bother writing the same thing. HOWEVER, this just gave you material for a blog post or a video. If people are asking it on those Q&A sites, they’re asking it also on Google and YouTube.  [Related: SEO in 2017] YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. The most searched-for phrase on YouTube is “How to”.

What You Need to Do: Get on those Q&A sites and search for the questions pertaining to your field of expertise.

10. Make sure EVERYTHING is Optimized for Mobile!

Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is coming!I cover mobile as it relates to SEO in the previous article of this 2017 planning series.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re content can be seen on mobile devices:

  • Large enough type. No smaller that 14 pt, 16 pt is considered the best size.
  • Pictures not too large and they should be responsive – that is, they move over when viewed on a small screen so you can see the text.
  • External links (links to sites outside yours) should open to a new tab in the browsers.
  • Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site. What that means is that it contains all your static pages and your blog posts.
  • Make sure there are NO POPUPS in your mobile site. Starting Jan. 10, 2017, Google will block sites with popups in mobile!

What You Need to Do: Visit your site on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized, do something about it.

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How to Avoid Being Sued for Copyright Infringement

If you think that you can just grab any picture that you’d like off the Internet, you’re wrong and in big trouble if you get caught. It’s called Copyright Infringement.

Don’t let this happen to you! A photographer has the right to sue for copyright infringement!

I’ve had 3 of my past clients be caught with pictures on their websites or blogs that were downloaded from the web that were not free-use graphics. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If you are being sued for copyright infringement, consult an attorney in your state.)

Two had to settle a copyright infringement suit, one for $2500 and another for $5000. The photographer has absolutely every right to sue. The latest one got lucky. She accidentally grabbed a picture from Getty Images and they only wanted $249, which would be the cost from the time the page was created till the picture was removed.

If you find a picture online that would be perfect to use on your site, first see where it came from. Who’s the photographer or graphic artist that created it. Does it have a watermark? (text across the picture). What are the usage rights?

To use Google Images, click on “Tools“, then “Usage Rights“, then “Pictures Labeled for Reuse“. If you’re planning on adding text or changing the picture at all, then choose “Pictures Labeled for Reuse with Modification.” When you click on the picture, see where it’s from. If it’s from Flickr, click on it to see what are the licenses rights of that particular photographer. You may have to give the photographer credit (attribution) and a link to his or her page on Flickr.

How to Avoid Being Sued for Copyright Infringement

On Bing it’s a little bit different.

How to Avoid Being Sued for Copyright Infringement

Social Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebookIf you don’t want to take the chance that you don’t have a free-use graphic, check out these sites where you can get FREE license-free pictures and graphics:

If you’re sharing a picture that’s already on one of the social networks within that same network, you’re OK. You’re not on your own platform (website), you’re on theirs and each network has its own usage rights. If you have more questions on copyright infringement, check out Ruth Carter’s YouTube channel. She’s an Arizona lawyer who specializes in IP (intellectual property) law and she shares a lot of great information.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News & Articles 12/9/16

Oh, boy! There was a lot of social media news to sift through this week! I hope these help you with your planning for 2017. Here’s the Social Media News for this week. To see more, follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Note: my comments are in (parenthesis) E-commerce Trends to Watch for […]

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Top 10 Best Social Media News – Dec. 2, 2016

This week in Social Media NewsOh, it always happens this time of year — the reviews of 2016 and the predictions for 2017. I’ve been collecting those and will be picking out the best for a post soon. Wow! There was a lot of social media news to sift through this week!

One thing’s for sure, we can never stop learning.

Learning is like Rowing Upstream: Not to Advance is to Drop Back. ~ Chinese Proverb

Here are this week’s best of social media news:

Note: comments are mine.

  1. Facebook Releases New Data on the Rising Opportunity of Messaging for Business [Infographic] – If you’re trying to reach the millennials, this is something you need to look into.
  2. 28 Ways to Get More Followers on Pinterest [Infographic] – I couldn’t have written it better myself!
  3. How to Use Instagram Live Video for Business – Figures that Facebook would add the live video feature to Instagram.
  4. Improving Site Speed: Everything You Need to Know – How fast your website loads affects your Google ranking.
  5. How to Find Social Media Micro-influencers for Your Small BusinessInfluencer marketing is when you make friends with a few folks who have lots of followers and they help promote your social media messages.
  6. 5 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile Picture – The Psychology of Color is one aspect of great Branding. I cover this in “Branding Beyond the Logo” Class.
  7. Now You Can Create Twitter Moments via Mobile Devices – Ah, Twitter, in their never-ending competition with Facebook and Instagram, comes up with “Twitter Moments” for the mobile app.
  8. How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar for a Year – You know that you need to blog 2-3 times a week (no less than once a week). But, where do you come up with fresh ideas? This will help by just using a simple spreadsheet.
  9. It’s Time to Take Facebook Seriously for Location Marketing – Ok, you local businesses! I’ve written about Facebook’s Places Directory before, isn’t time to start doing it?
  10. Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment with Better SEO This Holiday Season – You’ve attracted a visitor to your e-commerce site. They start browsing. They start filling up their shopping cart. Then they leave. Why?

Remember, if this all becomes too overwhelming for you, I’m here to help! Book a free 30-minute phone consult with me and we can go over your efforts to see how we can boost your efficiency and get you better results.

What do you need to learn? Please comment below and I’ll see what I can find for you.

1:1 coaching sessions available! Special Holiday Price: $50/hr!

Click here to book a 1-hour session.

Click here to book a 2-hour session.

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