Content Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

Where are you on content marketing for April going into May? I know I don’t have to tell you that content is the stuff of the Internet, and will make or break your online business.Never fear, I’m here to keep you up-to-date on content marketing and the content marketing highlights from the last month, so, let’s round it up!

Second Quarter Content Marketing Trends

There’s a few trends you don’t want to ignore that are taking shape for the second quarter of 2016. 70% of consumers in the United States alone are consulting online content to learn more about products and services they want to buy. It’s our job to stay on the up-and-up so we can keep them informed. Check out these 3 trends:

  1. Promote your content thoroughly. It’s not enough to just produce top-notch content anymore. Reach out to influencers with a tool like Connector. Connector notifies influencers when you mention them in your content. In addition, make sure you are using the right tags with your social media promotions.
  2. Repurpose content. If you have a post that is performing well, you should definitely create more content around that topic. A blog post can be broken down into key points that can be shared one at a time using newer services like Periscope or Snapchat. They can also be integrated into an infographic.
  3. Publish on a new platform. Social media is crazy busy with content, and many of the networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google have  platforms where you can publish your content. I’m not saying publish everything there, but if you have some content outside your niche or something of that nature, these other platforms are a great option.

Business to Business Content Marketing Report

74% of business to business content marketers even bother to exercise any kind of content marketing strategy. Only 22% of them would rate their strategy effective. That’s not a very good statistic if you want to get right down to it. You have to wonder what strategies they are using to produce content marketing stats like that. Well, the top 3 strategies included:

  • In-person events
  • Video
  • Social media not including blogs

It’s time to try some new things if you’re just doing the same old thing without seeing any results. I also noticed through the list of content marketing stats that knowing your audience better was dead last. A good starting point to see an improvement would probably be to start with all the lesser-traveled stats in that post and see what happens. You can’t do much worse.

Is Google Penalizing Old Content?

It seems that Google might be quietly tweaking their algorithm. There was a sudden drop in traffic on older content a couple weeks ago, and without an official announcement from Google, content creators are clamoring to figure out what is going on. In order to keep your high-performing content out of Google’s cross hairs, it might be time to update it and send it back to the front lines again. Rerun it through your content marketing channels as well for a refresher.

Have You Considered Quizzes as a Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Everyone loves quizzes especially when the results are shareable. This is an easy to implement element to any content marketing calendar. There are some content marketing giants who have used quizzes to build a large part of their following like Buzzfeed. Quizzes offer a number of advantages like boosting social traffic and sharing. If you are looking to up the ante on your content marketing stats, give it a try.

Wrap Up

Like everything else online, content marketing is one of those ever-changing facets of Internet business. Staying on top of your content marketing strategy can keep you on top in many other aspects of your business as well. I’d love to hear from you in the comments regarding your content marketing strategy. Have you ever tried quizzes? How did it go?

Why Facebook Messenger New Group Calling Feature Helps Success Rate Of Your Facebook Ads

Facebook Messenger is stepping up with a challenge to Skype, Slack, and other platforms by offering group calling. The uniqueness of Facebook in the realm of popularity across the globe and their traffic volume allow them to do this better than anyone else so far. The benefits are many and there is one secret weapon if you do any advertising on Facebook. Let’s get into the details.

Group Calls on Facebook Messenger

I can’t believe the range of services Facebook has come to provide and most of them are free of charge. They really do run neck and neck with Google in that capacity. If you told me 10 years ago there would be a FREE and high quality way to conduct group calls over the Internet in a decade, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. An infrastructure like that would cost millions, yet here we are.

You can jump on a call with up to 50 people on Facebook Messenger. They can be friends, family, colleagues, or whoever. In seconds, you could be carrying on a conversation with people all over the world. That is huge for any business and used to be a costly endeavor. Social media giant, Facebook, now let’s you get it done. You can call from your office or from mobile devices on your daily commute.

How To Make Group Calls on Facebook Messenger

You might be wondering how it works. Obviously, you need a Facebook account and Facebook Messenger on your device. You’re ready to rock with these steps:

  1. Tap the phone icon.
  2. Select the people you want in the call. They will all receive a Facebook Messenger call simultaneously.
  3. If you miss the call, tap the phone icon to join.
  4. If someone else is missing from the call, tap the phone icon and select them from the list.

That’s a lot easier than the last corporate system I used for video calling. By the way, video calling isn’t available yet on Facebook Messenger. It’s just been released for voice calls so far, but you can still do video calling with one person at a time.

About That Facebook Advertising Secret Weapon

I’m sure you’re eager to learn what Facebook Messenger has to do with Facebook ads. It’s staggering to think that Facebook Messenger is being used by 900 million people each month. That is beyond an authoritative amount of communication. There’s a way to put that to work for you and your business. One billion messages are passing between people and businesses on Facebook. To help you take advantage, Facebook has put together the following features:

  • Usernames – To help people find your business on Facebook Messenger and make your name memorable. If your page already has a vanity URL, that is your username.
  • Messenger Links and Messenger Code – Facebook Messenger links are short links: m.me/yourusername that allow customers to connect with you directly. Messenger Codes are codes that can be scanned with your phone camera to open a conversation on Facebook Messenger.
  • Facebook Messenger Greetings – Furthermore you can set up a custom greeting in Facebook Messenger to greet your customers utilizing these great features to contact your business.

The clencher and secret weapon is that businesses can use Facebook Messenger Links and Codes in their Facebook ads. That is crazy powerful just in case you needed yet another reason to consider Facebook ads.

Speaking of that…

4 Reasons to Use Facebook Ads Besides Facebook Messenger

  1. Facebook is where your customers hang. There’s a reason why Facebook is on top of the world right now. Pretty much everyone is on Facebook.
  2. Facebook’s targeting is second to none. You can really drill down to what color hair you want your audience to have, okay, maybe not quite that far.
  3. Warm leads. Once your audience finds you on Facebook, they are pretty warm and looking for what you have to offer.
  4. Reach people on mobile. 87% of Facebook’s monthly traffic comes from mobile users. Need I say more?

Wrap Up

This whole Facebook Messenger Group Calling is a big piece of Facebook News to say the least. Skype who? Anyway, I suggest you get in there and start using these great social media updates for your business. I’d love to hear in the comments how it’s going. Post your usernames!

 

 

 

Email Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

You all know I love email marketing. I’ve cut my online teeth using it to build my business and break records. It’s only natural that I would include this topic in my monthly round-ups. So, let’s round it up!

GoDaddy Upgrades Their Email Marketing Tools

GoDaddy actually released 40 updates this week to their product suite; several of them being directly related to email marketing. Along with the updates came the promise of many more at regular intervals. A few of the highlights for email marketing included: email encryption and workflow automation. In addition, there are email marketing free trials to try including one feature that lets you drag a product directly from your website and drop it in your email marketing campaigns. They also added a “second send” feature that sends out email an additional time with an alternate subject line to users who haven’t opened the previous email. Not bad, indeed.

Luxury Brands Leaving Money on the Email Marketing Table

A recent study showed that many luxury brands are failing to effectively target their customers with email marketing. The research ultimately showed a complete lack of integration of products with email campaigns at all. Tsk, tsk, luxury brands. Of the brands evaluated, Cartier and Burberry were in the lead. Let me just advise that no matter what level or status your products are on, you should never ignore email marketing. How else will you own your customers and sell to them again and again?

AWeber To Release App That Curates Content to Email

This sounds like a fantastic tool! I wish I’d thought of it! I hope it becomes standard for all email marketing services kind of like sign-up form builders. So what does it do? The mobile app, called Curate, will automatically format content for newsletters. You will then be able to add additional content to the newsletters with your phone before sending it out to your subscribers. This could be a game-changer! Utltimately, this app lets your curate great content for your customers while you do your daily industry reading. It will be out this month for both iOS and Android!

 Email Marketing Generates Significant ROI Over Last Year

From time to time, I run into naysayers online who say email marketing is dead. I couldn’t disagree more. As long as an email address remains the log in credential of the web, marketing to email recipients will be relevant. In fact, a recent report from Salesforce shows that marketers also agree that email marketing generates significant return on investment (ROI). The report also states that intelligent email is bringing in bigger dollar signs. A stunning 80% of business owners believe email marketing is the core engine that drives their business. That is huge! In addition, statistics showed that positive results were consistent over a wide variety of email marketing campaigns. If content is king, then perhaps email is queen.

Email Marketing: A Top Priority in 2016

 Another new study also revealed that 3 out of 4 businesses will make email marketing a priority this year. 91% of the 3,500 people surveyed said they would spend more time and money on email marketing in 2016. Another interesting statistic: 1 out of 5 marketers disclosed that between 50 and 61% of their emails get opened on mobile devices. That is astounding.

Round-Up Wrap Up

A couple things are readily apparent here:

  1. Email marketing is still very relevant in the online landscape. It’s not a bad idea to join the rest of your fellow marketers and invest in a few campaigns.
  2. If your email marketing isn’t mobile-friendly, you are wasting your time. Make sure your tools have what it takes to serve up your content to your mobile customers. I think they will be your bread and butter soon enough if they aren’t already!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you find these round-ups helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of them!

How to Win at the Game of SEO

SEO strategy is like a long game of chess. To win, you must have a thorough understanding of the rules, a strategy, and know how to get the job done. Chess may be called the “game of kings”, but you don’t have to be a master to win and search engine optimization is the same way.

Developing a Long-Term SEO Strategy

SEO Strategist – First of all, there needs to be one person with an overall view of your SEO strategy as a whole. This way, you don’t have a bunch of different people all doing the same thing. If your company is large, have one person manage and delegate tasks to execute your SEO strategies.

Keep your eye on the big picture. – Just like in chess, you need to be able to look ahead several moves and anticipate what your opponents are doing. This is how you give your website that extra SEO boost from time to time. Remember, don’t do anything stupid. If it seems risky, it probably is.

Optimize for humans, not search engines. – We call it search engine optimization, but we build websites for people, right? If you keep that in mind, you’ll do fine.

Build and maintain your reputation. – Reputation is as important online as it is in the real world. One of your SEO strategies should be reputation management or you’re doing it wrong!

Be an authority! – I talk about authority a lot because it’s important. If you have no authority, everything you do will fall flat. Your SEO strategy is no different. Fill your site with helpful content and aim to be the go-to place in your industry. Having an authoritative website will make your search engine optimization a much simpler task and you will be hard to beat in the long run.

 Playbook to Win the SEO Game

The SEO game is totally winnable, and I’m sharing this playbook:

  • Play 1 – Use social media. Can you imagine a growing list of mobile-optimized websites where you can list your business and share content in all different formats totally free? It already exists! At the bare minimum, your business should be active on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Play 2 – Be an authority! – I hope I don’t sound like a broken record. Listen, you’re not going to jump online and build an authority site in a week. That’s why I put this under the long-term SEO strategies as well. While you can’t build it short-term, you need to start with this goal in mind right out of the gate.
  • Play 3 – Pull in links from authority sites. – This is a slow and steady process. Have you ever been on an authority site and come across a dead link? That’s one way to edge your way in if you have an article that fits the link and topic. If you don’t, you might want to consider creating one just for the purpose of nabbing that link real estate. Guest posting is another good way to grab those authority back links and boost SEO.
  • Play 4 – Be human. – No one wants to visit a site built for robots. I’ve seen sites online that were optimized for search engine bots. They are a mess of keywords that form articles that make no sense. They are loaded down with junk links. That’s no way to live in the search engine optimization space just to make a quick buck off some ads. In fact, it won’t work. Google will slap you with a penalty so fast, you won’t recover.
  • Play 5 – Plan for the long-term. – Even if you website is something you are just trying, build and optimize it for the long-term. If you don’t, when your business takes off, you’ll have a huge mess to clean up later.

Action Steps to Boost SEO Today

I like to include little quick start guides with posts like this that give you action steps so you can get started right away:

  1. Remove clutter from your website. Sleek and clean is a great first step to search engine optimization.
  2. Structure your content. Have H1 titles, H2 subtitles, format your copy in digestible chunks, and include links that support your content.
  3. Use keywords in all the right places including your titles and tags.
  4. Create great content. You can’t have solid SEO strategies without it.

Wrap Up

Just like chess, SEO is a game you can win. Just make sure you are using the best SEO strategies for the long haul that present you as an authority in your industry!

 

Vick Strizheus’ Marketing Automation Evaluation

If your business has reached a point where you need automation, then you’ll want to check out this marketing automation platform evaluation. All marketing automation platforms are not created equal, so I’ve put in the work to bring you the best of the best.

 How Much Automation Do You Need?

You need to decide this first, so you don’t have to worry about data migration later. Migration is possible, but it’s an added pain you can eliminate by choosing the right marketing automation platform to begin with. Marketing automation platforms are going to range from automating just one aspect of marketing such as email, to handling multiple channels. If your business is small, you can usually get by with a one-trick pony. These tend to be more cost effective for you and do just enough to be worth it. However, if your business is big or you plan to scale, then you need to start big.

Marketing Automation Platforms for Small Business

  • Constant Contact – What!?! We thought Constant Contact just did the email thing like MailChimp and GetResponse. Nope, the level of automation your small business can achieve could be key for your business. Welcome to lead generation in addition to email marketing!
  • Hubspot – Hubspot is perfect for the small business owner who wants to do a little bit of everything. That’s going to be the caveat to this choice as well as it does a lot of things, but none of them to a very deep level.

Marketing Automation That Gets the Job Done

  •  Salesforce – Salesforce resides in the cloud and provides you with a ton of tools to help automate your business as well as acting as a customer relations management system (CRM). It will let you handle a lot of tasks at once and take your automation to the next level.
  • iContact – iContact handles a couple of the biggest hurdles in business for you: email marketing and social media marketing. I would venture to say that if these two things were automated in your business, you’d probably find yourself with some free time or a couple of employees with nothing to do.

Vick’s Pick – Marketo

Marketo is the Cadillac of marketing automation platforms. It includes a set of marketing tools that is second to none and includes mobile options! If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know how important that is! Check it out:

  • Email marketing
  • Lead management
  • Consumer marketing
  • Customer based marketing
  • Mobile marketing

It’s a weight off my shoulders! Marketo is a marketing automation platform for marketers like me made by marketers like me. That’s the kind of thing you just can’t beat in business.

What You Can Do With Marketo?

Generate Leads – You get a range of marketing automation tools that let you build forms, create calls to action, and more. You get better quality leads that are close to your brand.

Nurture Leads – Your leads are prepped as they move through your sales funnel. They get to you at just the right time with real-time data, email marketing, and workflows.

Decides if Your Leads are Hot or Not – The mystery of hot, warm, and cold leads will be demystified for you.

Analytics – You’ll get a myriad of awesome stats from your website as well as other aspects of the marketing automation process. You will be able to conveniently stay on top of it all.

Team Integration – Get your whole team in there. They’ll get timely notifications for tasks, data, and more.

Benefits of Marketing Automation

Since it can be quite costly, then there have to be some pretty robust benefits to marketing automation, right? I’ll keep this short and sweet:

  • 63% of companies that are running over their competition are using marketing automation
  • Marketing automation = 451% increase in qualified leads
  • 75% of companies utilizing marketing automation recoup their investment within a year

Wrap Up

Needless to say, if you’re serious about business, using a marketing automation platform is a no-brainer. I always love to hear from you, so if you’re using automation, leave me a comment and let me know how it’s going. Also, don’t forget to subscribe so you catch my future evaluations.