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Twitter Marketing Tip 12

With 42% of Twitter’s users following brands, it’s a fertile ground of marketing opportunities.

Step up your social media game with this Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition: 

Add Commentary To Shared Content 

If you’re sharing content on Twitter, try to fit in a point related to the article or flag up an important section of the piece. 

This will go a long way to helping your brand establish a name in the industry and be seen as a thought leader. 

This shows your company is staffed by people clued up about the industry that they are in, helping to establish brand trust. 

Alternatively, if the piece of content was authored by a particular influencer in your field, you can tag them in the post or ask a follow-up question. This is great if you want to connect with them and their community as it helps to create a natural relationship. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like these Twitter Marketing Tips:

Twitter Marketing Tip 12 page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Twitter Marketing Tip 11

Wiith 42% of Twitter’s users following brands, it’s a fertile ground of marketing opportunities.

Twitter can spread awareness of your brand, generate leads, drive traffic to your site, build a loyal customer base and much more. 

You may have mastered the basics by now and know your hashtags from your trends, but there are some next-level tricks and ideas that often get missed out. 

Step up your social media game with this Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition: 

Optimise Your Profile For Getting Discovered 

Having a heavily RT’d post or receiving a ton of shares is great, but don’t forget there will be people who may find your profile of their own accord. For these people you need to ensure that you’re both easy to find, and it’s clear what you do when people arrive there. Have a cover photo that ties into your latest campaign, include your website link, and have a pinned post that gets across a key message or link. You also want to think about your bio, as this will help you appear in searches on Twitter. 

While you want to have a standout, unique bio, it’s no good if it doesn’t help anyone discover your profile. 

Make sure you weave in key industry terms so that people can easily find you

If you’re just starting a campaign, then it may be worth looking at ways you can optimize your whole social presence. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like these Twitter Marketing Tips:

This Twitter marketing tip 11 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Twitter Marketing Tip 2

Please find a Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition: 

Discover Leads In Twitter Chats 

A Twitter Chat is a hotbed of people interested in a particular niche or industry, so find one that is connected to your target audience and join in.

You need to remember that you are not there to sell – that can be a quick way to be ignored and shunned – but you can look at who is chatting and pinpoint high quality prospects to start a relationship with. 

This is a perfect opportunity to connect with people via helpful comments and casual interactions. 

For example, a business networking events company posting pictures of their events or networking tips, in a business networking chat would be fine. They’re not specifically selling their events, but simply making a valid contribution to the chat in a manner that’s relevant to their business. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like this Twitter Marketing Tip!

Twitter Marketing Tip page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

10 Tips on How to Start a Blog That Makes Money

New post on Online Marketing Hub

The Ultimate Guide – The 10 Key Steps on How To Start a Blog That Makes Money
by christopherjanb

In the 1990′s people started creating online diaries. They were given the title of “web logs”. Popular myth has it that it became “we blog” and the “we” got dropped for the sake of language expediency. The word “blog” then emerged from the mist of vernacular evolution.

That’s opening story on the emergence of the blog word!

Blogging has changed a lot since those times and with the evolution of the digital ecosystem it has reached new highs.

A blogging tipping point
The tale doesn’t stop there because the blog hit a tipping point in 2011 when Arianna Huffington sold her “super blog” to AOL for $315 million. That made a few bloggers sit up and take notice along with the mainstream media and entrepreneurs. That sale said blogging had moved out of the geek closet to mainstream media.

So the humble blog is 20 years old and is no longer just about geeks and the web but about online publishing, content marketing and it has become a serious business and source revenue for many e-preneurs around the world.

The attraction
One attraction to me when I started my blog was the power of the social web to reach a global audience with my ideas and content without leaving my desk. It was “my” publishing machine. It cost me $10 for the domain name. That was it.

What also drew me to blogging was a combination of it being my creation portal, a lifestyle business and a place to make a difference and make my own dent in the universe. For many it is also the platform for self development.

This includes.

Learning: A place to express and structure your thoughts and creations. The process of putting it down and structuring your ideas means you have to activate the neurons. The learning from just this process cannot be underestimated.

Documenting: It is a portal to document “your” intellectual property. Your “IP” is then not lost to humanity (or even to your own forgetful mind) but recorded for people to read view and share. This is the legacy part. This digital record keeping is becoming part of the global mind. It could last forever if the electricity doesn’t turn off and the data centers remain online.

Discipline: The discipline of reading, researching and creating will lead to personal discoveries of abilities you may not even know you had. You may also oncover passions and interests that have been dormant or undiscovered.

Networking: Creating and sharing online will lead to powerful connections globally as people discover your art. These connections will lead to many opportunities if you are prepared to sit down, strap yourself in and do the work

You will not see or experience these benefits until well after you have started, but they are real. I know, because this has been my journey.

What’s driven this evolution?
Blogging has been transformed by many factors over the last 5 years since I started. The speed of the internet has increased, the audience has become larger and smart phones and tablets have become ever present. The Internet is expected to grow from nearly 3 bullion to over 6 billion people in the next decade. That is a lot of opportunity and also a challenge as the web noise makes standing out even harder.

That is why starting now has many advantages. It’s placing your stake in the ground for the digital gold rush. It means building digital assets of content and distribution today that will grow as you create and “earn” authority online. Blogging has also been supercharged by two obsessive technologies. Social media and smart phones.

This is a heady and powerful mix. You could call it the perfect storm. Bloggers need to embrace both and learn how to use them to maximum effect.

Blogging business models to consider
So how can you make money from blogging?

There are many business models. Many bloggers have multiple revenue streams. Darren Rowse at Problogger lists twelve and Michael Hyatt mentions seven. Let’s look at a few key business models that are proven. The advertising revenue model of Mashable and Huffington Post require large audiences that mean attracting traffic into the millions or ten of millions per month and I don’t intend to discuss it further here. But here are some that are achievable for almost everyone with the right persistence and focus.

Selling your knowledge with an ebook
Providing a monthly subscription service to access resources and premium content
Selling online courses
Selling consulting, speaking and advisory services
Earning money through joint ventures and collaboration. This is also sometimes called “affiliate” marketing
These are just 5 proven methods and can be done from one blog.

How to start a blog that makes money?
Here are 10 key pillars that will assist you in building you a lifestyle business that will transform your life and work for your personal passions and purpose.

How do I know that they work?

Because this blog makes a 6 figure income that takes me around the world speaking, created a lifestyle that I love, built global business networks and created many lucrative and surprising opportunities.

If you are looking for a “get rich quick scheme” then stop reading now and buy a lottery ticket.

Here are the steps I have discovered through 5 years of trial and error, hard work and blood sweat and tears.

1. Discover your passion and purpose
Random mutterings online show lack of focus. Make sure you have your direction and purpose clear as possible for your blog. This is the foundation that will keep you going.

Can you state what you’re about in 20 words or less? You need a spark to start a fire. That’s the passion piece. This is what will sustain you when inspiration deserts you and doubts engulf your daily life. One particular approach that provides a simple framework is worth considering. Porter Gale’s steps to discovering your focus is quite helpful without overcomplicating it.

The 4 steps
List your passions
Discover the sweet spot at the intersection
Describe your tone – Witty, Irreverent, Inspirational etc
Write the 20 word mission statement that distils your purpose
Some of you may already have this nailed but nuancing it to be as clear as possible is vital for long term success.

2. Identify your target audience
Your target audience needs to be clearly defined. Understanding the humanity that lies behind the sterile data of demographics is vital to get into the heart and soul of your global niche.

Personas have emerged in the past few years as a means to put a human face to the soulless and faceless stats of the demographic data scientist. The problem is that just considering a demographic profile misses that human element. So personas were invented to help the new breed of marketer understand the human side of the data.

Personas have problems, challenges and aspirations both as an individual and as an employee of a company. Newspapers have understood this at a primal layer for a long time in what news they published on the front page. Editors and journalists have known for a long time that “If it bleeds it leads“. Fear sells newspapers.

Personas have personalities, they have fears, wants and passions. Demographics have ages, an assigned gender and even a college degree.

So it doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger, a brand or social media marketer, You need to make your content human.

To develop a persona requires asking some questions.

Questions you need to be asking
To develop a persona you need to be asking some questions about your typical buyer. Here are a few to get you started.

What are their biggest problems and challenges in their job?
Where do they get their information from? Blogs, trade magazines, books?
What would stop them changing to your product or service?
What conferences do they attend?
How do they convince their boss to make a buying decision? Do they print off an ebook and put it on his desk?
What media do they consume? YouTube videos, white papers, podcasts?
When you start to know the answers to some of these questions then your content creation for your target audience will begin to be relevant and appropriate.

3. Design and build your blog
Design is what consumes most of people’s time. For many, it is how it looks. Yes…looks are very important… but design goes much deeper than that. It is also how it works. Design that matters and manages the tension between form and function can be beautiful to behold. Steve Jobs knew and understood that.

So hire a designer that understands that it isn’t just about having a beautiful face but powerful and essential functions.

What are some essential elements to include in your blog design and functions?

Ensure it is designed for search engines. Make sure that the web designer includes clean coding that allows the the top 25-30 key phrases you want to rank for on Google easily be crawled by the search engines crawler for indexing. Also upload a plugin such as Yoast that optimizes content for search.
Include social sharing buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
The design should allow easy following on your social networks
Make it simple for people to subscribe to your email address by including a pop-up on entry or exit that offers free content in exchange for their email address
Include social proof. This displays your online credibility that is seen at a glance. This is what are your awards, how many people are sharing your content
Design is not just how it looks or even the content. It is essential that “calls to action” are built into the design and function. These include “Follow us”, “like” us, subscribe or download our free ebook
Easy to read fonts. Don’t make your text so small that it is hard to read.
4. Hosting your blog
Ever been to blog that is so slow to load that you click away. That can sometimes be put down to having a slow internet connection. Often though it is because you are sharing a hosting computer with hundreds of other domains. It has become vital with Google’s new attention to user experience that your site loads quickly. If your site is slow then you will find that it will affect your sites search engine results as Google gives your site a small black cross. This little rule is now written into Google’s algorithms.

Fast is good.

The blog is hosted by Bluehost Web Hosting. For only $3.95 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your blog. Because is a Bluehost affiliate partner, my readers can use this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain name.

The other key here is having a site that is online 24/7. You may pay a little more but in the end you will be thankful. especially when you are building a blog that means business I have found that my hosting supplier Blue Host, provides robust and cost effective blog and website hosting with great support with a free WordPress template for only $3.49 per month.

5. Create free content
Content marketing is the new “black” when it comes to driving traffic. Its about attracting traffic rather than chasing it. Creating and giving away free content build credibility and trust and can position you as a thought leader in your industry

It improves your SEO (Search engine optimisation) for your blog and this drives “organic” search engine traffic when you are found in search results. How important is search engine traffic? In most cases it drives 300% more traffic than social networks. Today on my blog it is over 55% of all my traffic. Being found on page one brings 90% of all clicks.

It also leads to referral traffic when people find your content is so good they “hyperlink” back to your articles.

Content marketing tactics
Create tempting headlines that drive “clicks”. I can’t stress how important developing and continuing to hone this skill is.
Make sure you have social sharing buttons that are “very” visible at the top or a floating bar on the side. (Don’t hide them down the bottom)
After publishing, share your content in as many appropriate social networks as possible
Write long form content. Google is rewarding long form content (some say 1,500 words or more) by ranking it higher in search engines.
Create evergreen content. This allows you to keep tweeting and posting it on a recurring basis over time to social networks and hence builds more traffic from one piece of content
Turn one piece of content into multiple formats. A written blog post can be turned into a podcast, a slideshare presentation, video and even an infographic
Create or use “infographics”. People love to share quality visuals. They also tend to be embedded and hence continue to drive referral traffic

Note: The presentation design for this infographic was done by

6. Build distribution
Taking control of your blog and content distribution should be done from day one. There are 4 key distribution tactics.

Social media marketing is in essence just two things. Content (media) and Distribution (social networks). Get them right and the rest follows. Increased traffic, brand awareness and sales.

But creating the content is one thing but making it move is another. That is why growing your social networks is so important. It puts the power in your hands. That is what excited me when I saw the potential of social for the first time. Access to a global market in real time at high speed.

Beyonce and her marketing gurus got it right when in December 2013, she bypassed mass media to launched her new album on her own social networks. There wasn’t one TV show or mass media channel to be seen.

This was a marketing tipping point.

We also have many social network choices. They are global and still can be “earned” and built directly with your own audience. It takes time but the application of persistent effort is rewarded with your own content delivery networks. Bigger is better.

It’s a long-term game.

You will also have to choose which networks you want to focus on. One is not enough and it also risky because as the social networks evolve they keep changing the game and their algorithms. It’s all your eggs in one basket thing. For many that is the Facebook bucket. Be wary of committing your focus to just one platform.

Email may be perceived as not cool but it does allow you to reach your dedicated audience when you want. Build your email list from the first day your blog goes “live”

Search engines will give you nothing on the first day you publish, this fact means that “search engine optimisation” or “SEO” is ignored by many. But I promise you that if you invest in the key elements of “SEO” that a couple of years later that Google will reward you with free traffic when you start ranking on page one.

Mobile is not a distribution network but it is a platform that needs special attention. So much media is now consumed on mobile devices (it is often 50% or more of blog and ecommerce traffic) that making sure that you have optimized your blog for smart phones and tablets is absolutely essential!

Optimized for mobile means people can:

Read your content easily without magnifying glasses
Subscribe to your email list on a mobile device
Buy your services and products without waiting to get home to their desktop
7. Create and package your knowledge
Do you have decades of experience and expertise that is worth something to a knowledge hungry world? Is it locked up in your grey matter? Not structured or packaged?

Today most of us are knowledge workers.

You might be in finance, marketing, technology or public relations. Do you have industry knowledge that is highly valued? Businesses buy expertise and knowledge workers to add value to their businesses.

Maybe its time to sit down, outline and unlock that knowledge for your benefit. You may even have a part time hobby and passion that could be bundled up into an online course or ebook to be monetized.

Blogs and the ability to self publish is opening up opportunities for “you” to be paid for your knowledge and creativity.

The rise of the online creative
The freedom to publish that blogging provides, is powering a new revolution of knowledge sharing, expression and creativity that is unprecedented.

Closet cooks are both demonstrating and displaying their culinary skills via video, recipes and teasing photos on foodie blogs.

Photographers are taking us on their local and world journeys. They are revealing corners of the globe that are exposing hidden cultures, geography and private lives for us to glimpse at like voyeurs. They are published to blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Even teenagers create fashion that surprise us and is uploaded to YouTube and shared to a global audience.

Have a passion and some expertise and add a dose of technology and publish online. You can build an audience of thousands.

But there’s a problem
I was recently viewing a TED talk by Jared Diamond and he posed a question to a problem that is worth answering.

“How should we use our old people?”

This question was framed in a way that starts the journey in how we can come up with solutions to help societies grow old better. This dilemma has been created because modern society values youth and beauty over wisdom, age and experience. This has in part been created by the rise of technology as wisdom and knowledge in the past lay within the minds of the elders of the tribe.

Today we just Google knowledge.

It has made the finding of knowledge a technology solution. This is taking away the importance and role of the elders of our society.

So what does technology not touch that our wise older generation can still offer? Jared has a few suggestions.

Understanding of human relationships
Ability to help other people without ego getting in the way
Interdisciplinary knowledge eg history, politics and economics
Devising long term plans
But there is a solution.

A solution
The technology that is the problem can also be the answer that taps into that wealth of wisdom and experience of decades. Help, build awareness and train the older generation to package, publish and promote their decades of knowledge, experience and insights on blogs and websites.

Here are some tips on how to package your knowledge to sell on your blog.

The first step to packaging your knowledge
So how do you approach packaging your knowledge?

The simplest place to start is to write a book. It can start with a short ebook. It doesn’t have to be long. Make it 10-15 pages. That’s the practice part. This is where you can distil your knowledge into chunk size bites that will help you start structuring and synthesizing your knowledge.

Then you can write a longer ebook that can also be turned into a printed book. There are a variety of “on demand” printing services that can assist you to create a print version. Blog posts can also be re-purposed and turned into chapters with some editing and rewriting.

The premium packaging of your expertise
The next steps are to add premium packaged versions of your knowledge.

If you want to take your ebook content to the next level you can supercharge your content by adding premium media and content.

Here is how you can turn a $29 eBook into a $3,000 product. This is how it can be done.

Add a podcast version – now you can charge $97
Add a Camtasia video version of the eBook where you record the screen shots in a video format while chatting through the eBook content – Sell that product for $597
Add interviews with experts – Sell product for $1,097
Offer personal coaching as part of the package – Sell for $2,097
Put it in a DVD package – Sell it all for $3,000
You can also then put on a live 2 day seminar and sell the tickets for $2,000. What about you?

Have you a wealth of knowledge that is wanting to get out? Have you decades of experience and “know how” that the rest of the world could benefit from?

Have you thought about productizing it?

8. Upload to your digital educating platform
Selling your knowledge can also be done many ways. Two popular ways are:

Online courses
To keep it simple let’s just look at selling your ebook for your first step.

Once you have created your product(s) to sell on your blog you need an automated way to sell and deliver the ebook or video tutorial download. In the past this meant some tricky programming to integrate different systems to deliver the download and to process the credit card transaction.

This has changed.

For example, the Selz platform can be setup in a matter of minutes and can be used to sell both digital and physical products.

Selz has been developed with the modern online entrepreneur in mind. Using Selz you can maximise your sales effortlessly without having to spend precious time on the mechanics of running an online business. Selz allows you to upload the ebook or video for you and automatically delivers the files when a customer purchases them.

Selz also makes it easier to build a customer email list as it integrates with three of the most popular email systems Aweber, Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. By connecting it up to your email platform you can build your email list for marketing your next book or online course.

Getting serious
If you want to get serious and build a whole ecosystem for:

Hosting your course material
Managing affiliates
Accepting and managing payments
Emailing and automating your marketing
Then you have 2 choices for your packaged “premium” content and courses that you sell.

Build your own custom website (eg. WordPress platform with special templates)
Invest in a “cloud” based platforms such as Infusionsoft (starts from $199) or Ontraport (starts from $279) but with a lot more included as standard with everything already built in.
These platforms come into their own when you are selling your own online courses and are working with Joint venture partners and online influencers.

9. Build joint ventures
To amplify your marketing efforts then working with other bloggers is essential.

What is important to realise is that the social web allows you to work with other bloggers and businesses to reach each other’s customers. These “Joint Venture” relationships will amplify and multiply your marketing. With internet marketing this is often called “affiliate marketing”

Think about this for a moment. If you were able to work with 10 other bloggers who all had 10,000 emails each and you have 10,000 then you have just connected to a network of 100,000. That is an increase of 1,000 percent! This has to be done with high quality content and must be done with care, credibility and trust.

As Porter Gale states: “Your network is your net worth.”

10. Launch and market your product with joint venture partners
You have designed and developed your blog, created content built traffic and created relationships with partners.

If you want to take selling your product to a new level then you can create a solid process of putting in place online digital promotion campaigns with your joint venture partners.

Two of the most popular approaches include:

Selling from an online webinar: This means having your digital product ready for sale, affiliate platform setup, partner that has a large email list (10,000+). The next steps include setting a webinar date with 1-2 weeks of promotion and then educate and sell at the backend of the webinar with a close and call to action.
“Launch formula” process: Creating and launching your product with a whole team of joint venture partners. This is when you really sell your product “at scale”. This strategy that has been created over the last decade to sell your knowledge online and is known as the “launch process”. Jeff Walker is seen as the “God Father” of this approach.
If you really want to launch your product then you need to learn the art of the the launch process

It includes the following:

Post launch
If you want to learn about this in more detail then I would recommend that you read Jeff Walker’s book “Launch”

What about you?
Have you started your blog? Have knowledge you can package and sell? Haven’t got it just right.

Maybe it’s time to start. Remember “Done is better than perfect”

Want to learn how to start a blog that makes money today?
The blog is hosted by Bluehost Web Hosting. For only $3.49 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your blog. Because is a Bluehost affiliate partner, my readers can use this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price that can also include a free domain name.

The post The Ultimate Guide – The 10 Key Steps on How To Start a Blog That Makes Money appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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The 10 Tips on how to start a blog that makes money page is posted “By Mike Armstrong”

10 Best Tools To Run A Successful Startup…

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10 Best Tools To Run A Successful Startup
by christopherjanb

If you just started a business, you should be aware of the advantages of the Digital Age. There are limitless opportunities, tools, apps and services that you can use to make significant progress and attract more customers. Business models are being revolutionized with the application of apps and tools that help them grow faster and more effectively. In the continuation, you will find the best tools that will help you get through just about any challenging phase on your way to success.

1. Optimizely

The success of your business is founded upon testing. Optimizely is a priceless tool that enables online business owners to test and compare web pages and get insight into important data about the visits and clicks you get, as well as the number of conversions within a given period of time. You can easily integrate Optimizely with Google Analytics or other similar programs.

2. NinjaEssays

If you have ever been to a workshop focused on business startups, then you must be aware of the importance of content marketing. The online content related to your business can make or break its success. If you cannot write successful content, then you can hire writers and editors at custom writing service This website offers custom-tailored writing assistance that will make your business more attractive for your target audience.

3. MailChimp

There are plenty of reasons why you should focus on building an email marketing list. With the help of MailChimp – all-inclusive email marketing platform, you will be able to start sending better emails and manage multiple lists. The other key features of this platform include: mobile-friendly opt-in forms, revenue reporting, social integration, autoresponders, and list segmentation.

4. Google Apps for Work

This is an incredibly useful set of programs that enable cloud-based storage for easy access. With the help of Google Apps for Work, you will get an opportunity to create shared calendars, professional email, video meetings, and much more. The automatic syncing feature provides you with freedom to work from anywhere. The enhanced security and control features of the apps will help you control and safely manage the company’s devices and data.

5. Prezi

The easiest way to explain the key aspects of your business is by making a captivating presentation that conveys its essence. Although the tool is very easy to use, it still results with a sophisticated, complex 3D story that includes plans, concepts, sketches and other content. You can use Prezi offline or in the cloud, and you can also download it as a mobile app for your iOS device.

6. Xero

Since you just started the business, saving money is an important part of your plan. Instead of paying an actual accountant to take care of the finances, you can easily keep track of the expenses and revenues with the help of Xero. You can work together with other users and manage your finances through teamwork, get mobile access at any time, calculate the payroll and pay staff through the effective features of this software.

7. Enloop

You still don’t have a detailed business plan? Then it’s about time to create it. Although it seems like a challenging task, writing a business plan can be made easy if you use the right tool. Enloop enables its users to write customized business plans, prove their ideas and forecast the success of their startups through efficient automated software. You can also use this tool for industry comparison and scoring, as well as for automated projections.

8. Highrise HQ

The success of every business startup is dependent upon following up with leads. Highrise is a simple and effective tool that gives you insight into the interests of your customers and enables you to track contacts, notes and tasks in one place. This tool enables you to keep track of all conversations and categorize each contact in the appropriate group.

9. SlideShare

Besides being a great place for promoting your business materials and exposing your brand to a relevant target group, SlideShare is also a great source of inspiration. You can find useful information on how to market your new business and manage it effectively. SlideShare can be used for locating and sharing content in different formats, such as PDF files, videos, webinars, slides and more.

10. GoToMeeting

Business meetings are already an important part of your life, so you need to find a way to make them more effective. GoToMeeting allows you to organize and attend an unlimited number of online meetings for up to 3, 25 or 100 attendees, depending on the plan you choose. This is one of the most efficient video conferencing tools currently available online.

Time to make your startup more successful! Use the right tools!
Having the right ideas is only part of the journey. When you find your business goals, the matter of implementing them into practice will complicate your life in ways you never thought possible. With the help of the right tools and commitment to succeed, every obstacle you face can be surpassed.

Author information

Robert Morris
Robert is a professional content writer from NYC.
The post 10 Bestest Tools To Run A Successful Startup appeared first on SteamFeed.

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The 10 Best Tools To Run A Successful Startup page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Getting started with paid promotions…

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Getting Started With Paid Promotions
by christopherjanb
Posted by anthonycoraggio

I’m receiving more and more questions from clients about how best to leverage paid content distribution and paid social platforms (here referred to together as ‘paid promotions’). There’s a lot of reason for increased interest—as content production has ramped up in digital marketing, it has become harder and harder to stand out from the crowd and reach the audience you want. Facebook shutting down companies’ free lunch social distribution has only further pressed the issue—and sometimes you’ve simply maxed out on other paid channels!

But more than simply being an extra ‘pay to play’ option, paid promotion is a crucial part of any holistic digital marketing strategy. By using the range of paid online promotion and advertising tools available, we can take more comprehensive control in presenting the best user experience throughout the funnel—delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right person. There are three primary functions of paid promotions:

Improve the breadth and depth of content distribution
Use powerful targeting to drive more qualified traffic
Capture, retain, and shepherd qualified users to ultimately produce conversions
How and why you might use paid promotions will of course vary quite a bit, but regardless of your end goal, there are two key tasks for anyone seeking to succeed in doing so. Do these two things right, and you will have laid a solid foundation for achieving your goals.


1. Define and target a specific audience
Defining a target audience in digital advertising or paid promotions is a more exacting exercise than usual, because we’re actually operationalizing a definition that can be precisely carried out by setting controls in a PPC-like interface. Think of it like programming a computer—you need to break down your definition in extremely concrete, exclusive terms that are interpretable by the tool you’re using. Don’t despair though—it’s not hard to do, and if you’ve been a good marketer and developed some proper user personas you’ll be ahead of the game!

Answer these questions to set a concrete definition of the people that should be targeted with a given campaign or content release. These are typically going to be the criteria you actually enter into an interface when starting a promotions campaign on a tool like Facebook or StumbleUpon.

Demographic Information – Our ideal target for this content is…

Age – Many platforms will offer simple age based targeting, usually in the form of your typical “18-24, 25 – 36” type brackets.

Gender – Again, this is a simple demographic setting and is often available. Think about setting up separate ‘A/B’ versions to separately address men and women when relevant!

Education Level/Status – Is your audience in school? Have they completed a degree? Facebook and LinkedIn will let you drill in on these parameters.

Geography – Be as specific as possible. Generally, the combination of a state/province and a metro area level is as granular as geotargeting options go.

There are a few more options you can find on places like Facebook -income level, marital status, employment status, and more can be particularly useful in B2C contexts.

Many platforms will also give you an opportunity to define your target audience by interests, so think about what relevant topics or subjects the target user might be particularly interested in or looking for while online! For example,
likes for travel blogs, language learning sites, famous travel writers, country specific cuisine, etc all can be used to converge on a very specific type of person.

2. Choose promotion channels
Once your target audience has been defined and the above questions answered with the best data available, you must consider the channels or platforms that will best make use of it. There are three major factors:

Which platforms have targeting capabilities and an audience that can best replicate the user profile using their targeting?
Remember to weight the user’s expected online behavior heavily in selecting platforms – while one might offer targeting to match the most targeting characteristics, if your audience does not actively use the platform’s core service it is of little value as a promotional channel.
Which platforms can best present the media to be promoted?
It is important not to detract from the user’s experience of the content, or place it in a channel that does not fit it’s form. A long form video, for example, will not usually fare well in skippable preroll spots or on-site rollover placements.
Remember also that use of different platforms can depend on device – and so might the usability of your content!
What behavioral context is preferable to achieve your objectives for this piece?
I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to browse around as a user when making these decisions, in order to think less abstractly about the experience you aim to create. Choosing channels is often a case-by-case process, but for common objectives there are some simple, intuitive guidelines to keep in mind:

If you want your content shared, promote it on channels that have built-in sharing capabilities (social media, StumbleUpon).
If you want users to feel they’ve ‘discovered’ a piece, focus on content plug-ins (Outbrain, Zemanta, etc), discovery tools (StumbleUpon), and more niche placements (subreddits, subject blogs)—depending on the accessibility/simplicity.
If your goal is a high level of direct exposure for content at a low price, content discovery plugins and display ad networks can deliver. Cost is relatively low and inventory is high, so it’s easy to get eyeballs on your work.
If conveying authority is important, officially sponsored or openly disclosed promotions on respected media platforms or with trusted individual publishers can be a good tool—though often more expensive.
It can be useful to combine these guidelines to plan for more complex goals. For example, if you want to convey a sense of ‘discovery’ but also encourage sharing, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery could fulfill both these needs—the sponsorship is subtle, the user is in ‘discovery mode’, and SU has a social sharing frame right on top of the page. If that audience isn’t engaged enough, you might bring traffic to a piece via Reddit and retarget for sharing on Twitter.

Planning for promotion should not be an exclusively post hoc activity—the content itself should be created with intended placement and utility in mind. Engage early in the process as goals for the content are first set, so that creative development and objectives do not ultimately conflict with the feasibility of promotions. Simply being involved in the conversation to flag potential problems is often enough!

Think outside of yourself…
One of the most critical parts of this framework is leveling what you want to achieve with what users will accept and value in a given medium, so I want to take a moment to reinforce the importance of this.

In answering questions of targeting and placement in a performance-driven world, it can be dangerously easy to think egocentrically, only in terms of what YOU want your customer to do in a given context—or more insidiously,
what you want them to want to do. Remember that as a marketer or advertiser you are necessarily carrying tremendous baggage, both in terms of product knowledge and expectations. It’s tremendously important to step back from your own (or your company’s) perspective and think as a user.

What you ultimately need to reach your goals isn’t necessarily what individuals using one of these channels wants when doing so, or are ready to do. Take the time to understand your audience and reach out to them in a way will resonate with the journey they are on.

What considerations do you pay special attention to when promoting content? Are there areas of the discipline you’d love to learn more about? Hit me back in the comments!

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Introducing 20 of the most influential words in marketing

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The Introducing 20 of the most influential words in marketing page was posted “By Mike Armstrong” – The Voice of Social Media


20 of the most influential words in marketing

Please find 20 of the most influential words in marketing:


The 20 of the most influential words in marketing page was posted “By Mike Armstrong” – The Voice of Social Media


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How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans

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How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans: 3 Examples
by christopherjanb

Is there anything better for you as a marketer than having your customers share their passion for your company or product?

Not much.

In the content marketing space, we spend a lot of time (maybe too much time) focused on brand awareness. We don’t focus enough energy on using content to turn our customers into advocates or strengthen their evangelism for our brands.

Having your customers become cheerleaders for your brand is the mecca of marketing: Your customers not only sell for you, but they communicate in a way far more powerful than any content your brand can create. As Julie Fleischer, Director of Data + Content + Media at Kraft Food Group, comments:

Any time you’ve got one of your consumers making the case for you, it’s obviously very credible.

In fact, in the new series of B2C roundtables, David Germano, VP of Content Marketing for Magnetic Content Studios, predicts:

I think over time, marketers will come to embrace [customer evangelism] as probably one of the more important KPIs for content marketing.

These are just two of the insights from the first of the CMI B2C research roundtables from this year’s Content Marketing World. Fleischer and Germano joined Todd Wheatland, Head of Strategy at King Content; Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping; and Brice Bay, Chairman and CEO at EnVeritas Group. The recent conversation explores the concept of customer evangelism for B2C marketers.

A quick look at the stats
For the first time, we wanted to track the percentage of marketers who consider customer evangelism to be a goal for their content marketing efforts. Sixty-nine percent of B2C marketers and 57% of B2B marketers are focused on evangelism. This is a top goal for 86% of the most effective B2C marketers.

3 brands using content for customer evangelism
One of the best ways to understand how content marketing can be used for customer evangelism is to take a look at some examples in action.


During the roundtable, Germano shared one of his favorite examples: GoPro. If you aren’t familiar with GoPro, it sells video cameras that can be mounted to capture most activities (think a camera on a helmet when you are skydiving.) The tagline, Capture + Share Your World, is the core of its marketing.

According to Google’s YouTube Brand Channel Leaderboard (last published in March 2014), GoPro is the highest-performing brand on YouTube. The calculation is based on audience passion and popularity as determined by tracking watch time, repeat viewership, likes, and shares.

When you scan GoPro’s YouTube channel, you see videos of everything from people jumping off a roof to a fireman saving a kitten, and people swimming with all sorts of sea life.

GoPro’s customer-evangelism strategy is to curate videos from users of its products and share them on YouTube. Not only does GoPro provide a place for customers to share their most enthralling moments, but it’s a great way for potential users to see the products in action.

Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia is a brand I have admired since I saw Jesse Desjardins present at Content Marketing World Sydney. His small team receives 900 photos from fans per day. Tourism Australia then shares its favorites on its Facebook and Instagram accounts, and many of the photos get tens of thousands of “likes” and shares.

Tourism Australia outperforms every other tourism board in the world and does so based on two primary ingredients: user-generated content and community co-creation. When Desjardins was nominated for Content Marketer of the Year, he told us, “We aim to make our audience the hero. Consumers take us places much faster than we can go on our own.”


Betabrand is a fun and funky clothing brand in which customers not only promote the brand, but also suggest the products the brand creates. When CCO Editor Clare McDermott interviewed Founder Chris Lindland last year, he explained that 20% of the ideas for new products come from customers:

Giving over control to our customers is so much more exciting because magical things happen that marketers can’t plan. The best example I can give you — and, sincerely, as funny as the product may be, it’s the most illustrative product we have — is what’s happened to our disco product. We made 100 pairs of Disco Pants on a lark. We’ve sold well more than 20,000 pairs by now. What happened is, people took photos of themselves wearing this stuff, showing new audiences how to wear and use these products. In the beginning, the Burning Man crowd [a self-expression art festival in Nevada] went bananas over it, then golfers got into it, and now the BASE-jumping community has adopted it. And it just keeps going and going.

Betabrand has a think tank on its website where customers can submit ideas, vote for new products, and fund development of products they want to buy.

How to start thinking about customer evangelism for your brand
While many marketers cite customer evangelism as a top priority, you may think: “There are so many other things I am working on. Should I really prioritize this?” Or you look at GoPro, Tourism Australia, and Betabrand, and think, “They are really visual brands. It is easy for them to get customers excited and participating in their marketing.”

While some brands have an easier time getting their customers so excited that they want to share and build new products, all brands can and should focus on customer evangelism.

Where do content marketers go from here? As Davis asserts, you may just need to take some time to brainstorm:

We should spend more time trying to get the right message to the audience that already loves us and measure the return on that investment in terms of revenue. How much more did they spend when they engage with our content than someone who doesn’t? I think it’s an easy way to do it. You own them. They subscribe to something. They follow you. They like you. Let’s know what that means to the bottom line.

It’s also important to note that while evangelism implies customers, you can also think about how your subscribers can be better evangelists and share more about your brand.

Here are some questions to ask in the brainstorming session:

1) Who publicly loves our brand? Make a list of people who are passionate about your brand and ask them to get involved.

2) What are the things about our brand that customers love? Ask the previously identified cheerleaders as well as your internal team. What do you offer that no other brand does? When you talk to your customers, what gets them most excited? Why do they want to do business with you instead of someone else?

3) What would you want people to share? Brainstorm on what types of things you want people to talk about more than others. The more specific questions you ask, the better.

4) How can you make it easier for people to share information about what they love? Once you decide what you want customers to share, think about how you can make it easy for them. Is there an obvious social platform on which you can build this community? Or should you have something on your website?

5) How can you delight your brand fans? Remember: You not only want to get, but you need to continue to give. Think about your best customers and also those who are new and may appreciate the unexpected surprise from you.

6) How will you measure success? Like anything, you need to be able to measure what you are creating so you can understand the return on your investment and time. As these people are customers, you should be able to track their involvement with you.

Now I’m turning this over to you: What are some examples of brands that you think excel when it comes to content marketing for customer evangelism? What steps should marketers take to execute a successful program?

Want to learn more about moving beyond brand awareness in your content marketing? Check out all the fantastic CMW sessions that are available through our Video on Demand portal.

The post How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans: 3 Examples appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

For more on this article or content marketing in general see:

The how to turn your customers into brand fans page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”