mastering-the-art-of-video-editing-more-traffic

Mastering the Art of Video Editing

If you are considering video as a strategy to drive more traffic and leads to your business, you are making a smart move. You should test it for your market.

But, while the content strategy is just as important in video as with other media channels, you must make the video look good to ensuring higher user engagement.

You probably know this, but let me remind you: the edit is the most powerful tool in video making.

“There are many factors that go in to creating the perfect marketing video. Having an intelligent script, skillful camera and audio work, and seasoned producing and directing are crucial aspects to making a marketing video successful.  But perhaps the most important piece, the place where all of this comes together to form a coherent story is during the editing process. “ – Skillman Video Group

What comes out of the editing room is what the audience will see from your brand. See basic editing examples on Wistia.

video-editing-basics-wistia

Wistia.com – the guys are having fun while sharing great editing insights

Knowing how to edit in a compelling way ensures your message will get across and the viewer will enjoy the experience.

Types of Edits

There are countless kinds of edits and cuts that are used depending on what needs to be portrayed.

Straight cuts, fast cuts and smash cuts are a few of the easiest to use.

  • Straight Cuts: These are an editor’s bread and butter. Essentially, they are used to change the angle of a shot or to move between shots. They keep the story moving forward and keep interest in the scene.
  • Fast Cuts: These change how the audience perceives the energy of the scene. You see this style of editing in montages and high-energy videos when you don’t have more than a second to see the frame before moving on to the next one.
  • Slow Cuts: These are the direct opposite of the fast cut. Where fast cuts get your heart rate going and you are taking in a lot of information, slow cuts build the tension in a scene. Think of scenes in horror movies when you know the monster is in the house and the camera stays on the main character as the monster comes up behind him or her.

When to Use Different Cuts

Editing styles have changed drastically over the last 50 years.

King Kong – Storified in a movie

Older movies tend to have fewer cuts with more emphasis placed on each cut. Today, cuts tend to happen more quickly and move the story along in a specific way. When you decide to cut influences how a scene plays out.

For instance, long takes with few cuts let tension build and enable viewers to take in all parts of the frame.

Alternatively, a lot of quick cuts lead viewers to see what the director wants them to.

The length of the final project also has to do with how many edits there are.

Short videos and ads aren’t conducive to a slow cut, and an interview would be jarring and difficult to follow if there were a lot of fast cuts.

Editing Commercials

Commercials, especially for fun products like food and drinks, use quick cuts to give off a lot of energy in a short period of time.

Videos that are only 15 seconds long also have to cram as much information as possible into that segment as possible.

Take a Captain Morgan commercial as an example.

captain-videos-youtube-fun

Captain Morgan Videos – editing examples

One of the brand’s 15-second videos can have up to 20 cuts, none lasting longer than one second.

This is just enough time for the viewer to process the general message those frames are trying to convey without wasting time on explanation or detail.

Editing Interviews

A more subdued video, like an interview, still benefits from good editing.

In this case, editing is needed to keep the viewer’s attention for longer periods of time.

A single angle of two people talking is boring, so certain editing techniques were developed to keep viewer’s interest longer.

Cutting on action means that you change your angle when the subject is doing something.

For instance, if the subject is turning away from you, you would cut before the turn is complete to eliminate the awkward second when the speaker is not facing the camera.

Another good example is if a speaker gestures toward another person. You would want to cut to their reaction to make the scene look natural.

Editing out a speaker’s “umms” and “ahs” also makes for a more engaging video.

While these moments may seem minor in a normal conversation, they add extra seconds to the final product and are seconds when the audience may stop listening.

These can easily be taken out by cutting to a different angle and trimming down the audio from the first segment.

Drive More Traffic

Once you have created, edited and produced a video, make sure to publish it to your YouTube channel, and optimize it for search engines (SEO). You’ll get ranked, drive traffic and build a targeted audience for your email lists and retargeting campaigns.

Tools of the (editing) video trade:

  1. http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/overview.htm (Favorite)
  2. https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html (Favorite)
  3. http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html (Favorite)
  4. http://www.apple.com/ios/imovie/
  5. http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/
  6. http://www.freemake.com/how_to/free_movie_maker
marketing-strategy-paid-owned-earned-media-which-is-best

Owned Media, Earned Media, or Paid Media: Which is Better?

When determining your online marketing strategy for brand visibility, traffic and (sales) conversions, you have a number of pathways you can choose to pursue.

jon-rognerud-speaking-SEMPO-search-marketing

Jon Rognerud presenting “Owned Media & SEO” At #SEMPOForum San Diego, CA

From owned media, to earned media, to paid media, each strategy comes with its own set of benefits depending on the message you are looking to deliver, and what’s most important to your business now.

Each kind of online marketing strategy has a unique set of characteristics.

content-marketing-strategy-paid-owned-earned-media-ensemble

Chart from http://www.altimetergroup.com/

But before you decide which is right for you and the campaign you are developing, you’ll need to completely understand what each consists of, how each works, and what kind of results you can expect from each marketing strategy.

Owned Media (“Customers”)

When you are in control of the website, blog, social media page, or other online platform you’re hoping to use to deliver your marketing message, this would be considered “Owned Media.” It’s your corporate content.

“Owned media is defined as communication channels that are within one’s control, such as websites, blogs, or email;” – Wikipedia

With owned media, you are able to provide and updated the exact message and content you want, whenever you want, free of charge. (other than your time)

Because you have full control over your social media accounts, website and blog, you can put whatever information you want into any of the pages and profiles.

This gives you complete control over your marketing strategy, allowing you to manipulate exactly what is said, what is shared, and when it is posted.

An example of owned media would be sharing content (even sales copy) on your Facebook page, without paying to promote the ad any further than to the followers you already have.

Owned media is best for targeting return or loyal customers, or displaying a new product, a promotion, or new information to customers you have already done business with.

If your marketing campaign is targeted to getting more return purchases, using owned media could be the best strategy.

And, when you combine this strategy with SEO (search engine optimization), you have the added advantage of driving new eyeballs to your pages with keywords and links.

The biggest drawback with only using your owned media is that it can be slower to market, and it is more challenging to reach a new audience.

This kind of marketing strategy will usually be preferred to reach your followers, loyal customers, and fans, unless you choose to also implement some paid media or earned media strategies.

Paid Media (“Strangers”)

“Paid Media” is your traditional sense of marketing and advertising, where you pay to promote the posts on your own social media pages — or you pay for advertising space on partner sites (display) or in search (Google Adwords, for example).

“Paid media refers to publicity gained through advertising” – Wikipedia

Your paid media is placed with the goal of directing potential customers and purchasers to your website pages (landing pages) and products.

Other forms of paid media include paying “influencers” of your target market to share your links, products, or website.

These influencers may be celebrities, social media personalities, or other companies that already have a following comprised of the people you want to visit your website and purchase your products or services.

Because you are paying for the advertising space or the shout out to your company or product, you almost always will have control about what is said, or at least get to approve the message before it is sent out.

For paid media outlets, you may even develop ads for the other individual to use or post, or you will send exactly what you want to be posted to the company or individual you are paying.

Paid media online is not much different than paid advertising in magazines or newspapers, it is just done in a digital marketplace now.

Paid media is usually relatively easy to secure.

Your biggest challenge with paid media will be finding the right fit, with the right audience, and the right way to display your products, services and brand to get the best results.

Taking the example of the Facebook ad you shared to your own Facebook page in the owned media section, that same ad can become a form of paid media if you pay to boost or otherwise promote the post further.

When you pay for a Facebook ad to be promoted, it will appear as sponsored content to individuals who don’t already follow you.

Once that ad starts appearing on other people’s pages who are not already associated with your social media account, it becomes a paid media form.

Earned Media (“Fans”)

Where paid media and owned media are relatively easy to secure and control, earned media is the exact opposite.

“Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising” – Wikipedia (ref)

With “Earned Media” you and your company will have no say in what is talked about, shared, or promoted. This is UGC (User Generated Content) at its best.

Instead, you rely on your fans, followers, and customers to promote your business. They essentially can become brand advocates – and that you don’t pay them for.

There are a few forms of earned media, and each has its own benefits, but it is usually the most difficult to secure. It is however, the most beneficial to your business success.

Retweets, mentions, shares, voluntary testimonials and other social media interactions that you do not pay for are all forms of earned media.

When other marketers mention you by name or keyword on their page(s), and with links back to you, you’ll earn better SEO rankings and traffic over time.

Earned media is free, but the only way to get it is to become a company and business worth talking about.

A good way to view earned media is as digital “word of mouth” or recommendations throughout the web for your products and services.

In many cases, a word of mouth recommendation is more believable and taken more seriously than advertisements on paid media or owned media.

This is because the individual recommending your company does not have any incentive to do so.

People will share if you provide excellence.

They are simply sharing a good experience or recommending your products because they have found so much success, they want others to find the same level of happiness.

Because the number of online shops, experts, and services is constantly increasing and becoming more and more available to a wide variety of people, people are more protective of where they choose to buy from and who they trust to deliver a service worth their money.

Establish a great reputation.

In order to use earned media in your online marketing strategy, you already need to have a good following in place and you need to develop great content that is easy to share and appeals to a wide variety of individuals.

Because you have little control over what goes viral, these kinds of campaigns can be extremely difficult to be successful in.

If we again return to the example of the Facebook ad, earned media comes when Facebook users comment, share, or like the ad, regardless of if they saw the paid media form or the owned media form.

If you have a strong network of followers, paid media might not be necessary because shares and likes can attract friends and followers of your loyal customer base.

However, paid media will allow you to test ads, keywords and landing pages quicker, so keep that option open.

Conclusion

When developing your online marketing strategy to drive traffic and create further visibility for your brand, all three types of models should work together to achieve your marketing goals.  And, what those goals are will influence what media you should target.

Knowing your audience and applying a persona-driven attribution marketing framework will help you drive higher converting traffic to your early, middle and late stages in your sales funnel.

You can use paid media to drive behaviors via your sponsored assets (ads, videos, content) which eventually will turn into sponsored knowledge.

Benefits come from all three areas.

Each kind of media channel in the POEM (paid, owned, earned media) model has benefits specific to it and can drive different results. You have to take action, and test this for your own business.

“Paid media creates ‘brand awareness’ and allows you to gather valuable marketing data quickly, owned media builds and supports the ‘brand experience’, while earned media boosts the ‘brand conversation’.”

It is difficult to say which is the most important because each will give you a different outcome.  But there is no doubt that the trifecta model works, and all should be applied and tested. The power of “converged media” (the delta that emerges when you lay each ‘circle’ to form a Venn-diagram) working for you is ideal.

You must also consider the “time vs budget” conversation. What does this mean in your business right now. Do you have more time than money? If so, you may start in the Owned media area first.

To determine which pathway is right for you, you’ll need to assess where your company currently is, where you would like it to go, and what means you would need to take to get there.

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how-to-create-a-perfect-twitter-bio

How to Build the Perfect Twitter Bio

(Updated May 12, 2018)

How can you build a perfect Twitter BIO that attracts and build credibility at the same time? Here are 5 ways to create a Bio and Profile on Twitter.

Question: Does Twitter makes us better writers? Answer: Yes.

It doesn’t matter if you sell insurance or you’re a stand-up comedian, the limitation of 140 characters forces you to say more with less.

Since Twitter is so break or bust, we trust the people who tweet well.

Their competence on social media transcends, at least in our minds, and we assume that good tweets equal good business.

build-perfect-twitter-bio

Build your perfect Twitter profile and bio

That makes your Twitter a front man for your brand.

And where does every good Twitter account start?

In the Twitter bio.

You have 160 characters to tell the world who you are and what you’re about. Before you sit down to craft that first tweet, follow these tips to build the perfect bio that represents your brand.

#1 – Be Original

If you’ve read one Twitter bio, you’ve read them all.

They’re hopelessly predictable and everyone writes the same thing.

twitter-bio-text-generator

Twitter Bio Generator for ideas (by http://twitter.com/joshjs)

In fact, you can even use a Twitter bio generator to create a bio so average, so plain, that no one will even realize it’s fake.

Even an inkling of originality will grab readers’ attention, so don’t follow the lemmings off the edge of the cliff.

#2 – Be Direct

You don’t have to be Ellen to write a hilarious bio, and you don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson to write an inspiring bio.

Companies can say who they are and why they do what they do in one short paragraph.

Take identity theft protection service LifeLock, for example: “You only have one identity. Protect it with the best.”

The second line isn’t anything groundbreaking, but the first is quite grabbing.

It’s like saying you only have one life, and people will notice a statement like that. Your company or brand can do the same, no matter what your product or service.

#3 – Be Witty (But Only If You’re Witty)

This tip is told with caution because you can’t force funny, and it can actually backfire if that humor is not authentic.

kimmel-twitter-bio-funny

@jimmykimmel – funny, weird, works.

We’ve all seen politicians try to act “cool” to resonate with the young voters.

Unless you’re playing saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” it’s about the most uncool thing you can do.

If humor is an authentic way you connect with an audience, then by all means use 160 characters to show off some wit.

But don’t force the concept because you think it’s what people want to read.

#4 – Don’t Sell

You will have plenty of chances to self-promote on social media; don’t make your bio one of them.

bad-twitter-bio-example

Twitter Bio Example – Bad

You can tell people what your product stands for without selling, LifeLock does this with their bio, but a good first impression should never end with a call to action.

Instead of telling people what you do or what you offer, tell them why you do it.

Apple will never tell you that it’s a company that sells phones. It will tell you it’s a company that changes lives… oh, and they just happen to sell phones to make it happen.

See the difference? Tell people why you wake up in the morning and do what you do, and they will follow you (figuratively and literally on Twitter).

#5 – Be Genuine

That last one goes without saying but it has to be said anyways—don’t be fake.

It’s not easy to trust people you meet or come across online. People can sometimes be more authentic online than offline in the way they express their personality.

how-to-be-genuine-on-twitter-online

Twitter is full of hacks who are out to get as many followers as possible with no real value. Quality trumps quantity any time of day.

Be genuine and true in you bio and you will not be one of those hacks.

Want to learn more?

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interactive-content-marketing-how-to-quiz

Reasons To Build An Interactive Tool For Content Marketing

The ability to evolve and the agility to pivot in response to trends are crucibles upon which marketers’ work is often judged by consumers and organizations alike. One area in which this is especially apparent is content marketing. As surely as digital content marketing has become elemental, so too has the Web’s indiscriminate urge to disrupt it. – dmnews.com

How many times have you taken some sort of assessment or quiz online for fun?

Maybe it was a searcher behavior quiz (SEO) or a content marketing assessment that you accessed, to learn more about what you might be missing.

Or, maybe you took an assessment or tried a useful calculator from a known, online brand?

The bottom line is that unless you have been living underneath a rock, you have heard or seen a number of different quizzes on a wide variety of subjects online.

interactive-quiz-content-marketing-chart

The interactive content sweetspot focus areas (From convinceandconvert.com)

These quizzes are actually everywhere, so it is normal that you will see them going across your news-feed and taking over a big part of your social media experience.

They are becoming more and more popular in use for B2B marketing professionals as well.

“People aren’t satisfied with one-way communication anymore; they want to participate in a conversation. This is where interactive content comes into play. Instead of creating long, static documents, consider creating ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style assets”
Peter Arvai, CEO of presentation software company Prezi

“The shift from the traditional “click->landingpage->emailcapture->provideanswers” is turned on it’s head, of sorts. It’s about solving problems first, and providing (immediate) answers and leveraging content marketing second.”

However, these quizzes and interactive content engines are actually used for a whole lot more than simply taking up some time or as a fun way to brag to your friends about the great results that you got on a quiz.

interactive-content-framework-chart

The new interactive content marketing map (ioninteractive)

These online quizzes are actually a powerful framework and toolset that you can use for lead generation and viral engagement for your website.

Examples of interactive content tools you can add to your websites, blogs and social media channels:

All you have to do is strategically place an email capture just in front of the results of the quiz.

Most of the quiz takers are going to be itching to find out what their results are, so the best quizzes will actually fall in line with about a 50% opt-in rate. Plus, the lead quality is often higher.

chaosmap seo blogging tips

Take the Chaosmap Content Marketing Quiz right now. (Disclaimer: This is our software, developed as a WordPress plugin)

quiz-plugin-wordpress-chaosmap-interactive-content

When you want to be able to use a quiz on your website to help you with some great lead generation you will find that there are some major ways that you can really maximize your conversion rates.

A recent study from B2B Content Marketing Trends showed that ‘Producing Engaging Content’ was the biggest challenge, right before ‘Measuring Content Effectiveness’. 

b2b-content-marketing-biggest-problem

From ContentMarketingInstitute.com (CMI)

A new breed of marketing talent and content know-how will be needed, because interactive content also requires design and development expertise.

How to start building interactive content?

To begin a interactive content strategy, ask what data you want, and what service your buyers want.

Compare and contrast with what your sales teams want. Ask them to cooperate on building a quiz for the highest MQL‘s (marketing qualified leads) possible. Always keep your intended audience in mind first. How can this quiz really help them make decisions?

You’ll begin to see a positive shift in your sales accepted leads (SAL), all while your are educating and helping your customers and prospects. That’s a winning formula.

Another example is what Dell has done with their Mobile Assessment – it’s an interactive quiz. And, it is helping your IT leadership understand, prepare and take action on the IT concerns that exist within this topic. Dell provides value first.

interactive-quiz-dell-mobile-assessment

https://marketing.dell.com/mobilityassessment – Dell Interactive Content Marketing

Connection Is Crucial

A popular trend today is that the highest converting quizzes are doing a great job of building up a decent rapport with their quiz takers well before they present the offer to opt-in.

As a person looking around online today, we all enjoy the ability to have a great conversation.

Talking with another person is a process that releases Oxytocin, which is a drug in the human body that makes us feel good.

These quizzes that are able to succeed on a conversational level are also those that generate the most leads.

In order to do so, you need to be able to create a connection, which can be done by using your personality.

Here’s an example of what Orbitz has done with a fun travel quiz:

interactive-quiz-orbitz-example

Orbitz Travel Quiz Example

Any quiz that comes off as having personality will have the feel of being more human, which will then help the quiz taker to feel more comfortable so that they are willing to fill in their email address.

Wit and charm can go a long way to make someone feel as though they are talking to a real person when filling out a quiz that is filled with snark and personality.

Additionally, you can take the initiative to create your quiz as though you are talking to an actual person.

This can be done simply by thinking about a person that would enjoy your content or the quiz and write it as though you are speaking directly to them.

Stay Relevant

If you are putting together a quiz for your website that is going to be all about content marketing, you need to have a call to action that has to be about CONTENT MARKETING.

By the same token, if you are putting together a quiz on sharpening your writing skills, the call to action has to be about writing skills.

Basically speaking, the content has to be able to provide an experience that is continuous in order to captivate a quiz taker and there should be no call to action that is a surprise.

Understand Lead Generation

If you are going to be asking for permission to send emails to someone, you need to understand how the trade of lead generation works.

The emails are entering into their inbox and they will end up taking up space and the quiz taker’s valuable time.

Because you are asking for something of value, you need to be able to give them something that is valuable in return.

With each quiz that you are using for lead generation, the value will be in the results. This will mean that the more involved the quiz is, the more valuable your results will be.

You need to remember that having the approval to email someone is something that you should not take lightly.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsWe recommend displaying the results right after the quiz, and not holding the quiz taker ‘hostage’. Provide the results and recommendations, but allow them to download the results and get more relevant information by entering their name & email. (Note: test this for your own market!)

Solve A Problem

If a customer is going to be asking you a question, the chances are that there were other customers that have had the same question whether they realize it or not.

Some of these customers may simply be too shy to bring up the question or they just feel as though they would not enjoy the answer to the particular question.

Answering the questions that any of your current or potential customers may have will be the perfect way to generate content that you know they will appreciate.

Positive Is Always Better Than Negative

The bottom line is that there are two ways that you can offer your help:

  1. One way is telling quiz takers that they are in trouble and they need your services so that they can get out of trouble.
  2. The other way is to tell people that they are great, they just need your services to make them even better than they are currently.

Some of the quizzes that are the highest converting are those that will give people fun and really helpful answers to the questions that they have or those that are going to test them on their knowledge or expertise.

Social sharing / viral opportunity

Everyone likes to hear that they scored better than a friend or a family member on a quiz, so they will be more than likely to take the quiz themselves so that they can have bragging rights.

Keep your quizzes to the point, make sure that they load easily and always be strategic about the content that you have as well as the placement of your opt-in form.

Conclusion

When all is said and done, you will see that a well planned out quiz and interactive content can be a perfect viral engagement tool for your website.

Make sure to add social widgets (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn share buttons) and create sharing texts that entice the audience to take it also.

The power of the interactive content marketing model actually lies in the personalization. So, make sure that you are smart about the lead boxes that you use and have fun with your quiz options.

Brands can take their content marketing to new levels with interactive content and quizzes while providing great value, and making their sales teams excited about the new daily leads they get.

Want to get started?

seo-write-for-people-not-search-engines

Use These Essential Writing Tips For Better SEO Copy

When you are creating new copy for a blog or creating content for the Web, there are two objectives that you need to fulfill:

  • first, make the content useful, pleasant and attractive for human users,
  • and second, do the same thing, and add topical relevance (with well researched keywords) for Google’s algorithm so that your page will get a lot of traffic.
seo-user-experience-optimization-content

7 Things To Consider for user friendly content (From http://contentmarketinginstitute.com)

These sometimes overlap and occasionally contradict each other.

In this post, we will run down some of the most important tools and structures in your content and how they serve users and SEO (infographic) outcomes.

It is important to understand how to craft great content, because it can be the cornerstone to a website and help you build your brand.

By taking the time to learn the best ways to improve your copy, you are investing in the future.

Structure

The structure of each piece of content makes a big difference in how many people will spend the time to read it.

Especially online, it is becoming ever harder to attract and keep a reader’s attention. One of the best ways to do that is to use short sentences and small paragraphs.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsKeep your paragraphs no longer than 3-5 sentences.

This is advice from journalism, where keeping a reader’s attention with short paragraphs is an old trick.

How users read on the Web: “They don’t. People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.” – Jakob Nielsen

You should also use plenty of subheaders with boldface to let the reader know exactly where they are. People scan (not read) content on the Internet.

All of these structural tips are aimed at making your content easier to skim.

It is rare for people to read a post or article all the way through, but very common for them to skim it and read only the sections that seem most interesting to them at the time.

Layout

It is hard to make a choice about layout, because here the human and SEO objectives clash a little bit.

This graphic shows the essential SEO elements to build into a web page.  And you must to all you can to avoid the common web design mistakes.

layout-vs-design-seo

Consider SEO elements and balance Design and Layout of a web page

On the one hand, having more images and even infographics can be quite attractive to human viewers. They are perfect for supporting and reinforcing text and they also serve those people who prefer to skim.

However, any content that you put into an image won’t be crawled by Google (make sure to add relevant keyword text in the image alt attribute, so it will help drive SEO benefits. And, you’ll get found in image search!)

You also don’t want to put in too many images because that can affect the speed at which the page loads, and we’ll talk more about that later.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsIf you use WordPress – use an image optimizer to get better page load performance.

You want the navigational bar to be easy to find, clear, and located in a consistent place, because readers should never be confused about where they are or how to get to where they want to go. Here’s an article on how to use breadcrumbs for SEO and your navigation.

Clarity takes priority over flashiness in all elements of web design.

Headlines

You need to pick headlines for your content appropriately. This also goes for subheads. They are important for both SEO and readership.

seo-headlines-important

David Ogilvy on the importance of headlines in copy (and SEO)

The goal of a headline is to describe what is to come in the following content in a condensed, enticing phrase.

A headline that is too long will take too long to read and spill onto multiple lines. If it’s too short, the headline won’t be descriptive.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsA useful tip: don’t put your keywords into your headlines and subheads too often.

That will make Google’s algorithm suspicious that your content is not organic and genuine. If you think ahead, you can make your headlines into tweets for when you announce your content on social media.

Remember that headlines and subheads are what your viewers will see first and are the thing they are most likely to remember, so spend some extra time crafting them and think long-term.

Bulleted Lists

Adding lists with bullets to your content is a great way to summarize repetitive or similar ideas without needing to create an image or relying on long, loose sentence structure.

seo-time-on-site-copy

Improve time on page for SEO (writing layout)

There is no rule of thumb for when to add a list, but if you have, for example, a set of pros and a set of cons for an item, then that is a good candidate for creating some lists.

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There is a happy medium when it comes to the length of a list.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsIt shouldn’t be so long that it seems tiresome, but if you have less than three entries the list seems superfluous.

It’s also not a good idea for list items to spill too far onto a second line, because that can be distracting and take away from the list’s appearance.

Lists are a perfect way to break up walls of text, which are anathema to engagement.

Social Media

Social media is a very important part of sharing your content.

share-button-improves-traffic-research

Mentions per site goes up 7 times with a Tweet Button (research)

First of all, social media is a means for people to find your content.

You share everything you post via social media channels, because then you have people who can stumble across you in more places than just Google.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsMake sure to add ‘social share buttons’ on your essential pages and make it easy for users to share your content in social networks.

More importantly, when your readers share your work across their own social networks, you gain many more potential followers and loyal readers. This effect is called propagation, and it is very powerful.

The more a piece of content propagates, the more readers you get with no investment of your own: your readers are actually spreading the content for you.

In addition, social media engagement is a positive sign for Google, and it will get you a higher ranking as long as the propagation is organic. In other words, don’t try to buy likes or shares.

Mobile Users

It’s more important than every before to think about mobile users. They now constitute more than half of all Internet users worldwide. The recent Pew Internet Mobile Report shows usage, behaviors and that people’s technical sophistication is growing.

Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them – PEWINTERNET.ORG

That means if you are not ready to serve them, you will miss out on a large number of potential readers.

Set your content up for mobility by choosing pictures that will resize themselves, making sure your fonts do not become blurry on small screens, checking for the column width so that it doesn’t cause lines to break up on mobile, and so on. Your developers can install plugins (if WordPress), or utilize CSS and mobile detection to serve the right content and navigation.

chaosmap seo blogging tips

Take the mobile test on Google.

There are a lot of little details that can affect how content displays on a mobile device. You need to carry out tests to ensure that things work properly and all of the content displays as intended for mobile users.

Not only are you including them in your readership, but mobile platforms are perfect for social media engagement, so it interacts well with your social networking and outreach.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the best way to make your content and copy as good as it can possibly be is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers.

Ask yourself what they would want and then decide how you can provide that value.

Test out your site on friends and family to see how they react to it and use testing tools to look for any flaws in the design.

chaosmap seo blogging tips

Try usertesting.com or feedbackarmy.com to get real feedback on how well your site and pages are working (or not).

Make your copy easy to scan and digest, and encourage readers to leave comments and share it on social media.

Greater engagement will give your readers a better sense of connection to your copy as well as improve your standing from an SEO viewpoint.

NEED SOME HELP? Contact Us Here and schedule your time.


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Data-Driven Marketing: The 6 Immutable Laws To Follow

Data driven marketing is not just a way for businesses to refine and target their marketing efforts more effectively, but it has become a REAL expectation from customers as well.

“Arguably, the most important evolution in the history of marketing is the ability to understand what data you have, what data you can get, how to organize and, ultimately, how to activate the data” – Mark Flaharty, SundaySky

In its analysis of 2015, the analytical data platform Teradata (Download PDF: Global Data Driven Marketing Survey Report) revealed that “customers have grown accustomed to marketers’ knowledge of their preferences and anticipation of their needs.”

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Tweet: This implies that data driven marketing is not seen as intrusive but rather, is well-received. - Jon Rognerud (@jonrognerud)Therefore, the following appears to be true: (Please RT – click on bird!)

“Customer feedback implies that data driven marketing is not seen as intrusive but rather, is well-received” – Jon Rognerud (@jonrognerud)

Businesses are recognizing the need for data driven marketing and many are seeing how it aligns with their business goals and expectations.

They understand the importance of focusing on consumers and better predicting their actions, habits and preferences.

The biggest drivers of increased data marketing include:

  • Maximized efficiency of marketing investments
  • Improved knowledge of customers and prospects
  • Improved alignment with consumer preferences and needs
  • A growing availability of audience data, providing better data capabilities
  • A need to become more customer oriented

However, knowing why data driven marketing is important is different than knowing where your efforts need to focused.

While one of your primary goals may be to improve the efficiency of advertising campaigns, you need to know what type of data is going to help you accomplish this as well.

Data gathering efforts are typically focused toward:

  • Data related to offers, messages and content
  • Product development
  • Customer experience
  • Audience analytics and measurement
  • Predictive analysis

By capturing data in these categories, businesses can use the information for better consumer engagement across numerous channels, online and offline.

Some of the most popular channels for data driven marketing include websites, mobile apps, call centers, social media, in-store, direct mail and catalogs.

Don’t take my word for it though… let the data tell you this.

Data provides a logical approach to outlining your marketing strategies. Through testing and analyzing various channels, you can find which ones work well for your business.

As an example, while mobile apps can be effective in many industries, they aren’t suitable for all and there’s pre-existing data to prove this. You can use this data for determining the practicality of investing in these areas.

Data driven marketing is beginning to be recognized for the opportunities it creates as well.

Businesses that allow data to guide their marketing priorities are able to personalize the customer experience with:

  • custom messages,
  • acquiring analytical skills that can be used to leverage insights,
  • get higher customer acquisitions,
  • boost conversion and retention rates,
  • and improve efficiency by significant margins.

It is only a matter of time before the right data crosses your path. There is no better way to acquire data than to test the waters, make mistakes and learn from them.

That’s not to say that you will have issues. In the Teradata report, there are obstacles preventing marketing from becoming more data driven:

data-driven-marketing-issues-comparison

Report: obstacles to becoming more data driven

Here are 6 immutable laws of data driven marketing to guide you along the way:

1. Follow the data – internally and externally

While data driven marketing is mostly about the consumer, don’t forget that there is a lot to be learned from your employees and the obstacles they face as well.

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Sometimes you have to look inward to engage customers more effectively.

Your employees will be the most familiar with important business procedures such as order management and client retention practices.

There is often data here that can be collected and analyzed to find valuable insights.

Address things that may be holding you back as well as things that are working well for the business. You can learn from both positive and negative data.

2. Don’t let data stunt creativity

Data driven marketing is about letting the numbers influence decision making but it shouldn’t interfere with creativity and exploration.

Use data and creativity – with a balance

Don’t let the metrics steer your business into a black and white decision making process.

There is such a thing as being too data-driven, where you lose the personal touch and human element that your business once had.

Let the data inspire and guide you rather than catering every action or task toward its findings.

3. Use technology for analytical insights and marketing automation

Whether you are marketing through a website, app, television or any other channel, technology is your assistant to data driven marketing and automation.

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Use the tools and resources available to your for gaining analytical insights.

For your website, there is Google Analytics, which helps you better understand your traffic, where it comes from and how users behave once arriving at your website.

For virtually every marketing channel, there are analytical tools that gather data for you automatically, taking the hassle out of the process and making your job easier.

Similarly, most marketing channels have solutions that can help you automate some of the process.

For instance, for websites you can look into email marketing automation through MailChimp.

These tools create entirely new categories of data, allowing you to explore and come up with ideas.

MailChimp tells you which email subjects perform the best, your open rate and much more. The technology you use creates new data pathways that can inspire you.

4. Continue to measure and experiment

Having the right data on hand won’t help unless you integrate your findings and continue to measure and test the results.

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Be adventurous and find what works for you and what doesn’t. Let the data guide you to make changes to your marketing campaigns.

With the right reporting setup, you will be able to view in real-time how your campaigns are responding to the adjustments.

Data driven marketing is sometimes a repetitive process of tinkering and learning but with the right tools, you will be able to deliver better content to your audience.

5. Redeploy and scale

When you’ve made your adjustments and got the formula just right, you’re ready to redeploy and start investing more money.

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By continuing to measure and test, you will optimize your campaigns for maximum ROI and slowly raise the bar for quality score and effectiveness.

Scaling allows you to make use of your efforts and get more revenue out of the hard work and changes you’ve made by following the data.

6. Stay true to the user experience

It can be tempting to allow data to model every decision you make.

(From usabilitygeek.com)

When you do this, you often sacrifice the user experience for changes that the data suggests should be profitable but when implemented, does not prove to be as promising.

Remember to always stay true to the user experience and you shouldn’t have this problem.

Before making adjustments, imagine yourself as a consumer and how the change would impact your thoughts, opinions and overall user experience.

ultimate-data-driven-marketing-questionSometimes data can compel you to make changes that sacrifice important attributes that were working for your marketing campaigns.

By staying true to the user experience you put value and engagement ahead of everything else and create the best possible outcome for the user.

All marketing executives in today’s markets want to serve their customers better. They want answers. You can find it in the data.

Resources, tools and further data-driven marketing research:

creative-writing-prompts-new-information

5 Things Everyone Who Wants To Become a Creative Writer Should Know

You know you’re a good writer.

And after six cups of coffee and a 20 minute Facebook break, you’re still a good writer.

But you haven’t written anything. Yet. And the cursor on that blank Word document is starting to make your eye twitch.

creative writing prompts ideas

Via Giphy

Now is the time to channel your high school English teacher and use a creative writing prompt.

Or five.

According to Poets & Writers Magazine, building creative writing prompts help even the most seasoned writers by generating new ideas and sparking some inspiration.

Even if you end up scrapping the whole thing, the prompt itself will help you hone your craft and reach your full potential as a writer.

Here are 5 ways to creative writing prompts and how to get more ideas for content:

1. Develop Discipline

get discipline dog youEven the greats admit that writing is work. Ray Bradbury once said, “Any man who keeps working is not a failure.

He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.”

If you get up everyday and write something, you will eventually write something well. A daily writing prompt from sites like BusyTeacher.org can provide the necessary structure to work your writing muscle.

Think of it like meeting up with your personal trainer (only without the embarrassing outfits).

2. Take the Scenic Route

drinking-writing-off-the-beaten-pathWriting prompts take your pen off the beaten path.

For example, imagine starting a story with this prompt from Writer’s Digest:

“I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years” and ending it with “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

A prompt that starts a storyline you don’t usually pursue is a great thing because it broadens your artistic lens.

You are forced to investigate a new plotline, a strange character, a hidden flaw.

If you don’t like the end product, at least you will have a refreshed palate when you return to business as usual.

3. Inspire a New Start

a-new-different-start-creative-writingSometimes, the very act of putting words on a page can break up writer’s block.

Try writing a letter literally breaking up with writer’s block.

Start with “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me …”

4. Kill Clichés

kill-cliches writing promptsWriters can’t just reuse greatness.

They have to “invent it from scratch” Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, states on her blog:

“That’s why writing is a lot of work, and demands unflinching honesty.” – Janet Fitch, Author

Writing prompts can–quite literally–help you kill clichés.

Try this one from WriterofthePrompts.tumblr.com: ‘Soul mates’ they called it.

“I could see why so many became entranced after meeting him. He was my soul mate, no question. Which was why he needed to die.”

If you don’t end up with a great story from this ironic twist on a cliché, at least you’ll have an entertaining reminder not to use it.

And most writing could benefit from one less cliché.

5. Disrupt Your Rhythm

break-rhytm-creating-writingGood writers have a way of using potent words and rhythm to their advantage.

One of the best writing prompts to disrupt tired writing is to imitate someone else’s work.

A great writer’s word choices, sentence patterns and style may help you chisel a new style of writing for yourself.

Try this writing prompt from LanternReview.com and use Charles Wright’s poem “Clear Night” as a template for your own.

Or choose a surrealist poet like Federico García Lorca and challenge yourself to rearrange the words in one of his poems to create your own.

You will not be bored.

And neither will your readers!

excited-writing-giddy-up

chaosmap-clever-seo-keyword-research-tactics

7 Clever SEO Keyword Research Tactics

It’s no secret that keyword research should be at the core of every online marketing campaign.

While there are plenty of marketers who downplay the role keyword research plays in terms of crafting content, boosting traffic and improving conversions these days, it’s important to understand that it still reigns supreme even after all the updates released by Google.

(One of these major Google updates: Google Hummbingbird, is changing how we look at the ‘keyword game’. Instead, we’re looking for answer-box query opportunities… with search context and user intent in focus. It’s obvious: “display the best search result to a query, but also the one that searchers click + engage with”).

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Google Hummingbird Infographic – Courtesy business2community.com

The thing is, most marketers do not know how to do keyword research the right way.

If what you do when researching for keywords is entering a seed term in Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner, downloading the results and then sorting the list in a spreadsheet, then you are definitely missing out on a ton of opportunities. (However, it’s a starting point).

This same method is being done by countless other marketers every single day.

Sure, you might discover a hidden gem, but why limit yourself? If you have an authoritative domain (research domains via keywords too), then this shouldn’t be an issue for you.

But if you’re still working your way up, then you want to uncover keywords that few others will target, and still have good conversion chances.

Lower competition means higher chances of ranking on top of the search results, and if the messaging (copy) and call-to-action is done right, you’ll boost your bottom-line too.

Your first order of business is to change your perception about Google’s Keyword Planner. (NOTE: The Google kw research tool is found inside the Adwords product. It’s geared towards paid search (PPC), and leaves many SEO and long tail terms ‘hidden’).

It’s not the only avenue through which you can research keywords for your content creation strategy. Read on and discover other places where you can find highly targeted keywords to boost the traffic and revenue of your online business.

7 Ingenious Keyword Research Techniques To Drive Traffic & Increase Revenue

1. Education Marketplaces

There has been a rapid increase in demand for online training and learning.

“Here’s A Guy Who Makes $1,000 An Hour Tutoring Kids Of Fortune 500 CEOs Over Skype From His Apartment”

coaching training skype over $1,000 an hour

Anthony Green: coaching & training over skype at $1,000 an hour

Countless people are willing to shell out money to get high quality training courses.

Skillshare and Udemy are just two sites that offer online courses for students.

This particular market is interesting in that you can guarantee that they eager to spend money in exchange for quality education.

skill-share-training-make-money-research chaosmap

Creating content that attracts students can prove to be very profitable for your site.

The first step is to find out the top courses in the category under which your niche falls.

Udemy works particularly well here for two reasons: first, their training courses are created by experts, which means they already have a working understanding of the language used by the target audience; second, the courses can be sorted by popularity, making it very easy to find the most taken courses.

You can narrow down results by picking a sub-category.

Afterward, sort the courses by popularity. You’ll see filtering options on the left of the screen.

In the “level” filtering option, choose the appropriate audience. So if you’re creating content for beginners, then be sure to tick the “beginners” option.

You’ll then be presented with a list of courses related to your niche. What you want to do is read through the course descriptions and find keywords that have great potential.

As mentioned, these are written by experts, so they probably know what they’re talking about. Use their knowledge and incorporate the keywords and further strategy they use in your own content and educational materials.

2. Question and Answer Sites

What are the best kinds of keywords? Obviously, those that come directly from your readers. It’s now easier than ever to find these keywords. Through the help of some third party tools, you can find keyword ideas based on content found in question and answer sites.

Faqfox is one tool to consider within your online marketing toolkit. It scrapes threads from different forums and aggregators based on the keyword you enter. You can even add a specific forum. Use it as an aggregation tool.

seo-keyword-research-faqfox-questions-answers

After clicking the search button, you’ll be presented with a list of thread titles. You can find full questions that were asked by your target audience. This gives you incredible insight about what they’re looking for.

You can also scrape popular forums in your niche. As you know, people go to forums to discuss a certain subject. You can gather thread titles and enter them in a keyword density tool.

What this does is it allows you to see the most commonly used terms by your target audience. This might not initially seem that helpful, but knowing whether your audience uses the word “best” instead of “top” can mean a wealth of difference.

3. Competitors’ Websites

Who says you can’t steal keywords used by your competitors?

This one is a bit trickier than the previous two methods, but if you know how to do it correctly, you can gain a significant advantage over your competition.

There’s a good chance you’ve experienced searching for a particular keyword and seeing one result that shouldn’t be there (both in SEO, PPC and Local search). In many cases, authoritative domains rank for keywords for which their content isn’t really optimized. Their authority and trust factors simply push them to the top of the first page.

You can take advantage of this opportunity by using Google’s Keyword Planner. If you’ve never used the space where it says “your landing page” before, now is a great time to do so. Enter the URL of your competitor’s website. It’s up to you whether you enter the root domain or a URL of a specific page.

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Upon hitting “Get Ideas,” you will get hundreds of keywords related to the site.

You’ll see the grouped results (the default display) in the area below the monthly search volume trends. This can also be displayed as a list of “keyword ideas”. (Note: the grouped options are helpful if you are creating an Adwords campaign).

In most cases, you’ll see keywords which you wouldn’t get if you simply entered a seed keyword in the text box. The next step is to plug the keyword list into a rank tracker. Your goal is to find keywords for which your competitor’s website ranks. Ideally, for your own projects, you want those that rank either in page one or two of the search results. You’ll should begin to collect and compare data between the GKT (Google Keyword Tool), GA (Google Analytics) and the GSC (Google Search Console). While Google Analytics doesn’t reveal all the natural keywords anymore, you can infer patterns of usage and certainly narrow down what pages (content drilldown) need more help to rank and drive conversions.

4. Twitter Chats

A lot of marketers use Twitter to reach their target audience, but only a handful know how to use it to generate targeted keywords for their business.

The hashtag is a powerful tool that lets you in the conversation of your potential customers.

By reading Twitter chats, you can learn what your audience likes to talk about. You can then glean relevant keywords which you can use when crafting content.

Again, you need to use a few tools for this method:
Tweetchat, Twitterfall and Hashtagsorg work well here.

These tools basically work in the same manner: You enter a hashtag and it returns Twitter chats that contain the hashtag you used.

tweetchat-keyword-topic-research

Search for popular and niche hashtags for keyword research

The problem is that the results you see are usually not useful. What you really want to do is participate in the Twitter chats. This can be done by staying updated about the schedule of the chats. Twubs and Tweetreports are two places where you can find schedules of Twitter chats relevant to your business.

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Hashtags.org – #searchengineoptimization hash tag analytics

Once you’re in the conversation, be sure to jot down the questions raised by other participants. Also be on the lookout for commonly used terms, as they can be a difference maker when it’s time to write your content.

NOTE: many of these tools require you to authenticate your Twitter account. It’s a usual and expected practice these days.

5. YouTube

Many marketers forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine, trailing only its parent company Google. Millions of people use YouTube to watch videos not only for entertainment purposes, but to educate themselves about certain topics.

You can use a tool like soovle.com to get a full picture of many destinations online, including YouTube.

youtube-keyword-research-tools-seo-soovle

This tool can be useful for writing traditional text, it’s not just about ‘streaming media’. You might even find keywords that the Keyword Planner wouldn’t show you.

Aside from the YouTube keyword tool, you can also utilize the auto complete function of the search box.

Simply enter a keyword and see the related keywords that show up under it. This can prove to be a goldmine as the keywords are already sorted by popularity.

youtube-auto-complete-search-keywords

YouTube.com – ‘auto-complete’ keyword search suggestions

And while you’re at it, you might also want to look at the comments and see what people are talking about.

YouTube comments often have both positive and negative comments, but you can find a few gems here and there if you know where to look.  Plus, you’ll learn what videos seem to work better than others based on the feedback.

For example, here’s a video of mine on ‘local seo tips’.

6. Amazon

If you’re an affiliate marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve joined Amazon Associates.

Aside from selecting what products to sell and getting your affiliate links, it is important to utilize the power of Amazon in terms of helping you craft the best product reviews and research what others have written. Take note that this method also works even if you’re not an Amazon affiliate.

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Amazon reviews: a niche keyword research and feedback treasure

In some cases, writing product reviews can prove to be too difficult. This is particularly true if you have no firsthand experience of using the product (and you shouldn’t lie!).

If all you include in your review are the same things such as product descriptions and features, then you are not really offering anything of value to your readers.

The secret to writing excellent product reviews is answering the questions of buyers.

Where can you find these questions? On Amazon, of course.

Many do not notice that product pages on Amazon have a dedicated question and answer section. This is where customers can ask questions about the product before they make a purchase.

It’s safe to assume that these questions are also typed in search engines. By providing the answers to these questions, you can build trust among your readers, thus compelling them to purchase through your referral links.

All while you gather further keyword research data that you can embed in your own site(s).

7. Keyword Tools

There are several keyword tools out there. Google’s Keyword Planner is the most popular since it’s free and most of the tools on the market extract data from it. It’s important to understand that each tool comes with its own limitations. This is why it’s a must to utilize multiple keyword tools to get the most comprehensive and relevant keyword list for your online business.

One way to get a lot of long-tail keyphrases is to use Ubersuggest.

Here’s an example of first level results from ‘search engine marketing’:

ubersuggest-search-engine-marketing-keyword-research

Ubersuggest.org – long tail keyword research

Basically, this tool works by adding a letter or a number to your keyword.

It uses the auto complete suggestions from Google and records all results for you. You can then download the list and plug them into Keyword Planner or another tool of your choice.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Here’s a 3-page list of free and paid keyword research tools (PDF) you can and should review for yourself.

Conclusion

Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that keyword research isn’t all about entering a keyword into Google’s Keyword Planner.

SEO is changing, and the future of SEO is will include more of ‘user intent’ thinking, improvement and leverage of long tail keywords, local search (including mobile), and ROI.”

There are more places in which you can discover highly targeted keywords.

With a little bit of creativity and common sense, you can surely find the best keywords for your online business, allowing you to craft the perfect content and optimize your campaigns to ultimately increase revenue.

P.S.
Have you looked into ‘regular’ magazines? Most keyword research happens online, but stroll down to your local library or bookstore, and pick out some magazines for your market. You’ll get more ideas from ‘offline’, and that may include some great headlines for your pages.

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3 Ways To Get More B2B Leads With SEO And Marketing Automation

Pop quiz time!

popquiz-marketing-seoWhat is the most important part of your digital marketing campaign?

It’s a trick question. (All of them are important!)

Imagine this: your business is like a 4-legged bar stool. Take any one of the four legs out and it will fall over.

Strangely, most businesses are like a three legged stool.

This is because while they have a great product/service, have wonderful and skilled salespeople with solid product knowledge, conversation skills and a team willing and able to fulfill the customers every need and desire…

… they don’t give lead generation the time it deserves.

However, it’s not their fault.

Lead generation is one of the most difficult and intimidating parts of any B2B market places. There are so many different parts that it can be near impossible to know where to begin.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create quality leads for your business-to-business company and master the skill of lead generation (demand generation)… so you can take your business to the next level.

First, consider this chart from Content Marketing Institute. It shows that you must ensure an intelligent content plan and relevant marketing strategy.

“B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are fare more likely to consider themselves effective”:

b2b-boring-industries-content-marketing-strategy-percentage

Get productive, and review your content marketing strategy and make sure you put one in place. It will positively impact all the steps below and make the job much easier.

Just think how your business life would change if you had a steady stream of customers or clients …ready, willing and able to buy from you, and lining up to give you their time & money?

The money is in the people who say “NO”?

Don’t you hate when people say “No” to your products and services?

Wouldn’t it be so much better if every person and every company wanted to work with you?

Your largest source of untapped wealth is the people who say “No”.

Think about this example:

Let’s say that today, 10 people respond to an online advertisement you run – that sends visitors to a custom landing page with a special offer or call to action.

You send these 10 people more information and 4 of them booked an appointment with you.

One of them became a paying client.

That’s a 10% conversation rate on your advertisement. Not bad, although a lot of people said “No” during the period. (Note: I’m assuming that your campaign expenditure vs. return ratios are in balance, or that you are tracking and even considering loss-leaders.)

What’s important to understand is that they didn’t say “No” because they weren’t interested at all. They have already raised their hands when they responded to your ad.

This shows that they had a need for what you were offering as well as a desire. These are 10 interested and qualified people.

The reality is that they have a need, but weren’t ready to buy or make an appointment at that exact time.

To never contact these people again is a cardinal marketing sin.

Although this is a basic example, how many prospects who you KNOW would benefit from working with you … are you missing out on because of a lack of follow up?

This is the secret of 360 degree lead generation – finding the people who said “No” at some point and giving them more opportunities to say “Yes”.

The solution here is twofold:

  1. CRM marketing. The age old auto responder and customer capture.
  2. Doing SEO correctly (the strategies are different for B2B than B2C).

Let’s take each in turn…

STEP 1: CRM Marketing

 “Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support” – WikipediA

A CRM is a product like Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot or Infusionsoft that allows you to create a prospect entry in their database and build auto-responder message series for your business segments.

This gives you the opportunity to follow up with prospects repeatedly, to build and nurture relationships and to offer your services or products over and over again …in a number of different ways.

You already know you need a CRM and auto-responder features, but are you using one? And if you are using an auto responder, are you using it as effectively as you could be?

Building emails and auto responder campaigns are too large a topic to cover in this post, so if you want more, John McIntyre “The Autoresponder Guy” has you covered.

STEP 2: SEO for Business-to-Business Marketing

You’re probably familiar with most of the concepts of good SEO so we’ll save you a lecture here.

Instead, let’s look at the differences of using SEO for business-to-business lead generation as opposed to business-to-consumer.

  1. Keywords: They can be more difficult to research, analyze and optimize (but more rewarding when you do). Since there may not be a lot of obvious keywords available (and potential traffic) for B2B, the focus must be on quality over quantity. It will take more time to find high-intent search terms, but when you do discover them, it is like striking gold. You might begin by using the Google Keyword Planner. But don’t stop there, it’s very specific to paid search, and not organic (SEO)! Go out and search your topics and competitors in Google search directly, and look at the suggested searches at the bottom of the page of search results. Take a look at Google predictions via Instant Search.
  2. Check for penalty back links: You don’t want to be putting out lots of effort only to be slowed down by a penalty such as the Penguin update.
  3. Leverage social media: Social media marketing is invaluable for SEO purposes over time. While we don’t think Google is using the signals directly, we believe this will change over time. For now, the publishing of data across your key social networks not only builds traffic and visibility for your brand, but can have a “2nd wave effect” of links, which are still very important for higher rankings. However, many business-to-business companies think that social media is a place where you stay in touch with your friends – not where business is done. Social media, however, gives you easy reach and allows you to build and nurture relationships. (This speech from Gary Vaynerchuk might open your eyes [7 minutes of “Gary Vaynerchuk: I love Social Media because it sells stuff!”)

STEP 3: Retargeting: For When CRM’s fail

The importance of a full and complete CRM with an auto-responder sequence has been made very clear in case study after case study. This is one of your most important assets for lead generation and creating raving fan customers.

However, what if you never get an email address?

What about the people who say “No” the first chance they get? Can those people still become leads?

how-retargeting-works-selling-more-chaosmap

How does retargeting work to sell more? (Courtesy http://goldspacegroup.com/)

The answer is yes, due to the power of retargeting.

For example, using Facebook advertising and retargeting, or Google’s remarketing and customer match (uploading emails and matching) capabilities.

Done right, this can become your highly targeted “perpetual” traffic machine and with an improved customer segmentation matrix and lowered spend over time.

Again, you’ve probably heard of retargeting before. The question is, are you using it? Check the Guide To Retargeting here.

There’s one final step that most marketers overlook.

This step has five words: Double down on whatever works.

Ultimately, all marketing, online or off, is a test.

Your job when creating marketing campaigns is to try different things and see what works. As you’ve probably seen, what you think people will respond to, and what they ACTUALLY respond to are two very different things.

Also think about your message, market and platform. As you can see in this lead generation training video for CPAs and Accountants, it’s not about the tools at first.

(That’s why SEO is such a powerful strategy when done right. Keyword-driven searches with high user intent that match your targeted, well-crafted pages and messages are GOLD!)

When you find a strategy that works, an ad that is getting profitable clicks, a landing page that is converting, a message that has a high click through rate or a sales letter that is making sales, double down on it.

Measuring these statistics is easy.

Your CRM will provide you with details on open rates and click through rates, and you must use Goals and UTM tracking in Google analytics (Click here for more information on Google goals) to get accurate statistics on your campaigns.

For larger businesses and specifically for B2B, there is also LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator. (You can learn more about that here.)

You’ve now learned a number of practical steps in this article. You can use these to create literally million dollar leads.

What strategy will you start with first?

BONUS: Get the free lead generation guide that will show you how to quickly get more leads from traffic. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

how-to-create-a-blog-website

How To Create A Blog (Website)

If you are thinking of creating a new website, you should consider building a blog. A blog will change your business forever when you follow the steps in this post.

Wonder Why You Should Start a Blog?

Check out these recent blogging statistics:

chaosmap-why-blog-blogging-statistics

From Hubspot http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/business-blogging-in-2015

  • B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  • By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.
  • The only thing blogging costs you: your time.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.

A summary of blogging benefits are really these:

  • 80% of blog visits are new (a great way to bring awareness to you)
  • 53% more traffic come from a blog (create more interest for what you have to share)
  • Posting every day generates 4x more leads (easier for them to consider you as a choice)
  • More social shares creates credibility — the “social influence” cannot be denied
  • Organic traffic is free (SEO) and you will have a long term, hands-free visibility engine

But…

The idea of creating a website and especially a blog gets most folks a little scared.

Mental blocks get in their way. Lots of questions come to mind, and they are mostly negative. I’m sure you are thinking “oh, boy…a blog?” right now.

So…

To help you overcome this and succeed building a blog, I have broken down the common myths to creating a new blog into 3 areas of concern (read: “opportunity”):

Blogging Questions You Will Have:

A. Mindset / Attitude

  • “It’s going to take too much time”
  • “I don’t know how or what to write”
  • “Who will read my stuff?”
  • “How do get I traffic to my blog?”
  • “Will I make any money on this blog?”

B. Operational / Logistics

  • “Not sure how often I should post?”
  • “I might need technical help and don’t know where to turn”
  • “What if it costs too much and I don’t get a return on my investment?”
  • “What should I name my domain and/or online company?”

C. Technical / Programming

  • “Too technical, don’t know how to set up a blog with a hosting provider”
  • “It’s confusing and hard to learn”
  • “Don’t I need to know HTML and programming?”
  • “How can I get the look/feel I want and where can I find a web designer?”

These are valid questions. And if you’ve considered setting up a blog before, or you’ve even tried it for a while, and not succeeded, it’s not your fault.

Domain finder - research a top website domain

Domain finder – research a top website domain

Pretty much everybody I come across ask about, or have issues with variations of these potential blog points.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsIMPORTANT: For you that have been blogging for a while, but still getting little to no traffic or leads, read the blogging traffic with SEO.

As you continue learning today, you’ll find that all of these ‘starting a blog’ concerns are easily solved. In fact, all the issues mentioned above are simply lack of knowledge, execution inertia and problems with your self-confidence.

“Every failure is a step closer to success”. This is true for blogging as with all things in life.

chaosmap-positive-blogging-results-mindset

Get inspired to get started blogging

When you understand that today’s technologies, tools and incredible hosting providers and support teams have your back — and that a blog is the backbone of most websites anyway, you will begin to open up to the idea of creating a new blog and website for yourself.

It’s actually simpler than you think.

Why Use WordPress Blogging Platform?

WordPress now powers 25 percent of all sites across the web.

And the WordPress dominance is growing, beating out other website content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.

wordpress-websites-web-statistics-globally

Thanks to w3techs – http://w3techs.com/blog/entry/wordpress-powers-25-percent-of-all-websites

When using free tools like WordPress and step-by-step setup wizards from professional hosting platforms, you can truly set up a WordPress blog in under 5 minutes (below).

A blog can become your customers’ best website experience. And, you’ll build your online brand and create a foundation for revenue at the same time.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsPlus, you will control the blog and website.  The term is ‘owned media’, which you need to understand. Media control and reach are essential.

chaosmap-what-is-owned-media-earned-media-paid-media

Courtesy Forrester Research – http://blogs.forrester.com/interactive_marketing/2009/12/defining-earned-owned-and-paid-media.html

Best of all, you’ll have powerful and simple features of a platform at your fingertips. WordPress powers millions of websites, all while easily managing your pages, graphics and overall content.

But, only if you do it right. (Follow the steps below)

7 Easy Steps: How To Create A Blog On WordPress

You’ll learn how to configure your blog and domain, step-by-step. You’ll have a professional and Google friendly blog ready to go. Follow along below, and read the further resources at the bottom of this post.

Your visitors will love you. And so will the search engines.

There are many top hosting companies available.

Here is a current pricing and plan for BlueHost, the leading WordPress hosting provider. Your entire online business can be set up for a few dollars per month.

Hosting plans start at $3.95 for “basic” and is $6.95 for “plus” and $14.95 for “pro”. Easy to create website WordPress style:

bluehost-hosting-plans-pricing-options

Chart: Bluehost pricing and plans

To set up your blog with Bluehost, follow these simple instructions:

STEP 1: Set up a new domain or transfer existing domain

blue-host-domain-registration-step

Figure 1: Transfer or create new domain with Bluehost

STEP 2: Fill out your contact information

bluehost-contact-information-form-account

Fig 2: Input Bluehost contact information

STEP 3: Choose your Bluehost hosting package

choose-hosting-package-with-bluehost

Fig 3 – Select bluehost package for hosting

STEP 4: View your dashboard and WordPress option

bluehost-dashboard-options

Fig 4 – The bluehost dashboard for mail, website builders and more

STEP 5: Start a brand new WordPress install via Bluehost Dashboard

bluehost-wordpress-install-step1

Fig 5 – WordPress installation button

You’ll get an option to choose the domain you want to install to:

STEP 6 – Choose your domain to install WordPress to:

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Fig 6 – Select what domain to install WordPress to from the pull-down box

STEP 7 – Name Your WordPress installation

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Fig 7 – Give a name (sitename) to your new WordPress blog

Once you have completed these 7 steps, you’ll see a short installation message like the one below.

Installation message new wordpress blog chaosmap

Once this is complete, you can login to your new blog. The system will provide you the link to where you can enter your username and password.

You can get started with Bluehost here (Act fast to get $3.95, $2.00 off):

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLOGGING, TRAFFIC & LEADS:

  1. How to become a content marketing expert (Who you should follow)
  2. How to Do SEO for a local business (The Local SEO Wordpress Edition)
  3. Get more leads with SEO and automation (Blog and lead generation)
  4. Why SEO is so important (What to consider when investing in SEO)

*Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included