10 Embeddable Media Sources for Content Curation – Oreo Cookie Style

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Embeddable Media SourcesCreativity with content marketing is the trend, especially with a focus on visual marketing. Consumers are 44% more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media and viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.

Creative sourcing of content is important too, especially when it doubles as a way to improve efficiency and boost relationships with members of your community and industry thought leaders.

A classic form of this type of efficient content sourcing is the Oreo Cookie blog post: Find a compelling, informative article written by someone you’d like to better connect with and pull an excerpt of it into a blog post (the stuff in the middle). Then write an intro paragraph to identify a problem that empathizes with the reader and a conclusion offering insights into the way forward (the top and bottom of the cookie). Cite and link the source of course.

While everything from Google Alerts to Social Media Monitoring software can surface content opportunities, the rise of embeddable media makes it even easier to curate and source other content for excellent Oreo Cookie posts. Embeddable media can include visual rich content and more than just a snippet of text, giving your readers a much richer experience.

Here are 10 sources you can draw from for curate content that supports embeddable media:

1. YouTubeEmbed Videos and Playlists
2. Slideshare – What is Embedding and How Do I Embed Content?
3. TwitterEmbedded Tweets
4. Google+ – Google+ Embedded Posts
5. Vine – Embedded Vine Posts
6. Instagram – How to Embed Instagram Photos or Videos on a Web Page
7. Pinterest – Widget Builder
8. FacebookEmbedded Facebook Posts
9. Branch – Curate a Topic, Discuss it With Friends, Embed the Discussion
10. List.ly lists – Embedding Lists on Your Blog

Using embeddable media in your blog posts does mean reliance on another website, so it could slow your pages load time down a little. But the net benefit of being able to source other, high quality content sources relevant to your readers and that also give a nod to industry influentials you’d like to connect with is worth it.

When we published our last Conference Speaker eBook for Content Marketing World “36 Content Marketers who Rock”, over half of the initial 40,000 views on Slideshare came as a result of embedded versions of the ebook. This wasn’t by chance. As part of our outreach to help promote the eBook, we sent embed code along with pre-written tweets and social share messages to make it easy for other bloggers to promote.

That’s a lot of what optimized online marketing is: making it easier for people (and search engines) to do what you want them to do.

One important tip: If you do embed 3rd party media into your blog post, be sure to also include a static image. Many social networks won’t pull an image from something embedded and social shares with a thumbnail image stand out a lot more than just text.

How are you using embeddable media to get creative with your content marketing? What embeddable media content sources would you add to this list?

Feel free to check out the List.ly we’ve created to crowdsource a broader collection of embeddable content sources.

Image: Shutterstock


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September 30th 2013 Online Marketing

Blogger Outreach? Start With a Proper Email Address

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Somehow I came across this article on why the email address matters that got me thinking… Here’s a list of emails John August is listing as an example:
why the email address matters
And here are John’s feedback on each:
why the email address matters
and here is an important conclusion John is making:

Based on just their email addresses, I start with mildly positive impressions for Bill, Christina and Verdun. I start with mildly negative impressions for the other four. All that may change once I start reading — but only if I start reading.


The Importance of a First Impression

Now, do we realize what impression our email address is making on people we are pitching? I for one start feeling a bit uneasy in “seo” part of my “seosmarty” email – people seem to think I am selling something each time they see it :)

It may sound judgmental or rash, but you have no idea how often I come across a stupid, unprofessional or flat-out inappropriate email address that often correlates to a lack of quality in the actual message…


Picking a Winning Email Address

Email addressThere’s another neat article listing some email address advice for job applicants that lists some criteria of a winning email address:

  • The combinations of your first and last name wins!
  • Make your email address type-in-friendly: (1) Avoid the letters ‘O’, ‘i’, ‘o’ and ‘L’ (2) Do not use underscores (3) Avoid the numbers ’1′ and ’0′

This thread offers some insight as well.

I would tend to avoid underscores, as lots of people seem to have real trouble figuring out how to type them, or knowing what the character is called if you have to give your address over the phone. Also, when written they can get confused with hyphens.

It’s also discussing using numbers in an email address:
Email address funny story


Conclusion

Image makes a big difference when it comes to blogger outreach. If you have been finding it difficult to hear back, there is a chance that could be the culprit. Take a look at your address and ask yourself “Does this sound professional?” If the answer is no, it may be time to make a switch.

And to close in a funny way, here are some funny emails you may want to stay away from. And here are more.

What are some of the weirdest email addresses you have encountered? Let us know in the comments. Be sure to leave out the domain details!

Further Reading and Tools:

The post Blogger Outreach? Start With a Proper Email Address appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

Podcasts in the BBC iPlayer Radio App

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With over 3 million downloads and counting, the BBC iPlayer Radio app (now available on iOS, Android and Amazon devices) is evolving.  Since we first launched the app, we’ve been listening closely to audience feedback with a view to make continuous improvements to the apps. I’m proud to say that we’ve now implemented the single most requested new feature – podcast downloads.

This means that you can grab a copy of your favourite podcasts to listen to on or offline, straight from the app.  We’ve added simple controls to choose whether to allow downloads when on mobile networks or just on WiFi (to avoid data charges), to ‘queue’ as many downloads as you like, and to manage your downloaded content quickly and easily via the new ‘My Downloads’ section of the app.  You’ll find this new section in the ‘More’ menu on iOS devices, and in the main menu on Android and Amazon devices.  Android users will also be able to keep a clear overview of download activity along with a quick play option via the notifications bar.

 


podcasts in the radio app.jpg

Podcasts in the BBC Radio app

You can choose from a plethora of podcasts so whether you like to listen to scintillating science programmes, new or archive Desert Island Discs, the best of this week’s comedy, the latest news and reviews, sport highlights or hot new music suggestions from your favourite DJs – you will find something to engage your eardrums whether you have mobile signal or not.

For more information on where we are with full programme downloads please see this BBC Trust note

I’d love to hear your feedback, via app store comments, our twitter account (@BBCiPlayerRadio) or by email (radiofeedback@bbc.co.uk) or by comments on this post.

Happy listening!

James Simcock is Executive Producer Mobile, BBC Radio & Music Interactive

September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

The honest Truth about Plugin Testing

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After my post about content analysis with the WordPress SEO plugin, which covered the recent updates to that plugin, I got some comments that we should test better, especially because the commenter had issues with a certain slider plugin. I laughed when I read that comment, but then it dawned on me that most in the WordPress community might not have the insight that we here at Yoast have into the WordPress world. Most people are (of course) unaware of the enormous amount of other plugins used by our users of the WordPress SEO plugin.

We’ve been doing anonymous and opt-in tracking of WordPress installs for just over a year now. This allows us to check whether or not people update our plugins and much more. Also, it allows us to see which other plugins people use on their websites. Of course, we test compatibility of every plugin update with the most commonly used plugins. To test compatibility with every plugin, however, is impossible. Let me show you why by giving you some numbers.

The WordPress SEO plugin runs on at least 1 million and in fact probably more than 2 million sites. All of these sites use different plugins. The 691,797 sites we currently track in our tracking system use approximately 83,000 different plugins, in innumerable combinations. After the 10 most used plugins, none of them are run on more than 10% of those sites, yet most sites run more than 5 plugins. In fact, let me show you the distribution of number of plugins per site:

number of active plugins per site

This doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that all of those people run a different theme too, and that they each have different settings for each plugin and theme as well. All of these can (and actually do) interact and interfere with each other. Because of that, testing if a certain update works for all of our users and their plugins is – and I hate saying this – impossible.

What to do if you’re updating?

If you are installing an update of a plugin, any plugin, – especially when you have a webshop or are otherwise making money from your site – you should always test the new version first on a staging environment. Be aware of plugins with very little users and of plugins developed by people with limited WordPress experience. Of course, this plugin may just have the exact functionality you need, but these plugins will come with a higher risk of compatibility issues.

What you should do is figure out the most important things people should be able to do on your website, create specific test plans to reproduce them and then test them against every (plugin/theme/core) update before you put it live. We as plugin developers are not responsible if something breaks because of incompatibilities, you are. Of course we’ll try and prevent it, but… well, you’ve read the above. This means that installing another plugin for feature X does always come with a cost, even when you’re not paying for the plugin.

This is also why I don’t really get the free versus premium debate. Some people seem to hate paying for plugins, but they don’t realize the biggest investment is actually their time, not the money. Paying money so that a plugin developer can properly test it because he has the resources is actually a good thing.

A few WordPress hosts get this particular issue quite well, especially WP Engine (aff) seems to have taken their one-click staging to such a level that it makes this kind of testing really easy. I assume from having conversations with other hosting parties that they will soon follow.

A word on versioning

I thought it’d be wise to add a note to this post on our versioning system. We try to stick with Semantic Versioning, which means that upgrading from 1.4.17 to 1.4.18 for instance should be painless as the upgrade only contains bug fixes. We have in the past made the mistake of adding functionality in a minor release, we won’t do that again. Those minor releases are for bug fixes, new features will be marked by upgrading from 1.4 to 1.5, like the upcoming release.

When we go to 2.0, which we are planning for, we will drop some (though only a small part) of our old API, so at that point we increase the major version number.

The honest Truth about Plugin Testing is a post by on Yoast – The Art & Science of Website Optimization.

A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don’t want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

September 30th 2013 wordpress

Bing Ads Academy – Bing Ads-Berichte und deren Anpassung an Ihre Optimierungsanforderungen

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In diesem Blog besprechen wir die Berichte, die Ihnen über Bing Ads zur Verfügung stehen, sodass Sie Ihre Konten optimieren können. Sie erfahren, wie Sie die Berichte Ihren Anforderungen entsprechend anpassen.

Die Standardberichte von Bing Ads sind in 5 Bereiche unterteilt:

  • Performance
  • Änderungsverlauf
  • Zielgruppenadressierung
  • Kampagnenanalyse
  • Abrechnung und Budget

image

Dieser Blog ist der erste von zwei Teilen, die sich mit den folgenden Berichten der Bereiche Performance, Änderungsverlauf und Zielgruppenadressierung beschäftigen. Diese Berichte verwenden Sie für die Optimierung am häufigsten.

  • Suchabfragebericht
  • Website-URL (Herausgeber)
  • Anteil der Aufrufe
  • Konflikt mit negativem Keyword

Im zweiten der beiden Blogs erklären wir, wie Sie die Standardberichte zur Performance anpassen, um einen Einblick in Folgendes zu erhalten:

  • Anzeigenerweiterungs-Klicktyp
  • Qualitätsauswertung und Qualitätsauswirkung
  • Keyword und Relevanz der Angebotsseite

Sie finden alle Berichte auf der Registerkarte „Berichte“ in der Bing Ads-Benutzeroberfläche. Wenn Sie einen Bericht ausgeführt haben, wird in der Benutzeroberfläche eine Option zum Download des Berichts in Excel angezeigt. Alle kürzlich ausgeführten Berichte werden im Bereich „Berichtsverlauf“ gespeichert.

Nachdem Sie den gewünschten Bericht ausgewählt haben, wählen Sie die Zeiteinheit, den Datumsbereich, die Zeitzone und das Format für den Bericht aus. Der Bericht kann für alle Konten und Kampagnen ausgeführt werden. Sie können jedoch auch wie unten dargestellt bestimmte Konten oder Kampagnen angeben. Wenn Sie einen Bericht zu einer Anzeigengruppe auswählen, ist auch eine Option zur Auswahl der gewünschten Anzeigengruppen verfügbar.

image

Wie der Name besagt, handelt es sich bei den Standardberichten um herkömmliche Berichte, von denen wir glauben, dass sie nützlich für Sie sind. Entscheidend bei all unseren Berichten ist, dass Sie sie ganz nach Bedarf Ihren Anforderungen entsprechend anpassen können. Dazu verwenden Sie die Features „Spalten auswählen“ und „Filter“.

image

Nachdem Sie einen Bericht mit den Features „Spalten auswählen“ und „Filter“ angepasst haben, können Sie ihn als benutzerdefinierten Bericht unter „Meine Berichtseinstellungen“ speichern. Beim Speichern des Berichts als benutzerdefinierten Bericht können Sie ihn umbenennen und neu planen, sodass er an einem bestimmten Tag der Woche oder des Monats oder täglich ausgeführt und in den Posteingang Ihrer E-Mail gesendet wird. Sobald Sie den benutzerdefinierten Bericht gespeichert haben, wird er auf der Registerkarte „Berichte“ im Bereich „Benutzerdefinierte Berichte“ aufgeführt.

Alle Standardberichte im Bereich „Performance“ zeigen Daten zu Impressionen, Klicks, Ausgaben, durchschnittlichen Kosten pro Klick und Klickrate, die Sie basierend auf Keyword, Ziel-URL, dynamischem Text, Anzeigengruppe, Kampagne und Konto abrufen können.

Suchabfragebericht

Bei einem Suchabfragebericht handelt es sich um einen Performance-Bericht, der aufzeigt, welche Suchabfragen zum Einblenden Ihrer Anzeigen im Yahoo! Bing Network führen. Der Suchabfragebericht enthält Informationen über Impressionen, Klicks, Klickrate und die durchschnittliche Position für Keywords, die das Einblenden Ihrer Anzeige bewirkt haben. Anhand dieser Informationen können Sie dann die Listen der Keywords und negativen Keywords optimieren.

image

Wenn der Bericht Suchabfragen enthält, bei denen Ihre Anzeige auf keinen Fall erscheinen soll, können Sie diese Abfragen umgehend auf die Negativliste setzen. Wir empfehlen, diesem Bericht eine zusätzliche Spalte „Keyword“ hinzuzufügen. Sie sehen dann, welche Suchabfragen mit den speziellen Keywords übereinstimmen. Wenn Sie eine Spalte „Geschaltete Match-Option“ hinzufügen, sehen Sie zudem, welche Match-Option das Einblenden Ihrer Anzeige verursacht. Dadurch können Sie entscheiden, ob Sie „weite“ Begriffe in einen Ausdruck oder Ausdrücke in „exakte“ Begriffe ändern sollten.

Wenn der Bericht Keywords aufführt, die nicht in Ihrem Konto enthalten sind, die jedoch wegen eines weiten oder Ausdrucksabgleichs übereinstimmen, sollten Sie diese Keywords unbedingt mit exakter Übereinstimmung hinzufügen. Keywords mit exakter Übereinstimmung erzielen voraussichtlich eine höhere Klickrate und niedrigere Kosten pro Klick als Begriffe mit Ausdrucks- oder weiter Übereinstimmung. Wenn Sie also diese Begriffe des Ausdrucks oder der weiten Übereinstimmung ebenfalls als exakte Keywords hinzufügen, sparen Sie damit Geld.

Bericht zur Website-URL (Herausgeber)

Bei der Anzeigenwerbung im Yahoo! Bing Network haben Sie die Möglichkeit, Ihre Werbung nur auf Websites zu schalten, deren Inhaber und Betreiber Bing und Yahoo!-Suche sind, oder auch auf Websites von Partnern. Wenn Sie auch auf Websites von Partnern Werbung schalten, profitieren Sie von einem höheren Datenverkehr, der auf Ihre Website gelangt. Der Bericht zur Website-URL (Herausgeber) zeigt Ihnen, bei welchen der Suchpartner Ihre Anzeigen erscheinen, und ermöglicht es Ihnen, deren Performance auszuwerten.

Wenn Sie den Eindruck haben, dass Websites von Suchpartnern sich für Sie nicht wie gewünscht eignen, z. B. keine ausreichende Klickrate liefern, können Sie diese Websites in der Benutzeroberfläche oder dem Editor-Tool sperren. In der Benutzeroberfläche finden Sie die Option zum Ausschließen von Websites unter den Kampagneneinstellungen. Sie müssen eine Website pro Zeile hinzufügen. Wenn Sie eine gesamte Domäne ausschließen möchten, genügt es, „www“ wegzulassen (z. B. contoso.com).

image

Im Editor-Tool finden Sie die Option zum Ausschließen von Websites unter dem Hub für das Zielgruppen-Targeting der Kampagne. Auch hier müssen Sie wie in der Benutzeroberfläche eine Website pro Zeile hinzufügen und zum Ausschließen einer gesamte Domäne nur „www“ weglassen.

image

Wir empfehlen Ihnen, den Bericht zur Website-URL (Herausgeber) etwa jeden Monat zu überprüfen, um sicherzustellen, dass Sie mit der Performance der Websites verfügbar sind, die von Suchpartnern bereitgestellt werden.

Bericht über Anteil der Aufrufe

Der Bericht über den Anteil der Aufrufe gibt die geschätzten Impressionen an, die Sie aufgrund von Problemen hinsichtlich Budget, Keyword-Geboten, Keyword-Relevanz, Relevanz der Angebotsseite oder aktueller Position auf den Suchergebnisseiten an Wettbewerber verlieren. Der Bericht wird auf Keyword-Ebene ausgeführt und liefert alle Details, die Sie benötigen, um den Schwerpunkt Ihres Optimierungsbedarfs genau zu lokalisieren. Sobald Sie den Bericht abgerufen haben, können Sie die Ergebnisse grafisch darstellen und erhalten einen übersichtlichen Schnappschuss der Daten.

image

Wenn Ihre Keywords wegen des Budgets oder wegen Geboten Impressionen verlieren, können Sie überlegen, ob eine Erhöhung für Sie infrage käme. Die Beibehaltung der Rangbewertung ist in der Suchmaschinenwerbung von entscheidender Bedeutung. Wir bemühen uns, den Großteil des Datenverkehrs über die obersten drei Positionen zu erzielen. Wenn Sie folglich Impressionen durch den Rang an Ihre Mitbewerber verlieren, lohnen sich möglicherweise höhere Gebote. Wenn die Keyword-Relevanz den Verlust von Impressionsanteilen verursacht, empfehlen wir eine Überprüfung der Keywords und des mit den Keywords verbundenen Anzeigentexts sowie Ihrer Kontostruktur. Wenn letztendlich die Relevanz Ihrer Angebotsseite Ihren Impressionsanteil beeinflusst, sollten Sie die Angebotsseite und ihren Inhalt überprüfen und deren Relevanz für Ihre Anzeigen und Keywords erhöhen.

Nachdem Sie sich mit diesen speziellen Bereichen befasst haben und alle Problempunkte behoben haben, sollte sich die Anzahl der erhaltenen Impressionen wieder erhöhen. Überprüfen Sie diesen Bericht möglichst alle paar Monate, um sicherzustellen, dass Sie immer den richtigen Anteil der Impressionen erhalten, insbesondere dann, wenn Sie neue Keywords und/oder Anzeigen in Ihr Konto hochgeladen haben.

Bericht zu Konflikten mit negativen Keywords

Negative Keywords eignen sicher hervorragend, wenn Sie sicherstellen möchten, dass Ihre Anzeigen nur bei Suchanfragen der höchsten Relevanz angezeigt werden. Sie können in Bing Ads für exakte und Ausdrucksübereinstimmungen negative Keywords hinzufügen. Wegen der verschiedenen Match-Optionen kann es vorkommen, dass einige Ihrer negativen Keywords sogar verhindern, dass Ihre Anzeigen für Ihre ausgewählten Keywords angezeigt werden. Dadurch entsteht ein Konflikt mit negativen Keywords. Das kann speziell der Fall sein, wenn Sie negative Keywords mit breiten Übereinstimmungen aus einem Google AdWords-Konto übertragen haben, da sich diese in Bing Ads in negative Keywords der Ausdrucksübereinstimmung ändern.

image

Der Bericht zu Konflikten mit negativen Keywords zeigt, welche der negativen Keywords bei welchen Ihrer ausgewählten Keywords das Einblenden Ihrer Anzeige verhindern. Sie erfahren hier zudem, ob die Konflikte mit negativen Keywords auf Kampagnen- oder Anzeigengruppenebene entstehen. Sie können entweder das negative Keyword löschen oder die zugeordnete Match-Option ergänzen, um den Konflikt zu beheben. Wenn Sie die Konflikte mit diesen negativen Keywords beheben, können Sie verhindern, dass relevanter Datenverkehr gesperrt wird, und der Datenverkehr auf Ihre Website kann zunehmen. Behalten Sie den Konfliktbericht im Auge, insbesondere nachdem Sie negative Keywords importiert oder Änderungen an Keywords vorgenommen haben.

Wir hoffen, dass diese Berichte und das Feature zur Spaltenanpassung hilfreich für Sie sind. Lesen Sie den Blog der nächsten Woche. Wir behandeln darin, wie Berichte zur Qualitätsauswertung und Qualitätsauswirkung, zum Anzeigenerweiterungs-Klicktyp sowie zur Relevanz der Angebotsseite erstellt werden.

September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

Six Visual Solutions To Complex Digital Marketing/Analytics Challenges

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circlesTwo things I love a lot:

1. Frameworks, because if I can teach someone a new mental model, a different way of thinking, they can be incredibly successful.

2. Visuals, because if I can paint a simple picture about something complex it means I understand it and in turn I can explain it to others.

This post is at the intersection of those two lovely things.

Each of the six visuals re-frames a unique facet of the digital opportunity/challenge, and shares how to optimally take advantage of the opportunity/challenge.

We'll start with digital at the highest strategic level, which leads us into content marketing, from there it is a quick hop over to the challenge of metrics and silos, followed by a recommendation to optimize for the global maxima, and we end with the last two visuals that cover social investment and social content strategy.

A vast expanse of our current existence.

All of the visuals are in the form of a venn diagram, though, as you'll see, I do take enormous liberties with the format.

Ready to learn, smile and cry (just a little)?

Let's do this!

#1: How to Win, Really Win, at Digital: One-Time PLUS Many-Time Relationships.

The most intense amount of effort companies put into their site happens at site launch or the yearly new product launch. Everyone gets excited, agencies are hired, content is scraped from product box-shots, prettiness is sprinkled everywhere and much happiness, represented by a gigantic sigh of relief, occurs.

All of that is good.

The challenge is that this annual, or semi-annual, update of the content or the website design, is a terrible way to win at digital.

how to stink at digital

All the stuff you've launched is great for showcasing your company and its products. It delivers conversions when I visit your site once and buy something. But beyond that engagement, that one-time relationship if you will, there is no reason for me to ever come back. Because you don't have anything updated on your website. If I remember everything you sell, I might come back the next time I need something from that everything. Or due to some incredible co-incidence if I bump into your brand when I'm thinking of buying something from your everything.

A secondary, under-appreciated, challenge is that search engines value freshness of content. Once you launch your site, it becomes stale in due course (from a organic search signal perspective). It impacts your organic rankings (even if there are tons and tons of factors that influence SEO results).

A final tertiary challenge is that in a world dominated by conversations and social, your static content rarely entices any new conversations. It is great that you've added a silly string of buttons to all your product pages, but there is hardly a reason for anyone to click on them. (Most of the time all they are is an ad for addthis or some other "free" provider of those buttons.)

If you want to truly rock digital, this is what your digital strategy should look like…

how to win at digital

So do your periodic product launches/site refreshes. But almost all your content energy should be poured into fueling the creation of dynamic content! You should have an incredibly amazing blog for your company (more on this below). You should have a robust strategy to earn compelling product reviews. You should have a well defined strategy to create videos and how-to content (constantly updated with solutions to new pain points of customers). You should talk about how innovation works in your company. Your employees should tell their stories. And so on and so forth.

This constantly updated content provides me more reasons to visit your website and stay in touch with your brand. It is also immensely beneficial for search engine optimization (great content, delivered fresh, every day!). Finally it generates a constant stream of social amplification and social conversations!

So do you have a static AND dynamic strategy for your digital existence?

Patagonia is amazing at this. They have a fantastic website where I can buy fantastic stuff that I fantastically love. In addition to that they have amazing content like what you'll see at Patagonia Surfing, and they have a regularly updated awesome blog The Cleanest Line and so much more. As a result I have a one-time and a many-time relationship with the Patagonia brand.

Ditto for one of my favorite hotels in New York, The Standard. Great website for booking rooms and all that. But they also have a great blog/culture guide/all things cool and amazing sub-site called The Standard Culture. I have a time-to-time relationship with their brand (whenever I have to visit New York). I also have a many-time relationship with them because of all this amazing dynamic content – which ensures that I love the brand and that in turn always makes my hands type their url when I have to visit NYC! That is what you want.

I'll be remiss if I did not provide you with two examples of what magnificent product reviews look like.

I love the ones on Williams Sonoma, they are detailed and include a title, a rating, specification on cooking ability and length of ownership sections are my fave and an overall recommendation. They also have, for each review, social amplification buttons! I also love the reviews on Rent The Runway. Can't you just imagine how much value those 102 photos and huge number of reviews add? Not to mention how helpful they are to current or prospective customers!!

So what is your balance of static vs. dynamic? Is it as outsized as the second picture above? It should be.

It is the only way to win big.

#2: The Secret to Content Marketing Success.

Content marketing is all the rage these days. Everyone is contenting a lot of content about content marketing. There is even an institute about it.

On the surface it is hard to argue about the value of content. On paper, what could possibly go wrong with creating or curating content with an eye to driving sales or influencing current or future customers?

Nothing.

Except that most content deployed in the service of content marketing sucks. For two simple reasons: 1. It is actually really hard to create good content, you have to know a lot about the subject matter. 2. We simply can't help pimping ourselves/our products/our services.

When our current/potential customers encounter the fluff pieces which are glorified vehicles for our not so subtle pimping, they quickly see through both things leading to sub-optimal results. And depending on when you want to open your eyes and see reality, you end up realizing content marketing does not work.

Let me share with you my simple rule for creating content that markets itself.

When people ask me how I decide what I write about on this blog, my answer is that prior to launching this blog I'd decided a simple rule for myself. Only post content that is 1. incredible 2. of value to the audience and 3. sans pimping.

how to suceed at content marketing

I've worked very hard to follow this rule every single time I post something. The content here – and you are the ultimate judge of this – represents what I consider to be something incredible that you will find to be of value. I have a lot of other incredible things to write, but if I believe you won't find them to be of value, it gets killed. (I wish you knew how many posts I've discarded because they did not meet that simple criteria!)

The rule impacts my work in other, big, ways. For example, if I did not have time to write something incredible of value, I've not written anything. The deadline comes and goes, if I have nothing, you get nothing. It is also the reason my posting schedule over the last five years has gone from twice a week to once a week to once every two weeks to once every three weeks. (Amazingly, the blog traffic has gone from 2k a month to 150k a month!)

Finally, I've never accepted ads on this blog. In the right nav you'll see two discreet sections with my books and my start up Market Motive. That could possibly be considered advertising. There are three posts out of 283 about my book, and just five that mention Market Motive. Very little pimping, because I respect your capability to see what I'm selling and buy it if you feel it is a fit for you. (And you have!)

I'm not unique in following the above visual. There are many, many others. People and companies. Waaaaay more successful than I can ever dream of becoming. If content marketing is their strategy, the common thread is always the same. Something incredible, of value, with the barest minimum pimping.

It is the only way to win big.

#3: Data, Data Everywhere and Yet We are an Abject Failure.

I work with many medium to large companies around the world. Every single one has an impressive array of tools, many of them even have an equally impressive array of analysts.

Yet a heartbreakingly huge number of them stink at a company level. By that I mean they might have some pockets of excellence, but overall their site stinks, their customer experience (end-to-end) is awful, and their digital strategy is, on the greatest possible day when every single star is aligned perfectly, adding 1/10th the value it should.

Why?

It is the simple combination of how each division/group of people inside, and sometimes outside (agencies, et. al.), the company are organized and incentivized (as in what metrics determine their bonus).

acquisition behaviour outcome metrics

Acquisition is everything we do to attract traffic. Behavior covers everything that happens after the person lands on our mobile or desktop site. Outcomes are what happen just before the visitor leaves our site (money to us, satisfaction to them).

Companies have an Email team and an SEO team and a PPC team and a Social Media team and a Display team and…. many teams for acquisition. They are often measured on impressions (or worse, "connections") and clicks. Then that is all they optimize for. They take zero responsibility for crappy landing pages, or even 404s on landing pages.

Then there is the "site team." Euphemism for we will do anything to keep the site up but really all we do is launch pages that someone will ask us for and we really don't know who is coming to the site or what is driving them there and we rarely speak to marketing or agency but the site is pretty cool, we think.

Finally, there is someone in IT responsible for running the cart and checkout process. It is unclear that what their bonus is based on, but it is rarely abandonment rates or task completion rates.

Depending on other variables, there might be someone who looks at conversion rates (usually sans a lot of other context).

Each might work on their own little circle, there is no incentive to look end-to-end, or even at the overlaps/hand-offs.

So fix that.

Make sure your executive dashboards obsess about acquisition, behavior and outcome metrics. Make sure that every single report you create has acquisition, behavior and outcome metrics (download this example: Page Efficiency Analysis Report).

Force each team to think end-to-end and you will incentivize the right behavior across your company.

It is the only way to win big.

[Bonus: Download nine additional custom reports, and a VP-level dashboard, I’ve created with ABO as a foundation, directly into your Google Analytics account: Occam’s Razor Awesomeness ]

#4: Optimize for your Global Maxima: Obsess About Macro AND Micro Outcomes!

The average conversion rate for a typical top ecommerce site is around 2%. And sadly, we are not at the top, so we tend to do worse.

When we obsess only about conversion rates on our website, the problem is that that is an obsession with just 2% of the site outcomes. We end up looking at the world through a straw, and the best we can do is a lot less than the best we can actually accomplish.

macro conversion local maxima

This is not to say that you should not worry about conversion. You should. But when your strategy looks like the one above, powered by looking through a straw, you'll optimize for the local maxima.

That is not terrible. It is just not awesome. Your parents will always pat you on your head and say "Oh sweetie, you could have been something. Something so much more."

And who wants that? You want to live up to your fullest potential!

That means you'll have to care about your macro-outcome, the ecommerce conversion or your lead submitted conversion or donations made to your non-profit conversion. But you'll also have to care about your micro-outcomes!

Some of these micro-outcomes will directly lead to your macro-outcome. For example, people signing up for your email marketing list will convert in the near future. Or people who create wish lists, sign up for product alerts, watch product videos today etc. They are all signaling intent to convert.

But other micro-outcomes might not be directly related to a near future macro-outcome. For example, people who subscribe to your blog's RSS feed. Or people who follow you on social media or subscribe to your YouTube channel or sign-up to volunteer for your non-profit or download your utility marketing mobile app etc. All these outcomes bring people closer to your brand, an awesome outcome.

micro conversions global maxima

When you measure the success of your AdWords campaigns or your email blasts or your Facebook ads or any other acquisition initiative, make sure you report your macro-conversion rate. But don't stop there. Make sure you report your micro-conversion rate as well. Teach your company to optimize their digital strategy for a portfolio of outcomes, macro plus micro. And if you compute economic value of digital – the value of macro plus micro outcomes – your career will be on the fastest possible track to fame and happiness!

Best of all, this will mean you are optimizing for the global maxima.

It is the only way to win big.

[Bonus: Learn more about macro and micro conversions as they apply to a B2B company, Texas Instruments, and a technical support site .]

#5: Rent or Own? The Optimal Social Media Investment Strategy.

This is a new trend amongst companies. Swept up in the fervor of Google+, Facebook, YouTube and other social platforms, they are massively shifting their resources (people, time, dineros) into their presence on these new platforms.

That in of itself is not a bad thing. Everyone knows there are a quadrillion people on Facebook. It is absolutely a valuable audience.

The bad thing is that all this seems to come at the cost of investing resources on efforts related to the company's website. So many companies have irrelevant posts by expensive employees on Facebook all day long (more on this below), and don't spent the little bit of money to create a mobile website. #arrrrrhhhhh

Remember, when you create a presence on Facebook, Google+, Sina Weibo, Vkontakte, you are renting.

rent own terrible balance with social 3

You don't own the domain, you don't own the customer data, you don't create/own the rules, you can't influence changes, you don't have a say in how many characters you can type or how long your video can be or how much creativity you can express. You play by their rules (after all you are just renting).

This does not make those platforms any less valuable. But it is astounding silly to have your rented presence come at the cost of a platform you own!

Build your own magnificent platform first. Where you create the rules, you control the evolution, you own the customer data, you have a direct relationship with your audience, you get to decide what happens next (or if ever!), and there are no limits to your experimentation with creativity!

rent own site social great balance

Once you nail your own existence, move on to nailing your rent existence.

And going forward, always forever remember the balance between own and rent. Outsized investment in own and an appropriate, demonstrated by the best social media metrics, investment in rent.

It is the only way to win big.

#6: The World's Greatest Social Media Strategy.

Why does L'Oreal Paris USA, a multi-billion dollar corporation with a marketing budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, have fewer followers than I do on Twitter?

Why is the talking about this brand metric for Avis rent-a-car less than half of what it is for my brand page (and I have 50,000 fewer Likes than they do!)? Remember, Avis is a corporation with thousands of employees in tons of countries.

Why does TravelZoo have 224k fewer Followers on Google+ than I do?

All these companies are big and magnificent, and I'm very small and inconsequential. So, why?

The answer is simple: this is their social media strategy…

embarassin social strategies

They wake up everyday and, on the world's greatest channels for conversations, they shout at people. Every single post they write, every single tweet they send, is simply another variation of BUY IT NOW!

The challenge is, as the See Think Do framework emphasizes, a tiny, tiny, minority of the audience is there to buy anything. (If you need more proof, just see how poorly advertising performs on these platforms.)

Just because you are good at shouting on TV/Radio/Print/Display does not imply that that is what you do on social media. Even if you somehow manage to get a bunch of Likes/Followers/+1s, your conversation rate, amplification rate and applause rate will be pathetic.

So stop that.

These channels are awesome (also see visual #5 above). Here's the strategy that works…

incredible social media strategy

Pimp your stuff sometimes – say twice a week. And if you can be clever about it, like getting your customers to pimp for you, even better.

Ninety-five percent of the time create conversations and try to add value to your customers/likers/+1ers.

Write about topics both of you are interested in. If you sell smoothies, talk about food, how to develop a great palette, travel, evolution, agriculture, the future of the planet… the topics are endless.

Provide utility. Share tips on how to make my life better. Share tips on a healthy lifestyles, exercise, wellness of children, latest relevant mobile apps…. the topics are endless.

Your customers have given you permission to interrupt their day. Don't suck at it. Be respectful of their attention. Create a warm space in their heart for your brand. Contribute something incredible, of value.

That is the only way to win big.

That's it. Six simple visualizations, and solutions, for complex marketing, analytics and life challenges.

As always, it is your turn now.

Is there a venn diagram that resonates more with you than others? Which one least reflects reality? What does your company's digital balance between static and dynamic content look like? What percent of your social contributions is BUY IT NOW? Does your company execute for visual number one or two for outcomes? How incredible and of value is your content marketing content?

Please share your wisdom, stories, critique, and praise via comments.

Thank you.

Six Visual Solutions To Complex Digital Marketing/Analytics Challenges is a post from: Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik

Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Rdio All Try to Take a Bite Out of Radio’s Dollar

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Assessing the ad-supported digital-music-streaming landscape is like figuring out which sets to catch at Bonnaroo. From Pandora to Spotify to Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio to Apple’s new iTunes Radio, there are so many options for marketers. Too many.

Even Rdio, known for its clean design and subscription model, is planning to launch a free, ad-supported desktop version of its on-demand streaming service by the end of the year. “We wanted a perpetual free offering. We’ve seen as the market has evolved [that an ad-supported free service] drives virality and an active user base,” said Rdio CEO Drew Larner.

For the latest generation of digital-music services, it’s becoming clear that paid subscriptions won’t cover content-licensing costs. Pandora, for example, expects 80% of its revenue to come from advertising. The internet-radio pioneer and its brethren hope they can divert a swath of local-radio ad dollars their way. But for that to happen, they have to get bigger in local markets and offer mobile ads tailored to local audiences. Kinda like radio.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

Supercheap Auto set to launch ‘Happy Bathurst Day’ integrated campaign leveraging sponsorship of Bathurst 1000 via The General Store, Sydney

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supercheap.jpgSupercheap Auto is set to launch its ‘Happy Bathurst Day’ campaign designed to leverage the company’s sponsorship of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in debuting work from Sydney-based The General Store.

The campaign, which breaks on Wednesday, comes hot on the heels of The General Store’s appointment to the Supercheap Auto roster as reported in Campaign Brief. Work to be carried out by The General Store will include creative duties across advertising, digital, loyalty and in-store.

VIEW THE SPOT

For ardent fans of V8 Supercars, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is
the highlight of their year. The campaign idea taps into the huge
excitement around the big race and creates a new cultural event to mark
the day.

A 30 second TVC launches the concept of ‘Bathurst Day’, a
day when mates everywhere squash up together in the lounge, enjoy the
race and wish each other a ‘Happy Bathurst Day’. The spot introduces
some new traditions for the day, like the sharing of a delicious ‘Meat
Cake’ (a pile of meat pies, croquembouch style, with a candle stuck in
the top); and the giving of gifts from the Happy Bathurst Day sale at
Supercheap Auto. … For these hardcore fans, this really is a day to
rival birthdays and Christmas.

The 30 second spot is rotated with
a series of 15 second product & price TVCs, each one giving helpful
suggestions for presents that mates could give each other… all of
course, available at the Supercheap Auto Happy Bathurst Day sale.

Andrew Fraser-new JWT Sydney ECD.JPGSays
Andrew Fraser (left), creative partner at The General Store: “This is an idea
based on a strong cultural insight around the importance the Supercheap
Auto Bathurst 1000 plays in customers’ lives. We developed a
comedy-based approach that we hope will add to fans’ experience of the
event.”

Says David Bauer, marketing manager of Supercheap
Auto: “Bathurst has become one of our biggest retail events of the
year, so we were determined to create a campaign that could deliver
continued growth. We are very happy with the ‘Happy Bathurst Day’
campaign. It is creatively strong and sets up the commercial message
well. We hope our customers enjoy it!”

The Happy Bathurst Day
concept is being rolled out in-store, in the catalogue and through
social media, in the run up and on the day of the race.

Creative Partner: Andrew Fraser
Strategy Partner: Matt Newell
Art Director: Andrew Ostrom
Copywriter: Nick Levey
Agency Producer: Darren ‘so what if I’m wearing a smoking jacket’ Bailey

Jungleboys
Director: Al Morrow
Producer: Sarah Nichols

Supercheap Auto
David Bauer: Marketing Manager
Bec Davren: Sponsorship & Promotions Manager
Dane Patterson: Sponsorship & Promotions Manager
Emma Howarth: Marketing Co-ordinator
Josh Weier: Club & Digital Manager

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September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

Hoyne Branding wins New York Graphis and California’s Communication Arts awards

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GreatDane.jpgTwo Hoyne projects that have already won numerous awards in Australia have now garnered the attention of international judges after being named amongst New York’s Graphis Design Annual 2014 winners and California’s Communication Arts 2013 Design Annual.

Graphis Inc. has been publishing the world’s most significant and influential works from design, advertising, and photography since 1944. Every year the Graphis jury sifts through thousands of submissions from international leaders in these fields, selecting the most compelling work. The results are published in one of the worlds most anticipated design annuals.

Hoyne’s design for the sales suite of apartment development, George & Allen, took home the Graphis gold medal. The project’s overall marketing campaign also won silver. Hoyne won another silver medal for the grand, magazine-style brochure it designed for furniture company, Great Dane.

black label .jpgSays Hoyne’s principal, Andrew Hoyne: “I am especially proud because we
are one of only three Australian recipients to receive gold medals from
Graphis this year.”
 
Work entered into the prestigious
Communication Arts juried competition also attracts worldwide attention.
This year Hoyne, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, were the only
winners from Australia. Once again the George & Allen and Great Dane
campaigns attracted the accolades. 

Hoyne added: “These awards
reflect the passion and enthusiasm we dedicate to client work. As a
team we’re never just competing with other local branding agencies,
we’re always keen to ensure our work stands up to the best around the
world. Not only have these campaigns been highly awarded, but they’ve
achieved incredible sales results for our clients, which is very
gratifying.”

George Allen.jpg

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September 30th 2013 Uncategorized

Violin Memory Struggles In IPO And Now Faces A Fierce Storage and Enterprise Market

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Infinite Storage

On Friday, Violin Memory’s IPO did not exactly go that well. The company priced its IPO at $9 per share but opened at $7.41, 17.7 percent lower than the offering price. It closed trading at $7.02 per share, down 22 percent.

It was a tough day for the Flash memory maker but it could get tougher as competition intensifies in the market and consolidation continues in the overall enterprise sector.

Cisco, EMC, VMware, IBM, NetApp and HP are all competing for the enterprise market, which is shrinking rapidly as more companies use cloud services in replacement of IT. Flash storage is integral for these legacy providers as it fits with the needs of its largest customers to process large amounts of data with greater speed. It’s not like it used to be when these companies had plenty of room to expand in the market that correlated to their own core technology.  In those days, for example, Cisco dominated networking while EMC ruled over the storage space.

For example, the chummy relationship between EMC and Cisco took a turn when last year VMware, owned by EMC, acquired Nicira and its network virtualization technology. Since then, the relationship beween Cisco and EMC has frayed as reflected in Cisco’s recent acquisition of Whiptail for $415 million. The purchase came as part of Cisco’s strategy to deepen its strength in the enterprise. Whiptail’s storage technology passes information through flash servers, promising the ability to process data faster and more efficiently than with traditional hard disks.

Cisco acquired the Flash technology company as part of its broader effort to sell its Unified Computing System (UCS),  which converges networking. virtualization and storage. The acquisition puts Cisco in direct competition with EMC and a host of other competitors such as HP, which has aligned with VMware and its march into the networking market which is facing its own disruptions. 

But technology advancements always stir the markets and force people to shift their strategies. Companies are moving to Amazon Web Services and other infrastructure providers, finding it more efficient and easier to innovate in the cloud more than on-premise. CIOs that do have IT operations are looking at their storage and networking and thinking how they can make it more efficient and not as costly as it used to be. The problem is magnified by the amount of data that companies process and store.

The shift has created an opening for flash storage providers like Violin but the amount of money it will take for the company to succeed will likely be far more than the $162 million it raised on Friday.

And then there is the fast rise of startups such as Pure Storage which is expanding rapidly with a channel strategy to take on EMC. Earlier this month the company raised $150 million for its Flash storage technology which it says is more affordable than the competition. In total, Pure Storage has received $246 million.

Violin Memory’s revenues increased from $11.4 million in its 2011 fiscal year to $73.8 million this past year. But its losses have piled up too, increasing from $16.7 million to $109.1 million during that same time.

Then there is HP, which in the fiscal 2012 year represented 65 percent of Violin Memory’s total revenue. This past year, sales from HP dropped to about 10 percent of the company’s total revenue.

But in interviews after the close of the bell, CEO Don Basile said the company is embarking on a long-term strategy. That may be true but it’s also the case for Cisco, EMC and the other enterprise giants.

September 30th 2013 Uncategorized