Category Archives: Content Marketing

Posts about content marketing

Fluid app

Top 7 seven free marketing tools to use in 2015

Fluid app

I get asked by clients all of the time about what new or existing free marketing tools might I recommend? Well, pull up a seat, and begin reviewing what are solid tools that should be part of your marketing suitcase.

  1. Fluid – I learned about this app from a fellow Mac head. I’ve gotten tired of stuffing my Web browser with different types of apps. Sometimes I’ve thought about wanting to use just a standalone, say for accessing my Facebook account. Welcome, Fluid. It lets you create a Mac desktop app out of any Web app or website. Genius!
  2. Hootsuite – This remains the defacto platform for scheduling large social media campaigns. I’ve never run into any client who disliked it. Yes, it’s not perfect, I’ve had trouble with the LinkedIn and Instagram APIs, I’m not sure there is another platform of its class that enables you to post to so many channels at once.
  3. Evernote – With seamless Google Chrome extension and a super mobile app (that gets routinely updated), it’s time you start keeping track of your meetings, thoughts, and errata all within this terrific app. It offers tagging features and cloud syncing. It’s organized and will help you do the same.
  4. Google Chrome Extensions – Who doesn’t get tired of plugging the giant of search? But try as you might, there’s no way of getting around the plethora of free tools and extensions that Google never fails to provide us with. With extensions, you can customize Chrome while keeping your browser free of clutter. You work more efficiently and create a uniquely customizable online workspace for yourself. I
  5. Insightly – I haven’t used Insightly myself but hear good things, in particular its great functionality, and enabling users to follow-up on close marketing projects with new and existing clients.
  6. Google Trends – Hey, if you ever wanted to know what’s being searched for on the Web, you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you chose to ignore Google Trends. Google Correlate is a nifty feature as well and using Trends can help you with ideas for blogging, what’s being discussed on social media platforms and themes for your next website.
  7. Asana – Asana provides everything that Basecamp offers…and it’s free.  From branding updates to large websites, if you don’t want the hastle of a monthly fee, seriously consider giving it a try.
Boodigo

X Googlers dive into porn with Boodigo, a new search engine

Boodigo

Porn. Porn. Porn. We just can’t seem to get enough of it. By 2015, mobile adult content and services are expected to reach $2.8 billion per year, mobile adult subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion, and mobile adult video consumption on tablets will triple. Not to mention 1.6 billion searches for pornography since the start of 2014. What’s next you say? Why the need for a better porn search engine and that’s exactly what several former Google employees have set out to do with their new brand new experiment: BoodiGo.

Boodigo made its official debut back on September 15 and according to one of its founders, porn producer and director Colin Rowntree, it has “taken off like a rocket.” Boodigo was formed by Rowntree and tech company 0x7a69. So what is so great about BoodiGo, you ask? After all, you’ve got a ton of porn search engines on the Web today. Redtube, xvideos, xhamster, pornhub, it’s endless. Why does the Web need another porn search engine?

According to Rowntree, “Google and Bing have gradually been weeding out the industry’s adult content and that (for us) has been tremendously frustrating. If someone is looking for videos of oral sex and tries to find them via Google, what they get is an article by Wikipedia and advice from Cosmopolitan. And when they get what they’re looking for it can well be pirated material.”

Boodigo is organized with a double process of verification, which in the first place associates key words of the search with content, and secondly checks to see that the content belongs to trustworthy sites and not to pirate sites with fraudulent and malicious intentions, the Boodigo founder said. Additionally, Boodigo safeguards the user’s privacy by disabling the use of cookies or other tracking mechanisms that obtain information about Internet users.

The search engine was also designed to guard the user’s anonymity. Besides its commitment to turning up un-pirated, non-virus-infected search results, Boodigo also promises users it won’t harvest any of their personal data to sell to advertisers.

Boodigo is a partnership between porn company Wasteland (NSFW) and west coast tech firm 0x7a69. Five of the west coast programmers, Mr. Rowntree said, are “refugees from Google” who were “not liking the way things were going.”

Now go try Boodigo and let me know if you’re happy with the quality of the search results.

 

LinkedIn Pro

5 Tips for writing successful LinkedIn articles

 

LinkedIn continues to be all the rage when it comes to publishing your content. Near the start of this year, LinkedIn finally opened up its platform to all users, allowing them to promote content and improve their credibility. While this was something of a bonanza to those who are already professed LinkedIn gurus, many still find it difficult to get their content promoted via LinkedIn and help their content get the views that it needs to thrive. At the end of the day, you need a strategy that helps you realize your goals. You need to discover what types of content work best on LinkedIn.

How to write articles that help you succeed on LinkedIn

Of all the social networking sites on the Web today, Instagram is growing at the fastest rate having increased its active user base by 23% during the last six months of 2013, according to research published by GlobalWebIndex. Now Instagram still falls behind Facebook, YouTube, Google+, but interestingly enough, LinkedIn ranks third in the top 20 platforms used. LinkedIn remains tops when it comes to directing traffic to your website.

I’ve put together these tips to help you generate greater amounts of Web traffic via carefully targeted LinkedIn posts.

1. Consistency is what wins races. Publish regularly and on schedule.

If you want to create and build an audience, the best way to do so is begin by posting at a frequency you’re capable of. If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll note that I don’t publish frequently, nor do I publish regularly. In this case, do as I write, not as I do.

The general rule of thumb is to post once per week.

2. Select topics that you’re LinkedIn audience will care about

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is filled with professionals. These are people who are using this platform primarily for networking, finding new jobs, and also keeping up to date with latest “water cooler” talk.

If you’re going to post about the passing of Robin Williams, you’ll want to try and see how you can tie it in with what your audience cares to read about. Since Robin’s passing was covered by just about every publication under the sun, you better have something novel to say other than RIP. 

3. Limit the word count of your posts to 900 words or less

Posts that are short and too the point usually win the race when it comes to online publishing. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t post a story that easily surpasses 1,000 words. But who is reading your posts?  Are they working professionals?  Or are they folks “in transition” and currently unemployed? The latter will certainly be willing to spend more time on a post that’s 1,000 words or more IF there is something of concrete value in it. The former, however, won’t afford you that luxury. Hence, if it’s working people you are targeting, keep it short and punchy.

4. Don’t ignore your post. Respond to comments.

When I consult with clients about their social media presence, including the effectiveness of their blog, I always remind them that its important to readers that they know they are interacting with someone human on the other end. This is particular true on LinkedIn.

The more you interact with your readers in your posts, in addition to responding or submitting comments on other people’s LinkedIn posts, the more authority and influence you will gain on the site. LinkedIn admitted in a blog post as much. Over time, you will find yourself building a reputation, and in turn, more people will begin to follow your and your posts. Don’t forget to like and comment on other people’s posts.

 5. Review LinkedIn analytics

From time to time, LinkedIn will email you a snapshot of your analytics. It’s an opportunity for you to review which of your articles and posts are getting the most views, comments, shares, etc…Take advantage of it and review it!

Super extra tip!

Aside from posting your article within LinkedIn, you should be promoting it outside the platform as well. By building traffic to your LinkedIn posts with external links you will gain further visibility on social media channels. Content marketing success is all about where you’re featured and what links can help you send traffic.

Break the rules

6 blogging rules that no longer apply

In life, there are always rules. Rules to follow and rules to break. These are my six rules as they apply to blogging.

Break the rules

1. Post multiple times to increase traffic

Back in the day, I remember my old boss at SEO-PR provide consultation to clients who were interested in building out their blog in order to drive SEO and Web traffic. We told clients to blog consistently and more than once a day, if possible. Output and frequency were the key elements to driving traffic. My, how times have changed. Taking a page from Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week fame, you don’t need to blog multiple times a day. Matter of fact, if you can come up with one juicy, content-rich blog post a week, that’s all you need! If you study Ferriss’s blog, you’ll notice that Tim doesn’t post every day. He spaces out his posts by at least three days. Why do I highlight Ferriss?  Well, he’s a blog phenom of sorts and through his Four hour work week books created a huge loyal fan-base. His specialty is to come up with content that rich in “how to” and provides instructions for others to replicate the type of success he’s enjoyed, including guest posts that offer insight into how others have achieved success in their online marketing strategies.

Recommendation: Start off with a consistent schedule of blog posts. You can post once a day, every two days, three days, whatever suits your abilities as a blogger. Just make sure you make your posts rich with usable content that your readers can make use of. Use analytics to evaluate your level of success. You’ll discover which of your posts drives more traffic and views.

2. Blog comments – are they still relevant and valuable as a KPI?

I’ve always counseled my clients to value comments. After all, you might see that your content is getting shared but how do you know if any of it is actually being read? I’ve seen content get shared hundreds of times via FB, LI, Twitter, etc…That’s a good sign. But how many people who are using their feeds to share the content are actually reading it? I think it’s a small percentage. That’s why blog comments, historically, have always been a good benchmark, especially when monitored. If someone is inspired by your content they will be inclined to respond to it. Unfortunately, blog comments have also been taken advantage of by too many trolls and an insufficient number of “quality comments,” meaning comments left by people who truly have read your post and are sincere in their remarks, providing you with comments that reflect they’ve read the content. Copyblogger announced a while back that they were doing away with comments entirely. Obviously their spam system was not capable of filtering all of the comments and it became tiresome for their staff to keep monitoring the volume of comments, many of which were plain spam. Sonia Simone explained in a post that Copyblogger was putting an end to commenting and that if people wanted to continue the dialogue related to the content posted than they should follow Copyblogger’s social media channels and post their comments on those platforms.

Recommendation: I’m still partial to comments and not 100% sure you should follow Copyblogger’s strategy. By the time Copyblogger shut off comments, it was already a huge brand. It didn’t risk very much by turning off comments. For those of you starting out, why alienate your fans? If you make it relatively easy to post comments, and  you’re using a platform like WP, it’s pretty easy to monitor your comments and control the level of spam. Plenty of plugins catch the vast majority of spam. If you make it difficult for your readers to comment, they won’t comment. If you want your readers to focus more on your social media channels, like FB, then you probably don’t require a blog. You should just emphasize your presence on FB. I say don’t follow what Copyblogger did unless you truly are getting overwhelmed with spam.

3. Write a 500 word blog post

There was a time when keyword volume mattered to a blog post. I remember helping clients with their blog posts years ago, making sure they were keyword rich and were, at a minimum, 500 words. Today, it doesn’t matter nearly as much. Why? Because of rich media, in particular video, the keyword doesn’t always hold the same priority as it once did. YouTube, for example, is second largest search engine on the Web today, right behind Google. People are consuming record amounts of video content. You could post video content, (original video content) and make that the core of your blog content. Google isn’t going to penalize you for it. Short posts are still popular and long posts remain appealing as well (think of posts on Medium, for example). In the end, however, word count just doesn’t matter.

Recommendation: Whatever content you post, just make sure it’s to the point with no extra filler.

4. Stick with original content – but it’s OK to repurpose it

Remember the adage, “there’s nothing new under the sun?” In today’s 24/7 content spewing world it’s just not possible to come up with something totally original. The vast majority of content is recycled. Heck, I’m recycling and repurposing this blog post from another blog post drafted by a woman who recycled her content from another blog post as well. That doesn’t invalidate what I’m sharing with you now because you might come across my post instead of hers.

Recommendation: Learn how to repurpose and recycle content. Research and dig through the plethora of content out on the Web today and make it your own. Add appropriate links so you’re not completely plagiarizing but don’t worry if what you’re writing isn’t 100% original.

5. Are images or rich media in general required for a blog post to be effective?

A picture is worth a thousand words….and then some. With the amount of content getting put on the Web today you’re going to have a terrible time of competing for eyeballs if you don’t use imagery. And we’re not just talking about imagery for imagery’s sake. You might want something where you can add a caption as well. Think about what Twitter did. As it constantly evolves its platform, it realized it could attract more users by adding image functionality to the 140 character tweet. Studies have shown that tweets get more clicks if they have an image included.

Recommendation:  Any time you post, never fail to include imagery and/or video with your content. Google likes SEO and imagery so the SEO value alone makes it pretty much mandatory.

6. Keep all of your content in one place

There was a time when all you needed was a blog, and in part, that’s still true today. However, with the abundance of third-party publishing sites like Medium, LinkedIn, Quora, FB, and so many more, you have the ability to channel your content throughout a vast network of different platforms, helping you syndicate your content. Just make sure that which ever one you choose you get the ability to link back to either one of your social media channels or your original blog. Don’t worry about Google penalizing you for promoting duplicate content. Plenty of bloggers have been able to grow their audiences by syndicating their content on third party platforms and they are none the worse for it.

Recommendation: Promote your content on reputable third-party platforms, which will allow you to link back to your original content. In addition, make sure you get a link back to your G+ profile. It’s always good to stay friends with Google and let them know you are using its social media app. Always include links within your content that direct traffic back to your site, if possible.

 

 

Unhappy with food service

French blogger gets fined for negative restaurant review in Google

Unhappy with food service

You’re familiar with Yelp and its seemingly endless reviews of restaurants by so-called “food critics.” While in general most complaints about a bad restaurant experience have more to do with service than with food, on occasion it’s the food that takes the lion’s share of the blame. But for French restaurant critic Caroline Doudet, she found out the hard way what happens when a restaurant you patronize fights back because of a negative review you posted in Google.

BBC News reported that the owner of II Giardino restaurant took Doudet to court because her negative review of his restaurant and its prominent position on Google was “unfairly hurting their business.” Ms. Doudet’s wrote a blog post (which has since been taken down) with the title “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino.”

The review appeared fourth in Google search rankings when searching for the restaurant. The judge ruled that the title of the post needed to be changed so its title wouldn’t rank as high in Google’s search engine. The judge also decided that the damage done by Doudet’s post was exacerbated by Doudet’s fashion and literature blog, “Cultur’elle” and indicated that the size of her fan-base (in this case about 3K followers) was enough to consider her opinion influential.

As part of the ruling, Doudet was ordered to amend her post title and pay damages in the amount of €1,500 ($2,000; £1,200) as well as an extra €1,000 to cover Il Giardino’s costs.

This action suggests a number of important questions.

What about free speech? And what was so terrible about Doudet’s review?

Most of us who eat out from time to time have experienced poor service or poor fare. But how many of us blog about it or better yet, has a significant number of fans that might be influenced by your review? In this case, the judge felt the blogger was influential and their negative review was going to have a deleterious impact upon the business of the restaurant.

What did the owners of Il Giardino have to say?

The restaurateur admitted that there were “some errors in the service, that happens sometimes in the middle of August.” But what mattered was the way someone can criticize and doing so with respect. In this case, the article continued to place high in Google search results and was causing harm to the restaurant’s reputation, especially given the restaurant’s 15 years in business.

When BBC asked Doudet about the case she said, “This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]’, or of having too great an influence. We look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.”

L’esprit de France – so much for the revolution!

Alors que pensez vous? Is this European censorship related to search engine results gone haywire? If you have influence, are you not allowed to freely express yourself without fear of retribution? What might have been a better course of action? Did the restaurant owner bother to contact Doudet first before taking her to court?

Google My Business

Link Your Google My Business & AdWords Accounts: Google makes it official

Advertisers who link their Google My Business and Adwords accounts will receive the correct local information they need when ready to purchase thanks to Google’s recent update to location extensions.

Google says it’s critical because “50% of consumers visit a store within one day of searching for location on their smartphones.”

Google My Business

Improved & Quicker Linking

Business advertisers typically had to set up locations for each individual ad campaign. Now, with this new feature, page owners can use Google My Business (previously known as Google Places for Business) to manage all of their business locations. The owner can also choose to link this nifty feature with AdWords enabling all advertising to display the proper address instantaneously.

Just make sure you have the proper business locations set up at the account level so they will automatically populate in your campaigns.

Even Better, Refined Targeting

Once you’ve linked your Google My Business and AdWords accounts, you’re in business. Customize your location targeting and bid adjustments when setting up your new AdWords campaign. According to Google, You can target ads to the United States, then bid +80% for the area within 4 miles of all the business locations that you’ve linked in a single step.”

Linking Your Accounts

Click on Google Support if you need further instructions on updating your location extensions.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account: adwords.google.com
  2. Click “Ad Extensions”
  3. From the drop-down menu select “View: Location extensions”
  4. Choose “Upgraded” from the menu
  5. Click +EXTENSION
  6. You will then be prompted to link your Google My Business Account