Content Marketing

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  • The Bold and the Stressful: Smart Ways to Make a Big Move

    The Bold and the Stressful: Smart Ways to Make a Big Move. On Monday, Brian Clark shared a strategy for telling a more gripping story by using the framing power of contrast. And he showed off an example, with a nifty animation video about our StudioPress Sites. One warning: This isn’t a technique for the wishy-washy. Use it when you have something bold to say. On Tuesday, guest writer Cheryl Tan (who happens to be one of our Certified Content Marketers) let us know how we can get over our nervousness around creating video. She includes a way you can jump right into the deep end of video production — without getting overwhelmed. Working without a net can be scary, but it also brings some great rewards. That’s the content for this week — hope you have a bold (and not at all stressful) weekend! — Sonia Simone Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital Catch up on this week’s content by Brian Clark by Cheryl Tan by Jerod Morris by Sean Jackson by Sonia Simone by Jerod Morris by Kelton Reid
  • How Did Mister Rogers Raise $140 Million for PBS in Just 7 Minutes?

    PBS needed $20 million at the time to keep functioning - an amount equal to about $140 million in today's dollars. Who doesn't know Fred Rogers? He needed to convince a Senate committee to give his company $140 million. In a testimony that came in just under seven minutes, Rogers famously pled his case and the importance of PBS -- and persuaded the committee's "tough" chairman to hand over the cash. Rogers connected his audience with his product, a TV show aimed at children, by appealing to their own experience as children. He made sure to convey his mission, which was not to profit but to give his young audience "an expression of care each day" so that they would realize that they're unique and that, famously, "I like you just the way you are." Like any good salesperson, Rogers also gave a quick demonstration of his product. After asking for permission, he gave an example of the kind of lessons his show teaches young children, reciting from memory the words of one song about anger: "What do you do with the mad that you feel? Rogers and PBS made this sale not just because his product was so good. The taxpayers' money would be in good hands with Fred Rogers.
  • Adieu, JetBlue, I’ll Miss You

    A brand breakup with a loyal customer is the last thing you as an entrepreneur want to go through, whether you’re bootstrapping an early-stage startup or running a billion-dollar company. At a time when airlines were beginning to experiment with baggage fees and were discussing mergers, raising ticket prices and generally making the flying experience miserable, JetBlue was different; passengers like me loved them for it. No longer content with just customer happiness, the airline took things a step further by telling customers they were the only thing that mattered. The company had made a brand promise it simply couldn’t deliver on, especially because it had to answer to stockholders. Second, their products, pricing and everyday customer experience are consistent with that purpose. Finally, they get things badly wrong less often than their competitors, and when they do, they quickly make things right.” Hear and listen to your customers (they know your brand better than you do). When asked by the Wall Street Journal in 2015, about a decline in legroom, JetBlue’s executive VP of commercial planning replied: “I think that will be a non-issue once people see what the customer experience will be.” The problem? The JetBlue brand is legroom. Don’t let some of your most loyal customers be your next brand casualty. Don't be a JetBlue.
  • 4 Strategies for a Strong Early Marketing Plan

    4 Strategies for a Strong Early Marketing Plan. Image credit: Hero Images | Getty Images Joining the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, Pinterest is adding capability for video advertisements that may give other social media channels a run for their money. After testing with advertisers for a year, Pinterest decided to follow in the footsteps of Facebook with the autoplay format. After leaders figure out the desired launch date, they can then work backward to create a schedule for the launch team that is as specific and detailed as possible, and initiates the pre-launch campaign. Ultimately, the product itself and the target market should dictate the approach. Evolve your strategy as necessary. Acquiring audience data from processes as informal as online or in-person surveys, to ones as formal as Google Analytics, can help you figure out how and where your efforts should be targeted. A marketing campaign is an evolving process that requires commitment and revisitation, so don’t be afraid to tweak it (or the product) as you receive feedback, to make sure that it accomplishes what you envision. Second, if a particular campaign fails to get results, leaders should adjust the format and rewrite the copy. Because, as great as a product might be, if it doesn't reach the desired audience, people will never know it or even that your company ever existed.
  • 4 Effective Ways to Market Your Etsy Business

    An even greater reward is that some of your customers may be inclined to share information about you and your company through their social media, which could quickly reach a much larger audience. When you receive complimentary calls or emails from customers, be sure to quickly thank them and politely ask for a favorable review on Etsy and to tell their friends via social media. Maintaining communication and a favorable relationship with your customers is one of the easiest ways to generate repeat business. Develop a referral promotion in which the existing customer receives a discount each time someone they refer places an order in your shop, and at the same time, that new customer receives a discount too for being a new (referred) customer. Interact and share information with your customers via your social media accounts, and promote online-only specials to your social media friends and followers. Rely on your positive ratings and reviews to boost your credibility Earning and then showcasing positive ratings and reviews from your past customers is a powerful tool for helping to convert visitors to your Etsy shop into paying customers. Your potential customers can quickly discover exactly what other people think about whatever it is you’re selling. The ratings and reviews you receive are automatically and prominently displayed within your Etsy shop -- there’s no way to hide them. When the tags you include match a potential customer’s search words, a listing for your shop or one of your product listings appears in that person’s search results with a link directly to your shop or that product. What you need to consider is, based on your target audience, your available time and resources and what you’re selling, which social media services will serve your needs the best.
  • Candid Feedback and the Future of the Freelance Marketplace

    So why don’t we see similar ratings in creative industries? Wouldn’t more feedback help ensure quality in a marketplace economy? When selecting someone for creative work, it’s rare to find data that helps an employer or buyer know what to expect. On one hand, any successful marketplace needs data on people and products to ensure quality. At Contently, we tried to find a way to make the process more objective. In March, we started asking editors to provide quantitative feedback on each project once it was submitted. These ratings influenced our staffing decisions for clients, but we were still weighing whether to notify contributors of their performance on every story. Once a contributors are notified of their ratings, scores on subsequent submissions have improved. Instead of working through the disconnect when they start to surface, the client would remove Bill from the team of contributors. New freelance marketplaces are emerging for just about every creative field you can think of.
  • 8 Tactics to Build a Multimillion-Dollar Publishing Business

    It was recently announced that the company's top Facebook publisher, Blossom, created the most shared video on Facebook of all time with 11 million shares and 347 million views. "Work [toward] your path that eventually will put you in a position, where you're paid enough, and given enough flexibility to manage your time." The couple did not have children when they launched BabyFirst. Years later, BabyFirst became First Media because content that was not baby-related started to perform well on Facebook. How many times have you thought, "that's a good idea" or "there's an opportunity here" and let it slip by? Rechter and her husband not only heard an opportunity, they did the research, created a vision and mission, raised funding for that mission, and are still going strong after over a decade. If you're a content creator, Rechter says your focus should be on what gets shared the most. We 100 percent rely on people loving our videos, and sharing our videos," she said, explaining that all of their views are organic. When trying to get BabyFirst funded, Rechter decided not to produce a lot of content and to instead focus on the development of the content ideas. She went on to explain that part of agility is "throwing away" what everyone else is doing and focusing on your own work.
  • 5 Ways Most Marketers Misunderstand Influencer Marketing

    The reason for this is that people no longer trust brands. Many are no longer influenced by traditional advertising techniques, as they are influenced by people they trust and respect. However, a lot of brands are still misunderstanding the term "influencer marketing," thus making it an efficient promotional tool. With this in mind, I've outlined five ways in which the term, "influencer marketing," is still being misconstrued so that you can make the adequate changes within your strategy. Influencers are not professional media people. Unfortunately, influencer marketing is not a way for you to shovel work onto another person's's an opportunity for you to branch out to new channels. The only way for you to make sure you get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns is to work closely with the influencer in order to create content that's relevant to your brand. You need to follow what they do, share and like their posts on your channels, as well as boost their efforts with the backup of your in-house marketing team. It requires you to evaluate its success and continuously optimize it in order to accomplish the results you set out to achieve. Ignore some of the misconceptions surrounding influencer marketing and remember to put in the same amount of research and hard work you would with any other of your marketing efforts in order to ensure your campaigns are highly successful.
  • 7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop

    7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop. They are prospecting, establishing rapport, identifying needs, presenting solutions, answering objections, closing the sale and getting resales and referrals. You must never relax in your prospecting efforts until you have so many customers that you don’t have enough time left in the day to sell and satisfy all the people who want to buy from you. The most successful salespeople take as much time as necessary to establish trust with that client. Identify needs clearly The third habit of top salespeople is that they make a habit of asking questions and identifying the real needs of the prospect relative to what they’re selling. Present persuasively The fourth habit developed is the habit of making excellent, logical, well-thought-out presentations of the features and benefits of their product. Ask for the decision The sixth part of selling is developing the habit of asking the customer to make a buying decision. No matter how good your presentation or how high the level of trust and credibility that exists between you and your customer, there’s always a moment of stress or tension at the making of a buying decision. Your job is to move quickly and professionally through that stressful moment by asking for the order in a confident, professional manner and then wrapping up the sale. Ask for resales and referrals Finally, top sales professionals develop the habit of asking for resales and referrals from each customer.
  • AdWords Changes Coming Fall 2017

    It’s best to have two to three ad variations running in each ad group to test which ad copy performs the best. Ad rotation is the setting that informs AdWords how to decide between the various ads. There are currently four options for advertisers: “Optimize for clicks,” “Optimize for conversions,” “Rotate evenly,” and “Rotate indefinitely.” “Optimize for clicks” gives AdWords the ability to favor the ad with the highest click-through rate. “Optimize for conversions” tells AdWords to use the ad that converts the most. “Optimize” will use Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads that are expected to perform better than other ads in your ad group. From Google: Testing. Advertisers can opt out of arbitration, however. For example, if Google runs a test that harms your results, not only does Google not have to notify you (leaving the burden of discovery on you) but it won’t have to litigate the case and may have an easier time defending its actions to an arbitrator. You can opt out by editing your Google Analytics code. It’s important that advertisers stay informed as to how the changes could impact them.

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