Think Like a Publisher: Best Practices in Brand Journalism

By Shana Pilewski By adopting the practices of a publisher like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, large and small companies can create useful content that builds trust with potential customers and deepens their relationship with existing customers. Here are five ways to think like a publisher. …read more

Source: Social Media Today


Twitter Tips to Turn into a Twitter Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

By AJ Ghergich While Twitter is a user-friendly platform, there are some easy ways to improve your presence and make a real difference in your Twitter marketing strategy. Tweet analysis shows a specific tweet structure and additional assets can increase your chances for a retweet. For instance, images result in a 35 percent bump while quotes increase the odds for a retweet by 17 percent. This infographic will teach you key ways to optimize your Twitter stream and your Twitter profile (both for individuals and for brands), ways to increase engagement, and best practices for tweet structure. …read more

Source: Social Media Today


Gigaom and the Question of Ethics and Advertising in News Business

By Daniel Green At the very beginning of news business, advertising only formed a fraction of the source of income for newspapers. The relationship between news organizations and advertisers evolved with time. But with the exponential growth of digital platforms, the drastic change in user behavior stupefied journalism platforms and advertisers alike. …read more

Source: Social Media Today


Last Day to Save on Authority Rainmaker 2015

By Jerod Morris

The Early Bird Price for Authority Rainmaker ends today, so I had a message planned for today making one final case for why you should join us in Denver, Colorado this May.

But then I read what Raubi wrote on Friday about how much last year’s event accelerated her career.

The quick version: She came to Denver questioning why she was even in the room; she left prepared to take a leap of faith and bet on herself. So she did. Now she runs her own company.

She got clarity, so she got moving.

(By the way, we didn’t ask Raubi to write about her experience. She wanted to share her story.)

I read that article … and suddenly what I had to say about Authority Rainmaker didn’t seem to matter so much anymore.

Here’s what does matter …

What mattered about last year’s event is what you — or people like you, people like Raubi — took away from it.

And what will matter most about this year’s event is what you — or people like you, including Raubi (who already bought her ticket to come again) — will take away from it.

Since nothing predicts the future quite like the past, I spent some time looking back at what people said about last year’s event right after it happened. What those folks were thinking, feeling, and saying to their own audiences on their own accord after the event is far more relevant than anything I could write here.

Why? Because it’s the most accurate predictor for how you will be feeling on May 15 after this year’s event, should you choose to invest your time and money to attend Authority Rainmaker.

So, instead of the post I was going to write, here’s a sampling of what people who are a lot like you were telling their audiences after last year’s Authority event …

Real talk about last year’s conference

I would have to say the biggest benefit for me (and what I’m looking forward to again) is being surrounded by folks who ‘get it’ and being able to have spontaneous conversations about things that most people IRL don’t know/care about.

~ Anthony Sills, founder of Professional Pen Copywriting

Even before landing in Denver I was confident I’d come away from the experience with increased knowledge and things to act upon. What I wasn’t expecting was to leave newly inspired to create things that matter and to produce art. Woah.

~ Lisa Barone, VP of Strategy at Overit

Authority Intensive marked the end of my struggle, the end of my meandering blog, and the end of me not starting. Once I was able to experience the truth about being an authority, I understood what I needed to do.

~ Darren DeMatas, Chief Lemonade Maker at Intertwine Marketing

I made more meaningful connections than I could have ever expected because people came with an open mind, no matter their background, and treated everyone like he or she could be the next Jeff Bezos.

~ Ted Karczewski, Marketing Content Specialist at Skyword and the Managing Editor of the Content Standard (TCS).

What I loved most was the people. It was a great opportunity to network, and I made connections with people that I’m still in regular contact with today. My initial hesitation was the price, but the line-up, and commitment to investing in myself to advancing my business pushed me over the hump. This year — honestly, it didn’t even matter who the speakers were, or the agenda. I’m most excited about the people. Deepening relationships that were formed last year and creating new ones. See you there!

~ Sonia Thompson, founder of TRY Business

I was quick to sign up when I heard that Copyblogger was hosting their first content marketing conference. They had a lineup of speakers that was a roster of my heroes. The other great aspect of the conference was that we were all in one room so we didn’t have to choose between sessions.

~ Judi Knight, Founder and Chief at New Tricks.

The best part about Authority Intensive was the energy. With so many smart people in one room, you are bound to get wrapped up in the excitement of the moment. This event was unique in that I’m still very much feeling that excitement a week later. I’m still poring through my notes to identify actionable goals that we need to execute on. Here is the list so far: [21 bullets].

~ Jimmy Daly, head of marketing at Vero

It was, in a word, AMAZEBALLS. It was a lot to take in. Two REALLY full days of content, and I have to admit that my brain was threatening to explode a bit. After two full days of learnin’, and three open bars, I needed to go home, put my feet up, and just let things percolate for a bit. Yeah, that lasted about a day before I wanted to DIVE back into my notes and pull out all the goodies I had scribbled down.

~ Lacy Boggs, Director of the Content Direction Agency

It was a good time start to finish. The people were super-nice, not haughty or arrogant at all, even though I’m not in their league yet. This year I have a daughter joining me — that’s how valuable I think it is. You will be glad you came. And while you’re there, find me and share a conversation over a drink or during a break. Almost forgot — I’d never been to Denver. Cool town.

~ James Pier, financial advisor at The James Pier Company, Inc.

I was in Denver, CO last week, attending the first-ever live event from the folks. Their ‘Authority Intensive 2014′ was sold out. It may be the best conference I’ve attended on copywriting and content marketing.

~ Alison Lueders, …read more

Source: Copy Blogger


A Quick-Start Guide to Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts

By Mike King

Simply put, if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.

In fact, if you’re whipping up blog posts and infographics without business objectives, you’re basically partaking in a very expensive version of arts and crafts.

Your job as a content marketer is to show your boss the money — not traffic, not links — mon-naay.

Let’s talk about how to get started effectively measuring your content marketing efforts.

Measurement separates digital marketing from traditional advertising

As a native Philadelphian (I live in Brooklyn now), I know a little too much about John Wanamaker.

Most people in marketing and advertising know him for this quote:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

However, this sentiment does not hold true for digital marketing.

If an action happens online, it can likely be measured. You need a plan to effectively measure the tasks that impact your business goals.

This is me showing my iPullRank clients the money.

This is me showing my iPullRank clients the money.

If you do this right and pay attention, you’ll be able to identify content marketing tasks that aren’t benefitting your business goals.

Unfortunately, there are a good portion of people that appear to be asleep at the wheel.


According to a poll by Oracle Marketing Cloud, many in-house professionals believe that it’s difficult to measure your content marketing’s return on investment (ROI).

In fact, I’ve seen numerous studies make this declaration.

Let’s just be clear right now — that’s poppycock!

Vanity metrics don’t mean much

Instead of analyzing the true factors that affect your business, many people focus on vanity metrics when measuring content marketing effectiveness.

Here are some of those vanity metrics and a brief description of why they aren’t good measures of content marketing ROI by themselves:

  • Traffic: Knowing the number of visitors that came to a website is not an indicator that you reached a business goal. For example, you could spend $1,000 on StumbleUpon Paid Discovery and get 10,000 people to visit your blog post in the next 30 minutes, but more than 90 percent of those people won’t read a single word beyond the headline. When someone excitedly announces, “We got more traffic this month!” the only response that makes sense is, “Cool. What did that traffic do for us?”
  • Search rankings: It’s difficult to tell if search rankings drive traffic, and even if they do, once again you have to be able to quantify how the traffic actually helped your business goals.
  • Social shares: Just because someone shared your content doesn’t mean that he actually visited the page or that any of his followers will visit the page.
  • Impressions and reach: Similar to rankings, impressions and reach are indicators of possibility. They are not indications of whether or not people saw or consumed your content. It’s the equivalent of saying people in cars are carefully paying attention to the billboards they drive past and taking specific actions because of them.
  • Page views: A page view doesn’t inherently mean the user took any action that benefits your business.

For most aspects of your business, these vanity metrics are simply indicators of possibility — not true indicators of action or even interest.

Business metrics vs. channel metrics

There are a number of great measurement frameworks out there.

At iPullRank, we typically refer to two distinct segments: business metrics and channel metrics.

Business metrics have a direct impact on the company’s performance. They are often referred to as a subset of “business intelligence.”

Examples are:

  • Number of leads
  • Amount of revenue generated
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Churn rate

Your content marketing efforts should impact these metrics.

They’re the metrics that get you your bonus! And they’re the metrics your boss cares about.


Channel metrics are the levers you directly control that impact those business metrics.

Examples of channel metrics are:

  • Conversion rates per channel
  • Personas visiting per channel
  • Scroll depth of content per channel
  • Traffic per channel

Ultimately, these are the metrics that you can impact through direct and specific on-site changes.

The process for measuring content marketing

Let’s walk through your first steps of measurement planning.

1. Determine your business goals

Are you looking to generate more leads, sell more products, or perhaps grow your email list? Knowing your business goals will help you determine conversion values.

Be careful with business goals, however. Although you may just be responsible for one certain channel, those channel metrics are not business goals. For example, “increase Facebook Likes” is not a business goal. Driving more conversions from Facebook traffic is a business goal.

2. Determine your audience

Who are you speaking to with your content? How do they align with what can be tracked by your current setup? What features make up an audience segment? These answers help you determine the value of your traffic.

You can specifically do this in Google Analytics by creating advanced segments leveraging data from Demographics and Interests reports.

3. Determine your channels

Where do you distribute your content? PPC? Social Media? Email? Display? Native Advertising? Each channel has its own measurable attributes.

4. Determine your tools

What tools do you have at your disposal for measurement? Google Analytics? Or other channel-specific analytics, as well?

5. Determine your key performance indicators (KPIs)

The combination of your channels and your tools determine your KPIs. Based on your goals and the data available to you, what will you use to determine the effectiveness of the effort? What is a conversion?

Once you’ve done all this, you’ll have several business metric KPIs that look like this:


Now you know what to focus on so you can start measuring your content marketing!

…read more

Source: Copy Blogger


Are You Losing Business on Twitter?

By Harriet Cummings

Our friends at Brandwatch recently performed an experiment to find out how well brands were doing on Twitter. Were they meeting their customers’ expectations? Or were they doing more harm than good?

The results were pretty staggering.

Here’s Iris from Brandwatch with insights into typical missed opportunities and advice on how we can all get better at winning over customers on Twitter.

“Brands ignore 95% of all non-tagged complaints.”

With more than 284 million monthly active users, and more than 500 million tweets sent every day, it’s no surprise that brands are increasingly adopting Twitter into their social customer care.

Unfortunately, achieving customer success on Twitter requires more than claiming an account and chiming in the new web traffic. Even the world’s biggest brands have found themselves less successful than expected.

For our study, our community management team sent more than 300 test tweets to around 100 of the world’s leading retail brands from the US and UK, then analyzed the results. We also gathered data using Brandwatch Analytics.

Test tweets from the Community Management team @Brandwatch

While some brands are quick to respond, there are still too many who remain silent!

Shockingly, only 47% of the major retail brands we analyzed respond to customers when @mentioned in a tweet, leaving more than half of all direct mentions ignored.

When targeted with a direct @question, two thirds of the brands replied, adequately meeting the demands of more than half of their customers. However, when those tweets @mentioning them came without posing a question, brands only responded 29% of the time.

Complaints that mentioned a brand without tagging the brand’s Twitter handle received a response less than 5% of the time, ignoring 95% of all non-tagged complaints.

This to me is a clear sign that many of these leading retail brands are not adequately equipped to handle the incoming chatter.

“Brands fail to understand the ‘social’ part in ‘social media marketing’ and are missing out on opportunities to engage and build support amongst their online communities.”

This is crucial in a competitive retail environment where mainstream advertising practices are far less effective than social media marketing.

“1 out of 5 brands take between 4 – 24 hours to respond.”

Even though direct questions on Twitter were more likely to generate a response than general comments, the response time was much slower.

Our research found that companies in the UK tend to reply quicker than in the US. On average, US brands took over two and a half hours (157 minutes) to resolve direct questions, compared with a little under an hour to those that didn’t involve a question.

More than 20% of brands took between 4 hours and 24 hours to get back to a tweeter, with only 5% of the brands replying within 15 minutes.

Props to brands such as Best Buy, Nordstrom, Ocado, Macy’s, Sears and Schuh who all replied in no more than three minutes. These brands deal with hundreds of thousands of tweets per day.

Of all brands who responded to tweets, about half of them wrote an answer or requested more information, with about one third favoriting general tweets rather than replying.

A little over 30% of responses included a helpful web link, and under 15% used direct messages or gave out a customer service telephone number. In other words, very few brands attempted to move the conversation away from Twitter.

“72% of the consumers on Twitter expect a reply within an hour, regardless of when they tweeted.”

When looking back at response times, just 11.2% of the retail brands responded to questions within an hour. Lithium research shows that nearly three quarters of customers expect a tweet within that time frame.

If companies don’t meet these response expectations, 2 out of 5 tweeters feel more negative about the brand and 3 out of 5 will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction. When customer service goes bad, companies face horrible consequences.

Responses to Lithium study

Nearly a third of American internet users who have ever attempted to contact a brand’s customer support on social media expect a response within 30 minutes, according to the Social Habit’s research.

However, our low figures show many retail brands are not living up to the standards that consumers expect.

Certainly, consumers understand that social media staffing patterns change throughout the day and in the weekends right? They don’t expect 24-hour support on Twitter from brands, do they?

Actually, they do.

Research shows that more than half expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours. Is your company prepared to handle social media inquiries within half an hour? Are you, really?

What brands can do to respond faster

For a social platform that demands immediacy, it’s clear that brands still have room to improve both the speed and quality of their responses to direct questions on Twitter.

Keeping a real-time search for your brand name open in Twitter or in your social listening tool is key to being a rapid responder. Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Set up saved searches for topics not just related to your brand, but also for tracking your campaigns, hashtags, products or anything else that’s related to you.

“Grasp the opportunity to turn a potential disgruntled customer into a loyal brand advocate.”

Show that you care. Find people talking about the topics that matter to you, regardless if they’re @-mentioning you or not.

Most social listening tools will have at the very least an alerts feature. Use it. It will notify you via email or product popups each time a mention is posted online that matches your keyword searches.

More sophisticated software will also allow you to create custom alerts that you can filter by influence or sentiment and send to multiple team members.

<p …read more

Source: Distilled


The 3 Pillars of Great Web Writing

By Rainmaker.FM

If you summarized every single book and article written on writing for the web, you’d get the three words I’m about to tell you.

Yet, no one — not even the experts, authors, or pundits — has, to my knowledge, ever consolidated all this knowledge into one simple, sticky process.

Write with these three words in mind, and anything you publish on the web will rivet attention, stoke desire, and get action.

In this 9-minute episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth, you’ll discover:

  • A truly inspirational article by a pioneering punk legend
  • The danger of being clever or cute
  • The wonderful benefit you’ll enjoy while being a ruthless editor of your work
  • The very simple thing you must do once you uncover what makes your reader tick
  • An embarrassing message from Ginger (my robotic co-host)
  • How to write naturally dense keyword copy
  • And, of course, the three words behind great web copy

Click Here to Listen to

Rough Draft on iTunes

Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM

About the author


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post The 3 Pillars of Great Web Writing appeared first on Copyblogger.

…read more

Source: Copy Blogger


Here’s How Pat Flynn Grew an Audience of Raving Fans

By Rainmaker.FM

Today’s guest on Hack the Entrepreneur is one of the nicest people host Jon Nastor has ever met, as well as a serial online entrepreneur.

Pat Flynn began his online journey back in 2008, after getting laid off from his job as an architect, and he has not looked back since.

He is now the host of the wildly successful Smart Passive Income podcast, as well as Ask Pat … and more recently the 1-Day Business breakthrough podcast with Chris Ducker.

He has also started creating and selling software, he speaks around the world, has written a book, and is currently in the middle of his next book.

Now, let’s hack …

Pat Flynn

In this 35-minute episode of Hack the Entrepreneur, host Jon Nastor and Pat Flynn discuss:

  • Speaking the customer’s language
  • The defining moment when Pat learned he was an entrepreneur
  • Being relatable and how this can be good for your audience
  • How outsourcing can help grow your business

Click Here to Listen to

Hack the Entrepreneur on iTunes

Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM

About the author


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post Here’s How Pat Flynn Grew an Audience of Raving Fans appeared first on Copyblogger.

…read more

Source: Copy Blogger