Focus on Strategic Content, Relationships and Technology, Not Social Media

By Ian Cleary

Strategic Content

Quite often I give presentations to groups of entrepreneurs who think that social media is all about building up followers and fans.

You hire a social media intern to share some updates, you get some fans and followers, and that somehow generates business for you.

It doesn’t work that way.

People get impressed with lots of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but the truth is, the majority of those followers never see your content and you don’t get a lot of value from them.

Your focus should not be on social media.

What I tell to the groups I speak to is that they need to focus on strategic content, relationships, and technology.

I’m not saying social media is not important, but if you switch your focus a little, your social following will be a lot more valuable.

It’s not all about the numbers, and in this article I’ll explain why.

Strategic Content

How are you going to get to the top of Google’s search results for your main keywords?

How are you going to get your content shared thousands of times?

How are you going to create content that will last for many years?

The answer is simple – you need to create strategic content.

In an essence, strategic content is a piece of content that has a clearly defined purpose and a measurable goal linked to it. Going beyond the basics, you need to think about content types that will work best for your business and help you achieve your goals more efficiently.

There are certain types of content – typically long form content – that can supercharge your results no matter your industry or business type. Think expert roundups, frameworks, or research posts. These types of posts take a lot of time and effort to produce but deliver outstanding results. You’re giving your audience valuable content, something of substance that will earn you more than just likes.

You can still create shorter blog posts focusing on long tail keywords but you need to create that amazing content that’s going to take 10 times more work but give you 1,000 times more value.

Strategic Content

The first example of strategic content that comes to mind is a research report that has reached a cult status in the blogging industry – Andy Crestodina’s annual blogger survey. For 3 years in a row, Andy has been asking more than 1000 bloggers to complete a survey about how they create their content and presenting the survey results in a research post.

To find this article, I simply searched for “blogger research” on Google.

Blogger Research

I knew it would be easy to find because it’s a great piece of strategic content. Google certainly think so placing it in the top 3 search results.

Andy produces this report every year and every year it gets a lot of attention, shares, comments, and links.

Referring Domains

Research reports are a great way to build your authority with your content. If you provide unique insights into interesting topics relevant to your industry and your audience, more people will see you as an expert in that particular topic. They will link to your content, promote it on social media, and share it with their own audiences. Plus, Google will recognize your post’s value and rank it accordingly.

Create a research report or similar long-form content and you’ll get an evergreen piece of content that won’t lose its appeal over time.

Relationships

Imagine if instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in vanity metrics (e.g. the number of followers, fans, likes, etc.), you spent time and focus on building relationships. This would make such a huge difference in the results you get. Vanity metrics simply can’t help you build a viable business, but building and nurturing quality relationships can.

There are influential people in your industry or niche, like industry experts, journalists, or bloggers that have wide reach on social media and can help you reach new audiences relevant to your business. If you spend time building relationships with relevant influencers you can help boost your brand’s online visibility and get your message out to a large number of potential customers who otherwise wouldn’t know about you.

That’s why you need to identify relevant influencers and build relationships with them through the following 4 stages:

*Tip: Finding influencers manually takes a lot of time, so I recommend using a tool like GroupHigh to easily identify and make a list of influencers relevant to your business.

Unaware. They are not aware of you at this stage, you’re at the starting line! This is the time to do your research and learn as much as you can about the influencers on your list. Follow them on social media and learn about their interests, their work, the type of content they share, what they enjoy doing in their free time, etc. This information will help you understand more about them and help you reach out in a way that they’re most likely to respond to.

Aware – You haven’t asked them for anything but you somehow got on their radar. You followed them on social media, signed up for their newsletter, shared their content, commented on their blog, promoted their e-book or webinar, etc.

They are aware of your existence, and even though it might not seem like it, this is a huge step forward to building a meaningful relationship with an influencer. Making any kind of connection prior to sending an email to an influencer will increase your chances of getting a reply.

Engaged – You are now engaging with the influencers e.g. they received your email and responded. By now you got to know them and you interacted with them on social media, so you were able to get their attention with personalized emails that didn’t come out of the blue.

If you made your call-to-action beneficial to both of you, and you made your ‘ask’ easy to fulfill, you’re probably seeing some positive responses at this stage.

Active – This is where you are actively engaging with influencer and this could develop into a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. You’ve found common ground and are interested in creating opportunities to help each other grow. This is the stage that you want to get to with all the people on your list, but you need to be willing to put in the work!

Focus on the top 100 people that will have the biggest impact on your business and spend time building those relationship. The “side effect” of building those relationships will be more fans and followers, but that isn’t your main focus.

Technology

Before I drifted into marketing I spent years working in the technical roles in the software industry. This is where my passion for technology comes from! At the beginning of my career in social media and content marketing, I was a bit uncomfortable being called a marketer. But today, things are very different.

The evolving digital landscape, the explosion of engagement channels and data, and constant changes in consumer behavior helped fuel a symbiotic relationship between marketing and technology. As marketers, we need to be comfortable with technology because we rely on it to do our work – it helps us efficiently manage, automate, and analyze our marketing activities. We simply cannot run any campaigns effectively without the help of marketing tools and platforms.

Marketing technology helps us streamline our processes and automate some of the repetitive activities so we can focus on the things that truly move the needle – e.g. creating strategic content and building relationships.

Summary

It’s easy for entrepreneurs and brands to get blinded by the number of social media followers and empty metrics such as likes on their content. The notion that more followers means more business is far from true. You need to move your focus from social media to things that can directly improve your marketing results and your bottom line.

Focus on creating strategic content, building relationships, and leveraging the technology that will enable you to automate some of the processes and work more efficiently.

The post Focus on Strategic Content, Relationships and Technology, Not Social Media appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

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4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn

By Ian Cleary

If you are in B2B marketing or otherwise tasked with sourcing leads for your company, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to grow your business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they have a presence on LinkedIn, but they’re not seeing the results they’re after. If you’re one of those people, then you probably don’t have the system and the tools in place to attract new prospects and build quality relationships. I’m going to help you change that!

Let me show you some interesting statistics that will demonstrate how effective LinkedIn can be for lead generation. A recent, while Hub Spot found that 43% of marketers have sourced a customer from LinkedIn. The opportunities are there, you just need the right way to find them.

Hub Spot found that 43% of marketers have sourced a customer from LinkedInClick To Tweet

Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn doesn’t support a lot of third party tools but there are still ways to speed up some of your key activities, such as finding the right leads, gathering customer data, building connections, and kickstarting your sales process.

We reached out to LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen, to ask her about the tools she uses daily to maximize the results she gets from LinkedIn.

Let’s explore the four tools Viveka recommends.

  1. Add Tags & Notes To LinkedIn Profiles with Dux-Soup

If you’ve used LinkedIn for lead generation, you were probably using Tags and Notes to better manage relationships with your connections. Those were some really useful features that LinkedIn shut down earlier this year when they removed the Relationship Section from user profiles.

Luckily, there’s an alternative called Dux-Soup, a Chrome plug-in that keeps track of the profiles you visit and lets you tag and take notes on any LinkedIn member’s profile. You can download it for free from the Chrome web store, and there’s also a paid upgrade ($15/month).

With the free version, you can automate the process of viewing profiles (100/day), add tags and take notes, while the paid version will allow you to export data (profiles visited, profile notes, and profile lists) and configure the number of profile visits per day.

linkedin tools dux-soup

How Viveka uses Dux-Soup: “Since I actually use LinkedIn when prospecting and engaging with my network, it’s important for me to have a way to keep track of my connections on LinkedIn. Dux-Soup allows me to create tags and take as many notes as I want for free! I can export them and do other things for a small monthly fee. This has been a life saver for both me and my clients.”

  1. Keep Track of Your LinkedIn Prospects with Nimble

Nimble is a social CRM tool that packs some really powerful features for only $25/month. It’s by far the most reasonably priced CRM system out there and it can really help organize and manage your LinkedIn lead generation efforts.

There’s also the Nimble Contacts Widget that allows you to save contact details to your Nimble account while on LinkedIn with one click. You can then tag saved profiles, make notes, or reach out to them.

linkedin tools nimble

Here’s how Viveka uses Nimble: “While I like to have a way to manage my connections on LinkedIn – I strongly believe in the power of a CRM tool. The one I choose is Nimble. Not just because it is super affordable and has some GREAT features, but also because it’s Chrome extension allows me to easily save my LinkedIn prospects to Nimble. From there I can also tag and take notes on their profile, put them into my deal funnel or schedule a follow up call or email.

  1. Find Missing Contact Info with LeadGrabber Pro

LeadGrabber Pro is a great tool to help you get contact details of your LinkedIn contacts. It scrapes the web to obtain email addresses that people have shared publicly and features list-building tools that can save you a lot of time. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you use it to support your sales efforts, it may pay for itself many times over.

linkedin tools leadgrabber

How Viveka uses LeadGrabber: LeadGrabber is my go to tool for pulling the missing information from my contact’s profiles (like email addresses and phone numbers.) It also allows me to make lists which I can then use to follow up with my key prospects off line.

  1. Improve LinkedIn Social Selling with Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s premium sales account and it is a great tool for prospecting. Here’s what it can do for you:

  • Uses a proprietary algorithm to create a list of leads tailored to your business and your product or service
  • Filters searches to a specific industry, location, company or title
  • Helps you find and save your contacts in business accounts (ABM)
  • Let’s you track and engage with your saved leads through updates, messages, and in mails.

linkedin tools sales navigator

This is a pricey tool, but here’s what Viveka has to say about it: “I absolutely believe it is worth the $79/month price tag. But you have to try it to believe it. Fortunately, they have a 30-day free trial.”

Those were the 4 tools that a renowned LinkedIn expert uses every day, and I’m sure that they’ll work for you and help you get the most out of LinkedIn!

If you’d like to learn more about LinkedIn marketing from Viveka, check out her website Linked into Business.

What other tools would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

The post 4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

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25 Google Analytics Admin Settings Explained

By Ian Cleary

Google Analytics is without a doubt one of the most useful tools available to help you gain insight into your online marketing performance. However, it’s quite complex and hence not the most user-friendly platform, especially not for beginners.

To get those juicy insights that can help you get better results from your marketing activities, you need to go through a set of Google Analytics admin settings and customize the reporting so you have a well-tuned stream of data and performance metrics coming in.

In this article I am going to walk you through the most important GA admin settings, I’ll explain what they are and how and when you should use them to get the most return on your marketing efforts.

So go ahead, log into your Google Analytics account and click the Admin tab at the bottom of the menu on the left. When you’re in there, you’ll see your admin settings menu divided into three columns Account, Property, and View.

google analytics admin settings

Account Level Settings

The account is the highest level of the organization in Google Analytics account structure and all your properties and views will be organized under your account.

Following are the available settings:

  1. Account Settings – These are the settings for your entire Google Analytics account. The Basic settings include your account ID and name. Next, you’ll see the Data Sharing Settings – this is where you choose what information you want to share with Google. You’re basically sending Google confidential data that they can use to improve their services. There are 4 options available: Google Products and Services, Benchmarking, Technical Support and Account Specialists.

User Management – This is a very important feature because it allows you to give different level permissions to the users of your GA account. If you want your team members to have access to certain areas of analytics, you’ll send them an email invite from here. There are four types of permissions available:
Manage Users. This level of access allows your team member to add new users, remove existing users, as well as set permissions.
Edit. With this type of permission, a team member will be able to edit and change any and all settings in your GA account.
Collaborate. This is a bit more restricted access compared to the first two. It allows your team member to create, share, and collaborate on personal assets.
Read and Analyze. A user can access or view all reports in your GA account, meaning they can analyze the data, but can’t edit or change any of the settings. They can also create and share their personal assets.

Google analytics user permissions
Add User Permissions
  1. Filters. Here you can set up filters on the account level. For example, you can exclude IP addresses of your team members from GA so they don’t count as visits in your reporting data. You can also exclude traffic from certain providers (e.g. ISP domains), as well as URLs that you don’t want to influence your analytics. We’d recommend that you exclude your IP address from any GA traffic. To find out your IP address use whatismyipaddress.com
  2. Change history. This is the history of all changes made to your account e.g. who was given permission and when, goals that were set, etc.
  3. Trash Can. Every time something (a property) is deleted from the account it goes directly to the can and stays there for 35 days until it’s permanently deleted. This is useful if you accidentally delete something because you can go to the can and retrieve the property.

Property Level Settings

Each account can hold up to 50 properties. A property can be your website, blog, subdomain, or mobile app. Each of your properties will have a unique ID and a tracking code that Google Analytics uses to collect and send data to the right property.

  1. Property settings. Here you can see your tracking IDs, the URLs, and the names of the properties you connected to your GA account.
  2. User management. This option lets you set user permissions or management rights for specific properties under your account.
  3. Tracking Info. Here you can see your tracking code or a code that’s added to your site so Google Analytics can track and gather data from it. Data collection for advertising features is where you can turn on data collection for remarketing purposes and create custom reporting for AdWords. Here’s an example of a tracking code > UA-000000-3 <. The first set of numbers (zeros in this example) refers to your account number, and the second set of numbers (-3) is the property number associated with your account. The tracking code should be copied to the footer of every page on your website. If you are on WordPress, use this plugin to add it.
  4. Referral Exclusion List. This option lets you exclude traffic coming from certain domains e.g. your own domain. This way GA won’t add your domain as a source of referral traffic.
  5. Search Term Exclusion List. Here you can add search terms or keywords that you want GA to recognize as direct rather than search traffic. For instance, this would be your domain name and company name. I would add here keywords such as razorsocial or razorsocial.com.
  6. Product Linking. Here you can link your GA account with AdWords, AdSense, AdExchange, etc. so you can track the performance of your ads (clicks, impressions, etc.) in Google Analytics. If you’re not advertising using any of these products, then you can skip this section of settings in total.
  7. Postback – This feature is related to mobile apps. Imagine you had a mobile app and you wanted to track app installs. You’d set up postback and Google would periodically reach out to check if there were any app installs. When you get this information, you link it to a supported ad network. So if you’re running ads on the network you can automatically track the results and then adjust the ads based on this info. Here are the ad networks currently supported and an example of setting up a conversion type to track:

google analytics conversion

View Level Settings

View settings help you customize the data for a specific property in different views so you can analyze the data segments more easily. You can have up to 25 different views per property and you can organize your data in views like all website data, goal tracking, in-app data (if you have both the website and web app under the same domain), etc.

  1. User Management – Set user permissions for a chosen view. If for some reason you want to give access to a team member to only one view and nothing else within your GA account, you can set it up here.
  2. Goals – This is one of the most important settings in GA. Goals give you a simple way of tracking and measuring different actions that you want users to complete on your site. Goals represent conversions, and as you may well know, these are very important indicators of the success of your marketing campaigns and your business. Examples of goals include making a purchase or submitting a contact information form. By properly setting goals in Google Analytics, you’ll get critical information, such as the number of conversions and the conversion rate for your site.

google analytics goals
You can set up goals using GA Templates (start with a prefilled configuration) or create Custom Goals tracking that you have to setup yourself based on different events. For example, one of the most important goals for razorsocial.com is Thank You Page visits since that page shows only when someone leaves an email address. This way I immediately know how many new subscribers I have.
Here’s our detailed article on how to set up Google Analytics goals.

Content Grouping. This is a great feature typically used by e-commerce providers. Instead of analyzing individual pages it lets you group pages together for more efficient analysis. So, for example, if you had an e-commerce store you might have a collection of pages about men’s clothing and a collection of pages about female clothing, and you may want to report them separately.There are various ways of specifying a group, like using the contents of a URL. For example:

www.ecommercestore.com/mens/suits

www.ecommercestore.com/mens/jackets

www.ecommercestore.com/women/dresses

www.ecommercestore.com/women/skirts

For the above pages, you can create 2 groups. One for men and one for women. You can create the group because you can uniquely identify the men’s pages and the women’s pages based on the URLs.

  1. Filters. Like with Account and Property settings, filters are there to exclude certain IP addresses or domains from analytics for a selected view.
  2. Ecommerce SettingsIf you run an e-commerce site and you want Google Analytics to report activity for it, you need to enable e-commerce tracking on the view level. Google will give you a customizable tracking code for your pages which will allow you to track the volume of sales, revenue, items sold, etc. Google explains how you can set this up HERE.
  3. Calculated Metrics – This feature is still in Beta and it’s meant to help you set up custom reporting.
  4. Segments – Segment visitors by age, location, gender, the operating system they use, etc. You can use segments to analyze subsets of data so you can examine and respond to any trends relating to those segments.
  5. Annotations – You can add annotations to spikes or drops in your traffic report charts so when you get back to analyzing them you know exactly what happened at that stage. To put in an ‘annotation’ just click a part of the graph and type in the information.
  6. Attribution model –Attribution is all about figuring out which touchpoints to assign credit to for user actions or conversions on your site. For example, let’s say that someone reads about your product on Facebook and then visits the product page but doesn’t buy. What happens if they revisit it the next day from a link on Google? Which touch point gets credit for this? Poor social media is probably going to miss out! That’s if you have set up ‘last interaction’ as your attribution model. In that case, the last interaction gets 100% credit.The attribution is set up by default but you may want to tweak some attribution settings if you’re an advanced user!Read all about it HERE.
  7. Alerts – Set an email or a mobile phone alert when something specific happens like a drastic change in traffic or user behavior. You can set daily, weekly, or monthly alerts. You’ll use this if you have a high traffic website and you want to track specific events that require your immediate attention. Imagine if you traffic today was only 5% of your yesterday’s traffic. With the alert set up, you’d immediately know if you had a huge traffic problem like this!
  8. Scheduled Emails – This is a very useful option if you want to efficiently analyze your GA reports. You can set it up so you get all your reports delivered to your inbox once a week, month, etc. You set it up once and your updated reports are sent to you automatically. These can be reports like Traffic Overview for your entire site, channel traffic report (referral, direct, social), Goals report, etc. You can have all these reports sent to you weekly as PDF files in one email. For example, I get all my reports for the previous week on Mondays compared to the week before so I can analyze the data and see where we’ve made improvements.
  9. Shortcuts – Here you can create shortcuts to take you directly to certain reports so you can find them quickly. This is a huge time saver!
  10. Share Assets – This is sharing of specific assets you created. Here you can share custom segments, goals, groupings or reports with anyone within your GA account by creating a template link. You can also share your assets publicly in GA solution gallery. Note that this way you don’t share your analytics data, but the way you’ve set up the asset – you’re basically sharing a template other people can use.

So there you have it – everything you need to get a better understanding of Google Analytics admin settings.

What are some of the most important GA settings you’re using to track, analyze, and optimize the performance of your marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section bellow!

The post 25 Google Analytics Admin Settings Explained appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social

    

How to Use Anders Pink for Content Curation

By Ian Cleary

If you’re looking for an effective way to streamline the content curation process, then this one is for you!

Whether you are a content marketer or a social media marketer, you know how much time and effort it takes to find, curate, and share valuable content. It’s hard work but it needs to get done because the returns are significant – more followers, more engagement, increased authority, etc.

I recently tested a new content curation tool that can help improve your workflow and increase your efficiency. It’s called Anders Pink and it’s brought to you by Steve Rayson, the co-founder of BuzzSumo.

This fact alone should give Anders Pink enough street cred, but also its advanced capabilities that I’m about to walk you through in this article.

So let’s get started and see how you can easily “get briefed” on the topics that matter to you the most!

What is Anders Pink?

Anders Pink is a content curation platform that lets you set up “briefings” or content stream based on your topics of interest. These Briefings are automatically updated with fresh content every few hours. You can create them using keywords and additional filters so you get the latest content from specific sources, including websites, twitter influencers, or RSS feeds. Your briefings can be private or public, and most importantly – you can set them up for free!

If you like to discover, read and curate content on the go, Anders Pink also has iOS and Android apps too.

Here’s a quick look at what you can do with this tool:

  • Set up custom briefings
  • Create teams to collaborate on briefings with your colleagues.
  • Take action on content – upvote, comment, and share.
  • Easily discover the latest content on any topic.
  • Save articles and organize them into folders for later reading.
  • Follow topics or public briefings that interest you.

Getting Started

Anders Pink offers a free plan for individual users that lets you create 5 briefings and 1 folder for your saved articles. This should be more than enough for anyone to get to know the platform, see if it works for them, and decide to upgrade (or not) to one of the paid plans.

To access the tool, go to Anders Pink website and sign up. If you log in with your twitter account you’ll immediately see your home screen populated with the latest content on the topics you share the most on Twitter. You’ll also see the latest articles shared by your twitter connections.

Here’s how my home screen in Anders Pink looks like:

content curation
Anders Pink Home

I share a lot of content on Twitter about content marketing and social media, which the tool figured out by analyzing my profile. As you can see, it’s showing me fresh content related to those topics from quality sites. If I want to, I can click on “see more” for each topic to get more content and select if I want to see content from the last 3 days, 1 week, or 1 month. There’s also an option to edit or remove any topic.

On the right-hand side of the screen in “Top from your Network,” you’ll see the latest articles shared by the people you follow on Twitter. You can click to see who shared the article or share it on your social profiles.

How to Create a Custom Briefing

To create a custom briefing click on “Create briefing” from the menu on the left. From there you’ll have the option to either create your briefing by topic or by sources.

  1. Pick some topics: enter some topics and use filters to refine your briefing.
  2. Pick some sources: enter sources you want to see content from in your stream. This option is useful if you have preferred sites that you want to see content from.
  1. Start with entering relevant topics

If you choose to start with topics, just enter your keyword phrase and you’ll instantly see a preview of relevant, recent content on the right. If you’re happy with what you’re seeing, you can save the briefing. However, it’s always better to get more specific and there are few filters available to help you narrow the topic down.

Limit to certain sites. You probably have some sites that you regularly read content from, and you may only want to see content from those sites in your briefing. Enter the domains here and your briefing will refresh to only show content on your chosen topic from these sites.

Get Suggested Sites. If you don’t have an idea which sites you’d like to see the content from, you can pick from the domains that Anders Pink will suggest based on your chosen topic. For my topic (content marketing), I’ve got suggestions including cmi.com, jeffbullas.com, forbes.com and also razorsocial.com! I’d say these are some pretty relevant suggestions!

Block domains. If you don’t want articles from certain sites to appear in your briefing, you can easily block them by entering the domains here.

After you’ve set up all your filters, name your briefing and hit save. Your briefing is now live and it will appear in the menu on the left.

  1. Start your briefing by picking sources

The alternative way to create a briefing is to add sources including any website, twitter account, or RSS feed. Choose the type and enter the source, it’s that simple!

content curation
Add Sources

You can also enter a topic into the “see suggested sources box”, and let the tool find relevant sources that publish quality content on your topic. You can then preview the suggested sources and add the ones you like to your briefing.

Following are the suggestions I got for “content marketing” topic.


Suggested Sources in Anders Pink

You can just save the briefing like this if you want a general regularly updating stream of content from your chosen sources all in one briefing.

Like with the first option for creating a briefing (Pick some topics), you can further filter the content for your briefing by keywords, include or exclude certain words, and block articles form certain domains.

How to Use Anders Pink for Content Discovery

You can also use Anders Pink to discover and share the best content from around the web on any topic you choose. The “Discover” feature is available from the menu on the left. Just click on it and enter your topic. The tool will instantly return relevant and fresh articles from a number of quality sources.

content curation

From here you can either follow the topic which will add it to your home, or create a briefing if you want to see more specific content.

Curate Content with Your Team

In order to work on content curation with your team, you’ll have to subscribe to Anders Pink Team plan which costs $99/month for up to 20 users.

Once you’re subscribed, you’ll see a “create team” option in the top menu. There you’ll be able to name your team and invite colleagues to join by sending them an email invite or by creating and sharing a signup link.

When you create a briefing inside the team, the rest of the team will see that content and be able to take actions on the articles e.g. upvote, comment, mention a team member, and share on social media.

Inside the team view, you’ll also see a feed of the latest activity from your team members so you can stay up to date on what they’re talking about.

Summary

Content curation tools such as Anders Pink are really useful for helping you find, curate, and share really good, relevant content with your target audience. If used properly, this tool can save you a lot of time.

What content curation tools do you use? Will you consider trying Anders Pink? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

The post How to Use Anders Pink for Content Curation appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social

    

A Streamlined Video Production Process for YouTube

By Ian Cleary

A streamlined video production process for YouTube

Have you procrastinated about creating video content for YouTube?

Or….

…you have created video content but feel that it’s a really time-consuming process and it’s hard to deliver video content consistently?

You’re not the only one!

I had the same problem and I put off creating video content for a long time.

My excuse was not having enough equipment so I kept buying microphones, gadgets, lights and more.

But that didn’t solve my video production issues. What I needed was a streamlined process.

I’ve been publishing videos about online marketing tools and tactics over at my YouTube channel for a while now, and I’ve gotten some great feedback. More importantly, the videos served a greater purpose of attracting new followers, leads, and clients for my business.

I know how hard it can be to find a detailed process or a structure to follow for producing videos, so I am going to share my process with you in its entirety – from setup to promotion of the finished material. I hope you can learn from it, modify to your liking, and use it for your own videos.

The process goes as follows:

The Setup

The first step in any video production process is the setup, and it typically takes about 15 minutes. This includes setting up a camera, audio recording device, microphone, lights, and screen recording (e.g. a tool such as ScreenFlow). I’d like to note that some people record the sound with a camera, but I recommend using a separate recorder to get high-quality audio for your videos.

Here’s what I do:

a). Set up the Canon EOS 750d camera on a tripod pointing at me at the desk and click the record button.

b). Switch on my Roland recorder. You can record sound from the camera but the quality is better if you use an external device.

c). Switch on Screenflow. A part of the video will be me speaking and another part will be a demo.

Now that everything is set up, I do a quick test to make sure it’s all working. I’ll record something small and then check that it all looks and sounds ok.

Now I’m ready to record a batch of videos.

Recording the Video

When everything is ready to start recording the video, I hit the clapper board so the editor can synchronize picture and sound during the editing process. This puts a spike in the audio recording which he can see when editing the video.

Video Production Process - clapperboard
Get your clapper board!

I usually record once or twice and then the editor uses editing tools to weed out or correct any mistakes made during the recording. It takes preparation to create a near perfect video, but don’t worry, people will rarely fish for mistakes if the content is valuable and engaging enough.

Once the recording is finished, I send all three files – video from the camera, audio recording, and screen capture to my editor to do his magic and transform a rough product into a polished video that’s ready to be shared with the world.

The most important thing is that I don’t do anything after this.

Time to setup: 10 minutes

Time to record a video: 10 minutes each.

Video Editing

Video editing is a time-consuming process that requires both creative and technical skills. I don’t have the time or the skills to do this, so I work with a great Editor.

Imagine sending off 3 files that took you less than 10 minutes to create and then getting a wonderful, edited video back. It’s a nice feeling.

Creating a Video Thumbnail

After the recording is over, I send the request to the designer to create a custom video thumbnail. This may seem unnecessary to you, but here’s why I do it.

A rule of thumb is that videos that have a custom image attract more attention and get more clicks and views. A video thumbnail serves as a call to action enticing people to click the play button. This is why it’s incredibly important to pay attention to YouTube thumbnail design. If you leave it to chance, YouTube can pull a frame from your video and use it as a thumbnail and trust me, that’s not going to be an inviting picture.

Video Production Process

There are free tools that you can use to create a thumbnail from your video, but it’s always better to have a well-designed image.

Upload Video to YouTube

Once I get the edited video back from my editor the next step is uploading it to YouTube. When uploading videos, you can set up status modes. I use the “Private” video upload option so I can fill in the title, description, and tags, and upload the thumbnail.

I use a great tool called TubeBuddy to optimize the SEO on my videos. The tool provides a checklist of things you need for your video to achieve optimal results, e.g. suggestions for tags from similar videos. When I finish with optimization, I change the video mode to “Public.”

For video transcripts, captions, and translation I use rev.com transcription service. This is a very affordable service and it will cost you about $1/minute of transcription or caption. You only need to provide them with the link for your video and, if you like, they can even upload the transcription to your video when it’s done.

Video Promotion

The final step of the process is promoting the video so it reaches a wider audience. Firstly, I notify my fans and followers on social media that there’s a new video on my channel and send a dedicated newsletter to my subscriber base. These are the people who are already engaged and interested in the topics and content I publish on my channel.

Finally, I run YouTube video ads with AdWords and target them with keywords from the video to get the ads in front of the right audience.

There you have it, my complete video production process for creating YouTube videos. I hope you find it helpful!

If there’s anything you think I could improve, I’d like to see your suggestions in the comments below.

The post A Streamlined Video Production Process for YouTube appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social

    

The 5 Best Tools for Twitter Chats

By Ian Cleary

twitter chat tools

is a conversation or a discussion about a certain topic organized by Twitter users.The topic is defined by a unique hashtag and you can take part in the conversation by following that hashtag.

For example, the most popular discussion for bloggers is blog chat and the hashtag for that is #blogchat. This particular conversation takes place every Sunday and each week a different blogging topic is discussed. It’s a great way for bloggers to learn how to improve their blogs or share their experience with their peers.

Even though this sounds quite simple, you may find it difficult to follow conversations through Twitter, whether you are using it on your computer or mobile phone. Chats can be very active, with a lot of people participating and a lot of new tweets coming in every moment, so there is a great chance you will miss something important and become frustrated after a while.

Luckily, there are tools you can use to make this process easier and much more enjoyable.

Here are our picks for Twitter chat tools

1. Tweetchat

TweetChat is an amazing free tool you can use to easily follow Twitter chats. It helps you slow down the stream by limiting very active conversations to 5 tweets at a time. You can even pause the stream if you want to reply to some tweets. During the time it’s paused, TweetChat will inform you how many new tweets there are in the conversation.

TweetChat is also very easy to use. You just enter the hashtag of the conversation you want to follow and after authorizing the app, you are ready to go. If you want to participate in the conversation, you can do it through TweetChat – there is no reason to switch to Twitter. Hashtag of the conversation is automatically added to the tweet.

If you don’t want to lose a tweet in the stream, you can highlight it and find it later. You can also hit the Block button if you don’t want to see certain tweets.

You can see chats that are live at the moment in the Active Rooms tab and join the conversations you may not even know existed. All the chats you entered will be saved in My Rooms section so you can easily navigate between different conversations at any moment. This is very useful if several chats you want to follow are happening at the same time.

If you decide to mark a Tweet as favorite, you can always come back to it later through the FavePage option. When following chats you will most certainly come across tweets you find useful and important so don’t forget to save them! In your FavePage, tweets are organized by date and hashtags they use and all your favorites are saved here, not just the TweetChat ones.

2. Tchat.io

Tchat.io is a web service that makes it incredibly easy to participate in Twitter chats. You simply enter a hashtag that you want to follow and the tool will instantly load all the tweets with that hashtag. Tchat will update the stream with new tweets in real-time.

You can pause the stream whenever you like, hide retweets, or switch between hashtags if you are following more than one topic.

twitter chat tools

There is also a text box that lets you tweet directly from the feed page, and it includes the chat hashtag in your tweet automatically. You can also reply, quote, retweet, and favorite tweets from the site as well.

3. Twubs

One of the pretty cool Twitter chat tools, that gives you the ability to set the feed speed from fastest to slowest, is Twubs. You can also pause the thread, reply, retweet, favorite, and tweet directly from Twubs with the hashtag automatically included.

What is great about this tool is that you can explore Twitter chats by letter or category and find new, relevant conversations you might want to take a part in.

Also, Twubs gives you the schedule for Twitter chats so you can know exactly when to tune in and follow or participate in the conversations you find interesting.

You can also use Twubs to host and schedule a Twitter chat. Your tweets will be highlighted so your guests can easily find them in the thread.

twitter chat tools

Again, this is a free tool that requires only app authorization and it’s really easy to use.

4. Tweetdeck

TweetDeck is a Twitter client that lets you create several ‘columns’ in a single screen, so you can see everything that’s happening in one place. You can choose the type of columns you want to add, such as mentions, lists, messages, and search.

In order to view and participate in a Twitter chat, you’ll need to add the hashtag you’re interested in. You can do this by adding a Search type column and setting the matching term to the hashtag. When setting up your column, you’ll be able to exclude retweets and choose to see only tweets in a specific language, as well as tweets with a certain number of likes and retweets. Here’s how setting up these filters looks like in the tool:

twitter chat tools

To send tweets during a chat you will click on New Tweet icon on the top left column and the tweet box will pop out. From there you can write your tweet, add images, and even schedule the tweet to go out at a time you choose.

5. TWchat

Twchat is great for people who are looking to get more out of Twitter chats. All you need to do to get started is to sign in through your Twitter account and create a profile. Then you’ll be able to create your own real-time chat rooms based on the hashtags you’re interested in, follow specific chat rooms, and bookmark hashtags.

Within your chat room, you’ll be able to see all new tweets, send tweets, filter out retweets, and more.

Like other Twitter chat tools we talked about, TwChat will automatically insert the hashtag for the chat with every tweet you send out. There’s also a “Mentors” section where you can see the tweets by the chat organizers and any special guests.

The tool also displays a list of latest and upcoming chats. You can choose a specific chat category and see if there’s anything you’d like to participate in.

twitter chat tools

Summary

Getting involved in Twitter chats is a great way to attract new followers and actively participate in relevant conversations with peers from your niche or industry. You can use any of the above 5 tools to start leveraging the benefits of Twitter chats today.

It’s up to you to choose the tool that works best for you. My personal favorite is TweetChat, because it offers a wide variety of very useful features.

What tools have you used? Which ones do you find the best?

The post The 5 Best Tools for Twitter Chats appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social

    

How to Choose a Microphone for Your Videos

By Ian Cleary

How to choose a Microphone for Videos

Creating videos as part of your content strategy entails a lot of moving parts. When you first start sharing your ideas, knowledge, and expertise with others using online video, it’s only natural to focus on the quality of content first. You’re going to think about the topics, video formats, publishing frequency, and you may even experiment with different video sharing platforms.

But once you spend some time recording actual videos, you’ll see that there’s a technical side to video that’s equally important to consider.

Make Sure your Audience Can Hear You

You don’t necessarily need the highest video quality to provide your audience with real value, but you still need to aim for quality if you want more people to watch and share your videos. A lot of viral videos are not professionally shot and produced, but they still garner enormous attention. So, the perfect equipment is not always the only requirement for creating a video that strikes a chord with your audience.

But there’s one thing that makes a big difference – the sound. Even if your video is low quality, you could get away with it if the sound is impeccable. This especially applies to videos where you want to share your thoughts on a certain subject or interview someone. Making sure people can actually hear what you have to say is a first step towards capturing their attention and driving them towards desired action. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right microphone for your videos.

We may not be experts in sound, but we’ve learned some practical tips over the last year that I want to share with you.

There are too many articles that over complicate sound and use a lot of technical terms. This is not one of them!

Choosing the Right Microphone for your Videos

There are many different types of microphones out there, each with different characteristics and price points, and this abundance of choice makes it harder to decide which ones to use and when.

The following are some practical tips on different types of microphones and their uses.

A Lavalier Mic

A Lavalier mic is really small and you can clip it onto a person that is speaking. You can use it as a wireless mic or wired. Regardless if you have a fancy camera or you’re recording with an iPhone, you can typically connect a lavalier mic to it.

The advantage of a Lavalier mic is that it’s positioned right beside the person that is speaking and it’s omnidirectional. This means it picks up sound from all directions. So, for example, if a speaker turns their head you’ll still pick up good sound. This can also be a disadvantage since it can also pick up the unwanted sound from the surrounding.

We use the Road SmartLav+ which is a high-quality mic and reasonably priced (we had to order an extension cable with it).

Microphone for Videos - A Lavalier Mic
A Lavalier Mic

A Shotgun Microphone

A Shotgun microphone is a directional mic. This means it picks up sounds only from a specific direction. The Shotgun mic is held at the end of a boom pole and pointed in the direction of the person speaking, typically just outside the view of the camera frame.

So if you don’t want to pick up any surrounding noise and you only want to record the sound in the direct area of the mic, then a shotgun mic is the right choice.

People often call this a boom mic. But a boom mic is any microphone that is at the end of an extended (boom) pole. It’s called boom because it’s at the end of the pole not because it’s the type of microphone!

We use the Rhode Shotgun mic with a boom pole!

A free standing mic

You may decide to have a microphone(s) sitting on the table in front of a person you’re interviewing. There’s a whole selection of microphones and set up’s that would work for this scenario. Your first decision is whether you go for a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone. You can read hundreds of articles on the differences between these two types of microphones and it’s all very confusing. But the short summary is this:

  • Dynamic – These mics don’t pick up surrounding sound and your mouth needs to be right up to the microphone. They also don’t require external power.
  • Condenser – These mics are a lot more sensitive so they’ll pick up more surrounding sound (which you may want) and they typically require external power.

We use a HeilPR40 which is a dynamic microphone. It’s connected directly into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and has 2 inputs for microphones. For example, if I want to do an interview I can connect two microphones into the Scarlett and then connect this to my PC where everything is recorded.

Video recording setup
Heil microphone with mixer

Check out this YouTube video which was recorded using this mic:

An example condenser microphone is the Snowball which is a lot less expensive. However, if you want to pick up sound only from the immediate area then the HeilPR40 is better.

Your Location!

You may need multiple microphones depending on where you are recording. For example, I have a wooden office. I use a dynamic mic (the Heil PR40) because it doesn’t pick up any sound in the surrounding area and the sound is perfect. You would expect that in a wooden office there would be a lot of sound bouncing off the hard walls and causing sound distortion but it doesn’t happen with a good dynamic mic.

If you are outside, you may want to use a Lavalier mic because it’s easy to carry.

Recording Your sound

You may have your mic connected directly to your camera and sound/visual is all recorded through the camera.

However, it’s typically better to record sound separately.

We use a Roland R-05 recorder. When we’re recording in our office we use the Heil mic which is connected to the mixer. We then connect our Roland R-05 into the mixer also and record the sound. This gives us awesome sound. Next, our Editor mixes the visual and sound together.

Summary

Whether you want to start your vlogging career or share some industry tips and tricks via video as part of your content strategy, make sure people will be able to clearly hear what you have to say. Today, you can make videos using just your mobile phone and video quality will be okay. However, this does not necessarily apply to the sound, so choose a microphone for your videos wisely!

Think about what your exact needs will be. Where will you be making your video? Are you going to be the only one speaking or you plan on bringing guests? Only when you have an idea what you want your videos to be like, you can start choosing a microphone.

What microphones are you using for your online videos?

The post How to Choose a Microphone for Your Videos appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social

    

A Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization Tool Categories

By Ian Cleary

Conversion Rate Optimization Tool Categories

I was looking for a post on Conversion Rate Optimization tool categories and I couldn’t find a good one so I decided to create one for you!!!!!

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is one of the key practices that every marketer needs to master. Since every conversion represents either direct or future revenue, increasing conversion rate is a fool-proof method to maximize your website ROI and drive business growth.

CRO allows us to get more value from the traffic we’re already getting, so it makes perfect sense to invest more time and resources into it.

We have created the following infographic highlighting 9 Conversion Rate Optimization tool categories that will make your optimization efforts a lot easier and help you improve your conversion online.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

NOTE: See embed code at the end of this post if you want to share this infographic on your site

Conversion Rate Optimization Tool Categories

Lead Capture Forms

Capturing leads through your website is crucial for building your email list. It is the foundation you need to start building relationships with your prospects and gradually move them further down the sales funnel.

If you want to streamline the process for converting visitors into leads, you need to ensure that your lead capture forms are optimized for the users. To do this more efficiently, try using one of the following tools.

OptinMonster – With over 300k websites using it, OptinMonster is probably the most popular tool for generating more leads and growing email lists. It is packed with useful features such as custom opt-in forms (customize colors, fonts, backgrounds, etc.), A/B testing, page level targeting, mobile-specific popups, and analytics that show you how well your forms are performing.

It also features the “exit intent” technology so you can show a popup optin to users who are about to exit your website. This is a very efficient way to re-engage your visitors and ramp up your website’s conversions.

Thrive Leads – If you’re running a WordPress site (Optinmonster supports more than WordPress) Thrive Leads is a plugin that can help with your lead generation efforts. It offers different types of optin forms and an easy to use drag-and-drop form builder.

ThriveLeads has a targeting feature that lets you show the most relevant offers to your visitors based on specific posts, categories, tags, and more. It also supports A/B testing of different optin types against each other.

SumoMe – Another WordPress plugin which is very useful for list building and lead generation. It lets you create popup forms, scroll boxes, floating bars, and CTA popups that cover the entire screen.

With the Pro Pack you get A/B testing, pro insights, advanced configuration options, and access to pro templates.

WPFormsWPForms is a drag and drop form builder for WordPress. It’s promoted as the most beginner-friendly tool of its kind available in the market, and for a good reason.

It’s feature-rich, yet pretty easy to use. It comes with a library of nicely designed form templates to get you started, and the forms you build will work equally well on desktop and mobile. A nice feature is Instant Notifications which help you reply quickly to your leads.

You can also integrate your WordPress forms with an email marketing service, such as MailChimp, or collect payments through integration with PayPal.

Formstack – This is a great tool for building any type of online forms, including contact forms, newsletter sign-up, event registration forms, surveys, etc. Formstack comes with an easy to use online form builder which allows you to create forms and customize the design in minutes without the help of developers.

Similarly to other tools in this category, it supports A/B testing and offers analytics. The main differentiator is the 40+ available integrations including the most popular CRM systems, email providers, payment platforms, etc.

Hello Bar – This tool displays a bar across the top of your page that you can use to capture leads. It’s a great way to direct your visitors’ attention towards your website’s primary call to action.

Hello Bar integrates with Aweber, Mail Chimp, and Campaign Monitor.

Analytics Tools

Having an analytics tool in place is probably the most important part of planning and evaluating your CRO efforts. These tools will give you the necessary insight into your visitors’ behavior and help you identify the poor performing elements of your web pages.

You need to be able to look at the basic metrics, such as bounce rate, exit rate, etc. but also to perform a more advanced analysis to track conversions, look at different audience segments, etc.

Google Analytics – If you want to optimize your website for conversion, Google Analytics is the tool you simply must have in your arsenal. Using GA will help you identify key problem pages or problem areas which are affecting your website conversion rate. At the most basic level, you can use Google Analytics to identify pages with high bounce rates, poor “stickiness”, etc. and then work on fixing those issues. But the real value it brings to the Conversion Rate Optimization process is the ability to set up conversion goals and funnels so you can

At the most basic level, you can use Google Analytics to identify pages with high bounce rates, poor “stickiness”, etc. and then work on fixing those issues. But the real value it brings to the Conversion Rate Optimization process is the ability to set up conversion goals and funnels so you can effectively track and optimize conversions on your website.

Kissmetrics – Kissmetrics lets you track important conversion metrics, including first-time visitor conversions, return visitor conversions, as well as the visitor’s’ behavior on the site.

The best thing about this tools is that you can map out the typical steps your users take from first coming to your website to completing the conversion goal you’ve set. When you set up your funnel and your conversion goal, you’ll also be able to see a nice visual report of the data you’ve been gathering.

Clicktale – Clicktale lets you record visitors’ sessions and provides you with insight into their behavior and intent.

With this tool, you can also generate heatmaps and clickmaps which are great visualizations of user behavior on your site. You can then use this knowledge to make strategic optimizations to encourage your users to convert.

StatCounterThis tool is great for tracking all visitors to your site, both first-time and returning. It gives you very detailed stats of individual visitors so you can target them with customized content and offers.

With StatCounter, you can also see the navigation path visitors took through your site so you can find potential issues and optimize accordingly.

Mixpanel – Mixpanel enables you to analyze visitors’ actions on your mobile or web application by tracking specific events. This platform also lets you build your funnel and track how users are moving through it so you can pinpoint any points of friction and fix them.

Clicky – Alternative to Google Analytics, Clicky offers real-time web analytics and provides a very detailed report on every segment of your website visitors. It also lets you analyze each individual visitor and the actions they take on your website.

You can choose to view heatmaps for individual visitor sessions, or only for visitors who completed a specific goal.

User Research

User research tools allow you to understand how users interact with your website. You can use them to discover if there are any bottlenecks, navigation issues, or confusing elements on your pages that prevent users from achieving your conversion goals. By fixing these problem areas you can tremendously increase your conversion rate.

Crazy Egg – A Visual Website Analytics tool designed mainly for conversion optimization. CrazyEgg offers many great features to help you better understand your visitor’s behavior.

With Crazy Egg heat map, you will be able to see where your visitors are clicking most, and a scroll map will show you how far down the page they are scrolling.

You can also get an overlay report to see how many times a visitor clicked on a particular page element.

Probably the best feature that this tool has to offer is Confetti. You can use it to segment all the clicks on your site based on a date of visit, referral source, search terms, and more.

CrazyEgg is quite easy to set up – you just add the CrazyEgg code to the pages that you want to track and it will start tracking all clicks on those pages.

Hotjar – If you’re looking for a tool that brings together user analytics and feedback, Hotjar is a great choice. It offers heatmaps and visitor recordings and allows you to test your funnels to find opportunities for improvement. The great thing about the visitor recordings feature is that you can watch recordings based on a specific user ID, device, or location.

With Hotjar, you’ll also be able to create feedback polls and surveys to get insights from your visitors at the time they convert, or just before they drop off. Needless to say, this information will be immensely valuable for your CRO efforts.

Lucky Orange – Lucky Orange is a Conversion Rate Optimization tool that records visitors on your website showing you potential reasons why they didn’t convert. It offers recordings, heatmaps, chat, conversion funnels, form analytics, and polls as part of their suite.

Through your dashboard, you can filter and segment recordings to see exactly where visitors are dropping off and why.

QuarlooQualaroo is a Voice of the Customer Tool that can help you capture important customer feedback. It lets you create short and simple surveys, select on which pages you want the survey to be displayed, and even define specific triggers for the survey. For example, you can choose to show your survey only to visitors who have visited at least 5 pages on your website.

Inspectlet – If you want to find out what users are doing on your website, but also understand the WHY behind their actions, Inspectlet is the right tool for the job. Main features include Session Recordings, Heatmaps and Form Analytics.

The tool records videos of user sessions allowing you to see their every mouse movement, scroll, and click.

By understanding how users interact with your site, what’s distracting them, and what’s attracting their attention, you can significantly increase your conversion rate.

MouseFlow – Like Inspectlet, Mouseflow is a user behavior tracking tool. It provides session recordings and heatmaps that show exactly what users are doing on your website e.g their clicks, scrolls, mouse movements, etc.

Funnels is a very useful feature of this tool that lets you see where visitors are dropping off in your funnel. In addition, if you want to get direct user feedback, you can use MouseFlow to create custom surveys and target a very specific audience.

Page Optimization

If you’re really serious about CRO, you’ll want to focus on improving the ability of every page on your website to convert traffic. No matter if the end goal is micro or macro conversion, a page needs to “work” towards that goal.

Sometimes, making a seemingly small change on a page can significantly impact your conversion. The key to discovering which pages or page elements will lead to higher conversion rates lies in continuous testing. And when it comes to building and/or testing landing pages, the following tools can be of great help.

Optimizely – This is a very popular and user-friendly A/B testing tool that you can use to test two variations of a page to see which one performs better. You can easily create new or make changes to an existing page with a simple editor, without having to change the underlying code of the page.

Optimizely also supports multivariate testing, meaning that you can test multiple variables on a web page. Another great thing about this tool is that you can test your new pages with specific audiences by targeting different browsers, locations, etc.

Visual Website Optimizer – VWO is an easy-to-use A/B and multivariate testing tool that lets you create tests and have them live in minutes. All you need to do to start testing is to point the tool to a specific URL and it will capture that page so you can immediately start making variations of that page.

With the VWO editor, you can edit and remove any element on your page and test everything from copy to images and design.

VWO will let you see not only which page performed better, but also which specific changes that you made increased conversion.

LeadPages – We like to use LeadPages because it allows us to create high converting landing pages in minutes.

You can choose from a gallery of 65 mobile-optimized templates that are proven to convert well. There are different types of landing page templates available, including those for eBook downloads, webinar signups, etc.

You can easily set up A/B testing and measure conversion on each page. LeadPages also integrates with Aweber, MailChimp, InfusionSoft, and many other email marketing and marketing automation tools.

Unbounce – Unbounce is another tool that makes it simple to create and test landing pages even if you have no HTML knowledge whatsoever. There are pre-made templates available and a drag and drop editor that lets you create customized landing pages in minutes.

Additionally, Unbounce makes it easy to run A/B tests and optimize your pages for conversion.

They recently added a new feature called Convertables which lets you launch targeted overlays with a dedicated CTA on top of any page. You can also use targeting filters to show your offers to the right audience which can have a great impact your conversion rates.

InstapageWith Instapage you can quickly build landing pages with the help of 100+ mobile-optimized templates. The tool offers templates for different scenarios, including lead generation, webinar signup, mobile app introduction, and more.

Of course, there’s an A/B testing tool that lets you track visitor behavior clicks, form submissions, etc.), compare conversion rates between two variants of a page, and choose the best performing one.

Performance

Poor website performance can have a very negative impact on conversion rates. Research shows that loading time longer than 3 seconds decreases the opportunity for conversion by around 40%.

This is a very good reason to regularly check your website performance and fix any potential issues.

GT MetrixGT Metrix is a great tool for testing your page speed. It also gives you information on how you can improve your website’s speed and performance, all based on test results.

Pingdom – Pingdom is a free Website Speed Test tool that returns some really valuable performance insights. You simply enter your URL and start the test. The tool will generate a report which includes your website’s Performance Grade, load time, and also gives you suggestions for optimizing your website performance.

Webpagetest – This tool is similar to Pingdom. You can select the country from which you are running test, as well as the browser. This gives you an option to see how your page performs from different locations around the world.

E- Commerce

Did you know that 2 out of 3 people leave the checkout pages on e-commerce websites without making a purchase? That’s 70 % customers that abandon their shopping carts! If you’re looking to improve these statistics for your web page, you need to identify weak spots in your conversion funnel or any elements that are distracting visitors from converting. To make this process easier, try using one of the following tools.

Thrivecart – Thrivecart is a very simple tool for checkout page optimization. You can quickly build your checkout pages by choosing from a number of professionally designed templates. More importantly, you can use Thrivecart to create 1-click upsells, build funnels, perform A/B tests, and much more.

It integrates with all relevant email marketing and automation tools, including MailChimp, Infusionsoft, GetResponse, and others.

Samcart – Creating checkout pages with Samcart is an effortless process. You can use their pre-built checkout pages and then customize them to match your website. The tool allows you to sell one-time products, recurring subscriptions, payment plans, and more.

It also features an analytics dashboard with metrics such as churn rate, which is very important to track if you want to optimize your checkout pages for higher conversion.

Marketing Automation

Research shows that companies that use marketing automation to generate leads have a 53% higher conversion rate on average. Below are some of the tools that we’ve tested that could help you automate a variety of marketing tasks and increase your conversion rates.

Ontraport – Ontraport is packed with powerful features that let you automate a wide range of marketing tasks.

You can use it to automate your email campaigns, quickly create and test email capture landing pages, or for functions like lead scoring, task management, and much more.

It also has rich shopping cart functionality that lets you easily set up and customize your shopping cart, automatically collect credit card payments, show upsell and cross-sell offers, or set up cart abandonment sequences.

Infusionsoft – InfusionSoft is probably the most popular marketing automation tool for small businesses. It provides CRM, email marketing, lead capture and e-commerce automation bundled into one platform.

Infusionsoft CRM enables you to manage your contact by tags, set your lead score, and build email subscriber profiles. All these CRM options can help you deliver your content and offers to the people who want to buy from you at the right time, increasing your conversions.

You can also create email sequences and set up triggers to send personalized messages based on email opens, clicks, form submissions, and more.

On top of this, there are over 300 apps and integrations in their marketplace, enabling you to connect Infusionsoft with a wide variety of tools.

ConvertKit – ConvertKit is an intuitive and easy to use email marketing automation tool aimed at bloggers and other businesses looking to grow their audiences.

Even if you are a complete beginner and you’ve never created an email sequence before, you’ll find it quite easy to start with ConvertKit. The tool provides very nice templates and a series of email drafts that you can use and customize.

With ConvertKit, you can create forms and landing pages for collecting leads, create email sequences and send them at particular time and date, send emails triggered by user activity, and more.

Marketo – We recommend this tool for larger businesses and enterprises because it has a huge suite of tools and functionalities, and it comes with a hefty price tag. Some of the automation areas that Marketo covers are:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing page & form creation
  • Lead management
  • CRM integration
  • Social marketing
  • Analytics and Reporting

ActiveCampaignActiveCampaign is a complete email marketing automation and CRM platform. It features a visual automation editor that makes it very easy to create email workflows.

The tool supports email list segmentation (by tags) which is incredibly important for sending highly targeted, high converting emails.

ActiveCampaign integrates with over 150 different tools via their Zapier integration.

Drip from LeadPagesDrip is a feature-rich marketing automation and email platform. It delivers the majority of features and benefits of other tools in its category while being much more affordable.

Drip offers a visual campaign builder that you can use to design email campaigns based on your subscribers’ actions, decisions, goals, etc., which ensures that you’re sending the right email message at the right time.

You can also create automated sequences of emails, which are called Campaigns in Drip. There are pre-built templates for campaigns that you can use, or you can create your own email sequence from scratch.

Drip also integrates with TONS of other popular products, including lead generation ones like LeadPages, Shopify, and SumoMe.

Ad Conversion

When optimizing your paid search and social ads for website conversions, testing becomes the not so secret ingredient to success. It takes time and effort to get your ad campaigns right, and testing allows you to learn which targeting and ad creative perform best.

Ad optimization via ad management tools in social platforms, e.g. Facebook’s Power Editor, can be quite complex, and there are tools that make this process much smoother.

AdEspresso – AdEspresso is a tool for creating and optimizing Facebook ads. It is more powerful than the Power Editor and less complex.

The tool lets you easily set up and test different variations of your ad. It can automatically test different images, headlines, ad copy, etc. AdEspresso also provides an analytics tool that helps you understand all relevant campaign metrics, and it gives you suggestions on how to optimize them.

AdEspresso looks at the results of your campaign, and with the help of their proprietary algorithm, it gives you suggestions to reduce your PPC.

QWaya – Not as simple or visual as AdEspresso, but still an excellent platform for creating, publishing, and optimizing Facebook ad campaigns.

With QWaya you can split test every element of your ads, including headlines, copy, link descriptions, and images. This helps you identify the winning combinations and optimize your campaigns.

It also integrates with Google Analytics so you can see conversions attributed to your ads in Qwaya.

Adstage. io – AdStage is really useful if you’re running ad campaigns on multiple social networks. It allows you to create and optimize ads with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adwords, and Bing ads.

The tool lets you compare performance figures within one report, so you can easily see which campaigns on which networks are underperforming. You can then pause poor converting campaigns and increase your spend on those that are bringing you good results.

Funnel.io – Funnel brings the data from all your advertising platforms into one place and connects it with your conversion data. This process is automated which saves you A LOT of time.

The data is also presented in a straightforward way so you can quickly generate and share your reports. Funnel offers an API that connects your advertising data to your internal BI systems.

Funnel optimization

Funnel optimization is the process of measuring and optimizing the steps your customers are taking on your website to accomplish a conversion goal. No matter how many steps your conversion funnel has, it will usually have one goal – a product purchase, eBook download, signup, etc.

In order to optimize the funnel, you’ll need to understand where you are losing potential customers. You need to identify the so-called drop off points and make improvements by figuring out what’s causing the customers to drop off. This is not a one-time activity, but a process that takes time. Using one of the funnel optimization tools can help you be more efficient at it.

Click Funnels – If you want to avoid relying on developers when building your conversion funnel, try this platform. With ClickFunnels, you can create different types of marketing funnels in minutes.

All you need to do to start is pick one of the readymade funnel types, such as Product Launch Funnel, Webinar Funnel, Lead Capture Funnel, etc. They are pre-filled with generic copy but you can easily edit all pages and fill them with new content.

ClickFunnels also helps you track how each page in your funnel performs. It features an analytics dashboard which shows you the total number of visitors for each page in the funnel, how many visitors clicked on the next button of the page, and the conversion rate.

Split testing is also supported which is important for helping you optimize the conversion rate of your funnels.

Conversionfly – Conversionfly has many exciting features. Besides complete funnel tracking and reporting, it also tracks individual customer’s journey through your campaigns.

With Conversionfly you can identify funnel leaks by traffic source and start optimizing them to increase performance.

Summary

Each of these tools comes with its own set of advantages. The best way to decide which ones to use is to try them (some of the tools are free, and others have free trials) and see what really works for your websites.

So keep testing and analyzing to optimize your website and you’ll create a perfect toolbox to fit your needs during the process.

What are some of your favorite conversion rate optimization tools? How many of the tools we’ve listed do you use?

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How to Identify and Engage with Influencers Using GroupHigh

By Ian Cleary

Grouphigh

Would you pay more attention to an influential person in your field that you trust and respect, or to an ad from a brand that you may or may not have bought a product from? I bet it’s not the ad!

Consumers tend to trust an influencer more than an advertisement. Companies are increasingly realizing the importance of influencer marketing and are using it to extend their brand reach and bring in more customers. Influencer marketing can drive great results for your business, but only if you can find truly relevant influencers.

In this post, we take a look at how you can find and engage with real influencers using GroupHigh as an example tool.

“Influencer marketing can drive great results for your business, but only if you can find truly relevant influencers.”

A practical example

The easiest way to explain how you can use a tool such as GroupHigh is through a practical example. I’ve been working with a local tourism board recently to identify a group of influential travel bloggers and invite them to come to Ireland for a travel blogging event. I used GroupHigh to find them.

In the example below, we are looking for top-level influencers, not micro influencers. This means we’re looking for a smaller group of people who have a large online presence, as opposed to a large group of people who have less influence (e.g. micro influencers). You can still use GroupHigh to identify micro influencers by following a very similar process to the one below.
Note: Towards the end of this post, we also talk about how you can build your own influencer network which includes both top-level influencers and micro influencers.

Following are the steps you need to take to find the group of relevant influencers, as well as what you need to do when you find them!

Step 1 – Create a list in GroupHigh

Since you are now in influencer marketing(!) you’ll probably want to create multiple influencer lists to segment influencers by campaign or by any other criteria. When you create your list in GroupHigh it will store all the influencer details for this particular campaign.

Influencer marketing - Grouphigh list
Create your first list in Grouphigh

Step 2 – Add in Browser Bookmark and Extension

You’ll never generate a perfect list of influencers from one search within any influencer marketing tool. Creating your influencer list will be a result of:

a). Using a tool such as GroupHigh to identify relevant influencers.

b). Adding the people you already know to your list.

c). Adding the people you find while browsing the web. GroupHigh will help you determine whether or not these people are real influencers.

d). Add groups of people you find on lists. In our case, we’re looking for travel bloggers and there are lists of the top x travel bloggers on the web. You want an easy way to add these to your GroupHigh list so you can validate them all.

GroupHigh provides a bookmark you can use to add individual blogs to your list, as well as a Chrome extension to add groups of bloggers found in lists (e.g. adding 50 at one time from a list of the top 50).

Step 3 – Identify the most relevant keywords

The key to getting the best possible results when searching for influencers is determining the right keywords to use for search. List out the relevant keywords and try some test searches to see if the tool starts returning the most relevant information. For example, we tried ‘travel blogger’ and ‘travel writers.’ These search terms returned the best results for us.

Step 4 – Start adding people to your influencer list

You can now build your list by searching GroupHigh and using the bookmark, the chrome extension, or just a list of blogs you have in a file.

The key thing to think about is what helps ensure that the people you find are influential.

When I’m searching through a list I’m thinking of domain authority, social authority, and relevance.

  • Domain authority – There’s a company called Moz that ranks websites on a 1 – 100 scale, predicting how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher the number, the more authoritative a website is. So having a very low number (e.g. 20) means that a blogger’s content is not getting a lot of links and that they probably have very little traffic.
  • Social authority – This is the authority a blogger has on social media. Someone may not have good domain authority but may have a high social authority and vice versa. Social authority is not just about the number of fans and followers, you’ll need to dig a little bit deeper than this.
  • Relevance – A travel blogger might have a great domain authority and social authority but they may focus on a travel niche that is not relevant. If that is the case, then they should score a lot lower.

So, I quickly created a search in GroupHigh based on the keyword ‘travel bloggers’ with a domain authority greater than 50.

Within a couple of minutes of using GroupHigh, I was able to find travel bloggers that have a strong web presence!

Influencer marketing - Blog search for travel bloggers
Searching for travel bloggers

You can see that GroupHigh is going to save me so much time because it’s doing something I couldn’t actually do manually. The information returned on the right-hand side is:

  • Picture of the person with a link to their website
  • GroupHigh has found their social media accounts and displayed their follower counts
  • A list of the last 3 blog posts so I can see how relevant they are
  • An indicator showing if the person has a contact page and if email and location are available
  • Tags showing what the person typically writes about (helps with relevance)

That’s just the first search I’ve done so I’m not going to add all these people to the list yet. I’ll want to use some of the many available filters, and also check their websites and social accounts to see if their content is good, if they get good engagement on their social accounts, etc. You don’t want a list of 1,000 influencers, you’re much better off with 100 great ones that you have researched well.

Here are some of the filters available:

  • Search in posts – You might want to search posts (or titles of posts) for particular keywords. In my example, I want to find out if they wrote about or visited Ireland before.
  • Social accounts – Your campaign may be suited to particular social media networks so you may want to find Pinterest influencers, Facebook influencers, etc.
  • Language – You may want to find bloggers that write in specific languages.
  • Authors – You can find single author or multi-author blogs.
  • Tactics – Find blogs that publish sponsored posts, guest posts, etc.
  • Ad networks – Find blogs that allow advertising on their site using Google AdSense or Doubleclick. If they display advertisements you’ll probably be able to advertise on their site also.
  • Domain – Is it a WordPress blog, Blogspot or Tumblr.
  • Include/exclude domains – You may want to exclude certain domains from your search.

Step 5 – Validate your list

You’ve done some validation of your list already by going through different searches, analyzing websites, social profiles, etc. However, you should do a more detailed analysis on your final list before you begin your outreach.

In GroupHigh you can rate people based on:

Strength – Related to the size of the following they have across relevant profiles

Quality – The quality of content and relevancy of the individual

Participation – How interactive this person is online.

Influencer marketing - Grouphigh indicators
Quality indicators for the influencers

Step 6 – Consider your outreach approach

At this step, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to reach out to influencers.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a smaller list of people and send personalized emails rather than generic ones. 70% of your email copy can be generic, but make an effort to customize the rest before you send it to an influencer. GroupHigh allows you to create templates, helping you save time on creating personalized emails.

I also like to make some other form of contact with influencers before I reach out. For example, I might follow them on Twitter and share their content.

If they are one of the top influencers, I’ll also subscribe to their newsletter because it’s always easier to get a response if you tell them that you value and support their work.

Rather than jumping in and sending out batches of emails, take your time and use a phased approach for outreach.

Step 7 – Start your outreach

After you have finalized your list you can open up the detailed profile of each influencer. Here’s an example (note: email was found but I blurred it out!):

Influencer marketing - Nomadic Matt overview
Overview of Nomadic Matt’s account

At the bottom of the screen, you can see there is a history of communication with Matt. GroupHigh records all emails and tweets that you exchange with an influencer. If you want to build a long-term relationship with an influencer it’s important to keep track of all communication. Why? Because they may not be interested in engaging with you right out of the gate, and knowing their initial response will help you follow up with appropriate email/tweet.

Influencer marketing - nomadic matt communication
Communicating with Nomadic Mat

In addition, if multiple people are involved in the outreach process you can assign different accounts to different people in GroupHigh.

Step 7 – Evaluate your outreach, refine and update your list

Your influencer outreach campaign will not go perfect and it will never be perfect. Perfect means 100% response rate from the best influencers in the world that drive the best results possible!

Here are some refinements you’ll need to consider:

a). Change your outreach approach – Maybe the email you’ve sent is not working. You’ll have to do a lot of testing before you get your outreach emails right.

b). Revisit your influencers – Maybe the influencers you’re targeting are not the perfect match and you have to go back and find new ones to replace them.

c). When you do get in contact with influencers they may recommend other influencers you could work with. This will change your influencer list.

Step 8 – Implement your campaign and track results

Once you’ve found your influencers, you’ll need to run the campaign and check results. I recommend a phased approach so you don’t engage all influencers at the same time. If you’re not getting results with the first group, at least you have a chance to adjust your strategy for the next group.

You want to identify the influencers that are really driving results for your business and keep them on your list going forward. The real influencers are the ones that drive results!

Building your own influencer network

There are two types of influencers you can work with – the top-level influencers or ‘Ambassadors,’ and micro influencers who may have a smaller following but are still influential.

You can use GroupHigh to identify and work with both categories of influencers, but you can also find influencers through your own network.

Here’s an example from Nutiva, a company that sells organic food products. There’s an option on the company’s blog to join their VIP blogger network. Bloggers who join their network get special coupons and deals, free products, and other perks. This is a good way to add to the list of influencers you find through GroupHigh.

Influencer marketing - Nutiva
Building your own influencer network

Summary

Influencer marketing will see massive growth over the next few years. But to be successful at it, you’ll need to have the right skills and the tools to help you create effective influencer marketing campaigns. A tool such as GroupHigh is going to help save you a lot of time and money by streamlining all aspects of influencer marketing – from finding the right influencers, to creating and managing campaigns, to measuring results.

How’s your brand connecting with influencers? I’d love to hear what tools you use too!

The post How to Identify and Engage with Influencers Using GroupHigh appeared first on Find and get the most out of the best marketing tools to promote your business.

Source: Razor Social