Author Archives | Caitlynn Cush

A Successful Blogging Strategy [Infographic]

It seems that I’m on a content creation roll this week, so I figured why stop short of a handy dandy infographic.

As has been mentioned several times in this week’s rounds of articles, knowing the steps of starting your own blog as well as planning a successful blogging strategy is vital in setting up a following of avid readers.

The infographic below put together by Bootcampdigital.com will give you an idea of the things that are must to include in your strategy.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation0 Comments

HubSpot to Give One Lucky Person $100,000 to Start Their Own Business

If someone handed you a cool $100,000, what kind of business would you start? Before you scroll through and mumble something about not having time for dreams, sit tight and read on.

The marketing software company HubSpot wants to know your wildest start-up business idea.  They are asking prospective entrepreneurs to share their wildest business ideas  with them via 25 words on their Facebook page. 

“The data showed us that entrepreneurs that started their own businesses were happier,” said Ryan Bonnici, senior director of global marketing at HubSpot. “They attributed their success to money, tools, and mentorship. We wanted to pool those things together to help people re-envision the dreams they had as a kid.”

Bonnici’s team plans to narrow down the 25,000 or so expected entries to the top 1,000 best ideas. They then will have a panel of CEOs evaluate the proposals.  The panel of execs are said to include leaders from Netflix and Harvard Business School.

The prize doesn’t stop with just the 100 grand.  The winner will also have the opportunity to work closely with the panel of CEOs to figure out the best course of action for helping their business idea succeed.

 

 

Posted in Contests0 Comments

Content Creation Checklist – How to Craft Useful and Captivating Content

Are you aware that even though 72% of marketers have a content strategy in place (30% documented and 42% non-documented), 70% of them lack the consistency and know-how to actually know what they are doing? That means more than half of the marketers that are using content marketing as a valid strategy are basically just poking and hoping when it comes to content creation.

Content development is truly an art form. It is a lot more than starting with a topic, pounding out a few hundred words and hitting publish. The key to successful content marketing is a solid documented strategy.

To help you down the right path, we’ve created a checklist to make certain that all the pieces are in place.  Here are five simple steps to get you on your way to creating both useful and captivating content.

  1. Know your audience

Before you even start brainstorming ideas for topics, the very first item on your to do list should be identifying your target audience.  It wouldn’t make much sense to create an article about beer when you are in the business of dog grooming (a little far fetched but you get the point). Be sure to make your content relevant as possible to your target audience.

An easy way to find out what your potential customers might be interested in is to check out what your competitors are discussing. This can be done by either visiting their social media pages and perusing through the comments, or an easier way would be to use a simple online tool such as Social Crawlytics to identify your competitors most shared content.

  1. Brainstorm those ideas

Each and every piece of content begins with an idea (sometimes lots of ideas). It could even be an abstract (an out of left field thought) that would need to be churned into something more solid, a keyword, a pre-written headline, or a simple topic that you have been kicking around for awhile. At any rate, we need some sort of idea to build off of.

  1.  Determine the path of your content

Is this going to be a informative blog post? What voice are you going to tack on to it? Straightforward information, or more of a humorous approach? Will it be long-form, or something shorter and quicker to consume?

It’s important to have the voice and tone of the article that you will be writing before you even press key one (assuming you are typing). Otherwise, it is super easy to end up scatter brained and have your article going in all sorts of directions, instead of being one smooth and easy to read piece.  

  1. Create your headline

It’s said that the headline may very well be the most important part of your article. On average, 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will go on to read the rest of your article. This is the secret to the power of your headline, and why it can and will determine the effectiveness of your entire article.

This means, of course, that you will need to craft an exceptional headline that will get people to be compelled to want to read the rest of your post.  

  1. Write

Using the following basic outline to hook your readers in, make them want to continue reading, and then pass it on.

  • Introduction – Story and the question or problem that you are going to solve for the reader
  • Body – The answer to the reader’s question or problem.
  • Call to action – Wrap up your article and offer a call to action so that the readers know what to do next.
  1. Take a breather

Walk away from for a moment to clear your mind, so that you will have a fresh set of eyes before you proofread.

  1.  Proof and publish

If you feel that your opinion on editing is skewed, or you are just horrible at finding your own spelling / grammatical errors, by all means have a friend, colleague or even a hired editor take a go at it.

There is tons more checklist items that could be added, however in the hopes of keeping it simple we boiled it down to only seven.  Does your content creation checklist have any other items not talked about here? We would love to find out what they are and how they are working for you. Let us know in the comments below!

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation0 Comments

Why Social Media Is the Best Thing To Happy To Marketing Automation [Infographic]

A marketing automation platform can be both one of your most helpful technologies and your biggest headache (if you are not careful).  However, in this stage of the game, marketing automation is no longer a luxery but a necessity to have in order to succeed.

Marketing automation platforms allow marketers to focus one what’s important rather than the mundane tasks of pushing buttons to make things “go.” Brands that use marketing automation tools on a regular basis have seen an average increase of 68% in customer engagement and a 77% increase in their conversions, according to an infographic by social media management platform Oktopost.

As the infographic suggests, it’s not enough just to send data from your website and email campaigns to your marketing automation platform.  Your automation platform is only as good as the data that you load into it.

If you have tracked your leads, you will notice that 55% of them have started on some sort of social media platform – that’s were Oktopost’s infographic comes in.

To better understand why social media is often the missing piece of the marketing automation puzzle, take a look at the infographic below:

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA Marketing, Productivity, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Instagram Memories – Another Snapchat Copy?

It’s Déjà Vu all over again!  Another day, yet another seemingly blatant copy of a Snapchat feature by Instagram. The Facebook owned photo sharing app on Tuesday debuted Archive, which allows it’s users to move posts that have been previously shared to a private stashed archive.

As Instagram explains, it allows users to move any photo or video from their public feed and into a private archive instead of having to delete the shared post. The post, once moved, will be private from both followers and the public at large.

The archive feature is super similar to Snapchat’s Memories, which was launched back in 2016 as a way to save videos and photos shared via Snapchat in a private archive either on the user’s mobile device or in their Snapchat account (or both).

Over the past year, Instagram has been on a tare of adding new features to its app every few weeks.  Many of which have been remarkably similar to those of Snapchat.

Instagram CEO and founder Kevin Systrom, who sold the app to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, has even admitted that Snapchat deserved the credit for some of these new tools and features. Instagram’s current VP of Product Kevin Weil’s explanation of the recent cloning of Snapchat:

“I think it would frankly be silly of us if we were to say ‘Oh, see that good idea over there that’s actually fulfilling a need people have to share more moments of their life? Because one person did that we can’t even go near that idea.”

Rather than showing guilt, remorse, or even reluctance about copying what has obviously worked for Snapchat, he sees it as an obvious conclusion.  

“If we are being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry works and frankly it’s how all industries work.  Good ideas start in one place, and they spread across the entire industry.  Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to Stories, but it’s a format it’s going to be adopted widely across a lot of different platforms.” 

So it’s probably fair to assume that the blatant copying isn’t over.

What are your thoughts? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.

Posted in Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Tips for Branding Yourself Online Like the Rock Star That You Are!

By now I’m positive that you are sick of hearing just how important “a brand” is for your business. But what about the importance of your own personal brand? In a swirling sea of digital information, you need to stand out in the crowd as an expert in your industry.

When you build a strong personal brand, you can then leverage that strength to attract customers to your business simply by being yourself and allowing your expertise and knowledge to shine through.  

Although, be warned, just like anything else worth getting this too requires some diligence and know-how. It isn’t something likely to happen overnight and does in fact require a good deal amount of time and effort.  

Here are some tips to get you started on the path to successful personal branding:

  1. Blog, blog, blog – Just Do It

So many of us, myself included, often procrastinate when it comes to putting ourselves out there. That old adage “Nothing risked, nothing gained,” often comes to mind when I’m counseling new solo or entrepreneurs. Unless you are willing to put  yourself out there, you will never know if there could have been something further gained from the experience.  

One of the very first pieces of advice that I always offer is to “just do it!” Sit down, write out a list of your top five qualities as they relate to your business and then draft your first blog post out of one of them.  Then do it again, and again, and again….

Commit to blogging at least 3 times a week for the first year. To get your feet wet, start with a personal blog or even a sub-domain on your business’s website. By doing this, week by week, you will eventually find and gain your own personal voice.  One that hopefully others will want to follow.  

  1. Build a Social Media Following

For as much as some of us seem to loathe the age of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (just to name a few), time warp your brain back twenty years into the past.  Now try and imagine (or relive) just how hard it was to contact a CEO of a large company. Now, though a simple line of text via Facebook or Tweet on Twitter will open up a public line of communication.  

Social media should be used as a leverage to grow not only your business, but your personal brand. It is a gigantic stage to showcase your knowledge and your products and services, while also being able to network with others in your industry.  

  1.  Create Valuable Content

While blogging is a fantastic way to put your personal brand out there, not everyone has the time (or attention span) to read 700-1000 words of information. You can avoid losing traction with this time deficient society by creating content in other formats and across various platforms.

  • Vlog – Video content seems to be where it is at, mainly because it can be easily consumed across the board on most devices.  This gives your audience the visuals that will help to put your written voice to an actual human face.
  • Live feeds – Several platforms are ramping up their live feed offerings, including Facebook which now allows live streaming feeds.  The feeds can then be saved and watched at another time by your viewers.
  • Infographics – Visual content works well, since it’s easily digested.  You have the ability of taking a complex topic and breaking it down visually so that it both captures the viewer’s attention and effectively delivers your message without the need for paragraphs of text.
  • Podcasts – Yes, you read that right.  They are still a viable way to put your business as well as your personal brand out there. The format is both portable and convenient considering the listener can listen during their downtime (commuting to work, exercising, etc).

Posted in Blogging, Content Creation, ecommerce, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

5 Reasons Your Business Needs A New Facebook Cover Design [Infographic]

Source: 99Designs.com

 

Realize the Importance of a Customized Facebook Infographic for Your Small-to-Medium Business: Refresh your SMB’s Facebook cover image

If you have not recently rejuvenated your SMB’s cover image, you are lulling the potential in your business’ performance. Increase your SMB’s bottom line performance by increasing your Facebook likes. According to Inside Facebook’s Justin Lafferty, in Infographic: 3 reasons why SMBs need a custom Facebook cover photo (October 8, 2104), 82 percent of SMB owners experienced a swell in Facebook likes after recreating their cover image. The research data below has emphasizes the importance of a Facebook infographic facelift in order for you to reach optimal marketing potential via social media.

Increase your engagement with potential customers via Facebook in 3 practical steps.

  1. Study your Facebook page and absorb its space potential.

In order to give your Facebook page a distinctive and precise look, upload the optimum image size – 1702 x 630 pixels at 72 dpi – this will give you a cover consisting of 851 x 315 pixels. The prime upload size for you SMB’s profile picture is 180 x 180 pixels appearing as 160 x 160 pixels – use RGB color mode – not CMYK. Remember, within a few seconds, your cover must emphasize the image and not text while keeping the graphics smooth, uncomplicated, and engaging by capturing a prospective customer’s attention. Take care to ensure that important text or visuals are not hidden by your profile picture which will hide the lower left corner of your cover image – the cover and profile images should be designed to interact with one another.

  1. Keep your mantra consistent.

Wisely and strategically choose your Facebook cover image in order to allow your brand’s mantra to promote itself consistently over time. This will allow you to design bridging slogans which will increase your brand’s prominence and recognition. The goal for your cover image is to be straightforward and clearly identify your SMB, what products/services your SMB provides, and how your SMB outperforms its competitors.

  1. Don’t let your SMB’s cover image stagnate.

Customers who rely on social media to seek out products and services want to see something new, fresh, and trending. A stagnated, old cover image is indicative that you are not in top form in keeping abreast of your marketplace. Keep your cover image current to highlight new product features and upgraded services in order to reconnect with repeat customers as well as gaining the attraction of new consumers.

More than 651 million potential customers for your SMB use Facebook every day, multiple times per day. Now that you are armed with the statistics, facts, knowledge and insight to effectuate your Facebook page, tap into more customers for your SMB by rejuvenating your cover image with a customized Facebook infographic.

Posted in Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Facebook

Subscribe via RSS