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Four profound marketing megatrends for 2016 and beyond

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Yes folks the air is crisp, people are planning holiday parties and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for 2016 trend predictions! It’s also something I love to do and I have had a pretty good track record with prognostications in the past, so here we go with five marketing megatrends that will affect many businesses in coming months. 1. Overcoming Information density. Learn.

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Why it’s a very good sign that people don’t read your content

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By Mark W. Schaefer. Over the past year, I have really enjoyed delighting audiences with tales from my book The Content Code. And my favorite story from my speech goes like this: When I started out as a blogger, I had no idea what I was doing. I was working so hard, and creating content that was pretty darn good. And yet, nobody was reading my posts, commenting, or sharing. I was frustrated.

How to turn social media connections into an actionable audience

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By Mark Schaefer. Probably the biggest myth — and mistake — I see regarding social media marketing is the idea that audience equals action. It doesn’t. Most of the time, your social media connections begin as “weak relational links.” ” It’s like a handshake. It simply means the door has been opened. Don’t believe me? Let me prove it to you. Fowler.

Does every business need content marketing? A reality check.

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By Mark Schaefer. Does every business need content marketing? Of course not. Let’s pause the hype machine for a moment shall we? Last week I had dinner with one of my best friends. He recently became president of a company whose primary line of business is producing highly-engineered rolls for the steel manufacturing process. This is the real world. Business is hard. Not even close. .

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

Four ways Facebook Instant Articles will dramatically impact marketing

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Something important is about to happen, and the impact on content marketers will be profound. Facebook announced it would open up Instant Articles -– formatted and optimized to load almost immediately -– to any publisher  without a special approval process. Let’s look at the implications for digital marketers. 1. shift in distribution. Their algorithm will decide who sees what we create.

15 Amazing ways social media is changing the world

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Ignore the hype that we’re all becoming more superficial and narcissistic because of our obsession with social media. What’s really going on is far more incredible. That’s the conclusion from an extraordinary research study by University College London provided in several new books and reports. Here we go. 1. Social media is not making us more individualistic. Here we go. 1.

Four actual, non-spammy strategies for Pokémon GO and local businesses

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Something is happening. Children are stepping outside, blinking into the sun as their eyes adjust. People are driving slowly around their neighborhoods, coming to a stop for no apparent reason. Of course there IS a reason…they’re hunting for Pokémon. Seriously! As you’ve no doubt heard, the 90s phenomenon Pokémon is back in a big way, thanks to the Pokémon GO app. Keep lures active.

The uncomfortable state of content marketing metrics

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In a post titled Content Marketing – It’s About to Get Weird , my friend Joe Pulizzi revealed disappointing findings from an annual research survey. Here’s This is not good. And the worst may be yet to come. Joe goes on to paint a hopeful picture of content marketing’s future by plugging this problem into the Gartner’s “hype cycle” model. It sucked.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

How your personality aligns with social media content types

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By Mark W. Schaefer. have always had this fantasy about trying to align Myers-Briggs personality types with people successful on the social web, but alas I have not had the time or resources to do so. However I do think there is something to this idea. To truly stand out in 10-second content chunks, you have to be part news anchor, part comedian. It gives me room to tell the whole story.

Case study: Small business content marketing success

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By Kate McQuillan, {grow} Community Member. When I started Pet Sitters Ireland back in 2010 it was really just a way for my husband and I to solve our own pet care needs. We hated putting our pets in kennels and when we looked for an alternative there was nothing, other than asking friends or family. Most of this growth is attributed to our content marketing strategy. The Results. Consistency.

Use This Agenda For Your 2016 Content Marketing Plan

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As social media becomes less shiny, many of our clients are realizing that social media success relies on having a content marketing plan. While we’ve been hired to come in and “do” social media, our constant gentle push about sharing stories through original content (read: the RIGHT content for our customers) is finally being felt. The Content Marketing Plan (Agenda). Images.

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Four online business rules that don’t exist any more

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By Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist. A few days ago, I was working my face off in my creative cave, realized my social battery was drained, and decided to join a bar meet-up in my hometown of Berlin. I had a chance to talk to online entrepreneurs from all over the world and listened to their unique business stories. The funny thing? My friend doesn’t have a background in finance.

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A thought exercise on social media and critical thinking

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By Mark Schaefer. received a pretty big shock recently, a discovery that made me re-think who I am and what I know. For many years I have enjoyed digging into my family history. For many of us in the U.S. — nearly all of us immigrants — our family tree has tangled roots and uncovering where we come from can be an obsession. The mind game. But what about today? Here is a grand irony.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Between November 5 and November 17, we surveyed 601 marketers with an 18-question online survey. A few weeks later, Adweek sent the questionnaire to 144 additional marketers. As the survey was answered by nearly our entire population target, the calculated margin of error was approximately 1 percent. Here's what we learned.

7 Ways a small business can use social media resources wisely

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Microsoft Office. All opinions are 100% mine. The time and resources needed to be effective in social media is certainly a problem for companies big and small. think we can burst the bubble by now  — social media is NOT free. In fact, large brands are devoting a significant part of their marketing budget to these efforts. Do you enjoy writing?

20 Ideas to super-charge your social media network

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By Mark W. Schaefer. Behind every social media strategy you must have a content plan and a network plan. Most businesses are starting to understand the content part. But a network plan? That is usually overlooked, which leads to disillusionment. “If you build it they will come” is a great line from a movie but a terrible marketing plan. It is really, really hard to get content to move.

Snapchat engagement and other myths

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I have been absorbing as much as I can about Snapchat and its potential for businesses. The more I learn, the more I’m convinced it will probably not rise above a niche role for brand marketing … and that Snapchat may want to keep it that way! The strong business case for Snapchat I keep hearing over and over again is that “engagement is through the roof.” But is that true?

5 Reasons most content marketing is FAR behind where it needs to be

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No industry has been under more attack from emerging technologies than the press. Newspapers, magazines, and other traditional media channels are failing all around us. So if you think marketing is tough in your business, step into the shoes of a newspaper publisher to really see what pressure is! ” Perhaps that was true three years ago but it’s not true any more. That is so 2012.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

The 6 Scariest Words in Digital Marketing

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Here are the six scariest words in digital marketing: “Facebook is changing its newsfeed algorithm.” ” And so it goes. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends. We’ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about.

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One easy tip to increase content sharing immediately

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In this world of extreme information density , creating great content is certainly no guarantee that anybody will see it. We need to focus on content ignition — techniques to get our content seen and shared. Of course this is the entire focus of  The Content Code   book, but I wanted to share with you one problem I see all over the web that might be secretly killing your content. Keyword.

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5 Ways to keep up with the avalanche of online customer feedback

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By Jay Baer, {grow} Community Member. Mobile technology and the explosion of review sites and forums have made it easier than ever for customers to provide feedback – good and bad. Further, companies’ participation in these platforms creates even more feedback, the way one barking dog spurs on every other dog within earshot to join the ruckus. 8X increase in customer complaints in UK. Cheryl”.

Break the mold: Why content marketing needs to be like a chalupa

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called “ 5 Reasons most content marketing is FAR behind where it needs to be.” ” In this post I postulated that the traditional advice that businesses need to “think like media companies” is losing steam. It’s unlikely that a content strategy that worked five years ago will work today. Thinking like a media company. Gorditas.

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Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

What are the most reliable content channels to connect with customers?

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I recently had a chance to hear entrepreneur and author  Joe Pulizzi speak about his wonderful new book Content Inc  and my mind was buzzing over some of the interesting new ideas he presented. One of these topics was a discussion on the most reliable ways to deliver your content. Today I’d like to connect the dots on a few ideas about the most reliable content channels to reach customers.

Deleting Your Social Media Business Page? Read This First.

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Let’s say you’ve had it up to the heavens with Facebook and you want to delete your social media business page. Is deleting it the way to go? Or is is better to let it sit there and garner what little attention it can muster? Perhaps you should automate some promotional posts to go out so it doesn’t look like the ghost town it really is? Let’s discuss. But still. Yikes!

28 Super Easy Tips on How to Promote Your Content

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By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist. Content distribution has been a BIG topic here on {grow} and around the social sphere. As Mark’s book, The Content Code  explains, “great content isn’t the finish line, it’s the starting line.” It’s not going to share itself. I’m sure you’ve been slapped in the face lately by that cold, hard fact.

Three Ways Leaving the 9-5 for Entrepreneurship Improved My Life

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By Elise Perkins, {grow} Community Member. Stress in the workplace remains a top trigger for the everyday aches and pains that plague the American employee. recent Deloitte study further illuminates the reasons why this occurs: worries over making mistakes, challenging workloads, “urgent” projects which add to the daily deliverables, excessive hours, and face-to-face interactions. should’ve known.

2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

To build a world-class marketing program, it's crucial to compare yourself to the best performers - but competitor data can be scarce.

Finally, the truth about social media and customer engagement

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By Mark W. Schaefer. When I started on Twitter in 2008, it was THE cool place to connect, share ideas, and meet new people. would hang out there in the evenings and have amazing conversations with new friends from all around the globe. And then, it got crowded. My precious little band of followers ballooned to hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands. Fast forward to 2015.

The business case for unbranded content

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In this age of overwhelming content, our consumers can steer around what bore them. You could have a massive marketing budget and team of writers and designers, but if no one engages enough to share your content and ideas, then it’s just not working. Power on the web comes from social sharing and that happens by focusing your resources on building trust, not traffic. Clearly The answer?

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Why Instagram will not kill Snapchat

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By Mark W. Schaefer. The social media world woke up yesterday and found out that Instagram had implemented a new functionality called “stories,” which makes it look a lot like … Snapchat. In fact, they pretty much copied them stroke for stroke. The social stream blew up declaring this is the end of Snapchat. ” It happens so rarely that I can’t pass this up. like it.

Content Shock is here. Now what?

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About two years ago, I wrote a blog post called Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is not a sustainable strategy. And it looks like the idea may be showing up in measurable ways. The premise behind Content Shock is simple. In any human, natural, or economic system, when there is an overabundance of some commodity, and there is a limited capacity to consume that good, something has to change.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

Using psychology to make your content relevant

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By Wade Harman, {grow} Community Member. My friend Donald has lived his whole life in an apartment beside the Chicago L-train. Every night he goes to sleep, and the L-train inevitably comes blaring by his home at 2 a.m. Because Don has been living there for so long, he claims he doesn’t hear the thunderous train screaming by, shaking the whole house. He thought a burglar had crept in. Content.

Are you #BreakingTheLaw by using Hashtags?

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By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist. The “pound sign” (#) has seen quite a resurgence in popularity the past few years, as people repurpose it as the omnipresent hashtag on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Consider thy neighbor. Share a square. GoodNeighborDay #TweetFromTheSeat pic.twitter.com/KC5kes552t. Charmin (@Charmin) September 28, 2015. YouKnowThatsRight.

From newbie to expert, here are the best social media tools for your business

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By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columinst. When people ask, “what are the best social media tools I should be using to be a better social media marketer?” ” I have difficulty answering. The truth is, it depends greatly on how savvy you are — some tools would be too complex and give you too much information to sift through, for example, if you are a new user. Automation.

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Social media giants tighten their grip on small content producers

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By Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist. The digital age is supposed be the era of the solopreneur, allowing ordinary human content producers like you and me to start their own online media empire. The holy web has allowed us to bypass the former gatekeepers: Want to build your own radio show but can’t get a regular gig? Start a podcast. Go self-pub. Youtube’s your place to be.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.