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Should your content generate leads or relationships?

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A few years ago I had an interesting conversation with a Hubspot executive (now a former executive … but that’s another story). His business goal was to generate an ever-increasing number of leads from his company’s blog content and he wanted my ideas on what they might try to kick the number up. “Are you sure that’s the right goal?” ” I asked.

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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Podcasts and advertising: Meet social media’s new super power

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We are rapidly moving toward an ad-free world, which is kind of scary because the Internet really, really, really depends on ads. Ad blocking increased by 94 percent between 2015 and 2016. About one-third of all smartphone owners block the ads that make all that great free content possible. probably consume more content than ever. You heard me correctly. million. Find the podcast on Stitcher.

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.

150 Content Marketing Tips

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

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?

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.

How do you build a content strategy when a market is already littered with “experts?”

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I saw this question posted at a recent marketing conference and I think it will resonate with many readers. I’ll answer it as best I can today: “My challenge is finding an authoritative voice for our brand in a cluttered and competitive category. There are many brand publishers vying for the attention of consumers. Some of the experts offer sound advice; some do not. And I like big questions.

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Six methods for smarter marketing segmentation

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By Brooke Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist. Ask any marketer if they’re interested in smarter segmentation with their lists, campaigns, or otherwise and you’re sure to raise a few eyebrows. Marketing segmentation may just be an answer to  Content Shock , as choosing highly targeted and more granular content could help you reach your specific audience and make more conversions.

Why “rich content” is central to your social media strategy

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Today I’m going to explain that not all content is created equal … that there is a certain kind of content you MUST have in your marketing strategy. But first, I need to tell a story. Several years ago I became interested in a company called Klout. This was long before “influence marketing” was a thing and I called this new trend “social scoring.” Twitter?

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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Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

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

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?

The stress of authenticity and other reasons social media is exhausting

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By Brooke Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist. teach a class at Baruch College in NYC on consumer behavior. We talk a lot about personalization, customization and selling yourself (as a human behind the logo) to potential buyers. truly believe in being authentic and transparent. But how far does it have to go? Transparency & Authenticity Are Not The Same. First, a quick lesson. have bad days.

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.

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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Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Here's what we learned.

A complete strategy for effective scheduled tweets

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By Brooke Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist. Scheduled tweets are my jam. They also keep me servicing several clients 15+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Without scheduled tweets, I’d be shackled to my phone or computer and spend countless hours tweeting. Not productive. Not scalable. How I Use Automation To Manage Scheduled Tweets. Pretty sweet, huh? When Scheduled Tweets Become SPAM. Right?

Are you ready for the mega-shift from social media to private media?

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Over the past few months I’ve seen a few trends coming together but I’m not sure I grasped the significance of what’s happening until a comment I recent comment from my 16-year-old nephew. Here is what I have seen occurring: WhatsApp has rapidly become the biggest messaging service in the world with more than 1 billion users. More than 900 million people use Messenger now.

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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The FTC and Influence Marketing: The crackdown begins

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By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist. Influence marketing and native advertising are gaining popularity as brands continue to shift away from “interruption marketing” and embrace a more customer-centric approach. But in trying to sell without selling, it’s possible brands have made the “soft sell” a bit too soft, disguising advertising as organic influencer posts. Just ask Cole Haan.

Advocate Marketing Creates B2B Relationships That Lasts A Lifetime

Read this report to learn how B2B marketing professionals are developing strategies and programs to engage buyers in shaping opinion and sentiment about offerings. And learn how advocate marketing builds longstanding relationships that persist even when individuals move from one career opportunity to the next.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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 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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Are you becoming an obsolete marketing professional?

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I have had the true pleasure and honor of teaching graduate-level classes at Rutgers University for more than six years now. have taught thousands of students but last week, something happened that was … unnerving. Typically, students in the class are marketing executives from small and large companies in the greater New York area. The Millennials are coming! They already know this stuff.”

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When all the hard work on social media … just doesn’t work

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I’ve known Ray Hiltz for nearly five years. We became close social media chums, and the friendship solidified when I spoke at his content marketing event in Montreal in 2013. ” First time I met Ray, with Nancy Locke. Nobody has worked harder to build a digital consulting business than Ray. And, it didn’t work. It is always amazing to see how many think this is an easy business.

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The lost blogging monarchy, the defeat of links, and the war on social media

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I would like for you to dream for a moment. What would be like if you went into cave in 2008 and walked back into the daylight six years later? You rub your eyes and look around at your surroundings. So much has changed. Everything feels unfamiliar and new: new buildings, new cars, new technology everywhere you look. After a good meal, you get on the Internet to see what you missed in those years.

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.

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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Looking for a job? Here are 8 reasons you need to blog

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Have you ever considered the ways a blog can help you get a job?  I meet a lot of young people entering the work force and I always recommend blogging as a way to get ahead … in almost any career. Here’s why: 1) Show what you’re made of. In any job interview, you normally have to try to convince people of what you know. In a blog, you can SHOW them. Let’s face it.

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Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

Marketers are well-versed in the art and science of optimization.

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.

Teaching is the New Marketing

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Counter Culture Coffee. by Jeffrey Slater, {grow} Community Member. Of all the marketing strategies that professionals will embrace in 2016, I believe teaching and education will rise in prominence. Educational marketing isn’t well-understood, but it is actually quite simple. Educational marketing means you are providing wisdom and insight to customers to help them do their jobs. Three Examples. 1.

Research shows content engagement is disconnected from brand goals. What’s next?

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“Engagement” is one of the most intoxicating of social media measurements. It easily shows that something is HAPPENING and we love that. have written about engagement as a metric over the years, most notably stating that: “ Engagement” is not a strategy. Engagement is an important sign of early cultural progress. Engagement is a legitimate indicator of awareness. Reach.

Why it takes so long to achieve social media success

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If you’re impatient, social media is probably the wrong marketing channel for you. Here’s a chart that illustrates why. This is data from the recent research released by  Social Media Examiner. This is not a scientific study, but it is a view from nearly 4,000 marketers, skewed toward small businesses. Social media success takes time. Weak relational links. Weak relational links.

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.

How to write 3,000 words every day when you don’t feel like it

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By Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist. Every month, I meet up with a group of content creators and onlinepreneurs in some raunchy Berlin cafe. We drink overpriced hipster lemonade, discuss marketing tactics, email-list building (drooling faces wherever you look) and of course, content creation. You can learn only so much.” ” That’s Balooney with a capital B. See above.

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