A Step-by-Step Guide to Syndicating Your Blog

For many bloggers, one of their primary goals is to increase their blog’s readership. After all, it can be fulfilling and rewarding to know that many people care about and are religiously following each and every post you make. However, according to content marketing expert Danny Brown, wanting more readers and actually having more readers are two separate things. On this day and age when people can easily set up a blog on their own, competition has become stiffer than ever. In addition, not many people have the time to invest in reading lengthy articles.

But don’t despair yet. If you’re a blogger and you want to attract more readers, there is still something you can do to attract the attention of potential followers and improve your blog’s readership rate. This strategy is called content syndication.

Content syndication is when a post, article, or video from your blog is featured on a much popular site that is relevant to your niche. With content syndication, you can get more traffic and exposure, which can lead to bigger gigs, pay checks, and more importantly, more readers.

Define your goals

Before you start syndicating any of your blog posts, the first thing you need to do is identify your goals. For example, do you want to use your blog to drive traffic back to your main website? Or do you want to simply keep your readers updated? Knowing your reasons for syndicating your blog makes it easier for you to create relevant content. In addition, it gives you a pretty good idea on where and how you should share your posts.

Identify your audience

After setting your goals, the next step is to identify your audience. If you don’t know your audience, how can you create content pieces that will enable you to attract more readers? You have to determine who you are talking to and writing for, as well as what they want from your blog so you can produce content that are extremely valuable and meaningful for your target audience. In addition, it helps you identify the target sites for syndicating your blog.

Select your syndication partners

After creating content that is appropriate for your target readers, you can now start looking for syndication partners to improve your blog readership. Using RSS feeds is one of the most basic and widely used methods of syndicating your blog or content. According to Andrew Delamarter of Search Engine Watch, RSS makes it easy for websites and individuals to grab your content in an “automated fashion.”

Aside from RSS feeds, there are also a number of ways for you to syndicate your blog. You can use paid syndication partners like Outbrain and Taboola. “Paid syndication engines typically charge advertisers and content promoters per click and then share the revenue with the publisher if they are large enough,” Andrew wrote.

If you don’t want to spend money on content syndication, there are also non-paid syndication options you can take advantage of. For starters, you can find related industry sites and blogs that are looking for good content. According to Andrew, you can ask these sites if they are interested in getting an RSS feed of original content. “Syndication partners typically want unique content and at least some sort of delay before the content is published on your own site,” he said.

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, are also great places to promote and syndicate your blog. In addition, they give you the opportunity to directly interact with your readers. To improve the chances of your content being shared by your readers on their own social networks, ensure that all of your blog posts have social sharing buttons.

Syndicating your blog makes it much easier for you to attract more followers and improve your readership rating. So get out there and promote your blog to obtain more online traffic, exposure, and loyal readers.

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Content Curation Strategies to Improve Your Influence

Creating and publishing good content is a sure-fire way to get greater online visibility and expand your field of influence. But did you know that you don’t have to create meaningful content all the time to achieve your online marketing goals? Believe it or not, you can just find good content online and share them with your community to improve your influence.

This strategy is known as content curation. Considered as the “lesser known brother” of content creation, content curation is, according to Beth Kanter, the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organised way around a specific theme. When you curate content, you hand-pick web content you consider to be the most relevant and highly suitable for the needs, interests, and wants of your online community.

Content curation, however, is more than just amassing content from a variety of reliable sources and then sharing them with your readers and followers. You also have to develop certain strategies to ensure that the articles, videos, or infographics you share online will be appreciated and re-shared by your audience.

Know what your followers want

To be able to share meaningful and valuable content with your target audience, first, you must know what they really want. According to Razvan Gavrilas of Search Engine Journal, it is essential to learn who your target audience is as it is the foundation of a fruitful content curation career. The types and topics of the content you’ll share will ultimately depend on the tastes and interests of your readers and followers. Therefore, you must conduct some research and get to know your audience better so you can select content they cannot easily ignore.

Identify the social media “hangouts” your audience frequents

As someone who wants to expand his or her influence, it is important to strut your stuff where and when there are people watching. As such, it goes without saying that you should identify your audience’s favourite social media platforms as those are the places you’ll want to share curated content. Posting on social networking sites frequently visited by your audience helps improve the chances of the curated content being seen and re-shared.

Keep them fresh

If you want to better engage your audience, always provide them with fresh content. According to Razvan, you should take the time to monitor the news and blogging platforms your followers are using daily to ensure that all the content pieces you are sharing and curating are always fresh, timely, and relevant.

Also, see to it that you deliver them as fast as you can. “Use real-time curation platforms so you can create and share the information while it’s hot,” Razvan said. One platform he recommends is Twitter. He pointed out that Twitter gives you the opportunity to share the same content over and over again to make it more visible.

Reinterpret them

If you want to give the curated content you’re sharing a personal touch, you can reinterpret it. Instead of just taking the information and forwarding it without making alterations, you can add your own insights, commentary, or interpretation. Although this strategy usually takes some time to accomplish, it gives your audience the impression that you really do care about their interests and you actually take the time to filter and feather a piece of content to make it more palatable for your readers and followers.

As compared to content creation, content curation requires less effort and is less time-consuming, but it can be just as rewarding. If you don’t have the time to come up with your own content ideas, content curation is indeed something you should consider doing to improve your influence.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

By Sandra D’Souza

Having the ability or being able to work with someone who has the ability to influence others and affect change is a powerful attribute many marketers want to posses. After all, having the capability to easily convince others to do something simply by virtue of being popular or an expert in your field can definitely have a huge impact on the success of your business. This thought process, along with other factors, gave rise to what we know today as influencer marketing.

For those who have no idea what influencer marketing is, Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple Consulting, offered a brief explanation. According to him, influencer marketing is “the process of developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service.”

There are three major ways influencers can significantly affect your business, Enge explained. First, they can write a blog post/article about you. Second, they can share information about you in their social media accounts and with their respective communities. And third, they can ask you or permit you to guest post on their site. All of these methods can give you more exposure and boost your online visibility, which are helpful in creating bigger brand awareness and attracting more potential clients or followers.

However, one does not simply approach an influential person to aid your cause. According to Evy Wilkins of Search Engine Watch, marketers should look beyond demographics. If you want someone to help you influence your prospects, you should look for influencers based on their interests and passions. Wilkins said people are more inclined to listen to influencers who produce and share content that can get them excited about specific things.

And before you get influencers to help you establish a solid reputation online, first you must help them serve their audience. At this point, influencers care more about their own community than your brand. After all, it is through this community that they were able to become influential. As such, if you want influencers to help you, you must first lay the groundwork by understanding their community. Help them address the needs of their audience and it is very likely that they will return the gesture.

Also, don’t ask influencers to endorse you right from the get-go. Chances are, any attempt you make at winning their trust (and ultimately, their assistance) will be ignored. Not to mention asking someone you don’t know to do you a favour can be quite rude. Therefore, you should treat them well and “focus on their unique passions, interests, and personalities” so you can convince them to back you up. Wilkins stressed out that you have to build connections with influencers before you can “unlock their value.”

Once you have earned the trust of influencers and successfully convinced them to help you out, you should take the time to maintain strong relationships with them. According to Wilkins, the value of your influencer relationships grows over time. “Invest the time it takes to spark connections, earning trust, and sustaining relationships. The more you get to know each other, the more value you can create for each other,” she said.

It has proven time and again that most people follow and trust the opinions of experts, authority figures, and influential people. As such, it would certainly help to enlist the assistance of influencers.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/user-experience/a-beginners-guide-to-influencer-marketing/

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How to Use Facebook as a Solid Content Marketing Platform

By Sandra D’Souza

There is no doubt that Facebook is one of the most popular social marketing platforms these days. Everyday, millions of people across the globe are logging on the site and spending a considerable amount of their time sharing and liking posts and content with their friends. This is one of the main reasons why brands and marketers are keen on using Facebook as one of their main online marketing channels.

However, a recent study has shown that Facebook’s viability as an effective content marketing platform is slowly diminishing. According to the study conducted by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, for many consumers, being a fan of a certain brand is mostly a passive activity, with 77% of them saying they interact with brands on Facebook by reading posts and updates. Only 17% of consumers directly interact with the brands and only 13% actively post updates about the brands they like.

If you’re using Facebook as one of your primary content marketing channels, the results of this study are indeed quite alarming. However, there are still simple ways for you to enhance social engagement and make Facebook as a solid content marketing platform.

Interactive Apps

In an article on ContentMarketingInstitute.com, Britt Klontz explained how creating and integrating interactive apps to your Facebook page allows you to better engage your followers. She said apps, such as videos, games, discussions, and reviews, encourage more people to click and share your content. In addition, they also help convince your fans to tell the world what they think about you.

Exclusive Access

Offering exclusive access to events, special deals, or fun pieces of content is a great way to engage fans and create new likes, Klontz revealed. According to her, providing your fans with access to exclusive and free content makes them feel rewarded just for returning or visiting your Facebook page. But if you think you need to spend money to offer exclusive access to various marketing stuff, think again. Klotnz said it doesn’t always have to be expensive. For example, she suggested writing an extensive guide on a subject matter your audience will be interested in. Then, you can host it in a microsite and give the access code to your loyal fans.

Hashtags

“The hashtag makes searching easy and it engages fans in a way that encourages their own creativity,” Klontz said. As such, make good use of hashtags whenever you post content on Facebook. Take Nutella, a very popular brand of hazelnut spread, as an example. According to Klontz, Nutella incorporates the #spreadthehappy hashtag throughout its Facebook content. The company also uses the tag to invite fans to share photos, videos, and recipes using Nutella. As a result, the hashtag enables the brand to get better online visibility and effectively engage its followers.

What makes Facebook a good online marketing channel is its ability to facilitate direct contact and interaction between a brand and its target customers. As a marketer, therefore, you shouldn’t use Facebook simply as, what Klontz puts it, a “one-way advertising pitch machine.” To make Facebook a solid content marketing platform, you should use it in a way that actively encourages your fans to directly interact and communicate with you.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/content-marketing/how-to-use-facebook-as-a-solid-content-marketing-platform/

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Winning Content Strategies for B2B Marketers

By Sandra D’Souza

Over the last few years, it has become a common practice among business-to-business (B2B) marketers to use ebooks as their bait to hook web visitors into helping them generate leads or make conversions. However, ebooks are not the only type of content these marketers can use to attract the attention of their prospects. There are other content marketing strategies they can utilise to achieve their respective business goals and objectives.

Workbooks, playbooks, and blueprints

Jay Acunzo of Cont called these documents the “cousins” of the ebook. But unlike the ebook, these content formats are “less about reading and more about using documents as a step-by-step way to guide readers through a recommended process or activity more efficiently and effectively.”

To come up with good workbooks, playbooks, and blueprints, Acunzo said you should formulate ways to make your content follow the “less reading, more action” principle. You should package these documents in a way that they can easily provide readers with very specific action steps they can execute. Also, you should try to avoid lengthy discussions of business theories and complicated issues. If there’s a need for you to elaborate on a particular subject, you should keep it to a minimum of two pages or less.

Project templates

Project templates, Acunzo explained, are the “guardrails” that help your customers complete a project quickly and efficiently. Your prospects can use the templates to improve existing business processes or practices to get better results and/or save time and resources. To develop good project templates as part of your content marketing strategy, you should create steps your target customers should take to complete their daily tasks. Also, you consider providing ideas for resources that can replace or remove those time-consuming tasks.

Reporting templates

Reporting templates are basically spreadsheets, presentations, and other files that can be used to report overall business performance. It is no secret that some people find it difficult to come up with performance or financial reports because they don’t know what the correct format for creating such important documents is. As such, this presents you with the perfect opportunity to provide a solution to your prospects’ problem (and make a conversion in the process) by offering them reporting templates.

When creating these templates, Acunzo said you should give them extra attention. “These templates should be outlined and wire-framed by you, including any computational formulas that you might want to include in a relevant spreadsheet. Your target buyer can then simply plug in their own data whenever they need to build a report,” he wrote.

Repurposed old content

Laura Hogan of Business2Community.com, meanwhile, offered some ideas on how you can put those old ebooks to use. According to her, while ebooks can be boring and basic, you can repurpose or revamp them so you can offer your customers something more fun and interesting. You can use the information, ideas, or data discussed in your old ebooks and incorporate them into your animated or educational videos, webinars, mini blog posts, and infographics.

Q&As

According to Hogan, people are naturally curious and statistics have shown that most web users are using search engines to look for answers to a question. As such, one great marketing strategy for B2B marketers is to provide Q&A, or questions and answers, type of content. Hogan said you can either answer the questions you get on a daily basis or those that your salesmen often get in their conversations. This will give you enough content for a few different blog posts.

With different content strategies you can use, B2B marketers like you don’t have to stick to the old ebook marketing method to generate leads and make conversions. Just use your imagination and think outside the box so you can come up with different types of content that will appeal to your target market.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/content-marketing/winning-content-strategies-for-b2b-marketers/

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5 Expert Tips on Creating a Web Series

With the popularity of sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Metacafe, video streaming is definitely huge on the web these days. But aside from trailers of upcoming movies, vines, as well as music and cat videos, one type of videos that is attracting a lot of attention is the web series. But what exactly is a web series? And as a marketer, why should you be interested in creating one?

According to WebSeriesChannel.com, a web series is like a regular TV series except that you can only watch it on the internet. It is structured the same way as a regular TV series is, with seasons and episodes called “webisodes.” The length of each webisode varies. It can be as short as two minutes or it can be as long as 30 minutes, or even longer.

A web series is a great tool for marketers as it enables them to provide their audience with branded entertainment. It “pushes” a brand’s message, but compared to advertising, a web series is more subtle. In addition, it promotes deeper engagement between a brand and its target market, as well as encourages web visitors to keep coming back. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to create a web series to promote your brand or business, here are some expert pointers you must consider.

Planning is essential

According to comedian, entrepreneur, writer, and filmmaker Amy Rubin, each webisode should be planned carefully. You have to create an outline or a basic idea that you’re passionate about. Otherwise, there’s really no point to creating a web series in the first place, she stressed out. Planning everything carefully allows you to place yourself in a better position to tell a compelling story that grabs people’s attention.

Don’t focus on length

While keeping your webisodes short can help, Rubin said you shouldn’t focus too much on the length of your videos as it can put “unnecessary strain on a script.” Before, video creators are encouraged to keep their videos short because according to the old standard, viewers usually start to lose interest after the three-minute mark. However, Rubin pointed out that as long as you’re consistently providing your audience with good content, it won’t matter to them if your videos are short or long. “If you gain trust with the audience, if you prove that you’re capable of doing something, they’ll watch longer content,” she said.

Stay ahead of schedule

As you may know, consistency is key to succeed in online marketing. Therefore, you should try to stay a few episodes ahead of schedule. According to Rubin, this allows you to maintain a consistent uploading schedule, which helps grow your viewership. However, Rubin warned that it is also a bad idea to create too many videos without verifying if your audience likes your web series or not.

Promote your series

Spread the word about your new web series by using the power of social media and other online channels. Rubin said the biggest thing about creating a web series aside from providing good content is the marketing and promotion of it. After all, how can people watch your series if they don’t know that it exists in the first place?

Engage your audience

As mentioned earlier, creating a web series helps brands better engage their audience. Therefore, make it a point to respond to your viewers’ questions and comments. You should also ask them for feedback so you’ll know how to improve each and every webisodes.

Videos are a great tool for improved online visibility and better brand awareness. So take advantage of their marketing prowess by creating a web series that keeps your audience hooked and captivated. Also, don’t forget to follow the tips discussed above so you can produce quality webisodes for your viewers.

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Types of Images that Encourage Social Media Engagement

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” In 1911, famous American editor and journalist Arthur Brisbane wrote this message on a newspaper article discussing journalism and publicity. While written content is indeed a powerful tool for communication, expression, advertising, and marketing, there is something about pictures or visual images that make them more potent and effective at attracting attention and conveying messages.

Today’s social media perfectly illustrates the power of images to capture one’s attention. Various market research have shown that images posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter command more attention than plain text alone. According to experts, pictures and images got shared more and received more comments, likes, retweets, and clicks as compared to written posts.

As a marketer, it is important to take advantage of the power of images to command attention and convey messages. However, it isn’t enough that you just use the first picture you’ll find. It is also essential that you use the right images to send the right message and encourage more social media engagement.

Product Shots

According to Bob Cargill, every brand has a product to display. As such, it is important to show your social media audience something tangible. Use quality images to showcase the main selling points and key attributes of your products or services to get your prospects talking. This will let them know what it is that you have to offer.

Team Pictures

For owners of mum and dad shops who pride themselves in providing their customers with hand-made goods, “team pictures” are a huge help. They humanise your brand and allow your customers to know the people behind your products, giving them the impression that the goods you are selling are indeed made by those who really know their stuff. Cargill stressed out that people do business with real people so it is very important to do everything you can to show the human side of your brand.

Fan Pictures

Taking good care of the community you have built on any social media site is one of the best ways to obtain the continuous support and loyalty of your brand advocates. To give them the attention and appreciation they deserve, you should feature fan photos on your social media stream from time to time. Tag them and make it all about them. By shining the spotlight on your fans and followers, you can expect more support and loyalty from them in return.

Exclusive Shots

It is common knowledge that something gets more valuable if it cannot be found elsewhere. So use images on your social media campaigns that give your audience a sense of exclusivity. Provide them with a peek behind the scenes or an exclusive shot of your upcoming product. Take them backstage and show them how your products are made to stir their interests and encourage them to participate in online discussions.

DIY Graphics

“Creating your own visuals from scratch is a great way to add variety to your stream and call more attention to your posts,” Cargill said. It is also one of the best ways to increase your engagement and social media reach, he added. Therefore, you should consider creating your own graphics and images for your social media campaigns.

You can also try creating infographics, which combine data, words, and pictures to inform, educate, and entertain your audience. Today, there are a wide variety of software and apps, such as Photoshop and PicMonkey, you can use to enhance the overall look of the images you create and share online so take advantage of them to get better results.

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5 New Twitter Features That Are Tailor-Made for Marketers

By Sandra D’Souza

Using Twitter has proven to be one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to build brand awareness, attract more prospects, and reach out to your customers. In fact, many marketers will agree that it is fast, efficient, and reliable. And perhaps the biggest advantage of this form of online marketing is that sending tweets doesn’t cost a thing, unlike creating printed ads and newsletters.

Just recently, Twitter rolled out several new updates and features to further solidify itself as a top media, advertising, and social platform. The revised design, which looks remarkably similar to Facebook, provides marketers with more ways to promote their brands and engage their customers. In an article on Search Engine Watch, Allison Peltz discussed these new Twitter features that are definitely a huge help to online marketers.

Customised Headers and Larger Profile Pics

According to Peltz, with the design update, Twitter gave users the ability to use a customised header and larger inset profile picture. Unlike with the old Twitter pages, marketers and businesses now have more freedom to design and “play with” the layout of their pages. However, some Twitter users still don’t have access to the new profile page design but according to the social media giant, everyone will have the new page layout by May 28.

Direct Response Ads

Marketers can now use direct response ads on Twitter, thanks to its new mobile apps. They can utilise new ad formats with actions such as app installs and “click to call,” where a mobile user can directly contact the advertiser with a simple click of a button. In addition, marketers need not direct their prospects to a landing page or to their main sites to capture the latter’s email address because Twitter now allows e-mail signups right from the app.

Amplify Program

Before, if you want your audience to watch a video about your product or service, you will have to have to tweet a link to the video. With the update, however, that is not necessary anymore. Media partners are now allowed to share videos and other content on the platform directly in the Twitter stream with a one-click play option. According to Peltz, Twitter made improvements to the program and added enhancements so users don’t have to go to another site to access videos.

Photo Collage

Want to showcase photos of your products? Now you can with Twitter’s photo collage. The photo collage is basically the site’s own version of the slideshow. With this feature, users can upload more than one photo on their tweets. Ever since this feature was introduced last month, many brands have experimented on creating photo mosaics to boost their campaigns and provide their target audience with compelling visual images.

Language Targeting

But if there’s one new Twitter feature that would greatly benefit marketers the most, it has to be the language targeting feature. This feature reportedly allows advertisers to target certain languages in their promoted tweets and promoted accounts, thus, expanding their reach. This is indeed a huge help because it enables their audience to see “highly relevant ads” in their native language.

“Language targeting can benefit marketers who want to reach a global audience with language-specific messaging, or who are in countries where large populations speak multiple languages,” said Nipoon Malhotra, group product manager at Twitter.

With Twitter rolling out new features to further improve its micro blogging services, marketers like you should take advantage of them. This way, you can get better results from your marketing campaigns. So, check out these new Twitter features and give them a shot.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/social-media/5-new-twitter-features-that-are-tailor-made-for-marketers/

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