Monday, May 30, 2016

Real Time Marketing Guide - Everything You Need to Know

Real-Time Marketing Guide – Everything You Need To Know

Originally published on Real Time Marketing Guide. See links  above to original posting.

Real-Time Marketing Guide – Everything You Need To Know

The following is a guest post by Nick Rojas. Nick Andrew Rojas is a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant.  He’s also a journalist focusing on technology, marketing, and social media.  He loves meeting new people online and being challenged with new projects.  He loves to connect so reach out on Twitter!  @nickarojas
It’s the weekend – did you plan every move? Have a general idea of what you need to do? Or are you just going to see what comes up?
It’s your Marketing platform. Did you plan (and budget) every move? Have a general idea of what you need to do? Or are you just going to see what comes up? If you fall into the last category, you should be aware that your approach has a name. It’s called “Real-Time Marketing,” because in general, that’s what you’re doing: capitalizing on the spur of the moment – a whatever happens, kind of marketing that can work to a business’ advantage.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-Time Marketing is a way to promote (market) your business in relationship to something relevant right now. What are people talking about/thinking about in your area? Across the country? It can be something as basic as taking out an ad or posting on on-site banner congratulating the Little League baseball team you sponsor on winning their regional championship. You didn’t know it would happen, but your customers are talking about it, so you respond –you insert yourself into the conversation.
The possibilities are as endless as the news cycle. At the recent Oscar Awards, host Chris Rock had his daughter’s Girl Scout troop sell cookies to the A-List celebrities in the audience. These famous actors and directors actually bought, ate and shared GS cookies while sitting in the theater. What kind of reference could you make to your product selling “faster than Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars?”

March Madness?

College basketball’s schedule for March Madness might be an excellent springboard for your next promotion, especially if there’s a huge upset. If you pay attention to the play-offs and work quickly, when people talk about the game, they may link you to it!
Whatever they may be, tomorrow’s events are the next potential themes for your marketing efforts. Real-Time Marketing is spontaneous and bold. Yet, in business, even spontaneity needs a little planning. If advertising is of interest, do some research on your options from newspapers to radio and television. If you’re planning a campaign on social media, be sure your platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are established, or at the very least you’ve opened an account on these systems.

Read the Fine PrintReal-Time Marketing Guide (1)

However, consider a couple of precautions: politics is a slippery slope. Should you attach your business to a political act or candidate, you run the risk of offending just as many people as you attract. This goes for everything from the local school board, to the national presidential bid.
Anything controversial in your area may be ripe for targeting, but is also sensitive, and you want to avoid running a promotional message related to something considered divisive. (If you’re thinking the worse the topic you address, the more you’ll appear on the evening news, well, remember that stories are told from a point of view. If you’re perceived as trying to build on someone else’s misfortune, simply put, this will backfire, and not win you new customers.)
Additionally, vet your approach very carefully. Run your potential ad by people who can give you honest feedback, with no stake in the game. If your message is the least bit offensive, you need to know about it before you spend money, time, energy – and most importantly – your organization’s reputation on it.
Real-Time Marketing is an approach that offers spontaneous and creative ways for businesses to reach their target audience. Devise a methodology to stay on top of trending topics and hashtags in order to be on the constant lookout for opportunities to capitalize from real-time marketing!

5 Storytelling Archetypes and How to Use Them in Marketing

5 #Storytelling Archetypes and How to Use Them in #Marketing

How to Create a Social Media Quiz for Lead Generation

go4Biz TheSocialMs (@go4biz101) tweeted at 6:46 PM on Sat, May 28, 2016:
How To Create A Social Media Quiz For Lead Generation
Reposted with permission from Jeff Bullas. See original posting link above.

How To Create A Social Media Quiz For Lead Generation

The following is a guest post by JP Misenas. JP Misenas is the Content Marketing Director & Audio/Visual Technician/Engineer ofInteract, a place for creating entertaining and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about innovative ways to connect with customers and to build professional long-lasting relationships with them.
Ever since content marketing has become the most important trend of 2015, there’s been a heavier emphasis on amazing whitepapers, exciting case studies, engaging videos, informative blog posts and other forms of content that seek warm leads.
Coming up with content that actually converts is a struggle itself, and even if these forms of content attract a lot of views, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee new subscribers. This is where one of the most underrated types of content comes in.
The social media quiz is more than capable of competing with its content marketing brethren. Quizzes have the innate ability to engage audiences, inform them when necessary, and provide an entertaining way to introduce your brand through an interactive piece of content. Quizzes not only increase audience participation, but they’ve also been known to drive revenue and most importantly for marketers, generate leads.
Here at Interact, we’re responsible for helping over 10,000 brands create over 25,000 quizzes, so we know what makes a quiz tick and what makes them so successful.How to create a social media quiz for lead generation (2)
Today, we’ll show you how to create your own social media quiz through a step-by-step guide accompanied with the best practices that will allow you to come up with an effective quiz. As an added bonus, we’ll be highlighting Cloud Sherpas throughout the entire article as a brand that has successfully implemented social media quizzes in their marketing strategy.
So before we jump right in, let’s take a peek at who Cloud Sherpas is.
Who Are Cloud Sherpas And How Did They Use Quizzes?
Cloud Sherpas is a software company that specializes in cloud advisory and technology services for the world’s leading brands. They created the quiz “How mature is your ServiceNow instance?” as a means of gauging a person’s level of maturity when it comes to ServiceNow.
Doing this allowed Cloud Sherpas to determine which of their leads was the most qualified for their marketing strategy. They promoted their blog on Facebook with the quiz attached, and it brought in 3-4 qualified leads a day. Cloud Sherpas definitely took on the stance of quality versus quantity, and their quiz continues to get them the qualified leads that they seek.
Step 1: Creating Your Title And Choosing Your Quiz Type
Now then, it’s time to create your quiz. To start off, you’re going to need to come up with a title. Keep this in mind: 80% of readers can determine whether something’s worth reading based off of its title.
So what does that say about your title? It means you’re going to have to come up with something good. It might seem like a lot of pressure, but we’ve got you covered.
Here are some title templates that have consistently proven to be successful:
  • The “Actually” Title – Adding the word “actually” can do a lot more to a question than you might think. By adding “actually,” you’ve just transformed a boring old question into a challenge, and who wants to back down from a challenge? This title entertainingly provokes audiences to rise up and test their intellectual limits.
  • The “Which (Blank) Are You?” Title – This is your classic title template that has been known to work time and time again. Because of human curiosity, sometimes we just have to know which Star Wars character we are before we die.
  • The “Celebrity Personality” Title – Take your “Which (Blank) Are You?” title template and substitute the (Blank) with a celebrity and you have yourself the “Celebrity Personality” title template. It’s the same as its predecessor with the only difference consisting of the use of a more well-known name.
Once you’ve picked out your title, it’s time to figure out what type of quiz you want to create. Quizzes generally fall under two types, so we’ve broken down each one to give you a basic understanding of what they’re capable of.
  • The Personality Quiz – Because something called the “self-serving bias,” we love to hear good things about ourselves. This is what makes the personality quiz shine. This type of quiz categorizes people into personality types based on how they answered the questions in the quiz. From a marketing point of view, you could use this type of quiz to create personality types that offer personalized product recommendations based on the answers people gave.
  • The Knowledge Test – This type of quiz is another one of the more popular variants that you’ll find on social media. The knowledge tests challenges how much people know about a certain subject and then delivers results based on accuracy. As a marketer, you could use this type of quiz to see how much your audiences knows about your brand, its products, or even a trending topic. You could even use this type of quiz to assess your internal infrastructure.
Cloud Sherpas went with their variation on the “Actually” title template in the form of a personality quiz. Even if it was meant to gauge the level of maturity for an individual as a means of qualifying their leads, Cloud Sherpas’ quiz performed almost like a knowledge test.
Step 2: Creating Engaging Questions For Your Quiz
Now onto the fun part! The questions in your quiz play a major role in defining how you interact with your audience. You’ll be using the questions as a one-on-one medium of communication with whoever takes your quiz. That being said, it’ll be for your benefit to take advantage of this.
As you keep that in mind, here are a couple of guidelines to follow when coming up with the questions to your quiz:
  • Make Things Personal – We’ve often been told not to make things personal, but this time around, we’re giving you permission. Be casual with your audience. Approach them as if you were talking to them in person. This sets a more relaxed, personal tone which allows your audience to get comfortable with you and your brand.
  • Make Things Fun With Images – Text-only questions are fine, but why settle for the mundane when you can spice things up with images? Using pictures keeps things fun and relevant, it also transforms a regular quiz into a trivia game show of some sort.
  • Balance Content And Time – You might have a lot of questions for your audience, but for the sake of simplicity, sometimes it’s nice to limit the amount of content you put out. People these days don’t have the longest attention spans, so aiming between 6 to 8 questions is a good goal to keep in mind. This usually takes people 2-3 minutes to finish their quiz, and that’s just the right amount of time for us.
Because of the nature of their quiz (which was used as a means of qualifying leads), Cloud Sherpas did not require the use of images nor did they have the need to take things on a more personal level. However, they kept their quiz incredibly short and simple by hitting the bare minimum of having only 6 questions.
Risk Management
Step 3: Designing The Lead Capture
Now that you’ve completed the body of your quiz, it’s time to make our way towards the results. As much fun as we’re having, it’s time to get back into marketing mode to remind ourselves why we’re creating a quiz in the first place: to generate leads.
This is where the lead capture form comes in. Before giving your audience their results, why not make a trade for their contact information? By gating your quiz with a lead capture, you allow yourself to grow an email list by collecting contact information in exchange for the quiz results.
Some brands include the option to skip this step, but others are rather adamant about it. In order to increase the opt-in rate of your lead capture, here are several ways to optimize it:
  • Promise Value To Your Audience – Your audience is already trading their contact information for their results, so why not sweeten the deal by throwing in a couple of incentives? You could offer things like a free ebook, an entry into a free giveaway, or even special deals and offers attached to weekly newsletters.
  • Only Request The Necessary – There’s no need to ask your audience for anything other than the information your brand needs. In most cases, all you really want is an email address. Sometimes requesting a first and last name allows you to personalize your automated email responses. But don’t go asking for a phone number if you’re never going to call it. Again, only ask for information that you’ll be using.
  • Be Honest About Your Marketing Strategy – We’re not giving away our secrets as marketers, but we don’t want to keep our audience in the dark about what we’re doing with their information either. Remind your audience that you’ll be contacting them shortly after opting in. This will keep them from mistaking your emails as a form of spam.
Cloud Sherpas asked for whatever information they required in order for them to qualify their leads. Cloud Sherpas even included a privacy policy for those curious about their marketing strategy. Lastly, Cloud Sherpas comically threw in their idea of an incentive as a form of white paper.
Cloud Sherpas
Step 4: Creating Results Worth Sharing On Social Media
After creating your lead capture, it’s finally time to move onto the results. As important as the questions to your quiz were, so are the results. The result screen is the affirmation your audience has been patiently waiting for, so we don’t want to let them down.
Why is this so important? Because like many other quizzes, it’s the results that allows your audience to share your quiz with others. Providing results worth sharing will encourage your audience to post what they got on social media. This will allow your quiz the chance to go viral.
Here are some of the best ways to make the most out of your result, both for you and your audience:
  • Deliver Complimenting Results – They say that Positive emotions promote sharing, so aim to deliver results that compliment your audience. This in turn will encourage them to share what they got. When complimenting your audience, be truthful about it. Don’t tell your audience that they’re something they aren’t.
  • Include Images With Your Results – As much as we emphasized the use of images in your questions, we can’t stress enough how important it is to include them in your results. The images to your results will appear on social media, so be sure to select images that are worth sharing andencourage others to take your quiz.
  • Add A Call-To-Action To Your Results – At the end of the day, your brand is still your brand, and you’re still a marketer. Don’t be afraid to add a call-to-action in the results of your quiz. This allows your audience to click-through to your website or any product recommendations you may have for them.
Because Cloud Sherpas went with a personality quiz, their results placed individuals under personality types based off of their level of maturity. The results did a splendid job at complimenting an individual, and as an added incentive promised at the lead capture, a link to a white paper was included as well.
Let’s Review What We’ve Learned
And there you have it! You’ve just created your very own quiz. Today you learned how to pick an effective title based on the templates we’ve provided, which type of quiz you want to create, and how to structure your questions, lead capture form and results.
Not only do you know how to make an effective social media quiz, but you have a fairly solid foundation to build upon in the form of Cloud Sherpas as a brand that has successfully used a quiz in their marketing strategy as well.
So don’t let the other forms of content keep you from generating leads. Consider using social media quizzes as a piece of interactive content not only for lead generation, but for a plethora of other beneficial factors that will help increase the visibility and productivity of your brand.

6 Methods to Recycle Blog Posts to Expand Readership

6 Methods to Recycle Blog Posts to Expand Readership  #blogging #contentmarketing

Copied and reposted from Jeff Bullas Blog. Original posting link above.

6 Methods to Recycle Blog Posts to Grow Your Readership

6 Methods to Recycle Blog Posts to Expand Readership
Recycling is important, isn’t it? Though most of us aren’t going to chain ourselves to the base of an old oak tree in protest of its removal, generally speaking, people are happy to get involved in some sort of community-drivenrecycling program.
Sure, we’re not willing to go out of our way to build a cooperative raft from leftover Pepsi bottles or anything quite so extreme, but if it’s simple and effective, we’ll knock it out of the park.
Now for the random, content marketing tie-in – believe it or not, in a roundabout way, recycling old blog posts is somewhat similar.
No, it’s not as important as ensuring that dolphin snouts aren’t getting caught in plastic six pack rings, but the reusing of older blog content is still a worthwhile endeavor for content marketing experts.
Yup, I went there.
So, if you’re tired of old, out-of-date blog posts collecting digital dust in the darkest corner of your blog, do something about it. In fact, when done properly, not only are you able to gain experience with different content types, but your blog will start to drum up a bit of new readership.

A few things to keep in mind before getting started

There’s this idea out there that if an evergreen blog post (must be evergreen, by the way) performed well in the past, it will do so again when put to good use. Obviously, this is a safe bet.
That said, I tend to take things a step further – regardless of whether or not a post did well, it can be reprocessed for digital audiences. The big kicker? It’s got to be of the highest quality. If it sounds like a press release, you’re not going about things in the right way.
Journalist blurb for how to recycle blog posts
(Source: Marketoonist)
Anything else simply won’t suffice.
Seriously, why wouldn’t you give things a second shot? Essentially, by so doing, you’re killing two birds with one stone – a post gets a second shot at blog promotion and you’re doing all you can to grow your current audience.
What more can you really ask for?

6 Effective Ways to Recycle Long-Forgotten Blog Material

Alas, it’s time for the good stuff – the actual things you can do as a content marketer to milk each of your blog posts for the marketing value that they should innately provide.
Admittedly, with this kind of project, there’s bound to be a bit of trial and error involved, so don’t get frustrated should a specific method not produce mind-boggling results.
Just because one of the following tactics fails to work, doesn’t mean the whole lot is bad. Experiment and, in no time at all, you’ll have a good idea as to what works for your blog’s niche.

1. Original social images

You’ve heard it before and, more than likely, you’ll hear it a few more times before your career as a content marketer kicks the proverbial bucket – social images lead to substantially more user engagement. Doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, if you include an intriguing image with a post, more clicks are bound to take place.
Take Twitter, for example. If you took the time to conduct a survey for an older blogging project, create a simple graphic outlining the study’s more interesting findings, add the piece’s link at the end of some well-crafted social copy and send it out for your followers to enjoy.
Get creative with this and include seasonal events, societal happenings or influential quotes to create even more awesome social images – all referencing your blog’s original piece as the authoritative source, of course.
Steve Jobs quote for how to recycle blog posts
(Source: Style Estate)
Needless to say, though each social platform brings with it a unique set of norms and mores, all across the board, this is an awesome way to recycle past posts.

2. Video tutorials on YouTube

At this point, video marketing is about as trendy as it gets.
So popular is the use of audiovisual content that, this year, online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile web traffic. Seeing as how video is as big as it’s ever been, you need to make it an integral part of your repurposing efforts.
Guitar lessons for how to recycle blog posts
(Source: Nail Guitar)
However, this might not work  for every kind of evergreen post you’ve got tightly tucked away in your editorial archives. When converting aging blog posts into helpful content videos, stick with those of a how-to or step-by-step nature.
Not only will they perform better on YouTube or Vimeo, but you won’t chew up so much time producing the video copy.

3. Clickable LinkedIn articles

If you’re not regularly pushing content through your personal LinkedIn page, you might need to have your head checked. No joke – LinkedIn, even from an SEO perspective, is about as good as a publishing platform gets with both impressive domain and page authority scores.
By way of repurposing older blog pieces though LinkedIn, not only can you attract new niche readers, but you’ll do wonders for your professional reputation.
LinkedIn image for how to recycle blog posts
You don’t need me to tell you how important it is to be widely considered one of those “Thought Leaders” in today’s day and age. LinkedIn is great for doing just that.
Even better, this doesn’t have to be a lengthy activity.
Simply start with an evergreen post you’d run months earlier and summarize its content in a LinkedIn post. After you’ve highlighted some of the original post’s finer points and added a few images and screenshots to spice things up, link back to the article on your website.

4. SlideShare presentations

PowerPoint? Too old. Prezi? Too complex. SlideShare? Just right.
No, this isn’t a second installment of the timeless classic, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Moreover, it’s yet another killer way to transform old blog posts into exciting material for mass consumption and widespread appeal.
With upwards of 60 million active users and 17 percent of B2B marketers using the image-sharing outlet for marketing purposes, you should too.
Slideshare for how to recycle blog posts
Don’t have the time to create a full-blown presentation? No worries – simply find an infographic you’d created in the past to accompany a post’s written text and upload it to SlideShare. The program automatically detects that it’s an infographic and files it accordingly.

5. Informative answers via Q&A sites

Q&A sites are awesome. If you haven’t given them a whirl, repent and get to work.
What was once a social sliver dominated by Yahoo! Answers is now currently bigger than it’s ever been before, thanks to the likes of Quora.
To work your blogging magic on Quora or a similar site, create an account and start following topics of which you’re fairly knowledgeable – in other words, the very thing your blog is dedicated to covering.
Do a bit of browsing and once you’ve found a user question that can be accurately answered by one of your older posts, hop on and provide a well-constructed response.
Wikipedia screenshot for how to recycle blog posts
(Source: Quora)
Only, instead of using purely the information you’ve managed to store in your brain’s hippocampus, cite the aforementioned blog post as a source with a well-placed backlink.

6. Webinars, podcasts and Google+ Hangouts

Relax, Google+ isn’t as dead as some so-called “marketing experts” claim it is. Honestly, the best part of the social channel comes from the Hangouts feature.
Says Kristel Cuenta of Search Engine Journal, “Google+ hangouts present an incredible follower-building opportunity for marketers and professionals because it lets you show your expertise through live discussion/Q&A.”
Furthermore, webinars and podcasts – built directly off of your past blogging brilliance – are two additional content forms that users love to engage with.
Podcast image for how to recycle blog posts
(Source: One Man’s Blog)
Admittedly, they’re harder to produce, but take the time and effort to create something worthwhile, and you’ll have already distanced your blog from lazier competitors.

Sooner rather than later, make it happen

As the above subheading indicates, the best time to start with the repurposing of your blog’s content was yesterday. Don’t delay. Blogging is an important part of the overall content marketing blueprint.
There’s some urgency with this stuff.
Also, one last tidbit before signing off—feel free to use some creative crossover to really take your repurposing game to the next level. If you see it best to create a SlideShare presentation and then subsequently run it on LinkedIn or Twitter, that’s perfectly fine.
Listen, don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that the repurposing of your blog content is as important as making certain that lions like the late Cecil can roam the Sub-Saharan desert without stepping on trash.
Why? Well, it just isn’t. In fact, it pales in comparison. Yet, as far as digital marketing is concerned, using old blog content to further build a digital audience is nothing short of essential
So, make it happen.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Whatever the case, hop on down to the comments section below and share your thoughts and feelings. Rest assured, once an engagement has taken place, in no time at all, I’ll make certain to keep the conversation going as best I know how.
Guest Author: Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he’s working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the “World’s Greatest Pompadour.” Additionally, for what it’s worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan’s PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.