From the monthly archives: "November 2016"

Benefits of Newsjacking – A Case Study Into 2500% More Traffic

https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/article/benefits-newsjacking-case-study-2500-more-traffic

Over lunch on a Thursday I took twenty minutes to bang out a post about some breaking news in the social media industry.

Over the next few days, that post received over 20,000 views.

Let’s dig a bit into what that post is about, the methodology behind it, and both the short- and long-term benefits. By the end, you’ll be able to take home some tips and ideas that you might leverage for a trending topic of your own.

A Brief Blog Post About Vine

When I first started writing about social media news and information, I made it a point to subscribe to the blogs and press rooms of every major network. While not every newsworthy change or update is published there, many of the important developments are announced that way.

So late on a Thursday morning, I got a notification that Vine had published to their blog on Medium, a post cryptically titled, "Important News about Vine." That’s how I came to find the stunning news that Twitter was shutting down Vine.

As I’ve mentioned before, every time you become aware of a piece of news that might potentially be interesting to your audience, you have to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the news interesting and relevant to my audience (if not, ignore)
  2. Am I interested in writing about this news (if not, share the original source)
  3. Do I have time right now to write & publish an article (if not, share the original source)

Often, sharing that blog post from Vine would be the way to go. But in this instance, I had positive answers for each of the questions.

  1. My readers might be interested in Vine, and there’s a potential to reach far more Vine users that aren’t part of my existing audience.
  2. While I’m not an avid Vine user personally, I’ve written about Vine and have included Vine in my monitoring of social network active usage for years, so the topic is quite interesting and relevant to me.
  3. Time… that was going to be close. I had about 25 minutes to finish my lunch before a weekly noon meeting commenced, so I’d need to write, publish and get some initial promotion started within that amount of time.

Piece of cake when it’s something you’ve done countless times.

Now, fortunately, shutting down of Vine wasn’t, in itself, a complicated topic. The post that I wrote simply needed to convey what was going on, when, what impact it would have on existing Vine users, and whatever Why could be gleaned from the original Vine blog post.

That took just 15 minutes to write – it didn’t have to be a massive article – plus a few minutes to create a graphic in Canva and then publish. "What’s Happening To Vine?"

Approaching Topics From Experience

This is certainly an example of where experience matters a great deal.

First, earlier this year, I’d published an article about the imminent demise of Blab and titled it "What Is Happening With Blab?" – and that proved to be an excellent title format as many people were wondering exactly that. So I mimicked it for this new post on Vine.

Second, as with Blab and Posterous and other networks before Vine, I’ve written about the shuttering of social platforms and therefore understand what readers want to know. They want to know what’s going on, of course, and why it’s all happening. But most importantly and immediately, they need to understand how they’re impacted and what the can or should do.

When Posterous closed, for instance (a blogging platform Twitter bought in 2012 and shut down in 2013), users needed to understand how to save their content so that they might recreate their blog on another platform. Vine was the same way. Vine users now need to know how to save their vines as video files that they can then choose to upload to another platform.

They also need to know how to try and get their audience to move from Vine to their preferred (active) network.

So those were points I knew instinctively I needed to make in the article.

Third, this wasn’t a surprise to me. I’d written at the new year that I fully expected 2016 to be a year filled with attrition in the social network space as there were already too many networks with similar functionality and demographics.

Not only was I prepared to write an article like this, it was a point I could easily make within the article.

I mention all of this to help illustrate the point that newsjacking, like any skill, takes time and practice to improve. And there’s no doubt that my skill pales in comparison to top new journalists who are covering breaking news every day – I just do it when the topic suits my audience and I feel like taking the time.

For most of you, you’ll need some time to get this level, so don’t be discouraged if you need a few hours to write the post, or if your first few newsjacking attempts don’t go over as well as you’d like.

Keep at it!

Spreading The Word About Vine Closing

The bulk of my motivation for writing about the topic in the first place was to make sure that as many people as possible heard about the news and, if it affected them, they’d have to prepare.

The fact is, if I publish content to my blog, I reach a far greater audience than if I simply share an article to my social channels. My blog content gets emailed, indexed in search, and shared by countless other readers and subscribers, resulting in tremendous spread.

So once I published the post, I shared it to all of my channels and it was automatically sent to my email subscribers.

Frankly, the initial interest was low – and in fact, days later the post still has less-than-average indications of social shares and interest.

I assumed that meant that my audience had very little interest in Vine… which was something I had figured from the start. It was the Vine community that I’d hoped to reach.

And boy, did I ever.

By Thursday evening, I began to notice a different kind of traffic coming in – Organic. Google had begun to rank my content among the top results for search terms like, "What’s Happening To Vine".

An incognito Google Search on "What's Happening To Vine?"

Note that my article appeared just after a post by The New York Times and Vine’s own blog announcement.

Not too shabby!

So Thursday evening I spent a little more time optimizing the post.

  • I edited the Title to include "Twitter Is Shutting It Down."
  • I embedded a video from a Viner reacting to the news.
  • I added a forwardlink from related past articles.
  • I added a Click To Tweet with the hashtag #RIPVine
  • I scheduled additional social shares.
  • I added a little more context and information.

On Thursday, the post got 1,943 views.
On Friday, the post got 8,704 views.
On Saturday, the post got 6,647 views.
On Sunday, the post got 2,757 views.

Nearly 92% of that traffic was via Google search.

These view counts also reflect the Google Trends graph for related terms over that period, which we’ll get into in a moment.

But it’s important to note not just the raw numbers but how they compare to the typical content that I publish. Because while I’ve had many successful articles, nearly every one has been a slow, gradual growth over time.

This one article accrued 20,051 views over a 4-day period but my normal articles see an average of 750 visitors during the first 30 days. That’s a 2500% increase in traffic!

So of course, I want to keep riding that wave for as long as possible.

Overall Site Traffic from the article on Vine Shutting Down.

You can also see my site’s overall traffic for the two months leading up to the Vine Shutting Down article.

That’s partly where this article fits in, to be frank. By referencing the Vine article and topics, I’m continuing to link to that post and use the keywords that people are searching. There will also be some people who read this article and who didn’t know about the first one, so this continues to raise awareness.

But I also used Google Trends, as I mentioned, to review where the topic was headed. I researched and compared a number of terms, looking for related keywords I might not have thought of, as well as any indications some might be trending up.

Google Trends graph for "Vine Shutting Down" and related keywords.

(Note that this is over Halloween weekend in the U.S. and therefore Monday might see renewed interest. It’s something I’ll continue to keep an eye on.)

The point here is that you can use Google Trends to watch hour-by-hour, day-by-day interest in a particular topic. While this may not help you determine whether to write about a topic, it might be a good indicator whether you should invest more time into optimizing and spreading a post you’ve just recently written. Or even publishing follow-up content! (I’ve seen some great articles that try to explore the Why behind the decision to close Vine, for instance.)

The Benefits of Newsjacking

Some of the benefits are probably clear just from what I’ve already shared in this post, but let’s call them all out and differentiate between short-term and long-term. Even though this post is clearly just days old at the time this Case Study is published, I’ve written enough newsjacking posts in the past to be able to speak to their long-term benefits.

Short-Term Benefits of Newsjacking

  • Traffic – potentially massive traffic
  • Social Media Activity
  • Authority Building

Obviously not every article is going to get the kind of traffic this Vine post did – but it’s always a possibility! I would also be remiss not to note that sometimes even a newsjacking article will continue to rank well and gain traffic long-term – it just depends on the topic. I quick blog post I wrote in 2013 about an update to the Twitter app continues to rank to this day for users searching how to set up multiple Twitter accounts. https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/article/how-set-multiple-twitter-accounts-your-iphone

Conversely, most of my newsjacking articles get far more social media activity than this post did. That can usually be attributed to the topic and audience fit. Had I been writing about a Facebook change, it would have seen far greater reach and engagement on Facebook. Regardless, when you share a piece of news with your social networks, many of your followers will be eager to share it with their own audiences.

While traffic and social engagement can be measured, the last short-term benefit of newsjacking, Authority Building, cannot be so easily quantified. Yet, it’s there nonetheless. When you write about topics, particularly trending ones, you immediately position yourself as ‘in the know’ to your followers and potential followers. The significance of that authority cannot be overstated.

Long-Term Benefits of Newsjacking

  • New Subscribers for ongoing email marketing.
  • New Website Visitors for ongoing remarketing.
  • Increased traffic and ranked content for long-term SEO benefits.
  • Alexa Rank. Domain Authority. Backlinks.

If your topic is on point – in other words, you gave Newsjacking Question #1 careful consideration and made sure that the news was both interesting and relevant to your readers – then it’s likely that readers of the article will be interested in subscribing to future email updates.

Similarly, if you’re using remarketing (or retargeting) to run Facebook or Google ads for people who have already visited your website, a smash hit like this Vine post really helps those campaigns by injecting significant levels of new visitors.

Now, a more subtle benefit could be long-term SEO improvement. Because you see, as long as your content is great – it answers the questions readers have – search engine traffic can beget search engine traffic. In other words, once Google begins to send more traffic to your site, and sees that those readers seem satisfied with that result, your content can be ranked higher and gain even more traffic.

And those results can lead to an increase in your website’s Alexa Rank (there’s no doubt that adding 20,000 visitors in a month is going to help mine), as well as domain authority. Depending on the topic and insight that you offer, you’ll often find other bloggers and writers linking to your content, creating valuable backlinks.

Those benefits can only be seen over time, so be sure to make a notation in your Google Analytics so that you can measure the impact a particular piece of content has on your traffic, referrals and goal completions.

What’s Next?

In order to begin to see some of these benefits for yourself, you’re just going to have to start newsjacking. There’s no substitute for experience.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to be wholly unprepared. We’ve reviewed the major questions to ask, but what most people struggle with is making sure that they’re informed well enough in advance to be able to write a newsjacking piece.

If you’re hearing about a topic from mainstream news, it’s likely too late to write about it yourself and still catch that news cycle.

That means you have to have sources in place ahead of time to clue you in to what’s happening. So read this next:

How To Identify Newsjacking Sources

AMP

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via The Social Media Hat https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/news/feed

October 31, 2016 at 02:50AM

9 Effective SEO Copywriting Secrets That Will Drive More Traffic

http://nopassiveincome.com/seo-copywriting-secrets/

SEO copywriting is all about creating high-quality and optimized content for the website visitors as well as for the search engines. It’s an excellent way to drive free traffic to your website and keep your users happy at the same time.

Even though SEO and copywriting are two fairly different fields, in today’s digital marketing world they are very much dependent on each other.

If you have in-depth knowledge about SEO, you know the tricks how to bring a website at the first page in search engines. If you know well about copywriting, you can create better content for your website. But, if you can do both SEO and copywriting well, that’s when you really hit your stride.

Today, I will discover 9 effective SEO copywriting secrets to significantly boost your website’s ranking and ultimately that will drive more traffic to your website.

Let’s get started!

 

#1. Capture Attention with Catchy Headlines

Your articles may be valuable, but if the headlines aren’t compelling, then your click through rate (CTR) will be low.

Let’s have a look at a famous quote of David Ogilvy about headline:

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Your headline is the first thing people will see in search engine result page. And, it’s your chance to grab the visitor’s attention and get them click by using catchy headlines.

Now, the question is how to craft a catchy headline?

Well, here I am going to explain how to create a compelling headline.

A great headline usually starts with numbers. A study discovered that, people prefer more the headlines start with numbers.

headline-preferences

For example, ‘9 Effective SEO Copywriting Secrets That Will Drive More Traffic’ is more attractive and far better than a lame ‘SEO Copywriting Secrets for you’.

Furthermore, the inclusion of targeted keywords in the headline is also important as it helps people as well as search engines to understand what your content is about.

Having a catchy title means more clicks. The increased click through rate sends a signal to search engines that people like your content or article and as a result you web page will get the boost in ranking.

 

#2. Work on Your Meta Descriptions

Meta description is a summary of your web page, and it appears below the headline in  the search engine result page.

meta-description

Meta descriptions help search engines and searchers to understand what your page is about. If the Meta description matches with the keywords people search for in search engines, then that particular page will come up at the top in the search engine result page.

For SEO purposes, the Meta descriptions should be no longer than 160 characters, and you should incorporate your targeted keywords into the Meta descriptions.

Remember, if you don’t add a Meta description of your own the search engine will automatically generate one for you, which may or may not be a good thing, and at the same time you losing a great opportunity for adding your targeted keywords.

 

#3. Focus on Content Length

Content length does matter when you talk about ranking. A study by serpIQ revealed that, top ranking pages for many keywords on Google have more than 2,000 words.

content-length

One of the common questions people (especially beginners to blogging) ask about content is: how many words should I write for each article?

I have been blogging for many years and from my personal experience what I found is that top quality content that is above 1500 words performs better and gets the rank quickly.

Once again, I am reminding here don’t just count the words; you also need to maintain the quality of your content.  

 

#4. Pay Attention to Long Tail Keywords

A long tail keyword generally will have four words or even more. When you write the content for your website, don’t just focus on short tail keywords and something that is common because certainly a thousand or more people have already created the content about this!

Even if you write a great article about a high competitive keyword, the chances of ranking for that keyword are very low.

Let me explain this with a real example. Let’s think you want to write an article about “seo tools”. If you check this in a keyword tool, you will see this term has a lot of searches and very high competition.

If instead of “seo tools” you choose to write about “best seo tools for 2016”, then there is less competition for you to get one of the top positions. Another biggest advantage of focusing on long tail keywords is people who find your website by searching long tail keywords is more likely to purchase your product or service.

competition-for-keywords-and-conversion

 

#5. Place the Keywords in the Right Places

Keywords are simply the words your audience use when they’re searching on search engines about your topic. Using the targeted keywords in writing is important for better ranking. But, the most essential part is placing the keywords in the right places.

But, you’re probably wondering: So where should you use your keywords?

Well, here I’m going to make it easy for you.

  • Include keywords in your title tag
  • Place keywords in H1, H2 and H3 tags
  • Mention a keyword in the first paragraph
  • Create anchor text with keywords
  • Use keywords in Meta title tag
  • Add keywords to images

 

#6. Use LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are synonyms of your main keyword that helps to make your content free of over-optimization of keywords and look natural.

If you use the same keyword many times, search engines such as Google will penalize your website for high keyword density and over-optimization. Using LSI keywords is probably the best solution to that problem.

To generate the LSI keywords for your targeted keywords, you may use Übersuggest. This tool is free to use and generates tons of related words for your keywords. You just need to make sure that, you use these phrases or words in appropriate places throughout your entire article.

 

#7. Write Compelling Content

Attracting links from well-known websites is the number one thing you’re going after when it comes to SEO. You have to create compelling content in order to achieve this goal.

Search engines analyze the links coming to your site, and those links become votes toward your authority and credibility.

A link from Forbes will be worth more than one hundred links coming in from websites with no authority.

Keep in mind that, people will only link to you, if they get something special and useful out of it. Here are some tips for creating compelling content:

  • Write how to post
  • Create detailed post
  • Prove your points by giving data
  • Use simple words
  • Care about the readers

 

#8. Add Images

The visual look of an article is almost as important as the article itself. By adding high-quality images, you can make the article appealing to the audience, and it keeps the interest flowing throughout the article. People respond better to Images than words.

Aside from the obvious aesthetics of adding images, they can also give you an extra SEO boost.

For instance, incorporating the keywords of an article into the file name is an excellent idea. Also, inserting keywords in the alt text is a best practice for both users and search engines.

 

#9. Incorporate Some Links

Page links tells search engines that you’re sociable and connected. Search engines like links because people can access somewhere else through your content. The links could be your own, or it could be from another site.

Internal links are most useful for spreading link juice and establishing site architecture. Internal links also improve the reading experience.

On the other hand, linking out to other sites is an indication that you value what other people create and Google will reward you for supporting their mission:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

googles-mission

 

Final Thoughts,

I have discovered here top 9 SEO copywriting secrets that I use while writing any article. Now, it’s your turn to put these SEO copywriting tips in your practices for higher search engine rankings and to drive maximum traffic in your website.

AMP

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via No Passive Income http://nopassiveincome.com

October 30, 2016 at 07:47PM

Marketing Considerations For Your Strategic Plan

http://strellasocialmedia.com/2016/10/marketing-considerations-strategic-plan/

By: Rachel Strella

strategic planning
Strategic planning season is upon us, and with that, many companies are evaluating how they will spend their marketing dollars in 2017.

We’ve heard from several clients who want us to define the return on their marketing investment. One client asked us to quantify the direct correlation between their customer acquisition and the online marketing dollars spent.

When we receive these kinds of requests, we often need to take a step back and gain clarity. We’ve worked with this client for about 18 months.  Their social media goals included establishing a social media presence that will reach their customers while remaining top of mind with those customers by sharing business and industry news and information.  These goals are what we used to create their social media marketing strategy – and the quarterly reports, to-date, indicate that they been successful in achieving these goals.

If they want to quantify customer growth, we need to shift our marketing strategy. But, this is more challenging than it sounds. Fortunately, I read two timely blog posts that help me to explain why.

One post by Brooke B. Sellas established three types of goals associated with social media analytics: awareness, engagement and conversion.  They function as a funnel with awareness, at the top, containing vanity metrics like fan and follower counts. Engagement, the middle tier, can include comments and shares, but it can also include reviews and check-ins.  Conversions, the bottom tier, are what many would assume to be paid customers.  But, as Brooke points out, monetary returns can be harder to track, so she said that she finds clients consider leads as a form of social conversion. Is a lead a form of conversion? Clearly, this is a gray area.

One statement from Brooke’s post rang like an alarm: “Truthfully, most of our leads come from social advertising rather than from organic social media posting.”

There’s truth to that statement. It’s challenging to have an expectation of leads (our assumed conversion) without spending money on the social platforms. Mark Schaefer predicted this years ago while I was still a champion for organic reach, because I had experienced it myself. BUT, that’s because I got in the game early. For companies who came later, and especially the ones entering now, they will have to spend some money to play.

This brings me to the second post that hit my inbox.  It included an infographic, published by Vistage, with the results of their small business CEO survey. CEO’s are growing optimistic about the economy and they expect to increase their company revenue in the next year.

The charts, at the bottom of the post, indicate that 92 percent of the CEO’s polled use social media for their business.

The majority of that percentage use social media to increase brand awareness (tier one of Brooke’s three-tier conversion model).  Other uses include new business development, recruiting and networking.  Clearly, business development does not work alone, thus the need for an overarching marketing plan that includes business development – both F2F and online/social marketing efforts.

Recruiting may sound surprising, but 54 percent of those surveyed encourage their employees to be active on social media to help build the company’s brand.  It’s a well-known fact that prospective candidates value what current employees are saying about the company before making an employment decision (Hello, Glassdoor)!   So, YES! Employees are your best brand advocates and they should make up a portion of your Alpha Audience.

Networking is the activity that I believe aligns most with social media marketing.  In fact, I would consider it a metaphor for social media.  Perhaps, by attending a networking event, you were looking for new people who could have an interest in your product or service (awareness/tier 1). Perhaps you want to stay top of mind or simply talk with your prospects or customers (engagement/tier 2). Perhaps someone has an interest in your offerings or would like refer business to you (lead/tier 3).

Attending a networking event fulfills all three tiers, assuming that leads constitute ‘conversion.’ How do I handle my clients’ request to quantify the direct correlation between their customer acquisition and the online marketing dollars spent?  Sure, we can quantify awareness and engagement. But, we’ll be hard-pressed to quantify leads with no advertising dollars dedicated to social media (although, I’ll continue to recommend it).  And if we can’t quantify leads, until we spend ad dollars, how we achieve customer acquisition?

Should we revise the tiers to include – awareness, engagement, leads, and conversion? Or, is it unrealistic to think that social media would generate new customers (aka converted leads)?

social media ROI

As I’ve said before, customer acquisition is an outcome, not a goal. But, if clients want a measurable return on their investment, how do we provide this return without finding a way to bridge the gap between goals and outcomes?  From experience, it’s easy for a company to cut marketing activities when money is tight, especially if they cannot quantify a return. For retention purposes, it’s the job of social media marketers to find a way! Would we be on the right track to assume that conversion requires an integrated marketing plan, rather than a reliance on social media, alone? And, how, when less than 10 percent of our clients and prospects have a marketing plan?

Well, there’s no better time, than the present, to get on track for 2017. If you’re among the 90 percent without a plan, but want to quantify your marketing activities against dollars spent, stay tuned for our next blog with some guidance.

The post Marketing Considerations For Your Strategic Plan appeared first on Strella Social Media.

AMP

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via Strella Social Media http://strellasocialmedia.com

October 30, 2016 at 10:44AM

How to Simplify and Organize Your Solo Business with Artichoke

http://nopassiveincome.com/artichoke-review/

Are you a solo entrepreneur?

Are you struggling to face the multiple layers of your business, like marketing, scheduling and invoicing?

Then you landed in the right place.

In this post, I’m going to talk about Artichoke, the first mobile appointment-based tool that allows you to start managing your solo business in minutes.

 

How Artichoke Works

artichoke-homepage-screenshotThere are 53 million freelancers in America today. By 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers (this does not mean they are all full-time freelancers, but one of every two workers will be freelancers in some capacity).

Artichoke is a game changer for all these freelancers who need help organizing, managing clients and getting paid. This application provides an easy process to optimize time and schedule more appointments.

Artichoke is an all-in-one business platform for solo entrepreneurs that can help you in many ways, including:

  • online scheduling;
  • managing clients;
  • credit card processing;
  • appointment reminders;
  • tracking income and expenses.

Now, let’s see all these features in details.

But first, you may want to take a look at this introductory video:

 

Artichoke: Online Scheduling

It’s easy to set up your own page, so to get booked online 24/7.

Once you login your Artichoke dashboard, click on “my web page” on the left side of the menu:

setting-up-my-web-page-with-artichoke-app

First, add your general information, like business name and logo, phone, description and a proper business category.

Also, you may want to add a bio, where you tell more about what you do. Consider this will be a prominent part of your booking page which clients will see online. Specifics like your background, areas of specialization, certifications and an explanation of your passion for the business are all things that will help you gather more customers.

Now, enter your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and eventually Instagram profile. Add your website link and click on the next button.

location-and-hours-for-setting-up-my-web-page-with-artichoke-app

First, enter where you are going to offer your services (there’s an option, if you are working remotely).

Then, add your work hours, by simply choosing from the menu as you can see in the previous image.

Once you save this, you will be asked to set the prep time, which is the time interval between each appointment.

personalized-web-address-at-artichoke

Finally, you can choose your web address to get a personalized sub domain name at GetArtichoke.com

 

Artichoke: Managing Clients

Add clients, progress notes, check transaction history, view stats, and check balances, all in one place!

On your Artichoke dashboard, click on “clients” on the left menu.

First, you want to add the clients information, like name, email and phone, address, credit card details and even the birthday (which is an awesome way to increase engagement and interaction with your customers. Artichoke can send friendly client emails for birthdays and service anniversary dates).

Once you have your database of clients, you can manage them, adding a series of information:

adding-client-notes-with-artichoke

You can add notes, which can help you track how things are moving on with that specific customers. Set reminders for you and your clients on important progress notes.

The Artichoke app will help you with the history of the clients, the stats and balances.

 

Artichoke: Managing Appointments

On the second tab of your Artichoke dashboard, in the left menu, you can find the appointments section.

This feature will help you manage your appointments with the clients.

manage-appointments-with-artichoke-app

You can view the appointments booked via your web page built with Artichoke or add new ones directly.

 

Artichoke: Adding Your Products and Services

This section lets you add your product and service details, to help you sell them.

adding-products-and-services-with-artichoke-app

For example, click on “add a service” to enter the details of what you do, such an online tutoring or a massage.

You want to enter information such as duration, price, tax rate, service name, tax rate, number of participants, description and the possibility to book online.

There’s also an awesome option to sell gift cards!

 

Artichoke: Manage and Track Expenses

As a solo entrepreneur, a very important part of the business is tracking the expenses.

Artichoke made it really easy.

add-expenses-with-artichoke-app

Simply add each expense, with the vendor details, date, amount, category and your notes.

 

Grow Your Independent Business Intelligently

Artichoke app will help you grow your business intelligently:

  • Automated referral requests encourage clients to spread the word shown
  • Referral tracking makes sure you know who to thank
  • Client reviews that build your reputation online
  • Tools to track and reconnect with clients who have fallen off schedule

engaging-customers-with-artichoke

Word of mouth and recommendations are the best form of marketing!

 

Track Your Business Growth

Once you start using Artichoke app, you can visit your dashboard to check how your business is growing:

  • See your hours, income, expenses, and the bottom line, all in one place.shown
  • Stay current on client balances
  • Always know your numbers with the weekly email summary

track-your-business-growth-with-artichoke

 

Anywhere, Any Device

At home or on-the-go, you can access your Artichoke account on mobile, tablet, or desktop.

artichoke-app

 

Artichoke Pricing

Even pricing is really simple with Artichoke.

There’s a small fixed rate of $25/mo, with all the featured included.

You can start your 30 days free trial here (no credit card required).

artichoke-pricing

 

Final Words

Team behind Artichoke has done a fantastic job building this app.

I found it easy to use, with everything a solo entrepreneur needs to manage his business and see it grow over time.

It’s accessible everywhere and the cost per month is really reduced (which is really important, considering how hard is to start a business as a freelancer).

I suggest you to try Artichoke right now, by claiming your free 30 days trial here.

 

And you?

Are you running a solo business?

How are you managing all the clients, appointments, credit card processing, expenses, etc?

Are you going to try Artichoke?

Please let me have your views in the comments below, thanks!

AMP

Social media

via No Passive Income http://nopassiveincome.com

October 28, 2016 at 04:50AM

Marketing Considerations For Your Strategic Plan

http://strellasocialmedia.com/2016/10/marketing-considerations-strategic-plan/

By: Rachel Strella

strategic planning
Strategic planning season is upon us, and with that, many companies are evaluating how they will spend their marketing dollars in 2017.

We’ve heard from several clients who want us to define the return on their marketing investment. One client asked us to quantify the direct correlation between their customer acquisition and the online marketing dollars spent.

When we receive these kinds of requests, we often need to take a step back and gain clarity. We’ve worked with this client for about 18 months.  Their social media goals included establishing a social media presence that will reach their customers while remaining top of mind with those customers by sharing business and industry news and information.  These goals are what we used to create their social media marketing strategy – and the quarterly reports, to-date, indicate that they been successful in achieving these goals.

If they want to quantify customer growth, we need to shift our marketing strategy. But, this is more challenging than it sounds. Fortunately, I read two timely blog posts that help me to explain why.

One post by Brooke B. Sellas established three types of goals associated with social media analytics: awareness, engagement and conversion.  They function as a funnel with awareness, at the top, containing vanity metrics like fan and follower counts. Engagement, the middle tier, can include comments and shares, but it can also include reviews and check-ins.  Conversions, the bottom tier, are what many would assume to be paid customers.  But, as Brooke points out, monetary returns can be harder to track, so she said that she finds clients consider leads as a form of social conversion. Is a lead a form of conversion? Clearly, this is a gray area.

One statement from Brooke’s post rang like an alarm: “Truthfully, most of our leads come from social advertising rather than from organic social media posting.”

There’s truth to that statement. It’s challenging to have an expectation of leads (our assumed conversion) without spending money on the social platforms. Mark Schaefer predicted this years ago while I was still a champion for organic reach, because I had experienced it myself. BUT, that’s because I got in the game early. For companies who came later, and especially the ones entering now, they will have to spend some money to play.

This brings me to the second post that hit my inbox.  It included an infographic, published by Vistage, with the results of their small business CEO survey. CEO’s are growing optimistic about the economy and they expect to increase their company revenue in the next year.

The charts, at the bottom of the post, indicate that 92 percent of the CEO’s polled use social media for their business.

The majority of that percentage use social media to increase brand awareness (tier one of Brooke’s three-tier conversion model).  Other uses include new business development, recruiting and networking.  Clearly, business development does not work alone, thus the need for an overarching marketing plan that includes business development – both F2F and online/social marketing efforts.

Recruiting may sound surprising, but 54 percent of those surveyed encourage their employees to be active on social media to help build the company’s brand.  It’s a well-known fact that prospective candidates value what current employees are saying about the company before making an employment decision (Hello, Glassdoor)!   So, YES! Employees are your best brand advocates and they should make up a portion of your Alpha Audience.

Networking is the activity that I believe aligns most with social media marketing.  In fact, I would consider it a metaphor for social media.  Perhaps, by attending a networking event, you were looking for new people who could have an interest in your product or service (awareness/tier 1). Perhaps you want to stay top of mind or simply talk with your prospects or customers (engagement/tier 2). Perhaps someone has an interest in your offerings or would like refer business to you (lead/tier 3).

Attending a networking event fulfills all three tiers, assuming that leads constitute ‘conversion.’ How do I handle my clients’ request to quantify the direct correlation between their customer acquisition and the online marketing dollars spent?  Sure, we can quantify awareness and engagement. But, we’ll be hard-pressed to quantify leads with no advertising dollars dedicated to social media (although, I’ll continue to recommend it).  And if we can’t quantify leads, until we spend ad dollars, how we achieve customer acquisition?

Should we revise the tiers to include – awareness, engagement, leads, and conversion? Or, is it unrealistic to think that social media would generate new customers (aka converted leads)?

social media ROI

As I’ve said before, customer acquisition is an outcome, not a goal. But, if clients want a measurable return on their investment, how do we provide this return without finding a way to bridge the gap between goals and outcomes?  From experience, it’s easy for a company to cut marketing activities when money is tight, especially if they cannot quantify a return. For retention purposes, it’s the job of social media marketers to find a way! Would we be on the right track to assume that conversion requires an integrated marketing plan, rather than a reliance on social media, alone? And, how, when less than 10 percent of our clients and prospects have a marketing plan?

Well, there’s no better time, than the present, to get on track for 2017. If you’re among the 90 percent without a plan, but want to quantify your marketing activities against dollars spent, stay tuned for our next blog with some guidance.

The post Marketing Considerations For Your Strategic Plan appeared first on Strella Social Media.

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via Strella Social Media http://strellasocialmedia.com

October 30, 2016 at 10:44AM

Benefits of Newsjacking – A Case Study Into 2500% More Traffic

https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/article/benefits-newsjacking-case-study-2500-more-traffic

Over lunch on a Thursday I took twenty minutes to bang out a post about some breaking news in the social media industry.

Over the next few days, that post received over 20,000 views.

Let’s dig a bit into what that post is about, the methodology behind it, and both the short- and long-term benefits. By the end, you’ll be able to take home some tips and ideas that you might leverage for a trending topic of your own.

A Brief Blog Post About Vine

When I first started writing about social media news and information, I made it a point to subscribe to the blogs and press rooms of every major network. While not every newsworthy change or update is published there, many of the important developments are announced that way.

So late on a Thursday morning, I got a notification that Vine had published to their blog on Medium, a post cryptically titled, "Important News about Vine." That’s how I came to find the stunning news that Twitter was shutting down Vine.

As I’ve mentioned before, every time you become aware of a piece of news that might potentially be interesting to your audience, you have to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the news interesting and relevant to my audience (if not, ignore)
  2. Am I interested in writing about this news (if not, share the original source)
  3. Do I have time right now to write & publish an article (if not, share the original source)

Often, sharing that blog post from Vine would be the way to go. But in this instance, I had positive answers for each of the questions.

  1. My readers might be interested in Vine, and there’s a potential to reach far more Vine users that aren’t part of my existing audience.
  2. While I’m not an avid Vine user personally, I’ve written about Vine and have included Vine in my monitoring of social network active usage for years, so the topic is quite interesting and relevant to me.
  3. Time… that was going to be close. I had about 25 minutes to finish my lunch before a weekly noon meeting commenced, so I’d need to write, publish and get some initial promotion started within that amount of time.

Piece of cake when it’s something you’ve done countless times.

Now, fortunately, shutting down of Vine wasn’t, in itself, a complicated topic. The post that I wrote simply needed to convey what was going on, when, what impact it would have on existing Vine users, and whatever Why could be gleaned from the original Vine blog post.

That took just 15 minutes to write – it didn’t have to be a massive article – plus a few minutes to create a graphic in Canva and then publish. "What’s Happening To Vine?"

Approaching Topics From Experience

This is certainly an example of where experience matters a great deal.

First, earlier this year, I’d published an article about the imminent demise of Blab and titled it "What Is Happening With Blab?" – and that proved to be an excellent title format as many people were wondering exactly that. So I mimicked it for this new post on Vine.

Second, as with Blab and Posterous and other networks before Vine, I’ve written about the shuttering of social platforms and therefore understand what readers want to know. They want to know what’s going on, of course, and why it’s all happening. But most importantly and immediately, they need to understand how they’re impacted and what the can or should do.

When Posterous closed, for instance (a blogging platform Twitter bought in 2012 and shut down in 2013), users needed to understand how to save their content so that they might recreate their blog on another platform. Vine was the same way. Vine users now need to know how to save their vines as video files that they can then choose to upload to another platform.

They also need to know how to try and get their audience to move from Vine to their preferred (active) network.

So those were points I knew instinctively I needed to make in the article.

Third, this wasn’t a surprise to me. I’d written at the new year that I fully expected 2016 to be a year filled with attrition in the social network space as there were already too many networks with similar functionality and demographics.

Not only was I prepared to write an article like this, it was a point I could easily make within the article.

I mention all of this to help illustrate the point that newsjacking, like any skill, takes time and practice to improve. And there’s no doubt that my skill pales in comparison to top new journalists who are covering breaking news every day – I just do it when the topic suits my audience and I feel like taking the time.

For most of you, you’ll need some time to get this level, so don’t be discouraged if you need a few hours to write the post, or if your first few newsjacking attempts don’t go over as well as you’d like.

Keep at it!

Spreading The Word About Vine Closing

The bulk of my motivation for writing about the topic in the first place was to make sure that as many people as possible heard about the news and, if it affected them, they’d have to prepare.

The fact is, if I publish content to my blog, I reach a far greater audience than if I simply share an article to my social channels. My blog content gets emailed, indexed in search, and shared by countless other readers and subscribers, resulting in tremendous spread.

So once I published the post, I shared it to all of my channels and it was automatically sent to my email subscribers.

Frankly, the initial interest was low – and in fact, days later the post still has less-than-average indications of social shares and interest.

I assumed that meant that my audience had very little interest in Vine… which was something I had figured from the start. It was the Vine community that I’d hoped to reach.

And boy, did I ever.

By Thursday evening, I began to notice a different kind of traffic coming in – Organic. Google had begun to rank my content among the top results for search terms like, "What’s Happening To Vine".

An incognito Google Search on "What's Happening To Vine?"

Note that my article appeared just after a post by The New York Times and Vine’s own blog announcement.

Not too shabby!

So Thursday evening I spent a little more time optimizing the post.

  • I edited the Title to include "Twitter Is Shutting It Down."
  • I embedded a video from a Viner reacting to the news.
  • I added a forwardlink from related past articles.
  • I added a Click To Tweet with the hashtag #RIPVine
  • I scheduled additional social shares.
  • I added a little more context and information.

On Thursday, the post got 1,943 views.
On Friday, the post got 8,704 views.
On Saturday, the post got 6,647 views.
On Sunday, the post got 2,757 views.

Nearly 92% of that traffic was via Google search.

These view counts also reflect the Google Trends graph for related terms over that period, which we’ll get into in a moment.

But it’s important to note not just the raw numbers but how they compare to the typical content that I publish. Because while I’ve had many successful articles, nearly every one has been a slow, gradual growth over time.

This one article accrued 20,051 views over a 4-day period but my normal articles see an average of 750 visitors during the first 30 days. That’s a 2500% increase in traffic!

So of course, I want to keep riding that wave for as long as possible.

Overall Site Traffic from the article on Vine Shutting Down.

You can also see my site’s overall traffic for the two months leading up to the Vine Shutting Down article.

That’s partly where this article fits in, to be frank. By referencing the Vine article and topics, I’m continuing to link to that post and use the keywords that people are searching. There will also be some people who read this article and who didn’t know about the first one, so this continues to raise awareness.

But I also used Google Trends, as I mentioned, to review where the topic was headed. I researched and compared a number of terms, looking for related keywords I might not have thought of, as well as any indications some might be trending up.

Google Trends graph for "Vine Shutting Down" and related keywords.

(Note that this is over Halloween weekend in the U.S. and therefore Monday might see renewed interest. It’s something I’ll continue to keep an eye on.)

The point here is that you can use Google Trends to watch hour-by-hour, day-by-day interest in a particular topic. While this may not help you determine whether to write about a topic, it might be a good indicator whether you should invest more time into optimizing and spreading a post you’ve just recently written. Or even publishing follow-up content! (I’ve seen some great articles that try to explore the Why behind the decision to close Vine, for instance.)

The Benefits of Newsjacking

Some of the benefits are probably clear just from what I’ve already shared in this post, but let’s call them all out and differentiate between short-term and long-term. Even though this post is clearly just days old at the time this Case Study is published, I’ve written enough newsjacking posts in the past to be able to speak to their long-term benefits.

Short-Term Benefits of Newsjacking

  • Traffic – potentially massive traffic
  • Social Media Activity
  • Authority Building

Obviously not every article is going to get the kind of traffic this Vine post did – but it’s always a possibility! I would also be remiss not to note that sometimes even a newsjacking article will continue to rank well and gain traffic long-term – it just depends on the topic. I quick blog post I wrote in 2013 about an update to the Twitter app continues to rank to this day for users searching how to set up multiple Twitter accounts. https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/article/how-set-multiple-twitter-accounts-your-iphone

Conversely, most of my newsjacking articles get far more social media activity than this post did. That can usually be attributed to the topic and audience fit. Had I been writing about a Facebook change, it would have seen far greater reach and engagement on Facebook. Regardless, when you share a piece of news with your social networks, many of your followers will be eager to share it with their own audiences.

While traffic and social engagement can be measured, the last short-term benefit of newsjacking, Authority Building, cannot be so easily quantified. Yet, it’s there nonetheless. When you write about topics, particularly trending ones, you immediately position yourself as ‘in the know’ to your followers and potential followers. The significance of that authority cannot be overstated.

Long-Term Benefits of Newsjacking

  • New Subscribers for ongoing email marketing.
  • New Website Visitors for ongoing remarketing.
  • Increased traffic and ranked content for long-term SEO benefits.
  • Alexa Rank. Domain Authority. Backlinks.

If your topic is on point – in other words, you gave Newsjacking Question #1 careful consideration and made sure that the news was both interesting and relevant to your readers – then it’s likely that readers of the article will be interested in subscribing to future email updates.

Similarly, if you’re using remarketing (or retargeting) to run Facebook or Google ads for people who have already visited your website, a smash hit like this Vine post really helps those campaigns by injecting significant levels of new visitors.

Now, a more subtle benefit could be long-term SEO improvement. Because you see, as long as your content is great – it answers the questions readers have – search engine traffic can beget search engine traffic. In other words, once Google begins to send more traffic to your site, and sees that those readers seem satisfied with that result, your content can be ranked higher and gain even more traffic.

And those results can lead to an increase in your website’s Alexa Rank (there’s no doubt that adding 20,000 visitors in a month is going to help mine), as well as domain authority. Depending on the topic and insight that you offer, you’ll often find other bloggers and writers linking to your content, creating valuable backlinks.

Those benefits can only be seen over time, so be sure to make a notation in your Google Analytics so that you can measure the impact a particular piece of content has on your traffic, referrals and goal completions.

What’s Next?

In order to begin to see some of these benefits for yourself, you’re just going to have to start newsjacking. There’s no substitute for experience.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to be wholly unprepared. We’ve reviewed the major questions to ask, but what most people struggle with is making sure that they’re informed well enough in advance to be able to write a newsjacking piece.

If you’re hearing about a topic from mainstream news, it’s likely too late to write about it yourself and still catch that news cycle.

That means you have to have sources in place ahead of time to clue you in to what’s happening. So read this next:

How To Identify Newsjacking Sources

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October 31, 2016 at 02:50AM

Starting a Podcast: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice!

http://www.chrisducker.com/starting-a-podcast/

starting-a-podcast-10-reasons

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I stand before you today with one goal in mind…

I will demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt, why your audience not only WANTS, but NEEDS you to consider starting a podcast.

But before we address the reasons why your business needs a voice, let’s begin by confronting the three reasons why people typically avoid it and why, if you’ve been doing likewise, they should no longer stand in your way.

AVOIDANCE REASON #1:  I Don’t Have an Audience

I totally get it.  Why start a podcast, if there’s no audience to create it for, right?

This is one of the most common objections for starting a podcast, but the irony is that a podcast is a great way to begin BUILDING an audience.

The rising popularity of podcasts combined with the fact that they’re easily consumed (unlike reading a long article, or ebook) means you’ll have a far greater chance of building a loyal audience that likes, trusts and feels like they know you.

AVOIDANCE REASON #2:  I Don’t Have Room in My House / Business for a Studio

If you have a desk – you have all the room you need for a podcast.

This is where I podcast:

starting-a-podcast

Since podcasting is still relatively new, our mind tends to link the concept of podcasting – to radio broadcasting. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of today’s most popular podcasts are being created in a small corner of a room.

And you don’t need that fancy microphone to get started, either. Believe me. I just used my Apple headphones when I started in 2010.

Speaking of equipment…

AVOIDANCE REASON #3:  I Can’t Afford the Equipment

You’ll be surprised with how little you need to begin.

All you need is…

  • Computer.
  • Microphone.
  • Podcasting Software (Mac comes with Garageband already built into its applications).
  • A good topic to discuss.

Ok, let’s get to the good stuff.

10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice!

#1 People really, really like podcasts nowadays

According to recent study conducted by Edison Research podcasting continues to show strong growth over the past 7 years. In fact, many believe that 2017 will be the break-out year for business podcasting, particularly.

#2 Not everyone has time to read 4550 words

The average blog posts is approximately 700-words, which can can be read in about 5-minutes. However, the average podcast is 35-minutes which translates into 4,550 words, the equivalent of 6.5 blog posts.

Not only does this allow you to deliver more content to your audience, but it’s also delivered in a way that’s easy to consume.

And as a side note, if you’re not taking advantage of listening to podcasts during your drive to and from your place of work, or while taking a walk, or on a plane journey, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to leverage your time. 

#3 It’s easier to produce a consistent podcast, than blog posts

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” Stephen King

Whoa! If the great Stephen King is saying there’s no shortcut to writing, then what does that mean for the rest of us?

The good news however is that podcasting allows you to create an amazing piece of content without having to go through countless revisions of your work. In fact, the more conversational and casual it is, the better it will connect with your audience.

That’s one of the biggest compliments I get about my podcast, Youpreneur FM – that it’s like a couple of friends talking in a pub, or over dinner.

But if you’d still like to clean up your audio after recording you can easily find an inexpensive editor on Upwork and have them take out any pauses or “ums” and “ers”.

#4 Podcasts are sticky

When someone decides to listen to a podcast they’ll usually listen to the entire show, and if they like it, there’s a good chance they may listen to another.

That’s a LOT of content!

What’s great about this is that they’ll either feel closer and resonate with your message, or they’ll decide this isn’t the right place for them, and that’s a good thing. The whole point of getting your voice out there is to attract and build the right audience for YOU and your business.

#5 Your personal brand will benefit

I’m a huge believer in building a personal brand, but having an impressive logo and catchy slogan will only qualify you as being average in today’s digital marketplace. What’s most important is that your business has a personality. And I can think of no better way to give your business a personality than by giving it your VOICE!

#6 Become an instant, welcomed guest

When someone listens to your podcast you’ve suddenly become the “invited guest” within their home or office. No different than sitting across from this listener and having a face to face meeting with their undivided attention. Yeah! That’s pretty powerful stuff.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of email marketing, video marketing, and consistent content marketing (such as blog posts and infographics), but there’s nothing like the level of intimacy podcasting creates. 

#7 Align yourself with successful people

If you choose to launch and grow a interview format podcast, all those guests you’ll be chasing down to have come on your show will make a difference to your overall brand, too.

The more successful people you have on your show from your industry, or niche, the closer aligned you’ll be seen to them and their success. Perception is key and is often very, very contagious.

#8 The on-going servicing of your existing audience

No matter how big or small your current audience I can guarantee they’re listening to podcasts.

So if they’re going out of they way to open your emails, read your blog posts and register for your webinars – why not service them with a podcast!

Not only will your podcast help form a deeper relationship, but it can also serve as a platform to spotlight members of your audience who are putting your teaching into practice. Some the best content you can create are case studies, which demonstrate that what you teach actually works. My buddy Pat Flynn does this better than almost everyone else I know.

#9 Develop your speaking skills 

I absolutely love speaking, but like anything else, speaking is a skill that needs to be developed. 

What’s great about podcasting is that it will allows you to continually work on your craft. It also helps you to build confidence in your speaking ability without needing the approving laughter, or applause from a live audience.

It can be a bit strange speaking to an invisible audience, but that same skill will help you deliver engaging and entertaining webinars, which is a skill every digital entrepreneur should be improving.

#10 Opportunity to repurpose content

Each of your podcast episodes can be repurposed into additional pieces of content.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Have your podcast transcribed and distilled into a single blog post with a call to action of listening to the entire show.
  • Have the best points of your podcast turned into a 7-point, or 10-point infographic.
  • Breakup a single podcast recording into 2 or 3 episodes. I highly recommend this if you have the opportunity to attract a popular guest on your show. Just make sure to communicate in advance to them that you plan on breaking it up into 2 or 3 shows that way the two of you can properly plan what to cover and where to break things up.
  • Turn some of your most downloaded podcast episodes into Slide decks to share via social, or even into live presentations.
  • The opportunities for repurposing are literally endless!

Above all else, remember this…

Creating something of value takes practice and patience. Remember that when you’re planning on starting a podcast.

Don’t make the mistake of expecting your first few episodes to be perfect, or to attract a lot of downloads.

The goal of your first few episodes should simply be to complete them (aka “ship your product”) and learn as much as you can from the process. With that mindset and approach, your following episodes will continue to improve in both delivery and content.

Trust me. Your audience will thank you for it. Mine does.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case!

What did you think about the message in this post? Tweet me, or drop me a note on Facebook quickly – I’d love to know. If you have any entrepreneurial friends that you feel should read this, too, please share it with them. I’d appreciate it.

The post Starting a Podcast: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice! appeared first on ChrisDucker.com.

AMP

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via ChrisDucker.com http://www.chrisducker.com

November 3, 2016 at 04:44PM

Starting a Podcast: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice!

http://www.chrisducker.com/starting-a-podcast/

starting-a-podcast-10-reasons

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I stand before you today with one goal in mind…

I will demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt, why your audience not only WANTS, but NEEDS you to consider starting a podcast.

But before we address the reasons why your business needs a voice, let’s begin by confronting the three reasons why people typically avoid it and why, if you’ve been doing likewise, they should no longer stand in your way.

AVOIDANCE REASON #1:  I Don’t Have an Audience

I totally get it.  Why start a podcast, if there’s no audience to create it for, right?

This is one of the most common objections for starting a podcast, but the irony is that a podcast is a great way to begin BUILDING an audience.

The rising popularity of podcasts combined with the fact that they’re easily consumed (unlike reading a long article, or ebook) means you’ll have a far greater chance of building a loyal audience that likes, trusts and feels like they know you.

AVOIDANCE REASON #2:  I Don’t Have Room in My House / Business for a Studio

If you have a desk – you have all the room you need for a podcast.

This is where I podcast:

starting-a-podcast

Since podcasting is still relatively new, our mind tends to link the concept of podcasting – to radio broadcasting. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of today’s most popular podcasts are being created in a small corner of a room.

And you don’t need that fancy microphone to get started, either. Believe me. I just used my Apple headphones when I started in 2010.

Speaking of equipment…

AVOIDANCE REASON #3:  I Can’t Afford the Equipment

You’ll be surprised with how little you need to begin.

All you need is…

  • Computer.
  • Microphone.
  • Podcasting Software (Mac comes with Garageband already built into its applications).
  • A good topic to discuss.

Ok, let’s get to the good stuff.

10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice!

#1 People really, really like podcasts nowadays

According to recent study conducted by Edison Research podcasting continues to show strong growth over the past 7 years. In fact, many believe that 2017 will be the break-out year for business podcasting, particularly.

#2 Not everyone has time to read 4550 words

The average blog posts is approximately 700-words, which can can be read in about 5-minutes. However, the average podcast is 35-minutes which translates into 4,550 words, the equivalent of 6.5 blog posts.

Not only does this allow you to deliver more content to your audience, but it’s also delivered in a way that’s easy to consume.

And as a side note, if you’re not taking advantage of listening to podcasts during your drive to and from your place of work, or while taking a walk, or on a plane journey, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to leverage your time. 

#3 It’s easier to produce a consistent podcast, than blog posts

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” Stephen King

Whoa! If the great Stephen King is saying there’s no shortcut to writing, then what does that mean for the rest of us?

The good news however is that podcasting allows you to create an amazing piece of content without having to go through countless revisions of your work. In fact, the more conversational and casual it is, the better it will connect with your audience.

That’s one of the biggest compliments I get about my podcast, Youpreneur FM – that it’s like a couple of friends talking in a pub, or over dinner.

But if you’d still like to clean up your audio after recording you can easily find an inexpensive editor on Upwork and have them take out any pauses or “ums” and “ers”.

#4 Podcasts are sticky

When someone decides to listen to a podcast they’ll usually listen to the entire show, and if they like it, there’s a good chance they may listen to another.

That’s a LOT of content!

What’s great about this is that they’ll either feel closer and resonate with your message, or they’ll decide this isn’t the right place for them, and that’s a good thing. The whole point of getting your voice out there is to attract and build the right audience for YOU and your business.

#5 Your personal brand will benefit

I’m a huge believer in building a personal brand, but having an impressive logo and catchy slogan will only qualify you as being average in today’s digital marketplace. What’s most important is that your business has a personality. And I can think of no better way to give your business a personality than by giving it your VOICE!

#6 Become an instant, welcomed guest

When someone listens to your podcast you’ve suddenly become the “invited guest” within their home or office. No different than sitting across from this listener and having a face to face meeting with their undivided attention. Yeah! That’s pretty powerful stuff.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of email marketing, video marketing, and consistent content marketing (such as blog posts and infographics), but there’s nothing like the level of intimacy podcasting creates. 

#7 Align yourself with successful people

If you choose to launch and grow a interview format podcast, all those guests you’ll be chasing down to have come on your show will make a difference to your overall brand, too.

The more successful people you have on your show from your industry, or niche, the closer aligned you’ll be seen to them and their success. Perception is key and is often very, very contagious.

#8 The on-going servicing of your existing audience

No matter how big or small your current audience I can guarantee they’re listening to podcasts.

So if they’re going out of they way to open your emails, read your blog posts and register for your webinars – why not service them with a podcast!

Not only will your podcast help form a deeper relationship, but it can also serve as a platform to spotlight members of your audience who are putting your teaching into practice. Some the best content you can create are case studies, which demonstrate that what you teach actually works. My buddy Pat Flynn does this better than almost everyone else I know.

#9 Develop your speaking skills 

I absolutely love speaking, but like anything else, speaking is a skill that needs to be developed. 

What’s great about podcasting is that it will allows you to continually work on your craft. It also helps you to build confidence in your speaking ability without needing the approving laughter, or applause from a live audience.

It can be a bit strange speaking to an invisible audience, but that same skill will help you deliver engaging and entertaining webinars, which is a skill every digital entrepreneur should be improving.

#10 Opportunity to repurpose content

Each of your podcast episodes can be repurposed into additional pieces of content.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Have your podcast transcribed and distilled into a single blog post with a call to action of listening to the entire show.
  • Have the best points of your podcast turned into a 7-point, or 10-point infographic.
  • Breakup a single podcast recording into 2 or 3 episodes. I highly recommend this if you have the opportunity to attract a popular guest on your show. Just make sure to communicate in advance to them that you plan on breaking it up into 2 or 3 shows that way the two of you can properly plan what to cover and where to break things up.
  • Turn some of your most downloaded podcast episodes into Slide decks to share via social, or even into live presentations.
  • The opportunities for repurposing are literally endless!

Above all else, remember this…

Creating something of value takes practice and patience. Remember that when you’re planning on starting a podcast.

Don’t make the mistake of expecting your first few episodes to be perfect, or to attract a lot of downloads.

The goal of your first few episodes should simply be to complete them (aka “ship your product”) and learn as much as you can from the process. With that mindset and approach, your following episodes will continue to improve in both delivery and content.

Trust me. Your audience will thank you for it. Mine does.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case!

What did you think about the message in this post? Tweet me, or drop me a note on Facebook quickly – I’d love to know. If you have any entrepreneurial friends that you feel should read this, too, please share it with them. I’d appreciate it.

The post Starting a Podcast: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Voice! appeared first on ChrisDucker.com.

AMP

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via ChrisDucker.com http://www.chrisducker.com

November 3, 2016 at 04:44PM

How to Measure the Impact of Social Media on Your Business?

http://nopassiveincome.com/how-to-measure-social-media-impact-on-business/

Measuring the impact of social media on your business is probably one of the most complex aspects of online marketing, but also one of the most essential.

Thanks to the use of social media networks you are able to create connections and strong relationships.

These web marketing channels are, for businesses, an effective tool to build awareness and brand credibility.

Most companies measure their success in economic terms, using indicators such as the ROI (Return on Investment).

However, there are many methods you can use for tracking social media performance.

social-media

 

Set Goals

Before you start measuring tweets, likes or Facebook posts, think about your business goals.

What do you want to accomplish thanks to those social media channels?

What are the most relevant social networks to use for your goals?

Having the clear objectives from the start will help you save time in the long run.

 

Once you have defined the goals, you are ready to start the measurement process.

 

Create Metrics to Track Your Goals

After defining your goals, it’s time to crate the proper metrics.

As an example, if you want to to measure engagement, how can you track it?

Are you going to consider replies or comments? Likes or shres?

Here are a few tips you want to consider:

  • to measure engagement, search for metrics around likes, comments, replies, and users involved. How many people are participating and how often are joining the discussion?
  • to drive traffic to your website, then measure URL shares, clicks or conversions. Check if users are coming to your site from social media and what they do once they land on it.
  • to increase your brand, then track the volume with relation to your competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your niche is about your brand?

 

Measure

After you know what you want to measure, you can decide which “tools” can be used for this purpose. The right tool makes it possible to obtain the information necessary to define the impact of social media.

Initially, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of data, but there are so many tools available that you should be able to find one, at least, useful to starting your analysis.

Here are some tools you can use:

By using a combination of instruments you can get a complete picture of your performance on social media with a deeper understanding of your customers and competition.

The right tools are going to give you data-driven tips, audience insights and precise analytics.

Pinterest or Twitter? That's the question...

 

Monitor, Report And Repeat

Once you have monitored your social media data, ask yourself:

  • How are your numbers compared to what you expected?
  • How are they compared to your competitors?

One of the great features of social media analytics tools is that you can easily create reports about your social media activities.

Once you have tracked your efforts on social media, you can check what you can improve, making changes, and then measuring again.

Revise your goals to make sure your new metrics actually helping you with your objectives.

 

 

That said, you can start evaluating and measuring the impact of social media on your business.

How do you understand if social media marketing is giving important results?

Which tools are you using?

Please share your views in the comments below, thanks!

AMP

Social media

via No Passive Income http://nopassiveincome.com

November 4, 2016 at 04:00PM

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"How Small Businesses Dominate Their Market with 4 Proven Marketing Systems"

Inside You'll Discover... Proven Marketing Systems that Will Ensure 25% Growth or More for Your Business in the Next 12 Months, including:

  • How to monetize your most valuable asset, so you dominate your competition and attract more customers
  • How to ensure more people know about you today than yesterday, so you build a constant pipeline of customers eager to buy from you
  • How to maximize the lifetime value of your customer base, so you increase profits by reselling customers over and over again
  • How to generate effortless ongoing new business, so you leverage your best customers to act as a low-cost salesforce to create new leads and sales

Sign Up For Instant Access & Receive Your FREE Report Right Now

You'll be able to immediately start applying these proven strategies to your business. You'll also be automatically subscribed to our Get AMPed! newsletter where you will continue to receive other great strategies, tactics and advice to take your business to the next level.

We respect your privacy. Your info is 100% secure We will never share your information with any third parties.