5 Tips to Improve Blog Readership

When writing a blog, as good as we think the content is, sometimes there is a tendency of setting the bar a little too high in terms of our expectations. Indeed, when we press the submit button, we’re hoping our hot content breaks the Internet, praying for an astonishing amount of engagement that keeps our phone pinging all night. But the reality is often more … mediocre. We’re not saying that the following 5 tips will grant your wish of instant web stardom, but they can certainly help improve blog readership and engagement!

Share More Than Once

It’s important (and necessary) to share blogs across all social channels we’re active on, so we can reach as many audiences as possible and increase blog readership. On a platform like Facebook, it won’t be necessary to share the link hundreds of times since the algorithm tends to highlight posts that generate engagement. Everything moves a lot faster on Twitter and posts can become buried under the copious amount of tweets documenting what people are doing on the hour, every hour. That’s why on Twitter, it doesn’t hurt to share the post several times in the week in order to cut through such noise so that more of our community have a chance to see it.

Build Relationships with Influencers

“All for one and one for all.” On social media, this formula makes sense. Blog readership can easily grow by working as a team. Building relationships with influencers who will share your content and amplify your message can be extremely useful in terms of reach and awareness.

Work the SEO

SEO is the universal language of the web. If we refuse to learn to speak it, the search engines will ignore our website and our content, having very damaging effects on our blog readership. Read our previous blog post here to better understand and use SEO.

Use Share Buttons

The share buttons on a website are like salt on chips, inseparable. Be sure yours include the link and the full name of the blog post; if all you include is the URL, no one will click on it.

Recycle Content

You believe in your content. Why else would we be reading this post and questioning why readership and engagement don’t live up to the thought you’ve put into your articles? How about repackaging them as white papers, podcasts, and/or webinars? You’ll get the chance to share your expertise, raise awareness (which will lead to an increase in blog readership), and boost lead generation efforts.


The Emoji Infographic: Stats to Back Up Your Obsession

A couple of years ago, emojis were the exclusive language of teenage girls. Today, everyone’s using them.

… everyone.

A new study from Emogi, “a real-time emotional intelligence platform that decodes sentiment,” brings new statistics about emojis to back up your obsession. Their first surprising discovery is that almost everyone uses emojis:

  • 4% mobile users use emojis several times a day
  • 5%: several times a week
  • 9%: several times a month
  • 5%: several times a year
  • 6%: once a year or less

While emojis used to be predominantly texted and Tweeted by teens, today there are more 25-29-Year-Olds identifying as “frequent users” (75.9%) than Under-25-Year-Olds (72.2%). More than six out of 10 in the age 35+ crowd self-identify as frequent users.

Why Do We Love Emojis?

Frequent users tell us that it’s because they feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. This statement was accepted by 84% of female frequent users and 75% of male frequent users.

Dr. Owen Churches, a psychologist who has studied the uses and effects of emojis, found that “people reacted to emoticons the same way they would react to a real human face,” reports Mashable. Over time, as our brains become accustomed to perceiving a symbol as “happy,” “sad,” or “excited,” we gain an ability to actually feel the same emotion that we would feel by looking at a real face. Emojis give us the unique ability to make digital communications feel and act more human.

Brands Are Turning to Emojis

With their recent Grand Prix win at Cannes, Dominos is the standout example of brands turning to emojis. Dominos built a system that allows users to text a pizza emoji and place their regular delivery order. (The company’s ‘Anyware’ platform allows users to order via their TV, voice command, car, smart watch, or Twitter – in addition to text.)

Emojis are trendy, and they probably won’t be going away anytime soon. Should brands use them? Sure. They offer a great way to connect with your audience. More importantly – emojis remind us about something even bigger: people are constantly looking for better, more human ways to connect with each other digitally. Brands that can streamline that experience will win.

Emoji Statistics Infographic

Check out the full infographic below, then tell us in the comments what you like – or don’t like – about emojis. Will you use them professionally with your brand?


emoji-usage-01-2015

To find out what else you can learn about your audience using media intelligence, download our ebook The Savvy Social Media Maven’s Guide to Media Intelligence.


All LinkedIn Groups Go Private: 3 Things You Need To Know

LinkedIn is making substantial changes to how it’s customer base interacts and uses the “Groups” feature. In an effort to reduce the spam and promotion littering its ways through many groups these days, you’ll see changes on the desktop and on the mobile side that will benefit its members and help to increase networking and on-point conversations.

How does this affect your day-to-day engagement and social media presence on LinkedIn? Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Privatization of Groups

One of the largest changes LinkedIn is making to Groups is setting all groups to “Private”. The days of joining a group based on sheer interest or business gain is no more and group moderators will have a bit more on their plate to manage going forward.

In an effort to keep conversations more engaged and less spammy, groups will designated under two new categories:

  • Unlisted – Only owners and manager can invite or approve new members. Also, Groups “unlisted” will not show up in LinkedIn’s directory and badges will not show on member profiles.
  • Standard – Only group members can invite first degree LinkedIn connections to join and you can only approve requests to join groups from first degree connections.

In keeping up with the anti-spamming efforts, all group posts and discussions will no longer be crawled by search engines, keeping the conversations private and more valuable to the group.

2. Exclusive iOS and Android App for Groups

Coming out the same day as the changes, LinkedIn will be introducing a standalone “Groups” app for iOS and Android (will be released TBD). With these changes, push notifications can be enabled to receive new group conversations, creating more engagement amongst its members, something that was very difficult to keep up with prior.

3. Content Moderation and Monitoring

With the new changes highly focused on content and interactions, there are a few other changes going under the radar that may influence your activity on LinkedIn:

  • Eliminating Subgroups – Whilst subgroups were a huge benefit to enterprise-level groups with many members, those groups will now be turned into their own groups. LinkedIn cites: “…for the majority of our members, the experience was confusing.”
  • Real-Time Posts – Comments and new discussions will be posted and go live immediately instead of waiting for moderator or manager approval. They will however be able to still remove topic that is off-topic and place continued offenders to a moderation penalty box.
  • Mentions of Members and Image Uploads – You’ll now be able to upload a photo when you begin a new conversation, along with @mentioning other members when commenting or starting a new one.
  • More Robust Content Filtering – The Promotions Tab first off is no more. These types of posts that would litter groups in the Promotions Tab or elsewhere will now be flagged as promotional and in a moderation queue. All jobs will also now be automatically moved to the Jobs tab from the main conversation area.

Many changes are ensuing and all looking to better create a better networking space of common interest for business professionals. For a complete list of changes and updates, check out the LinkedIn Help Article for more information.

This article was written by Aaron Riddle from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The #MarketingMinds wrap up: Adblock

Earlier this year Meltwater hosted Brain Food: The Tasty Marketing Debate and saw The Independent’s Technology Editor, Adiran Weckler, speak about how adblock will, and is, shaking the industry. We wanted to understand marketing pros take on the subject so last week we used #MarketingMinds chat as a platform to do so. Here are the key insights.

Q1. Why do people use AdBlock?

Both @fundraisinisfun and @cammysutra6 believe audiences use AdBlock because ads are seen as annoying, intrusive, and disruptive. Moreover, with the population increasingly becoming stuck to their tablets and smart phones people have limited screen space for content. @AgentPalmer countered that AdBlock just slows down browsers and comes with the risk of blocking actual valuable content.

Q2. What impact does AdBlock have on the comms industry?

@AgentPalmer explains that the increasing use of AdBlock has resulted in a massive loss of revenue for the comms industry. PageFair recently reported an estimated decrease of $21.8B due to AdBlock in 2015. @cammysutra6 adds, to overcome this challenge, the comms industry has to evolve with the changing climate and shift focus to produce unique and valuable data, for example by considering context when producing and sharing content. @megan_j_hughes echoes this idea, explaining that AdBlock could have a positive impact by encouraging companies to produce more relevant content from a consumer perspective.

Q3. How can we encourage people to stop using AdBlock?

@cammysutra6 offers one way that we can dilute the use of AdBlock: presenting ads in a native form to ensure they don’t disrupt. @AgentPalmer believes the secret ingredient is truly knowing our audience. If we grow with them, we won’t be old news and there will be fewer reasons to block content. @megan_j_hughes agrees, stating that the trust factor is also a factor to consider, there’s a high percentage of consumers willing to share their personal data for relevant content.

Meanwhile, @fundraisinisfun explains that our priority should be placed on looking into new ways to advertise and get our message across rather than preventing the use of AdBlock. For example there may be a greater focus on influencer marketing or product placement.

Q4. As a comms professional, do you use AdBlock?

The majority of chat participants don’t currently use AdBlock, explaining that they feel ads aren’t too intrusive, yet. If this was to change than their thoughts on downloading the tool might too.

Q5. What does the future hold for the advertising industry?

@megan_j_hughes believes that the ad industry has lots of potential for the future and AdBlock is just a new way of ensuring companies use social media for discussion and relevance.

@micadam explains that co-creation is a great way to get around AdBloc as this encourages our audience to get involved and feel a part of the message. On the other hand @carriemaslen thinks social listening will become increasingly important, along with better alignment between sales and comms.

4 Key Ways to Use B2B PR to Get Leads

Is your B2B PR a perpetual fixer-upper? That is to say, is it something you constantly pour money into, without seeing your business grow? If so, then it’s time for a complete rehab – right down to the very studs.

The end goal of all B2B PR, among others, should be lead generation. Let’s talk about a few effective ways to accomplish  this – with paid, shared, earned, and owned media.

What is Paid, Earned, Owned, and Shared Media?

Paid Media

Paid media is a simple concept to understand: It’s PR that you pay for. This includes Google AdWords, retargeting, social media ads, and other advertising. It boosts the performance of your “free” media.

Earned Media

Earned media includes word-of-mouth (WOM), online reviews, influencer relations, blogger and press relations. This is perhaps the most enviable type of media since others are essentially doing your PR for you.

Owned Media

Owned media is content your create. This includes blog posts, whitepapers, videos, ebooks, and all the other goodies on your website.

Shared Media

Shared media primarily encompasses social media – using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social platforms to distribute content.

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Misconceptions About Using B2B PR For Lead Generation

Occasionally, when you strip a fixer-upper down to the studs, you’ll find structural issues; a crack in the foundation here, a termite infestation there. Before you proceed to correct aesthetic issues, you’ve got to clear up these major ones.

The same goes for your B2B PR. You need to fix any misconceptions or roadblocks in your PR that are hindering a beautiful end product: lead generation.

Let’s clear up a few of those right now.

Misconception #1: You need to only try one channel at a time.

This may be tempting if you’re on a tight budget. You might think that pouring all of your resources into say, paid media, is the best way to go.

The reality is that paid, earned, owned, and shared media need to work in harmony to see a significant boost in lead generation.

Misconception #2: Shared Media isn’t important when it comes to B2B PR for lead generation.

You may think that since your B2B brand isn’t glamorous, no one will want to hear from you on social media. However, this just couldn’t be further from the truth!

No matter what your service or product, the bottom line is that people, not businesses, are buying your product or services. And people are on social media. It’s where we research, it’s where we get product assistance, and it’s where we socialize. It’s our culture.

Misconception #3: Content is not that important in my industry.

In fact, B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those who do not. Notice we’re not talking about B2C, but B2B. Yes, your prospects are asking you for information. Will you give it to them, or dismiss them so they can move on to another business that will?

Now that we’ve cleared up those structural issues, let’s move on to how to increase those leads!

4 Ways To Remodel Your B2B PR For Lead Generation

1. In Owned Media

This is perhaps your prime opportunity for utilizing calls to action and landing pages. You have total control over the bread crumbs. A word of caution regarding owned media:

Owned media exists to educate, inform, and even entertain your prospects. It is not your branded Home Shopping Network, where you hock your wares and services.

Whitepapers, ebooks, blogs, and other content should have education as their main thrust. Your end game is, of course, to convert, but you need to give your prospects the dignity of making that decision themselves. Your content should compel the viewer to want more, to take action.

This is where calls to action and an effective landing page become your digital salesperson. 

What will a good great landing page include? Neil Patel, has eight tips for you to write great landing page copy:

  • Use customer testimonials
  • Emphasize the benefits, not the product or service
  • Spend time writing a killer headline
  • Keep your writing simple
  • Write like a human
  • Use numbers and get specific
  • Ask for readers to take action
  • A/B test your copy

2. In Earned Media

Although you have little control over what others say about you or your business, you do have much control over the fodder they use.

Being notoriously generous with your resources will earn you a reputation others are drawn to. For instance, making your original content easy to share, such as we’ve done with the above mini infographic, allows others to easily spread your message.

Make sure the content is attributed correctly, as we’ve done by branding it with our logo.

3. In Shared Media

Again, here is where compelling content, effective calls to action, and motivating landing pages come into play. Being active on social media is not enough. Simply sharing content for the sake of visibility will not in itself generate leads.

No, social sharing should connect your audience with a call to action.

For instance, I recently began following Company X on Facebook. They posted a congratulatory message to a new team member. When I clicked on the link, it simply took me to a bio of that person. And… boom! I’m dropped in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to click on, no way to explore their site any further. How could this have been improved upon?

Ideally, this link should have taken me to his bio, with a call-to-action to connect with this person. The call to action button should have lead me to a landing page where I would fill out a form to get more information on what this person is offering. This, in turn, should lead me to a thank you page, where additional suggestions for content are offered. At the very least, the bio should have been hosted on their website, with links so that I could explore their site.

4. In Paid Media

Paid media is a great way to increase visibility of your earned and owned media. Save it for last once you know what content you’ve created is performing best. That content is what warrants putting some dollars behind it.

Be sure to test  your paid media. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter often perform well for B2B media. But start with a small budget and see how you do.

`Also evaluate paid syndication sites like Outbrain to see if it’s worth the cost. You can also try syndicating your content yourself by knocking on the virtual doors of sites in your industry that you know prospects read.

Using Content To Create A Mean Lead Generation Machine

If you struggle with creating original content, you are by no means alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers face a number of challenges when it comes to content creation:

And as Robert Rose says, “The reinvention of marketing is a road, not a door.” Do those statistics hit close to home? It might be time for a content boost!

This article was written by Wendy Marx from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.