Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The #1 Content Marketing Mistake You’re Making (& How to Stop It)

In Seth Godin’s words, “Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left”. If you’re part of a content agency, you know just how much businesses are willing to invest in content marketing. And for good reason.
But there’s good (effective) content marketing and bad (ineffective) content marketing. Businesses who do invest in content marketing expect to see results. If you’re not seeing them, you could be committing one of these 7 content marketing mistakes.

#7 Action without strategy

Effective content marketing is a mix of smart strategy and tactical execution. Strategy is like your infrastructure, as marketer Rebecca Lib once said. Without it, your actions will be misguided and chaotic.
Ask the questions “what” and “why” before you get to “how”. If your social media executive spends 20% of her time at work creating memes, you should probably ask why. Why memes and not something else? Do you have numbers that justify that investment? If you plan to write blog posts all day, you should be sure of how many leads each post will yield and how. Ask the same questions of all of your content.

#6 Incorrectly hypothesized personas

According to an IBM study, customers feel like brands don’t understand them. The reason is that most brands take data at face value and ignore their understanding of human behavior. Gut instinct is critical to judgement calls made by social media and digital analysts.
It isn’t enough to assume that your target persona is “Head of Marketing, 35-45 years, lives in Canada”. You need to have data to back the assumption, and you need data and an understanding of what your target groups like and dislike. For instance, do members of your audience like getting daily emails? Or would they appreciate one weekly email sent mid noon? The more you know and understand about your audience, the more you’ll succeed at content marketing.

#5 Irrelevant content

There’s a massive gap between what content marketers assume about their audience and what the reality is. So, all the content they create on a daily basis could be irrelevant and ineffective.
Delve deep into your audience’s mind by getting feedback. Collect customer feedback once in a while, conduct face to face interviews and if possible measure how well your audience responds to your content. Google Analytics’ Page Analytics – views and on-page time and social media analytics are great to get a basic understanding of how well your content is performing. One way to ensure that you always have fresh, relevant content is by using a content curation app such as DrumUp.

#4 Carelessly leveraging controversy

Controversy attracts attention. But mixing controversy with brand messaging is a very risky idea. Take for instance, what happened with PewDiePie in 2017. The biggest YouTuber in the world lost his contract with Disney because he published anti-semitic.
If you want to use controversial subjects in your blog and social media content, consider the repercussions very carefully. Even if there’s a small chance of your message being misconceived, don’t do it. The positive results you may get can’t outweigh the risks. Companies as massive as Pepsi have experienced a dip in sales because of playing with sensitive ideas.

#3 Off-brand messaging

Creating a brand image is probably the most important thing you can do to help your business. This is one of the reasons why Disney pays so much attention to maintaining the image of all of its stars.
If you don’t stay on-brand, you might be remembered by the world for all the wrong reasons. For instance, United Airlines faced a media storm after its flight attendants unceremoniously removed a passenger from an overbooked plane. Every act of yours has the potential to inspire content on the internet. It’s critical to ensure that the content is in your favor. One way to manage your reputation on the internet is by using a monitoring tool such as Brand24.

#2 Monotonous single-format marketing

Monotony is a merciless engagement killer. This is particularly true because people have so many choices for content and they won’t follow yours if it is monotonous. Monotony is especially common among brands that publish content as a meaningless routine.
There are several formats of content that you can try. The more you surprise your audience, the more likely they are to stay engaged. HubSpot, for instance, is always experimenting with types of content on their social media pages. As a result, their audience has stayed engaged with the brand. It’s just as Seth Godin said in his well-known marketing TED talk – give people a purple cow and they’ll pay attention.
cow GIF-downsized
Suggested reading: 

#1 Not experimenting

The two most important things that a content marketer can do is to keep reading and experimenting. If you read, you’ll find new ideas and those ideas will work for you only if you experiment with them.
Test all of the ideas that you find/think of by creating a measurable experiment. Use the results to refine/revise your idea. You’ll find that content marketing ideas rarely work the same way for all brands. The formula for your brand may be completely different from the formula that certain content marketing experts follow. To ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your brand, run experiments on a regular basis.
There you have it. 7 content marketing mistakes that you could be making. Figure out which ones are holding you back and revive your content marketing today!
Feature image sourced from 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

15 Social Media Tools that Will Help You Survive the Fake News Phase & Its Repercussions

Fake news is a serious social media problem that could affect the relationship you share with your social media audience. How?
  • People are starting to question the information that they receive via social media.
  • People have always been wary about the information shared by brands on social media. In fact, people consider information shared by people like themselves more credible than the information shared by brands (Edelman 2018).
Note: To overcome this hurdle, you could explore employee advocacy as a social media marketing solution.
So, how can you as a social media manager or small business owner ensure that your business survives the fake news phase and its repercussions? Here are 15 social media tools that can help you strengthen your relationship with social media fans.
raheem sterling fans GIF by Manchester City-downsized

1. DrumUp for fresh content & employee advocacy

All content streams
Instead of sharing your own content, you could share content useful to your social media audience – content from sources that are universally trusted. That’s a great way to show that you’re neutral and trustworthy.
You could also have your brand’s content shared by employees, through whom you can effectively impact your target audience on social media.
DrumUp is a social media management tool that fulfils both these functions. You can use the tool to curate fresh content (using keyword streams and/or RSS feeds) and schedule them on social media accounts. You can also use the tool’s employee advocacy platform to enable employees to share your content effortlessly.

2. Canva for visual communication

Visuals are great way to drive a message home because they get processed by the human mind quicker than text does. Visuals are also offer you the opportunity to build trust with your social media audience. For instance, visual testimonials (such as a customer’s raving video review) can improve your credibility.
You can also use visuals such as graphs and screenshots to make your communication more transparent and effective by showing customers how your products and pricing work.
Canva is a graphic design tool that you can use to design most of the visuals that you can use on social media. The tool stocks canvases and templates optimized for most use cases on social media. The tool’s drag and drop feature and its flexibility make it a great choice for graphic design.

3. Brand24 for real & personal conversations

Successful social media managers see social media platforms as channels not only for publishing but also for conversations. You can use social media channels to connect with current and future customers, potential partners and co-marketers, influencers and brand ambassadors. You can also use social media channels to enable employee conversations and employee advocacy.
For social media to count, you have to show customers that you care. And you can’t do that at scale. You have to focus on one-on-one conversations.
Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool that you can use to identify mentions, important keywords – any indicator of important conversations. The tool’s alerts will give you opportunity to create real and personal conversations.

4. FAQFox for customer-centric content research

It’s not enough to just be in contact with current customers. You should also be in touch with prospect customers and know their wants, concerns and challenges. That involves assessing the temperament of different target groups of people. And doing this can be tricky.
The objective of understanding prospect customers is to be able to connect with them by creating/sharing content that’s most relevant to them.
FAQFox is an unorthodox content research tool which you can use to find questions that certain groups of people are asking. You can do this by running keyword searches across commonly used discussion forums such as Quora and those relevant to your niche.

5. FollowerWonk for influencer and ambassador hunting

Screenshot 2018-04-12 12.38.40
Twitter is an excellent social media platform for influencer and ambassador outreach because it’s open and allows you to communicate with anyone from your friend to the POTUS.
When searching for influencers/ambassadors on Twitter, you need to analyze profiles to see who makes the best fit. This is easier done with the assistance of a tool than done manually.
FollowerWonk is a Twitter analytics tool that you can use to analyze profiles and filter them by matching keywords to Twitter bios. Using the tool, you can also identify influencers within your social circles and reach out to them with relevant content.

6. GIPHY for GIF based communication

DrumUp - giphy
GIFs are videos on caffeine. They are easy to consume as they take barely any space when compared with full-fledged videos and are much shorter in length. They are also more appealing, effective and affordable than full-fledged videos.
While curating videos is hard (videos are usually covered by copyrights because they’re expensive), curating GIFs is easy and inexpensive.
GIPHY is a copyright free extensive source of GIFs that you can use to spice-up your conversations on social media. The repository also has an API that we’ve used to enable GIF curation within DrumUp.

7. RelayThat for branded image creation

Branding is an important part of building trust on social media. The consistency that your messaging has affects how social media users see and interact with your brands. However, it’s difficult to keep track of colors and fonts when you are creating content on a large scale, everyday.
Many brands choose their colors, fonts and image creation styles in advance and stick to them perpetually, without deviating from them on any channel.
RelayThat is a graphic design tool that allows you to choose and maintain brand parameters that you can easily add to all of your social media images. RelayThat also allows you to add your logo and original images to standard templates effortlessly.

8. Rocketium for video content creation

Video is an indispensable part of social media marketing. An overwhelmingly large segment of social media users are beginning to consume video on a daily basis. Video has become everyone’s preferred format of content for consumption.
There’s a lot that you can do with video for social media, from creating How-to videos to conducting expert interviews and doing live QnAs.
Rocketium is a video builder that you can use to quickly put together videos for social media use. The tool has video templates that you can use to put together professional looking social media videos to make an impact on your target audience.

9. Pocket for niche content curation

Content curation is a smart way to build a relationship with your audience without spending too much on content creation. By curating content, you can the best content in the industry with your target users without to create it yourself on a daily basis.
However, it can be really hard curating content manually. Imagine having to visit multiple websites to find the content that you want to share, every single day.
Pocket is a content collection app that helps curate content for you, based on your preferences. The tool is smart and adapts to the posts you choose to read, eventually omitting all the content that you wouldn’t want to read.

10. TweetChat for Twitter networking & conversations

Tweet chat 2
Yet another way to network with the right people is through Twitter chats. The people who participate in Twitter chats are usually very interested in specific niches and in meeting the right people.
Typically the format of Twitter chats allow you to exchange knowledge in areas within an industry and find others who are also doing the same.
TweetChat is a Twitter chat tool that you can use to follow hashtag specific conversations and participate in them real-time, which can otherwise be a nightmare. Within the tool, you can experience Twitter chats at your pace and never miss a tweet.

11. Socedo for social media lead generation

While social media conversations and content publishing are great for audience engagement, your social media efforts only affect your business when conversations turn into queries and eventually sales.
There’s plenty of opportunities on social media for you to turn conversations into business, but these opportunities usually take time to manifest.
Socedo is a social media lead generation tool which automatically assesses social media profiles and identifies the people who are most likely to be interested in your business and the products/services that you have to offer.

12. PitchBox for blogger outreach and off-social PR

Blogs are still relevant in many industries. If your company’s referrals are majorly driven through blogs and bloggers, building strategic relationships with them can be beneficial. And you don’t have to focus only on your niche. General blogs whose audience matches your target audience also count.
When building relationships with bloggers, it counts to make it as organic as possible. Identify individuals you admire and want to work with and let them know the same.
PitchBox is an influencer marketing tool that can be used to search for influencers and bloggers in your niche using keywords that you provide. The tool’s extensive search leverages integrations with major SEO tools such as Moz, SEMRush and Majestic.

13. BuzzSumo for targeted content promotion

One of the secrets of being successful on social media is building a network of loyal followers who engage with your content. However, building that network is a slow and time-consuming process.
The network of followers you build need not be restricted to just influencers. You can also work with micro-influencers or employees, customers and brand ambassadors.
BuzzSumo is a content research tool that you can use to identify people and blogs belonging to a certain niche, so you can reach out to the right people. Using the tool, you can breakdown the source of any article on the internet and access backlink and share data.

14. Twitter lists and Google Drive/Email for relationship building

Twitter lists are great for relationship building because you can create a context for every relationship that you build by adding people to certain lists. However, even Twitter lists can get messy once you have added too many people to too many lists. To ensure that the lists you create make sense, create small groups of people and limit your lists to only as many as you can handle.
One way to ensure that the Twitter lists you create have value, is by following up with Twitter list members away from the social media platform.
IFTTT is a cross-action app that has a few interesting recipes that you can consider using. One of them allows to store mentions in Drive or on email, after which you can personally make contact with the people who mention you.

15. SumoMe for social media referral based list building

Social media referrals are probably one of the top three or four sources of traffic to your website. So, what do you do with the traffic that comes to your website from social media? If you’re not converting it at the moment, you should probably consider focusing on that.
There are tons of ways to convert the traffic that lands on your website. Most of it involves connecting the right content on social media to the right landing pages on your website.
SumoMe is a website traffic analytics tool and traffic conversion tool that you can use to optimize website traffic and conversion. The tool even has customizable email signup forms that you can instal on your website to convert incoming referrals.
With social media platforms undergoing major changes to battle fake news and survive its repercussions, it’s critical to invest in social media tools and strategies that are likely to survive the fallout. This list includes a collection of some of the smartest investments that you can make to ensure that your brand isn’t affected by drastic algorithm changes. Over to you.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Release of FREE ClickFunnels Reference Books

Clickfunnels release free books [ You cover shipping] giving away all their essential secrets and knowledge on sales funnels and Internet Marketing.
Click the links to get your copies while they last:-

Thursday, 12 April 2018

LinkedIn for Business: 9 Unfailing Ways to Connect with Ideal Clients

LinkedIn could connect you to future customers. Yet, how many of your current customers are converted LinkedIn leads? If your answer is a few or none, you are yet to unlock the potential of your LinkedIn presence.
John Nemo build his business on LinkedIn. It took him 90 days post-quitting to match his old job’s 6 figure salary with the revenue generated via LinkedIn leads by his marketing agency.
Everyone who matters to your business is approachable on LinkedIn. But how?
shake hands superman GIF-downsized

1. Create client-centric profile descriptions

Most LinkedIn users have profiles that resemble online resumes. While this format works for employees who want a job change, it does nothing for business owners, agency partners, business development executives and consultants.
How do you address client concerns and solve their problems?
Don’t fall into rut of writing about your achievements in third-person. Instead, try proactive storytelling. Clients care about how you can solve their problems.
Who can you help and how?
Begin by identifying whom you can assist with your abilities – CEOs? Marketers? Models? Then, make a note of the different ways in which you can help them. So, you should be able to say that, for example, you can help small business owners set-up their web presence by building them websites.
How are you different from other service providers like you?
Tell this story on your LinkedIn profile. You can expand this story by filling in the details, which can be more of how you assist clients and why your services work better than others. Establish clear-cut differentiators here, so you can make an impression on profile visitors and stay top of mind for a long interval of time.
Can other people substantiate your claims?
You can also increase the credibility of your claims by curating testimonials on your LinkedIn profile. Ask your most satisfied clients and partners to share their experience as testimonials. You could even share testimonials in the video format.
Text vs video – how visitor-friendly is the content on your LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn doesn’t yet support native video upload in the profile section, but you can use YouTube and SlideShare video links under [Link to Media] to provide access to video. Apart from testimonial videos, you can also share how to videos, advice, information and tips, or impressive company news and updates. In fact, if your profile itself provides value to visitors, they’re more likely to follow you and approach you for advice and services.

2. Leverage LinkedIn’s Advanced Search

LinkedIn’s search engine works wonders with profile hunting. You can find anyone (who’s on LinkedIn) on LinkedIn – if you know your target and have the right keywords. On both the web and mobile apps, you can search for people using Job Roles.
Who are you looking for?
You can’t drum up business by barking up the wrong tree. That’s why it’s critical for you to know exactly whom to target. Social media managers? Marketing VPs? Or Digital Analysts? Who is it that makes the calls on decisions related to your business?
What’s the right Job Title?
LinkedIn’s search is keyword-specific. So if you’re hunting for [Social Media Manager], only the profiles listing that exact Job Title and the profiles that include those words as part of their Job titles will appear. When searching for someone in particular job role, it makes sense to try a few variations so you don’t miss any prospects.
Which filters can save you time?
Location and Industry filters can help you narrow-down your prospect list to only high-potential prospects, so you don’t have to waste time and energy reaching out to those who are not likely to convert.
Should you use InMail or send a Connection Request with a custom message?
Either works, but if your business has long sales cycles, it probably makes sense to turn prospects into connections. Longer sales cycles demand more contact between a business and it’s prospects. So, you’ll probably need to send 2-3 cycles of messages with some time in between them and that’s easier done when the prospect is a contact.

3. Craft compelling custom invites

LinkedIn’s inbox is where you build relationships. And your invite can help make an impactful first impression. That’s why it’s super-important to customize every invite/message that you send out.
How can you personalize invites?
The more you know about a prospect, the more you can personalize the invites that you send out. In fact, even viewing a profile on LinkedIn can have some impact. I’d even suggest viewing profiles first, taking notes and going back to send invites a few days later. Try and use details that prospects have revealed on their profiles to customize the invites that you send to them.
Can you initiate live-chats with prospects?
LinkedIn messaging is now real-time. You can see little dots next to a person’s chat window when they’re online and typing. If you have warm leads who you’d like to convert, you can always initiate non work-related chats when they’re online from time to time.
What value can you offer within messages?
Again, LinkedIn prospecting is all about what value you bring to the table. Can you show prospect clients transformation even before they turn into clients? The transformation doesn’t have to be great and it certainly shouldn’t cost you money. But if there’s something substantial that you can share with prospects in the initial invite or later messages, you should.
Are you being intrusive?
Just because someone has accepted your invite, doesn’t mean that they want you to send them messages. Ask for permission, always. Get feedback, always. And try and craft your messages so they’re genuine and noticeable.

4. Consciously share conversion-oriented content

What you share on LinkedIn matter a lot because it’s the only contact that prospects have with you away from messages. Sharing content because everyone says you should can be more counter-productive than anything. Everything you share should have a purpose.
How can you curate exceptional content?
Everything you share should ideally be exceptional. But finding exceptional content on a daily basis can be taxing – unless you have a team of people just for the job. However, you can simplify the task with the assistance of a content curation app such as DrumUp.
What are the types of content that you can share on LinkedIn?
Remember Seth Godin’s purple cow principle when curating content for LinkedIn. Unless it’s a purple cow, people won’t pay attention. They’ll continue scrolling through their feed without giving your post a second look. What are the types of content that will make them stop and look?
Videos? Content in story-form? Content with powerful visuals? Content with a catchy copy?
Take your pick and ensure that you choose well for every post.

How can you simplify content sharing and engagement on LinkedIn?
By using a social media management tool like DrumUp, you can organize your content assets within your scheduling tool and create an engaging content queue using analytics data and themes that you can get an overview of in calendar-form.
Whose content can you share for additional engagement and relationship-building?
It’s a great idea to share other people’s content on LinkedIn for extra-engagement and exposure. Anything you share with attribution will earn you goodwill and trust from your audience and the people whose content you share.

5. Collaborate with your community via LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are where professionals in the same industry network, share content and opinions. There are tons of active LinkedIn Groups that you can join to build rapport with people in your industry.
How many relevant types of LinkedIn Groups can you work with?
You don’t have to stick with one type of LinkedIn Group to attract the attention of prospects. You can also join Groups in similar niches, within your industry (to find co-marketing partners) and in parallel niches (so you can find potential advocates).
What can you do in Groups to build relationships?
Every marketer who joins LinkedIn Groups typically just uses them as extra channels to share the content that they create. Again, think purple cow. What can you do on the Group that will initiate conversations with its members?
How can you convert Groups conversations into business conversations?
It’s not enough to just have conversations in Groups. You also need to figure out a way to take your prospects from Groups to business discussions. It’s best to have these routes planned in advance. For instance, you could share/comment on conversion-focussed content – view someone’s profile – leave a few days of time in between – and then send them a connection request with a personalized invite.
Can you create/manage your own LinkedIn Group?
Managing LinkedIn Groups is effort-intensive. Unless you can invest that kind of time and effort, it doesn’t make sense for you to own a LinkedIn Group. If you have decided to go ahead and create one, you need to have a core-objective, rules and a moderator to monitor Group activity. As it’s not advisable to create a Group just promotion, you have to decide how you will connect participants of that Group to your business eventually. If your Group adds value, chances are that people will inquire about services/products on their own.

6. Get employee advocacy right

Employee advocacy can reduce the length of your sales cycles, promote more conversions and increase your customer retention rate if implemented properly. Client-facing employee advocates can help you boost such business goals if they are given the right content to share.
What content can you get client-facing employees to share on LinkedIn for maximum impact?
The success of your employee advocacy program depends on your content, among other factors. Considering LinkedIn is the platform, the best types of content you share are – client success stories, how to articles and tips that also feature your products and services.
Which employees can you get to be a part of the program?
While you can get just about anyone to participate, some selective participation can do your program a lot of good. For instance, you can get sales executives to share content useful to people in the last stage of your sales cycle. Other employees can share content that’s targeted at the rest of your conversion funnel.
What this means is basically this. Sales executives can share something like – 5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing Riding Gear while other employees can share something like – 6 Safety Measures to Take When on a Ride in which one point can be about riding gear and feature your products.
How can you convert the attention you earn via employee advocacy?
What’s the point in having people share content at random if it doesn’t amount to anything? Every piece of content you share should have a purpose, a road back to your products and means to measure its impact. Custom URLs can help with two out of three of those requirements.

7. Enhance your brand’s personality

When there are tons of LinkedIn Pages to follow, why should audience members follow yours? Even if you’re giving people value, you can’t expect them to follow you if you’re not very interesting. That’s why it’s important for you to enhance your brand’s personality, so audience members have the opportunity to connect with you.
What personality traits can you associate with your brand?
When building your brand’s personality, you have to assign it certain traits. And these traits need to have an impact on your target groups. What kind of humor suits your brand? Will you be sassy, quiet and meek or outspoken? The answer to these questions will shape your brand.
How can you express your brand’s personality via the content you share on LinkedIn?
It isn’t enough to just assign traits to your brand. You also have to figure out how you will express those traits through LinkedIn content. Will you share jokes? Will your post text exhibit humor? Will you reproach people making the wrong choices in terms of products?
Is it necessary to regulate content shared by employees to ensure it matches your brand?
Some companies strictly regulate employee activity on social media while others take a more relaxed stance. The choice is yours. I would recommend requesting employees to share more on-brand content without enforcing them to do it. Usually, when you get employees in at the grassroots level as in the case of employee advocacy, employees are more enthusiastic about cooperating.

8. Converse with relevant LinkedIn users

Listening is a critical part of building relationships, on LinkedIn and otherwise. One way to show your connections that you are listening is by reading their content and engaging with it. That’s why commenting becomes so important on LinkedIn. Even the marketing greats like Brian Dean still dedicate time to this activity.
What are the different ways in which you can strike conversations with LinkedIn users?
You could initiate conversations by asking questions. The questions don’t have to be related to your work. They can always be casual questions that everyone wants to answer. But, if you’re seriously looking for leads, you can post more conversion-focussed questions and content.
How do you ensure that the conversations you have on LinkedIn are goal-oriented?
Every conversation you have on LinkedIn need not be goal-oriented, but you can earn business on LinkedIn only when you make conscious conversations. Ensure that you know exactly whom you’re conversing with and which conversations you’re joining. Also, be sure that the conversations you’re having are pushing you towards a specific goal.
How do you turn conversations into conversions?
Firstly, it’s important to keep track of the conversations you have using a CRM or an excel sheet. CRMs work better because you can classify leads as cold and warm leads on some of them. When you’re keeping track of conversations, you’re more likely to achieve goals through them.

9. Publish stories instead of regular updates

Stories generally perform very well on LinkedIn. People share success stories of clients and other people to inspire their connections and give them actionable insights. Storytelling enables you to grab attention, awaken emotions and create memories, all of which are a critical part of making an impact on your target groups.
What kinds of stories can you share on LinkedIn?
Client success stories are probably the best form of content that you can share on LinkedIn. By sharing client success stories, you can show prospects your ability to help companies achieve their goals. However, you can also share employee success stories to attract the right talent and success stories of people in your industry, in general, to provide your audience with insights.
How can you place your products and services in stories?
While you can’t make your products and services the heroes of LinkedIn stories, you should definitely mention them strategically. It’s always best to make your target audience members the heroes of LinkedIn stories and place your products as the tools that can assist them in achieving their goals.
How can you add visuals to your storytelling on LinkedIn?
While the rest of social media has already been taken over by visuals, LinkedIn remains a primarily textual platform. That gives you the opportunity to experiment with visuals and begin to capture the interest of your target audience before your competition.
Everyone important to your business is available and accessible on LinkedIn. With the right idea for content and the right outreach strategies, you can make invaluable connections on LinkedIn that can help you generate substantial revenue.
Feature image: asierromero / Freepik