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15 Tips To Tweet: Insights From Digital Marketing Thought Leaders

By | Digital Marketing | One Comment

TIPS TOThe world of digital marketing is wonderfully diverse and ever-changing. Business leaders have three basic approaches to this varied industry. One is to research, learn, and stay current on changing landscapes. The second would be to dive into digital marketing with a rough plan, get frustrated after the first failure and call it quits. And the final approach isn’t really an approach at all. It’s just to ignore the industry hoping that it is just a passing fad.

Hopefully you do not subscribe to that last group, or we would have to burst your bubble! Digital marketing is not going anywhere, businesses must either adapt or be left behind. Now, that leaves the two other approaches. Clearly, the first option is the best. But, you may be thinking that it’s too much time, too many resources, and too complicated to undertake.

Not so fast! While the world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, many core tips apply regardless of the place in time. We reached out to some of the brightest minds in the digital marketing industry, covering everything from SEO to social media, with one simple question:

What is your favorite (less than 140 characters!) digital marketing advice?”

Not surprisingly, these industry thought leaders did not disappoint. You’ll find their favorite tips listed below. If any, or all, strike a chord with you, Tweet it and share the knowledge.

On Digital Marketing

@ChadPollitt “Consistency is the key to successful digital marketing. Otherwise, the audience you build will not have their expectations met.” Tweet Me!

@nelsonjames “Don’t look for shortcuts. Almost all shortcuts lead to poor marketing tactics that will hurt your brand in the end.” Tweet Me!

@dustinheap “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket regardless of what that basket might be.” Tweet Me!

@lyena “Sometimes very simple observations lead to meaningful insights.” Tweet Me!

On Content

@shuey03 “Before you begin any content initiative, you MUST know the needs and pain points of your target audience and be ready to address them.” Tweet Me!

@amabaie “Visuals are more effective than just text. But the most effective visuals include text.” Tweet Me!

@Casieg “Look at your data when creating content.” Tweet Me!

@lyena “Become obsessed with pictures this year. Snap shots of your business, of people working there.” Tweet Me!

On Social Media

@ChadPollitt “If content is king then distribution is queen and she wears the pants.” Tweet Me!

@Matt_Siltala “Instagram is hot right now, and one of the most powerful tools for bringing the online and offline marketing worlds together.” Tweet Me!

@PapaRelevance “Organic reach on major social platforms will be reduced to rubble. Tune in to the paid content promotion ecosystem.” Tweet Me!

@PapaRelevance “I believe Twitter, Pinterest and the like will follow Facebook. You’ll need to pay for substantial exposure to your own audience.” Tweet Me!

On SEO and Optimization

@RavenJon “UX is quickly becoming the next big thing in marketing. The tipping point for #SEO was when they realized UX creates signals.” Tweet Me!

@lyena “Know your audience and understand what they want to accomplish on your website. Give them what they are looking for.” Tweet Me!

@DavidWallace “Just because Google says it doesn’t make it gospel. Marketing is war & Google is not your friend. Take what they say with a grain of salt.” Tweet Me!

Never miss a beat by following these Tweeps on Twitter. That way, you’ll be one step closer to staying on top of all Digital Marketing news, trends, and insights.

5 Lesser-Known Content Discovery Tools

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

When you’re spending a good portion of your day searching for show-stopping content, staring at countless RSS feeds gets really old. Sometimes, for your sanity, it’s imperative to step away from Feedly and spend time on other content discovery tools (maybe I’m speaking too much from personal experience here). Regardless, we thought it would be useful to round up 5 alternative content discovery tools and tried each one out so you don’t have to! They’re listed in order of likelihood of us utilizing them in the future.

Buzzsumo

What Buzzsumo Says:

BuzzSumo offers social insights for content marketers and SEO agencies. We help you identify content and outreach opportunities.”

From a User’s Perspective:

buzzsumo top content

Out of all these wonderful content discovery tools, Buzzsumo is my personal favorite. After about 5 minutes of poking around the application, I had to bookmark it. I think what makes it so great is it’s all encompassing features. Users can filter results by media type and even filter further by date. The sorting options are also plentiful: from total shares to shares on a specific social platform. Users are also able to see who else has shared the content and are just 3 clicks away from sharing it to their own social profiles.

buzzsumo influencers

 

The Influencers tab is what put me over the moon about Buzzsumo. Just look at all of the rich information it provides on one simple search! The sort options here are also incredibly useful for whatever your specific query entails. Buzzsumo doesn’t just stop at creating amazing web applications, it forays into research as well. Last month, it’s analysis on over 100 million articles and what makes content go viral was featured on Inc. in the article 5 Proven Ways to Make Your Content Irresistibly Shareable.

Flipboard

What Flipboard says:

It’s a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you.”

From a User’s Perspective:

flipboard home

Flipboard is very aesthetically pleasing and intuitive. Which makes it a great tool if you’re aiming to curate images or photos. It’s useful for seeing what content is ‘popular’ instead of just an RSS feed. As a complete application, it has a decidedly different feel than other web-based applications.

flipboard discover tab

However, if you’re looking for a greater volume of consumable content, it’s not quite as conducive. But, the discovery tab is fun and reminiscent of Pinterest’s layout. That’s a bonus if your already familiar with navigating Pinterest.

iFlow

What iFlow says:

iFlow is all about delivering the content that matters to you right now, rather than just following the crowd. At the heart of iFlow are topic-based streams called flows that allow you to stay connected with the topics you care about on an ongoing basis.”

From a User’s Perspective:

iflow dashboardThere’s several useful features of iFlow. Users can completely customize their “flows” to see only the subjects they choose, tailored around their interests or expertise. It isn’t nearly as intuitive or physically appealing as Flipboard, but it allows for much greater customization and filtering options.

collections

Setting up your own flows takes a bit of time and to remedy this iFlow has it’s own “Discover Flows” page. Here, you can subscribe to any and all of your interests to see relevant content at your leisure. It’s also completely synced with your own social media account (either Facebook or Twitter) and allows you to interact with your connections on both platforms through iFlow’s site.

ContentGems

What ContentGems Says:

The current process for content marketing is tedious and involves cobbling together multiple tools and manual activities. Our main goal at ContentGems is to reduce the friction involved in content marketing so that marketers and companies can focus their efforts on creating and curating valuable content for their prospects and customers.”

From a User’s Perspective:

contentgems dashboard

ContentGems offers a limited offering for it’s free use. In this free version, users can only have two interests monitored. However, the Pro and Business versions are not terribly expensive and give a wider variety of options for tracking and RSS feed integration.

sources contentgems

I like that ContentGems sends you daily content suggestions via email in addition to Twitter home timeline integration. It’s also useful that ContentGems goes beyond RSS feeds by allowing users to filter interests by popularity or relevancy.

Dizkover

What Dizkover Says:

Dizkover is your social Content Curation and Content Discovery platform. Users posts original content or anything from the web. Other members can vote, link related information, or leave comments about the content. Related information and opinions can be voted up or down. This way, users can easily discover interesting content.”

From a User’s Perspective:

dizkover business

 

There are extremely varied users of Dizkover’s content curation and discovery platform. Which means that until you find the safety of your desired channel, you get inundated with irrelevant content. What sets Dizkover apart from other content discovery tools is that users can post their original content in addition to anything on the web. So,  your original content becomes treated just like anything else on the web and can be up-voted, similar to Reddit, to gain higher rankings in popularity. Using Dizkover, you can sort content by popularity, the number of comments, and date.

That concludes this list! What are some of your go-to’s for interesting content?

Top 50 Content Marketing Experts

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

Top50CMsAt Stryde, we strive to connect with all facets of our digital marketing community. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of who we consider to be the Top 50 Content Marketing experts. To compile this list, we used things like Twitter followers, frequency and quality of interactions in the social realm, breadth and depth of experience, as well as impact on the industry as a whole. By no means is this list exhaustive and it is listed in alphabetical order. Also, you’ll probably want to find these experts on Twitter. Click on the link names in each experts description, or save the time and subscribe our Top 50 Content Marketers list on Twitter. In the coming weeks we’ll also have posts of the Top 50 Social Media and SEO Experts, so stay tuned!

1. Adele Revela, President at The Buyer Persona Institute

For over 25 years, Adele Revella has helped marketers become trusted sources of competitive strategies. As the president of The Buyer Persona Institute, Revella leads practical workshops that dig into real-world business issues. She also spreads the word of using buyer personas to influence all marketing decisions.

2. Ahava Leibtag, President at Aha Media Group

Ahava Leitbag has more than 15 years of experience in writing, messaging, and marketing. In addition, she authored the popular blog Online it ALL Matters, which focused on the healthcare and higher education industries.

3. Amanda Maksymiw, Content Marketing Manager at Lattice Engines

As content marketing manager, Amanda Maksymiw is responsible for setting and managing Lattice Engine’s content marketing strategy including creating, producing, and publishing engaging content. Maksymiw has also been crowned “Content Marketing Tactician of the Year” in 2012.

4. Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Solutions

Andy Crestodina has authored almost 200 articles on content marketing topics ranging from SEO to social media. With 12 years of experience, Crestodina says the reason he loves web design and web marketing is that it’s both an art and a science.

5. Angie Schottmuller; Inbound Marketing Advisor and Speaker at Three Deep Marketing

Angie Schottmuller has more than 13 years’ experience in multi-channel B2B and B2C in both agency and corporation settings. Recently, she defined the Online Marketing university curriculum for The Art Institutes. Schottmuller is also is an active contributor on Search Engine Watch.

6.  Ann Handley, CCO at MarketingProfs

Ann Handley has been recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, as well as one of the most influential women in social media. Her impressive resume does not end there, Handley also co-founded ClickZ.com and is a best selling author of the book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage and Ignite Your Business.

7. Arnie Kuenn, CEO at Vertical Measures

Not only is Arnie Kuenn the CEO of Vertical Measures, he is also the author of Accelerate! Moving your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social, and Content Marketing. For more than 20 years, Kueenn has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing.

8. Barry Feldman, CEO at Feldman Creative

Barry Feldman’s firm Feldman Creative provides its clients with content marketing strategies that are unique and results driven. Barry has been named a Top 40 Digital Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute and as one of the 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by Linkedin.

9. Barry Graubart, Vice President of Product Strategy at Connotate

In addition to his work at Connotate, Barry Graubart operates Content Matters, which specializes in Digital Content Strategies. Graubart has over two decades of experience in content marketing and technology, and has led the development and marketing of countless subscription services.

10. Bernie Borges, Founder and CEO at Find and Convert

Bernie Borges leads Find and Convert strategy and provides inspiration to not only teammates, but also clients. Not satisfied with one job to do, Borges is an author, speaker, digital TV show and podcast host.

11. Brian Clark, Founder and CEO at Copyblogger Media

A self described serial entrepreneur, Brian Clark had built three successful service businesses utilizing online marketing skills before he moved to a completely online business model. Thus, Copyblogger Media was born. It is an innovative company that provides the tools needed to successfully grow businesses through social media and online marketing.

12. Chanse Arrington, Head of Developer and Content Marketing at Nokia

Chanse Arrington specializes in strategy and marketing of mobile technologies, web services, consumer experiences, app development and new products. He also is the creator of DVLUP, a service that helps developers become more successful by participating in various “app challenges.”

13. Dayna Rothman, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

Danya Rothman runs Marketo’s content initiatives and also acts as the managing editor of Marketo’s blog. Not only does she have extensive experience in content marketing, but also in social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing.

14. Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Velocity

Velocity touts itself as the “B2B marketing agency to the stars” and with content marketing junkie Doug Kessler as creative director, it is sitting comfortably in this position. Kessler is a copywriter as his core, but also enjoys analytics.

15. Francine Hardaway, Co-Founder at Stealthmode Partners

A true pioneer in email and internet use, Francene Hardaway is also a serial entrepreneur who counsels and invests in start-up entrepreneurs at Stealthmode Partners.

16. Guillaume Decugis, Co-Founder and CEO at Scoop.it!

Guillaume Decugis is a Stanford educated entrepreneur with an action side. Scoop.it! keeps him busy, but in his free time he’s an avid video gamer and skier. Decugis also grew Musiwave, a pioneer in mobile music, to worldwide operations before it was acquired by Microsoft.

17. Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide

At the young age of 8, Heidi Cohen knew she wanted to be an author. Fast forward to today, Cohen has built incredibly deep knowledge of cutting edge marketing across very diverse product categories. She also sends out a daily actionable marketing post email newsletter 5 days a week for free.

18. Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost

Jesse Noyes is no newbie to the content marketing game. Before joining the Kapost team, he was Director of Content Marketing for Offerpop. A Boston native, he began at the Boston Herald and then began reporting for the Boston Business Journal.

19. Joe Chernov, Vice President of Content at HubSpot

Joe Chernov has been graced with the title of “Content Marketer of the Year” and if you’re aware at all of content marketing, he’s probably not a new name to you. He runs the content marketing team at HubSpot and writes for Mashable and the Content Marketing Institute.

20. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

You can argue that we use the word “content marketing” because of Joe Pulizzi. He started using the term in 2001 and founded the leading content marketing education resource for enterprise brands, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). CMI was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing business media company in 2013.

21. John Miller, Founder of ScribewisePro

John Miller has worked in the marketing and media realm for more than two decades. In 2012, he saw the need of content creation and Scribewise was born. Essentially, he has built an outsourced newsroom for numerous organizations.

22. Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO at Buzzfeed

After co-founding the Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti launched Buzzfeed in 2006 and subsequently showed how meaningful share-able content can be. Buzzfeed blazed the trail of social content marketing to build share-able campaigns for the world’s leading brands.

23. Kane Jamison, Founder of Content Harmony

Kane Jamison learned HTML a whopping 18 years ago and began managing websites and content creation in 9 years ago. When Content Harmony was founded in 2012, Jamison and his team have sinced focused on SEO through better content and data-based content strategy.

24. Kevin Baldacci, Product Marketing Manager at Desk.com

As the Product Marketing Manager of Desk.com, Kevin Baldacci is responsible for content creation of the firms products. He can also be found tweeting for Baldacci Family Vineyards and writing content for Desk.com’s blog.

25. Kim Yuhl, Founder of Kimberly Yuhl Media Works

Take a look at Kim Yuhl’s “About Me” on her website, and you’ll find that she has unique and widespread insight on marketing for small business. Kim strives to create a place where “mom and pop kind” of small business owners can get real, practical advice.

26. Lauri Baker, Vice President of Brand Strategy and Sales at The Huffington Post

Lauri Baker has over 15 years of experience in marketing and advertising. Her innovative approach helps brands define, redefine, and market their brands. Before becoming VP, Baker was the Sales Director of Branded Content and acknowledged by Newscred as one of the 50 Most Influential Content Marketers.

27. Lisa Buyer, President and CEO at The Buyer Group

Lisa Buyer has over 20 years of experience in social PR, SEO, social media, branding and digital marketing. Her book, Social PR Secrets, empowers marketing and public relations professionals to successfully utilize the social and digital tools to promote their brands.

28. Marcus Sheridan, Writer, Consultant, and Speaker at The Sales Lion

To say that Marcus Sheridan has a variety of experience would be an understatement. You’ve most likely heard of the incredible inbound marketing success of his swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas. Sheridan’s entertaining yet educational style has lead him to become a highly sought after speaker.

29. Maria Pergolino, Vice President of Marketing at Apttus

Before joining Apttus, Maria Pergolino was a key leader and early member of the Marketo Marketing Team. She has extensive expertise in marketing automation, campaign optimization, inbound and social media marketing.

30. Michael Aagaard, Founder and Owner of Content Verve

Michael Aagaard takes Online Marketing and Conversion Rate Optimization very seriously. Over the past five years, he logged over 15,600 hours testing and optimizing sites. Aagaard has worked with B2B and B2C firms in industries ranging from travel insurance to charities.

31. Michael Brenner, Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP

Not only does Michael Brenner have nearly 20 years of experience serving a multitude of industries, he strongly believes in the power of a customer-centric culture and creating highly engaged employees. Michael also serves as the managing editor of SAP’s Business Innovation blog and contributes to Forbes AdVoice and the Economist.

32. Michael Stoner, Co-Founder and President of mStoner Inc.

Michael Stoner has some of the most extensive experience of any content expert on our list, at nearly 30 years. This does not mean he’s stuck in the past, he works tirelessly to stay ahead of marketing, social media, mobile, and online trends. His firm, mStoner, focuses on serving education institutions with effective strategies and tactics to get real results.

33. Michele Linn, Director of Content at Content Marketing Institue

Michele Linn spends her time as the Director of Content for CMI as well as heading her own content strategy firm, Linn Communications. Linn’s overarching goal with Linn Communications is to help B2B companies develop content strategies to connect with the ideal business customer through websites and content.

34. Murray Newlands, Author, Entrepreneur, and Speaker

An Internet marketing expert, blogger, adviser, teacher, and author, Murray Newlands wears many hats. This former lawyer has worked with the internet marketing industries leading agencies, advertisers, and networks.

35. Neal Schaffer, Author, Social Media Strategy & Social Business Coach, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker

Neal Schaffer has the honor of being listed on the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer for two years in a row. He has also created the leading social media business blog, Maximize social business. When he’s not authoring acclaimed social media books, he’s traveling the world as a social media speaker.

36. Neil Ferree, Founder and President of FerreeMoney

While others on this list wear many hats, Neil Ferree has one focused mission: Monetizing Social Media Marketing. He uses tested and proven social media tools, apps, sites, and processes to maximize and monetize his clients social campaigns.

37. Nick Kellet, Co-Founder of List.ly

Nick Kellet describes himself as an ideas guy and innovator. Judging by the success of List.ly, he is clearly blazing trails. Constantly putting his entrepreneurial skills to use, Kellet has also created GiftTRAP and AnswerSets.

38. Pam Didner, Global Integrated Marketing Strategist at Intel

When she’s not acting as the Global Integrated Marketing Manager for Intel, Pam Didner is a professional business speaker and guest blogger for BtoB Magazine, CMI, and the Huffington Post. She was selected as one of BtoB’s Top Digital Marketers in 2011 and 2012 and was named one of the “Top 50 Content Marketers” in 2011.

39. Paul Roetzer, Founder and CEO at PR 20/20

Paul Roetzer began PR 20/20 in 2005 with the desire to shake things up after spending 7 years at a traditional PR firm. Roetzer also authored the book The Marketing Agency Blueprint.

40. Pawan Deshpande, Founder and CEO at Curata

Pawan Deshpande is responsible for Curata’s vision, management, and advanced development initiatives. This would keep an average person in over their heads, but Deshpande finds time to blog for Content Curation Marketing, CMI, CMO.com, Forbes, Marketingprofs, and numerous other publications.

41. Phil Buckley, Owner of 1918 Internet Services

Since the late 1990’s, Phil Buckley has been working on everything from early web development to system administration. A decade ago, he discovered his passion for online marketing and since then has worked for multi-million dollar e-commerce websites, advertising agencies, and small SEO agencies.

42. Phil Paranicas, Director of New Product Development at ThomasNet

ThomasNet is a free platform designed for sourcing components, equipment, MRO products, raw materials, and custom manufacturing services. While that may sound like the furthest thing from content marketing, Phil Paranicas was named the Top Digital Marketing Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute in February 2014.

43. Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO at Skift

What started as a travel news and information site, Skift raised over $1 million in funding before it began. Rafat Ali plans on turning the site into a hub for content and commerce.

44. Rich Schwerin, Director of Social Content Strategy at Oracle

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rich Schwerin spends his work time focused on brand communications and digital content strategies. Schwerin also moonlights as a writer, editor, and broadcaster.

45. Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute

Robert Rose leads the client advisory, education, and technology practices for the Content Marketing Institute. A world renowned expert in content marketing strategy, Rose has helped large companies like AT&T, KPMG, PTC, Petco, and Nissan tell their stories.

46. Ross Hudgens, Founder of Siege Media

Siege Media specializes in developing, promoting, and maintaining content. Ross Hudgens has worked with the smallest and biggest business in the world implementing and executing effective SEO strategies that produce real results.

47. Russell Sparkman, CEO Content Strategy at FusionSpark Media

Russell Sparkman describes himself as a “content craftsman” and has over a decade of experience in Content Marketing Strategy and Content Development.

48. Scott Abel, Founder of The Content Wrangler

Scott Abel not only a content management strategist, but also a social media choreographer. Abel helps organizations improve all aspects of their content, from authoring all the way to archiving.

49. Simon Penson, Founder of Zazzle Media

Online marketing is not Simon Penson’s first love, he spent ten years in print media as a journalist and national magazine editor. Now he heads Zazzle Media, a content-led digital marketing agency based in the UK.

50. Toby Murdock, Co-Founder and CEO, Kapost

Toby Murdock is no stranger to the start-up world. Before co-founding Kapost he co-founded a social music service Qloud, which was eventually sold. You can find Murdock blogging at Communitas.

Who did we miss? Leave a comment and we can grow the list!

Stryde’s Top Ten Posts of 2013

By | Blogging | No Comments

This past year has been a great first year for Stryde. We’ve provided numerous marketing posts throughout the year, and in case you missed any, here’s a list of our top 10 posts from 2013.

1. Ten Books Every Digital Marketer MUST Read

This early summer post offers 10 books that every digital marketer should read to help them better understand the digital marketing landscape and become the best asset they can to their team and company.

Click this link if you want to check this post out: http://www.stryde.com/ten-books-every-digital-marketer-must-read/

2. How To Use Google Keyword Tool & Google Trends For Keyword Research

This article goes over two great tools that are used to help you discover keyword opportunities and how to best use them for your business.

Click here if you want to read more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-use-google-keyword-tool-google-trends-for-keyword-research/

3. The Ultimate List of SEO Tools

In this post, we go over SEO tools every digital marketer should know and use. We go over tools in three different areas: keyword research, SEO analysis and link building.

Follow this link if you want to learn more: http://www.stryde.com/the-ultimate-list-of-seo-tools/

4. Five Things You MUST Do To Have A Successful, Thriving Online Business

Learning the five components of running a successful and thriving online business that will help you stand out from your competitors is what you’ll find in this post.

Click on this link to find out more: http://www.stryde.com/four-things-you-must-have-to-have-a-successful-thriving-online-business/

5. Five Ways To Tell Google What Your Website Is About

Here you’ll be told about five different elements that help your website make a strong case to the search engines that it’s relevant for specific keywords. These elements will also help you rank higher and generate more traffic to your website.

Click here to read this whole article: http://www.stryde.com/five-ways-to-tell-google-what-your-website-is-about/

6. How To Effectively Perform Link Prospecting & Outreach via BuzzStream

BuzzStream is a great platform for digital marketers looking to generate good quality links and outreach and is a way to build on relationships you make out of those. We offer a list of resources to help you learn about this tool and how to properly use it.

Check out this post by clicking on this link: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-effecitvely-perform-link-prospecting-outreach-via-buzzstream/

7. Understanding The Different Types of Anchor Text & How To Use Them

In this post we define what anchor text is, give you four types of anchor text and tell how to use them.

Click this link if you’re interested in learning more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/understanding-different-types-anchor-text-use/

8. 25 Online Marketing Tools We’re Thankful For This Year

This was a Thanksgiving post where we listed 25 online marketing tools that we are thankful for and that we at Stryde use on a daily basis to help with our job and our clients.

If you want to know more, click this link: http://www.stryde.com/online-marketing-tools-thankful-year/

9. Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

In this post the current guest blogging strategies being used are discussed and why they’re making guest blogging a less effective tactic. We then list and discuss six future guest blogging strategies that are sure to make you successful.

If you’re interested in this topic, click on this link to read the piece: http://www.stryde.com/guest-blogging-as-we-know-it-is-dying-evolve-or-move-on/

10. How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio

This piece teaches you how to better protect yourself from algorithm updates and about five types of links that should be considered when wanting to diversify your link portfolio.

Click on this link to read this entire article: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-diversify-your-backlink-portfolio/

We’re really looking forward to 2014 and continuing to add value to the online marketing community through our blog.

10 Overlooked Ways To Generate Content Topics

By | Content Marketing | One Comment

content

Every writer experiences writer’s block at some point in their career — and probably more times than we’d like. It’s not fun, but it happens to everyone.

There are multiple ways a writer can overcome their block of finding a good content topic to write about. Looking up keywords relevant to your area of interest is a typical way to come up with content topics. While that’s a more common option, what else can you do?

Below is a list of 10 overlooked ways to generate content topics relevant and interesting to your audience.

1. Let Social Media Be Your Saving Grace

Social media sites have all the hot, trending topics. Users post statuses, leave comments or send tweets with hashtags. Use Facebook and Twitter to your advantage. Find out what people are searching for through Twitter search, know what popular hashtags are being used, start or join a TweetChat and see what questions users are asking or discussing. Even our own Greg Shuey runs a Twitter chat called #seochat. It is highly successful and a great way to figure out what questions people have around your industry.

2. Use Social Search Tools

Other online tools to peruse are social search tools. These tools, such as Topsy and Bottlenose, tell you what’s happening in social media right now. So if you don’t want to go through your own social networking accounts, use one of these to see some of the latest articles, tweets and trending topics.

3. Talk To Your Sales And Service Staff

These people are the ones who interact with your customers and leads daily. Since they work so closely with them, they know the daily questions asked and challenges faced. This gives you a chance to answer those questions and help solve their problems through your content.

4. Look Into Relatable Forums

There are Internet forums for nearly every topic out there. Join one to see what people are talking about to help you generate content topics. You can see what questions people in the forum are asking, and then write a piece answering their question and post it as a comment in the forum for that viewer and others to read.

5. Do The Work For Your Readers

In most cases, your readers don’t want to do all the research before buying a new product. Let’s be honest, research is a pain and takes up a lot of time. Most people would rather find out who’s already done the research and then read their review. Be the reviewer and do the research for your readers. Your readers will appreciate you for it and are likely to come back for more reviews if you write good, honest ones.

6. Keep Up With Current Events

People want to know what’s hot, who’s hot and why. To help you generate content topics, keep up to date with current events and top trends in your area and even worldwide. You can write about an event or trend by summarizing it, focusing on a specific part or writing your own viewpoint from it. Just be sure to publish your content before the topic becomes old news.

7. Browse Online Libraries And Books

You’re a writer so clearly (hopefully) you like to read. Whether you do or don’t, books are a great source of ideas. They can help you find new topics to write about or allow you to dig deeper into a topic and discover unique information about it. A good way to find multiple content topics is choosing a book related to your field or area of interest, writing down its chapter headings and then using each heading as a future content piece topic.

8. Go To Your Analytics

If you want to know what’s worked and not worked for you, look over your site’s analytics. The data there tells you what past topics or pieces brought you traffic, shares and comments and which ones didn’t. Use that information to know what topics will be beneficial for you to write about.

9. Watch A TV Show Or Movie

TV shows and movies can get your creative juices flowing. Watch one you’ve never seen or try out a new genre than what you’re used to and see how it can help you think about new content topics. It can also help you see a topic from a different, more interesting angle.

10. Ask People For Ideas

A go-to method is always asking people for ideas. There are hundreds of people you can ask: family, friends, coworkers, readers, etc. Directly asking these people for ideas or picking up on topics in casual conversation are ways to help you discover new topics to write about.

When you’re having writer’s block — and trust me, you will — don’t stress. This list provides plenty of options to help you generate content topics that your readers will relate to and enjoy.

Know Your Audience & Create Content That Speaks To Them

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

who is your target audienceToday’s post is another goodie from our friend Laurel Teuscher. Enjoy!

A business knows who their audience is. They’ve done the researched, had surveys sent out, and can confidently tell anyone about their key demographic. Whether they are the quintessential Wall Street guru, the hippie fruit loving stay-at-home parent, or the hipster—we picture and write to that person, knowing that by writing in their language and addressing their concerns, we can engage them.

But what if our vision of our audience, isn’t the right one?

The beauty of social media is that it brings us back into a small-town atmosphere. Everything is by word of mouth. Had a great experience at a restaurant? Hit up Yelp and write a quick review. People will search, find the review, and then head to that restaurant based on your recommendation.

Your business is trying to get people to talk about you. And the beauty of the Internet and social media is that you can see who is talking about your business.

But maybe while you’re working so hard to appeal to the 20-something music lover crowd, your actual audience is a 35-44 year old accountant Dad. Without a survey, without field research, your analytics program tells you that. Or maybe you think your business is for 50+ year old professional men, but the people who are talking about you are actually young women in their 20s. You can either disregard these fans and continue to write to the audience you want, or you can alter your plans and write to the audience that you have.

Alter. As in change.

Businesses don’t like to hear that because change means that the cost will go up. Budgets and schedules will need to be revised.

It’s true that your strategy must adapt to focus on this new audience. But once you start writing to the audience you have, you’ll find that you have better advocates. You appeal to the people who are already talking about your business and they are more than willing to start sharing and engaging.

And the more they share, the more reach you have and the better engagement. A business would rather have one customer saying great things about their business to their friends, than 20 people who never interact with them.

Listen to your audience and then start creating content that they will want to engage with and share to their friends.

About Laurel

Laurel Teuscher hates to be called a social media guru, but she’s glad that the hours she’s spent online (and her roundabout degrees) enabled her to find a job in the social media realm.

Image source: SaraHealy.com

How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio For Better SEO

By | SEO | One Comment

diversified link portfolioLast week I was consulting with a small business here in Salt Lake and the business owner asked me what it meant to diversify a link portfolio and how one might go about it.

This is an excellent question and one that many business owners are probably asking themselves, especially after the roll out of Penguin 2.0 early last week.

The problem with SEO is that marketers have always tried to game the system and build certain types of links that deliver big results with the least amount of work. When I first got started with SEO, you could build thousands of directory links and rank in the top three positions in the SERPs within a few weeks. A few years later, it was article marketing websites, and a few years after that, it was blog networks like LinkVana, BuildMyRank, and SEOLinkVine.

What this has led to was a lot of websites building a few different types of links for a very long time and when the algorithm updates discount or ignore those links altogether, those sites are in a world of hurt. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been right there in the thick of it and have had my share of sites go through these same issues (this is not a holier than thou post), what I can tell you is, going through this has caused me to be a smarter marketer, especially when it comes to diversifying my backlinks and my marketing strategies altogether (SEO, Social, PPC, Email, Etc.).

In today’s post I want to talk about how to better protect yourself from future algorithm updates and five types of links you should consider acquiring when trying to diversify your link portfolio.

Content Driven Links

I wanted to start out by talking about links driven by high quality content that’s interesting and share worthy. One of the easiest ways to future proof your website from algorithm updates, but hardest to execute, is to create the kind of content your target audience is in dire need of and get them to share and link to it. This can be done by creating infographics, ebooks, white papers, checklists, and other items of great value. It can also be done by becoming a thought leader and blogging (freely giving away your knowledge and expertise) on a regular basis.

Creating this kind of content generates the signals the search engines are looking for and are really hard to replicate by the competition. There will always be a group of individuals who link to and share your content that won’t for your competition.

Local Links

I am always amazed by the number of companies I consult with that have never though to get links from websites in their region. Chances are, there are chambers and other organizations you belong to that you can get a link from. There are also good chances that there are different events that you can sponsor or charities you can donate to that will get you a link. I love Wil Reynolds idea of creating scholarships (you should do this for local Universities) and use that for generate links for your business.

Some other ideas to help you generate links from websites in your region is to comment on local blogs, guest blog on local, niche blogs, and provide testimonials to local businesses that you love. You can read more about these in this post by Matt Green over on the Moz blog.

Business Profiles

One high impact link strategy that many businesses overlook is setting up your business in all of the major business directories online. Most marketers do this to help with their maps optimization, you know, citation building and aligning your name, address, and phone number, but forget that these trusted directories also provide links back to your website.

I like to start with some of the bigger, more trusted sites, like those found on GetListed.org. These include Best of The Web, City Search, Four Square, Hot Frog, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Here.com. I’ll tell you what, if Moz recommends these sites, you should have profiles on them… TODAY!

Partners & Vendors

Another way to get some awesome links that help to round out your link portfolio is to leverage any partnerships or vendors for links. A lot of companies are scared to even ask because they are afraid it is going to damage their relationship with them. I’m here to tell you, it’s not! In fact, it often times strengthens the relationship. If you are willing, you might also add a link to them on your website. Yes, this is a reciprocal link, but in this particular situation, it is perfectly normal to link back and forth and you won’t be penalized for it. So don’t even go there in the comments 🙂

Guest Blogging

Lastly, and I saved this one for last because it is a tactic that is severely abused, is to do some guest blogging. To do guest blogging the right way, you will want to identify a handful of high quality, high visibility blogs in your niche and build a relationship with the blog owners. After becoming friends, you should work to get some of your best content published on their websites. These links will stand the test of time, low quality, “anyone can get them” guest posts will not. So be smart about it.

There are lots of other fantastic ways to build links that will help diversify your link portfolio, however, I’d start with these. If you’d like to chat about other link strategies not listed here, please do so in the comments section below.

Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

By | SEO | 8 Comments

guest blogging tips

There… I said it… Guest blogging as we know it is dying a slow and painful death and digital marketers either aren’t happy about it, or don’t see it coming yet (which is sad).

This post is probably going to upset some people, however, it needs to be said and marketers either need to make adjustments to their current strategies or move on to other link acquisition strategies and tactics that are sustainable.

So, what do I mean by guest blogging as we know it? Let me explain.

Current Guest Blogging Strategies

The problem with SEO is that it’s a long term strategy and companies engaging in SEO are looking for the best way to scale their efforts without spending a fortune doing so. In the past, this has led to businesses and agencies building thousands of directory links and articles, which eventually were targeted and devalued by the search engines. Well, the same goes for guest blogging.

Over the last few years, companies and agencies have worked extremely hard to scale these efforts, but while doing so have cut corners and made it a less effective tactic for the rest of us. It’s gotten so scalable and borderline commoditized, that there are several companies who’ve popped up over the last year or so who only do quick and dirty guest blogging fulfillment for businesses and agencies. Not good… not good at all.

So, what kind of corners are being cut that make guest blogging a less effective tactic? Here’s a few:

  • Writing generic, garbage content that helps no one.
  • Posting generic, garbage content on sites that are full of other generic, garbage content.
  • Writing non formatted, four paragraph, four hundred word posts that look exactly the same as all other guest posts you’ve written.
  • Adding no links in the post except two back to your or your clients site in the author bio.
  • Adding no imagery or videos.
  • Taking any opportunity you dig up through the [“insert your topic here” intitle:write for us] advanced search query.
  • Not taking the time to proof read your generic, garbage content.
  • Not taking the time to promote it socially.
  • And the list can go on and on 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, even though these tactics are pure garbage, they do still help improve rankings in the search engines (today), however, they will not bring sustainable results and when the next major algorithm update rolls out, it will be all for naught.

So what should you be doing different? Let’s talk about that next.

Future Guest Blogging Strategies

As I don’t have a keen ability to see into the future like some self proclaimed “digital marketing gurus”, I’ve been doing this long enough that I can make some fairly reasonable predictions on how to salvage this tactic and squeeze as much value out of them as possible. There are six specific areas of focus that I’d like to call your attention to.

First, don’t take any guest blogging opportunity you drum up through advanced search queries or through communities like MyBlogGuest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ann and she has a ton of great opportunities in there, but there’s also a lot of crap, so be careful. Be selective and seek out opportunities to publish posts on the best blogs you can find. The best opportunities and the most powerful links will come from the sites that don’t actively allow guest bloggers to post. If you invest the time and build a quality relationship, you can get them, but you have to be patient and persistent. Remember, one link from a site like this is far more valuable then a dozen links from crappy blogs.

Second, when you have some decent opportunities, write your very best content for them. You owe it to them for allowing you to post on their site. Don’t just horde all of your best content for your own blog, give it away as well. I promise, you’ll thank me later!

Third, when writing your content make sure to do your research and work in some internal links from the blog you are posting on. This shows the blog owner that you truly care about their blog, their readers, and your quality. You should also work in external links to relevant resources besides your or your clients website. Trust me, two links in an author bio is a dead giveaway of a crappy post only being used to “take” from someone else. Give as much as you take!

Fourth, format your post by adding heading tags, bullets, and add images and video where it makes sense. I will also recommend taking some time to design custom graphics for these posts. You don’t have to spend hours designing them, but I can promise that a little effort goes a long way with both the site owner and their readers.

Fifth, put your stamp of approval on your post by associating your name and your face with your blog posts by adding authorship markup.

Sixth, remember three paragraphs ago when I said give as much as you take? After you get your content posted, make sure you take sufficient time to promote it socially. You should do this from both your personal account and your company account. If you are too embarrassed to share because of the content or the site it is found on, it’s probably not worth your time to post there.

So there you have it, the future of guest blogging. What do you think? Spot on? Way out in left field? I’d love your comments and feedback, so please share them below.

Image credit: Social Media Revolver

How To Implement Rel=Publisher To Claim All of The Content On Your Website

By | Blogging | No Comments

This is the third post in the Rel=Author and Rel=Publisher series. In the first post, we discussed the differences between the two and in the second post, we talked about how to set up Rel=Author. In today’s post, we are going to walk you through the process of setting up rel=publisher. This is going to be a very short and very simple post as there are two things you need to do to set this up.

How To Implement Rel=Publisher

As I mentioned above, the process of implementing Rel=Publisher is very simple. Here are the steps:

1. Add a link from the home page of your website that links to your Google+ Page and has the attribute rel=”publisher”. Here’s how it should look:

relpublisher1

 

 

2. Add a link from back to your website from your Google+ Page profile. Here’s how that should look:

googleplus

Just like with Rel=Author, the last thing you need to do is perform a Publisher Verification to ensure you set everything up properly. You can do this by testing the URL in the Rich Snippets Testing tool found in Webmaster Tools. If you see your logo to the right of your website, you are good to go!

Note: You need to make sure to only set up Rel=Publisher on the home page of your website. If you set it up across the site, it will overwrite the Rel=Author markup and you will get no images showing up in the search engines… so be careful!

Well that’s it! Like I said, very simple! If you have any questions or comments about the process, please feel free contribute in the comments section below.

How To Implement Rel=Author To Tie Your Content Back To You

By | Blogging | No Comments

In my last post, I talked about Rel=Author and Rel=Publisher and what the difference is between the two. Well, today, I’m going to write post 2 of 3 and will be talking about how to implement Rel=Author. Let’s dive in!

Why Use Rel=Author?

The first thing I wanted to touch on is the reason why you want to be using Rel=Author. It is said that over 60% of all search traffic goes to the top three results for any given search query. However, if you have Rel=Author properly set up, and the top three do not, you can in essence steal clicks from those outranking you in the SERPs. The reasoning for this is because an author image draws the eye and attracts potential visitors to your listing in the SERP. That’s just how we, as human beings, are wired.

Here are three stellar posts to verify that by implementing Rel=Author you can increase your click-thru rate.

If those posts don’t get you pumped about Rel=Author, I don’t know what will.

How To Implement Rel=Author

So, the process for setting up Rel=Author is actually quite easy. There are two things that you need to do in order to set it up properly, here they are:

1. Add a link from your content that links to your Google+ profile adding ?rel=author to the end of your profile URL. Here’s how it should look:

relauthor1

2. Add a link from your Google+ profile (In the Contributor To section, under the about tag) that links back to the home page of the website you posted your content on. Here’s what you are looking for:

contributor

Once you linked up your content to your Google+ profile, the last think you will want to do is perform an Authorship Verification to ensure you set everything up properly. You can do this by testing the URL in the Rich Snippets Testing tool found in Webmaster Tools. If you see your image next to the sample search results you are ready to roll!

relauthorsuccess

I hope that this has been a helpful guide to show you have to set up Rel=Author properly and link your content back to your Google+ profile. Make sure to check out my next post where we will talk about how to set up Rel=Publisher.