Killer Tips for a Powerful Social Media Strategy
Social media, love it or hate it, can be the difference between life and death for a business, public figure, or even a work relationship. After all, you need to keep your customers updated on what’s going on so they know when to show up, what they can expect to spend, and what to look forward to when they arrive. And office mates can stay in touch with one another, making sure to coordinate events and meetings properly to ensure great results as the weeks and months go on.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’ve got something of a grasp on your social media strategy. Let’s review some ideas so you can make your profiles conducive to profit, productivity and people.
The best way to make sure you’re killin’ the social media game is to examine whatever it is you’re currently doing. So, go though the content you’ve put up over the year and see what made your audience interested and what bored them to death.
You will most likely collect a ton of data, so make sure you have some measures of assessment for it. Categorize your content and then measure how each one performed. For example, did infographic content beat video content?
You can use various platforms to help you tag and organize your content and measure its results. Sprout Social, for example, helps with this immensely. You can even export data from social media platforms and use said info in your measurements.
Your primary goals of your Content Strategy examination are:
What you find may surprise you!
Now that you know about your social media content strategy, you are going to see some ways you can improve on whatever content you have used in your posts on social media and even in your ads. It is a good idea to spend a little time and money in content creation for the most effective social media marketing.
You can do all kinds of things: Video shoots, colorful and informative graphics, photo shoots, and more. The idea is to take lessons that you learned from your examination of your past year in social media and use them to make more of what your followers want to see.
We know not everybody has a Bill Gates budget. So, if repurposing content is something that you need to do, don’t worry about it. Many people are not going to call you out on repurposed content. If you do have the budget to create some fresh material for your social media front, go for it-videos, especially, are a huge win.
Be sure that you do research on your industry to make sure you’re staying current with the latest trends in video creation. And make sure to hire a videographer who knows his or her stuff-gone are the days when a cell-phone video would generate good results. You can even put a call out for people in your office who own great video equipment to come forth for a great resume builder and a chance to break up the routine workday.
Ten years ago, if somebody told you that a social media influencer could mean success or failure for an industry, you might have got some laughs. But, the matter is all too serious. For instance, consider the deaths of beloved celebrities like Prince or Bob Marley. Influencers who acknowledge these and other talented individuals may generate sales and brand loyalty. Today, that is more true than ever. Just as a great celebrity promotes a soft drink or sports equipment, a social media influencer can really ignite a brand.
Influencer marketing will likely change shape over the coming years, but right now it is hot like fire. So long as you clearly define your expectations, thoroughly vet your desired partners, and provide a clear outline on what you will deliver, you should have a successful time working with an influencer.
Literally ANYBODY can build a platform and their personal brand. So, you will find yourself faced with a lot of shady people and unrealistic individuals who claim they are social media marketing gurus that want hefty payments for their services, even with no performance data to boast. Don’t blindly jump into a partnership.
Connect with influencers who are important to your brand or industry. See what kind of content they create. See how much engagement and participation that content actually generates. Do not be afraid to ask for analytics and numbers about this info. Anyone worth their salt in the influencer game will be happy to show what they can do for you.
Much like we examine the stats of athletes when choosing our fantasy football teams, you should absolutely keep an eye on the stats of your competition. Doing this will help you gain insight and ideas about how to approach your own strategy. Ask yourself the following as you examine their output: What are they doing well? Could I use one of their ideas but put our own spin on it, and therefore make it even better? Don’t think of this as lacking creativity or trying to copy what others are doing. Think of this as a means to see what opportunities exist for your brand. You never know what might surface in doing this.
Remember, though-appearances can be deceiving. What looked like a million-dollar idea may not have panned out the way they wanted it to, and vice versa. You never know what budget went behind a particular idea, or what kind of strategy they are running. So, don’t jump into an idea when your information is incomplete. Just examine what they’re doing, see if it’s a good fit for you, and then see what you can do to make it your own. A little competition is the spice of life and healthy.
Water takes the shape of whatever vessel it is poured into; it kinda goes with the flow. You too should learn to be adaptable and update your strategy as you need to.
Consider Snapchat. When they introduced their “Stories”, Instagram immediately jumped on the bandwagon as well and implemented a feature just like it in 2016. Facebook, meanwhile, was rolling out the option to livestream. Content produced in real time suddenly became the “thing” and even three years later, it’s going strong.
Many other marketers got right into the fray and started livestreaming their product demos, Q&A sessions, presentations, and other content, which increased awareness and trust among followers and investors.
Even professional organizations like the Radiological Society of America conference were streamed by GE Healthcare via Facebook Live. In doing so, important takeaways and attendance was clearly communicated. This is not to mention that over 20,000 views were had on that video from members in their community, no doubt granting a sense of privilege and reassurance in an otherwise highly regulated and exclusive space.
So what’s the takeaway? It’s simple: Give yourself some leeway and embrace the tech that is coming down the pike. When it comes time to re-evaluate yourself and see how you’ve been doing in your social media performance and habits, base your tweaks and revisions on the following areas:
Whatever you do now, don’t get too attached to it. It will likely change the following year. Embrace it-after all, that’s the name of the game and the key to staying on top!
Here’s a classic but a relevant one-you just have to be consistent and routine with your posting depending on the platform. Some platforms like Instagram don’t move as fast as Twitter, so you may not have to publish so often. But, make sure you’ve got a schedule and you stick to it.
Don’t get lost and forgotten because you aren’t publishing enough! You have a lot of competition.
Sure, some strategies have been done to death. But you can definitely keep things fresh and interesting, so long as you’re open to change, enjoy new ideas, and are not afraid to put your own creative spin on an idea from a competitor. Be open and adaptable and you will find your social media image succeeds with flying colors.
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March 23, 2019 at 01:39PM
Elon Musk defends tweets in SEC’s contempt proceedings
Tesla CEO Elon Musk argued Friday that his Twitter use did not violate a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and that the agency’s request to have him held in contempt is based on a “radical interpretation” of the order, according to court papers filed in Manhattan federal court.
The SEC has asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt for violating a settlement agreement reached last year over Musk’s now infamous “funding secured” tweet. Under that agreement, Musk is supposed to get approval from Tesla’s board before communicating potentially material information to investors.
Musk contends he didn’t violate the agreement and that the problem lies in the SEC’s interpretation, which he describes as “virtually wrong at every level.” The filing also reveals new details about the settlement negotiations, notably that the SEC sent Musk a draft agreement that would have required him to obtain pre-approval for all public statements related to Tesla, in any format.
Musk and Tesla never agreed to those terms. Instead, Musk says the agreement requires him to comply with Tesla own policy, which would require pre-approval for “written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to the company or its shareholders.”
The barbs traded via court filings are the latest in an escalating fight between the billionaire entrepreneur and SEC that began last August when Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” for a private takeover of the company at $420 per share. The SEC filed a complaint in federal district court in September alleging that Musk lied.
Musk and Tesla settled with the SEC last year without admitting wrongdoing. Tesla agreed to pay a $20 million fine; Musk had to agree to step down as Tesla chairman for a period of at least three years; the company had to appoint two independent directors to the board; and Tesla was also told to put in place a way to monitor Musk’s statements to the public about the company, including via Twitter.
But the fight was re-ignited last month after Musk sent a tweet on February 19 that Tesla would produce “around” 500,000 cars this year, correcting himself hours later to clarify that he meant the company would be producing at an annualized rate of 500,000 vehicles by year end.
The SEC argued that the tweet sent by Musk violated their agreement. Musk has said the tweet was “immaterial” and complied with the settlement.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
March 22, 2019 at 08:07PM
2019 US VC funds take a more boutique approach
Joanna Glasner Contributor
Over the past year, we’ve written a lot about the rise of supergiant venture capital funds. Ever since the rollout of the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, established VCs have been outdoing each other to raise ever-bigger funds.
But let’s not write the epitaph on smaller funds. U.S. venture fundraising data for 2019 reveals a lot of smaller, more focused funds closing on capital. Newcomers are rolling out fresh early-stage funds, and even established VCs are opting in many cases to keep fund size constant or even a bit smaller.
The influx of small and mid-sized funds serves as a reminder that supergiant funds are somewhat of an aberration for the venture capital industry. While VCs compete to back massively scalable startups, the common wisdom is the venture capital industry itself does not scale especially well. Adding more capital to the pot, the thinking goes, likely does more to inflate valuations than foster great companies.
Silicon Valley stalwart Kleiner Perkins is among the latest to hop on the smaller-is-better bandwagon. Three weeks ago, the 47-year-old firm closed on $600 million for its eighteenth flagship fund, touting a plan to go “back to the future” and focus on early-stage with the philosophy that “venture is a non-scalable, boutique craft.”
Of course, $600 million is by no means a tiny fund. And Kleiner’s most prominent growth-stage investment partner, Mary Meeker, did just leave to start her own firm. Nonetheless, it is a step down from Kleiner’s last major fundraise in 2016, which brought in $1.4 billion for a growth-stage vehicle and an early-stage fund.
Meanwhile, Crunchbase fundraising data shows plenty of U.S. funds of $200 million or less closing in 2019, as well as several more that are apparently still in fundraising mode. So far, billion-dollar-plus funds are pretty scarce.
Below, we take a look at the venture fund Class of 2019, including newcomers, as well as follow-on funds from established firms. We also focus on rising stars, newer firms that have raised larger new funds.
No matter how many existing venture firms are out chasing startups, there’s always a niche that some newcomer will identify as underserved. So far, 2019 has been no exception.
At least five U.S venture firms have announced closings on their inaugural funds this year.1
Probably the highest profile new entrant this year is from an already well-known Silicon Valley investor, Steve Jurvetson, founder and former managing partner of the 34-year-old VC firm DFJ. Jurvetson closed on $200 million this month for Future Ventures, which will focus on early-stage deals in areas including space exploration, quantum computing, AI and synthetic biology.
Another noteworthy newcomer is Motley Fool Ventures, which is an early-stage, tech-focused venture fund tied to The Motley Fool investment platform. In a twist on the typical VC model of raising capital from large institutional investors, contributors to the $146 million fund are primarily Motley Fool members.
Established VCs have been raising fresh cash, too. So far this year, we haven’t seen a pure-play venture capital firm close a U.S. fund of a billion dollars or more.2 However, we have seen a number of pretty big funds from well-known VCs.
Last week, Menlo Ventures, a longstanding Valley firm that led one of Uber’s early-stage rounds, closed on $500 million for its first Inflection Fund, which will focus on early growth-stage startups.
And on the biotech front, California-based 5AM Ventures proved the early-stage bird can get the follow-on investment, raising $500 million across two new funds. And on the East Coast, Boston-based MPM Capital closed on $400 million for its seventh flagship fund.
So far this year, we’ve also seen a number of relatively new venture capital firms raise upsized follow-on funds. By relatively new, we generally mean firms that closed their first fund less than five years ago.
Typically, when we see a firm raising a larger or stable-sized follow-on fund, it indicates a rising star. It usually means that their existing portfolio has seen some successes, and investors are optimistic about future prospects.
Edtech investor Owl Ventures meets this criteria. The five-year-old firm closed on $316 million for its third flagship fund this year. To date, San Francisco-based Owl has invested in at least 24 companies, with a couple of exits and a number of up-rounds under its belt.
Enthusiasm for the cybersecurity space boosted the fortunes of another firm on our rising star list, TenEleven Ventures. The five-year-old, Silicon Valley-based venture firm closed on $200 million for its second early-stage fund this month.
Clearly, not everyone can raise a billion-dollar venture capital fund. And not everyone wants to. For early-stage in particular, the longstanding practice of raising smaller and mid-sized funds is alive and well.
That said, a couple months of fundraising data does not necessarily indicate a long-term trend. We could see a string of billion-dollar-plus funds closing in the next few weeks. Or not.
For now, however, it looks like pressure to become the next SoftBank has ebbed some, with unicorn-chasing giants carving out their niche and smaller funds eyeing other opportunities.
We focused on U.S.-based firms raising funds that make investments in U.S. companies. This does not include, for instance, a Silicon Valley-headquartered firm raising a China-focused fund.
We also did not include Spark Capital, which has submitted securities filings laying out plans to raise a $400 million sixth flagship fund and an $800 million growth-stage fund. The New York and Boston-based firm, known for its early investments in Twitter, Slack, Coinbase and other unicorns, is widely expected to meet or exceed its fundraising goals, but it has not yet officially closed the funds.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
March 22, 2019 at 06:37PM
15 Powerful Blogging Tools, Apps, and Plugins to Boost Organics in 2019
A blog is a platform to share a writer’s views on a specific subject in an informal or conversational style. A blog is created by using various blogging tools, plugins, and SEO tools.
Here are some quick facts on blogs and bloggers:
We split all recommended tools, applications and plugins into three main groups: website building tools, design tools and content improvement tools. The suggested tools are not recommended and not compulsory and most of them have viable alternatives. This guide, however, aims at providing the reader with the necessary types of sources.
Group #1: Website Building Tools
Website building tools are used in the website construction without editing or manual coding. Some bloggers prefer not to launch their own websites and run social media pages instead. However, having your own website rewards you with a number of benefits:
SiteBuilder is one of the highly reputed website building tools with over 200,000 users. Due to its simplicity and beginner-friendly interface, you can quickly build a simple website.
SiteBuilder provides its customer with a free domain name for the first year. It also doesn’t force any ads on the website on any plan. It gives a place for website files in addition to the builder. However, if the user doesn’t mind having their website on a subdomain, it is free with no trial expiration.
Having studied different plans, we suggest using the simplest free plan which has the website builder and multiple website templates.
GoDaddy allows the users to create fully functioning websites featuring mobile-optimized designs, social media integration, SEO optimization, and more. The tool has over 300 templates and a drag-and-drop interface that helps to build a website faster. However, the flexibility and mobile options of this tool are limited. More than 18 million customers throughout the world trust it.
GoDaddy offers 4 plans: personal, business, business plus and online store plan. Obviously, personal plan is the best option for a starting blogger. The rates for GoDaddy personal plan start at $5.99 per month. Your website will have a responsive mobile version and website hosting. Ready to use blocks that can be dragged and dropped to build layouts. The photo library has professional images from Getty Photography.
Additionally, it works on smaller screens allowing the user to work using a mobile phone with over 300 templates with suggested uses.
WordPress is a free content management system used to build and maintain websites. Due to its’ ease of use and unique blogging features, it is used by more than 74.6 million websites, including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites, which makes it the most popular system.
Image source: https://wordpress.org/
It is associated with blogging and supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing list and forums and online stores. WP offers four plans including a free plan with the basic customization, 3 GB storage and rapid page-load performance.
One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that the users are not tied to a web hosting company and can move their website anywhere they want.
Besides, by WP you will get access to a huge collection of extensions, plugins, and add-ons. This enormous access to professional applications allows users to make anything they want.
Jimdo is web hosting service, owned and operated by Jimdo GmbH. This tool allows the users to build their own website with three types of web authoring and hosting services: Jimdo Free, Jimdo Pro, and Jimdo Business.
Image source: https://www.getapp.com/it-management-software/a/jimdo/
The application is offered in 12 languages and more than 8 million sites have been developed using this tool. It has also been used in creating over 200,000 online shops since its launch in 2010. A free plan includes all basic features, with jimdo.com subdomain, 500MB storage, 2GB bandwidth, and HTTPS Encryption.
Jimdo is fast and user-friendly. This tool doesn’t require the user to be an expert in coding. Due to the tool’s flexibility, users can edit their websites and make updates using mobile devices.
It is the best tool for a non-English speaker as it has support teams all over the world. With a little knowledge of coding, the users can access HTML/CSS codes and edit them to their template. A functional website can be created with its free plan, that provides all the basic tools with no time limit. Its sites are automatically optimized for search engines.
Group #2: Design Tools for Bloggers
These are used to design websites and blogs. There are plenty of web designing tools released all the time to help users tackle new challenges. The problem is finding the time to keep up with all of them.
Canva is one of the most popular online graphic design tools. It is getting better and more powerful with many new features over time. Even without proper skills, a user can access many ready-made templates to start with. The templates are customizable, and personalization and branding can be added to the designs. Hence, it is easy to use and user-friendly. It has more than 10 million users across 179 nations and more than 100 million designs.
Image source: https://ift.tt/2OoIt3y
The bloggers using this tool have access to hundreds of layouts, elements, text styles, and backgrounds, and can even upload their own content/design to add to visual projects.
Canva is the perfect simple-to-use tool to create some custom featured post images or infographics. With the upgrade of Free Canva to Canva For Work, a user can access the ability to save color palettes, font, etc. or organize design and photos into folders and more.
The premium version costs $12.50 per month.
Stencil is “one of its kind” tool that a user would probably love to use. For bloggers, marketers, and content creators, it is a simple and quick-to-use image development tool. This tool will help the user to get more from social media marketing and create stunning images. It will help user boost social media engagement, conversions, and more.
Image source: https://ift.tt/2qB7xaB
It is free for a maximum of 10 images per month. Therefore, users only get access to limited backgrounds and icons. With the premium version, one can open more options, features, and resources. The subscribers of this tool have access to 800,000 royalty-free quality photos, 50 beautiful templates, 200,000 icons and graphics, and 30+ custom sizes to choose.
PhotoScape is quite popular among beginners. It has two versions: a free version and a premium one. With a ton of awesome options for adding some flair to graphics and online images, the free version is already enough. The application is available in Mac OS as well as Windows OS.
Image source: https://ift.tt/2OoILHG
The pro version unlocks additional editing tools, options, and features, including stickers, additional film effects, and much more.
Group #3: Content Improvement Tools
These tools are used to improve the quality of website and blog content. These tools help the user to rectify the errors and produce a clean and error-free content. Some of the useful Content Improvement tools are:
Grammarly is an English language writing-enhancement platform’s proofreading and plagiarism-detection resources check for a writer’s adherence to more than 250 grammar rules. It has over 6.9 million daily active users.
The free version of Grammarly helps a user to detect the punctuation, spellings, plagiarism, and writing style errors. The premium plan unlocks features such as advanced punctuation, grammar and sentence checking, and plagiarism detection. It uses over 8 billion webpages and vocabulary enhancement suggestions for plagiarism and correction.
However, the transmission of writing to Grammarly’s server restrict the software from guaranteeing 100% security.
Grammarly checks business, casual, medical, and technical style errors and is best for contextual errors.
Grammarly also supports integration on Firefox, Google Chrome, LinkedIn and MS products.
EssayPro is an online platform that provides high-quality help with academic assignments. Although their main focus is handling write my essay requests, these professionals sometimes shift from academic sector to content marketing assistance. In the end, all online editing and proofreading tools are controlled by machine algorithms not able to provide ideal text editing that would not need human proofreading.
Image source: https://essaypro.com/
When marketers have to deal with unintentional plagiarism or rewriting poorly written parts of content, they often seek help from the outside. Instead of using multiple tools and apps, it is sometimes better to trust a real person with experience in content editing.
Hemingway Editor is a word processor and proofreading tool can be accessed online or downloaded. It helps users to write in a clear, simple, and powerful manner. A user can check the presence of adverbs, complex and dull words/phrases, and passive voice, ensuring the natural flow of the sentence. Hemingway also highlights the issues and common errors using color codes.
Image source: https://ift.tt/2HCz3Rn
It enables writers to apply italic and bold font styles, and add bullets and headlines to a text. It can also be integrated with online publishing platforms such as WordPress, Medium, etc. Hence, writers can directly use it in their online writing platforms. This feature of Hemingway Editor is quite useful since there is no need to copy and paste the long texts.
The online version for Hemingway Editor is free of cost. However, the desktop version costs $19.99. It is available in both Mac OS and Windows OS.
Copyscape is an online plagiarism-checking site that identifies sites that have copied the content without permission. It is used to check plagiarism of corporate websites, blogs, marketing materials, online publications, or any other online content.
Image source: pintherest.eu
It finds similar online content without making the judgment of originality.
Copyscape also offers a comparison tool in which the user can compare two online or offline content. By pasting the URL or text, it will show the matching texts side by side with word counts and summary statistics.
It provides a limited number of results in the free version.
The Premium version is available on a pricing model based on content length. It starts at only 3 cents per search for the first 200 words. After that, it costs 1 cent each for an additional 100 words.
Group #4: Search Engine Optimization Tools
Search engine optimization is a practice to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to the users’ website. It is a methodology of strategies, tactics, and techniques and the tools used are called SEO tools.
Moz is a tool used to improve the Search Engine Optimization of a website. It also provides keyword research tools, keyword generator, and link analysis. A standard package costs $99 per month.
Image source: https://ift.tt/1RKPBnP
It contains tools design to improve search engine visibility. Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer, and Rank Tracker are some key features of the tool. Besides, Moz can help a writer to check the blog spam score.
Moz is capable of identifying some key signals related to websites that have been banned or penalized. There are 27 spam signals in total. We have described some of those signals below:
Yoast WP plugin is easy to understand and use, and it is a popular WP plugin. It is a powerful tool that makes a writer’s site more SEO friendly. We can use it to improve text readability, add relevant tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions.
Image souce: adoreddesigns.com
It is available for free. However, the features of the free version are limited. The premium version costs $69 for one site.
Ahrefs helps to find keyword combinations and implement them in the writer’s blog. It helps in keyword research, backlink checking, etc. This platform is usually used for improving link building and content marketing ideas. A lite Ahrefs package will cost you $99 per month. The number of keywords, campaigns, and reports that can be tracked are the factors that differentiate a lite package from the more expensive ones.
Image source: https://ahrefs.com/
Siteliner helps to find duplicate content and rewrite it. It also helps to add proper links to the initial sources in order to avoid plagiarism.
Image source: https://ift.tt/2OeOPlA
This tool helps to uplift the search engine ranking for the website. It is a free SEO tool that checks content and flags the corrupted and broken links. However, the premium version costs 1 cent per page scanned.
In this article, we discussed multiple website building tools, content improvement tools, design tools, and SEO tools that can boost your blog performance. These tools are very important for a blogger as they help to create a beautiful and successful blog. Use these tools or their equivalents and your blog will thrive!
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March 22, 2019 at 06:33PM
Best Landing Page Builders That Help Create High Converting Landing Pages
The digital world has erupted with many people doing at least a portion of their purchasing online. This can be for groceries, tech gadgets, or services depending on what the consumer needs. The details of a website matter when people are looking to spend money as a poorly designed site could look like a scam or lead people to think the products are low quality. Luckily for those people that might not be too tech savvy there are website builders as well as landing page builders. This can take the guess work out of designing the site and these builders offer landing pages that convert. Conversion of a sale simply from a landing page being well organized and looking great takes a lot of legwork out of a company’s staff as the sale needs little to no pitching. Not all landing page builders are created equal though as some target ecommerce sites while traditional business websites need far different qualities in a landing page. The following are what it takes to create a landing page that converts and review builders that help incorporate these qualities/features.
What Does It Take To Create A Page That Converts
A landing page needs to make a good first impression so a page headline that catches the attention of a visitor as well as explains what the page offers. Well formatted and written content should be included in subheadings, webpage copy, as well as clarify in a concise way a detailed description of a service or product being offered. Being able to identify a pain point that a potential customer might have will speak directly to why they are visiting this landing page. Explaining certain situations with examples can allow people to see others that were helped by a product/service that were in a similar circumstance. Describing how the product will not only solve a problem but increase free time or quality of life can be quite attractive to page visitors as well. Listing contact information is important on nearly every page but it is especially important on a sales page. A person might want to call or email to ask a question before purchasing but will not search high and low for contact information.
Business owners of both large and small companies use Clickfunnels to help build their landing pages. The pre-built landing pages make it as easy as ever to add as many landing pages as you need depending on the number of products/services the business has. Clickfunnels does a lot of work for a business as it helps create email lists from subscribers as well as webinars and sales. One thing that many business owners might forget if this is the first sales landing page they create is that of adding billing pages. The ability to test one page versus another can help a business hone their copywriting as well as understand what their customer demographic wants out of a landing page. Sales and data analysis being done for a company can take the guesswork out of creating new campaigns or understanding which product/service to market.
The goal for many people using landing page builders is convenience combined with quality which Landingi delivers. The design features of this builder are unlike any other on the market which will help your landing pages stand out from the competition. The editor makes it easier than ever to make tweaks to a page and if you are having trouble simply contact Landingi and they will be more than happy to assist you with what you cannot figure out how to do. Finally this builder allows integration from a few CRM tools which makes it easier than ever to manage a customer through their entire process with the company. This makes a customer feel valued as more than just another order number.
A large part of converting in sales is that of lead generation which LeadPages delivers on in a big way. Possibly the best feature of this landing page builder is that it can create ads as well as helps with SEO. Search engine rankings are incredibly important as this is how many businesses attract leads through simply Google or Bing searches. Mobile responsiveness of pages is becoming increasingly important as many consumers are using smartphones to complete purchases or other mobile devices. Not needs to have coding skills is a lifesaver for those that do not have a web design background.
The above 3 landing page builders are some of the best available on the market and are as affordable as possible. Landing pages that convert are a sales team and marketing team’s dream as it makes their jobs that much easier. Do not skimp when it comes to landing pages in terms of cost as the ROI on building a great landing page could be off of the charts!
The post Best Landing Page Builders That Help Create High Converting Landing Pages appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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March 22, 2019 at 12:59PM
How to Avoid Distraction as a Marketer
To explore how to avoid distraction as a marketer and as a human, I interview Brian Solis. Brian is a digital analyst and futurist at the Altimeter Group, and author of the book Engage!. His latest book is Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life.
Learn how a digital lifestyle and social media lead to distraction and discover resources and exercises to help refocus your attention on what matters.
Read a summary of the interview below. To listen to the interview, scroll to the end of this article.
Understanding and Overcoming Digital Distraction
While Brian was attempting to write a book on innovation and how to make innovation a much more approachable phenomenon, he found himself writing and writing and writing – essentially spinning in a vicious cycle that wasn’t getting him any closer to where he needed to be.
That experience as well as having the opportunity to present at Social Media Marketing World 2018 put him on a journey of revisiting his relationship with social media and technology; he started to explore the depths of why these things were so immersive.
Eventually he discovered that these things were designed to be not just distracting, but addictive.
When he googled what to do about the distraction and addiction, he was greeted with platitudes and inspirational quotes, as well as suggestions to take up yoga, meditation or mindfulness, or to download apps such as Calm and Headspace.
These things could help with the symptoms of distraction, but didn’t help him solve the underlying problem. That is why he began the research that became Lifescale.
The Underlying Problems Marketers and Consumers Face Today
Consuming content online or posting about your best life and experiences – whether you’re a marketer or not – isn’t simply living a digital lifestyle; we become caught up in this constant cycle of sharing and consuming and liking and getting liked and following and being followed.
This cycle becomes a way of life that takes up the time we would otherwise use to dive deeper into other projects because we’re constantly notified of updates or we’re thinking about whether we even have notifications or updates.
If you’re a marketer, trying to reach someone and attract their attention, you have to become increasingly aggressive, more ambitious, more entertaining, and more bombastic. When you do manage to get their attention, you only have it for a moment. What are you going to do to create some kind of metric that matters?
As a consumer, how are you supposed to focus on a single brand or something of relevance when everything is vying for your attention on social media and your mobile device?
This cycle creates an attention crisis that we have to think about more holistically. Being louder and more bombastic is not the answer.
Access to Multiple Media Channels
Brian and I both remember a time when there weren’t a lot of channels to distract us. There was one local newspaper and maybe a couple of radio stations. The media landscape wasn’t as distracting or as pervasive as it is now, and we had guides (parents, teachers, managers) who navigated the media landscape for us.
Now, of course, there are unlimited options, and the mass adoption of smartphones and social media has led to media’s democratization; Brian used to joke that the good thing was that this gave us all a voice, and that the bad thing was that this gave us all a voice.
While the game has changed, Brian thinks the impact is relative because every generation learns – in its own way – how to manage multiple media sources.
The challenge, though, is that we may not even realize that we are distracted, or recognize the consequences and ramifications that stem from that distraction: anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, loss of creative motivation or inspiration, etc.
When Brian was researching what was happening behind the scenes of social media, he discovered the work of Tristan Harris. Tristan was a designer for some big names, and he’s revealed a lot of tips and tricks used to keep people engaged with and coming back to apps and platforms.
For example, if you open any one of your apps, whether it’s Instagram or Twitter, you’ll notice a millisecond delay between when the app opens and when the number of notifications you’ve had since the last time you opened is updated. That delay is meant to build your anxiety or anticipation, so that you’re relieved when you see that there is a number. And your brain wants more of the chemical that’s released when you’re relieved.
The feeling that you need to post an update because you’ve built an audience, or the validation you feel when someone likes or responds to your post? These also unlock chemicals your brain will crave more of.
It’s called intermittent responsive design, and it’s intentional. It’s not unlike the type of strategies that go into designing slot machines, and part of what makes it so difficult for people to step away.
Quitting Facebook, for example, is similar to quitting cigarettes or quitting alcohol. Your body has become used to the chemicals released every time you use the platform. The more you participate, the more often you unlock those chemicals, the more addictive it is.
It becomes a vicious cycle and now, some of the biggest leaders in the digital space – including Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s earliest investors, and Salesforce founder, Marc Benioff – are trying to get people to pay attention.
Digital Wellness Initiatives
Brian says a number of digital wellness practices and technologies are emerging because there is some recognition that we are giving too much of ourselves to our devices in some ways.
There are detox camps or dinners where you have to check your device at the door; the whole premise being that you have to talk to people. Ironically, there are also apps that aim to focus you on the matter at hand or the moment you’re in.
Android and Google and Apple have both introduced digital wellness platforms or dashboards on devices to help you understand how much time you’re spending on them and where you’re spending that time.
Some people look at the time-spent metric as a badge of honor, rather than wondering how that time could be used toward something more productive or lucrative.
Brian, however, considered that it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. These technologies can distract us, but they can also empower us to be productive and far more impactful.
Part of Brian’s research journey was focused on finding a way to make these things work for us. He spent a lot of time trying to understand the psychology, emotions, and neuroplasticity associated with our brains rewiring when we use this tech, and to find ways to rewire again so we can each become more productive.
The Journey Back From Distraction
The journey from distraction back to purposeful use of social media and technology, begins with a personal and introspective process. Each of us has to determine, for ourselves, what is valuable to us. What are we trying to do? Are we trying to live a best life based on what we see others living, or have we actually thought about our best life as something different and incredible? Are these tools (social media and technology) helping us get closer to that best life or are they taking us further away from it?
Because we’re pulled in so many directions at every minute of the day that we we are losing touch with ourselves, you basically need to execute a control-alt-delete to reimagine what your life should be in this era of distraction,
Then you can rebuild everything – use these tools, devices, and networks to work for you, to get you where you need to be. To help you rebuild, Lifescale, walks you through a series of exercises that build upon each other. They’re very easy at first and help you think about things in a different way.
The idea is to find the things that engage you and be more intentional about putting more of that into your life. Because the more you do that, the more you build discipline and the more you sharpen your focus. Without even knowing it, you get better and stronger and more creative over time.
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I share that when I sit in front of my computer, I have a sticky note in front of me that lists all the things I need to get done that day. If there’s not a big list on that sticky note, then I will let everything distract me. I will check my email. I will check my social platforms. I will check Messenger. I will check Instagram. I’ll do everything I can to just make sure all that stuff is gone before I start what I really need to do.
Brian recognizes that we all do that and that it’s part of the challenge. What we don’t recognize though is that as we’re doing that, we’re confusing those items (distractions) for things that are important.
Each day we only have so much fuel that can go into whatever it is we have to accomplish, whether that’s writing or phone calls or teaching. When that creative fuel is exhausted on distractions, we don’t necessarily do our best work when we come out of it. Giving in to distractions affects the output and the outcome.
I recall reading The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck – a book that talks about the concept of delayed gratification – and share that I hear Brian echoing a similar behavior philosophy. When I’m checking social and email and other distractions, I’m seeking instant gratification instead of doing the work, which is technically going to be more gratifying for me.
Brian agrees and expands by explaining that this behavior builds up into an unnamed and unidentified blob of of stress and anxiety within each of us. We feel gratified as explore all of these distractions – but at the end of the day, we’ve been fooled into believing that the distractions were more important than they really are.
This is why Brian uses creativity as his muse in the book; when you create and when you give something to yourself or to anyone around you, that is a better moment for a community, for conversation or for engagement. That shifts us from a consumption mentality to a creation mentality where we start to feel gratification as we go.
How the Allure of Fame Plays Into Distraction
There is this desire held by many of us to be famous. Maybe as kids we wanted to be like our favorite sports star or favorite musician or favorite actor or radio personality. Social media gave us a little bit of that and all of a sudden told us that feeling was the most important thing.
Brian has studied and written research on this topic since the late ’90s, and he believes this is also part of the distraction challenge. Whether we’re famous or micro-famous, we are lured into being present online so that we don’t disappoint or lose relevance among our followers.
What’s more, when you get a taste of social attention, fame or influence, you want more. You crave more. You start to push the boundaries of what you’ll do for it. Before you know it, you’ve moved your center of reference so far away from what it used to be that you’re living a life that isn’t rooted in core values, aspirations, beliefs or conventions.
Lifescale is a guide – and instruction manual – to help us deal with that instant micro-fame and online attention.
An Ethical Path Forward for Digital Marketers
When Brian was studying digital influence and how technology can influence us for better or for worse, he came up with a saying. “There are two ways to change behavior. One is to inspire it and the other is to manipulate it.”
He believes a lot of what’s happening today is the result of manipulation. We don’t see it as manipulation because we get instant gratification and it feels good —until it doesn’t.
If you’re manipulating attention through stunts and trends, that’s what your brand becomes. But if you are a brand or a marketer that produces content that’s there when I need it — when I go through my research process or my discovery process — that wealth of information will guide me on a journey from where I was directly to you.
It’s time to explore or reimagine the customer journey. Rather than marketing to or manipulating people, use the advanced technological platforms such as AI and machine learning to tailor and scale your messages to meet people where they are on their journeys.
For example, people today go to their smartphones because it’s the device we always have on and with us. We go to mobile devices to make decisions about whatever it is that we need to buy or research. If 90% of those decisions start on the smartphone, 78% of us go with the company we feel is most useful in those moments.
This is a big deal because it resets our idea of what brand value is. Consumers used to go into the journey with X amount of brands already in mind due to preexisting marketing. Now, people want to see what’s best for them, what’s most useful for them. It’s a game changer.
Listen to the show to hear what happened when a global beauty brand studied the effects of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facetune on a woman’s definition of beauty.
Discovery of the Week
SCRL is a mobile app for Instagram that slices landscape images into easy-to-swipe segments so viewers can flip through them with ease.
Users can also add in different photos, text, or backgrounds. This app directly retrieves photos from the phone’s video roll, allowing you to drop them into a unique order. Video options are also available.
SCRL is a free mobile app currently available for iOS.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how SCRL works for you.
Key Takeaways in This Episode
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What do you think? Do you struggle with distraction? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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March 22, 2019 at 05:10AM
How to Avoid Distraction as a Marketer
Does social media distract you from work and life? Wondering how to stay focused despite online interruptions?
To explore how to avoid distraction as a marketer and as a human, I interview Brian Solis, a digital analyst and futurist at the Altimeter Group.
What do you think? Find show notes and share your comments and questions at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/346
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March 22, 2019 at 04:57AM
5 social media management tools on sale
Social media management is a fun and engaging job, but it can get incredibly stressful when you're in charge of multiple brands. Handling one account is mentally taxing enough, but what if you're overseeing two, three, or more?
To lighten your workload, below are five powerful automation tools to help you with every facet of your workflow, from content curation to post scheduling to link shortening. Make sure to enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout to enjoy an extra 15% off all the below deals.
Content curation is the process of sourcing content from different channels and sharing it with your target audience. It sounds simple, sure, but the act itself can take a lot of your time and energy — time and energy you could have spent on actual content creation. Quuu is a tool that automates that entire process, from handpicking relevant posts to sharing them directly on social media. All you have to do is select from over 500 interest categories that are aligned with your business and followers, and Quuu will handle the rest.
Usually, on sale for $39, you can get it on sale for only $33.15 when you enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout.
Similar to Quuu, Tweet Ninja cherrypicks the best tweets to share based on your target audience's interests, and then likes, retweets, and engages users using your account. But don't mistake this tool for a bot that could potentially result in your account being flagged by Twitter. Tweet Ninja sees to it that all activity abides by Twitter's terms of service, so your account remains in good standing. It also grants you access to full analytics, allowing you to stay on top of your campaigns and strategize for the future.
Usually on sale for $39, you can get a lifetime subscription for only $33.15 when you enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout.
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it remains one of the most effective marketing tactics around. Stackmails helps make email marketing faster and easier by automating custom email sends and drip campaigns straight from your Gmail account. It lets you adjust your emails with custom fields, add prospects via .csv or MySQL, and set up trigger-based emails based on opens and replies. There is also a built-in analytics dashboard that gives you a holistic picture of delivery, open, click, and reply rates.
Usually on sale for $49, you can get a lifetime subscription for only $41.65 when you enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout.
Social media managers are all too familiar with the hassle of juggling multiple Instagram accounts. With Postable, you can schedule posts and automate engagement on an unlimited number of accounts. It integrates with Dropbox and OneDrive so you can save time on uploading photos, and it automatically follows, unfollows, likes, comments, reposts, and messages your target audience. It also offers a comprehensive analytics report that allows you to track the performance of your accounts.
Usually on sale for $29, you can get a lifetime subscription for only $24.65 when you enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout.
Nobody is compelled to click on a link when it's full of numbers and random characters. TagOn shortens your links to make them more clickable — and even allows you to add custom scripts to interact with your audience. You have the option to integrate live chat, opt-in forms, call-to-actions, and videos, allowing you to engage with your customers without creating additional content. You're also free to use your own domain in your shortened link to further raise brand awareness. Lastly, TagOn offers you detailed traffic metrics for total clicks, unique visitors, mobile traffic, and more.
Usually on sale for $49, you can get a lifetime subscription for only $41.65 when you enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout.
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March 22, 2019 at 04:02AM
How To Do A/B Email Tests Properly
Doing your A/B email tests properly is often the deciding factor of whether you can continuously bring in new customers, especially as direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming a more prominent part of the digital economy. Regardless of how important good A/B email testing is, many businesses continue to view it as an opportunity to cut costs, which is a disastrous mistake that can seriously haunt you in the long-run.
Rather than throwing in the towel and saying that A/B email tests are too expensive or challenging, you should do your research and figure out how to do it properly. Here’s the right way to do A/B email tests.
How to get the most clicks
A/B email tests can be surprisingly simple to understand; in short, you’re comparing two differing methods for generating clicks/customer leads to see which is the most efficient. In the digital age, even the smallest amount of inefficiency can accrue over time to hold your company back as your competitors zoom past you and scoop up all the customers in your niche. That’s why it’s imperative that you take getting the most clicks possible seriously, as the right A/B email testing regime can tell your company what it’s doing right – and what it’s doing terribly wrong.
It’s important to establish upfront that A/B tests usually rely on small sample sizes; you don’t want to send your A/B tests out to too many customers because too large a sample size can be frustrating to work with. Furthermore, the subscribers you have only have a limited attention span, which means that the more emails they get from you the fewer they’re likely to ever click at all. It’s thus critical that you establish A/B testing as a means to test-run your marketing campaign on a tiny audience before rolling it out for the main body of consumers you’re trying to lure in.
One of the most important aspects of A/B testing when it comes to email elements is subject line testing; the subject line of an email is the first thing a prospective customer will see when they receive your pitch, so knowing what captures their attention and what causes their interest to fizzle out is imperative to success. Some subject line A/B testing can produce shocking results that are worth your time, as knowing what others have uncovered before testing for yourself can help save you time and money, especially if they’re in a niche related to yours.
Still, beginning with email elements isn’t always the best strategy. As a matter of fact, there are good reasons to believe that you should begin your A/B testing by focusing on general concepts and overall strategy rather than specifics like subject lines and the email’s body content.
See which strategy your audience responds to
By creating detailed buyer personas, you can see which strategy your audience responds to most favorable before embarking on the more complicated and expensive elements of A/B testing. The more you know about your potential leads, the greater a chance you have at hooking them into a sale later on down the line. Get to know your customers and appreciate behavioral psychology, and you’ll soon realize that strategy should always come before element testing. Knowing whether customers prefer landing pages versus direct links that allow them to buy via the email they receive, for instance, can help you cut down costs in the long-run.
After you’ve arrived at a general strategy you’re comfortable with, you can begin testing specific elements that can make or break your success. Having the right name attached to your HTML email builder is a great way to generate a consumer buzz, as users who encounter an unfamiliar or untrustworthy name in their inbox are less likely to click on your content out of fear of being scammed or hacked.
If you take a look at an interesting experiment conducted on email sender names, for instance, you’ll quickly realize that companies can generate impressive results for themselves even with seemingly-trivial research focused on the name of the sender. This is because customers are regular people at the end of the day, and regular people like to attach a friendly face and familiar name to others before entrusting them with their money.
Learn to avoid common mistakes
Finally, a major part of doing A/B testing properly is learning to avoid commonly made mistakes that tank most A/B testing efforts. Countless digital entrepreneurs have too much confidence in themselves, as they don’t understand that their subjective opinion doesn’t outweigh objective evidence. By reviewing what’s tanked other businesses as they went about A/B testing, you’ll avoid such costly mistakes while optimizing the efforts of yours that do end up producing useful results for your company.
Once you’ve arrived at a comprehensive understanding of the worst A/B testing mistakes to have plagued businesses in the past, your own company will be enjoying much smoother sailing than before. Often, the secret to getting something right the first time is simply to know what to avoid from the get-go, as much of the costs of A/B testing can be narrowed down to foolish mistakes and needles expenditure that could have been avoided with thorough market research ahead of time.
Remember that A/B testing isn’t a silver bullet, and that you need consumer research alongside of it to make it worthwhile. With the knowledge of how to conduct A/B tests properly, however, you’ll soon discover that you’re generating more leads by luring in new consumers at an unprecedented rate.
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March 22, 2019 at 03:43AM
How To Make Your Business Thrive Digitally and Securely
What entrepreneur wouldn’t want their business to thrive digitally? This means that you have found a way to meet your short and long-term goals, and you are steadily increasing the amount of profit that you make each month. People are using your products and services, and in no time, you may even be able to expand into the international market.
For a second, it’s important that you take a step back. In order for your business to thrive, you need to understand how to do this and do so securely. This article will provide you with a better understanding of this.
Understand your audience
You cannot hope to thrive in the online world if you don’t properly understand your target audience. Who is it that you are trying to convince to purchase your goods and use your services? Are you resonating with them?
Learning how to properly market your goods and services
Marketing is at the cornerstone of your digital presence. Until you learn how to market a product and do so in a way where you are true to your word, not many people will know about who you are and what you do.
Remember, if you are claiming that your product does one thing, it’s important that you live up to those expectations. Otherwise, people will no longer trust your brand moving forward.
The benefits of a website
A website will always stand to benefit you and your company. Without it, you won’t have much of an online presence in the first place.
Brand yourself in such a way where you distinguish yourself from your competitors, and don’t write content that isn’t relevant or true to what your business goals are.
Prioritize security at all times
Every aspect of your company endeavors must prioritize security, especially when your online work is considered. For instance, if you use the cloud, you need to ensure that your data is properly encrypted and that you make a habit of backing it up on a consistent basis.
On the other hand, even your website must be kept secure by ensuring you invest in SSL certification, as this will also make you seem more trustworthy in your customer’s eyes.
There are a number of security precautions that you can take, and all them boil down to the fact that you must take care of your online network and connections. The chances are that the work you do every day at the office relies on the internet, as well. That is why you should also have endpoint security set up, whereby you protect your computer networks that are connected to other devices and gadgets. In order to make it easier for your company to do all of this, keep in mind that there are other businesses that specialize in offering these types of services, such as McAfee.
Above what has already been mentioned, don’t forget that it is in your best interest to give yourself time to achieve all of this. As a business owner, don’t rush into making any spur of the moment decisions, but rather, take a moment to think long-term and strategically over everything that you want to achieve. The end result will be one where you company will thrive, and it will do so in a secure manner.
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March 21, 2019 at 04:26PM