Customer Experience in the Age of Social Media

Join our social media and CX experts as they explain how social customer service tools can help brands provide winning digital customer experiences. They’ll discuss how to manage that experience across multiple social touch points, leverage evolving social customer service tools and platforms to…

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Source: searchengineland

The ever-growing local search universe

Columnist Adam Dorfman discusses the current local search ecosystem and emphasizes the need to regularly optimize your data and content so that your business can be found where people are searching.

The post The ever-growing local search universe appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Source: searchengineland

Why You’re Not in the Content Business (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

Create Transformation

Originally posted as a Facebook update from FinCon in Dallas (video below)

In my opening keynote at FinCon last night I challenged the attendees to think about how their blog, podcast and video content could potentially be changing people’s lives.

You see, many of us see ourselves as being in the ‘content business’. But I think it’s better if we start seeing ourselves as being in the ‘transformation business’.

Great content leaves a mark on people. It moves them from one place to another.

The the creators of that content do it in various ways – teaching, giving information (such as news), entertaining, providing motivation, and giving their audience a sense that they’re not the only ones and providing hope for a better future.

We can all probably think of content that’s changed our lives in some way. For example, I can personally think of podcasts that inspired me to eat better and exercise, and probably added years to my life.

Some content creators see the change they’re bringing to their audience in flashing lights. It’s obvious, like the example I just gave. But some of us think the changes we bring are smaller, or even insignificant.

For example, at Digital Photography School we teach people how to move from being stuck in Auto Mode with their cameras, and help them get creative control and take better photos. It’s a transformation, but it’s not on the scale of adding years to someone’s life.

Or is it?

Here’s the thing. While giving someone creative control over their camera doesn’t feel that ‘big’, it can actually have a far bigger impact than you might imagine.

Since starting that blog I’ve had emails and conversations with readers who have told me that by bringing about that transformation in photography they’ve:

  • found new creative outlets that have helped their mental health
  • built new skills that have led to promotions at work
  • developed confidence and overcome fears
  • grown new income streams
  • learnt how to take images they can use in meaningful ways as gifts to family and friends, and to serve their community groups.

The point is, you never quite know what impact your content will have on people. But when you create content that brings about change, it can potentially have ripple effects beyond the changes you’re aiming to bring.

The other thing to consider is that sometimes you create changes in your readers on a scale you could never imagine.

ProBlogger, for example, is a blog all about helping bloggers start blogs and grow income from them. We attract a lot of bloggers at the beginning of their journey, and as a result hear a lot of great stories from them that reflect this stage of blogging.

It’s really satisfying to hear those stories from newer bloggers taking their early steps. What we don’t always hear are the stories of those who read ProBlogger in the early years of their journey and went on to do bigger things.

But just because we don’t hear the stories doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And the last few days here at FinCon and our Success Incubator event was testament to that fact as I bumped into some of these ProBlogger readers who went on to bigger things.

Without naming names, I met:

  • a person who credits an article I wrote on ProBlogger to saving her marriage, and helping her and her husband to build a business that earns several million dollars a month. (The article was nothing to do with marriage, by the way.)
  • another person who landed a job on our job board that led to a freelance writing career where he earns a seven-figure income each year.
  • yet another person who tells me that reading ProBlogger seven years ago, and later writing some guest posts for us, helped him build a business with a revenue at the mid-eight-figures level a year.
  • a person who found the first edition of the ProBlogger book in an airport bookstore back in 2008. She read it from cover to cover on a long-haul flight and started a blog the next day that helped her become a full-time author and speaker.

Each time I heard these stories I was taken aback, and even found myself getting emotional. Sometimes people take the content you create and the products and services you offer and run… or sprint with it. You may never know the end result, but you may have just played a part in changing someone’s life.

So stop seeing yourself as being in the ‘content business’, and start thinking about what you do as ‘transformation’.

When you do, you’ll find it has a number of impacts.

  1. What you do will become more meaningful, and be more motivated to do it.
  2. The content you create will be different. You’ll stop writing ‘about topics’, and start writing ‘for people’.
  3. It will probably also become more empathetic and passionate (something your readers will notice).
  4. Your audience will become more willing to engage with you (and each other).
  5. Your content will be easier to promote (as people are attracted to content that gives them a win or a benefit).
  6. You’ll find your blog easier to monetise (particularly if you create products and services that also bring about transformation).

So don’t just create content. Create a transformation!

(Un-mute to listen!)

Image Credit: Dan Gold

The post Why You’re Not in the Content Business (and Why That’s a Good Thing) appeared first on ProBlogger.


Source: problogger

Extraordinary People Share More Productivity Tips

I’m always looking for ways to improve my production because the more I can get done means the more return on my bottom line. I’m always asking myself this question: What was my total output in the end of the day? If the answer is honest and I know deep inside I got a lot of work done that compliments my bottom line, then I know I’ve had a great day. However, it’s important to tell you that NOT everything was so clean cut because I had to tweak my productivity strategies to make the most out of my days. I studied successful people, making sure I was incorporating their strategies into my day. I went over each one, looking for a pattern of productivity, so, in other words, what strategies produced the MOST output from everything I incorporated into my daily lifestyle.

When I started to use this strategy, I looked at successful relevant people to see what they did throughout the day. I read about people who are pioneers in the industry, like John Chow and Neil Patel. I also went outside the box, reading on billionaires and how they accomplished what they did. I noticed something amazing….

They all had disciplined themselves to tweak productivity and follow through on them every day. Here are a few more things I’ve learned over the past several weeks that I’ll be trying out.

Someone Should Hold You Accountable

If you’re operating a business, then you’re going to have other people working for you. If you have several things on your mind at once, it might be strategic to have someone else hold you accountable for NOT getting work done. However, to put a twist on this concept, you should hire someone for this EXACT job. This means the person will work hard to force you to get the work done because their job does depend on it. Having someone else hold you accountable for NOT getting your tasks done means you’re not only letting yourself down, but the other person as well. Many successful people will tell you they’ve succeeded by letting others do well so when you let someone else down, it has twice the effect.

15 Minute Intervals

Here’s something cool I’ve been utilizing and it’s been working awesome so far. I’m still in testing mode because I want to find out what timeframe works the best, but so far, 15 minute intervals of work have produced cool results. This strategy is very simple and is perfect for those easily distracted. Complete work in 15 minute intervals, then give yourself a break to do what you need to for 15 minutes. However, during work time, you have NO distraction and only have a timer in place to countdown from 15 minutes. I’ve noticed when you’re racing against time, you’ll write content quickly and the output will be awesome. When writing this content, I’ve written up to here in 15 minutes and will take a break. But I know once I start writing again, I’ll be done before the counter hits “0”. The point is, I’ve completed my work in 20-30 minutes so this was a productive session.

Set Email Timing

One of the biggest distractions for those people who make a living online is emails. If I was going to start responding to every email message I get from the very start, then I’d still be checking emails right now. I receive an enormous amount emails daily and they don’t stop coming in so I’ve learned to set times to respond to them. The funny thing is, during my 15 minute break time mentioned in the strategy above is when I check emails. I have set times I stick to and they start in the morning. For example, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 30 minutes first thing in the morning
  • 15 minutes during first content writing break
  • 15 minutes during second content writing break
  • 30 minutes after finished writing content for the entire day
  • 30 minutes before going to bed

This will give me enough time to divide emails according to importance and reply to the ones I need to right away. It’s an awesome strategy and has worked very well for me.

Tackle MOST Time Consuming Tasks First

Here’s something that has worked great for me and I encourage everyone to try this strategy before incorporating it into your daily habits. I’ve noticed I am MOST productive and creative first thing in the morning so I like to tackle complicated tasks early in the morning. This way, I put 100% effort and get them out of the way without the quality suffering. For example, I write content early in the morning after I’ve just woke up after a good night’s sleep and this has worked great for me in producing engaging content. Once the hard things are out of the way, I can start to focus on other stuff that is second on my list. Because I’ve done the hard stuff, I can start to play around with how much time I give to other tasks but at this point, it doesn’t matter because the “heavy” stuff has been completed.

It’s important to try what works for you and then you can incorporate it into your daily habits. You just have to test and tweak just like you would anything else.

How To Make 6-Figure Monthly Online Income! Download John Chow’s New eBook!//

Source: jhonchow

4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters

Halloween is objectively the best holiday of the fall-winter season. You don’t have to go broke buying people gifts. You don’t have to cook an enormous meal (then pass out after gorging on turkey). The only obligations for Halloween are to play dress up and eat candy!

Not to mention I’m somewhat partial to the holiday’s aesthetic. Give me skulls and bats over tinsel and garland any day of the week, and twice on Friday the 13th.

Sure, there’s a horror/scary element to Halloween. But it’s a fun, safe kind of scary. If you’ve spent an hour on social media recently, you know there are scarier things than ghoulies and ghosties.

But Halloween isn’t just fun. It’s educational, too! I realized this year that some of my favorite Halloween monsters are hiding valuable lessons for marketers. For example…

#1: Dracula Rules Influencer Marketing

Count Dracula is often romanticized as a solitary figure, brooding in his castle. That image couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s constantly making new friends—and making those friends into vampires. The way Dracula builds a relationship is a solid lesson in influencer marketing.

Drac doesn’t just meet someone and immediately offer to make them immortal. He starts by getting to know them socially and paying them visits. Then he invites them to become a thrall, feeding on insects and getting a taste of the vamp life. Finally, when the relationship is mature, he converts them into full-fledged creatures of the night. It’s an easy sell by then, because he didn’t skip any steps in the relationship.

I don’t recommend making your influencers eat bugs, of course (unless they happen to enjoy doing so). But you should build relationships with influencers over a series of small, incremental steps. Start by socializing and promoting them, then ask for a small content contribution, and finally move on to co-creating together.

#2: Dr. Frankenstein Is Great at Repurposing

If you ask me, Dr. Frankenstein (the scientist, not his monster, of course) gets a bad rap. Yes, he took his research a little too far. Sure, he was a bit of an amoral lunatic. Okay, so he tampered in God’s domain a little. But you can’t deny that he got results!

In real life, after the hullabaloo died down, scientist would be scrambling to corroborate and replicate his findings. Frankenstein’s monster 2.0 and beyond would be far less “shambling horror” and more “hey, we finally beat death!”

Where others saw a pile of discarded body parts, Dr. Frankenstein saw the potential for new life. When we’re looking at a content calendar, we should be following in his footsteps. Repurposing content—up to and including stitching parts of old posts into a new one—can bring your old content to a new audience with a minimum of effort.

#3: The Wolfman Is a Content Strategy Object Lesson

Quick: What’s the wolfman’s biggest problem? No, it’s not that he’s vulnerable to silver. It’s not even that he turns into a brainless monster every full moon.

No, what always gets the wolfman in the end is his failure to plan ahead. He always ends up roaming the countryside chowing down on rabbits, and then someone sees him, and then out come the silver bullets. If he were to approach the problem strategically, he could spend each wolf session safely locked in a basement somewhere. He could live a full life 28 days out of the month, and no one would ever know he had a lycanthropy problem.

If you’re creating content without a content strategy, you’re practically begging the townsfolk to load up on silver buckshot. You may score the occasional win—like the wolfman gets a rabbit or two—but on the whole, it’s counter-productive. Plan your content in advance, with a rationale, research, and an amplification plan, and your content is far more likely to have a long and prosperous life.

#4: Dr. Jekyll Is Extremely Empathetic

Just how far would you go to get inside someone else’s head? You might walk a mile in their shoes, as the cliché goes. But honestly, how much can you know about someone just by borrowing their footwear? By that logic, every time I went bowling I’d learn about hundreds of people.

Dr. Jekyll takes empathy to the next level. He transformed himself into Mr. Hyde to learn exactly how a monster thinks. Granted, the experiment didn’t end well, but the lesson is still valid.

Marketers don’t have to undergo a monstrous physical transformation to feel empathy, of course. But we should be striving to learn as much about our audience as we can. That means learning about them beyond their interactions with the brand. The more we can use data to truly know our customers, the more relevant our content will be.

Practice Frighteningly Good Marketing

Sociologists and anthropologists would say that the monsters we create in folklore and fiction survive because they are a reflection of our deepest fears. For example, the wolfman is about loss of control, fearing the beast within us all. Dracula is about the fear of death and disease—and of creepy old guys lurking in castles.

I would argue that these monsters have such enduring power because at the heart of each story is an eternally relevant marketing lesson. Stay tuned for my next horror story, “The Beast that Wouldn’t Stop Sending Boilerplate Sales Emails.”

Is your skill at creating awesome content almost paranormal? Are you terrifyingly good at account management? TopRank Marketing is hiring.

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4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters |

The post 4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source: online marketing