Content Variety and Formats Drive Results | Social Media Today

Content Variety and Formats Drive Results | Social Media Today.

Your audience varies. While you may appreciate a long-copy whitepaper, another prospect may simply want to review a feature list before they contact you for business. This great infographic from ContentPlus, a UK-based content marketing service, provides an overview of the variety of content offerings that exist, why they work, and some supporting data. They also have an accompanying blog post that ties it all together.

Internet users have become sophisticated content consumers in recent years, and their preferences continue to evolve. Gone are the days when brands could satisfy their audiences’ needs by just publishing bog-standard posts that conveyed the same information as everyone else in their industry. The organisations that leverage content marketing successfully today are the ones that deliver compelling content in the formats preferred by their audiences, and this is the topic of our new infographic Content Strategy Pick ‘n’ Mix.

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39 Awesome Tools and Resources for Blogging and Social Media Marketing

39 Awesome Tools and Resources for Blogging and Social Media Marketing.

7 Marketing Trends You Should Not Ignore – Jeffbullas’s Blog

7 Marketing Trends You Should Not Ignore

Jeffbullas’s Blog.

 

152 killer keywords for email subject lines (and 137 crappy ones) | Econsultancy

152 killer keywords for email subject lines (and 137 crappy ones) | Econsultancy.

 

 

Subject Lines
by Parry Malm

We had a hunch that word choice in email subject lines have a strong effect on response rates.  So, we tested 287 keywords across a sample of 2.2bn emails to see which work, and which don’t. 

 

Why? Because President Obama has done more for email marketing than any world leader in the history of mankind. How? By focusing on subject line testing, his digital team optimised their donation campaigns to generate hundreds of millions of dollars online.

Despite Obama’s best efforts, most marketers still view email marketing as the Bluth Company’s Banana Stand of Arrested Development fame: a more boring and less sexy marketing channel than pretty much anything else imaginable.

But – and never forget this – there’s always money in the banana stand! There is great power in optimising subject lines.

In case you missed my presentations at MarketingWeekLive last week, you can find out more about our findings after the jump.

We tested a random sample of 95,000 global, English-language campaigns over the last 12 months (for a total of 2.2bn emails), and have isolated 287 popular ‘trigger words’.

Then, split by sector, we looked at the correlation between the word’s inclusion in the subject line and its variance above or below the average results for key email metrics (Open Rate, CTR, CTOR, and Unsubscribe).

To ensure outliers aren’t confusing things, we’ve also looked at the first, second and third quartiles to give an indication of data spread, not just nominal long-run means.

Bear in mind, these relationships are correlated, but not necessarily causal. There are simply too many variables in an email campaign to pinpoint exact causation. But, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and at the very least, this will give you many ideas for what to test.

And now some key findings:

People love free stuff

In related news, water is wet. Specific trigger words have a drastic effect on the response rates of offers. For example, ‘Sale’ delivers +23.2% opens, but ‘Save’ only +3.4%.

However, in terms of click throughs, they give +60.7% and -25.2% respectively. When you promote your offers, consider testing those trigger words – it could make or break your campaigns.

And, consider simple quick wins like ‘Free Delivery’ or even ‘% off’ – in the right context these keywords can drive massive response uplifts. But, if you do nothing but hard sell and offer discounts all the time, your customers will become bored and tune out.

Mix up your offer emails in a series of value-adding campaigns.

Content marketing works when the content isn’t crap

The problem with content marketing is the vast majority of content produced is crap. Too many people have outsourced it to agencies that don’t know enough about their clients’ markets, and focus on the wrong metrics. As a result, consumers have become anesthetised to content.

Take, for example, ‘Report’ (-23.7% opens, -54.8% CTR) and Webinar’ (-16.6%, -70.7%.)

Conversely if the content is good, people will consume it. So ‘News’ (+34.8%, +47.7%), ‘Bulletin’ (+15.8%, +12.7%) and ‘Video’ (+18.5%, +64.8%) work well.

Simply put, if your content is crap, it won’t work. If your content is good, you’ll get great results. When doing content marketing, make sure you’re in the latter group, not the former, or else you’ll be what we affectionately call in the industry a “spamming %$*!$#“.

More frequent emails are better than less frequent

Typical for an email guy to say, right? Full disclosure, when people send out more emails, ESPs make more money, this is true. But, if emails drive response and therefore generate revenue, then what’s the problem?

But, don’t take my word for it. We looked at newsletter frequency, and specifically the trigger words that indicate it. ‘Monthly’ brought -26.6% opens and -37.0% clicks. ‘Weekly’ brought +27.1% and +50.6% (not bad) and, amazingly, ‘Daily’ brought +27.8% and +100.3%. Simply put, more email drives more response.

And it’s not just us saying this, check this out if you’re sceptical.

Personalisation works, if your data is clean

Lots of people have played around with subject line personalisation, with varied results. We found the average opens and clicks decrease (-20.7% opens). But, the spread of the data is massive. The first quartile is -73.1%, but the third quartile is +30.8%. Why is this?

The main thing about personalisation is to ensure you don’t deliver users a disjointed user experience. If the subject line is personalised, but the email content isn’t, guess what? You may gain opens, but have done nothing to drive clicks. It leaves users with a negative experience.

Furthermore, if the subsequent online journey isn’t equally personalised, once again you’ve left your users feeling like you’ve given them the old bait-n-switch.

Most importantly, if your database is old and potentially incorrect, you’re in trouble. Eyeball your data first and pick recent, engaged data for testing personalised content.

There’s always money in the banana stand

This report analysed a vast sample of subject lines. More than anything, it showed there is lots of short-run variance in every keyword sample. What matters is that you test things out to your lists, and never stay standing still. What works one week may not work the next, but if you aren’t trying out new things then you’re treading water and ultimately throwing away money.

Email still delivers the strongest revenue of any digital channel by a country mile (source). In all your tweeting, pinning, and facebooking, are you making sure you dedicate enough time to your email subject lines?

Remember – of Obama’s 30 person digital team, 24 of them were focused on email.

They knew that there’s always money in the banana stand.

To see the full list of keywords (287 common words were tested in addition to the ones above), you can download the report. (Registration required – Ed)

 

How Pepsi uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ | Econsultancy

How Pepsi uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ | Econsultancy.

 

In the latest of our posts looking at how major brands use the four main social networks I’ve decided to turn the spotlight on Pepsi.

The drinks brand is forced to play second fiddle to Coca-Cola’s global dominance, and is unlikely to ever match its rival’s huge social following.

However it should still make an interesting case study, particularly with its long list of brand ambassadors. This post follows on from similar blogs looking at brands such as McDonald’s, Nike, Burberry and Walmart.

So without further ado, here is a quick overview of how Pepsi use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+…

Facebook

Pepsi’s Facebook page is a bit of a conundrum. It has some 17 million fans yet it hasn’t been updated since way back in July 2012.

In fact one of the most recent updates is a video of Fernando Torres when he had long blonde hair, which shows just how dated it really is.

On the face of it the page appears to be official as prior to going silent it posted almost daily updates promoting Pepsi’s ad campaigns and brand ambassadors.

The updates achieved almost zero interaction though, with very few achieving more than 50 comments and ‘likes’, which is also odd as although they’re extremely brand focused they aren’t much worse than a great deal of other corporate Facebook updates.

What’s perhaps most bizarre is that Pepsi recently created a ‘Like Machine’ that traded free samples in return for smartphone owners giving the brand the thumbs up on Facebook.

This is a fairly shameless way of scraping customer data if you’re not then going to make any effort to entertain them once they’ve been lured into becoming fans of the brand.

If you compare Pepsi’s silent page to Coca-Cola’s social efforts and the storming success it’s had just by writing random names on the side of cans then one would assume that Pepsi might soon be hiring a new Facebook page admin.

Pepsi’s sub-brands do a far better job of posting fresh content and responding to fans comments.

For example, Pepsi Max posts new updates almost every day, most recently focusing around its sponsorship of cricket or featuring the magician Dynamo.

The updates featuring Dynamo’s bus levitation trick achieved a huge amount of interactions and were shared more than 120,000 times, however these were the exception rather than the norm.

In general Pepsi Max’s updates achieve just a few hundred ‘likes’ and comments despite having more than 1.1 million fans.

One noteworthy Pepsi Max promotion was its ICC Champions Trophy competition that offered people the chance to win tickets to the event.

To enter users had to upload a photo of themselves with a Pepsi at a Walkabout Bar either through a Facebook app, Twitter or on Instagram using the hashtag #MaxItToWin.

It seems like a good idea but unfortunately it looks like only about 30 people actually entered.

Pepsi NEXT’s updates and level of interactions are largely similar to Pepsi Max, however it also has to deal with a number of critical comments about the health risks of the drink.

Pepsi recently had to change the recipe of NEXT due to health risks associated with the artificial sweeteners it contained, however consumers clearly haven’t aren’t yet ready to forgive and forget.

Twitter

Pepsi is another brand with a confusingly broad range of Twitter feeds. There’s PepsiCo, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Max Crew, PepsiCo Deals, PepsiCo Jobs, Pepsi Next, as well as feeds for many of the countries in which the drink is sold.

As you’d expect most of the feeds have very few followers, however the main Pepsi account has managed to attract a following of 1.6 million people, some 600,000 more than Coca-Cola.

The social team tweets several times per day with the general focus being on the brand’s association with Beyoncé and its current ‘Live for Now’ campaign.

The idea is to promote Pepsi as an exciting, youthful brand that people associate with having a good time, so its feed is littered with hashtags such as #LiveForNow, #IconicSummer, #PoolParty and #duh.

It’s all rather corporate and dull in my opinion, but it does also throw in frequent ticket competitions for Beyoncé’s world tour, which is a good way of attracting more followers.

Pepsi Max UK also achieved decent results from a Promoted Tweet campaign for Beyoncé’s UK tour.

The ads offered some fans exclusive ‘meet and greet tickets’ with a ‘queue-jumping’ competition. After tweeting the hashtag ‘#MeetBeyonce’ fans could visit the Pepsi Max site and see where they were positioned in a virtual queue.

At three random times during the day, the person at the front of the queue won the meet and greet tickets.

The ads were targeted at relevant keywords such as ‘Beyoncé’, ‘love Beyoncé’, ‘Jay Z’ and ‘Beyoncé tour’. Pepsi Max also used gender, geography and device targeting to specifically reach women located in the United Kingdom, on mobile.

Overall the campaign resulted in a 20.8% average engagement rate and more than 150,000 mentions.

Looking again at the main account, Pepsi’s social team also responds to occasional @mentions by other users, though not more than a handful each day and generally only to positive comments.

Many other brands have dedicated customer service channels on Twitter but Pepsi appears to largely ignore complaints, or it might be that it leaves them for local markets to deal with.

The PepsiCo feed appears to operate in much the same way. It responds to quite a few @mentions each day but it tends to be mainly positive comments.

Pinterest

As far as I can tell Pepsi NEXT is the only Pepsi brand that has an official Pinterest account. Despite being active for more than seven months it has pinned just 213 images across 14 boards, attracting a mere 1,078 followers.

One of the reasons for this could be that the boards are all slightly random. Many of the older boards tie into NEXT’s ‘Unbelievable’ campaign, so there are collections named ‘Unbelievable events’, ‘Unbelievable Places’ and ‘Unbelievable Party Parapernalia’. But then in among those there are other boards named ‘Homemade Holiday’ and ‘Sampling Events.’

The images themselves are quite interesting, but the social team has included too much text on the pins in my opinion. Also, the unbelievable lists are all taken from Buzzfeed advertorials.

The more recent boards are even worse and just include images and videos from Pepsi adverts that all link back to the product’s official website. Another one is called ‘Pepsi NEXT’ and just includes nine different product images.

It’s hardly the sort of thing that people are going to want to share in great numbers.

Pepsi NEXT is also another example of a brand that has used Pinterest to run a competition. Users had to create a board named ‘Unbelievable Pepsi Next Party’ and pin a branded Pepsi image as well as at least two images depicting their ultimate super bowl party.

It attracted several hundred entries, which isn’t actually that bad for this kind of competition.

Finally, there is an account that purports to be for PepsiCo, however it doesn’t have the official Pinterest tick.

It has created 12 boards for topics such as ‘Innovate Globally’ and ‘Sustainability’ but many of them have only a couple of pins. In general the content is fairly dull and corporate, so it’s unsurprising that it has just 600 followers.

Google+

Pepsi is another brand that puts very little effort into its G+ page and generally posts just one or two updates per month. Even so, it has managed to attract just over 700,000 followers.

The posts tend to be images or videos of Beyoncé or other musicians, and rarely achieve more than a few hundred interactions.

Pepsi’s apparent indifference to G+ is by no means unusual and I’ve previously highlighted 10 major brands with dreadful Google+ pages. As far as I can tell, Pepsi’s other brands haven’t bothered with G+ at all.

However there is a G+ page for PepsiCo Jobs that is updated on an almost daily basis.

The content is all based around PepsiCo product launches and marketing campaigns, as well as occasional updates on the company’s interns. It’s not particularly interesting and only has around 1,000 followers.

 

by David Moth 15 July 2013 14:13

How To Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile is Found in Google

How To Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile is Found in Google.

 

With more than 225 million business individuals now on LinkedIn, there is a growing trend to ensure that a LinkedIn profile is not only created professionally, but can also be discovered by search engines such as Google. As a result of the public nature of the majority of users’ LinkedIn settings, an increasing number of individual profile pages are appearing in search engine results – particularly when searching for, validating or screening the information and expertise of potential candidates.

LinkedInLinkedIn advise that in order to ensure your profile is displayed in search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo, your profile can be made visible by adjusting your settings, sending out at least one invitation to a business colleague or friend and adding as a minimum, one connection.

In order to ensure your profile is visible you will need to amend your settings. The process should only take a couple of minutes and can be found by going to your profile avatar (picture) in the top right corner and choosing ‘Privacy & Settings’ as an option. Here you can amend who can see your profile picture (‘Change your profile photo & visibility’ and ensure your settings are ‘Everyone’) and ‘Edit Your Public Profile’. Users have a tick list of profile content which you can opt for everyone to see.

Additional Sections:

LinkedIn recommend users to ensure their profile is updated regularly (at least every month if you are wanting to be top of results), as well as checking all additional sections have been correctly filled in. These sections include:

  • linkedin-profile-picture-image_0Attaching a headshot as your profile photo – This should be a professional business photograph. Users should remember that all profile images are searchable on search engines, especially in Google Images. Therefore care should be taken on the choice of image used, perhaps choosing to reflect a corporate element for a business networking site – here are 7 pictures you should NEVER use.
  • Completing your Headline – This is the wording which is shown next to your profile picture and name on LinkedIn. Some people like to customise this to fully reflect your role and act as an aide to stand out from your competitors – it’s shown as a summary in all search results. Here are 10 LinkedIn Headlines that stand out from the crowd.
  • Writing a short description to include in the Summary box – This is similar to a summary of a CV and is meant to be a couple of paragraphs detailing you and your role – make sure you spruce it up!
  • Adding industry specific key words under your job history – If you work within a business sector which has unique industry key words, recruiters will search on those requirements and therefore your profile will show in search results.
  • Entering each of the skills & expertise you possess – This acts as an additional section to add industry specific skills. Care should be taken however to ensure that you only accept skills from individuals endorsing you which are relevant to your business area.

As LinkedIn are constantly changing and updating their offering, a number of optional areas have recently been introduced to complete such as:

Projects:

The option to complete the project name, date, project URL, description and to add all team members relating to that project. This feature could be useful if you are a contractor and working regularly on project-based work. It could be an excellent way to demonstrate the structure, workflow and expertise required for the project.

Languages:

linkedin what you should knowYou have the ability to enter any other languages spoken and the degree of fluency of said language. This could be beneficial if you are interested in moving to work overseas.

Publications:

Individuals utilise this section to mention any publications or editorials written, including the title, publisher, publication URL, and ability to add any other authors. If you work within a niche business area and have written publications on your areas of specialism, this will give recruiters and hiring companies’ visibility of your knowledge and expertise within your industry.

Organisations:

If you belong to any industry organisations, there is the option to enter the organisation name, position held, occupation, time period and any additional notes. Again, for a recruiter this is very useful especially if you were to work within a niche industry or sector.  It will help position your profile as a stronger match on any keyword searches being carried out by recruiting companies.

LinkedIn also gives you the option to add honours & awards, test scores, patents, certifications and any volunteering & causes you work on.

If you want to be discovered by recruiters on LinkedIn, you should ensure that you have completed the following checklist:

  • Is your profile being kept up to date?
  • Have you entered all the relevant information to your current job?
  • Have you completed your skillset?
  • Have you ensured that both your profile and picture are visible to ‘Everyone’?

And finally and perhaps most importantly, ensure the contact details in both the contact box and your profile are visible and up to date.

Author: Vicky Jones (@VixJones) is Head of Marketing & Communications for Montash.

photos by: mariosundar & Coletivo Mambembe

Resource : theundercoverrecruiter.com

10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards | Econsultancy

10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards | Econsultancy.

 

 

A bit of customisation always helps if you want to extract maximum value from Google Analytics.

Custom reports are a great way to do this, but custom dashboards also play a useful role, allowing you to view key metrics at a glance and tailor the view to your own needs.

Here I’ve rounded up 10 custom GA dashboards from various sources.

Just click on the link under the screenshots to automatically add these to your Google Analytics profile…

Mobile commerce dashboard

A useful one for tracking your mobile performance from the excellent Justin Cutroni blog.

This one shows a range of valuable data in one screen: mobile revenues, top handsets, top mobile content, keywords and more.

Mobile commerce dashboard

The ‘perfect’ ecommerce dashboard

This, according to Michael Wiegand, is the perfect dashboard for ecommerce sites.

The perfect ecommerce dashboard

Site performance dashboard

This one shows various metrics which may be useful to identify problems on your site.

Performance dashboard

Blogging dashboard

This one from Dashboard Junkie shows some key blogging metrics, including most popular posts, how people find you and where the links are coming from.

Blogger dashboard

Realtime overview dashboard

This one, from Dan Barker, is my go-to realtime dashboard, as it provides a quick, at-a-glance overview of key metrics for bloggers or content marketers, and is more useful than the standard realtime view in GA.

Overview dashboard

SEO dashboard

This one, from Anna Lewis at Koozai, shows key organic search metrics: performance of brannd/non-brand keywords, top landing pages etc.

Lots of handy SEO metrics in one quick view.

SEO dashboard

70 facts about visitors

This is a handy one from Dashboard Junkie, which provides a host of useful information about your visitors: geography, devices, browsers, and so on.

Visitor facts dashboard

Content marketing dashboard

I’m not sure who to credit for this, it’s been on my GA profile for a while.

Content marketing metrics

PPC dashboard

We don’t do a lot of PPC, so the screenshot below probably doesn’t do justice to this dashboard, which gives a general overview of PPC activity.

PPC dashboard

Social media dashboard

Another one from Justin Cutroni, which contains some very useful social data. I particularly like the on-site social actions and socially shared content widgets.

Resource : econsultancy.com