Monthly Archives: Apr 2015

Infographics Social Media News

Social Media & Internet In A Minute: 2013 VS 2014 [Infographics]

The internet is a wonderful thing, a thing of knowledge and power but also a thing of beauty and inspiration. We are all a part of the internet in one way or another, whether that is via our emails or our social media accounts. But what do we all actually do on the internet?

The folks at Tech Spartan have designed an infographic that illustrates what happens in just ONE minute on the internet, comparing 2013 to 2014’s latest statistics.

one-minute-social-media

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Inbound Marketing Marketing Certifications & Exams

Marketing Certifications from HubSpot

HubSpot’s certification programs take your Inbound skills to the next level.

Inbound Certification

FREE & OPEN TO EVERYONE01_HubSpotBadges_V4

The Inbound Certification is a comprehensive marketing training that covers the core elements of the Inbound Methodology.

The curriculum introduces the fundamentals of how to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers and delight customers into promoters.

Course Description

HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification is becoming the industry standard to demonstrate mastery of topics related to digital marketing. Between watching the lectures, studying and taking the exam, you may spend up to 30 hours preparing for the exam…and not even pass! This course will teach you valuable, time saving strategies that will allow you to get your inbound marketing certification in 3 hours or less.

This course consists of video lectures, study guides, sample test questions and a review of the most important topics.

What are the requirements?

  • Adobe Reader (To read PDF Files)
  • No prior knowledge required

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 5 lectures and 49 mins of content!
  • By the end of this course, you will be able to earn your Inbound Marketing Certification
  • Understand the structure of the inbound marketing exam
  • Learn strategies to pass the exam
  • Understand the basics of inbound marketing covered in the certification exam

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in digital marketing
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Business owners
  • Marketing practitioners and professionals
  • Startups

 Why get Inbound certified?

There are plenty of reasons to join the already 16,000+ inbound marketing professionals worldwide, but here are just a few of the reasons to get Inbound certified:

  • It’s an easy way to learn the fundamentals of Inbound.
  • Receive a certificate and badge upon passing the exam. These help to enhance your resume, your LinkedIn profile and provide you with more opportunities.
  • Gain access to a community of inbound marketers.
  • It’s free.

Inbound marketing pioneer Hubspot offers an excellent free Inbound Marketing Certification Program. While the course is aimed at people in digital marketing and social media industries, anyone can improve their knowledge of inbound and content marketing by following the 11 free classes and completing the reading assignments and optional homework assignments.

You can watch the videos at your own pace and when you complete all the courses you can take an Inbound Marketing Certification Exam to get a certificate from Hubspot. The courses was recently re-designed and updated for 2015!

  1. Essentials of an Effective Inbound Strategy
  2. Optimizing Your Website
  3. The Fundamentals of Blogging
  4. Amplifying Your Content with Social Media
  5. Creating Content with a Purpose
  6. The Anatomy of a Landing Page
  7. Perfecting the Conversion Process
  8. Sending the Right Email to the Right Lead
  9. The Power of Smarketing
  10. Taking Your Sales Process Inbound
  11. Cultivating Happy Customers

Who should get certified?

Marketers, business owners, students, CEOs, start-ups – anybody who is looking to learn how they can better attract visitors to their website, convert visitors into leads, close leads into customers or even delight customers into brand promoters.

 For more information you can visit: Hubspot Academy
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Microsoft Updates & News

Introducing Microsoft Edge: The New Windows 10 Browser

Microsoft made the announcement on Wednesday at Build 2015, its annual developers conference.

Microsoft Edge is the all-new Windows 10 browser built to give you a better web experience. Write directly on webpages and share your mark-ups with others. Read online articles free of distraction or use the offline reading feature for greater convenience. Microsoft Edge is the new browser that works the way you do.

Microsoft Edge is Internet Explorer’s replacement. The minimalistic “chrome-free” web browser is designed to put websites up front and dispense of everything else — including icons and menus that could potentially slow page loads.

Microsoft Edge is “a browser built for doing” with “built-in note taking and sharing” a slide stated. As proof, Edge will support extensions that are designed for Firefox and Chrome with just a few modifications.

 

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Infographics

The Ultimate Guide to Using Hashtags In Your Social Media Content

Do you use hashtags in your social updates? Are you wondering how to use them strategically?

Smart marketers are well aware that “Hashtag” is an effective way to expand their social media reach.

However, if you’re new to social content sphere then hashtags can be quite tricky to grasp the concept of.

So, to help you out, here’s an infographic-guide from Quicksprout, that illustrates the what, where, how many and which ones of Hashtags.

Key takeaways:

On Twitter, Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement (i.e retweets, clicks, favorites and replies) than tweet without.

1 or maximum 2 hashtags in your tweets is optimal. More than two hashtags drops engagement by an average of 17 percent.

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, but works different than Twitter. Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11 plus (different) hashtags.

When Facebook first started hashtags, it didn’t work well. But, as time went on it started to pickup. Now posts with 10+ hashtags get 188 average interactions.

On Google+, you posts are given hashtags automatically based on their content but you can also edit them or add your own.

ultimate-guide-to-hashtags

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Infographics

When Is the Best Time to Be Creative? [Infographic]

When do you do your best work?

For me, it’s realllllly early in the morning. I used to get up at 4 a.m., grab a steaming cup of coffee, and just start writing. At that time of day, words flowed so easily that I could finish a 1,500-word post in an hour. Later in the day, that same post would’ve taken me twice as long.

But that’s not the case for everyone. Some people prefer working late into the night. Others hit their stride after lunch.

If you’re not sure what time of day is best for you to write, keep on reading. The infographic below from Neil Patel at Quick Sprout will dive into data on productivity and creativity so you can figure out what timing might work best for you.

BestTimeToWrite

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Inbound Marketing

Develop A Successful Inbound Marketing Plan For 2015

Welcome to our first Inbound Marketing series blog! This article will give you a step-by-step planning guide to show you exactly how to set up and reap the rewards of an Inbound Marketing campaign for your business. As we previously discussed, inbound marketing is the response to the marketing challenges businesses experience and this guide should show you exactly how to combat those challenges and overcome your digital marketing dilemmas.

A traditional or outbound marketing plan requires you to present and promote your business to prospects. An inbound marketing plan allows your prospective audience to find you. The inbound marketing process typically begins with attracting your target audience, converting them into buying customers, and establishing strong customer relationships for repeat business.

Use the Executionists’s step-by-step process below to provide a clear roadmap for your business by developing an inbound marketing plan focused on achieving business goals by creating and igniting relevant, trust-building and shareable content.

One of the most common mistakes made with inbound marketing is blindly sharing content before you have identified your target persona. Without properly identifying your €ideal customer,€ and knowing what their interests are or how they consume media, it’s almost impossible to create engaging blog posts. It’s said, €You Don’t Plan to Fail, You Fail to Plan.€ Over time, a comprehensive inbound marketing plan will help to increase website visitors, convert that traffic to leads, and convert those leads to customers.

1. Analyze your current marketing efforts.

Before you can think about moving forward, you need to evaluate your current or past marketing efforts. How much traffic are you driving to your site? How much of that traffic converts to leads? How many customers found you through another referring site? A detailed analysis of your current marketing efforts is necessary in order to understand what needs to happen with your new marketing strategy. If you own a brand new business or have never attempted to market your business (either outbound or inbound), you can skip this step.

2. Identify your ideal customer.

Any true inbound marketing campaign starts with knowing who your target audience is. Who are you trying to sell to? How does your target customer differ from other customers? Identifying your potential markets will help you determine exactly what you need to do to sell to them. By having these buyer personas, you won’t waste precious time and money on unqualified leads. Beginning every campaign with a strong understanding of your audience will ensure your that your brand will resonate with these prospects and lead them to take action to buy, use, and promote your products and services. Here’s a few questions to start with when determining your ideal customer:

What’s their most pressing problem, issue or desire, want or need?
Where do they typically get their information from?
What benefit or aspect of your product or service would solve their problem?
Who does your ideal customer trust?
Have you built relationships or established any partnerships with other trusted brands or known publications in your industry?

3. Design and deploy a website designed for conversion.

Websites should be developed with inbound marketing in mind. Naturally the sites’ design must support your brand but it must also guide your prospects to the content you wish to share with them. Remember, attention spans run short so site speed and page loading times are critical considerations as well. For efficient inbound marketing, you’ll want to ensure your site contains: calls-to-action (CTA) and various landing pages.

According to Copyblogger.com, a landing page is:

Any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result.

A ‘call-to-action’ tells the prospect exactly what you want him/her to do while he/she is on your landing page.

The CTA and landing pages are your website’s checkout lane and cash register, respectively. Website visitors who convert do so by paying with their names, email addresses and/or other information as requested by the landing page. Without a CTA, your website visitors will struggle to find your landing pages and without landing page conversions, an inbound marketing campaign will struggle to show a return. For more information about preparing your website for inbound communication stay tuned for our next blog post in this series!

4. Set your desired action.

Once you have analyzed your past marketing efforts, identified your ideal audience and set your website up for conversion success, you will need to define what can you offer to your target audience. Remember, what you are offering has to be of equal or greater value for the information you are asking your leads to provide. Depending on your business goals, this could include making a purchase, subscribing to an email list on your website, a free white paper or case study download in exchange for an email address, sharing your marketing content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest to generate word-of-mouth interest or a combination of a few offers.

5. Create remarkable content.

Building an Inbound Marketing Culture at Your Company

Inbound marketing is really just another fancy name for ‘content marketing’ and content is precisely what you need to generate those inbound leads. Without question, one of the most effective way to generate remarkable content for your website is to use a blogging platform.

In order to determine which content will resonate best with your target audience, it is important to first define and set the type of content you will create. Does your target audience respond better to videos, blog articles, podcasts, white papers or webinars? Regardless of the medium that you use to provide your content it’s important that you publish consistently and frequently to insure success.

6. Drive traffic.

Having a website is useless if you cannot be found by your target audience. In order for your content to really reach your audience you will have to share your content. Don’t be the tree falling in the woods and not making a sound – you want your tree to fall in the woods and make an everlasting sound!

How-to-drive-traffic-Be-open-Get-smartSocial media is one of the simplest and most effective inbound marketing tactics to share your content and products. RSS feeds, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and blogging can all be considered a part of €social media.€ The most valuable aspect of social media is conversation – you will NOT build a following by just sending out messages and never responding – make your social networks a platform for communication. The easier it is for people to share your content by adding share €buttons€ or link to your content will improve the traffic your site and encourage visitors to recommend your services to others.

Another great way to share your valuable content is to submit your blog posts to sites like: StumbleUpon, Chime.in, Digg, Reddit, Slashdot, and Newsvine. All you have to do is make an account and start submitting your work. It is suggested that you engage in these communities, follow other people, try and get followers, and submit work other than your own. Many of these sites monitor your account and want to see that you’re not just submitting your own work to the community.

7. Lead generation and lead nurturing.

According to Hubspot Marketing, a lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. In the buying process, a typical lead would move through three stages: Top of the Funnel or the ‘Informational Stage’ where users are simply looking for general information, the Middle of the Fun.

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SEO News

3 SEO Ideas You Should Forget Now

Seeing as SEO has been around since the late 90s, it stands to reason that quite a few things have changed since webmasters first began optimizing their websites for search. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of outmoded SEO tips and techniques floating around in cyberspace that refuse to die. If you still subscribe to these outdated SEO ideas, it’s time to get up to speed.

Ranking by back links alone: Search marketers have debunked this approach many times over. No matter what you were told, garnering a large number of back links alone won’t boost your place in the search engine rankings. Other factors go into your ranking like social data, query relevance, and the frequency with which you update your content.

Do this instead: Backlinking is important, but you should also focus on an online marketing strategy that will get people to follow those back links and ultimately become your fans.

Copying your competitors: Websites succeed and fail due to a number of factors. Every company website is unique, as is every company behind the website. So what works for, say, Yahoo or Amazon may or may not work for your website.

Do this instead: Set your own benchmarks and do your own research. Take an individualized approach to finding out what will work for your website’s SEO.

Using article submissions: Submitting articles to sites like eZinearticles became a way for websites to get quick back links. However, this technique has only ever had limited success when it comes to SEO, especially when people started publishing low-quality articles for the sake of earning links.

Do this instead: If you’re going to publish content for SEO purposes, it’s best to use your content to build relationships. Get in touch with bloggers who would be happy to have you as a guest blogger. You’ll be adding valuable content to their website, and also building relationships with their audience.

SEO changes all the time, so it’s important for website owners to stay current on SEO trends. If you choose to purchase SEO services, make sure your provider has ways of staying up to speed on SEO news and changes. That way, you can guard against you and your website falling behind in the search rankings.

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Internet Marketing

Ways To Make The Internet Work For Your Business

Internet marketing refers to techniques of advertising and improving brand recognition through various techniques on the web. Many are as simple as the use of blogs or search engine optimization. This article can help you to understand these techniques and how they work. Then you can put them to work for your business.

If you are trying to increase your profits by advertising online, the best thing to do is provide a simple yet thorough website for your business. This involves clearly stating what products you have and what they do. Having a complicated website that is void of prices and simplicity, will certainly have web surfers going elsewhere for the product.

Facebook is your friend. If you have a website or online presence for your business you also need to promote that site on Facebook. You can create a page that other people can “like”, and then link them to your official site through there. It will bring you a good deal of traffic that you may not have otherwise gotten.

Be as detailed as possible when marketing a product. Studies show that large percentages of the population need profuse explanations about the benefits of the products they are thinking of buying in order to be persuaded. If customers genuinely believe the marketing, they will be much more willing to buy the product. Researchers have found that many people will trust a website with several paragraphs of information about a product over a website that is very succinct.

When designing your website to market a business or product, keep your customer base in mind. You want to design your website so well that people are drawn to follow the actions you direct, without even realizing that they are being pushed in that direction. This will translate into more sales conversions.

Starting a personal blog will give a big boost to your Internet marketing efforts. It seems like everyone has a blog nowadays, and your business should be no exception. Blogs give you increased visibility and provide many opportunities to incorporate your keywords into yet another web page. Customers love it, too, because it makes them feel like they can actually interact and have a conversation with you.

Review the grammar and phrasing of all of the sentences on your website. The last thing that you want to do is lose a customer because they do not understand what you are saying due to poor grammar. If a sentence sounds ambiguous, change it to something more clear and concise.

Almost every Internet marketer out there has heard that their content should focus only on quality and never on quantity, but you also need to realize that your content has to be incredibly pertinent to what you’re pushing. You might have an opportunity to post some great content on your site, but avoid it if it’s not on topic.

To make your web site or product more appealing to customers, think like your customers. Sure, you might like the way your web site looks or the content of your latest information product, but do your potential customers like these things, too? It’s important to make sure to think about your target audience when creating anything for sale, because it doesn’t matter how much you like something if no one else wants to buy it.

After reading these tips, we hope you are more comfortable with navigating the vast expanse of cyberspace. In order to optimize your business’ sales, you will want to keep exploring: finding new marketplaces and websites, and checking on what your competition is doing. Internet marketing is, after all, an adventure as well as a business!

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SEO Tools

Free Google Tools for Marketers

Whether you love Google or love to hate Google, you have to admit one thing. Google offers a lot of free google tools to use with the convenience of being able to access them with one login.

Marketers in particular should take advantage of these google tools to get more out of their search engine and social media marketing experience. The following are some of the top Google tools marketers should embrace from A to (almost) Z!

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Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Approach for Webmasters

The world today isn’t teeming with opportunity the same way it was some decades ago. We’re no longer living in an industrial age. We’ve now entered a technological age. Today’s opportunities are found in a different place. So read these internet marketing tips to learn how to chase down your opportunity.

To instantly get your audience’s attention, find a product that is sold for a limited period of time, or a reduced price that will not last long. This allows you to use a catchy vocabulary and make your audience think about what they are missing out on if they do not take advantage of the deal immediately.

Keep your marketing messaging consistent through all of your online properties. If there is a disconnect, your brand will look disorganized and consumers will question your legitimacy. For example, if you create a post on Twitter that says consumers should join an “open forum” on your brand’s website, don’t rephrase this to be a “community discussion” when posting on your Facebook page.

Submit your site to search engines to make your Internet marketing campaign more successful. You definitely want your customers to be able to find you when they search online, so this is a valuable step to take. Do not limit yourself to just the larger search engines, however. Find smaller niche directories to submit to, as well. This will funnel customers who are looking for exactly what you offer.

Make sure you have perfect spelling and grammar on all of your internet marketing. The quickest way to scare off potential customers is by having too many spelling errors. This translates to visitors as carelessness. Have a few other people read over your writing to catch mistakes you may have missed.

Constantly evaluate and improve upon the usability of your website. If an individual visiting your site can’t use the site then you will never be successful. The product or service you’re marketing can’t sell if someone can’t figure out how to order it. You can’t gather your client’s contact information if they don’t know how to leave it. Make sure your site is easy to use and running smoothly to best meet your marketing goals.

Internet marketing is a greener option for the environment. For years, advertisers sent out millions of direct mail ads through the postal mail service. Internet marketing utilizes email addresses as opposed to residential addresses, significantly cutting down on paper usage. This not only saves trees, but cuts down on waste, making it a very environmentally friendly option.

Before you start out on your internet marketing journey. You should spend some time researching. Decide what market you are trying to break into. Know your game plan before you do anything else. The more investment you are willing to put into making things right from the start, the smoother the sailing will be once you start.

If you are selling a physical product, include ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs on your website. By showing a photograph of a problem, then showing a photograph of how your product provided a solution to the problem, you will give potential buyers a clearer mental picture of the benefits of using your product. This should make potential buyers more inclined to place an order on your website.

Getting feedback on your advertisements is a great way to cater specifically to the market of your choice. Make sure that you’re always attempting to seek outside opinions on your marketing campaign. Never be shy and always ask customers what they think about your business and what you can do to improve it.

If done correctly, internet marketing can lead to an endless array of customers stopping by your site and purchasing your products and/or using your services. For every customer to pass you over, there are a thousand more out there waiting to be drawn in by your efforts. Apply the tips above and build up your customer base.

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