Tag Archives: Content Creation

Creating Content to Connect

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Rules to Follow in Writing Articles for Your Blog or Website

Writing informative and engaging articles for your blog or website is the right way to attract visitors and increase your site traffic. This is all well and good, especially for your marketing campaigns. But are you adhering to the rules to ensure you’re maintaining journalistic integrity?

You may be thinking how online business promotion and advertising is related to abiding by journalism ethics and standards. One thing you should keep in mind is whatever you write is still subject to criticism, whether your articles are published in traditional or modern media. Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of the CBC News, declared that “Every [news] organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.” This still applies to all types of web content, except the literary and scientific articles.

Everything we publish on the net is subject to scrutiny. Many people have the tendency to believe whatever they read without questioning the source. This poses harmful consequences for them, especially if the writer has slanderous or malicious intent. When we apply this to marketing, writers are prohibited from exaggerating the effectiveness of a product or service in providing a desired outcome. Overblown claims are not tolerated, as these can mislead customers and make them believe that using a certain product will cause the anticipated effect.

This is particularly true for beauty products like whitening or tanning creams and lotions. Advertisements for these goods cannot say that “Product X can make you change your complexion in less than 7 days. Try our product because with Product X, you’ll look beautiful every time you use it.” This makes it important for all businesses to be careful in saying how their products will affect customers and meet their needs.

Almost all articles follow some form of guiding principles. A written marketing piece should be creative and clever enough to draw attention and attract interest without giving the wrong impression to consumers. According to Joe Chernov, Content Marketing Vice President for Eloqua, there are rules to follow to make sure you’re providing truthful and accurate content:

1. Fact should win over opinion.

Stated opinions without facts to serve as backup are not truthful. This is because opinions are sometimes biased or prejudiced against a certain idea. There should be statistics, data research or quotes from experts to support your statements.

2. Have a reference for every point you want to make.

You should have a source for all the main points and claims you make in your article. Quoting sources provides your article with more credibility and makes it less likely to be challenged. Listing your sources also helps you remember where you found the information and assemble an unassailable defense for your stated opinions.

3. Clarify everything with your sources.

Looking for quotable sources can be difficult, especially if your reference does not want to be cited for some statements. When writing your articles, make sure you find some other references you can use as a foundation for your assertions.

4. Look for a different viewpoint.

It is easy to get lost in an issue if you isolate yourself on only one side of the matter. Seek the opposite side of the argument to get a feel of things and know what the big picture looks like. Being familiar with how the other side will compose their argument will make it easier to frame your arguments for the side you’ll support.

5. Append a byline for your sources.

Always look for the originator of your source documents to ensure you’re crediting the right person for the information you want to cite in your article. A byline can include some facts about the writers’ current occupation and activities to establish how they became experts in their respective fields.

6. Minimize jargon.

Readers can find it hard to stick to an article that has many technical terms they cannot easily understand. Lessen the instances when you have to write down something that would sound too technical to your readers. Make your piece easily comprehensible so they will continue reading and not be alienated.

 

References:

Mashable.com

Wikipedia.org Link 1

Wikipedia.org Link 2

The Old Spice Effect: Business Videos with a Heart

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Make customers stop and pay attention with a story about your business.

We have loved reading stories ever since we were children. We even make up our own as we strive to make the people around us wonder and imagine. Storytelling never fails to stir us, even in the form of unfounded news or hearsays. Marketing is no stranger to stories, as well. They use storylines to generate interest on the products and services they promote. This ability is evident through the commercials we see whenever we turn on the television.

There are the Mentos commercials, which feature the “Freshmaker,” and show how your breath can be made fresh with just one candy. Look back on an Old Spice ad that presented a half-naked, towel-clad Isaiah Mustafa telling viewers to “Smell like a man, man.”This commercial told a story that fans of the Old Spice Facebook page clicked. They then typedtheir comments, liked the posts, and shared the page.

This aptly demonstrates the power of storytelling in an ad. Old Spice, the company, contracted Mustafa, a former football star player, to help spread the message that the Old Spice scent can make a man smell more masculine. The reactions above showed how effective the campaign is, making it achieve 14,393 likes and 7,864 comments. This commercial was released last 2010, and it still got comments up until three months ago.

How do you create stories that will imitate the Old Spice effect and make customers pay attention to your content? How do you make them interested with your products? Here are a few ways:

1. Create introductory videos.

Make a video that introduces your business well. Show footages of your store and merchandise, along with your office and employees. If you have a production area, show that in the video, too. Let the CEO make an appearance and explain how your business can be of service to the general community’s needs. You can show this video on your website’s home page, which gives visitors a bird’s eye view of your business processes. This video can also be featured on your social networking pages to engage your followers.

Doggytopia, a dog day care center based in Kelowna, Canada, uses this technique well to tell customers how they will take care of your pets while you are at work. Brenda McBurnie, the owner of the establishment, showed the place where dogs can play and be taken care of. This video serves as a good marketing tactic to attract more customers to visit and entrust their pet dogs to Ms. McBurnie.

2. Product Videos

You know how great your product is, and how useful it can be to perform a certain function or purpose. Customers don’t automatically know that, so make a video that will show them how special your merchandise is. They key is not to tell them, but to demonstrate how. General Electric effectively used this type of video to feature a machine that detects the presence of cancer cells in a patient. This video showed GE employees telling viewers how fulfilled they felt when they helped create something profound like their cancer health care equipment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCiZ7J4Al4&feature=player_embedded

 

Here are some examples of the reactions to the ad

3. ‘Competitive’ Videos

Provide a video detailing the reasons your business is unique. Think of special qualities that sets you apart. It can be about your many years of experience, longevity in the industry or the value of your products. Discuss how you started your business and made it grow. Impart some stories about how your family or friends helped you set up your venture and make it through the lean times. This can help customers know you more and make them feel you have something in common with them.

One video under this category is Kathleen King’s story of how she entered into another venture. This was after being booted out of her first bakery, which she established and managed for twenty years. She illustrated how she maintained her strength and determination to carry on and become successful again. These characteristics made her stand out against other bakeries near her locality.

http://www.inc.com/chris-beier-and-daniel-wolfman/how-tates-bake-shop-founder-kathleen-king-lost-it-all-and-bounced-back.html

4. Statement Videos

Shoot a short video that showcases your business commitment or mission. This allows customers to know your goals and what principles you stand for. This can help them decide that they’ll support you to attain yourobjectives. For example, you manage a hospital and commit yourself to ensuring your health care staff provides the highest quality of care available. Illustrate how you fulfill your commitment statement with a video.

Blackboard, a company that fosters online and mobile learning, declares its commitment to be ‘accessible’ to students with a high-speed Internet connection. This allows them to reach students and impart the education they need. Rajeev Arora, former Vice President of the Marketing Department at Blackboard, reiterates the company’s commitment on the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiG67InGZ4Y

5. Corporate Personality Videos

How does your company define your business? What are you passionate about your corporate culture? Illustrate how you love your enterprise with a video. Answering this question makes it necessary to go back to the time when you first decided to set up your business.  Why did you choose to establish a restaurant, for example? Is it because you like to feed and make people happy through food? Or you love to cook and create dishes that make people satisfied with the taste?

Kristy Greenwood, the owner of Victory Love+Cookies, explains her passion for baking cookies as a way to “get them out into the world, spreading love and light, sugar and flavor, by whatever means necessary.”According to Ms. Greenwood, her zeal for life and making other people feel good is represented by her cookies – light, sweet, and delicious.

http://vimeo.com/32883545

Bottom Line

Using videos to tell stories is a great way to engage your visitors. Almost nobody can resist a feel-good story, which inspires them to do better. Use this to connect to your target audience. Maybe you’ll reach them the way Old Spice did. 😉

 

References:

MarketingProfs.com

Forbes.com

Adweek.com

Inc.com

Swipely Works Blog

No2Pen.com Blog

VictoryLoveandCookies.com

Photo Credits:

Old Spice Facebook Page

Make People StumbleUpon Your Content

How to Use StumbleUpon for Content Marketing

StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site that allows users to discover websites catering to their personal interests. This program has attracted more than 20 million users since its launch in 2001, longer than social networks have been around. Users flock to this site to discover websites they haven’t seen before. Businesses found this site to be particularly useful in attracting new users with existing content. Even if the pieces have long been published, users will continue to find them useful as long as they remain relevant and timely.

With the ‘Explore Box’ feature, users can search for specific topics instead of using their general interests to discover content they haven’t seen before. For example, instead of sorting through a dizzying variety of results in art, you can search for a particular contemporary artist instead. More specific results appear that way, which helps users find the results they need quickly.

How can you use StumbleUpon for your business? Jeff Bullas, a well-known online marketing professional, advises entrepreneurs to be active users to fully utilize StumbleUpon features. After creating a profile, you’ll need to sign up for the Paid Discovery program, which will make your site more visible. Each click will cost around $0.10 or so.

There are also upgrade options that will make your site appear more often. A site or brand channel (not unlike social networking pages) will allow users to follow and find out what you like. This will encourage more user engagement with the content you publish.

A StumbleUpon badge will also be useful for online marketing purposes. You will be given an html code, which will let you insert the StumbleUpon badge to your website pages. This will persuade users to add your site to their profiles, increase your chances of being ‘discovered’, and spread your content to more users.

Susan Gunelius of Sproutsocial.com also recommends that you fill in your details and put a winning picture on your profile. A complete profile and nice picture will make users want to connect with you. Be sure to create only a single account because StumbleUpon frowns upon the use of multiple accounts and spam. This may make the site shut your account down, if you’re not careful to follow the rules.

When posting onStumbleUpon, it’s best not to publish all your content. Issue more content from other sources so you won’t appear like a spammer who’s only promoting a business. Post the articles you’re most confident in and edit the ones which need improving. This will help you stand out from other publishers posting the same content. Be creative when writing titles and descriptions to attract more users to read your high-quality content. Include relevant keywords to enable easier searching and incorporate evocative images in your posts. This will make your articles more appealing to read.

Use StumbleUpon in conjunction with your social networking campaigns. Use the URL shortener, su.pr, to make it easier to share posts across social media sites. Access how much traffic comes to your website and other content pages using this performance analytics tool.

Engaging with other users is also important. Check out the profiles of your target audience and find out what they’re posting. What content do they like? See something you want to share on your StumbleUpon page? Do so! It tickles users to see someone else share the things they like, especially if it’s an established business. Add personal messages when directly sharing content with members to foster intimate relationships and make engagement easier.

Join the competition and start StumblingUpon today!

 

References:

JeffBullas.com

Eloqua Blog

Sprout Social

Mashable

Want to Attract More Customers? Do it with Pictures

If you’re given a choice between reading a long article and viewing a beautiful picture with a short text, what would you choose? It would be the picture, of course. Did you know that*:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visual are processed 60,000 times faster than text;
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text;
  • Photos perform best for likes, comments and shares;
  • The 25-35 age group watches the most number of online videos, with males spending 40% more time viewing; and,
  • Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.

When people are reading something, they first decode the squiggles they see on the paper or screen. Are those an E and a T? Meaning has to be deciphered as the eyes move from one sentence to another. Although this process runs half a second or so, depending upon the proficiency of the reader, the mind still has to analyze what it sees.

With pictures, it’s different. The mind is quickly presented with an image. There’s no need to think much, as we usually know what a picture is trying to tell us, unless it’s an abstract work. Once viewers see photos of people and things they especially love, instant like is immediately experienced. This works for online businesses that showcase their products in a good light. For example, you’re a shoe retailer. You set the scene in which a particular pair of shoes is best suited and then you snap a picture that emphasizes the beauty of the shoes. Some hours after you posted the picture, you will see that it has already garnered likes, comments, and shares.

Effective, isn’t it?

Businesses should spend more time taking good pictures of their merchandise. Arrange your products in visually appealing ways and you’ll make them more marketable. Take a look at these goods:

Aren’t they more appealing to the eyes when artfully presented? These pictures certainly catch more interest than if they have been photographed on stalls or mannequins. Why not try them on your own products? You can either look for someone good-looking or ordinary (depending on your marketing strategy) to model your products. Or you can arrange them in a way that will make their good qualities stand out like the bags photographed above. The pinks, greens, oranges, and blues stood out against the whiteness of the picket fence.

This points out that pictures can be more effective in selling your goods. Attach well-taken pictures with your marketing copy and your products will stand out more. Long articles, on the other hand, explain in longer detail a complicated idea or two, which pictures cannot easily do. Take a look at these examples:

If you notice, the picture of the lake is just that—only an image of a beautiful natural scene. When a paragraph on the right is combined, the photo gives a different meaning. This makes it effective for photos to have a caption. Without a caption, a picture can mean anything.

Lengthy articles without any pictures are not necessarily bad and hard to read. It would be better, though, if you sometimes put some pictures between paragraphs to allow the mind to stop a bit and enjoy the view, so to speak. This will help the mind to focus on what you’re trying to say in your article.

Soften the formality of a long article with pictures. Try putting some pictures on your own blog posts and see whether your articles get more hits than they did before they had photos. You’ll soon realize that articles with pictures look better than the unrelieved black-and-white text staring back at you from the paper or screen.

 

Reference:

*Hubspot Blog

Images Taken From:

RMIT.edu.au

LetsGoMobile.com

BP Blogspot 1

BP Blogspot 2

Pinterest.com

Podcasting: A New Way to Make Yourself Heard on the Internet

Connect with Your Audience with Audio and Video Podcasts

Speaking is the most basic form of communication. When we hear someone talk, we automatically want to listen. People who have the gift of gab are able to speak readily, eloquently, and fluently to persuade everyone. This partly influenced the invention of the radio, which can reach many people, even those who live in far-flung areas. Later on, the radio is slowly replaced by the podcast when Internet flourished.

Podcasts are multimedia recordings that can be downloaded on the Internet and be played overmp3 players, mobile devices, and computers. These audio and video files can be played back over and over, which makes it convenient for users who cannot regularly tune in to fixed-scheduled programs. Automatic downloads can be set so viewers can listen or watch whenever they want.

This makes podcasting a feasible and effective avenue for businesses trying to reach customers through online lectures, interviews with industry experts, and event promotion. Entrepreneurs can talk about the benefits of one product over another, how to effectively use a device and more. Users can choose podcasts that talk about different topics, from business techniques and book reviews, to landscaping and cooking.

Hearing someone talk about subjects of interest is more beneficial for busy individuals, blind people and other folks who prefer listening to reading. With podcasts, they can listen while they work, exercise, drive or perform other tasks. Other than that, listening to someone speak is a more effective form of communication, as users do not need to decipher meanings. They don’t need to read and think about what the writer is trying to convey with long sentences and paragraphs.

Try listening to podcasts and see if you can use this medium for your marketing strategy. With podcasting, you can share your knowledge about different topics to your customers. Using this method in a personal and engaging manner will effectively make your program popular among your listeners or viewers.

Targeting a specific audience? Here are some podcast consumer demographics:

Data gathered by This American Life show podcasts are for everybody. Male and female consumers are roughly of the same number at 54% and 46%, respectively. This means businesses with male or female-targeted merchandise can use podcasting for marketing. Entrepreneurs can also reach young and old populations. They can tailor every podcast session to sound more attractive to either young or mature audience. Offer more value to your customers and followers with quality podcasting and your subscribers will grow in number.

Be more spontaneous while talking and your audience will love you more. Formal and lengthy speeches can alienate listeners and viewers. This type of podcasts can make their attention drift away and send them to Dreamland. Podcast consumers like more informal conversations, as this makes them feel as if the speaker is in front of them. A difference in intonation can catch their wandering minds and bring them back to listening to your podcast.

Speaking in a chatty and relaxed manner can make them feel close to you. This makes them more open to believing what you say, so make sure you’re telling facts and informed opinions. This way, you can increase trust and develop relationship with your customers. Use speaking techniques that work to increase your subscribers. Reach them in a way that will make you eager to pick up the microphone and speak to them again.

Establish yourself as an expert in your field. Keep up with the latest facts to ensure factual information for your listeners. This will increase confidence in you as a podcaster. Interview other professionals in your industry to provide more educational and helpful content. This will make your channel more popular as well.

Practice public speaking in front of an audience. This will help you be more certain of yourself as you convey your message. Reach out to your customers using your voice. Find out if podcasting is the path to use for your online marketing success! Using this technique will be more affordable than scheduling a talk on the radio and other traditional media outlets.

Check out sample podcasts from this website: http://businessbooktalk.com/. These are recorded by the Social Content Group, a social marketing group that seeks to help businesses establish their presence on the web and engage with customers online.

 

References:

IBlogMarketing

Audible Marketing

Social Media Trader

Learning Times

Read Write Web

SlideShare

Make the Most of Your Tweets: Twitter Tips for the Tweeting Entrepreneur

How to Tweet, be Seen and be Followed by Thousands

You’re tweeting your posts, but it seems that only a few people are engaging with them. How do you expose your tweets to a wide audience? What the best times to tweet?

Weekends, by far, are the best days. Log onto Twitter and tweet your campaigns, especially on Saturdays when there’s 17% more engagement compared to other days of the week. People cannot browse as much as they want on weekdays because of work, school and other activities. Come Saturday, and they’ll turn on the computer and surf the net to their hearts’ content.

Wednesdays and Thursdays bring the lowest rate of engagement for Twitter campaigns. It might be because these are, in fact, the busiest days. Mondays have higher engagement rates as people are just getting started on the week’s activities. The busy buzz trend on Wednesdays will continue on Thursdays. The fourth day of the week is especially hectic because people want to finish as much work as possible so they can log out in time on Fridays. Traffic begins to pick up on Fridays because people are excited over the start of the weekend.

By the time you wake up, how long does it wake for you to log on the Internet? Studies show that 8 am to 7 pm is the best time range to post your tweet, regardless of what day you do so. A 30% engagement rate waits for brands who post marketing tweets at these times. Why is this so?

People nowadays, especially teenagers, spend most of the weekend logged on social networks. They have greater chances to see your tweet, be curious about your merchandise, look at your website then share the content to their set of friends. When 7 pm rolls around, it’s time to turn off the computer and enjoy the night life or be comfortable at home.

Keep your tweet short and sweet, then add a shortened link at the end. Research says that tweets with less than 100 characters get more attention. This is because the average attention span is as short as NINE seconds, according to BBC. So, save space and trim your tweets to only 99 characters or less.

Use Twitter character count wisely, and you still might have some space left over for a hashtag or two. According to Wikipedia, a hashtag is “a tag embedded in a message posted on the Twitter microblogging service, consisting of a word within the message prefixed with a hash sign.” [sic]

The short of it is a #hashtag is equivalent to a tag in blogging sites. It serves to allow users to see what posts are associated with a certain word or phrase. Some 2011 popular hashtags are #Superbowl, #Jan25 (Egypt’s revolution), #threewordstoliveby and #idontunderstandwhy.

Businesses can take advantage of hashtags to monitor the popularity of a certain keyword. It can also be used to track conversations and keep up with what people are saying online. Be careful not to overuse it, though. There’s a 17% decrease in engagement when you use three or more hashtags. Better to use only one or two hashtags to enjoy 21% engagement.

Need to retweet? Increase your chances by including ‘Retweet’ or ‘RT’ in your post. Fanatic followers will follow this call to action and click ‘retweet.’ This would help make your tweets to go viral and get the customer engagement you need.

But make sure to…

Users, especially those using Twitter for the first time, sometimes get confused over RT. “What is RT?” they ask. “Retell? Retort?? Reticule???” This would decrease the chances that your post will be spread. Spell out ‘Retweet’ to ensure this won’t happen.

Listed above are the tips for efficient and timely tweeting. Log onto Twitter now and post your messages! Happy tweeting!

 

References:

Social Media Today

MindJumpers.com

BBC News

Time Newsfeed

To Blog or Not to Blog on Other Sites… That’s the Dilemma.

Driving More Traffic to Your Site with Guest Blogging

You’ve written fine articles on your blog. Suddenly, someone emailed you about posting your articles in other websites. You’re torn between keeping your content on your domain and letting it be published somewhere else. What would you do?

Guest blogging is a method used to drive more traffic to blogs using articles written by other bloggers. This can work in two ways:

  • You will write a post that will appear in another person’s blog; or
  • An article made by another writer will be posted on your own blog.

Many people attest to the success of guest blogging. Its most useful benefit is the link-backs, which function as incoming links to your site from well-known and relevant websites or blogs. This makes your site perform better in search engines when people type in keywords associated with your products and services. Guest blogging also allows you to establish a reputation as an expert in your industry.

This makes it important to write quality content every time. Pick out your best pieces. Look them over once again and make improvements, if necessary. Talk to other blog and website administrators about guest blogging opportunities. This enterprise is very popular in these link building times, which provides many with the chance to be known as an authority in their chosen fields.

Once readers get intrigued with your blogs, they are likely to subscribe to your RSS feed.  Maintain their interest with blog posts that are well-researched. Give credit to articles you used as references. This is a way of acknowledging other people’s works and making your articles more trustworthy to read.

Build and cultivate relationships now with other blog and website owners. Share content regularly and enjoy the benefits of posting on each other’s sites. This will create a win-win situation for all, from content writers to website administrations to followers reading your articles. Start writing and looking for prospective blogs today!

 

References:

MyBlogGuest.com

TrifectaLLC.com

About Weblogs

ViperChill.com

More than Publicity: Promoting NGOs in Social Media

How Other Companies can Benefit from Successful NGO Campaigns

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity groups may be different from businesses in their core level, but the two groups are the same when it comes to social media. Their social media goals are no different from each other. Both of them seek to connect with their target audience through social networking pages in Facebook and Twitter.

It is more important, though, for NGOs to engage more with their followers. This is because they have limited resources which could not be touched often to finance publicity campaigns like other profitable groups do. They can use the viral potential of social media to accelerate sharing of information and reduce the costs of participation. NGOs also need to function as ‘social businesses’ as well, which emphasizes the need to engage their followers in a socially intimate manner.

More and more people are now going online and joining social networks. This creates an impending need for NGOs to drive more interest to their noble causes. In fact, the top 200 in Forbes’ non-profit companies are utilizing social media campaigns faster than Fortune 500 companies do. For NGOs, social networking is a low-cost alternative that provides various opportunities for conversations and complementary methods to messages shared through other channels.

How do NGOs catch the attention of the online world and get support for their causes? Here are five methods that successful not-for-profit groups in social media use:

1. Post more photos and videos.There are many types of content that circulates around the web: status videos, photos, videos and links. The likeliest content to be liked, commented upon and shared is photos. NGOs share more photos and videos than they do status updates. This is because people engage more with images rather than text splashed across the text. When we see heart-rending images, we don’t have to think; we immediately react. Text needs to be read, then processed by the brain to be understood. Videos, on the other hand, can disinterest viewers, especially if they run more than 3 minutes. Short attention span is the enemy of long videos.

This impresses upon the need for NGOs to post more photos and videos, as both get the highest engagement rates. They need to be artfully presented to catch attention and make viewers more interested in spreading the message of the organization. Photos need to be taken by professionals who know how to frame shots that would make viewers stop, stare and share.

2. Fitting Captions

A caption defines and emphasizes the message you want to people to hear when they see a picture. Without captions, a picture will be understood in a thousand different ways. Take for example, this picture:

What do you think when you first saw this? You may have thought that this is (1) a wildlife photo taken by Animal Planet, (2) maybe a picture circulated around by PETA or (3) an image from a forest conservation group.

Without a caption, this picture can even be turned into a meme. Imagine the elasticity of the image? That’s why a picture should have a caption, especially when you post it on the social media page of your not-for-profit environmentalist group. Here’s the same picture with a caption:

Captions should not just be a short passage that explains an image. It should be striking enough to cut to the heart of your message. This would resonate more to your readers and stick in their minds, which would encourage them to share your post.

Play with words to make a catchy caption. You can use idiomatic expressions, puns, alliterative phrases and other figures of speech to convey your message. Surfrider Foundation, a water conservation organization makes use of puns and popular sayings to motivate support for their ocean protection campaign:

See how effective a caption can be? That, and the quality of the photo, caught the interest of more than a thousand viewers. Put your message across with a well-captioned, first-rate image and you’ll take hold the crowd’s attention.

3. Post varied content at the right time.

Posting a batch of NGO content can overwhelm followers. Make sure to post one piece at a time, instead of many articles, photos and videos at once. This would increase your opportunity to engage with your readers. Communicate with your fans and reply to their messages and comments. This would boost and strengthen your relationship with them, which will make them more receptive to your messages.

Make sure to post content during the time and days when most of your followers are online. Weekdays are slow days when it comes to content. People are more active web browsers on the weekend, so schedule your posts on those days. Friday afternoon up to Sunday night are peak days, so make time to post during those days, rather than on Mondays to Wednesdays.

4. Make use of links.

Links are a good way to boost website traffic. Most NGO social media posts come from their own website. Too much of it though can be harmful. Take a leaf out of the book of top-performing NGO groups. Use links coming from your own website sparingly. Link instead to other NGO websites who can provide other resources for your chosen topic. Paste links of news articles, blog posts and other articles about your causes. This will increase back-links and pull up your search rankings.

5. Emulate the example of your betters.

If you’re having difficulties setting up your NGO page or encouraging follower engagement, study the strategy of NGOs that have succeeded in social media. Adopting their strategy to your own organization might help you attract more likes on your page. Pay close attention to how they created their page and framed their content. This would help you learn what works for your NGO page.

What Businesses can Learn from NGOs

NGOs generally post more engaging content than their counterparts in the corporate world. Not-for-profit organizations are more in touch with the concerns of the community, while companies can be a bit more concerned with profit. Entrepreneurs can learn to pay more attention to the needs of their customers instead of driving more marketing campaigns that promote their merchandise. Customer relations should be upheld more than advertising products and services. This would make your clients more amenable to read your copy instead of ignoring your messages.

Analyze and study whether NGO social media techniques will fit your marketing campaigns better. Try them out for your business. They might just get more customers for you.

 

References:

Mobilisation Lab

Capulet.com

Strategy Works

Earthjustice Facebook Page

UN.org

How to Blog the Right Way

Neil Patel’s Guide to Successful Blogging

When you ask people nowadays what social networking is, they would immediately point out creating status updates, likes and comments in Facebook, as well as 140 characters in Twitter. Every minute, users send over 100,000 tweets and share 684,478 pieces of Facebook content. Tumblr is also going strong with its 27,778 blog posts for each minute of every day. That statistic may be really small, compared to the previous numbers from Twitter and Facebook, but Tumblr is a strong entity in itself. It generates more than 400 million page views per day and 355 million unique visitors per month.

What makes Tumblr prevail against the continued success of Facebook, Twitter and other micro-blogging sites? Tumblr persists because there’s an integration of both traditional and modern blogging features. You can publish text posts, images, video and audio links…

…which other users can either like, reblog or reply to:

The ‘reblog’ button acts like the ‘retweet’ function in Twitter, which makes it easier for users to spread the posts they like. Followers will see your reblogged posts in their own dashboards and with one click, it’s shared! This partly explains how some posts become viral and turn into trends in both social media sites.

So, how do you use Tumblr to create text blog posts that your customers will enjoy and share to their own followers?

Blogs are the foundation blocks of social media campaigns. Micro-blogging sites serve to capture attention, while blogs maintain interest with their content. Short status updates and 140-character shout-outs also cannot adequately explain and clarify topics. Blogs do that with 300-word articles that make readers fully understand the message you’ve put in Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. With blogs, customers gain an intimate relationship with online businesses. Conversational content can make readers feel as if the blogger is talking right in front of them.

This makes it important for bloggers to find their own writing voice. Should the blog be authoritative or advisory in nature? Friendly or aloof? Inconsistency with the voice may confuse the readers. and make them unreceptive to what you’re trying to convey. You should also ensure the authenticity of the facts you share to make your articles truthful and credible. Make yourself an expert about your chosen topics. You must be able to keep up with the latest developments in your industry to provide your readers with creative content they can share with their own followers.

Being creative means contributing something unique to your community of readers and followers. Voicing out your own thoughts about specific subjects helps you churn out original ideas that create a buzz in your community. Interested readers and fellow experts will be sure to ask you to explain in further detail or seek your opinion on related matters. It will also lead you to form your own insights. Sharing your ideas will spur discussion and promote more development of other people’s ideas.

Quality articles cannot stand alone. They need to be packaged in such a way that would influence the readers to trust the content. Here are some basic elements that readers unconsciously look for in a blog:

  • Clean and beautiful design – The content should follow a layout that would properly organize the content in a readable manner. Continuous flow of content can also be disorienting so there should be adequate white space in the web page.
  • Correct spelling and grammar – Wrong spelling and grammar usage stand out in an otherwise well-written article. Ensure your article is free from such errors to maintain credibility.
  • High-quality photos – Grainy pictures and logos affect a reader’s perception of your article. Before you publish your content, make sure the images are in the right size and format to prevent the pixels from showing.
  • Solid content updated frequently – Not updating regularly can cause your blog traffic to weaken and disappear altogether. Maintain readers with customary blog updates to make them come back.
  • Presence of community and conversation through comments – Persuade readers to post their thoughts in the comment section. If they’re not forthcoming, ask friends to post their questions. This will help encourage other readers to post their questions and reactions about the subject of the article.
  • Short, easy-to-read domain name – A long domain name is difficult to memorize. Make it easier for readers to remember your blog with a short and catchy domain name. This would promote instant recall and further improve your brand exposure campaigns.

You’ve made creative and catchy content. Problem is, your blog is not generating that much traffic in spite of your aggressive marketing efforts. Be more patient and consistently write high-quality articles to maintain the interest of your readers. Once other readers discover the gold mine of ideas in your blog, they’ll be more attracted to come back and talk about your content. So when your analytics show low readership, carry on writing. Sooner or later, they’ll come and read your articles.

 

References:

Search Engine Journal

Social Media Today

Gigaom.com

SEO vs Content Who Wins?

In a showdown between SEO and content, which will emerge as the winner?

SEO, or search engine optimization, increases websites’ rankings in major search engines like Google and Bing. There are many kinds of search results, from images and videos, to news and books. Improving your website visibility through organic search results enables Internet users to see your site more. This means more people will easily remember your website as you regularly appear on the first few pages of search results.

Google, a search engine giant founded in 1998, rose in popularity as they made Internet users quickly find the information they need. This company indexes every website they find to form a wide inventory of information they can provide web users. ‘Spiders,’ or software programs fetch a few web pages. They follow the links on those pages and go to the pages they point to, so on and so forth. This allows the spiders to gather large parts of the web and store millions and millions of pages.

How does Google search work? For example, you want to know how tall Mount Everest is. You type on the search bar, ‘height Mount Everest’. Once you hit ‘Enter,’ Google will search for your keywords on its database. This makes it important for web developers to create sites that are user and search-engine friendly. They can use either of the two techniques, mainly white hat SEO or black hat SEO. White hat SEO refers to using SEO strategies that focus on providing quality information. Black hat SEO, on the other hand, concentrates on deceiving the natural search engine algorithm to rank high in search results. Use of black hat tactics can result to a site being banned or shut down.

One tried-and-true method of pulling up search rankings is the use of backlinks. Search engines use the number of backlinks to find out a website’s search engine ranking, popularity, and value. Web designers have to be careful in using only the right backlinks, as indiscriminate use causes linkspam, which is prohibited by search engines. This situation made Adam Torkildson, a recognized SEO consultant, to declare that if this practice continues, “SEO will be dead in two years.”

Thinking about the death of SEO can seem unlikely for many. SEO has been largely instrumental in helping Internet users find the right websites that can supply them with the information they require. Ken Krogue, a Forbes magazine contributor, agrees with Torkildson. “Google proved Adam right one month later (to the day) with the ‘Penguin release’ … change the weight of their emphasis from “backlinks” more towards social media likes, shares, tweets, reddits, and 1+.” Krogue asserts this renders backlinks obsolete and social networking the better option for marketing content.

The emphasis on content increases the need for website owners to publish quality content instead of focusing on backlinking their pages. Quality content means articles, images, videos and other pieces that provide real, relevant and reliable information to users. This means websites should provide their users with good content without linking to other sites.

Is search ranking really important to your marketing campaign? Maybe it is, on the outset when you’re struggling to pull your website to the front page of the search results, striving to make users notice your site first. Once you get users to visit your website, how do you make them stay? If web owners concentrate only on search rankings, the quality of content will suffer. Once users don’t see relevant content, they leave a website. Effort is wasted if you don’t sustain users with content they can count on.

So, which is better—SEO or content?

Both are important, each in their own way. One cannot stand alone without the other, so be sure to use both wisely.

 

References:

Forbes.com Article: Death of SEO 1

Forbes.com Article: Death of SEO 2

Wikipedia Information on SEO

Wikipedia Information on Backlinks

HowStuffWorks.com