Monthly Archives: June 2016

Microsoft Has A Surprise for Win10 Users (& It’s Not a Forced Upgrade)

Anniversaries are all about good things, and the Windows 10 anniversary is no different.  On Aug. 2, Microsoft releases the anniversary edition of Windows 10 and is celebrating by adding multiple Windows upgrades that should improve Cortana, its intelligent personal assistant; security; and e-commerce, videos and data sharing in the Edge browser.

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The Undeniable Mobile Effect On Holiday Shoppers

Today is June 30. Summer only officially launched 8 days ago yet here I am talking about holiday shoppers. No, I am not crazy from the heat. Retailers across the land are either knee-deep in their holiday plans for the coming season or about to start or are somewhere in between.

And based on results of a survey conducted by Oracle Marketing Cloud and Edison Research it would be wise for the same retailers to not just talk mobile but to actually be mobile - literally and figuratively. 

A little backstory to the research before we get mobile. 

In 2014, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Edison Research embarked on an initial exploration of the holiday shopper, by looking at their planned behavior prior to the 2014 holiday season, and then by examining what those consumers actually did by conducting similar research immediately following the 2014 holiday season.

We learned a great many things about consumers— particularly that their best-laid plans often go awry.

For this year, we revisited that research in order to determine which behaviors are trending, whether mobile is continuing to grow, how online shopping is impacting offline shopping, and other important shopping behaviors. 

Since mobile affects pretty much everything today, it should come as no surprise that it has a profound impact on holiday shoppers and how they shop, as witnessed by the following.

First a series of video interviews of consumers on their thoughts when it comes to mobile and holiday shopping, which is part of our qualitative part of the research. 

And the following findings which are based on the quantitative part of the research. 

The truth is none of the above should come as any surprise to ANY marketer, retail, B2C, B2B - whatever. The world is mobile. Period. 

However, one of the biggest increases from our 2014 post-holiday study to the 2015 post-holiday study was the percentage of holiday shoppers who told us that they had ever used an app to make a purchase. For the 2014 holiday season, 25% of consumers indicated they had used an app to make a holiday purchase—in itself a significant number—but in 2015 that number jumped markedly to 40%. This is nearly the percentage who indicated that they had made a mobile purchase in the 2015 holiday season using a website.

Clearly, the app has become a very important part of the transactional holiday shopping economy. 

Julie Lyle, the current Chairman of the Board for the Global Retail Marketing Association and former CMO of hgregg, Prudential Corporation Asia, and Walmart has a very direct message for marketers when it comes to mobile: 

"In today’s highly mobile environment, retailers who do not adopt a “mobile-first” roadmap do so at their own risk. In addition to the feature usage outlined above, consumers now use their smartphones to check availability or source out of stocks from other sellers, compare loyalty program rewards for purchases, confirm/compare warranty or return policies, seek inspiration/ help for product usage and more!"

The Happiest of Holidays 

Regardless of where you are in your 2016 retail holiday planning you can benefit from all the findings from this extensive research. Download Making Spirits Bright: Increase Holiday Results With Retail Shopping Research and enjoy your own version of a winter wonderland. 

Information Management: Some Assembly Required

Information Management: Some Assembly Required

Information management trends have been swinging back and forth for years.  Currently, we see trends pushing the industry to specialized cloud solutions that focus on solving specific problems. A broader look shows organizations stringing together many applications in order to create a complete business solution.

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7 Steps to Snapchat Success


photo-1462078563783-650e23af549dBy Sarah Moore of social media agency Eleven Lights Media.

Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat isn’t just for the teen population trying to escape their Facebook-friending parents.

As of May 2015 there were 100M active users daily and over 77% of them are above the age of 18. As well as this, Snapchat is now boasting 8M daily views equaling that of Facebook (who has a much larger user base). When you consider these statistics, it becomes clear that for the most part, Snapchat incorporates most businesses’ ideal client.

The questions I see flying around right now are – What benefit is Snapchat to me as a blogger? How do I use it effectively without wasting my time? How do you find anyone on the platform?

Essentially what people are asking is – How do I use it for business?

So if you haven’t jumped on Snapchat yet I want to share a few cold, hard facts with you before I answer the above.

1. Snapchat is not a scalable platform.

2. For the most part, the way you use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest can not be applied to Snapchat.

3. It’s difficult to measure ROI. Discoverability (the ability for you to find people and for people to find you) is not as simple as other platforms and really has only been opened up in the last few months with apps such as Ghostcodes.

4. You can’t really run ads on Snapchat yet unless you’ve got a lot of financial capital or at least a decent sized marketing spend ($10k is a good round figure to start with).

5. Finally, the user experience isn’t known for being super user friendly – at least initially until you find familiarity with it.

1:1 Relationship Building

That being said, Snapchat is amazing for building 1:1 relationships.

Yes, this can be time consuming but the return from this can be far more exponential than broadcasting your message elsewhere.

Consider the fact that you can message, call, respond to in-feed snaps, send video, send audio only and easily send photos all from within the app. It’s basically a comprehensive communication tool that can be used no matter what industry you’re in.  

So below, I’d like to give you some tips on how you can use the platform effectively for blogging.  

1. Storytell 

I know it’s on trend at the moment to talk about storytelling but the truth is, this is actually what Snapchat is great for. You have a mixture of image, video and editing capabilities that allow you to tell a story any way you like.

The reason storytelling is vital to your brand is because that’s how we as humans have communicated from the beginning of time. A story is compelling and invites the onlooker to not only discover your world but also to engage in it too in a digestible way.

2. Repurpose

If you create a fun, compelling or informative story make sure you repurpose it elsewhere. Whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or your blog, don’t let it go to waste.

I’m so passionate about repurposing because I know how busy life gets and repurposing allows you to keep pushing out content and reaching your audience without running yourself into the ground trying to be original and creative every single day.

3. Test + Measure

If you have a new blog post waiting to go out and you’re choosing between titles, consider putting it to your audience and asking them to vote for the best title.
Stringstory often talks about screenshots being the new ‘like’ of Snapchat.

With this in mind, set your audience up and let them know you need some help choosing a title and you need them to snap the one that they like best. Then use the next few snap screens to individually showcase the titles. Change the snap length to 10 seconds to give them the maximum amount of time to read and snap their choice.

Another idea is to create bit.ly links that you ONLY share with your Snapchat followers. This allows you to measure how many are coming to your website and/or blog posts from Snapchat and gives you an idea on the relevancy and return from that audience.

If you sell products or are an ecommerce store I suggest the above bit.ly method also to see your immediate ROI in relation to specific product.

4. Circular Viralocity

Bit of a mouthful, I know. But basically what this means is to use Snapchat to push people to other platforms if you have something going on there.

I watched Gary Vaynerchuk do this a lot during his #AskGaryVee book launch. He would push people to his Instagram account through Snapchat, ask them to write something that they would only know if they had come from Snapchat and they would have the chance to win a book.

What this does is further cement your community by having them see you and engage with you on multiple platforms. Without going too heavily into it, this just means that further down the track it will be easier to sell to them because they have more buy in.

5. Have fun

As cliché and abstract as this sounds, it’s actually imperative that you have fun on the platform. If you don’t, people will see right through it and write you off.

As with any platform, try to avoid being too in-your-face with sales, always give value where possible and engage when time permits so that people know it’s a two way street and not just a broadcasting tool for you.

6. Engage

This is probably one of the most important things you can do on this platform and in my opinion, is what Snapchat is truly designed for.

If you are not willing to engage individually it almost defeats the purpose of being on there in the first place. Because Snapchat is not particularly scalable, you are going to have the most success by interacting with the people that reach out to you.

Personally for me, this has led to ongoing business as well as overseas travel, speaking gigs and most importantly, new friendships.

I’ve reached out to influencers and had responses from them where I know I wouldn’t be able to get that on other platforms because there’s so much more noise. This is good news for those of you looking to guest blog or who have someone in mind to feature a product or engage in influencer marketing.

7. Consistency

As with any platform you have to be consistent in order to adequately measure whether it’s working for you. Figure out what consistency looks like for you and try your best to keep to that.

I know a number of people who have thematic days or choose a theme to define the week in order to help them with their constistency. Currently Ahna Hendrix (CEO of ARCH Digital Agency) is doing this and for the past week has been creating content around the word ‘determination.’ She talks, shares quotes and songs and thoughts positioned around her theme and creates a cohesive week of thematic content.

I share this with you to encourage you to do something similar for yourself so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with creating new content all of the time. Overwhelm is a very real problem in the social media space and we want to avoid that by being organised and making it as easy for ourselves as possible.

These 7 suggestions to me, are the keys to the Snapchat kingdom and if you can master them I truly believe you will not only find success within the platform but you will grow to love creating content this way.

My final suggestion is to give it a go. Often times we let overthinking paralyze us when really we could have spent the same amount of energy just trying it in the first place.

Sarah is the CEO + Founder of Eleven Lights Media, a social media agency. If you want to connect you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. She is everywhere (as you might expect) but these are the best ones to connect! 

The post 7 Steps to Snapchat Success
 appeared first on ProBlogger.

7 Steps to Snapchat Success


photo-1462078563783-650e23af549dBy Sarah Moore of social media agency Eleven Lights Media.

Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat isn’t just for the teen population trying to escape their Facebook-friending parents.

As of May 2015 there were 100M active users daily and over 77% of them are above the age of 18. As well as this, Snapchat is now boasting 8M daily views equaling that of Facebook (who has a much larger user base). When you consider these statistics, it becomes clear that for the most part, Snapchat incorporates most businesses’ ideal client.

The questions I see flying around right now are – What benefit is Snapchat to me as a blogger? How do I use it effectively without wasting my time? How do you find anyone on the platform?

Essentially what people are asking is – How do I use it for business?

So if you haven’t jumped on Snapchat yet I want to share a few cold, hard facts with you before I answer the above.

1. Snapchat is not a scalable platform.

2. For the most part, the way you use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest can not be applied to Snapchat.

3. It’s difficult to measure ROI. Discoverability (the ability for you to find people and for people to find you) is not as simple as other platforms and really has only been opened up in the last few months with apps such as Ghostcodes.

4. You can’t really run ads on Snapchat yet unless you’ve got a lot of financial capital or at least a decent sized marketing spend ($10k is a good round figure to start with).

5. Finally, the user experience isn’t known for being super user friendly – at least initially until you find familiarity with it.

1:1 Relationship Building

That being said, Snapchat is amazing for building 1:1 relationships.

Yes, this can be time consuming but the return from this can be far more exponential than broadcasting your message elsewhere.

Consider the fact that you can message, call, respond to in-feed snaps, send video, send audio only and easily send photos all from within the app. It’s basically a comprehensive communication tool that can be used no matter what industry you’re in.  

So below, I’d like to give you some tips on how you can use the platform effectively for blogging.  

1. Storytell 

I know it’s on trend at the moment to talk about storytelling but the truth is, this is actually what Snapchat is great for. You have a mixture of image, video and editing capabilities that allow you to tell a story any way you like.

The reason storytelling is vital to your brand is because that’s how we as humans have communicated from the beginning of time. A story is compelling and invites the onlooker to not only discover your world but also to engage in it too in a digestible way.

2. Repurpose

If you create a fun, compelling or informative story make sure you repurpose it elsewhere. Whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or your blog, don’t let it go to waste.

I’m so passionate about repurposing because I know how busy life gets and repurposing allows you to keep pushing out content and reaching your audience without running yourself into the ground trying to be original and creative every single day.

3. Test + Measure

If you have a new blog post waiting to go out and you’re choosing between titles, consider putting it to your audience and asking them to vote for the best title.
Stringstory often talks about screenshots being the new ‘like’ of Snapchat.

With this in mind, set your audience up and let them know you need some help choosing a title and you need them to snap the one that they like best. Then use the next few snap screens to individually showcase the titles. Change the snap length to 10 seconds to give them the maximum amount of time to read and snap their choice.

Another idea is to create bit.ly links that you ONLY share with your Snapchat followers. This allows you to measure how many are coming to your website and/or blog posts from Snapchat and gives you an idea on the relevancy and return from that audience.

If you sell products or are an ecommerce store I suggest the above bit.ly method also to see your immediate ROI in relation to specific product.

4. Circular Viralocity

Bit of a mouthful, I know. But basically what this means is to use Snapchat to push people to other platforms if you have something going on there.

I watched Gary Vaynerchuk do this a lot during his #AskGaryVee book launch. He would push people to his Instagram account through Snapchat, ask them to write something that they would only know if they had come from Snapchat and they would have the chance to win a book.

What this does is further cement your community by having them see you and engage with you on multiple platforms. Without going too heavily into it, this just means that further down the track it will be easier to sell to them because they have more buy in.

5. Have fun

As cliché and abstract as this sounds, it’s actually imperative that you have fun on the platform. If you don’t, people will see right through it and write you off.

As with any platform, try to avoid being too in-your-face with sales, always give value where possible and engage when time permits so that people know it’s a two way street and not just a broadcasting tool for you.

6. Engage

This is probably one of the most important things you can do on this platform and in my opinion, is what Snapchat is truly designed for.

If you are not willing to engage individually it almost defeats the purpose of being on there in the first place. Because Snapchat is not particularly scalable, you are going to have the most success by interacting with the people that reach out to you.

Personally for me, this has led to ongoing business as well as overseas travel, speaking gigs and most importantly, new friendships.

I’ve reached out to influencers and had responses from them where I know I wouldn’t be able to get that on other platforms because there’s so much more noise. This is good news for those of you looking to guest blog or who have someone in mind to feature a product or engage in influencer marketing.

7. Consistency

As with any platform you have to be consistent in order to adequately measure whether it’s working for you. Figure out what consistency looks like for you and try your best to keep to that.

I know a number of people who have thematic days or choose a theme to define the week in order to help them with their constistency. Currently Ahna Hendrix (CEO of ARCH Digital Agency) is doing this and for the past week has been creating content around the word ‘determination.’ She talks, shares quotes and songs and thoughts positioned around her theme and creates a cohesive week of thematic content.

I share this with you to encourage you to do something similar for yourself so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with creating new content all of the time. Overwhelm is a very real problem in the social media space and we want to avoid that by being organised and making it as easy for ourselves as possible.

These 7 suggestions to me, are the keys to the Snapchat kingdom and if you can master them I truly believe you will not only find success within the platform but you will grow to love creating content this way.

My final suggestion is to give it a go. Often times we let overthinking paralyze us when really we could have spent the same amount of energy just trying it in the first place.

Sarah is the CEO + Founder of Eleven Lights Media, a social media agency. If you want to connect you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. She is everywhere (as you might expect) but these are the best ones to connect! 

The post 7 Steps to Snapchat Success
 appeared first on ProBlogger.

Content Pros Podcast: Reap the Strategies and Secrets of the Best in the Business

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from the best content marketers in the world in the comfort of your home or office, without having to make preparations to sit down with them? You’re in luck! Randy Frisch, COO at Uberflip, and I prepare the questions and reveal the strategies and secrets of these content marketers every Thursday at ContentProsPodcast.com. All you need is a pair of headphones, and you get access to the learn the pros’ successful approaches to strategy, operations, measurement, staffing, and more.

Is thus your first time listening in? We've gathered the last month's worth of shows here in one place for you.

We dive into some hot content marketing topics including the emergence of social video, the rise of experience optimization, a revolutionary approach to free content marketing, and the importance of prioritizing analysis for content strategies.

Content Attribution and Positive

Proving ROI for content marketing is difficult for even the most seasoned of marketers. The numbers bear this out as 79% of content marketers confess to being unsuccessful at proving ROI. It seems impossible to know how somebody gets from Point A to Point B when they have 50 paths to choose from. So how do you measure the unmeasurable?

We start with Dave Rigotti, the Head of Marketing at Bizible. He is one of the 21% that have figured out how to measure and then apply learnings from content ROI.

His ahead-of-the-curve approach to content ROI will help you measure your marketing plan’s effectiveness and grow your B2B brand organically through content.

Just released, hear Dave talk about:

  • Why making every marketing dollar count means measuring content
  • How educational content leads customers down the funnel
  • Why proving ROI means content attribution
  • How mapping your content leads to a profitable content team
  • Why compounding returns on your marketing means owning your community
Acquire and Nurture With Social Video

For a seasoned marketer the thought of unscripted, uncontrolled, and unpredictable consumer engagement can be a terrifying prospect. Brian Fanzo, CEO of iSocialFanz LLC, understands those fears but is here to put them to rest—because social video is here to stay. It’s definitely not a passing fancy and the stat of the week outlines just how important mobile video will become in the next five years.

For Brian, succeeding in this medium is about embracing the cultural shift to casual, trusting your employees, and thinking like a fan.

It’s not too late to hear from Brian about:

  • Why an evolving culture means a more casual, humanistic approach to content
  • How a growing variety of social video platforms leads to social marketing segmentation
  • Why a successful social engagement strategy means thinking like a fan
  • How building a community doesn’t mean building a following
  • Why live video needs its own strategy
The Fall of Keywords and the Rise of Experience Optimization

Mike Templeman, Founder and CEO of Foxtail Marketing, joins the Content Pros Podcast to discuss the advantage of experience optimization and tailoring content to fit the reality of your customer’s behavior.

To sum it up nicely, data rules everything around.

Mike is a strong believer that everything is quantitative and data can measure anything. Even something as theoretical as customer experience can, and should, be analyzed and used to build organic growth. The days of SEO are over and we now sit squarely in the era of customer experience.

Here are 5 lessons you can learn by listening to Mike now:

  • Why a perfectly optimized keyword doesn’t automatically mean a huge increase in sales
  • How a close review of your lead sources can lead to a complete reframing of your website focus
  • The necessary disappearance of your marketing secret sauce
  • Why quantifying experience means following the actions of your customers
  • How looking at bounce rate and pages per session leads to vital data for optimizing experience
Why Gated Content and Lead Forms Are Killing Sales

Imagine a world where all marketing content was free. Nobody had to fill out long lead sheets and gates to content were a thing of the past.

Does that make your skin crawl? Give you a tight feeling in your chest? Have you already pushed back on the idea based on the fact that it’s simply just not done?

Dave Gerhardt, Marketing Lead at Drift.com, is here to crash a Drift wrecking ball right through your notions of traditional marketing. Drift has truly turned the process upside down by making all of their content free and accessible to all.

Go to ContentProsPodcast.com or click here for more on Dave’s revolutionary approach:

  • How gated content leads to lost sales from the modern consumer
  • Why succeeding in marketing means remembering what it’s like to be a consumer
  • How simplifying metrics leads to clearer and more obtainable marketing goals
  • Why using product qualified leads (as opposed to the standard MQLs) means more organic growth
  • How a change in email tone and appearance can lead to more appealing content on a human level
How to Energize Customers With Effective Content Planning

As a marketer, it can feel a little like digging in a sand dune to keep on top of what’s hot, what’s not, and how to continually engage an evolving client base. Every time you make progress, more sand trickles in and fills the space you just made.

In my last appearance as guest, as I transition to becoming the new co-host, I share my approach to balancing strategy with action. This will help guide you to finding the right content methodology for your field. It also pulls back the curtain a bit on the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Listen in to hear as I goes over the following content insights:

  • Why good content strategy means higher-level focus
  • How repurposing old successful content leads to increased customer engagement
  • Why planning for next year means working in a state of constant analysis and evaluation
  • How MQLs indicate content plan effectiveness
  • Why gated content isn’t the only way to capture a prospect’s information

Once you are done listening to all of these great podcasts and you want to settle in and do some reading, take a look at the Future of Content Marketing. Econsultancy also interviewed a whole bunch of experts and practitioners to where this every changing world of content is going.