Monthly Archives: August 2016

Twitter Monetizes Videos With Amplify Publisher Program

Twitter plans to share ad revenue with video creators who upload their content to the microblogging platform. Through its Amplify Publisher Program,  San Francisco-base Twitter will give US video creators multiple new ways to monetize content. According to a blog post by Guy Snir, director of product management at

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Cracking the Digital Workplace Governance Code

Cracking the Digital Workplace Governance Code

Raise your hand if any of the following sounds familiar: does your organization still use traditional file shares? Do you have a sneaking suspicion your existing intranet solution is not being leveraged to its fullest potential? Organizations hoping to reap the benefits of a digital workplace — enabling mobility, maintaining

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How to Grow Your Audience by Getting PR For Your Blog

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Andreea Ayers founded LaunchGrowJoy.com in 2011 after selling a successful t-shirt business, and realised she had plenty to share in terms of selling products successfully online. Her blog focuses on her experience with ecommerce and selling online, moving into PR and teaching product entrepreneurs how to get their products featured in print media and on influential blogs.
Andreea has some tried-and-true strategies for building a buzz around your blog or business through media promotion, both traditional and online. She walks the talk, with her blog being featured in more than 500 media outlets since she started five years ago.

I asked her what her non-negotiables are when it comes to seeking publicity as a solo blogger or entrepreneur.

What do you think bloggers should know about getting PR for their site?

As far as getting PR for your blog, bloggers should keep in mind that often times if they want publicity they have to go out and seek it. It does happen that a publication will reach out to you to feature you (as was the case with my recent feature in Entrepreneur magazine), but it’s more effective for bloggers to make a list of publications and websites that they want to be featured in and reach out to those directly with something of value.

How do you think they could go about it?

After they make their list of, let’s say, 20 media outlets they want to be featured in, they should reach out and provide value, rather than reach out and “pitch” their expertise or blog. Here’s an example of what I did to get media attention when I launched a Pinterest course a few years ago. I created an infographic with 100+ Pinterest board ideas and I reached out to different types of blogs to see if they would be interested in using my infographic as a resource for their blog and to share with their readers. I included the infographic and in my pitch I mentioned that Pinterest is growing in popularity and many of their readers are probably still learning how to use Pinterest, but coming up with Pinterest board ideas is what holds a lot of people back from using it for business. If they shared my infographic with 100+ Pinterest board ideas, they can help remove some of the blocks that their readers might have about using Pinterest for their business. Many bloggers said YES to this, which was a great way for me to get publicity for my Pinterest course. 
 
If I had reached out and said something along the lines of “I’m a Pinterest expert and would love to be featured on your blog” I can guarantee that the response would have been a lot different. 
 
When you reach out to media outlets it’s important to “provide value” rather than “pitch your blog.” And the most important thing to remember is that if you don’t hear back from your initial outreach efforts, it’s important to follow up a few times (after a week and after a month). Most of my success with publicity has come as a result of following up!

Do you think traditional media is still useful – particularly from a blogger point of view?

Yes, definitely! Being featured in traditional media builds credibility for your blog, in addition to helping you get additional traffic and sales (if you are selling something through your blog). Traditional media is still widely consumed, whether it’s listening to the radio on your way to work, watching a TV show to unwind or reading a magazine at the doctor’s office. People get their information from many sources, so why not expand your reach and be everywhere!

Where do you think bloggers should “be seen” in order to grow their audience?

Bloggers should be seen where their readers spend their time, which is different for every blogger. This can include other websites, podcasts, and traditional media. I’ve had a lot of success promoting my blog (and increasing my sales) by being featured on other podcasts and on other websites. However, it’s very important to “be seen” where your audience is. For example, if you blog about entrepreneurship, you should try to get featured on podcasts or other blogs about entrepreneurship. If your blog is about wedding photography, you should try to get featured on bridal or wedding blogs. With publicity, being in front of the right audience is more important than being featured in as many media outlets as possible.
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How do you think bloggers should approach PR companies to be considered for marketing campaigns?

I think any time bloggers approach ANYONE, it should be from a standpoint of providing something of value. When you’re reaching out to anyone make sure to keep your emails short, provide value and ask for what you’d like. 

What do you think brands are looking for when it comes to working with bloggers?

When it comes to working with bloggers, brands are looking for:
  • a blog audience that is engaged and relevant to them
  • sufficient traffic to justify their expenses (especially if they have to send out product samples)
  • a good amount of social media followers on at least one social media channel. In addition to followers, they are also looking for frequent posting and an engaged audience
  • mentions on the blog of other brands that are similar or complementary to theirs
  • trustworthy bloggers who share their honest opinions about the brands that they feature

What are some other ways do you think bloggers can position themselves for more visibility (and therefore more traffic)?

I think that bloggers should be proactive about publicity and cross promotions with other bloggers/companies whose readers are similar to theirs. When I look back at most of my “success stories”, they came as a result of me reaching out to the person who I wanted to connect with, not the other way around. Bloggers should also consider speaking at relevant industry events to build even more credibility for their blog and get in front of audiences in-person. Meeting someone in person or seeing them speak at an event can help to build credibility and a loyal following quickly.

What are the non-negotiables do you think bloggers should have on their sites for you to take them seriously as an authority?

They should have really great content and great branding that makes them stand out from other similar bloggers. They should also have a social media presence (one or two social media channels is great – they don’t have to be EVERYWHERE), a few relevant press mentions (whether it’s in traditional or online media) and a really great, inspiring story!

Do you have any templates or guidelines for pitches that bloggers could reference?

Here’s the formula that I use to reach out:

1st Paragraph – say hi and let them know that you are either familiar with their work (a past article, their blog, etc.) and love it and/or the specific reason why you are reaching out.

2nd Paragraph – Let them know 2-3 ways you can add value to their readers (answer the question – WHY will their readers love what you have to offer and how will it benefit them).

3rd Paragraph – Let them know 1-2 facts about you/your blog (answer the question – WHAT your blog/expertise is). You can also share one sentence about YOU/Your story here.

4th Paragraph – Thank them for their time and let them know what you’d like them to do next.

The most important thing is to keep your email short, to the point and provide value.

What would your tips be for bloggers who want to be PR-friendly?

Here are a few things every blogger needs to be PR friendly:
  • have a great ABOUT page that shares your story, what inspires you, why you started your blog, etc.
  • have media-ready images of you
  • have an easy to use contact page so they can reach out to you directly if they want to feature you. A contact form is nice, but make sure to provide your email address as well in case your contact form isn’t working properly (this happened to me when a TV producer reached out to feature me on a TV show!)
  • think about SEO and what the media might search for when looking for your expertise and optimize a few pages on your website for those keywords. I’ve had many media outlets find me while searching for “Pinterest expert” because I optimized my website for those particular keywords.

What do you think? Have you seen a good return when you’ve reached out to others to help grow your audience?

The post How to Grow Your Audience by Getting PR For Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Use This Step-by-Step Guide to Feel Confident and Connected at a Conference

Make the most of your next conference

For someone who spends most of her days sitting alone behind a computer, entering a crowded room filled with hundreds of strangers can be a bit intimidating. I know because I’ve been there, done that.

In 2015, I went to Rainmaker Digital’s Authority Rainmaker conference by myself. It was not only my first time attending a conference solo, it was also my first conference where I was representing my business, not an employer’s.

My previous employer sent me to the 2014 Authority conference, and what I learned that year prompted me to leave that job and start my own business. (You can read that story here.)

So, I couldn’t miss the next event — even if that meant going alone. And I’m so glad I did.

The conference provided me with motivation, smart guidance, expert advice, and a network of colleagues that have been integral to helping me grow my new business.

No matter what conference is ahead — but especially if you’re attending Rainmaker Digital’s Digital Commerce Summit this year on October 13-14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado — here are simple tips to optimize your experience before, during, and after the event.

Before you attend

When you approach any project with a plan, you will have better results.

Don’t wait until you’re on the plane or walking into the opening reception to strategize for the conference.

If you prepare now, you can even become a sponsor to expose your business to influencers and decision makers.

Identify your goals

Not everyone who attends a conference has the same goals. My goals in 2014 (when I was attending as a sponsor) were very different from my goals in 2015 (when I was representing my business).

Choose one or two goals that are the most important to you.

Are you looking to:

  • Learn something new? If so, what skills are you specifically looking to hone? Which sessions or person could help you learn that skill?
  • Find a solution to a business problem? If so, who or what at the conference can help you solve it?
  • Meet people? If so, what type of people? A network for referrals? A community for support? A person for a potential partnership?
  • Sell a product or generate leads? If so, who is likely to buy your product? How can you connect with that target audience at the event?
  • Find a vendor? If so, browse the event sponsors before you attend. Which one offers solutions to what you need?

Network and make plans to meet up with other attendees

Don’t wait until you walk into the opening reception to meet people.

Use social media to reach out to other attendees who have posted with the event hashtag prior to the conference. Spark up a conversation and make plans to meet up on the first day.

Hone your elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch doesn’t have to be a sales pitch. Unless you are there primarily to seek out new customers or clients, you don’t need to sell what you do.

You just need a 15-second elevator pitch that simply says:

  • Your name
  • Your business or employer’s name
  • What you do and why you do it

Arm yourself with conversation points

Know how to keep conversations going by arming yourself with some talking points.

Many attendees of past Rainmaker Digital events love that you get a single-track educational experience, personally curated and handcrafted by Brian Clark, and shared by every attendee.

If there is a lull in conversation, the single-track experience makes it easy for you to ask questions like:

  • What are you hoping to gain from the conference?
  • How are you enjoying the conference?
  • What’s been your favorite takeaway from the conference?
  • Who has been your favorite speaker?
  • Have you been to the conference before?
  • How far did you travel to get here?

Create a free offer or giveaway

Consider creating a free offer or giveaway prior to the event. That way, you can offer it to new contacts you meet and highlight it on your website to attract the attention of visitors you met at the event.

While you’re there

Once you arrive, the real fun starts.

Shake the fears of in-person events

If you are nervous, remember this: many people attend conferences by themselves.

Look for others who are flying solo and make a confident introduction knowing they are as happy to talk to you as you are to talk to them.

For more tips, check out Pamela Wilson’s article: The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving an In-Person Conference.

Don’t be shy on social media

Last year, I used social media to put myself out there.

I was a little embarrassed when I posted this tweet right before the opening reception, but multiple people stopped to have a conversation with me because they saw it.

Erin Flynn created a list of Authority Rainmaker 2015 attendees and sent a message out to the event hashtag.

This simple action made Erin the unofficial Twitter group leader of the event.

Find a “conference anchor”

If you’re attending the conference alone, you don’t have to be on your own. Look for someone else who is attending alone and ask him or her to be your “conference anchor.”

A conference anchor is a person who is your home base for the event. If you find yourself wandering around alone, go find your anchor.

Eat at least half of your meals with strangers

While it’s fun to make friends and spend time with those connections, don’t forget that you should still make an attempt to meet other new people.

Try to eat at least half of your meals with a table of strangers.

Collect and give business cards

Bring business cards and don’t forget to use them.

End conversations by asking someone if you can grab their card so you can check out their business. This approach creates an opportunity for you to hand over your card without it feeling forced.

Focus on creating authentic relationships

I used to attend conferences and feel a sense of victory depending on how many connections I made. But when I went into the conference last year, I had a different approach.

Instead of focusing on talking to a lot of people, I focused on really getting to know a few people. I sought out relationships, not connections. That approach gave me far more value than previous events.

After you leave

Don’t close the book on the conference the day you leave. Let the benefits flow into upcoming months.

Use the conference as an opportunity to create content

Clark Buckner planned ahead and used the conference as an opportunity to fill his podcast schedule. He took advantage of having so many smart content marketers in one place and recorded dozens of interviews from the event.

Follow up with everyone

A day or two after the conference, pull out those business cards you collected and put them to use:

  • Make connections on LinkedIn.
  • Follow your new colleagues on Twitter and add them to a list of Digital Commerce Summit connections so you can keep track of that specific network.
  • Send each person an email with at least one detail you discussed, to reinforce your connection.
  • Use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to connect with the people you formed more personal friendships with.

Follow an action plan

Digital Commerce Summit is going to give you a lot of momentum. It’s going to fill you with inspiration and ideas. Don’t lose that when you board your plane to go home.

Take the knowledge and excitement you gain from the conference and put it into action. Schedule at least half a day upon your arrival home to review your notes and identify an action plan for how you can execute what you learned.

An outstanding conference experience starts and ends with planning

I followed these simple steps last year and they helped produce wonderful benefits:

  • I was asked to guest blog on an attendee’s website.
  • I was asked to be interviewed on an attendee’s podcast.
  • I found someone to interview for my website.
  • I met someone I could partner with to support my service offerings.
  • A group of people and I started a private Facebook group for brainstorming.
  • I met a good friend who has helped me when I’ve struggled with work. And, she’s going to be both my roommate and my conference anchor this year.

Plus, I had an awesome time!

So if you’re headed to Digital Commerce Summit this year on your own, don’t be anxious. Be excited. Use these tips to get prepared. Have a mission when you get there, and come find me to say hello.


Join us October 13-14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado

Digital Commerce Summit is the premier live educational and networking event for entrepreneurs who create and sell digital products and services. It’s a value-packed experience that will define the digital commerce industry.

This inaugural conference features an integrated agenda that covers digital product and service creation, plus the latest cutting edge marketing, sales, and product launch techniques from expert practitioners.

Grab your ticket to Digital Commerce Summit today.

The post Use This Step-by-Step Guide to Feel Confident and Connected at a Conference appeared first on Copyblogger.

Making the Case For A New Email Marketing Metric

Before I get to my case for a new email marketing metric, I want to first make reference to something that was written not all that long ago. Entitled Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' it appeared on the Email Insider section of MediaPost and was penned by Loren McDonald.

I think Loren’s post was very well-written and certainly thought provoking, which is what a good post ought to do: get you thinking. And that’s precisely the effect his post had on me.

As we consider the impacts of the “Frequency Math Effect” we would be well served to remember that statistics, if improperly used, can lead us down false paths. 19th Century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli may have put it best when he wrote: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics!"

To start, remember that any rate is calculated as a numerator divided by a denominator. For instance, Click- Through Rate (CTR) is Clicks (the numerator) divided by Pushed (the denominator). As you increase mailing volume, for any rate to remain unchanged then any increase in the denominator must be matched by a proportional increase in the numerator. And in reality as Loren pointed out in his initial post the Frequency Math Effect suggests that this is unlikely to occur: ever-increasing mailing volumes will generally tend to increase the numerator, but not as quickly proportionately as the denominator.

For email marketers a reduction in a rate is typically viewed as a bad thing. There are a couple of exceptions, however: Unsubscribe Rate and Spam Complaint Rate. A drop in either of these two rates is generally viewed as a good thing. This can lead the marketer down a dangerous path, however, particularly if cadence is being increased. Follow a reductio ad absurdum example with me to see the impact:

To start, let’s call the sum of Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints “Attrits” (yes, it’s a real word that is the base of the word attrition meaning to “wear away”). Using round numbers for illustration assume you have one million customers that you mail once a week and that this mailing generates a 0.1% combined unsubscribe and spam complaint rate (1,000 attrits). I think most of us would agree that if you mailed this customer list once a day you would likely get more than 1,000 attrits (for conversation let's say 2,000 attrits are generated by this higher cadence).

But remember, this is an illustration in absurdity so what happens if you mailed the entire list once an hour? Or once a minute?! That would be 10,080 individual mailing drops (!) and I think we can be pretty safe in assuming that every customer would have unsubscribed or hit the “This is spam” button by the end of that week!  Effectively, after one week we would have turned one million opt-in subscribers into one million attrits.

In the example above total Unsubscribes plus Spam Complaints would skyrocket while at the same time their matching rates would plummet (to perhaps as low as 0.01% combined). This is what Loren calls the "Frequency math effect." But there is something more going on here that is important to recognize. While the so-called "Frequency math effect" can impact any rate that you measure in email marketing, for most of those rates the numerator can theoretically increase indefinitely at the same rate as the denominator. But that is not true for Unsubscribe Rate nor for Spam Complaint Rate.

Why? Because presuming they don’t later opt back in, a customer can only attrit from a mailing list once. In my absurd example above up to ten billion emails were pushed. However, even if that had been 100 trillion emails, the numerator could never have risen above the one million records on the mailing file. As a result, as mailing cadence increases both Unsubscribe Rate and Spam Complaint Rate become progressively less useful metrics for us to rely on to diagnose our mailing program.

The Proposed New Metric

I would like to suggest that we need a new metric, one I call the "List Attrition Rate." Similar to how email marketers typically calculate both a "Click-Through Rate" and a "Unique Clicker Rate," the List Attrition Rate is designed to be a measure of unique customer behavior. However, unlike other unique metrics commonly used in our industry this one is not based solely on one campaign, but rather is calculated using all touches against the customer in a given week.

The List Attrition Rate is calculated as ("Weekly Unsubscribes" + “Weekly Spam Complaints”) divided by "Weekly Unique Recipients Pushed." The higher your List Attrition Rate, the worse the health of your mailing program.  As a result this metric is intended as the “Canary in the Coal Mine” that can warn you of dangerous mailing practices.  Not coincidentally this metric is explicitly intended to act as a restraining force against our natural impulses to over-mail our customers.

Consider the List Attrition Rate metric in the context of our absurd example above:

Mail once per week:

List Attrition Rate =

1,000 Weekly Attrits / 1,000,000 Weekly Unique Recipients Pushed =

0.1%

Mail once a day (7 times in a week):

List Attrition Rate =

2,000 Weekly Attrits / 1,000,000 Weekly Unique Recipients Pushed =

0.2%

Mail once a minute (10,080 times in a week):

List Attrition Rate = 

1,000,000 Weekly Attrits / 1,000,000 Weekly Unique Recipients Pushed =

100.0%

The List Attrition Rate is an intriguing metric because it measures the rate something bad occurred (the -Unsubscribe or Spam Complaint) as a ratio to the number of times it could have occurred, remembering that each customer can only exit the mailing list once. Set your threshold List Attrition Rate at a low enough level and you may finally have a tool to push back against other voices in your business trying to get you to over mail your customers.

The bottom line in all of this is we marketers need to apply the one metric that is applicable to everything we do: The common sense metric. If we look at something, anything and it doesn’t make sense or seems of out whack then we probably shouldn’t do it i.e. sending over 10,000 mailings in a very short people of time as per my earlier example.

Modern Marketers must orchestrate and deliver marketing messages that are relevant to individual preferences and behavior. Getting email delivered to the inbox is critical to this process which is why you need to download Email Deliverability: Guide for Modern Marketers.

Top 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Scaling an International Startup

Top 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Scaling an International Startup

Building a startup is tough, whether in San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro or post-Brexit London. It gets far more complex when that growth includes scaling the company internationally. Managing growing pains is compounded by distance, language, culture and the unfamiliar. Most startups aren’t mature enough to take on such challenges.

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Process Automation Tools Fuel Your Digital Transformation [Webinar]

Enterprises today have a common problem: a platform that slows down processes and disconnects line-of-business operators from IT. “It’s a platform that will eventually burn up around you,” Brad Orluk, technical evangelist at Nintex. Orluk made his comments during a recent CMSWire webinar sponsored by Nintex, "How Intelligent Workflows Power Digital Transformation: Proven strategies to harness effective digital transformation." During

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