Visual content: good for you and your customers

By Rachel Kurzyp

The infographic peak in 2012 signalled to marketers that visual content was good for business.

This year we are seeing an increase in photos, videos, and interactive content formats like Slide Share. Yet, marketers need to be careful not to fall into the trap of creating visual content just for the sake of it or getting rid of text altogether.

Marketers are creating visual content to increase brand awareness, SEO rankings and website traffic. However, these should be secondary benefits, not the primary motivators for using visual content. 

The reason why visual content is an essential part of a digital marketing strategy is because it works.

When paired with text it allows customers to receive and understand brand messages easier. On their own, text and graphics are imperfect. There are only so many word combinations that allow deep analysis of concepts. When conveying abstract and complex ideas graphics aren’t effective. By combining text and graphics, marketers can take advantage of the strengths of each medium.

Brands are investing more time and money than ever before on visual content and are seeing positive results. But marketers need to remember to create visual content with their customer in mind, not KPIs. The great thing about visual content is that it’s good for you and your customers. Here’s a reminder why:

1.         Easily scanned and viewed

Content bombards customers every day; in fact we receive five times as much information today as we did in 1986.

This information overload means customers are spending less time engaging with content.

Using coloured visuals helps your customer read more easily and get a basic understanding in less than 1/10 of a second.

2.         More accessible

People following directions with text and visuals do 323% better than without visuals.

We can comprehend information more successfully when it is communicated visually, leading to greater consumer satisfaction.

Visual content also helps global customers to transcend cultural differences and language barriers. 

3.         Easier to recall and convincing

The human brain finds visual communication persuasive. Visuals encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data and find connections between them.

Visual content gives consumers the ability to make decisions between products and brands.

Also, people remember 80% of what they see and do, and only 20% of what they see and 10% of what they hear. 

 

The Biggest Social Media Challenges and How to Conquer Them – With with Robert M. Caruso

Learn how to schedule and automate posts across multiple platforms. This episode teaches you the tricks that the big companies use to curate and distribute content using social media platforms.

Robert M. Caruso is an experienced technology startup founder with numerous patents on internet technologies.  He is the co-founder of Bundlepost, a social media content management and marketing application. Robert is recognized as a long time social media professional with specific experience and expertise in social media strategy, content and agencies, and is named on Forbes Worlds Top 40 Social Media Marketing Talents.

What Youll Learn

  • How to source and automate your social media to multiple platforms.
  • Why you need a platform that schedules, curates content, organises hashtags, and shares your content to be successful at social media.
  • How to track what youre sharing.
  • The types of things you should consider for tweet content to be more social.
  • The biggest challenge that is growing and how to combat it.

 Key Takeaways

1.    An educational company saw a 65% increase after four months on Facebook and a 263% increase in traffic coming from Twitter using the Bundlepost platform.

2.    Graphics and images will play a bigger role in effective social media management.

3.    Use visuals on social media platforms: 77% of tweets that had an image resulted in greater social engagement.

4.    The first hour of a tweet is vital but more engagement is found when graphics and hashtags are properly used. The longevity of the tweet has greater staying power.

5.    The smaller your community is the more important a curation strategy is to grow your audience.

6.    Curate content and editorialise it when you share it.

7.    Be consistent. Respond and engage with other people.

8.    Large brands with 30,000 followers must use a hybrid strategy of integrated digital marketing rather than just social media campaigns.

9.    Social is a component of the entire digital process.

10.  You must be creating content to be effective at social media.

Contact

Bundlepost Website

Robert Caruso on Twitter @Fondalo 

Newsmodo – A pro writer’s experience

If you’re a professional writer and looking for an interesting gig that pays well, Newsmodo is definitely one of the best places to look. By Paul Wallis. 

There are two basic things this company can provide for writers, and they’re both critical business assets – They have excellent market reach, and market credibility.

If you’re a specialist writer, you’ll find your niche on Newsmodo and if you’re a generalist, does-everything writer like me, you’ll find a lot of opportunities as well.

That said – You need to understand how Newsmodo works to really understand the opportunities they provide:

  1. Newsmodo is a quality content provider. The new best practice in the market for content is to commission materials from professional writers and journalists. This is a natural evolution of the content market in many ways, but it’s also good business.
  2. Content may be king, but beyond the cliché is one pressing need – Top quality content. People simply will not read “content farm” quality content any more. All that cheap outsourcing has come home to roost. People don’t pay for garbage, and top of the line sites, magazines and mainstream media outlets won’t look at it, with good reason.
  3. Buzzfeed is a case in point regarding how the demand for content has gone from any old thing to high value content. That site, which is the epitome of easy-to-browse content, looks like a spontaneous feed of fun and fizziness, but it’s under strict editorial control. They started off as a sort of cute version of Reddit, and went upmarket, fast. They had to do that; in a market where attention spans are a click long, you’re either good or you’re dead.
  4. Newsmodo, which caters to a very demanding clientele that naturally wants (and needs) high quality content, started at that upmarket, only the best point. Positioning itself in a pro publishing market abiding the maxim content quality is king.

For writers, that’s good news. Newsmodo writing credentials mean something. You can build a very good professional portfolio on this site.

The better news, particularly for us ultra-cynical copywriters and long time content producers, is that Newsmodo is very easy to work with. They’re responsive, reasonable, and most importantly, objective. You don’t get vague, vacuous briefs or mindlessly pedantic, nitpicky issues. They’re highly efficient, and they’re an excellent site to work on if you have a broad base of subjects or specialise in a niche.

Your Newsmodo profile is also a good option for self-promotion and a way of showing their clients what you can do. Newsmodo shares your profile with clients to demonstrate the quality you will bring to their project. That’s more than useful for writers, because Newsmodo have a very good relationship with their clientele, and the clients tend to return for more, if they like your content.

Writing for Newsmodo

When you’re writing for Newsmodo, they guide you through the process from the start. You get an editor to work with. For your first job, they’ll fill you in on their style and expectations, and you proceed from there.

They also set up a good working relationship. They provide you with a comprehensive brief and answer your questions clearly, explaining any obscure points.

You’ll see a range of briefs on the Newsmodo site. These are the ‘stories’ or projects in current demand. When you’re on Newsmodo, you’ll get a regular feed of these briefs, and you can go for any of them. You can also pitch your own stories on the Newsmodo site, anything from exclusives to evergreen materials, and set your own price for the editors to take to the client.

Clients buy what they want to buy. Acceptance is based on your content suiting their needs. An exclusive, particularly a high profile exclusive, can definitely be worth a lot, but get advice about pricing for these higher value pieces by communicating with the editors at Newsmodo.

You may find yourself getting high volume jobs, which are real bread and butter gigs and good portfolio value as well. Newsmodo also do smaller jobs where you might be part of a team completing a series of articles for a client. It’s worth remembering that your work for top brands adds considerable value to your profile and will get you more work. 

Another extremely important point about writing for Newsmodo – This isn’t sweatshop writing. You work on sane time frames and without the “normal” publishing  neuroses and nuttiness. You may find yourself working hard, but the working conditions and financial returns are infinitely better. All you need to do is be professional, and you won’t have any problems at all writing for them.

Their back end support is good, too. You get monthly payments and good admin support when you need it. In my case, I made a mistake about my payments, and they fixed it all up for me, despite my own errors, which slowed down the process considerably.

If you’re looking for a good writing gig with unlimited upside, check out Newsmodo. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

This article was first published on sydneymediajam.com

Why Brands Should Think Like Publishers – With Jonathan Crossfield

Jonathan Crossfield shares his storytelling tips on how to think like a publisher and craft long-term content marketing strategies for success. Plus why you must get outside of the content marketing industry to find a unique approach.

Jonathan has won awards for articles on digital marketing in Nett Magazine and his over-opinionated blog Atomik Soapbox, although expects the obvious mistake will be realised soon. He has written for other magazines on similar topics, including Smarter Business Ideas and Giftrap. Jonathan still contributes a regular column on The Social Web to Chief Content Officer magazine, published by the US based Content Marketing Institute.

 

The Big Dig: WaterAid Case Study

 What youll learn

  • Why storytelling is so fascinating.
  • How mobile blogging made a big impact for a brand.
  • The Will It Blend case study, Blendtec http://www.willitblend.com
  • How to use logos, pathos, ethos in your branded content.
  • Why you shouldnt spend too much time reading

Key Takeaways

  1. Dont just say youre better, show it. Use video, photos, and storytelling.
  2. Use emotion, entertainment, information, and authority to convey messages.
  3. Your archived content will fuel your social media.
  4. Content Marketing is a snowball effect. Its about an ongoing strategy.
  5. Stop thinking of the short-term campaign model.
  6. Dont think about how this helps your KPIs next month. Think of the impact it will make a year from now.
  7. Be exceptional: Your branded content must be high quality to stand out from the digital clutter.
  8. Think about workflow to ensure that the post, video, infographic are all valuable key pieces to build the brand audience.
  9. Think Like a publisher.
  10. Dont be myopic: Read more outside of the industry of content marketing to get a unique insight.

 Contact

 JonathanCrossfield.com

 Twitter @Kimota

How to keep your readers reading

By Candice Kortlever

You have less than ten seconds to convince readers to stay on your website, studies show. The good news is if you get them to stay for 30 seconds, you have likely convinced them to stay for a few minutes more. 

So the question is, how do you bridge that 20+ second gap?

A good starting point for producers of online content is to understand the reading patterns of consumers.

Here are some high-level pointers. 

The F-shaped reading pattern

Most people browse pages in an F-shaped pattern – across the top, along the left side, and a little in the middle. 

They often don’t read in detail preferring to skim through articles for a few seconds – looking out for key words that interest them.

It’s important to keep this pattern in mind when:

  • Writing the key message.
  • Using key words.
  • Using graphics, images and video.

Placing these items in the areas marked red in the above image is a good start to keeping readers on-site. 

Also, consider the strength of your headline and opening paragraph. Do they grab the reader before they have a chance to leave? If not, rework them until they do.

The Inverted Pyramid:

A good way to entice your reader to the content is to use the inverted pyramid style, familiar to most journalists. 

As the F pattern suggests, readers may not read to the end of the article if nothing grabs their attention. By placing your key message up top, you give it the best chance of being noticed.

If you have three points to make, prioritise them and share your best one first.

Understanding how your readers read gives you an edge in digital publishing and will go a long way in helping you create engaging and shareable content.

Slideshare Strategy For B2B Brands – With Richard Sink

Brand Storytelling 15: Richard Sink Shares SlideShare Strategies To Reach B2B Community

Richard Sink ranks in the top 1% Worldwide of Profiles on #Linkedin & #SlideShare & the Top 50 Social Business #Twitter Accounts. Find out how he uses SlideShare to attract business.

Richard has more than 10-years experience helping people with a strategy that gets them found in today’s networked world. He solves the problem many businesses have, which is not knowing which tools or processes to use or how to utilise them effectively. Richard helps generate demand for businesses via thoughtful, meaningful, time-tested expertise and fresh ideas that are shared by word-of-mouth and enhanced by influencer outreach, organic SEO and earned media that will drive anticipated results.

What you’ll learn:

  • What is Slideshare and how do you use it to grow business?

  • The most popular hashtag on Slideshare.

  • How big of a return can you get from Slideshare.

  • Learn about Slideshare demographics.

  • Why you need to use the search tool in Slideshare.

 

Key Takeaways

       1.    Search for what others are looking for by using the search field within the program.

2.    Know the numbers: there are 17,000 Powerpoints on content strategy on SlideShare.

3.    There are 6,800 users presenting on content strategy.

4.    Your brand must look at what it can own from a digital aspect: videos, white papers, Youtube videos which can all be included in Slideshare by embedding and/or linking to content.

5.    Have strong call-to-action

6.    Keep your content consistent

7.    You can create content right in Slideshare

8.    SlideShare is considered the YouTube for presentations.

  

Contact

Twitter @Richard_Sink

Top 1% Worldwide LinkedIn Profiles — Details here 

Top 1% Worldwide SlideShare Profiles — Details here 

The Journalist’s Guide: How to write your profile

Do you remember your first by-line? I do. It was 1993, and I bought six copies of The Canberra Times, which had published my 1200-word feature about food fads, and I jumped around the room, whooping. By Kath Walters.

For journalists, the by-line has a lot of significance. It’s like those lovely stamps on Japanese ink paintings – full of meaning and pride for us because it marks our work as our own.

Unfortunately, our precious by-line means diddley-squat to most people outside the journalism industry.  

Most of the time, readers don’t remember who wrote a story – with a few exceptions – Kerry O’Brien or Andrew Bolt, say.

We have a new market to engage

As freelancers, we have to communicate with a whole new market in a brave new world of media, which today includes content marketing.

There’s millions of us award-winning former journalists out there jostling for work.

Our by-line won’t cut it – or at least won’t cut through.

Hence, the need for writing our own personal profile. And we have to write it well, even though we may be thinking to ourselves – hey, don’t they know who I am?

It’s not just about winning the work; it’s about commanding the fees.

This is not a five-step process

Ok, it probably IS a five-step process, but I am so over “list stories” that I am refusing to number my paragraphs for you.

Instead, I am going to draw a diagram of the elements you need to include in your profile if you want people to choose you, and pay the fees that you know you deserve. Here it is:

Experience

This is the easy bit. A concise history of your experience, the publications you have worked for, the rounds you have covered, your specialities and preferences.

You have to spell it out – how long you’ve been in the industry, whether you have worked overseas, the mastheads you published in.

The oldest story principle in the world – show don’t tell – applies here. Make it a concise story that gives a glimpse of your personality, as Laura has done in her profile.

Proof

Graeme, who has 40 years’ experience, and many awards (also good for the proof section), has a neat, concise profile, but we want some links to his stories. He’s credible, but we still want proof.

At least five examples, with links, of stories with your by-line will help to establish proof. They will also give editors and marketers a feel for your style, or the variety of the approaches you can take to a story.

Include a video if you have done one, an infographic, an opinion piece, a report, a feature, a case study, a profile. Whatever you claim you can do, a link will establish the credibility of that claim.

If some of your examples are not digital, you’ll need to upload PDFs of your clippings onto you website, and provide links to them.

How about a testimonial? It’s called social proof, and it’s one of the most powerful of all forms of proof. It’s human nature to want someone else to have taken the risk, and found it rewarding, before we make the same move.

Value

Hands up if you think quality journalism is valuable; keep your hand up if you think most people agree with you. Yeah, sad isn’t it?

Journalists have had their reputations trashed over recent decades (but we are in good company – doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and priests … all pillars of society now crumbled).

We need to be able to articulate our value clearly in terms that our market appreciates. I’ll write my clients an ace content marketing strategy that builds their brand and generates leads. I’ll teach the the principles of writing quality stories – sticky stories, I call them.

What value to do deliver? Do you have access to CEOs in the ASX 200; can you turn around a story in 24 hours? Can you cut their costs, build their brand, and generate leads?

Start at the exciting bit

As Valerie Khoo explains in this excellent podcast about Brand Storytelling, we journalists are great at writing about other people, but we fall into all the old traps when we write about ourselves. The most common? We forget to start at the exciting bit – where we are now.

Ideally, I’d even start with the value you can deliver to your clients, and then go back into a bit about your experience and then proof that all you have said is true.

Ultimately, the personal brand cannot be superficial. This headline n Forbes caught my eye in the research for this story: Please, No More Advice On Building My Personal Brand”. I’ll give the last word to its author, JD Gershbein, CEO of Owlish Communications and a speaker and consultant on LinkedIn best practices.As for advice, stand for something meaningful. The rest will fall into place.”

 

Complete your Newsmodo profile

How To Increase Your Twitter Followers – With Gary Loper

Twitter expert, Gary Loper, was forced to change careers. Find out how he found his true passion with the help of Twitter. Learn what a Twitter party is and how it can help your business. Plus more key branding tips using Twitter.

Gary Loper is a Twitter expert as well as a life and business coach. He’s a mindset coach, motivational speaker, trainer, former talk-radio host, and highly respected entrepreneur who helps people master the business of life by building better relationships. In addition to Gary’s strong background in marketing and sales and his 30+ years of superior customer service, he spent 15 years in direct sales. He teaches his audience strategies and tactics on how to become successful to produce and maintain positive solutions, to stay in a positive mindset, and attract and manifest true wealth.

 

Watch this first:

 

In this show youll learn:

  • Understanding Twitter
  • How to make Twitter work for your brand
  • What can Twitter really do for your company
  • Why you should have a Twitter party
  • How to filter and find the conversations that are important to your brand

Takeaway Tips

1.    Use Twitter to connect with people and make them part of your community.

2.    Dont use multiple accounts.

3.    Use keywords in your Twitter profile.

4.    Use a banner photo and photos on your Twitter account.

5.    Your tweets should be: entertaining, educational, or motivational.

6.    Motivational messages are the most retweeted tweets.

7.    Twitter parties are virtual conversations in Twitter that are geared around a branded hashtag.

8.    Twitter parties can help you trend on Twitter.

9.    Twitter party: stay under 65 tweets in an hour.

10.  Share your knowledge through Twitter, content marketing in blog posts, videos, and photos.

11.  Add value to the conversation.

12.  Show that you believe in what youre doing.

13.  Be consistent. Create multiple tweets for your account.

14.  Dont retweet exact same content in a 12-hour period.

15.  Try Periscope.

Contact

Twitter @GaryLoper

Gary Loper Website