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How To Effectively Promote Your eBooks & Whitepapers

Content Marketing

The effort you put into creating valuable content downloadable as an ebook or whitepaper is often wasted because the promotion isn’t thought through or executed effectively and creatively. Here are five ways to promote your whitepapers or ebooks with the goal of generating a massive amount of traffic and downloads. 1. Engage Your Influencers First Give your influencers an opportunity to review the content and solicit their feedback. By involving influencers and giving them the opportunity to shape or contribute content, they will be more likely to share the finished product. 2. Create A Video Promo A promo video is an excellent way of previewing the content of your eBook or white paper and introduce viewers to the authors. You can place these videos on your landing pages and promotional blog posts to incite downloads. 3. Promote It On Widely-Read Media Outlets A killer earned-media placement is a great way to kick off the promotional campaign for a significant piece of advanced content like an eBook.   4. Repurpose For A Webinar Holding a webinar early on in the lifecycle of the promotional campaign is a great idea because it gives you the opportunity to take your message out into the world in an interactive and personal way. Even if you can’t secure a guest spot on an external webinar, holding your own webinar is still a good idea. You can invite those who have downloaded the content to attend and discuss the content, or simply repurpose the content itself into a new presentation. Alternatively, going into a live event with newly release ebook or whitepaper will give you something to showcase in a presentation and will generate a lot of buzz among attendees. Don’t be afraid to bring printed versions of your eBook or guide to hand out. 5. Include In Lead Nurturing and Automated Email Workflows If you’re using marketing automation software, add the ebook to any automated email workflows as part of your lead nurturing campaign. A lead who has downloaded similar pieces of content in the past may be more likely to download the new offer, especially if they received a personalized email versus a plain email blast to your entire list. What Next Be sure to keep an eye on your analytics to see which sources are generating the most traffic and downloads, then stick with what works and discard what doesn’t. At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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How Content Contributes To Inbound Marketing

Content Marketing

One of the most important parts of inbound marketing is generating valuable content that attracts visitors to your website and landing pages. Once you’ve determined your target audience and a plan for connecting with them, it’s time to create useful content optimised for search and for social sharing. Generating effective and valuable content will help with: 1. Getting found online, and 2. Converting visitors to leads Creating content takes time. Try to maximize your efficiency by stretching that content as far as possible without making it stale. You can do this by presenting it in different ways at different times on different channels. For example, you may want to share an image on Facebook on Saturday morning with text that includes a link to your blog post. But on LinkedIn, you may want to simply share a link with the associated metadata description that auto-populates and share this at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Your images should be brand-consistent and sized properly for the channels where they’ll appear. This may mean creating different versions of the same image in different dimensions for your blog, for email marketing, or for social channels. To avoid creating two images, you may want to adjust the dimensions of the images created for your blog so they’ll display well both in email and in your blog post. If you’re writing a post with five tips to do something, you may as well distill those tips into five different images. For example, you could make them Facebook-friendly images (403×403 pixels) with your company’s branding as the background and the simple, one-line sentence for each tip. You could also take those five tips and create one, long infographic that will be great for Pinterest. What Next Don’t forget to go back and revisit your older content to share it. Maybe you had a popular blog post that’s a few months old. It’s ok to tweet that again with a new message, especially if it’s content that supports your current inbound marketing campaign. At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Effective Content Curation Tools For Startups

Content Marketing

The content you share reflects your competence and expertise, and reflects how in-touch you are with the industry, thought leaders, influencers, and everyone in between. Sharing good content shows you understand what’s interesting and valuable to your target markets. It will help you increase your followers and establish your credibility. A good content curator has to sift through tons of content, quickly and efficiently, finding what is both relevant and good quality. There are many tools designed to help startups with content curations and with the right combination of programs and apps, social curation can become a streamlined process that can be as routine as getting ready every morning for work. It might help to experiment with different tools until you find the right combination that works for you. Not every social media manager works in the same sphere or has the same demands from their target audience. Here are great tools to get your started:  1.  Feedly Easy to navigate interface Organizes masses of content in an easy to digest format Seamless sharing with Buffer Feedly is a news aggregation app, which takes in information from all over the web and displays it in an easy-to-navigate, easy-to-digest, easy-to-share format. Feedly syncs with your Google Reader account, allowing you to add whichever websites and blogs you are following to it. It also makes discovery simple, allowing you to search by keyword, providing a list of relevant blogs and sites with follower counts to help you choose reputable and influential sources. Navigation Flipping through Feedly is a breeze. You can view content by “Today” or “Latest,” allowing you to find the most newsworthy posts, as time is of essence when it comes to content curation. You can also search by topics. Some of mine are: B2B, marketing, advertising, design, inspiration, health, social media, and SEO. Interface The interface of Feedly is crisp and clean, swift and organized. This is ideal for someone who is blazing through hundreds of pieces of content at a time. They even have an option to view posts in a de-cluttered format, without images so it’s easiest to read quickly. Feedly also works on your mobile device and on desktop computers. Sharing It’s super easy to share content on Feedly, with built-in email, Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Buffer shortcuts, including the options to save article or copy the link. This is part of what makes Feedly such a powerhouse for finding and sharing. Discovering content with Feedly is quick, and then sharing it to Buffer is a cinch. By connecting Feedly to Buffer, Feedly can set up a tweet for Buffer with the title of the article and the shortened link. All you have to do is add hashtags or your insight and send it off. Similar to Feedly: Flipboard Pulse Pocket 2.  Buffer Share content on a predetermined schedule Simplify message creation process Easy to use and clean interface Buffer is an awesome app for simplifying your social sharing and scheduling messages. Buffer can be linked to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. It also boasts a simple and clean interface that lends to easy navigation and streamlined work processes. Buffer allows you to pick a predetermined schedule for tweets, taking the thinking out of scheduled tweets. Once you have set a schedule, you only...

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10 Tips For Startups To Boost Word Of Mouth

Social Media

The best startups have great brand awareness and customer loyalty. While social media provides the ability to connect with customers, both one on one and on a bigger scale, successfully improving customer loyalty through social media requires a different approach than standard brick and mortar strategies. Nothing replaces world class products and great customer service. But they’re not enough either. Startups, here are 10 tips that will kick your word of mouth marketing via social media to the next level: 1. Make It Easy To Follow You: It’s important that you give customers an easy means to connect with you on different networks. Display your social account icons on your website, and install an easy sharing app for all your content. Also, show your accounts on email signatures, eDMs and anywhere else that your customers are likely to encounter your brand. 2. Make It Easy To Find You Make sure to use your brand name, or as close as possible, on the major networks and list your company name and URL in your social media account descriptions. 3. Reach Out Getting connected with as many customers and contacts as possible is the first step in using social as an effective loyalty tool. 4. Value Is Everything Offer high value content that shows your expertise, including social media exclusives. Use great content to demonstrate your knowledge, products, and unique value proposition. 5. Targeted Content Conduct market research and find out what problems are urgently facing your market and offer content that helps educate, inform, and inspire them. The more valuable your content is, the more it will help deepen your relationships over time. It will also help create the context to convert customers into brand advocates, encouraging them to share your content with their friends, family, and colleagues. 6. Actively Engage The key to powerful business-to-customer social relations is that you need to change your mindset from “doing social” to actually “being social.” Don’t just constantly push content out to your users, no matter how valuable. Take the time to really have a conversation. Are you responding to comments? Thanking people for retweets? 7. Quickly Address Concerns We’re now in an age where one of the fastest ways to get customer service concerns addressed is through public complaining. Any number of businesses can tell you about the potential impact of dissatisfied customers taking to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube with their complaints. Use customer concerns to build loyalty, with that customer and with the audience that’s watching. 8. Be Transparent Acknowledge every complaint and work to address it quickly. Adhere to your policies, but do your best to find a resolution that satisfies everyone. Don’t be afraid to approach problems in a spirit of transparency, and instead focus on your commitment to resolving issues when they do arise. 9. Develop Special Promotions You want to capture people’s attention and get them to engage. Exclusive promotions and contests are a great way to do that in a format that’s optimized for social. 10. Know Your Metrics Is social media really contributing to your customer loyalty efforts? The only way to know is to measure it. Specific customer metrics can include looking at the following on a per customer basis: brand mentions, web visits, referrals, and time on site. What Next Smart startups...

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Key Elements To Building Startups via Social Media

Social Media

Your business and online reputation are judged by your actions and presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and countless other social sites sprouting up each day. The key to successfully growing your business is to strengthen customer service, product reviews, lead generation and brand awareness, all of which can be enhanced with social media. Customer Service When it comes to customer service people are impatient and have little tolerance for delays. Setup notification alerts for high priority keywords on Facebook. Monitor your Twitter mentions using a social media management tool like Hootsuite in order to respond quickly with a personal message to keep customers as happy as possible. Product Ratings and Reviews As much as 80% of consumers use the Internet to research products every week. If your business or service isn’t listed high in search engine results or doing well on review sites like Google maps, or Yelp, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to gain new customers and build loyalty up for your brand. Lead Generation Social media is a great means to generate new leads for your business. In fact, over 33% of marketers have generated leads via Twitter. Share interesting and relevant conent, and people will be more likely to want to engage with your business. You can also seek out top influences and trending topics to follow through the Discover feature on Twitter and tools like Tweepi and Followerwonk. Brand Awareness People these days are most likely to discover your brand through social media. Thus your business is represented by your various social profiles, so post content relevant to your industry. Create a Google+ page and publish content regularly, as your page, profile and recent posts can show up in Google searches. Make sure to verify your Google Authorship, which can provide a significant SEO boost to your business with your profile picture showing up in rich snippets of Google search results (increasing click through rates). What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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What Is The Most Effective Time To Send An Email eDM

Customer Experience

Email remains a key channel of digital marketing. Whether we like it or not, email isn’t going anywhere, despite other opinions, at least not in the near future. For small business owners whose livelihood depends on email open rates and click-through numbers, findings show over 21 million emails sent during the first quarter of 2012: 24% of all emails are opened within the first hour; that number drops off precipitously as the hours tick by Most emails are sent from 6 a.m. to noon; the least amount occur from midnight to 6 a.m. The hours that see the most click-thrus are 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The hours that see the most opens are 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. For maximum open and click rates, whether choosing morning or early afternoon, and deciding on the best time to send emails is dependent on the industry, the business and the target audience. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Writing Compelling Content

Content Marketing

In case you hadn’t already noticed, 2013 is all about content marketing. Google’s ever-evolving ranking algorithm has finally come of age and is sophisticated enough to be able to rank sites based on the quality and relevance of their content. The days of keyword stuffing, or writing meaningless content that would only impress search engines, are now a distant memory. Producing great content that engages your visitors is well and truly in. Remember content is king. Content marketing drives trust in a brand and creates a connection. Having trust and feeling connected to a brand makes a customer more receptive to any subsequent marketing messages, making them more likely to react positively. An ineffective content approach might see the customer encounter the business with the following message: We sell widgets > They are awesome widgets > Buy our widgets today! A content-focused approach might see the customer encounter the business with the following message: Here is a lot of helpful information on widgets >  We know a lot about widgets > We understand why you want to buy widgets > We sell brilliant widgets that fit your needs The second content-focused approach will ultimately convert more customers and builds trust more successfully. How good is your content? To understand the quality of your content you will need to appraise your existing content.  The following questions will help you understand the most important considerations. How useful is your existing content – are you giving your customers the information they are looking for? Does your content tell a potential new customer everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision? Is your content all sales focused and full of blatant marketing? Are benefits clearly laid out and are they compelling enough? Is the content interesting enough to warrant return visits, bookmarking or sharing? Is your content sticky enough to capture and hold peoples attention, increasing their dwell time? Is all of your content professionally written? Is your content on-brand? The bottom line is, focusing on the quality of your content will help convert more customers. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Growing Businesses Through Effective Networking Strategies

Brand Identity

When starting a new business, setting up the business is often the easy part; finding and then expanding the customer base is often the difficult part. Businesses need to become good at two things, what they do and also networking. For many business owners this is a real challenge as most of us like to think of ourselves as good at whatever it is we do and not necessarily as a pitch / sales person. Through networking, the business leads generated are the lifeblood of any business and the process of lead production, qualification and development is key to determining the rate at which your business grows. How Does Business Growth Happen? One of the keys to business growth is a well-developed business network. Business networks consist of current and potential customers, vendors, associates, employees and other professionals in your immediate and relevant industries. Business growth needs to be a constant priority, networking and communicating is important in growing a strong network. Online business networking has become popular as the Internet has become more interactive and personal. More and more, people connect to each other on social media sites and refer business, make suggestions, answer questions and lend support with people across the world, whom they have never met in person. Another good resource for making business connections is to attend relevant business networking events. Local business networking events are designed to connect people living in the same area with other business people. They allow people to discuss their business interests and needs with peers and other business people in an informal matter. Many of these connections are helpful in the long-term even if they do not produce immediate results. The strategies of business networking online are very different as the scale of what is possible is so much greater. Of course the basic rules of good networking and communication are fundamental no matter the venue, platform or medium and in many ways are identical regardless of whether the networking is being done in person or online. It is important to realize that unlike the off-line world, all things communicated on-line are published and will be seen over time, so be mindful that it is not something you would be uncomfortable with everyone knowing. Building Relationships Online relationships are often rooted in mutual collaborations; there is great value and respect for making your knowledge and expertise available to others. Helping out others often can result in being known as an expert and a resource for others. Remember the objective of good networking is to generate new relationships directly or via referral and to develop these relationships into good sales leads that result in a business conversation. So asking the right questions and having a tight well-rehearsed follow up strategy is critical. Many people become great at networking and develop many leads that unfortunately do not result to their potential due to poor questioning and a lack of attention to the lead. Business referrals can only be forthcoming and relevant if new acquaintances understand whom to refer. When someone asks, “How can I help you?” be ready with a quick informative answer and a more detailed follow up if necessary. After a referral you must follow up quickly. Otherwise, it reflects badly on the person who tried to help you...

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Common Startup Mistakes To Avoid

Brand Identity

Startups face a unique challenge in getting their businesses off the ground. Owners are focused on one element of the business why other elements suffer. Under great pressure to succeed, marketing activities generally tend to dive. These common mistakes listed should be avoided in startups: Common Mistake 1: Lack Of Planning Planning and allocation of adequate resources over a sustained period of time to your marketing efforts is vital to the success of your startup. Failing to plan your initiatives would result in bursts of random marketing activities such as a display ad for a week, a blog article another week and email marketing some other time. This kind of activity may not create any impression on your customers and in the worst case, confuse them about the seriousness of your business commitments. Common Mistake 2: Lack Of Strategy Sure you want to increase sales but unless you have answered some basic questions about what you are offering, to whom and why should they buy your product, no amount of marketing effort can help. Common Mistake 3: Too Much Reliance On A Single Channel There is no single channel that can serve all your marketing needs. Relying entirely on Adwords and Display Ads with no regard for overall improvement in SEO ranking may product short terms clicks to your website but will not result in long lasting brand creation. Common Mistake 4: Lack Of Measurement You need to incorporate a clear measurement system as you execute your marketing plans. A fair clarity on intermediate milestones in your longer term marketing journey is important. For example, if you want to improve your Pagerank from 1 to 5, it will not happen overnight. At the same time, you cannot continue to invest in marketing efforts till you reach 5. You need to continuously evaluate the results of your SEO execution by activity, by level of Pagerank improvement. If that is not achieved, you need to do a root cause analysis – were your expectations unrealistic, is there something wrong in the messaging, is the marketing channel selection not appreciate for the objective and so on. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Meaningful Metrics For Startups

Google Analytics

There is not one metric that determines the success of your startup. Of course, at a business level, cash rules everything and if you run out of cash, you go broke. But understanding metrics can bring light to where you need to focus your efforts on. Set Key Performance Indicators that demonstrate the health of your company at a glance. These high-level metrics are good for business owners and line managers for measuring activity and outcomes. But there are other metrics that startups owners should consider. 1. The Lean Startup Methodology Metric   The Lean Startup is a methodology designed for startups, where there is a long period of time during which a lot of action generates little results in the short run. 2. Pirate (AARR) Methodology Metric As the name suggests, the AARR is the pirate metric named after the acronym: Acquisition – visitors to the website Activation – happy user experience Retention – returning visitor to the website Referral – great experience increases referrals Revenue – monetary behaviour 3. Cost Per Acquisition Cost per acquisition (CPA) is a critical metric for paid marketing channels where the costs scale linearly with conversions. If your CPA is too high, you can reduce bids, increase conversion rates or increase customer spend. Some channels perform best over longer horizons, when multi-touch conversion is considered and lifetime value is counted appropriately. Putting Metrics Into Practice 1. Understand How Your Making Money Sells (near-)100% gross margin products online (including pageviews) Sells fixed margin products online Sells variable margin products online (this includes many subscription products where LTV depends directly on churn rate) Micro-converts website visitors onto an easily-valued asset (e.g. an email list that sells advertising) Generates leads online that are converted into sales offline Micro-converts website visitors onto a less-easily-valued asset (e.g. an email list designed to generate consulting leads) The goal is to come up with KPIs at the micro-conversion level that correlate with the bigger-picture business goals. 2. Estimate Life Time Value & Cost Per Acquisition Understanding the lifetime value (LTV) of a conversion is vital. It can be hard enough to work out the immediate value of a micro-conversion, never mind the lifetime value. Assume static churn rates to get to workable LTV numbers, for example: if you are working with a subscription business, you can estimate LTV as: monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) / monthly churn So if you make $35 per month per user on average and have a churn rate of 9% per month you can estimate LTV as $389 What Next? At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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