Get Blog Comments Like the Pros (3 Strategies)

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No comments on your blog?

It might not be your fault.

In fact, there are time when you don’t want blog comments.

Understand that at least some of your low level of blog comments can be a math function. The great majority of visitors to your blog are “lurking.” They come and go without leaving a trace.

They don’t comment, they don’t share.

This doesn’t mean that these “lurkers” aren’t getting value from your content. It also doesn’t mean that your blog isn’t helping with your marketing.

What this could show is that you don’t have a critical amount of traffic. The percentages will vary from niche to niche with that being said there are blogs
that get 1000′s of visits per post with no comments.

There’s also blogs that get a few 100 visits per post and regularly get very thoughtful comments.

Take a look at your analytics and look at the traffic you’re getting to your different posts on the first day that you publish them.

A  good rule of thumb to remember…

If your posts are usually getting less than 300 visits in the first day of thier publication, you don’t have an engagement problem, what you have is a
traffic problem.

Why only look at the first day of traffic? Because a great majority of comments will show up within the first 24 hours your blog post going live.

Traffic is another topic, but I can help with that too. *Just look through the marketing topic of the blog

How does a blog with a small amount of traffic get more mindful comments than a blog with a mass amount of traffic.

The secret to getting blog comments is…

It all breaks down to this:

Don’t be a know-it-all blogger. At least not all the time.

Be particular with your style, tone and voice.

I’m going to break it down with three elements of blog posts that get comments. You can add these elements to your posts very easily and start conversations
in your own comment section.

But first, let’s get our mind right.

When you shouldn’t EXPECT mindful blog comments.

Here you go…

Don’t expect mindful comments when you publish an authority post. These are posts with titles like,

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Penny Stocks
A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Google Analytics
Everything You Need to Know about the iPhone 5s
When you write the end-all-be-all article on a subject, you’ve left no room for discussion. And that’s ok. You are the know-it-all and you should be damn
proud of it.

Blogs that publish very authoritative posts on a constant basis usually do poorly with comments. But that does not mean the blog isn’t meeting the business
purpose.

An “end-all-be-all” authority post is intended to establish you as the expert in your market, not to create engagement.

There’s a big difference between an authority post and an engagement post.

Don’t mistake this, blog comments ARE NOT sales. The end goal is NOT blog comments. At least not if you plan to stay in business long.

With that said, if you have enough traffic visiting an authority post you’ll get “applause comments.” Comments like:

Wow, fantastic post!
Thanks so much for writing this!
Great stuff!

If the comment ends in an exclamation point, it’s probably an applause comment.

If you’re getting applause comments consistently on authority pieces, don’t worry. You’re readers are clapping. They loved your performance.

You’ll also sometimes get questions from your audience on authority posts.

Question comments though come few and far between, the same reason no one asked your brilliant college professor a question after a lecture, nobody wants to
ask a “stupid” question.

If your goal is to build a community on your blog you need to check your ego.

Try adding these 3 key elements in your blog posts,

1 – Humility

A blogger by the name of Marcus Sheridan from The Sales Lion at Blog World NYC is said to be one of the most genuine persons in this business.

Marcus blogs about his personal business struggles, his family and his friends. He’s very open with his community and shares what he has learned through his
years in business. With that said, he doesn’t write know-it-all blog posts.

He shows his humbleness, as well as other things. This leads to a thriving community and very mindful blog comments.

In a post that he titled 8 People That Dramatically Impacted My Life in 2013, take note of the humility in the title itself. In this particular post he
praises people that made a difference in his life and business in 2013.

Here’s a couple excerpts,

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and

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Here’s the stats on this post only 4 hours after it was published,

1262 words written by Marcus in the blog post
27 comments
3062 words in comments

Now here’s the thing… START HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marcus is part owner of a pool company by the name of River Pools and Spas; it’s the success of business blogging for this particular pool company that is the center of what he teaches about marketing.

In this post on the pool company blog, Which is Best: Fiberglass, Concrete, or Vinyl Liner? He is offering his expert analysis of the best pool liner to buy
based on different circumstances.

Here’s an authority post.

His pool blog is full of authority pieces like this one, and he doesn’t even allow comments on these posts. Remember that comments aren’t the goal for this
pool blog. Direct sales and leads are the goal and these authority blog posts leave very minimal room for conversation.

2 – Incomplete thoughts

Write short posts and let your readers fill in the blanks.

A marketer by the name of Seth Godin is an absolute master at this. I do understant that Seth doesn’t allow comments on his blog posts but his writing style is perfect for really studying the art of writing thought and conversating enticing posts.

Seth’s posts are severely debated on different social channels like Twitter and spark rebuttal blog posts on blogs across the web. This is why Seth doesn’t allow comments.

Here’s an example post from him. This is the whole post…

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This would be an intro for most blog posts that would then go through 10 bullet points explaining in some detail how to boost a culture that reports and
stamps out mistakes.

Not Seth though. He isn’t trying to write the know-it-all post on this topic.

He just wants to start a fire in your mind and have you fill in the blanks.

3 – Speculation

Mark Schaeffer is a professor of marketing at Rutgers University and litteraly a student of marketing.

He’s one of the most cerebral bloggers you’ll ever read from and he makes predictions about the future of marketing quiet frequentley.

Mark’s posts instigate discussion because his posts are debatable, not definitive.

He recently wrote a post entitled, What will be the next big thing in social media? Here are 7 clues.

Notice that this professor is not trying to be a know it all in the text. Like you’re favorite teacher, he wants you to think about the question with him.
He wants to lead an intelligent conversation about it.

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Here are the stats on this post,

665 words written by Mark Schaeffer
40 thoughtful comments
3834 words in comments

Mix and match

You need to make sure you understand the purpose of each post you publish. Is it an authority piece with the intention to establish you as an expert? Or, is it an engagement piece with the intention to build community and discussion.

Both can be very lucrative for your business.

Fin.

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Posted on January 31, 2014

Stay Away From These 5 Common Content Marketing Mistakes

When it comes to content marketing, there are numerous who believe announcing an occasional blog or social media post will be good enough for their content trading efforts, when the truth is, there’s much more to it.

The reality is that creation of custom content has developed into a $43.9 billion industry. In other phrases, this is a serious enterprise.

The very best content marketers are ones that realise how to blend together writing, PR, social media, networking and multimedia content into one effective and thriving online occurrence.

It is exceedingly hard work and there is no room at the very peak for a branded message that is full of content trading blunders. Comprehending what these widespread pitfalls are can help you bypass them at all costs!

Error #1: Poor Time Management

According to Social Media Today, up to 51% of marketers battle with conceiving sufficient content. This is the second large-scale problem, only behind constraints of their allowance.

Possibilities are, you do not desire to work longer or more hours. Thus, it is absolutely vital that you focus on what needs to be finished and close off all possible disruptions.

Error #2: SEO Abuse

When you apply SEO content replicate into your efforts, you need to focus on composing articles that others will desire to share, rather than optimizing for Google. One of the most antagonising and frustrating content marketing efforts is the stuffing of keywords.

In detail, Google now has new algorithms that can weed out the content that does this very procedure, making this dated method absolutely ineffective.

Error #3: Sticking to customary procedures

In order to have an productive content marketing method you have to eliminate the blinders. If you truly desire to win more customers and the peak spot in search engine rankings, you must take up an innovative approach that is new and “outside” of the carton.

Consider certain things that are funny, or very simple to share, such as slideshows and world wide web cartoons.

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Mistake #4: Not Establishing a Target

Who are you writing for? If you are just making general content, it will not be very effective. In most situations when somebody searches for something online, they want exact and aimed at data, rather than a general overview of what they are searching for.

General content will not conceive a bigger assembly or more sales, which is, after all, the ultimate goal of content marketing efforts.

Error #5: Not Focusing on the Right Things

There are many content marketers that focus on the number of words that they write each day or the number of remarks they obtain for each blog post. Even though, these aren’t very good focal points.

Instead, you should track the metrics that actually let you know how productive your content trading efforts are. You should make efforts to track the visits to the site, the rank of the keywords that are utilised, the ROI and leads and not consuming pointless energy on what is mentioned to as vanity metrics.

Bypassing these errors will help you evolve and apply a more thriving and effective content marketing effort, which is significant in conceiving a larger assembly and, ultimately, more sales.

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Posted on January 28, 2014

3 Huge Shifts You Should Jump on in Digital Marketing

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Huge Shift #1 – Advertising is going native

Decreased ROI on show advertising (banner ads, sidebar ads,

etc) needs marketers to travel native with their advertising.

Native advertising follows the shape and performance of the

user experience within which it’s placed. In different words

it’s like content and smells like content however it’s truly

an advertisement.

Here are three forms of native ads to remember,

- In Feed/Social – Sponsored posts in Facebook, Sponsored

Tweets, in-stream YouTube ads)
- suggested Content – Content Recommendation Engines like

Taboola and OutBrain.
- Paid Inclusion – this is often the “advertorial” model that

were all aware of. watch out with this one. Audiences don’t

appreciate being tricked.

Huge Shift #2 – Experiential and Long Tail eCommerce

Is Amazon going to destroy and consolidate all of digital

commerce? Is your eCommerce store in peril of being

steamrolled by Amazon? That depends.

Amazon has become the walloping huge box distributer of the

web. Due to that, they’ve left lots of space for experiential

and long tail eCommerce players.

What if somebody came for a great experience then bought from

you?

Shopping is recreation. You would like to make AN eCommerce

expertise that’s a minimum of one amongst the subsequent,

Fun
Unique
Experiential
Custom
But if you’re just selling commodities on price, look out.

Amazon has you in their cross-hairs.

Huge Shift #3 – Consumption Mentality and the Commoditization

of Everything

The great marketer method is about acquiring customers and

increasing the value of those customers.

“The winners in business will be the companies who manage to

lower the barrier to customer acquisition without reducing

brand equity or lifetime customer value.”
~ Ryan Deiss

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Posted on January 26, 2014

Your a Leader: Help People in Your Industry

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What are some of the qualities that define industry leaders?

They’re very knowledgeable, well-connected, credible, and good natured, as well as other things. Because of these attributes, they’re always in a position to help others.

It’s the potential to help others that adds to a leader’s authority / credibility, and it results in something else: Helping other people will help you differentiate yourself, naturally attracting people to your brand in a significant way.

3 Benefits of Helping Others

When your sharing your knowledge and resources, you stand to gain three benefits. Benefits that will help position you as an industry leader while also guaranteeing the lifespan of your business.

1. Create Brand Advocates

You can garner valuable brand supporters by merely providing help wherever assistance is required. An organization recently took this idea to heart and actually hired somebody to exclusively help serve thier partners. whether or not it’s providing a press chance, a referral, or just valuable data, it’s that person’s job to seek out opportunities to assist somebody.

As a results of merely serving their partners, they have gained a community of brand advocates constantly referring potential shoppers thier way, bringing them valuable opportunities.

2. Decrease Barriers

When you make the effort to help someone, you are granted the opening to pattern a meaningful connection, rather than a solely transactional one.

It’s connections like this — larger, significant partnerships — that will differentiate you from competitors and provide you with the integrity to make similarly precious attachments in the future.

3. Encourage Employees to Do the Same

By assisting other ones, you’re setting an example for your team to do the same. This means team members will be more likely to proceed out of their way to help clients, producing in higher clientele satisfaction.

Address the liability collection bureau CFS2, for demonstration. It has a easy scheme: help the people they assemble from pay their debts. By assisting persons conceive résumés, advising them through tough times, and supplying other resources, CFS2 is outperforming competitors by 200 per hundred. This scheme is large not only because it reflects the company’s goodwill, but by distributing its knowledge and assets with others, CFS2 positions itself as an expert in personal finances. If your emblem can garner a reputation founded on both amiability and expertise, you’ll have more than just a money-making business.

Five Ways to Help

Obviously, there are numerous ways to help your enterprise partners and commerce connections. If you’re looking for inspiration, underneath are five ways to showcase your know-how and networking adeptness through assisting others.

1. Identify them. When you have the opening to identify someone, take it. This can signify citing a partner’s good work in a considered leadership item or conversing about a enterprise at an commerce seminar.

2. Convey business their way. If someone inquires you to propose a particular product or service, give a promising lead or enterprise partner an introduction. It takes about five minutes to gaze up LinkedIn connections, and the individual you suggest just might bring back the favor.

3. Volunteer your time. Even the busiest persons can make the time to help other ones out. A blogger by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk recently suggested to help up-and-coming bloggers by doing an interview for their sites. Even if you aren’t as well-known as Gary, hold track of the people you can help and reach out to them.

4. Share knowledge. This is the simplest way to help if you need a individual brand. Recognize some widespread problems persons are having, and find a way to attach the dots for them.

5. Give repsonse. Too often, people notify their gazes what they desire to hear rather than really giving precious, constructive feedback that could help them. If you supply feedback that could possibly advance a person’s business, that individual will gaze to you in the future.

In a ocean of aspiring industry managers looking for quick transactions and easy integrity, it’s no marvel that business managers can stand tall overhead the rest through the easy act of helping other ones. By assisting your partners, promise business directs, or other commerce connections, you not only win their gratitude, but you’ve positioned yourself as a person with information, resources, and credibility — the makings of an commerce leader.

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Posted on January 24, 2014

Get Great Click Through Rates From Your Emails

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Quit guessing.

The following emotional triggers are guaranteed to increase your email click through rates. You’ll see an example of four different emails that were tested

to list of 350,000 people and that had high click-through rates.

Each email incorporates one or more of the principles of persuasion.

Human beings are hard wired to respond when pushing the following four emotional buttons:

Gain
Logic
Fear
Scarcity

These principles of persuasion can be used anywhere you want people to take action and they’re guaranteed to get more clicks from email.

Let’s break each of these four emotional triggers down one by one…

Gain

What will I gain if I click on this link?

That’s what is going through your readers mind and you need to answer it. Your email should make a promise that by clicking on the links in the email it

will deliver a specific gain.

The promise can be obvious or subtle.

The following email was part of a Facebook Ad Power launch. Read through the text carefully and notice the use of both the explicit and the implicit promise to get “clicks for pennies.”

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Four of the five links in this particular email promise a gain by clicking on the link. The first three are more subtle while the last is a specifically stated promise that reads,

“See EXACTLY how we get it: http://digitalmarketer.com/one-cent-clicks”

Logic

Yes, People buy with emotion. But they justify the purchase with logic.

If you’ve successfully caught the interest of a buyer’s emotional side, now it’s time to give them something practical so they can justify the purchase.

Use statistics, odds, comparisons, expert opinion and other practical facts to encourage email clicks.

A recent email from a marketer catches the interest to our logical side by including text with the legendary Joe Polish.

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This marketer highlights the statement that “sales copy is the #1 way to multiply your business…” to a highly respected expert, Joe Polish, and states that you should know what Joe Polish knows.

Logical, right? Joe Polish is very successful. If I know what he knows, I’ll be successful too.

Fear

You have to be careful with this one but also understand that fear is often more motivating than the emotions of gain or logic. With the right audience and the right promise, you can get amazing click through rates when you put fear into your reader.

Survival Life sells to a specific market that’s worried about natural disasters and other situations that will put themselves and their families in danger.
The products being sold to this market are among the best in the industry at helping people prepare for these situations.

Just as in the life insurance or retirement planning market, peace-of-mind that one feels when they are sufficiently prepared to handle a frightening situation is being sold.

Read the text in this email from Survival Life and notice the use of fear as a key for inspiring action,

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If you’re on the fence about taking the time, energy and money needed to protect you and your family from a disaster, this email might scare you into action.

Scarcity

If you want to stimulate action, your reader has to understand what they will gain or what you will protect them from if they do take that action.

It’s a funny thing though. If the reader feels that there is no urgency to take action NOW, most of the time they won’t do it.

If you want to raise click-throughs on your emails, you have to communicate the message that what you have for them is limited in some way.

In this email for Facebook AdPower, the marketer lets you know that the program is closing. If you do not make a decision and take action now, the gain you could have had will be gone.

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Mixing emotional triggers

TEST, TEST, TEST.

Experiment the order in which you push these emotion triggers. Try GAIN > FEAR > LOGIC > SCARCITY. Then, switch it up and test FEAR > LOGIC > GAIN >

SCARCITY.

Experiment with emails that focus on only one of the four emotional triggers and experiment with others that include more than one.

Example, a single sentence in your email might hit on the gain, logic and scarcity. It could read something like this,

Until midnight tonight [SCARCITY] and for less than it costs to fill up your gas tank [LOGIC] you can learn how to negotiate thousands of dollars off of your next car purchase. [GAIN]

The exact same sentence could be tested using the emotion of fear instead of gain,

Until midnight tonight [SCARCITY] and for less than it costs to fill up your gas tank [LOGIC] you can learn to stop a used car salesman from ripping you off.[FEAR]

Have any questions regarding increasing the click-through rate on your emails? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Posted on January 22, 2014

How to use #hashtags successfully

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When it comes to hashtags, you either #love them or #hate them. Hashtags though are not going

anywhere anytime soon. They were oiginally created as a simple way to organize Tweets together

into a theme, this simple character, can supercharge your marketing efforts when used the right

way.

Here’s how:

Hijack a Hashtag … At Your Own Risk

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This strategy can either win you friends and fans or cause your brand to go down in flames; it’s

all depending on the hashtag you use and how you use it.

Example: if a well-known band is showcasing their music with a hashtag, and your band has a

similar style, it’s very acceptable to “hashtag-surf” and use that tag to draw attention to your

own band.

No one owns a particular hashtag.

This strategy can backfire, like in the case of highly-publicized Twitter fails #McDStories and

#notguilty. Keep an eye on which hashtags are popular for certain events, topics and even people

by using Twubs.com

There’s also a basic hashtag encyclopedia if you want to see what’s trending or you want to see

which hashtags are already in heavy use by well-known brands.

You want to develop a Sense of Community

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Whether this is for a charity project, a common interest, band or special event, the right hashtag

can bring people from all over te world together. Not only can the creator(s) of a hashtag

interact with their fans or followers, followers can also interact with each other and share

stories, lessons learned and opinions.

Host a Live Chat or Question & Answer

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Twitter live chats are one of the best known opportunities to use hashtags, for anyone who follows

that particular tag will not only have a record of the ongoing conversation, but they will also be

able to take part and ask questions using it.

Depending on how often a hashtag is used, it can also pop up on the sidebar of Twitter’s trending

topics, this encourages people to take a look and add their own opinion or comment.

It’s best to generate some type of anticipation before a live chat by sending an email out to your

subscribers, followers and friends letting them know the time and date, then scheduling some time

to answer questions and chat on Twitter.

You can Grow Local Business

Local search engine optimization is one of those things that even online only businesses shouldn’t

ignore.

You can follow specific hashtags on Twitter, such as city name, county or state to see what people

in the area are talking about.They could be sharing short restaurant reviews, talking about

weekend plans or asking other ‘tweeters’ what events are coming up.

Either way, depending on your business, you can be part of the conversation.

Reach Out Across Multiple Platforms

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Different social media management tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will let you sync your posts

and hashtags across different social media platforms.

So, if you post to Twitter with a time-limited coupon or special, and you’d like all your

customers/followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ to join the fun, a hashtag can

bring users from all these platforms together, as hashtags are viewable and clickable across all

those social media channels.

Enjoy the Coattails of Popular Tags

During the las week of Novemver, the Black Friday anticipation builds here in the U.S., and stores

start rolling out the digital red carpets with unheard-of deals.

With this in mind, it’s perfectly fine to ride the successful coattails of popular shopping,

holiday and event hashtags like #blackfriday.

You can also use different hashtags in your post like; #blackfridaydeals and #blackfridaycoupons

to encourage shoppers looking at those different hashtags to take a look at your offer.

Share Hacks, Case Studies or Customer Spotlights

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Hashtags are also the perfect way to highlight great ideas, suggestions and even people. Whether

they’re involved in a massive project using your product or service, or they have enjoyed amazing

success as a result of it, these are the kinds of stories you want to share with other people.

People on Twitter and Facebook reall enjoy the attention that their feedback brings, showcasing

their hard work or well-won efforts is a great way to say “I’m listening”!

Always remember when choosing a hashtag, that your choice is limited to a single word or words

without spaces. Example: #wordpresstips would work, but #wordpress tips would not.

Also, as with any good marketing tool, make sure not to overuse hashtags in areas where it

#doesn’t #make #sense.

What are your thoughts?

Have you found a creative use for hashtags? How have they increased or decreased your social

marketing efforts? How do you plan on using creative hashtags into your future marketing? Share in

the coomments below.

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Posted on January 15, 2014

Tricks For More Clicks From Your Google Adwords

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How to get more clicks from Google AdWords

It’s not an easy task. You’ll need to implement the same content principles you would when writing a 3,000 word sales letter in a much smaller space.

Your AdWords ad is limited to,

25 characters for the headline
70 characters of ad text
35 characters for the Display URL

With limited space, you won’t be able to include all elements outlined below in the same ad. You’ll need to Mix and match. Test and improve.

Don’t complicate things for yourself by trying to be clever with your AdWords ads unless you’ve been writing ads for your niche market for some time.

There’s not enough space to get cute with these ads.

Instead, stick with these 12 tried and proven AdWords elements that will get more clicks.

1 – Use Specific Numbers

This works in any kind of copywriting.

Use different numbers like 71 instead of 70 or 8.23 instead of 8. In both of the following cases, the former looks more precise and trustworthy than the

latter. They also catch attention, it’s not everyday that you see the number 8.23 in print.

Take a look at how inkgrabber.com uses a specific percentage in their ad for printer cartridges.

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2 – Use funky characters

Similar to the hash tag or pound sign #, odd characters such as ® , % , $, é catch the eye and can increase click through rate on your AdWords ads.

Look at how FTD uses the registered trademark symbol to boost trust and catch your eye.

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Zuilly.com uses é instead of your regular e in their ads. This is by design.

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3 – Use a Call-to-Action

If you want someone to do something you need to tell them to do it. Use a clear call-to-action in your ads.

Lowe’s knows the drill. The entire text of this ad is a call-to-action.

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4 – Include the Benefit

Your ad will be placed above and below your competition.

Why should they choose you? Teleflora Flowers is advertising a $10 discount and a timely benefit with “Capture the Spirit of Thanksgiving.”

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This ad for the Google query ‘learn php’ gives a pretty strong benefit, “Accelerate Your Career.” This benefit won’t appeal to everybody but to some it will

be exactly what they’re looking for.

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5 – Include a Phone Number and Address

AdWords allows a local business to add location extensions into their posts.

Notice how this restaurant Bahama Breeze includes a phone number and address.

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YOu can learn how to add location extensions from this Google AdWords support page. —>Click Here

6 – Tell a story

When you start a story, people naturally want to hear how it ends.

Sometimes an ad like the one below will test through the roof,

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Look at how this ad wraps a benefit in a story

7 – Take Out Risk

This is a basic principle of copywriting. If you can get rid of risk you will increase the conversion.

You can take away risk by advertising guarantees, free trials and no hassle returns included in your AdWords ads.

This ad gives detailed features of a project management tool and then it offers a 100% guarantee to remove any risk.

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8 – Free shipping

Shipping won’t apply to everyone but if you offer free shipping, for your product be sure to test it in your AdWords ads.

Home Depot understands that high shipping costs can be a deal breaker for customers and advertising free shipping in the ads
increases conversions.

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9 – Ask a question

When asked a question, your brain answers it.
You can’t help it.

This ounce of engagement with your ad might be all you need to get clicks. Here’s a straightforward AdWords ad for a weight loss product.

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10 – Include Social Proof

One of the ways decisions are made is to simply choose to do what others are already doing. The more people are doing somethingand the more prominent they

are, the better.

Social proof is only one of the reasons this ad is likely getting a lot of clicks. If you’ve got powerful numbers, use them in your ads.

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If you have relevant endorsements from respected sources, test an ad using those endorsements in your AdWords. This
flower delivery company includes a powerful endorsement from
CBS News in their ad.

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11 – Scarcity or urgency

People are much more likely to grab something if they think
it’s going away. If there is something scarce or urgent about your offer, include that scarcity or urgency into your ads.

Look at how this travel booking company communicates the brief message of their 75% off deal.

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12 – Make a threat

Be careful with this one though. Don’t try to invent danger
that doesn’t even actually exist.

With that being said, if what you’re offering protects people from real a threat or danger, make sure to include that in your AdWords ads.

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Posted on January 14, 2014

This Is How $5 Seperates You On Facebook

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Has the organic reach from your Facebook page plumeted off a cliff?

A decline was seen on many business pages.

A number of Facebook business users have seen the problem with their Facebook pages starting in late August and early September.

One Facebook Page of nearly 20,000 people was seeing pathetic numbers on the status updates.

Posts like the one below just weren’t cutting it anymore,

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Yes, Facebook had made an algorithm update. The same page was tested with a number of different types of content, at different times of the day, etc. One thing became very clear and that is that Facebook was going to force users to advertise.

Following, a statement was released from Facebook that confirmed what users had been seeing for months. That statement is as follows,

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

In lamense terms, if you want to keep your engagement levels up you have to reach for your wallet.

While most marketers were crying/complaining and leaving Facebook for cheaper clicks on Pinterest or elsewhere, some users like the example here dug in and started testing.

Here’s what users who did a little bit of testing found…

A dramatic difference between posts that were “boosted” (spent money on) and posts that were not “boosted”.

No needing to break the bank either — here are 3 cases where only $5 was spent to “boost” the post.

Case 1 – Increase engagement and reach on a Facebook post

Here is a post that was NOT “boosted.” This is pretty bad performance — well below what had been expect from the organic posts.

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Compare that to this post which was “boosted” for $5

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From 332 people seeing this post to 19,008 for $5. That’s a 5,625% increase.

This is a no brainer. Not only because of the huge increase but because competitors refuse to do it. That presents a huge opportunity.

Case 2 – Increase clicks to the website from a Facebook post

A question that was raised was what if this would translate into clicks to the website as well. So a poste was tested to see what impact $5 would have on traffic from Facebook to the website.

As Ryan Deiss over at Digital Marketer often says,

“He who is willing to pay the most to acquire a customer wins.”

Again, here is a post with a link that was NOT boosted,

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And here are the clicks to the website on that post,

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Not good. But when the post was “boosted” by just $5 the posts performed,

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From 653 people seeing the post to 11,172 for $5. That’s a 1,610% increase.

And clicks to the website increased from 73 to 451, a 517% increase.

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Case 3 – Increase YouTube video views from a Facebook post

The last thing that was tested was applying a $5 investment to a video that was uploaded to a YouTube channel.

First, let’s take a look at the performance of a video that was NOT boosted,

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The reach and engagement on this post was bad compared to the “boosted” post and it got virtually no views on the video from this Facebook post.

Here is the Facebook Post promoting the YouTube video which was gavin a $5 boost,

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These are the clicks on the bit.ly link,

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And this is the video views,

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Not too bad for just $5.

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Posted on January 10, 2014

3 ideas to use relevant email content to drive engagement

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Many online marketers have been struggling to walk with purpose in the sense of getting off the addictive nature of marketing through discounting, and begin to look at how we get our users engaged. It’s easy to recognize that consumers “like” us for different reasons.

It’s the foundation of shopping that everyone has a motivation, but how have we as marketers really work at moving our customers from a single promotion-based relationship to one that has value, in a way that does’nt require the use of the percent sign?

The use of content is becoming more and more important as we look at consumers to interact with our emails in a world where companies like Gmail single out promotional emails in one tab. By getting our clients to expect more from us than merely a discount is how marketers are going to rise above the inventory of emails that depend on discounts.

Keep in mind that idle time is mobile time; people are looking for emails to read when they’re bored, and just offering a discount is not going to cathch the attention or intrigue everyone. How do we fix this? It does’nt involve a significant amount of information or content, and, interestingly enough, what you need probably already exists.

Here are three easily implemented ideas on how to incorporate content into email:

Idea #1: Use post-purchase communication to inform

Post-purchase emails offer an incredible value to consumers in Next Logical Product (NLP) emails. NLP emails consist of recommendations based on an examination of consumer behavior of the next thing they purchased. Example, did you know that based on data, the following item people buy when they buy a treadmill is a mat for the treadmill?

Doing an analysis like this and looking at what the next purchases usually are can inform a relevant communication to the consumer and produce great results. What if these post-purchase emails not only had the offer, but they also inlude the content from the manufacturer explaining the most popular use of the product? What if you could remind the consumer to “not forget” a great benefit or feature?

How about highlighting advice from the specific category? If someone buys a washer or dryer, why not inlude content in the email about how to properly care for certain materials; example would be a cheat sheet on water temperature for specific clothing types?

It’s these types of ideas that can help your consumer and give them a reason to interact with your emails outside of a discount or offer.

Idea #2: Use macro-events to educate

Use purchases that can be connected to weather events. For example if Bill purchases a generator, create an email that is sent after a weather event where a generator might have been used showing how to tune up the generator or order the replacement parts for older models.

These type of helpful tips and advice are things that a consumer may or may not know. If you look at your product categories, there are extensive geographic events that you can communicate on based on a past purchase.

Idea #3: Use tendency to derive consideration

What do you know about your cunsumers, products and identify those items that have a longer consideration timeline?

Example; In the travel industry, people go on vacation about once a year what we know from the data is that the consumer researches for as long as 30 days before looking to book a vacation. Hotels will often start talking about a vacation on a regular basis to previous guests to help inform them, provide ideas and hopefully get the return visit or within brand.

You can also use tendancy models to derive who might be in the market to purchase and use email content to inform the consumer on the topics that are important to a purchase.

The Takeaway

These are clear and very applicable ways that any business can use content to drive engagement. The key to all this is to be consistent in your use of content and have a plan and purpose on how you’re going to use the content in your communication.

Start looking at the behavior of the consumer and their investment(s) in your brand. If all is being sent is discounts, then the relationship that forms with our consumers in the medium is only going to be as good as the last offer.

Don’t create better offers, consumers will look somewhere else. Every conference regarding online marketing talks about the engagement of the customer. In the email marketing world we have to start being more aggressive on how we position our offer to have value in a way that differentiates us.

We need to do more to walk with purpose in our email campaigns. Challenge yourself to start implementing content in your emails.

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Posted on January 7, 2014

Get this FREE Headline Swipe File to Get More Clicks from Your Social Media [Free Download]

The trick to driving traffic off of the social web.

Write better headlines.

Of course you need to be taking part in conversations and engaging with customers, prospects and

partners on the different social media channels you use.

The thing with sites like Twitter and Facebook is that they are an endless flow of information

snippets, each post has the life expectancy of a fruit fly. If your goal is to encourage a click

from a social site to the landing page or a piece of content you need to learn to write status

updates that inspire clicks.

Look at this tweet from HubSpot,

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The tweet has 8 words and a link. HubSpot understands that this headline will get clicks to their webinar landing

page. It makes a good webinar offer with the promise to increase mastery of LinkedIn for marketing. It’s a

good headline.

In this article, examples will be used from Twitter for two reasons:

Twitter status updates have an especially short lifespan. If your update doesn’t prompt an

immediate click, it’s pretty much lost forever.
Twitter’s 140 character limit puts anyone that understands the basics of a good headline

writing at an advantage.

Mastery of these headline basics will improve much more than your social media

marketing.

Headlines are fundamental to digital marketing

When writing better headlines you will get more clicks from your social media channels, but that’s just the beginning.

Understanding the art and science of compelling headlines is a key of digital marketing. It will improve your results in almost every aspect of your marketing including,

Sales Page headlines
Presentation titles
Book/Report titles
Blog Post titles
In-person sales communications

This list could easily go on and on because understanding how to write great headlines is about

understanding why people take action. Why people say “yes.”

If you’re in marketing, understand that you’re in the business of getting people to say “yes.”

Great headlines usually fall into one of the following categories:

Social Proof (Piggyback)
Threat
Gain

Let’s go into some detail regarding these one at a time and at the end of this post you can download the headline

swipe file. The swipe file is filled with proven formulas that will get you more clicks from

Twitter and more action from all aspects of your digital marketing.

Social Proof (Piggyback) Headlines

Smart marketing almost always includes social proof, the ability for people to make choices

based on the choices that other people make.

The more people making that choice and the more influential those people are, the more influential

the social proof.

Take a look at the following headlines,

Why 1000′s of Bostonians Will Gather in Boston Common on December 8th
What Dr. Oz Eats for a Midnight Snack
The New WordPress eCommerce Plug-In Everyone is Talking About

The 1st and 3rd headlines are common social proof headlines while the 2nd is a Piggyback headline.

The headline piggybacks off of the popularity of Dr. Oz.
Look at this tweet containing a piggyback headline from Brian Clark at Copyblogger.

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Threat Headlines

Generally, people will be more inlclined to take action to avoid pain than gain a benefit.

Well desinged threat headlines, like the ones below, include the promise that you’ll be able to

protect yourself from a threat if you take action.

The Big Lie Hiding in your Apartment Rental Contract
Warning: Don’t Buy Another Ounce of Dog Food Until you Read This
Is Your Child’s Mattress Harmful to their Health?

Take a look at a tweet from Jon Morrow.

Those in the digital marketing industry will want to know how to stay in Google’s good graces.

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Gain Headlines

The easiest way to create a headline is to state the benefit and make a promise that, if the

person takes action, they will gain the specific benefit.

Who Wants Quiet, Well-Behaved Kids?
Give Me 10 Minutes and You’ll Be a Master at Tuning Your Guitar
If You Can Boil Water You Can Make These 10 Delicious Tapas Recipes

This tweet from KISSMetrics makes a clear promise that you will gain knowledge about getting

sign-ups without a marketing budget.

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3 simple ways to improve your headlines

Now you have an understanding of the headline categories and the traffic you get from social

media will increase dramatically if you apply these headline principles.

Here are three other ways you can improve your capability to drive action from your headlines.

1 – Add the words “how to”

This is a very common mistake that is easy to correct.

Often you’ll see tweets and other headlines that are statements. Always remember that a good headline or

tweet includes a promise that, if you click, then that promise will be fulfilled.

In a lot of cases, when adding the words HOW TO to an existing headline it dramatically improves it

which can turn a statement into a promise.

For example, here is a great how-to tweet from a start-up software company called Bidsketch,

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Eliminate the HOW TO from this update and it reads,

Apply the 80/20 Principle to Your Freelance Business [LINK]

This headline doesn’t make the promise, it makes a statement. Add the words HOW TO and you’ve got a

promise, and a really good headline.

2 – Communicate time

One of the questions people will have when they read your headline is — how long will it take to

fulfill the promise in the headline?

One way to improve your click through rate is to communicate some aspect of time in your

headlines.

Take a look at this tweet from Hiten Shah,

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Based on this headline, It doesn’t look like a quick read. If time is short,

Someone is unlikely to click on this link. On the other hand, if someone is looking for a thorough exploration

of this subject, this headline will get a click and the reader could get settled in for a lengthy piece of content.

Look at how different this tweet would communicate the aspect of time,

A Single, Simple Trend That Will Dominate America’s Future [LINK]

This tweet gives the impression that this will be a short, compressed piece of content that can be

read in a few minutes.

3 – Add fascination

Adding some fascination to your tweets and other headlines can lead to exponential increases in

engagement.

The key is to tie a gain or threat to something that is clearly unrelated. These headlines make

a promise but also tease the reader with great curiosity.

Here’s a great example from Jon Morrow,

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In this update Jon makes a relevant, traditional promise: boost conversion rates on a budget. But the addition of

MacGyver to the headline adds a degrree of fascination.

Unbounce applies the same fascination formula to this tweet,

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To receive your FREE Headline swipe file please click on the take action button below, after you have done this

Please leave a comment below.

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Posted on January 6, 2014