Here Are 7 Content Marketing Tips for Your Startup

Here Are 7 Content Marketing Tips for Your Startup by A.  Available from <> [September 12, 2016; 9:00 pm]

Most effective startups hit the ground running with their content marketing efforts. If you own a startup and want to generate a lot of buzz, build up a base of interested buyers and, take the world by storm, you’re going to need to focus on content marketing way before day one.

It’s easy to assume that kick-starting a content marketing campaign involves a lot of work, and it’s partly true. However, by following these six tips, you’ll be on your way before you know it.

Define Your Audience

While setting up your startup, you should have conducted plenty of market research to determine the types of people who are most likely to want what you have to offer. Take the information that you have already gathered about your target audience and refine it further by creating unique buyer personas for the various different types of people who you will be targeting.

Going forward, use these personas to craft content that is as effective and engaging as possible.

Establish a Strategy

As eager as you may be to get started with your content marketing efforts, there’s no point in proceeding without establishing a clearly defined strategy first. Now that you have defined your buyer personas, you can safely do so.

Your strategy should clearly outline various details of how you will engage in content marketing. Address questions like how often you’ll publish, where you’ll publish, what types of content you’ll use, and who will you be creating said content.

The key is to commit yourself to using the strategy rather than just writing it out on the first day. Making it easy to amend will go a long way as well, because you will almost certainly have to tweak it again and again as time goes by.

Choose Content Creators

As a startup, you probably aren’t in the position to spend huge amounts of money on content. However, making sure that you allocate decent amounts of your marketing budget for it will go a long way in helping you set up right the first time.

If possible, assign someone on your team to produce content for you. With any luck, you already have a proficient writer and marketer on board. Ideally, they should be well-versed regarding SEO and online marketing too.

Otherwise, hit up crowdsourcing sites to find reliable writers. One way to keep costs low is by choosing cheaper writers and then editing their work to suit your standards.

Brainstorm Topics

To keep your content flowing along, it helps to come up with a huge list of topics right off the bat. At first, brainstorming ideas will seem easy. Before too long, though, you’ll get writer’s block worse than ever.

Use sites like Reddit and Quora to see what people are curious about when it comes to your particular niche or industry. Speaking of niches, go ahead and get specific about certain topics to generate more ideas. In fact, in-depth pieces that cover specific aspects of a subject tend to do quite well.

For each topic that you come up with, define the platform on which it will be published. Go one step further by defining when it will be published. With all of this work out of the way, executing your strategy will be a snap.

Be Different

To truly stand out, you must be intentional about not fitting in. Do something beneficial to your audience and remarkably different from what’s common that you get everyone talking about it. One way to take an unconventional approach is to develop an interactive content format for your audience.

A good example is the homepage of Neil Patel’s blog, QuickSprout. Once you input your URL into it and grant it Google Analytics permission, it pulls data from your website, analyzes it and gives you insights on making your better content.

Another good example is the homepage of HowMuchCostAnApp. It leads you through a step-by-step, “if-this-then-that” process that helps you decide what specific features you want in a mobile app and how much it would cost.

In both cases, the content is interactive, benefits the audience and is unconventional.

Choose a Platform

Your first instinct may be to spread your content across as many social media platforms as possible. However, this is a good way to waste a lot of time and money. Instead, turn to the market research that you’ve conducted to determine where your ideal customers tend to spend time online.

Do they generally favor Facebook, or are they more often found on Twitter? If you run a B2B startup, don’t forget about LinkedIn as a platform for your content. Use analytics to see which platforms seem to work well and which don’t.

Continually adjust your strategy accordingly until you have narrowed things down to the most effective platforms and channels for your audience.

Publish, Promote, Refine

With all of the groundwork out of the way, you’re ready to start publishing content. Of course, publishing it–even on the ideal platform–is merely the first step. You must actively promote it too, or it will disappear into the ether.

Therefore, get serious about your social media game. Establish and get active on the platforms that matter the most to your target audience. Don’t just promote brand-new content, either. Over time, pull up old pieces of content and promote them again. It’s amazing how much mileage you can get out of a single, well-crafted piece of content.

Finally, use analytics every step of the way to continually refine and optimize your content and your overall strategy. Remember that content marketing is, by necessity, always a work in progress.

Here Are 7 Content Marketing Tips for Your Startup by A.  Available from <> [September 12, 2016; 9:00 pm]


Here’s Why You Need to be Sending Email Newsletters (and a Few Tips)

Here’s Why You Need to be Sending Email Newsletters (and a Few Tips) by Larry Alton.  Available from <>. [Sept 14, 2016]

If you’re like thousands of other marketers, you’re fully invested in social media and conversion funnels. However, you probably haven’t thought twice about email marketing, and newsletters in particular.

You may want to rethink this oversight, or you’ll deal with consequences down the road.

The Value of Email Newsletters

For many, the thought of an email newsletter conjures up archaic images of marketing campaigns of the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, just as everything else has evolved, so has the newsletter. Modern newsletters – also known as e-newsletters – are powerful and highly effective. Here are a few specific reasons you need to be using them:

  • Nurtures relationships. One of the best things about an email newsletter is that it allows you to nurture existing relationships and reinitiate contact with old customers who have been cold for months (or even years). While some subscribers will send your email straight to the trash bin, most will at least give it a cursory look. This gives you the opportunity to catch their eye.
  • Drives targeted traffic. When you segment your email list and send highly relevant content to subscribers, you have an opportunity to drive targeted traffic to landing pages, product pages, videos, articles, and other resources that benefit your brand. There are very few other channels that allow you to do this.
  • Enhances monetization. Finally, don’t forget about revenue. If your email newsletter is sent to a large subscriber base – and you enjoy high open and click-through rates – you may be able to sell ad space and create an additional stream of revenue.

It doesn’t matter your industry or specific goals – an email newsletter can help you engage customers in meaningful ways.

A Few Handy Tips and Tricks

Exactly how do you execute an effective email newsletter? Let’s highlight a few handy tips and tricks:

  • Nail the design. You absolutely have to use a professional design for your emails. You can either hire a professional or use a template. The latter is typically more cost-effective. As Green Residential notes, “There are thousands of options available online for download, whether you’re inclined to pay for them or not. It might be worth it to pay for a good template and give your newsletter a more polished look.”
  • Subject lines are crucial. When a newsletter or promotional email comes into an inbox, the headline is often one of the deciding factors in whether or not it’ll be opened. This is why you have to focus on creating strong headlines that grab the recipient’s attention. Since most emails are being opened on mobile devices these days – 40 percent to be exact – short and sweet headlines are preferred.
  • Balance the content. While you may want to use your newsletter as just another promotional tool for your brand, put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers. They would much rather read informative/educational content. When developing your newsletters, limit promotional material to just 10-15 percent of the total content distribution. It’ll be much more powerful this way and you’ll experience less attrition.

There’s a lot of creative freedom with email newsletters, but these tips and tricks have helped thousands of other businesses enjoy success. Try them and see what you think.

Leverage the Value of Email

Email marketing should be a staple in your digital marketing mix. While it doesn’t get as much publicity as social media and landing page design, it’s equally important. Make sure you’re leveraging the value of email newsletters moving forward and you’ll reap the rewards of engaged customers.

Here’s Why You Need to be Sending Email Newsletters (and a Few Tips) by Larry Alton.  Available from <>. [Sept 14, 2016]

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results by Susan Friesen.  Available from <>. [Sept 12, 2016]

Social media is a powerful way to build a following, turn prospects into leads, and drive sales.

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that business owners are investing lots of time in social media and not seeing the returns on those efforts

If you aren’t getting the social media results you are looking for, perhaps it’s time to look at new tactics.

If you are ready to get more out of your social media marketing, here’s 6 techniques to try:

  1. Use Facebook Live. Video marketing is a powerful addition to your marketing mix. But live video is shown to keep users watching for 3 times longer than a recorded video.Fans love the feeling of listening to what you have to share in the moment. Try answering questions and providing tips while live.Other ways to use Facebook Live is to broadcast an update when you are networking or attending events. Or share a Facebook live update on any launches coming down the pipe.
  2. Offer Opt-In Gifts to Grow Your Marketing List. People can’t resist getting a checklist, blueprint, app, or white paper that offers valuable information.When you give value first, it goes a long way to building trust and rapport with your followers. Plus, this allows you to capture your social media leads into your email marketing list.Give them something they can’t refuse and send them to a landing page to sign up. That way you can keep in contact via email sharing additional offers and information in a drip campaign.
  3. Invite People to Take Action. Be strategic with your calls to action to get the most out of your social media efforts.In addition to sharing a mix of posts, be sure to offer ways your fans can dive deeper with you. This can include a free consultation, special offers and discount deals, webinars, participation in your Facebook group, and more.
  4. Build Your Fan Base Organically. Never hire someone from Fiverr who can add 10,000 fans for a fee. This is a bad idea on many levels.Instead, find groups with people in your target audience. Be helpful. Start real conversations. Invite them to join your social media page or group.Don’t be afraid to reach out with private messaging to respond to questions they have or share resources or advice.

    So don’t buy followers. It’s about quality of followers, not quantity. It’s better to have 1000 raving fans you have attracted, than to have 10,000 fans who don’t really know you or have investment in the connection.

  5. Offer a Mix of Post Content. People love variety. Be creative and provide a variety of content formats including how-to articles, videos, graphics, and infographics.An ideal content marketing strategy is to always keep your target market in mind and post what you think they will best want to receive from you.
  6. Post at the Ideal Time for Best Exposure. Timing is everything. If you share an incredible post, you want to ensure the most people possible can see it!There are many social media tools to help you see the best times to post content to reach the biggest audience. This may vary from platform to platform. 

    So don’t guess when you can use analytic tools with reports that help you identify the ideal time to post.

Social media is evolving and growing fast. There is a lot of opportunity get leads, drive sales, and build a following but you have to get creative. You can’t just rely on the old tactics you have used in the past; you need to implement new techniques and tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results by Susan Friesen.  Available from <>. [Sept 12, 2016]

3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Performance

3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Performance by davidc.  Available from <>. [Sept 10, 2016]

A smart business owner knows the importance of monitoring performance even for the best of websites. Of course, building a website has to start with implementing solid design and business principles that will encompass, among other things:

  • Easy navigation.
  • Defining your target audience.
  • Focusing on high-quality content.
  • Using great images, videos and a variety of content.
  • Load time and so on.

But once a perfect website has been created, a business owner must also spend time on monitoring and optimizing its performance. Here are the top 3 tips to achieve this goal:

  • Image control,
  • Multi-channel and device optimization and
  • Meta data.

Image control

Good websites often have lots of images or visually appealing content. These images could pertain to their products, services, key events and so on. There are a few important things that you must keep in mind when it comes to optimizing your website performance.

Use lazy loading

If your website is image-heavy, try out the ‘lazy loading’ method. Simply put, this method defers or delays loading content. This does not mean slowing down; on the contrary, it speeds up the page loading process. So when someone lands on your website, he or she does not have to go through a waiting time when ALL your images are being downloaded. Instead, your website will display only thumbnails of the images and the visitor can choose to click on a particular image to open it up for greater detail.

Right size

Resizing an image to make it fit into your website specifications can be done in many ways but the thing to avoid is to do it the HTML way. Use an image editor tool to resize the images and then upload the same. You also need to preserve the quality of the images. There are many formats of images out there and it is advisable for you to read up on these resources and then optimize image size.

Multi-channel and device optimization

Your website has to be optimized for multiple channels and multiple devices. One way to go is responsive web design but you will also need to bring in your search engine optimization strategy for this component of performance.

Multi-channel performance

Every social media platform out there has a specific set of parameters. These platforms will also differ in terms of keyword usage, image guidelines and so on. It therefore makes sense for your website to be supportive of optimization for:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram and so on.

Multiple devices

Your images and content should be ‘elastic’ or ‘fluid’ which means that they flow and take the form of the device on which they are being viewed. Responsive web design will give your website high marks simply because more and more people are turning to the use of smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices to interact with online information. So when your website renders flawlessly on any device, it gets more ‘marks’ for its actions.

Caching systems

This is a useful system simply because it minimizes the need to connect to your site time and again. When your website has to connect to your database time and again to create the same content, you are slowing down the engagement with visitors. So you can reduce server processing considerably with caching systems.

Some of the things for you to consider are:

  • Database caching.
  • Browser cache.
  • Great CDN systems and so on.

There are quite a few plug-ins for various CMS platforms that will allow you to up the performance of your website rather significantly.

Meta Data

Meta descriptions and Title Tags are critical. The one word you should keep in mind for the same is ‘Unique’.

Meta description

The HTML attribute that you use to explain the content of a web page should be spot on. The main purpose of Meta Description is to get the visitors from the google to click the link of your website. A well-optimized website will have meta descriptions that are:

  • Keyword enriched but not keyword-stuffed.
  • Around 140-160 characters long.
  • Fabulous to showcase a preview of what the visitor can expect on your webpage.
  • Compelling – they should draw the visitor into your website itself.
  • It should have structured content and also it must match the content.
  • It should be unique and must contain focus keyword.

Title Tags

These Title Tags show up in search engine pages, external websites and in a browser as well. Here again, accuracy and relevance are critical elements. The Title Tags have to point to your content. They help in:

  • Enhancing user experience.
  • SEO.
  • Pointing a visitor to relevant content.
  • Making your website look good in search engine results pages.

Meta keywords

More often than not, meta keywords are not part of search engine rankings. But if your website uses them, then ensure that they are chosen wisely and formatted correctly. Use a good online tool to generate the list of possible keywords. Format these keywords correctly and eliminate all spelling errors! Long-tail keywords have become rather popular today so you should include this in your website as well.

3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Performance by davidc.  Available from <>. [Sept 10, 2016]

5 Tips To Write SEO Friendly Content That Ranks Well In Google Searching

5 Tips To Write SEO Friendly Content That Ranks Well In Google Searching by Kerry Creaswood.  Available from <> [Sept 14, 2016]

If you’re in the business of content marketing, then one the main goals is to use content to draw more visitors to your site. Now, social media is obviously a good way to do this, particularly if you’re starting out. What you should always be thinking about as well, however, is Search Engine Optimization.

For, if you can make certain that your page ranks well in some of thekeywords that are important to your industry, you’ll be able to get a constant stream of traffic coming to your website without you having to pay a cent for any of them. Now, obviously that’s a fantastic position to be in.

The only problem is that ‘ranking well’ in this case means appearing very high up in the search results. After all,research finds that the first position gets 33% of the attention, while the first page gets 95% of the clicks. And as you don’t want to be competing for scraps, that means you have to get yourself in there. How do you do that?

Start with the right keywords

The first step is to make certain you’re actually pursuing the right keywords in your industry. This means doing some research, in something like Google Adwords.

Alternatively, start by looking at what your competition is trying to rank for. Note that if you pursue this strategy, don’t try to rank for the exact same words, however, particularly if your competition is already established. Instead, think about ranking for slight variations thereof in which they don’t rank quite as highly.

Also, consider choosing long tail keywords when your first starting out. These are longer phrases (known aslong tailed keywords) that delve into your topic more precisely. Why choose these? Two reasons:

  • First off, though there is less traffic, the competition isn’t as fierce either, meaning you’ll be in a better position to rank well. And that means you’ll need to do less work to get the lion’s share.
  • Secondly, when people are typing longer queries into search engines, they generally already know what they’re looking for. This means that a far higher percentage of those visitors will ultimately convert – which is really what you’re after.

Use Latent Semantic Indexing

In the past, it used to be the case that if you put the keyword into a piece of text many times, you’d be more likely to rank well. Then Google realized that people hated reading the same phrase over and over again. And so they developed a system where their algorithm has started to come to understand semantics.

What this means is that as long as you write texts that is semantically related (walnuts and peanuts, knitting and wool, toys and Lego) then their algorithm will pick up on that and decide that your text is actually relevant.

Therefore, don’t keyword stuff. This will actually get you penalized by Google (as well as your visitors who will think you’re a simpleton who can’t write well). Instead, use Latent Semantic Indexing, create more naturally flowing text and still appear as relevant according to the Google algorithm.

Longer texts are better texts

At least, according to Google they are, as longer texts are more likely to actually contain the information that people are looking for and therefore are likely to be more authoritative. For this reason, skip the 500-word blurbs of yesteryear, and instead focus on in-depth texts that actually get to the heart of matters and explore the ins and outs of an issue (basically anywhere around 1500 you’re starting to look good).

If you do this, then all things being equal, you’ll outrank the shorter pages. And that is obviously what you’re after.

The first ten words (or less)

You’ve got to have a great headline. This is what first draws people to click on your site. And Google counts how many people click on sites as one of the metrics of whether you’re actually what people are looking for.

For that reason, you’ve got to write killer headlines. Do note, that we’re slowly coming to understand the practice of headline writing, so don’t just start trying out random things to see what they do. Instead, check out some of the stuff other people have concluded, based upon the analysis of millions of headlines and what people click on. That way you’re going to give yourself a real step up.

That doesn’t mean you always have to follow their advice. Sometimes you can try something new. But at least now you’ll have a base line to compare it to (and you’ll probably find that it compares poorly).

Also, remember to make sure your headline contains the keywords, as the headline is an important place for Google to look for the keywords that you’re trying to rank for.

Content is key

And last, but not least, make sure your content rocks, because if people don’t stick around, then what’s the point? Google understands this as well and will rank you more poorly if they find that you’re not keeping your audience, as they’ll assume – probably correctly – that this isn’t actually what people are looking for.

For that reason, make sure you pay attention to the content writing hacks and really make your content sing, by writing it concisely, engagingly and without too much fluff or meander. Your audience will appreciate this and you’ll be rewarded by Google ranking you more highly and giving you a bigger share of the click pie.

Last words

To a big extent, ranking well on Google is about giving your audience what they want – a trend that is likely to continue into the future. So make certain that you’re always looking at your site not just in terms what Google wants but in terms of what your audience wants. If you can keep doing that, you should find that you climb naturally in the Google rankings until you’re able to compete with the big boys.

And raking in the big  bucks.

5 Tips To Write SEO Friendly Content That Ranks Well In Google Searching by Kerry Creaswood.  Available from <> [Sept 14, 2016]