Top 5 Types of Blog Posts to Produce to Engage Your Customer

Have you heard the term “content saturation?”Working at home

These days, it refers to the fact that some niches are bloated with content. You hear the same basic ideas from everyone.

Some niches are “highly saturated.” For example, any commodity service like HVAC, law, anything medical, home care, and many others, have a glut of content available on every topic.

Standing out in any of those niches, and many others, is hard.

Here’s some types of blog posts you may consider creating to grab attention today:

  1. Opinion Posts

These posts are a great way to attract a following, and especially so if you are in B2B. They take a lot of courage because most people are afraid to stand up and say something different.

However, because (as you learned) so many people say the same old thing on their websites, having an opinion that respectfully dissents is a great way to attract attention. The one downside to this type of post is it takes deep industry knowledge or extensive research to create.

  1. Industry News

You likely won’t have the luxury of being the first to learn about an exciting news break. However, you can be the one who stays in touch with those sources and reports on the latest news to your readership.

Add in your opinion on the matters reported, and you have a nice recipe for success.

  1. List Posts

You see these all the time: “9 Tips To…” But even list posts are saturating the web. So, to stand out, you have to go above and beyond the conventional list post. You may have “27 Tips for…” or “52 Tricks on…”

Again, being different gets attention.

  1. Case Study/Customer Success Story

These don’t get used as much at the smaller business level, but they should. A “case study” is simply where you tell the story of your customer’s problem and how you solved it.

Doesn’t sound like much at first. However, case studies are the most powerful way to earn trust and credibility from your customers so they’re ready to buy.

  1. Expert Advice

For this one, you can conduct brief email interviews. However, you can also just grab brief 2-3 sentence snippets that experts have discussed on their own blogs. Compile a bunch of those quotes into a single post on your own blog, and you suddenly have a very nice post with original content.

Just make sure you give a link to each expert. And, let each of them know about your post too, which could result in some traffic coming back to your blog.

Most Companies Do What’s Quick and Easy On Their Blogs…

And that’s the problem. Running a blog that mesmerizes your readers takes a lot of time and hard work these days. You can no longer get by on content written in your spare time.

You can please Google and maintain your search rankings. But, if you really want to stand out and grab attention, you have to put in large amounts of hard work.

Should You Use Livecasting to Market?

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Have you heard about Periscope? It’s the latest social media craze to hit the web.

More than 1 million people signed in to use it in its first 10 days after it launched on March 26 of this year. So far, it’s only found on iPhones. So that means it still has to launch on Android, which would expose it to millions of additional users.

Not quite 6 months later, Periscope now has more than 2 million users. So even though there’s thousands of social media apps, most of which never make it to public attention, it’s fairly likely Periscope will hang around for a while.

Plus, Twitter owns it.

What is Periscope Anyway?

It’s a pretty simple social media app. Periscope lets you stream live video to an audience. They can make comments or ask questions as you broadcast. Since Twitter owns it, it’s easy to pick up followers and grow your account almost immediately.

Facebook’s actually doing something similar. But they’re only allowing select celebrities to stream video. If you’re following that celebrity, you’ll get notified of their upcoming broadcast if you recently engaged with their posts. Initially, Martha Stewart, The Rock, Serena Williams, and Michael Buble agreed to do a live stream.

How Could Your Small Business Use Livecasting to Increase Sales?

Well, much of that remains to be seen. With social media, you can be as creative as you want. So there’s plenty of opportunity to innovate and increase sales.

Some ideas that come to mind:

  1. Contractors could livecast jobs – For example, you’d pick a typical air conditioning install. You could let potential customers watch and ask their common questions. You could also do the same for common maintenance issues for air conditioners.
  2. Give a “behind the scenes look” at your office – Personal experiences sell. Your customers want to get to know your company and feel like they have a strong relationship with you. Give them a “behind the scenes” look at your workplace. Stay away from being corny, uptight, and stilted. Be your natural selves and have fun.
  3. Let customers chat with your company leaders – Again, personalization is the idea here. How often do customers get to talk with your CEO? Let them do it with Periscope.
  4. Tutorials and product demos – It’s easier to buy something if you know how it works, isn’t it? So show your customers that with Periscope. Have an employee show customers advanced functions they might not know.

Periscope is probably here to stay for some time. It’s new and unique. Businesses and customers can’t get enough of that.

6 Slick Techniques for Using LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

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You’ve heard the conventional LinkedIn marketing advice:

  • Participate in groups
  • Post updates
  • Write posts

…And supposedly the leads are going to come streaming in. Now, those are no doubt helpful things to do.

But you need a system that actually works to consistently deliver you highly qualified leads.

Here’s what to do (thanks to Jeff Haden for tips 1-4):

  1. Take 1 Minute Each Day to Post an Update

…And that’s it! Set a timer if you have to. Otherwise, you’ll waste too much time trying to find the right thing to say.

  1. Share the Good News about Your Prospects

Use “@theirusername” to make sure they get notice of your mention. Do it when their company makes the news, or something good happens in their professional life.

Limit yourself to 1 minute daily for this task too.

  1. Write Recommendations and Give Endorsements

With recommendations, those keep you permanently top-of-mind. Just make sure they’re legitimate.

Don’t connect with someone you just met and then immediately recommend them. They’ll see through your insincerity.

Endorsements don’t build as much goodwill. But, they’re a nice ego boost that bring you to the top of your prospect’s mind.

 

Do this just 5 minutes each day.

  1. Connect with People You Meet During Your Business Day

Don’t just hit “connect” left and right to see who you can connect with. Do it with people you’ve actually met.

Anyone you meet during your business day is a potential connection. Take just 5 minutes each day to do this.

  1. Personalize Every Connection Invitation

Treating prospects like numbers turns them off. You give them the idea they’re a number when you leave the connection request to be “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Most people won’t respond to that. Those that do don’t likely won’t be interested in you or what you have to offer.

Instead, scan the person’s profile. Look for anything you and your potential connection share. If you can, mention something you find interesting about that person that’s not related to work. That stands out to them.

  1. Make it Clear You’re Looking for Leads on Your Profile

And state precisely what types of leads you want to find. So if you help small business and startups market their services, say that’s what you’re after.

This takes just 15-30 minutes and you only have to do it once.

So that’s a simple system for attracting more leads from LinkedIn. Don’t deviate from it – or whatever you design. You don’t want to fall into the trap of letting LinkedIn consume all your time.

Twitter & Google Work Out Deal to Index Tweets

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With user growth slowing, Twitter is now becoming open to new revenue generation ideas. For the past 3 ½ years, Google has had to crawl Twitter, index the Tweets, and then list them in the SERPs. That could be a days, weeks, or months long process.

Previous to that, Google would immediately index Tweets. No one knows why the two companies let the deal come to an end. Rumors do indicate that Twitter was ready to try monetizing without Google in the mix. But regardless, the deal did end, and for whatever reason, it was never renewed.

Since then, Twitter’s gone public. And with user growth slowing, they’ve been looking for more sources of revenue. So this deal with Google seems to be a natural fit. There is no specific timeframe for the deal to complete, but current talk says it should happen sometime during the first 6 months of this year.

Interestingly, Google was the very last company Twitter struck this deal with. It already had similar deals in place with Bing and Yahoo. In fact, if you search someone’s Twitter handle on Bing, several of their recent Tweets pop up right beneath their handle.

While Twitter gets more reach and monetization out of the deal, Google gets greater relevance on mobile devices. And it’s also less likely Google ever tries to buy out Twitter.

What Does This Deal Mean for Small Businesses?

This opens up an opportunity for small businesses. If Tweets get indexed immediately, there’s potential to drive business right away through Twitter.

For example, think about what would happen if your product or service solves a local problem happening right now. There could be flooding in your area. If you do flood cleanup, you could Tweet that out and get indexed in Google right away.

The same goes for talk shows, holidays, or special events happening around town. You can make their publicity yours. What you could do is only really limited to your creativity.

We’re not saying it’s the next big thing. But it could be another useful tool in your bag of marketing techniques.

Will Ello be the End of Facebook?

With 1.23 billion active monthly users, Facebook is far and away the most popular social network.

Do you remember MySpace? It was the big guy until Facebook took over.

And can you remember the days when Yahoo! was the dominant search engine?

Every giant gets slain sometime, and it happens rapidly in the tech world.

Now Ello Enters the Arena

Whether Ello overtakes Facebook or not is yet to be seen. And its founder, Paul Budnitz (from Vermont), didn’t even design it to compete with Facebook.

He did dub it the “anti-Facebook” because it would not have ads and would never sell user data. It was only intended for 90 of Paul’s friends, but it now gets more than 31,000 requests per hour from people who want to join!

If only all business ideas worked that way…

Now if you look at Ello, it’s actually very simplistic.

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Budnitz does not like Facebook because he considers it an advertising platform. He believes everything on the site is done to help advertisers make and spend money.

So how will Ello’s business model work?

Budnitz plans to restrict access to certain features until users pay.

It’s a new way for social networks to make money because they’re traditionally based on the free-for-user-pay-for-advertisers revenue model.

Will the free market choose to stay with the more popular Facebook, or will it slowly show a preference for Ello?

Hard to say.

Why You Might Like Ello

It does have some cool and innovative features. But, the real point of this social network is to keep things as minimalistic as possible.

Here are a few things it does:

  1. Opt Out of Usage Tracking

Ello uses Google Analytics to anonymously track your usage activity. Every other major social network forces you to provide this data – but Ello lets you opt out.

  1. Categorize content as “Friends” or Noise

You can check the “Friends” tab, which lets you see posts from anyone – you guessed it – who’s a friend. But then there’s a completely separate “Noise” tab where you can see content you’re less interested in. Facebook forces you to see both types.

  1. Hide Your Identity

The Ello Facemaker tool, which may not work at the time of this writing, lets you post the Ello logo on your face. Paul Budnitz likes the idea of making social networks more anonymous, so you can do this at Ello.

Ello is in Beta

You have to get invited in, but people are entering in droves. Regardless of what happens in the future, it will be interesting.

Facebook Puts the Slam Down on Click-Baiting

You know what click-baiting is? Simply put, it’s just another form of “viral marketing.”

You see, some media companies write posts and articles that offer little information up front. So, you have to click through on the article title to get the full story.

This is an example of click bait:

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You’ve also seen articles with phrases like, “You won’t believe what happens next!” and, “What this guy does is amazing!”

Why Do Some Companies Do This?

Well, there’s the obvious benefit of more clicks on those posts. But what they’re really after is the high engagement signals those clicks give. The better the engagement rate, the more likely future posts from these companies will display higher up in Facebook user’s feeds.

Thankfully Facebook Sees Click Bait as Gaming the System!

Since the real goal was to get more engagement and more posts higher in user’s feeds, the content behind these articles disappointed users more than anything else. They become so frequent that users were not able to see the content they actually wanted.

Facebook wanted some real data on the issue, so it surveyed its users. And it found 80% wanted link headlines that accurately described the high-quality content on the other side of the link.

No one’s sure if this has actually been implemented into Facebook yet, but it will no doubt be a major part of their algorithm in the coming months.

How Does Facebook Detect Click Bait?

It’s actually not too difficult. Facebook’s going to examine the time users spend away from their site after clicking a link. If that’s several minutes, they found interesting, useful content. If it’s a few seconds, it’s likely the link was click bait.

Another thing Facebook will look at is the ratio of people clicking compared to people sharing the content and discussing it. If there’s lots of shares, it’s probably good stuff. If there’s not, it was probably click bait.

What Should You Do?

Now, you are probably not engaging in any sort of “click bait” type of practice.

But what this Facebook algorithm update does is force you to deliver on the promise of your link. Whatever you have on the other side of that link must be your very best content.

Facebook is doing exactly what Google and the whole rest of the world does: focusing on giving you more value.

Whenever you think of internet marketing, you should focus on providing the greatest value available on the web.

Do that and your marketing takes care of itself, regardless of algorithm changes! Remember, focus on people and building relationships, not pleasing algorithms.