Mobile Minutes: Germany fines hate speech; Alphabet jargon; Netflix takes aim at studios; Sound wave phone hacks

Today in mobile minutes – Germany plans to fine social media sites over hate speech; Alphabet’s Jigsaw wants to explain tech jargon to you; Netflix tries to outdo theaters with films a studio can envy; It’s possible to hack a phone with sound waves, researchers show.

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7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing

7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing

One of the requirements for a sustainable content marketing campaign is the aptitude for generating topic ideas. It may sound easy, but at some point, you’ll realize that this can be harder than producing the content itself — whether it’s a blog post, podcast or any form of visual content.

Smart marketers capitalize on tools that randomly generate titles based on keywords. There are also content research tools like BuzzSumo that can help you identify what’s trending in your niche. While these can help you obtain rough ideas on what your next piece will be about, they rarely provide you with usable titles that are worth publishing.

Brainstorming Content Ideas

Take note that you need a strategic approach when generating topic ideas. But before you finalize and start working on any title, be sure to ask yourself the following questions first:

1. Have You Done Anything Similar Before?

Some content marketers are guilty of reusing the same idea for multiple content pieces, especially if they contribute to different publications. If you’re really struggling to come up with something new, then you may revert back to old topic ideas.

Reusing a previous title idea can be advantageous as long as you’re doing it knowingly. Otherwise, you may disappoint subscribers who religiously follow your blog.

The first thing you can do is to explore the topic from a different angle or furnish it with a new set of actionable steps. If possible, you can also present it using a different format to appeal to new audiences. Old data-rich posts, for example, can be repurposed into infographics, which garner three times more engagement on social media.

2. Are There Sufficient Resources Online?

If you answered “no” to the previous question, then you probably lack comprehensive knowledge on the topic you chose. Sure, diligent content producers can relate to anything with extensive research, but it’s very difficult to instill value to new content if there aren’t enough information sources online.

Unless you have firsthand experience on a subject, make sure there are abundant research materials available before you get started. To establish yourself as a credible, authoritative brand, you should only provide 100 percent accurate information that’s validated by studies and other resources. And if you really need to delve into a topic, then be prepared to purchase reports and studies from certified research firms.

Additionally, make sure you only reference the most recent sources available. A simple trick is to filter results through search engines and content research tools by date instead of relevance.

3. Is There Similar Content Elsewhere?

Let’s face it — all content marketers have at least considered copying ideas or “borrowing inspiration” from other content producers. With millions of websites publishing content every second, it’s hard to come up with something that’s truly unique.

Although it’s fine if you don’t have first dibs on a new content idea, you should aim to make your version better in every single way. This is doable if you can update old data, add more information, or incorporate additional visual elements. But if you can’t do any of these, then you should ditch the topic and start anew. This involves getting links from authoritative websites that linked to the original content, making the technique highly beneficial for SEO.

4. Can You Offer Original Views and Add Value?

Take note that content marketing is now much more difficult than ever. If you keep on repeating everything that other publishers already shared, it’ll be impossible to cut through the content noise and make your brand stand out.

In addition to making your content better, assess if you can offer your original views to elevate its value. You can apply the information yourself to gain deeper insights and expound actionable steps. Finally, the content should also align with your brand’s voice — something that fosters familiarity between you and the online audience.

5. Can You Be More Specific?

Another way to be more unique is to dissect a topic into smaller pieces and focus on those individually. For example, if you initially wanted to cover influencer marketing, you can shift your focus on subtopics such as researching potential influencers, writing your outreach email and tracking relationships with brand advocates.

Every topic can be narrowed down with a little creativity and resourcefulness. Apart from finding subtopics, you can also tailor your new content to a different audience type. Play around with demographics such as age groups, employment status, income level, and location. This can unlock new topic possibilities with the same set of ideas.

6. Do You Have the Best Content Type in Mind?

In an interview with Mention, Rand Fishkin of Moz says that content marketers should explore new content types if they want to stay relevant.

“Content marketers are going to have to be more unique with the types of content they create,” says Fishkin. “They’re going to have more niche — serving smaller and smaller interest groups, but doing a better job of serving each of those.”

The good news is, brands don’t need a huge amount of capital to start diversifying their content arsenal. For example, simple visual content like infographics, quote cards and data visualizations can be created with a tool like Canva. It is a drag-and-drop platform that offers templates, icons and other features that can help you create shareable images within minutes.

Most modern smartphones are also capable of recording short video clips for social media. According to Cisco, videos will account for 80 percent of all online traffic by the year 2019. So rather than planning another blog post, consider writing an explainer video script instead.

7. Will It Come with a Catchy Headline?

The final touches of a topic idea involve crafting a captivating headline that’s searchable, audience-oriented, and compelling. After answering all the previous questions, make sure you can wrap everything up in as few words as possible.

According to Kissmetrics, the perfect headline is only six words long because readers tend to focus on the first and last three words. But since this is nearly impossible to pull off consistently, aim for anywhere from eight to twelve words. Ideally, you should use numbers and power words to make the headline more interesting.

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This article, “7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Mobile Minutes: Verizon unlimited data; Uber drivers’ strike; Facebook courts music labels; Ford’s AI investment

Today in mobile marketing – Verizon finally brings back the unlimited data plan; Drivers’ strike paralyses Uber, Ola services in Indian capital; Facebook tries to offer music labels a YouTube alternative; Ford to invest $1 billion in artificial intelligence start-up.

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The Best Ways For eCommerce Businesses To Use Online Advertising

There are many options for spending advertising dollars to promote your ecommerce business. Here are 3 types of online ecommerce advertising to consider.

You’ve finally done it.

You’ve bought your domain. You’ve set up your website. You’ve even created some social media accounts. And you’ve set up your online store.

It’s time to start selling!

But there’s one problem … nobody’s coming to your website. Nobody’s buying your product. As a matter of fact, nobody even knows you exist!

That sucks, right?

But don’t worry. Every eCommerce business owner runs into this problem. Fortunately, there are ways you can attract more web traffic and get your eCommerce business started.

For most eCommerce businesses, online advertising is the best way to get more people to your website. In this post, I’m going to give you some helpful tips to maximize your online advertising efforts. When you use these tips, you will see how much easier it can be to get more traffic to your website and earn more business.

You’re welcome.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is one of the most common online advertising platforms. It’s also one of the most effective. If you’re going to use paid advertising, you should try out Google’s platform.

Here are some of the benefits of using Adwords:

  • It’s highly flexible. You can target many different types of customers
  • It’s a huge source of traffic. Google is the most popular search engine. 67.5 percent of search engine users use Google to find the information they need.
  • You get transparent results. You can easily see how your ad campaign is doing at any time.

Google is one of the most popular online advertising platforms. If you use it the right way, you can get tons of traffic to your website.

Know Who You Want To Target

Yes, I know this sounds obvious, but it’s really not. Many business owners fail to target their ads effectively. Their ads end up targeting people that aren’t interested in what they have to offer.

It’s important to know what your prospects are searching for online. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool that can help you figure this out. And it’s free!

When you’re writing your ads, you need to make sure you’re addressing the actual needs of your prospects. Don’t just tell your prospects what you offer. Tell them what problems you will solve. That’s what they’re looking for.

Make sure you have a clear call to action. Let them know what you want them to do, and why. This is the best way to make sure you get more click-throughs.

Use Negative Keywords

So what are negative keywords? It’s simple. These are keywords that you don’t want your ad to show up for. It keeps you from wasting time and money showing your ad to people who aren’t a good fit for your offer.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you’re an attorney who specializes in estate planning law. Your ads cater to prospects that need to draft a last will and testament. In this case, you don’t want your ad showing up for people who are looking for a personal injury attorney. So “personal injury” would be a negative keyword for you.

You need to create a list of keywords that you don’t want your ads to show up for. This is how you maximize the effectiveness of your ads. You can make sure your ads aren’t showing to people who wouldn’t be interested in what you’re offering. If you learn how to use negative keywords, you will get more of the right traffic.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook is a great advertising platform if you want to gain more exposure for your business. It’s the most popular social media platform, which means that you have a higher likelihood of reaching your target audience. It’s the best online advertising platform for eCommerce businesses.

Here are some of the benefits to using Facebook ads:

  • You can target your ads more effectively. Facebook allows you to use demographics to target your prospects. You can be pretty precise in the type of person you want to see your ad.
  • There’s a HUGE pool of people to target. Facebook has 1.28 billion users. Over 800 million of these users are active on a daily basis.
  • Using it gives you an edge over your competitors. Many businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits that Facebook offers.

If you use Facebook ads correctly, you can greatly increase the amount of visitors to your website.

Rotate Your Ads

Don’t just use the same ad over and over again, even if it seems to be working. You want to rotate your ads on a regular basis.

Why?

Because you don’t want people to get tired of seeing your ad. If you use the same ad over and over again, people will stop clicking on it. If you get less clicks, your cost per click (CPC) will go up and your campaign will become more expensive.

Don’t make that mistake.

Develop an ad schedule for your campaign. Create a few different types of ads. Use different pictures. Change the ad copy. You need as much variety as possible. Not only will this keep people from becoming tired of your ads, it gives you a chance to see which types of ads work the best.

Use Landing Pages

This may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t want to send your visitors straight to your website when they click on an ad. You want to send them to a landing page first.

Landing pages allow you to make the most of the visitors who click on your ads. With a landing page, you can educate your customers before trying to pitch your product. You can give them more direction on what you want them to do.

If you connect your ad to your home page or a product page, your visitor won’t know what to do once they get to your website. That’s why it’s best for them to see a landing page first.

Your landing page will give your visitor a clear idea of what you want them to do, and why they should do it. If you’re paying for the ad, you might as well make sure that you increase the odds of getting actual customers from it, right?

LinkedIn Ads

Using LinkedIn for advertising is one of the best decisions you can make for your eCommerce business. This is especially true if you have a B2B company.

Here are some of the benefits to using LinkedIn ads:

  • It allows you to target actual professionals in any industry.
  • You get more variety in the type of ads you want to create.
  • LinkedIn ads offer a higher conversion rate.

LinkedIn gives you access to tons of professionals around the world. It’s one of the best ways to reach major decision makers in the companies you target.

Choose The Right Ad Format

LinkedIn offers two different types of ad formats:

  • Sponsored Content.
  • Text and Image Ads

Both of these types have their own pros and cons. You’ll need to figure out which type works best for your business.

Sponsored content is an update that appears on your company LinkedIn page. These posts are targeted to a specific type of audience. They will show on your homepage feed. It’s best for advertising promotions that are happening for a short period of time.

Text and image ads include a headline, description and image. These types of ads are meant to be more long-term. You can target these ads to a specific type of prospect. You can target many different types of professionals in many different types of industries.

Make Them Valuable

Make sure you’re emphasizing the value of what you’re offering. You need to communicate what your prospect will get when they click on your ad.

On LinkedIn, the best way to create an ad is to speak to a specific problem or goal that your prospect might have. You want to show them how you can help. It’s about making their lives easier.

Final Thoughts

Using online advertising isn’t easy. It takes time to master. Creating the right types of ads requires a lot of trial and error. But, if you keep at it, you will earn a lot more traffic and get more customers. When you use the tips given in this article, it will become easier to get more people to buy your product.

Smartphone Shopping Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “The Best Ways For eCommerce Businesses To Use Online Advertising” was first published on Small Business Trends

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6 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Podcasting

Many businesses nowadays are using podcasts as a a powerful marketing tool for improving their prospects. Discover the 6 benefits of podcasting.

The changing times have led to the implementation of various products of technology in businesses. With various aspects of businesses transforming everyday with the changing customer requirements and market demands, these tools have turned out to be necessities to stay afloat in this highly competitive market.

Podcasting has garnered an immense popularity over the years. A podcast is a set of digital audio files that are available on the internet for downloading. A user can subscribe to the podcast to receive the digital files once they are uploaded.

Businesses nowadays are increasingly using podcasts to improve their prospects. It is a powerful marketing tool. Podcasts have become the new talk radio on mobile devices. In fact, the increased usage of mobile phones has led to the explosive growth of podcasting. Let’s take a look at how podcasting can benefit your business.

The Benefits of Podcasting

Podcasting is an Alternative to Video

It is no news that video marketing is crucial for businesses. However, not everyone is comfortable to shoot videos. As a result, using videos, in that case, can hurt your and your business’s reputation considerably.

Additionally, some small businesses may not have the right equipment to shoot videos that will stand out. This is because there are numerous variables involved in videos which include lighting, sound, background and so on. Each of these can go wrong if they are not handled carefully. This is where podcasts become relevant.

Increased Traffic Generation

Using podcasts can help you reach out to new audiences for your business. Podcasts can help in building familiarity with a wide range of audiences. Listeners usually subscribe to the series and regularly listen. As long as the audio series continues, your audience is quite likely to keep listening.

Additionally, your audience may recommend the podcasts to others who may be interested in them, thus increasing your reach considerably. This can lead to improved traffic generation quickly.

Helps in Building Better Relationships with the Audience

Even though a podcast is a one-sided medium, it helps in building effective relationships with the listeners. It gives the feeling that the listeners know the person speaking on the podcast. People listen to podcasts because they have something in common with the speaker and the brand the speaker is representing.

Such a good relationship helps in building trust. This encourages listeners to be associated with the brand. This, in turn, leads to improved conversion. People are more likely to buy something from a friend than a stranger.

Easy to Create

Creating a podcast does not involve a lot of steps. The equipment required for the same is reasonably priced and also available easily. You would need a good quality microphone and headphones for creating a podcast. The editing software for this purpose is free and is quite simple. For uploading the files on your website, a good WiFi connection is important. You may also need to send the podcast to your audience through Email.

Once you have created the podcast, you can start promoting it to increase its exposure and reach out to a larger audience. For this, you would need to make the podcasts available on a variety of distribution channels.

Podcasts are Highly Engaging

We are no strangers to information overload. With the internet being filled with an ample amount of written content, audio information that attempts to engage customers can be a welcoming break from the monotony. Additionally, it leaves enough room for the speaker to convey the message in a highly interactive way which written content may not essentially provide.

In a survey conducted on 300,000 podcast listeners, it was found that 63 percent of the respondents had bought what the host had promoted. This indicates that podcasts can be used to engage the audience and influence their buying decisions positively.

Improves Public Speaking Skills

Regularly hosting podcasts could help you develop confidence while speaking in public. As a result, you would not face any problem while taking part in public speeches. You would start developing a natural, easygoing flow while speaking. In addition to that, you would also receive ample public speaking opportunities wherein you can promote your business.

Most businesses have already started augmenting podcasts into their marketing strategies. It is high time you start implementing them for the growth of your company.

Podcast Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “6 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Podcasting” was first published on Small Business Trends

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