Tag Archive | "Introduction"

How to Write a Killer Book Introduction

It might be a short ebook you intend to give away to blog subscribers. Or you might be trying to pen a New York Times bestseller. Either way, I think I know which bit of your book is causing you problems. The introduction. It’s the biggest hurdle for most of the writers I work with.
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An Introduction to the 4 Essential Types of Content Every Marketing Strategy Needs

4 Essential Content Types - A Content Marketing Strategy Series

This week, we have something special for you.

We are going to publish a five-part content marketing series, with a new article in the series each day.

The series will focus on the four essential types of content every marketing strategy needs.

Let me explain why that matters.

What are the 4 essential content types?

Different types of content play different roles in your marketing strategy. They help your business in different ways. Here at Copyblogger, we’ve been successfully using these four types of content for more than a decade.

In this week’s series, we are going to walk you through these four different types of content and show you how to use them yourself. The content types are:

  1. Attraction
  2. Authority
  3. Affinity
  4. Action

Keep in mind that these content types are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes a piece of content can play more than one role. They can work together and complement one another.

In addition, although they all may have the same look, the same feel, and the same voice, they each serve different purposes. Because of that, they have different attributes, which we’ll talk about in detail in the week ahead.

A summary of the 4 content types

Attraction content helps you reach a new audience and get your message in front of new people.

But eventually you’ll want to convince those people to trust you as an expert, so you’ll need to provide Authority content.

Once you’ve established authority, your message will spread through Affinity content. Affinity content is how you build a community of like-minded people that share your beliefs.

And it’s this community who will be your best customers. But nobody will listen to you — let alone buy from you — unless you create Action content.

Sometimes these are discrete, standalone pieces of content. Sometimes they’re a blend of two of the types. Sometimes three. We’ve got examples that blend all four.

Why it’s important to master these 4 content types

Successfully using all four types of content on your website is what allows you to command larger fees for your services and charge more for your products.

It’s what gets people to link to your content (without you even having to ask).

It’s how you land guest posting opportunities you once thought were out of your reach.

It’s how you get influencers to share your content on social media.

Successfully using all four content types is also how you convince people to like you, trust you, and ultimately buy from you. But that’s not all. These people will not only become customers. They’ll become advocates, fans, and even, in some cases, friends.

Masterfully weaving together these four content types is truly one of the best ways to build an audience that builds your business.

I hope you enjoy this week of learning about the four essential types of content every marketing strategy needs. Stay tuned for my article about Attraction content tomorrow.

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An Introduction to Schema.org Markup for Emails

Posted by kristihines

If you are a Gmail user, you have likely received some emails that stand out from the rest with a call to action button within the subject line.

If you’ve booked a flight recently, your airline may have sent you an email that includes an interactive way to view your travel plans.

Similarly, Google Inbox app users might have seen emails that look like this.

These calls to action are courtesy of Schema.org markup for email. Just like Schema.org markup for web pages helps web pages stand out in search results, Schema.org markup for emails helps certain emails stand out from the rest in your inbox.

The goal of email markup is to allow people to take action on emails as quickly and simply as possible. For marketers, there are both pros and cons of this feature. In this post, we’re going to look at the email markup options currently available, who can use it, and if it’s worth it.

Should you use email markup?

Email markup is currently available for Gmail email recipients only. The number of Gmail users was over 350 million in 2012. To determine whether you should use it, you shouldn’t go off a three-year-old statistic, but rather a survey of your own email list or customer database.

Most email service providers (like GetResponse, shown in the example below) allow you to search your subscriber list for specific criteria. Search yours for emails containing Gmail to determine the number of Gmail addresses your emails reach.

Of course, this isn’t the whole picture. There are likely more people that use Gmail for business with their own domains. So although their emails do not say Gmail, they open their emails in the Gmail web browser or app.

Another consideration for using email markup is tracking. If you rely heavily on the ability to track email opens and clicks to trigger autoresponders and other marketing automation actions, you may not want to give your subscribers the option to bypass opening your email and clicking on your link.

Once you’ve determined the approximate number of Gmail users you reach and whether you need the ability to track email actions, your next job is to see if you qualify to use email markup.

Register for email markup with Google

Before you can use email markup, you must register with Google. Google will check to make sure you meet email sender quality guidelines, bulk sender guidelines, and action / schema quality guidelines.

Here are some of the key guidelines you need to know. Emails must be authenticated via DKIM or SPF. The domain of your from email must match the signed-by or mailed-by header.

You must send a minimum of a hundred emails per day to Gmail users for a few weeks before applying. Google will want to see that you have a very, very low rate of spam complaints from Gmail recipients.

Bulk email guidelines include using the same IP address to send bulk mail, using the same from email address, only adding subscribers to your list that have opted in (preferably with a double opt-in or confirmation), and allowing list members to unsubscribe easily. These guidelines will not only help you get approved for use of email markup, but will also help your emails get delivered to more Gmail users without being marked as spam.

Action / schema guidelines boil down to making sure you use the appropriate action markup when possible. When an action markup is not available, or the process is more complex than can be handled inside Gmail, a go-to action should be used. Go-to actions should link directly to a page where the email recipient can complete the action as labeled on the call to action button.

An introduction to email markup actions

Actions created by email markup allow email recipients to interact with your business, product, or service within Gmail. There are currently four types of actions to choose from using email markup.

One-click actions

One-click actions are those where a task can be completed with one click within Gmail or Inbox. For example, when someone signs up for an email list, they need to confirm their subscription.

One-click actions are broken into two categories: confirm actions and save actions. The above example is a confirm action. Save actions can include adding an item to a queue or saving a coupon. Both confirm and save actions can only be interacted with once.

RSVP actions

RSVP actions allow email recipients to confirm whether they will attend an event using an invite from Google Calendar. Your email will include the event card you usually see in emails from meeting invites.

Having people confirm their attendance to your event will help ensure that they don’t forget by getting it on their calendar.

Review actions

Review actions allow email recipients to add a star and comment review for your business, products, and services right from the subject line of their email in Gmail.

You can see an end-to-end example of the scripting necessary to create a review action for a restaurant to get reviews from a Gmail user’s inbox to the Datastore using Python.

Go-to actions

Actions that do not fall under the above types are considered go-to actions. These are used when you need to take an email recipient to your website to complete an action that is too complex to be handled within the recipient’s Gmail or Inbox app.

All of the following are examples of go-to actions that take email recipients to do things on another website.

The call to action on these can be customized, so you are not limited to just viewing orders, tracking packages, and opening discussions. You can tailor them for specific uses, such as resetting a password, reviewing questionable transactions on your credit cards, and updating payment information.

An introduction to email markup Highlights

Another use for email markup is Highlights. Highlights summarize key information from specific types of email for users of the Inbox app. For example, Highlights are used for these order confirmations to show the products ordered.

Another example is this flight reservation using Highlights to show the round-trip flights purchased.

Specifically, there are six Highlights that businesses can use. They are as follows:

  • Flight reservations – Includes options for displaying basic flight confirmation information, boarding pass, check-in, update a flight, cancel a flight, and additional options. This Highlight is also supported in Google Now.
  • Orders – Includes options for displaying basic order information, view order action, and order with billing details.
  • Parcel deliveries – Includes options for displaying basic parcel delivery information and detailed shipping information.
  • Hotel reservations – Includes options for displaying basic hotel reservation information, updating a reservation, and canceling a reservation. This Highlight is also supported in Google Now.
  • Restaurant reservations – Includes options for displaying basic restaurant reservation information, updating a reservation, and canceling a reservation. This Highlight is also supported in Google Now.
  • Event reservation – Includes options for basic event reminders without a ticket, event with ticket & no reserved seating, sports or music event with ticket, event with ticket & reserved seating, multiple tickets, updating an event, and canceling an event. This Highlight is also supported in Google Now.

Note that while Highlights are a great feature, they only work for Gmail Inbox users. If Google continues to push Gmail users to using Inbox, this user base will grow exponentially.

Test email markup before sending

While you are waiting to be registered with Google, or prior to sending out emails with Schema.org markup, you should run some initial tests to ensure that your markup is correct. You can start by copying and pasting your code into the Email Markup Tester to check for basic errors.

You can also add email markup to emails you send from and to yourself on Gmail. It’s important to test as one of the action / schema guidelines is a low failure rate and fast response for action handling. You can learn how to send test emails to yourself in this tutorial using script.google.com.

The tutorial gives you some simple code you can copy and paste as directed.

When you save and run the project as directed, you will immediately get the following result:

You can then begin to experiment with the code for the email markup you want to use.

Run your script again and again to produce new emails.

Any approved business can use the go-to actions to link the subject line of their email to any portion of their website. As you continue to experiment, think of new ways to engage your audience with email markup.

Final questions to answer

Here are some final questions you need to answer before you invest in email markup are the following.

  1. Will you get more of your desired results by adding Schema.org actions to your emails? For example, if you use the review action, will you actually get more reviews for your business?
  2. How much time will it take to revise your emails if / when Google standardizes email markup with Schema.org? It might pay to wait until email markup has been standardized and make the time and coding investment all at once.
  3. Will email actions be supported by other email platforms in the future? Schema.org is a collaboration between Google, Bing, Microsoft, Yandex, and Yahoo. So while not guaranteed, it can be assumed that all of the major email platforms on the web could embrace email markup in the future.

If, after answering these questions, you can see a real need for email markup, then find out if you meet the guidelines set by Google to use it and register.

If your business uses email markup, be sure to share your experiences and results in the comments!

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Introduction to Get Links! Week 3 – Create linkable assets that are irresistible

Author (displayed on the page): 

Master Profitable Link Building in 7 Weeks

Sign up for Wordtracker’s “Get Links!” video course (with a year’s subscription to the Link Builder tool thrown in) and in the third week you’ll learn:

1) What are linkable assets and how to make them irresistible?
2) Focus on the customers
3) How to build links with evergreen ‘Info Gaps’
4) How to create ‘Passion Pieces’ that will inspire others to link
5) How to build a portfolio of linkable assets

For more details on how to sign up for this seven week course, go to Get Links!

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Watch:

Week 1
Week 2

If you’ve questions about the course, please let us know at maria@wordtracker.com

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Introduction to Get Links! Week 6 – Online PR and link building

Author (displayed on the page): 

Master Profitable Link Building in 7 Weeks

Sign up for Wordtracker’s “Get Links!” video course by taking out a year’s subscription to Link Builder tool before 9th October and in the sixth week you’ll learn:

1) What makes news
2) How to find journalists interested in YOUR business
3) How to get editorial links
4) How to pitch a journalist
5) How to create your own online press room

If you’ve any questions about the course, or you’d like to sign up for it, email maria@wordtracker.com

Week 1
Week 2
Week 5

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Introduction to Get Links! Week 5 – Social media and link building

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Master Profitable Link Building in 7 Weeks

Sign up for Wordtracker’s “Get Links!” video course (with a year’s subscription to the Link Builder tool thrown in) and in the fifth week you’ll learn:

1) How to network on social media
2) What you should share and how you should share it
3) How to build fans and followers
4) How to use niche and social media sites
5) Useful social media resources from Wordtracker

For more details on how to sign up for this seven week course, go to Get Links!

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Watch:

Week 1
Week 2

If you’ve questions about the course, please let us know at maria@wordtracker.com

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An Introduction to the New Power of Social Media Lead Management

behold the future of social media intermediate

Social media was once a shiny new toy. It quickly infiltrated the PR and B2C marketing space. But as more social networks began to appear, and more people began to adopt them, they became an uncontested space for all types of companies to be present in. At first, many businesses hardly knew what to do on social media — just that they needed to be using it.

That has all changed.

According to SEOmoz’s 2012 annual industry survey, 44% of marketers self-professed either “advanced” or “expert” level social media ability. It comes as no surprise that most marketers now understand the business value of social media. The question is, how do you take social to the next level? By integrating social media into the rest of your marketing database! Let me explain.

Social Media Followers Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Database

Your marketing database is the key to incorporating social media information into the rest of your marketing efforts and overall strategy. As a marketer, your strongest asset is your database of contacts: email and blog subscribers, leads, customers, and evangelists. It’s the entire spectrum of your brand’s stakeholders. It’s the overall community of people who care about you in some form, regardless of how miniscule or extensive that care is. Your marketing database is the key component of your marketing  — it’s the people you contact for every aspect of business. Interviewing fans. Converting leads. Contacting customers. Everything. And you know who has become an essential part of this list? Your social media followers.

marketing database social media

By using one unified marketing database, you can add a layer of social media insights to your existing contacts, thus gaining valuable information to target messages, nurture leads, and attract new contacts to your business. Now how do you actually do this?

Think of Your Social Media Database Like Your Email Database

Your email database consists of contacts who have subscribed to receive email communication from you. They have opted in to receive your marketing resources, announcements and promotions, and (if your email list is healthy) should be interacting with your content by opening, clicking, and forwarding these emails.

Your social media database works in a similar fashion. It consists of followers and fans who want to engage with your brand online. They’re retweeting, resharing, and repinning your posts. Clearly, they have an interest in the things that you are saying and the product(s)/service(s) you have to offer.

In this context, the interests and actions of your email recipients and social followers overlap. The act of opting in to receive email updates from a company is very similar to, for instance, hitting the ‘Like’ button on a Facebook Page.

 

email vs social database

 

The future of social media and the key to expanding the size of your marketing database is contingent upon the growth of your social media database. The more followers you attract, the larger your pool of people to turn into strong advocates of your brand. And boy does this open a whole new bucket of opportunities for your marketing as a whole!

Example Use Cases of This New Social Future

1) Share the Right Content With the Right People

The problem with followers in social media is that you cannot measure the extent to which these fans are actually engaging with your brand. You don’t know the specific people interacting with your updates. Allocate a few hours weekly to discovering these people. Look at who is retweeting and commenting on your content, and cross-reference that with your contacts database. HubSpot allows you to do this automatically. Our new Social Contacts tool allows you to click on any social message you’ve sent and see exactly who clicked and/or shared it. (You can even dig deeper and explore the number of leads and customers that resulted from that effort.)

 

social contacts view resized 600

 

Now, instead of sending mass email blasts, you can directly contact and nurture those leads who are actually interacting with your brand. And by interacting with them, you’re using their social media following to help extend your brand to a new audience. This constant, positive, and targeted sharing of information will ultimately help grow your pool of evangelists, which will ultimately help you in other areas of your marketing.

2) Send Product- or Service-Oriented Emails

When it comes to email marketing, your boss most likely wants you to send communication about your product or service. Meanwhile, as a marketer, you likely want to email broader lead generation content in order to boost engagement. Fear not — there is balance between the two, and it comes down to segmentation. When you monitor the people who engage with your social media content, separate them into groups and allow those interested in your product/service to receive more communication about your special deals. Of course, make sure these users have already opted in to receive email communication from your company.

One seamless way to do this is by using the HubSpot-HootSuite integration app. You can use the app to see which contacts from your database are talking on social media, and then send them customized email communications after seeing that they’re further down the marketing funnel.

3) Use Social Media Lead Intelligence in Sales Calls

Marketers are increasingly invested in social media: According to Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 59% of marketers report spending six hours or more on it weekly. But they’re still struggling to find a reliable way to use social to boost sales. It’s simple: use social media information to personalize calls. Examine the difference between these two phone calls:

“Hi Anum, I noticed you work in HubSpot’s marketing department and thought you might be interested in learning about how our product that helps you do better marketing. When is a good time to chat?”

vs.

“Hi Anum, Thanks for sharing our latest ebook on Twitter! We really appreciate the support. Did you enjoy the read? Do you have any questions still lingering after checking out our content, and if so, could I help clarify or provide further assistance?”

The first call sounds like an average lukewarm call: when the sales rep has some information about the prospect they are calling, but not enough to start a meaningful conversation. The second call scripted in the role play is much more personalized and helpful. It shows that the salesperson isn’t just calling out of the blue. There is a clear reason, backed up by a clear action, and followed up with a clear benefit to the lead. Such is the power of social media intelligence in the sales process!

 

social media sales cycle

Now that you’ve learned why social following is critical in building up your marketing database and have seen some powerful examples of using social lead intelligence to follow up with leads in the sales process, it’s time to embrace the next generation of social media marketing. The social media sphere is constantly changing, and by figuring out how to effectively use social media and being on the front edge of how these channels will be used, you’ll find success on social channels before your competitors get around to finally investing time.

The future of social media is here … are you ready for it?

This has been an adapted excerpt from our new ebook, The Future of Social Media Lead Management. To learn more about how to segment and nurture your social media followers, download the complete, free ebook here!




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Introduction to Get Links! Week 2 – Link Prospecting

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Master Profitable Link Building in 7 Weeks

Sign up for Wordtracker’s “Get Links!” video course (with a year’s subscription to the Link Builder tool thrown in) and in the second week you’ll learn:

1) How backlink analysis reveals the links you really must have
2) How to force Google to serve up the exact link prospects you’re after
3) How an army of ‘list creators’ can be your secret link building weapon
4) How broken links on external sites can win you a ton of links

For more details on how to sign up for this seven week course, go to Get Links!

Yes, Tell Me More

Watch:

Week 1

If you’ve questions about the course, please let us know at maria@wordtracker.com

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