Tag Archive | "keep"

How to Keep Your Copywriting Skills Fresh

When I started out as a professional copywriter — exactly 40 years ago this year — I was full of…

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Creative Self-Care to Keep Your Writing Mojo Strong

We content marketers are strategic types — but we’re creative as well, and that creative side needs nurturing. This week,…

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How To Keep Your Remote Employees Feeling Connected

Video meetings, persistent team chat, and consistent in-person connections are all important for keeping a connected feeling with remote employees, says Lisa Walker, Vice President of Brand & Corporate Marketing at Fuze. “Remote employees will always talk about how they feel disconnected from HQ and disconnected from the company,” notes Walker. “That’s just one of the things you always hear from people who are remote.”

Lisa Walker, Vice President of Brand & Corporate Marketing at Fuze, discusses how to keep your remote employees feeling connected in an interview with Logan Lyles of Sweet Fish Media on the B2B Growth Podcast:

There is Just a More Personal Connection With Video

What’s really interesting in managing a distributed team is the importance of video meetings. We know that if a leader turns on video then the rest of the employees on the call will turn on video as well. You have to lead by example there. The nice thing about video is that you are seeing everybody. There is just a more personal connection when you are able to see everyone.

What I say to both managers and employees participating in video call is that it is all about creating the perfect frame. You don’t have to have a clean house, but you have to have a clean shot of yourself in the video. There is kind of a personal brand here. If you have a large team on a video conference from around the country or around the world, everyone has that opportunity to present a personal brand moment. You should be curating at least one good frame. There could be chaos around that frame but there is an opportunity for you to be consistent on that weekly team call.

Video Meetings Help Remote Teams Feel Connected

Every time that team call happens and that video flips on you know what you are getting from people. That’s what we are talking about in terms of work mode. You have to create environments where you can be productive. One of those important environments is video. I think it is really important as a manager to have those video meetings. In those video meetings when you get together, start with a few of those conversations that are more personal and then segway into company updates.

Remote employees will always talk about how they feel disconnected from HQ and disconnected from the company. That’s just one of the things you always hear from people who are remote. Make sure that you are getting ahead of things your team may be hearing about the company. It’s important that you give a very transparent company update when starting a video call. Then get into the team stuff. Just do those first two things off the bat to make sure the team is feeling connected.

Keep a Persistent Team Chat Going

Second, for me is chat. Some people do it over Slack. We obviously here do it over Fuze. There are lots of different tools out there. Keeping a persistent team chat going in that asynchronous communication is just a great way to have the team feel bonded. They will talk about personal and professional in that chat stream and that’s fine. For specific projects where it needs to be more formal, you can create those project chat streams that are separate.


Fuze Team Chat Platform

Bring People Together In Person

The third thing, which is the hardest, because it cost more money, is bringing people together in person as often as you can. For us, within the marketing team at Fuze, we do that twice a year at a minimum. We just did that this past week. It was wonderful. We had our sales kickoff and then we stayed together as a marketing team yesterday and had that time together. Make sure that you are finding those opportunities and making the case for budget if you need to.

The other thing that a lot of managers don’t do and is a potential missed opportunity is that when you are out in other cities meeting with customers or at a conference if you have an employee within striking distance, meet them. Even if there is no office there, take them to coffee or lunch. Take those opportunities, don’t just fly in and out. If you have employees in that region, find a way to go have a personal connection with them and meet face to face.

>> Listen to the complete B2B Growth podcast interview.

What is Fuze?

Fuze sees itself as part of the future of work movement. Digital technologies are generating significant opportunities for both people and companies alike. Employees are demanding consumer-like experiences to match technology in their personal lives, with greater flexibility on where and how they work. Work is personal and employees want the opportunity to choose their workstyles, schedules, and tools.

Fuze – Part of the Future of Work Movement

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You Need Both of These Skill Sets to Keep Your Audience Coming Back for More

When I’m not performing my typical duties as Rainmaker Digital’s Marketing Technologist, I’m cooking up a storm in my kitchen. Amidst the rhythmic chopping of fresh produce, the clashing of pots and pans, and the roar of boiling water, I realized that my two roles have a lot in common. They both require a balance
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How a Zero Trust Network Can Keep Your Business Data Secure

The numerous data breaches that occurred over the years clearly indicate that cybersecurity is still prone to failure. Every new security measure system defenders come up with is eventually thwarted by hackers.

The number of affected users is staggering. A minimum of 500 million Yahoo users were affected by the 2014 security breach that hit the company. The last US presidential election was rife with reports of hackers stealing sensitive emails. Meanwhile, the US Navy, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Justice Department were also targeted by hackers.

While there have been large-scale attacks on government agencies and the technology sector, hackers have also targeted businesses. As a matter of fact, 15% of international businesses have estimated that their sensitive data was potentially breached or compromised over a one-year period.

The Operation Aurora attack in 2009, saw companies increasing perimeter security using firewalls and VPNs. By that time, Google had already developed a new security architecture—Zero Trust. As the name implies, trust is removed from the system so everyone, whether outside or inside the firewall, is considered a suspect. Everything attempting to connect to a company’s systems must be verified before being given access.

Understanding Zero Trust

The Zero Trust Architecture model was developed by John Kindervag in 2010. The security system’s concept revolved around the idea that institutions should not blindly trust anything or anyone outside or inside its perimeters.

Previous security paradigms worked on the idea of “trust but verify.” Organizations concentrated on protecting the perimeter under the assumption that everything inside has already been cleared for access and therefore didn’t pose a threat. This method is clearly dangerous now as more corporate data centers are being housed in the cloud, with users (ex. customers, employees) accessing it using applications from devices in multiple locations.

With Zero Trust, the idea is basically “trust no one.” According to Charlie Gero, Akamai Technologies’ CTO of Enterprise and Advanced Projects Group, Zero Trust doesn’t allow access to machines, IP addresses, etc. until it knows who the user is and whether or not they’re authorized.

Benefits of a Zero Trust Security Network

The zero-trust model meets the security demands that companies need today. The rise of cloud technology, ubiquitousness of mobile devices, and the use of third-party sources have opened a lot of loopholes in security systems.

One major benefit of the zero trust architecture is how it enabled the system to take into account the changing nature of users and their devices. It does so by redefining the user’s corporate identity, along with their device at a given point in time. This provides the system with the context required to make trust decisions at the actual time.

It also diminishes the importance of static credentials, which is an element often used in an attack. Since each access request is individually authenticated and accredited, every credential required to start a secure session is given a limited scope depending on the user and device linked to a particular resource.

Challenges of Zero Trust

As with any security system, organizations that use zero-trust will face challenges. One major challenge is the fact that this is not an install-and-forget setup. Organizations that implement a zero-trust system have to comprehend access rights starting from the lowest level of the technology right up to the topmost level.

It’s often impractical for any corporation to have a complete, exact and detailed picture of all the resources used at each level through the whole enterprise architecture on an ongoing basis. Companies that do take on this daunting task will see their efforts rewarded.

Cost and employee productivity can also be an issue with a zero-trust network since there’s some tradeoff between productivity and security. For instance, an employee might be unable to start working while the system is verifying their credentials.

Fully employing a zero-trust system also demands the acquisition of expensive tools and a large amount of administrative manpower to get everything working smoothly. Luckily, sectors like IT support and employee productivity will see reduced spending once the system is running.

There are still a lot of questions and doubts about the zero-trust security system. Some sectors believe doing away with trust is virtually impossible. There’s also the issue of cost and implementation. But there’s also no denying that the principle of the system is a good and achievable goal.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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5 Future-Proofing TipsThat Will Keep Your Brand Relevant in 2018 and Beyond

Consumer trends move at such a dizzying speeds that companies have to work double time just to keep up with the changes. It’s understandable that company owners and marketers don’t want to be left behind. After all, there seems to be more competition for attention every year, more technological advances to absorb, channels to be active in, and higher expectations from customers.

Now more than ever before, companies need to future-proof their business and marketing strategies in order to stay relevant in 2018.

Understanding the Importance of Future-Proofing

“Future-proofing” describes a technological system, a product, or a service that would have to be updated as technology changes and improves.

In business terms, future-proofing means that you’ll need to implement a sound strategy to keep up with changes in your industry and the needs of your clients before they happen.

It should be pointed out though that regardless of preparation, you can’t really future-proof something 100%. However, companies can plan how they’ll adapt their systems in order to connect with their clients on the correct channels, using the most relevant content at the right time.

5 Strategies to Keep Your Brand Relevant

1. Always Listen and Touch Bases With Your Customers

Today’s marketing is all about dialogue, and it appears that this will remain true in the foreseeable future. Your company has to be able to communicate with your client in order to remain relevant. It’s also vital that you listen to customer feedback.

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Graphic via StartupGuys.net

Regardless of whether you’re conducting a survey, using live chat to talk or reading customer reviews you have to pay attention to your audience and try to spot upcoming trends. The insights you get from listening and having a dialogue with them can help improve the marketing campaigns you presently have and those that you’re planning for in the future.

2. Make it a Habit to Learn New Things Regularly

Always stay on top of upcoming trends and why they’re important. Learn new things by studying vital and new marketing resources from reputable researchers and companies. Whether you’re outright studying a course, listening to content or just reading and watching new trends and technologies, always be open to learning about it.

3. Invest Smartly With Your Marketing

It’s never a good idea to blow your entire marketing budget on one strategy. The risk of losing is simply too high. A better move would be to invest small but smarter. Companies can try alloting small amounts of time, money and resources and invest them in various areas of marketing just to see which sectors perform well and which don’t. It’s also a good way to gain exposure and experience in different marketing techniques.

This approach will also be valuable if a particular marketing medium becomes more profitable or relevant over time. If that happens, you already have a foothold and have the right knowledge and experience to drive results in your expected direction.

4. Build a Pro-Active Team

Your team is just as important as your strategy. Build a team that’s pro-active and understands the importance of future-proofing the company’s marketing efforts.

It’s important that your team is comfortable and adept with changes. A good team is one that questions the company’s processes and strategies in a bid to improve them. They should also be aware of what’s happening outside the businesses and its impact.

5. Mentor Millennials

Millennials will dominate leadership roles in the future and you want your staff to be prepared. This generation prefers formal training and mentoring in order to learn the system and feel engaged. Design a program where a younger employee is paired with a mentor. Provide onboarding programs that will help this key group better understand your company better and their present and future role.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Amazon Web Services Introduces Per-Second Billing to Keep Rivals at Bay

Amazon is determined to maintain its lead over rivals in the cloud computing arena. Lately, the company’s cloud computing division Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it will be introducing a new pricing scheme by October and plans to charge clients by the second, a move seen to be financially favorable for its cloud customers.

In a recent blog post, AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr announced that the company would be changing its billing scheme to be more reflective of clients’ actual usage. Starting October 2, 2017, AWS will implement per-second billing for its EC2 and EBS services.

The billing change will be applicable to all AWS regions running Linux instances. However, instances running on Microsoft Windows as well as Linux distributions with a separate hourly charge will not be affected by the new scheme.

AWS expects that the move will be beneficial to many of its EC2 clients. However, Barr challenged companies to be more creative to take full advantage of the savings opportunities presented by the billing change.

“While this will result in a price reduction for many workloads (and you know we love price reductions), I don’t think that’s the most important aspect of this change,” Barr explained. “I believe that this change will inspire you to innovate and to think about your compute-bound problems in new ways. How can you use it to improve your support for continuous integration?”

Analysts are divided on what AWS’ decision to introduce per-second billing could mean to the cloud computing industry as a whole. For instance, there are speculations that it could become an industry-wide trend as it could trigger similar offerings by other players.

Cloudreach Europe head Chris Bunch expects it to become the industry norm in the future. “Longer term the world will get used to per-millisecond billing anyway with serverless architectures, so it’s good to see this happening now, said Bunch. “I would expect other cloud companies to follow this trend.”

However, not everyone believes the hype as some analysts voiced that it could just be a PR stunt. “It’s a PR stunt isn’t it?” quipped UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones.  “It’s trying to make something that’s very expensive sound very, very cheap.”

Amazon first introduced the pay-as-you-go model in cloud computing usage when it launched EC2 in 2006. Back then, AWS charged clients on a per hour basis, a pricing scheme that was deemed revolutionary at that time.

However, its rivals challenged AWS dominance by offering a more competitive pricing structure. Google, for one, introduced a more accurate per-minute billing scheme deemed more reflective of actual usage.

[Featured Image TechRepublic]

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Facebook Parents Portal Launched to Keep Kids Safe

Facebook today launched the Parents Portal to help educate parents on keeping their kids safe on Facebook and the internet in general.

“Today we are launching the Facebook Parents Portal, featuring new resources for parents on Facebook,” said Antigone Davis, Facebook’s Head of Global Safety. “Our goal is to help foster conversations among parents and their children about staying safe online.

Visit the new site at facebook.com/safety/parents.”

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-46-43-pm“For internet safety around children, I think the most important thing for parents is to be proactive and to really spark the conversation with the child,” said Neil Potts, Public Policy Manager at Facebook.

“Parents shouldn’t be afraid of technology,” said Christine Chen, Communications Manager at Facebook. “I think technology can bring so many joys to our lives and it’s something that can be shared with your kids.”

“At Facebook, we take the safety of all of our users, especially children, incredibly seriously,” said Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security officer. “We want to have a partnership with parents where we can work together to make sure their kids are not only safe while they are children, but to learn the ways they should be careful for their entire lives.”

“The ultimate goal of the Parents Portal is to really foster important conversations between parents and their children around online safety, these technologies and social media,” noted Davis. “The way that we hope to do that is by providing parents information about some of the fundamentals about Facebook so that they can engage in a meaningful conversation, hopefully many meaningful conversations with their children over the course of their lifetime.”

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-57-51-pm“Everyday parents like me come to Facebook to share their special moments, ask for advice in groups and connect with friends and relatives living far away,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Many parents also have questions about how Facebook works, especially once their kids join,” she says. “That’s why we’re launching a new Parents Portal within the Facebook Safety Center. We’ve compiled some basic information and tips to help you and your child stay safe on Facebook and get the best out of your experience. We are also pleased to connect you with online safety experts around the world who offer resources, especially for parents. We hope that you find these resources useful and that Facebook helps you and your children connect to the people and things that matter to you the most.”

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How Local Content is Helping SMBs Keep Big Brands at Bay

Posted by ronell-smith

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Darren Shaw of Whitespark speaking at Mozcon Local

The gentleman sitting across the table from me at a crowded lunch spot has what he sees as a workable business idea for a local business, a sound plan to get it off the ground, enough funds to weather the ups and downs of the current business climate in his area, and the determination to stick around long enough to be successful.

However, what he doesn’t have are the answers to three questions pertaining to content marketing for his small business:

  • “What should I write about?”
  • “How do I [rank higher in local SERPs?]“
  • “Do I need to use social media? Will it help my brand?”

My heart breaks a little as he looks down to pick at his salad. Not because I don’t like questions, or because the questions are difficult to answer. They aren’t.

In fact, the answer I gave comes from a slogan i learned of in college and have used repeatedly when attempting to get small brands to see the shortest path to success: “Think globally, act locally.”

The SERPs won’t save you

Every brand wants to be No. 1 in the SERPs, or so they think.

What they really want, however, is to be the No. 1 most-chosen brand.

What ultimately matters in the earliest stages of your relationship with prospects is that they see you in the SERPs, recognize your brand for its quality of service and/or excellent products(s), and reward you with a click.

Far too often, however, local brands think too broadly (often as a result of poor keyword selection) and attempt to rank for terms and/or categories they’ll never be able to consistently rank for. All the while, they ignore low-hanging fruit, such as ensuring their Google My Places is up-to-date, their citations are accurate, and prioritizing reviews on third-party sites.

Worse still, even brands that do commit to these efforts too often ignore creating local-specific pages, which can be a tremendous asset for capturing traffic, leads, and driving conversions for local brands.

Individually, not capitalizing on these areas is bad for brand health; collectively, they amount to leaving the door open to the competition.

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Image source

And if you’re a small or midsize business (SMB) owner, your focus must be on closing doors to the competition. To do that you’ll need to use your size and the knowledge of your local service area to your advantage.

As I’m wont to say, it’s simple, but it won’t be easy.

Local SEO to the rescue

A few months, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to work with Local SEO expert Mary Bowling as she prepared for Mozcon Local. During a phone conversation, I shared with her my frustration at seeing local brands get pwned by big brands, in large part because the former has all but given up on the quest to be competitive, even when they have wood to throw on the fire.

She agreed that there some holes SMBs are refusing to expose.

“Big brands do have the resources to dominate in local search, but to a large degree they often won’t spent the money needed to be successful, specifically as it regards local-specific content,” says Bowling, owner of Ignitor Digital, which provides online marketing and Local Search marketing solutions to SMBs. “Often small brands don’t create good content because they don’t think they have the time. But it’s not as complicated as they believe. Also, being that they are the local experts, local-specific content is easier to create than they think and can provide the [perfect vehicle to ward off bigger brands].”

That conversation was the wellspring for discussions I’d later have at Mozcon Local with speakers Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing and Darren Shaw of Whitespark. I also had the privilege of interviewing each of them, in addition to Local SEO whiz Phil Rozek of Local Visibility Systems, after the event.

What follows is a post based on the entirety of those conversations, with the goal of answering one question: How can local SMBs better compete with big brands in their respective areas?

Local content is David’s slingshot to Goliath’s plate of armor

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One of the toughest parts of working with SMB owners is getting them to realize the vast world around them is actually much smaller than they assume, in at least two key ways:

  • Big brands with local or regional offices/locations are always a threat for stealing local customers.
  • Their reach is as limited as their resources, in that while their service area is small, so too is their ability to rank in the SERPs.

That is, unless SMBs use the biggest and best weapon available to them: Local-focused content that makes a priority of using people, personalization and events to help them stave off the typically much stronger competition.

Full disclosure: Nothing related to business pisses me off more than seeing big brands dominate local search queries, when I know smaller brands that provide better service are all around.

Equally frustrating is seeing these small brands try to compete outside their league by relying too heavily on paid search and ignore how effective content marketing can be for their business’s long-term success.

If this sounds like your brand, I implore you to own your local turf by following the three steps outlined below.

#1 — Think quality > quantity

As a business strategist, two questions comes up over and over from SMB owners:

  1. “What should I write about?”
  2. “How often should I post blogs?”

A better question is, “What topics are my prospects most interested in, and how can I write about those topics with the quality necessary to gain and retain their attention?”

The process begins with you thinking less about how often you write and more about how well you write on the topics your prospects and customers care most about.

“If you want to get local content, and get ranking but also customers, think quality over quantity,” says Phil Rozek. “Get your sea legs. Can you create a page that gets rankings but also customers?”

The last point, which I discussed extensively with Rozek via phone, is a very important one.

The key to success for any brand’s content goes well beyond the SERPs, and that applies doubly so for local SMBs, where butts in the door or phone calls are the lifeblood of the business.

The focus, he says, must be on producing content of sufficient quality and relevancy to move the needle, not simply attain eyeballs.

“The goal is to get the phone to ring,” adds Rozek. “You want it to rank and continue to get the phone to ring. But you also want it to be good enough that you get customers who become brand advocates. If you can’t do that, you need to go back to the drawing board.”

Ramsey says well-performing local content should hit at least one of the following points perfectly:

  • “It’s unifying. Think of sporting events — it’s one thing in a local place that brings everyone together across different walks of life and puts everyone on the same page. Good local content that gets shared and loved does the same.”
  • “It’s educational. Local is confusing. Whether explaining history, directions, or tips, people crave good information about places.”
  • “It’s insider. There is nothing worse than someone talking about a place that they don’t understand. It’s why content ‘only’ locals perform so well.”

As an example, Ramsey uses Movoto, a service provides tools and information for the real estate, as a great example. You can see from the example below that localized pages they create go way beyond what we typically see for city-specific pages, as the content is compelling visually and topically, creating a rich experience visitors are likely to read, share, and link to.

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Adds Ramsey, “SMBs should ask every customer where they spend their time online. When they know that, they can start to create content that will appeal to them. The problem that most SMBs have is they get ‘sold’ on products that will update feeds with garbage or create content that doesn’t really relate to their audience.

“Then they give up. I think they have to step back and realize that you can’t outsource strategy. They need to be a part of it. They know their customer and need to be involved in determining how best to reach them.”

  • What this tells us: Content quality goes beyond good grammar and solid images. Creating a content experience is the optimal goal.
  • How to make it for your brand: Focus on creating content that is uniquely better than anything you’ve seen or that could be easily created by the competition, no matter how large. Think of the elements that make your area unique and interesting, then work to create content that provides a sensory experience worthy of being talked about and shared.
  • Recommended reading/viewing: How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday

#2 — Relish the role of local expert

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Mary Bowling speaking at Mozcon Local

Each time I do a search for a local service provider and see a large national or regional brand show up, a little of the strategist in me dies insides. Yes, I get that larger brands have the deep pockets to spend on Google Adwords and the domain authority to wreak havoc in the organic search. But come on… A lot of small brands aren’t even trying to compete, and that’s a shame.

“Too often, with small brands, they think they’ll have to hire someone else to create it,” says Bowling. “They don’t realize they are the local authorities, and simply writing what they know can go a long way. Most sales are taken at the location level, but small brands often don’t do enough location-specific content to help their business. Often, with a simple phone call and a fifteen minute interview, we can create a post that’s able to move the needle for their brand.”

Bowling further added: “The goal for the content these small brands create is localized excellence.”

Rob Robillard, aka A Concord Carpenter, provides an excellent example of how local brands can use the expert mantle to own their space. A general contractor, carpenter, and woodworker, Robillard has parlayed his expert and local knowledge into a correspondence gig for the Boston Globe.

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Image courtesy of A Concord Carpenter

Says Rozek, “Robillard doesn’t write ‘local’ content as much as he’s a local business owner whose business has benefitted from his having become a noted local authority. Not only does he write for the Boston Globe, he also has a cable show” and a popular video series.

Also, stresses Rozek, different types of businesses will have different goals for their content.

A plumber, for example, is likely less concerned with having a piece of content that draws and engagement and get links; she needs the phone to ring. So having strong city-specific pages that have the ability to rank and get the phone to ring would likely be a more desirable option.

However, if a small brand can do both, they’re better positioned to enjoy success.

“If you have a small site that has good authority and some good links, they’re in the bully pulpit because any page they create is a little more likely to rank,” says Rozek. “The name of the game, then, is to use the other pages of the site to help the city pages rank, since even if they are done well doesn’t guarantee that they rank by themselves. But if you build links to other related pages on the site, those city pages are [likely to see a lift as well in organic reach], which is significant for building authority and engagement, even if the pages the links are pointing to don’t get the phone to ring.”

What this tells us: Don’t focus solely on creating content that gets the phone to ring. Devote some resources to attaining links on other parts of the site.

How to make it for your brand: Spend time building your reputation as an expert of note in your area, then create and share content on your site and other sites you’re able to partner with. Also, while city pages get people in the door, effective outreach can help you build links to other parts of the site that, in turn, provide a boost to the other pages on the site, including the city-specific pages.

Recommended reading: Top-3 Local SEO “Content” Wins for People Who Hate to Write

#3 — Get personal

One of the toughest sells to SMBs is getting them to see the value of making the content they share personal in nature. Makes zero sense when you consider that unique-to-only-you content is the one thing the competition cannot effectively copy.

“Small companies can create more unifying, educational, and insider content, but to do so they have to find the time and money to do it,” says Ramsey, adding, if they do, “Small businesses can blow away competition.”

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Mike Ramsey speaking at Mozcon Local

An impressive example of a small brand outpacing all comers is Danburry Barbershop in Provo, Utah. The site has a welcoming, old-school feel and contains images of customers before, during, and after they receive service.

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Danburry is getting right to the heart of personalized content by making local folks celebrities of sorts for, well, simply sitting in a chair and getting a trim or a wash. Let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want to show off their new ‘do? You know the customers are sharing the experience with friends and family members while providing the barber shop with ready-made personalized content.

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Also, the brand posts images to social media, including Facebook and Twitter, creating a web of personalized content even large brands must envy.

“The Danburry Barbershop is killing it with a subdomain on a .blogspot site simply because he uses his site to showcase his customers,” says Ramsey. “His Facebook feed is also filled with his customer stories and what they do. He is creating a loyal community of unified, educated, and insider Provo people.”

My question to small business owners is, “What’s stopping you from doing the same?” And for those who work with SMBs, either as strategists, SEOs, or content people, we mustn’t shy away from making recommendations of this sort, especially when a brand has the bandwidth and the clientele to make it work.

What this tells us: Look for ways to get personal with your clientele, particularly as it regards the sharing of information involving them.

How to make it for your brand: Think of the people who’ve talked or written about how much they enjoy your product or service. Why not reach out to them for a quick interview, which could take the form of a short video that could posted to Instagram or YouTube or hosted directly on your site?

All you’d need is a few questions to ask them — don’t make it about your brand. Make it about the audience: getting to know them, who they are, etc.

Recommended reading: The Power of the Personal: Personal Brands for Company Brands

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Microfluidic Cooling May Keep Moore’s Law Intact

Michael Kassner, a freelance writer, wrote a very interesting article published at TechRepublic on how microfluidic cooling might be the answer to preventing Moore’s Law from petering out. Moore’s Law is the observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented and would continue for the foreseeable future. However, Moore’s Law is under threat because existing technology is not able to keep microchips cool while still adding more processing power.

Intel has an interesting website and video celebrating Moore’s Law:

Fortunately, the Federal Government is working on a solution. DARPA has a program called ICECool Applications (ICECool Apps) which they describe as follows:

ICECool is exploring disruptive thermal technologies that will mitigate thermal limitations on the operation of military electronic systems, while significantly reducing size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP). The specific goal of ICECool Applications is to enhance the performance of RF power amplifiers and embedded computing systems through the application of chip-level heat removal with kW-level heat flux and heat density with thermal control of local submillimeter hot spots, while maintaining these components in their commonly-accepted temperature range by judicious combination of intra- and/or interchip microfluidic cooling and on-chip thermal interconnects.

Lockheed Martin is working with DARP on microfluidic cooling solutions. “Right now, we’re limited in the power we can put into microchips,” says John Ditri, the Principal Investigator on Lockheed Martin’s ICECool effort. “One of the biggest challenges is managing the heat. If you can manage the heat, you can use fewer chips and that means using less material, which results in cost savings as well as reduced system size and weight. If you manage the heat and use the same number of chips, you’ll get even greater performance in your system.”

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As Lockheed Martin describes it, “This research program could ultimately lead to a lighter, faster and cheaper way to cool high-powered microchips – by cooling the chips with microscopic drops of water. This technology has applications in electronic warfare, radars, high-performance computers and data servers.”

Here’s is the current progress of the ICECool program per Lockheed Martin:

Phase I of the ICECool program verified the effectiveness of Lockheed’s embedded microfluidic cooling approach by demonstrating a four-times reduction in thermal resistance while cooling a thermal demonstration die dissipating 1 kW/cm2 die-level heat flux with multiple local 30 kW/cm2 hot spots. This is about four to five times more heat per unit area than most current chips dissipate, paving the way for future chip advancements.

In Phase II of the program, the team has moved on to cooling high power RF amplifiers to validate the electrical performance improvements enabled by improved thermal management. Utilizing its ICECool technology, the team has been able to demonstrate greater than six times increase in RF output power from a given amplifier, while still running cooler than its conventionally cooled counterpart.

In its ongoing effort to move the technology out of the laboratory and into the field, Lockheed Martin is developing a fully functional, microfluidically cooled, transmit antenna prototype to increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of this technology. This will lay the foundation for possible insertions into future electronics systems.

Lockheed Martin is working with Qorvo to integrate its thermal solution with Qorvo’s high performance GaN process; a relationship that will help unleash the full potential of GaN semiconductors by removing current thermal barriers. The Lockheed Martin approach is also applicable to other current and future die technologies, such as existing Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and future GaN on Diamond when it becomes available.

Lockheed Martin’s ICECool embedded thermal management approach removes thermal barriers to harness GaN’s full RF power handling capability. In addition to revolutionizing the way GaN amplifiers are implemented, this technology will benefit any high heat flux Integrated circuit application, including signal processing and high performance computing.

The post Microfluidic Cooling May Keep Moore’s Law Intact appeared first on WebProNews.


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