Tag Archive | "marketer"

11 Ways to Stay an Alert Copywriter and Content Marketer (If Taking a Nap Isn’t an Option)

Well, this week was anything but sugarcoated. We got right into it. How do you stay motivated to do great…

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15 Ways to Be a Wiser Content Marketer

It’s great to be smart. It’s wonderful to have clever strategies and tactics that help us do our work better….

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Become a better search marketer in 2019 – the SMX West agenda is live

Get proven, actionable search marketing tactics with 30+ sessions, clinics and keynotes, intimate networking, and deep learning



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Become a better search marketer in 2019 – the SMX West agenda is live

Get proven, actionable search marketing tactics with 30+ sessions, clinics and keynotes, intimate networking, and deep learning



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Emotional Marketing: How to be a killer marketer and have a clean conscience

How businesses are achieving significant conversions by shifting to an emotional, customer-first marketing strategy. Research shows that the ultimate reason many people buy is …
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Doors to Copyblogger’s Content Marketer Certification Close Today

Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that today is the last day to join us inside the Copyblogger Certification…

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Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

In the first post I ever wrote for the TopRank Marketing Blog, I reflected on the marketing lessons I’d picked up through my baseball blogging hobby. Helping build an online community at Twins Daily has instilled many important fundamentals that, I feel, make me better at my day job.

I’m always fascinated by this interplay. We spend so much of our time each week alongside our coworkers, but are often unaware of the interests and side hustles that drive them outside of the office. Those very passions can be such integral parts of who we are and how we operate.

More recently, this has been a topic of focus for our friends at LinkedIn*. In April, Jason Miller wrote a piece about following your dreams while staying committed to your career, and in June, Sean Callahan profiled a LinkedIn marketer who moonlights as a DJ.

The subject of Sean’s piece was Ish Verduzco (aka DJ Ishh), who says that spinning the turntables on weekends has helped him learn how to get in tune with online audiences as a social media marketer. Incidentally, Jason and Sean themselves are great examples of this dynamic — Jason is a rock-and-roll photographer whose creativity and energy infuse the content he produces, while Sean is the author of several children’s books with a knack for conveying information clearly and understandably.

These posts from LinkedIn inspired me to learn more about my own colleagues here at the TopRank Marketing office, and how their outside hobbies or passions help shape them professionally. So I asked around:

What activities occupy your time when you’re not at the office, and how do they help make you a more clever, curious, and courageous marketer?

Hopefully their answers will inspire other marketers to fully embrace their own passions, and think about ways in which their personal pursuits can fuel their professional success — or vice versa.

The After-Hours Passions that Elevate Our Team Members’ Marketing Skills

Improving Through Improv

Josh NiteJosh Nite, Senior Content Marketing Manager

His jokes and puns are cherished staples during the workday, and Josh puts his sharp wit to good use after it ends by participating in improv shows and competitions. He believes that these comedy performances make him a better marketer for two primary reasons.

“First, they force me to carefully consider words, how they have an effect on people, how powerful they can be. Second, they’re performed live in front of an audience, so I can see whether or not I’m making a connection. It really helps me have a mental image of the reader in mind when I’m writing content.”

Making a Habit of Being Helpful

Debbie Friez, Influencer Marketing Strategist

Debbie is very active at her church, Spirit Garage, where she applies her professional skills to help out with marketing functions.

“I serve on the marketing committee, so that has me looking for new ideas,” she says. “I subscribe to a few newsletters and I’m active in Social Media Shepherds, a group of church communicators.”

In turn, Debbie’s community work through church and other endeavors — she picks up garbage at local parks on Earth Day, participates in a book club, and serves cotton candy during street festivals, for example — helps her develop rock-solid relationships with influencers and clients.

Finding Focus on the Fairway

Anne Leuman, Content Strategist

As someone who regularly covers SEO-related topics on the TopRank Marketing Blog, Anne understands the importance of links (she recently wrote about examples of link-worthy content). And on the weekend, she likes to unwind by hitting the links.

“My No. 1 hobby outside of work is golf,” Anne says. “Golf, believe it or not, requires a great amount of imagination. If you can see a shot, you can make the shot. Playing the sport allows me to hone my imagination skills, leading to more creativity and well-thought-out content strategy.”

She also adds that the sport’s individualistic nature helps her focus on self-improvement. Bolstering your score on the golf course is all about looking inward and making the right personal tweaks, which is also true of content creation.

“Similar to working on my golf game,” she starts. “I’ll take lessons, ask for advice, or spend hours writing each day to ensure I’m above par.”  

Managing to Make a Difference

Elizabeth Williams, Account Manager

As a mother raising two young children of mixed race, Elizabeth feels strongly about doing her part to create a more accepting and fair environment for individuals of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

“As a marketer sometimes it’s hard to see that direct impact on ‘making a the world a better place’ in your day-to-day. But, it’s something I crave. Having that reason behind what we do inspires us to keep going when we’re feeling frustrated or overloaded.”

She continues: “My ‘making the world a better place’ is working toward MLK’s dream — for a world where people will not be judged by the color of their skin. In my family, we experience racism nearly every time we’re in public, whether it’s big or small.”

And so she commits much of her energy outside of work to advocating for the cause of social justice. A marketer’s understanding of how to engage and influence proves helpful in this regard.

“I love applying my knowledge of digital marketing to my activist communications,” she says.

Making Creativity is the Name of the Game

Patrick Pineda, Motion Designer

If you watched any of the awesome 8-bit videos he whipped up for our Content Marketing Combos series, you might peg Patrick as an avid video game enthusiast. But his real passion is for tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Darkness.

Earlier this year, he collaborated with Anne to create a blog post around content marketing lessons from the realm of D&D, such as the value of originality, the pitfalls of corralling an audience, and the importance of customization — something that is incredibly important and top-of-mind for marketers today.

“The best Dungeon Master doesn’t just create a good story, but they also help players reach their goals,” Patrick noted.

The Rabid Researcher

Lane EllisLane Ellis, Social & Content Marketing Manager

Working remotely from northern Minnesota, Lane conducts plenty of helpful research for the team at TopRank Marketing, and his proclivities in this area are deeply ingrained.

“Since 1994 I’ve been doing family history research, including several years as one of Duluth’s few professional genealogists, which has taught me many research-related lessons that I try to apply to my social media and marketing career,” he explains.

As someone who was using the internet for research before many of us were using it at all, he’s very adept at quickly finding what he’s looking for.

Harnessing Healthy Results Like a Boss

Lee OddenLee Odden, CEO

Employees at TopRank Marketing are accustomed to the occasional week or two where Lee isn’t in the office, given the amount of traveling he does for speaking engagements around the world, but recently we’ve noticed that we’re seeing less of him — literally. The agency cofounder has been on a major health kick over the past several months, and the impact has been visibly evident in his physique.

“I’ve found diet, cardio and other exercise have direct correlations to goal-setting, discipline, quality of effort, time management, and optimization of marketing performance,” Lee explains.

In particular, he’s sees parallels in the ways success is measured for fitness and marketing. In neither case should vanity be the name of the game.

“I found it interesting not to focus on weight loss, but clothing size, energy level, and quality of life improvements since those are the real goals,” he says. “I think there are lessons there as a marketer in measuring performance. Views, shares and impressions are like sugary candy metrics that give spikes of endorphins, but don’t really reflect the real goals of leads, deals, and revenue.”

What Drives You?

At TopRank Marketing, we’re lucky to have a team with diverse interests and hobbies. Working with these folks on a daily basis, it’s easy to see they are keeping their marketing skills sharp through after-hours activities, even if that’s not necessarily the inherent rationale.

Meanwhile, staying busy and focused on other things outside of work helps us stay refreshed and rejuvenated once we arrive each morning. So, I ask you, too: What passions outside of work make you better at your job?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

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Customer-First Marketing: What every entrepreneur and SMB marketer can learn from successful Etsy sellers

Etsy is a laboratory of capitalism that any marketers — especially small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups — can learn from. Here are just a few tips from successful shop owners that can help other marketers who are trying to succeed in an already saturated marketplace.
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5 Google Adwords Mistakes Every Online Marketer Should Avoid Making

There’s no doubt that Google Adwords can be very beneficial to a business. It’s one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, generate leads and close sales. But like most good things, it also takes time, careful planning and execution, and a bit of an investment.

Google Adwords campaigns have to be set up carefully for it to succeed. This means that you should be keenly attuned to Adwords and know how to avoid critical and costly mistakes. If you want to make the most of your Google AdWords campaign, check that you’re not making these 5 mistakes:

1. Not Spending Enough Time to Research Keywords

One of the key parts of an AdWords campaign is choosing theImage result for keyword research right keywords. After all, if you are not using keywords that are most relevant to your brand or what your customers are searching for then your campaign would suffer. This is why it’s vital that you spend time researching the proper and relevant keywords for your company.

To help narrow down the best keywords to use, make use of tools like WordStream or Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Take a critical look at your brand and come up with a list of possible keywords. Use available keyword tools to see the different variations of how people use your proposed keywords in their search.

2. Forgetting Phrase and Exact Matches

There are different types of keyword matches – broad match, phrase match, and exact match.

Broad match keywords mean that your ads will appear when people search for your keywords, regardless of the other terms in the search string while phrase match keywords will only appear in searches with that exact word order. This is the same principle for exact match keywords.

Most ad groups only use broad match keywords, as it’s the default match type used by AdWords. The good news is that broad matches appear in more searches, but it also means that the odds are high that these are less relevant searches. This could lead to less generated sales and lower click rates if the searcher finds your ads irrelevant. It could potentially cost more money due to a misplaced click.

Research has shown that exact match keywords have better conversion odds, so it’s better to start by using exact matches before expanding it to include phrase and broad matches.

3. Not Utilizing Negative Keywords

Another common AdWords mistake internet marketers make is disregarding negative keywords. This keyword acts in the opposite way of a targeted keyword, meaning it precludes keywords that do not match your product or service. For instance, if you are targeting backpacks designed for hiking or camping then you don’t want your ads to show up in searches for “school backpacks.” You can put “school” as a negative keyword and your ads won’t be displayed in searches with the term “school.”

To ensure that you exclude the right words, check out Google Analytics. Click on “Acquisition,” followed by “AdWords” and “Matched Search Queries.” Click on “Query Match Type” next and choose either “broad match” or “phrase match” to see the keyword phrases that are generating leads and those that are not converting. This can help you choose the words that can be added as a negative keyword so that your campaign will perform better.

4. Not Embracing Mobile

There’s no stopping the mobile trend so it’s best ifImage result for Mobile-Specific Ads you embrace it, especially as how customers use mobile devices to search and engage in is vastly different from how they use laptops or desktops. And since more people opt for mobile devices these days, you should make sure your campaign is mobile-friendly.

There are several ways to make your ad campaigns better suited for mobile devices. You can use Click to Call Extensions, Mobile Bid Modifiers, Mobile-Specific Ads, and Short Tail Keywords.

5. Directing Visitors to the Wrong Pages

This is a mistake that owners of eCommerce stores should take pains to avoid. Some e-stores have erred in directing the traffic from their ad to their home page instead of the page for a specific product.

Make sure that when a visitor clicks on your ad, they’re directed to the item they’re looking for. Otherwise, they might just leave your page and that’s a lost sale. So double check your ads and ensure prospective clients are led to the right page.

There’s no question that Google AdWords can be a key component to increasing traffic and generating sales. However, this will only happen with the right AdWords strategy and implementation.

[Featured image via Google AdWords]

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5 Ways Strategic Bullet Points Make You a Stronger Content Marketer

be smart about building your bullet points

Bullet points make you a stronger content marketer?

Absolutely, if you’re good at writing them. In fact, being a master at writing exceptional bullet points is one of the most important copywriting skills around, second only to headline writing.

The goal of strategic bullet points is primarily to keep people reading. You’re highlighting easily digestible bits of important information, which keeps your reader’s attention focused and breaks up dense pools of text.

The downside is that if you write weak, boring bullet points, you give the reader an express invitation to leave. People scan content to decide if they want to keep reading, but also as a way to justify not reading.

So let’s write some better bullet points.

1. External fascinations

These types of fascinating bullet points are usually found in sales copy for information products and membership sites, and they function like headlines that prompt a purchase or other action.

Also known as “blind” bullets, they hint at the content of a product or service and create curiosity without revealing the actual substance.

You can also use these bullets to prompt an opt-in or subscription tied to a free report, audio, or video.

Here’s an oft-cited example from ace copywriter John Carlton:

“The amazing ‘Towel Hanging’ trick that increases the strength of your erection … plus your lovemaking stamina … allowing you to supercharge your love life in a very short time! (You have to experience these kinds of ‘rocket-burst’ orgasms to believe they’re possible! See page 139.)”

I don’t know about you, but that got my attention.

2. Internal fascinations

Internal fascinations are pretty much identical to external, except they’re designed to persuade people to continue reading the content they’re currently reading.

If you have a long article that you want to sell people on reading all the way through, you might lead with some teaser bullet points that captivate the imagination.

For example:

By reading this article you’ll learn:

  • 3 counterintuitive activities that will improve your business
  • How to turn your process into a product you can sell
  • Why you’re not normal, and why that’s a good thing

3. Bullet chunking

Extracting bullets out of compound sentences helps you drive home a point while also increasing the usability of your content. Attention spans are short for sure, and reading dense paragraphs of text on a computer screen is still nowhere as easy as in print.

Don’t forget to begin each bullet point with the same part of speech and maintain the same grammatical form.

Here’s an example.

Fascinating bullet points are great for:

  • Drawing people back into the copy they skimmed
  • Prompting the download of a free offer
  • Causing the click of a link
  • Driving subscriptions to your website
  • Triggering the purchase of your digital product
  • Initiating a new client relationship

4. Authority bullets

Authority bullets are used to recite the data and proof that support your argument.

You want this information strongly presented in order to bolster the credibility of your content and your level of authority as a subject matter expert. As with all bullet points, try to turn dry, factual information into interesting reading if at all possible.

Here’s one approach.

Don’t believe me when I say reading is an uncommon activity? Check these facts:

  • 58 percent of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion

Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.

5. Cliffhanger bullets

Cliffhanger bullets tease and foreshadow what’s coming up next or in the near future.

You can close an installment in a content series with a cluster of teasers that have people looking forward to the next installment, which can also spur subscriptions. You can also use cliffhanger bullets to lay the groundwork for an upcoming promotion, launch, or special content event.

Check this one out …

Next week on Copyblogger:

  • Discover how to ruthlessly cut words from your copy to make more sales
  • Learn two essential elements of irresistible content that can dramatically transform your website
  • Find out three simple questions you can ask yourself to craft better headlines

See you then?

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on July 14, 2008.

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