Tag Archive | "Transform"

10 Tips to Transform an Elusive Goal into a Doable Project

When you work with clients, their projects become your projects. And when you’re consumed with helping others achieve their big…

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5 Easy Ways to Transform Your Website into a Standout Salesperson

Most freelancers I know hate selling. And I can include myself in that bunch. Whether it’s a fear of rejection,…

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How to Transform from Fan to Fanatic to Fantastic Content Creator

Building an audience involves a lot of trial and error. But those who wish to have their own audiences make…

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How Adobe is Using AI to Transform the Customer Experience

Adobe has now integrated their artificial intelligence platform Adobe Sensei into Photoshop and most of their creative products. “Adobe Sensei is an AI and machine learning platform that deeply understands how our users work and delivers a lot of simple workflow that makes that magical moment happens in any of our applications,” noted Abhay Parasnis, CTO & EVP at Adobe. “What makes Sensei so unique is that Adobe is the only company in the industry that can marry art of content and creative expression and science of delight on a massive scale.”

“The key areas we focus on are content intelligence, computational creativity, and the experience which is related to understanding events related to how content is delivered,” commented Scott Prevost, VP Engineering of Adobe Sensei and Search in an Adobe explanation of the product.

“If I can go all the way from how I create content in the creative tool and then have the ability to personalize it at scale to Adobe Experience Cloud, then have the ability to measure it through analytics and feed the measurement back into the creative workflow, saying these designs work better, that actually is the holy grail in what customers tell us they want,” says Parasnis.

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO, recently commented on CNBC about how this is helping to improve the Adobe customer experience:

On the creativity side, everybody fears the blank page, so if AI can start to infer what people want to do in terms of using either Photoshop or one of our creative products and when you can speak to the computer and it understands and infers what you want to do and makes our products and tools more accessible, that’s a huge win. Then you can attract a tremendous amount of customers.

At the other end of the spectrum, when you have millions of customers hitting your website, the AI that we have on the Digital Experience Cloud being able to infer intelligence from the trillions of transactions and ensure that you get the right offer that was meant for you in real time, that’s something that humans cannot do.

Those are two really good examples at different ends of the spectrum of how AI enables our customers to do more with our technology.

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Transform Your Business Website Using Our Free ‘Design 101’ Ebook

Is your current website design working for your business as well as it could be? You might know that it’s not, but don’t know where to start when it comes to a redesign. We understand that. Choosing a WordPress theme for your website can be a little overwhelming and leave you with lots of further
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Transform Your Content from Predictable to Provocative with This Bold Method

"Instead of pushing a single idea forward, there’s a sudden disturbance." – Sean D'Souza

Stop for a moment to think about a super-athlete.

A person who won 122 consecutive races and broke the world record four times.

That super-athlete is Edwin C. Moses, a man who completely dominated the 400-meter hurdle event and won every race in sight between 1977 and 1987. And then it happened. On June 4, 1987, in Madrid, Spain, Danny Harris beat Moses.

Objections in articles are like Danny Harris.

They bring in an unexpected element to one-sided content. Instead of the article pushing a single idea forward, there’s a sudden disturbance. Let’s find out exactly why objections are so powerful and how to use them in your writing.

So, why are objections so critical?

There’s the obvious reason why objections are part of content that deeply engages your audience: it’s called drama.

Most articles start off driving home a point and keep that sustained point of view until the end of the article. Such an article is almost like an Edwin Moses race: elegant and dominating, but a bit predictable.

When you insert an objection in your article, you create a counterpoint. You add a sense of competition and ignite some drama.

Drama alone is reason enough to make sure you put an objection in your article. But the second, and probably even more important reason, is balance.

When you solely focus on explaining and supporting your idea, you only provide one point of view. The moment an objection shows up, you play devil’s advocate.

Here are two examples that show how objections can work in your content.

Example #1: Speed-reading is a silly idea when learning

Let’s say your article is about speed-reading.

Sure, everyone seems to think speed-reading is a great idea. After all, most of us are falling behind on our reading, and speed-reading seems like a smart solution to that problem.

But the point of your article appears to be different from popular opinion … and you even suggest that speed-reading is like taking a photocopy: You read information but don’t retain it. The concepts are not well-massaged into your brain.

Now, instead of only showing that perspective, you can balance out your content by also discussing circumstances where speed-reading could be beneficial. You’ll support your point and demonstrate that you’ve thought of counterarguments.

See how objections give the article depth?

Let’s look at another example.

Example #2: Why it’s great to visit New Zealand in February (not December)

When you think of a country that’s green and clean, you tend to think of New Zealand. Fabulous beaches, super-friendly people, astounding scenery, and yes, rain.

Auckland can get as much as 176 days of rain in a year. It’s not that silly drizzle that stays around all day. It’s there in all its fury, and then it’s gone. Even so, in New Zealand in February, the greenery starts to take on a tinge of brown, thanks to the scorching sunshine.

But let’s say you’re really keen for tourists to have a good time, and you make a case for why February is the right time to visit New Zealand, including points like how easy it is to book a rental car and Airbnb.

Well, what would someone who thinks February is not the best time to visit say? And how would you respond to that person who thinks another time of year would be more conducive to a fun trip?

Every article has two sides, and the moment you bring in objections, you create that sense of drama and balance.

Where do you add an objection in your article?

Most objections go toward the end of an article. Let’s say your article is about 10 paragraphs long. You’d want the objection to show up around the seventh paragraph.

However, there are also situations where you can’t wait that long to insert the objection.

If you think your article’s message is going to be met with instant disapproval, you’ll need to put the objection right at the beginning.

For example, your article’s headline could be about “how to get rid of all the emails in your inbox.” To most of us that sounds interestingly horrific, doesn’t it? Why would you want to get rid of the emails, painful as they can be?

In such a situation, the headline may pull in the reader, but they could be hesitant to accept your idea.

You could then add something like what you read above to your introduction:

“Why would you want to get rid of email? Email, as crazy as it can drive us all, is a vital form of communication. Just stepping in and wiping out all of your emails seems like a wanton act of madness.”

See what just happened?

The objection immediately addressed concerns that your headline might raise. As the article unfolds, you can go back to supporting the original concept of “getting rid of all your emails.”

Once you add — and counter — an objection right away, you can make your point without the haunting feeling that the reader is not quite on your side.

In most articles, you don’t need to add more than one objection, but in some cases, you may find that two or even three objections are appropriate. It’s your job to provide reassurance with your content and drive the prospect to action.

Take a tip from copywriters

When you read a well-written sales letter, you’ll always notice objections.

A good salesperson will also counter objections, often before the prospect has a chance to bring them up. This is a solid practice because we all have our own points of view.

We want to be convinced, but we are also inherently skeptical.

And when you aim to persuade with a sales page or an article, objections help you craft a stronger message.

If you don’t address objections, your prospect may become too skeptical and hesitate. That hesitation slows down — and may even derail — your persuasive efforts.

Yet, the moment you prove that you’re balanced in your approach, you bring in a huge dollop of trust.

Add some Danny Harris to your content

Edwin Moses was super cool.

Dominating a race for a solid 10 years is a stunning achievement. But after a while, his wins became predictable.

To bring drama and balance into your article, include the unexpected Danny Harris victory. It’s a way to keep your readers absorbed in your content from start to finish.

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Europeans Using Solar Power To Transform Urine Into Beer




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For the second year in a row, a team of researchers at Belgium’s Ghent University is collecting urine at one of Europe’s largest festivals, Roskilde. The researchers are hoping that by the time next year’s festival rolls around, one of the country’s breweries should have plenty of recycled urine beer to pour out for adventurous drinkers. The first time around, researchers say the goal was to extract nutrients that could be used as fertilizer. According to an article last summer, more than 25,000 liters of urine were collected and the fertilizer that was produced from it provided nourishment to a barley crop. This year, the researchers were after another critical beer ingredient: water.

 

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How Google Beacons Could Transform Local Business

Columnist Chris Marentis believes that the future of personalized advertising is already upon us thanks to Google’s new, open BLE beacon format, Eddystone.

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3 Articles that Will Help You Transform Your Rough Ideas Into Refined Digital Content

Copyblogger Collection: From content strategy to content production

I’m a one-step-at-a-time kind of gal who likes to make progress without feeling a lot of pressure.

But when you embark on a new project, you often want to tackle every task all at once and inevitably end up feeling overwhelmed. It’s helpful to have a solid starting place and clear path to follow to keep anxiety from taking over.

To point you in the right direction, here are three handpicked Copyblogger articles from our collection that will help you:

  • Develop your content strategy
  • Plan specific types of different content to create
  • Implement classic tips from traditional magazines to produce print-quality digital content that hooks readers

As you work your way through the material, think of these lessons as a mini content marketing course.


13 Simple Questions to Help You Draft a Winning Content Strategy [Free Worksheet]

winning-content-strategy

You know you want to create focused content — with a clear purpose — not just a hodgepodge of articles, podcasts, or webinars. But how do you actually map out a content strategy that summarizes your goals and keeps you accountable?

In 13 Simple Questions to Help You Draft a Winning Content Strategy by Demian Farnworth, you’ll get a free worksheet with detailed instructions on how to get your content plan out of your head, so you’ll see a greater return on your content marketing investment.


How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea

knockout

I wrote How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea to help you brainstorm all the different types of content you can create to build authority.

If you’re stumped for ideas about how to execute the content strategy you’ve outlined, this article will invigorate your creative sensibilities.


Master These 10 Print Magazine Tips to Create Irresistible Online Content

print-content-quality

Demian is back. And in this article, he reveals the anatomy of great content.

Master These 10 Print Magazine Tips to Create Irresistible Online Content clearly defines why powerful media can emerge and populate everywhere — even when we are infested with a plague of dull blog posts, podcasts, and videos.

Discover these 10 vital lessons from print publishing that can help the content on your own digital media platform rise above a sea of mediocrity.

Accelerate your content marketing education

Use this post (and save it for future reference!) to accelerate your content marketing education without the panic that sets in when you’re out of your comfort zone.

This is doable. This is for you.

We’ll see you back here on Monday with a fresh article to kick off the week!

About the author

Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is Copyblogger Media’s Editor-in-Chief. Don’t follow her on Twitter.

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25 Ideas to Transform Ho-Hum Infographics into Something Extraordinary

illustration of a brain generating ideas

A few weeks ago here on Copyblogger, Demian Farnworth presented the infographic as the Salvador Dalí of content marketing — the most interesting person at the cocktail party.

More than just a superficial presence, an infographic is a significant asset pillar with diverse possibilities that help you grow your media empire.

Today, let’s equate the Internet to the world of pop music. In this case, infographics are The Beatles.

They’re irresistible. They create massive hits. At their best, they balance style and substance.

They can be relentlessly imaginative. And like John, Paul, George, and Ringo, they can communicate sophisticated ideas to a mass audience.

Yep, they’re lovable. How lovable?

The factoid below comes from a 2012 infographic by NeoMam Studios.

google-infographics

Even stories about infographics sizzle. I wrote “The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Infographics” and it climbed to the number one spot on my chart last year.

Before we brainstorm infographic ideas, let’s discuss why infographics work.

Why do we love infographics?

Here are 15 reasons I’ve assessed:

  1. They’re so webable. First, I must offer my theory and ask you to live with my funny new word. Although data visualizations exist in traditional media, they’ve exploded in the digital age because they perfectly suit new media and the devices we use to consume information.
  2. We’re visual creatures. The fun, interactive infographic, “13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics,” makes this case with powerful data points.

visual-creatures

  1. They simplify complex ideas. Infographics aid comprehension by pairing text with straightforward pictures.
  2. They’re easy to share. We love to share information we find valuable. It feeds our appetites for being conduits of wisdom. Creators and publishers of infographics encourage you to share their content and often simplify the process by providing code you can embed on your website.
  3. They’re familiar. The general recipe for infographics features ingredients we’re comfortable with: illustrations, icons, charts, diagrams, and captions. The familiarity speaks to us and obliterates any objections.
  4. They travel well. Infographics are multi-screen portable. They translate nicely to slides and also tend to work on paper.
  5. They’re fast. Up above, in Number Two, you see an interesting data point about how fast we’re able to process visual information. The process of reading takes time. Given our short attention spans, the speed with which we can absorb visual information makes infographics attractive.
  6. They’re less taxing. A related, but slightly different idea than the one above about speed is we give ourselves a little break when we digest information aided by visuals. We encounter a lot of information daily. We can only read so much. The data below comes from:
  7. information-overload

  8. People thrive on data. We’re drawn to data and proof points. I like this presentation from Juice, Inc. that explains how data drives exploration, understanding, presentation, discovery, motivation, learning, and above all, “doing.”
  9. They tell stories. A lot of infographics use storytelling tactics including characters, conflicts, problems, and resolutions. Stories hold our attention as we relate to characters and go on journeys with them.
  10. They promote branding. When infographics are republished, a brand travels with the image, which usually includes a logo and URL.
  11. People search for them. Because they’re so useful (and often entertaining), people search for infographics, as evidenced in the statistic presented above. Since search engines can’t index the content within an image, headlines often appear with the explicit label “Infographic”.
  12. People collect them. Do you do this? I sure do. I stash infographics for safekeeping on Pinterest and in my swipe files if I suspect I’ll want to reference them (or use them) again in the future.
  13. They dominate the page. I believe one of the many factors that make infographics appealing is they tend to dominate a webpage.
  14. They’re generally large and colorful. Unlike plain text, infographics defeat distractions and help us focus on the content.

Ready to create your own infographic?

Here are 25 infographic types, themes, and concepts:

  1. Process. Create an infographic to explain a process. They’re ideal for breaking down and simplifying a multi-step process that may otherwise appear intimidating.
  2. Comparison. These images may include sections such as: before and after, this vs. that, old way vs. new way, us and them, etc.
  3. Timeline. Infographics help illustrate the evolution of a subject matter.
  4. Roundup. Various types of roundups, such as quotes, reviews, favorites, etc. can be presented as a collection.
  5. Components. Just as it’s useful to break down a process into steps, you can decouple the components of just about anything to aid understanding, i.e., an engine, recipe, or team.
  6. Instructions. Use an infographic to simplify complex tutorials or communicate how to complete a task.
  7. Charts and tables. Simple charts or tables featuring icons or images representing a topic create visual interest.
  8. Categories. Take any category of interest to your audience and tell a story with an infographic. Check out one of my favorites, “The Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music”. Amazing.
  9. Study of a “universe.” Produce massive visual collections on: beers, bands, books, bikes, beaches, etc. Here’s The Ultimate Infographic on Infographics from Curata.
  10. Warnings. This popular article style tends to be irresistible. A list of dangers, myths, or mistakes is a powerhouse for infographics, too.
  11. Metaphor. I love it when an interesting metaphor presents a concept. I bet you do too.
  12. Résumé. Job hunting? The résumé as an infographic is such an engaging idea, services such as vizualize.me and kinzaa.com have sprung forth.
  13. Report. Research and survey results offer great value in traditional report formats, but the same information, or highlights from it, make compelling infographics.
  14. Product or service. You may not score a viral hit with an infographic that showcases what you sell, but you’re likely to have an engaging tool that presents your goods to potential buyers.
  15. Trend. Showcasing a trend in an infographic makes a newsworthy story even more fun.
  16. Past to present. This is another timeline idea that displays the history of a topic.
  17. Place or event. Any place (from a nation to a campground) or any event (from a war to a conference) can be summarized in an infographic.
  18. Guide. A rather obvious theme, I know, but any “how to” begs to be transformed into an infographic.
  19. Family tree. These can be downright intoxicating. You can use a tree, flow chart, or similar symbols to explain relationships.
  20. Cause and effect. You probably see a “this caused that” form of presentation more than you realize. It’s simple and smart.
  21. Biography. Perform a search for “biography of Steve Jobs infographic” and you’ll discover some amazingly creative graphics. Study them for inspiration.
  22. Story. Simple one here. Tell a story, like a picture book.
  23. Manifesto. This approach can be a stellar branding tool. Write a manifesto that defines what you stand for and have a great designer create an infographic that makes you proud.
  24. List. Don’t ignore this age-old, can’t-miss tactic for communicating fascinating, useful content.
  25. Acronym. Spell out an acronym or abbreviation, with pictures, of course, and you’ll have a double-whammy simplification of a robust idea.

Grow your audience with infographics

Which type of infographic will you make to reach and educate a larger audience?

Share your thoughts about incorporating infographics into your content strategy over on Google+.

Editor’s note: If you found this post useful, we recommend that you read How to Make Winning Infographics Without Risk by Demian Farnworth.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Saad Faruque.

About the Author: Barry Feldman operates Feldman Creative and provides clients content marketing strategies that rock and creative that rolls. Barry also authors “Content Marketing Minds” at Social Media Today, and he was recently named a Top 40 Digital Strategist by Online Marketing Institute and one of 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by LinkedIn. He recently released a comprehensive strategic workbook “The Planner for Growing Your Business with Effective Online Marketing.” If you would like a piece of his mind, visit his blog, The Point.

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