Marketing

  • 5 Tips for Writing Enthralling Long-Form Content

    When blogging first made the jump from a way to share your personal thoughts with an anonymous, internet audience to a bona fide digital marketing tool, the overriding strategy was: shorter is better. Since then, things have changed drastically. In those early days, people just weren’t that comfortable reading on screens for more than a few minutes at a time. And the same was true for writers – we didn’t really know how to write for online media yet. It was a brave new world, and readers and writers alike had a lot of exploring to do. Today, that’s all changed. There’s tons of data on the differences between how people read online versus how they read traditional media. There’s so much data, in fact, that marketing data collectors like Buffer and SumAll can tell you how many characters you should use to optimize a tweet, and how many words should go in a paragraph if you want maximum readership. They even created this awesome infographic, excerpted below, to give you a quick guide for consultation. via Buffer Social And as you can see, when it comes to blog posts, shorter isn’t so great anymore. Instead, 1,600 words, which translates…

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  • Data-Driven Marketing Is Vital for 2017: How To Make It Your Strategy

    The idea behind customer data-driven marketing isn’t complicated. You collect customer data and then use it to guide your marketing efforts in a more effective direction. While the idea is simple, the actual practice is not always as effortless. The sheer amount of data being generated can be overwhelming, and many times companies are loath to try something new when the plan they have in place is already working. But customer data-driven marketing is simply the best way to curate and create marketing content for your audience, and personalize the message that you’re sending. Why’s that important? You Connect With The Right People Data driven marketing allows you to pinpoint who your marketing campaigns should be targeting, and how you can reach them. You don’t want to waste time reaching out to people who aren’t going to buy your product in the first place, regardless of the brilliant marketing content or discounted price. Divining who your target audience is in the first place is one of the primary functions of data driven marketing. All the data you’ve collected–from sales numbers, customer feedback, purchasing trends, page visits, and ad clicks–can be used to figure out which consumers are most likely to…

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  • 15 Foolproof Ideas for B2B Blog Posts

    B2B blogs can be a challenge for even the most experienced content marketer. There’s the issue of tone, for example. You have to maintain one that’s professional, yet still readable and friendly. That can be difficult, especially when you’re working in a highly specialized industry. Then there are things like images – how do you find interesting images for each and every blog post? You can subscribe to a stock image service, or better yet, have an intern or employee skilled in photography take a collection of shots of the office, your products, company employees, etc. But perhaps one of the most difficult parts of maintaining a B2B blog is simply figuring out what to write about. B2C blog topics are generally easier to come up with, because you can appeal to so many different people’s interests. B2B topics, however, generally cover a narrower, much more specific range. So how do you beat that B2B writer’s block? One way is by checking out our list of foolproof B2B blog ideas below. 1. Case study If you don’t already have a regular case study feature on your B2B blog, commit to this idea right away. The great thing about case studies…

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Digital PR

    Before there was digital PR there was…well, PR. Publicists worked with print publications, TV stations, and radio stations to gain coverage for their clients and expand their clients’ brand reach. They hosted events and press conferences, and networked with contacts in the media – a lot. In an offline world, there weren’t many other ways to get your client in front of the public’s eye. As the digital sphere has taken over, this kind of PR has come to be called traditional PR, in order to differentiate it from the more recently evolved digital PR. Traditional PR still exists, of course, and it still serves a critical purpose. However, in today’s 24-hour media environment, the necessity of digital PR cannot be overstated. So how do you incorporate this practice into your larger marketing strategy? What is digital PR? First, let’s establish one important fact. Traditional and digital PR both have the same goal: to increase visibility and boost the reputation of their clients, presenting them in a positive light. Digital PR involves doing this through online outlets, whether that’s the online incarnation of a print magazine or a popular industry blog. Since digital media includes so many different types of…

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  • 11 Hot Headline Tricks You Can Steal from the Pros

    The single most important part of your blog post, article, or white paper is the headline. It’s what sells the entire piece and entices the reader to click over and read it. Or download it. Or share it. It’s all about that headline. Here at Marketing Zen, we work in headlines. Our lives revolve around crafting the perfect headlines for landing pages, emails, blog posts, and social media spots. We’ve studied the strategies, tested the tricks, and experimented with the algorithms until we found the sweet spot for each client. That’s the key, because each brand has a different message for a different audience, so the words need to be just right. It takes some time and effort to get to know what works for each different situation. How long do you spend crafting your headlines? Have you spent time studying and experimenting to find the perfect combination of words and emotions for your audience? Most brands pay only passing attention to their headlines, so they miss a lot of opportunity to get their message noticed and shared. Want to know the ingredients to our secret sauce for compelling headlines? Here are some common tactics that work across industries. Try…

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  • 16 Tips to Help You CRUSH It on Pinterest Before Your Competitor Does

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve doubtless heard about Pinterest. The image-rich social media site is booming, with over 54 million new pins each day. The sales impact is staggering – 93 percent of Pinners have used Pinterest to either plan for or make purchases. If your company isn’t investing social media time on Pinterest, it’s time to get crushing it. Here is your crash-course into success in the newest, fastest-growing social media platform. I’ll share some insider secrets to get you to the top quickly, too. A pin is simply a large image that is loaded onto the Pinterest platform. It must include a brief description and should be linked to the URL from which it is found. So your brand will load images from your online store or content marketing blog with a brief informative or intriguing phrase and the link to read more. Pinterest has become its own search engine. Users enjoy finding more content on their favorite subjects or products by searching within Pinterest itself. The updated search now highlights the most popular content on important categories and suggests sub-categories for users. This encourages users to stay on the Pinterest platform longer, increasing their…

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  • 3 Reasons Why Video is Vital to Your Marketing Strategy

    Humans are emotional, story-driven individuals that love to be emotionally stimulated. Laughter, excitement, and curiosity are all evoked from movies, commercials, short films, and even the tried-and-true cat video. It’s clear to see we all love video, but why? More importantly how should you use it in your marketing strategy? It’s Personal For just a moment, I’d like for you to think about your favorite movie and what it is that you like about it. Do you love the action, the adventure, the humor, the excitement, the drama, or even the scares? These personal experiences are the reason videos reach people at their core, letting them relate to, sympathize for, and even adore the characters and environments. A core concept to internalize is we all have our own personal brand. We are all individuals who love to express what makes us unique and share that with the world. We aren’t saying “I love sporting videos because they have great action….” but rather “I love sporting videos because I am a sporty person.” It’s not about what the video says, but rather what liking the content says about yourself. Take this 2016 holiday ad from Temptations which shows a smorgasbord of…

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  • 60 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Digital Marketing – Answered!

    Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a blog post answering some of the most common questions we get related to digital marketing. So without further ado, here are the 60 most common social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! Social Media Marketing 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them and helping them through the sales funnel. 3….

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  • Video and Social Media Marketing: Which Platform Will Boost Your Brand?

    I’m sure you’ve noticed it yourself. Given the choice between watching a quick video online, or reading a long swath of content, which would you choose? If you’re like 59% of the senior executives interviewed by Forbes Insight on the subject, you’d prefer the video. It’s no wonder, then, that video marketing is growing by leap and bounds. They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and it’s true, as the right image online draws exponentially more eyes than a simple headline ever could, no matter how carefully crafted. But according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. 1.8 million! That’s a pretty bold assertion, but the stats bear it out – using video in online marketing delivers a powerful ROI. Especially in the realm of social media marketing, where videos help posts rank higher in the algorithms determining who sees what in their newsfeed, as well as drawing more interest and engagement from audience members, combining the natural appeal of video with the power of social media. Online shoppers who view a video about a product are 64% more likely to buy that product from that business – and 90% of those…

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  • How to Create Epic Content: Writing Tips for People Who Hate to Write

    So you’ve just been put in charge of your company’s brand-new blog, and the director has given you total creative control. That’s exciting news, right? Except for one tiny detail: you’re not a writer. In fact, if you’re being totally honest, you don’t even like writing. Now that the written word has become such an integral part of the digital marketing plan, lots of people are finding themselves in this very situation – especially at smaller and mid-market companies, where the resources to hire a full-time content writer may not be available. This can be very tough on the person who’s been designated to run the blog, especially if there’s not much money for freelancers. When you add in the fact that the optimal length for a blog post, in terms of SEO and shareability, is 1200 words at a minimum, as MZ’s CEO Shama Hyder relates in her new book Momentum, handling a company blog as a non-writer looks even more daunting. So how do you handle your new role when you’d rather be doing…well, anything else besides stringing sentences together and worrying about grammar? How do you create a well-written, informative, entertaining blog that people want to read…

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  • How to Write Engaging Content for Even the Most Boring Industry

    If someone asked you to come up with a list of boring industries, what would you include? Lighting fixtures? Plumbing? Electronics manufacturing? Housecleaning? We get it. Writing meaningful content about plumbing issues can seem like a near-impossibility. And when you’re the one tasked with writing that content, it can lead to an uncomfortable number of hours spent staring at a blank computer screen. However, it can be done! We’re including lots of tips on how to do this below, but first you have to embrace this one, basic truth: no industry is truly boring. So how do you get at this intriguing, non-boring side of the industry you’re writing about? The tips below should help you out. Research the industry (or product, if that’s what you’re writing about) until you have a good idea of how it works, the trending issues related to it, and what customers seem to love or hate about it. If you’re someone who works in the industry you’re writing about, you already have a strong grasp on all kinds of topics that would make great blog posts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more. In this case, it might be helpful to look at…

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  • 10 Ways to Amplify Your Brand Reach with Live Streaming

    With the entrance of Facebook into the live streaming space with Facebook Live, live streaming has suddenly become mainstream. Despite the fact that live streaming has been available for years from tools like Periscope, UStream, and Livestream, many brands weren’t taking advantage of the power of live streaming – even if they’d already fully adopted the use of video. Now that’s beginning to change. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeing the power of live streaming: more views, higher engagement, and most of all, higher quality engagement. Whether you’ve been live streaming for years or you’re a total newbie to the game, there are lots of ways you can amplify your brand reach using this excellent tool. 1. Just do it. With all due respect to Nike, in this case we’re not talking about running a marathon or any other feat of athleticism. Similar to adding video to your marketing strategy, the great thing about live streaming is that you’ll increase your brand reach simply by doing it – as long as you take into account certain considerations. According to Facebook numbers from earlier this year, Facebook users spend 3 times longer watching live video than pre-recorded video. This bears…

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