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In this article, I’ll show you how to use the Autofunnel tool in GetResponse to build out your whole sales funnel.

And the good new is you don’t have to be a marketing technology expert to build a sales funnel from scratch!

That’s because you won’t have to try and piece together different tools and go through a complex and disjointed process.

With Autofunnel you can set up everything you need to automate your marketing and sell products online, including:

  • Facebook ads
  • Signup pages
  • Landing pages
  • Payment integration
  • Email automation
  • & more!

Now, let’s dive in to see what this tool has to offer and how you can use it to grow your business online.

What is GetResponse and Autofunnel?

GetResponse is an email marketing tool, marketing automation tool, and landing page software all rolled into one.

Oh, and you also get a Webinar software as part of any plan you sign up for except the Basic one.

Recently, GetResponse launched Autofunnel which is designed to allow you to easily set up your full sales funnel.

I got excited about this feature because I know how complicated (and expensive) it is to build a sales funnel using several tools.

Not to mention how painful it becomes to analyze the results when you build a funnel this way…

That pain is now gone!

Autofunnel provides end-to-end analytics and generates your reports automatically.

What are the Autofunnel features

Autofunnel boasts a lot of features but it’s still super simple and intuitive to use.

It is a step-by-step system that efficiently walks you through the process of creating a sales funnel so you won’t get confused or wonder what to do next.

Let’s look at the list of all the available features:

Facebook Ads creator

The first step towards building a successful funnel is making sure you’re driving quality traffic to your landing pages. One way to go about it is creating Facebook ads for your target audience.

With their latest feature, GetResponse made it possible for you to create Facebook ads directly from their dashboard. So, you won’t need to switch between the two tools to launch your ad campaign!

You’ll be able to set up every component of your ad, including ad placement, audience, budget and content. Once your campaign is live, you’ll also be able to monitor and optimize it directly from your GetResponse account.

Landing pages

Autofunnel helps you create landing pages without a hassle. There is a library of landing page templates categorized by product type so you can choose the one that best matches your needs.

What’s great about these templates is that they are already optimized for conversion and include professionally written copy that you can change and customize to your liking to get the best results.

This really cuts down the time (and money) you’d otherwise spend getting someone to design your sales pages and looking for content inspiration all over the internet.

Web forms & Pop-ups

Autofunnel also offers built-in tools to help you take the traffic you built and convert it into subscribers and leads for your business.

You get Web forms that are built into your landing pages and all you need to do is add the fields and collect the information you need.

You also get exit intent pop-ups that are set up for your landing pages automatically giving you a chance to grab email addresses from visitors before they leave your page.

Email automation

is something that GetResponse does extremely well, and now this feature is available as part of Autofunnel.

When you start getting subscribers, you’ll need to have a nurturing sequence ready to nurture them until they are ready to buy from you.

Creating automated sequence is the most efficient way to turn your sign ups into customers and you can set this up easily with Autofunnel.

Tools to help you sell

When you’re creating your sales funnel with Autofunnel, you’ll be able to set up Sales Pages and quickly build order forms using the available templates.

On top of that, you’ll have the option to create stores for your product(s) in GetResponse or, if you’re already using an eCommerce platform like Etsy, WooCommerce, Shopify, or Magento to sell your products, you can just import them since Autofunnel supports integration with these platforms.

Payment processing integration

To make it easy for you to sell your products from your GetResponse pages, they enabled integration with popular payment processing platforms including Stripe, PayPal, BlueSnap, and PayU.

Analytics

You can automatically track the analytics for every stage of the funnel which makes life a whole lot easier. Plus, you can split test every part of the funnel, from landing pages to emails and check out pages!

How Autofunnel works

Now, after getting familiar with Autofunnel features some of you may be skeptical about this tool being easy to use.

But it actually is and I think this brings huge value to people who run small businesses, bloggers, and basically anyone who sells products or services online.

So, let’s have a closer look at how you can create a sales funnel from scratch with Autofunnel.

Getting Started

To get started, you will choose ‘Create Funnel’ from your GetResponse dashboard, give your funnel a name, and select the funnel type i.e. are you going to sell a product, build a list, or promote a webinar?

When you click on ‘create a funnel’ you’ll be able to choose whether you want it to be a full sales funnel or a short one that drives people directly to your sales page.

Here we’re going to look at the process of creating a full sales funnel which starts with getting new signups, nurturing those leads, and then promoting your product.

Next, you will create your store in GetResponse and add your products, or connect your existing store which is enabled by integration with popular eCommerce platforms.

If you choose to create a GetResponse store, you’ll name your store, choose currency, and after that you’ll be able to add your product to the store.

Working with the Funnel Wizard

Now you’re getting to the sales funnel wizard and from here you can start to build your funnel, step by step.

For the purpose of illustrating what Autofunnel can do, I created a sample funnel for a ‘Photography Course’ and I’ll use it as an example to walk you through each funnel step.

Sales funnel wizard in GetResponse/Autofunnel

Step 1 Create a sign up page for your product so you can start collecting email addresses.

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll create your page by choosing a template that best suits your offer.

You can then customize every element of the template including images and copy, plus you can add additional fields to the sign-up form that’s built into the template.

Here’s my example of a signup page for a Photography Course:

Example of a signup page created in Autofunnel

As you can see from the above image, I created a ‘lead magnet’ for the course – an eBook with photography tips that should help me get opt ins i.e. contact details of people interested in photography who are also potential buyers of the photography course.

Now, to get the most out of my funnel, it’s important that I test different variations of this signup page so I can see which design will get more people to sign up. Autofunnel makes this really easy to set up.

Add landing page variants for A/B testing

In the top left of the signup page editor, you will see a menu with a default “Variant A” and next to it there’s a + tab that you can click on to create more variations for your test.

The great thing about landing page templates in Autofunnel is that there’s an option to add an exit pop-up by clicking on the ‘forms’ icon on the right side bar of the editor. Like every other element of the landing page, exit popup forms are really easy to edit:

Exit popup editor

Finally, there’s also a ‘Thank you Page’ template that you can customize to your liking to deliver the offer and say thanks to people who signed up!

Here’s my thank you page for the example Photography Course funnel:

Thank you page created in Autofunnel

As the last step, when you’re done creating your signup page, you’ll optimize it for search engines by adding Page Title, Description, and the URL that will show up in SERPs.

Step 2Create a welcome email that will go out automatically to people who sign up.

Same as with your signup page, you can select a template for your welcome email that you can then customize with your own logo, copy, images, and CTAs.

Email templates in Autofunnel

Once you create your welcome email and save it, you’ll also have the option to add another email and create a nurturing sequence.

Step 3 – Set up your Sales page to entice your subscribers to buy.

The process for creating a Sales page is exactly the same as for creating a signup page, so you’ll move through this step quickly.

Here’s the sales page I created for my example funnel:

Creating a sales page in Autofunnel

As you can see in the above image, there’s an option to add Sales page variants from the top left of the editor for the purpose of A/B testing. This is something I highly recommend that you do so you can track the results and send traffic to the best performing variant of your sales page!

In Autofunnel, there are some useful options created specifically for sales pages, like countdown timers that you can add to your page if your offer is time sensitive and you want to create a sense of urgency.

Timer setup for Sales pages

From your sales page editor, you’ll have the option to create the Order form or your checkout page. Its easy to edit the form and keep only the fields that you think are relevant.

You can also drag and drop, edit, or delete any of the elements in the check out page template.

Checkout page template in Autofunnel

Step 4Add a confirmation page to confirm the purchase and thank your customers.

The template you chose for your signup page will be at the top of the template gallery so you can easily get to it and wrap up your funnel by telling customers what’s next and thanking them for their business.

Funnel Analytics

The great thing about Autofunnel is that it shows you the analytics for each stage of your funnel in one visual chart. This makes it easy for you to track results and make changes to improve conversions.

Funnel analytics in Autofunnel

At the top of the funnel, you’ll be able to see the number of visitors, the number of people who signed up (contacts), as well as the conversion rate. If you have both inline and exit popup form set up, you’ll see the stats for both.

Next, you’ll see the stats for your welcome email including the number of sent emails, email opens, and email clicks. So, for example, if your open rate is low, you’ll want to work on improving the email subject.

Going further down the funnel, you’ll get the number of visitors to your sales page, the number of purchases, the checkout abandonment rate, and the number of completed transactions i.e. people who made it to your confirmation page.

Finally, Autofunnel will show you how your entire sales funnel is performing with the number of visitors, the number of customers, and the amount of money you made.

Pricing for GetResponse/Autofunnel

Autofunnel is available with all GetResponse Plans, except Basic. You can start creating your sales funnels more effectively with the ‘Plus’ plan for $49/month.

Takeaways

If you’re tired of trying to get several tools to work together in order to create, track and analyze your sales funnels, Autofunnel from GetResponse may just be the solution you’re looking for.

The tool is incredibly easy to use yet it has all the features you need to build effective sales funnels and grow your business online.

What tools are you using to build out your sales funnels? Will you give Autofunnel a try? Let me know in the comments bellow!

The post How to use GetResponse Autofunnel to Build Your Sales Funnel appeared first on RazorSocial.

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In this article, I’m going to review Wave.video which enables you to quickly create great looking videos.

Did you know that 80% of all web traffic will be video by 2020?

Yes, I know…video takes up a lot of bandwidth so its no surprise it will account for the vast majority of web traffic...

…but it’s still an impressive number!

So it’s no wonder video is playing such an important part in marketing strategies businesses use today.

And if you’re wondering about the tangible business results that video brings…just look at the following stat:

76% of businesses that use video for marketing purposes said it helped them increase sales!

Now, let’s take a look at a very useful tool that will help you create amazing looking videos, fast.

What is Wave.video?

Wave.video an online tool for creating videos.

It offers all the features you need to create engaging videos that people will love to watch and share.

The best thing about Wave.video is that you don’t have to be technical at all to use it.

It’s a drag-and-drop style editor, with huge libraries of video templates and background music, and options to add text and images with just a few clicks…

It’s as simple as it gets and it will save you hours of time you’d otherwise spend on audio and video editing with more traditional software.

There are three ways to use it:

Option A – Create the video from scratch using the stock library of assets.

Option B – Upload your own video and cut/edit/add music, etc.

Option C – A combination of A & B.

So let’s take a closer look….

How to use Wave.video to improve your social strategy

We know that video content drives more engagement than any other content out there.

We also know that video can be a pain to produce and that’s why we don’t bother!!!!

But wait…

Wave.video is like Canva for video.

Canva is an image creation tool that grew like crazy because it enabled us to create images very quickly.

Wave.video does the same for video.

So imagine if you had a blog post and you wanted to promote it across social channels.

The best way to do this is with a short snappy video content.

You can go to Wave.video, select a template and create one or more videos to share on social.

Video templates are neatly organized in categories, such as Business, Technology, Education, Travel, etc. so you can easily find just the right clips for your video.

You can then preview the clips and choose the one you want to edit to create your video.

Here’s what you can do from the editor:

  • Add text overlay to each section of the video and choose from a variety of available fonts, colors, and effects.
  • Add images from the library or upload your own
  • Choose background music from a large library of audio files
  • Cut the video to your desired length
  • Include your logo and add a ‘call to action’ at the end of the video

Another great thing about Wave.video is that it also lets you automatically optimize the format of your video for sharing on different social media platforms.

This is really helpful for promoting videos on social!

Editing your own video using Wave.video

If you already created your video and you need to do some editing, you can use Wave.video for this as well.

I used to use Screenflow or Camtasia for editing videos (both great tools for video editing!) but Wave.video has some advantages. It costs less and makes editing so much easier:

  • You can add on royalty free music to your videos and choose from thousands of tracks
  • You can add on emojis/funny images to liven up your videos
  • It’s easier to add animated captions – no skills required!

Recently I wanted to promote a newly launched book by my friend Mark Schaefer. The book is called Marketing Rebellion.

I didn’t have much time to create the video so, in about 45 minutes, I shot various scenes and in 20 minutes I edited the video using Wave.video.

The video material I created required the following edits:

  • Adding music
  • Cutting clips
  • Adding text
  • Adding in a couple of slides
  • Adding animation between different sections of the video

And yes, I did all this in 20 minutes!

Here’s the resulting video:


Mark Schaefer - Marketing Rebellion Book Review - YouTube
Combine Your Own Content with Content from Wave.video

We all have content assets just lying there that can easily be used for videos. These can be photos, short video clips, audio recordings…

On its own, this content may not be interesting enough to share with our audience but it can be a great foundation for an engaging video.

This is one more thing that’s made easy with the tool

You can upload your own content (video, photos, audio files), combine it with assets that Wave.video offers, and then do some quick cuts and edits to create unique videos.

What’s also cool about Wave.video is that it offers some advanced audio editing options:

So if you upload your own audio file you can cut it, combine it with tracks from the library, or record your voice directly from the editor and add it to the video.

Wave.video pricing

There’s a free plan which they say is free forever!!

After this there is tiered pricing based on functionality. Here is just some of the functionality available for each pricing point:

  • $8.25 per month for the Creator plan – You get a 1 minute video, lots more export options, video resizing options and more.
  • $16.50 per month for the Pro plan – If you want to really step it up a notch you get 5 minute videos with full HD videos (1080p instead of 720p with Creator and Free plan). You get access to 2 million free videos and images that you can use in your videos and you can add your own watermark and logo.
  • $33.25 per month for the Agency plan – You get everything with the Pro plan with the ability to have 25 brands (i..e your clients) managed through the platform and there’s an option to allow you to show your clients video footage you plan on buying before you buy. You can also upload your own fonts and have 3rd party reseller rights where you can resell content created.
Summary

Video is definitely the content format of today (and tomorrow!), but we still tend to look at it as something that’s really difficult to produce.

That is, if we want our videos to have that professional, polished look.

That’s why tools like Wave.video can really change the game for marketers, making it incredibly easy to create stunning videos to share with their audience.

And…there’s a free plan available so you can play around with the tool and see for yourself what it has to offer.

What tool(s) are you using for creating and editing videos? Let me know in the comments!

The post How to Use Wave.video to Rapidly Create Awesome Video Content appeared first on RazorSocial.

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In this guide, I’ll go into detail about how artificial intelligence is impacting marketing right now and how it will continue to impact it in the future.

At the end of this post, you’ll be excited about the possibilities of AI and probably a little nervous about the implications!

And it’s alright to be nervous because the role of marketers in organizations will change but….

…you’ll still have an important role to play.

Table of Contents
Download a PDF of this Guide


Would you prefer to read this later? If so, download a PDF version of the AI Guide.

C H A P T E R – 1

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing is real and now is the time to sit up and take notice.

Artificial intelligence is accelerating marketing toward a more intelligently automated future in which smarter (i.e. AI-powered) solutions enable marketers to solve problems and achieve goals more efficiently. You have a choice. You can sit back and wait for the marketing world to get smarter and change around you, or you can embrace AI now and be proactive in creating a competitive advantage for yourself and your company.

Paul Roetzer, Founder of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute

However, not all software companies really have AI that say they do.

There’s just so much hype surrounding AI Tech companies want to capitalize on it by saying their software is powered by AI and investors will give higher valuations to them because of the AI in their software.

But there are many great software companies building true AI applications and this is set to grow massively over the next few years.

MRFR research predicted the AI market to be worth 25 billion by 2025.

If you’re a marketer, it’s time to get up to speed and understand the potential impact that AI will have on marketing. I’m pretty sure that this guide will help.

So, what is artificial intelligence?

We all know what human intelligence is…I hope so anyway!

Artificial intelligence is when a machine demonstrates some human-like intelligence.

For example:

A machine processes data and learns from it so it can make smarter decisions about the data it will process in the future.

Instead of just repeating the same instructions, the machine automatically learns new instructions based on experience.

Alpha Zero, the game playing AI developed by Deepmind, learned Chess in 4 hours and then was able to beat the best computer program available for playing chess.

Learning a new game is mimicking human intelligence, but the AI can learn in 4 hours what a human may take months doing.

Computer science describes the study of AI as the development of intelligent agents.

Look:

This is really about smart programming.

Our intelligence helps create artificial intelligence.

As some tasks become very routine they may not be considered artificial intelligence anymore.

Here’s an example:

Optical character recognition is often excluded because it’s a routine task expected from computers.

What is the difference between narrow and strong AI?

Narrow AI (also called weak AI) is artificial intelligence focused on one task.

Strong AI is everything else!

Strong AI has the ability to apply intelligence to any problem rather than a specific task.

For example:

A spam filtering tool performs one task well. A self-driving car is also described as narrow AI but I think this is a bit of a stretch!

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Marketers?

Yes…. some!!!

Marketing is a time-intensive process with a lot of repetitive tasks which machines can help with…

…but there are certain tasks that machines will never be able to perform at the same level as human marketers.

I can imagine, in the future, sitting across from a robot discussing a business proposition but I can’t imagine I’d build the same relationship with a robot as with a real human.  It’s relatively easy to build software to beat someone at Chess and…

…the software gets better at beating people.

But…

Building relationships is the most important part of marketing and computers suck at it.

Also, who is going to build a strategy for a company?

An AI enabled machine can provide inputs into this strategy but strategists will still survive.

I watched a movie called ‘Her’ recently where the actor builds a relationship with an operating system.

Such a ridiculous movie!

Currently, though, there is a serious problem with implementing AI within organizations because of the lack of knowledge amongst marketers.

In a report done with CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) by Deloitte in 2018, the major factor that could slow down the organic growth in marketing is lack of talent.

And because AI is more technical than most other areas of marketing, this is going to be a major issue.

I wrote this guide because there is so much technical information on AI online that it’s quite difficult to understand.  I’m hoping this guide will help marketers understand what AI is really about.

Once you understand AI, then you can work out how to replace the systems you use internally with AI software. And if you decide it’s smart to replace the existing software solutions, you need to figure out what functionality will be gone and what new functionality will be added.

You’ll then need to educate your team about AI and train them on the new software.

Plus, the marketplace for AI solutions is growing so fast that, without understanding AI, you’ll have a hard time finding the right vendor.

C H A P T E R – 2

The elements of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a complex field that includes various elements.

It is focused on the following:

  • Learning – Acquiring information and rules for using that information.
  • Reasoning –  Thinking about something in a logical and sensible way.
  • Doing –  What’s the point in learning and thinking if you don’t do?
  • Self-correction – Understanding mistakes and correcting them.

Here’s a breakdown of the main areas that AI has been implemented in.

Note:  There are some overlaps in each of the areas. For example, a self-driving car uses a combination of machine learning, image recognition, and deep learning.

Neural Networks

A brain takes an input (external or internal), processes it and then produces a result.

A neuron is the basic unit of computation in the brain and it’s responsible for processing those inputs to produce the outputs.

Chemical signals are passed from neurons to neurons.

There are over 100 billion neurons, on average, in a human body and it’s an extremely complex web of interconnections between neurons. Some neurons can be connected to up 10,000 other neurons.

Imagine if someone was putting their hand near a hot stove. This is an input. The neurons would process this causing the hand to move from the stove.

Here’s how this would look internally:

The sensory neuron feels the heat, passing the information onto other internal neurons and eventually to a motor neuron which causes the reaction of moving away from the heat.

A single neuron doesn’t do much on its own, but using a complex web of neurons gives you amazing capabilities.

The neuron consists of input, output, and weight. Weight is really an indicator of importance in the overall scheme of things for this particular piece of information.

For example,  you want a machine to work out how valuable a car is.

You take in a range of inputs e.g. year, make, model, condition, mileage, etc. and these are passed through neurons. Each input is weighted.

The make and the model are weighted higher than the mileage or the year.

And then:

Through a series of complex calculations, the machine comes up with a result.

Here’s a simple example of a neural network.

The initial inputs are weighted (e.g. characteristics based on importance), they are then sent to the hidden layer for processing, and the result is the output.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a branch of AI which enables computers to become progressively better at performing existing tasks or become able to do new tasks without any need for human intervention.

The computers are continuously analyzing data so they can produce better results in the future. Simply put, they’re becoming smarter.

Machine learning is typically broken down into 3 parts:

Deep learning

Earlier we talked about neural networks. Deep learning uses more advanced neural networks.

So instead of an input, hidden, and output layer, you may have many hidden layers.

Meaning there is a lot more processing done than with a basic neural network. The same system of weights is passed between the neurons.

Deep learning is typically categorized in the following way:

Supervised

Supervised learning is where you provide the computer with input data and then the output data (i.e. the results you’d expect). You then build an algorithm around this so you can start providing new input data and the computer will automatically create the output data.

For example, imagine if you had a spam filter. Instead of giving the computer a set of rules to determine whether an email is spam or not, you provide it with a set of emails and then tell it which of those emails is spam and why. The algorithm would then be used to work out a new set of emails.

Unsupervised

With unsupervised machine learning, you provide the input data but you don’t provide the output data. The input could be a batch of test data at first.

So, the computer doesn’t have any example data to help it generate the answers. It needs to do a bit more work.

Semi-supervised

This is a happy medium.  It’s not completely unsupervised but the output data is not enough to accurately predict all results.

So, the computer processes the data and uses the output data as a guideline that it improves over time as it processes more data.

You may want to use semi-supervised ML in cases when you have to manually classify the data but there’s so much to classify that you just classify a piece of it and leave the rest to the computer to deal with.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

This is what natural language processing is about…

Alexa is an Amazon device.

You ask questions in a conversational way and Alexa is able to process them and give a response.

Well, it usually is…..

Natural language processing (NLP) systems have become more advanced over the last few years but there are still many challenges.

For example, it wouldn’t be unusual to say the following:

Alexa – Who are Man U playing?

Manchester United supporters often abbreviate Manchester United to Man U or the Red Devils or just saying United. There’s a slim chance that Alexa would understand these abbreviations.

Here’s another challenging example for NLP:

“I was at a pub the other night with my mates and it was deadly.”

When we use the word ‘deadly’ in this context in Ireland we mean that it was great fun. NLP systems are still not good at detecting the sentiment of text or spoken word.

So NLP will continue to evolve but it will never be perfect because of:

  • Accents
  • So many languages, variations of languages and slang used
  • The tone of voice and body language
Evolutionary Computation

This is the definition of evolutionary computation from Wikipedia:

“In computer science, evolutionary computation is a family of algorithms for global optimization inspired by biological evolution, and the sub-field of artificial intelligence and soft computing studying these algorithms.”

But what does this actually mean…

It was called evolutionary because it’s a continuous process of optimization of results which ‘evolves’ better solutions over time.

It was also called evolutionary from Darwin’s theory of evolution.

For example, one of Darwin’s theories was about survival of the fittest. The weakest members of a species will die over time.

With evolutionary computing, you come up with many potential solutions to a problem. Some may be good and some may be completely random.

With testing, over time, the best solutions evolve.

With deep learning, we are focusing on models we know already. Evolutionary computing is coming up with solutions to problems where we don’t have any sample results we could use to help.

Vision

We’re talking about the ability of computers/machines or robots to see, process, and act automatically based on images.

AI for vision it’s generally split into:

Computer vision –  A computer extracting information from an image to make sense of it.

Machine vision – Machines using visual methods to improve things in areas such as a production environment. They could be visually identifying faults, reviewing food labels, and/or detecting flaws in a product.

Robot vision –  This is where vision is used to identify something to be worked on and the robotic capabilities perform the necessary action.

Robotics

Robots are physical machines.

Robotics is the field of study of robots.

Sometimes you’ll hear people talking about robots automatically creating content for marketers but these are not actually robots. There’s no physical robot involved.

Most robots do not have AI but this is changing.

For example, I used to own a robotic lawnmower called ‘Robomow’. The tagline was ‘It mows you don’t’. I actually used to sell them but that’s a whole different story.

Robomow sits on a charging unit and every few days it would come out and cut the grass. There was an electrical cable around the edge of the garden and the mower would go back and forth at different angles to the edges.  It recorded where it had been so it knew when everywhere was cut.

It even had rain sensors so if it was raining it wouldn’t come out to cut the grass.

But it didn’t have artificial intelligence.

For example, it could have learned about obstacles in the garden and built different routes based on those obstacles.

Unfortunately, mine just kept getting stuck underneath the trampoline…

…every time…

Look:

I’m not saying these devices are not useful.

But…they could be a lot smarter.

Expert Systems

An expert system is a computer program that emulates the human ability to make decisions.

i.e. it replaces the need for or supports an existing expert.

It typically contains a knowledge base with a set of rules for applying the knowledge to each particular situation.

With machine learning capabilities, it’s building its knowledge base over time and adapting or creating new decisions based on its working knowledge.

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In this article, I’ll review Frase and show how it can be a very useful tool to automatically parse through interesting content online and produce relevant summaries for newsletters, learning, and more.

We are in a state of content overload.

When we search Google it typically returns hundreds of thousands or millions of matches for any query.

That’s great. But how do you sort through all those results to find the most relevant content?

And how do you summarize all this content?

As a marketer, I’m sure you know that this process could be a whole lot faster.

That’s where Frase can help.

So what is Frase.io?

Frase is a very useful tool to help content marketers streamline the process of researching and creating content.

What caught my eye is the fact that this tool leverages AI, machine learning and NLP to do so.

It works on three fronts:

  1. Helps you identify the best topics for your content by looking at the top search results for your targeted keywords
  2. Scans your existing content and benchmarks it against competitors for your targeted keyword to identify any topic gaps
  3. Automatically generates summaries of the content you’re researching.

What Frase is trying to do is help you create better content, faster by allowing you to focus on the topics that matter to your audience.

And this wouldn’t be possible without AI…

If you think it’s too early to start implementing AI-powered marketing tools, think again:

According to BrightEdge research, when asked about expectations for marketing technology providers to have native AI capabilities, more than 50% of surveyed marketers said it was important or a must-have.

How does it work?

Frase uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to understand and learn from the content in order to produce the most relevant content summaries.

81% of leading marketers agree that machine learning will be critical for personalized experiences along the customer journey.
Source: Google/Econsultancy

I know that this probably sounds like really complex stuff.

But…

The good news is you only need to focus on the output this tool produces for you!

Here’s how it works:

Basically, it sorts through search results based on the query you specified to identify the content that is most relevant to your research.

And then it produces summaries which include:

  • Relevant points of summary for the articles
  • Key statistics mentioned in the articles
  • Contextual topics found in the articles

This type of insight is incredibly helpful when doing content research, whether your goal is to create new content, optimize existing content, or curate content from the Web to share with your audience.

Key Functionality of Frase.io

When it comes to what Frase can actually do, they’ve done a great job making the functionality focused on your research goals.

Right off the bat, you can choose whether you want to use the tool to create, curate, or optimize content or to create a content brief.

Frase functionality

Now, let’s take a quick look at the 4 key areas of the tool.

Create Content with Frase

At the core of the Frase platform is a text editor with contextual topic research running in the background.

So what does this mean exactly?

You can write your content in Frase like you would with any word processor while having a lot of smart insights into your topic available right next to your document.

Let’s say you wanted to write a piece of content about AI and marketing.

You’d name your document and add a query ‘AI marketing’ and you’d be taken to a content editor that looks like this:

Content editor in Frase

As you can see, you can write your article and explore the most relevant search results for ‘AI in marketing’ on the right hand side of your document.

No more switching between dozens of tabs for research!

Here’s the type of information you get about your topic:

  • Content – Links to the best performing articles on your chosen topic.
  • Topics – The topics mentioned in those articles with the number of times they’re mentioned. Under the Topics tab you’ll also see your content score and the target score achieved by the top articles for your keyword.
  • Headlines – Here you’ll see the top headlines for your topic. Great for inspiration and understanding what kind of titles work in search.

And there’s more…

You want to write content that matches what people actually search for, right?

And you can do this by looking at the questions they ask around your topic…

Frase has a ‘Questions’ feature available so you can see what people are asking on popular Q&A sites, like Quora and Reddit. You can then try and answer some of those questions in your article!

When you’re done writing your article, you can share the link with your coworkers, export into Word, PDF, or text document, or publish to your RSS feed.

You think there’s more you could be doing with AI in your organization but don’t know where to start? Our team of marketing technologists can help.

Optimize Existing Content

Now, this is probably the most interesting Frase functionality for content marketers.

Why?

Because it’s no longer about who creates more content, but who creates the highest quality content and wins at organic search.

Want to know your content score for specific keyword and how to improve it to rank higher?

You can do that easily with Frase.  

Just select the Content Optimization document type and add the keyword you want to rank for and the URL of the article you want to optimize.

If the content you want to optimize is not published yet, you can copy-paste it directly in the editor.  

Here’s what happens next:

Frase will process your content and analyze the top 20 search results for your target keyword to benchmark the topics mentioned in those articles against yours.

You’ll get a content score that you can improve by adding in the topics mentioned in the top ranked articles for your keyword.

The topics that your competitors mentioned in their content and you didn’t will be marked grey and these are the topics that you may want to explore further in your content.

The cool thing is that when you click on a topic, Frase will first show you related topics and then also show where specifically that topic is mentioned in the search results.

Once you’re done optimizing your content, you can go back to the ‘Topics’ tab to see if your content score has improved.

Create a Content Brief

Creating SEO briefs is really easy with Frase. The tool will look at the top search results for your target keywords and surface the topics you should cover in your content.

To get started, choose Content Brief and enter the document name as well as the keyword you want to rank for.

The later is important because the tool will use this keyword to surface the top 10 Google results for that keyword and provide you with the automated brief.

Here’s what you’ll get in your brief:

  • Processed sources
  • Average source length
  • Average links per source
  • The 10 sources that Frase has analyzed

And that’s not all…

The tool will also provide the list of relevant topics mentioned in the ten articles, the highlights for the topics, and the important statistics mentioned in the articles. And finally, you’ll get the summaries for the top ten search results.

These automated content briefs are really helpful for speeding up your SEO research process!

Plus, in addition to the content that’s created automatically, you can also add your own sections and comments to these briefs.

Curate Content to Share with Your Audience

If you share curated content, Frase can help you find and summarize quality content from the Web to share with your audience.

You’ll start with creating a new document and selecting ‘Content Curation.’ When you type in your keyword, you’ll start seeing recent news about your topic in the editor.

From there you can click on each article link to view the bulleted summary or click ‘Add to Document’ to automatically add an overview to your document in the editor.

This is a great way to quickly create a weekly newsletter from curated content. You can easily add an introduction to the automated content summaries to personalize your newsletter for your audience.  

Finally, you can export your newsletter in different formats or push it to Mailchimp directly to send to your subscriber base.

Improved content curation through AI should help marketers create better newsletters, incorporate more research on their original content, scale their social media posting, and create richer internal microsites. Tomas Ratia, Co-Founder and CEO at Frase.

Media Monitoring with Frase

Frase makes it very easy to follow any topic on the Web and get a summarized feed of the latest content.

Like most monitoring tools, it works by setting up the topics you want to follow. You can also apply conditions to topics such as ‘and’ or ‘or’ to get more specific results.

Want to know the best part?

You can apply filters to get much more targeted articles and also set up your preferred sources to avoid getting too much noise from irrelevant publishers.

Finally, you opt in to receive daily email with summarized sources and you can also share those digests with the people on your team.

You can preview the content for the topics you monitor from your Frase dashboard:

Frase.io Pricing

There is a free version, $25 per month version, $100 per month version and custom pricing for larger brands.

Summary

Content marketers are always looking for ways to streamline the process of researching, writing, and optimizing content for search engines. It’s all about working smarter to produce the best possible results while minimizing time spent.

Need help implementing the right AI tools at your organization? We’re here to help!

With the constant advances in AI technologies, tools like Frase are surfacing to make us more efficient in things that, up until recently, relied completely on human intelligence.

If you could cut hours in researching topics on Google and summarizing the top results to get insights for your own content, wouldn’t that be a smart move?

So why not give Frase a try (there’s a free trial available!) and let me know what you think!

The post How to use Frase.io to research and automatically summarize content (AI Tool) appeared first on RazorSocial.

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In this post, you’re going to learn about how to use UberSuggest to research keywords that will drive more traffic to your website.

And the good part about UberSuggest is that it’s FREE!!

Keyword research is an essential part of content marketing.

Keyword research gives you an idea of what people are interested in…

…and what you should be targeting.

Before we jump into UberSuggest lets discuss keyword research.

What are the key considerations for selecting keywords What is the intent of the person searching

Search is typically broken down in the following 4 categories:

  • Informational –  When a user is looking for information on a topic. For example, they perform a search on how to do something. The search results are usually informational ‘how to’ articles, videos, etc.
  • Commercial –  When a user indicates with the keywords they are typing in the search box that they want to make a purchase. For example ‘book Hotel’, ‘buy iPhone.’
  • Transactional –  A user is looking for information but you can see there’s a potential commercial intent. For example, if someone looks for a review of a product it means it’s likely they will buy but they may not be ready to buy immediately.
  • Navigational –  A searcher knows exactly what they want and are just navigating to the relevant page. For example, they type in the name of the company and their product.
Categories of of searches performed How much traffic is generated with this keyword

I know you want traffic!

It may be a great keyword but very few people are searching for it….

…and it’s unlikely to be highly searched in the future.

There are various tools, including UberSuggest, that will estimate the search volume.

You typically estimate the search volume for one particular country and then look at global search volume.

Whatever this figure is you should double it because if you rank for this keyword you’ll probably rank for related keywords.

How difficult is it to rank for this keyword

You may have a great keyword that’s relevant to your business but it’s a very competitive keyword so difficult to rank.

If you know your site doesn’t have a high authority compared to the other websites ranking you may not want to target these keywords.

What is the keyword length

The length of the keyword i.e. number of words in a phrase is an important factor when selecting your keywords.

Most SEO folks categorize keywords into head, body and the (long) tail.

Head keywords are short, single-word phrases that are highly competitive and have really high search volume which usually means lower conversion.

Body keywords are 2-3 word phrases that also get high search volume but are a bit more specific than head keywords and convert better, while long tail keywords capture users with a very specific intent.

This means low search volume but potentially much higher conversion.

How relevant are the keywords to your business

Every piece of content on your website should drive value to your business.

It could:

  • Generate a sale or contribute to one
  • Attract a relevant audience that will share your content
  • Help build your authority on a relevant topic

So…

You need to make sure your content is targeting keywords that are relevant to both your audience and your business.

And more importantly, you need to do everything you can to rank for those keywords!

Is it proven to deliver value?

With so much competition in search, it can be extremely difficult to rank well for every term you want to rank for but…

…what about the terms with a lot of potential traffic that are also very competitive?

You know they’ll require a lot of work to rank but you don’t want to leave them out and miss out on all the traffic they could potentially bring.

So instead of writing the content you can create an ad targeting this keyword and then see how beneficial the traffic is.

What does UberSuggest provide?

Ubersuggest will give you some very useful keyword ideas based on the seed keyword you entered as well as the overview of the most important SEO metrics related to that keyword

…Including search volume, SEO difficulty, CPC and Paid Difficulty.

You can also see the top ranking articles for each of the suggested keywords along with your chances for ranking in the top 20 search results.

This is extremely valuable for making informed content marketing decisions.

Now let’s take a closer look at the available features.

What features are provided

1.Keyword Overview. When you enter in your seed keyword, the first screen you’ll land on after UberSuggest finishes running the analysis of the keyword is the Overview screen. Here you’ll have an ‘at a glance view’ of all the information the tool delivered based on your main keyword, including the SEO metrics, keyword ideas, and SERP analysis.

2. Keyword ideas. This is the main feature of the tool and it gives you great keyword suggestions as well as the related keywords which may or may not be useful depending on your SEO goals. Here you’ll see the key SEO metrics for each of the keywords listed, and when you click on a particular keyword, you’ll get the list of the top 100 websites that rank for it.

3. SERP Analysis. Ubersuggest shows top 100 SERP results for the seed keyword you entered with some valuable metrics for each of the URL’s, including it’s ranking position, estimated traffic they get for that specific keyword, the number of social shares on the article, as well as the Domain Score.

Stepping through a practical example

I had an idea to create a piece of content on ‘marketing tactics’ that businesses could easily implement, so I entered this phrase into Ubersuggest.

Although I would like to rank for this term globally, my focus market is the US so I selected the US.

Here are the results I got:

Results for the keyword “marketing tactics”

Want an explanation of each term:

Search volume – The estimated number of searches per month for this keyword in the US.

SEO Difficulty – This is the rating system created by Neil Patel’s team that works out how difficult/easy it is to rank for a particular keyword. One of the major factors will be the authority of the websites already ranking for these search terms and the number of links to each listing. A word of warning!!! This does not take into account the authority of your website!

Paid difficulty and Cost per click  – Not relevant for organic search ranking. However, if you’re researching keywords for ad campaigns on Google, then you’ll look at these metrics.

Next, Ubersuggest shows me a list of keyword ideas, all with the SEO metrics we just mentioned above. Adding some of these keywords to my article can be useful as long as the search volume is good and the competition is not too high. This way I increase my chances of ranking for those related keywords in addition to ‘marketing tactics.’

Keyword ideas with metrics

I was surprised to see that ‘marketing tactics’ is relatively easy to rank for and that the search volume is decent. This means that if I create long-form, valuable content around this keyword, optimize and promote it, I have a good chance of ranking!

But…I’ll first need to look at who I’m competing with in search so I can create better content than anything I see in the top 20 results. And this is where Ubersuggest really helps with its SERP Analysis.

SERPS Analysis – Discover who you are competing with in search

The top result is an article from CoSchedule, a marketing calendar tool, which is a high-authority website in the marketing space.

If I want to beat them in search or come close, I have to write something better, something with more substance and offer more value to the readers.

But, what Ubersuggest tells me is that ‘marketing tactics’ is not all that competitive and that there’s more than a good chance for me to rank for that phrase. This is all the info I need to start working on that new content piece!

Conclusion

There are so many keyword research tools out there, but Ubersuggest is worth a try simply because it offers free of charge most of the features you’ll find in paid alternatives such as KWFinder.

The post The Essential Guide to UberSuggest for Free Keyword Research appeared first on Content Marketing and Digital Agency based in Dublin, Ireland.

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Inbound or outbound marketing…

What is your poison?

The reality is that you need both.

You need to do outbound promotion to drive inbound traffic. And when you attract lots of people to your website using inbound, you build up your brand so it gets easier to do outbound!

In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can drive more valuable traffic to your website using outbound marketing.

So let’s get started.

1. Influencer outreach

Reaching out to influencers and building relationships with them is one of the most effective outbound marketing tactics.

When you work with influencers relevant to your niche you are increasing your brand visibility and exposure among your target audiences and consequently driving more quality traffic to your website.

But how does this actually happen?

Well, it all starts with finding the right influencers, making a list, and then reaching out to them.

And this is where an influencer marketing tool, such as GroupHigh, can be of huge help.

Grouphigh has a database of over 10 million media outlets/blogs and influencers extracted from the web, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

And what’s great about Grouphigh is that you can get access this information for a low cost monthly subscription.  A lot of tools are $1000 + per month but with Grouphigh it starts at $99. Check out their product video

Let’s say you want to find influencers who write about content marketing. You’d use the keyword ‘content marketing’ to perform a search and the tool would return results that looked something like this:

Immediately I see some key influencers I know in the content marketing space.

But look at all the details that are provided for every influencer/influential site:

  • Location
  • Email address
  • Recent posts
  • Audience size
  • Demographics
  • Social following

And look at the filters on the left

  • Channel
  • Location
  • Type of website
  • Audience Demographics

…And much more.

Reaching out to influencers is not about finding thousands and sending a generic outreach email.

Once you have your final list of influencers, you’ll do your research to learn more about them and then start reaching out with personalized messages. Here’s a detailed article about how you can engage with influencers using GroupHigh.

There are so many different ways you can work with influencers – you can ask them to contribute to your content, get them to participate in an influencer roundup post or an expert post, mention them in your content and see if they’d be interested in sharing, etc.

Roundup posts worked extremely well for me, and I’m sure you’ve seen numerous examples of successful expert posts all over the Web. Here’s one from Search Engine Journal:

This article was shared 8.5K times and has 35K reads! I’d bet that most if not all of the 47 experts shared this piece with their network which caused a ripple effect and contributed to this article’s success.

2. Guest Posting

Guest posting on authoritative sites in your industry is a great way of establishing yourself as an expert in the topic you’re writing about.

But another equally important benefit of this outbound marketing approach is that it drives traffic back to your website.

To start the process, you’ll first need to find the best websites for guest blogging. Naturally, you’ll want to target only authoritative websites that are highly relevant to your industry and the topics that you cover on your website/blog.

To find authority sites you can use Grouphigh or similar tools that allow you to filter based on authority.

In Grouphigh’s filter, you can look for sites with a certain amount of visitors, links, and authority etc.

The ‘DA’ stands for domain authority.  This is a number out of 100 which is calculated by a company called Moz and the higher the number the more authority the website has.

Watch my video on domain authority:

Why Domain Authority is extremely important for your website - YouTube

Now, If you don’t have the budget for tools you can use Google but it take you a long time to find the best results!!

For example, go to Google and type…

‘Submit guest post + ‘your keyword’’

Let’s look at one example:

That gives you a list of websites that probably accept guest posts but they may not be the exact websites I need, may not have a good authority etc.

3. Broken link building

No one likes having broken links on their website. It’s bad for SEO but it also creates a poor user experience for the people who click on those links.

However, broken links can creep into the best of websites simply because services/products shut down, people take down resources and entire sites, and this rarely comes announced.

So how can you benefit from broken links on relevant, authority sites from your industry?

Well, you can scan them for broken links using a tool like Ahrefs Broken Link Checker, reach out, and offer a similar resource on your site as a replacement. This tactic works well because most people will be interested in fixing broken links on their website and linking to a new, credible resource.

Also, if there’s a broken link that you have a perfect replacement for, run it with Ahrefs site explorer to see who else is pointing to this broken page. This is an easy way to find more link prospects!

4. Building links to relevant resources

I’m sure that you’ve come across many sites that have pages dedicated solely for linking out to relevant resources.

A resource can be anything from a case study to a free tool, checklist, or guide. You probably have at least one of these valuable resources created for marketing purposes and now you can use it for building links and driving new traffic.

Now, decide on a popular keyword relevant to your domain and the resources you have (or plan to create) and do a search on Google to find resource link opportunities.

Here are some formulas you can use:

  • keyword inurl:resources
  • keyword inurl:links
  • keyword intitle:resources

When I Google “content marketing intitle:resources” you see that I get a lot of results from relevant sources. The next step is creating the prospect list and reaching out to them.

But before you do, make sure that you have a valuable, useful piece of content that will blend in well with the rest of the resources on that page.

5. Building a community

Creating your own community within social media platforms is a great way to expand your audience, build engagement and trust, and ultimately drive traffic to your website.

You’re probably very passionate about your business. And you are most likely an expert in your niche. There are thousands of people who share your interests, so why not create a community specifically for them?

For example, you can create a Facebook group focused on an industry topic or your area of expertise. By interacting with a community of people who share the same interests, engaging actively, and sharing useful content and advice, you can form strong relationships and encourage them to learn more about your business and maybe even become a customer down the road.

6. Reach out to relevant media

Mentions on relevant, high authority media sites can truly move the needle for your business.

Why? Because you’ll get the exposure and visibility that will bring more traffic and more potential leads to your business.

But to get media mentions you need to give them something to write about.

For example:

A research report provides unique data.

Journalists love unique data.

Find Journalists that write about similar topics and reach out to them.

Give them a good story about your data. The more research you do with the Journalists the better.  Most Journalists get irrelevant content so you don’t want to fall into this bracket!

Bonus Tip: Get links to better content

There’s a lot of poor content out there.

If you are creating a piece of content on your blog create something that is better than any other content out there.

Then….

Find who links to existing content and reach out to them to tell them about the new content.

You will get some good links…..if your content is good enough.

You can use a tool such as Grouphigh, SEMRush or Ahrefs to find who is linking to existing content.

Use an outreach tool to help you automate the outreach process.

Summary

Focusing on inbound marketing as the main strategy to drive traffic to a website is commonplace for today’s marketers. Outbound is often considered as an old school, interruption marketing strategy that doesn’t work.

However, a modern approach to outbound is everything but ineffective – if planned and executed the right way, outbound marketing tactics like the 6 we discussed above can drive quality traffic to your website and bring new leads to your business.

Are you leveraging outbound marketing to drive traffic to your website? Are there any tactics that you’ve found success with and that we didn’t mention in this article?

The post 6 Outbound Marketing Tactics to Drive More Valuable Traffic to Your Website appeared first on Content Marketing and Digital Agency based in Dublin, Ireland.

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Creating really good quality content on a consistent basis is hard work.

And…creating content that is going to perform well for you in the search engines is even harder.

Just think about it.

The amount of content produced is growing all the time.

So…

Your competition is growing.

You need to work harder than ever at optimizing your content to get maximum benefit out of the content you produce.

Want to make this process less painful?

I’ve put together a checklist of items for content optimization which includes both technical and non-technical recommendations.

Let’s dig right into it!

1. Choose the right keywords to target

Let’s take this post as an example.

Why am I writing about content optimization?

It’s very relevant to my target audience, it has the potential to get customers, and it’s a keyword term that I can rank for.

Keyword research is such an important part of deciding what to write about!

I used Ahrefs keyword explorer for the purpose of research and it showed me that the search volume for ‘content optimization’ is 300 searches per month in the US.  The reality is that the potential traffic is a lot bigger because there are many related keywords this article could rank for and there are countries other than the US!

It also shows me the keyword difficulty is 7.  This is based on the average number of links to articles ranking in the top 10 search results.

Note:  This is a score out of 100, so 7 means around 8 websites linking.  If the score was 70 out of 100 that would mean there’s hundreds of links.

So if I write a very good article and get at least 8 reasonably good links to it, I’ve got a good chance of ranking.

And if the authority of my website is similar to the authority of other websites ranking for this keyword, then it’s going to be easier for me to rank.  If I’m competing against domains that are super high authority, then it becomes more of a challenge.

Read my guest post on SEMRush about the importance of domain authority and how to build it in 90 days.

2. Optimize for SEO

Google is getting smarter with its analysis of content so it’s not 100% essential to have direct matching keywords in places like the meta title, meta description or the URL name anymore.

However… if you have a new, lower ranking website, it’s safer to still have matching keywords in all relevant places.

Not sure if all the content you published is properly optimized for SEO?

You can find that out easily with Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This on-page SEO analysis tool analyzes your website and checks for issues such as duplicate titles, missing or long meta descriptions, missing alt headings, and more.

Plus, if there are any broken links on your pages, Screaming Frog will help you identify them.

By fixing the SEO issues on your pages, you’ll help improve their chances of ranking higher in the SERPs.

3. Optimize content for sharing

 You put a lot of work into creating amazing content and you want it to stand out when someone shares it on social media, right?

For this to happen, you need to ‘tell’ the Social Platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) what information to display whenever a link from your site is shared.

For Facebook, you can do this with the help of Open Graph protocol. Basically, you’ll provide Facebook with snippets of code that it can interpret, including:

  • The og:title tag(the title) tells Facebook what your page is about and how it should be displayed within the social graph.
  • The og:description tag gives information about your page and entices people to click through.
  • The og:image tag lets you specify the URL of an image that will represent your page in the social graph.

This will help optimize your content for sharing on Facebook, but you’ll have to do a bit of extra work to do the same for Twitter.

And that’s where Twitter Cards come in. Twitter cards are basically summary cards which include title, description, and thumbnail that will display whenever someone shares your content on Twitter.

You can learn all there is to know about setting up Twitter cards in this article.

I know this seems like a lot of work, so here’s some good news:

If you’re on WordPress, there’s a way to avoid manual work by using Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast has built-in options to define Open Graph and Twitter Card tags. Simply navigate to the SEO > Social menu from your WP dashboard and then choose the social tabs e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

For Facebook, once you enable the Open Graph meta data, the plugin will fill out most of the required tags. You can customize this by adding a default image for pages without images.

For Twitter, first make sure that the Twitter card meta data is enabled and then choose a default card layout. It’s really that simple.

Once you have everything set up, it doesn’t hurt to double-check if your content is properly optimized with a tool like Knowem.com.


4. Optimize for reading

 We worry so much about optimizing our content for search that we sometimes forget to structure it so it’s easy to read for humans!

The structure of your content is very important because you want to make sure people find it easy and enjoyable to read. You can improve readability of your content by:

  • Writing short sentences and paragraphs. Most people scan the content looking for quick takeaways. So keep your writing to the point, make sure to stick to one idea per paragraph, and lay it out in four sentences max.
  • Using sub headlines to break down the text. If people like what they’re able to consume in a few seconds by scanning the subheadings, they’re more likely to read through the whole article.
  • Using copywriting techniques. Using proven copywriting techniques will help you grab the attention of your readers and keep it.

Here’s an incredibly useful list of copywriting techniques.

5. Optimize the imagery

 Using relevant, high-quality images keeps readers engaged with your content, but you also need to make sure they are optimized for search engines.

Google can’t ‘read’ your images, so if you want it to understand what your images are about, you need to add ‘alt text’ for every image you use in your post.

You can also give your image a title e.g. what you see when you hover over the image.

You also need to ensure that your visuals are the right size so they’re loading properly. Heavy image files take time to load which can ruin the user experience on the page. Compress your images so they’ll load faster!

Check out Tinypng which significantly reduces your png images.  You’ll see you can get over 30% reduction in image size yet you won’t notice the difference in image quality.

6. Add relevant links

 Linking is really important from the SEO perspective, but it also contributes to a good user experience giving readers options to discover additional related content on your site (or 3rd party sites).

For example, I will link from this post to related content on RazorSocial. These internal links have a significant impact on SEO because they help spread link juice around my website.

I am also going to link to relevant content on other high authority websites in my industry.

7. Do Outreach to generate more traffic

I will also reach out to related websites to try and get backlinks for my article.

Remember – the more trusted domains link to your content, the better chances you’ve got for ranking! Links from high profile sites will pass more authority and bring more relevant traffic to your site.

So here’s my process for reaching out for links:

  • Set up a tool like Brand24 to monitor mentions of the keywords you’re targeting with your content
  • Get alerts for new posts that mention those keywords
  • Make a list of the websites and find email addresses with io
  • Verify emails with Zerobounce
  • Start your link building outreach with the help of an email outreach tool like OutreachPlus.

Note – when you reach out to get links, make sure to personalize your pitch to each website/contact to get higher response rates.

8. Optimize for speed

While optimizing your website for speed may not be directly related to content optimization, it still impacts the user experience (most users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less) and it’s also one of the factors that Google looks at when ranking websites.

This is why it’s important to check your website load time with a tool like GTMetrix and see if there are any issues you can fix.

There are many reasons why your website’s speed can be slow, and with GTMetrix you can see how long each element on your website takes to load so you can optimize those that are taking too long.

More often than not, one of the major issues will be the image file size. You may need to review your images and reduce the image size. There are some pretty useful WordPress plugins, such as EWWW Image Optimizer, that you can use to scan the images regularly and reduce the image file size to help improve the speed of your website.

9. Optimize for email conversion

 For content marketers, one of the most important conversions is getting an email address from a reader.

Why? Well, because it gives them the opportunity to nurture them and guide them further down the sales funnel.

But to do this effectively, you need to be clever about asking for the email address. The tactic I found to be extremely effective are content upgrades.

Content upgrades are basically content offers created for a specific blog post with an opt-in placed at the top and the bottom of the post itself.

You can offer different type of upgrades in exchange for the readers email address as long as they are closely related to the topic of the post they’re created for. These could be checklists, guides, reports, etc.

Here’s an example from AWeber offering a content upgrade at the bottom of their email marketing tips article:

Tip – Check out OptinMonster to help you grow your email list.

 10. Add structured data/schema markup where required

 Adding Schema markup to your website is extremely valuable – it not only helps with your search engine rankings but also makes your website more user-friendly.

So what is Schema markup in the first place?

Simply put, it’s a way of helping Google understand the context of your web page by adding specific attributes so when it’s listed on SERPs it will be more relevant to the searcher’s query.

You can check your website’s markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Just enter your site’s URL or paste in a code snippet and the tool will analyze your content.

If you are on WordPress you can use the Schema plugin to add structured data markup to your site automatically.

Summary

The list of items for content optimization that we covered in this article may seem overwhelming, but once you start optimizing every piece of content before you publish, it will become second nature to you.

Optimizing your content should be a part of your content process and not an afterthought or a chore you have to do occasionally.

I would love to hear your thoughts and any additional content optimization tips or tricks you may have!

The post Content Optimization: How to Optimize your Content for Maximum Results appeared first on Content Marketing and Digital Agency based in Dublin, Ireland.

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Still using spreadsheets to manage your marketing projects?

Or maybe a task management tool?

There’s nothing wrong with either but when a project gets complicated you need more than this.

How about a project management tool that provides functionality specific to marketing?

Product launches
Creative assets and content management
Campaigns
Go to market plans

….and more

Welcome to Wrike.

About Wrike

Wrike is an online tool built to help you manage your projects. If you want to stay on top of all your tasks, work with a group of people, have clear visibility into where you are and what needs to be done all while staying organized, then this may be a tool to consider.

Let’s find out!

User Interface and Usability

If software is not simple to use there’s no place for it on my shelf!

We don’t have time to try and figure out new software any more.

And having a dated interface is a big no-no…

Luckily Wrike doesn’t fall into either of these traps.

It provides a really nice user interface and it’s relatively easy to use. The only negative side is it doesn’t provide context-sensitive help (e.g. help available which is specific to the screen you are on).

Setting up a project

The easiest way to understand the functionality that Wrike has to offer is to set up a project.

We’re building a blog strategy course at the moment so we used this as an example.

To create your first project, you’ll just need to click on the plus icon at the top horizontal menu and choose Project.

You’ll immediately see the following screen:

After you name and create your project, you’ll be able to set a start date and end date, add a description, share with team members, and upload files and add notes so they’re easily accessible by anyone working on the project.

Next you’ll start organizing the work into folders (which can contain subfolders, tasks, and subtasks) so all the relevant information is grouped together and is easy to locate and share with your team.

For our project, it made sense to divide the work in 3 stages and create folders for Pre-launch, Launch, and Post-launch activities so we know exactly what needs to be done at each stage, who needs to do it, and in which timeframe.

This worked for us and for this particular project, but you can choose to categorize your work in any way that suits you e.g. by team or by client. We’ll cover Folders in more detail later on in this post.

At the Project level, you can keep an eye on the status and due dates of the project separately from the individual tasks. Basically, you get a high level overview of the project’s progress.

A nice little feature here is that you can assign a status to your project (green, yellow, red, on-hold, cancelled, and completed) and change it accordingly over the course of the project.

Project Views

A project in Wrike also has different views. This means that you can switch from List, to Board, to Table, or Gantt chart at any time.

These are all different and extremely useful ways to keep track of your project. If you’re a fan of Kanban boards and you used Trello or similar tools a lot, you’ll love the Board view.

If you want a more visual way of tracking how your project and associated tasks are scheduled, you’ll be switching to Gantt chart view a lot.

Apart from these different views, the Project’s top menu also contains Files (where you can see all files attached to the project), Timelog (if your team is logging time spent on tasks), Workload (calendar of your scheduled workload), and Analytics (different charts, including Performance and Work Progress).

Project Analytics

Now, let’s take a closer look at the available Analytics as this is where you’ll get all the information you need to assess if your project is advancing the way you intended.

The Analytics tab shows you a snapshot of the project’s tasks on the left, including the number of tasks and milestones, and the charts relating to the progress of the project on the right.

Now, the charts that Wrike automatically generates based on the available project data may not be enough for your specific reporting needs.

So, for example, if you need to report on things like tasks by users the good news is that there’s also an option to create a new chart.

In this case you can choose to show finished, ongoing, cancelled, or overdue tasks. A nice way to track how your team is handling the workload and if they’re delivering on time.

Working with Folders & Tasks

We’ve touched upon Folders earlier and mentioned they’re a great way to categorize your work i.e. group and save tasks and information in a way that’s easy for everyone to find. Now let’s see how to create and work with folders in Wrike.

To create a new folder, simply click “+” in the top horizontal menu and select “Folder.” Name your folder (make it clear e.g. a client name, department, work stage, etc.) and choose the default view.

Like with Projects, a folder can have different views including List, Board, Table, and Gantt chart.

After choosing a default view, you’ll select people you want to share your new folder with and click ‘create.’ It will show up in the Folder three on the right hand side of the dashboard.

As you can see in the bellow screenshot, my Pre-launch Folder is already populated with tasks.

Regardless of your default Folder view, adding a task is always the same – you’ll just click on ‘+New Task’

Since tasks are the actual activities you team members need to complete for a particular project, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the capabilities that Wrike offers here. You’ll have just the right tools to manage, assign, and track all the tasks.

For every task you create, you’ll be able to:

  • Set due date
  • Add assignee
  • Add subtask
  • Attach files
  • Add dependency
  • Include a description
  • Add comments

Plus, with the right click on a task, you’ll get more options including to reschedule or add importance level. All of these capabilities should really allow you and your team to stay organized and on schedule.

Once you add in more Folders and populate them with associated tasks, you may want to do more to better organize your Folder tree.

This is where color coding comes in.

Just right click on a Folder, hover over “Color” on the dropdown list, and choose a color from the available options. The color you pick is immediately applied to the Folder, it’s that easy!

You can also share a folder with a group or individual users by sending them an invite. You can do this with right click on a Folder > Share.

Using Templates in Wrike

In marketing, we often manage similar projects and tasks and creating them from scratch over and over again is not the most efficient way of doing things.

The team over at Wrike knows this well, so they enable their users to create templates that they can use to quickly get moving on their next project or task. Here are their tips on how to do this.

  1. Create a folder and call it “Templates”.
  2. Inside this Templates folder, create a subfolder for a project you often repeat and add the tasks within this folder. These will be typical tasks necessary to complete this type of project. Add project description so anyone working on it will know exactly what to do.
  3. Set duration for each of the tasks (no need for deadlines)
  4. Change each of the tasks statuses to “Deferred.”

Learn more about how to start a project from Template.

Final thoughts

This tool is definitely one to test out for individuals and teams who regularly handle multiple clients or projects at the same time. It’s great for busy marketers and agencies who appreciate having one tool to keep track of their projects and tasks. Given how comprehensive functionality of Wrike is, it may be a bit overwhelming at first, and you may find a less complex tool more fit for your needs.

How do you manage your marketing projects? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section bellow!

The post Wrike Review: How to use Wrike for Managing your Marketing Projects appeared first on Content Marketing and Digital Agency based in Dublin, Ireland.

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The world of digital marketing is gigantic as it incorporates so many online tasks. That said, you can only imagine that the world of digital marketing tools is downright enormous … it actually resembles more of a galaxy than a single world!

To pare things down, I’ve created this list of essential tools to help you do some of the most popular tasks in the world of digital marketing.

SEO: Ahrefs

This SEO tool keeps me focused with my blog content. I don’t want to spend my time writing content for content sake. I want to at least give it the best chance to rank well on Google.

Ahrefs tells me what keywords I should target. It shows me a keyword difficulty score so I know immediately if the keyword phrase is something I can target it or not.

Estimation of keyword difficulty

It also shows me what Websites currently rank best for those keywords. Then it displays all the related keywords those sites rank for with that piece of content.

Some SEO tools can be intimidating but Ahrefs is nicely laid out and doesn’t require me to have a technical background to use it.

Sure, there are free keyword tools out there. But even if I cobbled those freebies together, they won’t give me the comprehensive data that Ahrefs does.

Price: Starts at $99/mo. A test run is also available — just $7 for 7 days.

Lead Generation: OptinMonster

No matter what social media network or chatbot you’re killing it on, you still need to build email subscribers. And OptinMonster helps do just that.

This lead generation tool allows me to have some neat options. For example, I can place an opt-in that appears at the top or bottom of my site.

A standout feature is its exit intent pop up. Say you’re browsing my site for an hour. Nothing will get in your way. But as soon as you try and exit the site, a pop up will appear and say, “Hey, do you wanna buy this fabulous course? Or do you want to download this helpful guide?”

What I like about OptinMonster is how easy it is to create and split test these opt-ins.

I don’t need to be a design genius to have an opt-in running with OptinMonster. They offer lots of templates so all you I to do is add text and an image if I’d like.

In a matter of minutes, I can have up two, ready-to-go opt-ins with different texts on each one. Soon after, I can see which of the two converts better and then use that one exclusively. At any time, I can view the analytics and the number of email subscribers for any opt-in or any popup I have on the site.

This tool integrates with dozens of email, Website, and eCommerce platforms so it should be easy to hook up with whatever you’re currently using.

Price: Starts at $14/mo. Free 7-day trial.

Brand and Trend Monitoring: Brand24

Brand24 is a tool that monitors mentions across the web and social media networks. And it’s really important to keep track of what people are saying about you, your brands, or your competitors (in case you forgot!).

I’ve used this tool for years to see when somebody has mentioned my company name. I typically then add a comment to the blog or social media post or share that piece of content.

Brand24 for monitoring

Recently, I’ve been using Brand24 to get backlinks. As you should know, only part of getting a good Google ranking is creating well-optimized content with the help of something like Ahrefs. The other part is getting other people to talk about the content and sending traffic to the post.

Say I’ve written a blog post about finding influencers and measuring influence. I’ll set up an alert on Brand24 for “find influencers.”

Now when someone publishes a new post mentioning “find influencers,” I get a notification.

I then each out to that blogger and say, “Hey, I liked your article about ‘find influencers.’ I’ve just written a post which gives more details and has a frame for management. Maybe it might be something that you might want to link to. If you do include a link, I’ll be happy to share your post to my followers.”

Every minute counts in digital marketing so Brand24 helps me reach out to bloggers within an hour of them publishing the content. This ensures me the best chance of getting a backlink added into their article while it’s still fresh in their mind.

Price: Starts at $49/mo. Free 14-day trial.

Social Media Management: Agorapulse

If you’ve been reading RazorSocial for a while, you know my background is in social media tools.

A few years ago I was using a combination of tools — Buffer, some Hootsuite, a bit of Edgar — and patched them together.

I never liked Hootsuite, especially its interface. Then slowly I started moving into Agorapulse and I dropped Hootsuite. Then I dropped Buffer.

That left me managing social with Agorapulse and Edgar.

Recently, Agorapulse launched queues where I can start queuing of content in different categories, and I was able to drop Edgar.

That move finally got me down to one tool, Agorapulse, to do my social media management for all the platforms and where schedule and report on social media. It’s been incredibly beneficial to my team to use just this one tool.

Our team typically follows this workflow with social: When I find content on something like Feedly, I’ll put in comments on it saying, “This is why I find this post interesting,” and comments to be shared on Twitter or Facebook. Then my social media specialist creates the post and adds it to a relevant publishing queue in Agorapulse.

Agorapulse queue

I use Agorapulse to see if comments are coming back in for these posts. I pop in the inbox, immediately see the comments, and respond to all of them.

To shave even more time off my day, I use saved reply templates that I’ve set up in Agorapulse to respond to comments. After I’m done with the inbox management, I go into the report tab to see how our social content is doing. It’s great to have this all in one dashboard.

Price: Starts at $49/mo. Free 14-day trial.

Email Outreach: OutreachPlus

I have to mention my own tool. After all, I created it because it’s something digital marketers do in fact need to succeed.

As you might have gathered from how I use several of the tools on this list, I find it invaluable to reach out to people, build relationships, and promote others’ content. But it takes forever to do manually.

So I built this email outreach tool to help automate and simplify that process of reaching out. With OutreachPlus, you create great personalized emails to a group of people — rather than Gmail and going one email at a time.

I’ll give you an example.

We’ve just published a research report on promoting blog content. With OutreachPlus, I reached out to journalists and media sites that wrote about similar research reports and say, “Hey, you wrote about a research report related to social media, thought you might be interested in this.”

Price: Starts at $9/mo. Free 14-day trial.

I enjoyed talking about these digital marketing tools with Scott Ayres over at Agorapulse. Check out our chat here:

The post 5 Digital Marketing Tools Essential for Daily Use appeared first on Content Marketing and Digital Agency based in Dublin, Ireland.

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