Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Email Lists: When Smaller Is Actually Better

SEO tips & tutorials.

This next offering was in fact provided courtesy of Content Marketing Institute. I normally enjoy reviewing 1 of their posts because they're extremely great. You are going to find it helpful.

email-lists-smaller-better

Have you been attracted to headlines like these?

  • 50 Tips to Help You Get 50,000 Email Subscribers for Your List
  • 20 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Get More Email Subscribers
  • How to Build an Email Marketing List as Quickly as Possible
  • 10 Irresistible Incentives That Will Grow Your Email List—Fast

Of course you have, and I understand why: For us content marketers, eyeballs are everything. The more people we have reading, listening to, and watching our content, the better.

But what if the best way to grow a loyal audience for your content is to let your subscribers go, or even to shove them out the door? I learned the hard way that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to email lists. Now, I want to share how to pare your list to make it more effective for your business – and your target audience.


Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to #email lists, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


Let’s begin.

Backstory

I’m the co-publisher of Renegade Writer Press. We’ve published books for years, but only started getting serious about the business this year.

When my business partner, Diana Burrell, and I sat down to talk numbers, we had over 7,000 subscribers on our MailChimp mailing list, but our open rate was only 20 to 25%, which was much lower than the 32% average open rate across industries. Our click-through rate was a piddling 2 to 4.5%.

I had just talked with another professional in our industry who said she racked up an over 50% open rate. How did she do it? She only kept people on her list who wanted to be there.

My business partner and I quickly created and downloaded a segment of subscribers who hadn’t opened any of our emails in the past couple of months, and then unsubscribed those members. We then wrote an email to those inactive subscribers letting them know that in the interest of not cluttering their inboxes, we had unsubscribed them from our mailing list. (We sent this email via our business Gmail account.) Finally, we provided a link where those readers could quickly re-subscribe if they wanted. 

Your-Subscription-Has-Expired-Email

Our email list dropped from more than 7,000 subscribers to around 1,200 – and our open rate jumped from between 20 and 25% to between 55 and 60%. The click-through rate on our last newsletter was 7.1%.

Did we lose some people who didn’t want to unsubscribe? Probably, because MailChimp’s reporting isn’t perfect. If those subscribers really wanted to be there, they would notice the missing emails and re-subscribe. That’s how hardcore we were about only wanting subscribers who want to read our content.

Even better, our book sales have been increasing steadily since we kicked off subscribers who were less than passionate about our content and our products. We’ve made other changes to our business that may account for the increase in sales, but the point is that our sales did not decline.

Why smaller is better

Keeping people on your list who truly don’t want to read your content or buy from you hurts your business in several ways, including:


Keeping people on your #email list who aren’t interested in your #content hurts your business. @renwripress
Click To Tweet


  • Having a load of subscribers who aren’t really interested in your content and offerings skews your analyses. When you survey your subscribers, the replies are not necessarily from people interested in ever buying from you.
  • Creating content for a diverse and numerous audience weakens your success because you’re writing for a lot of people who just don’t care.
  • Paying for inactive subscribers is an unnecessary cost. When we reduced our list to 1,200 dedicated readers, we saved the $75 per month we were paying for hosting of a list of 7,000-plus unengaged subscribers.

Are you convinced that bigger isn’t always better, and that not all subscribers are equal? Good. Then you’re ready for the five ways to encourage – directly and indirectly – your less-enthused subscribers to leave.

1. Create content for the people who love you

If you aren’t worried about retaining every last one of your subscribers, you can better understand who your ideal subscribers are and target your content to them. You may tick off some subscribers, but that’s the point. If they don’t like your content and the products or services you offer, then wave bye-bye.

2. Make it easy to unsubscribe

One of the biggest scams targeting consumers is marketers who make it difficult to unsubscribe from their brand’s mailing lists. Follow these tips:

  • Make the unsubscribe link visible and easy to find. Stop hiding a tiny link in the footer, camouflaged in a color that’s barely distinguishable from the background.
  • Allow for one-click unsubscribes. Don’t ask soon-to-be former subscribers to click to confirm that they really, really want to leave – or worse, ask them to click even more times to be 100%, absolutely sure.

Don’t ask soon-to-be former subscribers to click to confirm they really, really want to leave. @renwripress
Click To Tweet


  • Don’t take “up to 10 days for the changes to take effect.” You can add new subscribers to your list instantly and you can process a purchase instantly. You should be able to unsubscribe someone instantly, too. At a minimum, don’t use the 10 days – as I suspect some companies do – to put the wannabe unsubscriber into a re-engagement campaign.
  • Don’t require wannabe unsubscribers to enter a password or to use Captcha authentication. Evil hackers are not unsubscribing people without their knowledge or consent. This level of verification is unnecessary.
  • Invite subscribers to leave. Once in a while (if not every time), note near the top of an email that if a subscriber is no longer interested in your content, or doesn’t have time to read your content because they’re overwhelmed by their overflowing inboxes, they can unsubscribe with a single click (and be sure to include the link). Let them know you’ll miss them and hope they’ll be back – and move on.

Occasionally invite your #email subscribers to leave & make it easy, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


3. Make prospective subscribers work for it

What if, instead of begging people to join your mailing list, you make it difficult to join? What if you create a situation where your ideal audience self-selects for your mailing list?

This idea stems from a recommendation in Cal Newport’s book Deep Work to reduce email distraction by creating a filter – in other words, by requiring the sender to take another step before emailing you.

A more radical step to be sure. But what if your brand required potential subscribers to read an FAQ before subscribing, or to wait for a letter in the mail from your brand to confirm their interest? When you set up filters like this, you can be assured that the person really, really wants to connect with your brand.

4. Stop giving away the cow

“Join our list and we’ll send you a free report!”

“Stay on our list and we’ll shower you with goodies!”

Those are great ways to keep people on your mailing list – and leave your team catering to hordes of subscribers who are only on your list for the freebies (including content freebies), and ignoring your ideal audience in the meantime.

Stop offering freebies and hosting contests to entice more people to give you their email address. Once you’ve culled the list, it’s OK to send out offers to your smaller audience because you know they really want to be connected to your brand. In our book publishing business, we now use our smaller list to search for beta readers, who will of course receive a free book, because we’re confident now that our subscribers aren’t just looking for handouts.

5. Keep it clean

Every six months or so, segment the subscribers who haven’t opened your last certain number of emails (that threshold is up to you). Send these inactive subscribers an email to let them know you plan to remove them in 30 days. Want to get even more hardcore? Do what Diana and I did: Simply unsubscribe them and send them a re-subscribe link in case they want to get back on.

You will probably, as we did, get apologetic responses from people saying something like, “So sorry, I’ve been really busy lately and would like to stay.” That’s great because those are engaged subscribers – and you shouldn’t remove them from the list.

Also, don’t be afraid to unsubscribe people who you know, way down deep in your soul, are not good for your business. That subscriber who responds to every email with a complaint? Bye. The one who emailed asking for a $1 refund after buying your $3 gateway product, because he saw your dollar-off promotion two months later? See ya. The reader who pings you after every email to say they wish they could afford your products but simply can’t? Sayonara.

This isn’t to say that people who ask for discounts or refunds, send in complaints, or can’t afford your products shouldn’t be welcome on your mailing list. After all, we also write content because we want to entertain, inform, and educate readers. Engaged readers – even if they are not buyers – are welcome to keep reading our content. However, when it costs us more time and money than it’s worth to keep these subscribers happy, it’s time to say goodbye.


We write #content to entertain, inform, and educate readers, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


Make your emails work for you – and your readers

If you employ any of these tips, you’ll gradually see your subscriber base narrowing to an audience of engaged, devoted readers. What I’m suggesting can be risky if you’re dependent on reporting big numbers to impress management, or if you do it carelessly and turn off the wrong people. But if you want to cultivate an email list that’s truly valuable to your business – and to your targeted readers – keeping your mailing list smaller is better for your business.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Organic Tips for Growing Your Email ROI

Want to add a professionally relevant email to your inbox every day? Or prefer a once-a-week digest? You pick the options that best serve your content marketing education needs. Subscribe today.  

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.


[Read More ...]

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To get more info about starting your own business or related subjects click here: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

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Hope you valued the info that they shared.

Leave me your reaction just below, write a comment.

Let us know which things you would like covered in our posts.

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Email Lists: When Smaller Is Actually Better

SEO tips & tutorials.

Brand spanking new tutorial just released by Content Marketing Institute. Most certainly among the most effective sources of info on-line.

email-lists-smaller-better

Have you been attracted to headlines like these?

  • 50 Tips to Help You Get 50,000 Email Subscribers for Your List
  • 20 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Get More Email Subscribers
  • How to Build an Email Marketing List as Quickly as Possible
  • 10 Irresistible Incentives That Will Grow Your Email List—Fast

Of course you have, and I understand why: For us content marketers, eyeballs are everything. The more people we have reading, listening to, and watching our content, the better.

But what if the best way to grow a loyal audience for your content is to let your subscribers go, or even to shove them out the door? I learned the hard way that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to email lists. Now, I want to share how to pare your list to make it more effective for your business – and your target audience.


Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to #email lists, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


Let’s begin.

Backstory

I’m the co-publisher of Renegade Writer Press. We’ve published books for years, but only started getting serious about the business this year.

When my business partner, Diana Burrell, and I sat down to talk numbers, we had over 7,000 subscribers on our MailChimp mailing list, but our open rate was only 20 to 25%, which was much lower than the 32% average open rate across industries. Our click-through rate was a piddling 2 to 4.5%.

I had just talked with another professional in our industry who said she racked up an over 50% open rate. How did she do it? She only kept people on her list who wanted to be there.

My business partner and I quickly created and downloaded a segment of subscribers who hadn’t opened any of our emails in the past couple of months, and then unsubscribed those members. We then wrote an email to those inactive subscribers letting them know that in the interest of not cluttering their inboxes, we had unsubscribed them from our mailing list. (We sent this email via our business Gmail account.) Finally, we provided a link where those readers could quickly re-subscribe if they wanted. 

Your-Subscription-Has-Expired-Email

Our email list dropped from more than 7,000 subscribers to around 1,200 – and our open rate jumped from between 20 and 25% to between 55 and 60%. The click-through rate on our last newsletter was 7.1%.

Did we lose some people who didn’t want to unsubscribe? Probably, because MailChimp’s reporting isn’t perfect. If those subscribers really wanted to be there, they would notice the missing emails and re-subscribe. That’s how hardcore we were about only wanting subscribers who want to read our content.

Even better, our book sales have been increasing steadily since we kicked off subscribers who were less than passionate about our content and our products. We’ve made other changes to our business that may account for the increase in sales, but the point is that our sales did not decline.

Why smaller is better

Keeping people on your list who truly don’t want to read your content or buy from you hurts your business in several ways, including:


Keeping people on your #email list who aren’t interested in your #content hurts your business. @renwripress
Click To Tweet


  • Having a load of subscribers who aren’t really interested in your content and offerings skews your analyses. When you survey your subscribers, the replies are not necessarily from people interested in ever buying from you.
  • Creating content for a diverse and numerous audience weakens your success because you’re writing for a lot of people who just don’t care.
  • Paying for inactive subscribers is an unnecessary cost. When we reduced our list to 1,200 dedicated readers, we saved the $75 per month we were paying for hosting of a list of 7,000-plus unengaged subscribers.

Are you convinced that bigger isn’t always better, and that not all subscribers are equal? Good. Then you’re ready for the five ways to encourage – directly and indirectly – your less-enthused subscribers to leave.

1. Create content for the people who love you

If you aren’t worried about retaining every last one of your subscribers, you can better understand who your ideal subscribers are and target your content to them. You may tick off some subscribers, but that’s the point. If they don’t like your content and the products or services you offer, then wave bye-bye.

2. Make it easy to unsubscribe

One of the biggest scams targeting consumers is marketers who make it difficult to unsubscribe from their brand’s mailing lists. Follow these tips:

  • Make the unsubscribe link visible and easy to find. Stop hiding a tiny link in the footer, camouflaged in a color that’s barely distinguishable from the background.
  • Allow for one-click unsubscribes. Don’t ask soon-to-be former subscribers to click to confirm that they really, really want to leave – or worse, ask them to click even more times to be 100%, absolutely sure.

Don’t ask soon-to-be former subscribers to click to confirm they really, really want to leave. @renwripress
Click To Tweet


  • Don’t take “up to 10 days for the changes to take effect.” You can add new subscribers to your list instantly and you can process a purchase instantly. You should be able to unsubscribe someone instantly, too. At a minimum, don’t use the 10 days – as I suspect some companies do – to put the wannabe unsubscriber into a re-engagement campaign.
  • Don’t require wannabe unsubscribers to enter a password or to use Captcha authentication. Evil hackers are not unsubscribing people without their knowledge or consent. This level of verification is unnecessary.
  • Invite subscribers to leave. Once in a while (if not every time), note near the top of an email that if a subscriber is no longer interested in your content, or doesn’t have time to read your content because they’re overwhelmed by their overflowing inboxes, they can unsubscribe with a single click (and be sure to include the link). Let them know you’ll miss them and hope they’ll be back – and move on.

Occasionally invite your #email subscribers to leave & make it easy, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


3. Make prospective subscribers work for it

What if, instead of begging people to join your mailing list, you make it difficult to join? What if you create a situation where your ideal audience self-selects for your mailing list?

This idea stems from a recommendation in Cal Newport’s book Deep Work to reduce email distraction by creating a filter – in other words, by requiring the sender to take another step before emailing you.

A more radical step to be sure. But what if your brand required potential subscribers to read an FAQ before subscribing, or to wait for a letter in the mail from your brand to confirm their interest? When you set up filters like this, you can be assured that the person really, really wants to connect with your brand.

4. Stop giving away the cow

“Join our list and we’ll send you a free report!”

“Stay on our list and we’ll shower you with goodies!”

Those are great ways to keep people on your mailing list – and leave your team catering to hordes of subscribers who are only on your list for the freebies (including content freebies), and ignoring your ideal audience in the meantime.

Stop offering freebies and hosting contests to entice more people to give you their email address. Once you’ve culled the list, it’s OK to send out offers to your smaller audience because you know they really want to be connected to your brand. In our book publishing business, we now use our smaller list to search for beta readers, who will of course receive a free book, because we’re confident now that our subscribers aren’t just looking for handouts.

5. Keep it clean

Every six months or so, segment the subscribers who haven’t opened your last certain number of emails (that threshold is up to you). Send these inactive subscribers an email to let them know you plan to remove them in 30 days. Want to get even more hardcore? Do what Diana and I did: Simply unsubscribe them and send them a re-subscribe link in case they want to get back on.

You will probably, as we did, get apologetic responses from people saying something like, “So sorry, I’ve been really busy lately and would like to stay.” That’s great because those are engaged subscribers – and you shouldn’t remove them from the list.

Also, don’t be afraid to unsubscribe people who you know, way down deep in your soul, are not good for your business. That subscriber who responds to every email with a complaint? Bye. The one who emailed asking for a $1 refund after buying your $3 gateway product, because he saw your dollar-off promotion two months later? See ya. The reader who pings you after every email to say they wish they could afford your products but simply can’t? Sayonara.

This isn’t to say that people who ask for discounts or refunds, send in complaints, or can’t afford your products shouldn’t be welcome on your mailing list. After all, we also write content because we want to entertain, inform, and educate readers. Engaged readers – even if they are not buyers – are welcome to keep reading our content. However, when it costs us more time and money than it’s worth to keep these subscribers happy, it’s time to say goodbye.


We write #content to entertain, inform, and educate readers, says @renwripress.
Click To Tweet


Make your emails work for you – and your readers

If you employ any of these tips, you’ll gradually see your subscriber base narrowing to an audience of engaged, devoted readers. What I’m suggesting can be risky if you’re dependent on reporting big numbers to impress management, or if you do it carelessly and turn off the wrong people. But if you want to cultivate an email list that’s truly valuable to your business – and to your targeted readers – keeping your mailing list smaller is better for your business.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Organic Tips for Growing Your Email ROI

Want to add a professionally relevant email to your inbox every day? Or prefer a once-a-week digest? You pick the options that best serve your content marketing education needs. Subscribe today.  

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.


[Read More ...]

********************************************************************

To get more info about Search Engine Marketing or related subjects try: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

********************************************************************

Hope you found that useful lesson that they shared.

Let me have your views just below, leave a quick comment.

Let me know what subjects you want us to write about in future articles.

********************************************************************

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How to Speed Up the Process to Find and Hire Top Content Marketing Talent

Content marketing tutorials & tips.

Content Marketing Institute made available this content. Normally I enjoy reviewing 1 of their posts because they are extremely illuminating. I think you will get something out of it.

speed-up-process-find-hire-top-content-talent

Half the battle is won. You have approval to add a new content marketing position to your team. Now you just need to find and hire the right candidate – in a red-hot market for people with the right skills – before another company snaps them up. Not a simple problem.

Why? Is there really that much competition for top talent? Yes. In a survey from The Creative Group, creative and marketing professionals with hiring authority named “content creation and content marketing” as one of the top three technical skills lacking on their teams.


Content creation and #contentmarketing are top tech skills missing from #marketing teams via @CreativeGroup.
Click To Tweet


It’s a stat that adds up to a whole lot of hiring managers looking for the same talent that you are. Luckily, there’s a straightforward way to put your company at the front of the pack: Speed up your hiring process.

Top talent hates to wait

Candidates get frustrated by a slow hiring process. In a survey we did at Robert Half (parent company of The Creative Group), 39% of workers said they lose interest and pursue other openings when companies drag their feet when hiring.

But how slow is too slow? The survey also shows that 39% of workers said a hiring process – from the first interview to when an offer is extended – lasting seven to 14 days is too long.

Even worse, 32% of workers in the same survey said a slow hiring process makes them question a firm’s ability to make other decisions. Now your best candidates wonder if you’re the kind of company that can’t adjust course based on the latest content marketing trends. Or if it’s going to take a year to choose a new social media tool for the team. Those probably aren’t the first impressions you want to make.


A slow hiring process makes 32% of workers question the firm’s ability to make other decisions. @RobertHalf
Click To Tweet


Nail down your hiring process

You need to move faster, but how do you do that? One step is to create a concise hiring plan. Great content marketers spend the time it takes to master governance and workflow for a company’s content, and you should do the same when adding to your team. Start by outlining the general system or guidelines around hiring at your company. Then map it in a step-by-step workflow.


You need to create a concise #hiring plan to speed up the #hiring process, says @DianeDomeyer.
Click To Tweet


Catalog the roles and responsibilities related to each step. How do you get approval for opening a position? Who needs to sign off? What about the job description? And salary range? Who owns recruiting? And sorting through resumes? Keep going until you document all the way through an accepted offer.

Creating these steps helps you navigate the process, but it also may reveal places where you can streamline or combine steps to gain speed. Challenge your partner in human resources to shrink the window for finding and accepting applicants. Narrow the list of people who interview candidates. Set time frames and deadlines for each step.

In short, run hiring like any other project that crosses your desk.

Build consensus early and often

In an enterprise environment, nothing slows down hiring like red tape and internal politics. Sidestep both by gathering input and building consensus throughout the process.

Ask for feedback — from colleagues and collaborators in other departments — before you write that job description. Make sure you double-check any approvals on the position, salary, and benefits. And send updates to the team when you hit milestones in the process, such as “job description published” or “three interviews scheduled.”

It’s also key to build consensus around going fast. Tell everyone why speed is important by sharing some of those stats above. Then slowly build excitement around how going faster will help you snag the best talent. Sharing your strategy early helps you nudge everyone in the hiring process to keep things moving when you hit the crucial interview stage.

Move faster from interview to offer

In that same Robert Half survey, more than half of workers say the most frustrating part of the job hunt is that maddening stretch of silence between the interview and offer. Nearly 25% of candidates say they lose interest if they don’t hear back within a week after the interview, and 46% lose interest without an update within one to two weeks of the interview.

Shrink your time-to-offer with careful planning. Schedule interviews with top candidates within a two- or three-day period, ensuring that key hiring decision-makers can meet the candidate. Then, once everyone has met the prospective employee, plan a meeting so your team can give its input. Set the expectation that you’ll use that time to choose a top candidate and make a goal to extend an offer within five business days of the final interview.


Shrink your time-to-offer for a top #contentmarketing candidate with careful planning, says @DianeDomeyer.
Click To Tweet


In a competitive job market, hitting the gas is one of the best strategies for landing the best employees. While you shouldn’t move so quickly you fail to properly vet any candidate, you still want to move into the fast lane if you expect to win the race for top content marketing talent.

Do you subscribe to the CMI daily newsletter or weekly digest? It can be a helpful resource to expand your skills even further and grow your career in a world with too few content marketer candidates. Sign up today. 

Cover image by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo


[Read More ...]

********************************************************************

To get extra tips on starting your own business or related things take a look here: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

********************************************************************

Hope you found that useful lesson that they provided.

Let me have your feedback below, share a comment.

Let me know what topics you would like us to write about in upcoming posts.

********************************************************************

How to Speed Up the Process to Find and Hire Top Content Marketing Talent

SEO tips and tutorials.

Content Marketing Institute provided the following piece of content. They consistently create subject material of the highest quality and consequently they are no doubt one of my new must-watch blogs. I hope you find it helpful.

speed-up-process-find-hire-top-content-talent

Half the battle is won. You have approval to add a new content marketing position to your team. Now you just need to find and hire the right candidate – in a red-hot market for people with the right skills – before another company snaps them up. Not a simple problem.

Why? Is there really that much competition for top talent? Yes. In a survey from The Creative Group, creative and marketing professionals with hiring authority named “content creation and content marketing” as one of the top three technical skills lacking on their teams.


Content creation and #contentmarketing are top tech skills missing from #marketing teams via @CreativeGroup.
Click To Tweet


It’s a stat that adds up to a whole lot of hiring managers looking for the same talent that you are. Luckily, there’s a straightforward way to put your company at the front of the pack: Speed up your hiring process.

Top talent hates to wait

Candidates get frustrated by a slow hiring process. In a survey we did at Robert Half (parent company of The Creative Group), 39% of workers said they lose interest and pursue other openings when companies drag their feet when hiring.

But how slow is too slow? The survey also shows that 39% of workers said a hiring process – from the first interview to when an offer is extended – lasting seven to 14 days is too long.

Even worse, 32% of workers in the same survey said a slow hiring process makes them question a firm’s ability to make other decisions. Now your best candidates wonder if you’re the kind of company that can’t adjust course based on the latest content marketing trends. Or if it’s going to take a year to choose a new social media tool for the team. Those probably aren’t the first impressions you want to make.


A slow hiring process makes 32% of workers question the firm’s ability to make other decisions. @RobertHalf
Click To Tweet


Nail down your hiring process

You need to move faster, but how do you do that? One step is to create a concise hiring plan. Great content marketers spend the time it takes to master governance and workflow for a company’s content, and you should do the same when adding to your team. Start by outlining the general system or guidelines around hiring at your company. Then map it in a step-by-step workflow.


You need to create a concise #hiring plan to speed up the #hiring process, says @DianeDomeyer.
Click To Tweet


Catalog the roles and responsibilities related to each step. How do you get approval for opening a position? Who needs to sign off? What about the job description? And salary range? Who owns recruiting? And sorting through resumes? Keep going until you document all the way through an accepted offer.

Creating these steps helps you navigate the process, but it also may reveal places where you can streamline or combine steps to gain speed. Challenge your partner in human resources to shrink the window for finding and accepting applicants. Narrow the list of people who interview candidates. Set time frames and deadlines for each step.

In short, run hiring like any other project that crosses your desk.

Build consensus early and often

In an enterprise environment, nothing slows down hiring like red tape and internal politics. Sidestep both by gathering input and building consensus throughout the process.

Ask for feedback — from colleagues and collaborators in other departments — before you write that job description. Make sure you double-check any approvals on the position, salary, and benefits. And send updates to the team when you hit milestones in the process, such as “job description published” or “three interviews scheduled.”

It’s also key to build consensus around going fast. Tell everyone why speed is important by sharing some of those stats above. Then slowly build excitement around how going faster will help you snag the best talent. Sharing your strategy early helps you nudge everyone in the hiring process to keep things moving when you hit the crucial interview stage.

Move faster from interview to offer

In that same Robert Half survey, more than half of workers say the most frustrating part of the job hunt is that maddening stretch of silence between the interview and offer. Nearly 25% of candidates say they lose interest if they don’t hear back within a week after the interview, and 46% lose interest without an update within one to two weeks of the interview.

Shrink your time-to-offer with careful planning. Schedule interviews with top candidates within a two- or three-day period, ensuring that key hiring decision-makers can meet the candidate. Then, once everyone has met the prospective employee, plan a meeting so your team can give its input. Set the expectation that you’ll use that time to choose a top candidate and make a goal to extend an offer within five business days of the final interview.


Shrink your time-to-offer for a top #contentmarketing candidate with careful planning, says @DianeDomeyer.
Click To Tweet


In a competitive job market, hitting the gas is one of the best strategies for landing the best employees. While you shouldn’t move so quickly you fail to properly vet any candidate, you still want to move into the fast lane if you expect to win the race for top content marketing talent.

Do you subscribe to the CMI daily newsletter or weekly digest? It can be a helpful resource to expand your skills even further and grow your career in a world with too few content marketer candidates. Sign up today. 

Cover image by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo


[Read More ...]

********************************************************************

To get more info regarding Search Engine Ranking or related matters take a look here: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

********************************************************************

Hope you valued the info that they shared.

Let me have your reaction down below, share a quick comment.

Let us know which subjects you want us to write about in upcoming articles.

********************************************************************

Monday, October 16, 2017

How to use 'The Law of 3...' to uncover what someone is truly thinking

SEO advice.

Recent video training by Chris Marr's channel. In all probability one of the most effective providers of information  on YouTube.

How to use

[Read More ...]

********************************************************************

To get more info regarding content creation services or other related matters try: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

********************************************************************

Hope you found that useful lesson that they provided.

Let me have your reaction down below, share a quick comment.

Let us know which things you want covered in future articles.

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The Smart (and Not-So-Smart) Ways to Use Vanity Metrics

SEO tutorials.

This next submission was in fact supplied courtesy of Content Marketing Institute. I take pleasure in making time for 1 of their tutorials as they are quite instructional. I think you'll get something out of it.

smart-not-so-smart-ways-vanity-metrics

Using vanity metrics to measure the performance of content campaigns on social media is perhaps one of the simplest things to do in marketing, but also one of the most difficult.

It’s simple because vanity metrics are easy to obtain in large numbers – all platforms supply them; it’s difficult because they are often ambiguous when it comes to reporting a return on investment (ROI) or value to a business. It’s this second point that is the thorn in the side of many marketers struggling to discover the true value of a vanity metric to a business.

In this article, “vanity metrics” include impressions, “likes,” shares, comments, followers, open rates, views, traffic, time on site, bounce rate, and many more. Often called “engagement metrics” or “consumption metrics,” they simply are the most-used metrics in social media, content marketing, digital advertising, PR, and inbound campaigns to measure the performance and success of our marketing efforts.

As far as the numbers go, vanity metrics look great on paper. But the sheen on these numbers fades when you try to use them to explain important business outcomes like ROI or customer lifetime value (CLTV); they become hollow digits that contribute little substance to proving your marketing is making money.


The sheen of vanity metrics fades when explaining #ROI or customer lifetime value, says @LogocracyCopy.
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A case in point, the number of “likes” earned from a Facebook post rarely correlates to the number of products sold on a store shelf. Some would argue that there is no correlation at all. Indeed, it is possible to make more sales from a post with only one “like” than from a post with 10,000 “likes.” The number of engagements is usually irrelevant to the number of sales. There is no clear correlation or causation between the metric and the goal.

It’s the act of counting vanity metrics as evidence for success that is a problem — a problem easily demonstrated when measuring metrics such as impressions or traffic. In the example below (highlighted in green), Facebook earns three times more traffic than SlideShare as a channel. If reporting stops at the number of people clicking through to the site, Facebook is the best-performing channel. However, that assumption would be incorrect.

counting-vanity-metrics-examples

Taking a deeper dive by following that traffic down the funnel to a conversion and the revenue earned by those conversions (highlighted in blue), you’ll find that SlideShare is the more valuable channel for this website. The vanity metric of traffic only tells half the story. There is no point in counting traffic unless it’s paired against a business objective. Yes, you need traffic to convert; but more traffic does not always equal more conversions.


There’s no point in counting traffic unless it’s paired against a business objective, says @LogocracyCopy.
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As a caveat, vanity metrics such as impressions, “likes,” and traffic are not useless; quite the contrary. The value of a vanity metric is in measuring non-transactional marketing goals (such as brand awareness, sentiment, and share of voice) as well as to optimize campaigns and troubleshoot marketing problems.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How to Measure Engagement the Right Way

Problem with reporting vanity metrics

Let’s take a step back and look at why so many marketers use vanity metrics as indicators of business success. The simplest answer is, as Seth Godin says, “Those clicks, views, and ‘likes’ are only there because they’re easy, not relevant.” Vanity metrics are typically free or easy to obtain compared with other valuable metrics such as ROI or CLTV, which require time, qualification, and testing to build.


Those clicks, views, & likes are only there because they’re easy, not relevant, says @ThisIsSethsBlog.
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Marketers take this easy route peppered with vanity metrics, not because they are lazy but because they are under pressure to show immediate success to superiors. Jill Avery, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and co-author of HBR’s Go To Market Tools explains, “CFOs are under tremendous pressure to deliver quarterly earnings, and may not be patient for the longer-term effects of marketing to take hold. You’re asking them to believe in forward movement in a progression through a customer’s purchase journey, and that can take a long time.”

Marketers use vanity metrics because they are both easy to obtain and they help show others in the organization that marketing provides immediate value. In other words, it’s quick and cheap reporting. Sounds a little dirty, doesn’t it? Surely, we can do better than this?

Advertisers are using engagement to report ROI. It’s not how such metrics work and is an example of why marketers are terrible at content impact measurement.

Advertisers are using engagement to report ROI. It’s not how such metrics work and is an example of why marketers are terrible at content impact measurement.

It is important to remember that while the marketing spend will have an impact on the profit-and-loss statement immediately, dollars spent today are building the brand as an asset for the future. Marketing efforts not only drive sales and profits in the short term but also strengthen brand equity and customer relationships over time. You only see these long-term results through effective and relevant content, and evaluation of vanity metrics over time.

Optimization metrics, not vanity metrics

Like “clickbait,” the words “vanity metric” have earned undeserved negative connotations, making it easy for marketers to dismiss their value. I like the term “optimization metrics” because it helps you understand their value. The purpose of a vanity/optimization metric is to help optimize your content for your target audience on a specific channel.


The purpose of vanity metrics is to optimize your content for audiences on a specific channel. @Logocracycopy.
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When you report the number of impressions, clicks, or shares your content receives, you should NOT tie the numbers to ROI. Instead, you should tie them to better understanding your audience on that channel. Even the same vanity metrics (“likes,” comments, and shares) will have different meanings depending on the channel.

For example, a 2017 study by Business Insider revealed that people felt safer commenting on LinkedIn than on other channels. One likely explanation is that, unlike YouTube or Facebook, LinkedIn includes a person’s professional profile (name, place of employment, education), and thus people are more respectful and constructive when providing feedback. It’s harder to be a troll when people know where you work. Whereas, on YouTube, an individual can create an anonymous account and troll the comments.


People feel safer commenting on @LinkedIn than on other channels via @businessinsider 2017 #survey.
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As a marketer, you can judge the vanity metric of comments on LinkedIn to be more valuable to your brand’s sentiment and marketing efforts than those received on YouTube.

Alternatively, when it comes to the vanity metric of traffic, those who engage with content through Google Search are usually higher value (if your goal is transactional) than those on Instagram.

social-media-platform-safety

With this in mind, leverage vanity metrics to support how to improve messaging to your target audiences through A/B testing and troubleshooting.

Relationship between A/B testing and vanity metrics

Again, vanity metrics are most useful to report on your marketing goals, not your business goals.


Vanity metrics are most useful to report on your marketing goals, not your business goals, says @LogocracyCopy.
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As an example, let’s take the marketing goal of awareness. You want to know if your content is resonating and relevant to your target audience – are they aware of your brand and content? To uncover this, measure awareness through A/B testing and the resulting vanity metrics. Let’s say you post content to LinkedIn and want to test imagery to see which works better for your targeted LinkedIn audience. You run an A/B test on snippet images to see if the image of the computer or the image of the woman is more relevant to your target audience.

ab-testing-example

Hypothesis: What image engages my audience better to maximize my reach?

Data: Click-through rate and impressions are evaluated. More clicks equal a positive correlation. More impressions could mean positive or negative correlation (I explore this further in the next section).

Insight: The CTR vanity metric is a 160% higher rate for the image of the woman than for the image of the computer. Therefore, you can conclude that images of people are more relevant to this specifically targeted LinkedIn audience. But note, this may not be the case on Facebook because Facebook has a different audience with different intent and different engagement behavior.

Action: You now adjust future content posts on LinkedIn to the optimized iconography.

Note: A/B testing requires strategic planning across a large audience pool to deliver actionable insights. It takes time to do this right, so expect posts to fail in the beginning, as you are light on insights. But as your testing gets better so will your content and its performance.

Using vanity metrics to troubleshoot content issues

Let’s say you are running a paid campaign on Facebook and it is underperforming regarding traffic (marketing goal) and sales (business objective). How can you use vanity metrics to solve this problem?

You know the campaign is receiving a below-average click-through rate based on:

  • Number of people reached by the post (impressions)
  • Number of engagements performed from the post (clicks)

optimization-metrics-problems-campaigns

First, evaluate the impressions because if you aren’t reaching the right audience, they can’t click. You hypothesize that you are reaching the right audience but not enough of them. Now, use that insight to increase your spend on Facebook to earn more eyeballs.

On the flip side, if impressions are abnormally high but people are not clicking on the content, you can hypothesize that you are targeting the wrong audience or your content isn’t sufficiently compelling.

Exercises like this show you how valuable vanity metrics can be to your marketing efforts. Using vanity metrics in this manner will help improve your content on the channel and, over time, lead to higher engagement and success for your marketing goals.


Use vanity metrics to improve your content on channel and lead to higher engagement, says @LogocracyCopy. ‏
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What about the ROI?

Vanity metrics contribute to a return on investment, but how much they contribute to ROI fluctuates wildly; you need to align your expectations. At times, you can clearly see a direct line of sight from vanity metrics to an ROI goal; yet most of the time, the vanity metric is so high up the funnel that the results are too ambiguous to contribute effectively around bottom-of-the-funnel goals.

To illustrate this point, it is both difficult and fruitless to try to measure the impact a piece of engagement (such as a “like” on Twitter) had on creating a sale on your website. Firstly, as we’ve discussed, metrics such as the number of “likes” do not necessarily correlate to the number of sales. Secondly, time is important.


Don’t to try to measure the impact a #Twitter like had on creating a sale on your website, says @LogocracyCopy.
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Let’s speculate about a customer who “liked” your tweet 18 months before they converted to a sale. A lot of time has passed between that engagement and the business goal, which makes it unlikely that the “like” on Twitter had anything substantial to do with the sale. Perhaps the “like” happened on a mobile phone whereas the sale occurred on desktop. Unless the customer is tracked across devices, her “like” on Twitter is invisible to the eventual outcome. All these factors support the relatively ambiguous and pointless exercise of trying to tie vanity metrics to measure ROI without a good attribution model in place.

mapping-customer-journey-with-metrics

Instead, when looking to measure ROI, focus on metrics that allow you to enhance the volume and quality of your conversions such as customer lifetime value (CLTV).

This metric is not a vanity metric. Nor is it easy or fast to build. Vanity metrics illuminate movement along the customer journey, but CLTV ultimately is attributed to how well you track and understand your consumer journey.

To better understand your CLTV, you need to build attribution models and lead scoring, and set business goals and values against user actions. Again, this process is not easy, nor is it fast – if it were, none of us would be doing the foolhardy practice of using vanity metrics as the substitute.

You will not know your CLTV for perhaps a couple of years. During that time, you should use your vanity metrics to A/B test and enhance your marketing around the audience with the goal to develop a better understanding around their journey and clarity on their CLTV. Better use of vanity metrics leads to a more accurate and actionable CLTV, resulting in better business returns.

build-before-using-roi-metrics

Conclusion

Overall, vanity metrics can be used to measure many things, but they are most valuable when used to test and improve how your target audience is reacting to your content on different channels. Use vanity metrics to best measure your marketing goals such as sentiment or brand awareness on a specific channel. For business goals, such as ROI, vanity metrics should take a back seat to those metrics that build the customer lifetime value narrative (conversions, subscriptions, MQLs, SQLs, etc.). But note, this is not a quick win. CLTV takes time, A/B testing, volumes of content, and conversions to build an accurate picture. Don’t look for the quick and dirty win with vanity metrics; it’s not there.

Measurement and effectiveness are a constant challenge in content marketing. Overcome those challenges with the help of CMI’s daily newsletter (or weekly digest). Subscribe now.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

How to Take an Audience-First Approach to Your Content

Content marketing tutorials.

New tutorial freshly released by Content Marketing Institute. Most definitely among the most reliable providers of information on-line.

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How do you identify an effective space in the content arena for your brand? Take a journey with your audience.

We developed the audience journey as a tool for content marketers. Its sole purpose is to align your brand’s content with the needs of your audience. It is based on the hero’s journey – a model commonly used in storytelling to attract and retain the attention of the audience throughout a narrative. And that’s why we use the same 12 steps of the hero’s journey but in a modified form.
postma-audience-journey-model

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This journey is a tool to get insight into your audience’s needs, not a chronological process. Remember, your audience decides what content it will consume, when it wants to consume it, and where. Your brand should be ready for them with the right content at the right time and in the right place. And that’s exactly what you will learn from this audience journey model.

Let’s go step by step and follow an example of how a brand like Maggi might do it. A Nestle brand, Maggi produces seasonings, sauces, and instant noodles. It lives in a very competitive food content space – everything from TV channels devoted to the topic to websites as well as countless bloggers and vloggers.

Note: We selected Maggi because it already has taken some of these steps in the audience journey and is making more progress to carve a niche within a competitive food-related content industry. It focuses on “help” content. For example, it created a digital meal planner to fill out with kids that comes with a task list, summary of pantry items, and a shopping bingo card. It also has made a clear choice for its content niche – help-related information, which includes planning, cooking, and eating.

Step 1: Describe their ordinary world

Translate your brand’s description of your audience into the ordinary world of your audience. Delve into the mindset of your audience as it is relevant to your brand and vice versa. It helps to write from the perspective of your audience using “I” statements. With that understanding, you then can identify what kind of content will help your audience in their journey and fit your brand story.


Delve into the mindset of your audience as it is relevant to your brand and vice versa, says @CarlijnPostma.
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Note: This is the hardest and usually most expensive step to get your audience moving. At this point, they don’t need you yet (or aren’t aware they need you) so you have to work hard to convince them.

Example:

Audience thinking – I have a busy family life. I want to create tasty and nutritious meals easily and quickly.

Brand response – Create content that focuses on how to prepare healthy meals in a short time.

Step 2: Know the trigger

Gain insights into what causes your audience to look for information (i.e., content). A trigger could be an intrinsic motivation such as, “There’s a sports practice after the meal so we have to get the food on the table fast.” It also could be externally driven, often stimulated through advertising or media such as a news item highlighting research that says children aren’t eating healthy enough. By identifying the triggers, often through qualitative and keyword research, you can form a picture of the content topics relevant and useful to your audience.

Example:

Audience thinking – I saw the news report about how children’s success in school is tied to their eating habits. I must find the time to make sure my kids are eating better.

Brand response – Create an interactive meal planner for the audience to use to plan meals a week ahead.

TIP: You don’t have to recreate the content wheel for every trigger. Establish a content template, a format where the structure is always the same (and most promising given your audience’s triggers), and continually change the content.

Step 3: Know the resistance

Another way to gain insights into your audience is to identify resistance shown by your audience. What’s stopping people from taking the action you want them to take? Why don’t people continue fulfilling their information needs with your content?

To discover the resistance factors, explore your analytics (when do they stop reading, what topics or headlines don’t engage them sufficiently so they don’t click through, etc.) You also can ask your audience in person or through an online survey.

Once you’ve identified the points of resistance, focus your content and its formats that prevent or mitigate the obstacles your audience encounters.


Identify audience’s points of resistance & create #content that prevents or mitigates them. @CarlijnPostma
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Example:

Audience thinking – I don’t think packaged meal helpers can be healthy.

Brand response – Work with an influential expert in the space, perhaps a chef seen on TV, to cook with the packaged meal helpers and explain the benefits of our low-salt and low-sugar products.

­­­Step 4: Bring in a mentor

Building on the knowledge gained, you now have a better understanding and response to what your audience wants – and doesn’t want. At this point in the journey, your audience is willing to take advice and accept tips from experts or people with relevant experience – a mentor such as an internal expert who offers the audience practical, helpful, or important tips and advice. Or, if the audience’s priority is more about likeability and awareness, an empathetic mentor might be helpful.

Example:

Audience thinking – I’m open to more ideas about eating healthy with kids.

Brand response – Work with the in-house food technologist to share tips on how to get children to eat foods that are good for them.

Step 5: Cross the threshold

In the previous four steps, your audience likely was searching for information on other channels before finding your content. Beginning with this step, your audience is ready to engage on your channels. They are more eager to respond because they are finding more information, helpful content, or useful advice about the subject (trigger). And you have become one of the go-to persons, brands, platforms that can help them.

Example:

Audience thinking – I now believe I can make changes to provide my children healthier meals even in our time-pressed schedule.

Brand response – Ask visitors to our website to subscribe to the brand’s e-newsletter on healthy eating for families.

Step 6: Pass the test

By now, the audience has consumed some of your content and compares it (often unknowingly) to other resources whether by scanning search results, reading their Facebook news feeds, etc. They ask directly and indirectly, “Who can tell me more about this? Is what they’re saying true?”

Identify the trusted content brands and resources in your industry, and explore potential partnerships for content creation, distribution, and promotion.


Identify trusted #content brands & resources in your industry & explore partnerships. @CarlijnPostma
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Example:

Audience thinking – How can I make sure I have the best, most helpful information on how to get my kids to eat healthier even though we’re busy?

Brand response – Collaborate on content through a partnership with a go-to third-party information outlet such as Parenting magazine or nutrition.gov. Share and curate third-party content through our channels.

Step 7: Take a fresh approach

Your audience is ready to accept your information. It might need more information or still have doubts about the information provided. You can retarget the audience with an additional relevant or helpful piece of content based on their earlier content consumption. (Analytics and tracking are essential to this step.)

Example:

Audience thinking – I believe this brand is a reputable source, but I’m not sure their tips are sufficient to solve my problem of healthy eating for children long-term.

Brand response – Give new content to the audience such as a download for a vegetable bingo game.

Step 8: Continue to address the central ordeal

Your audience remains at a pivotal moment in the content journey. Similar to the previous step, your audience still isn’t convinced and needs another reason to trust or like your brand.

Example:

Audience thinking – I have a lot of good information about healthy eating for busy families, but I’m not positive it’s what I really need to help my family.

Brand response – Promote real-life feedback from customers about how our brand is liked by kids and parents. Make sure our audience is aware of relevant awards we have won.

Step 9: Deliver the reward

Finally, it’s time for the reward. Be careful. In the audience’s journey, the reward is not necessarily the sale (that’s the brand’s reward). The audience’s reward often is content-related. It’s what you want your audience to think after consuming your content, such as “I like this brand” or “I am fully confident this brand provides the content I need to help me.” Of course, this mindset also will lead to sales.


In the audience journey, the reward is not the sale (that’s the brand’s reward), says @CarlijnPostma.
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Example:

Audience thinking – I’m convinced. This brand can be trusted on the subject of kids and healthy food.

Brand response – Invite the audience to engage with our brand through “likes,” shares, comments, etc.

Step 10: Follow the road back

In this and the next two steps, your brand’s influence is on the wane. Your audience’s needs have been fulfilled. The trigger that started the journey is moving to the background. You only have a few more opportunities to motivate the audience to become loyal and committed. Ask them to subscribe to your owned channels.


Ask your audience to subscribe to owned channels to motivate them to become loyal. @CarlijnPostma.
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Example:

Audience thinking – This brand has really helped me prepare healthier meals for my family even on our busiest nights.

Brand response – Offer a way to continue a mutually beneficial relationship such as an app with daily tips on how to plan, buy, and eat healthy with children.

Step 11: Resurrect the relationship

Your audience is feeling enriched by all the information or inspiration it received from your brand. If they haven’t become a loyal audience yet (i.e., subscribed to your newsletter, downloaded your app), move fast. The trigger and connection to your brand has receded even further. Find a related new trigger for this yet-to-be committed audience.

Example:

Audience thinking – I don’t think about this brand much. It gave me the information I wanted and I’m done.

Brand response – Create content that helps parents teach their older children how to help with cooking. (The response is related to initial trigger – time – a problem that isn’t easily solved.)

Step 12: Return with the elixir

Your audience is at peace. Back in their ordinary, problem-free world, without any need for inspiration. It’s a time for consolidation or reflection on your part. Or is there something on the horizon for this audience? What new journey is looming? Look at your customer data, analytics, and monitor related news for new problems to solve or thwart.

Example:

Audience thinking – When I think about the brand, I recall how they helped me cook healthy for my kids. Maybe they can help me with my new problem – how to keep creating healthy meals when my family eats dinner at different times because of sports practices and work.

Brand response – Our content plan distilled 10 challenges faced by busy families so we can have content available to address our audience’s questions whenever one of those pain points arises.

Conclusion

Too often marketers think of content from the brand (narrator) perspective and too little from the audience’s point of view, resulting in an overkill of more of the same content. By considering the audience journey, you are better primed to create the most powerful audience of all – one that trusts and likes your brand, and sees you are a go-to resource. Want some help in getting started? Please use this template outlining the 12 steps based on the hero journey.
audience-journey-engles

Click to enlarge

CMI takes a daily journey with its audience. Subscribe to our email newsletter for practical advice to help your content marketing program.

Cover image by Ryan McGuire-Bells Design via Gratisography


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