Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For Content Marketing, Headlines Power Tiny eNewsletters

Headlines rule Facebook's PAPER app.
Digg does it. Huffington Post does it. Even NAPL VP Bill Farquharson is going short. And you know what? I read at least one piece from each of these content providers during my morning "keep up" ritual. Why? I can't resist clever headlines.

Consider this NPR headline featured by DIGG. "So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent." The story focused on "the wisdom of crowds" — ordinary people who, as a group, forecast better than the CIA or the experts. Killer interesting.

Huffington Post
HuffPo's "Morning Email" opens with two or three catchy headlines and brief copy blocks (mostly sans graphic), followed by more terse headlines within come-hither sections. The Scuttlebutt, Top Stories, Culture Catch-up, Sports Scouting Report, Other People's Business, International Intrigue—these sections are broken into paragraphs and one-sentence copy blocks with links. For me, short works. I'm scanning; I'm reading maybe only two pieces … but I'm reading.

Farquharson Has A Short Attention Span newsletter
Bill Farquharson started his "Short Attention Span Webinar" series in February 2009. These little gems run about 5 minutes on Bill's YouTube channel and  typically get 700 to 800 views. The first time I saw Bill refer to "short-attention -span," I knew he was on to something .. and he is. It's now 2014. Bill is still cranking out the webinars and promoting them in a short-attention-span eNewsletter that also features minimal copy, several headlines, and some links.

There's more. Even Facebook's app Paper is geared toward promoting tiny content with a “newspaper” feel. Text and link posts are designed to resemble paper, while clicking unfolds the link like a newspaper.

Perfectly petite!

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Panda Pounds PR Regurgitation, Pleas for Fresh Content

Alan Caulfield, CC By

Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land's News Editor has covered search news for over five years. Upon the release on May 20 of Panda 4.0, Google’s latest search engine algorithm, Schwartz noted that public relations web services got hammered. “, PR Newswire, BusinessWire, and PRLog all seem to have lost significant rankings in Google. seems to have shown a significant drop in SEO visibility, dropping 63% after Panda was released.”

Say What … Say Why.
Jacco Blankenspoor, a website developer from the Netherlands, concludes, “If there’s anything to learn from this Panda update, it’s that Google prefers longer, broader posts over the shorter, more targeted ones. Also, although there are some exceptions, they really don’t like pages consisting of tons of links. More importantly, they are actively enforcing these policies.”

SEER’s Sean Malseed commented on lower traffic at,,,, and, noting that “Google has been saying for more than a year that links in press releases shouldn’t carry any value.”
So what Does Panda Like?
Tender Nuggets. If you got hit by Panda or want to please Google in the future, Blankenspoor suggests you focus on quality. “Use a healthy combination of content and links, and make sure people stick for a few minutes so Google know your page is worth sending visitors to.”
Fresh Fodder. Writing on the Moz Blog, Cyrus Shepard noted five things to reach for going forward:

• a high ratio of original content
• pages devoid of empty content that merely links to the meat elsewhere
• sites that reject content “farming”
• sites with a low ad ratio
• pages free of affiliate links and auto generated content.
In short, Panda likes to chew on fresh content, new grown insights, and blooming branches of original thought. Ya gotta love it.
-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Duck! It's the New REALITY Wave in Digital Marketing!

In their podcast on June 15, social media guru Mark Schaefer and Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image, talked about the future of digital marketing. Here are 10 points delivered in the podcast.

1. To date, digital marketing has evolved in three waves:
    a) In the early 90s, we responded to the emergence of the World Wide Web.
    b) In the mid-90s, we were on the Web, figuring out how to broadcast our presence to others.
    c) In the mid-2000s, social media and mobile moved us from marketing to creation, usefulness, utility, and customer service.

2. As we reach the end of each wave cycle, large numbers of us figure out the technology, but competition gets harder and more expensive and the market becomes crowded.
Enter the new wave.

3. The coming wave is exemplified by such emerging developments as augmented reality and wearable technology (for example, Oculus and Google Glass) and will culminate in the creation of interactive, immersive, useful products and services.

4. In this wave, we'll be learning how to merge the digital and physical. As demonstrated in the failure of many Kickstarter projects, we're also learning that "physical production" takes big bucks and expertise that few have.

5. Nevertheless, ultimately we can imagine a world where virtual reality is the norm, where people spend increasing amounts of time in an immersive virtual world.

6. What does this merging of digital and physical mean to marketers? The amalgamation will embody "integrated marketing." And, though it won't die, advertising will become out of place in this environment that dislikes interruption and favors message merged with actual experience. Meanwhile, product development, too, will be forced to shift, change, and integrate.

7. Customer engagement will build and compound on apps like Zite (recently purchased by Flipboard). Technologies of this type will become irresistible as they learn about individual choices and the content we love.

8. The best managed companies -- for example, CocaCola, Nike, Proctor & Gamble -- are already knocking on the door of Oculus and Google Glass and will lead breakthroughs in this new wave. They are already looking at how to leap the gap between serendipity and targeted marketing in order to take users to a full substantive experience.

9. Ideally, marketing will move from its current position in the corporate vertical structure to a multi-disciplinary position in the evolving horizontal corporate structure. Hopefully -- though not necessarily assuredly -- marketing is poised to take on a key role in the new multi-disciplinary environment, moving beyond its current role as the advertising or communications layer to a new position that can influence the process of bringing products to fruition.

10. With each wave of change, agencies are seeing greater pressure to be both integrated and highly specialized. Trying to be everything to everybody is getting more difficult, while business is being lost to boutique agencies with new specialties and niches. Figuring out the dynamics of this fragmented service environment will be profound.

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Monday, June 2, 2014

Talk Nice and Other Tricks to Make Your Email Kissable

In April, SilverPop released a white paper useful to any marketer responsible for “talking to” customers, particularly when the channel of conversation is email.

The essential message of “5 Tips for “White Space” Emails,” is keep it useful and make it look good.

To that end, fill promotional emails with useful, educational, enteraining content—photos, humorous stories, info graphics, tips from other customers/donors. 
For example:

1. Seasonal tips and stories that tap into your customers’ time-sensitive needs: spring clean-up, holiday recipes, December charities, March madness, etc.

2. Personality and humor. Write chatty copy that reflects your customers’ attitudes and interests.

3. Other-user-generated content. Search out customers’/ donors’ own words. Find them in social media comments, letters to customer support, etc. 

4. Buying tips: Customers don’t just buy; they interact with products and services for a reason. Broaden everybody’s buying experience through education. Political donors go to the polls and have experiences to share; nonprofit supporters embrace values and belief systems with a community of people; folks who “like” products are interested in how other customers make choices.

5 Usage tips. Focus copy on innovative ways customers can use your product or get involved in your charitable activities. For copy ideas, talk to customer service reps who hear feedback in customers’ own words.

Source: SilverPop white paper,  5 Tips for “White Space” emails, April 2014,

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Friday, May 30, 2014

Generate New Traffic with Old Content: It’s Easy!

Every week, Square2Marketing adds a new video to its “Video Marketing Minute” series. On April 17, Chief Marketing Officer Eric Keiles detailed five ways to easily repurpose content and get more hits.

1. Pull a report that indicates your highest performing content.

2. Pull a report that shows which of your web pages has the highest traffic.

3. Repackage high-performing content by adding a fresh cover page.

4. Create a new call-to-action button.

5. Link the call-to-action button to your refreshed content and post the button on high performing web pages.

Now, really, what could be easier?

Source: Eric Keiles, chief marketing officer,

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Put Your Pitch on Pinterest

London Street Art by RebeccaW, CC BY
Yesterday we posted some stats about Tumblr. Today we pin our post on Pinterest, yet another visual social media powerhouse.

What is it?
Pinterest helps users set up any number of “bulletin boards” to which they can “pin” (that is, embed) visuals and film urls from all over the Internet, including their own desktop.

On March 4, 2014, Craig Smith, director of marketing by day and digital marketing blogger by night, had plenty of Pinterest stats to offer.

• Total number of Pinterest users on July 10, 2103 (last update) … 70 million
• Percentage of Pinterest users who are women …  80%
• Percentage of Pinterest daily traffic coming through mobile apps … 75% (2/6/14)
• Number of Pinterest business accounts on …  about 500,000 (7/1/13)
• Monthly Pinterest Pageviews …  2.5 billion (5/9/13)
• Average number of daily article pins … 5 million (9/24/13)

According to ShareThis, Pinterest outpaced email to become the third most popular sharing channel in the fourth quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, Pinterest shares increased 58 percent, making it the fastest growing sharing channel in 2013. On May 16, 2014, Pinterest enjoyed a new infusion of $200 million in funding and boasted 70 million users, with more than 70 percent of those in the U.S.

Pinterest went live as an invitation-only website in March 2010. By December 2011, Pinterest had made number five in Hitwise’s list of top ten social networks, beating out Linked and Google+.  By January 2012, the website was a popular means of self-expression for some 12 million enthusiasts sharing their idea of visual “cool” with the world. 

Marketing Uses
Erica Ayotte, former social media manager at Constant Contact, calls Pinterest "a virtual bulletin or cork board that allows users to find and curate images and video." Does Pinterest have a corporate application? Yes. Pinterest is ideal for inspiration, exposure, ecommerce, market research, and—perhaps most important—building brand devotion.

Pinterest appeals to consumers who want to know something about “who you are” without an attached sales message. Interacting on Pinterest offers consumers a sense of personal connection with a brand or, as Chris Litser, senior VP of sales and marketing at Constant Contact, puts it, "Success on Pinterest is all about engaging visitors and suppressing the urge to overtly sell."

Finally, Pinterest is an excellent way to promote a blog. Add the "pin it" button to every post and page on your site, making it simple and easy for readers to pin your posts.

More Info
Some reports indicate that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic that other social media sites, even Facebook. Check Hubspot for their free eBook, “How to Use Pinterest for Business.” This report notes that any business that relies on driving a high-volume of website traffic to increase sales should consider joining Pinterest. 

 -- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tumble On Over to Tumblr and Score!

Tumbling Pandas by Alan Wolf, CC BY
Two years ago, in February 2012, Bloomberg reported that some retailers had abandoned Facebook because ROI wasn’t there. Since then, users have been flocking to visual social media like Tumblr. 

What's Tumblr?
A so-called microblogging platform, Tumblr lets users post content to a short-form site that’s rich with short posts, videos, links, and photos.

Purchased by Yahoo in May 2013 for $1.1 billion, Tumblr may not be Facebook yet, but it might be the future. The company isn’t new—it launched in April 2007—but as of January 26, 2014, this little powerhouse had some amazing stats. 

On February 19, Tumblr had 45.1 million users and more than 17 billion total posts. On July 21, 2013, Tumblr had 199.1 million monthly visitors and on January 26, 2014  74.7 billion posts.

Who Goes To Tumblr?
Popular with teens and college-age user segments, 50 percent of tumblr’s visitor base is under the age of 25. Moreover, teenagers age 12-17 are about twice as likely as the average Internet user to visit Tumblr, while 18- to 24-year-olds are nearly 2.5x as likely. Staying in touch with Generations Y and  Z, in October 2011, the Obama campaign launched (Note: This link format is how you find folks on Tumblr). 

Writing for 360 Digital connections, Matt Wurst suggests that Tumblr may be the answer to excessive options marred by short attention spans. “No one wants to sit through 1,000-word blog posts .. because words alone no longer tell the story.” Wurst calls Tumblr “a cross between a blog, a Twiter feed, and a Facebook profile.” Still not convinced?

Well, maybe if it’s good enough for the New Yorker, it’s good enough for you. Check it out here. 


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