Online Marketing News: Facebook Taking Time, More Moments, Google Unattributed

Improve Facebook Organic Reach

How to Improve Your Facebook’s Organic Reach [Infographic] – Since Facebook made the transition to pay-to-play, reports have shown consistent declines in organic reach for brands. A new infographic from Kissmetrics examines the problems brands are having on Facebook, and offers some possible solutions. Quick Sprout

Facebook Taking Into Account Time Spent on Stories – The goal of News Feed is to show you the content that matters to you. The actions people take on Facebook—liking, commenting or sharing a post—are historically some of the main factors we’ve considered to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed. But these factors don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to you. Facebook

Google Links Mobile Ads to Desktop Purchases and Vice Versa – All of the devices people use to browse the web pose a problem for advertisers and the companies trying to sell them ads: They don’t know whether an ad someone saw on one device led to a product purchase made on another device. Ad Age

Google Search Update Rolling Out, Confirmed to Not Be Panda-Related – An update to Google’s search algorithm, acknowledged by Google’s John Mueller in today’s Webmaster Hangout, is currently rolling out. Despite speculation, Mueller confirmed this update is not Panda-related. Search Engine Journal

Report: 76 Percent of Job Seekers Browse Company Profiles on Twitter – Social networks increasingly have an impact on the job hiring process. 93 percent of recruiters use, or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts and 73 percent have hired candidates via social media. However, the majority of these recruits come from LinkedIn. A new report from Software Advice outlines how recruiters and job seekers are using Twitter. SocialTimes

Facebook Introduces Moments – With a phone at everyone’s fingertips, the moments in our lives are captured by a new kind of photographer: our friends. It’s hard to get the photos your friends have taken of you, and everyone always insists on taking that same group shot with multiple phones to ensure they get a copy. Even if you do end up getting some of your friends’ photos, it’s difficult to keep them all organized in one place on your phone. Facebook

Google Takes on Twitch With a New YouTube App Built for Gamers – Google announced this week it will soon be releasing a new app built for gamers, called YouTube Gaming, which will put the company in direct competition with popular live streaming app Twitch. Search Engine Journal

Google Trends Now Tracking YouTube & Google News To Identify Trending Topics In Real-Time – In its biggest expansion since 2012, Google trends rolled out a number of new updates today, including real-time data and a redesigned homepage. Search Engine Land

Twitter Introduces Autoplay Videos – This week, it’s become even easier to enjoy video on Twitter. Now native videos, Vines and GIFs will begin to play back automatically. So you can keep up with the action without missing a Tweet and get a better sense of what’s been shared instantly. Twitter

Google Now Adds Quote Cards That Lack Attribution – The latest Google Now card displays quotes in the search results for famous people, though the quotes don’t link back to or attribute the source pages. Search Engine Watch

Pinterest Improves Search With Enhanced Suggestions, Trending Searches, and More – Pinterest has made it easier to find the pins and users you’re looking for with more streamlined search suggestions, the company stated in an announcement today. Search Engine Journal

Bing To Encrypt Searches By Default & Referrer Data To Go Not Provided This Summer – Not Provided is about to expand when Bing goes HTTPS over the summer, ultimately blocking query data in the referrer path. Search Engine Land

From our Online Marketing Community:

From Learn How to Land Your Content a Leading Role: Jay Acunzo of NextView Ventures #CMWorld, Connor Rickett said, “Interesting way of looking at. I like the idea of core content as the hub for advertising. It’s a very accessible model–not just for the people creating the content, but the sort of thing you can draw on a whiteboard while talking to clients, and get through to them. It’s also something you could expand into a good explanation of how and why evergreen content is necessary, rather than just popping out a buzzy article twice a week. Good post.”

And on 13 Experts Discuss Making Content Marketing the Star of Your Marketing, Neaneknea commented, “You can’t just rely on one form, mixing all the forms of marketing offers far much greater results’

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Quick Sprout


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Essential SEO Considerations For Any Website Migration

Website Migration SEO Considerations

Sometimes implementing a website migration an essential part of doing business in a digital world. There are a variety of reasons why a company may choose to migrate from one site to another. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that your website is your virtual calling card to prospective customers and sometimes a website migration is a necessary step in providing your customers the best possible user experience.

Like botched plastic surgery, a poorly executed website migration can bring a host of SEO problems, including making your site difficult to find in search engines, confusing to use or filled with errors that make the searchbots run away.

To ensure that your website migration goes smoothly and leads to improved business, follow these essential migration SEO recommendations:

Assess Visitor Behavior with Web Analytics

Assess Your Analytics

In order to improve the user experience of your website, it’s important to first understand how visitors use your website now. Your website analytics platform can be a treasure trove for insights into historic usage patterns that can be essential to identifying issues, opportunities and sticking points that can be improved with a strategic site redesign.

Make sure you’re putting all of that valuable data to use by reviewing:

  • Top-viewed website content – Make sure you aren’t cutting content your audience loves.
  • Least-viewed website content – Even the best sites have some junk, take this opportunity to drop it or improve it.
  • Click maps – Looking at where people are clicking (or trying to click) can help to design an intuitive and frustration free navigation interface.
  • Paths to conversion – Regardless of what your website goals are (i.e. build subscribers, generate leads), understanding the paths which your visitors are taking to key conversion points can help to optimize these paths to make it easier and more enticing for visitors to convert into customers.

Web analytics tools:

Website Migration 301 Redirect Mapping

Map Url Redirects

If your website has been around for any amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve built up search equity in the form of links and social shares. In addition to tight keyword optimization, these are the primary factors that help to increase the visibility of your content in search engines and since they are tied to the urls on your site, a migration in domain or url structure can snuff out the valuable search equity you’ve spent time and effort building.

To avoid starting from SEO square one with your new website, it’s important to strategically implement 301 redirects from your old page urls to the new ones, as this will effectively tell search engines where your new site pages are and that they are replacements for the old versions. In addition, it will ensure that people and bots who follow links to your old urls will end up in the right place rather than an error page.

In order to map redirects effectively, start by documenting for all your existing pages:

  • URL
  • Page topic
  • Target keyword
  • Organic search traffic (I recommend looking at a minimum 6 month time range)
  • Links to page
  • keyword rank

Also document for your planned new site pages:

  • URL
  • Page topic
  • Target keyword

Once you have these two lists compiled, the next step is to map each page on your current site to it’s planned new location on your soon-to-be launched site. Redirect mapping isn’t rocket science, but it does take some thought (when done correctly). Fortunately, the previous exercise should give you all the information you need.

Of primary concern is topic relevance, in particular for highly trafficked and linked-to pages. When planning redirects, always consider what the experience of a visitor would be if they ended up on the redirect page rather than the original. Would it serve their needs as well or better than the old page? Would it feel confusing? Ideally the new page should be such a seamless transition that people don’t even notice the switch.

Redirect mapping tools:

 

Consider Time of Year When Planning a Website Migration

Choose Ideal Timing

Even the best planned and executed website migrations come with some downtime and a temporary decrease in traffic (approx. 30%) and search rankings. It’s a price worth paying, as a new and improved website can drive significant improvements in business over an outdated and clunky site. However, it’s important to time the transition for when it’s likely to have the least amount of negative impact on your business.

The best time of year to implement a website migration is when business is likely to be the slowest. Companies vary in the degree of seasonality they experience, but most have a ‘slow season’. You probably already know when this is, but if not, take a look at your historic yearly web traffic or revenue patterns to determine when your slow season typically occurs.

As with time of year, it also makes sense to migrate your site on a slow day of the week during off hours. For many B2B focused websites, this is late on Friday or Saturday, but make sure to make the decision based on your own analytics, as every site and audience is different.

Post Website Migration

Post Migration

After making your new site live, it can be tempting to relax and celebrate, but hold off on breaking out the champagne just yet. In the period of time shortly following a website migration, it’s critical to keep a sharp eye out for issues or opportunities as well as monitor website traffic patterns to make sure it’s heading in a positive direction.

QA Like Your Site Depended on It (Spoiler: It Does)

In addition to checking your 301 redirects, it’s important to give a visual inspection of each page on your new site. For efficiency, you can check both simultaneously.

Make sure that each of your redirected pages:

  • Goes to the correct new destination page
  • Gives the correct server response (301)
  • Loads quickly
  • Directs to a page that renders correctly

Upload XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap and Robots.txt

Like moving a brick and mortar business to a new location, it’s important to let people know where you’ve gone or else they may not be able to find you. On the internet, this is primarily accomplished via an xml sitemap, which tells search engines all about your new site and what it contains.

While you should have a properly formatted (and ideally auto-generated) xml sitemap on your site from day one, it isn’t enough to simply have it there, as search engines may not immediately find it without a little prompting. To avoid unnecessary delays, upload your xml sitemap to Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Once uploaded, check back to make sure your sitemap isn’t resulting in errors from either Google or Bing and that the majority of your submitted pages have been indexed.

Monitor Web Analytics After a Website Migration

Analytics

As mentioned earlier, a temporary decrease of approximately 30% in website search traffic and visibility can be expected in the period immediately following a migration, but it’s very important to monitor closely to make sure it is indeed temporary and that things are headed in the right direction.

Make sure to keep a close eye on:

  • Organic search traffic
  • Visit bounce rate
  • Conversion rates
  • Keyword rankings

Website Migration Crawl Test

Crawl Errors

Generally, crawl errors like broken links, 404 not found pages or duplicate content will be at their lowest levels on a brand new site, but it’s still important to check and fix any errors, especially as this can be an indicator of a mistake during the migration.

There are many good automated crawl tools available, but make sure you use one that can find:

  • Broken links and 400 error pages
  • 500 error pages
  • Duplicate content
  • Inaccessible content

A website migration may seem like a lot of work, and it most certainly is (when done correctly). But the potential payoffs in improved experience for your site visitors and increased business for you are more than worth the investment.

While none of this is exactly rocket science, it is important to get it right, as the risks of a poorly executed migration can be significant. If you don’t feel that you have the resources or knowledge to correctly implement your website migration, I strongly recommend enlisting the help of a skilled digital marketing agency or expert to help.

What are your best tips for a successful website migration?

Images from ShutterStock: First, Second, Third, Fourth


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How to Create Oscar-Worthy Content Marketing: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs #CMWorld

AHandley---interview-header-

My pal Ann Handley has made it her life’s work to, in her words, “wage war on mediocrity in content.” Her best-selling book, Everybody Writes, is a practical guide to writing the kind of content that truly engages an audience.

As the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs (the world’s first Chief Content Officer, in fact), Ann advocates quality over quantity in all of her content ventures. She also spreads the gospel of good content at speaking engagements around the world, including the upcoming Content Marketing World conference September 8-11 in Cleveland.

To get a sneak preview of Ann’s Content Marketing World presentation, Good Content Vs. Good Enough Content: A Fight For Sore Eyes, I did my best to catch up with her during some pretty crazy travels. Along the way, she shared her journey on learning to write compelling content, the role of technology in content marketing, and the death of the marketing funnel.

My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.

As the CCO of MarketingProfs, best-selling author, keynote speaker, lover of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the most influential woman in Social Media (according to Forbes), when you look back on your journey throughout your career what are three things you never lost focus on that helped you get to where you are today?

  1. When I was in journalism school, my professor Charlie Ball used to tell me, “Remember: No one has to read this.” That perspective changed my writing from self-indulgent (all about me) to reader-centric (all about the audience). It’s been invaluable as a content-centric marketer and blogger and (frankly) as a person.

(Side note to parents — of either a human, dog, cat, ferret, lizard, llama, or otherwise: Parenting reaffirms this idea. Because nothing is about you. Ever again. And I say that in the best possible way.)

  1. Charlie also told me: “No one will complain that you made things too simple to understand.” Life is complicated. Business is messy. “Solutions” are multi-faceted. If I’m being honest, most things in life confuse me. My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.
  1. Finally: Deliver. Seth Godin calls this: Ship.

When I was in high school, the Pope visited Boston. I went to Catholic high school, where I was the editor of the school paper. I told the school I’d cover it for us. (The nuns were thrilled!)

But then I changed my mind, and I blew off the Pope’s visit to go hang out with my local public school friends. And when I got home that day, my Mom was unusually annoyed at me. I didn’t understand why — who cares? The Pope’s visit was all over the news anyway.

And my mom said, lips pursed and on the verge of losing it, “Because you had a responsibility to your position, and you ignored it for your own pleasure.”

At the time, I thought she was being ridiculously prissy. (I still feel bad to this day about my eye roll in response.)

But now, I get it. I said I’d do something, and then I didn’t. That’s not cool.

How I internalize that now: If you say you’ll do something, do it. Your word is more important than you might imagine it is.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity.

Your session at Content Marketing World will focus on helping marketers nail the basics of creating good content. What do you anticipate are the primary challenges for marketers today in creating quality content versus a quantity of content?

I’ve been thinking lately about technology. Because increasingly it’s heralded as the savior (or legitimizer?) of marketing.

Robots can write your posts. Tools can optimize them. Solutions can amplify them.

Awesome. I heart technology. I built my career on it, too.

But guess what? Technology is only as good as our story.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity. Always has. Always will.

Your story is the thing that sets your apart. So the question is: What’s your story? And how do you tell it?

There’s a growing rumbling in the marketing industry about the death of the funnel. Yea or nay?

The funnel was never a funnel. It’s always been an ecosystem, because the people who buy (the people at the end of the “funnel”) have always had the capacity to influence the decision of others. Social tools and technology make that information way more accessible, is all.

Which makes your sales and marketing efforts like the song that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friend, to quote Lamb Chop. (Is this the first time Shari Lewis has been quoted in a marketing context?)

What are your favorite examples of B2B or B2C brands that are creating great content for marketing?

B2B

B2C

Nonprofit

Government

  • This was a failed attempt, because the candidate didn’t get elected. But I believe it was groundbreaking storytelling in political marketing – The Best Political Ad Ever

What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

Incorporating storytelling into content marketing has always been a big focus of yours. What advice would you give to marketers to help uncover these stories, even if they think they might not have any worth sharing?

Every company has a story to tell, if you look at the world from your customer’s point of view. The designer Michael Wolff says, “What already exists is an inspiration.”

Train yourself to look at things differently. What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

What is the best piece of marketing advice that you’ve ever received personally?

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne (Marketoonist.com)

He didn’t say it to me personally — although he’s a friend, so he probably would if I asked him to. Regardless, I’ve internalized it as if he did. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think of it every day.

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people.

What do you like best about attending and speaking at Content Marketing World?

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people. It’s not quite like being with family — but there’s a similar feel of a kind of posse.

“Community” is one of those words that’s overplayed in marketing. But CMW (and a few other select marketing events throughout the year) embody it for me.

Thanks, Ann!

Ready to Create Oscar-Caliber Content Marketing?

Reserve your space at Content Marketing World 2015 for inspiring and informative presentations from 200 superstars of marketing.

For a sneak preview of Ann and 13 other marketing matinee idols’ presentations, grab your popcorn and settle in with our new eBook, Making Content Marketing the Star of Your Marketing.

Stay Tuned For the Thrilling, Final Chapter in Our Triple Content Marketing Feature!

CMWorld 2015 eBooks

On June 22, we will premiere the final chapter in our content marketing triple feature: Measuring Your Content Marketing Box Office Success. Featuring content marketing stars such as Joe Pulizzi, Andrew Davis, Michael Brenner and many more, you’ll be able to connect the content marketing performance dots with the strategy and tactics shared in the first two eBooks.


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Solar Panel For Home



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Learning that the solar panel for home, a person can use in a DIY situation, pay attention to the parts of the solar cell is essential.

A photovoltaic cell, also called a solar cell, is the main component that generates electricity in a solar panel. Photovoltaics is a term that refers to the production of electricity at the junction of two semiconductor silicon is exposed to light (not necessarily sunlight) and comes from the word “photo” means light and electricity, meaning “voltaic “. When grouped together, they form a module which can then be inserted into a frame to a solar panel. Solar cells are found in some computers, satellites, and even in the Mars rovers are also called solar cells or panels. Any light that hits a solar cell can cause a reaction in the creation of electricity. The light source would be the most effective sun.

Parts of a solar cell are:

1. P-type Semiconductor

– This is a very thin layer comparable to the thickness of a paper or a card that is designed to have a false and move the positive particles called “holes”. Imagine this layer positive particles that want to bond with people who are negative and keep moving until they find an inverse correspondence takes.

2. n-type semiconductor

– This is essentially the same as the p-type layer, except that carries “electrons” free movement. Imagine a being that carries negative particles that are also always looking for positive partner face. This is also the part of the cell where the light passes through.

3. PN junction

– This is the part of the solar cell that is created when the P-type semiconductor and N-type are connected. This is where the electric field is created and separated “holes” (positive) “e” (negative). This splitter or union is then affected when hit by light causing the particles to move passion on either side of the partition.

4. Positive Lead

– This is the layer at the bottom of the P-type semiconductor and functions as a way for the particles to pass from P to N, or vice versa. This is where the positive cable is connected.

5. negative lead

– This also serves as a route for the same particles as the positive conductor layer. This part of the solar cell is generally represented by the bands above the N-type semiconductor, in which the light is emitted. This is where you connect the negative cable.

6. antireflective coating

– Silicon may reflect an estimated 35% of sunlight and hence a layer that can prevent this must be put in place. This is the task of the anti-reflection layer where sunlight is issued, effectively providing a better basis for semiconductors.

How do they work these parts is very simple (but can be complicated in detail); P type containing the positive particles while maintaining the N-type negative effects; They are then moved when the light hits the PN junction; the movement is then extended to channels that are the positive and negative conductors that create the electrical current when intercepted can be used to power electrical devices.

The solar cell can be combined to make a chain which can also be combined with similar channels creating a module that, when mounted in a frame, makes a solar panel, which, in turn, can be connected to other solar panels creating a solar panel. Provided the cells are combined, the output power increases, thus providing a plurality of devices, or even an entire city. You are now on track to build the right solar panel for the house.

Online Marketing News: Less Filling Facebook, Organic Is Live & Well, Mobile Makes Modest Move

Evolution Of Twitter

The Evolution of Twitter – Twitter which was launched way back in 2006 has definitely gone a long way eversince it was created. To date, there are more than 288 million users who are active in sharing and sending tweets in a day. In using Twitter, you can now share and read tweets anytime and anywhere. Check out the full history of Twitter in this infographic. Tech & Science

STUDY: Facebook Pages’ Organic Reach Is Not Quite Dead – The conventional wisdom about Facebook pages is that organic reach is virtually nonexistent and posts with photos perform the best, but a study by social analytics and reporting firm Locowise poked holes in those theories. SocialTimes

Study: Searchers Use Question Formats 27% Of The Time – A new study analyzes how searchers type in queries by looking at the query format and query length. Search Engine Land

Marketing Departments to Move Majority of Apps to Cloud in 2 Years – Forty-seven percent of marketing departments will have 60 percent of their apps on a cloud platform within two years. Almost half of marketing departments will have two-thirds of their applications on a cloud platform in two years, a report from 451 Research has revealed. ClickZ

Facebook Partners With Shopify to Launch Its Own ‘Buy’ Button – It was announced today that Shopify and Facebook are teaming up to launch a ‘Buy’ button that will enable people to buy items found in the news feed without having to leave the world’s top social network. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Announces Facebook Lite – This week, Facebook introduced Facebook Lite, a new version of Facebook for Android that uses less data and works well across all network conditions. Facebook

Content Marketing Now Comprises 40% of LinkedIn’s Ad Revenue – LinkedIn generated revenue of $119 million selling ads during the first three months of 2015, a 38% increase over the year-earlier period, the company said Thursday. But the outlook for the second quarter and full year was weaker than expected, and headwinds for display ad sales meant a lot rides on the continued expansion of LinkedIn’s sponsored posts. Ad Age

STUDY: Envy of Friends, Family Can Make Facebook Use Depressing – All of these studies suggesting that Facebook use causes depression, are, well, depressing.The latest comes from University of Houston researcher Mai-Ly Steers, who found after conducting two separate studies that some Facebook users find themselves comparing their lives with the activities and accomplishments of their friends and family on the social network. SocialTimes

Report: YouTube Still Trumps Facebook Video For Brands Over The Long Haul – Visible Measures data shows Facebook with 35% of video views from a sample of March campaigns, but over time the balance shifts in YouTube’s favor. Marketing Land

Report: Mobile Search Queries 29 Percent Of Total But Growth Modest – comScore released its latest “Digital Future in Focus” compilation of key stats for the US market. Most of the material has been previously exposed in one form or another. However for the first time comScore released search volumes for mobile. Search Engine Land

Twitter Improves User Experience with New Block Tools – The platform is going to enable users to block multiple unwanted accounts at the same time and share lists of accounts they have blocked. ClickZ

REPORT: Page Likes Down 3% to 4% After Facebook Cuts Inactive Accounts – Social analytics provider Quintly broke up pages into two groups — those with fewer than and more than 1 million likes — and found that pages in the former group saw their like totals drop by an average of around 3 percent, while that figure was approximately 4 percent for the latter group. SocialTimes

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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Solar Deck Lights and Solar Post Lights



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Solar lights and solar lights bridge post capitalization can significantly improve your deck, patio, stairs or ramp, and improve safety and security around your home. With good planning and good lighting, your deck can easily become a place of calm evening relaxation. With solar, you can turn your average spectacular terrace with a variety of lighting options.

Adding solar energy to its platform is a fast and easy way to increase the attractiveness and functionality of your outdoor space. Through effective solar technology, solar deck lights receive their energy from built-in batteries charged during the day by solar energy, with a built-in light sensor that automatically turn lights at dusk and dawn. Load and operating time varies depending on the season and location, so that increased exposure to sunlight produces and runtime at night.

Step solar lights for safety: A major factor in the design of lighting for your deck is security issues to protect your family and guests. Well lit staircases reduce the risk of slipping or falling. Adding solar lights stage housing for its actions is particularly important when there is any kind of light that illuminates the stairs to his night on the terrace. Solar lights are available in a variety of styles to combine their efforts, and email and sunlamps lanes to improve key areas around the stairs and steps.

Lights down to Ambience: soft lights strategically placed along the perimeter of the roof and the positions will create a warm and welcoming space. Solar deck lights are available in a variety of styles including low profile lights that provide down lighting to highlight your post or railing. This type of design will also create an environment conducive to intimate conversation and shows sophistication.

LED colors to celebrate: Adding colorful lighting to your deck will provide a call for the upcoming holiday. Solar deck lights are available in a variety of colors of LED. With distinctive designs and variety of lighting options on the market today, you can create a dazzling experience the floor of your deck to its highest peak.

Solar lighting Bridge is one of the fastest growing options for improving your outdoor space. There are a number of ways to integrate solar energy into its cover. Start by thinking about where light is needed for practical reasons. Whether you are adding lights to your deck for safety on stairs or installing lights to submit to add a little atmosphere, a wide range of energy efficient solutions they are available to illuminate your covered in style.

Interview: Content Strategy Words of Wisdom from Kristina Halvorson #CMWorld

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When it comes to content strategy for the web, Kristina Halvorson wrote the book. Literally. Now in its second edition, Content Strategy for the Web is widely recognized as the go-to resource for content strategists all over the world. Kristina is also the CEO and Founder of Brain Traffic, and the founder of the Confab conference series.

We sat down with Kristina in advance of her upcoming keynote presentation at Content Marketing World (September 8-11) for her no-nonsense, no-holds-barred-or-prisoners-taken opinion on the current state of content marketing. Read on for her thoughts on challenges content marketers face, how to really listen to customers, and why a sensible marketing approach is better than a sexy one.

When you first founded Brian Traffic, were you planning on becoming a content strategist?

No, I started out as a freelance copywriter. The reason I picked BrainTraffic.com was there were too many ways to misspell KristinaHalvorson.com. So my only goal was to figure out how to make a living as a freelance web copywriter. My, how things have changed!

What are you passionate about in regards to content marketing and content strategy?

I’m really interested in advocating for going beyond “we’ve got to deliver valuable content to build a customer relationship.” I think we need to take several steps back and find out what the customer wants from us.

Everyone is so enthusiastic about content marketing that it can be difficult to ask the tough questions. But I think we need to be really brave about asking those questions and willing to hear what the answers are. It’s easy to get excited about tactical stuff, and start executing without asking really tough questions about what is and is not something we should be spending money on.

What are some of the top-line measurement opportunities that warrant a lot of attention? What metrics should content marketers be concerned with?

Well, first I should say my work as a content strategist is not only in marketing. We work with folks all across the board, so marketing is only one part of what we do. But no matter what industry you’re in, there is always an end user. There’s a customer, even if it’s an internal customer or an employee.

So the shared metric across the board is customer satisfaction, for me. I think we need to look at sales support as part of the equation. We should be retrieving and reviewing ongoing customer feedback to really measure our content success.

I think customer satisfaction is very difficult to measure on the very front end of customer engagement when we’re still doing awareness and discovery phases. It becomes about getting people’s attention or getting the referral. So the follow-up needs to go beyond the lip service we sometimes pay to sales support.

What does content success mean to our customers?

I think that it only falls into a couple of categories. One is post-sales support. By that I mean ongoing customer relationship support, not just “engagement.” It’s a huge area we sometimes miss as purveyors of content. There are no blanket strategies or tactical initiatives that make sense for everyone.

Like, we often hear “there is no marketing left but content marketing.” That’s a blanket statement which may not apply to every single brand. Like, if my kid has a toothache, I’m not going to Crest.com to read about what to do. But at the same time, if I’m shopping at Banana Republic, I sure do want to read an article.

What are some of the challenges facing organizations as they develop a content strategy?

There is a lot of pressure to go after the next big thing: You’ve got to be on Facebook; you’ve got to be on Twitter; you’ve got to be on Vine. People are scrambling from thing to thing. Then suddenly you have content in a lot of different places and you haven’t touched it in years.

Our company infrastructures are not set up to deal with our websites, let alone any gigantic content marketing commitment. Sometimes, people rush after new opportunities without really cleaning house first. Businesses can end up spread thin across the content marketing landscape. And who decided that was what their customers wanted?

What does a successful situation look like, where someone is approaching content with a customer in mind?

I think that a real opportunity and one that is really difficult to get is going and asking customers “what do you want?” Because oftentimes the answer is either critical of what we’ve been delivering, or it has nothing to do with what we have been marketing.

And I also think it’s easier to listen to more things we could build versus more things we could fix. A lot of the stuff we should be doing for customer support is just not that sexy. Marketers are aspirational, we want creative opportunity, we are curious individuals who want an outlet for brand expression, and to represent what we spend day-in and day-out doing. And if our customer says, “put your coupon offer on your home page” versus “your fancy Instagram account,” that’s not as sexy. But that’s the kind of feedback we need to hear to be effective.

What’s the most common advice you find yourself giving in a marketing context related to content strategy?

Talk to your users. Over and over and over. Talk to them. Don’t run a poll. Don’t do “social listening.” Because then you’re only going to hear the super unhappy or the super happy people, not the people who don’t really care, whose attention we’re trying to get. Go out and just talk to them.

I think the number one reason we don’t talk to our customers is we’re really afraid of what they’re going to say. The number one thing they might say is “I don’t care.” But that’s exactly what we need to know.

Who comes to your mind as a great example of an organization listening to customers and taking action in the way they’re creating content?

Speaking as a consumer, somebody who has delivered useful content since way before the internet is USAA. I would expect based on their bundle of services and their niche market that they would be delivering very custom, targeted, educational content. And that comes in the form of their magazine. I still get their print magazine. They’re one of the original content marketers.

Room & Board send their people on the delivery trucks into people’s homes to find out how they live, what they want, what makes them happy. They’re seeing in a real setting how people use their products.

Would you say content strategy is more important than ever, with the content production overload that exists today?

Oh yes. The role of a content strategist is to help launch a scalable, sustainable content marketing program within your organization in context of everything else you’re already committed to, keeping in mind the skill-sets you have. Or, maybe after you do an analysis, you decide to make less of a commitment because there are other priorities.

The role of a content strategist is ensuring that business goals are very clearly articulated, that user needs and what they want from your product/service have been clearly articulated. We help identify scalability, internal capability, realistically what it’s going to take to make this happen. And then helping organizations to make decisions not only about what they are going to do, but what they’re not going to do. It’s making sure the content plan is in line with what, ultimately, the end user wants and needs.

Reserve your space at Content Marketing World (September 8-11) to hear Kristina Halvorson’s keynote, as well as insights from over 200 content marketing thought leaders.

For more content marketing strategies that don’t require booking a flight to Cleveland, read the full eBook, The Big Picture of Content Marketing Strategy.


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Interview: Content Strategy Words of Wisdom from Kristina Halvorson #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

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