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What Can We Learn From a Boosted Facebook Post with 545 Shares?

facebook ads lessonsI’ve always been a little skeptical of Facebook ads and boosts.

Partly this is because I’ve never been very good at running them, and partly because I’ve never felt like the traffic on Facebook was as “buy ready” as Google’s.

So what happened when a boosted post of Blog Tyrant’s received over 500 shares?

Well, the results were quite mixed and, as you’ll see below, there are quite a few lessons and ideas that I wanted to write about here because I’m sure someone out there is going to be able to do something useful with the information.

I’m not sharing the number to brag, but just to show you the kind of results that can be achieved (or not achieved!) with a simple paid promotion.

Shall we?

The boosted Facebook post in question

Let’s start by taking a look at the actual Facebook post that I did which then turned into a paid boost run straight from the Facebook page and not the ads area (that’s a different thing, if this is all new to you).

Please keep in mind that Facebook is not something I’m very good at and have never focused on it too much. Here it is:

Something I’ve been focusing on a bit more lately is the idea that blogging and online business is something that more and more people are turning to as traditional job roles change and artificial intelligence and robotics make whole cities redundant. I even wrote about it over on the Jeff Goins blog.

Blogging might not be the “coolest” things anymore, but it is still extremely effective and it is a fantastic way to increase your chances of making money on the Internet and it can provide a bunch of new opportunities for businesses and families that are struggling.

With all that in mind, I’ve been trying to talk about how to start a blog properly a bit more so as to introduce people to the idea that your traditional “bricks and mortar” business isn’t the only option out there. I genuinely hope this stuff helps someone out there, and I try really hard to just write about effective strategies that could work for people.

Some lessons I learned from this Facebook boost

Now I’d like to get into some of the interesting lessons that I learned while boosting this post. Some of the things that happened were really interesting to me, and I’d love to know your thoughts.

1. A higher total budget seemed to get better results

Something that surprised me was how much better this promotion performed right away, and I think it had something to do with the higher total budget.

I’ve boosted quite a few Facebook posts before for smaller sums like $20-$50 but this one I gave $1000 or so and set it to drip out over a week. Instantly it started getting a larger reach.

Now, this is entirely a conspiracy theory and I have nothing to base it on, but I wonder whether Facebook favors promotions that have a higher budget so as to encourage you to keep doing similar promotions?

This might not be at all nefarious either, it might just be that Facebook considers boosts/ads with higher budgets to be more legitimate in the same way that Google likes older domain names.

2. I’m not sure all the shares are legitimate

The next thing I noticed was that this post was getting a lot of shares. For me, even two or three shares is pretty good as it’s not a topic that lends itself to that activity (as opposed to cats or motivational posts). But if you scroll through all of those shares you start to wonder whether all of them are legitimate. Take a look:

A lot of the accounts doing the sharing are pretty “thin” in that they don’t have a lot of other posts or information. And hardly any of those shares get any further likes or comments.

I’m sure a lot of you remember Derek Muller’s video about his experience with fake Facebook likes:

Having 500 shares on the post is good for social proof in that it shows other people that the article is not complete rubbish, but I do wonder about the origin of these sharers. Perhaps they are just secondary accounts used by people to run other campaigns?

I am not someone who thinks that Facebook does this deliberately, but I also don’t fully believe that all of those shares are legitimate either.

3. The traffic acquired was decent

One of the surprising things I learned was that the traffic acquired through the promotion was pretty decent once they had clicked through to the blog. Have a look.

facebook traffic

For example, the average time on site of over three minutes is quite good and probably means that the targeted audience matches up quite well to the content. You can also see that the bounce rate is slightly better than the average of the site.

4. Targeting audiences that are already interested works well

One thing I did was target audiences that I know are already interested in the idea of starting a blog or a website as I thought it might make it a little less difficult to convert them to the idea of subscribing or reading a long-form piece of content.

For example, one thing I tried was targeting the audiences of NPR podcasts as I know that Squarespace and other blogging platforms do a bit of advertising there. I had hoped that meant that their level of blogging education and knowledge was already quite high.

Don’t just direct target your exact keywords, think about other places on and offline where people might be encountering your topic or might be at least open to it down the track. This can lead to some better targeted promotions.

5. Managing comments rapidly is very important

Something I learned pretty quickly is that there are a lot of people out there who love to comment on paid promotions and be as critical as possible. It might be that they object to the advert, or to the content itself, but the result is some comments that you really don’t want to leave up.

These type of hateful comments used to bother me quite a lot, but these days I just err on the side of kindness and patience and try to educate the person if I can. For example, if someone expresses an opinion that blogging is a waste of time I try to show them some statistics about how it’s growing, the different forms it can take, and the new opportunities it presents different groups of people in the community.

Most of the time these types of friendly replies (feel free to be too friendly!) end up creating a new dialogue with the person or, alternatively, they just end up deleting the comment they made because the reply is so comprehensive.

Can we take Facebook ads to the next level?

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be be spending a bit more time and money running different Facebook promotions to see if I can improve the results more consistently.

Glen wrote a post on using Facebook ads a few years ago and it’s still a pretty good starting point which I’ll be using as a basis.

Specifically I’m going to be look at:

  • Split testing multiple photos/images
    Do photos of actual people convert better than images and graphics of people (like our Blog Tyrant character)?
  • Comparing colors
    Does a red image like the one above perform better than a black one? I’m curious to know how much color impacts on clicks and then conversions.
  • Lowering and increasing CPC dramatically
    How low can we get the cost per click down to before the traffic starts to be poor or the campaign just stops running? And does higher CPC always result in better traffic?
  • Budget size and effectiveness
    Does a lower budget have a less successful campaign even if the daily spend limit is the same?
  • Changing the timing of promotions
    For example, I was thinking about running an ad set right when an episode of This American Life comes out and targeting just their listeners (assuming they have a relevant sponsor).
  • Use different forms of tracking
    One of the things I want to really get in to is some different methods of tracking pixels and conversions using Facebook’s software but also some other programs that give you some very interesting data about what is working.

Please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to test and I will do my best to write it up in a post that will hopefully be relevant to bloggers in any niche.

Have you experimented with Facebook boosts?

Have you ever had any luck boosting posts or using Facebook ads more specifically? I’d really love to know what has worked for you or, alternatively, if you’ve ever had any strange experiences that you couldn’t figure out.

Leave a comment and let us know.

Poor Marketing Data Costs Online Businesses $611 Billion Per Year

The data quality subject is often neglected, and poor quality business data constitutes a significant cost factor for many online companies. And, although there is much content that claims that the costs of poor data quality are significant, only very few articles are written on how to identify, categorize and measure such costs. In the following article we are going to present how poor quality data can affect your business, why is this happening and how can you prevent wasting time and money due to poor data.

 

It’s going to be an in-depth geeky research and we advise you to keep your pen and notebook nearby and load yourself with plenty of coffee.

 

Poor Marketing Data Costs Online Businesses $611 Billion Per Year

 

With no further introduction, allow us to present you the main subject we are going to tackle in the following lines:

 

  1. Is Poor Data Really Affecting Your Online Business?
  2. Drowning in Dirty Data? It’s Time to Sink or Swim
  3. Poor Understanding of the Digital Marketing Environment 
  4. Faulty Methodology Being Used to Collect Digital Marketing Data
  5. Data That Cannot Be Translated Into Conversion
  6. Conclusion

 

Is Poor Data Really Affecting Your Business?

 

The development of information technology during the last decades has enabled organizations to collect and store enormous amounts of data. However, as the data volumes increase, so does the complexity of managing them. Since larger and more complex information resources are being collected and managed in organizations today, this means that the risk of poor data quality increases, as the studies show.  Data management, data governance, data profiling and data warehouse could be the salvation for any business and not just snake oil. 

 

Poor quality data can imply a multitude of negative consequences in a company.

 

Below you can read just some of them:

 

  • negative economic and social impacts on an organization
  • less customer satisfaction
  • increased running costs associated
  • inefficient decision-making processes
  • lower performance (of the business overall but also lowered employee job satisfaction)
  • increased operational costs
  • difficulties in building trust in the company data
  • + many others

 

In the image below you can easily see that there are not only direct costs we are talking about but hidden costs as well. Therefore, when creating your digital marketing strategy, have in mind the chart below before overlooking the data quality you are working on.

 

poor seo data

Source: jiem.org

Drowning in Dirty Data? It’s Time to Sink or Swim

 

95% of new products introduced each year fail.

And yes, this statistic has much to do with the data accuracy; or with the poor marketing data quality. A McKinsey & Company study from a couple of years ago revealed that research is a crucial part of a company’s survival.

80% of top performers did their research, while only 40% of the bottom performers did. 

Still, that’s a lot of research done by the bottom performers. Of course, just because they do research doesn’t automatically mean they do good research.

Trying to do research is not enough if you’re not going to be thorough about it.

If you are still not convinced of the importance of having good accurate data, before running any sort of campaign, be it email marketing, SEO or mail automation, take a look at these researched stats below: 

 

  • $ 611 bn per year is lost in the US by poorly targeted digital marketing campaigns

 

  • Bad data is the number one cause of CRM system failure

 

  • Organisations typically overestimate the quality of their data and underestimate the cost of errors

 

  • Less than 50% of companies claim to be very confident in the quality of their data

 

  • 33% of projects often fail due to poor data

 

There are many ways in which research can lead to poor marketing data quality, but let’s look and go in-depth with just 3 particular instances. Taking a close look and understanding them will help us identify how to prevent losing resources (time, money, people). Each of the three instances will be exhaustively detailed below.

 

  1. Poor Understanding of The Digital Marketing Environment 

 

  1. Faulty Methodology Being Used to Collect Digital Marketing Data

 

  1. Data That Cannot Be Translated Into Action

1. Poor Understanding of the Digital Marketing Environment

 

Google Trends is a pocket of gold and you might already know this. Yet, even having this instrument at your disposal, the secret stands in how you use it.  Yes, you’ll find a lot of data to help you see what’s trending to stay on top of your competitors. It’s a real-time search data to gauge consumer search behaviors over time. But what happens when you don’t use it properly or when you don’t “read” the the data correctly? Let’s say we are interested in the image search for the digital marketing techniques vs tactics. As we take a look at the screenshot below, we might be inclined to say that the “digital marketing techniques” are of higher interest. 

 

Google Trends

 

Yet, as mentioned before, I was going for the image search; and even if the techniques seems to be of more interest on the general search, when it comes to image search, I should probably go with tactics. Conducting research is not enough but properly understanding the environment is the key. 

 

google trends image

 

On the following line we are going to offer you some nice case studies of poor understanding of the environment and customer needs, based on three dimensions: depth, context and match.

 

A) No Depth

 

Companies have certainly come a long way from assuming they know what’s best for the consumer to trying to find out what the consumer actually wants. But even when they feign interest, things can go wrong if it’s not genuine or thorough enough.

 

Some instances are downright hilarious, like McDonald’s 2005 campaign, where it tried to emulate the youth hip lingo only for it to backfire horribly. Knowing that a certain group (young people) like something (their own jargon) doesn’t mean that the group will like any version of it, especially if it doesn’t fit or sounds like your dad trying to be “cool” and “with it.”

 

McDonalds 2005 campaign

 

When McDonalds’ ad reads “Double Cheesburger? I’d hit it – I’m a dollar menu guy,” it becomes obviously painful they have no idea what they’re saying and they just try to sound knowledgeable (here you can find the “urban” definition of I’d hit it). And if there’s something worse than not fitting in, it has to be trying to fit in and failing. If you’re not with the cool kids, but you’re ok with that, you might still have a chance to earn respect.

If you’re not with the cool kids, but you’re desperate to get in, that’s when you’re doomed. Superficiality is definitely a mark of poor research.

Some similar misunderstanding of how youth works plagued McDonalds several years later. They tried to make something happen and “go viral” when they started sharing success stories using the “McDStories” hashtag. This turned out to be another failure – not only in consumer understanding, but also in technology understanding. The “McDStories” hashtag was soon reappropriated by random dissatisfied customers who decided to share their own stories. Only their recollections weren’t nearly as nice and flattering as the company’s. This particular example is extremely prescient to SEO, because it highlights the dangers of trying to manufacture goodwill. Something in the level of awareness of consumers and the technology tools they have at hand makes rebellion and irony very likely reactions to trend setting from the outside.

B) No Context

Market research matters. And poor data leads to poor business decisions. But you probably know that already. 

Even when you do research thoroughly, you can still wrong your customers by not asking the right questions.

 

The classic example here is that of New Coke.

 

It wasn’t that their research was poor in itself: they had evidence that strongly suggested the taste was the leading cause of their market decline. They also had 200,000 blind product taste tests where more than half of respondents preferred the taste of the New Coke over both the “classic” Coke and Pepsi. So all the science was rightfully pointing them towards introducing the New Coke. Which they eventually did, with disastrous results. There was public outcry and the company ended up giving up the new formula and reverting to the classic one.

 

So what went wrong? Was it the consequences of poor data? The same thing, really: they didn’t fully understand their customers (although in a slightly different way than McDonalds). Coke’s mistake was to treat their customers as living in a vaccum, as consumers of soda, as opposed to consumers of Coke, specifically.

Blind tests are a very good instrument to use in general – except when you don’t want your respondets to be blind to their options.

 

So try to think about things not just in terms of functionality, but also brand recognition and emotional attachment.

 

It might very well be that your website’s design is outdated or boring. And the research reveals that youngsters are usually attracted to shiny, slick things. But maybe your particular type of outdated and boring is what works for your users. Data governance and information management are highly important; yet, so is data profiling. 

Try to keep a certain perspective on things and make sure you ask the right questions about your consumers.

C) No Match

 

Other times, it could be more of a mismatch problem between companies and customers. Inadequate market research is a major reason why business strategies fail and the source of poor data. If you want to develop your brand, one of the most important things that you should establish is a reliable marketing research system. Customers will buy or not a product for a certain reason. And it is essential for the future of your company to understand what this reason is.

 

What drives your customers? What sends them away? What makes them continue with your services?

 

And the answer to all of these is just under your nose. Your sales and support team. They are a goldmine. Just think about it; what better way to find exactly what your users want if not from them directly, with no intermediates, no fancy feedbacks, just straightforward accurate data you can make use of. It depends, of course, on how you “master” data and how you make use of it. If, for instance, someone is asking you for a new feature you don’t have; yes, it’s frustrating as you might get dozens of similar mails. Yet, make use of them, exploit them and win customers (and therefore money). Take a look at the screenshot below and notice all the missed opportunities. 

 

Source: helpscout.net

Source: helpscout.net

 

Through all its efforts, a company/business/website is trying to find a way to best reach its audience. Some efforts are sort of an “indirect” contact with the public through online content but there are also some others which are in direct contact. A discussion with the sales and support team might be a great opportunity for you to better understand your audience’s needs or challenges and adapt your strategy accordingly. 

 

If you’ve never thought of your support team as a research tool, then you might be missing a lot.

 

Yet, let me present you what a mismatch between companies and customers can lead to through an interesting case study from the brand association area.  Only by looking at the screenshot below you can forsee the association issues between Tesco products and a fine wine production line. 

 

tesco and yalumba wine

 

Yalumba, an Australian wine company was selling well into the UK through Tesco and relying heavily on their association with that supermarket chain, confident of their success because of the successful association. However, they began to be squeezed on margins, so had a close look at what was happening with Tesco, and were astounded at what they found.

 

They discovered that their brand was being marketed by Tesco as a commodity – offered on promotion and regarded by consumers as a good wine, but nothing special because it was generally offered at a special price. Their market research discovered that their brand was not considered good enough for special occasions because it was a Tesco promotional wine. Great they did a market research after all yet, a bit too late. 

 

It was not the consumers’ wine of choice, and there was little connection between the consumer and the brand. This is a classic commodity trap, causing margin pressure, and not sustainable on the longer term. The company had created this problem of a commodity trap caused by poor research and a link between brand loyalty and promotions that led to an expectation of lower price and hence, ultimately, unsustainable low margins for Yalumba.

2. Faulty Methodology Being Used to Collect Digital Marketing Data 

 

On this chapter we are going to tackle the loaded choices and questions issues but until then we are going to talk a bit about how a faulty methodology can lead you to a wrong track. And it doesn’t have to be on a large scale but even on a minimal research that you are doing. Let’s say that we are interested in the “restaurants” niche in Brasil. And we want to see everything that is out there on the web written on “restaurants” in the South American country. I use Brand Mentions for that and as you can see in the image below. 

 

BM restaurants

 

That’s indeed an impressive number of mentions. Yet, the initial search was done using the word I was targeting in english, “restaurants”. Will the search of the same word but in Portugese would make a difference? It sure does. A lot of difference. Therefore, even when doing a simple search you should always keep in mind the methodology if you want accurate data. 

 

BM restaurants portugese

 

Below you will find some very interesting case studies based on some common faulty methodology. 

 

A) Loaded Questions

 

How you phrase the questions and how much (or how little) information you decide to provide your respondents can make all the difference.

 

For instance, in the image below, which line is longer? If you bear with us until the end of the chapter you will find out the answer if you don’t know it already. 

 

muller-lyer

 

Giving them too little information can obviously skew their ability to give a useful answer. But it turns out that giving too much information can have the same effect. In his post on market research failures, Philip Graves provides two excellent examples of this phenomenon at work:

 

1. One is of a bank-related survey, where people are first asked if they have changed their bank lately and second if they are happy with their bank. While this line of questioning doesn’t necessarily provide unwanted information, it does create it implicitly in the mind of the respondent.

 

Just imagine: if you’ve answered “No” to the question about changing banks, once you get the second question, your brain is tempted to give an answer that is coherent with the answer to the first question. You can’t answer “No” to the second question, or else your answer to the first question would seem weird in retrospect. Have you changed your bank lately? No! Are you happy with your bank? The “Yes” comes automatically almost. Why would you not change your bank if you’re unhappy?

 

But of course, that’s not something you can do on the spot. What you can do on the spot, however, is find an answer that is consistent with the previous one, which, in this case, is “Yes.” You haven’t changed your bank because your are happy with it. There doesn’t need to be a causal link between the two, but the two answers are easier to accept if there is. We like order, symmetry and harmony.

 

When conducting a research, make sure the questions are consistent, logical and easy to understand. 

 

2. The other example in Graves’ article is more glaring. In a survey that asked “As the world’s highest paid cabin staff, should BA cabin crew go on strike?” 97% of respondents said “No.” To nobody’s surprise, we should add. This a classic example of a loaded question. The way it is worded makes it very unlikely that someone might say “Yes,” since we’re talking about the world’s highest paid cabin staff. In fact, the mechanism at work here is very similar to the previous one – it’s just more explicit. Our brains find it hard to hold two opposing views, so we try to adjust one of them to fit the other.

 

It’s like asking: being the best tool in the digital marketing with 80% success rate, do you think that the pros should choose us?

 

In this case, the two implicit views at work are “people who are well-paid should be happy with their work” and “people who are happy with their work shouldn’t go on strikes.” Or, to further reduce them to equation-like mantras, “money = satisfaction” and “satisfaction ⇏ manifesting dissatisfaction.”

 

think fast think slow

 

This kind of thinking – of which we are often not aware – is something that Nobel laureate Daniel Kaheman talks about at length in his “Thinking, Fast and Slow” book. It’s easier and faster to think in terms of simple equations and binary relationships between things, so we usually do. We are also prone to take the path of least resistance, so depending on how the question is phrased, we are more likely to give the answer that requires the least mental effort.

 

Just like in the case of the lines from the image above; even if you know, at a cognitive level that the lines are equal, you still have the tendency to consider the first one as being longer. 

 

Phrasing questions in a survey is such hard work.

B) Loaded Choices

 

Loaded questions are just one example of asking the right questions in the wrong way.

 

An inherent bias in the language you use can also have a significant effect on the answers you get.

 

For instance, there is a huge difference between asking people “How satisfied are you?” and “How dissatisfied are you?” even when the answer options are exactly the same (for instance: “Very safisfied,” “Satisfied,” “Rather satisfied,” “Rather dissatisfied,” “Dissatisfied,” “Very dissatisfied”). Priming can have a very strong effect even if people don’t realize they are susceptible to it and even when they downright deny it.

 

dissatisfaction

 

But getting the question right isn’t enough – you have to also get the choices right. Have open-ended questions and you might get answers that aren’t comparable and end up not being useful.

 

Have closed-ended questions and you might end up not including some very relevant answers, which in turn will force respondents to provide answers that do not represent them.

 

Even if you go for a mixed approach, you can still mess up by not making the choices comparable or symmetrical at both ends.

 

Let’s say that you are asked about your assessment of a mailing automation service and the options were: “Excellent,” “Very good,” “Good,” Very poor,” “Disastrous.” If you were just mildly dissatisfied with the service you received, you’re not likely to signal that because unless you’re up in arms about it, there’s no answer that fits your level of dissatisfaction. And even if you were seriously dissatisfied, you’d more likely go for “Very poor” than for anything else, because “disastrous” is generally a very rare occurrence. Moreover, the fact that there are 3 positive options and only 2 negative ones makes the least positive option (which is still quite positive) appear as more of a middle-ground than it should. So, if you’re just slightly dissatisfied, you are more likely to keep it to yourself and choose “Good” rather than choose “Very poor.” This is, obviously, an exaggerated example, but there are plenty, more subtle – but equally problematic – research design flaws out there.

3. Data That Cannot Be Translated Into Conversion

 

Here we are talking about useless data actually. Not quality issues, inaccurate data, business process, data managements, cost associated or process quality issues like we’ve discussed so far.  We’ve concluded by now that the quality of online data is a major concern—not only for the market research industry but also for business leaders who rely on accurate data to make decisions. 

 

Sometimes companies are so focused on the mousetrap they tend to lose touch with the emotions and needs of the people they actually work for: consumers.

 

Let’s say for instance that you are planning on boosting your website through SEO. And one day you realize that you have around 3 million links. That’s amazing, right? A few more and you are catching Microsoft’s link profile. Yet, is there anything you can do with this info alone? The 3 million links? Not really. You need to correlate it with the number of referring domains (which in our case is incredibly low reported to the high amount of links), the link influence, their naturalness, etc. Otherwise, there is no much use in having just the number of links. You cannot set up a strategy based on it nor take a digital marketing decision. 

 

cognitiveSEO site explorer

 

Yet, these things happen to the big guys as well. Let’s take Google Glasses for instance.  Not even 2 years have passed from the great launch and the producers announced that they are discontinuing the product. Didn’t Google have the means to conduct a proper research? Of course they did. Then what happened? 

 

What did they overlook?  Everything, some would say. Well, not quite everything but it’s clear that they made use of the data they had but not in an efficient way (we can say that these are still consequences of poor data). After researches, the producer came up with one conclusion: if high tech can be shrunk to fit in the hand, as with smartphones and tablets, and have such a great success, then why not shrunk technology to be close to a part of the human body? And their market research sample seemed thrilled about the idea. This was the info they’ve provided to the company. The product is created, it gets launch and no glory at all. Even more, it unceremoniously fails within months.  So what happened? Was it the consequences of poor data? The producers made their potential customers’ dreams come true; why did they not sell?

 

Privacy and price concerns alienated much of the public—and the fact Google released early copies only to rich geeks in the west coast, thereby branding the product as elitist instead of the “affordable luxury” philosophy. Even if they had a lot of data, it was quite useless.  According to CNN, before launch, Google didn’t anticipate that few would want to pay (or could afford) $1,500 to parade in public with a device slung around their eyes that others might perceive as either a threat to others’ privacy or a pretentious geeky gadget.

“Google’s fast retreat exposes the most fundamental sin that companies make with the “build it and they will come” approach. It’s a process that tech companies rely on, referred to as public beta testing.”

 

There are blind spots in marketing research that are costly and variables that no market research studies can predict.

Conclusion

 

Bad data can lead to bad analysis, which can lead to bad business decisions, some really bad revenue and not only. The first step is made. If you are aware of poor data quality impact today, it will not affect your business tomorrow. One should always be aware that bad data has long time consequences not only on your overall data management but also on all your future business decisions. 

The post Poor Marketing Data Costs Online Businesses $611 Billion Per Year appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Pay to Speak at Your Social Media Conference? Are You Drunk?

Take a minute to imagine getting a new client.

You’ve worked hard to get to that stage, and now you’re ready to sign the contract.

Then the new client stops you in your tracks with these words:

OK, I’m ready to have you do your thing for me. But you’ll need to pay me first.

You look at them, surprised, wondering if you heard them right.

So you ask the obvious excuse me, and receive this reply:

You’ll have to pay me first. If you want to work for me, you’ll need to pay me. If you don’t want to work for me, that’s fine—I have options where you can pay me for the honor of me asking you instead.

You shake your head incredulously and wonder when your expertise became whittled down to you having to pay to do the thing you were invited to do in the first place.

Crazy, right?

Not according to the organizers at the Social Shake-Up Show, one of many social media conferences being held in Atlanta later this year.

Speaker or Sponsor?

I received an email from one of the event’s organizers, asking me if I was interested in speaking.

Or at least, I thought I did.

Turns out, it wasn’t quite that simple.

Here’s the body of the email:

Are you interested in speaking at the 2017 Social Shake-Up Show on May 22-24 in Atlanta?

500+ decision-makers will be in attendance, so it’s the perfect platform to discuss your latest product or to display thought leadership in front of a forward-thinking social media community.

Standing at the podium and delivering a powerful message in front of your peers validates the countless hours that you and your team put in at the office.

Our agenda is filling up quickly and I thought you might be interested in taking one of the remaining spots.

These open speaking spots are reserved for Social Shake-Up sponsors, so email me directly if you’d like pricing details.

Along with the speaking opportunity, you’ll receive all the benefits of being a Social Shake-Up sponsor.

If you’re interested, please contact me as soon as possible, as rates for our speaking spots increase after Jan. 20.

Let’s Break that Down, Shall We?

The introductory paragraph is nice enough.

It tells me about the event, and that 500+ decision-makers will be in attendance.

Although, in fairness, my five-year-old daughter and six-year-old son make decisions every day.

Like how much mud to roll in and how many times they can fit poop into a sentence at dinner time, so maybe that’s not such a selling point after all.

Then it goes on to sell me on presenting myself as a *cough* “thought leader” to these important people.

So far, so good.

The second paragraph is where it gets fun/confusing/painful, depending on your point-of-view.

Standing at a Podium

To recognize all the hard work I’ve put in, honing my craft, building my expertise, and keeping me and my team in the office while our children are growing up and our lives are disappearing around us, I get to STAND AT A PODIUM!!!!!

See how excited I was by this revelation?

I had to use all caps to get the gravity of that offer in full.

A PODIUM. A REAL-LIFE PODIUM!!!!

Well call me Shirley and pour me a double!

Never mind the gratitude of clients, peers, or bosses for any successful project or undertaking—a podium is where it’s at!!!

After that bombshell, I could hardly wait to see what more this event could possibly offer me.

I mean, a frickin’ podium!!!

Sponsor the Event

Onto paragraph three….

Wait, what’s this?

You want me to sponsor your event, and that will let me get to the podium?

Can’t I just bring my own podium?

No?

Dammit!!!

So…to be clear…one of the organizing/sponsorship team for the event invites me to speak, but not as a speaker.

Instead, it’s as a sponsor, and by sponsoring the event I’ll get to be a “speaker” (albeit at a podium)?

My Reply

Well, of course, I had to reply…

Hi,

So, just to clarify—you want me to speak at your event but I have to pay to do so?

On top of, undoubtedly, paying my own expenses for hotel and flight?

And the “benefit” of this is I get to “stand at a podium”?

Is the podium a time machine, like the Doc’s DeLorean?

Because then I could see value in your proposal.

Or is it like that podium from the original Police Academy, because that looked like a rewarding podium!

Perhaps you meant possum?

I’m a firm believer that possums make for great photo opps, so I could see the benefit there. Though I think you might have meant “stand beside a possum,” as opposed to at.

Anyhoo… Please advise if any of these scenarios are true.

Otherwise, I’ll have to decline before I have a laughter-inflicted hernia due to the ridiculousness of your “proposal”.

Yours in eagerness (especially about the DeLorean!),

Someone Who Places More Value on Time, Expertise and Knowledge Than a Pay-to-Play Podium Slot

Or, in the immortal words of Mary Poppins:

Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?

You Say Exposure, I Say Tell My Kids Why They’re Hungry

There’s a commonly-held belief that exposure is a wonderful way to avoid paying for expertise.

This can usually be seen in two forms:

  • Write for something such as The Huffington Post and be rewarded with thousands of eyeballs and impressions, thereby driving traffic back to your own blog.
  • Speak at an event (after paying for your own travel and accommodation costs) to get in front of peers and potential clients.

Or, you can go the Social Shake-Up route and make people pay to be a sponsor in lieu of giving them a speaking slot.

The first two are crappy enough.

The Huffington Post was bought for $315 million in 2011, and brought in $146 million in ad revenue in 2014.

Yet their business model is to get the majority of its writers to produce content for free, in exchange for eyeballs on their content.

Events—especially social media conferences—charge upwards of a few hundred dollars to attend, to almost $2,000, and beyond.

They have a bunch of sponsors, and they generally have anywhere from a few hundred one-day attendees to several thousand during the course of two to three days.

And yet, they’ll only pay the “top-tier” speakers.

But then you have the Social Shake-Up approach.

There are many reasons it’s wrong, and—to me, at least—unethical.

It’s Totally Wrong

But here are the core ones:

  • Speaking for exposure does not pay the bills. While the event organizers no doubt make money or get paid, as do some of the speakers (you have to assume), the rest are out in the cold, paying almost a thousand bucks for a flight, a few hundred bucks for a hotel, and then food and drinks on top. This, despite tickets for the event range from $700 to $1,800, and are non-refundable to boot. All for the promise of getting in front of “decision-makers.”
  • Advertising on your site that “…speakers are carefully vetted and will deliver on the promise to share the strategies and tactics that have truly shaken up the ecosystem.” How carefully vetted can they be when they’ve paid to appear? It immediately devalues the promise of earth-shattering learnings.
  • Speaking of paying, every speaker who does that now becomes a sponsor. Which allows the event to sell more sponsorships with the pitch, “Sponsorships are filling up quickly.” Sorry, no, they’re not—they’re being filled up by people sold what is essentially an empty promise.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Some Social Media Conferences DO Get it Right

There are some fantastic social media conferences that not only deliver value but treat their speakers with the respect they deserve and pay them for their time and expertise.

These are the ones you should support, and the ones I don’t mind attending.

The other ones?

The ones that are essentially saying, “Hey, come stand in a room and get 15-20 minutes to talk to people who will probably never give you work no matter how awesome you think your talk is”?

I’m going to keep my money from these guys.

Instead, I’m going to invest it in the work I know I get respected and paid for, and spend it on the family I do that work for.

And you can shove that up your stupid podium.

A version of this first appeared on Spin Sucks.

23 Rarely Used Copywriting Techniques to Create Fascinating Content

Writing is an art and discovering the secrets of boosting your readers’ engagement can transform you into a master of copywriting. Setting the right tone, answering to questions, drawing attention, adding personality and bringing your content alive with visuals or interactive data are just a few techniques that can get you there.

Copywriting Techniques

You know that warm feeling you get when you speak with one of your friends? You talk, he listens, he asks questions and so on. You understand each other. A similar feeling can be established with your readers as well. How, you may ask? It’s not a bulletproof formula but for sure it will be extremely helpful to follow the next 23 rarely used copywriting techniques to help you boost your engagement.

  1. Use the Serial Position Effect
  2. Make Your Visitors Feel Important by Offering Exclusive Content
  3. Use the “Bizarreness Effect” to Draw Attention
  4. Use “Powerful” Keywords like “New”, “Free”, “Now”
  5. Use Copywriting Formulas to Create Captivating Content
  6. Be a Unicorn in a Field of Horses
  7. Take Advantage of the FOMO Technique
  8. Include Emotions, Promise, and Main Keyword to Make Your Headlines Viral
  9. Create a Persona Based Content Strategy
  10. Be the First to Jump on Trends
  11. Ask Your Audience to Contribute
  12. Pack More Personality into Your Content
  13. Perfect Your Writing Tone to Your Readers
  14. Craft Good Stories That Sell
  15. Give Your Content a Quick Credibility Boost
  16. Leverage Emotional Triggers in Your Content Marketing
  17. Build Social Media Friendly Content
  18. Use Statistical Data to Enhance Your Content Marketing
  19. Transform Your Q&A into an Article to Help Your Audience
  20. Use Social Proof to Back up Your Content
  21. Make Your Content More Visually Interactive
  22. Define the Purpose Behind Everything You Write
  23. Make Your Content Familiar to Resonate with Your Audience

1. Use the Serial Position Effect

 

The serial position effect refers to the situation when a person recalls the words from the beginning and the end of a list rather than the ones from the middle. According to a study made by Indiana University, the participants were able to remember the first and last words from a list of 20.
 
Following this technique, you should write the key points of your sales pitch or any other important information at the beginning and end of your blog post.
 

serial-position-effect

Source: https://copyhackers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/serial-position-effect.png

2. Make Your Visitors Feel Important by Offering Exclusive Content

 

Another technique you can use to boost your engagement is to offer content your readers couldn’t find elsewhere. Make them feel important; they will start to appreciate you more. Don’t you love it when someone is sharing with you a piece of information that has never been said to anyone else?

 
Exclusive content comes in different forms: a webinar with a script for those who sign up, training opportunities, e-books for subscribers, news from conferences and events in the industry turned into blog posts.

 

3. Use the “Bizarreness Effect” to Draw Attention

Using ridiculous material to be better remembered instead of common material translates into the bizarreness effect. This technique is borrowed from Psychology. Studies have shown that people were able to recall nouns presented in bizarre sentences such as “The dog rode the bicycle down the street” rather the nouns from the common counterpart “The dog chased the bicycle down the street”. On the other hand, some specialists say the bizarreness isn’t the thing that enhances the memory, but rather the distinctiveness of the meaning.


 

You can use the bizarreness effect to be spontaneous and say something indubitably wild.

 

4. Use “Powerful” Keywords like “New”, “Free”, “Now”


Another valuable copywriting technique is taking advantage of powerful keywords in your content. Persuading words can have a stronger impact compared to other types. When talking face to face, it is easier to make a point due to the use of intonations and body language. In writing, it is a bit harder. The best call will be to use strong keywords to point out key notes in your content.
 
You can take advantage of powerful words in order to convey emotions. For example, you could use:

  • ridiculous instead of stupid;
  • entertaining instead of funny;
  • delightful instead of nice;
  • magnificent instead of beautiful.

 
Beside using vivid adjectives, you might try having verbs that are more expressive. It is recommended to use first person pronouns such as “I” and “you” to give the impression of having a dialogue with your reader. Also, try to use causal prepositions such as “because” or “due” to give arguments and demonstrate your affirmations. It was proved in a study where people have shown more will to heed to a request after the word “because” was used.
 

Words like “new”, “now” and “free” can also have a strong impact on the audience if they are used at the right moment.

5. Use Copywriting Formulas to Create Captivating Content

Whether we want to tell a captivating story, write a killer content or have inspiring headlines, you can use these formulas to boost the engagement. Until now, I’ve mentioned the 4 U’s Formula: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. A similar formula is the 4 C’s: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible.
 
If you want to offer benefits through a blog post, you could use the Before – After – Bridge formula. “Before” is the situation where you imagine a problem that doesn’t exist. “After” is the situation where you resolve the problem. The “bridge” is the way to get there.
 
A formula that has been used for a long time is AIDA, where you have to grab the reader’s attention, offer interesting information, develop desire and create the action.
 
You could also try the Picture – Promise – Prove – Push (PPPP) formula. Using it, you can paint a picture to grab the reader’s attention, then make a promise, provide support for your promise and determine your reader to take action.
 
A good way to catch the reader on the “hook” is by using the Open Loop tactic. It is used more often in books to create suspense through a cliffhanger. At that moment you hold back information to grab your reader’s attention and make him read the whole post.
 
The “3 reasons why” is another formula to help you write engaging content. You have to answer three questions, as the name says it:
 

  • Why are you the best?
  • Why should I believe you?
  • Why should I buy right now?

On the web, you’ll find lots of other formulas that can help you discover what works best for you.

6. Be a Unicorn in a Field of Horses

 

Be smart and seek guidance from tools such as BrandMentions to spy on your competitors who write about topics you’re interested in. Search and read what they’ve written to find ways to have vivid content, and different approaches to the topic to “steal” their audience. If you have something new to write about, make a research to see if your competitors wrote something similar and how they handled the topic.
 
After you’ve done your homework, tie it all together with a value proposition. A well-known quote says “Be a unicorn in a field of horses”. For that you can apply the 4 U’s formula: be urgent, unique, useful, and ultra-specific.
 

If you follow some of the copywriting techniques we’ve talked about so far you can create your own formula to differentiate yourself from the competition.

7. Take Advantage of the FOMO Technique

 

FOMO is the acronym for fear of missing out, and some of you may know this feeling. Taking advantage of this technique involves using information such as limited offers, discounts, and other exclusive events, to lead your readers towards an action.
 
An example of a limited offer from Starbucks can be seen in the next photo:
Limited offer example

This technique works very well for millennials. From a study made by Eventbrite of 2,100 adults (507 of whom were millennials aged 18 to 34) it resulted that 69% of millennials fear missing out social events.

 
Due to FOMO, it is a blooming era for live events. It works very well for “selling” experiences through blog posts out of a product such as meeting your favorite influencers at a conference, having a personalized balloon ride in your holiday, exceeding your dreams by doing the sport you like, listening live your favorite singers at a festival and so on.

 

8. Include Emotions, Promise, and Main Keyword to Make Your Headlines Viral


Headlines have a significant impact on whether your content gets opened or not. You have a headline for a blog post, for a SlideShare presentation, for a video, for an infographic, for a news article, for an ad, for a webinar, for a guide, for an e-book, for almost everything you write online.
 
Around 80% of readers never make it past the headline, leaving almost 20% of them who will read. And these statistics say a lot about how important the headlines are. You should have clickbait headlines to increase the open rate.
 

We live in the fastest phase of human history, and we can’t afford to make the reader lose interest in our site/blog after reading the headlines. We must create desire and interest from the beginning. Say no to low CTR!

 
Below you can see an example of a catchy headline for a webinar. Isn’t it true that it makes you sign-up?
 
Webinar headline

It gives you the guarantee you’ll find out hints to recover your site if it got hit by the Penguin penalty.
 
While searching online, you’ll find lots of useful resources that can offer you guidance on how to create top headlines. An easy way to generate killer headlines and to increase your readers’ engagement is to follow Jeff Goins’ formula. There are five elements. If you combined them, you would be able to trigger the desired actions.

  • Number – 3, 10 are best used in the headlines. It’s up to you how many elements you use.
  • Adjective – use unique adjectives to create a powerful emotion. For example: brilliant, atrocious, stunning, smart, bizarre, dazzling.
  • Rational – the way you offer added value such as reasons, tips, secrets, hacks, tricks. Please, don’t ever use things.
  • Keyword – a short phrase that tells us what the content is about.
  • Promise – what’s in it for me? For example, our headline promises “copywriting techniques that will boost your engagement”.

This is the formula designed for success: Number + Adjective + Rational + Keywords + Promise

Using Jeff Goins’ formula, you can transform lifeless headlines into sparkly ones. For example, “Best Travel Destinations in Europe” can turn into “5 Brilliant Travel Destinations in Europe That Will Spark Your Wanderlust” having “travel destinations in Europe” as a keyword.
 
Below you can see an example of an inspiring headline for a webinar following the formula written above:
 

10-ridiculous-hacks-to-5x-clickthrough-rates-1-638

Source: http://image.slidesharecdn.com/buzzsumo-webinar-march-20161-160323161442/95/10-ridiculous-hacks-to-5x-clickthrough-rates-1-638.jpg?cb=1458838636

Also, you can try using BrandMentions to help you to find inspiration for your headlines by looking at your competitors.
 
It’s important that your content covers all the elements you wrote in the headline.

 

9.Create a Persona-Based Content Strategy

It is mandatory to know your audience before you even start writing. Start studying what your reader likes, dislikes, what his habits are, what type of content he consumes, in what part of the day he prefers to read, where he comes from, where he is from and other similar demographic and interest characteristics.
 

After you’ve collected data about your audience, use it to create your content marketing persona. Track your analytics and set metrics to help you deploy trends.

10. Be the First to Jump on Trends


Every copywriter should follow trends in his industry to bring fresh content. A smart way to engage your audience and attract new readers to your site is having worthy content. You can do that by keeping up the news to bring valuable information to your visitors.

 
A good way to start would be to subscribe to news sites, specialists in the field, watch Google Trends, read publications in your industry, create a Twitter list of influencers you know they deliver hot news as they happen, follow trending hashtags about your main interest. These are just a few ways to keep your eyes open to trending stories. After you’ve gathered all the information, you need to start writing about a trending topic to make your blog post newsworthy.

11. Ask Your Audience to Contribute


Smart copywriters know that asking their readers to contribute is an influential copywriting technique. People are anxious to see their work promoted by a brand.
 
One of the most used ways to ask your audience to contribute is to share photos on social media. Sending emails to contacts to answer a survey, asking questions on blogs or using real reviews to write a blog post are other ways to contribute. Be bold, and try other unique ways to do that.
 
Kenneth Cole came with an excellent way to make people contribute. The company organized a selfie contest. The brand offered fans the possibility to take a selfie and enter a contest to win free shoes every month for a year.
Selfie contest
If you know you visitors take selfies, you should try something similar. Selfies are widespread, and it’s simple to engage with the audience. They are personal and can easily lead to an action. The owner will receive likes, comments, and new followers. You can write an article about the pictures you receive and start a story.
 
Another example is the Christmas Story by the travel agency Rolandia Travel. Last December, the company wanted to offer its readers a soft presentation of how the Holidays are celebrated in Romania.
Share-your-Christmas-story

Travelers could send a short story about how they spent their Christmas in Romania along with a few pictures as a gift of sharing for those who were far from home, but not only. The best stories were published on the blog every week.

 

12. Pack More Personality into Your Content


Personality is that something that makes you unique. Personality is that something that can differentiate you from the mass, is that something that defines your personal style. Just like a person has it, a brand should have it also. Brands have been developing through the time; they began to have anthropogenic qualities and be more humanized. The personality of a brand can be translated into a unique selling point, a motto or other forms of expression in order for people to know that is about the brand and nothing else. For example, the personality of Coca-Cola might be connected with happiness, fun, friends, family, being together due to the images and messages communicated consistently in numerous Coke campaigns. Below, you can see how a Coca-cola ad looked like in the 1940:

Coca Cola Bran Personality

Source: http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/coke-ads

 
Now, in the 20s this is how an ad from Coca-Cola looks like:

Coca Cola Personality

Source: http://www.realites.com.tn/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/coca-cola.jpg

You can see that the message and the way of showing smiling people remain. Both images express happiness, friends, fun.

 
For a content, personality can be expressed through a unique voice, a style, maybe a personalized closing or a type of personalized covers for articles and so on. Besides that, the content should always reveal the personality of the brand.

 

13. Perfect Your Writing Tone to Your Readers


For a copywriter having the right copy tone is like having the perfect light for a photographer to shoot the subject. For a painter it can be the right muse.
 

Your writing tone can either create interest or kill it. The wrong tone can wreck a good piece of information.

 
When you talk with someone and use a certain tone, you can determine how your interlocutor will respond. A similar situation can be when you use a specific tone in your writings. If the piece of information is entertaining, then the reader will feel cheerful, if it expresses anger he will get angry, if it’s painful he will feel the pain, if it’s boring he won’t have the patience to read it entirely and will leave your site.
 
There are multiple ways to express your opinions. Take a look at this questions, for example:
 

  • Would you mind if I borrowed your pen, please?
  • Can I have your pen?
  • Pass me that pen.

Make a difference between formal and informal writing. If you started writing in a casual mood, then stick to it. Don’t make sudden changes, inject unexpected signs of cuteness to become casual or start using a technical language to become more formal than usual. If you have multiple collaborators that write on your blog, make sure they follow the same language. Avoid being inconsistent.
 
Here are a few tips to help you shape your tone:
 

  • don’t be too casual or too stiff;
  • don’t use dialectic or slang language;
  • don’t use offensive language (swear or use racism);
  • be clear by ordering your words properly in a sentence;
  • use singular pronouns (me, you);
  • have a personal way of expressing your opinions and wisdom within a topic.

 

Now, ask yourself: “Do I sound like my visitors expect me to?”

 

14. Craft Good Stories That Sell


There is no doubt that a good story can captivate us really bad. Let’s be honest. Hasn’t it happened to you to stay up at night reading a good story to find out how it ends? If you succeed sketching a story in the right manner you could transport the reader down the funnel in order to determine him to take an action.
 

A good story has the gift to help the reader get into a state of well-being.

But how could you do that, you might be asking? I’ve picked up a few tips to help you with that:
 

  • paint a picture: use imagery and lots of details to be more expressive.
  • appeal beyond those 5 senses: remember that there are different types of people. Some of them are more visual, others more auditory or olfactory and so on. Make sure to take advantage of sensory words.
  • suspense: you can capture their attention by adding a tint of tension and get them to finish the whole article. Try giving your audience something exciting to read.
  • killer opening paragraph: a good story can be used as an opening paragraph to allure the audience into getting to the main part of your topic.

  • have a model: To make your arguments stronger, you can use a model to show the changes it suffered. You can take examples from your experience or the ones you’ve heard of. Your audience can relate with the people who went through a similar situation.

 

15. Give Your Content a Quick Credibility Boost


It is ok to write your opinion and give advice, but are you credible? Are people trusting you?
 

Credibility can be a point sale. People can decide to buy your product depending on whether they trust you or not. Your affirmations should be based on data.

 
You can build trust if you follow a few guidelines:
 

  • cite sources: well-known field specialists usually offer credibility due to their background. Search for credible sources and specialists to back up your claim.
  • take advantage of your years in business and your experience.
  • name innovations and awards: if the context asks for such kind of references, use them. These are evidence of your success.
  • offer independent survey results: if you’ve run a small research, use the data to back up your arguments.

  • have media coverage: a great impact on your readers’ credibility would be to have presence in the news and business publications. If your brand is newsworthy, then you will also get authority in the field.

 

16. Leverage Emotional Triggers in Your Content Marketing


On the web, you can find lots of bloggers that offer great advice, write captivating content and give informative tips, but don’t know how to connect with their viewers on an emotional level.
 
The content can have emotional or rational triggers if we follow the classification regarding consumer behavior from psychology. Leveraging emotional triggers is a technique used in psychology to persuade. It can also be used as a copywriting technique, for the same purpose.
 
In order to stimulate emotions, you have to write content that helps the reader and make him experience a sensation while reading. You can be informative, but try not to exaggerate using a cold voice. If you do so you risk losing your readers because they won’t recall a thing and might never return to your site. We must remember that we write for people, to create a connection with them and to be on the same wavelength. This means you could talk from your experience in a friendly manner, share personal examples, be authentic, ask your audience questions and try to answer to them, share experiences together.

“Emotions are complex and move in various directions. Modeling emotional feelings and considering their behavioral implications are useful in preventing emotions from having a negative effect on the workplace.” – Boundless

Psychologist Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions. The most comprehensive way to illustrate the emotions experienced by a human being.
 

plutchik-s-emotion-wheel

Source: http://www.efoza.com/postpic/2014/03/plutchik-s-emotion-wheel_309528.png

Studies have shown that the positive emotions toward a brand have a higher influence on the loyalty of the consumer rather than its trust. Also, they can help you to communicate more effectively.
 
Negative, as well as positive emotions, have an influence on a person. When someone experiences something like that they want to do something to avoid the bad feelings. If you talk to your readers and provoke them negative emotions, they will follow you more carefully to reduce their discomfort.

When people are involved with the message, they listen attentively and process using the central route. Emotional appeals create involvement.

One of the most important characteristics of the emotional triggers used as a copywriting technique is they can lead to actions.

 
Before you take a step forward, it is crucial you know your business and your audience very well. Although connecting with your readers on an emotional level is important, make sure you resonate with them. Be careful to make your audience feel the emotions you wanted it to experience.

 

17. Build Social Media Friendly Content


After you wrote your post, you should promote it. To make your life easier and not work twice as much, try and make your visual data expressive and relevant to your content. Always make a cover for your content to boost your reach. It is proven that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets.
 
The cover can be used as social media content. Also, I recommend you to make a short description about your topic that you can write as an intro or meta description, as well as a tweet on Twitter or as a post on Facebook and so on.

 
If you follow these simple guidelines, your readers could easily share your content, too. The visibility of your content will be improved, and other Social Media metrics could experience growth.

18. Use Statistical Data to Enhance Your Content Marketing


Cartograms, scatter plots, time series, diagrams, charts, histograms, matrix, dendrogram, area maps are just some ways of portraying statistical data in your content to make it more animated. To have traffic-driving content type you can create visual content out of statistics.
 
You can try and create interactive charts or use gifs to maintain your audience focused on your content. This is just an example:
 

Interactive graphs

Source: https://d13yacurqjgara.cloudfront.net/users/57127/screenshots/1917495/attachments/329078/productpage2-2.gif

 
You can use Visme for animated charts and Canva or Piktochart for static charts. Below, you can see how a chart in Piktochart looks like.
 
Piktochart


 
If you use charts, it is easier to understand and to visualize the information, rather than reading chunks of text and numbers.

 

19. Transform Your Q&A into an Article to Help Your Audience


You can find value in your Q&A. More than that, you could find value in the questions you receive from your readers. First, you should make a list with all the questions you have, then categorize them. Make them sound actionable and sell the idea behind. After you’ve done the final list, you can start writing your blog post, give examples.

 
Another great source of this kind is Quora. You can search for the best answers in your industry in Quora and transform them into a new blog post. There is a good chance you will get some helpful information and good feedback from your readers.

 

20. Use Social Proof to Back up Your Content


“Social proof” is a phenomenon where people think that how others are acting in a given situation is the right way to respond in a similar event.
 
Imagine you want to go to a restaurant and have dinner. You have the possibility to choose from a crowded restaurant with a waiting list and an empty restaurant. You probably think the second one has crappy food. The waiting list is proof that the first restaurant has good food, right? You’d chose the crowded one, wouldn’t you?
 
Psychologists name this behavior “social proof”. If there is a crowd, that means it is good. The more the people, the more it means something better must happen there, you’d think. Following the crowd is in our nature. It is a simpler decision.

 
You can attract your audience with the “social proof” technique if you make a blog post out of reviews for your product, have endorsement for your brand, use testimonials in an e-book, write a best practice post from your clients’ experience, write case studies from the data you extrapolated about your customers.

 

21. Make Your Content More Visually Interactive


Visual content includes infographics, videos, gifs, pictures, presentations. Images are a great asset because they are stored in our long-term memory. It’s not a secret that infographics are highly shareable.
 
70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes. Sources say it takes us less than 1/10 of a second to understand a visual scene.
 
The article’s cover comes first on the content. You should be very careful how it looks since it’s the first image the reader sees. Having puppies wearing boots might be captivating, but they are not always relevant.

Puppies wearing boots

Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/9a/57/db/9a57dbd3367259a2db12a34a71cbcd0c.jpg

Along with a strong headline, the cover is a core element for boosting engagement, so make sure you chose wisely.
 
Get creative and combine the visuals to be interactive, to surprise the visitor and engage him and make him stay more on your site. For example, you could create an interactive how-to guide, or you can simply display unique information. Check the next screenshot to see an example:
 

Interactive Visual Content

Source: http://blog.thinglink.com/marketing/interactive-infographic-arsenal

 
If you hover over the plus sign (+) you can see a pop-up box with additional information.
 
Biz Brain created an interesting way of displaying information about “where does coffee came from”. It shows a journey from bean to cup through a fun and attractive infographic.
 
NowSourcing Planting the seed
It gives the right amount of information without overwhelming the reader. You can scroll down the page to see the whole process.
 
NowSourcing Processing the cherries
It is one of the most detailed infographics I’ve seen. More than that, it offers an experience. The fact that is interactive gives you the feeling you take part in the whole process. In the end, you “receive” a cup of coffee. You engage in the act of planting the seed, harvesting, processing the beans, milling, exporting, inspecting, roasting, grinding and brewing.
 
It is an excellent way to captivate the reader and share useful information in a way he can remember. You can work with an agency or a freelancer if you want something more complicated or search for tools to help you create the desired visual impact.
More tips to create interactive content:
 

  • make an interactive calendar to follow past and future events;
  • have a virtual assistant for an online product or service right on your site;
  • create an infographic from a how-to video;
  • turn presentations into gifs;

 

22. Define the Purpose Behind Everything You Write


While the content is blooming and lots of marketers start to write for the sake of having news content on site, the internet becomes crowded. Don’t get me wrong, it is fine to have a big library of content as long as the information is useful, it has a purpose and answers pertinent questions. Don’t get lost in the pile of dull blogs and boring content.

 
Make a list of topics, research and see which one will bring more traffic, correlate with the trends and what your audience wants. After you’ve done the analysis you can make a plan/structure for your topic to cover it all. Then implement it. Start writing and always remember what you’ve promised in the headline. Your purpose is to bring arguments and examples, show case studies or other types of information that will confirm your affirmations.

 

23. Make Your Content Familiar to Resonate with Your Audience


Your content should provide value to the readers. What better way than make it personal? But what does personal mean?
 
Personal content can be written from your own experience. You can collect data and present it through case studies on the blog, convert your presentations into new articles. Below, you have an example of a SlideShare presentation turned into a blog post.
Personal content on blog
Another way to have personal content is by sharing information from a conference you’ve been to or follow up from a webinar you’ve organized. Beside that, you should use informal writing such as “don’t” instead of “do not” or use the first person pronoun: “We have the possibility to look at our analyzed site and make a conclusion”.
 
 

Conclusion


Writing has never been an easy job. Especially now when the internet is constantly changing and the readers are harder to attract on the site.
 
Think about the fact that you need to be convincing and express more in words to draw attention. People can be easily distracted if you don’t captivate them and keep them engaged. If you are using words that have more sway than others, you might have a positive change in their engagement. Following the “seductive” techniques we’ve talked until now, you’ll have a good change to get the results you’re expecting. Make sure they follow your brand guidelines.
 
Design your plan and try to implement it correctly. After that, always follow the results and your metrics.

The post 23 Rarely Used Copywriting Techniques to Create Fascinating Content appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

53 Untapped Ways to Boost Your Email Open Rates

Email open rates represent the ultimate effectiveness of the emails you’re sending to your audience and your leads, and the better they are in composition, structure and spamming, the more you’re going to grow in a sustainable way. That’s why we’ve put together (probably) the largest list of hands on tips to help you nail email marketing and build a better strategy for your ROI.

53_Untapped_Ways_to_Boost_Your_Email_Open_Rates

With no further introduction, we present you a great list of 53 great methods on how to considerably boost your open rate.

I. BECOME A SUBJECT LINES MASTER

  1. Choose a Subject Line That Triggers Curiosity
  2. Address the Prospects by First Names
  3. Use Open Loops that Spark Curiosity in the Reader
  4. Use Humor to Create a Personal Relationship with Your Prospects 
  5. Make Use of Negative Subject Lines to Trigger Curiosity
  6. Use the Power of Quizzes. Announce Them in the Subject Line
  7. Add a Video. Announce It in the Subject Line to Raise Interest
  8. Be Playful. Use Emojis in the Subject Line When It’s Appropriate
  9. Have at Least 5 Headlines Written Before Actually Sending One
  10. Leverage Relevant News to Build Urgency from the Subject Line
  11. Use Email Series to Increase Curiosity and Loyalty
  12. A/B Test Alternatives of Different Subject Lines

II.KEEP YOUR READERS ENGAGED

  1. Create a Second Lead to Keep Your Audience Hooked
  2. Use Information Gap to Create a Craving for More Content
  3. Use Educational Emails to Re-engage Prospects That Slipped Away
  4. Focus Your Copy on the Customer’s Interests, Not on Your Product
  5. Ask Why When Someone Unsubscribes
  6. Make the Same Message Revolve Around More than One CTA Button
  7. Brand Your “From” Name. Set a Personal Name and Stick to It
  8. Review Emails Internally Before Sending Them to the Public
  9. Proof Read for Grammar, Not Just for Marketing Relevance!
  10. Finish the Email With a Question to Increase Engagement

III. BE CAREFUL AT THE TIMING & FREQUENCY OF YOUR EMAILS

  1. Use the Same Delivery Time for All Your Emails (Especially for Newsletters)
  2. Avoid List Fatigue. Avoid Sending Too Many Emails
  3. Get the Length of the Message Right – Add a TL;DR in the Subject Line When Necessary
  4. Try Automated Behavioral Triggered Emails to Exploit User Behavior
  5. Ask Your Contacts to Decide How Often They Want to See Mails from You
  6. Resend Unopened Emails
  7. Create Anticipation Towards the Following Email from a Series
  8. Let the Contact Know Your Email is Fresh

IV. AVOID SPAM FILTERS

  1. Beware of the Word ‘Free’. It Can Trigger Spam Filters
  2. Use Lower Case Letters in the Subject Line
  3. Only Use the Emails of Your Contacts for What They Expect from You
  4. Make the List Double Opt-In
  5. Ask Contacts to Add You to the Address Book
  6. Avoid Attachments, Whenever Possible
  7. Optimize Your HTML to Increase Deliverability
  8. Use Well Optimized Videos to Get the Message in Your Prospect’s Inbox
  9. Optimize Images to Be Responsive on Mobile
  10. Use Email Authentication to Prevent Fake Accounts from Sending Emails in Your Name
  11. Connect Your Current Location to the Email Account to Spot Unusual Activity Easier

V. BE AWARE OF THE LIST SEGMENTATION IMPORTANCE

  1. Micro-Segment Your Mailing List
  2. Address Prospects from Your Niche
  3. Constantly Upgrade & Update Your Contact List
  4. Address the Message Having Just One Persona in Mind
  5. Avoid Sending Unsolicited Emails

VI. KEEP A STRONG CONNECTION WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

  1. Add Social Media Links to Be Closer to Your Audience
  2. Send a Warm, Personal Welcome Email When Someone Subscribes
  3. Send Relevant Product Update Emails 
  4. Use Your Credibility Smartly. Avoid Promotional Content
  5. Include an Unsubscribe Button 
  6. Personalize Your Signature with a Short Description
  7. Encourage Sharing the Content of Your Email with Close Friends

 

 

I.BECOME A SUBJECT LINES MASTER

1. Choose a Subject Line That Triggers Curiosity

 

From our experience, one of the first things you’d like to avoid in the pursuit of a perfect subject line that stands out is being too smart about it. People don’t like it when you’re cocky and neither do they have time to understand the deep existential meanings behind your subject line. Of course, as everybody’s using email marketing and not everybody is so good at it, if you’re not unique you may get filtered out as spam before even hitting the inbox. We’re not here to advocate the lesser of two evils, we’re here to suggest moderation.

 

This Canva email Ramona Sukhraj writes about is a kind that’s going places. Bold attitude, stressing on an issue that you may have encountered, admitting that you may have problems from time to time, and it positions itself as a solution to them, all in one place. Pretty amazing style, impossible not to leave you curious on the matter. Even if you don’t usually read their newsletter and you’d like to skip this one, you’ll probably close your email app and re-open it just to satisfy that ardent curiosity.

Choose a Subject Line that Triggers Curiosity

 

THAT is what you’re aiming for – a subject line to say something meaningful and personal, or at least to arouse curiosity, without being too complex or too shady.

Easier said than done. Especially because, despite being one of the most advised things about email marketing, people are still doing it wrong. However, an easier way to keep relevance in your plan is to include numbers in the subject – there’s something about them that makes people think you’re precise and worthy of their time. Of course, this is just one example of the many ways of creating an effective subject line.
 
 

2. Address the Prospects by First Names 

 

Once you’ve got the prospect’s email, there comes the imminence of the email soon to be sent. However, there isn’t any guarantee that there will exist not only a positive, but any reaction at all.

 

There’s more than just one popular way of doing it. For instance, you can use ‘Fwd:’ or ‘Re:’, but only when it is necessary, manually added just to send the message of a personal approach from a friendly face. As it’s always good to have some news from a friend and this strategy can work.

And some emails are just so awesome, that Tina Turner would sing about them. As Carly Stec documented in her article, catching the user’s attention is a constant journey through the email, and addressing the first name is one of the first steps.


Address the Prospects by First Names to Make the Message Sound More Personal

 

There’s still a good chance that the name you’ve got in the database isn’t really the name your prospect uses, but there’s a good chance you won’t fail. It is, after all, a little more personal to have a first-name-base approach.

3. Use Open Loops that Spark Curiosity in the Reader

 

Using an open loop to attract your prospects into opening your emails daily is a functioning way of increasing your open rate. However, you should keep in mind that a good marketer’s task is not completed when the prospect clicked on the email subject line.

 

There’s no use in building anticipation in the subject just to disappoint in the content of the email. So delivering what you promised to when the prospect gave you the email address is a must in order to maintain your position. The example below, brought up by Jeremy Reeves, is quite a pedagogical approach of this tip.

 

Use Open Loops that Spark Curiosity in the Reader

This is not just a copywriting trick. It’s a way of delivering information. It’s been proven that not only do we get curious, but we also get anxious when there is a gap between the information we have access to and the one we want to know. That explains the unhealthy amount of sitcoms in our lives – the urge to know what happens next.


Tipception: You can get as creative as you want with this technique, and the important tip behind this tip is to organize your information to leave people in front of cliffhangers, while actually delivering consistent information with every email. However tempted you may be to create a long ‘post’ and send it as a series of emails with a plot twist at the end, that’s not the way. The whole purpose of it is to create tension and anticipation with every email, but without damaging or affecting the content that you deliver. If Game of Thrones can do it, we’re sure that you can too!

 

4. Use Humor to Create a Personal Relationship with Your Prospects 

 

Ideally, your contacts already know who you are and the communication process flows without any issues. Practically, that’s rarely the case and it only happens when you’ve got no more than 5 clients, which (well, of course, it depends on the industry) isn’t such a happy prospect for most.

So getting to a point where you’ve created personas to get more efficiently to your audience is actually something to be positive about – it means your business is constantly growing.

 

But because of this, you to sound impersonal and boring – even if you’re the funniest and most hilarious guy in the world. And there’s a fix to that. Transfer the humor from your day-to-day to your prospect-to-prospect experiences. There are others who do it, and do it well, but we’d advise you to go on this path only if you’re a genuinely funny person.

Use Humor to Create a Personal Relationship with the Contacts

For instance, my favorite example is throwing a subject line that says ‘So I’ll pick you up at 7?’. That yells personality – it’s so rich and impossible to ignore. But it also takes some strategy to not follow this line with an awkward email, but to keep a natural tone. I thought it was hilarious ever since DJ Waldow decided to talk about it.

 

5. Make Use of Negative Subject Lines to Trigger Curiosity

 

The old carrots versus stick hypothesis. Truth be told, we do tend to react better to fear. From this point of view, loss aversion is a much more powerful stimulus than being offered a gain. This can be very well used in crafting a puissant subject line. Behind this fact there’s a mechanism that speaks of basic human nature principles – being alerted about a potential danger/threat is more powerful than being told you can follow an opportunity. The reason is that, while we cannot always visualize how far an opportunity could take us, we can easily imagine loss – it’s more palpable, more real and we’re more willing to fight loss than find a lucky chance.

 

Lindsay Kolowich wrote a post about various subject lines that work. Among them, there’s clearly one using loss aversion, with a great open rate, which means it worked. Of course, it would have been more accurate if we had access to the average open rate of the blogger, but an absolute percentage of 17.13 is not bad.

Choose a Negative Subject Line

Defense mechanisms are built around the things that we care most about particularly because they’re meaningful and we have worked a lot to get here, which is why they’re infinitely more relatable.

6. Use the Power of Quizzes. Announce Them in the Subject Line

 

Whenever we hear about a quiz we tend to zone out from everything else and just take it. Adding quizzes and educating your audience to expect them makes the people engage more with your content and, therefore, remember you better. Maybe tell them that you’ve sent them a quiz, from the subject line.

This can happen even if you’re a huge actor on the market or a newly entered one, as it helps you stick to people’s minds. Creativity has always been a powerful means when it comes to a brand’s memorability. Take Grammarly.

Use the Power of Quizes

7. Add a Video. Announce It in the Subject Line to Raise Interest

 

There are countless reasons why embedded videos in email marketing campaigns work wonders. While this is an extended practice and everyone seems to have been doing it for years, it’s crucial to keep in mind the reasons why you’re doing it, both concerning your needs and your readers’, and to stick to the plan.

 

Also, if the users aren’t used to this type of content or don’t know to expect it, you can announce it in the subject line.

From your point of view, adding a video to an email means creating a context for your readers to allocate more time to your emails than they usually would, as integrating more than one sense in message transmission is proven to be more effective. Then, of course, there’s the possibility of your brand going viral.

This great example of video embedding from Emily Konouchi brings to our attention the importance of getting the audience used to receiving videos. And it’s more of a process than a state, meaning that you’ve got to teach your readers what to expect from you and in that you’ve got the biggest flexibility. So did Mario Batali in his culinary newsletter.

Add a Video to Adapt the Message to the Various Needs of Your Reader’s

 

From your reader’s point of view, a video is a summarized version of content, one that’s more pleasant to follow, and it’s also more impactful, personal and significant. It’s also best if you include single tap to play it, since many users open the emails from their phones. Additionally, autoplay is never a good thing to do, as it’s intrusive and it violates trust.

 

 

8. Be Playful. Use Emojis in the Subject Line When It’s Appropriate

 

It’s thrilling to work in an industry that’s finally mature – it has its niches, its specialists and its overly excited, ever-so-powerful fanbase. But this, like any other awesome thing in life, comes with responsibilities. One of them is taking your job seriously every second of the day. And while it may seem a little odd, this doesn’t mean that you should be formal and pretentious with your readers. On the contrary, it’s high time you spiced some of these strategies up with a little humor, a personal note, maybe a slightly inappropriate joke.

 

Short, colorful, and attention grabbing, just like the example below.

 

Use Emojis

 

This is how a correct use of the emjoi should be in the subject line of an email. It’s especially useful when you’re not overusing it and look spammy. Just like Jackie Nees mentioned on her blog, there’s a fine line and you’re risking a lot if you don’t know where to stop. However, there are bad examples as well.

Be Playful. Use Emojis in the Subject Line when It’s Appropriate - Failure Example

 

And maybe you should use emojis every once in a blue moon, when it’s appropriate and the context allows it. What two years ago would have been a big no-no is only the logical thing to do today – people like interacting on an emotional level with their connections, and networking is more than exchanging likes and retweets. It only makes sense to adapt your email subject line to these trends.


And as always, with the risk of sounding like the mother of a teenage girl, don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with and that doesn’t align with your personality. You don’t want to pose into something you’re not, you just want to communicate personally from the first character of your subject line; and if you’re doing it through other means and you’ve never used emojis in your personal life while exchanging text messages with your wife and kids, maybe you shouldn’t do it. Otherwise, don’t hesitate!

9. Have at Least 5 Headlines Written Before Actually Sending One

 

You don’t need experience in journalism to figure out that there’s an almost weird similarity between a headline and the subject line of an email. They both have the role to intrigue, to raise questions and to spark curiosity. Most of the times, the subject line is what opening an email or not depends on. And as this is the very most important decision when it comes to open rates, it should be given its much needed attention.

 

The business world is responsible for most of the email traffic, with over 100 billion sent/received emails per day back in 2013. By the end of 2017, it’s predicted that the number will grow to 132 billion. The number of Business emails sent and received per day totals over 100 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7% over the next four years, reaching over 132 billion by the end of 2017.

 

You just cannot win at this game without a kickass headline. Which is why you should have where to choose from. I would recommend writing 5 headlines before pressing send. It’s massively important to reach the level of conciseness and relevance, while also making the reader curious about your content. It’s never easy to do it, no matter how much experience you’ve got, and it takes practice. Most of the times, it takes following some clear cut rules too, if we’ve decided to treat it like a headline. Some people take it very seriously and even do some A/B testing.


Have at Least 5 Headlines Written Before Actually Sending One

The ideal length of a subject line depends on context as much as some external factors (such as the closeness of your audience with your brand). Its tone should be intriguing more than just a cry for attention. In order to pull all of these off, you need to take time and to find the perfect angle to your story. Just like you do in journalism.

10. Leverage Relevant News to Build Urgency from the Subject Line

 

It seems like every other tip is about creating better subject lines when it comes to email marketing. And while that’s great advice, it cannot work miracles alone. You need to set up a lifecycle email marketing strategy. In other words, it’s essential for your prospects to know why you’re sending those emails, what category of emails they are (are they promotional? Are they newsletters the prospect subscribed for? Are they a regular 20-days follow up?). It’s of tremendous importance that the prospects don’t ask themselves ‘What do these guys want now?’ whenever a new emails lands in their inbox. And because everyone’s schedule is always a little too full to cope with, maybe it’s ok if your prospect doesn’t open a follow up email, but does read the newsletter regularly.

 

Proving the relevance of an email often constitutes a prioritization in the mind of the reader. And this is essentially a great mechanism of the human mind, because instead of getting to ad nauseam before opening an email, they will filter the information and only open what’s important to them. And this is what business should be like, right? Delivering information so that the prospect will have easier access to something they vividly want to hear.

 

This is where relevant news come into the equation. If your readers know what kind of email they’re receiving and why, it’s a lot easier to spark their interest with different artifices. And news incorporate the present into your messages, giving them temporal relevance and a sense of urgency. All of this happens using context. Topical events are a good source for anyone out there looking for a fresh perspective on their content strategies, as long as they’re not artificial and exaggerated. Try to find the events that blend in with your products and marketing goals. Like Chris Hexton stresses in his article, relevant news can drive conversions if they’re used properly and towards an interested audience. Just don’t always sell them with a topical subject line – probably everybody does. Leave the connection for the people who open the email.

Create a Context. Leverage Relevant News to Drive Conversions Integrating the Present in Your Messages

11. Use Email Series to Increase Curiosity and Loyalty

It’s difficult to create a loyal audience, because every other source of information that delivers similar content to yours can be thought of as a good replacement. Everything seems to be more dependable than ever before. That’s why you have to use creative hooks to keep your audience engaged, and email series are one of those hooks. Aside from the content strategies that can help you shape the way your message is best formulated, the idea behind this content makes for a sustainable strategy as long as you’re thinking long term.

Use Email Series to Increase Curiosity and Loyalty

 

12. A/B Test Alternatives of Different Subject Lines

One of the most relevant ways of delivering something that your audience would appreciate is testing the audience concerning the subject line. Before actually sending out an email to a massive list, it’s best to have some hands on feedback from your readers.

Wishpond’s blog post about A/B testing also treated subject lines, and it turns out running tests is for the better.

AB Test Alternatives of Different Subject Lines
And more than just one variable serves well for better positioning.

AB Testing

Sometimes two different copy approaches of the same content can have very distinct response rates, despite being about the same information. You wouldn’t want to cut your open rates in half because you haven’t been cautious and humble enough as to test what works better.

II. KEEP YOUR READERS ENGAGED

 

13. Create a Second Lead to Keep Your Audience Hooked 

 

I’m not the first one to advocate for this strategy; it worked for many other influencers out there. A constant and active fan base that always accesses your email and constantly reads your content on the blog is something we’re all striving for. However, it doesn’t hurt to give extra motivation to people whenever you have a chance. Any course, webinar or other kind of second lead can dramatically increase the open rates of your emails; the more hands-on the topic you’re delivering, the better your chances are to have a burst in the open rates.

When you’re targeting busy people, make sure you’re solving one of their problems. Once you’re useful, they’ll keep you close. Carly Stec’s article is nothing but living proof that it can work if you’re doing it right.

Create a Second Lead (Webinar, Free course etc.) to Keep Readers Engaged

The secret is to keep people interested and not go softie with the informational quality when you notice an increase. People will only come back for as long as you fill their needs, and it’s enough to break the good pattern you’ve been working on for months once to lose a significant part of your audience.

 

14. Use Information Gap to Create a Craving for More Content

 

There has to be that piece of information, that exists in every niche, that everybody seems to be using but no one really know how it’s done or what it’s about. So maybe it’s time to clarify it.

 

That’s when you come in. Under the pretense of delivering a more in-depth approach of something everybody knows, you can solve the issue of the elephant in the room. If it’s too much to cover in one email, you can easily create a series and satisfy an informational hole that has kept your prospects from growing in business intelligence. It’s not easy to serve the social greater good, and it clearly takes a lot of precious time, but it’s efficient most of the times if you take it seriously.

Use Information Gap to Create a Craving for More Content

15. Use Educational Emails to Re-engage Prospects That Slipped Away

 

It’s not uncommon for prospects to lose interest in your content, even though they may be directly interested or even involved in the niche that you are active on. This can happen as a result to various reasons. Either because they got so used to the style of your content and it doesn’t spark interest anymore, or because you have changed something they liked a lot, or sometimes because you have become too aggressively promotional. So make it up to them.

Use Educational Emails to Re-engage Prospects That Slipped Away

However, there is always one category of emails that will be opened, even if your regular newsletter or mailing style is a little too aggressive – and that is the educational email. The chances are that most of the people who are actively passionate about staying in touch with the latest news in your niche will maintain long term interest in educational emails that are meant to fill in background informational needs.

 

16. Focus Your Copy on the Customer’s Interests, Not on Your Product

 

While we’re in the mindset of providing the best for your customers’ interests, it’s not only through educational emails that you can satisfy the prospects’ expectations. A powerful strategy of advocating your brand is assuming a more objective voice, one that doesn’t have the brand in the close-up, but the very reason why your audience needs your products or services.

 

Mary Fernandez gave this example of an honest copy that completely leaves you in love.

Focus Your Copy on the Customer’s Interests, Not on Your Product

This means that if your product is a carpet cleaner, it’s not cleaning carpets that you’re selling. It’s hardly even clean carpets. What you’re selling actually is a good impression of your mother-in-law who comes to visit during some weekends, unannounced.

So stop stalking about your brand for just a second and shift the focus to the brand promise, and even further – to the achievements that can be completed with your brand. Because those are the true points that spark your prospect’s attention.

17. Ask Why When Someone Unsubscribes

People unsubscribe from mailing lists for the weirdest of reasons, varying from my wife just had a baby and I don’t have time for this anymore to I’m wealthy enough not to value information.
However, this is only a minority of them. Most of the unsubscribes happen for a legitimate reason that you should know about. So send them an email asking to fill in your this-is-only-taking-a-nanosecond survey.

Ask Why When Someone Unsubscribes

Most of the prospects who click the unsubscribe button are unhappy about something and chances are it’s something you did, or didn’t do. Therefore, it falls under your responsibility to try to fix the misunderstanding. People subscribe to mailing lists for a reason – there’s something they liked about you. But it’s not going to always be a honeymoon phase, and you have to treat this relationship personally and responsibly.

18. Make the Same Message Revolve Around More Than One CTA Button

Just as it applies when it comes to website pages, having one CTA doesn’t mean you should also have only one CTA button. On the contrary, the more opportunities you give to the reader to click on your links, the better your chances to convert.

However, you do have to pay attention to the message behind those buttons or text links. This Whirlpool case study showed that there was a 42% increase in clickthrough rates. How?

Make Your Message Revolve Around More than One CTA Button to Increase Clickthrough Rates


Make Your Message Revolve Around More than One CTA Button to Increase Clickthrough Rates - Whirlpool
That’s because there were too many messages, when – in fact- the email ideally has to build your readers’ trust and allow them to decide when they’re convinced. What this shows us is that, however good an idea is, if it’s not well executed it can do more damage than good. So make sure that the CTA buttons and links focus around the same message.

This happens because we’re all interested in a good story, as readers. We like to see the person from the other end trying to build a relationship with us. If you’re just giving me a button/link to click on the minute I open the email, you’re only going to take me by surprise. In reality, it’s best to let the readers decide when they feel ready and convinced to click on your CTA. This abundance doesn’t mean, however, that we should hyperlink the entire email. But 2 CTA opportunities, for instance, could send the message that you respect the reader and are willing to give them time to trust you, very much like it happens in real life.

19. Brand Your “From” Name. Set a Personal Name and Stick to It 

A huge part of personal branding is memorability. And the reason why it’s so difficult to pull it off is that there are so many associations already going on in our heads as well as our users. But the other half of personal branding is being personal. My conviction is that, if you’re consistently personal in both the way you write the emails and the subject line title, there’s a good chance you’ll win on the long run.

In this article, Justine Jordan explains the idea behind this poor naming decision, when the brand Banana Republic decided to send emails with an acronym from name, BR. The problem is that, if your personal name or your acronym are not popular enough, you should stick to the brand name as to be easily recognized. However, a personalized from name does spin the wheel of brand recognition.

Brand Your From Name. Set a Personal Name and Stick to It Forever
There’s nothing wrong with a common name, either, as long as your email doesn’t come from a shady business address, but from your personal name. It’s vital for the reader to see that the email comes from you, and the most accurate sign of this is your name populating the ‘from’ category instead of your work email address. This way, you’re on the point of establishing a personal liaison with your reader. And maybe, if you’re new in business or they’re new on your list, this won’t happen for the first emails, but it’s most likely going to be a long time success.

20. Review Emails Internally Before Sending Them to the Public

This one’s not going to shock you if you ever sent an email to a thousand prospects and then realized what an awful typo you had – the type of thing that would never happen to you, especially since you’re so much of a grammar Nazi and always in touch with your use of language. And yet it did. It happened. All you can hope is that your public will not start associating you with that horrible person who doesn’t spell ‘your’ correctly.

To avoid these sorts of issues, use internal reviews as often as possible. And by that, I don’t mean you re-reading your email (out loud) after you’ve written it. It can help, but your full of biases mind will very likely skip one of two mistakes that either sound wrong or are spelled badly. This is what your colleagues are for! Send the email to them, ask them to leave everything they’re doing and carefully read your email as if it were a will from an uncle who decided to leave them a castle in Scotland. Accept nothing less. The way every sentence’s significance can bend and twist can be either your success or your failure. With that in mind, always review emails internally!

Of course, sometimes you can get lucky enough as to repair the mistakes in a very cute way, just like in the example below. But that rarely happens.


Review Emails Internally Before Sending Them to the Public

21. Proofread for Grammar, Not Just for Marketing Relevance!

As credibility is what grants either your success or your failure, it’s essential to present the materials to your prospects flawlessly. It doesn’t pay off to spend one entire week documenting a case study just to present it poorly, and with spelling errors. Otherwise you will have to make up to your readers again.

Proof Read for Grammar, Not Just for Marketing Relevance!

And you may not get off as cheap as Reebok.

Just like editing, spell check shouldn’t be made by you solely. At least one set of fresh eyes is required to read the material before sending it to the public – after all, there’s little we appreciate more than a well written, well documented and highly relevant piece.

22. Finish the Email in a Question to Increase Engagement

It’s never easy to paint the portrait of a happy audience. However, the easiest way to someone’s heart in email marketing (and life in general) is showing how much you care, and the fundamental cores of this relationship are not about you – but about them.

This technique helps you a great deal with the long term open rates.

Asking a question once in awhile is an invitation for your readers to interact with you and your brand, therefore improving their overall experience with your products or services. So did Kissmetrics in their client’s emails, thinking that their audience would engage better. Which happened.


Keep the Emails in the Primary Section of Gmail. Finish the Email in a Question Once in Awhile

The relevance of personal communication strategies is not to be underestimated, and encouraging interaction is your way of showing how much you are willing to take your prospects’ opinions into consideration.

III. BE CAREFUL AT THE TIMING & FREQUENCY OF YOUR EMAILS

 

23. Use the Same Delivery Time for All Your Emails (Especially for Newsletters)

 

Consistency is the founding of all habits. The more you’re going to keep the schedule fixed, the more people are going to make a habit out of reading your newsletters. It usually takes us 21 days to form a new habit, after which things will be naturally integrated in our program. Aside from being easier for your business to organize the issues of the newsletter internally as to be constant, this form of time consistency represents a key issue in attributing credibility – being able to stick to a schedule involves planning and efficient resources distribution.

 

There are even articles about the times that emails should be sent depending on the industry.

Use the Same Delivery Time for All Your Emails (Especially for Newsletters)

Plus, it’s easier to grow a fanbase this way.

 

24. Avoid List Fatigue. Avoid Sending Too Many Emails

 

It isn’t an easy challenge, but being the one to bring a new perspective or to test out a new theory can interfere with the idea of email fatigue dramatically, to the point where you can build a Hitchcock’s suspense in an email series and people cannot get enough of what you’re writing.

 

If it’s not the case, then probably a moderate attitude is the best solution to your problems. Maybe some of the content you present is outdated, or simply not outstanding compared to what your audience has already read. And maybe you’re sending out mails way too often. Even if some of these aren’t necessarily content, but brand focused, they do count and your prospects may get enough of your name in their inbox. Yes, it’s possible and it’s better avoided!

Or do something out of the ordinary. Take another approach, like Jet Blue did.

Avoid List Fatigue. Avoid Sending too Many Emails

Stick to a calendar and only send out branded content if it’s necessary: new release coming up, huge news in the niche etc.

 

25.Get the Length of the Message Right – Add a TL;DR in the Subject Line When Necessary

 

Us, readers, most appreciate honesty.

 

Depending on the message of your email, the content should be delivered in its best form; usually, this is the information-redundancy ratio. You wouldn’t want to make people close your emails bored, because this would diminish drastically your open rates in the future, but you wouldn’t want to miss any of the important information for the big picture either.

 

Lauren Keeports said it right. A huge amount of content will most likely go unnoticed.

 

Get the Length of the Message Right, Depending on When and How Often You Send the Emails

A visually appealing copy helps getting through the content and assures diversity.

Get the Length of the Message Right, Depending on When and How Often You Send the Emails Example
The solve to this problem is being honest and try to talk to your prospects as you would with your friends: don’t skip the juicy stuff, but don’t bore them either.

 

26. Resend Unopened Emails

 

It’s so frustrating to work an entire week on a piece that doesn’t get opened by your subscribers. There are plenty of situations when you can resend unopened emails to your prospects. The most notable perhaps is the small open rate: whenever you get a smaller open rate than expected, either because it is small compared to your general open rate, or because it’s better than most of your open rates, but so is your email, there’s no point to leave it at that.

 

Of course, the opposite situation works: your article/newsletter is great, and people should read it. In fact, most of your prospects did, you never expected such a huge open rate, but here it is. And the results are astonishing: a lot of engagement, positive sentiment all over the comments and on social media as well. You wouldn’t like to waste that either. In fact, in the second email, you can mention that.

 

Specialists have come to solutions to the issue of small open rates, and segmentation based on non-opens is the first step of solving this issue.

Resend Unopened Emails

The key to this is to find a better hook. Ask yourself what it was that people found uninteresting, especially if they usually open your emails. Once you’ve done that, change the subject line into something that would convert better – maybe even test the alternatives within a small group. This way, you can segment the targets into more specific and similar groups for a better open rate.

 

27. Try Automated Behavioral Triggered Emails to Exploit User Behavior

 

Each user behaves a certain way, and there’s no need for a psychology class to understand this fully. Consequently, the decision making process may suffer alteration from one user to another. To you, this means that it may not be effective to send users emails only triggered by the time of the day or the day of the week, but also by their behavior on your website.

 

For e-commerce platforms this could be an easy choice – it’s never wise to leave un-emailed a user who abandons a chart with items in it. However, there are more nuanced emails that you could send as well, on different other occasions, like Abigail Waterer advises in this article.

Try Automated Behavioral Triggered Emails to Exploit User Behavior

From the reactivation after a long period of pause or inactivity, subscribing to something you’re offering.

 

If you’re still wondering why this is a good strategy, even though the email is automated and it may lose a little from the personal voice (although I think it doesn’t have to), it’s because you’re sending it at the moment of utmost relevance to your prospect. Formulated properly, this strategy can improve the open rates with 71% and the CTR with over 100%.

 

28. Ask Your Contacts to Decide How Often They Want to See Mails from You

 

Yes, it’s still relevant to do it. Our needs aren’t something absolute anymore. We’re past the time when we either needed that or we didn’t. Today, you can need a service or a tool in different degrees, to different extents and clearly for distinct purposes. Depending on these variables, there’s always the possibility that you have the right solution for your prospects’ needs, but you either deliver it in a nagging manner: way too often, way too heavily, or worse – too scarcely.

 

Pam Neely documented in a post the things readers of Technology Advice think that could be improved.

Ask Your Contacts to Decide How Often They Want to See Mails from You

 

Of course you can run tests. It’s preferable that you do. But users appreciate honesty. Put yourself out there and ask them to what degree they need to hear from you. If it’s once a month, don’t worry – if you’re awesome enough you’ll increase the degree to which they need you.

 

However, if it’s daily, don’t think you’ve got the user wrapped around your fingers. Leads don’t work like this, you have to work constantly for them. The more a user needs to hear from you, the more they’re exposed to your content and may notice mistakes. There never is an easy way, but honesty is the first step to building meaningful relationships with your target.

29. Create Anticipation towards the Following Email from a Series

We’ve already talked about the fear of missing out (fomo), which often comes in the way of loss aversion. That’s why, besides having an open loop, it’s often very efficient to create a sense of urgency for your readers to understand that they might be missing on some valuable tips of an email saga.
According to many sources, anticipation doesn’t have to mean rewriting The Young and the Restless, as it’s enough to just send one automated pre-launch email sometimes.


Email Marketing Anticipation Series

There’s nothing wrong with applying some social pressure on your readers, as long as you don’t exaggerate with the drama.

As long as you’re consistent in delivering quality information, this can be a very effective way of creating a powerful fanbase. When the readers are under the impression that they might be missing on some amazing tip, their willingness to read will be significantly higher.

 

30.  Let the Contact Know Your Email Is Fresh

A constant feeling that we all have is that time passes by and we don’t get enough of the important information because of all the biased feed algorithms on social media, and because of even-more-biased interests. That’s why, besides being relevant, information has to be fresh to be of importance. There’s nothing that screams ‘open me’ more than a well-written, fresh newsletter.


Include the Date and the Time in the Email to Let the Contacts Know It’s Fresh

When you decide to include time coordinates in your emails, you will have the guarantee that people are going to know how urgent it is to read it. If it’s Monday morning and you’re sending a fresh update, chances are it won’t get open, as everything is new on Mondays on everyone’s schedules. But if you do have something important to say on a Saturday afternoon, maybe it’s worth taking a look at.

IV. AVOID SPAM FILTERS

 

31. Beware of the Word ‘Free’. It Can Trigger Spam Filters

 

And not just this word. There are plenty of overused spam words that can trigger filters out there. The more you’re avoiding them, the more you have a chance to get to your leads’ inbox. Whenever you’re feeling undecided about the spam appropriateness of your emails (especially when it comes to the subject lines), consult one of the lists out there and avoid the words that could contribute to your small open rates at all costs.

 

Andrei Rebrov got it right with this negative example.

Beware of the Word ‘Free’. It Can Trigger Spam Filters

32. Use Lower Case Letters in the Subject Line

 

We don’t live in a webiverse where you have to shout anymore. Every niche that works online has reached enough maturity as to mimic a conversation appropriately. Shiny fonts have stopped working as well as any other bling blings that would have granted your success in the 2000’s.

 

There’s a more explicative way of putting this as well. Your readers don’t find themselves on your page because they’re looking for wondrous solutions to never ending problems. If you’re looking to develop a sustainable business, you’ve got to stop trying to deliver magic. Instead, a clarifying explanation, a step-by-step guide or any other explanatory process does the trick. The more honest you are, the more credible you are. And this means leaving out the tabloid view of your articles.

 

Sometimes you don’t have to be spammy to sound spammy to filter algorithms.

Use Lower Case Letters

 

As for the subject line, it’s not just the search engines that have developed spam filters, or the email providers. It’s the users as well. Whenever your readers will see something that’s exaggerated and artificially pumped, they’ll chose to ignore it thinking it is spam.

 

When friends email you, they don’t use upper case letters, unless they’re mocking the idea behind them. If we are to build a strategic relationship with our readers, we’ll have to treat them in a personal way, and this comes with assuming a balanced role in delivering information.

 

33. Only Use the Emails of Your Contacts for What They Expect from You

 

If your last years’ efforts have been all about building an audience that can find you reliable, it wouldn’t be fair to your audience and neither would it be a good strategic step to sell your contacts for other businesses, especially if they’re not connected to your area of expertise, therefore to their areas of interests.

Take the example of iPad.

Avoid Affiliate Spam. Only Use the Emails of Your Contacts for What They Trusted You to

They sold the database to one of their competitors.

Avoid Affiliate Spam. Only Use the Emails of Your Contacts for What They Trusted You to - iPad example

34. Make the List Double Opt-In

 

Having thousands of thousands of subscribers is amazing. But not when it comes with a 0.01% open rate. Then it’s awful and you’re doing something wrong. This is why the double opt-in has such a powerful fan base. Because it works. There’s nothing wrong with having less leads, as long as they’re more interested and their reading/purchasing intent is dramatically higher. To be relevant is to be specific, and it cannot be achieved if you’re running for leads aimlessly.

 

Good copy will always be appealing, but you have to make sure that your interests and your future readers’ correspond.

Make the List Double Opt-In

 

So as much as you want to know that your emails are sent to a number of people as big as the population of Japan, ask yourself to how many of them it is relevant. Because people talk. Your leads, to whom you’re sending emails that are useless to them, may have friends who would really consider you as a viable option before hearing them complain about how aggressive you are.

 

35. Ask Contacts to Add You to the Address Book

 

It is true that spam filters are to be considered even when you’re delivering great content that anyone should be honored to receive. Being in someone’s address book, however, does more than protect you from spam filters and improve deliverability rates. It makes a statement about the personal level of your relationship, not necessarily in terms of closeness or intimacy, but concerning the extent to which you’re satisfying a need they have.

 

Or add a link to make it obvious.

Ask Contacts to Add You to the Address Book

36. Avoid Attachments, Whenever Possible

First of all, because they’re rarely opened. From a marketer’s perspective, it should be more than clear that attachments are a no-no. If there’s something truly relevant in your email, the user will get it. If you CTR is too low, maybe there’s room for improvement. However, being pushy about it is not a solution.

 

And using attachments makes spam filters instantly think you’re onto scams.

Avoid Attachments, Whenever Possible

 

Instead, try making the content irresistible. Create cravings to your readers and you’ll get yourself a better open rate. It’s enough to mess things up once with an attachment or a poorly written email, and you’ll hardly ever get to be read again by that lead.

37. Optimize Your HTML to Increase Deliverability

 

Over 70% of the readers use mobile devices to open their emails. A badly optimized HTML not only will diminish your chances of landing to their inbox, but the users will avoid opening your emails in the future if the HTML isn’t responsive. A bad user experience is what you should be very afraid of, you don’t want to be that guy. So try your best and test for responsiveness until your emails look spotless on various devices.

Take this Inc Newsletter.

Optimize Your HTML to Increase Deliverability

While the design isn’t at all sophisticated, it’s always informative and easy to skim. Aside from this, it’s also practical.

38. Use Well Optimized Videos to Get the Message in Your Prospect’s Inbox

Same goes for your videos. While it’s encouraged to appeal to more than the reading function of your audience’s cognition, it’s also strongly advised to make sure that the strategies you’re using to increase your open rates work properly, otherwise the entire extra effort is in vain.

Video email marketing is a thing, but only as long as you get the technical part straight.

Use Well Optimized Videos to Get the Message in Your Prospect’s Inbox

The rest of the story is similar to an un-optimized HTML code – it’s enough to have a bad experience once to unsubscribe or never react to your emails again, not to mention the off chance of not getting to your prospects’ inbox because of technical errors that may come along with your videos.

 

39. Optimize Images to Be Responsive on Mobile

 

Besides improving the template of your email design, images will have to be responsive too, as a lot of our understanding when it comes to skimming through content comes from a concise image. Not because they are better than a thousand words, but because your prospect will know from your image if they’re interested in going through all your content. If this leverage they’re judging content based on doesn’t work, your email risks to never be opened again.

 

Andrew King gives the example of Domino’s, who took the device where their audience checks the emails into consideration, listening to the voice of their needs.

Optimize Images to Be Responsive on Mobile

40. Use Email Authentication to Prevent Fake Accounts from Sending Emails in Your Name

 

This one’s a milestone for anyone running a business, and doesn’t only apply for the email campaigns, but for your personal branding strategy as well. It’s essential to have authentication in order to minimize the chances of a dirty competitor’s fake account sending emails in your name. It is true that, in the business world, one mistake can cost you everything you’ve been working for during the past years.

 

Plus, this is another great way to improve the rate of emails actually landing in your users’ inbox. The authentication can also be required to users in order to read the emails you’re sending, this being another security leverage that you can use to improve open rates and the overall success of your email marketing campaigns.

 

It’s harder to maximize the open rates on the long run without proper authentication security.

Use Email Authentication to Prevent Fake Accounts from Sending Emails in Your Name

41. Connect Your Current Location to the Email Account to Spot Unusual Activity Easier

 

This one’s a complementary step that adds up to the entire effort you’re putting into being relevant and reliable. Your current location is one of the means of being kept from any account counterfeiting attempts. Plus, in case you’re active on Twitter, your prospects will better keep in touch with your day-to-day activity, the conferences you go to and the ways they can reach you better.
Or use it to pitch your next business growth idea.

Connect Your Current Location to the Email Account to Make It Easier to Spot Unusual Activity

V.BE AWARE OF THE LIST SEGMENTATION IMPORTANCE

42. Micro-Segment Your Mailing List

When it comes to segmentation, it’s essential to approach the right audience and, in order to do this, you have to know what the personas’ informational needs are. Open rates are closely related to how relevant the content of an email is to the contact.

Micro-segmenting is crucial, as it helps you maintain pertinence to the content and deliver germaneness depending on your contact’s personas and the needs you’re striving to satisfy.

Behavioral data aims more specifically than demographic data. The psychology behind why people buy your products, whether the users are using a paid or a free subscription, how often they open the emails, whether they use desktop or mobile more and the click-through rate are often more relevant than just the gender and job title of the user. However, these two go hand in hand whenever you’re trying to build a comprehensive buyer persona.
For instance, Douglas Burdett wrote about the benefits of list segmentation after a survey taken by Lyris.inc, and the results were not too shabby.

Micro Segment Your Lists

A minimum information about a client should be divided into: background (aka the psycho-graphic characteristics), demographic information (job title, gender, professional interests), interests (what kind of information the clients consume regularly and what they are interested in satisfying) and engagement data (tailoring the message and its delivery to the consumer’s habits of engaging with this type of contact, in order to increase the open rate).

43. Address Prospects from Your Niche

Once you’ve established what the prospected personas look like to the finest detail, it’s time you carved your message in order to respond to a series of questions before they even get to ask. People in your niche are not predictable, it’s not what we’re going to argue. Instead, we strongly believe that the odds of you delivering relevant information are higher within your niche of expertise. If we’ve all agreed that generic messages are a key issues in email marketing, then addressing specific prospects that are active in your niche is the logical step to follow next.

The more specific your area of expertise, the more selective you should be in addressing prospects and avoiding mistakes such as the one below, with a very broad topic and an overly hyped subject line.

Address Prospects In Your Niche. They Are More Likely to Be Interested in Getting Your Emails Example

For the people who are part of your industry, the message should be somewhat broader and more contextualized compared to the emails sent to people who already are highly knowledgeable. The way you address prospects and you position your company against their interest has a huge impact on their attitude towards your services. It takes addressing a) people as specific inside the niche as possible and b) different content approaches to have long-term positive impact on your open rates.


According to Yaro Starak’s blog post, you have to start small and humble, by addressing people who are most interested in hearing from you.Whenever your prospect will believe that your message is too generic or, on the contrary, too specific for their understanding and/or interests, you will lose any privilege of being read.

44. Constantly Upgrade & Update Your Contact List

There are all kinds of creative ways of managing inactive subscribers. There’s always a reason behind their lack of activity. However, depending on whether they used to be engaged or not, the approaches can be different. A user who’s been opening emails for years without hesitation and who all of a sudden doesn’t seem interested in what you have to offer will most likely have one reason of ignoring your emails in spite of all efforts. Additionally, someone who has never opened even one email is so uninterested in your company that hasn’t even bothered to unsubscribe. Following on this idea, be grateful to people who have remained loyal in time, like Half Moon did according to this post.

Constantly Upgrade & Update Your Contact List

As this blog post from Benchmark Email puts it, a hard bounce is the number of emails that never get opened or delivered, for that matter, because of the invalid email addresses. This variable can damage your overall performance in case you don’t go through a regular contact list detox, and your email marketing efforts may just seem pointless after a point, even if you’re doing everything right.


There are different ways of dealing with these above mentioned types of uninterested subscribers. The first can be asked what happened and friendly required to give feedback. After all, they’ve been so close to your business for all this time, that their input should be valuable. As for the other category, they most likely need to be sent an email and asked whether they would like to be subscribed to your emails or not. Honesty is something even unattached people appreciate.

45. Address the Message Having Just One Persona in Mind

When you’ve identified the persona you’re writing to, the first question to be asked is if it can’t be classified into two more specific personas. The more definite your idea of the prospect is, the more clear-cut and tailored will be the message – which is ultimately what it takes to increase open rates.

Dropbox makes a great example of a personal approach that speaks to the human behind the businessman.

Address the Message with Just One Representative Person in Mind

Personal Messages Email Marketing

They seem to be always a little more creative, while keeping the same line of thought.

Dropbox Example

Understanding the audience’s core problems and interests is the very core from which both the subject line and the message content should be crafted. The fact that it’s easier to write more generic emails doesn’t justify the effort of building a solid contact list, as most of the people will think the content is spam. Writing like a friend, from an honest first person point of view can save the day, especially if you’re positioning yourself as being a reliable source.

46. Avoid Sending Unsolicited Emails to Recipients When It’s Not Crucial

If the prospects didn’t subscribe to receive emails from your part regularly, it’s more than appreciated if you can keep up to the promise and deliver consistent, friendly content on a weekly or daily basis. However, subscribing to your newsletters doesn’t imply the prospects are automatically interested in all the promotions and offers that you’re about to suffocate them with – so take a step back.

People hate being the subject of spam. Matt Press isn’t the only one who’s been vocal about it, and it’s only fair, as you risk losing fractions of your audience that would have otherwise continued reading your content.

Avoid Sending Unsolicited Emails to Recipients When It’s Not Crucial

 

Avoiding such mistakes is one of the best steps you could make as to maintain relevance. We’ve become so used to avoiding promotional messages, that we’re prone to avoid a source altogether than expose ourselves to a sales department. From massively using AdBlock to changing the TV channel whenever there are commercial running, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to protect ourselves from the flow of adverts. This being the case, it’s not far fetched to state that you have a better chance to convert a prospect by being honest and delivering exactly what you promised to.

 

VII. KEEP A STRONG CONNECTION WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

 

47. Add Social Media Links to Be Closer to Your Audience 

 

It’s true. Your signature doesn’t have to be long and boring, but a little extra relevant information never hurt anyone. Especially since including social media buttons in your signature connects your brand with a human face, the one of a person who’s willing to reply to Twitter tags and Facebook comments.

 

Always make yourself available to your audience, it’s the honest way to win their hearts. Yes, it takes time, but assuming someone just finished reading your email and has a quick question, maybe they’ll feel better to ask it on Twitter than pressing reply to your email. Be flexible. Wisestamp’s business model is focused on delivering signatures for professionals who use their emails to engage with their clients and leads.

Add Social Media Links to Be Closer to Your Audience

48. Send a Warm, Personal Welcome Email When Someone Subscribes

 

It’s great to use email automation sometimes. However, this behavioral trigger starts from the premise that you’re trying, form the first minutes, to build a personal relationship. This is why you put so much effort into sending a welcome mail. Consequently, it will have to be personal. The styles, however, can differ.

 

Send a Warm, Personal Welcome Email When Someone Subscribes

 

Or you can throw in a design template.

Send a Warm, Personal Welcome Email

You’ll sign it with your name, you’ll mention why it’s so important to you that the person joined and thank them. Of course, you’ll also emphasize some of the reasons why you’re not dependable, without looking arrogant. Don’t make it about you, it’s their special day!

 

49. Send Relevant Product Update Emails 

 

Another automated email that works in the best interest of your prospects is the product update one. Let me walk you through it. It’s an important day for you, as you released an update you’ve been working at for months, if not years. You’re happy to finally see it happen. You have to tell your audience – but only as long as you make it outstanding!

Send Relevant Product Update Emails to Remind Your Contacts of the Proficiency of Your Product or Service

But be careful. This is not about you either. Your prospects will not be interested in hearing you yapping about how great you are. Remember you’re satisfying a need here. Remind them why this should be an important day for them as well, focus on the changes you’re making and how your contribution to their lives is now more significant than ever.

 

50. Use Your Credibility Smartly. Avoid Promotional Content

 

Of course you should. There’s no point in trying to be a perfect solution for a striving need if you forget – even for a minute – the main reason why people read your content and buy your products. It’s because they need something – it’s always about this. So that’s your biggest leverage, the way their lives are changing. Your presence should be subtle and humble, not all over the place and vocal, it turns people off.

 

Distract your audience from you and your brand, and help them focus on the benefits exclusively. This attitude can get you far. Unlike a cheap attitude. After all the work you’ve put into gathering a contact list, it would be detrimental to ruin it all with a single email, such as this one.

Use Your Credibility Smartly. Avoid Promotional Content

51. Include an Unsubscribe Button 

It doesn’t have to be in their face, it’s enough to include it in the footer of your emails. People who cannot see this will most likely mark you as spam, which is the worse thing that a marketer should ever think of.

Plus, it builds to your credibility. If you’re open to the readers, transparent and correct, they’re more likely to trust you and not think that you’re tricking them in any way. Not to mention the possibility to pay fines if the country you’re in makes it illegal not to have an unsubscribe button.

Include an Unsubscribe Button to Give the Idea of a Transparent Relationship

 

52. Personalize Your Signature with a Short Description

 

Underlining short. You don’t have to reenact Anna Karenina in your signature bio, but some compass of what you’ve done and who you are to your readers should work just fine.

Personalize Your Signature with a Short Description

 

It’s important to show your readers who you should be to them and how they should position you in their lives. Are you the guy who developed the product? Or are you also fun and do bungee jumping in your free time? Maybe it’s time for your prospects to see you more human, and relate to who you are personally!

53. Encourage Sharing the Content of Your Email with Close Friends

Extending a deal towards an engaged prospect’s network is sometimes even CTA worthy, however much of an overly optimistic madness this may sound like. The psychological explanation is basic. When you’re dealing with people engaged towards the brand, it’s not unheard of to recommend them to share content among close friends or professional acquaintances. This is a highly targeted move, and it its chances of success aren’t farfetched.

There are lots of marketing specialists advocating for replacing the CTA with a ‘share with a friend’ message; and more and more professionals are applying this tip.

Encourage Your Prospects to Share the Content of Your Email with their Closest Friends

Once the prospect has engaged with your content, it means they agree with the main premise of your discourse – that your value is newsworthy or read-worthy. The only thing you’re left to convince them about is that you’re also share-with-someone-in-the-niche worthy. Without following any stereotypes from known idioms such as birds of a feather, the real chances of any prospect of yours to know at least one or two people also potentially interested in what you’ve got to offer are quite high.

From exclusive information that was part of the newsletter to offer coupons for tool discounts, everything that is valuable is worth sharing with your close friends.

Conclusion

 

Spot a trend in the email marketing ecosystem. See what a template looks like or what makes you wonder if you’re getting a template or a personal email. Do the exact opposite of that. It usually helps to stir things up a little with a personal detail that an automated tool would never be able to catch. It’s always about giving a little bit more than what the prospect is expecting to see.

The post 53 Untapped Ways to Boost Your Email Open Rates appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Boost Your Online Awareness Using the Mention Outreach Technique

Bad marketing is, most of the time, simply bad strategy. For instance, it might be tempting to think that all you need to succeed today is a strong social media presence and fan base. However, that would be a huge mistake on your part, strategically. Sure, social media might be a good place to promote a product or service, but there isn’t really any return on investment on that promotion, as Facebook users simply don’t engage with brands. What you really need is an interaction environment where users actually participate in an exchange with your content, much more likely to result in action on their part.

 

Boost-Your-Online-Awareness-Using-the-Mention-Outreach-Techniques

 

The most recent tactics and technologies might not necessarily be the most effective, as evidenced by the recent door-to-door sales revival. Of course, we’re not suggesting you drop everything and start traveling to the door of every customer you’re interested in. But going back to basics in some areas is likely to be a winning strategy. For instance, tools like BrandMentions might be the right solution for that.

 

Rather than send out messages in all directions through a variety of platforms, focus on building a network and convincing people of the value of your product or service.

 

This is where outreach techniques comes into play. Outreach can be roughly defined as contacting people (whether it’s by email, social media or face-to-face) in order to persuade them to share, promote or simply read your post. Of course, some posts are easier to market than others. An interview or a list, for instance, are more likely to be attractive based on content alone. But your strategy should include outreach for a variety of posts, not just the ones that already have mass appeal.

 

So let’s look at 3 types of outreach techniques with a new spin: how monitoring your mention can help you in case you decide to go with a specific approach or not? And as a bonus: will the technique work if you’re an up-and-coming start-up?

 

1. Skyscraper Technique (Classic Approach)

 

One such strategy is called the skyscraper technique and consists of a few easy to follow steps.

 

First, you need to build yourself a list of influencers: blogs and websites which are relevant for your niche and which attract not only a large number of visitors but also a great amount of interaction from those visitors. Get as many details as possible, not only about the site title, URL and corresponding accounts on social media platforms, but also about the numbers of comments and shares their posts usually get.

 

Let’s say, for instance that we’ve just started a business in the vegan restaurants area and we want to find as much as possible on this topic. BrandMentions is the simple fix for that. With a simple search we can get an overall idea of this niche, based on the number of mentions, the type of articles written in this area, the influencers, the blogs that post articles on this subject and so on. For instance, we’ve found out that in the last week alone there were 278 mentions for “vegan restaurants”; this should be good news as the area we are interested in seems to rise interest of many others. We can learn a bit more about our competitors but most important we can learn to whom and where we should concentrate our outreach efforts: the influencers.

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from brandmentions.com

Next, you should try to map out the types of posts which get shared by these influencers. Try to figure out the characteristics of a content piece that they might be interested in. Write down specific examples. Once you’ve done this, the actual work part comes in: build better content about the same topic. Bulk up the original content with more breadth or depth. Once you’ve created it, approach the influencers and let them know about your post. Just make sure to keep these emails as short as possible and give the influencer a good reason to share your post.

 

Kissmetrics has a very detailed tutorial on how to do this, with an account of the results:

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/influencers-who-want-your-content/

And if you follow this example closely, you’ll understand why it’s called the skyscraper technique. You start off with a very powerful foundation – the list of influencers (21 in this case) –, go up to building a fairly strong middle (7 positive replies) and end up with a very thin top (2 shares).
If you think about it in relative terms, 2 out of 21 doesn’t seem like a great success rate (barely 10%), but in absolute terms, it’s 2 more shares than you would’ve had without this technique.

And even though quantitatively it might seem low, it can definitely compensate qualitatively if it brings you quality users.

 

How can mentions monitoring help you? A web monitoring tool can go a long way in helping you. It can be useful in finding the influencers, finding the topics to write about and even finding content which will help you improve on those topics. It won’t send the e-mails for you, but you also don’t want that (that’s the personal part).

 

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from https://ahrefs.com/blog/outreach/

 

Is it a good technique for a start-up? It might be the best approach in the beginning. It relies on heavy work and it can be productive even if nobody knows you. The one thing you need to make sure of, however, is that you make communication personal and don’t just settle for an automated mail listing.

 

2.Building a Relationship (The Interpersonal Approach)

 

You’re not just building a skyscraper for a one time party, to sim abandon it afterwards. Once you’ve gotten a positive response from a blogger, try to stay in contact. This means following-up on questions, saying “thank you” for a mention or even a positive appreciation and responding in kind. This means you need to stay on alert about any new mentions you receive and get in touch with people who mention you as soon as it happens.

 

Venchito Tampon offers examples of such conversations which, while ultimately interested exchanges for both parties, also prove to be more than that: a genuine interaction between professionals:

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from http://digitalphilippines.net/blogger-outreach-strategy/

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from http://digitalphilippines.net/blogger-outreach-strategy/

 

Building and maintaining a relationship also means that you learn more. You don’t really know why someone hasn’t linked to your article although you feel like they should have. Maybe it was a simple oversight, or maybe they had a specific reason for which they chose not to link to you. Either way, you have something to gain if you reach out to them.

 

You wouldn’t want to go to a job interview not knowing a thing about the company you are interested in. Same thing applies when it comes to outreaching. The outreach process can sometimes be seen like a pitching one; this is why, knowing as much info as possible about the other person’s field of interest, recent events attendances and so on might be highly important for you. For instance, if we wanted to find out Aleyda Solis latest interests, we can easily check it out and use that info to our own advantage.

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from brandmentions.com

 

How can mentions monitoring help you? To be able to maintain a good professional relationship, you need to always know what’s important to the other person. That’s where BrandMentions can be of use, by allowing you to always check who’s been recently mentioned and who’s been mentioning whom.

 

Is it a good technique for a start-up? It’s probably the best strategy for a startup, because it means you try to take advantage of every door that opens to you. Though it could look like this requires more effort, it actually saves time in the long run. Once you start a back-and-forth conversation with someone, they might actually contact you first on certain occasions so you won’t have to always spend effort on contacting new people and explaining your goals all over again.

 

 

3.Going Social (The Dynamic Approach)

 

Okay, so remember how we said in the beginning that social media isn’t all that? We didn’t mean it’s entirely useless for outreach though. It’s because they haven’t really been used well so far that there’s a lot of potential with platforms like Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.

 

You have to find a way to make things personal.

For instance, Will Blunt, the founder of Blogger Sidekick, made public one of his outreach endeavors, raising awareness about the importance of being dynamic. He gave Twitter a chance, but in the process managed to approach everybody individually. Maybe that’s why many influencers replied.

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

Screenshot taken from http://www.bloggersidekick.com/get-backlinks/

Yet, even among influencers can be made all sort of rankings, not only with the purpose of identifying their online performances but also in order to help you prioritize your outreach. As we’ve previously mentioned, outreach might take a lot of of your resources. As a start up, being at the beginning of the road, you might need to split those resources for so many tasks. Here is where mention monitoring comes to make some “light” in this area. Let’s say that we are interested in the top influencers from the digital marketing area. A simple mention search and comparison between the main actors on this niche made with BrandMentions can bring us some idea of whom we should start our outreach with.

How to Boost Your Startup's Awareness Using Mention Outreach Techniques

 

How can a mention tool help you? By deciding who’s really an influencer. With mention monitoring you can cover social media as well as regular websites and blog posts. It can, thus, tell you, with a bit of research, who might be the best people to contact in terms of attracting attention and visitors.

 

Is it a good technique for a start-up? This was definitely a bold move, one guaranteed to attract attention, but the reason it may have worked so well is partly because Will already knew those people, or at the very least they knew about him. This is a move that works best when you already have some social capital and want to stand out from the crowd. But in order to do that, you need to be in the crowd to begin with. So it’s probably a move best reserved for when you’ve already moved up in the world a bit.

 

Conclusion

 

In your outreach endeavor you need to remember that there no such thing as a “success recipe” . What you need to take into consideration if you are a start up that there are techniques that might work better for you than others. There are a lot of great outreach examples out there you can get inspired from, however, the important thing is to see what works best for you and how you can use all the resources you have in the most efficient way.

The post Boost Your Online Awareness Using the Mention Outreach Technique appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Why It’s Okay to Grow Distant from Social Media

The other week, I was at a Toronto FC game with my good friend Sam Fiorella, who shares my passion and love for the beautiful game and is also a die-hard TFC fan.

As we sat on the train on the way home from the game, we chatted about numerous things, but one conversation that came up was our reduced use of social media.

Given that we were both early adopters of the various channels, as well as fairly active on them, we spoke of how very different our usage is today, compared to our “busy time” between 2009 and 2013/14.

For Sam, a personal tragedy made him reevaluate where he wanted to spend his time and energy. Time and energy that is now focused on what’s truly important to him, and helping thousands of others in doing so.

For myself, I guess I first started spending less time on social when first my son was born in 2010, and definitely after my daughter was born in 2012.

Since then, I’ve reduced my own use of social media to very specific networks. Facebook remains my constant, and I’ve rediscovered Instagram again after not using it that much for the longest time.

I deleted my Google+ profile, I rarely use LinkedIn, and I’m on an extended Twitter break (truth be told, I’ll probably just delete that account too).

As far as blogging goes, I switched up my content to move away from business and marketing posts, to more personal and introspective ones. And it’s been far more satisfying for me.

What’s been interesting/funny/curious (delete where applicable) is how online friends have asked whether I feel using social less will impact my “relevance”.

I guess it depends.

You Don’t Need to Be Social to Do Social

As someone whose job means I’m on social a lot from my employer’s point of view, that doesn’t necessarily mean I need to be on social constantly on a personal level too.

In fact, at least for me, it’s probably the opposite. Even if my kids weren’t the reason for me reducing a lot of my online time, the fact I’m “switched on” through the day means the last thing I want to do is continue that in the evening and on weekends.

It’s a bit like a friend of mine in the UK, who’s a senior video game tester. After spending 6-8 hours doing nothing but trying to find bugs on the latest video game, the last thing he wants to do is play more video games in his free time.

But even if that wasn’t the case, for me one of the biggest misunderstandings (or perhaps false advice/incorrect thinking) is that you have to have a developed, strong social presence to remain relevant.

To a degree, you do – but only to a degree. 

If you’re a consultant or business person, what do you think’s going to get you more clients – being super-active on social media across multiple channels, or the results you’ve attained for previous and existing clients?

It’s not just businesses and consultants that don’t need to be as active front-end on social, either (at least for the wrong reasons).

As a blogger, I’ve often been told that if I don’t have a strong social media presence, my content won’t be shared.

That may or may not be true – after all, if you’re not around to encourage sharing, how will your content be seen?

Do you really need to have a strong presence on social media to get your content seen? Click To Tweet

Yet social media is just a small part of the visibility picture, especially for content creators/bloggers. Yes, it can bring extra eyeballs – but what happens when a network disappears and you’ve spent so much time cultivating social sharing?

Take Facebook, for example. It’s a well-known fact that visibility is down as far as organic posts are concerned, and you really need to pay-to-play if you want to be seen.

If you can’t afford to promote your posts, is Facebook as viable an option for you?

Or how about Friendfeed? Remember that? At one time, that was up there with Twitter and Facebook as a viable traffic source from social – until it disappeared, that is.

If I look at my own analytics, I see much of the social sharing I receive comes from browser tools like Buffer and Pocket, as well as manual copy-pasting a post’s URL and sharing that way, as opposed to the sharing buttons I have on each post.

All of this without me being really active on social.

So, yeah – you need to have a strong presence on social if you want to remain relevant as a blogger, too….

Your Social, Your Way

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t meant to say you should stop using social media as much as you are, nor is it meant to suggest that everyone has the same needs when it comes to how important social media is (or isn’t).

Your business may need to be really active, or you may need to have more than a couple of dedicated networks in use to meet your own goals.

But ask yourself a simple question:

If you were to cut back on your own social media use tomorrow, would it really have a negative impact on your life?

For me, the answer has been simple – no.

Instead, I’m hopefully a more involved father, a better husband, and a friend who’s available more to those who need me than I was a few years back.

I don’t feel the pressure/faux pressure of maintaining a “persona” just to try and attract attention and eyeballs, and I genuinely enjoy the channels I am active on a lot more for it.

The tagline of my blog is, “There’s more to life than social media.”

That may or may not be true for you, and only you’ll know. But let that be a decision you make, as opposed to those who say they know better making it for you.

Trust me, you’ll feel better for doing so.

102 Most Used Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketers

It’s impossible not to be synced anymore. Everything is on cloud and the amount of information we come across every day is unprecedented. The difficulty of any digital marketer’s mission is not letting themselves be distracted by the connectivity and hyperlinking on the web. While we have never been more exposed to information, it’s now harder than ever to keep focused and prioritize our online activity.

Because we know how crucial it is to stay informed and relevant when it’s almost impossible not to miss something (however small), we’ve put together a compilation of extensions that should make every digital marketer’s life a little easier.
102 Most Used Chrome Extensions

We are moving from an era of brand dominance, to one where agility is rewarded. – Will Critchlow, Founder & CEO, Distilled

A digital marketer’s work can be massively improved with the right browser extensions. We usually install them as we cannot afford the time to either search for some data manually, or to wait for the dozens of tabs to load. This is why our compilation will include the most useful extensions in this field, to guide you through a better productivity rate.

Installing an extension only takes a few seconds and they will run on the back of the system while you operate the browser and your account, which makes them a useful alternative to the current situation, as they are all meant to solve some of the essential every day problems.

Copywriting & Content Marketing

  1. Google TranslateDownloads: 6,323,515
  2. GrammarlyDownloads: 4,198,579
  3. FeedlyDownloads: 1,375,846
  4. Print FriendlyDownloads: 365,861
  5. Diigo Web CollectorDownloads: 241,545
  6. YeswareDownloads: 231,600
  7. Wise StampDownloads: 215,911
  8. Project NapthaDownloads: 208,893
  9. Similar PagesDownloads: 162,542
  10. InstapaperDownloads: 156,722
  11. TL;DRDownloads: 120,409
  12. GiphyDownloads: 61,283
  13. DraftDownloads: 4,542
  14. Drum UpDownloads: 1,649

 

SEO and Marketing Metrics

  1. GhosteryDownloads: 2,441,992
  2. Alexa Traffic RankDownloads: 447,614
  3. MozBarDownloads: 339,703
  4. Hide My AssDownloads: 187,807
  5. VidIQDownloads: 142,223
  6. Check My LinksDownloads: 120,697
  7. Majestic Backlink AnalyzerDownloads: 51,199
  8. Google Analytics URL BuilderDownloads: 30,886
  9. SEO SerpDownloads: 23,130
  10. Fat RankDownloads: 8,952
  11. Mobile Friendly CheckerDownloads: 4,188
  12. Share MetricDownloads: 3,485

 

Social Media Engagement

  1. Hootsuite HootletDownloads: 508,737
  2. RapportiveDownloads: 441,335
  3. BufferDownloads: 429,992
  4. Bit.lyDownloads: 337,163
  5. KloutDownloads: 69,639
  6. Email HunterDownloads: 58,846
  7. DoShareDownloads: 25,490
  8. Rite TagDownloads: 21,127
  9. DiscoverlyDownloads: 16,500
  10. RiffleDownloads: 13,753
  11. Find That LeadDownloads: 11,179
  12. FollowrDownloads: 1,507

 

Productivity

  1. Ad BlockDownloads: 10,000,000+
  2. Last PassDownloads: 4,219,260
  3. Pocket Downloads: 2,729,383
  4. MomentumDownloads: 1,589,696
  5. PushBullet Downloads: 1,340,354
  6. BoomerangDownloads: 1,109,443
  7. 1PasswordDownloads: 1,023,937
  8. One TabDownloads: 1,015,460
  9. The Great SuspenderDownloads: 882,787
  10. SignalsDownloads: 704,188
  11. Stay FocusdDownloads: 674,406
  12. Speed Dial 2Downloads: 643,890
  13. TodoistDownloads: 379,388
  14. Smooth ScrollDownloads: 154,844
  15. KeeperDownloads: 97,589
  16. Time StatsDownloads: 84,367
  17. MediumDownloads: 34,068
  18. Followup.ccDownloads: 12,002
  19. PopchromDownloads: 10,138
  20. List GoalDownloads: 4,265
  21. StacheDownloads: 3,250
  22. Price SnoopDownloads: 2,332
  23. SwitchmarkDownloads: 2,242
  24. GoodbitsDownloads: 1,592
  25. Ananke TimerDownloads: 238

 

Website Optimization

  1. User Agent SwitcherDownloads: 1,194,463
  2. Web DeveloperDownloads: 1,091,172
  3. Firebug LiteDownloads: 686,834
  4. Tag AssistantDownloads: 539,849
  5. Window ResizerDownloads: 530,290
  6. Clear CacheDownloads: 333,669
  7. WappalyzerDownloads: 331,018
  8. YSlowDownloads: 317,276
  9. IE Tab MultiDownloads: 185,129
  10. StylebotDownloads: 166,341
  11. Quick Javascript SwitcherDownloads: 144,227
  12. PenduleDownloads: 103,065
  13. CSS ViewerDownloads: 101,612
  14. Web BoostDownloads: 72,615
  15. Redirect PathDownloads: 64,933
  16. Page RefreshDownloads: 55,600
  17. WASPDownloads: 24,426
  18. HTML ValidatorDownloads: 22,830
  19. SightDownloads: 17,936
  20. Built WithDownloads: 16,726
  21. Quick Source ViewerDownloads: 13,898
  22. Stylesheet ReloaderDownloads: 572

 

Design Tools

  1. ColorZillaDownloads: 902,922
  2. WhatFontDownloads: 545,995
  3. Page RulerDownloads: 434,053
  4. EyedropperDownloads: 373,647
  5. Nimbus ScreenshotDownloads: 398,052
  6. Pic MonkeyDownloads: 180,284
  7. Resolution TestDownloads: 145,920
  8. MeasureltDownloads: 108,281
  9. Fontface NinjaDownloads: 101,708
  10. Palette CreatorDownloads: 62,124
  11. DimensionsDownloads: 48,225
  12. Yet Another Lorem Ipsum GeneratorDownloads: 26,874
  13. Google Font PreviewerDownloads: 25,546
  14. StencilDownloads: 15,379
  15. Type SampleDownloads: 12,012
  16. Microstock Photo Power SearchDownloads: 1,870
  17. Font EditorDownloads: 1,733

Copywriting & Content Marketing

1. Google Translate

(19933)Downloads: 6,323,515

Install this extension

The best use for this extension in the context of a digital marketing agency is that it allows you to browse through international web pages and get an immediate idea on their content – then decide if you want to dig deeper or leave if for good.

Google Translate Extension

Another way it can be used to assure maximum efficiency is in the context of foreign clients. The extension is a time saver when it comes to multi-lingual professional experiences.

2. Grammarly

(200)Downloads: 4,198,579

Install this extension

We all know how crucial content is. However, what’s easily read is not easily written, most of the times. It takes a lot of experience and years of practice to transmit the essential information, while not being boring and also adding a bit of a personal dash to the copy. It’s essential to have a clean writing style, otherwise your audience will not grant you with credibility.

Grammarly Extensions

Grammarly doesn’t only check the grammar appropriateness of your content, but the readability as well, making it easier for you to formulate a more word-efficient copy.

3. Feedly

(68842)Downloads: 1,375,846

Install this extension

The extension is great for copywriters, as it can feature different topics, divided by folders, that will automatically update a news feed at your fingertips. The extension works like an intersection between bookmarks and a news feed. Among the sources that it indexes, you can choose the topics you are interested in following, and you will receive a daily feed accordingly. It takes a lot of effort to keep up to date with the amount of content publishers, news websites and all reading interests. There is a limited number of sources that you can add to your feed, but it does the job great for the ones that it indexes.

Feedly Extension

Browsing through content has become a nightmare, as it’s often hard to separate the stories we’d like to read from the ones we’re running from. Feedly makes this activity pleasant and organized, and it helps prioritizing the interests as well.

4. Print Friendly

(1012)Downloads: 365,861

Install this extension

The extension comes in handy whenever you wish to print an article that you liked particularly, or a webpage that you wish to examine further. Its help comes from cleaning the junk information from the webpage. Either because you don’t want to waste ink on useless pictures or ads, or just because of aesthetic reasons, the extension is constantly in your mind, and it tells what you want to print and what you’d rather leave out.

Print Friendly Extension

It gives you an editable .pdf conversion of a webpage, and you can easily transform web data into clean, organized .pdf’s for your projects. It helps if you’re a researcher and you can save all the changes in Google Drive, which makes it even more user friendly.

5. Diigo Web Collector

(104)Downloads: 241,545

Install this extension

Simply put, this is an extension that helps annotating, bookmarking and archiving web content. It has everything a geek who likes to take time with their content would need. You can use colored highlights and sticky notes, share the pages with your annotation via social media, bookmark links for later or curate content.

Diigo Web Collector Extension

While it’s a very intuitive extension, it also helps you stay organized and it’s pure heaven for anyone who is a little nostalgic about the agenda-writing era.

6. Yesware 

(927)Downloads: 231,600

Install this extension

Many of us, content marketers, have newsletters and thousand of weekly sent emails. However, the open rate of these isn’t always something easy to analyze. If you’re not looking for complicated metrics, but a general view on who opened your email and who didn’t, this extension is going to be more than you need. You get to be notified (by push notifications or otherwise) when someone opens an email you automatically sent, and you also get to see the device they did it from.

Yesware Extension

7. Wise Stamp

(1354)Downloads: 215,911

Install this extension

There’s a lot to tell about the perfect email. What’s obvious, however, is that most of them aren’t read, or get to be skimmed in a few seconds. The better part of emails don’t get to convince (let alone impress) because they lack personality.

Wise Stamp Extension

This extension is one of the possible solutions to this problem – it provides you with a live signature that you can link to your social media accounts. You can also personalize it with the company logo or any other visual elements that you’d like to associate with your signature.

8. Project Naptha

(1020)Downloads: 208,893

Install this extension

If you’ve ever felt frustrated that you couldn’t copy a text that was part of an image, you’re going to love this extension. It allows you to highlight, copy or edit texts that are in an image format. Now you can copy the text and paste it as a search query, or translate it.

Project Naptha Extension

The semi-transparent select blue box can be especially useful when you don’t have time to re-write blocks of text that are part of an image. Once you install the extension, it will automatically select the words inside an image in a text box, on hover.

9. Similar Pages

(919)Downloads: 162,542

Install this extension

I’m sure it’s happened at least a thousand times to find something captivating on the web and then follow the impulse of searching more on the topic. This extension anticipates your need of more information on something you’re already reading and suggests a number of other similar web pages.

Similar Pages Extension

What makes it useful is that every suggested page comes with a preview, so that you can decide what’s appropriate for your needs and what isn’t. Whenever you click on the extension icon, a Google search query will be conducted to identify pages that are closely related to what you’re reading.

10. Instapaper

(215)Downloads: 156,722

Install this extension

There are many tools dedicated to bookmarking content that you’ll be interested in reading later. However, what this extension brings is the opportunity to save web content offline.

Instapaper Extension

Offline reading isn’t our main preoccupation since most of us focus on bringing the content online, but this tool is especially made to make sure we can read the content that we want to save for later even when we don’t have access to an Internet connection.

11. TL;DR

(305)Downloads: 120,409

Install this extension

Anyone who spends enough time online will know that TL;DR is an online abbreviation for ‘too long, didn’t read’. We don’t always have the time to enjoy a long read, and this extension shortens the web content into a generic idea on the topic. There are 3 different lengths for every webpage that is shortened (approximately 25%, 50% and 75% of the original content length), and you can opt for the one that will best satisfy your informational need.

TLDR Extension

Aside from the English language, the extension also supports Spanish, German and French. The synopsized long content is at your disposal, and you can also look for similar topics on the web directly from this extension.

12. Giphy

(74)Downloads: 61,283

Install this extension

We’ve begun to introduce visual aids with our online messages because the tone wouldn’t always be transmitted rightly. This is how the first emoticons appeared. More than a decade after that, shortened communication forms have taken over our social media communication. Partially because they’re playful and send a more personal tone, partially because they’re visual and easily to relate to.

Giphy Extension

Whichever the reason, Giphy allows you to use gifs from their continuously updating database on email and social media, in order to better connect with the people you’re talking to.

13. Draft

(33)Downloads: 4,542

Install this extension

For those of us who write a lot, this is a Chrome extension that transforms any text area into something you can edit through Draft. Organizing your ideas is much easier this way, as you’ll have all the text you’re composing in the same format and always on your screen, to keep you coordinated.

Draft Extension

14. Drum Up

(20)Downloads: 1649

Install this extension

Very much like Similar Pages, this extension creates search queries that match the content that you’re currently reading in order to make topical suggestions for further readings.

Drum Up Extension

Aside from the content suggestions, the extension also allows you to schedule sharing posts on social media, which makes it easier to share captivating content with your friends, especially since it can be delivered in an organized manner.


SEO and Marketing Metrics

15. Ghostery

(9235)Downloads: 2,441,992

Install this extension

Every action you take on the web leaves a footprint behind. The technologies monitoring web activity are called trackers, and usually take the information they need about your browsing data. The extension allows you to control the amount of personal data that you share with the trackers for every site you visit. One additional advantage to this is that some of the websites may even work better with tracking limitations, as trackers sometimes weigh them down. You can also remove page clutter and focus on the content that you’re actually interested in.

Ghostery

16. Alexa Traffic Rank

(2136)Downloads: 447,614

Install this extension

The extension provides quick traffic analytics without interrupting the browsing experience. It’s great for a quick glance at a website’s performance. Aside from the traffic metrics, you can see the number of sites linking in, the load time and a number of related links as further suggestions for your browsing.

Alexa Traffic Rank Extension

17. MozBar

(696)Downloads: 339,703

Install this extension

It’s exactly what the name suggests you should be expecting. After each result you get for a search query, you are displayed a performance bar to allow you to make a first impression on the website: page authority, domain authority. MozBar even provides you data about keywords that are easier or harder to rank for.

Moz Bar Extension

18. Hide My Ass

(584)Downloads: 187,807

Install this extension

There are many reasons why developers need to use private browsing a lot, especially for testing purposes. This is how the extension makes a great requisite, as it allows you to browse privately on the spot, redirecting your traffic to an anonymous proxy network.

Hide My Ass Extension

19. vidIQ 

(713)Downloads: 142,223

Install this extension

vidIQ is great for anyone who needs to keep up with their Youtube metrics, while at the same time not spending a lot of time to get them. If you’re fine knowing just a few key data sets, the extension offers you the necessary information that you need to have to keep up with the competition: the organic reach of your video, the keywords used as labels to it, the number of shares across social media platforms.

vidIQ Vision for Youtube Extension

20. Check My Links

(267)Downloads: 120,697

Install this extension

The extension underlines the links on a webpage, telling you which ones are live and which ones are broken. Plus, the extension gives you the option to cache the information which means that the second time you’re visiting the same pages it will work a lot faster.

Check My Links Extension

21. Majestic Backlink Analyzer

(839)Downloads: 51,199

Install this extension

The extension has over 50k users as it provides two sets of data at the same time: link counts on the one hand and the sources of the links on the other. Generally, extensions are made to be simple and offer one main data set. However, this one crosses that line and it allows you to make an idea about the strength of a page based on its backlink profile.

Majestic Backlink Analyzer Extension

22. Google Analytics URL Builder

(59)Downloads: 30,886

Install this extension

You can easily create short links with the URL builder, share them, manage tags or choose pre-defined sets. Once you’re generated the final URL, you can copy it into the clipboard button and, on top of this, import or export back-ups. You can also link the presets to Bit.ly, as the two extensions are complementary and compatible.

Google Analytics URL Builder

23. SEO Serp

(251)Downloads: 23,130

Install this extension

If you want to just quickly check the position of a list of sites to see how they rank for a certain keyword, this extension is cardinal to your research. Besides having the possibility to create alerts for changes in position, you can now export the results as well save them for further examinations.

SEO serp Extension

24. Fat Rank

(62)Downloads: 8,952

Install this extension

The extension promotes itself as being easy to use because it has one functionality that it implements flawlessly. It’s not far from the truth – it provides lightweight keyword performance for the page you’re currently on. The tool will also check the rankings by location.

FatRank Extension

25. Mobile Friendly Checker

(14)Downloads: 4,188

Install this extension

You’ll find it most useful especially because it can bulk check up to 20 URLs for mobile friendly results. The extension also displays a result page and a preview of the webpage as Googlebot sees it.

Mobile Friendly Checker

26. Share Metric

(11)Downloads: 3,485

Install this extension

The extension offers you data about the number of shares and generally the social media visibility of the page you’re on. A drop-down menu will display these along with the Moz page and domain authority, in case you’ve got it installed. For the case in which you already have an Ahrefs subscription, you will be shown the ranks that Ahrefs attributes to the page as well. The extension only works if you have accounts for Ahrefs and Moz.

Share Metric Extension


Social Media Engangement 

27. Hootsuite Hootlet

(1027)Downloads: 508,737

Install this extension

The extension helps you find and share content across the web, on social media platforms. It allows you to search social media along with your web search query, share content while you browse the web, schedule your posts to be shared at a later time.

Hootsuite Hootlet Extension

28. Rapportive 

(1769)Downloads: 441,335

Install this extension

For those of us who use Gmail a lot, it’s often very important to know whom we’re talking to, and the signatures don’t always say a lot about the person behind the email. The tool gives you instant access to a lot of data you may be interested in: the company they’re working for, their location, the LinkedIn profiles (this one’s a charm!), their most recent Tweets. You can easily engage with your prospect with this information at your disposal.

Rapportive Extension

29. Buffer

(2430)Downloads: 429,992

Install this extension

Buffer is one of the vital extensions for any content marketer out there. Whenever you wish to share content on social media platforms, this extension is an efficient way of scheduling content posts for social media, especially if you don’t want to share them right away. Suppose you ran over an amazing piece of content – it’s not practical to post it immediately, if – for instance – you just posted something else. Buffer gives you the chance to queue the content you’re posting cross-platforms.

Buffer Extension

30. Bit.ly

(1209)Downloads: 337,163

Install this extension

The extension allows you to save and share content through social media platforms, even when it doesn’t have on-page share buttons. You have additional access to the social media performance of the link over the years, for a a generic idea on the popularity of the content.

Bitly Extension

You can also organize the content through notes and bundles, and save the links with individual privacy preferences.

31. Klout

(438)Downloads: 69,639

Install this extension

The extension allows you to share content to Twitter. However, the reason why it’s so popular among users is that it provides a score of every Twitter account you’re engaging with (including yours), calculated after their own algorithm. This gives you an idea of how authoritative the popular people on the social media network are. This way, you can prioritize your social media strategy according to the data you’re offered.

Klout Extension

32. Email Hunter

(1475)Downloads: 58,846

Install this extension

If the most complicated part of your outreach is actually finding the emails of your prospects, then search no more. The extension will help you to find email addresses on LinkedIn and even Twitter. It gets easier to access the 150 free contacts you’re allowed to search monthly.

Email Hunter Extension

33. DoShare

(216)Downloads: 25,490

Install this extension

This extension is dedicated to people who are active on Google Plus. It allows you to write and schedule the posts, share content from different platforms, save drafts and schedule posts. It is intuitively manageable and it can save a lot of time.

DoShare Extension

34. Rite Tag

(65)Downloads: 21,127

Install this extension

This Twitter tool allows you to get actionable insights as you post content. It gives you stats on the fly about the popularity of your hashtags, it gives you the possibility to add images, create memes, tag influencers, and color-grading hashtags after a popularity metric.

RiteTag Extension

35. Discoverly

(52)Downloads: 16,500

Install this extension

The extension allows you to understand more about your contacts on Gmail and LinkedIn, offering you information about their work info, mutual connections, recent tweets, and the data is also available on Facebook. It’s a great extension for networking, as it can make your email positioning work easier.

Discoverly Extension

36. Riffle

(19)Downloads: 13,753

Install this extension

The extension gives you tweet stats on your brand and your competitors’. It ‘teaches you about the community’, as they say they do, providing you data about the number of tweets, number of favorite, medium number of posts per day, top hashtags, top mentions and top URLs, all for you to engage your audience better.

Riffle Extension

37. Find that Lead

(126)Downloads: 11,179

Install this extension

FTL aims to help you find the emails of your prospects on LinkedIn, as the leads of professionals often shape the direction of our future company plans and development. The leads aren’t only usable in generic outreach and networking with the business community, they can be targeted for sale as well.

Find That Lead Extension

38. Followr

(64)Downloads: 1,507

Install this extension

The extension is aimed to increase your followers on Twitter, in a natural and organic way. According to the developers, the more you normally use Twitter the better the extension will suggest your account to people who can follow your content based on interest. This automation extension can help a great deal in reaching the proper audiences.

Followr Extension

Productivity

39. Ad Block

(183952)Downloads: 10,000,000+

Install this extension

The extension is not only one of the most popular on the web, but it solves many potential issues of digital marketers as well. For a cleaner browsing experience, you can activate the extension and get rid of the annoying ads. This comes at a price, as some of the websites out there won’t let you access their content when detecting the AdBlock. However, there is always the solution of private browsing for those exceptions, and it shouldn’t interfere with your overall experience.

AdBlock Extension

40. Last Pass

(16908)Downloads: 4,219,260

Install this extension

If you’re the type of person who’s always struggling to remember the hundreds of passwords on different accounts from both work and personal accounts, this extension fixes your issues on the spot. From now on, you’ll only need to remember the one password to rule them all, and get instant secure access to all your other accounts through it. The password manager has great reviews and is highly recommended for digital marketers, who always use one too many tools to remember all their passwords.

Last Pass Extension

41. Pocket 

(5162)Downloads: 2,729,383

Install this extension

You’re about to start saving some time with this extension. It keeps track of all the content you discover that you don’t have time to read on the spot or just want to save for later. It also syncs your account cross-device and you can easily read the bookmarks from your desktop on your mobile or tablet. The best part about it is that it doesn’t even require an Internet connection, once the tab is saved.

Pocket Extension

42. Momentum

(6575)Downloads: 1,589,696

Install this extension

It’s always a charm to have a reminder on what our most important task of the day is. Momentum replaces the new tab page of your browser with a custom picture every day, while it can also display the weather, a daily focus, your todos and a daily quote if you feel like you’d need some inspiration. It looks clean and it reminds you to stay focused on a very personal way. The todos are divided into tasks and a daily focus, to constantly remind you what the priority of the day is.

Momentum Extension

43. PushBullet

(3917)Downloads: 1,340,354

Install this extension

We communicate only more than we’d like to admit. However, it still takes a lot of our time, especially if we’re doing it from more than just one device at a time. The tool offers you the possibility to integrate the most popular communication media (from SMS to Whatsapp and Facebook) into one single device that you can use both on your desktop or on your mobile, thus saving a lot of time.

PushBullet Extension

44. Boomerang

(1054)Downloads: 1,109,443

Install this extension

If you like planning ahead, you’re going to like this one. The extension allows you to send emails on a scheduled time frame. All you have to do is write it and then program it to be sent. This way, you will never miss a deadline – not even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Boomerang Extension

45. 1Password

(481)Downloads: 1,023,937

Install this extension

This extension is made for people who have one too many accounts to manage. It offers you anything from password generators to special protection for credit card passwords. It also divides your account types into folders, so that you never get confused while accessing it. It’s not just a password storage place, it logs you in on the websites and its interaction with the browser is always smooth.

1 Password Extension

46. One Tab

(5238)Downloads: 1,015,460

Install this extension

It’s not uncommon for us to be upset at browsers when they load too slowly when we most need them – when we have dozens of opened tabs. It’s what One Tab does – reduces the load time by reducing the used space of all the open tabs. You’re going to be displayed all the tabs as a list in one tab, and access them whenever you wish. Their load time will be insignificant, as they will be already probably cached. The extension saves up to 95% of the browser memory and can be a great fix for us, multitaskers.

One Tab Extension

47. The Great Suspender

(1938)Downloads: 882,787

Install this extension

The extension allows you to configure a personalized time interval after which tabs will be suspended for the better usability of Chrome, or you can do it manually for the tabs that don’t fit the algorithm. If you always have too many tabs opened at the same time, the extension will unload the tabs individually and it will retain the favicons and title texts.

The Great Suspender Extension

48. Signals

(8784)Downloads: 704,188

Install this extension

The extension allows you to edit your emails in the Gmail box. You can edit the body and subject of your emails and highlight the text you want to keep. You can also organize your emails as to be more efficient. Plus, you can use the functions ‘restore’ and ‘revert’ to go to the original email and then back to the edited version whenever you feel like it.

Signals Extension

49. Stay Focusd

(4400)Downloads: 674,406

Install this extension

Creative people are also huge procrastinators, and this is a fact. However, this extension solves the issue of too much time spent on Facebook or too many quizzes taken on Buzzfeed. You can limit the time you’re going to be ‘allowed’ on certain websites that you know reduce your productivity.

Stay Focusd Extension

50. Speed Dial 2

(5,769)Downloads: 643,890

Install this extension

Save your favorite apps, bookmarks and websites and organize them to increase your productivity. The extension has a very clean design that is meant to keep you away from distractions, and it can be synced cross-device.

Speed Dial 2 Extension

51. Todoist

(24,080)Downloads: 379,388

Install this extension

Combine the personal and the professional tasks in order to increase your efficiency. The task manager allows sync and backup on 10+ platforms, along with sharing options for group tasks. It’s great for any busy bee, and helps keeping track of priorities in the sea of deadlines you have to meet.

Todoist Extension

52. Smooth Scroll

(1,242)Downloads: 154,844

Install this extension

The extension enables smooth scrolling, and it also works with embedded content. The native smooth scroll belongs to the iOS, but it can be replicated on any device with this extension.

Smooth Scroll

53. Keeper 

(1909)Downloads: 97,589

Install this extension

It advertises itself as the most secure password keeper there is, and the best feature is that you can sign in with your fingerprint (available on iPhone). The extension also gives you a virtual vault to stock all the precious information you may be needing to keep confidential.

Keeper Extension

54. Time Stats

(638)Downloads: 84,367

Install this extension

The extension records how much time you’re spending on different websites. This way, you can keep in touch with how much time you’re spending on a website on average. You can always add or delete websites from the monitoring list, you can delete the saved logs at any time and, most importantly, you can keep an eye on the places on the web that you’re most active.

time Stats Extension

55. Medium

(16)Downloads: 34,068

Install this extension

The extension is more for teams than individual users. It helps you manage passwords and account for up to 5 different users. It gives a solution to the problem of sharing a spreadsheet with passwords across the team for the entire group to have access to the same platforms. It’s a problem solver if you have to work on more accounts at the same time.

Medium Extension

56. Followup.cc

(273)Downloads: 12,002

Install this extension

The extension allows you to keep in touch with your prospects at any time you would like to remember to email them back, directly from your inbox. It’s easy to use really intuitive. You have the option to choose between regular reminders and one-time reminders and they go up to two weeks from now.

Followup.cc Extension

57. Popchrom

(166)Downloads: 10,138

Install this extension

The extension allows you to create your own shortcuts to text phrases that can be activated when you type in the letter sequence. Create your personal shortcuts to get you through the repetitive blocks of the same texts you have to write from time to time.

Popchrom Extension

58. List Goal

(121)Downloads: 4,265

Install this extension

The extension will be by your side in your attempt to grow your email list, by giving you real-time advice on what your strategies should look like. It will monitor the goals you’re setting and the actions you’re doing to achieve them, and guide you through the process.

List Goal

59. Stache

(19)Downloads: 3,250

Install this extension

If you do have Stache for Mac, this extension is going to be your best bud. While it only works for iOS, you’re going to find interesting links with content that you’d need to save and it will suggest further similar pages, while also saving the ones you’ve already found.

Stache Extension

60. Price Snoop

(9)Downloads: 2,332

Install this extension

In case you’re interested in pricing policies, this extension will tell you how much a product on Amazon costs on other stores. You’ll also be able to see if the products are available or not on other stores, thus keeping you in touch with the pricing policies. This way, you can keep in touch with the prices charged by your clients for any products that you may be researching, on the spot.

Price Snoop Extension

61. Switchmark

(57)Downloads: 2,242

Install this extension

You can switch through more bookmark bars. Switchmark helps you set a number of bookmark bars you’d like to have and then change to the ones that interest you in seconds.

Switchmark Extension

62. Goodbits

(6)Downloads: 1,592

Install this extension

Collect content and save time with Goodbits – you can use the extension to create emails in seconds. It seems easy to use and it helps you organize and prioritize your mails, while also being very intuitive. While writing emails is crucial for the sustainability of your business, it’s also relevant that you optimize the process as much as possible.

Goodbits Extension

63. Ananke Timer

(4)Downloads: 238

Install this extension

If you often find yourself having busy days and it’s become harder to prioritize your tasks, this extension will help you time every task you have from the moment you start it until completion. You can set up more than just one timer at a time.

Ananke Timer Extension


Website Optimization

64. User Agent Switcher

(1367)Downloads: 1,194,463

Install this extension

If you’ve had enough of testing while developing a website, the extension could be a match to your needs. Switch between user agent strings and set up specific URLs that you wish to spoof every time you do this. If you’ve always complained about testing every change on both desktop and mobile, you’ll find this a crazy helpful time saver.

User Agent Switcher Extension

65. Web Developer

(2104)Downloads: 1,091,172

Install this extension

The extension has a series of developer tools that you may find handy when browsing any webpage. The main categories are: image, miscellaneous, information, outline, resize, tools and options, each of these having their own sub-categories of actions you can take to inspect or modify the current webpage you’re on.

Web Developer Extension

The best thing developers love about it is that it’s very responsive.

66. Firebug Lite

(1,333)Downloads: 686,834

Install this extension

The extension is best used to visually represent HTML elements, DOM elements and Box Model shading. You can also use it for its live editing CSS feature. Although it can be useful in itself, it’s recommended to use it along with Firebug and Chrome Developer Tools for a better and more complete perspective.

Firebug Lite Extension

67. Tag Assistant

(394)Downloads: 539,849

Install this extension

Tag Assistant helps you check the installation of Google tags, while also suggesting improvements to your implementation. Among the included tags, there is Google Analytics, Adwords Conversion Tracking and Google Tag Manager. You can also record the typical user flow and diagnose or validate it, while you can also get troubleshooting advice for Google Analytics.

Tag Assistant

68. Window Resizer

(1879)Downloads: 530,290

Install this extension

You can now resize your browser’s window as to simulate all the resolutions you need. Web designers as well as developers will find the extension highly practical for testing purposes, especially since the resolution list is entirely customizable. You can set your window’s position and dimensions and even apply the selected dimensions to the entire window. Because we all know developers love shortcuts, Window Resizer has got some of these as well.

Window Resizer Extension

69. Clear Cache

(556)Downloads: 333,669

Install this extension

The extension has one simple purpose – the one of easily clearing your cache without you going through the struggle of confirmation boxes or pop-ups. Of course, you can also opt for the amount of data you want to delete, from app cache to cookies, downloads, file systems, form data, history, indexedDB, localstorage, plugin data passwords and WebSQL.

Clear Cache Extension

70. Wappalyzer

(756)Downloads: 331,018

Install this extension

This is a very useful tool if you find yourself wondering what the technologies behind a website are. It gives a complete overview from the JavaScript frameworks to the analytics tools (used to get a view on traffic and performance) and content management systems. It’s indispensable if you’re into searching the trends that seem to work on various successful web platforms, as it gives you insight on what top notch players are using for their business.

Wappalyzer Extension

71. YSlow

(198)Downloads: 317,276

Install this extension

The extension analyzes the performance of different web pages based on a series of rules that are taken into consideration when evaluating page performance. It doesn’t only diagnose the issues, but it also suggests ways of improving the current performance. The extension is made by Yahoo.

YSlow Extension

72. IE Tab Multi

(4316)Downloads: 185,129

Install this extension

This is another extension made to satisfy developers’ testing needs. Unlike other tools of the kind, this one behaves like the good old Internet Explorer, allowing you to test IE from the comfort of your Chrome browser. It only supports Windows and it only supports Desktop mode for Windows 8.

IE-Tab-Multi-Enhance

73. Stylebot

(1,020)Downloads: 166,341

Install this extension

When you’re testing alternatives you’d like you take into consideration for your newest project, Stylebot changes the entire appearance of websites for you to see what combinations make the best style for your business. You can also preview and install styles created by other users and saved for the public use. You can instantly custom the entire CSS of a website.

Stylebot Extension

74. Quick Javascript Switcher

(343)Downloads: 144,227

Install this extension

You can instantly disable Javascript by hostname and subdomain. The tool also helps you to edit the shortcut of this extension as to be more at your fingertips when you need it, as well as you can opt to permanently disable Javascript.

Quick Javascript Switcher Extension

75. Pendule

(477)Downloads: 103,065

Install this extension

Pendule is an extension that you’ll find extremely useful if you work a lot with CSS. It’s a rather complex tool that allows you to take a large set of actions, from editing the CSS (view, disable embedded styles, inline styles, disable linked stylesheets, show used colors) to image information, viewing JavaScript and generated source, to finally viewport size and resize browser.

Pendule Extension

76. CSS Viewer

(268)Downloads: 101,612

Install this extension

Exactly what it advertises itself to be, the tool allows you to see the CSS properties of any webpage. In order for it to work properly, it has to access your history and website data. After this, you can hover over any element and see its properties on the spot.

CSS Viewer Extension

77. Web Boost

(353)Downloads: 72,615

Install this extension

This open source extension helps your tabs load faster, and it doesn’t affect the quality of your images or your videos and the quality of your images doesn’t get to be distorted. It is recommended when you work with many tabs at the same time, and it saves a great deal of loading time.

Web Boost Extension

78. Redirect Path

(93)Downloads: 64,933

Install this extension

The extension provides you information on the 301, 302, 404 and 500 HTTP Status Codes, along with client side and Javascript redirects. This way, you’re immediately notified when something potentially harmful happens to one of your client’s website.

Redirect Path Extension

79. Page Refresh

(304)Downloads: 55,600

Install this extension

With Page Refresh you can auto-refresh pages at any desired interval of seconds or minutes, which is a time saver and allows you to focus on the really important aspects of testing your code implementation. The extension an be helpful when you have work in progress that needs to be checked and updated every few seconds/minutes.

Page Refresh Extension

80. WASP

(102)Downloads: 24,426

Install this extension

The acronym stands for Web Analytics Solution Profiler and it helps monitoring the data sent from your client’s websites via tags. The tool detects every type of tag automatically, and offers SEO information about the inspected pages. It also allows tag blocking, which may come in handy every now and then.

WASP Extension

81. HTML Validator

(176)Downloads: 22,830

Install this extension

The extension validates the HTML for the website you’re inspecting, and the results can either be displayed inline or in a new tab, depending on your preferences. The extension also has keyboard shortcuts for every OS you may be using it from.

HTML Validator Extension

82. Sight

(241)Downloads: 17,936

Install this extension

The extension is a Syntax Highlighter and its developers say ‘it makes reading code a joy’. The advertisement is really not far from truth, as the tool also comes with a series of personalization options such as font, size and toggle line numbers.

Sight Extension

83. Built With

(72)Downloads: 16,726

Install this extension

Aside from the generic information that kind of gives away what the extension is all about, it also provides in-depth statistics about the technologies used. You can find what technologies are most often used, and spot the growing trends, as well as download popular and successful websites using the technological types you’re interested in.

BuiltWith Extension

84. Quick Source Viewer

(59)Downloads: 13,898

Install this extension

The sources it inspects are HTML, Javascript and CSS, in a very compact way. The syntax of the tool is colored, the badge displays the node counts, and the onclick handlers with inline Javascript. The extension can be personalized, as well.

Quick Source Viewer Extension

85. Stylesheet Reloader

(7)Downloads: 572

Install this extension

You can reload the external CSS stylesheet of the page you’re currently on, including the imported ones. If you want to avoid reloading the entire page after CSS tweaks, this extension is highly useful. You can also set the key combinations for the shortcuts you want to use as part of this extension.

Stylesheet Reloader


Design Tools 

86. ColorZilla

(1000)Downloads: 902,922

Install this extension

The tool is mostly used for its color picker, which – along with the CSS gradient generator can help you create color patterns and palettes. The color reader is available in any point of the browser. The eyedropper also maintains a recent history that makes the entire experience easier and more practical.

ColorZilla Extension

87. WhatFont

(917)Downloads: 545,995

Install this extension

By enabling it, you can identify on the spot the type of fonts that different webpages are using. You’re also displayed the font size and the line height. The font database is large enough to recognize every font out there. Whatfont helps when analyzing the font families used by different website developers.

WhatFont Extension

88. Page Ruler

(1060)Downloads: 434,053

Install this extension

You can draw a ruler on any page, to check the height, width and position. Resize it depending on your needs. Further, you can update the position changes manually in order to make even the most subtle differences. ‘Element mode’ is a feature of this extension that allows you to see every element of the page when hovering over it with the mouse.

Page Ruler Extension

89. Eyedropper

(1035)Downloads: 373,647

Install this extension

This extension allows you to pick colors from different web pages. It helps whenever you don’t have the time to go through an entire process of color recognition. It also comes with a color history where you can store the colors that are most relevant or appropriate to your projects.

Eye Dropper Extension

90. Nimbus Screenshot

(1218)Downloads: 398,052

Install this extension

It’s not your generic screenshot extension. Nimbus can either capture the webpage you’re on or the entire browser window, and it can also record screencasts. After you’ve done this, you can use arrows or sticky notes to make the content you’re interested in stand out easily. Moreover, you can highlight texts, resize the screenshots, save them or make comments.It’s highly helpful when you want to make annotations on a webpage on the spot.

Nimbus Screenshot

91. Pic Monkey

(772)Downloads: 180,284

Install this extension

This is one of the most friendliest photo editors out there. It’s intuitive and easy to use and it allows you to open any web image with the extension to make further modifications. You can select the menu options that best fit your editing needs, and transform the image into something you’d share on social media, for instance, in a matter of seconds. From frames to effects, overlays, texts with different fonts, there’s little you cannot add to the images to give them a very personal note.

PickMonkey Extension

92. Resolution Test

(338)Downloads: 145,920

Install this extension

The extension is helpful when it comes to testing how your design behaves on different resolutions. It helps you preview how responsive website is. You can either select one or more resolutions to be tested at one time, then see what would happen on different screen sizes.

Resolution Test Extension

93. Measurelt

(637)Downloads: 108,281

Install this extension

Find out the width and height of any elements on a webpage in a matter of seconds. You can use it to measure whichever section of a page you’re interested in. The extension is useful for design projects as it gives you a quick idea on what the dimensions of your visual elements should be like, or what proportions successful websites use.

Measurelt Extension

94. Fontface Ninja

(224)Downloads: 101,708

Install this extension

The extension is great for quite an impressive number of reasons. First, it fetches fonts from a wide web database made of the most popular niche websites for font recognition. Then, it also shows you the line spacing, the letter spacing and the size of the font instead of just its name. Third, it hides all advertisements so you can focus on how the specific font looks on a clean webpage. Last, but not least, it will search the font for you and give you the option to buy it (or download it if it’s free).

Fontface Ninja Extension

95. Palette Creator

(172)Downloads: 62,124

Install this extension

The extension is developed for designers and it creates a color palette to match any image on the web. If, for instance, you want to create a palette starting from an image on your website, all you have to do is choose the number of colors that you’d like it to include.

Palette Extension

Then you can download the palette and use it to start a new project.

96. Dimensions

(213)Downloads: 48,225

Install this extension

If you ever wanted to measure the radius of a circle and text was standing in your way, then you can’t wait to learn about this extension. It helps you measure the dimension of whatever geometric form and it’s easily activated by pressing the Alt key. You can easily see the dimension of any element you would like to integrate on your website.

Dimensions Extension

The elements through which the measure is taken are: images, input-fields, buttons, videos, gifs, text and icons.

97. Yet Another Lorem Ipsum Generator

(77)Downloads: 26,874

Install this extension

In case every time you’re trying to test an interface you hate the amount of text that you need just to blurt out, this is an extension you’d like to install. What it does, in fact, is insert blind text into your website’s fields for you to get a better image of what it looks like.

Yet Another Lorem Ipsum Generator Extension

From paragraphs of text, to dates, titles, email addresses, web addresses, the extension generates blind texts for every need of yours.

98. Google Font Previewer

(234)Downloads: 25,546

Install this extension

Choose a font you like from the Google API directory and apply it either to the entire webpage of a specified CSS selector to get an idea of what it looks like. The font previewer is especially useful when you design a new website and are trying to figure out what the fonts look like on the specific page. However, if you know you usually use the same fonts or the same font families you can save those for quicker access.

Google Font Previewer Extension

99. Stencil

(45)Downloads: 15,379

Install this extension

If you post very often to social media or if you just create and update blog posts on a regular basis, you’re going to find this extension extremely practical. You can instantly add text to any image of your choice and make it custom to your marketing needs. The extension has over 100 fonts, and custom watermark, while it also works on every website.

Stencil Extension

100. Type Sample

(8)Downloads: 12,012

Install this extension

It may come in handy if you’re testing and sampling fonts, as it tells you what fonts are used on different pages when you hover over their content. Clicking on the text opens a panel that allows you to test the font in the extension, after which you can save the sample provided that you have a typesample.com account.

Type Sample Extension

101. Microstock Photo Power Search

(10)Downloads: 1,870

Install this extension

The extension is more than welcomed for designers, as its primary purpose is to help finding free images. The database includes more libraries that are accessed every time you’re trying to find a photo. The extension displays the search results that provide you with a large number of images related to your search query. The more a photo is liked the more it increases its chances to appear in search results, which is an opportunity to promote your work as well.

Microstock Photo Power Search Extensiom

102. Font Editor

(22)Downloads: 1733

Install this extension

Aside from the fact that this extension allows you to test any font on any website at any time, it also comes with a series of characteristics that make the testing more accurate and precise, among which: a selector, the fontfamily, the font variant, the font weight, the font face, the text transformation and the line height.

Font Editor Extension


Conclusion

This post was hopefully a useful fix for people who constantly work on their browsers and have too many tabs open at all times. Managing them doesn’t require better organizing skills, but little helpers to allow you to focus on one task at a time. It may seem overwhelming, as the number of extensions we chose is quite large, but once you get the hang of it the improvements are visible. The advantages of these extensions lie in optimizing processes that usually take more than just a couple of clicks to perform, reason for which they’re welcome time savers.

If you think there’s maybe an extension that you’re creepily in love with and we missed it, don’t hesitate to share it with us!

Disclaimer: The data we’re presenting about these extensions concerning their availability, the number of downloads, scores and ratings is documented in May 2016.

The post 102 Most Used Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketers appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

30 Practical Tips for Producing Great Facebook Live Videos

photo-1424223022789-26fd8f34bba2This week we’ve been digging deep into Facebook Live Video. Earlier in the week I shared 10 benefits of building Facebook Live into your strategy and yesterday shared 12 different types of Facebook Live videos that you might like to create.

Today I want to get practical and give you some tips on how to create the best Facebook Live Videos you can.

These come my own experiences of creating live videos as well as what I’ve picked up from others. I’d love to hear your own tips on using the platform in comments below.

I should also say that most of these tips come from the outline of a Facebook Live Video that I did last week where I talked about this very topic. You can watch that video below (or keep scrolling to get a written version plus a few more tips that I’ve since come up with).

30 Practical Tips to Help You Create the Best Facebook Live Videos

1. The Basics of Creating Facebook Live Videos – You Find it On Your Phone

I didn’t include this in my initial list of tips but I had a few questions about the real basics of where you create these videos so… if you want to do a Facebook Live video you need to do it from the Facebook App on your phone.

Alternatively if you use Facebook’s Pages App to update your page or if you’re a verified Facebook Page you can do it from the Facebook Mentions App (note: if you are verified you should use Facebook Mentions, I’ve heard it gives you even more reach than other FB apps).

The following screenshots were from iOS’s ‘Pages’ app.

Whatever app you use – look for the ‘Publish’ icon (the one you would hit for making any update to your page from your app).

IMG 8818

On the next screen look for the Live Video icon (a little person icon with halo like circles around their head). Click this.

IMG 8815

On the next page you can enter a description for your video (tips on this below). It’ll also tell you when your internet connection is strong enough for you to go live. If you have a good connection the button will turn blue and you can hit ‘go live’. It’ll count down from 3 to 0 (quickly fix your hair…. 3 seconds is more than enough for me) and you’ll be live!

IMG 8816

2. Prepare an Outline or Plan for Your Video

OK – lets take a step back from going live and ponder a really important question. What are you going to do on your video?

I remember my first live video experience with Periscope. I hit the button that set the whole thing live by accident and then suddenly found myself LIVE with 4 people watching and no idea what I should talk about.

I bumbled through it but it quickly taught me that you should always have some kind of plan for the video you’re going to make.

Depending upon the type of video you make (see yesterday’s post for some of the options) this will mean different things but for me when I’m doing a teaching presentation I usually preprepared a bullet point list of the points I want to make.

I also make note of any Calls to Action I want to make, things I need to promote, links that I might share and questions I’m going to ask people to answer.

A couple of other things you might want to ponder before you go live:

  • what do you want your audience to DO (having a call to action is important – we’ll talk more about this below)
  • what’s in it for your audience (a benefit for those watching will keep them watching and make them want to see your next video too)

3. Promote Your Live Video Before You Start

One of the big challenges with live video is getting enough people to watch it to make it an interactive experience and to make it worthwhile for you to put the work into preparing and doing it.

This is particularly a challenge if you don’t have a lot of followers on your Facebook page so I would highly recommend putting some effort into getting people to your live video by promoting it.

The way you do this will depend upon where you have a following already that you could leverage to get them to your Facebook page. It might include:

  • Emailing your list with a link to your Facebook Page
  • Promoting your page on Twitter
  • Putting up an Instagram update announcing you’re about to go live (a quick video might give people a taste of what you’ll do
  • Publishing a Facebook post telling people when you’ll be on

At the very least I tweet that I’m about to go live like this:

I suspect most of these approaches will be most effective if you do them shortly before you go live. People are not going to wait around too long for you. Alternatively if you develop a bit of a rhythm of doing video at the same time every day (or week) then you might help to build some expectation in your followers of when to show up.

You might want to also think about educating your followers about Facebook Live too – particularly if your audience isn’t very tech savvy.

For example telling them things like letting them know to click the video to make the sound happen, that they can leave a comment at any time and you’ll see it on your phone etc might help them feel more comfortable with the experience.

I’d also promote ahead of time what you’ll be doing on the video and how it’ll benefit them to show up.

4. Time Your Live Video for Peak Participation

I’ve experimented with a variety of times for doing Facebook Live Videos and have found that while I’ve got enough followers to be able to get a decent audience at most times of the day that there are certain times that seem to work better than others for me.

My audience is pretty global but there is a large segment of ProBlogger readers in the US – so obviously when the bulk of the US is awake is a good time for me. That’s a fairly large window though and being in Australia myself there is a lot of the US day when I’m asleep – so I’ve been experimenting with timing my videos for first thing in the morning US time (the end of the day for me) and evenings US time (my mornings).

Both of these times have worked well but the few times that I’ve tried it during US business hours I’ve had mixed results.

What I would suggest is using Facebook Page Insights to identify the peak times when your page followers are online and see how you go with doing videos at those times.

So for my audience at ProBlogger Facebook Insights gives me this data on when my audience is on Facebook (to find this go to your ‘Insights’ and then the ‘Posts’ section.

Screen Shot 2016 05 12 at 12 35 20 PM

These are Australian times so as you see the peak is pretty late for me so I try to time mine for late evenings to capitalise on the rise at about 10-11pm my time (and it also means that the replay is fresh during the peak) and then if I hit it around 9am my time I get the tail end of the peak time.

Those of you lucky enough to be living in the zone of your audience – I envy you! 🙂

5. Try a Broadcast into a Group

I’m yet to try broadcasting into my Facebook group but I think it’d definitely be a worthwhile thing to do if you own one and want to really deepen the connection you have with that group.

I’ve seen a number of group owners do daily videos to teach members of their groups, to run challenges with their groups and as part of mastermind experiences.

The main challenge of course is that most groups have smaller memberships which is great for intimacy but you’d really want to work hard to promote what time the video would happen to try to get as many members to it as possible.

While we’re talking about ‘groups’ – you can actually broadcast a live video onto a page that you own AND a group that you own. In fact you can have it going live onto multiple pages and groups.

The way to do this is to set up your broadcast on your Facebook Page and then once its live get your page up on another device and hit the ‘share’ link and then you can share it to your profile, a page you have admin rights for or a group.

facebook live video share to page or group

6. Make Sure Your Wifi connection is Strong

Facebook won’t let you go live until it determines that you have a strong connection which is great – but if you have an internet connection that gets flakey at times you’ll want to try to get the strongest signal that you can because you don’t want to drop mid video.

So find a place where you’re near your wifi unit if you can!

If your connection begins to waver you sometimes get a warning mid video that you’re in danger of dropping out – this can give you a little time to move where you’re at so watch to see if you get an alert.

4G has also worked well for me when I’m somewhere on location – however again this can get flakey so test your signal strength before hand if you can and be aware that you’ll chew through a lot of data if you do a long video.

7. Choose a Compelling Video Description

As you’ll see in the screenshots above, before you go live you are asked to give a description of the video. This is really important as people will make a decision on whether to watch based upon it. It’s the equivalent of the headline/title of your blog posts.

You can change this description later after the video has finished to make it more appropriate for those watching the replay so tailor it to attract live viewers.

I often make my description incorporate the word LIVE for this reason and then try to find a benefit for viewers to draw them into watching.

8. It takes time for your Audience to Build

Once you go live a little icon with the number of people watching will come up at the top of your phone’s screen.

Don’t be discouraged if there are only a few people (if any) watching in your first few minutes as it takes time for your audience to find your video.

You can speed this up by promoting it (as mentioned above) but other than that the only people who will find your live video will be those who happen to be on Facebook at that very moment scrolling through their newsfeed.

This means that the longer you’re on the more people will see your video in their feed.

I find that my audience usually takes at least 10 minutes to get to it’s peak and sometimes it can be as long as 20 minutes.

This means you might be talking to yourself a little for the first few minutes which can feel awkward. I’ve seen many people give up on their video in the first couple of minutes for this reason.

As a result I think it can be worth coming to the video with something that you could talk about for those first few minutes before you begin what it is that you want to get into.

Perhaps tell a personal story, share what you’re going to talk about, show where you are, give a behind the scenes insight etc. You don’t want this to go too long but it’ll give a few people a chance to join.

Also in the first few minutes as you see people joining you should reach out and ask them to say hi to you. Ask people to share where they are in the world or something else that is relevant to your topic. For example I often start ProBlogger videos with an invitation to share your blog’s link.

9. Aim for 20 minutes or More

While we’re talking about how long it takes people to join lets touch on the length of Facebook Live videos.

Recently at Social Media Marketing World I talked to many people who had been experimenting with FB Live and I asked many of them how long their videos went for.

The common consensus was that people liked to go for at least 20 minutes. The main reason given was that it took time to get people watching (as I just spoke about) but also that the longer your video goes on the more interaction you get.

It will vary a lot depending upon the type of video that you do but my own experience echoes this advice and my plan is always to go for at least 20 minutes.

I’ve gone a lot longer though on my ‘Ask Me Anything’ videos and have peaked at 90 minutes (the limit for a single session) which was really well received. Going this long gave me a chance to answer a lot of questions and quite a few of my viewers said that they really enjoyed ‘hanging out’ in that way.

I’ve seen a number of people do very short videos which might work for giving people a quick look at what you’re doing or where you’re are – but I suspect these wouldn’t get a lot of people watching live (it might be better for those watching the replay though I guess).

I’m sure studies will be done at some point about optimal length of Facebook Live Videos but for now I’d try mixing things up!

10. Interact with Your Live Viewers

One of the beautiful things about Facebook Live and other live streaming services is that it opens up the potential of a more conversational experience with your audience.

To be able to ask viewers questions and get their immediate feedback is great. To be able to take questions and serve specific needs of viewers is likewise a really fantastic thing. I often come away from Live Videos feeling like I know my readers a lot better and feeling as though they saw a glimpse of who I really am too.

Of course this only happens when you take the lead and are engaging with your viewers rather than just talking at them.

I think it’s really important to signal right from the beginning of your live video (and through to the end) that you want to engage.

    • Greet people who comment by name.
    • Ask your readers where they’re watching from.
    • Be ready to share a little of who you are, what your life is like etc
    • Come ready with some questions to ask your viewers (on topic and off topic).
    • Signal that you’re ready to answer any questions that viewers have.
    • Reward good commenting and encourage readers to share their own answers to other people’s questions.
    • Ask readers to share examples to things you’re talking about.

You might even like to offer a prize for the best commenter.

It’s ok to have periods of your video where you’re more interactive than others (I’ll describe how I do this in the next point) but at least at the beginning, middle and end try to build in some form of interaction and engagement.

Any engagement you get (comments, likes, shares) helps increase your reach so the more interaction you get from those live viewers the better!

11. Remember the Replay Viewers

Last week I did a Facebook Live Video that was watched (at least in part) by 1300 viewers according to the stats I got at the end of my broadcast.

In the following 3 days it had a further 1300 viewers.

So remember that while we’re focusing a lot in these tips about looking after and interacting with the live viewers and creating a great live experience – those who watch after the Live broadcast is over could exceed those who watch live.

As a result you need to create something that is as useful to them and which draws them into the experience as much as possible too.

One of the things I’ve been doing in my Live Videos lately is spend the first 20 or so seconds of the video paying attention to those watching the replay. The reality is that most of the live viewers miss that part anyway as it takes them a minute or so to join and so it gives you an opportunity to acknowledge, welcome and tell the replay viewers what to expect.

I sometimes mention that I love that they’re watching the replay of this live video and that I will spend a couple of minutes greeting those who are joining live and then will get into exploring the topic. Sometimes I even encourage them to skip to the 3rd minute where I should be into my talk.

You can see that this is what I did at the start of this live broadcast that I did in the last week:

I guess it’s also worth keeping your replay viewers in mind during your video too. There’s a real art to getting the balance between interacting with live viewers and not annoying replay viewers and I’m not sure I’ve ever really perfected it – but what I do try to do is to give chunks of time in my videos to different purposes so as to serve both audiences.

So after my short intro to replay viewers I will then spend a couple of minutes greeting live viewers as they come (as outlined in the point above) and then if my video is a ‘teaching’ video I tend to get into that mode which focuses more on delivering content and doesn’t have as much interaction.

I usually tell people that I’m going to teach/talk for 10-15 minutes and encourage people to ask questions at any point – but say that I’ll come back to answer all the questions at the end of the teaching. In this way those watching the replay get the bulk of the teaching up front and then can end the video if they don’t want to watch the Q&A.

I find that if I teach and take a question/interact, teach and then take a question/interact sporadically that the interactions can take over and take me off track – which I think I’d find a bit annoying as a replay viewer.

12. Be Aware of ‘Lag’

While we’ve been touching on interaction – it’s worth noting that one of the things I don’t like about Facebook Live as compared to Periscope is that there is currently a real lag between what you’re saying and what your viewers are hearing.

I sometimes have my Facebook page open (on silent) in the background while I’m presenting so that I can add in links to the comments etc and it’s not uncommon to see a minute between when I say or do something and when I see it on my page.

This is particularly worth noting while you’re interacting with those watching.

If you ask a question and nobody responds, it’s probably due to the lag. So you might want to be willing to answer your own question or talk about something else while you’re waiting for the interaction.

Similarly if you’re winding things up and saying goodbye – you might like to wait a moment or two to for others to say their goodbyes or ask last questions before you go.

14. Ask for the Share

In the first few minutes of your video it can be well worthwhile to ask those watching to share your video. This helps you get more reach and hopefully a few more live viewers.

You might need to ‘teach’ your viewers how to do this but it’s pretty simple – they simply hit the share link under your video and then can share it to their personal profile, a page or even a group that they own.

I usually ask for the share with a simple call to action like this:

“If you think this topic will be interesting to your network please share it with them. I’ll do my best to make it as useful as possible so they thank you for it.”

I don’t find the ‘sharing’ of videos is happening as much as it does on Periscope yet but hopefully this changes in time.

15. Be Yourself

Facebook Live Video is not about being perfect (although in the last few weeks I have noticed production quality of some using it really increase). Rather, it’s about being yourself.

Those watching your video will respond warmly to you if you’re warm, real and relatable.

My sessions that have had the best feedback have been me sitting on my couch at the end of the day talking like I’d talk to a friend.

These videos at time went a little ‘off topic’, showed my personality, etc.

So while I’m about to give you a few tips on how to produce a better video keep in mind that what people really love is the chance to have a personal connection with you!

16. Create Something with Visual Appeal

Most people’s Facebook Lives at the moment are them sitting in front of a computer talking. This is getting attention at the moment because the medium is still relatively new – but in time it’ll be videos with some kind of visual appeal that will cut through more and more.

Remember the way people end up watching your video is that they’ll see it as they scroll through their Facebook news feed and that the sound will be off until they click the video.

So anything that has some visual appeal, grabs their attention and generates some curiosity will help to get more actual views.

The other aspect of visual appeal is that it has the potential to keep people on your videos longer.

There are numerous things that you could try with this and I’m seeing a lot of people experiment right now but a few things you could try include.

1. creating a ‘set’/thinking about backgrounds

This need not be anything too fancy (although I’ve seen a few people build custom sets for their videos).

Even a bright colour wall behind you that stands out as people scroll through their feed might help.

Other live video creators use Green Screens or get backdrops made.

I sat in front of a piece of art in our kitchen recently and was amazed how many people commented on it.

Facebook live background
As I showed in yesterdays post we’re seeing people like Michael Hyatt add a monitor into the background of videos. This allows you to either show slides or to simply display call to action URLs, your Twitter URL or even your logo for branding.

2. Flip Between Cameras

Another way to create a little visual interest is to utilise the fact that your phone has two cameras and can be moved around.

If you’re in an interesting location – flip your camera around and show where you are.

Alternatively get up and move around a little to change where you’re sitting mid video – simply to mix things up a little.

17. Multiple Cameras/Screen Sharing/Titles/Transitions etc

This one is for those of you wanting to get a bit more serious in your live video and it will take investing some time and maybe even money – but there are ways to take your live videos to a whole new production level!

wirecast

I’ve just gotten access to Telestream’s Wirecast product (disclaimer: I was gifted it last night) which allows you to produce live video and really do some amazing things. It’s a high level product that can be used for professional applications but it is also something I’ve seen numerous small businesses use too – and it now also works with Facebook Live.

Some of the things you can do include:

  • Live switching between cameras – you can set up web cameras, iOS devices and even other pro level cameras using capture cards and switch between them
  • Adding Titles to your feed (put your name/link/Twitter id etc on the screen as you broadcast
  • Add Transitions when you’re switching between views
  • Screen sharing (show your desktop, show slides etc)
  • Picture-In-Picture (so you could share slides and put live video of you in the corner
  • Mix Audio (add in some music while you’re talking for example)
  • Twitter feeds – Add Twitter messages directly to your broadcast
  • Playlists – queue up videos, images, audio etc ready to play during your show (you could run little commercials, show videos that illustrate what you’re talking about etc mid video)

The mind boggles at the kinds of things you could do with Wirecast! It’s certainly an investment (it costs $500 USD) but if you’re going to put serious effort into Facebook live then it could be worth considering.

Here’s a replay of a live video that the team behind Wirecast did that shows you the quality of what it can do (it also has some good tips for using it):

Another option to investigate in terms of tools that can do some of the above is OBS Project. I’m yet to test it but saw Cliff Ravenscraft testing it in the last few days in the following video in his new studio setup. It’s completely free (although depending what cameras you want to use you might need to invest a little there).

I’m told OBS may not be as powerful or feature rich as Wirecast and might need a little more tech know how to set up – but it looks like one to check out – you can’t beat the price!

It’s worth noting that tools like Wirecast and OBS have only in the last month been able to be used for Facebook Live since Facebook opened up their API.

I suspect we’ll see a lot more services like these in the coming months. It’s an exciting time!

18. Think Lighting

One of the best things you can do to increase the quality of your videos is to make sure you’re in good light.

We’re seeing some live video producers invest in lighting setups (like Cliff in the above video) but even just setting up near a window and making sure the lights are on in the room you’re working in will help.

I invested in some LED lights like these last year and use them to add some more light to some of my videos.

led lights facebook live video

You can join them into one big light or use them as four smaller ones around your room.

Light really will lift the quality of your videos (whether they are live videos or not).

Note: if you wear glasses lights can cause reflections that can stop people seeing your eyes. This can be distracting for viewers and interrupt the connection you have with them.

Consider getting yourself some lenses in your glasses that are non-reflective to cut reflections down.

19. Think Audio

How you look is obviously important – but how you sound also makes a big difference.

At the very least think about getting away from background noise and find a quiet spot to film.

But if you have a little money to invest – consider buying a microphone to increase the quality of what you’re doing.

One of the most popular miss for those using their phone for video is the Rode SmartLav mic.

rode smart lav

It’s what I use in most of my live videos. It’s not the cheapest option but is very good.

There are plenty of other options for Lav Mics that plug in to your smart phone that are cheaper though – so don’t feel you need to go straight for the top of the field.

Another good option for smartphone use is this directional mic from Rode which I see many people using.

51WQrFSEZzL._SL1000_

The benefit of this is that it means you’re not weathered to your phone.

Of course if you’re going to invest in one of the tools like Wirecast or OBS Project you can use all kinds of higher end mics (the sky is the limit) but as I say above – finding a quiet spot and making sure your smartphones inbuilt mic isn’t obstructed can get you decent results.

20. Consider a Tripod

While we’re talking about gear – another good investment if you’re going to do regular Facebook Live Videos is some kind of mount or tripod.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly if you’re going to do videos that go beyond 20 minutes even a phone can feel heavy!

Secondly there’s nothing more annoying for your viewers than a camera that is constantly moving, shaking and jerking around. A nice steady camera view helps a lot.

There are many options here ranging from proping your phone up on whatever you can find on your desk to keep it steady (I used a coffee cup for several months) through to picking up a relatively cheap smartphone tripod through to investing into something more custom built for live streaming like this desktop stand for an iPad (for your notes) and a phone.

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There are many such products on the market for live streamers!

21. Smart Phone Lenses

One last gear suggestion – particularly for those going out on location who want to show different environments – is a lens attachment for your smart phone like the 4-in-1 Ollo Clip.

41NRSF2RNYL

I particularly like being able to use the wide angle lens that allows you to show a wider angle view of a scene that you’re showing off.

This would be particularly useful if you’re a travel blogger wanting to do Live videos from on location of spectacular locations. Similarly if you’re wanting to shoot from an event or want to get numerous people into your shot in a tight location.

22. Consider Those Around You

If you’re broadcasting in public – consider those around you.

I’ve seen a number of live videos in the last few weeks where people were at events and while live they bowled up to people and put the on the spot for an interview.

This could work out well but it could also put people who don’t want to be on camera under pressure.

I’d personally ask people’s permission before going live before featuring them in a video.

If you’re broadcasting from home where there might be family about it might also be worth talking with your family about how and when you’ll use live video.

At our home I tend to only do live video when my kids are not home. I don’t want screaming kids (or parents) in the background – partly because I don’t want my viewers to have to experience that but also because I don’t think it’s fair on my family to have to tiptoe around our home in case I might be live.

There are also privacy and security issues that you’ll probably want to discuss with family in terms of whether you want your family featured and whether you might film in locations that identify where you’re living.

23. Calls to Action

As with all your content – consider calling people to action. If your video is long you could ask people to do a few things during your video but it’s worth thinking ahead before you go live as to what the number one thing you want people to do will be.

If you know you’ll be calling people to do something have links handy and ready to share. If the link is long consider using a link shortener to make it easier to communication.

If I’m sharing a link I will generally say the link but also add it to the comments of my video as I’m saying it (this means you’ll need to have your page/group open on another device to be able to leave a comment).

24. Call People to Follow Your Page

One call to action that is worth doing is to call people to follow your page. I often do this at the end of a video.

The reason for this is that often live videos get a wider reach number than the amount of people who actually follow your page. This is because Facebook seem to be really promoting live videos (in places like their Live Video Map) but also because people will share your video.

As a result you could be talking to people who don’t already like your page. So say something like ‘If you liked this video follow my page to get notified when I do another one’.

25. Get some Help With Moderation

A number of times while I’ve been doing important live videos I’ve arranged to have one of my team members live on the video to help me out.

This has usually been Laney (who manages ProBlogger) and she will watch the video and the comments coming.

She will answer questions that people have, find links to posts or podcast episodes that I might mention or add links to calls to action that I might make.

She also feeds me questions that I might have missed.

I’ve not had any issues with trolls on Facebook Live (which is pretty remarkable as it happens a lot on Periscope) but having someone there with admin rights on your page could be useful for this too.

26. Check Out Your Video’s Stats

At the end of the your broadcast a little chart comes up on your smart phone that shows you how many people watched live, how many commented, how many liked and how many shares you had. It also also shows you when the peaks and troughs of the viewer numbers were during your video.

Pay attention to this and learn from it for next time.

Facebook live video stats

There’s also an option to save the video to camera roll (this could then be uploaded to Youtube or saved for use at another time and place). There’s also the opportunity to upload to Facebook a higher quality video (it takes time and you would want to be on wifi).

27. After You Finish – Edit Your Video

A few minutes after your broadcast finishes you can also edit your video.

To do this on desktop look at your video on your page and click the little arrow to the top right of your video and look for the ‘Edit Post’ option.

Edit facebook live video

This then opens up the option to add a title to your video, edit the description, to select a thumbnail, to select a CTA button, add a url and select tags for the video. You can also add captions if you want to and have the option to block embeds of the video if you don’t want people to share your video that way.

This allows you to optimise your video for replay views and is well worth doing.

28. Consider Boosting Your Video

If you’re happy with the broadcast and think it warrants it you might like to consider boosting your video.

This will help you get it in front of more people and is particularly worth doing if your video has a call to action that helps to build your business.

29. Embed Your Video into a Blog Post

If your video is of a nature that might help your blog readers – why not embed it into a blog post?

You’ve gone to the effort of creating the video so embedding it is a really simple way to repurpose it. It will also increase the number of people who see your video which should help your reach numbers and might have flow on effects into helping you get more attention in Facebook’s algorhythm.

I would generally add some content around the video in your blog post so there’s something there for people who prefer to read.

This might also be a good opportunity to call your blog post readers to follow you on Facebook for more live video interactions.

30. Be Useful and Have Fun!

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post (and I’m sure we could go on further). I’m really aware that while I’ve tried to create a list of tips here that help you create great live videos that it might also have made it feel overwhelming.

If that’s how you feel – please don’t let it stop you experimenting. The main tip that I want to emphasise is that people respond best to people who create useful content that shows who they really are.

So be yourself, show your personality and have fun!

What Tips Would You Add?

I’d love to hear from you on the topic of Facebook Live today.

Have you given it a go? Have you watched others who have experimented with it? If so – what tips would you add?

Note: this post includes a few affiliate links (to Amazon) which enables us to make small commissions when you make a purchase. This is one of the ways I make money blogging and helps us to keep the vast majority of what we do here on ProBlogger free.

The post 30 Practical Tips for Producing Great Facebook Live Videos appeared first on ProBlogger.

       

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