6 Powerful Reasons Why you Should include Images in your Marketing

Uberblogger Jeff Bullas writes:

If you have an online store, issue press releases or even just have a Facebook business “page”, then here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views
  • Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
  • In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
  • In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
  • Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)

via 6 Powerful Reasons Why you Should include Images in your Marketing – Infographic.

Here are a couple of free tools I use to create more visually interesting content for my blog:

and here is a list of 14 more from Buffer…

Inbox tabs in Gmail…

Inbox Tabs in Gmail are a valuable tool for making sure you handle your most important email first. Watch this video and see not only how it works at the desktop level but also on iOS and Android as well…

If you like that, follow it up with my favorite 7+ Gmail features…

Feedly; processing and publishing content on the go…

 

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First off, this series is going to be a little like Star Wars in that I’m starting the story kind of in the middle. I was most inspired to start my new set of mobile screen casts focusing on Feedly which to me may be the single most important tool in the content marketers toolbox.

First a little bit of review. I said earlier other places that if you want to be a thought leader on the Internet you have to be able to manage all of your personal information well. By this I mean you’ll never be a big dog out on the Internet if you can’t get off the porch of your inbox. In other posts I’ve talked about how the single most important thought for me is to get newsletters and other just in case information out of my inbox into a feed reader. Feedly is the only feed reader that meets my five criteria for recommended application. I’ve included that list again here:

Slide4

In his classic book Getting Things Done David Allen recommends that we use exactly as many containers as we need and not a single one more. Feedly is the container that I use and recommend both for processing and producing content to drive my content marketing campaigns. In the video below I’ll take you through the process of configuring Feedly for mobile use and take you through the processing, producing, and postproduction phases of using Feedly define the content you need to feed YOUR content marketing campaigns.

Where would you like me to go with this? What topics did I miss? Please let me know in the comments below…

Looking ahead to 2014!

English: Google Plus logo

Looking ahead to 2014!? Is it too early to think about that already? Not if you’re a content marketer! I mean think about it — most of your competition will spend the month of December partying like the Grasshopper in the classic fable. It’s time to think now about being more intentional with your search engine marketing and social media and decide if you’ll be an Ant or a Grasshopper…

Looking ahead to 2014 I think the content marketing world will fall into two categories; those who are dominating search through effective use of Google Plus and those who are scratching their heads. In which category would you like to be? Don’t get me wrong! All of the basics still apply but now is a great time to review what you’re currently doing and thinking about adding Google Plus to the mix. Here are some thoughts I have on the subject:

Here’s the link to the Traphagan article — and sorry, it was Search Engine Land. By the way, I may turn this into a series depending on the feedback I receive so let me know what you think in the comments!

How to harvest content in the age of ‘trusted relationships’…

Michael Moon – author of the book Firebrands – hypothesized prophetically and correctly 15 years ago when he stated that we had moved beyond the information age to the age of trusted relationships. I always found this curious because we had just entered the era of the personal internet – surely THIS was the information age! What was Moon thinking?

Just a few years later, however, Eric Schmidt of Google stated:

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.

Let me repeat that: we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.

“The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.

So apparently Moon really nailed it when he said that we would need to rely on trust networks in order to manage all the information we need to do our jobs; networks of trusted sites, searches and sources that would wade through all these exabytes with surgical precision and deliver the goods we need to do nourish our expertise.

Recently, author Nilofer Merchant added a new aspect to the ‘trust network’ discussion in her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era [affiliate link] when she pointed out that another aspect of work in the #socialera – work is now freed from jobs:

“This means that human resources change when most of the people who create value are neither hired nor paid by you. And competition has changed so that any company can achieve the benefits of scale through a network of resources”.

Merchant, Nilofer (2012-09-12). 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era (Kindle Locations 665-676). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

As Schmidt says the real issue is user-generated content. People all over the internet are posting, pinning and tweeting up a storm! We can leverage all this activity for our own thought leadership if we simply track the sites, searches and sources that publish in our brand space and then leverage that content to provide social proof of our own thought leadership…

I’ll try to explain it better here:

Here’s a growing list of tools that help me track the sites, searches and sources I need to nourish my thinking:

[listly id=”6P9″ layout=”full”]

 

This list will have a permanent home on the site here. Questions? Feedback? Specifically, do you have a cool tool that I missed?

Tips for getting content into WordPress; Posting via Email

Here are some thoughts on the most basic kind of blogging — posting via email:

You can find the page I refer to in the video here.

Rock your website with RebelMouse!

Want to capture all the content you share both as content and Search Engine Optimization [SEO]? You want to add RebelMouse to your site…

Continue reading “Rock your website with RebelMouse!”

67 Social Media Tools I recommend…

No, I don’t use all of them [my list is here and the ones that I have automated are in color in the image below] — but I know they work with ifttt.com and I believe that automation is a big part of any efficient social media work flow. When you use a tool like ifttt.com, their engineers will keep track of all the connections for you and will even alert you via email if one of your recipes break! This product is so good, that I hope they offer an opportunity to pay for it soon…

As always, I recommend that you use exactly as many tools as you need and not a single one more…

7-16-2013 9-38-12 AM

Not familiar with ifttt.com? Watch this cute girl talk it up:

As you can see, she really likes it! :-D

Here’s more of a how to:

How to Cope with the Death of Google Reader

Sonia Simone at CopyBlogger has a post worth your attention on the death of Google Reader:

You know the stages.

First, denial. “No way, dude, that’s got to be a rumor.”

Then anger. “Don’t Be Evil my $%&! How could they do this to me?”

Bargaining. “Could a new version of Google Reader really save Digg?”

Depression. “I can haz no more LOLz.”

And finally, we come to acceptance. Yes, it’s true. Google Reader really is going away on July 1. So if you haven’t rustled up an alternative yet, it’s time.

If you’re a Google Reader user, obviously you need a new tool to read your subscriptions. We have a few thoughts for you on that.

But if you’re a content publisher, you’ll also need to make sure that your audience has a way to continue tuning in for everything you do.

Feel free to point your audience to this post, or you may want to craft a message of your own with more individualized suggestions for your audience’s needs. But be sure you send out a clear, specific call to action and keep those subscribers on board — no one wants to lose a big chunk of their audience just because a tool goes away.

via How to Cope with the Death of Google Reader | Copyblogger.

Frankly, I went through all these stages a month or so ago and happily shifted my attention to feedly which I had used as an alternative to Google Reader since 2009. I’m happy to say that the folks at feedly have really shone in stepping up as the only logical choice to replace Google Reader…

  • It syncs flawlessly in the cloud
  • You can automate it with ifttt.com now
  • It has better features and is more eye appealing than Google Reader

Take a look;

So, Google Reader — good riddance! feedly rocks…

PS I do NOT agree with Simone that email is a replacement for Google Reader! Email should be preserved for ‘just in time’ information; send the just in case stuff to feedly!

Thinking about thinking about transformational thought leadership…

The title is not a typo. Watch the first video and you’ll know what I mean!

Some thoughts on searching for the ‘middle way’ and attempting to apply it to transformational thought leadership. Some very rough thinking along the perilous path of ‘becoming known’…

5/10/2013; apparently I blew the first video. I’ve been informed that there’s no sound but I won’t be able to redo it until Monday. Enjoy the rest of the post…

Here’s the version WITH audio;

http://storify.com/livingbusiness/the-middle-way

 

In order to be found in the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’, there are two main activities you need to master; FINDING and SHARING great content. Another way of putting it is…

  • Deepening your expertise
  • Documenting your expertise

Here’s how I do it [By the way,  there is a Mac version at about 17:00 but you need to understand the principles in the Windows version. Sorry, Mac boys and girls!]:

Here is the mindmap of my screencast:

Here are the direct links to the tools I use in the screencast:

http://storify.com/e1evation/my-most-important-curation-tools

By the way,  this post and this post might also give you some insight as to how I apply Getting Things Done [GTD] principles to this process. Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

content strategy, Men's Health Magazine

Some good thoughts from the Content Marketing Institute for bloggers that getting serious about blogging ‘on purpose’…

If one thing is certain in life it’s that very few ideas are genuinely groundbreaking, never-seen-before moments of genius. The reality is that almost everything that we do now is either a reinvention of the wheel or a plain-and-simple rehashing of something that has come before.

Some might say these ideas are lame concepts created for and by people too lazy to come up with something of their own. If you believe that, then you’re missing out on a lifetime of learning. Put simply, ideas are very rarely about the concepts themselves but more about the execution. It’s in the execution that brilliance lies.

I use reverse engineering a lot, and when it comes to content strategy, there are few better ways of using this little trick than by “borrowing” content flow and content strategy from the guys and girls who know it best.

Magazine planning has been perfected over decades of iteration, and the very best print-based titles leave a footprint that offers the ultimate blueprint from which you can create your perfect content strategy online.

Source: Reverse Engineer Content Strategy | Content Marketing Institute

For years I said I don’t need no stinkin’ editorial calendar but my results got better when I started thinking like a publisher. This article will help you understand how so go to the source and drink it in…

Buffer rocks! Here are a few reasons why…

A few weeks ago, I did an epic post on ‘supercuration’ tools — here it is, just in case you’ve misplaced it. Tops on my list of those tools is Buffer, a great freemium app that takes much of the pain out of curation and sharing. Here’s my take on it and why I think it belongs in YOUR social media workflow…

Questions? Feedback? Here’s a link where you can get started

I just concluded my ‘lunch and learn’ series on information and content management at The Docking Station in Green Bay, WI today. The first two classes were shot via video camera and unfortunately you can’t see the screen but you can hear the narrative. The last class was captured using a Google+ hangout and I’ll be using that from now on. Questions? Feedback?

This is [almost] everything I think I know about the topic with a couple of bonus videos thrown in at the beginning…

“Information, if viewed from the point of view of food, is never a production issue. … It’s a consumption issue, and we have to start thinking about how we create diets and exercise,” said JP Rangaswami in his TEDx presentation.

For a man who currently has 38,000 books in his collection and lives in Calcutta, India where they are known for their rich, savory and sweet Southern Indian cuisine, his is a theory that could very well make sense!

Since most of us consume food according to a certain diet, minimize our surrender to sinful indulgences, measure our nutrition intake to make sure we have enough of everything; it’s possible that we’ve been doing the exact same thing all along with our consumption of data – or perhaps we should. As Plato the philosopher once said, “Knowledge is the food of the soul”.

“When I saw Supersize Me, I started thinking, now what would happen if an individual had 31 days of nonstop Fox News?” joked JP Rangaswami.

What do you think? If you saw information the way you see food, what would you do to digest the knowledge differently – nibble, bite, scoff or binge?” via How To Eat Information | FinerMinds.

Long before I saw this TEDx talk on eating information, my thinking on the topic was galvanized by Clay Johnson’s book The Information Diet which I highly recommend if you are intrigued by JP Rangaswami’s thoughts and are looking for more on the topic…

Me? I ‘eat’ information via Gmail, Google Reader and Gist and then share the best of it here and at business.toddlohenry.com, Twitter, Twylah, etc. Johnson’s book and Rangaswami’s statement about “Information overload or ‘filter failure’?” address the heart of the matter — just because I can track almost anything or anyone in Google Reader or Gist doesn’t mean I should in the same way that I shouldn’t eat everything I find at the Piggly Wiggly and I certainly shouldn’t eat it all at the same time! As the Apostle Paul said “All things are possible but not all things are beneficial” — tools without forethought result in poor tactics. Johnson and Rangaswami’s thoughts can help us ‘eat’ information on purpose instead of by accident…

If you want to ‘eat’ better, I suggest you need better thoughts, tools and tactics. One way to do that might be to read my free ebook on ‘personal news aggregation’. Register at http://elevation.company/pna/

Some people like to make things overly complicated. Me? Sometimes I like to grossly oversimplify things and take them back to the basics. Example? ‘Thought leadership’ marketing. To my mind, if you want to be a thought leader there are only two things you need to do well:

  • Deepen your expertise through a continuous learning program
  • Document your expertise through blogging and social networks

Everything else is just details…

When it comes to effective business development, or marketing and sales again, I think there are only two activities you need to master:

  • Generating leads
  • Managing leads

Again, everything else is just details…

Whether you are a freelancer or running a large enterprise I believe there are 7 databases you must manage effectively to succeed. They are:

That’s all there is to it! If you can effectively manage these 7 databases you can go from reacting to your market to dominating your market.

Questions? Feedback? I’d be happy to expand/expound on any of these topics…

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Here’s a mindmap and a screencast about my top 3 Twitter tools and the way I use them…

Now, here’s how they all fit together!

My top Twitter screencasts playlist:

Questions? Feedback? btw, here’s a little riff on how to use playlists in case you’re not familiar:

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I talk frequently about curation and what a valuable tool it is. I teach my students and clients that the time to curate content like this is when you find the paragraphs you WISH you’d written and you can add value to the curated content in the process. Jeff Goins is one of the most influential writers in social media and he recently shared this:

The privilege of leadership used to belong to a select few. The social elite. The especially charismatic. The unbelievably successful.

You used to have to be the head of your own organization. Or carry a prestigious title. Influence was earned slowly over time. And few had access to it.

But now, that’s all changed.

Photo credit: Jorge Franganillo (Creative Commons)

In the age of ideas when the exchange of information is as easy as a click of the button, anyone can be a leader. In the traditional sense, leadership is dead, and influence has replaced it.

So what do you — someone who wants to lead — do?

Become a thought leader

There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!
—Cosmo, Sneakers

Start a blog. Launch a podcast. Begin recording videos of yourself and posting them on YouTube. Share your ideas with the world, and see which ones spread. This is what you need to do to see your influence grow.

In the age of the iPod, when we have instant access to gigabytes of teaching for free, the person with the best data (not the most) wins.

We don’t need more information. We need better information. We need compelling reasons to believe in a cause worth following. And those sharing them will be the leaders of tomorrow.

So where do you begin?

How about with collecting information? With becoming a learner (again)?

As they say, “leaders are readers.” But leaders are also conversationalists and event attendees.

They take people out to coffee and make friends at a party. Introvert or extrovert, they put themselves out there.

And if you want to lead, you will have to do the same.

An opportunity to lead (and learn)

Be honest. You don’t need more information. You need better discernment. I recently heard Alli Worthington share the following:

I hate it when people say they don’t know how to do something… Have you heard of Google?!

We all know this. Still, we struggle with knowing what information to believe or follow. So many choices, so little results. We just get paralyzed.

We need a process to curate. To figure out what works for us and what doesn’t. This is why I love organizations who demonstrate excellence of thought leadership not only through their example, but also through organized efforts to bring ideas and leaders together.

Source: How to Be a Leader in an Age of Information Overload | Goins, Writer

Me? I think Michael Moon of Gistics nailed it in his epic book Firebrands back in 1996. Moon hypothesized that we have now entered into a “5th Era” of man; the era of ‘trust networks’…

FifthEra.1.1

The potential that Jeff Goins describes is to use the “good, fast, and cheap” publishing tools available to us to become a ‘thought leader’ who heads up a trust network. If you’re intrigued by Jeff’s ideas but have no clue as to where to start comment below or use the ‘connect’ form; I offer the tools and the tactics – a ‘process for curation’ that can help you establish a thought leadership position through effective content management and content marketing…

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The first commandment of social media is ‘share, share, share’. A blog should be designed in such a way as to facilitate that sharing, both for the author AND the reader. Here are some practical tips on how I use sharing from my blog to drive traffic and engagement…

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I’m a huge fan of curation as a means of attracting attention to your thought leadership position. Here’s a great perspective from HubSpot on the value of curation done well…

Curated content, or content aggregated from various sources into one comprehensive resource (be it a blog post, an ebook, a presentation, etc.) can be a valuable part of any marketer’s content mix. That said, the process of actually curating it isn’t easy.

There’s a misconception among marketers that curated content is lazy and unoriginal, but we think it’s the complete opposite. It takes time and careful evaluation to create quality curated content, and the result is oftentimes a very valuable piece of content that helps people seeking information on a given topic to cut through the clutter on the web and save time. After all, what’s better than one awesome resource? How about 15 awesome resources? All accessible in one place! There’s a reason art galleries are so popular.

So how can you take advantage of the power of curated content? Here are our top 10 ideas for great curated content.

Source: 10 Great Ideas for Valuable Curated Content

Go to the source if you want the 10 great ideas. Here are some of my greatest posts and screencasts on the topic of how to do it…
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Some of my ‘greatest hits’ on the topic of curation for content marketing…

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Some of my ‘greatest hits’ on the topic of curation for content marketing…

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If you want to be a thought leader on the internet, there are only two things you need to do really well…

Assuming that you’re already an expert of some sort — and according to Seth Godin we are ALL experts at something — the two main things you need to do are:

  • Deepen your expertise. In other words, get smarter by effectively managing the content you need to become even more of an expert at what you do…
  • Document your expertise. Simply put, let people know you know what you know…

Deepening and documenting your expertise may actually facilitate thought leadership by using a few “good, fast, and cheap” tools to get you a share of voice which may get you a share of mind which ultimately could get you a share of market…

I expound here:

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