The Point

Archive for the ‘Social media/social media marketing’ Category

Feb

Content Amplification Strategies to Reach a Larger Audience

Amplify Content ebook offer

You’ve spoken. Loudly. Cleary. But your voice echoes off the wall. It’s not what you were hoping to hear.

You’re sure you had something of value to say. In fact, your recent masterpiece is the most helpful content you’ve ever put out. But it’s found no audience—or no audience has found it.

You, like so many other content marketers, especially those joining the content party in the 2000-and-teens years, are learning how hard it is to find an audience, to be heard, to get a response.

You need a content promotion plan

“Most people create content first, then think about content promotion as an afterthought. You’re much better off flipping this on its head – thinking of about who would help amplify your content and why. If you can’t answer this question first, don’t bother creating it.”

— Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream

Most marketers post content on their blog and then dispatch a few updates via their social media networks. If this strategy isn’t working for you (it works for very few), you need to do more.

(more…)

Feb

How to Move Readers to Share Stories [71.4]

Share storiesI spent some serious time messing with the headline above. It’s a good one, but I’ve done better. Keep reading and you’ll understand.

First, know this: I want a lot of people to read this blog post. Bloggers generally attach great value to the number of viewers a post earns. And a proven strategy for increasing the reach of your content is to inspire readers to share it via social media.

Also, I want you to know a version of this post was published by KISSmetrics, with a headline that earned a 75.

71.4? 75? What’s with the numbers? I’m talking about emotional value, which apparently is predictable. I shall explain.

Search engine rankings aren’t everything

Selecting the perfect keywords and optimizing your post to rank high on Google is an immensely powerful tactic for increasing your reach. It’s called SEO. (Here’s SEO, nutshellified.)

SEO is clearly one of the best ways to earn eyeballs. However, success with search doesn’t come easily and rarely comes fast. Should it happen, and your post garners a spot on the first page of a search, you’re likely to enjoy a steady stream of page views over a sustained period of time.

But today we’ll look at a different strategy.

The objective: write something to earn heaps of social media shares to deliver a sudden and pronounced spike in traffic.

The key is giving your post an emotional headline

While an 8-word headline of a 1300-word post represents less than 1% of the content, I’m 99% sure it will be the line that dictates the destiny of your post.

Whether appearing on a blog post, the subject line of an email, a Twitter update, or any of the zillion places your content may appear, your headline prompts three potential responses:

  1. Nothing. Your post is ignored.
  2. Click. Your post is presented.
  3. Share. Your post’s reach is magnified.

The combination of 2 and 3 is the goal and an opportunity to achieve a fourth potential response: your post gets read and its call to action is effective. This is called “conversion.”

Emotions drive actions. We need not do a deep dive on this. The principle’s understood by neuroscientists and marketers (nearly) universally. The subject I do want to dive into is writing emotional headlines to invoke a response from your readers.

Proof that emotional headlines drive social sharing

My friends at CoSchedule are all about helping content marketers blog smart and earn traffic via social media. They’re also insanely analytical. So they analyzed more than one million headlines in an effort to determine which are shared most and how such a thing might be predicted.

CoSchedule data

As you see, CoSchedule determined (in no uncertain terms) headlines with a higher emotional value get more shares on social media.

How to score your headline’s emotional value

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, emotional value can be measured. What can’t?. Advanced Marketing Institute created a tool: the emotional marketing value (EMV) headline analyzer.

EMV analyzer

You enter your headline, select a category, and submit. You get your score…

EMV analyer results

To demonstrate, I went to Topsy.com, a free tool that provides social analytics, and entered “Super Bowl.” Unsurprisingly, a story published on Huffington Post about a Super Bowl commercial currently ruled from a social shares perspective, having been tweeted 59.5K times over the past 24 hours.

I pasted the headline into the EMV headline analyzer and as you can see in the screenshot above, the headline was ultra-emotional: 66.67.

Copy on the results page explains:

For comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have50%-75% EMV words in headlines. A perfect score would be 100%, but that is rare unless your headline is less than five words.

Earning big share numbers with high EMV headlines

I used BuzzSumo.com, a tool featuring a search engine that finds the most shared content for any topic or domain, to validate the power of emotional headlines and show you some examples.

email marketing best practices

A recent post from the GetVero.com blog, 20 Tips for Dramatically Better Emails, by Jimmy Daly, is Vero’s most shared of the past six months. The headline gets a 50 EMV score and has earned close to 9K shares.

The EMV headline analyzer tool also reported this headline falls in an “intellectual” classification. Intellectual impact words are ideal for arousing curiosity. The analysis adds, the majority of words with emotional impact fall into this category, are the most used, and have the broadest appeal.

what not to post on social media

Among Hootsuite’s hottest stories of 2015 is What Not To Post on Social Media: 5 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Publish, a story by Olsy Sorokina. The headline gets a 53 EMV score and has quickly earned close to 2K shares.

The EMV headline analyzer tool classified the headline as “spiritual.” According to the Advanced Marketing Institute, spiritual impact words carry the strongest potential for influence and appeal to people at a deep emotional level.

perfect marketing plan

Everything You Need to Know for the Perfect Marketing Event (the headline differs slightly in the image they created), a story by Julie Neidlinger, on the CoSchedule blog gets a 55 EMV score. So far this year, the post is CoSchedule’s most shared.

And now back to the headline of this post

A few minutes ago, you learned I did a good amount of “messing” with the headline of this post. I wasn’t about to settle for a low score. I’ll show you what happened.

First, I tested the working headline I chose when the idea for this post began to gel. EMV scores follow each headline.

How to Accelerate the Reach of Your Content with Emotion-Packed Headlines (27)
The headline probably has strong SEO potential. Assuming “reach of your content” or “emotion-packed headlines” are keywords that get searched. But for EMV, I didn’t even achieve “professional copywriter” status.

So I wrote alternate headlines and scored them. Here’s what that exercise looked like:

Touch Readers with Emotionally Charged Headlines to Inspire More Social Sharing (36)
If Your Headline Moves Me I’m Likely to Share It (40)

Move Readers Emotionally with a Headline Worthy of Sharing (44)

Headlines that Move Readers Emotionally Move Them to Share Your Story (55)

You’ll Love the Astonishing Effect Emotional Headlines Have on Your Content” (55)

As you can see, I was catching on and making progress. I thought I might beat a 55 score with this one:

If You Don’t Care for this Headline You’ll Probably Share It
No such luck. It tied the previous one at 55. I did like where that one was going, so I tested a hunch. Would a strong emotional word such as “hate” increase the headline’s score? Maybe a one-two punch with a question…

Hate This Headline? You’ll Probably Share the Story.
Score: 75. Cha-ching.

I used that headline when I guest posted on KISSmetrics. I didn’t want to compete with them with search rankings, so I returned to the emotional marketing value (EMV) headline analyzer and tried some more ideas so this post could have a different, but emotional, headline.

The headline I settled on scored 71.4. That’s quite good and suggests you’ll share this story. Please do. I’ve made it easy for you…

How to write emotional headlines

You understand the reason behind topping your blog posts with emotional headlines and now know of a tool to assess your ideas. Perhaps the question swimming between your ears now is “how do I write emotional headlines?”

The answer: you use powerful words, words that invoke feelings.

I did some searching and clicking in an effort to provide an emo-glossary and found a great resource here: feeling words (courtesy of PsychPage). Jon Morrow, the mastermind writer of Boost Blog Traffic dedicates a post to explaining (and listing) power words here. And finally, CoSchedule created a cheat sheet of 180+ power words.

Power words for headline

Emotional headlines that touch readers make them feel various forms of pleasure and pain. Most notably, for pleasure, use words that invoke:

  • Happiness
  • Fun
  • Belonging
  • Awe
  • Love
  • Positivity
  • Strength
  • Empowerment

For pain, consider words that invoke:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Helplessness
  • Indifference
  • Sadness

Feeling drives sharing

Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, wanted to uncover why people share information. He and his colleagues examined hundreds of brands, thousands of articles, and millions of purchases.

jonah berger

Berger presented his conclusions in the New York Times bestseller, “Contagious—Why Things Catch On.” Before the book release, in a post for the “Think with Google” blog, Berger wrote, “Our results found that articles, ads, or information that evoke emotion in the reader are around 20 percent more likely to be highly shared. What we see in these cases, and many more, is that feeling drives sharing.”Want to write contagious blog posts? Apply this idea to your headlines. Choose words that touch your reader.

And hey, obviously you didn’t hate this post. Here you are at its end. Now I’d like to ask you to share it. It’ll make me look smart.

Dec

Have Your Selfie a Merry Little Christmas

selfie

Have yourselfie a merry little Christmas
Let your inbox overflow
You can do it, let your obsession go
Have yourselfie a merry little Christmas
Turn your phone off for a day
Take a break, let the music of John Lennon play

Here were are in the interactive age, crazy digital days never cease
Facebook friends, who we don’t even know, post seasons greetings of love and peace

Through the years we all will be together
So for goodness sake
Let the spirits flow and the gingerbread bake
And have yourselfie a merry little Christmas break

 

The Twelve Days of Twismas

Blessings. Backlinks. Peace.

And love,

Barry

 

Dec

Top Content and Lessons Learned in 2014

Top Content 2104 Feldman Creative

I want to thank you, big time. Interest in The Point, the blog here at Feldman Creative, skyrocketed in 2014. I learned a lot and I’m hoping you did too.

I checked the analytics for the top content I published in 2014 and tallied the top topics and posts for page views. I also looked at the data to determine which was the most popular eBook and infographic. So you’ve probably read some of this content. But if you missed anything you think will help you create more effective online marketing, this year-end roundup presents popular favorites once again.

I value having you as a reader and appreciate your feedback and comments. If you would, share with me, and the readers here, some of the lessons you’ve learned in 2014 about online marketing. Also, let me know if there are subjects you’d like to learn more about. I’m on it. That’s what top content marketers do: answer questions (as you’ll learn about in what proved to be our number one blog post in 2014, “The Most Effective Content Marketing Tip Ever.”

Happy reading. Happy holidays.

Content marketing

The topic of content marketing appears to have been your top area of interest. Good for you. My hope is in 2015, you’ll take it very seriously and publish great works. The following posts covered the best way to get started, how a content marketing consultant can support your initiatives, and a plan and template for creating a content marketing plan fast, efficiently and effectively.

The Most Effective Content Marketing Tip Ever

What Can a Content Marketing Consultant Do for You?

The Content Marketing Plan that Quadruples Your Leads

(more…)

Dec

Marketing Gurus: Do They Get Wiser Through the Years?

In this and a few upcoming posts, I’m going to share some favorites from 2014. This year, I was asked to answer questions for a good number of round-up posts. They were all good fun, but I’d have to say this one from Oktopost was my favorite because of its playful angle.

Blast From The Past! 16 B2B Marketing Gurus Share Their Advice” is full of great tips and amusing photos of us marketing folks from years past.

Here’s Oktopost’s story…

We couldn’t build a time machine, so we did the next best thing! We chose 16 B2B marketing gurus we look up to, and asked them the following question:

“If you could give one piece of B2B marketing advice to your younger self, what would it be?”

The response was overwhelming, and it was incredible to travel back in time with these experts – some of whom have witnessed the B2B marketing industry evolve over the past few decades. Read their valuable insights, and think about the advice you’d give yourself if you could re-visit your earlier days.

Jason Falls, SVP Digital Strategy, Elasticity

“My advice to my younger self would be to believe wholeheartedly that the only difference between a good day and a bad day, a good client and a bad client, a good job and a bad job, is unequivocally attitude. When I look back on some of the crappier experiences in my career, I can say without a doubt that my attitude was the single-largest contributor to the crap. I’d tell me to wake up every day proud to do what you do, work with who you work with, and with the full understanding that even if there’s a pile of crap waiting for you at the office, you were put on this earth to go tackle it and kick its ass. Attitude makes everything better. Or worse.” [Jason Falls/Elasticity]

(more…)

Sep

The Power of Social Recommendations, Word of Mouth Marketing and the Coolest Kid in Kindergarten

social recommendations word of noth

“Eat your beets.”

That’d be mom talking to her son Zack.

Zack doesn’t like what he sees. These round globs are red. Dark red. They appear to be bleeding. His mother says, “You’ll love them. Trust me.” Zack, of course, loves his mom. Trust is another story.

Mom says, “They’re really good for you.” Zack thinks, I most certainly do not care.

Mom says, “I used to love beets when I was your age.” Zack thinks, you’ve played that card one too many times mom and your credibility isn’t real high after sending me to class photos in a paisley bowtie telling me I look handsome.

Mom thinks about calling in dad, but he’s a bit of a pushover when it comes to the eat-your-vegetables exercise. His credibility’s in the tank too thanks to promising Zack all summer long the Cubs would play in the World Series.

This scene concludes with no beet eating whatsoever. Cut.

Now let’s imagine a different scenario. It’s lunchtime at school. Zack’s with his buddy. We’ll call him Jake (since most boys go by this name now).

Jake’s a trustworthy dude. Cool too. His parents let him wear a Ninja Turtles shirt for pictures. His Avengers lunchbox is off-the-charts dope and everything that springs from it has proven to be tasty. Just last week Jake gave Zack his first taste of Reese’s Pieces. Yesterday was birthday cake flavored Oreo cookies. Suffice to say, with Jake as his culinary advisor, Zack can’t go wrong.

(more…)

Aug

30 Action Items to Get Serious About Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing action items
Want sway? Who doesn’t?

We all want to be influential.

So our conversations often become about influencer marketing—you know, the fine art of getting big kahunas in your camp. To achieve greater reach and resonance (ooh, fancy marketing words), you try to win over the people who already have it. And it can be amazingly effective.

I’ve found a fair share of articles and eBooks on influencer marketing, which cover the basics, but haven’t seen many practical and powerful “go get it done” lists. Consequently, I created one.

For the past four years, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into influencer marketing. Today, I’m going to share with you action items I’ve put in play that are paying off as well as several examples of efforts I was involved in.

I’m going to assume you’ve already identified your kahunas and dive right into my suggestions. (more…)

Aug

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

Just four years ago, I felt like you do. Social media was another language. Foreign. Frightening.

Your insecurities are natural… Will I look lame? Am I too late to the party? Will anyone care what I have to say?

Let ‘em go. Relax. Social media is a conversation. You can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed.

Social media is not a trend. It’s essential. Just as your customers rely on the phone and email, they rely on social media. It’s where you connect. To believe otherwise can limit and threaten the growth of your business or career.

I intend to help you blast through the hardest part: getting started. Right here. Right now.

Here you go: the essential how to guide, no experience required. I’ve created an eBook for you, which you can view here, or click through to SlideShare to download. Also, the blog post the ebook is based on is below for you convenience. 

(more…)

Jul

The World’s Greatest Social Media Marketer [INFOGRAPHIC]

great social media marketer

I wrote this article for MarketingProfs a while back…

The world’s greatest social media marketer has objectives and strategies. They’re documented—on a spreadsheet—or on some social platform where her peers can collaborate.

She understands the whole analytics and metrics thing that matters to the bean counters. Another spreadsheet? You’d better believe it.

Social media blog feeds feed her a daily dose of updates because she knows some genius somewhere updated a social media network with a new feature while she was sleeping.

She can even tell you how many pixels tall and wide your profile pics need to be. Yep, she keeps all this on a spreadsheet—in the cloud, of course.

You too can master such things. But they won’t make you the world’s greatest social media marketer. In fact, you may remain amazingly mediocre.

The world’s greatest social media marketer possesses more meaningful skills.

(more…)

Jul

I Got a New Phone

new phone

I’m so excited. I got a new phone. No, not one of those pocket sized computers you use to make retro photos or 6-second videos. I’m talking about a desktop phone. You’d need some seriously big pockets to carry this one around.

It has two lines. A blue display lights up to show me who’s calling. I can tell it to memorize the phone numbers of my friends. It has a handset, but I don’t have to use it because it also has a speaker.

I have lots of ideas for how I’m going to use my phone.

This thing’s awesome. Check out these ideas I have for putting it to use. (more…)