Australian Company Moving Forward

Plastic Storage Solutions

Aplus Plastic Box Co has just announced it will have Free Delivery Australia Wide on its #Wheels and Castors range. Its Wheels and Castors range across a wide variety of sizes, capacities and styles coupled with different compound types for various work surfaces.

Free Delivery on these items represents big cost savings for both companies and private individuals alike. We also offer discounts on bulk deals.

Our Australia Day promotion went well and the ever popular #Green and Gold Kits will continue to be available as a standard but at the usual price. Green and Gold theme as been a feature of promotion in recent times that will continue into the future.

During February 2014 we have an exciting new addition with the launch of our Multi Combination Kits which combine a range of product mounted to a single panel. You can purchase a combination of Stor-Pak bins, Drawer Organisers, Visi-Pak and Three Drawer Stor-Pak 63 units. The Stor-Pak bins and panels are available in various colours.

Customers are able to buy all the components individually if they wish to make up their own unique kits.

Another new product in the range is a Mobile Storage unit which can carry several sizes and colours of storage bins or a range of Pivot Bins in different sizes. These units are now on our web site at and can make a very versatile addition to any Plastic Storage Solution.

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4 reasons to align your sales and marketing teams

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Tereza Litsa

Your company’s marketing and sales teams don’t have to work apart. They may focus on different goals, but they still need to report on how their KPIs are linked to the business goals. That’s how they can both benefit by working closer together.

This means that many companies acknowledge the power of aligned teams but they’re still not ready to do this in action.

What are the actual benefits then of bringing together marketing and sales?

Shared vision

When teams come together, they are able to understand better each other’s goals. The marketing team can learn more about the sales targets, while the sales team can understand how the marketing funnel works and why it’s important to create a strategy across all stages.

By spending more time together, the teams are able to acknowledge how each division works towards their vision. Most importantly, they are able to perceive how a shared vision can bring a new more holistic idea of the company. This helps them have a clear picture of how their work goes beyond their team and how it can benefit multiple departments.

Facing the challenges together

Every team has different challenges that have to do with the available resources, the budget, the time restrictions, or any other important priorities. This doesn’t mean that they can’t communicate the challenges with other teams to ensure that they can contribute to their solution.

For example, if the sales team faces the challenge of meeting their revenue target, the marketing team can jump over and suggest an increased marketing activity that can lead to more incoming leads and prospects.

Similarly, if the marketing team has trouble in understanding how their work moves along the funnel, they can ask for the sales team to update them on the prospects that turn into customers. This will help in exploring more details about the marketing attribution points and how they help them meet their targets.

Improving communication and learning from each other

A great benefit of having the marketing and sales team work together is the increase of transparency.

An improved communication of the targets, the challenges, and the expectations leads to a more organized company. This can enhance the team building, the team collaboration and also the achievement of the key targets.

Moreover, team members can learn from other departments different perspectives on how everyone works towards the wider business goals. This can also lead to a further interest in other areas of the company and even new skills that can improve a team’s productivity.

For example, the sales team can learn more about inbound marketing to help them explore how this reflects the sales targets.

Meeting the targets and improving efficiency

Another benefit of having the marketing and sales team come together is the ability to act as a bigger close-knit team that works towards the bigger goals.

By breaking the silos a company manages to make them feel part of a bigger team that wants to meet the key targets. For example, a marketing team that meets the key goals should still be aware of the wider business goals. If the revenue is not going as expected despite a successful marketing strategy, then the outcome would still require an improved efficiency.

And that’s how the different teams can benefit from working together to achieve the wider goals while helping each other.

This can improve a company’s productivity while boosting the team morale that everyone works hard towards a common goal.

What’s next

There is an increased interest in marketing and sales team to start working closely together, in an attempt to meet the modern business world’s demands.

The next challenge is to convince more companies to bring the teams together to explore the multiple benefits of it.

It’s time to discover the best ways to bridge the gap between marketing and sales and how this can work towards an improved customer experience.

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Want More Instagram Followers? Here Are 3 Foolproof Ways

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By: Jenn Herman

Inevitably, people often ask me a number of questions about Instagram strategies. One of the most common topics is hashtags (we’ll talk about that in a sec). And one of the other most common questions I get is how to grow your Instagram followers. While I’ve answered this question in many different ways and in many different places, I decided to wrap it all up in one pretty post right here for you to reference.

But, before I jump into my tips for growing your Instagram audience, I want to take a hot minute to discuss why my tactics might not be the quick fix answer you’re looking for.

My tips have nothing to do with buying followers, doing like-for-like games, or otherwise trying to game the system. These tips require you to actually do the work of interacting with others and creating quality content. So, if that’s not something you are prepared to do, you can totally stop reading this now 😉

I don’t encourage any sort of manipulative tactics or buying followers because they don’t generate honest engagement, loyal audiences, or authentic branding for you.

Alright, so, let’s dive in!

1. Contests

Running a contest on Instagram is relatively easy and doesn’t come with a lot of restrictions (though there are some). They take a little work on your behalf to execute them effectively, but they are highly rewarding when done well. For more of my tips on running a successful Instagram contest, you can read this post on my blog.

In order to use a contest to generate more followers, I recommend keeping the contest entry simple. One criterion is to follow your account. The second is to tag a friend in the post comments. That’s it.


Because it makes your followers do all the work for you. And if your prize is something they actually want (hint, it should be!), then they’re happy to tag friends in the post comments as a chance to win. When a current follower of your account tags a friend, and let’s say that friend wants a chance to win, they’ll follow your account now too and tag one of their friends. And so the cycle continues. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of work from your audience. Meanwhile, you just sit back and watch the new followers roll in.

Here’s an example of a contest I recently ran with the same format:

Of course, depending on your audience, the prize, the duration of the contest, and some other factors, you may gain 10 new followers or you may gain 1000. But it is a steady tactic for follower growth.

In order to increase the effectiveness of this method, I recommend doing it consistently. It could be once a month or once a quarter – whatever works for you. But the more often you do it and your audience gets used to it, the more likely they are to participate and increase the participation.


Yes, I told you we’d talk about hashtags. I do love the power of a hashtag (or 10 or 20) on Instagram. Why? Because when you use the right hashtag recipe, you can consistently rank as a top post in your most targeted hashtag searches. That, in turn, increases the views and exposure to new people on Instagram.

I’ve previously shared my formula for strategic hashtag use, and you can read that here. I do encourage you to take a few minutes to read it and understand the strategy behind the combination of hashtags I recommend.

In a nutshell: The method calls for you to combine When you use this method of combining

  • Popular hashtags
  • Moderately popular hashtags
  • Highly targeted hashtags and…
  • Branded hashtags

By doing this, you create a scenario where your content is likely to appear as a top post in the targeted hashtag categories.

When people search these hashtags and see your content at the top of the search, chances are they will view it, engage with it, and potentially even navigate to your profile where they may follow you.

And, because they found you in a highly targeted topic of search, they are likely your ideal target audience. So it’s a win-win targeted growth method for your account.

Stalk Event Hashtags

This is my secret sauce recipe that I tell everyone. So really it’s not so secret! But it works – so I don’t wanna keep it a secret!

To do this, you’ll need to find the event hashtags related to your industry, business, or niche. It could be conferences, shows, performances, or even hobby related hashtags where your target audience is likely to be creating content.

For example, my target audience is small business owners and marketers new to social media marketing.

These people often go to social media conferences. So I find the hashtags for everything from small, local conferences to large national conferences. (These include Social Media Day San Diego, Inbound, Social Media Marketing World, Social Camp).

If you’re in the fashion industry, you might want to consider hashtags for local or popular fashion shows (not necessarily NYFW cuz that’s kinda massive. But others would be good). If your target audience is pet owners, think about dog shows, fairs where animals are being shown, local pet store events or charities, etc.

How To ‘Stalk an Event’

The key is to find the hashtags for events and venues where YOUR target audience is likely to be.

Then, you want to go through and stalk that event hashtag. You could choose to follow the hashtag but that still won’t show you all of them. So it’s best to go into the actual hashtag search on Instagram.

Scroll through and “like” as many of the posts in that hashtag gallery as possible. Just make sure they’re relevant and that the content is not inappropriate.

Smaller events are easy because you can scroll through once a day and hit all the posts. Bigger events, with thousands of posts uploaded, can be harder to manage. Just do what you can to go through and engage frequently.

Here’s why this works

The chances are that a lot of people uploading posts are uploading more than one to that hashtag. If you’re going through and liking their posts as they appear in the hashtag feed, you’re popping up repeatedly in their notifications. You don’t have to follow them or do anything but ever-so-nicely like their posts. And now they see your name in their notifications.

They think, who’s the person liking all my stuff? They come over, check out your profile, and (hopefully) realize that you’re someone they should follow. Boom! Another new follower.

When using this tactic for events, you can gain a handful of new followers or you can gain hundreds. The key is that they are all highly targeted new followers and you didn’t harass them into following you or getting their attention. You simply did something nice by liking their posts and they made the decision to follow you 🙂

In Closing

There are actually a number of other ways your brand can get discovered on Instagram and build your audience. Using Stories with location tags (and/or hashtags) will give you opportunities to show up in those searches and more. High performing posts help you rank in the search algorithm. That may help you appear as “Recommended For You” content in new users’ feeds.

These are both powerful opportunities for new exposure. I didn’t include them specifically in my top tips because they rely a lot on the algorithm and some luck. You can be strategic with these methods but their results aren’t as consistent as the three tips I mentioned above.

I hope these tips help you to grow your Instagram followers in an authentic and targeted way. Yes, my strategies will take longer than the overnight tactics that are out there. But the quality followers, engaged users, and soon-to-be-loyal fans you’ll develop, are worth the extra work!

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up and Growing Your YouTube Presence

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

When was the last time you saw a video on YouTube? I bet you’ve seen one today. YouTube is too huge and too popular for marketers to ignore.

If you don’t have a YouTube channel, now’s the time to start one.

If you have a channel and you never got it off the ground, now’s the time to take action.

This article will take you through the process of setting up your YouTube presence, listing steps, tools, and important tips to get you started and moving forward.

1. Define your goals

If your goal is to become a YouTube star, you might be a bit late to the party: it’s really hard to get noticed these days — too competitive. Stardom will take years of hard work to achieve because of the number of channels users have to choose from.

Even back in 2014, when I was reading about YouTube celebrity bloggers, one quote really stood out to me:

“We think, if we were coming to YouTube today, it would be too hard. We couldn’t do it.”

That’s not to say, however, that you cannot achieve other, more tangible goals on YouTube. It’s an excellent venue for business owners and marketers.

Here are three achievable goals that make more sense than fame from a business perspective:

1.1. YouTube for reputation management

Here’s one thing about reputation management on Google: You’re never finished.

Even if your reputation is fabulous and you love every single result that comes up in the SERPs for your business name, you may still want to publish more content around your brand.

The thing is, for reputation management purposes, the more navigational queries you can control, the better:


YouTube is the perfect platform for reputation management. YouTube videos rank incredibly well in Google, especially when it comes to low-competition navigational queries that include your brand name.

Furthermore, YouTube videos almost always get that rich snippet treatment (meaning that Google shows the video thumbnail, author, and length of the video in the SERPs). This means you can more easily attract attention to your video search result.

That being said, think about putting videos on YouTube that:

  • Give your product/service overview
  • Show happy customers
  • Visualize customer feedback (for example, visual testimonials beautifully collected and displayed in a video)
  • Offer a glimpse inside your team (show people behind the brand, publish videos from events or conferences, etc.)

1.2 YouTube videos for improved conversions

Videos improve conversions for a clear reason: They offer a low-effort way for your customer to see why they need your product. Over the years, there have been numerous case studies proving the point:

  • An older study (dating back to 2011) states that customers are 144% more likely to add products to a shopping cart after watching the product video
  • Around 1 in 3 millennials state they have bought a product directly as a result of watching a how-to video on it
  • This Animoto survey found that almost all the participants (96%) considered videos “helpful when making purchasing decisions online”
  • Wistia found that visitors who engage with a video are much more likely to convert than those who don’t

That being said, YouTube is a perfect platform to host your video product overviews: it’s free, it offers the additional benefit of ranking well in Google, and it provides additional exposure to your products through their huge community, allowing people to discover your business via native search and suggested videos.

1.3 YouTube for creating alternative traffic and exposure channels

YouTube has huge marketing potential that businesses in most niches just cannot afford to ignore: it serves as a great discovery engine.

Imagine your video being suggested next after your competitor’s product review. Imagine your competitors’ customers stumbling across your video comparison when searching for an alternative service on Youtube.

Just being there increases your chances of getting found.

Again, it’s not easy to reach the YouTube Top 10, but for specific low-competition queries it’s quite doable.

Note: To be able to build traffic from inside your YouTube videos, you need to build up your channel to 10,000 public overall views to qualify to become a YouTube partner. Once approved, you’ll be able to add clickable links to your site from within your videos using cards and actually build up your own site traffic via video views.

2. Develop a video editorial calendar

As with any type of content, video content requires a lot of brainstorming, organizing, and planning.

My regular routine when it comes to creating an editorial calendar is as follows:

  1. Start with keyword research
  2. Use question research to come up with more specific ideas
  3. Use seasonality to come up with timing for each piece of content
  4. Allocate sufficient time for production and promotion

You can read about my exact editorial process here. Here’s a sample of my content roadmap laying out a major content asset for each month of the year, based on keyword research and seasonality:

Content roadmap

For keyword and question research I use Serpstat because they offer a unique clustering feature. For each keyword list you provide, they use the Google search results page to identify overlapping and similar URLs, evaluate how related different terms in your list are, and based on that, cluster them into groups.

Keyword clustering

This grouping makes content planning easier, allowing you to see the concepts behind keyword groups and put them into your roadmap based on seasonality or other factors that come into play (e.g. is there a slot/gap you need to fill? Are there company milestones or events coming up?).

Depending on how much video content you plan to create, you can set up a separate calendar or include videos in your overall editorial calendar.

When creating your roadmap, keep your goals in mind, as well. Some videos, such as testimonials and product reviews, won’t be based on your keyword research but still need to be included in the roadmap.

3. Proceed to video production

Video production can be intimidating, especially if you have a modest budget, but these days it’s much easier and more affordable than you’d imagine.

Keeping lower-budget campaigns in mind, here are few types of videos and tools you can try out:

3.1 In-house video production

You can actually handle much of your video production in-house without the need to set up a separate room or purchase expensive gadgets.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Put together high-quality explanatory videos using Animatron (starts at $15/month): Takes a day or so to get to know all the available tools and options, but after that the production goes quite smoothly
  • Create beautiful visual testimonials, promo videos, and visual takeaways using Animoto ($8/month): You don’t need much time to learn to use it; it’s very easy and fun.
  • Create video tutorials using iMovie (free for Mac users): It will take you or your team about a week to properly figure out all its options, but you’ll get there eventually.
  • Create video interviews with niche influencers using Blue Jeans (starts at $12.49/month)
  • Create (whiteboard) presentations using ClickMeeting (starts at $25/month): Host a webinar first, then use the video recording as a permanent brand asset. ClickMeeting will save your whiteboard notes and let you reuse them in your article. You can brand your room to show your logo and brand colors in the video. Record your entire presentation using presentation mode, then upload them to your channel.


3.2 How to affordably outsource video production

The most obvious option for outsourcing video production is a site like Fiverr. Searching its gigs will actually give you even more ideas as to what kinds of videos you might create. While you may get burned there a few times, don’t let it discourage you — there are plenty of creative people who can put together awesome videos for you.

Another great idea is to reach out to YouTube bloggers in your niche. Some of them will be happy to work for you, and as a bonus you’ll be rewarded with additional exposure from their personal branding and social media channels.

I was able to find a great YouTube blogger to work for my client for as low as $75 per video; those videos were of top quality and upload-ready.

There’s lots of talent out there: just spend a few weeks searching and reaching out!

4. Optimize each video page

When uploading your videos to YouTube, spend some time optimizing each one. Add ample content to each video page, including a detailed title, a detailed description (at least 300–500 characters), and a lot of tags.

  • Title of the video: Generally, a more eye-catching and detailed title including:
    • Your core term/focus keyword (if any)
    • Product name and your brand name
    • The speaker’s name when applicable (for example, when you post interviews). This may include their other identifiable personal brand elements, such as their Twitter handle
    • Event name and hashtag (when applicable)
    • City, state, country (especially if you’re managing a local business)
  • Description of the video: The full transcript of the video. This can be obtained via services such as Speechpad.
  • A good readable and eye-catching thumbnail: These can be created easily using a tool like Canva.

Use a checklist:

Youtube SEO checklist

5. Generate clicks and engagement

Apart from basic keyword matching using video title and description, YouTube uses other video-specific metrics to determine how often the video should be suggested next to related videos and how high it should rank in search results.

Here’s an example of how that might work:

The more people that view more than the first half of your video, the better. If more than 50% of all your video viewers watched more than 50% of the video, YouTube would assume your video is high quality, and so it could pop up in “suggested” results next to or at the end of other videos. (Please note: These numbers are examples, made up using my best judgment. No one knows the exact percentage points YouTube is using, but you get the general idea of how this works.)

That being said, driving “deep” views to your videos is crucial when it comes to getting the YouTube algorithm to favor you.

5.1 Create a clickable table of contents to drive people in

Your video description and/or the pinned comment should have a clickable table of contents to draw viewers into the video. This will improve deep views into the video, which are a crucial factor in YouTube rankings.

Table of contents

5.2 Use social media to generate extra views

Promoting your videos on social media is an easy way to bring in some extra clicks and positive signals.

5.2.1 First, embed the video to your site

Important: Embed videos to your web page and promote your own URL instead of the actual YouTube page. This approach has two important benefits:

  • Avoid auto-plays: Don’t screw up your YouTube stats! YouTube pages auto-play videos by default, so if you share a YouTube URL on Twitter, many people will click and immediately leave (social media users are mostly lurkers). However, if you share your page with the video embedded on it, it won’t play until the user clicks to play. This way you’ll ensure the video is played only by people who seriously want to watch it.
  • Invest time and effort into your own site promotion instead of marketing the page: Promoting your own site URL with the video embedded on it, you can rest assured that more people will keep interacting with your brand rather than leave to watch other people’s videos from YouTube suggested results.

There are also plenty of ways to embed YouTube videos naturally in your blog and offer more exposure. Look at some of these themes, for example, for ideas to display videos in ways that invite views and engagement.

Video sharing WordPress

5.2.2 Use tools to partially scale social media promotion

For better, easier social media exposure, consider these options:

  • Investing in paid social media ads, especially Facebook ads, as they work best for engagement
  • Use recurring tweets to scale video promotion. There are a few tools you can try, such as DrumUp. Schedule the same update to go live several times on your chosen social media channels, generating more YouTube views from each repeated share. This is especially helpful for Twitter, because the lifespan of a tweet is just several minutes (between two and ten minutes, depending on how active and engaged your Twitter audience is). With recurring tweets, you’ll make sure that more of your followers see your update.

  • A project I co-founded, Viral Content Bee, can put your videos in front of niche influencers on the lookout for more content to share on their social media accounts.

5.3 Build playlists

By sorting your videos into playlists, you achieve two important goals:

  • Keeping your viewers engaged with your brand videos longer: Videos within one playlist keep playing on autopilot until stopped
  • Creating separate brand assets of their own: Playlist URLs are able to rank both in YouTube and Google search results, driving additional exposure to your videos and brand overall, as well as allowing you to control more of those search results:


Using playlists, you can also customize the look and feel of your YouTube channel more effectively to give your potential subscribers a glimpse into additional topics you cover:

Customize Youtube channel

Furthermore, by customizing the look of your YouTube channel, you transform it into a more effective landing page, highlighting important content that might otherwise get lost in the archives.

6. Monitor your progress

6.1 Topvisor

Topvisor is the only rank tracker I am aware of that monitors YouTube rankings. You’ll have to create a new project for each of your videos (which is somewhat of a pain), but you can monitor multiple keywords you’re targeting for each video. I always monitor my focus keyword, my brand name, and any other specific information I’m including in the video title (like location and the speaker’s name):


6.2 YouTube Analytics

YouTube provides a good deal of insight into how your channel and each individual video is doing, allowing you to build on your past success.

  • You’ll see traffic sources, i.e. where the views are coming from: suggested videos, YouTube search, external (traffic from websites and apps that embed your videos or link to them on YouTube), etc.
  • The number of times your videos were included in viewers’ playlists, including favorites, for the selected date range, region, and other filters. This is equal to additions minus removals.
  • Average view duration for each video.
  • How many interactions (subscribers, likes, comments) every video brought.

Youtube Analytics

You can see the stats for each individual video, as well as for each of your playlists.

6.3 Using a dashboard for the full picture

If you produce at least one video a month, you may want to set up a dashboard to get an overall picture of how your YouTube channel is growing.

Cyfe (disclaimer: as of recently, Cyfe is a content marketing client of mine) is a tool that offers a great way to keep you organized when it comes to tracking your stats across multiple platforms and assets. I have a separate dashboard there which I use to keep an eye on my YouTube channels.

Cyfe Youtube


Building a YouTube channel is hard work. You’re likely to see little or no activity for weeks at a time, maybe even months after you start working on it. Don’t let this discourage you. It’s a big platform with lots of opportunity, and if you keep working consistently, you’ll see your views and engagement steadily growing.

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Road Map to Success: Creating the Content of Your Audience’s Dreams


In 1995, Steve Jobs was interviewed by Robert Cringely for a PBS documentary, Triumph of the Nerds. During the on-camera discussion, the future Apple CEO reflected on the notion that generating big ideas isn’t the same thing as being able to bring them to life in a valuable way. As he said, “There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.”

It’s a distinction that most content marketers are familiar with – especially if it’s your job to spin rough, disorganized insights and ideas into high-performing content gold.

From an outsider’s view, it can be easy to assume content creators simply generate imaginative ideas, write (or record) them, and then publish them as a blog post, email message, or other content piece. But while those tasks are certainly key parts of the creative equation, a lot more has to happen behind the scenes if those creative assets are to perform successfully as a marketing vehicle – i.e., get found by the right audiences, drive meaningful conversations with them, and compel them to take action.

Ready to discover the secrets of producing well-conceived, well-written stories? Read on for a handy tutorial on the essentials, along with resources that can help take your content creation to greater levels of success.

Before you proceed: If you aren’t confident you have the right foundation in place to support your creative efforts – or just need a quick refresher on a particular topic – you may want to take a step back and review our previous Road Map to Success guides:

A practical view of content creation

There are three main areas to consider when it comes to establishing and activating your organization’s content creation capabilities:

  1. Who will create/contribute to the content?
  2. How will our creative efforts align with our strategic goals?
  3. How do we craft compelling stories that our audience will love?

1. Establishing your content creation model

There are multiple ways your business can assemble its content creation force, each offering a distinct complement of pros, cons, and practical considerations. To determine the best contributor model to work with – and decide whether to use it in combination with other approaches – you need to weigh factors like the nature of your business, the competition your content will face, the level of expertise your content will require, and the team and budget resources you have. Here are some examples:

  • Hiring a dedicated writing staff: If you place a higher priority on content creation, want to produce a high volume of content, or need content to fill multiple channels and platforms at once, it may be worth having full-time writing talent so you can maintain control of the process.

Incentivize your executives, sales teams, or other specialized employees to contribute content, says @joderama. Click To Tweet

  • Soliciting external contributors: If you are a B2B business that has a strong community of subscribers, known industry thought leaders may be interested in guest blogging on your owned media platform in exchange for valuable backlinks to increase their reach and exposure. Or, if your business has a more B2C focus, you might look to enable your ardent fans and followers to create user-generated content on your brand’s behalf.
  • Automating the process: While content creation via artificial intelligence is in its early stages, there’s every indication that automation will play a significant role in content marketing in the near future. Brands willing to invest in and experiment with the technology will be poised to make a big splash, leaving their competitors behind in the kiddie pool of AI-driven content innovation.

Shape your content creator pool

Looking for more assistance with determining the right creation model and putting your contributors’ talents to work? Check out some of our top resources:

2. Aligning creativity and strategy

Sharing compelling, useful stories your audience will love is an admirable goal for any content brand. But, of course, there needs to be an effective marketing purpose supporting that love fest. In other words, if you aren’t working with the right content formats and types to draw the attention of your target audience or aren’t positioning your content in the right way to drive engagement and conversion, you’ll keep needlessly spinning the wheels of your content engine with nothing tangible to show for your efforts.

Achieving creative and strategic alignment is a top-down endeavor; so, let’s start with the practical and tactical decision-making that should come before you write a single word of content.

Evaluate your format and content type options

According to CMI’s 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research, social media posts, blog posts, emails, e-books, and video continue to reign supreme when it comes to the content formats and types B2B and B2C marketers rely on the most.

But just because these content options seem to have universal appeal doesn’t mean they are a good fit for every purpose or that there aren’t compelling reasons to work with other, more specialized tactics. It’s important to become familiar with the strengths and limitations of each option so you can make informed decisions on which to pursue.

Some #content options have universal appeal; that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for every purpose. @joderama Click To TweetHere are some starting points for your research efforts:

Find your unique approach

Next, there’s the matter of how you distinguish the content you create under your chosen tactical umbrellas – an essential consideration if you want your content to rise above the noise, attract and engage the right consumers, and compel them to take action on behalf of your brand.

One way to approach this task is to find a content niche (aka a content tilt) that you can cover better than anyone else in your industry – think of Moz with its Whiteboard Friday blog posts or Hop Grenade Taproom and Bottle Shop using podcasting to become a media powerhouse in the craft brewery industry. By focusing your creative resources around one specialty, you eliminate the paralysis that can come from trying to fill too many content buckets at once and ensure that everything you create under that theme ties to your strategic purpose in an organic way.

To zero in on a viable content niche, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Can we own the conversation in this area for our industry?
  • Does our audience have a pressing – and unmet – need for this kind of content?
  • Do we have the right know-how and production capabilities to consistently create valuable content of this type?

Nail down your plan for strategic-creative alignment

Need more help determining the right content types or the ideal niche to set your content apart from your competition and drive you closer to your business goals? Continue your journey of discovery with these key resources:

3. Crafting your stories

Your content should serve as a platform for communicating your brand’s unique perspectives, capabilities, and value proposition; but it also needs to tell a story that resonates strongly enough with readers to convince them to act. In addition to the usual creative considerations – like determining topics, generating story ideas, and maintaining a consistently high level of creativity and writing quality – content marketers need to be comfortable working within a storytelling framework that leverages the power of persuasion.

Your #content needs to tell a story that resonates w/ readers to convince them to act, says @joderama. Click To Tweet

Identify worthwhile content topics

Kick off your creative ideation process by determining which subjects you should be writing about and eliminating the ones you don’t feel reflect your brand’s identity in the most meaningful and targeted way.

One way to approach this task is to identify some primary subject areas your target audience has actively been searching for information on. Conducting keyword research or using more sophisticated techniques like topic modeling at the start of your ideation process (if you don’t have this data on hand) can help you get a deeper understanding of the challenges your content should be helping readers solve. It can also help you confirm you’ve found a niche where your initiatives might be able to gain a competitive advantage: If your search uncovers relevant questions for which useful answers aren’t forthcoming, it’s probably a topic that’s worth addressing for your audience.

Generate creative article ideas

It takes a lot of creative ideas to fuel a content engine and keep it running smoothly on a long-term basis. Team brainstorming sessions are one great way to help your writers get their creative juices flowing and come up with a high volume of ideas to consider. Another approach is to incorporate word games and creative improvisation techniques – like the ones Cisco Systems’ Tim Washer describes – into your creative ideation process.

Incorporate word games and creative improv techniques in your #content ideation process, says @joderama. Click To Tweet

Prioritize your ideas

Not every idea your team generates is a good fit for your business: Some may be fantastic on paper but require more time and attention to produce than your team can spare; others may be creatively brilliant but not useful for your target audience. Make sure you have a prioritization process – like the core content strategy matrix Meghan Casey uses – to gauge the comparative value and urgency of your content ideas and help you decide which ones to move forward with.

Transform your ideas into resonant stories

Regardless of the creative process you use, content creation boils down to one essential step: the physical act of writing your stories. And when it comes to successful content creation, Steve Jobs’ thoughts on product development certainly apply: Turning a great idea into a great content piece requires considerable craftsmanship.

But that doesn’t mean the writing process has to cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and frustration. Ann Handley once pointed out that learning to become a better writer simply requires you to show up every day and practice your craft. Thankfully, she also provides some valuable tips to help make writing sessions more organized, eliminate unnecessary distractions, and stifle the inner critic that can derail your creative confidence and keep you from meeting your deadlines.

To be a better writer requires showing up every day and doing the work, says @annhandley. Click To Tweet

Strengthen your creative muscles

Over time, the rigors of the writing process can wear on even the most talented and prolific content creators. Look to aids like headline generators, productivity tools/guides, killer examples from inspiring content brands, or a little sage advice from a creative master when your writers need an extra spark of creative energy or a little help beating the occasional bout of writer’s block. 

Enhance your writing quality

Content riddled with typos, grammatical errors, tech issues, or factual inaccuracies can cost you the trust and respect of your audience and, possibly, their patronage. To avoid being mocked for producing lazy, low-quality assets or labeled as a purveyor of fake news, carefully proof, test, and fact-check every content effort to ensure that it is as clear, functional, error-free, and above reproach as possible.  

Master your full creative process

Want to learn more about any of the key components of content creation? Use the following resources to guide your explorations:

Go forth and create

By following this road map, you should find yourself on the path toward more well-managed creative teams, greater strategic and creative alignment, and better brand storytelling overall.

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10 Conferences That Are Totally Worth Your Time This Year–Regardless of Your Industry

Interested in attending a convention? Just in the United States, each year there are almost 300,000 conferences, conventions or trade shows. When you expand that to the rest of the world, estimates go into the millions of events each year.

With over 800 events to choose from in the US per day, it seems odd to think that you may not hear about a relevant event — even in your own town — but that’s frequently the case. Even if you stick a particular niche that interests you, you still may miss some amazing events.

Here’s where Marketing Technology Conferences come in. These are definitely worth your time, no matter what business you are in. Every business has to do some sort of advertising and marketing.

At these types of conferences, you’ll have speakers teaching you the latest tools, tips, and technologies to bring your business ahead. You’ll also be able to network with experts who can help you get to the next level.

Here are the top 10 remaining in 2018, by my own estimation:

Adobe Summit — Las Vegas, March

If you’re doing any type of content creation, you’re either using Adobe products or you wish you were. This four-day conference teaches you everything from how to create memorable digital experiences to how to meet customer expectations.

MarTech — San Jose, April

MarTech bills itself as a tech conference for marketers, and a marketing conference tor technologists — and it does this quite well. Designed to cross-pollinate the fields, it is a must-go for people looking to network with people they wouldn’t normally meet.

Hero Conf — Austin, April

Have you ever wanted to learn more about pay-per-click advertising? If you’re running ads online, you should have at least a basic understanding of PPC. This conference includes topics like “I Don’t Know How to Run Shopping Ads, And At This Point I’m Afraid To Ask” and “Identifying & Leveraging Your Customer’s Core Emotional Drivers.”

Pubcon — Various locations and times

Going into its 18th year, Pubcon offers events in Florida and Las Vegas, with the goal to educate, inform, inspire, network and have fun. It covers topics of value for all web professionals, from content creation and social media marketing to search engine optimization.

Vidcon — Anaheim, June

Started by Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green, this video conference has grown to include everyone who watches, creates or utilizes video in their business. In other words, everyone. This conference is the Comic-Con of interactive video, where you can hang out with people like Hannah Hart or Chase Ross and learn how to get your 15 minutes of fame.

Ungagged — Las Vegas and London, June

Probably my favorite event on the list, this dual-location conference has a simple premise: delivering actionable insights, methods and strategies with no video or audio recording allowed. This allows for frank discussions with speakers that you won’t find at any other conference, as they give you little-known tips and refreshingly honest opinions. I also love the “small conference” feel, which makes for better networking.

Inbound — Boston, September

The annual conference run by marketing company Hubspot has information relevant to every small business owner. Their content is actionable and unique, with topics like “‘Stealing’ the Best Content Ideas from Reddit and Other Online Forums “, and “Content for the FOMO Generation”.

Dmexco — Hamburg, September

One of the largest international digital marketing events in Europe, this event combines a massive trade show with a multi-day convention. Last year, it had over 570 international speakers on 18 stages, and proudly announced that a third of their speakers were female. Unlike most events stateside, the focus here is on companies in Europe and beyond, so if you want to learn what the rest of the world is doing, this is a great option.

Content Marketing World — Cleveland, September

The top problem every business has with their online marketing strategy is producing content — the right kind, and enough of it. The annual CMW event aims to give you the tools to understand your customer and create the right type of content for them, no matter your business.

&THEN — Las Vegas, October

If you are interested in learning about data-driven marketing, this seven-track event covers the latest trends and innovations. From automation to personalization and even blockchain marketing, lots of topics here are covered that you won’t find anywhere else.

With the knowledge you can gain from any of these conventions, you’ll be sure to stay ahead of your competition for years to come.

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How to Write Content That People Will Read and Share

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Write Content That People Will Love to Read and Share

If there’s no engagement, is your blog really good enough? If your perfect piece of content gets no comments or shares or likes, what do you do? Except for a little crying, of course! Most bloggers end up searching, “How to write content?”

A million dollar question indeed.

You want to know how others create content that that people love to read and share, and how you can do the same, right?

Tumblr alone has accumulated 373 million blogs from 2011 to 2017. How can your blog survive these massive numbers and get the attention you know it deserves?

Let’s try to answer this in a different way.

What kind of products do well in the industry in the long-term? Products that deliver on what they promise. Products where the packaging justifies the product and the product justifies the packaging. And of both these, combined with some good marketing skills. Voila!

That also sums up how to write content.

Some people wonder if they need to write something unconventional to get noticed. Well sure, if you can. But, the majority of you are probably looking for more a reasonable answer on how to write content. You want techniques that you can follow for any blog that will increase your readership and shares, right?

To make things easier for you, I have a foolproof list of 10 tips that I follow for my content. It works for me, and it will surely work for you.

Let’s dive into the list of steps for how to write content.

How To Write Content That People Will Love

#1: Find the Tight Topic Idea

This is one of the hardest parts of creating content, right? Finding a topic idea that people actually care about.

So how do you find the right topic idea?

Essentially, you need to do a lot of research and learn about your niche before you jump into creating content. Over time, it becomes easy. When it comes to how to write content in your niche, you must first pay attention to popular the topics in your niche.

Trending topics are your best bet because you know people already like them. Trending topics are also well-received on social media sites. And if your content is well written, chances are higher that your blog posts will be shared.

There are various tools to help you find the trending topics. Some that I use personally are BuzzSumo, Google Trends, and Feedly. These tools will give you invaluable information on the topics that are most shared. You can track them regularly to find trending content.

For example, on Feedly, all you need to do is follow your favorite publications or add topics of interest. The tool will then show you the trending articles about those topics or from those publications.

Image via Feedly

You can also go on forums and Q/A sites like Quora, Reddit, and Yahoo Answers to look for similar questions that a lot of people are asking.

#2: Do Thorough Research

Source: Convince and Convert

Research is the most time-consuming part of writing engaging content. Studies show that spending more time with each post makes a difference.

Your research can include :

  • Search similar topics on Google and look at the blogs and posts of experts. What information have they already covered? How well are those posts performing?
  • Read the comments on blog posts written by competitors. This will help you learn the points they have not addressed in their blog posts, and that can be a great starting point for your post.
  • Find relevant statistics, facts, case studies, and examples to support your claims.

You should also spend time researching your target audience. If your audience engages more with video content, add related videos to your blog posts. If your audience is young and enjoys GIFs, add more GIFs to your blog posts.

A well-written blog post has thorough research behind it. So if you’re wondering how to write content that your readers will love, invest considerable time into research.

#3: Use Catchy Subheadings

It’s been said that people don’t read blog posts, they just skim them. The attention span of humans is only 8 seconds. And if your heading and subheadings are not catchy, you’ll lose their attention before they even start reading your post.

So, when you’re writing your blog posts, remember that people won’t be reading a lot of it. People will be skimming it. They will go through your subheadings, images, and videos to get the gist of what you’ve written.

According to research, 80% of people read your headlines. While only 20% of them read the remaining content.

Check out the example of a well-written blog post on Hubspot below. Notice how the use of subheadings makes the content easy to skim through, and still gives readers the gist of what is covered.

Image via Hubspot

#4: Optimize Readability with Paragraphs and Lists

If you’re wondering how to write content that will be shared, then this is mandatory. Even if you have done your research and created excellent content, if it’s difficult to read, people won’t read it all or share it. People love to read something with space, paragraphs, and lists.

Keep these tips in mind while structuring your blog posts:

  • Before you start writing your content, divide your text into proper subheadings. Then structure your text and data within these.
  • Structure your text into multiple paragraphs and try to keep them short, (not more than 4-6 lines)
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists when you’re describing steps, examples, similar points, case studies, or related points. Bullet points will make your data easy to scan. It will also make your blog post look more presentable.Here’s an example.

Image via Hubspot

#5: Use Your Experience and Originality in Your Content

There are too many recycled blog post on the internet already. Do you want to add to the clutter, or do you want to write content that people will actually love?

Nothing can beat the original content.

But, of course, how often can you create original content? There are articles on literally every topic possible. Even a simple search like, “how to sit” has 38.2 million search results.

How do you create something new then? The best teacher is experienced for sure. Your experience is unique, and whatever you write from your own experience is going to be unique.

Here are some of the tips to help you create original content:

Pick Sides

Make your blog topic a debatable one. Take something you firmly believe in or disagree with and write on that. Benefits? You will justify the topic with all of your might and will end up creating original content.

Solve a Problem

If there’s any solution that you have created, this is your chance to prove it. Most of the famous “how to” blog posts are created by someone sharing a solution they have found to make your life easier. You can do the same. Add an explanatory video to your content to make it easier to understand.

For example, this blog post has a title that discusses well-known platform LinkedIn but offers a new idea.

As we read further, the author John talks about his own opinions, and what he notices on this platform. That’s a great way to build the post further.

#6: Add a Pinch of Humor and Emotion

If you’ve ever been on Facebook, you’ve noticed that the most shared and liked content is humor.

Humor wins every time. And humor is art. Unlike everything else, it can not be copied. Similarly, expressing strong emotions requires courage. And people respect when you show what you truly feel. So make sure to add a pinch of humor if you’re wondering how to write content that your readers will enjoy.

Let’s look at some examples from Medium to see how the most serious topics can have a funny or emotional aspect.

How to write content

This one is a recent blog post on Mark Zuckerberg’s latest announcement. The heading is undeniably funny and the content gets even better. To take a controversial topic like this and make sense out of this with humor is quite smart.

#7: Speak to Your Readers and Add a Personal Touch

The biggest celebrities know that their best act is all about how well they connected with their audience. And the same applies to writing blog posts as well. It’s all about building the connection. But how can you do it?

Write your blog post like you are talking to the person. Make it feel like a conversation. Not like a boring newspaper article. For me, it’s far easier to write how I would talk to someone than to write in a formal tone.

For example, tell me which one of these options do you prefer?

Choice 1: I know the feeling of not getting the desired results. It’s terrible but I always find ways to improve.

Choice 2:  If your efforts are not bringing you results, either improve or quit.

Choice 3: If your unfulfilled aspirations are disconcerting, ameliorate your process.

Which one did you like the most? I would say the first choice. It’s easy to understand, and it develops a connection between the writer and the audience.

Why is the second choice a little off-track? Because it sounds like a command or a boring dictation. Why the third choice is not right is obvious. It’s difficult to understand.

So try to write like your audience is right in front of you.

#8: Use High-Resolution Images, Audios, Videos, and Screenshots

Adding graphics to your blog posts is directly connected with how well your blog performs. According to research by Convince and Convert, having audio in your content increases results by 38.5%.

Some of my favorite posts are the ones with graphics, videos, and images. The graphics create a rich user experience and hold your interest. The graphics could be 100% related to the blog or might have minor significance in terms of context. It all depends on how wisely you use them.

The rise of podcasts and video tutorials also enhance the quality of blog content and make it easier to understand.

Social Media Examiner has engaging weekly video shows and biweekly audio podcasts. These help them to entertain, educate, and engage their loyal followers.

Image via Social Media Examiner

#9: Update Regularly

Updating your blog posts regularly is an important aspect in creating content people will like and share. People love updates. And when you’re focusing on how to write content that people love to read, you can’t miss this point.

According to research, only 55% of the bloggers update their content. The good news here is that 74% of those who update their content get better results from their blogs.

Image via Orbit Media

Especially, if you blog has a lot of associated statistics and data, it’s best to update them regularly. People are always looking for the latest information.

When it comes to updating blog posts, I always suggest going through The Backlinko blog posts. Their blogs are regularly updated with latest information and graphics. I make sure to update my blog posts whenever I find any suitable information that fits into any of my older posts.


#10: Use a Strong Call-to-Action

If you look carefully, you’ll find that most well-performing blog posts have a CTA (call-to-action). When your focus is on how to write content that is shared, adding a CTA is a must. What’s the point of getting shares if there’s no call-to-action on your post?

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30 questions to ask that so-called PPC ‘expert’ before hiring him/her

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Just say no to the expert if he/she can’t answer the following 30 PPC, content and remarketing questions, says contributor John Lincoln.

26. What kinds of budgets are available on Facebook?

There are two types of budgets available on Facebook: daily budgets and lifetime budgets.

27. How are budgets related to campaign and account spending levels?

When it comes to money and budgets, you and your PPC expert should have a clear understanding of how it will be used and what will be accomplished. Make sure you are both familiar with Facebook’s campaign budgets and spending levels.

28. How do I increase the number of impressions on my ad?

Few or low impressions could point to a number of things:

  • Budget is too low.
  • The same people are seeing your ad repetitively.
  • Your target audiences are overlapping.

Your PPC expert should be able to diagnose the issue and know how to work to improve it.

Copywriting questions to ask your PPC expert

29. What do you consider when writing an ad?

When it comes to writing text ads, you will want to hear answers that include call to action (CTA), visuals, attention-grabbing headlines and more.

30. How do you test ad copy?

A good PPC expert knows the value of testing and should be prepared to test content factors such as pricing, punctuation, emotional appeal and CTAs.


Most PPC campaigns are complex, and even the smallest detail can have a big effect on the outcome.

If you’re not comfortable running campaigns yourself, consult an expert. Interview them thoroughly and make sure they can accurately answer the above questions.

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