The Ugly and Beautiful Truth About Content Audits

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Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers

Here you’ll find articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use Facebook ads to promote a business, products, and services.

Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers by Lisa D. Jenkins on Social Media Examiner.

Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers by Lisa D. Jenkins on Social Media Examiner.

Set Up a Facebook Advertising Account

Get Started With Facebook Ads

Incorporate Facebook Ad Funnels

Improve Facebook Ad Targeting With Custom Audiences

Control Facebook Ad Spend

Test Facebook Ads

Serve Facebook Messenger Ads

  • How do I set up Facebook Messenger ads? Learn how to set up Facebook ads that display inside the Messenger app on the Home tab, increasing the likelihood that people will interact with your business.

Combine Facebook Ads With Facebook Video

Analyze Facebook Advertising

How to Keep Up With Social Media News & Trends

11 Tips for Keeping Up With Social Media News & Trends

1. Create a stream on Twitter with popular hashtags.

The best place to find out the most recent news about social is — you guessed it — on social media. Start by creating a stream on Twitter with popular social media hashtags. You can use terms like #socialmedia, #smchat, or #inboundmarketing — if you need more ideas, check out Avoid searching for a term that’s too general (like #marketing) because you’ll quickly see a swarm of tweets flooding into your stream.

HubSpot customers can create a stream using HubSpot Social Inbox. First, start by typing your hashtag into the search box at the top of the screen.


Then, check out your results. You will see a list of people and tweets matching your search term.


If you like the sampling of results that you see, you can create a stream with that hashtag.


If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can save searches directly on Twitter in a very similar manner. First, search for the term you’re interested in using the search bar in the top-right corner of the Twitter homepage:


Then, when you reach the results page of your Twitter search, tap the gear icon and select “Save this search.”


Then, the next time you head to the Twitter search bar, your saved search will appear for you to easily click and start reading:


2. Make a Twitter list of influencers in the industry.

The beauty of social media is that the experts often hang out there, too. Whenever there is a new announcement or update in the social media world, you’ll find influencers discussing it on Twitter.

Use the hashtags that you gathered in the previous example and pick out some of the most active people tweeting on them. Make a Twitter list based on your findings and spend some time each day running through the list to see what they have to say. And don’t be shy to ask them questions yourself. After all, that’s what social media is all about.

If you want some help getting started, here’s a Twitter list of social media experts and influencers that we admire at HubSpot. It’s a public list, so you can follow it, too.

3. Set up Google Alerts on terms and influencers.

Now that you have a list of influencers and hashtags that you can follow on social media, you can set up a Google Alert for some of them. That way, you’ll get regular updates when they post content or are interviewed about social media.

Pick your top three favorite influencers or topics and set up Google Alerts for them. This will help you stay up to date on any breaking news in the industry. We recommend getting these alerts once a day so your inbox isn’t completely clogged.

All you have to do is type in your search term, select your frequency, and you are ready to go.



You can also choose to do this for certain social media terms or trends. The specificity of your search term will determine how many alerts you receive. For example, the term “social media” is written about every day, but “social media trends in North America” will generate more targeted alerts.

4. See what’s trending on Instagram’s Explore tab.

Instagram’s Explore tab lets users search for terms and hashtags to see what content people are sharing on the platform that day. It also serves users with related searches to see what else people are talking about. You could search for terms like “social media” or #socialmediamarketing to see what’s going on:


5. Join Groups on LinkedIn.

Discussions on LinkedIn about social media for business are extremely lively. Whether there’s an update to Facebook, a new social network that’s making traction, or a new theory on the future of social media, you are sure to find it in LinkedIn groups. Even better, you will meet a lot of other social media enthusiasts with whom you can network and ask questions.

Here are a few we recommend checking out:

6. Subscribe to social media blogs.

As bloggers ourselves, we’re going to suggest that you subscribe to a few blogs that post content about social media so you don’t miss anything. If there’s a new feature or trend, it will definitely be written about in detail on these blogs.

However, more important than subscribing to these blogs is making sure you set aside time each week to read through your content. Block off as much time as you need to go through the content — that could be anywhere from 15 minutes a day or 15 minutes a week.

Here are a few blogs to get you started that cover social media:

7. Attend a conference, virtually or in-person.

Take the time to go to a social media conference. This will be a great opportunity to hear from social media experts in the industry and be able to ask the burning questions you may have. You will get the most up-to-date advice about running a social media campaign and what you should know when using social media.

However, it isn’t realistic for all of us to pack up and go to every single conference that talks about social media. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, you should follow along via — you guessed it — social media. Every conference or event will have a corresponding hashtag that you can follow during the conference on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Social media posts are often quotes from speakers at the event, so you’ll still get access to the content being shared.

For example, each year, INBOUND covers top social media trends, among a variety of other topics. The following stream shows people who are tweeting about INBOUND 2016 using the hashtag #INBOUND16.


8. Listen to podcasts.

An easy way to learn about what’s changed in the social media space is to listen to the news on social media marketing podcasts. Podcasts vary in length and provide lots of valuable information from social media experts and influencers in the form of interviews, case studies, and rundowns of the latest news. You can listen to episodes during your commute, at home, or just when you need a break from your computer screen.

We rounded up some of our favorite podcast episodes to learn about what’s new with social media, including:

  • Marketing Smarts: How ‘Dolphin Tale’ Brought 800,000 Visitors a Year to Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • The Growth Show: Episode 100: Guy Kawasaki’s Unconventional Advice on Growth
  • Hashtagged: Focusing on Creating Content and Community Versus Being an Influencer with Dan Joyce

9. Set up an IFTTT.

IFTTT (“If this, then that”) sets up connections between apps and services you already use for content discovery and sharing. When you set up an IFTTT with a Recipe, you can save time by automatically having social media news and updates served up to you according to your content consumption preferences. Here are a few we recommend setting up to keep track of social media news:

IFTTT Recipe: When you like a Tweet, automatically save the link from it to your Pocket account connects twitter to pocket
IFTTT Recipe: Create a search on Twitter and get a daily email with the results connects twitter to email-digest
IFTTT Recipe: When a specific hashtag is used on Twitter add the Tweet to a Google spreadsheet connects twitter to google-drive

10. Set up a news aggregator on Feedly.

There are various free news aggregation RSS feeds that you can customize and subscribe to to centralize news from a variety of different sources all on one page. I use Feedly, and after subscribing to different marketing and technology publications, I set Feedly as my homepage. That way, I have to glance at the big headlines before starting work each morning.

You can easily search for topics and names of publications to add to your Feedly to keep your knowledge as current as possible.


11. Get certified in social media.

Taking HubSpot Academy’s free online Social Media Certification will update you on how social media is being used today, and make you a certified social media marketer at the same time. Explore up to eight lessons in social media, from social media listening and moderating to how communications teams use social media to manage a crisis.

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15 checks you should make when choosing a link partner

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How can you best evaluate a site to determine whether it’s a good linking partner? Contributor Julie Joyce outlines 15 things you need to check including site hacks, poor quality content, traffic and more.

When inbound links occur naturally, you don’t look to see if the site linking to you is a good linking partner. They just link in, and eventually, you look if you need to.

Most websites don’t “just” accrue links on their own if they are focused on ranking; they use some sort of link-building tactic to attract them. Link-building companies like mine offer these services and start all projects with a look and evaluation of the sites we’ll be contacting for links. Good link partners are key to a good linking campaign.

In this article, I’ll home in on how we initially determine if a site will make a good linking partner.

Checklist of questions

Here are the questions and criteria we use to rate a website as we prospect for link-building partners. Use them as a checklist as you begin your linking campaign.

1. Is the site indexed in Google?

To me, the ultimate sign of something wrong with a web page is the lack of its appearance in Google. If the web page you’re looking for doesn’t show up in Google? Not a good sign, and I’d probably avoid the site overall. If you’re using any other search engine, following links or coming to a site from a social network, it is critical you go back to Google and check for the web page. If it’s not indexed, there’s no need to go any further.
2. Is there contact information on the site?

I don’t need to see where a blogger lives, of course, but if there’s no way to contact the webmaster on the site? I wouldn’t consider them as a link partner. They obviously don’t want to be contacted. Even having just a form on the site raises a flag for me. Look for an email address, telephone number and social media accounts that show the site has an active webmaster behind it.

3. Is the writing any good?

You don’t have to be a brilliant writer, but it’s not good to find terribly written content on a site. If you want your link to get clicked on, the writing has to be good and engaging, or it’s never going to happen.

4. What does the traffic look like?

You want to see it steady or increasing. You want the majority of the traffic to come from the site’s geographic target area. You do not want to see big traffic crashes or traffic coming from known link farms and communities.

5. Does the site openly sell links?

You would be surprised at the number of sites that sell links, even sites you’d never think are in the selling game. I always check to see if they are offering a paid link program publicly on their site, and if they are, we avoid it.

6. Are there any site hacks?

I always do a site search for various terms like Viagra and Cialis (the two most popular ones I’ve seen.) For example, the Pharma hack injects pharmacy-related terms into a site’s code, and the damage may not always be visible on the site itself, although it will appear in the search results.

7. Does the site have a lot of content related to gambling, payday loans, drugs and/or porn?

Unless you are building links for a site in one of those industries, I’d say avoid these types of sites unless it really and truly makes sense to get a link from them.

8. Does the site rank for its brand?

There are cases where this might not happen and everything is fine, but generally speaking, you want the site to rank for its brand name and (at least) somewhere in the top five. If it’s a very unique name, and you don’t see it on page one, something is definitely wrong.

9. Is this the original source or duplicate content?

It is always best to find the original source of a story and try and get a link there instead of on a small news publication or blog hosting the original article. They might not have permission to host the original article, so it’s best to find the source and work to place a link there.

10. Does the site look like it was made to sell or host links?

If the site is hosting articles pulled from an article directory or very short content loaded with a lot of keyword-heavy anchor text, it is probably not a good partner site. Run the content you find through a plagiarism checker, and if article directory content is returned? Avoid the site.

11. Does the site readily identify links?

This is a huge issue for visually impaired users, and it can also be a red flag. Why make the link look like regular text and not a link? When this happens, it’s usually to hide the fact that they’re selling links.

12. Has the owner ever emailed you trying to offer you a link?

I always check through my emails and our Do Not Contact database to make sure they haven’t been pursuing us.

13. Is every other post written by a Guest Author or Guest Expert?

The “guest” bit can be a little misleading, as a lot of guest posts are actually paid posts. Just as you don’t want to put your link on a site with tons of paid links, I wouldn’t want to put a link on a site with tons of guest posts.

14. Are people engaging with the site through social media?

I’m not saying they have to have a billion Instagram followers, but more engagement usually leads to more clicks on your links. Conversely, look to see if the site is interacting on the social networks. This is a sign the site is being promoted and wants to increase its traffic and prominence in an industry.

15. Last thing… does it look like your link would be a natural fit for the content AND get clicked on?

In the end, this is what really matters. There is no reason to add content or links to a site selling baby strollers if you are a site promoting call center software. The two industries don’t click from a people or engine bot standpoint.

My checklist should help get you started; it is a basic list, but you can modify it to meet your needs and industry.

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10 Ways to Find High Performing Content Ideas

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11 Content Curation and Collaboration Tools to Save You Time

content-curation-collaboration-tools-save-timeEditor’s note: You may have missed the original version of this post a couple years ago. We’re sharing Aaron’s updated version today, as more efficient teamwork is a constant need for content marketers.

As content marketers, we have our work cut out for us.

Getting original ideas off the ground is hard enough. Unfortunately, when we add all the curating, collecting, and collaborating necessary for full-scale engagement, overwhelmed is an understatement.

Yet, curating and collaborating is essential. And not just for in-house research. By a landslide, social media posts top the lists of types of content both B2C (96%) and B2B (94%) marketers say they use.

The problem is that social media marketing is notoriously self-centered. Without curation, we inevitably pack our feeds with pitch after promotion after pitch. And, without collaboration, we end up being echo chambers of our proclivities — instead of a diverse repository of thought leadership.

Without curation, marketers pack their feeds with pitch after promotion after pitch, says @AaronOrendorff. Click To TweetWhen Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs asked B2B marketers what was holding them back from developing a full-scale content marketing strategy, the top two roadblocks were a “small team” (67%) and “lack of time” (44%):


The question is: How can you create a system to curate and collaborate on content that doesn’t require more people or waste your time?

The answer lies in these 11 tools.

1. Quuu

Before getting into Quuu, let me head off an objection: “How is Evernote not No. 1?”

Two reasons. First, because most of us already use Evernote for content marketing, including it wouldn’t be groundbreaking. Second, mastering Evernote can be daunting and it’s not a platform I can speak to with expertise.

What I can speak to is the desire to automate social sharing without losing the human touch.

Use @quuu_co to automate social sharing without losing the human touch, says @AaronOrendorff. Click To TweetEnter Quuu. Quuu is the first social-sharing automation tool curated by humans, vetted by humans, designed for humans. Here’s how it works:

The Quuu community submits unique social posts through Quuu Promote into categories that are reviewed by Quuu’s editorial board to ensure quality. Those posts are then shared automatically across your connected social accounts — Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook — or you can have Quuu send you daily suggestions to quickly sort through yourself. Both the automatic sharing and suggestions are based on your selection of relevant categories.

In addition, its Collections offer even more choices for direct and native sharing:


But, what if you want to go beyond individual curation?

2. Smarp

Naturally, I’m a huge fan of Slack for direct sharing and company-wide communication channels. The struggle with Slack is that — without augmentation from plug-ins — it’s difficult to overlap with group collecting and direct social sharing.

With a UI that resembles social networks, Smarp specializes in employee advocacy: the art of leveraging staff at all levels to become brand ambassadors.

Use @BeSmarp to solicit #content for sharing or research within departments. @AaronOrendorff Click To TweetWhile that external focus is valuable, you can also set up Smarp for internal collaboration around categories or departments. By essentially creating “feeds,” marketers can more easily collaborate with subject matter experts within their companies to (1) solicit content for sharing or research, (2) start niche dialogues around that content, and (3) enable integrated social sharing either from official channels or by employees themselves.


3. Zoho Social

As a collection-and-sharing hub, Smarp excels. But what if you need more granular control over internal roles as well as external clients? That’s where Zoho Social comes in. Zoho is a full-scale social-sharing platform akin to Buffer or CoSchedule on agency-enabling steroids.

For the purposes of this article, it’s the collaboration tool set that shines.

A collaboration tool like @zohosocial allows you & your team to make decisions faster. @AaronOrendorff Click To TweetOn Zoho, for instance, you can set roles with corresponding access and permissions. Clients can view and interact with shared dashboards, collaboration tabs, and reports, while staff — e.g., writers or social media managers — can alternate between open and closed conversations.


4. Flipboard

Where the previous two tools excel as closed hubs for content curation and collection, Flipboard operates at the other end of the spectrum. With just over 100 million monthly active users in nearly 200 countries, its audience falls evenly along generational lines — millennial, generation X, and baby boomer — as well as gender lines.

Built to be the content equivalent of Pinterest’s visual dominance, Flipboard is a robust platform not just for public-facing curation but for driving traffic.

.@Flipboard is a robust platform for public-facing curation AND for driving traffic, says @AaronOrendorff. Click To TweetAlthough it lacks the seamless social integrations and control levels of Zoho, you can still use Flipboard to create private boards for internal collaboration with your team:


5. Curata

Pawan Deshpande, CEO and visionary behind Curata, knows a thing or two about content.

He has worked for both Microsoft and Google, so when he talks about content curation, we listen:

By having content curation involved in your company’s overall marketing plan, your company can save time, money, and resources. Without it, your company’s content marketers will be suffering from burnout. Content curation is the only way to go.

Without #content curation, your company’s content marketers will be suffering from burnout. @TweetsFromPawan Click To TweetCurata’s content curation software — a paid service — guides you through the process of finding, curating, and sharing content to your target market with consistency and data-backed ease.

Curata’s specialty is personalization. Discover and sort content served up from a smart engine. It’s this intelligent content technology that allows Curata to learn your interests and directly deliver content that’s valuable to you.


6. ScribbleLive Trapit

Following in Curata’s footsteps, ScribbleLive Trapit is another reader-learning engine.

However, ScribbleLive’s specialty is tapping into the content curation and publishing power that most enterprise organizations overlook — their employees. By enlisting insiders for ideas and promoting content from the inside out, you can improve your organic following, influence, and overall reach.

.@scribblelive is a tool that learns interests of users & gathers custom-picked articles. @AaronOrendorff Click To TweetThis discovery tool, which has been compared to Flipboard, learns the unique interests of each user and gathers custom-picked articles.

Boost your content marketing ROI by empowering people across departments to become advocates, evangelists, and leaders among their online circles.


7. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is the mother of all social-measuring and virality tools. Back when I was targeting mainstream publishers for guest posting, it was literally my first stop in the research process.

Why? Because BuzzSumo allows you to search URLs (i.e., domains) or keywords using a host of filters — like date, location, content type, and even word count — and then share that content directly to every imaginable platform:


Of course, you probably know that already. What you might not know — and the reason BuzzSumo is one of my go-to tools for collection and curation — is you can create team “Projects” by saving specific results or uploading a bulk list of URLs:


Projects let you not only collaborate internally, they also enable you to identify the top influencers in very specific niches to reach out for external collaboration. Plus, the Chrome extension works almost identically to Evernote with all the added benefits mentioned above included.

Use @buzzsumo to identify top influencers to reach out to for external collaboration. @AaronOrendorff #tools Click To Tweet


If you’re unfamiliar,! grew up as a lowly algorithm destined to change the way content is promoted, shared, and curated. Since its 2011 launch,! has built a thriving community appealing to individuals and businesses alike.

When you’re on!, you’re essentially surfing the web to find vetted and targeted content from and for your audience. You can then “scoop it” to publish either your own work or your favorite pieces from other sites.

Instant, one-click publishing is what makes! especially valuable for content curation management. Not only does this create a digital paper trail to mine, but it also connects you with influencers in your niche.

Instant, one-click publishing is what makes @ScoopIt valuable for #contentcuration management. @AaronOrendorff. Click To TweetOptions for discovering, publishing, and curating content abound.

9. Feedly

Here’s a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed that truly satisfies when it comes to content curation. We all know that reading is good for idea formation, but not every feed reader is created equal.

Feedly delivers by offering a business-centered content focus. Also, it incorporates YouTube videos to add a powerful boost to the written content world.

Feedly’s best benefit is its privacy feature. You can conduct your content brainstorming behind the scenes with your team. This is a huge bonus, as content creation success hinges on the ability of your team to work together. In fact, teamwork is the focus of the next tool on the list as well.

.@feedly’s best benefit is its privacy feature, says @AaronOrendorff. #contentcuration #tools Click To Tweetfeedly-rss-feed

10. Triberr

If it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise a company’s content?

Triberr. One of the non-obvious ways to promote content is to dive into a content community. Triberr is essentially a digital coffeehouse or corner pub, delivering readers to your content while exposing you to new content. Blogger communities can support each other’s content, inspire ideas, and drive traffic from one location.

While criticized for its auto-posting tactics (theoretically, a user can tweet about an article without ever reading it), Triberr remains a premier method of exchanging ideas and accolades in a professionally focused group.

Use @Triberr to exchange ideas & accolades in a professionally focused group. @AaronOrendorff #tools Click To Tweettriberr-content-promotion

11. Pinterest

To be honest, I never would have thought to include Pinterest as a content curation tool. Sure, it’s a great marketing and community platform, but collection and curation?

What opened my eyes was Nicole Kohler’s article, The Powerful Content Curation Tool You’re Not Using:

Pinterest may seem like just another fluffy, feel-good website full of cupcake photos and endless boards of shoes, but beneath its soft exterior lies the makings of a powerful content curation machine.

What makes Pinterest a powerful content curation machine? First, Pinterest is a direct connection to your audience. Follow your followers and your feed will hand you what they like.

Second, Pinterest is visual. As you build a content library it can be easy to become fixated on SEO, keywords, and search queries. Pinterest reminds us that humans are creatures heavily reliant upon visual cues.

Follow your @Pinterest followers & your feed will hand you the #content that they like. @AaronOrendorff Click To TweetAnother great feature of Pinterest is that it can boost creativity when it comes to your content ideas. And — since the half-life of Pinterest content is three and a half months — your team won’t be finding stale material.

More curating, less time

Naturally, diving into all 11 tools for curating, collecting, and collaborating can be overwhelming. So don’t. The point is to simplify your process and find out what works for your content curation management needs.

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