5 Impactful Digital Marketing Takeaways from MNSearch Summit

MNSearch-Summit-2015

In order to be an effective digital marketer, it’s imperative that you understand the role that search plays in all of your marketing initiatives. The search landscape is quickly evolving and sometimes what you need is a helping hand from some industry experts to set you down the path to success.

Amazingly, that is just what we experienced at this years MNSearch Summit. Alexis Hall, Evan Prokop, Joel Carlson, Kat Steiner and I took a leap across the river into St. Paul Minnesota for a day filled with actionable information that can be used to improve any digital marketing program.

If you were not able to attend, or maybe didn’t get to see all of the sessions that you would have liked, we’ve provided a helpful roundup of 5 of the takeaways that we believed were most impactful for digital marketers.

ahall

Team Member: Alexis Hall

Session: The Data-Driven Content Marketer – Sean Callahan, LinkedIn

The statement exemplifies the pain marketers have been feeling for over 75 years. Imaging the glory days of a 1950s Don Draper, when advertising was based on gut feel, seeing into the soul of the customer. Some things worked and some things didn’t.  The problem was – it was very difficult to tell which was which.

As savvy content marketers today, we certainly know more about performance than the 1950s ad man, but many of us still feel a gap when it comes to measuring content. We are ready to move beyond page views and social shares to find out if our content is really working.

Enter – big data. It’s no surprise that the amount of data is ramping up:

  • 5 Quintillion bytes of data created every day across the globe
  • 90% of existing data has been created in the last 2 years
  • 90% of buyer journey completed by the time a prospect reaches out to a salesperson

Throughout his presentation, Sean provided examples of companies like Netflix, Google, Zendesk and many more that are using data to guide their content marketing strategy.

He explained that one approach to creating relevant content is the Big Rock Approach, when one big piece of content in a period feeds other content marketing efforts.

The Big Rock Approach follows these steps:

  1. Start with keyword research: Find out what your customers asking and where that intersects with your business.
  2. Repurpose content like leftover turkey: Use tactics such as slide presentations, blogs, infographics, webinars and videos. Then drive your audience back to a gated piece of content to drive conversions.
  3. Use turkey slides to fuel your content hubs: Examples would include:
    1. Company pages
    2. Sponsored updates
    3. LinkedIn Groups
    4. SlideShare

When you are able to merge a data driven approach with truly relevant content then you can make your marketing really meaningful.

ksteiner

Team Member: Kat Steiner

Session: How to Win with the Unexpected in PPC – John Gagnon, Bing

In his session, Bing Ads Evangelist John Gagnon offered sound advice to help marketers look at solving problems in unique ways.

There were three strategies that John discussed including voice search, brand term bidding and offsite tagging. All of which can be used to help companies stay competitive with their online properties in the current digital landscape.

Voice Search

According to Gagnon, the increase in the use of voice search will alter how marketers strategize on behalf of their clients. Currently, 25% of inquiries come from a voice search. It is essential that steps are taken to target this specific audience segment.

The use of voice search is different from a typed inquiry in the following ways:

  • A searcher is mobile, so the results will change accordingly
  • A searcher is looking for local results
  • The search inquiry is shaped in a more conversational format

Brand Term Bidding

When looking to attract traffic for branded search, companies still need to utilize paid search opportunities in addition to organic strategies. By bidding on the highly visible paid space, companies can ensure less clicks go to their competitors.

Brand term bidding gives marketers control of what landing page a visitor arrives on. By maintaining visibility in the paid space for branded terms, a marketer can influence the first impression a visitor has when they arrive on their website.

Offsite Tagging

When looking for remarketing opportunities, marketers can utilize the websites of relevant business partners to gain insights. Marketers can tag the site of the business partner to see how visitors are interacting, then start collecting information to build out the audience and report on their behavior. Once relevant audience members are identified, these individuals can be retargeted at a later date.

azeckman

Team Member: Ashley Zeckman

Session: Email Marketing Trends, Tactics & Opportunities for Search Marketers – Loren McDonald, Silverpop

Loren McDonald provided some great insight into email marketing trends, as well as the convergence of email marketing and search. What stuck with me the most from his session was the opportunity for email marketing and search teams to work together, and the fact that most simply aren’t.

Below is some of the low hanging fruit that Loren mentioned in his presentation:

  1. Landing Pages: You can build a dynamic email based on the search terms that consumers used to get to your landing page.
  2. Lead Scoring: If marketing automation is being used, begin incorporating keywords into lead scoring. Keywords can be scaled higher or lower based on what was used to drive the consumer to your website.
  3. Keyword Driven Email Content: There is also an opportunity to incorporate the keywords used in search results to drive the content of your email campaigns.

eprokop

Team Member: Evan Prokop

Session: How we Can Tell a Compelling Story with our Google Analytics Data – Jeff Sauer, Jeffalytics

There are many steps involved in collecting, cleaning and categorizing data in a way that makes it prime for storytelling. Jeff Sauer provided many actionable tips in his presentation to help marketers get more from their Google Analytics data. When it comes down to it, how can marketers use data to tell a compelling story?

In order for data to be valuable, it needs to tell a story. “Traffic is up 50% over last month” doesn’t say much, but “referral traffic from the ebook campaign we launched last month helped to drive a 50% increase in total website traffic, 20% increase in soft leads and 10% increase in revenue compared to the previous month” tells a much more compelling story.

A good web analytics story not only summarizes the current situation, it leads to actionable next steps. Taking the example above, a logical and actionable next step would be to allocate additional budget to the content marketing team to concept and launch additional ebook campaigns.

That’s the kind of story that drives business decisions and leads to results, and that’s what all digital marketers should be striving for from their web analytics.

jcarlson

Team Member: Joel Carlson

Session: The Power of Real-Time Content For Any Organization – Bob Stanke, Minnesota Timberwolves

The ability to respond to a story in real-time is an incredibly difficult task. In fact, AdWeek reported that only 4% of marketers are able to create content for breaking news in real-time.

Bob Stanke opened up his session by reminding the crowd of the heart wrenching story of the Chilean miners that were stuck underground for two months in 2010. He also highlighted that Oakley quickly jumped into action and provided the miners with sunglasses to help their eyes adjust once they were finally freed. This seemingly small investment and goodwill move on Oakley’s part led to an approximately $41 million return for the company.

In his position at the Minnesota Timberwolves, Stanke and his team have to be able to respond quickly and effectively to breaking news. Below are some of the ways that they are able to set their team up for success:

Real-Time Content the Timberwolves Way

  • Conduct weekly content meetings
  • Include representatives from over 7 different departments
  • Discuss various what-if scenarios
  • Give attention to crossing storylines (Ex. Does a current player live or did they live in an area that was just hit by a disaster)
  • Focus on human-interest topics as they relate to the organization
  • Discuss ways to use exclusive content and how will it be distributed

A Behind-the-Scenes Snapshot of #MNSummit

MNSearch-Summit-Collage

The speakers at MNSearch Summit covered email marketing, PPC, using data for storytelling and so much more. Which tip above most closely aligned with your current digital marketing needs?

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Online Marketing client.

Header Image: Shutterstock


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How to Create Oscar-Worthy Content Marketing: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs #CMWorld

AHandley---interview-header-

My pal Ann Handley has made it her life’s work to, in her words, “wage war on mediocrity in content.” Her best-selling book, Everybody Writes, is a practical guide to writing the kind of content that truly engages an audience.

As the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs (the world’s first Chief Content Officer, in fact), Ann advocates quality over quantity in all of her content ventures. She also spreads the gospel of good content at speaking engagements around the world, including the upcoming Content Marketing World conference September 8-11 in Cleveland.

To get a sneak preview of Ann’s Content Marketing World presentation, Good Content Vs. Good Enough Content: A Fight For Sore Eyes, I did my best to catch up with her during some pretty crazy travels. Along the way, she shared her journey on learning to write compelling content, the role of technology in content marketing, and the death of the marketing funnel.

My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.

As the CCO of MarketingProfs, best-selling author, keynote speaker, lover of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the most influential woman in Social Media (according to Forbes), when you look back on your journey throughout your career what are three things you never lost focus on that helped you get to where you are today?

  1. When I was in journalism school, my professor Charlie Ball used to tell me, “Remember: No one has to read this.” That perspective changed my writing from self-indulgent (all about me) to reader-centric (all about the audience). It’s been invaluable as a content-centric marketer and blogger and (frankly) as a person.

(Side note to parents — of either a human, dog, cat, ferret, lizard, llama, or otherwise: Parenting reaffirms this idea. Because nothing is about you. Ever again. And I say that in the best possible way.)

  1. Charlie also told me: “No one will complain that you made things too simple to understand.” Life is complicated. Business is messy. “Solutions” are multi-faceted. If I’m being honest, most things in life confuse me. My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.
  1. Finally: Deliver. Seth Godin calls this: Ship.

When I was in high school, the Pope visited Boston. I went to Catholic high school, where I was the editor of the school paper. I told the school I’d cover it for us. (The nuns were thrilled!)

But then I changed my mind, and I blew off the Pope’s visit to go hang out with my local public school friends. And when I got home that day, my Mom was unusually annoyed at me. I didn’t understand why — who cares? The Pope’s visit was all over the news anyway.

And my mom said, lips pursed and on the verge of losing it, “Because you had a responsibility to your position, and you ignored it for your own pleasure.”

At the time, I thought she was being ridiculously prissy. (I still feel bad to this day about my eye roll in response.)

But now, I get it. I said I’d do something, and then I didn’t. That’s not cool.

How I internalize that now: If you say you’ll do something, do it. Your word is more important than you might imagine it is.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity.

Your session at Content Marketing World will focus on helping marketers nail the basics of creating good content. What do you anticipate are the primary challenges for marketers today in creating quality content versus a quantity of content?

I’ve been thinking lately about technology. Because increasingly it’s heralded as the savior (or legitimizer?) of marketing.

Robots can write your posts. Tools can optimize them. Solutions can amplify them.

Awesome. I heart technology. I built my career on it, too.

But guess what? Technology is only as good as our story.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity. Always has. Always will.

Your story is the thing that sets your apart. So the question is: What’s your story? And how do you tell it?

There’s a growing rumbling in the marketing industry about the death of the funnel. Yea or nay?

The funnel was never a funnel. It’s always been an ecosystem, because the people who buy (the people at the end of the “funnel”) have always had the capacity to influence the decision of others. Social tools and technology make that information way more accessible, is all.

Which makes your sales and marketing efforts like the song that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friend, to quote Lamb Chop. (Is this the first time Shari Lewis has been quoted in a marketing context?)

What are your favorite examples of B2B or B2C brands that are creating great content for marketing?

B2B

B2C

Nonprofit

Government

  • This was a failed attempt, because the candidate didn’t get elected. But I believe it was groundbreaking storytelling in political marketing – The Best Political Ad Ever

What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

Incorporating storytelling into content marketing has always been a big focus of yours. What advice would you give to marketers to help uncover these stories, even if they think they might not have any worth sharing?

Every company has a story to tell, if you look at the world from your customer’s point of view. The designer Michael Wolff says, “What already exists is an inspiration.”

Train yourself to look at things differently. What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

What is the best piece of marketing advice that you’ve ever received personally?

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne (Marketoonist.com)

He didn’t say it to me personally — although he’s a friend, so he probably would if I asked him to. Regardless, I’ve internalized it as if he did. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think of it every day.

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people.

What do you like best about attending and speaking at Content Marketing World?

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people. It’s not quite like being with family — but there’s a similar feel of a kind of posse.

“Community” is one of those words that’s overplayed in marketing. But CMW (and a few other select marketing events throughout the year) embody it for me.

Thanks, Ann!

Ready to Create Oscar-Caliber Content Marketing?

Reserve your space at Content Marketing World 2015 for inspiring and informative presentations from 200 superstars of marketing.

For a sneak preview of Ann and 13 other marketing matinee idols’ presentations, grab your popcorn and settle in with our new eBook, Making Content Marketing the Star of Your Marketing.

Stay Tuned For the Thrilling, Final Chapter in Our Triple Content Marketing Feature!

CMWorld 2015 eBooks

On June 22, we will premiere the final chapter in our content marketing triple feature: Measuring Your Content Marketing Box Office Success. Featuring content marketing stars such as Joe Pulizzi, Andrew Davis, Michael Brenner and many more, you’ll be able to connect the content marketing performance dots with the strategy and tactics shared in the first two eBooks.


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How to Create Oscar-Worthy Content Marketing: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Essential SEO Considerations For Any Website Migration

Website Migration SEO Considerations

Sometimes implementing a website migration an essential part of doing business in a digital world. There are a variety of reasons why a company may choose to migrate from one site to another. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that your website is your virtual calling card to prospective customers and sometimes a website migration is a necessary step in providing your customers the best possible user experience.

Like botched plastic surgery, a poorly executed website migration can bring a host of SEO problems, including making your site difficult to find in search engines, confusing to use or filled with errors that make the searchbots run away.

To ensure that your website migration goes smoothly and leads to improved business, follow these essential migration SEO recommendations:

Assess Visitor Behavior with Web Analytics

Assess Your Analytics

In order to improve the user experience of your website, it’s important to first understand how visitors use your website now. Your website analytics platform can be a treasure trove for insights into historic usage patterns that can be essential to identifying issues, opportunities and sticking points that can be improved with a strategic site redesign.

Make sure you’re putting all of that valuable data to use by reviewing:

  • Top-viewed website content – Make sure you aren’t cutting content your audience loves.
  • Least-viewed website content – Even the best sites have some junk, take this opportunity to drop it or improve it.
  • Click maps – Looking at where people are clicking (or trying to click) can help to design an intuitive and frustration free navigation interface.
  • Paths to conversion – Regardless of what your website goals are (i.e. build subscribers, generate leads), understanding the paths which your visitors are taking to key conversion points can help to optimize these paths to make it easier and more enticing for visitors to convert into customers.

Web analytics tools:

Website Migration 301 Redirect Mapping

Map Url Redirects

If your website has been around for any amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve built up search equity in the form of links and social shares. In addition to tight keyword optimization, these are the primary factors that help to increase the visibility of your content in search engines and since they are tied to the urls on your site, a migration in domain or url structure can snuff out the valuable search equity you’ve spent time and effort building.

To avoid starting from SEO square one with your new website, it’s important to strategically implement 301 redirects from your old page urls to the new ones, as this will effectively tell search engines where your new site pages are and that they are replacements for the old versions. In addition, it will ensure that people and bots who follow links to your old urls will end up in the right place rather than an error page.

In order to map redirects effectively, start by documenting for all your existing pages:

  • URL
  • Page topic
  • Target keyword
  • Organic search traffic (I recommend looking at a minimum 6 month time range)
  • Links to page
  • keyword rank

Also document for your planned new site pages:

  • URL
  • Page topic
  • Target keyword

Once you have these two lists compiled, the next step is to map each page on your current site to it’s planned new location on your soon-to-be launched site. Redirect mapping isn’t rocket science, but it does take some thought (when done correctly). Fortunately, the previous exercise should give you all the information you need.

Of primary concern is topic relevance, in particular for highly trafficked and linked-to pages. When planning redirects, always consider what the experience of a visitor would be if they ended up on the redirect page rather than the original. Would it serve their needs as well or better than the old page? Would it feel confusing? Ideally the new page should be such a seamless transition that people don’t even notice the switch.

Redirect mapping tools:

 

Consider Time of Year When Planning a Website Migration

Choose Ideal Timing

Even the best planned and executed website migrations come with some downtime and a temporary decrease in traffic (approx. 30%) and search rankings. It’s a price worth paying, as a new and improved website can drive significant improvements in business over an outdated and clunky site. However, it’s important to time the transition for when it’s likely to have the least amount of negative impact on your business.

The best time of year to implement a website migration is when business is likely to be the slowest. Companies vary in the degree of seasonality they experience, but most have a ‘slow season’. You probably already know when this is, but if not, take a look at your historic yearly web traffic or revenue patterns to determine when your slow season typically occurs.

As with time of year, it also makes sense to migrate your site on a slow day of the week during off hours. For many B2B focused websites, this is late on Friday or Saturday, but make sure to make the decision based on your own analytics, as every site and audience is different.

Post Website Migration

Post Migration

After making your new site live, it can be tempting to relax and celebrate, but hold off on breaking out the champagne just yet. In the period of time shortly following a website migration, it’s critical to keep a sharp eye out for issues or opportunities as well as monitor website traffic patterns to make sure it’s heading in a positive direction.

QA Like Your Site Depended on It (Spoiler: It Does)

In addition to checking your 301 redirects, it’s important to give a visual inspection of each page on your new site. For efficiency, you can check both simultaneously.

Make sure that each of your redirected pages:

  • Goes to the correct new destination page
  • Gives the correct server response (301)
  • Loads quickly
  • Directs to a page that renders correctly

Upload XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap and Robots.txt

Like moving a brick and mortar business to a new location, it’s important to let people know where you’ve gone or else they may not be able to find you. On the internet, this is primarily accomplished via an xml sitemap, which tells search engines all about your new site and what it contains.

While you should have a properly formatted (and ideally auto-generated) xml sitemap on your site from day one, it isn’t enough to simply have it there, as search engines may not immediately find it without a little prompting. To avoid unnecessary delays, upload your xml sitemap to Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Once uploaded, check back to make sure your sitemap isn’t resulting in errors from either Google or Bing and that the majority of your submitted pages have been indexed.

Monitor Web Analytics After a Website Migration

Analytics

As mentioned earlier, a temporary decrease of approximately 30% in website search traffic and visibility can be expected in the period immediately following a migration, but it’s very important to monitor closely to make sure it is indeed temporary and that things are headed in the right direction.

Make sure to keep a close eye on:

  • Organic search traffic
  • Visit bounce rate
  • Conversion rates
  • Keyword rankings

Website Migration Crawl Test

Crawl Errors

Generally, crawl errors like broken links, 404 not found pages or duplicate content will be at their lowest levels on a brand new site, but it’s still important to check and fix any errors, especially as this can be an indicator of a mistake during the migration.

There are many good automated crawl tools available, but make sure you use one that can find:

  • Broken links and 400 error pages
  • 500 error pages
  • Duplicate content
  • Inaccessible content

A website migration may seem like a lot of work, and it most certainly is (when done correctly). But the potential payoffs in improved experience for your site visitors and increased business for you are more than worth the investment.

While none of this is exactly rocket science, it is important to get it right, as the risks of a poorly executed migration can be significant. If you don’t feel that you have the resources or knowledge to correctly implement your website migration, I strongly recommend enlisting the help of a skilled digital marketing agency or expert to help.

What are your best tips for a successful website migration?

Images from ShutterStock: First, Second, Third, Fourth


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Climate Change – The Real Deal



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It was in the spring of 2011 which was long remembered by the scale and horror of many violent tornadoes that tore through the Midwest and parts of the eastern United States. With the massive flooding of the Mississippi River in Illinois all the way to New Orleans created a catastrophic disaster. It seems like every spring has seen its share of storms where torrential rain causes immense suffering and loss of life. Once again we have drought conditions in many areas of our country and through out the world.

We realized that climate change increases the risk of hostility and conflict. The sea level rise today already cover the coastal landscapes around the world forcing people to leave their homes. In general, we are seeing migration, while due to the rising waters forced. This migration of refugees of climate change continues to grow each year. With drought conditions worsen shortages have become the strongest fresh water and food. Consequently, there has been and still is an increased competition for remaining resources never there. And this increased competition continues to exacerbate tensions, not only in all the countries concerned but throughout the world.

To understand the impact of climate change today is that one of its consequences has led to instability in Nigeria. This instability, now operated by the terrorist group Boko Haram continues to exasperate economic conditions worsen and throughout Africa. The drought and subsequent food shortages not only rising food prices intensified, has helped fuel the riots in early Syria. Today, with the country torn by civil war and the rise of ISIS caused serious risks, not only for the global economy, but has also had disastrous effects on humanity as well.

In the US, it has not been since 1920 in this country has experienced such devastation of nature in many places in a short period of time. Following all this devastation left much of the United States almost helpless. Too many lives lost, so much destruction, and many livelihoods in ruins was the result. Today, nature in all its fury unleashed chaos and destruction that continues to shake that nation. Man-induced climate change is attributed to a global quagmire of misery and death?

Throughout the centuries mankind has continued to upset the balance of nature. Man laid the foundation for the natural disasters that have transformed our world. Each nation is guilty of some environmental atrocity of one kind or another. Voluntarily or not the man continues to pollute, destroy, steal and our environment without worrying about the consequences of our actions, inactions and now to facilitate the devastation. To speculate that the Earth goes through its normal cycle of climate change as the reason why there are so many homes storms, longer droughts, earthquakes or massive flooding is too casual.

Monetary restrictions imposed by the reactions always change in the environment caused by human interference. The tragedies of humanity are imbued with blatant disregard for the environment, nature and all the inhabitants of the earth. Even with all the currently available more pollution than any other period of history is continuously discharged into our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans causing catastrophic damage to marine life technology, people from coast, all economies around the world . The need is very obvious, the technology is available, and resources can be provided to eliminate global pollution that threatens our very existence.

What it has happened since the arrival of the first industrial revolution in which man continues to drain the oil fields, groundwater deposits of coal and other minerals, which is a parody of our planet. Our continued reliability of fossil fuels on earth creates large gaps that contribute to the movement of earth plates along the lithosphere resulting from earthquakes, tsunamis, and even sink holes that cause terrible damage man and the nature. We also have to realize what humanity has done to the tropical forests of the Amazon. Destruction and almost total annihilation of the greatest resources of the stability of Earth’s climate, now it has become the greatest threat of the planets climate instability.

To not capitalizing the already abundant, automatic replenishment, and environmental sources of renewable energy humanity has made the land can not remain stable. Of course, the planet has experienced throughout the history of climate change, but mans continued escalation of fossil fuel consumption only increases and accelerates a change in the climate of the earth. When the weather changes drastically in a relatively short time period of great upheavals they have always happened. Worldwide, more frequently and with greater intensity have become. Always in the most horrible human suffering, nature and the environment and it is almost powerless to restore stability. All this while the costs to restore balance and stability today far exceeds the cost that would have been spent to prevent such disasters from happening in the first place.

All that is needed is the will of nations once and for all band together to solve the climate of the earth is directly related and influenced by human interference. To curb the acceleration of global warming, end the catastrophic pollution, and restore our depleted forests every nation must help restore the delicate balance of the earth. This, for humanity now be able to end the massive human suffering that causes more aggression and destabilization of nations worldwide-out. All this can be done using the technology available today. By making the sources of the first and second electrical obsolete industrialization is the fastest way to restore stability worldwide. The availability of solar, wind, hydro electric, magnetic energy and other green energy sources are easily available now. All that is needed is the political will to make them more accessible and affordable. The ability to restore the balance of nature on earth is at hand. And doing so could only alleviate many human tragedies that have placed man about to fall back into the caves of the Neanderthals.

How To Make A DIY Solar Panel



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The economic vitality is essential for both individuals and earth. As a family unit, with the possibility of saving money for electricity bills is an extraordinary method of management. Rather than spend more money in fees, they can put something aside for emergencies. The vitality of the economy can also save the earth. It hurts when power plants one little power is turned on. However the use of less energy can make a huge show on earth homes.

How to make a solar panel?

These are the things that you can easily find at home or near the tool shop, you could make a solar panel to help progress towards the environment and economical. Here progress Making a board of sunshine fed and the things you need:

Sheet metal clippers

Copper flashing piece of ½ feet

Glass vessels or plastic flasks

Tap water

Electronic drill, sand paper

Electronic burner

Alligator clip leads

Micro-ammeter

Safety spectacles

Table salt

Steps to Make:

Use sandpaper to reduce the signs of consumption of copper and completely clean fire. At this point, metal cutting shears so that he would coordinate with the burner.

Put the light on burner and cook for at least 30 minutes to make the copper oxide dark thick enough. When a decent coverage of the copper oxide framed, let cool until chips.

Clean the copper cooled with tap water, however, gradually to the fact that the type of red copper oxide, which has shaped the heating another bright copper away.Cut not the same size as little time recently. Gator with clasps, join the two letters he has done inside the glass container with a wide opening and a plastic container with a higher court. The tips should not touch each other and the curve with the state of the glass or carafe.

Join the crocodile’s head cut extravagant annexed intact on the positive side of the unit. Clasp changed to the plate with the copper oxide must be connected to the negative side. Make an arrangement and salt water. Make a response that can adequately splash motherboards. Fasteners must be between the hammer and the anvil.

Place in the sun and perceive how you can make the leap from the gauge. Then you can use it to help power different machines.

So if you want to organize electricity to effective and affordable then this is the best idea for you, especially when you think about decorating the dining room or formal living room in a professional manner.

Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy: Ready, Set, Action! Carlos Abler of 3M #CMWorld

CAbler---interview-header-V2

Long ago, I received the best business advice for accelerating performance: Find the smartest people in the industry and learn from them.

Whether you’re a budding director with dreams of the big screen or the director of marketing charged with scaling content across the enterprise, finding the right people to learn from is essential. When it comes to content marketing, you really can’t go wrong with Carlos Abler from 3M.

Carlos is the Leader of Content Marketing and Strategy: Global eTransformation at 3M where he developed the Enterprise Content Strategy and Marketing Acceleration program. You may have heard him interviewed for the Content Marketing Institute’s Pivot Podcast or seen him present at a number of content marketing conferences. In September, Carlos will be presenting at the 2015 Content Marketing World.

To whet your appetite for his Content Marketing World presentation, we sat down with Carlos to talk about content marketing, content strategy, and how to develop a content marketing culture across a large enterprise.

The über-deliverable at 3M is content culture transformation as an essential pillar of digital transformation.

In your current role as Leader, Content Marketing and Strategy, Global eTransformation at 3M, how has your approach to content marketing evolved or changed since you started?  

For me it was a radical change compared to past practice. Before 3M my career was focused on producing, directing and creating content and applications. At 3M the goal is to enable and scale content excellence as a capability for a $30 billion dollar company with 30 divisions and products for just about every vertical known to humankind. So the über-deliverable at 3M is content culture transformation as an essential pillar of digital transformation.

The deliverable of content excellence within an organization is quite different than delivering excellent content. Fortunately transposing what I do into tools and practices is a very natural thing for me to do. My analyst friends tell me it’s unusual to have a dedicated role with content in our title doing the kind of thing I am doing. Rebecca Lieb referred to Michael Brenner and I as unicorns. So I deliver rainbows. That’s different.

Content strategy is a selling term, not a doing term.

How do you define content marketing vs. content strategy? How can they work together better?

Content strategy is a broad term for an array of practices for managing the lifecycle of content. I tend to define the term historically because I never use it for a practical purpose. Ever. Content strategy is a selling term, not a doing term. I use terms like content operations, content organization and content supply chain.

Strategies involve trade-offs toward a goal. The inherent trade-off underlying content strategy is between winning or not winning with content. It is like saying our breathing strategy which ladders up to our goal of not dying. With content, the term strategy only becomes useful as a modifier when focusing on facets of the practice.

If your content isn’t a product then it’s not content marketing; it’s just communication.

I have a definition of content marketing I use internally for our organization, though I like CMI’s definition as an industry baseline. Here is mine:

Content and application marketing is the practice of delivering meaningful content products and applications relevant to helping people achieve their goals and/or serving their experiential interests; a parallel marketing effort for the purpose of increasing brand relevance and supporting the sales and relationship goals of other products. 

There are a few key features of this definition:

  1. Content marketing has self-contained value. If your content isn’t a product then it’s not content marketing; it’s just communication.
  2. I include applications. Applications are just as critical: They are how the content may be delivered, consumed and acted upon.
  3. I explicitly call out both the practical and experiential.
  4. I call out that content marketing is serving the goals related to marketing of other products where content is not the core revenue stream.

How do ‘content marketing’ and ‘content strategy’ work together?

Content lifecycle practices enable content marketing to be successful, while content marketing imposes requirements for what your content practices must be to enable success. They work together better when organizations ensure both practices are alive and well.

So in summary: Content strategy is a broad concept of organizational practices for effectively managing content lifecycle; content marketing is a specific application of content to add value to an organization’s relationship with people. Content strategy enables content marketing and content marketing defines the requirements that content strategy must serve to enable it.

Content is both a vertical and horizontal pillar of the overall marketing and audience relationship practice.

Where do you see content fitting in with the overall digital marketing mix for most large, complex organizations? Do you think content should lead or follow with most digital marketing strategies?

I don’t see content in a leading vs. following dynamic. I see content as both a vertical and horizontal pillar of the overall marketing and audience relationship practice, inseparable from many marketing and all relationship activities.

The concept of content “leading” could be said to apply in addressing an individual who has no familiarity, and you use content marketing to establish a relationship prior to promoting other products. But that would only apply tactically to that particular relationship stage.

Content marketing as interactive and as a vertical and horizontal pillar is true irrespective of company size. The only differences are orders of scale, federated complexity, and sophistication of infrastructure.

In terms of how content marketing works with product marketing; here is how I like to see integrated content marketing programs get lift-off:

We identify how to integrate content marketing practice in concert with marketing planning and implementation cycles. I like to get the content marketing conversation in early during general marketing strategic planning processes.  If you have your conduit champions who are dedicated to content, you can get the right intel to start shaping a plan. Also you can leverage the content champions to steer the larger group to generate more quality actionable information out of the strategic process

Once strategic planning is in but before the organization has built out a tactical plan is the perfect time to insert detailed cross-functional content marketing workshops. Marketing, sales, customer support, technical services or any other key customer facing function are involved across all processes, from information gathering for planning input, to the workshops themselves. Again, it is not a lead-follow situation. It is intensely iterative.

Most large companies are challenged to scale a culture of content creation across the organization. What are some insights you can share with industry peers in terms of how to improve content marketing adoption across the enterprise?

  1. Have all of your core content processes, especially upstream strategic process be fiercely collaborative across customer facing functions. The single most important thing is cross-functional collaboration from the very beginning. Your tactical intel will be more accurate, your assets will actually serve the nurturing process, and you will establish the human-to-human feedback that no technology can replace.
  2. Find people who are truly focused on the customers’ needs and goals. It helps if these are the same people or are partnered with people who have a content responsibility for these audiences.
  3. Accelerate identification of the topics and help that customers are in most dire need of. The faster you get to that, the more grounded in direction tactical discussions and planning can be.
  4. Deploy processes and tools that help people be responsive to the dynamics of content performance. Once they see what the pace looks like for revisiting the hypotheses of their editorial calendars and how feedback iterates on that hypothesis, people get excited.
  5. Help people understand how content can map to the macro-stages of the customer lifecycle, and to the micro-stages of the various subscription transaction, decision support journeys that are contained within that lifecycle. It’s amazing how much people just shoot in the dark and hope they hit something as they check the box of marketing activities. It’s just that with digital technologies they are shooting in the dark with fancier machines.
  6. Help people identify their optimal publishing rhythms. It helps the organization rightly plan for the skills and resources required.
  7. Assign roles with content responsibility and ensure they have the time, skills and production resources required.
  8. As a champion of content you need to cultivate relationships based on service with anyone and everyone in the organization who are champions of content.
  9. Build alliances between siloed entities. In big companies you never know when a subsidiary is already a year and a half into an initiative that just needs to be scaled versus just starting it from scratch.
  10. Create centralization sparingly and empower independence. Centralizations should really be focused on essential control points, economy of resources, and effective service and asset delivery.
  11. Ensure that content is managed in a manner that is findable for repurposing. If people don’t have to re-create the same assets over and over, their entire program will accelerate.
  12. Help the organization quickly develop a hypothesis for what publishing channels to focus on, and what they expect to achieve from each one. Media channels as choreographed network is the key concept.
  13. Create a framework for defining quantitative goals, their respective KPIs and a manner for tracking these. That first step of setting up a quantitative hypothesis is very important. If what comes out of the pipe is very different from what you expected, you can start adjusting accordingly
  14. Run Pilots. Push to get content lifecycle technology gaps filled. Cultivate true believers invested in the systems.
  15. Have answers to every question imaginable about content. You need to be ready to be that go-to person.
  16. Have documented processes tools and templates ready to go yesterday. Build your documentation and tools as though you have been given a hundred million dollars to build the dream team of all time.
  17. Tell the story of content and providing foundational case examples that you continue to refer to time and time again. Get some examples and repeat them in the context of where and how they add value. These types of solid concepts have proven helpful in fostering a productive mental model.
  18. Create big picture visions of what federation and alignment looks like across the content and organizational eco-system. Help people see outside of their silo and have a big picture view.
  19. Have a vision of the future. The most futuristic possible. Really push it. Of course you want to have all sorts of near term feasible visions with incremental steps forward, the patience of a tree, the perseverance of tectonic motion, and release potential of a tsunami; but you never know when you will have those champions who want to dive in and envision with you.
  20. Scale strategy as a service. An often overlooked concept is the notion of how to deliver strategy services at scale. These strategic content services resources should be embedded into fundamental marketing processes upstream from stages where agencies typically get hired.

Just do all that and you’ll be fine.

Thanks Carlos!

Want to learn even more about content marketing?

Then be sure to reserve your space at Content Marketing World for insights from Carlos and over 200 other leaders in the content marketing industry.

In the mean time, be sure to read The Big Picture of Content Marketing Strategy below featuring advice from marketing executives at companies like Marriott, IBM and Eloqua as well as industry thought leaders Robert Rose, Kristina Halvorson and Jay Baer.


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Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy: Ready, Set, Action! Carlos Abler of 3M #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy: Ready, Set, Action! Carlos Abler of 3M #CMWorld appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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