Blogging doesn’t come easy. A lot of effort goes into coming up with ideas each day and spinning them out into useful articles for our lovely readers.
Some days are certainly harder than others and everyone suffers from writer’s block every now and then.
To help other bloggers through those dark times, I’ve come up with 14 places to look for inspiration when you’ve got a blank page in front of you and a looming deadline.
There are undoubtedly other tricks of the trade that I’ve neglected to mention, so please share your own sources of inspiration in the comments.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
Since it is nearly Christmas, I do hope that everyone is getting into the festive spririt. For those that are there already, welcome!
For those that are not, I hope that by reading this blog and possibly downloading some of the suggested apps you will be nudged slowly into the spirit.
A wise man once said that "Creating a successful app is an incredibly difficult task, whichever platform you are using".
So with that in mind, I have diligently researched, trialled and tested Christmas apps suitable not only for children, but for people of all ages.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Some time between 2010 and 2011: “We should get a Twitter account!” bellows a CEO in a boardroom after reading the term repeatedly in a broadsheet newspaper over the weekend.
“Everyone’s on Twitter, our customers are on Twitter, we should get a Twitter account, and we should Twit at customers and tell them how great we are. We don’t want to be behind the curve on this one. Not like we were when we didn’t have a website until last year," continues the imaginary ruddy-faced executive as he pontificates to a room full of lap-dogs and sycophants.
"Also we should be on Facebook... Also do people still use MySpace?”
So the company immediately got a Twitter account, and a Facebook page and a [insert name of popular social media channel here] account and it pumped as many press releases, corporate slogans and nakedly brazen ‘buy-me’ marketing bilge down the channel as it possibly could, forgetting a number of key points.
- It’s a channel. Traffic can, and indeed should, move both ways.
- Nobody gives a damn what your company has to say.
- Your company will run out of things to say.
In this post, bear with me and you’ll get a couple of case studies and some best practice from brands using TV and promoted tweet tie-ups.
Before I give you the fun stuff, I want to say that best practice is all that matters. Ignore all the stats about engagement and sales uplift.
I don’t usually advocate ignoring stats, but as B2B marketing and service industries now pervade major cities of the developed world, we are awash with stats. And stats that claim to explain general concepts, such as generic increase in purchase intent after viewing a promoted tweet that references TV, are not helpful to you.
Yes, these stats succinctly explain the perceived benefits of advertising on Twitter, but like all data, it’s only that which directly pertains to your company that is of use.
There’s no point examining averaged trends when what you’re interested in is your business. Being blinded by amazing engagement stats will mean you don’t think properly about your campaigns. The last thing you want to do is drip out a poorly conceived set of promoted tweets and have faith they will deliver ROI.
The success of your marketing and advertising is dependent entirely upon detail; detail that’s way more granular than simply what channels you decide to advertise in.
PR and marketing are the most common reasons that UK businesses use social media, according to statistics released by the ONS.
The new Ecommerce and ICT Activity Report, which includes annual data from 2012, also shows that website sales totalled £164bn, representing 6% of total UK business turnover in 2012.
Looking at the use of social, the data shows that a third of companies (33%) that use social do so to develop the business’ image or to market products.
A further 23% use social to respond to customer opinions, reviews or questions, while 12% use it to involve customers in the development or innovation of goods or services.
Creating a successful app is an incredibly difficult task, whichever platform you are using.
For every super-viral Candy Crush there’s a thousand zero download zombie apps littering the floor of the app store.
So what makes a great app? I recently took to Twitter (via an app naturally) to find out what busy digital people loved about apps...
Once again, here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Statistics include Pinterest, eBay, mobile, social customer service, Amazon and a bumper stack of data from Cyber Monday.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Using video on a landing page can increase conversion by up to 86%.
This statistic comes from a study by EyeView on various ecommerce sites.
In the study, two different variations of the same website were built, with 50% of the traffic being directed to a landing page with an embedded video, the other 50% directed to a page without.
The website that achieved the largest conversion rate (86%) was an online tutoring service. This is clearly the type of company that would naturally benefit from a landing page video, as most of its content is likely to be delivered via that medium anyway. It’s a free ‘sampler’, a way to show how professional and useful your service is before the visitor has signed up for a subscription.
Video is one of the best and most persuasive of all visual tools as it’s capable of delivering large amounts of information quickly and succinctly. Especially if it's about a new service or product.