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Posts in Content

Brain freeze: data overload and the weary consumer

It’s been long established in marketing research circles that the more choices you give a consumer, the less likely he or she is to decide on one.

Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School and author of The Art of Choosing, addressed a roomful of marketers at BRITE ‘11 about how to navigate the problem. Her work has implications for selling anything online or offline.


Copywriting for digital mindsets

Your web visitors come to your site to find out more about what you do. They’re looking for someone to help them.  If you’re like most companies, you are willing to invest large sums in the design and build of your website but much less in web copy to make it whistle and whirr.

Writing compelling web copy is a hugely undervalued skill. Too many companies think that being able to write is all that’s required. But even people who write well for the paper page can come unstuck with website copy.  

Only a very small minority of writers have a good understanding of the digital mindset.


What did I learn swapping a book for a retweet?

A few weeks ago I released a mini eBook about link building for SEO titled “Becoming a Clockwork Pirate.” Although I put my heart, soul and everything I know about link building into the 30,000 word digital mini-book, that’s not what made the book most interesting.

What made it unusual was the approach I took in ‘monetising’ it.


Eight lessons from Gawker's redesign atrocity

Gawker's recent launch of a new design may prove to be one of the worst redesign launches in the history of the internet. It not only sparked an outcry from users, but let to a massive drop in traffic for one of the internet's most popular publishers.

In the face of what can only be described as an online publisher's worst nightmare, Nick Denton, the outspoken head of Gawker, has been unusually silent. Until now.

In an email he sent to staff, he admits that "the transition was definitely more bruising for readers and our own staff than it needed to be" and discusses what is being done to rectify the situation.


Social proof for digital marketers: a primer

Bar staff and subway buskers will routinely ‘seed’ their tips jars and guitar cases with some change so that passers by think that contributing is what is expected and are then compelled to do so themselves.

Can online marketers tap into this same psychology?


Digital may not save book publishers, but...

For many industries, digital technology is both destroyer and savior. Take the newspaper and music industries, for instance. The internet is frequently blamed for their demise, yet new technologies are also expected by many to help save them.

When it comes to how digital is killing and saving established industries, book publishing may not grab the most headlines, but it is arguably one of the most affected.


How to prepare for unexpected website outages

For many companies, the web has become a cornerstone, if not the heart, of their business. So what would happen if your site went down for a significant length of time? Or even for just a few minutes?

For a company with a static page it may not mean much, but for an online retailer trading in the run up to Christmas or a bookie on the day of the Grand National, the effects on the bottom line could be catastrophic.

Are you prepared for the unexpected?


Google's Farmer update: who was hurt the most?

Last week, Google unveiled an algorithm update designed to ensure that its SERPs aren't dominated by low-quality content farms which specialize in producing rivers of search engine-friendly pages.

The rationale for this update is clear: faced with increasing public criticism over the quality of its SERPs, Google had to act.


A/B testing: five informative case studies

A/B testing is an incredibly useful tool for designers, developers, managers and executives. Sadly, despite the benefits, it’s often underused.

The news for those who shun A/B testing is particularly bad: it can facilitate dramatic improvements in numerous KPIs, including conversions and sales, as evidenced in the following five case studies.


Article marketing: is it worth the effort?

Increasingly the content marketing is growing from a glint in the copywriter’s eye to a fully fledged marketing beast, rampaging through budgets and upsetting marketing manager’s neatly planned timetables (We even run a course about it).

Someone, somewhere finally figured out that if you have a lot of compelling content, then you’ll get more readers hanging out on your site. Of course, the trick lies in making people aware of all that fantastic content in the first place.

It’s fair to say that users are often creatures of habit, visiting the same blogs and sites on a daily basis, so while link building and guest blogging have major parts to play in a detailed content strategy, occasionally the only way to get in front of those cloistered users is to market articles directly to sites they are already visiting.


LinkedIn and the 80/20 rule

Social networking started its meteoric rise more than a half a decade ago, but some of the biggest names in the space are just getting set to really cash in.

One of those names: LinkedIn, the social network that has carved out a lucrative niche as the social network for professionals. It's going public soon, and could pave a golden path for social networking brethren like Facebook when they go public.


Six reasons why your brand should hop on the API bandwagon

The monolithic brands of the industrial age are giving way to the distributed, participative and democratized brands of the digital age.

In this post, I'll explain how APIs can take your brand in promising new directions by harnessing the power of the community...