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Archive for the ‘Blogging’


10 inspiring company blogs with ideas for yours 0

Posted on October 10, 2016 by Rob Petersen

company blogs

  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • B2B marketers that blogs receive 67% more leads than those that don’t blog.
  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (source: HubSpot)

Blogs certainly seem to bring big benefits to business.

But, to see these benefits, it helps if the company blog has an idea behind it, a distinct voice and people who can keep it current, timely and help with outreach.

Would your business benefit from a company blog?

Here are 10 inspiring company blogs with ideas for yours.

  1. BIGELOW TEA: TALK ABOUT MORE USES THAN CUSTOMERS IMAGINE: Who knew Bigelow Tea can bring out the flavor of Roast Loin of Pork, make the perfect Cosmopolitan more perfect or be your companion to the Ultimate Fall Tea Party? That’s just some of the many uses you’ll discover for Bigelow Tea when you read the Bigelow Blog. When a commodity product conveys versatility beyond what you imagined, doesn’t that make you think about the brand in different light?
  2. BMW:  KEEP VALUED CUSTOMERS IN THE KNOW: BMW owners love their BMW’s. Many businesses have customers equally fanatical about their product. Is your business one of them? So why not use a blog to talk to them. Because they want to know what you are up to. At the BMWblog, you can learn about BMW’s most legendary models. their latest changes and their most legendary models to come. A blog can be a place where the people who care about you most are kept the most up to date. Don’t you think that can have an impact on your business?
  3. DROPBOX: MAKE CUSTOMERS’ LIVES EASIER: One thing for sure about Dropbox customers. They are going to be online when they’re using your product. So why not be a help to them. If you want to know how to sync Dropbox with MacOSSeirra, the best way to review designs on Dropbox or tips to working remotely with Dropbox, you can find them on the Dropbox Blog. Isn’t this value for a cloud storage service better  than one doesn’t provide this kind of help.
  4. HUBSPOT: BE A HELP RESOURCE: Hubspot’s blog is dedicated to helping marketers with content marketing. If you do a search for any online marketing tactic/tip in Google, you’re most likely see a HubSpot article as one of the top results. HubSpot has been so helpful and put out so much helpful content marketing advice, they rank in a top position on search engines for anything related to content marketing. Does increasing your search rank make a company blog worthwhile?
  5. MARRIOT: PUT THE PERSON BEHIND THE COMPANY OUT IN FRONT: Marriot On the Move, Marriot’s company blog, signs off each blog post, “I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.” At least twice a month, the founder and CEO of the company put his voice behind his brand. He recognizes employees, explains company developments and defines leadership. If the chairman spoke to you regularly, wouldn’t it increase your positive perceptions of the company?
  6. PATAGONIA: BRING YOUR BRAND IMAGE TO LIFE: Mention the brand, Patagonia, and travel and adventure come to mind. But, in the highly competitive world of e-commerce, materials, stitching, color availability and shipping policy are what has to take priority to any potential buyer. How to accomplish both? Your blog. On The Cleanest Line, Patagonia’s Blog, you can read about paragliding in the Alaskan mountain ranges to the many species of animal that inhabit Ibera National Park in Argentina. All without leaving the website. Doesn’t that make a premium-priced brand a little bit more worth the money?
  7. RED CROSS: SHARE YOUR GOOD WORK: For someone making a donation to a non-profit, a key consideration is where is the money going. On Red Cross Chat, the Red Cross Blog, categories from International, History, Blood (Family) and Disaster share their good works from every vantage point. Wouldn’t that make you feel better about where your money is going?
  8. WHOLE FOODS: EXPLAIN YOUR PASSIONS: Whole Story, the Official Whole Foods Blog, explains different varieties of apples, why specific ways of farming matter and their benefits to your body. They write almost daily. Sometimes more than once a day. In one sitting, you can read about the products your picking up to recipes to prepare them. Doesn’t this make you feel better about what you’re buying?
  9. SOUTHWEST: CREATE A BRAND COMMUNITY: At the Southwest Airline Community, Southwest’s Blog, “every seat has a story.” The blog is a community. One where you share stories, exchange knowledge, find inspiration from our members and get tips about airline travel. As of this writing there are 75,000 members in the Southwest Airline Community. Doesn’t that prove the benefits of a company blog?
  10. WORDSTREAM: BE A GO-TO RESOURCE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY: If you’re a digital marketer looking for the latest information about Google or Facebook, Adwords or ideas for social media, you’ll find them on the WordStream Blog. Written by company employee and Founder and CTO, Larry Kim, the WordStream is often first tips, points of view and inside information about topics that can make a difference in marketing performance. Doesn’t that contribute to being an industry leader?

Do these company blog give you inspiration? Which one is closest to your company? Do you need help developing a company to help your business stand out?

 

7 tools to find trending topics for your blog 2

Posted on December 21, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

tending topics blog ideas

By Antonio Tooley

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve written a killer blog post that will dazzle your readers and have them asking for more? Of course you have, but more often than not, those posts would wind up getting maybe a few Facebook likes, and not much else. That’s because you are going about it all wrong. Lots of bloggers make the same mistake: they create their content based on their own personal preferences, or what they think the readers want to see. The final result are posts that nobody seems to be interested in, and after investing all time and effort into writing them, the bloggers give up on the blog altogether.

Instead of repeating those same mistakes, try going about it the opposite way: bring the content to the people. Give them what they want. In order to achieve this, you need to be aware of what’s currently grabbing their attention. Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t because there are tools which can do that for you. We have chosen 7 tools that will help you discover trending topics. Keep on reading for more.

Trending Topics - Buzz Feed

BUZZFEED

It’s no secret that Buzzfeed is one of the most entertaining websites on the web, covering a wide range of topics, anything from pop culture, food, music, social news to gadgets, life hacks, and everything in between. But, it can also be used as a tool to give you a keen insight into what’s trending at the moment. With millions of viewers every day, Buzzfeed is definitely one of the tastemakers as far as content is concerned.

Trending Topics Google Trends

GOOGLE TRENDS

Since Google is the most powerful search engine on the web, you would be right in thinking that Google Trends have a good idea about topics that are trending among internet users. It allows you to search through trends in several different categories, if you want to fine-tune your research, or you can simply make use of the “Trending Now” button, which provides you with a detailed list of topics that are hot at the moment. You can either choose to view the results of your search with the help of a visualizer, or with the tried-and-true method of top charts. You can also customize your search based on your location, month, and plenty of other parameters.

Trending Topics Buzzsomo

BUZZSUMO

Another great online tool which can help you discover popular topics, as well as the most influential people on the web, is Buzzsumo. It is a bit more flexible than its competitors, because it allows you to perform your search by entering either a keyword, a topic, or a domain. Now, the clever bit is that it ranks the results based on a total number of shares across all major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, as well as Pinterest.

Trending Topics Twitter

TWITTER

And there it is, the mother of all websites when it comes to trending content: Twitter. Apart from being one of the most popular platforms on the Internet, Twitter also allows you to discover trends in several different ways. You can choose to search through topics that are trending throughout the entire world, or you can simply limit your scope to your own country. You can even check out the topics that are trending in some cities, as well. You should also take the time to check out trending hashtags and read what other influential users have to say on that particular subject. Once your blog attracts enough followers, you can use Twitter to expand your influence and become one of the trendsetters.

Trending Topics Flipboard

FLIPBOARD/ZITE

Flipboard is basically a news and digital magazines aggregator that is also compatible with social media’s news feeds, which allows users to browse through all kinds of content in a single very pleasing space, where focus is put in one content at a time. However, what makes Flipboard really interesting is its recent addition of a news curation software, designed by its former rival Zite, which lets the app deliver to each user only that content that is really relevant to him or her. Thanks to a powerful Artificial Intelligence core, Zite learns from users’ habits and interactions, and constantly perfects the content selection it displays. It was thanks to this great power that the app was first bought by CNN for $20 to $25 million dollars in 2011, and later on bought by Flipboard in a deal that the press estimates may have been as high as $60 million, in order to improve its own application.

Trending Topics Reddit

REDDIT

Reddit is one of those resources you have to check out if you are interested in trending topics, if only for the fact that is so popular. In fact, there have been many reports that the influx of visitors from Reddit was sufficient to crash smaller sites. You don’t want your blog to go down, but you do want to take advantage of Reddit’s massive influence. Finding your way around trending topics on Reddit can pose some difficulties if you are new to the site, so we suggest that you subscribe right away to subreddits that are related to your industry, or simply your personal preferences.

Trending Topics FollowerWonk

FOLLOWERWONK

FollowerWonk was designed as a site to help users find and follow influential content creators and brands within one’s area of interest. You can also be clever and use it as a tool to figure out your target audience. For instance, if you are running a blog that is reviewing digital cameras and providing useful guides on photography, you’ll want to find influential blogs on Twitter that are similar to yours, and discover if they have a common audience. Simply use the “Compare Users” feature, after which you will know if that particular niche you are targeting has enough readers to make it worth exploring.

With these 7 helpful tools, you will never be out of the loop when it comes to trending content. But, even if you are leaning on trends to find topics for your blog, don’t just follow in everyone else’s footsteps. This is your chance to provide your own fresh take on popular topics.

Antonio Tooley studied journalism at Rutgers University and lives in New Jersey. He’s a writer for a dissertation writing service Edugeeksclub. He will be happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

10 studies show writing helps health and well-being 0

Posted on September 27, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Writing

This is my 239th blogpost. That may be more than some, but not as many as other bloggers I know.

Like others, this blog began as an outlet for expression. I was starting a business. Like others who have followed this path, I said if not now, when. Only the when was in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. This blog became a way of coping and putting values and beliefs out there when not much was coming in.

Writing helped me through hard times. Circumstances improved. Today, this blog is one of our most valuable assets for a full service digital (digital, social, mobile) consultancy and agency that build brands using proven relationship principles and ROI.

Research shows I’m not alone. How? Here are 10 studies that show writing helps health and well-being.

  1. PUTS YOU IN TOUCH WITH YOURSELF: Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. – PyschCentral
  2. MAKES YOU MORE OPTIMISTIC: People in a study who expressed gratitude in writing once a week for two months were more optimistic about life (and, interestingly, exercised more), compared with people who didn’t. – Harvard Business Review
  3. REDUCES STRESS, AIDS IMMUNITY: Writing about difficult, even traumatic, experiences appears to be good for health on several levels – raising immunity and other health measures and improving life functioning. – American Psychological Association
  4. SPEEDS HEALING: Writing down your thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event can actually make physical wounds heal faster, according to a study from New Zealand researchers. – Scientific America
  5. INCREASES RESILIENCE: Studies show that writing during difficult times may help you find meaning in life’s challenges and become more resilient in the face of obstacles. – University of Minnesota
  6. HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER: Spending just 15 minutes a night writing down what you’re thankful for could do wonders for your sleep, according to an Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being study. Researchers found that study participants who wrote down a list of things they were grateful for before bed experienced longer, and better, sleep. – Psychology Today
  7. DECREASES ILLNESS: In one study, five months after writing, a significant interaction emerged such that writing about trauma, one’s best possible self, or both were associated with decreased illness compared with controls. – Southern Methodist University
  8. REDUCES DEPENDENCE ON DRUGS AND DOCTORS: In a study of college students, one group wrote about personally traumatic life events for 15 minutes on four consecutive days. The other group of students wrote about trivial topics. Compared to those who wrote about trivia, the students who wrote about traumatic experiences used fewer pain relievers over the next six months. They also visited the campus health center less often. – Aetna
  9. HELPS CANCER PATIENTS THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THEIR DISEASE: A study showed that expressive writing could help cancer patients not only think about their disease in a different way, but also improve their quality of life. – The Oncologist
  10. IMPROVES OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: Participants who wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings reported significant benefits in both objectively assessed and self-reported physical health 4 months later, with less frequent visits to health centers and a trend towards fewer days out of role owing to illness. – Pennebaker Study

In many of these studies, participants wrote for as little as 15 minutes a day but did it regularly. Is this investment in writing worth it for your health and well being?

40 facts on blogs every business needs to know to grow 6

Posted on August 24, 2013 by Rob Petersen

companies with blogs

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More businesses are blogging for marketing purposes. And more people are reading them. Blogs are the lowest cost marketing channel; yet, as the fact below show, they can produce high returns.

Why? Blogs drive traffic to a website; raise page rank on search engines; create high quality leads and generate revenue and ROI.

They reveal a truth about human nature and relationships: People like to do business with people they know. After a product or service, relevant content is a a business’ next best asset.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. The benefits of blogs don’t accrue without regular publishing, listening to the needs of your audience and engaging.

Is it worth it? Here are 40 facts on blogs every business needs to know to grow.

VISITORS TO A WEBSITE

  • 55% of businesses with blogs see more visitors to their websites (HubSpot)
  • 3X more minutes is spent on blogs by US internet users than on email or social networks (HubSpot)
  • 5X more website traffic comes to businesses that blog 20 times per month (4-5 week) than those that blog fewer than 4X times per month (HubSpot)

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

  • 434% increase in “indexed” search pages for businesses with a blog; said another way, businesses with a blog are found on 4X the number of search pages (HubSpot)
  • 97% more inbound links are found on website that have a blog. This means the search engine are much more likely to credit a business with a blog as being an “authority” in their industry and raise their search rank  (HubSpot)
  • 95% of businesses with a blog report higher search rank (HubSpot)
  • 85% of blogs use tags (Technorati)
  • 75% of us read a blog a day (Technorati)
  • 4X more search pages for businesses with blogs than those without blogs (HubSpot)

LEAD GENERATION

  • 77% lift in median monthly leads occurs to businesses with over 51 blog articles (HubSpot)
  • 4X more leads occur for businesses that blog 20X per month than those that don’t (HubSpot)
  • Average % cost per lead of various marketing strategies: Tradeshows=47%, Direct Mail=27%, Telemarketing=21%, SEO=13%, Blogging=9% (HubSpot)
  • Average % lead acquistiion by companies through internet marketing channels are: 57% Blog, 57% Linkedin, 48% Faceboook, 42% Twitter (HubSpot)

PURCHASE INFLUENCE

  • 70% of us say blogs influence what we buy (Marketing Sherpa)
  • 67% of marketers say their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business (HubSpot)
  • 45% of companies with a blog track additional revenue from their blog (HubSpot)
  • 15% say they are paid to give speeches on the topics they blog about (Technorati)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): CASE STUDIES:

  • GENERAL MOTORS’ FAST LANE BLOG: GM’s blog, written by senior execs, saves the company $200,000+ a year (Forrester)
  • IBM: Let company employees set up their own internal blog to crowd-source innovation and new product idea across its global network. Crowd-sourcing identified 10 best incubator businesses, which IBM funded for $100 million. They generated $100 billion in total revenue for a 100-to-1 ROI with a 44.1% gross profit margin (Social Media Examiner)
  • ZAGG: an online retailer, knows its blog results in sales, as it earns 172% ROI and 10% of the company’s site traffic (Marketing Sherpa)

BRAND IMAGE

  • 71% of all respondents who maintain blogs for a business report that they have increased their visibility within their industries through their blogs (Technorati)
  • 59% report blogging more frequently this year than they did last year (Technorati)
  • 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog (Technorati)
  • 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry (Technorati)

REACHING INFLUENCERS

  • 64% of bloggers say brand representatives treat them less professionally than they’d like
  • 42% of bloggers say they blog about brands they love (or hate)
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 51% they said they rarely review brands, services or products among companies
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 48% say they post reviews weekly

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • 87% of all bloggers use Facebook (Social Media Today)
  • 81% use Facebook to promote their blog (Social Media Today)
  • 64% use Facebook to interact with readers (Social Media Today)
  • 45% say Facebook drives more traffic to their blog than it did a year ago (Social Media Today)
  • 73% of hobbyists and 88% of professional bloggers still use Twitter (Social Media Today)
  • 50%+ of all bloggers link Twitter to their blog (Social Media Today)
  • 34% of bloggers say Twitter is a more effective traffic source than it was a year ago (Social Media Today)
TRUST
  • 64% trust the information in a blog post by someone they know (eMarketer)
  • 46% trust traditional media less than they did 5 years ago (eMarketer)
  • 36% trust the information in a company blog (eMarketer)
  • 35% believe blogs are taken more seriously (HubSpot)
  • 19% believe blogs are written better than traditional media sources (eMarketer)
  • Blogs are the #1 most trusted social media source (eMarketer)

A great infographic on the “Blog Economy,” developed by Ignite Spot  and shared by Linda Bernstein in a recent session of #blogchat contains some of these facts and more. It is well worth reviewing.

Almost half of all companies now have a blog; roughly double the rate from five year ago. But that mean half of companies still haven’t started blogging, yet.

Where does your business fall? Do these facts convince you to start? Do you need help getting started?

The Blog Economy

 

Mobile App vs Mobile Website? What’s better for business? 14 decision makers 3

Posted on August 19, 2013 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

Mobile App vs Mobile Website

 

  • 96% of marketers currently use or are planning to incorporate mobile marketing into their marketing mix (Source: ANA (Association National Advertisers))
  • 85% report an intent to raise their mobile budgets in the near future (ANA)
  • 84% use mobile websites; 78% mobile search; 76% mobile apps and 75% mobile display ads (ANA)
  • 59% of mobile websites are launched without testing or optimization (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
  • Only 16% of marketers have a mobile strategy (Source: CMO Council)
  • Only 14% are satisfied with the way their brands are accessing and leveraging mobile (CMO Council)

The numbers show marketers are rushing into mobile. They also indicate it’s: Leap before you look.

So, if you want to know what’s better for your business: Mobile App or Mobile Website? Forget the tactics, buzzwords and lingo. First, focus on business needs and a strategy.

What’s better for your business? Mobile App or Mobile Website? Here are 14 business decision makers.

MOBILE WEBSITES

  • REACH MORE PEOPLE THROUGH SEARCH: If you want your business to be found through a mobile search query, a mobile website is the way to go. Google has seen 400% increase in the number of mobile searches within a year (Source: Icebreaker Consulting). For Apps, you’re found on the Android or Apple App Stores.
  • BENEFIT FROM LOCAL SEARCH: While we’re on the subject of search, if your business has a local client base, local search on mobile device is fast outpacing desktop .  Of the estimated 30 billion annual mobile searches, about 12 billion are local searches.  Local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are projected to exceed desktop searches (84 billion) for the fist time in 2015 (Source: Search Engine Land).
  • SIMPLE CROSS PLATFORM SCALABILTY: Mobile websites work across all platforms, while apps are device-specific (i.e. iPhone, Android), requiring a business to develop an app for each platform. Mobile websites are generally easier to manage from a development standpoint.
  • LOW DEVELOPMENT COST: Since a mobile website is essentially a different front end for a website, the development is generally less involved than an App.
  • LESS RED TAPE: For an app, you have to request permission of go through an approval process with Google and Apple. The approval process with Apple can take up to a month. For a mobile website, there is no approval process.
  • NO DOWNLOADING REQUIRED: Mobile website don’t have to be downloaded to use. On the internet, an extra step can cause a customer to drop off.
  • ANALYTICS FRIENDLY: Tracking clicks and behavior is as simple (and insightful) on a mobile site as it is on an old-fashioned webpage. Almost a third of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, +73% from a year ago, according to the Walker Sands Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report.
  • MOBILE SITE VS. RESPONSIVE DESIGN:  Responsive Web Design (RWD) as it is commonly referred to, implies the formatting of Website design in a way that it most optimal for viewing and navigation across a wide range of devices, including traditional PCs, smartphones and tablet devices. While it is more expensive due to development time, Google thinks this is the better solution for avoiding any complicated redirects and simplifying the sharing of web addresses.

MOBILE APPS

  •  BETTER USER EXPERIENCE:  Written in “native code,” the technical language of a particular platform; such as the Rim Blackberry OS, iPhone OS, Windows Mobile, Android, or MeeGo, the use of native code allows the app to run with high performance, quality and speed.
  • FASTER, MORE INTERACTIVE: Site loading speed counts, especially on mobile. And loading speed for apps is almost 2x as fast as mobile websites. Plus, apps supports action-packed 3D games and resource-hungry applications that rely heavily on touch.
  • GREATER INVOLVEMENT: A primary advantage of mobile apps is people spend more time on them, almost +4X more time and growing. However, 1 in 4 people who download an app, never go back to it, again.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites - Involvment

  • OFFLINE AS WELL AS ONLINE ACCESS: If your business has customers who may not always have access to the internet, an app is the solution. Let’s say a farmer needs to access crop data from a remote field?  Done. Or, if your in real estate, your client wants to house hunt during his.her morning subway commute? No problem with an app.
  • DEVICE INTEGRATION: Apps can integrate a camera and geo-location service for a fuller experience for both the user and business. If your business is built around a customer log-in, apps take the experience to a place that not possible on a mobile website.
  • LOYALTY AND RETENTION: Just as search is a major advantage for mobile websites, retention and loyalty for current customers is a major reason and to consider a mobile app.

Of course, there is no reason why a business can’t have both. And many do.

But, as you think about what’s right for you, let your business strategy be your guide before the tactics and buzzword. You’ll be way away of your competition.

Did this help decide whether a Mobile Website or Mobile App is right for your business? Did it help you think about your strategy for mobile?

There are also some terrific infographics on Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites. A couple are below.

Does it lead you to the conclusion your business could someone to guide your mobile marketing?

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites Infographic

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites Olsen Inforgraphic

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, search and data-driven results.



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