BarnRaisers


Archive for the ‘Blogging’


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

varwwwclientsclient1web2tmpphpf9IlbC

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

12 lessons learned when interns do your social media 3

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Social media interns

With colleges out and students looking to make their mark or start a career this summer, here comes a rite of passage: Putting interns to work doing social media marketing for your business.

After all, who knows more about social media and spends more time on social networks? What business doesn’t want people to “Like” them on Facebook? Why wouldn’t it be a great idea?

It rarely is. As both an owner of a digital marketing agency and MBA faculty at Rutgers CMD who teaches digital and social media marketing, I hear it from both sides. Interns, who generously give of their skills and time, don’t get much from the experience. People who hire them then say they tried social media for their brand but not much happened.

Do businesses get what they pay (or don’t pay for)? Here are 12 lessons learned when interns do your social media marketing.

  1. HAVE WITH A BUSINESS STRATEGY: Having interns do your social media is not a business strategy. Giving them a  focus on the desired business results is a much better place to start.
  2. TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE ON THE INTERNET TAKES TIME: The internet is one of the most effective and profitable places to build an audience but it doesn’t happen overnight. Thinking the work of interns in a few months can change the course of your business is probably not going to happen.
  3. KNOW WHO TO ATTRACT: Social networks are great for building relationships that couldn’t have happened through normal channels like email and the phone. Having followers on Twitter or a robust Pinboard on Pinterest doesn’t matter if your audience is on LinkedIn. Relationships that lead to sales can’t be created until your customer is clearly defined.
  4. IDENTIFY ADVOCATES: There are many case studies of businesses where social media played a pivotal role due to advocates who made strong, authentic recommendations. Louis Pasteur said, “chance favors the prepared mind.” The odds of advocates influencing your business are much greater if you spend time looking for who they are.
  5. CREATE A “VOICE” FOR YOUR BRAND: Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing. It’s a conversation, not a monologue. Intern shouldn’t be expected to know the dialogue you want to make happen. You need to tell them.
  6. HAVE PLENTY OF RELEVANT CONTENT: After your product or service, relevant content is your most valuable asset. Interns can’t  make this up, you have to provide it at the outset with the establishment of key topics. Then, they can help you develop a content calendar.
  7. MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS A DESIRABLE PLACE TO VISIT: People like to business with people they know. If your social media efforts starts to show progress, your audience will want to get to know your better. Don’t disappoint them with a website that doesn’t live up to the quality of your social media content and conversations.
  8. INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA WITH OTHER MARKETING INITIATIVES: Social media works, but it works much better when it’s integrated with all the other marketing efforts and each are supporting one another.
  9. HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: Every business should be guided by standards and values. If a real social media example helps, GM has a blog called Fast Lane. It’s written by their senior executives. Their social media policy is one companies big and small can learn from and we can all learn from GM.
  10. CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD: It’s more important to learn than to be right. If you’re wondering what a “Like” has to do with sales create an actionable scorecard of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that you can look at regularly, provides insights and helps you take action.
  11. EMPHASIZE WHAT’S WORKING AND PULL BACK ON WHAT”S NOT: Some initiatives will work better than others so spend time interns have generously given you pursuing what’s producing results and de-emphasize what’s not.
  12. VIEW TIME AS YOUR MOST VALUABLE, NOT YOUR MOST EXPENDABLE, COMMODITY: Many businesses start their journey with interns viewing their time as something that, for a limited duration, is expendable. There is a different way to think about it. That is, given what interns can do with the right direction, the time they’ve given you is invaluable because it’s capable of producing extraordinary results.

Are you having interns do your social media marketing this summer? Do these lessons help teach you how you should be putting them to work?

36 reasons why I blog 3

Posted on January 27, 2013 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

varwwwclientsclient1web2tmpphpxfKroE

The reason I began to blog was inspiration I got from others’ blogs.

It wasn’t a plan but what I lacked in planning was made up in heroes. People in my field who blogged were knowledgeable, smart and generous in spirit with information and ideas I found of great value. They stood out, seemed genuine and real. They still stand out. (A  few of the posts that served as inspiration years ago are listed at the bottom).

It motivated me to start, learn and stay with it. After that, I learned there were many benefits to blogging. What are they? Here are 36 reasons why I blog.

  1. It’s how to have 1-to-1 relationship with 1-to-many
  2. Nothing works like writing about what you know
  3. We want to share what we know with others; it’s in our DNA
  4. Studies show no other form of digital expression is better at securing trust (source: eMarketer)
  5. People return to a place where they know they will learn something new
  6. It’s never stopped being gratifying to teach someone something new
  7. It’s synonomous with the term, personal brand
  8. It’s how you find and attract people who share the same values
  9. Your audience is global from the moment you begin
  10. It’s friendships and bonds you couldn’t have developed any other way
  11. It’s how to put you personal values into your profession
  12. Blogs get through to people in ways that an email or phone call never could
  13. Blogs provide the means to move between personal and professional with credibility
  14. Blogs help people get to know you; people like to do business with people they know
  15. It is the best way to drive traffic to a website
  16. The search engines recognize and reward those who continually put out fresh content
  17. Each and every one of your blog posts are individual web pages, indexed by search engines to build your brand presence
  18. A keyword strategy is easier and more effective to execute through a blog than any other digital medium
  19. Blogs help with long tail search term rankings and keyword phrases you never would have found otherwise
  20. Other bloggers link to you; the search engine recognize your authority in a particular niche or market.
  21. Relevance and authority are the two attributes that drive search rank; blogs are designed to accelerate both
  22. The algorithm of search engines, especially Google, recognize original content and “social authority” from blogs more and search tactics like “metadata” and “metatags” less
  23. The content and keywords that drive people to your blog is very measurable
  24. The content from your blog can be re-purposed to  many other aspect of your content or communications plan (e.g. email marketing, social media marketing, PR)
  25. This re-purposing of content doesn’t re-duplicate anything; it sends your message to new audiences
  26. Although there are lot of tips for blogging, the only way to really go wrong is not express yourself genuinely
  27. We all have a story to tell
  28. Blogs make it easy for others to share what you have to say
  29. It’s a direct and authentic way to ask readers what they want to hear and grow your audience with their collaboration
  30. It’s how you can do market research without research and travel costs
  31. Ir brings peace of mind
  32. It forces you to think better and smarter
  33. It brings out your innate ability to create and share ideas
  34. Like everything, you’ll get better at it the more you practice
  35. You’ll lead a more intentional life
  36. You may just inspire someone, like the posts below did for me, and there no greater legacy to leave than to inspire others.

These are reasons why I blog. Are they the same as yours? Are there any I missed?

If you blog, do they help to keep you going? If you don’t, do they motivate you to start?

Here are a some posts that inspired me:

David Berkowitz: 100 Ways to Measure Social Media

Chris Brogan: Grow Bigger Ears

Mack Collier: How Much Does Social Media Cost Companies

Peter Kim: Social Business ROI

 

  • Subscribe to our content by email

    Join Our Mailing List
    Email:
    For Email Marketing you can trust
  • Strategic Digital Marketing (Rob Petersen | Contributing Author)

  • 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media ROI – Over 150,000 downloads

  • How we work. Over 500,000 views

  • Rutgers Business School – MBA Faculty

  • Affiliate Disclosure

    I am an affiliate for some of the products featured on this website. This means if you purchase them through a link or banner, I earn a commission. I recommend these products because of my regard for them, not because of the commission. Whether or not you decide they are right for your business and purchase them is completely up to you.

  • SEMrush

    SEMrush
  • Categories

  • Follow Me

  • Privacy Policy

    We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change but will be updated,
  • About

    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.



↑ Top