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Why Web Push is the Next Big Thing for Bloggers

This is a guest contribution from Tim Varner of GoRoost.com.

Raise your hand if you’re a blogger who’d like to turn your one-time visitors into repeat visitors — and eventually, engaged community members.

If you’re not raising your hand, I’m sorry — but we can’t help you. Go watch a cat video or something.

If you are raising your hand, get stoked.

Because coming soon to a browser near you is a new technology called web push.And it’s quickly becoming every blogger’s go-to traffic driver.

Intrigued? We thought so. Read on to learn what exactly web push is, and why it’s the next big thing for bloggers.

So Wait… What’s Web Push?

If you use Facebook or YouTube (or any number of other apps) on your phone, you’re likely already familiar with push notifications — you just might not know it. They’re the messages that pop up on your phone — regardless of whether you’re using the app at that moment — to tell you there’s an update on a stream or channel you’re subscribed to.

Though mobile notifications have been around for a while, web push is brand new. It’s different because it sends notifications through web browsers — not apps.

This innovative technology is already available in Apple’s Safari browser, but this fall it will become an option in browsers Chrome and Firefox, which are used by far more of the population — in other words, more of your readers.

And, yes, this is a solution that will support desktop and mobile web browsers.

Translation: web push is about to become HUGE.

Here’s how it works:

  • While surfing on her laptop, Lucy lands on your blog…. and a window pops up asking if she’d like to subscribe to push notifications.
  • To accept, all she has to do is click “Allow.” (She doesn’t even have to give her name or email address.)
  • The next time you publish a new post, a small notification will appear in Lucy’s web browser. If she likes the headline, she can click on it. If she’s not interested, it will disappear after a few seconds.

This is what the process looks like in Safari:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.09.08 am

And here’s how notifications show up (Gigwise box in top right corner).

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.10.17 am

Now that you understand how it works, it’s time to learn what sets this traffic-driver apart from social media and email.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Web Push

We know you have lots of options for driving traffic to your blog. So why should you shift your strategy to include web push?

One very important reason: Web push is an incredibly effective way to turn one-time visitors into loyal readers.

Here’s how:

It encourages opt-ins

Web push notifications have a 15 percent opt-in rate, which is about 10 times higher than email newsletters. People have grown wary (not to mention tired) of giving out their email address all the time, and web push solves this with just one click of the mouse.

That’s awesome news for anyone trying to build an online community — because once a reader opts in, it’s easy to bring them back to your site again and again. One-time visitors will then turn into loyal, repeat readers, which is exactly what you want as a blogger, right?

It has a broad reach

One of the problems with sharing your message on social media? Your reader has to be a member of that specific network and using that network when you send an update.

With web push, your reader only has to use a browser — which applies to pretty much everyone who uses the internet. Rather than hope your reader will be on a specific social network at the exact time you’re posting, you can catch your readers where they’re already hanging out: on the web.

We all know nobody has a long attention span anymore. That’s why web push notifications were designed to be brief.

When you publish a new blog post, your subscribers receives a headline, rather than the full article — similar to a 140-character tweet. Yetunlike Twitter, the message isn’t lost in an overwhelming clutter of other posts. Instead, it shows up where the subscriber is already working or playing: right in the browser.

It makes audience segmentation easy

You may have always wanted to segment your email list — but didn’t have either the know-how or the time.

Web push makes segmentation easy. It allows you to send specific content to specific subscribers, which means you won’t waste time sending content to people who aren’t interested, and your subscribers won’t feel spammed by constant updates.

Here’s an example: If you write blog posts on pizza, pasta and hamburgers, but your subscriber is only interested in pizza-related content, they can choose to only be notified when you’ve written an article on pizzas. This ensures that both you and your reader get the most out of the experience. (Not to mention it gives you an inside peek at your audience’s true preferences).

Bottom line: Web push works.

It opens a world of opportunities for content creators, helping bloggers and publishers see incredible results for opt-ins and engagement. So when are YOU going to turn your visitors into a loyal community?

Tim Varner is co-founder of Roost, which makes it easy for content producers to use web push notifications to grow their audience. Sign up for free at GoRoost.com.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Why Web Push is the Next Big Thing for Bloggers

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Online Marketing News: Pinterest and Instagram Are Addictions, YouTube Most Converting, Facebook Gets Timely

SMB Media Spend

SMBs Allocate More Budget to Social Than Other Channels – BIA/Kelsey’s new study shows that small and medium businesses now use social more than any other media platform for business purposes. ClickZ

A Quarter of U.S. Teens use Twitter’s Vine [STUDY] – One in four (25 percent) of teenagers in the United States use Vine, Twitter’s short video sharing social network, reveals new data from GlobalWebIndex. AllTwitter

Pinterest and Instagram are Strongly Associated with Smartphone Addiction – A study from Baylor University on smartphone addiction found that certain activities — notably Pinterest and Instagram — “are associated significantly with cellphone addiction.” Interestingly, Internet use and gaming were not associated with addiction. SocialTimes

YouTube Converts More Customers Than All Other Social Networks [STUDY] – VentureBeat reports that, when it comes to paid advertising on social media platforms, YouTube is king. Search Engine Journal

Pinterest to Let Brands Target Their Existing Customers With Ads – Pinterest’s advertising product is only a few months old, but the social network isn’t wasting any time in trying to catch up to Facebook’s and Twitter’s more sophisticated ad businesses. AdAge

Organic Search Drives 51% of Traffic to Websites [Study] – SEO platform provider BrightEdge recently released a report showing the majority of websites studied within its Data Cube data set showed organic traffic was the largest source of traffic over paid search and social media across the sectors studied.  Search Engine Watch

79% of Marketers Say Social Media is the Most Effective Channel for B2B [STUDY] – Almost four in five marketers believe that social media is the most effective channel for business to business brands, reveals a new study. AllTwitter

YouTube’s New Real-Time Analytics Offers Minute-By-Minute Video View Count – YouTube announced a major upgrade to its analytics dashboard that will provide video publishers a minute-by-minute look at how many people are watching their videos. Marketing Land

Study: Facebook Ads Outpacing Organic For Conversions – As more companies realize that advertising on Facebook is a necessity to reach fans and customers, a new study shows that ads play a huge role in gaining conversions through the social network. AllFacebook

Google Structured Snippets Officially Live In Search Results – Earlier this month, we caught Google testing a form of knowledge graph data within the search results snippet. This feature is now officially being confirmed by Google on the Google Research Blog. Search Engine Land

Facebook News Feed FYI: Showing More Timely Stories from Friends and Pages – Facebook has updated their news feed to show more timely stories and content being shared right now. How will this change how brands post? Facebook

YouTube Drives More Sales Than Other Social Media Platforms [Study] – A recent study of paid social media finds that YouTube is more effective at both introducing customers to products and converting sales than any other social platform. ClickZ

From our Online Marketing Community:

From 31 Predictions on the Future of B2B Marketing, Kostas Chiotis shared, “hanks Lee, A great collection of experts sharing their advice. I think I have to go with Ann Handley’s comments about the length of posts. Internet browsers have always been thought of as lazy and they would not scan through a long article, but now there is a definite shift towards longer content – providing that it is useful of course!”

In response to How to Get Executive Buy-In for Your B2B Influencer Marketing Program, Jack Holt said, “One tip I do have that’s worked wonders for our customers – segmenting  your influencers and pushing the right kind of content for where their audience is in the buying cycle. We’re seeing b2b as a potential major segment of influencer marketing – they just “get it”. And yet, I see them less prepared internally to deal with influencer marketing as well as less amenable to an agency manager. All things to work on, which makes it more and more exciting for us.”

And Gary Preston commented “Great article Brooke. Surely one of the easiest ways to build and ROI case for influencer marketing is to align it to a business case for improved organic search positions and therefore leads / sales that will result from a strategically sound influencer campaign? In all my years of experience on big brand authentic SEO projects they all rely heavily on influencer marketing in some shape or form. The one consistent is the revenue potential model that is built right at the start that can help to size the level of investment that goes into influencer marketing.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: ClickZ

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Online Marketing News: Pinterest and Instagram Are Addictions, YouTube Most Converting, Facebook Gets Timely | http://www.toprankblog.com

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How Top Restaurants Serve Up and Stack Up in Mobile SEO

The Search Agency (TSA) analyzed how top restaurants and catering businesses fared against its mobile SEO criteria in its latest “mobile experience scorecard” report.

7 Ways for Bloggers to Be More Productive

This is a guest contribution from Charles Crawford.

If your business is blogging, productivity is essential. The only way for you to get the results you want is to put out consistent high quality content. While this is often easy in the beginning when the blog is new and exciting, as time goes on this can become more difficult. There are some ways that you can improve your productivity to keep your blog current.

1. Work at the Right Times

A common misconception is that people work better first thing in the morning. The problem with this is people are all different. You may not be a morning person at all.  This is why you need to find the time of day that you are most productive and work then, even if it is 3 AM.

2. Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you are like many writers, then inspiration will come at the most unexpected times. You may be sitting at a red light or even in the doctor’s office when a great idea for a blog will come to you. Rather than trying to remember it, which often is unsuccessful, use your smartphone to your advantage. Apps such as Evernote syncs with your computer and other devices. It will allow you to type note, snap pictures for inspiration or even record audio notes. This is a great way to organize yourself and ensure you never forget an idea again.

3. Create a Schedule

A common mistake many bloggers who work from home is not creating a schedule for themselves. When you know what you plan to work on within a time frame, you are more likely to get this done. Otherwise you may find yourself wanting to scroll through your social media feeds or even doing household tasks. Make sure you schedule everything you need to get done for the day, both for work and personal tasks to ensure you get everything done.

4. Change Things Up

For those who are not productive because they feel like the blog has gotten stale, find a way to change things up. Write a new style of blog. For instance if you have been reviewing products every week, try making a list style blog with great images that matches the theme of the site. Don’t be afraid to try something new as this is a great way to grow your writing skills and have more fun.

5. Have Fun

If you aren’t having fun with the blog, then it simply won’t work. Find ways to make the blog fun. This can be with giveaways, Q and A sessions or many other activities. Make a list of different things you would like to do with the blog and if you can’t think of any new ideas, visit other blogs to get inspiration and ideas.

6. Work on it Every Day

Even if you just spend five minutes writing or tweaking, you will find that this will make you more productive. In fact, you may also find that the five minutes turns into half an hour and you have the first draft of your next blog done or have taken care of the back end SEO work you have been putting off since you created the site.

7. Utilize Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with your audience and find out what they are looking for. You will also find this helpful in keeping you motivated to put out the next blog, as you know there are people waiting. Your fans can be a great source of support and help when you are not feeling productive.

Charles Crawford is the co-founder of Crawford and O’Brien. Aside from doing dental SEO and helping dentists get new patients, Charles plays jazz piano in restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ on weekends.


Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

7 Ways for Bloggers to Be More Productive

Ruthless Pragmatism: Kevin Spacey’s Approach to Content Marketing

Kevin Spacey Content Marketing

In case you missed it, the ‘ruthless pragmatism’ approach to politics of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood has stretched far beyond Capitol Hill to the world of content marketing. With the lessons learned about the changing media landscape, Kevin Spacey, Underwood’s real-life actor alter-ego, is becoming influential in Marketing as well as Hollywood.

The success of House of Cards for Netflix is unlike any previous television show and has become a symbol of the online content movement. Since the show’s release, Mr. Spacey has spoken at several conferences urging journalists and broadcasters to follow the Netflix model of producing in-depth content with a great story, yet­ he still surprised people by giving a keynote speech at the recent Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland.

At the largest Content Marketing conference in the world, he spoke to an audience of over 2,500 excited, B2B and B2C influencers and marketers. Mr. Spacey is a content marketer himself, you see. His place on the board of the freelancer website Scripted.com gives him a stake in the growth of the industry. All this together makes Spacey a true marketing influencer.

Kevin Spacey

Spacey has given some great advice in his speeches lately. You might even use Frank Underwood’s ‘ruthless pragmatism’ analogy for a content marketer who follows these three content marketing lessons from Kevin Spacey and House of Cards:

1. Tell your brand’s story with content, and take risks doing it

Content marketing can be hard to sell to executives because its ROI takes a while to kick-in. Kevin Spacey’s CMWorld keynote was titled “It Has Always Been about the Story”, so you can guess his stance on the issue. Spacey has said that in pitching House of Cards, his team was planning on, “telling a story that takes a long time to tell”, and would not compromise to the traditional pilot-first TV model that truncates a show’s ability to prove its concept. It was a risk, but they were creating a story and knew they needed a serious investment to show the result they wanted.

Netflix made their bet that the story would be a good one and gave House of Cards a $100 Million budget for two seasons. In 2012, “Netflix Original Content” was just launching so the success of House of Cards, while taking up most of their overall budget, gave their brand a reputation for going against the typical pilot model and the highest quality product possible. What they knew was that this investment was worth it because they knew their customer would want it.

The investment has clearly paid off for both the Netflix and House of Cards brands. Is your brand story taking any risks? If not, the implications of that choice could be the difference between your product being a market-leader and being an also-ran, or even cancelled.

As Mr. Spacey quoted his character Underwood in his CMWorld speech,

“we’ve worked too hard and come within an arm’s reach of the prize, only to have our hands cut off just before we seize it. For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there is but one rule, hunt or be hunted.”

This is a ruthless pragmatism analogy for taking risks in content marketing, if there ever was one.

2. Give the people what they want

At CMWorld, Spacey spoke about the virtues of the “democratization of content” movement that has given power over the market to content consumers. By following this movement and constantly being a listener of your customer, you can give them what they already want. Like Netflix subscribers, Spacey believes content consumers should get, “what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and at a price they are willing to pay”. Netflix was built to prove this theory.

Before they signed on for House of Cards, they already knew their subscribers like Kevin Spacey and the show’s producer David Fincher (who previously produced the popular show, The Sopranos) so Netflix banked on even more customers joining in to watch the subscription-only show. Netflix’s user tracking data already showed that their customer did not simply want a single episode trial of a show and then one episode per week. Their customer wants to spend all weekend (or a single day) with the blinds closed, sitting on the couch, and eating pizza as they finish the whole 13 episode season at once.

While your business may not have that kind of product, you can work on creating binge-worthy content. A combination of marketing analytics and other resources can give your company the intelligence to learn what your customer wants, and inspiration to formulate a great piece of content to give to them when they want it. This process, when done correctly, will pay dividends in the long-run.

3. Be the best answer for your customer

While House of Cards is siloed in the Netflix online channel, the brand is heavily promoted and has been seen in several other forms, such as Jimmy Fallon has parodying the show and Underwood’s character being used in a Call of Duty videogame. When a Netflix subscriber is ready for their next binge-watching session, they have a subscription and can go back to Netflix for more content.

Netflix needs to be the best answer for on-demand content for their customers, as they are certainly not the only company in their expanding market. This can only work by following Spacey’s content advice mentioned above, “what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and at a price they are willing to pay”.

With your brand’s content, you can build upon a piece of “magnet content” that brought them in at first by having different channels for customers to encounter your products at the time they want it. There are a lot more than one silo to worry about for content marketers, so having a strategy for each is important to be the best answer when your customer is ready to ask.

Armed with these lessons, are you ready for the ‘ruthless pragmatism’ approach to content marketing? Kevin Spacey left the conference with this quote,

“Get your minds to work, express yourselves with confidence, and always remember, that it’s the risk takers that are rewarded”.

To see where you sit on the Frank Underwood scale of content marketing, evaluate the following questions with your team:

  • Is your story good enough to binge on?
  • How can you use data to determine what your customer really wants?
  • Is your content finding your customer when they want to find it?

Please use the comments to tell us your answers!

Photo: Shutterstock

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Ruthless Pragmatism: Kevin Spacey’s Approach to Content Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

Bing Ads Launches Campaign Planner Feature to Boost Ease of Use

Similar to Google AdWords, Campaign Planner provides insights from data collected from Yahoo and Bing to help advertisers make decisions based on data.

Q&A: Your Social Media Strategy

There’s not much Darren hasn’t tried in the way of social media, and using it as a complement to his blog.

In this webinar (available in full to ProBlogger.com members), he outlines his method for success, as well as answering your questions about how to make the best use of this media.

Darren covers:

  • Where social media fits in your blogging journey
  • What hierarchy of importance social media should go in (because you can’t be across everything!)
  • How to find readers
  • How to build a presence
  • How often you should update your social media channels
  • Hints for scheduling your content
  • How much time you should invest in it
  • What your status updates should say
  • Case studies of status updates that really worked

And questions sourced from the ProBlogger.com forums as well as your inquiries on Facebook and Twitter. One not to be missed!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Q&A: Your Social Media Strategy

Online Marketing News: Unpopular Is Less Popular On Social, C-Suite Doesn’t Get Digital, Facebook For The Media

Media Time On Social

Social Networking Accounts For (at Least) 28% of All Media Time Spent Online [STUDY] – Internet users now spend a daily average of 6.09 hours on online media, and more than one full quarter of all that time that is used by social networking on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, reveals a new study.  AllTwitter

The U.S. Accounts for 41.5% of all Mentions on Twitter (UK: 9.7%, France: 5.4%) [INFOGRAPHIC] – Did you know that more than two in five of all mentions on Twitter – all those @replies and @username tags we each do many times each day – take place in the United States? Find out more from this informative infographic. AllTwitter

Facebook Announces Facebook Media — A Hub For Media Outlets and Others – For advertisers looking for support or guidance, there is Facebook for Business. Now, for members of the media (as well as public figures and other organizations like nonprofits), there’s Facebook Media. The social network today announced Facebook Media, a similar resource for media outlets looking for more efficient ways to utilize Facebook. Facebook

It Would Cost Each User $232 A Year For An Ad-Free Internet, Study Finds – We all know that ads are the lifeblood of the Internet. Annoying? Sure. You’d be hard-pressed, though, to find anyone who didn’t understand that they were a necessary evil. But what would happen if we were to somehow–miraculously?–dispense with all the ads? How much would you be willing to pay? Fast Company

Fortune 500 Blogging Down 3% This Year, First Drop In 7 Years [Survey] – For the first time in seven years, the use of a corporate blog among the Fortune 500 has dropped. Marketing Land

83% of Fortune 500 Companies Have Active Twitter Profiles [STUDY] – Twitter has always been popular amongst America’s largest corporations, and a new study has revealed that 83 percent of the Fortune 500 are now active on the platform, an increase of 6 percent from last year. AllTwitter

The Top 25 Mobile Apps (Twitter is 14th, Behind Yahoo Weather) [STATS] – comScore tracked the 25 most popular apps amongst adults in the U.S., measuring both iOS and Android, and found that 115.4 million people had used the Facebook app in June of this year. 83.4 million had used YouTube, and other Google properties (Play, Search, Maps and Gmail) also featured in the top 10. AllTwitter

Pew: Social Media Users with Unpopular Opinions are Less Likely to Speak Out – According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, social media users with unpopular political opinions are less likely to speak out on social platforms and in real life. This is in contrast to the commonly-held belief that social networks give those with minority opinions a venue for their thoughts. SocialTimes

Less Than Half of Marketers Say the C-Suite “Gets” Digital – Companies identified as “digital marketing leaders” in the latest marketing study from Epsilon and Econsultancy tend to have better alignment throughout their organization about the digital marketing strategy, as well as better financial performance and customer retention, than their peers. Direct Marketing News

Video Marketing Survey: 71% Say Video Conversion Rates Outperform Other Marketing Content – Marketers who fail to incorporate videos into their content marketing strategy may be overlooking a potential goldmine. According to a video benchmark report from video marketing and analytics platform Vidyard, 71 percent of marketers said their video content’s conversion performance was either somewhat or much better compared to other types of marketing content. Marketing Land

70% of College Students Post to Snapchat Daily (Twitter: 46%, Facebook: 11%) [STUDY] – Remember when everyone thought Snapchat was just a novelty app? Something trivial, used by kids? How we all rolled our eyes when Snapchat had the audacity to turn down a $3 billion buyout from Facebook? AllTwitter

Study: How cost-efficient is Facebook advertising? – Even as the cost of Facebook advertising rises, is the social network’s offering the most efficient for marketers? According to a new study by Neustar, Facebook advertising in Q2 beat out other avenues (network, portal and exchange) in terms of reach efficiency and average cost. AllFacebook

From our Online Marketing Community:

From Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Interview with Ann Handley, Ann Handley replied, “Thanks for having me, Lee! And the fun photos… Great content IS great marketing! :)”

Go4Word said, “I really loved this article. Some really great points and points of view. We will definitely be looking at including some of the suggestions into our content marketing efforts.”

And on Online Marketing News: Most Popular Acronyms LOL, Most Social Isn’t Engaging, Twitter CEO Does Some Explaining, Kostas Chiotis said “Great round up of the latest Social Media news Ben. I think the topics I’ve found most interesting in recent days has been the study regarding mobile use and also on social media roi.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: GlobalWebIndex.net

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Online Marketing News: Unpopular Is Less Popular On Social, C-Suite Doesn’t Get Digital, Facebook For The Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

Apple Watch Opens New Doors in Local Search

The latest Apple device will likely put added pressure on hyper-local searches, making it even more important for businesses to ensure they can be found.

Creating and Selling Ebooks Webinar

This webinar (available in full for ProBlogger.com members) features ProBlogger Marketing Ninja Shayne Tilley outlining the strategy for getting the best return on your efforts creating and selling eBooks.

It covers:

  • Sell Sheets: Do you need one? What is it? How to make a good one.
  • What content to have in your book – what shouldn’t you miss?
  • An effective book outline
  • Thinking about your audience
  • Your review process
  • Writing tips – not only to get content written, but also tips about format, consistency and even mindframe mid-book
  • The editing process
  • Adding visual elements
  • What your final draft should look like
  • The design – DIY or outsource? How to do it thriftily
  • Which format is best – PDF, ePub, Mobi, audio?
  • Sales pages – what should they contain
  • Gearing up for your launch, and what you should do to prepare
  • How to plan your launch month
  • How to manage the book and sales once it is out there.

ProBlogger.com is home to to the ProBlogger Community, featuring regular webinars on all kinds of content, forums to connect with other bloggers, along with discounts, and free plugin downloads. You can join here. See you there!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Creating and Selling Ebooks Webinar