5 Creative Strategies for Link Building


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Guest Post by Stuart McHenry personal successWhen it comes to SEO and building links to your website you can’t just go willy nilly. At least not if you want the link building strategy to work. Google has gotten much more sophisticated over the years. And you shouldn’t jump on the latest link building or optimizing SEO fad because it very well may come bite you in the butt in the long run. Interview Experts People love interviews with industry experts.  The knowledge and tips which are given can be extremely valuable to readers. There are tips and tricks to using this strategy to build high-quality backlinks. After the interview is complete start looking for industry blogs that frequently write about experts or interview them – also you can look for outlets which put together weekly roundup posts.  If your interview is thorough enough and adds value, there is a
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What’s your personal success strategy for 2019?


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personal successGuest Post by Janet Fouts As professionals we often have very specific ideas of what success will look like from the perspective of our job description and our goals for promotions, etc. Sometimes, we also forget that success is more than just income, status or recognition. After all, successes don’t mean a whole lot if we don’t feel good about who we are as human beings when we reach them. That includes taking care of our own health and sanity, and not over-tasking ourselves to the point that we are not functioning at 100%.
Success is a feeling of satisfaction, of respect and of accomplishing our heartfelt goals.
Let me give you a scenario; Jim has been itching to move up to a director position and his supervisor keeps dropping hints about “small tasks” that are just not getting done by others in his department. It’s not Jim’s responsibility to
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10 Key Marketing Automation Features You Should Know


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marketing automationGuest Post by Deeana Radley  As we move further into the digital age, the importance of automating our processes becomes more apparent with each passing day. For businesses to remain competitive, a significant effort in achieving marketing automation is required, as the gains to consumer interactions and experience, and company productivity and profit are many to be had. Below are the 10 most significant areas where automation can benefit businesses and marketers, as well as some tips on how to get the most out of automation for the marketing department. Feature #1: Analytics Analytics is a prime example of how marketers and businesses can benefit from automation. Statistics and data are arguably as important as the products and services a business offers. Marketing data can be acquired, analyzed and acted upon efficiently, at a low cost, to provide immense benefits to the organization, regardless of the field or clientele.
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Strategic Planning for Our One Very Brief and Precious Life


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Strategic PlanningGuest Post by Patrice Tanaka We are often more strategic in business than in our personal life.  At work we wouldn’t think of beginning any important assignment without first carefully determining and articulating the goals and objectives.  Only when we have a clear understanding of the desired results, what success looks like, the timeframe for delivering these results, the budget and resources available to us and the parameters within which we must operate can we begin to develop a plan to achieve and, ideally, exceed the stated goals and objectives of an assignment. By rigorously following this protocol, we are very likely to succeed at work. Rinse and repeat over and over again and this is how we can build a strong track record of business success. In our personal life, however, we employ nowhere near the same rigor to help us accomplish what really matters.  Too
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Nurture an Oasis During a News Dry Spell


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newsGuest Post by Heather Caouette Most companies have gone through them – periods without clear cut news. A product release has been delayed, new customers have paused in the sales pipeline and there are no plans to open a new location anytime soon.
How do you stay relevant and in front of your target audiences when traditional reasons for communicating have temporarily evaporated?
There are several ways to keep your name out there in a manner which continues to build brand equity: 1. Develop a Content Calendar This is recommended regardless of how much your news is humming. Content calendars help you schedule a steady cadence of materials and avoid the inevitable peaks and valleys. A plan enables you to more effectively leverage evergreen content and make use of it across multiple media venues. This is especially important as companies add additional social channels or other communications outlets. Creating a
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Don’t Lose Clients Due to Lack of Content Strategy


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content strategyGuest post by Brandon Andersen Losing a client sucks. Losing a client because of something you could have easily addressed is worse. But when it comes to demonstrating actual business results, many agencies scramble to pull together whatever they can to prove success. This often results in showing vanity metrics that don’t tie to bottom line results. So brands move on to the next agency that promises them something shinier or cheaper. Are you essential … or a commodity? Agency life is tough. That one big client you have had for five years and makes up 50% of your business finally decides that the grass is greener on the other side, and they leave. Or you land a big new client, only to have them jump ship at the end of a short contract for a cheaper agency. Suddenly, you’re not worried about growing your agency, you’re worried about just
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I Need to Develop a Strategy. Now What? The Winnie-the-Pooh Way Forward


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strategyGuest Post by Paula Newbaker Aren’t word clouds great? They highlight what is important within a mishmash of related ideas. What stands out here? Vision, Statement, Mission, Goals, Organization, Strategic, Planning, Analysis. When planning and strategizing for your entire brand or a specific campaign, all the above come into play. Organization is paramount in moving from planning to developing, and then executing, the strategy. As A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, said:
“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” 
And from Pooh himself:
“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” 
Also from Pooh:
“Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the forest that was left out by mistake.”
And then Milne FINALLY said …
“Planning is what you
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If It’s December, It’s Strategic Planning Time


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strategic planningGuest Post by Ken Jacobs If it’s December, and you’re a PR or Social PR agency owner or leader, a communications department or group head, or a communications consultant or soloist, you’re probably knee-deep in strategic planning.
(And if you’re not, you should be!)
If you’re on the agency side, this should include determining income growth goals, business development targets and setting profitability projections. And whether you’re agency, consultant, soloist, corporate, non-profit or higher education, you’re laying out your 2019 marketing-communications plan. You might even have thought about professional development. And that’s wise. Nearly all of us need to improve our skills as practitioners, whether that’s about media relations, content, digital, SEO and influencer marketing, as well as how to integrate it all for maximum effect.   But what about the leadership development plan, whether for you as a leader, or your next tier or leaders-in-training? Many organizations are
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Your Strategy Will Not Produce in 2019 Without These Two Steps


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Strategy Guest Post by Kathy Vaske This is not your typical post about planning and strategy because that would be a waste of your time. One quick internet search on the subject, (even a niche search) will deliver so many resources, templates, guides, roadmaps and more that you could tilt into overwhelm in as many seconds as it took to load your results. So what strategic advice can this 20-year veteran offer that will be of value to you – today’s communication professional? Just this, a two-step process that most of us forget to do: It’s not typical, though it should be. While it’s not rocket science, most people do not stop their mind chatter long enough to really— and I mean really think about this — and see the incredible value this process will yield. So here’s your official nudge to put this into place for 2019 success. The core
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The 4-1-1 on the (Not So) New Marketing Trend: Influencer Marketing


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Influencer MarketingGuest Post by Dawn Buzynski If you are a communications pro, I don’t need to tell you that influencer marketing is hot and could soon outpace traditional paid media spend. Everyone is jumping on the influencer marketing bandwagon because it’s all the rage, just like every other fly-by-night new trend. Funny thing is — it’s not really a hot new trend. Influencer marketing has been around for over a decade with the rise in popularity of YouTube. But with the stratospheric rise of Instagram, influencer marketing is expected to become a $10 billion industry by 2020. So, what is influencer marketing? In simple terms, influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing where third-party persons with an established and engaged audience share information about brands they like or don’t like.   Influencer marketing does not equal an endorsement Leveraging the power of influencers is much like leveraging the power of the media. Just
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15 Metrics You Should Measure in Content Marketing


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content marketingGuest Post by Brandon Brown Did you know that 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI? And one of the main reasons is that they find it difficult to measure. Another reason why marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI is that they simply don’t know how to do it. The solution to these challenges is identifying the right metrics to measure the ROI of your content marketing and using tools to track these metrics. While Google Analytics or other analytics tools can easily take care of the second part, we’ll help you with the first one. Following is a list of 15 content marketing metrics that you should measure: 1. Unique Visits One of the most commonly used metrics to measure the success of any content marketing campaign is the number of unique visitors who view the content in a given timeframe. Since
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The New Measurement: Shifting from Traditional PR to Growth PR


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growth PRGuest Post by Dan Beltramo Although PR and communications have always been about telling a brand’s story and managing its reputation, the way that we create and amplify that story, in addition to how (and when) we measure our success, has shifted from creative campaigns built over weeks on best guesses and gut instinct to data-driven, real-time, iterative storytelling with metrics that tie back to provide revenue indicators and accelerate customer funnel activities that impact the bottom line. Enter the era of Growth PR. Marketing and Communications are converging as PR is poised to evolve radically over the next decade. Data science and digital media are transforming the way companies tell stories and how they can measure success. Thanks to the latest technologies, PR now has the potential to be a data-driven powerhouse that maps to real business results, earning a seat at the table alongside Marketing generally, or, at
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#measurePR Recap (September 2018): Ethics of PR Measurement


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#measurePRGuest Post by Jen Zingsheim Phillips The September #measurePR Twitter chat featured guests Sultana Ali and Kirk Hazlett. Sultana F. Ali, APR, has a 15+ year career in communications and marketing, and is adjunct faculty in Georgetown University’s Corporate Communication and Public Relations program. She previously served as President of PRSA-NCC, the largest chapter of PR professionals in the U.S. Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Adjunct Professor in Communication at the University of Tampa. He is also the Ethics Officer of PRSA Tampa Bay, and co-chairs the PRSA Tampa Bay PRSSA and New Professionals Committee and is PRSSA Liaison, PRSA College of Fellows Mentoring Committee.  The guest moderator was Jen Zingsheim Phillips, who is a freelance writer and communications strategist with 4L Strategies. As September is Ethics Month at PRSA, the discussion revolved around the topic of ethics in PR Measurement. After kicking off the discussion with
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PR Ethics … “You CAN Handle the Truth”


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ethicsGuest Post by Kirk Hazlett Jack Nicholson’s explosive response to Tom Cruise’s relentless questioning in “A Few Good Men” more than a quarter-century ago has always hung out in the back of my mind as I’ve worked with employers and clients over the years. You can’t handle the truth.” It most often bubbles up when I find myself confronted by a situation that presents an ethical challenge.
“Should we, or shouldn’t we?”…“What do we say?”…“What do ‘they’ need to know?”
Public relations is just that … open and honest communication with those publics who turn to us for advice, guidance, simple “do’s and don’ts.” But how should we, as public-facing representatives of an organization, be expected to tell those publics what’s going on or what we’re planning without causing even further damage to our organizational reputation? As those of us who have been doing
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Trust Me, I’m a Communicator


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communicatorGuest Post by John Friedman It is a difficult time to be a professional communicator. Trust and credibility are two of the attributes that we rely upon to do our jobs. However, today, accusations of falsehood and deliberate deception are eroding trust in our profession by both those stakeholders we need to do our jobs as well as those we hope to engage in order to provide the maximum value to our companies, organizations or clients. The continuum between full transparency and “spin” (as it is charitably called) is one we must navigate, and we must do it well. Fortunately, there are tools and allies to help us. The question of ethics is one that seems simple, but can become quite complex. Certainly, there are legal ethics, and there are parameters and guidelines that are encoded in law that must be followed. That is why one of the most valuable
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13 Things Content Marketers Need to Know About Email


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emailGuest Post by Lane Harbin As a content marketer, you know how to keep the content train running. From brainstorming topic ideas to promoting the final piece, there’s an order to your world. One important step along the way is content promotion and distribution. You need eyeballs. You need readers who crave your content and one of the best ways to find those hungry readers is through email. Seventy-four percent of marketers believe email is the most effective distribution channel for their content. Why is email so effective for content marketers? Email has a lot going for it. Here’s why so many content marketers consistently rely on it to attract and retain readers: 1. (Almost) Everyone has an email address There are an estimated 5.2 billion email accounts across the globe as of 2018, according to a study from The Radicati Group. An email address is (basically) a requirement
13 Things Content Marketers Should Know About Email Marketing - Infographic by Campaign Monitor
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Once Upon a Time …: The Art of Storytelling


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StorytellingGuest Post by Elena Bosch The art of storytelling is rooted in the origins of every society. As far back as history can reach, humans have used storytelling to teach the next generation, to connect with others, to protect their culture and much, much more. According to Dr. Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston and best-selling author, storytelling is innate.
“We’re wired for story. In a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there’s a surprisingly simple reason we want to own, integrate, and share our stories of struggle. We do this because we feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories – it’s in our biology.”
Today we have every channel imaginable to tell our stories. Yet, even as PR practitioners, we find ourselves challenged with how best to write a story. To learn how to better tell your brand’s
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Are You Writing Intelligent Content? Should You Be?


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intelligent contentGuest Post by Kathy Vaské Intelligent content aka structured content is breaking out of its traditional boundaries. No longer is it used solely for product catalogs, technical specifications and the like. Today, organizations are looking to use Structured Content for their ebooks, case studies, research reports and blogs. Why? With the dynamic and ever-growing number of ways to consume content, there is a need to structure as much of our “valuable” content so it’s free to be automatically discovered and reused across multiple channels and devices and in a variety of previously impossible contexts. A piece of “intelligent” content can be created once and served up in many places automatically e.g., blog article served up on an Apple Watch or Google Home. Now that’s intelligence. What is Intelligent Content?        Intelligent content is essentially structured content. Structuring your content enables customers to find your message more easily online and
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10 Content Marketing Tricks That Will Help Your Brand Stand Out


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content marketingGuest Post by Monika Jansen There’s a lot of noise out there. You are drowning in emails, ads and brand messages – and so are your prospects and clients. The best way to stand out from the noisy crowd is by employing a few tricks of the content marketing trade. As you work on your content marketing strategy, keep these in mind: Talk to your audience, not at them People don’t care about what you do; they only care about how you can help them. That means you need to write messaging that’s completely client-concentric. Instead of “We are an award-winning catering company” say, “Your guests will be wowed.” The next time you write marketing copy:
  • Use “you” instead of “we”
  • Focus on the benefits of working with/buying from you
  • Write like you talk
Ask for feedback, ideas and insights You can’t give people what they want unless you
Monika Jansen
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8 Reasons Your Content Campaigns Fail (And How To Fix Them)


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Guest Post by Brandon Andersen content90% of content campaigns fail to meet business objectives. What’s more, only 5% of content produces 90% of audience engagement. So when you’re launching your content campaign, the odds are already stacked against you. How do you overcome these odds to make your campaign succeed? Well, to start, look at what you’re probably doing right now that you need to fix. Here are 8 reasons why many content campaigns fail, and what you can do to avoid them. 1. You wrote about a topic your audience doesn’t care about It’s easy to assume you know what your audience wants. But choosing the correct topic to write about is actually one of the hardest parts of content marketing. Even the best written piece of content will fail if the subject matter isn’t important to your audience.
Topic ideas can come from anywhere.
Some come from sales
Understanding User Search Intent
Make Your Audience the Hero
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