Do Real Industry Stuff

Do Real Industry Stuff

Just last week I was sitting in the audience in the Westin in Seattle where I heard Wil Reynolds give a talk that was basically titled “Do Real Company Stuff“. Intriguingly, a few days before I had a brief exchange on Twitter with Branko, who I greatly respect and greatly enjoy his insights. He had just published this post on SEObook about small businesses and Google’s recent algorithm updates.

I wrote another post as a response to what he and others have said about outing, but I’m publishing this one instead after hearing Wil’s talk. Read more about Do Real Industry Stuff

The Anatomy of A Viral Marketing Product Launch

The Anatomy of A Viral Marketing Product Launch

“Virality” has been the talk of the Internet, and especially blogging and marketing, worlds for a bit of time now. In my day-to-day I work with and have a lot of conversations with startups whose investors are constantly pushing them to “make the product more viral”. I’m not convinced that “virality” within a product is necessarily a positive, as a lot of people have been frustrated by the forced sharing that is now occurring throughout Facebook and the social web.

Where virality is useful, though, is when launching a new product. Everyone has a book or product idea, but relatively few know how to market their product well, especially pre-launch, to have the maximum number of people possible ready and willing to buy, share, and promote the product for you once it launches.

So how do you build virality into a product launch? How do you build this set of people? This is the question I am going to tackle today.

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4 Ways to Build An Online Audience

4 Ways to Build An Online Audience

What if I told you that you don’t need a ton of followers to be successful online? And what if I told you that you should not even think about having an audience? What if I told you that thinking you need a lot of followers is the wrong way to go to actually gain a lot of followers?

You Don’t Need 10,000 Followers

If you get nothing else from this post, you don’t need 10,000 followers. What you need is 10 engaged followers who will share you stuff to their engaged followers. We talked about reach a few weeks ago in my personal branding post. This is how you gain a larger audience that keeps giving back to you – finding people who have reach that you can make friends with.

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Announcing My New Project

Announcing My New Project

I’ve been a writer all my life (I wrote my first short novel when I was eleven years old) and a blogger since 2001. I had the most awesome neon green and royal blue Xanga site you have ever seen!

My love affair with the blogosphere has waned in recent years though. Since I started in marketing professionally a few years ago, either the amount of crap writing and production has increased, or I have become pickier and pickier with less patience for content that adds to the noise instead of the signal.

I have also noticed that it is easier to complain about things that annoy you than to change them.

Today I put that to an end. Read more about Announcing My New Project

11 Ways to Drive Gobs of Traffic to Your Website

11 Ways to Drive Gobs of Traffic to Your Website

This is mostly a search marketing blog, but I’ve written before about how SEO is not a complete marketing strategy. In fact, it should be a piece of a larger marketing strategy that includes email, possibly paid search, social, content, and even display and print. Here’s Rand’s inbound marketing model that many of you are familiar with:

I’ll be the first to admit that search might not be the best way for your site to get traffic. Search takes a while to take effect (often you won’t see returns for 3-6 months, and it grows slowly oftentimes even then). Read more about 11 Ways to Drive Gobs of Traffic to Your Website

Why SEOs/Inbound Marketers Should Work Onsite

Why SEOs/Inbound Marketers Should Work Onsite

Because the rules of SEO have changed in the past 6-18 months, especially with the release of algorithms such as Panda and Penguin, as digital marketers we now have to think broader about how our work affects the other parts of the marketing ecosystem. Like Hugo said in his recent post:

…[W]hat I didn’t realize at the time was how this relatively small sharing gesture would result in a significant surge in collaboration, implementation, and general advocacy on the part of this particular division. In fact, the amount of effort and emphasis that this group provided extended beyond SEO and into one of the other channels that I manage.

And the result has been obvious lift in ROI for both of these channels as well as a much stronger sense of rapport between my team and this parallel business group.

Being in New York City, I’ve had the fortune to be able to go work onsite with a few of my clients. This has afforded me to the opportunity to get to know all of the employees as friends (we’ve been working together for over 6 months now), which is a greatly underestimated competitive advantage when working with a consultant. Couple people who are motivated, talented, and smart with mentors who are experts in their fields, and all of a sudden you have a very formidable company pushing flywheels that are all pushing a larger company flywheel. Read more about Why SEOs/Inbound Marketers Should Work Onsite

Shut Up About Yourself

Shut Up About Yourself

Have you ever noticed how a lot of companies pay lip service to wanting to become a “thought leader” in their industry, and lead through great content, yet when they start writing all that comes out is self-promotional drivel that, let’s be honest, no one wants to read? I have.

Most businesses, in my opinion, don’t understand the difference between old-school “marketing material” and the new school of online marketing – thought leadership materials and other remarkable pieces. This has led me to one conclusion:

Everyone wants a brand experience. No one wants a marketing experience.

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Three Tenets of Content Marketing

Three Tenets of Content Marketing

This post is about content marketing, which is a hot topic these days and one that I fear is a bit nebulous to people. Tom Critchlow recently wrote The Time for Content Marketing is Now on the Distilled blog, where he gave some very inspirational and actionable insights into content marketing. I read this post by Michael Hyatt recently as well, and while it does not go nearly as in-depth as I would have liked, he’s on the right path. Great content before traffic and rankings.

I’ve also recently been disheartened by the amount of low-quality content that many people online seem intent on creating. Whether it’s bad infographics, recycled blog posts, or content for the sake of content because someone’s been told to “have a blog” and “update it frequently”, we are inundated with an overload of content that adds nothing to the global conversation.

I also saw this tweet from Russ (who I GREATLY respect as an SEO and a friend):

That’s what this post is about. Showing what great content is outside of video (but including it as well). Adding to the content marketing conversation. Read more about Three Tenets of Content Marketing

Why You Are Your Company’s Best Marketer

Why You Are Your Company’s Best Marketer

“You can hire an outside firm, but you’re always your best marketer.” – Abraham Lincoln

I’m an online marketer working for a marketing agency, working with big brands and small scrappy startups to drive more traffic to their sites via online means, usually through great content. But when a company brings us in to be their marketing, I want to scream and then point them to my post SEO is NOT Your Whole Marketing Strategy.

Why?
Read more about Why You Are Your Company’s Best Marketer

Shipping is Scary [Video]

Shipping is Scary [Video]

This week, during our all-company meeting in London which we are affectionately calling the “Distilled-a-thon”, we had a day that we chose to call a “ship-a-thon”. The goal of this day was for each and every person in Distilled to “ship” something that would make the company better.

My big ship for the day, along with Will Critchlow, Mike Pantoliano, and Geoff Kenyon is something that scares me a lot, but is incredibly exciting. Incredibly exciting because it will be really cool, but scary.

The lesson for yesterday: shipping is scary.

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