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CATEGORY: Content Promotion

Effectively Leverage Owned Media for Content Promotion

promote content across owned mediaLast week we covered paid media as one third of an integrated approach to content promotion. Although paid opportunities are great for reaching a broader audience, they can also be an expensive approach. Thankfully, owned media can lend a helping hand.

In this post, we briefly explore what owned media is and offer eight quick-fire tips for leveraging relevant platforms effectively.

What Is Owned Media? 

Owned media refers to all branded profiles, resources, and venues created, owned, and controlled by a company or its agents. This avenue of promotion is not entirely free since someone still has to create and maintain a steady flow of content, but a brand can generate and deliver a message on its own terms.

Examples include:

  • Company and brand websites;
  • Company and brand blogs;
  • Social media profiles and brand pages;
  • Email newsletters;
  • Apps;
  • Webinars;
  • Videos;
  • Press releases;
  • Brochures;
  • In-store visual displays and merchandising;
  • And other permission marketing assets. 

It requires time and effort to build a following on owned media, but it is an essential part of attracting prospects and acquiring new clients.

The Benefit of Content Promotion Across Owned Media 

Perhaps the biggest pull toward owned media for content promotion is the ability to maintain complete control. From deciding what type of content to publish, when to publish it, and how often to publish it to controlling how it’s structured, how it’s displayed within a branded page, and how consumers interact with it, a business has complete authority over every aspect. With that in mind, it’s important for a brand to wield its power wisely. The following pointers can help.

8 Quick-Fire Tips for a Success 

8 quick fire tips for owned media content promotionThe success of a brand’s promotional campaign across owned media relies on the business’s ability to form long-lasting relationships with consumers. Therefore, the aim should be to develop emotional engagement rather than publish promotional content. This is where the 80/20 rule of content comes into play. In other words, 80 percent of your content should be interesting, relevant, and customer-centric while 20 percent of your content should be interesting, relevant, and brand-centric. Along with applying this simple principle, you can use the following eight quick-fire tips to boost your effectiveness.

1. Be Consistent In Tone and Style

Whether they’re on your website, blog, or social media profiles, it’s crucial to create a cohesive experience for consumers. Therefore, your branding and messaging should be consistent in tone and style across all platforms.

2. Create Connections between Owned Media

Most channels allow you to link various sites and profiles to one another. For example, links on your website and blog can point readers to your social media profiles and vice versa. This gives you an opportunity to keep consumers within an interlinked network of branded content and pages.

3. Find Ways to Promote Content in A Platform-Native Way

The way in which you promote your content across owned media will depend on the platform. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re promoting a free whitepaper. While you might create extracts for your social media updates, you might decide to elaborate on certain statistics or information contained within the download for a blog post. If you’ve created relevant images, you might choose to promote those instead. The key is to find interesting and unique ways to promote your content across all owned platforms without giving too much away. Be sure to link all materials back to the original, as well as drive distribution from the source page through tools like Twitter Cards.

4. Update Your Assets RegularlyUpdate Your Assets Regularly

Frequent sharing not only establishes a strong presence for your brand and keeps it top-of-mind, but it also ensures consumers regularly come back for more.

5. Post Relevant Content That Belongs To Others

Useful, interesting information does not need to be self-promotional. If you provide valuable, relevant content, you will drive traffic to your owned media assets, so make sure you’re not explicitly promoting your brand in every piece you publish.

6. Let Consumers Drive Your Content Ideas

There’s no reason you can’t crowdsource blog or ebook topics, or even let readers weigh in on key questions, without giving up full control of the message. Be prepared to let your consumers drive content ideas and conversations on your owned media. You may just learn something about your target audience you wouldn’t have otherwise known.

7. Be Sure To Interact

Increasing loyalty and building solid customer relationships requires two-way communication. Make sure those interactions are positive and that you respond quickly when consumers reach out to you.

8. Optimize Your Social Media Updates Properly

Optimization tactics can help boost your exposure. Be sure you include relevant account tags, hashtags, and links when appropriate.


Ultimately, you want to become an asset to your target audience, which is exactly what owned media allows you to do. The best part is that you have full control over these platforms, so the ball is in your court when it comes to promoting your content. Learn how to leverage owned media effectively because it offers some of the easiest and cheapest promotional opportunities you’ll find.


In what unique ways do you use owned media to promote your content? Perhaps you have additional tips you’d like to add to our list. Weigh in on the conversation by posting your thoughts below. 

What You Should Know About Promoting Content Across Paid Media

Content promotion across paid mediaHave you nailed down an impressive content creation strategy, but failed to flesh out a good promotional plan? Are you of the opinion that your content will market itself? Perhaps you’re part of the crowd who believe that their job is done once they tweet a link to their freshly published whitepaper. If only content marketing were that easy.

The harsh reality is this: if you’re not implementing an integrated three-pronged approach that includes paid, owned, and earned media, you’re missing opportunities to maximize the impact of your content and the benefits you hope to derive from it. It’s time to rectify that problem—starting with paid media.

What Is Paid Media? 

Content promotion via paid media refers to all forms of advertising where a brand or its agents pay to put content in front of established audiences. Channels can range from social networks and news syndication sites to blogs and search engines.

Examples include:

  • Search advertising (Google Adwords);
  • Sponsorship or native advertising opportunities through content amplification services like Outbrain, Taboola, or Sharethrough;
  • Display or banner ads;
  • Social network advertising like Facebook ads, sponsored stories, promoted tweets, LinkedIn ads, and featured Youtube videos;
  • Traditional advertising;
  • And direct mail. 

The Benefits of Content Promotion Across Paid Media 

Besides enabling a brand to reach individuals who are not actively searching for that brand, paid media opportunities also allow a business to target consumers based on buyer persona profiles. These people already have an interest in the products and services the business offers, which makes these consumers higher quality leads. Even though the brand doesn’t own the channel, marketers still have control over the content that is promoted.

The key question every marketer should ask before embarking on a promotional campaign is, “How can I buy visibility and traffic for my selected piece of content while staying within the confines of my budget?” The answer isn’t always a simple one, but the following pointers can help.

Tips for a Successful Strategy


1. Choose the Right Content 

Promoting the right content on paid mediaIf you’re going to invest advertising dollars into boosting visibility and generating awareness, you need to ensure you’re investing in a worthy piece of content. Your selection can either make or break your campaign so make certain the piece you choose is based not only on your budget, but also on your goals. If, for example, your budget is minimal, consider a highly targeted, relevant, and engaging piece of content designed to drive value at the narrow end of your sales funnel where evaluation, leads, sales, or signups may be your goals.

2. Choose the Right Platform

Where will the content you’ve created gain the most traction? That depends on where your ideal prospects hang out online and how well the content you’re promoting will resonate with them.

Does your piece of content fit the style of a particular publication? Would it be better received as a promoted tweet or LinkedIn ad? Perhaps you even created content with a specific network in mind. If you’re not quite sure what will work, test the waters before you blow your entire budget.

3. Target the Right Audience 

Target the right audience on paid mediaThe audience scale for paid media may be greater than that of your owned media, but are the right people seeing your ad copy? If not, you may have a high click-through rate but very few qualified leads.

Most platforms offer targeting options these days, allowing you to drill down into the specifics of the buyer persona you’re planning to target. It’s the best way to reach decision makers while keeping ad expenses low.

4. Write Irresistible Copy 

We don’t have to tell you that a creative, concise, and convincing ad or storyline with an eye-catching image is the way to go if you want conversions. If your content is gated and you’re directing prospects to a landing page, make sure it’s equally as engaging as the ad copy that got them there.

Finding the right paid media opportunitiesConclusion 

No matter how great your content is, it doesn’t mean that people will find it on their own. Therefore, you must build a promotional plan around the paid, owned, and earned matrix if you hope to optimize your content marketing campaign and drive maximum results. Paid media and owned media can be the greatest catalysts for gaining earned media (which is the most valuable), so be sure to look for meaningful opportunities and don’t forget to measure results against your KPIs.


Do you have a comprehensive promotional plan? Are you using the three-pronged approach or are you winging it? Let us know your thoughts on paid media for content promotion in the comment section. 

How to Improve the Shareability of Your Content Instantly

Content ShareabilityAlthough global trust in brand messages and advertising has slightly increased over the last few years, a recent report by Nielson indicates that 84 percent of consumers still trust earned media above all other forms of advertising. If anything, this strong sway towards word-of-mouth and recommendations from family and peers highlights the importance of owning content people want to share with others.

The question is whether you’re developing content assets with shareability in mind, as well as setting up your publishing platforms with the tools necessary to make sharing easy. While focusing on useful topic ideas and user personas is a major part of content marketing, it’s critical to examine how you enable that content to spread. The following shareability tips can help improve your content for virality purposes and set you up for the widest reach possible.

1. Understand Why Content Goes Viral

In our blog post about the seven reasons content goes viral, we touched on some key emotional and mental factors in content that tend to resonate with people. Although marketers may never fully understand why one piece of content finds fame overnight while another lays dormant for months (perhaps never to be discovered), understanding these factors is an essential part of understanding why someone might want to share something. It’s also a huge part of emulating those factors in your own content.

In addition to these triggers, there are certain best practices you can follow when creating content with the potential to go viral.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Create short, compelling headlines

  • Think about your target audience

  • Trigger high-arousal emotions

  • Offer incredible value

  • Publish content in digestible formats

  • Ensure your content is useful

  • Be creative and unique

Ultimately, you should evaluate several pieces of viral content within your industry and define the common denominators of their popularity. This can help you figure out what type of content you should create for your audience, as well as what it should include to trigger a share.

2. Understand the Psychology behind Sharing

Shareable content - The psychology behind sharingThe New York Times Customer Insight Group released a thought-provoking whitepaper on the motivations behind sharing and the six personas of people who share. The study revealed that motivators include:

  • self-fulfillment;
  • enriching the lives of others with entertaining and valuable content;
  • establishing or reinforcing a desired image of one’s self;
  • building and nourishing relationships;
  • and spreading the word about causes or brands.

Personas are segmented according to four factors, including emotional catalysts, the image an individual wants to present to others, the role of sharing in life, and the value of being the first person to share. The study also highlights the main channel each group prefers to share through, with email still claiming the number one spot for most.

Understanding the psychology of sharing is a crucial aspect of content marketing because you can’t expand your content’s reach if you don’t understand the careful consideration that goes into sharing or the key factors that influence sharing in the first place. Therefore, you should spend time researching these motivators so you create the kind of content people want to pass on to family, friends, and peers.

3. Allow For Personalization

Make certain that when people share your content they have the ability to customize the share. Although you may have compelling text you’ve created to pre-populate the message box, readers should be able to change the message, add their own hashtags, and alter the share for their specific audiences.

4. Optimize Your Site for Sharing by Buttoning Up

Social media sharing buttonsSharing buttons make your content both actionable and shareable. They also make sharing easy for users who can interact with content in the context of your site rather than leaving your page to copy and paste URLs to their open social media feeds.

HubSpot have a great cheat sheet for creating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest buttons. Alternatively, you can check out Social Media Examiner’s post on customizing social share buttons for increased traffic. If you’re not already making use of them, optimize your sites with sharing options today and start building your brand credibility through valuable recommendations.

5. Ask

You want people to spread the word about your content? Sometimes there’s little more effective than a strong call to action that asks for a share. Craft a powerful CTA that reinforces the value of sharing—not just liking—and you may find your reach widens a little faster than usual.

As a final note, you shouldn’t forget to consider your distribution channels and supporting platforms. Not only do you want to promote your content via appropriate social media outlets and websites, but you also want to ensure your audience can share and view it on multiple platforms, including mobile.

Do you create content with shareability in mind? Have something to add? Let us know your thoughts and tips in the comment section.

Why Publishing Primary Research Is Content Marketing Gold

According to’s latest stats, more than 38.7 million blog posts were published across its network in February, 2014. Considering that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of total content published online during that month, it’s safe to say that each piece of content you create is unlikely to remain visible for very long in today’s somewhat turbulent SERPs and burgeoning social media streams. As monthly posting averages continue to increase, the odds of gaining traction—let alone viral traction—tend to decrease.

WordPress posting activity

Posting Activity: Figures include posts published on blogs hosted by, as well as those posted on externally-hosted blogs using the platform’s Jetpack plugin.

So, what’s a B2B content marketer to do?

“Now that so many B2B marketers are focused on content marketing, you have to get creative if you want to elevate yourself above the competition. By investing in primary research, you can produce more compelling and original content that is backed by quantitative analysis,” says Derek Singleton, Analyst at Software Advice and Managing Editor of The B2B Marketing Mentor Blog. “Investing in this type of content can help build the authority of your brand, as well as trust with your target buyers.”

We tend to agree. Content is simply content until people care about it, which is why it’s so crucial to publish valuable information that compels conversation while establishing your brand as an industry leader. Original market data that assists your target audience in what they do accomplishes that and more. In case you’re not convinced, consider these additional advantages of primary research and you’ll quickly see why it’s content marketing gold.

Sharpen Your Positioning

Besides boosting your brand’s authority, credibility, reputation, and influence, this tactic offers another significant benefit. Making a firm commitment to primary research and the development of content around resulting data allows you to sharpen your brand’s positioning. It gives you an opportunity to define your niche clearly, as well as shape your thought leadership.

Challenge the Status Quo

It’s not enough to prove your intellect these days. You have to be thought provoking and provide meaningful information that challenges the status quo. Original research can help you identify future trends and show your target audience where changes need to be made now rather than later when opportunity cost may be greater. That’s where true value lies.

Stretch Your Marketing Dollars FurtherStretch Your Marketing Dollars Further

Perhaps the biggest pull to champion an investment in primary research is that brands can generate plenty of spin-off content. Over time, a single piece of research has the ability to spawn multiple blog posts, articles, webinars, infographics, videos, news releases, podcasts, Slideshare presentations, and more.

Atomizing your research report to fuel your blog and other content marketing channels ensures your feeds stay relevant and active while your brand gets the biggest bang for its marketing buck. Don’t forget that analyzing results, explaining your research methodology, or identifying, dissecting, and understanding trends offers plenty of fodder for interesting topics. In the context of your entire content marketing program, the budget required for original research is relatively negligible.

Drive Conversation in the Right Direction

Depending on how you release your research, you can leverage the data to engage in one-on-one, in-depth conversations with leads and prospects. This is an ideal opportunity to engage in conversation that points to a solution—your solution. In the end, it’s all about turning content into conversation and then converting that conversation into revenue.

Retain More Clients

Primary research as part of a robust content marketing strategy can be great for acquisitions, but that doesn’t help the C-level crowd who wonder whether yours is still the best team to help grow their business. Relevant research can help you create content that convinces existing clients you’re still worth it—that you know what you’re doing. Done the right way, your research won’t only improve retention rates, but it’ll help you upsell new services, too.

Amplify Attention

Primary Data Can Generate AttentionBesides serving as excellent link bait, research generates social sharing. High-value, unique data is both useful and interesting, which are two characteristics people look for when deciding to share content with their online communities. The result is better rankings, greater awareness, and more eyeballs on your content.

Rake In Tons of User-Generated Content

Research can be a powerful enabler of user-generated content. Depending on your topic, research techniques, and methods for gathering data, responses serve as a great source of this content type. Get creative about the way you pose questions, and you’re sure to have plenty of original ideas and opinions voluntarily submitted to your entity along with built-in data you can use in your next report.

Build Social Proof

You know what all those likes, shares, +1s, comments, and pins amount to? You guessed it—social proof that carries plenty of persuasive power.

Generate More Leads

Highly focused research neatly packaged in a downloadable white paper is generally a great lead generator. Be sure to add lots of visual content to make your report easy to digest.

But Research Is Expensive, Right?

Not necessarily. Yes, access to data, deeper intelligence, and the sharp eye of experienced industry analysts will require a bigger portion of your budget if you’re looking to create something that’s more complex in nature. However, in-house experiments, analytics, A/B testing, and other online research tools offer inexpensive, alternative solutions that also produce compelling results. Combine that data with your unique perspective and expert advice and you’ll have new material for an array of content archetypes. In fact, the folks at Software Advice have built their own survey tool that collects responses and analyzes them in real time.

“We recently decided to invest in user surveys to track the benefits of software from a user’s perspective. As a result, we’re developing content that speaks directly to the needs of software end users and gauges the effectiveness of some of the most popular products on the market.”

If you want to weigh in on CRM software and make your opinion matter, consider taking Software Advice’s survey.

The bottom line: get clever about your content marketing. You can add to the noise with recycled information no one cares about, or you can invest in unique insights that are sure to give your campaign a few extra marketing miles.


What do you think? Is primary research an effective content marketing tactic or do you have a few tricks up your sleeve that are just as powerful? Make your voice heard by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to hit the share button if you know others who will find this post useful.

How to Use Twitter for Business

Twitter iconSince its inception, Twitter has become well known for its quirky and often parodied publishing structure. When it comes to marketing via social media, Twitter seems to be the social network that companies shy away from. I’ve seen businesses that were reluctant to use the platform because they just weren’t sure how to leverage it.

Not all social networks are for all businesses, but there are some great ways to use Twitter for marketing and other business-related activities.

Twitter for Service

When you hear “social media” and “business” in the same sentence, it typically means marketing, communications, PR or some combination of those things. For the most part, that is true, but social media can be used for whatever is effective. Zappos has proven that for a while now by leveraging Twitter as a customer service platform.

They even have a dedicated Twitter account (@Zappos_Service)that answers all kinds of customer inquiries from whether a certain product is in stock to when there is an issue with an order.


I love Zappos’ example of using Twitter for customer service because it shows that you don’t have to use social media for marketing. It is a great medium for that kind of messaging, but you can also think outside the box and use it for other things.

You Want Images on That?

You can still only use 140 characters in your Tweets, which can be challenging, but a picture is worth a thousand words…or 5,000 characters…you get the point. Using images is important for marketing, especially if you have a product that lends itself well to imagery.

Domino’s Pizza does a great job of this in their Twitter feed, posting an image almost every other Tweet and using the hashtag #PizzaPics.


Images liven up the feed, make things more interesting and act as a good way to showcase a product (pizza, in this case). If you have a product or service where images are easy to use, share lots of them. Get your followers to share images of your product or service. The web is a very visual world, so make the most of it.

The Basics of Marketing on Twitter

How you use Twitter to market your business will largely depend on your goals, how you decide to leverage the platform and who your customers are. There are some universal protocols that you should be following, though.

Grow Your Following

Don’t get me wrong here. Followers aren’t everything. You could have fifty thousand followers on Twitter and still be considered a failure at using it to market your business. You do, however, need a good following if you are going to be successful. Here are some tips for growing your connections:

  • Follow people (who you actually want to follow). They’ll follow you back.
  • Engage with people. Favorite, retweet, and reply to their Tweets. This exposes you to their followers just as if their friends saw them talking to you at a party, and they wanted to come meet you.
  • Advertise on Twitter. You’ll have to spend some cash, but it will work.
  • Share content that your followers will like.
  • Embed your Tweets on your website or on others’ websites.
  • Interact and share consistently. Do it daily, weekly or bi-weekly. For the most part, more is better, but no matter how often you are active, make sure it’s consistent.

Get People to Engage

Social Media and Personal Branding: 6 Sure-Fire Tips for SuccessOnly you know your goals for marketing your business on Twitter. There isn’t really a universal result or drive to use the platform. For most strategies to be considered even a partial success, though, a conversation is required between company and followers.

You have to get people interacting with you. You can’t just push content out into nothingness and expect your activity on Twitter to get you anywhere. Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Be a real person, not just a mouth piece for the company. That is, don’t just spout information out. Post things in a way that gets people involved. After all, this is social media.
  • Run contests that encourage and reward followers for engaging with the brand.
  • Integrate online and offline marketing strategies that will drive engagement. For example, you might send out free versions of a product and get people to post images of themselves using it on Twitter.

Have a Goal

This should probably be closer to the front of this post, but as long as it gets mentioned, that is the important part. Before you go tweeting like crazy all over the web, sit down and think about a couple of questions.

  1. What does success look like for using Twitter to market your business?
  2. How will you measure that success to know when you’ve achieved it?

There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. You just have to answer them or your time will probably be wasted online. It’s very easy (even with goals in place) to get distracted and lose sight of your ultimate goal for using the platform.

Some common goals for using Twitter for marketing are acquiring customers, building brand or product awareness, serving customers in innovative ways or building a relationship with a target market. Whatever your goals are, make sure you write them down and revisit them often. The most important things to remember when using Twitter to promote your company are to be creative and have fun!


How do you use Twitter for business? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.  

10 Responsive Email Newsletter Templates

Image represention email newsletter templateEven if you know how to program in HTML for web pages, making email templates for newsletters is a challenge. There are different rules when it comes to email, and sometimes it’s just a whole lot easier to buy a template. Of course, if you don’t have the budget, you can always find free email templates on the web, but if you want to avoid embedded branding that isn’t yours and/or limited functionality and options, here are some premium email newsletter templates.



litta email newsletter template screenshot


Litta is responsive for mobile platforms. It can be used for newsletter campaigns, but also for product promotion. It has a modular design so you can rearrange things easily. It’s also compatible with leading email marketing platforms like MailChimp and clients like Outlook.


Note email newsletter template screenshot


This one is a little better for product showcasing, but it works well for livelier newsletter designs. It has a large background image instead of white space or solid colors, making the design eye catching and appealing.


Market Email Newsletter Template Screenshot


Market features eight prebuilt layouts and more than 700 HTML files that include inline CSS and layered PSD files. If you are good with PSD, a lot of these templates’ images can be modified to your specifications.


Festive Email Newsletter Marketing Screenshot


Every business should have a holiday template up its sleeve. Festive features responsive design and six different templates. What’s more, it is supported by leading email clients.


Sweet17 Email Newsletter Template


Minimalist design is the new trend in marketing and content distribution. Apple does a good job of this, even in its content-heavy marketing pieces. If you want to do a bare-bones email newsletter that cuts down on the clutter, check out the Sweet17 template.


Guttis Email Newsletter Template


Guttis has an ultra-modern design, and is compatible in all major browsers. Similar to Note, it features large background images for templates.


Retinadore email newsletter template


Retinadore’s claim to fame is its optimization for retina displays on Apple products. You can also edit it using MailChimp’s template builder IDE (which requires no knowledge of HTML or CSS code).


Fusion email newsletter template


Fusion features responsive design and oodles of documentation. The Metro style design is similar to the tiles you see on Windows software interfaces.


Arini Email Newsletter Template


Here’s another template with modular design layout. It is suitable for newsletter purposes, but excels for product/service type purposes.


Flexa Email Newsletter Template


The name says it all. This theme is flexible with 7 different color schemes, the ability to delete, copy and replace table rows and 12 responsive templates. It’s also been tested with Litmus and Email on Acid testing tools.

Coming up with content is challenging enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about creating email newsletter templates. You can find these and a ton of other paid or free templates at


What email newsletter templates do you use for your content? Join in the conversation by commenting below.

How to Use Google Plus for Business

Google Plus LogoWhen it was first launched, Google Plus was a shiny new toy many were clamoring to play with. Excitement for the social platform quickly waned as critics predicted its demise while Facebook’s title as market leader seemed secure.

While G+ can’t even compete with Facebook’s user base, recent data show that it continues to outpace Twitter as the world’s second-largest social platform with about 359 million active users as of 2013.

Businesses should sit up and take notice. Not only are consumers who may be interested in their products and services active on the platform, but the indirect benefits of growing a network and having it interact with content you have shared are many.

Using Google Plus for business is easy, and we have some simple tips to help you make the most of your business page.

Define Success

Before you start using Google Plus for business, you should define what success means for you on the platform. That means outlining what your goals are and how you will achieve them. There really isn’t a right and wrong here. Success is different for all people and businesses. Perhaps you already have a social media strategy in place?

The important thing here is that you know what success will look like. Is it building a following and getting your brand exposure? Will you measure success by the volume of engagement you have on the platform? Or will it be when you actually get a new customer as a result of using Google Plus?
Whatever it is, define it, write it down, and outline a plan to achieve it.

plantGrowing Your Following

Using Google Plus for business means you have to get people to follow you first. There are several ways you can go about doing this.

Circle Sharing
I really like this one because if you do it right, you can grow a following in no time with a little bit of footwork. Circle sharing is the practice of grouping contacts into a circle in your account and then sharing it with whatever followers you already have.

Assuming you already have a few followers, create a circle that they would want to add to their accounts. If you, as a business, are at all relevant to the circle you’ve created (and you should make sure that you are), add yourself to the circle and share it.

The idea here is that people will see the circle of people or companies (or both), find it interesting or useful, and then add them all at once to their own accounts. Once they have added the circle (and your business), anything you post will begin showing up in their feeds.

When you build circles, craft them carefully. Don’t just mash a bunch of profiles and business pages together. Make them into a theme and name it accordingly. Make sure there is a common thread among all the accounts you have put into the circle. That way when you go to share it, you can describe it easily, and those for whom the circle is relevant will find it useful.

For instance, if you are a video game developer and you want to grow your following, you could create a circle of famous gamers and game developers to share. You could name it something clever, add your own company to it and then share it with your network. If people like it enough, they will add it to their own accounts and also share it with their own networks.

Quality contentGreat Content
Another good way to grow your following is to share good content. Put some effort into your activities on Google Plus, and don’t just do the bare minimum of sharing others’ content or sharing links to other websites. Those things are fine to do, but if you really want people to be interested and interact with your brand, you have to be original, entertaining, useful and/or fun to follow. Examples of good content to share are:

  • Infographics that you’ve made (hint: come up with your own data and you can make one here)
  • Memes: people love Internet memes. Google the term and you can get a lot of ideas on what you could do. Make it relevant to who you want to attract to your business.
  • Blog posts: write your own blog posts and share links to them on your account.
  • Video: share useful or entertaining videos as your brand.

For the most part, try not to just go through the motions. Think hard about what is relevant to your target market, and share things that resonate with them.

billboardAdvertising Your Presence
People may not search you out on G+, but if you promote your business page in places where customers are already seeing you, then they can find you there. Place links to your Plus page in email signatures, on your website, on other social profiles or on printed materials.

You’ll find that by simply participating on Google Plus, your following will begin to grow. Comment on things others have posted, follow other users and businesses, add people to your account and interact in any other way you can think of.

This gets your brand exposure, and people who see the brand may decide to follow it. Using hashtags is another way to get found more often. When you use hashtags, you become part of a larger conversation that people who aren’t following you can see.

Although discounted in the beginning, G+ has become a vibrant community where businesses have an opportunity to make connections with their markets. The real keys to success on G+ (and other social networks) are to be consistent, genuine and original. People connect with brands when there is a two-way conversation.


What tips do you have for using Google Plus for business? Join the conversation by commenting below.

The Top 100 Inbound Marketers

Social media connects people. It helps them stay in touch, find people they once knew and develop new connections that may have never happened otherwise. One of the most powerful things about social media is that it helps spread ideas and knowledge. Those ideas and knowledge come from real people, and we would like to take the chance to highlight some of the top inbound marketers (both people and businesses) who are working to drive the web-marketing world forward. In no particular order, here they are in all their glory. If you don’t have these individuals and organizations in your circles, make a point of adding them.

12 Stars Media





Helping to produce real simple video is 12 Stars Media. Video is a great inbound marketing medium, and it is the activity that people spend the majority of their time doing while online.

13th Beach DIY Web Assist

13th Beach DIY web assist




Helping make web marketing easy on small businesses from Down Under.

98toGo Inbound Marketing





Helping businesses with their inbound marketing needs in the Atlanta area and beyond.

Aaron wall





SEO practitioner at SEO Book and all-around optimization expert.

Adam Dince





Digital marketer and customer experience evangelist working at MNSearch.

Adam Sherk





Adam is an enterprise SEO consultant (wow, sounds fancy!). He works for Define Media Group, which was once a part of the New York Times (also fancy).

AJ Kohn

AJ Kohn




Owner of Blind Five Year Old. According to AJ’s about page, the odd name comes from his totally not odd philosophy on search engine optimization.

Alchemic Dream





Gaming is certainly its own community online. Alchemic Dream specializes in community management, game mastering, localization and a whole bunch of other things I don’t quite understand. Interestingly, they have employees on five continents.

Analytical Solution

Analytical Solution




Got big data that needs analyzing? Analytical Solution is the…solution. Not only can they analyze your data for you, but they can train you how to do it yourself.

Applied Inbound Marketing

Applied Inbound marketing




From small mom and pop shops to Fortune 500 companies, Oregon-based AIM provides inbound marketing services that leverage performance-based metrics.

Art of Inbound Marketing & Design





A marketing and design firm that helps attract leads, Art of Inbound is a one-stop shop for web design, marketing, logo design and a host of other services.

Avinash Kaushik





Avinash is the co-Founder of Market Motive and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.

B2B Inbound Marketing Agency





In January 2012, Marguerite founded the inbound marketing agency, ReLaunchU, for the express purpose of supporting training, coaching, and consulting businesses.

Barrington SEO





Barrington SEO is a local Internet marketing consulting firm dedicated to helping local businesses with every facet of Internet marketing.

Barry Schwartz





Barry Schwartz is most notable for his role as an editor for Search Engine Land.

Beth Browning





“I love teaching and helping people understand the power of the Internet, and how they can make the most of their online presence to generate new leads and convert them to customers.”

Branching Out Europe





Branching out provides sales, digital marketing and lead-generation services to businesses large and small.

Brand Metasis





“We are a results-driven, Integrated Inbound marketing agency. We help transform your brand into a sales and marketing magnet with a well-designed online presence, compelling content, creative marketing designs and precisely targeted inbound marketing.”

Brian Whalley





Director of Marketing at HubSpot and inbound marketer in Boston.

Brice Hourdin





Bragging rights:  Master II – E-Business / Master I – B2B Marketing

Chad Pollitt





Web traffic controller, author of ebooks, member of a Forbes Top 100 list, former Army Commander, current Battle CPT and Dir. of Marketing at @drelevance

Chris Winfield





“I’m a passionate digital marketing executive, innovator, strategist & leader. For 14+ years, I have helped many of the world’s best-known companies (Disney, Virgin, Macy’s, Viacom, Conde Nast, Intuit, NBC, Time, Inc. & many others) leverage technology & the Internet in unprecedented ways to spur enterprise growth.”





Former tech company executive and current managing director and partner at Strategic Communications Group.

Content Crossroads





Content Crossroads creates, publishes and tracks original and good-quality content that will help you in your online marketing efforts to attract and engage customers regularly.

Dan Moyle





Dan is a writer and content creator in the multimedia space. Employed by AmeriFirst Home Mortgage as a Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist, brand manager, multimedia marketing & communications specialist.

Dan Shure





“Obsessed with making people’s websites work better for them, I help out a handful of clients through my company EvolvingSEO, and can be found as a Moz Associate helping people in the SEOmoz Q&A.”

Daniel Berger





Contributor to and

Danny Sullivan





Founding Editor, Marketing Land & Search Engine Land, covering Google, Facebook, Twitter, SEO, SEM & all things digital marketing, search marketing and search.

David Meerman Scott





Marketing strategist, keynote speaker and bestselling author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” and six other books including “Real-Time Marketing & PR” and “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead” (written with Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot).

Dennis Carpenter





Director of Marketing services at Stamats Business Media.

Digital Diary





A resource for Online Marketing, Lead Gen, SEO, SEM, UX, Social, Mobile & Strategies.

Donna Fontenot





eBusiness coach, inbound marketer, and novelist who believes, “You’ll never shine if you don’t glow.”

Duct Tape Marketing





Duct Tape provides small business marketing consulting, ideas and strategies

Eric Kuhn





Eric writes about startups, marketing and technology.

Fuzz One Media





Fuzz One is a full-service digital marketing agency with a strong focus on Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Gabriel Reynoso





Digital Marketing Manager at Universal Energy Corporation.






HubSpot is the world’s #1 inbound marketing platform designed to replace the world’s interruptive and annoying marketing with marketing people love.

Ian Lurie





Internet marketing blogger. Founder and CEO, Portent, Inc.

inBlurbs – Inbound Marketing Agency





Certified Inbound Marketing Professionals, Authorized Inbound Marketing Educators and HubSpot Certified Partner.

Inboud Visibility





Inboud Visibility is an international digital marketing agency.

Inbound Marketing





HubSpot Certified Partner and Interactive Digital Media Agency.

Inbound marketing & SEO by AZ





An online marketing consultant who enjoys helping businesses and individuals succeed in online marketing.

Inbound Marketing Agents





Inbound marketing experts with a passion for empowering small businesses.

Inbound Marketing Association





An inbound marketing association: promoting inbound marketing companies.

Inbound Marketing Deutschland





Inbound Marketing, B2B social media, lead management – website, SEO, blogging, landing pages, nurturing, konvertierung.

Inbound Marketing Expert





Inbound Marketing Expert Pvt. Ltd was founded on the 1st of January 2012 with the aim of delivering consulting tips and tactics to startups and small businesses that don’t have larger capital to market and grow their organizations.

Inbound Marketing Geek





Helping small business owners grow their businesses online

Inbound Marketing MasterMind





The name says it all.

Inbound Marketing Results





Based in Colorado, providing Social Media Marketing and Website Development for small- to medium-sized businesses.

Inbound Marketing Specialists





Inbound Marketing Specialists is a group of trendy marketers who deliver engaging content for companies to increase their online presence!

Go Time Marketing





Go Time Marketing is a Sacramento, CA inbound Internet marketing agency that develops holistic online strategies to successfully market your product or service online with a measurable ROI.

Jackson Marketing Services





Jackson Marketing Services helps small businesses and individuals with their marketing needs–from traditional to SEO, PPC and social media marketing.

Jigsoar Inbound Marketing





One of the first full-service inbound marketing agencies in the UK.

John Doherty





John is online marketing manager at He was formerly with Distilled in NYC. Along with Danny Sullivan, he is a good one to follow.

Jon Henshaw





Co-Founder of Raven Internet Marketing Tools for SEO, Social Media and Paid Search

Jonathon Colman





Helping people build, find, and use the best stuff on the web for over 15 years.

Julie Zare





Director of Client Services at SEO software firm

Kane Jamison





Content Marketing & Organic Search Specialist and founder of Content Harmony.

Keith Laskey





Keith is an insurance agent with a passion for personal development. He seeks wisdom about the latter topic and then blogs about it.

Kevin Gallagher





Works for Stargazer Digital and is obsessed with SEO.

KI Agência





Web marketing and development firm based in Portugal.

Kipp Bodnar





Does Inbound Marketing at HubSpot. Proud to be the Co-Author of The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More.

Knowles Kreative, LLC





Specializing in providing creative and strategic digital marketing solutions, Knowles Kreative has been enhancing clients’ brands since 1996.

Krista Kotrla





Vice President of Marketing for Block Imaging.

Kuno Creative





Kuno Creative provides content marketing, demand generation, lead nurturing and marketing automation services to deliver more qualified leads to sales teams.

Lauren Drell





Assistant editor at Mashable.

Leadsgenie – Inbound Marketing





Leadsgenie provides web lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing, email marketing, inbound marketing, A/B testing, social media marketing.

LinkCaffeine | Inbound Marketing Agency





A small yet creative inbound marketing agency with a team of writers, marketers, social media strategists and all-around great people.

Luke Summerfield





Consultant at Savvy Panda. Speaker, writer and coach.

Mark Traphagen





Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting.






Helping Christian women leaders market their businesses more intelligently while honoring God in both their lives and businesses.






Marketo provides easy, powerful, complete marketing automation, social campaigns, inbound marketing, sales apps, and ROI reporting — all in one place. More sales leads. Less work. Faster.

Marsden & Associates





An Atlanta B2B marketing agency specializing in integrated marketing campaigns.

Martin Macdonald





A long-term practitioner of SEO, since before it was called SEO.

Matt McGee





Editor-In-Chief at and

Matthew Scyoc





Freelance writer and outreach specialist interested in content marketing.

Max Traylor





Director of Client Services at Innovative Marketing Resources, a full-service inbound marketing agency.

Meghan Sullivan





Inbound Marketer






Moz develops inbound marketing software, provides robust APIs for link data and social influence, and hosts the web’s most vibrant community of online marketers.

OverGo Studio Inbound Marketing





OverGo builds and executes marketing processes that stimulate growth for their clients.

Paul Roetzer





Founder and CEO of PR 20/20. Author of The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley, Dec 2011).

Pop Results





Pop Results is an inbound marketing agency specializing in inbound marketing services.

Rand Fishkin





Moz founder; frequent traveler/blogger/speaker; passionate about all things tech & inbound marketing.

Red Website Design





Affordable web design for businesses and individuals on a limited budget.

Seth Godin





Seth is the author of 14 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Shawn Manaher





Entrepreneur and marketer. Founder at The Content Authority and Nexus Affects.

sindiwithans marketing





SindiWithAnS is an inbound marketing agency dedicated to helping businesses grow through successful marketing strategies.






SocialBiz is passionate about helping companies and professionals design and implement social media marketing strategies to help create a buzz for their biz.

Spark Inbound Marketing





Inbound marketing agency offering a full-service approach to web marketing and lead generation.

Stargazer Digital





An inbound marketing company based in Scotland.

Steve Jack





Marketing analyst at Inbound Visibility.

Sticky Marketing





We are a boutique online marketing agency working with socially aware companies to grow their communities and expand their global impact.

The Inbound Marketing Company





Simple and effective inbound marketing without all the confusion.

Timothy Dearlove





Inbound Marketing Consultant at HubSpot.

Tom Critchlow





Creative Labs marketing manager at Google (very cool!)

Try Muller





A product marketing and management professional using Google Plus to share business insights and source great content.

WebMedia Inbound Marketing & SEO





Helping small and medium size businesses be found, be seen and be successful online through inbound marketing; identifying actionable insights to build an effective marketing strategy to capitalize on their Internet investment.


We hope you enjoyed the list. These folks are some of the most influential people in their respective fields and niches. Following them means you’ll have a steady stream of great content and great advice.


Who are some of your favorite inbound marketers? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

How to Use LinkedIn for Business

linkedin_logoEach social media network is unique. Each one has its own audience, its own strengths and indeed its own style. LinkedIn is one of those networks with a distinct style and audience. It is frequented by professionals and is often used for professional networking as opposed to sharing images of your children and casual status updates. It’s the place where people go to show what they know and to connect with others on a professional instead of personal level. Following are some tips for companies looking to leverage the platform for more exposure. According to Hubspot, 43% of marketers have acquired a customer on LinkedIn.


Make the Most Out of Your Company Page

You have several opportunities to brand your page and insert information about products and services. Use the banner section of your company page to showcase your logo or an image that symbolizes what you do as a company.

The Content Authority linkedIn company pageAdministrators can add company specialties, additional logos, recruiting posters, groups, and a company description to the page. By adding keywords in some of these sections, you can increase the likelihood that your company will show up for specific queries.

LinkedIn also features service pages where admins can add a bunch of information on the products/services that the company offers. These pages will be visible to users and the visitors can add recommendations for services.


linkedin-demographicsTake Note of Your Demographics

Naturally, you should grow your following on LinkedIn just like on any other network, but unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn places an emphasis on the professional status of the people connected to your page.

Specifically, you can see the professional ranking of those connected to your page. See if your audience is comprised primarily of entry-level people, CEOs or a mix somewhere in between. Think carefully about the content you share as the brand with your audience in mind. This is true for any network, and on LinkedIn, you want to share content that is relevant on a professional level to your audience.


thoughtfulPost Thoughtful Content

You should be posting content as your company page at least a couple of times a week if not more. Not only should your content be relevant to your audience, but it should be helpful and insightful. You should also be following the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of your content should be non promotional and the other 20% can be about your company.

Links, images, useful data and video tend to get the most interaction; however, this is a time when you should watch your analytics closely. Plan out content to post for about a month and make sure you have a good mix of different kinds of content.

After the month is over, go back and see which posts got the most clicks, the most interactions and were viewed by the most people. Model future content after that which got the most interactions.


Tracking Conversions

When using 20% of your time on the platform to post self-promotional items, make sure you are measuring your activities. If you are using an analytics platform and you are sending traffic back to your website, you can use customized URLs for your posts.

Make sure you have well-optimized landing pages so that visitors can easily convert when they arrive at your site. You should also be laying out clear goals. Are you using LinkedIn to sell things? Are you using it to generate leads? Make goals that are measureable and attainable so you can see if the platform is working well for you as a business.

LinkedIn is a powerful networking and marketing tool. As a business, you can leverage the personality of the network to get people engaged with your brand. Craft your profile to stand out, know your audience, be thoughtful, be helpful and measure your marketing activities.


What tips do you have for using LinkedIn for business? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

22 Powerful Ways to Promote Your Webinar Effectively

Last week, we covered five tips for developing a promotional strategy that drives webinar registrations and attendance. One of those tips focused on choosing the right promotional methods for your webinar campaign. To help you out with ideas for both pre- and post-webinar initiatives, here are 22 powerful and creative advertising tactics for generating awareness and publicity.

#1 – Create a compelling announcement for your website. Tap into your imagination to create an original banner or interactive concept that gets your target audience clicking through to your signup page.

#2 – Write relevant blog posts. Developing posts around related ideas or topics and then slapping a captivating call-to-action on the end is the perfect way to drive interest and registrations.

webinar promotion - email#3 – Send a persuasive email invitation to your list of prospects and clients. Don’t bombard your lists with marketing messages, but ensure you create a series of email blasts leading up to the event so that you effectively build the urgency to register. You should also encourage any guest speakers you’re collaborating with to send a webinar invite out to their lists.

#4 – Post a series of engaging social media snippets to your feeds. While you want to avoid overdoing it, you also want to ensure you create a group of interesting messages for each webinar you promote. Social posts have very short life spans, so think about creative ways you can keep your webinar visible without destroying your credibility and reputation as a well-balanced social media user and marketer.

#5 – Produce a short, entertaining Youtube clip. A great video ad is ideal for providing extra info about your event, enhancing engagement, and adding value through additional insights. Be sure to add call-to-action overlays to your video when appropriate, as well as a link to your landing page in the description box.

#6 – Use background and cover images on your social properties. An appealing graphic with an eye-catching design ensures visitors to your profiles won’t miss the message if your promotional posts are eventually buried.

#7 – Create short, dedicated hashtags for each webinar. Hashtags offer a great way to generate conversation and build excitement around your event on social media platforms.

#8 – Leverage your company newsletter. Besides the fact that your subscribers are already interested in what you have to say, your brand’s newsletter offers an opportunity to gain exposure and funnel readers to your webinar registration page.

#9 – Solicit a guest post from your speaker. If you’ve managed to nab an industry expert who already has a large following, ask the individual to craft a post for your blog and then encourage your speaker to promote it via his or her networks. You’ll not only prompt signups to your webinar, but this tactic can help you attract a new audience to your site. Don’t forget that you can also submit guest posts you’ve written to relevant bloggers within your community.

#10 – Add a call-to-action for your webinar event in your email signature. Although you should always send out an official promotional email, your email signature is attached to all communications. This conveniently allows you to spread the word to those who might not have received your email blast, but have received other correspondence via email.

#11 – Promote your event to relevant Facebook and LinkedIn Groups already talking about the topic you’ll be discussing. A highly targeted campaign will ensure you drive qualified traffic to your webinar signup form.

#12 – Encourage your sales reps to contact relevant prospects and promote the webinar to them. Since your sales team is on the frontlines, they’ll know who might be interested in joining your event.

#13 – Get your affiliate marketers involved. Provide your team with compelling promotional materials and tools such as social media snippets, email copy, articles, and banners. Consider boosting their motivation with a little contest and a cool prize to sweeten the deal.

press release newspaper illustration design#14 – Publish a well-written press release. An interesting and professional piece for a newsworthy webinar can be a great way to enhance your reach and generate publicity for your event.

#15 – Design appealing and “pinnable” graphics. If your business’s social media strategy includes Pinterest, consider fun ways you can establish a board, as well as shareable images for your webinars.

#16 – Use word-of-mouth advertising tactics when the opportunity arises. Invite registrants to share the signup form for the live event and ask satisfied viewers to share the on-demand version with their peers. You’ll also want to provide links and promotional materials to any upcoming webinars you might have in the pipelines.

#17 – Create highly targeted Google Ads. PPC campaigns are extremely effective for driving traffic to a site. Be sure to set up Google Analytics so you can track the performance of your ad copy.

#18 – Check out advertising options for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Sponsored stories, promoted tweets, promoted trends, and social media pay-per-click ads are just a few of the methods you might want to consider if you have the budget.

#19 – If you’re involved in local business meet-ups, then let your group know about the event. Create a brief elevator speech and tell them where they can register.

#20 – Leverage the power of article marketing. Expert SEO articles that benefit from extensive distribution and include a relevant link in a cleverly written resource box can help you gain search visibility, topic authority, and brand credibility.

#21 – Talk about your webinar event on industry forums where you’re likely to find your target audience. While some forum hosts are strict about outright promotion, you should be able to subtly promote your webinar, as well as add links to it in your profile signature.

#22 – Advertise your upcoming webinars at live seminars, trade shows, or other industry events. Sometimes a face-to-face connection is more effective than an email or banner ad.

Although you need to keep your budget in mind when assessing your advertising options, it’s a good idea to cover all your bases in one way or another. A good mix of tracked activities through different promotional channels will ensure you reach a wider audience, as well as figure out which advertising methods work best for your business.


Are there any other webinar promotional methods you’d recommend? Share them with us in the comment section below.