Tag Archive | "Program"

SearchCap: Google search bar, new rich snippets & Bing partner program

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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3 ways to revitalize your digital marketing program

Ever hit a performance plateau? Contributor Elizabeth Laird looks at three ways to jumpstart your marketing efforts when you’re stuck and spinning your wheels.

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Writers: Doors Are Open for the Copyblogger Certification Program (through Monday, June 12)

"Apply to join Copyblogger's list of recommended writers." – Sonia Simone, Chief Content Officer

You may have noticed that we’ve been talking up our Certified Content Marketer program lately. We’ve already had some amazing folks join us and get started … but we still have room for you.

Click here to get all of the details.

Here’s the two-minute run-down:

Who it’s for

Strong writers who want to make more money and find better clients.

What it will do for you

  • Teach you solid content strategy, so you can get better results for your clients
  • Give you tools to improve your professionalism with clients, so you look better and do a better job
  • Get featured (if your application passes review) on Copyblogger’s list of recommended writers

What you should do next

Go check out the program details. We have no plans to open the program again in 2017, so if you want in, don’t wait. We’ll close the doors on Monday, June 12 so we can keep our focus on delivering an excellent experience to our students.

If you really want to join us but you worry it might not be what you need — don’t stress. We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee — no questions, no hassles. If you get into the program and realize it’s not a good fit, just let us know in those first 30 days and we’ll part as friends.

Click this link for all of the program details — and I’ll look forward to seeing you there. :)


If you’re a member of our Authority community, make sure you’re signed in when you click the link — as an Authority member, you get special pricing. :)

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3 Ways to Measure the Value of Your Social Media Marketing Program


Inherently knowing that there is value in social media marketing and being equipped to show value are two different things.

Social media provides a unique and often-challenging opportunity to connect one-on-one with customers, prospects and fans of your business. However, only 42% of marketers feel that they are able to accurately measure the value of their social media efforts.

“Social media enables relationships to be built regardless of traditional barriers like distance or language. For brands, this provides a forum to listen and learn – and if you’re smart, take action based off of what you learn,” says Alison Herzog, Marketing Director, Global Social Business & Digital Strategy at Dell, (a TopRank Marketing client).

Social media strategy has become a fundamental part of most marketing plans. But as marketers, we are pushed to show the value of these programs. To help you do just that, here are three ways you can measure and share the value of your social media marketing.

#1 – Understand Your Current Situation

When creating your social media measurement strategy, start by defining the outcomes you are looking to achieve. Once you understand what success should look like, you can set your strategy and define your key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring progress. The actual metrics you use should be based on the KPIs or action they represent.

For example, if your ongoing social media marketing goal is to increase brand awareness and improve traffic back to your brand’s website you should:

  • Set benchmarks on where your brand is currently ranking on all social media channels.
  • Create a competitive analysis of your brand versus your top competitors.

Additionally, there are many tools (native and 3rd party) that can help you measure towards your social media marketing goals.

Some tools to help you review your competitor’s social media presence include:

Twitter measurement tool examples:

You will want to review your competitors overall followers, the frequency of their postings, and engagement of posts. Also, use a search or listening tool, to find-out the overall mentions of your brand compared to your competitors.

To understand the source of your web traffic, use a web analytics tool, like Google Analytics or Adobe’s SiteCatalyst to review the referring traffic sources. You can also use a link shortener, like Bit.ly, to gain additional data on  who is clicking on the links in your social posts.

Once you understand the playing field, you can set goals and review your social growth on an ongoing basis. Regular evaluation is key to understanding what is working and what isn’t.

The great thing about social media is it is easy to adjust course mid-plan and optimize if you see a type of post or messaging that isn’t capturing an audience.

#2 – Set Specific Campaign Goals

Depending on what you are hoping to achieve, specific campaigns will require different metrics to show value. Social media has proven to be a very effective tool that can be used to target a particular audience to increase brand awareness (or meet other marketing goals) in a unique and conversational way. Below are some examples of recent social media campaigns that achieved great results:

Clif Bar

Cliff Bar Share Your Adventure

In 2014 Clif Bar created a campaign focused entirely on content created by their fans. Brand enthusiasts were asked to share an environmental friendly photo under the hashtag #MeettheMoment. For each photo that was shared, Clif agreed to donate $ 1 to an environmental non-profit. When all was said and done, Clif not only donated a cool $ 60,000, but they had made their fans part of something memorable.


Lowes Vine Series

Lowes found a unique way to present users with a clever social campaign around six second life hacks. They used 6 second vine videos to share easy lifehacks for everything from getting scratches out of your wood floor to making a pillow case out of an old t-shirt. Their inventive social campaign garnered over 4 million views putting Lowes on the Vine map.

#3 – Communicate Value to Your Internal Audience

By this point, all marketers are aware that any social media marketing program should consider the audience’s needs and habits. However, we may not always think about our internal audience. For any social media program to grow and be successful, it is important to show that it is adding value to the business.

Measuring and communicating social success can sometimes be overwhelming. When preparing to show value internally, think about which internal stakeholder will be reviewing the information. Below are some metrics that you may want to consider sharing with different internal stakeholders:


  • Overall trends
  • Sentiment
  • Standing in the marketplace
  • Conversions


  • Engagement rate on campaign content
  • Best performing creative or content
  • Highlights relevant to their line of business
  • Click-through rate from social posts to key landing pages

Customer Service

  • Response rate
  • Sentiment

By understanding your current situation, developing goals and communicating internally, you will be able to provide more value with your social media marketing strategy – to your community and within your company.

What have you found to be the biggest barriers in creating value with social media within your organization?

Image via Shutterstock


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5 Elements of a Successful Email Based Lead Nurturing Program

email lead nurturing

Today more than ever, sales needs marketing’s help. Busy customers are making traditional sales methods less and less effective. Sales metrics that once had sales teams fist pumping around the office in success, are making for discouraged sales teams.

In fact, B2B sales prospects often go through 57% of the sales process before even talking to a sales team. The modern buyer educates themselves by reading blogs, downloading white papers and signing up to receive more information.

That means that the chances of catching them on the phone is highly unlikely. According to a past study from MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

When exploring new options for converting sales leads into customers, consider using an email based lead nurturing program to help move prospects through the sales funnel. The 5 elements below can help guide you along your journey.

#1 – Segment Your Email List

Of course this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve been building your lead list for many years. It may take some work, but it’s not impossible. Below are two helpful tips to get you started:

Step 1: Begin incorporating and requiring segmentation information in lead capture forms. Depending on your prospect base and how the information will be used you can include simple qualifiers such as:

  • Company Name
  • Title
  • Area of Interest

This ensures that new audience members are categorized appropriately from the beginning.

Step 2: Encourage contacts to self-identify. You can use an email blast such as a newsletter to encourage action by your readers. This could include having them complete a short survey or quiz about their needs, or simply asking what sort of information they would like to receive.

#2 – Develop a Lead Nurturing Strategy

Once you have a handle on the current state of your email list, it may be worth taking the time to develop a few user personas based on the data that you have. Proper persona development can help guide your strategy for different communication streams.

Each target should receive a different series of touch points based on need. Keep in mind that a good email nurturing campaign will include other forms of supporting content as well. This can be in the form of blog posts, or other content marketing assets.

#3 – Set Lead Nurturing Goals

Understanding what exactly you want to accomplish can help drive your lead nurturing strategy and execution.

Business Goals

Your business objectives should focus on the percentage of business revenue that you expect to come from your lead nurturing program as well as some sort of lead quality scoring to determine worth of leads.

Marketing Goals

Ultimately, marketing goals should lend themselves to the overarching business goals. Typically the exact marketing goals will vary from campaign to campaign. Form conversions, opens and click through rates should all be marketing goals that you are tracking.

#4 – Sales Leads & Subscribers Are Not the Same Thing

People that sign up to receive your monthly newsletter should not automatically be incorporated into a lead nurturing program. Your time is better spent focusing on leads that come in through specific campaigns and lead capture forms.

Create landing pages for content assets and lead nurturing that are easy to understand and encourage conversions.

#5 – Consider Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can simplify the lead nurturing process. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Marketing automation can be a large investment and requires the appropriate resources to execute effectively.

Start by following the steps above and when you reach a point where your lead nurturing is not effective or begins to scale, begin hunting for a marketing automation solution that can assist in your lead nurturing process.

How Much is it Costing You to Ignore Lead Nurturing?

The intent of any digital program should be to inform prospects, build trust and authority and help your company be the best answer for their need at just the right time. Deploying a full fledged lead nurturing program may seem impossible.  If budget or resources are a hurdle, start small and begin adding as you build momentum.

What have you found to be your biggest challenges in using digital marketing initiatives to help drive inquiries and leads?

Image via Shutterstock.

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The Rainmaker Reseller Program: Come See What All the Fuss Is About

Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Content marketing works. This is no longer up for debate.

Granted, there are no shortcuts. You have to publish useful content that stands out above the noise, you have to do it consistently over the long haul, and your content strategy needs to place you into a particular kind of role relative to your audience.

When you do all of this, content marketing works and you give yourself an unfair business advantage.

But there’s one major problem with content marketing.


The problem with content marketing

Creating spectacular content — the kind that gets heard above the din — requires time, effort, and resources. (Just like everything else.)

Which means that if you want to get more out of your content, you have to put more time, effort, and resources into your content creation.

And if you put more time, effort, and resources into your content creation, then you take time, effort, and resources away from something else. Inevitably, that something else — most likely your primary business model — is going to suffer.

See the problem? It’s a big one for an online businessperson.

  • You want to dive in and write a new ebook for lead generation … but you also have to factor in the money and time it will take to add the functionality to your website to sell the ebook or use it for list building
  • You’re pumped to start producing that podcast your audience would love … but you can’t deal with the production details (and how the hell do you get all the meta information to iTunes, anyway?)
  • Your email newsletter is popular with a small group of subscribers … but you don’t know the first thing about designing a landing page to take it to the next level

See what I mean?

On one side is content, and on the other is technology and development — a constant battle for your time, effort, and resources.

Unless … perhaps you could find a way to lessen the time, effort, and resources necessary to manage the technology and development aspect of your content marketing.

You could really make it rain then, couldn’t you?

The next level

Now imagine this: Instead of being one person with one or a few sites, you are the person or agency that other people go to as a development resource for the tool that solves the aforementioned content marketing conundrum.

That’s a model that can truly scale … if you have the site deployment and management infrastructure in place.

Because, again, it all comes down to time, effort, and resources.

The more time, effort, and resources you have to expend on repeated tasks like migrating changes from a staging site to a live site, the less time, effort, and resources you have to provide value-add work for your current clients and, of course, acquire new clients (which means more revenue).

So there are questions you’ll need the right answers to. Questions like:

  • Is there a convenient staging environment that can be linked to a live site?
  • Is there a way to create design and configuration templates?
  • Is it possible to manage the access levels different members of your team have for different sites?

Find the tool that solves the problem with content marketing, and the reseller program that solves the infrastructure problem, and you’re two giant steps ahead of the game.

Read on. I’ve got an announcement you’ll be interested in …

What’s all the fuss about?

Unless this is your first visit to Copyblogger, you already know that Rainmaker is the solution to the content marketing quandary I laid out above.

It simplifies a content marketer’s world by allowing you to do more with WordPress with less hassle and less cost (the time, effort, and resources I mentioned above).

But it gets better.

Under wraps until now, the Rainmaker Reseller program will make its first public appearance tomorrow in Las Vegas. (Britney Spears, please move to the side stage.)

At 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, after I take a select group of Copyblogger friends and curious invitees on a tour of the Rainmaker Platform, we will lift the veil on the Rainmaker Reseller program. The people in that room will get a sneak peek at the fabulous technological features, plus first dibs on the limited space available for the initial beta launch.

If the Rainmaker Platform empowers a content marketer to make it rain (and it does), then the Rainmaker Reseller program enables a web entrepreneur to create a downpour. I’m excited to explain how.

So if you’re in Las Vegas for PubCon, send a tweet to me (@JerodMorris), Jessica (@renewabelle), or Sean (@seanthinks) — or just look for us. We’ll get you an invitation to the presentation.

And did I mention that we’re giving a full year of Authority ($ 399 value) and a ticket to our 2015 Authority Rainmaker conference ($ 1,500+ value) away? If you make it into the room, you’re entered.

Hope to see you there.

If you’re not at PubCon, don’t worry. We’ll be releasing more information soon about the Rainmaker Reseller program. For now, watch this interview Brian Clark did with Carrie Dils. It will whet your appetite for what’s to come.

One more thing …

Before I go, I feel duty bound to implore you not to miss what’s coming on the blog this week.

We have a new episode of The Lede tomorrow, a killer post about creating recurring content events by Pamela Wilson on Wednesday, and an article about creating a memorable podcast by Demian Farnworth on Friday.

Oh, and on Thursday … Brian Clark will reveal who the keynote speakers will be at the 2015 Authority Rainmaker conference. You won’t want to miss this — let’s just say a dream is coming true for Brian next May.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via James Marvin Phelps.

About the author

Jerod Morris

Jerod Morris is the VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media. Get more from him on Twitter or . Have you gotten your wristband yet?

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Bing Rewards Program Now Available On iOS & Android Devices

Bing Rewards is going mobile starting today. According to a post on the company’s blog, the incentive program that lets users earn credits toward gift cards for brands like Amazon, Xbox and Dominos, is available on iOS and Android devices starting today, and will be “coming soon”…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Testing and Optimization: Radical homepage redesign program improves lead capture 55%

Testing persistently is key to making valuable new discoveries about your prospects. So read on to learn how Jacob Baldwin, Search Engine Marketing Manager, One Call Now developed a testing program that increased lead capture 55%.
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Email Marketing: The 5 goals of a successful program

Tweet As we build the content for MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, we are focusing on the five key goals of successful email marketing programs. We are also including the two elements necessary to optimize these goals – measuring and testing. So in today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, we’ll provide some suggested reading and [...]
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The Marketer’s Guide to Building a Grade-A Internship Program

interns coffee introductory3

With the new school year just around the corner, companies are actively recruiting and reviewing candidates to build a new troupe of interns for the fall semester. And for good reason! Intern programs — when built right — are a great way to get additional support for your marketing team, and teach your interns the ins and outs of contributing to a business. 

I started building HubSpot’s intern training program two years ago, and since, we’ve hired approximately 33% of our interns as full-time employees! I’m very passionate about mentoring talent and setting young marketers up for success, so to help you build a top-notch marketing internship program, check out the following guidelines HubSpot uses for our own intern program.

What does a good marketing internship program look like?

Good intern managers see each semester as a lifecycle with a solid beginning, middle, and end. With that, the following steps will detail how you can set your intern up for success in the beginning, grow and develop new skills in the middle, and feel satisfied and accomplished at the end. Let’s begin!

Start With Training

Set up a learning environment in the beginning. A lot of companies, especially startups (guilty!), want to rush interns into kicking off projects right away. It makes sense why that’s the initial urge; you only have your interns for three or so months! Instead, give all new interns a solid introduction to your company, culture, goals, and tools before digging into work. The goal of your training should be to give as much information and context at the beginning so your interns can understand your company’s mission and how your department makes decisions. The more context an intern can gain in the very beginning, the faster he or she will get up to speed when working on a project. Yes, that’s right — your interns will be more productive in the long-run if you invest in learning early! 

So what should you cover in training? In the very least, your company’s basics: company goals, departmental goals, organizational structure, how your intern fits into the organization, tools used, how to best ask questions (and get help), and where to get lunch. The latter is more important than you think. ;-)

Create a buddy system. In HubSpot land, each intern is asked to find a “marketing buddy” who will be that intern’s mentor and go-to for “stupid questions” and social support. It’s nice for an intern to have a person to lean on who’s not his or her boss. This has been a tradition for years now, and it has worked well! Marketing buddies will grab lunch, talk marketing, and ask and give advice. Also, if the buddy is from a different department — your intern could learn from an additional perspective into the marketing team! That’s valuable, too. 

Assign Starter Projects to Get Your Interns’ Feet Wet

Training is over. Now it’s time to start setting some smaller goals and develop initial projects. This is key; giving your interns small projects in the beginning gives them the opportunity to claim some small wins early. At the same time, you’re testing how independent your intern can be with less risk. So what are some good marketing starter projects appropriate for the first two weeks?

Conduct a Research Project: These are great first projects. Not only can you have your intern dive into a subject you want your team to know more about, but your intern will also learn loads along the way. Perhaps an intern could research data for a new blog post, look for trends within your customer base, or dig into some raw data to present to your team. These independent projects also generally require minimal assistance and also strengthen analytical skills, which are important skills to have when looking to get hired in a professional inbound marketing setting.

Create a Small Content Piece: Writing a blog article is something an intern can easily create and “ship” in the first week. Anticipate going through one or two rounds of revisions with your intern, and make sure you offer the time to review in person. When you review (get ready, we’re going old-school!), consider printing out the article and walking thorough what changes you made and why. That way your intern can learn why you changed what you did and develop his or her own writing judgment. To take it a step further, ask your intern to check back to learn how much traffic her blog post drove! That’s a great early win.

Proof Someone Else’s Work: If you’re grooming your intern to be a content creator, this is another great project to help them read and learn while completing a task. You can give your intern a variety of things to proof, too: email copy, blog articles, landing page writing, CTA copy. Subconsciously, your intern will be learning about the different content items that complete inbound marketing while reviewing the information.

Shadow a Bigger Project and Help With a Small Piece: This is a great opportunity to teach your intern to think like you and see how you make decisions. Walk your intern through something you’re working on, and ask for assistance on a specific piece. Better, see if he or she can suggest how to help! Set a deadline, and go from there. Note, this might make the overall completion of your project take a bit longer, but the intern’s learning experience should be worth it. 

Help Your Intern Develop Ownership With Bigger Projects

After your intern has had some early wins and understands at a high level how your marketing team jives (generally at week 2 or 3), it’s time to give your intern something to own and manage on their own. Truly managing an entire project helps interns develop a sense of pride and accountability.

Tackle a Major Analytical Project: At HubSpot, having analytical chops is a highly valued skill. In fact, all marketers should make it a goal to learn how to analyze, interpret, and communicate data. Have your intern think of a major question or problem and do some deep data analysis to answer that question. In the marketing world, that data could come from Facebook Insights, HootSuite, HubSpot Sources, Google Analytics, or anything else. 

Design and Execute an Independent Campaign: This is a great independent project that brings direct results to your company and gives your intern true, hands-on experience. Have your intern choose a goal that is important to your marketing organization. Then have him or her create and execute an original plan, most likely allowing your intern to interact with other parts of your organization and build each part of the campaign. For example, perhaps the intern would want to generate more leads from your business blog. He or she first could create a landing page you will only promote via your blog, and then write the blog content to promote the offer on that landing page. Their next step would be to coordinate with marketers on your team who manage email and social media marketing to plan additional promotion for the blog article. Voilà! Then, make sure your intern tracks and collects the results from this project and documents it in his or her portfolio, too.

Write and Publish a Major Piece of Content: Need a new ebook or whitepaper? Ask your intern to step up to the challenge! Have your intern create a full, ready-to-publish piece of content. Your intern should research, write, add images, lay out, and design the entire ebook. By managing each piece of the process, your intern will understand all the steps necessary to create the content and feel true ownership of what he or she made! 

Create and Give a Presentation: Presentation skills are crucial in the working world, and every intern should have an opportunity to practice in front of an audience. As either a midway or final project, have your intern create a presentation from scratch on either something they learned at your company or something interesting that could help your entire team. Did your intern learn how to use a new tool? Did they uncover some interesting takeaways from a research project they tackled? Ask your intern to teach everyone else what they discovered.

What NOT to Do With Your Interns

Don’t give difficult, independent projects right off the bat. Unless your intern has experience doing a similar major project from a previous job, you might be setting your intern up for failure and thus driving low morale. However, if completing a major project early is absolutely necessary and there is no one in the company to teach your intern how to do it, set that expectation early. Tell your intern it will be hard, provide examples of resources or tutorials that can help, and suggest how your intern can request feedback or assistance during the process. Now everyone is on the same page.

Don’t make it difficult for your intern to ask for help. Especially at busy companies, as an intern, asking questions and potentially interrupting your manager can be incredibly intimidating. However, there will be many situations where hesitating to ask will lower that intern’s productivity immensely. The best way to solve this is set a precedent in the beginning: tell your intern how you would prefer to receive questions. Is it by email? Corporate chat? A daily meeting? By agreeing on a system in the beginning, your intern will know it’s safe to request help, and it will be on the terms that are least disruptive to you.

Don’t ignore mistakes and shy away from giving feedback. Often, when an intern does something wrong, it’s because he or she doesn’t know what is right! Giving consistent feedback is key to helping your interns improve and take on a greater learning curve. At HubSpot, we give all interns midway and final reviews. The midway review serves two purposes: to give an intern feedback that he or she can act on right away to improve the second half of their internship, and to make the final review less daunting. The second point is key to an intern’s growth and transition into a fulltime employee, whether it’s at your company or somewhere else. Getting a review in a “safer” intern environment will make it easier for him or her to handle a review in the professional working world.

Don’t cloister your intern to your specific department. Internships are great opportunities to learn about how a business works as a whole and explore all the cogs that go into the machine. We’ve had a few interns investigate the sales team and develop an interest in selling software. Encourage interns to meet employees from other departments, invite people out to lunch, and learn about other jobs within your company. 

These points should help you build your own internship program and set your interns up for success. By helping to develop happier, more productive interns, you will get more value from them, and they’ll become external cheerleaders who will rave about working for your company. You’ll be growing your employee base before you know it!

What tips do you have for running an effective internship program?

Image Credit: David Boyle




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