How to Send a Personalised LinkedIn Invite from your iPhone
Last month we put together an infographic surrounding the key elements which you should include when sending a LinkedIn invitation.
One of the key downsides I found with personalising invitations was the inability to customise your invitation on mobile (in my case, an iPhone). A good connection of mine on Twitter, Kevin Tully was kind enough to point me to a resource which explained how easy it was to personalise your invitation (Thanks mate).
So I figured it might be easier to visualise the two step process for you. Here’s our very short infographic which helps explain the process on your iPhone. If you want a recap of what your invitation should include, feel free to revisit last month’s article here.
Good luck with your personalised invites!
Content Marketing in Australia 2015 [Infographic]
Last year when we compiled our insights on what Australian content marketers need to do we discovered the following key points:
1. 52% of Australian businesses have a documented content strategy
2. Social media content and articles on your own website are the two dominant content marketing tactics used by businesses.
3. Website traffic and social media sharing are the two of the top content marketing metrics
4. Lack of time sat at the top of the list when it comes to content marketing challenges.
What’s changed in 2015?
Content Marketing Strategy – Not Documented
For starters, those marketers with a documented content marketing strategy deem themselves as being effective with their overall content marketing efforts. Surprisingly, the % of businesses with a documented content marketing strategy has declined from last year (37% this year vs 52% last year).
The Same Tactics Lead the Way
Social media content and articles on the business website remain as the top two tactics which marketers rely on. In saying that, blog usage actually declined from last year (80% down to 68%), but our internal favorite tactic, infographics went up from 43% to 61%. Gotta love visual content!
Engaging Content and Budget are the biggest challenges
The 2014 study found lack of time (66%) and the ability to produce engaging content (44%) were the biggest challenges, but this time around engaging content has jumped up to 50% but companies also need a larger budget (38% in 2014 to 48% in the current study).
Speaking of infographics, we know how much marketers (both Australian and worldwide) love infographics, here’s our version which summarises the key insights in our opinion from Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 research study.
How to Build a More Receptive Audience with Podcasting
Content marketing is a great way for brands to tell their story, educate their audiences and attract more leads into their funnels. If you’ve started to notice a decline in traffic on your blog or less engagement with your posts, then you might want to reconsider your content creation strategy.
It’s not always about conversion optimisation, sometimes it’s just a case of people starting to prefer one format over another.
This is where podcasting comes in. In fact, audio is the one of the easiest ways to create content, share it and have others download and consume it at their own convenience.
Someone might open their podcast feeder and pick a show to run in the background while they get out for a walk, while others might listen to a show while cooking, cleaning the house, commuting to work or just laying back and relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.
Plus, there is a great difference between a podcast listener and a web content reader. A web content reader is looking for a specific topic, whereas a podcast listener simply loves podcasts. These are the people who will listen to your show during their commute because they find it inspiring and captivating
Last year alone, podcasting has exploded into a huge marketing channel and paved the way for new branding and monetisation opportunities. Last year, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic, which opens up a whole range of opportunities for businesses to reach out to new territory and engage with their audience on a more personal level.
But this is just the tip – according to Digital entrepreneur, Glenn Leibowitz, the next big step for podcasting will be their availability on car dashboards. Apple and Google are both looking to introduce the CarPlay and Androind Auto onto dashboards which will allow content producers to not only reach more listeners but also target infrequent listeners.
The Rise of Podcasting
In Edison’s recent “Share of Ear” study, shows that almost 2% of the total time spent listening to audio content is devoted to podcast listening, which on a grand scale means about 30 million users on any given day. Plus, these users are super-listeners, devoting around 5 hours per day listening to podcasts.
The study also shows that 39 million people listened to a podcast during January last year, which is the highest number on record. Looking at their findings, wee can see that podcasts are consumed daily by 15% percent of Americans and that weekly podcast consumers listen to an average of six podcasts per week. Now this is a lot time devoted to podcasts!
You’ve probably heard of some big names like John Lee Dumas, Joe Polish, Pat Flynn and Lewis Howes. And the reason they’re so wildly successful is because they’ve put podcasting at the heart of their business. For example, John Lee Dumas, founder of the popular daily podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, is reaping huge benefits from podcasting.
His show was featured in Best of iTunes in 2013 with 7.4 million downloads and 829,000 unique listens in June and subscribers in 145 countries. With over 760 episodes, the show brings in successful entrepreneurs like Brian Tracy, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin and Pat Flynn and last year alone, his gross profit was $446,000, achieving his first month of $100K net revenue in December.
Another success story comes from New York Times best-selling author and angel investor Jay Baer, who runs two successful podcasts, Social Pros and Jay Today TV. With more than 100 episodes so far, “Social Pros” focuses on interviewing big companies, social media managers and top influences and has been a solid foundation for creating top-of-the-funnel awareness building trust within the community. One of his strategies is to produce collaborative content by finding experts from various backgrouds and providing a diverse amount of relevant content to his listeners.
Mike Stelzner, the creator of the Social Media Examiner podcast is yet another example of success in this arena. He launched his blog, Social Media Examiner, back in 2009 and it’s become the largest of its kind in the world. Mike launched his podcast back in 2012 and his formula for success was to provide great stories by interviewing experts and basically introducing new people to his audience.
What About Ranting Without A Cause?
Yes, a typical blog post requires a structure and visual queues like bullet points, sub-headers that will break the text into smaller, scannable chunks. While you can’t have these in a podcast, you can still use a structure like a mindmap or just a simple outline that will carry your message through to your listeners.
A well-written script assures your podcast to be sharper and important details won’t be left out. However, due to the more personal feel of a podcast, you can make small digressions to incorporate stories or give more context to your message.
The great benefit of podcasting is that you are quite literally inside your listener’s head, they can hear your voice and feel like they actually know you. This level of personalisation holds a huge advantage over written content, where the tone may be pretty neutral and formal, especially for corporate or business blogs.
Ready To Start Your Podcast?
At the end of the day, podcasting is still just another medium for distributing your content and publishing your show on iTunes alone won’t make you rich or successful overnight. The value of your content, your niche and your marketing efforts, are all factors that will have a huge impact on how much you can grow your audience.
But if you focus on creating content that you yourself would want to listen to and if you strike the balance between story-telling and value-delivering, you will build a solid following around your brand. Always ask how do you want the listener to feel and what action do you want them to take after they are done listening to you?
The more character you put into your podcast, the more your listeners will relate to you and your brand. And “likeability” is one of the hottest currencies in business.
If you’re not too sure on how to get started or simply need a bit of inspiration, I’d recommend the following two resources which is packed with tips and best practices to get you off the ground.
1. Trevor Young’s Podcast – Interview with Suzi Dafnis
Check it here
2. How to Create a Blockbuster Podcast – by Tim Ferriss
Check it here
What about your brand? Are you ready to reap the benefits of being an iTunes superstar? Share your comments and feedback in the comments section below.
How to Get Social with Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are an awesome blend of the old school chat room, and the (fairly) new school hashtag. Essentially Twitter chats are a group of Twitter users who meet at a scheduled time and day to have a conversation around one unique hashtag. These hashtags are focused on a particular theme or topic that the host of the chat will pose questions around, and the group of chatters will respond and interact with.
Image credit: Techwyse
With most Twitter chats the theme, topic and questions are posted up in advance so you can prepare. You don’t need spend hours making diligent notes, but you can take a few minutes to reflect on the topic and purpose of the chat so you will not only be better informed, but also able to contribute some pretty valuable stuff!
Twitter chats are an amazing place to network, and gain some knowledge on a specific industry or shared interest. The most basic way to participate in a Twitter chat is to simply search the hashtag in a Twitter search, and interact from there. The key is to always include the unique hashtag in your tweets.
How to Participate Without Getting Lost
Hosts and moderators do their best to organize the content flowing through a Twitter chat a few different ways. Sometimes they will break down the chat into different segments, where particular topics are addressed for a certain amount of time. It’s fairly straightforward to follow along with this method if you’re keeping track of time, and watching out for tweets on the topic change.
Another thing that hosts do, which is extremely helpful, is label questions or subtopics. For example chat hosts will post discussion questions starting with Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. and you can then respond using A1, A2, A3, etc. for the corresponding answer. These kinds of methods keep conversations better organised, and easier to follow.
Yet, even with hosts pulling out all the stops, at times Twitter chats can become a little tricky to follow from a Twitter search because there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of people contributing at the same time. There are a lot of great tools available that can not only help you organize multiple Twitter chats, but also filter tweets into streams for much easier chatting.
Use Hootsuite to Organise your Twitter Chats
Using Hootsuite to organise, and monitor Twitter chats is simple and very effective. By creating a stream for each Twitter chat you can follow along easily without having to do a hashtag search through Twitter. You can also create different chat Streams for as many chats are you want, and save them all under one tab.
To set up your chat Streams you simply do a search for the hashtag of the chat you want to join, and choose ‘Add Stream’. Once you save you can see the chat happening live, and use other Hootsuite tools to favourite and reply to tweets from other users, and add your own tweets along the way. Just be sure to always include that unique hashtag in your tweets in order to be included in the chat.
Need Some Great Twitter Chat Suggestions?
You’ve been introduced to the world of Twitter chats, and how to actively and effectively participate, so now it’s time to find a chat that interests you and jump right in.
If you’re interested in social media and digital marketing, here’s a great list of 16 chats which relate to social media and marketing (thanks to Brian Fanzo for putting it together)
Note: #SSHour mentioned in the slide deck is now #SbizHour (perhaps my favorite chat I try to attend)
If you’re looking for more social media marketing chats, or something different you can also use these three links to find a chat that fits your industry and interests.
1. ChatSalad is a great place to find chats that are underway or taking place in the near future.
2. TweetReports also has a good list of chats.
3. TWubs is a website where you check out an easy to read, and comprehensive list of chats.
That’s it! I’d love to hear your feedback on the article and whether you’ll be exploring Twitter chats as a medium to build your thought leadership and relationships.
Happy Twitter Chatting!