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Would you pay $5 to have McNuggets delivered?: McDonald's is now available for delivery in more than 1,000 U.S. restaurants, including 267 in the Chicago area, via Uber Technologies' UberEats mobile app. 

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7 Organic Tips for Growing Your Email ROI:
Would you turn down an opportunity to increase the value and impact of your content marketing program with just a few tweaks to your email list? How about the chance to earn rock-star-level praise from your executive team for achieving better returns on your company's email marketing investment? When you consider just how valuable email subscribers can be to content marketing success, I'd be surprised if you haven't already pulled out your credit card and started looking for the “sign-me-up” button to take advantage of this amazing offer right now.
Sorry … I spend way too much time watching late-night infomercials. But seriously …
According to Jessica Best, director of data-driven marketing at Barkley, these kinds of results are well within the grasp of any company that creates email content for a subscribed audience.
Paving the way to success
Let's back up a minute because email marketing is some seriously powerful stuff – I'm talking the OxiClean of content marketing products. Consider these few stats:

According to a 2015 VentureBeat study, email offers the greatest potential for ROI of any marketing channel, delivering an average return of $38 for every dollar invested.

#Email offers the greatest potential for ROI of any marketing channel via @venturebeat.Click To Tweet

A June 2016 survey of U.S. marketers conducted by the Data & Marketing Association and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% – more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail, and paid search.

#Email had a median ROI of 122%, more than 4x higher than other marketing formats via @DMA_USA @DemandMetricClick To Tweet
But, as Jessica says, you aren't truly ready to unlock your “email rock star” badge until you are prepared to do two things:

Accurately measure the returns on your marketing investment – not just opens and clicks.

Understand how to maximize the content assets and email framework you have in place.

#Email rock stars measure returns on marketing investment, not just opens and clicks, says @bestofjess.Click To Tweet
Fortunately, in a presentation she delivered at Content Marketing World 2016, Jessica shared some of her best (!) tips for overcoming deliverability issues, increasing email engagement among your audience, and determining the overall impact of your efforts – all of which will enable you to demonstrate your achievements in a way that your content marketing stakeholders will understand – and thank you for.
Doing the math
Jessica asserts that one of the primary barriers to email success is a lack of understanding when it comes to measuring the returns on your (email) marketing investment (ROMI). For the record, Jessica describes ROMI as a separate calculation from ROI, as it doesn't factor in the business' overall cost of goods – it's simply marketing dollars in/marketing revenue out.
Jessica recommends calculating email ROMI by taking the amount of revenue a campaign generated, subtracting your expenses for creating and delivering that campaign, and dividing the result by your expenses.

Jessica also suggests visiting the site for a simple calculation tool that comes in handy for this task.

Click to enlarge
Maximizing your most valuable asset
Grow a healthy subscriber list, and tend it regularly: When it comes to email marketing success, Jessica says everything boils down to your ability to cultivate a robust list of “hand-raising” subscribers (i.e., those who have asked for your content and, therefore, are more likely to read it regularly), as these audiences represent your strongest potential for business growth. No matter how valuable, creative, and fresh your email content might be, if you aren't able to deliver your messages into the hands of the right people (and as many of them as possible), you'll never reach your full ROMI potential.
Of course, it's simply not enough to amass a giant list of names and email addresses; as you know by now, those lists need to be built through ethical means, so that your reputation as a credible, trustworthy marketer remains beyond reproach. This can be achieved rather simply by following the industry's best practices (like the ones Seth Godin describes in his book, Permission Marketing) for securing your subscribers' opt-in permission before you message them.
Follow best practices for securing #email subscribers' opt-in permission before messaging. @ThisIsSethsBlogClick To Tweet
This keeps your email content from running afoul of expectations. But you also need to make sure your recipients continually view the content they receive from you as a desirable benefit, not a delete-able nuisance. Remember: Just because subscribers gave you permission to reach out, doesn't mean they feel obligated to engage beyond the initial connection.
Subscribers give permission, but they may not want to engage beyond the 1st email, says @bestofjess.Click To Tweet
Optimize your lists: We all have email newsletters we were once enthusiastic about receiving but, for some reason or another, are no longer motivated to click through, or even open. As marketers we hate to admit that our messages may not be a top priority to readers (or to the email clients that deliver them); but the bigger issue here is that sending emails to subscribers who are no longer active – or even interested – can skew our metrics and lower our ROMI. Think about this: According to Jessica's data, on average, as much as 40% of your email list hasn't opened, clicked, or purchased from you in over a year. That's a lot of dead weight dragging down your campaign success averages.

Re-engage your fans: Jessica feels that your first course of action for addressing this issue should be to identify and re-engage with subscribers who still want to hear from you, but just haven't expressed their love for a while.
Naturally, you want to do everything you can to retain the value proposition represented by your most active subscribers (not to mention you want to make sure they are satisfied with the benefits your business offers to them). Fortunately, as Jessica discussed in her session, you can boost your response rate by over one-third by re-engaging with subscribers and asking them to get back in touch with your business. For example, Hostess manages this elegantly – and in a brand-friendly way – by periodically sending inactive subscribers a little reminder that their “spokescake” Twinkie the Kid still loves them – along with the promise of an incentive if they take action to reconnect.
Boost response rate by 1/3+ by re-engaging w/ subscribers & asking them to get back in touch. @bestofjessClick To Tweet

Trim the dead weight to conserve budget: As Jessica notes, it can be useful to periodically weed out perennially inactive subscribers (i.e., the 40% who never open your messages, as shown in the chart above). When you are no longer sending emails to fatigued or out-of-market consumers, she estimates that your send or volume costs can be reduced by as much as 40%. This is a big win to show your executives – without doing anything more than scrubbing your list of consumers who were unlikely to convert as leads or customers in the first place.
It's useful to weed out perennially inactive subscribers, says @bestofjess.Click To Tweet
What's the best way to manage this? Consider this example Jessica shared from YRC Freight, which illustrates one way to makes it easy for fatigued recipients to self-identify and bow out gracefully:

But there's another issue at play here, too: deliverability. When a subscriber isn't engaging regularly, it's one of many possible signals to the email client (like Gmail or Yahoo) that your messages aren't essential – which makes them more likely to be labeled as junk (unless the recipient has you on their “safe sender” list). If your messages aren't making it into your recipients' inboxes in the first place, it can compound the other factors that may be dragging down your ROMI. By clearing your list of subscribers who don't engage, your business looks more attractive to email clients. This gives you a better shot at getting through to the inbox of those who do want your messages – thus boosting your metrics organically.
How to Build Your Email List: The (Better Than) Ultimate Guide
Six ways to invest in your emails for a greater impact
Once you have a lean, mean subscriber list, and a basic understanding of your baseline email ROMI, you have the foundation you need to optimize, enhance, and amplify your email content, while minimizing the time and budget you waste on emailing uninterested consumers.
To get you started, Jessica offers the following six tips for re-energizing your email campaigns with some high-value, high-impact techniques.

Look for ways to automate and extend the email experience: Considering that, as Jessica points out, welcome emails tend to have the highest open rates of all email messages, it makes sense to sustain consumers' initial feeling of enthusiasm for your content as long as possible. Furthermore, according to a 2016 emfluence study, automated emails earn twice the open rate and nearly three times the click-through rate of batched emails. This is why using marketing automation to deliver your welcome message as a series of customer-nurturing emails (known as a drip campaign) – is such a powerful email technique.

Automated #email earn 2x the open rate & nearly 3x the click-through rate of batched emails via @emfluence.Click To Tweet
For example, Armed Forces Bank developed a drip campaign that educated customers about its banking products one at a time, then tested the performance of this series against its legacy single welcome email. Among customers who received the automated drip campaign, the bank found a 20% increase in average account balance and a 40% increase in the number of savings accounts opened, and achieved a 230% lift in ROI, comparatively.

Email Drip Campaigns: How to Make Them Smart and Blunder-Free

Ask for the referral: Looking across various industry benchmarks, Jessica has found consumer conversion rates of 10% on average for referral campaigns. While sometimes this amounts to no more than a new subscriber or lead, it can also mean a purchase under the right circumstances.

For example, fast-casual restaurant Noodles & Company created a full-blown campaign to support email sign-up referrals, offering a chance to earn entries for its Travel the World sweepstakes. According to Jessica, the restaurant received almost three times the number of new email address sign-ups in one month as a result of the campaign, which also led to a 200% increase in monthly sales.

Are Your Customers Unsubscribing? 3 Ways to Deliver Delightful Content Experiences

Use motion to move your audience: According to Jessica, not only can including animation and relevant motion effects in emails add emotional appeal to your messages, it can drive up response rates up to three-fold. However, she cautions against delivering the message as a single, large image since many consumers turn off images in their email clients. They would only see a blank message in their inboxes.

Using animation & relevant motion effects in #emails can drive up response rates three-fold. @bestofjessClick To Tweet
Consider this Wingstop example: The company enticed subscribers to try its new Smoke9 wings by adding a subtle smoke effect to the new flavor's logo in their email. The relevant motion of the smoke wafting over the wings (not seen in the screenshot below) enhanced the overall message, while simulating a sensory experience in a way that words never could.

Take advantage of video: While embedding a video in your email messages simply doesn't work well in the inbox setting, there are ways to get around this. For example, Jessica recommends using a simple screenshot of your video (captured at the perfect moment) with a superimposed play button. But don't stop there: You should offer text about why readers might be interested in watching, along with a link to the full video (like MindDrive did in the example below). Using the video as a strong call to action (rather than as the message) is a great way to interest subscribers in spending more time with your business and drive them back to your owned channels.

Make email a two-way conversation: Not only can email speak to consumers on a personalized and emotional level, it can also convey how receptive your company is to hearing their feedback, opinions, and ideas – and demonstrate your commitment to responding to their needs.

Jessica suggests a range of ways marketers can increase consumer interaction through email, from simply providing a contact email and encouraging them to ask questions and offer comments, to inviting them to take part in a detailed user survey – as Indigo Wild does in the example below. Jessica found that this email's promo code (a thank you for taking the survey) performed twice as well as the promo alone (i.e., without the survey asking for feedback).

Tell a great story: Many brands find it difficult enough just to identify the right inspiration for crafting a uniquely engaging message, let alone a way to extend that story through email over the long term. But Jessica asserts that even some of the most seemingly mundane of businesses can harness the creative muse and deliver an emotionally resonant experience through this marketing channel.

For example, Merial is a company that specializes in animal wellness – such as developing ulcer medications and other health solutions for farm animals like horses. Treating ulcers in horses isn't exactly a sexy topic. Yet, the company still found a winning way to stand out in the inbox by featuring the story of one of its sales specialists who is a rodeo champion.

Improve Your Email Content With a 7-Minute Workout Routine
For even more helpful email marketing tips, check out our video with Jessica Best, below.

And don't miss Jessica's follow-up presentation this September at Content Marketing World 2017. Register today for early-bird rates and use code BLOG100 to save an additional $100.
The post 7 Organic Tips for Growing Your Email ROI appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

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Disproving Best Practices: The One- vs. Two-Column Form Test:
A few months ago, I took the stage at Digital Summit Dallas to talk about blog conversion rate optimization (CRO). The session right before mine was led by Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner -- a household name for those of us in the CRO industry. Needless to say, it was a tough act to follow.
In his session, "Frankenpage: Using A Million Little Pieces of Data to Reverse Engineer the Perfect Landing Page," Oli shared lots of great data-backed tips for landing page optimization. In discussing best practices for conversion forms, he talked about how two-column forms weren't ideal.
What's the Beef With Two-Column Forms?
Oli isn't the only one to frown upon the use of two-column forms. Baymard Institute, a usability research company, published this a few years back, and ConversionXL Founder Peep Laja has also asserted that one-column forms perform better.
Peep's colleague Ben Labay even published a study about the superiority of the one-column form over multi-column forms. The study showed that users complete the linear, single-column form an average of 15.4 seconds faster than the multi-column form. While speed is not directly tied to form completion, the data suggests that if the single-column form is faster to complete, fewer people will abandon it, garnering more conversions. It all boils down to user experience.
But Oli's advice to avoid multi-column forms originally caught my attention because we had just redesigned HubSpot's demo landing page, one of the most important landing pages on our website, and switched from a one-column to a two-column form in the process.
The thing that stuck out to me was that in switching to two columns, we had actually improved the conversion rate of our page by 57%. Now to be fair, the form wasn't the only variable we manipulated in the redesign (we refreshed the design and made some copy tweaks as well), but it still made me wonder whether two-column forms were really all that bad.
So I put it to the test.
The One- vs. Two-Column Form Test
Using HubSpot's landing page A/B testing tools, I pitted the two-column form (the control) against the one-column form (the variant). Here's how they looked ...
Control (Two-Column Form)

Variant (One-Column Form)

So "best practices" aside, which do you think performed better?
And the Winner Is ...
... not the one-column form. In fact, the two-column form converted 22% better than the one-column form, statistically significant with a 99% confidence level.
Surprised? I wasn't. Just look at the length of that one-column form! Yes, HubSpot's lead-capture forms are long (13 fields to be exact), but they're long by design. Through our experience, we've learned that having more fields helps us better qualify our leads, and weed out unqualified ones.
But a 13-field form doesn't exactly lend itself to a one-column design, which is why I think for us, the two-column form works better. The theory is that the one-column form, despite having the same number of fields, looks longer, so visitors are much more likely to get scared off before completing it.
Since we ran the test, we've actually switched to a kind of hybrid form, with elements of both a one- and two-column form, to make our two-column form a bit more user friendly. Our old two-column form is on the left, and our new hybrid form is on the right.

Questioning "Best Practices"
Any CRO worth their salt knows there's really no such thing as best practices, and that everything should be tested yourself (which, coincidentally enough, was a major theme in the talk I delivered after Oli's).
In fact, Oli and Peep will be the first ones to tell you that while they may share certain CRO findings and trends from their experience, there are no sure things. That's why testing things for yourself is so important. What might work better for one site, might not necessarily work better for yours -- that's fundamental to CRO.
And in my opinion, running those tests to figure out what works for you is what makes conversion rate optimization so much fun. Especially when the results challenge what the experts say ;-)

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JDM Solutions Interview: Solving Small Business Marketing Challenges With Social Media: Small business marketing can be full of obstacles. Company owners are challenged with delicately balancing their resources and wearing many hats that corporate companies have whole departments for, including sales, production, HR, marketing and finance.
They often ponder how to create the best possible product and/or service, find the right methods to promote it, and how to stabilize their cash flow. Similar to startup social media agencies, winning and keeping new clients is fundamental to their success, and a good portion of new business can be found on social media.
Today, we sit down with Javier D. Martinez who founded his own digital agency in 2015 in Texas, and has been transforming how small businesses do marketing since.

1. Who are you and what does your company do?
Greetings, I am Javier D. Martinez, the Founder of JDM Solutions Group. Our digital agency solves small business marketing challenges by reinventing their strategies. The mission is simple: innovate traditional concepts and approaches to help small business owners launch their e-commerce empires.

2. How and why did you get started in social media?
I got started in social media about five years ago out of necessity. Back then, I was a college student with very limited resources and needed a way to advertise my side projects in order to pay for my expenses. Social media platforms are free and attract millions of people, so I thought some of them could be interested in what I have to offer. I then realized just how quickly I can reach my target audience in a cost-effective way.

3. What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business are?
Where to start? Marketing on social media has many benefits – for small businesses and building your personal brand alike. It's a powerful tool for creating an online community, increasing brand awareness and finding customers (especially if you sell unique, niche products). People engage with your content and what you put out there, so it's also a place where you can get a lot of feedback.

4. What are the common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness through social media?
A common mistake we encounter a lot is when business owners (who use social media platforms) are creating irrelevant content to build brand awareness. Then they get discouraged and find it hard to believe that this marketing channel can work for their business.
In today's marketplace, people don't want to be sold to – they want to be entertained, well-informed and find solutions to their problems. When considering ‘building brand awareness' as an objective in your social media strategy, you need to make sure you can create content that is easily digestible for your existing and potential customers.
People don't want to be sold to – they want to be entertained, well-informed and find solutions to their problems.

5. What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
The best social media managers are crafty content creators – they write clever copy, take high-quality photos and in some cases, create videos. For our digital agency, it's incredibly important to have someone who is willing to take risks and test new ways to build brand awareness for our clients. Social media managers should have a passion for educating people online as well, especially if that's the main type of content their client wants to put out.

6. How do business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
For my team and I, it's a numbers game. Coming from a business background, I've always been quite analytical and results driven. That's why when we plan campaigns, our number one question is “what type of ROI this activity will have?”. This could be as simple as whether we should create a particular content type for the client, or invest more in paid advertising. We test ad variations in multiple ways until we see the ones that capture most traffic and conversions, then we dive in and capitalize our ROI.
The advice then is to always set SMART goals, e.g. increasing Twitter followers by 500 every quarter or increasing the engagement rate on Facebook by 50% in one month are both, measurable goals that contribute to brand awareness.
Before creating new content or investing more in paid ads, think – what type of ROI this activity will have?
7. How do you see social media evolving over the next five years…what do you hope to see?
The way businesses advertise their products and/or services will be completely different five years from now. The hottest trend I see evolving is vlogging and everything to do with live video. Many brands and influencers are creating a ton of buzz providing their unique views on products that seem almost as genuine as advice given by your closest friend.

8. What do you think are some of the consequences of not getting on board with social media?
Here's a simple stat to put things in perspective: As of 2016, 78 percent of the United States population had a social networking profile and there are 2.34 billion social network users worldwide (source: Statista).
If your business is not on social media, you're losing market share. So, I'd strongly recommend you start learning how to use social media for business or employ someone who can do it for you. As a marketing channel, social media can be the driving force for attracting new visitors and getting noticed by industry leaders and influencers. Now that's exciting!

Are your social media pages performing as well as they can? Download our Social Media Health Check to ensure you're making the most of your social media.

9. What are your thoughts on social media versus more traditional marketing activities, and how does social media fit in the marketing mix?
All marketing channels can be effective, just not to all businesses at the same time. That's why it's important to know the in's and out's of your industry and customers to know how best to promote your services. We believe that people are increasingly moving towards the online world and a big part of small business marketing success will come from digital marketing and its employees.
People are increasingly moving towards the online world and a big part of small business marketing success will come from digital marketing and its employees.

10. Which one best practice would you recommend about using social media to grow a business?
We recommend vlogging and creating content that will empower your buyer! In order to reach new audiences, your business needs to have a unique voice and a mission. Invest time in documenting your journey and create valuable content that will be of benefit to its consumers.

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Facebook admits its 10th measurement mistake since September: The mistake -- mischarged clicks on video carousel ads by smartphone web users -- is the first that directly affected advertisers' wallets.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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What You Need to Know About Duplicate GMB Listings [Excerpt from the Expert's Guide to Local SEO]: Posted by JoyHawkinsRecently, I've had a lot of people ask me how to deal with duplicate listings in Google My Business now that MapMaker is dead. Having written detailed instructions outlining different scenarios for the advanced local SEO training manual I started selling over at LocalU, I thought it'd be great to give Moz readers a sample of 5 pages from the manual outlining some best practices.
What you need to know about duplicate GMB listingsBefore you start, you need to find out if the listing is verified. If the listing has an “own this business” or “claim this business” option, it is not currently verified. If missing that label, it means it is verified — there is nothing you can do until you get ownership or have it unverified (if you're the one who owns it in GMB). This should be your first step before you proceed with anything below.

Do the addresses on the two listings match? If the unverified duplicate has the same address as the verified listing, you should contact Google My Business support and ask them to merge the two listings.
If the addresses do not match, find out if the business used to be at that address at some point in time.

If the business has never existed there:

Pull up the listing on Maps
Press “Suggest an edit”
Switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed” to Yes
Select “Never existed” as the reason and press submit. *Note: If there are reviews on the listing, you should get them transferred before doing this.

If the duplicate lists an address that is an old address (they were there at some point but have moved), you will want to have the duplicate marked as moved.
Service area businesses
Is the duplicate listing verified? If it is, you will first have to get it unverified or gain access to it. Once you've done that, contact Google My Business and ask them to merge the two listings.
If the duplicate is not verified, you can have it removed from Maps since service area businesses are not permitted on Google Maps. Google My Business allows them, but any unverified listing would follow Google Maps rules, not Google My Business. To remove it:

Pull up the listing on Maps
Press “Suggest an edit”
Switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed” to Yes
Select “Private” as the reason and press submit. *Note: If there are reviews on the listing, you should get them transferred before doing this.

Practitioner listings
Public-facing professionals (doctors, lawyers, dentists, realtors, etc.) are allowed their own listings separate from the office they work for, unless they're the only public-facing professional at that office. In that case, they are considered a solo practitioner and there should only be one listing, formatted as “Business Name: Professional Name.”
Solo practitioner with two listingsThis is probably one of the easiest scenarios to fix because solo practitioners are only supposed to have one listing. If you have a scenario where there's a listing for both the practice and the practitioner, you can ask Google My Business to merge the two and it will combine the ranking strength of both. It will also give you one listing with more reviews (if each individual listing had reviews on it). The only scenario where I don't advise combining the two is if your two listings both rank together and are monopolizing two of the three spots in the 3-pack. This is extremely rare.
Multi-practitioner listingsIf the business has multiple practitioners, you are not able to get these listings removed or merged provided the practitioner still works there. While I don't generally suggest creating listings for practitioners, they often exist already, leaving people to wonder what to do with them to keep them from competing with the listing for the practice.
A good strategy is to work on having multiple listings rank if you have practitioners that specialize in different things. Let's say you have a chiropractor who also has a massage therapist at his office. The massage therapist's listing could link to a page on the site that ranks highly for "massage therapy" and the chiropractor could link to the page that ranks highest organically for chiropractic terms. This is a great way to make the pages more visible instead of competing.
Another example would be a law firm. You could have the main listing for the law firm optimized for things like “law firm,” then have one lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and another lawyer who specializes in criminal law. This would allow you to take advantage of the organic ranking for several different keywords.
Keep in mind that if your goal is to have three of your listings all rank for the exact same keyword on Google, thus monopolizing the entire 3-pack, this is an unrealistic strategy. Google has filters that keep the same website from appearing too many times in the results and unless you're in a really niche industry or market, it's almost impossible to accomplish this.
Practitioners who no longer work thereIt's common to find listings for practitioners who no longer work for your business but did at some point. If you run across a listing for a former practitioner, you'll want to contact Google My Business and ask them to mark the listing as moved to your practice listing. It's extremely important that you get them to move it to your office listing, not the business the practitioner now works for (if they have been employed elsewhere). Here is a good case study that shows you why.
If the practitioner listing is verified, things can get tricky since Google My Business won't be able to move it until it's unverified. If the listing is verified by the practitioner and they refuse to give you access or remove it, the second-best thing would be to get them to update the listing to have their current employer's information on it. This isn't ideal and should be a last resort.
Listings for employees (not public-facing)If you find a listing for a non-public-facing employee, it shouldn't exist on Maps. For example: an office manager of a law firm, a paralegal, a hygienist, or a nurse. You can get the listing removed:

Pull up the listing on Maps
Press “Suggest an edit”
Switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed..” to Yes
Select “Never existed” as the reason and press submit.
Listings for deceased practitionersThis is always a terrible scenario to have to deal with, but I've run into lots of cases where people don't know how to get rid of listings for deceased practitioners. The solution is similar to what you would do for someone who has left the practice, except you want to add an additional step. Since the listings are often verified and people usually don't have access to the deceased person's Google account, you want to make sure you tell Google My Business support that the person is deceased and include a link to their obituary online so the support worker can confirm you're telling the truth. I strongly recommend using either Facebook or Twitter to do this, since you can easily include the link (it's much harder to do on a phone call).
Creating practitioner listingsIf you're creating a practitioner listing from scratch, you might run into issues if you're trying to do it from the Google My Business dashboard and you already have a verified listing for the practice. The error you would get is shown below.

There are two ways around this:

Create the listing via Google Maps. Do this by searching the address and then clicking “Add a missing place.” Do not include the firm/practice name in the title of the listing or your edit most likely won't go through, since it will be too similar to the listing that already exists for the practice. Once you get an email from Google Maps stating the listing has been successfully added, you will be able to claim it via GMB.
Contact GMB support and ask them for help.
We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the Expert's Guide to Local SEO! The full 160+-page guide is available for purchase and download via LocalU below.
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Sears' media-shy CEO lashes out at suppliers: Edward Lampert, who rarely gives interviews or public statements, blogs for the second time in a week. His target this time: suppliers aiming to "take advantage" of the beleaguered retailer.

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What You Need to Know to Get a Wikipedia Article Published:
Since 2001, Wikipedia's community of volunteer editors has created more than 5 million pages, many of them found on Google's first page of search results for that topic. Wikipedia's ubiquity bestows upon it the ability to lend its credibility to other subjects, which is attractive for companies and organizations who crave recognition.
But Wikipedia's volunteer editors are focused on building a serious encyclopedia, and not so interested in helping a brand's content marketing plan. If you want to create an entry about a company (or any topic related to your business), you need to understand what Wikipedia is looking for and the right way to go about it. This post describes the process at a high level, but it's only a starting point – follow the links within to learn more before you try.
Determining eligibility
Before all else, you need to determine whether your company meets Wikipedia's eligibility requirements or, as Wikipedia refers to it, notability, which is admittedly rather judgmental. (No one wants to hear “Sorry, you're not notable.”) The hard truth is that most companies don't immediately qualify, and trying to create a page in these circumstances can be immensely frustrating. So what qualifies, and what if you're not there yet?
The hard truth is that most company entries don't qualify immediately for Wikipedia, says @williambeutler.Click To Tweet
To be eligible, your company needs an interesting story about what it has achieved, and it must be a story that's been told by working journalists. Wikipedia is not a place for self-published information, but instead what others have written about your brand. Credible news sources are a must. Press releases and company websites just don't cut it, and for the most part can't be used.
Evaluating sources
A good early step is to identify all the information about your company in the news. Has a big city newspaper or trade publication written about your business model, your founding story, or market position relative to competitors? Does it make a clear case why your company is doing something interesting or unusual? If you have several articles like this, great – you're in the hunt. If you don't, save yourself time dealing with Wikipedia and pursue a PR strategy to earn that in-depth coverage.
Identifying credible news coverage is tricky: national publications are most valuable, but many media outlets these days publish online contributor blog posts. Forbes, for example, has a contributor network that looks official but is not written by Forbes journalists. These contributions are not deemed as credible sources by Wikipedia. Also, a large number of brief mentions do not add up to in-depth coverage nor do frequent quotes from your founder or key employees count toward notability.
Writing the draft
Before you write, refer to Wikipedia's lengthy and exacting Manual of Style governing how content should be presented. A good place to start is the entry about your first article.
Organize your draft in successive paragraphs as follows:

An introduction with a high-level overview of the company
A description of the company's history
A description of its product or services in modest detail (too much and editors will judge it as promotional)

It's important to write in a detached manner, avoiding marketing clichés like calling yourself a “leading provider of solutions.” Stick to the facts and be specific.
To write a quality Wikipedia post, use detached manner, stick to facts, avoid clichés, says @williambeutler.Click To Tweet
You also should learn the proper format for references and detail them in a references section at the end of the article. These references are what Wikipedia editors use to judge whether your article meets the notability criteria. Remember, you can only include information from third-party sources that Wikipedia considers reliable.
You can go a long way toward crafting a credible article by studying an existing, high-quality company page to see what's included. But be careful of creating a page similar to your competitors' Wikipedia pages – just because they're published doesn't mean they're good. Wikipedia knows it has lots of bad articles, and it doesn't want more. Instead look to one of Wikipedia's designated good articles about similar companies. For example, the article about Chuck E. Cheese's is well-researched, well-cited, and fairly complete. As a counter example, the Mellow Mushroom article is less well-developed, missing needed sources, and far less informative.
Creating an account
Once you have a draft, you need to communicate with Wikipedia editors. To do this, create a user account. Do not simply name the account for your company (long story). Give it a unique handle or even use your first name with the company name, like “Jane at ContentCo.” Even “Snuffleupagus45” is better than “ContentCo.” And learn how discussion pages work because this is where you talk things over with editors who review your draft.
Next, you'll need to declare your conflict of interest (COI) – your precise connection to the subject of the article. The topic of COI is a thorny one on Wikipedia. You may have heard that you're not supposed to edit your own page, and while this is broadly true, you can mitigate the issue.
The only cardinal sin is to pretend that you don't have a conflict of interest; the Wikimedia Foundation's terms of use require disclosure of any relevant financial relationships. If editors suspect that you haven't revealed your true relationship, they will give you a stern warning at best or block your account at worst.
Cardinal sin of Wikipedia contributions? To pretend you don't have conflict of interest, says @williambeutler.Click To Tweet
Be forewarned: You can't solve this conflict problem just by handing off the work to a contractor to edit and assume there is no conflict of interest. There is. And don't just ask friends to do it – that puts them in a bad position.
The thing to do, as Wikipedia's own Jimmy Wales says:

Create an account.
Be up front about your connection to the subject.
Take a hands-off approach by getting a volunteer to review and approve your draft.

Follow this path, and editors should take you seriously.
Submitting for review
The final step is taking your draft to the articles for creation process, and adding it to the review queue. Once you've done that, it will probably take a few weeks for a volunteer to read the draft. Sometimes editors will come back with critiques about what else it should include or what should be deleted. Do your best to incorporate their feedback, and don't take it personally if they don't like something you've written. Sometimes, what seems reasonable to you may run afoul of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines – and Wikipedia has many of them.
Undoubtedly, this can be a confusing process, and Wikipedia editors know it. Alas, there simply isn't a better way: Building an encyclopedia is hard, and reviewing contributions from outsiders can be harder still. But if you can figure out Wikipedia's sourcing requirements, internalize its style points, and learn the process for writing and submitting an entry, you can help make Wikipedia better and tell your brand's story at the same time.
How to Do Backlinks in Wikipedia the Right Way
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The post What You Need to Know to Get a Wikipedia Article Published appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

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Introverts vs. Extroverts: Leadership Challenges & How to Solve Them:
There are a variety of tests and surveys you can take to learn about your personality traits and assess your strengths and weaknesses as they fit in the workplace. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DiSC Profile, and the Big Five are a few that come to mind -- we even use DiSC here at HubSpot.
These tests and their subsequent results often hinge upon the different traits and habits of introverts versus extroverts.

These personality traits are more commonly associated with your personal life, but introversion and extroversion impact how you interact with everyone -- including your coworkers. In fact, identifying whether you're an introvert or an extrovert could help you be a better leader, too.
All leaders have their own distinctive styles and methods for motivating and empowering teams, and while none of them are right or wrong, some can be adjusted to make team work environments as productive and successful as possible. In this post, we'll dive into the exact differences between introverts and extroverts, and how they can solve common leadership challenges their personality types might face.
Introvert vs. Extrovert Definitions
Introverts are people who gain and recharge mental energy by being in quieter, less stimulating environments. Extroverts are the opposite: They gain and recharge their energy by being around other people in more stimulating environments.
Quiet Revolution co-founder and author Susan Cain says introverts "listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation." She described the difference between introversion and extroversion using an example: After spending three hours at a friend's birthday party, would you be more inclined to go home for the night and decompress, or keep the party going? The science behind the difference between introverts and extroverts lies in our nervous systems. One big difference has to do with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that induces reward-seeking behavior. When dopamine production increases in your brain, both introverts and extroverts become more talkative and more alert to people in their surroundings. And as it turns out, dopamine is more active in the brains of extroverts. For introverts, acetylcholine is the preferred neurotransmitter -- one that gives people pleasure when they reflect inward and take a lot of time to think deeply or focus intensely on just one thing.
So, introverts aren't necessarily shy, and extroverts aren't necessarily party animals -- the different types simply derive more pleasure from different levels of external stimuli. (And it's important to note that there's a spectrum of introversion and extroversion, and it's possible to be an ambivert -- a person who has habits and tendencies of both introverts and extroverts.)
Challenges can arise in the workplace because individuals with extroverted tendencies -- such as a willingness to speak up -- might be promoted first or get more attention from executives -- especially in fast-paced business environments. But there are challenges that can come up when introverts are leaders, too.
How Introverted Leaders Can Improve
The Challenge:
I asked Cain about her thoughts on how introversion can hinder leaders at this year's Simmons Leadership Conference. "For introverted leaders, the temptation is to keep their heads down and focused; the challenge can be to interact with their teams as frequently and enthusiastically as their team members would like."
The Solution:
Introverted leaders should determine effective ways to interact and communicate with their team members that are comfortable for both introverts and extroverts. Some suggestions include:

Schedule weekly 1:1 meetings with team members so you can prepare in advance for giving feedback and discussing work.
Host "Office Hours" for team members who want to chat in person outside of regularly scheduled meetings.
Overcommunicate instructions and contextual information you might not share as openly in a team meeting.
Use communication and team collaboration tools -- like Slack, Asana, and Trello -- to keep avenues of communication about ongoing projects and initiatives open without having to hold a meeting.
Schedule meetings with a clear agenda for all team members invited.
Encourage team members (and yourself) to prepare for team meetings in advance so everyone can contribute to the discussion. Introverts might need more time to read, write, and prepare notes for a meeting to feel empowered to speak on the fly, so encourage your team to read any pre-meeting materials and set aside time to prepare.
Determine how different team members like to give and receive feedback -- and whether it's in person or via email, challenge yourself to tailor your feedback to its recipient.
Explicitly communicate praise, either in person or via email, so team members feel appreciated. Where extroverts might prefer to be praised in a team meeting, introverts might prefer to receive praise in a 1:1 meeting.

How Extroverted Leaders Can Improve
The Challenge:
Cain also reflected that extroverted leaders can encounter obstacles of their own. "For extroverted leaders, the challenge is to let other people contribute ideas," Cain says. "A study by Wharton professor Adam Grant found that introverted leaders of proactive teams produced better results than extroverted leaders did because they were more likely to encourage others' input, while extroverted leaders were more apt to put their own stamp on things."
The Solution:
Extroverted leaders need to balance different personalities on their team to make sure they motivate and encourage their team to excel without being so enthusiastic that they shut others down. Some ideas include:

Host meetings that incorporate aspects that let both introverts and extroverts shine. For example, Amazon's Jeff Bezos starts all meetings with the group silently reading prep materials together for the first 20-30 minutes. Then, the meeting evolves into a discussion without a set agenda. These two pieces let both groups prepare in the manner most comfortable for them.
Rethink brainstorming. As it turns out, brainstorming alone can produce a greater quantity of good ideas than discussing in a group. Cain suggests a hybrid brainstorm wherein participants come up with ideas alone and come together in a meeting to share and improve upon them.
Keep meetings as small as possible so everyone feels comfortable speaking up.
Allow team members to prepare as much as possible. And if that's not possible, offer the opportunity to provide feedback and additional thoughts in a follow-up meeting or email.
Listen twice as much as you speak in meetings to avoid dominating the conversation.
Identify visibility opportunities for team members that work for their personality types.
Champion and advocate for more introverted employees who might not identify those opportunities as readily.
Challenge introverted employees to practice skills they're not as comfortable with in private settings. Encourage extroverted employees to practice those skills in a meeting or a more visible setting.

Listen Up
The most valuable leadership advice we can offer, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, is to be honest about your leadership style. Don't be afraid to openly and transparently tell your team members about your personality traits. Tell them about your style, they'll tell you about theirs, and you can all work together to communicate and work effectively.
For more ideas for making the workplace conducive to introverts' and extroverts' success, check out more leadership content on, our Medium publication.
What are your suggestions for making the workplace inclusive for all personality types? Share with us in the comments below.

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