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Greg Berardi
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Marketing Strategist | Content Creator | Media Relations Professional
Marketing Strategist | Content Creator | Media Relations Professional

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Why Some Marriages Fail And Others Don't
This terrific piece from +The Atlantic explains how researchers determined with 94% accuracy who will stay married and who will divorce. The key: the responsiveness of the spouse during their time together. How often did the spouse respond to an overture from the other, either big or small?  Being responsive seems intuitive to interpersonal success, but it's amazing how researchers were able to isolate this variable as being so important.

There are probably other factors at work, too, but this is a piece of information that everyone who's married should know.
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Why Should I Blog?

There are just two camps when it comes to blogging:

Camp 1: Blogging is essential to my business

Camp 2: Blogging is a waste of time

For those of you in Camp No. 2, this blog’s for you. And for those in Camp No. 1, this should make you feel even better about it.

Blogging is essential because it is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site, generate leads and deepen relationships.

Blogging also help you achieve many other key objectives – nurture leads, promote new products and services, build trust, and establish your street cred as a media commentator.

If you listen to your blog followers, they can grow your business. A blog is a terrific feedback loop. The more readers and comments, the more intel you have about your clients’ behavior and interests. You can develop new messages and solutions accordingly.

Don’t Be Out Of Touch

Equally as important, your audiences expect a blog. Without one, you look like a digital dinosaur.

Most people look for information on the Internet before making a key decision. A blog provides prospects with answers they need and freshens up the existing content on your website.

The most effective blogs are part of a broader campaign that includes PR, social media, website optimization and precision prospecting/lead development. Blogs should every initiatives or announcements. In doing so, you'll move prospects down the sales funnel.

Five Benefits Of Blogging

No. 1. Generate more leads. HubSpot, the No. 1 marketing automation platform, found that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. B2C companies generate 88% more leads per month.

Even if you discount the exact numbers as marketing hype, they are directionally correct. Writing about relevant topics and promoting them attracts prospects to your site. That’s the first step to starting new relationships.

If you are responsible for a line of business, a blog can power your launch campaign. In 500 words or so, blogs can communicate product updates, facilitate demos/trials, and highlight client success stories.  To capture contact information, all blogs should have a sign-up form, as well as call-to-actions that offer a product/solution, consultation, eBook, white paper or some other compelling content.

For your existing customers, a blog reinforces they made the right choice. They get to see your thinking – and potentially share it with others.bigstock-Set-Of-Vector-Buttons-With-Dif-4367835

No. 2. Be a media darling. Blogging is one of the best ways to position yourself as a market commentator. The media want to quote industry experts. Someone who blogs about current events or trends is a de factor industry expert – just like a talking head on CNBC.

A blog helps with media in three ways:

A well-written blog often leads to interviews because the editor or reporter understands you’re a thought leader.

Blogs can be quickly repurposed into articles that run in print and online publications. Media are always looking for thoughtful content.
Well-written company blogs often get picked up as guest blogs on media sites. One of our clients who blogs regularly has become a star blogger for a key publication in his market.

Best of all, each time a blog runs, you drive traffic to your site. If your site is optimized to convert traffic into leads with calls-to-action and landing pages, blogging will generate leads. There is no disputing that fact.

No. 3. Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO has always been a numbers game. The more pages of authoritative content indexed on your website, the higher your site ranks in Google, Yahoo! or Bing searches. Blogs give websites 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.

No. 4. Demonstrate Thought Leadership. A blog is one of the most effective ways to express your industry perspective. If your blog is re-Tweeted or posted on LinkedIn or shared/liked on Facebook or Google+, exponentially more people will see it.

No. 5. Differentiate Yourself. Many companies still don’t blog, particularly those in regulated industries, such as financial services. Firms run by Baby Boomers are the worst offenders. Many don’t see the value in blogging. Or, they view blogging as shameless self-promotion.

If your blog is a product brochure, it won’t do anything for you. If you offer market insight and make it enjoyable, it is one of the most effective ways to stand apart from the competition.

It's Worth The Bother

A blog is just one component of great marketing, which should also include PR, social media, content creation, website optimization and lead development strategies. Together, all of these create leads, nurture prospects, acquire customers and deepen relationships.

If you’re not blogging, start today. And if you need help, call on us!
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Book Review: Decoding The New Consumer Mind

Full Disclosure: I’m a huge Kit fan and am quoted in her book.

If you could read just one business book this year, make it Decoding The New Consumer Mind by +Kit Yarrow.

Kit has followed up on her outstanding first book, Gen BuY, with even more insight about how and why we shop. 

Decoding The New Consumer Mind is full of big ideas.  And, it isn’t just insightful observations; the book prescribes what marketers should do to capture the imagination of today’s increasingly capricious consumer.

 Whether you're a marketer or consumer, the book’s a must-read for at least three reasons:

First, Kit does a great job of mapping the mind and emotions of the American consumer. Kit’s a consumer psychologist, so we are in good hands.  Her observations about “the lust of the new,” the attention deficit of most consumers, and the strong emotional impulses the drive purchasing behavior explain what’s going on inside the head of a shopper.

Second, the chapter on “Technovation,” a term Kit coined, is worth reading twice. It explains the accelerating importance of technology in consumer behavior and makes sense of today’s multi-channel consumer. There are some very useful suggestions for marketers about breaking down corporate silos that work against the customer experience. She suggests an “omnichannel leader” – a senior level executive – to champion the consumer experience across all channels. She also has some very useful new metrics marketers should consider.

Third, Kit’s a very disciplined writer with a wonderful sense of humor. You’ll be entertained and won’t be tripping over any sentences. Her lively, clean prose, along with the detailed examples and illuminating data, make her arguments crisp and compelling.

I could write even more about why this book is great, but I don’t want to ruin it for everyone else. So, stop what you’re doing and read Decoding The New Consumer Mind.

#marketingstrategy   #consumerbehavior   #shoppingonline  
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Thanks +Dendrite Park for making it easy to get a vanity url on G+!
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Thanks +Mark Traphagen Good stuff.
Twitter List of Top 100 Inbound.org Users

If you're not familiar with http://www.inbound.org you should get familiar. Inbound is Reddit for inbound marketing news (SEO, PPC, social, local, content, blogging, etc.). Community members submit what they think are the best posts about inbound marketing, and members vote up the ones they like to the Hot page.

Inbound was started as a joint project by +Rand Fishkin of +Moz and +Dharmesh Shah of +HubSpot, and is now managed by the amazing, never-sleeping +Ed Fry. And just announced: +HubSpot Labs has now committed long-term funding to Inbound.org, ensuring much more innovation and features to come!

At the link below, +Larry Kim has created a Twitter list of the top 100 most influential users on Inbound.org. Inbound uses a karma system to rank users, with weighted karma points awarded for various contributions to the community. Subscribe to this list on your Twitter and you'll have instant access to some of the most active and thoughtful people in online marketing.
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Thanks for passing along. Very useful
Top Blogging Communities where you can interact with like minded bloggers, share each other’s post and build relationship with them and get a huge traffic.

http://www.addictedme.com/top-blogging-communities/
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Thanks for sharing. Helpful.
On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page [Infographic] - A practical checklist of on-page SEO strategies beyond keywords and meta tags - The basic search engine optimization tips that are sure to improve your website visibility in search engines!
http://backlinko.com/on-page-seo
#onpageseo   #searchengineoptimization   #infographic   #seo   #sem   #websites   #links   #keywords    #webmasters   #google   
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Great. Thank you.
Q: Does the domain extension, like .info,.biz,.com,.org,.net,.name,  actually affect the ranking by Google and other search engines?

The likely answer is NO. +Matt Cutts  , an outspoken senior engineer at Google, with few search engine adaptations passing by him unnoticed, had this to say...

Post: http://technical-programming.com/2013/11/does-seo-info-biz-com-org-net-name-domain-affect-page-rank-score-or-not.html
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Mojo Is Flowing In San Francisco And Silicon Valley

If you’re ambitious, smart and want a great lifestyle, is there any place better than the Bay Area right now?

Answer: “No way.”

The Bay Area is on a roll, yet again. The economy kicked into high gear right after the Facebook IPO last May and it hasn’t slowed down.

The Capital of Wealth Creation
Two of the region’s most important wealth-producing indicators, the technology industry and housing market, are having a great year. San Francisco housing prices in August jumped 25% compared to a year ago, according to Case-Shiller. In the most desirable communities, prices are up even more. The median price of a home in Palo Alto is $2 million.bigstock-Human-head-and-icons-of-scienc-42730498

If you want to buy in the best neighborhoods in the San Francisco-Silicon Valley corridor, be prepared to bid over asking. Any nice home will likely generate multiple offers, many bidders and cash offers.  Friends of mine lost a million-dollar property last week to all-cash buyers.

From a technology standpoint, the Bay Area is popping, too.

“IPO Market is Hot and Likely to Get Hotter,” the San Francisco Business Times reported recently. Numerous Bay Area-based companies went public this year, including Twitter two weeks ago. The company’s stock just about doubled after it opened for trading. Once the IPO lock-up period is over, billions will wash over the region.

The Bay Area’s biotech industry, another prodigious wealth creator, is also booming and may be headed for a banner year for IPOs.  There are almost 250 Bay Area biotech companies, the greatest concentration of such firms in the U.S.

According to CrunchBase, which each day lists companies receiving early round funding, Bay Area companies raised $3.2 billion in 316 rounds this year. Boston companies were a distant second, raising $1 billion in 84 rounds. New York startups raised $800 million in 142 rounds, and Los Angeles firms raised under $500 million in 81 rounds.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit is Thriving
The Bay Area has become a magnet for people and capital willing to take risk and innovate. Every time you get in your car, you’re reminded of what’s possible.

Google, Apple, Oracle, HP, Intel, Cisco, eBay, Yahoo, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Zynga, Tesla, to name just a few, are all home grown. (Check out the list of the 150 largest tech companies in the Bay Area – and their market caps.)

These companies were started by entrepreneurs, who built them into billion dollar enterprises.

Unmatched VC Infrastructure
Many of these firms benefited from an unparalleled number of venture capital firms and angel investors in the region. 

There were 2,463 Bay Area venture-backed companies in the Bay Area at the beginning of 2013, representing $60.2 billion of capital invested. That was by far the largest concentration of private, VC-backed companies in the world.

Each time another Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn happens, VCs replenish their funds. More wealthy individuals and institutional investors then funnel additional capital to VCs, which start the search all over again for the next big thing.

When the IPO window is open like it is now, the wealth creation here triggers a wave of economic activity across the entire region. That means more revenue for dry cleaners, auto dealers, clothiers, restaurants, home renovations and so on.bigstock-Bunch-of-hundred-dollar-bills-11888015

Why Is the Bay Area So Dynamic?
The region has a long legacy of wealth creation dating back to the Gold Rush, but it is more than just economic opportunity that makes the Bay Area great. It’s the lifestyle.

On any given day in San Francisco, you can experience world-class art and culture: SFMOMA, the deYoung Museum, Palace of Legion of Honor and more. The music scene includes the symphony and opera to music festivals from Monterey to Napa to Yosemite.

The dining is second to none. San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any place on the planet: 40 restaurants per 10,000 households. (New York is a distant fourth, with 25 per 10,000 households.) You could eat out every day for a year and not get to all of the truly excellent restaurants in San Francisco.

And that’s just San Francisco proper.

In three hours or so, you can be standing on the floor of Yosemite Valley, playing golf in Pebble Beach, skiing in Tahoe, and fly fishing on some of the best waters in the lower 48. That’s not to mention being in the Wine Country just an hour from the Financial District.

That said, the Bay Area has problems just like any other urban center.  Everything is expensive and prosperity is not shared equally. Traffic is bad and the public schools, particularly in San Francisco, are mediocre at best.  State taxes and regulation are driving more cost-sensitive business to other states. 

But what major region doesn’t have its challenges?

Right how, in my view, it just doesn’t get any better than the Bay Area.

#sanfrancisco   #venturecapital  
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