Influence people

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How to Succeed at Blogging without Really Trying

Want to make your blog "a machine for lead generation?" It's easy, says Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group:

Craft Your Hook. "The average time someone spends on a post is a whopping 37 seconds," Brenner says. Create a strong opening, so they'll  spend at least that much time on your posts. "Try asking a question, leading with a beguiling fact or statistic, or just going all out, guns blazing at the beginning and present the reader’s problem and answer all within the first three sentences." A highly personal opening hooks readers, too.

Write Long-Form. Readers unwilling to spend more than 37 seconds on your post are tire-kickers. Write for the readers who are qualified leads. "They are more likely to take action after reading." Long-form posts generate nine times more leads than short-form posts.

Use Many CTAs. Pepper your posts with calls-to-action. Add links that direct readers to more resources. Remember: they may never get to your punchy closing.

Post on a Schedule. When you post regularly, you boost your Google rankings and give readers a reliable resource. "Your readers may even come to expect a new post, seeing it as something to look forward to while waiting for the bus or stopping by their favorite coffee shop for a work break," Brenner says. "Don’t rob people of their blog reading rituals because you post intermittently."

Use Visuals. Add more emotion to your posts with visual content―and not just photos, drawings, videos, and infographics, but illustrated CTAs. "Illustrations will help your readers know how they can take that all important next step to download content, sign up for your special offer, or in any other way become a lead."

Satisfy Readers. Your efforts are for naught, if your content doesn't inform readers and inspire them to read further. Be sure readers "are confident that when they need more information on your business’s niche subject, they know where to turn for more―your blog," Brenner says.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Trade Shows Take the Art World by Storm

Unless brick-and-mortar galleries make a comeback, you may buy your first Basquiat at a trade show, says The Art Newspaper.

Brick-and-mortar galleries once guaranteed collector confidence, but no longer.

Today, collectors are accustomed to buying art at trade shows, on line, and directly from the artists, making a dealer's "home base" irrelevant.

Art Basel, king of the art show organizers, still insists dealers operate a gallery to qualify to exhibit.

As global director Marc Spiegler told The Art Newspaper, running a brick-and-mortar gallery signals you're a "real" dealer.

“Paying rent, staging shows and employing people simply represents a higher level of commitment to the artists the galleries are working with and to the cultural landscape of the cities in which they are sited,” he said.

But the rule is under scrutiny; and the pressure's on to drop it.

Most of the other 270 trade shows allow dealers without fixed abodes―dealers who only sell art on line, or through coops, popups, or trade shows―to exhibit.

Only Art Basel excludes them.

And the stakes are high. Last year, 41% of dealers' sales took place at trade shows.

Dealers are loving them.

Another reason dealers are loving trade shows: they enable collaboration.

They can rent adjacent booths and commingle the works of a single artist or school.

Hungry collectors can see many related works displayed together―maybe even go on a buying spree.

HAT TIP: Appraiser Todd Sigety pointed me to this story in The Art Newspaper.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Never Trust Anyone under 30

With apologies to '60s activist Jack Weinberg, never trust anyone under 30.

With exceptions, they lack any sense of propriety―and all sense of history.

Case in point.

On behalf of content marketer Sally O'Dowd, one of these young invincibles―a hired social media expert, no doubt―posted the following comment on my blog today:

Adlof Hitlar has left a new comment on your post 4 Keys to Content Marketing for Events:

Thanks for the great information. I mostly follow
sally O'Dowd's blogs. Her writings are really creative, follows an innovative and different style. She's my favorite.

Sally looks to be an extremely delightful and imaginative soul, judging from her two blogs.

She's either that, or, as her agent's comment suggests, an unrepentant anti-Semite with bad grammar.

When everything's a cartoon, everything goes.

Never trust anyone under 30.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How Drip Marketing Can Sink You

Although your customers won’t love you if you
give bad service, your competitors will.

― Kate Zabriskie

Making the rounds on LinkedIn this week is a photo of a whiteboard.

On it, an anonymous scribbler has written, "Amazon didn't kill the retail industry. They did it to themselves with bad customer service."

Dear Whoever You Are: You got that right.

Drip by drip, retailers are driving away their few remaining customers, right before our eyes. Call it an odd form of drip marketing.

Case in point.

The faucet on my kitchen sink is leaking.

On Saturday afternoon, I took the faucet apart and discovered the likely source of the leak to be a failing "valve cartridge." So I removed the part and went out in search of a replacement.

The first two hardware retailers I visited didn't stock the part, and wouldn't consider ordering it. The third store I visited was a plumbing specialty retailer,
Plumbing Parts Plus.

At Plumbing Parts Plus, I was made to stand in a queue for 45 minutes in front of the parts desk, all by myself. A brusque sign said, "Sign into the log with your time of arrival." But there was no log. During the 45 minutes, no one acknowledged I was there.

I stopped an employee and asked him to venture a guess as to how long it might take to receive help. "He's busy," was his response. When the parts man finally deigned to help me, he couldn't identify the cartridge I had. The store was about to close, so he wrote down my contact information and promised to call me Monday morning.

Of course, he didn't.

I phoned the store Tuesday morning. The recorded message said―repeatedly―"Thank you for calling Plumbing Parts Plus. We value every one of our customers and promise the utmost in personalized customer service. Please stay on the line until someone answers your call."

When my call was at last answered, I was told the parts man, Pete, took Tuesdays off, and since no one but Pete could assist me, I should return to the store with the part.

I just bought the cartridge on Amazon, after only four―count 'em―four clicks
. I should have it in two days.

Dear Plumbing Parts Plus: Your form of drip marketing's all wet!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Felix had gone to live in a lotus land of his imagination. Where what is desired is dreamed of as already happened, where obstacles dissolve under the weight of desire, and where reality has vanished entirely.

― Iain Pears

President Trump's grip on reality is so slim, you might say he lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land, the creation of the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes.

In Aristophanes' "The Birds," a character named Pisthetaerus incites the world's birds to challenge the Olympian gods. He persuades them to build a city-in-the-sky that blocks the gods' view of Earth, denying them dominion over men. Pisthetaerus names the great city Cloud Cuckoo Land.

For his brilliance, at the end of the play Pisthetaerus is made king of the Olympians, exceeding even Zeus in power.

Since Aristophanes' time, the name is used to denote any idealistic Neverland.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Torment Tuesday

Call me a curmudgeon, but I've grown to loathe social media marketers who use weekday hashtags.

You know who you are.

Week upon week, you insist on reminding me it's:

  • Motivation Monday
  • Transformation Tuesday
  • Win Wednesday
  • Thankful Thursday
  • Fearless Friday
  • Social Saturday
  • Fun Day Sunday
Your vapid diurnal emissions make every day feel like Munch Monday.

The word curmudgeon, by the way, originated in the 1500s; but its source is unknown.

According to Samuel Johnson's 1755 dictionary, the word is a corruption of the French coeur m├ęchant, meaning "evil heart."

But according to other dictionaries, it's a mashup of the English cur, meaning "mutt," and the Gaelic muigean, meaning "grouch."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Slippery Slope

You prohibit tradeshow attendance.

You cancel the newspapers.

You fire the agency.

You outsource customer service.

You automate marketing.

You discount.

You rush it out.

You praise only the rock stars.

You let everyone over 50 go.

You delete the phone numbers on your website.

You cancel the Christmas party.

You sublet to a multi-marketing firm.

You close your office door.

You never ask why.

You initiate Chapter 7.
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