Everyone thinks SEO is a long-term game… that you have to wait months if not years to see results. And, maybe that was the case a few years ago when content was still king.

With Google making 3200 algorithm changes in just one year, their goal isn’t to make a website wait a year or two before they are able to achieve a top spot.

Instead, they want to show the user the right site as quick as possible. It doesn’t matter if the site has been around for 10 years, or 10 days.

How SEO has changed

It used to be that if you want to rank well, you would have to create tons of long-form content and build links.

Or have a really aged domain with history. But as Google has clearly stated, having an older domain or even a new domain won’t affect your rankings.

And sure, those things still matter today. But there are over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm.

In other words, there are other tactics that produce quick results.

For example, a few weeks I wrote a blog post about FAQ schema and how you can see the difference with your Google listing in 30 minutes.

Literally, 30 minutes.

That kind of stuff wasn’t possible before.

And SEO is no longer just a game of ranking on Google. There are tons of popular search engines like YouTube, in which you can get results in 24 hours.

Their algorithm is a bit different than Google’s in which if a video does really well in the first 24 hours of it being released, it will get shown more and rank higher.

In essence, you can take a top spot on YouTube in just days, no matter how competitive the term maybe.

You are full of it Neil?

Look, I’m not trying to say you can rank for “auto insurance” on Google within 24 hours or achieve unrealistic results, but you can drastically grow your search traffic in a reasonable time if you follow the right tactics.

It doesn’t matter if you have a new website or an old one.

So how do you get results faster? What’s the secret?

Well, I have a Master Class that will teach you how to double your traffic, but you’ll have to wait till Thursday.

I’m going to be introducing something new in which you can get more search traffic in 30 days.

All you have to do is take one simple action each day. And the action is so simple that it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes.

Stay tuned!

PS: Don’t forget to add the Master Class to your calendar. That way you’ll get notified on Thursday when it comes out.

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Margaret Magnarelli Interview

Content marketers come from all sorts of different backgrounds, with each bringing its own distinct and valuable perspective. Recently we shared our chat with Andrew Davis, whose history in television inspires him to think like a TV executive when strategizing his content. Today we’re highlighting the insights of Margaret Magnarelli, whose ingrained journalistic mindset fuels a commitment to putting her audience — and their trust — above all else. 

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley as Executive Director for Audience Acquisition and Growth Marketing, Margaret served as Vice President of Marketing for Monster, and before that she spent nearly a decade on the editorial staff at Money Magazine, rising from Senior Editor to Assistant Managing Editor to Executive Editor.

Through this experience, she has developed a keen sense of duty to her audience. She knows that trust is hard-earned and easily lost (or: gained in drops, lost in buckets). This is a central tenet of faithful journalists everywhere. I can attest as a fellow j-school grad: this field holds truth and accuracy as sacred ideals. 

At Content Marketing World 2019, Margaret will speak on The Power of Trust: How to Build Credibility with Customers — and Convince Them to Buy. Ahead of her session, she starred in TopRank Marketing and CMI’s CMWorld preview experience, where she declares that in order to put on an unforgettable show for your audience, “Trust is your ticket to admission, and therefore needs to be treated as a main event.”

In an expanded interview with us, Margaret expands on her enlightened viewpoints as they apply to building trust, being mindful of word counts, balancing facts versus feelings, and much more.

Margaret Magnarelli on Putting Your Audience First

1. Congrats on your recent move to a new position! What does your role as Executive Director for Audience Acquisition and Growth Marketing at Morgan Stanley entail?

Thank you! My job focuses on the development of audience using organic channels. I oversee the firm’s social media and SEO strategies, as well as managing projects that help us optimize conversion rates. Basically, I’m thinking about how we introduce new people to our brand, and how we direct those people to the services that will help them. 

The backbone of all of this is content that exemplifies Morgan Stanley’s core values: leading with exceptional ideas, giving back, putting clients first, and doing the right thing. These values are the framework for how we serve consumer and institutional clients. I was drawn to the firm because of its focus on relationships as customer experience, its emphasis on content as a driver of marketing, and its commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy.  

While my background prior to this job was content development and strategy, I took this role sitting alongside content creation—and an incredible content team—because I wanted to dig  deeper into the audience aspects of marketing. After all, you can have the best product to sell and best creative to sell it with, but if you’re not reaching the right audience you aren’t going to be effective.

2. You have a background in journalism. How does this experience influence your views on the importance of trust in content marketing?

I’m definitely predisposed to care about trust from my j-school training. As a journalist, you have a duty to be responsible to your audience—to seek out the most objective truth that is possible and to present an accurate representation of what you learn. I feel that same obligation to my audiences as a marketer. In other words, I think I have a more customer-centric approach because that’s how I was trained in journalism. 

Another thing: Journalistic writing requires proof points, whether that’s supporting statistics, expert quotes or telling anecdotes. These same proof points are needed in marketing to support the brand-forward, top-funnel storytelling you need to do to attract initial attention. Immediately after you’ve established contact, you need evidence to show that you have the capability to do what you say you can do; otherwise it’s just fluff.

Journalistic writing requires proof points, whether that’s supporting statistics, expert quotes or telling anecdotes. These same proof points are needed in marketing. @mmagnarelli Click To Tweet

3. What other lessons from serving in a magazine editorial role are applicable to your current content focus?

I believe every word counts. You can say the same thing 1,000 different ways, and each one will convey something different to the audience. Simple word choice changes seriously impact perception. So how do you choose? Some of that is gut—“does this feel like our brand?” and “how do we take the way we talk to customers in real life and translate that to digital experience?”—and some is science, like A/B testing language on a conversion module. You can take conversion as a kind of measure of trust. 

4. What are some of the biggest credibility-killers you come across when consuming marketing content?

There’s still a lot of marketing content out there that’s basically “why we want to sell you this thing” rather than “how we can help you solve a problem with what we sell.” 

Social science indicates that benevolence is a key aspect of trust. Does your content show your audience that you understand their problem and that you have their best interests in mind? This isn’t a heavy lift to incorporate into content—simply acknowledging and validating the problem in your work can go a long way. It’s not hard but you don’t see it done as much as it could be.

In addition, I am not a huge fan of marketing that’s 100% about building a feeling. Today’s consumers are smarter than that. Millennials in particular are a skeptical audience; they can see through the pretty pictures and snarky marketing copy. By all means, take them to an emotional place (aspiration, inspiration, hope, connection, etc.) if that’s right for your brand—but make sure you give them the evidence they need to know that you’re the right choice, that your products work. Show data from independent product studies, include customer reviews, mention third-party awards, share like-customer success stories, offer the option of product walkthroughs.

5. Conversely, what are some tactics and techniques you view as most successful for building customer trust (especially during early engagements)?

Back to the Millennial and Gen Z consumers: All the research shows that they’re looking for brands that align with their values. So transparency is super important. The three main opportunities for transparency are price, process, and provenance. What can you tell your customers about why your services are priced as they are, about how your products were made, and about where they come from?

The three main opportunities for transparency are price, process, and provenance. @mmagnarelli Click To Tweet

6. Which digital channels do you recommend prioritizing when it comes to cultivating a credible and authentic brand?

All of them! I think your brand needs to come off as credible consistently for people to trust you. In fact, inconsistency across channels can erode trust, because it may look like you’re saying one thing in one space and something else in another. That said, a good rule of thumb is that the more intimate the medium, the more trust is at stake. Where someone is signing up for an email newsletter from you—where they’ve given up their email address—they expect more from you than they would seeing your content broadcast on a social channel. They expect a value exchange, and whether they get what they thought they would get impacts trust. 

I also think the content created for organic search is another key area, since you have the opportunity to attract someone from a side door with a specific intent and zero brand awareness; your answer to their question will have a big impact on whether you can be trusted on more consequential matters. [Editor’s Note: We couldn’t agree more!]

7. Which speakers and/or sessions are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Content Marketing World?

You can basically throw a dart at the CMWorld schedule and have an educational and inspirational experience! I’m excited to see old friends and favorites who are too many to name, but I am also going to focus more on SEO and conversion topics this year. Among the ones I hope to attend: Mark Zimmerman from PublicisSapient on SEO and voice, Christopher White from Capital One since it’s a similar financial space, Val Geisler on reducing audience churn, Dennis Shiao on building community, Adam Constantine from Pace on creating compelling social creative, Katie Tweedy on evolving search landscape, Eli Schwartz on growth experimentation, Wally Koval on creating an audience for @accidentallyweanderson. 

Change is the only constant in content marketing, and you’ve got to have a growth mindset to continue besting your own results. I also believe in a teaching mindset, as a way of paying it forward for all I’ve learned from others. I know there are tons of people in the audience at CMWorld who have even better ideas than I do, and I hope to see some of them on the stage next year. If you’ve seen results, you have something to share with your peers. Don’t be shy. Your community needs to hear from you!

Change is the only constant in content marketing, and you’ve got to have a growth mindset to continue besting your own results. @mmagnarelli Click To Tweet

Step Right Up and Be Amazed!

We’re looking forward to seeing Margaret take the stage on September 4th at CMWorld 2019, where she’ll drive home the power of trust in today’s content marketing landscape. 

As we count down the days to the big show, you can get your fill of awesome content marketing insights — from Margaret and many other speakers — by gaining free admission to The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth!

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The Mayo Clinic, one of our nation’s most renowned hospitals, believes in being social. More than 100 years ago, the Mayo brothers got the social ball rolling by inviting other surgeons to come to its facility in Rochester, MN to talk and learn from one another.

Today, that sharing and learning principle continues through social media, particularly Facebook Live.

With the hopes of helping patients learn more about their health care options, Mayo Clinic knew that research showed that word-of-mouth and expert insight could make an impact. With that in mind, it began its foray into live video on social media with Periscope and eventually moved to Facebook Live.

The hook of the broadcast? Leveraging the expert insights of experienced physicians.

Last week at Digital Summit Minneapolis, Mayo Clinic Communications Specialist Margaret Shepard detailed how the organization has grown a live broadcast into a successful series featuring experts. Learn what she had to say.

The Beginnings of Mayo Clinic’s Live Broadcast Series

The inspiration for Mayo Clinic’s live series was from a rather groundbreaking event well before social media even began. Back in 2000, Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on live TV, which brought awareness to the procedure as an easy way to prevent colon cancer.

Playing off that idea, the social media team at the Mayo Clinic had an idea to promote Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. They would do a live colonoscopy on Periscope, calling it the #ScopeScope. Three thousand people tuned in to watch a live stream of a colonoscopy.

Looking to expand on this new opportunity, the social media team identified the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center as an engaged group willing to try new technologies. Soon, Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician, was tapped to host the new live stream series, which was defined by the hashtag #AsktheMayoMom and featured dialogue around children’s illnesses.

Finding the Right Audience

While Periscope had proven to be a useful broadcast tool, Mayo Clinic jumped at the opportunity to test a new medium when it received early access to Facebook Live in 2015.

With over 2 billion users, Facebook looked like a promising opportunity for the #AsktheMayoMom broadcast. To test the viability of the platform, the team did a simultaneous broadcast on both Periscope and Facebook. The test broadcast discovered a larger audience willing to view the series on Facebook, so they moved broadcast to the new platform.

Finding the Right Expertise

A bi-monthly live broadcast series was an added strain on an already busy doctor, so Mayo team tested adding a second expert doctor to the show. The added interaction and expertise took pressure off Dr. Mattke and provided additional expertise and perspective to the show. So, the team determined it would be amazing to include new, relevant voices regularly.

But finding additional experts can be time-consuming for both the show’s producers and the doctors. Margaret shared how their team developed an email outline, which made it very easy for doctors to understand the ask (sharing time commitment and information needed), plus it allowed the doctors to respond quickly.

The team prepared a strategy around the topics they wanted to highlight. The strategy contained very specific topics like congenital hand deformities to broad range topics like influenza. They realized not all topics will apply to all families, but they wanted to be sure to address many kinds of illnesses, even if the topic attracts a smaller audience.

From an influencer marketing perspective, this approach was of particular resonance to my team and I. No. 1: Relevant expertise is critical. No. 2: You need to make it easy and valuable for experts to participate. No. 3: It’s OK to personalize content (and the experts) for specific audiences.

Improving Broadcast Quality

In the early days of Facebook Live, you had broadcast from a mobile device. Today of course, the platform has since expanded the tools available, which has allowed for better quality video production.

This led to Mayo Clinic evolving their approach, steadily increase quality and production value by adding:

  • Multi-camera views
  • Use of graphics
  • Teleprompter
  • Countdown to start the broadcast


They moved the broadcast out of an office conference room (between two plants not unlike “Between Two Ferns”) to a studio for better sound and a professional look.

With the better quality, the audience satisfaction has also increased, especially when it comes to audio. Margaret says that a Facebook Live from a mobile device certainly has its place still and lends itself to authenticity. She then detailed four levels of video quality:

  1. Just the phone
  2. Advance phone set-up with lighting and a microphone
  3. A computer, software and accessories
  4. A dedicated machine and TV quality production

Maximizing Exposure and Potential

The beauty of Facebook Live—like other content types—is that it can be repurposed and shared across multiple platforms. For example, the video can be added to a Facebook playlist or it can re-posted to YouTube. We’d also add that it can be turned into blog content, short- or long-form social content across channels, teaser videos, and the list goes on.

How are you using Facebook Live to market your organization? Let the Mayo Clinic inspire you to share expertise with a wider audience.

My Takeaways

Mayo Clinic’s successful broadcast started as a simple idea—and one that needed to be vetted and iterated on. It’s so important for marketers to make small bets and try new things and leverage what they learn to evolve their strategies.

But more specifically, Mayo Clinic has not only shown that live video can be an incredible way to educate, engage, and inspire your audience. But that industry experts, thought leaders, and influencers can play a significant role in that education, engagement, and inspiration.

Catch up on all our coverage of Digital Summit Minneapolis:

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Ashley Zeckman Speaking at Digital Summit

In a world of consumer distrust, especially when it comes to marketing messages, it can sometimes feel like you’re living in the “Upside Down.” Everything that you thought was true about marketing and how you engage with customers and buyers is now different. In fact, sometimes nothing seems to make sense anymore.

In fact, Edelman found that less than 50% of U.S. consumers trust brands. In her Stranger Things-themed presentation at Digital Summit Minneapolis, TopRank Marketing’s Ashley Zeckman addressed the current state of marketing affairs and offered insight into ways that brands can improve trust and connect with their buying audience.

What’s her advice on changing the narrative and winning back the hearts and minds of customers? Partner with influencers to create credible content that can change the day and save the world. Stranger Things have happened, right?

Enter the Age of Influencer Marketing

Even though trust in brands is falling, there’s still hope. Demand Gen Report discovered that 68% of buyers prefer credible content from industry influencers. And yet, only 24% of marketers are partnering with others to expand their reach (MarketingProfs & CMI). This means that NOW is the time to find your influencer partners to better reach your audience. How? Here are some key considerations.

Defining Topical Focus

In every industry, there will be recognizable experts who are sought after by many. But there are two questions that you should ask yourself before digging into who you want to partner with:

  • What topics are most important to my buying audience?
  • Which of these topics align best with the expertise of my organization?

Ultimately, you’ll want to partner with influencers whose expertise and published content aligns with your answers to the questions above. 

Identifying the Best Influencer Fit

But what types of influencers does it make the most sense to collaborate with to achieve your goals? Below are examples of five main influencer archetypes. As Ashley explained, each influencer category represents a different benefit or need to map to your content objectives:

  • Brandividual: A recognizable individual with a large reach
  • Up-and-comer: An individual gaining momentum as a recognized industry expert and someone who is very motivated to collaborate
  • Niche Expert: A knowledgeable expert on the topic with good relevant content for the audience
  • Internal Expert: An internal thought leader within your brand or company
  • Customer: Someone who fits the ideal customer profile and can help both themselves and brands in the content

Influencer Alignment

The next step is to determine what qualities you are looking for most in influencer partners. Every brand will have slightly different influencer qualities that matter most, based on what they’re looking to achieve. Some of the common qualities that we find our customers look for most include:

  • Real-life experience
  • Reputable
  • Knowledgeable
  • Network size
  • Good on camera
  • Practical advice

Matching the Objective

The objective of your campaign drives the types of influencers you will most want to engage. For example, if your campaign is looking to attract new prospects, brandividuals and internal experts often fit the bill.

For engagement-based objectives, a mix of types of influencers will be your best option to bring in the audience, but then dive deeper into the content than an attraction campaign.

A conversion campaign or program demands more expertise, so the niche expert and the customer will be able to speak to the audience and engage them to consider action.

The Influencer Experience

Being thoughtful about how you want to interact and nurture influencers is key, Ashley said. She reminded the audience that a series of ongoing touchpoints designed to offer value to the influencer. An  ongoing approach to influencer nurturing will build a solid foundation over time that provides both the brand and the influencer with a meaningful reward.

Examples of Influencer Marketing in Action

But what does successful influencer marketing look like in real life? Below are a couple of examples Ashley shared in her presentation featuring a couple of the programs our team has developed for clients.

Co-Creating Content Based on Customer Demand

For our client Prophix, the TopRank Marketing team conducted extensive keyword research to identify the biggest need in the marketplace. What this research showed was that finance executives are searching for ways to looking for ways to up the value of their presentations create more compelling experiences using real-time data.

This campaign included a tactical mix of long-form blog content, an SEO-driven anchor landing page, social media promotion and influencer activation.

Explore the experience here:

High-Level Program Results

  • 54% above industry video views benchmark
  • 150% above conversion benchmark
  • 261,000 reach from influencers

Connecting with a Niche Audience

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) not only wanted to build brand awareness within the IT network and IT communications space, but also nurture relationships with new and potential prospects. This led to the development of the IT Vanguard Awards, aimed at highlighting the amazing work that IT leaders were doing to improve business outcomes and the customer experience.

This was designed as a two-phase campaign. Phase 1 began with architecting the awards program and launching the nominations window. This phase featured an expert judges panel, who helped to promote the awards. Additionally, there was a paid social effort and internal ALE champions promoted the awards and nominated IT professionals. 

For Phase 2, after judges review, 11 honorees were announced within an interactive experience, highlighting their contributions, lessons learned, and advice to other IT pros. The experience was supported with additional blog content, and was coupled with an off-line experience in which honorees were hand-delivered awards certificates.

ALE IT Vanguard Award Results:

  • 446% above pageview benchmark
  • 15 conversions to learn more
  • $3 million in estimated pipeline

So, What Would Eleven Do?

When you are faced with content hurdles, how can you turn them upside down to become influencer opportunities? Consider the impact you could have on your content and overall brand campaigns.

Influencer marketing can elevate your campaigns to a completely new level. You might think the cost would be too much, but consider the cost of not utilizing influencers? That’s a true Upside Down world.

For more marketing tricks and tips, stay tuned here for updates from Digital Summit Minneapolis (#DSMPLS). 

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Welcome to CHEAP, our series about things that are good, but most of all, cheap. CHEAP!

If you’re a photography nerd, you surely want to have a good DSLR camera in your arsenal. But deals for top quality cameras aren’t easy to come to by. Don’t worry, though, today’s your day. The Canon EOS 5DS DSLR Camera (body only) is on sale for just $1,305.99, down from $3,699.

The camera packs some pretty impressive hardware from a 50-megapixel full-frame sensor to Dual DIGIC 6 image processors. Take a look at the specifications:

  • 50.6 MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6 image processors
  • 3.2″ LCD monitor
  • 1080p video recording at 30 fps
  • 61-Point high-density reticular AF
  • ISO 100-6400; 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 150,000-Pixel RGB+IR Metering sensor
  • Adjustable shutter release time lag
  • Anti-Flicker compensation

Multiple reviews suggest the camera is one of the top snappers around for capturing details. So this is the perfect camera if you want to make sizable printouts of your photos.

With a saving of $2,300 on the body of the camera, you’ll have plenty to spare to buy all the lenses and accessories you need.

Don’t wait, snap up this opportunity and grab the Canon EOS 5DS DSLR Camera for just $1305.99 (64 percent off)

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Published August 20, 2019 — 13:07 UTC


ProductCanon by EOS 5DS DSLR Camera

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