Choose the Right Path [Infographic]

More than 38 million adult learners have started college, investing a lot of time and money, but have no degree. It’s because universities don’t give you the tools you need to make good decisions about whether to pursue a degree, what degree to pursue and how to achieve it affordably.

Check out the infographic below presented by FutureIsCalling.com to learn more about how to best lay out your future path when it comes to higher education.

Career

Complete Social Media Design Templates [infographic]

This  infographic was too good to pass up. How many times have you wondered what the best dimensions are for a Facebook graphic or the format for a Twitter background? From LinkedIn company pages to Google plus updates, this infographic gives you the proper dimensions for any social media site. Now you can design social media profiles that really have an impact.

Social Media

Jobs of the Future [Infographic]

People are becoming more and more dependent on their technology, and that dependency is deciding which careers will take off in the future. As robots are used more and more for their convenience, the area of robotics will take off exponentially. Also, people are using psychoactive drugs more than ever before, with one in five adults in the US taking some kind of mental health drug. To learn more about jobs of the future, check out this infographic presented by DegreeQuery.com.

Jobs

Core Vision Technology

 

Infographics by DegreeQuery.com.

Canned Social Media Marketing in an Hour Per Day

Can-of-Social-Media

 

Under normal circumstance, I do not like the types of social media strategies that try to can them into basic processes with time limits. Sure, it’s good to have guidelines, but I find that they’re normally too limiting to allow people to make the right decisions. This infographic is somewhat like that, but it’s design is just too cool in its simplicity to ignore it altogether.

The concepts are actually pretty strong, but unfortunately they’re not realistic in many ways. Spending 15 minutes on content curation and 15 minutes on blog writing, for example, are both potentially unrealistic for all but those who have their processes down (and have the ability to type really, really quickly). It also seems to be giving too much time to everything else other than Facebook which requires much more than 10 minutes a day for it to be effective.

Those disagreements aside, the aesthetic of the infographic is still quite awesome. In a world of complex infographics, having something this simple is refreshing. Is it possible to get social media done in an hour a day? Yes. Is it easy? Yes. Does it take practice and strong strategies? Absolutely.

Social-Media-Hour-Infographic

 

Infographic via Dendrite Park.

Photo Pages are Website Content That Keep Giving on Search and Social

Photo-Pages

 

Experts can offer whatever reasoning they want about why sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest became successful, but at the end of the day it’s a no-brainer that they turned pictures into the ultimate addictive hook to their sites and apps. We are visualizing creatures. We love to see things more than we love to read about them.

On social media, images rule.

On search, images can help you rule.

This knowledge is why it’s so baffling to me why there are so many websites that don’t take advantage of pictures. I’m not talking about adding images to the top of blog posts or putting pictures of your products on detail pages. I’m talking about full blown picture pages, what many wrongly categorize as galleries, that give multiple opportunities and an abundance of reasons to share the page on social media.

If your website doesn’t have visual triggers, people won’t share it if you’re not the Huffington Post or NY Times. It’s that simple. With the rise of social signals as an important component to the search ranking algorithms, a lack of picture pages on your site is a huge mistake. Here’s how it all works:

Single Image Page

67-Camaro-Content-Page

 

Sometimes, we can focus all of our efforts into a single image. It needs to be an epic image, of course, and as with any piece of content that you put on your website it should be accompanied by text with a full description, but despite the ease of creating these types of pages you have a tremendous impact on your search while giving you great content to also post on your social pages.

In the example above, the image is large and lovely. It’s on a Chevy dealer website, and while they aren’t likely to have a ’67 on their lot, they definitely have Camaros. Because dealer websites often have a challenge getting social signals to their domains, content like this on an individual page can help with the overall ranking of the website. This particular piece of content had a modest 11 Facebook likes, 14 Google +1s, and 27 retweets, but the 73 Pins were a nice boost. Despite being low by many sites’ standards, this level of social signals is hard to come by for many business sites.

Multiple Image Page

Seattle-Space-Needle-Content-Page

 

Sometimes, it’s best to focus on a single topic and put multiple images on a page to flesh it out. This is exceptionally important for location-based topics. The screenshot above is from a page that shows 10 images of the Seattle Space Needle. For a local Seattle business, this is an ideal type of page to get customers and potential customers to share the website through social media because it’s something they’re proud of and have completely familiarity with. It did better than the previous single image post, getting 24 Facebook likes, 27 +1s 192 retweets, and 55 Pins.

These type of content pages obviously take more time, but remember that sharing them on your own social pages is easier with multiple images. It can be the gift that keeps on giving because you can share the same page multiple times while keeping the content fresh by highlighting a different image every time.

* * *

Social media is about images. You are probably posting images today from other sources onto your social media profiles. By adding the step of putting that content on your own website first and sharing it from there, you’re able to double-dip the social sharing. In essence, you’re keeping your own social profiles interesting while spreading the search benefits onto your website rather than nowhere or onto a different website. We’re normally not fans of adding extra steps, but this time it’s worth it.

Mobile Is Changing Business, Is Yours Ready? [Infographic]

mb

Just last week, we proposed a mobile landing page to a client after seeing how much of their traffic was coming from mobile devices. There was a brief moment of silence, not the uncomfortable kind but more like that honest question mark in facial expression.

He can figure out what a “mobile landing page” is in about 3 seconds, the term is pretty obvious. The question mark on his face was instead screaming something like “we’re barely starting to get social media and you’re telling me know we have to dive into mobile marketing too?”

 

So here is the bad news for you: Yes. The good news for me is that I don’t have to convince of it anymore, this beautiful Infographic from Kissmetrics just did.

Why businesses have to take Mobile seriously?

The key points here are very simple:

Traffic and Internet access

  • Web traffic originated from smartphones claims a 14.6% chunk of the pie (72% of that coming from iOS and 26% from Android devices)
  • In 2013, the Internet is going to be accessed more from mobile devices than from actual desktops

Actual transactions

  • Black Friday 2012 had a 40% increment from 2011 on mobile purchases
  • And a 190% increase on mobile payments

Even the usage experience is changing, while the average time for website abandonment on a desktop is 3 seconds, the mobile user seems to have an additional 2 seconds of patience.

mb1

 

Why You Need To Take YouTube Seriously In 2013

take_youtube_seriously_in_2013

 

If you do a fair amount of reading around social media and online marketing blogs, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people are calling 2013 “the year of the video.”

But let me ask you something first, how do you perceive YouTube? Do you see it as a social network? maybe a search engine?

In case you didn’t know, the #2 search engine in the world is not Bing and it’s not Yahoo. It’s YouTube.

Let’s talk about “Discovery” for a second…

Part of what you do for your business marketing online is trying to increase your digital footprint. You want people to find you. You need to be discovered before people can fall in love with you or your brand.

 

Still YouTube seems to be underestimated by many both as a search engine and as a social network.

Quick story

I’m currently involved in a project with a website that requires the integration of a couple of third-party services. As you’d expect when dealing with tools that are a bit technical to deal with, you need to rely on some type of training/documentation. One of these services completely fails on educating the user on how to integrate its own platform, the other provides very heavy documentation that is really hard to understand.

I immediately head to YouTube to see if I can find something there and, to my surprise, there are tons of tutorials on how to install, configure and integrate these platforms. Here are my findings:

  • Most of these tutorials are from people that had no relationship with the companies other than having used them
  • I found a guy I can hire to do the work for me, again, no official association
  • For one of the services, I found a way to avoid all this work by installing a simple WordPress plugin
  • For the other, I found a competitor that might even be a better solution

To be honest, I’d rather get this information directly from the company I’m dealing with but, it’s simply not available. And YouTube helped me find the solutions I needed.

The problem

The problem, for these companies anyway… is that they’re failing to leverage YouTube to be discovered and possibly generate new business. Of course the fact that they’re failing to educate their existing clientele is an epic mistake but that’s material for a whole different post.

For others, this is a great opportunity, they get discovered by solving the problem and answering the questions these companies are not. My YouTube search resulted in a guy from outside the company that’s about to get hired and a competitor that I wasn’t even aware of and just became an option.

Forget SEO

The reason we worry about SEO so much is because we want our websites to rank high in search engines so they can be found. The same reason we are present on social media.

But the work you can do on SEO yourself is limited and, as a small business, hiring an SEO company is usually out of the question.

Chances are you are already doing all you can about optimizing for Google.

So what do you do?

Many companies of all sizes adopted blogging instead as a marketing vehicle in the recent years to use content to be discovered in specific niches.

Now you have to take the same approach with YouTube.

YouTube in your content strategy

So here are 11 quick reasons (what do you want… I had 10 reasons and I thought of one more) why you need to consider adding video to your online marketing strategy:

  1. Again, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Why aren’t you there?
  2. Not everybody reads blogs, on YouTube you’re tapping into a possible new audience
  3. YouTube videos are shown on Google results
  4. Video is the best next thing to actual face-to-face interaction and it’s much better to humanize your business than written content
  5. People search YouTube to learn about products and services more than any other social network
  6. Video is easier to communicate and educate your prospects and existing clients around your products
  7. Video is easier to consume than written content
  8. Many of your competitors have no presence on YouTube, but they do on Facebook and Twitter
  9. The opportunities to produce great video quality are reachable to any size budget (even your iPhone can be enough)
  10. Videos, specially YouTube, are widely viewed on all kinds of screens (PC, mobile, tablet)
  11. YouTube videos are super easy to distribute to other social networks and to embed on websites and blogs

Online Video Stats

Comscore published this presentation on Online Video Stats last week.

These numbers are huge. Here are some of the main points you might be interested to know:

  • Online video reaches 85% of the US Internet population. It is the most consumed content format online
  • The number of videos watched online has increased by 800% in the last 6 years
  • YouTube has 153 million unique viewers, that’s almost 100 million more than Facebook
  • YouTube own 48% of the share of content (video views), The second platform is AOL with only 2%
  • Men and women are equally likely to watch videos online

 

The Secret Sauce in Search Marketing

co

Go ahead and mark this down as the unpopular answer to the common question of the day. When people ask me what the secret sauce is in any truly successful search marketing program, whether through search engine optimization or PPC, my answer is never greeted with enthusiasm. The answer: manual effort.

People always want the path of least resistance. They want to hear about the easiest way to make something successful while putting in the least amount of effort. Unfortunately, the answer to the question regarding search has been made the least popular answer in marketing. Between Penguin, Panda, and other things that are happening with the Google algorithm, the ideas that used to drive SEO in particular have changed from the automated processes and systems of the past to the labor-intensive manual efforts of today.

In PPC, much of the same has been happening, though not nearly as clear as with SEO. There are still many automated PPC services and programs that work well, just not as well as the manually monitored and adjusted systems. In many cases, particularly for those who work with thousands of keywords, the automated systems still make sense overall. The time it takes to tweak such campaigns manually is often too much as the improved results may not even be noticeable.

Back to SEO. Google rewards manual effort. They like content that has been written thoughtfully with the visitors firmly in mind. They do not like spun or syndicated content. The do not like bulk links that took no effort to get. Links that are earned from high-value sources are golden; one link from a respected and relevant publication is more powerful than a thousand low-effort spam links. They like social signals that are organically generated. Real people sharing real content with their real friends – that’s much more powerful than bulk retweets or +1s.

If you want to mix the right ingredients to make the perfect secret sauce, you have to be willing to put in the effort or pay someone else to do it for you. Any system that is “turn key” or “autopilot” will fly your search marketing right into the face of a mountain. Turn your targeting computer off and use the force if you want to destroy the Death Star.

Around the World in Social Networking

Core

When we hear about how social media is growing, we often look at the rest of the world. Americans are all on social media, right? Not so fast.

In this infographic, we highlight the way that social media is consumed on a global basis. It shows some good and bad trends from a pure business perspective in America – on one hand, there is still an amazing upside to social in the states with more potential popping up left and right. On the other hand, the biggest cities and fastest growing countries on social media are not in North America, making it even more important for businesses in the US to be mindful of who they follow, who is following them, and how the content interacts with the world. It’s not that we want to shut out the world. It’s that we have to stay focused on the local benefits even if the rest of the world is starting to catch on quickly.

Coree