How content marketing can help you sell more

This infographic lays out some of the ways content marketing can help your business.

Sites that use content marketing via blogs get more pages indexed on search engines. This means potential customers are more likely to find their site.

Word of mouth plays a big part in how people decide where to buy. Many of these conversations are taking place on social media. To build a following you need interesting content which is a top 3 reason people give for why they follow.

Once you build your following 6 in 10 social users are more likely to recommend you.

Put simply: Content = following = sales

content marketing

Social supporting SEO


There are many benefits from social media, most are hard to measure and the impact on SEO is certainly one of those difficult to directly attribute the benefits to search engine optimisation.  This graphic lays out a view on how social media could be helping your SEO efforts.
Social SEO

Creating content that Google search will love

So many people still believe with the web that build and they will come, they wont. Build with great quality content, they might. Build with great quality content promoted via an integrated search, social and email strategy then you are more sure of success.

This is a great infographic that shows that investing in original quality content is essential for SEO and how ‘social is SEO and content is social’.

It also includes a great quote from Google’s Matt Cutts ‘Try and make your site so fantastic you become an authority in your niche’. A goal that should become all of ours mantra if we want to be successful in this space.

Why content is so important for SEO

Christopher Wellbelove

No time to grieve – the death of Michael Jackson on Twitter

When the Princess of Wales died I discovered this as I woke to the morning news.  When John F.  Kennedy died many discovered via the morning newspaper. When Michael Jackson died I discovered it via my Twitter feed.

In a Twitter world can family and friends have any time to grieve? In pass years the pressure of 24 TV news has made it increasingly difficult to delay the making of deeply personal announcement of a death by family and friends. Previously news channels would have speculated and had the helicopter flying over the home or hospital but in the age where gossip can travel around the world and back again in seconds the momentum of the speculation is now unstoppable.

At the time of Michael Jacksons death 15% of Tweets on Twitter were relating to the speculation over his death. Such was the demand for information Twitter became overloaded. Facebook status updates were dominated by the news along with bookmarking sites being bombarded by links to news pages about his death. Within minutes of confirmation of his death Michael Jackson’s Wikipedia page was updated.

Now any hospital worker; doctor, nurse or cleaner could break the news via social networks and controlling this is almost impossible. Even close family cannot be protected as those at the bedside dealing with their loss may not have had time to get in contact with those who are close.

Hospitals, Police and other emergency services (if they have not already) will need to tighten polices regarding the sharing of information together with providing support to the bereaved families who have lost the control of how they break the news.

We all  need to question our own behaviour which seems similar to the traffic slowing at the scene of an accident.

In a world where everyone wants to be the first to break the news, could you be dead on Twitter before you actually stop breathing?

My IBM launched

My IBM, a social network that adds to IBMs Developer Works community, has been launched

Described by them as ‘the place where you and your peers congregate to connect, share, and collaborate. Great content is just the beginning, and now it’s time for you to take the next step: Create your professional profile and your custom home page on My developerWorks. Then find and connect with like-minded peers, and invite them into your My developerWorks network to share expertise and build groups for further interaction and collaboration.’

The sign up to the service is open to anyone, though not exactly intuitive. The register button takes you to the sign in page when you then have to select the register button! If you make a mistake on any part of the form it lost most of your entries after the error was highlighted.

Similarly when selecting a screen name, which has to be unique, there is no way of checking if it is available prior to entering it together with the captcha field, so if it is not available you have to enter a new name and another captcha.

Once you have registered you can then edit your profile and they say ‘Search for contact information and organizational information about your colleagues. Locate expertise and build your own social network. Get access to the information your colleagues are collecting and publishing.’

On several occasions I got a ‘oops that didn’t work’ screen so clearly there are some glitches which have not been fixed prior to launch and I have yet to be able to either view my profile page or edit it.

You can search for people by keyword or by name.

In a users profile I found the following



Area of interest:


Professional expertise:

Biography and interests:

With a large number of users already on this platform, IBM have already jumped the first hurdle of signing up users. Their challenge now is to get those already on the network to see a value of creating profiles. I will be also interested to see if the network grows to include the ability to add video and other features.

Follow to be followed on Twitter

A Hotspot report “State of the Twittersphere” (pdf) has revealed some interesting insight into the popular micro blogging site.

With massive growth in the last year (600% according to 70% of users joined in the last year.

With 35% of Twitter users having 10 or fewer followers and 9% of Twitter users not following anyone at all, many of the new followers may not understand how social networking works.

Many attempting to access this rapidly growing network often seem to expect the masses come rushing to hear their messages, however this environment is not for one way discussion – to be successful you’ve got to either have some real hot property that twitter users are going to be eager to follow or actively engage with the community.

Some simple rules for starting with Twitter:

  • Post at least a message a day to show people who visit your page you’re twitter account is active
  • Find others who have similar interests and follow them (don’t follow just anyone)
  • Only follow those who are active users – active users are more likely to follow you
  • Follow others in small chunks, keeping the gap between followers and followed no more than 200
  • Use friendorfollow to discover who you follow who does not follow you back
  • Re-post messages of interest, giving credit to the originator
    • to do this precede message with RT or Retweet ‘@theirtwittername’
  • Reply to messages of interest
    • to do this precede message with ‘@theirtwittername’
  • Send messages to those who follow you thanking them for their follow*
  • Follow those who follow you*

* Auto follow and auto notes to new followers can be done via SocialToo.

And of course follow my twitter (I promise to follow you)

Social monitoring

With an every increasing number of people going online to blog and engage in social networks there is an increasing number of on-line tools  available to enable individuals and organisations to monitor discussion about their brand.

These tools amalgamate results from several sources including technorati and google blog search.


Social Mention

Companies and organisations need to monitor these networks to measure the success of their social media campaigns together with working to minimise the impact of negative conversations about their brand.

You cannot, and should not attempt to, control what is said about your brand in social media, however by being aware of these conversations you can utilise what is said to help drive improvements in your organisation and through reasonable responses aim to mitigate their impact.

Keo Tag

Should Facebook have a Death Wish list?

How was you told that the last person that you were very close to died?

When a work colleague died I remember receiving a group email, shocking but at least there were others around in the office to look to for support. In the age of social networking there is every possibility that you could discover that someone close died via a profile update. With the rapid growth of mobile internet you could be in the middle of a meeting, stood in the queue at the supermarket, out for a meal with friends or picking up the kids from school.

Whilst you could be in all these scenarios to discover the death of a friend via a telephone call, the ‘accidental’ impact of discovering of someones death from a wall post or status update on a social profile seems to have an added loneliness and depth of shock.

So what happens next?

Some friends may wish to post messages of their shock and sadness on the profile of the deceased. Others may feel this inappropriate, feel that such public displays of grief are inappropriate. 

Who should decide if and when a profile is removed?

Should relatives be given control?

At funerals I have always disliked the saying ‘they would have wanted…’ said so many a time by people who have no idea what the deceased wanted at all.

A solution to this would be a ‘living will’ on social networks – a ‘death wishlist’ or ‘social network after life’. At some point after signing up to a social network you should be given the option to select what you would like to happen to your account after you die. I would imagine that most will not bother, but for those of us who do not want others to speak in their name, this could be a way of securing that our wishes are met. 

A ‘passed on’ option or ‘dead’, if you would prefer to be more blunt, could be useful – this would enable friends to stay friends but not have the deceased pop up every time an application wants you to choose friends to invite. Pre-programmable options after the ‘dead’ option is activated could include a series of status updates – spooky but could also provide some comfort (or hilarity). 

In the absence of a ‘Facebook Death List’ I’d like to let my wishes be known:

  • Post away on my profile after I’ve gone, for me death has traditionally been a social event. At least on-line there wont be any stale sandwiches 
  • My profile can stay, but if you’re a friend don’t feel embarrassed to delete me as a friend if seeing me in your friends list makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Take photos at my funeral (no one ever does this which is a shame when everyone made such an effort to look good – and of course look gorgeous in black). A HD video stream would be even better.  
  • Make sure the coffin and later pictures of my gravestone are tagged just to make sure anyone who might stumble by my profile understands why I haven’t updated my status in a while.
  • If someone can post messages each year to a newspaper on the anniversary of a death then I cant see why you can’t make it easier for people by keeping your profile open so they can post messages there.

Social networks have become such a major part of our lives, for me, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be a major part of death. I just hope that my last profile picture is a good one as I hopeit will be around for a lot longer than I was.

So what would you’re ‘Death Wish List’ be? Should Facebook let you decide what happens to your profile after you’re death or is this for you’re family to decide? Will discover new meaning? What happens to your last tweet when you are no longer able to twitter?

Applications come to Linked In

LinkedIn continues its rapid growth and development with the introduction of LinkedIn applications. Now you can link your LinkedIn profile to your WordPress blog, add a Google Presentation, or work within your profile in a secure collaborative workspace.

This is a welcome addition to LinkeIn, making the service more sticky for users whilst providing you with far more creative ways to promote yourself to perspective employers. There is a danger that some over enthusiastic users could damage their reputations rather than enhance them – though for the rest of us this could be rather entertaining.

Digital notes just got easier

I work across multiple computers and mobile devices, and whilst sharing data across these is getting easier it is still far from perfect.

I have my personal computer, day job computer, elected councillor laptop, testing computer, personal iPhone and two blackberrys (one for work and one for the council). This may seem excessive however with my wide range of responsibilites I have a wide range of communication needs which for various reasons are not allowed to cross polinate.

In the past I have spent a great deal of time emailing one computer from the other, for instances sometimes social sites may be blocked by a corporate firewall so to get a screenshot for a presentation I will use my personal PC to grab a screenshot then email to the appropriate account. 

I do not carry all my phones with me all the time and have been caught out in the past when a piece of information that I needed was on another device or at home on a PC or laptop.

Evernote describes itself:  ‘Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.’

From my intial tests I have found this extremely useful. Immediately that I save a screenshot on one PC it appeared on the other. I saved a note on my iphone and uploaded a photo and within a few second this was also avaialble with notes and images saved via my PC also available on the iPhone.

One feature I really liked was the ability to create multiple notebook folders which can be viewed separately or all notebooks viewed as once.  Searching these notebooks is also hugely flexible with the ability to tag notes as well as Evernote being able to search text within images.

Evernote will take entier web pages, saving all the links contents within them, photos and enable you to search words in them (ie: business cards / whiteboards / labels on products), audio clips, to do lists, notes an reminders. 

Evernote can import your delicious links which are then searchable within evernote.

Evernote is currently free for up to 40MB of uploads per month then 5USD for more monthly uploads, stronger security and faster image recongnition.

Whilst there are lots of ways to work across several computers, with remote desktop etc, I will be giving Evernote a trial for a while simply because its ease of use and setting up was a doodle.

Twideas for Twitter

Twitter Mashups are arriving at the plenty. With some you struggle to see their worth, but recently I have discovered some that I can immediately see some clear uses for:

Dwigger threads Twitters and enables users to vote on tweets. I really like the fact you can also filter down for a selection of areas (the UK being one, New York another).

Twitter Grader may at first just seem to be satisfying the ego of Twitterers, however with no stats available within Twitter it could help measure the impact of a campaign that incorporates Twitter, as could Tweetburner which enables you to measure the number of clicks on a URL you post within a tweet.     

Other of my favourite Twideas:

TwitterFeed automatically posts a Twitter when you add a post to your blog or other RSS feed.

Twellow a directory of Twitters by subject.

Twitt Earth shows Tweets as and where they are coming from, not really useful but one of my favourites and makes a great screensaver.

On my iPhone I use Twinkle which lets you filter twitters from 1 to 252,000 miles from you.

This post is clearly not an extensive list of Twitter apps, there are plenty of sites that do that. I wanted to share my favourites and my excitement over the amazing Twideas that Twitter inspires and will continue to as the microblogging phenonemum continues to grow. 

Winning elections on-line

The US elections are continuing to demonstrate how the internet is playing an increasingly important role in engaging with voters. Research in the US has shown that 7% of on-line searchers may change their votes. In a close election what political parties do on-line could make the difference between winning and losing.

Democrat Barrack Obama has been heralded as changing the future of political campaigning. Michael Cheney, from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, who studies online campaigning says that Barack Obama elevated the Internet’s social reach from novelty to necessity after Obama used it to build online grassroots support that helped fuel his rapid rise. Cheney believes that the use of social media has to be part of campaigns in the future and that candidates who don’t use this model aren’t going to be as succesful.

Google recognises this and has appointed a ‘head of elections and issues advocacy’ as sales of sponsored links go through the roof. For Google this is a huge opportunity to make money, for politicians looking for votes pay-per-click advertising is an easy way to reach potential voters.

It is no longer sufficient to build a website and upload press releases about how good you are and how terrible the opposition is. Messages have to cross multiple platforms in multiple formats. Supporters need to monitor and respond to discussions on-line. Candidates need to be taught not to be phased by the on-line chatter which could be disproportionally influenced by opponents who utilise the power of social networks such as Facebook and the many elections forums that grow in the run up to polling day.

Campaign strategist, plotting the progress of their campaign, need to use services such as Hitwise, to monitor traffic and searches for political websites which can give an indication of who is gaining ground in a campaign and the subject matters that the electorate are most interested in.

In the UK by the next general elections, and london local government elections in 2010, the internet will play a bigger part than ever before. And especially where the vote is close an election really could be won (or lost) on-line.

Great Reasons to switch now to Google Chrome

I now have Google Chrome, the new browser from global search giant Google. Within minutes of using I can immediately see that this will become one of my primary browsers – and given Google has made the code behind this open source I am extremely excited about the possibility of social browsers based on Google Chrome similar to the Flock browser.

Independent tabbed browsing – each tab works separately so if one tab freezes or crashes the other tabs will still be there and tab recoverable at last position when tab reloaded

Plugin separate – if plug is bad rest of page still usable

Extra security – rendering engine (what makes the page appear for you) has no privilages on your computer so cannot easily put bugs in your computer

Pages appear faster – In test showed average page took 77.28 ms as opposed to over 228 ms for a test on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Secrecy mode -Your history helps improve your browsing experience, however there is no longer the need to clear your browser history and cache (which would ruin your Google Chrome experience) if you want to visit a site that you do not want others to know you have visited you switch on Incognito mode

Currently Chrome is only around 7MB so very fast to download and I installed within a couple of minutes of clicking the download button

Great design, simple, intuitive and amazingly easy to use

Love the facility to easily search by keyword your visited sites.

Google video about the story behind Google Chrome from YouTube

Privacy assurance: the blogosphere has been discussing how this will be linked to Google search and capturing more information about what you are doing on the web. Google says it adds no further information that any current use of Google does.

When I went to Facebook for the first time it asked me if I wanted to save my password in a behaviour similar to other browsers such as Flock. However the speed was massively different – even more than when I have used Apples Safari browser previously.

The BBCs rich homepage opened in a split second, every link quickly resulted in a new page. I swear that the colours on the page seemed richer (though I am colour blind and blinded by how much Im impressed by Chrome so may not be the best to judge).

All in all, Search needed Google and they now dominate this space. I’d argue Browsers need to change and Chrome is just the start of a revolution in browsing.