Monday, 31 July 2017

Barack Obama Seizing Russian Mansions As Gifts for Malia and Sasha Is Fake News

Wikimedia Commons

Reports that former President Barack Obama seized two Russian mansions as gifts for his daughters Malia and Sasha are false. Rumors that the diplomatic compounds, which were seized by the Obama administration last year, were gifted to Obama’s daughters stemmed from a satire website.

According to PolitiFact, the fake claim originated on News Feed Hunter, a self-described “satirical publication.” The article claimed that Obama took the properties in an effort “to grab as much free stuff as possible” before leaving office. It purported:

Well, well, well…it looks like Obummer wasn’t actually trying to punish Russia for anything after all (since there’s nothing to punish them FOR) — he was actually just trying to get a couple of free mansions for his brats while kissing up to his ignorant base of drooling libtards.

[…] Once again, we’re really sorry that the poor Obama girls won’t each get a free mansion to trash with their drug, rape and thugs parties. Too bad for you two entitled brats, but maybe you should consider getting a REAL JOB because your days of stealing from hardworking taxpaying Americans are OVER.

The report, however, is entirely fabricated. News Feed Hunter clearly states in their disclaimer that their articles should be considered completely fictitious: is a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist.

The diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland were, in fact, seized last year as part of sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The compounds were “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,” according to the official statement, and was just one of many actions Obama authorized “in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016.”

CNBC reports that while President Donald Trump has stated that he doesn’t want to remove the sanctions, he did discuss easing the sanctions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia issued new threats of retaliation earlier this month and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN, “We think that the diplomatic property must be returned without any conditions and talks.”

The compounds, however, were never gifted to anyone.

Here are some examples of people sharing the fake story on social media:

Social Media Shares Fake Story about Obama Seizing Russian Mansions As Gifts for Daughters

Have you seen the fake story about Barack Obama seizing Russian mansions as gifts for Malia and Sasha circulating social media? What are your thoughts on the sanctions that were imposed by the Obama administration? Sound off in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Pete Souza, Wikimedia Commons

Source: B2C

An Executive’s Guide: How to Do Influencer Marketing the Right Way

Influencer marketing has gained ground in just a few years, and for good reason. According to a Linqia study, 86% of marketers have used it, and 94% of them found it effective. Influencer marketing can help brands boost their authenticity, which is necessary for building trust. It can also help drive engagement, website traffic, and conversions.

That’s exactly why even big brands are taking advantage of this powerful marketing channel. In fact, global brands like Adidas and Colgate-Palmolive have been working with influencers for many of their campaigns. These campaigns helped drive brand awareness, lift brand interest, and increase purchase consideration.

For one of the influencer marketing campaigns executed by Colgate-Palmolive, they worked with Jenn Im at the clothesencounters YouTube channel, which has over 1.9 million subscribers. The video Jenn created for the campaign has been viewed more than 500,000 times.

Just because big brands have embraced influencer marketing, that doesn’t mean it’s out of reach to small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, you can launch a successful influencer marketing campaign on almost any budget.

In this post, you’ll learn, step-by-step, how to do influencer marketing the right way.

1. Start with a goal

Executing an influencer marketing campaign without a defined goal is like traveling without a destination in mind. You know you want to get somewhere, but you’re not sure exactly where you want to go. So you just move forward aimlessly, wasting time, energy, and money along the way.

Before you even begin to come up with a plan for your campaign, you need to define your goal. What do you expect to get from the campaign? You want to improve your performance, but what aspects of your performance do you want to improve? Is it engagement, brand awareness, conversions, or a little bit of everything? Or maybe you want to promote a new product or event to a relevant audience.

Whatever the goal may be, you should define it, and then use it as a basis for planning your campaign. Your goal will help you figure out which kinds of influencers to work with, and how you can best execute your campaign.

For example, if you want as many people as possible to hear about your brand, you should work with influencers who have massive reach. Have them tell your brand’s story in their own unique voices.

Or if you want to drive engagement, look for micro-influencers who can reach a relevant and engaged audience. Have them promote a giveaway contest in which their followers can win free products or experiences from your business.

2. Find the right influencers

Now that you’ve defined your goal, you can start looking for influencers who can help you achieve that goal. What you need to remember is that the influencers you choose should be relevant to both your brand, and your goal.

To choose the rightf influencers, look for people that help you:

  1. Increase brand awareness: Top influencers with massive reach

  2. Boost brand sentiment: Influencers known for their honest and authentic content

  3. Build brand trust: Niche influencers known for creating authentic content

  4. Drive engagement: Relevant micro-influencers with high engagement rates

  5. Drive conversions: Mix of top, mid-level, and micro-influencers across various relevant niches

  6. Promote a product launch: Industry experts and niche influencers with significant reach

These are just a few examples of the types of influencers you can choose to work with, based on some of the most common influencer marketing goals. Feel free to mix things up a bit, and make adjustments based on your specific goals.

Once you’ve decided what kind of influencers to work with, you can use Mention’s influencer dashboard, or other tools like BuzzSumo, Insightpool, or HYPR to find those influencers.

With these tools, you can conduct a search using relevant keywords. Then you’ll get a comprehensive list of influencers, with stats for each. These include their number of followers, location, engagement rate, and more.

mention app

You can also find influencers through platforms like Scoutsee, which helps brands connect with influential fans, and turn them into brand ambassadors. You can also use Scoutsee to track the ROI of your campaigns.

3. Provide sufficient compensation

According to Altimeter and TapInfluence, the biggest mistake you can make in influencer marketing is failing to provide your influencers with sufficient compensation. Influencers let you use their influence to reach a relevant audience. It’s only fair that you compensate them fairly for it.

At the same time, some small and medium-sized businesses have budget limitations. If that’s the case, you need to carefully plan your budget. Come up with a compensation model that’s beneficial for both you and the influencers.

Here are five popular influencer compensation models (in order of effectiveness):

  1. Cost per engagement: This is when you compensate influencers according to the number of engagements they drive with their content. The previously-cited Linqia study found it to be one of the most effective compensation models.

  2. Cost per click: With cost per click, you compensate influencers according to the number of clicks they drive to your landing page. It’s considered to be just as effective as the cost per engagement model.

  3. Pay per post: With this model, you pay influencers a fixed amount for each post they create for your business. It’s the third most effective model, according to marketers in the Linqia study.

  4. Free products/experiences: Instead of, (or in addition to), monetary compensation, you can offer influencers free products or experiences in exchange for their partnership.

  5. Cost per acquisition: Also known as “cost per conversion” or “cost per action,” which means you compensate influencers for the number of actions or acquisitions they drive. The action could be submitting a form, subscribing to your newsletter, or making a purchase.

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Image Source: Linqia

4. Plan your influencer marketing campaign

Now that you understand the basics of finding, and compensating influencers, you need to think about what type of campaign you want to execute. There are many different ways to run an influencer marketing campaign. You should choose the best type for your brand, based on your specific goals.

Here are three of the most effective types of influencer marketing campaigns:

1. Help influencers set up an Instagram storefront

When launching an influencer marketing campaign, you shouldn’t miss out on using powerful social media channels like Instagram. Even influencers themselves say it’s the most effective platform for influencer marketing.

But the problem is that Instagram doesn’t allow all users to add links to their posts. So if you plan on executing an Instagram influencer marketing campaign, have your influencers set up their own storefronts.

Influencers can post photos of your products on Instagram, and include a link to their personal storefront in their bio. Their storefront will then include their images of your products, with links to each specific product page. Which helps make it as easy as possible for their followers to buy.

For example, micro-influential fitness and outdoor enthusiast Zoe Szczepanek includes a link to her personal storefront in her Instagram bio. As you can see in the screenshot below, she’s also an ambassador for Spartan Race.

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When Zoe’s followers click on the link, they’re taken to her personal storefront, where she posts fun and engaging photos from her Instagram. Next to each photo, Zoe highlights products from Spartan Race. If they’re interested in a specific product, her followers can click on it to make a purchase.

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2. Promote a giveaway contest

Giveaways can be a highly effective component of influencer marketing campaigns. They can help you engage your target audience, and raise more awareness about your business. When an influencer hosts a giveaway contest using your products, they get a chance to engage their followers, while at the same time driving engagement for your business.

Your contest rules can require that users tag their friends in the comments, or share the giveaway post to enter. Which will make sure that even more people learn about your brand. Contests can help you increase brand interest, and improve brand perception.

Lace Beauty Collection, for example, partnered with micro-influencer, Lori (@stylewithlori), to create a giveaway contest. To enter the contest, the influencer made it clear that participants had to follow her, and the Instagram account of Lace Beauty. This helped increase the follower count of both the business, and the influencer.

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Participants also had to like and comment on the post, which increased engagement on the influencer’s content. People could also tag their friends in the comments for an extra entry in the contest. That helped increase both engagement and exposure.

3. Have them create unique content

You may have come across influencer content that seemed unnatural, or even robotic, as if they weren’t the ones creating the content. That can happen when businesses try to have too much control over how influencers promote their brand or products.

In fact, the previously-cited Altimeter and TapInfluence study found that this is the second biggest mistake brands make with influencer marketing.

Influencers are influencers for a reason. They know how to create unique and engaging content that resonates with their audience. When you work with influencers, trust them to tell your brand’s story in their own voices. Trust them to create content that will engage their followers, and inspire them to check out your brand.

An excellent example of this is how Target let influencers create unique content in their own voices. The retailer wanted to promote the Persil ProClean laundry detergent sold in their stores.

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One of the influencers, Terra, is a mommy blogger. As you can see in the screenshot above, she talked about how the detergent effectively helped clean up clothes that her toddler had dirtied up with paint.


Now you know how to do influencer marketing the right way. You understand the importance of defining your goal, and then finding influencers based on that goal. You also know some of the most effective types of influencer marketing campaigns.

If you have any questions, or anything to add, please let me know in the comments.

Source: B2C

How To Master Your Web Testing To Drive Conversion

coffeebeanworks / Pixabay

You’ve heard the advice a million times, right? “Prevention is better than cure.”

And on the surface, it makes sense.

But your launch date is looming and your development team are still trying to cram in all the features you need for your new website. So, your plans to carry out robust web testing across every device and platform gets pushed to one side.

You end up moving to your live environment without proper web testing and (to use another well-known phrase), the proverbial hits the fan.

Your customers complain about broken links. Or that your site doesn’t work on a specific device or operating system . And this means that they can’t buy from your business or interact with it in the way they expect. Not only will this result in negativity from your customers but there are so many other factors that occur as a knock-on effect. Unhappy stakeholders and job uncertainty to name just two.

Your development team goes into firefighting mode, trying to extinguish all the problems you’re under-tested and under-performing site has produced. But your users are sick of the poor user experience.

The result? The reputation of your brand is irreversibly damaged, your customers go elsewhere and your bottom line is sinking faster than you can say: “404 error”.

You’re not alone. The cut and thrust of launching real websites and apps mean that many companies don’t do adequate web testing.

But that’s not a good enough excuse. You simply cannot afford to wait for your customers to notify you of bugs or errors on your new website or app. If you use this slapdash approach then hundreds (or even thousands) of your customers will experience a problem with your site.

Whether that’s a broken link or a faulty sign-in, your brand reputation will take a hit.

If you’re an ecommerce site then the situation gets worse. Any bug that stops your customers filling up their shopping baskets and seamlessly clicking through to the checkout means that your conversion rates will plummet – and so will your sales figures.

Not every customer will let you know when they encounter a problem. Many will just give up and move on to one of your competitors to make that purchase. You lose brand loyalty with a huge chunk of your customer base, harming your sales in the long term.

So, what’s the solution?

Prevention really is better than cure. You need to choose a reliable web testing partner before your next release goes live to avoid these problems.

If you do, then your web testing capabilities are extended and your site will be scoured by a team of professional crowdsourced testers.

Such crowdsourced testing companies have the manpower to test your site thoroughly, on all of the devices your visitors use in just a few days and root out any dangerous ‘showstopper’ bugs. They’re dedicated to finding every issue and every bug so your customers don’t have to.

It means you’ll make your launch date, your developers are free to do their jobs instead of fixing a deluge of bugs, and your customers will love (and buy from) your new site.

Source: B2C

The 5 Business Start-Up Distractions You Need To Avoid

Because starting a business isn’t difficult enough, life decided to throw in some distractions too along the way. I have listened to so many people rhyme off what they think they need to have or do to start a business. Most of them fail to realize that all you really need is a good old fashioned hard work, a dash of inspiration and a whole load of motivation. And don’t forget to ride out the rollercoaster too!

I often hear the same things repeatedly. Start-up owners getting bogged down in the details of things that ultimately are irrelevant to the success of their business. They forget that in the beginning, you have to work in your business as much as at it. And if you’re a sole trader, freelancer or one man band, then you are your business. It’s entire success or failure depends on you. I have lost count of the number of times that I’ve seen a great idea in the hands of the wrong person. Even the best business idea in the world will ultimately fail in the wrong hands. And often because those hands are distracted by the fluffy stuff on the outside taking them away from the actual business stuff on the inside.

So, are you like a business magpie being distracted by lots of shiny things? Or have you got some misapprehensions that are distracting you from actually starting that business you’ve been dreaming about for years?

Here are the top 5 business start-up distractions I see the most and why you need to avoid them

Because starting a business wasn’t difficult enough, life decided to throw in some distractions too along the way. Heres 5 you need to avoid


Because starting a business wasn’t difficult enough, life decided to throw in some distractions too along the way. Heres 5 you need to avoid

Why do you think you need loads of money to start your business? List out what you think you need the money for. Then cut out the crap you really don’t need. A few weeks ago I was talking to someone who was obsessing over the cost of her stationery. The letterheads, envelopes, comp slips, pens, pencils, keyrings, notepads. All with her perfectly designed logo on. Great, yes, oh so pretty. But a big cost. When I asked her how many letters she envisaged herself sending in the first year of business, she couldn’t give me a figure. That’s because it was probably a big fat zero. A total waste of money.

There are many things you can bootstrap for your startup if funds are low. I think a lot of people are put off going into business because they get all these daft ideas about it costing them a fortune. It doesn’t have to be that way. Unless you must buy stock (consider drop shipping to start off with if that’s an option) or you need premises, then stop sending and consider the more cost effective alternatives.

Did you see my post about going freelance without going broke? Keep your money to cover your basic living expenses and bulk buying toilet rolls.

Do you really think that cheap plastic pen with your logo on is going to clinch you some business at the overpriced trade show you just bought a stand at? No! So why are you ordering 5000 of them?!

Unfinished Product

How do you know your product will sell? Or people will buy your service? Or online course? You don’t. Realistically you can’t put a figure on it starting out. So why spend all that time and probably money on getting it absolutely right before you’ve tested the water? This is why people build prototypes or order a really small amount of products to start with. Why they have webinars about their fantastic online course when they haven’t even written it yet. Don’t go all in on anything until you know you’ve got the sales lined up.

Likewise, don’t be afraid to bring your unfinished product to market. The feedback you get from a soft launch will enable you to fine-tune to what your buyers want and provide you with invaluable insights into your customers needs. By listening to your customers wants and needs you will deliver them a product or service they value more. More value equals more sales. Your short term profits may take a hit but at least you won’t be stuck with 10,000 units of something stuck in your garage forevermore that didn’t sell.

Hiring (the wrong) Staff

It’s easy to think, in the early days, that by Christmas you’ll have an office full of staff all calling you boss. The reality is, staff are probably going to be your biggest investment. So, don’t hire in haste. Do you really need someone to do the admin? Or answer the phone? Really? Or will they be just a glorified tea maker? It’s more cost effective for small business to outsource rather than hire in the early days. With the rising costs of pensions and national insurance, not to mention all the legislation, can your cash flow withstand the expense in the quieter periods? It’s not that easy or simple to just get rid of staff during the quiet months. But outsourcing to a freelancer means you only hire them (and pay them) when you need them.

Because starting a business wasn’t difficult enough, life decided to throw in some distractions too along the way. Heres 5 you need to avoid

If you really must hire someone then be cautious. Very cautious. One bad hire could give you one almighty headache. Make sure you are 100% confident in your new hire before letting them loose in your kingdom.

Office Space

Oh, the joys of sitting back in your big fancy office chair, surveying your beautiful, modern offices in the swanky end of town. But it’s just you. And you don’t get many visitors. So why do you need it?

Office space is a cost draining myth. You don’t always need it. Can you use a virtual office address instead and work from home? Or use a coworking space? Do you really need that fancy office? Or is it just an excuse to say you have a fancy office?

I know working from home may not always be the most practical thing or productive for that matter. But neither is committing to a large chunk of cash to pay in rent every month that you haven’t actually earnt yet. Start-ups be warned: don’t spend it until you’ve earned it. Could a little bit of furniture moving around at home or finally sorting out the spare room be a far more cost-effective alternative? I’m guessing yes. Especially if you took my advice of not hiring staff and using freelancers. They come with the added of bonus of having to sort out their own working space.

Because starting a business wasn’t difficult enough, life decided to throw in some distractions too along the way. Heres 5 you need to avoid

Dining Out

“Let’s do lunch” is just the best phrase to hear when somebody else is paying. A sniff of free food and I’m there. And chances are I don’t care what you’re trying to sell me. The free lunch isn’t going to convince me. So stop offering to buy lunch for every single potential prospect you encounter. You’re wasting money, you’ll get fat and spend your afternoons being unproductive. And you’ll be distracted by the amount of time you’ll be wasting chasing a potential client you think is going to sign on the dotted line just because you bought them lunch.

Save the free lunch for when the prospect is a client that’s paid a few invoices. It’s a reward then not a bribe or just a free lunch.

Things Which Distracted You

What things distracted you as a startup? What did you waste money on? If you could pass on one tip for startups to avoid, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below!

Source: B2C

Windows 10 Mail now Supports Animated GIFs

Do you use animated GIFs in your emails to seek the attention of your users to a particular message and make your emails more engaging? Well, then you must be also dealing with the consequences of doing so – the trouble of it rendering in the subscribers’ inbox.

If designing enticing emails using interactive GIFs and coding them effectively for different email clients has become a turmoil for you, we have a good news to share!

Microsoft officially announces its release of support for animated GIFs for Windows 10 Mail.

Taking the first step towards modernizing Microsoft rendering, this email client will now support and effectively display emails with animated GIFs.

Looking back…

Here’s the list of email clients that have been rendering animated GIFs without any glitches:

  • Outlook 2000-2003,, Outlook for Mac

  • Apple Mail, iOS Mail

  • Gmail

  • Yahoo!

  • Android (Default), Android (Gmail)

  • AOL

  • Blackberry

But email clients like Outlook 2007-2013 and Windows Phone 7 do not support animated GIFs.

As mentioned in our previous post on Outlook Rendering Issues and Hacks, for newer versions of Outlook (2003+), only the first frame of the animation is displayed instead of the entire GIF. As a result, email developers have to code the GIF in such a way that the entire message of the GIF is conveyed in the first frame itself so that even if it does not render, the message still reaches the viewer.

What’s Ahead?

With the update, this pitfall has been resolved and email developers will now be able to add animated GIFs into emails and they will render properly on Windows 10 Mail.

Take a look at this test email:


However, this rendering improvement is only for Windows 10 Mail as of now and it does not affect other desktop clients.

This upgrade is a great move towards overcoming rendering challenges in Outlook and we look forward to more.

Source: B2C

Personal Branding: How to Instantly Influence Buyers and Outcomes [Podcast]

Episode 72 of Landscape Digital Show reveals the connection between surfing and personal branding that instantly influences buyers and outcomes.

Personal Branding: How to Instantly Influence Buyers and Outcomes

In all walks of life, people are most admired not for what they have achieved but how they went about it doing it.

How people get things done in life used to be known as reputation management, but now that we all manage our own media it is best described as personal branding.

A Harvard Business Review author observed that all surfers end their ride in exactly the same way: They fall into the water. It doesn’t matter if that ride was an epic success or dramatic defeat; the outcome is the same.

This is why what happens next matters most. Does he or she head back into the surf or pack it in for the day? I imagine that is something surfers talk about that defines their personal brands, who are the risk-takers and who are not.

Evaluating outcomes and taking action to create something better is what life and business are all about.

People admire winners, but history proves we are especially interested in the path they chose to get there.

As an entrepreneur, this is your personal brand, and it’s never been more important for attracting the opportunities you desire for your business and your life.

Celebrate Endings That Create New Outcomes

Like so many other practices, surfing is a series of events. Knowing they all come to an end makes it that much easier to get back up and do it again in the quest for the perfect ride.

The truth is the perfect ride probably doesn’t exist for surfing or any other profession. Whether it does or doesn’t, the question that arises is always going to be the same.

Now what?

By definition, winning is an ending. It’s an event or outcome that had a beginning and now it’s over.

Now what? Were you a gracious winner that acknowledged your team? Your current customers want to know. More important is that it shapes your personal brand for anyone that may be watching, and these days that audience is as large as the Internet.

Were you a gracious winner that acknowledged your team? Your current customers want to know. More important is that it shapes your personal brand for anyone that may be watching, and these days that audience is as large as the Internet.

What happens off stage matters as much and probably more than what happens when the spotlights are bright, because almost everybody can be good when they others are watching. Then there is that uncomfortable gap before the next event when we as human beings have all kinds of feelings

What happens in those gaps between events influences buyers more than we care to admit because that’s when your true character is revealed.

This is why it is vitally important to close the gap by celebrating the wins and the losses, and then taking action to create the next new one.

Your Brand Story Lives Between Wins and Losses

Have you ever noticed that when people win too often their methods and practices are scrutinized and sometimes criticized? This is one reason to publicly celebrate your losses just as much as your wins to humanize your personal brand.

If you are an introvert like me it can feel like work to live your life out loud on social media. But the truth is if you are not telling your story people will make assumptions based on what they think they know.

It’s fair to say that the term personal branding has business connotations, but it’s much more than that. Your personal brand impacts your success in life because it communicates who you are and what you care about, which of course either attracts or rejects people with similar interests and values.

The story of you is your personal brand and the easiest way to give your audience of fans, friends, and followers a glimpse into the authentic you is to document what’s happening in your world.

Video may be the best way to do this because it’s pretty hard to not be yourself in front of the camera. Just be mindful that it’s not so much what you have to say but how you say it that people will notice and remember.

Make no mistake that being your best self is a performance. After all, being yourself is typically being who you think people want you to be in the role you find yourself. You will have to find that balance for yourself.

You will have to find the balance that’s right for you.

Good luck.

Call to Action

The call to action for this episode is to plan your personal brand just like a celebrity because it deserves that attention.

Determine the qualities that best represent who you are as a person because that personal brand is what will attract the right people to your business for years to come.

Source: B2C

Out of Ideas for LinkedIn? Here are 7 Repurposing Hacks to Save You Time & Brain Power

Repurposing Hacks for LinkedIn Company Pages -

Publishing content regularly is important, but how do you come up with ideas to keep the pipeline fed? Here’s a secret: you already have all your ideas, they’re just in a different format.

By taking the content you already have and repurposing it, you can plan out your LinkedIn posts for weeks in advance.

Using the content you have for LinkedIn

1 – Your blog posts

Take a look at your previous blog posts and see what information is in there you’d like to share. People who started following your company on LinkedIn may not have read the content on your blog yet, so it’s new for them. Repost the content on LI Pulse, with a slightly reworked intro and/or conclusion, and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to include a link to the original post to get more traffic to your site! Win-win.

2 – Your podcasts

Do you have your own podcast? Or maybe some of your employees have been interviewed on other podcasts? Regardless, it’s time to spread the word on LI. Write up a quick post summarizing the podcast episode and then publish it on LI. Include links to the original publication site and you’ll get even more traffic. Pull out some quotes from the interview to include in your news updates and spark interest in the content.

3 – Your webinars

Not only can you post a summary of the webinar on LI, but you can also use it to create updates that you can send out on a regular basis. Just take a look at the questions people asked during the webinar and write up short answers that you can post as updates. If a question requires a longer response, then write a new LI Pulse article for it.

4 – Your eBooks

Are there any areas you wanted to explore a little deeper in your eBooks, but you didn’t want to make the book any longer than it is? Now’s your chance. Take the ideas and expand on them in LI Pulse articles. Use headlines or headings as updates that you can then point to the article.

5 – Your landing pages

Landing pages are filled with quotes and short proof statements about your products that are great for driving traffic to your site. But what about using some of them for updates on LI? You can then direct readers to the landing page or another page on your website and you didn’t have to write any new content.

You’ve already got the content…time to start using it on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn company page doesn’t have to be a stale page that just sits there. It can work for your tech or sports company just as easily as the rest of your online content. Use your existing content to start generating some buzz and traffic to your company page by repurposing it.

Have you been repurposing your content on LinkedIn? Share your experience in the comments as I’d love to hear how it’s going.

Source: B2C

The Truth About Content Syndication and Duplicate Content

geralt / Pixabay

If you write a blog post and no one reads it, did you really write a blog post?

Let’s assume you’ve mastered the writing and publishing of good content. Many companies have made it this far. Where they run into trouble, though, is attracting readers.

It takes time to build an audience: you need to attract them to your site, which they’ve likely never heard of, and convert them into loyal readers, so they come back and tell their friends – and eventually turn into customers, which is the whole goal of content marketing. To do this, you need to ensure you’re distributing content to reach potential readers off-site and then bringing them back to your own site.

Content syndication is one way – and, most notably, the simplest way – to accomplish this. In basic terms, after you publish content on your own property, you can turn to a third-party site to republish your content, taking advantage of its authority and larger, engaged audience. Syndicating your content is a scalable way for you to reach new audiences, as opposed to guest blogging, which requires you to create many more content assets.

“…But wait,” you ask. “Doesn’t Google penalize duplicate content?”

Just as in life, good things don’t come without a price. Google does penalize duplicate content – if it’s spammy. According to Google, websites are not penalized for duplicate content. This has been the case for years – at least as far back as 2008, when Google’s Susan Moskwa wrote, “Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty.” At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that.”

What she means is that Google will recognize duplicate content and rank what it deems the best source at the top of the search results. So, it could affect your SEO. If your site is relatively new with low traffic and you syndicate a blog post on, it’s very likely that Google will show the version on instead of your website.

Here’s where you need to weigh the pros and cons of content syndication in the context of your own goals:


  • Minimal effort required for a scalable process

  • Reach many more eyeballs and build a name for yourself or company

  • Increase inbound links from authoritative sites


  • Duplicate content and potentially lose search traffic due to third-party sites outranking the content on your domain

  • No possibility to collect emails or visitor info on third-party sites

If you’re starting out, it’s likely the pros outweigh the cons. It’s super important for you to reach a larger audience, and content syndication allows you to do that without dedicating unreasonable man hours.

It is possible to skirt the SEO issues by using a rel=canonical tag – however, not all content syndication sites will agree to this. If they don’t, you should, at minimum, have an attribution and link back to the original article on your site.

Here are some other resources you can peruse as you set your content syndication strategy:

Source: B2C

These 4 Tactics Will Help Your eCommerce Business Thrive

4 Actionable Ecommerce Tips

Ecommerce is a new and exciting realm of business that has opened doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs. There are millions of online buyers in the United States alone, and ecommerce businesses can offer the potential to reach customers all over the world. With an expected growth of over 40 percent by 2018 and no signs of slowing down, setting up an ecommerce business offers exciting opportunities for lucrative success.

Actionable Ecommerce Tips

The process of setting up an ecommerce business model involves a lot of steps and planning, but there are four simple tactics you can do to ensure your ecommerce company’s success.

Place Focus on Upsells and Cross-sells

Upselling and cross-selling your products is one of the simplest ways to make more money per order. An upsell is fairly straightforward: when a customer looks at one product, the website or salesperson suggests they also check out the better and more expensive model. Including options on your website like “Customers Also Bought” or “Other Products You Might Like” is a great way to display upsells to your customers. In fact, customers are twenty times more likely to purchase an upsell as compared to a cross-sell.

Don’t let that last fact deter you from cross-selling — it’s still a great way to sell more products. Cross-selling is the reason grocery stores place candy bars and magazines in the check-out isles and why your internet provider talked you into adding the cable TV package to your monthly plan. A cross-sell is an add-on item you were not planning on purchasing, but that you decided you want or may need. Ecommerce is a wonderful platform to easily include cross-sells by asking the customer if they want to purchase a related item as well or showing what other customers also bought.

Studies have found that the best placement for a cross-sell item is on the checkout page, resulting in a 3% increase in sales.

Dabble with Predictive Analytics

Utilize the power of sophisticated software and algorithms to determine what your customers want and what they will buy. Predictive analytics compiles information based on customer buying habits, satisfaction, and pricing trends to provide valuable insight that can mean increased revenue.

Today, the power of predictive analytics is no longer limited to the enterprise or large companies with huge budgets. For example, a solution like Forecastly lets small businesses that piggyback on Amazon to improve supply chain efficiency while holding onto a minimum credible inventory. It does this by gathering advanced product-market insights, forecasting future demand, and analyzing historical sales.

At the very least, predictive analytics software can also ensure you never run out of inventory during a surge in purchases; many programs are designed to track orders and determine if demand is increasing and increase or decrease inventory accordingly.

Incorporate Live Chat

Because ecommerce is done entirely online, one of the biggest challenges businesses face is the lost human element. Incorporating a live chat option into your website is a great way to answer a customer’s questions or concerns, leading to sales boost.

According to a survey 62 percent customers were found to be more likely to purchase from a site that incorporated live chat. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.

Live chat is easier and less expensive to set up than a call center, and more convenient than e-mailing customers back and forth. You can even outsource your live chat representatives through programs like Livezilla, which is an open-source chat system that runs on any web server, works without cookies, and supports 70 languages with real-time translation. Having an option for live chat gives your business a competitive advantage, increases the likelihood of sales, and draws repeat customers.

Always Follow Up

Setting up a plan to follow up with customers to ask about their buying experience is vital for an ecommerce business. Follow ups can be done through email or social media, and they are an easy and inexpensive way to increase repeat customers.

Asking a customer to rate their experience and write a short review about their purchase provides both insight to possible changes to make to improve customer satisfaction and also gives great content to use. In fact, 92 percent of customers check out reviews before purchasing, so including positive reviews can relate directly to increase sales.

Sending a follow up email is also a great way to increase repeat customers, who in turn spend nearly 70 percent more than first time customers on average. Personalizing an email with the purchaser’s name or including a special offer or coupon helps to ensure that a customer opens the email and makes a repeat trip to your site.

In Conclusion

Little touches can make all the difference in the ecommerce business, leading ultimately to increased sales and buyer retention. Adding in a human element through live chatting and personalized e-mails increases repeat customers, offering more purchase options, and investing in predictive analytical software can really make all the difference in the growth and success for your company.

Ecommerce Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "These 4 Tactics Will Help Your eCommerce Business Thrive" was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: small business

This Guy Created a Business Selling Memes — Can You?

This Guy Created a Business Selling Memes -- Can You?

If you’ve spent any time online in the past few years, you’ve probably gotten a good laugh or two from memes. But did you know that it’s possible to actually build an entire business around these humorous images?

Selling Memes

That’s exactly what @ka5sh does. The meme-maker works with brands to create memes for promotional and viral marketing purposes. And it’s a path that more and more entrepreneurs are discovering as a viable business opportunity.

For those interested in doing something similar, it’s not as easy as creating a couple of funny images and heading straight to the bank. You need to build up a following and then actually market your services. But the good news is you don’t need any expensive equipment or overhead to make it work. @ka5sh says he works almost exclusively on his phone.

As with many other businesses, the best way to get started with meme making is just to do it. Make some social media accounts and broadcast your images to followers. Eventually, you can start approaching brands that you think might benefit from some meme-related attention and form working relationships. Eventually, you might even have brands start approaching you for your services, just like @ka5sh has been able to do.

Image: @ka5sh/Twitter

This article, "This Guy Created a Business Selling Memes — Can You?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: small business

#NoConfederate Trends In Protest To Game Of Thrones Producers’ New Series About Slavery On HBO

“Game of Thrones” is a huge success. But now, its producers are looking towards their next project. “Confederate,” HBO’s controversial alternate history series, which will include dramatizations of modern-day slavery and has come under fire since its announcement earlier this month. Now social media users are protesting that new project ahead of tonight’s episode of “Game of Thrones.”

April Reign, the activist behind #OscarsSoWhite is one of the organizers of the protest which is asking people to tweet to @hbo using the hashtag #NoConfederate during the 9 p.m. East Coast and West Coast broadcasts of “Game of Thrones.” The series is being developed by “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who are white.

The pair invited husband and wife writer-producers Malcolm Spellman (“Empire”) and Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife”), who are black, to join the creative team for the show.

“We want to show HBO the power of social media of those who are against this show, and demonstrate that there is a unified voice against ‘Confederate,” Reign said. “Our objective is for HBO to cancel this idea and spend no more money on it.”

The show is certainly bringing a lot of attention but not the good kind. What do you think of the new project from the producers of Game of Thrones? Here are some reactions to the hashtag #NoConfederate.

It all started last week when HBO issued a press release announcing their plans for a new TV series, Confederate, helmed by Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

“As the brilliant Game of Thrones winds down to its final season, we are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Dan and David, knowing that any subject they take on will result in a unique and ambitious series,” said HBO president of original programming, Casey Bloys. “Their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey. Confederate promises to be no exception, and we are honored to be adding the talented team of Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman to the mix.”

Last week Benioff, Weiss and the Spellmans responded to the criticisms in an article in Vulture, explaining the genesis of the idea and saying they expected initial reactions to be negative.

“It’s an ugly and a painful history,” said Weiss, who called slavery America’s “original sin.”

“But we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it.”

Photo Credit: HBO

Source: B2C

Jaime Lannister Kills Lady Olenna Of House Tyrell As Team Cersei Is Winning On Game Of Thrones

Lady Olenna Of House Tyrell met her demise as the hands of Jaime Lannister. The ancient House of Tyrell officially dies with Olenna—the series has never been concerned with Willas, Garlen, or any of the other minor members of the family. So that’s it, the rose is dead on the vine. Lady Olenna did admit to murdering Joffrey Lannister with poison way back in season 4. A little bit of shade to the Lannisters.

Lady Olenna has been a master of court politics and intrigue par excellence throughout her life. She’s also known for her wit and sarcasm. As a result, Lady Olenna is popularly nicknamed the Queen of Thorns, in reference to the Tyrell sigil – a rose – and her cutting barbs. In many ways she is the de facto head of House Tyrell at the time of the War of the Five Kings and appears to hold a great deal of influence over the Reach. After most of her family are killed in the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, an event orchestrated by Cersei Lannister, Olenna’s desire for vengeance.

Fans took to social media to remember the late character who is another casualty in the ongoing wars in Game of Thrones. What did you think of the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Are you hoping to see Team Dragon make a comeback on the show? Let us know in the comments section.

Game Of Thrones Social Media Reactions

George R.R. Martin’s best-selling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is brought to the screen as HBO sinks its considerable storytelling teeth into the medieval fantasy epic. It’s the depiction of two powerful families — kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and honest men — playing a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and to sit atop the Iron Throne. Martin is credited as a co-executive producer and one of the writers for the series, which was filmed in Northern Ireland and Malta.

Photo Credit: HBO

Source: B2C

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Bottom Line: Action is at the Heart of Marketing’s Productivity

Haeruman / Pixabay

In a recent article, David Dodd wrote the innovations in Marketing “have promised to improve marketing effectiveness and efficiency, and numerous research studies purport to show that they are delivering a wide range of benefits. But have these innovations really improved the bottom-line productivity of B2B marketing? Can we show – in a credible and convincing way – that B2B marketing is more financially productive today than it was 10 or 15 years ago?” He concluded that it is not. Why is that?

Marketers in general believe they are working harder than ever. They are measuring and reporting more often and with more detailed data. They have made technology and skill investments designed to make and prove that Marketing activities and programs add economic value for their organizations. I believe the lack of improvement in productivity has to do with understanding the difference between activity and action.

Action and activity on the surface may seem the same. They are quite different. Merriam-Webster defines “activity” as: “the quality or state of being active”. Action, on the other hand, is the process of exerting a force or bringing about an effect.” Many of us are familiar with the proverb “It’s better to do something rather than nothing.” So many professionals fill up their day with activity only to land on the never-ending Marketing hamster wheel. In the business world, activity without purpose falls into the category of “busy work.” You and your team may be busy doing tasks, but without action the energy and time invested will never produce an outcome by itself. You need action.

Action is what achieves our goals; action moves something, such as your business, forward. It has direction. Action is an act that will achieve a result. Action is based on a plan. Our CMO-level customers sometimes admit their organization is so tactically oriented that there is no point in having a plan. There is a set amount of money and it is up to Marketing to invest that money and then show how those investments made a difference. Your Marketing plan guides you and your team’s daily action. Your plan is not about executing a list of programs; it’s about ensuring each Marketing action is directly related to a business outcome – every day!

When you transform your Marketing plan from a list of activities into an action-oriented blueprint you are signaling a change to leadership regarding Marketing’s role. You bring the focus to action rather than activity. This approach enables you, the Marketing leader, to determine whether (and where) a new activity needs to be plugged into the “blueprint”, and what effects it will have up and across the plan in terms of investment and metrics. Your plan serves as productivity improvement tool. Experts on the topic of productivity all recommend having and working a plan, staying focused on quantifiable outcomes, working to deadlines, and minimizing distractions (a.k.a. as activities) to drastically increase productivity. To improve Marketing’s productivity, decide to move from activity to action.

Source: B2C

Why Twitter Ads Boost Business & How to Create Them

An Insider’s Guide to Increasing followers, gaining website traffic, and much more with Twitter advertising

Last week we showed you all the basic elements of setting up and using Twitter.

Now that we’ve looked at how you can market locally with hashtags and how to set up your profile and start tweeting, we’re going to review how you make use of the paid side of Twitter to help grow your business online.

Why use Twitter Advertising?

Twitter ads are a great way to really expand your business reach and get your content in front of your ideal target market.

Twitter has enticed business owners into taking the plunge by making their platform one of the best of the majors when it comes to targeting the right users.

There was a time when Twitter offered much better organic reach as most social media giants have.

They did this to gain market advantage; however, once their user base was established, they monetized their platform by restricting the organic reach, forcing users to make use of their paid option.

So by selected the right interests, key phrases, and demographics you have a very low-cost per click method of reaching qualified leads.

How to Set Up Twitter Advertising

Let’s run through the steps in setting up an ad on Twitter.

First, post and schedule your regular tweets and then begin your campaign creation after since your tweets are what you’ll be using in the promotional campaign.

After logging in Twitter click on your profile photo and:

  1. Select Twitter Ads

  2. This will open a new tab that looks like this:

  3. At the top right you can see where it says Create Campaign

  4. Select Create Campaign

  5. Now you can pick which kind of paid campaign you’d like to try.

  6. If you’re building up your Twitter account try the Followers campaign type.If you’re looking to drive people towards your site and you have the content to reflect that then select Website clicks or conversions.

  7. There are other options for more advanced users such as video promotion and app promotion but we’re going to stick with the most used options noted above.

  8. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll see your campaign budget information.

  9. Pay close attention to this. Twitter (like most social giants) tends to assume we all have money to burn and will have some big numbers pre-filled. I believe the current pre-filled number is a daily budget of $127.50.Set yours to something much lower while you test Twitter Ads out. I suggest $5 a day and a total budget of $25 for a one work week campaign.

  10. Next select your Date Range. Twitter tends to auto-populate this with about a month timeline. For your first trial let’s stick with a 5-day work week as noted above.

  11. After you click through you’ll get to select your “creatives”. These are the tweets you’ve posted that will be used for your campaign.

  12. Select the tweets you posted with the intent of either driving users towards content or your website.

  13. Now you’ll get to start targeting.

  14. When targeting get as specific as you can with what you want in your preferred audience. As stated in point 12, you should select targeting parameters that align with the original intention of your tweet.

  15. Pick locations where you know your content will resonate with users. If you deal locally then promote locally.

  16. Pick the gender of the preferred audience for your campaign.

  17. In the bottom field, you want to spend most of your time.Pick interests and key phrases that best identify your preferred audience.If your business sells doorknobs then type in doorknobs to start your search. Find interests related to doors. Select any key phrase you know to be relevant to your content on Twitter regarding the sale of doorknobs.

  18. You want to align your audience target with your actual target for the content. If your tweets direct back to your site then be general about your business. Ads targeting a blog or video should be targeted at users who have expressed interest in that precise niche.To continue with our established analogy this could mean targeting users interested in brass door handles because you have content you’re promoting that is specifically about brass door handles.

  19. Now click next and you’ll be taken to your ad group bid. If running a lot of ad groups with separate purposes you can set new ad group budget totals here. For now you can leave this as is.The second option for target bid vs. automatic bid is more advanced and doesn’t really factor into the success much. Leaving it as Automatic bid is fine.

  20. Now click next and you’re ready to launch!

Use Your Twitter Advertising Metrics for Future Campaigns

Once the campaign has completed its run you can review the performance in this same Twitter ads section.

Look at Impressions but more so Clicks and your Cost Per Click. With Twitter it’s normally very low compared to other services.

Source: B2C

Shawn Michaels Is Shaping The Next Generation Of NXT Talent For Their Chance As A WWE Superstar


Shawn Michaels, is WWE Hall of Famer and one of the best in-ring performers in the history of the company, but now he is a mentor to many up and coming superstars. Michaels has been working at the Performance Center where he is helping the next generation of talent in NXT.

The 51-year-old Michaels has revealed that he will be a part of NXT’s upcoming live shows and that the Heartbreak Kid will actually be the producer. If it turns out to be true then this will be Michaels’ first foray in production of live events with NXT.

Michaels spoke to Scott Fishman of Channel Guide Magazine to promote the release of his new movie “Pure Country: Pure Heart” but to also talk about his role in working with NXT talent.

On his role in the movie:

“I’m always flattered when anybody asks me to be in any movie, but when you think of the Pure Country franchise. I love to listen to country music and any opportunity I can wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and have somebody tell me that’s a role, I’m going to jump into it.”

On his backstage role in WWE NXT:

“I would clearly define my role if my role was clearly defined and knew what it was, but I don’t. That has sort t have been the way I have been most of my life, most of my career. I just hang around so often that people just eventually are too afraid to tell me to leave.”

“So, I’ve been hanging around for quite some time at the Performance Center. It’s one thing to sit there and watch things back on film and do your best to help people here and there or address certain things. I think eventually you have to get out there and get a feel for everything that is going on. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come out on the road. I wanted to get to know the talent a lot better, but also have a better understanding of what they’re doing and how the process goes. I also wanted to get a feel for the crowds. The crowds are different from town to town, city to city and state to state. So, I feel the better I know the better I can help and be an asset to not only the talent, but Matt [Bloom], Sara [Amato] and Hunter [Paul Levesque] who have worked so hard to make the Performance Center and NXT a successful product.”

On who he likes out of the current batch of NXT talents:

“I like Roddy Strong, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Heavy Machinery, Authors of Pain, Sanity, they are all just a number of young talent out there. Ember Moon and Asuka as well. There are just numerous people out there. The wrestling business is ripe with a great deal of young, up-and-coming talent. To me, that is exciting. I got way too positive of an outlook to jump into all the other stuff.”

What do you think of HBK helping out the next generation of WWE Superstars? What is your favorite HBK match and feud of all-time? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo Credit: WWE

Source: B2C