Ways To Create A Killer Blog That Will Drive New Business Leads | simplyzesty.com


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We’ve been blogging for three years and we think we have what you would call a successful business blog. It helps raise the profile of our company, while keeping hundreds of thousands of people engaged and coming back to get the latest social media news. It feels like the blog is large and established, but we had to start somewhere too when we wrote our first post and nobody knew about the blog.

With all that in mind, we wanted to create a post that shares some of our thoughts and tips on creating a business blog that gets traction and that can help you attract new business. The good news is that most of the technology and tools that you will need are cheap and easy to use and with some quality content you will be well on your way. Here are 25 things that you can do that will help your own business blog massively.

Contents

1) Starting Off
2) Design & Appearance
3) Blog Content
4) Writing Content
5) Social Media
6) Promotion & Leads

Starting Off

Use WordPress
There is a vast number of free blogging sites like Blogger that will help you create one in seconds. However, the most popular blogging site out there has to be WordPress, thanks to its ease of use and range of styles. The scope for personalisation and design is vast, the dashboard is straightforward, and while you can pay for premium features, you can still create a clean and stylish site. When your business and site gains more prominence, you can start thinking about customising the design, but as a starting point, you won’t find any better.
Put Your Blog Front & Centre
Many businesses treat their blog as something that complement the main site, it’s nice to have one, but its use is limited. What you should do is make the blog the main feature of your site, so when people come to visit, they will see all the content you’ve been posting. Don’t bury your blog underneath your site as that defeats its purpose. Put it front and centre so you can show off your knowledge and generate more leads.

Many businesses treat their blog as something that complement the main site, it’s nice to have one, but its use is limited. What you should do is make the blog the main feature of your site, so when people come to visit, they will see all the content you’ve been posting. Don’t bury your blog underneath your site as that defeats its purpose. Put it front and centre so you can show off your knowledge and generate more leads. 

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Smart QR Code Campaign Harnesses Sunlight To Increase Sales By 25%


 

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When they first came out, QR codes were embraced for various forms of marketing, but in recent times they’ve fallen by the wayside as marketers realize that consumers aren’t bothered to scan them.

One place that QR codes always had great traction is in the far east. This campaign, which has just finished in Korea, is a classic example of them being used well and in a way that attracted consumers with an innovative offer that actually drove sales.

The campaign was run for Emart – who are one of the largest retailers in the country – and was called “sunny sale”. The problem that Emart were facing was that nobody was entering their stores at lunchtime so the creative team developed a QR code that was placed in thirteen locations around the city and could only be scanned between the hours of 12-1.

Anybody who did scan the QR code was given a special discount code with 25 per cent off and taken to a special store that was only accessible to those who scanned. The results were spectacular and the campaign has now doubled in size after they saw a huge spike in sales. QR codes are just like any other form of marketing in that you need to come up with innovative ways to use them instead of just slapping them on a brochure or poster. Very smart indeed.  Video… Leer más “Smart QR Code Campaign Harnesses Sunlight To Increase Sales By 25%”

Citroën UK Turns To Facebook Crowdsourcing To Create New Car


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Of the many businesses that have integrated social media into the heart of their marketing strategy, the automobile industry is perhaps the most prevalent. Probably because of how much revenue the industry generates, they have a much larger budget to work from in comparison to other industries. Ford would be the obvious example with campaigns involving Instagram and Facebook to name just a few, while Honda made good use of Google Street View recently.

Now it’s Citroën’s turn as it launched its latest campaign on Facebook, created to tap into the creative input of their fans. The Facebook app called ‘You like it. We make it‘ gets the most popular requests and uses them as features in their latest model of their popular Citroën C1. Leer más “Citroën UK Turns To Facebook Crowdsourcing To Create New Car”

The Interactive Billboard That Grows A Beard Based On Facebook Likes


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There are lots of ways that headline could be written, and I don’t think any of them could have done justice to the sheer insanity/originality/genius of this campaign. Just as you thought you were getting your head around all the ways you could possibly interact with an ad – QR codes, augmented reality, checking-in etc.. along comes an ad that, quite simply, grows a beard based on the number of Likes it gets. The billboard was launched by Bronx Shoes and it’s currently sitting in Cape Town :

The campaign is being run on the Bronx Facebook Page, where for every Like, they’ll add another strand of hair onto the billboard. And you can even watch it via the livestream if you can’t quite believe what you’re reading (warning – not the most thrilling livestream ever). People are also being incentivised to invite friends to the page, to be entered into a competition to win Bronx shoes. Leer más “The Interactive Billboard That Grows A Beard Based On Facebook Likes”

25 Unmissable Social Media Articles Worth Reading This Weekend

The future of paywalls, memberships and advertising and why the writing on the wall is starting to appear.
The end of RIM & Blackberry as we know it.
If you think ‘Social’ Means Viral, you’ve got it all wrong.
The managing director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, Andrew Blake, talks about Kinect and the future of computer interfaces.
Five reasons the new iPad has finally won me back.
And speaking of iPads, how much do you about yours? This video will teach you a few tips and tricks that you may not have known about the tablet.


 

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Every week, we have a look at some of the biggest social media stories that are out there, sift through the thousands of articles on offer and bring you 25 stories that you simply have to read.

These are never breaking news stories but rather some of the deepest thinkers and smartest minds from the world of technology and social media, offering their thoughts and views regarding the biggest stories of the week.

You won’t make it through them all in one sitting but it’ll bring you up to speed with this week’s happenings. So just sit back, grab a coffee and enjoy.

Want to get users hooked on your product? Start driving them crazy!
Why achieving a viral success online doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn something from it.
How Google’s organic links have lost value.
How Chicago is beating Silicon Valley at the start up game.
Making a web film/show and want to know the different services that allow it to earn revenue. Then this guide to ad-free distribution resources will help.

Leer más “25 Unmissable Social Media Articles Worth Reading This Weekend”

Google Maps Journey Planner Now Factors In Real Time Traffic

Accessing it is just a matter of bringing up the directions feature on Google Maps, this time when you enter in your locations, alongside the estimated time it takes to travel from point A to B, there will be an estimate underneath it that factors in current traffic conditions. The information offered is regularly updated so that you can adjust your travel plans in due course.

The idea is that through this feature, you can estimate how long it will take to travel using different modes of transport and find the quickest method. So comparing driving to public transport or cycling may show that the latter option is the fastest if faced with current traffic conditions.

Google say that it’s available in specific areas for now, mainly in U.S. cities, but like all Google products, it’s only a matter of time before the service is expanded to other countries.


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Google Maps already has a feature which shows you exactly how good/bad traffic is in a particular area, but now they’ve added a new feature which highlights just how long it will take you to reach your destination by factoring in both live and historical traffic data. Leer más “Google Maps Journey Planner Now Factors In Real Time Traffic”

LinkedIn More Popular With Small Businesses, But Twitter Use Falls

Smartphone Usage
Other interesting statistics revolve around the use of smartphones and tablets, nearly a third of the small businesses surveyed (31 per cent) have a mobile website (75 per cent have a general website). In line with this, 85 per cent of small businesses reported using smartphones for their operations, and around 43 per cent of small businesses report that all of their employees use wireless devices or technologies to work away from the office, a jump of nearly 80 per cent over the past three years.

Those last few statistics are striking as you would imagine that many small business owners work well beyond the usual 9 to 5 hours, using their smartphones and tablets to stay connected even when they leave the office. Owners and workers of small businesses must be careful not to spend too much time on work matters outside hours out, while being footloose has its advantages, not taking time to switch off could, in the worst case scenario, cause burn out and affect your business in the long run.
To summarise, AT&T compiled two videos containing highlight of the poll’s most noticeable statistics, which you can view below.

Via http://www.simplyzesty.com


Via Scoop.ithuman being in – perfección

While smaller businesses are slowly getting to grips with the different number of social media sites available, a new report shows that while more businesses are integrating social media into their business, other methods of communication and marketing are held in much higher regard for networking and marketing.

According to the 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, 39 per cent of small businesses rely on social media to promote their business but they place greater importance on their company website (63 per cent) and on word of mouth (79 per cent).
The poll, which surveyed more than 1,200 small businesses with two to 99 employees across the U.S., found that those with a presence on LinkedIn increased from 25 per cent in 2010 to 31 per cent in 2011, while those with a Facebook presence increased slightly from 41 per cent in 2010 to 44 per cent. However, Twitter is beginning to decrease in popularity with small businesses, but only slightly, with a drop of 1 per cent to 18 per cent for 2011.
An eye catching statistic involves the attitude of gender demographics towards social media. While male business owners are more likely to rely on their company website for marketing than female owners (65 per cent vs. 58 per cent), female owners are more likely to rely on social media for promotion (48 per cent vs. 34 per cent). This suggests that female owners are more interested (or comfortable) in talking with their fans and followers online, whereas male owners prefer their website to do the talking for them instead. Leer más “LinkedIn More Popular With Small Businesses, But Twitter Use Falls”

The Most Innovative Pinterest Campaign So Far – Kotex Send Personalised Gifts To Pinners

The reason for this is because Pinterest is a place of visual self expression, on a much larger scale than Facebook or Twitter, so the company were able to see exactly what kinds of designs and styles the 50 Pinterest users they selected liked. The agency then used this information to create personalised gifts for the women, who claimed their prize by simply repinning the image of the gift. The present was then delivered to the women in real life.


http://www.simplyzesty.comWith Pinterest’s massive growth, it’s no wonder that many brands have climbed aboard, but since it’s not designed for businesses in the way that Facebook is, brands will have to come up with clever, inventive ways of using Pinterest to connect with people. We’ve seen bmi’s Pinterst Lottery campaign recently and this new campaign has got to be the other smartest use of Pinterest by a brand that we’ve seen… Leer más “The Most Innovative Pinterest Campaign So Far – Kotex Send Personalised Gifts To Pinners”

CanvasPop Lets You Print Out Your Facebook Photos & Hang Them As Art

While smartphone users take millions of photos, how many times do we seen them outside a smartphone or computer screen.

CanvasPop prints out images and frames ranging from 8×10 to 24×72 with prices ranging from $30 to $419. On top of that, you can either print out the image on a regular page or get a frame included with it with white wood and espresso wood frames available as choices.


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If you regularly upload photos onto Facebook, chances are you’ve a number of photos that you feel are impressive enough to be displayed on your wall. If that’s the case, a U.S. company called CanvasPop, a company that prints out uploaded and Instagram photos, have expanded their service so that you can blow up and print out your own Facebook photos.

That means that any photo taken with a digital camera or smartphone can be blown up. One of the immediate problems with such a service is that if you blow up a photo that’s both small and stored on low resolution, than blowing it up will make it look pixelated and blurry. The company has solved that by developing a process over the last two years which allow them to upsize images, which they’ve been doing for Instagram users over the last six months.

Also the company centres around artistic photography (the inclusion of the word ‘canvas’ hints towards this), allowing you to choose between various filters – similar to what you would see on Instagram – before printing them out for you >>>> Leer más “CanvasPop Lets You Print Out Your Facebook Photos & Hang Them As Art”

The Smartest Beer Ever? – The Unspillable Pint

This Australian beer company have set out to tackle one of the biggest problems known to man (and women of course): spilling beer when jostled in a pub. The video is, of course, only a prototype and it’s highly likely that they used some creative editing to make it look this slick but the concept is a brilliant one, even if it is never likely to see the light of day. Watch this video explode across social media channels in the coming days as it is made for sharing.


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When it comes to beer adverts, they are usually dominated by good looking women, sports and the fact that the beer is colder than any other beer ever seen before.

In short, they are pretty short on imagination and creativity, but that is nothing that this new Haan advert could ever be accused of.

This Australian beer company have set out to tackle one of the biggest problems known to man (and women of course): spilling beer when jostled in a pub. The video is, of course, only a prototype and it’s highly likely that they used some creative editing to make it look this slick but the concept is a brilliant one, even if it is never likely to see the light of day. Watch this video explode across social media channels in the coming days as it is made for sharing.

See video >>> Leer más “The Smartest Beer Ever? – The Unspillable Pint”

Mobile Advertising Becomes More Focused With 40% Specifically Targeting User Groups

With the growth of smartphone use and alongside it mobile commerce, mobile advertising has grown in proportion with this. More and more retailers and brands are now directing their attention towards mobile platforms, coming up with a more targeted method of advertising and reaching consumers directly.

A study by Millennial Media have found that of all the mobile campaigns ran on their system, only 40 per cent were targeted towards a specific audience while the rest went for as broad a reach as possible. Of the 40 per cent, only 34 per cent of those campaigns were targeted towards a specific demographic or behavioural demographic (targeting a specific age group or section of society), while 66 per cent was targeted at local market such as geographical location, state and country.


Image via Millennia Media 2011

With the growth of smartphone use and alongside it mobile commerce, mobile advertising has grown in proportion with this. More and more retailers and brands are now directing their attention towards mobile platforms, coming up with a more targeted method of advertising and reaching consumers directly.

A study by Millennial Media have found that of all the mobile campaigns ran on their system, only 40 per cent were targeted towards a specific audience while the rest went for as broad a reach as possible. Of the 40 per cent, only 34 per cent of those campaigns were targeted towards a specific demographic or behavioural demographic (targeting a specific age group or section of society), while 66 per cent was targeted at local market such as geographical location, state and country. Leer más “Mobile Advertising Becomes More Focused With 40% Specifically Targeting User Groups”

How To Add A Facebook Like Box To Your Email Signature

People are always looking for ways to increase the exposure of their Facebook page and attract new people to it. One simple way is to utilize all the assets that you have and with your company sending out hundreds of emails every single day it is wise to have a link to your Facebook page in your email signature. A new extension to an already popular plugin called Wisestamp (which we first covered over 2 years ago) now allows you to add a full Facebook box to your email


Facebook
Full article:  
http://www.simplyzesty.com/facebook/how-to-add-a-facebook-like-box-to-your-email-signature/


People are always looking for ways to increase the exposure of their Facebook page and attract new people to it. One simple way is to utilize all the assets that you have and with your company sending out hundreds of emails every single day it is wise to have a link to your Facebook page in your email signature. A new extension to an already popular plugin called Wisestamp (which we first covered over 2 years ago) now allows you to add a full Facebook box to your email signatures. It’s a browser plugin so you will have to go through a couple of very simple install steps but once you do and you connect your Facebook page you can then choose which of the pages or personal profiles that you manage that you would most like to set up and pull in automatically. You can also add Twitter accounts, RSS feeds to pull in your latest blog posts or a whole host of other social profiles. Once you’ve set it up the hard work is done and every time you send an email it will be automatically pulled in for you.

New fashion campaign lets users decide what’s sold

We’ve seen crowdsourcing and voting campaigns done before in the fashion world, often to great effect but fashion site brandalley.co.uk has taken that a step further by allowing their users to decide which designs actually get commissioned and sold on the site. Their new fashion site was previewed late last year and has now gone live to the public. The campaign takes place in a section of the site called ‘Le Lab and the concept is fairly simple. The latest creations are showcased on the site and public votes allow you to see which designs/designers have received the most votes. The designs that gather 2000 votes are sent forward for consideration by Brand Alley, to go through to an actual launch :


 

We’ve seen crowdsourcing and voting campaigns done before in the fashion world, often to great effect but fashion site brandalley.co.uk has taken that a step further by allowing their users to decide which designs actually get commissioned and sold on the site. Their new fashion site was previewed late last year and has now gone live to the public. The campaign takes place in a section of the site called ‘Le Lab and the concept is fairly simple. The latest creations are showcased on the site and public votes allow you to see which designs/designers have received the most votes. The designs that gather 2000 votes are sent forward for consideration by Brand Alley, to go through to an actual launch :

Leer más “New fashion campaign lets users decide what’s sold”

Is Social Media Bringing An End To The 9-5

I’ve noticed that people have started working in a different way in the last couple of years. The 9 to 5 is something pretty much consigned to the past as we all live in an uber-connected world that is changing by the minute. We get annoyed if we can’t get good customer service within minutes online. Most of us answer multiple work emails while sitting on the couch using our smart phones. The services that we use now all live in the cloud and we are only ever 1 click away form getting to something work related. This huge advance in technology also comes at a time when we are all having to work harder for less money given the economic climate and at the same time our connections are growing larger thanks to social networks. So what are the shifts in technology that are bringing about this change in work culture and is the traditional 9 to 5 dead?


 

I’ve noticed that people have started working in a different way in the last couple of years. The 9 to 5 is something pretty much consigned to the past as we all live in an uber-connected world that is changing by the minute. We get annoyed if we can’t get good customer service within minutes online. Most of us answer multiple work emails while sitting on the couch using our smart phones. The services that we use now all live in the cloud and we are only ever 1 click away form getting to something work related. This huge advance in technology also comes at a time when we are all having to work harder for less money given the economic climate and at the same time our connections are growing larger thanks to social networks. So what are the shifts in technology that are bringing about this change in work culture and is the traditional 9 to 5 dead? Leer más “Is Social Media Bringing An End To The 9-5”

Once A Like Not Always A Like On Facebook

The race is on for Facebook likes. Every brand, small business and individual around the world are looking for them but I wanted to have a look at what happens after you get those elusive likes. Nobody thinks about what happens to the likes that they already have with most just looking at the top line figure. I wanted to ask…Do people who like your page automatically see your content? How many people are un-liking your page? Are people hiding your content or are they just ignoring you? Getting likes on Facebook is as easy as paying a few cents per like (and you can be sure at that price they are not worth much) but the real challenge is keeping them and making sure you engage with the people who like your page through lasting content. So here is how Facebook determines just what you see each time you log in to Facebook…


by Niall Harbison
http://www.simplyzesty.com/facebook/once-a-like-not-always-a-like-on-facebook/

 

The race is on for Facebook likes. Every brand, small business and individual around the world are looking for them but I wanted to have a look at what happens after you get those elusive likes. Nobody thinks about what happens to the likes that they already have with most just looking at the top line figure. I wanted to ask…Do people who like your page automatically see your content? How many people are un-liking your page? Are people hiding your content or are they just ignoring you? Getting likes on Facebook is as easy as paying a few cents per like (and you can be sure at that price they are not worth much) but the real challenge is keeping them and making sure you engage with the people who like your page through lasting content. So here is how Facebook determines just what you see each time you log in to Facebook… Leer más “Once A Like Not Always A Like On Facebook”