News

The future of PR: 5 lessons for pros

Posted in Tips on 16 September 2014
Predictions are easy, and the PR business is no exception.
 
We don’t yet have the flying cars that were predicted when I was in grammar school, but I’ve never stopped prognosticating. Our team looked into the not-too-distant future to scope trends that all PR practitioners need to be aware of and embrace. 
 
Engagement is an art, not necessarily a science. Skilled communicators can gain a great deal by understanding the sociology of peer groups and the psychology of identified audiences. We already know that it isn’t enough to talk at a consumer by broadcasting a new product message. Success is achieved through a personalized approach that takes into account intangibles like emotions, values, or lifestyle. Only then can the monologue evolve into a true dialogue.
 
Embrace the (media) disruption. Begin with the premise that non-traditional media/content producers like bloggers, citizen journalists and influencers need to be treated as partners. Start a relationship by approaching these third-party disruptors with no agenda other than sending facts and news. Allow them to disseminate as they see fit. Marketers don’t own your brand anymore; your customers do.
 
Metrics are not optional. Slowly, we’re moving toward acceptable measurement practices that will help ensure the future of our industry. PR outcomes are still not easily measured, but the days of “vanity metrics” like impressions and Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) are dying away. Aligning the PR strategy, and the budget, with business goals is now the first step in program development.
 
Big data is smart data. Someone once said they went into PR because they were lousy with numbers. Well, many of the most successful PR stories incorporate numbers such as statistics, percentages, analytics, and formulas in a creative package to make news for a client. This happens particularly when the client is between “real” news stories. Another plus? These stories can be told visually in very engaging ways that work with the way we consume media now and even more in the future.
 
Customize your next “dream team.” With specialization and niche marketing creating a greater need for PR people with diverse skill sets, “core” teams are going to need flexibility to meet the demands of introducing new and different products and services. As great as it is to have a giant pool of PR resources at your fingertips, the “smart money” is betting that we’ll be bringing in key players on a per-project basis, creating a smart strategic and financial model for sound PR servicing.
 

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Apple Pay: Does it spell the death of the event RFID wristband?

Posted in Tips on 16 September 2014
On September 9th Apple launched a raft of new technology including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6L and the iWatch. What interested me most was the addition of Apple Pay. With a number of the leading payment providers backing the solution out of the gate, this was an aggressive move to be a leader in the market.
 
Furthermore, I’m interested to see how this may affect events in the future.
 
Will it make cashless events more viable? In my mind the answer is ‘absolutely’.
 
But does it spell the death of RFID wristbands being used as a payment solution?
 
I asked this question to Serge Grimaux, CEO at leading provider of cashless solutions Intelitix.
 
“We have had more than 1million users of our RFID technology this year alone, and the announcement of Apple Pay is yet another fantastic demonstration of what we’ve been accomplishing already: that the future is paying with the tap of your wrist!
 
There is no doubt that mobile phone based systems like Apple Pay will eventually become the norm, but it will take a long time until we see the impact in either stores or at events. Retailers currently don’t have the hardware to accept the NFC technology, nor the incentive to change.
 
When it comes to events, there is fundamental difference in what we do and what these other ‘electronic payment methods’ offer. We are providing a Closed Loop environment while they operate in an Open Loop environment. With Closed Loop, not only we do not depend on connectivity, we also provide the event organiser with the ultimate power to control all money and all transactions, as well as with access to analyze amazingly rich data. Furthermore, we give the event organiser the possibility to have a direct relationship of the optimum quality with their fans.
 
Because of this, although Apple Pay is an exciting development in the ‘cashless’ world, it isn’t so much for the event world. It still needs to be coupled with a banking instrument, and it hasn’t addressed the fundamental issues of using mobile phones at  events: lack of signal and charging facilities, especially for multi-day applications like festivals.
 
We still believe that RFID presents the easiest, most secure and most user-friendly way of integrating cashless payments into festivals and events. However, at Intellitix, being the innovation company we are, although RFID is the main technology at the moment, we know that this will inevitably change at some point, perhaps to other means of NFC including Bluetooth 4.0.
 
We’ll continue developing our products and offerings alongside these growing technologies and be ready to support platforms like Apple Pay. We also very much believe in vertical integration, from access control, to personalisation via social media, to cashless, and soon to other spheres of activities. Any technology we use will work across all of these areas.”
 

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Beacons - what are they really good for when being used at events?

Posted in Tips on 16 September 2014
Now that the hype has settled somewhat on beacon technology, it’s a good time to evaluate where they can really add value to the events industry. Having worked with a number of clients to integrate beacon technology into our solutions based on their real-world requirements, we believe that there are – for now at least – four main uses in meetings and events.
 
1/ Wi-Fi log-in
 
Where there is a high need for attendees to log onto the venue Wi-Fi (this is typically at Corporate events – we all know the ongoing issues of network coverage at many expo and conference venues), this can be greatly facilitated by beacons. When an attendee enters a conference venue, their BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)-enabled device detects the presence of a beacon: with iOS, this triggers a message containing the WiFi log-in details which the attendee uses to connect to the network; with Android devices, we can pre-configure the native app to carry out the Wi-Fi login without any user intervention.
 
2/ Registration
 
This again occurs when an attendee first enters an event venue. Their device detects the beacon signal, triggering the auto-printing of their conference badge. Attendees then get a message instructing them to collect their badge from the printer and proceed to the fast-track entry location. This has the potential to dramatically improve the registration experience for attendees – and greatly reduce the human resources required to implement the registration process.
 
3/ Opening session content or audience response features
 
If, during a session, the presenter wishes the audience to open a document within the app or to activate an audience response feature (e.g. a survey question), this can be done automatically via a beacon. Although not a particularly complex task, this eliminates the need for users to locate the relevant part of the app and helps maintain the flow of the session.
 
4/ Gamification
 
The role of gamification in an event setting is to encourage desired behaviours among attendees; and beacons can play a very useful role here. If an event organiser wants to incentivise attendees to visit a particular section of their event, beacons in different parts of the venue will recognise that an attendee has entered a designated location (a sponsor’s stand, for example) and award them a certain number of points for doing so.
 
These initial use cases are by no means stretching the boundaries of what beacons are capable of delivering; but these straightforward applications allow event organisers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the technology in real-world situations.
 
Other actions that might be triggered in ways similar to those described above might include: firing up an event Twitter stream to encourage attendee engagement; or activating directions to an off-site reception when an attendee leaves the main venue. Once event organisers become comfortable with using beacons, I’m sure we’re likely to see more adventurous implementations over the course of the year.
 
 

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Live Group Names Andrew Willson As Group Managing Director

Posted in News on 16 September 2014
The Live Group has appointed Andrew Willson as Group Managing Director in a restructure that also sees former MD, Toby Lewis, take on the role of Chief Executive.
 
“Andrew brings with him a wealth of experience working on development and financing strategies for businesses and has been appointed to oversee the acceleration and management of growth within the Live Group” comments Toby Lewis.
 
The news follows the highly successful launch and roll out of the Live Group’s revolutionary Locator Function, as well as its continued expansion from event management specialist to digital events solution provider.
 
“For the last few years we’ve evolved our business to produce great digital technology products for the events industry,” adds Toby Lewis. “We’ve placed innovation at the heart of what we do and are now developing new products that are now changing the way people look at events.”
 
“The success of these products has presented us with an amazing opportunity to substantially accelerate our business growth. To do this we need to be strategically, operationally and financially prepared; Andrew has the perfect mix of experience and ambition to see us through this crucial period of development.”
 
Willson is not new to the Live Group, having worked with Toby in an advisory capacity over the last two years – helping the Group reshape its business and prepare a platform from which to launch its focused growth strategy. This resulted in the Group securing external investment to enable it to pursue new, exciting business opportunities.
 
Prior to joining the Live Group, Willson has held roles as Chief Executive, Group Finance Director and Group Strategy and Finance Director of multi million pound businesses including the Condor/Commodore Groups and Wightlink Limited. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, specialising in Corporate Finance and Strategic Development.
 
“The Live Group has a great opportunity, built on a heritage of event management and, more recently, a wave of innovation and product development,” comments Willson.
 
“We’re looking to develop partnerships and relationships that will enable us to grow in our digital event zone but also to expand into new sectors, where our digital expertise can be exploited – thereby becoming one of the leading ‘DigiTech’ businesses in the country.”
 
 

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Skiddle launches 25 under 25 initiative for promoters and event managers under the age of 25

Posted in News on 16 September 2014
Launching today, Skiddle’s ’25 under 25′ scheme is open to all young and ‘would be’ promoters and event managers under the age of 25, who have successfully executed a minimum of one event between the start of the competition on Monday September 15th and the end on Sunday December 14th.
 
Skiddle is one of the UK’s largest primary ticketing agencies, listing and selling tickets for tens of thousands of events throughout the UK. Since their inception in 2001 they have continued to lead in the events field, placing special emphasis on supporting promoters and event managers throughout every stage of the planning. From their own personally-appointed account managers to their user-friendly interface, marketing and editorial services, Skiddle has helped thousands of young and amateur promoters sell-out events across the country and establish themselves as the talent of tomorrow.
 
It is this notion that has lead Skiddle to set-up the ’25 under 25′ initiative. After years of working with bright individuals, the ticketing platform felt it is time to highlight these stars and make the industry step up and notice.
 
Ben Sebborn, co-founder and director of Skiddle commented, “I am delighted to launch the 25 under 25 scheme! We work with hundreds of individual promoters every single day, many of which are hugely talented in what they do and make-up the core of nightlife in their communities – it’s about time they got some recognition. Skiddle is all about assisting the next generation of talent from the very beginning, whether it be students or just amateur promoters. You never know, we may just find the next Rob da Bank or Harry Goldstein!”
 
To enter applicants will be required to provide evidence of at least one successfully executed event between the opening and closing date and must have sold a minimum of 20 tickets with Skiddle to be eligible. Applicants will also have to answer a series of questions to be judged by a host of industry experts including Skiddle’s very own directors. A shortlist of 25 applicants will be drawn with one overall winner being announced in the new year. The winner will receive a full ticket promotion package for a year, mentoring from industry experts, plus tickets to fantastic events and merchandise. For more information and to enter visit skiddle.com/news/all/25-Under-25-Competition/23509/.
 
 

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Utopium Go Outdoors for Fat Face Brand Camp

Posted in News on 16 September 2014
Utopium combined creativity and logistical expertise to create a stunning brand environment for Fat Face’s Brand Camp.
 
Fat Face held an immersive three day event for 300 directors and managers, combining daytime team building activities and evening conference and social events, including dinners, DJ’s and a live band. They selected a remote farm near Scafell Pike in the Lake District to host the event.
 
Amazing Tents was contracted to provide the venue using one of their temporary S 5000 Duo span structures. Their MD, Steve Haderell, recommended Utopium to fulfil the technical event production. Discussions opened with Utopium’s Colin Bodenham exploring the scope of the project with Fat Face’s Shoots and Event Production Manager, Ian Williams.
 
This led to Utopium being entrusted to deliver site lighting, generators power and distro, along with a precise logistics schedule given the location was a remote farm at the wettest place in the UK, with no phone signal on site (a 5 mile drive to find a signal!)
 
Utopium took the Fat Face creative concepts to build and install a set, incorporating the stage, and drew on their core skill of creative event lighting, to produce all rigging, sound, video projection onto large screen and project mapping across the expansive structure interior. Lighting was sympathetic to the tent – utilising the company’s lightweight LED fixtures from the tents own truss, with a conventional lighting rig for the stage presentations.
 
Colin explains: “We really did start with a blank canvas – in the middle of nowhere. In addition to the conference and club style lighting for the events, the real wow factor came from taking a lot of content generated by Fat Face and repurposing it for video projection and video mapping that followed the contours of the S 5000 Duo span interior. With stunning results.”
 
With just three days to transform the farm field into a stunning event venue Colin was assisted by project manager Ben Knowles, managing all creative content for video and video mapping in line with client’s expectations. Tom Skeats – video switching, Jay Hattoms – Audio and Sam Garland – Lighting and AI media server control completed the team.
 
Ian Williams, event production manager, Fat Face said: “The Fat Face brand inspires customers to get outside, have fun and embrace life outside the 9-5 in all its glory. With this event we wanted to inspire our teams with this lifestyle, alongside delivering some important business messages. Fat Face were amazed at the level of venue and production achieved in this location.”
 
 

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5 free, must-have tools for visual marketing

Posted in Tips on 15 September 2014
I’m no artist.
 
It bothers me sometimes how easy it is for some people to pick up a pen and paper and create a masterpiece. My imagination, unfortunately, just doesn’t work that way.
 
My lack of artistic ability poses a threat to my marketing career, especially now that visual content marketing is the hot ticket to success. It makes me nervous because, even though I have other creative traits, which are key in marketing, I’m worried I’ll get left in the visual storytelling dust.
 
And I know I’m not alone.
 
Visual marketing tools to the rescue
 
Luckily, we non-artists have a few new tools at our disposal that we can use to mask our lack of design talent when we don’t have the resources or budget to hire a full-fledged graphic designer. These tools are all free to use, and they often have some more advanced paid features for when you’re ready to step up your visual storytelling game.
 
They don’t replace the expertise of a designer, but can be used for smaller projects like blog graphics, Slideshare templates, and social media graphics.
 
Canva
Canva is likely the most well-known and mentioned visual marketing tool, and for good reason. It’s free, easy-to-use, and its chief evangelist is Guy Kawasaki.
 
The beauty of Canva is that its goals are intentions are clear: Anyone can make a great design from scratch with Canva. Or, as Guy Kawasaki says, “Canva democratizes design.”
 
In a world where complicated business models and tools run rampant, Canva practices what it preaches with its eye-catching logo and creative marketing materials. I suggest starting with Canva, playing with its different backgrounds and fonts, and then moving on to its useful tutorials to get your visual marketing feet wet.
 
Picmonkey
 
Picmonkey an image editing and creation tool that is like a beefed up version of Canva.
 
While Canva was designed primarily as a text-over-image tool, Picmonkey offers a variety of other options, such as photo editing, touch ups, and collages.
 
For example, the cover photo on the Don’t Panic Management Facebook page was made in Picmonkey.
 
These options are perfect for the more advanced user who has experience with Photoshop and Illustrator, but might seem overwhelming to the average user.
 
If you are more interested in a high-quality tool that also offers simple stitching and editing capabilities, Picmonkey is right for you.
 
DataHero
 
Who here hates Excel?
 
I’m probably one of the only freaks who actually enjoys using spreadsheets, but I do find myself having some hiccups with their chart functionality.
 
Enter DataHero.
 
This free tool enables you to upload your spreadsheets (think social media metrics, email open and click rates, website metrics, PR reach data, and more) and then choose which parts of the data you’d like to visualize.
 
You can then create a comprehensive report of as many or as few charts from the data as you wish.
 
You can customize everything from colors to type of chart, and you can connect your file-storing and data tools like Dropbox, Hubspot, Google Drive, Mailchimp, and more for easy data import.
 
When you’re ready to download, you’re given a high-resolution PNG file that you can add to your documents for beautiful data visualization.
 
To include custom colors, combine more than one data set, and increase your file limit, you can upgrade to their paid account for $49 per month.
 
Skitch
 
Skitch has been around longer than any of these other tools, which is probably why it has been a bit overshadowed. When I first started using Skitch, I primarily used it as a screen capture tool so I could show people how to do things via email. I would simply attach a marked-up screen shot so they could see where to look and click.
 
It’s perfect for drawing over images, circling important points, and adding arrows to draw the eye. If you’re an avid Evernote user, it’s your perfect screen capturing and note-taking companion.
 
In addition to how-tos, Skitch is great for highlighting specific data points (perhaps from the charts you create with DataHero), annotating documents, and providing feedback on content, especially if it’s in the form of an image.
 
My favorite part about Skitch is that it lives as a desktop application so you don’t have to be working in yet another browser window to use it.
 
Plus, you can easily save to Evernote or drag and drop into email, upload to WordPress, add to Dropbox, whatever your heart desires.
 
Recite This
 
Recite This is unique because it’s less about the images, and more about turning words into art. You can take any word, quote, or sentence and make it beautiful by typing into the tool, choosing one of their templates, and voila.
 
You now have a shareable quote that looks professional.
 
The tool is relatively new and beyond simple, so there aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles like some of the aforementioned tools. I would imagine that they will be adding more templates and more customization options in the future.
 
Bonus: WhatTheFont
 
Need to manipulate or recreate someone else’s cool text-over-image visual but can’t figure out what font they used? Simply upload the image (or even a part of the image that includes some text) to WhatTheFont and it will spit out some font options for you, many of which are free.
 
The most important thing to remember with these tools is that practice makes perfect. You’re not going to create the nicest looking Canva creation or data visualization on your first try.
 
Consider your visual marketing goals, the time and resources you have to play with, and then choose the tool that’s right for the task at hand.
 
I’m looking forward to hearing your own experiences with these tools. And remember, you don’t have to be an artist to make great visual content.
 

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Google+ Social Media Strategies - What You Need to Know

Posted in Tips on 15 September 2014

No social network invokes the fear, confusion, and outrage that arises when someone mentions Google+. It’s the most controversial platform out there these days, in part because so many business owners can’t seem to quantify if it’s worth the time and effort. Most concur that businesses need to have a presence on the flailing social space, for no other reason than Google wants you to, and Google owns the search stratosphere. SEO value aside, it’s a tough space to unravel.

Rest assured, however, that if you’re crafty, committed, and well-prepared, Google+ can indeed be a marketing boon for your business. There are metrics available now that help decipher what was once an intensely mysterious space. You no longer have to “trust it’s working.” Google+ experts ‘CircleCount’ recently released an interesting and highly valuable infographic and report that helps marketers capitalize in a space that few have truly mastered. Heed their advice, and you’re light years ahead of the pack.

Want More Engagement? Let Pictures Do the Talking

We all know engagement is the name of the game in any social network, and Google+ is arguably the hardest.

For starters, the CircleCount crew took a dataset of 8,961,415 posts, pulled together from almost 10,000 profiles. So now you know this wasn’t a small collection of data; they really did their homework.

From this data pool, some very clear indicators of what is considered engaging in the G+ emerged. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Photos reign supreme on Google+, even more than other social networks. 57% of posts that got the coveted +1 included, or were exclusively, images. Links garnered 27% of the engagement, video 8%, and text-only updates saw just 8% of the +1 clicks.
  2. Comments, considered an even deeper level of engagement, showed similar but not identical metrics. Photos once again are absolutely crucial – but only by a 30% margin. Text fell just 2% below photos, at 28%, proving that thoughtful marketing messages still generate comment-worthy reactions. Events and Hangouts elicited their fair share of comments, at 14% and 10% respectively, while video and links closed out the category.
  3. Reshares are the money shot in social engagement, as they significantly help to grow your reach. On Google+, photos once again receive the most reshares, at 55%; this blows away all the other forms of media. Video claims 12%, video 11%, and text just 8%.

The moral of the story here is simple: If you’re on Google+, you better integrate relevant images into nearly everything you post.

Size Matters: How the Length of Your Posts Measure Up

Google+ is not Twitter; stats around how people respond to the size of posts are hugely insightful regarding the audience that gathers loyally on the social platform. According to the study:

“Overall, posts more than 100 characters had a better engagement rate in comparison to all other posts with less than 100 characters.”

In other words, with Google+, bigger is better.

This is across the board true for all the media formats, but once again, photos were the most popular posts. Posts with photos and text that exceeded 100 characters were almost 3 times as likely to receive a +1 approval. Text only posts only showed a mild increase with wordier options. They did, however, prove to be surprisingly popular when over 100 characters in length – specifically for +1s and comments, but not so much for reshares, which is arguably the most valuable engagement. Other than pure text posts, stats were very similar for both comments and reshares as well for all content categories.

Key Takeaways and Strategies for Google+ Marketing

In a nutshell, here’s what small businesses need to keep in mind with all Google+ marketing campaigns:

  • Loyal and prolific Google+ users don’t honor brevity. The practice of link-dropping, which is essentially a small post with a link attached, has one of the lowest engagements across the network. Less is definitely not more here.
  • The winning formula is crystal clear: Posts that include photos and relevant, engaging text that is over 100 characters has the highest level of engagement by a significant margin.
  • Text-only posts can certainly be a windfall, but they need to exceed 100 characters, and they’re only successful if +1s and comments are your primary goals. If reshares are your focus, stick to images, and lots of them.

Do these metrics convince us that Google+ is worthy of your time and attention? Not necessarily. The final piece of the puzzle that is essential in determining if it works for your business is all about the demographic. Not all industries are heavy Google+ users. If you’re looking to leverage a presence here, make sure the people you are most attempting to reach are not only present on Google+, but truly active. Since many still use their Google+ profiles for SEO validity, you’re wise to make sure your efforts will be received by your customers. If they’re on Google’s network, now you have the secret sauce to get their attention.

 

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15 Tips on How to Use Long-Tail Keywords in Your Web Content

Posted in Tips on 15 September 2014

Keywords continue to evolve as search engines become more precise in their mission to hand users the most relevant and highest quality results to their search queries. In recent months, we’ve heard a great deal about long-tail keywords. They’re practically the new “in” thing in the world of SEO and keyword based optimization.

But the question a lot of business owners and marketers are asking is, just how does one successfully use them in Web content? That’s what we’re here to assist you with, but before we dive in, let’s take a moment to define and explain exactly what these trendy keywords are.

What Is A Long-Tail Keyword?

It’s not a keyword with a long-tail. We know Google keeps naming its algorithms after wildlife, understandably so as sometimes the updates get pretty wild, but long-tail keywords have absolutely nothing to do with the animal kingdom—unless, of course, you’re niche centers around a zoo.

According to WordStream, long-tail keywords are the better way to connect with your audience. They are longer and more specific in nature than traditional keywords. In fact, they’re usually entire phrases popularly used by visitors when they are closer to a point-of-purchase. They know exactlywhat they’re after, which is why they enter a longer, more specific keyword phrase. Their goal is to find extremely relevant results.

For example, if I were in the market for a Toyota Camry, I would open Google and simply type, “Toyota Camry” into the search box. I’m thinking about buying a Camry, but I’m not sold on the idea quite yet. Therefore, I’m searching for general information.

As I grow more serious about buying a Camry, my search query evolves. I’m concerned about the safety of the vehicle because I’m a mom, and I want to know if the car is dependable. I now have two new, more specific search queries: “How safe is a Toyota Camry?” and “Is a Toyota Camry dependable?”

Let’s say that as I research, I discover that a specific model of the Toyota Camry meets my safety and dependability needs more than the rest. Suddenly, I’m on the brink of becoming a buyer and my search query grows even more specific. I next Google my specific desire: a “2014 Toyota Camry LX.” I might even add in the name of my city, a nearby city I will be visiting, or the state I live in to find local sellers with this exact model in stock.

In this example, the original, or traditional keyword, was “Toyota Camry.” All of my other queries were what we call long-tail keywords. According to Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, traditional keywords — the ones that have thousands of searches a day (aka “Toyota Camry”) — make up less than 30 percent of the searches performed on the Internet. The other 70 percent come from long-tail keywords.

Discovering Your Long-Tail Keywords

Perhaps the greatest and most time-consuming challenge of keywords is finding the right ones. You might be thinking back to your first ordeal of identifying the best keywords for your website, individual pages, blogs, and so on. It probably wasn’t fun, but that’s before you got to know a thing or two about keyword research, and it was also before you established a history of keywords that worked.

Knowing where and how to start is always 50 percent of the battle. Therefore, with that in mind, here are our recommendations for discovering your best long tail keywords:

  1. Use the search box on Google.com. Seriously. It sounds almost stupidly simple, but it works. It’s easy and effective. All you have to do is go to Google and start a search with a term related to your business, market, niche, produce, or service. Google will automatically start suggesting search terms, just as it does for real users on a hunt. The terms that pop are the ones you should strongly consider targeting because it’s highly likely they are commonly used.
  2. Examine your search query report. Your search query report is a fantastic resource for identifying long tail keywords. The report houses a list of search terms your site showed up for. It’s a prime place to spot those already in use long tails and expand on them.
  3. Use the free keyword tools that are available. Search Engine Land recommends three free keyword tools: Keyword EyeKeywordSpy, and SEMRUSH. You can leverage these tools to conduct detailed keyword research and even spy on your competitors to see just which long tail keywords are producing results. The information you glean can help you tailor some super strong keywords to your business.
  4. Think like a local user. One of the most talked about benefits of long-tail keywords is their ability to land you on the local scene. If your goal is to successfully market to local consumers, then you have to think like a local search engine user. Most of the time these people search with the addition of the name of the city or town they live in, or the closest metropolitan area. In both instances, these search terms equate to “long-tail geo targeted keywords.” Advertisers and marketers often overlook these keywords because they generate low-search volume. However, they are liquid gold to niche geographic areas.

Managing Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords will operate behind the scenes to a certain extent. However, they will also require natural incorporation into your copy and visible content. This is where these keywords get tricky. How do you incorporate them naturally without stuffing or including a phrase that just doesn’t read right? Thankfully, technology is on the side of copywriters everywhere. Here are the tips you need to know:

  1. Hiring an expert is a novel idea. Experienced industry copywriters make it a point to know the latest and greatest in the SEO world. It’s a bit of a requirement because keywords still play a prominent role in both SEO and copy. Expert copywriters know how to incorporate long tails into your copy naturally. They are invaluable, and they can remove the stress of writing and polishing that awesome copy you are going to need.
  2. Optimize your content specifically for long tail keywords. Again, hiring an expert copywriter can be a lifesaver in this department. In order for long tails to pack a punch, your content must be specifically optimized for them. Above all else, this optimization must appear and read naturally, otherwise it’ll automatically be labeled as “poor quality” and your search rankings will suffer. Long-tails can be included in everything from titles to copy and woven into your meta title and description tags if crafted properly.
  3. Post your content consistently. Leverage your blog. It’s a fantastic avenue for testing long tails because you can build an entire post around the keyword you’re considering. Incorporating your long tail keywords into your blogs and posting consistently is also a great way to build some SEO. You don’t have to post a great quantity as long as your post quality on a consistent basis. Updating your blog just a few times per week can cause a big reaction, so long as you continue the trend.
  4. Be sure copy length and keyword density is optimal. According to a QuickSprout study longer content is a positive. If possible, you should consider investing in pages of more than 800 words. Although keyword density isn’t a strict rule these days, you should still ensure that there are a decent number of keywords and variations throughout the page. Insert them naturally, and the total density won’t matter. Google wants to see quality above all else. There’s no such thing as a calculated and stringent keyword density today. So forget the math and instead focus on the ultimate investment: truly awesome and high quality copy.
  5. Turn to your customers for more keyword ideas. Your site should only be optimized for the keywords that truly matter to your business, and who better to hand you keyword ideas than your customers? How did they find you? What search terms lead them to your doorstep? You can get a great response by simply asking your customers these questions via a survey. It can be a great way of lighting up your social media channels and getting people involved in an active discussion. Once you’ve generated a response, research the terms your customers used to either find you or conduct research related to your business against your keyword tools. It’s highly likely you’ll be able to create some fresh, lucrative keywords from the exercise.

The Things You Don’t Want To Do

It’s important to realize that with power comes responsibility. Long-tail keywords are powerful optimization tools, but you must use them responsibly. Therefore, here’s what to avoid:

  1. Don’t use irrelevant keywords just for the heck of it. Now, I know that “benefits of online marketing” and “the ice bucket challenge” are wickedly popular long-tails right now. But if you’re a) not offering online marketing services or products, b) not actively participating in the ice bucket challenge, and c) cannot spin these topics to be completely relevant to your content, then these wickedly popular long-tails are completely useless. If you slip them into your site to boost rankings for the heck of it, you’re committing a classic black-hat SEO tactic called artificial inflation. You’re trying to gain rankings off of a popular search term that has absolutely nothing to do with your site. Don’t do it! You could be banned by Google.
  2. Don’t use any keyword that is a stretch. OK, so you’re business isn’t online marketing, but you use it and think other people should too. Great. Make a personal blog to share your personal business opinions from, but do not try to force it into your company blog. Every keyword should be 100 percent relevant and on topic for YOUR business. Don’t go off topic. It will not help your rankings.
  3. Don’t force it. Whatever you do, don’t force your long-tails into your copy. They can be adequately intermingled naturally, but forcing them in can be like trying to shove a square into a circle. Google and your audience don’t like brute force.
  4. Don’t get too specific. Yes, long-tails are by nature specific search terms. But don’t fall into the trap of getting too specific. While a long-tail with scalpel like precision will land you as number one on Google for a very, very, very specific phrase, it won’t do you a bit of good if no one is search for it. For example, if you aren’t in a major city, including your city name probably won’t be beneficial. Include the state or the neighboring metropolises, and then you’ve got something.

If Nothing Else…

…there are two final tips you simply cannot ignore. Ready? Write these down:

  1. Produce great content. The most effective content marketing and SEO strategy boils down to good old content. Your long-tails will only be as successful as your Web content allows. So invest in high quality, engaging, and compelling content. It’s worth every last penny.
  2. Be the provider of share worthy content. Social signals sway viewers immensely. Your long tails will drive a new wave of visitors to your website. Present them with strong, share worthy content—the kind that simply mustbe passed on—and while you’re at it, make it easy to share. Share worthy content gives your long tails the most mileage.

Congratulations. You are now armed with enough long tail keyword information to be dangerous. The question is will you apply these tips and give your competitors a run for their money while actively driving new consumers to your website?

Long tails just might be the way of the future, as users grow ever more apt at pinpointing their exact search needs. Will you be ahead of the tide or have to surf fast to catch up?

 

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Apple Sets Record, Sells Out of iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in 24 Hours

Posted in News on 15 September 2014
Apple has set a new record. The Cupertino company received more than four million pre-orders for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in just 24 hours.
 
The high demand means the orders placed so far have surpassed Apple’s pre-order supply. As a result some iPhone enthusiasts will have to wait until October for their new Smartphones.
 
Apple said “a significant amount” of iPhone orders will be delivered on schedule, however. Deliveries begin on Friday and will be carried out throughout September.
 
There will also be iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices available for walk-in customers Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. local time, at Apple’s retail stores.
 
Both phones will also be available Friday at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless as well as additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
 
“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.  “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”
 
The new handsets are the first iPhones to boast larger screens.
 
The devices sport curved edges, a thinner design than previous models and a new tool to make it easier to use the phone with just one hand.
 
The new iPhones come with the all-new A8 chip which offers faster performance, less battery drain and the ability to play console-class 3D games.
 
Users can also use Apple Pay via the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to make secure payments in stores.
 

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