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8 (Somewhat) Easy Ways to Promote Blog Content

  
  
  

Screen Shot 2014 10 22 at 12.42.00 PMI don’t think there is a blog in existence that is totally satisfied with the amount of traffic, social shares and engagement it receives.   

We’d all like to think it’s as easy as “if we write it, they will come,” but it doesn’t always work that way. Yes, some traffic is gained just by creating awesome content that’s found by readers through organic search. But in order to achieve the kind of traffic you think your content deserves, blog posts need promotion. 

There are MANY different strategies regarding blog promotion, some paid, some unpaid, and some more difficult than others. For this post, I’m going to assume that you don’t have a budget and that running a blog isn’t your full time job. So below are a handful of not terribly time consuming (or easily automated) promotional activities that can help take your content to the next level. 

Internal Promotion

  • Guest posts - Build authority for your blog by inviting experts to guest post or participate in Q&As. This tactic not only provides new and interesting content for your blog, but it can open you up to a whole new audience when your guest blogger promotes the post for him/herself. 
  • SEO - Paying attention to keywords and making sure to use them in headlines, tags, and throughout your content should be imperative for everyone. Getting found by the right audiences, via the right searches, is always a primary goal. 
  • Set up your site for success
    • Encourage site crawl - Include call-to-action buttons, links to other content, and a side bar of links to popular and recent posts is a great way to encourage lengthy and repeat visits.
    • Social Sharing - Make it easy for readers to share your content across their social channels while they’re consuming it. They easier you make it, the more likely they’ll share it.
    • Create an army - Make sure your company is aware of the content you’re producing and using it to the best advantage. For instance, sales teams can share content with potential customers, executives can use it to raise their individual profiles, PR teams can use it as thought leadership pitch topics, and so on. Don’t forget: All employees should have blog links in their email signatures. 

 

External Promotion

  • Guest posting - Build authority for your experts by finding opportunities to guest post or participate in Q&As on blogs that hit the readers you’re looking for. This tactic can open you up to a whole new audience and create authority for your experts. Additionally, many industries have newsletters and other publications that take contributed content, even if it’s been posted elsewhere. Seek these out and submit your best content for syndication. 
  • Social channels- This one is a no brainer. Most bloggers are already using their social channels to re-post their content, but there is always more that could be done. Here are some helpful hints on a few social channels:
    • LinkedIn - Blog posts can be shared in personal status updates, on company pages, as full posts using the publishing platform, and/or within specific niche or industry groups.
    • Twitter - By now most bloggers are at least posting their latest content on Twitter when it goes live, usually in an automated fashion. But this tactic alone isn’t going to get your blog to the next level. First, take the time to engage, share content other than your own blog posts, and become an influencer yourself. Additionally, taking advantage of prepping automated posts to go live at later times (weeks, even months later) can give your content a longer shelf life and hit potential readers that may have missed it the first time. 
    • Facebook - Similar to Twitter content, Facebook content can be re-posted multiple times and in different formats, including images and video.  
    • Google+ - As Jennifer explains here, Google+ may not be where you spend a ton of time, but Google OWNS search - so put your content here to get it indexed. 
    • Bookmarking sites - This may seem ridiculously old school, but it does still work! Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Scoop.it, and Delicious all provide easy ways to bookmark and tag content so it can be easily found and shared with readers. 
    • Commenting - Commenting on relevant blogs is a great way to create relationships with other bloggers and readers. This may not be practical for all business bloggers, but it could connect you with influencers you didn’t even know existed. However, make sure you are on-topic and not overly self-promotional or you can do more harm than good.

One final piece of advice here: When you’re knee-deep in analytics, it’s easy to get frustrated by underwhelming blog performance. But sometimes a simple change of mindset makes a huge difference. Taking the time to really think about your visitors as human beings can help you analyze their needs more effectively and decipher what they’re telling you through their visits, searches, and clicks. 

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Takeaways from AUSA

  
  
  

Last week, thanks to our client Rapiscan Systems, I had the opportunity to attend the AUSA 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition. If you’ve never attended AUSA, let me paint a picture for you. This event is massive. Every area of the convention center in DC was packed with 30,000 attendees including senior members of the US and foreign militaries, DoD officials, congressmen, and representatives from companies with the latest in defense technology.

The three-day event featured more than 500 industry and military exhibits showcasing the latest and greatest technology in the defense industry. I was in awe considering the logistics around filling the room with helicopters, tanks, machine guns, and (shameless plug) powerful dense cargo screening solutions.

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AUSA really got me thinking about trade-show preparation in general. So frequently we see big tech companies spend thousands of dollars on trade-shows to maximize the reach of product news and to interact directly with their consumer base. The question is, are these companies really getting everything they can from the experience? Here are a few tips to consider that will make that $50 per square foot booth worth it:

Plan as early as possible: Planning for the big trade-shows often begins a year before the event and can be fiercely competitive. Events like AUSA are so popular that a set number of factors, such as how long you’ve been an AUSA member, are considered in determining booth placement. Walking into an event organized and ready to commit to the next year will often ensure that you get a better deal and better placement in the show. After you have a spot secured you should start to plan your announcements for the year. Being able to make a big announcement or demo an exciting new product at the show will significantly increase traffic to your booth. 

Write a good pitch: If your trade-show pitch strategy involves sending reporters a boilerplate and booth number, it’s really time to reevaluate. Consider this: each of the other 500 exhibitors is fighting for the same column inches from the same reporters you’re talking to. Unfortunately, unless you can offer up an interesting product announcement or a genuine story to care about there’s a good chance your email is going straight to the trash. Take the time to research the reporters who are most likely to be interested in what you’re showing off. Writing a short but tailored pitch just to reporters who might cover your news will usually garner better results than sending off a boilerplate to the 80 attending reporters. 

Twitter is your friend:  I cannot stress how important social media (especially Twitter) has become, not just at trade-shows but at every event your company attends. Being able to post live updates of where you are and what you’re doing has become an invaluable tool, not to mention a free way to gain exposure to everyone paying attention to the event hashtag. Before the show, make sure you follow the attending reporters (that you have already researched and pitched) and pay attention to what they’re talking about. Don’t be shy about interacting with reporters if you have something intelligent or interesting to respond to one of their tweets. Additionally, follow any influencers or potential customers that you want to visit your booth so your name is on their mind. During the show:  Update and monitor constantly. Post pictures, post where you are, post your news, post your booth number, post frequently but most importantly post with the event hashtag. Trade-shows and events are very good about live-streaming tweets with projectors in showrooms and even on TV’s in meeting areas, and you want your name on that screen. The difference between tweeting "AUSA" and "#AUSA2014" is the difference between hundreds and thousands of people seeing your post.

 

Visiting AUSA and getting a behind the scenes look at what goes into preparing for a trade-show gave me much better insight as to why companies are willing to invest so much time, energy, and money into participating. My biggest takeaways were that A) organization and preparation are king and B) whoever figured out how to get the tank and helicopter into the convention center deserves a medal.

So what do you think? Have you participated in a trade-show recently? Share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments! 

Direction for the New Cision/Vocus Merger Revealed

  
  
  

Back in June, I wrote a post about the merger of two of the most well known and rivaling toolsin the PR industry: Vocus and Cision. In the post, I offered up my advice to Cision chief Peter Granat, VoCision’s now CEO, on what he should keep in mind as he established a new direction for the company.  In case you missed it you can read it here: VoCision: The Merger of Two Well-Known PR Tools

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Even though the merger is still in the very infant stages, we are learning more about plans for how the new company will operate and have been given some clues about what the new powerhouse tool might look like.  In fact, within a timespan of about a month, Washington Business Journal reporter Bill Flook published two articles titled “Vocus' new focus: CEO Peter Granat maps out a post-merger future for the PR software powerhouse,” and “Goodbye, Vocus: Merger Claims a Venerable DC Brand,” both providing details straight from Granat about where things are headed.

Here’s a recap: 

  • The company will take on the Cision name (Granat was former CEO at Cision)    
  • The company will be headquartered in Chicago. 
  • The company, post Vocus layoffs, is sitting at about 1,500 employees and Granat said he could not infer about future layoffs at this point
  • In September, Vocus and Cision announced they will acquire Seattle-based Visible Technologies, a social analytics platform and consultancy
  • Granat said the main focus of the business “will be around the top of the marketing funnel…where brand, reputation, awareness, buzz are built, and really all of those attributes around the brand.” (Taking them further from the former lead gen/ sales focus of Vocus)

The announcement from Granat focused mostly on the organizational structure, rather than the capabilities to assist with PR efforts I was hoping for.  However, Flook did mention that the company hopes expand and see growth in additional services like content marketing and social to address the evolving PR landscape.

Either way, once the plans are even further unveiled, they will surely impact how we provide valuable editorial information to our clients.  Now, having less diversity in choosing between two big players in the space, most agencies will at least be trying out the new Cision.  This means there will be a unification of data so more agencies will work with the same data.

Additionally, with a monopoly in the space, will this lead to higher costs and lower quality? It will be interested to see if other options emerge in this space, but for now the only big alternative seems to be Meltwater. 

 

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Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Organization – A Beginner’s Guide to Google+

  
  
  

My quest to break down the top social media platforms continues this month with Google+. In case you missed any of my past posts, I’ve already taken a look at LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  

Now, let’s focus on Google+. It’s a bit of a bumpy ride.

The basics: Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. Per Wikipedia, “Google has described Google+ as a ‘social layer’ that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author.”

Demographics: According to this blog post from Jeff Bullas, getting exact user demographic data from Google+ is nearly impossible, yet he still managed to pull the following numbers together:

 

  • There are now over 1 billion users with Google+ enabled accounts
  • It has reached 359 million monthly active users
  • Google+ is growing at 33% per annum.
  • The 45 to 54 year old bracket increased its usage on Google+ by 56% since 2012  

While Google may not release their numbers, globalwebindex recently completed a survey of more than 42,000 adults aged 16-64 in 32 countries and compiled this infographic of the results:

Google+ Users

One thing to watch out for with Google+ is that since it is basically now built into all of Google’s properties, the 540 million monthly active user number could be inflated. So what constitutes a Google property? Per this Marketing Land article from Oct. 2013, it “could include leaving a comment on a blog or website that has Google+ comments embedded, commenting on YouTube, or clicking the +1 button on an article or some other web content.”

Access: As with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, Google+ can be accessed either via a mobile app or directly through your web browser. While this data is a bit old, per engadget, in June 2012 Google+ was touting that it had more mobile users than desktop. However, according to this Digital Trends article from November 2013, Google+ user numbers tell an incomplete story. Remember that caveat above about Google’s numbers being a bit inflated because they take in to account all the different properties that Google owns and operates? The same is true for calculating the number of people who access Google+ on a mobile device.

How it’s being used: In theory Google+ is being used in a similar manner to Facebook. Its users (whether individuals or enterprise) are using the service to share status updates, news, and photos.

One differentiator between Google+ and other platforms, namely Facebook, is the use of Circles. Circles allow users to organize people into groups or lists for sharing information. And, unlike on Facebook, you don’t have to be “friends” with someone to add them to a Circle. I’d say that Google+ Circles are where Twitter followers and Facebook lists intersect. An added benefit of Circles over Facebook lists is that once you’ve added someone to a Circle you can participate in Hangouts with that person. Google+ users can create Circles of other users based on vertical, industry, content, etc.

Like Facebook, Google+ users are able to interact directly with any brand or company that has a page on the platform. Also like Facebook, this access is a double-edged sword. While it can be great if managed properly, it can also be disastrous in the event that someone has a complaint they want to share and ends up feeling it is not being handled properly.  

Where Google+ really trumps the competition is that it is “such an inherent part of the Google algorithm,” meaning that content that gets posted there gets indexed by Google much quicker than content from other social networks. In fact, due to the privacy restrictions on other social networks it’s entirely possible that what you post there will never get indexed – meaning it will never show up in a Google search.

Analytics: From what I can see, Google+ analytics are somewhat lacking. On a basic level you can see who is following you and who has +1’d your posts. Another measurement is to see who has added you to Circles as users can only see your posts after they’ve added you to a Circle. Truthfully, I don’t have much access to what other kind of analytics information is available in Google+ for companies, but this post from Jeffalytics has a good breakdown of how to measure activity within Google+.

Pros: Due to its integration with the rest of Google’s properties, creating and maintaining a Google+ account can be beneficial for your business – allowing the content you post there to be rapidly indexed and easily found when someone searches for your company (assuming they are using Google Search). This is actually a really big pro for Google+ and one of the main reasons I would advocate for why you need to use it. Additionally, Google+ Hangouts are a free alternative to hosting a webinar and make it possible to connect with up to 10 others on an active video stream.

Cons: Despite its own reports that it’s thriving, actual user numbers haven’t been updated in almost a year and even when numbers are provided, many question how accurate they really are since practically every person who uses Gmail could be considered part of the Google+ Stream. There has also been a lot of chatter about Google doing away with Google+ since Vic Gundotra, the founding father of the social channel, left the company earlier this year.  

Final thoughts: I think like all social networks you have to take the good with the bad. In the case of Google+ the good is the rapid indexing of posts while the bad is that it’s not nearly as thriving as other platforms. Personally, I have an account and Google does force all of the photos I upload into their cloud over to the Google+ platform, but I don’t think I personally know anyone who is actively using the service. However, despite my lack of enthusiasm for the platform, I do believe that if your company maintains a Facebook page it should also maintain a Google+ account, if for no other reason than its ability to integrate easily into Google’s portfolio of properties and into Google Search. If you’re actively posting comments and content to Facebook it will only take an additional few minutes to post the same content to Google+ and what you may lack in active engagement you will likely make up for with the indexing that Google provides. 

Bisnow Honors Local Women in the 2014 Power Women in DC Tech Awards

  
  
  

67284 1413458655 PowerWomen groupshot medium Last night, I attended Bisnow Ventures’ first-ever Trending40 event, honoring and celebrating local women in technology who are launching or running innovative tech firms.  The company featured forty of these women in their online tech newsletter leading up to the event that was held at Disruption Corporation’s office in Crystal City, VA.

 Amazon’s Teresa Carlson was on hand to welcome the women and the nominees were each presented with a plaque naming them as a 2014 Power Woman in DC Tech. The turnout was fantastic; in fact there were so many attendees that it was hard to hear each other while networking and chatting!

 At the event I got to talk with Lucie Leblois, co-founder and CEO of Crumbdrop, she said: "Tonight's nominees are an impressive group of women and I'm flattered to be recognized among them. Events like this are important for the next generation of women to see what a career in technology is like or where the entrepreneurial mindset can take them."

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 Women in technology has been a hot topic for some time with the conversations ranging from women deserving more respect to pay discrepancies and also a little more positive - how to help women succeed in today’s tech world.  It’s no secret that women are lagging behind men in technology jobs.  According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s recent statistics, women held 56% of professional occupations in the 2013 U.S. workforce, but filled just 26% of the U.S. computing jobs.

 History shows that not enough was being done to encourage women at a young age to engage with computer science and technology. The Bureau for Labor Statistics reports that by 2020, there will be 1.4-billion computer science jobs available and not nearly enough people to fill them.  Companies like Google and Yahoo! and  organizations like and Code.org are now launching initiatives to further promote computer science education.

 The Washington region is at the forefront some of those initiatives with programs like TechWomen.org (a U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program) and Women in Technology (WiT) offering support of programs and resources for women in the technology industry.

"Bisnow's Trending 40 is a great way to recognize many of the women who are paving the way in technology and entrepreneurship," said Shana Glenzer – Social Marketing VP, SocialRadar.  "I'm honored to be among the nominees and thrilled to see the Washington area embrace and support women in tech through events like these. Together I’m hopeful we can lower barriers to entry and provide opportunities for all women interested in technology."

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 As a woman who has worked for technology companies, now working for a woman-owned firm that represents many technology companies (a few of the nominees, in fact), I was really excited to see this event pulled together.  I’ve had my eyes and ears glued to the DC tech scene for the past few years and enjoy learning about how these women are pushing the boundaries and giving new light to a predominately-male industry.  Here at SpeakerBox, we are constantly looking to build relationships with companies that are changing the industry for the better and are thrilled to see so many of our peers recognized for their incredible minds and dedication to their passion.

 As mentioned before, Bisnow profiled each of these women and I encourage you to click through the profiles (linked below) to learn more about these rock-star women.

 Here are the 2014 Bisnow Trending40 nominees:

 

Insights from the 2015 Content Marketing Report

  
  
  

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Fall must be here.  There’s a slight nip in the air and MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute just released the 2015 Content Marketing Report, the fifth version of this annual research project.  This year, more than 5,000 global B2B marketers were surveyed.

They’ve modified some of the questions in this year’s report – but the insights are just as interesting as in previous years.

I. Content Marketing and Effectiveness

86% of B2B marketers use content marketing.  This is down from last year’s 93%, but the researchers have changed the definition to reflect the maturity of the discipline.  Last year’s definition focused on the creation and distribution of content to attract/retain customers.  This year’s definition is, “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

83% of respondents have a content marketing strategy, but only 35% document their strategy.  And despite the popularity of content marketing, only 38% of content marketers consider their program to be effective, down from 42% in 2014.

One of the big findings of this year’s survey is that the 35% of marketers who document their strategy have more effective content marketing programs than those who don’t.  That rings true to me.  We at SpeakerBox are in the middle of updating our documented content marketing strategy (thanks Ali Robinson) to focus on fewer but higher quality pieces.  Our company goals align with that strategy and so far, everyone feels accountable and is excited for our new marketing challenge. Stay tuned for some surprises in 2015.

How exactly do marketers determine the effectiveness of their content marketing programs?  63% of marketers rely on website traffic as their top metric followed by sales lead quality and higher conversion rates.  Though web traffic may be a key indicator for some companies that are able to quantitatively tie web traffic to demos and downloads – others may be using web traffic as a generic catch-all. And if that’s true, then it’s not surprising that only 21% of marketers are successful at tracking the ROI of their content marketing program. (These numbers increase to 35% for those with a documented content marketing strategy.)

II. Content Execution

In spite of these concerns about ROI, marketers are spending more money to produce more content than ever before.  In fact:

  • 70% of marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago. 
  • 42% of content marketers publish new content daily or several times a week to support their content marketing program. 
  • The average organization spends 28% of its overall marketing budget (not including salaries) on content marketing
  • 55% plan to increase content marketing spending in the next 12 months.
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A lot of energy and time are going toward these initiatives, which brings me to my next point.  The only way to achieve this frantic pace is to create a dedicated content marketing group – and 47% of organizations have done just that.  The rise of these dedicated groups may also be due to the popularity of marketing automation tools and the need for content to feed the marketing automation beast.

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In terms of content distribution, the average marketer uses 13 content marketing tactics.  The four most popular tactics are: social media, e-newsletters, articles on a company website and blogs.  Infographics had the biggest jump in usage from 51% to 62%, but ranked 11th overall.  Illustrations/Photos, a new choice this year, were leveraged by 69% of content marketers.  I’ve written before about the importance of visuals in the PR process, so I’m heartened to see that marketers are taking big steps to create visual content that can stand alone or accompany text-heavy content.

When asked which marketing tactics are the most effective, the number one response for the fifth year in a row is in-person events (69%).  The next three are webinars (64%), videos (60%) and blogs (60%). 

III. How Content Marketing is Changing

Though marketers struggle to produce engaging content on a consistent basis, many marketers are trying to up their game.  It’s not enough to simply produce and distribute content, today’s marketers are also focused on: creating higher quality content (69%), repurposing content (63%), creating visual content (60%), better understanding what content is most effective (55%), organizing content on their site (62%) and creating a greater variety of content (54%).

Clearly, there’s no rest for the weary content marketer, which may be why the challenge of finding a trained (and willing) content marketer jumped from 10% to 32% in 2015.

Take a look at the full report for additional thoughts on social media that aren’t covered here.  Also, be sure to check out the “Profile of a Best in Class B2B Content Marketer.”  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the full report.

- Katie

Katie Hanusik Celebrates 10 Years at SpeakerBox Communications!

  
  
  

081Our own Katie Hanusik reached her 10-year milestone at SpeakerBox this past weekend. To commemorate the occassion, the Washington Nationals tried to top her by playing the longest baseball game in Major League Baseball post-season history :)

I've had the pleasure of working with Katie since she started October 4, 2004. She started in a business development role for her first few years with us and then made the transition to the account oversight side of our business in the Fall of 2008. She knew our clients and team like the back of her hand, so it was a natural fit and she's embraced and been wildly successful in the role ever since.

Katie is probably one of the most likeable people you will ever meet. She is a really unique combination of practical, straight-forward, honest, kind, thoughful, and caring and also has a great sense of humor. Her approach to work and life is one that inspires the best in everyone. We've shared a wide range of successes and challenges, and through it all she's been a dedicated cheerleader and teammate.

The inside scoop is that she's most driven by clients and technologies that would cause most people to run scared in the other direction. She loves a good challenge, and our team and our clients are all stronger for her tenacity and drive toward results. Oh, she also makes a mean quinoa salad.

She's so great that I've long since looked past her allegiance to Duke basketball. Even the best people have their flaws, right? ;)

Happy 10th Anniversary, Katie! Thanks for everything! We are so grateful to have you on our team.

Google Has World's LAMEST Response to Apple Privacy Attack

  
  
  

Eric Schmidt"Now, Rebecca, if you look closely, you'll notice that any computer running Google -- and we were very careful about this -- ANY computer running Google can be turned off, or even crushed with cinder blocks if you're concerned about privacy."

 

Regular Sounding Board readers will recall we recently covered Tim Cook's uncharacteristically vicious attack on personalized advertising -- which is of course the life blood of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and pretty much everyone else these days west of Korea.

To recap, Cook (basically) said that if "a company" makes its money by collecting a user's personal data, then the user -- for all intents and purposes -- has become the product.

Well... Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt wasn't about to take that lying down.

Instead, he reponded to those remarks from what can only be described as a seated position on ABC's Real Biz program with Rebecca Jarvis last week:

"I think that’s not quite right. The fact of the matter is Google allows you to delete the information that we know about you and in fact, Google is so concerned about privacy that you could in fact, if you’re using Chrome for example, you can browse in what is called ‘incognito mode’ where no one sees anything about you. So I just don’t think that’s right.”

Now, I know I'm sometimes quick to board the hyperbole train to exaggeration town. But this may honestly be the worst rebuttal in the history of rebuttlery. Am I wrong?

What Schmidt is saying is that sure, Google is "designed" to collect as much personal user data as it possibly can and then to sell that data immediately and indiscriminantly to a horde of smarmy and possibly Nazi-affiliated advertisiers -- but you can always turn that part off.

Except, no, we can't all turn it off. Because if we all turned it off, Google's business model would collapse -- which is the whole point of Tim Cook's attack.

It would be like GM saying, "If you're worried about safety, just disable and replace the ignition system. No one's honestly suggesting you drive these cars the way they're BUILT."

Now I'm not saying that Google is evil for collecting and selling data.

Before today, I might have even defended Google's practices by pointing to the company's transparency. This transaction was never intended to be secret -- Google gives you free stuff in exchange for your data.

So why is Schmidt now pretending the whole thing was all just a big misunderstanding? Probably because he was instructed to do so by his crack team of crisis communications communicators.

So here's Jonathan's first rule of non-idiotic crisis comms: Take your lumps.

Yes, Google, you comb through people's personal emails, and it's creepy as hell. You also provide us with some pretty amazing software for zero dollars, so we understand why you have to be a creep about it.

Enough with the obfuscation. It's exhausting, and it does literally nothing for my attachment upload speeds.

 

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Tour de Code: Calling All Women Who Code and Design (Or Want To...)

  
  
  

rosietheriveterI'm part of the founding group of DCFemTech, a collective of 25+ women in technology organizations in the Washington DC/Metro area that formed earlier this year to worktogether to collaborate, support and streamline technology education and events in the community.

The gender gap in tech is real. Women make up only 26% of the computing workforce, which has large technology companies focused on improving their diversity numbers. Big challenges have been identified, from pipeline to retention issues, and the good news is that big opportunities exist as well. There are myriad programs to help women develop their technical skills and determine whether to change careers, advance in their current job, or better understand others working in their tech company.

This coming Thursday night, from 6-8pm at Google (25 Mass Ave., NW), there is going to be a Meet & Mingle to get to know the leaders of the organizations that comprise DCFemTech, and for the community to learn more about more ways to get involved in the growth and support of women in tech in the DC area. The current list of DCFemTech affiliated organizations can be found here: http://dcfemtech.github.io/organizations.html.

Post the kick-off on Thursday, there is a full month of "Tour de Code" programs that are planned around the region and will be hosted by organizations in the DCFem Tech collective.

Tour de Code will highlight regional opportunities in an easy-to-consume schedule with tech events ranging in focus from design to CSS to JavaScript. The events are being hosted in October across the DC Metro region by DCFemTech affiliated or supportive organizations such as Women Who Code, Startup Weekend, Code for Progress and more.

Stephanie Nguyen, Co-Founder of Silica Labs and DCFemTech organizer will tell you that when she was looking for opportunities to broaden her technical skills in DC, she was surprised by the fact that these communities were collaborative rather than competitive. Tour de Code is an opportunity to spotlight the numerous support mechanisms in place for women in tech and hopefully give our organizations a bigger voice than they may have on their own.

This promises to be an inspirational October filled with workshops and events to help beginners learn how to code and design! Follow @DCFemTech on Twitter for all of the details.

So, if you are a women interested in coding and design (from beginner to advanced), you have the entire month of October, to get involved. The  schedule can be found here: http://dcfemtech.github.io/tourdecode.html

Hope to see you at one or many of these awesome events!

How to Promote an Infographic in Eight Easy Steps

  
  
  

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Lately it seems that infographics are on every marketer’s must-do list.  However, creating an infographic is only half the challenge, and many marketers struggle with how best to promote and leverage this content asset for lead generation and awareness building.

We’ve compiled this handy list to help with infographic promotion.  Our tips are organized by category: owned media (properties that you control), earned media (PR) and paid media (sponsored posts or paid content discovery tools).

Owned Media

1. Post the infographic on a landing page on your website.  Allow people to download and embed the infographic to encourage social sharing.

2. Share on social media. Use one frame or data point from the infographic as a teaser to drive downloads.  Create a series of tweets and/or Facebook posts that highlight data from the infographic.

  • Promote the infographic daily for the first week and then 1-2 times per week for a 3-month period.
  • Remember to thank everyone that tweets or shares your infographic.
  • Ask employees to share the infographic on their own LinkedIn pages or personal blogs and retweet the company news.
  • Post your infographic on SlideShare – remember SlideShare accepts formats other than PowerPoint.
  • Write a blog post (or two or three) expanding on some of the themes mentioned in the infographic.
  • Use ClickToTweet in your blog post so readers can easily tweet key data points.
3. Promote the infographic in your newsletter.

Earned Media

4. These days, many companies are issuing news releases to announce infographics. (Here’s an example from SCORE about crowdfunding that was issued today).  It’s not cheap, but if you believe your infographic is really of value, then it’s worth considering.

5. Pitch the infographic to your target media.  Though we’ve gotten feedback from some editors that they won’t run vendor infographics, they are still popular among bloggers.  For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note feature infographic, issued today, has been picked up many, many times.

6. Post the infographic to sharing sites such as: Daily InfographicInfographic Directory and Cool Infographics, though be forewarned that you may open yourself up to negative comments about the design.

Paid Media

7. Consider content discovery services such as OutBrain or Taboola  to maximize the reach of your infographic.

8. Write a sponsored post for an industry blog.  You may have to hunt a bit for these opportunities, but they are definitely out there.

Good luck with your infographic. I hope these tips will help you maximize the ROI of your content projects.  Feel free to share any other suggestions in the comments.

- Katie

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