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The performance Marketing Network

Native advertising, the new marketing workhorse

Marketers in the US and Europe continue to flock to native and programmatic advertising formats.

Native advertising is fast becoming a powerful digital marketing strategy, as traditional display and banner ads become less and less effective. With internet users increasingly ignoring overt sales tactics, average click-through rates (CTRs) for display ads have fallen over time to 0.17 percent, according to Google. In contrast, native ads enjoy much higher CTR and conversion rates, because they offer visitors more than just a hard sell.

A native ad is a piece of content that looks and feels like an editorial article. Advanced algorithms enable advertisers to dynamically position their native ads next to similar or related content on the web. Consumers are more likely to engage with a sponsored article that provides them with relevant new information than with a traditional banner ad, and they are more likely to share it with friends.

Website publishers can customize ad widgets on their site so the ads blend in seamlessly with their regular content. This increases CTR for advertisers — driving as much as purchase intent and brand affinity — and enables publishers to monetize their web traffic more effectively. CTRs for premium native ads can be two to three times higher than for banner, rich media or sponsorship ads, and mobile devices enjoy up to 4x higher CTRs than traditional, non-native display ads, according to the most recent Business Insider reports.

More than half the apps on Facebook’s Audience Network are now using native ads exclusively, and according to BI Intelligence Forecasts, native advertising will account for 74 percent of total display ad revenues by 2021, up from 56 percent in 2016.

The rise of programmatic and RTB

Digital ads are increasingly being sold through programmatic platforms, where algorithms determine the best target sites for ads, depending on a consumer’s interests, location and browsing history. According to Business Insider, programmatic transactions represent a majority (52 percent) of non-search digital ad spend in the US, and the percentage is growing at around 20 percent annually.

Real-time bidding (RTB) — where digital ads are auctioned off in milliseconds before a page loads — is the fastest-growing type of programmatic advertising. RTB spending is growing even faster than programmatic advertising in general, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 24 percent expected through 2020. By year-end 2020, US-based RTB revenue is expected to surpass $26 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2015, Business Insider reports.

European RTB adoption lags that in the US but is now growing fast, led by the UK. International Data Corporation predicts European RTB spending will grow from a projected $710.3 million in 2016 to $2.7 billion in 2018.

Demand-side platforms (DSPs) facilitate RTB for buyers, brands and advertisers looking to extend their advertising reach. DSPs automate the ad-buying process by providing access to vast amounts of data from multiple sources, resulting in a more efficient, targeted and economic ad buy. In a matter of milliseconds, a DSP will analyze the data and determine which ad impressions are worth bidding on, based on an advertiser’s targeting requirements.

Supply-side platforms (SSPs), on the other hand, enable publishers to manage their advertising space inventory and fill it with ads that will generate additional revenue. SSPs enable publishers to leverage data they have about users at the ad impression level, providing more targeted information for potential ad buyers.


If you build it well, they will engage

The ultimate key to success with native advertising is to deliver engaging content that will provide value to the reader. Unlike straight display advertising that affords a very short window of time to grab attention, native ads offer the potential of longer user engagement.

When done well, native advertising can deliver a targeted, relevant experience that will enhance brand awareness and generate new prospects. When done poorly, however, it can have a negative impact on both the brand advertiser and the platform or publisher delivering the ad.

Case study: Adnow

Adnow is an international native advertising company providing services and tools to both buyers and sellers of ad space. Adnow works with 150,000 partners in 107 countries, displays five billion impressions a month on desktop and mobile and has over 900 million unique visitors each month.

Using RTB, Adnow’s native advertising platform enables advertisers to strategically position their native ad content where their target consumers are most likely to see it. Advertisers create a campaign and select the rate they are willing to pay, and the system searches for the right placement of the ads at the rate indicated. Ads are then selected according to the visitor’s interests and website topic and based on the targeting criteria set by the advertiser. By displaying ads on websites with relevant content, advertisers are able to target an already engaged audience — and because it merges with the website’s content, users are more likely to trust the ad, which therefore increases CTR.

On the flip side, publishers monetize traffic on their websites, blogs and apps by placing fully customizable native ad widgets on their websites. Publishers determine fonts, colors, the size of the ads and the number of ads in a column and row, configuring the widgets to match the interface of their site. The more integrated the ads, the more likely visitors are to click on them, and the more the publishers will earn. Publishers receive weekly payouts starting at $20 paid via PayPal, Wire or Payoneer and can receive their first payouts within a week of opening an account.

High-quality traffic ensures higher CTR

Adnow blocks the use of internet bots to fake traffic volumes, ensuring advertisers see only high-quality traffic. This might make traffic volumes look smaller than with other providers, but it leads to much higher click-through and conversion rates: the average CTR for native ads on Adnow is 1.5 percent. It also makes sure that advertisers only pay for genuine leads. Artificially inflated/fake traffic might look good on the surface, but conversion rates will be close to zero.

Advertisers can closely track their campaigns using a unique Macro ID, as well as add specific sites to black or white lists. Adnow’s customer care team is on hand to handle any issues. The cost per click is low, and advertisers enjoy a low minimum deposit threshold, making native ad campaigns accessible to firms with smaller budgets. Users can also set daily budgets to avoid overspending.

Adnow has a growing network of partners and publishers around the world, enabling global coverage. The network is open to non-English sites, and users are given a personal account manager with local language support. If desired, AdNow also gives users recommendations for creating high-converting landing pages and helps firms with their design and advertising strategy.

The set-up process can be quick and hassle-free, as there are no code conflicts with other ad systems — which means publishers can use it in conjunction with other providers if they choose, to maximize their earnings. Ad are pre-moderated and go through a safety checking process, and publishers can track their revenue and performance in real time via the publisher dashboard. A referral program enables publishers to earn extra income when their visitors sign up as Adnow customers.


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The performance marketing network - blog

Influencers, in-store shopping and more: 5 affiliate marketing trends for 2017

What can we expect to see in affiliate marketing this year? From the continued rise of influencers to harnessing data, columnist Adam Weiss lays out five trends that will dominate 2017.

Now that we are a few weeks into the New Year, it’s a great time to recognize what affiliate marketing trends from last year might follow us into 2017.

I was struck by the recent eMarketer webinar when they announced that this was the year that US digital ad spending surpassed TV ad spending. Now, that is a huge coup for the industry, and as a digital marketer, one that is a milestone for me.

What are some of the changes that could shape the industry in the near future? For affiliate marketing, I’ve outlined five trends that will continue to rise to the forefront in 2017.

1. Influencers

There is no doubt that we will see the continued rise of influencers in 2017. eMarketer estimates that in 2016, influencer marketing revenues on Instagram alone will total more than $570 million. That suggests this space is easily a multibillion-dollar industry right now, and it’s likely to grow.

Working with influencers is like having your own private army of brand ambassadors. According to our network data, fashion influencers increased their orders for luxury goods at a rate of 35 percent in 2016. Luxury advertisers have a lot of room for growth from these partnerships, as many shoppers use influencers to gain exposure to new products and brands.

Another critical component to influencer growth will be the ability of networks to create tools that make it easy for influencers, particularly for nascent publishers, to create beautiful product showcases for the brands they love.

In 2017, as advertisers make a concerted effort to build out their programs and networks enhance their platforms, it will be a win-win for everyone. Influencers can bring their followers a personalized selection of products (while using best practices to properly label their posts); brands can create a dialog with their customers and make new connections; and most importantly, consumers will benefit from a curated review of products with content that is detailed and beautifully displayed.

2. Driving offers to consumers who shop in-store

Networks will continue to make it easier for publishers to deliver offers and savings to consumers no matter where they shop. Many people still like to shop at a physical store, especially for certain products that customers prefer to see before they buy.

Technology will improve the ways that publishers drive in-store offers. For example, card-linked offers, (known as CLOs) will become more popular in 2017. Ebates (disclosure: Ebates is owned by Rakuten), TopCashback and others are sites that allow members to link their credit card and activate offers from select retailers. When the purchase is made in store using the linked credit card, the member receives a rebate.

Publishers will work with brands to provide more opportunities for consumers to activate offers across their preferred stores, both online and in physical shops.

3. Tracking performance

Advertisers will close the loop on tracking. Cross-device tracking is no longer a nice-to-have feature, but a foundational component for analyzing performance.

Additionally, the ability to track which online publishers drive consumers to convert in-store will be critical to truly measure success.

Similarly, as more brands prioritize building dedicated mobile apps, publishers can be employed to encourage app downloads and in-app purchases. Having tracking in place to capture these mobile conversions will be integral when analyzing mobile app performance.

4. Understanding the story behind your data

Next year will continue to be about harnessing data — from using attribution to recognizing how affiliates contribute at each stage of the funnel to using data across channels to better your display and paid search campaigns.

Most importantly, identifying trends in your data that tell the bigger story about your customer. For instance, when we looked at consumer behavior over Cyber Weekend, we saw the hourly shopping patterns were nearly identical to those of 2015. What does this mean?

If you know your customer, you should be able to use your data to reasonably predict their shopping patterns, and then play to these strengths when building your marketing calendar.

Additionally, affiliate networks will provide more opportunities for publishers to leverage data to drive conversions. Through tools and technology, publishers will have the ability to personalize the affiliate experience, using insights that will allow them to display more relevant offers to consumers.

5. The universal appeal for saving money

And lastly, despite the trends in affiliate marketing, there are some things that will always endure the test of time — that is, the popularity of coupon and deals sites, cash-back and loyalty. Consumers have been counting on discounts to save them money since 1887, when Coca-Cola invented the first coupon.

And for luxury brands — fret not. Shoppers will continue to employ loyalty and cash-back sites to help them realize savings in the form of rewards for purchasing these higher-priced goods.

These are just a few of the exciting things we can expect to see in 2017 from affiliate marketing networks and the advertisers and publishers they support. As the industry continues to enhance its tools and technology, we will continue to improve the shopping experience for the consumer.


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The advantages of blogging as part of a content marketing strategy are clear for all to see (we hope). But the way you go about it may be about to change.

The infographic below from Social Marketing Writing gives you 13 blogging statistics you probably didn’t know. Some of these were an eye opener for us, particularly point number 3 about how much traffic increases once you reach 51 or more posts.

Do any of these stats make you want to change your strategy?

SEO All Stars Keynote at Affiliate Summit East 2016

The SEO All Stars Keynote was an extended version of the popular “SEO – Ask Me Anything” session, featuring Bruce Clay, President of Bruce Clay Inc.; Duane Forrester, VP, Organic Search Operations at Bruce Clay, Inc.; and Stephan Spencer, Co-Author of The Art of SEO.


The keynote was at Affiliate Summit East 2016, which took place July 31 – August 2, 2016 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY.

The “SEO – Ask Me Anything” session has regularly ranked high in audience feedback for both the best content and best speakers.

Shawn Collins and Missy Ward, founded Affiliate Summit in 2003 for the purpose of providing educational sessions on the latest industry issues and fostering a productive networking environment for affiliate marketers.

Since then, the Affiliate Summit Inc. brand has grown to include Performance Marketing Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, AffStat.com and ReveNews.com.

Attendees at Affiliate Summit events break out into six main categories: affiliate, affiliate management, advertiser, OPM/agency, solution provider, and network.

Affiliates typically account for about a quarter of attendees at Affiliate Summit.

The post Video of SEO All Stars Keynote at Affiliate Summit East 2016appeared first on Affiliate Summit.

Lead Generation


Are you considering using Facebook Ads to reach more customers? Want to know how to target your ads based on demographics, interests and behaviours?

From age and gender, right through to employment and life events, the Facebook advertisingplatform enables you to completely fine tune who your ads are displayed to.

But with such a large number of options available to you in can be daunting for some.

Fear not, the guys at WordStream have put together a comprehensive list of targeting options in this infographic.

Facebook Ads The Ultimate Guide to Targeting Your Ideal Customer

Via Red Website Design

Affiliate Marketing

Tools for successful Content Marketing

To-kill-for Content Marketing: Some think of it as a myth. Some consider it the urban legend no one speaks of.


All you have to do is try a bunch of stuff and see what does the trick for you.

Of course, as I always state in my articles related to Content Marketing, for those starting now their content adventures or just want to freshen up your perspectives, Paddy Moogan has your Content Marketing bible.

And if that was not enough to drive you into that HALLELUJAH moment, then it is time to read yet another one of my amazing articles titled:

(clears throat and drum rolls)


content marketing tools

Together (yes, my love, you and me!) we will go through some of the best Content Marketing tools available right now. To be more specific, actual tools but also sources that can easily be turned into slick tools for your Content Marketing arsenal.

Summary of the awesomeness to follow!

Section #1 – Tools for ‘’What the hell am I going to write about?’’ situations

  • Quora
  • Inbound.org
  • Reddit
  • Copyblogger
  • Alltop
  • Feedly
  • Trap!t

Section #2 – Tools for ‘’I have no time to write my own content” situations

  • ghostBloggers
  • WriteAccess

Section #3 – Tools to Step up your visual game

  • Canva
  • Visual.ly
  • GIMP
  • Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom
  • Meme Generator
  • PowToon
  • Uberflip

Section #4 – The “Don’t embarrass yourself” survival toolkit

  • Grammarly
  • Plagiarism Checker

Section #5 – Tools to Distribute like there is no tomorrow

  • CoSchedule
  • Buffer
  • Mailchimp
  • Slideshare
  • PRWeb

Section #6 – Tools to measure how long your…..success is

  • Google Analytics
  • Kissmetrics
  • Moz
  • Socialbakers
  • Woopra

Section #7 – Tools for organization freaks

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Google Calendar
  • Evernote
  • GrowthHackers.com

Section #1 – Tools for ‘’What the hell am I going to write about’’ situations?

These tools will aid you when you run out of ideas and food seems your only way out, or maybecute videos with cats.

So you’d better close that youtube tab and get down to business. This section contains tools to help you figure out “what the hell you are going to write about”.


content marketing tools

As we all know, good content most times is in fact just an answer to a question that seems to be troubling a lot of people.

If you play your cards right with content, your answer might be so good that it will drive traffic, leads AND WHY NOT A COUPLE OF BUCKS! (shamelessly leading people to the dark side of marketing thinking)

So Quora is the place where people just ask questions. Quora is your treasure trove if you are looking for hot topics and of course the place to distribute some pieces of content.

content marketing tools


Content Marketing tools

When experts like Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot), Brian Clark (Copyblogger) & Leo Widrich (buffer) are part of the inbound.org community,  that definitely  means a lot for thequality of this tool.

What I like about Quora and Inbound, in particular, is that people nowadays are not afraid to ask for other people’s expertise.

No matter how good I am at my marketing field, there is a point where I will ask for someone else’s help.

This is the part where you literally take advantage of this fact for your content marketing strategy.

We are not talking about just getting inspiration and sources for your next article, but also about leaving feedback for the others and why not establish yourself as an authority while doing so.

DON’T BE A LAZY ASS, get over there and make me proud (they grow up so fast /tears)



As far as Reddit is concerned we are going to get a little bit deeper. You might wonder why!

The fact is that Reddit was not meant for a professional use at all. What we have here is an entertainment site that contains the so-called “subreddits” that probably cover any topic you might think off.

So someone might meet the ultimate chaos if  he does not know how to handle this tool.


To begin with, what you have to do is type www.reddit.com/r/ (insert-topic-here), so how about we go for content marketing?


Content marketing tools

A quick glimpse gives us some pretty cool content ideas to go on. Facebook live is really intriguing if you ask me.

Anyway back to the use of Reddit, another suggestion would be to create and account and be as active as you can. People over at Reddit love unique and funny video, pics, questions etc.

Sometimes you will find some weird shit as well.

content marketing tools


So don’t hold back, target your topics, be you and through a very entertaining way, produce top quality content that others would pay for.


content marketing tools

Apart from  building authority, folks over at Copyblogger are doing an amazing job when it comes to content marketing articles.

I do not want to be a smarty, this is a tool that I actually learned from my friend Apostles here at GrowthRocks.

The one thing he said to me when he proposed that use Copyblogger, is quality. Let me reassure you that content marketing mastery is not just a cool tagline.

As John Jantsch said:

“The secret to Copyblogger’s success is that they write better headlines. That’s it, pretty simple, right? They write headlines (blog post titles) that are irresistible and can’t be skimmed in your RSS reader…They also deliver”


content marketing tools

Popular stories indexed under various categories and ready for you to go through them. There is not a lot to add here, in fact.

Given that I have used the aforementioned tools most times, by the time I reach this tool, I am already set on what I will write about.


Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.52.19

Moving on to actual tools, feedly is a handy little fella. The concept is simple.

Add your favorite sites and blogs and create an article feed of your own choice. So given that you read, you follow influencer and generally know your game this could be a nice push towards your next piece of content.


content marketing tools

Much like feedly, trap!t personalizes your feed based on your personal preferences and taste.

Unfortunately, we have an iPad exclusive tool here. Life is cruel, hail capitalism and many more quotes fit here. Oh…well, all we can do is roll with it.

If you have an iDevice, give this baby a chance.

Section #2 – Tools for ‘’I have no time to write my own content” situations

And yes, there are those situations when you can’t afford the time of writing your own content, due to a variety of reasons. Well, we got your back, friend. The tools you’ll find below will help you in those times of need and save you valuable time.


content marketing tools 2016

Our first tool on the list, ghostBloggers, is a marketplace for publishers to purchase premium, unique content from a wide range of topics. Oh, and there’s an extra bonus! All content is composed by native English ghostwriters, so you don’t have to worry about typos and proper syntax anymore. 😉


best content marketing tools

Things are really simple with WriteAccess. You create an account to the service, find writers, order the content you want and you’re ready to publish! As easy as that! Apart from copywriting services, they also offer editing, translation and content strategy services, so even if you don’t have a vast experience writing content or need some guidelines, now you know the way to go!

So there you go! Lack of time or writing skills can no longer be the excuse for your blog not getting regularly updated.

Section #3 – Tools to Step up your visual game

Previously in my articles, I have talked about the importance of good visualization. Visualizing data and ideas is of immense importance to the success of your Content Marketing.

If that was not enough to convince you, let some cool infographics from neomam.com speak for themselves.

content marketing toolscontent marketing tools


content marketing tools

Canva was a miracle from heaven for me. In fact, what I wanted was a tool, that could offer mequickly high-quality templates, vectors, icons etc and of course the ability to customize all these as I see fit.

The elements contain some really cool graphic designs to use for your pictures. They are fun and professional at the same point.

If you have some time, invest a bit in this tool. After some sparring, you will be making perfect visuals in no time.

Visual.ly content marketing tools

Visual.ly is the place where you will find a bunch of professional designs just for you.

Simple, fast and affordable design that makes your content stand out. In fact, the products are separated into categories such as infographics, micro content etc which makes it easier for you to find what you need.


content marketing tools

So let’s go over all these times someone told you, “you know you should learn how to use photoshop, it would skyrocket your content marketing visuals”

And you responded like:

content marketing tools

Once again here I am to the rescue, and I am bringing with me a simplified version of photoshop along with me.

Come, come I have treats for you. (muahahaha)

Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom

content marketing tools

Are you f*&*^ kidding me Ioannis?! A couple of sentences above I told you that “I ain’t got time for dat”

Well, to be honest, you should at some point learn the fundamentals of programs like photoshop. This would be a huge upgrade for your content marketing.

Tutorials are countless and the things you could do limitless. This tool requires both time and money. So choose wisely.

But once you go pro there is no return.


content marketing tools

Gosh, I am so thrilled, I was waiting for such a long time to use giphy in an article.


I command you shamelessly to use gifs in your content. There is nothing more delightful than a touch of fun, that makes all the professional info intake much lighter and pleasurable.

Meme Generator

content marketing tools

Another tool to spice things up, apart from GIPHY. I am of the opinion that being professional does not mean that you have to be serious all the time.

Far from that, when you are creating content there should be a part of you, your signature to be more specific inside your content.

Humour is one of the best ways to establish that, let go of yourself and crack some smiles.


content marketing tools

If you feel like it, you can always take it a step further from just pictures. Powtoon is a tool that a lot of people use online for videos and presentations.

I haven’t used this tool a lot, to be honest, but my first hands-on was quite pleasant.

Toonish styled visuals are always welcome to your content marketing campaign.


content marketing tools

If I could summarize Uberflip, I would say that Uberflip organizes your content in one place and then elevates it to the next level.

Call to actions are just a small preview of the capabilities of Uberflip, not to mention that this tool is fully compatible with automation and email marketing clients.

Section #4 – The “Don’t embarrass yourself” survival toolkit


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.13.04

Writing is awesome and liberating. For you at least!

For your readers on the other hand sometimes things do not turn out so well.

One of these times is actually when you have forgotten to double check your text and grammar mistakes are all over the place.

Result: Reader closes tab in a matter of secs!


content marketing tools

Let’s take a couple of minutes and mourn for all the times we thought are content was a killer but the others did not have the same opinion. *ahem…our boss…ahem*

Who said that? Anyway moving on!

READABILITY score is like a swiss knife in the hands of a marketer, so always keep it close because it will surely come in handy.

Plagiarism Checker

content marketing tools

Sometimes writing can be extremely hard and frustrating. In those desperate times, you seek guidance in the articles of experts.

Most times you are such a lazy ass that you do not even paraphrase what you read and you forget to add your own value.

Of course, this is a BIG MISTAKE, and if the plagiarism tool rings the bell, then changes must be made.

Section #5 – Tools to Distribute like there is no tomorrow

Distribution can be a total bitch sometimes but at the same time a core element to theSUCCESS of your content marketing strategy. Some pretty cool distribution tools are as follows:


content marketing tools

First time you log in to the app, you might get a little bit discouraged by the interface, but things are not as complicated as they seem. We have been using CoSchedule here at GrowthRocks for quite some time now and with great success.

Once you get used to it, it’s actually quite a simple tool. You have a calendar area, connect your social media account and you just schedule your posts as you please and see necessary.

Content marketing tools


content marketing tools

Ok, let me tell you something, this is a top secret tool, that I exclusively present to you for the first time ever.


Buffer is almost on any content marketing tool list out there, and why shouldn’t it? Quick, easy to use, but above all a huge booster to the effectiveness of your distribution.

Process is important and paves the way for successful content marketing! NEVER FORGET THAT!CLICK TO TWEET

Jay Baer uses Βuffer. You know the “hug your haters” guy! Don’t you? Well, shame on you once again!


content marketing tools

You see MailChimp and me, how can I say this? We have become really close over the last couple of months.

Email marketing would not have been the same without MailChimp. (legit tears)

Mailchimp is an amazing tool, with which you can do miracles once you get the hang of it.Imported email lists & fully customizable templates are not to be missed.

What wins me over with MailChimp is the analytics I get for each campaign send without having to resort to other tools. (open, link clicks, bounce rate etc)

You can see more in-depth info about how MailChimp can help your business as it did for businesses like Betabrand!

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 16.53.23

content marketing tools


content marketing tools

Slideshare promises to change the way you see slides. It wanted to elevate the importance of slides and make them an indispensable part of the business world.

Well, how couldn’t it with the Linkedin logo alongside it.

Well, to be honest, I have not focused my attention there yet, mainly because tools like this want dedication and experimentation to see what works and what not.

But for many Slideshare was a real friend in need in producing quality and unique visually value.


content marketing tools

So a little bird told me (it has been quite the gossiper lately) that you want your content to reach billions of people in no time.

You should look no further cause I got what you are looking for, no matter how wrong the sentence I just wrote seems.

Section #6 – Tools to measure how long your…..success is

Google Analytics

content marketing tools

I know this is a guide and all, but if you do not know what Google Analytics is, then we have a little issue here, Bob!

If bob is your name, please notify me in the comments, I will have to try my chances at lottery

Oh..well! Google Analytics is your first stop when it comes to getting data about the performance of your content and website in general.

content marketing toolscontent marketing tools

Custom dashboards, demographics, goals and much much more await you. Remember data along with intuition, of course, is the only way to see what worked and what did not work.

If data is not your thing, TOO BAD, IT SHOULD BECOME. (Says the person who shits his pants each time he opens the analytics dashboard to make a client report.)


content marketing tools

Apart from the fact that Kissmetrics has a really cool blog and many content marketing articles, they also have really cool analytics packages.

Not to mention that Kissmetrics takes the whole analytics thing a step further and promises to turn the people visiting your site into customers.

Eehmm…who said that?

You did not hear this little piece of info from me, that is for sure.

content marketing tools


content marketing tools

Moz is your ace up your sleeve when it comes to SEO analytics. You should use this tool regularly and always take into consideration it’s SEO analytics.

The slightest shift in the popularity of a simple word might play a crucial role in the success of your content marketing.

YOU SHOULD NEVER FORGET, that not combining SEO and content marketing is one of the reasons YOU WILL FAIL.


Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 20.44.58

This list would not have been perfect for me if there were not at least one tool social media related.

Times have changed and social media have become an integral part of content marketing.CLICK TO TWEET

As can understood user behavior differs on Social media.

You should definitely use this tool, if you want to go deeper into the pits of hell or simply of social media.


content marketing tools

Yet another analytics tool that might prove an asset for your content marketing.

Whatsoever Woopra (i always read it in a funny tone, don’t even know why) focuses more on real time feedback and data.

Also, if you have not already noticed there is a section in the screenshot which says “tracks anonymous users from their first touch until they identify themselves”.

Daaaaamn (Daniel!  Ellen Degeneres pun) but this is a dope feature my dear friend.

Section #7 – Tools for organization freaks


content marketing tools

If you are a control freak and a content marketer, then TA RA DA DAAAA! Asana is your new friend.

Asana is both a curse and a blessing because, on the one hand, you have everything no matter how trivial a task is, on the other hand, YOUR COLLEAGUES JUST KEEP SHAMELESSLY ASSIGNING TASKS TO YOU. (see picture above)

Phew…finally got that out of my system.


content marketing tools

Trello is another content marketing tool that I use once in a while. The format mostly helps me in times of brainstorming.

Cards replace sticky notes here. In these cards, you can add deadlines, comments etc and also invite your friends in your own dashboard so that they know what kind of marketing shit you are dealing with this period.

Google Calendar

content marketing tools

Google calendar is google calendar, simple as that.

If you are working Solo (not Han from Star Wars, just solo) this won’t actually be much help to you, but if you are in a team, then hell yeah go for it!


content marketing tools

The thing with Evernote is that people lose their shit over it. They either love it or find it totally useless. Nothing in between.

Evernote for me offers a unique versatility and is obviously a tool that if it does the job for you, then you should look no further.

It can work as a note-taking tool, as a project management tool, as a journal and so on.

All you have to do is get over there and get started.


content marketing tools

GrowthHackers is a little BONUS from me. First of all, let me clarify that indeed this is a tool that addresses mostly growth hacking needs.

But it has a cool feature “Projects” which might come in handy for a simple content marketer as well.

There you can have all the things you would like to try for your future content marketing adventures and monitor those ideas while you implement them and actually evaluate them based on their success.

So in a way you organize your thoughts and actions.

At the end of the day…

At the end of the day, successful content is hard to produce and depends on many factors.

Efficient tools is obviously a pillar of a successful content marketing strategy. But always keep in mind that tools are like clay, use them as you wish and produce results no one has ever done before.

Affiliate Marketing

10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Visual Content Marketing

Creating visual content can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult to produce. So, why bother?

1. We are suffering from information overload

Every day the average person is bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers worth of data.iIn the middle of this information age, the ongoing increase in data has led to changes in the way users deal with new information.

2. We have less time to make an impact

Research conducted by Microsoft has shown that:

10 seconds
The time you have to clearly communicate your proposition if you want to gain a few minutes of a user’s attention.ii iii


Added to that, data collected by Chartbeat has shown that 55% of users who view a page spend less than 15 seconds looking at it.iv

Those first few seconds are really important. However, you can’t just relax after that.
The graph above is an interpretation of Microsoft’s research by the Nielsen Norman Group.v It shows that the probability of a user leaving your page is greatest in the first 10 seconds – and this probability doesn’t significantly reduce until after 30 seconds.

3. Speed is no longer a technical problem

When it comes to consuming content in our age of information, speed matters.

In the pre-broadband era, users had to deal with a restricted download speed. Under these conditions, plain text and HTML were the fastest way to consume information online.

Nowadays, the average global download speed is 22.05MB on desktop and 11.3MB/s on mobile.vi
download speed comparison
Internet speed issues aside, technology has allowed us to move past the need for consuming information as written text. The bottleneck to processing and understanding information now lies in our brains.

4. Our brains process images much faster than text

visual content understanding
The invention of the press by Gutenberg in the 15th Century was a crucial element in the popularity of reading and writing. We could argue that the widespread understanding of the written word is only 560 years old, when in 1455 the first mainstream printed book arrived: The Gutenberg Bible.vii

In contrast, the processing of complex visuals can be pre-dated back nearly 300 million years, with the discovery of a fossilised fish, which used colour vision.viii

evolution of visual content

Visuals are processed faster because they have had the benefit of 300 millions years of evolution.

5. Visuals are already a solution for a real-world problem

Traffic signs are designed to convey all the necessary information in as little time as possible. If they were to rely on text alone, they wouldn’t be fit for purpose.

visual content proof

The second example takes only a few seconds. Why? It’s all down to how your brain processes information. The mechanics of it all can be a pretty complex process to explain, and since this isn’t a dissertation, let’s keep it simple.

A sentence is a collection of symbols, which when combined, conveys meaning.

A traffic sign is just one symbol that conveys meaning.

Put simply, it takes you more time to digest multiple symbols, than it does one.

road signs visual content

6. Visuals also help to increase understanding

medical visual content
In a study of learning aids by the Educational Technology Research and Development Journal, the understanding of information jumped from 70% to 95% with the introduction of images.ix

visual instructions infographics

In one of the tests, the group using the text and illustrations did 323% better compared to the group using text-only directions.

7. Visuals help to improve engagement on a website

According to a study by Curata, the inclusion of an image increased the website click-through rate by 47% when compared to text-only posts.x

infographics boost engagement

As a practical example of this, consider the below:


Both are similar in concept – they communicate that a woman is crying – but which did you find more engaging?

8. Visual content improves the Retweet rate on Twitter

visuals on twitter
Twitter has released research based on the analysis of over 2 million Tweets in the hope of understanding what fuelled a Tweet’s engagement. According to their findings, the use of image-based content provided a significant increase in the number of people who took action and decided to click ‘share the Tweet’ on their timelines. xi

The most effective Tweet features across all the verified accounts Twitter looked at were photos and videos:

  • The inclusion of a video increased Retweets by 28%
  • Tweets that included photos achieved 35% more Retweets

9. Visual content increases shares on Facebook

images visual content facebook
A study published by SocialBakersxii showed that photos took 87% of the share interactions across 30,000 brand pages, with no other content type taking more than 4% of the shares. xiii

10. Visuals make it more likely that users will believe what you are saying

One of the most interesting studies we ran across while writing this article was an experiment in which researchers examined the impact of non-probative information on truthiness.

Participants were given random statements such as “Macadamia nuts are in the same evolutionary family as peaches” for them to respond “true” or “false.” In 50% of cases, images were attached to the statement without necessarily confirming whether it was true or not.

Macadamia Nuts

‘Macadamia Nuts’ by Richard Ashurst

The results showed that participants were more likely to wager a fact was true when it was accompanied with an non-probative photo.xiv


With the massive increase in information we receive, and the corresponding increase in data bandwidth, the biggest hurdle to content marketers now lies in the brains of their audience.

We are wired – through evolution – to process images faster than text, so when we combine written and visual content, there’s a significant increase in understanding.

Content marketing with visuals is already leading to significant improvements in web and social engagement. If we assume that the amount of information we receive is only going to increase, visual content marketing will soon move away from a competitive advantage to a fundamental necessity for any marketer wanting to speak with real people online.


Still not convinced? Check out the infographic below:


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7 Ways Technology Can Make You a Smarter Content Marketer

Marketers have high expectations of technology’s effect. When recently surveyed 300 marketers and at least two-thirds said it’s likely or very likely that technology will make content marketing significantly more efficient in the various tasks of the life cycle.

They’re right. When used appropriately, technology can bring more efficiency — a tactical benefit. However, I prefer to emphasize that when used strategically, technology helps content marketers work smarter — to develop and implement a more successful content marketing program.

The majority of those surveyed also cited benefits that are more strategic — clarity on success, amplification of results and revelation of previously unknown opportunities.


As Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi says:

I look at technology for content marketing being used right now as putting out fires, solving very small issues. Before buying technology for content marketing, you need a strategic vision that makes sense for the organization.

Related Content:

What Is Content Marketing?

We interviewed Joe and other experts to learn how they think technology should help content marketers, and this theme emerged: Prioritize content marketing technology choices by what makes you smarter, not just faster.

As Bernie Borges explains:

Of course I want to be as time efficient as possible. But rather than doing it faster, it’s more about being smarter. So that the hard work that I put into content has more potential of being successful.

With that understanding, let’s explore seven ways to use technology to make you smarter and your content marketing more strategic.

1. Audit your content library – identify content gaps and real-time opportunities

Some marketers spend a lot of time tracking their content inventory and performance metrics in a simple spreadsheet. Periodically, they manually assess the spreadsheet.

It’s a lot of work and outdated the minute you hit save on the spreadsheet. An annual — or even quarterly — review isn’t sufficient to know what content is working, what content isn’t, and what content is missing. You could be losing valuable opportunities to create orrepurpose your content to more quickly address your buyers’ actual needs.

However, if you use a technology tool to audit your content assets, the work can be done automatically and in real time. You can stay on top of new trends, upcoming sales, shifts in buyer needs, etc.

You also can do more with the content you already created. You can identify top-performing content to repurpose in other formats as well as evergreen content that converts well and could be promoted again.

In addition, automating the process allows your content inventory and performance metrics system to connect with other systems across your enterprise so you can see what content resonates at what stages of the sales funnel. For example, you may have content assets that foster quality leads but few content assets that help close the sale. With that knowledge, you can create more effective content for the bottom of the funnel.

2. Maximize your keyword research to identify your content sweet spot

Every single piece of content you produce is a bet: an investment with uncertain returns. Smart marketers reduce that risk by finding the topics and publishing content that provides the best answers to their buyers’ questions while standing out from competition.

Keyword research alone doesn’t tell you what content is successful with your audience. It tells you how popular the word is when your audience searches for content. But when you add to your keyword research technology tools, you can cross-check your keyword data with performance metrics such as volume of shares.

You can use this collaborative data to see what content (yours and your competitors) has been effective in engaging searchers. You can identify opportunities — new angles, curated content, fresh formats, etc. — to build on those proven engaging topics.

3. Use editorial calendars to improve collaboration and project management

Sure, using a spreadsheet for your editorial planning can work for a time, but it can’t be scaled for content marketing programs that have hundreds of publishing events per quarter. Too often, your time gets sucked by updating the single document, letting your team know what was changed, what the update means, the next steps, etc. You also may find that the tracker updates weren’t communicated properly and confusion arises — or worse, work is done that didn’t need to be.

Even more importantly, a spreadsheet editorial calendar usually results in silo-based content marketing when it should be driven by past performance analysis, research, opportunities with your current content assets, etc.

Online collaborative content calendars enable you to be smarter in your planning — automating reminders and notifications, being more systematic in your processes, and giving team members the ability to know and see what is happening in real time.

They can elevate your content marketing to the enterprise’s business level — no longer are you seen as the marketing department that cobbles together a tracking spreadsheet that requires permission to access and to explanations to understand. The sales team, the C-suite, etc. can log in and see what content is coming up, what content is working, etc.

4. Curate content to supplement your own and add credibility to your editorial

Crafting curated blog posts, such as combining a short quote and reference to the original piece with your own commentary, enables you to provide valuable content to your readers without requiring the time it takes to create original content.

If you search for content to curate through Google, it may seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When you automate content discovery, though, the content comes to you.

Content discovery software also enables a smoother process from conception to posting — it can help you assemble your own commentary on the content, automate attribution, and create the publishing elements for different formats.

5. Optimize your content systematically

All other things being equal, a blog post will perform much better if it’s optimized. Andy Crestodina has a great checklist of 21 Ways to Publish Better Content — adding naturally worded calls to action, including internal links from high-ranking articles, linking to external references, and identifying and using related keywords, etc.

That’s a lot of work and it may not get done without the help of technology tools to automate the process. In addition, these tools can identify more effective links or keywords to include that you never would have thought of.

6. Automate social distribution based on audience profile

You know that getting your content seen on social media is a challenge. It requires a lot of work and data crunching. You also know that sharing once is not enough. You need to:

  • Publish multiple times
  • Vary the message to the audience and platform
  • Change the message to avoid audience fatigue
  • Distribute at the right time for your audience

Without an assist from technology, you can’t do this effectively. Software tools can collect data (yours and others) to come up with optimal strategies to deliver valuable content on the right channels and at the right frequency and times for your specific audience.

7. Focus paid social promotion on top-performing content

Even when you have all the elements right to deliver great content on social media, you still are at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm, which is evolving in favor of paid promotion. But it gets expensive to promote every post.

However, if you tie your social media analytics to your sales tracking system, you can quickly learn which posts produce the best leads or conversions. And thus, be more selective about which posts should involvepaid promotion. You may find that you spend 80% of your Facebook promotion budget on the top 20% of your content. That’s a smarter way to do paid promotion than stretching your budget thin on every single post.


As Barry Feldman says,

Feeding you actionable advice will become a big part of content marketing technology by turning analytics into action.

While there are many tools, here’s a short list to get you started with leveraging smart content marketing technology:

But remember, rather than focusing on the tools, it’s important to take a strategic approach. First, determine how to incorporate technology to make your content marketing strategy smarter. Then figure out which specific tools will help you get there.

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The 5 Key Elements of an Effective Landing Page

We’ve recently gone back to basics to discuss some of the elements of an effective digital marketing strategy, and after covering Keywords and CTAs, we now turn our attention to Landing Pages. Sitting comfortably, let’s prepare for landing.

Communication Avenue Lead Generation

One of the many valuable things we learned at the HubSpot User Group HUG event was this: NSAMCWADLP. No, not a code, or an anagram of ‘wand clamps’ (do they even exist, Potter fans?), but an acronym HubSpotter Sean Reid gave us, which stands for the following: Never Start A Marketing Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page.

Seems like a pretty hard and fast rule, right? But if you are new to digital marketing, and inbound marketing in particular, you may be wondering what exactly a landing page is, and why it is so important to your marketing campaign.

What is a Landing Page and why is it so important?

Well, HubSpot defines a Landing Page as any page on the web on which one might land that contains a form, and that exists solely to capture a visitor’s information through that form.

Yes, you can ‘land’ on any web page, but not every web page is a landing page. If it doesn’t exist purely to capture a visitor’s information through a form, it is just a web page. The home page of your website is not a landing page, because it has several functions and purposes. Even if it has a form on it, it still has other responsibilities such as content provision, links to other parts of your site, etc.

A landing page, having one purpose, should have no other distractions on it, no second function. It should have some copy explaining what it is, and a form to fill out. That is all. It should be completely focused on a single task. Absolutely minimal and completely optimised towards capturing information.

HubSpot also shows us some handy examples of effective Landing Pages here, so you can get an idea of how they can look.

So what does a Landing Page form do?

Put simply, the form is a means by which you can bring a visitor further along the path towards conversion into a lead or potential customer. This is done when the visitor fills out the form with their name, email address and other contact and personal information – in order to access or download further valuable and relevant content such as an eBook, offered in a CTA that appears on your web pages or blog. By filling out the form, the visitor begins an engagement with your website that involves an equal and mutually beneficial exchange: their details in exchange for your content. They give you something, and in return, you give them something.

This is why Landing Pages are so important to your digital marketing campaign. Their singular focus is on generating leads, so you can easily see how many conversions you have simply by looking at how many forms were filled in, and the contact information for those leads are right there, captured by the Landing Page. You can confidently hand the leads to your sales team knowing that those leads have shown a definite interest in the one thing you offered on that page, not a vague interest in something that appears on any one of your web pages, even if all of those pages are optimised with all the elements needed for a killer website.

Got it? Good. Now let’s take note of the key elements you should remember when creating an effective Landing Page.

5 Elements of an Effective Landing Page

1 – Grab the visitor’s attention with an eye-catching headline
Apart from making it easy to see and read, your headline needs to really catch the attention. Make it clear, but also compelling, enticing the reader to continue, and make it relevant to the website copy that brought them there in the first place.


2 – Optimise all other headers and actionable copy – Don’t just say ‘fill in the form’, but instead encourage visitors to ‘Start Now’. Also make the explanatory content enjoyable to read, using concise messages that pique interest and explain the benefits of the offer. Use an image or video to break up the text too, but don’t make it so distracting the visitor forgets to fill in the form!

3 – Get rid of all navigation – You’ve created great content and a compelling CTA to get a visitor to your Landing Page, so the last thing you want to do is send them away again with links to other parts of your website, or worse still, external sites. Therefore, make sure to take away any possible distractions – the visitor is here for one reason only: to fill in the form in exchange for the offer in question.

4 – Remember the exchange should be fair and equal – you are asking people to enter their details in a form, something which many people can show reluctance towards. Don’t push it too far by having too many answers to fill in, and always start with the basics – first name, last name, email – then perhaps phone number, job description, etc, if appropriate. Remember, don’t ask too much if the offer is a basic one. You can add questions the higher the offer value, and your sales team can always ask the more specific questions further along the sales funnel.

5 – Stay above the fold – make sure the content and form are at the top of the Landing Page, so that the visitor doesn’t have to scroll down to see it. If they do, this can cause confusion or reluctance, and runs the risk of a lost conversion.

Remember these key elements when creating your Landing Pages to make them as effective as possible. If you do, you should see your lead generation and conversion rates increase!

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