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What Social Media Marketing World Taught Us About Event Marketing

What Social Media Marketing World Taught Us About Event Marketing

Each year Social Media Marketing World hosts thousands of people passionate about marketing. Attendees also have the opportunity to network with one another, and to learn (since many in attendance are experts in their own right). They left the event with 10 awesome insights relevant to event marketers or organizers hoping to create amazing events. 

 

 

 

 

1. Networking Is Everything

One of the things I loved most about SMMW, is the crazy number of opportunities created prior, during and after the event to network and communicate with other marketers. The event organizers created a “networking resources” page that served as the go-to guide for everything networking.

Starting with more than 80 Slack groups that were open for attendees to join and connect based on their very specific interests, to Table Talks that allowed attendees to eat their lunch while talking about marketing topics that interested them, to the networking sessions on Blab in which attendees learned the best networking hacks prior to the conference.

2. Live Video Is Here To Stay

If I had to mention only one thing that was discussed most in SMMW, it would surely be live video. The biggest insight presented by the founder of Social Media Examiner, Michael  Stelzner during his talk about SME’s Annual survey was that “social media marketers are embracing video” with 73% of marketers saying that they’ve increased their use of videos in 2016 and 23% of those claiming that video is their most important form of content marketing.

Stelzner, along with the majority of speakers defined Facebook’s new live video broadcasting as groundbreaking with the ability to make a huge impact on the digital marketing industry.

So what are the implications for event marketers? It starts with sharing video content with your prospects prior to the event that shows the value they will get from attending. If it’s preview of the sessions that will occur or the networking opportunities that will be available, either can work!

During the event, it’s about encouraging your attendees to share their experience online. Once the event ends, event marketers should produce an awesome video with the greatest moments and a call to action for viewers to sign up to register for next year’s event via some form of event registration software. 

3. Social Media Complaints Are Increasing Exponentially

During his session about “How to achieve social media customer service success”, Here are a few incredibly statistics: 

  • 800% increase in social media complaints about business in one year in the U.K 

  • 55% of customer complaints are on review websites. 

  • 25% increase in customer advocacy when a complaint is answered by a business 

Events might not be a physical product with technical issues to complain about, but we all know that with everything that needs to work properly during the event, something will inevitably go wrong, and attendees will complain.

Reacting to a complaint can not only result in solving the issue but in can encourage that person to become your greatest ambassador.

One of the keys to do it right is to be fast and smart. 

  • 40% of customers who complain about social media expect a response within an hour.  

Most businesses take 5 hours to respond… 

4. Find A Niche To Become A “Thought Leader”

Everyone wants to become a thought leader. With all the noise that’s out there, the biggest question is how to break through and be noticed. This is a great challenge for many event organizers trying to find a competitive advantage over other events vying for the same audience. Dorie declares it’s all about finding your specific niche and delivering on it in anyway possible.

If you’re a “women in tech” conference, being able to establish yourself as a true thought leader in the field before the actual event, can take you a long way. How can you do that? By proving the best content in the field.

Here are 2 ideas:

  • Create a designated LinkedIn or Facebook Group encouraging your past and future speakers to post their own articles. Share quick tip, videos and more

  • Conduct an industry survey and then present the findings during the event. The organizers of SMMW were wise enough to do just that. It resulted in 1,000+ social media shares during the event!

5. Know Your Audience By Heart

This might be my biggest takeaway from SMMW16. Why? Because at the end of the day, a successful event marketing strategy is tied to providing the right content at the right time.

An audience of social marketers has it’s own very unique needs: they care about being connected to social media networks at all times, they want to be able to share their experience while they’re at the event, they want to be able to miss out on sessions and attend them after.

SMMW organizers knew all that and found the perfect solutions to increase the satisfaction of their attendees and increase their engagement before, during and after the event, in the offline and online world.

The connectivity issue was resolved by putting a special emphasis on complimentary internet access that worked perfectly for all 3000 attendees, and by placing more than a couple hundred power sockets throughout the venue.

The organizers provided awesome backdrops for attendees to take pictures of themselves at the event (perfect for those who wanted to post to Instagram, or SnapChat).

For people who missed sessions, everything was recorded by professional videographers.

 

6. Keep Your Content Relevant And Segmented

As mentioned above, knowing your audience is everything.  Once you know your audience, though, you must also take the next step of crafting your content and brand experience around that.  Even when your customer or potential customer isn’t dealing directly with your product or isn’t at your event, you will always have the opportunity to influence their opinion of your brand.  

This means segmenting the content in your newsletter with where readers are in your sales funnel or by industry, excluding customers from your retargeting ads, and making sure that the same prospects aren’t inundated with the same ads, offers, and content.

You can use tools like Google Analytics, Adwords, and Facebook Ads to make “Custom Audiences” in which you can segment your website visitors by when they last visited, what pages they visited, or even target them by uploading emails of your most engaged prospects.  

With this much control over where and who you market your content to, there’s no excuse for pounding your audience’s with the same content irrespective of their needs and wants.  You’re fighting for their attention: make it worth their while! 

7. If You’re Not Looking At The Data, You’re Not Doing It Right

As an event for social media marketers, I wouldn’t say that this was a gathering of numbers people.  Analytical, for sure, but as social media marketers, we are much more in tune with understanding the human experience and the creative side of marketing, rather than cold hard stats about what worked and what didn’t.

Despite this, with the help of some amazing and very accessible tools, you are clearly losing out if you aren’t taking the time to look at the data.  With the availability of free software such as Google Analytics, it’s absolutely necessary that you track the journey of your customers.  

  • What channels do they find you through?  

  • Has paid search proven to be more impactful than social media?

  • Do you have low visits from organic search, or perhaps they’ve been steadily increasing by your push in SEO efforts?  

Ideally, your company has a marketing/sales/email automation platform in place to help you easily track and organize this data, but even if you don’t there are plenty of places to start. If you have conversion tracking setup you can see the different channels your customers are coming through and what’s really making an impact.  Time to get data-driven, folks. 

8. Learn By Doing: Don't Be Afraid Of New Marketing Initiatives

No doubt your marketing team or company has a laundry list of interesting marketing initiatives they want to take on at some point.  With all sorts of trends in media happening, with an emphasis on live video, it can be overwhelming to tackle new initiatives while also doing them well.  

You may feel like you need to do a great amount of research, see what others have done and are doing, and only then start to dip your toe into the water.  While much can be gained from learning what others are doing, even more can be gained by just doing it yourself.  

Think Snapchat could help connect your business to its audience?  Go for it. Want to see how video Facebook ads work compared to image ads?  Just jump right in.  

When it comes to these new initiatives, not everything will work.  There’s a good chance you won’t succeed at first but you might gain some traction or interesting new insight into what your audience wants to engage with and how they want to interact.  

If you choose to sit back and watch, you may find that by the time you’re actually ready to dive in, the pool is already saturated with so many others that you’ve lost the slight advantage in timing that could’ve been yours.

9. Credibility Is King

Back in Mad Men era, selling took thoughtfully crafted copy, perhaps a few striking, stylish images that could make an impact.  Today, people are surrounded by so many images, ads, videos, and everything in between that traditional advertising strategies are increasingly less effective.

Today, people have become jaded, they’ve seen it all.  They know the sales tricks, the slick talk, the thinly veiled pitch, and they’re not buying it.  

So what do to overcome a skeptical audience?  You have to build credibility.  Show that you and your company are genuine in your intentions and truly believe in your product and service. This can be achieved by positioning yourself and your company as thought leaders in your industry by publishing insightful blog posts and sharing information that’s valuable for your intended audience.  

It can also be helpful to share pictures and videos of the behind-the-scenes in your company, to publish videos with members of your team providing industry tips. It’s much easier to connect with a brand when the audience sees the real people behind it. 

10. Be Present

You don’t have to be particularly analytical to see where this is all going.  We are moving towards the world where audiences demand transparency, real-time reactions, and live, behind the scenes looks at your business.  

You don’t need to necessarily be ahead of the trends or even following each trend, but you should be available to your audience and work on cultivating an image that is genuine.  

Yes, you still have revenue goals you need to hit, but you must help your business to craft an identity that balances revenue goals with customer-centric ones. Ironically, the more we head towards a tech-saturated society, the more we want to embrace humanity.  So give the people what they want! 

Conclusion

Social Media Marketing World is a one-of-a-kind event, it featured world-class speakers, amazing networking opportunities, and loads of actionable insights that left us impressed and inspired. When it comes to putting these ideas into action, it is all about prioritization. Focus on the initiatives that you think will make the biggest impact, and will make other projects easier to complete.

Most of all, remember that potential event attendees are searching for events that demonstrate thought leadership, and feel genuine. There are many tactics to choose from when trying to accomplish these goals, the best place to start is to truly understand your audience.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Trends from Social Media Marketing World

Trends from Social Media Marketing World

As you may have noticed from our Facebook and Instagram profiles, our team recently attended Social Media Marketing World (SMMW). This was our fourth year in attendance, and we love connecting and collaborating with social media marketers from around the world. It’s exciting to see where the field is heading, so we’re imparting some knowledge we’ve gleaned from the sessions and talks.

One of our favorite acronyms we picked up at SMMW was “ILT”: Invest, Learn, Teach.For marketers, this means to invest in skills and tools, learn as much as you can, and then pass along that knowledge to your customers and peers. In the spirit of ILT, here are five of the biggest trends discussed at Social Media Marketing World.

 

 

Landing pages are king

A landing page is a standalone web page intended to collect leads. The art and science of an effective landing page dominated many social media marketing talks this year. Landing pages are usually focused specifically on a product, event or feature, so they can be a component to your primary website, but function independently. Luckily, ShortStack makes it super easy to create landing pages, and we have a bunch of templates to choose from depending on what you want your landing page to highlight.

Since visual and audio media was such a hot topic this year, we saw many marketers create landing pages for their podcasts or videos. Podcasting expert Paul Colligan emphasized the value of landing pages in the context of creating podcast show notes, transcripts and CTAs (call to actions). This is a way to promote your multimedia while still interacting with and collecting information from your users, which creates active consumption of your media instead of passive.

Live video broadcasts connect brands with users

Services like Facebook Live, Periscope and Blab.im provide individuals and brands the ability to live stream video broadcasts to their users and followers. This was huge this year, and the conference hall was filled with marketers live streaming in between sessions. A live video keynote (which feature notable live streamers such as Mari Smith, who is an avid Facebook Live broadcaster) discussed why live video is so effective. The takeaway? Live video shows users that their favorite brands and companies are comprised of real people. And people like connecting with other people, not just words, and images. Video allows realness to come through. Marketers can use live video to their advantage by creating a landing page to capture leads.

Creative targeted ad use can funnel content to the right people

Marketers are learning the power of creative targeted ads, particularly on Facebook. Ads are a great way to cut through Facebook’s algorithms to make sure your content is seen by the right people. Yes, it requires payin’ up, but the results are so worth it. Our friend Jon Loomer, with whom we hosted a stellar taco and margarita party during SMMW, is the master at using Facebook ads in creative ways. Try participating in one of his experiments, and you’ll be amazed at how he’s able to automate his process to share very specific content with you on your feed, controlling it all through ads.

For instance, he recently ran an ad that gave the viewer three options to choose from, based on their skill level with Facebook ads: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. After selecting “Intermediate” (some of us around here are more savvy with ads than others), videos Jon had made for Intermediate users began appearing in our feed, with messages and information just for us. We also received an email follow-up, all by simply clicking on the Intermediate option via Facebook. We’d think it’s magic if we didn’t have some insight into how powerful ads can be in the right environment.

Which leads us to our next point…

Automation can aid in customer rapport

Automation helps marketers in numerous ways, such as streamlining workflow or connecting with customers. Facebook recently announced the ability to create “bots” for Facebook Messenger, which, like ads, can help you manage the way you respond to and collect information from your users. For instance, when a user submits a question to your company Facebook Page about an order that they want to track, the bot can respond to the user with the tracking information. This allows users to get immediate responses with your signature flair, but it doesn’t require you to answer every single request.

Marketers are also employing features like action-gating into their landing pages and websites. An action-gate requires users to interact with you somehow — such as entering an email address or other contact information — and in return, you share something with them (a downloadable guide, a contest or coupon, etc.). This follows the “if this happens, then that happens” function format. You can try this out by using our Action Widget on your ShortStack Campaign.

Omnichannel marketing is the way of the future

Omnichannel marketing means running marketing campaigns on more than one platform at once. We’ve been evangelising omnichannel marketing for a while, and we’re quite pleased that other marketers are seeing value in it, too. We’ve written about this before since our users have seen major success with running omnichannel Campaigns (in fact, here’s a whole white paper about it, with our original findings from more than 27,000 Campaigns).

So although Facebook was still discussed frequently, thanks to their Messenger and Facebook Live developments, these features were part of a bigger picture. Ultimately, our takeaway is that marketers are using a mix of platforms and tools at their disposal to connect and collect from users. But rather than getting overwhelmed with new platforms and strategies, they’re using automation to streamline this process. Smart, targeted marketing campaigns were the name of the game this year.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

 
Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in business. In 2012 the research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer was. That oft-quoted claim seems more credible every day.

A new type of executive is emerging at the center of the transformation: the chief marketing technologist. CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher. Although they have an array of titles—Kimberly-Clark has a “global head of marketing technology,” while SAP has a “business information officer for global marketing,” for example—they have a common job: aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers. About half are charged with helping craft new digital business models as well.

Regardless of what they’re called, the best CMTs set a technology vision for marketing. They champion greater experimentation and more agile management of that function’s capabilities. And they are change agents, working within the function and across the company to create competitive advantage.

Before we describe the role in detail,
Let’s consider the forces that gave rise to it.

In a digital world, software is the chief means of engaging prospects and customers. A marketing team’s choice of software and how to configure and operate it, along with how creatively the team applies it, materially affects how the firm perceives and influences its audience and how the audience sees the firm.

As digital marketing and e-commerce increasingly augment or replace traditional touchpoints, the importance of mastering those capabilities grows. Digital marketing budgets are expanding annually at double-digit rates, and CEOs say that digital marketing is now the most important technology-powered investment their firms can make.

This rise in digital budgets is not merely a migration of spending from traditional to digital media. A growing portion of marketing’s budget is now allocated to technology itself. A recent Gartner study found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. In addition, 61% are increasing capital expenditures on technology, and 65% are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings.

The challenge of effectively managing all this technology is daunting. There are now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide, with offerings ranging from major platforms for CRM, content management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions for social media management, content marketing, and customer-facing apps. Relationships with agencies and service providers now include technical interfaces for the exchange and integration of code and data. And bespoke software projects to develop unique customer experiences and new sources of advantage are proliferating under marketing’s umbrella.

Bridging Marketing and IT

In this new environment, the CMO and the CIO must collaborate closely. But executive-level cooperation isn’t enough; a supporting organizational structure is also needed. A company can’t simply split marketing technology down the middle, King Solomon style, and declare that the CMO gets the marketing half and the CIO gets the technology half. Such a neat division might look good on paper, but it leaves yawning knowledge gaps in practice. Marketing might not understand how to fully leverage what IT can offer, and IT might not understand how to accurately translate marketing requirements into technical capabilities.

Instead, marketing technology must be managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa. The right structure will help marketing become proficient with the array of software it must use to attract, acquire, and retain customers. It will help marketing leadership recognize how new technologies can open up new opportunities. And it will allow marketing to deftly handle the technical facets of agency and service provider relationships in both contract negotiations and day-to-day operations.

The CMT’s job, broadly, is to enable this holistic approach. He or she is the equivalent of a business unit–level CIO or CTO. People in this role need technical depth—many have backgrounds in IT management or software development—but they must also be passionate about marketing. A common profile is an executive with an undergraduate degree in computer science and a graduate degree in business. Many CMTs have experience in digital agencies or with building customer-facing web products.

 

Most CMTs report primarily to marketing, either to the CMO or to another senior marketing executive, such as the VP of marketing operations or the VP of digital marketing. Many also have dotted-line reporting relationships with IT.

Acting as the connective tissue between different constituencies, these executives engage with four key stakeholders: the CMO and other senior marketing executives, the CIO and the IT organization, the broader marketing team, and outside software and service providers (see the exhibit “At the Nexus”). We will describe their interactions with these stakeholders in turn.

The CMO and other senior marketing executives.

The chief marketing technologist supports these executives’ strategy by ensuring technical capabilities and advocating for approaches enabled by new technologies. For example, Joseph Kurian, Aetna’s head of marketing technology and innovation for enterprise marketing, championed the use of “voice of the customer” software to collect user feedback across the company’s mobile and web interfaces. The software has improved customers’ digital interactions with Aetna—a key strategic priority.

 

 

The CIO and the IT organization.

CMTs facilitate and prioritize technology requests from marketing, translating between technical and marketing requirements and making sure that marketing’s systems adhere to IT policies. Andreas Starke, the business information officer for global marketing at SAP, is the principal point of contact between the two functions and streamlines the planning and execution of marketing technology projects. For example, he led the rollout of a shared automation platform to replace the disjointed systems used by previously siloed marketing groups.

Profile of a CMT

The broader marketing team.

The CMT ensures that the marketing staff has the right software and training. Brian Makas, the director of marketing technology and business intelligence at ThomasNet, saw that field sales reps and support staff were inefficiently coordinating their activities through weekly Excel spreadsheets. He jettisoned that time-­consuming process in favor of real-time views obtained through the company’s CRM system—and implemented the new protocol in just a week.

Outside software and service providers.

Here, the CMT assesses how well providers’ technical capabilities meet marketing’s needs, helps integrate the systems, and monitors their performance. Shawn Goodin, the director of marketing tech­nology at the Clorox Company, led the evaluation of six vendors for a platform that would optimize customers’ experiences across channels and devices and integrate consumer data across marketing, sales, and R&D.

The work of these CMTs shows just how open-ended this new role is—and why an executive fully at home in both marketing and IT is essential for the job.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

 What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

The first Guerrilla Marketing book was published by Houghton Mifflin in l984. Today there are 58 volumes in 62 languages, and more than 21 million copies have been sold worldwide. The book is required reading in many MBA programs throughout the world. The author taught the topic at the University of California, Berkeley Extension Division. He lectures on it worldwide.

This describes guerrilla marketing:

“I’m referring to the soul and essence of guerrilla marketing which remains as always — achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.

“Guerrilla Marketing started out a single volume and has since acted biblically by being fruitful and multiplying into a library of 35 books and counting, an Association, a lush website, an abundance of video and audio versions, an email newsletter, a consulting organization, an internationally-syndicated column for newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, and presentations in enough countries for us to consider forming our own Guerrilla United Nations.

The need for guerrilla marketing can be seen in the light of three facts:

Because of big business downsizing, decentralization, relaxation of government regulations, affordable technology, and a revolution in consciousness, people around the world are gravitating to small business in record numbers.
Small business failures are also establishing record numbers and one of the main reasons for the failures is a failure to understand marketing.
Guerrilla marketing has been proven in action to work for small businesses around the world. It works because it’s simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive.
Guerrilla marketing is needed because it gives small businesses a delightfully unfair advantage: certainty in an uncertain world, an economy in a high-priced world, simplicity in a complicated world, marketing awareness in a clueless world.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Valentus Specialty Chemicals Completes Second Acquisition

Huron Capital's Valentus Specialty Chemicals Completes Second Acquisition

DETROIT, April 14, 2016, /PRNewswire/ — Huron Capital Partners LLC ("Huron Capital") today announced its specialty coatings ExecFactor® platform, Valentus Specialty Chemicals, Inc. ("Valentus"), has acquired the floor finishes a business of Memphis, TN-based Precision Technology LLC. ("Precision").  Huron Capital formed Valentus in partnership with coatings industry veterans Ray Chlodney, John Ragazzini and Bob Taylor to pursue a buy-and-build initiative in the industrial coatings sector.  Valentus closed its first investment in December 2015 with the acquisition of coatings manufacturer National Paint Industries ("NPI"). 

Precision's floor coating business has a proven acid cure floor coating system which includes the Swedish Finish & Swedish Crown product lines and the Precision Polyurethane oil-based finish.  Lanny Trottman, founder, and owner of Precision will retain ownership of Precision's wood filler and wood patch products, maintenance products, and roller and brush products, which are not part of the transaction.  The floor coating business will move to NPI's facility in North Brunswick, New Jersey. 

Valentus CEO Chlodney said, "The NPI team has known Precision for a long time and has always thought highly of the business.  We are excited to add these products to the Valentus lineup as we look to expand our presence in the floor coatings market.  In partnership with Huron Capital, we are actively looking for additional complementary coatings companies as we continue to grow the Valentus platform."

Mike Beauregard, Senior Partner at Huron Capital, added, "This is the type of strategic add-on acquisition we envisioned when we created the Valentus ExecFactor® initiative, and we are pleased that it came less than four months after the first Valentus investment.  We are excited about partnering with Ray, John, and Bob, and will be looking to expand Valentus into additional geographies and new product lines."

About Huron Capital Partners LLC

Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. We prefer complex situations where we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational approach, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Founded in 1999, Huron Capital has raised over $1.1 billion in capital through four committed private equity funds and invested in over 100 companies, and our portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America. The Huron Capital buy-and-build investment model includes equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million. Huron Capital targets both majority and less-than-majority equity stakes in fundamentally-sound companies that can benefit from the firm's operational approach to creating value. Huron Capital's sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services, specialty manufacturing and healthcare.

SOURCE Huron Capital Partners LLC

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Personalization & Search Engine Rankings

Personalization & Search Engine Rankings

 

 

 

 

Years ago, everyone saw exactly the same search results. Today, no one sees exactly the same search results, not on Google, not on Bing. Everyone gets a personalized experience to some degree, even in private browsing windows.

Of course, there’s still a lot commonality. It’s not that everyone sees completely different results. Instead, everyone sees many of the same “generic” listings. But there will also be some listings appearing because of where someone is, whom they know or how they surf the web.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pc: Country

One of the easiest personalization ranking factors to understand is that people are shown results relevant to the country they’re in.

Someone in the US searching for “football” will get results about American football; someone in the UK will get results about the type of football that Americans would call soccer.

If your site isn’t deemed relevant to a particular country, then you’ve got less chance of showing up when country personalization happens. If you feel you should be relevant, then you’ll probably have to work on your international SEO.

Pl: Locality

Search engines don’t stop personalizing at the country level. They’ll tailor results to match the city or metropolitan area based on the user’s location.

As with country personalization, if you want to appear when someone gets city-specific results, you need to ensure your site is relevant to that city.

Ph: Personal History

What has someone been searching for and clicking on from their search results? What sites do they regularly visit? Have they “Liked” a site using Facebook, shared it via Twitter or perhaps +1’d it?

This type of personal history is used to varying degrees and ways by both Google and Bing to influence search results. Unlike country or city personalization, there’s no easy way to try and make yourself more relevant.

Instead, it places more importance on first impressions and brand loyalty. When a user clicks on a “regular” search result, you want to ensure you’re presenting a great experience so they’ll come again. Over time, they may seek out your brand in search results, clicking on it despite it being below other listings.

This behavior reinforces your site as one that they should be shown more frequently to that user. Even better if they initiate a social gesture, such as a Like, +1 or Tweet that indicates a greater affinity for your site or brand.

History is even more important in new search interfaces such as Google Now, which will proactively present “cards” to users based on explicit preferences (i.e. – which sports teams or stocks do you track) and search history.

Ps: Social Connections

What do someone’s friends think about a website? This is one of the newer ranking factors to impact search results. Someone’s social connections can influence what they see on Google and Bing.

Those connections are what truly matter because search engines view those connections as a user’s personal set of advisors. Offline, you might trust and ask your friends to give you advice on a restaurant or gardening.

Increasingly, when you search today search engines are trying to emulate that offline scenario. So if a user is connected to a friend and that friend has reviewed a restaurant or shared an article on growing tomatoes then that restaurant and article may rank higher for that user.

If someone can follow you, or easily share your content, that helps get your site into their circle of trust and increases the odds that others they know will find you. Nowhere is this more transformative than Google+, where circling a site’s Google+ Page will change the personalized search results for that user.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

HTML Code & Search Engine Success Factors

HTML Code & Search Engine Success Factors

 

 

 

 

 

HTML is the underlying code used to create web pages. Search engines can pick up ranking signals from specific HTML elements. Below are some of the most important HTML elements to achieve SEO success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ht: HTML Title Tag

Imagine that you wrote 100 different books but gave them all the same exact title. How would anyone understand that they are all about different topics?

Imagine that you wrote 100 different books, and while they did have different titles, the titles weren’t very descriptive — maybe just a single word or two. Again, how would anyone know, at a glance, what the books were about?

HTML titles have always been and remain the most important HTML signal that search engines use to understand what a page is about. Bad titles on your pages are like having bad book titles in the examples above. In fact, if your HTML titles are deemed bad or not descriptive, Google changes them.

So think about what you hope each page will be found for, relying on the keyword research you’ve already performed. Then craft unique, descriptive titles for each of your pages. For more help about this, see our posts in the category below:

Hd: The Meta Description Tag

The meta description tag, one of the oldest supported HTML elements, allows you to suggest how you’d like your pages to be described in search listings. If the HTML title is equivalent to a book title, the meta description is like the blurb on the back describing the book.

SEO purists will argue that the meta description tag isn’t a “ranking factor” and that it doesn’t actually help your pages rank higher. Rather, it’s a “display factor,” something that helps how you look if you appear in the top results due to other factors.

Technically, that’s correct. And it’s one of the reasons we decided to call these “success” factors instead of ranking factors.

A meta description that contains the keywords searched for (in bold) may catch the user’s eye. A well-crafted meta description may help ‘sell’ that result to the user. Both can result in additional clicks to your site. As such, it makes sense for the meta description tag to be counted as a success factor.

Be forewarned, having a meta description tag doesn’t guarantee that your description will actually get used. Search engines may create different descriptions based on what they believe is most relevant for a particular query. But having one increases the odds that what you prefer will appear. And it’s easy to do. So do it.

Hs: Structured Data

What if you could tell search engines what your content was about in their own “language”? Behind the scenes, sites can use specific markup (code) that make it easy for search engines to understand the details of the page content and structure.

The result of structured data often translates into what is called a ‘rich snippet‘, a search listing that has extra bells and whistles that make it more attractive and useful to users. The most common rich snippet you’re likely to encounter  reviews/ratings which usually includes eye-catching stars.

While the use of structured data may not be a direct ranking factor, it is clearly a success factor. All things being equal, a listing with a rich snippet will get more clicks than one without. And search engines are eager for site owners to embrace structured data, providing new and easier ways for less tech-savvy webmasters to participate.

Structured data has been around for quite some time in various forms. But recently search engines have begun to rely on it more with the advent of Google’s Knowledge Graph and Bing’s Snapshot.

This element debuted in the previous edition of the periodic table, and in this edition, we’ve increased the weight, as we see it becoming more important in the future.

Hh: Header Tags

See the headline up at the top of this page? Behind the scenes, HTML code is used to make that a header tag. In this case, an H1 tag.

See the sub-headlines on the page? Those also use header tags. Each of them is the next “level” down, using H2 tags.

Header tags are a formal way to identify key sections of a web page. Search engines have long used them as clues to what a page is about. If the words you want to be found for are in header tags, you have a slightly increased chance of appearing in searches for those words.

Naturally, this knowledge has caused some people to go overboard. They’ll put entire paragraphs in header tags. That doesn’t help. Header tags are as much for making content easy to read for users as it is for search engines.

Header tags are useful when they reflect the logical structure (or outline) of a page. If you have a main headline, use an H1 tag. Relevant subheads should use an H2 tag. Use headers as they make sense and they may reinforce other ranking factors.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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make money online

Struggling to Make Money Online ? 

When you first start a business you need to identify a product that you can sell on the open market at a profit, which usually rules out MLM products as most are overpriced, with even distributors struggling to move products at even the distributor price.

What if I told you there was a popular product drunk by millions of people on a daily basis, made from 100% natural product, which not only satisfies people thirst but has the added advantage of helping people to lose weight..

The number of overweight people throughout the world is increasing alarmingly, such that governments like the UK are considering a sugar tax on popular fizzy drinks. During my work every day I see many overweight people and watch them struggle to complete simple tasks. Perhaps I am one of the lucky few who was throughout my life been able to keep my weight within controllable limits.

Having a product that sells well and makes money online is a great start for any business, however you need also to be able to market the product. The milliennials and older make heavy use of social media, so this is where you need to focus your advertising and any sites you use must be set up to be mobile friendly. I use a system called MarketHive which enables me to get my message across to millions of people with the simple push of a button.

I suppose that the hardest part of the processof making money online is actually writing the blog posts, but even here the MarketHive system has what is called blog swipe where you can edit and use someone else's blog, adding your own twist to the story and pointing it to your own capture pages. It does not become much easier than this.

Unlike a traditional MLM, you will find the members of MarketHive's business and social network are a friendly bunch, willing to help one another achieve their goals, even though they may be in different lines of the business. this cooperation is the root of MarketHive's success.

If you have struggled in the past to make money online, like I have in the past, this could be a life changer, please contact me if you want more details.

 

David Ogden

Helping People Help themselves.

Https://markethive.com/david-ogden

http://www.experiencevalentus.com/program

 

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Is learning useless stuff good for you?

Is learning useless stuff good for you?

We often require all students to learn things they may never need like latin, calculus, advanced trigonometry and classical literature. The implicit assumption is that learning difficult things is intrinsically good. It trains your brain. It makes you smarter.

True? Or false?

I worked on this assumption for the longest time. As an undergraduate, I took 6 courses per term instead of the required 5. I also took an extra year to graduate, doing the equivalent two majors. I probably took more college courses than 99.9% of the college graduates.

Why did I take all these courses? Because I was convinced that learning about all sorts of things would make me smarter. Many people think it works this way. That’s why we taught people Latin for a long time. In education, that is called transfer: learning something will help you learn something else, even if it is barely related. Does it work? We have reasons to doubt it:

Transfer has been studied since the turn of the XXth century. Still, there is very little empirical evidence showing meaningful transfer to occur and much less evidence showing it under experimental control. (…) significant transfer is probably rare and accounts for very little human behavior. (Detterman)

Caplan is even more categorical:

Teachers like to think that no matter how useless their lessons appear, they are teaching their students how to think. Under the heading of Transfer of Learning, educational psychologists have spent over a century looking for evidence that this sort of learning actually occurs. The results are decidedly negative.

These authors are not saying that learning French won’t help you learn Spanish. They are not saying that learning C++ won’t help you learn Java. Transfering does work, trivially, when there are similarities. Rather, they are saying that learning projective geometry won’t make you a better Java programmer. They are saying that learning fractal theory won’t help you be a better manager.

This has troubling consequences because, for many people, whatever they learned in college or in high school, has very little to do with what they do for a living. Does a degree in journalism makes you a better program manager today? You can legitimately ask the question. Yet employers are happy to assume that a degree, any degree, will help people do a better job, irrespective of the similarities between the job and the degree. For example, Tom Chi explains how his training in astrophysics made him a better business manager. From astrophysics to management? Really?

Can we at least hope that college students improve their critical thinking with all these literature, mathematics and philosophy classes? Roksaa and Arumb looked at the score of students on critical thinking tests as they progress through their studies:

A high proportion of students are progressing through higher education today without measurable gains in critical thinking.

The students have learned skills. It is difficult to go through years of studies without learning something. But this knowledge and these skills do not necessarily transfer to something as basic as critical thinking.

My point is that students might be onto something when they refuse to learn for the sake of learning. We look down at people who refuse to learn mathematics because it appears useless to them. We think that learning some mathematics would be good for them the same way we used to think that learning latin was good for the minds of little boys. We might be wrong.

But this has also a practical consequence for all of us: don’t bother learning skills “just in case” unless you do it for fun. If you want to be a better software programmer, just practice programming. This also means that if you want to acquire practical skills, a school might not be the best place to go: a degree in English might not turn you into a better novelist.

Another consequence is that you should not assume a transfer of expertise: if someone succeeded at one thing, you should not assume they will succeed at something else. If a famous baseball player starts a software company, wait before investing.

How to learn efficiently

I am convinced that much of the gap between the best college students and the worst is explained by study habits. Frankly, most students study poorly. To make matters worse, most teachers are incapable of teaching good study habits.

Learning is proportional with effort

Sitting in a classroom listening to a professor feels like learning… Reading a book on a new topic feels like learning… but because they are overwhelming passive activities, they are inefficient. It is even worse than inefficient, it is counterproductive because it gives you the false impression that you know the material. You can sit through lecture after lecture on quantum mechanics. At some point, you will become familiar with the topics and the terminology. Alas, you are fooling yourself which is worse than not learning anything.

Instead, you should always seek to challenge yourself. If some learning activity feels easy, it means that it is too easy. You should be constantly reminded of how little you know. Great lectures make it feels like the material is easy: it probably is not. Test yourself constantly: you will find that you know less than you think.

Some students blame the instructors when they feel confused. They are insistent that a course should be structured in such a way that it is always easy so that they rarely make mistakes. The opposite is true: a good course is one where you always feel that you will barely make it. It might not be a pleasant course, but it is one where you are learning. It is by struggling that we learn.

On this note, Learning Style theory is junk: while it is true that some students have an easier time doing things a certain way, having it easier is not the goal.

There are many ways to challenge yourself and learn more efficiently:

  • Seek the most difficult problems, the most difficult questions and try to address them. It is useless to read pages after pages of textbook material, but it becomes meaningful if you are doing it to solve a hard problem. This is not news to Physics students who have always learned by solving problems. Always work on the toughest problems you can address.

  • Reflect on what you have supposedly learned. As an undergraduate student, I found that writing a summary of everything I had learned in a class was one of the best ways to study for an exam. I would just sit down with a blank piece of paper and try to summarize everything as precisely as possible. Ultimately, writing your own textbook would be a very effective way to learn the material. Teaching is a great way to learn because it challenges you.

  • Avoid learning from a single source. Studying from a single textbook is counterproductive. Instead, seek multiple sources. Yes, it is confusing to pick up a different textbook where the terminology might be different, but this confusion is good for you.

If sitting docilely in a classroom is inefficient and even counterproductive, then why is it so common a practice? Why indeed!

Interleaved study trumps mass study

When studying, many people do not want to mix topics “so as not to get confused”. So if they need to learn to apply one particular idea, they study to the exclusion of everything else. That is called mass (or block) practice.

Course material and textbooks do not help: they are often neatly organized into distinct chapters, distinct sections… each one covering one specific topic.

What researchers have found is that interleaved practice is far superior. In interleaved practice, you intentionally mix up topics. Want to become a better mathematician? Do not spend one-month studying combinatorics, one-month studying calculus and so on. Instead, work on various mathematical topics, mixing them randomly.

Interleaved practice feels much harder (e.g., “you feel confused”), and it feels discouraging because progress appears to be slow. However, this confusion you feel… that is your brain learning.

Interleaved practice is exactly what a real project forces you to do. This means that real-world experience where you get to solve hard problems is probably a much more efficient learning strategy than college. Given a choice between doing challenging real work, and taking classes, you should always take the challenging work instead.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

 

 

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Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques

Some students seem to breeze through their school years, whereas others struggle, putting them at risk for getting lost in our educational system and not reaching their full potential. Parents and teachers want to help students succeed, but there is little guidance on which learning techniques are the most effective for improving educational outcomes. This leads students to implement studying strategies that are often ineffective, resulting in minimal gains in performance.      

 

 

What then are the best strategies to help struggling students learn?

Fortunately for students, parents, and teachers, psychological scientists have developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a wide range of learning techniques meant to enhance academic performance. In this report, Dunlosky (Kent State University), Rawson (Kent State University), Marsh (Duke University), Nathan (University of Wisconsin–Madison), and Willingham (University of Virginia) review the effectiveness of 10 commonly used learning techniques.

The authors describe each learning technique in detail and discuss the conditions under which each technique is most successful. They also describe the students (age, ability level, etc.) for whom each technique is most useful, the materials needed to utilize each technique, and the specific skills each technique promotes. To allow readers to easily identify which methods are the most effective, the authors rate the techniques as having high, medium, or low utility for improving student learning.

Which learning techniques made the grade? According to the authors, some commonly used techniques, such as underlining, rereading material, and using mnemonic devices, were found to be of surprisingly low utility. These techniques were difficult to implement properly and often resulted in inconsistent gains in student performance. Other learning techniques such as taking practice tests and spreading study sessions out over time — known as distributed practice — were found to be of high utility because they benefited students of many different ages and ability levels and enhanced performance in many different areas.

The real-world guidance provided by this report is based on psychological science, making it an especially valuable tool for students, parents, and teachers who wish to promote effective learning. Although there are many reasons why students struggle in school, these learning techniques, when used properly, should help provide meaningful gains in classroom performance, achievement test scores, and many other tasks students will encounter across their lifespan.

To succeed, adopt the post-industrial view

From time to time, students ask me whether such degree or certificate in computer science will help them get a good job. There is no shortage of studies showing that degrees lead to good jobs. That might be true, but there are also many young (and not-so-young) people who are depressed by their career. This sad state of affairs comes, I believe, from an industrial viewpoint. People seek “certifications” of all sorts, just like factories seek to get “certifications” for their products.

Maybe getting a computer science degree from a leading school feels like “ambition” or “a quest for excellence”, but it is so only if you adopt an industrial viewpoint. In truth, you are more or less going through the motions.

The problem is summarized nicely by Vivek Haldar:

I’ve been a TA for a number of CS classes while in grad school, and I’ve conducted many interviews for software engineer positions. Just from my narrow anecdotal window, it is amazing how many CS students just want to figure out the bare minimum to pass the class; and how many grads do not have a decent grasp of elementary algorithms and data structures, and are not comfortable with code.

Vivek is trying to be nice: he knows that there is more than just anecdotal evidence. Too many students assume that taking a couple of programming classes is all you need to be a developer.

In an industrial universe, we seek standardization. You are either a software developer, or you are not. If some well-known school says that you are a competent software engineer, then you are. Conformism is preferred to an initiative. Going beyond the call of duty is for suckers: do what you are asked, no more. You can also expect the next 5 years to be like the previous 5 years. All you have to do is to be consistent.

In a post-industrial world, you have to adopt different strategies:

  • Instead of seeking a “certificate” that supposedly show that you know how to behave nicely and get work done… start getting actual work done and behave nicely. Then tell the world about it. The certificate or degree becomes just one element in a wide portfolio.

  • Instead of waiting to be told what to do, start figuring out by yourself what you should do. Please don’t wait for a professor to tell you how to build a software application. Go out on your own and figure it out. Better yet: figure out how to get paid for it.

  • Never assume that skills in demand today will be in demand tomorrow. Go learn a new programming language even if no professor told you to do so.

If you behave as a cog in the machine, you will be treated as such, and you are likely to learn to regret it.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

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