Surviving the First 90 Days with a New Client


New Client Relationship

New Client Relationship

Signing a new client is one of the most thrilling experiences in the business world. But it can also be a dangerous venture.

The first 90 days are crucial to the success of your relationship with your client. This new change is bound to be stressful for your client, especially if they are just coming out of a bad business-vendor relationship. Don’t let that hold you back.

Help your client ease into this new partnership by following these tips.

  • Learn About Your Client’s Previous Supplier
    Understanding how your client worked with its previous vendor will help you gain insight into:

    • What worked and what didn’t in your client’s previous relationship
    • How difficult this transition is for your client
    • How you should modify your style to meet your client’s style

Form your new relationship around these details, and your client will be more inclined to trust and rely on you to fulfill their needs. Build a system based on what has worked not only for your company in the past but what has worked for your new client. Do this, and you’ll build a successful and lasting relationship.

  • Recognize the Difficulty of This Transition for Your Point of Contact
    Your client may be hesitant to invest a large sum of money into your services at first, especially if their previous vendor wasn't what they expected. Try not to push any services on your new client that are outside their budget or that the company is not yet comfortable with.

    Worse yet, this change may have been sprung on your point of contact (POC) without his/her input. As if this alone isn’t stressful enough, your POC’s superiors are breathing down his/her neck about this new commitment - on top of all the other responsibilities your POC juggles on a daily basis.
  • Listen to Your Point of Contact
    In order to properly gauge the status of your client’s transition, pay close attention to the way your POC communicates with you. Each time he/she speaks with you, sends you an email, etc., find out what your POC is really saying.

    • Is he/she stressed?
    • Does your POC trust your company?
    • Does he/she believe in you yet?

Over the first 90 days, communicate with your POC over the phone as much as possible and attempt to understand his/her feelings. Ask lots of questions. Listen to their tone of voice. Stay up to date on company happenings that might be influencing them. Speaking with your POC over the phone also helps build assurance that your new client’s project is in trustworthy hands.

  • Acknowledge and Resolve Any Concerns
    Relationships can get tense with particularly touchy transitions. Always listen closely to your POC and his/her superiors in order to determine the best route for resolving any conflict that may arise. Acknowledge their concerns and develop a strategy that works for your POC’s team and yours to best address them. Present the strategy both verbally and through email, so both sides have documented evidence and your POC has an eased conscience. You can even go so far as to have your management schedule weekly calls with your POC’s management to ensure all is moving well, until everyone is confident in the progress of the project.

The first 90 days with a new client are similar to adjusting to any new constant in your life, new roommate, new job, new pet, new boss. Each side has expectations and perhaps even fears. But it is in weathering these times of stress gracefully and productively that friends are made. Don't underestimate how a healthy business relationship during this initial time can help solidify your status as a trusted vendor.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Browse over 400 classes in the digital library at OMI. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.


Kaye’s work at Web Talent Marketing includes working closely with the client relations team to ensure exceptional service and strategies are provided to our clients.  Additionally, her role includes new business development as she builds channel partnerships and leverages previous business relationships.

What’s the Best Strategy When Making a Viral Video?


While some people might get lucky when it comes to getting a video to go viral, most of the time when it comes to videos made by brands, there is a highly tactical strategy in place before the video ever gets made. Did you know for example that the average viral video is anywhere between 15 seconds and five minutes. 15 seconds you might ask? Well think about Vine and its highly popular six second loops.

The golden rule of course for making any video with the aim of getting it to go viral is to focus on extracting an emotional response from the video’s target audience. Whether your aim is to make them laugh through slapstick comedy antics, make them cry with a heartfelt sob story or make them angry by purposely portraying a controversial topic in all its grandeur, the bottom line is connecting your audience with a story they will want to watch.

Have a look at the below infographic for a snapshot of top tips to assist you when planning a viral video, or for a more in-depth read around the strategies behind them, see this guide produced by One Productions.

one-productions-top-tips-to-make-viral-videos-igWant to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Browse over 400 classes in the digital library at OMI. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.

Top Lead Generation Strategies for Startups & Small Businesses


43864555 - lead generation - letters on wooden desk with laptop computer and a notebook. 3d render illustration.

Let’s face it. Running a business is a lot of work.

You have to deal with long hours, sleepless nights and tight budgets. Tons of things that just suck the life out of you. Stress just keeps on building. But you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur and never give up.

You figure out that digital marketing is the next big thing, your ultimate chance to best the competition. So you launch a website, write several blog posts, and create social media accounts to share stuff. But for some reason it’s just not working.


Sergey Grybniak, a digital marketing expert and founder of, knows the answer. He’s sure that owners of small businesses and startups make one very glaring mistake: They focus on driving visitors, not generating leads.

I am going to interview Sergey to find out more about the best lead generation strategies that bolster conversion rates and are guaranteed to shoot revenue through the roof.

Sergey, what’s the thing with lead generation?

Generating leads is the most important objective for every business owner. And you know why? Because leads mean money.

Let’s have a closer look at how businesses do digital marketing. They are obsessed with getting more visitors, and invest thousands of marketing dollars to drive traffic to their product pages.

While having lots of visitors is vital, it doesn’t make sense if a business lacks the tools to convert and close them. If owners just tried to capture leads, they would turn their marketing into an effective revenue generator. But what they actually do is more like using carpet bombing vs. laser-targeted missiles.

Businesses need money. So, let’s get to the point. What’s your first lead generation strategy?

This strategy is quite hard to master: Learn the mechanics of online lead generation.

Most business owners are bad at lead generation because they know nothing about it. Let’s do some learning together, shall we?

The lead generation process is based on four crucial elements: offer, CTA, landing page and form.

Your product or service is your offer. And your goal is to make it irresistible.

How? Rely on psychological tips and tricks. Use limited-time and limited-quantity offers to show your prospects that they may be missing out on a good offer. The law of scarcity will spur them on to convert.

You can rely on a tried-and-tested tribal effect as well. Convey a message that others love your product and reduce anxiety with social proof. Humans often copy each other – take advantage of it.

Your next element is call-to-action. Ensure that your CTA:

●  Stands out “above the fold”

●  Has a clear copy

●  Is linked to a dedicated landing page

●  Matches with the landing’s title

A landing page is your secret sauce. Use it wisely to reinforce the message about your product's benefits.

How? Well, tweak and test relentlessly until you come up with:

●  A catchy title

●  A subtitle with the offer description

●  Up to five “value” bullet points

●  A visually appealing image

●  A clickable and noticeable CTA

●  User-friendly social buttons

●  A neat form to fill out

The final element is a conversion form. Test it well because users hate long, unfriendly forms. Minimize the number of fields to fill out.

When you master these four elements, your conversion rate will improve. And, moreover, you will have a clear picture of how your funnel with the sales prospects is actually doing.

This strategy isn’t a dark art but still rather complex. What about the second one?

Unfortunately, it’s not too simple either: Rely on multi-channel lead generation. You should promote your product using as many marketing channels as you can.

Blogging, email marketing, social media, organic search – every little thing matters.

Though it takes some time to learn how to capture leads with blog content, emails, social posts, or through organic search, it’ll help you get the right marketing mix to spur your business on.

And what can any business owner do right now? I mean, do you have any kind of a foolproof strategy?

Absolutely! And this one is just a piece of cake: Register on lead generation platforms.

There are dozens of platforms to drive free leads from. As a rule, these are digital marketplaces. Your goal is to find ones that fit the needs of your business.

If you lease cars, search for marketplaces that provide car leasing services (e.g. Carvoy, ZipCar). If you own more of a mixed-bag company, register on jack-of-all- trades marketplaces (e.g. Opporty). Want to make a bigger splash in the travel industry? Get your company noticed on Vericost or Rome2rio. It is a little more difficult than just submitting your company to some directory. You should be connected to information distribution networks. But once it is done you can get get a significant amount of orders absolutely for free.

There’s no shortage of examples.

And it’s not rocket science! Just find a marketplace, register, and bring in leads to your website. Anyone can do it.

Any final thoughts?

I’d like to sum it up. Basically, you have five strategies to generate leads:

  • Learn about online lead generation mechanics
  • Utilize multiple marketing channels
  • Register on lead generation platforms (marketplaces)
  • Build strategic partnerships
  • Hire a professional digital marketing agency

The first four depend on each other in a sense that they require hard work and constant fine tuning on your part. The fifth is a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Thanks for joining me, Sergey. Pleasure talking to you.

Interested in digital classes on the topics discussed above? OMI recommends the below classes to get started:

Increase Lead Generation Quality, Conversion, and Velocity, Creating Content that Converts, How to Build a Lead Nurtuting Campaign, and How to Generate High Quality Leads with Paid Search

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.

9 Ways to Save Time on Your Social Media Efforts



Social Media Network

Social media has become a crucial part of any online business. Social media provides a number of benefits, including  additional exposure  for your content. This can lead to increased brand awareness, and potentially position you as a thought leader if you are putting out great and useful content.

But social media isn’t only about brand engagement, it can also be an additional avenue for customer service. Customers these days assume a social channel is an opportunity to reach out, interact, and get help. Having an active social media presence can help you get closer to your customers, and potentially serve them better.

All the benefits aside, it does take a lot of time to manage social media networks.  Here are nine ways to make sure managing your social media doesn’t turn into a full time task.

# 1 – Understand how each social network  works

Before you start creating profiles everywhere, spend some time learning about each social media network. Find out which kind of content they are more likely to host, how the conversations happen there, and which formats are the most popular.

Want to dig deeper into understanding how each social network works? OMI suggests 5 Fundamentals of Integrating Social Media Into All Digital Efforts, check it out here

# 2 – Understand your target audience

You need to know where your target audience hangs out, which social networks they prefer, and what they chat about. It's important to try to find a trend in the kind of content they share most often. Use these findings to guide your post creation.

# 3 – Learn your competitors

Find out which social media networks your competitors have joined, and what kind of content  they provide.

To ensure that you won’t be following the wrong role model, read the comments shared on your competitor's content to learn how your audience reacts to them, and how often their posts get shared. Use these findings to guide your post creation.

# 4 – Read and watch what experts are saying

Read and watch what other digital marketing experts are saying about social media and it’s use and evolution. They are highly specialized professionals. Follow their social channels so you can stay up to date and adapt quickly.

# 5 – Ask for help

If you can’t do it all, ask for help. Help may come in the form of another  person to support you or you can enlist some of the best tools or apps, such as:

  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite will let you create, schedule, and publish your social media posts much faster and more efficiently. Hootsuite will also provide you with analytics reports and courses to improve your social media skills.
  • Buffer: Another content automation tool. Try both, and see which you prefer.  
  • Smart Paper Help: An online writing service specialized in writing any kind of text. Their team of professional writers can also help you to edit and proofread your content.  
  • Sprout Social: If you have a social media team in place, get them organized with several collaboration and sharing features that will allow them to work as a group in a much more efficient fashion. 

Want to learn more time saving tips for executing high performance social media marketing programs? OMI suggest Social Media Marketing Best Practices for SMB's, check it out here.

# 6 – Create a content vault

You probably spend a lot of time looking for images, resources, videos, and other materials to round out your content.  

To avoid burnout, create a content vault, a kind of library where you will keep all materials that you will need to create your posts so you can easily access them and don’t waste time browsing around.

# 7 – Brush up your skills

Pay attention to each part of the creation process, and check if anything needs improvement. It might be your writing, it might be the way you do research online, it might be how you choose and prepare the visual resources.

As soon as you identify what is slowing you down, either find a way to outsource that part, or find the time to practice.

# 8 - Plan your posts in advance

Create a month by month spreadsheet, and list every post you will create, the topic to be covered, where it will be published, the visual resources that will go with it, when you will publish, and which goal you are trying to achieve.

This upfront work will make the process much faster down the road.

# 9 – Use monitoring tools

Last but not least, you should consider adopting tools and services so you have a better view of how your content is performing. Some good options are Google Alerts to get daily or weekly updates of your chosen keywords. Or you can use Topsy or Social Mention to provide you with real-time information about your social media accounts.

The bottom line

There  are a number of  ways to save time on your social media efforts. Some of them will cost you some money, but most of them won’t be noticed by your budget.

Good luck!

Interested in getting certified in Social Media? Check out OMI's certification in Social Media Marketing, here.


Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.

About the author:
Rick Riddle is a marketing consultant and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles aim to help people with digital marketing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and career. Feel free to follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.

How to Use the New Twitter Dashboard For A/B Testing


Business Brainstorming Colleagues Corporate Concept

A/B Testing Social Media

Among today’s top social media platforms, Twitter is unique. It has the defining characteristic of being limited in post length, along with a breakneck pace at which content is generated. This combination of short messages and fast consumption make it a perfect place to perform A/B testing that quickly produces actionable results.

While basic A/B testing has always been possible on Twitter, the new dashboard offers a huge boost in analytics and data capture. Given this new development, I’m going to show you how you can test a variety of factors with A/B testing on the Twitter platform.

What Can I Test on Twitter?

Let’s start by looking at your options for testing on Twitter. It’s easy to assume there’s not much to gain from posting short messages that disappear as quickly as they appeared, but this accelerated lifespan of posts gives us the opportunity to test a wide variety of factors:

  • Specific wording, keywords, and message lengths
  • Your overall tone (witty, sarcastic, positive, casual, etc.)
  • The number of hashtags and their relevance to the content
  • Comparing different images or videos when paired with tweets
  • The days and times you send out tweets

All of these are excellent things to test with some clever strategies and use of the Twitter dashboard. This will result in new ways for your to generate leads on Twitter.

Getting Started With A/B Testing on Twitter (Using The New Dashboard)

Typically, A/B testing is done when you’re making a website and testing design elements, but the same principle can be applied to Twitter as a means of better understanding your audience and their preferences on this social media platform.  

Here’s a step-by-step guide to testing on the Twitter platform that also incorporates the analytics features from the new dashboard.

Step One: Setup Your Twitter Dashboard 

Start by heading to to get started with these new tools. Once you arrive on the page, click the “Try Twitter Dashboard” button.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken to a page where you’re asked to describe your business. 

The next step in the process involves selecting the terms and keywords you want to monitor on Twitter as a whole. Here you could input anything related to your company or simply your company name in order to track any relevant mentions.

Once this is set up, you’ll be able to see all your mentions in one place without having to use a third-party app. This is great for tracking purposes and catching opportunities to engage with your audience.


Another great feature is the ability to schedule tweets within the dashboard, which further eliminates the need for third-party tools. We’ll cover the analytics portion later in this post, but for now, you should familiarize yourself with the dashboard as you prepare to start A/B testing.

Step Two: Construct Your Tweets

As with any good A/B test, you should focus on a specific factor, or a few specific factors, you’re looking to test. Keep everything else the same as a control so you can accurately observe the differences between the two tweets.

As an example, let’s say I’m promoting a new post on my blog about succeeding on today’s social media platforms. I want to test two different tweet lengths to see which one gets more engagement.

I’ll start by creating two tweets: one short, and one long:



Next, I’ll schedule each one at different days and times. I’ll choose different times to tweet so I can measure which one performs better and how the day/time affected that performance. This is a great first step, and it will provide a framework for what days and times work best for my audience.

It’s also worth noting that you can use a tool like Bitly to shorten the length of your URL. This is an excellent way to gain back more character counts in your tweets. Once we’ve finished sending out these tweets, it’s time to track their performance!

Step Three: Track Performance

When you enter the analytics portion of the Twitter dashboard, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the new data. You can track a variety of factors ranging from 7 to 60-day intervals.

Here’s what you can see at a glance:

  • Tweet performance
  • Media tweets
  • Replies
  • Follower growth
  • Overall performance
  • Profile visits

Within the “tweets” tab you can see how specific tweets performed. This is where you’ll find the information you need to judge your A/B testing. While the main dashboard shows how many likes, retweets, and replies it received, you can look at the engagement totals with a single tweet by going into the analytics of the dashboard.

You can export the data to a CSV to see the breakdown by engagement type. You'll also be able to see what interests your audience members, broken down my industry. This will give you valuable insight into the types of topics that will resonate most with them.

The detail doesn’t stop there. You can go deeper by looking at the demographic tab, which breaks down the location, income, and gender of your followers. All of this can be used to inform your A/B testing and provide valuable feedback on each of your efforts.

Step Four: Expand Your Efforts, Never Stop Testing

With A/B testing, your job isn’t finished after one test, or even ten. Intermittent testing only serves to give you incomplete data. You need to create a consistent testing schedule that’s ongoing to continuously tweak and alter your approach.

Here are some steps to take as you move forward with your testing:

  • Repeat tests on different days/different times
  • Incorporate additional variables like promotions and CTA tweets
  • Move past Twitter and start testing on other networks

While Twitter is at the forefront of analytics with their new dashboard, that doesn't mean you can’t apply these same concepts to A/B testing on other platforms. Using this strategy will allow you to ensure that everything you post on social media resonates with your audience and increases engagement.

Remember, when you get your results, you should employ a method of observing and applying the data you’ve gathered. Here is a process inspired by the scientific method of testing:

  • Start with a question
  • Pose a hypothesis (changing the length of a tweet will alter its performance)
  • Test your hypothesis with an experiment, in this case an A/B test
  • Analyze the data you receive on each tweet and draw a conclusion
  • Showcase your results to others on your team and move forward with new testing

This simple approach will allow you to create a routine for testing that moves smoothly from test-to-test.

Final Thoughts

A/B testing is a common practice for marketers and a major step in the optimization process. With Twitter’s new dashboard, you can bring this type of testing to social media to improve your engagement and performance with each new tweet.

How do you utilize A/B testing on social media? What experiences have you had with the new Twitter dashboard? Let us know in the comments!

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.

How to Create a Successful Online Ad Campaign to Accomplish Brand Awareness


Man creating brand awareness campaign Concept

Man creating brand awareness campaign

While technology has significantly changed how companies market their products and services over the years, the guiding principles behind successful advertising campaigns have remained constant.

Before you launch an advertising campaign, whatever the media and channels, you first must know be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the marketing budget?
  • How long will the ad campaign run?
  • What are your marketing goals?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How will you measure your marketing goals?

It also helps to know what your competitors are doing. More on that later.

First things first

Let's not put the shopping cart before the horse, so to speak. That is, one of your first tasks is to determine the campaign's overall goal. If your goal is to sell products or services, you will be creating a much more aggressive campaign than if your goal is to increase brand awareness.

You can find a great deal of information on digital advertising campaigns designed to drive conversions. Somewhat less prevalent are articles focusing on the creation of online advertising campaigns simply designed to create brand awareness. We're talking apples and oranges or, in this case, conversions and clicks.

The ultimate goal of an online brand awareness campaign typically is to drive traffic to your site. Once the visitor clicks through to your site, you have the opportunity to educate and engage via relevant, valuable content. But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.

Your ad campaign will be impacted by the factors listed above, which means you may have to tweak your original goals along the way. For example, if your original goal was simply to create top-of-mind awareness for your brand, you might want to inundate the web with banner ads. You would place ads based more on reach and frequency than on targeting a specific audience. However, if your online marketing budget is limited, you probably would have to rethink such a broad-based approach.

Consistency is key

You may not be able to blanket the web with your banner and search ads, but you can (and should) be consistent in your creative efforts. In doing so, you will build visual recognition with your online audience. Over time, elements such as your color scheme, logo and fonts will instantly resonate with viewers.

The banner ads below are good examples of consistency in advertising. It just so happens the ads are promoting BP, which has had to dig its brand out of the PR hole created by the oil spill back in 2010. And with the release of the "Deepwater Horizon" movie, the BP brand may take a bashing again.


A brand awareness campaign such as BP's hovers between the worlds of advertising and public relations. Because BP is already a known brand, the overarching goal may be brand awareness, with a campaign devoted specifically to altering the public's perception of the brand.

Note, too, the call to action (CTA) for each of the banner ads. It is not an "in-your-face" CTA like BUY NOW. Instead, the CTAs encourage the viewer to "Learn more" or "Read the Report." In the most simplified sense, brand awareness campaigns are soft sell vs. hard sell.

In fact, your brand awareness campaign could be the precursor to a straight sales campaign. This ties in perfectly with the consumer buying process:


Just keep in mind that it most likely will take longer to see results from a brand awareness campaign. Patience and persistence will pay off in the long run.

If you want to learn more about brand strategy and awareness, OMI recommends How To Be The Most Talked About Brand. 

How to get the most bang for your buck

The Google Ad Network is a popular choice for setting up a digital advertising campaign. According to Google AdSense, the most successful banner ad sizes are:

  • 336x280 large rectangle
  • 300x250 medium rectangle
  • 728x90 leaderboard
  • 300x600 half page
  • 320x100 large mobile banner

Whether you're resizing an image within each ad or the ads themselves, this can eat up a lot of valuable time. That's when a tool like the Image Resizer comes in handy. Simply upload your image, plug in the desired width and height in pixels, and you've got yourself a resized image.

The tool also comes in handy when prepping ads and images for social media. That's right, don't overlook advertising on social media sites. These can be particularly effective for brand awareness campaigns. Admittedly, it all can be a quite overwhelming. Here's a helpful guide to ad sizes on social media.

With search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns, be careful in your keyword bidding. If you're running more than one campaign at a time, you don't want to bid against yourself. With Google AdWords, you can use the AdWords Editor to avoid duplicate keywords.

As mentioned above, it's important to know what your competition is up to online. This is especially true when it comes to keyword bidding. Your competitor may be bidding on your brand name, and you can return the favor.

If you want to learn more about Social Media and Branding, OMI recommends Brand Advocacy Strategies for Social Media.

Getting them to 'click' with your content

So someone clicked on your ad and ended up on your website; now what? Your first inclination might be to take the visitor to your home page. For best results, however, create a dedicated landing page. Even better, create (and test) several landing pages to see which ones perform best. If you don't have the bandwidth or budget to design multiple landing pages, use an online service such as Unbounce, which provides landing page templates (no HTML coding needed).

The content on the landing page should follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. It also should be tailored to complement the banner ad. That way, when the visitor arrives at your page, there is no disconnect. It's a seamless experience. We often think of site design and functionality when we're discussing user experience (UX), but content also can dramatically affect the online experience.

Are we there yet?

How do you know if your brand campaign is a success? Many marketers are leery of brand awareness campaigns because they can be more difficult to measure. But that's the beauty of digital advertising; it's easy to track your campaigns online.

In addition to monitoring your Google and other paid search campaigns, you can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track the volume of searches for your brand name.

Be sure to conduct social listening, as social networking sites offer keen insights into how consumers react to your brand (or not). Several social listening platforms, such as Hootsuite, offer both free and paid plans.

Assuming you've integrated an email component into your online campaign (as you should), you also could conduct a survey to gauge brand awareness.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.


Darcy Grabenstein is a freelance copywriter with more than 20 years experience in print and digital advertising. In the digital world, she has worked extensively with e-commerce and email campaigns. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

10 Practical Tools For Writing Outstanding Content


copywriter, gamer, freelancer, designer, man in headphones with beard at computer

copywriter, content creator, in headphones writing at computer


Writing cannot be taught overnight. It requires a lot of effort, knowledge, and dedicated time. Thankfully, the Internet today can provide almost everything we need, writing skills included. Online apps can provide certain guidelines, motivation, proofreading, editing, and many other useful tools to help you craft stellar content. By using them, a novice writer can become much more proficient in relatively short period of time.

However, with the endless number of these apps on the net, it can be cumbersome to find the ones that best suit your needs. So, I've created a list to help you wade through all of your choices, so you can get down to what’s most important - crafting amazing content.  


Any writing project regardless of the size and intent requires a certain amount of time dedicated to brainstorming, which helps us come up with ideas about the structure, content, and plot. Bubbl is a great tool to help speed up the brainstorming process. Specifically, the site helps to organize the ideas you have about your project and customize them by using different colors, font, and text size. Other advantage - it's absolutely free!

  1. A-Writer

A-writer is a writing company that offers a wide range of services for the customer from native English speakers with PhDs. Although the primary focus of the site is writing academic works, the experts are capable of providing writing assistance for about every kind of written work, including novels, short stories, and promotional texts. The blog of the site is also a rich source of materials related to improving writing skills.

  1. ProWritingAid

This tool is used by thousands of writers around the world. It allows editing your work in a quick and efficient way by improving  readability and eliminating errors. The motto of the developers at ProWritingAid is to “turn good writing into great writing,” which is exactly what occurs on the website. This editing and proofreading online environment is rich in functions and can be tried for free! Moreover, the site has a blog with a wide variety of how-to articles related to writing.

  1. yWriter5

This site is home to a great tool for a specific group of writers: novelists. According to the site, the tool was developed by Simon Haynes, a skilled computer programmer and writer, who has done a lot of terrific works in both areas (for example, see the science fiction comedy series he wrote). The tool needs to be downloaded and works for Windows PCs only at the moment. It does require an Internet connection and provides the writer with the opportunity to break the work down into parts and keep track of all scenes, including unfinished.

  1. Q10

This is another downloadable software piece that transforms the computer into a powerful work station without any distractions and all kinds of goodies. The user only has to download a small installation file (400kb) and set up it on the Windows PC to begin enjoying the benefits of the program. They include spell check, grammar check, a timer to remind to take a break, word count goal for the day, word choice, automatic save, and many others. Also, it opens the document where the writer left off, which is very convenient. Another advantage of Q10 is support of a number of languages besides English, including Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, and Italian.

  1. Write 2 Lite

If you like to write on the go, this app could be perfect for you. It is compatible with iOS devices and great for about any kind of writing, including note taking, writing texts & markdown editing. Write 3 Lite data can be synchronized across the Apple devices and provides a very user-friendly interface. The app can be a great companion for those who get their ideas visiting places and otherwise being on the go because it does not require to look for pen and paper to make sure the train of thought does not leave. According to the developer, the app also has an Emergency Model that can be accessed only through a special pin to help the user in dangerous situations.

  1. Zen Writer

Another great piece of downloadable software the goals of which include minimization of the distractions and focus the user on the process of writing. All the essential formatting, proofreading, and editing functions are built-in, and they make the process very enjoyable along with the therapeutical music in the background. The screen of the computer becomes a completely distraction-free environment and the app prevents the notifications from distracting you from your writing (these functions are customizable). It is available for $9.90 and compatible with the Windows PC and devices.

  1. ByWord

This is a good and simple tool that allows the users to write the piece on one device and easily share it with others, regardless of the type of the content. It is available for both PC and Mac and also enables to export the work to various file types, including pdf and HTML. The developer proposes using iCloud and Dropbox to store the data without the risk of losing it.

  1. Wordcounter

According to the site of the tool, it ranks the most frequently used words in the text and highlights them to help to make it better. It is completely free and allows achieving amazing tasks, such as removal of small words, count the words in the text, and spot overused words and phrases. Wordcounter can be especially useful for writer working on SEO texts because it tracks to the number of keywords in the content.

  1. TextFixer

Do you often write lIKE tHIS, forgetting to turn the caps lock off? A Sentence Capitalizer is a tool capable of repairing such mistakes in a couple of moments. Forget the last time you had capitalization errors in your texts with this great app that only requires the content to be inserted in its online environment.


These apps and tools are great for novice and expert writers alike. They carry both essential and advanced functions that significantly increase the speed of writing and make the process enjoyable. Enhance your writing skills in no time with the help of some of these apps. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.


Scott Ragin is an experienced writer and content writing expert at Aussiessay. Scott loves guiding other people through their content marketing practice and shares his ideas as a blogger. Feel free to contact him at Facebook.

4 App Store Optimization Aspects You Need to Master


App Store Icon On Apple Deivice ScreenWith the consistent year-on-year increase in mobile apps, app users and app downloads, it's essential that you understand how app stores work in order to use this knowledge to your advantage.

All app stores present a varied landscape of players, from app development companies with million dollar budgets, to small developers or hopeful entrepreneurs. Regardless of your marketing budget or type of app, everyone realizes that getting your app discovered and then download is progressively more challenging.

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

In contrast to search engine optimization (SEO), ASO deals with understanding of algorithms of app stores. However, what SEO and ASO have in common, is that ASO is concerned with controlling and managing everything that is possible to increase the likelihood of being discovered as well.

Why is ASO essential

In contrast to SEO, the exact ASO ranking factors and their importance are not so well known. Additionally, you are unable to consistently add value on app stores to potential users through blogs or other content. Because of this, it's essential you ASO your apps.

Failing to do so will cost you an enormous amount of traffic and possible users. According to Forrester, 63% of all apps are discovered via app stores.

You need to start thinking about ASO in order to:

·         Be discovered by users, as app stores are the biggest source of app downloads

·         Outrank your competitors

·         Rank higher for your keywords

·         Rank higher in Google´s semantic search for applications

·         Present your app and brand professionally and improve your other business assets

There are numerous ways to quickly find out how well you are optimizing your app store. You can test your knowledge with fun and detailed app store optimization quizzes that let you know exactly what needs to be improved, you can use automated tools, or refer to a checklist like the one we're about to share with you.

We will look at 4 crucial aspects of all ASO campaigns. In today's article we won't describe the importance of updates, screenshots, preview video and ratings. We will however talk in detail about your app's:

·         Name

·         Keywords

·         Description

·         Icon

1.    App name

The importance of your app name (also known as title) hopefully doesn't need to be explained in too much detail. Because it guides understanding of what your app is, it needs to be short and easy to remember, yet unique. A long name will be hard to remember, and you run into a possibility of having the name shortened with added ellipses. However, including keywords to app names is highly recommended. It will help your ranking, but stay away from keyword stuffing. Including your main keywords is a strong indicator of your app's relevance to the search term. A research by TUNE found that apps with a relevant keyword in their title ranked, on average, 10.3% higher than apps without a title keyword

Ideally, include a maximum of 3 keywords in your app name. To preserve and increase the value of your brand over time, try not to change the name too much - unless you have a good reason to do so. To my big surprise, TUNE also found that 84% of apps in their research didn't include keywords in their description.

Having an optimized name is a crucial aspect of ASO, and you must use it to its full potential.

2. Keywords

As mentioned above, adding keywords to your name is advised, but don't overdo it. Keywords must be also present in your description.  It represents a space where you can 'sell' your app. However, similarly to SEO, keyword stuffing your description is considered to be a black-hat technique and is likely to hurt your rankings. Apart from the description, you can add keywords also to other areas of your app store, such as updates and reviews. Although not confirmed, reviews with keywords can possibly contribute to higher rankings. However, asking for fake or inauthentic reviews is considered black-hat, so doing this on a mass scale is not advised. There is, of course, a dedicated area just for keywords too. Use all the 100 characters offered. The best practice is to list your keywords with a comma between them. However, don't add a space before or after the comma.

3. Description

We touched on keywords in point 2 above. Instead of spamming your description with keywords, focus on providing accurate description of your app's features and benefits that will convince the reader to download it. By doing exactly this, you will (most likely) include contextual keywords. You should always adhere to one rule when writing a description: write for readers, not search engines

The content needs to be compelling and written for people who will make the final decision of downloading your app. After you finish writing your description, revisit it and edit it by adding keywords where appropriate and where it will sound natural. It's important to remember that people will see only the first 3 lines of the description. Because of this, use the well-known copy writing technique of front-loading the benefits.

Front-loading benefits 

Ads, app stores or any other content for that matter on whatever medium represents a battle for your audience's attention. The chances that a user will read the whole description are close to null. Therefore, you must spark the interest with your readers as soon as possible. A proven way of doing so is by including the main benefits early in your copy. This will entice them to continue reading or to download the app straight away. On the other hand, if you decide to save the best for the end, you are making a great mistake. The reader is more than likely to be bored and disinterested quite quickly.

Lastly, make sure to include a compelling call-to-action in your copy. If your app has a low acquisition barrier (i.e. it's free), a great copy and call-to-action will entice users to try out your app.

4. Icon

Last but not least, we need to talk about your icon. Actually, your icon is one of the most important elements of your app. Similarly to your title, it is likely to be the first touch point with your brand or app. The users will instantly compare it with other icons, and make a split second decision whether they like it or not, and whether they will want to know more. Because of this, your icon needs to be optimized to the highest possible standard. If poor design will deter a lot of potential users, all the work you put into other elements such as the description, keywords, screenshots or video will be in vain.

Best practices

·         iOs dimensions: 1024x1024

·         Android dimensions: 512x512

·         No words in your icon

·         Simple and salient design

·         Colour and style consistent with your app

·         Unique (design, colour, idea) to differentiate yourself from others

·         Once launched, don't change it (unless necessary)

Making minimum changes to your icon is essential for brand consistency and recognition. Remember that users will see only the icon on their phone. Therefore keeping it same will contribute to the mere-exposure effect (liking something because you are frequently exposed to it) as the time passes on. App designers often overlook this important point. However, when Instagram changed their icon, even social media gurus like Gary Vee reported that they stopped using it as much! And if this can happen to a social media giant like Instagram, what consequences will brand inconsistency cause to your app?

Wrapping it up

ASO is a complicated concept involving a lot of small elements that need to be carefully optimized. However, tackling these one-by-one with a strategic approach can significantly improve your rankings.

Remember that the competition for your users is increasing on a daily basis, while your users' attention is decreasing!

ASO plays an important role to your overall success, and therefore it needs to be tackled with the seriousness it deserves. Because ASO is an ongoing process, you need to keep on top of the latest algorithm changes to stay ahead of your competition.

The strategies discussed will however give you a great start to optimizing your app store.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.

David Kanika is the CEO and marketing strategist at App Marketing Mind’s (, an agency providing marketing services and education to app developers. He uses a variety of marketing techniques to acquire customers and oversees implementation of client campaigns. He is a vegan and he loves to tell people. You can connect with David at

How To Attract New Consumers (Like, New-New) To Your Brand



You certainly want to draw new people to your brand. Who doesn’t? But are you bringing in people who are new to your space, or just fighting for existing share?

When it comes to acquiring new customers, the best strategy is a balanced approach across the consumer journey. Companies commonly get stuck perfecting the later stages – i.e., in the intent, purchase and loyalty stages – and fail to attract true net-new prospects into the journey in the first place.

The beginning of the journey is usually left to mass brand awareness efforts with poor targeting. This creates a gap in the journey between brand awareness and purchase consideration. This also wastes a lot of effort on generating awareness with never-to-be-customers, while not gaining consideration from high-value prospects.

One of the more acclaimed strategy books of the 2000s was the book Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, about how to open up a new market space and create new demand.

The authors compare what they call “red oceans” and “blue oceans.” Red oceans are markets where companies fight with little differentiation for the same customers, and therefore have to compete on price. The blue ocean strategy details how to avoid getting caught in red oceans.

When it comes to customer acquisition strategies widely used today by brands, it strikes me that they’re still defaulting to a red ocean strategy.

Brands tend to focus acquisition efforts where competition is the fiercest, and often fail to do true net-new prospecting. For example, brands fight for:

  1. Past Customers: Reactivation campaigns to past purchasers are common, in an attempt to re-engage customers and subscribers who’ve made a purchase in the past but have since gone dormant. This is a useful tactic, but won’t power the start of the consumer journey.
  2. Competitor Customers: Some conquesting efforts are intentional. Some happen by accident due to lack of transparency. For instance, with co-op databases, you may accidentally find yourself conquesting when you thought you were net-new prospecting. When targeting consumers via a data co-op, you provide a list of your current customers and in return you more-or-less get a list of your competitors’ customers.
  3. Intent-based Prospects: These prospects are people who’ve declared a clear intention to make a near-term purchase, based on their behavior. When people provide contact details on an auto website, or ask for a quote from an insurance broker, they’ve made a clear statement about their being in-market or nearly in-market. Intent data is an important factor in calculating net-new prospects, but it’s one piece of a larger data puzzle. With intent-based prospects, once the prospect has registered her name, it’s sold to 3 to 15 brands who are left to win her over on price.

Not sure where to start with Lead Gen? You're not alone. Online Marketing Institute recommends these classes on Demand Gen. These classes make it easy for anyone in the digital space to understand the fundamentals of demand generation.

So why do brands neglect true prospecting efforts?

One reason is, there’s a lot of short-term reward for focusing on the end of the consumer journey and efficiently acquiring low-hanging fruit. Having a high conversion rate from consideration-to-purchase looks and feels great. The problem is the inherently lower volume in this stage in the journey, and even that volume fizzles over time without a strong early-stage acquisition process.

The other reason is status quo. It was the norm to purchase or rent “dumb” prospect lists for acquisition campaigns meant to drive new consumers to your brand. These lists were easily available, but lacked statistically relevant targeting, and mainly resulted in poor campaign performance. Yet, for a long time there wasn’t a better alternative. Some brands invested in manual data science to attempt to better predict future prospect behavior, but this was a time-consuming and costly process. And results varied.

Today, with automated cloud technology, it’s now possible to identify net-new prospects who are new to your business and who are the most likely to love and buy your products. And it can be done more accurately, in less time and with less cost. This is a game changer for the early phases of the consumer journey. Rather than rely on un-targeted brand efforts to people who will never become customers, brands can now spend brand dollars intelligently to reach large prospect pools, specifically those who have a significant chance of becoming a new customer in your space.

In the end, lower-journey strategies are important, but don’t dedicate all your marketing efforts to the zero-sum game. Real net-new prospecting will move you beyond fighting on price and features. Done right, blue ocean prospecting generates higher margins and is by nature a positive-sum sport.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.

This article was originally posted on the Reach Analytics Blog.

How to Maximize Your Blog and Work Smarter, Not Harder


How to Maximize Your Blog and Work Smarter, Not Harder

How to Maximize Your Blog and Work Smarter, Not Harder

Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard the mantra, only now it doesn’t just apply to saving the planet. This mantra can also be applied to marketing, specifically digital marketing. Rather than ramping up content creation, it’s time that digital marketing professionals work smarter, not harder.

Here are a few tips to help you maximize the content on your blog and work smarter.

Build Themes into Your Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is not merely a holding place for blog topics and content ideas. It’s the ideal place to put down in writing the overall trajectory of your content marketing strategy.

Start by building themes into your editorial calendar. The easiest way to do this is to pick a larger topic for each month and have all the blogs for that particular month address certain aspects of that topic.

For example, an editorial calendar for a corporate recruiting firm may cover resume writing in May, preparing for an interview in June, and negotiating benefits in July. In May, the four blog posts will cover the main things to include in a resume, common resume mistakes, tools for checking grammar in resumes, and unique takes on resumes. Each of those blog posts will roll up to the general topic of resumes for month.

Repurpose Blogs into Downloadable Guides

A successful content marketing strategy does not rely solely on creating blogs. Rather, it incorporates multiple types of content to appeal to a variety of potential clients.

Instead of starting from scratch for each ebook, case study, white paper, or how-to guide you create, look to your blog. You can take content from a blog, especially a popular or well-received blog, and repurpose it into a white paper that can be gated and downloaded from the website. Or if a particular blog discusses what works, use a particular client to demonstrate how those approaches work and create a new client case study.

Turn a Blog into a Visual

Many marketing departments are fully utilizing their awesome designers or design team. Take advantage of their wonderful skills by having them turn a blog or ideas from a few blogs into a visual, like an infographic, tip sheet, or chart. This is one of the easiest ways to repurpose content, mainly because it requires chopping down content to the very basics so that the visuals tell the bulk of the story.

A great opportunity to create a visual content piece is a how-to article. How-to blog posts are the easiest to convert into an infographic or a presentation because a visual can take the place of a 200-word description. For example, if the recruiting firm creates a blog on what to include in a resume, they can work with a designer to turn it into a downloadable visual that a job seeker can reference while drafting his or her own resume (without writing new content!).

Use Analytics to Pick Topics

When topics aren’t resonating with prospects, ditch them. Stop covering topics that prospects and clients don’t care about. Eliminating the topic duds is a great way to streamline your process and focus on what matters to your potential clients.

The only way to know the difference between a dud and a winner when it comes to your blog posts is by reviewing the analytics. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website or blog, take a look at the traffic and track the downloads of your content pieces. We always suggest looking at a couple of months of data to weed out seasonal traffic spurts.

If a particular blog post does well, add more topics to your editorial calendar that address different aspects or takes on that particular topic. Using the recruiting firm again, if they wrote a topic on how to dress for an interview and it got 2x as many views as a topic on how to clean up your social media when job hunting, they should add more topics that discuss dressing the part for an interview.

Not sure where to start with Google Analytics, you're not alone?  Take, Getting started with Google Analytics, to learn to identify your preforming channels, and how to optimize them. 

Promote Your Blog Posts

It’s very rare that a blog post goes viral after sharing it on one social media channel. Don’t produce 20 blog posts hoping to hit on a topic that will have a viral reach. Instead, focus on producing 5 – 10 quality blog posts and spend time promoting them.

First, share them on all your social media channels. If you have multiple blog posts to share, be sure to share each post multiple times (at different times and days of the week). This will enable you to reach a higher portion of your audience and put more eyeballs on your blog posts.

Next, pay to promote your posts. Sponsoring your posts on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest enables you to reach users that aren’t part of your existing audience. Allocating a portion of your budget to promotion enables you to maximize the value of your blog posts. Even a small budget can have a dramatic impact in helping your post reach a brand new (targeted) audience.

Want to learn more about how to get the best visibility for your blog posts?  Take Getting Your Blog Content Shared On Social Media, for practical tips that work really well to get more of your blog content shared.

In an ideal world, you have the bandwidth to create a ton of blog posts, but in the real world, there just isn’t time. By following the tips here, you can maximize the blog posts you are able to create and increase the ROI of each one.

Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.

Jeremy Durant About the Author: Jeremy Durant is Business Principal at Bop Design, a B2B web design and digital marketing firm. Jeremy works closely with businesses in need of a website, marketing and branding strategy, helping them to develop their unique value proposition and ideal customer profile. Jeremy received his BA from Merrimack College and his MBA from California State University, San Marcos.