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Does my business need a company blog?

Assessing a company’s need and commitment to having a company blog is more than just slapping up a site and installing an intern – it is an extension of your brand’s voice in a meaningful way and can be very rewarding if done properly.



Does your business need a blog?

If your company is wholeheartedly behind having a blog, understands that it must be promoted, given some content latitude, given the full weight of the company’s SEO, branding, and corporate dollars to sustain it, then you can consider whether or not your company needs a blog. These questions are purely for the directors of the company brand, as a business blog is an extension of your advertising and marketing, as well as your public relations, and customer service. Your company blog is an expression of your company culture and ethos. If you’re not careful, it can quickly become the snotty nosed kid standing next to mom and dad in their Sunday best – not attractive.

So back to the question – you’ve assessed your commitment, now to assess what your blog is. Is it a product blog for selling? Then call it that. Is it a newsletter? Then say that. Is it educational about your product or service? Whatever it is, be clear and call it what it is so your consumer knows exactly what message or content they’ll find within its pages. Your blog can be many things with proper categorization, but if you envision something truly specific, then you’ll want to be specific.

A blog doesn’t need to be religious, or political unless that’s what your business or organization does. In fact, a blog should express the consumer experience they could expect when using your service or standing within your stores. Snarky blogging does nothing for a company that isn’t truly snarky inside of it’s retail environments. Your blog should be true to your company, follow it’s messaging from advertising, and enthusiasm of it’s marketing – it’s voice is seamless with your brand.

Being seamless with your brand

Being seamless with your brand means you’re not a news organization (unless you are). Your job is not to originate news content (you’re not TMZ), or to be the first to a story (CNN). Instead, a business blog may be filled with news stories that relate to your company’s culture, company news, and rather, relating to the consumer using news, but again, you’re not going to need a full time journalist to operate your blog. It isn’t your blog’s job to be a primary traffic driver, it’s your blog’s job to support your company as the primary traffic driver – it solidifies any messaging vehicle your company has already used to drive traffic. So if you build a blog for your company that develops into a traffic driver over time, this is a win, but if you’re expecting millions of pageviews with a blog three months old, you may be sorely disappointed, sorry.

If you’re creating a blog because you want to interact with your consumer, count yourself blessed if the consumer consumes content and then consumes product, not leaves a comment. The currency of comments has dramatically changed over the past five years, transitioning to shares via Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest. This is how your blog develops into a new traffic driver for your company. Consumers identify with your blog and your company culture, and you’ve done your job – your channel is now a two way street, and you are resonating with your consumer base and probably growing that base, but it isn’t something your blogger is going to create overnight. It’s anguishing, sometimes painstaking work identifying fans, cultivating friendships or partnerships with like folks or even vendors via other social channels I mentioned above.

The unseen side of your blog

The side effect of your blog you won’t see (unless your blogger is an analytics fan) will be Google, Bing, and other search engines that read your content via your submitted blog sitemap. Levels of and dedication to creating content regularly that are ideally matched to your company’s branded website, demonstrate that they are related by the density of the company message, titled properly, and are richly written around focused keywords will begin to rank along side your company page. Again, this isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s something that happens with conviction, with loyalty to the communications channel you’ve created, and your willingness to not distance your company from it’s own messaging platform (this happens all the time).

Some or all of this article may sound complicated, but that’s because of the lingo – it’s not complicated at all. What I’m driving at here is that you must be committed to it – long term. That you understand the voice and content you wish to deliver and your dedication to it. That your expectations of your blog as a traffic driver are in line with reality, and that you understand the light at the end of the tunnel. The investment in time is well worth it.

Words of advice

One last thing… I said that your blog could be many many things with proper categorization, and I meant it. Having the flexibility to build a channel (category) that you see growing faster than others will save you from a hard pivot later to different content, whereas over time, you may see that popular category fizzle, so adapting and building up an old or even a new category is just part of daily operations. We as businesses reinvent ourselves, we change our messaging, we feature new lines, and we change with the seasons – remember that going in.

My final piece of advice for channel builders (company blogs) is to create a content plan that matches the company seasons, and watch your analytics  adjust and calibrate until all of your channels within your blog are humming seamlessly – this is where the magic happens.

Nervous? It’s just like any other media campaign you’ve ever endeavored, except this one is more cost effective, more meaningful to consumers, is a mirror image of your company, and most of all, relatable to the average consumer.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Wordzopolis

    October 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I am a firm believer that a real estate blog is a great way for agents to showcase their expertise, create brand awareness, generate leads and build relationships with prospects. With some creativity and time real estate agents can grow their email list and turn readers into clients.

  2. phone systems

    October 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Blog is one way to market a brand and it is also one of the most important especially for small business. It is easy to market your business or brand if you consider creating a blog it is because blogs consists of updates about your business, and customers like to always update them in every products and services you offer in your business.

  3. Emin3m

    January 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I just took a huge dump. I wanted to share that with you Benn.

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Business Marketing

Web design and development trends that will dominate 2018

(BUSINESS NEWS) Check out these top trends for web design and development to revamp your site for 2018.



google meet web design 2018

New year, new you, new web design for your glorious site. You’re no longer good to go if your website simply boasts functionality in a conventional design layout. It’s not enough to make something that just looks pretty anymore.

Ever-expanding tools make web design a constantly changing digital medium that can and should be regularly updated to remain relevant.

As always, visuals are the first thing that will draw someone into your site. Your homepage and landing pages need to grab users’ attention with striking visuals.

Font choice has always been important for good design, and that’s not changing in 2018. However, the rise of typography, typeface design, and custom fonts will continue to take center stage.

Except for Internet Explorer (crossing my fingers for its death), most browsers can support CSS-enabled custom typefaces. Contrasting sans serif with serif fonts for large lettered headings is newly popular, as well as color and variable fonts.

Bold, vibrant, and saturated color schemes are on the rise as well since advances in monitors mean designers are no longer stuck with web-safe color palettes.

Custom illustration is another growing trend, with product and marketing design prominently featuring tailored illustration to match brand tone.

Broken grid and asymmetry have become more popular too, shaking up more traditional layouts. Just make sure to keep the layout clean, or you risk offending your viewer’s delicate design sensibilities. And please, despite trends, avoid brutalist web design, please, it’s awful.

Speaking of design sensibilities, gradient is making a comeback. But like, in a cool way with subtle fading and complimentary color. Shout out to this fun original web throwback revival.

However, looks aren’t everything. If your site is not offering user-friendly, updated functionality, you’ll fall behind the curve.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) elements aren’t new tech, but their rise in popularity due to their rapid progress can’t be ignored. While these are more relevant to mobile apps, elements can be incorporated into site design as well.

Mobile-first design still dominates (duh) as mobile browsing continues to overtake desktop use, so make sure your site plays nice on-the-go too or risk alienating mobile users.

Using speech as search tool came into play as devices like Alexa and Google Home have people searching using full sentences instead of keywords. Optimizing your site’s content to allow search with speech can put you ahead of the game as the world of SEO evolves.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage too, with more sites implementing smart chatbots to handle customer service and frequently asked questions. AI can also help with voice-based search using natural language processing technology.

?As animation and micro-interactions become more advanced, combining form and function for delightful surprises are another rising trend in 2018

Particle backgrounds solve performance issues with video backgrounds by utilizing Javascript to create movement without taking forever to load. The animations make movement a natural part of the background, enticing viewers with motion graphics that don’t affect loading time.

Integrated animation engages users too, using smaller animations and graphics for abstract or concrete concepts. Your site could feature graphics that animate during a load page, or appear when users hover over a link, scroll, or as the main focus of the page.

Micro-interactions can set your website apart from others using more complex visuals, skilled animation, and seamless data transfer. Implementing fun on/off toggles, load status indicators, and light animation when like buttons are pressed can delight users and keep them engaged with your site.

Try out some of these trending changes on your site for 2018 and watch the users roll in.

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Business Marketing

Facebook adjusts how much repeat video views matter

(MARKETING) For video creators and marketers alike, Facebook updates can mean a world of difference. What’s new now?



mid-roll facebook video

For Facebook Video, intent and repeat viewership matter. Recently, Facebook updated video distribution methods to build more effective monetization tools and improve viewing experiences for users, namely regarding video distribution, ad breaks, and pre-roll.

Most video watching on Facebook takes place in the news feed, making this a great place to reach target audiences. It is the primary hub of activity, featuring status updates, photos, app activity, and video posts.

New ranking methods promote videos people seek out or want to return to, like serial episodes from creators regularly publishing content. Partners fostering communities by actively posting weekly or daily content get a boost as well.

If content publishers link a Show Page with their regular Page, they can distribute episodes directly to followers. This makes it easier to maintain and grow audiences, connecting users with relevant content.

However, although New Feed is a popular zone for creators and publishers, Facebook expects video engagement to eventually move to Watch, the platform for shows. In Watch’s Discover tab, shows people come back to will be prioritized for more convenient access.

After all, News Feed isn’t the easiest place to go for returning viewers since they have to sift through a constantly changing barrage of status updates. Watch offers a place more akin to YouTube, where episodes and content are contained in one place.

Creating a Facebook Group for the show adds another level of engagement, providing viewers a social viewing experience to connect with other fans.

Putting videos and content in an appealing, easily accessible area makes your viewers likelier to stick around. Grouping similar content will encourage binging, keeping your viewers in one place to engage with your content.

If content is difficult to find, or re-find when showing friends, it’s less likely to spread.

Revisions to Ad Breaks will hopefully drive up engagement as well. Previously, videos were eligible for Ad Breaks if they were at least 90 seconds, and the ad could show up as early as twenty seconds into the video.

Starting in January, videos must be at least three minutes long to have an Ad Break, and the break won’t come until at least one minute has passed.

Although Ad Breaks benefit content creators with a share of the revenue, disruptions to already short videos can drive users away. Delaying the break may improve viewer satisfaction, keeping people watching longer.

Creators now have an Ad Break insights tab to better understand video monetization performance, tracking impressions and clicks per minute.

Additionally, Pages with over fifty thousand followers can now have Live Ad Breaks. Smaller Pages and Profiles aren’t eligible since Facebook determined these publishers are less likely to comply with their monetization guidelines. Plus, their audiences are typically smaller, meaning it’s more difficult to gain significant revenue from Ad Breaks.

Facebook also plans on testing six second pre-roll ads, but only in places like Watch since viewers are already actively seeking out this content.

Combining metrics tracking insight and updated distribution tactics with intentionally crafted content may promote repeat viewership, leading to more success for publishers.

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Business Marketing

How Snapchat earns over $1M a day on just one lil’ feature

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Marketers are jumping on the bandwagon, giving Snapchat more and more money – but what little feature rakes in so much cash!?



snapchat 3d filters

Although Snapchat is still struggling to net a profit, they make a million dollars a day with branded AR lenses. If Snapchat can remain crazy popular with its users, this may help the company get out of its revenue slump.

Snapchat’s shares dropped 22 percent since their March IPO, and their Q3 earnings saw a revenue loss of $0.14 per share with the slowest user growth ever. But there’s still growth, and Snap has never really been profit focused anyways.

CEO Evan Spiegel certainly isn’t worried, publicly at least. Spiegel’s product strategies have been mirrored by Facebook and Instagram, and a huge chunk of teens prefer Snapchat over these other social media giants.

Which is why Snapchat can charge upwards of one million dollars a day for augmented reality lenses. Snap’s popularity, especially among teens and young adults with disposable income and social influence, bodes well with media agencies.

AR lenses are one of many features offered on Snapchat, allowing users to superimpose augmented reality images on pictures and videos. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, the dancing hotdog is a testament to how easily an AR lens can turn into a meme.

In September, Snapchat introduced sponsored 3D World Lenses, giving advertisers the opportunity to feature targeted campaigns on the platform. Bladerunner 2049 was the first campaign at the launch, and since then Budweiser, BMW, and McDonalds have jumped on the bandwagon.

Pricing varies depending on when the lens goes live, if it’s a “premium” day like a holiday or anticipated movie release, and the targeting criteria of the agency. If a lens is specific to a region, for example, it’s not going to cost as much as a nationwide campaign.

In a report from Digiday, one NYC-based ad executive stated AR lenses are currently Snap’s most expensive ad product, and for some agencies it’s offered as a standalone purchase. Others reported Snapchat offered a “holistic media-buying plan,” including stickers and filters as well as AR lenses.

James Douglas, SVP and Executive Director of social media for Society explained Snapchat Ads are all about media negotiation, with some of his clients signing annual media contracts, while others may try out shorter stints.

“If it’s a well-known consumer packaged goods company, Snapchat may quote $200,000 for an AR lens, but not on a premium day,” he stated. “Snapchat is very flexible to negotiate media investments with agencies, and I like that.”

According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the base price for a 3D lens running up to 12 months is $300,000. However, the final price depends on if the lens is based on audience impressions or a national takeover on a premium day.

While the AR lenses are not necessarily driving sales for featured brands, users are completely engaged with lenses. Featured lenses are widely shared among users, and screenshots of particularly popular, interesting, or funny lenses end ups shared on other social media platforms.

Even if the lens is being mocked, that still leads to impressions since ultimately the ad is being spread when people send Snaps to friends and feature lenses in Snapchat Stories.

Right now, Snapchat is doing all the engineering for AR lenses. Agencies provide the ad assets and Snapchat creates the lens. Future plans involve opening up creation to select brands, as Spiegel announced in November.

Snapchat is testing a pilot program with Lens Studio, a self-service toolkit allowing advertisers to create their own lenses in as little as an hour. Eventually Snap plans on offering the AR toolkit to advertisers for free, but for now it’s only available to top clients.

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