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10 tips for more compelling writing

Posted in Tips on 20 August 2014
1. Write first; edit later.
Do not edit as you write. Research on the lateralization of the brain tells us that editing is a “left brain” function and writing is a “right brain” function. To make your writing more effective, turn off your left-brain critic and just write. 
 
2. Write for your reader.
One of the basics of good writing is to know your audience. For whom are you writing? What motivates them to read your material? How can you make your topic relevant to your readers? This rule applies no matter what you’re writing. Whether it’s a press release, a feature article, or a blog post, begin with your audience in mind. 
 
3. Outline, outline, outline. 
Do you plan, outline, and organize before you start writing? Or do you “just write” and put things down without considering how to organize the content? An outline can form the foundation of your article, but creating one does not have to be complicated. Unlike the outlines your teachers required in high school, your outline can be as simple as a numbered list. 
 
4. Read your work aloud. 
How does it sound when you read what you’ve written back to yourself? Is your writing clear and direct? Are your sentences too long? Is the style too formal? 
 
5. Lead with the most important message.
Get to the point in the first few words. Don’t expect readers to read a long introductory paragraph, with the “what” and “why” buried at the end. 
 
6. Use concise language and eliminate redundancies. 
Are there words that seem to add very little to your content? Pruning phrases is an easy way to tighten your writing (use "mystery" instead of "unsolved mystery"; use "revert" instead of "revert back"). You can also cut out extraneous phrases, such as "all things considered" and "due to the fact that." 
 
7. Choose simple words over complex words. 
The use of unfamiliar or complex terms interferes with comprehension and slows readers down. Readers may even skip terms they don’t understand, hoping to find their meaning in the rest of the sentence (use "carry out" instead of "implement"; use "improve" instead of "ameliorate"). 
 
8. Choose your adjectives carefully. 
As writing guru Ann Wylie says, “Which word provides a better description of a puppy: ‘brown’ or ‘cute’?” The use of indirect and unclear descriptors can cause readers to ignore or misinterpret your message. The same goes for adjectives that have lost their meaning through overuse or misuse ("unique," "amazing," "revolutionary"). Descriptors should be precise. 
 
9. Mind your verbs. 
A common problem with corporate writing is that it’s full of lazy, meaningless verbs. "Utilize," "implement," "leverage," "disseminate"—these words litter our writing and weaken our message. The verb is the powerhouse of your sentence. Choose clear, active verbs instead of throwaway ones (use "send" instead of "disseminate"; "start" instead of "implement"). 
 
10. Use similes and metaphors to enliven your copy. 
When used correctly, similes and metaphors help us paint pictures with words, adding depth to our messages. ("That meeting was painful, like a long walk in tight shoes.") But avoid clichés and metaphors that are so commonplace that they’ve lost their power completely. Clichés can make your writing dead in the water.
 

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8 tips to make yourself an office standout

Posted in Tips on 20 August 2014
You’ve started your new job and seem to be settling in nicely. You’ve put the finishing touches on your desk space, could easily ace a quiz of coworkers’ names and are long past sharing that embarrassing story at your first staff meeting. Maybe you’ve even impressed the CEO a time or two. 
 
While there’s good reason to celebrate that you’re excelling in your current role, now’s not the time to rest on your laurels. Just because you’re all settled in and no longer the “newbie” doesn’t mean you have to stop proving yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone. 
 
Rocking your job responsibilities is key, but let’s face it, it’s no longer enough in today’s working world. Everyone I know in marketing and PR, particularly my fellow young professionals, are all going above and beyond to set themselves apart, both in their respective workplaces and within a fiercely competitive industry. 
 
So, what can you do to stand out? Newbie or not, here are eights steps to help you shine among your coworkers and in a crowded field of industry pros. Following these steps is going to take some extra time and effort on your part, so start tapping into that same drive that you had during the job search process. After all, that’s what led you to where you are today. 
 
1. Get involved. Be committed to going beyond your job responsibilities to improve the company overall. Get a feel for what committees and programs your office has to offer, and see where you’d be a good fit. Even if it’s the party planning committee, getting involved shows that you’re a well-rounded individual who is invested in the workplace. 
 
2. Write for the company blog or newsletter. You wouldn’t be in this industry if you couldn’t write. Since nearly every company has a blog and newsletter nowadays, don’t let your skills go to waste. This is also a chance to share what you’ve written via your personal social media accounts. 
 
3. Take initiative on your team. Now that you’re more comfortable in your role, step up and offer to take the lead on team projects. This shows great initiative and gives you the chance to put your leadership skills on full display. This tactic also helps ease the burden on your boss and allows you to work with team members with whom you may not get to interact as often. 
 
4. Join a local professional society. Whether it’s your local PRSA chapter or niche groups focused on areas such as tech or content creation, it’s time to get involved outside of work. This is the perfect opportunity to network and take on a leadership role. Chances are others around your office are already members, too, so look to them as resources. 
 
5. Volunteer. Use your industry skills for the greater good by volunteering for a nonprofit organization, political campaign, or something similar. You never know who you’re going to meet, and it never hurts to hone your skills outside of the office. 
 
6. Choose a mentor. Many offices and professional groups have mentor programs in place, so take advantage. If this isn’t your reality, personally reach out to someone you admire around the office or industry. Sure, everyone’s busy, but keep in mind that the people you admire were once in your place and are probably more than willing to give you a few pointers over coffee. 
 
7. Be a mentor. You don’t need to be a senior staffer to serve as a mentor. Professional groups often have mentoring programs through which you can work with young professionals or high school and college students. Many times your own alma mater will invite you to do the same for current students. Don’t hesitate to pay it forward to new hires at your office, who will welcome your help in learning the ropes. 
 
8. Network. Attend professional events around town and travel to regional and national conferences whenever possible. Be proactive in seeking out these opportunities, as networking helps you with everything from getting connected to practicing the all-important elevator pitch. And don’t forget that you can also network internally through company events. The free food isn’t the only benefit to attending those! 
 

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What's Your Website For?

Posted in Tips on 20 August 2014

If you have been in business for a while, some of these ideas might seem a bit basic, but I encourage you not to dismiss them without at least reconsidering them. If your business has experienced rapid growth and if you are interested in being ahead of trends, you might find that your business, over time, gathers tidbits. These tidbits can be new pages, new technologies, new plugins, new ideas you’re testing out, and so on.

After a while, your website might resemble a house that has been built on over time- where the rooms don’t quite line up, the window line is a bit peculiar, and you have stray pages that don’t do anything.

When it comes time to right-size your business goals, it’s helpful to understand what your website is for. The concepts I’ll share here focus on your website, but a similar process could be applied to any aspect of your business — and this is a good practice to adopt periodically as your business continues to grow.

It’s worthwhile to look at your current business assets — all of them — and decide what roles or functions they are serving for you. From there you can determine how much of your resources to invest in them.

Focusing now on your website, as a point of reference:

  1. What is your website for?
  2. What purpose is it serving?
  3. Is it repeating anything you’re doing elsewhere?
  4. What would make your website better for your goals?
  5. Are you expecting more than you need?

Let’s go through each of these questions in more detail.

1. What is your website for?

In my way of thinking, your website should serve at least a few purposes for your business. Two main ones are marketing and sales, and your site can also help with customer service and branding. Your website is most valuable to your business if it’s used to generate new clients and opportunities, if it helps you sell products and services, if you can serve your customers better and if it positions you as an authoritative expert. Of course, with branding, your site can also make you recognizable online, and that is important too. I put it last because it’s not the most important thing to start with, though others may disagree.

2. What purpose is your site currently serving?

Keeping in mind that I suggest your site assist you with marketing, sales, customer service/client delivery, and expert positioning, how is your current site doing on each of these factors? Are there any places where you can invest more resources for a better result?

3. Is it repeating anything you’re doing elsewhere?

This is another good question. Sometimes we have multiple business assets serving the exact same purposes in the exact same way. We may not need all of these assets doing the same thing. For example, I once had a client who blogged regularly and then had her blog content turned into a newsletter. No problem there, at least in theory. However, in practice, because she had built her e-mail list from her blog in the first place, there was no point in sending out a separate distinct newsletter with the same blog content they had already seen. Yes, of course, it makes sense to share your content, but if you have a lot of circularity in your business — where your subscribers come from your blog, and then get your blog updates anyway, and then your blog content as a newsletter, it might make sense to see how you can streamline the process, or have your blog and newsletter serve different functions. In my opinion, the goal is to have each asset assist your business without too much circularity. This helps you expand your reach.

4. What would make your website better for your goals?

This is the question that gets at places where your website could be performing better. We touched on this briefly in question No. 2, but this question asks you to make your thinking more specific. Is there some functionality you keep wishing you had? Or is there something you have that you wish you didn’t? Notice any place where you want something that isn’t there or feel irritated or annoyed by something that’s there that you don’t want. Either is a good place to consider making changes.

5) Are you expecting more than you need?

This question looks to right-size the gap between your resource investment and your expectations/desired outcomes. So, for example:

If you run a locally-based business, you don’t need the same kind or level of website and Internet marketing plan as a business which seeks to be nationally or internationally recognized. You don’t need to invest in the same social media presence. You don’t need to reach people around the country or the world, because you don’t have anything you can sell them.

Similarly, if you are seeking to build a national or international business, you will likely need more resources and more functionality on your website, as well as to make more use of technology and social media to help you build your reach and your platform.

Recognizing what you expect can help you decide what resources to invest and what to do next.

This may seem like common sense, and, mostly, it is. However, we don’t always take a few minutes to stop and assess what we want to create, what we need to create that result and whether our efforts and results are aligning well.

Our entrepreneurial energy and resources are the only currency we have to spend — it just makes sense to use them as wisely as possible.

 

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Google Gearing Up for YouTube Supscription Music Service

Posted in News on 20 August 2014
Google’s highly rumored and much anticipated YouTube music subscription service may soon become a reality.
 
The final details of the on-demand streaming music service, dubbed YouTube Music Key, are currently being worked out, Android Police is reporting.
 
According to the report, Music Key will offer audio-only ad-free music and offline playback. Google, at the same time, will rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key. Google has also already acquired the domain YouTubeMusicKey.com.
 
The cost for both services combined is $9.99 per month, although users can first give it a try with a free 30-day trial.
 
The technology titan has added more than 20 million high-quality tracks to Music Key, which include complete albums, organized into artist discographies.
 
The ad-free subscription service was originally to have launched last summer and was then put on hold until late last year. In December, however, it was announced YouTube’s music service had been further delayed.
 
Pieces of code spotted during a teardown of YouTube 5.3 by Android Police late last year revealed the service would have the following characteristics:
 
• Users will have the ability to save entire playlists for offline playback, although it looks like YouTube uploaders will be able to specify that their videos cannot be cached.
• The option to have background music playing while users utilize other apps. Offline playback and background listening will also be part of Music Pass, but may only be available to those who subscribe.
• Uninterrupted playback will mean no ads on millions of songs.

So far, there has been no indication when the new service will be launched
 

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Comcast, Time-Warner Deal Facing Further Scrutiny

Posted in News on 20 August 2014
The much-debated merger between Time-Warner and Comcast continues to face hurdles.
 
The move has long been under the microscope of the Federal Communications Commission and, once again, is struggling, this time with content delivery. The FCC must decide what to do about an agreement Time-Warner made previously with Bright House Networks in which programming and technology acquisitions are handled and delivered by the company.
 
Bright House is the sixth-largest cable operator in the country and falls under the Newhouse family media banner. Currently, it serves 2.1 million customers in a handful of states including Indiana, Michigan and California.
 
An agreement was made in the 1990s, reports The Wall Street Journal, where Time-Warner has an ownership in the company and handles programming negotiations, technology deals and engineering services for the firm, for an annual fee.
 
The FCC recognizes if the merger is given the go-ahead Comcast would be given a larger slice in the programming negotiations pie yet, if blocked, it may increase the cost for Bright House’s customers.
 
One of the states served by Bright House, California, is now weighing in on the merger.
 
The state’s public utility commission issued a memo last week citing its concerns over the merger and how customers in the Pacific state need to be considered by federal authorities.
 
“Comcast and TWC, through their California subsidiaries, would potentially combine the two largest providers of high-speed last mile broadband service in the state,” reads the memo. “The merger would impact competition and consumer welfare in California’s market for wholesale telecommunications, retail voice, backhaul and broadband services.
 
“More importantly, the merger would have an impact on broadband deployment in California as two of the largest cable broadband services in the state form one entity.”
 

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Former CEO Steve Ballmer Resigns From Microsoft Board of Directors

Posted in News on 20 August 2014
Steve Ballmer has cut all ties with the company he devoted more than 30 years of his life to.
 
The 58-year-old resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors eight months after leaving his post as the software giant’s CEO.
 
In a letter to Satya Nadella, the man now sitting in the CEO’s office, Ballmer described the company as his “life’s work.”
 
“I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future,” wrote Ballmer, who remains the company’s largest shareholder with 333 million shares worth more than $15 billion.
 
“I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.”
 
Ballmer cited his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and a teaching gig as major factors in his decision to resign. Ballmer’s $2-billion acquisition of the NBA team became official last week. The record-breaking deal closed late last Tuesday.
 
In the six months since leaving, Ballmer said he has been “very busy.”
 
“I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time,” he said. “I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity and the building of capability in devices and services as core business drivers. I hold more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds and love the mix of profits, investments and dividends returned in our stock. I expect to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future.
 
“Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off. The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately.”
 
Ballmer on Monday introduced himself to Clipper fans at a special rally with his trademark enthusiasm, effectively beginning the new chapter in his life.
 

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Social Media Intern

Posted in Jobs on 19 August 2014

Job Spec

Do you have a fascination with social media? Do you love attending events and keeping a pulse on all the happenings in Dublin? Are you the type of person who loves to read about new ideas and marketing campaigns?

If so, Eventbrite’s got an opportunity for you. We’re looking for a Social Media and Events Intern located in Dublin who will work closely with our Marketing Manager to build brand awareness in the Dublin area.

You’ll help manage our Eventbrite Dublin social media channels. Your goal will be to grow our online presence and increase engagement with our current users by creating a strategy and a social media calendar that includes:

·        Securing partnerships with event organisers for weekly ticket giveaways and/or creating VIP ticket packages with local partners.

·        Curating the top events and hidden gems in Dublin every week.

·        Creating city-related content to build the Eventbrite brand.

·        Attending and posting photos from events.

·        Helping with the planning of large scale awareness programmes.

 

You will also be the face of Eventbrite Dublin at local events and assist in the planning of Eventbrite owned events. You’ll be involved with the curation of grassroots campaigns and everything that goes into planning an event from managing vendors and contracts, to setting up and managing event logistics.

This will be a minimum six month commitment, averaging 20 hours per week.

You bring:

·        Excellent written and verbal communication skills

·        Experience managing social media accounts with a track record of building followers/audiences

·        Passion for events and live experiences

·        Strong organisational skills and the ability to multi-task

·        Creative thinking

·        Calm under pressure and quick on your feet

·        Personable, social and comfortable speaking to guests at an event

·        Available on some nights/weekends

·        Dependable, reliable and committed

Bonus points

·        Experience as a copywriter or social media manager

·        Communication, business, journalism, or marketing degree

·        Familiarity with Eventbrite and the events space

6 month minimum commitment

 

To apply please contact Ann Lowney ann@eventbrite.com

How Shareable Content Can Boost Your SEO

Posted in Tips on 18 August 2014

At a time when content marketing is all the rage, it’s easy to forget that not all content is created equal.

There is some content that is superior to others when it comes to search engine optimization, and that’s the content that people want to share. Call it the “it factor” of SEO.

Content with shareability stands a greater chance of going viral, of course, but it goes beyond that. Highly shareable content is also looked upon fondly by Google, which is essentially sponsoring an online popularity contest. When Google sees that other people like your content and are sharing it widely, it bumps up the rankings for that content.

Of course, saying shareable content is good is one thing; actually producing it is another. Here are some tips on how to create shareable content and how it can help your SEO.

What is Shareable Content?

Content is just about anything that you can post on the web, from blogs to white papers to podcasts to videos. Shareable content is something that people share with their friends and followers on social media because they enjoyed it, found value in it, or want to hear what other people thought of it.

Controversial content is highly shareable, but that’s a risky proposition. You could find your content being shared in a negative light. While that’s still favorable for SEO, it’s not great for your company’s reputation.

Creating good content is only part of making shareable content. The other half of the equation involves figuring out how to gain the most shares. This can be achieved in a number of different ways, including:

  • Tracking which social media sites garner the most shares for your company.
  • Looking at the competition and seeing where they are receiving the bulk of their shares.
  • Thinking beyond the obvious social networks and trying out other places where your content could get picked up.
  • Figuring out which content on your site is already being shared the most and putting a little more muscle behind it.

Five Important Traits of Shareable Content

There are a huge number of topics and formats for shareable content, but the best shares have a handful of attributes. Here are five things that most highly shareable content has in common:

  • Pictures to go with the content
  • A very targeted audience
  • A great headline that gets people’s attention
  • Unique insights into an interesting topic
  • Short, punchy writing that’s broken up by bullet points or numbers

How to Make Shareable Content

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king.” It seems like everyone is throwing that around, but it’s true. The No. 1 key to producing shareable content is making sure it’s content worth sharing. That means putting your best people on content creation and turning out truly original, extremely memorable copy.

Once you have your copy, keep in mind that you need a rollout strategy. Don’t just post it and assume people will find it on their own and share. You need to be aggressive about promoting it and making sure enough people are aware of it to gain the shares you’re hoping for. Set up an editorial calendar to track the process.

Share the content on social media. Share it in original and fun ways, such as including a great picture or video. Share it with crazy captions and panda bear emoticons. Share it frequently. In short, do whatever it is you have to do to give the content some momentum.

Consider the best time of day to share on social media, too, so that you’re not tossing your treasured content out there to an absent audience. And be diligent about searching for new platforms to promote your content on. Remember, social media is not limited to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

While it’s tempting to spend all your time promoting new, fresh content, don’t ignore your older stuff. Content is not like milk; it doesn’t spoil after a few days. You can push your older content just as hard as the newer stuff and get just as much upside from it.

Benefits of Shareable Content

Now that you know what shareable content is and how to craft it, here’s the kicker: Understanding what shareable content can do for you.

There are three main ways shareable content benefits your site.

1. More traffic to your site. This is the obvious one. The more places where your content is shared, the greater the chance people will click on it and be sent to your site. You can gain new customers without ever directly reaching out to them.

2. Greater social media engagement. When you are really pushing your content through social media, the side benefit is that you’ll also be building up a loyal, engaged audience with whom you interact frequently. Coming up with fun ways to promote your content will automatically strengthen your social media and in turn gain you more followers. And that also helps SEO.

3. Improved search rankings. Yes, you knew this one was coming. The greatest benefit to having shareable content is all the backlinks you accumulate when people share your content. Google loves this. The more people are linking to you, the higher you rate with the Google gods. Your page rank improves and thus your traffic rises.

Boost Your SEO

Shareability is a key attribute to any content you post. Whether it’s a podcast or a post on your blog, make sure you make your content worthy of sharing and your search engine rankings will improve.

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6 reasons why PR pros should blog

Posted in Tips on 18 August 2014
For public relations professionals, blogging may be natural, but it isn’t always easy, particularly if you have a full-time job or are running a business. 
 
I love to write, feel reasonably confident in my blogging, and even held editorial positions early in my career (where all I did was write). Even so, there are days when coughing up even a brief post feels like drudgery, and when my husband is my most loyal reader.
Business blogging has changed fairly dramatically in the six short years since I started. It seems like everyone’s into content marketing, so it’s much harder to stand out. Also, the role of the content blog as a community hub has diminished in favor of social media platforms. Today, people are more likely to be commenting on Facebook, Instagram or Medium than on your blog page, so it’s less likely to result in the gratification of lots of comments. And blog comment spam is so out of control that even super-blogger Chris Brogan recently closed down his public comment function.
 
All that said, I think the predictions of blogging’s death are premature. It’s vital for communications pros to understand the mechanics of blogging, and to be able to jump in when needed. For those of us in PR who counsel clients about it, it helps to have done it. We’re familiar with the challenges as well as the upside. A blog is also an extraordinarily valuable tool for a business owner. Here’s why.
 
Fresh content drives SEO. High-quality, searchable content is a part of any good PR or marketing campaign, and increasing your blogging is probably the most painless way to update content without thinking about it. What it may lack in precise targeting strategy, it can make up for in frequency and regularity.    
 
A blog is a key sales tool. Content extends a company’s selling proposition. Yes, there are plenty of other ways to push out content, but an industry-focused blog is the most organic way to get your message out. In our business, the talent of our staff is what we’re selling. So, why not highlight that talent and how we think, create, and work on a weekly basis?
 
A blog is a great recruiting tool.  Direct, unfiltered contact with important constituencies is key to a professional services company, and in our business, finding talented staff is sometimes harder than finding great clients. Since we’ve upgraded our blog, we’ve noticed a measurable increase in the quantity and quality of unsolicited resumes from new and recent communications graduates.
 
Blogging feeds your social stream. Finding relevant content to share on social networks is made easier with a steady flow of blog posts.
 
A blog is good brand PR. It shows that someone’s home. When browsing the sites of creative agencies, or just about any company, most of us note if there’s an up-to-date blog.  It says you’re plugged in to industry issues and events, and it inevitably leads to additional visibility opportunities in the form of speaking invitations and content sharing within other, relevant professional communities.
 
Blogging is a terrific discipline. I think of it like working out. You may dread it, try to avoid it, or occasionally even hate it. But when it’s done,  it’s a beautiful feeling and a very empowering step that propels you on to the next thing.
 

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The SEO Implications of Gating Content

Posted in Tips on 18 August 2014

Content marketing is now a top tactic for SEO, lead generation, and overall marketing strategies. It’s a highly effective way to create a win-win for business owners and their audiences. But there remains a serious conundrum in creating content; to gate or not to gate?

If your priority is SEO, gated content (content hidden behind a paywall) is fatal. Whenever you create a barrier between any website post and search engine bots, SEO rankings suffer. At the same time, some marketers hold lead generation as more holy than search rankings. In that case, gated content allows marketers to gather invaluable information about their customers. But at what cost?

The big question is: Can gated content work in tandem with SEO? There’s no clear answer, but there are ways to create a balance. Here are the top considerations as you determine what’s best for your business.

Who is the Content For?

As you craft your videos, blog posts, infographics, and related content gems, answer one critical question before you publish: who have you created this content for?

If you’re after gaining traffic from search engine results, gating the content will be detrimental. Gated content requires some share of information. Bots don’t fill out forms; instead they skip the content all together, which obviously does nothing for your rankings.

If the number of eyeballs aren’t as critical as the quality and specific traits of your audience, gating content can be a wise move. You can require that folks provide information like an email address to access premium content, thereby building your lead database.

Both strategies are advantageous; your task is identifying which method makes the most sense for your business needs. And remember that each piece of content you produce may in fact serve different purposes, so this is a not a one-size-fits-all methodology.

Determining Which Content is Best for Gating

How do you determine which content creations work best as gated releases? Here are some core questions to ponder:

1) What is the goal and purpose of the content? Pieces like infographics are fantastic in social media, as they are highly viral through shares and likes. This type of production is likely more powerful without any barriers to access and share. Bear in mind that if all your content is free without any information share, you are losing vital opportunities to learn more about your customers and expand your user base. And this is precisely why it’s often difficult to strike a balance.

2) Do you hope to attract inbound links from external websites? If so, gated content will also be a hindrance, not a help.

3) How will you promote or market the content? If you don’t need it to be social, or your marketing efforts are more focused on email capturing and lead generation, gated content is a smart choice.

4) How much value does the content have? Think about each piece that you publish as a form of currency. Then, consider how you’d like to best utilize this value share. By contrast, your demographic exchanges currency through purchases and information shares. If you want to gather email addresses, as an example, the quality of the content has to warrant the request. If a gated blog post isn’t highly original or chalk-full of quality knowledge, it won’t propel your efforts forward. Really amazing content can warrant multiple forms and questions, however, so match the value of the content to the value of the information or currency exchange you’d ideally like to manifest with each customer.

Ranking and Gating – Can They Live in Harmony?

Yes, there are a couple of tricks you can leverage to gain both SEO boosts and information acquisition with content creations.

Consider offering a substantial preview of worthy content without any barriers, then gate the complete offering. This gives you SEO value for the preview share, and if you’re savvy about keywords and worth, you can have the best of both worlds. You’ll entice folks to fill out the requested information through the teaser, and search engine bots can access your creative efforts as well.

You can also opt to use a pop-up gate asking users for information before they access your content. Be very mindful you don’t commit the cardinal SEO sin of cloaking, however. Cloaking is the practice of offering the same content at two separate URLs, with one targeted to humans and the other to search engine bots. This is a major no-no, and as search engines catch on, you will be penalized.

Instead, take a cue from many magazine and online news sites that link to a content piece, then showcase a JavaScript pop-up (a form of a gate) over the top, usually requesting an email subscription or action on an offer. This is an SEO-friendly tactic that can be a happy medium, but be mindful not to discourage your readers with excessive use of the gate.

There is no clear directive in determining whether or not to gate your content. Some businesses will want to strike an even mixture, others will use almost exclusively one method or the other. Consider what’s right for your business by being intimately aware of what is most advantageous for your customers. That should always be your most crucial deciding factor.

 

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