Learn marketing at home, learn digital marketing, learn copywriting, learn marketing online

Learn Marketing. No College Required

Digital Marketing, Traditional Marketing

Warning: College lecturers may find this content upsetting.

With so much content online, everybody has the opportunity to become a student and in their own time too.

You mightn’t get that diploma when you’re finished but you won’t get those bills either.

Now I’m not suggesting a boycott of traditional education. Going to college is an important growth experience for many people.

I myself found the structure of college life invaluable.

Assignments had to be in on time. Group work had to be undertaken with people of varying levels of skill and attitude.

And of course the lecturers.

A good lecturer will allow you to understand a subject in such depth and perspective that studying on your own cannot replicate.

That said, with so much quality content online, anybody can master a subject without college if they have the dedication to do so.

I’ve used Copyblogger and Hubspot for years.

They are two of the best marketing education resources online.

For a more structured approach, check out this article from Brad Zomick.

He has really put some thought into this but more than anything it shows you what is possible. Taylor a plan to your own needs. It will get you thinking.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If I’ve inspired you or you have any questions comment below.

Thank you for reading.

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Content marketing film, content is king, marketing content

Documentary Shows Why Content Is King

Digital Marketing, Original Marketing

In a world of expensive TV and print advertising and growing pay per click search engine spends, this documentary may force you to rethink your marketing.

Content is still king and the rise of You Tube, blogging and social media has leveled the marketing playing field.

Creating original, engaging content is very possible, even for smaller organisations.

I found this film to be truly inspiring and scribbled down pages of ideas while watching.

I hope you get as much from it as I did.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages

content marketing, content marketing strategy, Good content marketing for small business, copywriting content

How The Little Guy Wins With Content Marketing

Copywriting, Digital Marketing

I’ve just read a fascinating article by Sujan Patel and thought I should share it here.

He says while most small or new businesses can only dream about having TV advertisements, a good content strategy can level the marketing playing field. He then gives ten interesting examples of businesses that got this very right.

Well worth a read, click on the image below.

content marketing strategy, small business digital marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing

Small business content marketing

Thank you for reading.

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usability heuristics, web design, digital marketing

10 Heuristics For Usability and Happy Website Visitors

Digital Marketing

From a marketing perspective, good web design equals usability plus persuasion. It’s about how users behave versus how we’d like them to behave.

Jacob Nielsen has been called the smartest man on the web. He holds 79 U.S. Patents in the area of usability in web interface design. When he speaks the online community listens.

His 10 Heuristics of User Interface Design are widely regarded as the holy grail when it comes to understanding how people interact with machines and are used to perform usability audits world-wide.

A website Usability Audit tests the usability, efficiency and effectiveness of a website by checking it against Neilsen’s 10 heuristics (rules of thumb). Read on for an explanation of each usability heuristic:

1. Visibility of System Status
The user should always know what is happening, when it’s happening and understand it intuitively.
For example: If something is loading, display a loading icon, or show a progress bar if the user is working through a process like filling out a survey.

2. Match Between System and the Real World
Speak to the user in plain English (if that’s what they speak). Don’t use any unnecessary jargon, they won’t be impressed, they can go elsewhere in a click to get what they need.
Organise information as it would be in the real world, think logically. This will make your site feel familiar and comfortable.

3. User Control and Freedom
Web users are used to navigating around the web unrestricted. They often navigate to pages or functions by accident and expect to return to where they were immediately. The user must feel in control or they will leave the site at the slightest sign of difficulty.
Provide a clear back-arrow as a form of emergency exit and support undo and redo functions.

4. Consistency and Standards
Yours isn’t the first website your users have visited. Follow standard practice where possible.
Creative, beautifully designed buttons for ‘play’, ‘next’ and ’email’ are useless if the user has to think about them for more than a split second. Familiar is best.

5. Error Prevention
Ever wondered why a filing cabinet won’t let you open the top two drawers together? It’s to stop it falling over. This form of error prevention is called a poka-yoke.
Preventing a website user from making an error is far better than trying to fix it later.
Insert poka-yokes into your website for fewer frustrated visitors.
For Example: If creating an account password on your site needs 8 spaces, a capital letter and a number – tell the user if they haven’t done this straight away.
Don’t wait for them to fill in the whole form, click submit and then have to go through it all again.

6. Recognition Rather Than Recall
Don’t expect users to retain any special information from your site.
Use obvious icons and prompts he already knows. If he has entered information on a different page that he may need again provide a direct route back.

7. Flexibility and Efficiency of Use
The novice and expert will use your system very differently. Short cuts, or accelerators, help expert users to navigate a website faster.
For example: an experienced user may know exactly where to find what he’s looking for in your information architecture, while the novice may prefer a search function.
This principle is perhaps more clearly explained through keyboard short cuts in a software application like Photoshop or Word. The novice will get along fine using the mouse to point and click, while an expert will use keyboard short cuts to instantly pull up the tools he needs.

8. Aesthetic and Minimalist Design
This is self explanatory. Using too many widgets and buttons on a web page can dilute the users attention, distracting him from from the call to action or successful navigation.
While the website should be visually pleasing, a busy design or background image for example can be distracting.

9. Help Users Recognize, Diagnose, and Recover from Errors
Deliver messages about errors in plain English rather than a code they don’t understand.
For example: If a user enters his whole address on the first address line of a form, the error message should read:
Please enter your address as follows:
Line 1: Street
Line 2: town etc
Again, it is better to avoid this where possible as outlined in heuristic 5.

10. Help and Documentation
As web systems become more advanced, it is less common for a user to need any help or documentation.
However if your site asks the user to perform a complex undertaking (like Dell) or offers a software product (like anti-virus) your user may need further assistance to carry out his task.
The help section should be easy to search and understand and it should open in a separate window. Customer service chat boxes are also becoming very common and fit this heuristic perfectly.

I hope you found the above helpful.

The following video will further explain Nielsen’s 10 Heuristics:

Thank you for reading.

Google panda, Google search, seo, digital marketing

How Google Works 2016

Digital Marketing

Ok, so the title may be slightly misleading. Nobody knows exactly how Google works. It’s constantly evolving. Especially the Panda algorithm. 

Content is still king though (always will be), duplication is still frowned upon and mobile optimisation is still a must.

Focus your efforts on creating original, useful content with your user in mind. You don’t need to worry about search engine optimisation until you have something to optimise.

That said, the infographic below will help you figure out how best to get your content seen by your target market in 2016.

how google works 2016, SEO 2016, search engine marketing, 2016 search marketing, digital marketing

how search works 2016 seobook

Thank you for reading.

you tube marketing popcorn

Top 10 You Tube Campaign Ideas

Digital Marketing, Original Marketing

If like me you spend a lot of time watching videos online and aren’t particularly fond of things like cats and make-up tutorials, you may have seen some of these videos.

If not, you’re in for a treat and who knows, maybe something here will inspire you in your own marketing.

There is no set criteria for awarding places on this list. I have just picked videos that have held my interest, remained in my memory and inspired me as a marketer.

Yes, they are just the ones I liked.

I’m fickle like that sometimes.

10. The Human curl

Coming in at number ten is Bic’s human Curl. Bic had fun demonstrating the qualities of their product in this one and have had 3.2 million views as a result.

9. Dumb ways to die

This is possibly the most successful public services announcement of all time. It was made by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia and, as it has had over 127 million views, I think they’ve gotten their message across.

8. Interactive Zombie Movie Adventure

Hell Pizza New Zealand have put over 12 million viewers through their interactive zombie movie / pizza advert. Hugely original and great fun. Probably not for the very young however.

7. The Evolution of beauty

This may seem like a strange entrant to the list but I think Dove have tried to do something important here. The video had 2 million views in the first two weeks after posting.

6. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

This one has almost 66 million views and rightfully so. It is awesome. The reason it’s not higher up the list is that it’s promoting the release of the Carrie film in New York. This means they had the talent, cash and know-how already at hand to pull it off without a hitch.

5. Push Button To Add Drama

I love this one. I’d love to find that button myself. The TNT drama TV station provided a real treat for over 54 million Youtubers with this one. It was used to launch the station in Belgium.

4. Christmas Miracle: Real Time Giving

West Jet’s hugely successful video is the most sentimental video on the list by far. I defy you not to smile while watching this. It’s created almost 45million viewers, and a handful of happy flyers too.

3. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Anybody who has ever watched Youtube has been wondering when the ‘Old Spice Guy’ was going to make his appearance. And in truth, most lists like this will have him in first place.

The campaign has completely turned around a brand that had attracted the dreaded ‘old guy product’ tag. This video alone has over 52 million views. Over a million of them may be mine…

2. Will It Blend

Blendtec finish in a well deserved second place because they have shown marketers everywhere that any product is capable of creating a viral marketing buzz.

I can’t quite put my finger on why this works so well, but I’ve watched many of their videos more than once. If a company that makes plain looking blenders can generate 10s of millions of views without any budget to speak of, what’s your excuse?

1. These Blades Are F***ing Great

The Dollar Shave Club video series has it all.

This start up went truly viral after it’s first video, allowing the business to grow and grow. I’ve posted the original video along with the follow up and an interview with Dollar Shave club CEO Michael Dubin.

On the back of releasing the first video the company has over 1.7 million product subscribers, has raised $50 million in capital and has developed a range of products.

And to answer the question on everyone’s lips…

Yes, they can supply luxury butt wipes. Enjoy. (the video that is).

If anybody has any favorites not on the list I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.

Thank you for reading.

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