E-Marketing Innovation: Email and Internet Marketing Services and Consulting Top bar
Home Email Marketing and Internet Marketing Services How It Works Portfolio and Testimonial About Me

Archive for March, 2017

LinkedIn’s New Company Page Gets Even Better

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Have you accessed the new LinkedIn company page?  The new design started deployment several months ago and most of the company pages I administer have now been converted.  LinkedIn has been kind enough to retain access to the old administration page but states that once all company pages have been migrated, the old admin experience will be retired.  So if you’ve been avoiding the upgrade, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the new admin dashboard. To make it easier LinkedIn has made updates in the last week  to eliminate two primary frustrations.

The new layout is cleaner and offers some useful administrative tools.  That said whenever I hear that an interface is going to be “cleaner”, I immediately try to identify what they’ve removed and how that might affect me.

The better news is that the two frustrations I had with the new admin dashboard have just been updated to improve the experience.

Embedded Images

Clearly LinkedIn is trying to make the new company pages more scanable and is relying on images to keep the content from getting cluttered.  To do that it pulls the featured image from a page.  As long as you’ve set that image, LinkedIn seamlessly embeds it into the post.

But what if the page you are linking to does not have a defined image or has misassigned one? Before the update I found it frustrating because LinkedIn used that wrong image or created a basic title text post which doesn’t exactly draw attention when placed in a sea of graphics.

The most recent update corrected the deficiency by reinstating the simple add image icon and making the title editable.  It’s still most efficient to have a defined image but if you are linking to a page that you don’t have administrative access to or need to make customized changes within LinkedIn, it’s an option again.

Sharing from Your Profile

LinkedIn does not currently let you sort your feed. The content defaults to “featured content” so finding a particular post can be a frustrating experience.  LinkedIn says that sorting your feed by date posted will be returning soon but, for now, sharing company news to personal accounts can be a headache.

While I’ve not seen research to prove this, the new update seems to share news from a particular company. That company’s posts then become more prevalent in my feed for additional sharing. A good workaround is to alert anyone that might want to share your company news that they should do so when it’s featured on their feed and not delay.  This typically happens soon after the content is posted on the company page. After a few shares it becomes easier for individuals to find the company posts.

The added benefit to a group sharing company news as soon as it’s available is that once one user shares the content, other users can locate that share in the first users profile and share the share.  This prevents multiple people from having to hunt down a post to share it.  Once one user shares it, the other users can navigate directly to the content via that share.

 

Avoiding these couple frustrations has let me appreciate the scanability of the new company pages and the addition of several useful tools.

 

Photo credit: Flickr, Nan Palmero

The Copying and Pasting Checklist

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Copying and pasting is probably my favorite command on a computer. What’s not to love? It saves so much time when you can use a past communication, setting, or tool on a new project.

I didn’t realize my dependence on copying and pasting ran so deep until doing a demo on a web platform with the vendor. As I explored the functionality I asked, “How do I make a copy of this page?” The vendor told me that they eliminated the copy function because they found that administrators were overusing it and repetitive data and tags were creeping into sites.  As a “best practice” they required admins to start pages from scratch.  While my impression of the platform was not great to that point, that remark ensured I was not going to implement it.

How can a function that saves so much time be a bad habit? While I don’t agree that eliminating copying and pasting from a platform or marketing processes is appropriate, I have to admit that there is a grain of truth in what the vendor was saying. Duplicating content does require diligence to ensure that all the appropriate settings are updated to prevent outdated or inaccurate information being placed in updated communications.

Let’s use an event webpage as an example. When copying and pasting an old event, obvious changes like updating the graphics and text are rarely missed but the entire user experience should be reviewed to make sure that all the information they receive is correct.

Graphics – Have the promotional or speaker images been updated?
Text – Has all the appropriate text been changed? Pay attention to minor text mentions for things like specials or length of the event.
Meta Tags – Has the page’s header information been refreshed so that the people searching for the event are able to find it and land on the right page?
Form – If you are not using an automated app, is the form saving to the right database? Do the data fields need updated?
Landing Page – Does the confirmation for the event’s landing page need updated with logistic info or other instructions?
Email Confirmation – Has the automated email been updated with logistic info or other instructions?
Event Surveys – If you survey attendees before the event, has the content and/or the link been updated so that they are surveyed on the appropriate topic?

This checklist shows that something as simple as duplicating a page requires verification on many aspects of the user experience. This checklist might only be a starting point for more complex digital marketing activities. Use this example to customize your own copying and pasting processes. These checklists will ensure that you get all the benefits from copying and pasting without it becoming a bad habit.

Responsibly Re-use Content

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Online marketing has become a voracious beast that devours content. Keeping quality content flowing at a pace that can feed your email, social media, and/or blog can be a daunting task. If a trainer, consultant, or professional coach responsibly re-uses their content it can help fill gaps in their online marketing campaigns and still provide value to their target audience.

There are a few ways of re-using content:

  • Refresh Old Article/Video/Podcast Etc. – Reusing older content that has not seen the light of day in a while is often a simple way of getting more out of the effort you spent in creating it. However, it’s important not to get lazy by publishing it without a review. Be certain that you haven’t used the content lately (a year is often a safe time line). The world changes quickly and even an article or video from only a year ago might need updates on technical points or current events. The theme from Articles or videos that are several years old might be retained but frequently need a significant rewrite. For example, we just updated an article that referenced “replying to a pager” and “receiving a fax”.
  • New Spin On A Repeated Topic – This article is a partial re-use. Read the previous version about the pitfalls when you chronically re-use content. Previous content will often focus on one specific aspect of a topic. It’s possible to re-use that content by covering a different aspect. In this case the previous article speaks to the problems that can arise when you chronically re-use content. This article is on the same topic but is designed to suggest responsible and effective ways to re-use content.
  • Repackage Content – If you have newer content that resonates well or a series of articles or videos, it might be repackaged into a new offering. For instance, if you have an email marketing series on a particular topic or theme, that might be edited into a whitepaper or eBook.
  • Use Others Content As Commentary – It’s possible to re-use other people’s content but it takes diligence. The best way to do this is as commentary. This is often achieved by making a short comment on social media or by doing a lengthier review/analysis on what someone else has provided. In either case it’s important to make it clear who created the original content so that you are not taking credit for other people’s work.

Content creation is a significant effort in most digital marketing campaigns. While it’s important to provide unique content to your audience that highlights your unique expertise or offering, content re-use can be a valuable tactic in meeting a burdensome content creation schedule.

Photo credit: Flickr, Steven Snodgrass