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Nuggets of Knowledge: August 2014

By August 7, 2014Nuggets of Knowledge
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This month’s #NOKlist brings you more of the Mack Web team’s ruminations on other people’s hard work (‘cuz that’s how we learn: standing on the shoulders of giants, etc.). The August Edition of the Nuggets of Knowledge includes actionable tips on email marketing and SEO, some of the Science! behind viral content, a new approach to managing your existing content, and a caution on the negative effects of too much measurement.

Also, Axl Rose. Yeah.

Check it out for yourself and, hey, for kicks, check out our past editions, too. You won’t be sorry.


Rebecca’s Pick

How Axl Rose Ended Up Commenting On Our Creative Piece

by Harriet Cummings

Rebecca

Rebecca

As an avid fan of Guns N’ Roses, I’m not ashamed to admit that when I saw this article title, I dropped everything to read the article in full. And both the 80s girl and the marketer sides of me are so glad that I did.

The creative piece in question is a data-curated interactive infographic – a music lover’s mini-playground, rife with the potential for who’s-the-greatest debates and design discussions. But that’s for another NOKlist. (And to the whole Mack Web team, I call dibs.)

The reason I selected Harriet Cumming’s article is for the transparent glimpse she provides into the creative process that birthed this infographic in the first place. In a relatively short post, she takes us through brainstorming > commitment to an idea > design and UX > finally getting the piece out there for the world to see. And then we get to see how the world responded.

This article is much like a new album that, once you get into it, you excitedly realize has a hidden track at the end. Packed with oodles of articles and resources, and even the mentioned-in-the-title comment by Axl Rose, the musically- and marketing-inclined will find themselves in Paradise City.

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Nat’s Pick

4 Predictions for the Future of Email Marketing

Post by Jimmy Daly, Vero

Nat

Nat

Often times I find that I have so many ideas I want to try out for our email marketing that I’m not sure where to begin or how to prioritize them. That’s why I found the blog post Vero put together on predictions for email marketing so very helpful. With these 4 predictions, I feel like I have a road map to help prioritize what I should look at, test, and optimize first for email marketing (then I can prioritize all my other email marketing ideas below these ones). What really makes this blog post “NOKlist worthy” is that Vero provides action steps for each prediction that I can put in place now (making everything that much easier for me to implement).

The blog post touches on the following:
1. Data will reign supreme.
2. Personalization will take on a meaning.
3. A/B testing will fade away.
4. Email volume will decline.

Give the predictions a look, try out the recommended action steps, and see what results develop for you. I’m excited to see what develops for us.

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Mack’s Pick

Number Crunching is Turning Marketers into Tactical Bullies

By Richard Becker

Mack

Mack

When you’re helping companies build their brands, there’s typically some pretty hefty expectations to overcome regarding results. Building a brand takes years, is ongoing, and although clients understand the long-term investment, they still need indicators in the short-term that validate their investment. Marketers have been working to deliver quantitative data that will communicate the value of all the time, effort, and budget spent, but as Rich Becker explains, their metrics may not be revealing the true picture.

“The sheer volume of data being lobbed at modern marketers is commoditizing the entire field while it distracts marketing from where its focus really ought to be, which is delivering a distinct brand promise to people who might care.”

It’s not that we’re communicating (all of) the wrong numbers (using metrics like qualified leads traffic to the website, click-throughs, conversions, and the like) it’s just that “numbers alone don’t tell the story.”

We work very hard to communicate the value of our efforts (and are continually investigating which metrics assist us in doing just that). This post is an important reminder that we need to continue seeking qualitative data that defends the value of marketing efforts. For us, it’s a matter of making sure we’re in a relationship with the right clients and that we’re continually exploring and experimenting which metrics (quantitative and qualitative) that prove our hard work is in fact making a difference.

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Courtney’s Pick

6 Big Takeaways from ‘The Science of Viral Content’

by Jillian Richardson, Contently

Courtney

Courtney

The blissfully oblivious put a lot of pressure on anyone who works with content or is considered creative or works with content and is considered creative to deliver something ‘viral.’ As if we’re all mad scientists following a closely-guarded recipe to cook up something brilliant and heart-stopping in our top secret labs.

And wouldn’t that be cool.

But of course, content virality depends on that most unpredictable of forces: mankind. Content goes viral because it tickles the fancy of the millions and billions of weirdly similar and diverse people in the world and they make it so. The reception a piece of content receives is just as difficult to predict as the general seethe of humanity.

Which is to say, difficult to gauge in the precursor but possible to understand in the aftermath.

And so, in the way of all mad scientists, Fractl did a study on what makes a marketing campaign go viral. And, in their usual way, Contently digested the study, providing key takeaways and showcasing some of the most compelling examples.

Surprise, surprise: the emotional experience is what causes content to explode. Different emotions inspire different responses in different demographics, but the most vivid similarity in the examples Contently embeds is that they all tell a story. (Except for the Harlem Shake phenomenon, which remains something of a mystery.)

The points are compelling, the videos are excellent. Worth a read and some contemplation before you plan out your next campaign/retreat to your mad scientist lair to brew up something particularly potent.

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Ayelet’s Pick

Why We Are Hiring for a New Content Role (and You Should Too)

by Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Ayelet

Ayelet

When I saw the title of this article, I thought for sure it was just another article about curating external content for social media channels. But Joe Pulizzi talks about content curation in a very different way. He goes into how internal content curation (including categorizing content already created, organizing it into some sort of data management system, developing a clear marketing plan for that content, and executing that plan) can be most effectively used. In the example he used, the company had hired a content curator to handle their own content better, repurposing and getting the best use out of existing content. As Mack Web is starting to develop more and more content on the blog and on our site, this article hit home to me as we will need to have a better system in place for managing it.

By making internal content curation more of a priority, you are better able to spot themes and test your theories. Although we don’t have one specific content curator at Mack Web (and you may not either), the ideas in this article can be implemented by your current team and over the course of time. Extra plus: this article is a short, but inspiring read.

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Ann’s Pick

10 Questions to Supercharge a New SEO Process

by Aleyda Solis

Ann

Ann

Two days from today I will be marrying that guy in the photo next to me. As you can imagine, my to-do list is quite long and has been for the past few months. The thing about planning a wedding is that slowly but surely as the months of your engagement pass, you eventually get to the big day.

The lesson that I’ve learned through this whole process is this: Whether a wedding planning list or a list of work tasks, if you’re faithful to your to-do list and take the tasks one at a time you’ll end up closer to your end goal…so long as you have the right things on your list.

When I read Aleyda Solis’s list of 10 Questions to Supercharger a New SEO Process, I instantly added 10 things to my to-do list – 10 new things to dig into and explore what possibilities might exist. What I like most about this article is how she pairs questions with tools, helping you put your SEO practices on steroids. Focus on finding answers to her questions, and you’ll find new places to add value and make a big difference in your business. Take each item one at a time (just like the tasks for planning a wedding) and by the time you get to the end of the list you’ll be able to enjoy all of the new opportunities you’ve discovered to improve your SEO efforts.

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Nuggets of Knowledge April 2014

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