How to Create an Infographic

infographic

Slap a piece of information on a graphic, and you’ve got an infographic, right? While that might be the general idea, it does require a little bit more work — but it’s definitely worth it. And here are some numbers to prove it:

  • Infographics can improve web traffic by 12 percent
  • 42 percent of marketers say infographics and other original graphics are the most engaging visuals
  • Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than a purely text article
  • Infographics are shared three times more than any other visual element on social media

Want to start enjoying some of these benefits but aren’t sure where to start? Luckily, you don’t need a design degree to create an engaging infographic. You just need the right data and tools.

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Are Chatbots a Good Option for Your Business?

chatbotsSmartphones, 3D printers, drones. Technology that seemed to only live in sci-fi movies is now commonplace in the real world. The evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) is in full swing, and the business world is taking notice.

Organizations small and large have the same goals: maximize productivity, increase brand awareness, and drive profitability (apart from nonprofits, of course). We’re all looking for ways to streamline business, marketing, and customer service in convenient, automated ways.

Remember Clippy, the paperclip “virtual assistant” that came with Microsoft Office in the ‘90s? Clippy was basically the very first chat bot. And while the technology was great in theory, it wasn’t intelligent enough to be useful — and didn’t know when to shut up. Clippy lacked the ability to interact on a more human level. It couldn’t provide the answers we wanted. Fortunately, chatbots have improved greatly since then. Let’s get up to speed, shall we?

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Retargeting Campaigns for the Complete Beginner

retargeting

Retargeting campaigns. You’ve probably heard the term before, but maybe what they are and how they work is still a mystery to you. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we’ll demystify the entire retargeting process. We’ll explain what it is and why it’s been known to work so well for businesses. We’ll also take you through the necessary steps you’ll need to follow in order to successfully run your own retargeting campaigns.

Sound like a plan? Good, let’s get started!

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Why Email Marketing Is STILL Better Than Blogging

email marketing

Blogging used to be an easy, inexpensive way to market yourself.

Ten years ago, you could write a couple of articles, sprinkle them with keywords, and… voilà! Your post appeared, like magic, above the fold on Google’s search results page, and the leads came pouring in. The content didn’t even have to be good.

Then, something horrible happened.

Black hat SEO practitioners found ways to artificially inflate their search engine rankings by stuffing pages full of keywords that weren’t relevant to the content. They also found ways to trick legitimate websites into adding backlinks to their meaningless keywork-laden pages. When Google diligently researched what these shady characters were doing and uncovered their nefarious tricks, they made changes to their algorithm — and everyone’s rankings suffered because of it.

Email marketing is like the tortoise: slow and steady wins the race. Meanwhile, publishing blog posts leaves you at the mercy of algorithms, which change often and without notice.

With email marketing, you have permission to talk to your audience directly. You do have to worry about things like spam filters and click-through rates, but you don’t have to worry about competing to get on the first page of Google search results.

We here at Robly believe in the power of email marketing — and we’re not the only ones. Studies show time and time again that email marketing is more profitable than any other form of digital marketing.

Today we’re going to talk about the ROI of email marketing versus the ROI of blogging. Then, we’ll discuss how to measure your email marketing ROI.

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6 Startup Costs Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Skip

startup costs

Without a doubt, starting a business is an expensive proposition. It’s also a fact that most entrepreneurs don’t have a limitless supply of capital with which to get their venture off the ground. This makes it critical to conserve money wherever possible. While some expenses can be delayed until a company is enjoying some measure of success, there are certain startup costs that no entrepreneur should skip when launching an online business.

Spending more money may seem counterintuitive, especially when funds are tight. However, you’ll put your venture at risk if you don’t focus your efforts on these areas.

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Why Your Emails Go to Spam And What to Do About It

spam

One of the worst things that can happen to you as an email marketer is being labeled a spammer.

Not only does it suck, it can have real consequences for your business. You might get blacklisted and lose out on revenue.

While there are certain things that are out of your control — like what algorithms email services use to check what’s spam, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re getting in people’s inboxes.

In this article, we tell you why your email campaigns are going into the spam folder and what you can do to prevent that from happening..

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8 Best Marketing Blogs to Follow

marketing blog

Looking for something good to read over your morning coffee or when you’re winding down at night? Instead of scrolling through Facebook for the hundredth time, why not check out an interesting marketing blog that might answer a question or give you the tools to succeed with your next campaign?

There are several options out there, but here are eight of the our favorite marketing blogs, in no particular order.

marketing blogNeil Patel

Influencer Neil Patel is a co-owner of a digital marketing agency and a New York Times best-selling author. Forbes named him a Top 10 marketer, so it’s fair to say he knows his stuff — and he shares that insight throughout his site.

Patel has a variety of blogs covering topics like content marketing, ecommerce, email marketing, entrepreneurship, online marketing, SEO, paid ads, and social media. Simply visit his blog page and choose from the drop-down menu the topic you’re interested in reading about.

He also produces daily podcasts where he dives into timely topics, if you’d prefer to listen to the information. You can access the episodes directly from his site or on players like iTunes under “Marketing School.”

In addition to his original blogs and podcasts, Patel also purchased Kissmetrics’ blogs, merging all of their content with his. So there are thousands of blogs covering pretty much every marketing topic you can think of all on one site.

marketing blog

Buffer

Designed to help you manage your social media accounts, Buffer also offers a wealth of knowledge in their marketing blog. They break their content down into three main categories: The Science of Social Media (also available as a podcast), News and Trends, and Case Studies.

Their blog topics include insights from industry conferences, social media news, marketing tactics, content, entrepreneurship, and proven best practices. Considering they are a social site, it’s no surprise their content really dives into in-depth social marketing strategies — covering social media ads, algorithms, updates, and other useful tips.

marketing blogSocial Media Examiner

The site might not look as modern and edgy as some of the others on this list, but don’t let that fool you. Social Media Examiner provides a wealth of information for anyone looking to up their social marketing skills.

They have in-depth blogs that walk you through some of the top social marketing tasks, like creating a Facebook location page, using Instagram Stories in your marketing, analyzing Twitter content, using ad transparency tools, and low-cost video tools for social media marketers. We like how they clearly explain how to master social media tasks and show step-by-step photos.

This site also has a podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show. Audiophiles can give it a listen on the way to work or as while typing away.

marketing blog

Moz

Moz shares blogs from a good mix of industry experts and publishes new content every few days. From vice presidents of marketing to consultants, their authors bring a depth of knowledge to their blog posts.

They cover 39 categories on their blog with topics like advanced and basic SEO, blogging, branding, email marketing, events, keyword research, link building, video, copywriting, and marketing psychology.

One thing that makes this an excellent marketing blog is that it offers content for a range of experience levels. Whether you’ve been a professional marketer for years or are just looking for some basic tips to get you started, Moz has something for everyone.

marketing blog

HubSpot

For practical tips on how to improve your marketing efforts, HubSpot serves up a good mix of content. And if you aren’t sure exactly what topic you want to look at first, you can simply click one of their “Most Popular” or “Editor’s Picks” blogs shown at the top right.

They have blogs on topics like social media marketing, how to convert files, work-from-home advice, how to write press releases, and ways to get more clicks for your content. There’s a good mix of practical marketing tips and general work-related pieces.

Also, each post shows how long it takes to read, so you know what you’re getting into before making the time investment. In addition to their marketing blog, they also have blogs that focus on sales and service.

marketing blog

DIYMarketers

With blog categories covering everything from marketing and social media to trends and lead gen, DIYMarketers has more of a small-business vibe than some of the others on this list. They state their goal is to help small business owners avoid becoming overwhelmed with marketing by doing less of it. So if that sounds up your alley, this might be the blog for you.

They post a new blog every three to four days, so there’s regular content to check out. Topics include how to grow sales without spending money on marketing, how to earn customers, video marketing tips, how to set goals, and leadership advice.

marketing blog

Wishpond

Wishpond has a good bit of content focused on ecommerce, along with blogs on things like email marketing, influencer marketing, improving site traffic with Facebook, holiday contest guides, and social media advertising.

Their blog post authors include CEOs, editors, content marketers, and other business professionals. You’ll find a mix of blog lengths and writing styles, which adds variety to their content.

marketing blog

Hootsuite

Similar to Buffer, Hootsuite is another social media management platform — so the majority of its content is focused on providing tips for social sites. For example, you’ll find blogs on Twitter ads, creating long-form social videos, top social media apps, how to optimize your LinkedIn page, and Facebook tips and tricks.

Considering the site is based around social media, they know a thing or two — which gives their blog credibility. It’s like asking a chef where to eat: You tend to trust their opinion.

Choose from a list of topics, networks, or resources on the right navigation bar to take you directly to the content you’re craving.

Subscribe and decide

Most marketing blogs offer newsletter subscriptions, so sign up for ones you’re interested in to get them delivered straight to your inbox. Each of the sites offers different topics and writing tones, so pick the one (or ones) that piques your interest.

Make it a priority to read about new marketing practices, ideas, updates, and news to improve your skills. All of the blogs on the list are free to read, so take advantage of the insights available. They might even help you come up with your next great marketing campaign.

Want more marketing blog posts? Check out ours!

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer based in Nashville, Tenn. Her decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing.

Influencer Marketing: How to Partner with the Authorities in Your Niche and Grow Your Business

Influencer Marketing

There’s always a new “in” trend in marketing. Whether it’s Facebook ads, Instagram stories, or something else entirely, when a new method or medium is discovered, marketers are usually some of the first people to jump on board and start experimenting.

Influencer marketing is now on the up and up. So we thought we’d put together a comprehensive guide to help you use IM to its fullest potential and better promote your business.

In this blog we’ll give you a detailed explanation of what influencer marketing is, why it’s become so popular, how your company can capitalize on this growing trend, and a few amazing examples of other businesses crushing it with IM. Sound good?

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8 Scary Good Halloween Emails

Halloween email

Pull out the costumes, and grab a few bags of candy (Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, please). It’s that time of year again.

Halloween will be here before you know it, and it’s not too early to start planning your chilling email campaign. And, according to Inc.com, Q3 is the right time to start ramping up your holiday send schedule.

Inc.com says emails for Halloween benefited from being sent earlier, since it’s a holiday that requires a little more planning than Back to School or Black Friday — think coming up with costume ideas. They found that Halloween emails sent in the first half of October saw 15.2 percent open rates, compared to ones sent in the last half of the month that saw 13.3 open rates.

Ready to get started on your campaign for the most frightening time of the year? We’ve put together eight examples of Halloween emails that will help BOOst your creativity.

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How to Use Video to Effectively Market Your Business

video

Let’s start with a question: how many YouTube videos have you watched today? What about Facebook Live broadcasts or Instagram stories? That’s what we thought…

Video is everywhere. It’s inescapable!

Which means your company needs to take a serious look at implementing the medium into its marketing efforts, if it isn’t already doing so.

Recently, we went over how to do live video for your business. In this post, we’ll outline everything you need to know about using non-live video to market your business. You’ll see the stats on video marketing’s prominence, learn the different kinds of videos you can create, and get a few ideas for appropriate content.

We’ll even educate you on the top video promotion techniques and the best apps to make your content both more professional and easier to create and market.

It’s all here. Shall we get started?

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10 Social Media Promo Ideas to Win More Business

social media

Did you know 22% of the world’s population uses Facebook? Or that Instagram has 1 billion active users?

That’s why social media is an awesome place to promote your business; everyone uses it.

Facebook has been the gold standard for social media promotion because of its low cost and high number of users. But Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn also provide great opportunities to win customers.

Today, we’re going to talk about social media promotions in general, specifically the elements of a good promotion, and describe 10 in detail for you to swipe for your own marketing.

Let’s get started with one of the most common questions we hear when businesses are thinking of getting social…

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6 Security Mistakes That Email Marketers Make and How To Solve Them

Security

Email has existed for almost as long as the internet has, and despite the advent of social networks, blogging, instant messaging, and so on, email remains one of the most popular ways to communicate online.

It’s also one of the most effective ways to market your website or brand, too. Simply writing a good message with an offer and then sending it out in bulk to a list of active email subscribers is one of the best strategies to get a high conversion rate and keep your customers/audience engaged.

Unfortunately, email is also the number one target for cybercriminals and hackers to gain access to you and your customers’ data. That’s right, it’s not by going after your network or your website (even though those are also prime targets), but rather your email.

Even if you believe that your online business is not at risk, the truth is that 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed directly at small online businesses. As a result, this is simply not a risk that you can ignore, at least not if you strongly value keeping your company and customer data safe.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what these mistakes are and how you can easily avoid them. Let’s get started.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Highly Persuasive Emails

persuasive emails

One well-written email can make a big difference in your business.

It can drive new sales, reach new people, or make people engage with your brand. If you do it right, that is.

If you don’t, it will be forgettable. People will just open your email, skim it, and trash it.

So how do you write emails that persuade people to take action? Let’s find out. Continue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Highly Persuasive Emails”

How to Craft a Killer Breakup Email To Win Back Customers

breakup email

They say breaking up is hard to do, but with all the options we have these days, it’s actually pretty easy. Old-school methods like voicemails and letters are still an option. You can also Skype, Slack, Facebook message, or Zoom to your heart’s content. Oh, and don’t forget email.

Enter the breakup email. When someone is thinking about unsubscribing from your newsletter or otherwise ignores every attempt you make to reach them, it’s time to say goodbye.

But keep your chin up! It doesn’t have to end here. There’s a variety of ways to let your subscribers  know you won’t bug them anymore that can actually get responses. Sometimes, they may even change their mind.

Today we’ll cover what a breakup email is, the elements of a good one, and share some examples along the way. Let’s get started, shall we?

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How to Use Live Video to Market Your Business

live video

As a business owner or marketing professional, you’re constantly looking for new tactics and strategies to better promote your products or services, right? Anything to give you an edge in an incredibly competitive market.

A few years ago live video exploded onto the scene, after years of niche technology status. Many companies jumped on the bandwagon and have seen great success using live broadcasts in their marketing efforts. Many more companies have yet to embrace the medium.

In this blog, we’ll give you a complete and thorough run down of all things live video: the benefits of it, the most popular platforms, specific tools to use, various topics to discuss, certain live video best practices to keep in mind, and the top ways to promote your live streams.

By the end you’ll be ready to use live video to successfully market your business. Let’s get started!

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5 Ways to Promote Your Blog & Get More Traffic

promote your blog

Maybe this sounds familiar: You’ve spent all week brainstorming the perfect topic for your next blog post. Not one of those 500 words listicles, but actionable content your audience will love.

After a couple of days, the end result is a post you’re sure will bring a flood of traffic once it goes live. An hour later your published masterpiece is available for the world to see.

You watch traffic like a hawk and after an hour, the post has two views. After a day there’s no change. Then, a week later, the post has been seen by almost no one.

You think about closing the blog down once and for all; it’s clearly not working. All the famous bloggers you’ve heard about must be lucky or spent a lot of money to promote their blog posts.

Anyone who has ever blogged has experienced this before: that feeling of disappointment when it seems like all your hard work has gone to waste.

But what if we told you that driving traffic to your blog post doesn’t depend on luck or money? It actually takes work — lots of it. All the great digital marketers work hard at promoting what they create.

In this post, we’re going to lay out some of the methods everyone from Jon Morrow, Derek Halpern, Brian Dean and Noah Kagan use to get their blogs seen by thousands — and sometimes millions — of people.

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