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February 2013

How to Use Long Tail Keywords to Grow Your Blog Audience

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If you ever felt like you’ve hit a wall with your blog content or audience reach, focusing on long tail keywords might be one of your best options.

Something way too many people focus their efforts on is trying to rank for generic keywords, which usually results in a lot of wasted time and effort in an area that simply has way too much competition.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Before we get too far into how to find and use long tail keywords and how they work, let’s first cover the differences between what they are.

Generic keyword: blogging
Long tail keyword: make money blogging

While both of these keywords are very attracting and have a wide audience, one of them will be much easier to rank for, while also focusing clearly on it’s niche audience.

If you do a search for “blogging,” you can really be looking for anything. If someone is going to search for “make money blogging,” they are obviously interested in learning how to make money with a blog of their own. To get one step further you could even do “make money blogging with affiliate marketing,” which would be even more specific and give you a tighter niche audience with even less advertiser and search competition.

How to Find Long Tail Keywords

Knowing what long tail keywords are is one thing, but actually knowing how to research and find the winners is another.

There are plenty of free software tools out there for you to use, such as Bing AdCenter tools and Google Keyword Tools. Both of these will allow you to plug in a keyword, find related search terms and also provide you with advertiser competition and how many people are searching for each phrase per month.

If you would like to save a lot of time and get a premium piece of software, I highly recommend Long Tail Pro (full review). Not only will the software do everything that Google Keyword Tool can, but it will also give you a “Keyword Competition” score that will give you an idea of how hard it would be for you to rank for a specific keyword.

Using Long Tail Keywords to Grow Your Blog

With all of this mentioned, there are two key ways that you can start growing out your blog with these methods.

The first is to use long tail keywords in your pay per click marketing campaigns, which will improve your overall costs and conversions.

The next and best way is to use long tail keywords as the focus of your blog content and title.

Instead of using “How to Install WordPress” as your content and title, go more direct with “How to Install WordPress with 1 Click Install.” Not only will this help you rank better in the results, but it will also give you an exact audience of people who are searching on that exact topic/task.

If you aren’t currently building out your blog with long tail keywords, now it a great time to start!

Photo Credit: Bigstock

Why Have a Blog If You Don’t Use It?

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You’ve seen those frightful business websites before, hopefully not including your own.

You land on the site and it provides you with detailed information on the respective company. Once you navigate a little more, it comes to your knowledge that the company’s blog is looking like a lost child. One of the first thoughts likely to come to your mind is what exactly were these people thinking?

So, basically what you have here is neglect at its worst, neglect that could end up costing this particular company more business.

Whether your company is unveiling new products and services for your customers, or expanding its operation locally or nationally, the company blog is a terrific resource to announce such moves. Take those blog posts and promote them on social media, you get even more exposure.

So, what to do if your company blog efforts are clinging to life support?

Some of the actions you should deploy immediately include:

Assess the situation

Before you set into panic mode, think about how you got in this position in the first place. Was it because you just did not have the time and/or resources to update the blog? Did you feel your blog efforts were not worth the time? Lastly, have you tried blogging before, but met with little or no success? Come to grips with why you’re in this place to begin with, then draw up a plan to reverse course.

Plan a course

If you are running your own small business, there is a good chance you have limited resources with which to tend to everyday responsibilities. In that case, either put a qualified individual on your team (where applicable) in charge of blogging or outsource the needs to a company that does such work on a daily basis. If you do keep it in-house, make sure the person in charge of blogging keeps the blog relevant, not to mention updated on a daily basis. Along with the importance of getting your message out there, you want to make sure you are getting some love back from the search engines. When you’re blogging infrequently and not staying on message, you lose standing with Google, not something you want to do.

Blog with a purpose

Who are you trying to kid? One of the reasons for blogging is to gain traction with Google and other search engine venues. If you are blogging infrequently not only on your own site, but never reaching out to see if you can guest blog on other relevant sites, you lose twice. One of the great things with blogging on other sites is that you can put a keyword term or two (depending on publisher guidelines) in the post, thereby directing traffic back to your site (offer the same option to relevant blogs). If for no other reason, use that as motivation to get people back to your site, allowing them to see the products and services you offer.

Promote products and services

Finally, do you have a new product or service offering you want the world to know about? Using your company blog to promote it makes sense, plus opens you up to consumers who may not have been aware of you as recently as yesterday. Whether you have started a rewards program, now accept mobile payments or will be discounting certain merchandise, your blog can carry the news for you. And remember, you need to promote the blog itself on your social media channels, giving you more opportunities to land business.

While your company blog may not get your full attention, it should be getting more than you’ve likely been giving it in the past.

Photo Credit: Bigstock

Top Advice for Video Creators from IAWTV Award Winners

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IAWTV sponsored an awesome video track at NMX 2013, and after the conference, they also hosted an awards ceremony for web TV content creators. NMX sponsor .tv got a chance to work the red carpet, interviewing some of the nominees and winners.

But in this case, the question wasn’t “Who are you wearing?” Instead, correspondent Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff asked these top content creators to share their very best tips for up-and-coming video creators. Check out what pros like Kristyn Burtt, Grace Helbig, Goldie Chen, Chris Hardwick, and Tim Street had to say:

Many winners and nominees at the IAWTV awards were actually speakers at NXM 2013. Want to see their presentations? You can get all of the conference recordings as a premium member of NMX University with our 2013 Virtual Ticket. Learn how to sign up here.

Three Ways to Build Your Email List (Without a Free Ebook)

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It seems like every blogger out there has a free ebook they’re giving away in exchange for your email address. This is a popular strategy for a reason: it works.

But free ebooks are not without their problems, least of which is that they take time or money (or both) to create. Even a short 10-20 page ebook needs to be written, edited, designed, and promoted, and those tasks take time, and you may have to hire people to help you.

Although I do still encourage you to give away an ebook to entice people to sign up for your mailing list, this isn’t your only option. Here are three other techniques I’ve successfully used to collect email addresses:

1. Offer content you can’t find on your blog.

Lots of people use their email lists to promote content from their blog, as well as to drive sales. There’s nothing wrong with either of these options, but you can also drive sign-ups by promising (and delivering) special content only available to subscribers.

You still have to create content this way. However, instead of the daunting task of writing an entire ebook, you can split that content creation into smaller, more manageable chunks.

What kind of content can you create? Here are just a few of your options:

  • E-courses, distributed over multiple weeks
  • Blog posts that aren’t found on your blog (or that are behind a membership wall)
  • Outtakes or bloopers from videos you’ve created
  • Additional questions and answers from interviews you’ve done
  • Podcasts to go along with your blog content

Let your imagination run wild!

2. Give subscribers special access to you via email.

If you create great content online, you’ll start to get requests and questions from readers. Instead of giving away a free ebook, instead offer special access to you for anyone who signs up for your email list. Maybe you set up a forum for subscribers to ask you questions. Maybe you hold weekly or monthly conference calls with subscribers. Maybe you do a drawing every month and pick one lucky subscriber to receive a free consulting session with you. Again, get creative and think about what you have that is high value and that you can give away for free.

3. Offer a workbook that outlines your personal process.

We all have step-by-step processes for completing tasks. You can write a how-to for your blog, but also consider creating a workbook (or individual pages) for your readers. As opposed to an ebook, workbooks have a lot of blank space to give your readers space to record their ideas or complete tasks, so they aren’t as much work on your end while still being as long as an ebook.

If you don’t currently have an email list, I hope this post has inspired you to start building one even if you don’t have time to produce an ebook. You can get started with an email list right now and develop the ebook later.

Podcasting isn’t Dead

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In his post titled The Resurrection of Podcasting, Mitch Joel asks the question “Does anyone listen to podcasts anymore? Does anyone even care?”

Yes Joel, I’m listening, I care. So do nearly twice the number of people who have Twitter accounts. According to Edison Research, 17% of the U.S. population has listened/viewed a podcast in the last month and 29% have listened to a podcast at some point in the past. For comparison, only 10% of the U.S. population have Twitter accounts. Is Twitter dead?  The “Resurrection of Podcasting” title makes it sound as if podcasting was dead. Podcasting was never dead! Awkward teenage phase, maybe. But never dead.

Since 2005 the podcast audience has had a steady growth from 11% in 2006 up to 29% in 2012. The number and quality of podcasts has also grown. In 2005 I had a hard time finding enough podcasts to fill up my iRiver MP3 player. Now my iTunes account has 14 days worth of podcasts waiting for my ears.

It’s true that for a while in podcasting’s earlier days some “gurus” put podcasting in a pretty dress and tiara and sent her out on stage calling her “The Next Big Thing.” I blame the gurus for that one. Quite frankly those folks soured many in the podcasting community against conferences such as NMX. A lot of podcasters felt that if making money and replacing established radio was going to be the primary focus of a conference then that conference wasn’t for them. I am on a mission to change this.

Many podcasters were and are quite happy just talking into their mic and having an audience that appreciates their work. There is no plan to take over the broadcasting world (say it like Pinky and the Brain) among most podcasters. That was just the “gurus” talking.

Today podcasting is stronger than ever and getting stronger each day. There is room for the entire range of podcasters. From the full time pros and networks like TWIT and Nerdist to the hobbyist that just wants to talk about blue widgets. Not green ones, not purple ones and not about selling them. Just wants to enjoy the awesomeness that is blue widgets and share his blue widget love with his audience of other blue widget aficionados. There is room for everyone along this spectrum.

Tom Merrit (of TWIT network fame) stated on a recent panel that he knew podcasting was hitting the mainstream when he saw it used as an insult on HBO’s Newsroom. It was being used much in the same way that the term “blog” had been used in the years before blogging became so popular. Imagine boss to the fired journalist…”good luck with your ‘blog’.” We are on the road to mainstream. It’s the same road blogging took, podcasting just got a later start.

Are Your Social Media Updates Turning People Off?

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Have you ever followed someone on Twitter, or liked their page on Facebook, only to find that their updates put you off them completely? Perhaps you loved their products, but their attitude left a nasty taste in your mouth.

You don’t want to become that person. If you’re making any of the following four social media
mistakes, you risk losing followers – and customers.

Turn-Off #1: Self-promotion

One of the biggest no-nos of social media is to constantly promote your own products, books or services.

Of course social media is a great marketing tool – but that doesn’t mean every tweet or status update should be about your latest sale. (Retweeting or reposting customers’ praise falls into “self-
promotion” too.)

Instead of “me me me,” make the focus “you you you.” Be useful to your audience with links to great resources from other people, and engage in conversation.

Turn-Off #2: Whining

You’ve had a bad morning: you were out of coffee, the car wouldn’t start, the traffic was awful – and
it’s only human to want to vent.

However, if your tweets or Facebook updates are constant whines about life, the universe and everything, you’re going to turn people off very quickly. Just imagine being stuck at a party with
someone who won’t stop complaining.

Instead of whining, try to find something positive to say (you might well discover it improves your
mood). If you do want to have a moan, try to see the lighter side too – a sense of humor, or a sense of the ridiculous, can work in your favor.

Turn-Off #3: Silence

If you haven’t tweeted in weeks, or updated your Facebook page in months, people can’t engage with you. New followers or fans may visit and leave straight away, thinking that you’ve abandoned that social network.

You also won’t be visible to the people who do follow your updates – and if you suddenly throw
yourself back in to social networking, updating multiple times per day, they may leave because they’ve forgotten who you are.

You don’t have to be logged into social networks all day…but make sure that you don’t let too long go by without an update.

Turn-Off #4: Arguing

Strong opinions can work well for you in the online world – but if every discussion you take part in
spirals into an argument, people will steer clear.

On social media, we only have textual cues to go on – there’s no body language or tone of voice – so
it can be easy to take someone’s words the wrong way.

If you’re angry about a tweet, Facebook post or blog comment, step away from the computer:
don’t reply in the heat of the moment.

You may also want to steer clear of writing updates about potentially inflammatory topics: politics,
for instance. That way, you can avoid the possibility of an argument beginning between your fans – which isn’t likely to encourage onlookers to become part of your community.

So…over to you! Is there a type of social media update that’s guaranteed to turn you off? Let us
know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Building Your Business with Twitter: Dino Dogan Interviews UFC’s Dana White

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At NMX 2013, Dino Dogan from Triberr sat down to talk with UFC President Dana White about Twitter, the possibility of the UFC going public, and more. Dino is a true fight fan with a passion for new media, so he was the perfect person to interview Dana! Check out the video here:

Thanks, Dino, for a great interview with Dana! Dana also sat down with NMX’s Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin to talk more about how the UFC is using social media, so if you missed that interview, you can see it now here.

Dino was one of our NMX 2013 speakers, and his session was packed. You know things are good when it’s still standing room only at the end of the presentation! For this week only, Dino’s session is 100% free on NMX University, the home of our 2013 virtual ticket. Don’t miss out; check out Dino speak about Insane Loyalty today!

Building Your Business with Twitter Transcript

Dino Dogan (0:08):  Hello everybody, my name is Dino, founder of Triberr, and I’m sitting here with Dana White.  We’re broadcasting this from Vegas for BlogRoll.com.  And, it’s an absolute pleasure for me to sit here with the president and the face of the UFC.  And the way UFC has been using social media is absolutely bleeding edge and very fascinating.  And we’re going to talk to Dana to get some insights into how he uses social media.

(0:41)So, Dana, thank you for being here.  Excellent keynote earlier.  I want you to make a business case for Twitter.  How do you use Twitter to actually lead your business?

Dana White (0:55):  The way that I personally use Twitter is I speak directly to the fans.  I talk to the fans one on one.  You know, I’m not speaking for the company, as the company, it’s me.  You’re talking to me personally.  And that’s the way that I like to do it, but what Twitter does for me, as far as the night of a fight, right, which is different from anything we’ve ever done in the history of the company is, you always have problems.  Things are always going to go wrong.  You know, I’ve had situations where people’s seats were blocked by a camera or pay-per-view goes down in Indiana, a laundry list of things that I wouldn’t have known until Monday.  But because of Twitter, I can handle it that night, get everything taken care of, make sure that everybody has a good experience.  That’s my job that night, is to make sure that everybody that bought a ticket or stayed home to buy the pay-per-view or watch it on free TV is having the best experience they can possibly have.  So, I love that.  That’s one of the million aspects I love about Twitter and social media.

Dino (1:58):  Yeah.  And you can respond to situations, to the crisis in real time.

Dana (2:01):   Yep.

Dino (2:02): Yeah, that’s amazing.  You’re out there.  You’re doing it yourself.  You almost take pride in saying that you’re bypassing the PR department; the filter that’s created between you the person and the audience.  And there’s certain inherent danger in that.  And, clearly, you embrace the danger.  And the benefit of it outweighs the danger.  But, you’re out there, you have 400 fighters doing what you do, representing the brand.  And just tell us a little bit about the crises that you’ve encountered.  How many of them have you encountered?  How exaggerated is the danger of getting out there?

Dana (2:46):  Yeah, it’s very exaggerated.  I mean, yes, we’ve had a couple…I have 400 plus guys tweeting every day.  I tweet every day.  You know, you’re going to have some problems here and there.  The biggest problem that we’ve ever had is guys trying to be funny.  Telling jokes and, basically, I tell these guys, use common sense when tweeting.  You’re not a comedian.  Leave the jokes to your friends, in your inner circle.  Don’t tweet jokes.  But, really, we’ve really had no problems.  There’s going to be some stupid stuff here and there but, at the end of the day, people need to relax.

Dino (3:22): Right.  It’s a tweet.

Dana (3:23): It’s a tweet.  It’s a tweet, relax.

Dino (3:27): Get over it.  That’s terrific.  A lot of people want to know.  UFC is a giant franchise.  You guys are just going gangbusters.  You’re on this incredible upslide.  Are you going to go IPO?

 

Dana (3:43): I never say “never”, but I’d have to say never.  I don’t think we…I don’t think so.  I don’t think we’d do it.  I haven’t seen too many great experiences with going public.  And I just don’t think this is one of those businesses that we could really run the way that we wanted to if we’re not…The thing that I’ve always said since day one, too, about going public is, nobody believed in this thing.  When we first bought it, started to build it, nobody believed in it.

Dino (4:13):  I just want to say that I did.

Dana (4:14):  Well, I’m talking about the business world, right?  Now, all of a sudden, I’m going to take advice from these guys, you know, on Wall Street who never believed in it in the first place?

Dino (4:23):  Right

Dana (4:24): I don’t see it.  Not while I’m here, anyway.

Dino (4:25):  Gotcha. Terrific.  Anderson Silva/Georges St. Pierre fight.  I know you’re working on it.  This year?  Could it happen this year?

Dana (4:34):  Yeah, it could.  You know, obviously, everybody knows that GSP wants to fight Diaz right now.  That fight’s going to happen.  And after that fight, should Georges St. Pierre beat Diaz…yeah.  I want to make the fight.  I mean, everybody thought it was going to happen after Georges’ fight with Condit.  The kid had, you know, almost two years off with a knee injury, rehabilitating.  And he wants another fight first, so, we’ll see what happens.

Dino (4:58): Fair enough.  You have your employees actively engaged in social media.  And, I know this is not a fair stereotype, but if a general population was to imagine the worst type of person to represent your brand, that would be a fighter.  Because they’re perceived as brutes, which they’re not.

Dana (5:23):  Right.

Dino (5:23):  I know this.  But, there’s…you have a lot of your employees actively engaged, getting out there, representing your brand and there’s a certain amount of training that they have to go through in order to…just to know what tools to use, how to use them and how to represent themselves.  Like you said, don’t try to be funny, you’re not a comedian, right.  So, tell us a little bit about the training that these guys go through for social media.

Dana (5:50):  Yeah.  It’s not as hard as you would think.  Not only do I have, you know, 400 plus fighters.  But when you say my employees, my actual employees inside the company are all on Twitter too.  And, you know, obviously you’ve got to educate them on how to use Twitter, how to do this, how to do that as far as using social media goes.  And then is all about using common sense.  And I’m very lucky in that I’m not dealing with stupid people here.  Yes, we have 400 plus fighters.  Most of these guys are college educated.  You know, very smart guys.  Guys who, not only are the representing the UFC and the sport, but they represent themselves and their own brands and their own business.  For instance, like Anderson Silva.  Anderson Silva has 3 million followers on Twitter.    When he’s done fighting and he moves on to the next chapter of his life, those 3 million fans are going to go with him into the next chapter.  So, he’s not just representing us and the sport, he’s representing himself, you know, and his family and whatever he decides to do when fighting is over.

Dino (6:51): Right, yeah.  I have a theory about Anderson Silva.  Is he really a robot?

Dana (6:56):  I think he might be.  I’ve wondered that myself too.  He’s an amazing, incredible athlete.

Dino (7:03):  Mind blowing.

Dana (7:04):  Yeah, he really is.  Doesn’t get the credit he deserves, in my opinion.

Dino (7:07):  Yeah, he is just incredible.  Dana, this was a dream come true.  Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

Dana (7:15):  My pleasure.

Dino (7:16):  And it’s great to see you here in Vegas at BlogWorld.

Dana (7:18):  Thanks, brother.

Dino (7:19):  NMX!  Thank you, guys.

4 Things Your Podcast Can Learn From The Super Bowl

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Watching the Super Bowl, the championship of the National Football League in America, I was reminded of a few things you can do to improve your podcast.

Your podcast can mimic a lot of the steps taken by the NFL to create a successful show. Here are four:

It’s Always Showbiz

Regardless of the topic of your show, it is always show business. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about movie reviews or mortgage reduction, it must be entertaining.

Entertaining doesn’t necessarily mean funny. To be entertaining, you need to make a connection with your listener. Find a way to stir the emotions of your audience. Emotions make it entertaining.

Think of great movies. Some make you laugh. Some make you cry. Some make you angry. Some make you think. Some make you question authority. Strong emotions make those movies great. The exceptional movies elicit multiple emotions.

Show business is about the “larger than life.” Show business makes you forget your problems and worries. Great entertainment takes you to another place and time. It stirs your imagination.

There is also a bit of amazement, sparkle and glamour in show business. Add some flash and pizzazz. Sound effects, big name guests, professional announcers, and quality production are ways you can add a touch of show business to your podcast.

The content of the Super Bowl isn’t the critical element. The two teams playing are simply the foundation of the game. Most people are not big fans of either team. They are watching to be entertained.

People watch the Super Bowl for the entertainment value. They watch for the pomp and circumstance. People want to see the half time show. They want to see the commercials. They want to have the same experience their friends have. Year-to-year, the viewing audience of the Super Bowl is roughly the same regardless of the game’s participants. It’s all about the entertainment.

If the content of the Super Bowl isn’t the critical piece, what does that say about the content of your podcast?  Your content is just your admission to the game.  You need to have more to set your show apart from others.

Create A Story

Stories help create relationships with your listener. Great stories reveal thing about the storyteller. They also engage the audience. A great story can make an average topic compelling.

The NFL puts great effort into the story of the Super Bowl. The organization works to find the stories that will captivate the imaginations of America. Then, they do all they can to spread that story.

This year, the stories included the Harbaugh brothers competing against each other, along with Ray Lewis’ final year.

Most of the headlines involved the Harbaugh siblings. It is the first time two brothers have been the head coaches of opposing Super Bowl teams. There have been many story angles. Which team color will their parents wear to the game? Have the brothers discussed the game with each other? Will they treat the game differently with a brother across the field? How will the post-game handshake play out?  The stories are endless.

The stories make the game personal. Tales create a connection between the spectators and the participants. A human feel is created about the game when personal details are revealed with great stories.

Great story lines also create interest amongst the cursory fan who would not normally be interested in the game. Fans of teams not participating in the game suddenly find themselves sucked into the drama of the stories. Those fans want to see how the stories play out.

Make Every Piece Entertaining

Every part of your show should add to the entertainment value. If you make a throwaway comment, your listener will also throw it away. Your listener should be delighted by every element of your podcast. Do not air anything on your show that doesn’t add value.

Find ways to make the generic content on your show compelling content. If you need to convey general “don’t forget” messages, find creative ways to make those announcements. In his School of Podcasting podcast, Dave Jackson has his “Morning Announcements.” It is simply a clever way to make his general messages.  It makes his information a little more captivating.

The Super Bowl does a tremendous job of creating entertainment out of every piece of their show.

Some people watch the Super Bowl just to see the commercials. In every other show broadcast on television, people sigh, groan and moan when the commercials air. During the Super Bowl, you find others in the room quieting guests so they can hear those advertisements.

The NFL also adds sizzle to other pedestrian elements of the game. The coin toss handled by an honorary coin flipper and is executed with a special coin. Intermission in play (half time) is turned into an over-the-top music performance by the biggest superstars, each year bigger than the last. They players don’t just show up on the sideline ready to play. They are introduced with an opening video piece and fireworks.

Every piece of the Super Bowl adds to the entertainment. The field is customized. The exterior of the stadium is customized. The jerseys are customized. Every detail is special.

Make every part of your podcast memorable.

Create Multiple Streams Of Income

As the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you only have one income source, you leave yourself vulnerable. If that source disappears, your revenue drops to zero. Play it safe.

With multiple streams of income, your revenue isn’t greatly affected by fluctuation in any one particular source. You have some buffer room. When one stream is diminished, you have time to make adjustments any of the others to get the revenue back.

The NFL has monetized every part of the game possible. If something can be sold or sponsored in conjunction to the Super Bowl, it usually is. The NFL makes money in many, many different ways.

Sources say the average price of a 30-second commercial airing during the Super Bowl is $4 million. That revenue is received by the broadcasting network. However, the NFL is paid a hefty sum for the broadcast rights.

The pre-game show, half time show and broadcast studios are sponsored. The coin flip, game clock and replays are all sponsored. Even the NFL donations are sponsored. The Super Bowl Champion t-shirts and hats are for sale as soon as the game ends. There was even a Mercedes Benz emblem on the ceiling of the Superdome.

Revenue comes from many different streams. Create some consistency in your income by creating multiple streams of revenue.

Copy a few of these NFL Super Bowl tactics with your podcast. You will make the relationships with your audience much stronger. You will create more consistent revenue streams. Your show will also be more consistently entertaining and successful.

Breaking Through the Noise: Focusing on Relationships

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Twitter users publish more than half a billion tweets per day and Facebook is now integrated with more than 9 million apps and websites. With all of this online volume, it may seem like competing for your consumer’s attention is foolish. However, how much of that volume is from brands and people simply pushing out information without listening? Even though we are communicating with our consumers via a platform that takes away face-to-face communication, we need to be able to engage with them in a meaningful way.

That is exactly what Ford did with the second phase of its Random Acts of Fusion Campaign (or #backatyou).

Simple is better.

Through consumer feedback and program performance, we learned that our first phase of the Random Acts of Fusion program was too complex. With Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and Kate Micucci, we set out to surprise and delight fans with opportunities big and small. It included charitable aspects, vehicle giveaways and more, and we created a documentary around it.

However, most people did not discover this program until its completion. There was just too much noise online for us to make a different. In order to cut through all the noise online our message had to be concise and clear. We had to focus on relationships in addition to paid media and content.

People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Ford’s #backatyou campaign is taking consumer interaction to the next level. Instead of only rewarding select influencers, we are listening when people talk about Fusion and Ford Motor Company and engaging with our consumers directly instead of via a powerful gang of influencers and celebrities. When someone tweets a compliment, we tweet them back, offering a reward for their nice words.

What kind of reward? We’ve setup a multitude:  gift cards, lunch dates with Ford engineers via online hangouts, date nights in a Ford Fusion, and we even hired Reggie Watts to remix certain comments about the Fusion.

We are using #backatyou to celebrate our fans and take the time to say “thank you” to the people who are taking the time to pay attention to us. Ford believes that because they’re taking the time to speak on our behalf they deserve to be rewarded. They are helping us break through the noise, and we are ever so grateful.

Disclosure: This post is from NMX sponsor Ford.

Which Brand Won the “Social Bowl”? [Infographic]

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Regardless of whether you were happy or sad (or indifferent) about the outcome of the Super Bowl this weekend, one thing is certain: like every year, several brands battled it out in the commercials.

Pre-game, SHIFT took a look at some of the biggest brands out there to see who would win the “Social Bowl” this year. Check out the game:

Do you agree with this assessment? Is Coca-Cola really the “winner” when it comes to social media? Let us know with a comment below!

(Thanks to SHIFT for providing this infographic.)

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