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Content Marketing

Three Reasons You Need a SlideShare Account


Whether you’re looking for eye-catching infographics or informative smart grid presentations, odds are if you’ve Googled it the lion’s share of the results came from SlideShare.

Never heard of it? Add it to bookmarks, it’s your new best friend.

SlideShare, in essence, is a massive global community and one of the largest repositories for presentations on the Web.

Reasons to like this dynamic content community abound, but for the sake of brevity we’ve listed some no-brainers to show why SlideShare’s worth its weight in PowerPoints.

Reason 1: Impressive Global Reach and Community Engagement

While SlideShare is great place to find helpful how-tos and exceptional thought leadership, there’s more than meets the eye.

Try these on for size: According to recent stats published by, SlideShare gets about 500 percent more site traffic from business owners than LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube combined.

Equally impressive, the community is ranked as one of the top 120 most-visited websites globally and, according to its site, sees an average of 60 million unique visitors every month.

You’re talking millions of global users, tuned in and ready to engage with your brand, your content and your services. Oh and did we mention it’s free to join?

Reason 2: Extensive Search and Site Traffic Generator

All SlideShare presentations are public and highly searchable, which can significantly improve the chances your content will be found through organic search.

To maximize this exposure, some of the best efforts can be including links to your website within your presentation and help drive visitors to your respective site.

Better yet, adding specific calls to action and direct links to specific corporate pages – say your services sections – can ensure new visitors get to the most important content first and, hopefully, drive some new leads in the process.

Reason 3: Exciting Insights and Influencer Portal

While there are a number of ways to market your content and drive traffic, global or not, one of the often over-looked advantages of SlideShare is its research potential.

You have access to global presentations, findings and insights from across the globe. Streamlining your search and helping you find the stats, sources and new ideas in one easy-to-navigate community.

Like LinkedIn, SlideShare also has a host of industry experts and includes presentations from recent conferences, giving you unfettered access to some of the best and brightest – without the expensive plane tickets.

What’s not to like?

Check out some of the most-popular presentations and get more inspiration through The SlideShare Blog.

Produce by: Gretchen Fitzgibbons

Dos and Don’ts of SEO (Startup Edition)


Tricks to Keep Search Simple and Still Get Results

The process of marketing your emerging brand can be fraught with uncertainty, especially without an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place.

The importance of an SEO strategy, and ranking well in organic search results, can’t be overstated. For instance, roughly half of all online website visits stem from organic searches, half of which were earned by achieving a #1 ranking.

To get you started, we’ve come up with a few dead-simple SEO dos and don’ts to take the guesswork out of your search strategy.


DO: Make your content friendly
One of the major challenges when implementing an SEO strategy is creating content that's both user and search engine friendly. Placing keywords within well-written and engaging content, however, helps bridge the gap.

While textual content is vital to the success of your website, images, videos and infographics can enhance that content, as well. In particular, videos can attract nearly 300% more traffic to your website than simply text focused content.

Maintaining a blog on your website is also a simple way to gain, and maintain, an engaged audience. For instance, developing weekly blog entries focusing on keywords relevant to your brand is a good way to keep your content fresh for viewers and search engines.

DO: Maintain your site health
Content might be king when it comes to SEO, but a healthy website is needed to make that content accessible. Ensuring your site loads quickly and doesn’t have major issues, like broken links, will increase your credibility with search engines and visitors.

By paying close attention to your website’s search health and on-going maintenance, your efforts (and investment) in content creation won’t go unnoticed.

DON’T: Get too graphic
Developing a website laden with complex graphics, videos and Flash, might be tempting, but it should be avoided.

It's important to keep in mind that search engines regularly crawl webpages and easily understand text copy, so while viewers may find your site attractive search engines may have trouble understanding it. For example, images are difficult for crawlers to read, so the proper formatting and inclusion of alt text to describe images is necessary to draw more viewers to your page.

Without significant text on the site, search engines may not rank your site well, decreasing the number of viewers your page or site might receive.


DO: Think like a customer
The success of your SEO strategy largely depends on identifying keywords to target in search results. While it might not be the most exciting part of building your brand, taking the time to research keywords will pay long-term dividends.

You can begin your search by thinking like a potential customer. Asking yourself what terms you’d look up related to your business and what motivates your search for those terms.

Once you have keywords in mind, use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner tool to pinpoint the ideal keywords searched most frequently that will yield the best results for your page. Ensuring that your keywords aren’t too general means that your website will rank well in organic search results relevant to your target audiences instead of struggling against much larger sites.

Additionally, make sure to regularly publish fresh content to pages, in order to increase the number of keywords available and help drive more visits to your site.

DON'T: Stuff your site
After your keywords are identified, you can incorporate them into your website’s content. However, be weary of keyword stuffing.

As it turns out, search sites aren’t big fans of this practice and your website can be penalized for using the same keywords repeatedly in a way that appears to be cheating the system.

Instead of stuffing your page, simply use keywords in page titles, heading tags and strategically within page content to reap the benefits of your earlier research.


DO: Meet prospects on their own terms
Taking the time to develop a strong social media presence can bolster credibility and engagement with your growing brand. It is not, however, a magic bullet.

As a startup without much of a following, the best way to gain an audience is to seek out your customers who are most active online. By posting on Twitter, LinkedIn groups and/or relevant trade blogs, you can promote interesting discussions and internal thought leadership, while driving awareness of, and interest in, your startup. It's subtle and can help build authentic relationships with prospective customers and partners.

DON'T: Neglect your networks
While developing a strong social media plan requires considerable investment, it’s an important step that shouldn’t be ignored. Bing and Google have acknowledged that social signals play a growing role in search rankings and a recent study has shown that consumers who are active on a company’s social media site contribute 5.6 percent more revenue than inactive consumers.

By using free management tools such as Hootsuite and carving out about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you can make regular engagement more of a routine and start to see quality growth on your channels.


DO: Plan well and give it time
Investing in an SEO strategy is more important now than ever before. With more than 10.3 billion Google searches every month and businesses spending nearly 80 percent of their time researching solutions to problems online, your website could miss the eyes of potential customers if it isn’t optimized.

Fortunately, even small changes can have dramatic results and help drive better ROI. For example, a recent report shared by Yahoo! showed blogging alone can increase brands' site leads by up to 67 percent.

Yes, initial implementation may take a few iterations, but if executed properly and given time to germinate, effective search planning can be a serious boon to your growing brand.

Produced by: Nick Bristol

The Untapped Power of Quora, Pinterest and Google+

Connected world

Some unexpected social tricks to drive traffic and search performance.

When it comes to marketing strategy, we think of brands as diverse ecosystems, made up of interconnected elements that have to work in harmony for brands to flourish.

Like natural environments, these brand environments function best when supporting elements (social media) fit into larger systems (SEM) in a truly symbiotic relationship.

Using this dynamic view, we can help uncover untapped brand potential, especially in social marketing. There’s a lot to it, but for the sake of this blog we’ll focus our attention on Pinterest, Google+ and Quora.

Skeptical? Stay with us. You might be surprised how these social media channels can generate new opportunities and get brands one step closer to becoming one cohesive marketing ecosystem.

Google’s latest social pet project, Google+, has been seamlessly integrated with Google’s search engine and Gmail services – the likely source for the network’s whopping 359M+ active users. Yes, Google Hangouts are cool and it’s one of the few male-dominated social sites, but its true value stems from its direct ties to Google’s search engine.

That’s right, as Google continues to integrate Google+ into its web services, brands will be able to take advantage of their presences and use branded content to shape search performance. Gaming the system? Not really; think of it as content marketing backed by Google.

Tips for Implementing Google+:

  • Create a Google+ corporate account and add it to your other branded sites
  • Repurpose content from other internal sources, including corporate blogs or Twitter feeds, to continually refresh your network (and search results)
  • Optimize content by using brand keywords and site links to boost search
  • Post regularly to provide fresh content and bolster Google page rankings
  • Connect the dots by tying Google+ posts to current PR, SEM and sales efforts; ensuring they’re easy to search, informative and ranked above the fold
    • Unlike Twitter or LinkedIn, these posts can resemble ads, as SEO is the main goal vs. user engagement

For brands unfamiliar with Pinterest it’s time to get acquainted. This influential photo-sharing site has over 25 million users and generates more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined (according to a recent Forbes article).

It’s still heavily dominated by women (84 percent of users) and high-income visitors, but represents one of the fastest-growing social networks on the web. Retailers have been the biggest players in the space so far, using it as a reliable e-commerce option and brand recognition engine.

When it comes to cleantech, green businesses have to be brave, and savvy enough, to stake their claim before competitors – especially as industries like solar become more dependent on female consumers.

Tips for Implementing Pinterest:

  • Become a Pinterest authority by adding a corporate profile (logo, bio, etc.)
  • Curate quality content by sourcing site and branded imagery that promote:
    • Green, eco-friendly lifestyles
    • Interesting infographics
    • New technology features and applications
    • Engaging multimedia demos
  • Drive referrals investingby pinning high-quality content from others to build rapport, trust and expand your reach (and thus referrals)
  • Track referrals on your site, determining which elements had the biggest impact
  • Write informative descriptors and tags to take advantage of Pinterest search features, while expanding reach on and off the network

A more real-time version of wiki-Answers, Quora was started by two former Facebook engineers and has grown to 500,000+ active global users. The Q&A site gained popularity in 2010, as tech innovators like Robert Scoble sang its praises and helped forge its role as an intellectual hub for entrepreneurs and investors.

Quora has largely been ignored by brands and remains an academic forum that’s ripe for the picking. Its two most impressive assets: influential professional audiences and powerful search features.

Both offer pioneering brands unfettered access to promote industry expertise, while helping to easily identify underserved industries and engage real-time with quality sales leads. What’s not to like?

Tips for Implementing Quora:

  • Lead by example and get engaged personally, build on-going credibility and source new lead opportunities for sales representatives slow to make the shift
  • Follow relevant Quora questions and blogs, opting in for email recaps to stay abreast of the most dynamic discussions
  • Engage directly with influencers and prospects, keeping it friendly and informative without being too self-promotional
  • Leverage the forum’s brain trust to source new trends and identify areas where brands can provide more education/industry expertise

Do you use Quora regularly or contemplated adding a Google+ profile? Share your experiences with us here, via LinkedIn or Twitter (@Yelloblu), and we’ll factor them into our next social marketing post later this month.

Produced by: Gretchen Fitzgibbons

How to tweet in 0 characters

How to tweet in 0 characters

Almost 95% of corporations are using social media today, with more than three-quarters reporting a resultant increase in website visitors. From there, close to 60% generated more leads.

So what? As a cleantech startup, you don’t have the time to follow trending issues and generate related content. Nor do you have anything to sell. What’s more, if you’re raising VC then you’re probably communicating with just a handful of stakeholders, so there’s no need for social media’s one-to-many format.

Fair enough. But that doesn’t mean you should completely ostracize yourself. Social media can still be incredibly valuable for introverts who have nothing to say. That’s because it’s a great place to listen. In fact 65% of corporations say they use it to gather marketplace intelligence from competitors and peers.

So don’t think of Twitter as a chirpy little blue bird, think of it more as a “stalk”. With an hour or two of research, you can open an account and follow dozens of organizations of strategic relevance to you—from VCs to important journalists and potential partners.

What could you get out of it?

1) See how comparable technology platforms are perceived in the market
2) Get a feel for how people are positioning competing platforms
3) Identify the hot issues in cleantech VC and edit your pitch accordingly
4) Steal stats for your presentation (people use Twitter to promote well-researched articles and white papers)
5) Learn what prospective partners are up to so you can better understand their challenges and drivers

By its very nature, Twitter is easy to monitor. At just 140 characters, the author’s message will be obvious at a glance. Even if it links to a larger piece, the tweet should provide a concise summary of what you’ll find if you click it.

So take the time to sign up and follow organizations and people that are important to you. It’s well worthwhile, even if you’ve got nothing to say.

What is Greenwashing?

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing began in the 1970s and intensified during the 1990s, when the environmental movement really took off. We all have an idea of what it means, but what do the experts say?

Greenpeace believes such deceptive marketing takes several forms and has identified four main categories:

First, companies can publicly promote an environmentally friendly product, while a majority of their practices are unsustainable and pollute the environment.

Second, companies often spend more money advertising their environmental initiatives than they actually spend on building and implementing environmentally sustainable practices.

Third, some companies run advertising campaigns positioning themselves as “green” as they simultaneously lobby against environmental laws and regulations.

Lastly, government regulations regularly force companies to adopt sustainable practices. Companies are able to capitalize on these governmental enforcements by launching campaigns that make it seem as if the company proactively initiated the practices on their own.

Consumers have learned about these marketing practices the hard way. With each disappointment, they’ve become smarter and more discerning and simple green labeling won’t suffice anymore. Increasingly, companies must have genuinely sustainable practices to succeed.

Smarter Consumers + Sustainable Companies = Clean Environments

Posted by: Julia Sparkman

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