The Latest Visual Content Trends: What’s Going to Be Hot in 2015 [Infographic]

By (Lindsay Kolowich)


Creative trends can be fickle. Remember those super glossy CTAs that used to be on every website? Now, flat, minimalistic design is in.

Whether you’re a seasoned or amateur designer, no marketer should be in the dark about the latest design trends. So what’s in store for 2015 in the creative world? Using their impressive collection of video clips, music tracks, and over 47 million images, Shutterstock created an infographic that predicts this year’s up-and-coming design trends.

Check it out below to learn what trends are on the up-and-up around the world.


free visual content crash course



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - January 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm

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5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

By Brian Clark

Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here:

Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising?

Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed a certain way for a curation project. Others are seemingly a little “outside the box,” and yet they complement a curated email newsletter perfectly.

In this 22-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

  • What makes curated content shareable and linkable
  • The best audience building strategy on the planet
  • How to borrow (and delight) a massive audience
  • How to get others to share your curated content
  • Why infographics are pure media curation
  • How to take advantage of visual microcontent
  • The true value of iTunes for audience building
  • The podcast interview as valuable curation content
  • The viral catalyst the exploded Copyblogger in the early days

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 26

Or, grab it in iTunes.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post 5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience appeared first on Copyblogger.



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How to Create a Benchmark to Measure Content Marketing ROI

By (Eric Murphy)


According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2B and B2C benchmark reports, less than a quarter of marketers are able to prove content marketing ROI. Measurement is a key area of difficulty: 49% of B2B and 51% of B2C marketers were challenged with measuring content effectiveness in 2014.

While definitions of effectiveness may vary by team, it should at least be simple to figure out if you’re successful once you define what “success” means. Here are two simple steps to establish a baseline for content effectiveness and prove if it’s failing (or not).

Step 1: Understand the Different Types of Content Metrics

Not all content is created equal, and appropriate metrics fluctuate depending on a wide range of variables. Jay Baer’s Field Guide to the 4 Types of Content Marketing Metrics outlines the four types of content metrics that are used to calculate effectiveness.

1) Consumption Metrics

Consumption metrics are the most basic of the four. Content views (page, video, SlideShare, etc.), time on page, and bounce rate can all be accessed easily from an analytics tool, like the one found in HubSpot.

These simple data points tell the surface level story of content performance and serve as measurements of brand awareness and web traffic.

2) Sharing Metrics

Sharing metrics can be used to unveil more information about reach, awareness, resonance, and engagement. Likes, shares, tweets, retweets, +1s, and pins all speak to content’s success across social channels. Forwards indicate resonance via email, and inbound links serve as additional validation across the web.

3) Lead Generation Metrics

Lead generation metrics like form submissions, email /blog subscriptions, and conversion rates speak directly to the value consumers place in your content.

If access to your content is worth disclosure of personal information, then you’ve earned >> READ MORE <<


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5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Digital Marketing Strategy

By Dave Chaffey

Digital Strategy

A digital marketing strategy is an absolute given for any company trying to market itself online – right?

That’s certainly the impression you’d get from reading most digital marketing blogs, where the question of whether you should have a digital marketing strategy has long ago been eclipsed by how to develop one.

And yet, on the ground, most companies remain unconvinced.

A new report by, Managing Digital Marketing 2015 , shows that a full 50% of marketers have active digital marketing programmes, but no defined strategy at all. This is actually a slight increase from the previous year, when the figure was 46%.

The other half is divided between those who have a stand-alone digital strategy (16%), and those who have integrated it into a more general marketing plan (34%). The latter are probably more advanced marketers, for whom digital marketing has become ‘business as usual’.

I’m sure that many of the 50% of companies that do not yet have a written strategy are using digital media effectively and could certainly be getting results from their search, email or social media marketing.

Perhaps they even have good reasons not to create a strategy.

Companies often tell me that they already have enough strategies and plans, and that they are rarely referred to; that putting their strategy down in writing will create problems of integration and ownership; that digital plans are not useful, as technologies and marketing approaches change so fast; and that they simply do not have the resources or time to create one.

But I am equally sure that they would benefit from writing down their approach.

Here are five reasons why:

1. A written strategy gives you direction and focus

Companies that have not written down their approach may have a general sense of what they want to do online >> READ MORE <<


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Design Trends of 2015: How Your Blog Can Adapt

By Guest Blogger


This is a guest contribution from Owen Andrew.

Since mobile internet began to overtake desktop internet usage in January 2014, there have been major innovations in website design in light of this trend. In general, websites have been opting for a simpler, mobile-friendly design. Maintaining a blog in such a fast-paced environment can be a huge challenge, but staying on top of trends is required for success. In order to keep your blog interesting and relevant in the upcoming year, there are five design trends to keep in mind when continuing your work in 2015.

Image via

Emphasis on Mobile

With so many people turning to their mobile devices when going online, it’s no wonder that many blogs have begun creating content that is easy viewable on smaller screens. While mobile used to be a consideration, for web-savvy designers, mobile is now the focus. If a site doesn’t work on mobile, you are now neglecting what is likely the majority of your audience, so start any web design process by focusing on mobile, and adapt that design to work on a desktop screen, rather than vice versa.

Focus on Typography

Thanks to Google Fonts, a free package of various typefaces, and a recent decrease in typography package prices, there has been renewed interest in creating a unique look through higher-end typography. Typography is not only useful for creating a more beautiful, unified look for your blog or website, it can also have a large impact on the readability of your text– especially on mobile platforms. For example, fonts such as Verdana and Georgia have been shown to have the best readability on screens. Small touches such as typography can lend a lot to a site, and help it stand out among the competition.

Minimalist Design

Because of the new emphasis on mobile, the >> READ MORE <<


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Data Is Clear: To Be Effective at Content Marketing, Have a Documented Strategy

By Jerod Morris

cover image of CMI 2015 report

Talk is cheap. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to content marketing strategy, simply talking about it is not enough.

That is the big takeaway from the 2015 benchmarks, budgets, and trends study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by our own Rainmaker Platform.

According to the study, only 39 percent of B2B small business marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. The rest either have a strategy that they have only talked about (47 percent), have no strategy at all (12 percent), or are unsure (1 percent).

Here’s why this matters …

The most effective content marketers document their strategy

The data shows that the 39 percent of companies who do have a documented strategy are “more effective in nearly all aspects of content marketing than their peers who either have a verbal-only strategy or no strategy at all.”

The report breaks it down further:

60 percent of those with a documented content marketing strategy consider their organization to be “effective” at content marketing; only 33 percent of those with just a verbal strategy say the same.

62 percent of those with a documented strategy say that their strategy closely guides their content marketing efforts; only 29 percent of those with just a verbal strategy say the same.

The correlation between those two statements seems pretty clear.

And here is another interesting note: companies with a documented strategy are more than twice as likely to be successful at charting the ROI of their content marketing efforts than those with only a verbal strategy.

You get the idea …

Write. It. Down.

So … what should you be documenting?

The report provides insightful data that can help you make more informed strategy decisions as you document your strategy.

For example:

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How to Write a Marketing Resume Hiring Managers Will Notice [Free Templates + Samples]

By (Lindsay Kolowich)

10 free marketing resume templates

It’s ironic, but despite knowing how to sell products and services, so many marketers have a hard time selling themselves. It can often be difficult to turn the spotlight inward, but creating a standout resume is a skill all marketers need to perfect if they want to grow their career.

If you’re a marketer whose resume could use a little polish, don’t worry. With just a few resources and some actionable tips from hiring managers themselves, we’ll help you create a truly impressive marketing resume that’s sure to stand out to recruiters.

To get started, download our 10 free marketing resume templates — which feature sample copy for 10 of the most popular marketing positions.

Then use the advice below to customize your resume and make it rise above the rest in the stack.

How to Write a Standout Marketing Resume

Know Your Target

You never start a marketing campaign without knowing who you want to reach. That’s because once you know your target audience, it’s easier for the other decisions to fall into place.

The same logic applies to your resume. If you know who will read it and what’s important to them, you can shape your message accordingly. To do this, you need to think about the type of job and company you’re hoping to work for.

Ask yourself questions like: Is the job purely in inbound marketing, or will it require both traditional and digital work? Will you be a specialist or a generalist? Who is the employer — an agency with a buzzing digital marketing team in place already, or a small company looking to leverage the power of social media to grow their sales? Or maybe it’s a marketing department within a large and established corporation?

Once you’ve outlined >>


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How Locally Laid Got Paid by Turning Customer Feedback into Brand Storytelling

By James Anderson

Here in Minnesota, a small egg company is getting big press after ruffling the feathers of a concerned shopper.

When Locally Laid Eggs received a letter from a grocery store shopper, saying that the company’s name is “offensive” and its advertising “vulgar,” the company took to its own blog to offer up a rebuttal. In doing so, they enlightened readers about locally-sourced food and responsible farming and revealed some key marketing lessons in the process.

Most companies would have tossed the letter and missed out on the opportunity to use this kind of storytelling to pick up on the interest that Locally Laid had generated. But Locally Laid understood the importance of story before marketing. From the tiny Wrenschall, Minnesota town (population 399) the small company had the foresight to not only address — respectfully — the letter writer’s concerns, but to point out the reason why their product stands out from competitor options on the shelves.

Lucie Amundsen, the self-proclaimed “marketing chick” at Locally Laid, knows what she is doing. Here is an excerpt from her letter to the unidentified shopper.

“When our perfect double entendre breaks through the media clutter in which we’re all steeped, we leverage it. With that second look from a consumer, we educate about animal welfare, eating local, Real Food and the economics of our broken food system.

We all vote with our food dollars every day and we respect your decision if our playful moniker keeps you from buying our eggs. It was just important to me that you understood everything that was going on behind that name.

Now I gotta ask, would you have learned all this if we were named Amundsen Farms?”

Locally laid received coverage in Twin Cities news publications as well as an invite to tell their story on Minnesota Public Radio. As >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 11:18 am

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The Best Super Bowl Ads to Watch Before the Big Game

By (Lindsay Kolowich)


Super Bowl XLIX is on the horizon. And as we get closer to the Big Game, Americans aren’t just looking forward to the football — they’re also looking forward to seeing what the nation’s big-budget advertisers will come up with for this year’s ads.

So far, the lineup looks to be a combination of newcomers, like Skittles, and veterans, like Budweiser and Dove. And according to, many of these companies are keeping their official ads secret until the Super Bowl — and instead, releasing ads for their ads. (How meta.)

To prepare you for the Ad Bowl, we’ve rounded up the best ads and ad teasers that have been released thus far. Be sure to check back, as we’ll continue to add to this list as new teasers are released. So without further ado …

The Best Super Bowl Ads & Teasers (So Far)

1) “Men + Care,” Dove

Talk about a tearjerker — this ad is an ode to caring fathers everywhere. And according to Dove, it’s care that makes a man stronger.

2) “Journey Home,” GoDaddy

GoDaddy pokes fun at Budweiser’s runaway puppy commercial from last year with their new ad. It features a puppy who finds his way home over train tracks and through rain — and when he arrives, his owners are relieved at his return … but not for the reason you’d expect.

3) “Band of Brands,” Newcastle

Is this a Newcastle commercial, or one for the 37 other brands name-dropped in this minute-long clip? Last year, Newcastle’s got recognition for their not-a-Super-Bowl-commercial Super Bowl commercial starring Anna Kendrick. This year, they’re at it again. Watch them cram 37 commercials into one.

4) “Invisible Mindy Kaling,” Nationwide

In this ad teaser from Nationwide, comedian Mindy Kaling discovers she might >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 11:18 am

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6 Habits of Successful Social Media Marketers

By Rebekah Radice

Do you want to improve social media productivity? Are you interested in finding ways to energize your marketing? Daily activities separate successful social media marketers from their peers. In this article I’ll share six social media habits to improve your marketing. #1: Build Meaningful Relationships Successful marketers know that relationships are the fuel behind business […]

This post 6 Habits of Successful Social Media Marketers first appeared on Social Media Examiner.
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