Visual Content: How to Grab Attention Online like a Superstar

Visual Content how to online visibility brand images

How do you Increase Visibility Online & Generate New Leads?

The Internet is an increasingly busy place with thousands of websites and bloggers battling for attention.

If you were standing in the middle of a large crowd in Central Park, NYC, or Hyde Park, London, how would you draw attention to yourself and make yourself seen and heard?

  • Stand on a soap box?
  • Wave a large flag?
  • Shout down a megaphone?

That would definitely work.

But you can't do that online.

Find out how you can shine the spotlight on your website / blog and become highly visible online, increase your click-through rates and build new business leads!

We would love to create one fabulous image for you FREE of charge to add to your website or blog and share across social media platforms for increased online visibility.

To take advantage of this offer just add your details below and we'll be in touch.
Don't miss out!
Turbo-charge your content and put yourself in the spotlight.
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Landing Pages: How to Arouse a Client's Curiosity

How to Use Landing Pages to Arouse Curiosity www.virtuosoassistant.wordpress.com

Landing pages are an essential part of the Inbound Marketing tool box.

The Internet has become a very busy place, certainly over the last 10 years or so, and most folk are suffering from ‘information overload’ on a daily basis. There is a real need to cut through all this noise to make yourself heard.

I recently wrote about the need to write headings which effectively pop out of the page and smack your reader on the nose to grab their attention.

So, once they've started reading your article, how can take them by the hand and lead them through to the next stage in the marketing process?

How many of you have read, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, or at least read it to your kids?

You’ll recall how Alice’s boring afternoon is suddenly transformed into a riot of colour and action by a strange rabbit with a large fob-watch which dashes past her and down a rabbit hole?  Alice's curiosity gets the better of her and she can’t help but follow it down the hole.   Having fallen some way she ends up in a strange hallway surrounded by doors.

What happens next?  Her attention is drawn to an enticing garden but she can’t fit through one of the doors in order to reach it.   However, she notices an intriguing bottle with the words “Drink Me” on it.

There are several things marketers can learn from this wonderful story:-

1)  Alice’s attention is drawn by something out of the ordinary;

2)  Her curiosity gets the better of her and forces her to take action.

 

You’re going to incorporate these ingredients into your content.

Once you have your reader's attention, you need to arouse their sense of curiosity and entice them into following you along your marketing adventure.

(Note: only 10% of content writers can successfully hold their reader's attention long enough to take them to the next stage of their marketing plan.)

So how are you going to keep your client's attention and entice them down the ‘rabbit hole’ ?

Call to Action Buttons

Use attractive and intriguing "Call to Action" buttons to persuade readers to click and follow you through to the next stage of their adventure.

Tempt your reader with something that's going to be of value to them.  Use emotive language to urge action.

Call to Action Button

 

Make it enticing enough to get your customer to click on it and follow you through the rabbit hole and into that hall of doors (your landing page).

Landing Pages

These are web pages which are created to direct your client or customer into taking a particular course of action.  They should always be unique tailored specifically for each new situation.  No two landing pages should be the same.

What are they for?  Essentially they're tools for you to capture your client's details in return for something of value, for example, such as a free download, an eBook, a free PowerPoint template.  Having a new client's name and email address will enable you to build up your client base, which is fundamental to any marketing project, and hopefully convert this new interest into a loyal customer.

Once Alice is standing in the strange hallway, her attention is caught by an intriguing bottle with the words “Drink Me” written on a label.  Curiosity gets the better of her again and she drinks the contents.

AROUSE CURIOSITY: be enticing!

 

How are you going to arouse your reader's curiosity and entice them into leaving you with their name and contact details?

It’s all about psychology, isn’t it?  Understanding what makes a person take a particular course of action.

I read the most interesting article by Fahad Muhammad from Instapage the other day which I found utterly absorbing. Neil believes that people's behaviour is influenced by a certain set of circumstances:-

• Curiosity (looking to see what somebody is gazing or pointing at); • Noticing something out of the ordinary or different; • Social influence; • Loss aversion.

By way of example, take a look at this image:

LOOK LEFT: image by InstaPage

What did you do?

Despite all logic our attention is led to the right by the arrow.

Use the same strategy on your landing page to steer your client's attention in the direction you want it.

 

Click Here Call to Action

 

Human beings can’t bear missing out on something we consider to be of value, a good deal.  We love a bargain!  How many of you have bought items from a shop offering a “Buy one Get One Free”, or “3 for the Price of 2”?

Try and harness that power of persuasion into your marketing.

Offer free content in exchange for their name and email address.

No one likes to miss out on an opportunity so use language such as, "Hurry ... Limited Offer!" to encourage your reader to act now or risk losing something of real value.  Ladies, how many of you have been enticed into buying a make-up palette advertised as a "Limited Offer"?  I certainly have, so try to use that concept in your marketing.

So, your reader has followed you to the end of your marketing adventure; what are the most important pieces of information you want to capture from them?

Digital Sherpa came up with a pretty comprehensive list; you may not need to capture every single point, depending on the nature of your business needs, but the first few are essential:

• First and last name • Email address • Phone number • Company name • Website address • Number of employees • If the business is B2B or B2C • Job position

Landing Page Resources

If you don't have anyone to set up landing pages for you, you can create your own quickly and easily with some incredible resources provided by:-

1. Hubspot 2. Unbounce (30 day free trial available) 3. InstaPage

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I hope this article has been of value and interest to you.  Please do stop by and let me have your comments, I love reading them.  Oh, and I'd love it if you would share this article -  I'd be eternally grateful!

See you next week!

Sign Up: Create Unique and Eye-Popping Images!

PicMonkey www.virtuosoassistant.wordpress.com

Remember I said I was going to write a second instalment regarding inbound marketing this week?

I’ve had a change of plan!

I’ve decided to share with you one of the best FREE photo editing tools available - PicMonkey.

How many of you have used it before?

I’ve mentioned previously that visual social media is becoming increasingly important when writing content.  By ‘visual social media’ I mean the use of images, photos, Infographics, Vine videos, YouTube videos, etc, within your blog, tweets, posts on Facebook and Google+, for instance.

Why is it becoming increasingly popular?

Have you noticed how quickly your attention is drawn to a fabulous picture that pops out from your Twitter stream?  They’re a marketer’s dream.

Images serve to promote your brand.  Articles that include beautiful images are more often shared across social media platforms than plain text.  I can’t think of a better way to introduce your brand to a wider audience.

Images can also be optimised for improved SEO.

One person who has been really inspirational to me and has fed my love of visual social media is Donna Moritz from “Socially Sorted” in Australia.  Donna not only has her own business as a social media and content strategist, she also writes for Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Examiner, Forbes Magazine and Social Fresh.  She has really wow-ed me with her tutorials and articles.

Donna has shown me that you don’t have to spend a fortune purchasing images to incorporate into your content; tools like PicMonkey are free to use and produce images which are equally eye-catching and unique to you and your brand.

So what are we waiting for?

To learn more about PicMonkey, how to create eye-popping, shareable images and drive traffic to your website, just click on the link below and I’ll either write an article or create a tutorial for you.  I’m experimenting a little on how to present my own content at the moment so you may be seeing me in person via a video tutorial (hmmm... could be interesting!)

Sign up PicMonkey Tutorial Virtuoso Assistant

“Are you Eyeballing my Content?”

<a rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NickyPasquier/about">Nicky on Google+</a>

So last week I shared some fabulous tips the pros use to attract hundreds of new readers to their blogs.

I promised that I’d that I would follow up this week with another set of top tips so here it is!

I’m really excited to share them with you because, when put them all into practice, they’re going to make such a difference.  Your blog articles are going to ‘pop’ and you’ll start seeing an increase in regular subscribers.

Tip no. 4

Get Emotional!

Just by way of a background, I used to work as a legal PA / Paralegal here in the UK for 16 years before I decided to set up my own small business.  And because I was used to writing correspondence to lawyers, barristers, to the Courts, etc., I tended to be really formal and a bit ‘starchy’!

I hope that’s changed now - has it?

I started exploring Google+ back in October last year;  I was a total novice.  I knew nothing about social media and hadn’t even considered writing a blog for my business.  However, I discovered that Google+ was a goldmine of information.  I decided to make a list of about 10 ‘gurus’ on Google to whom I could turn for the best information about SEO, social media, marketing, blogging, etc.

Wade Harman was one of them.  He has an absolutely incredible personal story to tell.   I’d really recommend setting aside just 10 minutes to read it because his story illustrates just how, with some hard work and determination, you can turn adversity to your advantage and become a top blogger.

Since last year I’ve read a couple of articles Wade has published from his blog, “Bloggers Make Money”, and his website, “Wade Harman”, which suggest that one of the keys to blogging success is to write in such a way that you connect with your readers on an emotional level.  He said,

“In writing powerful content you have to remember that you MUST write content that speaks to people on a personal level”.

You must make a connection with your readers so that they can relate to you, so they see you as a ‘real’ person not just a voice behind a business mechanically churning out uninspiring facts and figures.  Wade makes reference to Ryan Hanley who expanded on this concept in an article on his own blog, “What You Ought to Know About Storytelling Before Writing Your Next Blog Post”.

Tip no. 5

Grab some Eyeballs!

Once you’ve just finished writing your next article you need to attract as many ‘eyeballs’ to your content as possible!

There are various tried-and-tested methods top bloggers use and I’m going to let you into their secrets.

Firstly, invite your readers to SHARE your content and ensure that it’s really easy for them to do so with just one click of a button.   Most blogging platforms offer social media ‘widgets’ to facilitate this but if they’re not available just message me and I’ll send you a ‘cheat sheet’ - it’s really easy to add your own.

I mentioned earlier about a list of ‘gurus’ I turn to whenever I need inspiration - Denise Wakeman is another.

She recently flagged up a clever little app called “Wisestamp” which creates a personalised signature for your emails.

You can see how it works from my signature below; by adding links to your social media profiles you’ll entice recipients to take a look at what you’re doing over on Twitter, for instance, or Pinterest.   You’ll also notice that, by adding an RSS feed from your blog, a link to the latest article will be included.  What better way to invite people to read your content?

Virtuoso Assistant signature Wisestamp

One downside to Wisestamp is that it’s not available to use on Outlook.  However, if you email me direct, I’ll send you a ‘cheat sheet’ about how to optimise your Outlook signature.  Here’s how mine looks:

Virtuoso Assistant Outlook signature: online virtual PAs

Tip no. 6

"Call to Action" Buttons

When next writing try and encourage your readers to interact with you on a regular basis so that you can grow your client base.  Include a form either at the side of your blog or at the foot of each article and ask your readers to sign up to a newsletter or for regular blog updates.

WordPress and Blogger offers a very handy ‘contact’ form to insert into your article.  However, take a look at the two examples below and see which one grabs your attention the most?

Sign-up form, Virtuoso Assistant, virtual PA

    021014_1204_AreyouEyeba4.png

The first one, right?  It’s much more eye-catching and interesting.  The second example is quite boring and wouldn’t entice me to sign up to anything (even though I've used it before - oops!)

You can include other “call to action” buttons asking your readers to “Click Here” or “Download it Now”.

Call to Action social media buttons Virtuoso Assistant

It’s really simple when you know how to do it.  Email me if you need any tips or advice in this respect, I’d be happy to share a few more secrets with you!

Tip no. 7

Start Sharing!

Finally, when you’ve got all of that in place, you want to post your content across as many of your social media platforms as possible. 

Grab the short URL first for your article from WordPress, or shorten it using something like Bit.ly.

Attach the link to a tweet and post it several times a day for about a week.

Click on your Pinterest button, pick the best image from your article and pin it to your Pinterest board with a link back to your blog.  Add your link to your Facebook timeline or business page with a short synopsis of what your article is about; hopefully the link will pull through an image from your article for visual interest.

On Google+, write out the heading of your article again, include a short summary below together with the link back to your blog and post it to “Public” as well as to all of your circles.  Don’t forget, if you refer to somebody else’s content in your article, give them credit for it by adding a “+” before their name, as Denise Wakeman has done below:

Denise Wakeman Google Plus

So that’s it!  I hope you found this article interesting and useful.  PLEASE do stop to comment or give me a ‘like’ and feel free to share this with your friends.

Oh, and don't forget, sign up for regular updates!  We're currently writing some instructional eBooks to help you with social media so add your name and email address and you'll receive them before anyone else.Sign-up form, Virtuoso Assistant blog, eBooks[contact-form subject='Sign Me Up for Social Media eBooks'][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

See you next week!

Top Secrets for Blog Attraction

Here's the scenario:

You've spent hours over a blog article, you finally hit publish and ... nothing happens.  <a rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NickyPasquier/about">Nicky on Google+</a>Do you keep checking and re-checking to see if anyone has shared your content?

Does it leave you wondering what you've done wrong?

Well, you've most likely done nothing wrong, but there's always room for improvement when writing content of any kind.

Here's a list of things to consider when you write your next article to ensure it's a winner!

Tip no. 1

Killer Headlines

Consider this question when you think of a title for your next article:

"What's going to make a reader stop at YOUR blog?"

How are you going to grab your reader's attention and get them to read your content, over all the others that are available on the Internet at the current time?

According to Copyblogger,

"... 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest".

Headlines are so important that they suggest you spend HALF the time considering your headline that you do writing the entire article.

It's that important!

I'm going to suggest you read Brian Clark's article he write for Copyblogger as he sets out all the information you need to know on the subject.

In a recent article Rebekah Radice flagged up a great web-based tool, the "Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer", which will rate your headline for impact, based on the industry you're writing for. It's a really useful tool to remember and fun to use at the same time so have a go and see if you can create some really compelling headlines!

Tip no. 2

Write Amazing Content

So many businesses use content writing to showcase their own businesses, their skills and what they have to offer.

It's not wrong but generally speaking your blog should be used to showcase what you can do for others. Steve Jobs hit the nail right on the head when he said we should be 'enriching lives'. Remember that.

So when you come to write your next article, consider the following:

  • Who is your 'ideal client'?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What problems could you help them resolve?

Once you've got that figured out, give them a reason for reading your article:

  • Provide value;
  • Be helpful;
  • Offer a free gift to thank them for their time.

Don't get too 'techy' with your article as your reader may not be as informed as you are with technical words and phrases.

  • Keep it simple
  • Be clear;
  • Be succinct.

Tip no. 3

Optimise your blog posts for SEO.

As with writing content for your business website, Google has significantly cracked down on the overuse and abuse of keywords so be careful and use them wisely when you write.

Consider which words your 'ideal' client will be using in searches. What do they want to find? How can you include these words into your article? Use Google's keyword planner to help you find which ones are the most relevant to your website or blog post.

The most important place to put a keyword is in the title of your article.

Add links to any previous articles you've written as it gives them more authority.

Don't forget to tag your article when you've finished and write Alt Tags for any images you use as they play an important part in searches.

If you need more help with SEO then I suggest you have a look at Go Up Limited's website. They're a fabulous, London-based web design and SEO agency and provide some free tips on SEO from their website.

Go Up Ltd London SEO Agency

That's it for now. Catch up with me next week when I share some more tips from the 'Pros' on how to make your blog articles 'pop'!

If you don't want to miss this and any subsequent articles just sign up here and I'll drop them directly into your Inbox.

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Many thanks and see you soon.

One Image is worth 1,000 Words

Corazon Latino

So say the content marketers. 

Blogs have evolved so quickly.  We no longer want to read a whole stream of words.  We don't have time and images are so much easier on the eye.

Facebook was the first to shrink the 'blog' into just a few neat sentences to fit into their timeline.  Twitter shrunk them even more into their 140 character micro-blogs.  Could they get any smaller?  Well, the written blog couldn't be minimised much more but then Pinterest, which was only launched in 2010/11, changed the game again by putting the emphasis on images.

Instagram joined the party and enabled users not only to take photographs but to enhance them, share them with other Instagram users and upload them onto the various social medial platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.   Since then there have been all sorts of Instagram spin-offs, web-based and mobile apps developed to cash in on the trend for visual social media.

So WHY have images in social media feeds been so successful?

As I said above, they're easier on the eye than a paragraph of solid writing.

Facts are also easier to remember via a picture, which is why marketers are always bombarding us with beautiful or striking images if they want us to remember a particular product or statistic.

There are some statistics to back up the power of the image.

SproutSocial said,

Pinterest, which is comprised almost entirely of images, generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined

That's one VERY good reason to start looking at marketing your business via Pinterest, if you've not already done so!

HubSpot acknowledged power of the image when they published an article by Pamela Vaughan called, "Visual Content Trumps Text in Driving Social Media Engagement".

I want to share a beautiful Infographic which was included in the article (more about Infographics later).

I probably don't have to say much more as the infographic speaks volumes.  Which is my point!

So images are more appealing than words and attract attention.

For businesses they serve another very important purpose.  They increase click-through rates.  They also encourage people to share their content.

If you're presented with a website whose homepage consists of paragraphs of type and a website with colourful photographs and images, which one are you likely to click onto?

  • Photos on Facebook are twice as likely to be shared.
  • Videos on Facebook are TWELVE times more likely to be shared.
  • 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pinned.

Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbledUpon, LinkedIn and Google+.

Those statistics are what business marketers dream about.

So what can a small business do to keep up with this trend?

It's so easy and it's inexpensive.

Look at the way Twitter have enabled inline photographs.  I'm surprised they're not being used much more; they're incredibly eye-catching.

If you want to add images to your website or your blog, you don't have to be particularly creative because there's a range of web-based and mobile apps available for use (they're either free or available to download for a small fee) which are fabulous for creating images of a professional standard.

Canva

I've mentioned Canva before on my earlier blog but it's worth mentioning again.  I won't go into too much detail because you can refer back but I'll attach this video tutorial so you can have a quick look for yourselves to see how great it is and why it's one of my favourites.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FZGN7BCs6k&w=560&h=315]

PicMonkey

PicMonkey is one of my all-time favourites for editing photos. I use it almost every day.

Again, they have a set of tutorials on their website so I won't go into enormous detail here but I'd like to include a screenshot of a photo I recently sent a friend of mine before Christmas for her Facebook timeline.

PicMonkey-screenshot

I've taken a sneaky photo of my pet parakeet, put a hat on her via PicMonkey and added some text.  It's just so easy but it's very effective.

I've indicated at no. 1 on the left hand side of the screen the options available to you to edit, add features, frames and text to your photo.

No. 2 and 3 are two examples of the features I added.

Just above your photo (no. 4) is where you click to save your photo and download it for sharing.

It really couldn't be easier.

Instagram

One of my favourite bloggers, Lynne Knowlton, whom I only met a short while ago via a Google HOA, creates the most stunning photographs using Instagram.  Her blog is beautiful, which is why she has such a huge fan base.

If you want to get inspired go to "Design the Life you Want to Live".

LynneKnowltonInstagram

Lynne will not only inspire you to get outside and take photographs for your blog, for example, she's also incredibly generous in sharing her expertise with you.

Infographics

As you've already seen, infographics are a fantastic way to deliver what would otherwise be a pretty boring set of facts and statistics in a very beautiful and concise way.

You've probably seen how popular they are on Pinterest.

One word of warning.  They aren't cheap to create.  There are websites which will offer you a free version so you can have a go at creating your own infographic.  Obviously you won't have the resources to make it as impressive looking as HubSpot's infographic above so don't be disappointed.

If  you are interested in creating your own, have a look at the following:

My next post will be devoted to visual social media of a moving kind!

If you're interested in finding out about YouTube, Google Hangouts On Air and the little Vimeo videos that Twitter use, don't forget to check back here next week.

If you don't want to miss any of my updates just sign up and I'll post them into your Inbox!

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