10+ Free (Yes, Even for Commercial Use) Stock Photo Websites

Sometimes web designers, entrepreneurs, and digital marketers just need some basic stock photography to elevate their website or landing page. Even if you’re bootstrapping or on a tight budget, you still need to find quality eye catching graphics and photos.

Well look no further than the following free and no copyright CC0 stock photography websites.

1) StockSnap.io

2) Unsplash.com

3) Pexels.com

4) Gratisography.com

5) VisualHunt.com

6) Finda.photo

7) Pixabay.com

8) Kaboompics.com

9) Tookapic.com (Select Free Tab)

10) Lifeofpix.com

Bonus Sites:


Buckeylistly Photos

Brain & Storm









Looking Glass



Negative Space

New Old Stock







2016 Summer Reading List for Marketing Leaders

If you’re a thriving marketing leader, chances are one of your beliefs in life is to never stop learning. You’re probably always keeping yourself up-to-date on the latest blogs, books, and magazines. You read about business, leadership, productivity, negotiation, marketing, social media, etc. I’d like to recommend the following books to add to your reading list.

The New Rules of Lead Generation by David T. Scott

Learn from a corporate marketer who has been there. The New Rules of Lead Generation intelligently outlines the best practices and strategies for developing your system of lead generation. Integrate the 7 most successful lead-generation tactics and you’ll be set.Click here to read the first chapter for free

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Marketers sometimes struggle with differentiating their products or services from the competition. Seth Godin, in the The Purple Cow, describes the importance of creating and delivering an exceptional product that is “remarkable.” Targeting the right customers and prospects is key to building the momentum you’ll need to capture the masses. Learn how to position your brand and build a loyal follow base in this easy read book.Click here to read the first chapter for free

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

The best companies and brands that are rising to the top have a special focus on the customer experience and delivering great service. Gary Vaynerchuk identifies some of the best and pin-points what they’ve done to achieve their success. This book is a strong advocate for using social media to scale your 1-on-1 interactions with customers and creating a relationship with them.Click here to read the first chapter for free

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Whether you’re in a small startup or a large corporation, the principles of The Lean Startup can help you achieve product innovation and growth. Many companies struggle with developing new products because they don’t create a continually process for testing and receiving customer feedback. By closing the loop, delivering a product faster, and focusing the right measurements then one could achieve great success through this model.Click here to read some of the methodology on the book

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Some great back-to-basics marketing strategies for small or large companies with a tight budget. Partly focused on strategy and stories and much about culture, this book provides a great perspective from a highly experienced marketer. Duct Tape Marketing starts with truly knowing your customer, giving them the simple solution they need, and building marketing into your company’s DNA.Click here to read some free content on the Duct Tape Marketing blog

Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

This is a must-read leadership book for every level of an organization. It is written as a parable that walks through the majority of “people problems” that occur in the workplace. Without these common problems, a person and organization and focus on results that matter.Click here to read excerpts from the book

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

Successful people are the hardest to convince that they need to change because they are, well successful. Marshall Goldsmith, through his great experience coaching executives, has developed a killer list of behavior traits that hold people back from achieving even more success. Whether you’re a new manager or a rising CEO, following these “20 habits that hold you back from the top” might be your answer to achieving your goals.Click here to learn more about this book and others on the author’s website

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

This book is a leadership fable about a young CEO who is thrown into a technology company and has to win the hearts and respect of her fellow executives. It’s an easy read with a built-in model for how to overcome universal team dysfunctions. The five steps from bottom to top are: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.Click here to learn more about this book and download the Five Dysfunctions model.

Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

If you’re looking for a rock solid playbook on how to build your culture, team, and processes from a reputable financial advisory, then look no further than Dave Ramsey’s book Entreleadership. He walks through the trials and tribulations of starting his business from the ground up. Great insight on how to manage people and how to let them leave when necessary.Click here to listen to the Entreleadership podcasts

Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

This is a great and easy read if you’re looking to understand the best way to get your ideas adopted. What are the characteristics of ideas that seem to have a life of their own? Chip and Dan Heath develop a framework based on the great ideas of the past. Does your idea explore the framework: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credential, Emotional, Story.Click here to read the first chapter for free

The Little Black Book of Innovation by Scott D. Anthony

Innovation can be a complex topic because of the range of thinking and mass of information out there. It’s become a popular topic because of the impact it can have on companies and markets. The Little Black Book of Innovation does a fantastic job of simplifying the subject by summarizing the experts throughout history. This 28-day guidebook provides insight into innovation and how anyone can begin to master it.Click here to download a free excerpt

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

If you’re looking for a book on networking, then look no farther than Never Eat Alone. Keith Ferrazzi provides his rich life story of how he put developing relationships first and foremost. By taking the time to actually add value to other people’s lives, while expecting nothing in return ironically provides you with an abundance of opportunity. Learn how the great leaders and politicians instantly create an intimate and genuine relationship through this insightful book.Click here to learn more about the book on the author’s website

The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha

The Start-up of You encourages readers to look at their own careers and networks from an entrepreneurial perspective. It teaches how to differentiate oneself and leverage connections to get results. This book provides great insight into building real relationships that allow everyone to get ahead.Click here to download the executive summary

Getting Things Done by Stuart Diamond

Not many people stop and ask themselves “Am I spending my precious time wisely?” Even after acknowledging that the answer to that question is “No,” many don’t have a different solution. Getting Things Done (GTD) is a great book for increasing anyone’s productivity. This book and system offers a proven system to manage the tasks that can sometime overwhelm the day.Click here to request free articles and handouts

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

If you’ve ever wondered how you can be more productive and take control of your life then this book is for you. Timothy Ferris is a comedic and informative entrepreneur who tells the story of how he automated his online business and manages it remotely from dozens of countries around the world. This is a great resource for tools and solutions that will help you remain focused on setting your goals and empowering you to accomplish them.Click here to read some of the content from his free blog

Getting More by Stuart Diamond

Getting more out of your life isn’t about getting everything you’ve ever wanted, and neither does it mean that anyone else gets less. Stuart Diamond teaches you specifically how to use invisible negotiation tips to get more from companies you buy from, your kids/family members, or your employer. This book is about expanding the pie and coming to a mutual arrangement. This is not your typical “win win” negotiation book.Click here to learn more about the book on the author’s website

The Digital Marketing Ecosystem

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse

For maybe the first time in history, there is a surplus of technology and strategy to help advance both sales and marketing of a business, while at the same time a lack of resources and understanding to utilize it to its fullest capacity.

I love these graphics by Scott Brinker.

That’s not to say that marketers are less educated or qualified, it’s just that they have become over specialized and often don’t pull back to see the larger picture. This gap between tools available and execution presents an opportunity for those that understand the entire ecosystem.

Every company needs a Marketing Technologist.

Marketing technologists (those that understand how it all fits together) will become invaluable as businesses adopt customer relationship management solutions, email service providers, content management systems, and big data. Closing the loop on marketing ROI becomes both easier and more complicated at the same time.

A common story almost every company goes through.



Many companies will send their execs or CMO to attend an industry event. They get fired up and buy into the latest marketing craze. They hear buzzwords like mobile marketing, SEO, retargeting, inbound marketing, or social media engagement. They come back, tell their senior leaders and their team. They all agree and it’s time to get started.

Then something happens… the team looks at each other and says “So, how are we going to do this?”

Most teams mistakenly start with an Email Service Provider.

Many marketers will likely start off with just one of the tactics. Many times the tactic is email, because it’s inexpensive and scalable. The reason an ESP is needed in the first place, is to ensure the sends don’t blocked by ISPs and has a professional look and feel for the brand. This is something you can’t get from Outlook or Gmail.

Basic questions:

  • How big is the list of email addresses?
  • What is the most amount of money can be allocated to an ESP per month?
  • What’s the difference between MailChimp, Contactology, Responsys, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, ExactTarget, etc.?

Don’t forget to consider the Customer Relationship Management solution.

After a company chooses their ESP, they then have to track down where the data comes from. If the company has a CRM, then hopefully that was a question asked when choosing the ESP. If the company doesn’t have a CRM, maybe it’s time to choose one. The benefits of a CRM are numerous but common reasons for the investment are: visibility to sales activity, central location for customer data, efficiency of forecasting, and ability to work share more information with marketing.

Basic questions:

  • How many users will be logging into the CRM?
  • Do we want to be able to access our data in the cloud?
  • What’s the difference between Salesformics, Oracle, Zoho, SalesForce, Sugar, etc?
  • Does the CRM automatically sync “out of the box” with the chosen ESP?
  • Does the ESP open and click activity flow back into the CRM?

The website needs a strong Content Management System.

Now that the infrastructure is almost built, it’s time to consider launching some marketing campaigns. Especially for B2B, it’s important to nurture your prospects by creating valuable content that informs and educates. Customers are increasingly self-sufficient and will take the time to do the research. If a company can add value to the buying process, they’re much more likely to continue the relationship and make the sale. As a marketing team, it’s essential to manage and publish content in a way that visitors find it.

The easiest solution is creating a web presence and a website. Most likely the company will already have one, but it’s often outdated or difficult to manage. That’s really because nobody ever considered a strong content management system that anyone (marketing) could contribute to.

Basic questions:

  • Can anyone at the company update the website without knowing HTML?
  • What content management system will allow for easy publishing of content?
  • What is the difference between WordPress, SharePoint, Joomla, and Drupal?
  • How do visitors subscribe their emails into my ESP from the website?
  • How do leads flow from the website into the CRM?
  • What value do tools like Unbounce or WuFoo add to the CMS?
  • How is the website measuring website visitors?
  • How does the content and CMS affect the SEO strategy?
  • Does the content automatically publish to social media?
  • Can visitors share the content on their social media accounts?

Marketing Automation is a significant sales booster.

Companies that are getting serious about digital marketing and about the results quickly find themselves with requirements that fall into the Marketing Automation world. They are certainly beyond the scope of the initial decision to launch email marketing campaigns. This often causes marketing teams to unfortunately backtrack and reevaluate their tools. The ESP is often decidedly not powerful enough. The CRM is missing essential data that could help close sales. Marketing is pushed to only pass over MQLs (marketing qualified leads) instead of the flood that frustrates the sales team. Without marketing automation, they don’t have the ability to create a Lead Score. This is when the decision is made to find a marketing automation solution.

Basic questions.:

  • What can’t the ESP do that is a new requirement? Is the current ESP needed anymore?
  • Does the marketing automation tool sync to the CRM?
  • What actions can be automated through a workflow or program?
  • How does lead data flow into the marketing automation tool?
  • What is the difference between Act-on, Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot?

Most customers are now engaging via their mobile devices.

In today’s Digital Marketing Ecosystem, it’s essential to empower mobile users. If a company has a website, it should be mobile friendly. All emails sent out should also consider mobile users as well. This needs to be considered so that visitors can consume your content anywhere and anytime. There are a few options to accomplish this and each has their pros and cons.

Basic questions:

  • Should mobile website visitors see a different website altogether or a responsive version of the website?
  • How do tools like BMobilize and DudaMobile work?
  • What does it mean for an email to be optimized for mobile?
  • How do tools like Litmus allow testing of mobile emails?

Now that the tools are falling into place, the costs need to be justified.

The next focus is often measurement and proving that these investments were worth it. Many marketing teams use some basic analytics like Google Analytics or Web Trends but they quickly realize that it’s not enough. Depending on the true goals of the marketing campaigns, it’s possible they need something more robust, such as: Core Metrics or MyBuys. These services serve up email triggers based on the users actions. But they certainly aren’t considered from the start. The marketing automation tool will certainly provide some additional insight as well.

Basic questions:

  • What is the best way to measure engagement?
  • What additional tools can increase the efficiency of our campaigns?
  • What is the difference between Google Analytics, Web Trends, Core Metrics, MyBuys, etc.?
  • Can the customer be tagged to measure their web and email activity?

The Marketing Technologist understands the big picture and makes it work.

There are a many moving pieces that need to work together seamlessly in order build and launch effective targeted digital marketing campaigns. Because of this, there is an opportunity gap for those that understand the whole picture and can do it the right way from the beginning. Marketing technologies will become invaluable as companies move into digital relationships with their prospects and customers.

They’ll be able to come in, ask many questions, identify the company goals and then say something like…

“The marketing engine infrastructure should be built on SalesForce CRM, HubSpot Marketing Automation, WordPress CMS, Google Analytics, Authority Rank, and Unbounce.”

“To launch campaigns, the team can obtain contacts from Data.com and generate content with WriterAccess. We’ll test advertising creative across AdRoll, Google AdWords, OutBrain.”

More importantly, the marketing technologist could facilitate the setup, configuration, and execution on this type of solution. Strategy is important, but a marketing technologist should have a lean, growth hacker mindset.

Blogging Leads to Sales

Business owners sometimes treat their online marketing like flossing. They know they should do it, but it nevertheless gets buried under the tasks of running the day-to-day business. Included in this bucket of online marketing is the concept of blogging. “What? How’s that going to grow my business?”

What is a blog?

First off, let’s explore what a blog actually is and how it’s part of the bigger picture. A blog, abbreviated for web+log, is typically an informational section of your website that allows for short content for frequent distribution. Meaning, it’s less words than heavy-duty whitepaper and it’s more informative than a Tweet. Blogs are also formatted fairly consistently with ability to filter through them with categories or tags that essential build a library of reference for the website visitors. They are also written in a unique way as people tend to read, or should I say scan, online differently than print. Bullet points, numerical ordering, and short paragraphs are more effective than long prose.

Why do website visitors value blogs?

Depending on the objective of the blog, visitors can get a lot out of it. Some companies use blogs less as a sales tool and more as a personality disseminator. In other words, it’s a way for employees to showcase their quirky attitudes or display their friendly faces. This is sometimes a much-needed human touch, instead of the flat lines, drop shadows, and icons that overtake the online experience. A blog can also be a great continuous stream of education.

The most successful blogs strive to add value, meaning educate or solve a problem, with every blog post that gets published. It’s also beneficial because the post can be released in a timely matter. Getting a press release out into the media can be a much more daunting task then publishing a quick post announcing the release of a new product or the hiring of a new sales person.

Why do search engines value blogs?

Search engines value blogs because they hold content at the center of everything. The search engine ranking algorithms will always select content that adds value to the person doing the search over a stale site that has none. After all, if Google and Big return bad results and irrelevant content, then people will stop using them. Additionally, blogs are a great way to encourage links back to the website. If the blog post is valuable to the visitor, they will in many cases share that link with their social networks. This concept of creating content to be shared by users is called “Link Baiting” and helps dramatically increase a website’s search engine ranking. After all, every link pointing to your website counts as a vote, and like politics the more votes more popular you’ll be perceived.

How does blogging increase sales?

Higher ranking in the search engines directly correlates to more traffic flowing to a website. If that traffic is targeted correctly, then more traffic typically means more leads and more customers. It’s human nature that if you solve a problem for somebody, they will remember you and reciprocate. This applies directly to blogging as the more visitors that get helped; the more they will value helping company’s brand.

In a recent study, the 2012 State of Inbound Marketing by HubSpot, it was discovered that 92% of companies that responded acquired a customer through their blog if they posted multiple times per day. The numbers are still impressive for those that post daily at 78%, 2-3 times per week at 70%, and weekly at 66%. This data along with some other metrics in their report shows a direct correlation between blogging and customer acquisition. Blogging was recorded as the most effective lead generation category as being “Below Average Cost Per Lead.”

Summary and Next Steps

Blogging, or publishing web content on a regular basis, can be an effective tool for adding additional value to prospects and customers. It provides for a strong online foundation that encourages other websites to link to the posts and for visitors to share them on social networks. It’s been found that blogging can increase traffic significantly and be another avenue to generate leads. If you’re looking to get started, then carve out an area of your site today and start writing. Good luck!

5 Easy Black Friday Marketing Tips You Still Have Time For

Black Friday (November 23, 2012) is going to be the most popular shopping day of the year in the United States and your company has the opportunity to participate. Whether your business is a retail store, local restaurant, or complex B2B software provider, you can take advantage of the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (November 26, 2012).

Why are these days important to your business?

  1. Customers are in the emotional mindset to spend money. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is now fast approaching. Black Friday is typically the first opportunity to grab some great items before the budget starts to get tight.
  2. Customers are engaging with your marketing. You spend the entire year trying to grab the attention of your customers and prospects through with marketing collateral. At this time of year, your customers will come to you. Finding deals and discounts becomes a game and your marketing is useful research material!
  3. Customers expect your participation. There is so much participation in this pseudo-holiday that your customers will expect you to offer them something. Use this as an opportunity to show appreciation for their continuous business. A special offer for loyal customers can be a very effective “Thank You.”

5 Black Friday Marketing Tips

  1. Start today - Spend some time mapping out what your special offer will be and don’t be afraid to build some buzz before the big day. You’ll have a lot of competition for your customer’s time and attention. Grab them now.
  2. Schedule an email - Email marketing is a fantastic marketing tool to deliver your timely Black Friday message. I’m always surprised at how often many small businesses miss this easy opportunity. If you’ve got a list of email addresses that you regularly send to, create a special communication and schedule it to go out on November 23rd.
  3. Grow with social - Black Friday is a great opportunity to start or build on your social media. You’ll naturally create content that you can spread across your Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, Pinterest board, and LinkedIn company page. If someone shares your message, take the time to thank them and start a conversation. The worst thing you can do is be purely one-way marketing. Create some relationships.
  4. Capture demand digitally - Search engine marketing is not a marketing tool that creates demand, it’s a medium that captures it. You’ll be getting a large number of prospects and customers looking for you as you promote your offers, brand name, and specials. Make sure they can quickly find you by buying up your branded keywords in Google and Bing. You’ll be happy you did.
  5. Focus on future sales - Use this opportunity to build a foundation of future sales. Collect phone numbers, email addresses, and information that you can use to target your prospects/customers in a few weeks or months. If you get a lot of new names then use coupons or expiring offers to bring them back.

More Useful Black Friday Marketing Articles

  • Black Friday Marketing Ideas for Small Business - View Article
  • 9 Small Business Marketing Tips for Black Friday - View Article
  • How To Sell More Before, During and After Black Friday - View Article
  • Black Friday Marketing Ideas for Non-Retail Businesses - View Article

Interesting Marketing Trends of Small Businesses [Infographic]

Small businesses face challenges of small budgets and scarce resources, causing them to be even more selective of their decisions in growing their top line. They often don’t have the luxury of celebrity sponsorship or mass media ads such as Super Bowl commercials. Small businesses therefore test, pivot, and analyze to recognize where their dollars would be best spent. They execute outbound and inbound marketing strategies until they find one that hits it big.

Bolt Insurance Agency compiled an interesting infographic that compiles research and data from Constant Contact, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, e-Dialog, ExactTarget, and the U.S. Postal Service. This infographic outlines some of the tactics and observations that help small businesses advertise.

What are the most used marketing tactics used by small businesses?

  1. Website Marketing
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Print Advertising
  4. Social Media
  5. Online Advertising
  6. Event Marketing

What are the most used social media sites used by small businesses?

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Twitter & LinkedIn (Tie)

Other interesting facts pulled from the infographic:

  • 67% of customers give their email addresses to companies to receive discounts and promotions.
  • 57% of customers say they are more apt to buy a product in a store after receiving an email.
  • 52% of small businesses are challenged to get current customers to refer new business.
  • 80% of small businesses are challenged to attract new customers.
  • 36% of small businesses think consumers value direct mail.
  • 65% of Millennials prefer to read something on paper.

View the Small Business, Big Impact marketing infographic below:

Via: Bolt Insurance

The History of Marketing [Infographic]

If you’re looking for a quick and easy Marketing 100 class then look no further than this great infographic created by HubSpot and designed by BlueGlass.

Quick summary:

It’s amazing to see how marketing has transformed over the years and even more impressive is the rate in which a single message is distributed instantly to millions or billions of people. Starting with mass printing, the infographic moves you through the different mediums of posters, magazines, newspapers, and billboards. In 1922 radio advertising kicks in, followed a few decades later by television commercials in 1941. With the rise of telephones in most American’s homes, telemarketing becomes a common tactic. New technologies give rise to new means of communications with the personal computers and mobile phones but older mediums such as newspaper advertising still dominates. It’s not until 1990s that television overtakes newspapers as the largest ad spend. SMS messaging on mobile phones gets introduced in 1992 and twenty years later is still at it’s infancy. Internet advertising spikes in 1995-2002 as the dot-com bubble grows. Search engines jump onto the scene in 1995 and 1997. Do you remember AltaVista? Anyone? Search engine optimization (SEO) naturally follows, mostly defined by keyword stuffing and other on-page tweaks.  Google launches in 1998 and launches paid search marketing through Adwords. Blogging comes onto the scene in 1998 just before the bubble bursts in 2000. Email marketing becomes heavily abused by spammers and in 2003 the CAN-SPAM act is passed into law. Social media spreads in 2003 and 2004 with Myspace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. SEO becomes a common key-phrase claimed by every webmaster and developer in 2005 and on. Twitter launches in 2007 and doesn’t stop growing. Email marketing struggles to push through the spam filters and text message marketing begins to take shape. The shift starts to happen from batch blasts to creating valuable content that drives people to your business. Google launches G+ and continues to adjust it’s algorithm in 2011. Mobile, tablets, and hand-held devices are skyrocketing as computer towers and laptops sales drop. E-commerce becomes more personalized and marketers are able to target smarter and faster. According to the infographic online shoppers will reach 184.3 million, up 3.3% from 2011. What do you think will come next?

The History of Marketing

From: HubSpot Marketing Software

Social Media at the 2012 Olympics

For the London 2012 Olympics, the organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognized that people want to receive their event news in different ways. They have therefore responded by embracing and focusing on social media, in addition to more traditional media such as print and television. This is a change from even the last Olympics four years ago as Twitter was banned in China during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and there was no official Facebook integration.

For the London 2012 Olympics, the IOC created a website to become the hub of all digital media. Named appropriately, the website is HUB.OLYMPIC.ORG. It automatically pulls in Olympic Twitter posts and allows you to connect with Facebook. It also shows interesting facts such as the “Top Followed Athletes”, led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Social media has been a great success so far as viewers, athletes, and countries fully engage with each other throughout the games. You have the opportunity to follow most of the popular athletes or a particular event of your interest. The primary Twitter account is @London2012 but you can also follow every event.

Each event has it’s own Twitter account:
@L2012Archery, @L2012Athletics, @L2012Badminton, @L2012Basketball, @L2012BeachVball, @L2012Boxing, @L2012CanoeSLA, @L2012CanoeSPR, @L2012BMX, @L2012MTB, @L2012RdCycling, @L2012TrkCycling, @L2012Diving, @L2012Equestrian, @L2012Fencing, @L2012Football, @L2012ArtGym, @L2012RhyGym, @L2012Trampoline, @L2012Handball, @L2012Hockey, @L2012Judo, @L2012ModPent, @L2012Rowing, @L2012Sailing, @L2012Shooting, @L2012Swimming, @L2012Synchro, @L2012TT, @L2012Taekwondo, @L2012Tennis, @L2012Triathlon, @L2012Volleyball, @L2012WaterPolo, @L2012Weightlift, @L2012Wrestling

Below are some interesting infographics that also show social media rocking at the London 2012 Olympic games.

INFOGRAPHIC #1 - The Olympics: Following the world’s most prestigious sporting event, from TV to Twitter

Quick stats:

  • Over 1,000 athletes joined the Olympic Hub
  • From 2008 to 2012, Twitter increased from 6 million to 140 million users
  • From 2008 to 2012, Facebook increased from 100 million to 845 million users
  • 4.3 billion viewers tuned into the 2008 Olympic games

INFOGRAPHIC #2 - Socialympics and the Twitter Games

This infographic by ExactTarget, a global Software as a Service leader was shared in a blog post titled “Facts and Figures Behind Social Media and the Olympics #Infographic“.

Quick stats:

  • Equestrian, Swimming, and Volleyball have the most followers leading up to the games.
  • LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are the most popular athletes, measured on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Not all athletes are embracing social media when you compare followers to medals won.
  • Twitter was banned in China in 2008, so it played a little role. That has changed with London hosting the games and embracing it by creating an account for every event.

Social Media and the 2012 Olympics

This infographic is brought to you by ExactTarget, a leader in social media marketing.

Bonus Infographics:

INFOGRAPHIC #3 - Which Olympic Event is Winning on Social Media?

Mashable also released a pretty cool infographic in their post titled Which Olympic Event is Winning on Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]. Including stats revealing the top 10 Olympic sports being discussed. Here they are in order of most popular to least popular: basketball, soccer, aquatics, gymnastics, track & field, tennis, cycling, equestrian, volleyball, and field hockey.

INFOGRAPHIC #4 - Econolympics: The Economic Impact of Hosting the Olympic Games (Infographic)

Although it’s not directly related to marketing, I thought I’d share this interesting infographic by Credit Season. They’re a UK financial solutions provider Credit Season and they put together an infographic showing the rising cost and economic growth resulting from hosting the games. They dub the infographic “ECONOLYMPICS”.

Content Marketing Strategy, Post Google Algorithm Changes [Infographic]

If your website rankings have changed for the worse as a result of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, you’re probably looking for a new SEO tactics. The founders of Quaturo, a content marketing company, and Neo Mammalian  Studios, a infographic design company, put together this infographic titled “Content Marketing: What’s your plan of attack?

The infographic cleverly relates content marketing to warfare, focusing on different strategies and tactics pre/post Panda and Penguin. Before these major Google algorithm updates, a website could get high rankings by applying the  “weapons” blog spamming, blog networks, linkwheel, mass paid linking, article, marketing, and web 2.0. These tactics allowed for scalable and noticeable affects on search engine rankings. The alternative “weapons”, as presented in the infographic, are quality blogging, unique guest posts, interactive content, infographics, linkbaiting, and asset building. The latter is considerably more time consuming but obviously of more value to the end-user.

What has been the results of the Google Panda and Penguin updates?

  • 12% of search results were affected by Panda, as it focused on “spam factors”, “keyword stuffing”, and “over-optimization.”
  • 3.1% of search results were affected by Penguin, as it focused on quality over quantity.

How should you react to these changes?

If you’ve subscribed to the quality over quantity mindset on your website and have been doing what’s best for the user first, you’ve probably noticed minimal changes in your rankings. You’re the SEO marketer who has been doing things right from day 1. The truth is Google, Bing, and whatever other search engines pops up are going to continuously tweak their algorithms to “better” their results.

If you’re applying gray hat or black hat tactics that “chase the algorithm” then you’re at risk of changes such as these destroying your rankings. Does your website really deserve to be number one? Are you the biggest? Do your customers naturally generate the most buzz for your company over your competitors? If the answers to any of these questions are “no” then you’ve likely resorted to tweaking your site up the results page. Step back, focus on creating some real value and stop building thousands of irrelevant links. Focus on adding value to your customer and you won’t have to worry about these changes or any future ones.

View this great content marketing infographic below:

Infographic by Quaturo

Content Marketing is an Investment

Your customers are looking to buy your product or service, but why should they choose you? As a responsible consumer, they do research online, read industry magazines, and ask their colleagues and friends about it. They have narrowed their search down to you and your number one competitor.

Imagine they visit your competitor’s website and your competitor gives them the basic manufacturer specs or product details. The site contains stock photography and a few generic sentences about performance as well as links to a few customer reviews.

You could offer the same. Or you could contrast your competitor’s site with a content-rich website. What do I mean by this? Your site includes a full write-up of the benefits of your products and how they perform. Your site includes professional photographs taken from various angles as well as user submitted photos of customers using your product or benefiting from your server. You’ve written several articles about the capabilities and created a call-to-action through an “act now” discount.

Which website will likely gain the consumer’s business?

Creating custom content for a website is crucial to a successful marketing campaign or product launch. It helps to define your site as a leading authority in the industry. Anyone can slap manufacturer’s specs on a generic template. Today’s technology can have you up in literally minutes. Only an industry leader would take the time to ensure their customers know exactly what they get for their hard-earned dollar.

It is important to understand that content is not automatically defined as the written word. Content in marketing encompasses a wide variety of mediums including pictures, videos, graphs, infographics, white papers, podcasts, newsletters and magazines. Content in marketing is defined as persuading the decision-maker or adding value by solving a customer or a prospect’s problem.

Content can be used to generate brand awareness and sales leads. However, in order for a content campaign to succeed, it is important that it be original. As with the case above, specifics trump generalization every time. Your content must be fresh, inventive and ever-changing.

Content should provide relevant information to the consumer in a way that is easy to digest. The idea of quality over quantity applies. A thousand word review regurgitated from the parent site is nowhere near as powerful as a concise, high-quality infographic demonstrating important features without overwhelming the reader. Content should demonstrate the total value of the product or service as defined by the seller and establish the business as the best.

It is important to create content relative to the industry while still targeting the specific product. This lends credence to your claim of “leading authority” while demonstrating the foresight necessary to ensure your customers are aware of their options.

Content marketing is a vital component to any successful marketing campaign. Persuading consumers that you are the best in the business provides a basis for trust and future patronage.

Do you have this type of content supporting your brand’s website?

  • List of benefits
  • Infographics
  • Competitive reviews
  • Top 10 reasons you need ______ today
  • Customer reviews
  • Video customer testimonials
  • Video demonstrations
  • Regular related blog posts
  • Customer service via social media
  • FAQ page
  • Guarantees or trials