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Content is King and Here are the Crown Jewels for Free! - Reduce the Cost of Your Lead Gen Efforts with these Great Tools

how to build and operate a content marketing machine

Helping great leads find you through good inbound and content marketing is among the most cost-effective ways to drive new leads. Our friends at Marketo want to help you do this more effectively, and are offering a number of great free assets on inbound and content marketing.

1. (eBook) CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY: A cornerstone of any strong inbound marketing program is great content. In "How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine," you'll learn how to:
• Develop and refine your content plan
• Get your content produced, published, and distributed
• Convert content visitors through targeted, content-rich nurturing

Click here to download -->: http://ow.ly/gPXKi 

2. (Cheat Sheet) CONTENT MARKETING: Use this Content Marketing Cheat Sheet to quickly map out your own buying stages and determine which content to best associate with those stages. You'll learn:
• The six rules of content marketing
• How to map content to buying stages
• The three R's of content optimization

Click here to download -->: http://ow.ly/gPXVc 


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Why Buying Facebook Fans is a Bad Idea

Why Buying Fans is a Bad Idea For BusinessesMany new companies are often tempted to purchase their followers in hopes of giving themselves the appearance of popularity and experience. While it's true that online visitors can judge organizations based on their community size, what matters most is engagement and good content – neither of which you'll get from purchased Fans.

There are plenty of websites offering Facebook Likes for small fees even though companies like Facebook frown upon bots, which is what you are generally getting when you buy Likes. If they're not using bots to generate new Fans for your pages then they are outsourcing to users who will do nothing besides hit the Like button, leaving you with an empty community.

Buying Fans is no different than lying to your potential audience during a time in which you must practice good business ethics so that you can build trust with your listeners. Savvy Social Media users are going to see that you have so many Likes, but very few comments and no participation. They'll quickly discern that you've bought your community and find you less trustworthy because of it. In effect, you'll have scared away your audience before you've even gotten the chance to speak with them.

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Social Media Maintenance - the Three S's [Infographic]

linkedin now has 187 million members

Social Media has become a rage now. No wonder, since it can encompass a lot of things, given the recent trends – improving brands identity, offering better customer service. Also, it has enabled multiple businesses like tool development – giving brands the easy ways to share or receive status updates and monitor multiple channels, agencies – helping in developing content and social media presence for brands, etc.

Still, we have few brands who struggle with the daily chores involved with in setting up or monitoring content or even driving content. This infographic covers 3 S's to help brands with maintaining social media presence.

Social Media Infographic

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Facebook Announces New Social Search Feature Called "Graph Search"

facebook announces new graph search feature

Well folks, it's the moment we've all been waiting for. Facebook announced its big news today -- the stuff we've all been sitting at the edge of our seats for, the release we've been pontificating about (read what some of our ideas ... and your own were ... about Facebook's big reveal)! So ... what the heck is it?

Well, we were right! Kind of. It's a new search engine called Graph Search! As Facebook puts it, the new search engine, which is currently in beta (though with a waitlist for which you should sign up), "takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections." We're going to break down what you need to know about Facebook's Graph Search right now.

A Brief History of Facebook's Search Function

If you're a regular Facebook user, you're probably familiar with a pretty paltry search function. You type in your friend Matthew's name, and what do you get? Marcus; Matthias; Marjorie; Matthew's Painting & Supplies in Akron, Ohio; Matt; Matt; and finally, there he is, your buddy Matthew. Facebook has set out to fix what has been a pretty painful experience for users (and businesses trying to get found on Facebook) with this new search function.

Now, this is something all businesses with a search function on their websites struggle with. For instance, on our very own blog, we pull in Google to help users search for articles. I mean, why build your own search algorithm when you can simply use Google to help people find content?

But that's where Facebook's new search function is different. Facebook isn't incorporating Google's search function into Facebook search. Instead, Facebook has decided to launch Graph Search to help improve the Facebook search experience. In fact, Graph Search is powered by Microsoft Bing -- which makes sense, since Bing has also integrated Facebook into its own social search function, according to VentureBeat.

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Social Networks Aim to Land More Super Bowl Ad Dollars

social networks aim to land more super bowl ad dollars

Now that they've become an established part of the Super Bowl marketing playbook, social networks are looking to command more of fans' attention and maybe a bigger share of TV ad dollars.

There are already examples pointing to Facebook and Twitter having a more central role, which can begin at the inception of a TV spot.

Lincoln hired Jimmy Fallon to help produce its first Super Bowl ad based on tweeted script submissions. (Contributors to the finished product will have their Twitter handles displayed in the spot.) Pepsi is taking to social media to ask fans for pictures of themselves to be part of a commercial to run just before the halftime show; Toyota is asking fans on Twitter to submit a photo to be included in its ad. And for the seventh year, Doritos is holding its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest in which fans vote on spots created by amateur filmmakers. But this year the voting will occur on Facebook.

As marketers guide eyeballs to social-media content in the weeks leading up to the game to gin up buzz for their spots, ads on those platforms may start to look more valuable. According to Frito-Lay VP-marketing Ram Krishnan, Facebook is the biggest digital-ad partner for this year's installment of "Crash the Super Bowl," which includes a substantial investment in sponsored stories. "Our investment in Facebook was very minimal last year, but ... our media mix has changed considerably."

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Now for something completely different: Facebook teases a big announcement

facebook event

Gossip Girl ain't got nothing on Facebook. The company recently sent out an invitation to the press with the promise of a big reveal on January 15 and now everyone is talking!

Many tech sites think Facebook is going to reveal their own smartphone. It's an idea that's been talked about for ages, even though Zuckerberg has clearly said it "wouldn't make much sense."

True, Facebook isn't in the hardware biz, but neither was Amazon and they're doing okay with their line of Kindles. For them, it's about selling a gizmo cheap in order to get people to buy product. For Facebook, it would be about selling the brand along with the social lifestyle.
If it's not about the phone, then what? How about a fancy new redesign?

The Chicago Tribune says it's already in the works and I hope so because I like it.

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