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  • The Spokal A-Z Guide to Marketing Terms (learn what all that jargon means).
  • The Spokal Guide to getting your first 1000 visitors from Twitter
  • 3 Blogging Templates to speed the creative process up
  • And a mini-guide on how all the different content marketing pieces fit together.

Are you Using Marketing Automation in These 5 Ways? Probably Not!

Marketing automation is a fantastic way to ensure that you’re sharing consistent, relevant and valuable information with your customers, both new and potential. 

It streamlines a repetitive process so that you don’t waste your time.

Automation itself isn’t a particularly new idea.

We’ve been doing it for a while in the form of “lifehacks” or “shortcuts” in our daily routines.

Our parents taught us some of them: Setting your alarm so that it goes off at the right time every morning (but only during weekdays), for example.

Autoportrait. Awakening/Alarm clock

Photo courtesy of Ludosphère(CC Attribution)

And as we got older (and technology got better) we began to automate other things too. 

7 Quotes To Revitalize & Inspire Your Content Marketing

Success in sight....

Photo courtesy of seeveeaar(CC No Derivatives)

Quotes are a fantastic way to inspire you to work to the best of your ability, even when you’re not feeling the most optimistic.

We’ve all been there – You’ve put an enormous amount of work in, you think your idea is fantastic, you’ve tried to rally people to your way of thinking – but things just aren’t going the way you thought they would.

Suddenly, you experience what seems like a grey cloud hovering over your head, dampening your thoughts and spirits and making every movement, every thought seem worthless.

Very quickly, you can be drawn into the self-indulgent self-pity that is common in the aftermath of defeat, dejection, wariness or whatever other dark cloud has been hanging over your head.

But here’s the thing: You’re better than that, and deep down inside: You know it too.

Quotes are a fantastic way to rekindle the light inside of you. They act as a pin, bursting through the cloud to allow the light to shine down on you once more. 

I have a tendency to collect quotes, keeping them for days when the sun isn’t shining quite so bright. Here are some of my favourite quotes that I think will inspire and revitalize you and your business, followed by an aside by yours truly.

1.The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.

 – David Ogilvy

quotes content marketing david ogilvy

The Complete A-Z Guide to Online Marketing Terms!

Guide to online marketing terms

The marketing industry has a language all of its own.

The jargon can come to us in many shapes and form. Sometimes, complete fabrications, or words with “- able” at the end of it. Other times, they’re jumbled up English terms and confusing acronyms.

Whatever shape the jargon takes, there’s one thing that’s for sure: It doesn’t make marketing any easier.  

One of the biggest problems with marketing jargon is that the marketing experts will expect you to know them and will often throw them around as casually as they would the word “the”.

This gets confusing (and a little frustrating) for newbies (or even intermediates for that matter).

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common online marketing terms you’re likely to encounter (and some that you might not) to make the introduction into marketing just that little bit easier for you!

Oh and you’ll see Spokey pop up now and then to let you know what the important terms are!

Thanks Spokey!

5 Marketing Lessons Courtesy of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Photo courtesy of slgckgc(CC Attribution)

Unless you’e been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that another viral sensation has been dominating our social networking feeds lately: The Ice Bucket Challenge.

If you hadn’t heard of it (seriously, that must have been some big rock you were hiding under), the challenge aimed to raise awareness of ALS (or as it’s better known, Lou Gehrig’s disease) and raise money for funding research to find a cure. 

All you had to do was film yourself pouring a bucket of freezing ice-cold water over your head and then nominating your friends to do the same… or donate $100 to charity. 

From what I gathered, most people did both. 

The idea behind the CTA was that the freezing water would imitate the numbness of feeling in those who suffer from the disease. 

Rubber Duckie, You

Photo courtesy of drothamel(CC Attribution)

Some people hated it and condemned it as armchair activism, a fad, a waste of water, funding animal-testing or a scam. 

Others, however, took to it like ducks take to water (pun very much intended).

But whatever your feelings about the viral sensation, you have to admit: It was everywhere.

And that got me thinking, what exactly about the Ice Bucket Challenge had people from either sides so passionately enthralled?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which is the Right Choice for you?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Spokal integrates very closely with WordPress, so we get a lot of questions about all things WordPress related. But the most pressing of them all is the WordPress.com vs WordPress.org debate.

If you’re completely new to WordPress, you’re probably in the midst of this conundrum. If you’re WordPress savvy, you might be asking yourself should you switch to one or the other. Or, you might just be curious what the differences between the two actually are!

Well, no worries – You’ve come to the right place!

I’ve done the hard work for you and collected all the information I can get my greedy little fingers on so that you can make an informed decision.

In this post, I’ll have a look at both sides of the WordPress.com vs WordPress.org debate, and discuss each of their pros and cons.

The Absolute Basics of SEO for Content Marketing Newbies!

internet_marketing_strategies - basics of SEO

Photo courtesy of FindYourSearch(CC ShareALike)

I have a bit of a confession to make: When I started at Spokal I didn’t even know the basics of SEO. 

Hey don’t run away so quickly!

Let me explain: Before Spokal, I wrote for a number of other online blogs, but I always had editors who would insist on handling all of the SEO work.

But then, suddenly, I became my own editor and I knew I had to step up my game.

Learning the basics of SEO

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

I knew that I had to learn, and that I had to learn fast. 

To my relief, I had the Spokal editor with its real time SEO advice prompting me to make changes that would help to make sure the blog was optimized for search engines.

10 Video Content Marketing Examples from Up-and-Coming Startups!

David Ngugi - videographer video content marketing examples

Photo courtesy of whiteafrican(CC Attribution)

Finding video content marketing examples on the internet is pretty easy nowadays.

YouTube Generation video content marketing examples

Photo courtesy of jonsson(CC Attribution)

They’re everywhere we go.

They’re in our emails, on our Facebook newsfeeds, going viral on Reddit.

Even if you’re not aware of it, you’ve probably watched video content marketing examples plenty of times before.

What “A Game of Thrones” can Teach us About Content Marketing [Spoilers]

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ? George R.R. Martin

Photo courtesy of Nomadic Lass(CC ShareALike)

A Game of Thrones is without a doubt the most intricate stories to have been adapted for screen in some time.

But what makes it stand out so much isn’t the violence, sex and intrigue – we had plenty of that on our screens already.

It’s the brutal reality.

Of course, it’s set in a fantastical world – I know that, you know that, and that is what gives us some semblance of comfort. 

But when we really look at A Game of Thrones, I mean really look, what we’re seeing is a reflection of ourselves.

We see our own society staring right back at us.

As Damien Walter once wrote in an article for The Guardian

When we look up from the page we recognise those same conflicts in the world around us and in ourselves.

And what we see is a brutal truth: It’s survival of the fittest.

But what does fittest really mean? The strongest? The fastest? The biggest?

No, no and no.

The fittest are the innovative and subtle schemers, the ones who can adapt to new circumstances the fastest and the characters who take on leadership roles with an air of caution.  

Is content marketing so different, really?

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the lessons that the 5 major houses in A Games of Thrones  can teach us about surviving, adaptation and leadership.

14 Must-Have Free Tools For Start-Ups

I’m all about getting bang for your buck.

And if you’re a start-up, I’m sure you are too.

Well luck is on your side!

There are a ton of free tools for start-ups on the web, so you can easily save money now (when you need it most) without having to sacrifice the quality of your business. 

  1. Evernote

Evernote has got to be my number one recommendation for free tools for start-ups.

Why?

Because it works to organize the very basics of your  business.

It takes all those bright new ideas that start-ups spurt out on a regular basis (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong!) and it organizes it all into one easily accessible place. 

And because it syncs across all of your devices (laptop, phone and tablet), you don’t have to worry about remembering where you put that note or idea. 

They’re not all Trolls and Haters: The Art of Handling Negative Criticism Like a Pro!

Negative criticism

Photo courtesy of Sarah Burke

Putting your writing on the internet for everyone to see, comment on and criticize isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes courage to face an audience and say: “Here it is. Here are my words. Here are my thoughts”.

We’re all afraid of being judged, and it’s really hard to hear that your writing isn’t up to scratch.

But even though we all know negative criticisms aren’t exactly fun, we have to remember that they are a huge part of the learning process.