Like this? Get the FREE Small Business Bundle

  • 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.

What Does Teaching And Marketing Have In Common? A Lot, Actually.

Teaching And Marketing

Photo courtesy of m_shipp22(CC Attribution)

Have you ever wanted to teach a pack of thirty 12 year old kids?


That’s OK. Not many people find the prospect appealing.

But I did it for three years, and while it wasn’t easy, it was very rewarding.

I loved my experience as a teacher, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t continue to teach when I moved to Vancouver (without doing another 4 year degree, of course).

But as they say: When one door shuts, another one opens! And with my move to Vancouver came a career change and I found myself launched into the wonderful world of marketing.

As with any job, your old experiences influence how you approach a new position.

This can sometimes be a negative thing, but at other times, a positive. I
wasn’t sure what connections there was between teaching and marketing or what influence my teaching experience would have on my
current role as a marketer, but as time goes by and I get more
comfortable in my new career, there have been certain areas where I can see my old teacher-self shine through. 

9 Haunting Halloween Content Ideas!

Photo courtesy of Sarah Burke

That’s a lot of dough.

And that’s also a great content marketing opportunity for businesses, so why not tap into it by making some Halloween content?

I know, I know. You’re going to say: My business hasn’t really got that much to do with Halloween, or costumes, or sweets… or it’s just not scary at all.

But I’m here to tell you, where there’s a will there’s a way! And there’s always a will.

How to Suck at Marketing Automation! [What Not To Do]

Coffee & Social Media

Photo courtesy of Thomas Leuthard(CC Attribution)

When you’ve been working with a marketing automation platform for a while you begin to notice a few things: Sometimes they’re good, sometimes… not so good.

Good marketing automation is all about timing and content.

autoroute à automation

Photo courtesy of Biscarotte(CC ShareALike)

It’s when an email is just there waiting in my inbox first thing in the morning, or when social media schedules have been worked on tirelessly to reach me just when I’m on my boring commute home.

It’s when blog posts have been scheduled to hit my screen just as I head on my lunch break, or when that reminder email from that abandoned shopping cart pokes its way into my email box to tempt me just as I unwind in front of the TV.

Marketing automation works best when it’s non-intrusive,  informative (because you’ve paid attention to my browsing and know that the content is exactly what I am interested in) and I don’t feel any overt pressure or push to get me to the buying stage (just a little nudge).

I know how many hours, days, week and even months those marketers work so that they seem so effortless, and I appreciate it. I like those brands, because they are approachable, not pushy, but still they remain in the forefront of my mind. It’s a balancing act, and a difficult one at that.

But then, there’s the dark side of marketing automation…

Puppy Power: The Power of Cuteness in Marketing

I confess: I’m one of those people who loves anything to do with puppies and kittens. My current obsession is with pugs. People share them on my page, I pin them on Pinterest, I’ve even – I kid you not – searched the term “cute pugs” on YouTube.

Just to watch them.

But it’s actually not that unusual, as is evident from the hundreds of videos that were returned by my “cute pugs” query.

Yes, we’re all a little puppy mad. Or bunny mad. Or cat crazy. Or… Ok, just generally cute crazy.

And as soon as one of these funny lil guys pops up we’re quick to share it on social media, with little or no hesitation.

It’s a marketers dream.

The Insecure Writer: 3 of the Most Common Insecurities & How to Overcome Them


Photo courtesy of miss pupik(CC Attribution)

When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to solely focus on the more technical aspects of the business, such as blogging strategies, SEO, content marketing, click-bait titles and social media distribution.

But what happens is that we then forget the basics.

And I’m not just talking about the basics of marketing, SEO, title creation etc. We have more than our fair share of “Content Marketing for Dummies” posts going around the web that are sure to last us a lifetime.

What I’m talking about is the basics of communication itself.

How we express ourselves is really important in every aspect of life. From first impressions in an interview, to talking with lifelong friends, communication is central to making these relationships successful and meaningful.

But even if you’ve got the fine art of verbal communication down, let me ask you this: How are your writing skills?

Battle of the Sexes: Who Blogs it Better?

Battle of the Sexes: Who Blogs it Better?

Photo courtesy of Sarah Burke

Have you ever thought about whether people consider whether you’re male or female as they’re reading your blogs? Or if people can guess your gender without reading your byline?

Have you ever wondered if it actually matters?

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a analyzer called the “Gender Guesser”.

The idea is that you copy and paste a sample of your writing into the
analyzer (about 300 words), and it guesses your gender just by your
writing style!

The Shark Tank Formula for Start-up Success [infographic]

This is a guest blog post by Ivan Serrano.

Are you deciding to begin a start-up? 

Want to know what to expect? What competition awaits you? What to do and what not to do?

Well then, you’re probably familiar with the hit ABC TV show, Shark Tank, where new businesses and start-ups propose their start-up ideas to a group of successful high-powered business people (or, as they’re known on the show, “Sharks”). 

Watching the show is a good idea for any potential start-ups. It’s a wealth of information as to what to expect, what you should know when meeting investors, and what enterprises have worked and what ones haven’t and why. 

Sharks tank

Photo courtesy of ryn413(CC Attribution)

Millennials Don’t Trust Your Content, But Here’s What You Can Do To Change That

Photo courtesy of Crowdtap

According to research by Crowdtap and Ipsos, millennials don’t trust your content. 

Well, to be more specific: Millennials trust user-generated content (UGC) more than they do professionally-written content. 

UGC refers to anything created by a non-professional, and for millennials it’s often peer-driven content, such as status updates, Yelp reviews, Facebook posts, tweets, blogs, videos… oh and anything on Reddit’s Front Page. 

All of which are, of course, created by individuals without any monetary motivation. 

And therein lies the key: Money

Millennials read your content in full-awareness that it may be biased because it was written for the author’s personal monetary gain.

And this reduces the amount of trust they have in what you’re saying. 

In fact, millennials are less trusting of others than older Americans are, with just 19% of Millennials saying most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.

And here’s the real kicker: 

How Marketers Can Incorporate Data Into Everyday Tasks

This is a Guest Post from Neha Jewalikar from Radius.

VP of Marketing at iBASEt, Louis Columbus, argues that marketing is going through a transformation, which moves away from traditional tactics towards analytics and data-driven strategies that deliver measurable results. However, with the mass proliferation of data, marketers are often left overwhelmed. How can marketers make sense of data and apply it to their day-to-day processes?   

Social Marketers

As social media constantly evolves, today’s marketers face a lofty challenge: proving the ROI of their campaigns. According to Adobe, 52% of marketers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social marketing. Rather than measuring the results of each campaign at the end, marketers should instead infuse each piece of content with data.

Here are some tools that can help marketers focus on what works and eliminate what doesn’t:

Twitter can be incredibly complex. How do you know when your followers are online, and if they are, how you do you maximize engagement? Social marketers often address this problem by sending out rapid-fire tweets at random times.

Tweriod is a free service that analyzes the performance of your past 200 tweets and then tells you when the best time to update is. For us at Radius, engagement peaks around noon. Use these insights to determine when the best time is to push out content and reach a majority of your audience.


Why Google+ Is Better Than Facebook For Your Small Business


Photo courtesy of clasesdeperiodismo(CC ShareALike)

Every time that I’ve commented to friends and colleagues that I think Google+ is better than Facebook for small businesses, I’m met with incredulous glances.

“Better than Facebook??? Sarah, you cray cray.”

But I stand by it.

I think Google+ is better than Facebook for small businesses. Actually, I think it’s even going to be bigger than Facebook in a year or so.

And honestly? I’m surprised that it’s taking this long to catch on.

Let me tell you why.