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What’s The Ideal Length For Your Business’ Digital Content?

What’s the ideal length for my business’ digital content?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times by startups in Asia.

Here’s the advice I give

Before you dive into how long your content should be, ask yourself three simple questions:

1. Who is my audience?

2. What are their pain points?

3. How does my business help?

Once you’ve answered those questions, start by defining your audiences in terms of personas. (Not sure where to start? HubSpot offers a free buyer personas template.)

Now put yourself in your personas’ shoes. What kind of content would solve their pain points or interest them? Let’s say your target audience are busy CEOs. They’re likely interested in topline insights and best practices rather than long-form whitepapers. (At least, that’s been the case in my experience.) Alternatively, if you’re targeting digital marketing managers, they often crave in-depth articles with practical tips on a particular topic. See the difference?

For a more data-driven approach, I recommend checking out BuzzSumo’s Content Analysis tool.

Once again, let’s assume you’re promoting digital marketing courses. If you enter “digital marketing” into the tool, it will show you the length of related articles that get the most shares online.

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According to the chart above, “digital marketing” articles over 2,000 words tend to get more shares online. It’s interesting to note that articles less than 1,000 words received around the same amount of shares as articles over 2,000 words, at least on LinkedIn.

So, it’s worth noting not only the total shares across social media platforms but also the total shares on the social media network that your personas use.

By using this data along with your personas’ insights, you’re more likely to develop the right content for your audience.

What about SEO?

Your content’s position on Google can often make or break your content, in terms of views and conversions.

So which does Google prefer: shorter or longer content?

According to search engine results page (SERP) data from SEMRush, they found that longer content tends to rank higher on Google. In fact, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.

Now content length is not the only factor that Google considers when ranking content on the first page, but it does have an impact according to the studies above.

Remember this…

While longer content tends to perform better on search engines and get more shares, the most important variable when considering your content length should be your audience. Keep them satisfied and your rankings and shares will follow.

Source: Forbes, article by Joe Escobedo (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeescobedo/2016/10/24/whats-the-ideal-length-for-your-business-digital-content/#5472e0362e7e)

 

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Tools to Help You Track Your Startup

When you’re busy building a startup, there isn’t always time to keep track of what people are saying about your company. Luckily, there are a bunch of great products to make tracking your startup easier than ever.
We put together a list of six different tools to help you monitor when your startup is mentioned online, as well as track companies, markets, and people you care about. Read on for the full list.
1. Index
Keep track of companies & markets you care about

Index, created by the team at The Next Web, uses public content on the web and turns it into structured data on locations, industries, and private tech companies around the world.
There are a lot of cool uses for this tool. You can use it to keep an eye on potential investors, competitors, or markets. You can also create custom lists to track the investments, acquisitions, and other updates you care about while filtering out the news that isn’t as important to you.
If you sign up for the “Pro” or “Expert” versions of this tool, you’ll get access to even more features, such as: weekly digests, advanced search, CSV exports, and a daily investment newsletter. This tool is certainly worth the investment if you‘re looking to more efficiently keep track of what matters to you and your company.

2. Notify
Get notified in Slack when your startup is mentioned online

There are so many things you can do with this Slack integration, and setting it up is super easy. You can create alerts for anything you want to be notified about, like when your startup or competitors are mentioned anywhere online, when a specific person is mentioned, or when something gets published about an event or topic you want to track. You can also select sources you want to read notifications from (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Blogs, Product Hunt, Medium, News Sites, etc.).
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of anything important to you, Notify is a no-brainer Slack integration (But yes, you do have to be a Slack user).

3. App Review Monitor
App Store reviews delivered to Slack and your inbox

This tool, created by the LaunchKit team, is a free service that notifies you when your app receives a new review in the App Store. You can keep your team up-to-date with alerts sent via email or Slack. You can also have App Review Monitor automatically tweet about your five-star reviews.
Of course, you won’t always receive perfect reviews. One of the most important elements of great customer service is finding and communicating with customers who are underwhelmed by your app. With this tool, you can easily forward a less-than-awesome review to your support team and find the reviewer online so you can start a direct conversation with him or her.
We’re big fans of any tool that makes a normally tedious task easier—and this one certainly fits the bill!

4. Mattermark for iOS
1 million+ companies in your pocket. Absolutely free.

Mattermark is one of the most beloved tools in the startup world. Venture capitalists and salespeople are willing to pay $6,000 a year for the data and insights this product offers.
Mattermark for iOS, however, is completely free. Using the mobile app, you can learn more about over 1 million companies, share profiles and news with your network, and stay on top of daily funding events and important company news.
This is a must-have app for any startup enthusiast.

5. Startup Tracker 2.0
Keep tabs on up-and-coming startups

Startup Tracker is like Rapportive for startups. If you’re reading an article about Shyp, this tool will show you a summary of the most important information about the company without you ever needing to leave your browser.
Startup Tracker scours leading data sources like Beta List, CrunchBase, Product Hunt, Facebook, and Twitter to compile detailed company profiles. You can use it to search across over 400,000 profiles and discover new and trending startups. This is a fantastic way to learn about and keep track of your favorite companies.

6. Monitor Backlinks
Track backlinks for any website

If you want to improve your website’s SEO, backlinks matter—but they are often difficult to keep track of. This product makes it so much easier. After a quick setup, you’ll get access to a dashboard when you can monitor new backlinks, SEO progress, and organic traffic driven by search engines as a result. You’ll also have insight into your keyword rankings, links with social interaction, Nofollow vs. Dofollow links, and more.
This is a fantastic way to strengthen SEO and keep tabs on your competitors. A great tool for marketers and anyone else who nerds about about website growth.

Source: Medium (https://medium.com/@producthunt/tools-to-help-you-track-your-startup-1214d572044#.ymqvxert7)

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The future of social media analytics

Crimson Hexagon, a global social media analytics company based in Boston, recently launched in South Africa in partnership with YouKnow Digital.

To celebrate the launch, NATIVE VML hosted an event entitled ‘The future of social media analytics’, where Marian Cramers, director strategic alliances EMEA at Crimson Hexagon, gave insights into where social analytics is headed.

With image-based social networks on the rise, the latest being Instagram, Pinterest and more recently Snapchat, businesses are increasingly adopting social media analytics tools to gain insights from social data, particularly images, to drive strategy.

Crimson Hexagon is one such company providing insights for brand strategy and market research, allowing brands, agencies and non-profits access to consumer trends, purchase intent, product attributes, drivers of sentiment, competitors, and the like. It holds the world’s largest repository of social data anywhere, with 850 billion+ posts stored in its warehouse.

Its technology is rooted in an algorithm designed by Gary King, a professor at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “This algorithm will always be the heart of the platform,” said Cramers, “but it keeps evolving and, although it was designed for text-based analytics, there’s a new world out there and that world is Snapchat and Instagram and all of those images.”

She quoted Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, who said, “Photos are no longer just a means of capturing a moment, they are a means of communicating.”

If you look at the trajectory of social media platforms over the years, they’re increasingly becoming more about images and less about text. Camera-enabled smartphones, the low barrier for self-expression, and the ease of curating content are just some of the reasons for this.

Context is the real issue

Crimson is moving passed the point of sentiment and the advanced emotional attachment, to a contextual understanding of images, the stories they tell and their brand implications.

Some emerging use cases discussed are:

  • A more robust audience and campaign analysis
  • Brand affinities
  • Content ideation, creating and curation
  • Identification of most effective/real influencers
  • Product development
  • Scene/action recognition to identify growth opportunities

Cramers referred to an image featured at the London Olympic 2012 opening ceremony, quoting inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s tweet, “This is for everyone”, which was instantly displayed in LED lights attached to the chairs in the arena. And that’s exactly what this is.

“It’s important that you keep seeing the bigger picture because that is where the future lies, and it’s also where the interesting angles are that will make you future proof.”

Source: Biz Community, article by Jessica Tennant (http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/669/149626.html)

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How do some of the biggest startups stay on top of international teams?

For many startups from countries like Australia and New Zealand, the relatively small size of the local market pushes them to go global, and quickly.

That mindset means learning how to manage offices in multiple countries, time zones and languages — something that requires some quick adaption.

Using such tools also means she can stay away from formal emails, which she views as draining. “I think one of the biggest indicators of teams that have low trust is very long emails that take a long time to get a small point across,” she said.

A video call or a quick message on chat works a lot better to establish trust when you can’t physically be in the same room.

While a company like Atlassian, which makes workplace software such as the chat platform HipChat, has perhaps a technological advantage in managing international teams, it too faces some unique challenges.

Dom Price, head of R&D program management at the company, told Mashable Australia its teams are highly distributed. Not simply in Atlasssian offices in Australia, the U.S. and Poland, but also remote teams who might work from home in France or even Tasmania.

The company, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in late 2015, still maintains a large office in Sydney.

“You’ve got to hire the smartest people where you can find them and they’re not always on your doorstep,” he said. “We have to face that problem every day.”

One strategy the company has chosen is using open documents — what Price called having “one version of the truth.” That means no matter what changes were made overnight, when employees arrive in the morning, they have access to the latest version of everything.

Price, who works in Atlassian’s Sydney office, also emphasised the importance of personal contact whenever possible. “We’re not afraid to fly people around the world, just to have that face to face connection,” he said.

Cardinal agreed that meeting in-person is invaluable.

“I think that if anybody is going to take on the role of leading teams in different locations, if the company is not going to invest in travel, I’d think twice before doing it,” she said. “Meeting in-person helps digital relationships from there onwards.”

The quality of that travel is important, however. It’s necessary to avoid what she called “flyby bombings.”

“You come in and try and solve everything and fix everything because you’re physically present. I think that’s a quick way to undo everything you’ve built up,” she said. Instead, she advised having a beer and getting to know people.

Understanding cultural differences, as well as time differences

No matter how global the company, each location is going to have its own methods and rituals, where one region’s workplace culture may not always translate.

“I find Australian businesses have this nice kind of scrappiness,” Price said. “Sometimes when you take that message to other countries or cultures, it doesn’t always carry the same weight or gravitas.”

Setting out loose guidelines for work interactions, including having no phones in meetings, can help with that. As well as ensuring cultural details are appreciated. “With our Polish guys, they love structure, and so we always make sure we have an agenda for our meetings with them,” he explained.

All these online mechanisms and global hours mean it can be tempting to always be online. Nevertheless, Price pushed back on blaming the tools.

“We build our tools to be default always on, always open,” he said. “We have to make sure people don’t abuse that and don’t confuse that with thinking you always need to be on.”

In his view, the ability to switch off should be part of company culture as well as come from personal discipline. For some of his team’s work, that can mean working at the time that’s best for them.

“We have some rough business hours, but given the nature of what our business is, I want them to solve the problem when they’re in their zone,” he explained.

While she said she was lucky there was only a small time difference between Australia and New Zealand, Cardinal suggested it was still important to try and not bother people when they’re not expected to be at work, as well as keeping on top of their personal details.

“You have to make a conscious effort to remember things like birthdays, and maybe when they’ve gone above and beyond, because you don’t have that face to face as a reminder.”

“It feels like you’re married to 10 people at once,” she laughed.

Source: Mashable, Article by Ariel Bogle (http://mashable.com/2016/08/17/australian-startups-international-teams/#.PA2.bhbcPqd)

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