Add extra authority with social Proof

social proof

Image Credit (Flickr: Alexandre Duret-Lutz)

This weeks post will examine Social Proof it is related to the topic I initially planned to cover that of authority it is an important subject for those marketing on the Internet and using Social media to support that marketing

What is Social Proof?

When we are confronted by an unfamiliar situation we examine the actions of others to determine the proper behaviour expected of us the British we have a well known tendency for forming queues we’ll use Social proof to ascertain where we should queue i.e. by the guide rope near the nightclub door, and is queuing actually necessary? The use of social proof extends online to actions such as social media shares case studies, testimonials and reviews it is related to authority, Social proof can be utilised to influence people’s purchasing decisions which is what as marketers really interests us.

Types of Social Proof

5 types of social proof are commonly cited these being

‘Approval from a credible expert, such as an industry blogger or other
Approval or endorsements from celebrities, especially those that are unpaid
User Social Proof
Approval from current users of the product/service, such as customer testimonials, case studies, and reviews
Wisdom of the crowd
Approval from large groups of other people, ie 5 million people cannot be wrong use our widget!
Wisdom of friends
Approval from your friends or people you know, family would fall in this category

The categories and descriptions in the above list are courtesy of both TechCrunch and Hubspot.
I have no doubt you will be familiar with most of these types of social Proof especially the first two where Celebrities and experts are used to endorse products this will undoubtedly influence some people to purchase said product. Personally I tend to relying mainly on the wisdom of friends and to a lesser extent the wisdom of crowds for opinion on purchases. If I am buying a widget I will talk to friends who I know to be widget experts and ask their opinion, where such expertise is unavailable I will examine reviews on both the British and American Amazon websites, that is how I personally gather information for purchasing decisions, using specialist publications to find reviews to complete the process if you like that’s my typical buyers journey and how I use social prof to reinforce decisions.

Online Social Proof

Online people look for forms of social proof however they take slightly different forms, an article which is widely shared would be regarded as having social proof likewise a twitter or You tube account with a large number of followers. On reflection I suppose that social proof is related to the concept of critical mass, people do join Social Networks if most of their friends & acquaintances are using the network, Critical Mass is the number beyond which people will join your social network on their own accord, in a similar way Google plus failed to take off in the UK at least so lack of social proof may put people off an action.

Definition: Critical mass is a sufficient number of adopters of an innovation in a social system so that the rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining and creates further

Parting thoughts

Social proof is a factor well worth considering when considering your online marketing efforts, utilised correctly it can be used to give your marketing more impact ands to give you more authority, which is always desirable online.

By |September 25th, 2015|Content, SME Online Marketing, Social Media|0 Comments

Why Visual Content is so important for on-line marketers

visual communication

Image Source Flickr:jamjar

This week I’ll return to an important topic I’ve covered previously the use of visual content in social media and content marketing

What exactly is Visual Content?

This may seem a rather basic question, but things such as photographs, illustrations and graphics count as visual content in addition content such as video and presentations/slideshows are categorised as visual content, this is a constantly developing field with the widespread adoption of HTML 5 Leading to the current trend of animated infographics as animated .gifs are supported by both twitter and now Facebook this is a trend I can see continuing to develop further, I personally find them very useful and informative (yeah, I’m a geek)

A Picture tells thousand words

The above truism (or banality if you like) is the main advantage of visual content in the attention starved world on the internet you only have seconds to grab the attention of site visitors or social media followers, The brain processes images 60,000 times more quickly than text, well chosen (more on that later) visuals enable the marketer to do that, they can also be used to convey emotion

Further advantages of Visual Content

Being rapidly understood is not the only advantage of visual content there is a number of additional benefits ‘ll attempt to introduce some of them here:


Visual content uses design to present information in a format that is stimulating, attractive and engaging. This makes it easier to synthesize and piques interest immediately. In short, visual content grabs your audience’s attention.

Readily Shareable

Visual content is easily shareable on social media, with memes being the perfect example of this type of content, for this reason good visual content is a great way to raise your brand’s profile. Wikipedia offers the following definition of Internet Memes

An Internet meme (/ˈmiːm/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet. Some notable examples include posting a photo of people lying down in public places (called “planking”) and uploading a short video of people dancing to the Harlem

If you’ve spent any length of time on social media you will have encountered memes even though you may have not been aware of the definition.


Visual Content is a great way to convey emotion either through the use of colour or imagery. Carefully chosen imagery can be used to provoke an emotional response be it happiness or trust. Conversely poorly chosen imagery can provoke a negative response, this is where stock imagery can often fall flat although beautifully photographed it looks inauthentic and staged, in my opinion this is a common problem with stock imagery it can be spotted a mile away and looks pretty corny

Parting thoughts

Visual Content is one of THE most effective ways to give your online marketing more impact and vigour, the rise of social networks such as Pinterest & Instagram shows that it’s a form of content, which has wide appeal, as with all content it can work both ways if your choice of visual content is misadvised it risks

By |September 18th, 2015|Content, Social Media|Comments Off on Why Visual Content is so important for on-line marketers

Brand Voice will enable you to take your content & Social Media to the next level


Image Flickr:Jae Storer


I’ve mentioned before that I believe that Authenticity lies at the heart of great content and social media it’s an element of this I wish to examine with this weeks Blog post that of Brand Voice. The reason I’m discussing this topic is I find it hard crafting calls to action designed to suit a British audience, I suppose an understated type of British Call to action would be appropriate, why not try our they are really rather good, would be fine, mind that Cranks Britishness up to 11 and its in danger of being included in Downton Abbey but on reflection the approach is fitting. If you are serious about Branding, the Brand voice and persona are important considerations.

tone, voice and persona

There’s some confusion between the terminologies I’m using here, I want to use this section to clarify the differences as the following terms are sometimes used interchangeably


Stephanie Schwab defines tone thus

Tone is the underlying vibe that emanates from your brand’s communications. This is where you establish your credibility; place your brand in the past, present or future; and subtly alert fans and followers whether your brand is going to be wide-open or a bit more buttoned up


Buffer app define voice as

“Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional.” I find this is where some of the confusion creeps in. Julie Wildhaber at suggests that

You could consider tone a subset of voice. If voice is the personality of a story, then tone is the mood.

The Difference between Tone and Voice

I like the way that Charisa Weaks clarified the difference using dictionary definitions however I’ll use a different dictionary Chambers UK , a method I’ll copy here

a quality or character of the voice expressing a particular feeling or mood

For example you could write in a sarcastic tone where I much prefer to use a helpful tone on this website and a playful/friendly one on social media

expression in the form of spoken(or written-Carl) words gave voice to their feelings

Wheaton College provide a helpful explanation of the difference, the voice is what makes communication uniquely yours a stylist fingerprint if you like

Anything you write should still have your voice: something that makes your writing sound uniquely like you. A personal conversation with a friend differs from a speech given to a large group of strangers. Just as you speak to different people in different ways yet remain yourself, so the tone of your writing can vary with the situation while the voice — the essential, individual thoughts and expression — is still your own.


Persona is a fairly similar concept, which Ms Schwab defines thus, this is a different meaning of the term persona to the usual on employed with social media and content marketing

This is the starting point for the development or furthering of your brand voice: Who does your brand sound like? In order to determine this, you may need to first determine who your customers are, so you can assume a persona for the brand that will resonate with your primary target audience.

Parting Thoughts

The key words here are ‘will resonate with your primary target audience’ get the brands voice wrong and you risk alienating your audience, which is not a good idea. Like authenticity Brand voice is a topic I feel quite strongly about, content and communication without voice is boring and bland at worst its like talking to a RSS feed (an approach some social media users adopt with lots of posts with scant interaction with other users, I’m not convinced about this approach with social media it may attract followers but does nothing for engagement which really is the whole point of social media if you ask me. Brand Voice is a vital consideration, a poor choice of voice will make my hackles rise I don’t know if this is just me being grumpy .Voice even extends to the choice of fonts, Colours and Imagery used

Poor choices make a poor impression

For a Curriculum Vitae Comic Sans would be deemed inappropriate choice of font, yes I appreciate that’s a heavy handed example but it illustrates the point there are even instances of Gravestones set in Comic Sans (no, I’m not joking) it shows how information delivered in the wrong voice can be jarring and make a bad overall impression, in this case not so much the deceased person but their friends &family!

By |September 11th, 2015|Content, SEO, SME Online Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on Brand Voice will enable you to take your content & Social Media to the next level

Discover the Importance of context

Scarecrow Fox by David Wilcoxson: Sculpture In Context 2012 at the National Botanic Gardens by William Murphy (Source: Flickr)

Scarecrow Fox by David Wilcoxson: Sculpture In Context 2012 at the National Botanic Gardens by William Murphy (Source: Flickr)

This week’s post will introduce a concept I believe is of vital importance for those making use of social media or content marketing as part of their marketing mix

Defining Context

Chambers dictionary offers the following definition of context

context noun 1 the pieces of writing in a passage which surround a particular word, phrase, etc. and which contribute to the full meaning of the word, phrase, etc. in question. 2 circumstances, background or setting. contextualSource:

To simplify the concept context applies to the where, who and how of communication, where one is communication, who one is communicating with and how one is communicating, pictures of kittens etc. would be perfectly in context on a social media channel but would be woefully out of context on LinkedIn, when communication is out of context it jars and grates on people. Risqué jokes might be fine at the pub but they’d be badly out of place at a family gathering/christening, this toying with context is frequent source of humour in Best Man Jokes where risqué humour is concealed in ways which wont offend the easily shocked members of the wedding party

As Marketers why is this important to us?

In her whitepaper ‘Why Context is essential to Digital Marketing’ Rebecca Lieb argues that

The more marketing can be targeted in context, the better – and more relevant – the customer experience. Context means the right person receives the right message at the right time, but also in the right place, on the right platform and in the right language.(Source: Lieb 2014)

So context even plays a role in Search, for example I do a quick search for pizza I don’t want results in New York, Exeter or Chicago, I want the results for Morecambe and perhaps Lancaster in a format which is readily understood on my computer of choice (desktop or smartphone)

Parting thoughts

Context is what takes Content Marketing to the next level, as Rebecca Lieb notes it is growing in importance so its worth taking the time to understand this concept and to apply it to your own marketing, I hope I’ve explained the basics of context well with this post, Context complements content to ensure that customers & visitors to your site have the best possible experience when using your website, I’m inclined to agree with Kevin Jorgensen’s emphasis on the importance of personas here, the value of which is already well understood by professional content marketers, context uses a thorough if not complete understanding of your customers to provide an excellent service, if a website can be said to serve people. If context could be mapped to the position of customers within the sales funnel then it would completely transcend standard content marketing, the question has to be can smaller businesses leverage this technology & way of thinking, based on what I’ve researched this week, I’m starting to reappraise context in how people and companies utilize social media, think of it as another dimension of communication if content marketing is 2d communication, Context adds the 3rd dimension. Failing to appreciate this will lead to less effective communication.

By |August 28th, 2015|Content, SEO|Comments Off on Discover the Importance of context

Professionalism is not enough, great content requires more


(Photo credit:Flickr Alex)

This week’s blog post builds on a theme I’ve explored previously that of authenticity, it was inspired by an article by an Article by Brian Solis @briansolis he called the concept what do you stand for? or #WDYSF its all well and good me banging on about authenticity but there’s a real need to walk the authenticity walk BUT its quite a challenge for the time strapped smaller business to find and develop great /authentic content so much online content could disparagingly be described as content filler(i.e. I’ve got to have a 700 word blog post written by Friday ahh this’ll do) I’ll revisit my favourite definition of great content and adjust it accordingly to suit

What is authenticity?

Chambers Dictionary defines authenticity thus
authentic adj 1 genuine. 2 reliable; trustworthy; true to the original. authenticity noun.
I’ve been struck this week how many times I’ve felt the key point the author was making concerned authenticity, its made me revisit my whole approach to both social media and website content.

Why is authenticity so important?

Authenticity is not quite synonymous with quality it’s the difference between a fake insincere smile and a genuine one, easily spotted and importantit’s the lack of authenticity which makes an awful lot of stock photography look so cheesy and fake (I’ll admit here stock photography is a secret pleasure of mine, its also what makes a LOT of corporate social media appear so fake and insincere ’yeah you are using lots of stock kitten images but is it genuinely something you’re passionate about or are you just trying to look trendy this also applies to viral videos. I’m a stickler for authenticity where memes/viral videos are involved, the first Harlem shake video was ok but when marketing departments & social media teams started producing it the authenticity was lost and it rapidly became quite old/lame. Kim Garst (@kimgarst) has pinpointed passion as a component, which I think its completely correct her #beyou theme highlights the importance of authenticity, I wouldn’t describe it as the ‘secret sauce’ that’s the American way of describing it ands not a phrase Id use in day to day life(although due to my use of the web I encounter its frequently and it would be fake/insincere me utilising the phrase, this is what I mean about walking the walk.

Parting thoughts

Good content always has an objective, it is created with intent.”Anne Handley

The original meaning of the term amateur is connected to passion & love

784, “one who has a taste for (something),” from French amateur “lover of,” from Latin amatorem (nominative amator) “lover,” agent noun from amatus, past participle of amare “to love”(source:

its this passion which often makes content produced by amateurs so good even if there’s room for improvement in the writing/artwork/design writing/artwork/production values,I’m aware I’m possibly on thin ice here, promoting amateur values, but if the passion of the amateur can be combined with the production values & strategic insights of the professional you’ll have a winning combination that will differentiate your content & social interaction

By |August 21st, 2015|Content, SME Online Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on Professionalism is not enough, great content requires more

Its time to beat procrastination


(image credit: Flickr MORT Radio)

procrastinate verb (procrastinated, procrastinating) intrans to put off doing something that should be done straight away, especially habitually or to an unspecified time(source:

Online Procrastination has been the bane of my self-employed life (and before if I’m being completely honest) the major culprits being my favourite football forum and Facebook, the latter I’d imagine is a problem for a lot of people (going my university laptops & library computers its an issue for a large number of students, in this weeks post I’ll examine ways to both monitor and defeat procrastination and hopefully ensure LOTs of productive work, so if space permits I’ll examine productivity boosting techniques(I think it will)

Why monitor procrastination?

Monitoring procrastination allows you to see the impact of procrastination on your working day & work rate It also enable you to identify which websites are the main culprits for wasted time, I find that my personal procrastination follows set patterns, I agree with Leo Babauta’s assertion that ‘procrastination is a habit’ it is by monitoring your procrastination you can take the steps to eliminate this bad habit


Rescuetime is the mainstay of my procrastination monitoring it provides a handy dashboard which shows where time goes, websites can be graded between very productive to very distracting it is also possible to block ‘very distracting’ websites if the rescuetime browser add-on is added to your browser, I use the premium service for £46 per year which gives access to more features than the free service which doesn’t allow the blocking of distracting websites (which was my primary reason for upgrading) this took a bit of tinkering to activate properly fortunately Firefox support is now far superior

Block those Distractions!

After Monitoring I’d identified my two major time sinks let’s call them, Facebook and football forum, my solution needed to block access to these distractions during work hours (lets say 9 – 5) I investigated a number of solutions for this from the draconian to the basically ineffective.

Working in the garden shed

This was the most draconian solution as there is no Internet connection in the shed I was free from online distractions, unfortunately I was unable to research and monitoring emails was problematic so I ditched this solution, although I did like working out there!

Internet Off

Less draconian but similar to the previous method for this solution I simply unplug my computer and use my phone to monitor social media and email, unfortunately it also limits my ability to research (which is a big part of my typical workday) I overcame this hurdle using Evernote premium (which allows me to clip webpages to my Evernote notebook and access them offline) a less than perfect solution but it helps productivity!


The next solution is similar to Internet off with the same advantages & disadvantages however rather than unplugging the internet, the cheap and easy solution software is used to achieve the same goal (ie preventing internet access) it is only available for the Mac and costs $10 from which conveniently leads us onto my favourite productivity boosting piece of kit the truly fantastic anti social

Anti Social

This is a fantastic piece of software which can block access to selected websites, like Freedom it is produced by 80 per cent solutions, this is a more elegant solution than either Freedom or unplugging the internet which allows you to both research and monitor email, at the time of writing this is my preferred solution, it is available for both Mac & PC

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. Paul J Meyer (source:brainyquote)

Planning & Productivity

The other way to minimise/eliminate procrastination is through Workflow & scheduling, productivity techniques can be used to further improve performance.


Scheduling means that I have a general idea of the goals/aims for a set block of time be it a day or week. This means I develop to-do lists or the equivalent on my planning software; these are developed the night before so I have clear targets for the next days work

The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step

I find the best way to approach writing is to develop a framework for any piece of writing I need to undertake from blog post to eBook, this ensures that there writing is structured and broken down into smaller bite size chunks (typically of about 100 words each), this approach makes writing a LOT less daunting, it can also be applied to other tasks such as creating new websites

Productivity Techniques

My preferred method is a combination of David Allen’s Get things done method where focussing on one task at a time is encouraged, and the pomodoro technique

Pomodoro technique

I don’t want to go overboard describing as there’s plenty of websites that do a good job of this already (see further reading at end), I can provide a broad overview of how it works

Pomodoro Basics

In the Pomodoro technique the day is broken down into 25-minute periods known as pomodoros, after each pomodoro a 5 minute break is encouraged, then after 4 pomodoros a longer 10-15 minute break is taken, the underlying belief here is that frequent breaks help to maintain a good level of productivity throughout the day

Parting thoughts

As I mentioned in the introduction, procrastination is THE major problem when developing new content its so easy to be distracted by the internet & web when researching, the efficient anti procrastination setup I’ve highlighted in this article its now easy for you to both research online & work more efficiently. If I’m now getting a score of 90%+ efficiency (on rescuetime) and less that 15 minutes wasted a day online that’s a level of efficiency I’m quite happy with

By |August 14th, 2015|Content|Comments Off on Its time to beat procrastination

Inbound & Content Marketing whats the difference?

(Source Flickr:Olivier Carré-Delisle)

(Source Flickr:Olivier Carré-Delisle)

This weeks post was inspired by one of previous newsletter it focuses on the confusion between two terms frequently used online content Marketing & inbound marketing. Content Marketing is a vital element of digital marketing with leading authority Keith Koons stating in 2015 “the addition of smartphones in modern society guarantees that content marketing will become more important than all other mediums combined.”

what is content marketing?

The content Marketing institute define content as

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.
Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.(

Wikipedia’s description is more succinct but equally useful

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc

what is inbound marketing?
Wikipedia defines inbound marketing as inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
The other major inbound marketing vendor Hubspot defines inbound marketing as

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

whats the difference?

A number of authorities have commented on the difficulties on identifying the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing, it certainly flummoxed me when I encountered it when Hubspot mapped the difference across departments they found that

Marketers generally share a common understanding of inbound/content marketing, regardless of what marketing software they run.(

When Hubspot investigated this confusion they offered survey respondents 5 options these being

1. They are synonyms.
2. Content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing.
3. Inbound marketing is a subset of content marketing.
4. The two are fundamentally different.
5. Don’t know.
like Joe Chernov who conducted the research I tend to favour the Content Marketing is a subset of inbound option, however Graeme Wilson argues that

‘Although content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing, it can also be used beyond an inbound marketing strategy.(

parting thoughts

This Similarity in the terms is easy to be confused by but I don’t think it’s all that important at the end of the day, inbound or content (if you prefer) Marketing works and that’s the main thing really.Joe Pulizzi concurs with this view stating ‘We are indeed all media companies today and it really doesn’t matter what you call it.”

By |August 7th, 2015|Content|Comments Off on Inbound & Content Marketing whats the difference?

Transform your Content Marketing with an content calendar

This weeks post will introduce what’s regarded as an essential part of the content marketers toolkit, the content calendar (aka the editorial calendar)

What exactly is a content calendar?

The content calendar is far more than a basic list of content titles and production schedules where content creation is a team effort it will ensure that the content workflow is properly coordinated and organised
it will enable resources to be allocated in an orderly fashion, for every piece of content I note the following:

• Unique Content identifier
• Content title
• Content Identifier
• Keywords targeted
• Metadata tags
• Date due
• Publish date
• Format
• Person responsible
• notes

Ok, how can a SME implement a Content Calendar?

As I want to keep costs down at this point, I’m using a simple spreadsheet as the foundation for my first content calendar, where a team of people are developing content I can see this would be a vital tool for coordinating a teams efforts, even as a one man firm I can see this being indispensible as it will enable the coordination of content creation, promotion and social media

Content Calendar Advantages

Experts identify a number of advantages with Copyblogger stating that ‘Content calendars ‘are utterly critical for any content marketing program to be successful.’ (

Content Calendar Solutions

There is a wide range of content calendar solutions available; I’ve tried a few myself with varying degrees of success, the typical small business will wish to keep a reign on expenses and some of the fancier solutions would be more appropriate for an agency rather than a SME, that means I won’t examine services where there is a monthly subscription and will remain focussed on cheap & free alternatives.

MS Outlook & Calendar(Mac)

At the most basic level of actual calendar interface, Outlook & Calendar(Mac) ,these are okay but I find they can be somewhat clunky from a usability perspective and shared access could be a problem, which may make them too limited for content teams.

Google Calendar

Another free option(requiring a Gmail account) which overcomes the shortcomings of the MS Outlook & Calendar solution. Google Calendar allows a team to share access to a central calendar, again the interface is somewhat clunky and there is no option to attach files to the calendar.


The latest solution I’m using is a spreadsheet, MS excel in my case, this allows me to easily store all of the information I require regarding each piece of content (which is quite substantial if the list earlier in the article is to be used, the other advantage is it will enable content audits to be quickly and easily performed. Of the solutions I’ve tried I prefer this one.

Parting thoughts

A content calendar provides a degree of organisation, which is essential if you or your organisation is to meet the challenge (i.e. to produce enough great quality content to meet the goals set out in your content strategy. Where a team develops content, a calendar is essential to coordinate the many content projects, which will be running in parallel.

By |July 17th, 2015|Content|Comments Off on Transform your Content Marketing with an content calendar

Samantha Cristoforetti @AstroSamantha,clearly a woman to be reckoned with

This week’s blog post will be quite literally out of this world (cliché alert!) as it focuses on the social media campaign operated by Samantha Cristoforetti an Astronaut who belongs to the European Space agency, Samantha is currently based on the International Space Station and I’ve been extremely impressed with the social media campaign which she’s conducted whilst orbiting the Earth, in this post I’ll examine what has in my opinion been good about the campaign and why I think its been such a good campaign, I apologise for the cliché I couldn’t resist it 😉

About Samantha

Samantha Cristoforetti is an astronaut & engineer who works for the European Space Agency (ESA) she is also a qualified fighter pilot and captain with the Italian Air Force which she joined in 2001.Samantha is also a polyglot speaking French, English, Italian and Russian more on this later as it impacted on the campaign she delivered.

Engineers Log. Star date 2015!

What brought the Futura mission to my attention was the widely circulated images of Samantha in space wearing a Star trek uniform a la Captain Jane Hathaway from the USS Voyager this was an elegant choice of subject matter given the slightly geeky subject. Sorry Astro physicists and propulsion engineers your field of study is a bit geeky, now what sort of entertainment do geeks enjoy? Science fantasy or science fiction and for 40 years Star trek has been the flagship (no pun intended) of the TV science fiction genre that’s the genius of just this first element of the campaign the initial hook, more science fiction later, I’ll be honest I don’t pay much attention to the European space program before Samantha’s campaign I wasn’t even aware of its existence its not something the UK media generally pick up on

Returning to Science Fiction theme the 25th of May Towel Day was commemorated

… a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. hitchikers guide to the Galaxy

We are very excited to present to you this Towel Day video recorded by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in space, on the ISS, and released while she’s still there. Douglas Adams’ work is read in countries all over the world, but now it has also been read IN SPACE! How cool is that?

Parting thoughts

Samantha has developed or fronted a thoughtful intelligent social media campaign which has made cutting edge science fun and given it a very human face, as I’m not a member of the ESA team, I’m having to extrapolate /guess some of the campaign goals but attracting women into science I could well imagine is a secondary goal of the campaign with raising the profile of ESA being the primary aim, both of these targets have ben quite comfortably achieved.

Multilingual & Multitalented

One of the recurrent themes in the Star Trek universe (I completely refuse to call it a franchise) is the benefit of international cooperation, ember it started at the height of the cold war! Samantha utilised her language skills and released videos & content in English, Russian & Italian given the international nature of the European Space Agency this is completely appropriate and I feel would be perfectly aligned with the late Gene Roddenberry’s vision. ESA state on their website that

ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.(source:

By |June 19th, 2015|Content, Social Media|Comments Off on Samantha Cristoforetti @AstroSamantha,clearly a woman to be reckoned with

The final Ingredient: 4 Metrics for measuring the impact of your content


(image Flickr :Tim Sheerman-Chase)

The final Ingredient: 4 Metrics for measuring the impact of your content
This weeks blog post returns to the content theme and will focus on the measuring the impact of the content you are creating, without measurement its impossible to determine the ROI of your content marketing efforts, to simplify the whole process the aims of your content marketing are defined by the content strategy, the effectiveness of your content strategy is where measurement enters the picture.

The #1 mistake I see demand gen marketers make is not measuring program performance regularly (Heidi Bullock quoted in Lead Generation Metrics: Marketo)

Why measure the impact of content?

Although I can understand why small businesses would look with trepidation at the idea of measuring the impact, I’ll let my inner engineer take over if the impact of content is not measured then it is impossible to accurately gauge how effective your companies new website content has been are the slideshare presentations & videos having the impact you desire? Measurement is an essential part of the feedback loop.

The Different types of measurements

There are a number of different metric frameworks available online for simplicities sake I’ll just use one as a framework for this blog post, the framework developed by Jay Baer (source: )

1. Consumption Metrics
2. Sharing Metrics
3. Lead Generation Metrics
4. Sales Metrics
Lets examine these categories in greater detail as all the metric frameworks I have examined(see further reading) have areas of similarity & overlap

1.Consumption Metrics

Consumption metrics analyses exactly how your content is being accessed. The measurements and tools used are determined by the type of content being analyses from page views for webpages to number of times a downloadable asset has been downloaded or accessed

Sharing Metrics

The next two metrics sharing & engagement have obvious parallels with the monitoring of social media campaigns they measure how much the content is shared and how much engagement the content engenders when shared, good content creates a response. These metrics are easy to measure, with Jay Baer suggesting that perhaps too much attention is paid to these metrics (
Digital Agency Network suggest that

The number of social shares your content receives gives you an idea of how your content resonates with the audience. If they share content with their networks, they find useful, educational and/or entertaining that advances the conversation (Source:

Lead generation metrics

The purpose of this type of metric is to determine how effective your content is at turning consumers into leads, this category measures the efficiency of landing pages, and factors such as Cost per Lead (CPL). Francois Mathieu (uberfip) argues that CPL should only be a concern where companies are out sourcing content creation (source: uberflip)

Parting thoughts

Measurement requires quite a lot of thought and planning however without it it’s impossible to accurately estimate if your content is having the desired effect, given the amount of time and money invested into the creation of content guesswork is not really adequate way of verifying if your content is good enough. Benjamin Spiegel argues ‘You can’t afford guesswork. Your content investment decisions need to be based on objective performance data’( the amount of time which is spent creating & promoting new website content, I completely agree with him.

Further Reading

1. 8 Metrics to Conquer a Content Marketer’s Fear of Measurement
2. Identifying the Metrics That Matter for Your Lead Generation Strategy

By |June 8th, 2015|Content, SME Online Marketing|Comments Off on The final Ingredient: 4 Metrics for measuring the impact of your content