They save the world all the time, looking cool while doing it.
They all have their strengths and know each other’s weaknesses.
They work together as a team to stop villains who threaten to wipe out humanity. Spoiler alert – they actually do in the end.
They don’t get paid to do these things; just the feeling of happiness knowing they’ve served humanity, is enough.
See a pattern? There are Avengers right amongst us! You don’t need to go to a movie theatre to see them. Here are the 5 avengers heroes you will find, or need, for your startup.
Okay, he might not be the strongest (when it comes to skill sets) among the avengers, nor the one with all the cool gadgets or money, but captain is good at one thing, “captaining”. A born leader, captain usually takes the reins and guides the team from one adventure to the next. He manages team efforts, assigns tasks to people based on their strengths, is calm but assertive, and always plans the bigger picture.
Who is the captain in your startup?
Look closely and your CEO might just have all these qualities, plus the uncanny ability to spot risks and opportunities. He need not be good with coding or numbers, but he will almost always know how to “get things done” by the right people.
So look to your captain for inspiration; and, if he doesn’t inspire you, maybe you should jump teams, or change the Captain!!
2. Iron Man
Tony Stark might be richer than all the Avengers combined, and that’s probably because he has a giant-sized brain. Making a flying, rocket firing, beam shooting contraption is not an easy task, but Stark makes it looks like child’s play. He built his first suit while being captive in a cage (while the rest of us find it difficult to even make fire without gas).
So why do you need Tony Stark on your team?
In the early stages of a startup, a good quality product will make your company stand out, and building a good product needs a solid engineering team. These guys are the ones who know the ins and outs of the workings of your app or website (better than everyone else). They have the passion to succeed and the ability to think outside the box. They need not have great people skills like the captain, but they should atleast be able to build and test and see your product through.
So go ahead, hire the queer full stack developer who insists on bringing his cat to work.
3. Black widow
No team is complete without the presence of a strong female character, and the same is true with the avengers. Natasha Romanov brings the much needed balance to the team and acts as the voice of reason in times of crisis. She is the Captain’s go-to person, and although she may not be strong like the Hulk or be able to fly like Iron Man, she is a deadly assassin who is the best at what she does-kicking a**.
Although universally, startups are seen as male dominated territory, I cannot help stress the importance of having female presence in your early team. They provide a whole new perspective for many problems, are usually more creative than their male counterparts, and can help make your startup more gender-equal.
Kick away black widow, kick away!
This avenger is the one with dramatic entrance, who literally brings charm to the entire team. Thor can fly, has a cool hammer that only he can use, and has a quirky dress sense that makes him look like he’s stepped out of a Shakespearean play. In one word, Thor has personality, and that’s the one quality your Marketing Head needs.
Your marketing person breathes life into your team, business and product, and should have ideas that will make your brand propel upwards. The ideal marketer is well rounded (like Thor), has travelled a lot and seen many places (like Thor) and has a hammer of a voice that only he can wield with conviction (again, like Thor). He has to work well in a team and have strong presence. A quirky sense of humour is not a necessity, but definitely a plus. He might also have a crazy half brother whose life mission is to destroy the avengers, but not everything shows up in background checks!
Just make sure your marketer has strong personality and a voice that’s original.
5. The Hulk
The strongest person on the team without any doubt, Hulk is trained to focus on just one thing. Smash things. His alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, is a brilliant physicist who helps Tony Stark in all things tech. So who is that Dr. Bruce Banner/ Green Monster combo on your team who has enormous potential but also can get the basics right when needed?
The answer? Interns.
That’s right, young fresh minds have a lot of untapped potential. It is up to the Captain, and the entire team, to nurture these young minds and help them unleash their full potential. Interns in your startup need to be highly self-motivated to cope up with challenges of a startup, and yet they must also have the potential to turn into rockstars and get things done when needed. Stay away from those who have anger issues like Hulk.
There you go. These are the 5 kinds of Avengers you need in your startup. Honourable mentions include Hawkeye, Black Panther, Dr Strange, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, but we don’t want our startups to be too crowded 🙂
We’ve all done it and if you’re a content marketer, there are high chances, you’ve done it too!
You love it and have seen its results over time.
It’s so addictive that once you start, it’s pretty easy to lose touch with how much time you’ve spent doing it.
No, I’m not talking about cocaine. I’m talking about organic content marketing. Sending out creative emails, writing blog posts with interesting titles, and in general, any hair-brained idea that brings traffic to your site naturally over time.
And who else to teach it better than the man himself, Pablo Escobar!!
Okay, you must be wondering, how running a Columbian drug cartel relates to attracting people to a site?
Vamos, let’s get started!
1. Think differently and creatively
When the cocaine market started in Columbia, it was controlled by small cartels and people who weren’t aware of the true value of the powder.
It was Escobar who had this grand vision to ship the powder across America and make millions of dollars. Of course, the rest is history (Escobar, with his cocaine millions, bought half of Columbia).
The lesson here is this. Think of your organic marketing strategy as a long-term strategy. Any real marketer knows that getting traffic to a site with just interesting blog posts and emails will take time, so don’t expect dramatic results overnight. Instead, take small measures towards this greater vision.
Infact, think of it as a small cocaine sapling you’re watering every day. You need to let it grow, harvest it, process it in a lab, and smuggle it across the ocean before you see results. The money will always come (unless the cops catch you, which rarely happens if you’re marketing just content and not cocaine!)
Experiment with a small audience, like Escobar did with Columbia. Always have a target, and then once you do, target your content to reach that defined user base. When the targeted users land on your page, let the content be addictive enough to keep them there and allow them to grow that base with their people; that’s when you know you’ve succeeded like Escobar.
2. Grease the right hands / pay the right people
Escobar had informants in almost every division of the Columbian Law Enforcement Department. These people would tip him off countless times before the cops could raid his place.
He employed kids on streets to do his bidding, track police movements and share vital information.
No, hold your horses, I’m not telling you to recruit young boys and girls to write your blogs.
What I’m saying is, first, create high quality stuff, that’s also engaging, interesting, and informative enough to build your credibility gradually, like Escobar. Then, pay the right people to spread the word, think facebook, linkedin, twitter or other relevant social media platforms, or even influencers and search engines. (PS: Don’t skip this step).
If you’re starting up small, you might have to get your own hands dirty initially, and write a few posts yourself. You can otherwise consider paying a sum to hire quality writers and agencies to write quality blogs. It might also be a good idea to get a mention in a popular blog.
The last part may seem hard, but it’s not impossible. Write quality posts, reach the right people and network your way to the top. Hey, if Pablo could make it to the Columbian Parliament, you can easily get your content published on a popular blog!
3. Diversify your channels / approach
How do you smuggle a ton of cocaine without the cops noticing it? You shape it like a ceramic toilet, ofcourse!
Escobar was known to use many innovative methods to get his stash across the border, and that’s what you should aim for too! You see, for a good organic content marketing strategy to work, you need to repurpose your content to as many channels as possible, all at once.
A post on social media, a blog on your website and an email outreach program, all at the same time is proven to be more effective than using organic marketing in an intermittent fashion. Remember, to keep your audience at the front and centre of everything you do.
There you have it, 3 organic marketing lessons from a Columbian drug lord.
Like this article? Go ahead, comment, share and spread the love, for Pablo’s sake!
You can be the most knowledgeable person in your subject, with writing skills that even literature reviewers will envy and awe. But, every writer and content team in 2018 understands that without SEO optimisation, star quality content will not achieve its viewership and reach targets.
So, with great writing, comes great responsibility – to perform well in Google search engines. And so the new lay of the online land is:
Create for people and search engines alike.
But just how do you walk the thin line between marrying your audience to search engine algorithms? Here are 7 beginner lessons.
1. A short, teaser title that also avoids truncation in search
Most search engines are optimised for titles that are between 50 and 60 words. Anything beyond 60 words runs a high risk of being truncated in search results. And no reader wants to see a half-title, ending with ellipsis either. Your title can include brand name or numbers, but more importantly it should elicit a sense of mystery from the reader.
2. A URL that’s short and sweet
The sin of URLs is its lengthy concoctions of random numbers and letters, that offer no clue to the readers on its content. A URL necessitates keywords that do the job of being descriptive, short, yet meaningful. The URL should enlighten the reader on what to expect at first glance.
3. Meta descriptions
How can words not even present in the main article, hold so much power over page views and readership? Welcome to meta-descriptions. These need to be enriched with words that are targeted towards your audience. It also helps to keep the length of the description between 70 and 160 characters. Now, what would happen if you don’t enter this meta-data? The search engine will automatically gather a random paragraph from your article in its place (which is not always a good thing).
4. H1 tags for competent headings
H1 tags are known to hold high value in SEO ranking of a website. They are the most noticeable piece of content. It is usually an HTML tag that points towards the primary headline on the page. It is necessary that the heading answers the how, what and when of the article, in order to be more receptive. Characters that exceed 70 are prone to water down the impact of SEO.
Protip 1: Crosscheck the source code to ensure your page contains only one H1 tag. While current search engines are technically sound to not confuse multiple headings, this tiny glitch can deal a big blow to your SEO.
Protip 2: If the post is text heavy, like a heavy blog post, make sure to include H2, H3 and H4 headings for reading simplicity and aesthetic value.
5. Keywords, the thesaurus has you covered
Search engines do not particularly like articles overloaded with keywords. So, they have a tendency to ban sites that overuse them. Make sure to strategically use keywords for 2-5% of the entire content. Disperse them among headings, paragraphs and image captions. This is where a great vocabulary (or a thesaurus) comes to the rescue.
6. Eye-popping images
From a visual standpoint, images grab more attention than the content itself. But from an SEO standpoint, it is necessary to use the target keyword in the filename of the image, as well as in the ALT tag. This can ensure additional benefit of the article popping up in image searches. Second, having a large file size can move the reader away from the page, as well as lower your SEO ratings. More importantly, ensure the image aligns well with the text in your article.
7. Internal and External links
In order to show Google that your content is well researched and cites adequate information, links are a prominent part of your SEO tactic. Linking to two or three popular and trusted sites helps boost the overall value of your page, which is sought after by search engines. Also, adding links to your internal (and external) webpages is a great way to increase SEO ratings. Not only does this ensure easier access of relevant content to users, but also aids in search engines recognising your pages. All these translate to a good Google Page Ranking.
Do keep in mind, on-page SEO is just a small piece of the big SEO puzzle. Overall design of the website, ease of browsing in mobile, speed, fonts and quality of images come together to paint the bigger picture. So, make sure to keep these tips into consideration the next time you churn out content for the World Wide Web.
In 2019, it is estimated that more than 2.77 Billion social media users will be active on the Internet. However, only 36% of respondents to a B2B content marketing study say they are very committed to building a strong social media presence.
There might be instances where you feel your company has missed out on key elements of the social media bandwagon, but fret not. Here are 6 tips to help you skyrocket likes and reputation of your business, in the digital sphere.
1. Start with defining your personality
a. How will your brand engage with clients online? Does your content style necessitate a serious and formal approach or would a slightly casual tone make you stand out?
b. Linguistic style: Does your industry demand frequent usage of acronyms and jargons, or would you engage better with a simplistic style?
c. End goal of being on social media: Are you online to educate? To rake in likes or to entertain and influence?
2. Be more human
In the case of Social Media, conversing like a human, can prove more effective in getting digital traction. Although the general notion might still be to go with a formal corporate approach, responding to comments or enquiries with first names of clients, or blending in elements of humor and wit does help steer your social media growth.
ProTip: Build engaging stories, flaunt recent case studies, or even a good CSR post.
3. Understand what shakes your reader
Many readers are predictable. They tend to favor a certain piece of content, over and over again. While some are inspired by motivational quotes, others might prefer how-to posts. Observe and listen to the voices of your reader, then filter high-grade content accordingly.
4. Stay close to current trends
By gauging moods and trends, it is possible to steer your digital trajectory, upwards. For ex. if you were to write about “tips to keep your data secure” at the peak of the Ransomware malware attack, instead of during peak festivities, chances are you’ll get a lot of reader attention.
5. Tease to please
Any accomplished writer or journalist will swear by the importance of an awesome headline. While the body of your post might have content that can potentially turn around fortunes, it can easily be missed, owing to your boring headline. Keep them short, mysterious and unique, while maintaining a certain degree of suspense and interest for later.
6. Get employee buy-in
76% of respondents in a survey said, they trust content shared by other individuals, as compared to those shared by company pages. Additionally, messages shared by employees reached 561% further as compared to messages shared through official handles. It is imperative to create an employee culture that takes pride in the accomplishments of the company, and where in turn, the employees can engage in the most reliable and effective marketing method known to man i.e. word of mouth.
In the end, while it might seem that great social media footprint depends on great content, it is of equal prominence to take into consideration the timing, research and marketing – to ensure maximum impact.