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How Smarp Helps Teams Create and Amplify Brand Content

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What if I told you there were currently over a billion sites on the internet today that were actively creating content? You probably wouldn’t be that surprised, but when you think about the sheer volume of content out there, and how much of it is actually being read – then you might start to see the real picture.

Yes. Content creation is extremely important for businesses and brands of all sizes, but so it team management and making sure your best content is actually being read. This not only applies to creating content for a website or blog, but also for those within your company or organization as well.

Through the use of online tools and team management platforms, anyone can start increasing their engagement, management, and productivity of those around them. That’s exactly what we are going to be looking at today.

We Are All Suffering from Content Overload!

As you can imagine, with so much new content going live on the internet… we are all consumed with way too many distractions, opportunities, emails, and social triggers to pull our eyes away from what we should really all be working on.

At the same time, this can also help online marketers and content creators understand what it takes to create not just ‘better content’, but also how to get it in front of the right audiences as well.

Here are some content creation and marketing best practices to follow:

  • Focus on your target audience and what they are looking for, before actually writing out your content
  • Go for longtail keywords when trying to rank your content in Google. They will get less traffic, but it will be more targeted.
  • When going live with content on your site, don’t just stop there. You then need to focus on the content promotion aspect.
  • Social media sharing is great for online content, but there also needs to be a manual outreach component in there as well. This will take the most time and effort to complete, but will also yield the best results over time.
  • Segmenting and distributing the various tasks of content creation and promotion across your online marketing team is key. Always make sure everyone is on the same page, so the process can be streamlined and proven to be effective time and time again.

Once all of these actions are in place, you can then focus on the core of your business — which is likely driving traffic, leads, and sales back to your site. However, just looking at the tips above and trying to manually implement them all by yourself can be quite a struggle.

This is where employee advocacy and better group management comes into play.

How Employee Engagement and Advocacy Can Save the Day

Imagine if everyone you worked with had a valuable role in marketing your business and actually took the time to help create, read, promote, and contribute to the success of your site. The business impact of this would be astronomical, but getting 100% of your professional network involved simply isn’t realistic.

However, when it comes to the individuals and freelancers who might actually be assigned such work to help grow and business your business – well, that is where employee-centered brand advocacy really can make a huge difference.

If you haven’t heard of employee advocacy yet, don’t worry – many haven’t. But it is commonly used in everyday business, communications, and marketing. In short, “Employee Advocacy is the promotion of a company’s messages by its employees. Employee Advocacy today takes increasingly place online, with social media as the main medium for brand ambassadors.

While that might seem pretty brand or generic, let’s back it up with some industry stats and results of how effective employee advocacy can actually be, when done right.

  • Fact: according to our data, one employee share generates about 4 clicks on Facebook on average. – Smarp
  • “An average employee advocate is 2x more trusted than a company CEO” – Edelman Trust Barometer
  • “12% increase in brand advocacy generates a 2x increase in revenue growth” – Reichheld
  • “Referred employees are faster to hire, perform better, and stay longer in the company.” – Global Recruiting Trends 2017, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Now imagine if these same metrics were able to be applied to your online business? Good news! They can be, and now it’s actually easier than ever before, thanks to online tools and platforms that focus on making employee advocacy and a big win for companies, but also fun, engaging, and reward for all employees and team members as well.

One such solution is Smarp, which has created a platform that allows employees to connect and engage with company news, discussions and curated content, right from their computer or mobile device — all while being on a private platform that was built just for them.

Features Within the Smarp Platform

To better understand how employee advocacy works, we can look at some of the key features built within the Smarp platform. The main focus here is to provide a customized, categorized internal news feed and user environment for everyone working within a company or group. The idea is not just to consume and share out content, but to also engage and interact with others in the same work community as well.

Smarp currently has the following features available to their customers:

  • Intuitive news feed
    The news feed is the heart of the Smarp app. Here employees discover content, interact with each other and share knowledge both internally and externally to their personal social networks and beyond.
  • Employee-driven content creation and curation
    Content curation and creation should ideally be everyone’s business. On Smarp, marketers and other admins can post content for discussion and distribution using automation tools or manual pushes, but thanks to submission functions and comment threads, the platform wisely makes it easy for non-marketing employees to step up as the main sources of knowledge.
  • Employee-generated content
    Curated content is organized into themed channels called “Topics.” Users can easily change what content they scroll through by clicking across the specific topics that interest them most – or, for a complete briefing, just clicking on “All Topics” at the top.
  • A directory for company resources
    With your company’s go-to resources and assets stored all over the place – web pages, Google docs, Dropbox and beyond – it’s hard to keep everything easily accessible to everyone who needs it. With Smarp, you can set up a topic called “Resources,” simply post links to each useful page and document, and you’re good to go with your dynamic library. It’s the perfect hub for contact details, link directories, marketing collateral, guidelines and policies, to name a few.

To see all of this in action and gain a better visual understanding of how Smarp can help improve your brand or business productivity, while also introducing employee advocacy in the process, be sure to check out the short video below.

Ready to bring your content and employees together?

This isn’t rocket science. We all know that content creation is one of the most powerful things on the internet today. Through the use of online tools that allow anyone to not just create content online, but also to connect and engage with others, there is simply no reason not to improve your game and bring it to that next level – whether you are an individual blogger, a brand, or a multi-million dollar agency.

Take the time to explore the opportunities that lie within employee advocacy and see how you can start applying these same practices into your own day to day operations.

Michael Kwan is a professional freelance writer and author based out of Vancouver. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he writes about technology, parenting, food, and the Internet. You can find him blogging regularly at Beyond the Rhetoric. And it's not a dad bod; he prefers the term "father figure."

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Every Blogger Walks a Different Path

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Neil Patel walks a different path than I. I walk a different blogging path than you. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two bloggers walk the same exact path. We take different routes. Different journeys require different strategies, detours, tactics and strategies. Neil walked an SEO-rich path. I do not. I chose a prolific, SEO-free path. No one mimics a fellow blogger perfectly because no two humans have the same experience. We succeed by differentiating. Never believe you need to walk the same path as some blogging pro to succeed. Of course, doing so proves fruitless because no two bloggers walk the same blogging journey. Never try to do the impossible. Stop believing you need to do the same things top bloggers do to succeed like top bloggers. I broke many traditional blogging rules to circle the globe as a pro blogger. Of course I created a blogging course, eBooks and audio books. Content? Check. Connections? Check. I honored fundamentals to succeed but never tried mimicking the same journey as any top blogger.

Walk your blogging path. Take your blogging journey. Your blogging path separates you from the herd. My travel stories and blogging lessons make me different from any blogger. Ditto for you. We all have different experiences to call upon for becoming a successful blogger. Respect your uniqueness. Find your blogging flow. I do not enjoy doing SEO to drive Google traffic. Why would I force a blogging journey trough some strategy I disliked working?  I should just work a job if I did something for money versus working for passion. Of course, I never took a path like Neil Patel because I do not enjoy SEO-optimizing posts. I succeeded through another strategy. Never believe you need to walk the same path as pros to become successful as pros. New bloggers swing and miss daily by believing success is writing 4,000 word, SEO-optimized posts dominating competitive keywords on Google. Are you nuts? Neil Patel dominates competitive keywords on Google after 10,000 plus hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. You have 5 or 10 hours or maybe 100 hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. You have another 10,000 hours of blogging work to do before being skilled, creative and connected enough to dominate page 1 of Google for 1 – let alone 20 – competitive keywords.

But you may dislike SEO all together. Take a different blogging path. Find tactics resonant with you. Perhaps building bonds with bloggers and creating helpful content feels fun to you. Take that route. But know your path differs from any blogging path because we each fly solo and learn different lessons for specific parts of our blogging journey. No two bloggers walk in the same blogging shoes. No two bloggers walk the same blogging path. Two bloggers may walk similar blogging journeys. Bloggers sometimes walk similar blogging paths. But nobody walks identical paths because bloggers have different experiences to learn from during our blogging journey.

Respect your path. Honor your progression. Accept how you blog in the perfect place, at the perfect time, now. Do not resist your blogging path. Everything brought you here to this point now. Accepting your present state of blogging growth reduces resistance to future growth. Surrender serves as a powerful concept. Be completely at peace with your blogging growth now. Hug your progress. Walk your blogging path. Of course, note wins. Celebrate success. Avoid comparing yourself to bloggers. Bloggers experience different situations to benefit from different circumstances. We all have different lessons to learn on our respective blogging journeys. Honor this truth. Cultivate peace of mind. Position yourself to succeed. Walk your one-of-a-kind blogging path to experience your greatest success.

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Hobbies Change for Habits to Change

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Over a decade ago, I woke up, watched TV, grabbed breakfast, hit the gym for bodybuilding and returned home to watch a DVD movie. At 2:30 PM I prepared for work. I drove to my security guard job. By 10:30 PM on most nights I drove home. Evening movie. Sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat the following day. I worked a security guard job. My hobbies consisted of lifting weights and watching TV. But my hobbies and habits changed the moment I became a blogger. Morning breakfast vanished. I stopped going to the time-consuming gym. Watching movies every day? Fat chance. My bodybuilding workout and movie hobbies had to change for me to begin the habits of meditating, doing yoga and expanding my awareness daily. Hobbies change before habits change.

New bloggers often struggle because newbies cling to old, worn out, failing hobbies like:

  • watching TV for hours nightly
  • mindlessly cruising the internet for hours nightly
  • mindlessly gossiping on the phone or with family for hours nightly

These low-energy hobbies need to change pronto for you to develop fun, freeing, higher energy habits like meditating, doing yoga, blogging generously and engaging in some form of exercise. Picture those 4 hours you waste on watching TV each evening. How do you find time to engage in different habits? Change your hobbies. Out goes TV, or, TV just consumes 45 minutes per evening. Enter 20 minutes of meditating. Release some hobbies. Fill the time with different, empowering, freeing, sometimes uncomfortable habits. Imagine watching the idiot box for 3 hours nightly. 3 hours pass. Nothing profitable, productive or empowered happens watching the television. But for you to be a pro blogger you need to spend those 3 hours meditating for perhaps 10 minutes and blogging for the remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes. Change your hobbies to create space for changing habits. Changing habits accelerates, colors and influences hobby changes too. My hobbies went from watching TV to circling the globe on meditating more deeply, doing more yoga and spending more time in serious introspection. Life became more uncomfortable but far more fun and freeing as my hobbies and habits changed. I preferred to wander around Ubud, Bali versus watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My hobbies changed for the better. I respect how we all travel different paths but if your hobbies and habits never changed, you are either enlightened, and never needed to change your meditating and yoga habits, or you have been making fear-driven, comfortable, confining choices wasting your life.

I have yet to see a genuinely happy, peaceful, powerful, prospering person who watches more than 2-3 hours of TV every single night. People call TV the idiot box because television makes you an idiot. Mindless, bland, non-stimulating TV watching does nothing for your growth, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and overall abundance. Empowered bloggers cannot spend 5 seconds on idle, mindless, dingbat-style activities. Stop spending hours watching TV each evening. Start spending hours blogging and working on your abundance mindset. Buy a blogging eBook. Surround yourself with pro bloggers. Learn from these pros. Mimic their ways. Gain inspiration from their example. Fill time not with garbage but with goal-achieving, fun, freeing and sometimes scary blogging actions. First, the hobbies change. Gone goes watching TV, gossiping and wasting time on low energy actions. Habits change with the hobby vacuum being void. Begin meditating. Start doing yoga. Awareness-expanding activities unearth fears, nudge you toward love, amplify your generosity and accelerate your blogging success.

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Contact Page: Yes or No?

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Should you post a contact page on your blog?

In most cases, yes. In few cases, no. Let’s dive in.

Yes

For almost all bloggers, posting a contact page on your blog allows readers to contact you quickly and easily. Before traffic and business grows you need to connect with readers fast. Seamlessly connecting with you allows readers to grow your blogging traffic and profits. Picture a potential client with questions about your services. How quickly can the person ask questions and get answers to make an informed decision? Publish a clear, easy to see and easier to use contact page to give clients an easy way to get their questions answered. Clear clients who vibe with your services hire you. Making money online becomes easier if people connect with you quickly via contact pages.

No

But in a few cases, not posting a contact page actually grows your business. Incredibly busy bloggers with huge, engaged readerships need to cut down on spam and other non-relevant emails. Removing your contact page instantly cuts down on spammy submissions. Publish a contact page and you waste precious time sifting through emails littered with spam, unsolicited pitches and other time sucks. Even if you have not made millions yet, removing your contact page may be a springboard to greater success. Devote time and energy spent sifting through emails to guest posting, genuine blog commenting and promoting fellow bloggers on your blog. Leverage.  Spend time intelligently. Reach bigger, targeted audiences by releasing time-wasting activities. Removing contact pages works for incredibly busy bloggers slowly being overrun by spam submissions sent via contact pages. Spend this saved time growing your blogging business through leveraging.

Trust Your Intuition

Intuitively, my gut told me to remove my contact page months ago. I became busier but noted a high ratio of spam submissions through the page. Lazy, non-targeting, struggling entrepreneurs mindlessly click on contact pages and send generic emails, wasting my time and their time. Removing my contact page instantly lowered these spammy submissions by 70% to 80%. Most people who email me now seem to be serious entrepreneurs. These people want to work for me. Gone are lazy bloggers and outreach specialists who wish not to do the legwork of finding my email addy on my About page. I want people to work a little bit to contact me. Of course, working a little bit proves individuals genuinely want to connect with you to discuss business, to ask questions or to simply connect. Build posture. Do you want lazy, mindless people to contact you? Or do you prefer serious, genuine people to contact you?

Ultimately, trust your intuition. I suggest most bloggers to publish contact pages because the majority wants to be easily reachable for increasing your blogging presence. But being busier after building your blogging business makes you think twice about allowing people to connect with you easily.

I wanted to add how even though I publish no contact page, people reach me easily via Twitter and Facebook. I respond to DMs on Twitter, I scan @replies and also respond to Messages on Facebook, including my Message Requests.

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