How Frequently Businesses Publish Content

Just over half of digital marketers say their company publishes online content daily, according to recent research from The Manifest. However, the frequency of publishing tends to vary significantly based on company size. Read the full article at MarketingProfs


Forget Guest Posting. Here’s Why Guest Podcasting is King.

You’ve probably heard the benefits of guest posting so many times you could rattle them off right now.

Guest posting can bring you increased exposure.

It can help build backlinks.

You can gain new trust with your audience.

Your content will reach a new group of individuals.

The list goes on and on.

But guest posting isn’t always the best way to expand your reach or improve your authority.

While it’s a powerful tool, sometimes it just misses the mark.

If you already have a solid blog strategy, guest blogging will only diversify your reach so much.

You’re creating new content, but it’s still just more of the same.

To truly expand your reach, you want to dip into new content forms – such as podcasting.

Appearing as a guest on another individual’s podcast can bring serious benefits to your marketing.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider bringing guest podcasting into your content marketing mix.

1. You’ll reach an entirely new, engaged audience

One of the biggest reasons marketers choose to create a guest blogging strategy is to expand their audience and reach new potential customers.

You can get your name, insights, and information in front of an audience loyal to the site you’re posting on.

However, when creating guest blog posts, you’re still only targeting one group of people – those who like blog posts.

Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys reading.

To reach them, you need to create new forms of content.

Appearing as a guest on a podcast not only puts you in front of a loyal group of followers, it also opens the door on a whole new set of individuals who prefer to listen to their content.

About 4 in 10 Americans are tuning into podcasts.

percentage of americans that ever listened to podcasts

This growing industry may be occurring for a number of reasons.

First, more and more users are turning to smart speakers for entertainment.

In fact, 30% of smart speaker owners said that they are using their speaker to replace time with their TV.

This tells us that more individuals are tuning into audio content in place of visual.

Customers are also more likely to come back to podcasts on their own.

In traditional blogging and web content, it isn’t likely that a customer will come back to your site to check on new content without some prompting.

However, many podcasts listeners are likely to tune in when they know a new show is available.

Some podcasts have even developed a cult-like following.

Take a look at the My Favorite Murder podcast, for example.

Their Facebook page alone has gained almost 200,000 likes.

my favorite murder facebook page

On this page, listeners can discuss episodes, ideas, and share links for more information.

When guesting on a podcast with this kind of audience, the conversation doesn’t end when the show is over.

Associating your name with a podcast that is well loved within its community can also dramatically improve your brand’s awareness and credibility.

The benefits are similar to when you guest post.

First, your host will typically talk about your appearance on their social platforms.

While doing pre-show marketing, this can build some anticipation on who you are and what you’ll have to talk about.

Here’s an example from Pod Save America.

pod save america guest

This update does a couple of things.

First, because this is a live recording of one of their podcasts, Pod Save America is using their guest as a marketing tool to sell more tickets.

However, alerting followers who maybe aren’t in the Las Vegas area of who the show’s guest is can get people excited.

Anyone interested in hearing what Jacky Rosen has to say can tune in.

You may even be able to get your host to share some of your content to help their listeners better understand why they should tune in.

Once the show airs, your host may continue to promote the recording through their social media.

If they have a unique account just for their podcast, this can increase your exposure.

Here’s an example from the podcast Live Over Exist and its host Alisha Nicole.

living over existing podcast tweet

alisha podcast tweet

The Live Over Exist account has just a few hundred followers, meaning that one post could only reach so far.

But Alisha’s account has over 8,400 followers – dramatically increasing the number of individuals the content gets in front of.

While the posts are exactly the same, they’re going out to two potentially different audiences.

This gives you even more brand exposure, helping to improve your awareness.

As they continue to push their audience back to this post, they will associate your name, content, and brand with the show.

Being featured on a podcast can also help increase your backlinks.

Podcasts are typically located in a number of places.

First, the host may have their own unique website for their podcast. This is one place where you can secure a backlink.

Check out how Think Creative Collective displays their “Strategy Hour” podcast guests.

strategy hour podcast guest

Not only does their guest Katie get a link to her website, but she also has an image, bio, and links to her social accounts.

Second, your host may feature their podcast on other streaming sites, such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

This may be able to secure you a backlink.

Guesting on a podcast at the right time can also help you sell books, promote a product, or even talk about a podcast or webinar of your own.

However, you should always discuss this with the host beforehand.

In most cases, they’ll want to help you out.

But you don’t want to go on their show and turn it into a sales pitch.

Instead, you can find ways to work with your host to ensure your messaging sounds natural and timely – while still making it clear you have something to sell.

2. You can improve trust, credibility, and relationships

Getting a guest post slot is great – especially if it’s on a high-traffic website.

But guest posting isn’t that exciting for your audience.

While you may be thrilled to be featured on a new website, your audience, business partners, or competition may not see it as that big of a deal.

This is because uploading a blog post to a website is pretty low risk.

Website owners can upload as many guest posts as they want.

But when it comes to podcasting, there’s much more competition to get featured.

Whether you’re coming on to talk about your brand or you’re providing an expert opinion, there was something in you that made the host want to have you on their show.

This kind of reaffirmation can improve trust and credibility with your audience – and give you something to brag about on your website.

Becoming a guest on a podcast can also help humanize you.

If you’re not used to appearing in videos or other audio forms of content, it can be challenging for your customers to put a name or face to your company.

Here are a few tips from Cracker Jack Marketing to keep in mind when trying to humanize your brand.

ways to humanize your brand

Just talking about your brand – rather than writing about it – can help your audience become more familiar with who you are.

As they get to know your personality, they can create stronger connections with you.

This can improve their relationship with your brand, potentially turning them into long-term customers.

Becoming a guest on a podcast can also create a stronger relationship with your host.

Unlike guest blogging, being a guest on a podcast forces you to have an actual conversation with your host.

While you might exchange a few emails with your guest post host, they don’t really get to know you.

Guest podcasting, on the other hand, encourages an in-depth dialogue that might last anywhere from 30 minutes to even an hour and a half.

In fact, the average podcast length is a little over 40 minutes.

This can allow you to establish a business relationship with your host.

You can open up new doors for future guest posting or podcasting opportunities, or even collaborate on bigger partnerships together, like a webinar or course.

3. You only need to put in minimal effort

When you’re a guest on a podcast, all you need to do is show up.

Sure, you’ll need to put a bit of planning into what you’re going to say or talk about, but you don’t need to worry about marketing, promotion, or listeners.

That’s all left to the host.

To make things even easier, you and your host will probably discuss what you’ll cover during your show time.

Your host might even tell you their questions early on or ask if you have any points you’d like to cover.

This allows you to come fully prepared, making your appearance a breeze.

When you’re a podcast guest, you also don’t need to worry about purchasing podcast equipment like microphones or editing software.

You’re also not responsible for hosting or production fees – which can become seriously expensive.

This is how Jeff Large at Come Alive Creative breaks down podcast expenses:

  • $100 – $300/hour for consultation and training
  • $10-50/month for membership sites
  • $500 – $1000/month for weekly episode editing
  • $1/minute for transcriptions

This brings the total to between $1200 and $4000 per month just to run your podcast.

And this is before any kind of marketing!

While there are some ways you can create a podcast on a budget, cutting corners may end up hurting you in the end.

But when you’re a guest, you don’t need to worry about these costs.

You just have to show up or call in for your segment.

Compared to a blog post, podcasting is a great way to get your name out there when you don’t have a lot of time to invest.

Writing blog posts or creating videos and infographics take a lot of time, editing, designing, and researching.

The commitment is even greater if you’re not naturally quick at producing those items.

However, with a podcast, you’re just there to talk.

Better yet, you’re there to talk about things you’re already an expert in.

You don’t need to worry about learning something new or teaching your audience how to do something.

Instead, you’re there to give your opinion and share your own thoughts.

Take this example of guest Nanine Nyman McCool sharing her experience on a podcast.

pantsuit nation guest podcast facebook post

Nanine isn’t showing up on the Pantsuit Nation podcast to teach listeners something new or to try and persuade them one way or another.

Instead, she was featured as a guest to talk about a video and experience she captured at an event.

This allows for minimal preparation before appearing.

You’re also splitting your time with the host and their regular schedule.

While it will depend on the structure of the show you appear on, you may actually only be on-air for a few minutes.

Still, you can gain all the benefits of guest podcasting – from the promotion to the backlinks.

It will also be the host’s job to ensure the show is up to standards with their listeners.

You want to be a great guest and provide valuable insights, but the host isn’t likely to cut your entire segment if they don’t believe it is valuable.

Unfortunately, if you deliver a guest blog post they don’t like, they may shoot you away.

Appearing as a guest on a podcast is great for the entrepreneur always on the go looking to expand their reach or audience.

4. You’ll have loads of great, high-quality content at the end of your show

The podcast itself is a great form of content.

But podcasts are still a growing industry.

In fact, only 9% of respondents said they wanted to see more podcast content in the future.

what type of content do people want

But this doesn’t mean podcasting is a waste of time.

As we covered before, more and more individuals are becoming familiar with podcasting.

In fact, that number is projected to continue to climb in the next few years – increasing to 112 million by 2021.

growth and projections of podcast listeners

But a podcast can become much more than a podcast.

You can also make so much more out of your appearance – even if you were only on air for a few moments.

Once a show is done, your host will typically want to share the content with their audience.

This most commonly is done in the form of podcast replays online.

However, they may also share a transcript of the video for individuals who would rather read or skim the contents.

Here’s an example of a full podcast transcript from ProBlogger.

problogger podcast episode transcript

Podcast listeners can either follow along or skim through to see if the information is relevant to them – similar to a blog post.

They may even choose to write a blog post related to the topics you talked about.

Others may share overviews of your conversation with timestamps.

Check out how Jason Calacanis, host of “This Week in Startups” does this on his personal blog.

this week in startups timestamps

Rather than just giving away all the content in a blog post or transcript, Jason points out key moments throughout the podcast that listeners can refer to.

This brings the attention back to the podcast while still appealing to individuals who may not want to listen to the entire show.

This is also a great way to pull quotes that you can then share on social or your website.

Some podcast hosts will even turn their podcast shows into YouTube videos, making it more accessible and easier to share online.

The Femtrepreneur Show takes live recordings of their podcasts to share as YouTube videos.

femtrepreneur youtube channel

Participants can then share this video right on their social platforms, getting more engagement and attracting new audiences.

Going back to our graph of most desired content in the future, videos was number one.

By turning your podcast into a video, you can knock out two forms of content in one go.

Any kind of content your host creates can provide you with great materials for sharing on your own website or social platform.

Adding each of these pieces into your marketing mix can allow you to promote content without needing to actually create it yourself.

But you don’t have to be limited to only the content they’re creating.

If you find that your host is missing some content opportunities, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and see if you can produce something new.

When creating your own content, think of how you might want to present the conversation you’ve had.

This might be in the form of quotes on social media or a list of takeaways on your blog.

You can also dive a bit deeper to create a video or infographic about the topics you’ve covered.

When you’re pulling information directly from the podcast conversation, you can produce a high-quality, shareable piece of content without needing to do too much additional research.

You can also get your content shared with your host and their various social platforms – again, expanding your reach and helping you get in front of new audience members.

5. Your listeners are more likely to stay engaged until the end

With blog posts, infographics, or even videos, we frequently see that customers are leaving the content before they reach the end.

They skim – and they can miss out on some major points when they do this.

Not only that, but it can hurt your chances of making a strong first impression.

If a visitor only skims through the headers of your blog post, they’re not learning enough about you to stay engaged.

They’ll forget about you as soon as they leave the page.

But when it comes to podcasts, this isn’t exactly true.

In fact, 86% of podcast listeners make it to the end or almost to the end of each podcast episode.

amount of podcast episodes listened to

Let’s think about why podcast listeners might be more likely to finish a podcast than a traditional reader.

First, podcasters are typically multitasking.

From this same study, we see that podcast listeners are mostly tuning in while at home or in the car.

where are people listening to podcasts

Whether they’re driving to work or they’re cleaning the house, this additional action means they’re engaged in something else as they’re listening.

They’re busy, so they don’t have time to scroll.

This isn’t true when they’re online.

If they’re browsing the web, scrolling through their social media, or checking their inbox, there is always another piece of content waiting for them to finish.

This kind of anxiety might push them on to the next thing.

The inability to skim may also keep them on the podcast for the entire time.

Podcasts are similar to a movie where blog posts are like a book.

In a book, if you want to know what happens, you can flip to the last page and see how it ends.

A movie, however, is much more complicated.

Movie watchers – and podcast listeners – need to stick around to see how things pan out.

Sure, they may skip around and fast-forward here and there, but without any textual clues to know where they are in the program, it’s much more complicated.

When you have your audience engaged for the entire duration of the program, you can get deeper into your ideas.

This can improve your authority and help you prove to listeners that you know what you’re talking about.


Sure, guest posting should still be an important part of your marketing strategy.

But if you’re only focusing on how you can use blog posts to expand your audience, there are only so many new customers you can attract.

By expanding your reach into the world of podcasting, you can reach new individuals and dip into a new form of content.

Interviewing on another’s podcast is an easy, cheap, and effective way to expand your audience and generate new leads.

So, why aren’t you doing it?

How has guest podcasting helped you improve your marketing?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.


How to Speed Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

Reading is the best thing I’ve done to help me progress professionally.

From working as a retail store manager and in a call center, to working as a senior marketing manager for one of the world’s largest publishing companies to a senior content marketer for an online and mobile giving provider, reading has been the most influential catalyst in my professional development.

But trying to read more books can be frustrating.




Lack of time.

BIG books.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

Like most professionals and students, you have a list of books you want to read the length of your arm. A list of books you’d like to finish by the end of this year.

Here’s the deal:

You can read more books without learning how to speed read.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to read more books in less time.

We’re going to cover the following topics:

  • What is the average reading speed?
  • How do I test my reading speed?
  • How long does it take to read 100 pages?
  • How long does it take to read 200 pages?
  • How long does it take to read 300 pages?
  • What you need to know before reading a book
  • 4 steps to reading a 240-page book in two hours
  • Why you should pace your reading
  • When not to read this way

Alright, happy reading!

What is the average reading speed?

Based on a speed-reading survey by Staples, the average adult reading speed is 300 words per minute (wpm).

In this study, the team also observed these different reading speeds based on someone’s level of education:

  • Average college student = 450
  • Average “high-level executive” = 575
  • Average college professor = 675
  • Speed readers = 1,500
  • World speed reading champion = 4,700 (yikes!)

I understand these numbers may feel vague to you, so let’s take a look at the length of some books to help you see how fast you can read a book.

For starters, the average count for a page in a book is 250–300 depending upon its trim size, margins, and font size. If you read 300 words per minute, then you will able to read one page in 49–60 seconds.

These numbers may encourage or discourage you but hang tight. Help is on the way.

How do I test my reading speed?

“How fast can I read?”

After seeing the average reading speeds above, you’d probably like to know how fast you can read.

Well, if you have a few minutes, here are 4-steps you can take to test your reading speed:

Step 1: Set a timer

For this exercise, you’re going to read for one minute.

Before you start, set a timer for 1 minute on your phone, watch, or online.

It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you’re ready to time your reading.

Step 2: Pick a regular book

For this test, you don’t want to read a dictionary or a book with small font and margins. You want to pick a book you usually read. This way your reading test will be as accurate as possible.

Step 3: Read, read, and read

Alright, now it’s time to read!

Hit the start button on your timer and read until the time expires.

As you read, keep these three tips in mind:

  • Don’t look at the time as you read
  • Don’t try to read faster than normal
  • Just read at your average pace

If you follow these three-pointers, then you won’t throw off the results of your test.

Step 4: Stop and count

It’s team to test your results.

Here are the four steps you’ll need to take to figure out how fast you can read:

  1. Count the number of words per line for four lines
  2. Divide this number by four
  3. Count the number of lines you read during your 1-minute test
  4. Multiply the number from step 2 by the number in step 4 to get your average reading speed per minute

Let me show you how!

#1. Count the number of words per line for four lines

In this example, I’m reading Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins.

How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

On this page, there are 44 words in the first four lines.

#2. Divide this number by 4

Alright, 44 words divided by 4 equals 11 words per line.

44 ÷ 4 = 11

If you come up with an uneven number, then round up or down to the closest number. As a way of example, you would round up 12.6 to 13, or you would round down 12.4 to 12.

#3. Count the number of lines you read during your 1-minute test

In this test, let’s say I read 44 lines in one minute.

#4. Multiply the number from step 2 by the number in step 4 to get your average reading speed per minute

Okay, so I read 44 lines in one minute, and the average words per line are 11, so this means I read 484 words.

44 lines x 11 words per line = 484

How many words do you read per minute?

Depending on how much time you have, it’s best to take the test above 3–5 times and average your results from every test. This will give you a pretty good idea of your reading speed.

Not happy with your reading speed?

Don’t worry if your reading speed doesn’t compare well to the averages shared above. Learning how to read faster is not about where you start. It’s about where you’re going. And you can significantly increase your reading speed at any age.

Now that you know your reading speed, let’s take a look at how long it will take you to read average book lengths.

To figure out how long it will take to read a book that is 100, 200, or 300 pages long, let’s assume the average word count per page is 250–300 and that your reading speed is 300 words per minute.

How long does it take to read 100 pages?

If the average page has 250–300 words, then the word count for a 100-page book totals 25,000–30,000.

By reading 300 words per minute, it will take you 83–100 minutes to read this book.

How long does it take to read 200 pages?

At 200 pages, the total word count for this book equals 50,000–60,000.

If you read 300 words per minute, then it will take you 166–200 minutes to read this book.

How long does it take to read 300 pages?

If the book you want to read is 300 pages, then the word count for this book is between 75,000–90,000.

If you read 300 words per minute, then it will take you 250–300 minutes to read this book.

Hate doing math? Or don’t have time to run the numbers?

Join the club.

To help you see how long it will take to read some of the most popular books, NPR’s Fresh Air created this nifty infographic:

How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

Is the book you need to read not in the list above?

To find out how long it will take you to read whatever book is on your list, check out How Long to Read. On this site, you can search over 12 million books to see how long it will take you to read if your average reading speed is 300 words per minute.

Recently, I read The Stand by Stephen King, so I was curious to learn how long it should have taken me to read it. I read the complete and uncut version, which comes in at a whopping—yet enjoyable—1,439 pages.

Honestly, I don’t remember how long it took me to read this book. I read it at night before going to bed, read several hundred pages, took a break, and picked it back up a few months later to finish.

Based on How Long to Read, it should have taken me at least 17 hours:

How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

Since I read this at night to relax, I imagine it took me every bit of 17 hours to complete.

Ready to read? Start here

To help you read non-fiction books faster, you’ll need to know the pattern that most of them follow. Understanding this pattern ahead of time will help you read faster and retain what you read.

Here’s the format most non-fiction books follow:

#1. Introduction of the chapter

The introduction of a chapter will provide you with the point an author is trying to make.

In the introduction, an author’s goal is to entice you to read the rest of the chapter. To do this, they’re going to talk about their thesis—the point they want to make—in such a compelling way that you’ll be interested in moving on.

You can also expedite this step by reading the last paragraph of the introductory remarks.

Looking again at Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins, you can see the message he wants to convey in the last paragraph of his introduction:

How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

#2. Sections

After the introduction and before the conclusion, the individual chapters are broken down into multiple sub-sections. In the image above, you can see the title of one sub-section: The Rule of Ownership.

In the first sentence or toward the beginning of each section, the author will share the point he or she wants to make. Within each section, the individual paragraphs will provide supporting information and illustrations to prove their point.

For most non-fiction books, you can read the first paragraph and last paragraph to learn the point of the sub-section you’re reading.

#3. Conclusion

When I preached on occasions for a local church I once served, a standard principle I learned in public communications was to tell people what you’re going to say, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. The same principle is a good one to follow for non-fiction books, too.

The concluding remarks of a chapter should reiterate the author’s main point from the introduction. If the conclusion is written well, then the author will not present new ideas. But they will share a cliffhanger to entice you to turn the page to the next chapter.

Now that you know how the average non-fiction book is laid out, you are ready to move forward with learning how to increase your reading speed.

4 steps to reading a 240-page book in two hours

There will be times when you need to read a book quickly.

Whether you’re cramming for a presentation, preparing for an exam, or writing a research paper or blog post, you’ll need to know how to devour a book as quickly as possible.

To learn how to read a 240-page book, let’s imagine you’re reading Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins (no surprises here, right?).

#1. Read the book description

Well written book descriptions will tell you in a few hundred words or less what the book is about, the benefits you’ll receive, and a cliffhanger to compel you to purchase the book.

Here’s the description of Real Artists Don’t Starve:

Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world’s most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength.

In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving, includingsteal from your influences (don’t wait for inspiration), collaborate with others (working alone is a surefire way to starve), take strategic risks (instead of reckless ones), make money in order to make more art (it’s not selling out), and apprentice under a master (a “lone genius” can never reach full potential).

Through inspiring anecdotes of successful creatives both past and present, Goins shows that living by these rules is not only doable but it’s also a fulfilling way to thrive. From graphic designers and writers to artists and business professionals, creatives already know that no one is born an artist.

Goins’ revolutionary rules celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways. He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity.

You’ll be well on your way to understanding how you’ll benefit from Jeff’s book after reading this description.

#2. Determine your reading goal

From what you know about the book from the description, what do you need to learn? What is the purpose of the book? What benefits do you expect you receive?

In How to Read a Book, author Mortimer Adler identifies four-levels of reading:

  • Elementary
  • Inspectional
  • Analytical
  • Synoptical

Based on your reading goals, will you need to take a superficial approach and get the high-level ideas? Or do you need to mine the depths of the book you’re reading by unearthing everything you can?

I highly recommend How to Read a Book, but, if you don’t have the time to read this classic, then check out this post from Brian Clark on Copyblogger: How to Read. Brian shares everything with you that you’ll need to know.

Before moving forward, determine your reading goal.

#3. Skim the table of contents

How is the book broken down?

Did the author provide different sections?

Are there loosely tied together chapters?

Is there an introduction, acknowledgments, and epilogue?

After reading the table of contents, select the chapters you need to read to accomplish your goal.

But keep this mind:

What you need to read may change after you start reading.

So, be open to reading different or additional chapters.

#4. Break the chapters down into time blocks

When you give yourself two hours to read a book, you have to pace yourself.

In other words, you have to set a limit on how long you’ll spend reading each chapter.

For the sake of this exercise, say you read 300 words per minute.

Now, how many pages does the chapter you need to read have?

Based on the numbers above, if it’s 20 pages or less, then you’ll be able to finish it in the time you have.

For Real Artists Don’t Starve, there are twelve chapters you can read (not including the epilogue). This means you will have 10 minutes at most to read every chapter.

If you’re pressed for time and choose to read every chapter, then you may need to only read the introduction and conclusion, and then read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. This will help you to grasp the main point the author is trying to make.

For the record, when I use this approach, I’m typically pressed for time or attempting to read a wide variety of books for something I’m writing. But more on this in a minute.

Why pace your reading?

Setting your pace is essential to reading a book in two hours or less.

If you don’t pace yourself, then you’ll end up sending 1 hour and 45 minutes absorbing a few chapters but blaze through the rest of the book.

The result: An imbalance understanding of the book.

Pacing yourself eliminates this problem.


It allows you to give the essential topics equal attention.

More importantly, when you spend less time on scannable books, you have more time to crawl through the heavier ones.

When not to read this way

This method is not intended for every book. Use this only when you need to read something quickly.

Many books you read require a slow, careful reading—not a high-level overview. These are classics like War and Peace, contemporary novels, or religious texts like the Bible.

However, many contemporary business books are heavy on ideas and light on content. This doesn’t mean these books lack depth—far from it.

What I’m saying is that these books have been written in such a way to convey an idea in a clear, concise, and compelling way, as are many of the five usability books every web writer must read, except for Morville and Rosenfeld’s.

Your turn

I’ll repeat it: You don’t want to read every book this way.

In the words of Francis Bacon, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Whenever you approach a new book, determine your reading goals ahead of time. Then plan your reading accordingly.

This way you can comprehend more in less time. And stockpile in your brain only the essential and vital ideas.

What do you think about chapter pacing? Do you have any speed reading tips you can share? Drop a line in the comments below!

The post How to Speed Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours appeared first on The Copybot.


A Marketer’s Checklist: Are You Ready for GDPR Compliance? [Infographic]

The General Data Protection Regulation is about to go into effect, but many marketers are still unprepared for it. Here’s a checklist for digital marketers to make sure they comply with the pending regulation’s provisions. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

GDPR as Opportunity: How to Build Tighter Customer Relationships

GDPR’s new consent standards will compel marketers to do what they need to be doing anyway: get to know and serve their customers better. Here are four ways to transform restrictive processes into strategic customer-relationship opportunities. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Introducing Sherlock — User Engagement Scoring for SaaS Businesses

We are super excited to introduce Sherlock – a new product from Space Pencil (the folks that brought you Kissmetrics) – to the market this week.

Sherlock is a user engagement scoring application built specifically for SaaS businesses – for whom user engagement is…well…pretty much the whole point.

We built Sherlock to help SaaS businesses finally wrap their arms around the elusive beast that is user engagement – to make it tangible and accessible. Oh…and actionable. Very actionable. Sherlock is an analytics product with a purpose – to help make user engagement a centralized metric that drives actional across your SaaS operation.

kissmetrics sherlock


Sherlock went from a personal desire, to a hack, to a prototype, to the product we just released over the course of several years. In many ways Sherlock was a passion project – a scratching of our own itch – and in many ways it is filling a need in the market that we can’t believe hasn’t been properly filled.

We build Sherlock for three main reason:

  1. In SaaS, user engagement really matters
  2. There has never been a good way to measure and quantify user engagement
  3. User engagement is a metric that should be operationalized across an entire organization

1. In SaaS, user engagement matters — a lot. No, seriously, a lot.

This sounds like an obvious point, but one that cannot be overstated.

The entire SaaS business model is based on retention. Without retention, there is no SaaS business.

And retention is based on engagement. If people don’t use your product, they will cancel.

No engagement, no retention. No retention, no business. The formula is really not more complicated than that.

User engagement is also one of the true leading indicators for a SaaS business. As investor David Skok said in his great blog post on the topic:

“The goal of a SaaS CEO should be to increase the profit they make from each customer (LTV), and lower the costs in sales and marketing that it takes to acquire each customer (CAC). Measuring Customer Engagement is a key tool that will help you achieve that goal.
Honestly, outside of revenue, there isn’t a metric that is more important to a SaaS business than user engagement.”

In many ways, user engagement is the lifeblood of the entire SaaS business model. So…it’s something that should be measured and managed like any other KPI. However…

2. There has never been a good way to measure actual user engagement

I have been searching for a good solution for measuring user engagement since I started building SaaS businesses. It simply blew me away that there wasn’t an easy (and effective) way to truly measure and understand all sides of user engagement. It has been one of my greatest frustrations over the course of several SaaS businesses.

And yes, yes…I’ve used general analytics tools. I’ve tried almost all of them. But none of them really understood what I wanted. What I needed. While they held all my data, offered many different ways to slice-and-dice, none of them answered my question – quantifiably – on user engagement.

What I always wanted while running SaaS businesses wasn’t that crazy. I wanted to:

  1. Know my best users/accounts
  2. Understand what makes them great
  3. Make more of them

Isn’t that really what every SaaS business wants?

For that to happen, user engagement needed to be quantified in a way that no general analytics tools could do. There needed to be a solution that focus on just this.

3. User engagement is a metric that can & should be operationalized across an entire organization

As a foundational metric that drives a SaaS business, each part of the organization should be using some slice of quantified user engagement to help drive their daily work. For example:

  • Product should use user engagement scoring to determine if their work building features is actually helping increase overall engagement;
  • Sales should be prioritizing their outreach to trial accounts based on the engagement level of those accounts (see the Product Qualified Lead model)
  • Customer Success should be using engagement measurement to drive upsells, save at-risk accounts and give context for all support interactions.
  • Design should use engagement scoring to determine the best sources for user feedback.
  • Marketing should use engagement scoring to better target message, identify potential advocates and more.
  • Boards and investors should use user engagement measurement as a factor in future investment.

User engagement, when done right, can drive operations across the entire organization — this list is really just scratching the surface. A good engagement scoring platform will make it very easy to connect engagement data with the various tools used to drive your operations.

These are the three fundamental reasons why Sherlock now exists in the world. If you need more reasons, this post on the Appcues blog is a good reference.


Sherlock works by giving SaaS teams the ability to create a custom engagement scoring model for their product.

The Sherlock journey starts by sending product usage data to Sherlock via (right now, we only accept data from Segment). Then a user simply weighs key product events (with a weight between 1–10) based on their importance to overall engagement. It looks like this:

sherlock overall engagement

All actions are not created equally. For every product, certain actions (or events) are simply more important than others. You know this better than anyone, that is why Sherlock allows you manually set these weights. Once that is done….voila! The entire Sherlock product is populated from there and you will immediately be able to:

Discover users ranked by engagement
A full list of your users, ranked by their engagement-level with the product.

sherlock top users

In Sherlock, all users get an engagement score between 1-100. This allows you to discover your top users in seconds (we promise, you WILL be surprised by the people driving engagement). Also, uncover who is rising or falling, what they do and how their engagement trends overtime.

Uncover Account-level engagement
Truly understanding engagement at the account-level is incredibly valuable for SaaS businesses. I would argue essential.

sherlock active users

With Sherlock, you get a ranked list of your accounts as well as a list of all users on that account, by engagement level. This is incredibly helpful for many reasons, but especially when planning account management activities.

Track overall product engagement over time
On the dashboard, track total active users, average score per user, as well as total product engagement over time. Nowhere else can you get data that informs you of the overall performance of your product overtime.

sherlock score distribution

Compare engagement by segment
Create custom segments for different groups of users and compare their engagement.

sherlock segment

See which events are most engaging
Get a view of all the activities (events) from your product over time and see which events are actually driving more engagement.

average score of users sherlock

Ship engagement scores to all your important operational tools
The most important thing you can do with this quantified engagement data is to get it make it accessible in the key tools that will allow you to take action on it. We ship engagement data to Segment, Intercom, Salesforce, and Slack.

sherlock integrations

Again, we are incredibly happy to be able to bring Sherlock to market. If you are running a SaaS company at any stage, I can’t imagine how you can run your business without a clear understanding of user engagement and all the benefits that come from that understanding. This is what Sherlock is built to do and we feel very confident that it will bring a ton of value to your SaaS business

Signup today for a 17-day free trial at

About the Author: Derek Skaletsky is the Head of Product and Customer Success at Kissmetrics. Previously, he founded the engagement automation app Knowtify which was acquired by Kissmetrics.


How to Repurpose Content (and Why it Matters)

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Ever heard that before? It’s excellent advice for virtually every job, task, industry, and endeavor. If you have something that works, use it.

Build off it. Adapt it. There’s no need to start from nothing

And when it comes to your content marketing, it’ll not only save you time, but it can deliver big, big results.

How so? By repurposing content you’ve already created.

“Repurposing your content opens the doors to reaching more people and breathes life back into old posts that you know are well written and highly informative.” ~Elna Cain, Professional B2B Writer

29% of top marketers repurpose their best content, while 27% listed producing enough quality content as their biggest challenge in a separate survey.

top content challenges for content marketers

Overall, not having enough time, the quality of their content, creating that content, scaling content creation, and generating ideas were the top five most mentioned challenges facing the modern marketer.

The benefits of repurposing content? Those top five challenges are alleviated and made easier.

You could brainstorm new ideas, conduct research, draft, revise, polish, a/b test headlines and blurbs, publish, and promote a new blog post every few days…

Or you could take an existing asset that’s already a winner, repurpose it, and promote, promote, promote.

Which one sounds like the better use of your time?

What is Repurposing Content?

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Repurposing content simply means taking an existing piece of content and using it in a new way for a new audience.

Blog series to ebook, for example. Or infographic to video.

There’s no shortage of transformations you could make. Marketers use a wide variety of channels, types, and formats for their content.

types of content used by b2c marketers

Videos, illustrations, infographics, ebooks, white papers, webinars, case studies, podcasts, charts, graphs, blog posts, quizzes, slide decks, reports, and on and on.

In fact, releasing quality content as only one type is really doing it and your audience a disservice.

Why Should Your Website Repurpose Content?

To begin with, not everyone likes blogs. Or videos. Or white papers. Or infographics.

If you spend hours, days, or weeks creating something spectacular, and you release it to the world as “just” a blog, many people will never give it a second look.

Content marketing is about getting as many eyes on it as possible.

Eyes on it means traffic, traffic means shares and interest, shares mean more eyes and greater awareness which generates still more eyes on it, which means more prospects and potential for conversion, and round and round it goes.

“Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.” ~Content Marketing Institute

Attract and retain customers.

Let me ask you this: are you only targeting blog readers? How about only those that watch videos online? Do you only want to keep those existing customers that enjoy infographics? Of course not. You would never intentionally limit yourself, your brand, or your product that way.

But without repurposing your content, that’s essentially what you’re doing. You’re not providing for them in the ways they want and appreciate.

repurposing content flow chat

Repurpose your best stuff, and it reaches more of your target audience in the places and ways they want to be reached.

Benefits of Repurposing Content

In addition to reaching a wider audience in the types and formats they want, the benefits of repurposing content include:

  • Better chance to be seen. We spend a lot of time online: an average of 40 minutes/day on Youtube, 35 minutes on Facebook, and 15 minutes on Instagram. It adds up to 5 years and 4 months over our lives. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it also means there’s a greater probability of someone missing that tweet about your new blog post than of seeing it. Social media moves too fast, and no one is online all the time. Want your content to be seen? You’ve got to repost and repurpose. The rule of seven tells us that the average consumer needs to see your message seven times before they buy into it…or you.
  • The life expectancy of a social media post is relatively short: a typical tweet has a half-life of 24 minutes, a Facebook post reaches 75% of its maximum impressions in 2 hours and 30 minutes, and blog posts by top brands receive 50% of their comments in the first 6 hours. The takeaway? Repost, reschedule, and repurpose.
  • Give your search engine optimization efforts a boost. A well written blog post will have several targeted keywords. Repurpose that content as an infographic or podcast, and you’ve increased the opportunities you have to rank for those keywords. A better rank – or multiple rankings – means a better chance to divert more of that search volume traffic to your digital doorstep. You’ve already done the keyword research, so maximize your possibility of succeeding with it.
  • Save time for promotion, which is the lifeblood of content marketing. The less time you spend on brainstorming, researching, and creating content, the better. The majority of your time and effort should be spent on promoting it, not making it.
  • Build your authority and reputation. The more people see your name attached to content on a particular topic or industry, the more your online reputation grows. You need to be seen as an expert. You want to be considered the go-to guy or gal. Authority is one of the six principles of persuasion as outlined by Robert Cialdini. Persuade, then convert.
  • Increase your return-on-investment. Quality content takes time and money to create. Repurposing blogs, repurposing video content, and content recycling in general lets you squeeze extra value out of money you’ve already spent. Get more with no additional cost. That’s a business strategy everyone can get behind. That $500 blog post can be repurposed for next to nothing, giving you more bang for your original buck.
  • Diversify your content catalog. No one wants the same thing for supper every night.
  • Generate more opportunities for quality backlinks. People sharing your content creates backlinks to your site, and they’re a crucial and beneficial ranking factor.

It takes a great deal of resources – time, energy, and money – to produce a valuable, useful piece of high quality content.

Using it once is a waste. You wouldn’t buy a new laptop and log on just once, or use it just for emailing, right?

So why do that with your content? The mantra for content marketing in 2018 and beyond should be “repurpose, promote, repeat”.

4 Repurposing Content Examples For SaaS Business

By now, you should be convinced of the benefits of repurposing and are probably ready to see some content repurposing examples.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Does it really work? What exactly can be repurposed? Let’s take a closer look.

The No New Content Challenge

Buffer is one of the major players in the content curation and scheduling game.

Many of you likely use its social media management platform in your content marketing.

The Buffer Blog consistently produces high quality and useful content on everything from social and digital marketing to productivity and the customer experience.

For one month in 2015, they wanted to see what would happen if they repurposed their existing content rather than created new stuff.

With a blog that regularly saw 600,000-700,000 monthly visitors, the stakes were high.

Instead of writing new posts, they created new email campaigns and ebooks using old blog posts, updated outdated posts, created SlideShares and videos from blog posts, and republished to Medium.

The result?

While overall traffic dipped slightly, their organic search traffic was up by over 4%, the resulting SlideShares produced nearly 200,000 views, an ebook on social media tips curated from old posts brought in 2397 signups and downloads, and an email drip campaign called “The 7 Day Social Media 101” and a 25-day video course nabbed 17817 and 18185 (in the first 6 days alone) signups, respectively.

buffer repurposed content experiment

And all with no new content for 30 days. So, does repurposing content work? (hint: yes).

Matthew Woodward

SEO and affiliate marketing professional Matthew Woodward decided to repurpose and republish a couple of blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse. With minimal tweaking, he published with a link to a new landing page for an existing lead magnet.

The experiment garnered 332 new subscribers and a conversion rate of 76.15%.

Convince & Convert

Jay Baer of Convince & Convert creates a lot of content, including 3-minute informational videos.

In order to reach a bigger audience, he and his team began repurposing that video content as blog posts on the C&C website, LinkedIn Pulse, and Medium, and as podcasts (distributed via iTunes), effectively covering the text, video, and audio crowds.

Convince & Convert has been crowned the #1 content marketing blog in the world by CMI, attracting hundreds of thousands of potential prospects for their consulting services and marketing tools.


It you want to learn about all things SEO, you need look no further than Moz.

Their blog is chock-full of posts on everything from keyword research to link-building to audits and everything in-between.

Once a week since 2007, they’ve repurposed their best blog content as an engaging and informative video series called Whiteboard Friday.

It’s legendary in the industry. Iconic. And its fans are legion.

That kind of loyalty, advocacy, and brand recognition is priceless, bringing in a steady stream of referred traffic and leads.

A mind-boggling 11% of the top SaaS companies in the world do not blog.

That’s shocking at any time, but in 2018 that’s simply insane.

A blog is the foundation of any content marketing plan.

And a blog is the content bank from which you can pull and repurpose from now until the cows come home.

Blog. Promote. Repurpose. Promote. Succeed.

How to Repurpose Content in 2018

By this point, you may be thinking “Okay, okay, I get it. Repurposing content is extremely beneficial and efficient.” And you’d be right.

But, you’re probably also thinking “How do I do it?” It’s one thing to know why, but something else entirely to know how.

It’s easier than you might be expecting.

Identify the Posts Worthy of Republishing

If you’ve got a sizeable content catalog, deciding which ones deserve your repurpose attention is step one.

Head on over to your analytics dashboard and check to see what posts have been your best performers in the past month, past year, and possibly even past 4-5 years.

Look for those posts with the highest pageviews and/or average time on page.

Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find your most shared pieces.

These are the pieces resonating most with your audience and visitors.

This is the content most likely to benefit from a little repurposing magic.

For each asset, consider how you might be able to transform it.

Blog to video, video to transcript, podcast to infographic, series to ebook, and so on.

While you’re at it, be on the lookout for content that is either a) outdated, or b) a topic on which you have greater knowledge now than you did when you wrote it.

These can be updated and expanded with little effort, allowing you to promote the new and improved version.

“Content repurposing doesn’t just mean that you reuse an old piece of content again and again. True repurposing requires that we alter it to make it fresh and appealing to a new audience.” ~Garrett Moon, CEO and Co-founder of CoSchedule

Repurposing content takes little effort, not zero effort.

What themes are still relevant? What topics are still popular?

On what subjects do you have more to say? Find content that fits in to those categories, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Turn Old Blog Posts into Fresh and Complete Guides

This is perhaps the easiest repurposing you can do, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not worthwhile.

The world moves pretty fast.

Some industries move even faster.

Posts you wrote last year – or even several months ago – can already be outdated.

Sometimes the just need a few tweaks.

At other times, they might need a partial or complete rewrite. Either way, you end up with something “new” to promote on your channels.

Even better, take several blog posts that share a broad subject and combine them into one complete guide.

A post about gaining Instagram followers, using that platform for business, how to write an Instagram bio, and best practices for increasing engagement can join together to create a powerful “Complete Guide to Instagram for Business”.

The “complete” or “ultimate” or “definitive” guide-type posts will always be popular. Harness that with minimal effort.

Create White Papers and Infographics

What type of content do you think drives lead generation? You might be surprised to learn its white papers.

types of content that drive leads and revenue

White papers are authoritative.

They cover a particular topic, presenting hard data and research to ultimately argue for a specific solution to a specific problem. They inform and persuade based on facts and evidence.

Done right, white papers build trust, increase your authority, and generate credibility for you and your brand.

They are research, data, chart, and graph heavy. Writing a white paper can be a time-consuming task.

But the don’t have to be. Your blog posts are full of data, graphics, and research already, right? Use that.

Combine several posts on the same basic subject, and you should have enough raw material to pull it together into a high quality white paper in half the time it would take to write one from scratch.

Use a template and save even more time. In the B2B sphere, they’re an absolute must.

And then we have infographics. Popular, powerful, and persuasive, a good infographic can disseminate information like few other types can. Consider:

We are hardwired to understand and enjoy visuals, and infographics are very popular with both marketers and consumers alike.

popularity and effectiveness of different types of content

What’s more, creating infographics from existing content assets is quick and easy.

Services like Visually can do it for you, or tools like Infogram, Easelly, and Canva allow you to do it yourself.

The data collection and research is the “hard” part…and that’s already done and ready to use.

Turn Posts into a Webinar

Few content types are as engaging as a webinar or live stream.

They allow you to share your expertise, build credibility, and connect, communicate, and engage with your customers and leads in real-time.

The best webinars focus on one specific topic that you understand exceedingly well and can dig deep on. They have a spectacular slide deck that supports and complements the “script” you’ve written beforehand.

“There’s a lot of logistical things to think about, so even if you think you know what you want to say, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you forget once you get into presentation mode. Create a list of the questions as they come in so you can keep them organized. Lastly, relax! The attendees are there to listen and learn, not judge.” ~Chris McHale, Nurture Marketing Specialist at WordStream

Your most popular posts are prime candidates for the webinar treatment. Identify them, use them to create your slide deck and script, and promote your upcoming webinar everywhere you can.

Service providers like WebinarNinja and GoToWebcast can help with the logistics and host hundreds if not thousands of attendees.

And once your webinar is finished, don’t forget to upload your slide deck to SlideShare, and post the recorded video to your blog. That’s 3-for-1. That’s repurposing like a boss.

webinars types of content

Create Videos

Think about how much video you consume on an average day.

A lot, right?

We love video. We seek it out. It rules the online roost:

Repurpose your best content into a one-off or video series.

Record yourself and upload to YouTube or Skillshare.

If you’re camera shy, consider an animated video using Powtoon or GoAnimate.

A tool like VideoScribe automatically animates whatever you place on its canvas.

ScreenFlow lets you record your screen.

Whatever kind of video you want to make, a tool exists to help you get it done.

There are a lot of people who would rather watch than read, so give them what they want. Teach, inform, entertain, instruct, explain, and more.

Turn Posts into Ebooks

Taking several related posts and turning them into an ebook is a quick win.

You may need to fill it out a bit, write a few connecting paragraphs, and/or add a few more high quality visuals, but the bulk of the writing is ready to go.

Turning blog posts into ebooks is fast and easy for you, but they’re well regarded by people.

They carry more weight. They seem “better” than a blog post because they’re longer and more detailed.

They can be downloaded and carried with them wherever they go.

Darren Rowse of Problogger launched 31 Days to Build a Better Blog made up largely – though not exclusively – of repurposed blog material. The ebook remains one of his best sellers to this day.

You can share your ebook for free, use it as a lead magnet, sell it, or make it a reward in a contest or challenge. It’s entirely up to you.

An ebook gives an instant boost to your credibility and reputation.

Programs like Scrivener and Vellum allow you to save in a wide variety of formats, including Amazon Kindle, PDF, and iBooks. Maximum impact. Minimum effort.

ebook content with vellum

Anyone can start a blog. But not everyone has their own series of ebooks. Stand out from the crowd.

Podcasts and Audio

Just as many people are visual learners and prefer videos and graphics, many people learn best by listening rather than reading.

Turning your best stuff into a podcast or audio file couldn’t be easier.

In fact, it may require little more than reading the post and injecting a bit of personality. That’s it.

Hate the sound of your voice? Hire someone else to do it for you. Believe it or not, Fiverr actually has a voiceover section. Who knows, you might just stumble upon the new voice of your brand.

Podcasts and audio files are fantastic because they not only reach a new audience, but much like an ebook, they carry an element of authority and sophistication.

Consumers can download them, and listen in their car, at home, on their commute, at rest, at work, or an the go.

That’s some serious reach. 44% of the American population has listened to a podcast, and 80% of them listen to all or most of it.

Services like Podomatic, PodBean, iTunes, and SoundCloud assist with everything from creation to editing, and hosting to promotion.

Increasingly popular, easily shared, and simple to do.

And Repurpose into the mix – it automatically converts your podcast to a video and shares to the most popular sites like YouTube and Facebook – and you have your bases covered.

how repurposing content works

Medium is a Good Platform for SaaS Business

Republishing your 5-star content on Medium can give you a big traffic and exposure boost.

And you’re literally just republishing content without making any changes (unless you want to, of course).

And before you start to worry about the dreaded “duplicate content penalty” from Google, don’t. It’s a myth. It doesn’t exist.

Medium boasts 60 million monthly readers, 140,000 new stories each week, and dozens of topics and categories.

Sign up, get started, and get sharing.

Think of it as half social network and half writing platform. It’s the best of both worlds.

Benjamin Hardy went from zero to 50,000 subscribers using Medium in only 16 months. How’s that sound?

Don’t Forget to Republish Older Posts

Finally, you don’t want to neglect your older posts.

Just because they’ve fallen off the radar, doesn’t mean they’re worthless. High quality, evergreen content can be reposted to tremendous effect.

We’ve already mentioned the short life span on a typical social media post.

The harsh reality is that most people won’t see it the first time around.

Share it again though, and you’ve increased the eyes on it. Share a third time, and it’s still more.

Reposting your content on a regular schedule will capture a bigger audience for it, reach people in different time zones, and generally increase your traffic.

Some studies have shown it’s possible to get 75% of the engagement of the original post. What’s not to like?

So share it. Share it again later that day, the next day, next week, next month, and two months from now. Experiment with the best times to share on different platforms. Use a scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to do it all for you.

You’ve already put in the effort. Don’t let it go to waste.


Your content is the heart of your marketing. Make it work for you by using a consistent repurpose and reschedule plan.

“Create less, promote more.” ~Salma Jafri

Everything can be repurposed into something else.

Old is new again.

The less time you spend on creating and the more time you spend on promoting, the higher the return you’ll see on content marketing.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you need to move something from Point A to Point B.

You might need to change it up a bit – size of wheel, number of wheels, material of wheel – but it’s still fundamentally the same thing.

The same goes for your content.

Slide deck into video. Podcast into transcript. Blog series into webinar. Data into infographic. The possibilities are endless.

Have you tried repurposing your best content? What strategies and tools have you tried? Leave your comments below:

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.


Why SaaS Brand Advocacy Is More Important than Ever in 2018

Although it’s no secret that the realm of marketing is constantly evolving, it seems that the space is changing especially dramatically for SaaS companies nowadays.

And these changes are cause for concern for brands looking to flourish in 2018.

For starters, consider the overwhelming push toward personalization.

This signals the need for SaaS brands to segment their content assets and interfaces to hone in on messages that speak directly to specific customers.

progress on real time marketing

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of all brands will practice at least some form of real-time personalization. Currently, nearly half of the businesses polled use real-time personalization to inform the majority of their messaging. In the SaaS industry, where every interaction is ideally tracked, the opportunities are enormous.

Then, there are the recently announced changes to Facebook’s algorithm that basically mean that organic reach for pages is finally altogether dead.

Afraid of being frozen out of users’ feeds, SaaS marketers are trying not to panic in the face of what could potentially put their existing marketing funnels in jeopardy.

ahrefs software facebook post

There’s also the rise of automation to think about.

SaaS companies are investing heavily in AI and machine learning to reduce churn and win more new customers simultaneously. From services that provide A/B testing to conversational bots that capture leads on-site, brands are rapidly experimenting with new ways to optimize their content.

Why Brand Advocacy Is Such a Big Deal for SaaS

Simply put, your content marketing strategy is at the core of your capacity to adapt as a SaaS brand. Beyond the basic benefits of driving traffic and raising brand awareness, an effective content strategy is essential to consistently nurture and onboard leads.

Conventional wisdom says that we should shell out piles of money for paid media or sponsoring influencer posts to grab people’s attention. However, is this sort of “pay-to-play” strategy really the best way to go?

In an era where social proof is such a powerful currency for marketers, it’s more important than ever for SaaS marketers to seek out brand advocates wherever we possibly can.

And who could possibly be better brand advocates than your own customers and employees? These people are already emotionally invested in your product’s success, and they know your brand better than anyone else.

Encouraging your own network to promote your content and product from their personal social accounts is a potential game-changer for SaaS brands. Rather than spend the resources to chase paid outlets and influencers, brands should focus on advocacy, which can produce better results in a shorter amount of time.

“By creating a product that solved a problem that a lot of people faced, it meant there were already millions of people looking for us when we launched,” Canva CEO Melanie Perkins recently told Forbes, “so when they found us, they told their colleagues, friends and families.”

Here are some of the biggest benefits associated with brand advocacy, along with some ways that SaaS marketers can get started with realizing them.

1. Overcome Content Overload and Mistrust

In an era where people are consuming a staggering 12 hours or more of content per day, your customers obviously have a lot to sift through. And trust in the media – which includes “platforms” like social apps, by the way – continues to sit on shaky ground.

public trust in media in different countries

While the concept of “quality content” might be cliché at this point, consider how a higher volume of shares highlights a piece of content as buzzworthy. This is social proof at its best.

Content shares and product recommendations work because people trust peers and thought leaders more than they trust brands and institutions.

percentage of companies with referral programs

Bear in mind that employees who serve as active advocates on social media can quickly emerge as influencers on your behalf. Indeed, transforming your own employees into thought leaders is a desirable byproduct of brand advocacy.

2. Expand Your Reach Organically

No matter how you slice it, competition in the SaaS space is fierce.

Considering that there are approximately 5,000 brands in the martech space alone, SaaS companies must fight tooth and nail for the attention of potential customers.

Think of advocacy as a sort of numbers game. The more people promoting your content, paid or otherwise, the more likely you are to break through the noise and reach the people who need your product most.

When you encourage employees to regularly promote your content with their own social media audiences, you essentially amass a small army of promoters you can call on time and time again. This year’s State of Employee Advocacy study from JEM Consulting found that over 75% of respondents see their advocacy program as yielding satisfactory or better results.

Whether you’re dealing with a few dozen or a few hundred employees, those numbers are nothing to scoff at. Through social brand advocacy, you exponentially increase your social reach and potential to be seen by leads.

And keep in mind – in many cases, all it takes is for the right person to see a link and opt in for a free trial to pave the way to the sale. TOPO CEO Scott Albro notes that the smaller the company your prospect works for, the more likely he or she will be to stick with your product once the trial period expires:

“SaaS buyers won’t engage in more than one trial. Our data shows that this is particularly true in the small and medium size business market where buyers tend to comparison-shop less. You need to make sure that buyers find your trial first. You also need to make sure that you don’t squander that opportunity when you get it.”

3. Engage Your Employees

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of encouraging brand advocates among employees is the actually task of asking them to do so.

While most workers would be glad to promote your content, keep in mind that brands should treat advocacy like any other sort of campaign. That means having a defined strategy and measuring performance.

But SaaS teams often have highly specialized skill sets. You can’t expect everyone to be a seasoned content marketer and social seller, too. Instead of having employees post content haphazardly, consider some of the tools out there that help streamline the process of internal brand advocacy.

One such tool is Smarp, which aggregates company news and industry-relevant content to categorized feeds. Team members can pick up the content that speaks to them most and schedule posts for their own profiles with just a few clicks.

This cuts down on potential wastes of time on social media and streamlines the process of sharing new content amongst your workers.

smart app dashboard

Features such as gamification signal the most active advocates within any given company, providing additional incentives for employees to become eager advocates. In addition to content aggregation, Smarp provides analytics on both a company-wide and personal level to identify top advocates.

This type of system works because it makes employees from all departments into partners in your SaaS product’s exponential sales growth success, a process which Roketto Co-founder Ulf Lonegren compares to the growth of a tree that spawns more trees:

“Make your employees proud of the work they do, make them feel like an important part of the process by reminding them how the software provides value and informing them of the successes, listen to their ideas, and provide a sales chart in the engine room that tracks the progress. Set sales goals and provide rewards for reaching those goals. Provide incentives for team members to make sales. In this world of mass marketing, word of mouth often provides the authenticity that buyers want when seeking a product, so remember that every member of your team could be that one oak tree, and from one tree many nuts can fall.”

4. Supercharge Your Social Selling

SaaS customers are heavily influenced by what they see on social media when it comes time to make purchases.

This rings true in terms of how often they see content and the sharers of that content. If social posts from sales pros, marketers and brands themselves are deemed less worthy of people’s attention than social posts from peers and laymen, then it follows logically that your prospects are more likely to respond favorably to content shared by a high volume of people.

Research from Sana indicates that social media is the number two driver of digital sales in the B2B sector, ranking just behind onsite buying.

which sales channels are most important to your industry

Again, the numbers game of brand advocacy comes to light based on what your customers see on social media.

According to LinkedIn, 87% of social customers have a favorable view of products that were introduced them through their own network. By promoting products via employees, you have access to personal networks that you might not otherwise reach exclusively through a brand channel.

Keep in mind that the average buyer consumes over 11 pieces of content before they’re ready to respond favorably to a sales pitch. Similarly, 61% of customers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog. A greater number of brand advocates translates into more brand equity in the minds of potential customers, which makes it easier for sales reps to build relationships on social channels and to close more deals in shorter sales cycles.

And those sales cycles need as much shortening as they can get, in order to remain scalable. The Bridge Group’s Matt Bertuzzi notes that total contract value for a SaaS conversion correlates with the number of days it takes sales reps to seal the deal. According to his firm’s data, B2B SaaS sales cycles can last anywhere from five weeks to five months.

saas sales cycle length

Dennis Koutoudis from LinkedIn SuperPowers told SalesHacker that he sees prospecting on social media, especially on LinkedIn, as one of the key SaaS sales opportunities of 2018:

“I predict that the usage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator by Sales Teams will increase considerably, enabling them both to zero in on their target prospects with extreme precision and also to delve deeper into Social Selling. The key here is to focus on providing value, build trust and develop solid professional relationships with target prospects that will ultimately improve sales figures. Great emphasis will also be placed on the way we present ourselves as Sales Professionals on the LinkedIn platform since with such fierce competition, now more than ever, we need to not only stand out in our professional field but also to engage in actions that will significantly increase our visibility on the LinkedIn platform.”

Prospecting platforms like 2Factr’s SocialPort are major game-changers in this regard. Social selling teams can use this tool to scale operations, thanks to smart libraries of content assets that reps can append to posts on the fly, as well as sophisticated contact intelligence data that can be used for qualifying leads mid-discussion and enriching CRM entries.

5. Keep Your Content Budget Under Control

According to Content Marketing Institute, 38% of brands are looking to up their content marketing budgets in 2018. Even so, that’s no excuse for brands to spend recklessly.

And given the emphasis on automation and other tools that could potentially cut into any given SaaS company’s budget, a leaner content marketing strategy just plain makes sense.

When your employees and customers are doing the legwork of promoting your brand, you cut out any sort of middleman when it comes to promotion. While there might be a time and place for paid media or influencers, SaaS brands should focus on an organic promotion strategy that keeps costs down.

Encouraging brand advocacy costs next to nothing compared to paid media. Additionally, popping up more and more via social media could actually score you earned media mentions as an added bonus.

Based on the previously noted CMI study, 50% of marketers believe that their ROI is closely linked to the way they go about distributing content. Rather than paying for promotion and distribution, creating your own advocates represents a more financially sensible strategy.


As competition continues to emerge in the SaaS space, having voices on deck to promote your content becomes a critical piece of standing out from the crowd.

Not only does advocacy keep content marketing costs down, but allows SaaS brands to seamlessly signal their authority. Rather than pay for that same credibility, why not generate it yourself?

And while marketing strategies at large never stay the same for long, brand advocacy is here to stay.

About the Author: Nadav is a veteran online marketer and the Founder & CEO of InboundJunction, an Israel-based content marketing company. Nadav helps well-known brands in boosting their online visibility through PR, SEO and Social Media.


Is Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What New 2018 Data Says About Twitter for Marketing

Misinformation is spreading like wildfire.

On Twitter, it’s no different.

Numerous spam accounts and bots plague Twitter. They share false and misleading information, which has negatively impacted user experience.

The network is now working to correct some of these problems, but only time will tell with how the network will fare.

But if new 2018 data is accurate, then the future looks dim.

Researchers at MIT recently released a comprehensive study about “the spread of true and false news online,” which examined over a decade’s worth of data.

They discovered that misinformation reached 1,500 people six times faster than valid information.

This has marketers asking the question, “How do we counteract that?”

Some are even wondering, “Is Twitter worth using?”

To effectively use Twitter and see a return on your efforts, you need to understand how to best use the network for your long-term gain.

Twitter is much different now than it was when it first debuted in 2006. It is important for marketers to understand the network’s evolution as well as its current user ecosystem.

Despite these new revelations and the current state of misinformation, I’m going to show you how to get the most out of your Twitter marketing strategy in 2018.

But before deploying your 2018 strategy, you need to understand how Twitter has changed in recent months, so you don’t make the same mistakes you’ve likely made in the past.

How understanding Twitter’s current state can strengthen your business’s marketing strategy

I’m going to guess that Twitter plays some sort of role in your marketing strategy.

A recent study asked respondents, “Which social media platforms do you use to market your business?”

Not surprisingly, Twitter emerged as one of the top platforms.

twitter top platform to market business

But should it be?

Lately, Twitter has had its fair share of problems.

To start, there are bots.

A Twitter bot is “a software program that sends out automated posts on Twitter.”

Often, these automated posts are tweets. Other times, the bots will automatically respond to user messages that include specific phrases.

But is this really a problem? It certainly can be.

Although some bots can be helpful for your business objectives, there has been an influx of bots permeating through Twitter’s user base.

Now, there are a lot of them.

In fact, there are an estimated 48 million bots on Twitter, accounting for 15% of Twitter’s total users.

So how many people are actually on Twitter?

Well, at the time of publication, Twitter had 336 total monthly active users.

twitter monthly active users as of april 2018

Compared to other social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, Twitter isn’t leading when it comes to monthly active users.

And if 15% of these users are actually bots, then that decreases the potential number of people you can market to even further.

Bots have started to impact Twitter’s user experience negatively, too.

Bots recently came under scrutiny for playing a part in spreading misinformation in the 2016 election.

Those who create bots can also program them to share spam.

A study from the Pew Research Center found that bots shared links directing traffic to sites across a variety of industries.

twitter automated accounts link sharing

They also found that “an estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular sites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings.”

How’s that for making your brand feel more “human?”

While Twitter is cracking down on bots, many are skeptical that this will help with the increase of misinformation plaguing the platform.

After all, bots aren’t the only reason for a poor Twitter user experience.

In the MIT study I mentioned earlier, they found that humans are more susceptible to spreading fake news than bots.

Twitter might be able to lower the influence of bots, but trying to prevent real people from spreading false information is much harder.

In another recent study, 51% of respondents felt that “the information environment will not be improved by changes designed to reduce the spread of lies and other misinformation online.”

So with the influx of bots, spread of misinformation, and stifled user growth, how should marketers approach their Twitter strategy?

Your strategy needs to evolve with the platform and take advantage of Twitter’s strengths while keeping in mind its weaknesses.

Here are five ways to tailor your Twitter strategy for results in 2018.

Use Twitter for quick, direct customer service interactions and resolutions

We’ve all been there.

You need a piece of information that you can’t find on a business’ website and don’t really want to call them.

“Oh, I’ll just tweet at them, because they’ll probably reply,” you think to yourself.

This is more common than you probably think.

Investing time and resources in your Twitter customer service strategy is important for the long-term growth of your business.

Sometimes, your customers need a bit of TLC. And this is where Twitter can shine.

In fact, 85% of Twitter users said that it’s important that businesses provide customer support on Twitter.

By being responsive on Twitter, you add a level of transparency to your business’ brand. Your business will seem more helpful and approachable.

And, Dove proves it.

In 2017, Dove focused on responding to more tweets which, in turn, resulted in an increase in positive sentiment from customers.

difference in answered tweets

Dove’s net positive sentiment was 41% in the last three months of 2016, and three months later, that sentiment score rose to 43%.

That’s a lot to gain with minimal effort.

You may be wondering, “But how do you provide optimal service through Twitter?”

It’s different for each company, but there are some specific strategies to maximize your responses.

Most companies direct public inquiries to their DMs if any sensitive information needs to be transferred.

southwest airlines dm us tweet

And, now since Twitter’s launch of the new Direct Message features, we’re seeing brands build a more personalized, one-on-one experiences for customers.

Like Patrón Tequila.

Patrón built the “Bot-Tender” — a chatbot “bartender” — that uses Patrón’s Direct Messages that serves up cocktail recommendations based on the consumer’s preferences.

patron tequila mixologist tweet

The “Bot-Tender” resulted in 39% of click-through rate to the website and 2.6% click-through rate using the direct message card.

In some instances, it might even make sense to gather additional information about your customers to better manage the issue. This could help you:

In some instances, you can even set up a chatbot to accept orders with a hashtag.

For example, Wingstop uses a bot to accept orders from people who Tweet ‘@Wingstop #Order’:

wingstop dm your order

Now, that’s an example of optimal customer experience that doesn’t rely on a wing and a prayer.

Also, depending on the size of their business or the number of customer inquiries a company receives, some even have specific accounts solely focused on helping customers.

For example, LinkedIn owns both the handles @LinkedIn and @LinkedInHelp.

Both channels exist for different objectives. @LinkedIn provides general updates, company news and announcements of features, while @LinkedInHelp focuses on customer support.

Both accounts are valuable for LinkedIn’s overarching Twitter strategy.

linkedin help twitter account

Private messages have become a popular way to resolve issues, so the platform has included a feature that enables you to include a “Send a private message” link on a tweet.

send a private message tweet

To do so, make sure your account is accepting direct messages from anyone. Begin by accessing your Settings tab.

settings tab in twitter

Click the “Privacy and Safety” tab on the left side.

privacy and safety twitter account

Check the box to “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.”

receive direct messages from anyone

Find your TwitterID using TweeterID and add it to the end of this link in place of YourTwitterID:

Now, you can add that URL with your own TwitterID inserted into any tweet, and the “Send a private message” button will appear directing your customers into a private conversation.

Focus on sharing video content for higher engagement with your followers

Sharing video content on Twitter isn’t exactly new.

But over the past few years, Twitter has continuously worked to evolve how your video can be shared and the impact it can generate. (They’re even teasing a Snapchat sharing tool!)

The result? Users are eating it up.

Will you deliver?

If you don’t, it’ll be costly. The stats don’t lie; video views on Twitter have grown 220x what they were 12 months ago.

twitter video views growth

But can video cut through the clutter of misinformation on the platform?

Well compared to other forms of content, the answer is yes.

Buffer tested different post types across platforms and found a worthwhile revelation about to Twitter video reach.

Upon evaluating 200+ posts, Buffer found that Twitter video performs the best in terms of reach compared to posts with links, images, and GIFs.

And video on Twitter outperforms Facebook video reach by nearly 38%.

average video reach per post type

But how can you be sure the video is factual?

Well, there hasn’t been a full solution introduced yet, but to provide more transparency, Twitter is adding a view count to the corner of each video.

While not a major fix, it will still provide users with an understanding of how many have watched and how far it spread. This can help viewers assess the validity of the source.

But what constitutes as a view?

According to AdAge, “Twitter is holding to Media Rating Council standards […] —one view equals 2 seconds of play time with at least 50% of the video on the screen.”

twitter video view count

There’s a lot of video content on Twitter. Here’s how to make sure what you produce will be worthwhile:

And if you decide to use video content in the form of an ad, Twitter introduced Video Website Card a few months ago to help make your video ads more effective.

Twitter Video Website Card ads get results, too. They have a 2x higher click-through rate and “an average 60% increase in user retention” when compared to standard video ads.

Below is a comparison between a standard mobile ad on Twitter and one using the new video website card option. This is a standard mobile ad HP Business promoted:

hp business mobile ad on twitter

You can see that the video looks like a normal post. Upon clicking the video, it opens up in full-screen with the tweet copy underneath it.

Now, look at Credit Karma’s ad using the new video card feature.

credit karma twitter advertisement

credit karma max your refund

The promoted post includes a “tag” at the bottom of the video with a header and the website. And when the user clicks on the video to play full-screen, they get a new experience.

The video shifts up, and a web or landing page appears. The video will continue playing, allowing the user to interact with content on the page.

Network with influencers, leads, and potential partners to forge connections

Twitter is still a place for brands and users alike to reach influencers, celebrities, journalists, and thought-leaders directly.

But only if you can find who you are looking for.

In 2018, this has become a bit more challenging for two reasons: bots and the confusion surrounding verified accounts.

How to spot the bots

Let’s face it: your follower count is a vanity metric these days. Through the use of bots, you can add thousands of fake followers to your account.

President Trump and a countless number of other celebrities were even accused of using bots.

twitter audit report trump

If actual celebrities use these bots to amplify their influence, couldn’t ordinary people as well? The answer is yes.

A study exposed what was referred to as “the Star Wars botnet, which contains more than 350k bots that are centrally controlled by the same botmaster.”

Even worse, there is a whole industry behind the buying and selling of fake followers.

So where to go from here?

Well, there is TwitterAudit, a free service that allows you to input any Twitter handle. The tool will share a quality score and whether or not they see the account as real or fake.


You should also pay close attention to the frequency of tweets on certain accounts.

The team at BuzzFeed News did an analysis of its own human editors’ Twitter data and the data of several bot-like accounts.

According to the Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRL), tweeting 72 times a day is suspicious, and more than 144 tweets per day seems very suspicious.

The BuzzFeed News team discovered one bot was hitting 584 tweets in one day.

buzzfeed news twitter analysis

While their editor’s tweets looked more like this:

buzzfeed editor twitter analysis

Twitter bots are created to influence user behavior and perception. It’s important your brand is authentic, trustworthy, and human when engaging with users on Twitter.

Verified? The rise and fall of the blue checkmark

Originally, Twitter would add a blue checkmark to verify your account as a response to numerous impersonation attempts. Here is an example:

twitter Oprah verified

Twitter’s help page states that the badge is there to ensure the “account of public interest is authentic.”

Simple, right?

This is still the case, but the process is more open and now under scrutiny. In 2016, they announced an application process. In 2017, they suspended verification altogether.

With an application process, there still is much work to be done to ensure that the wrong accounts don’t get verified.

Twitter continues to monitor verified accounts, but not at a quick enough rate.

But what is incredibly important here is that the meaning of the blue checkmark is changing.

Twitter even teased that they want an open verification process, which could help combat misinformation on the platform.

If accounts — not just influencers and celebrities — were verified, you could be more confident that the information you were reading was from a person, rather than a bot.

Expand your network

Now that you’re able to evaluate the validity of your potential partners, all you need to do to find them. The best place to start is with Twitter’s Advanced Search.

To begin, start at You should arrive at a page that looks like this:

twitter advanced search fields

There are a few Advanced Search Strategies I’d like for you to consider when looking for partners or influencers. Let’s take a look at each category:

  • Words. Notice the difference between “all” and “any” of these words and use it to your advantage. “All” will limit the search, while “any” casts a wider net.
  • People. If you know who you are looking for but need to source a specific tweet from them, you can enter their account and the keyword you are looking for.
  • Places. This can be useful if your business is local, and you wanted to get a pulse on what people are saying about your product or industry in a specific city or community.
  • Dates. This helps you narrow the search if you want to perform social listening in a certain span of time. This is great for events or seasonal products/companies.

The results automatically default to Twitter’s “Top” option, but if you’re searching for a current pulse on a topic or looking to make connections, consider clicking the “Latest” or “People” option.

search options twitter

Share updates and business information with your audience in real-time

Twitter has always been a viable platform to share breaking news stories.

And even with the influx of misinformation, it still is. Why?

Abhinav Sharma, a Product Designer at Quora, attributes it to the following factors:

  • A critical mass of active users that can contribute content.
  • Low barrier-to-entry (you can very easily send a tweet and participate).
  • Retweets are streamlined and an easy way to share content.
  • Stories are succinct and easy-to-comprehend with the character limit.
  • Twitter supports popular, breaking stories with “trending topics.”

Twitter’s May 2017 update showcases the popularity of each tweet in real time, providing another transparent metric to help users evaluate the validity of the Tweet.

tweet popularity in timeline

In other words, the replies, retweets, and likes will no longer be static; you’ll see them increasing in real time.

You can also share more (280 characters to be exact) in a single tweet than ever before.

In a recent study, Twitter discovered that 9% accounts were hitting the maximum with 140 character tweets, while only 1% were hitting the limit with 280 characters.

number of tweets number of characters

But should you pack all those characters into a single tweet?

Research says yes.

Social Media Today reports that longer tweets actually lead to increased levels of engagement from your followers.

longer tweets bring more engagement

Now you can tell your story, share your updates, and still provide engaging content.

And if an expanded character count wasn’t enough for you, Twitter recently released a thread feature to allow for a longer narrative and more in-depth story.

boston marathon twitter thread

Threads are useful for events with a series of updates, a how-to with a series of steps, an interview with multiple questions, and a wide variety of other scenarios.

These new features will equip your brand to present valid and engaging information to your users in Twitter’s current ecosystem.


Let’s face it.

Twitter has had a rough few months.

Slowed growth. Bots. Fake news.

It seems everyone is the first to criticize the network.

As a marketer, you might be wondering, “Does it still play an integral of a role in my marketing strategy as it once did?”

Our answer: yes…but only if you know how to use it correctly and exploit the network’s key strengths.

By understanding Twitter’s strengths (and weaknesses), you can still use the network to drive long-term growth for your business.

After all, your customers are still on there. You should be too.

Twitter serves as a powerful medium to provide real-time updates and immediate customer service resolutions for your customers.
They are seeking direct and transparent information, which you can easily provide on Twitter.

They type of content you share can also affect your success. Video has emerged as a leading form of content on Twitter, and consumers are eating it up.

And remember, your customers aren’t the only ones on Twitter either.

Brands are using the platform to source leads, find partners, and network with influencers like never before.

The network has evolved, too.

With the right plan in place, you can make your Twitter marketing strategy an impactful part of your business’ marketing strategy.

What tactics will you use to evolve your Twitter strategy in 2018?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.