Have you ever sat through a keynote address or read a book from a thought leader in your industry and wondered how they achieved their status? If so, you aren’t alone. In fact, we found ourselves asking this question so frequently that we decided to conduct extensive research on the topic. We wondered: What makes these experts so appealing to buyers? How did they rise to their level of fame? What types of benefits are they bringing to their firm?

To answer these questions, we interviewed 130 prominent industry thought leaders — Visible Experts, as we call them. We also surveyed over 1,000 buyers of expert services to get a perspective from the other side of the equation. Our findings proved that these industry stars are even more beneficial to their firms than we originally anticipated.

Over 60% of experts interviewed revealed two key benefits: Brand building, and growth and business development. (read more…)

The ITS World Congress ended two weeks ago, but the intelligent transportation technology demonstrated in Detroit’s Cobo Center over the four-day conference will continue to be discussed and implemented in the months and years to come.

The conference hosted thousands of attendees from 65 countries and featured more than 300 square feet of exhibition space with everyone from car makers and software firms to data analytics companies and application development companies touting their wares. The event also boasted more than 30 interactive demonstrations of autonomous and connected vehicles, smart infrastructure and robotics. Mobile capabilities have benefitted the automotive and transportation industries and the two will continue to introduce new products and services as the technology develops.

This industry has already seen progress in GPS and navigational systems that can alert authorities of an accident and traffic signal optimization that helps to decrease traffic. But on the horizon is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, where cars and trucks will “talk” to each other, as well as lane control systems and cars that take over some of the driving – or parking – for you. (read more…)

A central part of any social media strategist’s job is to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in newsfeed algorithms, analytics features and paid post programs. After managing social programs for a wide variety of brands, I’ve discovered that the best strategy is not to be reactive to these changes, but rather to authentically engage with users.

That means that, instead of seeking to take advantage of the latest loophole, engage to the point where customers — or potential customers — actually want to share their data (name, email address, zip code, etc.) because they are genuinely interested and want to participate. There are three important steps to achieving success in generated social direct response:

1) Engagement
Think of engagement as the foundation upon which you build your strategy. Approach your effort across screens and marketing vehicles so that your message reaches your target audience both offline and online. Remember, the consumer is looking for an easy and consistent experience when taking the time to engage with you, so allow your marketing messages to prompt a consumer action no matter where they see your messaging. (read more…)

Have you been loyally posting your brand photos on all of your social media platforms, and just aren’t getting the loyal turnout you’ve been expecting? Do you want to expand your online visibility and can’t figure out what you are doing wrong?

Maybe it’s because you have been ignoring some comments on Facebook, or not crediting users with a “hat tip” when sharing content on Google+. Do your tweets run all the way to 140 characters, leaving no room for others to include your username in a retweet? That’s another no-no. Basic etiquette principles apply to all social networks, and every platform comes with a unique set of rules.

Just because you have dutifully created a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram, doesn’t mean your job is done. If you want your business to grow, you are going to need to learn how to reach people across platforms. This infographic is a handy guide to social media etiquette for each of the main platforms. (read more…)

You wrote an article. It’s probably awesome, full of insights and experience readers can’t get anywhere else.

On that first day you published you probably got a hundred readers or so, 16 social shares, two retweets and maybe an e-mail subscriber.

On the second day you probably got 57 readers, 7 social shares, 1 retweet and a quarter of an e-mail subscriber (I’m going off the stats here).

On the third day you published another article and the first one disappeared into the black, tar-like mire of the Internet, only venturing a finger into the light of day when someone happens to go to the fourth page of Google’s search results in search of the 30th article on “Online Marketing Best Practices You Need to Hear!”

This article will give you the four most important steps you can take to fight tooth, nail and literally any sharp implement you can find to ensure you get the most out of each and every article you write. (read more…)