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“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

— Peter Wales

When it comes to inbound marketing, most marketers think about landing pages, conversion rates, and marcom softwares. But it's more than that — it's a new paradigm for marketing.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Inbound marketing is a fundamental shift.

Yes, nowadays we focus more on list building, call-to-actions, lead magnets, viral loops, conversion rates, landing page optimization, a/b-testing, marketing automation, and all of that fancy stuff often associated with online marketing in general, and inbound marketing in particular.

But inbound marketing is so much more than just using various types of software to capture online leads.

Here’s why:

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Some say you should go big and wide, others say go focused and deep. Which marketing strategy is right for your business?

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Should you opt for quantity or quality in your marketing efforts?

Or a mix of both?

These are questions many businesses struggle with today.

On the one hand, we hear of businesses that are extremely successful in leveraging creative mass media campaigns, multi-channel advertising, and aggressive sales efforts.

On the other hand, we also hear of businesses that are equally successful without spending any money on advertising, brands who rely on their fanbase, influencer endorsements, word-of-mouth, and publicity.

In my experience, both sides make compelling arguments.

But which side is right for your business?

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Social platforms often use the low-ball squeeze to lure businesses away from connecting with customers directly. Will e-commerce be next?

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Who’s in control of your audience?

Carl Waldecrantz, CEO and co-founder of Tictail, delivers an anti-website observation in The Death of Webshops (Huffington Post):

“Over the years that have passed, I have witnessed the deconstruction of websites as one part after the other have been moved elsewhere. Support to Twitter, Forums to Facebook, Blogs to Tumblr and now Medium, Videos to YouTube and now Snapchat, Opening Hours and Directions to Google Maps, Images to Instagram and so on.”

Waldecrantz then goes on to make the point that webshops, too, should be relocated onto third-party e-commerce platforms — like Tictail.

But before we give away the farm, let’s talk shop:

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Is it possible to stay on top on trends in today's accelerating online landscape — and must we become Pokémon marketing experts now?

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

The other day, Anne signed up for my email list. After leaving her email address, she was taken to a landing page where I asked her to share her biggest challenge in digital marketing and communications.

Like many others before her, Anne decided to share. Her biggest challenge was to keep up with the accelerating pace of today’s online landscape. How can anyone today keep up and stay on top of things?

Anne shares her frustration with hundreds of other readers who have answered that same question over the years. We become neophiliacs, always looking out for the next thing.

Do we have to become fucking experts on Pokémon marketing now, she wondered.

I think it’s time to deal with this fear of missing out.

Here goes:

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The world is not flat, so why should the web be any different? New technology might just change marketing and PR — again.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

It took us a while, but we figured it out:

The Earth is round, and we shouldn’t worry about falling off the edge.

The web, however, has been flat since the start. Sure, most of us remember the debacle that was Second Life, the game-like world with pornographic avatars, that didn’t quite take.

And in gaming, we’ve been enjoying 3D experiences (“Damn, that’s the second time those alien bastards shot up my ride!”) for decades.

And so finally, after a fair share of false starts, the digital world is about to shift from 2D to 3D. So buckle up Dorothy; it’s time to kiss Kansas goodbye and go explore this magical new world.

Let’s begin in Tony Stark’s garage:

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Can machine learning predict soccer results using two years of big data from 30,000 soccer games? Yes, but not better than humans — yet.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

This is a guest post by Ola Lidmark Eriksson, CTO at Wide Ideas.

Two years ago, I asked myself if it would be possible to use machine learning to better predict the outcome of soccer games.

I decided to give it a serious try and today, two years and contextual data from 30,000 soccer games later, I’ve gained lots of interesting insights.

Here goes:

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This is the case study for exactly how Tinitell managed to successfully crowdfund a wristphone for kids on Kickstarter.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Tinitell is a wristphone designed for kids that raised $100,000 in just 10 days through crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

The campaign closed on $140,933 and the wristphone is now in production. Without any venture capital, we had to bootstrap everything.

This is the story about the project. It contains several interesting and useful learnings for those interested in launching crowdfunding projects.

Here goes:

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According to Wikipedia: “A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease. The word derives from plat, the French word for “flat.” Platitudes are geared towards presenting a shallow, unifying wisdom over a difficult topic. However, they are too overused and general to be anything more […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

According to Wikipedia:

“A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease. The word derives from plat, the French word for “flat.” Platitudes are geared towards presenting a shallow, unifying wisdom over a difficult topic. However, they are too overused and general to be anything more than undirected statements with an ultimately little meaningful contribution towards a solution.”

Whether you’re in marketing and communications or not, you’ll see these platitudes everywhere. And for some reason, platitudes are becoming the go-to format for many lazy content marketers.

How can you avoid becoming one of those lazy content marketers?

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Instead of trying to cram everything into one single front page, your business could make good use of multiple high-converting front pages.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

I often get involved in heated debates on what to include on the front page. It goes a little something like this:

“We really must put my work on the front page because it’s real important.”

If I then introduce concepts such as above-the-fold1, the debate often gets even more heated. And if I would weigh in by saying that certain elements aren’t that important, the chances are that someone will get offended. Like, “how dare you pass judgement on the importance of what I do for a living?”

Since this tends to be a tricky situation, to say the least, I want to give you some easy-to-follow mindsets and examples to help you get your front page strategy right.

Here goes:

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Whether they freelance or build lifestyle businesses, they are becoming the new online marketing elite, a force in marketing to be reckoned with.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

I’ve met my fair share of venture capitalists — and entrepreneurs seeking their funding and support:

One online startup I know went through 25-30MSEK (2,6-3,1MEUR) in less than two years without generating any revenue whatsoever. The VCs wanted a ‘unicorn investment’, the entrepreneur wanted a yacht. But as for most venture-backed online startups, in the end, it just didn’t work out for anyone.

One online startup I used to know went through 25-30MSEK (2,6-3,1MEUR) in less than two years without generating any revenue whatsoever. The VCs wanted a ‘unicorn investment’, the entrepreneur wanted a yacht. But as for most venture-backed online startups, in the end, it just didn’t work out for anyone.

Lots of interesting marketing practices (growth hacking, viral loop design, ramping up, quant marketing, etc.) comes out of the online startup space, and these companies are often regarded as the ‘marketing elite’ today. But there’s a much more quiet revolution going on simultaneously, a revolution where marketing freelancers are becoming a class in their own right — all the while traditional advertising- and PR agencies, who used to attract the best of the best, struggle.

What makes this new breed of online creatives so interesting is what motivates them — and it’s not wanting to buy a yacht or to lead a life in luxury. So if not wealth then, what is it that drives these people?

Here goes:

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It’s time for a Monday Challenge again. Here we go: How should I prioritize where to put my time and energy between all various opportunities and social channels in digital marketing? — Camilla, Sweden. It’s sort of becoming my modus operandi to recommend a shift in perspective. But a shift in perspective is exactly what’s needed here! Instead […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

It’s time for a Monday Challenge again. Here we go:

How should I prioritize where to put my time and energy between all various opportunities and social channels in digital marketing? — Camilla, Sweden.

It’s sort of becoming my modus operandi to recommend a shift in perspective. But a shift in perspective is exactly what’s needed here!

Instead of thinking about where to put energy and resources, I suggest a focus on what you might have to say and whether or not this will be interesting to anyone or not.

Like this:

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Do you know exactly who you want to reach, but not exactly where to find them online? For today’s reader question, I’m looking deeper into how we can find the people we want to reach online. My biggest challenge is to find my target group. I know who I want to reach, but where do I find them digitally […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Do you know exactly who you want to reach, but not exactly where to find them online? For today’s reader question, I’m looking deeper into how we can find the people we want to reach online.

My biggest challenge is to find my target group. I know who I want to reach, but where do I find them digitally — and how do I stand out from the crowd in that channel? – Eva-Lena, Sweden.

I love this question, but it’s a tough one to answer since it focuses on the core challenge of all marketing; how to find and reach the right people with the right message.

Here goes:

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I’m starting a new series, Monday Challenges. Every Monday I will answer or discuss a question or challenge sent in by my readers. Hopefully, you’ll find this format relevant and valuable. Without further ado, here’s this week’s challenge: How can we use social media to sell and market a product that people buy very seldom? — Rebecka, Sweden. […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

I’m starting a new series, Monday Challenges. Every Monday I will answer or discuss a question or challenge sent in by my readers. Hopefully, you’ll find this format relevant and valuable.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s challenge:

How can we use social media to sell and market a product that people buy very seldom? — Rebecka, Sweden.

Interesting, right? Let’s dive right in:

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I think "learning by doing" is the way to go. Here's what I learned from creating a free email course.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Two months ago, I created a free 28-day email course.

I did have a one-week email course four-five years ago, but that was before I had an actual email list.

For the past year, I’ve been working on-and-off on creating a paid video course on digital PR, so I wanted to see if there’s any interest out there for the type of insights that I have to share.

I’m also struggling with a manuscript for a book on digital PR, and I wanted to test some of my ideas on smart professionals in my target audience.

Now that the PR course has been live for a while, I want to share some of what I’ve learned so far.

Here goes:

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A great website can be so much more than the sum of all pages linked from your site's navigation menu.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

When most people think of their websites, they think about what’s on their front page and the pages you can reach from the navigation menu.

And those pages are important; you do want a clean and easy-to-navigate menu — and your most popular pages readily available.

But imagine if there was a whole new universe of content underneath it all.

What would that be like?

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This article also appeared on Social Media Today. With a little twist, I wanted to demonstrate how content marketing works — in particular for smaller companies. And how it could work for your business. My experiment yielded some interesting results, and I thought I should share them with you. Here goes:

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

This article also appeared on Social Media Today.

With a little twist, I wanted to demonstrate how content marketing works — in particular for smaller companies. And how it could work for your business.

My experiment yielded some interesting results, and I thought I should share them with you.

Here goes:

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How much is shared via email, messaging apps, and closed forums? According to Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic, quite a lot.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, coined what might prove to be a very much discussed term amongst social media naturals for some time to come:

Enter the Dark Social side of online sharing.

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Social media incentives for online marketing is the secret sauce. Giveaways, contests, traffic, VIP treatments, exclusive deals, special access and so on.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

What about social media incentives?

As a digital strategist, people sometimes ask me about the secret sauce for digital marketing.

In traditional PR, the secret sauce has always been conflict.

In a news-driven world, conflict simply is king (see How To Pitch The Press).

If a company is hiring, that in itself becomes extra interesting if other companies are laying people off. If you have a good product, the product becomes more interesting if it solves a problem. And it becomes even more interesting if someone specific have failed epically to solve the problem in the past.

But in digital marketing, the secret sauce in digital marketing is social media incentives.

The Narcissistic Principle

Incentives come in many shapes and forms.

Contests and giveaways are common and even if the Hippie Web sometimes frown upon such novel activities, the same way traditional PR purists frown upon using surveys for PR.

But the fact of the matter is that statistics from new surveys works — and so does contests and giveaways.

But incentives is also so much more. It’s a behavioral logic:

We share to to make ourself look smart.
We share to fit in and to stand out.
We share to express individuality.
We share to belong to our community.
We share to be more loved.
We share to extract sympathy.
We share to get ahead.

And so on.

Yet, there are just as many online corporate activities that lack any user incentive as there are press releases that lack conflict. If it’s that easy, why are we making it so hard?

At the core, it’s all about humanity.

When we want to tell the world our happy news, every fiber of our beings wants to stay away from the conflict.

When we want people to share our messages, it feels awkward to let the users themselves reign over the messaging according to their own agendas.

And this is why these secret sauces stay so elusive.

And here’s the kicker; in order to better understand how to talk, you must first learn how to shut up for a second and listen to what people want. Difficult, yes. Counter-intuitive, yes.

Better? Absolutely.

I don't believe content to be a social silver bullet, but I seem to be in a minority on this one. Great content is merely a hygiene factor

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

At a dinner the other day, I got myself tangled up in a heated discussion on content marketing:

We discussed whether or not there were any significant differences between content marketing and the type of editorial services the PR function had been delivering since the beginning of the 20th century. We agreed that the media logic had changed they way we work with different channels, but that the basic principles of editorial marketing had stayed the same.

So it was only natural for us to agree that editorial content was more important than ever.

However, while my dinner company was enthusiastically praising the importance of great content, I soon find myself disagreeing. While I think great content is important, it’s not a magic bullet.

Here’s why:

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I follow Marcus Sheridan’s blog, The Sales Lion. It’s always a good read, but the other day I just had to push a blog post to my “read later” cue (which is sort of stacking up, but that’s another story). However, I read the post about content tipping points — and the concept is highly interesting: What […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

I follow Marcus Sheridan’s blog, The Sales Lion.

It’s always a good read, but the other day I just had to push a blog post to my “read later” cue (which is sort of stacking up, but that’s another story).

However, I read the post about content tipping points — and the concept is highly interesting:

What if every website has a magic number?

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Why blog, you wonder. There are many reasons depending on your given situation, of course. Just as there are many reasons not to blog. Personally, I think there’s one reason above the others. Here goes:

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Why blog, you wonder.

There are many reasons depending on your given situation, of course. Just as there are many reasons not to blog.

Personally, I think there’s one reason above the others.

Here goes:

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As a frequent business traveler, here's what I would expect from my dream hotel — when it comes to its digital presence.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

For once in my life, I’d like to stay at a hotel where the digital world is a part of the overall experience.

I’ve stayed at my fair share of hotels, but none has ever gotten close to what I, as a frequent business traveler, would expect digitally from a dream hotel.

If I were doing PR for a hotel with a budget to match our mutually shared ambitions, here’s how I’d do it:

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