TikTok, Listening and Successful Content Creators

Have you heard about Tik Tok? In our previous post we wrote about popups. In this post we will look at a new social media channel that is getting results for some big players.
tik tok

Image by Jan Alexander from Pixabay

Tik Tok Video

TikTok is a platform for short videos. It is popular with millennials and younger adults. It is an excellent platform for generating engagement and video feedback from your audience.

Here is a link to an article on Hubspot Marketing Blog with examples of 7 brands using Tik Tok successfully. While you are there, check out the free templates Hub spot are offering on their site.

Tik Tok is only one year old and already has 500 million users. If you are targeting this audience, your brand lends itself to informal and fun videos then you might want to consider this new platform. The Washington Post, the NBA and others are amongst the early advertisers already on this new platform.

Do you listen?

This week, Mark Schaefer published an excellent article about his “Brand Engagement Fantasy“.  He quoted Cindy Gallop, with 80 000 followers on twitter finding that a tweet mentioning a number of big brands received no response from any of those brands. Not a single engagement. What a missed opportunity.

On my personal twitter account @zimpeterw, I have around 16 000 followers. I have never bought followers and do not have an active campaign to get new followers. Mostly I just follow some who follow me or are recommended by people I already follow and trust. Those followers have come along steadily over almost 11 years since I became an early twitter user.  That is not meant to impress you. I only mention it because with that many followers I know how hard it is to listen effectively.

The point of Mark’s article is that very few marketers are listening to the conversations about their brands on Twitter or any social media platform. It takes time and effort to do it effectively and it takes dedicated people to do it.

That’s why the advice to marketers from the early days of social media to master one social media platform at a time is still good advice.  As good as new channels like Tik Tok might seem for your brand make sure you have the resources before jumping aboard.

Read Mark’s article for the full story.

Successful Content Creators

Most small business owners and entrepreneurs struggle to regularly and consistently create good content for blogs, websites and social media. I believe blog posts can be the foundation of good content creation because you can link to them on social media platforms. That exposes your content to a wider audience. But you have to come up with ideas for the blog post first.

There are hundreds of articles by a huge number of experts and not-so-experts on content creation. I thought this one by Maggie Butler of Hubspot Marketing is solid advice and one of the better ones I have come across. It’s worth reading.

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Pop-ups – Should We Or Shouldn’t We Use Them?

Pop-ups on websites are controversial. Some successful website owners swear by them, others will not use them under any circumstances. Another group uses them carefully by controlling when and to whom they get shown.

Image by ayushprince1996 from Pixabay

Mark Schaefer recently published a post on his Marketing Solutions blog on this subject.

According to his article, over 50 % of consumers say they would not revisit a site that used pop-ups.

Wearing my consumer hat, on my first visit to a site I can tolerate a small pop-up asking me to subscribe to a newsletter or promoting a special offer. If the pop-up is delayed until I am about to leave the site, I find it less irritating.

However, successive pop-ups promoting different products or services or pushing me to subscribe do annoy me intensely and have caused me to leave sites never to return.

Pop-ups From a Marketing Perspective

Wearing my marketing hat, I use pop-ups carefully. My experience is that they do work for certain calls-to-action if used with restraint.

On our Tiny Home Geniuses site, you will see a small pop-up subscription form after 20 seconds and as you leave after your first visit, a second different pop-up again asking for your email address.

Our statistics show us the following rate of subscribers who subscribe using forms on our site.  About 40% of our subscribers come from landing pages.

  • Exit pop-up                 = 50%
  • Regular pop-up        = 40%
  • Static sidebar form = 10%

Both the regular pop-up and the static form are created using our MailChimp autoresponder service. The exit pop-up is created with the Sumo WordPress plugin and is integrated with MailChimp.

We do not use pop-ups to advertise any products or services.

I follow the same procedure on my personal blog PeterWrightsBlog.com. I have not received any negative feedback about pop-ups on either site. But we know that many dissatisfied visitors will quietly disappear without giving reasons.


Pop-ups work for us when used carefully. They do not work for all sites or all audiences. You need to try them and assess the results on your own sites. Because of my own dislike of big, flashy intrusive pop-ups, I  only use small forms, never huge ones that obscure most of the page.

Last thoughts

In our previous post, we recommended 3 tools to help your marketing efforts. We have found another one  Ad Inserter Pro we want to tell you about. It is the best tool we have found for inserting adverts into your posts, or anywhere on blog or static pages on a WordPress website. If you want to generate revenue from your blog, this is a must.


Clicking on some links on this site will let you buy products and services which may result in us receiving a commission, however, it will not affect the price you pay.

5 Tips You Should Know Before Blogging

1-Make it personal

People want to read stories, not long essays or white papers.  Blogging is a way to build a connection with your audience especially when using simple words like ‘you’ and ‘I’.  Introduce a personal story to help engage your readers or something that is relatable to them.

2-Ask questions

If your blog asks questions of the readers, chances are someone will respond by commenting.  This is what you want – engagement.  By the way, don’t be afraid of constructive criticism from your audience.  Everyone has a viewpoint and an opinion.   Respond to all comments with respect and a professional tone.  Your readers will feel more connected to you and your message.

3-You need a community

If you upload a blog to your website and expect the world to go read it, think again.  Here’s where you need to put some time and energy.  By building a solid social media following, you’ll create a better opportunity for your blog to be shared.  Essentially, this is your main distribution channel.  Build your Facebook and Twitter followers.  Create videos and upload them to YouTube.  Reach out to other blogging sites to see if you may become a guest blogger and offer to reciprocate.  Turn your blog posts into podcasts that can be listened to while on the road.  There are several available methods for reaching your audience.  Try to use as many as you can.  There is another platform called Klusster which is a fabulous tool for bloggers to create their own publications or joining forces with other bloggers to create a community publication.  Check out this one on health which is made up of a community of local businesses sharing content related to health.

Healthy Waterloo Region

4-Stand out

There are over a billion blogs on the web vying for your attention, so you need to make yourself stand out.  Make it visually interesting.  I don’t know about you, but if I see a blog post that is almost all text and no images, I am not as inclined to read it through.  Break up your text with infographics and other visuals.  It will make your blog more enticing to read.

5-Choose a specific niche

It’s impossible to be all things to everyone and do it effectively.  So, don’t do it.  Pick a niche that isn’t too small either or you’ll have a hard time growing your traffic or have fewer people interested in reading your content.  Use Google Trends to home in on a niche.   This will show you on a graph the interest trends on a particular topic.  Here’s an example of a site blogging on the current popular niche of tiny home living.  The topic isn’t so small that the writers would run out of content anytime soon but it’s still specific enough to target interested readers.


If you don’t take the above key elements into consideration when blogging, you may find yourself floundering. These are just as important as planning your content.  Once you’re ready to begin writing, here is an article that might help you get things started and organized. What else have I missed here? What did you find to be critical to your blogging success?  Let me know by commenting.

5 Key Types of Video Marketing

By 2021, Facebook says that all their content will be by video.  That’s only a couple of years away!  However, you can definitely see a trend toward video marketing especially if you are on social media. In fact, 50% of consumers want to see video from brands more than any other type of content.  As the VP for Slidely said, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is a library”.

Here are 5 types of videos you may want to consider to help bring more visibility to your brand.

1-Brand Videos

These videos aim to communicate the brand’s culture, vision, personality, products and services.  Often larger companies will use a celebrity to increase traffic views and engagements.  These are also typically part of a larger advertising campaign.

2-Explainer Videos

These help to demonstrate how to use a product and showcase its benefits.  Sephora is particularly good at these and their videos have proven quite effective.

3-Live Videos

Live streaming to your social media audience allows you to engage the viewers in real time.  It increases engagements and allows for immediate feedback.  Celebrity Suzanne Somers often does live streaming to promote her products and brand.  Her fans love it as it makes them feel like she is spending time with them personally.  You don’t need to be a celebrity for these to be effective though.


4-Expert Interviews

Here is a great way to position yourself as an authority about your niche.  It helps to harness trust from the community.

5-Personalized Messages

Instead of responding to a client via email, delivering a personal message through video email can have a far greater impact.  These are also great as a prospecting tool.

Here is an example of how you can personalize a message:


If you are trying to gain brand visibility, the power of video is a medium you cannot ignore especially knowing that in just a couple of years, most of content marketing will be delivered via video.  So, go on and turn on those cell phone cameras and start filming.  Smile!

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7 Types of Subject Lines to Get Your Emails Read

We are literally inundated with billions of emails sent and received PER DAY!  As marketers, is there a secret to ensure your emails are opened? While it isn’t a perfect science, below we outline 7 ways that can help you create compelling subject lines to increase your click-through rate.

1-Intriguing Subject Lines – Curiosity is a powerful motivator. It keeps the mind in a perpetual state of anticipation for what lies ahead, or in this case, inside the email.  Here are some examples: “Everyone is asking about this new beauty secret.” “The truth about email marketing and what you need to know.” “How much does working from home save you?”

2-Funny Subject Lines – Injecting a little humour is a lighthearted way to appeal to someone’s sense of fun.  However, make sure you know your audience to ensure you don’t offend anyone. Examples are: “50% off Ray-Bans.  Get in a new frame of mind.” “Up to 40% off trousers & sport coats. It’s a tailor-made deal!”

3-FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – Think about it.  Fear of missing out is a great motivator.  The key is to highlight what the recipient will lose if they don’t open the email.  The higher the value, the more worried they’ll be about the missed opportunity. Examples: “By Invitation Only: Exclusive Rewards”. “Grab this deal before it’s gone.” “Only 2 hours left to this mega offer.”

4-Pain Points – Identifying problems and presenting solutions can be an attention grabber especially if it speaks to the reader’s relatable issues.  Here are some examples: “Sit back and let someone else do the cooking.” “Beautiful brochures made faster.”

5-Emojis – This is a good way to add emotion to your emails.  In fact, in one study, they found that emojis helped the person remember the message as opposed to no use of emojis. Example: Berry Impressive Summer Recipes.”

6-Resparking Interest – We all see a decline in subscribers over time.  Perhaps they feel that the content is no longer meeting their needs.  This calls for creative ways to re-engage the reader in order to regain their interest.  Here’s what this could look like: “We’ve missed you. Please come back.” “Still interested in that deal?” “Can you believe it’s been a month?”

7-Social Proof Subject Lines – In marketing, there is no greater stamp of approval than a referral.  When you set the expectation that all your peers are eating at a specific place or using a particular product, it gives credibility or provides a sense of quality. You can see that this may be like our ‘fear of missing out’ point above.  It comes down to the how you position the subject line in removing all doubt. Examples: “Most Popular Recipes This Week.” “The People Have Spoken: These Are Their Faves.”

For more detailed information, be sure to check out Hubspot’s article here.


Is there a secret sauce to creating a clickable subject line?  While we may not have a perfect recipe, if you follow the tips we provided, you may well be on your way to having a smorgasbord of content clicked through by captivated readers.

Don’t be a stranger! I’d love to hear from you so reach out and let me know how you get your readers to click on your emails.

3 Steps to Help You Write a Superb Blog Post

Did you know that marketers that blog regularly generate 67% more leads than those that don’t? How many of you are cringing right now? Although the idea of writing blogs can be an enjoyable task for some people, helping them to tap into their creative side but for many, it’s a task that simply feels like a chore. Lucky for you, there is a fail-proof template that might make things a bit easier.  Here we go:

Step 1: Creating a template

Don’t be afraid to take extra time when writing your first few posts.  You’ll find your groove and if you keep to a standard process for how you go about it, well, you’ll be spitting these out in about 45 minutes (and never longer than 2 hours).

Topics – You know your business better than anyone so think about questions your clients would typically ask you and write about it. Still need more ideas?  Hubspot’s Big Ideas Generator could be a useful tool. Simply tell them words that interest you and they will come up with topic ideas. Brilliant. Another good tool is Buzzsumo.

Fill in the Blanks – I remember learning how to write an essay in 9th grade and what has stuck with me to this day is the basic structure:  Introduction, body (with 3+ paragraphs) and conclusion.  So go ahead, take some paper and jot down a couple of sentences to introduce the topic to your readers.  Then, write down 3 subheadings. Finally, write down Conclusion. There’s your template!

Go back and fill in content under the subheadings with 3-5 lines of text.

For your conclusion, summarize key points so that someone just skimming your content can quickly decide whether they want to go back and read the whole article.

Step 2: Images

Select some good images.  There are stock-free images that you can get from sites like Pixabay but if you really wanted to step it up, you could pay for images on sites like Fotolia.  Spend time selecting impressive images because as the old saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.  No one wants to read an article that is just text.

Step 3: Writing Style

When you begin writing your blog posts, keep to a certain style that you are most comfortable with.  However, one of the styles that most people enjoy reading is one that is more conversational like using the words ‘you’ and ‘I’.  Unless you’re writing a peer-review for a medical journal, keep it relatable. Here are a few more tips:

  • Use short paragraphs which should never be longer than 6 lines.
  • If your writing a blog that is roughly 2000 words include about 6 or 7 images throughout the body. Use your judgment here. If the blog post is shorter, still include a few images to help break up the text and increase the visual appeal.
  • Ensure you include supportive links to back up your statements. It only adds credibility to your article.
  • Encourage reader engagement by ending your post with a question. This invites the reader to comment or reach out to you for more information.


By repeatedly following the above protocol, you should have a good routine in place to help you create blogs in no time.  Remember to:

  • Create your template with an introduction, some subheadings and conclusion. Go back and fill in content under each section.
  • Select some good images.
  • Be consistent in your writing style and keep it more conversationalist.

To find out who we are, visit us here.

For more great information, I like to follow the blogs from Neil Patel.  Check out his post related to this topic here.

Do you have any more ideas you’d like to share that have worked for you? I’d love to hear about them.