Rhizom 28

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Was genau ist Rhizom? In erster Linie ein Magazinprojekt an Münster School of Design der FH Münster. Aber warum Rhizom? Ein »Rhizom“ ist der unterirdische Teil von Pflanzen, der die Zeiten überdauert sowie räumlich unberechenbar und regelmäßig in dem Maße nach vorne wächst, in dem er hinten abstirbt. Dieser Wurzelstock ist keine Organisationsform, sondern löst als subversives Element verhärtete Strukturen auf. Er gibt kein Programm vor und legt keine Linie fest. Dadurch kann er auch nicht zur Fessel werden. Das bedeutet permanente Verjüngung und Bewegung. Das alles ist Teil der Lehre. Das alles ist Abbild unserer Zeit. Das alles ist ein Medium. Das alles ist ein Magazin.

»Rhizom“. Der Titel verweist auf den Versuchscharakter des Magazins, dessen Erscheinungsbild von Ausgabe zu Ausgabe wechselt. Jedes Heft wird von verschiedenen Studierenden geschrieben und gestaltet. Jede Ausgabe ist ein »restart“. Nicht nur in der Betrachtung des bisherigen Designs, eben auch inhaltlich. Vorbereitet im Seminar »Dead Poet Society“. Das primäre Ziel ist dabei die Auseinandersetzung mit einem Buch/Literatur, das/die sich mit Design, Kommunikation, Innovation und den beteiligten Menschen beschäftigt. Dabei ist es wichtig jeweils die Kernaussagen und Botschaften des Kursbuchs zu verstehen, im weiteren Verlauf zu reflektierten, eigenen Einsichten zu gelangen und diese Einsichten später dann im Folgeseminar »Rhizom“ in einen inhaltlichen und gestalterischen Kontext zu bringen. Kommunikation ist ein Prozess von innen nach außen. Daher beginnt die Leistung mit dem aktiven Zuhören, setzt sich im Mitdenken fort und mündet im visionären Umsetzen.

Das Magazin leistet, was der Entwurf allein nicht leisten kann. Weil es sichtbar macht, was sein kann. Es zeigt redaktionelle Inhalte und ihre typografische Umsetzung. Wörter. Bilder. Design. Ziel ist das Trainieren von Strategien für den Umgang mit komplexen Themen und der inhaltlichen, wie auch gestalterischen Dramaturgie im Editorial Design.

Warum ein »Projekt Zeitschrift“? Design als akademische Disziplin ist eine Denkmethode, die sich am Machen orientiert. Das Denken ohne das Machen ist Theorie. Das Machen ohne das Denken ist Orientierungslos. So sieht es das »Projekt Zeitschrift“ an der Münster School of Design der FH Münster. So sieht es »Rhizom“ Sechsundzwanzig.

Redaktion und Gestaltung
Julia Albrecht, Rebecca Camen, Kira Conze, Marcel Diedrich, Angelina Gergenreder, Farina Hannemann, Rieke Hartwig, Melina Kuczka, Lea Lee, Insa Lügger, Sven Marschulla, Victor Zumegen

Projektleitung / Herausgeber
Prof. Rüdiger Quass von Deyen

Themencoaching
Prof. Ralf Beuker

Technikbegleitung
Dipl. Des. Paul Bičište

Textbegleitung
Anna Louisa Duckwitz, Sebastian Berlich

Druck
Kettler

Source:: designmadeingermany.de

Eight tools you need for backlink generation

Screenshot of SEMrush

So you’ve created your website, following all the recommended SEO best practices.

That means you’ve included valuable, relevant keywords on your pages, made it mobile friendly and even started a blog that you’re updating frequently with original, relevant content.

But despite your best efforts, you’re not seeing as much traffic as you’d like, and your site is still ranking too low on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It could be that your site is missing just one thing: backlinks.

Backlinks are links from another website that point to your website. Getting backlinks from websites with high domain authority that are relevant to your niche will help you rank higher on Google searches and grab your audience’s attention.

Why is there such an emphasis on backlinks? Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) uses them to discover new pages, confirm pages are legitimate and determine the popularity of these pages. After all, Google doesn’t want to risk its own reputation by ranking subpar sites high on the SERP. According to a study by Backlinko, the number of domains linking to a webpage “correlated with rankings more than any other factor”.

Backlink generation isn’t easy, especially for new businesses or businesses just starting to build their web presence. However, with time, effort and the right tools, you can make sure you’re ranking high and receiving the views you deserve.

If you’re a business owner and want to boost your backlinks, here are eight tools to get you started.

1. MozBar

MozBar is a free SEO toolbar you download onto your web browser. It shows you the domain authority (DA) of a certain website, which gives you an indication of whether or not you should reach out for a backlink. If you do earn a backlink from a website with a DA, this will positively affect your own site’s authority.

In terms of DA, it ranges from 1 to 100, and the higher, the better. There’s no ideal number to look for, but generally, try finding sites with excellent content that relate to your field. If the DA is, say, a 35, that won’t help you as much as a site with a 75, but it won’t hurt, either. Research sites thoroughly and makes sure they aren’t spammy before pursuing them.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush, which helps with all types of marketing strategies, shows users a few key tools for backlink generation. When logged into the paid version, you can navigate to the mentions section and find which websites are mentioning you but not linking to you. Once you discover these mentions, you can reach out and ask for a link to your site (as long as the site is relevant and has a high DA), which will boost your rankings.

Another tactic is to go into the backlink audit and see who’s currently linking to your website. Check to see if the link appears underneath the proper SEO-rich keyword and if the site is legitimate and relevant. (If the site is not legitimate, you may want to reach out and ask them to take it down, since that backlink can potentially hurt your ranking.)

While on SEMrush, try the backlink gap tool, which shows you which backlink opportunities your competitors are not taking advantage of. Then, you can reach out and ask for those valuable backlinks instead.

3. PitchboxScreenshot of Pitchbox

Pitchbox is a platform to find websites that may want to spread the news about your business or backlink to your pages or content. You simply sign up for Pitchbox, log in, paste the link to the page/content you’re doing backlink generation for and add in some specific keywords you’re looking to target. Then, in a minute or two, Pitchbox will come up with (usually) hundreds of websites you can reach out to.

You can filter for or delete any websites with low domain authority, and go through the sites one by one to see which are valuable. You can reach out to these websites using a Pitchbox email template. Pitchbox will show you the contacts for that site (or allow you to manually input them), automatically place in the person’s name and their website name, and send as many follow-up emails as you’d like.

When using Pitchbox, double check the contacts to make sure they’re current. Another best practice is to email a maximum of two people at the website since you don’t want to spam numerous people within an organization. If you’re having trouble with backlink generation, consider offering a backlink exchange. Just make sure, again, that the site you’re promising to link to relevant to yours and not spammy.

4. AhrefsScreenshot of Ahrefs

Ahrefs is similar to SEMrush and allows you to use the platform’s backlinks checker to view your current backlinks. Since they’ve already linked to your content before, you can ask these sites to link back to your other pages as well. Ahrefs also allows you to disavow toxic backlinks that might hurt your ranking.

Another helpful backlink generation tool is the Ahrefs Site Explorer. By entering the name of your competitor, you can see all of their referring backlinks. Using that information, you can reach out to the same sites that are linking to your competitors and see if they want to link to a valuable piece of content from your site.

5. Google AlertsScreenshot of Google Alerts

Let’s say you don’t have time to log onto SEMrush or Ahrefs every day and go through your mentions and backlinks. Instead, sign up for Google Alerts, which will email you when you’re mentioned somewhere. Visit the websites that mention you and try to find the contact information for someone you can reach out to there. If you can’t find them, log onto Hunter.io, which is a free tool for finding email addresses using only a domain name.

6. Broken Link Builder

Screenshot of Broken Link Builder

Somebody’s broken link can be your backlinking opportunity with Broken Link Builder. With this tool, you can find dead websites and their respective backlinks, and then offer up similar content to the website that was linking to the dead link. It’s a white-hat SEO tactic that benefits both webmasters and backlink seekers. Broken Link Builder only takes 30 to 60 minutes to generate a report for you to find valuable backlinking opportunities.

7. Majestic

Screenshot of Majestic

Majestic is a backlinking tool, like SEMrush and Ahrefs, that examines all the backlinks for your website, as well as your competitors, and allows you to perform very specific searches. You can search and filter backlinks however you choose, including by crawl or discovery dates, anchor text, link type, URL snippet or merchant ID. Majestic also claims to have the largest index out of any other service.

8. Linkody

Screenshot of Linkody

Linkody is another platform for tracking and performing research on backlinks. It tells you when you lose or gain links, and you can disavow bad links. You’re able to see your competitors‘ backlinks and analyze your own link profile. You can choose to receive daily notifications in your inbox, view which links point to your landing pages and connect your Linkody and Google Analytics accounts for more backlink information. If you don’t want to pay for the service, you can use Linkody’s Free Backlink Checker to check two unique domains per week.

Tracking backlinks

With backlink generation, you need to track your efforts. A good place to do this is within a Google Sheet. Create a spreadsheet and share it with your team working on backlinks. They should input information like the date the backlink was pursued, the DA of the website, the URL of the website, the target URL of your content or page, the date the backlink was added, the contact’s email address and any notes about the process. Then, when you’re doing another round of backlink generation, you can refer to your Google sheet and reach out to the same people to see if they’d like to link to something else of yours.

Backlinks will always be part of Google’s ranking requirements. Understanding their importance and learning how to use these tools empowers you to do effective backlink generation that can increase your rankings and bring in more visitors to your site.

Mario Medina is a content strategist. He can be found on Twitter @mariovmedina.

The post Eight tools you need for backlink generation appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

How I got 80% open rate in my email outreach campaign

domain search for emails for search engine watch

The suggestion that you could have 80% of your outreach read by recipients sounds like a pipedream — an astronomical figure designed to keep people plugging away on their outbox.

With such a small canvas of visible information in a recipient’s inbox to work with, it can feel like enticing four out of every five targets to open your email is impossible.

But if you incorporate the right approaches, then it can very much become a reality. Just to give you the heads up, here’re some results we’ve managed to get in our recent outreach campaign:

In the following article, I’ve explored the ingredients needed to get 80% of your outreach messages viewed. So perhaps you’d like to pour yourself a coffee and brace yourself for an awful lot more audience interaction in the near future — the caffeine might come in handy.

Identify your targets

There are five key factors behind achieving a high open rate in your email outreach, and the first and most important is through identifying the right recipients.

A common mistake among many outreachers is their shotgun approach to distributing emails. While scattering mail across the internet into as many inboxes that can be sourced may seem like a good, time-saving and quantitative technique, it actually wastes more time that could be better invested in finding quality recipients.

Before a successful outreach campaign, you’ll need to dedicate some time to the preparation stage. Identify who your ideal responder would be, whether it’s a client, customer, consumer or collaborator, and work on devising a list of the perfect targets that fit the description.

Through the use of opt-ins and calls-to-action, you can have an interested recipient base come to you with minimal fuss and is a sure-fire approach to sending marketing emails to those most likely to view your content. By inviting your website’s visitors to subscribe to your mailing list via an effective call-to-action placed on your homepage, you get to save time on research and effortlessly come into possession of hundreds of emails – a great outreach method for websites that are in a position to offer a product or service to thousands of people.

For outreach emails with more link-building intentions sourcing becomes more difficult. If you’ve decided to target industry professionals and influencers, then tools like Email Hunter and Voila Norbert could be the answer — these services scour the internet for the relevant email addresses behind just about any active website and can help you hit the bulls-eye when it comes to finding the right people to get in contact with.

Mastering the subject line

According to a poll conducted via Litmus, 34% of recipients believe that an email subject line is the most important factor in helping them to decide to open their mail. This means that over 1/3 of your targets for outreach will be waiting for a perfect heading before clicking on your message.

These stats illustrate how important it is to get your subject line right, and there are many schools of thought behind what’s most effective and what isn’t.

Of course, each subject line will vary depending on the type of outreach you conduct, but the best practice is to appeal to people’s curiosity, to make them believe they’ll be gaining something if they read your email – which of course they will if your campaign has been constructed well enough.

screenshot of how email outreach goes to "other" mailbox

A winning subject line needs to be short, personal wherever possible, and relevant to the topics covered by your email. Sometimes being upfront can be effective, especially when it comes to outreaching savvy marketers and bloggers.

There are a few other factors that can make all the difference in making your email stand out too. Incorporating emojis into your heading may risk your content appearing puerile, but with the vast catalogue of emojis that are more serious than a winking yellow circle with a tongue sticking out, you can really add some standout imagery and colour to your title. For example, travel companies have been using holiday-themed emojis like aeroplanes and city skylines to great effect in capturing the imagination of recipients — if you can find something relevant that appeals to the aesthetics of your email, then it could be a key addition to make.

With so many individuals checking their inboxes via their smartphones, keeping your subject lines short and punchy has never been more important — make sure you get your message across in less than 50 characters.

By adding an element of urgency to your headline, recipients will feel more compelled to check its contents. You can exercise this by adding a sense of limited-time opportunity to your subject, or by inviting them to respond before a deadline — the chances are that they’ll be curious as to what’s caused the urgency and read on.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your subject line too — this can be seen as a way of cutting to the chase and getting your message across immediately.

Making use of your preview snippets

Many inboxes have menus that not only feature an unread email’s subject line but a snippet of text from the beginning of a message. It’s important not to neglect the opening lines of your email because this could be a key factor in whether or not it gets read or moved to the ‘junk‘ folder.

Litmus has stated that 24% of recipients check the text previews of emails, so it’s worth dedicating time to.

The most important part of nailing your email opening is personalization. Make sure it begins with ‘Dear, [Name]‘ or ‘Hi [Name],‘ where possible – any less than this will give off the strong impression that you’re simply using templates to scatter across the web (which may well be the case, but we don’t want them to know that).

An effective use of the preview snippet is to treat it like a secondary subject line, or to summarize the email in the first line – doing so could be the deciding factor while your target’s hovering over your message in their inbox. If you’re using an email marketing software, make sure to use these two rules in every template.

Keeping your sender reputation in check

You could have compiled the best list of targeted recipients, the best subject line and opening text, all for it to be undone by a sender score that’s so low that your email drops straight into the junk folder never to be seen again.

Email providers are designed to give their users the best experience. And part of that is through whittling down any perceived junk automatically by filtering out any messages from users with a low sender score.

A sender score is calculated by prior interactions, and how many users generally open your emails. A great website to check if your current email address passes most servers‘ junk filters is to consult Senderscore.org, which will let you know how your email is faring, and whether or not your messages will make it to the inboxes of your recipients.

sender score metrics for search engine watch

Effective follow-ups

Don’t be afraid to follow up on your emails. It can be easy to perceive the use of follow-ups as a nuisance or spammy, but in reality, a second email tends to work wonders in getting your content noticed.

example of a follow up email for email outreach

There are many reasons why recipients don’t read emails the first time around; it could’ve been received at a busy time in their day, or deleted by accident, or simply missed. Here, a follow-up offers your target a second chance to see your content and acknowledge your outreach.

Be sure to specify that your email is a follow-up – this shows that you’ve been in touch prior and clearly value the recipient’s attention. Also be sure to note when you sent your initial email for ease of reference.

While it’s worth sending more than one follow-up email to maximize your recipient’s chances to respond, we advise against mailing more than two chasers in order to limit the risk of being considered spam, or worse, being blacklisted.

Dmytro Spilka is Head Wiz at Solvid Digital. He can be found on Twitter at @spilkadi.

The post How I got 80% open rate in my email outreach campaign appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape

Everything—no matter how innocuous or dated—had its use. It was a mantra he lived by. Born in 1946 to an Irish immigrant father and an American mother of French-Canadian descent, his parents‘ coming of age was marked by the Great Depression plus decades of war.

Unsurprisingly, this meant that his parents, Pat and Stella, were more than practical when it came to purchases and investments. They were intentional. They were frugal. It was “waste not, want not.” And they never threw anything away—a way of life that he held on to long into adulthood.

But one day, Pat and Stella’s hoarding and his resulting belief that everything was useful, changed my life.

After one of his routine check-ins with Pat and Stella, Dad arrived home with what looked like a small, hardcover suitcase. It was a shiny steel blue. He swung the case onto the kitchen table and called me over. He unlatched the cover and pushed it back to reveal the contents.

My eyes widened. He smiled. We hugged. And I ran my fingers over the black keys of the old typewriter as I pondered which story I would write first …

This is a piece of my story. And everyone has a story to tell; a glimpse to provide—including your B2B brand.

The Intersection of Storytelling & B2B Content Marketing

Storytelling is civilization’s oldest form of communication, helping us teach, entertain, preserve our histories and cultures, and instill our values. We’re programmed for stories. Our brains light up when we hear and see stories unfolding.

This hunger for narrative combined with our desire and ability to guide our own quest for answers, storytelling has naturally become a fundamental staple of B2B content marketing. As Ursula Ringham, Global Head of Influencer Marketing for SAP, says: “In marketing, story is everything.”

But the challenge for many B2B marketers is to weave a story web that is everything to their customers and prospects. It needs to provide that meaningful glimpse. It needs to be familiar. It needs to be authentic. And it needs to resonate.

“Every content creator should consider themselves a storyteller,” Nick Nelson, Senior Content Strategist at TopRank Marketing, declares in his piece on building trust through storytelling. “When we write, we are invariably sharing a story: about our solution, about our customers, about the pains we can help solve.”

He adds: “Tying multiple pieces of information together in a coherent, chronological, and—above all—relatable way makes the message far more affecting. The content suddenly becomes experiential instead of merely educational.”

[bctt tweet=“In #marketing, story is everything. @ursularingham #B2BContenMarketing #Storytelling“ username=“toprank“]

The bottom line? It’s no longer enough to inform buyers. Instead, you must provide story-driven content that connects on both intellectual and emotional levels.

Read: Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

How to Create B2B Content Connections Through Storytelling

Whether you’re building a large-scale brand narrative or pulling at story threads, here are a few things to keep in mind as you commit to storytelling in your B2B content marketing initiatives.

#1 – Commit to storytelling by doubling-down on what’s already familiar.

Contently co-founder and recognized journalist Shane Snow is widely known in marketing circles for his knack for storytelling and his dedication to helping other marketers harness their storytelling skillset.

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of seeing Shane speak on this very topic at MarketingProfs B2B Forum. At that time, he laid out a three-step framework for telling better stories and it resonated with me.

  1. Create timely, seasonal, and evergreen content that tells a story at every stage of the funnel.
  2. Connect your audience with your stories by determining the right distribution channels and content types—based on your audience’s preferences and your objectives.
  3. Optimize and refine your stories to ensure your creating content that undoubtedly connects.

The concepts outlined in his framework should feel really familiar—they’re meant to, from my perspective. (Familiarity is a hallmark of good storytelling.) The switch is defining how you show and tell stories your buyers will care about, rather than simply creating more content.

For a more in-depth look, check out Shane’s storytelling course that outlines the science of great stories, the elements of effective storytelling, and much more.

#2 – Introduce your audience to new characters.

Content is absolutely everywhere. And trust in marketing—among consumers and your C-suite—is low. As a result, buyers are looking to those they know or those they think they know for insights, answers, and recommendations. And this means there’s never been a bigger opportunity to partner with other “storytellers” to add new dynamics to your content.

“In order to tell a compelling story, you have to be immersed,” Ursula Ringham states. “Bring empathy and understanding, bring purpose, and bring insight—the latter of which influencers can certainly help with.

When you co-create content with influencers, you not only provide influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights, but you can also provide your audience with a mix of perspectives—significantly upping your storytelling capabilities and credibility.

“Partnering with an influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way, so that you can reinforce the proof points you really want your customers to know,” Whitney Magnuson, Global Head of Social Media and Influencer Programs for IBM, told us not long ago.

[bctt tweet=“Partnering with an #influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way, so that you can reinforce the proof points you really want your customers to know. @whitneymagnuson @IBMSystems“ username=“toprank“]

#3 – Steer clear of fantasy or fiction.

With trust in marketing low, authenticity and transparency are increasingly critical. As my colleague Nick Nelson so eloquently said:

“Storytelling backfires when it strikes people as false or disingenuous. Share real anecdotes and back them with third-party evidence or quotes. Telling hard truths, even if it means acknowledging a shortcoming in your business, can be tremendously beneficial in the long run. Even more than being true to the facts, you must be true to yourself, and your brand.”

Boom.

[bctt tweet=“Storytelling backfires when it strikes people as false or disingenuous. Even more than being true to the facts, you must be true to yourself, and your brand. @NickNelson #B2BContentMarketing #Storytelling“ username=“toprank“]

Read: Be Honest Like Abe: How Content Marketers Can Build Trust Through Storytelling

It’s Storytime

The nostalgic tale I opened with is more than a fond memory. It’s a glimpse into who I am, where I came from, and how I got here. It’s my truth. It’s my context. It’s a piece of my story.

Every brand has the opportunity to find, show, and tell their own stories. Stories about who they are, what they stand for, and how they solve problems. Stories that bring truth and add context. Stories that resonate and inspire.

So, dust off your brand’s old hand-me-down typewriter and get to work. It’s storytime.

Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman and Content Strategist Annie Leuman are on the ground at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego from March 20-22, 2019. And as always, you can count on us to deliver you first-hand learnings and stories from the conference floor. Follow @azeckman, @annieleuman, and @toprank on Twitter to get live updates.

The post Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com