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5 Blog Post Ideas to Bring Variety to Your Content


Does your business have a blog? Looking for blog post ideas that will appeal to your readers? Posting a variety of article types on your blog will help you reach a wider audience and keep your return visitors interested. In this article, you’ll discover five types of blog posts that will improve your content mix. […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Why Should Schools, Colleges and Universities Invest in Mobile Apps?

opinionThe following is a guest contributed post from Paul Swaddle, Pocket App Chairman.

As we start a new academic year and term, now more than ever college and university dropout rates are a concern for many education establishments. A high dropout rate not only damages reputation, but also reduces the amount of funding awarded to the organization.

Previous figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that over 32,000 students dropped out of university after a year of study in 2013. Of those who dropped out, 7,420 transferred to another university, while 24,745 were no longer in higher education. Three years on and dropout rates are still a concern and institutions are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to attract students and keep them engaged.

An increased amount of colleges and universities are working closely with industry experts in order to integrate technology into the classroom and into their own practices with real-word hands-on projects providing new and innovative ways for both students and teachers to keep up-to-date with technology advancements.

There are many examples showing how educational organizations have changed their approach to student communication by integrating technology in the classroom, appealing to the younger demographic. Indeed there are now a wide variety of apps that have real appeal and below are the ones that I think are really being exploited:

  1. The SAMR model: This app helps teachers integrate technology into their teaching and a student’s learning. It was created with the explicit aim of helping teachers design, develop and integrate digital media to increase students’ academic achievements. This is the perfect example of an app that has been designed to move colleges and universities into the digital age.
  1. Class Dojo: Teachers are able to store students’ information and can easily provide negative or positive feedback around their behavior in class. The information is sent straight to the parent and student separately. The app records and tracks all behavior data so it can then be viewed in a graph and analyzed by both teacher and parent. This app helps to tackle dropout rates as the parent and teacher are alerted to erratic behavior or attendance and then they can act quickly on that information.
  1. Socrative Teacher: Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races through this app, which is sent straight to the student’s tablet or phone. The app will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help teachers identify opportunities for further instructions, with the aim of saving time and visualizing student understanding. This app tackles issues straightaway, as lecturers can be alerted to areas of the topic that need more explaining.
  1. Educade: This app allows you to easily search by grade-level or subject area to find any lesson lecturers and teachers need. The app comes with the resources that will be needed, a step-by-step lesson plan, and even reviews from other teachers who have tried it out. Therefore, teachers are able to keep lessons and lectures exciting so that more students will be willing to attend throughout the course.
  1. Schoology: This app enables teachers to manage their classroom, to create and submit assignments, participate in interactive discussions, and to collaborate with their peers to make the communications in colleges and universities quicker and easier. Not all students have the confidence to interact with a large amount of people often found in lectures, this app effectively deals with that issue, as well as enabling students to ask for help via a discussion room, rather than doing it in-person.

All of these apps aid the development of the students, so that they feel more connected with their college or university. For the organization, this means that they are able to attract a younger demographic to their institution as well as adapt their communication systems to ensure all students’ needs are met.

Going forward, some of the more innovative colleges are starting to evolve their own apps as more and more organizations realize this is the way forward for communication and success.  For example apps can be used as a key indicator of trends to show the performance of the college or university. Equally apps can be used as a way of tracking admissions and understanding where students are in their development, ensuring any students that are struggling are given all the extra help needed for them to continue with their education.

Here at Pocket App, we can assist in any stage of the development of your app from workshopping the idea to design and build. We have an extensive team who can help at every step of the way. We understand that students’ success is key for any college or university and key to this is making sure that the students stay engaged and that the organization doesn’t end up with a high dropout rate post admissions.

It is time for all educational organizations to become more competitive in the world of technology and apps are one way to make the organization stickier as you can monitor key indicators for students across the board and become more pre-emptive and responsive.

The post Why Should Schools, Colleges and Universities Invest in Mobile Apps? appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobile Marketing Watch


Two Companies Apple Should Acquire: Evernote and VMware

Apple StoreWith Apple’s cash pile growing with the day, we are wondering when (or whether) will they start making big moves, as in – big acquisitions. The iPhone maker typically acquires smaller firms, but with more than $ 200 billion sitting at their offshore accounts, one wonders how on earth will they spend/invest all the cash. There…

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Grab Their Attention: 5 Content Tips for Creating Engaging Emails

Email is a fact of life. Not getting any feels like someone’s turned the volume down on your personal universe – we’re so used to seeing that little number that screams

Hey! Hey, you! 181 things need your attention!


No one knows this better than marketers. We send emails, and we get emails. It’s like the tide: it goes in, it goes out, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut.

The average person receives 121 emails per day (The Radicati Group) – but how many of our carefully crafted messages they actually open and engage with is the important part. Spam filters are locked and loaded. A cool hundred other people are waving ‘30% off!’ and ‘Check out Our eNewsletter’ flags, and your email is all set with… another offer. If your emails are getting lost in the shuffle, use these tips to make your emails stand out from the crowd and build an engaged subscriber list.

Tip #1: Lead with the subject line

One thing that gets my attention right away is humor. If you know your audience well, humor is a great way to show off your company’s personality. Go for smart puns, timely asides, and little nods to industry standards, or inside jokes that will make your subscribers feel like they’re part of the in-the-know circle.

If you’re not feeling especially ‘punny’ (see what I did there?) you can use questions – whether they’re amusing or serious – to generate that ‘tell me more’ feeling. Simple ones like “How do you feel about this new technology?” or “Where do you want to be in your business?” just beg to be answered. Why? Because the focus shifts back to the recipient, especially when you’re asking (and subsequently answering) a relevant, timely question that they really might have.

But wait, you say. My content is focused on data, how can I make puns and questions out of numbers? Well, you can, but there is an easier way. Starting your subject line with big numbers – 1,000, 300, 25,000 – or percentages slows the eye down and tug at the mind making you want to know more: 80% of what? To avoid looking spam-y: “93% of people open this email” for example, use your best, most relevant statistics up front, and then elaborate on it in the body copy.

Tip #2: Value > Everything Else

In my own inbox, companies who specifically send me things I can use immediately like e-books, discounts, or eNewsletters get priority. I read and even bookmark those emails to revisit later. I might even save or forward them. Making your content identifiable as useful starts with finding out what your recipients consider useful.

You want the content you send to add real value. Whether it’s mind-blowing statistics about your industry, or a series of funny videos starring your company’s mascot llama, show your subscribers that you’re genuinely trying to provide them with content that they’ll find useful or entertaining as opposed to random sales pitches.

I once received an email asking me if I’d like to receive a curated newsletter of each month’s new demos and how-to videos. I had been subscribed to the email list for a few weeks, and had been primarily watching the demos and how-to videos that were sent out. I signed up. Tracking what types of content your recipients engage with is the first step to sending them content that will resonate – and that brings me to the next tip.

Tip #3: Make it Personal

Personalization positions your customers firmly at the center of the conversation, which is where they should be. Allowing subscribers to set the frequency of emails, or including the recipient’s name, are good methods of personalization (and pretty standard), so to really offer a personalized experience, think about enabling your subscribers to choose the types of content they want to receive.

Are they more into webinars? Big fans of blog posts? Or do they just want to know about new products? The choices they make can also give you some additional insight into what interests them about your brand as a whole, and what made them subscribe to receive your emails in the first place. From there you can send subscribers the content that will always be most relevant to them.

Offering a ‘pick your own content’ option can also help with defining buyer personas and choosing who to assign to lead nurturing campaigns without coming across as too intrusive. For example, you might add a form field that asks what kind of content a prospect is interested in receiving emails about. You can then include a link to edit or update these preferences in your emails, so that instead of unsubscribing recipients can choose to consume a different type of content.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid of older content

I’m probably not the only one who loses emails. They get buried under the flood of new stuff that appears in my inbox every hour or so. Even when I flag things, sometimes I have a hard time scrolling through the 300 or so other messages to find the one I wanted to revisit. Particularly if you’re sending out a regular email with the week’s blog post, or new video, adding older content can provide more context and help with educating prospects about your offering.

You don’t have to make older content front and center, but adding a recap or archive section is a great way to revive older pieces and dust them off for a new set of eyes as your list continues to grow.

Tip #5: Be Honest

Honesty is valuable. Use it to tell your story, and to demonstrate your core values to your recipients. By being straightforward with what you have to offer and what you want from them in return, you’re positioning your brand as trustworthy, and building a positive association around who you are and what you do.

In your emails, explain to recipients why you want to be in touch with them – maybe you want to provide them with valuable content, or you’d like to share some things you think they’d be interested in based on previous interactions. Whatever it is, make sure you give your word and stick to it.

If you promise to only email them once per week, only email them once per week. If you say you’ll only send information about specific topics, then only send information that pertains to those topics. Doing so will help you build trust with your recipients, which will make them more likely to prioritize emails from you, and attach greater significance to the content.

Building a relationship with your subscribers takes time, but the rewards are well worth the investment. With people (and inboxes) busier than ever, turning your emails into conversation can help you turn the tide and increase email engagement.

Email Marketing – Pardot


Nielsen Nugget: Technological Changes Drive Changes in Media Usage

nielsenThere’s an interesting graphic this week from respected media measurement company Nielsen.

The graphic tells the story of the “current state of the media universe,” a universe now full of choices for consumers of media, scanning the spectrum from TV to radio to mobile and social media platforms.

“Like the cosmos, which is contemplated much in current times, the proliferation of devices and the abundance of media choices is presenting endless options for the consumer and endless challenges and opportunities for the marketer,” notes Nielsen.

Nielsen no longer just tracks home viewers of television, as it once did. The company’s mission is — as the company notes — to total up “audiences across devices and burgeoning viewing platforms.”

One notable find from Nielsen? Consumer engagement is definitely growing.

Check out the graphic here to see what’s happening in a variety of market segments.

The post Nielsen Nugget: Technological Changes Drive Changes in Media Usage appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobile Marketing Watch

Let’s Talk About Pardot And

Since we’re both a part of the Salesforce family, we get a lot of questions about using Pardot with Strategically combining these two tools can help you get a more complete view of your prospects and better understand their needs. You can use this “bonus data” to refine your segmentation and offer a better customer experience through personalized campaigns and a warm sales approach.

Pardot’s Permission-Based Marketing Policy states that we require permission based marketing, meaning you can only send email to those that have opted in to receiving email. is what’s known as an opt-out database, meaning information is obtained by, but the option is given for people to remove themselves from that database. There are many articles explaining why it’s a bad idea to purchase email lists and immediately send email to those purchased prospects, and no reputable email service provider will allow you to immediately send email to a purchased list. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from this treasure trove of information, as long as permission is explicitly obtained first.

So, how can your sales and marketing teams take advantage of the myriad capabilities of, while staying in compliance with the requirements of the email industry? Today, we’ll outline correct and incorrect usage of with Pardot, so you can start using to enrich your overall marketing.

Using Clean

The best way to use with Pardot is to fill in the gaps in information for any prospects that you’ve already obtained through something like a form or a tradeshow. Say you have basic contact information, like their first and last name, their email address, and their company, but you’d really like to know their company address or their phone number. There are two ways to do this with

  • Within Pardot, you can use the icon next to the prospect’s name. If you click on the icon, the prospect’s information will be compared to information from Connect — the free contact data service — and any additional or different information will be made available in Pardot. This does not require a subscription, but do keep in mind that that this is only contact-specific data, so it will not include the company-specific information that is available through the Clean subscription service.
  • If the prospect is syncing with Saleforce, you can use within Sales Cloud to automatically match and enrich the prospect record with the rich set of details available from (i.e. industry specification, company profile information, corporate parent linkage, etc.). By doing this, you will have a more complete profile for the prospect and that information will flow into Pardot on the next sync cycle. You can then use this additional information to route the prospect into precisely targeted marketing campaigns, as well as to determine if the prospect should be fast-track routed to a specific sales rep or team.

These methods are updating already existing information from prospects that have explicitly opted in, so you can be in compliance with the policy and still use your subscription.

Using Prospector can be used to generate new leads that your organization can contact. Let’s review the correct way to include Pardot and Prospector in your lead generation plan.

  • The correct way is to put these leads in the hands of Business Development Reps or cold-callers who can first make contact with the prospect, and then if they are interested and agree to opt in to receiving email, add them to Pardot lists for emails and/or nurturing. Because you have had previous contact with these prospect, you are allowed to send them messages to help move them through the sales funnel.
  • The incorrect way would be to use as a cold lead generator for email purposes. Given the terms stated in the Permission-Based Marketing Policy, customers can not pull in prospects through and immediately add them to Pardot lists for emails and/or nurturing without first obtaining their permission. By not following best practices, you’re also running a significant risk for getting your IP address blacklisted, which can lead to significant email reputation damage. Instead, you should follow the best practices outlined above, to first obtain permission prior to sending email. By obtaining explicit permission prior to sending email, you can reap the benefits of the database while staying in compliance with Pardot’s Permission-Based Marketing Policy and keeping your email reputation high.

Overall, and Pardot are a fantastic combination, especially if you’re using to better understand your prospects, and Pardot to convert them to customers.

Want to learn more about how and Pardot can be used to personalize your marketing communications and sales pitches? We’ve got a tremendous e-learning module below!

Email Marketing – Pardot


Facebook Slideshow Ad Enhancements: This Week in Social Media


Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Rolls Out New Features for Slideshow Ads on Facebook and Instagram: Facebook introduced new features to the […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle