Ray2Go Roundup – Content Marketing, SEO and Video

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Dog in car

Marketing posts that got my attention this week:

– How to Create Compelling Content Images – Image tips from Dustin W. Stout.

Google News – Google Social Search

SEO –  The MOZ Top Ten Articles

– Video – Top 3 Ways to Use Video in Social Media

Content Marketing – Engineering the Enterprise for Content Marketing

Video of the week – Happy Fourth of July!


How to Create Compelling Content Images

Listen on Soundcloud:



There’re few people I know who understand that more than visual marketing expert, Dustin W. Stout.

In this episode of the #RayBunch, which will be re broadcast on Tuesday July 7th, Dustin helps us understand the power of images to connect.

Photographs reflect our real life experiences and connects us to the real world. @DustinWStout via @rayhiltz

A reason for that is we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text – quicker than a blink of an eye. (The normal length of a blink is 300-400 milliseconds)

Dustin left us with many tips for optimizing the power of our images to attract attention.

What’s the most common problem people come to you with about images?

People are afraid to start because they feel they’re not creative and don’t know where to begin.

Three basics of good composition:

Balance – balance elements out weight of elements

Framing – make sure there’s white space, that you don’t crowd elements  at the edges,

Contrast – between background and foreground


Here are some free and inexpensive Photo manipulation tools:

PicMonkey – Image design, edit, collage, etc.

Canva – Very popular & robust image creator especially for social media covers

Gimp – Extensive graphics manipulation package

Pixlr – Web photo editor

Clipping Magic – removes background from images

imgFlip – Animated GIF Generator

How much text should we put on photos?

Images with less text get more response.

Treat your image text as a title or tagline. Succinct: one message.


Is there a danger in changing your brand visuals often?

When you have a consistent brand identity, people can connect faster.

Changing brand visuals too often forces your audience to relearn their relationship with you. ~ Dustin W. StoutClick To Tweet


How should we approach creating video thumbnails?

Video thumbnails are an under-utilized tool.  There is an advantage to having a person’s face on the thumbnail.

The same applies to business cards. It’s been shown that when a person’s face is on a business card, people are less likely to toss them.


Watch full broadcast on YouTube:


Google News

Google Social Search

Google Social Search is a nifty (did I just write nifty?) search engine that makes it easy to search within specific social media platform. For instance, if you wanted to find references to Local SEO on Twitter, type in your query and check the “Twitter” box.


Google social search




SEO News

Moz Top 10

The MOZ Top Ten is a regular newsletter series that lists great articles to help drive traffic. They cover a lot of grown from serious SEO to the importance of a collaborative social business culture.

I especially enjoyed these three:

1. Getting from ‘Why Should I?’ to ‘Why Not?’: Real Marketing Leadership

by Ian Lurie

Getting from ‘Why Should I?’ to ‘Why Not?’: Real Marketing Leadership


This is one of the best articles I’ve read on risk-taking and risk-aversion in business.

Marketers and stakeholders have the same responsibility but different mandates.

Marketers are paid to achieve goals through calculated risk.

Stakeholders are paid to achieve goals through careful execution and minimal risk.

Any business of any size has stakeholders.

In a small business, the stakeholders are the owner and anyone getting paid. In a big business, the stakeholders are the entire marketing food chain, all the way up to the CEO.

This is an article that shows us how to take our client/boss from leading the conversation with a “Why should I?” to you leading with, “Why wouldn’t you?”.

The trick is to be ready for any possible question and provide Frictionless Clarity.


2. How Much of Your Copy is Totally Irrelevant?

A Case for Web Personalization

A specific user experience is the key to great web copy! Rob Carpenter tells us why and how you can do it.

If Your Message Isn’t Relevant, It’s Clutter.”

The more relevant your message is to each person, the more likely you will be able to capture their attention and intrigue them enough to stick around, learn more about your solution, and take action. And it doesn’t have to be hard! Smart tools are making it easier…


3. People Don’t Want Something Truly New

They Want the Familiar Done Differently – The California Roll Rule

California Roll Rule

Nir uses the “California Roll” model to explain how important it is to keep up an air of familiarity when introducing new products or services.

“If new products and services are to positively impact our lives, they must find a gateway into our daily routines.

The familiar done differently is the way to users’ minds and hearts — and sometimes their stomachs.”


Top 3 Ways to Use Video in Social Media

By Jessica Melhorn

Top 3 Ways to Use Video in Social Media

It  will be obvious now to anyone who does business online that producing video content is important.

YouTube was the medium of choice to create and publish this content, but Facebook is continuing to take a bite out of the “video star”.

And there’s other platforms…

Video autoplay on Facebook and its removal of YouTube from the site

Instagram taking on the “micro-video” craze (and Vine) with 15-second videos

Twitter rolling out 30-second videos for tweets and offering Promoted Video ads

Pinterest unveiling GIF-like video called Cinematic Pins

As Dustin said in our #RayBunch show: How to Create Compelling Content Images:

“We emotionally absorb the message contained in an image almost instantaneously.”

Videos are moving “pictures”.


Content Marketing


Thinking Differently about Employees and Content
Engineering the Enterprise for Content Marketing


The above puzzle was allegedly solved in 20 seconds by fifth-grade students. This only goes to show that our brains callous over time and become less flexible.

The reason Frank Strong shared this puzzle was to illustrate the importance of thinking differently about employees and content.

It’s about company culture and the need to have employees involved in content marketing.

He lists seven tips for doing that:

Executive support, but not the kind you’d assume.

Prepare for the long haul.

 ABS – always be selling.

Data and anecdotes.

Third-party validation.

Forget creation, focus on distribution.

Recognize the contributors.


Video of the Week

Happy 4th of July to our American friends.

The fourth of July celebrations, like almost everything American, took on mythical proportions for me as a kid living in the more reserved north.

I lived the experience vicariously through countless movies, books and music like this song from Irving Berlin.

I remember Kate Smith singing God Bless America from my very earliest memories and remember this rendition from the movie, “This Is the Army”

In 1938, with the rise of Hitler, Irving Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive his song “God Bless America” as a “peace song”, and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938 sung by Kate Smith, on her radio show.

This clip is from “This Is the Army” a 1943 American wartime motion picture produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner. It was wartime musical designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II.

Kate Smith, God Bless America


That’s it for this week.

As mentioned, the #RayBunch is on hiatus but I will be posting “best of’s” throughout the next few weeks.

You can view past shows on my YouTube Channel or the audio podcast on Soundcloud.

And can subscribe to this weekly newsletter here.



About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com. My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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