RebelMouse’s new Discovery tool helps publishers find the right people to promote their stories

rebelmouse Social media startup RebelMouse has created a new tool for publishers — Rebel Discovery, which helps those publishers identify the social media accounts that they should be sharing stories with for maximum impact. Founder and CEO Paul Berry said that when you publish a story, there are probably many Facebook Pages or Twitter accounts that would be happy to post a link — not… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

AdWords Benchmark Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Other Top Stories From March

Whenever Google makes a major change to the SERPs, it’s big news – and March was certainly no exception. Google’s decision to scrap ads from the right-hand side of the SERP was the topic of discussion among the digital marketing community, and for good reason. It’s one of the biggest changes Google has made to its results pages in several years, and advertisers and marketers alike immediately began speculating what the change would mean for them.

Of course, although the banishment of ads from the right-hand side of the SERPs dominated much of the conversation, it was far from the only news in digital marketing. Here are the top posts from the WordStream blog from March, so if you missed any, grab a coffee and catch up.

Best of the WordStream blog March

1. Google AdWords Industry Benchmarks for YOUR Industry [New Data]

Even if they won’t admit it, even the most confident advertisers secretly want to know if their account performance measures up to their competition. Fortunately, our most popular post from March allowed readers to do just that. WordStream’s resident data scientist Mark Irvine explores a vast wealth of AdWords benchmark data in this post, and the results have been beautifully packaged into an infographic so you can check out how you stack up quickly and easily.

2. RankBrain Judgment Day: 4 SEO Strategies You’ll Need to Survive

A couple of months back, I wrote a post about Google’s emerging artificial intelligence machine learning program RankBrain, speculating on what this amazing technology could mean for SEOs. Well, Larry explores this notion in great depth in our second-most popular post of March, in which he outlines (or prophesies, if you prefer) four detailed SEO strategies you’ll need to adopt in order to survive “SEO Judgment Day.” Be warned – if you haven’t seen any of The Terminator movies, many of the excellent references and in-jokes may be lost on you.

3. The New Google SERP: 3 Changes & 3 Things That Haven’t Changed… Yet

Believe it or not, there’s a great deal more to Google’s decision to remove ads from the right-hand side of the SERP than initially meets the eye. Although we’re still gauging the true impact of this monumental change, there have already been several revealing observations that hint at what advertisers can expect from Google in the future. Check out our examination of the current state of play with regard to the SERP change in our third-most popular post of the month.

4. 7 Ideas for Upgrading Your Call to Action

As is the case with many aspects of conversion rate optimization, creating compelling calls to action is one of those topics our readers simply can’t get enough of. In this post, I outline seven ideas for strengthening your calls to action, so whether you’re a seasoned veteran of CRO or just starting out, you’ll find plenty of actionable CTA tips in this post.

5. Google Kills Off Side Ads: What You Need to Know

The initial news that Google had killed off ads from the right-hand side of the SERPs was, quite honestly, a little shocking. It didn’t take long for shock and disbelief to transform into worry and speculation, and this post was among the first to break the news of Google’s major SERP shake-up.

6. Our 8 Best Copywriting Tips… Ever!

Writing excellent PPC ads is a lot harder than it sounds. Sure, your ads might be good, but are they great? For this post, I went back over our very best copywriting advice from the past several years and updated it with fresh new examples. If you want to write even better ads to increase your CTRs, check out our best copywriting advice ever and see how many of these strategies you’re using.

7. 3 Weeks After Google Killed Side Ads, Here Are 5 More Takeaways

You could be forgiven for thinking that three weeks would be long enough for the excitement of Google’s decision to axe right-side ads from the SERPs to die down – but you’d be mistaken. In this post, Erin looks at five more takeaways that advertisers need to know about how the new SERP will affect their campaigns, each of which is backed with plenty of data.

8. 10 Smart & Easy Facebook Marketing Ideas

To many advertisers, Facebook is a platform they know they should be using, but may not necessarily know how. Fortunately, Margot’s got you covered in this post. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have 10 actionable – and easy – ideas for future Facebook marketing campaigns.

9. 29 PPC Tools You Need to Try This Year

Yes, you read that correctly. In this post, Larry rounds-up 29(!) PPC tools that can simplify your workflow, make your life as an advertiser easier, and help you run faster/jump higher etc. Well, maybe not the last bit, but you get the idea. Check out Larry’s list and see if any of these tools are a good fit for your PPC workflow.

10. 25 Digital Marketing News Sources You NEED To Be Reading

Our last post of this month’s round-up wasn’t actually published in March, but rather January. In this post, I highlight 25 (a mere handful, really) of the must-read digital marketing news sources that should most definitely be in your RSS feed. If the events of March were any indication, it’s no wonder our readers are so keen to stay in the loop. 

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Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream

The 10 biggest European tech stories this week

European Union

This week, tracked 47 funding deals and 13 M&A transactions in Europe and Israel.

Like every week, we listed every single one of them in our free weekly newsletter, along with interesting news regarding fledgling European startups, tech investors old and new, a number of good reads published elsewhere, government and policy news, as well as an overview of interesting lists, facts and figures from a wide variety of sources.

You can subscribe to our newsletter below to receive all this information in your inbox every Friday afternoon for free, but here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Another big week for fintech funding in Europe, with GoCardless (UK) raising $ 13 million, CurrencyFair (Ireland) scoring €8 million, insurtech company Friendsurance (Germany) securing $ 15 million, Kreditech (Germany) receiving €10 million in funding and London-based blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic closing a $ 5 million Series A round

2) Two major M&A deals involving UK-based companies, with enterprise software company Micro Focus buying Serena Software for $ 540 million and financial services firm Markit joining forces with IHS in a $ 13 billion ‘merger of equals’

3) Google was fined $ 112,000 on Thursday by France’s data protection watchdog for failing to comply with demands to extend a European privacy ruling across its global domains, including in the US

4) Apple, Google and Facebook published a long list of problems with the UK’s proposed ‘Snoopers’ Charter’

5) China’s Youzu has acquired German online and mobile games developer Bigpoint for (only) €80 million

6) Zalando has outlined its ‘platform strategy’ last week in Berlin and it’s well worth a thorough analysis

7) The UK’s Dyson is to invest £1 billion in battery technology, and is reportedly developing an electric car with aid from the British government

8) Cisco is going to pour millions into Berlin to turn the German capital into a smart city

9) Spotify has 30 million paid subscribers, CEO Daniel Ek announced

10) Atomico is raising a $ 750 million fourth fund, and co-founder Mattias Ljungman is bullish about Europe

Bonus link: check out this slide deck: “Understanding VCs” by Boris Golden, a Principal at Partech Ventures

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Social – VentureBeat

Brand Guidelines to the Rescue for Clear, Consistent Stories [Example]


Ask most people to define “branding,” and they’ll be quick to mention the logo or a brand’s look and feel. But branding is much more than a swoosh, swirl, or any other visual fingerprint. Branding is about how an organization is perceived by its customers. And content (e.g., tone, voice, word choice) is an integral part of branding even if regularly overlooked in the excitement of a rebranding initiative.

At Cleveland Clinic, a global health care provider, the brand guide is elevated to new heights. Many organizations have public style guides and press kits. Countless others have internal editorial guidelines. Cleveland Clinic’s comprehensive microsite, OnBrand, supports the complex requirements of a content-powered brand. The site offers expected identity assets (e.g., logos, color palette) and style guide; but OnBrand takes it further. From detailed writing guidelines for its hundreds-strong army of content creators to media-rich facts and figures for external influencers and the media, OnBrand is a model for content marketers aiming to scale their efforts.

What makes OnBrand unique? Most organizations have one set of brand assets for outsiders (think press and influencers), and another more closely guarded set of guidelines for internal content creators. Cleveland Clinic understands that to be a content-fueled brand, you must set these assets free. Far from circumscribing who can be a content creator, Cleveland Clinic is intent on expanding that definition.

Behind the effort are Amanda Todorovich, director of content marketing, and Brian Gresh, executive director of multichannel content marketing at Cleveland Clinic. The duo manages the team responsible for OnBrand, which was launched in late 2012. A core internal team collaborated with an outside design firm to write content, gather assets, and create the site map. From initial stakeholder discovery sessions to taking the site live, the process took five months.

Brand Backstory: Where Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Born

Protecting the brand asset

Far from a simple resource center to download logos or presentation templates, OnBrand answers the strategic “why” for those telling the Cleveland Clinic story or speaking for the brand.

The site offers an introduction to Cleveland Clinic, including the medical center’s history, mission and vision, and “pride points.” There is also the Cleveland Clinic Narrative, a long-form description to help content developers tell a consistent story about the organization.

For those who just want the logo, fonts, color palette, or photos to use in their materials, there’s a section called Get the Basics. A section called Explore the Guidelines includes detailed advice about design, writing, printing, web, and mobile. Finally, a Why OnBrand? Page – the site’s centerpiece – invites content collaborators to consider themselves caretakers of the brand.

Creating OnBrand wasn’t a formal exercise. “We launched it because it was a problem,” Todorovich says. “We are a big organization; there are countless uses of our brand every day by many, many departments. We can’t police everything. The best way to reduce the number of brand violations is to educate different groups and maintain our OnBrand site as an easily accessible, go-to resource for the entire enterprise – and even our external vendors/partners.”

The guidelines continue to evolve and are updated as new situations arise. It’s also important to maintain the site to feel fresh, Todorovich says. A team of writers and designers collectively identify what is needed. OnBrand tells a story about what the brand means and the implications of going off-brand.

The brand guidelines are available to everyone at, making them accessible to partners as well as those within the organization.


To educate internal users, OnBrand is prominently featured on the intranet, and Todorovich and her team do education pushes to internal audiences. The team’s brand manager spends a lot of time not only maintaining the brand guidelines, but also leading meetings with heavy users to educate them about the brand. As with any large organization, there are always new people to onboard and educate.

Mary Darif, Cleveland Clinic brand manager, does double duty as a project manager. “It’s not just her job to protect the brand,” says Todorovich. “Everyone should be a brand ambassador.” That message is carried from the CEO on down: Dr. Delos Cosgrove has standards in the way he communicates with the enterprise. “Having the message come from leadership helps the team enforce the brand standards,” Todorovich says.

Having strong, enforceable brand guidelines gives the content marketing team more freedom to focus on content quality and exploring new opportunities to reach its audiences.

Telling stories together

Cleveland Clinic’s content is created around three guiding principles; the information must be useful, helpful, and relevant. This “sniff test” is applied to all content before it’s published to ensure that the organization is putting patients first. Is the information easy to understand? Would a patient talk about this topic with her friends, for example? Are there clear next steps (e.g., a phone number or link) for those who need a professional opinion based on the information?

While evaluating content against the guiding principles is an art, not a science, data always plays a role. When a topic performs well, the team starts to think about other formats in which it can be presented.

Gresh oversees the 20-person content marketing group as well as web and application development. “We have to accept that no one will succeed individually,” he says when describing the organization’s large and siloed marketing division. With the content marketing group responsible for both digital and print content, Gresh looks for other opportunities to evolve and integrate. Regular touchpoints with PR, communications, and advertising are part of that effort. The team also works closely with physicians and other subject-matter experts. “How do we align all those teams together when content is the unifier, when we all have stories to tell,” Gresh asks.

Educating content collaborators about the brand and providing a comprehensive brand guide empower creators to tell clear, consistent stories. As written in OnBrand, those stories “reinforce our message, build up our reputation, and connect with more people” – important content marketing strategy goals every organization is likely to agree on.

Why a brand guide?

Cleveland Clinic relies on hundreds of writers, designers, and subject-matter experts to inform a global audience about chronic diseases, health-care innovation, and emerging health topics. With such a huge stable of contributors, the brand needed a centralized resource to help the team convey a coherent tone of voice and visual style.

OnBrand is not simply a brand guide nor the requisite “history of our company” found on most websites. OnBrand serves the need of the content-focused organization, arming internal and external publishers with the tools and guidelines they need to tell Cleveland Clinic’s story.

The entire Cleveland Clinic content team is involved in managing OnBrand. Writers provide updates to AP Style and Cleveland Clinic data, designers supply new images and style guidelines, and the brand manager reviews the whole for consistency before making updates to the site.

Don’t Sound Like Everyone Else: 12 Essential Elements to Create a Consistent Brand Voice

Elements of a brand guide

Your organization should customize your brand guidelines to address your particular challenges and needs – one size does not fit all – but these are the global elements every brand guide should cover:

  • Logo usage – rules for using your organization’s icon and name (logo type), as well as the tagline, if you have one as part of your brand identity
  • Design styles – information about the color palette, fonts, photography, infographics, illustrations, and other visual elements
  • Writing guidelines – rules related to grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, and best practices for writing for the web. Guidelines also need to address how writers should refer to your organization and any sub-brands in different contexts. Information about voice, tone and word choice can also be incorporated – provide examples when applicable.
  • Web design – guidelines for designing and maintaining websites, including colors, web fonts, images, iconography, and specific elements such as buttons, banners, features, accordions, and tabs. Include information about mobile-design standards when applicable.
  • Print design – layout specifications for commonly used collateral, such as brochures, posters, and mailers. If there are rules for printers to use and how to choose paper, include them in the guide.
5 Easy Steps to Define and Use Your Brand Voice

This article originally appeared in the February issue of Chief Content Officer. Sign up to receive your free subscription to our bimonthly, print magazine.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Chief Content Officer

Learn from Cleveland Clinic’s Amanda Todorovich in person as she presents at Content Marketing World this September. Register today and use code BLOG100 to save $ 100.

The post Brand Guidelines to the Rescue for Clear, Consistent Stories [Example] appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

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