Posts Tagged ‘content’
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Friday, February 28th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Internet marketing is a broad term that covers several different marketing channels. The channels, or means that you use to reach your market, are very important to your success.
A good Internet marketing strategy will leverage multiple channels that best help your business connect with your market so you can promote your brand and build your customer base. With so many channels and tactics out there, here are a few that are becoming increasingly important and that you should keep an eye on and consider using.
The first channel we think of when we think of Internet marketing is websites. If a business doesn’t have a website in today’s world, it will quickly become obsolete.
Start with your own site and make sure it is a place where you can tell your audience who you are and what you can do for your customers. Also be sure it is fully optimised so it will earn high search rankings. Many businesses use other channels to drive their market to their website, where they make a sale.
Using other websites, especially news sites, is a great way to build links to your site, raise awareness about your business and drive traffic to your site.
Blogging is another extremely common channel and for good reason, it’s a great way to reach a lot of people.
Blogging is an easy way to keep your audience up to date, provide value and create content that will attract people to your site. If you aren’t already blogging, now is the time to start.
Guest blogging, sponsored posts and blog coverage on others’ blogs can also help you promote your business. Link building, more traffic, the chance to reach a new audience and increased awareness are just a few benefits you can get when you use others’ blogs.
Search engine optimisation is a very valuable form of Internet marketing that can help you get more organic traffic to your site and make it easier for people to find you online. Organic traffic is valuable because in many cases, it consists of people who are already looking for your business or products, so they are potential customers.
Social media is a powerful way to connect with your market, give your customers a way to interact with your business online and promote your content, products and business. The social media sites you use will depend on your business and market.
Email marketing can help you deliver marketing messages and tactics to niche groups of people, including current customers, potential customers and blog readers. The key to success with email marketing is to craft strategic messages and calls to action.
Both traditional online ads and pay-per-click ads can be very effective. Consider your options and be sure you place ads on websites where your target market will see them.
Mobile Internet use is on the rise and smartphone apps are a powerful Internet marketing tool. If you can offer some kind of value through an app, consider designing one for your business.
There are several different Internet marketing channels and you’ll likely need to use a combination of them to promote your business and reach your markets. Choose the ones that will best match your needs and bring the biggest benefits, and then add them to your plans strategically so you will see the best results.
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Monday, February 24th, 2014
Image courtesy of Nicolas Nova/Flickr.
Blogging is one of the most basic and most important things you can do for your website. Unfortunately, many businesses forgo blogging because they don’t think they have the time for it or they don’t fully understand all the benefits they can get when they do it.
If you’ve been neglecting your company blog, or haven’t started one yet, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should use it to its fullest potential.
Fresh Content Leads to Higher Search Rankings
You probably already know that updating your site frequently with new content will help your search engine optimisation efforts. Search engines continually crawl sites to find and rank new content, and when you constantly update your site, you can rank higher for specific search terms.
Using a blog is a great way to have an easy way to update your website. Blogging about your business, industry news, new products, how-to topics and other subjects your market will be interested in will also help you drive traffic to your site.
Keep Your Market Informed
Blogging is a powerful way to keep your market informed. It is a channel of communication you can use to update your audience about business news and tell your customers about new products and features.
When you use your blog in conjunction with social media sites, this approach becomes even more useful. Post detailed information, pictures and infographics on your blog, and then share the post through social media, making it more visible to your market.
Own Your Story
When other people blog about your business, or news sites cover a product or event, you don’t have complete control over your story. The blogger or reporter will write about you from their perspective. Of course, this kind of coverage is excellent public relations and can help you raise awareness and drive traffic to your website.
However, when you post to your blog you have complete control over your story. You can include the information you want your market to know and use the style, tone and messaging that will be most beneficial to your business.
Have Complete Control over the Platform
Social media sites are always changing. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites are always adding and taking away features that change the way you can use them. In fact, some social media sites disappear altogether, taking part of your social media marketing strategy, and maybe even part of your market, with them.
When you rely more strongly on your own blog, and not an outside platform, you have complete control over it. You can add and remove features whenever you want and you know it will always be there. You can also use your own blog however you want. Having your own blog where your market can get information and interact with your business is important and should be a major part of your Internet marketing plan.
Blogging has so many benefits and these are just a few of the reasons you can’t afford to pass on a company blog. If you haven’t used a blog as part of your Internet marketing plan, start today. You’ll see higher search rankings, more traffic and have control over your own messaging.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
High-quality content is beneficial to your business in numerous ways, including its ability to help you get high search engine rankings. For some time now, Google has emphasised the importance of creating and publishing quality content. Now, Bing has taken this a step further by stating that content with typos and mistakes won’t rank as high as other content.
In a blog post, Duane Forrester, senior product manager at Bing, explains that the search engine is judged by the quality of results it shows users, so it will be looking specifically at the quality of content published on websites. He says that lower quality content, with errors, won’t rank as well as high-quality, error-free content.
High Quality Leads to Better Rankings
There’s no question that high-quality content will rank better in search results, from both Google and Bing. When your audience enters keywords that describe your business or what you do, you want your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages, and publishing high-quality content is the first step to achieving this.
How does high-quality content impact rankings? According to both Google and Bing, their algorithms identify strong, relevant content and rank it higher than other content. The best content also gets more social shares and traffic, which can help you boost your rankings.
What You Need for High-Quality Content
So, how do you go about creating the best content? There are a few things all good content has in common, and when you keep them in mind as you develop your Internet marketing plans and create content, you’ll see better search rankings and build a stronger brand reputation.
First, each piece of content you produce should help you reach some goal. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. In most cases, your goal should be to benefit your market in some way. You can do this by providing information, offering entertainment, providing a solution to a problem or teaching your market something.
Copy that is free of typos, grammatical errors and other mistakes is also essential. Proofread your content carefully and make sure it is something you want to use to represent your brand.
You need to give your market a reason to pay attention to your content by adding value to it. Provide people with information they need, are looking for or will benefit from.
Your content needs to match the needs and desires of your market and audience. Irrelevant content doesn’t rank very well, and it certainly won’t help you promote your business because it won’t help you appeal to your market and persuade people to take action.
High-quality content is produced with a market and purpose in mind and is well written and professional. As you publish this kind of content and create a strategic search engine optimisation plan, you will see better rankings. As an added benefit, top-quality content will also build your brand and help you create a positive reputation among your markets.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
You’ve no doubt heard about the benefits infographics can bring. When done right, they can drive traffic to your website, help you create a social media buzz, inform your market and help you get a message to your audience in a short amount of time.
Infographics, which are visual representations of information, statistics, and ideas, make it easy to convey an idea to your market. Your audience doesn’t have to take the time to read a lengthy article, but can scroll through an image and understand what you are trying to say. Images also stand out, getting your audience’s attention.
To see success with infographics, they need to be created strategically. These steps will help you make infographics that will enhance your Internet marketing efforts.
Step 1: Start with a Purpose
First, your infographic needs to have a purpose. What information do you want to convey? What kind of action do you want your market to take? What benefits do you want to see from your infographic? This tactic can help you accomplish all kinds of things, including increased traffic, more sales and more social media shares.
Step 2: Use Relevant Information
Now that you know what you want to accomplish with your infographic, find relevant information to help you do this. The best infographics include information that the target market is interested in, finds helpful or feels is relevant to their needs. For example, if you want to show your market why your product is better than the competitions’, use product features and statistics that mean something to your market.
Step 3: Find Something Your Market can Relate to
Avoid using industry jargon and confusing statistics and information in your infographics. Find ways you can display information so that people will understand and relate to it. An easy way to do this is to compare the information with something they have experience with.
Comparing the number of users you have to how many people it takes to fill a football stadium, or the number of products you have sold to how far they would reach when stacked up are fun ways to do this.
Step 4: Create Attractive Graphics
The whole idea behind an infographic is that it’s an attractive way to share information. So, make sure the images and graphics you use are attractive and professional. The way your infographic looks will influence how well it is received by your audience and speaks to the professionalism of your business.
Step 5: Publish to the Right Channels
Publishing your infographic to the right channels is key. Social media and your blog are good places to start, but if you have other channels you can use, consider if they are a good fit for your goals. You want to share it where people will see it and where they can easily share it.
Infographics are an excellent Internet marketing tool you can use to educate your market, build links and generate social media engagement. When you strategically plan what your infographics will include and how they will be used, they will be a successful way of helping you promote your business.
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Image courtesy of Sheila Scarborough/Flickr.
LinkedIn has announced that it will be allowing all of its users, not just users designated as “Influencers,” to publish content on its site. Until now, regular users have only been able to post updates and links, but now they can post longer articles to the site, sharing them with people across the network.
Since 2012, some users, which LinkedIn labeled as Influencers, have been able to publish blog posts on the site. This content was viewable by all LinkedIn users and could be shared across the network. Users like Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart could post content to contribute to industry news and reach their markets.
LinkedIn’s announcement explains that now all users can publish content that will be included on their profile and can be shared on the professional social network. Users will be able to follow other users that aren’t part of their network, or already on their list of contacts.
How You can use this New Feature
LinkedIn can be a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy. The site boasts 277 million members who are professionals all over the world from all kinds of industries. In Europe alone, there are 57 million LinkedIn users.
With numbers like this, you can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn. You can set up a business page, which allows you to tell people about what your business does, promote your products and link back to your website. Your employees, managers and even CEO can set up a personal LinkedIn profile, which can also help you market your business online.
This new feature that allows everyone to publish content on the site is a valuable tool you can use to accomplish several goals.
When you publish content and share it with those on LinkedIn, you can raise awareness about your business. People will begin to identify your name with what you do and the experience you provide, which will strengthen your brand.
Drive Traffic to Your Site
As you produce content and publish it on LinkedIn, you can include links back to your website. This can help improve the quality of your content, as you can provide valuable information for your readers. These links can also help you drive traffic to your website, blog, social media profiles or product pages.
Become an Industry Expert
Publishing content on LinkedIn can also help you establish your business as an industry expert and a valuable resource for your market. When you show that you have something to offer and are a thought leader in your industry, your business will grow.
Communicate with Your Market
Of course, when you publish and share content on LinkedIn, you are also able to communicate with your market. You can provide information about your business, products and industry and become the solution for your market.
Create an Online Community
Since LinkedIn allows you to attract followers, you can use your content to create an online community of customers and potential customers. Then, as you use your content to build your brand, you will be able to send your marketing messaging to your followers and inspire them to take action: buy your product, visit your website or share your content.
This LinkedIn update is an exciting one, because it gives your business another platform to publish content that helps you develop your brand, reach your customers and meet your business goals.
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Image courtesy of Michael Kalus/Flickr.
In the world of content marketing, there are so many types of content you can use to reach your market, drive traffic to your site and engage your readers. But, many businesses rely on online articles and blog posts as the main part of their content marketing plan. While these types should be included, they shouldn’t be the only kind of content you use.
When you use a few different types of content, you will be able to get your market’s attention and accomplish different things. For example, a blog post may help you announce a new product, but an infographic is better suited to helping you educate your market and build links.
Emails or Newsletters
Email marketing is a powerful tool that can help you get more traffic and make more sales. Having a strategic plan in place that outlines how often you will email your market, targets groups within your list and sets messaging for your emails will help you see more results.
One great way to use email marketing is to send out monthly newsletters to your market that include business news, product information, discounts and links back to your website.
Yes, images can be used as part of a content marketing plan. Think infographics, pictures with words and shots of your products. Images are especially effective on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, but can also be used on other social media sites and your blog.
Pictures have a way of jumping out at a reader and make it possible for your brand to get noticed and say a lot in just a short amount of time. Remember though, that images don’t necessarily help with search engine optimisation efforts, so use text descriptions with pictures when possible and use alt tags when you post them to your site.
Videos and Transcripts
Videos are another type of content that can help you get your market’s attention. People like variety and videos are an easy way to add that to your blog or social media page. Videos also let your market see and hear from you, which can be very beneficial as you work to establish a brand, demonstrate products or spark engagement.
This is another piece of content that search engines can’t read, so if you want to see some SEO benefits, you’ll need to post a transcript of your video. You can also use descriptions and tags when you use YouTube to make it easier for your market to find your videos.
Ebooks, Industry Reports or other Resources
Providing ebooks, industry reports, how-to guides and other resources for your market can help you accomplish several different goals. With these offers you can drive traffic to your site, build your email list, increase social media shares and establish your business as an industry expert.
The key to using this kind of content successfully is creating something your market will find valuable. When your market sees that you are genuinely interested in helping your customers and that you are a reliable source for information, your brand will grow.
There are many facets to content marketing, but you can start finding new ways to reach your market this way by using creative and different kinds of content that stand out and enhance your content marketing strategy.
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
With content marketing becoming more and more popular, some experts have started to wonder what happens when an audience gets overwhelmed with a brand’s content. When people are bombarded with blog posts, videos, podcasts and social media posts from your business, they could begin to see you as a spammer or start to feel like they can’t keep up, and ignore your content.
But, you can easily avoid this content fatigue by taking a few precautionary steps and using content marketing strategically.
Have a Plan
If you are constantly creating and publishing content without a strategic plan, you will wear your market out. While it’s good to create a lot of content, you need to think about how and when you will publish it.
For example, some of your content will likely be published on your blog, but other pieces could be posted elsewhere. Try to integrate your content marketing with your larger marketing plan, so they work together. For example, if you are having a spring sale on a particular line of products, create content about those products to keep your messaging clear and your market focused.
Don’t Release Content too Quickly
A common mistake businesses make is releasing content too quickly. When you do this, your market can’t keep up and could walk away from your website or blog altogether. Of course, you do need to provide a constant stream of relevant content, but make sure you don’t flood your audience.
Publishing a podcast once a week instead of once a day is a great way to keep your market interested and coming back for more without overwhelming people. Different pieces of content and different publishing platforms all have their own ideal frequencies. For example, daily blog posts work well to keep your audience engaged and to build traffic, while monthly panel discussions might be enough for your market.
Find a Balance with Social Media
Posting too often to social media can drive followers away, as they will begin to feel like you are spamming them and that you are taking over their news feeds. There isn’t a magic number that dictates how often you should post to social media accounts, so you’ll have to do some testing to find out what works for your market.
In general, you should post to sites like Facebook and LinkedIn a few times a day, but you can post to sites like Twitter and Instagram even more often than that. Try different approaches to find out how many posts you need to share to achieve a high level of engagement and make your social media accounts effective.
Listen to Your Market
As with many other Internet marketing strategies, the best way to learn how to provide the best content for your market is to listen to your audience. As you post content, see how people react. Are they engaged and interested? Or are you losing followers and site visitors? Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you gauge whether or not you are overwhelming your market.
Another way to listen to your market is to conduct surveys or polls. With these tools you can ask people if they like your content, what they want to hear more about and other questions that can help you be more successful at content marketing.
When you are careful not to overwhelm your market, content marketing is an excellent way to get people engaged with your brand, drive more traffic to your website and promote your business.
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Friday, February 7th, 2014
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
According to Search Engine Watch, Google has updated its site layout algorithm. In essence, it is targeting sites that have large ads near the top of the page.
But, this isn’t the only thing Google doesn’t want to see on your website. If you want to achieve high search rankings, here are a few more things to avoid.
Large Ads Above the Fold
In October, Google announced that the update would target sites that have large ads above the fold, or on the top of the page in the space users see without having to scroll.
The announcement hints that the reason Google doesn’t like this technique is that the company feels it inhibits the user experience. If your site has big ads near the top, now is a good time to remove them.
Keyword stuffing, or the practice of using so many keywords in a piece of content that it becomes almost unreadable, is something else Google doesn’t want to see on your site. Keywords should be used throughout your content, but in natural ways.
The best way to accomplish this is to make sure you are writing with your market in mind and using keywords naturally as they are needed. This should be easy to accomplish if your content is relevant.
Google has started placing more and more emphasis on the fact that site owners need to provide high-quality content. Content that is relevant, adds value to a topic and is well written is extremely important.
One way you can make sure you are providing the best kind of content is to produce things with your readers in mind. Make sure you are meeting their needs and providing value to them.
Along with low-quality content, Google doesn’t want to see duplicated content on your website. Never copy and paste content from other sources onto your site or publish the same piece of content more than once.
It’s unethical, and in some cases illegal, to copy someone else’s content, and this shouldn’t ever be an issue. While it may be tempting to reuse that blog post by publishing it as an article on another website, don’t do it. Google views duplicate content as low quality, and duplicating blog posts and articles could cost you rankings.
A Lack of Meta Tags
Meta tags, such descriptions, titles and alt tags, should be used throughout your website. Using keywords wherever possible can help you improve your rankings, so choosing not to use them means you are missing out on a chance to optimise your site.
Tags tell search engines about your website, so when you use them, and include keywords, you are making it easier for search engines like Google to rank your website.
Google frequently updates its algorithms as it works to find the best ways to bring high-quality, informative content to the top of search results. Make sure your website is one of those top results by staying away from black-hat SEO practices and working to fully optimise your site.
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Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Videos and podcasts have a way of standing out and capturing an audience’s attention. On an Internet that is filled with blog posts, articles and social media status updates, video and audio can be a refreshing break from this kind of content while still giving you a chance to promote your business.
There are literally dozens of ways you can use video and audio to promote your business, but here are a few creative ways that can be adapted for most businesses and markets.
How-To Videos and Webinars
By offering free resources, in the form of videos or podcasts, you can establish yourself as an industry expert and build a strong relationship with your market. As your customers and potential customers use your resources, they will begin to see you as a business that has their best interest as a top priority.
Another benefit of this kind of content is that it gives your market a taste of what you have to offer, which will entice people to learn more about your business and become customers.
Letting your market get a glimpse behind the scenes, whether that be at your office or an event or by offering a new look at how a product or service is provided, is a great way to generate interest in your brand.
Transparency is something all business need to develop at some level, and using video and audio to let your market in on how your business runs can help you develop a strong brand and a trusting relationship with your market. Of course, you need to be strategic about what kind of behind-the-scenes information you share, being careful not to share sensitive information that should remain within your business.
All kinds of technology, including YouTube and Google Hangouts, make it possible for you to broadcast events as they happen so you can reach a larger audience. When you broadcast events, more people will be able to participate and you can reach much larger sections of your market.
Consider sharing entire events as they unfold or excerpts from events when they are over. This kind of video or audio is perfect to post on your blog and social media accounts.
Messages from the CEO
Your businesses’ CEO and managers have a level of credibility that attracts your market. By recording short videos or podcasts that include a message from your business’ leaders, you will capture your market’s attention.
Be aware that content from your CEO and managers will be deemed as official information, so plan carefully what kind of messaging should be used in these pieces.
Products in Action Videos
Video gives you the unique opportunity to show your products in action. You can talk about them, review them and describe them through other mediums, but with video you can show your market how they work.
You can use this strategy to show off new products and features, highlight ways to use your products and inform your market about how to use what you offer.
Video and audio give you more freedom and flexibility than other forms of content and help you stand out, getting your market’s attention. With this medium, you can show people why they should do business with you, which is a powerful way to promote your products.
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No matter what kind of Internet marketing campaigns you are using, it is absolutely vital that you know where your market is online so you can get your messaging and tactics in front of it. You need to know which social media sites, websites, blogs and apps your potential customers frequent so you can meet them there, communicate with them and persuade them to become your customers.
Use Demographical and Site Statistics
By comparing your market data to that of major websites and social media networks, you can find which ones your market is likely to use. For example, if you want to target women and know that 80 percent of Pinterest users are women (according to Wishpond), you can deduce that using the site will help you reach your market.
The key to using this approach is knowing your market well. When you know exactly who you want to reach online, you can start finding the sites that attract them. Remember, the online locations you use also need to lend themselves to your brand. If your brand or business isn’t particularly visual, Pinterest may not be your best option, or you may need to find ways to use more images in your content.
Think Like Your Market
Now, start thinking like your market. When you know information about the people you want to target, like their age, gender, profession, interests, the things that influence them, and what motivates them, you can make some educated guesses about where they are online.
If you provide financial services, and your market is motivated by the idea of providing for their family, then you know your potential customers will be interested in websites and social media groups that provide that kind of information.
This approach does take some guesswork, but when you have a solid foundation of market information to start with, your assumptions are more likely to be correct.
Do Surveys and Polls
What better way to find out what sites your market uses than to ask people? Sending surveys to your email group, adding polls to your website and even holding a few focus groups can help you find out which sites your market uses.
This approach can also help you find out which social media sites your market would like to use to connect with you. One of your survey or poll questions could be “Which social media sites would you be interested in using to receive more information from us?” and then provide options like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Of course, with all this research and educated guesswork, you also need to test your strategies and track your results. After you have chosen some sites to use in your Internet marketing plans, start executing your strategy and tracking your results to see if the sites are helping you reach your market.
When you know who your market is, do research about different sites, think like your market and conduct surveys, you can find out where your market gathers online. This information is invaluable as you build Internet marketing plans and will help you achieve greater results.
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