Posts Tagged ‘content’
Friday, September 19th, 2014
Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Image courtesy of Boykung/Flickr.
Content marketing is an extremely popular form of Internet marketing and one that can bring a lot of benefits to your business. Using things like blog posts, online articles, infographics, images, videos and other types of content can help you reach a variety of business and marketing goals, but what is it about content marketing that makes it so valuable?
Each company and campaign will get different results, but some very common benefits that come with content marketing are just a few examples of what makes this strategy so invaluable.
Telling Your own Story is Easier
To build your brand and promote your business, you need to get online and tell your own story. Using content marketing allows you to tell your market, the public and even the media all about who you are, what you value and what kinds of benefits you can offer your customers.
Failing to tell your own story means you will lose control of the message and speculation, social media complaints and misunderstandings will follow your business, which will weaken your brand and make it harder for you to grow.
Statistically, Consumers Prefer Content over Ads
According to Ragan Communications, 70 percent of consumers would rather get to know a company through articles than advertisements.
Of course, ads do have their place, but content can do things ads can’t. People know when they are being advertised to and quite frankly, they know that ads don’t provide as much value as content. Online articles, blog posts, videos and other types of content make it possible for you to provide real value to your market.
Use content to provide tips, educate, offer insight and give your customers excellent resources they will actually use. This approach tells people that your goal is to help your customers, not just overwhelm or annoy them with advertisements. It will also help you position yourself as the go-to solution in your industry.
An Opportunity to Build a Trusting, Beneficial Relationship with your Market
Ragan Communications also reported that 90 percent of consumers feel that custom content is useful and 78 percent feel that businesses that use custom content are interested in creating a positive relationship with them.
What does this mean? It means that when you use content marketing, you have the unique and valuable opportunity to build a trusting relationship with your market. When you create this kind of relationship, your customers will benefit as you provide the best resources and products available.
But, you will also benefit because you will build a stronger brand, gain more loyal customers and create a reputation that helps you attract new customers. Content marketing is one of the best ways to build a strong relationship with your market, and that relationship can bring big benefits.
These are just a few examples of the benefits content marketing can bring to your business. This strategy can help you achieve all kinds of business and marketing goals, and it’s one that you can easily tailor to your needs. Start getting these benefits and more by implementing a strong, comprehensive content marketing plan at your organisation.
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Image courtesy of Sarah Reid/Flickr.
Using a marketing tactic called social proof is a great way to show off your reputation, tell potential customers that people are satisfied with your services and make more sales. But what exactly is social proof and how do you use it?
Social Proof Defined
Social proof is online content from your current customers that helps you promote your business. Sometimes this is organically created as customers are satisfied with a business and other times businesses create it as part of their marketing strategy.
Some common forms of social proof include:
- Social Media Posts
- Social Media Interactions
- Online Reviews
- Case Studies
- Statistics about Sales and Customers
The purpose of using social proof is to show your market or potential customers that others are happy with your services. People are often more likely to listen to people like them rather than marketing or sales material.
What’s the Big Deal about Social Proof?
There’s enormous power behind social proof. According to KISSmetrics:
- More than 70 percent of American consumers read reviews before buying a product.
- Almost 63 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy something on a website if it has product ratings and reviews.
These statistics alone show how much user reviews can influence potential customers.
But, social proof can do more than that. It can help you build a reputation as a business with satisfied customers. When your online presence proves to your market that you provide top-quality services and are invested in making sure your customers are satisfied, you’ll reap big benefits.
This kind of reputation and presence can help you grow your business and even make more sales. Social proof is all about showing people what you can do for your customers so people will want to work with you.
How you can Start Using Social Proof
To start using social proof at your business, decide on a few tactics to use. Look at the above list and decide whether online reviews or case studies, or any of the other forms of social proof, would be best suited to your business.
Then, decide how to illustrate that social proof and disseminate it to your market. For example, statistics about your sales and customers could be organised on an infographic you will share through social media.
Case studies could be posted on your website, emailed to your subscribers and shared on social media. Online reviews could also be posted on your site, or you may want to link to third-party review sites. Testimonials could be used in blog posts, videos or just short snippets of text on your website.
You can also leverage organic social proof by interacting with your customers on social media and your blog so that others can see that you value their input and thank them for their compliments. Interaction also shows your market that you are active in listening to your customers and provide excellent customer service.
There are so many ways you can use social proof, so the trick is to decide what kind of information would be most persuasive to your market and then finding the right way to use it.
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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Image courtesy of Marco Paköeningrat/Flickr.
Facebook has announced a new resource, called Facebook Media, that is designed to help marketers find better ways to use the site. Social media marketing can be very effective and when you know how to leverage all the tools available to you, your marketing can be even more successful.
What’s in the Resource?
According to the announcement, Facebook Media will highlight ways brands and public figures are finding success on the social network. It will help marketers find ways they can use Facebook to promote their own business and build their brand.
The new site includes sections like “Get Started,” “Best Practices,” “Success Stories,” “Support” and a blog.
Each of these sections is full of tips to help businesses set up a Facebook page and then grow their audience. They include tips on what kind of content to post, ways to engage followers and how to use various features.
The site has a wealth of resources that will be valuable to beginner social media marketers and experts who are looking for more creative ways to leverage the site.
How can I use the Site?
In essence, Facebook Media is a one-stop shop for tips, tools, ideas and success stories for marketers. It is the perfect resource to go to when you set up your first Facebook page and then as you look for ways to make it a more valuable social media marketing tool.
Because there are so many resources on Facebook Media, you can use the site in so many different ways to enhance your marketing strategy.
Start the Right Way
To lay a strong foundation and set up a Facebook page that will bring results, it’s important that you take certain things like branding, settings and content into consideration. This new resource can help you set up a page the right way.
Learn how to Perfect your Strategy
Even if you’ve been using Facebook for a while, there are always things you can do to perfect your strategy and get better results. Facebook Media lays out some best practices you can use to make sure you are using Facebook to its fullest potential.
Find out What Works for Others
Of course, your business will require its own unique Facebook strategy and what works for one business may not necessarily work for yours. However, finding out how other brands find success on the site can help you get creative and find ideas to try on your own page. You may try strategies or techniques others are using or success stories on Facebook Media might inspire new ideas.
Where do I get Started?
To start taking advantage of this amazing new resource, head over to the new Facebook Media website. You can browse the categories, immediately start reading about others’ success on Facebook, search for specific topics and even sign up to get email updates about Facebook news and best practices.
Using Facebook Media is an excellent way to learn how to get more out of the site. We offer Facebook marketing services; so if you would like social media marketing assistance, contact us.
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Monday, September 15th, 2014
Image courtesy of Luke Roberts/Flickr.
Yesterday we posted about how videos can bring a whole new element to your marketing campaign. They give you a new level of creativity and can help you reach your market in a new way. But, to really get the most out of videos, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Right Occasion, Right Message
While videos can work for many situations, they won’t necessarily work for all situations. Look at your business, goals and market and decide where to use videos to get the most return on your investment. Also consider your message and remember that some messages are more conducive to videos than others.
Consider your Current Marketing Plan
Many times, videos can be used to enhance a marketing plan that is already being executed. Videos can breathe new life into social media plans and blogs and can help you emphasise a message and engage with your market.
Don’t Skip Calls to Action
To make your video more valuable and see results, don’t skip calls to action. Each video should have a very clear goal and in most cases, should ask viewers to do something. You may ask people to purchase a product, visit your website, attend an event or take another action that will help you reach your business goals.
Attention Span is Limited
You only have so much time to capture and keep a viewer’s attention and make him want to finish watching your video. In some cases, you may only want to produce a 60-second video. In others, you may have a few minutes to set the scene and share your message. Determine your video’s length after evaluating your purpose, calls to action and distribution channels.
Make it Shareable
Everyone wants people to share their content online. We know how powerful content can be when it goes viral and creates a buzz on social media, widening your audience and helping you get your message to more people.
But, to get these benefits, you need to make your videos shareable. Start by producing videos that have a clear value, are entertaining and are high quality. Then, make it easy for people to share them by posting them on social media and adding sharing buttons to them when you post them on your website.
Distribution Channels are Important
Once you produce a video, it’s important to choose your distribution channels wisely. Depending on your market and goals, you may promote your video on your website, blog, social media site or a third-party website.
Pro Editing Matters
The quality of your video will speak to your brand, level of professionalism and even the quality of the services you provide. Excellent editing will make your video more effective and help you build your brand and reputation.
We offer video marketing services and you can get in touch with us to find out how you can enhance your current video marketing plan or start using videos at your business for the first time.
Video marketing is an excellent way to reach and move your market, and when you keep these tips in mind you can leverage each video for best results.
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Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Image courtesy of David King/Flickr.
Videos can bring something new, fresh and powerful to your Internet and content marketing plan. There are some things videos can do that no other kind of content can and marketing videos can bring a lot of perks you can’t get any other way.
Draw on Emotion
There’s something about a combination of images, music and video that makes it easier to draw on people’s emotions. The right kind of video can make your market feel excited, happy, inspired or touched, which can help you send your message.
Inspiring emotion in people can lead to all kinds of results, from increased sales to better brand recognition. Videos are one of the most powerful ways to play on emotion in any online marketing campaign.
Tell a Story Quickly
Videos can also help you tell a story in a quick, effective way. Blog posts, online articles, pictures and infographics can also help you tell a story, but these tactics don’t allow for much visual depth and can’t convey information as quickly as a video can.
Use videos to tell your brand’s story, highlight success stories, illustrate case studies or convey any other narrative that will bolster your marketing efforts.
Make more Sales
According to DigitalSherpa, people who visit a retail website are 64 percent more likely to buy a product. This may be due to the fact that videos let people see products in action, let businesses explain features in a simple way and make their content more engaging.
If you sell products on your website, using videos is essential. Simply posting videos about your popular products, products people often ask questions about or new products you want to promote can help you encourage customers and make more sales.
Stand out on Social Media
Social media is full of links, status updates and a seemingly endless stream of photos. Break through all the noise with a video. Videos on social media stand out and are a refreshing break. They can capture people’s attention so they will stop scrolling through their news feed and see what you have to say.
Some videos can be so creative and so effective that they get shared across social media, helping you reach a wider audience and establishing your voice and brand on social media.
Give your Market a New View
In many cases, videos give you a whole new level of creativity. Use sound, images, action shots, demonstrations and editing to tell a story and give your market a new view.
Using creative videos to launch a product, let people participate in a conference via the Internet, show people your new headquarters or hear from your employees gives you more leverage when it comes to marketing strategies.
Creating videos gives you access to creative tools that no other kind of content creation does. You can use these techniques to help you reach your market and give people a new view of your business or products.
Video marketing is always growing and if your business wants to stay up to date with current Internet and marketing trends, you need to use videos to creatively reach your market. As you start adding them to your strategies, you’ll find that you can do more and could even experience benefits you can’t get from other kinds of content.
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Monday, September 8th, 2014
Image courtesy of Wendy/Flickr.
Content marketing involves more than blog posts and online articles. Videos, photos, infographics, guides, ebooks and virtually all other types of online content can be a valuable part of your content marketing and Internet marketing strategies. No matter what kind content you use, it is absolutely essential that each piece helps you build and maintain your brand.
Use Visual Elements
One of the best ways to maintain your brand across several types of content is to use the same visual elements. Use the same colours, logos, fonts and visual styles on all of your content. Some types of content lend themselves to visual design more than others, but find ways to brand your content, no matter what kind you are using.
Use everything from photos and graphics to header colours to brand your content. Even small things, like the tone, music and style can help you build and maintain your brand.
Don’t Alter your Messages
It is important that you use consistent messages throughout all of your content. This doesn’t mean that you need to use the same message over and over or even that you need to phrase it the same way each time.
It does mean that you need to choose a few key messages and then make sure all of your content helps you convey them to your market. A video may be better at sending one particular message while a blog post is perfect for another. You will also need to use different phrasing and tones to make each piece effective.
Remember Calls to Action
Using calls to action that complement each other is another way to make sure all of your content helps you maintain your brand. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, most of your content should highlight your products and the benefits you can offer and ask people to make a purchase.
It is possible to use more than one call to action throughout your campaign, but don’t use too many conflicting calls. When you do this you risk confusing your market, distracting people and causing them not to follow up on any of your calls to action.
Row in the Same Direction
To succeed with Internet or content marketing, all of your tactics need to help you row in the same direction. They all need to work together, complementing each other, to help you reach your goals. Sometimes you will be trying to achieve multiple goals, so some of your tactics will be designed for one goal and some for another.
Using consistent messaging and calls to action is the first step in making sure all of your tactics are working together. Make an outline for each piece and keep your goals in mind as you create them.
No matter what kind of Internet or content marketing strategy you are using, it’s important that all of your content helps you build and then maintain your brand. As you do this, your online presence will become stronger, helping you increase brand awareness and achieve your goals. Content that uses consistent branding, messages, calls to action and direction is more powerful and more likely to help you see results.
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Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Image courtesy of Ian Page-Echols/Flickr.
We usually think of webinars as a way to connect with, train and educate employees, team members and sometimes even our customers. We don’t often think of them as a promotional tool, but when you use them the right way webinars can be a powerful part of Internet marketing.
Search Engine Journal published an article explaining just how effective webinars can be when it comes to getting more social media shares, making sales and even getting higher search engine rankings.
According to the article, a Content Marketing Institute study found that webinars are the third most effective content marketing tactic due to real-time delivery and behaviour scoring.
But how do you make sure your webinars are more than just a conference call? How do you turn them into powerful marketing tools?
Choose the Right Market
Obviously, webinars that are designed for your employees aren’t going to give you the marketing opportunities webinars designed for your customers will. Think carefully about your market and which of your audiences would be most responsive to a webinar.
Some common groups to target with webinars include current customers, past customers, potential customers, people of a specific demographic or people that are involved in a specific industry.
Use Promotional and Educational Content
The most effective webinars use content that is both promotional and educational. People don’t want to sit through a commercial for your business or product, and your webinar shouldn’t be full of sales pitches. Instead, use content that is valuable to your audience, that helps you position yourself as an industry leader and that is educational.
Then, add small “touches” of promotional tactics to make sure the webinar is also a marketing tool. Some easy ways to do this are:
- Putting your logo in a prominent place as the sponsor or host.
- Using examples or case studies from your clients.
- Offering free samples through a link on your website.
- Referring people to your blog.
- Encouraging people to contact you for more information.
- Asking people to connect with you on social media.
- Holding the live webinar at your location while broadcasting it online.
To get marketing benefits from your webinar your content should be carefully designed to be educational and beneficial while still promoting your business.
Make the Webinar Accessible in Multiple Ways
Make it easy for people to participate in your webinar. Of course, you should broadcast it online on your website or YouTube channel so people everywhere can participate. But, you may also consider live tweeting the webinar, posting a link to your webinar on your blog, using multiple social media channels and even allowing people to attend in person.
Doing this makes it more likely that a lot of people will participate and also gives you more ways to market your webinar, and also your business. Creating a buzz on social media and getting more traffic to your website before and during your webinar can help your marketing efforts.
Recycle Webinar Content Later
Don’t stop using your webinar for marketing purposes when it’s over! Recycle the content by posting the video and audio, as a whole or as short snippets, on your website and sharing it through social media.
Other ways to recycle webinar content include using the same ideas, themes and sources to create blog posts, podcasts, infographics, articles and white papers. All of these can be used as part of your Internet marketing, content marketing and social media marketing strategies.
If you use them the right way, webinars can help you educate and provide value to your market while still promoting your business. Use these tips as you plan your next webinar so you’ll see more benefits.
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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Image courtesy of Rego Korosi/Flickr.
New research by Aol Platforms shows that YouTube brings more customer conversions than Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. The report shows that YouTube is a powerful social media tool that brands shouldn’t ignore as they strategize to build their customer base.
The research used information from 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions. It also tracked social purchase interactions to see which networks swayed people to make purchases and at what point in the decision making process they were the most influential.
After all the data was analysed and all the numbers were crunched, YouTube was revealed as the social network that was the most influential when it comes to introducing new products to consumers and helping people make a decision to buy a product.
Why YouTube Converts
So what is it about YouTube that makes it one of the best networks when it comes to making sales? First, YouTube is highly popular with more than 1 billion unique visitors a month and 100 hours of video being added every minute. But, that’s not all. YouTube reports that 80 percent of its traffic comes from outside the United States and that more than 6 billion hours of video are watched on its site every month!
Combined with a huge user base, YouTube’s ability to help businesses show instead of tell and evoke emotion like few other mediums can, it’s no wonder it’s a powerful marketing tool.
How to Use YouTube to Increase Sales
Now that you’re convinced that YouTube can help you make more sales in a way no other social media network can, how do you use it effectively?
Choose the Right Message and Goal
Video lets you accomplish things images, social media posts and written content can’t. It lets you incorporate movement, sound, audio and lighting to portray feelings and send messages in a unique way. Choose the right messaging and goals for your YouTube videos and use them to complement your social media campaign in ways other networks can’t.
Make Each Video Shine
Each of your videos should reflect your brand and be professionally made. Don’t skimp on things like sound or editing quality. Your videos will tell your market how to think of your business and if they are exceptionally made and high quality, they will be more successful.
Include Appropriate Calls to Action
Just like all of your other marketing materials, your YouTube videos should include a call to action. If your goal is to increase sales, your call to action should encourage viewers to buy a product, visit your store or download a free sample.
All of your YouTube videos should include the right message, be well made and include the right calls to action if you want them to help you meet your goals.
This newest research that illustrates how beneficial YouTube can be for your business gives us some insight into how to use it effectively. Since it is influential as people learn about new products and make buying decisions, you can use your account to promote your products and encourage people to become customers.
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Friday, August 29th, 2014
Image courtesy of Andreas Levers/Flickr.
Your business doesn’t have time or resources to spend on content marketing strategies and tactics that don’t work. It’s imperative that you track your results and measure your success so you can enhance your campaigns and spend time doing things that work.
The way you measure success will depend on your goals, but there are some signs that could mean your content marketing strategy is working and its return on investment is worth your time and resources.
Increase in Site Traffic
When you publish content on external sites and link back to your own website, you have the opportunity to increase site traffic. Guest blog posts, articles on outside sites, social media posts and news coverage can all help you drive traffic to your site where you can convert visitors into customers.
More Social Media Shares
Great content gets shared on social media. You’ll know your content is interesting, compelling and entertaining to your market when it is shared more frequently on social media. Share content through your own accounts and then make it easy for site visitors to share your content on your website with sharing buttons.
Better Brand Awareness
When you use content to become a resource and industry authority in your area of expertise, you can increase brand awareness. People will begin to associate your business and products with high-quality services. This can be achieved with content on your own site as well as content you publish through guest blogging opportunities and article submissions.
As you raise brand awareness and position yourself as an industry leader and a business that provides the best products, you will also increase customer loyalty. Use content that provides value to your market and that proves why you are the best in your industry. Customer loyalty can also be strengthened through social media, so be sure to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.
Increase in Sales
One of the biggest benefits content marketing can bring is an increase in sales. Use content to increase brand awareness, educate your market about your products and illustrate why people should choose you over your competitors. As you do this, you will see an increase in sales. Content can be a powerful sales tool that allows you to persuade people to try your products and then keep buying them.
A Growing Email List
A large email list can help you accomplish all kinds of goals, from increased sales to better brand recognition and even more loyal customers. When you consistently provide great content people will want to hear from your business. They won’t want to miss your blog posts, videos and tutorials, so they will sign up for your email marketing list.
Be sure to make it easy for people to subscribe and use your content to prove to people why they should sign up. For example, add a sign-up box under each of your blog posts and tell people they can get your posts right in their inbox if they enrol in your email list.
Excellent content can bring valuable results for your business. When you plan strategically and use the best forms of content, publishing platforms and tactics for your business, you could see these, and even more, benefits.
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Image courtesy of Sara Björk/Flickr.
Calls to action are vital to your Internet marketing tactics. Whether you are using social media, content marketing or advertising, most, if not all, of your pieces should include a call to action. This statement should ask people to do something that will help you meet your goals.
But, asking people to call you, make a purchase or “click here” gets old, and frankly, isn’t always very effective. To make your calls to action more powerful, try using some stronger, more creative verbs. Here’s a list of 8 words and phrases to help you get started brainstorming.
“Make a Change Now”
If your products or services can help people make a change, tell them that! Make the phrase more urgent with words like “now,” “right away,” or “immediately.” This is a phrase that will attract a market that isn’t happy with something and is ready to do something different.
“Let us Solve your Problem”
On the other hand, maybe your customers want you to solve a problem for them. Communicate the fact that you are ready and willing to do that with a call to action that tells people to leave things in your hands.
“Recharge” is a word that stands out and conveys a sense of renewal and energy. Calls to action that are asking people to relax, take advantage of new information or increase their energy are good candidates for a word like this.
Another powerful word, “reclaim,” is one to use with people that feel they have lost something you can replace. Some examples of this call to action might be “reclaim your time,” “reclaim your storage space,” or “reclaim your independence.” This is a word that not only asks people to take an action, but also inspires them.
“Make things Easier”
If your business is all about making something easier with a product or service, convey that idea and benefit clearly with a call to action like “make working out easier” or “make keeping your family safe easy with these tips.” One of the major benefits of phrases like these is that they all show value right away, which is attractive to an online audience.
People like to save, whether that means saving money, time, hassle or energy. This is a word that jumps out on social media and your website. You can also use this as part of calls to action related to discounts, as in “save 20 percent when you enrol this month!”
“Help” can be used in two ways: telling people you can help them or asking them to help you. Use this verb when you want to show people what exactly you can do for them to make the benefits of your product clear.
Or, use “help” to encourage people to reach out to you. For example, post “Help us choose the best poster for our event” on social media and solicit feedback from your market. This can be applied to anything from “help spread the word” to “help us understand what you need.”
“Get Exclusive Access”
Giving people exclusive access can help you build a buzz about a new product or make some online resources more valuable to your audience. People who have exclusive access may be more likely to feel valued and loyal to your brand.
The calls to action you use across your entire strategy and all of your tactics should work together to encourage people to respond the way you want them to. If you are trying to promote an event, your calls to action will be different than if you are trying to increase sales.
Choose some powerful words to make your calls to action more effective and make sure your content is aligned with your brand so you will see more results.
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