Blog Marketing – 8 Quick Tips

Simply put if you don’t have a blog (or content strategy) you should. So start now.

Here are 8 your 8 quick blog marketing tips:

  1. Create Objectives for your blog that are scalable, measurable and align with your business needs and goals
  2. Profile your target audience and determine what type of blog and (ultimately what content) will attract them to read your posts. 
  3. Manage a budget that matches spend with benefit.
  4. Present a business case for blogging that is compelling to your company and management. A blog is a necessity for businesses that want to drive customer engagement, which should help your business case.
  5. Define your blog culture and manage who speaks and comments.
  6. Discover skilled (and creative) bloggers that can help increase the success of your blog. Look within your firm or contact outside industry experts for a guest blog opportunity. Win-win partnerships are great to pursue. 
  7. Build awareness of your blog and establish your thought leadership and online authority. Just like with all marketing channels, be sure to integrate your blog and promote it. 
  8. Track metrics that measure your ROI and define your success. Be sure to remember that it takes time and effort to make a blog successful – so stick with it.

Facebook Contests – Your 10 Tips to a Successful Contest

Who doesn’t like to win a contest? I’m pretty sure everyone likes to be a winner.

ImageWith a user base of 955 million monthly active users (June 2012), Facebook is the social platform where your contests can be very successful and provide ROI, if executed properly. Success with contests, just like any marketing efforts, it all depends on the planning and execution (consider 3 P’s: Planning, Prize and Promotion. Plan). Better yet, if you follow these 10 tips you will be right on track to running a successful Facebook contest.

1. Decide if you need a contest

This is always the best place to start when planning any marketing campaign. Evaluate your brand and market and the impact of an online contest. If you’re a B2B company that deals in a niche market, a Facebook contest might not help you gain a meaningful number of new clients. Granted it’s all about good execution and follow through.

2. Set contest goals

What do you want to achieve by running the contest? Do you want to increase brand exposure, launch a new product line, increase the number of likes for your page, build user engagement, gather user feedback or develop brand advocates? The bottom line: have specific goals and don’t run a contest just because you can.

3. Select a contest type

There are four basic types of contests you can run on Facebook: sweepstakes, essay, photo and video. Matching the type of contest with your target audience is very important. Video, photo and essay contests will give you lots of content for your page, but they also require more effort to enter. A sweepstakes contest is easy to enter and you can set it up so that you get a few key pieces of information from your customers.

4. Know Facebook’s contest policies and rules

Facebook has a lot of rules and regulations for contests run on the site. Facebook insists that contests explicitly state that Facebook is not sponsoring the giveaway. Violating any of Facebook’s rules will result in your contest, and possibly your page, being shut down, which you do not want.  

5. Have your private policy ready

Your private policy explains the intended use of the data you collect during the contest. If you plan to use the information outside of judging the contest, you need to mention that in the policy. As a result, your link to the privacy policy should be available on your contest app. Also, according to Facebook, you need to specify your own rules, terms and conditions and contest eligibility requirements.

6. Run your contest through a third-party app

There are lots of companies that provide contest support, but you will want to make sure the one you choose offers a 3 key features: flexibility, affordability and mobility.

7. Pick an awesome prize

Most importantly make sure you pick a prize that your target audience wants. You can always do a survey before the contest to help decide what the prize should be. The prize does not have to be very expensive, but the value of your prize should reflect the effort participants need to make to enter.

8. Keep it simple 

The simpler it is to enter your contest, the more people will get in. Your contest should be easy to find and easy to enter. Ask for less information such as the entrant’s name, age and email address.

9. Promote your contest

If you’re hosting a contest on Facebook, make it social and don’t just post details to your page. Post and send scheduled reminders about the contest through tweets, email newsletters and posts on your Facebook Timeline. You can also increase your promotional reach by using Facebook ads. Ensure your contest is well-integrated into all concurrent marketing channels.

10. Post-contest follow-up and results

Be sure utilizing the information collected after the contest is over and assess the responses and feedback of customers. The easiest way to do this is to organize the data into a spreadsheet and compare the responses. Also, make sure you follow-up with your audience – listening and re-engaging is very important to your brand and marketing strategy. Let the participants know that you value their suggestions as this will motivate and increase future customer interaction. 

So live your li…

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion;respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

– Native American Shawnee Chief Tecumseh

Your Business Facebook Marketing Checklist

Well my mother just recently joined the social media world, bit the bullet and create a Facebook account. While she may have been a bit late jumping on the Facebook band wagon, the long distance telephone training sure brought her up to speed. With a wealth of opportunity for business, Facebook is now a necessity for companies. Hopefully these 9 tips will help you succeed with your Company Facebook Page.

1. You’re a Page, not a Profile

This is important very important for branding and communicating with customers. You’re not trying to make friends; you’re building an online presence and community. Start building your likes on a business page today!

2. Keep Things Current

This is a social media necessity. As you change your marketing campaigns and strategies your profile, including the About box, should change. Do a full update regularly and remember to keep updating, sharing and starting conversations. An open dialog with interesting posts, photos, and open-ended questions will drive your engagement and conversion rates.

3. Make it Visual

This means you need content. New photos and videos will help increase your social reach.

4. Schedule your Content

Avoid becoming a dull page. Scheduling will also help you stay current and avoid becoming a dull and forgotten. Take control, and see the results you planned for become realized. Lastly, test for best timing.

5. Data, Data, Analytics

Facebook provides an ample amount of analytics, which you can export. The number of likes, followers, and other interactions can provide valuable insight into what is and is not effective. Data is always good and helpful, and it’s easier than you might think to gather interaction data from Facebook.

6. Now Who Doesn’t Like a Contest?

Engagement is everything, and a contest is a great investment.  Contests attract new leads and customers and can revitalize your company page. Want new likes? Just encourage people to like, comment and share.

7. Website Integration is Key

This isn’t just for Facebook. All social media accounts should be integrated prominently on you website driving traffic to all of your online profiles, building an interactive community.

8. Facebook has Rules – Follow Them

If you don’t know already, Facebook has its own rule book  Don’t worry it’s available online. Rules include contests, advertising and photos to name a few. It’s always good to know your rules, you don’t want to get banned.

9. It’s 2013 – Think Mobile

Your entire online strategy needs to be optimized for mobile and this includes your Facebook page. Double checking your online content for mobile viewing is always recommended.

Happy Facebooking!

5 Quick Investor Tips

Here are 5 important tips to consider when approaching investors (or thinking about it).

1. Cash is king. Be sure to build up and prove you are able to manage your cash flow. Cash flow management can easily kill your companies – be careful!

2. The company must have sales. Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists will invest after you have your first customer. If you’ve ever watched Dragons Den you need to have a history sales before looking for investors.

3. Keep investors top of mind. Consider your family, friends and co-founders – are you comfortable losing their money? Keeping them top of mind will, hopefully, help you make sound business decisions.

4. Decide if control of your company is absolutely necessary. Company control is relative and should align with your personal and professional values.  

5. Practice telling your story. It will be very important for you to set yourself apart from the competition and address your ‘so what’ factor.