Blogging Tips

  1. Create content that connects – The most important part of your blog is the content. Write for the audience you want to target and create content relevant to them not you. 
  2. Frequent Content – Frequency is important, but there is no perfect number. 3 – 5 times per week is a good place to start.
  3. Remember SEO – SEO is important for your blog as well. Remember to consider load time, titles, mobile versions, site navigation and keywords.
  4. Social Media – Use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to promote your content. Grow and nurture your communities. Be diverse and part of the communities you decide to participate in.
  5. Utilize blogger sites – Review sites like TechnarotiMashableAlltop and others that are relevant to your industry and audience.
  6. Email your posts – Email will help get your content in front of more people. Utilize an email service (e.g. Constant Contact) and be consistent. Subscribers will begin to expect to see your content on a regular basis.
  7. Press Releases – Use press releases to spread the word about news and your product and services. Many companies (and associates) wrongly believe that there is nothing newsworthy happening at their company. Events that should have press releases include: new products, completions of projects, announcements of contracts, new partnerships, new personnel, awards, industry whitepapers and interviews with company personnel.
  8. Influencer Outreach – Target influencers in your industry and establish a relationship with them. Find out how you can help them, comment on their blogs and then ask if they would be interested in guest blogging for you. 
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Too Expensive? Here are 10 Affordable Marketing Tactics

Marketing, advertising and promotion are a critical to business success. It is also a crucial link to your customers. Instead of avoiding or cancelling these tactics, you can try and implement some cost saving tactics to increase brand awareness. Here are 10 affordable marketing tactics to consider implementing:

  1.  Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, etc.)
  2. Content Marketing and Lead Generation (Blogging and Email Marketing/eNewsletters)
  3. Promotional events (Competitions with prizes that media can attend)
  4. Public Relations (Write content about what your business is doing)
  5. Press Release or Article (Submit it with a small ad to local newspapers and media)
  6. Guest Hosting (Contact local radio/TV outlets and offer to do free interviews or consults)
  7. Hijack (Listen to media shows or online conversations and jump in with your comments)
  8. Community Involvement (Volunteer to provide presentations at local community groups)
  9. Be Charitable (Only do this if you believe and want to be involved in a local cause)
  10. Networking (Get out there and mingle!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Expensive? Here are 10 Affordable Marketing Tactics

10 Helpful Social Media Tools

Here are 10 helpful tools that should allow you to be more efficient online.

  1. WooBox.com – WooBox.com is a Facebook brand page app service that provides a host of free and paid apps.
  2. Piktochart.com – This is free and paid infographic and presentation tool for non-designers. 
  3. PicMonkey.comPikMonkey is a free online picture editor.
  4. LiveTweetApp.com. This is a live-tweet wall tool that you can use for events and conferences. 
  5. Tagboard.com Tagboard tracks hashtags across all major platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Google+) so you can see where these hashtags are being used.
  6. Feedspot.com. Feedspot is a new RSS reader that allows you to pick and follow blogs based on your interests and then it makes suggestions based on your activity.
  7. Picozu.com. An online drawing and photo-retouching application. 
  8. Dominder.com If you own a lot of domain names this tool should help. It is a reminder service for your domain names, so you won’t miss any re-registration dates.
  9. Zeen.comAnother image-generation tool that enables you to create shareable, poster-style pieces of content. 
  10. Youtube.videodeck.net. If you are familiar with Tweetdeck, essentially this is the same tool, but for YouTube. This tool allows you to follow your favorite subscriptions and content with an online dashboard. 

10 Tips for Writing the Best Facebook Status Updates

Here are 10 tips to help you optimize your Facebook posts!

  1. Post an interesting fact
  2. Share a tip, a stat, piece of news or checklist
  3. Endorse content
  4. Don’t always ask a question
  5. Inspire action (e.g. pinning an image)
  6. Tell users what to expect (especially with blogs and videos)
  7. Test adding a “P.S.” line
  8. Use short links (try bitly)
  9. Use images with text (try PicMonkey)
  10. Ask users to commentImage

Advocacy Strategies

Advocacy is an important tool for brands to leverage and build strategies around.  Companies should strive to mobilize their customers, employees, and influencers, and turn them into highly productive and powerful brand advocates. These advocates can influence and support your established sales and marketing channels.

Here are 3 reasons why advocacy strategies are a critical channel to build.

1.       Credibility and Trust

Consumers trust their fellow consumers and what they say. While your brand should still communicate your products and services, advocates can help consumers learn information quickly and they will help build your credibility and transparency.

2.       Influence and Powerful Voice

 Advocates can reach potential buyers and partners quickly and easily. Advocates can do many things on a brand’s behalf including referring friends, writing testimonials, forwarding content, and sharing new products and promotions.

3.       Advocates Extend your Sales Force 

Advocates know when friends and acquaintances in their networks are available or “in the market.” This is information that brands don’t have. More importantly, the more people that are talking about and marketing your products or services will help increase your chances of success. Your social brand advocates can even drive results that are better than you than traditional methods.

Your potential brand advocates, customers, influencers, and employees, are an invaluable source of market and sales support. Business leaders can identify and mobilize their advocates to help increase brand awareness, generate high-quality leads and increase customer engagement. Companies need to create strategies and tactics set up to generate, track, and manage brand advocacy.

Adopt a Lean Approach to Strategy

By creating an agile strategy, your company should be able to drive actionable insight and develop an informed plan. When executed effectively, a lean framework approach to strategy should focus on three interrelated steps. These steps will design an informed road map, which should achieve results quickly.

  1. Investigation 

Understanding the current marketplace trends will help to access the competitive landscape facing your organization. An understanding of customer personas and their engagement journey, as well as stakeholder and market interviews will prioritize key criteria of the value, which should be aligned with the objectives of the business.

  1. Formulation 

This involves exploration of the existing and future strategic plans while harnessing market trends, a customer experience audit, and a competitive analysis that identifies unconsidered opportunities.

  1. Activation 

The final step is to combine all initiatives that have passed the internal strategic audit and aligns with the overall business strategy and opportunities. These opportunities should then be evaluated through the value to your target audience and to your business. Ultimately, your organization must have the ability to execute the strategy effectively and consistently.

The prioritized opportunities with the highest value will form the basis for your lean activation plan. Lastly, your lean strategic plan should have a properly crafted business case, which includes a cost-benefit analysis, technological assessment, projected ROI, and a multi-phase road map for ongoing innovation.

Adopting lean principles for strategy ensures that complexity, rigidity, and friction are replaced with simplicity, adaptability, and speed. Accelerating market demands can only be combated through accelerated road-mapping developed through actionable insights and informed planning.

Marketing Strategy 101

While most companies may have a document or presentation labelled marketing strategy, they probably missed the mark. Here are some helpful tips on creating a proper marketing strategy and avoiding a few common mistakes.

Create a strategy not a goal

“We want to be number one or two in the market” is a goal not a strategy. Goals can help inspire a company, but a strategy is how you plan to accomplish it. Ultimately, strategy is about making choices. It is also about outlining who is your ideal customer, what are you going to sell and how are you going to deliver a unique value proposition.

Don’t keep strategy a secret

All employees (or at least managers and decision makers) should be aware of and be able to explain your marketing strategy. The strategy should be a coherent plan that outlines the unique value proposition and how you will target the correct group of customers. A successful strategy helps to change and drive an organization. If no one knows what the strategy is, than it won’t influence action or change in your company.

Strategy is a new plan

When creating a new strategy, it can be easy for companies to build off of what they have done in the past. Just because you’re doing it doesn’t make it a strategy. If you have a consistent plan that delivers consistent results, this could be a strategy, but I would recommend building on it. 

6 Steps for a Valuable Business Idea

You have finally thought of an innovative concept and now you’re challenged with translating this idea into something useful and practical. Also, how do you make sure a successful and profitable business results from your idea? Most new business ideas are never completed or implemented since people often don’t understand the process of converting their ideas into a real business. Small businesses often have the chance to provide some practical and smart innovations since smaller organizations typically foster increased creativity. The larger an organization, the more chance a great idea will just get ‘lost’ in translation, or office meeting. But how do you translate your idea into a business? Here are 6 steps to help you navigate the way.

1. Take your Time

Don’t jump the gun. Take time to think about your idea, but you start advertising your game changing idea! The more you think about it, the more concrete the idea will become and the easier it will be for you to communicate it. This is vital to getting acceptance and implementation. Discussing your idea with close colleagues and friends can also help flush out the concept and the practical ways of implementing. They will often become your greatest supporters when you promote the idea.

2. Evaluate the Idea

This is critical for success. Many businesses have an assessment or evaluation process for new ideas. Making sure that there is a need or that your idea provides a solution is important. Be objective in your evaluation(s) and it will pay off in the future.

3. Know the Benefits

All businesses are interested in increasing their profit line, but your idea may also provide other benefits. Other examples include raising employee morale or the public image of the company. You should prepare a list of potential benefits that can arise from the implementing your idea.

4. Know How to Implement

You need to realistically and practically consider how your idea can be implemented into the company’s processes or procedures. Knowing how to best ease companies and the market into accepting change can be a challenge. Making this transition as easy and as positive as possible will greatly increase your chances for success. Be sure to discuss the idea with the people who will actually be implementing and using your idea. Remember to compile feedback on the impact of the idea and if they have any helpful suggestions.

5. Find and Keep Support

Discussing your idea with your colleagues, acquaintances, family, friends, business contacts, etc. will help to you find support for your idea. Remember to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge those who have given you suggestions to make your idea a practical reality. This will also increase credibility. Sharing your idea with several people in various industries before you formally launch and sell the idea should help increase acceptance. It also allows you to prepare you for your initial launch and sale. Keeping support by providing updates and asking for feedback or advise will also keep you idea top of mind.

6. Sell It

Be sure to focus on your idea’s unique value proposition, what benefits it will provide and what marketplace need it will fill or solve. Sell your idea in a positive way that reflects what is most important. Conducting market research can greatly increase success in step 6.

Lastly, don’t waste a great idea! Creativity and innovative solutions can give careers, businesses, markets and economies successful boosts.  Good luck on creating the next big thing!