Grow Your Small Business Social Media Audience – 5 Tips

The world of social media is constantly changing. Luckily, I think it is for the better. Here are 5 tips to help get you started off on the right foot.

Tip #1: Be consistent

Creating content through your blog and social media profiles regularly will allow you to steadily grow your audience and followers. Content generation will also increase your organic SEO. Also, having a consistent voice will help you to increase your brand power and awareness online.

Tip #2: Provide value

This is just common sense. Simply put, if you’re not providing value, then you no one will care. Consider giving back to the social media community by providing content that your audience will value. eBooks, infographics, whitepapers, PDF reports, useful graphics or templates are some of the ways you can give valuable content to grow your social media followers.

Tip #3: Consider K.I.S.S-ing your content

If you haven’t heard of the Keep It Significant and Shareable (or K.I.S.S.) idea, then you are missing out. By creating and sharing engaging content interest will generate and hopefully your audience will remember you for a long time. You can also build your trust by linking out to credible, authority sources.

Tip #4: Optimize your profiles

You cannot grow your online presence with out having a valuable, consistent profile. It needs to be developed with a purpose. Before you can grow your social media audience, you need to tell who you are and what your business is all about. Hopefully you can demonstrate and display your value proposition. A good way to start is to optimize your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn with the relevant information. Adding personal, humanizing touches will help you to secure your place in the social media community as a relevant, engaging brand.

Tip #5: Be visual

Leverage visual content as much as you can. Infographics are a huge trend right now. So are good, high quality images. By leveraging shareable images, your company should be able to engage your audience  and build a loyal following on the internet.

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Types of Marketing Emails

  1. New Marketing Offers
  2. Form Submission/Thank-you emails
  3. Product/Service Information emails
  4. Digital Magazines or Newsletters
  5. Co-marketing emails
  6. Internal updates
  7. Lead Nurturing emails with complimentary content (e.g. eBooks)
  8. Dedicated sends (e.g. monthly welcome email,  email subscriber lists)
  9. Email Confirmations
  10. Event Invitations

Increase Your Online Presence with Digital Marketing

Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet and digital marketing to inform and educate prospective and existing customers. While content marketing plays a vital role in conveying a company’s brand message, online engagement is critical to promoting this message and solidifying relationships with your target audience. Online engagement tools such as social media and email marketing allows a company to interact with prospects and customers dynamically and transparently, driving home its core message.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is one of the greatest community building tools in history. Content shared on social media amplifies a company’s online presence, while transparent social exchanges project its authenticity. This helps to foster a longstanding connection with new prospects and existing customers. Social media marketing recognizes each social follower as a person interested in the company. Companies should use social to expand their reach and engage prospects on their terms. Also, businesses can use data gleaned from social interactions to better understand the interests, wants and needs of their target audience.

EMAIL MARKETING

As consumers demand more relevance in the type of content received and the nature of its delivery, dynamic and personalized email marketing campaigns are becoming crucial to online promotion. Through a series coordinated emails, companies are able to send out highly personalized content tailored to customer segments at various stages in the buying cycle. These campaigns allow brands to efficiently nurture new prospects down the sales funnel and to stay connected with existing clients.

INTEGRATION IS KEY

To form connections that matter, businesses need to produce original content that is exceptional, personalized, and relevant.  By responsively engaging with their audience over social media and email, companies are able to promote their content and message in a concise manner. Companies can also take advantage of analytics and the ability to adjust online campaigns easily to better hit their target market.

While social media, email marketing and mobile advertising are expected to increase, they only represent a few elements of a fully integrated marketing strategy.

16 Webinar Tips For Your Business

Webinars are a great tool for your business to utilize. This digital platform can help build your reputation as a thought leader within your industry. Webinars can assist with lead generation, nurturing and the ability to share your expertise.

Here are 16 tips to help you plan and launch a successful webinar:

  1. Choose an interesting and engaging topic.
  2. Target a large, broad audience.
  3. Establish a reputation as a reliable thought leader.
  4. Set a goal for registrations.
  5. Pick the right prize.
  6. Consider giveaways.
  7. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
  8. Create an interactive, engaging and instructed landing page.
  9. Follow up with registrants.
  10. Make sure your reminder emails add value.
  11. Use social media to increase registrants and as a live day-of feed.
  12. Leverage your presenters as an advertising platform.
  13. Use the webinar to create a variety of content pieces (especially blogs).
  14. Embrace paid media (offline and online).
  15. Forge partnerships with other brands and thought leaders.
  16. Leverage your home page.

Have You Created Your Content Calendar? Here Are 4 Tips To Help!

It’s the end of the year and the home stretch is in reach. Don’t forget to complete your content calendar for 2014. Content calendars can help you plan out a clear plan of attack for the New Year. Planning ahead will help you pre-empt writers block and allows you to construct a strategic digital marketing roadmap. It’s important to note that every content calendar is different, because every company is different. Make a separate Outlook or Google calendar or event an Excel spreadsheet.

It’s also important to remember that your content calendar is not static and none of your information is ‘set in stone’. Feel free to add new campaigns, move them around or delete them. Here are 4 more tips to help you get started.

1. Plan for holidays
Start by including major holidays on the calendar. Google when these are and plan around them throughout the year (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.). Also include all of the lesser known holidays too, even if you don’t market specifically for them.

2. Add events
While you may not know all of next year’s events, this is a great second place to start. Add events such as conferences, company events, client appreciation events, etc. These events will influence the content in your emails campaigns. Also include internal events and time off schedules, as this can affect content marketing production.

3. Include email marketing campaigns
Hubspot as stated that email marketing has the best ROI in the industry. Add each type of campaign you are planning to create throughout the year. Examples can include daily/weekly/monthly newsletters, welcome series, re-engagement campaigns, special offers, sales, new products, events, etc. I also recommend color coding each type.  for a wide picture of when it occurs over time. This is also a good time to brainstorm and make note of new campaigns and ideas. If you have a blog, you should also considering brainstorming and noting topics/ideas for your blog as well.

4. Add the extras
Find the right balance, but feel free to include additional marketing campaigns (on and offline), social media promotions and contests. Adding these will help enhance the content you have in your email marketing and as a result it should help increase your customer engagement.

Good luck with your calendar and if I missed any tips or ideas please feel free to sharing them in my comments! 

Content Marketing 101

In business, especially professional services, relationships and referrals are the key to business development. While personal referrals will also continue to play a major role in business development, according to HubSpot, 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. It took a few years for content marketing to catch on in the realm of professional services, but today a good content marketing strategy involves producing and distributing material that is valuable and interesting to your target audiences. Hopefully you are part of the 23% of marketers that HubSpot stated are investing in blogging and social media in 2013—a 9% increase from 2012.

Benefits of Content Marketing

  1. Affordable. 
  2. Improves your search results and indexing. 
  3. Fosters prospect nurturing.
  4. Drives content efficiency. 

The Content Marketing Model

  1. Create content that is important to your target audiences (e.g. blog posts, articles, whitepapers, webinars, videos, books, etc.).
  2. Promote content through social media, presentations, email marketing, etc.
  3. Convert readers by providing free access to your content, but request at least their email address.
  4. Engage through phone consultations, meetings, assessments, and demonstrations. Be consistent with your ability to demonstrate your (or your company’s) knowledge and expertise.

The Must-Haves in Content Marketing

  1. Plan ahead – have a content manager and a calendar.
  2. Tailor your content marketing strategy to focus on your buyer personas and target market. If it doesn’t interest your clients or prospects then you have missed the point.
  3. Explore a variety of mediums (e.g. text, images, video, infographics, etc.)
  4. Be transparent. Channel your enthusiasm and showcase your company’s culture! 

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. 

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 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

12 Questions to Inspire your Marketing and Content Creation

Implement these 12 tips when you need fresh marketing and content ideas:

  1. What needs do my customers have?
  2. What are the common pain points of my customers?
  3. How do we add value to our customers?
  4. What service or product examples could be highlighted with case studies or testimonials?
  5. What is currently innovative or trendy?
  6. What makes us different and stand out from our competition?
  7. How can we create a connection with our customers?
  8. Why customers like us and what keeps them coming back?
  9. What company news, information or behind the scenes moments will people find interesting?
  10. How can we maintain and strengthen relationships with our existing customers?
  11. How can we communicate our brand and our values?
  12. What common questions do customers ask us?