insights

Projecting Video’s Big Picture onto Your Content Marketing Plan

May 22nd, 2014

Video gets attention – big time — for SEO and website designers and users because it makes the website design more engaging. According to a video post by Scott Wiliford, CEO of vLink Solutions, YouTube is the third most-visited social media channel, trailing only Facebook and Google+ and ahead of Twitter. More than one billion unique visitors each month watch six billion hours of video. That’s according to figures from the Content Marketing Institute.

Much of the reason that Content Marketers are uploading 100 hours of video every minute to help their SEO or website design is because video has become easy and inexpensive. Willford’s company has packages starting at $200 per finished minute of production, with website welcome videos and video blogs typically 1to 3 minutes long.

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Capitalizing on Your Good Work and Goodwill — Get Testimonials

May 16th, 2014

Testimonials are the lifeblood of referral marketing. Many customers and clients are happy to give them when you do a great job or provide outstanding service on a project or over the long term. Sadly, few companies then put them in the right places to capitalize on them.

Building a good testimonial requires more than just doing good work. A blog post by Cairril Mills, owner of a design and marketing firm in Bloomington, IN, goes beyond the obvious. She advises approaching the clients who are like those you really want to work with and make sure they have a compelling story to tell. Then, interview people most likely to impress the prospects you want to impress. Get them to describe the problem or need they had, how your business helped them solve that problem or fill that need and the benefits gained from their relationship with you.

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What Your Competitors Know and Your Customers Hear

May 7th, 2014

Here’s a competitive intelligence tool that’s credible and free.

Google Alerts can help you stay up to date on developments in your business by tracking industry news and trends and your competitors’ activities automatically. And this information has a wide variety of uses beyond tracking your competitors, such as gathering material for email marketing and social media campaigns.

We always think of Google searches as a way for customers and prospects to find out about us. As one of the world’s largest aggregators of information, Google is well-positioned to pull in news articles, blog posts, even website changes and anything else that hits the Internet. Google Alerts is a free service, all of it delivered to your email box whenever and as often as you want. Google Alerts recently launched a redesign of its format for better aesthetics and management.

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Technology’s Lure vs. Michael Gerber’s ‘The E(ntrepreneur)-Myth’

April 29th, 2014

Michael Gerber’s then-groundbreaking work, The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, put forth the belief that most businesses are started by ambitious entrepreneurs who are technicians who know and enjoy the hands-on work of their organization. However, he said that having tangible business skills is far more important than being able to personally do the technical work required for a business

In the nearly 30 years since the book’s publication, a lot of evidence backs that belief. At some point, an innovator’s great idea grows into a huge business that requires a new level of managerial skills. More than a few business coaches have counseled their clients to either broaden their management team or sell their company and move on to their next big thing. Otherwise, they say, entrepreneurs may never reap their biggest financial rewards.

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What Small/Mid-Size Businesses Can Learn from General Mills’ Community of Fans

April 23rd, 2014

There’s trouble in the General Mills community – even as the company had a weekend change of heart. As reported in many, many media outlets late last week, downloading a 50-cent coupon for a box of cereal may have precluded a consumer from suing the food-product giant – which sells a lot more than Cheerios and Fruit Loops.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul (MN) Business Journal, a sister publication of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, reported the company abandoned a controversial new privacy policy that sought to bar consumers from suing the company if they engaged with General Mills online. The reversal came after their new rules sparked a backlash on social media.

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Deep Face: Facial Recognition coming to Social Media

April 17th, 2014

Facebook has been making technology news over the past few weeks with Virtual Reality (VR) which could have many exciting applications for marketing. Today, it’s another reason to assess your use social media because you it takes time to create an impact via Social.

Facebook has developed a new capability, called Deep Face, and is reportedly acquiring Oculus VR, a virtual reality company. Deep Face is both fascinating and fearful at the same time.

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Need Credibility? Get PR?

April 8th, 2014

As reported in a blog by marketing executive Chad Pollitt, news coverage, termed “earned media,” is 80% more effective than branded content, or owned media, at the consideration and affinity stages of the purchase process. At the familiarity stage, which is closer to the actual purchase, news coverage is 38% more effective.

The study presented 900 consumers with three different types of content: expert content from credible sources (earned media), branded content (owned media), and user-generated content (such as reviews on Amazon).

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LinkedIn Changes : If It Doesn’t Matter to You, It Should

April 2nd, 2014

For Company Pages, LinkedIn is removing the Products & Services tab, on April 14. If you have a Company Page and use that tab to tell followers about your offerings, you’ll need to move that info to your Company Update or Showcase Pages, which some companies are already doing.

If you don’t have a Company Page, or never used the Products & Services tab, don’t blow off this blog post. Instead, look at how much information is being shared in LinkedIn groups and how often your biz dev folks’ profiles are being viewed each month.

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Why Grow Your Email List?

March 18th, 2014

As much as we love social media – and as great as they are for engaging customers and prospects to build trust – email remains a highly effective tool for targeted messages to get a response for a specific reason. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Generating a response only requires that you be relevant to customers and clients. This is the key to growing your list.

A blog post originally posted on Advertising Week Social Explorer provides a lot of really good tips for growing your email list. They should stimulate a lot of good, strategic thinking about whom your target is and the best ways to tie your product or service to your website and marketing tactics such as email and social media.

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Build Trust in You and Your Business Through Communities

March 13th, 2014

Back in the old days of marketing – the 2000s – businesses pushed out a lot of messages to customers, clients and prospects. That approach doesn’t work as well anymore.

While you still need to push out information to introduce yourself and feed the marketplace as well as the search engines, it’s the conversations in the communities of your customers and clients that help people trust in your business. The community dynamic is something you need to understand and embrace as part of your Continuous Improvement Process.

Technology has always played a major role in how businesses communicate, starting with newspapers and magazines.

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