How to Integrate Blogging into Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing has been proven effective for years now, both for brand building and lead generation. The amount of online activity people invest in their everyday lives simply demands your business to utilize online platforms and tools to your advantage.

Especially if YOUR audience is already there. It is important to get the word out about your products, services and how you can help them. However, there is an ingredient you just can’t afford to miss: trust. An effective business blog is what you need to build this.

Here are 7 considerations to make that happen:

Add Your Personal Touch

Big and small companies alike have known and seen for themselves just how personal interaction with your core audience can benefit the performance of your business. You can promote your brand all you want, but no one will believe you, come back or stay active if you don’t build a personal connection with your audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is by incorporating blogging into your social media strategy.

Strengthen Traffic

The role of blogging is to keep your audience current and interested so that they don’t remain as traffic alone. Blogging connects you to your visitors in a more personal way, increasing the chance of generating sales and growing your business. 

Be an Expert, But in a Conversational Tone

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Blogging is about having casual conversations in a public space, but you still have to maintain your authority. Gaining the trust of your audience is a balance between being a relate-able,  normal character and being a remarkable expert.

If you own a web design business, you must come off as a creative and reliable web designer. If you own a dental business, your blog must be filled with new oral care treatments and industry news. In short, you must cater to the needs of your audience while still coming off as an ordinary, connected individual and business.

Add Fresh Content with a Lot of Variety

Routine updates can be a major turn off for your visitors. Instead of earning their trust, this technique may leave them bored and uninterested.

Try to mix your posts up and start a fresh conversation with the help of images and videos. Update your blog on a regular basis, but make sure there is something new, informative, and interesting to talk about. Put a new twist each time you post to keep your audience coming back frequently.

Share Testimonials and Information

Business blogging is all about writing posts that often include sharing experiences, business ideas, and industry news. You must aim to enlighten the minds of your visitors to eventually earn their trust and make them regular customers. Every post is a unique opportunity to offer something engaging, hoping that your visitors will share them to others.

Promote Interaction and Acknowledge Feedback

A business blog should know the value of user feedback. Since your primary goal is to build the trust of people, acknowledging their comments and suggestions is necessary to create a blog they would want to visit often. Do a call-to-action at the end of your posts, add share icons, and check the comments so you could gain insight regarding your visitors.

Encourage them to share their insights about your blog topics and personal opinions about your products or services. Let them know that you appreciate their feedback and it is helpful for your business. The most important thing is to make sure you respond to their comments. Failing to do so may result to your audience thinking you don’t care or respect their opinions.

Add Links to Make Your Blog a Central Hub

Since your blog is the closest and most personal way users can interact with you, make it the central location for where you make announcements. All methods of communicating with you should branch out from there.

Make use of other social network tools such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your blog. Link back to your website and use RSS feeds to constantly provide your main site with fresh content (that they can use in their readers.)  Make sure everything you do on your blog somehow ties back into your company website where people can know you more and discover the complete list of your products or services. But, don’t be overly sales-y.

Through continuous and effective blogging, you can maximize the impact of your social media marketing strategy. Blogging can improve customer satisfaction, generate direct sales, and provide crisis management. Always think about what value and message you want your customers to hear from you. If you know this, you can be confident about the information, news, stories, announcements, and everything you share. In the end, the loyal ones will be your biggest assets.

Provide them with reasons to stay with you and give them opportunities to support your business and be a part of your growth and success.

What do you think?

How Captive Audience Marketing Still Works For Advertisers

In 2010, Time Magazine wrote an article about schools selling advertising space in their hallways to companies that wanted to market to children and teenagers.

The subject matter was harmless — banner ads spanning lockers trying to sell branded notebooks and school supplies — but parents of children who attended the schools had problems with the districts essentially commercializing what’s intended to be a place of education.Cinema audience

The practice is called “captive audience advertising.”

In the case of the schools, the children really had no other choice than to walk up and down those halls every morning, seeing the ads each day.

They were the captive audience.

Today’s best and most common example would be movie theaters.

Playing ads before the movie starts is a classic example of captive audience marketing.

Unless you plan to stare at the floor or lose your seat by hiding in the bathroom, you have no way to avoid them.

The Reputation

Right now, it’s not good. For the past several years captive audience advertising has been labeled as intrusive and ineffective.

A 2004 Wired Magazine article said the method of marketing was essentially dead, and can you blame them?

Just look at the name — captive audience marketing — that term implies force, something consumers don’t take kindly to.

Advertising Redefined

Though it’s much less obvious, captive audience marketing is still used today. Let’s use the service industry for example. Many bars and pubs have TVs spread across the walls, playing any and all sports each night.

But if you look closely, some of those TVs might not be playing live TV at all. Some of them have dedicated in-house ads running food and drink specials, music events and other happenings to keep you coming back.

Chances are, you noticed them but didn’t even realize you were being targeted. It’s not subliminal advertising (because parts of that are illegal) but it is a sort of passive advertising.

It’s also incredibly cheap. According to www.DirectTvDeal.com, a starting satellite package for your bar or restaurant can be $30 per month.

On top of the cost of televisions, that’s a quick rate of return if your customers keep coming back to take advantage of your specials.

Apply It To Your Marketing Campaigns

So now that you know what captive audience advertising is, isn’t, and more importantly, what it should be, there are some pretty simple steps to apply it to your own marketing campaign.

  • Sell small. No one bought a car because they saw the ad in a movie theater. Sell smaller products — food specials, free trials, special events, etc. The amount of customers you bring in will outweigh selling big to a small number.
  • Be subtle. Passive advertising isn’t flashy and doesn’t force its way in (remember what we said earlier). Your customers shouldn’t feel like they’re being advertised to like a 30-second commercial before a YouTube video.
  • Give them options. Hulu’s advertising before videos gives you the chance to let them know if the ad shown was relevant to you. Press yes and it will show more of the same. Press no and it will try to adjust its ads to fit your style.

When done right, this method of advertising is both affordable and effective. Best of all, it’s not intrusive like the Time article implies.

Do this in your own business and you’ll like the results.

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8 Steps To Your New Social Media Plan For Business Owners

Since the emergence of the Internet, there has been thousands and thousands of social networking sites created because of high demand from the general public. It has also been a practice for businesses to use social media to generate more traffic, turn users into customers, and interact with their audience.

Simply put, social media serves as a big and effective marketing and customer service tool to cater to people’s needs and promote your business as well.

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1. Importance of a Social Media Plan

Promotions have always been a staple for any business. They help grow awareness and create excitement around your products and services. Since people get almost all information they need using the Internet, a business without a social media marketing strategy is as good as dead.

Social networking sites are platforms where you can reach your audience in a more personal and affordable way, so use them as efficiently as you can. Planning is necessary and significant to come up with a unique approach that will carry your business to new heights. Here are some important points when planning your social media marketing strategy.

2. Setting Goals

What is your purpose behind doing this?

Having a certain reason and one specific goal in mind is the first vital step in planning. Understanding what you want to achieve will keep you focused and determined in reaching your desired milestone. Some of the most common (and precise) goals include building brand awareness, offering customer services, developing loyalty, and driving sales.

If you are just starting, you may want to focus on building product awareness first. People only share and talk about interesting and impressive stuff, so building up your products or services should be your first goal.

3. Channel Generation

Now that you know what your purpose is, it’s time to act on it. Don’t be afraid to be a newbie. It’s okay to seek guidance and learn from others. Look for current social media trends, consider them as your guide, and use them in a way that you think would benefit your business most.

You should have a keen eye to discern which trends and tools will help you reach your goal. Brainstorm with your social media or marketing team and encourage them to speak up if they have any ideas for your strategy.

4. Managing Platforms

There are so many social media platforms, but for starters, you must focus managing just one. The decision doesn’t depend upon the platform you enjoy using most, but the platform where your target customers spend their time on. Only move beyond this limit once you know that you can handle them well.

5. Partnerships

You can’t do everything alone. A start-up campaign coupled with big name partners is an easy way to get the attention you need. The online connections you make will give you the source of your results.

Search for people who talk about relevant topics to your business and contact them to start a partnership. Add them to your networks and follow up your progress. Partnerships will add new people to your network every day, the product of which is more customers.

6. Time & Schedule

Your social media plan should have a time-frame  Failing to do so will make you too complacent to accomplish excellent results. Develop a routine to achieve your goal at a specific time. The best way to reach your deadline is to be committed to your plans.

Once you decide to jump in, the only way to see results is to keep your activity level high and ongoing. Make online communication a daily habit for it to pay off. This way, you can move on from one goal to another and still maintain an effective timeline.

7. Measuring Returns

Set an expected return on your investment. You know your purpose, so you must also know your desired outcome over a period of time. You must measure the effectiveness of every project and strategy you use by evaluating how much contribution they have in reaching your goal. Every marketing activity needs results, so look for efficient tools to measure them.

Keep the strategies that worked and exceeded your expectations and find ways to develop and carry them out even further. If there is a method that failed, assess why it fell short and decide if you will alter it to give it another try or drop it from your strategies.

8. Building Your Own Home

Once your social media marketing strategy becomes really effective, people will begin looking for more things you have to offer. Don’t waste this public interest you’ve worked hard to attain—be ready for people to come running after you. An impressive website must have the elements of a gorgeous web design, remarkable content, and complete business and product details. It must be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and engaging.

An impressive social media presence followed by a strong, proactive business website is the perfect combination to catch the harvest and make them want to stay with you.

Learn more from our Marketing and Business Resources Library (free downloads).

what is lead scoring

What is Lead Scoring and Lead Scoring Best Practices – A Primer

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a method necessary to build an efficient marketing and sales process. By assigning scores to your lead, you can identify which are ready for sales and which are still in need of nurturing through various marketing strategies.

This practice can provide you with better leads and simplify communication between two departments. And, your sales lead management process will receive better quality indicators.

sales leads management tips

Knowing what leads you must prioritize gives you a better grasp of your prospects. It determines the probability that each leads fit the ideal customer who are informed enough to talk with sales (and vice versa.) 

Using a marketing automation system can ensure you that leads that land in front of sales are truly the most feasible.
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The Data is In On the Future of B2B Content Marketing in 2013

Content is the answer to effective B2B marketing efforts.

Each year MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute measures trends and specifically B2B marketing trends. What was found in the “2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America” is the clear direction pointing to the increasing importance of content marketing. It remains a top priority as 9 out of 10 marketers are using it.

B2B marketers are spending more, distributing content on more (and different) social platforms and, although with uncertainty about effectiveness, are using additional delivery methods (tactics) to distribute their message.

In fact, content marketing fills 33% of B2B marketer budgets (up 7% from 2012). It doesn’t matter the size of the operation; large companies such as Microsoft, small business and solopreneurs across the globe have continued success and benefit from the advantages. Sadly, organizations that fall into the 9% not invested in content marketing are behind the curve and will fall fast to the sidelines.
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B2B Mobile Marketing Secrets To Serve More Clients

As the chief responsible person for the growth for your business, there are still too many options for marketing and sales initiatives, it seems.

In most business cases, it becomes overwhelming to think about the strategies, plans, systems and people you will need to employ – just to make it all happen.

As you re-visit your original business plans, work with your executive team and continue to develop new ideas from live white-board sessions, your mind exclaims: “we don’t need any more ideas around here – we just need tactics that work, can be implemented quickly, and that have long term sustainability.”

One of the ideas that seriously may need a deeper review — is the massive expansion and opportunities for Mobile Marketing and mobile technology.

The year of mobile is (finally) here.

Consider some of these facts:
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How To Measure SEO Goals

When building your strategy for a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, it is vital to be clear on the success metrics and results. You know that.

However, it’s not enough.

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You should also make sure to get buy-in and build better understanding of SEO goals at every key level of your organization.

From the CEO, VP level and down into the ranks of Information Technology (IT) and related teams that will support the SEO effort.

An educated marketing team will understand that a keyword ranking alone is not as important as the growing of a business from more sales. This has to be communicated and reinforced at every turn.

But, you must find better alternatives and seek to understand the complete picture.

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Digital Advertising Analytics 2.0 – A Primer

The movement of technology and marketing to track your advertising analytics have progressed in ways many businesses don’t understand yet. Many still track activities by each media – TV, Radio, Print, etc.

Ads online are also tracked, but all of these media channels – independently.

A new approach

A new way of analyzing your data can be done through a set of principles and tools that can reveal wasted spends and lack of targeting opportunities. Some organizations will say that TV works well for them and base it on a “feeling” and “general trending”. Others, meanwhile – the more savvy – have ditched TV and now use YouTube instead. The latter is based on research, testing and findings of cost-reduction, but also in terms of heightened effectiveness in targeting and tracking.

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Reallocation of budgets and ad dollars can be the smartest thing you do, but you must know how to do it.

The idea that sales data is correlated with a few dozen variables for your advertising is over.

The new capabilities discussed here use “Big Data Marketing” concepts and models that churns through terabytes of data and hundreds of variables in real time.

Based on a recent study from Harvard Business Review, a result of 10%-30% in improvement can be seen from your total marketing performance.

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Intelligent Email Marketing Using Email Copy That Converts To Leads

Email that is received without consent is spam.

Email that tries to push blatant sales messages and hard-core pitches is just bad practice. Email lists that are not vetted even impacts the senders, and their server infrastructure.

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Result: Email gets a bad rap in the marketplaces and everybody is affected at varying degrees.

We are not covering list quality and building in this post, but rather – the very important content creation and conversion tips. This will help you drive more business from your existing list, and you can start today.

We are covering principles that will work for existing lists, memberships and new subscribers.

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dan sullivan unique ability 10x

How To Get An Unfair Advantage In Your Entrepreneurial Business (8 Actionable Steps And Download)

For 40 years, Dan Sullivan has worked with over 6,000 entrepreneurs and have over 10,000 members in his strategic coach network.

dan sullivan 10x multiplier author pictureHe defines unfair advantage as a new and successful way of thinking, communicating and achieving things that can not be claimed or achieved by anybody else, and especially direct competitors.

Most business owners ALREADY have an unfair advantage, but…

The key question is this: “do they actually take action on it”? Most don’t – and that’s the main issue. This is a principle of unfair advantage and is key to all success in business.

Let’s break it down, and we’ll share the 8 unfair advantage principles in this post. (Live-blogged from a recent webcast with Dan)

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