Strong content is key to success in online media. But sometimes identifying the types of content that will drive traffic can be difficult. Not to worry—we'll tell you exactly what you need (in three easy steps!) to create engaging content and how to maintain it so your business can thrive. 1) Identify Your "Good" Content: This is perhaps the trickiest to decipher but once you've figured it out strong content maintenance will be a breeze. A safe place to start is, of course, within your own industry. Your online presence is a great place to establish your business as an authority figure—a place for people to turn for up-to-date information on your industry. Creating original content that fits into your company's industry, personality, and appeals to your target market's interests and concerns is the best way to engage and attract current and potential followers. 2) Supplement: This is the curation step of the process—share other's content. This is a great way to establish relationships with companies both within and outside your industry to expand your audience as well as your content's reach. Curation also helps to further establish your brand as an industry authority since you're reporting on the industry as a whole instead of specifically your role within it. 3) Adopt New Strategies: While it may be tempting to use your online presence as a way to direct sell, refrain. The reason you have followers is because you're creating engaging content—not content designed to sell (which tends to turn readers away). Instead, adopt new, more online-appropriate strategies to foster the sell instead. A safe bet is to use these three suggestions: Suggest signing up for your newsletter, sharing your content on their social media platforms, and/or making a discounted purchase relevant to your content (ex/ If you share a blog article on clear skin tips and are a seller of anti-acne skincare, suggest a purchase by providing a discount on your anti-acne line at the end of the blog!). With these tips, you'll be on your way to creating fantastic content that will allow your brand to get found online, demonstrate your value, interact with your followers and potential customers, and increase your SEO rankings. For even more content inspiration and tips, check out this list of the top ten Best Marketing Content books. What other tips do you have for creating engaging content? How has having solid content helped increase sales? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter! SOURCES: https://www.convertwithcontent.com/content-curation-or-content-creation-which-is-best-for-your-business/ http://mackcollier.com/creating-valuable-content-for-your-business/ - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/12-seo/79-good-content-why-you-need-it-how-to-get-it#sthash.h7FxXykY.dpuf
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Here's your step-by-step guide to creating and maintaining a fantastic e-mail list. 1) Create a Promotion: Politely asking for e-mails isn't enough to motivate subscribers these days—even with paying customers! Unfortunately, thanks to issues with spamming, people tend to be rather protective of their e-mail addresses (because, let's face it, no one wants risk getting an inbox full of spam!). That's why enticing potential subscribers with incentives such as a free e-book, member's only newsletter, promotion code/discount, contests or giveaways can be super helpful. Making sure that your incentive lines up with your brand image is even better—so if you're a travel company, giving away a trip to Costa Rica will be sure to demonstrate not only what your brand is but also a fabulous reason for subscribers to get on board. Don't have the money for a all-expenses paid getaway? Pair up with another company to combine finances and subscribers! 2) Spread the Word: This is where social media is rather handy—let your followers (aka people who are already fans of your brand!) know you've got something special for subscribers. This way non-subscribing followers have the know-how to get e-mail access and they can also help to spread the word on their own social media accounts. 3) Get Confirmation: Be fair to your new subscribers and give them the opportunity to confirm their subscription. This way there's no surprises once your content starts appearing in their inboxes. That, and having a "Success" page is a great way to redirect subscribers back to your website after they've confirmed their subscriptions! 4) Have A Strategy: Just as it's important to make sure you have your subscribers confirmations, it's equally important to make sure you've got a plan of action for consistent content in the future. The key here is getting your new subscribers to engage with the e-mail content by leading them back to your website. It's also important to make sure that your e-mail content has easy, shareable links, like tweet to share buttons and "likes" for Facebook to encourage content visibility. 5) Edit and Maintain: Be sure to monitor the content you send out over time to ensure that it's meeting the interests of your growing audience. Also be sure that your website is up-to-date and equally reflective of the e-mail content you've been providing. After all your hard work to get these subscribers on board, the last thing you want is for them to lose faith or interest because of inconsistencies or poorly thought out content. What other tips or tricks do you rely on to grow your subscribers list? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter! SOURCES: http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/email-list-building-series-1/ http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/email-list-building-sign-up-incentive-2/ http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/email-list-building-series-3-setup/ http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/email-list-building-series-4/ http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/email-list-building-series-5/ http://img.constantcontact.com/docs/pdf/step-by-step-guide-to-collecting-c - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/9-marketing-strategy/78-5-steps-to-an-all-star-e-mail-list#sthash.u7EYiVdp.dpuf
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These days, setting up a website can happen almost overnight, thanks to now user-friendly designs of many popular blogging sites (you know, with headers, and pages, and plugins, oh my!). As such, with a phone call to a tech-savvy friend, or after an evening of how-to Googling, you can have a website up and running in less than 24 hours. But just because a website may be easy to create does not mean that all are created equally. Here are the 5 things your website needs to be successful. Quality Content: No one is going to return to your website if the content you are offering doesn't appeal to your target audience. Simple as that! Worry less about how often you're posting and more about what you are posting . Not only will your readers thank you for it, but so too will your website! Design: Visitors are initially most drawn into a website based on looks. In fact, studies show that users will know within 5 seconds of visiting your site whether or not they will remain or move on! So make sure it's clean, presentable, and has enough engaging content (be it photos or headlines) to encourage visitors to keep coming back. Ease of Use: While design and content are, arguably, of the utmost importance, if your website is difficult to navigate or too tricky to use, you'll find that your users will become too frustrated to want to return. This is especially important when it comes to contact information—make signing up for newsletters, getting directions, booking appointments, or listing FAQ all easy to find and access. SEO Boosters: If you're website isn't easily searchable , then it's going to be difficult for new users to find you. Make sure you are using these SEO boosters , such as a blog, case studies, or testimonials to make your website more popular in Google searches. Accurate Analytics & A/B Testing: So after you've checked off the above, it's time to monitor your hard work! And if you don't have an accurate and effective means of tracking your website's popularity , then you'll never really know if you're doing all you can to boost your website's success . What else do you find makes for a great website? Share with us on Twitter and Facebook! SOURCES: http://blog.webcanopystudio.com/5-ideas-for-quickly-and-easily-updating-websites-for-seo http://greatcirclestudios.com/keys-to-website-success/ - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/11-website-design/77-what-every-successful-website-needs#sthash.8qqcxElq.dpuf
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Navigating the realm of social media can sometimes be a confusing and difficult task. What's effective or appropriate for some brands may wind up being detrimental to others. Finding that right balance can be tricky. But there are certain things all brands would be smart not to repeat. So be sure to avoid these three social media faux pas to ensure you don't strike yourself out! 1) Missing Connections: Brands that fail to establish a clear strategy for piloting their online presence will surely fall into trouble when it comes to managing their many accounts. Because certain social media platforms attract different types of audiences, an undefined strategy can lead to neglected accounts, lost connections, and unsatisfied followers. If you're going to sign up for a particular social media platform, know exactly how best to use it and incorporate that knowledge into your online strategy to make the most of its service. Similarly, if you've tried an account and have found it difficult to maintain, it may be in your best interests to eliminate it from your overall strategy. 2) Lack of Quality Control: There's a reason there are so many different types of social media platforms that are as popular amongst users as they are important for your brand's online presence. Each style of social media presents information in unique ways, which then attracts specific types of followers. Instagram and Pinterest users tend to be attracted by visual content, Twitter users by a constant flow of trending topics, Facebook by a slower flow, etc. So once you've got a strategy in place for your different platforms, make sure to tailor your content to the appeals of each platform, choosing quality posts for each audience. Often, brands make the mistake of linking accounts that aren't suited for one another—like when their Twitter feeds appear on Facebook, causing a flooding effect on the user's feed. Knowing the when, what time, and how often of posts is crucial for maintaining an attractive social media presence. 3) Negativity: As always, do your best to keep it upbeat. Nothing has been shown to sour followers more than a negative attitude. People have enough difficulty in their everyday and working lives, so the last thing they need is another unenthusiastic presence. That's not to say that you should sugar coat your image at the expense of your authentic personality. Remaining genuine is also incredibly important. So if you're brand is known and beloved for its snarky, mean-muggin' attitude, then by all means embrace it. But do so in a way that isn't offensive or downright unpleasant—err on the side of playfulness, for humor is one thing but being irritating is a whole other! What tips do you have for avoiding social media faux pas? Share with on Facebook or Twitter! SOURCES: http://www.rachelamphlett.com/blog/3-mistakes-youre-making-on-social-media-you-need-to-stop-now http://www.peppergang.com/3-mistakes-businesses-make-on-social-media/ http://www.salary.com/11-social-media-mistakes/ http://www.salary.com/11-social-media-mistakes/slide/12/
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CVS has made an incredible rebranding move, changing its name from CVS Caremark Corp. to the newly dubbed CVS Health. But that's not exactly what's got the major corporation national attention. No, it's how their rebranding strategy motivated the super-pharmacy to ban the sale of cigarettes (or 2 billion dollars a year to be exact) that's got people buzzing. So how can your business learn a thing or two from this colossal move? Read on for our top three lessons from CVS's major makeover. Get People Involved: It's a no-brainer that social media has played an enormous role in the attention CVS has received for their rebranding move of banning cigarette sales (they've even got their own hashtag!). By allowing their customers to participate with their change in real time, it garnishes not only tons of attention but also the much-needed support and engagement of their customers—and even the support of those yet-to-be customers. Walk the Walk: You can't simply change your name and expect different results. Just because a thief changes his name from Bob to Joe, doesn't make him any less a thief when he robs the jewelry store. In order to truly rebrand yourself, you must make moves (even drastic ones!) to get your image to align with your new identity. CVS timed this perfectly with the ban on cigarette sales to not only bring awareness to their rebranding, but also to demonstrate that this rebranding is going to put a whole series of things into motion that will benefit their customer's overall health. Earn Trust: And most importantly, by involving your customers in your brand's renovation, and by putting your money where your mouth is, you being to develop that hard-earned trust between your brand and your current or future customer—you're engaging them in an effort for better health (in the case of CVS) that is, fundamentally, about them and for them (but of course, also for CVS). Jeff Hoffman, healthcare strategies at New York-based Kurt Salmon, sums it up perfectly in HealthLeader's Media , "Great strategy is when it benefits you, and it benefits others as well." What are your thoughts on CVS's rebranding strategy? What others tips do you have for companies looking to rebrand themselves? Share with us on Facebook! SOURCES: http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/LED-308131/Behind-the-CVS-Health-Rebranding-Strategy https://buzzfarmers.com/marketing-genius/marketing-genius-cvs-rebranding-strategy
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Instagram is the new BMOC in the social media world, a new study finds. If your brand isn't on it, or you're still a bit unsure of its benefits, here are the top three reasons why you need it—now!
1) Free Advertisement
Instagram is ideal for driving new user traffic. By establishing photo repost contests, featuring customers' posts, and creating brand-specific hashtags you create more opportunity for users to engage with your page and your brand. It is also ideal for promotions and demonstrations of new products in order to excite potential and current customers, as well as to receive user feedback on upcoming products.
Not sure how product A will sell in comparison to product B? Post a photo to Instagram asking your users which they'd prefer. Better yet, ask them to repost their choice for a chance to win it! This will not only get your name out there, but also help with important marketing information.
2) Humanizes the Brand
By providing a behind-the-scenes look into the way the company operates, like featuring employees or shots around the office, you provide your users with a chance to establish an intimate connection with your brand and with those involved in the brand. Creating a more personal persona alongside the professional helps give your brand image balance and allows your users to relate to and trust in your company.
3) Engage With Your Audience
While Instagram provides many outlets for ways you can engage your audience with your brand, it also provides a powerful means for you to engage your brand with your audience. Look for mentions to see what's trending with your brand—learn how to maximize what your audience sees as exciting with the content you post.
What other ways do you use Instagram as a marketing tool? Let us know here (or tag us on Instagram)!
http://www.responsys.com/blogs/nsm/social-media-marketing/social-media-marketing-5-things-brands-instagram/ http://www.fastcompany.com/explore/social-media-analysts http://www.fastcompany.com/3029395/bottom-line/how-the-most-successful-brands-dominate-instagram-and-you-can-too?partner=newsletter
- See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/10-social-media/57-instagram-is-it-why-your-brand-needs-it#sthash.TMDwY0XU.dpuf
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While stats cannot guarantee universal results, they do reveal quite a bit about how the current trends in social media marketing can influence your company. Below we've summarized the ten latest trends from recent statistics (thanks to Buffer's original post) in social media that will surprise and inspire you. 1) The Little Guy Is Your Biggest Fan: Turns out your followers with the biggest following will mention you the least. It's those with 500 followers or less who will give your brand 91% of your total mentions, with only 6% of those relating to negative content. So pay more attention to the little guys to cement brand loyalty and encourage future mentions. 2) Twitter Is Not One but Six Different Networks of Communication: Turns out there really isn't just one singular network of communication on Twitter. Instead, six different conversation networks, ranging from "divided" to "clustered," exist between the varying users in contact with your brand. Identifying which network your brand attracts can help you to better communicate with your all your "fragmented" followers or hone-in content for your "unified" ones. 3) Use Your Words: While the saying goes that a picture can tell a thousand words, stats show that marketers most heavily triumph the written word for successful reach. In a world dominated by the visual, engaging followers with unique written content can liven things up. 4) 60 Minutes—Your Response Matters: Thanks largely in part to the immediacy of Twitter, stats show that over half of all Twitter users now expect a response in less than an hour after they've tweeted at a brand. If your following is too large to manage this time restraint on your own, opt for other services that will assist in a speedy response management. 5) Night Owls Retweet: Due to the lack of posting traffic between the hours of 10pm and 11pm, this late-evening stretch allows your posts to shine in the dark of night, allowing for a substantial increase in retweets (this theory applies to lazy Sundays, too!). Give it a shot by posting for the night owls to see how your retweets fair. 6) Facebook Says TGIF: Turns out the best day for Facebook can be aptly named "Facebook Fridays." See for yourself by posting the most important content at the end of the work week to receive more likes, shares, and comments than any other day on the stuff that matters most to your brand for optimum reach. 7) Facebook Favors Photos: How does "Facebook Photo Fridays" sound? Okay, perhaps it's a bit cheesy. But it turns out that not only does Facebook thrive on Fridays, it especially thrives on visual content, with 75% of updates and 87% of interactions occurring with photographs posts. 8) Hero's Podium: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest vs. Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn: This debate can more or less be summed up into a quantity vs. quality match-up. Although, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest bring in the most traffic to a brand's site, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn actually drive more quality traffic, with users spending more time on the site, acquiring more pages per visit as well as higher bounce rates. If you can't focus enough time and energy into all six, evaluate your brand goals (i.e. brand awareness vs. brand loyalty) and choose a trifecta accordingly. 9) Target Practice: Aim for 28, 118, or 385: Depending on the size of your following, you'll want to hit one of the target numbers above to make sure you are engaging your audience sufficiently. If you have less than 10,000 followers, 28 should be your goal for follower interaction per post. Between 10,000 and 999,999? 118 each. Over 100,000? Aim for each post to gain 385 interactions. 10) Pinterest's Daily Specials: Just like your local diner, Pinterest has a favorite "menu" for each day of the week. Posting about Fashion? Save it for Thursdays. Fitness more your thing? Post on Mondays. If possible, aim to have a post geared towards the category of the day to drive even more traffic. Looking forward to hearing how experimenting with these stats go! Share with us on Facebook and Twitter. SOURCES: http://www.fastcompany.com/3032553/work-smart/10-significant-things-you-likely-didnt-know-about-social-media-but-should?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=colead-weekly-newsletter-featured&position=3&partner=newsletter http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-stats-you-need-to-know - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/10-social-media/64-10-surprising-stats-that-will-have-you-re-thinking-your-social-media-agenda#sthash.Djxu1k1O.dpuf
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The answer to this question lies in the effectiveness of the sales pitch in question. Businesses are used to being bombarded with similar presentations, similar ideas, and constant repetition. A pitch will only make a difference if it engages and stimulates its audience. Consider putting the list below into practice to make a difference with your pitch: · DON'T be boring: At the Pitch Clinic, Martin Soorjoo writes about the general pitfalls of most pitches: "Most sales and investor pitches are dull, uninspiring and lose [audience] attention within the first few minutes." He describes the dreariness of a uniform PowerPoint slideshow or monotonous speech presented by a speaker "who inflicts upon them a steady stream of facts and figures, encouraging a search for distractions." His description is harsh, but worth remembering. If you want your pitch to make a positive difference for you, don't do the expected. · Converse don't preach: Jacquelyn Smith, writing for Forbes highlights an important distinction between successful and unsuccessful sales pitches: "An effective sales pitch isn't a monologue. It's a dialogue." It is imperative that you understand who you are speaking to and craft the pitch to speak specifically to your intended audience. This will involve them in the conversation you are trying to provoke. She quotes Wendy Weiss, saying: "If you can't identify the value and what it means for the buyer, the buyer is not going to give you any time or attention." · Build suspense: In the Inc. piece "7 Deadly Sins of Sales Pitching" a lack of suspense is warned against: "You give a clean, mean, 30-second elevator pitch. Then what? There's nothing left for rest of your sales presentation. The second your listener says 'I get it,' they'll immediately lose interest." The piece suggests that you learn how to build suspense into your pitch and quotes Oren Klaff on the subject. Klaff advises that you use a story structure for the pitch, holding the audience captive throughout the narrative. · Be flexible: Score.org advises that you have three different variations of your pitch in your repertoire. Learning when to present which version is of paramount importance. Score.org suggests preparing the different pitches because: "you'll find yourself in many types of selling situations—both expected and impromptu—it's best to prepare several pitches, each with the same basic facts tailored to the setting and audience." The three examples they use are: "in-person pitch—a formal presentation about your business given to one or more people;" the phone pitch, which uses in-person information but is changed slightly for cold calling or following up on inquiries; and the "elevator speech," a shortened, concise and informative description of your business which is designed to take the time of an elevator ride (this can be used in informal situations). The previous examples will help you to change your pitch and have it make a difference. Stand out from countless others by making your pitch unique, truly connecting with your audience, and being ready for any selling situation. SOURCES: http://www.thepitchclinic.com/investor-pitch/the-problem-with-pitches http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/01/05/how-to-craft-an-effective-sales-pitch/ http://www.inc.com/ss/7-deadly-sins-sales-pitching#0 http://www.score.org/resources/plan-your-sales-pitch - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/9-marketing-strategy/46-does-the-pitch-make-a-difference#sthash.0Yl9lGw4.dpuf
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When you're creating content, you want it to go viral. What this means is that people around the internet will take notice and quickly spread the word, boosting your ratings or possibly snagging new customers! Just about anyone can post and share information online, which is why it's important to know how to make yours stand out from the rest. From newsworthy content to making an emotional connection, savvy business owners can ensure that their content goes viral. Here are some reasons your content has gone viral: You have posted a quality story. Catchy headlines can only do so much to draw a reader in. If you've posted a great headline but the following story leaves a lot to be desired, your content probably won't go viral. However, if you snag readers with a witty headline and hook them with a great story, they will want to share it with others. As Jonah Burger, a graduate student at Stanford, says, "People love stories. The more you see your story as part of a broader narrative, the better." The content is emotionally charged. Let's face it, we'd all rather read a story about something that makes us sad, angry, or happy than one that doesn't evoke much emotion. Not surprisingly, these types of stories are what people like to share with their friends and families, ultimately spreading it around the internet. Your content is newsworthy. According to Forbes.com, "Your content should always support, complement or play-off the heels of a newsworthy story." Examples include women in politics and the role of women in the workplace. Having emotionally-charged and newsworthy content is bound to garner attention around the net, as people chime in with their opinions and take note of the issue at hand. The content makes people feel like they are in the know. Everyone wants to feel smart and in the know. Berger uses LOLcats to illustrate this point. We all remember getting emails with LOLcat photos and videos, whether they were from obsessed coworkers, friends, or family members. These types of content, says Berger, "...are a perfect example of social currency, an insider culture or handshake." Your content is positive. Positive content is more viral than negative content, so says socialtriggers.com. Just think back to the last story you read. If you had to choose between a rather depressing story and a heartwarming one with a great ending, which one would you select to read and pass along to your friends? You've read through to the end of this blog, and now it's your turn to talk. Leave a comment below and let us know why you think your content goes viral. Do you stick to one or two methods, or try something new? Are we missing out on a great tip or trick? After you've spoken up, take a look at our Twitter page to find out what we've been up to! Sources: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/the-six-things-that-make-stories-go-viral-will-amaze-and-maybe-infuriate-you.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/02/24/top-7-reasons-your-content-goes-viral/ http://socialtriggers.com/craft-contagious-content/ - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/12-seo/54-5-reasons-your-content-goes-viral#sthash.QoDhUmjH.dpuf
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When people around the internet take notice and quickly spread the word we refer to that as going viral. Going viral can boost your ratings or possibly connect you with new customers! Here are some reasons your content has gone viral: You have posted a quality story. Catchy headlines can only do so much to draw a reader in. If you've posted a great headline but the following story leaves a lot to be desired, your content probably won't go viral. However, if you attract readers with a catchy headline and hook them with a great story, they will want to share it with others. As Jonah Burger, a graduate student at Stanford, says, "People love stories. The more you see your story as part of a broader narrative, the better." The content is emotionally charged. Let's face it, we'd all rather read a story about something that makes us sad, angry, or happy than one that doesn't evoke much emotion. Not surprisingly, these types of stories are what people like to share with their friends and families, ultimately spreading it around the internet. Your content is newsworthy. According to Forbes.com, "Your content should always support, complement or play-off the heels of a newsworthy story." Examples include women in politics and the role of women in the workplace. Having emotionally-charged and newsworthy content is bound to garner attention around the net, as people chime in with their opinions and take note of the issue at hand. The content makes people feel like they are in the know. Everyone wants to feel smart and in the know. Berger uses LOLcats to illustrate this point. We all remember getting emails with LOLcat photos and videos, whether they were from obsessed coworkers, friends, or family members. These types of content, says Berger, "...are a perfect example of social currency, an insider culture or handshake." Your content is positive. Positive content is more viral than negative content, so says socialtriggers.com. Just think back to the last story you read. If you had to choose between a rather depressing story and a heartwarming one with a great ending, which one would you select to read and pass along to your friends? You've read through to the end of this blog, and now it's your turn to talk. Leave a comment below and let us know why you think your content goes viral. Do you stick to one or two methods, or try something new? Are we missing out on a great tip or trick? After you've spoken up, take a look at our Twitter page to find out what we've been up to! Sources: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/the-six-things-that-make-stories-go-viral-will-amaze-and-maybe-infuriate-you.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/02/24/top-7-reasons-your-content-goes-viral/ http://socialtriggers.com/craft-contagious-content/ - See more at: http://www.alistemarketing.com/blog/12-seo/54-5-reasons-your-content-goes-viral#sthash.sdGlcIOa.dpuf
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