WARNING: You’re Losing Money By Not Using Video!

Video is EVERYWHERE!

Video is EVERYWHERE!

Unless you’re completely disconnected, you have watched a video of some kind over the internet…even if it was just a cat. More likely you not only watch them every time you’re online, but also have some kind of streaming service like Netflix or Hulu that you subscribe to so you can watch when you want. The absolute access of video on the internet to our population is staggering.

Now flip that around. As a small-to-medium business owner and entrepreneur, a big pillar of growing your business is, of course, marketing. Digital marketing (which includes social media) is a growing portion of business focus and will only get bigger. It goes without saying that any business that needs to get found by customers (is there a business that DOESN’T need to be found by customers?) has a web site. A significant subset of these businesses have a social media presence of some sort.

How well that aspect of their marketing is working becomes the question to answer…

Quality content drives much of digital marketing success, but without a strategy to reach those markets and customers that want to buy from you, the content may not even seem to exist. These subjects make up a lot of my previous articles, and comprise a large part of what I work with my clients to create and implement.

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JUNE’S BEST – LinkedIn, Trust, and Making The Most of Your Content

July - Celebrate!

July – Celebrate!

July is upon us, and we here in the States are getting ready for our annual tribute to patriotism, fireworks and barbecues!
June was a bumper crop month for quality content across the digital marketing industry, and I’m only too happy to share the top articles I’ve read:

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

 

 
Facebook seems to get the attention from online sources (granted, cracking the 2 billion users mark is noteworthy…), but many of the businesses I speak with are still kind of scratching their head when it comes to LinkedIn. This top list of tips and tricks from Melonie Dodaro will get you to that next level of skill in using this great professional channel.

Sincerity

Sincerity

 

 
Sincerity and Trust have been the key components for strong customer and business relationships since forever. Building them online isn’t impossible, but it is different. This article introduces some areas of consideration about communication and how you do this. The line between communication and action is pretty clear.

Credibility

Credibility

 

 
Beyond getting found, your website needs to build and maintain your professional credibility. If you’re wondering how a website can do that, then you will find this article Laura Forer of MarketingProfs very, very valuable.

My Community

My Community

 

 
When I speak about online relationships, I refer to the mental model I call VACC (Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community). In this insightful article, Irfan Ahmad digs into how a business can approach this with Facebook Groups, an underutilized resource for most businesses. If you take this on, you’re ALREADY in the lead, since chances are your competition ISN’T doing it!

Social Media Posts

Social Media Posts

 
 
So, that post from last Tuesday blew the doors off in Shares and Comments! WOO-HOO!!!!! Now, how can you leverage what was obviously a Great Piece of Content again and take advantage of it’s quality and virality? Here are 5 ways to look at….

 

Reuse That Content!

Reuse That Content!

As a follow-on to the previous article, how do you take that premier article you’ve written and reuse (or “slice & dice”…) it in such a way that you can make the most of it. Here are nine ways you could repurpose it and reach oven more of an interested audience. Remember, everyone has a preferred way of communicating, and by doing this you are making practical use of that fact!

MAY’S BEST – Blogging, Color, and the Power of Understanding

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May Flowers

May Flowers

Ready for some Summer?!

I am……

It has been a Long Time Coming here in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Nearing the halfway point in the year can allow you the opportunity to take a look at what’s been going on in the digital world and assess your own goals for your business while you wait for those BBQ meats to finish on the grill. Here are the top articles I read in May:

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7 Blogging Ideas

STUCK? 7 Blogging Ideas

I recently wrote about the challenge of keeping up with the Raging Stream of Content you need to come up with to stay in the game in your digital marketing. If blogging is part of that mix for you, coming up with creative topics and formats can get to be too much. This article will give you some great tips on what to do when that happens.

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THE BEST OF APRIL – Facebook for Business, Reviews, and Where to Spend

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Facebook Post Ideas

Facebook Post Ideas

17 Killer Facebook Post Ideas For Small Business Owners

A lot of the time, you feel lucky just to post something, let alone change things up. This article by Kim Garst will give you 17 ideas to make your posts more interesting, compelling and fun!

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Best of February – Competition, Local Online Tips, Customer Experience and Content!

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competition is beating you

Is your competition beating you?

You’re probably at least mildly aware that the Internet is in constant flux. Changes you made to your web site or digital strategy last year (let along last week…) may already be defunct! This great article gives you five points to check and find out if you’re falling behind your competition.

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Must-have features

Must-have features for Local Business Web Sites

You’re not global, but you ARE in a very healthy and opportunity-filled market. You are also aware that one requirement for business today is an awesome web site….so  how do you make sure that YOUR site has all the right bits? Check out this tip-filled article and then hire a simply INCREDIBLE web site designer (if you’re not sure who you could talk to, contact me and I can give you some top-notch recommendations!)

Online Reviews and Comments

Online Reviews and Comments

Knowing when and how to respond to reviews and comments online is crucial to customer experience. This article tells the true story of one business’s experience and how they worked through it successfully.

Stock photo sites

Under-the-Radar Stock Photos

Every business only has so much budget for content creation, including one of the more challenging pieces: images. It’s not that there aren’t tons of great images and videos out there, it’s just that a lot of them are beyond the budgets of many entrepreneurs and start-ups. This article lists out some great photo sites you never heard of….

Real estate tips

Social Media for Real Estate Pros

The opportunity for and competition within the real estate industry is to have you, the agent, become the “go-to” name in your market. It’s not easy, it takes resources, but the pay-off is HUGE! This article covers ten tips that the most successful agents do…

Common Questions

Pay Attention to Common Questions

Writing content regularly for publication can occasionally make you run up against “the white page” – ideas are just not there! Figuring out the various facets of topics that your audience is passionate about can seem overwhelming. But, sometimes the most common questions asked can really help provide the seed of a LOT of great ideas….this article goes over a number of tips and tools to help.

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Start by Engaging in the New Year! – Best of January

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Social Media Engagement

Social Media Engagement

This case study, while focusing on the use of Post Planner as a tool, provides a number of terrific strategies on going full-tilt to build engagement across your social media channels. Take note of his advice at the end of the article….understand the importance of a solid yet flexible strategy!

Social Media Changes

Social Media Changes

There are number of lesser known changes to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that are going to impact your activities and those of your audience, so you should definitely become familiar with them. This article goes over 8 of them that are most likely to make a difference.

Video Tools

Video Tools

You’re already aware that video is HUGE online, and 2017 is only going to see its influence increase. You need to figure out how to leverage it and world-class story-telling for your business. The 6 tools described in this article are each just different enough that you should be able to find the one that will work for you, even if you think are, shall we say, “ability constrained”

David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy

This excellently focused article by Valeria Maltoni underscores the clarity and wisdom of this list of guiding tips by David Ogilvy on writing well. Much harder than it seems, if you’re looking to up your content writing game, you can’t do better than this.

Facebook Cheat Sheet

Facebook Cheat Sheet

I and most all my clients constantly refer to cheat sheets for image sizes online. To neglect this bit of information means you’re more likely to post a graphic or photo that gets cropped or, as one of my clients says, “Schmooshed”! Don’t let that happen to you…
Awareness

Awareness

This article confronts the challenge of getting noticed online despite all of the noise on the Internet. Building awareness, especially in a crowded industry, is tough. Think differently about how to do this and your chances improve a LOT!

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FOCUS: How Do You Compare Awareness vs. A Noisy Internet?

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Awareness

Awareness

Moving from Awareness (I sometimes call it Discoverability…) to Reputation, and then to some kind of Economic Engagement (Sales, Donations, etc…) is a well-known path for many businesses.

The first stop on this journey is gaining Awareness of your business. Sadly, there are still a number of businesses who feel and act as though the best way to get attention is to YELL A LOT ONLINE! This number is shrinking, but they are still there. What the rest scatter into are versions of:
  • Semi-random posts based partly on the business and partly on when whomever is managing the online activity has time or interest to post something. Hence pages that will have four posts in one day, and then go 3 months before the next one.
  • A steady stream of “We’re Great! Everyone Says So!” and “Buy Our Stuff!“. These folks generally post a lot, and descend into “Internet Noise” pretty quickly…
  • The “Cats Rule the Internet” strategy, where a large number of posts are entertaining GIFs and Videos of Pets, People and Fun things, but without any balancing of content that’s valuable to the customer, except for those who find filling their day with looking at this kind of stuff valuable. May drive a l lot of traffic, but no business.
  • Patterns that ALMOST come together into a coherent plan, but lack the real strategy to make progress in their marketing and business goals. Sometimes the owner is a regular use of some channel like Facebook, and so knows kind of what others do, but hasn’t worked through how that looks for her business.
  • Some solid execution plans that are moving the needle for the business and producing value. These companies are intelligently investing in and leveraging digital/social media to MAKE MONEY.

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Best December Articles: Get An Edge Before 2017!

Even with shorter days and the perceived acceleration of time toward the end of the year, the search for the best social media articles for December provides the chance to focus on the business opportunities of 2017 before you head out for the egg nog!

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12 Step Process

12 Step Process

It seems most things can be broken down into a step-by-step process. Getting everything lined up for a successful strategy or campaign is no different. Start here and you’re a lot more likely to hit those objectives.

 

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FOCUS: Get That One Thing Right!

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One Thing

One Thing

You’ve got that ONE THING to do, and you’re convinced that getting that right will make all the pieces fall into place, right?

I’ve had more than one business owner approach me and ask for help with a Facebook Ad or a Google Ad. My first question is usually to find out what it is they’re trying to accomplish. The answer is usually a very specific, tactical objective: promote a coupon, sell a special item or service, get some LIKES, get sign-ups for an event….

My follow-up question is usually the same one: What are you trying to accomplish?
If that doesn’t make them annoyed with me, it soon does. I sometimes go through multiple iterations of that question before we draw back far enough to the business goal or goals this one thing is supposed to support. Then we can get into the reasoning around why this will (or will not…) actually support that goal.
Not that clarity of the Next Step is bad, but obsession with it may not be the most effective focus. You may have focused so tightly on this single action or problem that  it has actually become more difficult to see in context. Your habit may be that, given the problem of promoting your coupon, you need to drop a bundle on an ad. That could work to some degree, but if you temporarily suspend that impulse and redefine the problem, you can discover that there is a different, better way to achieve the objective.

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How Can Responsiveness Keep You Out of Trouble?

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Facebook Business Responsiveness

Facebook Business Responsiveness

Responsiveness is critical to customer experience. If you get an email or see a post to your company Facebook page with a request or comment from a customer (or potential customer…), letting it go for awhile (or altogether…) is a recipe for TROUBLE! The speed by which you respond not only convinces that person that you’re listening, but that you actually care what they are bringing to you. However, there’s a lot more to this than speed…

How you respond and your tone prove how you treat this as an opportunity. You can not only build a better relationship with this person, but provide an online record of how professional and customer-centric your company is. I’ve written a lot about your VACC (Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community) and how your conversation with each differs and builds toward the kind of relationship that benefits all parties. Defined as “fair exchange“, this is a great relationship, as both parties derive immense value from the framework, and all work done on it only serves to strengthen it. The stronger the foundation, the easier it can be to get past the niceties of the regular communications and unveil greater authenticity and transparency. This is particularly true of bad news you need to deliver.

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