Tag Archives: advertising

Marketing Strategies For 2014: Tearless and Fearless (4 Tips)

marketingstrategy2014

Wondering about your marketing strategies for 2014? Many small businesses earnestly create marketing plans, but our strategies last as long as New Year’s resolutions.

Invariably, Murphy’s Law applies. We want to try the latest big new thing (content marketing, perhaps) but whatever we try turns out to be more complicated than we expect. Or it needs more resources that we have. So we pull back and focus whatever’s familiar, even if it’s expensive, and no longer works as well as it once did.

Let’s look at four tearless and fearless marketing strategies. Tearless because they’re free. They just take time. Fearless because they’re easy.

1. Do more of whatever worked for you in 2013.

What worked for you in 2013? If you’ve got an ad that’s been running in your local paper for three years, keep it up. Your customers are used to your ad. They expect to see you there. However, consider experimenting a little. Could you run special offerings for new customers?

If you’re using Twitter to manage customer service, keep doing that. Consider creating a Twitter-specific page on your website to welcome new customers, and tell them who you are.

2. Get found online: blog.

Does your business need a blog? Probably, if only because it will:

Improve search engine rankings – The more content you produce, the more likely you will be found by your prospects when they are researching your industry online. As long as you have a content marketing strategy in place, optimizing for specific long-tail keywords, you should see a significant increase in search engines rankings.

Here’s the easiest and laziest way to answer the “blog or not?” question. Check your competitors’ websites. If they’re blogging, your customers will expect you to do the same.

If you hate writing, post images of your products, your customers, or your town. Blog whatever YOU like. Treat your blog and your Twitter account as your customer service department: help your customers, and your prospective customers, and you can’t go wrong.

3. Forget about the “shares.” Think: “conversions”.

If you’re using social media marketing, Search Engine Journal offered this advice in content marketing trends for 2014:

The main thing that we expect to see in the New Year is for marketers to shy away from the cheap, clickbait content that inflates “vanity metrics,” and move more towards creating niche-specific, high quality content that provides value to their followers.

When you provide valuable content, your visitors will stay on your website longer. This gives you more opportunities for conversions (sales.)

4. The Web means Google and that means Google+.

If you’ve ignored Google+, revisit the network.

As Brett Nuckles suggests:

Getting on Google+ will help Google’s Web crawlers index your site, leading to higher placement during a Web search. It will also ensure that customers get the right information when they search for your business on Google.

2013 has been a big year on Google+; the network is becoming more useful by the month. Google’s sinking money into it. Studies suggest that Google+ has over 500 million users, and that almost 70 per cent of marketers want to learn more about the network.

What marketing strategies are you thinking about for 2014? For me, the mix is much as before. I’ll be blogging, and will remain active on social media. Wherever you are in the world, I wish you much success in 2014. :-)

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Content Marketing Power: 3 Winning Strategies For Content in 2014

Content Marketing Power: 3 Winning Strategies For Content in 2014

Content marketing is the new advertising. Businesses place content on their own websites and share it on social media. They may also commission “sponsored content”, which is posted on high-traffic websites.

Here’s why. A recent study found that the cost of customer acquisition via content was 25 per cent of the cost of acquisition via paid search. In addition, content offers longevity for advertising; paid advertising stops when payment stops.

If you’re already creating content, you know there are challenges. Not only do you need to make time for creation, or pay for it, you also need to manage all your new creative assets. You’re now a publisher, with all that that entails.

Let’s look at how you can succeed with this new form of advertising, without going crazy.

1. Create Short and Long Term Marketing Goals.

Before you create a plan for creation and delivery, consider your overall business goals, as well as both short and long term marketing goals. Your goals form the basis of your strategies for 2014. Those over-arching business goals are the foundation of all your efforts.

You also need goals for the venues you’re using. If you know that most of your customers use Facebook for example, and you create material for Facebook, create goals too. Then track those goals carefully. If you discover that your followers don’t convert, you’ll need to rethink that strategy.

2. Be Aware That Outreach and Distribution is as Important as Your Content.

You’ve created your information assets such as articles, presentations, images, and videos, and they’re wonderful. But how do you get attention? This is a huge challenge. Google’s cycle of updates meant that many websites lost rankings and traffic.

You get attention by doing outreach, to bloggers, news media, and other websites. A clever marketer said recently that “social media is the new SEO”, and that seems accurate. Build up your social media profiles, so that you have an audience which will appreciate your material, and link to you.

Build relationships, so you can alert your network of contacts when you publish new material. Ask them to share your material on their social media sites. Naturally, you’ll do the same for them

Become a Thought Leader: Write a Book.

Write a book? I’m sure you feel that you have enough to do, without going to those lengths. Consider that in 2014, the competition for attention will be even more intense.

A book gives you authority and builds your brand. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in, few of your competitors will write a book, or will even consider it. You’ll stand out from the crowd.

You can write a book, or get a ghostwriter to write it for you, and have paperback copies for sale in bookstores, and online, within weeks of completing it. You can have digital copies in ebook stores with 24 hours of completing your book.

So, there you have it. Three tips which will help you to take the reins of content marketing in 2014 without going crazy.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

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Internet Marketing Statistics: Get Value From Your Advertising dollars

How effective is your advertising? Chances are that you’re doing the same thing that you’ve always done. However, that may no longer be as effective as it was. You’re spending more money on advertising, and it’s doing less for you.

I feel your pain. That’s why I love free advertising.

Here’s an interesting infographic. Did you know that in 2014, 25% of advertising dollars will be spent online?

Why You Can

Infographic

, and on Twitter: @angee

Want Free Advertising? Here You Go

Vintage ad - Lucky
Ah, the halcyon days of advertising. Smoking’s been outlawed, advertising’s painfully expensive… and often just don’t work.

If you’re tired of spending too much on advertising, there’s an alternative. As I said in this article, 5-Minute Blogger: 300 Seconds to Success | Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog:

Why blog? Two words: free advertising.

As Hubspot points out, the blog post is the new advertising unit.

If you want to get paid to write, you need to advertise. Unfortunately, not only does advertising cost money, it’s also ephemeral. You pay, your message gets out, and when you stop paying, your message is GONE.”

I nag people to blog. My clients, my writing students… nag, nag, nag… BLOG!

These days, advertising just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Your audience is everywhere, and nowhere.

This means that you need to try different things. Will blogging work for your business? I have no idea. However, it couldn’t hurt, could it?

You can blog in five minutes a day

Blogging may be a wonderful idea, however, it takes time. It’s much easier to run the same advertising you’ve been running for years, even if it no longer works as well as it should.

Read the article I quoted above. You CAN blog in five minutes a day. Others do it, why not you?

If you need help with your blogging, you can contact me. I’m happy to work with you to set up your blogging program — even to blog for you, if you like.

Just blog. Seriously — you’re missing out if you don’t.

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Speak to Real People In Your Marketing: Create Personas

Who are you targeting?

Who are you targeting?

Have you created some marketing personas for your audience? Once you have at least one persona, all your marketing tasks (such as blogging and other content creation) become easier.

Wikipedia defines personas as: fictional characters created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behavior set that might use a site, brand or product in a similar way.

Persona-creation is vital. Rather than speaking to a vague website visitor, you’re speaking to a real (albeit imaginary) person.

When setting up a blog, for example, you need to define your audience.

Marketing persona

In the image above, we look at our blog’s audience, and create personas.

The more real you can make your personas, the better. In this blog post, Marketing Tip: Create Personas Using a Mind Map, I said:

“When I’m creating personas for my copywriting clients, I try to jazz the personas up a little, creating character stories to make them more memorable. This takes time, initially to write little stories involving the personas, and then later, reading the personas to remember who they are.”

Best marketing persona ever: “I’m a Mac/ I’m a PC”

If you’re not sure how to create a persona, remember the “I’m a Mac/ I’m a PC” ads a awhile ago?

Here’s a reminder of how great these ads are.

Apple was targeting the potential switcher; the PC user who’d had a taste of Apple products with the iPod/ iPhone, and and was buying a new computer.

Create your own personas: who are you speaking to?

You already know who your personas are. They’re the people who do business with you.

For example, if you’re a real estate person, your personas might include:

* Property investors;

* Property sellers;

* Property buyers…

* Etc.

Tip: it’s possible to go overboard when you create personas. Start with a maximum of three personas which you and your team will use in your marketing right now. You can’t classify everyone at once.

MarketingSherpa’s article, Content Marketing: Targeted persona strategy lifts sales leads 124%, suggests:

“Instead of saying, ‘Let’s just go understand everybody,’ we need to be very methodical and say, ‘Let’s go understand the particular use-cases and all the individuals we typically see in those deals and really understand what they’re looking for.’”

Creating personas is fun. It means that your marketing and content creation is more effective. Give it a try.