How to Prepare For Marketing in 2014 (and forever & Ever)

How to Prepare For Marketing in 2014 (and forever & Ever)

So, they said marketing is tough. They also told you that it’s hard to do marketing. It’s impossible to get customers’ attention. Oh, the predictions they make!

Just like they thought franchising was a scam and just as they predict social media wouldn’t work for businesses. People – as always – will make their predictions. But you aren’t “people”; you have a business to run.

If you were like me, you’d probably spend days and months (or even years) agonizing on how to make the Internet work for your business. If I assume correctly, you are on most popular social networks, you are posting on your blog, and you are trying to do everything else you can to gain, nurture, and manage your customers.

Here are ways to do it:

Inbound Marketing is the key

Look at any business that rocks it up and you’ll see a pattern. HubSpot never stops producing more relevant content. Unbounce, Kissmetrics, Moz, and many others just don’t stop with content creation, ever.

No matter how you look at it, producing content relentlessly is much cheaper and more effective than spending on any other kind of marketing you’d want to.

According to data from WebDAM Solutions, Inbound marketing delivers a whopping 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing can.

 

It’s not about “this or that”; it’s “everything that works”

For modern day marketing, your choices are measured. You cannot choose not to be on Twitter when your business brings up more than 1745 mentions on Twitter per day, can you?

Really then, it’s not about choosing one platform over the other. It’s not even sticking to your favorites — no one (especially your customers) won’t care if you like Twitter more than Facebook.

Marketing 101: you go where your customers are.

Instead of wasting time with choices, strategically pick your platforms depending on what works for you. If you’ve noticed plenty of traffic coming from Facebook but most conversations and engagement happen on Twitter, you’ll be on both of those platforms. If you were in B2B, you’d be on LinkedIn even if the engagement weren’t anything like it is elsewhere.

It also makes sense to look out for more social platforms such as Google+, Instagram, and others.

Similarly, a few content types might work better for you than others. A few marketing channels seem to be giving you more sales and marketing mojo.

Your work is to find out what works and hang on to it.

Keep those old customers, no matter what

It’s easier to keep old customers than to gain new ones. In fact, according to an infographic from Flowtown – thanks to the folks at Spoken.com for sharing it – it’s at least 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a customer than it is to retain an existing one. Just by boosting customer retention rate as much as 5%, increased profits translate to anywhere from 5 – 95%. Further, existing customers are more likely to buy from you while being less sensitive to price increases.

Marketing Tips

So keep those old customers engaged using Email Marketing (make sure you have their permission first). Connect with them on social media. Support them (even if they aren’t doing business with you anymore).

Do what you have to. That reminds me: what exactly are you going to do for marketing your business?

Img Credits: William Murphy on Flickr

Ten Simple Steps to Become Facebook Famous

Ten Simple Steps to Become Facebook Famous

Interested in becoming “Facebook famous?” It’s easier than you might think. While the popularity may not last a long time, you can think of it as your 15 minutes of fame – something all people enjoy at some point in their life. We’ve outlined a ten-step process to making sure you become famous for something at least once on Facebook. Ready to get started?

Here’s a look at the ten specific steps you want to take to become famous on Facebook.

  1. Learn Facebook – Understanding how Facebook really works is the first step you need to take.
  2. Pick Something – You’re going to be known for something, so you might as well choose what it is yourself.
  3. Research – After you’ve come up with something that will help you become famous – like a talent – research what others have done to become famous.
  4. Launch the Campaign – You should have a specific date for when you begin trying to become famous on Facebook so that you can track your progress.
  5. Start to Network – The only way you’re going to get the attention of a lot of people is by having the attention of a smaller but loyal group of followers.
  6. Be Vocal – You will need to be very vocal about your cause or your talent so that others take notice. If no one knows why you should become famous on Facebook, it’s not going to happen.
  7. Be Public – You can be vocal in your apartment or house or dorm room all you want, but to be effective, you need to talk publicly frequently. Thanks to the Internet – and Facebook – this is easier than ever before. You don’t even need to step out the door.
  8. Be Funny – Another quality that will help in your quest is being funny. If you’re able to make people laugh, they’re going to be more likely to remember you and pay attention to what you say. Everyone wants to laugh. Give them a reason.
  9. Be Real – This is probably not advised for some people, but if you can let your true self shine through, there’s a good chance you’ll get bonus points from some people and they’ll like you more.
  10. Enjoy the Work – As you know, becoming famous on Facebook requires a lot of work. It’s not going to happen overnight, so it’s important that you enjoy the work so you don’t get bored and quit before you become famous.

There are no guarantees in life, but if you follow the steps above, there’s a good chance you’re going to get your well deserved fame – at least for a little while. If you agree or disagree with our plan being a good idea, be sure to write up a comment below and let us know your opinion. Combing “How to Win Friends and Influence People” with the “48 Laws of Power” and “The Art of War” and you’re going to have all the tools you need to succeed in your quest to become famous on social media.

[alert type=”info” show_close=”false”]Written by: Jeremy Stark loves to use Panasonic camcorders when working on his video projects for YouTube because they work so well. He knows a lot about managing reputation online and has been writing online for many years now. [/alert]

Img Credits: Robert Scoble

How to develop Passion for Marketing (and why)

How to develop Passion for Marketing (and why)

Passion? For marketing? Am I out of my mind? If you thought that, you are certainly out of your element if you have to do anything at all for a living. Rich (inherited or otherwise), may please excuse. The rest us, take note.

Marketing is the path we take to get what we want. Job seekers want jobs. Business owners want sales.

Brands want reputation. Mothers want what’s good for kids. Fathers want what’s good for the family.

Society wants you to be “good” (even if it’s convoluted and rigged up to follow their ideals and not yours).

Schools want you to study. Colleges want you to graduate.

Let’s get to the why first: People want all the time. People do marketing of all kinds to get what they want.

Coming back to business, it’s branding, sales, and customer loyalty that you want. So, why make that face, eh? Here’s how to develop a passion for marketing:

Believe in marketing

Don’t make marketing sound like a chore because it isn’t. It feeds your business. It’s the sole reason your business exists. It’s central to your sales. It pumps the cash flow and tries to keep it positive. It helps you survive. It’s the reason why some businesses succeed and most others fail. You could whine all you want about how difficult marketing is but when was the last time you got anything easy?

Believe in marketing. Time and again, it’s the only thing that’ll help wade turbulent waters.

Keep reinventing yourself

There are posts out there and then there are some that’ll blow your mind. James Altucher puts it down better than anyone else in his Ultimate Cheat sheet for Reineventing Yourself. I’ll go with what he says. Find mentors. Look for inspiration. Notice how the roadside hustlers do it. Find out what the brands are doing. Check out the general trends in marketing. Go spy on your competition.

Do what it takes.

To appreciate it, do it yourself

Don’t be tempted to hire digital marketers or any marketer for that matter. First, do it yourself. You really need to understand what goes into marketing. Before you think of paying a dollar per hour for that sales and marketing guy you found on Elance, you’d have to know what it takes to get that one follower on Twitter, a “like” on Facebook page or a comment on your blog.

You think marketers are cheap. Why don’t you try and do it yourself? In case, you change your mind, you do know you can contact us.

Plug. Play. Witness miracles

Passion comes from within. But then, you’d need proof in the pudding too, don’t you? How about trying to actually work on your marketing, all day long, everyday, for the next few years and then see what comes up? When you succeed and you make tons of money, how can you not be passionate about something that’s incredibly satisfying, result-oriented, and a true mark of success?

Try not to fall in love with marketing.

There, I said it. Over to you.

Img Credits:Elsa

How to Realign Your Marketing Workflow & Strategy

How to Realign Your Marketing Workflow & Strategy

So, the marketing world has come to this: mobile gets more important than ever before, according to a timely post by Patricia Redsicker of Social Media Examiner. Email marketing is still in. Social media has permanent rush-hour traffic and your marketing budget still stays the same. Meanwhile, you have a business to run. You have leads to generate; you’ll need customers more than ever. While the onus of responsibility grows constantly and the pressure feels like a 10-tonne truck on your shoulders, what you’ll need to do now is pretty simple. Here’s the best route:

Keep your website simple

“I need a website with 10 pages…”
“I want my website to be like a portal, really”
“How many more pages can we add? Will you be able to add graphics and lots of content on my website?”

Really? Who cares?

The number of pages doesn’t matter. Your website design matters until it grabs the attention but it’s worth nothing more than a pretty picture if it can’t keep your visitors engaged.

You need simplicity. Precision. Focus.

Establish your workflow around simplicity. Weed out anything you don’t need on your website, and then some more. Websites today, most of them at least, look like crowded community kitchen with a lot of things cooking while everyone in there is still hungry and clueless. You ruin chances of conversions. Your brand image gets diluted. The more polluted your website is, the harder you’d have to work to get your message across. On the Internet, your customers have no time, patience, or love for you. Either you get the point across or you won’t.

Traffic is old school. Conversions are new age goals

Almost every business now knows how to get traffic to his or her website. Your traffic numbers could run the digital counter into the millions or the numbers could be too embarrassing for you to even talk about. Yet, traffic isn’t as important as it’s made out to be. It’s the conversions that you should be focusing on. Paul Dunay wrote a post on Social Media Today and this is what he had to say:

“You want sales, not just visitors”

“You want insight, not just raw numbers”

If a 100,000 disinterested and clueless visitors end up on your site, what do you achieve really? You’d spend dollars and you’d flap your arms about but that’s it. No conversions. No sales. No customers.

Blog + Social Media is just the beginning

Have a blog, will go social, and there, I’ve done it, haven’t I? No, you haven’t. You did start and I’ll tip my hat but there’s a lot more to be done. For one, you’ll need to make sure you are responsive, throughout. You’ll then need to setup a workflow for email marketing (includes opt-ins, campaigns, auto responders, etc.). You’ll also need paid advertising, landing pages, webinars, slide decks, images, and graphics.

You have to produce videos. You have to host offline seminars if it makes sense for your business, participate in trade shows, deploy events, launch podcasts, publish magazines, and sponsor conferences.

Marketing is like breathing. Once you start doing it, it never stops.

SEO is dead. Today, It’s about semantics, intent, and quality

Mark Jackson of Search Engine Watch warns about how SEO is dying. It’s evolving, changing, and every thing we ever learnt about search optimization is now ready for an overhaul. Today, it’s about matching the semantic intent of search users. It’s about exceptional content that solves problems (plug in inspiration, motivation, instructions, ideas, content curation, and other variants here).

No more rehashed posts with keyword phrases pasted all over. Say goodbye to any of the link building methods we all grew up with (on the Internet, that is). It’s about three things today: quality, quality, and quality.

How are you working on your marketing? What are your greatest challenges when it comes to marketing? We are all eyes. Give us a shout.

Img Credits: Sri Harsha on Flickr

How to Make an Impact With Your Twitter Updates, for Real

How to Make an Impact With Your Twitter Updates, for Real

It’s been a month since I’ve been active on Twitter for a huge variety of reasons: to build our brand, to get to know others, to keep abreast of all that information deluge, and obviously to grow our following. Earlier, we used to fall into the trap of working so much on managing social media accounts for clients that we’d rarely update our own accounts.

Times have changed. Sense prevailed. So, here I am back to the Twitterpillion.

I’ve realised over the years now that certain kinds of updates really work well on Twitter. Here are some of those examples, straight from our account:

Retweet with a comment

Everyone with a finger and a button can retweet. What’s more important is to add a dash of your own personality to retweets and then almost making them your own (although they aren’t). Adding a comment, question, or remark great enhances your Twitter update’s sex appeal. Here are a few examples:

Random Insights

Your followers follow you on Twitter because they expect you to bring insights and ideas to them, right to their Twitter stream. They don’t want to hear what you did over the weekend and they also want you to be concerned about the number of updates you push out on a regular basis. An effective way to share insights is to make a collection of them related to your niche and share them ( after scheduling, of course). Make sure you credit sources.

Statistics

Everyone loves statistics. They are a source of credibility ( and they make you look smarter than most people). Statistics are also easy to find online. Dig into slides on Slideshare, infographics, and even monster pages with all sorts of statistics and research already ready for you. Take a pick from some of those statistics we compiled and published on Twitter:

Business-centric, personal comments

You can’t talk of personality and voice without an opinion. Have opinion, will succeed. Eh? While you’d still be making sense to your followers — in business terms — you’d suddenly get personal and have a strong opinion of your own. These opinions can only do two things to your Twitter account 24 hours from an update going live: you’ll either get a couple of follows or unfollows. That’s clarity.

Making good use of “Follow Fridays”

Most Twitter users are still old-fashioned and they’d use follow fridays to just list a few of their respective followers. That’s boring.

Instead, dedicate every friday for about 10 followers who’ve been actively communicating with you. Perhaps, there’s a thing or two you know about them? Maybe their own tweets gave away some information that you can use to your advantage. Get professional personal. Don’t push #FF updates like a machine. Here are a few ways to do it:

Show your personality on Twitter. Show who you are and what you stand for. It’s a public place, for heaven’s sake, so be your best.

How do you Tweet?

img credits: Bernard Goldbach

_____