Where, What, and Why: The Content Marketing Trio

Three Stooges

Having tracked data for the last seven years in the automotive marketing arena, I can tell you a few things that I’ve learned that have brought us to where the content marketing world is today. It’s all about process and answering the questions that consumers are asking and it’s something that, as I’ve said time and time again in the past, needs to be viewed holistically.

Rather than go into a long post about how to make it all sing properly (that’s for future posts), it’s important to understand the content marketing trio. No, they have nothing to do with the Three Stooges, but those who don’t understand the consumers’ mentality might ended up looking like stooges in 2014. This is that important.

To get this understanding, you have to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. You buy things. Take what you know about that and apply it to the mentality and process below.

 

Where

If they can’t find you, they can’t do business with you. This is a no-brainer. You can advertise on the various networks, get your branding in place through billboards and radio, put ads in third-party sites across the internet, and a dozen other ways to help people find you, but it’s search marketing that truly answers all of the questions that start with “where”.

Since content marketing can help your search engine optimization tremendously, it fits in as the first of the trio. Most people are probably finding your website by the name of your company. While this is fine, you don’t need to be heavily optimized to be found for your name. It’s the other people, the ones that are doing generic searches for you by product or service in your local area, that can have a double impact on your business. By being better optimized, you are moving yourself up in searches which means you are also moving a competitor down.

 

What

This is your website. “What” you’re trying to sell should be easy to determine once visitors get there. The challenge is that having a website that’s just like every other website in your market is silly yet so commonly practiced thanks to the mega-vendors and forced OEM adoption.

There is a psychology that goes along with websites that says, “different is usually better”. If your customers visit five websites, four of which look pretty much alike and the fifth, yours, looks different, they’ll wonder why. It will register, even if only on a subconscious level. If the design and content are compelling, you have an advantage.

 

Why

In industries such as automotive where the differences in price are measured in small percentage points, the “why” factor comes into play. Most have a page that’s a variation of “Why Buy from Us” on their website but it gets very few visitors. It takes more than that to get a consumer to consider you over a competitor.

This is one of the many places where social media comes into play. When are people most likely to click on the social media buttons on your website? When they’re done. In other words, they might visit a handful of websites and put in leads at two or three of them. Once they’re done, there’s a decent chance that they’ll click through to your social media presence to see what you’re up to from the human side of the company. What will they see? Will it be a ton of ads? Will it be a ton of “look at me” posts?

What if they saw your community involvement? What if they saw your happy customers? What if they saw the local community engaging with you and you engaging back with them? They might look at you and two of your competitors during the course of their browsing. Will you be the most compelling? Does you social media presence give them a good reason to want to buy from you rather than the store down the block that’s posting boring or unauthentic content on their social media profiles?

Holistic

In future posts, we’ll go into how the holistic method of content marketing can make the whole greater than the sum of its parts, but it’s important to understand that reasons that it’s all tied together. Don’t think search, websites, and social. Think where, what, and why.

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6 Basic Mistakes that will bring your Internet Marketing Campaign Crumbling like a House of Cards

House of Cards

Internet marketing has been the song that many e-commerce establishments have been singing and quite rightly so the concept has proved to be one of the most effective business promotion tools of the 21st century. I personally am a very big fun of simplicity and more often than not the main secret for success is simply based on getting the small things right.

For many businesses that are leveraging on the use of the internet to expand their markets setting in place an efficient and goal oriented internet marketing strategy is a primary necessity. However for the last five years simple and basic mistakes have deterred online based businesses from reaping off the maximum benefit of e-marketing. The following is a list of basic mistakes you should avoid in your internet marketing program.

 

Poor Financial Planning

Budgeting is a very important aspect in our day to day life. Am sure many of you will agree with me in this because if you don’t plan your budget well you are doomed to fail in anything you do. When it comes to internet marketing the story is not any different and that is why you need to be careful in your budgetary allocations so as to avoid underfunding and misappropriation.

Marketers should lay down a well planned budget showing distribution of funds for different tasks that need to be carried out. For sure funds allocated for different tasks will vary. For instance, if you want to create a website or to advertise in social media the financial allocation will be very different. Your success in internet marketing will depend on your mode of financial planning therefore plan well and on time.

 

An Impatient Attitude

Many of us lack the virtue of patience but patience is very crucial if you have to achieve your goals and objectives. If at all you need to succeed in e-marketing trust me, you need patience!! Internet marketing is just like a small baby who will go through various stages before they get to walk.

Any marketer should know that also in marketing you will not get results immediately, so you should not give up and wait for the end results because when you start eating the fruits of your labour you will surely enjoy. You should be ready to invest time and money without giving up because if you do you are just like a withered tree.

 

Limiting Your Potential

Internet marketing for sure has a lot of potential and it can help you market a diversity of businesses. Many people underestimate the potential of internet marketing thus not putting a lot of hard work and effort in it. I assure you that if you can put all your efforts this can be the best channel for you to succeed in your business therefore exploit its potential.

 

Poor Leads Follow Up

The most important priority for internet marketing is to generate business leads. Following up leads can help in closing down important sales and customer acquisition. Lead follow up involves simple techniques such as responding to customer queries and concerns as well as offering additional information to potential customers.

 

Being Over Ambitious

Sometime being over ambitious can lead as to do wrong things even lying. Some business owners may not be able to get good leads and may even decide to give empty promises to their customers which they cannot be able to fulfill forgetting that everything hidden in the dark will come to light. Client will end up discovering this lies thus sales will reduce at a great deal. The marketers therefore need to develop marketing strategies that will attract potential customers and within their abilities.

 

Forgetting your On-Page SEO

Another mistake that online based business owners do is forgetting their on-page SEO. Developing well optimized and high quality content is a fundamental game changer that may as well have the  final say if your e-marketing strategy will work or not. The good thing is coming with entertaining and informative content is not hard and anyone can do it. If you can avoid these four basic mistakes, there is no doubt you will be among the few who are now using e-marketing as their mainstream product and service promotion tool.

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The Easy Way to Master Facebook

Master Facebook

Don’t get me wrong. There’s an extremely complex and effective methodology behind utilizing Facebook as a true marketing and advertising tool that requires some specialized training, a strong sense of creativity, a willingness to experiment, and an unrelenting focus on keeping up with the latest and greatest from experts and Facebook itself.

Then again, there’s a simple way as well. As much as I would love to turn this into a lengthy blog post, I would only be adding fluff. It’s too easy.

Here are the steps:

  1. Post really amazing content on a regular basis
  2. Do NOT post anything that isn’t absolutely amazing just for the sake of getting a post up
  3. Support all of it with Facebook ads
  4. Reply to everything that people post in reply or on your wall

That’s it. Sorry to disappoint those who specialize in social media as a career (I’m one of them) but those are the steps required to make Facebook sing for your business. If you do those steps, you’ll be doing better than literally 99% of your competitors.

With that said, there’s a caveat. This will get you to the top. It won’t keep you there. The truth about Facebook marketing is spreading and more people are starting to get it. This is why there’s hope for people like me. The next 17 steps in the process are much more complicated and result in a stronger Facebook presence designed to drive business. Thankfully, these are the steps to make clients stay ahead of the 99% now as well as next year when 10%-20% start to “get it” with Facebook.

Today, the best way to do it is to hire a professional or to diligently perform the 4 easy steps above.

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The Two Parallel Styles of Small Business Content Marketing

Mazda Keys

Content has been the big play for over a year now in the world of marketing. It’s the glue that holds social media marketing and search engine marketing together and it’s becoming so prevalent that the old ways (the ones everyone started using this year) are already starting to become obsolete.

Don’t get me wrong – the techniques themselves still work. The problem is that everyone is starting to get it. The competition level for content marketing at the small business level has gone from non-existent at the beginning of 2013 to hyper-competitive before the end of the year. It’s too easy, too important, and has too many people talking about it for most companies to miss.

Perhaps as bloggers, we did our jobs right. Now, we’re faced with a dilemma – taking it to the next level. Thankfully, the strategy is pretty much the same with an expansion into a two-style mode. By going with this format, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition that is starting to catch up to you.

 

Style 1: The Local Content

This is the easy part. For localized small businesses, it’s all about talking to to and about those in the local area in order to build buzz. The concept is this: post content that is enjoyable or useful to your potential customers and they will share it on social media as well as generate an occasional link or two.

It’s the style that everyone’s starting to get. Just in the automotive industry alone, we’re seeing multiple dealers in the same city making videos about how to change a Mazda key fob battery, writing articles about their first shipment of Chevy Corvettes, and bringing in local celebrities for interviews and discussions.

Just because so many are starting to do it doesn’t mean that you should stop. It means that you have to step up your game. You have to make your content better, get more people to share it, and post more often than your competitors. It means that you have to work harder than everyone else, but that’s one of the things that are necessary in order to stay ahead of the game.

 

Style 2: The Broader Content

The goal with all types of content is to become the authority on your topic. We have known for a while that localized content works, but it’s not able to stand alone anymore in most industries because of the competition level. To make it stand out ahead of the competitors, you need to hit the national arena.

This means that you can no longer just be the local authority. You have to get the type of content out there that can resonate with a broader audience. This is only possible if you’ve already mastered the local content style and you have a strong following for it.

Going broad is harder. It requires that the content have a more general appeal. It means that your local following will share it as well and that their friends and family from the rest of the country or world will see it and find value as well.

It could be reactions to national news about your industry. It could be universal help items that are not localized. It could be great videos, images, or infographics that anyone anywhere in the country can like.

It also requires a bit more professionalism than the localized content. An iPhone video might work for a quick walkaround of a new inventory item, but to get the national appeal, it has to be better made than that.

* * *

This is the type of thing that many people fear. Just when you thought you had localized content mastered, hearing that it won’t be good enough to keep the gap large between you and your competitors in 2014 can be disheartening. However, if you really think about it, every new challenge like this is an opportunity to shine above and beyond them.

Change is good as long as you’re on top of it.

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How to Take a Selfie

Selfie

There’s a certain art to the “selfie”. It has risen from a poor way to do self-photography to the accepted method. Not sure how that happened but I’m not the biggest fan. The rise of sites like Instagram have made them a part of our social media lives.

With that said, it’s important to know the right way to make it work. The image above – that’s not a good example. It’s not stereotypical, either. Most make sure that they look good (at least having their hair brushed) and in a position to where the background is appropriate. Nobody wants to have their selfie photobombed by something they didn’t want in there.

Here’s an infographic from izzigadgets that should give you all the information that you need to perfect the art of the selfie.

How to Take a Selfie Infographic

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Social Media Professionals are Popping Up Everywhere

Social Media Maven

You’ve seen them on your social media streams. Gurus. Masters. Experts. Ambassadors. Ninjas. Pirates. Consultants. Specialists. Mavens. Oh, how I cringe when I see a self-described “social media maven”.

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How Competitor Analysis Can Improve Your Social Strategy

Competitive Analysis

In a world with so many different businesses offering the same service and product, it is very difficult to make sure that your company is at the forefront. One thing that can help, however, is offering your consumers a detailed competitor analysis.

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Awesome Content on the Way and Why I Haven’t Been Posting Much Lately

Very Busy

The worlds of automotive social media and automotive search marketing are converging. We’ve known this for a while and I’ve been preparing for the collision in order to help our clients make the most out of the changes. The only thing I wasn’t expecting was how tremendously complex it all was going to be.

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Reaching People on Social Media is About Consistency

Tortoise and the Hare

There’s an exciting thing that can happen when you first start advertising on social media. The organic measures of exposure are quickly fading away, so when you get that first boost of exposure as a result of spending very little money, it can become addicting.

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Digital Marketing is the Future

The Future

Full service digital marketing agencies and social media agencies have now caught the attention of many corporations and small businesses, but why? Because social media agencies and digital marketing firms can put any small business owner on the map, giving them a wide reach to clientele from around the world to sell their product.

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