21 Oct

Build Brand Awareness Using Social Media

So you’ve already built a pretty impressive social media engagement campaign for your business; but how do you know you’re doing it successfully? Keep in mind the number of followers you have doesn’t always determine the effectiveness of the campaign- it’s about how many people in your circles who actively respond. There’s a wide range of responses you could get from social media aside from the usual customer
questions and complaints. Aside from the comments, blogs, dialogue and re-tweets, look into this:

• Humanize the brand
• Manage perceived reputation
• Generate leads
• Create a few brand advocates
• Resolve problems with customers
• Handle crises effectively

It doesn’t matter where the conversation is at: whether you’re on Facebook,
Twitter or your blog, there are a number of ways you can generate good
conversations. These conversations will solidify your relationships and fans will experience a more direct connection with your business, which is what your aim is.

Engagement for creating awareness

One common purpose of social media is to create a public profile. Consider Canadian Olympian Sarah Wells; she started a campaign on Twitter where she hoped to engage Olympic fans and raise awareness of her quest for the gold, and possibly gain a significant number of followers. Just days into the campaign, Sarah had hit the 400 follower mark owing to the strength and enthusiasm of her friends and family. It’s one example of an effective grassroots social media campaign.

One of the many benefits include measurability. Consider these key awareness metrics:

• Share of conversation – this is about how often you get mentioned in
context of the conversations that are relevant to you.
• Share of voice – how often are you covered or mentioned in
comparison to your competition?
• Mentions per time period – this describes how many times audiences
discuss your brand in a given time period. It gives you a sense of
overall chatter and awareness.
• Potential reach – followers, fans or eyeballs; this is seen as potential
reach because those people won’t pay attention to you
simultaneously.
• Inbound links – an indicator of audiences that are aware of you and
are talking about you. To get a better sense of which types of media
drive consistent attention to your brand, look at all the active social
media accounts.

07 Oct

A Social Media Marketing Plan For Your Business

Effective social media strategies require proper planning and execution. If you’re new to this and expect to see results from a few blog posts and random updates, you might find the whole endeavor very disappointing. Serious marketers know that in order to harness the full potential of social media one has to incorporate at least these three elements:

• Listening to the audience
• Sharing relevant messages
• Enabling the audience to share the message

So what is it that you’re supposed to share? Good content. You can’t have effective social media marketing without good content. The entire marketing plan originates from a solid content creation strategy. The good thing about useful content is that it gets people to appreciate your brand and share; and the sharing is what builds your brand.

This works whether you’re a small business or a large multinational and it costs very little to set up so the budget shouldn’t be a major factor when setting up. Ever heard that saying that goes “failing to plan is planning to fail?” It’s very true when it comes to marketing because creating a well detailed social media strategy is just as crucial as having a rock-solid business plan.

In order to attract, engage and ideally convert fans and followers into customers, employ this strategy.

1. What should I aim to achieve from social media?

This depends entirely on what type of business you’re in. you may want to use it to gain exposure for your brand or simply to interact with customers because it’s good for business. Remember, if you’re just winging it your audience will know and that’s not good for you. Try to understand your customers’ goals and find out how to connect with that. One way to do this is to find out how you can use social media to solve your customers’ problems.

2. Who should set up the company’s social media account?

For smaller companies it would be better to delegate the task to a staff member who has experience implementing effective social media campaigns. Larger companies give the job to qualified workers in the marketing department and if the budget allows, some may choose to hire a consultant or firm.

3. Should I create accounts on all social media platforms when starting out?

As a starting point, it would probably be better to operate with a presence on one or two social networks and a blog. The network you choose will be determined by where your audience hangs out; so survey your customers and find out what their most popular platform is. The more the business grows the more social networks you can get into.

4. Biggest mistake to avoid

You can’t afford not to have a social media plan, so create one and stick to it. Remember social media is constantly evolving and in order to stay ahead you have to be prepared to adapt and redefine your strategy as needed. If you do this every few months you will identify which tactics are redundant and in the process work out the best plan for your business.

 

01 Oct

How To Get Started With Social Media

When using social media to grow a business, the worst action is no action, and the worst problem is invisibility – not bad perception. If you’re part of the conversation you can always massage what people are saying about your brand; but if nobody knows about you, then you have no chance of growth.

What this means is that you need to get involved: not only to exploit the many business opportunities available for your business, but also to develop a winning reputation.

It’s a good idea to start by developing a plan that takes into account the social trends that characterize social media interaction today and organize a framework that will help make your conversations popular and relevant. But with all this mass of social networking sites and tools available today, how does one navigate through it all to set up a strategy that works? Here are ten steps to get you started:

  • Set up goals. Think about what you hope to achieve from the social interaction. Are you doing it to generate direct sales, offer better customer service, or better yet, develop stronger relationships with your clients? Your answers to these questions will determine how you go about setting goals.
  • Consider your resources. It’s going to take more than a clever idea to set up a marketing plan that works: you need people working for you. Someone has to set up the social media accounts, engage with customers and respond to questions, create compelling content, etc.

  • Know your audience well. Find out where your audience spends time, what conversations they are involved with, who influences them, and what kind of information they’re looking from you. In order to provide your audience what they want, you first have to understand who they are, how they think, and what they want from you.

  • Come up with good content. Once you find out what your audience is into, you can then work on giving them something to talk about and possibly share. Conversations have to keep going and this means creating lots of good content for the audience. Try to create a variety of different types of content that can be shared.

  • Consider quality. While the pressure of creating content is certainly understandable, you cannot resolve to create a bunch of pointless topics for the sake of interaction; people will tire of it. The goal here is to build actual customers and that won’t happen if you’re not offering useful information and products/services.

  • It’s tempting to promote your products every two minutes on every social platform available to you but you may need to do something not self-promotional so that you don’t come off overly self-absorbed or too salesy.

  • Learn the culture of social networks. What are your competitors doing and what does that teach you? Learn more about social trends and find out where companies or brands have gone wrong with marketing strategies so that you don’t make similar mistakes.

So which social platforms should I concentrate on? Most large brands operate dozens of social media accounts but they have more people working on that so you might not be able to start big. Besides, you want to learn how to use each website perfectly to get your message across and this might take more time if you embarked on creating too many social media accounts at once. Focus your attention where it matters and learn everything about those websites and how larger businesses use them to promote their own brands.

19 Sep

Store Your Website Backups And WordPress Backups In Amazon S3 And Dropbox

Have you ever heard of these services called Amazon S3 and Dropbox? They are file storage services that are much more reliable than your computer’s local hard drive. When you make a backup of your site you don’t ever want to lose that backup. The real question is if your computer’s hard drive crashes tomorrow will you lose anything? Will you lose months or years of old websites backups. The question should hopefully be no because hard drives crash, websites get bigger and you can easily restore from anywhere as long as you make sure to backup using one of these services.

Hard drives crash and if you are using an external hard drive you still aren’t safe. Your hard drive will probably crash at some point. If not in a year from now, ten or twenty years from now. What you should do is when you have a backup of your site, get an account at Dropbox.com or at AWS.amazon.com. These are both great file storage services that are very cheap to put files on. All you have to do is just get an account, browse to it and then upload your file and wait for it to finish. Once the file is done now a permanent copy is stored online that will probably never go anywhere. Just on the fact that your hard drive might crash is an excellent reason for you to put another copy of your backup up in S3 or in Dropbox.

The other problem is that your websites get bigger and bigger over time as you add more content. If you have, let’s say, a 1 gigabyte website the size of your backup is going to be 1 gigabyte. If you backup every week your site will grow to 1 gigabyte, 2 gigabytes, 3 gigabytes, 4 gigabytes and so on every single week. It’s important for you that once you backup your site to take that backup off your site so it’s not wasting space. Instead put it on one of these file storage sites that are meant to hold lots of files, that are meant to hold large files. That way you are moving it away from your website and your website can hold the actual content, not all of your backups.

Finally, when you put your backups in Dropbox or in S3 you can now restore them from anywhere. This means that if you lose your computer, if your computer is stolen, your computer crashes or you simply are not at your computer, you can still restore that backup from anywhere. Download it from Amazon S3, put it on your website, click the button and now your backup has been restored. Store your backups in S3 or in Dropbox because hard drives tend to crash, websites do get bigger over time and now you can restore your information from anywhere.

Claim your WordPress backup plugin right now!

 

01 Sep

New LinkedIn Power Tools That You Need To Use!

There was a time when LinkedIn was seeming a bit static, and I thought they were close to falling behind the curve. With competition like Manta, Facebook, and Fast Pitch fast catching up, LinkedIn kicked into high gear and are now the leaders in the business networking space. And yes, FastPitch is gone and Facebook…well, it’s obviously a leader in the ‘share everything in my life’ space…but in the business world – opinions vary widely as to how much it really does for your bottom line.

Today, WordPress is seriously tackling the business marketplace – it’s literally the one stop shop these days for anyone wanting to build a client base of their business. Whether you are a home based entrepreneur or an exec with a corner office – you cannot afford to NOT be seen on LinkedIn today.

So without further ado – here are the latest LinkedIn features that you HAVE to check out:

1. LinkedIn Publishing Platform. This is the big one! Originally available only to “Influencers”, as designated by LinkedIn, it’s now being rolled out to all members. The opportunity to publish your content on LinkedIn has amazing marketing and branding potential. Once you access to this new feature, you’ll be able to move far beyond the current brief update status posts and create long-form content, that can truly be a showcase for your talent, expertise and knowledge.

To access the new feature, click the edit icon in the “share an update” box on your homepage, and you should see “create a post”. LinkedIn will walk you through the easy process from that point – if you blog, you will be right at home. Your posts will appear in your profile but exceptional and relevant posts are will be distributed through the network based on views, likes, comments, and shares. LinkedIn also uses an algorithm that matches the right content with the right profession, and if you make the cut.you might Your post may even make it into LinkedIn Pulse! Stats for all of your posts are available so you can see their popularity, and determine the corresponding impact on your leads and business.

2. Custom Profile Background. It’s been available for awhile to Premium members, but the new feature will be available to all members very shortly. Like Facebook’s Timeline Cover, this will give you great opportunity to personalize your profile and your personal ‘brand’. If you don’t have a Premium account, sign up here to get on the waiting list for the new feature. No word yet on how long a way this may be, but I doubt that it will be too long, base on the buzz the new feature is causing.

But don’t wait until you get approved to get started – get your background ready now so you can be an early adopter when you’re approved! To get the best effect, your image should be a 1400×425 pixel jpg. No in-house art department? Then go the DIY route – with tools like PicMonkey, it’s pretty say to do your own. Create your image now so that when you get access to the new feature you will be ready to go. Be sure to use good quality pictures or graphics that tell the right story and leave your visitors with the right impression of you and your business.

Here’s LinkedIn’s instructions for adding your background image to your profile: Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. Click Edit Background, which appears above the top section of your profile. Then, select a background image or click Upload to use a photo of your own (jpg, gif or PNG with a maximum file size of 4MB) and click save.

3. The Expanded ‘Who has viewed your profile’. This is not a new feature by any means but definitely one of the most upgraded features of LinkedIn. You can now get an amazing amount of detail and demographic data about who is visiting your profile which include the keywords searchers used to find you, how they found you, where they come from, their job title, industry and the company they work for, all broken down by date. This is great because you can now see a direct correlation between your marketing efforts on LinkedIn and the response from your network and those outside your network. Premium accounts can see the complete list of people that viewed your profile, other than those that have their privacy set to anonymous.

4. LinkedIn Connected app (for iPhone). The new Connected app practically automates managing and maintaining your LinkedIn network of connections with instant alerts and one touch response to comment on almost anything new that your connections post: promotions, new jobs, press releases, work anniversaries, birthdays, etc. According to LinkedIn, profiles of members who use the app average six times more profile visits and average seven times more endorsements than nonusers. It takes a bit to get used to using it all the time but take a few minutes a day to try it out and see if has any impact. Most of us that have – now routinely use it a couple of times a day, and the impact is well worth the effort.

5. Profile Rank. For the uber competitive among us (okay, that is probably most of us reading this), LinkedIn also now lets you now how you how you rank in your personal network based on the total number of profile views. It shows where you place among “your 1st-level connections”, “professionals like you,” and “people in your company”. Although it might make you feel god to know that you are doing better than the person in the cubicle next to you – the one that you should be watching is the “professionals like you” – these could be your competitors but could also be excellent business resources or alliances depending on your field.

Use these new statistics to gauge the impact of your status updates, articles/blog posts and group participation.

Take advantage of these powerful personal branding features from LinkedIn. They’ll help you can stand out and move up!

22 Aug

Super Affiliate Secrets

Affiliate marketing tends to be regarded with a great deal more confusion than is merited. For many people, it brings to mind images of very complex technical endeavors, a great amount of server space and possibly hundreds of webpages. While operations of such complexity do exist, this is hardly the norm.

The other principal source of confusion is usually regarding how one gets paid. There is a common perception that affiliate programs pay too little to be profitable without a great investment in technology and without such a number of affiliate programs being live at any given time that a multi-person effort would be required to realize any profit. This is also untrue.

One can begin an affiliate endeavor with no more than one product. Literally, just one product can be the source of decent income, particularly if that product happens to be in high-demand and if the affiliate marketer is savvy enough to position themselves as a resource for people seeking to avail themselves of that product.

Building the webpage need not be an overly-technical affair, either. A simple webpage with good content can do a lot to sell a product. The content will be one of the most vital parts of being a successful affiliate marketer and that subject will be explored to a great depth later on.

Getting paid is not hard to understand, either. Once one understands how these programs work, they are revealed to be something with which any marketer is very much familiar: commissions-based sales.

There are numerous companies looking for skilled affiliate marketers, this is because affiliate marketing is one of the most definitively win/win types of marketing in existence. The customer, the vendor and the marketer all stand to gain a great deal from this model.

Click here to learn more about how to be successful with Affiliate Marketing.

08 Aug

Methods of List Maintenance

As we discussed last time, lists are very important to our online business, but how do we keep them interested? That is what we will be talking about today.

E-zine Or Newsletter: The e-zine, or newsletter, is a list of people that you gather, and send information related to your target market on a weekly, bi-weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The idea is the useful content that you send them will have them want to keep reading and open your mail each time, keeping your response rates and read rates high.

Ok so here we have it. The staple of most online marketers before they hit it big, and sometimes even after, the well-known e-zine list. I’m sure you’ll already know from reading other information is that this method in itself can actually become a lot of work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of work, but when it gets to a particular point, it may not be prudent for you to run an e-zine anymore. This however is a good place to start if you have the time.

Expect to write an issue of your e-zine every week or two weeks and avoid leaving long, long gaps in between mailings, otherwise, quite simply people will forget you. This is a great place to start if you’re starting out, for the simple reason people like free info, and it’s so much easier to get people to subscribe to this type of list compared to others, even when there’s freebies involved. Of course, you will have to know a lot about your field of expertise to present regular useful issues, or even pull in outside articles from publishers to use as content.

The catch is you’ll have to be on top of things, and it does take some time to come up with good content for issues. The up side to this is people will be waiting for your e-zine. If it’s good and keeps people reading content wise, it’s a surefire way to keep response rates up and to make a connection with your subscribers, the personal touch, which in turn will add up to trust and a higher purchase rate for your own products.

The next upside to this is that you can sell ads for cash. To whom? To your subscribers of course. It’s an instant quick way to earn cash, by selling large solo ads that go out separately from the e-zine, to smaller ads that precede each issue, and even cheaper, mid and smaller ads contained within the issue. It’s a good all rounder in fact. The downside here is many e-zines turn into ad lists. When the ads massively outnumber the useful content, subscribers start to feel cheated and leave. I’ve been there before, and if you’ve tested out or subscribed to some e-zines before you may have seen this.

Another great thing about the newsletter and e-zine is it can be quite personal. As the readers and subscribers get used to you as a publisher, and you become white listed (In their spam filers and in their minds) you’ll see a greater interest in your products, because after all, you’re not just another marketer out there spouting rubbish to everyone to make a quick buck. You’re a trusted publisher in an authoritative role, and people will listen to you, and buy your stuff. This takes time though. Don’t expect to become well know to all your subscribers overnight.

Personal List – Mixed Content

Personal mixed content list is a list gathered by you, that you don’t use to sell outside ads to on a regular basis. Mailings contain research, new product information for your customers, a few articles that you write, the odd tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products. Mailings are very similar to an e-zine, except for the mixed content and the lower sales of ads to third parties. They also require less content on your part.

One of the most highly used list types by specialist marketers, definitely one of the most interesting and robust of methods. Imagine having a list of your own, which generally comprises of customers that know who you are, trust your word, many of them having bought from you before or subscribed to your list for the simple sake of following the progress and watching what you do as an authoritative figure in your chosen field of expertise. All of these factors come together to make a highly responsive list and one heck of a joint venture bargaining tool.

Keep in mind that you are working towards being an authoritative figure, taking  the time to build up trust, and after one bad decision, one bad joint venture with the wrong person, and your rep is in tatters, and you have a lot of groveling to the subscribers to do to make up for it. I can think of several examples where marketers’ reputations have been tarnished, some even to the point of them quitting the business, because this important resource they built up over the years was destroyed by a JV with someone unreliable or that has a bad reputation that they didn’t know about. Do your research, don’t take big joint ventures lightly, and this won’t happen to you. The biggest risk, but with the biggest reward, as always.

 

06 Aug

How Well Are You Taking Care Of Your Lists?

List maintenance is one of the most important subjects in online marketing. Your list is your number one and most basic bottom level output for your promotions. It’s expensive and time consuming to gather, but forms one of the most powerful resources and profit potential you have.

For this reason, we need to understand exactly how it works. Throughout my time in online marketing, I’ve tried many different formats. There are clear differences that allow some methods to come out on top, while some fail miserably.

Depending on your business, there are several solutions that might be right for you. For this reason, we need to look at the big five to allow you to decide which one is going to make you the most cash.

The number one thing that I need to tell you right now, before we continue is that you need to make 100% sure that the people signing up know what they’re getting themselves into. For example, how many e-zines or newsletters have you ever subscribed to only to find out that they’re not actually e-zines and newsletters, just ad lists (which to be honest aren’t all that bad in particular situations, but we’ll be getting to that in a moment).

The choice you make now will shape your business far in to the future, but more importantly whatever you tell your customers and subscribers they’ll be getting will shape your response rate considerably, and that’s obviously something we’ll want to take into account from the very start. So there we have it. Rule number one, never tell your customers they’re getting something then deny them that, or send them things that they haven’t requested or didn’t know about, because not only will that get you into trouble, but it will also affect the loyalty and trust these customers and subscribers have with you, which is so important.

What we are aiming to build here is a targeted and effective list that has response rates through the roof depending on what you’re promoting. Don’t forget this also includes affiliates, and may form a large part of your affiliate base. Which brings me onto one more point, what is your list there for? Promotions and to allow you to make money from the subscribers selling products that either you’ve created, or affiliate products in your target market, to build joint ventures, and of course increase your affiliate numbers and quality.

Remember we’re promoting not just for profit, but to learn valuable lessons at the same time. Your list provides as much useful data as your advert tracking, no matter how small. This Is your key to developing a successful business that is aimed at your target market, and creating a sales system that works, not just in your eyes, but in the eyes of the people that are most important to you. And that’s your customer, the person who at the end of the day is going to make you a whole lot of money if treated right.

So Ask Them! Don’t feel stupid about sending out emails to your list that aren’t adverts, or that might seem like random babble to you. To them, not only will they feel closer to you personally, no matter what technique you use (which in turn will have them reading more often) but it’ll give you really important results about you newest product, your website or even an idea that you have for a product that you’d like feedback on before you even start.

Use your list in this way…

Promote to learn, not to make a profit, and you’ll end up with far more cash at the end of the year than if you just assume or guess.  Get the knowledge you need to succeed from your customers before they even hand you their money. It works wonders for you, your reputation, your knowledge and your pockets. Ask your list if you’re not sure. It’s so powerful that it would be a complete waste if not utilized properly. If you’re right, great, go for it. If you’re wrong, your list will tell you so, great again. You can fix it and pocket the cash at the same time. I can’t think of a fairer deal than that. Keep it in mind. Your list is more than a bunch of names. It’s a bunch of opinions, and real important ones at that.

 

 

29 Jul

Importance of Backlinks

 

Bing and Google have been trying to discount the use and influence of paid links on their search results. Obviously it’s not possible for them to detect all paid links, they have been putting in a lot of time and resources into formulating ways to detect and discredit the practice. If you get caught buying links you risk severe penalties that will probably kill your rankings and send your site to oblivion.

When you look at it in terms of building your site or blog, you will find several important factors which play a part in your overall SEO plan:

 

Search engine ranking: It’s the main goal for most marketers and one of the ways this is achieved is by creating quality links to your pages. The key here is to create a variation of anchor texts and get it from niche blog or high quality blogs.

Fast indexing: After creating a brand new website, the next challenge is getting indexed quickly by Google; but having backlinks from an active website tends to expedite this process.

Page rank: If you get linked back from good quality PR sites then quite possibly you will get a decent page rank in subsequent updates.

 

One of the many ways to find out how well your site ranks on a search engine is to search for one of the key phrases targeted by the page. For instance if you want to rank well for a phrase such as “diet pill” then it would help if you earned links from pages that already rank well for that particular phrase.

It takes a lot of practice, effort and experience to establish these variables as they affect your ranking but you can always use one of the many web analytics to find out whether your campaign is gaining traction. You know the strategy is working when you see an increase in search traffic, frequent search engine crawling and better rankings, among other things. If you don’t see a rise in these metrics then its possible you need to work on your on-page optimization or pursue better quality link targets.

To Learn More, Click Here

 

16 Jul

My Quick Review of “Monkey Marketing Mastermind”

What does every marketer want?

More money. More traffic. More subscribers. More sales. More respect and power in the niche.

Being a mediocre marketer won’t get you these things. If you want to achieve big player status in the niche, then you need to get an edge. You need to do the things that top marketers in the world are doing. You need to do the things that your competitors don’t yet know about so that you can blindside them.

That’s where the Monkey Marketing Mastermind package comes in.

Monkey Marketing Mastermind is a brand new package of five training videos created by top marketers Simon Hodgkinson and Jeremy Gislason. These are seven-figure marketers who spend their days developing and testing strategies for:

Closing more sales using deep-seated psychological triggers (this stuff borders on mind control).

Turning exit traffic into subscribers and customers.

Using viral marketing in some pretty surprising ways.

Boosting affiliate sales with some remarkably clever tactics.

 

And now for the first time ever, Simon and Jeremy are sharing their best marketing strategies, along with a few kick-ass secrets that no one else is talking about. That’s what you get inside the Monkey Marketing Mastermind package.

This package includes the following five training videos:

1. Fear Factor Fortunes, which shows you a surefire way to jack your conversion rates and sales through the roof!

2. The Intensifier, which delivers a little-known strategy for exploding your sales on any product in any niche!

3. Commission Miner, a brilliant and almost devious way to crush your affiliate competition and start cashing fatter commission checks!

4. Traffic Splash, which reveals the scientific truth about how to get a ton of traffic and influence the masses with a successful viral campaign!

5. List Monster, which shows you a fast and easy way to build your mailing list and cash in using the exit traffic that’s leaving your site right this minute!

 

I’ve reviewed all five of them and I’m extremely impressed. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned marketer, you’re sure to find tips and tricks inside these videos that will help you grow your business. You may even discover that some of the things you’ve heard about traffic, sales and conversion rates are just plain wrong… and your sales are suffering for it.

The second cool thing about the Monkey Marketing Mastermind package is that you get resell rights to all five videos if you act now. Simon and Jeremy even give you video sales letters and promo emails. All you have to do is load this stuff up to your website, copy and paste in your buy button, and you’re all ready to take orders.

Check it out: HERE

You’re going to hear a LOT about these videos in the coming days because they reveal some truly underground marketing techniques. That’s one good reason why you’ll want to jump on this offer today.

Another good reason to buy now is because the special introductory offer ends July 22nd. You’ll totally kick yourself if you miss out on the chance to get these amazing videos with resell rights!

Bottom line…

If you need more traffic, more subscribers, more sales and more money, then check out Monkey Marketing Mastermind right now. Everyone is going to be talking about these strategies – don’t get left behind, order now!

 

Martha