Marketing in Real Time

Posted by Wes Powell

Jul 26, 2014 6:00:00 PM

No matter what you’re promoting, there are always new and exciting things going on in your field. Or at least, there are interesting and exciting things going on that can be related to your field with a little creativity. One of the most important rules of marketing is to make sure that your content is always fresh and relevant. If you get stuck in a groove, churning out the same old stuff all the time, then people will stop paying attention to it. 

You need to be in tune with what’s going on around you, and incorporate that into your marketing strategy, in order to connect with your audience. And the way to do that is with real-time marketing. Real-time marketing is just what it sounds like: promoting your brand using the events that are going on around you, as they’re happening. This can include blogging about relevant news stories, live tweeting important events, streaming live video, or any number of other methods. Here are four tips for making real-time marketing work for you.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, social media, blogs, Oreo, live tweeting, real time marketing

How to do SEO on a Budget

Posted by Wes Powell

Jul 21, 2014 5:30:00 PM

Here at Inbound Educators, we’ve always been big advocates of outsourcing your various marketing tasks to freelancers or independent services. They have the expertise and the resources that it takes to give you the service you need, while freeing up your own resources to concentrate on actually running your business. It’s the smart choice, but there are times when it’s not entirely practical.

Take SEO, for instance. As essential as it is to your marketing strategy, it’s also a very involved process, and hiring a firm to provide the service costs money. Not every company has the money to invest in doing SEO the way they should. Does that mean they should just forgo it entirely? No. Here are three tips for doing your own SEO on a shoestring budget. 

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Topics: Keywords, SEO, Google, Guest Blogging, On-page optimization

SEO for Entrepreneurs

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 17, 2014 12:30:00 PM

SEO is essential for any brand. When your potential customers are looking for something you can provide them with, they need to be able to find you in their search results. But it’s one thing to practice good SEO as an established brand for a large, well-recognized company. It’s quite another to practice it as an entrepreneur, trying to build your brand from the ground up. In that case, optimizing your search results becomes even more important, to increase your visibility as you try to compete with these established brands and put yourself in your customers’ line of sight. Our friends at Forbes have outlined some specific ways that entrepreneurs can benefit from SEO. 

Reputation Management.

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Topics: SEO, Google, search results, Entrepreneurship, Reputation, Organic search traffic

Let the Leads Flow - Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Generator

Posted by Wes Powell

Jul 15, 2014 10:00:00 AM

So you need sales leads, and you’ve heard that content marketing is the way to get them? You’re doing your business blogging regularly and your blog is attracting readers. Heck, you’re even getting halfway decent traffic, but you haven’t seen any increase in lead generation from it.

Let the leads flow and turn your blog into a sales generator by ensuring that it’s user-friendly and easy for customers to respond to posts.

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Topics: Business Blogging, Content Marketing, Lead Generation

The Future of Social Media Marketing

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 14, 2014 12:00:00 PM

It goes without saying that social media has changed the face of marketing as we know it. But perhaps a more important issue is how the face of social media itself has changed over the years. Social media platforms continue to change and evolve, often in subtle ways, right before our eyes, and as they do, so do our marketing tactics. 

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Topics: Twitter, Social Media Marketing, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tumblr, Snapchat, live tweet, Facebook, Myspace, Future

Overcoming Social Media Marketing Skepticism

Posted by Wes Powell

Jul 10, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Years of being tricked by nefarious marketing tactics has left the average consumer skeptical of the messages they see being distributed. To many marketers, social media is a way of combatting that: engaging your audience on a personal level, giving them the content they want, taking an interest in who they are and what they’re looking for, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers don’t feel that way. And because of that, a lot of consumers don’t, either.

Many potential customers on social media are automatically skeptical of the brands that are trying to reach them. And frankly, they have reason to be. A lot of brands do unscrupulous things to promote themselves on social media. They delete any negative feedback from their page, even if it’s constructive. They buy blocks of fake Twitter followers and Facebook likes, to boost their numbers and make themselves look popular. They leave fake reviews of their company on Yelp, and even create fake Twitter profiles to say glowing things that the public can see. 

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Topics: Twitter, Social Media Marketing, Facebook, Yelp, engagement marketing, fake reviews, social media skepticism

5 Lessons on Content Marketing from Craigslist

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 5, 2014 6:15:00 AM

In its own way, Craigslist is the most basic form of marketing. Whether you’re trying to fill a position in your company, looking to unload a lot of junk from your basement, or trying to make a love connection, Craigslist can help your message reach a large, local audience, comprised specifically of people who are looking for what you’re offering. 

Now, we’re not suggesting that you use Craigslist for your content and brand promotion. But the same principles apply to an effective piece of content as to an effective Craigslist ad. In fact, our friends at Business 2 Community have found that thinking about marketing content in similar terms as Craigslist ads can be a good way of creating more effective content and reaching more people. Here are some tips.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Lead Generation, headlines, photos, ads, Craigslist, Business 2 Community

Tips for YouTube Marketing

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 4, 2014 4:30:00 PM

YouTube is an amazing marketing tool. It functions as a platform for both content and social media, and allows you to communicate with your audience in a much more engaging and versatile way than you can with text or even pictures. If your marketing strategy doesn’t include a YouTube channel, then you’re missing out on a number of major opportunities for brand promotion. But how can you use YouTube to your brand’s best advantage? Here are some tips for YouTube marketing.

Explore the Medium 

There are myriad types of content that you can post on YouTube. You can have a vlog, wherein someone simply voices their thoughts and opinions to the camera. You can do behind-the-scenes or documentary-style videos that provide interesting information and an up-close look at your company. You can create short films, animations, or even humorous sketches that communicate a particular point about your brand. You can even post actual commercials for your brand. 

Do some experimenting with different types of videos, to see what works best with your brand. But whatever you do, make sure it’s well-made and engaging to your audience. If you have a vlog, don’t just have someone sitting in front of the camera talking. Add cool graphics and illustrations in post-production, to drive the point home. Have them interview prominent people in your field, and get a discussion going. 

If you’re doing short films, make sure they’re well-written, well-acted, well-produced, and visually interesting. It needs to look good, sound good, and hold people’s attention. Likewise, if you’re posting your commercials, make sure they’re commercials that people will actually want to see: something funny, clever, or engaging. Super Bowl commercials, for instance, get talked about for years. But nobody’s going to go looking on YouTube for that local ad where a guy talks to the camera about mattress sales.

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Topics: Content Marketing, YouTube, social media, vlogs, Video comments, Commercials

May the 4th (Force) Be With You! Using This Special Holiday As A Hook For Your Inbound Marketing

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 3, 2014 10:00:00 AM

The 4th of July is almost here, and you’re going to start seeing a whole host of 4th-themed blog posts appearing. Present company excluded, of course! We’re going to approach the issue somewhat differently by taking a look at whether it’s a good idea to use this special holiday as a hook for your inbound marketing. Just like newsjacking, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, depending on the angle you take.

Independence Themes

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Topics: Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, newsjacking

Despairing Disparity – Unfortunate Content Marketing Statistics and What You Can Do to Change Them

Posted by Spencer Powell

Jul 1, 2014 5:45:00 AM

Everyone knows that content marketing is the best, most effective way of reaching potential customers, generating leads, and driving sales. At least, everyone knows it in theory. You hear it praised to the skies by marketing experts everywhere. You read blogs like this one about the best tips and tricks for doing it well. But unfortunately, there is a shocking gap between how content marketing is perceived and talked about, and how it’s actually put into practice. For instance

  • 86% of marketers are using online content in one form or another, but 59% feel they don’t have the tools they need to be successful at it.
  • Content marketing costs an average of 62% less than traditional marketing, but even so, 52% of marketers feel their content marketing strategy doesn’t have the budget it needs.
  • An estimated 60% of Internet use is done via mobile devices now, yet only 43% of marketers have their blog optimized for mobile browsing.
  • Everyone agrees that a social media presence is essential for promoting your brand, but only 43% of marketers believe their existing social media marketing strategy is actually effective.
  • Finally, and perhaps most telling, the most important aspect of content marketing is generating interesting, engaging content, and that content is the top reason why users follow brands on social media. But only 1 in 5 readers will make it past even the headline, much less to the end of the post.

These statistics can be a bit disheartening. Is Internet content still an effective marketing tool? Is the payoff worth the time and effort that you put into it? Only if you do it the right way.

First, take a look at these statistics and figure out which, if any, apply to your company. Then you’ll have a better idea of what changes you can make to your content strategy. For instance, do you feel you lack the tools you need to be successful, or are you limited by budgetary constraints? Talk to your higher ups and do what you can to show them how allotting a few more resources to your content strategy could vastly improve things all around. If they won’t listen, just do the best with what you have. There are all sorts of free and nearly-free tools on the web to help you deliver better, more effective content. Be creative and use what’s at your disposal.

At the same time, make sure you’re aware of the deficiencies in your strategy itself. More Internet browsing is done mobilely now than on desktops. Make sure your site is equipped to accommodate those mobile users. And as for drawing people in to your content in the first place, you need to start by making sure your headlines are as engaging as possible, so that the people who see them are compelled to keep reading and find out what your brand has to say. 

Nobody ever said content marketing was easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and patience to see the kind of results you’re looking for. This is why we have these unfortunate statistics, despite the obvious usefulness of a content strategy. Brands simply don’t put the work and the resources necessary into making their strategy effective. If you can remedy that problem in your own company, you’ll no longer be a statistic. You’ll be a success.

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Topics: Content Marketing, social media, blogs, Mobile Marketing, statistics, headlines, budget


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