Using Content Marketing As An Online Business Strategy

Content marketing is a buzzword that you’ll often hear about in marketing circles, but it’s much more than a passing phase when it comes to marketing your business on the Internet. It’s a powerful approach to marketing your business on the web without having to worry about the search engines penalizing you for unnatural links or artificially inflating your rankings. Basically, when you create good content and market it towards your consumers, search engines reward you with a prime spot in their rankings.

The great thing about content marketing is that you aren’t stuck doing one thing; you can create videos, articles, press releases, social media campaigns and infographics to draw customers to your website, so you can tailor your content to be relevant to what consumers in your industry are searching for. This relevancy means that your content will convert into sales, so oftentimes, your marketing efforts go further than traditional marketing methods.

Content marketing has a couple major advantages over traditional marketing:

Inbound Traffic

According to the experts at Stodzy Internet Marketing, content marketing is a great way to drive interested consumers to content that you control; this inbound traffic is a powerful way to promote your expertise, niche or selling proposition. If you create engaging content with the proper calls to action, potential customers will share it with their friends and family, and this drives potential consumers to your website without costing you an extra penny.

Brand Awareness Through Engagement

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to create content that engages your audience; when you do this, it fuels a personal relationship between you and your customers, and they start associating your brand with high-quality and relevant products. When you build trust like this, you attract people to your business, and they are much more likely to work with you instead of your competition.

When you establish yourself as knowledgeable, you build your brand, and people remember this when it comes time to buy something that you specialize in. So remember, quality and relevance are paramount; any content that you publish is a reflection of your business.

Create Natural Link Popularity

Search engines love useful information, and that’s why they often penalize businesses that manipulate links to increase their rankings. When you create useful content that people share naturally, it tends to attract a lot of attention, and people give your site the natural links that search engines love. These links mean that your rankings will skyrocket, and you will have a very low chance of being penalized by the search engines in the future.

Content marketing is a safe way to increase your rankings, and that’s why so many people use it on websites that they can’t afford to lose. When you create content for marketing purposes, think of it as a representation of your business. If you create creative and relevant content, people will link to it, and that drives traffic, builds brand awareness and increases your popularity online.

Increasing Your Twitter Reach

Twitter has been really big among brands and corporations. The platform gives brands the chance to communicate with their users directly, creating a truly lively marketing campaign. Of course, Twitter can also be used for internet marketing purposes, including promoting your content and products. At the beginning, you will only have a small number of followers. Don’t worry, because there are ways you can increase your reach on Twitter.

Social Media Campaigns

Top SEO agencies such as Blue Hat Marketing now add social media services into their line-ups. These social media services can help you increase the number of followers your account has – and subsequently the reach of your Twitter account – by conducting various marketing campaigns.

Cross promotion, for instance, can be done to increase awareness on Twitter. Instead of doing everything yourself, you can tap into the Twitter accounts of top influencers. Since they already have thousands of followers, it is very easy to promote not only your site or your product, but also your social media presence.

Running a Twitter contest is also a good way to rapidly increase your Twitter reach. As one of the terms, oblige users to follow your Twitter account to participate. You can run anything from a simple selfie contest to a more complicated Twitter treasure hunt to attract new followers. You don’t even have to worry about spending a lot of money on prizes and the cost of the campaign itself.

Promoting Outside Twitter

Don’t forget to add a link to your Twitter account on your website and other online publications. This is the best way to quickly attract new Twitter users and increase your brand’s reach. Although it is not advised, you can even add a popup explaining that your brand is now available on Twitter.

Add a link to your Twitter account on other publications as well. Newsletters, email signatures and forum posts are great places to put a link to your Twitter page. When the URL is added to the right spot, you can expect to see a nice flow of new followers almost immediately.

Twitter Exchange

If you simply want to increase the reach without having to run complicated campaigns, there are Twitter exchange sites to use as well. You can simply join the exchange, follow other accounts and get new followers in return. These exchange sites connect brands and new Twitter accounts with existing, human users, allowing new Twitter accounts to reach a sufficient number of followers and expand their reach.

The only problem with Twitter exchange like this is the amount of noise – for example, dormant Twitter accounts – you will have to deal with as well. You may get thousands of new followers, but not all of them are active or within your market segment. This is part of the reasons why today’s best Twitter exchange sites now offer better control over how new followers are added, giving you a much better chance of getting relevant new followers without spending a lot of time and money in the process.

How to Start Out with E-mail Marketing

All of the passion in the world can’t make up for the help that social media provides to businesses. Professionals like Ehsan Bayat know that in order to have a thriving business, you need to take advantage of the tools that are out there. E-mail marketing is one huge way to make a big impact, digitally.

Why is e-mail marketing so big right now? It’s easy: pretty much everyone has e-mail. While not everyone has a Facebook account or Instagram profile, they are very likely to have an e-mail address. The best place to reach anybody online is right in their own inbox.

Here’s how to launch your newsletter, even if you’re new to the world of e-mail marketing.

Figure Out What You Have to Say

What’s the purpose of e-mailing your contact list? Do you have something they’re interested in, like a coupon code or breaking industry news? What you write about will directly relate to your business. If you offer marketing services, you may send an e-mail with tips for using Twitter, followed by a call-to-action to hire a pro by getting in touch. If you sell jewelry, you may want to let your loyal customers know about brand new products.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you have a unique perspective on. Give your customers and e-mail list subscribers something they can’t get anywhere else.

Use E-mail Software

There are a lot of e-mail tools out there, like Mailchimp and Tinyletter. What you choose will depend on a few things, including how you want to track your e-mail marketing and how much money you have to spend. Mailchimp, for example, lets you have a free account until you reach 2,000 subscribers, which is ideal for starting out. Then, you can scale as necessary by paying for a subscription.

Monitor Your Campaign

What good is a marketing campaign if you don’t know how well it’s performing? You’ll want to know a lot of things, analytics-wise, like how many of your subscribers are actually opening your e-mails and if the newsletter is actually converting subscribers to buyers. Make it a point to check your analytics every week or so, depending on how often you send out newsletters.

Tweak the Newsletter as Necessary

Not getting as many opens as you hoped for? Your subject line may leave something to be desired. The next time you send a mailing, split the list and use two different subject lines. Test them to figure out which one performs best, then apply those findings to your next newsletter. You may also be sending the newsletter out at the wrong time. Most people aren’t checking their e-mail once the work day’s over or on the weekend. Mondays, for example, are the best time to send retail newsletters. Play around with your sending schedule until you achieve a high open rate.

With e-mail marketing, you don’t just add to your following, but you also create a way to constantly stay in touch with both old and new fans, customers, and influencers.

The Advantages of Using Facebook

If you are thinking about adding Facebook to your social media marketing campaign but are still on the fence then you need to understand the benefits of using this site.  Facebook is one of the hottest social media sites on the internet and boasts millions of users.  Thousands of companies are using Facebook to market their products and services and are having a great deal of success doing so.  Now think about the fact that the odds are that there are at least a few companies in your industry that are using this social media site and they are getting all of your potential customers.  If that is not enough reason to get your business on Facebook, the continue reading for more.

Higher SEO Ranking

One of the top advantages of having a Facebook business account is the SEO rankings you can gain for your website.  There was a time when Google and other search engines did not bother using social media sites for their search engine rankings.  Today, with the popularity of all the top sites, they had to rethink this and now social media is vital to getting a page one rank.  Of course there are some things that you have to do like getting likes on your business page. The importance of social media signals is so highly valued that many businesses even buy Facebook likes for their business pages. Even if it doesn’t immediately boost your page ranking it can get other Facebook users liking you Facebook page and helping in the long run.

Free Marketing Potential

There are very few marketing strategies that do not require any type of monetary output on your part.  Facebook is totally free and the only way you pay is through your time and energy that you spend working on your page.  Of course if you have a large company then you may want to hire someone but the rewards are well worth the price of one employee’s time.  You can also spend a small amount of money on advertising on Facebook but you only have to do this if you choose to. Overall though, there is no money that has to spend in order to start a marketing campaign on Facebook.

A Wider Customer Base

With millions of potential customers on Facebook, there is no other place besides other social media sites where you have that many people.  You certainly can’t walk on to a street in New York City and promote your company in the same way that you can promote it on Facebook.  So it just makes sense that you should take advantage of this factor because you can be sure your competitors are taking advantage.  So if you want to compete, you have to be where the customers are and they are all on Facebook.

As has been illustrated, there are many advantages for being on Facebook to market your company.  Your website can get a higher search engine ranking and you can promote to a wider customer base due to the millions of people on the site.  Finally, Facebook is totally free so you don’t even have to put a penny out of your pocket for all the customers you come in contact with. Utilizing the power potential of social media can really help a business grow. If you are ready to take your social media marketing one step further you should really promote your business on all platforms including Twitter. This way you are taking advantage of all types of free marketing available. What is there to lose when all it takes is a little time investment? There are even programs that can help you market simultaneously to all platforms. The advantages of Facebook and other social media platforms are endless so there is no excuse for you to not be marketing through any of these platforms.

Do You Need More Followers on Instagram?

If you have been marketing your company on Instagram for some time now, and you have a base of loyal followers you may think that is enough work and now you can relax right?  Well, hold on just a minute, there may be some things that have limits but not followers on Instagram.  You can never have enough of them and you should never relax your marketing efforts.  The truth about social media is that when you start relaxing, you will lose followers and once they are gone, they do not come back.  So, do you need more followers on Instagram, yes and the following are some reasons why.

Boosting Your SEO Efforts

First and foremost, the main reason you are on any social media site is to boost your SEO efforts and to get you to a page on search engine result.  This enables you to drive more traffic to your website because it is a well known fact that people rarely go to a page two result when there are options on page one.  Page three and four are nearly unheard of so you want and need to have a page one ranking.  In order to do this, you need to keep building your list of Instagram followers even if you are comfortable where you are.  If you want, you can always buy Instagram followers through a third party website but the point is to keep increasing your list of followers organically for a real following. Social media signals are now such an important part of SEO that many businesses purchase them for all their social profiles. This means you can purchase Facebook likes as well as Twitter followers. This technique can make you seem more popular online but to build a lasting brand profile you really need to work on getting organic followers and likes who genuinely are interested in your business.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

You can never have too much traffic on your website as this is how you make your money.  The more followers you have on your Instagram page the more people will visit your website and the more money your company will make.  Nobody is comfortable with the income they have and you know you want to make more so why settle?  Keep working at getting more followers so you can increase your profits by having more traffic on your website.  You have to remember; only a percentage of the people who visit your website actually purchase anything.  The more people who visit it, the more chance at a sale you have.

The Domino Effect

One thing about humans is that they always want to be a part of something that is popular.  If they see that you have a lot of followers then they want to follow you too.  This is the domino effect and is has worked for as long as humans have walked the earth.  Basically, the more followers you have the more followers you’ll gain over time.  So keep following other people and keep trying to get as many followers on your page as possible.

So, if it has not been illustrated properly, the answer to the question, “Do I need more Instagram followers?” is a resounding yes!  You can never have enough followers and you can never have enough traffic on your website.  So keep posting those great photos that your followers like and keep pushing your SEO efforts to get your website to a page one ranking!

What Are Your Predictions for Internet Marketing in 2015?

With the holiday season approaching, now is a good time to look at how things have changed in internet marketing over the last twelve months. Has your strategy paid off? Are you seeing the results you expected? SEO and online marketing are fast moving industries, and to stay ahead of the game and beat your competitors you need to have your finger on the pulse when it comes to the marketing industry. By having an idea of how things are changing, you can grasp new techniques and implement them as part of your 2015 strategy. However, what are the experts saying these new trends are going to be in 2015?

Social Media Marketing in 2015

Social media is a big part of many business’ online marketing approaches, and this has been the case for several years now so it is nothing new to say it will continue to be big in 2015. However, there are two key areas in which change is anticipated.

For one thing, it is expected that businesses will rely less on the things they can do for free, like tweeting or updating their business Facebook page, and allocate more of their marketing spend to social media ads. Social media ads are becoming ever more effective at targeting the audience you want to reach as more and more personal data is held on these sites, so there is more of an incentive to use what is still a fairly cheap form of advertising. Additionally, as people tend to follow so many Twitter accounts and Facebook pages now, the chances of your message being seen by people are far higher with a well placed ad than endless tweets that cost you time.

The second point of change is in the diversity of the sites people will be using in their promotions. Where before, Twitter, Facebook, and possibly G+ and LinkedIn were all you needed for a strong social media campaign, now more niche platforms like Pintrest will start to really come into play.

Mobile Will Continue to Grow

A huge growth area in 2013 and 2014, mobile will keep getting bigger, with apps and interactive mobile services at the core of many people’s business offerings. We are also likely to see more and more responsive web design, as businesses strive to offer the best cross platform service.

Innovation in Commerce

Experts believe the lines between e-commerce and physical stores will blur in 2015, as businesses take advantage of mobile technology for promotional benefits. As an example, a physical shop could notify potential customers shopping near its vicinity of flash sales (for example huge discounts that only last for an hour or so), to get them to come inside. Online stores like Amazon have used this technique to bring in traffic and sales, but with mobile apps that show people’s locations, it is something physical businesses can adopt too.

2015 looks set to be another exciting year in online and digital marketing, and it will be interesting to see how these predictions play out!

Making a Business of Your Writing Skills

You’ve always loved to write, and you think you’ve got good skills, some creativity, and solid understanding of the various types of writing.  Now, you’ve decided to make a living doing it.  Good for you!  There is a great career in store for you as a freelance writer if you do it right, build your business with care, and commit to the responsibilities that it entails.

Getting Started – Take Anything!

A plumber, starting his own business, takes any job s/he can find, no matter how simple and no matter how small the payment may be.  You must begin the same way, finding and taking any writing task you can find.  There are a few things that you can do to be pro-active, however:

  1. Perform a Google search for freelance writing opportunities.  You will find a lot of writing clearinghouses that want you to pay a registration fee.  They will promise you the “moon,” but don’t believe it.  Find the sites that allow you to register and establish a basic profile.  Usually you will then be sent opportunities, upon which you may bid.  Do some research on typical pay for novice freelancers (usually a few cents per word) and bid accordingly.  Many people have begun this way and have developed rather permanent relationships with clients.
  2. Take the time to complete applications and take the examinations that many writing clearinghouse sites will require.  You need to have your name on as many of these sites as possible.  Some will publish writing opportunities daily, and you simply accept the ones you want and complete them with professionalism and according to the deadline.
  3. Check Craigslist regularly.  They have two categories for writing/editing, and you should apply for any opportunity for which you may be qualified.
  4. Over time, you will “pick up” writing opportunities by referral.  Always take the assignments offered, and be willing to put in long hours to meet any client’s deadline.  You can always sleep when the job is completed.  Many of your clients may be foreign – they don’t care about your time zone.  Work with theirs!

Train Yourself – Become More Marketable

Given the wide variety of web-based writing opportunities, you need to embark on an independent learning process.  Familiarize yourself with all of the current writing platforms and tools that online businesses and organizations use – for directory articles, for blogs, for site content, etc.  You cannot learn enough, and this learning must be on-going.  Are you familiar with WordPress and Tumblr? Do you know how social media can be utilized to promote businesses? Do you understand content marketing?  If not, you have a lot to do in between writing jobs!

Time Management – How Organized are You?

It is really enticing to think that you can just work in your PJ’s all day.  Think of the freedom and independence!  If you are not careful, however, it becomes too easy to turn on that television, to check your Facebook page, to retire for a nap, etc.  You cannot compromise your schedule for these things.  A few tips follow:

  1. Have a physical space set aside in your residence for your work – a space that has the “feel” of an office.  You need the psychological mindset of being “at work.”
  2. Set up a schedule that provides for work and for breaks.  Follow that schedule.  If you decide that you will take a break every two hours, stick to it!  And, if you experience downtime, without a writing task, take the time to do some research, enhance your skills, or seek out new business.
  3. Accept the fact that your schedule may be totally uprooted.  A client may have an urgent or rush order.  If that client is important to you, then you must meet the deadline, without exception.  You must be committed to long hours when necessary, even if it means cancelling social engagements.  This is the life of a small business owner!

Payment Options

Your clients may have a variety of methods of payment – check, automatic deposit, etc.  Whenever possible, choose PayPal.  The beauty of PayPal is that, at the end of each year, you can obtain a full detailed accounting of all that you have earned.

Income Reporting for Taxes

Keep careful records of payments, and plan to set aside the appropriate amount for income and payroll taxes.  But do not forget the multitude of deductions that are available to individuals who work out of their homes.  You need to research all of the tax law and regulations that relate to your situation or find a tax preparer that is really skilled in self-employment tax preparation.

A Final Word

Freelance writing can be wonderfully rewarding and can provide the variety that you so want.  If you are careful and steadily build your business, you can enjoy independence and an income that will sustain you quite well!

Bio: Eileen Archer is currently a chief editor at Essay Planet and has researched and written on a number of topics affecting secondary and university students. After obtaining a Masters in English language she decided to dedicate her time to creative writing as well as providing assistance to students.

How to Promote your Twitter Page

Twitter is one of the most popular networking sites used today and it’s a great way to market your company. You know it’s a big step in the right direction and you may be looking forward to getting started but if you’re like a lot of new Twitter users, you may not know exactly how to begin. Since Twitter is known for being the fastest way to share information, it has the potential to be a great marketing tool that you can surely benefit from and these tips can help you get started using this network.

After setting up your account, you want to promote your Twitter page. Let the world know that you do have an account and you want them to follow you. Use every means you have to get this message out so you can begin getting followers as soon as possible. The next step is to start tweeting.

Create Twitter Content

You probably know that Twitter has a limit on how many characters you can use in a tweet and at first that 140 characters can seem way too short to convey any information. The good news is that once you get used to it, you’ll love the fact that it’s so short. You’ll learn how to get straight to the point and that will actually help you in other areas of business. It won’t take long to learn how to write the perfect tweet.

The main things to remember is to choose good, interesting content that is relevant to your industry and that leaves a good impression on your company. Never tweet anything that could discredit your company because it can be difficult to undo the damage a bad tweet can cause. Some great content ideas include industry related news stories, special events and any other important information that can benefit your followers.

Buy Twitter followers & Engage In Conversation

If you want to build a strong online presence and grow your fan base quick, first you need to buy twitter followers as it will make you look more credible from the start. Then you must engage in conversation with your followers and others. Look for topics of interest that you have knowledge in and comment on what others tweet. You also want to retweet content and @reply to show that you found these tweets to be of interest. This will make your tweets more visible and before long, you’ll begin steadily growing your Twitter fan base.

Follow Others

Follow other accounts related to your industry. This is a great way to learn more about how to use Twitter for marketing purposes and you can pick up a few followers along the way. Just be careful who you choose to follow. You don’t want to follow anyone that could make you look bad, so do your research and find out about the person or company you want to follow in advance. If they have a good reputation, it can help you build a strong online presence.

Now that you’re off to a good start, all you need to do is continue to post tweets regularly and stay connected with your fans. If you go days at a time without checking in, people will begin to get bored with you and look for someone else to follow. Therefore, you need to make sure you take the time to check in everyday and show your Twitter fans that you do appreciate them.

5 Outside-the-Box Marketing Strategies on Social Media

Social media marketing is no longer a secret; practically all of your competitors are already on social media, and are actively using it as a platform to discover and convert leads. As a result, it’s more important than ever for your business’ social media marketing strategies to be outside-the-box, so you can stand apart from the masses of other businesses in your industry.

Some unconventional yet successful social media marketing strategies include:

Implement Call-to-Action Buttons

While browsing Facebook pages, you may notice professional-looking pages that have a button – which says something like “Learn More” – within a post. Considering that these buttons are not a very common sight, they certainly stand out in a good, professional-looking way. It’s possible for any Facebook page to include a button like this for free and implement it within a marketing strategy.

To start, head over to https://www.facebook.com/advertising and click on ‘Manage Your Ads’ in the top right. Then, alongside the options on the left, click on ‘Power Editor’ and then ‘Create Post’. In the post creation details box that follows – with information like URL, post text, etc. – you will see an option for “Call to Action” with “No Button” selected by default. There, select the button you’d like to use in a post; the options include Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now or Download.

After filling out the other info, click the ‘Create Post’ button and make sure to also check “This post will be published on the Page” to avoid paying ad fees; implementing a call-to-action button is free as long as that is checked. Now, schedule/publish your post and – voila – the call-to-action button will be there when the post appears.

Cater to Eccentricity and Humor

Most business social media accounts receive the occasional joke or eccentric comment from a follower. Savvy social media managers reply with lighthearted humor or eccentricity that has the potential to go viral, like when AMC Theatres replied to a tweet from Oreo that suggested to bring their cookies into a movie theater:

The AMC Theatres social media manager deserves props for this one. Their response is funny, humorous, and lighthearted — which projects a positive demeanor to potential customers, in addition to providing free exposure directed at anyone following Oreo’s Twitter account.

Avoid Pessimism at All Costs

Even some of the worst-ranking teams in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, remain positive on their social media account throughout the season and offseason, whether it means recapping highlights from the previous season or taking a look at promising new players. Never will you see a post along the lines of “What a disappointing year! We’re terrible!”

If a business encounters any type of pessimism from followers, it’s best to respond with optimism over pessimism. While over-exaggeration will come across as annoying to followers, it’s entirely possible to remain both realistic and optimistic in a variety of industries, whether it’s the NFL or baking industry. This will reinforce brand loyalty and help maintain interest among followers.

Form Facebook Groups

Posts on Facebook pages will only reach a very small percentage of followers, unless a business pays to boost posts. An alternative to this is to form a Facebook group, in addition to the page. By forming a Facebook group for your business, a higher percentage of users in the group will see content, as opposed to the miniscule single-digit percentage of Facebook pages. Organic reach is much more reliable with Facebook groups, which are often worth paying a few dollars to promote considering their potential for organic reach.

Experiment with Emerging Social Media Platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other big social media players don’t appear to be going anywhere, but that’s what many said about MySpace in the mid-2000s as well. Considering the capricious landscape, it’s always prudent for business to keep focused on the social media landscape. If there is a new social media platform with potential, then a business has little to lose by joining. At worst, you’ll expose your business to a few potential leads. At best, your business will become a face of the next major social media network.

By keeping outside-the-box social media marketing strategies like the five above in mind, businesses will stand apart from their competition on social media, which has continuously proven throughout the years to be an excellent source of leads if managed properly.

 

About the author: Mike Mineo is the Associate of Critical Content at Marqana Digital.  As an experienced tech writer, he joins Marqana’s team to knock out amazing content with record speed. Mike has a BA in Communications from Fordham University.

Content Marketing: Thinking in Stories

Today’s consumer demands access to insightful product and service information. Back in the day, it used to be that you could flash a commercial across the TV or display an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper. Let’s just say, that ship has sailed. Now, about 61 percent of consumers will more likely purchase goods or services from a business that creates their own unique content; not through standard ads. The best way to meet this need is by focusing on a content marketing strategy. Whether it’s through an active company blog, social media company profiles or gripping visuals, consumers need to be engaged and informed. Your story needs to be one that people want to hear. With content marketing, you get to convey your message to an unprecedented number of potential clients. What type of content are you currently publishing? Is it doing the job or are you just re-spinning previously published content?

Companies with active blogs will generate about 97 percent more leads. Also, unique content is the top third reason people follow brands on social media. Isn’t it time to get more leads, acquire new customers and increase your brand awareness through content marketing? It just takes some ingenuity.

http://buycalls.com/infographics/tell-your-story/