Monday, 30 December 2013

Online Marketing Articles Worth Reading #5

There are five key areas to consider as you’re marketing your business online, and I’ve selected from recent marketing articles to share the best one in each category with you:
  1. Blogging: We’ve all heard about the KISS method (“Keep it simple, stupid!”), and simplicity is indeed usually the best course to follow. Did you know that you can also keep things simple with your blogging? Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed with your blogging, check out these 7 ways to make blogging more complicated than it needs to be from Search Engine Journal – and avoid them!
  2. Content Marketing: “Your target market is not the same as anyone who could conceivably buy your product.” That’s my favorite line from this great post at the Content Marketing Institute. Some marketers and small business owners try to be all things to all people, and believe that anyone who could use their product or service is in their target market. Not true! Learn more about why you should focus on the niches for content marketing riches.
  3. Search Engine Optimization:  SEO can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The best SEO involves a few key areas: having a good technical foundation, good keywords, proper optimization on each page, great content, good use of social media, and back links to your site. In my post on search engine optimization tips you can use, I share five actionable tips in each of those areas that you can implement starting today.  
  4. Social Media: What are the best times to post on social media? Should you update your business Facebook page on weekends? Is it better to tweet in the morning or in the afternoon? These are important questions to answer if you want to use your time on social media effectively. This great infographic from shows you the best and worst times to post to social media.
  5. Websites: Your website should be helping you to meet your business goals. You know this. But how do you actually do it? Simple: you track what works and what doesn’t so that you can make adjustments as necessary. With your website, this means that you need to use Google Analytics. Small Biz Trends has provided a good tutorial on how to use Google Analytics to tell where your web traffic comes from
Were these marketing articles helpful or interesting for you? Let me know with a comment!

Monday, 16 December 2013

5 Social Media Predictions for 2014

One of my favorite things to do this time of year -- in addition to spending the holidays with friends and family -- is to look back on the year that was and also look ahead to what the New Year holds in store.
When it comes to the state of social media, the past year could be summed up in a few words: real-time marketing, content, video and mobile. In a space that's continuously changing and technology that's advancing quickly, it can be a challenge to know where you should be spending your social-media efforts.
Understanding what's ahead can help overcome these frustrations. Here are my top five predictions for where we're heading in social media in 2014:

1. Look for a shift toward visual storytelling through short-form video. 
On my Inside Social Media podcast, we talk a lot about telling the story of your business through social media. It started toward the end of this year, but a shift toward short, concise videos that tell a deeper story than pictures will only become more important in 2014.
Platforms like Twitter's Vine app and Instagram's 15-second video make it incredibly easy to create and share this short-form content so take the time to not only understand how to use these platforms but also how users consume content on them.
Related: How to Maximize LinkedIn for Your Business
2. Businesses will embrace the 'fandom.' 
I hadn't heard much of this term before I had Tom Fishman, MTV's vice president of content marketing and fan engagement, on the podcast. Fandom is essentially the sub-culture of raving fans that exist within your overall customer base. These are the fans that are going to do a lot of your marketing for you, the ones who will promote your brand to other people.
In the New Year, I think businesses will make a bigger effort to identify and embrace the fandom. Connecting with and giving these fans the tools to help them spread the word about your business will go a long way.
3. Google+ will continue to grow in size and importance. 
Google said that Google+ now has 300 million monthly active users. To put this in perspective, Facebook and Twitter have about 1.2 billion and 232 million monthly active users respectively. Not only has Google+ become a popular social platform but its integration with Google search results and Google Authorship makes it a no-brainer in 2014.
This means that being active on Google+, even a little bit, should improve the search engine optimization (SEO) for your business. Google+ is only going to become more mainstream in the New Year.
Related: 5 Steps to Beef Up Engagement on Twitter
4. There will be a bigger focus on context. 
We've all heard the cry that businesses need to focus on creating more content and that "content is king." And, for the most part, I think businesses have started to embrace content marketing. But for 2014, I think the need to put out more content will become less important, in favor of focusing on and creating content that's contextually relevant to the social channels you're using.
Brands should start asking themselves, "How are people using a particular social channel?" and "What makes a channel unique?" Then they will create contextually relevant content based on that insight.
5. More businesses will get into paid advertising.
I don't think it's a secret that your Facebook fans are seeing less and less of your content. The recent changes to Facebook's News Feed algorithm -- the one that decides what people see and don't see in their News Feed -- has further limited the reach of most organic posts.
With so many brands using Facebook to market their business, paid advertising will need to be a critical part of their social strategy if they want their content seen by more of their fans.
In addition, Twitter is beefing up its paid advertising options with products like the recently announced "tailored audiences." Look for more ad products from Twitter as it creates ways to make more money now that it's a public company. If you're serious about reaching your tribe on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, paid ads will need to be part of your plan in 2014.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Online Marketing Articles Worth Reading #4

 Every week I pull together the marketing articles that are really worth your time to read and share them with you to help you keep up with the latest tips and trends.

There are five key areas to consider as you’re marketing your business online, and I’ve selected from recent marketing articles to share the best one in each category with you:
  1. Blogging: When you’re blogging, it’s easy to overlook a simple but important step that you can take to optimize your posts. Interlinking your blog posts – linking from one of your posts to your other posts – is good for both users and search engines. It helps users to discover more content on your site, and it helps create more backlinks for the search engines. Learn more from Problogger about why interlinking your posts is a must.
  2. Content Marketing: Content marketing is critical for marketing online, yet it’s easier said than done. How do you know you’re developing the right content for your audience? How can you engage your audience through the content you develop? This Content Marketing Institute post can help you answer these questions by looking at the two criteria for great content.
  3. Search Engine Optimization:  SEO can be intimidating for small business owners. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. Search Engine Journal provides three tips for small businesses to achieve SEO success: build one quality backlink at a time, create content that serves your audience, and focus on the niches that your competitors have overlooked. Good tips!
  4. Social Media: Nobody likes people who lack good etiquette. Think about the last time you encountered someone who talked with their mouth full or neglected to say, “thank you” – not pleasant, right? Online, there are proper etiquette guidelines to follow as well. Hubspot has put together a handy marketer’s guide to social media etiquette that is worth checking out (my favorite is the one about not liking your own Facebook updates!).
  5. Websites: After you’ve done all the work to create a great website and start blogging, you need to make sure that your website is helping you to meet your business goals. An important part of this is involves moving website visitors into your sales funnel, often by making sure that you can keep in touch with them. Email newsletters are a great way to do this, and Business 2 Community provides five tips for building your email database
Were these marketing articles helpful or interesting for you? Let me know with a comment!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Online Marketing Articles Worth Reading #3

There are five key areas to consider as you’re marketing your business online, and I’ve selected from recent marketing articles to share the best one in each category with you:
  1. Blogging: Blog marketing is not easy. You need to consistently come up with good ideas and position your blog properly to attract attention in your niche. If your blog is rather lackluster, here are some tips on revitalizing your blog.
  2. Content Marketing: As more businesses embrace content marketing, it is becoming increasingly competitive. To be successful with this as a marketing strategy, you’ll need to implement practices to beat the competition.
  3. Search Engine Optimization:  Wouldn’t it be so simple if SEO was something that could be quickly checked off a list and be done with easily? However, the reality is that good SEO takes a long time.
  4. Social Media: One of the common challenges for marketers using social media is not getting burned out, especially when you spend all day on social media networks. If you can relate to this, then these tips can help you to avoid social media burnout.
  5. Websites: Yes, you know you need a website, but not just any website will help your business. Learn about the 8 must-have components of a great website.
Were these marketing articles helpful or interesting for you? Let me know with a comment!