5 Steps for Content Marketing Success

Content marketing is not something that businesses or advertisers should attempt to do without a plan. To be successful, a content marketing strategy needs to have all the right pieces in place, and it needs enough time to work. If you are considering launching yourself into the world of content marketing, here is a 5-step plan for success. [Read more…]

Is it Time for a Website Redesign?

No matter how great the words on your web pages are, if your web design is outdated or not optimized following current best practices, your visitors are not getting the experience they are looking for. That means that your bounce rate will start climbing and your conversions will stay low. If you are not sure if it is time for a complete redesign, see if any of these apply to you. [Read more…]

3 Reasons to Ditch that Personal Email Account

If you are using a free email account from providers like Gmail and Yahoo, you could be doing a disservice to your business—especially when it comes to email marketing. The situation is even worse if your address is overly personal (i.e. kittenlover2015). Here are 5 reasons why you need to invest in a more professional email image for your company.

1. Image is Everything

When customers do business with a company, they want some reassurance that they are working with an established organization. Those free email accounts do not exactly provide that layer of confidence that consumers are looking for.

For one thing, they are largely anonymous and disposable. Google does not seek to verify any of the information you provide and does not have any restrictions about having multiple accounts and closing them on a whim. They also look “cheap,” or like you do not want to invest a few bucks into getting a real address.

2. Stop Marketing for Yahoo

Every time you give out that Yahoo (or Gmail, or AOL) email address, you are doing a bit of free marketing for them. Trust me, they are doing just fine and do not need the extra help from you. Instead, give your own company and website a boost by promoting it from your email address.

When you share your address with an associate, or hand out a business card with it printed on the front, the recipient will then have the opportunity to go to your website and investigate you and your business further. There is no way for this to happen when you are using a free, generic account.

3. Fewer Spam Reports

Most email services will “trust” free email accounts less than professional ones. If you are sending messages to current and prospective clients, you could be winding up win the Spam folder instead of the Inbox. This is because those free accounts are not verifiable and, in most cases, email servicers will dump them into the junk box.

Keep it for Personal Messages

If you find that you are having trouble parting with a long-loved email address, it’s ok. You can still keep it for personal communication. In fact, most people prefer having a separate account for business matters so they never have to worry about mixing the two and accidentally forwarding that hilarious joke to that not-so-friendly client.

However, when it comes to your professional messages, it’s time to step up your game. If you already have a domain, Gmail for Work is a super simple way to get a professional-looking account with all the ease that Gmail provides. Plus, most website hosts offer webmail services or ways to connect clients like Outlook without requiring you to run your own Exchange server.

It’s so simple to do; there’s really no more excuses. Go fix it!

4 Factors of Content Marketing Success

By now, most companies and brands have heard about the success of content marketing, and they are ready to jump in. On the other hand, an unplanned content marketing strategy will not be much more helpful than skipping content altogether. Before you jump in with both feet, learn about what will make your strategy successful.

1. A Clear, Written Plan

A plan starts with a goal, so your first step is to figure out what you want your content marketing strategy to accomplish for your company. Then, figure out how to get to that goal using a blog, premium content, social media, and other promotional outlets. The more fleshed-out your plan is, the more likely it will be to succeed. This is because your entire organization will be able to understand the plan and how each individual can contribute to it.

2. Using Great Writers

Not everyone was born to be a writer and trying to fit a round peg into a square hole will only make everyone miserable and your content awful. If you have great writers within your organization, use them! However, do not try to force your creative team into creating 500 words of outstanding content every day if they are not that into it.

If you are struggling to get the writing done right, you can hire a full-time copywriter or make use of freelance writers who love to put together amazing blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, and other content for a variety of companies (hint, hint!). Or, if you have someone on your team who is a natural-born grammar nazi, see if you can put that to good use by having him or her become the editor for the stuff that’s created by everyone else.

3. Targeting Correctly

Getting your content in front of a huge audience sounds like a great idea, but only if that audience has some interest in your topic. When you are searching for promotional outlets for your content, you always want to start with the audience’s interests and not the popularity of the publication. It does no good to get a guest blog spot in the world’s biggest fishing blog if you are trying to educate people about business tax deductions.

The same goes for social media audiences. Instagram has amassed an impressive number of users, but they are also almost completely image based. I mean, you could try posting pics of your deductibles, but it probably won’t resonate well with the audience. Instead, you might try turning to LinkedIn or Twitter, and leave Instagram to the gardeners and fashionistas.

4. Measuring Results

Content marketing is more than just dumping words and images around the web. Measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns is an essential part of making sure you’re investing resources well. You also have to figure out which metrics to follow to make sure you’re meeting your goals. Getting a huge jump in website traffic is a great thing, but if it’s not leading to more conversions, then your overall strategy still needs work (assuming your goal is more conversions, of course).

Get Help in the Beginning

Getting a content marketing strategy off the ground can be an overwhelming task for even the most experienced marketers. Investing in a good strategist will help make your transition smooth and successful. It will also help you give your team the right tools so they can start leading more initiatives themselves instead of relying on outside help.

5 More Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing is such a great resource because the investment is so small, and the returns can potentially be huge. On the other hand, a poorly planned or executed email campaign will not only get lackluster results, but it can also lead to a lot of unsubscribes and wasted resources. If your current campaigns are not working as well as you hoped, see if you are making one of these critical mistakes. [Read more…]

5 Tools to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

The early stages of a content marketing campaign can be exciting and move along quickly. Then, after a few months go by, you start to run out of blog topic ideas and your social media marketing efforts get a bit stale. The bad news is that new and fresh ideas and perspectives are the keys to content marketing success. The good news is that these slumps happen to everyone! Here are 5 tools to help you beat your slump and boost your content marketing efforts. [Read more…]

Breaking Through the B2B Armor

Reaching a B2B, or business-to-business, audience takes a bit of extra attention. In this space, you are often competing with a lot of other companies for the time and attention of your audience. At the same time, your audience consists of people who are working, so they do not have a lot of time for distractions. Here’s what you need to know to break through and get the attention of B2B audiences. [Read more…]

Hitting the Right Notes for Your B2C Audience

Now that you know the difference between the B2C and the B2B audiences, let’s take a look at how to best reach each type. Keep in mind that one person can be a part of both audiences so you are not exactly targeting different people. Instead, you are trying to tailor your content so that it meets that person’s needs in the role they are currently playing. First up is the B2C audience, or direct consumers while they are not at work. [Read more…]