Category Archives for Content Marketing

8 Reasons Why Press Releases Are Worth the Time and Effort

One of the oldest marketing ploys around is the old-fashioned press release. But, do they still work? The short answer is that if you have a newsworthy reason to issue a press release, then by all means you should do it. Press releases still have great value for many reasons. They still get results, although not always the types of result you might expect.

Low Cost

Press releases are still relatively low-cost ways to get the word out about a new product, service, or event. This is true whether you do it yourself or hire a service to do it for you. If you are choosy about when you send a press release as well as to whom it is sent, the cost will be a lot less than other forms of advertising.

Improves SEO

Today, one of the biggest benefits of a press release lies in the SEO value. Google Search still places a press release at high value in term of content. This is mostly because scammers don’t typically spend a lot of time, money and effort on producing press releases, so if your business does then you must be legitimate.

Potential for Wider Exposure

Even when you target your press releases they can be picked up by others, and often are if they fit a news story someone wants to tell. Therefore, you have a large potential to reach so many more people than via normal advertising methods.

Becomes Part of the Record

Press releases, especially delivered online, become part of the record and can be found long after the opening, product launch or other newsworthy event. In this way, someone who is looking can find a record of your business.

Establishes Expertise

The record and combination of releases will help establish you and your business as experts in your niche. They help get your name or the name of your business associated with a professional business.

Enhances Credibility

People who don’t take their business seriously don’t send press releases. So by sending them out you are establishing that you’re a serious contender and business entity, which will give you credibility with your audience.

Improves Branding

Any way that you can regularly get the word out about what your business is doing, through blogs, articles, and press releases, will improve your brand’s image, especially if you make it part of your normal marketing efforts.

Viral Potential

Every press release you send out has the potential of going viral if you send it to the right people at the right time. Be sure to not only send them out, but also to share the online version on your blog, website, and via social media accounts to help the process.

You should send out a press release any time you open a new business, add a new product or service, or have anything that is newsworthy to report about your business to the world. In addition, it’s imperative that you learn how to target where your press releases go so that they get in the hands of the right people.

Eight Ways to Use a Book to Market Your Business

Marketing your business with a book is a great way to prove your knowledge and develop some credibility within your niche. The act of publishing a book sets you up with expert status almost automatically. Of course, the book needs to be good too, but the idea is that the book is not the main product. The book is just a way to market the main product which is you, or your business.

Sell It Inexpensively on Kindle

You can give it away by signing the book up exclusively on Kindle, and then allow it to be given away. Alternatively you can sell it for $2.99 or even more. It's up to you. If the book is good, and you want to make money off it, it doesn't exclude you from using the book as a marketing tool. This only works if you also include links and information about your website and other information inside the book.

Collect Leads by Giving It Away

As mentioned above, you can give it away on Kindle. You can also give it away as lead bait or incentive to your customer to sign up for your email list. Still include links in your book because your audience will want to buy what you suggest, and come back to your website if they know where it is.

Use It to Get Speaking Opportunities

A book's topic is a great platform to get speaking engagements. When you're a published author, people will want to know what you know, and speaking is a great way to market your business.

Publicity through Authorship

Just becoming a published author carries some clout. And, don't let anyone tell you that self-publishing is "less than" any other type of publishing. Self-publishing is actually more lucrative today than finding a publisher unless you are already famous and want to outsource some aspects. Publishers will not do much to help someone who is not already known; therefore you may as well self-publish and use the proof of your knowledge (your book) to market your business.

Viral Marketing Campaigns

An eBook can be a great way to "go viral" if you know how to promote it. Use social media, book trailers, and excerpts of the book to market on social media to get the word out about the book and your business at the same time.

Create a Book Trailer Video

A great way to both market your book and your business is to use the book to make a book trailer video to post on YouTube. This video can then be posted on your website and social media networks as a way to promote the book and also your business.

Put Links inside Your EBook

This is the most important thing outside of marketing your eBook. Ensure that you include links inside your eBook because this is how the people who buy or download your eBook (or even if they steal it) will give you business from it.

Promote It on Social Media

Don't forget to market your business and book on social media using all means available, such as infographics, the book trailer, memes and infographics.

Using a book to market your business is an excellent idea. It's something that's been done long before online marketing. A book can be a great calling card for your business with proof of your expertise.

Content Syndication – How to Do It Right

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ne way to increase your reach with your content is through content syndication. Content syndication licenses your content, or parts of your content, to be published on other platforms and can help lead new audiences to your website or blog. Content syndication can help you build a larger fan base, bring more publicity, improve SEO, and allow for more widespread sharing of your content on social media.

Choose the Right Syndication Partner

Syndication isn’t about duplicate content; it’s about forming a relationship with a partner that will help push your content out to their audience while providing a link back to your website, giving you more credibility and perhaps also putting you inside an advertising network of sites so that you can share revenue. Some examples of sites that do this well are SheKnows.com, StyleList.com, BlogHer.com and WomensForum.com.

Know Your Niche

Part of choosing the right syndication partner is to understand who your audience is, and what your niche is. If you have a technology blog, you don’t want to syndicate on a food network and vice versa. Ensure that you choose a popular, legitimate, and well-run network so that it will pay off for you in terms of increased traffic and revenue.

Syndication Networks Legitimize Your Content

There are syndication partners in every niche that accept applications for participation in their network. One popular one is outbrain.com. Outbrain is focused on finding great content for their audience. It revolves around using the content on your site to recommend other content to your audience that resides on your site and other people’s sites, depending on which plan you choose. When you sign up you put the code on your site, as others have it on theirs, and you each have an equal opportunity of recommending the others’ content.

Syndication Offers Monetization Opportunities

As you can tell if you’ve looked at some of the recommendations, these syndication sites are advertising networks. While recommending your content to others and sending them deeper into your site, you will also share in ad revenue that the network sells based on having thousands of smaller sites banded together. This makes advertising sales more lucrative for even the small publisher.

Build Your Traffic Up First

To syndicate your content, work hard to build up your traffic. The more traffic you have, the more leverage you will have with the networks you apply to. In the syndication game, traffic is currency.

Know Your Syndication Goals

Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to provide education? Know your goals so that you can choose the right network that will help you reach those goals.

Work on Your Content Strategy

To be accepted by legitimate syndication networks your content needs to address your audience, be honest, not be spam, and look professional. Professional content has compelling headlines and benefits for the reader whether they choose to sign up for your list and buy from you or not.

Understand the Different Types of Syndication

There are free and paid syndication. An example of free content syndication is SlideShare.net. Then there are advertisement-supported networks as mentioned earlier. Finally there are licensed syndication networks like Outbrain.

Once you have worked out these issues and understand your goals, you can work on your syndication strategy. Before joining any network, read all the fine print. You want to ensure that you never break the rules or contracts to make the most of a syndication network.

Are You Leveraging the Right Resources to Grow Your Business?

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arketing your business with online content is the ultimate way to bring traffic to your website. You can use articles, newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, FAQs and more to help bring traffic, but there are ways to do it so that you can grow your business the right way. Having a lot of followers isn’t indicative of success. Earning money is. So, if you want to grow your business you have to know which resources to leverage.

Content Is Still King

Everything revolves around content. Content is needed for every aspect of your business. If you create information products you need even more content. However, even if you sell other types of product or service you still need a lot of content in order to educate, engage, and encourage your connections to buy from you.

Forms of Content

There are many different forms of content that you can use, such as blog posts on your website, guest posts and articles on other websites, inside print publications and online newsletters. Content can be text, audio or visual in nature. Having a combination of different forms of content will ensure that you reach more of your audience.

Have a Plan of Action

The other key to ensuring that you are leveraging the right resources is to have a plan of action. Don’t just create or have content created without a point of view, voice, and the goals for the content in mind.

Create a Publication Calendar

When you know what content you want to create, it’s important to spell it out in a calendar so that you will do first things first. For instance, if you are launching a new product in three months, you can start whetting the appetite of your list now.

The Email List Is the Most Important

They say the money is in the list, and that’s as true today as it was five years ago. Social media marketing hasn’t replaced email marketing; it has created another way to lead people to your email lists. Leverage your social media to build your list.

Develop Incentives to Collect More Email Addresses

The point of your blog posts, social media updates, and even webinars is to collect information from your target audience so that you can market to them within your email lists. Host webinars, ask for sign-ups on social media, and incentivize lists with free give-aways or low-cost entry products and services.

All Content Should Work Together

Starting with the product, service or event that you want to promote, work your way back to today to decide the different types of content that you will use to get more email subscribers to whom you can market and promote your wares. Decide what type of content they need to become educated and informed about your products and services so that they will purchase.

Consider Drawing a Workflow

Looking at how all your content works together to bring in buyers as well as encourage the purchase, may help you identify gaps in your content needs. Your content workflow might look like this: Email Subscription Bait > 7-Day ECourse > Webinar > Short Report > Long Report > EBook > Coaching > etc… Seeing it written out should help you decide what you need.

By knowing what your goals are for the content that you create, you’ll be able to use it more efficiently to grow your business far beyond what you thought possible.

Common Online Marketing Mistakes

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hen it comes to online marketing, everyone starts off thinking they know how to do it. But, the truth is, online marketing is not very different from other types of marketing. The tool is different, but the way you go about it really isn’t. You still need to understand who your audience is, what your product or service is, and know how to explain to your audience why it will solve their problems and why you are the one to offer it.

The following mistakes can lead to problems with getting more business.

Not Sticking to One Brand

Don't try to be someone different online than you are offline. Don't try to recreate your brand for every social media network. Keep the same brand image, slightly changed up for each network's platform and features, but keeping the same colors, values, and ideals as you have on your website. You want your customers to know who you are, no matter where they connect with you.

Not Watching Your Competitors

You don't want to copy your competitors, but watching them will help you stay one step ahead of them. It might even alert you to some cosmic change in the marketplace if you are paying attention. Be aware of what type of products and/or services your competition provides and be ready to do them one better.

Not Having a Goal

It's imperative that for each type of marketing you do, you have a goal in mind. Whether it's content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, or social media marketing, having a goal to reach will help you know whether or not you've accomplished your mission. Plus it will help you know how to move forward.

Not Having a Domain Name

Not only should you have a domain name, but you should also have an email @yourdomainname if you want to be taken seriously as a business owner. You can easily set up your own email address with your webhost provider, sometimes at no additional charge.

Not Having Diverse and Regular Content

It's no longer enough to simply put up 500-word blog posts and expect to get a loyal following. Today you need longer blog posts, video, podcasts, infographics, memes and more to ensure that you are reaching all parts of your audience. Everyone learns differently, and it's your job to educate them in the way they learn best.

Not Having an Email List

It's surprising how many business owners there are who don't realize the importance of building an email list for successful online marketing. But it's true; some people don't build an email list, and they should.

Not Having Well-Written Content

You can't just slap anything up and expect it to be successful when it comes to content marketing. You need original, unique content that speaks directly to your audience. In addition, you need curated content from other experts which you comment on.

Not Focusing on Benefits over Features

It's tempting to discuss all the features of your product or service instead of the benefits. All marketing messages, even on your "about us" page, need to be focused on your client and how your products or services benefit them. That can be difficult to wrap your brain around sometimes, but it is imperative in order to get more conversions.

Don't make these mistakes with your online marketing. If you really want to be successful at online marketing, learn from those who have gone before you, and do not try to reinvent the wheel.

Eight Reasons Press Releases Still Works

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ress releases are highly underrated these days. Whether you have a digital business or a bricks and mortar business, you should still be sending out press releases for each newsworthy event that your business participates in. New products, new services, events, and anything that your business does or accomplishes that is important to the industry should include a press release. Here are eight reasons why.

Provides Links to Your Website

Even though there is controversy about whether or not press releases are good for SEO due to Google's algorithm change that doesn't count them anymore, the truth is they are still good for SEO in terms of providing links to your site that people will click on.

A Permanent Record of Events

They are great for keeping a permanent record of events in your business. If you file them away, you can use them later to document the progress of your business.

Unfiltered Information

A press release, due to how it's written (with guidelines and the specific newsworthy story), has truly unfiltered information without the fluff. Therefore, if your release is picked up, it will mean something to the readers.

Attracts New Audiences

Blogging and social media posts are great ways to get people to visit your website, but a press release can attract entirely new people within your audience to come to your website.

Improves Your Brand Image

Real businesses send out press releases. If you want your business to be taken seriously, you should be sending them out when you release a new product, plan an event, or do something that is newsworthy in your industry.

Potential to Go Viral

Any well-written press release that you've sent out that has something to do with current events will have an opportunity to become viral. Once something like that goes viral, you'd better be prepared for the onslaught of visitors.

Great Additional Content on Your Website

When your press release is picked up by major press, link to that website with the press release on it. This is a great way to get information "as seen on" to impress your website visitors. This gives you additional content to talk about when you post your press releases.

Gives You Proper Bragging Rights

When your press release is picked up by a major news source, it's great to be able to put their logos on your website due to the fact that you've been seen in their publications.

If you don't think press releases work, then you need to give them a try. The next time you have a newsworthy event, experiment with sending out a press release. It's important that you follow advice and get some professional help with sending them out, though. Also, don't just send them in a way that they go everyplace; find out whom to send them to in advance and send them directly to the right people.

9 Tips on How to Save Money on Content

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very business today needs online content to help market and promote the business. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a plan for your content based on the products and services that you offer. Once you set up an editorial calendar it will help you come up with content on a regular basis. There are several ways that you can save money on content.

Hire a Writer

That might sound like you're spending and not saving, but a good content writer can be a life saver. If it takes you an hour to write one blog post, and you could earn more doing other work during that hour, it only makes sense to let a writer do it for you.

Buy and Use PLR

Private label rights articles are very useful to use and very inexpensive. If you choose well, you can use PLR for a lot of your content. When you use PLR it's important to update it and change it around to make it your own first, but that will take minutes to do.

Write It Yourself

If you think you can't write, you're wrong. If you know a topic well, you can write about it. Just write how you talk, and act like you're just telling someone who would be interested the information. In fact, using voice to text on your computer might help you.

Repurpose What You Have

Every piece of content you create can be used again; you will just need to change it up a little bit to use it in other places. You can use a blog post in a newsletter, compile them together into a book and more.

Refresh and Update What You Have

This is a little different than repurposing in that you will take older content that has what is now wrong advice, due to changing technology and so forth. Updating it will make it new again.

Curate Content

In addition to your own content it's important to tell your audience about other people's content by curating content. The way that works is that you find excellent content that would be of interest to your audience, write a short blurb about it, add in your thoughts and link to the content.

Make the Most of the Content You Have

When you already have content, you can make the most of it. Turn a blog post into a video. Turn a data-centric blog post into an infographic, turn several newsletters into an eBook - if you keep a plan in place it will see as if the content you have multiplies.

Mix It Up

As mentioned, creating different types and forms of content is really a great way to expand how much content you have. A newsletter becomes an eBook; a blog post becomes a video and so forth. Use many types of content to keep your audience's interest.

Promote Your Content

Promote each and every piece of content that you spend time creating. If you aren't willing to promote it, then it's probably not that good.

Creating content is one of the best ways to market your business inexpensively. Saving money on the content that you create is essential because you need so much to stay in the game today. But, it doesn't have to break the bank to be effective.

Tracking Your Niche Marketing Success

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here is a lot more to tracking your niche marketing success than tracking your net income. In fact, it’s imperative if your want to improve your income that you track metrics outside of income. It’s the one way that you have to improve your marketing efforts exponentially. If you know where you are, you can figure out ways to get where you want to go.

Set up a system that enables you to track various metrics. It will work better if you have a good schedule. Calendar it in, because if you don’t schedule in the paperwork it won’t get done. If this seems hard, consider whether or not it’s so much easier to just keep shooting in the dark, wasting time, and waiting for money to come into your PayPal account randomly, or if you want to build a real business that endures over time.

If you want to build a real business, you need to track metrics, and then adjust according to the results. Your best bet is to use a spreadsheet of some kind to input results that you track on a weekly basis, so that you can spot trends in what’s working or not working over time. It will help you do better in all your niche marketing. You’ll be able to do more of what’s working, less of what’s not, and troubleshoot and find solutions to issues.

Traffic Acquisition

Knowing when and from where you are getting traffic to all of your online real estate, and even direct contact such as phone calls, is an important part of tracking your niche marketing success. How many new people are you getting each week, how many are returning and why?

Email List Sign-Ups

You should look at why people sign up for your various email lists so that you can do more of what works to get more sign-ups. How many new sign-ups are you getting each week from each possible place?

Email List Engagement

While getting email lists sign-ups is important, what’s more important is whether or not those who sign up actually engage with you, answer your CTAs and buy from you.

Social Media Connections

How many new social media connections are you acquiring each week from each place where you are active? If you’re not going to track one place, and stay active on it, don’t bother to set up the account.

Social Media Engagement

You can have a million followers on social media but if there is no engagement, what worth is it? Interacting with your social media followers is an important part of making social media work. What percentage of your followers and connections are engaging?

Article/Guest Blog Post Submissions

Track where you put guest blog posts and guest articles, as well as the response you get from them. It’s the only way that you can determine if your efforts are working.

Blog Traffic

How is your blog traffic? Is it going up each week? What type of blog posts seem to work best to bring in traffic?

Blog Engagement

What percentage of your blog traffic comments on your blog posts or answers the call to action that you included?

Webinars and Teleseminars

If you choose to have webinars or teleseminars, it’s imperative that you track many elements such as where your audience came from, whether they attend after signing up, and if they answer your CTA.

Keyword Results

Which keywords are drawing the most traffic that converts to a sale or an action on the part of the visitor?

CTA Conversion Rate

Every piece of content that you send out, whether it’s on social media, a blog post, a guest article or an email, you need to have a call to action of some kind. It doesn’t always need to be “buy me” but whatever it is, you should track it.

Tracking all these metrics will help you increase your niche marketing success in a big way. The information that you collect can be used to improve each effort. It might even be used to discontinue something you’re doing that’s not working. Use systems like Google Analytics, and the metrics that social media networks and email autoresponders offer within their system, to track your metrics.

Eight Tips for a Successful Webinar

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ebinars provide a way for you to work with your audience on a more personal basis. You can use them to build your email list, and to make connections with new people. There is also a wide range of technology that you can use to run your webinars. Having a successful webinar is dependent on just a few things.

Determine Your Goals for the Webinar

Do you want to build your list, teach something new, promote a product or something else entirely? Write down what your goal is for your webinar in one sentence. It's best to have one main goal for each webinar.

Define Your Audience and Topic

Next you need to define your audience. Who are they? What are their desires, fears and needs? Once you understand that, you'll have an easier time choosing a topic or creating a product on which to base your webinar.

Choose the Technology You Like

It's imperative that you test out different forms of technology to find out which will work best for you. Everyone needs and wants different systems and features for their webinar software. Some people may want technology that allows for screen sharing, or offers people the ability to phone in.

Set Deadlines

Once you know the goals, audience, topic and the technology you want to use, set a date for your webinar. Using that date, work your way backwards, creating tasks to do in your calendar that must be done. Note what has to be done and who is going to do it. Outsource the things that you know someone else will do as soon as possible.

Plan Ahead

Using the deadlines, make your plans ahead of time so that you can work through each thing that needs to be done before the webinar date. This planning will be useful to help you pull off the webinar without too much added stress. If everything is broken up into little pieces ahead of time, it'll be simple.

Form Joint Ventures

One of the reasons that you want to do webinars is to help build your email list, and the best way to do that is to share resources with other people. Joint ventures are short-term partnerships that end after one specific project. Join up with people who have good email lists who market to your audience.

Give Them a Taste

Having a sneak peak shorty webinar is a great way to whet the appetite of your audience. For example, if you're having twenty speakers at your week-long webinar, throw out a quick 15-minute webinar in advance of the big webinar to help the visitors get used to the technology.

Hire Expert Help

There are virtual assistants who specialize in helping host webinars. They can do everything from finding your guests, to acting as moderator during the actual event. It can be a great way to break into webinars to have someone who handles all aspects of it other than doing your presentation or interviewing guests.

Following these tips will help you have a successful webinar the first time, and every time thereafter. Webinars can take your business to the next level. People love in-person events, and a webinar is about as close as you can get to having an in-person event without actually having one. It's the best of all words.

Is SMS Marketing Right for Your Audience?

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hen embarking on any kind of marketing, the first thing you need to determine is if that method of marketing is right for your audience. If it is right, then you’ll need to determine how to get started testing your assumptions to ensure that your marketing campaign will work. SMS marketing is used by a variety of different types of businesses and in many industries successfully.

Many business use SMS marketing very successfully, including:

  • Retailers
  • Restaurants
  • Salons
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    Grocery Stores
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    Bars
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    Bakeries
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    Bowling Alleys
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    Coffee Shops
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    Juice Bars
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    Wine Bars
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    Food Trucks

These types of businesses have been using SMS marketing with a lot of good results; they collect a customer's information at the door or at checkout, and then remarket to them after the fact. But this requires that the customer is already a customer more than other forms of marketing. You can incorporate QR codes and discount codes to get your customer to come back to your place and spend more money by using this form of marketing.

Many non-business entities also use SMS marketing successfully:

  • Politicians
  • Churches
  • Youth Groups
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    Fundraising Groups
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    Non-Profits

These types of entities don’t always have a typical store front, but SMS marketing works very well for them too. The target either signed up at the store or online to receive the information via text message, and it works. Charities use SMS especially well because they’ve embraced the idea that the user is just waiting for the message, and for the ability to act upon a call to action.

SMS marketing can also be used creatively during events such as conferences, either online or offline. If everyone at the event gives their mobile numbers, then messages can be sent and shared via SMS at different points during the event to get attendees or those who signed up but aren’t attending to act on calls to action.

But, while all these businesses use SMS successfully, how do you know if your business will succeed with SMS? One way to find out is to poll your audience. If you have customers already who are on your email lists, or who purchase from you, ask for the additional information of a mobile number and permission to send SMS messages. Then using that information, conduct simple tests to see what kind of results you get from the effort.

Remember marketing is about testing a hypothesis. If you believe that SMS marketing may work for your audience, research your audience, send polls and ask them if they’d like to get your information via SMS. Then you can know for sure. But, if you have any type of business as mentioned above, SMS has been proved to work for them already. You just need to get people to sign up, and follow through with a marketing plan.

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