Archive | October 2014

Your Most Important Community – it doesn’t change.

GlobeWe speak a lot about ensuring that your all of your communities are aware of your company existence: To continue to look for new niches in which to market your company content, and that everyone in that community is aware of what you are doing, for whom, and why. A good example of this are your professional communities; those organisations that you are part of. You can get great traction from written content to people that are in the same business as you, and welcome hearing what you are going through. Is this letting ‘the competition’ know about your secrets? No, everyone that is in your business is struggling just like you. They would welcome hearing about changes that you have made in your business, and would pass your words over to others, if it is well written, engaging, and useful. By starting with the website of your professional organisation, you can be guaranteed to gain an audience for your marketing, and spread from there.The same can be said for your existing customers. Those that have bought from you in the past, and are happy to hear about what you can offer them next, as you cement your relationship. Likewise, your prospects: These people or companies have been interested in your service before. Just because they didn’t buy then, doesn’t mean they are not interested forever. This is a great way to continue your marketing to them at a low cost in finances and time. But which Community is it most important to advertise to? It’s your geographic location (Or the location where you make your sales.). it has never changed, your sales neighbourhood is the best place to ensure that you are talking to. This has never changed, so make sure that you are covering this area regularly with useful, well-written, and engaging content that reminds them of who you are, and what you do for them – be a good neighbour!

With that in mind, let’s point out some simple things you can do to ensure that this most important community is being broadcast to: The handful of tasks that you can do once that ensures maximum coverage:

Ensure that your physical location is noted in as many possible places your community is mentioned. Perform several Google searches on your city name, it’s geographical location, it’s events, and any other place that it is being broadcast. Be creative, and get your physical address in front of some eyes. Combine these searches with your existing customer base, or your projected perfect customer base, and see who is in that community and why.

Simplify your business. Make sure that you don’t become too creative with what you actually do. Be one thing, and be the best at it. Ensure that if there are any trade notifications, or codes that Government and other communities tag your business with are identical. Streamline this, and everyone coming to you will know exactly what you do.

Get an individual owner-verified Local Plus page. Google is still the boss, so ensure that any time that you are mentioned on it, it leads to the one comprehensive page on a google platform that is 100% correct. If your Local plus page is correct, Google knows exactly who and where you are. All other online paths that Google leads to, leads to this, and the spin-offs through the Google network multiply exponentially with the exactly correct information. It shows that you are real, close by, are proud to market your service, are full of real people, and can help others. People will already trust you, and this could lead to a sales lead.

Only use a handful of keywords. Don’t repeat them too much (Keyword Stuffing), and don’t use your company title. You are a (type of Business) in, or for, (Geographical location). You can use semantic terms to vary them slightly, but don’t try to cheat your way to more keywords. Everyone likes the statement: “Hi, I’m…..” as an introduction. No-one appreciates “Hi, I can help you with your….”, and excessive keywords send this message. Aim to be more creative, not adding business streams to your base.

Your local community is, literally, where you live. By using intelligent marketing techniques along easily recognisable avenues, you can show the most important community that you have exactly who you are. The results will be immediate and welcome.

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Content Marketing, Semantic search, and other easy things to do online

hand-pressing-icon-10077915Another week and another ‘new’ online marketing task to learn: I know that things can get very confusing very quickly when you are new to online marketing. Sometimes, it’s enough to say simply: “I don’t have enough time to learn this.”, and give up. Without trying to add more details to your busy day, I believe that these two terms will be spoken about a lot in the near future, so they are worth explaining. It will help your business marketing, they work together, and they are easier to grasp than you may think. So give me five minutes, and we will see if you have an ‘Eureka’ moment.
Semantic Search, is the future of the Internet. At the moment, to attach two websites to each other, you link the two sites through information and content on your two sites. The more links you have that are trustworthy sites, and don’t peddle simply spam, then the better (more expert) your site becomes. In the very near future, all of the data that you as a person, you as a business owner, all of your business information holds can soon be looked at by ‘the ‘net’ as bits of information about you. This will also include all of those people that you are connected to. The current example is Pizza.

Perform a search on this in the morning, and you will get informational links. Perform the same search during the evening, and you will get different results: Those that show actual purchasing decisions, like delivery, special offers, and closest to you. Why? Because Google knows that if you are searching at this time of day, you are probably looking for something to eat.
Semantics can mean, simply, ‘like’, or ‘alike’. Google makes decisions based on all of the information that it knows about you to make that search as immediate as possible. The information you put online had better bear this in mind to ensure that you have the right information going to the right people at the right time.
Content Management simply means how you lay out the information you want to put out to your communities. What do they have in common with the sites you have linked, with the time of year, with the e-mail marketing you are doing. It is ensuring all of the marketing you are doing for your business is not only correct, it is aimed at your communities, based on what they will be searching for, not just what you want to promote about your company.
These two guidelines should be the basis of what you are trying to market, and make it easier for you to aim your correct message to the people you want to receive that message. So, how can you plan with this in mind? Simply approach it the same way you do with any other business decisions:
• Plan: Create a strategic structure for your content marketing: Look at the communities you are aiming your message at. What has worked before, what do they want to hear, and what do you need them to know?
• Team: This may be just you, but do others have some input into your businesses daily operations that have information that you need to add. Can they be added to the marketing loop, and how. What information are they supplying, and is anyone else in the corporation doing?
• Ideas: Generate a steady flow of ideas for your all of your blog posts, e-mails, social media posts and comments. A weekly meeting, or solo brainstorming session may be all that is required, if everyone comes prepared to expand on those ideas that are already doing well online.
• Production and Distribution: Put a marketing diary together that shows what message is going to whom, and when. Stick to it for a few cycles to note what changes take place to your audience figures, and to put natural spikes and valleys in their correct perspective.
• Audience Development: Who is reading, or accepting your message. Which community do they fit into, and do these communities change over a period of time. Do they grow? Do they splinter? Are you, actually, marketing to the communities that you thought you were. Are you aiming at the right communities?
• Convert & Nurture: How do your ‘touches’ with people grow? Do you have definite steps from introduction to purchase, and – if so – are they all following the plan? Where do you lose their interest, and why? Tweak the plan to take this into account.
• Measure & Optimize: Once tweaked, can the message be repeated? Are there more things to do with a more current marketplace? Ensure that your delivery vehicle (Signpost, website, written collateral) reflect these changes.
Most new additions to marketing – especially on the ‘net – are buzzwords based on age-old marketing foundations: Do you know your customers, how to grow that number and turn prospects into customers, and then keep them with you forever, always spending more. All the tools you need to do this are given to you, just plan to ensure you know what is about to happen.