Sierpień 2010


    Trouble Losing Readers? Trim the Fat from Your Blog Content

    One of the most important aspects of your content marketing strategy is going to be the content.  We often talk about the merits of strong, enganging content that helps you connect to the reader but there are many pieces of the puzzle that go into developing a relationship with a customer.  Unfortunately connection is never as simple as plugging something in.
    When you want people to stick around and read your content, you have to make sure that the content you’re offering is valuable.  Even then, you need to make sure that the content is readable.  Not from a grammatical standpoint (though that’s important) but also from a time and attention span standpoint.
    What I’m trying to get at… is that you need to stop with the 1000+ word blog posts.
    It’s great if you have enough expert authority and experience to produce that much relevant content in a blog post but you’re handling it wrong when you try to pack that much information into a single blog post.  You’re also wasting an opportunity to create a string or series that could keep people coming back to your blog over the course of a few days or weeks.
    Is any informational or educational blog post so important that you absolutely have to get it online (and all of it) right this second?  What are the benefits of that vs breaking the topic up?
    The average person online reads at an 8-9th grade reading level with an attention span that runs about 500 words (some more, some less).  Granted the content could dictate whether or not you can go longer (funny, great info, riveting, etc) that doesn’t apply to all content and you shouldn’t assume that you can run on and on… and on.
    Write from a position of Brevity, and consider that if you’re trying to teach within your content that it doesn’t need to be as thorough as a textbook.  Only enough so to get the point across.
    Don’t bore your readers into submission – write brief, powerful content that will give you the upper hand during the connection and engagement process.
    One of the latest articles from social media examiner is a good example.  While the article is great, much like the rest of the content on their site, there is a lot of benefit to be had from trimming posts down.  Not that they necessarily half to trim the example down, but if all of your posts run that length then you should consider the benefits of breaking the content up, trimming the fat and making it easier for all the members of your target audience to benefit from your content marketing – not just the ones with a lot of stamina.


    Is Your Business Hiding In Plain Sight?

    I’m trying to figure out why so many organizations, individual marketers and businesses that boast an online presence make it so very difficult to get in touch and contact them.
    Across my medium of business interests and places where I hang my hat I don’t try to hide – it’s actually quite the opposite.  I believe that people should be able to contact me, and I want them to.  It’s just good business.  That’s why I share my business contact information where I’m able to do, and that’s why I have a social media iPhone widget that throws out all the places where people can network with me.  It’s all right there in one spot.
    If that’s not enough, there’s always the comment section.  The important thing is that you don’t have to click through dozens of pages just to get a single point of reference that gives out an obscure 800 number that may or may not lead you to a dead end automated electronic number.
    There are a lot of bloggers and plenty of businesses online that don’t offer a clue as to how someone can get a hold of them; call, write, whatever.  Nothing.  Not even snail mail.  When I see that, I often get the feeling that these individuals are operating from home and they’re just ashamed and trying to hide the fact.  Either that or they’re terrified someone is going to come and “get them”.
    Perhaps they’re just a small operation and they’re trying to give the impression otherwise.  I don’t know why.  There are a thousand and one assumptions and no one theory applies to all.
    For any company that is trying to step into the age of transparency with social media marketing, where they’re striving for a better and stronger brand image, not having direct contact information on a website is just suicide -especially if you get someone that wants more information from you because they want to do business.
    For the record, a contact form on a website is a cop-out.  If all you have is a contact form with no email addresses, no phone numbers and no snail mail then all that says is that you don’t want to be bothered or interrupted by someone who wants to do business with you.  It says that you want to do business on your own terms, when you feel like it, and that’s just not OK.
    Small businesses aren’t the only ones to blame for this, there are plenty of larger companies that are dipping into the “stealth ninja” pool by hiding contact information – or at least not making it readily know.  Have you ever tried to contact anyone at Google in order to get more information on a particular service?  For a company that is geared toward sharing a lot of information, Google is one of the most most closed off companies I’ve ever seen on the web.
    No numbers, no hints of whom to contact for specific divisions, or even how to reach those divisions.
    Businesses want to gain the benefit of connecting with consumers and engaging them in order to build a brand, but they stifle their own efforts when they start shutting down channels through which people can actively connect with them.  If you don’t have direct contact information available for your consumers to reach you, then I urge you to fix that and open yourself up to more engagement with your marketing.


    Hugging The 800lb Guerrilla – Marketing At Its Finest

    There are a lot of people out there trying to crack the code to successful viral marketing, but I think the formula is more complex than the human genome.  I think you have a better chance of reading someone’s full DNA code in your lifetime.
    I’ve seen uncountable people attempting to create something viral, often through entertainment or something that (loosely) resembles it.  What I notice though is that a lot of those attempts tend to be too big.  They’re trying to be something that they’re not.  It’s a chimp grunting loudly trying to be a “Gorilla”.  Guerrilla marketing they are not.
    The term Guerrilla Marketing was coined Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. The concept is that the marketing and promotion of a given company, product or service is more focused on time, energy and imagination rather than anything that involves a massive budget.  Guerrilla marketing sets out to achieve something huge from something very small.  They are unconventional and generally unexpected, frequently interactive and found in unexpected placed.
    The entire point?  Go for unusual approaches such as intercepts in public, PR stunts and other unconventional means outside of standard marketing channels in order to gain to get max results with minimal output.
    Levinson identifies the following principles as the foundation of guerrilla marketing:

    • Guerrilla Marketing is geared for the small business, where the tsunami can be generated to produce a massive impact from a small tremor, thus saving the initial marketing investment.  Does that limit it to small business?  Certainly not.  Big companies can create a massive wave with a single cannonball as well.
    • It’s based on the psychology of people as opposed to guesswork and “Experience” in any given market.  It actually targets people.
    • It centers on time, energy and imagination – not money.
    • The focus on ROI is to measure the actual profits of the business and not just sales numbers.
    • Guerrilla marketing also pushes a focus on the number of new customers that are acquired in the wake of a campaign each month.
    • It requires a focus on a specific product or service, as opposed  to marketing that offers too many products or services.
    • Drop thoughts on competition and focus on cooperation with other businesses
    • Leverage current technology to build a brand and a business.
    • The message should target people on an individual level – Guerrilla Marketing is not intended for truly large groups.  It picks out the individuals in the group.

    There are just a few principles from his book, but take a look at the following images and you can see how companies have followed the guidelines to create something truly unique that draws a lot of attention and publicity.


    Conversion Killer – Your Site Is Destroying Your Marketing Efforts

    We talk a lot about content marketing and the herculean effort we put into making sure that our social media marketing efforts reach the right audience with the right message – but rarely do we focus on things that are equally (if not more) important.

    Our websites.

    The web presence you have online is the largest part of your marketing process.  You can do everything in your power to suck customers in with your marketing, and even if it’s extremely effective, you’ll lose the majority of your leads if they hit a website that doesn’t create a spark with them.
    This is where a lot of individuals and organizations start running into barriers that ruin conversion.  They throw everything including the kitchen sink into putting together a winning content marketing strategy, which they often pull of well, yet they neglect their landing pages.  Unfortunately the conversion process only begins out in the broad playing field of the net and social media. That’s simply where you hook them.  There’s a long way to go before they’re reeled in and you’re able to land them in the boat.
    Customers in the current market are beyond simple static pages.  It just doesn’t work anymore.  You may very well get them to come once, but it’s not likely that they’re going to buy the first time around, and who says they’ll even come back if your static content is lame.  That’s why it is so vital to create an interactive and engaging website that resonates with people who land on it.
    There are a  lot of components that come together and all of them have to do with the quick decision someone makes to either stay and play or bounce right out of your site.

    • The content needs to be fresh and engaging
    • The design needs to be professional
    • The content must be easy to navigate
    • The user has to find to be able to relate to it
    • The user should be able to immerse themselves in the content.

    The points to really focus on here have to do with engaging, immersive content.  You have to generate an interactive and almost 3D experience for the user so that they feel like they’re in the thick of your site, completely enveloped in your content.  When you create this level of engagement then you’re emulating the natural and very organic experience that someone feels when they’re personally shopping in a brick and mortar storefront. We can’t specifically replicate that experience for customers, but we can get extremely close by creating an environment that inspires comfort.
    Engagement is only a part of the equation.  Slap someone across the face, and shake the hand of another person.  Both are forms of engagement, one is more effective than the other in creating a positive situation that inspired relationship building.  Your content needs to help you achieve that virtual handshake.  You want your visitors to be inspired by your content, where they find real value and decide to stay.
    The last thing you want to do is create content that assaults your visitor and leaves them feeling mugged and robbed of their time.  Make sure the content on your site is fit to recieve the traffic that your content marketing and social media marketing is sending to it.
    What kind of attention are you giving your site?


    SYNND Software Will Revolutionize Online Marketing

    I found a radically different tool that I’m sure is going to shake things up in the Internet marketing world. Consider this…
    Content (1), Inbound Links (2) and Traffic (3) are the 3 major ranking factors for the search engines (especially Google). this tool promotes content (1) and then initiates natural inbound links (2) and produces immediate traffic (3). When all 3 of these elements combine you have a recipe for high search engine ranking and visibility.
    Synnd is a tool which helps you to focus more of your time on Content (1) by automating Inbound Links (2) and Traffic (3). Synnd is a simple way to outsource your marketing to hundreds in a matter of minutes. Get your TIME back. Synnd is driven by a network of hundreds of members utilizing the latest in task automation to laser focus powerful marketing tasks on each piece of content that you publish (text, video, audio, PDF, etc.). If your content has a URL then it can be promoted with the Synnd network.
    The Synnd software is a powerful engine that keeps everyone on task with your promotions… Automatically. Synnd is over 4 years in development with over 1 million lines of software code. You simply have to try Synnd to experience the raw power that hundreds of people can make on your search engine visibility and social network exposure.
    Imagine having hundreds of people promoting your content through votes, bookmarks, comments, ratings and article distribution. Imagine having the ability to automatically create thousands of references to your content. It only takes a few minutes to set up a campaign but the net effect is up to 360+ man hours of promotion on every piece of content you publish.
    Imagine the power of 800+ computers owned by people from around the world working in concert on the promotion of your content, your video, your website and you’ll have a hint of what Synnd can do for you… Check out the Synnd network now.