Czerwiec 2011

    cze
    24

    Social Bookmarking Tips to Success

    Social Bookmarking Tips to Success

    A number of fantastic articles go unnoticed on social bookmarking sites because the headlines read like something out of a fifth rate pornographic comic book.  For clarification – that’s bad.  Your headline is the first thing readers see both in search engines and when they’re browsing the bookmarking sites.  If you don’t make every effort to provide a catchy headline, the chances of you getting noticed are about as good as lightning striking you in the face twice.  This can be avoided by checking trends, examining other quality articles or simply opting in for a social bookmarking submission service that can handle that for you.
    Write a Meaningful Description
    Descriptions should be short, concise and to the point.  In doing so, it should clarify exactly what the reader is about to look at with the impact of a call-to-action that will compel them to continue.  If at all possible, the description should contain some manner of keyword(s) from the content to aid in search engine placement.  Keep it limited to 160 characters or less.  That’s the cutoff for search engines.
    A social bookmarking service is a place where people want information quickly and on the fly.  It may very well contain article content but people like to minimize reading while they’re searching until they actually get to the content they want.  When you’re doing a social bookmarking submission, keep this in mind for your description so you can set yourself up for better traffic conversions.
    Launch with a Powerful First Paragraph
    This definitely applies to any social bookmarking service but it’s also key for any kind of article marketing service as well.  Your first paragraph needs to clearly detail what the reader is getting into.  It should also contain the first bulk of your keywords if you’re optimizing the content for search engine placement.  A bad paragraph right out the gate is like inviting someone into your home with the promise of a dinner party and then stealing their wallet.  Getting assaulted by poor content leaves people feeling mugged.  Don’t go there.
    Content is King
    While your first paragraph undoubtedly needs to catch and hook the reader, the rest of your content needs to keep the rollercoaster going.  Otherwise you glide to a boring stop once you make that first exciting drop – and that reader will click away from your content.   Using a social bookmarking service to submit junk won’t last very long.  People won’t continue to visit your content, and you could end up getting banned from using the service by “social bookmarking submission spamming”
    Submit to the Right Category
    This doesn’t apply to everyone but make sure you submit to the right category.  If you dump your content into a generalized category, you’ll be quickly buried by other people doing the same thing.  Take the time to research the categories and locations of content similar to yours to find the best place to post it.  If you’re still having trouble, you can utilize a social bookmarking submission service to handle the task for you and get you listed in the right spot, right away.
    Social bookmarking is like an invasion – you get a sudden rush of people and then within a few days the traffic dies off.  It’s effective, it’s fast and it’s free.  The best thing you can do to utilize this as part of your marketing strategy is to hire a social bookmarking service that can either write and submit content for you or take the content you’ve written and quickly submit to the wide variety of social bookmarking sites.
    Save time, save money, earn time, earn money.

    0 comments
    cze
    22

    What To Do If a Review Lies About You

    What To Do If a Review Lies About You

    I recently spoke with a friend who contacted me with a little panic in his voice.  He manages a small business and prides himself on customer-friendly relations.  He is the epitome of easy-going but he was at a loss when a long-time loyal customer alerted him to a scathing and terrible review of his business on a highly used review website.  He wasn’t sure what he could do about it.
    When I asked him for the details of the review, he read the review off to me and was able to identify the customer by certain details that were mentioned.  He told me that this customer was extremely difficult, and wasn’t willing to accept any of his suggestions for remedies to the issue she was having.  At the end, he had to tell the customer that he could do no more to help her.
    What upset him more was that the customer had posted comments in the review that were exaggerations and made false references to his behavior that weren’t true.  He had objective proof that she had lied in the review.
    Sadly, this type of thing isn’t isolated.  While many reviews we encounter online are factual (and some businesses have it coming) there’s no way to stop a dissatisfied customer from ringing the loudest gong they can find even if they cheat while doing it.  With sites like Yahoo yellow pages, Yelp, Kudzu and Google Reviews taking a neutral stance, meaning they won’t weed out what is true or false, it’s difficult for many businesses owners to figure out how to manage these incidents.
    So how do you handle negative reviews?  Treat your customer as well as you can.  These people you deal with on a daily basis have a lot more power than most business owners think.  It’s always good to encourage your customers to post positive reviews when possible, and offer them incentives to do so.  This dilutes the power of any negative reviews.  When you do receive a bad review, engage that individual online and see if you can make amends.  Try to settle the dispute and show other web users that you’re willing to take care of upset customers.
    This process will likely require you to develop a thick skin.  You can expect that irate customers will likely come off rude and this attitude might sometimes be more than you can take.  One San Francisco bookstore owner was arrested for Battery when she forced her way into the home of someone who posted a negative review of her book store on Yelp.
    Of course that’s no reason to let a customer lie about you.  When things go beyond a simple difference in opinions, and you have the ability to show that you were wronged in a situation, then you can plead the issue to a review site.  If you can show that the review is dishonest, there’s a good possibility it would be removed.
    And that is just what my friend did.  The site in question actually removed the review.  My friend learned from the situation and now he takes the time to solicit positive reviews from his customers.  He works diligently to make sure that all of his customers are satisfied – including the whackos.

    0 comments
    cze
    17

    The Downside of PLR Content in Content Marketing

    The Downside of PLR Content in Content Marketing

    When you’re looking to beef up your sales and conversions, traffic, etc with online marketing part of the strategy involves article marketing.  It’s a tried and true method and I’ve written on it before.  Article marketing plays a major role in backlink building as well as thought leadership to drive traffic.
    As long as it’s done properly, the benefits can be outstanding.  There are far too many marketers, both new and old, that jump into this with actually formulating a strategy.  Even worse, they see the whole concept of article marketing as something that’s tedious and a massive black hole that sucks away time.
    This causes many to opt for the private label rights (PLR) content that is so readily available on the net.  PLR offers the illusion that marketing can be made simple by purchasing pre-made content.  Essentially, you buy hundreds of articles in a specific niche or on a certain topic and you can publish that content on your site, under your name, without having to give credit to the author.
    It sounds like a great option, but there are a number of negatives to opting for PLR
    Content Marketing Implosion – Duplicate Content
    Most sites peddling PLR content don’t offer unique content rights.  Often they sell PLR with distribution rights, resell rights, rewrite rights, etc.  That means there are a ton of other people out there with the same content that you’ve purchased.  This can create a duplicate content issue with the search engines.  Only one version of the content will typically get listed within the search engines, the others are often left to the archives.  There’s a good chance that if you purchase and post PLR, it won’t do you much good in regards to your site rank in the SERPs
    Content Marketing Implosion – Poor Quality
    A lot of PLR is generated by freelance “writers” that are outsourced from countries where English is not the native language.  I’ve had experience with outsourced content and PLR content of this nature; I’ve read and sifted through thousands of articles and rarely do I see anything that is worthwhile.  More often than not, the content is extremely vague and the information carries no value to anyone.  To make matters worse, the grammar and spelling can leave a lot to be desired.  In my opinion there is no such thing as articles that are JUST for building backlinks.  People are going to stumble across your content and if it reads like a 4th grader wrote it after drinking half a keg then you can expect people to form a negative opinion about your intelligence.  Forget about whether or not they want to trust in what you’re peddling.
    Content Marketing Implosion – There’s Still Work Involved
    You can’t just repost PLR content.  If you want to gain any benefit from it you have to rewrite it or spin it.  Spinning the content with software usually leaves it in worse shape than when it started.  Software can’t create quality content, and some spinners need you to plug in the alternate words – that takes more time than most people care to do and in some cases it’s easier to just write the article yourself.  Along the same lines, you could rewrite the PLR yourself just to change the way it reads.  Improve it, punch it up, make it unique, etc.  The problem with that is that the content is often vague to begin with, so if you don’t know anything about the subject matter then you’re still going to be left with an article that provides no value.
    It’s best to avoid buying into PLR content.  It doesn’t take that long to produce a few good articles each week to use in your marketing campaigns.  If you’re really that strapped for time, then opt to hire a professional and pay for good content that will help sell your authenticity.

    0 comments
    cze
    15

    4 Reasons To Push for Social Media Marketing

    4 Reasons To Push for Social Media Marketing

    “We’ve already spent a lot of money on marketing, we don’t have the budget for social media and that other stuff.”
    That “other stuff” is where many businesses are failing to see where marketing is going.  If a business was truly spending their full budget on marketing then social media would be naturally included.  It’s not “other stuff”.  It’s mainstream media now just like Television and Radio are mainstream media for advertising.
    Social media is getting a lot of mixed reviews and it’s not because it only works sometimes, it’s because it only works sometimes when business owners do it right.  Many business leaders simply don’t know how to approach it or what to think and it’s a testament to how they run their business overall.  Ultimately if you know your customers then you should know how to engage them in any medium whether it’s in person, at events or through social media.
    The above statement is similar to other ways of thinking that are common.  Others include:
    “Is this really what its hyped to be and is it even worth it?
    “How are we even going to know if it’s working for us?
    “We don’t know how to measure the return so we don’t want to invest in it.”
    “Can the return even BE measured?”
    “We don’t have the budget for playing on social media.”
    “I don’t think blogging or sharing personal opinions can really help us.”
    I could go on and on with a lot of the negativity I’ve heard about social media but we need to be clear about a few things.  First and foremost, social media marketing isn’t something that’s being newly tested.  It’s merely an evolution of tried and true tactics on a new platform.  With that said, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
    Also, social media marketing isn’t about grabbing a few accounts and playing with them once in a while.  This is about networking with potential customers and your most devoted customers to improve sales, leads and conversion.  There are a number of reasons to push through, develop a strategy and get chest-deep in social media marketing.
    Social Media Marketing – For the People
    No matter what business you’re in, you need people because people are your customers.  Even if a you’re a veterinarian you still have to deal with the handlers of the animals that make up your customers base.  You might fix horses but you interact with and ultimately invoice people.  When it comes to social media marketing, those with the largest network and the most engaging content are going to win.  The larger your fan base, the more market share you potentially gain through exposure and referrals.
    Social Media Marketing – Change Comes Quickly
    The market doesn’t stay the same forever and trends rise and fall like the tides.  You better believe that the interests and needs of your target audience are not going to stay the same.  By developing and maintaining a large network through social media you’re not only broadcasting to your audience but you’re listening.  Your social media presence becomes a listening dashboard to discover what people want on the fly.  It’s the cheapest form of market research and allows you to update and change your business on the fly.
    Social Media Marketing – Sales & Customer Service
    You can generate a lot of leads and potential interest with social media marketing, but it’s also extremely powerful as a customer service tool.  If you think it has little to do with that aspect of your business, think again.  Your customers and clients live in an age where gratification and service comes instantly with online shopping and company engagement.  Social media and search engines give people results and answers – and they expect the same thing from the businesses they work with.  Customer services needs to be delivered live, in real-time.
    Voicemails, waiting on email responses and sitting on hold are a thing of the past.  You might think that you’re doing just fine with phone messages and email but your customers are rolling their eyes every time they need to address any kind of a customer service issue.  Social media marketing lets you generate that human presence similar to a customer service desk.
    Social Media Marketing – Because Google Says So
    It was a long time coming but we saw it a long time ago – Google is putting more emphasis on social proof and social sharing.  The concept is that if people are sharing your content through sites like Twitter, Facebook and other networks (social bookmarking) then it’s not likely for the content to be spam.  Only high quality content gets the most mileage so it’s an excellent ranking factor.  That means the more people like you, share your content and talk about you the more likely you are to come out on top in the search results.
    That’s just a few of the primary reasons why – despite apprehension – business owners need to make the effort to get involved in social media marketing.  It’s not something to dive headlong into and does require a sound strategy.  If you’re not sure how to tackle it properly then talk to use over at Social Media Science, we’ve got software applications like SYNND that can help you quickly learn to leverage social media marketing to put your business on top and start generating buzz with valuable content.

    0 comments
    cze
    14

    Becoming a Thought Leader – Would You Listen to You?

    Becoming a Thought Leader – Would You Listen to You?

    We rarely a great deal for business owners and marketers to embrace content marketing and social media marketing primarily for the effect it has on bringing a business and its audience close together.  It’s that content, right down to the posts in social media, that drive engagement.  It’s so important in fact that even veterans and major PR handlers for big business have asked themselves the question of whether or not they were “me too” marketing.
    Matthew Setter of Malt Blue recently did a guest spot over at ProBlogger that talked about finding your unique voice and it made me stop and consider the implication of trying too hard to be a thought leader;  It’s good to have goals for your marketing but what if your goal is sabotaging itself?
    Pushing Too Hard
    Becoming a thought leader through content marketing brings about a lot of benefits for your business and it’s certainly a goal to have.  Ultimately, you want potential customers to rely on you and see the value of what you share so they continue to return.  If they come back, you’re far more likely get that sale or that conversion.
    But should you be focusing on finding the perfect voice or becoming that awesome thought leader to dominate your market?  If that is your final goal and destination, you could wind up in a grand central station completely void of potential customers.
    The problem comes when you take your sights off of value and start focusing on yourself.  “I want to become a thought leader”, “I want to have a better voice to be unique in my market”, “I want to be different”.
    It’s important not to be a “me too” content publisher but in trying not to be a “me too” publisher you wind up being just that.
    Keeping Value in Sight
    If you turn off your nav system that you’ve programmed to guide you to “thought leader” or “unique” then you can focus on what’s more important – imparting value and sharing something valuable with your audience.
    The average Joe cares less about whether or not you sound like the other deli on 9th st.  They don’t necessarily care you claim to be the best source for sausage recipes east of Ohio.  Was is important is that the content provides them with information that is useful.  When you give them something useful, it’s the audience that will then decide if you’re worthy of being seen as a leader in your market.  It’s the audience that decides if you stand out beyond your competitors.
    Matthew Setter noted a series of questions you can ask yourself to get the maximum effect.  His applied to blogging but you can use this same check system on any type of content marketing:

    • Would I take this on board?
    • Would I listen to me?
    • Am I communicating worthwhile knowledge with passion and conviction?
    • Would I learn and grow from what I’m sharing?
    • Would I be left with questions or confusion after seeing/reading the content?

    Focus on the information and in providing value; worry less about your voice or pushing to become a leader.  If you strive to share quality information in a human way, things will begin to fall into place naturally.

    0 comments
    cze
    09

    Content Rules Book Review

    Content Rules Book Review

    When I initially got a copy of Content Rules handed to me by an associate, with a brief explanation of the contents within, I admit I was a little skeptical at first.  Given the nature of my business and having been involved in online marketing and content marketing for years I expected a decent book on the subject (noting the powerful authors involved) but one that wouldn’t necessarily speak to me directly or teach me much.
    Needless to say I was really surprised when I started to dig into Content Rules.  This is a book that is written to speak to everyone regardless of their level of experience.  Even a seasoned dealer in content marketing such as myself.  Content Rules achieves this by providing detailed metrics we may already know around content creation, but have yet to articulate and Ann Handley & CC Chapman make amazing case after case as to how easy it is to achieve success – whether you need to launch your first campaign or up your level of current engagement.
    As I read deeper into this book, I realized it was more like a bible for the small business owner or marketer that needs a broader grasp of content marketing.  It’s a text book without being a text book and I know it’s something I can handle a client, a friend, an associate or anyone else that might be wondering why anyone would really need to devote time to content creation.
    We can talk until we’re blue in the face about why you need to create content but until you have something that shows measurable proof you’re just blowing wind.  The case studies as part of each subject do just that.
    One thing that really stood out to me as I ready through was the fact that this book tears down barriers in force – common barriers that stop every day people from creating compelling content.  The chapters within, broken into different types of content and the ways to develop it, reveal parameters on how to ensure that any content created is authentic and compelling.  The case studies, as mentioned above, provide life and Ann Handley and CC Chapman give a strong human voice that makes the subject simple to understand.
    Just a simple taste of what I plucked from this book:
    Embrace Being a Publisher – If you want to get into the media then you need to become the media.  The same truly applies to content marketing.  If you want engage your target audience with content and provide value then you to start thinking like a publisher.
    Insight Inspires Originality - A simple one way communication with the customer, lacking empathy, is ineffective.  When you take the time to understand the needs of your customers in various stages of the purchasing cycle then you can create appropriate content that fits the bill every time – the type of content that keeps them engaged and coming back as loyal customers.
    Create Your Own Momentum - When you create content with a purpose, regardless of the platform, you establish an objective and desired outcome.  Content marketing lets you move beyond just informing your readers.  You can give them a natural progression of what they should do next and you build real momentum in your sales funnel.
    Content Rules is timeless in its advice.  I recommend it as a staple on the shelf of anyone involved in marketing, whether it’s a business, an organization or you’re just branding yourself.

    0 comments