Content Marketing – Distributing Content

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Distributing Content

Content marketing is unique from paid advertising in the sense that the intent is for followers to find you more than you chasing them. This concept is changing views about distribution in many ways. Instead of mass producing a compromised message at a high cost determined by gatekeepers and hoping for a return on investment, you can craft a more engaging low cost message using various interactive distribution channels.

Social Media

A powerful way to share your content is through social media networks such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Facebook is a great place to share content with existing followers while Google Plus is a useful platform for finding new followers. Social media can be a time consuming experience because it involves interacting with several people, but it’s a great way to build relationships and loyalty.

Ideally, you want to create a brief catchy post about your blog on a social network with an attractive image and a link to the blog. There are different ways to post content, depending on how much time you want to spend. But if you want to post the same blog in several places including social networks, you should consider an automated system known as RSS (really simple syndication).

Subscribers

Blogs can be distributed to many different places at once using an RSS feed, which is designed for internet subscribers of frequently updated content. An RSS reader is software that aggregates various RSS feeds from the internet and displays them in one place. It eliminates the need for large companies such as USA Today to email their content to millions of subscribers each day. Subscribers can opt in and out of the content anytime they choose. They can subscribe to these feeds just by clicking a “subscribe” link.

Once you complete your blog on a blogging platform such as WordPress or Google’s content marketing rss feedsBlogger, you can click “publish” and the platform will automatically generate an RSS feed URL for your content that can be retrieved by subscribers. You can also syndicate audio or video podcasts. It saves you quite a bit of time from manually sending it out to each recipient or posting in various places. Each social network has instructions for where to place your RSS feed URL, which is a one time setup.

In order to set up an RSS feed you will need an RSS management platform if you’re not using a blogging platform that does it for you. RSS Builder and Google’s FeedBurner are software programs that will do the coding and generate an RSS feed URL for you in one click, while you fill in a form for your title, link, publish date and other information. MailChimp is useful software for scheduling your blog or other content for email subscribers.

Mobile Optimization

Let’s face it, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets have surged in popularity and have become an easy way to access the internet for people on the go. Optimizing your website for mobile users can help your cause, especially if you run a local business with a physical location.

Some owners prefer to create a separate “mobile website” for mobile users, who need to conserve bandwidth and just need simplified versions of websites to access the most important information and links without dealing with big files. However a “responsive website”, one website that in effect remakes itself for each browser and device type is most often thought as the best solution overall. Google refers to the responsive web as a best practice. The Google app Currents and the iPad app Flipboard create simple ways to syndicate mobile content in real time.

Take the lead in content marketing by making your content available to your followers based on whatever the easiest way is for them to connect with your messages.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Facebook for Business

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Facebook for Business – Top 10 Uses

The age of social media has arrived for the world of business. There are over 1 billion people currently on Facebook alone, for example, so it only stands to reason that this would be a good place to be when you want to gain attention for your enterprise, or organization. But what exactly should you be doing?

Understanding the uses of Facebook for business is something that requires developing a systematic approach for exactly how it can help move you toward the goals you’ve set for growing your company. Let’s look at 10 ways you can leverage the astounding reach of this leader in social media to position your business to take the lead in this new commercial landscape.

1> Increase traffic to your website – getting people to where the action is builds your bottom line. Posting material with a sprinkling of links back to your company website is a great way to use facebook for business growth.

2> Create brand awareness – photos are worth a thousand words, and those showing your products, services, and views of your business operation in action, help establish you as a distinct – and memorable – entity amongst all the choices out there.

3> Build a Community – and as your brand awareness grows, so does the number of people regularly visiting your site to find more of what they enjoyed on their first visit. Your neighborhood is expanding. And since clients want to believe they found you, not that you found them, this is an excellent way to establish such a relationship.

4> Educate your market – the primary reason people go anywhere online is to accesseducation actionable information. As the old saying goes – Knowledge is power – and one of the best ways to use facebook for business is to regularly deliver important information that educates your audience about issues related to your business.

5> Staying in focus – people remember where they obtained valuable information, so the more of it you provide, the more you become a focal point of their cyber-world. This has the added advance of building online ‘word of mouth’ as your community informs people in theirs about you as a good source of data.

6> Demonstrate your expertise – a big part of using facebook for business involves making it evident that you are a skilled professional in your field. The cumulative impact of all of your postings, photos, and links is how this is accomplished – and it keeps paying dividends for your operation.

7> Expand your reach – with over a billion set of eyes looking in, getting access to the broadest possible audience is one of the chief advantages of adopting facebook for business and commercial purposes. Suddenly, your reach is worldwide in a manner businesses of the past could only dream about.

8> Developing new affiliations – you never know where cooperative alliances will come from, and adopting facebook for business has been the start of many such partnerships.

9> Provide customer service – with its chat, message, and pinned post features, facebook enables small businesses to expand their customer service while minimizing costs. Always a nice combination.

10> Increase sales – while this feature is certainly uppermost in your mind, it takes all of the features of facebook for business working together to get to this one. But once you grasp how the facebook world works, this is the natural outcome.

The bottom line is that having a presence in this burgeoning new informational universe is essential for any commercial enterprise. Today people want to believe they found you and not that you found them. Facebook is another excellent vehicle for prospective customers to find you and interact with you.

And with the above in-mind, you can see that there is a lot to like about Facebook for business. Our eBook on Facebook can help you Take the Lead with your business.

Ian Conklin

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

 

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Your Business Brand and Social Media

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Your Business Brand and Social Media

Social media has come a long way from the early days of sharing pictures and reconnecting with long lost friends. It has become a mainstay of the modern web and integral part of our everyday lives. Businesses can no longer ignore the influence of social media and the marketing opportunities it provides. A sound social media presence and marketing strategy can help you grow your brand, reach a wider audience, and connect with your customers on a level never before possible. However, it is not sufficient to merely use these sites You must use them effectively. Avoid the following the mistakes and hopefully you can prevent a marketing disaster.

Don’t Just Promote, Interact

While social media provides ample opportunities to promote your products, you can andbusiness branding should do more than simple advertising. These networks allow you to connect with your customers and interact with them in real time. Engage with those who follow your brand, develop a dialogue with your loyal customers and relationships with new ones. Clients want to believe they found you, not that you found them. Don’t ignore this capability by simply choosing to only promote your products. This comes off as fake, selfish, and quite frankly a little bit annoying. You don’t want your marketing campaign to be like the friend who only talks about himself and never asks how you’re doing. Don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.

#hashtag#hashtag#hashtag

We get it, hashtags are fun and everyone likes a clever hashtag joke now and then. Trending topics can be a great way to interact with your customers and even keep your brand fresh and exciting. Just don’t over do it. Conversational and friendly is good, but jumping on every trending topic or overusing them in general looks unprofessional and messy. Additionally, some topics are divisive and offensive. Its best to avoid these topics, even if you have a really killer hashtag pun in mind.

You Ignore the Important Data

Contrary to popular belief, social media is more than just fun and games. We all love Bejeweled and clever status updates but the real power of social networking lies in the data it generates. A sound social networking campaign takes advantage of the invaluable data that these sites can provide. By using analytics, you have access to information such as your audience’s demographics, activity, and growth and engagement rates. This information can allow you to gauge the success of your  marketing and the effect it has on your business.

You Sign up and Never Login

Maybe you just forgot the password, but a social media present isn’t very effective if you don’t update it regularly. An inactive social media account doesn’t drive traffic to your business, engage with your customers, and looks bit unprofessional. People want to follow your brand not only because they enjoy it, but to learn about what new product or service you are providing. If you haven’t made a tweet since 2009, most people aren’t going to bother following your brand in the first place. Also it helps to write the password down, I seem to forget mine all the time too.

Social media is no longer for teenagers and procrastinating college students. Your business most have a sound and active online presence if you wish to stay in front of your competition.

At OTR Web Solutions we have a long history of providing clients with the tools and expertise they need to get a step ahead of their competition and take the lead.



IIan Conklinan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content

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Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content

Teamwork is how entrepreneurs with shared visions can make big things happen. You don’t necessarily need to partner with businesses in your same industry. As long as your content connects with their content in some way that is relevant to users, you can create cross promotional campaigns that expand the exposure for both businesses.

Link Sharing

At one time search engines considered link sharing to be a measure of site importance and popularity. Over time they realized that many sites swap links with each other to improve search rank even though the links don’t really help users. Search engines in recent years have placed less emphasis on link sharing unless both sites offer high quality content and they relate to each other. You need to be careful who you link to now because Google penalizes sites that link to low quality sites.

If you choose your link partners carefully and only exchange links with quality sites that make sense for your site, then it can improve your search rankings. Let’s say you offer a photography service and you write several blogs about weddings and each one links to a catering service that also writes blogs about weddings. The cross promotion makes sense for users and search engines because a bride and groom can conceivably hire both a photographer and a caterer for their wedding.

Interviews

One way to create cross promotional content that potentially doubles the impact of exposure is to interview other bloggers with followings for your blog. Everyone in the content marketingonline world needs to be talked about by others online, so they will naturally want to link to your blog. It becomes part of their press kit portfolio. If you can do a video interview on YouTube you can help your cause even more because then you’ll generate traffic on a third site in addition to being indexed in another search engine.

Interviews make excellent content because they are original and personable. A conversation between two people creates extra energy on video and more variety in print. You don’t have to have special interviewing skills like a news reporter. The old rules of last century’s media no longer apply to the online culture. Human conversations are now acceptable and effective ways to share information. Relaxed interviews come off as more genuine than trying to sound like a scripted journalist.

Multiple References

There’s no rule that says one blog can only cross promote one other blogger. You may want to write a story that surveys several bloggers about their opinions of products or trends. You may even want to build a panel of bloggers that you frequently interact with as each of you cross promote each other. It wouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish since it can all be done through email. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating alliances on the internet.

Cross promotion of content, of course, doesn’t have to be limited to just blogs. You can share your cross promotional blog on social media, which can snowball into more sharing. Creating a big circle of alliances that all cross promote each other can generate active conversations that attract attention. The more you can develop a scene with a familiar cast of characters, the more you can build a cross promotional empire that brings an online crowd together. Familiarity is important for building any community.

If you find partners who share your visions of the world, your cross promotional content will make sense and be easier to produce.

Take the lead in content marketing by building bridges with friends online who you can cross promote.
     
      

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Content Marketing Providing Useful Solutions

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Content Marketing : Providing Useful Solutions

Your job as a thought leader is to pinpoint problems and offer time saving or money saving solutions. Around that core dimension you can add a wide variety of elements to your storytelling. Bloggers who don’t offer solutions tend to get discarded into the space of forgettable internet history, which is by no means a lonely place. There are  more blogs that fail than succeed, but the winners are the ones who make life better for others.

Challenging Common Thought

One way to enter the realm of online problem solving through blogging is to analyzeContent Marketing current market conditions and evaluate trends with the intent to be critical of the ones that don’t really matter. If you study the music industry you’ll find that many trends have been nothing more than well executed marketing schemes. Certain genres  or artists have remained a continuum through multiple generations, such as the Beatles, whereas certain trends have had short life cycles before burning out.

Figure out the difference in your field between long term mainstays and short term trends. Don’t be afraid to criticize short term trends because it can help build your track record in the long run. Embrace established order that you probably can’t change and pick apart the quick rise and fall schemes that are fragile and aren’t worth defending, especially if they add up to big expenses over time. Consider how the SEO schemes of a decade ago are now outdated and could have been costly for followers who latched onto them. You can demonstrate thought leadership by helping readers learn to see through popular myths.

Identifying Problems

Every business or industry has limitations, which many times are swept under the mat. Businesses tend to hide their problems from public view for branding reasons. You don’t necessarily have to single out any competitors, but you can gain an advantage in your content marketing by developing a list of customer “pain points,” which are any scenarios that create uncomfortable problems for consumers regarding products or services.

Even if you do not have readily available solutions to specific problems, take note of them anyway. Create a list of pain points as long as possible because every single one of them can be turned into a compelling blog at some point. Rank the pain points by severity and by your ability to resolve them at least through ideas. You many not have the resources to develop product solutions, but that doesn’t have to stop you from establishing yourself as a thought leader. Eventually you may come across partners who can help create such products.

Offering Solutions

Content marketing at its best is about offering useful solutions that improve an industry and consumer experiences. Your ability to provide solutions in your blogs can be enhanced through inspiration and brainstorming. Inspiration can come from art, movies, music, books, sports or other areas of pop culture. Solutions do not always come from the top geniuses on the planet. Many times they surface as a result of group discussions or ideas triggered during a game or activity.

Solutions are powerful topics in your blogs because not only can they win the loyalty of online customers, they can also get the attention of possible business partners or even the media. Newspapers and TV news reporters crave covering new ideas and inventions, because it helps build their own images as thought leaders. Search engines are waiting to rank web pages, especially blogs, that provide answers that their users are searching for.

Take the lead in content marketing by offering blogs that speed up people’s quest for resolving difficult matters.



Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Content Marketing Integrating Visuals

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Content Marketing : Integrating Visuals

Videos, images, infographics and other creative visual displays help make storytelling more exciting and memorable. You definitely need some form of visuals to stand out from competitors. If you take your own pictures, even with a smart phone, you will be combining originality with personality, which are two essential ingredients of content marketing.

Colorful Images

Adding images to your online content works beautifully because they can present content-marketingmultiple colors, which most people naturally love. Black text on a white background is fine, but pictures add more variety and can help make a page come to life. Color feeds the brain with emotion, intellect and ambition. Not every picture is attractive, which is why you need to avoid dull pictures and gravitate toward those that convey the most warmth and appeal.

Colorful images that stand out have become an important part of sharing on social networks. Whether the image is a photograph, video or chart, the colors can make posts stand out on Facebook news feeds, in which users do not have time to read every post. People are more likely to read the posts with the most eye-catching images. One of your investments in content marketing should be photo editing software such as Photoshop, which allows you to create logos and combine text with images.

Visual Statements

Sometimes pictures are more worth more than a thousand words. If you want to know what the Golden Gate Bridge looked like when it was first being built, you might find that a photograph is more important than reading a long description. Sometimes pictures reveal more than text, especially with shots of people who we are curious about. Some of the most informative pictures are those that combine graphics with text.

Infographics have become very popular because they can summarize a wealth of information in one image or post, saving the viewer lots of time on research. Sometimes people just want quick information and don’t want to take a week to read a book to find out a certain set of facts, which can be presented visually in one place. Infographics take many forms, such as charts, cartoons and merged images. You can create your own infographics at Picktochart.com or Visual.ly.

Heat Maps

Similar in concept to infographics are heat maps, which are specifically designed to show statistical relationships. Like cluster analysis, heat maps present comprehensive data in picture form to show how groups of data differ from each other. The best example of a heat map is a typical weather map of the United States that shows all the various temperatures around the nation. The climate conditions can be represented by colors. A heat map can also be used to show the geography of political differences of states during elections with red and blue colors.

Crime and economic statistics can be shown on heat maps that help home buyers map out desired home locations. Sometimes a gray scale heat map can be just as effective as colorful heat maps to show differences in opinions. Heat maps do not have to be geographical. Rainbow schemes can be used in chemistry for the Periodic Table of Elements, in history to show how events or trends have evolved over a timeline and in web analytics for showing various data related to online audience behavior.

Use Your Imagination

Pay attention to interesting visuals that get your attention online and ask yourself what you like about them. Incorporate the best ideas into your creative work and don’t be afraid to experiment with new unconventional ideas.

Take the lead in content marketing by adding visuals that create curiosity. Download our eBook on the 10 Commandments of Marketing Automation


Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Content Marketing – Thought Leadership

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Content Marketing – Thought Leadership

The core objective that determines whether or not content marketing will be worth the enormous amount of time and effort is thought leadership. Are you able to become a thought leader in your field or are you more comfortable with being a follower? If you just want to be a follower you will inevitably be overshadowed in search rankings by more creative competitors. Thought leadership is about assuming command and determination in your industry at creating a huge community of followers.

Modern Expertise

Traditionally, leadership in general in our culture was reserved for the few who chose Content Marketing - Thought Leaderspaths through higher education or may have already been born into powerful circles. Rarely were mainstream people expected to become heads of big corporations or invent products that change the world. Experts were considered individuals with degrees from prestigious universities, professors, high profile business leaders and people with years of experience in their trade. Authors of books released by major publishers gained similar credibility.

Thanks to Google and other search engines, the definition of “expert” now includes a longer list of people who might not have those traditional qualifications that define expertise. Apple innovator Steve Jobs also inspired a new culture of people who want to change the world. These inspiring tech pioneers elevated the confidence of many people to pursue innovation as a vehicle for attention and respect. It’s now ok to go against the status quo and offer new ideas to improve systems and products. People who inform and inspire others online with original content are now called thought leaders.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may not be able to counter their strengths but you may find creative ways to counter their weaknesses. Perhaps they have limitations that are short-sighted. Even if you do not have the means to offer a better product you can still use their weaknesses to your advantage by commenting on them. Look for weaknesses that you can be the first to comment on and offer ideas for improvement.

If you can develop a steady stream of ideas that can improve your industry, you can take the lead in content marketing by utilizing business blogging. One rant isn’t going to change the world much, but a series of well thought out blogs can at least start to attract like minded followers who can convert to customers. As OTR Web Solutions President Ian Conklin has said, “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them.” 

Blogs are important because search engines regard them as potentially authoritative and prioritize them in rankings. That’s how many people end up connecting with thought leaders.

Video Credibility

Making informative videos adds to your credibility as a thought leader. YouTube has become the new encyclopaedia for people to gain knowledge quickly from trusted thought leaders. While blogs are meant to be personable written journalism, video can be even more personable and memorable. Now that online video has become so popular, a huge body of evidence is showing that people are more likely to remember what they see in an online video than what they read in a book. One reason for this phenomenon is that viewers can start and stop videos whenever they want.



The ability for people to learn from video has accelerated the time frame of learning curves in our society. The more you can inform people in videos, the more they will regard you as a helpful thought leader and want to check out more of your videos. Sharing your videos on social networks will help increase views.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Is SEO Dead Alive or Just Different

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Is SEO Dead or Alive?

We have all read the (often self proclaimed) pundits writing articles about how SEO is dead and web masters are wasting their time and money concentrating on that aspect of their websites. As in most blanket type statements there is some truth and some non-truths in such a statement.

Organic SEO

Organic SEO or Natural SEO is alive and well – always has been and in my opinion always will be an effective and important tool for web masters. In simplistic terms Organic SEO comes about from researching the key phrases your website readers will use to search for your product or service.  Those phrases must then be placed within your web copy in such a manner as to attract not only the search bots but also your website reader…compelling them to take a specific action. Remarkable web content is still king.

Organic SEO also involves your website structure and navigation scheme by developing your website so as to assist the requirements of the search engines. In other words the back-end of your website, the part you do not see, must be coded to be effectively read by search engines such as Google or Bing.

If you build or have built a website without these elements (and yes there are many web designers that pay only lip service, if any to these critical elements of a website) you will find your website buried about 50 to 100 pages back on Google.

Not So Organic SEO

There hardly seems to be a day or a week that goes by that I do not get an email or phone call from a company the “specialises” in SEO. You answer the phone and you hear the crackling noise of an overseas caller telling you in not so good English how they can get your website number 1 on Google! Or the email comes across your desk extolling the virtues of their company and talking about link building and only “White Hat” strategies and techniques. Ever notice that most times the email is not from a business address but rather a free email service such as GMAIL or Hotmail or Live? RUN is the best advice I can give.

Then there are the companies that specialised in print ad books. They suddenly came to the understanding that they were falling behind, becoming irrelevant and jumped into SEO late in the game. They often coerced you into staying with their print ads by combining with their new super duper SEO packages. Those SEO packages seem eerily similar to the ones being developed and maintained by those offshore companies … with the same link building techniques and on-page web strategies. I have looked at the page coding on some and just shuddered.

Is this orchestrated type of SEO dead? … well if it is not it probably should be and with the changes in algorithms of the search engines, it will soon be dead and possibly your website along with it.

Where is SEO Alive and Well

SEO has become an entire package of responsibilities for your web marketing firm. Encompassing not just a new website with Organic SEO, but Social Media, Business Blogging, Email Marketing (to opted in recipients) and Online Video amongst others. This package when bundled together is called Inbound Marketing. Drawing customers to your product or service.

I penned a phrase in an earlier blog about Brand Strategies Inbound Marketing. In that blog I wrote, “clients want to believe they found you … not that you found them” in other words the days of cold calling on potential clients or invasive marketing techniques are long dead. Today a potential client recognises a need and searches to find the answer and that is when your information needs to be available. Sounds  a whole lot like SEO to me.

Take the Lead in SEO – access our eBook on Creating Remarkable Content



Creating remarkable content is still king in SEO. It is just that today that remarkable content is across a wider spectrum of media. Yes SEO is alive and well.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

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Creative Content Marketing Ideas

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Content Marketing – Ideas for Creative Content

Content marketing is all about storytelling. Without this major ingredient, the recipe is flawed. It’s about connecting with people and building an audience that’s already searching for the topic in search engines with keywords. All you need to do is expand on those keywords and turn them into stories that you can share through different media, such as your website, blog, newsletter and social media profile.

Several formats can be used for content marketing. Essentially, it involves whatever typecontent marketing is all about telling your story of multimedia you’re comfortable with. Content can be created and shared in the form of text, audio, images, charts, info-graphics, videos or innovative new types of media. Many successful campaigns are built on a large quantity of text mixed with graphics or other media.

Planning Ahead

The first step to contenting marketing is mapping out the universe of possibilities for content ideas. Like keywords, start with general concepts and move toward specific detail. Creating outlines will help guide you to expanding on content because outlines will tell you where the story is leading.

Before setting out on this adventure of producing material, do some research and experience for yourself your topics. Gather information and organize it in a way that’s easy to use for your own reference purposes. Some people create different word documents for different topics and store them in one folder on their computer. Others like to create multiple folders stored in one folder.

Evergreen Content

Plan on creating evergreen instead of static content. Evergreen means something that will always be fresh for the people who discover it the first time, as opposed to content that becomes dated. Almost any subject can be treated in an evergreen style.

Evergreen content can be achieved if you tell a story in an historical context. In other words, the statement “gas prices are $3.50 per gallon” will become outdated, whereas the statement “gas prices hovered around $3.50 per gallon in 2013” is more of a timeless fact that will always have relevance as a time marker.

The reason you want to present your content in an evergreen style is that it saves you the work from eventually changing or eliminating content. Once web pages are created they become part of Google’s index. Even though Google encourages fresh content, they still give old web pages high rankings if they present useful information.

Problem Solving

Think about the buying cycle of your customer. Plan stories that will lead to when it’s right to buy your service or product. Important components of storytelling should be about problems and solutions. Make a list of what your customers tend to complain about. You can do this by studying existing reviews on sites within your industry. Create stories that address these issues.

Tell your story in a conversational manner, even if what you are selling is technical. Content marketing is all about humanizing your brand as opposed to last century’s marketing strategy for bigger than life mystique. Figure out how to tell the same stories in different ways so that you can recycle content that links together. Pay attention to word count and try to get it up to several hundred words per page.

Original ideas

Make your content as original as possible, which helps search rankings and your credibility with followers. Some of the ways to craft original content are to write about your historical perspectives, interviews with experts and lists of tips for efficiency. Check what your competitors are doing and do something different. Write about what the industry needs to improve. Give your readers something they can be excited about so that they’ll share it with friends.

Take the Lead in Content Marketing – Access the OTR eBook on Remarkable Content



Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.



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What Bartending Taught Me About Branding

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Bartending – Branding

I moonlight as a bartender and I absolutely love it. I’m very good at it and make great tips. I reasoned that I was excelling at it because I have product knowledge and I understand the art of mixing flavors. I figured that those skills, combined with my quick bartending brandingwit were responsible for my success. Then I noticed that a group of customers were following me even when I changed bars. The fact that they would ask when I was working and show up on those days got me to thinking. (Though I admit, being a bar industry type, I was inclined to attribute my Bar Star status to my awesomeness! It just had to be my awesomeness, rugged good looks, or then again, maybe it was simply my humility that was bringing them in!)

After speaking with a wonderful couple who are a pair of my regulars, I discovered that I had actually created a brand for myself without realizing it. A brand which included not only my beverage knowledge and mixing creativity, but also the newsboy hat that I love wearing, plus an element which I soon discovered was the key to it all.

Bartending – Branding: The ‘Why’ Factor

What makes me a good bartender is also part of what makes me tick in other areas. I realized that when I’m behind the bar (and other places for that matter) my desire is to facilitate a unique and positive experience. Stepping back and figuring out why I do what I do was really eye opening. My “look” and attitude behind the bar all serve a single purpose. They are meant to provide my customers with the experience they are looking for. Be it a first date, an anniversary, or simply a chat and a beer after work, my goal is always to have my PEEPS leave in a better state than when they came in. This is my ‘why’. If I am successful, they will come back again and again.

Integrating Your Personal ‘Why’

Discovering why I do what I do behind the bar helped me really uncover and fine-tune my brand. Now, in every endeavor I undertake I ask myself this question: “Why do I do this?” By discovering the ‘why’, I am able to fine-tune my personal brand and the brand of the business or individual I am working with. This helps them take the lead in their industry and achieve their immediate and long term goals.

Working behind the bar, the goals of the customer are very often time sensitive. That being the case, I like to read their body language and converse with them to discover their ‘why’ for the visit. Once this is established, I mesh my ‘why’ to theirs and we become a team with a common goal which has more tools to accomplish these goals. Once I discovered this formula, I realized that it is easily transferable to clients I work with on marketing and branding. My goal is always for them to have the best possible experience and to help them take the lead.

The Benefits

By seeking out the ‘why’ first, we build a solid foundation together for the project. This will then facilitate an upbeat and efficient process – which in turn yields positive results. There is also the strong likelihood of exceeding the expectations set out at the beginning of the project. Behind the bar, in marketing, or in any other industry, establishing a good relationship leads to the all-important Satisfied Customer and repeat business is a consequence. A satisfied customer is a delighted customer, and we all know that delighted customers are the best promoters of you and your business.



The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Discover ‘Why’ you do what you do
  • Integrate your ‘Why’ with your businesses ‘Why’
  • Build your brand around ‘Why’

Social Media is a Conversation

 

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

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