The Importance of a Good Logo

The Importance of a Good Logo

“Well.” Pressed the senior executive of the design company, “What am I looking at?”
The young artist could taste the boss’s Jack Daniels lunch in his mouth. Spit-lets dotted his glasses and face as he tried not to flinch. The man everyone referred to as ‘the big guy’ was so close, parts of his face were out of focus.
“I asked you a simple question young man,…..”

He didn’t even know his name.

“I’m looking at floor, shoes, pasty legs, shorts, sitting on a bench on maybe the edge of a basketball court. How does this, which is suppose to be a logo design for one of the richest sports empires in the world THE NBA how does this say NBA?”

“Well sir,….” dryly crackled the young hopeful, “what would you call a bunch of white guys logositting on a bench?”

We see a giant stylized yellow ‘M’ and we know it’s McDonalds. We see a swoosh mark and know its Nike. An old guy with white little beard on a red background we know Kentucky Fried Chicken. We recognize Pepsi, Apple Computers, Windows, Facebook and many more logos just by design. No words needed.
By just glancing at their logo design you know about that company’s fine quality standards. You easily reflect on their advertising campaigns. You know their slogans or catchy tunes used in their commercials. There is no confusion as to who they are.

And that’s what a good logo can do for you. It’s your companies flag or crest that you carry onto the battlefields of daily competition. It’s design and recognition say who you are. Your brand. No floor, shoes, legs or shorts to confuse what your business conveys.

Let OTR Web develop your brand.

 

Bob Niles

Bob Niles

Read more articles from Bob’s personal life experiences on his Blogspot site. Superiordribble.blogspot.com

Image Problems – Contact Marketing vs Interruptive Marketing

Image Problems

Contact Marketing vs Interruptive Marketing

Young Tom Booker was the trouble maker at Arrow Flats. If something was stolen, broken, painted over with graffiti or shot at it was usually Tom who received the first call from the sheriff. So it should of been no surprise to Tom when Sheriff Gibson questioned him about the number of fish he’d been bragging about down at Mel’s.

Mel’s was the coffee shop in town where all the locals shared breakfast, news and gossip over Mel’s weak bitter coffee. Seems Tom was shooting his mouth off to anyone who would listen about the number of fish he had caught in just half an hour. Sheriff Gibson, armed with this gossip and the complaint phone calls about explosions down at the lake had him very suspicious of young Tom.

“Now Tom,” Sheriff Gibson questioned through the hay stalk he held in one side of hisbrand image problems mouth. “Am I to understanding that you caught six rainbow trout and two perch in less than half an hour? At Lake Peed? Yesterday afternoon? Just you,…by yourself?” “Why yes-sir-ee-sir I sure did! And if-in you like Sheriff Gibson you could come with me today and we can catch us some more.”

“Now Tom, people think you’re using dynamite to do yer fishin. And we can’t have that round these parts. Understand Tom?” Sheriff Gibson pressed as the brim of his hat touched Toms face. “Oh no sir, yes sir Officer Gibson.” Tom gulped. “You go home and get yer poles and nets and bait and maybe yer fly rod with yer famous flys you tie that I’ve herd so much about and meet me down at the wharf?”

“Meet me in half an hour Tom.” said Sheriff Gibson as he walked to his car.
It was the sheriffs third trip from the car to the wharf with all his fishing gear before he even saw young Tom. He was whistling coming down the dock with what looked like a kids lunch box. “Where’s yer fishin gear Tom?” Hollered the Sheriff. To which Tom raised the box in his left hand and pointed to it with his right. “If-in yer using dynamite, like I think you are, to catch fish you’ll wind up in the county jail so fast it’ll make” … “Sheriff,” Tom interrupted, “I promise to you that ‘I’ am not using dynamite today to catch fish. Besides look at all that there equipment you got fer catching fish.”

They both hopped in the boat, Tom pulled on the motor, and they both set off to Toms secret fishing spot. A cool breeze lightly rippled the top of Peed Lake as Sheriff Gibson was switching from casting to fly fishing. He certainly had all the gear but it just wasn’t working today. He had just tied on his lucky fly to his line when he looked up to see Young Tom holding a lit stick of dynamite. “I knew it Tom! You can’t fool an old fisherman like me! I know how many fish are in here and how to catch them the tried and true way and YOU” … just then Young Tom threw the dynamite stick with the quickly shrinking lit fuse to Sheriff Gibson. The sheriff now holding the dynamite started doing some boat capsizing jig when Tom questioned his intentions. “Well sheriff are you gonna just dance around talking or are you gonna go fishin?”

Now just as young Tom exaggerated and tricked Sheriff Gibson into buying his method of fishing so do advertisers in their product lines. Audiences have learned to see through advertisers claims and it now has become a challenge to win the trust of customers. With contact marketing it’s more about communicating with the target market. And in doing so makes sense to try and gain as much respect as possible by telling the truth than to exaggerate the facts just to trick people into sales. Image problems occur when people realize they’ve been fooled by advertising. It can and does damage association with your brand.

Just ask young Tom whose spending time in the same place for the next 30 days.

Bob Niles
Bob Niles

Read more articles from Bob’s personal life experiences on his Blogspot site. Superiordribble.blogspot.com

Content Marketing & SEO Part 5

Content Marketing & SEO

One size fits all marketing is ineffective

Traditional marketing relied on a theory that one message can connect with a mass audience. The internet helped branding become more multidimensional. Websites can be full of different versions of brands. The one size fits all model was designed to reach a vast market through a numbers game and limited media, but it did not always reach its target market. Today SEO has become a realistic way to develop a significant loyal online community.

Brand Diversity

One of the keys to business survival in the 21st century has been brand diversity. TheBrand Awareness internet has made it easy for a brand to become a package that serves a market with many different niches. By offering many different products instead of one product a brand potentially reaches a much wider market. Each version of a brand can have its own web page using keywords associated with the brand. One of the many reasons for creating many different brand versions is to offer the brand in different languages.

Brand diversity may imply that a conglomerate is the force behind the business, but small businesses can also be diverse. Using creativity, a local business may find reasons to market different product versions to different market segments. The more a brand can offer customization, the more personalized it is and the more it fits the model sought by modern consumers.

Research Beyond Demographics

In the 1990’s demographics played a huge part in the mass marketing of one size fits all products. By selling products to specific target demographics there was a consensus among marketers that everything came down to age groups. Then psychographics became part of marketing that expanded the thinking to include interests and lifestyles as important market factors besides age group. Tech gadgets have been marketed as lifestyle items, in which several different versions fit different lifestyles.

Ever since Google introduced Analytics, the marketing world has gravitated toward this tool and similar traffic tracking programs as a measurement of marketing power. Analytics take the marketer into a world of online behavior, which can reflect how well a website is presented. Now that markets can be studied on a micro level, thanks to SEO and web stats, it’s possible for a marketer of a brand to meet the needs of various markets.

Updated Products

Unlike last century’s products, this century’s products require much more frequent updating, especially when it has anything to do with digital products. One marketing message can no longer summarize a product in a way that meets the needs of modern consumers. Software, books, video games, music and blogs can all be updated seamlessly in the cloud. Even T-shirts can now be designed in the cloud.

Part of SEO involves updating web pages, as search engines favor fresh content. Authoritative blogs that are updated frequently carry heavy weight with search engines. The internet has helped expand the boundaries of branding, giving owners more flexibility in reaching niche markets. All you mostly have to do as a content marketer is write a useful article for each different market you are trying to reach.

Reaching Niches with Content Marketing

The secret to effective content marketing has always been to create unique and compelling content. The beauty of content marketing is it allows you to get indexed in search engines as much as possible when writing about the various niches associated with your brand. While last century’s marketers were mainly concerned with demographics, this century’s marketers have much more data and must think about customers more as individuals than statistics. Take the lead in content marketing by writing about various niches within your market.

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.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Content Marketing vs Interruptive Marketing Part 4

Content Marketing vs Interruptive Marketing

Interruptive marketing annoys more than it helps

Interruptive marketing still exists online for those who can afford it. Since most people do not go online to click ads, online advertising should only be done when it makes sense and you have an idea how many people you will be reaching. It’s possible to create a successful campaign with interruptive advertising, usually after learning from failed campaigns.

Why Ads are Annoying

A big reason why interruptive ads continue to be annoying is that people have become more conscious of how time can get wasted, especially people who spend a lot of time watching television. Interruptive advertising on websites is forcing many users to move on to the next website faster, especially when it comes to trying to watch videos. Getting hit with an ad has become a two minute slowdown. Many times it’s easier to exit a website than wait for an ad to finish.

Since ads represent clutter, they are usually bothersome. Only once in awhile do ads Content Marketingcommunicate the way they were designed. Interruptive ads are starting to become hard to justify except in narrowly targeted situations. The problem with constantly interrupting people who don’t want to be interrupted is that it gets old. The person can also form a negative image of the brand if it is over-marketed.

Image Problems

We are moving into an era in which brands are considered phony if they don’t live up to their claims. It’s now easy to look up customer feedback for almost any brand, now that sites like Amazon keep track of consumer comments. Consumers are now conscious of giving such feedback sites weight compared with advertising. The rising popularity of content marketing is causing businesses to understand the negative impact of interruptive advertising.

Now that audiences have learned to see through advertiser claims, it’s becoming a challenge for businesses to win the trust of customers. Since content marketing is more about communicating with the target market, it makes sense to try to gain as much respect as possible by telling the truth than to exaggerate the facts just to trick people into sales. When people realize they’ve been fooled by advertising, it can damage association with the brand.

Less Like Radio

The irony about radio advertising is that it does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. Instead of delivering a message to a mass audience, it’s delivering a message to people who have switched stations during commercials.In order to meet the standards of content marketing, it’s important to think of the opposite of how radio commercials have been made. Many commercials have used phony voices to try to give the spot more energy. Today’s marketing is closer to being conversational without theatrical characters.

Traditional radio commercials usually told you a limited amount of information to fit the format of a 30 or 60 second spot, whereas content marketing does not limit its message to the constraints of a third party. Radio commercials always get clustered with other commercials in “stopsets,” which is exactly when many people tune out of the radio. Clearly, most people do not listen to radio commercials no matter what the message is.

Another problem with radio commercials is due to the time constraint, many times the announcer will speed up his or her voice and speak too fast to be understood. If you watch business videos designed to raise brand awareness through content marketing, you will likely come across more relaxed than hyper presentations. Interruptive ads have become more annoying over time now that people have learned to use the internet as a quick gateway to many free activities.

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.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web – Delivers What You Need With Style.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Content Marketing vs Mass Marketing Part 3

Content Marketing vs Mass Marketing

People Have Learned To Tune Out Mass Marketing

Content marketing of the 21st century is quickly turning into something much different than the marketing of the previous century. In the 20th century not much attention was paid to how many people you offended through marketing. All that mattered was sales conversions. In the new century, consumers are looked at more as individuals rather than statistics, so this shift has created a set of new marketing standards.

Consumer Behavior

It’s difficult to predict consumer behavior, regardless of the type of marketing. One thing clear about the internet revolution is that consumers are no longer quiet about bad purchases. Social media, forums and blog activity have steered a growing number of self-educated consumers toward using the internet for research before making a purchase. Customer reviews on sites like Amazon have become part of research.

New Call-to-ActionThroughout the growth of the internet, users have been bombarded with thousands of ads that had zero effect. People have now seen so much advertising since the 1990s on a daily basis that it has a nullifying effect on most advertising. People learn to not worry about the stack of coupons kept in a drawer or in their email. Since people witness so much marketing in any given day, it’s easy to conclude that most of this marketing doesn’t work for any given individual, as most advertising represents clutter.

Years of Advertising

People have figured out that advertising does not always present the best messages aboutContent Marketing - Big Media products. Many times products are over-hyped by ads. Consumers are no longer easily fooled by emotional appeal used by advertisers. The internet has taught many consumers how to articulate what they like or dislike about a product. Ultimately, as people sharpen their brand awareness skills, advertising is becoming more informational than persuasive, at least with content marketing.

One of the important lessons that stands out about advertising is that consumers have become aware of sales pressure, which can lead to high credit card bills. The internet has erased the barrier of location, which gives consumers more choices. Sales pressure is not embraced in content marketing, which favors guiding users through a sales funnel with interesting facts that eventually lead to a product.

Authenticity in Demand

Now that it’s easy for anyone to start their own web business, there is a growing need to separate helpful websites from sites that waste time. Mass marketers can be found everywhere online, which has contributed to an overall consumer skepticism about advertising. Like all advertising arenas, the number of people who respond to ads even on popular social networks is a small percentage.

The reason authenticity is becoming part of the new marketing paradigm is that original content rather than duplicate content is favored by search engines. The more your website follows Google’s guidelines, the less you have to worry about it. The main objective of content marketing is to provide plenty of valuable content that is of interest to an online community.

Why Content Marketing Works

Content marketing is a completely different world than interruptive marketing. Instead of interrupting someone’s day, your articles and blogs are found in search engines by people who care. Instead of annoying users with advertisements, you provide them with stories that promote products. These stories are presented in a unique way, which helps search rankings.

A main strength to content marketing is that it helps establish the relationship between the business and the customer. Interactivity through social networks or email helps achieve goals for both parties. While traditional marketing relied on wordplay and image, today’s content marketing is more about developing trust through sharing accurate and helpful information.

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.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Inbound Marketing & Big Media Advertising Part 2

Inbound Marketing & Big Media Advertising

Big media advertising is expensive and high risk

One of the traps that many start-ups have fallen into has been to set aside a budget for traditional media advertising. This budget can be drained quickly because it involves a fun element, which is creating commercials. But once the spots are run, pressure builds to see a return on investment. Television and radio spots are seen and heard by thousands of people, but most viewers and listeners still consider commercials to be an interruption.

Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Media

Traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers still reach a huge audience. It’s still a way to deliver a message to the masses and hope that the numbers game will produce a return on investment. The cost of a radio spot depends on how big the station’s market is, but in major markets a sixty second spot can cost hundreds of dollars per minute. Even though television advertising is much more expensive than radio advertising, they both equate to seeing thousands of dollars spent quickly.Improve your Lead Generation today!Inbound marketing usually does not reach as many people as television or radio audiences, but connects more with the target market. While traditional media marketing relies on reaching as many people as possible to produce a single digit percentage of respondents, inbound marketing aims at building a more loyal following, instead of a general following. Reaching followers through blogs and social media has a more personalized feel than traditional media.

Commercial Risks

In the late 1990s one of the reasons there was a “dotcom bust” was that many new internetBig Media Advertising companies thought they could create markets for their brands through buying radio and television time. Many of these companies attracted funding that helped pay for the advertising, but they eventually collapsed due to having poor business models that did not have clear revenue streams.

The lesson of the dotcom implosion helped steer internet companies toward more concrete business models. The collapse of hundreds of companies served as a reminder that markets cannot be created so quickly just by spending a lot of money on exposure. Part of marketing that remains true is that you cannot build a brand overnight regardless of the medium.

Print Advantages

In recent decades the number of newspapers and magazines have dwindled, but advertising rates have remained high. Ask yourself if advertising in a newspaper helps your cause in any way, knowing that most of your market gets its news online. Big ads – the expensive kind – work best in print, but the best deal when it comes to print is printing your own flyer and mass distributing it through various channels.

You can combine print with inbound marketing by offering printed materials to people who request them through your website. A big part of inbound marketing is offering free items that give people a chance to engage with your brand. You can use print to promote your website locally at stores that reflect your industry. Working with a printer is also helpful in getting your logo on various marketing items.

Avoiding Expensive Advertising

There’s a tendency for some business owners to blame sales declines on lack of advertising. But a business is much more than the product it advertises, which is why advertising does not always work. Mass advertising works when many factors have come together. Loyalty, brand awareness and reputation are just as important as the message being advertised.

It’s better to conserve resources and develop a business slowly than to try to jump start a business with expensive media advertising. By building a market with inbound marketing, a company can focus on developing a long term organic following.

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.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Value Based Customer Service

Value Based Customer Service

It has been said that the airlines are one of the primary examples of value based pricing. They have convinced the public that if the person next to them is flying for much less than they are it is because of some factor that we (the passenger in the seat next) could not get because of time or some other nebulous consideration. The airlines have convinced us that we should pay additional to fly with luggage with an increasing rate for 1 bag or 2 bags and a horrendous rate for 3 or more bags. Here have a couple of cookies and a pop … really it’s on us! We seem to accept this and are happy to fly on their airline. 

What they have missed was the unintentional results of this “value based pricing.” As they started to charge for luggage, passengers reduced the larger bags and started using the carry-on.  The value based customer serviceconsequence was the carry-on bag now filled the overhead bins to the extent that the airlines were forced to offer to check your bag for free at the gate. Today you get on a plane and often have to place your laptop bag under the seat rather than into the bin because there is no room. Or you can pay an additional fee for more “value” and jump to the front of the line so you can be the one to get your bags into the overhead bins.

What the airlines have forgotten is the other “value” and that is the value of the passenger who is the customer. It is the customer that pays the fares, the customer which generates the revenue base that allows the airline to schedule the flights.

 The formula is Customer> Value> Price> Cost.  The idea is the customer perceives the value and is willing to pay the price. 

A further unintentional result is the manner in which the employees end up treating the customers.  The culture runs down from the top and when the CEO’s and CFO’s decisions are based upon selling perceived value that philosophy carries over to every department of the company.

A real life example … recently I was flying from Boston to Denver on a United flight. The passengers were herded into Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. Group 1 boarded and then group 2 and so on until it came to group 4. At that point there was an announcement that the overhead bins on the aircraft were virtually full and it was probable that you would have to check your bags or place them under your seat. One CSR came down to the agent who was checking the tickets and asked if he could announce that people that were willing to check their bags could come forward and they could board right away.  In a loud voice and with complete disdain this agent stated, “I do not do that any longer as the passengers were getting smarter and simply tore the tags off while going down the ramp and then boarded the aircraft with their carry-on in tow.” Of course the cattle in Group 4 were supposed to hear this and be properly chastened, as they were the group that placed the lowest “value” on the flight and as a result were the last group to board the flight. It was a despicable display that treated the airlines customers as worse than second class customers.

The question is how was all of this allowed to come about? We the passengers must take some blame but that is difficult because for the most part all of the airlines do the same. Banks are another example, do it our way or don’t do it at all. This whole value system comes down from the top of the organisations. Pricing executives are hired and moved to the upper floors of the corporation. Value has become king and service moved to the lower realms.

I am not against sales and purchases being made on value.  I am willing to pay what I think/believe something is worth; but it cannot be at the expense of courtesy, dignity and customer service. It cannot be because each company has gone the same route and left the passenger with no choice except to accept they are cattle to be herded into Groups. These same executives that preach value based pricing must also preach excellence in customer service. Every passenger is important and should never be made to feel lesser and unimportant to the airline or any other company. 

I have railed against an airline and in particular United because I had firsthand experience; but the principle remains the same for all business. Price on value and sell on the perceived value, but always remember the basic truth and that is the customer is always number 1.

Starbucks does it well … ever paid for their coffee? You are paying for the experience and the perceived value and you are treated well.  Airlines and banks figure it out and do it better.

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.

Content Marketing – Distributing Content

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.

Your Business Brand and Social Media

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.

Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content

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.