Social Media & Content Marketing Part 11

Social Media & Content Marketing

Social Media opens many new doors instantly

Social media has provided a big boost to content marketing because it allows you to organize audiences that you create into groups. It’s possible to use one social media platform to talk with various groups of followers. Using various platforms to reach various niches is an option, but the more interaction can be consolidated into one place, the easier it is to manage your social media campaigns.

Audience Size

The beauty of content marketing is that it does not have to reach millions of people to have an impact. Crafting niche content that attracts one thousand followers who have the intent to make online purchases is not a difficult goal to reach anymore. Analytics give us a lot of numbers to think about such as page views and number of unique visitors, but as soon as you can attract hundreds of followers, it’s possible to develop a steady stream of online income.

Social MediaAn online audience can essentially be built for free if you take the time to connect with new people one at a time. Finding five new online friends per day is enough to build a base of over 100 followers in a month. All you really have to do is click people after studying their profile. Each of the major social networks has a system for requesting online friendships. Google+ is a social network that encourages new relationships.Facebook puts audience limits on personal profiles but allows professional profiles to have thousands of followers. Audience size is based on how much time you want to invest in building it.

Friends of Friends

The key to building a loyal market that reflects your values, is to build a network one person at a time with individuals who match your target market. This project can take several months, but it simply involves interacting with friends of friends on social networks, leading to a maze of new contacts. You simply study a friend’s profile and look for people who share your views. It’s a good idea to avoid people who don’t share your views so that you can avoid a lot of long time consuming conversations.

As people who like the same things are grouped into networks, it becomes easier for like-minded people to connect more often. It’s important for friends to “like” each other’s posts on Facebook because it tells Facebook the content is important. It gives Facebook a better idea of which content should be displayed on individual news feeds.

Personalized Market Research

One of the most profound ways social media has revolutionized marketing is that it has created a more intense focus on actual individuals rather than treating customers as statistics. You can now find out many things about a customer through social media interactivity that was not known by marketers in the past. Finding out someone’s favorite movies or sports teams might be an ice breaker in a conversation about selling tax preparation services.

Social media has become a barometer for how respected you are as an online entertainer. You can figure out which type of posts get the best reactions. You can study the posts of popular social media superstars. You can also learn who your most loyal supporters are and the content they like the most. Social media lets you learn the emotions and inside stories about your market, giving you a better sense of awareness than raw statistics.

Facebook and other social networks have allowed believers in the same message to find each other easily online. Take the lead in content marketing by joining social network groups devoted to your topic and make new genuine friendships.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations 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

Multimedia Entertainment & Content Marketing Part 10

Multimedia Entertainment & Content Marketing

Technology Lets Us Be More Entertaining

Technology has turned many individuals into multimedia entertainers. No longer are art and commerce considered far apart, as it usually takes some form of graphic art to bring brands to life through content marketing. People appreciate the combination of not only text with photographs, but text with video, audio, animation, infographics or other form of digital expression.

Online Entertainers

multimediaSocial media and mobile technology are the two important factors that give anyone access to creating their own media channel. Facebook alone has accelerated society into a state in which creating and sharing customized media is becoming common. No longer is fame a distant destination. It’s possible to build an online following just by adding remarks to news articles. The tools are now in place for anyone to entertain an audience on a daily basis and build the audience through social networks.

Last century many people had dreams about being entertainers but did not train themselves to be entertainers. People were taught that the chances of making it as a star in the entertainment business were slim. Last century it took a lot of effort to get 10 people to show up to an event. This century’s tools make it possible to put communities together in the hundreds or thousands all because of the direction that content marketing is moving, which is mixing information with entertainment.

Niche Video Stars

YouTube has created an incredible number of niche video stars in the new century. It’s important to understand that this shift toward allowing anyone in the public to have their own video channel with no prior video experience has dramatically changed many of the rules about video production. No longer does production have to be slick and carefully scripted.

Most of the videos you find on YouTube designed for business presentation is much more relaxed than the characters you might see in a television commercial. People have learned to be themselves on camera after a few decades of home movies. It turns out that acting comfortable on camera does not require acting lessons or a Hollywood resume.

The growing popularity of YouTube is a signal that online video is here to stay and that home video can be taken seriously when it captures memorable content. The combination of producing useful video content in an entertaining way with appropriate tags can help build an online following, especially since Google now gives high rankings to unique informative videos.

Multimedia Experimentation

Content marketing is all about experimenting with various multimedia to get the attention of an online audience. Video has been the most common way to showcase the new paradigm of multimedia entertainment. Audiences have been latching onto video games, animation and slide shows in addition to consuming niche videos that are not necessarily targeted for a large audience.

We are still in an age in which the limits of multimedia are undefined. Multimedia has been a slowly brewing dimension that can go many creative directions. The interactive quality of multimedia continues to be a wide open frontier for tech designers. The more developers can get people to interact with their gadgets, the more multimedia becomes a seamless part of everyday life. Apps have helped multimedia become mainstream.

But new ideas for multimedia do not necessarily have to come from engineers. Like people who upload videos to YouTube or music to ReverbNation, anyone can experiment with content to expand the possibilities of multimedia. There are enough tools to play with, such as WordPress, Photoshop and iMovie, to create captivating presentations. Take the lead in multimedia production by working with creative graphic artists who understand animation.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations 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

Repurposing Content

Repurposing Content for Various Media Formats

Multimedia has been a concept developing for decades to empower creative minds by presenting a message through different forms of communication. Computers and the internet have become the vehicles for accomplishing many multimedia dreams. The amazing power of the computer is that it can now combine video, radio, music, books, slide shows and many other types of media into one platform.

Deciding on Formats

Your computer has become your media center for producing content that can be Repurposing Contentexperienced through several different formats such as video files, audio files, news feeds, text files, image files, HTML and many other things. You don’t really need to know the technical side of multimedia other than how to copy and paste a code into web pages. Understanding basic HTML is a good idea even if you never plan to write code. Then again, if all your web-based solutions will be through easy to use cloud platforms, then all you really need to know is how to click a button that says “upload.”

No longer do you need to worry about the technical headaches and bandwidth issues of hosting your own videos, since you can just upload your videos to YouTube and link to them on your site. Images as well as videos are hosted on Flickr. You can create slideshows with SlideShare. Ebooks can be constructed through cloud platforms such as CreateSpace, Lulu or Libiro. Audio can be recorded and stored on SoundCloud. You can also upload original music to ReverbNation. Each of these platforms allows you to build a digital library for multimedia presentations. Let your imagination guide you on the appropriate forms of media to reach your audience.

Hard Copy Formats

The physical world and digital world can work together in an efficient streamlined manner. While digital publishing is more cost efficient and eco-friendly than print, there are certain times when it’s reasonable to use print to expand your market. It’s also true that CDs and DVDs are wise to manufacture if you know there’s a demand for them. It becomes unwise to manufacture thousands of physical discs if you have no way of marketing or distributing them. You may want to create different versions of your content for each type of media format so that it’s not considered duplicate content by search engines.

The best of both worlds is accomplished when you use an on demand philosophy. If you have 100 requests for your ebook in hard copy form, then it makes sense to print 100 books. You can do the same thing with selling videos as downloads or DVDs or music as downloads or CDs. By interacting with followers on social networks, you will be able to learn the formats in which people want to consume your content. You may want to manufacture a limited number of DVDs and CDs simply to give out free at street fairs and trade shows. Printed flyers are still one of the best ways to get the word out about your business.

Advanced Multimedia

Remember that standing out is always more important than blending in when it comes to content marketing. If your competition isn’t doing anything too amazing with content, then almost any multimedia ideas you come up with will be better. But if your competition presents a lot of videos, photos, audio and ebooks, you might trying taking multimedia to the next level. Creative cutting edge media such as video games, highly attractive colorful infographics and heat maps, animation and interactive technology. Take the lead in content marketing by investing in equipment and software that helps you produce sophisticated, artistic multimedia productions.

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.

Reactive Content for Social Sharing

Reactive Content for Social Sharing

Content that creates any kind of significant and fast spreading online buzz is considered viral and sometimes called “contagious content.” What are the qualities of videos, images, blogs and articles that go viral? It definitely has more to do with standing out than blending in. Evidence suggests that people who sort through YouTube deciding on what to watch pay attention to views, as popularity attracts more viewers. That’s why the more “likes” you can initially generate, the more chance others will watch it.

Seeing Through Viral Hype

The biggest myth about viral content is that there’s a certain formula that can work for anyone. viral contentObviously not all content creators have equal significance. No matter how many experts you listen to about the keys to crafting viral content, the top viral videos and blogs will usually either come from an already popular website or somehow receive exposure from a popular media outlet.

The video to the novice song “Friday” by Rebecca Black was the most viewed video on YouTube in 2011 and sparked a national discussion on how such an amateur could overshadow professional recording artists. What was amazing was that over 80 percent of viewers who rated the video voted “dislike.” The mystery can be explained by the fact that the viral activity began after the video was mentioned on a popular blog by comedian Michael J. Nelson. From there it was reviewed and ridiculed by several media outlets.

Viral videos can also be rigged. In December 2012 YouTube discovered and cancelled two billion views for music videos were faked possibly by hackers who worked for the music industry. In other words, don’t be distracted too much by what’s considered hot online because there’s always a chance it’s misleading, distorted, rigged or hyped information.

Viral Factors

Your video or blog might never be viewed by millions, but you might still have a chance to get enough attention to attract an audience that helps your business. One of the most important factors of viral content is that it gets reviewed by influencers such as popular bloggers. Developing an ongoing relationship with several successful bloggers can plant seeds to future viral action. Content that has no connection with other online influences will likely not go viral on its own.

The actual content can take on many different forms in viral scenarios. Short wacky videos and informative lengthy blogs are typical examples of contagious content. But there are no real ways to predict what can go viral, other than the content is usually filtered through popular media channels. Other terms that have been used by experts to characterize viral qualities include: relevant, controversial, personable, creative, inspiring, emotional, humane, humorous, shocking and daring. Catchy titles help as well.

Consistent Vision

Stay true to what you believe in instead of trying to figure out how to fit into popular schemes. Brand StrategyCompromising your vision for short-lived popularity might not be worth it because viral activity does not guarantee sales conversions or building long term loyalty. As long as you craft creative content you should be in the running for viral opportunities, provided that it catches the attention of influencers with big audiences.

If you come across viral content that inspires you and fits your vision, then go ahead and experiment with it, but don’t just do something controversial or shocking to try to go viral. What works for others might not work for you. It’s fine to experiment with humor and novelty, but never lose site of solving problems. Take the lead in content marketing by crafting edgy educational content that no one else is doing.

Would you like to get exclusive & relevant information such as this blog/article  delivered to your mailbox? Join our OTR Web Newsletter now.

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 Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Interacting with Followers

Interacting With Followers Is Crucial To Your Business. Learn Why!

Content marketing is strengthened exponentially with social media in mind. You can rely on search Social Media Brandingengines to a degree to help bring you a certain amount of traffic, but if you want to accelerate loyalty and possibly sales, you will need to interact with followers through social media. The most popular social networks are Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You don’t need a presence on each of them, just the ones that suit your goals.

The Power of Interaction

The quote from Ian Conklin that “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them” applies to search engines, websites and social media as vehicles for knowledge discovery. People feel rewarded by making the right connections in their networks. Take advantage of the fact that half the world is now looking to make new friends online through social media to help with problem solving and possibly career advancement.

Interaction through the internet is a much more empowering form of communication than a person who passively absorbs television or radio programming. Social media can deliver immediate answers and responses faster than email or any other electronic medium besides the telephone. Social media is more convenient than the telephone, which can be interruptive at times, whereas people with social profiles crave attention. Another strength that social media offers is group discussion that can expand through content sharing.

Mixing Art with Messages

Putting Paint to Canvas

Putting Paint to Canvas

What’s spectacular about social media sharing is that it allows you to express yourself in artistic ways that had previously not been possible. You can now easily associate your message with a song, a movie clip or a painting to help reach a common ground with followers. Sharing original art, music, video or photography with your message can give a personal touch to your campaign. It’s easy to type a post with a link to your blog or article and upload other media at the same time, creating a multidimensional post.

Posting news articles with artistic graphics and a theme that goes along with your writing is a creative way to lead followers to your content. Facebook and Google Plus give you flexibility for combining multiple links on one post. The visual imagery helps pull in readers from their news feed, which is important, since only about 15 percent of your Facebook friends will see your posts in news feeds. Facebook learns through “likes” and comments what the most active friends are for each individual and serves them their own individual news feed of top connections. So it’s important to create as many impressive posts as possible to increase visibility.

Comments and Likes

Your social media interactivity should include reading other people’s posts as well as writing your own. You can write comments on people’s “walls” on Facebook just by clicking their names. If someone likes your comment it’s a good idea to like their comments at least once in a while. It helps remind them of your content and builds a connection that keeps your feeds active.
Adding new unknown followers on Facebook can be done for a business profile, but is discouraged for personal profiles, so you may want to have two separate profiles on Facebook.

Google Plus is more about building new relationships online and engaging in more about knowledge, while Facebook has a more fun and casual orientation. Both social networks allow you to create subgroups focused on specific discussions. Twitter is more about promoting links with simple short statements.Take the lead in content marketing by interacting with followers on a level that creates a meaningful bond that is mutually beneficial.

Would you like to get exclusive & relevant information such as this blog/article  delivered to your mailbox? Join our OTR Web Newsletter now.

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 Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

SEO – Improving Search Rankings

SEO – Improving Search Rankings

Search rankings will be responsible for a major percentage of the traffic that comes to your site if you use search engine optimization (SEO). Keywords, relevance, content quality, content quantity, popularity and authoritative reputation are the most essential components of this process for building an online community.

SEO Checklist

Here are several elements your website needs to strengthen its SEO. Keep in mind that search engine guidelines have been evolving for years and may be different in the future. The following are some of the more timeless elements that have survived the algorithm changes. Another reality to remember is no one can guarantee specific search rankings using SEO.

1. Create a sitemap that outlines your site, linked from the homepage.
2. Exchange links only with quality sites relevant to your site.
3. Use relevant web page titles that contain keywords.
4. Write unique quality content designed to improve the user experience.
5. Avoid creating web pages far away from the root directory.
6. Stay away from JavaScript, AJAX, Flash and Frames as much as possible.
7. Keep adding fresh content to your site as often as possible.
8. Use keywords for links within your site instead of “click here.”
9. Make your site as user-friendly as possible with easy navigation.
10.Avoid spamming keywords or other outdated black hat tricks.

White Hat vs Black Hat

Learn the difference between white hat SEO, which follows search engine guidelines, and black hat SEO, SEOwhich could get your site banned. Google and other search engines reward sites with strong useful content, while penalizing sites for thin and useless content or tricks designed to manipulate search results. As long as you keep in mind that all your content should be crafted for the user and not to trick search engines, you should not have to worry about getting banned from search engines.

Since search engines will eventually catch up with new deceptive gimmicks, it’s best to focus on developing quality content. A site can get banned for several reasons, such as links to worthless or malicious sites, overuse of ads or sites that share servers with banned sites. The best SEO advice you can memorize is to avoid all black hat schemes and pay attention to increasing your compelling content.

Focus on Content, Not Techniques

Even though there are several search engines, Google is by far the most popular and should be your main concern for SEO. But try not to get too wrapped up in the SEO game because it can distract from your goals of attracting customers with useful content. Spend more time on making your content as relatable and relevant as possible to your audience.

Not all SEO techniques work equally for all site owners. If you own an educational site, then links from .edu sites can help your search rankings. If you’re a local business then you should get listed in as many credible local directories as possible, such as Google Places for Business, Yelp and Zagat.

General Tips for All Sites

Getting +1’s in Google+ can help your search rank in Google more than Facebook likes. Keep your blogs at least in the 400-600 word range with keyword density below seven percent and never buy links.The content should appeal to influencers, such as expert bloggers, so that it has a chance of being reviewed by other sites.Images are best indexed when they include captions that relate to the content and include ALT tags.Take the lead in content marketing by sharpening your focus on the most important elements of SEO, which are quality-text, images and links.

Would you like to get relevant information such as this blog/article  delivered to your mailbox? Join our OTR Web Newsletter now.


Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

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 Partner with HubSpot.

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

Facebook for Business

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.

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.


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 Providing Useful Solutions

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.

Content Marketing Integrating Visuals

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 or

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.

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