Social Media & Content Marketing Part 11

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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

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Inbound Marketing & Business Relationships Part 9

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Inbound Marketing & Business Relationships

Business relationships are becoming more personalized

The era of customers being treated only as statistics is ending. A more personalized statistics vs Inbound Marketingapproach to marketing is becoming more common, especially when it comes to business relationships that involve a lot of transactions. Loyalty and trust have become the benchmarks to winning online business through inbound marketing, which connects niche markets with unique content about the products.

Personalized Business Culture

One of the feelings you can easily get exploring the web is that it’s much easier to communicate with a CEO or managers of small companies than getting any kind of response from big business management. The internet can be used to strengthen associations in a matter of clicks on a contact page. Marketing software allows a company to create profiles for each of their customers. Businesses that use marketing software can establish closer relationships with customers and categorize them according to their purchasing behavior.

At one time everyone was pitched by pushy sales people. But the internet has made almost every industry more competitive, so a lot of the pushy attitude has faded. Pushy sales techniques have become bothersome because they can waste the time of a person not interested in the product. The hard sell approach began to become very unpopular during the financial crash of 2008, which found half the country deep in credit card debt. The financial crash caused many people to pay closer attention to their expenses and to the businesses they spend money on.

Community Vision

The key to understanding how inbound marketing is changing the business world is that many business decisions now relate to shared vision. Crowdfunding is a form of shared vision that offers alternative ways to fund projects. Small businesses, through creativity and partnerships, can succeed by serving the needs of online communities with similar visions.

When you think of all the different communities that exist in the world, it’s unlikely that there is a definitive website for every community. How many times have you tried searching online for something that you knew existed but the search delivered zero search results? The point is that it is fairly easy to start a website devoted to an existing large community without facing much competition.

Trying to get to know a thousand different people online is no longer a big issue, since friends from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn can end up being in the thousands for any given person. It’s now fairly simple to connect with real people online as business is naturally becoming more social media-friendly and personalized. More than ever before, there is a need to document as much information about customer behavior as possible, especially if they care about the company’s vision.

How Business Becomes Personalized

One way that business becomes personalized is through a constant reminder such as a newsletter. A well written blog has a personalized feel and becomes even more personalized with reader comments. For many businesses, their social media profile delivers their personal message to the world. For free, a business can build content on a Facebook page and then have their web domain point to the Facebook page. Social media interaction is how many business relationships permeate over time.

Perhaps the most important reason why business is becoming more personalized is that consumers have quickly adopted trust as the main criterion for establishing loyalty with a business. Trust can be built on elaborate inbound marketing through deep devotion to the product. It can also be built on open discussions about customer feedback. Take the lead in earning the trust of online followers by sharing a wealth of meaningful information about your industry.

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 Web requirements

Contact OTR Web.

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Content Marketing vs Interruptive Marketing Part 4

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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.

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Content Marketing vs Mass Marketing Part 3

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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.

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Content Marketing & Small Business Part 1

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Content Marketing & Small Business

Small businesses are shut out of big media

How did content marketing become such a big deal in the 21st century? It can all be traced back to how last century’s outbound marketing invaded people’s lives too much and didn’t do enough for small business. Outbound marketing is usually interruptive in the form of visual or audio advertising. The main problem with outbound marketing was that you had to do a lot of it to make any kind of impact.

Budget Constraints

Small businesses simply do not have the budgets to gamble with expensive advertising thatContent Marketing Budgets may not work. Television, radio and newspaper advertising each require repetition to be effective. But to gain visibility and brand awareness through this type of mass media, it can take several months of advertising to see results, which may not be the best return on investment. Big companies can afford saturating their markets with continuous advertising that can run several thousand dollars per month, but small companies cannot afford constant advertising.

Limited Message

Another problem with traditional media marketing was that it only gave you small snippets of information about the product. It was impossible to learn much about a product just from a newspaper ad or radio commercial. Part of the problem was that the advertiser was only given so much time or space to deliver a message. Last century’s marketing messages encompassed vague slogans designed to be one size fits all solutions.

One of the biggest weaknesses of traditional media advertising was that the target market was not always clear. You could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on reaching big markets, but there was no guarantee that the advertising would generate sales. The broadcast industries blurred the picture further by using questionable ratings research as evidence that people pay attention to commercials. The fact is that media advertising can work, but does not always work.

Internet Expansion

The internet opened doors for marketers who were trying to get away from last century’s marketing approach that was expensive and invasive. In many cases, advertising was full of exaggeration. A more consumer-friendly approach has developed on the internet that allows marketers and consumers to connect when it’s right for both of them.

Instead of interrupting content with commercials, content marketing provides the information people are already searching for, presented in a digestible way.By designing a series of online messages through blogs and articles, you can educate customers about products much faster than in the past. You can even get some customers to speed up their purchases.

Content marketing avoids hard sell language and concentrates on giving readers the most important product information and then funnels toward web pages devoted to deeper details. By creating thorough web pages about products, pages are indexed by search engines, which can potentially equate to vast amounts of free advertising.

Alternatives to Mainstream Media

The rise of content marketing may not have happened if small business had not been shut out of mainstream media. Expensive advertising led to big business having a heavy presence on local television, newspapers and radio as small companies were overshadowed. Thanks to Google’s AdWords pay per click program small businesses finally found low cost ways to reach their target markets.Google and other search engines have also contributed to customers finding the businesses they are looking for faster.

Take the lead in content marketing by building a website full of content that people are searching for. If you build a small business site full of unique information that cannot be found elsewhere, it’s possible for search engines to create your core market and for content marketing to nurture 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.

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