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

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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

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Inbound Marketing & Business Relationships Part 9

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.

Inbound Marketing Consumers Empowerment Part 7

Inbound Marketing Consumers Empowered

Economic factors encourage customers to be researchers

The internet has represented consumer empowerment since the 1990’s because it operates like a high speed phone book. It takes you wherever you want to go, including to websites of competitors you just visited. Due to last century’s marketing that promised more than it delivered, consumers have become skeptical of unfamiliar brands, but are able to quickly learn about brands as a result of inbound marketing.

Marketing Affordability

One of the reasons many people use the internet is to learn how to save money. When Phone Book Advertisingbudgets tighten, people intensify searches as “affordable” becomes an important keyword to attract bargain hunters. At the same time, many consumers are looking for the best quality at the lowest price. The internet is competitive because it gives you a lot of different choices quickly.

At physical stores consumers deal with extra problematic variables such as shelf space and number of units in stock. If a product sells out it can create inconveniences for customers. Online markets have eliminated the problem of store hours and inventories. Since many store costs have been reduced, online marketers can afford to sell products at lower prices than retail.

Accelerated Research

What consumers are really latching onto when they begin to have favorite blogs is a feeling of comfort that they have learned something from someone online. Surfing the net can take up a lot of time and sometimes there’s nothing to show for it. But engaging through social media and online discussions can generate a useful dialogue that builds loyalty and interest while saving time. For many people saving time is just as valuable as saving money.

Search engines have been such helpful time saving devices that they can instantly bring you in touch with any market imaginable through keywords. Searching for something online is not the same type of passive activity as sitting through TV commercials. In many ways TV advertising chases away customers while inbound marketing invites customers to participate with the product.

Lower Marketing Costs

One of the main keys to inbound marketing is that it helps make your brand a star in several categories instead of just one. The marketing of several different products under one brand name has become an incredibly powerful way to maximize marketing at lower costs.The more variety in products and services you can offer, the more visibility you will generate online and the more chances for customers to find you.

Imagine if you had a different brand name for every different product you sold. If you sold hundreds of different products it could cost a lot of money just to design each logo. But one brand that can be marketed hundreds of different ways is a much more economically efficient venture. In many cases brands are becoming about values related to visions of the world. People now value brands that share similar visions, such as going green.

The Value of Information

Thanks to search engines and inbound marketing, original information has become valuable. At one time marketing costs were high in order to have access to a big passive audience that wasn’t necessarily in the mood to buy. Now marketing costs are low to reach a big active audience that is already searching to buy. All it takes is effort on the part of the marketer to put these pieces together and connect with followers.

The road to becoming successful at inbound marketing involves placing value in stories about your products. Take the lead in inbound marketing by offering free information that helps others gain economic advantages and makes your site more valuable than sites with less information.

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 is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

Inbound Marketing – SEO Part 6

Inbound Marketing – SEO

People want information, not persuasive ads

Consumers have naturally become more curious in the internet era about products before they buy them. Instead of the more expensive trial and error approach of learning over time which products meet specific needs, consumers can learn from other consumers quickly at no cost thanks to online reviews. In the 20th century consumers were generally quiet about products that didn’t deliver what the advertising promised, but in the new century there is much less room for error.

Product Information

The internet has elevated people’s awareness about the value of product information. Inbound Marketing should be combined with SEO thus devoting entire articles to specific products or services. Storytelling about products in blogs and articles has become a common form of content marketing. At the same time, consumers are learning to be more careful about how they spend money online. More people are using the internet to learn about products, even if they make purchases at physical stores.

At one time consumers weren’t expected to know a lot of product information, back when they were sold one size fits all packages prior to computers becoming mainstream. The computer revolution was part of what changed the consumer landscape, as consumers were expected to choose the variables of hardware and software. People now have a lot of brand awareness about various facets of the computer industry thanks to tech marketing turning common people into techies.

Avoiding the Hype

As the online community has become empowered to know sets of choices for almost any circumstance, online surfers try to maximize search time by avoiding links that do not produce desired results. The weakest web pages are the ones in which the intent was clearly marketing with minimal product information given. There should be a link to deeper information until you get to the product page.

Products no longer need outrageous slogans and taglines to get people’s attention. Now it’sBig Advertisment easier to get people’s attention by being more relatable, using sensible SEO. The reason brands are expected to live up to their claims more than ever is that a different brand is always a click away. One of the main causes of people avoiding a brand is pushy sales.People now have many ways to quickly find many different alternative choices.A brand is powerful if it can explain itself using various media that can be instantly accessed.

One of the most evident trends in content marketing is to avoid any type of traditional sales approach. While the goal of traditional marketing was to develop sales leads and convert them as soon as possible, the goal of content marketing is more to nurture leads and worry about sales as they happen. More value is placed on individual relationships than whether or not someone has made a purchase.

The Rise of Blogging

Bloggers became important to the online community the same way DJs became important to the music community. Successful bloggers attract a big online following by sharing useful information. The most popular bloggers are considered “influencers” of other writers and users of social networks. Bloggers try to be early adopters of products to show followers that they are on the cutting edge. Getting your product covered by a popular blogger is free valuable advertising.

Search engines treat authoritative bloggers as priorities when it comes to search rankings, so part of the marketing strategy of a product is researching bloggers. Writing your own blog using SEO also carries more weight than a web page full of ads. Take the lead in content marketing by avoiding persuasive language and focusing on writing that acts more as a gateway to a learning experience.

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 is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.

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.

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.

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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.

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 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 Picktochart.com or Visual.ly.

Heat Maps

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

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

Use Your Imagination

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

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


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

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

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

Is SEO Dead Alive or Just Different

Is SEO Dead or Alive?

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

Organic SEO

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

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

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

Not So Organic SEO

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

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

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

Where is SEO Alive and Well

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

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

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

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

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

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