Content Marketing: Tips to Writing Original Content

In order to get noticed by search engines and readers alike, you need to make sure that you are writing original content. However, with so many blogs being written every day, it can seem overwhelming to have to come up with something new to say on a regular basis.

Topics: Content marketing Marketing Strategy Writing succesful content marketing strategies

7 Ways to Use Social Media to Get More Reviews

Reviews of your business may have started nearly 20 years ago as a fad but today it is one of the most powerful influencers on your business's online and real-world success in the industry. What your customers say about you online and how many stars they feel you have earned is a powerful influence on how future potential customers perceive your business and how well you might be able to serve them. In other words, what people say about you online really does matter, especially if they go through the trouble to say it with a star rating and a quick blurb on one of the several major business-reviewing sites.

Topics: social marketing social media Marketing Strategy social media marketing

Drive Higher Marketing ROI With An Established Plan

Have you ever been told that you have to "fake it till you make it"? Well, no one can simply do this all the time, right? Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." This great quote can be applied to so many aspects of our lives and in business, and is extremely applicable in the marketing domain.

Topics: marketing analytics marketing results marketing roi marketing goals

Does Google Give a Damn About Social Media?

It's not that Google or other search engines don't give a damn about your social media; it's simply that an algorithm has yet to be developed and probably never will.

Users submit over 40,000 search queries every second of every day, which is over 3.5 billion searches per day and over a trillion searches per year.

Topics: social media social media marketing marketing tool marketing strategies

Social Media Marketing Strategy: Tips to Use Pinterest

Though when you think about Pinterest you may think about moms making crafts, fancy dinners, and even over-the-top parties, there are many reasons to use it for marketing your business. This is especially true if you are in the fashion, home décor, or art businesses. Women flock to this social media site to help them in their daily lives.

Topics: social marketing social media pinterest social media marketing

Social Media Marketing Strategy: Tips to Use Instagram

Though you may think about beautiful sunsets and foreign locations, Instagram is essentially just another social media site. However, it is gaining popularity since it can be used right off of your smartphone.

Because of this, more and more businesses are looking to market their business through this popular photo sharing site. Here are some tips to use Instagram for marketing.

Think about your pictures before you snap them. You need to have amazing pictures to compete with all of the others that are posted around the clock. Make sure that you check the background before you shoot so that you don't have anything in it that you don't want to be seen (or something that will make the picture look cluttered).

It also helps if you can shoot square pictures so you don't have to edit your pictures. Many phones and cameras allow you to do this, saving you time and stress.

Don't forget to take advantage of all of the tools that Instagram offers you. There are many tools at your disposal, like special effects and filters. These can really help your images stand out above your competition. Try different tools until you are getting the results that you want.

Though you may not think about it, you might want to include some videos on Instagram. Though most people think of beautiful sunsets and other gorgeous pictures, videos also have a place in this social media site. In fact, you can see up to three times more interest in any videos that you post. As a whole, people love to watch videos.

Link shorteners are helpful to determine how many of your followers are going to your website. A bit.ly link will help you track exactly where your website traffic is coming from in a way that Google Analytics can't.

Cross-promote, cross-promote, and cross-promote some more. Cross-promoting is when you share your Instagram images on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You may also share them through your other forms of marketing, including your blog and even e-mails.

Don't forget about hashtags. Hashtags are just as important through Instagram as they are on Twitter. It is helpful for your business and posts to be found during searches.

Even better, use trending hashtags. Trending hashtags can be found through Instagram's Explore feature. Any time that you can find a way to add a trending hashtag, your business is more likely to be found.

Don't be afraid to tag other people and businesses. This is actually a great way to gain new customers from people that you interact with on a regular basis. If you sell a certain product and it is in your post, tag the product name. If you are going out to lunch, tag the restaurant. People who are searching for them will then find you so it is a win-win situation.

If you are struggling to get started, look around and see what your competition is doing. Though you can't copy them, by watching their posts and images, you can really start to see what you should be doing. Not only should you see what they are posting, you should look at the results. Do they have posts that were shared a lot? Try to put your own spin on it and make it your own. Do they have posts that don't even seem to get noticed? Stay away from these.

Just like with other forms of marketing, you should come up with goals and a plan to put into action. By creating an editorial calendar, you will know when you want to post and what. By planning in advance, you are going to have more time to make sure that everything that you post is striking and will catch as much attention as possible.

You must also watch your results. If you are not looking at the results, you are missing out. You could also be wasting your money on posts that nobody is interested in.

By seeing which posts get likes and shares and which don't, you will know which ones you should be repeating and which ones you should stay away from. This can be really helpful to make sure that you are getting the results that you deserve for the amount of work that you are putting into it.

Think about trying sponsored ads. Sponsored ads on this social media site are still new but it is only time before they become more popular. By using these ads, people that you are not connected to through Instagram will be able to learn about your business. You can use a single post or a carousel of images to catch people's attention.

Don't forget to engage with your followers. Though posting regularly and catching the attention of your followers is important, at the heart of social media marketing is the ability to build relationships. Because of this, you can't forget to like other images that you enjoy and write little comments here and there to show people that you are actually active on the site. They will return the favor (or they should)!

Instagram could be the best thing for your business. It allows you a new way to connect with your customers (and potential ones). However, you can't just start posting and posting and hope for the best. Though many try to do this, it is not often helpful or particularly useful. You may be missing out on finding new customers.

Because of this, you need to start by making an editorial calendar so you can get started. Don't forget to add some videos. They can really help you get noticed. You also might want to consider some paid advertising to help your reach, though you might have some success with trending hashtags too! 

The most important part of marketing involves watching your results and using them to move forward. You don't want to waste your time on posts that are not getting noticed at all! Instead, see what is working and what is not so you have an idea what kinds of things you should be trying.

Contact us for all of your marketing needs. We will help you come up with an Instagram campaign to grow your business.

Growing BOLD – Docu-Series

Topics: instagram Marketing Strategy social media marketing marketing strategies

Content Marketing: Creating Quality Content

Are you aware of how many strategies there are that you can implement that will drive real results? Whether it is growth in inbound leads or email newsletter subscriptions, your choice of content will have a critical role in your number of conversions. It can be very easy to get wound up in the madness encompassing content marketing and slip into the trap of posting multiple blog posts or social media posts without putting any thought into the strategy.

Quality content is content that is useful and based on experiences and statistics. The great Jay-Z once said, "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't". In content marketing, statistics and numbers can mean a great deal. If you are able to demonstrate how you can bring value to your prospects and showcase the outcome associated with what you can bring to the table, people will eventually take notice. 

Where do you need to start? Strategy will be a great place to start. Before you begin to think about what schemes or content marketing hacks you can implement, we want you to think about the goals of your business and the underlying strategy that will eventually result in major success. 

First-Class Resources

In the beginning stages of growth, your business may not be at the top of the list of leaders in your industry. You may not be as known as other business and only a few people may have any information about your business's products and services. While some people may not care too much about what you are doing, they will probably care about the value that your products and services have. 

In order to be seen as one of the major leaders in your industry, you will need to provide value to that particular industry. It does not matter if it is through product creativity or innovation or if it is through the services and products you offer; your contribution to the industry is what gives you the opportunity to call yourself a leader. One of the most essential approaches to obtaining leadership in your industry is being committed to creating and sharing first-class resources.

One of the major challenges that many businesses face in the beginning stages is being able to create resources and materials that are insightful and of high-quality. We all know how easy it can be to create content, but it can be challenging to create content that is pertinent, distinctive, and captivating.

Who Is Part Of Your Audience?

When people take the time to actually understand who their target audience is it will make it easier to create content that will align with everyone's needs and interests. Content marketing requires a great deal of knowledge of the target audience in order to fully grasp their attention. The content marketing you use will also play a tremendous role in influencing them to make a purchase. Once you gain an understanding of the interests and needs of the target audience, it will be easier to begin creating and sharing content that others find so valuable that they cannot wait to read.

Content creation and curation have a greater role now than it ever has. Information spreads quickly and many consumers will admit that they have a short attention span. What does this mean for you? This means that if the content you create and distribute should be sent out to the right audience and it needs to instantly capture their attention. It is not only about what you say; it is also about how you share the content you create. 

Step Out Of The Way

Once you know your target audience you should have a better understanding of what they really care about. The information your target audience will want is information that is relevant to what they are about it, and not what you care about it. It is important that you step out of the way and help your target audience by giving them what they are looking for and what they want. Your target audience wants high-quality information that is relevant. 

Driving Conversions

We understand it may not be easy to build an outstanding collection of content all the time, but your content can pay for itself if you do it the right way. With the perfect content and the perfect approach taken through the right media and distribution channels, you will be able to create quality resources into one of your best content marketing assets. 

Once you begin creating high-quality content that becomes valuable, what should you do next? You should begin focusing your energy on driving conversion. It can be as easy as ending your blog post or other content with a call to action. You can also gain permission to obtain their email address when you first peak their interest.

For any business or organization that is looking for an opportunity to achieve growth in the early stages, content marketing will be one of the best solutions out there. With the correct strategy and with the right audience, your business will be able to create and distribute content that will constantly be shared and referenced. With great products and services, this will increase growth and lead to the acquisition of more customers.

The Learning Curve

We know that marketing is not going to be a success for you overnight. Marketing is going to continue to be a learning process that will never stop. Taking the time to evaluate a marketing plan will equip you with everything from what was good to what was bad. You will also have information about what things may need to be adjusted and what you will need to remember in the future. You should always take the time to evaluate your marketing plans and take as much time as you need to learn from every evaluation. 

It is very important to fully understand the goals of your business, along with understanding how content marketing can be the key to achieving those goals. Content marketing is not one of those things that you are glad to have in your back pocket. Content marketing is more than the wallpaper you have in your living room. Content marketing is the infrastructure that you will need to build on. 

For more information on content marketing, please do not hesitate to contact us today. 

WORK WITH US
Topics: Content marketing Marketing Strategy social media marketing

How Data Tiers Can Help You Prioritize Your Marketing Analytics

Even advanced marketers can get confused by the complex world of marketing analytics. In today's big data environment, it's easy to gather data - but difficult to prioritize that information in a way that makes effective analysis possible. Before you know it, you suffer from data overload, effectively rendering the concept useless for your business.

That hypothetical is the worst-case scenario. Analytics are absolutely crucial to your marketing success; without them, you simply don't know what works and what doesn't, and cannot effectively build your strategy. As a result, you move away from the goal of results marketing. At best, you're guessing at potentially successful tactics and messages. At worst, you lose budget because what you're doing is not working, and you cannot prove that allocating funds to marketing is actually money well spent for your business.

Of course, neither is a scenario any business of any size wants to be in. Fortunately, you don't have to be. In fact, simple prioritization can do wonders in helping you turn your analytics from confusing to actionable. To get to that point, it pays to understand a simple concept: data tiers.

The Core Concept of Data Tiers in Marketing Analytics

First things first: none of the below makes sense if you don't understand what we mean by data tiers. The concept is based on a simple fact: not all data is created equal. Some, in fact, has little to do with your actual marketing success.

Organizing your data helps you prioritize your efforts. All of the below metrics have a purpose within a larger context; however, some of them matter more than others. Would you rather know how many people a given social media post reached, or how much it actually contributed to your ROI?

If you know the answer to that question, you understand the core concept of and need for marketing tiers.

Tier 1: Reach and Awareness Metrics

The first tier of marketing metrics also doubles as its more basic. These analytics can help you determine the success of goals related to your brand awareness, but little more. They also happen to be the most visual; from Google Analytics to Facebook Insights, you can easily find reach and impression as a success metric.

How much of a metric is it though, in reality? That's the core question you have to answer for yourself. Sure, you can measure your brand awareness, and in the most basic sense, how much your marketing dollars got you. But that's where it ends; this first tier tells you little about user intent, action, or other metrics more relevant to actual brand success. 

Tier 2: Action and Conversion Metrics

The next tier is more closely related to your actual goal. This is the one that goes beyond the mere fact of your ad showing up, and it's also where digital marketing starts to show its advantage over non-digital alternatives. Measuring the actions users take helps you determine how convincing your ad actually was in driving your audience into and down the sales funnel.

The most basic metric in this tier is link clicks, which every type of digital platform measures. But it doesn't end there. In this tier, you will also find metrics related to conversions on your website and elsewhere. Some of these numbers may be found on your ad platform's internal analytics suite. For others, you may have to use a third-party platform, such as Google Analytics.

Tier 3: Cost Metrics

Of course, conversion metrics matter little if you don't consider the cost of getting there. Digital ads tend to be pay per click (PPC), which means you only get charged when a member of your target audience actually takes an action. That, in turn, means you have to pay special attention of how much you actually spend per click, and whether that spend is paying off.

A variety of metrics fit into this grouping. We already mentioned cost per click, but it's not the only option. Cost per conversion is calculated similar, but can differ depending on how you define a conversion. Put simply: every number that is directly related to your budget is a part of this tier.

Tier 4: Return on Investment Metrics

Most marketers stop at the first three tiers. In fact, if you do so, you might already consider yourself pretty successful. But you're also missing a major opportunity. That's because in the fourth tier, they all come together.

In a way, ROI metrics are not metrics at all. Instead, they're a combination of metrics. If, for example, you're tracking your conversions, and know the approximate value of each conversion, you can compare that number to your cost to get an accurate ROI measure. This article walks you through calculating your digital ROI.

Are You Ready to Maximize Your Analytics Potential?

Build these tiers, and you can begin to make sense of your analytics efforts. All of them, of course, matter to some degree. But generally speaking, the lower tiers should receive more attention than their counterparts higher up the food chain. They're more closely connected to actual business investment and success, and thus can bring your marketing measurement beyond its bubble.

The goal of results marketing is to prioritize channels and messages that actually help your business grow and advance. But that's impossible to do if you don't know what metrics to focus on. A tiered approach like the above helps you solve that quandary, increasing your chances of successful marketing.

Of course, the end result can still be complex. You need to know how to connect individual metrics with your larger marketing and business goals, how to measure these metrics, and how to leverage them effectively to improve and build your marketing strategy. Only getting to that point can truly maximize your analytics potential.

We want to help you get there. In fact, marketing analytics, especially in the digital realm, are among our greatest strength. If you struggle with the concept, and with proving the actual success of your marketing efforts, let's work together. Contact us today to get started.

How to monitor social media in less than 10 minutes per day

Topics: marketing analytics data & analytics in marketing

Why the 'One Big Splash' Marketing Technique is Primarily a Big Businesses Strategy

When you're in marketing, it's easy to get excited and feel the temptation to create unnecessarily grandiose campaigns.  You see the big statement events and efforts made by international name brand companies and all too tempting to brainstorm. What would it be like if your brand created a hashtag by staging a flash-mob performance in Time Square? Or perhaps an edgy Twitter hashtag campaign about your favorite charitable cause?

Campaigns like this have gotten an incredible amount of press and applause for huge, bold stunts in the past. Their efforts rippled across countries and sometimes across the world with strategically coordinated displays, online events, and social media posts. No doubt, these 'big splash' campaigns were incredibly effective and for the brands in question, they were clearly the right choice. 

However, one interesting mistake often made in the business world is mistaking one brand and company for every brand and company. There is a hilarious idea that if you've seen one you've seen 'em all and they can each be compared one-to-one fairly. Everyone knows that factually this isn't true, but it still features often in arguments like which marketing techniques can be used to boost a small business to big success by mimicking the big brands.

Big Brands Make Big Decisions

The practical answer to the whole issue is remarkably simple, that marketers make choices based on the resources, circumstances, and brands they have to work with. Big companies make decisions that work for them and one of the circumstances they're counting on is incredibly widespread visibility.

When a big brand does something controversial or emotionally moving, the ripples are big and wide-spread. People hear about it even if they don't care that much about the brand in question because of that reach. Brands that everyone has heard of like Oreo or McDonalds have become not just companies but a part of our culture so it's only natural for people to share news about cultural icons

The other aspect of the big splash marketing method that works well for big brands is the ability to coordinate efforts. In the vast majority of cases, these events may look like flash mobs or trendy interactive art displays but they have taken months to plan, prepare for, coordinate, and enact. International brands can repeat the stunt to a wide multi-national and multi-lingual target audience and every social media community manager is poised to guide the online discussion.

While big brands are notorious for having trouble with memes and the more fleeting aspects of internet culture, making a big splash remains a great tactic for them just as it was before the advent of social media and inbound marketing.

Smaller Brands Make Strategic Decisions

But is the big splash technique right for small businesses? Should it really be held up as a shining example of "How It's Done" and how others should mimic if they want to succeed? All too often, this is the extent of logic used when looking for advice to give small business marketing teams. Just do it like the big companies, look where it got them.

Yes, the big brands have a lot of tactics that work well for them but these tactics were built for teams of marketers, a big wide-spread online community and public reputation, and possibly even multiple locations from which to enact marketing campaigns. Small businesses have to make decisions differently. Every marketing decision made by a small business needs to be about strategy.

Your actions need to take into account how to get the most new customers from the smallest percentage of your marketing budget at all times and while big stunt campaigns may look flashy, romantic, and successfully when implemented by the big brands, it's not going to work the same way for your small business.

The Limits of the 'One Big Splash' Campaign

In the marketing world, there are tactics that work for every kind of team, big or small, and tactics that are too specialized to share and try universally. As fun as big splash campaigns are to dream up and try to pull of, they're one of those tactics that works much better for big companies than for small ones.

For example, let's say your 'big splash' is the most efficient possible without a big display in town square and instead just a really profound push through social media, the website, and the blog. No matter how moving your content is, unless it goes viral, you are still likely to reach the same number of people you reach every time plus perhaps a few more looking for information on your topic of choice.

Even if your big splash did have the impact you were looking for, you would still need a large number of employees online handling the flurry of responses to your online event. If you've got a team of 3 marketers, this tactic simply isn't viable.

Throughout the internet and the business communities, there is a lot of talk about what could take a small business from "the bottom" to "the top" and often the examples used are hugely successful efforts made by the biggest name brands in the world. While this makes sense for inbound marketing, it's not actually good business advice. What is most important for your marketing strategies is what works for your company, your clients, and your marketing team. This means optimizing your campaigns not for how well they match other successes, but for how well they suit the abilities of your staff and the preferences of your audience.

Here at BOLD Worldwide, we believe in making a splash for your brand, but doing so with the right technique and strategy for your unique business and target audience. Mimicking the big brands may be helpful in principle, but when it's time to make logistically realistic marketing plans, keep in mind the scale of your business and the impact you really want to have. For more news on how to make bold marketing decisions that have the ROI and results your business is looking for, contact us today!

How to monitor social media in less than 10 minutes per day

Topics: Marketing Strategy inbound marketing strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

How to Generate Powerful Lead Magnets with Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a complex game. It turns the entire traditional idea of marketing on its head by backing off, focusing on putting content onto your own web pages and social media feeds instead of buying intrusive banner ads and billboards to jump out at potential customers. You use SEO and enticing content to play coy with your audience and tempt them to 'chase you' into your own realm then impress them with how well your content is written and your website is built. In other words, inbound marketing is all about creating interest by letting the customer come to you. But how do you turn that interest and your growing online community into real leads and sales conversions?

Topics: Inbound Marketing inbound marketing strategy marketing goals