Tag Archives: inbound marketing

17Apr/15

Spider-Man, Amazing Marketing Rebranding

Spider-Man made his first appearance in the pages of Amazing Fantasy Comics – Number 15 in August of 1962.

I remember it vividly – I was 8 years old and a big time comic book collector, especially action comics.

Peter Parker, a teenage high school student by day – Skyscraper swinging web shooting costumed crime fighter Spider-Man by nite!

I thought he was the coolest action fighter at that time and I still do today. I never miss a Spider-Man Movie.

Do you know Spidey has worn 24 crime fighting uniforms in the comics, tv and the big screen.

24 spiderman uniforms

Infographic provided by mashable.com

My favourite Spider-Man costume  has to be the 1966 version used in the comic books and the first television series that aired from September 9, 1967, to June 14, 1970.

So tell me…………what’s your favourite spidey outfit? Please leave a comment below.

What is Rebranding

  • Decide why your company should rebrand
  • Research all the changes your company could make
  • Determine how many parts of your company you want to rebrand
  • Calculate the amount of money needed for your rebranding
  • Assign responsibilities to your staff or outside company to impliment
  • Update your company mission statement to reflect the new image of your company
  • Maybe you might want to look at changing the company name
  • Redesign your company logo
  • Establish a new marketing plan – Online or Offline or combine both
  • Be sure to test any changes before you launch your new brand
  • Your new marketing plan includes a well publicized event or a series of events

So what parts of your company are you considering a rebranding?

Let me know your thoughts.

To Your Success!

Rick Ostler

 

 

01Dec/14

9 Elements for Creating Enaging Business Blog Posts

marketing strategy

How Non-Writers Can Craft Business Blogs

Posting to your blog on a regular basis is extremely important. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing loves current, new content. By doing this will also help index your blog that much faster.

Most importantly, you will get results in keeping your readers coming back more often to your blog to read your articles, watch videos, listen to audio casts and learn more about you, your products and services you have to offer.

I came across an article at KISSmetrics about how non-writers can craft business blogs. I found this valuable as you will discover there are 9 elements for creating blogs posts that will engage your readers.

Research done by writtent.com/blog shows that 15 blogs a month can generate 1,200 new leads, gather twice as many inbound links, and use content to bolster social media engagement.

But, if it was easy, everyone would do it. The key for non-writers in charge of business blogging is to begin with successful templates, and then add the main ingredients. For instance, here is what a worthwhile business blog would include:

  • An eye-catching headline
  • Multimedia within the post
  • Linked outside sources
  • A structured narrative that answers the premise
  • Concise, scannable language
  • Quality, authoritative content

Smaller businesses may enlist a marketer or “that guy who knows writing” to publish blogs because that’s what everyone else does. While having content out there that promotes a business is better than nothing, blogs often are the first point of contact with new customers. Don’t let them encounter a rushed 300-word post with terrible formatting that doesn’t have a takeaway at the end.

So let’s take a look at what you need to do to craft a blog post…..

Find a Topic
Knowing what to write about is just as important as how you write it. Posting to a business blog every day is possible but not worth the effort if no one reads it. Luckily, hunting down topics is not difficult to do;

1. Stay up to date on what competitors are blogging about. Write a response or approach the subject from your own perspective.

2. Search through comments your readers leave on social media and blogs. These “clues” can lead to increased interaction with followers and help you leverage the content that works.

3. Research trending subjects on Google and news outlets. Is there some industry trend or social event in progress that can be recycled as a topic?

Build Better Headlines
Headlines, or “linkbait,” can be used to attract clicks and readers. Tractionable headlines need to spark interest, especially considering that Facebook followers will (at most) glimpse at a post before scrolling further down their newsfeeds. The difference between a click and an ignore is the headline.

Consider the following headlines:

1. Why do small businesses need blogs?
2. Ten Reasons Startups Need Blogs

Structure Narratives
With a topic and headline in place, it’s time to write your blog.
Readers need to be able to answer the question, “Why did I click this link?” within seconds of loading a page.

To get readers to scroll down an entire page, add in transitions and teasers, and format content with narrative flow. There needs to be a beginning, middle, and end, mingled with surprises and commentary. As a capstone, business blogs need to have a call-to-action or conversion tool that fulfills the purpose of the blog: getting readers to your website.

The most effective way to structure content is to play off of the headline. Let’s try “4 Tips to Boost a Blogger’s Readership” as an example:

  1. Open with an anecdote or example that convinces readers to read on.
  2. Explain the purpose of the blog (its intent) in the second paragraph (or section).
  3. Make a bold, obvious break for Tip 1, develop the point, and repeat for Tips 2, 3, and 4.
  4. Add a final break (subhead) and finish with a synopsis, sources, and closing thoughts.

As you can see there are 4 steps to write 4 tips.

Concerning length, blogs are only as good as you use them. Can you develop your topic, comment, and offer a takeaway in 400 words? Great. If not, write until it’s finished without boring readers or yourself.

Develop Style and Voice Branding
The biggest blog-killer is over-promotion, or when a business puts too much of itself into the content.

If your readers want to know more about you, they can go to your “about page”.

Create a Personality
While a business blog should have some promotion, or at least a link or mention of services, one thing it definitely should have is personality.

Unfortunately, a non-writer likely will focus more on typing out a blog one word at a time and miss the big picture.
Blogs should be fun and informative. Writers should sponsor the business rather than being sponsored by the business.

When I say a blog should have personality, I mean this:

1. Relax. Write to the reader, use “you,” and communicate in the first person.
2. Don’t be afraid to pull in odd examples to entertain your readers.
3. Allude to present events, industry, and modern culture when applicable.
4. Multimedia holds personality, though I advise serious business bloggers to stay away from cat memes and Rickrolling links (no matter how tempting).

Write for Readers who Scan
In terms of structure and style, today’s blogging culture often calls for short, choppy statements and lists. This is a gift for non-writers responsible for handling business blogs. Which of these two topics would be easier to write and be more informative and more attractive to readers?

1. Why College Students in the Midwest Shouldn’t Handle Personal Finances
2. Ten Reasons Why College Students Are Bad With Money

Establish Authority
And now the crux of the post — authority. Business bloggers are challenged to write as experts on a subject, even if they know nothing about bank loans in Idaho or how to manage credit debt. Thus, a paradox between writing quality and authority:

1. The “expert” may be your CEO or sales specialist. But, for whatever reason, the blog lands on your shoulders, and you have to fulfil the assignment and deliver an expert opinion (an even bigger challenge when the expert isn’t involved in the process).

2. You may very well be the authority on a subject but have no experience blogging or writing to an online audience. What do you do to revise and write prolific posts?

Focus on Quality
Quality or quantity? Bloggers have mixed feelings about this, especially considering the opening paragraph about how frequent blogging can double website visits.

For struggling business bloggers, it’s best to scale back quantity in order and just create fewer showcase blogs. Use a mix of content to give your readers (and writers) a break. Consider some of these alt-style blogs:

1. A roundup of a business’s top social media posts (top Tweets of the week, etc.).
2. A summary of a linked news article that has to do with a business.
3. Infographics or images that readers may find interesting or entertaining.
4. A quick “week in recap” post about what a business has been doing in the past week.
5. New product line? Write a post that cites a press release.

These types of blogs break up the workload and allow non-writers to focus more energy on creating a big hitter once a week.

Follow up after Posting
Finally. The blog is done. What now? Well, the post-and-done model is rarely worth the effort. These dead-on-arrival blogs aren’t updated, analysed, and shared, nor are they read.

Businesses should keep a running list of topics they’ve done in the past and use them as resources for future content, re-purposing, and collecting feedback on quality. Proficient business bloggers, for instance, often will write a big, comprehensive article that cites previous blogs.

In Summary, remember to structure your blog post with the following;
1. Find a Topic
2. Build Better Headlines
3. Structure Narratives
4. Develop Style and Voice Branding
5. Create a Personality
6. Write for Readers who Scan
7. Establish Authority
8. Focus on Quality
9. Follow up after Posting

Be sure to read the complete article; How Non-Writers Can Craft Business Blogs

Please leave your comments and share it using our handy social media bar.

09Apr/14

Does Your Inbound Marketing Content Have “Aura”?

inbound marketingBack in the early days of social marketing, you could get away with creating drivel for the sake of generating volume to throw out to article directories, blogs and Web 2.0 sites for the purpose of creating back links. You could take one piece of content and rewrite it 100 different ways and then just shoot it out to spray all across the web. At the time, it worked. Those days are gone forever as we rely on inbound marketing to drive your business online.

Today you have to have a content strategy for inbound marketing and everything you do must be well thought out. Your blog posts, videos, images, etc. have to have what I call an “AURA”. (Authentic, Useful, Relevant and Actionable)

Authentic: Everything you create or share should be your own or have your own spin on it. Do not put your name on something that isn’t yours. If you do share someone else’s information be sure to give credit where credit is due. Your followers will have more respect for you if you do.

Now this is not to say you cannot re-purpose the information into more than one format. In fact, you SHOULD be making the information available on all platforms. For example, your blog post can also be made into a video, an audio file and an infographic. This gives you more bang for your buck and helps you reach a wider audience because you can then place the same content on places like Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and iTunes as well as your blog. You are far more likely to have the info passed around if you reach your audience where they are most likely to hang out online.

Useful: Every piece of material you share should serve a purpose to your customers or readers. The purpose may be entertainment, a valuable resource or useful information.  The reader should be able to take something away from the experience. If you waste their time with drivel, they won’t be back and they certainly won’t pass it along to others. Pure and simple, it is a waste of your time and resources. Inbound marketing means you need to stop writing content for your business and start writing for your customers.

Relevant: This should go without saying but the information you share needs to be relevant to the time, place and topic. There is no point in sharing old news or placing the information on an inappropriate platform. You wouldn’t try to submit an article to Pinterest. It just wouldn’t fly anymore than trying to teach old practices that no longer work or are accepted.

Actionable: One of the biggest mistakes you can do for your business is not give your readers or viewers directions to the next step they should take after viewing your content. This could be instructions for passing the info along to others, using the information you have shared with them for their personal gain or following a link to your product or more information on the topic. Never leave the visitor without a call to action.

So, following my own advice, I would like you to share this info with others via your favorite social site (Facebook or Twitter or both!) and then I want you to put this inbound marketing information to good use creating engaging content for your customers that will help move your business forward. Make sure to mind your AURA!