I try to live my life on the healthier side. It’s funny; I’m convinced that we spend millions of dollars on fitness gimmicks only to discover time after time that the Holy Grail of healthy living is in fact… diet and exercise! Bummer. But doesn’t everything work that way? Aren’t we endlessly in search of that one secret ingredient promising us the fat-free, sugar-free, full-flavored business we’ve always wanted – one that makes customers descend on us like wave upon wave of demented dieters on a taco wagon? But alas, just when we were finally resigned to the painful truth that success is measured by how much good ol’ fashion work we were willing to put into it, along came the Internet, which changed everything!
The approach of the 2011 Christmas Season will no doubt bring an increase in online shopping. Business Insider announced that predictions for online purchases on Black Friday alone top 800 Million Dollars, a 24% increase over 2010. This is good news for retailers and a major convenience for shoppers who can search and compare prices on items from numerous vendors and make purchases without having to fight the crowds or stand in lines.
If you plan to do any of your shopping online, you should be aware that there are also those who are planning to attack you if you give them the chance. Just as you need to be cautious of strangers and dark places when shopping at the mall, you also need to be wary when you’re shopping while sitting in front of your computer. However, you don’t have to be afraid if you know you are protected.
How can you be attacked?
- Your computer could be vulnerable to attack. If you have not taken steps to protect your computer from viruses, malware, and other kinds of malicious code, attackers could gain access to your computer and all the information in it.
- Phishing sites and email messages – “Phishing” is a type of attack called “social engineering” whereby you are tricked into giving up personal information. Once you do, you lay yourself open to criminals and thieves who will plunder and pillage your personal assets.
- Purchasing from insecure websites – If you shop on a website that does not use encryption, an attacker could intercept your personal information while in transit.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Industry leaders know that content marketing and social media campaigns are crucial to success on the Internet. However, given that content marketing is a qualitative, rather than quantitative concept, how can you measure the success of something that, at first glance, can’t be measured?
That’s where this article comes in. Let’s take a closer look at the intricacies of deploying your content marketing and social media campaign, including how you can measure its contribution to your company’s bottom line.
Launch Your Content Marketing and Social Media Campaign
One of the most crucial aspects of launching your content marketing and social media campaign is to ensure that you don’t lose interest in the progress you’re making, particularly in the earlier months when you might not be seeing the results you’ve been expecting. Remember, content and social media marketing is a qualitative concept, not a quantitative one – you won’t be able to immediately measure ROI within the first months of use. Therefore, be sure to continue with your content marketing efforts even when you feel as though your readers aren’t paying attention to what you have to say. Believe us, they are!
Monitor Your Chatter
While you should have a dedicated team to monitor your content and social media marketing efforts, there’s no denying that you can’t monitor your efforts 24/7. That’s why it’s important to invest in resources that allow you to automate some of the process, including tools that monitor activity, engage with your readers and aggregate content. This will allow your social media team to keep on top of your progress without feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do.
Keep It Fresh
Ensure that your content marketing and social media campaigns remain fresh and relevant to your readers. Stale and uninteresting platforms will cost you valuable customers.
Measure Your Success
Finally, be sure to measure your success in terms that make sense to content marketing and social media. For example, rather than focusing on dollars, focus on client satisfaction and brand loyalty, and how your campaigns have contributed to these vital components of running a successful business.
Defining what kind of content you’ll be offering your readers is crucial to the online success of your business. However, once you’ve defined what you consider to be content marketing success, how will you ensure that you get there?
That’s where content marketing design comes into play. Content design is simply another way of determining what your overall content strategy will be, the types of content you’ll offer your readers, and what kinds of resources you’ll need to achieve your content marketing goals.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at designing the ins and outs of your content marketing strategy.
Developing A Content Strategy
Before you can develop content to offer your readers, you must first be able to identify how that content will fulfill their needs. In other words, to devise a strong content strategy, you’ll have to understand their fears, frustrations, hopes, and needs.
Monetizing Your Campaign
Once you’ve identified the fears and needs of your audience, you’ll need to decide how you can transform your content marketing strategies so that they bring in real-time income. Monetizing your social media and content marketing campaign means you’ll need to bridge the gap between offering free content to your readers and encouraging them with a strong call-to-action. For example, will you place a link on your social media account to your product’s landing page? Will your blogs be embedded with an affiliate link? These are all steps you can take to monetize your social media and content marketing campaigns.
Developing a Marketing Timeframe
An important part of developing your content marketing and social media campaigns is to identify how often you’ll be interacting with your readers. How often will you post updates? When will you post updates? Based on this editorial calendar – and the reactions of your readers – you’ll be able to determine which posts are more successful at optimizing your content marketing ROI.
Resources and Content Formats
Finally, you’ll need to isolate which content formats (i.e. audio, visual, or textual) will deliver your most successful marketing ROI. Be sure to pinpoint which content formats will require additional resources and how much those resources will cost.
As a leader in your industry, you understand that content marketing offers loyal clients relevant information that pertains to your specific industry. When it comes to delivering that content, nothing disseminates more efficiently than social media platforms.
When providing your clientele base with highly valuable information, how do you ensure that your content marketing efforts match your business goals and objectives, all while forming genuine connections with your targeted audience?
The key to successful content marketing is to define your company’s goals and objectives before building your social media strategy.
Not sure what we mean here? Don’t worry – this article will examine why defining your company’s goals and objectives is key to successful content marketing.
What are your company’s needs?
Before you start using social media platforms to pass on highly relevant content, it’s important to understand your company’s overall objectives and missions. For example, if you’re a Fortune 500 company that offers investment advice, what are your main goals? Do you want to expand your clientele base? Do you want to attract more high-value clients? Do you want to increase brand awareness?
Understanding your own needs before focusing on that of your readers will help you not only use the right marketing platforms for your business, it will also help you develop the kind of genuine content your readers will be thrilled to get their hands on.
Look at your current online presence.
Content marketing and online marketing go hand-in-hand; therefore, to deliver the kind of content your readers expect, you need to assess your own online marketing efforts. To accomplish this, you must look at this from three different angles:
• Look at your current online marketing efforts;
• Review your current social media uses;
• Research how you’re using your company’s website.
With this online research, you’ll begin to understand what kind of information your readers are looking for – and if your company can deliver. Additionally, it will give you a better idea of where your content marketing needs to go to be considered successful.
By defining your own content marketing goals and objectives, you can provide the kind of highly engaging and relevant information that will transform readers into loyal clients.
Let’s face it, in today’s competitive business world an entrepreneur can’t afford not to include content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing techniques (e.g. magazine ads, billboard ads, TV infomercials, telemarketing, etc.) content marketing has the potential to reach tens of thousands and even millions of potential consumers.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing high-quality, relevant and valuable information to attract and engage a particular target audience; this is with the purpose of generating profitable customer action.
Rather than ‘selling’ your products or services, you’re actually delivering valuable information your consumer is searching for online. Content marketing helps your consumers become more educated about your products and services. As a result, the consumer rewards you with their business and their loyalty.
According to statistics taken by Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of buyers prefer to get company information in the form of articles instead of traditional advertisements. Seventy percent say content marketing gives them a sense of closeness to a company. Sixty percent say content marketing helps them to make wiser buying decisions compared to traditional marketing mediums.
Who uses Content Marketing? Continue reading
Information is the fuel of business in this post-modern world and business owners are learning to depend more and more on Google’s extensive search tools to help them find the information they need. However, if you don’t know a function or service is available, you can hardly make good use of it. As this post (and this link) will show you, Google’s search functionality goes way beyond the basic search bar.
Google breaks its Search Features Help page down into categories:
- Everyday Essentials
- Reference Tools
- Choosing Keywords
- Local Search
- Health Search
- Trip Planning
- Query Refinements
- Search by Number
Some of these are naturally more useful to business people than others (I suppose some would argue that finding Sports Scores is business-related…), so here is a list of 13 Google Search Functions That Will Change Your Life! (or at least be useful).
Recently I couldn’t help but notice the push McDonald’s has been making in their advertising. They have some really bright and fresh designs, which is pretty much the opposite of what they have to offer. I found myself wondering what McDonald’s website looks like. As expected it is very fresh, bright, and interactive. In fact if you look at many major company web sites you can usually see some trendy/seasonal design going on (Nike, Caribou Coffee, Adidas and more). The large budgets of major corporations allow for them to embrace trends and take each promotion to the next level, especially if their main business isn’t done through their website (see Spin Art on McDonald’s website). Continue reading