Digital Marketing

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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Personal Brand Online

Posted by | Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Public relations | No Comments

As a professional business person we all know how to be successful at our companies. Whether it’s arriving to work on time, or managing employee expectations properly, these are all workplace cultural norms at which we thrive. However, business itself is changing in light of new technological advances in today’s era of digital marketing. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms like Instagram are revolutionizing the way we present ourselves, and communicate with others.

You probably already manage your personal brand at in-person meetings, and in the way you conduct yourself in the workplace. Though, nowadays having an online presence is essential to your success. Social media, and blogging play a large role in your online exposure, and in this article we’ll give you 5 easy tips to cultivate your personal brand online.

Start a blog

Starting a blog isn’t as difficult as it seems. A blog is a great way to get your message out to the world, and share your expertise and experiences on various topics. WordPress and Tumblr are easy ways to create blogs based on pre-designed templates. Tagging is very important in blogging, as it helps users to find your content. Therefore, don’t forget to add a large number of appropriate tags to each of your blog posts. Tumblr uses tags extensively, and you won’t want to forget them. Let’s say you’re writing a piece on personal branding, and you want to post your article to your Tumblr blog. You’d probably want to include tags such as marketing, PR, branding, personal branding, digital marketing, and online content. This will help users searching for these terms on Tumblr to find your article. If you’re wondering if blogging is for you, reading our article on the reasons you should be blogging might help you make a decision.

Use Twitter every day

Many active Twitter users agree: it does take some time to fall in love with Twitter. However, it is well worth the investment. Sign up for an account, and design your page to mimic your blog (if you already have one). Then, start searching for thought leaders in industries that you’re passionate about. Follow these thought leaders, and consider adding them to specific lists based on their industry. In time, you’ll develop relationships with other Twitter users, and you’ll be able to share relevant content using various related hashtags. Don’t forget to tweet regularly, though, as after you’ve built up a follower count, you’ll want to push your content their way. The more followers you amass, the more your brand recognition.

Connect with others

Cultivating your personal brand for digital marketing is also about connecting others. Networking events pale in comparison to the types of networking goals that can be achieved through digital marketing. Networking can also be easily conducted online via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. Guest blogging is one way to invite thought leaders to sound off on your blog, or you can even request to write guest blogs for other sites. You might also want to consider getting connected with digital events like webinars. Many marketing professionals offer webinars on topics ranging from social media to SEO. This is a great way to stay up to date on digital marketing trends, and continuously improve your online personal brand image. Even better, after you develop your online brand, you can even offer your own webinars in your own areas of expertise.

Develop a content calendar

Developing a content calendar can help you to stay organized, and on track. The more often people see your content, the more recognition you gain. Consistency is key! You don’t have to invest on expensive software simply use Google Docs, or even a paper calendar to plan your blog posts in advance. You can also pencil in guest blogging opportunities, as well as events you’ll be attending. Jamie Griffiths has written a post on Convince & Convert about content calendar ans shared a free template as well. Remember, events are a great reason to share tweets, or Instagram photos! However, don’t forget to check your content calendar a few times each week to ensure that you’re up to date. If you do miss a scheduled post you can push all your content forward a bit, but it is best to stay on track to manage your follower’s expectations.

Promote your content

Now that you’re blogging, and promoting your posts via Twitter, and other social media sites, you’ll want to ensure that you coordinate the logistics of your posts to manage follower expectations. If you usually post every day, or week, your followers will come to expect that. Once you have a large, and dedicated fan base, steering off your usual course could incite frustration amongst your audience. To manage your posting schedule, try a service like Sprout Social or Buffer. These services will allow you to create your posting schedule in advance. All the professional bloggers use tools of this nature, and plan their content calendars months in advance.

Another creative way to promote your content is through your email signature. All digital marketing professionals know this trick. Simply edit your email signature in your email client’s settings to include your various social media profiles. If you’re running a special campaign, or want to drive traffic to a specific post, you can even include a one liner like “Check out my most recent blog post on Online Marketing & Networking Tips to Help You Grow Your Business!”

Email Signature Template

Pic: Inspired Designs

Book & Pen with Coffee

A Day In The Life Of A Blogger

Posted by | Blogging for Business, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing | No Comments

So, what is a day truly like for a freelance writer and blogger? When you think about the life of freelancer, pictures of a hipster in glasses comes to mind, maybe typing away on a laptop in the corner of a coffee shop.

The stereotypes abound, but the truth is there are many different types of writers and bloggers. You have stay-at-home mom bloggers, the college grad, entrepreneurial blogger, and the fashion blogger among others.

Working online, writing and blogging, comes in different forms but requires a lot of skills.

There are, in fact, many steps to creating a good blog article, doing content marketing, and managing the social media aspects of it all. A writer’s schedule is flexible, yet involves many tasks.

Every blogger’s day starts off differently. Depends on lifestyle, kids or no kids, married or single, etc. But, what happens when a blogger sits down to work?

Let’s go through an example day in the life of a Blogger…

Checking Stats

Many bloggers check live stats in the morning to see how their blog is doing with Google Analytics and other search engines. Is the visitor count up? How long are people spending on the site? Are their any technical issues?

Keeping a check on the stats can give you a direction to take for the rest of the day.

If visitors are leaving quicker than usual, for example, you may need to re-assess your design, navigation, or content.

The Writing

This is where the real bulk of the work begins. From content marketing to daily posts, bloggers are immersed in massive amounts of writing. Writing stuff that people actually want to read will come easy on some days and be much more challenging on others.

You will write social posts, guest posts, possibly articles or freelancing work, and then of course the posts on the blog.

Completing a blog post is not just about the writing either.

You must:

  • Write
  • Edit
  • Format
  • Add media

And …

  • Syndicate

The syndication is all about getting the content seen. Just because you put it out there, does not mean anyone is going to see it or read it. This brings us to the next portion of a blogger’s day…

 

Social Media and Marketing

You now know where you are at with your stats and have your content written, but what do you do with it? Once you hit “publish” a whole new set of work begins, the social media and sharing part. You must take those posts and spread them around on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all those other lovely social outlets.

You will also want to connect with readers and respond to comments. Engage and interact. Replies, yep that is more writing.

 

Guest Posts, and Newsletters

Then you have guest posts for other bloggers and newsletters. Can you see the amount of writing you have to do growing by leaps and bounds? This one may not be an everyday thing, but guest posting and creating newsletters for your subscribers takes time. Often a lot of it, and again you must edit, format, and share.

Matt Cutts of Google recently mentioned that Guest Blogging is dead. I however like the exposure they bring (if done right), so it is up to you to decide where you want to go with Guest Blogs.

Contributing to the Blog Community

One of the best things about blogging is being part of a supportive community. You need the time to connect with other writers and bloggers. You can comment and share their works while sharing your own. It is all about support and having fun too.

There are many groups and networks to join, as well as, weekly “link parties” where you can share certain posts.

Goal Check

To stay on top of this immense and growing landscape, you need a bit of time every day to plan and goal check. Are you meeting your goals for the week? Are you growing and engaging? Do you have your writing and content scheduled and planned?

There is a lot to do, so staying organized and keeping the big picture in mind is essential.

Education

Between ever changing Google algorithms, there is always more to learn. Technology changes so fast and what used to work for writers and bloggers often does not anymore. Article marketing is in one day and out the next. Facebook conversations are great one day and then not.

You certainly don’t have to attempt to follow the advice of every “guru” out there, but keeping up with your education is important. If you are writing and blogging professionally, then you must treat it like a profession. Go with the tide and learn along the way.

To say that being a writer and blogger is a ton of work would be a huge understatement. We aren’t doing it for the prestige. But, blogging and writing has huge rewards. You are always growing and expanding as a person while getting to share with a community of people with similar passions. Besides, you get to write about what you love, what’s not to like about that!? And, if you can help a few people along the way, all the better!

A day in the life of a blogger? Now you know 🙂

Artistic Macbook shot

Six Online Marketing & Networking Tips to Help You Grow Your Business

Posted by | Digital Marketing, Public relations | 2 Comments

If you’re looking to grow your business in an efficient and cost-effective manner, you should definitely consider leveraging the power of online networking in order to build your client book.  We’ve got some online marketing tips that can help you make the most of your customer service and outreach efforts, and help you turn your website from a business card into a powerful tool for generating revenue:

Build and Optimize Social Profiles

The first of our online marketing tips is also one of the simplest. Businesses need to take care of getting profiles created and optimized on the platforms their customers spend time on. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the three big ones for most businesses, but depending on what you sell Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube could end up being equally as important to your strategy.

Cross platform connections

Make sure you establish links between various media platforms. If someone lands on your Facebook account make sure it’s easy for them find your Website, Twitter and other accounts from that page and vice versa. Bear in mind, do not overdo this, as you want the prospective consumers to land on your page and stay there a while, and not bounce around between media platforms.

Utilize the Power of Referrals

As for the third of our online marketing tips, did you know that over 80% of people admit that they buy products and services based on the recommendation of a friend or family member?  If you are looking to grow your business, harness this powerful principle and put it to work for you.  Make it easy for satisfied customers to spread the word about your business to the people in their social circles, and watch your revenue climb as a result. Make it easy for people to leave you referrals. Businesses usually drop the ball here. They build a great product and a happy customer base, but make it next to impossible to leave referrals. Do not make the same mistake.

Identify Potential New Employees

The internet has made it easier than ever for employers and prospective employees to find one another.  You can easily grow your business by using professional networks like LinkedIn to identify and locate people in your expanded social circle that may have the talents or skills your business needs in order to successfully address the challenges you face.

Establish connections with industry leaders

Do not look at other companies in your space as competition. If you offer a good product or service the other companies would like to enlist your help. Make it a point to connect with them through social media platforms and communicate with them on a regular basis. Remember –

“If you are out of sight, you are out of mind!”

Utilize Visual Content

The final of our online marketing tips revolves around using visual content to successfully promote yourself in the online arena.  Consider using graphic or video content to spruce up your social media profiles, your CV, or your website.  Check out one of the videos on our homepage that we’ve used to introduce ourselves. Doing so will not only help you get noticed, but will also help you grow your business by increasing the conversion and engagement rates of your sites and profiles. There is so much noise on these platforms, it helps to do things a little different to stand out.

We hope that you found our online marketing tips helpful, and that you will be able to use them to successfully grow your business.  Stay tuned to the blog for other articles on increasing revenue and improving productivity in the future.

Essential SEO Marketing Tips | SEO Cycle Graph

Essential SEO Marketing Tips

Posted by | Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO | 2 Comments

With so many “must do” SEO activities, how do you which ones you must implement and which ones you need to implement first? Given below are a few essential SEO tips to help you with that decision.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is arguably the best passive marketing system to grow your business on the internet. Proper use of SEO can help your business reach new customers and open up new opportunities that traditional marketing method could otherwise not reach.

However, SEO has changed over the years as new Google algorithms such as Hummingbird have been put into place. In the old days, many SEO tips focused on finding and placing as many keywords as possible into the context. Today, that has all changed as content quality has become far more important.

What follows are potent SEO tips that can help you optimize your site for maximum exposure to potential customers. Proper use of SEO will not only help grow your business, but it will also keep customers returning as well.

Use more than one Keyword Phrase (focus on phrases, and not words)

Recent statistics reveal that almost 60% of searches use 2 or 3 keywords phrases. This means that to optimize your website, using keyword phrase of 2 to 3 words at most will help you zero in on the most popular results. For many online business owners, this can help you narrow down the most effective keyword phrases while better utilizing your time. Remember to keep search queries and context in mind.

Meta Tags

Meta title and Meta description are the first things the viewer sees when they Google your product, service or keywords. It’s been shown that strong title and description greatly increase the chances of a site being clicked.
Few basic pointers to keep in mind:

  • Limit the Title tag to 70 Characters (including spaces), and for description limit yourself to under 160 characters.
  • Use pikes [|] and skip the use of commas, underscores etc…
  • Skip using your company name, as it already appears in the URL (unless you’re company is a big name brand or a segment leader.
  • Schedule keywords based on their performance, use the top down system.
  • Do not repeat Title tags

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

When it doubt, use fewer keywords as today search engine will penalize websites that are full of keyword phrases. This is actually an old tactic that used to work by taking advantage of weaknesses in the older algorithms. But today that has all changed as Hummingbird for example is excluding content that overuses keyword and keyword phrases. This is considered a form of spamming which is no longer tolerated. Keep this in mind as you optimize your blogs, content and website with keywords.

Stick with Popular Keywords

By using programs such as Google AdWords, Wordtracker or Yahoo! Buzz Index, you can quickly find out which keywords are the most popular. While you don’t have to limit your content to the most popular keywords, you will want to include a healthy number of them just to balance out your content. Most importantly make it a habit to check on the most popular keywords at regular intervals so that you can take advantage of new ones that may appear.

Emphasize Content Quality

More than ever, the quality of the content you place on your website or write for article directories or other blogs is arguably the most important factor in getting your business noticed. The better the content, the more likely those who visit your website will come back. While utilizing keywords is important, it is should take second place to ensuring that your content is as good as it can be. This will help you grow your business through better search engine results and return customers.

Be Judicious with Your Keywords

While keywords may have dropped somewhat in popularity, they are still a vital part of your SEO approach. So, you should look over your website to ensure that all the important areas have keywords attached. For example, having keywords in the following areas can help you land a higher search rating;
– Title
– Subtitle
– Headline
– Body
– Images
– Links
– Meta tags
While having keywords in the title and relevant subtitle, and headlines are rather obvious it is surprising just how many people overlook these important areas. Keywords in the body of the content are expected, but needs to be properly spaced and natural.
Using keywords in images is a clever, effective way to draw in more potential customers as many people use image searches to find the information that they want. However, one of the most overlooked is using keywords around links. This is because search engine algorithms place a higher emphasis on links, so create them using the proper keywords rather than a simple “click here”. By using keywords around links properly, you can increase your search engine rankings.

Be Specific with Keywords

Keywords should not only be relevant to the overall content that you have created, they need to be more specific to the information. This means that you should use fewer keywords that are broad in nature and be as direct as possible. For example, if you are writing about a music genre such as “country”, “punk rock” or “classical” the competition for ranking in terms of those keywords will certainly be fierce. However, if you are more specific by using the name of a band or artist of that genre, then you’ll find the competition may be a lot easier instead. This tactic can help you getting the most out of your budget and find more potential customers as well.

Do Not Use Block Quotes

While there is a difference of opinion about this particular issue, there is strong evidence that having keywords inside a block quote or tag will not be included in terms of search rankings. This means that you might be wasting your time using a block quote that contains the keywords that you want because Google or other search engines will ignore it. While it is okay to use block quotes, your strategy should be to use your keywords around them, not inside.

Do not forget Geo-Tagging

If your business has an actual location where customers can visit, then using geo-tagging will help improve your sales. This is especially true for businesses that rely mostly on customers who walk in, such as restaurants for example. Geo-tagging is a very effective way to show up on local searches where potential customers can find you.

Be Social on Social Media

As much as social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have had an impact on SEO marketing, many businesses have not reached the full potential of this outlet. Search engine algorithms take website with strong social signals seriously and rank them higher than those that do not. Be sure that you add social media buttons to encourage those who read your content to share it with others. This can be a “win-win” for your SEO efforts.

These SEO are basic, yet potent. The proper use of these techniques will help you grow your business and improve your overall outlook of the website.