The holidays are long behind us. What’s more, Punxsutawney Phil let it be known today that it’s going to be a short winter. Spring is on its way. Looks like we’re all out of excuses for failing to create valuable content. We’d better get on that. But …
What Kind of Content Should You Create?
Your focus depends on whether you are a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) concern. Fellow writers, we are solidly B2C (unless you’re writing business books). Common to both, however, is this: Writing is a business. And if you want to connect with your intended audience, you should be creating content on a regular basis and connecting with that audience in every way possible.
One part of your audience includes other writers, agents, editors, and those in various aspects of the publishing industry (it’s about the networking, people!). The other part is readers in your genre. If you’re already published — whether traditionally, indie, or self-published — you likely have some readers, and Lord knows you want more of them. If you’re in the as-yet-unpublished category, you need to start connecting with potential readers now, before you are published.
The infographic below is a terrific guideline for deciding which tactics you should be using. Whatever you do, don’t — let me repeat, do not — jump in and attempt every single one right off the bat. Pick one and learn everything you can about it. Get good at it. Become consistent with it. My recommendation is to start with a WordPress blog. There are a couple of good reasons for this:
Your WordPress blog is both a website and a blog, all in one place.
You never want your blog readers to have to wander away from the cozy confines of your delightful blog out into the cold, dark interwebz to visit your website. You don’t send the most important person in your (writing) life out to cruise the dive bars of cyberspace! They could get lost and never find their way back to you. Avoid this tragedy. Feather a comfy little nest for them to visit, have a cup of tea or a cocktail, enjoy your writing and learn more about you.
You own and control your blog and everything on it.
Your blog is the hub of your online presence. You create a blog post and — voila! — you now also have a Facebook post, a tweet, a Google+ post, a LinkedIn post, and numerous others through the miracle of cross-posting. Oh, that’s right, you’re not on those platforms yet … because I told you not to jump into the deep end before you knew how to swim. Good, I’m glad you were listening. But here’s the thing: When you do get going on those platforms, you’re going to be able to take those blog posts and cross-post them to your other places on the web … so that even if Facebook blows up your page, or LinkedIn becomes unlinked from our universe, or some other cosmic calamity causes your social media account to be lost forever, you’ve still got your blog.
Words to remember: Your blog is forever. Make it the home of everything important that you create for the web.
Start with your blog and build your online presence piece by piece.
Chances are, you’re one of the one-billion-plus people who have a Facebook profile This is a nice way to stay in touch with your old school chums and those relatives you’d rather not see beyond weddings and holidays. But for your business? You’re going to want to have a Facebook page. That differs from a Facebook profile in several significant ways, which we will go into in a future blog post.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and all the rest? Each has its own merits. Yup, sounds like another blog post coming on.
To make sure you don’t miss these and other posts that can help you be a better self-marketer, be sure to subscribe to receive notifications of future blog posts by using the box at the top of the right-hand column.
You know the old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Well, sometimes things just change, period. And in the world of social media, whether you use it for marketing or just keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s a whole lot easier if you have a cheat sheet to refer to when it comes to acceptable and recommended social media image sizes.
Ta-da! Thanks to the good folks at SLR Lounge (a photo site my photographer hubby and I like), you now have one.
(NOTE: There is one change to this infographic you should be aware of. Instagram image size used to be 640px by 640px but in July 2015 switched to 1080px by 1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops.)
A new study of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) reveals that these firms are spending the largest portion of their marketing budgets on email marketing, and far less on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Over 600 email marketing decision makers at companies with annual revenues between $1-50 million and less than 1,000 employees were surveyed. It was discovered that 15 percent of the marketing budget of these businesses is spent on email marketing, ahead of events and trade shows (14 percent), person-to-person contact (13 percent) and print ads (11 percent).
The most interesting aspect of this study for me was that just 8 percent of their budgets were spent on social media, tying for sixth place overall with search engine optimization (SEO). My email marketing clients benefit from integration with social media, which contributes to their search engine rankings, so our Best Practices actually incorporate both these items at almost no additional cost to our clients. Win-win!
Here’s a breakdown of spending on marketing, as revealed by the survey: (more…)
One of my favorite quotes about online reputation management is by Tyler Tervooren: “Even if you opt out of participating in the digital world, your online identity still exists in parallel; you’re just not in charge of it.” Basically, it comes down to this: Refusing to acknowledge that people are talking about you does not make that talk go away. And if that talk is negative or inaccurate or untruthful, you have, essentially, decided to allow others to decide who you are and what your brand represents.
Whether due to time constraints, or not knowing enough about how online marketing differs from traditional media, or an inability to keep up with the ever-changing world of online marketing – monitoring online channels is not something the average business professional can reliably do on their own. Many try, only to find sooner rather than later that neither they nor their staff have the time and expertise necessary to develop the Know-Like-Trust factor that leads fans, followers and other online connections to be converted into buyers.
Understanding those challenges is what led me to transform my own business from a general sales and marketing consulting firm to one focused exclusively on branding through social media, online, and email marketing.
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are two equally bad responses to negative online feedback: (more…)
We’re all familiar with the Four P’s of Marketing:
Product. The right product to satisfy the needs of your target customer.
Price. The right product offered at the right price.
Place. The right product offered at the right price available in the right place to be bought by customers.
Promotion. Informing potential customers of the availability of your product, its price, and where they can purchase it.
Each of the Four P’s is a variable that you control in creating the marketing mix that will attract customers to your business.
But marketing in the 21st century requires a Fifth P:
Despite what you may have heard, social media is not a numbers game.
Social media, online and email marketing is not about how many friends, fans, followers, subscribers and connections you have.
It’s not about how many pages you’ve “liked” or how many “like” your page.
It’s not about how many groups you’ve joined on LinkedIn or how many people joined the group you started.
It’s not even about how often you post or tweet or blog or publish your eNewsletter. (more…)