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97 posts categorized "Marketing "

March 13, 2012



Chain
Many small businesses have established blogs to help increase online brand presence but are still confused about how using links to build online brand presence works.  In short, search engine algorithms look at a lot of criteria when determining how relevant your blog or website is when ranking.  One of the elements they look at is how many other websites view your blog important enough to link to it on their site.  This is called a linkback and is one of the best strategies to increase your online brand presence.  There are many strategies that can be used to increase linkbacks to your blog but the easiest way to do this is to simply ask.

To be successful in asking another website or blog to link back to your blog you need to first do your research and determine what sites will be the most beneficial to you and your online brand presence.  Perform some Google searches using your primary keywords to determine who your competitors are.  Once you know who they are check their websites to make sure they are a brand you want your brand associated with.

Assuming they are look for places within their blog or website that a link and reference to your blog would benefit. For instance, if they are discussing a topic that you cover in a blog post it is the perfect place to linkback to your blog.  Also, look for places within your blog or website that you can link back to their website or blog.

Once you’ve done the research and have specific places to link both to your blog and you to theirs you need to initiate contact.  While online brand presence might deal with the realm of the internet there are times to contact humans via voice.  This is one of those times.  Calling and speaking to a representative of the business is the best way to get results.  Explain who you are and what your company does.  Commend them on their website and ask if you may have permission to link their blog/site to your content and share where in your blog it would be appropriate. 

Most people will have no problem with this.  After they agree to that mention that you found a place on their website/blog where a link to your blog would be beneficial. Do not demand reciprocity but hint.  If they say they will add a linkback to you send an email verifying the ‘deal’ and include an HTML ready link so they can simply cut and paste it into their web content.

This link building strategy does not always work but takes very little time to execute and costs nothing.  When looking for ways to increase online brand presence using your blog you must be creative and assertive.   Linkbacks are one of the best ways to build an online brand presence and the appropriate amount of effort and time should be spent doing so to help your brand succeed.

March 08, 2012



Pinterest_Logo
Anyone involved with social media has noticed the increase in visual social media like Pinterest and Facebook’s new timeline format for brands but may not realize the impact it has on building online brand presence.  There are several factors that make brands focused on visual marketing tools the top sellers right now including the increase of mobile technology, tried and true marketing truisms and just good old fashioned human nature.

Online Brand Presence – Mobile Technology

As more and more people own Smartphones and Tablets and are accessing their social media accounts via those devices it is no surprise that websites focused on picture sharing are growing.  Mobile devices are the primary means of capturing and sharing pictures these days and make adding images to social media a breeze.  Smart brands are doing some serious online brand presence building by encouraging customers to share pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. 

Online Brand Presence – Marketing Truths

Since the birth of marketing those in the biz have known that a picture speaks a thousand words, so to speak.  All the web content in the world cannot replace the emotional reaction customers have to a well designed image.  With people accessing social media via mobile devices text is beginning to take a backseat to images and resurgence in marketing images has begun.

Online Brand Presence – Human Nature

People like to share pictures with other people.  Before digital cameras and computers people shared pictures.  With digital technology and computers sharing pictures has become second nature and taken for granted by most.  Smart online marketers recognize this desire by all people to take and share pictures and encourage it (with their brand front and center) within social media.  Pinterest is proof that visual driven messages not only work but thrive in a social media environment.

Thinking visually takes some adjusting but for small businesses looking for an edge when developing their online brand presence this new trend might just be it.  For those business owners feeling left out of the loop who wish to join the visual revolution contacting professional SEO content writers specializing in the most current types of SEO optimization including visual social media management would be a place to start.  Online brand presence demands business agility and the ability to stay on top of online trends making now the time for small and mid-sized businesses to beef up their visual acumen.

March 02, 2012



Social_media_marketing-300x300
Unlike traditional forms of marketing online marketing allows businesses the opportunity to form relationships with customers while promoting an online brand presence.  This difference is crucial to understand as traditional marketing strategies do not always work when moving online.  Below are a few online strategies that will help your online brand presence grow and are unique to social media marketing.

Online Brand Presence Builders - Focus on Feelings

All good marketing campaigns take customers’ emotions into account but social media is poised to keep up with changing attitudes as they are influenced by trends.  Also, social media allows brands to appeal to more than one group of customers at the same time.  Experts recommend that when developing social media marketing goals with a focus on building online brand presence a focus be determined. This focus should not be the brand or product one is selling but rather a feeling or attitude target customers share.  An example would be a business offering cleaning services might choose their focus to be on simplifying.  This would drive all of their marketing strategies.

Online Brand Presence Builders – Easy Does It

Customers on social media websites do not want to work hard.  Rather, they want to relax, chat with some friends, catch up on news and gossip, and possibly do a little shopping.  The easier one can make the social media experience for the customer the more likely they will take part.  Building an online brand presence depends completely on convincing the customer it is worth their time to share one’s brand with others.  To convince them without overburdening them requires finesse.  Some examples of strategies include social media only deals and giveaways.

Online Brand Presence Builders – The Latest Gadgets

People who will respond to a business’s online marketing campaign are tech people. This is something to take advantage of!  Technology is constantly changing and there is no way any business can always be on top of the hottest trend but they can catch up as quickly as possible.  To build online brand presence business’s must make their brand synonymous with the hottest technology whether that be by having really cool apps or being available on the most operating systems.

Social media marketing with a focus on growing one’s online brand presence presents both challenges and rewards unlike ever seen before in marketing campaigns.  Companies ready to jump on board and ride social media to the bank will adopt strategies that embrace the differences in marketing styles and as a result see a huge increase in online brand presence.

February 27, 2012



Online-reputation-management-icon
Your company worked hard to create and continually build an online brand presence yet you may be neglecting to monitor that brand to make sure that it is performing as it was intended.  To monitor your online brand presence all that is needed is some regular care and subscriptions to online tools.  With your online reputation so critical to the success of the online brand presence you can’t be diligent enough in monitoring. Below are some online tools that are free and will help you begin to monitor and maintain your online brand presence.

Online Brand Presence Monitoring with Google

Google offers Google Alerts which automatically notifies you via email when a new Google result pops us with the requested topic or search words you tell it to keep an eye out for.  Since Google is the largest and most popular commercial search engine Google Alerts should let you know about what others are saying about your brand fairly quickly.  Depending on what is being said your online brand presence may be strengthened or damaged. Either way, you’ll know and be able to react quickly and properly.

Online Brand Presence Monitoring with Technorati

Technorati is the largest blog search engine in the world.  When you register with Technorati you can be notified when anyone (also registered) mentions your brand in a blog post.  This is ideal for building online brand presence as many people rely on blogs to get first-hand, honest accounts of a brand.  Keeping tabs on what people are saying about your brand will help guide your decisions in reputation management.

Online Brand Presence Monitoring with Backtype

This service goes hand in hand with Technorati and keeping tabs on your online brand presence as portrayed in blogs.  Backtype monitors blog comments opposed to blog posts.  When anyone mentions your brand name in a comment you will receive an alert notifying you.

Online Brand Presence Monitoring with YackTrack

With so much of your online marketing campaign happening on social media sites keeping up with what others say about your brand on those sites is crucial to online brand presence monitoring.  Yacktrack combines the best of the best to let you know when any comment is posted on a social media website about your brand. 

With so much at state reputation management cannot be stressed enough.  If you’ve put all the hard work and time into carefully crafting your brand, releasing it to the online world and as a result creating an online brand presence, you’ll want to monitor and protect that brand as much as possible.  With just a little extra work your online brand presence can remain strong and vibrant through these online services.

February 24, 2012



Manage online brand presence
We’ve stressed repeatedly what an important role social media plays in developing your business’s online brand presence. Part of accepting social media as an effective strategy is being open to new social media trends. The newest, hottest thing in social media is currently Pinterest, a social media site that allows its users to ‘pin’ pictures to their boards (the equivalent of a page) and then share those pins with all their followers and the rest of Pinterest. In short, it looks a little bit like a page of Post-It notes and it is spreading like wildfire and is the best way to build your online brand presence at the moment.

Using Pinterest to really increase your online brand presence isn’t as easy as just signing up however. You have to get and keep followers in order to spread word of your business. Although it’s a new website there are definitely some tips which have been quickly developed to help those struggling with Pinterest followers.

1) Just like with Facebook and Twitter you can add a “Pin It” button to your web content and blog post. This will remind people to share what they read just as it does with other social media sites which have proven to increase online brand presence.

2) Since Pinterest focuses on graphics you need to make sure your photographs are up to par. The more impressive your pics are, the more they will be ‘re-pinned’ (shared).

3) Pinterest offers a real opportunity to businesses to show their creativity. Instead of focusing on a small pool of customers try to expand with your boards to rope in more followers – even if they aren’t potential customers – because it will build online brand presence.

4) In order to get followers sometimes you’ll have to be a follower. Take the opportunity to follow are many people as possible with the hope that they will then follow you. Share your pins with other companies within the same industry to get exposure to more people, furthering your online brand presence.

5) Most people find pictures on Pinterest by searching. With that being the case all Pin captions and board titles must be searchable phrases. Pinterest is a wonderful opportunity to really cultivate and expand your business’s online brand presence and jumping on now, while it’s still in its youth, is the ideal time.

When adding social media strategies related to Pinterest to your overall social media campaign make sure to have fun and encourage creativity. Pinterest is an amazing chance to show your creative and quirky side while still building an impressive online brand presence.

February 23, 2012



Every smart business owner understand that social media is directly linked to online brand presence.  These days the two cannot be separated.  With this being the case many get disheartened when their well planned social media campaigned seemingly stall after a short time.  If goals aren’t being met, analytics are less than exemplary, the online brand presence is virtually nonexistent, and one has no idea what is not working, going back to the beginning is probably the best solution.

When going back to the drawing board with a social media campaign a re-examination of the social media marketing goals is the first step.  In many cases goals are lofty, ambiguous and not measurable. That is a recipe for disaster and will not bolster online brand presence. Unless there is a clear way to measure a goal’s success or failure it doesn’t belong in the campaign. When looking at goals every business should also take the opportunity to consider goals from non-tradition sources.  Sometimes thinking outside the box when dealing with social media and online brand presence gets the best results.

After clear and measurable goals have been established some type of metric must be created for each goal.  These can be simple like measuring hits on a webpage or blog or they might have the type of complexity that only a program devoted to social media analytics can handle.  No matter what the metric is it must be used to measure goal progression at all times.  Without accountability of one’s goals and their progress online brand presence will not grow.

Finally, in order to get a fresh start in a social media campaign a sense of humor must be adopted.  Too often businesses start a social media marketing blitz riding high on hopes and dreams and then crash when the results and online brand presence they believed would be forthcoming are not.  In order to combat this ‘blah’ attitude which most definitely seeps into social media and damages the already established online brand presence every business should diversify formatting (photos, videos, text, etc…), use different writers and remember to laugh.

The majority of social media users approach websites like Facebook and Twitter as well as blogs as a fun hobby and if a business is not a partner in that fun they hold no value.  Before giving up on social media marketing and the stellar online brand presence guaranteed to accompany, reviewing one’s entire social media marketing campaign is due. 

February 22, 2012



Many companies expect an easy answer as to how to create an enhanced online visibility.  While some fish oil salesman masquerading as online marketing experts claim to be able to achieve this elevated status in ‘three simple steps’ or some other similar nonsense that is just not the case.  Creating an enhanced online visibility takes hard work, perseverance and a dedication to the task.

If one was to line up companies and brands that have achieved an enhanced online visibility certain attributes all had in similar would become evident.  One of those similarities is that each company with an enhanced online visibility is perceived to be an expert in their field or industry.  They might have taken different paths to be seen by their customers and audience (as well as competition even) as experts, but the end result is the same.

Knowing that, it would behoove any company set upon claiming an enhanced online visibility as their own to put forth the dedication and initiative to being identified as an expert.  With most of the world’s business conducted online expert status is gained through blog posts, website content, and forum posts.  The more a company becomes visible in their industry’s online community with helpful, useful and thought-provoking information the quicker their expertise will become invaluable.

Social media has truly been a gift to creating an enhanced online visibility.  Now, with the simple click of a ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ button a company’s expert advice or insights can be shared with an entirely new audience.  By adding such buttons on every blog post companies can be fast on their way to being seen as experts in their field.

Keeping on top of industry news and sharing it as quick as possible will also send the message that the company is maintaining a diligent keep on industry developments.  Having this kind of reputation will only escalate one’s rise to expert status and firm establishment of enhanced online visibility.  Of course to do this companies must devote an appropriate amount of time to surfing the web for relevant news and keeping up with industry blogs and online publications.

All in all, becoming an expert is not an easy chore no matter what online marketing gurus soliciting for business may promise.  To create an enhanced online visibility that will weather the storm companies must commit to the kind of dedication becoming an expert requires.

February 15, 2012



Online-reputation1
While a company may be utilizing social media, a blog and including fresh content in their campaign to create an online brand presence they many want a little extra something to improve their game.  For many small to mid-size businesses the little extra something that gives a great advantage is charity work.  Not only does it help a good cause and the local community, it is also a proven winner at building online brand presence.

Online Brand Presence – Community Involvement

Everyone likes to help with a good cause.  Whether it is walking to raise cancer awareness or raising money for a local family whose home burned down, people come together for charity events.  Smart businesses realize their target audience is most likely among those helping and advertise accordingly.  With the advances of online marketing businesses can take local causes to the masses via the internet. 

Online Brand Presence – Online Fundraising

Small businesses with even a modest online audience have the capacity to do a lot of good when working with charities.  There are online auctions, prizes given away to all who donate and a myriad of other online fundraising opportunities.  People almost always share positive social media and blogging comments with their friends making online charity work a great way to spread word of a small business.

Online Brand Presence – Reputation Management

Most small business owners understand that reputation means everything in a competitive marketplace.  One bad comment on a blog or social media site and a lot of time and effort must go into correcting it.  Working with charities and local non-profits is a great way to strengthen a good reputation, a task that does a lot for increasing online brand presence.

There are many local charities in every community that anxiously wait for small and mid-size businesses to show interest in helping.  By focusing on only one cause and putting all one’s effort into advancing that cause through fundraising, awareness campaigns and donations a business’s name can become attached to the charity which will create awareness and ultimately bolster online brand presence.

February 14, 2012



GuestBlogging
Anyone who blogs on a regular basis understands how maintaining one’s focus on building an enhanced online visibility can become overwhelming and demanding.  For those whose sole responsibility it is to maintain the company blog scheduling regular breaks from writing is vital to keeping the intensity strong and meeting the challenging goal of creating a vibrant enhanced online visibility.  The best way to schedule regular breaks for oneself is to invite guest bloggers to write. 

Enhanced Online Visibility – Guest Bloggers Add Diversity

There is no better way to break up the monotony of a blog then to invite someone else to write.  A post or two from a new voice in a different situation will refresh the blog and catch readers’ interest.  Enhanced online visibility only works if someone (and lots of them) is reading what is written.  Even if the guest writer is has a similar view on the industry as the primary writer for the guest blog the diversity seen within the posts will still be huge.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Guest Bloggers Challenge Ideas

The best type of guest writer one can get to build an enhanced online visibility is a writer who will challenge the primary writer’s opinions.  This, of course, can’t be a mean and spiteful confrontation, but rather a well-written rebuttal of beliefs.  If done well many new post topics will be created, a series of back-and-forth ‘debate style’ posts can be developed and, best of all, a conversation among commenters will begin.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Guest Bloggers Have an Entourage

Perhaps the best reason to invite a guest blogger to write for the company blog is to increase numbers.  When choosing a guest writer it is important to find one who already has a successful online brand presence with plenty of followers to prove it.  Where they write their crowd will follow.  Even a simple link on the guest’s website or blog leading their followers to the guest post can open many doors for one’s company.  This is one of the best ways to increase enhanced online visibility.

Rather than become a devastating blow to the company website and blog, one should look at a case of writer’s block as an opportunity to help build enhanced online presence. Not only will the primary writer of the blog get a much needed break to recharge their batteries, readers will get a fresh, new perspective and new readers will be drawn to the blog. 

February 13, 2012



Reputation
Many small business owners put so much effort into creating their online brand presence that once an acceptable level is achieved they begin to slack off, failing to maintain that precious online brand presence they worked so hard to build.  In order to keep that from happening to your business you must work tirelessly to maintain your online reputation. The best way to do that is to perform regular maintenance on all web content and blog entries.  An out of date or irrelevant post is all it takes to begin to crack the façade of a strong and dominant online brand presence.

Online Brand Presence Maintenance – Search Engine Monitoring

If you own a small business you should be checking your business’s name on all major search engines on a regular basis.  All it takes is one bad comment or review to seriously endanger your online brand presence.  By not only checking search engines, but also having a plan in place should the worst occur, you are protecting yourself against damages that could cost thousands to repair.  You might consider hiring a professional reputation management company to assist you in keeping tabs on your online brand presence.

Online Brand Presence Maintenance – Blog Comments

It’s easy to forget to read every single comment posted on your blog.  We understand.  Unfortunately, this is one of the ways your online brand presence can seriously be hurt.  Either spammers post nonsense comments promoting their product or someone blasts you in a hate-filled comment and suddenly your online brand presence is suffering life-threatening wounds.  Constant monitoring of your blog is essential not only for maintaining online brand presence but for creating an environment of open and positive community which hopefully will detract spammers and other negative comment.

Online Brand Presence Maintenance – Web Content

Web content is easy to forget about in the world of a busy small business owner.  You work hard to produce quality content and then are expected to update it regularly.  It’s easy to see how the updates might become fewer and fewer as the months pass by.  Unfortunately, keeping web content fresh is one of the best ways to maintain online brand presence.  If you find yourself to busy with the day to day tasks involved with running a business you might consider hiring a company specializing in web content and search engine optimization.

February 10, 2012



Target-audience
All too often a small business has a great product or service but can’t understand why their enhanced online visibility is nowhere to be found.  Quite often the problem isn’t their service or products but rather their inability to reach their target audience.  When working on a company online marketing plan with the goal of building and maintaining an enhanced online visibility target audiences must be thoroughly researched and decided upon before attempting online marketing strategies.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Begin at the Beginning

When developing one’s target audience for online marketing with the intent being to increase enhanced online visibility a small business should start by making a physical list of all the attributes of their target customer(s).  Are they male or female? What income level? What education level?  All these question matter when determining where time and resources should be spent in regards to online strategies.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Think like the Customer

Once the target audience has been thought through and a  list of attributes for each target customer has been assigned the small business owner must determine where their target audience will be online.  If one determines their largest pool of target customers is sixty to eighty years old and of limited means what are the odds of their being active on Twitter and Facebook?

Although the target customer, originally determined, may be that demographic and Facebook may not be a good meeting ground one must take a second look at their target audience.  Would the target customers’ children be on Facebook and Twitter? Might online marketing aimed at them rather than their parents for whom the product or service is designed be more practical?

Enhanced Online Visibility – Trust in the Numbers

After enacting various online marketing strategies such as social media, blogs and forum posting on industry blogs every small business owner needs to make the time on a regular basis to check the numbers to see if their hard work in the online community is paying off.  There are several programs and websites dedicated to analytics that will clearly show where traffic is coming from and the demographic composition of one’s traffic.  Even a simple Google search of the business name will give one an idea of how their business’s enhanced online visibility is doing.

It is easy when creating and structuring an online marketing plan to forget the very foundation of any business – the customers.  Online marketing allows a business exciting new ways to market their business, interact with current and future customers and keep an eye on the competition.  All of that is for naught, though, if a business’s enhanced online visibility is lacking due to mistargeting of audience.

February 09, 2012



Computer_plus_magnifying
One of the proven ways to build one’s online brand presence is to be active in industry forums, social media and other’s blogs.  This activity usually takes the form of making thoughtful and compelling comments – not blatant advertising of one’s product or service.  Best practice recommends that to really build online brand presence one must always include a link back to the company blog or website when posting said comments. 

Understandably, after a few dozen comments it becomes difficult to keep track of all the blogs, forums and social media pages upon which one commented in an effort to monitor the ongoing conversations so that online brand presence can continue to be built.  Since this is a universal problem several new programs are available online to do that job exactly.  Below are a few programs that will make monitoring one’s online brand presence incredibly easy so that time and energy can be spent on more important components of creating and maintaining a business’s online brand presence.

Backtype – This is great for monitoring blog comments across the web.  Once one comments on a blog and includes a link to their blog or website Backtype will update any new activity on the blog saving time and energy.  This service can also be used to monitor trends and discussion in one’s industry which comes in useful for the company blog.

Google Alerts – One can now tame the search engine giant by setting up Google Alerts which notify one when a pre-entered phrase or business name is mentioned any where on the internet whether that be in a blog, forum or article.  This is great for monitoring a business’s online brand presence.

Twitter Search – For those small business’s investing their online marketing time on Twitter keeping up with all the Tweets can be exhausting.  Enter Twitter Search.  One can search for all the instances a company’s name is mentioned in a tweet and then choose to respond or not respond.  One of the keys to maintaining online brand presence is constant communication.  Tools like Twitter Search help keep one on top of social media.

Friend Feed – Similar to Twitter Search this tool helps businesses keep an eye on all social media activity that mentions the business name.  An ongoing log is presented that pulls from all the major social media sites. The temptation with a tool such as this is to spend as much time monitoring Friend Feed as one would the individual sites which doesn’t really save time or increase online brand presence.

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