39 posts categorized "Self Marketing"

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.

January 09, 2012

Companies dedicated to creating an enhanced online visibility are always looking for interesting and unique ways to do so.  One way that helps one’s own company as well as makes friends with other companies is to write a positive review of a product and allow the company being reviewed the freedom to use it as they please.  This creates friendly relations as well as increases one’s enhanced online visibility.

The idea is simple, really.  Within one’s industry an expert in a company finds products or services that are good, novel or compliment their own products and services and rights a glowing review.  Then, the review is posted on the company website for all to see (and is used to build an enhanced online visibility).  A link to the post is sent to the company (of the reviewed product) with a note giving permission for them to link back to the review as they please. 

The important part to remember in all this is that the review must be sincere to truly help a company’s enhanced online visibility.  The only thing worse than a bad review is a generic review of no real substance.  If a product or service being considered isn’t worth much or one’s company sees no substantial value in it they shouldn’t write about it.  This falls under the old adage of ‘if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.

If, on the other hand, there is a product or service that has really wowed a company they should explain to the masses why they believe in that product – even if it is a competitor’s product. Yes, that is right.  If a competitor is really doing something right and one’s company writes up a review saying as much the competition will undoubtedly post the review (and the link back) everywhere possible helping create an enhanced online visibility for the company writing the review. 

Many companies feel that they have their hands full already trying to maintain a blog, a website and other marketing materials.  Between advertising online and through traditional methods companies may not see the benefit writing reviews would have considering the time required for completing.  The benefit is very real, despite many beliefs, and will surely help build an enhanced online visibility if done honestly and thoughtfully.

January 03, 2012

Most companies focused on creating an enhanced online visibility have been convinced of the value of adding a blog onto their website.  Unfortunately, their blog is not doing all that it can to produce the enhanced online visibility for which it was designed.  There are several common errors companies make with their blog that can easily be fixed with a little dedication and time.  For companies whose blog problems are because of a lack of both time and dedication considering hiring a professional company to maintain the blog might be the best solution.

For everyone else, there are a few things to try before calling in the professionals:

1)    Blog Often – There is nothing worse than a spotty blog for creating an enhanced online visibility – one that posts randomly with huge gaps between dates.  Try to commit to at least three posts per week.  The posts do not have to be novellas, but just something interesting .  If you try to post boring filler your audience will know and desert you.

2)    Take Advantage of Guest Bloggers – No one like to post every day or every other day.  Similarly your audience doesn’t want to hear your opinions all the time unless you’re a celebrity.  By inviting a guest to post every now and then you shake up the blog and impress search engines.

3)    Link Carefully – Don’t go crazy with the linking.  Yes, links are vital to a successful blog and an enhanced online visibility but if you go nuts you will only offend the delicate Google Panda and cause guests to never click on your links.  When reading through a new post consider what YOU would like to click on to learn more about.  Then link appropriately.

4)    Write About Real Issues – A golden rule for writing of any genre is to write what is interesting. If it’s not interesting to the author it sure won’t be to the reader.  Even if you are the primary blogger for your website and therefore responsible for enhanced online visibility and are getting sick and tired of writing about your chosen industry day after day, boring posts are not okay.  Find a new angle.  Take a break.  Do whatever you need to keep every post fresh and interesting.

A blog might seem simple in theory but in reality it takes a lot of work to do it right.  The payout for a blog done right, however, is exactly what every company needs to build an enhanced online visibility.  All companies need to be honest with themselves and decide if they can handle blogging for enhanced online visibility or if a professional is needed to do it right.

January 02, 2012

I’ve mentioned in previous posts the importance of keeping on top of updates on a company website and social media like Facebook and Twitter.  There is nothing more devastating to an online brand presence than an outdated and irrelevant web page.  With that said and already established I want to emphasis the responsibility of every company in maintaining the website in an effort to continually build online brand presence.

With the New Year now upon us it is the perfect opportunity for every company to set themselves apart from their competition less dedicated to maintain an online brand presence and update their websites with 2012 information.  This goes far beyond changing the dates on the website.  One would be surprised to realize that the year pops up quite frequently on a website and social media pages.

Here are a few places to check for updating if creating an online brand presence is important to one’s company:

1)      Web Content - The first is the most obvious.  Make sure that all of the web content on a website says 2012 instead of 2011.  This is especially crucial for the homepage which is often the center of any online brand presence campaign.  Even though it is only a few days difference it appears to be a year different to anyone visiting the site.  That equals sloppy and an out of date website.

2)      Pricing Lists - Pricing lists cannot be forgotten!  Most companies update their pricing lists at some point during the year but not always on January 1st.  If the pricing list says 2011 prices it should immediately be changed to 2012 prices.  If the pricing schedule runs on a different schedule than the calendar year it should clearly state the dates, i.e. June 2011 through June 2012.

3)      Social Media – Many businesses are catching on to the unique marketing power and creation of online brand presence that social media allows and advertise specials via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.  At the beginning of the New Year every social media page should be gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure all the 2011s that need to be updated to 2012 are.

Rather than enjoy a few easy days at the office during the first week of the New Year businesses should take advantage in the usual lull in activity and clean up their online identity.  Building and maintaining an online brand presence takes time and an ongoing commitment to being better than average.

December 30, 2011

At times companies spend so much energy developing their online brand presence that they regretfully forget some very simple marketing strategies that still work, even in today’s digital age.  Alongside a great brand is a great tagline.  Companies electing not to develop one of their own are being neglectful in their marketing campaign.  When a tagline is combined with strategies to build an online brand presence companies can see an exponential growth in customers.

Taglines are everywhere.  Nike and “Just Do It” are synonymous.  Taglines are used so often and invade our subconscious associations with the product they represent so well that we rarely even notice them.  That is exactly why every company should develop their own tagline to coincide with developing their online brand presence.  There are professionals in PR and marketing whose whole professional existence depends on creating custom taglines for companies while simultaneously building online brand presence and usually companies are well advised to hire them rather than try and develop their own. 

For those choosing to try creating their own tagline independently there are a few guidelines to follow.

1)      Be original and unique

2)      Articulate the company’s mission and qualities

3)      Associate with the target customer base

4)      Accentuate the company’s advantage over the competition

5)      Communicate the goals of the company’s product or service

Once a tagline is created it should be used online for all marketing.  The company blog should incorporate the tagline into every post.  Every forum post or comment post done in the name of marketing should include the tagline.  Every email signature of every employee should proudly display the tagline.  Not to beat a dead horse, but once a successful tagline has been created it cannot be used too much.  The more a target customer associates that ideal with one’s company the more likely they are to remember the company. Online brand presence depends completely on customers thinking of a specific company for a specific need.

While many companies love to micromanage their PR and marketing teams to truly create and maintain a success online brand presence the two teams must work together. Even if a company consists of two employees and all the marketing is farmed out, every single member of the team must work together in every strategy to make an online brand presence be big and be real.


December 29, 2011

For a while now all the experts have been throwing out suggestions on how to increase rank on search engines.  Incorporating video into one’s website or online brand presence is just one of the ways to do this.  Many people are confused by how to do this and intimidated by the thought alone and therefore avoid it in lieu of simpler methods of increasing online brand presence like starting a Twitter account.

We understand the intimidation and would like to simplify the process for all those companies that wish to improve their online brand presence but have yet to step into the exciting world of video.  Before setting up the webcam and shooting the first movie every company should understand exactly what how powerful YouTube is and what it can do for their online brand presence.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

And words are worth quite a lot as well which is why YouTube is such a great marketing tool.  By combining both companies are able to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at their company.  Companies can use video to offer tutorials for products or service, show new items before they’re available or introduce new employees and showcase their talents.  Regardless of what a company posts on YouTube about their company the result can only be positive and encourage an online brand presence.

Engaging Customers through YouTube

Some of the most successful advertising campaigns in the past few years have been run entirely by a company’s customer base.  Coke threw out a challenge to their customers to create unique videos portraying interpretations of Coke’s newest marketing slogan and awarded prizes to winners.  Other companies have followed suit and encourage new and emerging artists to post their videos with casting votes for their favorites.  Through this subtle product placement a company can grow a larger customer base and increase their online brand presence.

Including YouTube Videos in the Company Blog

Anyone these days can embed a YouTube video into a blog making it a wonderful way to increase rank on search engines, engage readers and break up the monotony which afflicts many blogs.  Whether it be an interview, a how-to guide or a funny video by adding it to the company blog it will aid in building the company’s online brand presence – guaranteed.

While YouTube might be a little daunting to those not familiar with creating videos it is a necessity in today’s marketing world.  Any company not yet utilizing the website should spend some time exploring YouTube checking out what the competition is doing because chances are the competition is already using it and increase their online brand presence.

December 21, 2011

I have to admit I’m not good with business cards.  When someone hands me one it usually gets tucked away in my pocket or purse. More often than not it ends up a victim of my washing machine.  In fact, I’ve always considered people who hand out their business card like candy to be annoying.  That was until I needed an auto body shop and remembered I had a casual acquaintance who owned a body shop.  I had forgotten the name of the shop, though. What to do?  Then, I remembered the business card.

After digging through my purse I found his card and a few days later was paying his company for fixing the dent in my bumper.  The moral to this story is that even though my friend’s incessant handing out of business cards borders on aggressive marketing, it is effective.  That is how one builds an online brand presence and gets more customers.

There are all kinds of tips and techniques for online brand presence building and increasing traffic to a company’s website.   While all the advice is completely well-meaning and in most cases highly effective the first step in building a company’s online brand presence is to think like my friend and see opportunities in every situation. 

The key to building an online brand presence is to remember when online the small business owner should always behave as if all their customers are watching.  By being cognizant of their movements and behavior on social media and forums they create opportunities to build an online brand presence.  There are a few simple steps that go a long way in developing an impressive online brand presence:

1)      Every online signature should include a website address. Period.  This includes Forum signatures, email signatures and social media.  One’s online signature is their business card and is how online brand presence is created.

2)      To reach more customers subtle promotion must be authentic and show thoughtfulness.  This means becoming active on industry forums.  Active does not mean constant pitching of one’s product or service.  It means becoming part of the community and adding valuable and thought-provoking comments.

3)      Business owners should become experts in their field.  Expertise demands respect.  The best way to showcase expertise is to create a blog.  By discussing all aspects and elements of one’s industry or product they will grow a customer base guaranteed.

Building an online brand presence is about more than just online marketing – it’s about creating a brand for one’s company and selling it.  The goal of every business owners should be to have a customer base who thinks of them first when a need arises; much like I did when I needed my friend’s body shop. 


December 20, 2011

Small and mid-sized companies are always looking for inexpensive ways to increase their online brand presence.  Thanks to social media that can be done with no more investment that the time required to create and maintain a social media profile.  Facebook and Twitter have dominated the social media scene for the last few years but might have a run for their money with Google’s introduction of Google+.  This newest social media experience easily facilitates a company’s growing online brand presence and is easy to do.

Online Brand Presence at the Heart of Social Media

In essence social media turns every one of their users into a brand.  The more a person interacts with others within the realm of that website the more prominent their brand becomes.  Smart companies have realized this and have jumped head first into the cultural phenomena.  By creating a profile for one’s company current customers, potential customers and everyone in between can keep tabs on the company’s doings and receive constant advertising. Most important to building an online brand presence, though, is the daily reminders all one’s customers will have of a company’s product or service.

The Benefits of Google+ when Creating Online Brand Presence

Unlike Facebook and Twitter Google+ marketed their social media site at an older, more professional audience.  Also, regardless of whether one really likes Google+ there is no denying there are certain perks to belonging.  First and foremost the Google machine loves itself and when building an online brand presence raising Google ranking is the best method.  Google+ does have some advantages to its program and many experts in online marketing have already began to maximize these features to build an online brand presence.

No matter what size a company may be it is a best practice to draw as much attention to one’s brand as possible.  When that attention is free, it’s even better!  Social media is a free way to build an online presence.  While it may be free it is expensive in time commitment.  To utilize social media sites like Google+ one must be prepared to update their sites regularly, respond to comments, engage in on-going conversations and constantly look for potential customers.  Companies who make the commitment to Google+ can see immediate and long-term rewards, most importantly an increased online brand presence as demonstrated in higher Google rankings.

December 13, 2011

For companies just starting out and looking to improve (or even create) their online brand presence all the advice can be pretty confusing.  Before becoming completely overwhelmed by it all young entrepreneurs should try the simplest online brand presence building activities first.  One of the simplest methods is for new brands to create a key phrase to use over and over.  Customers will grow to associate the phrase with the brand and sales will increase.

If one was to stop and think of all the brands with catch phrases they’d be overwhelmed.  There’s the cute duck who yells, “Aflac!” and who could forget, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”  While those advertising campaigns were highly successful that is not the kind of phrase being recommended to young businesses trying to build their online brand presence. 

The keyword/key phrase recommendation is a much more subtle marketing plan that if done correctly the consumer will never even realize existed.  Early on in a company’s existence a vision should have been created.  With that vision should be a target customer.  Keyword/Key Phrase determination depends wholly upon the target customer when trying to establish an online brand presence. 

Most people visit websites after performing a search.  For one’s website to be clicked on it needs to be listed on the first or second page of the results.  An entire industry has popped up in response to this process helping companies get their website in those coveted spots and, in turn, build their online brand presence.  One of the principles behind ranking is keyword placement.  One must think like one’s target audience and try and predict what words they will put into the search engine.  If the prediction is right and a company has utilized those key words and phrases within their website and blog, their website will be ranked high in the search results cementing their online brand presence.

So, getting back to choosing key words or a key phrase for a new company – keep it simple.  Companies should think of the most concise wording someone looking for their product or service would use.  For instance someone looking for a plumber in New York might put “New York plumbers” into the search engine.  “New York plumbers” would be a great key phrase to use for a plumbing company.

Once a key phrase is determined it needs to be strategically placed in all online content.  There is a thin balance between it not being used enough and being used so much that it detracts from the information being provided.  Companies should place their key phrase in every page of their website, in all blog posts, and in social media updates.  If a company is utilizing blog comments for marketing purposes, the key phrase should be used there as well.

As mentioned earlier, there are many companies specializing in online marketing and helping companies build an online brand presence.  Any company having tried keyword placement and having not seen results should consider contracting with online marketing service providers.  Keyword placement is an easy and smart way to begin one’s online brand presence building.  With a little trial and error it can launch a website to the top of the search results.

December 12, 2011

When even Google makes a point to notice blog comments for their infamous ranking algorithm, those seeking enhanced online visibility should pay close attention.  Blogs are everywhere and cover every topic conceivable.  Creating a blog to increase online presence is a brilliant online marketing scheme, but it’s not the only way to utilize blogging.  By trolling blogs aimed at one’s target customers and leaving thought-provoking, intelligent comments companies are building enhanced online visibility.

Enhanced Online Visibility is not about setting sales records or recruiting the most potential victims – er, customers.  Companies who use blogs to further their own agendas refusing to pay their dues to the blog gods will only put a bad taste in potential customer’s mouths.  By participating on a blog through commenting, a company is joining a community.  Communities work cooperatively and are not set upon personal gain.  This concept must be remembered at all times when building an enhanced online visibility through blog commenting.

It’s obvious why some companies drop into a friendly blog post, leave an unrelated comment pumping their company or product and then zip out just as quickly. It’s easy. Companies can do that hundreds of times a day to hundreds of blogs.  Taking the time to join a community and offer intelligent feedback is time-consuming and can’t be mass generated.  It’s worth the time, though.  Building an enhanced online visibility is all about time and patience.

Lastly, blog commenting is a commitment.  One blog comment posted will not attract the customers or build an enhanced online visibility.  Daily or bi-daily posting of comments must occur.  That requires one to follow a blog and other comment threads.  If a company is not willing to allow the time necessary to embed oneself deep into a blog it is better to not attempt the endeavor. 

Blog commenting is perhaps one of the best ways, currently, to add to a company’s enhanced online visibility.  It costs nothing more than the man-hours do complete the posts, it is a very specifically aimed marketing tactic depending on the blog and its audience, and it works.  Online marketing specialists will charge companies oodles of money with one of their approaches being blog commenting.  Companies wanting to save money and willing to invest a little time can increase their own enhanced online visibility by blog commenting.

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