10-21-2020 7:26:56 PM EST

Graphic design makes the world go ’round. It helps you inform, engage, and entice consumers to choose your brand over the competition. In fact, graphic elements can be the first interaction prospects have at the top of the marketing funnel. From that point, you can nurture those leads all the way to the finish line.

If you’re not convinced that graphic design is essential, think of your favorite companies. Envision their product packaging or logos. You’re likely picturing graphics. Those graphics have become so familiar that you can identify them from far away. Who hasn’t recognized an Amazon Prime delivery van by its telltale arrow swoosh?

Of course, accepting that creative design solutions are vital to the health, profitability, and scalability of your organization is one thing. Creating top-notch graphics that motivate people to take action is another. Chances are strong that you won’t generate graphics yourself, personally, unless that’s your talent. So what are your staffing options for hiring a designer and getting high-quality graphics?


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10-13-2020 11:59:17 AM EST

Graphic design has a major part to play in the cutting edge focused business condition. Organizations require the administrations of graphic designers to make noteworthy promoting materials. These materials incorporate business cards, pamphlets, flyers, sites, and stationeries etc. 

A great and vital logo is a fundamental prerequisite for any business to fabricate a brand personality. So also, organizations require the administrations of graphic designers to make exceptional portable applications and web-based social networking pages for business advancement. We can state that the Scope of graphic design has turned into a piece of working together in physical and virtual markets. 

The purpose behind the rising demand of organizations for graphic design is the requirement for viable correspondence with the crowd. Since an ever-increasing number of organizations are entering markets, it is creating more rivalry. 

To manage the opposition, graphic designs have turned out to be basic to draw the consideration of potential clients towards organizations. There is an expanding need felt by business visionaries to impart a message to the intended interest group viably. 

What Does Design Rely on In Graphic Design? 

The term graphic in graphic design truly implies a visual that is appropriate and precise. The designing part in graphic design is for making a particular message in an expert and creative way. The point here is to deliver a bit of visual data for an intended interest group. The term graphic design likewise remains for visual correspondence or correspondence design. 

The innovative procedure includes the customer and graphic designer. To make critical design pieces, the designer utilizes distinctive visual expressions, typography abilities, pictures and format systems. The plan of different design components in a graphic design relies upon the media, for example, publications, logos, bundles, site, and so on. 

The cutting edge designers utilize diverse graphics programming projects, for example, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, and so on. The immense field of graphic design, by and large, incorporates print, web, and broadcasting. Print designing incorporates logos, delineation and graphics, format, bundling design, and so forth. The computerized class of designing incorporates site and programming, and broadcasting incorporates movement and film graphic designing.

Here are the eight tips help you understand the importance of graphic design in 2020
Improve Sales 
Mindfully made graphic design pieces can enable lift to up deals. Individuals are pulled in to any extraordinarily designed thing. Your quality design delivers a message to them. The message might be that the organization owning the design conveys top-notch items or administrations. Individuals get such messages in a roundabout way in their psyches when they see a novel logo design, business card, and other such designs. This conveys individuals closer to businesses on numerous occasions.

Once the range of graphic designs has effectively had a constructive outcome on watchers, a large number of them end up faithful clients. This is because graphic design advertising things help in anticipating an organization as a reliable brand. Graphic designs have a great deal to do with the enduring development of an organization. 
Also read: Best 4 Security Tips to Help Your Business Grow

Build up Company Name 
Graphic designs are additionally useful in building up an organization’s name in its specialty advertise. When we see an alluring logo, over and over, it helps us to remember the brand behind the logo. So also, notices, sites, business cards are the designs we as a whole observe on a regular routine. Every one of these designs revives our recollections of the brand. This encourages us to perceive the brand name.  

Private ventures don’t, for the most part, have enough promoting spending plan. They think that it’s hard to get a mark of acknowledgment in their specialty markets. Yet, an interestingly designed logo, business card design and other promoting things can quickly grab the eye of individuals. The designs in this manner empower organizations in setting up their names in the market. 

Construct Goodwill In The Market 
Additionally, graphic designs are awesome instruments for winning trust and altruism in the market. On the off chance that a logo design or some other graphic design is of good stylish esteem, it fills the watchers with certainty. They have confidence in the organization’s items or administrations if its design components claim to the faculties. Slowly, an appealing design will help win clients and a considerable lot of them wind up faithful to your business. 

An organization can feature its items with the assistance of graphic design. At whatever point an organization dispatches another item, it gets ready for another showcasing effort. The crusade extends the items in another light. For that, graphic design administrations are expected to give a picture of the items.

Pass on A Brand Message 
Graphic design is likewise a decent method for passing on a particular brand message to target clients. An expert designer first needs to think about the message the design ought to convey. A brand message makes the design value. The designer picks a particular hues and typefaces to inspire a proposed feeling. This feeling at that point turns into the message of the brand to potential clients. 

For instance, McDonald’s logo has red and yellow as principal hues. These hues bring out sentiments of enthusiasm and crude vitality of youngsters and additionally socialization. This is likewise the message of the drive-thru food organization as its objective is youthful clients. 

Join The Employees 
An organization has numerous workers who ought to have a typical reason exceptional to them. Graphic designs have helped organizations in this issue. The representatives have organization website pages, productions, outfits, stationery, logo, handouts and numerous other graphic designs around them in an organization. Accordingly, these designs turn into a typical personality of the representatives and join them with a typical character. 
Also read: The Benefits of SMS Marketing

Empower Professionalism 
Numerous organizations battle to make a situation of intensity and polished skill among their workers. The graphic design establishes a long term connection between your customers and sellers. For instance, a logo design that looks tastefully extraordinary says a lot about its organization’s methods for working together. A deliberately designed logo gives the feeling that the organization maintains its day by day issues of business in an expert way. That checks a great deal for guaranteeing the development of a business. 

Influence Power 
You might have heard this term that your logo defines your business. One of the best benefits of graphic design is that it influences your clients to consider your business. A very much made handout design, for instance, can comprehend association with a brand. 

Meaningfulness Of Content 
A decent graphic designer can even improve the meaningfulness of your substance that you create to catch the eye of a group of people. The designer does this by picking proper typefaces, hues, pictures, and so forth. 

 This way, these are a portion of key focal points that you have to hire an expert graphic designer to design a logo for your business.

Graphic design is essential to businesses and different strolls of life in shifted ways. Professionally made logo designs help establish a decent connection with potential customers. Huge numbers of them wind up steadfast clients later. Be that as it may, an early introduction that a graphic design makes on watchers is of significant significance in drawing their consideration towards a business.


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01-19-2018 8:22:45 AM EST
WeekFish Blog:

Online reputation management is the act of managing what people are thinking about you or your business online through many different websites, including social media sites, crowd-sourcing sites like Yelp, and many other sites available.

Managing your reputation online has become that much more important nowadays with the availability of these websites because now word of mouth marketing is done on a vast scale with the internet as the conduit for available information.

Who is Online Reputation Management for?

Online reputation management is like handing your business card out on the internet.  It isn’t just about your website anymore.  People can now do their due diligence on levels that were unheard of just 5 years ago.

You can go to a website and that company can tell you whatever they want about their own company, but once you go to Twitter or Yelp you can see what others are saying about that same company and that is a lot more reliable than just believing what a business tells you about themselves.

If you search for a keyword, whatever shows up on page one of Google or any other search engine is exactly what you are going to discover about that keyword.  We consider page one of Google to be that important to your reputation that you may want to keep tabs on the first page at least once per month just to make sure something isn’t showing up that you don’t want to see there.  This makes online reputation management important for every individual and every company or organization.

Personal Online Reputation Management

Managing your own reputation on the internet is vital going forward in 2018.  This can apply to any individual, such as a celebrity and even you.  It doesn’t matter who is searching for you because whatever they find online will help them begin to form their opinion of you before they even connect with you.

Online Job Background Checks

Think about how important it is for businesses to do background checks on new job applicants on Facebook and LinkedIn these days.  It is usually a good idea to clean up any crazy pictures or posts on your social media sites before applying for a new job since you may not get the job due to something inappropriate online.  Some people will even go as far as turning their Facebook account off before applying to jobs so they can tell these companies that they don’t even have a Facebook account anymore.

Personal Business Background Checks

Some people will even Google the people they are meeting on online dating websites to see what they can dig up on them before meeting up for the first time.  Parents will also Google babysitters that will be watching their children to make sure they have someone they can trust.  They may also check your social media profiles.

Local Company Online Reputations

Local businesses play an even larger role with their online reputation because your location can affect what local consumers do and where they go to make their purchases.  After searching for Walmart here in Harrisburg, PA, not only did the national results show up but some local results were added into my Google results and one of them was a bit disturbing.

Some people would actually avoid going to Walmart, especially with children, if they saw a news article like this.  The question is, how did Walmart respond to this article?  Did they reach out to Fox 43 directly and respond or did they just sweep it under the rug?

These large corporations have to constantly monitor their online reputation so that they don’t get tarnished from one post that may go viral.  One issue that may arise online could cost a large corporation millions, if not billions of dollars in stocks and lots and lots of business over time.

Good Reviews Equal More Revenue

Nowadays image is everything and a bad reputation can literally put you out of business.

Companies such as SeaWorld and Chipotle have both been in the news lately for negative topics and both of their businesses were hurt from it.

People have actually taken the negative reputation towards SeaWorld and created a documentary towards exposing their reputation to the masses.  SeaWorld may not be in business 10 years from this blog post because of the negative reputation they have recently acquired towards their orca treatment and captivity standards unless they make some major changes that change their reputation.

Chipotle also was in the news recently for having E. Coli in some of their meat in the northwestern United States.  They were forced to shut down many locations and many other people were scared to go to Chipotle across the country because they felt that they were at risk of getting E. Coli from eating there.  This both hurt business and it also dropped the price of their profits by 82%, according to a CNN article, all due to some negative publicity. 

The Importance of Responding to Your Negative Online Reputation

It’s going to happen.  Eventually something negative is going to happen and it should be expected with business.  It really comes down to managing what other people say and responding accordingly.  Both Chipotle and SeaWorld responded in the correct manner, based upon what the population said online.

Listening to Your Customers Equals More Money

Your customers are telling you what they want online.  They are going to your site, review sites, listing sites, and social media sites to tell you what they like and dislike about you.  Feedback is exactly what you need to be getting and responding to in order to constantly better your company.

 

Social Media Reputation Management Tactics

Social media is the new voice of communication with your customers.  There are many different sites and many different ways that you can communicate via social media with your customers and potential customers as well.

The great thing about social media is that it’s also free to communicate with your audience, for the most part.  A couple things that you need to watch on your social media sites are mentions, responding to reviews, and being proactive by providing your audience with quality content.

Mentions

Mentions can happen anywhere and you usually find out about them when somebody mentions your business in some type of post or comment.  Social media sites, blog, news websites, review sites, and images are just some of the places where you can get mentioned.

If they tag you in the post you will get a notification right away, however if they do not tag you it is still a mention that is very important to pay attention to, but you will not get a notification about it unless your brand gets tagged.  You also may want to monitor your employee mention of your company, in case something is said that is inappropriate.  There are ways to monitor your mentions online and White Noise Digital does provide a solution with our reputation management packages.

Social Media Reviews

Responding to reviews on social media websites are extremely important.  Facebook has recently added reviews to their business pages and responding to those are important because other people can see them.

Twitter is also where a lot of talking happens and if you have a large company you may have people talking about your company on a daily basis.  It is extremely important to monitor what people are saying on a daily basis so you can respond accordingly and quickly.

The best thing about social media is that you can be proactive when building your reputation.  If you are constantly putting out great content and providing a window for your customers to be looking at your company through, you will be ahead of the game.  Being proactive will put you ten steps ahead of any of your competition because you will be the trusted company online in your niche.

Review websites

There are many sites nowadays that allow individuals to leave reviews about companies they have dealt with.  More and more sites are showing up offering reviews and reputation exposure agents towards brands and monitoring these sites is becoming more and more important as a business owner.  Sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and many other forums in your industry are what you want to look for when monitoring what others are saying.

Companies realize how important it is to get real reviews because giving fake reviews or paying people to leave your company positive reviews can actually get you banned and these reviews are monitored very closely.  You want to receive 100% true real reviews from your customers and you want to be as transparent as possible.

It is becoming very difficult to monitor all of these review sites at once but there are many ways that you can do it to streamline the process.  The more positive reviews your company has, the more trust you will build with your customer base and the more sales you will receive moving forward.

How to Get More Customers with Your Reputation

Don’t hide things from customers, be honest, and respond to all of your reviews, especially bad ones. Businesses used to be able to hide things from the public but now with social media and the internet it’s impossible.

People will find out and people will talk about it so you have to be as transparent as possible, and that includes being honest with your customers in a proactive matter.  Create content as much as possible because content is what drives the internet. If your customer sees that you’re creating content that actually helps them and somebody is talking trash about you, they will actually stand up for you.

Creating content will build trust, it will make you an authority, and it will attract new customers to you all at the same time.  Some people and some businesses will make millions of dollars a year just off of creating content, which also builds your reputation as the company that cares and helps your customers up front.

 

 


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10-26-2016 7:12:51 PM EST

Checkout this great article about Twitter! 

 

How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business

Can Twitter actually help my business or is it a complete waste of my valuable time? This was the very question I asked myself only a few months back.

Perhaps you’ve pondered the same?

When people I respect started singing the praises of Twitter, I decided to give it a go. At first I just didn’t get it. However, after a short while I was shocked at the level of access to high profile individuals I was able to achieve.

This article reveals how bestselling authors and business professionals use Twitter to grow their businesses and reveals ideas you can employ to achieve Twitter success.

In fact, I used Twitter (and LinkedIn) to source much of what you see here!

First, What is Twitter Again?

“Twitter is instant messaging made available to the public,” stated talk show host and author Hugh Hewitt.

I think that’s a fair starting point. I’ve heard others call Twitter a micro-blogging platform.

Here’s what you need to know. According to the State of the Twittersphere report, each day 5 to 10 thousand new people join Twitter. Current estimates of total users top out around 300 million. That’s a lot of opportunity.

Twitter allows you to post updates (called Tweets) as often as you want (and limited to 140 characters). When you follow other people on Twitter, you see their tweets. When they follow you, they see your tweets.

It’s a constant stream of communication. The good news is you can turn it on or off as often as you like. Twitter also keeps a public record of all updates, which can be mined with Twitter Search.

Why High-Profile People Use Twitter

Twitter is not just a fad. When very high profile folks begin evangelizing Twitter, it’s worth closer examination. Here’s what some of those gurus told me:

Duct Tape Marketing founder John Jantsch identified three big advantages of Twitter, “(1) I get great insight when I ask questions, (2) let’s face it, I get traffic and (3) people on Twitter spread my thoughts to new places.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com said, “We’ve found that Twitter has been a great way for us to connect on a more personal level with our employees and customers. We use it to help build our brand, not drive direct sales. It’d be like asking how does providing a telephone number for customer service translate into new business when they are mostly non-sales-related calls. In the long term, Twitter helps drive repeat customers and word of mouth, but we’re not looking to it as a way of driving immediate sales.”

Bestselling author David Meerman Scott said, “I have personally connected with hundreds of people I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I booked an interview on NPR and a big daily newspaper using Twitter.”

WEEKFISH's own Mike Dove said, “Twitter Search is an amazing way to see what people are saying about your products or services. For example, I’ll do searches for the hashtags #genesiswp and #woprdpress and people will be asking questions about our Genesis WordPress Design Framework. I’ll use the reply function to answer the question, which has led to direct sales. Plus, my answer creates awareness of Genesis for others that follow me. It’s a form of constructive promotion.”

Be sure to check out this Business Week article that surveyed 18 CEOs and how they’re using Twitter to help their businesses.

Practical Ways Twitter Can Help Your Business

This is where it gets interesting. A lot of people are doing some very innovate things with Twitter. Here’s some of their stories.

The Twitter Plan

Cindy King, an international sales specialist, saw a huge boost in business inquires by implementing a strategic Twitter plan.

“Following the right people on Twitter was key. There are some people very gifted at building relationships on Twitter. As I followed these online community builders, I realized that some of them are also excellent direct response copywriters. They get their Twitter followers to take action,” said King.

“Light bulbs went off, and I spent a weekend putting together a tweet marketing plan and entered in 6 weeks worth of tweets, 5 a day, using TweetLater. I used a mindmap, created categories, varied times on tweets and used BUDurls so I could track results and improve my tweet plan the next time around. That was a month ago,” explained King.

When King finds a spare minute between projects, she logs into Twitter and watches what folks are talking about. When she Tweets, about 90 percent of the time she presents useful information and resources to her followers. The remaining tweets are surveys and questions. Following this strategy, King saw an 800 percent increase in inquiries about her business after she setup her Twitter campaign.

Getting In Front of High Profile People

B2B copywriter Terri Rylander took a much different approach. At first she was very skeptical of Twitter. “I looked at it but couldn’t figure out why people would continually send out messages about the size of a text message, unless they were a teenager. Twitter was for sending updates they said. I don’t have time for updates, and besides, who would care?” said Rylander.

She later came across a peer in her industry that was using Twitter and suggested Rylander follow her on Twitter. “That’s when I discovered Twitter as a business tool. I’ve been in my particular niche for over 10 years and know who the players are (though they don’t know me). When I checked who she was following on Twitter, there they all were! It read like a “Who’s Who” list.”

Rylander joined Twitter and began following and interacting with the people she respected. “Other than a cold call on the phone or e-mail, I would never have the chance to get my name in front of vendors, industry analysts, and industry experts. I’ve had a number of Twitter conversations that have also led to personal conversations.”

To stay top of mind with experts, she offers interesting links, responds to tweets, and posts her thoughts for conversation at least a few times a day.

Getting Traffic and Leads

Pam O’Neil, VP of Marketing at BreakingPoint said, “Twitter has all but replaced our PR agency as a large percentage of our followers are press and analysts. A writer for ZDNet wrote about us and linked to us based on something we tweeted and that resulted in a huge spike in web traffic and at least one deal with a major service provider.”

Mike Damphousse of Green Leads said, “Twitter is new to us. That said, in a few short weeks we’ve had definite increase in all sorts of traffic. Out of the normal inbound leads, the number has increased 15% and two of the inbounds are now active pipeline opportunities. We’ve found one extremely valuable partner relationship. We are also building PR relationships, although finding the contacts is a bit of a chore.”

Are you beginning to see the potential here?

A Few Tools to Help Your Twitter Experience

Twitter has a whole world of available support applications you can employ to gain the most of the service for your business. Here’s a few of my favorites:

TwitterFox: This Firefox web browser plugin allows you to view Tweets within your web browser (in a popup menu). This is very handy and eliminates the need to constantly go to Twitter.com.

TweetLater: This powerful service allows you to schedule tweets (much like you would schedule emails). Another very powerful feature is the ability to receive email digests of keyword activity in the Tweetosphere. This allows you to join a conversation or track topics and trends.

Ping.fm: If you have accounts with many services, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, this amazing site allows you to post updates across ALL of your social media sites in one single step.

Twitter for Facebook: If you are on Facebook, this application forwards your Twitter updates directly to Facebook as status updates.

And just in case you get addicted to Twitter, here’s some advice from one of the leading authorities on Twitter. Chris Brogan says, “Most people who see Twitter the first time either flat-out ‘get it,’ or they say, ‘why bother?’ Here’s what people miss. They believe one should read every single update that rolls across your screen of choice. Don’t. Just let it roll past like a stream.”

So what are you waiting for? Go check out Twitter and report back here with your experience.

Has Twitter already helped your business? If so, tell us your story.


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07-31-2016 2:01:48 AM EST

Posting consistently on Facebook & other social media websites isn’t easy.

Where do you find content?

What should you share?

Does certain content perform better on certain platforms?

How do you know?

To answer these questions, here are some social media tips to help you find content when you don’t know what to post.

Next time you’re feeling lost for ideas, pull out this list -- because sometimes the secret to not feeling stumped is as simple as a great resource. ;)

So keep these ideas handy for the next time you hit a wall!

What to Post on Facebook When You Don't Know What to Post

1. Inspiring Blog Posts or Articles

If you’re not already subscribed to industry blogs, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.

Whether you’re on social media to promote a bakery or to help brand a plumbing business, following blogs that relate to your target audience gives you great fodder for sharing online.

Sign up for a free account with a service like Bloglovin, add blogs you want to follow, and enjoy a one-stop resource to track multiple sites all at once.

Then, when something interests you, share it on social media.

Post Planner also has an epic feature for following blogs. You just add any blog to see its recent articles, and then sort the blog's content by popularity so you can be sure you're sharing the most viral articles.

Remember -- relevant content will please your audience & make you someone worth following.

It will also build camaraderie among other influential people in your industry.

2. Beautiful Photos

If there’s anything networks like Instagram & Pinterest have taught us, it’s this:

People like pretty pictures!

Particularly on social media sites that focus on visuals.

Sharing beautiful images is never a bad idea. So when you’re not sure what to post on Facebook, try sharing something visually stunning.

what-to-post-on-social-media

If you need help finding beautiful photos, head over to your Post Planner app.

Once you're there, click: Photos > Beautiful Photos

I promise you -- you CANNOT go wrong with any of "Most viral" photos you find here. ;)

3. Quotes

Meaningful quotes perform well on virtually every social network.

You motivate & inspire your followers when you share quotes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.

what-to-post-on-social-media

And again, if you need some proven quote images, just head to your Post Planner app.

Once there, click: Photos > Awesome Quotes

Then sort by "Most Viral", share the best images, and watch your engagement SOAR!

4. Your Own Content

Definitely use your social media accounts to promote your content online.

Just don’t let that be all you post!

Tweet links to new articles, share a photo from your recent blog post, and so on.

Presumably your fans follow you because they like what you’re doing, and most will appreciate you sharing updates & new content from time to time.

what-to-post-on-social-media

5. News & Updates

Sharing news & updates about your company goes hand-in-hand with sharing the content you create.

Building your brand means sharing its voice -- and part of the beauty of social media is the way it allows you to let fans in on behind-the-scenes activities.

This could include:

  • announcements about new products
  • photos of event prep work
  • requests for feedback
  • and more

In every case, you’re keeping fans informed while deepening their connection with your company or brand.

what-to-post-on-social-media

The Bottom Line

Above all, the best way to improve your content marketing is to understand your audience.

When you’re truly stumped for an idea, ask yourself who you’re trying to reach.

Anthropologie has a mostly younger, female audience, for example.

Travel + Leisure caters to a broader, but highly affluent group. And food magazines like Bon Appetit target food lovers of all kinds.

So who is your audience?

When you know who you’re targeting, you'll definitely know what sort of content to share.

Use the inspiring sources above to guide your efforts. :)

 

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07-18-2016 9:41:54 AM EST

So You Think You Can’t Write: 8 Writing Resources for Non-Writers

 

Can you draw? When asked this question, most people scoff and answer a definitive “no.” However, take a pencil, connect it to paper, and leave a mark. You have drawn. Writing is a skill much like drawing in this sense. Many believe that they simply cannot write, or that they aren’t a “writer,” when the truth is that they really just believe they are not a good writer.
For content marketers, writing is obviously an integral component to most, if not all, aspects of the job. Everything from drafting blog posts to crafting the perfect video script requires the ability to write. While of course the act of stringing words together to form sentences can satisfy the basic requirements, writing is a skill that with time, dedication, and a desire to improve, can be mastered to an exceptional level. Just like the perfect set of graphite pencils helps with  drawing, there are numerous tools available to help you improve your chances of writing success. The following resources will help those of you who don’t consider yourselves writers (yet!) create enviable content that just begs to be shared.
Book it. An integral part of the writing process is inspiration, and the top source of inspiration for any writer is reading. As Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Just as you schedule yourself time for other career development and education purposes, make room in your calendar for the time to read. As content strategist Mike Hanski shares in his Huffington Post article, reading can help you become a better writer. When you read you:

  • Find inspiration
  • Gain new knowledge
  • Learn your genre better
  • Expand your vocabulary for your own works
  • Understand language better
  • Learn from real gurus of writing
  • Reveal the secrets of this job in practice

Two books that I have personally found not only to help the technical aspects of my writing, but which have breathed new life into my passion for the craft, are:
Everybody Writes
If you are in content marketing, Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes is a must-read. With every sentence in this writing guide worthy of repetition and consideration, Handley provides a thorough and approachable guide that proves that yes, everybody can write. She nails it on the head for content marketers who insist they can’t write with the following passage:
“Good writing can be learned—the way trigonometry or algebra or balancing a balance sheet is a skill most of us can master. In an essay at the Neiman Journalism Lab, ‘How I Faced My Fears and Learned to Be Good at Math,’ Matt Waite writes: ‘The difference between good at math and bad at math is hard work. It’s trying. It’s trying hard. It’s trying harder than you’ve ever tried before. That’s it.’” Bird by Bird
Whether writing a blog post on social media strategy, or the great american novel, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird provides a narrative on the writing process from beginning to end. One of the biggest assets of any content marketer is creativity, and Lamott offers insight into ways anybody, natural born writer or not, can foster this into their writing. Lamott declares that “writing is nothing more nor less than a sensemaking mechanism for life,” which most likely relates to the core principles of your content marketing strategy. You aim for clear, easily digestible, but memorable writing, and Bird by Bird will help guide you along this path.
Blog busters
It’s safe to say that one of the key parts of your content marketing strategy is most likely a blog. As Social Media Examiner declares, “Blogs are your home base; they are the center of your content marketing system. Whether you’re a small business or a Fortune 100 company, blogs should be at the heart of your content marketing because blogs fuel social media, search optimization, and the sales process.”
However, blogging obviously requires a certain level of writing prowess, so if you consider yourself a non-writer you might feel like you need some help in creating quality content. Thankfully, the following resources are available to guide you through the blog writing process painlessly.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
The first step in writing a blog post is, of course, coming up with a topic to write about. While reading, brainstorms, and other organization’s content can act as great inspiration for your ideas, if you feel that your genius well has temporarily dried up, Portent’s Content Idea Generator can be a saviour. Simply enter the subject you want to write about (such as “social media”) and click the arrow submit button. This will generate ideas for blog topics, and even if none of the suggestions are exactly what you are looking for, they will offer a solid jumping off point for your writing.
Copyblogger
Called “the bible of content marketing” by VentureBeat, Copyblogger is a high-quality site that all content marketers should have bookmarked. The Copyblogger blog provides advice and guidance from top experts in the field of content marketing, which has helped them gain the title as “the most popular content marketing and writing blog on the planet.” The editors lay it out by sharing what their readers can expect from Copyblogger by understanding that. It’s not (just) about SEO. It’s not (just) about social media.
It’s not (just) about blogging or email marketing or conversion.
“Today, it’s always a bigger picture. You need to understand all the facets of effective content marketing, and we cover the gamut, daily… for free.”
Some of our favourite posts from Copyblogger, which will help non-writers master the craft, include:
How to immediately become a more productive (and better) writer
Why you should always write your headline first
The #1 conversion killer in your copy (and how to beat it)
10 ways to build authority as an online writer
The amazingly simple anatomy of a meaningful marketing story
The prepared writer’s process for creating excellent content everyday
Master this copywriting formula to dominate any social media platform
Content Marketing Institute
The Content Marketing Institute is a comprehensive resource for all social media specialists and content marketers. The site offers tons of resources such as: career advice, research areas, event listings, training resources, a magazine, podcast, and consulting services. Looking under the “content creation” tag, you’ll find numerous articles and posts from content marketing experts offering guides on writing and general content creation. Here are a few of our favorite posts from this section of the site, but you’ll easily find countless other resources by exploring the site yourself:
8+ tips to create a great script for successful videos
Improve your email content with a 7 minute workout routine
7 things world-class bloggers do to improve their content marketing efforts
Why strong writing is a skill to prioritize in 2016
Content creation: 3 steps to great marketing writing
Crew
Crew matches creatives, designers, and developers with high quality companies that require their services. As a destination for so many within the realm of content marketing, the Crew blog offers a wealth of information for such professionals. The post that solidified Crew’s position on this list is one of their most famous, entitled Write ugly: How to write 20 posts in 2 days.This post is especially groundbreaking for those who don’t consider themselves writers, as it emphasizes the practice of writing fast, and with mistakes. Author Jory Mackay focuses on the free-writing approach as a way for writers and “non-writers” to crack through whatever is holding them back from getting words down on paper. As Mackay explains, the key principles here are:

  • Just start working (and don’t stop)
  • Set out a block of time to work
  • Write how you think
  • Follow your thoughts
  • In addition to this key post, Crew has a number of posts in their repertoire that will undoubtedly contribute to your writing success:
  • 4 daily habits that will boost creativity
  • Write your way to a better life: Why writing is for everyone
  • Beyond words: How to write for readability
  • 7 tricks to help you work through a creative block

Hemingway App
Hemingway App is one that I’ve discussed before, but which deserves another mention. This free tool allows you to copy and paste in a block of text, which will be evaluated in its readability. As explained on the site, “Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear. It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose.” As all content marketers definitely aim for the focus to be on the message rather than the construction of said message, the Hemingway App is an invaluable tool.
Hemingway App
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
One of the most significant components of any piece of writing is the title or headline. Unfortunately, it can also one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. While eight out of 10 people will read a headline, only two out of those 10 will continue reading the actual article. Due to this, you want to ensure your headline is working for you, rather than against you, and CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer can help you do just that. To find out if your headline makes the cut, you just need to enter it in the submission box and the Headline Analyzer will give you a score based on quality, SEO, social shareability, and increased traffic potential.


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06-17-2016 10:43:03 PM EST

Why you need to keep both eyes on your online reputation... 

By: Michael Dove 

 

The Importance of Online Reputation Monitoring

Long before any company can apply itself to the important work of defending its online reputation, it must first know what its online reputation actually is. This is a fancy way of saying that online reputation management begins with online reputation monitoring. Knowing what people are saying about your brand, on the Web, is a key endeavor for companies of all kinds and all sizes.

And rest assured that people are saying something about you on the Web; there is no such thing as a neutral online reputation. The best-case scenario is that your online reputation consists of positive reviews, enthusiastic social media mentions, laudatory blog entries, and, of course, your own company website, poised for maximum search engine visibility. The alternative scenario is that your online reputation is plagued by defamatory reviews, negative news stories, BBB complaints, and malicious attacks from your competitors.

The difference, of course, is the difference between ongoing success and utter ruin — but how can any company work to develop its understanding of its own online reputation?

Starting with the Basics

The most common implements of reputation monitoring are Google Alerts and Bing Alerts; you can use either tool to receive regular updates whenever new search engine listings are published, making use of the desired search term — that is, your company name or other branded terms. These tools are foundational, and not without reason: They are great resources, and crucial for any business that is serious about monitoring its online reputation.

With that said, it is critical to be aware of the ways in which these Alerts are limited. It might surprise you to learn that there are entire corners of the Web that Google and Bing do not index — and, therefore, they are corners of the Web that do not register in these Alerts. These corners of the so-called “Deep Web” include social media conversations, as well as some online review sites. (It is also worth noting that there is not perfect overlap between the coverage areas of Google and Bing, so you really do need both of these Alerts systems if you wish to be comprehensive.)

None of this is meant to disparage the very fine tools offered by Google and Bing; it is meant only to note that it may prove necessary to augment these tools with a few additional reputation monitoring tools.

Additional Tools for Online Reputation Monitoring

We might begin with some of the most popular tools for online reputation management — such as Klout and FollowerWonk. Though often referred to as reputation monitoring tools, it is important to note that they do not offer reputational threat alerts, which is what most companies really need. That is to say, these tools seek to gauge how influential your social media profiles are on the Web; they do not actually tell you whether your company is attracting positive comments or negative ones, which is really what most businesses need.

There are some useful tools to help fill in the gaps, though — starting with SocialMention. This is essentially an online search engine that allows users to search for mentions of selected terms in social media conversations, on blogs, and so forth. The tool is not necessarily perfect or comprehensive, but it is close enough that it is a good addition to any online reputation monitoring toolset. What’s more, it offers “alerts,” similar to Google Alerts and Bing Alerts, which makes it convenient.

ReviewTracker is another essential tool, one that does exactly what it says it does. By using ReviewTracker, companies can keep abreast of all of their latest reviews, on sites like Yelp, OpenTable, and Foursquare. Given how influential online reviews have become, in terms of consumer behavior and purchasing decisions, online review monitoring is truly vital.

One quick note we might offer is that ReviewTracker is a paid service, which means that some smaller companies may balk at using it. If that’s the boat you’re in, note that you can simply monitor your online reviews manually, heading to your online review profiles at least once a day. Diligence is critical, however — should a negative online review appear, you will want to know about it as soon as possible.

The Importance of Online Reputation Monitoring

Why is online reputation monitoring so important? It is important because, when a negative online listing appears, you need to know about it and to respond to it as quickly as you can; and, when a positive piece of content appears, it is wise to harness it and promote it. The bottom line is that your company needs to know where its online reputation stands — which is why ReputationChanger.com reviews all of the latest and most essential resources for reputation monitoring.


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06-09-2016 9:55:35 AM EST

6 Powerful Tactics to Revive Your Content Marketing Strategy

 

Content marketing is not just a popular ‘buzzword’ anymore. It’s the winning strategy for remarkable digital marketing ROI. Content allows you to generate qualified traffic from organic search and social media. When implemented corrently, you can also earn links from other webmasters.

Unfortunately, many website managers and content editors struggle to create working content marketing strategies. There’s still a popular belief that more content will yield better results, rather than aiming quality over quantity. But too much communication can be harmful for relationships and make people less interested in your content. (Source)

Below are a few powerful tactics to breathe a new lease of life into the content marketing strategy and get your website more traffic.

1. Extensive Keyword Research
To maximize the organic reach of the content on search engines, it needs to make use of keywords that will allow the content to appear on the first page. If the content doesn’t, it is unlikely to be seen as well as to receive any web traffic.

Finding keyword opportunities that allow the site to beat the competition is key! Research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMRush can help unearth keywords that aren’t being targeted. Seek out keywords based on relevancy and find low competition keywords that will allow the content to get ranked easily.

Here’s an example of keyword ideas from SEMRush:

sem-rush-keyword-search
2. Use Effective Outreach
Direct marketing through outreach can generate links, exposure and web traffic for the content. Doing outreach effectively comes down to the quality of the prospects that are being targeted. Targeting websites that have already linked out to similar content will maximize the chances of the content being accepted.

Some ideal ways to find these websites include using backlink monitoring tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic and Moz’s Open Site Explorer to find qualified outreach targets. Simply run a backlink report at the URL level to see which websites are linking to the content.

ahrefs-blogger-outreach
See also a guide by Ahrefs how to effectively outreach instead of spamming.

3. Amplify Your Promotion through Paid Marketing Efforts
There are several ways for content marketers to promote their content and amplify their reach. This includes:

Implementing Facebook Advertising

Facebook is the world’s largest social network and allows content marketers to reach relevant audiences through its advertising platform. The target audience can be segmented in several ways to get the content in front of the right audience for a low price either based on impressions or cost per click.

Some proven ways to get more traffic through Facebook’s paid advertising service include:

facebook-advertising-opportunities
Boosted Posts

Where content that is published on your Facebook page can be promoted for a fee. Because the content is published through Facebook’s platform, the advertising cost is usually cheaper and can also encourage people to like your Facebook page. The success of your boosted posts depends on the content that you promote and the target audience that you are promoting it to.

facebook-advertising-shilos-restaurant

Page Likes

This is where you advertise your Facebook page for more likes. But the content that you are promoting should remain pinned to the top of your Facebook page. Depending on the audience that you are targeting, the promotion cost for the page should be relatively low and you should be able to promote your content to your audience organically.

Website Advertising

This approach provides the best direct response, however it is the most costly out of all of the campaigns. Simply setup an ad creative that will encourage Facebook users to click through and view your content.

Implementing a Paid Twitter Campaign

Improve the content’s visibility in the Twittersphere with a paid campaign. The average lifespan of a Tweet is about 4 minutes. Although it could be seen again organically through a search or retweet, the chances of this happening after its lifespan are slim. A paid Twitter campaign extends the visibility of the tweet, provides more characters and can also include a call to action. Some Twitter Card options that you can use include:

Pay per Engagement

You can promote the tweet for more engagement. You will be charged every time someone clicks, likes or retweets the content. Depending on your audience, the price can range from a few cents to a few dollars.

Leads Form

This is a cost effective way to make people more aware of your Twitter account and the content on your profile. You can purchase leads on a pay-per-lead basis.

Below you can see where Twitter ads will appear:

twitter-advertising
Implementing a Paid Reddit Campaign

Reddit’s marketing platform works similarly to a display campaign’s ‘featured ad’. People can purchase a space in the subreddit to display the link to their content. The cost is relatively inexpensive, however the ad inventory available tends to be low. To setup a campaign, simply

Log into Reddit and select the advertising option.
Select the sub-reddit threads that you want to target and your daily budget.
Upload the link to your web content along with your ad creative (this should look like a normal reddit thread)
Submit the Reddit ad and wait for the campaign to be approved.
The advertisement will be charged on a CPM basis and should drive more traffic leads to your web content.

Example of a Reddit advertisement:

reddit-advertising
Implementing a Paid Campaign on StumbleUpon

By spending as little as $100 USD, a content marketing campaign may generate 1000 stumbles that will equate to roughly 1000 or more website visits. If the content is valuable to the specified audience, they will save and share the content. This could result in thousands of extra visitors and potentially make the content go viral.

Example of the StumbleUpon analytics:

stumbleupon-advertising
Implementing a Paid Campaign on Taboola and Outbrain

Content distribution network like Taboola and Outbrain work similar to a display network by promoting content ads across its network of websites. The model works on a cost per click basis and opens up the opportunity for a website’s content to appear across high traffic websites. Average cost per clicks through Outbrain were approximately $0.25 per click. Depending on budget size, qualified web traffic can be driven to the website relatively inexpensively.

Check out OutBrain Amplify for promoting your content.

outbrain-amplify
4. Promote Content to Current or Prospective Customers
The content that the website is developing can be used as a part of the website’s information marketing campaign. The content should add value to the commercial operations of the website. It can be used as a part of the website’s CRM or newsletter content.

5. Feature Other People and Tell Them about It
People love to promote themselves. Give the content that is being developed a head start by citing influencers on the web that could share the content with their audience. Research key influencers whose comments, quotes, publications or features could improve the awareness and publicity of the content. Content marketers could announce the move to them in advance as a way of breaking the ice and establishing a relationship before asking them to share the content.

Example of an author’s resource being featured in a guest blog post on Majestic:

guest-post-author-majestic
Notification and sharing of the post on Twitter:

guest-post-author-majestic-twitter
6. Diversify the Content
Once the content has been published in one format, publish it in a different format to get additional exposure. For example, a blog post could be turned into audio and published as a podcast. Alternatively, it could be published as a video and promoted on YouTube

 

 


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02-22-2016 12:09:41 AM EST

How And Why Content Marketing Works

There's no question about it: An effective content marketing campaign will increase your organic search traffic. Founder/Owner Michael Dove discusses how you can implement a solid content marketing strategy.

Definition of Content Marketing

Think there’s something missing? Did you notice that I did not include obtaining links as part of the definition?

Any good content marketing campaign will net you lots of good links. However, when you make links the primary focus of your efforts, it can lead you astray. By focusing on reputation and visibility first, you will actually net the best links as a byproduct.

While the rest of this post will mention SEO benefits very little, make no mistake: An effective content marketing campaign is a major driver of increases in rankings and organic search traffic.

Links still matter a lot in the world of SEO. However, as noted above, centering your campaigns solely around old-fashioned SEO thinking is often dangerous.

For the purposes of this post, our focus is on content marketing that is designed to help bring new prospects into the top of your sales funnel.

However, in many cases, your efforts will build relationships with people who will never become customers. Those relationships can still have great value if they help spread your content far and wide.

In addition, once people are already engaged with you, the nature of the content that you should produce to move them through later stages of the sales funnel is different in structure from what I will focus on in today’s post.

The best way to think about content marketing, from a relationship and visibility perspective, is that it can drive increases in awareness of your brand, and that’s a pretty good start.

Content Marketing Can Raise Awareness

Push Vs. Pull Marketing

One of the great changes that the Web brought to us is that it put customers in more direct control of the dialog between a brand and themselves.

In the days before the Web, the main channels for communication were TV, print and radio. No interaction was possible, and the largely sedentary customer received the commercial messages whether they wanted them or not.

The Web changed that, as there was no longer any reason for a potential customer to deal with commercial messaging they didn’t want. They could simply go to a different Web page or choose not to consume the content.

Push Marketing Has Been Replaced by Pull Marketing

Over time, the implications of these changes became more evident. Smart brands began to realize that they really needed to engage the prospect and use content to add value to their lives.

This thinking even penetrated to TV ads, where many commercials today strive to provide some level of entertainment value and can therefore also be considered content marketing.

Go Where Your Prospects Are

As the understanding of content marketing grew, so did the number of channels available on the Web. You can publish content on your own site, develop relationships to publish content on third-party sites, or leverage social media platforms.

However, there are so many social media options and so many different sites where brands can publish content that most companies have to choose a few to focus on. For that reason, it’s critical to pick the channels that offer the most value.

Don’t try to do it all. In other words, the goal should be to “go where your prospects are.” By doing this, you enable your target audience to pull down your content when they want it, and in the way they prefer to consume it.

Go to Where Your Prospects Are

Social Media And Content Promotion

If you can build a strong social channel, this can offer powerful benefits. Or you can use paid social advertising to increase your exposure.

This has been proven to be effective for many brands. Sharing strong content through your social platforms can offer significant benefits, as shown in this chart:

Synergy Between Publishing Great Content and Social Media

As you can see, the benefit cuts both ways. The content helps you grow your social presence, and your social presence can increase the ROI on your content by sending it visitors, subscribers and links.

As a result, it’s critical that you get the content team and the social team to collaborate.

It’s Not Just About Social

The collaboration should not stop there. Since content marketing is integral to the expansion of your company’s reputation and visibility, you should involve your PR team. They may have many relevant relationships that can help with the promotion of the content pieces you produce.

You also need to make sure that your outreach efforts to promote your content don’t end up conflicting with outreach efforts or relationships that they routinely manage.

In addition (believe it or not), press releases might still help you develop additional visibility for your content, as shown here:

Press Releases Can Be Beneficial

The reasons for collaboration with the PR team are many, so make sure to include them in the mix.

Other Types Of People To Engage With

It turns out that there are other types of people worth engaging with (not just your target audience). These are:

  1. Media people and bloggers (“Media”)
  2. Influencers

Media people are important because they can write about your content, or they may publish some of your content on their site. In either scenario, you end up getting exposure to their audiences.

Influencers can also be media people, but not necessarily. For example, someone with a large social media following can be an influencer, even if they don’t have their own blog or media site.

Getting them to share your content can have a large beneficial impact, and it may result in many media people seeing your content and then writing about it, asking you for an interview or offering a guest post opportunity.

Or it may be as simple as the media person learning you exist, and at some later date when you reach out to them to talk about some other piece of content, you already have credibility with them, and you have a much better chance of a successful dialog.

The following chart helps illustrate the role that influencers play in the overall mix:

Influencers Can Accelerate Your Content Campaigns

It’s About Relationships

Content marketing targeted at building your reputation and visibility is NOT about promoting your products or services. It’s about adding value to the people who consume your content.

If you do this on a continual basis, people begin to feel that they have a relationship with you, even if they are not interacting directly with you. They start to see you as “good people.” You want that, because it leads to their trusting you and what you have to say.

Given that relationships are a major goal, here are some guidelines you should have in mind while creating content:

  1. Don’t promote your products or services.
  2. Create unique new added-value content.
  3. Invite dialog and ask questions.
  4. Respond to comments directly on your posts or in social media.
  5. Find ways to help people who reach out to you.

As you do more and more of this, your relationships with all of your readers/viewers will grow.

Summary

I find that most organizations get hung up on one or more parts of this process. Common problems are:

  1. Making the focus about getting links.
  2. Lack of collaboration with social and/or PR efforts.
  3. Unwillingness to produce non-commercial content.
  4. Targeting the wrong channels.
  5. Not doing enough planning before launching a campaign.
  6. Not focusing attention on influencers and media.
  7. Failure to understand that it’s about relationships with your target audience.

Getting the foundational concepts right will help you get so much more out of your content marketing efforts. In addition, if you have multiple problems to fix from my list above, fix them one at a time. Each step forward will help you make progress.


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02-14-2016 7:35:47 PM EST

Why Reputation Management Should Be Your Top Marketing Priority

 

You’ve spent years building your business. You’ve invested time, sweat, and tears. You’ve missed dance recitals and soccer games as you’ve toiled to create it. You finally feel as though you can relax… until the day when the phone calls stop, the new customers vanish, and you can’t understand why.

You’re still providing excellent service and your existing customers love you, but your business is struggling. Finally, you learn from an existing customer that your company has some very negative reviews posted online. It dawns on you that your online reputation is presenting a twisted perception of reality that is reallykilling your business.

Sound like the plot of a B-movie drama? Unfortunately, it’s true for hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses across the country.

Local Business Reviews = Reputation

What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s quality, reliability, and skill.2 It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist, a plastic surgeon, a carpet cleaner, or a painter. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 70% of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.

Improving Your Reputation is Your #1 Marketing Priority

Your number one marketing priority should be developing a 5-star online reputation. Why? All your other marketing efforts, whether they be online such as SEO, social media, PPC, or offline such as direct mail, magazines, radio, or TV, will ultimately lead the consumer to learn more about you online. There, your less than sterling or non-existent reputation drives them away.

Most business owners fail to realize is that what consumers want is information that will help them feel confident they’re making the best, most well-reasoned purchase. Today, quite a bit of that confidence comes in the form of online reviews reflecting others’ experiences.

The 3Rs and 2Qs of Local Reviews and Reputation

When it comes to taking an active role in developing, building, and protecting your online reputation, you need to keep five points in mind:

  1. Range – While it might seem as though getting a few positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp is all that’s needed, we advocate a wide-ranging approach to online review management. Just visit this Facebook page, We Hate Yelp, or read this thread on Google, and you’ll understand why. Your business is too important to you and your loved ones to let its success be dictated by one or two companies with no vested interest.
  2. Real – Make sure real client reviews are getting posted. It’s tempting to game the system and pen some glowing reviews, however, it’s not only unethical, you’ll undoubtedly get caught, and that can have some unintended consequences. Encourage your customers to be as specific as possible. A hallmark of fake reviews is vagueness.
  3. Recent – It appears that more recent reviews weigh more heavily by the search engines in terms of ranking. For this reason alone, creating a steady stream of new, positive reviews makes sense. Additionally, the fact that more recent reviews pack more powerful social proof with potential customers than older reviews, and you simply must put systems in place to continually gather reviews.
  4. Quantity – Ask yourself: If one dentist has 25 reviews with a 4-star average and the next best has one 5-star review, who are you going to call? Reliability is proven with consistency, particularly where reviews are concerned.
  5. Quality – This one is pretty obvious: The higher your reviews, the better your status will be – within reason. A business with nothing but 5-star ratings can look suspicious but, in general, the more favorable your reviews, the better.

Make Reviews Part of a Comprehensive Reputation Marketing Strategy

While review and reputation building arguably may be the single most important online marketing tactic for local businesses in 2013 and beyond, the most successful businesses won’t stop there. Since reviews are most prominently displayed in conjunction with the hyper-local maps of search engines, they don’t generate many leads outside this area.

 

For the vast majority of businesses serving multiple cities from a single location,reviews should be just one building block in a larger reputation marketing strategy. That strategy should employ SEO to ensure the company’s website ranks near the top in all the cities they serve for their most important buying phrases. The good news is there’s a positive, synergistic relationship between a strong review presence, well-optimized local pages, and an authoritative website.

With the dominance mobile devices display in local purchasing, companies should make sure their websites not only rank highly, but are also mobile-friendly with click-to-call, click-to-map, and other navigable engagement features. You want to remove as much friction as possible between your customer’s need and his ability to contact you.

One Hidden – but Powerful – Benefit of Positive Reviews

Clearly, your business needs to put a review-gathering, reputation marketing culture, and process in place. The investment you make will return outsized profits from the new customers you’ll attract. But there is one other “hidden” benefit that an outstanding online reputation will bring: pricing power.

For years, nearly every business has struggled to defend its price in a world of “me too” competitors. Imagine how easy it will be to respond to “Why should I pay more for your service?” when you can simply reply, “Have you taken a look online to see what our customers say?”

Companies need to leverage the power a 5-star reputation brings. You’ve worked hard to establish your business and sacrificed plenty along the way. Are you willing to let that hard work get flushed down the drain because of a single disgruntled customer or competitor?

Develop a system to ensure your biggest fans are louder than your biggest enemies; the payoff is worth it.


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10-31-2015 8:37:02 AM EST

7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
Michael Dove | Leave a comment

If you depend greatly on your web site as a tool to bring you business, market your brand, or inform your clients and customers, than this post is directed towards you.

1. SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
Does your website rank good enough in the search engine? Do you need to include new keywords? Does your website have a high bounce rate? Does your website contain unstructured links or even broken links?

A site redesign can help you attract more visitors in a number of ways. Applying modern SEO and strategic internet marketing techniques techniques can help rank your site higher in the search engine result pages. Building search engine hooks into a new site is much more effective than trying to increase your rankings once a site has been built.

2. NEW COMPANY STRATEGY OR TARGET
Does your website compete with your competitor’s websites? Do you want to attract a new audience? Does your website provide a strong brand image? Is your website able to grow with your business?  Are you going to re-brand your products or the company as a whole?

With clear and firm goals and an understanding of your visitors, you can make well-informed decisions on how the site should look, work and feel.

3. CONTENT
Has your content become outdated? Is your content readable? Does your website have social media integration? Does your website reflect where you’re heading, not where you’ve been?

The first impression of your website would obviously be the overall layout, but a reader is visiting your website because he/she is looking for useful information. The content of a website should be considered to be the most important thing, as it helps in determining how effective a website is. Fresh and unique website content is an very important factor in encouraging people to revisit your site more often.

Content is king. If your site’s content is out-of-date, it’s certainly worth having your site redesigned to enable people in your organization to update content themselves (CMS). A site redesign can also give you the opportunity to re-address how you communicate with all your visitors and to write copy that is simple, on target and more effective.

4. TECHNIQUE AND CODING
Is your website browser compatible? Is your source code valid (HTML and CSS)? Does your website meet the basic web standards? Is the technique and/or (version) programming language outdated? Is your website build with frames or is it table-dependent HTML? Is you website easy accessible for other (mobile) devices? Is your HTML code semantic and well-structured?

An important factor you should consider is the increase of usability in web design. Every year web standards change radically and techniques to build web sites become more advanced in order to comply with the latest standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code, not letting your web pages load fast.

Modern techniques of CSS coding  allow to make web pages adaptable on every mobile device, so getting yourself a new custom responsive redesign might be a great idea if you want to increase the accessibility of your site.

5. VISUAL APPEAL
Can your readers find the information they are looking for? Is your layout cluttered and confusing?  Does your site look a little old and tired?

First of all, a website should be easy to use and easy to navigate. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, if the site navigation drives you crazy the website is not doing it’s job. When people visit your site, they see it as a reflection of your organization. If your site looks professional and is loaded with useful information readers will see you as an authority and expert. Likewise if the site looks poorly designed and structured and/or out-of-date they’ll make the same assumptions about your company.

The website should highlight your product and/or service, also the layout should look harmonious and consistent. Proper site planning and wire framing are tools used to make sure that everything falls into place.

6. EXTRA FEATURES / CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Using free or basic templates for your CMS?  Can you change the content of your website by yourself? Is social media integrated into your website? Does your website need extra features; e.g. a newsletter with single or double opt-in subscription process?

A Content Management System (CMS) is another reason to justify the creation of a new redesign for your website. The only programming skill you’ll need to change texts, images and other media files, or to add new pages and/or articles to your web site is knowing how to work with a simple text editor. A website is no longer just static words and graphics. A great website is also designed to hold tools like blogs, photo galleries and social media integration.

7. MOBILE FRIENDLY
Is your site able to be viewed on a smartphone? Is it easy for people to locate information quickly and easily via their mobile browsers or iPad? With the number of mobile users increasing every year, having a website that is both mouse-friendly and touch-friendly is more of a necessity than a trend. But have no fear, CSS3 can accommodate mobile technology in web design. In fact, mobile sites play a major influence in the minimal web since it calls for simpler pages, faster loading times, interactivity and quicker messages.

In conclusion, if you haven’t updated your web site in a few years chances are that you may be missing out on some really great tools and methods to build your business, increase sales, market your brand, achieve better rankings, and increase your online reputation. And your competition may be doing so right now.


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01-19-2014 10:50:26 AM EST

Do you run a local service business such as a computer store, hair salon or massage therapy provider?

Would you agree that owning a Facebook page that ranks #1 on Google for the most important keyword in your industry could help your business?

I hope you said yes!

Because having a top-ranking Facebook page in Google has to potential to gain you:

And today I’m going to show you how to make it happen… in less than 30 days!

How I Got My Facebook Page to Page ONE of Google

Most people use Google when looking for local businesses — and then click on the businesses that show up on Page 1.

If your business doesn’t show up there, then you’re not going to get a lot of clicks — since most people don’t bother to go to Page 2.

But what if you can’t get your website to show up on Page 1?  Is there an alternative?

What if instead of your website showing up there, your Facebook page showed up on Page 1? Would that be just as good?

My answer is “yes” — especially if the page has your business’s:

  • contact info
  • hours of operation
  • photographs
  • reviews
  • history
  • testimonials
  • coupons and/or special offers

Luckily, all these items can easily be displayed on a Facebook page.

So why not create your own Facebook page to show up on Page 1 of the search results for the most important local keyword for your business?

How?

To answer, I’ll show you how I did it — the steps I took to push a local Facebook page first to Page 2, and then to Page 1 of Google.

It didn’t happen overnight.  In fact, depending on your niche, competition & other factors, it can take some time to get there.

But it IS doable.

So what was my recipe for success?

Step 1: Start with the Name

This is probably the most important step.

Try to come up with a relevant, appropriate & highly searched for name — one that basically includes the search term you want to rank for.

For example, if you run a computer repair service in South Elgin, Illinois, and want to be found for the search phrase “computer repair service South Elgin, IL” — then name your page that.

Like this:Facebook-page-on-page-one-of-Google Naming your page with the keyword term you want to rank for will get you started down the path to Page 1 on Google.

Step 2: Build Links to the Page

The next step is securing strong, relevant links from various sources to your page.

Just like you have to build links back to your website or blog, you have to secure links to your Facebook page as well.

You can get links from other websites & blogs, your own websites (if you have them), as well as from sites like Thumbtack, Yelp & Angie’s List.

These local service directory sites will help create the picture you’re trying to paint for Google.

How many links will you need? That depends on the level of competition out there trying to rank for your keyword phrase.

Basically, you will only know the answer to this question by mounting a link-building campaign — so make sure to monitor your search engine rankings each week.

In our case, it took fewer than 10 links — but they came from relevant & authoritative sites.

Also, the competition in our niche was not all that fierce.

Facebook-page-on-page-one-of-GoogleStep 3: Engage Your Fans

Here’s where many Facebook Fan Page owners fail.

They simply create the Page, add a few updates & photos, then leave the Page to die a slow, painful death.

If you’re different & actually use your Page to engage with fans, you’ll already be steps ahead of the competition — and well on your way to securing a spot on Page 1.

There lots of ways to engage fans & grow your page’s fanbase. But here are some resources to help you:

You’re on your way

Following these steps will most definitely get your Facebook page to Page 1 on Google — if not the #1 spot.

But be patient! Rising to the top of search rankings can take weeks.

In our case, it took about 3 weeks. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

My challange:

Go out and create a Facebook page — and then follow my instructions above.

Then tell us in the comments how long it took to get your new Facebook page to Page 1 on Google (for your keyword).

I bet you can do it in a month!

- See more at: https://www.postplanner.com/get-local-facebook-page-to-page-one-of-google/#sthash.9D7HDITB.dpuf


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10-12-2013 11:37:52 PM EST

100 Awesome Facebook Lists to Follow (and bypass Edgerank)

By: Michael Dove

Facebook Lists

Lists + Facebook = Happy

Behold the MOTHERLODE LIST OF FACEBOOK LISTS!

Everyone likes to gripe about Edgerank (myself included at times). But let’s face it — it’s here to stay.

So if we want to see more posts flowing through our News Feed, we need to find other ways to open up the spigot.

How do you get a more dynamic & vibrant News Feed full of diverse and ever-changing information?

Turns out it’s easier than you think. :)

Enter Facebook Interest Lists

Facebook quietly launched “Interest Lists” about a year ago — around the same time Timeline launched.

Before that, lists were mostly used for organizing friends. The new Lists let users include people (including non-friends) and pages.

Below you’ll find 100 Interest Lists to follow — arranged in categories like:

  • social media
  • business
  • sports
  • politics
  • music, art, food, etc.

Keep in mind that once you follow a List, you only see a summary of the List’s recent posts in your main News Feed. To get the most out of the List, you need to visit it directly — by clicking the List’s bookmark in your left Facebook navigation.

Edgerank bypassed!

But here’s the kicker… ready for it? There is NO Edgerank algorithm applied to Lists!!

Yes you read that correctly.

And the cool thing is the creator of the List gets to decide:

  • which pages & people are included
  • what types of posts are shown

For example, on the Lists I created, I set them up to show only status, links, photos and videos — normal posts, basically. I excluded all the other stuff — like milestones, birthdays, liked pages, etc.

I’ve done my best to show you a broad array of Lists from different people. But you’ll notice many names repeated — typically Facebook employees who’ve created Lists for users.

Enjoy this “Motherlode List of Lists”! — and make sure to follow them and share this post with your friends and followers!

Social Media Lists on Facebook

I start with the niche I talk about the most: Social Media. If you’re in this niche or want to learn how to use social media for your business, follow these Lists!

1. Social Media Resources

by Scott Ayres (me). This is my go-to resource for social media related news. You’ll find Mari Smith, Social Media Examiner, Jon Loomer and more. If you’re into Social Media, this List is a must.

2. Facebook Experts

by Mari Smith. Mari’s List is full of experts and pages focused mainly on Facebook. One of my favorites on the list is Amy Porterfield. Mari’s List has almost 30,000 followers to date!

3. Facebook Designers

by Chris Kalani. Created by a Facebook employee, this List includes people who work at Facebook in the design department.

4. Social Media Savvy (and fun!)

by Scott Kleinberg. Another great List of social media related people. But not your typical big names.

5. 100 People to Follow on Facebook

by Mari Smith. Mari created this great List of great people to follow on Facebook — folks like Rosh Khan and Casey Zeman to name a few.

6. Google+

by Matthew Rappaport. Great list of over 300 active Google+ members. Matthew has a cool site called “Hangout Conversations” you might find handy as well.

7. Facebook Fan Page Apps

by Mari Smith. Looking for an app for your Facebook page or business? Look no further than Mari’s List. You may notice a familiar page on this List ( *cough *cough… Post Planner!)

8. Mashable Staff

by Pete Cashmore. Follow this List to see what the Mashable staff is up to.

9. Phyllis Khare’s Go-to Social News List

Phyllis is the co-author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and has shared her go-to List for social news. It’s a good one!

10. Social Media News

by Kate Buck. If you don’t know Kate Buck, Jr, you need to know her ASAP. She has created a great List to get some juicy social media news from.

11. Social Media Superheroes

by Jo Barnes.  Jo Barnes is an amazing person who I’ve talked to many times. I’m honored to actually be on this List with other super heroes!

12. Facebook Marketing

by Jon Loomer.  Jon is quickly becoming one of the top minds when it comes to Facebook tips, and his List does not disappoint. Check it out.

13. Facebook

by Vadim Lavrusik. Created by Facebook to list a ton of Facebook employees. Fun to follow.

Tech Lists on Facebook

I have a secret — I’m not the most tech savvy person. I’m an old school PC guy and I’ve never owned a Mac. And while I try to keep up with all the tech news, I couldn’t do it without these lists.

14. Tech Entrepreneurs

by Sachin Monga. If you’re in the tech world, this is a must follow list with over 15,000 followers to date.

15. Tech Heads

by Scott Ayres. Yes this listed was created by me — but it contains many tech related pages like Quora, PC World, etc that you need to be following.

16. 50 Women in Tech

by Rebecca Searles. Rebecca is an editor at Huffington Post and has a great List here. This one is all about women who are rocking the tech world.

17. 50 People in Tech

by Rebecca Searles. Great list including Robert Scoble, Kevin Rose and more.

18. Tech Innovators

by Hardik Patel. Created by another Facebook employee, this List has some great pages and people, like Techcrunch and Social Media Today.

19. Tech News

by Vadim Lavrusik. This List by Facebook employee Vadim has over 49,000 followers and has over 127 people/pages in it — like the Verge, LifeHacker and more. Go follow it!

20. Tech VIPs

by Robert Scoble. If anyone knows about the tech world, it’s Robert Scoble. Anyone in the startup world or tech industry needs to follow this List.

21. Big Tech Companies

by Robert Scoble. A List of the heavy hitters in the tech world: SAP, LinkedIn, Nokia, etc.

22. Tech Gadgets

by Evan Fogel. Over 69,000 follow this list, which includes the likes of Gizmodo, Engadget, ThinkGeek and more.

23. Tech Media

by Sumeet Sham Vaidya. Another great tech List with some familiar faces from the previous Lists. But this one also includes PcWorld, MG Siegler and more.

24. Personal Technology

by Vadim Lavrusik. Can we say Cali Lewis, Geek Tech and Wired? Yep… all in this List.

25. Tech Science

by Kaushik Iyer. Are you a science geek? Then go follow this list. Includes Science Friday, Popular Science, National Geographic and more.

Business & Marketing Lists on Facebook

Own a business? Are you an entrepreneur? Want to keep up on the latest and greatest trends in marketing — both online and offline? Then follow these lists.

26. Business News

by Vadim Lavrusik. This is a great List with tons of resources for every business.

27. Industry Updates

by Taher Sumon. This list tends to stay on the Marketing track including posts from Marketing Land… and I just realized I’m actually on this list! Woohoo!

28. Innovative Brands

by Pete Cashmore. This List, from the founder of Mashable, has over 64,000 followers but only contains 13 brands. These are the movers and shakers in business. Go look.

29. Media News

by Vadim Lavrusik. Another Facebook created list with about 50 news sites and people to follow. One of my favorites on the list is the relatively unknown LostRemote.

30. Motivational People

by Evan Fogel. Feeling a bit down and need a pick me up? This List could do the trick. With the likes of Jack Canfield, Tim Ferris, Jim Rohn and Dave Ramsey!

31. Social Entrepreneurs

by Arianna Huffington. Over 56,000 have followed this List containing Kickstarter and more.

32. Startup Investors

by Robert Scoble. This may be one of the largest lists I’ve seen with almost 600 people and pages feature. If you’re a startup looking for an investor, follow this List.

33. Business Authors

by Vadim Lavrusik. This is a power-packed list of 8 — including Seth Godin and more.

34. Business Leaders

by Evan Fogel.  Huge following on this list including Bill Gates, Guy Kawasaki and Mark Cuban.

35. Media Brands

by Pete Cashmore.  Another homerun by Cashmore focused on major news sites. I get my daily news from this List each morning!

36. Internet Marketing

by Selena Narayanasamy. Not a ton of people on this List or following it, but contains some great pages like SEOmoz, BlueGlass and Facebook Live.

37. Small Business Marketing

by John Jantsch. You can’t talk marketing without mentioning John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing. I’m surprised his great list only has 632 followers. You can find HubSpot, CopyBlogger and more in here.

38. Facebook Savvy Non Profits

by Randi Zuckerberg. If this list is good enough for Mark’s sister, it’s good enough for me!

Sports Lists on Facebook

This next group of lists is pretty self explanatory so I won’t include any summaries. I’m hoping you know what “NFL” means! :)

39. NFL Teams

by Adam Schefter

40. NBA Teams

by Evan Fogel

41. NBA Players

by Mark Pike

42. Athletes

by Vadim Lavrusik

43. NFL teams, players and analysts

by Nick Grudin

44. NFL Players Pages

by Troy Polamalu. I do want to point out that this List was created by an actual NFL player — which is pretty cool.

45. MLB Teams

by Dave Ugelow

46. College Football

by Vadim Lavrusik

47. Sports News

by Vadim Lavrusik

48. Olympics

by Kristin Thayer

49. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA- UFC)

by Brad Hettervik

50. Soccer Players

by Dave Goldblatt

51. Nascar

by Brad Hettervik

52. Boxing

by John Maier

53. NHL Teams

by John Maier

54. Ultimate Frisbee

by Manny Lopez

Television & Movies Lists on Facebook

I’m a bit of a TV junky — especially reality TV. These are some cool TV-related Lists that you may find interesting.

55. TV News Shows

by Vadim Lavrusik

56. TV Comedy Shows

by Charles Porch

57. Reality TV Shows

by Charles Porch (mainly all the housewife shows)

58. News

by Vadim Lavrusik

59. Hollywood on Facebook

by Charles Porch

60. TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy

by Al Baxter

61. TV Crime

by Al Baxter

Music Lists on Facebook

I couldn’t find a ton of music-related Lists, but did manage to find a few you might want to follow — most of them created by the same person.

The titles are pretty self explanatory. None of them are very large lists — and the creators really should add more to them.

62. Indie Music Blogs 

by Ethan Tremaine Avey. I love indie music. And I love these Indie blogs. One of my favorite is Stereogum.

63. Music Technology

by Julian Muller

64. R&B Music

by Charles Porch

65. Christian Music

by Charles Porch

66. Rock Music

by Charles Porch (102k)

67. Pop Music

by Charles Porch

Food & Health Lists on Facebook

Most of us are trying to get healthier — I certainly am. Below you’ll find some really interesting Lists to help you on your journey.

68. Food Media

by Morin Oluwole. This List is very well followed with around 54,000 followers. You’ll find PBS Food, Top Chef and HealthyEats.com.

69. Food & Recipes

by Shawn Van Daele. Another great find with over 100 resources to help you find recipes! But hardly anyone following it yet. I’ve frequented AllRecipes.com a few times myself.

70. Health News

by Vadim Lavrusik. A Facebook created List with some news related to the health world.

71. Green News

by Hanna Welch. This List contains about 30 resources aiming to help you live green. They include HuffPost Green and more. Check it out.

72. Recipes

by Bailey McRae. Only 24 sources on this List but nearly 97,000 followers so far! If you need an idea for tonight’s dinner, follow this List. Btw, BakingBites.com is a great site, but might just make you fat(ter)!

73. People That Make You Hungry

by Trey Ratcliff. A great List of some of the world’s greatest chefs — people like Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart and Wolfgang Puck, to name a few.

74. Exercise

by Bailey McRae. I couldn’t make it all about food so I included this great List of the top exercise-related pages such as Shape Magazine, 24 Hour Fitness, and P90X.

Art Lists on Facebook

I couldn’t find a ton of Lists that seem authoritative in the art category. But I did manage to find a few you may want to check out.

75. Photographers

by Thomas Hawk. This may be the List I’ve seen with the most followers. Over 157,000 and counting! Contains over 200 photographers that regularly show off their work. The cool thing about this List is its creator, Thomas Hawk, set it up to show only photos — which makes for a really nice feed.

76. Design

by Robyn Morris. This is another great List with a massive following that contains nothing but photo posts. Some great inspiration can be found on this list. Love this one!

77. Art Critics

by Nick Grudin

Video Gaming Lists on Facebook

To my shock, Lists on Facebook related to video games are very scarce. I did manage to find a few though. You can check out below. I’m not a gamer by any means, so I really can’t add much commentary on these. But there are some familiar faces.

78. Console Games

by Sara Brooks

79. Popular Video Gaming

by Sumeet Vaidya

80. Role Playing Games

by Al Baxter

81. Arcade/Puzzle Games

by Sara Brooks

Travel Lists on Facebook

We all need a vacation, right? Here are some great Lists to help you on your way.

82. Disney Vacations

by Barrie Brewer

83. Travel

by Morin Oluwole

84. Travel Bloggers

by Scotty Perry

85. Travel and Culture

by Annemarie Dooling

86. US National Parks

by Zach Behrens

Politics Lists on Facebook

Ok… I’m not really into politics. Maybe on the local level, but not so much nationally. I also try to stay clear of talking politics on Facebook, as it causes too many problems and riffs.

But I do think it’s helpful to share these Lists with you below. All of them are created by Katie Harbath, the Manager of Public Policy at Facebook. She helps politicians use Facebook effectively, and has put together some helpful Lists.

87. World Leaders

by Katie Harbath

88. US Democrats

by Katie Harbath

89. US Republicans

by Katie Harbath

90. US Governors

by Katie Harbath

91. Political Journalists

by George Stephanopoulos

92. US Senate Members

by Katie Harbath

93. US House Members

by Katie Harbath

Random Lists on Facebook

Ok… So I called this category “Random”. What I should have called it was “I headlined my list as 100 and only ended up with 93 so I needed to find 7 more to finish this blog!!” :D

Anyway, below are some random lists I found that you may find interesting.

94. My Little Pony

by Jessica Migatulski. I have 5 and 6 year old girls, so my house is full of My Little Pony!

95. World Birding & Conservation

by Gunnar Engblom

96. Fabulous Kids Activities Blogs

by Cathy James. I’m in love with this list now! With 3 kids, this one is awesome. Lots of great resources for parents. I especially dig QuirkyMomma.com .

97. Non-Fiction Authors

by Vadim Lavrusik. A Facebook created list containing some non-fiction authors like Mari Smith, Tim Ferriss, Zig Ziglar and Gary Vaynerchuk.

98. Child Causes

by Charles Porch. Great list created by Facebook to talk about child causes.

99. Robert Scoble

by Robert Scoble. Never miss a post by the Scobleizer!

100. Cool People named Mike Dove

by Mike Dove. I found 15 other people with my name and made a list! Seems I’m the only one posting though. :)

Whew!!!

My fingers are tired from writing this post, but I hope you found some great Lists to follow!

By following quality Interest Lists, you will greatly improve your Facebook experience. I promise.

- See more at: www.mdovegroup.com


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