4 Keys to Guest Posting Success

Whether you guest post regularly or it is something you truly need to do more of, knowing the various benefits that guest posting offers is something you should definitely be on top of.

That said is your brand doing all it can with guest posting? For instance, have you reached out to countless blogs to see if you can guest post to them on a regular basis? If not, why is that? Some business owners will state that they do not have the time (or patience for that matter) to do all that reach out, only to have many publishers come back and respectfully decline. In the process, the former are denied yet another opportunity to promote their brands.

In the event guest posting has not been a big priority for you up to this point and time, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to change that thinking moving forward, allowing you to grow your website traffic. So that you know how to best take advantage of guest posting for your brand, remember these four tips:

1. Identify a message

What exactly are you looking to accomplish with guest posting in the first place?

If you’re on top of your game, you know that guest posting can direct more eyes towards your website–traffic that very well can turn into dollar signs sooner rather than later. That said make sure your message is loud and clear. When guest blogging; don’t make it all about your brand.

For one, there’s a good chance many publishers will not run your guest post if it comes across as too self-promotional. Google and other search engines are likely to penalize too, so be wary of posts where it is heavy on the “me” factor and light on the “we factor. Rather write the posts to help consumers learn more about your general industry, giving them information they may have trouble finding elsewhere.

Lastly, you can still run a link back to your website, one that doesn’t come across as spam.

Credit: Pixabay

2. Write with Authority

Keep in mind that both publishers and consumers like reading articles with some meat to them. That said, always look to write with authority when providing guest posts to others. While guest posting for your marketing needs, you still need to consider the needs of those you are talking to.

What can your audience learn from each and every guest post you craft? Will they have a guest post to read that they simply can’t find anywhere else? Finally, will your post resonate with them months after it has gone live?

When you write with authority, you stand a much better chance of being recognized as authoritative and relevant, two keys to success oftentimes in the business world.

3. Promote your posts

When you guest post for other sites, you can’t fall down on the job in terms of promoting those efforts on social media. Be sure you promote those posts without any reminders from publishers, doing it on your own because you know about the benefits that will come from it.

As an example, if you tweet out a guest post on Twitter that you (or your company) have authored, it stands to reason that other folks on Twitter (some following you and those seeing the relevant hashtags) will retweet your post. With that occurring, your post (and your brand) now gets more attention.

4. Keep chugging along

Last but not least, guest posting takes time and effort. Yes, that also translates into being committed. It can be easy after doing a few guest posts to figure you made some inroads, so no need to write for a period of time.

Unfortunately, guest posting doesn’t work that way. In order to have a real impact with guest posting, you have to keep hammering away time and time again with the articles. Always do your best to not only keep the ideas and the posts coming, but also to know what your message should be to those consumers you haven’t reached just yet.

 

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about marketing and business topics on the web.

Is Outdoor Advertising in the Cards for Your Brand?

How much time and effort (including money) do you invest in outdoor advertising for your brand?

While you may be doing just fine with online ads, newspaper and magazine promotions, even television and/or radio ads, getting your brand’s name seen and heard outside on billboards and other advertising vehicles is quite beneficial.

That said where do you start when it comes to outdoor advertising for your brand?

Finding the Right Messenger

In order to get your outdoor advertising game headed in the right direction, the first key is finding the right messenger.

While there are many marketing firms out there with which to work with, finding the one you truly click with is important.

Among the factors to take into consideration when sizing up different firms:

  • Experience – How long have they been in the marketing business, specifically outdoor advertising? Do they create billboard messages (see more below) that resonate with consumers?
  • Pricing – If you are working with a tight advertising/marketing budget, getting the most for your dollar is important. That said don’t automatically go with the cheapest firm out there.
  • Service – Like any company you work with, customer service can’t be compromised. Look for a firm that has a stellar track record in this area.

Lastly, talk to other friendly businesses you know, getting their two cents on which marketing firms they would recommend.

In many cases, those conversations can yield a lot of good information, information that may very well help you in selecting the best marketing firm out there.

What Will Your Message Be?

Once you have the right marketing firm to serve as your messenger, what will your message end up being?

For instance, if you work in the real estate business, you know all too well what a grind it can be in moving homes etc. With that in mind, your outdoor advertising needs to hit home with potential buyers and sellers.

Whether you are using billboard ads, ads at bus stations or on buses and taxis, even ads on Uber or Lyft vehicles, you need to make the most of the available space.

While many outdoor ads end up being rather mundane when all is said and done, be creative with your efforts.

Certain images (children, puppies etc.) tend to resonate with consumers, so see how you can work something into your message that will make your brand easy to remember. Although you are limited in the space you have to work with, creativity will oftentimes win you points (and hopefully business) with many consumers.

Lastly, key items to get on those ads would of course be your business name, phone number, and certainly a website address.

With millions and millions of consumers using the Internet these days to search for just about everything, don’t leave your online business card (your web address) off the ad.

Don’t Forget About Placement

Finally, where your outdoor ads are placed is as important as anything else you will do.

In working with a marketing firm, get their feedback on where your ad will likely get the most notice.

Going back to the real estate example a moment ago, having your billboard or other outdoor message situated just before people come into town is a good idea.

In many cases, people (oftentimes individuals and families not from the area) will drive through a town with the idea of looking at homes and the town in general. If they see your creative real estate ad just as they are coming into town, it gives them a Realtor with which to consider doing business with.

When it comes to getting your marketing message heard and seen by countless consumers, outdoor advertising should definitely be in the cards for your brand.

Photo credit: Google Images

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers marketing items on the web.

Do You Have a Well-Rounded Marketing Approach That Works?

So that your brand can do its best to out-distance the competition time and time again, you need a well-rounded marketing plan in place.

That plan should not only receive a fair amount of time and effort, but it also needs to encompass all there is in today’s brand promotional world.

While you may be wondering if you have the right resources to pull off a sound marketing approach, you may also be pleasantly surprised to learn you do. In the event you don’t have it just quite yet, it really is not as hard to achieve as you may think.

That said, will 2017 be the year that you finally get your marketing practices where you want them to be?

Avoiding Complacency in the World of Marketing

guestpost_ilink_111616In order for your brand to get the most possible out of marketing, one of your top priorities is avoiding complacency.

You might feel like your marketing techniques are second-to-none, therefore meaning you don’t tweak them on occasion. You also might be of the opinion that if the real competition isn’t putting lots of time and effort into marketing, you do not need to either. Both ways of thinking can spell trouble for your marketing initiatives.

Another bad thought that may creep into your head is that your marketing budget is limited, so you therefore can’t achieve much. If that thought is there, remove that pronto.

Even with a small marketing budget, there is so much you can accomplish over time in promoting your brand. Remember, small pockets of promotions from time to time are much better than none at all.

Work with Others to Benefit Your Brand

Assuming you already have a blog on your website, what are you doing with it?

Unfortunately, too many companies essentially let it go to waste. In doing so, they fail to capitalize on what can turn out to be one of their best resources.

If you have a blog on your website, do everything in your power to nurture it and of course promote it. By doing so, you open so many possibilities to gaining new business and of course adding to your revenue stream.

As part of your blog promotions, do all you can possible when it comes to guest blogging.

With guest blogging, you are able to reach many more consumers than if you just stuck to your own base. If others are allowing you to guest blog on their business sites, by all means do the same in return (assuming that is that you are getting quality articles to place there).

Lastly, be sure to include guest blog content that are both relevant and informative to your reading audience. When others (notably consumers) see you coming across as an authority in your industry, you stand to gain much from it, including an enhanced revenue stream.

Socializing Your Marketing Efforts

If social media has literally been a foreign concept to you up to this point and time, change that as 2017 nears.

Much like your blogging efforts, social media really doesn’t have to financially cost you an arm and a leg over time. If you play your cards right, you can come up with a social media strategy that allows your brand to expand and catch more ears and eyes.

One of the keys to a successful social approach is listening to what others are saying about your brand.

For instance, you will undoubtedly have some customers (perhaps even some consumers not truly familiar with your brand) that will speak ill of you. Instead of lashing out at them, take the time to understand what is causing this reaction. As you truly listen to them, you may very well be able to turn a former customer or consumer thinking of going elsewhere around.

Marketing Your Brand for Success

As you wind down the final weeks of 2016, now is a great time to review your marketing approach over the last year, seeing what did and did not work.

In doing so, you may very well be setting you and your brand up for a fantastic 2017.

Photo credit: Pixabay

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers marketing topics on the web.

Do Your Marketing Efforts Tell the Real Story?

Marketing a brand can seem a little daunting at times, but would you have it any other way?

While there are myriad of ways to go about marketing your companys brand, some stand out more than others. That said it is important that you do not fall into a rut, one where you close yourself off from trying different initiatives.

As 2016 winds down, now would be a good time to not only review what you have done to date this year, but look at plans for 2017. Also, look at and try to answer the following:

  • 2017 budget – What kind of 2017 marketing budget have you set up? Will it be more or less than this year’s amount?
  • New campaigns – Do you have any major new campaigns planned for the New Year? If so, will they involve spending more money?
  • Social media – Have you put enough time and effort into your social networking activities this year? If not, how will you increase them in 2017?

Get a Brand’s Story Heard

Man with hand on ear listening for quiet sound or paying attention

In order for your brand (whether you run the company or are in charge of marketing it) to get the attention it needs, it all begins with a story.

Consumers need to know as much as possible about your brand before deciding whether to spend money or not with you. While you can send out press releases and attend networking events (both of which you should already be doing), your website is the heart and soul of your operation. In the event you haven’t been putting it to work as much as possible, change that heading into 2017.

One of the main focal points to market on a website is of course the blog.

If you’ve been rather hands-off with promoting your blog or those of companies you are doing marketing work with, that needs to change. First and foremost, bring that blog out of hiding if for no other reason; it is essentially free to market. Yes, time and effort are of course necessary, but the blog can do so much good and very little harm.

With each blog post, you can tell a story not only about the brand you represent, but the industry you work in. In doing so, you become a go-to source for consumers and other businesses, both of which could ultimately end up spending money with you.

So, are you ready to turn a new leaf with marketing your company’s blog or those you do marketing for?

Focus on Blog Strengths

In order to get the most out of a brand via one’s blog, zero-in on the following:

  1. Your blog – Make sure the blog/s you represent are not only informative and authoritative, but are updated regularly. Nothing does a blog more harm than just letting it sit there on the inactive roster. Even if you need to have others write content for it (meaning going outside the company), do it. If you want to soar up to the top of the Google rankings, a regularly update (and worthwhile) blog will help increase the odds of reaching such goals;
  2. Guest blogging – If you haven’t already, give guest blogging a try. With the right efforts directed to guest blogging, you can promote your brand on countless other websites. This allows your brand (through a simple anchor text link back to your website) to be seen by numerous viewers. Keep in mind that some (hopefully many) of those viewers are potential customers. Most importantly, make sure any blog posts you write for other sites is informative, not an infomercial for your brand;
  3. Socialize the blog – Finally, as great as blogs can be, promoting them via social media is of major importance in order to get the full impact you need. Use social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) to tell your brand’s story via blog posts. Along with promoting the brand/s you represent as a marketer, be sure to cross-promote. For example, take a look at your Twitter followers (and those you follow). If some of them have interesting blog posts on their Twitter feeds, by all means retweet and share with others. Doing so leads to a much better chance that they will return the favor, giving you free promotions in the process.

As a marketer, are you doing all possible to market the brands you’re responsible for?

If you are, what advice do you have for other marketers in terms of leveraging not only your blogs, but guest posting on others?

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

How In-Plants Can Use Cross Media: Part II

Missed part I of this mini series? Please click here to read my previous post!

What cross media channels can my in-plant facility choose from?

The list of channels available today can be overwhelming. Before we get into the different channels available, a word of advice: choose a few key channels that you think will work best for your target audience, and build on them as you go. Trying to blast your message to all channels at once can spread your message too thin, so it gets lost in the marketing chatter consumers face every day.

CrossMediaLifecycleHere’s a brief breakdown of a few different types of channels you can use:

  • Traditional / Offline: This includes direct mail, signage and billboards, television, radio, and events. Just because all the cool kids are on social media these days doesn’t mean they’re not still consuming these traditional channels, so you shouldn’t drop them either.
  • Social Media: It’s the 900-lb. gorilla in the room, so let’s talk about it next. Social media is so crucial because your audience is likely to be using it on a daily basis. Twitter has more than 300 million active monthly users, generating more than 500 million tweets every day. Facebook is the bigger of the two giants, with more than a billion active users. And those users are more than happy to interact with their favorite brands on social media; Coca Cola’s Facebook page has more than 92 million followers. Imagine having the ear of that many potential customers!
  • Your Website (preferably optimized for mobile): It may seem obvious, but your website is another marketing channel. Optimize it for mobile (meaning your site displays nicely on smartphones and tablets), and you’ve got two channels in one.
  • Mobile: This includes mobile apps, which can take a number of different forms depending on your business and your customers’ needs.

Those are just a few of your choices; your final mix will depend on which channels your customers are likely to consume. More on that next:

How can we incorporate cross media into our marketing plan?

So you’re sold on cross media. Great! But…how do you get started? Probably the simplest way is to find places where you can incorporate it into your current marketing plan.

Sending a direct mail campaign? Use key elements from it on your social media platforms, and allow customers to respond to the campaign via social channels. For example, you could run a contest, advertise it via direct mail, and let customers tweet their entries on Twitter.

The most important thing to remember when using cross media is to keep your brand image consistent across channels. Use the same images, and adapt the same messages for different channels. You want your brand voice to sound the same no matter where your customers hear it.

Cross media marketing can be a powerful addition to your marketing toolkit. Keep your customers’ preferences and needs in mind, and your cross media campaign could give your profits and brand image a big boost.

I hope you enjoyed this two-part mini series on how in-plants can use cross media marketing to improve their results. Please comment below with any additional comments or feedback!

Which Social Networks Should Be a Priority for Your Association?

With limited resources and a wide variety of social networks to choose from, many associations find themselves asking, “What should be the number one social media outlet to pursue?”

Unfortunately, there is no easy way of answering this because each social site is so unique. They each provide their own benefits, and associations would be able to use and benefit from each of them in different ways. Here is a breakdown of how you can use four of the top social media channels.

  1. Social_Media_Image_PurchasedYouTube. This requires low management maintenance. Whenever you create a video, you should upload it and share it with your audience in different ways. You can embed it into your website, email marketing blasts, share it on other social networks, embed it into online profiles, and have QR codes direct to them. If you enjoy being creative with your marketing efforts and you tend to be more of a visual person, preferring to give a face to a name and show your audience how your association can help them, YouTube should definitely be a utilized channel.
  2. Twitter. Twitter requires the most management, but also has the most benefits. First of all, its outreach and engagement opportunities are very extensive. There are many tools out there that can help you search for leads and existing contacts (contact me if you need help with this!). You can also initiate relationships by following people, and if they know you or have heard of your association, they will typically follow you back and interact. You can also embed your Twitter feed with your personal and Company Page LinkedIn updates (more on that in just a minute). Some tools even let you update your Facebook through Twitter. By syncing up social networks with each other, it can cover a lot more ground with just one post. Another benefit with Twitter is its hashtag feature. The best examples of hashtag usage would be during events. If you go to an event, attendees and vendors are able to include the hashtag (such as #BestEvent) within their tweets, which will make their posts show up in the #BestEvent Twitter feed. This is a great way of finding people at the show, engaging with them, and simply sharing your experience of the show with others. However, be mindful that there are a lot of tweets out there, so you must be consistent with your posts in order to position yourself as a thought leader who provides information but who also engages with their audience as well.
  3. LinkedIn. This network requires low management and has a more professional setting compared to others. Everyone should belong to this network because LinkedIn members appear within or close to the top five Google searches when their name is searched for. This helps encourage connections and relationships and it makes it easy for members and prospects to find you. Personal profiles also give you the capability of sharing your website, social networks, more information about your association, and many other types of information. If people want to learn more about you professionally, LinkedIn gives them the chance to do so, and then gives them the option to connect with you. While you are on LinkedIn, if your work email has its own domain, build a Company Page for your association. This gives the opportunity for all of your coworkers/employees to be under one network. LinkedIn Company Pages also give you the opportunity to promote your services, update members, and connect prospects with sales reps and more! You can also keep it updated by posting regular Company Page statuses. I would recommend sticking with 1-3 status updates each week to start, and try to focus on association news/industry news that your target audience would be interested in.
  4. Facebook. Facebook requires a medium level of management. My recommended amount of posts for Facebook is 4-5 posts per week, possibly a little more if there is an event happening that you are participating in. Sharing industry-related information in different mediums, such as photos, YouTube videos, blog posts, or articles, is a great way to engage with your Facebook audience. Your audience in this channel usually consists of existing members who enjoy being a part of and trust your association, and prospects who are interested in your organization, events, and services. Facebook fans usually join your page in order to stay in the loop with what is new. Posting pictures and YouTube videos of members and workers at your association is also great content and allows your audience to better connect with your organization. This social network is meant to focus on humanizing your association. So if you have an existing dedicated fan base who is online and wants to stay in the loop, Facebook may be your top priority.

At the end of the day, every association has its own unique audience. Think about where your audience is and how they enjoy learning about the type of services you have to offer. Once you discover these key components, determining which social media networks are the right ones for your organization will become more apparent. No matter which one you choose though, each network is great for enhancing your association’s search optimization. The more you update them, the higher they will rise in search results, plus, the bigger your networks are, the more potential you have of sending members and prospects to your website.