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

Marketing Online Safety is a Must

In order for customers to trust your brand, one of the main themes of your marketing message must be that they can feel secure in doing business with you.

The reason security oftentimes comes up is due to the fact that customers entrust businesses with their personal information, information that includes credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account details, home addresses and phone numbers, not to mention much more.

So that your brand can be safe and secure in the minds of customers, use your marketing expertise to share with them just how you are doing this.

Better yet, demonstrate it on a regular basis.

Reassuring Customers They Are Safe with You

Worried man in front of computer isolated with clipping path

Worried man in front of computer isolated with clipping path

There are myriad of ways you can put customers at ease when it comes to doing business with you.

In the wake of numerous and notable cyber-attacks in recent years, some customers have been put on edge, worrying that their personal/financial data could easily be compromised at one point or another.

To lessen such fears, your marketing efforts should include:

  1. Education – First and foremost, educate customers on how you go about protecting their personal/financial data after they have made a purchase with you. Having the right online protection for your company’s digital life is a necessity, not a choice. Whether you opt for a personal newsletter or having the information on your site where only customers can access it, be clear about some of the steps (without going into specific security details) you’ve taken to enhance and maintain online protection (see more below). This can include how you first protect consumers when they sign up with your site and are asked to provide certain personal information. Also educate them on how their credit card information is protected when they make a purchase from your online store. Given this is typically one of the most worrisome practices for customers, reassure them that the data they provide is secure and not available to the eyes of potential cyber-criminals;
  2. Social media – With more and more consumers turning to social media (oftentimes even to get their news), it is imperative that you have a role on social networking sites. Use your marketing abilities on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc. to remind consumers of all you are doing to keep data private. Being it is social media, do remember that just about anyone can see what you’re saying (unless you have a locked down account). As a result, do not go into security measures in too great a detail. If you do, the bad guys will not have to work too hard to figure out ways to get around the security measures you’ve installed. Use social media as more of a reassurance effort for your customers (and those you hope to turn into customers), not an educational manual for would-be cyber-criminals;
  3. You’re a leader – Even though many cyber-criminals will do their utmost to break through to your site, you can dissuade them from doing so by marketing your anti-crime efforts. Show that you take cyber security seriously. If you’re a small business, your marketing budget might very well be limited, but touting your cyber security measures is something that can be a win-win for your brand. On the one hand, you show the world that you take this topic very seriously. The question of course is why wouldn’t you? Just one cyber-attack has the potential to not only create a public relations nightmare for your brand, but have a negative impact on your finances. When you’re a smaller company and on a budget, your finances get even more scrutiny. On the other hand, a cyber-attack could leave your business in peril. Also look to other leaders, seeing how some of the better-known brands (and even some of the lesser-known ones) go about protecting their brands online. While they are not going to provide specific security measures, they will oftentimes discuss and demonstrate some simple tactics that you might very well have missed or forgotten about.

Marketing online safety in today’s business world is imperative for both the business owner and the consumer, as both stands to lose when a company’s online apparatus is compromised.

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

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