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

Telling Your Story with a Multi-Channel Approach: Content Marketing World 2012

Content Marketing World Speaker Badge: Our CEO John Foley, Jr. is speaking at this event on the subject of multi-channel marketing.I’m quite excited to share news that I’ll be speaking at Content Marketing World 2012! Here is an article that I’ve written to tease my presentation.

I love marketing.

As a result, I often get excited about new channels and technologies that appear. Over the past few years, this has included such things as QR Codes, Near Field Communication (NFC), and of course various social networks. Perhaps you also have the tendency to get excited about new channels and opportunities that arise!

However, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned throughout my business career has been this — you can never rely solely on one channel to get the job done! No matter how buzz a channel or technology may come up, the best way to effectively reach your audience is through an integrated, multi-channel effort.

In today’s world, it may seem harder than ever to stand out and get noticed. But during my presentation at Content Marketing World, titled “Expand the Reach of Your Story with Multi-Channel Marketing”, I will demonstrate how you can effectively use a mix of traditional and newer marketing channels to tell your brand’s story more effectively than ever before!

I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest!

Growing Business with Inventory & Fulfillment Operations

H & H Graphics Group / Sir Speedy Logo - Lancaster, PA

I wanted to say congratulations to the wonderful folks at H & H Graphics Group in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Full disclosure: They use interlinkONE’s software to help manage inventory and fulfill orders for some of their clients.)

They recently received some nice publicity in the Central Penn Business Journal regarding their new warehouse.

Here is the line from the article that absolutely caught my attention: “Although the new facility is smaller in square footage, the business incorporated high-density warehousing, a concept that has increased its capacity by 30 percent, said Mike Williams, director of operations.

Click here to read the full article >>

A Survivor's Story: Spotlight on Nancy Sullivan

Nancy Sullivan - interlinkONE employee

One of the most popular employees here at interlinkONE is Nancy Sullivan.

Nancy’s primary role and title here is Customer Advocate. She’s constantly working on ensuring that customer projects are moving along smoothly and on-time. She’s also very proactive in helping employees identify ways that we can better streamline internal operations.

But outside of the office, Nancy also has quite an inspiring story.

A Woman’s Health magazine recently published an article that talks about it… We hope that you enjoy it.

P.S. Nancy — you are an inspiration to us all!

One Service Provider's Story: How interlinkONE has Helped

I wanted to take some time to share with you a story of how one service provider has taken steps to transform their business through changing times in the worlds of marketing and communications. Yes, they are an interlinkONE customer. Perhaps you will see similarities in your situation, and if so, I  hope that this post helps you.

The Story

Paul Macfarlane, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Bloomington, Illinois-based BOPI, has been working to help grow the company since he joined in 1995. He has helped spur growth by investing in cutting-edge technology and helping institute new business strategies.

When the computer-to-plate revolution happened in the late 1990s, BOPI saw an opportunity for more precision and greater efficiency, and decided to implement the technology.

In 2001, the company saw that variable data publishing (VDP) would provide a great opportunity and invested in a digital press specifically for producing VDP jobs. It was around this time that BOPI also invested in Web-to-print and Personalized URL solutions.

The company felt, however, that these solutions were not integrated enough with CRM systems or with each other to develop the on-going multi-channel campaigns clients were asking for. In 2007, Macfarlane and his team searched for and found an integrated, flexible platform that met the company’s needs: interlinkONE.

How interlinkONE Has Helped

BOPI utilizes interlinkONE in a number of different ways.

interlinkONE serves as a collateral ordering and management system for clients with a national presence that are spread out through remote sales teams, multiple branches, or a network of franchises. This approach enables consistency among marketing collateral no matter where the buyer is located.

The company also utilizes the solution for launching integrated multi-channel campaigns that require integration with customer data and continuous tracking and improvement. The responses and leads generated by BOPI’s campaigns have opened up clients to further harness the power of multiple channels beyond direct mail, including video and billboards.

The company also gives access to interlinkONE’s information dashboards to its campaign clients, usually at the CMO level. In addition to utilizing the solution for managing clients’ projects, BOPI manages all of its internal projects through interlinkONE.

According to Macfarlane, “You can’t operate at the CMO level unless you’ve got an integrated solution. Standalone solutions can give you certain pieces you may need, but the only one that we saw that was truly integrated was interlinkONE.”