Ecommerce in Arizona

How to Make Your Ecommerce in Arizona Site Happen

If you plan to sell anything online, having an ecommerce in Arizona plan is as important as your original business plan. Because you’re exploring new territory, making decisions about technology and marketing, and establishing a new set of vendor relationships, a well-thought-out plan will serve you well.

Your ecommerce plan starts with website goals. Who are your target customers? What do they need? Are they getting information only, or can they buy products at your site? These key questions, asked and answered early, will determine how much time and money you’ll need to develop and maintain an online presence.

Second, decide what products or services you’ll offer. How will you position and display them? Will you offer both online and offline purchasing? How will you handle shipping and returns?

As you explore the web for vendors to support your e-business, have a clear idea of how you want to handle the “back end” of the business. If you decide to sell online, you’ll need a shopping cart component, which is a means of handling credit card processing, and an organized order fulfillment process.

Finally, even if you build an amazing website, don’t assume people will find you on their own. If you want to develop a consistent flow of traffic to your site, it’s essential that you plan, execute and maintain an ongoing and multifaceted promotional strategy that’s carefully targeted to your audience. This is in addition to the promotions, advertising and marketing you already do for your brick-and-mortar business.

The Name Game

Once you’ve decided to have a website, one of your first “to-do” items is to make a list of possible website names or URLs. Then run, don’t walk, to the nearest computer, log on to the internet, go to your favorite search engine, and type in “domain registration.” You’ll find a list of companies, such as NetworkSolutions, GoDaddy and Register, that will guide you through the simple domain registration process. For a modest fee, you can register a domain name for one or more years.

If the name you decide on is taken, you’ll want to have at least two or three backup options. Many of the domain name registrars, like GoDaddy or Register, offer several alternatives that are still available. From the available names, choose one that’s easy to spell and remember, and describes what your company does. Make sure you’re not imposing on someone else’s trademark or copyrighted name. In many cases, the name of your company, with the addition of dot-com (www.[YourCompanyName].com) is a suitable domain name that you should definitely register. Once you’ve chosen a name, prompts on the domain registration site will guide you through a simple registration procedure.

With your ecommerce name established, start telling people your domain name and promoting it heavily. Print your web address on your business cards, brochures, letterhead, invoices and press releases as well as on your product packaging and within product user manuals and advertisements. Stick it on other items, too, such as mouse pads, T-shirts, promotional key chains, and even your company’s van.

Website Basics

Once you’ve registered your domain name and have a plan in place for what you want to offer prospective and existing customers online, the next major challenge is designing and building your actual website or online presence. A well-thought-out site outline includes:

Content. The key to a successful site is content. Give site visitors lots of interesting information, incentives to visit and buy, and ways to contact you. Once your site is up and running, continually update and add fresh content to keep people coming back.

Structure. Decide how many pages to have and how they’ll be linked to each other. Choose graphics and icons that enhance the content.

Design. With the content and structure in place, site design comes next. Whether you’re using an outside designer or doing it yourself, concentrate on simplicity, readability, and consistency. Remember to focus on what you want to accomplish.

Navigation. Make it easy and enjoyable for visitors to browse the site. For example, use no more than two or three links to major areas and never leave visitors at a dead end.

Credibility. This is an issue that shouldn’t be lost in the bells and whistles of establishing a website. Your site should reach out to every visitor, telling that person why they should buy your product or service. It should look professional, and give potential customers the same confidence they’d get with a phone call or face-to-face visit with you. Remind visitors that you don’t exist only in cyberspace. Your company’s full contact information—company name, complete address, telephone and email—should appear on all or most of your individual web pages and be displayed prominently on your site’s homepage.

At this point, you have two options: You can bring your detailed outline to a prospective web designer, or you could go the do-it-yourself route. Once a designer has your outline, the process will be more efficient, but creating a website from scratch can still be costly and time-consuming. Consider researching one of the many website or ecommerce turnkey solution services, which allow you to design, publish, and manage a website or ecommerce site by customizing website templates using online design and management tools. These services are inexpensive, powerful, and allow you to create highly professional websites with no programming skills.

Once you know what tools and resources you’ll use to create and manage the site, the next step is to organize your site’s potential content into a script. Your script is the numbered pages that outline the site’s content and how web pages will flow from one to the next. Writing a script also ensures your website is chock-full of appropriate content that’s well-organized. Page one is your homepage, the very first page that site visitors see when they type in your URL. Arrange all the icons depicting major content areas in the order you want them. Pages two through whatever correspond to each icon on your homepage.

To create a successful website, all the elements must work seamlessly. Sure, having top-notch content is essential, but it must be displayed in a manner that’s easy to understand, visually appealing, simple to navigate, and of interest to your target audience. It’s not just about what you have to say, but it’s also the manner in which you present that content that will either attract or repel your audience.

Finding the Host with the Most

Now that your site’s design and content creation are well underway, the next step is publishing your site on the internet. For this, you have three basic options. The first is to host it yourself on a computer that can be dedicated as a web server (or a computer that’s permanently connected to the internet) and has a broadband internet connection. This will prove costly to set up and maintain. For most online businesses, this isn’t the best option, at least in the beginning.

The second option is to use an established and reputable web hosting company, which stores and manages websites for businesses. There are several large, well-established web hosting companies that cater to a worldwide audience, including Yahoo!, Google, and GoDaddy. Or you might prefer a local, small-hosting provider, since they offer a direct contact—especially important if your site goes down. Most of these companies also offer domain name services, so you can sign up when you choose your name.

A third option—and the most popular (as well as least expensive)—is to use a website turnkey solution, a company that provides all the site development tools and hosting services in one easy-to-use, low-cost, bundled service, which is entirely online-based. In other words, to create, publish, and manage your website, you don’t need to install any specialized software, and no programming is required. Using an internet search engine, enter the phrase “website turnkey solution” or “ecommerce turnkey solution.” Also, check out what’s offered by Yahoo!, Google, GoDaddy and eBay.

Ecommerce Needs

Many ecommerce entrepreneurs turn to web hosting companies to solve all their ecommerce needs, such as handling credit card transactions, sending automatic email messages to customers thanking them for their orders, and forwarding the order to them for shipping and handling—and of course, domain registration and hosting.

Another option is to incorporate an electronic shopping cart module, which allows people to place their orders online and process their credit card payment transactions. A site using a shopping cart module should have these four components:

1. Catalog. Customers can view products, get information and compare prices.

2. Shopping cart. The icon works like the real thing. It tracks all the items in the basket and can add or delete items as the customer goes along. It’s like an online order form.

3. Checkout counter. The shopper reviews the items in their cart, makes changes and decides on shipping preferences, gift-wrapping and the like.

4. Order processing. The program processes the credit card (or payment option), verifies all information, and sends everything to the database.

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Why ROI is the Last Metric for Evaluating Your Content-Marketing Plan

It is no secret that not just any content will succeed in online marketing.

Your content must engage your readers, increase brand awareness and improve your bottom line. In the past, many companies simply threw some keyword-rich content on their websites and hoped it would stick. Keywords remain important but it is crucial your content is informative, relevant and interesting. Content+ found that interesting content is one of the top three reasons that consumers follow brands on social media.

Furthermore, TMG Custom Media reports that an astounding 90 percent of consumers believe custom content is useful and 78 percent of consumers believe that companies providing custom content have an interest in establishing good relationships with their customers.

Clearly, the right content is important to determining where you stand with your current content marketing plan. This means measuring engagement and shareability. Consider whether you see a lot of interaction, comments, and shares from the content you post. If your content remains static without any real response, it is time to fine-tun to your approach.

Far too often, many companies focus on the ROI provided by their content marketing plan but ROI is actually a metric that should be measured later, rather than sooner, in the process. You should understand the following metrics first:

  • Are people liking or following your social profiles where you share your content?
  • Are people visiting and returning to your website?
  • Are visitors commenting or asking questions?
  • Are people connecting with other members of the community?
  • Is your content being shared?
  • Are people making comments about your content elsewhere?
  • Are visitors engaging more on your site or social network?

The goal is to get people talking about your content and sharing it with others so that your overall exposure is increased. This means measuring engagement metrics such as shares, likes, comments, link backs, mentions, and retweets. Keep in mind that numbers are important when it comes to engagement, but in the end, it is all about people. In order to understand the type of content you need to develop, you must also identify and research your target audience. Once you have developed a solid understanding of your audience, you can then begin developing customized content based on their interests.

RazorSocial suggests tapping into the power of Google Analytics to measure engagement and use the data derived to assist in guiding your content development plan. With Google Analytics, you can measure the following metrics:

  • Number of returning visitors
  • Audience engagement rate
  • Average pages or time spent on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rates from different sources

Google Analytics is a vital tool, but there are also several other tools you should include in your arsenal. For instance, HootSuite is an excellent tool for tracking mentions. TweetDeck is also great for tracking mentions as well as hash tags. In order to track all of your content across paid, organic and social mediums, TrackMaven is a go-to tool that also allows you to compare the results of your content to that of competitors. Do you need some insight into content that is resonating with your target audience? Buzzsumo allows you to analyze the performance of content across multiple social mediums. Simply search a topic or keyword and gain insight into successful content. Gravity is another tool that works similarly to Buzzsumo by allowing you to keep tabs on those topics that are currently generating the most interest online and giving you easy tools to view the topics that are more likely to resonate with your own target audience.

Once you understand the type of content that is more likely to resonate with your audience, it is important to develop a plan. CMI and MarketingProfs report that 66 percent of the most effective marketers have taken the time to establish a documented content marketing strategy. Creating content without a specific focus will eventually hurt your efforts. A well-rounded content marketing plan should include a content calendar for regularly scheduled posts. While a calendar is important, it is also vital to ensure that you remain flexible in your publication goals and make adjustments based on customer behavior and other factors.

The ability to respond to real-time events will become even more vital as mobile web consumption continues to outpace desktop usage. Responding to topics that your readers wish to engage with, a process now known as newsjacking, can help your organization to increase revenue. Organizations that use predictive business performance metrics will increase their profitability by 20 percent by 2017, according to Gartner, Inc.

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9 Tips for Packing Your Brand’s Message Into a 15-Second Instagram Video

It has been shown through data, by Forrester Research, that Instagram represents by far, the best platform for marketers to interact with consumers. Brands are beginning to understand that having a presence on the platform is a necessity, but many don’t understand all of the features it has to offer.

One part of the service to note is the 15-second video feature. According to a report from BI Intelligence, in the U.S. 50 million people watch video via their mobile devices. Globally, 15 percent of all time spent watching online videos is done using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. While a common misconception amongst brands is that video marketing is too costly of an endeavor, by utilizing Instagram’s free 15-second video editing feature, businesses now have an invaluable tool to engage their audience with.

In order to successfully engage with consumers by utilizing the video feature, one must be fully educated on how to properly use it:

1. To audio or not to audio, that is the question. Any audio usage, whether that is music or speaking – is absolutely incredible and adds an additional sensory component to the campaign, which is a great way to engage the audience and enhance their experience.

2. Editing 101. There is a fine line between simply capturing video and over-editing content on Instagram, an avenue for organic content. Nonetheless, Instagram offers editing so it makes sense to use it.

3. Intriguing consumers with the cover image selection. The thumbnail of the video should both aptly capture the video’s driving idea, while also generating interest or buzz among followers.

4. Filters. Between “Clarendon” and “Gingham”, Instagram offers unique filters that help brands create stunning videos. However, since you will most likely have multiple shots, it’s wise to use only one filter while shooting to give the video uniformity and not cause distraction.

5. Angles. Create truly unique and captivating shots by siting low or standing high, while also panning up or down.

6. Be aware of light. Although low light is not necessarily the enemy, don’t hold low light shots for too long as they tend to get grainy. Make sure to pair low light shots with brighter shots on either side that can cover them up.

7. Narration. You can add narration to your video. If developing a “how-to” or instructional video, this can be a great tool to use.

8. Don’t forget to share. If your brand uses Instagram, chances are you are also using Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Once a video is uploaded, make sure to share that content to the other social media platforms to reach a wider audience.

9. Use influencers. The most powerful marketing comes from friends, family, someone you follow or someone you trust. We call these people “influencers.” You must connect with and utilize these influencers to reach the ideal audiences for your brand. Given the proper guidelines, they can create content for a product or idea that will resonate with your audience and have a lasting impression. They have ability to tell a truly striking story in that mobile environment. It’s essential to collaborate with them and tap into their abilities to work for you.

The integration of video into Instagram is another proof point of how fast delivery content in this way is growing at a tremendous rate. The attention spam of consumers is rapidly evolving and developing custom influencer created branded videos for Instagram is the not only the future, but the most scalable form of marketing for the most innovative brands and digital marketers.

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Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business

1) It helps drive traffic to your website.

Raise your hand if you want more website visitors. Yeah, me too.

Now think about the ways people find your website:

  • They could type your name right in to their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting.
  • You could pay for traffic by buying an email list (don’t you dare!), blasting them, and hoping some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal.
  • You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which isn’t illegal, but still quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too.

So, how can you drive any traffic? In short: blogging, social media, andsearch engines. Here’s how it works.

Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right? (How often can you really update your About Us page, you know?)

Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems.

Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search. We’ll get into more of the benefits of blogging on your SEO a bit later, but it’salso one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what new content to surface.

Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going — instead of asking your social media manager to come up with brand new original content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels. Quite a symbiotic relationship, if I do say so myself.

So, the first benefit of blogging? It helps drive new traffic to your website and works closely with search engines and social media to do that.

2) It helps convert that traffic into leads.

Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads.

Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.

Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information. To be super clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:

  • Visitor comes to website
  • Visitor sees call-to-action for a free offer
  • Visitor clicks call-to-action and gets to a landing page, whichcontains a form for them to fill in with their information
  • Visitor fills out form, submits information, and receives the free offer

If you scroll down in this blog post, you’ll see a call-to-action button. In fact, 99.9% of the blog posts we publish have call-to-action buttons … and yours should, too. That is how you turn that traffic coming to your blog into leads for your sales team.

Note: Not every reader of your blog will become a lead. That’s okay. No one converts 100% of the people who read their blog into leads. Just get blogging, put calls-to-action on every blog post, set a visitor-to-lead conversion rate benchmark for yourself, and strive to improve that each month.

3) It helps establish authority.

The best business blogs answer common questions their leads and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a particularly handy tool for Sales and Service professionals.

Can you imagine the impact of sending an educational blog post youwrote to clear things up for a confused customer? Or how many more deals a salesperson could close if their leads discovered blog content written by their salesperson?

“Establishing authority” is a fluffy metric — certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s pretty powerful stuff. And if you need to tie the impact of blogging to a less fluffy metric, consider measuring it the same way you measure sales enablement. Because at the end of the day, that’s what many of your blog posts are. Think about the sales enablement opportunities blogging presents:

  • If prospects find answers to their common questions via blog posts written by people at your company, they’re much more likely to come into the sales process trusting what you have to say because you’ve helped them in the past — even before they were interested in purchasing anything from you.
  • Prospects that have been reading your blog posts will typically enter the sales process more educated on your place in the market, your industry, and what you have to offer. That makes for a far more productive sales conversation than one held between two relative strangers.
  • Salespeople who encounter specific questions that require in-depth explanation or a documented answer can pull from an archive of blog posts. Not only do these blog posts help move the sales process along more swiftly than if a sales rep had to create the assets from scratch, but the salesperson is further positioned as a helpful resource to their prospect.

4) It drives long-term results.

You know what would be cool? If any of the following things helped you drive site traffic and generate new leads:

  • Trip to Hawaii
  • Going to the gym
  • Sleeping

Good news, though! That’s what blogging does — largely through search engines. Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you sit down for an hour and write and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads. You get another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email and RSS. But after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads.

It’s not done.

That blog post is now ranking in search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post.

So while you’re hitting your snooze alarm, surfing in Hawaii, and pumping iron, you’re also driving traffic and leads. The effort you put in yesterday can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.

In fact, about 70% of the traffic each month on this very blog comes from posts that weren’t published in the current month. They come from old posts. Same goes for the leads generated in a current month — about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts that were published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.

We call these types of blog posts “compounding” posts. Not every blog post will fit into this category, but the more evergreen blog posts you write, the more likely it is that you’ll land on one of those compounding blog posts. In our own research, we’ve found that about 1 in every 10 blog posts end up being compounding blog posts.

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Tips for Maximizing Your Paid Content Promotions on Social Media

Now that you’ve seen the value of incorporating paid promotion into your social media strategy, follow these four tips to get the most from every advertising dollar you spend:

  1. Make it shareable. A long article probably isn’t the best piece of content to share in a paid promotion. Instead, share videos, infographics, memes, short blog posts, or “top 10” lists.
  2. Test your promotions. Try sharing different promoted content pieces on different social networks. Then, evaluate which types of content perform best on which networks. For example, most B2B businesses have better success on LinkedIn than they have on Facebook.
  3. Identify your objectives. Most people slap up a promoted post, cross their fingers and hope for the best. You’ll have more luck if you create promoted content based on specific goals. These goals could include increasing likes/followers, boosting sales revenue, or gathering new names for internal lists.
  4. Pivot when needed. Track your results and analyze your numbers so that you’re not stuck on a strategy that’s failing. If you’re spending money to promote content without getting new customers, then you need to spend your money in a more effective way.

The social media sharing game has changed, and your business has to work harder to get noticed. Don’t think of paid content promotion as an expense. Think of it as an investment in your company’s growth.

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Why You Should Pay to Promote Your Content on Social Media

Some marketers claim that great content always rises to the top, no matter what. The truth is that getting people to view content organically means cooking up a complicated soup, which consists not only of great material but also a wide range of optimization tools. Optimizing for search engines, building author and site authority, outflanking keyword competition, and writing for geographic relevance — all of these matter just as much as crafting a high-quality piece of content.

Paying for content promotion on social media is an essential part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan. Here are six reasons you should add paid promotion to your social media strategy.

Organic Is Still Best, but It’s Getting Harder

Back in spring 2014, Facebook culled many page posts from its news feeds because news feeds had become too crowded. Overnight, companies with thriving Facebook presences saw their numbers plummet. Think about it: Harvard University has an admissions rate of 6.3 percent, meaning that applicants have about a 1-in-17 chance of getting admitted to the elite school. A Facebook post has a 1- to 2-percent chance of getting into someone’s news feed. Your chances of getting into Harvard are better than your chances of getting an organic post to your Facebook fans.

Other networks haven’t been as draconian, but it’s harder to get noticed in increasingly crowded feeds no matter what social networks you use. When nearly every business, celebrity, not-for-profit, and fictional character has its own social network account, a social network feed gets as noisy as the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Don’t give up on organic promotions, but do add paid promotions into your marketing mix.

Social Media Pay-for-Promotion Is Cheaper Than AdWords

To reach 1,000 people, the average AdWords customer pays $2.75. To reach 1,000 people on LinkedIn, an advertiser spends $0.75. Reaching 1,000 people on Facebook costs just $0.25. Moz blogger Brian Carter puts it another way: Spending $1 on Facebook promotions every day could get your content in front of at least 4,000 people each day.

Social Networks Offer Valuable Targeting Tools

Once you’ve identified your target customer, social networks offer extensive tools for putting your content in front of the right people. Using Facebook’s tools, you can target your ads or promoted posts based on location, language, age, gender, education levels, workplace, interests, and relationship status. You can also create ads targeted to people from your email list.

With Twitter, you can use third-party tools to help aim your promoted content toward the right audience. SimplyMeasured, for example, offers a free tool that helps you analyze your current Twitter followers. You can then aim your promoted tweets or Twitter Cards toward people with similar characteristics.

Social Networks Provide Value-Added Tracking and Testing Tools

Social media analytics tools can track customer response to your ads or promoted posts. You can easily see which promoted content received the most clicks, shares, favorites, or re-tweets. Twitter Card analytics let you see which types of Twitter Cards attract the most engagement. It also reveals top influencers that link to your promoted content, which gives you a place to start conversations with people who can amplify your content organically.

You can also use third-party tools like SimplyMeasured or HootSuite to track engagement across multiple platforms. Instead of logging into each social network account and running analytics, you can run reports from a single location. Using these tools, you can perform A/B tests to see which versions of the same promoted posts get the most response. You should test different keywords, headlines, images, post formats, and other messaging to see which earns the most audience engagement.

Promoted Posts Increase Chances for Engagement and Sharing

By paying to promote your post, you increase the chances that people might share your content or engage with your organization. Under current conditions, if you post an amazing piece of content to a Facebook page that has 1,000 fans, only 10 to 20 people might see your post. Boosting your post can increase its chances of going viral. Instead of hoping that followers find your content via search query and navigate to their social networks to share it, paid promotion enables sharing from within the social network interface.

Paying to Promote Content Is a Great Way to Reach New Customers

In the early days of social media, you’d share great content with your followers, who would then share it with their friends. In some cases, those friends would become new customers for your business. Unfortunately, your fans and followers aren’t seeing your content as often as they once did, so it’s not getting shared with as many new customers. Promoted content gives you a better shot at winning new customers, particularly if you combine your social media paid promotions with promotions on Reddit or StumbleUpon.

Some marketers claim that paid posts don’t elicit as much engagement. It’s true that you might see a high number of initial “likes” and clicks without the repeat engagement that organic shares can bring. However, you can still use information from new “likes” and clicks to gain valuable leads. Some businesses use promoted posts to gather names for their email marketing lists.

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content marketing for seo

Content Marketing is King

Google has laid down the law with their Panda and Penguin updates, and they want websites to meet a specific criterion to qualify for good rankings. Quality content is at the top of Google’s shopping list, and Webmasters need to know the difference between content and quality content and how Content Marketing is King.

Quality Content

Writing a lot of redundant content will not generate the results you want. Quality content offers something of value to the website visitor. This value can be found in a tutorial that teaches the proper way to use a product, or an interesting article about the benefits of using a particular product or service. Your content needs to be factual, well written, interesting, and helpful.

Recycle Content

Recycling your content in different formats is different from spinning the same content into several articles that are basically the same. When you recycle content you transform your text into new formats, such as video presentations, an image story, or colour graphs that present a visual narration of the content. Use some of this content in social media marketing to bring new visitors to your website.

Evergreen Content is Sustainable

Evergreen is content that will be as valuable next year as it is today. Reports, white papers, graphs and charts, images, and tutorials are all unique and sustainable content formats. Google wants content that is always relevant. To succeed in this marketing endeavour you must create content that people want to share.

Use Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are considered the leading social media websites. Using these sites effectively requires minimal learning, and there are numerous websites dedicated to teaching you the best social media marketing methods. Posting valuable content to social media sites will bring new visitors to your business website. Use social media to advertise new products and services, as well as link to instructional articles and tutorials. Link your social media posts to your website, where all of your content resides. Use share buttons. A simple snippet of code will add graphic share buttons to your website for all the social media sites.

Keep Your Brand and Content United

Your business and personal life must be sperated. if your product is real estate, don’t intersperse articles about short sales with photos of your daughters karate accomplishments. People want to know you take your business seriously and will be available when you are needed. Keep a separate personal social media site for family and friends. Keep all your business content on one website, and link your social media sites to your primary business website.

Content does rule in SEO marketing. Long-tail keywords, valuable content, consistent use of social media, and dedicated marketing is the best way to get high rankings.

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content marketing strategy

Starting a Content Marketing Strategy

Remember that line , “I wish I knew then, what I know now.”? Well I wish I had known when I started creating content how to create a proper content marketing strategy. You see digital marketing degrees are fairly new, as in Universities started offering them in the past 3 years.

But you’re in luck! I’ve outlined seven of the most important ideas I wish I would have known when I was first starting out in content marketing years ago. I hope they help you get ahead of the game.

1. Tailor to your personas

A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client. You can create different personas by bucketing ideal clients based on common characteristics, needs or problems. Developing your personas is not only a fundamental piece of your marketing strategy, but also of every function within your organization.

They are key because you can tailor your content strategy, conversion offers, social posts, etc. around each persona’s specific goals, needs and point of pain.

Tailoring your content around your personas will help ensure the right people are finding it, help increase engagement, and help build a loyal audience of the exact types of people you’re trying to target for lead conversion. Without clearly defined personas, you will simply be shooting in the dark with your efforts.

2. Look at it as an investment

Content marketing (just like most things in business) is a marathon, not a sprint. It will not be an overnight success, but instead builds up momentum over time, like a snowball rolling down a hill. This can be quite scary for those who come from a paid media background with instant gratification in results.

In order to stay focused and dedicated in the beginning, continuously remind yourself that each blog post and each content offer is an investment in your marketing “assets” and in the business. Although it’s usually estimated to take six to nine months to really start picking up steam, this is a relatively short investment for the long-term success of your marketing program.

3. Make it an organizational initiative

One key to success in content marketing is to get the entire organization, from the top down, to buy into a “culture of content.” This means that everyone in the organization will not only get excited about your marketing team’s efforts, but will also actually get involved in the production and promotion of content.

This is probably one of the biggest challenges marketing teams in larger organizations face, but it is critical. My advice is to start at the top and get all your C-level execs to back creating a culture of content. From there, you can follow this advice to promote the content culture throughout the organization.

4. Content doesn’t have to be written

Many times when we think of “content marketing” we right away think of written text. However, it’s important to keep in mind that that is only one media format. If writing is not your strong suit, think about incorporating video or audio content into your strategy.

Ultimately you want to pick the media format that works best for your team to produce and is best received by your audience. This also can include a combination of multiple-media formats. Once you find the right balance, you will be able to create content easier with bigger impact on your audience.

5. Quality over quantity

There has been this long-asked question: Which is better, writing a ton of basic articles or a few amazing articles? The bottom line is every piece of content should provide the reader value and leave them happy they had read it. Yet, it’s important that you are consistently and frequently posting. So there needs to be a balance, which is slightly different for every organization based on resources, industry and your audience.

Typically I recommend posting a minimum of three good-quality, 700-word blog posts per week. Although when first starting out this may seem like a lot, this is a great formula to build traction in your content marketing fairly quickly (typically four to six months). If you can do more than three blog posts a week, that’s awesome, but at a minimum work to post three.

6. Writing is only half the battle

As time-consuming writing your content may be, it is only half of the battle. The other half is promoting the content to drive people to read it. This is many times often overlooked by marketers simply because they are so glad to have the content finished.

Make sure you create a plan of action for promoting your blog content and dedicate 25% to 33% of the time it took to write the blog to promoting every new blog. This is critical for getting the most out of your content marketing strategy.

7. Repurpose

One of the greatest skills expert content marketers possess is knowing how to repurpose content in many different ways. Their brain can see opportunities to use existing content in many different ways to maximize the value of that content.

For example: Let’s suppose you or someone in your organization is creating a presentation for a trade show. This is a great piece of content that can be easily repositioned into many different forms, providing huge content value.

After the event, reuse the content as an on-demand webinar conversion offer. Then have the webinar transcribed into text and divide up each of the main ideas into individual blog posts. Then take the most popular blogs and expand on them to create an e-book (and so on).

Although each content marketing strategy is going to be a bit different depending on the organization, the ideas in this article will be applicable to any scenario. For those of you just starting out with a content marketing strategy, I hope that you can keep these in mind and that they help accelerate your success.

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Why Millennials Aren’t Liking Your Posts

Every company wants to build a Millennial following on social media, yet few succeed. Successful businesses make interacting with their audiences look completely natural, leaving other business owners asking, “How is it so easy for them but so hard for me?”

The truth is, most of the mistakes that companies make on social media are both common and easily correctable. Understanding those mistakes is the first step toward creating a social-media strategy that actually works.

What You’re Doing Wrong

Common mistakes business owners make in trying to reach Millennials through social media include:

Insensitivity. Millennials are a socially conscious and socially active generation. It’s fine to poke fun at certain universal issues, but one mindless or callous post can quickly lead to trouble. This is a lesson IHOP learned the hard way after a successful campaign was derailed byone insensitive tweet.

Spokesperson Reliance. People listen to cultural icons not only because of who they are but also because of what they say. While celebrities might get a promotional message out there, a good Klout score does not necessarily lead to conversions. Fendi’s ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner failed to impress fashion fans, despite her celebrity and social engagement, because the message was not on point.

Trying Too Hard. Sometimes a tongue-in-cheek reference to Millennial slang works well, but shoehorning phrases like “FOMO” and “on fleek” into your posts out of context will only alienate your audience. For example, negative response to the PepsiMoji keyboard shows that Millennial love for emojis goes only so far.

Millennials can sense insincerity a mile away, so don’t try to beat them at their own game. If it rings false for you, chances are it will for them, too.

What Actually Works

The surest way to get Millennials to look at your content is to make them laugh or get them excited. Once they get their eyes on it, make them chase you on social platforms instead of the other way around. Tease with header copy or curiosity-inspiring imagery, and don’t disappoint when they engage with the call to action. If you satisfy their curiosity, you’ve gone a long way toward earning their loyalty.

Ensuring their satisfaction means making the content relatable. Millennials who see their personality quirks, niche interests, and common experiences reflected in content are bound to react by liking, retweeting, tagging, and sharing, spreading the influence of your content like wildfire.

Here are more methods to revamp your social-media strategy and get Millennials talking about your brand:

1. Invest in social analytics and content testing. Don’t push forward with your strategy just because you have a “feel” for what Millennials love–get data to back up your campaigns. Perform dark testing on content to measure engagement while minimizing full impact, and stay up-to-date with what people are saying right now about your brand to avoid mistakes in your editorial calendar.

2. Let them be co-creators. Don’t just show them–include them. Millennials appreciate personalization and the ability to actively enter the conversation. Studies show that people remember user-generated content 35 percent better than other content, and trust the information within it up to 50 percent more.

3. Give them a talking point. High follower counts mean nothing without generating conversations. Push content about topics Millennials are talking about, and build partnerships through that commonality to create advocates for your brand. Remember, you don’t just want them to consume, you want them to influence their peers.

4. Serve the unexpected. Rather than throw the overused expressions of Millennials back at them, be authentic–even if that means putting a mirror to their experiences. Millennials almost demand to be inspired by brands, so give them something unusual through your experiences and content.

Remember that Millennials aren’t aliens. Like any other demographic, they just want content that appeals to them. From a marketing standpoint, making that connection is up to you.

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Writing Content People Will Want to Read

Remember in grade school when your teacher made you write a rough draft? There’s a reason, your rough draft is the first attempt, it’s a diamond in the rough that needs to be cut and polished. This is the process you should follow when creating content to attract potential customers.

However, this process is easier said than done for most.

In a race to mass produce content in a society that is on the move, businesses create content that is smothered by a thesaurus and long winded sentences. Those two areas are common mistakes for writers because it gives the appearance of fine writing, that is authoritative and intellectual. In the end they are mistakes; effective writing is clean, lean and easy to read.

At Tech 1 Peripherals we have put together 4 tips to help product content people will want to read.

  1. Strip away inessentials & excessive words
    A perfect illustration of our is below:
    Part of the problem is the increase in sentence size due to inessentials or excessive words. Removing these words can reduce your content size greatly while also helping to get to the root of your statement.Removing inessentials or excessive words can reduce your content size greatly while also helping you reach the root of your statement.From 36 words down to 21 words, trimming unnecessary words can work wonders. 
  2. Write “music”, not words
    Have you read a book where you flowed effortlessly through the words? Great writing isn’t structured like business, like music it’s an art. Find your flow between long and short sentences, long sentences carry you through a series of thoughts. While a short sentences brings you to a impactful halt.
  3. Take inspiration from others
    Before you find your writing voice view the work of others. You’ll be able to create great sentences if you know what they look like. Learn by example, not by rules.
  4. Be vivid
    Good writing is more than just being clear, you must also be vivid. The words you choose need to paint a picture in your readers mind. Writing is an art form after all.
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