Posts Tagged ‘Content’

postheadericon Tweeting Without Meaning

I read an interesting article today regarding the importance of social media in the new world of search engine optimization and website rankings.  It has been by and large confirmed that social media is quickly becoming a necessity for all companies if you want to stay at the “top of the charts,” so to speak.  So now, you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, you probably have your own blog with WordPress or Blogger, maybe you are trying out the new Google Plus, and you have a company LinkedIn page.

What next?

You need something to write about.  Having these accounts without having any content is like fishing without a fishing pole.  You went to the lake and expected the fish to jump out of the water and into your hands, but that isn’t the way it works.  You need a pole, some bait, and you need to be in the right time and the right place.  Sometimes that means waiting with your line in the water for a long time, but if you take it out, you will never catch anything.

However, there is a difference between posting something meaningful and something pointless.  If you are only using your Facebook account to say “Check out our new Product!”, you probably won’t get many followers.  The reason is that what you are saying is boring.  I don’t mean that as an offense, but rather to remind you of what Facebook was created for.  It is for sharing stories and interesting tidbits.  It is for making you laugh, cry, or angry because of what someone else said.  It is supposed to spark emotions in the reader, and that just isn’t going to happen with words like “Check out our new Product!”

Where is the laughter?  Where are the tears?

You have to approach social media marketing the way that we have been approaching traditional marketing for the last century.  Make it interesting.  Make it memorable.  People will remember it better and come back to you more often.  Lure them in with stories of other customers.  Show them interesting pictures or funny videos of someone who has used your product or service.  Once you have baited them, reel them in.  And once you have caught them, turn their experience into the stories you use to lure in the next customers, thus creating and completing the social media marketing cycle.

This is how you use social media and be meaningful about what you post, while driving customers to you.  Hey, if you are still reading, then it obviously works, doesn’t it?

postheadericon BBB Rankings

We’ve all seen the logo of the Better Business Bureau on some of our favorite sites.  They are the ones who will rate a compnay based on how well their service is and how they treat their customers.  Suffice it to say that some of the best companies we know are ranked highly by the BBB, and it shows on their website.

Some of ActiveNation’s clients, including Virginia Green Lawn Care and Party Perfect, have been ranked with an A+ ranking and are therefore entitled and encouraged to place the self-updating logo from the BBB on their website.  This logo serves a multi-faceted purpose in terms of website marketing, and it is important to look at the various values of using it.

From a purely customer-friendly point of view, the BBB is a well known and respected organization and their ranking system is trusted by many.  Just seeing that a business has an A+ ranking is a good enough reason for many potential clients to give that company a call.

However, it also serves an SEO purpose, in that by listing your website with the BBB creates an inward link to your website while the logo on your webpage will actually link to your company’s profile on the BBB’s own website.  That means that when someone goes through the BBB, they find you.  When they go through a search engine, they find you.  When they click the BBB link on your webpage, they find you again.

There are a variety of organizations that are similar to the BBB, but this goes to show the benefits of being a member of any one of them.

postheadericon Get Your Website Buzzin’

Businesses are constantly trying to figure out the best ways to generate traffic to their website. With so many different outlets and resources offered out there, there’s no doubt you can attract visitors to your site, but which factors are consistent and the most effective? Social Media is a great resource when it comes to targeting different demographics that fit your ideal consumer profile. You can narrow anyone down based on age, sex, gender, location of residence, etc. so that you know who will benefit from your services more as opposed to others who wouldn’t care. This is also a great outlet to share information about your company, advertise and promote your site, and even offer incentives, specials, etc. to your fans.  Social media is the latest craze right now and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon, so jump on the bandwagon and give it a try! Don’t be afraid to engage with your friends/fans either. Consumers and potential patrons want to know that you care and want to know that they have voice within your brand. A creative website name and creative content will surely earn you high marks when it comes to your visitor and gaining their interest. You want to be able to capture consumer attention from the beginning and convince them that your brand is like no other; in fact it’s better than the others. I like to call it “sweet talk”, tell your consumers not only what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Be honest but also a little entertainment can go a long way too. You also want to make sure you stick in their memory so the next time they want to go back to your site; they can remember your name. If you’re not sure exactly how to draw people to your site, or which sources would be beneficial for your niche business the best thing you can do is hire an expert. As skilled professionals, they can offer you more insight to who you should target and how to generate traffic to your site based on your key demographic. Not only that, but experts like Active Nation can manage your social media pages for you, update your blogs and analyze your website statistics to predict and monitor visitor behavioral trends. This will help you to know what works for your company and what doesn’t. Frankly, I would advise you to at least consult with an internet marketing expert either way so that you can weigh all of your options and know the best approach for your company to garner web traffic. You want to not only just attract new users to your site, but you also want to keep them coming back. Research all of the possible resources out there and make it work!

postheadericon Teens and Their Parents Determine Buying Trends

Targeting your audience can be challenging depending on your ideal consumer profile, but when it comes to determining teens and tween customers and their buying habits, naturally it’s not as complex as you would think. Teen buyers usually are pretty solid when it comes to knowing what products they want. Considering teens and tweens are pretty tech savvy, the internet naturally would be a great resource for them to make their purchases. But what exactly influences a teen to purchase a product or persuade their parents to make the purchase for them?

Usually teenagers are pretty set on what they want so they may not need to research so much into their favorite product since they’re pretty keen on the newest and hottest trends, especially with electronics. But what resources influence teens to attain information about their favorite products and to make their purchases? According to an eMarketer report, “two in five teens said online reviews influenced their computer product preferences, and 37% cited product websites”. So it seems as though teens pay attention to their web sources like online customer reviews, product websites, and online ads. In fact according to the “TeenFluence Survey” conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of, ads were the second most common element that helped users to make their decision about a product or service.

A study by Mintel also found that the influence of online content becomes more important as kids enter their teenage years, you can also call this demographic the “tween” generation. “At the upper end of the age range, kids 9-11 are more likely to turn to more diverse resources for information, including online ads and social networking sites, while the younger kids, aged 6-8, have a stronger reliance on parents”. Not to mention word of mouth is definitely popular among this age group as kids like to “show and tell” their favorite products they possess or want to purchase. Teens usually know more about popular products and electronics than their parents do so usually the teen would influence the parent to make the purchase and the parent then researches the item through the web through customer reviews, website content, word of mouth and online advertisements also. And since tweens and teens may not have the income to make their purchases, it’s ultimately up to the parents to make the purchase.

It’s safe to say that the internet plays a major role when it comes to purchasing products, not just with adult users but more so with the newest generation of tech savvy teens and tweens. Would you agree with the report and their results?

postheadericon Keep This in Mind When Designing Your Site

When designing a memorable website there are many elements you should consider. Appearance, Navigation, Content, and overall site performance are significant components in the building process of your company website. You should consider what exactly it is you want your consumers and site visitors to take away from your site so that you know what to tell your web designer beforehand. I guess you can call it your blueprint. This will make the design process a little less complicated.

Making sure your website is user friendly is the first step in the process of designing your site. You want to make sure your website is easy to navigate by not allowing your site to be cluttered with graphics that will reduce allotted speed time. You also want to make sure that whatever content that comprises your site isn’t overbearing and is of quality. Let’s get real, a lot of visitors don’t read each and every word on a website, they skim and scan, so it’s good to not overwhelm web users with too many words and to make sure the words you do use are intriguing enough to keep them focused on your brand and no one else’s.

By having an attractive website, users will instantly receive gratification and confidence in the company they are viewing. It’s easy to become awed by an attractive website and ultimately makes you want to know more about the company and who these fabulous people are behind the meticulous design of their site. Using creative and large images are eye openers alone. Experiment with different color schemes and make sure everything looks neat and organized. If the company is honest about its design and appeal then they must be honest about their products and services, right?

Users don’t want to have pop up pages for each category of every section from a scroll bar of groups. Does that make sense? Of course not. When you visit a site, you want to be able to navigate to and through different areas of the website’s information departments without worrying about a bunch of different windows that take up your whole tab bar or multiple browsers. This can be an instant discouragement, and you don’t want that.

These are just some brief and simple components to take into consideration whether you’re designing your very own website. Either way, it’s significant to brainstorm your ideal website before putting it into action. After all, this site will represent your company and what you stand for. May as well think it through carefully and make sure your visitors are satisfied enough to visit again, and again…and again. Maybe they’ll even want to become a loyal customer. Now there’s a thought.

postheadericon Internet Marketing Shouldn’t Be Boring, Right?

When you think of internet marketing or any type of marketing you automatically think of the words tedious and boring, right? Well who says marketing should be boring? I mean the tedious aspect is pretty inevitable but that doesn’t mean it should be so blah. In fact I think the internet is what has made marketing, in general, fun especially in this new era of the digital world that is being lead by the success of social media and networking. Let’s not forget the realization that there are multiple companies out there selling the same products and are after the same objectives. You want consumers to be able to differentiate your brand from your competitors because honestly competition has become steeper thanks to the budget friendly and convenient opportunities provided by viral marketing. So how can we make internet marketing hip with these viral tools we’ve been introduced to in this generation? Well there are a few tweaks to your marketing campaign that can make it a little more appetizing to the eyes of your consumers and may spark an interest in your business rather than your competitors’.

The top reasons users venture the World Wide Web is to research, shop, network, sell products, and of course entertainment.  We all know that social media is the biggest player in the marketing game but it’s not as effective if you don’t utilize it to your benefit and the right way. When I say the right way I mean in a way that will keep your fans, potential consumers and loyal customers intrigued. We always stress quality content anytime social media is mentioned but it is pretty essential if you expect a successful online campaign.

Fun and exciting updates that will benefit your consumers and entertain them is key. After all anyone can broadcast information about their products, including your competition, so that’s why it’s significant to do it in a way that will not only provide your fans with information but will also connect to them and will also relate to them on even a personal level. By producing creative brand advertisements that pertain a message regarding something serious or entertaining that your customers can relate to is a sure win. Universal issues like economic status and natural disasters that effect masses of people show that you aren’t just trying to sell them something but that you are genuine about your message. Incorporating humor or attractive visuals are what also make ads fun and entertaining. By incorporating pictures, graphs, diagrams and videos, you’ll grab the attention of your visual learners and give them something to look forward to, other than words on a page. This works especially when it comes to blogging considering you’re not limited to a certain amount of characters like Facebook and Twitter.

Another way to make content building creative and fun is with Voice Recognition Software. Sometimes you may find yourself with writers block and staring at your blank document without an idea as to how you will get the right words on the page. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about something than it is to write it. With Voice Recognition Software you can record your ideas by simply talking about them, it’s a conversational tone which can be more effective when it comes to connecting with your audience. Not to mention it’s a much faster way to spew out content for your post. An hour or two of blog posting can be condensed down to 20 minutes just like that!

You can also try video blogging, also known as vlogging. This gives your viewers a sense of security when they can put a face to the brand; it also reaches them on a personal level and can be fun for whoever is doing the vlogging since you’re connecting with your audience. Who doesn’t like to not just talk but show their excitement about new products and specials while convincing users to come to trust your brand over the others.  Personally, when a sales rep or anyone who is trying to sell me something is exemplifies their enthusiasm about the product through their voice and expressions it becomes contagious and more than likely will generate a sales lead.

YouTube is a prime example of vlogging and how impactful it can become. You can post videos to your company blogs and of course generate interaction from your fans. Having a great voice and knowing how to present information on video blogs is also something to keep in mind, because again you want to keep your visitors interested in your business just like with any other platform so you will need someone who is passionate and isn’t shy in order to get the message across creatively and adequately.

Providing an outlet for customer feedback is a great way to interact with your customers and make it fun for both parties.  When consumers feel like they have a voice on a certain platform that is relevant to their lifestyle they will definitely use it.  This will also give your audience something to look forward to and can be fulfilling for you, especially if you’re actually interacting with them through forums and discussion boards. Mobile marketing is becoming more and more popular as carriers are making it easier to conduct it. Before you know it you will be able to see ads throughout various features and apps on mobile devices, which is pretty cool. You will grab the attention of the recipient no matter where they are and it’s convenient for them to take advantage of your offer whether they initially needed it or if it’s because you reminded them [wink].  It’s like advertising on the go. This is probably more fun for the advertisers and more convenient for the consumers if anything.

Internet marketing and marketing overall doesn’t have to be such a “snore-fest” as long as you are taking the right approach to these new digital tools that we’ve been seeing everywhere. If there’s only one thing you remember, it’s creative content building. You can never go wrong by producing quality content that is both entertaining and informative. Research your platform options and what is relevant to what your brand stands for and that’s a good recipe for a successful internet marketing campaign.

postheadericon How’s Your Image?

Let’s face it, you’re probably not the only company out there selling the same product or service and it can get pretty confusing for consumers to know which brand to run with, which is why it’s important to make the decision for them by maintaining a positive social image. Naturally when consumers are searching for a product, they want to go to the best company for the best in quality. Consumers look at which brand is the best based on a number of things but above all they will want to go to a familiar name that they feel they can trust. So the question is: Does your brand have a positive online reputation?

You may want to know why it is so important to have a positive online presence in the first place or even an online presence at all. Well, the internet is where it’s at right now, for everything. More and more businesses are jumping on the internet marketing bandwagon which creates heavier competition. You want to make sure your company is what’s in and up to date on the newest marketing technologies for your benefit. When you stamp your brand in the online marketing world you can expect higher performance, generate an increase in sales leads and even establish higher rankings within the search engines. You want to be accessible to your target consumers in any way possible so that they don’t miss out. Realistically, while traditional marketing is still effective, internet marketing has taken the lead role considering its cost friendly, convenient for both companies and consumers to interact and it’s not as time consuming when it comes to reaching a mass group. All you have to do is click a button and you can send out emails, share corporate updates for your customers, and send out special offers without the hassle of printing and delivering.

The foundation or the premise of attaining a positive online social image would be having a quality website. You should look at your corporate website as a formal introduction where your visitors can learn as much as possible about what your company offers and you want to make sure they visit again, refer you, and/or transition from a visitor to a sales lead.  Content management, performance, and appearance are important factors when a user visits a site. You should make sure your site’s appearance is clean and not cluttered with too many graphics which can cause slow loading time. Watch your content to ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors. Make sure your site’s content is creative and informative at the same time. We know reading can be boring for some so it’s definitely a plus to engage your audience with content that they can relate to and that is entertaining.

The same concept goes with social media content. Is your company socially responsible? Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, and others alike are great outlets to provide entertaining and effective information to mass groups and target audiences. Joining sites like this alone already gain you cool points considering social networking sites are all the rave and has formally introduced us to this new generation of marketing. vlogsPlatforms like these allow a company to be as accessible as necessary to inquiring patrons and provide a home for loyal customers to visit whenever they need your services again. Content management again is significant so it’s wise to provide creativity and influence with your words. Even with video blogs, or vlogs, it’s important to have an outgoing personality and the proper knowledge to get the message across to viewers. When you incorporate social media platforms onto your website like vlogs, Facebook and Twitter plugins as well as links to your company blog, visitors will feel like a kid in a candy store almost.

By participating in forums and discussions with your consumers this will leave a positive influence. When people know that they can interact with staff members, support, or even company heads they will put more trust into your brand considering they feel like they have a voice with your business and it’s valued. I mean after all when you’re a consumer you want to feel like you’re in the best hands with whatever company you choose, right? What better way to feel secure than knowing that you can always ask a question and get a response from a representative or post a review on a company’s site.

All in all you want consumers to come to your company before going to your competition for their needs and you want to build a trusting relationship with them so that they will come back again and share their positive experience with others. By maintaining a positive online presence you can expect a boost in your brand’s overall reputation while acquiring an increase in sales and business performance. Considering all of the benefits of online marketing, how can you not take advantage of the resources? You are in control of what you share so make sure it’s worthwhile, efficacious, and entertaining. Otherwise why do it if you won’t do it right? Another plus is that you can always hire an internet marketing company to handle it for you to make sure what you share virally will only guarantee a positive image.  So I guess the real question at this point is: Why not?