4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse
There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.
America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts. There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well. Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.
Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.
The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it. Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000. Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.
Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution. Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone. All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.
Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.
Concentrating on Content:
There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more. Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER! What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.
The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.
If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.
NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.
At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while. Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up. The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.
Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.
Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:
- Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
- Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
- Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
- Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.
The takeaway about content:
There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will. It’s very simple.
Focusing on Mobile
Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.
At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.
With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.
The takeaway about mobile:
It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.
#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.
I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.
I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked. I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.
One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.
I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.
The takeaway about analytics:
You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.
Increasing Your Google+ Usage
There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be. I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.
Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut! The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.
Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results. This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.
The takeaway about Google+
If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.
Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.
Posted in Marketing
Tags: #DigitalApocalypse, Anise Smith, Blogging, Business, content, content is king, Content marketing, Digital marketing, Facebook, Google+, Hummingbird, Internet Marketing, iTunes, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Mobile website, Music industry, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Spamdexing, Technology
10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014
2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year. We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.
When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article. I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.
Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it. It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.
Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life. More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.
We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both. Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.
If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either. In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.
Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path. The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.
A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer. It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with. So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.
If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path. It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.
I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see. More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes. This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.
There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:
1. Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form. If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats. Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.
2. Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels. So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.
3. Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.
I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline. This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!
Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST. Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.
Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here. After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.
- Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
- Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
- If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
- Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
- Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
- Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.
Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.
4. Twitter: This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand. So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:
- Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
- Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
- Display a presentable image of yourself.
- Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.
The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters. So Twitter is essential!
5. Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome. So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!
*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels. I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.
6. Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.
Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.
Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device. This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!
7. Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly. Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!
So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content. As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers. Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.
The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.
8. LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.
MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.
- Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
- Use an appropriate profile photo.
- Complete your entire profile.
- Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
- Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
- Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
- Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.
Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.
9. YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.
- Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
- Add your video to your website or blog.
- Share your video on your social media channels.
- Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.
10. BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google. You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking. This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!
Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know! As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.
Tags: 71% of people hate their jobs, Anise Smith, blog, Blogging, Brand, Business, careers in 2014, Digital footprint, Digital marketing, Digital marketing in 2014, Facebook, get a job that you love, get a new job in 2014, Google+, hate your job, how to love your job, how to love your job in 2014, how to not hate your job, Internet Marketing, job search when you hate your job, Marketing, Marketing strategy, most people hate their jobs, new job in 2014, New Year, people hate their jobs, Social Media, Social network, start 2014 with a new job, Technology, Twitter, what to do when you hate your job
Social Media, Education and Social Good
I have been working within the marketing industry for quite a while and I’ve witnessed many changes, all of them very exciting. The transition from marketing by way of traditional means, have evolved into a new digital phenomenon that rivals, if not surpasses the Internet boom.
Social Media has allowed us to reach out to many beyond our borders, and this is huge for business but also great for those with an interest in doing good. Social Media has demonstrated that it can be a vehicle to drive social good more than any channel that I’ve seen in the past. This is exciting because it brings together those that want to be a part of social good projects with those that are in need of help. This is win -win for all involved, the creator of the project and the recipient of the project.
As much as I love social media I feel 100 times more passionate about education. So, a short while ago I realized that there was no reason that these two worlds should NOT collide. What better way to make that happen, than by creating a new project that allows me to merge the two things that I love most?
I founded Urban Freshman a short while ago, it is a new organization geared toward providing valuable resources for parents and teens to help prepare them for higher education. I felt compelled to create this resource for a variety of reasons. As a mom to a new high school student I feel as if the American public school system is lacking, education has not moved into the age of technological advancement to the degree that is needed to compete and budget cuts to some inner cities will adversely affect our young people for many years. ALL of these reasons and more, factor into why this resource is needed and why I created Urban Freshman.
The digital world is growing, people are more plugged in than ever and this includes kids and parents. In spite of this our current public school systems are not fully preparing our kids for the future. [Take a quick peak at the slide show below]
I know that I cannot change education on a global level but I can provide the information needed for kids and parents to make informed decisions about higher education by way of Urban Freshman.
Although I called this a social good project and I guess technically it is, but for me I feel like I MUST do this! I feel a need to do something beyond complaining on social media about education and how it needs to improve. Additionally I feel as if every work experience that I’ve had, has led me to do something beyond the 9-5 and to contribute to something that has the capacity to help so many.
In closing, we should all try to use the wonderful and global world of social media to make a difference in some way, because now due to social media, we have an opportunity to make a difference on a unparalleled level. Also, if you know a parent or teen that would benefit from Urban Freshman, please share.
Workplace Bullies: It Doesn’t Stop in The Playground
It seems that bullying is becoming and epidemic in this country and honestly something MUST be done to stop it! Bullying within schools that escalate to social channels are quickly becoming a life threatening issue that should to be addressed. Unfortunately we have become accustomed to hearing about bullying that involves children and teenagers but NOW we are starting to hear about bullying in the work environment.
Today, there was an alleged bullying incident reported involving Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito. This alleged incident caused Offensive Tackle Jonathan Martin to walk away from the professional football position. Imagine how unbearable the bullying had to be for a professional football player to walk away from a position! The money, the prestige and all that goes along with being a football player AND to just say to heck with it, I can’t take it anymore. Imagine the torment that this young man was going through!
This incident is in indication that bullying extends way beyond the classroom and those young bullies grow-up to be adult bullies. This behavior does NOT stop in the schoolyard or classroom it continues right into the workplace. The incident with Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito and the alleged bullying and racial intimidation of 300 lb., Jonathan Martin is an indication that WE have a bullying problem in this country.
Jonathan Martin was able to walk away but so many that are bullied in the workplace are NOT in a position to do so. The bullies at the playgrounds have turned in to the bullies in the workplace that have the power to make or break you as an employee. As a regular working class Joe you have very limited power over the school bully that has grown up and is now responsible for unleashing their terror in the workplace. YOUNG bullies grow up to be ADULT bullies!
Bullies within a traditional workplace usually have higher-level positions and wield the power to affect the livelihood of their victims. So instead of the playground beat down that a kid would get, the workplace bully has the power to destroy a career. This could be one of the reasons that 71% of people hate their jobs!
Bullies NEED to be stopped, on the playground, in the classroom, in social media and in the workplace. It’s time for change!
Posted in Bullying In The Workplace
Tags: Anise Smith, bad managers, bullying, bullying in social media, bullying in the workplace, bullying managers, Business, Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins, Miami Herald, Mike Pouncey, National Football League, Richie Incognito, Social Media, Violence and Abuse, workplace bully
The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation
We have moved full force into a world where marketing has become education based, NOT sales driven as it was in the past and this calls for a different route to be taken with marketing based initiatives.
Content creation is rapidly moving toward being a huge driving force behind what once was traditional advertising, marketing and sales. This changes how we think about marketing in general and will require organizations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. Based on these changes, the ability to create original, thought provoking and shareable content is not optional anymore it is mandatory.
According to Ad Age’s survey, 55% of marketers have increased their content-marketing budgets this year and is expected to do so in 2014 as well. The companies that are forward thinking enough will be a part of this trend, those that are still old school will not and fall that much father behind in creating the digital footprint needed to present themselves as authorities in their field.
At one time there were sales collateral produced by companies that were used to promote that company as an authority in their field. Traditional print pieces, brochures and magazine articles were once used to promote organizations but with so many people living in a plugged in world these channels are no longer as effective as they were during the print era. This is the dilemma, so what’s a company to do?
It’s time for companies to take the shift in consumable media serious and open their eyes and minds to change. People are just not consuming media utilizing the channels such as print as much as in the past. Media or content is consumed on social media channels and blogs by way of tablets and mobile devices. So it is imperatives that business who want to be viewed as authorities start to take content creation very serious. Businesses MUST start creating content AND publishing that content to the channels that people are utilizing!
So let’s take a look at the what, when, why and how of getting started.
This is the easiest question you can address because the WHAT of content creation is promoting WHAT it is your organization does. Every office has one or two people that are informed about EVERYTHING about the company. These are also usually the people that have been with the company since the company started. This person is a valuable source of information to a content creator! They are your brand ambassadors and they have the ability to provide the WHAT of content creation for your content creator.
You should create as much content as you or your company can physically manage and post it as much as possible. If you get a content creator that is on their game they will be able to stretch out a small amount of content into multiple pieces of creative and engaging posts on a blog. This content can then be posted over a period of time. It would be a great idea to create a publishing calendar so that you can have an organized and consistent flow of content moving through your digital channels at all times.
By providing an abundance of content this allows you or your company to become authorities within your industry. If you become an authority in your industry you can increase your exposure, improve Google placement and potentially increase sales. This is just a no-brainer.
At one time the company with the biggest marketing budget was the company that had the most exposure and sales. The same thing applies here except we are dealing with online content, which has essentially replaced a lot of traditional marketing channels as a way to consume media.
There are so many ways to create content and so many types of content that you can create, written, visual, video or a combination of all. The most important thing is to provide a variety of types of content and use analytics/insights to gauge the effectiveness of the content that you are providing. Some say that visual content does best, some say video but every audience is different. This is why using the data from analytics is imperative because it will allow you to see what kind of content your readers like. This allows you to create and share more of the content that is in demand and less of the content that is less than favorable.
To get a better idea of the importance of creating content for your brand, take a look at the infographic below.
As marketing changes so MUST the willingness of companies to keep up with the trends that will keep them ahead of their competitors and content marketing is one of those trends. We no longer have such a high demand for print, brochures but an increasing demand for blogs, newsletters, website articles, white papers, and special reports. Content creators are key to providing this type of content and it is essential that that content be original, engaging and shareable.
So stop reading and get started with creating great content for your brand!
Posted in Content Marketing
Tags: Advertising, Anise Smith, Blogging, Business, content, content creation, Content Curation, content is king, content marketers, Content marketing, Digital marketing, Facebook, google and content, Google+, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, providing great content, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Twitter
Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD
I grew up in an era that was not technology focused; there were no computers, mobile devices, or Internet when I was in high school. My generation did not even grow up with cable. In fact I remember when cable initially hit the scene, when MTV actually played music and the HUGE campaign “I want My MTV” which was used to push MTV to mainstream. Oh, those were the days. A lot has happened with the growth of technology since my high school years. If you have been able to adapt and embrace this super fast growth of technology, that is fantastic. However, if you have not you could be a little screwed now and a lotta’ screwed later. This, is especially the case if you are trying to run a business based on philosophies and an organizational structure from the 1980’s, MTV Era. The biggest mistake in taking that path is that this audience is dead or on life support.
Think about this, we are reaching an age when we have augmented reality and your business cards can talk. We are moving toward the Semantic Web, closer to an era when ALL of the computers mechanisms in our devices will be able to communicate with each other. Do you seriously THINK that people are in touch with old school methods? NO one is looking backward, or I should say consumers aren’t looking backward. This means that your organization is being left behind, if you are not forward thinking.
Companies that have not embraced our new social oriented culture and the growing mobile market, are whistling in the wind. Those companies are targeting a dwindling population. Just visualize it as a numbers game. Think about the target markets that are NOT online and those that are NOT mobile, this number is growing smaller and smaller as more people embrace the digital marketing space. So companies should NOT be gearing their primary marketing campaigns toward a demographic that is shrinking. It’s really common sense. Companies should be looking to always GROW their audience NOT focus on the shrinking audiences.
In essence, in choosing NOT to adapt to newer technologies companies are choosing to throw in the towel on their businesses whether they realize it or not. Companies MUST go where their audiences are, that’s the only way in which they will continue to grow. In fact Seth Godin wrote a post “What do you think of my brochure? ” 7 YEARS ago, about the total reliance on brochures as a way to reach an audience. That piece was applicable in 2006 and is even more so now.
The Internet is the 2nd most widely utilized channel for news. If people go to the Internet and social media channels for something as valuable and important as news, they will also go there for other information as well. So, every business SHOULD make it a priority to have a strong social media and mobile presence. The old saying, “If we build it, they will come.” definitely applies to a strong digital footprint. On the other hand, if we build it and it’s geared toward a dwindling demographic, they may NOT come. As business owners we should be interested in substantially shifting those odds in our favor by going where our customers are.
Ultimately if companies are not tapping a new more social and mobile oriented market with content geared for this demographic, they are taping a dead audience. Take a look at the video below to see exactly HOW much social and mobile is ingrained in who we are, as a culture now.
People are on the go, we now live in a super fast paced world, and people are looking for content that they can access easily and quickly on their mobile device. They DO not want to read a companies long-winded prepackaged full-page ad in whatever magazine that’s lying about in an office or waiting room. They want quick access by way of mobile while they are on the go. So as business owners we must be willing to supply them with this information or they will go to competitors that will.
The take away, while your organization is spewing their prepackaged printed message, other more innovative companies are going where their audiences are and moving past that 1980’s strategy. The time to step it up was a few years ago and companies that have not done so may be living a “STUFF” got real nightmare if they select to continue on this path.
I am not saying that companies should roll over and die, I am trying to subtly nudge those living in a time warp to adapt or die.
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Digital marketing, Facebook, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Mobile website, MTV, Search Engine Optimization, Semantic Web, Seth Godin, Social Media, Target audience, Web 2.0
Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business
When the Internet initially started to become mainstream in the 90’s there were so many companies that felt as if the, then called World Wide Web, was a fad and that it would go away. Hmmm, “how’d that thought process work for ya?” Not so well for those that were reluctant in embracing the World Wide Web, now called the Internet.
I cannot fathom why many many years later there are still people in the world that have selected NOT to embrace technology as a part of their lives. I do have a little bit of tolerance for those that are not into it on a personal level but businesses that STILL have not fully embraced technology are doing themselves a disservice.
In 1995 it was perfectly fine to consider getting a website and waffle in the process of getting that done. Fast-forward eighteen years, YES eighteen year, and organizations are STILL waffling and more behind than ever. We have moved so much beyond just having a website not that it is mind altering. We have also moved to an era where waffling could allow your competitors to get such a big jump on your organization that you would forever be behind the eight ball.
Due to the super quick growth of the tablet and mobile industry we do not have the luxury of waffling on decisions to go full force into the new and aggressive digital marketing space. In fact, if you have a brick and mortar business, you can really no longer even view your organization as a traditional business. YOU must start to see your business as an Internet business. EVERY BUSINESS IS AN INTERNET BUSINESS now.
There is literally no such thing as traditional business anymore, ANY and ALL businesses must be online; therefore, considered Internet businesses. With so many people accessing company websites with mobile devices it’s not even enough to have a traditional website. YOU must be mobile.
It amazes me that there are so many organizations that have not grasped the importance of an online presence. It’s been eighteen years or more since the Internet became mainstream, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Actually the Internet is fast becoming the most effective way to market any business.
Traditional ways of consuming media is a thing of the past, very few people read newspapers, magazine, flyers, brochures and pamphlets as a primary source of information as was once the case. If someone finds your traditional media somewhere, they search for a website or social media channel to find out more about your company using their mobile device.
So companies that are still utilizing these traditional media outlets for the majority of their business are placing themselves behind the eight ball and additionally presenting themselves to their clients as a company that is NOT on their game.
Companies must create a strong Digital Footprint for their brand and use traditional marketing as a means to DRIVE traffic to their online brand, not the other way around. Traditional media as a primary source of gaining information is DEAD, like the steel mills in Allentown. I’m not saying that all companies should stop using traditional media, but I am saying that you must go where your customer base is and that’s online and by way of mobile device. Simply, people are using mobile devices to access information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors so that’s where you must go. People are on social media channels accessing information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors, so that’s where your organization must go.
As we decide to lead our organizations into this digital journey of social media and mobile we must realize that we can not just adapt our old “shove the company pitch in their faces” way of marketing. That does NOT work with social media and no one using a mobile device will want to scroll through an old school organizations long winded pitch about what they do, what they sell, blah blah blah, on their mobile device.
A few keys to reaching your social and mobile audiences are:
- Mobile Website: YOU must first have a mobile website. This is not even optional anymore. With the rate of people consuming media on the go if you opt out of having a mobile web presence you are turning your back on a huge amount of customers and YOUR competitors will be right there to grab them from you.
- Social Media: You must have a strong social media presence AND a strategy that is socially driven. Posting your sales pitch on your channels ONLY displays that you have not fully grasped what our new social oriented world is about. Old school marketing strategy consisted of sharing prepackaged content saying all the right things to push your message without regard for the customer. Social Media is about sharing social oriented content that appeals to YOUR READER. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services. I’ll say that again. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services.
People are on mobile devices AND on social media with their mobile devices so it is imperative that ALL organizations have a presence on both. Take a look below in the statistic on mobile usage.
As of May 2013:
- 91% of American Adults have a cell phone
- 56% of American Adults have a smart phone
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts and calls EVEN if the phone is not ringing or vibrating.
- 44% of people sleep with their phone next to their bed.
As of April 2012:
- 55% of adult cell phone users use the Internet on their mobile, which has doubled in three years.
- 31% of cell phone Internet users mostly use their mobile device for Internet, not desktops or laptops.
- 17% of ALL adults cell phone owners use their cell ONLY for accessing the Internet.
- 31% of cell phone uses look for health or medical information online.
- 68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet.
With desktop computer usage on the decline, laptop usage rising and mobile usage growing at a super quick rate of speed businesses, MUST start to see their businesses as Internet businesses. They can no longer AFFORD to ignore having a strong presence in the SOCIAL and MOBILE space.
It’s time to ADAPT your ORGANIZATIONAL strategies to the new the new mobile and social world NOT keep your same old school strategies and add digital as an afterthought. It’s a new world squirrel Adapt or die.
Pew Internet http://pewinternet.org/
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Company, digital marketing with mobile, Facebook, get a mobile website for your business, Internet Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, mobile in 20 minutes, mobile taking over, mobile web and your business, mobile web for business, mobile website templates, mobile websites cheap, mobile websites run on wordpress, Social Media, Twitter, websites not enough you must be mobile, why you must be mobile, why you need a mobile website. mobile web and social for business, World Wide Web
I was a HUGE fan of Google Plus from its initial introduction and I was one of the many people within my social circle that jumped on board immediately. We were all a part of the original beta testers and were immediately impressed with this platform. In the earlier stages of Google plus, there were many that were of the “either or” mentality about social media, either they leave Facebook or try Google Plus. Even with so many doubting the importance of Google plus, there were many within my social circles that knew that Google was on to something. Many, like myself are still of that mindset.
I had a discussion over a year ago, with a recreational Facebook user that argued how irrelevant Google Plus was and how it would remain so because HE felt as if Facebook would always rule. As a recreational social media user that shared pictures on Facebook two or three times and would log on every 3 months or so, how could he recognize the importance of a platform beyond his own minimal recreational use. I won’t even go into why anyone NOT living under a rock in Narnia with centaurs would ever minimize a Google platform. With the exception of a few platforms, Google has been known to turn dust into gold.
Although I have always been excited about the possibilities of Google Plus I never thought of it as a platform for casual users. I always thought of Google plus and its extraordinary capabilities for business owners and digital marketers. Honestly I never pictured a person like Mr. Recreational user pounding away and connecting on Google plus. However I did think of digital marketers like myself and other likeminded marketers in my social circles utilizing this as a huge platform to boost their exposure and their clients’ exposure in ways that we have never seen before, even with Facebook.
I am not comparing it to Facebook beyond placing in into the category of Social Media platform. I’m not minimizing Facebook in anyway, because who could ever minimize a platform that really was a pioneer in the sharing and oversharing world that we live in today. Facebook literally changed HOW we communicate, how much we communicate and even extended into the workplace changing the marketing and advertising fabric of practically EVERY organization in business. Facebook could NEVER be minimized because they really changed the world and our views of communication and sharing information.
Although Facebook boasts over one billion active users Google plus has the power of the biggest search engine in the world behind it, Google. This is what separates Google plus, as a social media platform, from Facebook. Google is so darn huge that we don’t even use the phrase search engine anymore. I don’t search, I FREAKIN’ Google. I haven’t searched something since back in the 90’s when those now obscure search engines like; Looksmart, Infoseek and AskJeeves were around. WE ALL FREAKIN’ GOOGLE NOW, we DO NOT search.
Google in all of it’s greatness has been “on to something” since the introduction of Google Plus and they have, in their own Google Greatness kind of way molded this platform into a platform that shouldn’t be ignored. There have been many subtle changes to Google and Google plus since they pushed the social search platform out to the masses.
Initially Google plus wasn’t much to look at with its small narrow banner and boring look, but the layout has been tweaked a few times to create a much better-looking page. The last few tweaks consisted of the banner change and a full layout change.
There were outward changes to the Google plus platform but most of the changes were behind the scenes with Google and very gradual. These are the changes that will benefit businesses most.
- The integration of all Google Services
- Uniform sign on
- Personalized search results
- Google places merging into Google Local
- Blogger ability to be shared easily on Google+ Pages
- Blogger becoming a much more relevant blogging platform
- Google+ and team up with Zagat
- Finally, the push toward social search
In essence there has almost been a full integration of all Google Services with Google Plus at most and at the very least these services greatly compliment Google plus. Any way you look at it, the integration of these services with Google plus creates an avenue in which shared information meets search. SOCIAL SEARCH.
Social Search is something that Wajam tried but never was able to move forward as successfully as Google will. Also Facebook tried to play the social search game with Bing. We all know how that worked out. Besides there really cool TV commercials, no one really gives a poop about Bing because they are really kinda’ sorta’ irrelevant in the search game. Or I should say in the Google Domination Game.
Google plus is the platform, now that it is merging all of the Google services, will be a pioneer and will dominate Social Search. An avenue where social results will play a role in search results. Oh wait, that’s happening now.
Take a look at the graphic below of an image that I posted to Google plus that displayed in Google search results, for a company that I represent in the digital marketing space.
THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus and THIS is why you are seriously cheating yourself if you do not have your company page on Google Plus.
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Digital Marketing will be used to some degree for practically every marketing campaign moving forward. Whether we go with a campaign that includes video, slides or social media channels, digital marketing now is a huge aspect of marketing now. One of the most important things we can do when deciding which digital marketing channel that we utilize is deciding which platform(s) may target our audience best. This is becoming increasingly more important with so many digital marketing channels available now.
If we want to be successful in our Digital Market campaigns it is very important to stay abreast of all of the channels but also to be aware that all channels do not fit the needs of all audiences. For instance Pinterest is primary geared toward a female demographic so if we are marketing services that are geared mostly toward men, this may not be the ideal platform to use.
Take a look at the Infographic below to give you an idea of HOW to target the proper digital marketing channel for your target audience.
Please Include Attribution to InternetServiceProviders.org With This Graphic