Saturday, 25 August 2012

Exposing Your Content Online

Possibly the most difficult part of any content marketing campaign actually comes after the creation of valuable, interesting content. Promoting content and getting it seen, heard and read by potential clients and customers is at least as challenging as creating it in the first place!
Unfortunately, it is a vital part of content marketing as, without it, a company’s blogs, podcasts, white papers and whatever else has been created are effectively useless. Here we take a look at a few ways of exposing content online.


1. Create quality content

If your content is dull, out of date or incorrect people aren’t going to respond well to it, let alone share it with their peers. Creating interesting, useful and up to date content is absolutely paramount in any content marketing campaign.

2. Develop relationships with other companies and bloggers

By finding prolific bloggers, businesses and internet marketing companies out to spread their own message, you can seek to establish relationships that benefit both parties.

 Start the ball rolling by sharing their content and linking to their site from your own blogs. Once they notice your presence, they’ll begin to appreciate your efforts and may even start sharing links to your content. If this occurs, get in touch with the company or blogger and come to an informal arrangement whereby you each promote one another’s blog/brand/product/service.

3. Join Online Forum Communities

By creating a company profile on several relevant forum sites, you could soon be providing expert, industry specific advice to thousands of users.

Instead of always plugging your own company, add a simple tag line to your posts which includes a brief description of what the company does and a link to your homepage. Every time you post useful answers or piece of advice you not only impress anyone who comes across it, you also gently guide them towards your homepage.

4. Persuade People To Share Your Content

This doesn’t have to be as cringe as emailing various website owners to beg for their help in promoting your brand. By persuading users to ‘Like’ your videos, re-tweet your messages or subscribe to your mailing lists you can quickly increase the amount exposure your content receives.

A simple example would be ‘A chance to win £20 of iTunes vouchers by liking this status’, although the more inventive and creative the better. As clich├ęd as it sounds, being unique and thinking outside the box is what will separate your company from the rest.

Otherwise, enlisting the services of an internet marketing company may also be a viable option. These companies have the resources to share content with large, often specifically targeted networks.

5. Promote Across Multiple Channels

Finally, and possible most importantly, you should always promote your content across as many channels as possible. Simply relying on Facebook or Twitter is only going to limit your exposure, so utilise as many social networking sites, email subscription lists and blog posting sites as possible.

Your imagination is really the only limiting factor in this case and the more ways you can think of sharing your content with the world, the better.

Content Marketing For Small Businesses

The benefit of content marketing for any business is well documented. Customers receive useful and valuable content absolutely free and in return, become loyal champions of the company, returning with their business time and time again.
For large companies this is straightforward; entire sections of a marketing team can be dedicated towards providing useful content on a day by day basis. For smaller companies this can be much more difficult, especially with constraints on man power, resources and time.
This article, however, takes a look at some techniques and methods small companies can use to kick off their own content marketing campaigns.


Blogging
Blogging is one of the most popular and effective methods of content marketing. Through the use of social media and blogging sites, a small business can release short blogs daily and quickly build up an online community of readers.
A blog should share things like success stories, industry breakthroughs and interesting news developments in the company’s industry. It should not contain direct attempts to sell products or services, however, as these will quickly drive away readers.
Podcasts
Podcasts are essentially mini-radio shows that typically last between 10 and 30 minutes. They should be useful, informative and interesting so, like a blog, should not attempt to sell products or services.
Instead a podcast should be used to keep customers and clients up to date with industry happenings, breakthroughs in science and suchlike. The more creative podcasts will quickly build up an online following.
White Papers
An old school form of content marketing, a white paper is a document put to together to detail a company’s research or scientific breakthroughs. Typically between 5 and 10 pages long, a white paper can promote a company’s brand and reputation within an industry; particularly to other businesses.
A white paper could analyse a recent industry trend or event, predict areas for future growth in a specific industry or comment on new, industry relevant legislation. Usually, smaller companies should focus on a specific industry niche rather then head for groundbreaking, industry wide research.
Outsourcing
A viable option for many small companies is for outsourced marketing to marketing companies. By entering into a contract with such a company, a small business can access all the benefits of content marketing without having to take on more staff.
In addition, internet marketing companies employ consultants with marketing knowledge and expertise beyond that of most staff at a small business. They also keep up to date with the very latest techniques and methods.
At the end of the day, there are certainly several content marketing techniques that a small business can employ to boost their online reputation. By enlisting the help of an internet marketing company, this reputation could be dramatically increased, without the need to expand or take on more staff.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

How Quickly Can You Get My Website Onto Page One Of Google?

It’s possibly the most frequently asked question of every internet marketing company.
Hardly surprising really when you consider how valuable a spot on Google Page One can be for the vast majority of businesses.

For those who achieve success in reaching this seeming illusive territory the rewards can be enormous.

It’s important to realise that optimising your website for the search engines is not a quick fix, but rather a medium to long-term objective. That said, dependent on the competitiveness of the keywords and phrases you want to rank highly for, you could begin to see notable results as early as 6-8 weeks’ time.



Do not be tempted by any internet marketing company which promises you overnight success or instant results. Unless these people possess some kind of magic powers the rest of us mortals don’t have, then their processes will be at best dubious and like many before you, you will almost certainly find your website plummets in the rankings suddenly, or even disappears altogether, along with the so-called internet marketing company hopefully!

Another trick of the unscrupulous agencies is that they will promise you will achieve Google Page One status for a keyword or key phrase, which turns out to be irrelevant. Let’s say your widget manufacturing company is called ABC Widgets London.

Now do you think you’d be impressed by an agency that claimed they could get “ABC Widgets London” onto that exclusive first page?

Well I sincerely hope not:

1. Because there is no competition for that particular phrase
                and
2. 99% of people searching for your type of business won’t be aware you exist, that’s why they are searching, so the likelihood of someone actually typing your company name into the search box is pretty slim.

What you need is to rank highly for those terms your customers will actually use to find you. In the case of our example you would be aiming to attract rankings for search terms like: “widget manufacturing”, “widget manufacturers”, “widget production”, and the like.

This is where the knowledge and skills of your internet marketing advisor will come to the fore. The aim of every competent internet marketing company will be to get its clients’ websites to the top of the rankings . . . and to keep them firmly fixed there.

Clearly, in the world of internet marketing, you cannot do much better than to rank top of the pile every time someone searches for what your business offers.

Kickstart Your Business Growth With Expert Marketing Assistance

Have you recently launched a new business or are you about to launch? No matter how confident you are in your product or service, getting your new business out into the world can be a daunting prospect.

According to an article by the National Business Association, marketing is cited as the major reason 64 per cent of new businesses fail. It doesn’t necessarily follow that these companies that went under did not spend any money on marketing, but rather in some cases that the marketing they did was inconsistent or ineffective.

For some inexplicable reason, some business owners view marketing as a ‘bolt on’ activity – a ‘nice to have’ – when the stark reality is that marketing is a ‘must have’ for every single business that wants to survive in these ultra-competitive times we live in.

So should you use marketing companies to take on your marketing for you, or should you take the DIY route?


For any new business, having a marketing expert on board from the start can be a great way to kickstart your company’s growth. The main advantage here is that those marketing companies which are experienced in your trade or industry will have accumulated a wealth of knowledge which can readily be put into practice. Not only will this save you a huge chunk of time over the coming days and weeks, but you will not be wasting your efforts going down blind alleys in trying out marketing activities which may not bear fruit.

As there are now many hundreds of marketing companies online which you may choose to employ, it’s well worth checking out their websites as the first port of call (particularly the sections on achievements and testimonials) to see who might be a good fit for you.

Something you might want to consider: is your preferred marketing company on the first page of Google for all the main ‘marketing’ keywords and phrases? If not, can you reasonably expect they will be able to achieve this for your business?

Once you’ve narrowed it down (anything from 3-6 potential ‘partners’), then why not call up your shortlist of marketing companies and ask them what they can do to kickstart your new business?
One final thing to bear in mind: don’t sign up with anyone who won’t let you have a trial period or who tries to tie you into a long contract. Any marketing professional worth his or her salt should be confident enough in their abilities not to have to resort to these sorts of underhand tactics.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Why AdWords For Mobile Phones Could Make Perfect Business Sense For You

If you run a service-based business setting up a Google AdWords campaign specifically for mobile phone users could be of considerable benefit to you.

You see, more people than ever before are using their mobile phones to carry out ‘service provider’ searches. And that’s across a wide range of industries not just the most obvious. Therefore it makes sense to consider tapping into this particularly lucrative marketing channel before your competitors do.

As well as having less competition (fewer advertisers), mobile advertising clicks generally cost less than traditional PC AdWords campaigns too which is good news for the budget-conscious business owner or entrepreneur.


As you would imagine mobile ads work particularly well for emergency call out type services such as plumbers, electricians and locksmiths. Perhaps a little more surprisingly, they are also proven to get great results for services like web design, jazz band hire and administrative and payroll firms too – services which would traditionally have been located online via a PC – or at one time – Yellow Pages.
Once you’ve registered your Google account it’s easy to set up your mobile advertising campaign in AdWords. Just go to the ‘Settings’ tab and under the ‘Devices’ column click on the word ‘All’. Now select ‘Let Me Choose’ and select ‘Mobile Devices With Full Browsers’. This will mean that your ad(s) will run on mobiles only, not iPads or PCs. Click save to confirm your selection.

To add your chosen contact number click on the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab, then ‘New Extension’ and type in the telephone number you want your customers to use. And that’s it.

It’s helpful to incorporate a tracking device so you can keep an eye on your ROI and the overall success of your mobile advertising campaign.

As well as placing ads onto the mobile network, here’s something else you may want to take a closer look at:

On June 7 2012, Google announced that its advertisers would have access to the 300,000+ mobile apps within its acquired AdMob network, providing marketing companies with a totally customisable advertising experience with global reach across multiple platforms.

To take advantage of this option select ‘New Campaign’ from the ‘Campaigns’ tab, then choose ‘Display Network Only (mobile apps)’. You will be able to refine your advertising campaign further by selecting individual apps you wish your ads to run with – perfect for fine-tuning your campaigns for specific target audiences.

Google AdWords provides highly optimisable advertising solutions along with infinitely customisable communications platforms, allowing you to access the people you most want to reach easily and cost-effectively. If you wish to learn more about the use of Google Adwords then contacting a Google Adword Consultant could be a first step, and how to find one? Try Google!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Joining the Chartered Institute of Marketing


The Chartered Institute of Marketing are an industry wide, highly respected organisation that represents the marketing profession and all those who work within it. The Institute is open for anyone working or considering working in marketing and there is an entire scale of memberships ranging from those just finding their feet in the industry to senior management. Whether you are an apprentice, in education or a fully qualified marketing consultant, there is a membership level for you.

Affiliate

Affiliate membership splits into two branches; Professional and Studying. There are a few subtle differences between the two.

The professional branch is open to anyone who is working in or studying towards a qualification in the marketing industry. It is also available to those actively interested in marketing or considering a career in the profession.

The Affiliate (Studying) membership is a requisite for anyone wishing to study with the CIM.

The Affiliate annual membership costs £140 in Europe on £100 for an International membership. There are discounts available for direct debits.

Associate

The Associate is a rather more respected level of membership than the Affiliate despite being similar in many ways. The major difference lies in the fact that to be eligible for the Associate membership, a person must have one or more of the following qualifications. 

A Professional Diploma from the CIM
A Professional or Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the CIM
A bachelor’s degree in Marketing
An equivalent professional marketing body’s examination certification

The cost of annual membership is slightly higher too at £160 for European members and £130 for international membership.

Member (MCIM)

To qualify for this prestigious level of membership, a person must meet all the criteria required of an Associate member. Also required is at least three years of experience in the marketing industry including a year in a managing role. Current employment in a marketing role is also necessary.

For senior a senior marketing consultant with no formal marketing qualifications, there is an entry route to the MCIM as long as the person is at or near to board level.

European membership costs £180 per annum, whilst the International rate is £150.

Fellow (FCIM)

For all those who meet the MCIM criteria and have a strong level of industry or teaching experience, the Fellow level is a prestigious membership status to hold. To qualify, one must have either held a senior executive position in a marketing role or taught as a marketing professor or senior academic for at least fifteen years.

The FCIM costs £210 for European members and £185 for Internationals.

Chartered Marketer

Whilst there is no additional fee for becoming a Chartered Marketer, the prestige and professional acclaim that comes with Chartered status cannot be overestimated. It is the highest grade of professional marketing accreditation and recognises a person’s outstanding marketing experience and expertise.

To be eligible, a person must hold either MCIM or FCIM membership, as well as satisfy certain requirements of the CIM’s Chartered CDP Programme for at least two years.

For more information and details on how to apply for membership to the CIM, visit their website.