Are you confusing Google?

Google UpdatesAre you frustrated with your Google Search Rankings? Are you resisting the changes which Google is proposing? Maybe it’s time to take a close look at your own sites and see why your current actions may be confusing to Google.  (Just a Thought)

If you take a hard look at your sites, you will be faced with the facts that Google is pushing you to change the way your sites are viewed on Google and it may be time for some chagnes. These changes are difficult and time-consuming, but I hope others can benefit from the information I am shairng in this post.

Here are some of the changes I have made in 2014.

  • Deleted a number of complimentary websites that link to our company site.
    • From 2007 – 2012, it was cool to have domain names that were associated with keyword search terms and Google used to recognize these sites.
    • Today, these sites were getting few hits if any and most had dropped down from their previous first page positions.
    • Google wants your company site and trusted content authors. Make sure your content is recognized on main sites and leave the rest behind unless most of your traffic comes from Bing or Yahoo.
  • Deleted curreent Google+ Company Page and installed new Google+ Company Page
    • This was a tough change for me. I lost a number of subscribers. I introduced a company page when they were first available, the problem in the last few months is that Google wanted to integrate Google Places, Google+ Company Page and YouTube together. I initially fought this move, but decided it would be in my best interest to follow Google and make sure I did not have duplicate content.
    • Google wants companies to be a part of Google My Business
  • Deleted Company YouTube Account
    • Another tough change. Google wants to integrate YouTube with Google+.
    • Build your YouTube Channel through your Google+ Company Page so the two are integrated.
  • Google Authorship – Very important  part of this whole process
    • Make sure your sites are associated with a specific person who is in charge of content for the site.
    • If you are a content marketer, consider writing for your company and for yourself. (Google will recognize you)
    • Google+ is gaining traction.  Do you have the new mobile app, “My Business” – rich with analytics – ties Google Analytics and Google+ together.
  • Google Webmaster Tools  - Invest some time and resolve issues with your site.
    • I wasn’t aware of how important this step was. Clean up your site and make sure your sites are mobile friendly. (Can’t ignore this any longer.

These changes are tought ones to make, but in the end, what is your goal. If your goal is to be in organic search, you need to make these changes. Google has made a number of things confusing by issuing new applications over the past few years, but now, Google is reeling back and integrating its applications together. I am not agreeing with all of these changes, but ultimately I want our company to be easily found on Google and by making this critical decision to follow the Google Roadmap, I believe I will be able to have our site readily indexed and in the end, it will be a win-win for our company.

I welcome your comments and let me know of other steps you have taken with respect to this topic

photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via photopin cc

Southwest Airlines – A good 4th of July Comparison

July 4, 2014Southwest Airlines“If you wish to put the customer first, then you must put the person who serves the customer more  first” (No typo) – Tom Peters

As you celebrate the 4th of July, take time and reflect on those people who took it upon themselves to come together to serve a larger client, (the future residents of the United States). We need to reflect on the actions these men and women took in standing up for their freedon and how they came together to establish this great country. If you need a bit of a refresher, watch this short video presentation.

I am a huge Tom Peters fan and I never get tired of his books and presentations. I took some time a week ago and listened to some of his previous writings (audible books) Pursuit of Wow!, ReImagine.  The concepts in those publications still hold value today. The best thing I like about Tom  is that he is willing to change his perspective on different topics and he is always looking to learn more and improve.

Take a minute and listen to this most recent presentation on Southwest Airlines and how Sothwest services not only its clients, but its own employees. It is a great story of how a great company continues to make a difference in a world where other airlines flounder and are always fighting an uphill battle.

<iframe width=”450″ height=”253″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/6u86ZNZUXjQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Have a Great 4th of July Celebration.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

photo credit: Why Tuesday? via photopin cc

Writing for the Future | Content Marketing

Online Internet Marketing.So much emphasis is placed on accessing the latest news. Our kids witness this in the way they text their friends and interating with sites like Instagram and Twitter.

In the workplace, marketing teams are asked to have a presence on social media sites, but the last few years have really showed that more and more people are broadcasting information regarding the news or retweeting the latest news.

My advice, don’t get caught up in a dialogue about the news.  Write from the standpoint of your experience and…

Find a way to write sustainable content

Too many times as a blogger, I think like a news writer who wants to create new, exciting information that is focused on the most current trends. This type of writing can be done, but it is very hard to maintain. I have found that if I pick “niche” topics  and create a deeper understanding of those topics, I am actually adding tremendous value to my readers.

The tricky part is keeping a mindset that uses information from the past and builds on it to create something that is dynamic.

How to write for the future

The best approach I have found, is to review some of the blog posts that I have written that have been received very favorably. I look for similarities with respect to these blog posts and start to see patterns. With these patterns, I am able to build on these topics. At my company, we have some seasonal testing which occurs at the same time every year for a period of a few weeks. During this time, I really try to write content that will bring out my knowledge by tying old concepts with new concepts. The combination of these concepts creates a concept that people can really relate to.

I have also looked at analytics in a whole new way. I am more interested in the types of articles that are being accessed and read versus the day-to-day readership. Through this process I am learning the following:

  • Great content has more value over time and can be sustainable if it is written on a blog site that you can control
  • Building search organically has always been my goal.  Combine this with sustainability and you will not need to purchase pay-per-click advertising
  • 1 – 3 years is typically the amount of sustainability I can expect. I have been blogging for 6 years.
  • Writing for the future will keep your content in line with all the future Google Panda Updates. (It will also help you improve your writing)

Finally

Write material from your heart. I can’t say it any simpler. If you write from your experiences and you share those experiences with others, you will get noticed and you be adding tremendous value for your readers.

 

 

 

Branding – The New Marketing

Branding ManagementIf you are a marketer, you really want to check out this must read article, “It’s the End of ‘Marketing’ As We Know It at Procter & Gamble” by Jack Neff

I had some time last week to reflect on wehre I wanted to go with marketing. I really think this article looks at the concept of “Branding” and where all of us need to go with respect to our own brand management initiatives.

I really like how brand mangement has been broken down.

Brand Management at P&G now encompasses four functions — including, of course, brand management (formerly known as marketing), consumer and marketing knowledge (a.k.a. market research), communications (known as public relations at some companies and up until a couple of years ago as external relations at P&G), and design (known as design pretty much everywhere, except where it’s called visual brand identity and such). Source  “It’s the End of ‘Marketing’ As We Know It at Procter & Gamble” by Jack Neff

Brand Management

It realy does come down to what you want your company to be known for and what your company stands for.  I have talked about this concept in previous posts. (The Importance of Brand Management)

Consumer and Marketing Knowledge

In this age of “Big Data”, how well do we really know our clients and are we doing all we can to understand their wants and needs. (Big Data Management)

Communications

Communications is more then public relations. It is all about building a presence in the market on a regular basis. (Comunications)

Design

How to bring all of these concetps together through design (Integrating Design and Media)

Branding will be a major topic of discussion for the future as Mr. Neff has stated in the article referenced above.

What type of thoughts do you have after reading his article?

Do you agree with these concepts?

Midyear Marketing Observations for 2014

2014 Marketing ReportAs we reach the halfway point of 2014, I think it is good to reflect on some of the things I have discovered and learned in 2014 and what I need to focus on the rest or the year.

Some Observations On Various Marketing Topics

Mobile Apps

Build simple, functional apps. If you can give your clients an app that is easy to use, with no instructions you will have a winner on your hands. The hardest part is getting the word out about your app for people to download.

Blogging

Blogging is the key to making social media work as well as content markting. It is the glue that holds things together. Continue to stay focused on writing about information pertinent to your readers. If you stray from your core ideas, your readers will to. Create a following and don’t be so concerned about huge numbers of followers.

Content Marketing

People are still trying to define this concept. For me it is content that is written for a particular audience and posted on a regular basis. The only way content marketing works is if it is done on a consistent basis. There is no such thing as producing only quality content. If this is your goal, I am sure you end up with 1 or 2 articles a month. If you post regularly, 3-5 days a week, you will have good days and bad days. Overall, your writing will get better.

Twitter

Twitter is news and more news. I engage some, but I do not go crazy. It is more of a communication channel for me. Company profiles are becoming more acceptable. Sharing pictures is also a key to sustaining growth.  Have a presence, but don’t spend hours and hours trying to reach people. People are reading tweets quickly and moving on. Marketers should follow suit and do the same.

Facebook

Facebook continues to bring in great analytics and new updates to pages. Facebook is still a place for friends. Also, group communication thrives here for schools, churches and organizations. I read some of the posts that my friends write about and I use it as a place to screen contacts. Be careful what you post here.

Branding

Branding is coming back in a big way. I think social media, content marketing and other terms will revert back to branding. How can we make our brands more relevant in a world of distactions and so much information. I will be looking at branding a lot for the rest of 2014.

Google Search

Google has implemented some new changes in the past few weeks for companies. Google is forcing companies to have one id for GooglePlus, YouTube, GooglePlaces, GoogleMaps. Check out GoogleMyBusiness.com and learn more. Also, Google Authorship is taking off again, I am noticing better organic search in the past month. I have made some changes, but I think Google is making even more changes.

Managing Websites

Make sure your websites are up to date. Old, out of date sites are quickly becoming obsolete. If you have a site over a year old that hasn’t been updated, you might want to consider starting over if you are serious about people finding you. In addition, it appears domain names may be relevent as far as search results go. Following this last item a little closer.

Managing Social Media

I still contend that the best people to use social media are executives. Executives need to be closer to clients and people enjoy following executives who are active on social media sites.

Tradeshows

Are still great places to reconnect with clients and find new clients. Bring your business card. Make sure you have printed materials.  Make sure you really check out the tradeshow agenda closely. Floor times are getting squeezed. Also, consider presenting. Presenting companies usually have more of a following than representatives in a booth.

Linkedin

Daily updates are the way to go if you want to stay connected with your contacts. Also, when you make a change to your profile that information is communicated to your connections.  Followers to our company page are growing at a very slow rate, but the right people are finding our company there.

Online Client Inquiries

Here is a metric that I use on a regular basis. People are hopefully doing their research and finding our company online. I like to receive 10 – 13 inquiries a day. 90% of the people who post questions to our website will conduct business with us.

Big Data

This topic is still relatively new. I look for some new type of  CRM system to come on the market which will help capture data in a more efficient manner. For now, I focus on certain data that I find useful about clients and I continue to stay in touch with the market.

Client Service

This area is really the key to a successful marketing promotion. This is vital for continued sucess in the future.  Don’t underestimate the power of great service to clients.

A Few More Personal Thoughts…

Getting Rejuvenated 

Use your vacation time and spend it with your family. Do something completely out of the ordinary. Enjoy the time you have away from work.

Put Your Smartphone on the Shelf

Put your smartphone away for a day. Try it and see if you can go a whole day without looking at it.

Develop Some New Ideas this Summer

Read a book this summer or visit a local company or area of town and try to develop some new ideas for your business.

Exercise more

Make time to work out stress. We spend too much time in front of computer screens and sitting. Get out, go for a walk. Find time to workout and sweat.

Summary

What type of observations have you made from your work in 2014?
Please share your observations and thoughts. I would be curious how others feel about these particular topics. Thanks again for reading this long blog post!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Smartphone Culture – You need to embrace it!

smartphone cultureThis past weekend, I attended a couple of College World Series Games and the games were very exciting games. (low scoring, dramatic finishes). What really struck me though were the fans. The fan experience is not only the game, the scoreboard and the food, but the little device that almost 50-60% of the fans were holding in their hands.

People cannot get enough of their phones. People are constantly texting, tweeting, reading, taking selfies, sharing information on Facebook and more.

You cannot go any place without seeing someone looking at their smartphone. It really is a sign of our current culture. Everyone is starved for the latest news, post and picture. We used to think people were spending too much time in front of the television. Smartphones are quickly becoming the new television.

Disconnecting is becoming harder and harder for people. Could you go a day without your smartphone?

The missing part in all of this is live, human interaction.

This is where your business comes in. People want to be served more than ever.  People are becoming increasingly self-serving because their  smartphone provides them with data from companies, conversations and pictures.  When people call your company, they are making comments like the following:

  • Where can I find that information on your website? (Really prefer mobile sites over traditional websites)
  • I could not find where to go with respect to price on your site (Used to Amazon and eBay sites)
  • Is there an email address of someone I could work with (Easier to send Email than call)
  • What is the address of your company? (Needed for Google Maps)

Client Service Difference

The differential you can provide is to be the expert and answer their questions directly. Some companies do not  have “live” client service help. If you want to make a difference today, you need live people who have knowledge of the company’s products and services.

More Transparency

Companies need to evaluate their websites and make sure their sites are mobile friendly.  This information as listed above helps people find information they are seeking and puts the power in the hands of the consumer.

Have a Presence Online

Social media is here. People like to connect with people they see on a regular basis. You do not need to go crazy here and spend all of your time engaging, but you need to give people a reason to stay in contact with you. It really is that simple.

Summary

Start looking at your company information from the standpoint of  a person who holds the keys in the palm of their hands.  How are you going to get your message to people who are finding all of their information on their mobile devices.   Put yourself in their place and see for yourself if your company information is easy to follow on mobile devices or not.

photo credit: gholzer via photopin cc

 

 

Fast-Paced Marketing

virtual pixel sign internet icons conceptEveryday I come to work, I am not sure what the day will bring. I actually enjoy the fact that our phones are constantly ringing and that email questions are received. People want answers and responses quickly.  People want answers, updates on products/services and ultimately want results.

Items posted on social media sites have a very short shelf life and many times are not read or responded to.  However, marketers work these platforms hoping to connect with people and create some information to share with others.

Tradeshows have limited hours for showcasing products, as a result companies try to reach as many people as they can.

Marketers need to create information that can resonate longer. This is why the content marketing component is so critical. Information contained on blogs and website updates can remain in place for a long time. As a result, this information remains accessible and searchable.

This is why business cards still have a place as well as brochures and handouts. This type of printed information is great for people to have as a reference or reminder. It will not be there forever, but it has the chance of resonating more than a tweet or Facebook Post.

The name of the game is speed, but it is important to have information available in all types of formats to help keep a sustainable presence.

Don’t get caught-up in falling for the paperless society. If you are totally paperless and you are relying only on social media, how will people find you or know anything about you. Make sure you keep your marketing focus on the long-term and always strive to create a sustainable presence!

 

Are you in the market or watching from the outside?

MarketingEveryday there are new opportunities awaiting companies. People are making decisions faster than ever. With information at their disposal, they can quickly formulate an opinion based on information they find online. The internet has become a network of vast information. Each day, more and more content is being added.

As marketers, we must be in tune with what is happening. We have been told over and over, we need to know where are clients are and make sure we are finding them. I am not so sure that this message holds true in 2014.

I am seeing a faster shift…  A shift where marketers must be visible more…  It is one of being consistent in the marketplace rather than trying to watch and analyze the market.

Here are some ways to be in the market:

  • Make sure your name is tied to a company group email.  info@company_name.com  – - You will see what type of questions people are asking. You might discover a potential market.
  • Talk to your client service staff everyday. What types of questions are they dealing with?
  • Monitor activity on social media and share information from your blog site or other helpful information.
  • Get involved with your own company blog and social media teams. You will learn a lot.
  • Attend a specific industry conference. See how other companies are marketing and reaching their clients.
  • Use Google Alerts to help you monitor information regarding key words.

Getting directly involved is the best approach to maximizing your marketing efforts! Where are you spending most of your time?

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

People want to be Wowed!

WOW ExperienceWOW is the new way of marketing!

Too many of us come from a system approach where we think we need to build a structure and system that people will use.  To build a system like this would take a lot of time and there are no guarantees that it will work.

People want FRESH! 

In addition, people’s expectations have changed tremendously. People want more, they want new, fresh ideas. They want to look at something and say, “wow”  , “I like that” ,  “Very Impressive”

This week, I attended an industry conference and tradeshow and it really hit me how much things have changed. I talked about the use of business cards yesterday and I wanted to talk about breakout sessions.

  • Why do people still use powerpoint slides with 300 words of content on each slide? You think I am kidding, I am not.
  • Why do people still read their powerpoint slides?
  • Why do we think presentations have to be one way?
  • Why do most of the attendees pull out their notebooks, laptops and smartphones and pretend to listen?
  • At the end of the presentation a call for questions goes out to the attendees and maybe at most 2 – 3 people ask questions.

I talked to a few clients at these sessions and in a matter of minutes I asked them if they were using our company mobile app and I was amazed how fast these clients downloaded the app and were using it right away.

People are BORING!

The problem is that all of us are becoming more and more boring to be around.  We do not have any new ideas to talk about and we are too busy listening to stupid opinions and news stories or making sure all of our emails are read up to the minute. (Seriously)

We need to create a better booth experience at tradeshows.

We need to create content that resonates and sticks. One presenter at this particular conference mixed in humor, voice inflection and inserted his strong opinion on materials. This presenter had captivated the audience and definitely “wowed” us.

Creating EXCITEMENT!

Here are some ways to create excitement:

  • Have you ever heard Tom Peters – “In Search of Excellence” Author. He is a very passionate speaker. Go to YouTube and check out one of his videos.
  • Create presentations with fewer than 20 words on a slide.  10 words or less and you are an awesome presenter
  • Create a mobile app that actually improves the experience for your clients
  • Move around and don’t get stuck behind a microphone
  • Practice your delivery. One presenter, apologized because he had not given his presentation for 3 years. Obviously, many people tuned him out.
  • Talk to your attendees before and after the presentation. (Show that you appreciate them coming to your event)
  • Talk about something you are an expert in. (If you are not a knowledge expert or have experience in the topic you are presenting, your life will be hard as a presenter)
  • Keep the number of slides you use to 20 or less.

Work on your “WOW” experience today and be different than the majority of presenters and marketers.

Image courtesy of DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 

 

 

 

 

Value of Business Cards

Busienss CardsOverview

The last couple of weeks I have been able to attend some great industry tradeshows and conferences.  One of the things that really has stood out for me is the unwillingness of people to hand over their business card. I don’t understand it. Yes, I know the movement is toward paperless and everything digital, but why would you not want to give someone your business card. Better yet, wouldn’t it be great if a person who is interested in your product or service came up to you and handed you their business card.

In addition, the importance in how you display your card also matters. Try this experiment and you will be surprised like I was.

Business Card Experiment 

If you have a business card holder, place one person’s card in the holder and place the other persons cards directly on the table with no holder.

Which card do you think gets picked the most? 

Answer: The card on the table.

Once again, people have limited time and do not want to mess up your “trophy-like display” of your business card. By the way, the selection at this particular show was 3 to 1 regarding which card was taken. I was a bit shocked myself.

In this day and age where people have to be holding their smartphone in their hand all the time, you need to make your business card readily accessible. Encourage people to take your card. Ask the person if they would be willing to give you their card.

Business Cards are the new directory

Where else can you go, where you see the person’s name, company name, job title email address and  phone number. Show me a social media site with all of this informaiton in one place.

Summary

If you want people to find you, make your information accessible. (Especially at Tradeshows) You will be in the minority! Trust Me!  If you are able to get someone’s business card, you are much closer to making a deal, especially today in the “paperless era”. Business cards are the bitcoin in the digital age. They have value, the challenge is being able to make the transaction occur.

photo credit: Michael Kappel via photopin cc

Attending Industry Conferences

Tradeshow MarketingI read an article this week that stated tradeshow marketing was dead. In fact, this article written from a marketing agency discouraged their clients from getting a booth or trying to market at tradeshows and conferences.  The article made some good points and really hit home the fact that most companies do not see a return on their investment.

As I read this article, it really helped me focus even more.

Marketing at tradeshows has been a key component with respect to the company I currently work at, but I am always looking for ways to make it better. I think we have taken tradeshows for granted and as a result attendance overall, is down and the price to get exhibit or sponsor has gone way up. I have been reevaluating our experiences and loooking for ways to improve exposure, communication, hand-outs and follow-ups.

Here are some notes I have made in the past year.

If you have attended a show and had a booth for a number of years, take a break and see the show through a fresh set of eyes again. I recently did this and when I went to register as an attendee, the person behind the desk was surprised we did not have a booth. As a result, the registration person gave me a special pass for a special session which he did not give to other people. If I would have purchased a booth, I would have not have paid any more extra money to attend. Shows want exhibitors on a regular basis and may throw in extra perks to get your business back.

Bring a computer bag full of “simple” handouts to give to people. Forget the trinkets and freebies, give someone some information that could be helpful to them.

Meet some rising stars. It is too easy to easy to reconnect with the people we know and get together with once a year. You never know where that connection might lead to in the future.

Learn and learn some more. Right now the trade show floor is open at the same time as the sessions being held. Where are you going to learn about your industry and hear about their needs than at an industry conference.

Keep people guessing. If you show up and smile and talk about good news, you will win over people. Stay positive! It’s too easy to go negative with a conversation.

If you happen to meet someone who is looking to buy from you, offer to meet later or in the morning before the conference starts. Very rarely will someone want to spend their day looking to buy your services during a conference. Go for the connection first and follow-up with the sale later.

Enjoy the experience and do some hard-core evaluation. I like to watch and see how my competition is doing on the floor. Look at the foot traffic by their booth. Check out their service offerings. Talk to them. Let them know who you are if you feel comfortable in your current position.

Finally, take it all in and write your thoughts down. There is a lot to see if your antenna is up and you are willing to listen and learn.

photo credit: @cdharrison via photopin cc

Content Marketing – News Strategy

Content MarketingPeople want good news information, period!

I came across this article, A Prescription for Successful Content Marketing and it is a well-written article that looks at content marketing and its role as a part of your makreitng direction.  It makes several good points about the role of content marketing and how many people do not see this as a viable strategy.

Here is why I see content marketing as a valuable entity.

  • Today’s “breaking news” is over-hyped and is merely posted as a way to generate more discussion. It is most often a big waste of time.  With today’s flow of information and rapid decision-making, people are trying harder than ever to sort through all the information and find the appropriate news information that affects their deciaion-making.
  • Clients are quickly surfing news information in order to build their own knowledge to help them take the next action steps with respect to that information.
  • Business professionals are constantly looking for more market share with their products and services.
  • Companies are watching their bottom-line much closer and are constantly positioning themselves to be ready to jump into a rapidly developing market.

Application for Marketers:

  • Start building something new with content marketing as a strategy
  • Develop content that resonates with our clients  and draws in new clients (Continual Work in Process)
  • Post information on a more consistent basis. Websites without any new content reflect dying businesses
  • Come ready and expect to win everyday!
  • Bring a new attitude of “Bringing the News”  to your people!
  • Continue to develop information that resonates with your clients.
  • Produce fast, quick, reliable information
  • Get more in contact with your clients and spend less worrying about things you can’t control

One Final Note:

Content marketing works well when you control your content. The content you produce is sitting on your website and you will see results. I have found some posts that I wrote over a year ago are being looked at and acted on. People are hungry for “good, reliable information”.  If you create content based on your experiences and you share that information with others, you will be successful. It is a long-term strategy, but it can be so valuable if you create content on a consistent basis.  Start creating news today and stop fretting over news that everyone else is only reading about. Be different!

photo credit: Mike Rohde via photopin cc

Expect Wins Everyday

Expect To WinI have been working on this philosophy for the last month and it is a great way to begin a day. In addition, if you write down your wins, you will start to see the results of your work efforts. It really is all about a better focus and working under the pressure of time.

Looking at things from a Win Perspective:

Talking to Clients

While talking to clients, I am actively listenting for the next opportunity. In addition, I am keeping better notes because I want to win, not just today but in the future. In addition, I need my clients to win, so if they ask for my in put, I will try and guide them in a way that helps their business too.

Client Service Team

Keep informed on a daily business of how your client service staff is doing on a daily basis. Did they experience a win today? Winning is contagious. People like to surround themselves with winners. Start acting like one and work like someone who expects to win.

Operations Team

Talk to your operations team and ask for their input in helping them meet their daily goals and objectives. You can learn a lot if you interact with people who are doing the work for your company.

Marketing Strategy

Look for opportunities to continually measure your performance and look closely at your client activity and look for trends up or down to see where you can add improvement.

Technology

Talk to your IT resources and see where they see technology headed. Take a moment and learn how to use your own devices: smartphone, iPad, computer to better support your own decisions.

Blog

Share your experiences with other professionals too. This is huge if you want to connect with other winners on social media sites. I have been able to connect with many great people and because of this, I continue to be driven to write content that matters to these people. If you don’t have a blog, you are missing a golden opportunity to be part of a bigger winning team.

Summary

Expecting to win, puts you in the proper perspective by getting you focused. Out of this process, you set daily goals and you look for ways to grow your business.  This is the exciting part of being in business. You can do this in any role you are currently in. People will see your enthusiasm and will inquire about projects you are working on. The key is to keep your wins in perspective and as I noted earlier, write them down. I prefer a composition book because they are all in one place, but that is my preference.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Increased Amazon Talk

AmazonI am hearing it more and more everyday.

I am an Amazon Prime Member are you?

I order my groceries through Amazon?

Amazon is getting drone technology.

Amazon is cutting into my business.

We use Amazon to host our information on the cloud.

Amazon is the talk of the community. Both B2B and B2C.  People are talking more and more about being connected with Amazon.

My takeaway from this information is the following:

Follow Amazon more closely

I need to really look at Amazon not only as a resource but as a competitor. Amazon can partner with anyone who is in the the product or service industry. I also see more attention given to services. Amazon is involved in local markeitng. Local companies in my community are using Amazon to market their product and services and there are some really great deals. To me, they are the new Groupon and Living Social. Amazon has the clout that these other companies did not have.  Amazon is quietly building a server network to compete with other companies and a lot of companies use Amazon for hosting.

Start by following Amazon News each day. Check out this article, (Wolff: How book biz dug its own Amazon grave) in June 1, 2014 USATODAY

Emulate Amzon in the way it does business

  • I need to look at my website and make it easy for people to find information and access information.
  • People willingly share comments on Amazon, (Good/Bad) Some of the best comments I have read are on Amazon.
  • Find ways to build brand recognition locally and nationally.

Many books and experts talk about Apple and how we should follow Apple as a great company, don’t forget about Amazon.

photo credit: breadslice via photopin cc

Easier Access Opportunities

Easy AccessMore and more responsibility is being placed in our clients’ hands. Think about it from the retail side, we now have more self-checkout labes. People can go to the ATM to make deposits and withdrawls from their accounts. Ordering items and services online is becoming easier and easier through site like Amazaon.

With our smartphones, we can simply speak our search text and receive results in seconds. From here, we can also find company phone numbers and addresses. In addition, people can simply send and receive text messages and email messages.

Companies are looking at these changes in our lifestyle and are trying to find ways to incorporate them into their own processes. Many restaurants and stores are going to pre-ordering of items for pickup or scheduling services for future delivery.

How should you and I as marketers be looking at these opportunities? Here are some items to consider:

  • Listing pricing information on our company websites.
  • Make sure company contact information is located on every page of our site
  • Allow clients to ask questions at their convenience
  • Respond back to clients in a timely manner
  • Incorporate better email messages with specific information
  • Make our company websites mobile friendly
  • Update our company website information on a daily basis
  • Extend more invitations to visit our companies and connect

Companies need to start thinking differently and look for ways to cut out unnecessary steps in processes. People value their time and are typically searching for a particular need. If  it takes more than 1 minute to find the informaiton they are looking for, they will typically move on to another site.

Creating cleaner, easy access to information is the only way to proceed in today’s information environment.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Understanding Buyer Behavior

Buyer BehaviorThe most important initiative for me for the rest of 2014

Wouldn’t it be nice if we understood the process of how people find our company and ultimately want to do business with our company. People are finding our company through the following: Client Referrals, Google Searches, Social Media, Client Visits, Content Marketing

For me it is about looking closer at the following items:

  • Trying to build simple processes
  • Creating eye-catching images, phrases
  • Providing informative content

Now these items are all great, but what is it that really gets people to buy. I still believe I have not even come close to understanding this process. I think technology like mobile and social media are helping me formulate a strategy, but I am not close to understanding the real key which is behavior.

Everyday, I see people on their smartphones. Some are playing games, more and more are reading information and emails. What I am finding are the following triggers for a better word that I am trying to work on.

  • Creating shorter content – Give specific information that adds value
  • Building simple Apps – Check out Midwest Labs App | Simple but powerful
  • Using pictures to convey a topic – Images help convey messages
  • Fewer clicks on website – Less clicks are better
  • Promotions – Find ways to get buyers’ attention
  • Quicker turnaround – Get people to act quickly
  • Keeping in Contact – Help people remember our company, make it easy to contact us.

Again this article is more of a thinking document rather than some type of tip sheet for understanding behavior. My point here is that we, as marketers need to pickup on these techniques and continue to refine our processes to make them more simple, more efficient and create more value if we are going to really be a part of the buyer behavior process.
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Get Interested in Other People’s Work

Be interested in othersCan you relate to this?

Do you ever go through times of writing where you just can’t find good, quality words or content that you think your readers will be interested in? It happens to all good writers. If you have been blogging for an extended period of time, (more than 2 years) you will find times where the words are just not coming to you or you can’t get excited about your own articles and topics.

It is during these times, that I take a break and read more about what other people are writing. It also helps me discover some areas that I want to write more about and areas I definitely want to stay away from because there is so much information on that particular topic.

Here is the process I go through in looking at other people’s work.

I start with Twitter – I follow some great people here and I like to dig deeper and read more of their tweets and better yet, more of their original posts on their websites. In addition, I will check and see if any of these people can be found giving a similar presentation on YouTube.

From here, I look at some of the major marketing, content marketing and social media conferences and I check out the speakers who are presenting and I dig deeper into the content they post on social media and better yet on their own websites.

The next part of the process is to increase engagement.

Basically, I try to acknowledge people on Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ by commenting on some of the articles and information they have posted. This helps me develop rapport with people and keeps my name fresh with people I come in contact with.

Finally, I put together my list of trending topics and better yet topics that people are not addressing.

This type of information is what really drives me. I don’t want to talk about topics that everyone else is talking about. I want to write about information that few people read about.

Summary

To be an interesting person, means getting outside of yourself and always learning. The best way to do this is to be interested in other people’s work. No one person has all the answers, and frankly too many people do not take the time to stop and discover other people’s content. So when people take note of the content you provide, you should really considerate this quite an accomplishment in today’s world and make sure you thank people for taking the time to read your information and stay connected to you.  In order to be an interesting person, you need to reciprocate and be interested in their work as well.

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Integrating Personal Brand with Company Marketing

Integrating social media and search marketingThis is where Search Marketing meets Social Media!   (New Paradigm Shift)

People Connect with People! – It really is that simple!  (People are the key! )

It is time to move past the notion that companies need to embrace social media.  (Old way of thinking)

Companies need to embrace people and continue to connect with the right people and best people if they are going to move ahead. Social media and search marketing are byproducts of this integration.

Google Authorship has really showed me the power of personal branding and I think Google Search is starting to see better search results based on search data being connected with content authors for authenticity.

All of us market our companies in some fashion. The way we carry ourselves at work and outside of the work speak volumes about the way we approach our work. It is becoming increasingly important to make sure we are connected with the right people who can carry our company forward. As a partner in a large company, I have to make sure that my personal brand is reflecting strong values and high integrity. In addition, the closer I connect myself with our clients and company offerings, the more these items become a part of my nature. Everyone wants an interesting story and it is up to all of us as employees to make sure we are creating an environment that looks at the  great value we are creating for our clients and the culture we are cultivating at our workplaces to insure a proper direction.

The truth is the people who connect best with people are the most successful and their companies will be successful. In addition, if you can provide people with a clear message and direction you will see results on your social media channels as well as searches.  Writing content that brings you closer to your processes and readers will help you gain better knowledge of your work and will also give people a reason to connect with you. Too many people are worried about how to use twitter or how to find people on Linkedin. This type of thinking can lead to a lot of wasted time.

Start looking toward giving people something of value and sharing it through different channels and you will see greater success.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net