Monthly Archives: August 2012

Know Your Audience

This is the most important rule of content marketing marketing. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how do you know what to say?

Every week, I hear from entrepreneurs who want to know how to reach their audience. Of course, the first question I ask in return is: “Who is your audience?”

You’d be surprised at how many falter while trying to answer this.

You define your target audience through a mix of primary research (asking your customers or friends who might become customers), secondary research (look online for details, especially at research reports — I find census reports particularly useful — and first person accounts such as on blogs and social media posts), and fit with your business (Who do you want to focus on? Whose problems are you solving the best?). Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Content and Blogs

Now this is a really cool description of content marketing.

Business is about solving problems for people not telling them that your product is the best widget ever invented because they won’t believe you… give them a hint or a tip for a solution to their pain and they will keep turning up to your website or blog to find out more.

The secret to increasing blog subscribers is to post more often.

If you didn’t believe me, here’s Lisa Barone telling you to read industry blogs!

This post has fantastic tips on making your blog posts more readable.

And this post explains how you can use hashtags on Twitter for better marketing.

Now what are you waiting for? Go on, write that blog post and promote it on Twitter!

Brief Website Review: Koyri

Koyri: handmade jewelry by an artist in IndiaSo what exactly do we offer in a Website Review?

My friend Gunjan of Koyri, a small handmade jewelry business, agreed to let me share a brief review of the Koyri website here. This isn’t an exhaustive review (I haven’t reviewed competitors or keywords here, for example) but I hope it gives you an idea of what I look for in small-business sites and the easy improvements I can point you to.

Overall Site Design

The site design is very attractive, minimalistic, with spare use of red to add interest. There is too much white space. Also,“Copyright” shouldn’t be pluralized.

Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Analytics and SEO

This article explains how you can use Google Analytics to grow your business. If you’re not doing this yet, start now!

From Lisa Barone again, here is an easy explanation of SEO and how you should do it.

More on SEO: it’s all about content.

Neil Patel explains how to create videos that convert. And see, he too starts with “write your own script!” So get on to creating that content.

John Jantsch shares three simple tips that will help you get more reviews online.

Have a great weekend, and wish you better marketing!

8 Tips for Creating Marketing Content

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth a repeat: business-owners should drive the creation of marketing content. This is too important an activity to delegate: the content represents your business, and you should control the process.

Does that mean you don’t need a marketing manager/intern/consultant? You might. But your marketing person is the facilitator. She trains you on the tools you need — social media, a CMS for your website, recording and sharing podcasts. She trains you on writing and edits what you write; she puts your thoughts into better words.

But you’re the one who has the thoughts and the ideas in the first place.

A smart marketer will help you communicate your knowledge to your customers and your audience.

So how do you create marketing content if you don’t think of yourself as a writer/creator? Here are my tips.

Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: First Edition

Starting today, we’ll post a round-up of useful marketing news and tips every Friday, just in time for the weekend. So you can read on a lazy weekend afternoon and get to work on Monday improving your marketing!

Seven steps to a high-converting email marketing campaign: excellent advice. If you plan to start an email marketing program or have one already and want to improve it, go read.

My favorite marketing writer, Lisa Barone, offers four ways to fairly use content created by other people (and I’m using one of those here).

Lisa Barone also explains how you can use social media to build trust. Continue reading

Post Photos on Facebook for More Engagement

An interesting study on Americans’ use of social media was released last month. Some of the results are not surprising (“55 percent say they watch TV, movies or video on their computer at least once a week”) while some might merit a raised eyebrow (“Forty-two percent of people own a tablet and, of tablet owners, 19 percent have more than one”).

Keep in mind though, that this wasn’t a survey of average Americans, but of “nearly 2,000 Americans who visit a social network at least once a day”: in that context, the results are less surprising.

The most interesting finding of the study, to me, was this:

“Marketers should also take note: people are most likely to engage with branded content that contain pictures (44%), status updates (40%) and videos (37%).”

Photos get you the most engagement on Facebook. This confirms my own observations: posting a photo versus say, a text update or a link to a blog post usually gets more views, likes and comments.

Continue reading

Why Business-Owners Should Create Marketing Content

Sitting on the grass with laptop
Uploaded to Flickr by michael pollak

Marketing is too important to be left to marketers.

Think about it: marketing is what gets you leads and sales. It’s what enables your business to succeed. Why wouldn’t you want to be in control of this process?

Let’s break this down. There are three reasons why you, the business-owner, should be creating marketing content.

  1. Knowledge
  2. Authenticity
  3. Responsiveness

You can hire someone to help you with marketing, but even if she is a brilliant writer, she doesn’t know your business the way you do. Continue reading