Monthly Archives: September 2012

Marketing Reading: Memorable and Bad Content

Did you know you can now display cover photos on Twitter? HubSpot has a handy guide on how to use this feature. I’m going to update ours next week, and you should too!

Have you tested your email unsubscribe process lately? Do this next week!

Stop trying to create great content: create memorable content instead.

I love the comments on my post on Search Engine People about bad content ruining it for the rest of us. Especially: Continue reading

Where and How Should You Publish Your Content?

So you’ve got your objectives pinned down, you know who your audience is, and you have a list of topics in mind. But what form of content are you going to create and where are you going to publish it?

Bird's nest with egg next to a wall
Create original content and decide how and where you want it delivered: like the pair of pigeons who chose my balcony to nest in

Settle down and grab a pen: I’ve got a lot of questions you need to answer.

Continue reading

Customer Appreciation: Are You Doing It Right?

Call it marketing or customer service or just call it business strategy — you hardly need to debate the importance of demonstrating to your customers that you value them. We all want to retain customers and usually go above and beyond to please them — by giving something extra, by offering lower rates, or by providing premium service.

Larger businesses have loyalty programs to handle this, but small-business owners usually like to use their own discretion and not allow employees an easy way to make these decisions. But good employees want to keep regular customers happy. They may go ahead and offer these “extras” anyway — by giving the room overlooking the pool, making small repairs in addition to the contracted job, or by over-pouring.

These “extras” are part of your  cost of retention, but do you know how much that cost is? Are these extras proportional to the business you are getting from those customers? Are these extras in addition to the priority rates/service you are offering those customers? All these are important questions, but the most important question is – Does your customer even realize you are giving her something extra?
Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Remote Work and SEO

Happy Friday! This week, we have tips on using content for your business, making your posts more search-friendly and having your author information show up, starting out with Twitter ads, and working remotely. Let’s dive in!

How can you make your blog posts Google-friendly? This post at Business from the Kitchen Table provides nice easy steps for you to follow to get your blog post found online.

How can you have author information show up in search results for your posts? Google tells you.

ExploreB2B details seven ways to get content to work for your business, with practical examples of how they worked for the author or her colleagues.

If you’ve been curious about Twitter ads but not sure how to start, here’s a handy guide to getting started with Promoted Accounts or Tweets.

One investment firm found that their remote workers are more engaged than those who work in the same office: and this blogger at HBR suggests why. If you’re a remote worker, you might want to read these six tips for working remotely that I’d written earlier.

Have a great weekend, and wish you better marketing!

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: SMBs and Social Media

A new study of SMBs’ use of social media turns up some interesting results, among which are:

  • 36% of respondents spend $845 a month on social media management tools
  • 76% measure referral traffic from social platforms to websites
  • Facebook is the most popular social media site (73%), followed by LinkedIn and Twitter
  • The most common use of social media is to share information (91%); only 46% see social media as a place to handle customer service issues

Copyblogger has a comprehensive guide to formatting WordPress posts and pages — which also works if you’re using a different content management or blogging platform.

Lisa Barone tells you how to create an editorial calendar for your blog.

Lisa also explains how to use stock photographs better by telling you what not to do.

The Wall Street Journal takes on one of my favorite topics — procrastination — and offers four great tips on managing it.

So next week, stop procrastinating and work on improving your marketing! And if you see any good tips on the subject, don’t forget to let us know.

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Website and Social Media

HubSpot has an excellent post on what your website navigation should include. Remember, the purpose of your website’s navigation is to enable visitors to quickly find the information they are looking for. If they can’t get to it in three clicks or less, you’re in trouble.

Why are blog comments important and how can you get more of them?

CEOs remain strangely reluctant to tweet: and McKinsey Global Institute reports that “social technologies stand to unlock from $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value.” So if you are a business-owner or CEO and you aren’t tweeting, what’s your excuse?

And just tweeting isn’t enough: web users in the U.S. now spend more time on Facebook than on all of Google’s sites.

I have been using WordPress (the web and installed versions) for several years now, and I love this post with ten reasons to use WordPress. If you don’t have a blog for your business yet, use WordPress and set it up!

Email with lots of images

Using Images in Email Marketing

One of the “rules” (read: “accepted practices”) of email marketing is to not use a lot of images in your emails. There are several smart reasons for this:

  • Unless the recipient has emails enabled by default, she only sees blank blocks where the images are until she clicks on “Display images.”
  • Since the recipient has to download images but can see text by default, focus on the text. The top first few lines of your email that get seen in the reading pane or without the recipient scrolling down are extremely important, and unless you have really  involved subscribers you need to use text to engage their attention and get them to keep reading (or download the images).
  • Images take time to load, especially if your recipient has a slow internet connection.
  • Spam filters don’t like lots of images, especially an entire email that is just an image or a block of images.

All of which are good reasons to not use too many images in your emails. Look at this email I recently got after signing up for a free e-book.

Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Blogging, Twitter, Yelp, Etc.

These are the five articles that I enjoyed most this week. Let me know if you like them!

Problogger outlines a common problem with blogs (how to use your older posts) and suggests an brilliant solution.

I was surprised to learn that restaurants aren’t the biggest category on Yelp. Another interesting tidbit: “Every Star in a review leads to a 5-9 percent jump in revenues.

Copyblogger has the ultimate guide to Twitter marketing.

Copyblogger also emphasizes the importance of headlines in your content.

Stop trying to engage your audience: try to be helpful instead. This is a must-read for every business-owner and marketer on Twitter.