Tag Archives: online marketing

6 Tips to Boost Online Marketing With Offline Marketing

online marketingOnline marketing is more easily measured and often less expensive than offline marketing. However, what many seasoned business owners already know is that good old-fashioned offline marketing strategies are some of the most effective ways to build a solid foundation for growing your business.

What they may be overlooking is that offline marketing can be even more effective when combined with online efforts, and online marketing can be boosted with better offline marketing. If you’re relying on one without the other, you’re selling yourself short.

So, let’s take a look at 6 ways to boost your online marketing with better offline marketing. Continue reading

What To Do When Your Online Marketing Just Isn’t Working

Office Desk with Tools and Notes About Digital MarketingOnline marketing offers endless possibilities for small business owners, but it can also lead to serious disappointment. Sometimes online marketing simply doesn’t work, and sometimes online marketing that has been working like gangbusters suddenly grinds to a stop.

The truth is online marketing isn’t as easy as it seems at first blush, and it’s no longer as simple as it was in the past. We’re all more inundated with marketing than we ever have been in the past and savvy consumers have grown more weary and protective of their attention and time.

While user-friendly tools and technology are making it easier to reach your target market, your market may be growing more resistant to targeting.

This doesn’t mean online marketing doesn’t work, it only means if your online marketing isn’t working, you’ll need to put in the effort to figure out why and challenge yourself to raise the bar.

Here’s what to do when your online marketing isn’t working: Continue reading

6 Steps to Creating and Selling an Online Course

Depositphotos_68471525_s-2015Creating and selling online courses has become a wildly popular way to expand your reach and help more people. Online course technology is increasingly accessible and easy to use, allowing service-based small business owners and independent professionals, such as coaches and consultants, to apply their knowledge and expertise in a way that generates more leveraged revenue.

With an online course, you can sell introductory material to people who are not ready to invest with you at a higher level, provide guidance for those who can’t afford to work with you one-on-one, and raise your profile as an expert in your field.

Here are 6 steps to creating and selling your first online course successfully: Continue reading

Are You Missing the Relevant Mark with Prospects?

milestone-266679_640When it comes to developing content that appeals to prospects and is relevant to them, unfortunately, there are countless ways you can screw up and miss the mark. But the good news is that you can substantially increase your odds of writing content that hits their hot buttons, if you ask yourself these 13 key questions: 

1. Do you have a sound content strategy?

In a recent Solamar post we said that. “It’s essential to know your company’s “why”(or mission statement) and make it clear in all of your content.” According to entrepreneur.com, “A mission statement…captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community…Your mission statement should reflect your business’s special niche.” If you content doesn’t stay true to your strategy, there’s no way it will be appropriate for your prospects.

2. Are you targeting the right prospects?

Understanding who your target prospects is another critical point for hitting the mark. Blogger Dave Bascom says that, “You have to know who you are writing for before you can attempt to influence, persuade, or entertain them.” He recommends that you force yourself to write for your customer/prospect personas to stay on track, ensure you’re writing with purpose, and increase the chances you’ll write something that resonates with the people who read your content.

3. Have you told customers and prospects what’s in it for them?

You must engage them. Trackmaven says that people need to know what they gain from your content (as well as from your product or services). “Put yourself in your customer’s shoes,” the blog advises. “Check out your analytics to see what they are searching for. Then, tailor your content to meet those needs and ensure that it is clear how those needs are addressed.”

4. Is your content action oriented?

You need a clear call-to-action that stands out, without any guesswork. You are creating content, not your own version of “Where’s Waldo?” It must be direct and succinct with actionable words. Check out our post on crafting the perfect call-to-action.

5. Does your content sound too vague or fluffy?

To build a reputation of thought leadership, you content needs substance. When you create in-depth content that has some “meat on the bones” you will also improve your search engine results, as well.

6. Are there images in your content?

If your content consists of huge blocks of text with no images, your readers will get bored. “Images are the new black,” says Trackmaven. “Or, to put it another way, visual marketing needs to be a key component of yourcontent marketing strategy.” 43% of people list images as the content they most share on social media. That means if your content marketing is still primarily text based, you will lose a lot of your audience.

7. Are you using video?

Forbes says that, “Most respondents prefer video over white papers, case studies, or even live demos with reps.” You need it to make your content more interesting with the use of videos, without making those videos too serious or sales-y.

8. Does your content suck?

I simply can’t sugarcoat this: Fixing all these things won’t save you if your content is poorly written. For blog posts, you need inviting headlines, engaging subheadings, and body text that makes people take notice. Your entire post needs to tell a clear and compelling story. In all content, you need to pay the same kind of attention to these details.So, don’t write content that sucks, or you will drive customers away in droves. For tips, start with this Solamar blog.

9. Is your content irrelevant?

Poor content is isolated and totally irrelevant. There’s stuff happening in the real world all the time, and if your content fails to leverage topical issues, then it will fail. Make sure your content relates to a trending topic and you will get more attention for it. Fail to do so and it will sink. That’s why you must keep tabs on hot news topics, celebrity mentions, and memes so your content is über-relevant to the audiences you are trying to reach.

10. Is your content mobile-friendly?

Business Insider says that mobile devices havetaken over the world. If your content is not ready for the new-and-growing wave of mobile users, you will fail. Since mobile users are more likely than any others to take quick action on what they find, your content needs to work on mobile devices. Make sure your site and content are mobile friendly…that they load quickly and make it easy for them to take action.

11. Are you focusing your content?

You need a strategic focus to tie all your content together, otherwise it will come off as piecemeal.  Set some specific, measurable goals and track the success of your content marketing efforts so you can amend your strategy when necessary.

12. Are you blogging regularly?

In order for your blog (and your content, in general) to gain the likes, shares, and clicks you are looking for, you need to make sure you update it regularly. A good benchmark is to post a new blog at a minimum of once a week…or at least, every other week.

13. Are you trying to do it all yourself?

You’re busy running your business and serving your customers. How can you also be expected to create involving content day-in-and-day-out? If you try to develop all the content yourself as well as run your business, surely your content will get less attention and consideration.  Instead, ask us for some help. Give us a shout!

8 Top-Notch Tips to Magnify Your Content

concept-18290_640Your website, blog, e-newsletter, email, sales pages, and social media presence tell prospects and customers who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. It’s all of that content that delivers a picture of your business. So, it pays to do everything you can to boost, intensity, enhance, and maximize the power of your content.

If you apply these 8 simple tricks and tips to magnify your content and make it more accessible and digestible, you will:

  • Boost subscribers to your email newsletter or blog (and tell their friends)
  • Sell your digital or physical product
  • Promote your services
  • Drive traffic to your seminars, whether they’re online, on the phone, or in-person
  • Get a visitor to comment, give you feedback, and share
  •  Dominate a keyword in search rankings

Have a clear content strategy

It’s essential to know your company’s “why” (or mission statement) and make it clear in all of your content. According to entrepreneur.com, “A mission statement…captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community…Your mission statement should reflect your business’special niche.”

Be Engaging

A recent Solamar post advised, “Before you do anything else, you must follow the fundamentals of good, solid, response-oriented copywriting.” These basics mean you have to develop content with:

  • Winning headlines and subheads
  • Simple and specific language
  • Benefits before features
  • Clear and compelling proof
  • Confident guarantees

Include a distinct call to action

Your content always needs a purpose…a reason to do something. According to a Solamar post from a few months ago, “Crafting the perfect call to action is a dying art and it needs to be resurrected if you want the quick click. Strong, direct and clear calls to action will always get a better click through rate.

Why? Because when you use the right words and graphics, provide a real benefit to your prospects, and make it easy to respond, they’ll act NOW!”

Your audience is reading your content because they’re interested in what you have to say. It’s your job to connect the dots from your knowledge to your audience’s action. If you want to give your content more oomph, you have to give them the answer to the question, “So what?” Tell them what concrete action steps to take, and they’ll keep coming back for more of what you offer.

Break content into lists and bullets

Nielsen Norman Group’s (NN/g) study on evidence-based Internet user experience shows that readers stop and notice numbered lists, because they represent facts and are a, “…more compact (and thus attractive) representation of hard information than flowery verbiage.”Numerals or bullets boost scannibility, credibility and usability. People like to see things in an organized fashion.  It’s that simple. (Proof: You’re reading this list post now!)

Link to your other content

The best strategy to keep people poking around your website is to link to your other posts, web pages,
and e-newsletters. (Just like we just did in the previous sentence and throughout this post.) The idea is to keep people interested in everything you have to say…it puts all of your knowledge at their fingertips. Plus, it also improves SEO.

Be visual

Put your best digital foot forward and make sure that your content has interesting, quality graphics that are ready to go when your readers pin, tweet, or re-post your awesome content!

“Think about wildly popular giants like Pinterest and BuzzFeed: both have highly visual interfaces. Even Facebook and Twitter have gotten on board and have tweaked their sites by giving more screen space to graphics,” says a goinfinitus.com post.

Use your meme mojo

Essentially, a meme is a piece of media or text that spreads like wildfire via the Internet (on blogs, email, social media, and forums)…and often involves humor. Sharon Hurley Hall’s post tells us that, “This potential virality is what makes memes a great marketing tool. Memes offer the possibility of staying relevant to your audience’s interests while providing something they can share with their networks.”

It’s easy to tap into the latest memes and create your own:

  • Find out trending topics on search engines and social media.
  • Look for frequently repeated hashtags.
  • Keep up with current events.
  • Check out such sites as Know Your Meme and Memebase.
  • Hijack a meme (Hubspot calls it memejacking).
  • Create your own meme with such apps as Meme Generator or Quick Meme.

Encourage sharing

If you want to make your content more memorable, make it more share-worthy, as we discussed in our April post. Content will be more shareable when it is: fresh, relevant, useful, emotional, funny, and easy to understand.

Want to make sure your content stands out? Talk to Solamar. Our talented marketers, writers, and designers know exactly how to magnify your copy.

Preventing Web Copy Failure: 9 Ways NOT to Turn Off Visitors With Your Choice of Words

wordsIt’s the eighth day of the New Year. It’s time to quit partying, throw out your holiday decorations, and get serious about your website copy…especially when it comes to the words and phrases that are causing it to fail.

It’s time to buckle down and really evaluate exactly what your copy is saying wrong, and what you need to do to be more successful with your choice of words in 2014.

Go over your website content with a fine tooth comb. Weed out or replace the unnecessary, unproductive or turn-off words, especially the ones visitors loathe and make them run screaming from your site, never to come back. Nothing is sacred. If it turns them off, get rid of it, even if you love it! Continue reading

9 Content Marketing Activities Your Customers Wish You’d Stop

stopContent marketing is king. Rebecca Lieb at Altimeter says that it’s “…the atomic particle of all digital marketing… the alpha and omega of everything you’re doing in digital marketing.” But, Toby Murdock adds that, “… there must be a value exchange: buyers exchange their attention in return for content that is valuable to them.”

That’s why your customers have a love-hate relationship with your content. When it’s good and relevant to them, they love it and eat it up time after time. But, when your content isn’t meeting their needs and is not particularly pertinent to them, it turns them off you, your business, and your products and services.

Francisco Rosales in his Socialmouths blog discusses his “… top three content marketing practices to throw out immediately if you want a strategy that is successful and draws in more leads and customers.” Plus, I’ve added six more content boo-boos…for a total of 9 content marketing activities that your customers wish you’d stop. Continue reading