Category Archives: tactics

Why Content Marketing is So Important to Your 2017 Online Visibility

  • Everyone knows that content marketing is important. It seems everywhere I look there is lots of discussion about it. Content marketing provides a number of things to your company’s visibility on the internet. It helps
  • to establish credibility
  • to get noticed
  • to help attract the search engine results
  • to present your marketing message in a way that is helpful to your potential clients and customers.

Not sure what is content marketing? Let’s break it down simply first:

Content – articles, stories, tweets, headlines, information, photos, videos – all focused on a specific topic of interest to a company’s intended target audience. (My favorite for B-B marketing are case studies and white papers talking about positive solutions to problems. My least favorite – when people forget and post something political.)

Marketing – the effort to attract the target audience… as well as inform, influence and persuade the audience to feel, think and do. (Take action- call, email or click.)

Everyone has an opinion it seems, but here are some links to thought leaders in the content marketing space:

Joe Pulizzi, a key leader of the content marketing movement and founder of  the Content Marketing institute has an awesome blog all about Content Marketing.

Mack Collier, content marketing innovator and Social Media consultant offers solid advice for marketers and companies working on their messaging strategy. (Thanks Mack for your recent email reminding me again not to post anything political in my social media feed because I’ll make 75% of the audience mad at me. It is a good reminder!!)

JHB from the UK offers this cool infographic cocktail recipe for Content Marketing:
Other thoughts on the subject:
Tips for a Rock solid Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing Trends for 2017
Why 2017 is the year of Content Marketing?

Stay tuned – I’m working on the next article about the content marketing editorial calendar. Got a tip or tool? Send it to me and maybe I’ll feature it in the article!

Goodbye 2016 – Welcome 2017

Happy New Year to all.

Today is my first day back into the office since the holidays and I’m getting organized.  I’ve been reviewing my marketing action plans – not so much for my clients – but instead for my own business.

It’s easy to forget about marketing my consulting business when I’m focused on doing the marketing and branding work for the clients.

Each quarter has 3 months, so I’m planning to do one of each of these in each of the quarters:

  • Press release
  • Speaking engagement
  • Workshop

On Friday, I am speaking in Akron about my experiences in writing and publishing my book: Simple Steps, Big Results. I really have not done a lot to promote the book since it was first published because about that same time there were a lot of changes in my business. Perhaps that will change in 2017!

Even after 19 years of business, I still find it the most difficult to promote my company, my services and myself.

I find it much easier to focus on a client;s business!

At the end of 2016, I made it a habit to attend one networking event each week and talk with someone I don’t know.  While I’m not an introvert, I find it much harder to talk with people I don’t really know. There is such a familiarity in sitting near someone you know and having a conversation with them.  Getting out of my comfort zone is a key to growth.

I want to continue that into the new year.

As we usher in 2017, here are a couple of links that I have found interesting and helpful.  I imagine my branding and marketing friends will also enjoy these:

How to make sure that your business shows up on the GPS maps: From INC magazine, written by Anita Campbell from Small Business Trends.  Colors in Marketing: Also from Small Business Trends.

What are you reading that has helped with your marketing? What are you working on in 2017? Are you working on a new action plan for your branding and marketing?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Portraying Advertising, Marketing as the Bad Guys

A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.
A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.

I just watched the 4 minute Chipotle animation that launches their new marketing strategy.  It was just posted about 2 months ago and has 7 million views. After a week, it had 4 million views.

It’s about business competitors trying to out do each other and ends as a love affair with sensible food.

Is the point of this video that marketing, advertising and promotion helps you to lose site of your values?  In this video the marketing and advertising influences are portrayed as the villain in the story.

Portraying Advertising as the Cause

Marketing is demonized by plenty of people, not just this video.  Is it really the fault of marketing?!?!

Is marketing the problem with the fast food industry? Marketing made them put food additives into the food?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I never thought the problems at Chipotle were about excessive advertising and marketing.

Their website outlines the outbreaks in 2015 in a very straightforward crisis communications manner. Social media has rumors of an unscrupulous conspiracy designed to give them a bad name.

Maybe I missed something. Was there a secret love affair gone bad that caused the rumors (or fact) of health problems due to food?

Are they trying to redirect and blur their story?

Is this love story actually the story of how Chipolte was founded?

What is the strategy behind this animation?

Obviouly I have more questions than answers about this subject.

I originally wrote this post a few days after the short video was released, but didn’t publish it. I waited because I thought I might figure it out. Instead, I’m throwing this out to my readers to explain it to me. 

What’s the deal with this… I just don’t get it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

First Comes Marketing Strategy

30 models of marketing strategySo often I’ll get a request from a company representative for a price on execution of a piece of marketing. A Facebook page. A website. Maybe a PDF brochure or a prospecting email.

All of these items are fine on their own. Marketing Tactics. A marketing tool that helps support marketing results.

But alone, without being in support of a goal, the tactic simply doesn’t work.

Marketing Strategy Must Come First!

If you don’t have your strategy planned out, you will just do things and wonder why it doesn’t have the intended results.

So what is strategy? Many people ask me that. Personally I like to talk about the 4 M’s of marketing. It’s not the same as the 4P’s of marketing.

Today I wanted to link to a website that has many different marketing strategies. Ways to approach the marketing. No one way is correct and the others wrong, but it helps to understand the concepts behind these strategies.

I share this link to Marketing Strategies because it’s a great starting point. This page has 30 different methods, concepts and models of marketing strategies.  Notice each one of these models and concepts are not talking about your social media tactics in your Instagram or Snapchat account, or the color of your logo or how you’ll blast out this email content? No, these strategies are talking about the foundation of the marketing… the why, not the how.

There is definitely a difference between strategy and tactics.

Marketing and Branding can be a Thousand Little Things – But It Goes Beyond That!

Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland marketing branding thousand
Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland

Often when I talk about making a difference with your marketing, it’s focused on the BIG PICTURE. Going after the right target market. Finding a strong compelling message that repeatable and memorable. Using cost effective media that helps to influences your target market. Or measuring your marketing efforts for the maximum sales impact.

Marketing and branding can be a thousand little things, all in support of the big picture. It can be the way you answer the phone, return calls promptly or smile when you shake someone’s hand. Or not. Failing to take care of the little things can impact the big things.

Often it is the little things that people remember. Kindness. Sincerity. Optimism. Actually, maybe those are the big things. Bigger than marketing.

Last spring I got to participate in a program that involved interns. We all know that internships can make all the difference in launching a career and I’m heartened when I see a good program in action.

I’m reminded of this again when I watched the recent recap of an internship experience of several Spring Interns that I had the opportunity to meet as part of a business professional series that I participated in for Grow Your Business Cleveland. Watching this video gave me the same optimistic feeling I had the day we worked on and filmed my portion of the video. Being around interns who are the beginning of their career is refreshing.

The interns made me feel relaxed and confident. They had great ideas for elaborating about different areas of my segment and I enjoyed working with them to create my tips. The video also reminded me that video plays in important role in telling your business story. It seems to bring the story to life much more than just a photo or the written word.

Video is just one of the thousand little things that contribute to the overall marketing program. But working with people who are kind, sincere and optimistic takes it over the top. Thanks for this experience!