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Posts tagged online marketing

Protect your ‘Rep’: 4 Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Social media can provide you with an ocean of possibilities when it comes to furthering your brand. You could be riding waves of praise under clear blue skies one minute and be sunk by a sudden storm of negative reviews the next. A lot is at stake when you promote your business through social media and you can’t expect it to weather the storm on its own. Besides the product or service your enterprise provides, it also carries with it other precious cargo: your reputation.

By promoting your business on social media, you better your chances of building strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers and improving your SEO, but you also leave yourself vulnerable to negative criticism and social media mishaps. From anonymous online mischief makers to outraged customers, these pessimistic reviews could break you. However, there is also the potential for good reviews on social media that could very well make you. Here are four tips on how to better survive the rough seas and manage your online brand’s reputation:

1. Keep an eye on your brand

In order to even begin managing your reputation, you have to keep a sharp lookout for what is being said about you. Maybe if the lookouts on the Titanic had spotted that iceberg a little sooner, they too could have avoided disaster. The same goes for British Airways.Annoyed by the airline’s failure to find his father’s lost suitcase, one irate customer paid for this Promoted Tweet:

                how to protect your online reputation

                       Retrieved from Econsultancy blog on 8/20/14

The tweet went unanswered for eight hours and was seen by more than 76,000 users before a BA social media representative responded. The tweet became a bigger problem than it should have because of the company’sfailure to monitor its social media sites and immediately handle the situation.

The best way to stay on top of your online reviews is to use tools such as iWebtools, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck to track mentions of your product or service so that you can respond in a timely manner to both negative and positive mentions. Because you are most likely utilizing multiple forms of social media, it is probably best to keep all mentions in one place so none of them gets lost in the shuffle. Not only do you have customers frequenting your business’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with their complaints, but they have also taken to posting their comments on sites such as Yelp and Reddit. Frequent auditing of search engine results is also an effective means of monitoring what is surfacing about your business and how it is being represented.

2. Engage with brand detractors

When filtering through your online findings, it is imperative that you respond to negative attacks as quickly as possible, like plugging holes in the bottom of a leaky boat. While these attacks may be instigated by individuals, they can easily be seen by anyone and create a public image crisis that could hurt your brand. Contact the creator of any negative reviews immediately and see if you can resolve the problem. Don’t plug up the leaky hole halfheartedly though; the repair job won’t last very long and soon there will be another leak. O2, a UK telecom company, was undergoing a serious network outage and their Twitter account was overflowing with tweets from frustrated customers. Luckily, they did not follow Applebee’s lead and delete their account altogether after being berated for their generic corporate responses. Instead, O2 responded directly to these tweets with honesty and a little bit of humor. Their sincere approach was well-received and the tides changed dramatically in their favor as a result. As you can see from O2′s response to crisis, getting these negative commenters to engage with you so they open up about any difficulties or qualms is critical so that you can solve the issues immediately and no one else is affected. Maybe your friendly and efficient responses will even turn those bad reviews into good ones.

Continue to read on our blog: Protect your ‘Rep’: 4 Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation
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4 Ways to Bait Your Target Audience with Content Marketing

Whether or not fishing is your ‘thing’, we all generally have a good idea as to how it works – you bait the hook (unless you’re using worms, then you have someone else bait it for you), cast the line, and wait for a hungry fish to be lured in. Sometimes the fish don’t even notice your bait, sometimes they nibble and leave, sometimes you catch something you can’t keep, and sometimes you make that well-deserved, Kodak-moment catch.

Well, if you know how to catch that prized fish, you should also be able to catch those much-desired members of your target audience with your content marketing campaign. Just like how fishing strategy has changed from simply casting a net and collecting any fish in the area to using species-specific bait, the content marketing game has also evolved and become more targeted. You can no longer simply force your business’s information onto people and expect the cream-of-the-crop to respond. You need to understand your audience and entice them with what your business has to offer in order to reel them in – you need to properly ‘bait the hook’, if you will. Keep reading to find out the four different types of ‘bait’ you can use in order to attract your target audience.

Large/Meal Bait

It’s simple – you use big bait to catch the big fish. This type of content is very detailed and informative and is extremely appropriate for when you are targeting established members of the industry. These individuals are looking for a high-quality resource that is more involved and that will satisfy their question, or rather, appetite. Examples of this type of long-form content marketing include case studies, whitepapers, etc.

Live Bait

This bait is more..interactive. This type of content involves the viewers and is often easier to remember and more exciting for them to take in. The most common forms of this bait include infographics and videos, although it can also include events, seminars, etc. Use this form of content to attract people who are looking for a quick and easy way to absorb your information.

Continue to read on our blog: 4 Ways to Bait Your Target Audience with Content Marketing
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Branding Your Bank – How to Create Lasting Loyalty

It has become a critical time for businesses in all industries to focus on branding, and the financial industry is no different. Due to the rapid evolution of technology, banks in particular are being forced to decide between maintaining their classic and traditional connotations, or adapting and adopting a more modern feel. However, true branding does not stop there – banking is not a team sport, so simply making the decision between a ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ brand is not enough to beat the competition. In order to stand out, banks must develop branding strategies that create unique emotional connections with each of their target audiences.

Why should my bank focus on branding?

Now, I get it – investing in boosting your brand can be costly, both in terms of time and money. However, this small short-term setback will immensely help your business grow in the long-term. It has been proven that it costs more to acquire new customers than to hold on to old ones, and by creating an emotional connection between your clients and your brand, you are more likely to gain their trust and hence their loyalty. Furthermore, according to Bridge Bank, “a strong brand makes it easier for customers to make buying decisions and serves as a shortcut in the process.”

How do I choose my brand identity?

Granted, saying that you are reliable, friendly, or just plain ‘the best’ may seem a little unoriginal given the hundreds of times you have heard those characteristics rattled off during commercials. However, there is no reason these claims can’t still be used – you just have to delve a little deeper. Instead of just saying that your firm ‘cares’, explain to people what it is that you care about and, more importantly, show them how you care. For example, Raymond James, a diversified financial services company, has developed its brand around ‘putting others first,’ by specifically supporting communities, which they prove through their work with organizations such as Cradles to Crayons. So just try to focus on one promise that you feel the most passionately about, and then look deeper to discover what it is that makes your promise special and express that to the public.

Continue to read on our blog: Branding Your Bank – How to Create Lasting Loyalty
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Content Marketing: Repackage Your Content for Maximum Success

Content marketing is a fantastic demand generation and lead generation tool for businesses online, but it requires a lot of time and effort to execute it well. Smart content marketers know that in order to save themselves time and more effectively speak to an audience, they need to “recycle” some of their more evergreen, or timeless content.

However, many marketers don’t know the difference between “repackaging” and “duplicating”. Simply taking a blog post and publishing it in PDF format does not make it an ebook. It will take a little tweaking, but we’ll show you how to take one great blog post and repackage it into five different content types:


Repackaging one content piece in different formats allows you to get more mileage – and leads – out of a single content marketing piece.


An ebook is an in-depth exploration of a topic that uses both text and images to explain how to accomplish a goal related to the topic. Simply adding photos or images to your blog post won’t transform it into an ebook; however, if you design a worksheet or checklist that helps elaborate the process discussed in the blog, and then add some real-life examples to further flesh out the narrative and drive your point home, you’ve made a new, useful content marketing piece that complements your blog post, and that you can use as a lead generation tool.

Press Releases

Don’t consider a press release a content marketing tool? You should – it’s a great way to discuss a product, service, or company news, and delivers your company’s vital information to digital publishers. However, you just can’t copy your product page or blog post; that makes it a product pitch. Re-write the lead to place the value proposition first – that’s your journalistic hook. Next, add an influencer quote, provide a little context that explains why this product/service/news is relevant, and include contact information for follow-ups. Voila! Now you have a press release, which you can distribute to journalists and bloggers, and post on distribution sites to help your SEO.

Continue to read on our blog: Content Marketing: Repackage Your Content for Maximum Success
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Auditing Your New Agency: What You Need to Look For

Hiring an agency to manage your company’s SEO and SEM programs is often a smart way to run things; however, brands must do their homework before and during the beginning of their  client-agency relationship. Not all marketing agencies are equal, so you have to make sure the one you choose to do business with understands your goals, uses industry best practices – and will net you results. Not sure how? Follow these steps to run an audit of your SEM agency after you sign on:


Auditing Your SEO/SEM Agency:

Look at Defined Goals and Metrics

Although you’re most likely not a professional in this arena, you should still have a general idea of what you hope to accomplish for your brand through these programs, whether its higher qualified lead volume, increased brand visibility, or some other goal. You should define what your idea of success metrics look like.

Now, compare your goals and metrics to your agency’s visions for your brand. Having everyone on the same page on these elements is crucial for accurate and meaningful communication. If your agency’s vision is wildly different than yours, it can signal trouble ahead.

How is Your Agency Reporting Everything?

One of the most consistent communication types you will have with your agency is the periodic performance reports. It is important that you understand everything that report contains, and know how to read and interpret the data.

First, make sure you agree with the brand about the goals, metrics, key performance indicators, and software that will be used to measure results and generate these reports. Next, ask the agency questions. Everyone working on your account should be able to easily answer performance questions, address your concerns, and back up their claims with data from the reports. The more open, honest, and accurate the information surrounding your reporting is, the better the relationship will be between you and your agency.

Continue to read on our blog: Auditing Your New Agency: What You Need to Look For
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Social PPC: Separating Myth from Reality

Pay-per-click advertising on social networks has existed for several years, but has only recently started gaining traction. Social PPC is great, in that it allows advertisers to pinpoint audiences and target them directly on their platform of choice; it’s a great way to place your ads in front of your ideal customers. However, because social PPC is such a new concept to so many people, there are tons of myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice. Let us help you separate fact from fiction:


Myth: You Should Run 1-2 Promoted Updates at a Time per Platform

Reality: The More Promoted Updates You Have, the Better Engagement You Receive

Advertisers who are new to social PPC often are afraid of busting their budgets and triggering ad burnout by running multiple campaigns on any one platform, and are more comfortable with only running one or two ads.

While keeping the budget small is a good strategy for advertisers who want to acclimatize to social PPC, keeping the number of ads small as well isn’t the best plan. SEM professionals at gyro have found that 3-5 ads live at the same time greatly increased engagement, click-through rate, and lead volume levels.  Run your own tests while publishing your updates to find the optimal number for your brand.

Myth: You Have to Have an Organic Presence in the Social Channel to Use Their Ads Platform

Reality: Some Channels Require an Account, but None Require Activity

Twitter Ads require a Twitter account and handle, and LinkedIn Ads require a Company Page, but there is no rule that states you have to actively post and engage on the channel in order to use social PPC there. The joy of this tactic is how easy it is for advertisers to target audiences – age, location, job title, and interests are all valid criteria advertisers can use when setting an ad’s audience. The amount of company updates you have does not affect your ad targeting.

However, the types of ads you can run can be limited by a lack of activity on the social channel. Twitter promoted posts, Facebook promoted posts, and LinkedIn sponsored updates require account activity, as you are choosing to make a post an ad with these options. Yet there are still plenty of options for advertisers who do not have a robust social media presence, including Twitter promoted accounts, Facebook sidebar ads, and LinkedIn ads.

Continue to read on our blog: Social PPC: Separating Myth from Reality
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Is Google+ On the Ropes?

Google+ is often the red-headed stepchild of the social media world; it often doesn’t receive the same accolades or news coverage as Facebook or Twitter. Marketing and advertising professionals see the value of placing and sharing content on the platform, due to its direct ties with Google Search, but the platform itself hasn’t become a fixture in most people’s daily lives. Now, Google+’s longtime leader, Vic Guntora, has announced he is leaving the company.

Guntora was the driving force behind the Google+ platform, and one of its biggest advocates. Although Google has already announced his replacement on the Google+ team, David Bresbis, the departure of Guntora is a blow to the platform. Added to the recent announcement that Google will be uncoupling Google+ integration from the rest of its products (which definitely helped boost the total number of Google+ users), and it’s difficult to determine what might be in store for the future of the platform.

Some say that unhooking Google+ from the rest of the Google suite of products is a good idea; the YouTube/Google+ integration was poorly received both within the company and throughout its consumer base. However, if a person no longer needs a Google+ account in order to interact with other Google products, will users abandon the site?

Rumors have also surfaced that Google+ plans to radically change its functionality and focus so as to stop competing directly with the likes of Facebook, but Google executives have vehemently denied these claims.

Continue to read on our blog: Is Google+ On the Ropes?
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Marketer or Storyteller? The Power of A Good Story

With the amount of content that is forced upon consumers in today’s digital world, it’s easy to create an ad or a social media post that goes unnoticed. Companies must differentiate themselves to cut through the excess “noise” of today’s Internet. If you only get one chance to engage with consumers, what’s the best method?

One method that is great for connecting to consumers in an effective and genuine way is storytelling. Storytelling creates a narrative that people can follow and connect with. Storytelling certainly isn’t a new concept. People have been telling stories since the beginning of time. However, brands are underutilizing this tool or even worse, abusing it.

Of course there are some exceptions. Brands like Coca-Cola and Toms have done an excellent job creating and crafting a story to communicate with consumers. These stories capture the hearts and minds of consumers and ultimately influence their behavior.

Everyone has some type of story. Here are a few tips to help you as you craft yours.

Make It Authentic

Real authentic stories carry more weight than something that is simply made up. There are plenty of fictional pieces of content on the internet that are effective, but storytelling shouldn’t be forced. Think about your company, product or service. What’s its purpose? What does it stand for and how did it acquire it’s unique values? An authentic story will do a better job connecting to prospective consumers.

Continue to read on our blog: Marketer or Storyteller? The Power of A Good Story
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Increase Web Traffic & Improve Search Rankings: The Underdog Success Story

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam Team, is known for having an open dialogue with  the public. Recently, he used one of his Webmaster YouTube videos to debunk a common myth: that smaller sites cannot acquire as much online traffic as bigger and better known sites. Cutts immediately stated that he disagrees with this assessment, and explains that smaller sites don’t need to be intimidated by larger sites, and it’s true. While it may be harder to gain the same type of online recognition that larger sites receive, it is not impossible. If you want to have an impressive search ranking and rack up as much web traffic as a larger site, there are a few things to remember:

Quality Comes First - Cutts wants to assure us that search rankings are less about size than it is about content. If you want your site to be at the top of the search rankings, your content needs to be smart, innovative, and high-quality. What value are you bringing to the consumer? Cutts uses sites like Facebook and Google as examples of sites that began when they were small, that appealed and connected to the user, and proved to perform the best in their field. Whatever content you want to focus on, make sure you do it well!

Continue to read on our blog: Increase Web Traffic & Improve Search Rankings: The Underdog Success Story
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What’s the Biggest Email Marketing Mistake You Can Make?

Marketers have a lot going on. From strategy and planning to execution and reporting, there is always an abundance of tasks on a marketer’s to-do list. It can be natural to want to lighten the workload by taking some shortcuts, and in some marketing channels, that’s totally possible and efficient. However, email marketing is not one of these; it’s hard work to build a list, conceptualize a campaign, design an email, write the copy, and send a campaign, and the temptation is high to cut some corners.

Unfortunately, the place where most professionals try to create an email shortcut is one of the most damaging places to do so. In fact, this little shortcut is the WORST mistake you can make as an email marketer. So what should you never do?

Never buy an email list. Seriously, just say no.

A strong, opt-in email list is the foundation on which your entire email marketing strategy is based. You create your calls-to-action and offers based off of your email list demographics. In fact, your entire reputation as an email marketer depends upon the quality of your list; if you’re reported as a spammer too often by unhappy email recipients, you can be blocked from sending any emails at all from your chosen domain. The risks of buying a list will always outweigh any time or convenience saved.

So how do you build a healthy, useful email list? The steps might take a little time and effort, but they will reap a number of happy, eager email recipients for you – and help your website’s SEO and reputation to boot!

Draw Traffic to Your Site:

Weren’t expecting that? It should come as no surprise that if you want people to opt-in to hearing from you regularly, you first have to hook them online. A great, useful blog and a well-designed, informative website will bring in traffic – gear your articles to answering common prospect or customer questions, so that when users search for answers, your blog – and brand – will pop up. Now that the traffic is here on your site, you have to get them to commit.

Continue to read on our blog: What’s the Biggest Email Marketing Mistake You Can Make?
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iBeacons Could Be The Next Big Thing

About a year ago Apple introduced their new iOS 7 update. In classic Apple fashion, they held a keynote speech to tell their loyal customers about all the bells and whistles associated with the new operating system. However, there was one capability that Apple didn’t make a fuss about, the iBeacon capability.

Just because Apple isn’t talking about it, doesn’t mean other people aren’t. iBeacons have caught the attention of technology junkies and retailers alike. Some people even think it could revolutionize the in-store shopping experience.

By now everyone knows how prevalent mobile is in our day to day lives. iBeacons are designed to capitalize on mobile technology and usage. In simple terms, iBeacons are small pieces of hardware that recognize when your mobile device has entered a certain region or range. It does this by using Bluetooth low energy which can send a notification to your mobile device once you enter the specified range.

For retailers, the benefits are obvious. If implemented correctly, iBeacons can greatly improve the shopping experience. iBeacons can attract potential customers who might be close by and they can collect huge quantities of data that weren’t previously available. For example, iBeacons could tell retailers what parts of the store receive the most and least amount of traffic.

Continue to read on our blog: iBeacons Could Be The Next Big Thing
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Search Engine Marketing: Why Adjectives Matter

From an early age, we are taught the blessing and the curse that is the adjective. It is a common and necessary part of our vocabulary, and most of us don’t even realize when we fall into adjective trends (such as calling everything you like “fantastic.” I mean, is it really?) What is truly incredible is how we relate to different adjectives. They erode a certain feeling, a unique story. This is why, in the world of pay per click advertising, an adjective can be essential for a business’s success story.

When someone is searching for your restaurant, for example, how do you want them to describe it? If it is a bar, do you want them to see it as elegant, relaxed, or trendy? These are things to seriously consider when committing to paid searches on Google through Google Adwords.

A San Francisco restaurant called First Crush was able to increase their website traffic by 400% using Google AdWords. The way Google helped them do this was by defining their brand so the Google sidebar ads pop up in specific searches. Your brand can’t just be a name; it needs to be an identity, and knowing the proper way to describe your story is a big factor in making yourself relatable and popular.

It is important to use common adjectives, but target a specific demographic.You want to create a story for the target audience, so decide what type of aesthetic you’re going for.  A great way to design your story is using Google Analytics. Google Analytics will help you better understand your audience through research and statistics, and will assist in your approach to marketing, including what target words to use.

Continue to read on our blog: Search Engine Marketing: Why Adjectives Matter
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