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Communication is hard.

Why is it so hard for us to communicate?  Seriously – communication is hard.  We seem to assume everyone has a google search box into our subconscious.  (Which may not be too far away.)

the-insties-emailI was looking at my phone yesterday – and Instagram (I like to call it “the insties“) had updated and the icon changed.  I was kind of surprised as it was a “drastic” change to the logo and I didn’t recognize it at first.  I kind of thought it was odd – but whatever…then, today I received an email from “the insties” and it told me to be on the lookout for the new app and logo.

Not that it really matters…but it I guess it surprised me.  As your “the insties” email probably told you, look for a updated app icon.  That is true – and it is very different…not sure I’m a fan of the gradient, but they didn’t ask me.  And they were making a big deal about how the “rainbow lives on” – I had never associated a rainbow with Instagram…but they did, wonder if they ever communicated that to people?

The email went on to explain how they had really simplified the app design.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t notice anything except where it looked like they took the background out…if they wouldn’t have said anything, I would have figured Apple made a change…and moved on.

So – I guess what I am saying is this seems like a pretty big deal to “the insties”  – and I am sure a ton of time and energy when into this.  Taken from a guy who has spent no less than 300 hours in meetings about logos over the years…I can only imaging the discussions that happened when they started this process.  Seriously – the probably should have recorded it and broadcast it as reality TV…I would have binge watched that in a heart beat.  Nerds and designers fighting about what color rainbow gradient colors to put in the upper left corner versus the right lower…ha, Oscar stuff.  I am not joking – that would have been killer.  I mean to have a designer go on a tyrant about how that color yellow is too warm and people who use this app are cool yellow lovers and the warm makes it feel too much like San Diego and we are clearly going for a San Francisco yellow crowd vibe.  Stellar.

Everything I know about communication can be wrapped up in one statement – you really cannot communicate enough.  People desire communication and the more time which goes between communication opportunities – the more context is lost.

Good luck – don’t forget to communicate early and often and please call me if you will be discussing nay logo changes.  I’ll get on that conference call any day.

 

Incredible Ways to Market Your Company

We all know how important marketing is when it comes to running your own company. You can’t expect to enjoy success if you don’t advertise your brand effectively. There are so many business components to think about and to get right before you launch. So it’s easy to overlook important aspects. You need to be sure you make marketing your number one priority.

The good news is that as an entrepreneur there are more opportunities than ever before for marketing. Because of how digital the corporate world has gone these days it’s made marketing much more accessible. Have a look at some of the techniques detailed here and try to decide the best ones to suit your company.

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Social Media

When it comes to successful methods of business marketing, the one with the biggest success rate is social media. Millions of people all across the world are active on social media sites every day. So you have a global audience of millions of potential clients you can target. For this reason you need to make sure you have an active social media presence. It’s important to get on there and drive your brand as much as possible. Try to keep up with current trends and topics to remain relevant and contemporary.

App

These days you can create business apps for smartphones. These apps are transforming business communication. They give customers a remote and portable way to interface with your company. People can use the apps when they’re on the move, and they’ll be able to access information about the brand. Use this as an opportunity to push and promote the company as much as you can. Apps are a simple and effective way to market, plus they’re a unique and attractive prospect these days.

Email

You’ve got to make sure you’re keeping up with your emails. You might have existing clients around the world you want to communicate with. Or you could be sending a blanket email to prospective clients. Either way, email is still an important and influential marketing technique. It’s a great way to personalise communication, and customise messages. You need to make full use of the email function. Try to experiment with emails to get the perfect content before sending them out.

SEO

One of the most significant and powerful marketing techniques is SEO. This is what determines where your website shows up on search engines. So, of course, it’s very important in driving the company forward in a promotional sense. SEO is among the most proven web marketing solutions out there. So you need to make sure you hire a team of professionals to put this into practice for you. This means you will enjoy the full effect of SEO, and you’re free to focus on other areas of the business too.

You’ve got to understand that there are plenty of ways to market and promote the business. Your job, as owner, is to come up with the most effective. Now, there are a vast array of marketing techniques to choose from. The best idea is to try to get the right balance of strategies to help business growth.

Guest posts are a great way to build unique content on your site

perfect-guest-post_600Its important to leverage guest posts as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Why? Because it has numerous benefits for you and your brand, even if that brand is yourself. First, it helps to spread your content across the web. Second, it taps into a new user base that can become regular visitors to your own site. Third, it establishes you as a genuine authority in your field, something you desperately need to maintain credibility on the internet.

But how do you properly write a guest post? MyBlogGuest, a site dedicated to guest posting, has come up with an infographic to break it down for you. Taking a high authority guest post and showing it on the left, they then use the right to point out each tip that makes up the anatomy of a truly good guest article.

Every tip is color coded, with an arrow that points out where it has been used. This allows you to clearly see the advice in action, and so better implement if for your own blog. It includes how to write proper titles, the trick to a perfect byline, the need for specific formatting tricks, the right way to link, and more.

As an added bonus, the post they have used as an example is another very useful one about using embeddable Google posts for your business. Which is a further little tip that you can use in your social media marketing, to further enhance your results. Who doesn’t like a bit of a bonus from their already helpful tutorials?

If you have been looking for a way to boost your content and figure out the way to make a truly impeccable guest post, this is the infographic for you. If not, check it out anyway…it is a must see for anyone who wants to brand themselves, build authority or increase traffic.

To download your copy, please go here: The Anatomy of the Perfect Guest Post. The PDF Cheatsheet is absolutely free.

Still In The Dark On SEO – guide for Small Business SEO

English: seo block

English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To many articles out there assume that the reader is well versed in SEO. However, did you know according to the PEW research & Static Brain, that over 60% of small businesses do not have a website? Staggering. So with that said, lets look at some of the fundamentals in small business SEO and how to project manage them.

If you have researched terms such as ‘SEO’ and ‘keyword implementation’. However, SEO project management techniques are essential if you plan on using these tools to their full potential. Just as a car has all the proper tools to go from point A to point B, small business SEO techniques can get you to where you want to go, but you need guidance. With some of these management techniques you can use every marketing tool in the way that it was intended.

Have Purpose with Small Business SEO

This is the most essential tool in your arsenal; be focused. Sure, you may know what key word implementation means, you may know the power of social media, you may even understand back links, but are you using them correctly? Every thing you do for your website, or business, needs to have a purpose.

  • Generate possible increases in traffic. I.E. “What is a realistic amount of traffic this website can generate?”
  • Use social media to your advantage. Create a Twitter account that is associated with your business. Also, make sure that when you use these media outlets, you have a reason. If you Tweet, make the Tweet attractive to increase traffic to your website.
  • Develop strategies in order to increase sales. Don’t just say you’re going to get more clients, create an outlet to do so. If you’re selling a product from your website, offer money back guarantees, coupons to save money, free shipping. Create scenarios in which you can attract people to buy something.

Time and People Management

This is essential, regardless if you’re working alone or you have a staff. Plan out goals! Make deadlines for said goals and make sure that you stick to them with little, or no, leeway.

  • Create goals such as generating 50 backlinks per day. Make your staff get your URL out onto as many pages on the web as possible.
  • Provide a creative, and hard working, small business SEO based environment. Make sure that everything you do for the business creates a link back to your website, pertains to something you sell, or gives a reason to do business with you.

Freelance

One of the best ways to get involved is by becoming a freelance small business SEO project management official. Become the person that large businesses seek out in order to boost traffic, and sales, on their website.

  • Most large businesses have SEO teams already, but do they have guidance? Having an SEO team is like having a boat with no paddles. Become the person that excels the company to a level they didn’t expect.
  • Get your name out there as much as possible. Don’t spam your SEO project management ideas, show them! Give examples of where you’ve took companies in the past to new heights. If you’re a new freelancer, read every resource to become great. small business SEO tools can make a website go from average to amazing.

A Guide To Creating A Successful Small Business Blog

In recent years blogging has become one of the easiest to use, yet most innovative tools for any website, small business or personal, to gain an audience. A blog garners attention because it enables you to get your voice out there. Whether it is a personal blog or a small business blog, the desired effect is essentially the same; to gain attention and get you or your business noticed.

Why should I bother blogging?

The principal is simple. You want to generate traffic into your small business or website. The easiest way to do this is to give your clients or potential visitors something that they will come to your website for, this is where the blog comes to the fore. The blog is simply a piece of content that will cause your clientele to want to read it on a regular basis, and therefore return to your website to do so.

How to creating a personal or small business blog.

The first step is to physically set up your blog page. If it is a personal blog then word press is a very easy to use site for setting up a new blog. You will need to purchase the domain name, these are usually fairly cheap. If you already have a small business website that you wish to relate the blog to, then you can just add a blog page to the existing site.

Visit this Wikipedia page to find out more about the origins of blogging.

Engaging content is everything.

The next step is the content. The key to a blog is that it must be either informative or witty. If you run a small business, then an informative blog that offers interesting advice within the field of your business will be beneficial to that business.

A blog can also set the precedent for how clients view your small business, as it gives them an insight into the workings and methods behind the business.

For example, if you were to have a marketing or P.R firm, a good blog would be one that gives advice to business owners on how to market their small business. If you were an information technology firm then you may wish to demonstrate your knowledge of the latest technologies by reviewing the latest products, a good example of this can be found on our it departments support website. This will in the long term bring you more clients as it shows firstly that you know what you are talking about, and secondly that you are willing to impart that knowledge and help others. It puts you on a good morale standing with your clients because before you’ve even spoken to them, they already have a feel for your company simply from your blog.

What writing tone should I use?

Funny blogs have an obvious lure to them and tend to be the blogs that attract the biggest audiences. Funny blogs tend to be seen more in personal blogs, however they make a very good platform from which to launch a marketing campaign. For example if you were about to launch a book, then you could create a blog in the months running up to the launch. By creating this witty blog and capturing an audience, you have a waiting client base into which the book can then be directly marketed.

When it comes to writing the blog you need to keep the tone on a friendly yet professional level. You have a website that no doubt already shows the professional front of the business. A blog allows the client more of a personal insight into the business, so although you should remain professional, the personal touch is important.

The importance of good content structure.

You need to ensure that as well as quality content, you also structure your blog with clear concise points. You do not want your readers to get bored, so don’t ramble.

In terms of content, you need to provide value to your readers. What questions do your customers ask you? What are the key words that will bring people to your site?

Search engine optimisation is something you should be considering if you are serious about the marketing of your small business. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a simple case of incorporating a certain word or phrase into a piece of content, in this case the blog. For example if you run a boarding kennel, you might include the phrase ‘look after my dog’ several times in a blog post, or across several blog posts. If someone then types this phrase into a search engine then your site would be optimised by the search engine for stating this phrase several times.

The importance of a blog title.

The title is everything, and possibly the most important part of the entire blog. It is a handful of words that will either blend into the endless streaming background of words that is our news feeds on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or it can be that catchy little caption that lures in your potential customers. Think hard about the title to each blog.

The association between blogging and marketing.

Another aspect of blogging is the marketing. The modern method of marketing is of course social media. Blogging is no different. There is absolutely no point in writing a blog that nobody knows about. Sure a few people might happen across it by chance, but if you want to generate real numbers then you need social media.

If that’s the case, then why not just advertise the small business through social media and forget the blog, I hear you say. Simple… advertising is boring. If you look through any twitter feed you will see hundreds of advertised businesses with links to their sites. They’re tedious and no-one wants to see them quite frankly.

When a blog is linked to a twitter feed, you see only the title. The title is catchy and appealing, most people will read it, even if it’s just out of curiosity. They click the link and voila you have gained a viewer into your website.

You can also use an email subscription whereby readers who like your blog may subscribe to receive email updates when a new post goes live. This keeps readers coming back to your blog and site. Email subscriptions are also a crucial marketing tool. If you are able to get people’s contact details from them willingly then you can send marketing material to them that is relevant to your small business. Google Feed burner is a popular email subscription service and is added to any site by simply copying and pasting the code provided by Google into the html box on your site.

A blog then is a valuable marketing tool, and a great way to project a company image. There is a certain art to creating a good blog, but if you follow these basic principles then you should have a successful blog.

Helpful resources:

The art of blogging – http://taoblogging.blogspot.co.uk

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/

Lucy is a serial blogger that loves to blog about blogging!!! Lucy runs numerous blogs for various clients across the United Kingdom.