- Creating a Marketing Plan with Digital Strategies
- How to Stay Relevant to Buyers
- Why Email Marketing Thrives Amid New Technolgies
- Getting Executives On Board with Digital Marketing
Email Marketing provides the best channel for direct access and segment target marketing. More
While some people view change as exciting and opportunistic, others see change as confusing, expensive, and fear investing in the wrong strategies.More
Marketing your books or publishing brand through social media needn't be confusing! This eBook is the essential Publisher's Handbook to all social media activities that you need to know about. Social media marketing expert Liz Murray guides you through a series of social media topics by making the subject matter easy to understand, engaging and personal. You'll learn the same methods that she has used working with well known publishing brands. Key areas covered include social media planning, websites and blogs, Facebook, Twitter, other social media marketing sites, measuring ROI and social media tools. The book is aimed at those who want to gain a low level understanding of all areas of social media rather than extensive knowledge about one area. It's the perfect go to handbook, there when you need to refer to it.
One of the key components that this book points out to publishers is that social media marketing is all about producing content and publishers already have a head start with tons of content. The key is using it and applying it to a particular niche market. Unfortunately, some of the information is outdated since the book was published in 2012. For this reason, my review may have been higher if I had read this book two years ago. However, even if I had read it a couple of years ago, since the title is all about social media, I feel that it concentrates too heavily on Facebook and Twitter and not enough on other relevant and important social media sites.
It mentions ping.fm, which was shut down in July 2012, replaced by Seesmic and later purchased by HootSuite, which is up and running at the time of this review. In case you are unfamiliar with the it, HootSuite allows you to link several social media accounts and schedule posts in advance and auto post them simultaneously to multiple social media accounts as needed.
The grammar mistakes are hard to ignore, which gives the reader the impression that they neglected to hire a content/copy editor. For instance, about 14% into the book it says: Well the correct answer is to make a plan, but in reality, if you're a small publisher doing all this off your own back then hey why not dip your toe in and grow your knowledge and reach, as you do.. In spite of this, the point they make is valid, but difficult to decipher.
It's clear that the book is a series of articles that were merged into an ebook. One giveaway is at the end of a chapter it says: Hopefully this article has given you a start in the right direction.
The book emphasizes planning your social media marketing strategy ahead of time and to remember that it is a conversation with people not a shouting platform. Emphasis is given on website and blog SEO with some good tips on how to improve your ranking.
Unfortunately, the book advises readers to measure blog and social media results, but it doesn't go into any details as to how to do this. It doesn't cover the standard metrics of what you should be measuring, no examples, no charts or screenshots. It mentions a few software programs, but leaves out significant details as to what they measure, comparisons, pricing, and other relevant information.
As a published author who is very familiar with marketing books through social media, I believe some pertinent information was left out that would have applied in 2012 and still be relevant today--if targeting publishers. More information should have been covered regarding Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, including Amazon Kindle and Author Central, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Kobo, and Apple's iBooks.
If you are completely new to social media, some of the information in this book will be a helpful introduction, but since a large portion of it is outdated (due to no fault of the author's), you may be better served to find a more recent book on social media marketing.
#blogging #content (Free Master Editorial Content Calendar)
If we do not strategize and plan our digital content in advance, we'll eventually run out of ideas and forget topics we may have already covered. A case of writer's block could always stump us. We could miss opportunities to cover events, holidays or timely subjects. Let's face it--there are days when we are more creative than others. It doesn't matter who we are or how awesome we are at creating digital content--everyone has good and bad days.
- A list of content ideas
- Event tracking
- Schedule of posts
- Schedule of social media posts
- Creating other content (photos, videos, infographics, ebooks)
- Repurposing content
Here is a glimpse of the Master Page, but you can see that each blog is set up with its own tab to give your space to strategize. The Social Media Schedule and Newsletter Schedule have their own tabs as well. Each of these tabs have already been set up with appropriate headers and yearly schedule that can be modified from year to year.
- Traditional - Think of the traditional trade paperback books sold in stores like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. Now it includes both print and eBooks. Editors and agents are still the gatekeepers accepting and rejecting authors' works. Most of these publishers will not look at an author's work without a literary agent representing them. Authors are usually paid an upfront advance, they finish the book, incorporate the editor's edits, may give limited input on the cover, and have little input on deadlines and publication dates. Authors hold the copyright, but the title, character names and story-line are subject to change at the editor's discretion. From the date of signing a contract it can take 12-18 months to publish. It can take years for an author's work to get past the agent/editor gatekeepers. (It took me 14 years.) Royalties are paid a small percentage once the advance has been earned.
- Self-publishers - This is the route that most business owners take even though they have to cover the expense upfront. It allows them to maintain control over content, edits, cover design, deadlines, publication dates, and distribution. With technology now offering the option of print-on-demand (POD) and eBooks at such low costs, even more businesses and authors are choosing self-publishing. I recently self-published my first novel 6 months ago.
- Hybrid - This is a relative new term for authors who are both traditionally published and who have chosen to self-publish.
- Ezines & Newspapers - This includes both print and e-versions that can be distributed freely with paid advertising or subscription based. Distribution includes websites, mobile, email, Kindle, Nook and other e-readers. It includes hard news stories, features and special interest articles.
- Bloggers - Most blogging sites are free and open to the public, but some are subscription based and are supported by allowing paid ads on the site. These publishers can be individuals or businesses. Many are opinion columns or geared toward targeted audiences on special niche topics. Bloggers choose when they publish whether it is daily, a few times a week, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Most are informal, but some are more formal citing sources, hosting guest bloggers, written interviews and posting videos.
- Website Owners - Most people who own a website or blog do not traditionally think of themselves as publishers, but once their site goes live, it has been published for the world to see unless they are using a private, subscription based service. It is like an online book of pages about ourselves and/or our companies.
- Content - While this can range from words to images and videos, content is published on any medium and authors range from copy writers to web and graphic designers for hire to simply sharing something a friend or acquaintance has posted. Think of it this way, traditional publishers never produced their own content. They contracted authors and published their content--and they still do.
Which format distribution will appeal to your target audience the most? You might want to consider concentrating on 3-4 of the below formats. This is where re-purposing your content will come into play. What will appeal to teenagers will not necessarily appeal to 30-40 year olds. Have you tried audio or video? I'm not referring to the standard tutorials that most businesses offer. For example: If you are marketing a product to teenagers, instead of spending millions on select spot advertising, have you considered partnering with a rapper to produce a song or video about your product? Think outside of the box of traditional publishing. I could definitely see Coke-Cola doing something like this. While it may not be feasible to the marketing budget for the rest of us, there are other creative publishing ideas we haven't tapped into yet.
Know Your Goal
Most companies opt to bypass traditional publishing because of the time and hassle it takes in querying agents, submitting to editors, sifting through rejections, rewriting, and lack of control on content editing, deadlines, promotion, contract negotiations, etc. The only time it makes since to traditionally publish is when a CEO or business owner has a high-profile following and an established platform. It's a great way to leverage that platform to make more money and solidify him/herself as an expert in their field. The other reason is if an individual is trying to establish an author career.
Comparatively, eBooks are longer and may be offered as a free download on a company's website, but many are opting to have them published on wider distribution sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo. If people are willing to pay for a book and leave favorable reviews, it definitely builds more credibility than a free website download. People know that a company is the publisher of its own website and can post those reviews making it look like customer reviews--but there is always suspicion that such reviews could be made up. However, a high number of reviews over a long period of time on a third party site such as Amazon are more likely from real readers.
You Need an Editorial Calendar
Regardless of the format distribution you choose, if you intend to publish on a regular basis, an editorial calendar will make your life easier. On those days when you are rushed and your creative juices aren't flowing as well, it's great to have an idea or topic already scheduled and at your fingertips. In fact, I recommend writing your posts as far in advance as possible. Plus, by creating a calendar rather than a long list of topics, you can visually see your strategy, make sure similar topics are spaced out accordingly and schedule posts around significant events, holidays, product launches, campaign roll-outs, etc. Be aware that your Editorial Calendar may need to leave some wiggle room for unexpected activities that might crop up and have filler posts for unexpected sickness, vacations, or other projects that have extended deadlines.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm providing a link to an Editorial Calendar that you can download and modify in Excel as needed. This is a great resource from Manifesto. Go here.
12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing
About the Book
Several contributors have written chapters in this book covering areas from paid advertising, SEO, SMM, video and email marketing, responsive web design, mobile marketing, and analytic measurements. One of the key concepts is the digital royal family where content is still king, digital advertising is queen, mobile is prince, and social media is the princess. These four channels are the foundation of a full digital marketing plan. For most businesses, goals and objectives revolve around three categories of lead generation, brand awareness, and customer retention.
Take Away Value
Due to the overwhelming need to produce quality content, many businesses have been forced to turn into independent publishers, while social media acts as platforms to distribute content and build audiences into potential customers. Instead of defining the value of products and services as features, businesses need to focus on creating content that solves problems. Understand the challenges customers face, become a trusted source, keep writing fresh content and distribute it everywhere, channel potential customers, use marketing funnels, and make it easy to buy.
To analyze the ROI of the content being produced and the strategies in how and to whom it is distributed, businesses must measure everything. Identify goals and objectives, select strategies and tactics, explore new opportunities, and set metrics and targets. Three specific tasks to yield valuable information is market segmentation, persona development, and competitor analysis. Goals and objectives fall into three categories: lead generation, brand awareness and customer retention. Marketers look at web traffic, direct sales, sales lead quality, and customer feedback.
The book discusses web development with effective landing pages, responsive design, and conversion architecture as part of the lead generation process. People do not read, they scan headlines, images and bullet points, so design your web pages accordingly. Mobile marketing is essential as more people conduct searches on smartphones and tablets. Paid advertising and SEO work together. Prioritize a limited number of keywords for SEO for top organic ranking, then supplement with PPC advertising. Use bid optimization software to monitor bids and activity, and adjust individual keyword bids to remain competitive and fit within a given budget. Test everything. Test variations of ad titles, special offers, and calls to action. In targeting your ads, consider targeting geographic areas, site specifics, customer behaviors, and demographics.
Significant detail is given on different types of landing pages such as microsites, teaser pages, squeeze pages, informercial landing pages, and viral landing pages. A 25-point checklist is included for landing pages. It covers the advantages and disadvantages of in-house resources and outsourcing. Lots of details are given on social media and email marketing.
This book is a great resource for beginners to intermediate level marketing, and especially for small business owners. I believe some parts of this book will even be good for seasoned marketers as we all need reminders and to read a different perspective on things we may already be doing or partially doing. I think this book will be an excellent resource for small business owners who may not have a marketing team, and may not consider themselves marketing professionals, but in a position where they still need to know this information and do it. They will need to keep an open mind to get the most out of the advice in this book.
Digital Minds doesn't just tell you what you need to be doing, it explains why you need to do it and gives reasonable explanations behind the strategies and methods they suggest. For instance, it brings up the following points.
"Some traditional marketers feel that content marketing is giving away something for free with no return. But by producing content, your business becomes a reliable, trusted source of information, which is then associated with your products. A good reputation is priceless."
"Producing content and distributing it online is like being a keynote speaker at a conference full of potential clients--every single day."
Marketers can use these arguments and concepts when trying to convince reluctant management to move into a new digital direction. The book is full of these concepts to get your mind moving into a new area and give you nuggets of knowledge you can use in debates on marketing strategies.
I highly recommend Digital Minds if you are seeking to learn more about digital marketing.
At the request of my co-workers, I created the below prezi on Introducing Twitter. It is intended for newbies who have little to no experience with Twitter and includes audio voice-overs with several video tutorials from YouTube. Even though I created it before Twitter's latest redesign, I hope some of you will still find it to be helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions that I didn't cover in the prezi.
Digital Technology is the lifeline of your business, stay updated
People are now using their mobile phones, tablets and laptops to research products and services before making buying decisions. They go to social media sites and ask for advice from friends and followers and/or subscribe to email newsletters while they contemplate their choices. If you aren't actively promoting and marketing your business on these devices and on social media sites, you are losing out on a huge segment of your potential buying market. Implement your marketing strategies using digital technology, review and assess it quarterly, and make necessary updates as needed. Be consistent. Too many small and medium sized businesses start out with great intentions, but then start slacking off and let things slide in their digital presence and marketing efforts.
The facts speak for themselves:
- 56% of adults are now smartphone users (Pew Research Internet Project, 2013)
- Of the 70% of shoppers who used their mobile phone while in a retail store during the holidays, 62% accessed that store's site or app (ForeSee, 2013)
- Retailers' apps with a store mode have 5 times more engagement (Point Inside, 2013)
- 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while shopping in stores (Moosylvania, 2012)
- 50% of shoppers feel they are better informed than store associates (Motorola, 2013)
- 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop (comScore, 2012)
- 74% of U.S. consumers use location based services on their smartphones (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2012)
- Online retail spending grew by 14% in 2013 (comScore, 2014)
- Global e-commerce sales via mobile devices are projected to reach $638 billion by 2018 (Digiday, 2014)
It doesn't matter if you have 200,000 Facebook or Twitter followers. Not all of them are going to want or need what you are selling--right now. Make sure you are available and easy to find online when they do need your products and services. For instance, people don't purchase cars, houses and furniture very often. If you start promoting to them when they aren't interested in buying, you will annoy them and many will unsubscribe or turn off your notifications. Instead, offer them accessories or an incentive to recommend your products or services to a friend. Give them a discount on maintenance. Find some other way to connect with them until they are buying again. Make sure you segment them in your database so you don't market to them as a potential buyer--especially if they have just purchased a big item from you. Give them some time.
Create great content covering every possible angle about your products and services and archive the posts as they age. When consumers begin researching, one of your archived pages could result in the search responses if you have indexed and tagged them well. If terminology has changed or you can provide better keywords, have an intern or someone go back through the archives and make them more relevant to your current customers.
Put yourself in your customers' shoes--what would convince you?
When I decided to buy a new car, the first thing I did was surf the Internet to see what was out there. I found some local dealers and then went to visit them. While test driving, I brought in printouts from their website on deals they were promoting and looked up competitive prices on my phone. I wanted a deal. What do your customers want?
Are all your locations honoring the promotions you have on your website? Be clear. This builds trust. Are you willing to honor a competitor's prices even if you have a different listing price? If so, make sure all your employees and associates know it. This can win over reluctant customers. Are your promotions so difficult that most customers aren't understanding how it works and you're getting a lot of questions? If so, you need to work on your messaging. Otherwise, it will make them feel like it isn't worth the trouble.
Be transparent, informative, detailed, and have competitive pricing. If your product or service is a higher price, you need to offer something that is "perceived" to be of higher value--more service, accessories or something to convince people why they should spend more. Keep in mind, you only have a short 30 second window or the first couple of lines of text to convince them in your promotional pieces.
Rebrand older products and services--a facelift can breathe new life
When people see the same images, colors, logos and brand for years, they can become desensitized to it no matter how innovative and inventive your updates and marketing strategies. A visual change is necessary in order for them to see and recognize the updates to your products and services.
Companies can outgrow their current brand because they have added other services and products that aren't represented in the older version of their brand or the product becomes irrelevant due to changing technologies. Even if you don't do a rebrand for the product or service, you can rebrand your website, the graphic design and videos you have traditionally used to promote them and go with a new marketing design and concept. Breathe fresh life into your approach and it can make a difference in how consumers respond.
Old-fashioned ingenuity-develop quality, creative & necessary products before competitors
Some things never change in spite of all the changes around us. You can have the best marketing strategies in place with an unlimited budget, but if your product or service isn't something people want and it doesn't meet a need or solve a problem, people will not buy it. This is the ultimate key to being relevant. Each time you bring out a new product or service or update an existing one, you need to be able to answer these questions:
1) Who will want or need it?
2) How will it benefit them?
3) What other options are available? Competition?
Nothing beats having a quality product that everyone wants.
Search this blog
About the Book Marketing your books or publishing brand through social media needn't be confusing! This eBook is the essential Publishe...
Technology keeps evolving to change the way we consume information. While some people view change as exciting and opportunistic, others see ...
"Marketing is not just about being seen as better than the competition. It's about being seen as the only solution to your au...
Even though you are most likely blogging and building your social media platforms, #emailmarketing provides the best channel for direct acc...
#blogging #content (Free Master Editorial Content Calendar) If we do not strategize and plan our digital content in advance, we'll ev...
While 3D digital graphics and movies are nothing new, there are a few trends that have been evolving in the last couple of years. Lots of pr...
Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you are in, marketers and business owners should consider creating an annual marketi...
#rebranding #technology It's a challenge, and a MUST Business owners and marketers can never rest no matter how many goals they ...
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