Monthly Archives: December 2013
Happy New Year: Tweaking Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2014
It’s the New Year and you know what that means—time to prepare your content marketing strategy for 2014! With the holidays ending, say goodbye to 2013, and start focusing in the New Year. Doing the hard work ahead of time will ensure that your company is prepared to tackle 2014 with a new enthusiasm. Tweak your plan from this previous year and focus on making your content marketing strategy the best it ever was.
Developing a content marketing strategy is a great way to maintain an active web presence and improve your company’s SEO, but it also has many other important advantages. Content marketing not only helps you stay engaged with the customers you already have, but it also helps you draw in new customers. Developing your company’s content marketing strategy means producing shareable content related to your business in a variety of formats—articles, e-books, white papers, videos, slideshows, infographics, photos, etc. If you’re willing to keep experimenting with different forms of content marketing until you find a strategy that works for your business, you’ll continue to improve.
It’s important to keep track of how well your content marketing strategy performs, so you can assess the best way to move forward each year. If you’re wondering where to get started, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself about your content marketing in 2013:
Year’s End Marketing Round-up: Evaluating Your Company’s Performance
Can you believe the year is almost over? In order to move on to 2014, now is the time to evaluate how you did this year. Make sure you look at your company’s entire marketing strategy, so you can improve on it, and do better this upcoming year. Each year is a fresh start, so take advantage of it. You can now figure out new goals and marketing strategies, depending on where you want your company to go and what you want to accomplish. Appreciate how far you’ve come in 2013 and do your best to build a better marketing strategy. Here are a few steps to take to focus your evaluation.
Review your 2013 goals
What were your goals this year? Did you reach them? Did you surpass them? If you didn’t have any goals, don’t worry. Now is the time to begin setting them for 2014 and keep track of them during the upcoming years. Coming up with a way to reach those goals will help you focus your marketing strategy. What do you want to accomplish this year? Where do you want to be this time next year? If you reached your goals last year, don’t be afraid to set higher goals for 2014.
Native Advertising: What Marketers Need to Know
The term native advertising has been thrown around a lot lately, so if you’re keeping up with marketing strategies for your business it helps to know what it means. Since native advertising is a relatively new experience for many marketers and consumers, it makes sense that many people might not fully understand how it could work for their business. However, with social media marketing always on the rise, native advertising could be exactly what marketers are looking for to boost their sales.
Native advertising is a method of marketing where ads are part of the content on a page and built into the visual design. Since this is something that has been done in magazines and newspapers for many years, native advertising is really only new to digital advertising. It’s important to remember that native advertising is not meant to trick consumers—it’s only meant to enhance the content that they’re reading by offering them advertisements related to their experience. This has helped marketers bring in more business for their companies, by targeting consumers who are most likely to be already interested in their products and services.
Top 15 Holiday Marketing Campaigns of 2013
For the third consecutive year, US Data Corporation has decided to honor the best of the best when it comes to holiday marketing. This year’s selections are an eclectic sort. We’ve got everything from touching family home videos to reinterpreted fairy tale mashups to one of the most bizarrely naughty “Jingle Bells” interpretations you’ll ever see. So let’s not keep you waiting. These are our Top 15 Holiday Marketing Campaigns of 2013 .
1. Tesco Home Videos
Retailer Tesco taps in to family memories in a simple and authentic manner that instantly conjures up some of the warmest and happiest moments from Christmases past. It’s very easy to connect with this family as they undergo many changes over the course of a lifetime, and the video thankfully spares us the melancholy of later life. Regardless of the many changes the family experiences, there is always a sense of togetherness, and that is a positive marketing message to send, especially during the holidays.
2. Wells Fargo: The Stagecoach and the Snowmen
Wells Fargo takes a journey back in time to the days of the Old West and a stagecoach that runs into trouble one snowy evening. Luckily, the rider and horses meet just the right kind of help from a generous team of snowmen. Wells Fargo’s 2013 holiday commercial strikes the perfect tone of holiday spirit while paying homage to the company’s long-running history. It’s hard to watch this one and not end up with a smile on your face.
3. KFC United
Kentucky Fried Chicken unfortunately paints a pretty accurate picture of today’s holiday shopper. Don’t believe that? Just join the holiday shoppers during Black Friday, and you’ll see what this commercial is saying. The song is undeniably catchy and manages to do something that so many commercials fail at — be funny.
‘Tis the Season: Social Media Marketing Milestones to Celebrate
Not only is the holiday season a great time to show your customers some appreciation, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate your many accomplishments throughout the year. It’s easy to lose sight of your accomplishments, especially smack-dab in the middle of the biggest shopping season of the year. Even if you feel super busy during this time, it’s important that you focus on the positive and feel good about the direction your company is going in. Since social media marketing is a relatively new thing for most marketers, keeping track of these campaigns and acknowledging the things you’ve done right is crucial. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate the social media marketing milestones you’ve achieved up to this point. Here are a few milestones to celebrate.
Setting up a new company profile: It takes a lot of hard work to get a new company profile up and running. It also takes hard work to start a blog and consistently share these updates with your social media sites. Offering your customers a new and easy way to reach you is a great accomplishment.
Reaching a certain number of followers: If there’s a goal you’ve set for your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., celebrate when you reach it! Hitting 100, 500, and 1,000 followers, for example, are great accomplishments that should be acknowledged.
Low-Cost Marketing Strategies for Last-Minute Marketers
Email and direct mail marketing campaigns yield excellent results, but sometimes small companies don’t have all of the time or resources they need to pull them off. If that describes you, it’s important to keep in mind that there are also many low-cost marketing options available if you need to run a quick marketing campaign of your own—all it takes is a little creativity. If you’re looking for ways to get potential customers thinking about purchasing your products or services, these low-cost marketing tactics might benefit you greatly.
Small businesses often have very tight marketing budgets, which means large direct marketing campaigns are sometimes out of the question. Tight deadlines can also hamper your ability to put in all of the planning necessary. In these cases, not only are quick last-minute campaigns effective, they can also be used to reinforce existing campaigns at no extra cost. No matter what size business you have, low-cost marketing strategies can help you draw in business or run a last-minute campaign, and make a bigger profit for the end of the year.
Five Direct Mail Mistakes You Can Avoid
Running a direct mail campaign can often yield incredible results and kick-start an effective marketing campaign for your company—if you put in the right amount of time and attention. Not only are direct mail campaigns effective at putting your business in the front of your customers’ minds, they can also help you create a well-rounded marketing strategy for your company. However, there are a few common direct mail mistakes that can detract from the full impact of your campaign and lessen profitability. If you keep these 5 common direct mail mistakes in mind, you’ll be able to avoid them and ensure you carry out the most successful campaign possible.
Not taking the time to plan
If you don’t spend enough time planning your direct mail piece, there’s a good chance it could negatively affect your campaign. With poor planning, you run the risk of producing a campaign that looks rushed, and there’s a chance you’ll miss important details. You should have a strong idea of what you want to send out—a postcard, a newsletter, coupons, etc.—and you should have an offer or promotion in mind. Why are you sending out this direct mail piece? What goal do you want to achieve? How will you entice potential customers? Plan these things out before you start moving forward with your direct mail campaign.
Social Media Marketing: 3 Effective Ways to Utilize LinkedIn
When it comes to B2B social media marketing, LinkedIn takes the cake. Most business professionals use LinkedIn on a daily basis to find leads, make important connections, and spread the word about their products and services. If you utilize LinkedIn effectively to promote your company, you’ll be able to bring in more business and develop a stronger B2B social media presence.
Creating a good first impression in the business world is important and it can be achieved through your company’s LinkedIn account. The social media site boasts the world’s largest business network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Once you create a LinkedIn account as a business professional, you’ll have access to these members and you’ll have the opportunity to create connections that your company could benefit from. However, if you wish to make the most out of your LinkedIn account, it helps to understand these 3 effective ways to properly utilize the site.
1.) Create a community of like-minded individuals.
On LinkedIn, you can connect with many other businesses and influential individuals. However, you’ll want to gain followers who will be most interested in your products and services, or businesses you can mutually market with.
Making connections and increasing your number of followers just for the sake of adding new people won’t help you out much on LinkedIn, so try to make connections that make sense. Although you can choose from the “People You May Already Know” option, which is great for finding connections you might already have, you’ll need to do some research of your own as well if you want to expand your network and gain the right followers.
You’ll be able to develop your own community once your connections begin to grow. Make sure you update your page consistently with relevant company and marketing news and keep your connections in the loop. Find ways to mutually help out other companies. For example, if you provide services that tend to go hand-in-hand, it would be good to promote each other when the opportunity comes up. LinkedIn will help you get creative with your social media marketing campaigns.
2.) Use LinkedIn for cross-platform promotion.
LinkedIn is a great way to easily share your blog posts, offers and promotions, and other articles that will be helpful to promote your business. Connecting your other social media accounts to your LinkedIn page will allow your customers to find you easier, and could help you build a strong content strategy across several social media platforms.
Cross-promotion through LinkedIn is great because your business contacts will be able to see how active your company is and will give customers the ability to engage with your business through several platforms. Getting other business professionals to share your content could lead to new connections and a wider network. Use LinkedIn to your advantage and make your social media marketing strategy stronger.
3.) Get your employees involved.
Your company’s LinkedIn profile will only get stronger if you get all your employees involved. Ask them to make a professional account and connect to the company site. It shows your LinkedIn connections that your business is legitimate and professional, and increases the exposure of your products and services.
As long as your employees keep their profiles professional and use them to help promote your company, you’ll make more connections and bring in more business. Creating your own groups and networks will legitimize your business and help you build your reputation as an industry leader.
LinkedIn a great tool for building and growing your professional world, as long as you utilize the tips listed above. Take the time to create an intriguing profile and use it to make new and important connections. Your social media marketing strategy will greatly improve.
What is your company doing to utilize LinkedIn? What has worked for you in the past? Share it with us!
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