Tag Archives: marketing

All the World's a Stage: Secrets for Building a Platform for Success 31 Oct

All the World’s a Stage – Build Your Platform for Success

What is a Platform? Shakespeare wrote,

“All the World’s a Stage”

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy WorldMichael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, puts it this way in his book, Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World

Very simply, a platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform built of people. Contacts. Connections. followers.

Your platform is the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.

You think you’ve got a great product or service, and that it will sell itself. Nope. Here’s why:

  1. Competition has never been greater. (Related article: What’s Your Competition Doing Online?)
  2. People are more distracted than ever. (Related article: Social Media Competition)

Why should YOU build and nurture your platform? Michael Hyatt offers 4 main points:

  1. No one knows your product better than you do.
  2. Nobody is more passionate about your product than you are.
  3. No one has more skin in the game than you do.
  4. Nobody is likely to do it if you don’t.

A platform is your online following. Your fans (Likes) on Facebook, followers on TwitterGoogle+ and Instagram, and connections on LinkedIn.

So, does that mean that you have to do everything yourself? Well, not exactly. However, you need to educate yourself before you hire an “expert” or “specialist” to make sure that the expert does everything correctly. What you don’t know can hurt you! (Related: Outsource or Hire: What Makes a Good Social Media Manager)

You probably find social media marketing overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s today’s media and most of it is free! And it can be very powerful when you know how to leverage it properly and effectively. (Related: 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy)

The secret is you need to plan everything out.

  1. Set Goals.
  2. Put a Strategic Plan together on how you’re going to accomplish those goals.
  3. Put a Tactical Plan together on how you’re going to implement the strategy. It’ll either be a to-do list and calendar for the solopreneur or a game plan for a staff or team.

A SCORE mentor can also be of great assistance in every stage of your business and they don’t cost anything! You can search for a mentor with experience in your particular industry or just general business experience.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping small business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution offering online, on-demand, easy-to-understand social media marketing tutorials. Helping the little guy get social savvy! You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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SEO: It’s more than just Keywords [Infographic] 10 Oct

SEO: It’s more than just Keywords [Infographic]

Today’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a challenge.

(This article originally appeared on the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog.)

SEO, it's more than keywords

Here’s all that’s involved in SEO. Graphic by Alexis Wilke (CC)

You want your business to come up on the first page of Google. If you’re not doing Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Google’s paid advertising, then you have 10-12 chances to land on the first page. That’s called “OrganicSearch Engine Results Page (SERP).

The more competitive your field or industry is, the more challenging this is going to be.

It’s not “if you build it they will come”!

As this infographic from Macallan Marketing illustrates, today’s SEO is made up of not just keyword-centric website, but content marketing, blogging, social media and mobile-friendliness and responsiveness play integral parts in SEO success.

SEO - more than just Keywords graphic by Macallan Marketing

  1. You have to blog – it’s the fresh, relevant content that Google is looking for. Keeping Google happy is crucial. We recommend WordPress.
  2. Every time you share a blog post, landing page or even your home page in social media posts, you get “Google Juice” that helps with SEO.
  3. Posting regularly on Google+, Google’s social network, also helps. Read this related article: An SEO Tale of 2 Auto Repair Shops.
  4. Creating YouTube videos helps.
  5. Having a mobile-friendly website. Is your site mobile-friendly? Click here to test it.
  6. Be consistent in the 4C’s of marketing: Creating, Curating, Connecting and Culture.

Giselle Aguiar teaches once a month at Greater Phoenix SCORE on SEO and Social Media. Check out our upcoming classes.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution offering online, on-demand, easy-to-understand courses. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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5 Branding Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Business 3 Oct

5 Branding Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Business

Branding is so much more than just a logo!

This video highlights the top 5 branding mistakes businesses make – no matter what size they are!

  1. Being insensitive. Some companies have taken advantage of a trending phrase on social media to promote their product, but they didn’t check to see why something was trending. It was a shooting or some other catastrophe.
  2. Brazen changes. Don’t do what Coke did! Hash out all the pros and cons before rebranding or making a major change to a proven product or service.
  3. Inconsistency between channels. If someone lands on your Facebook page or your website, they should know in seconds who you are and what you do.
  4. Ignoring the follow-up. Touch base with past clients. You never know if they might need your services again.
  5. Lack of sincerity. Honesty, openness, integrity. It’s no longer about B2B or B2C. It’s P2P – person to person.

Greater Phoenix SCORE offers many different classes including branding and marketing. Check them out here.

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How to market your business better one word at a time 29 Aug

It’s Not Who You Reach, It’s What You Say – How to Market Your Business

How to market your business better one word at a time…

Too many SBOs (Small Business Owners) fall into the trap of confusing marketing tactics for marketing strategy – often an expensive mistake.

Tactics, simply put, are the methods of communicating your message to prospects and customers. Important? Absolutely. Strategy, however, is the message itself. Important doesn’t cover it. The right message is critical to the success or even the survival of your business.

And here’s the kicker – Tactical Marketing usually takes upwards of 80% of a three-year marketing budget. So if you don’t have the right message, you’re often just throwing your money down the marketing rat hole and blaming whatever media you’re using at the time – TV, radio, postcards, Facebook Ads, brochures and your website.   But once you have a consistent, compelling, unique message, all your tactics will be more effective and produce superior results.

At SCORE’s September 15th workshop you will take a trip through the mind of former Madison Avenue copywriter, brand strategist and author, Alan L Tarr (www.MoneyWordsMarketing.com). You will learn how, with some information, inspiration and a few strokes of your pen (or pecks at the keyboard) to create a unique, winning message for your business or product and how to structure your marketing materials, website, advertisements, signage, elevator pitch, etc. to generate attention, interest and bring in more customers.

You will learn that “the beginning of greatness is to be different and the beginning of failure is to be the same.” By the end of the session, you may never look at marketing and advertising the same way again.

If you want more business without increasing your marketing budget, come to this workshop. If your sales force has had trouble closing, come to this workshop. If you are questioning the value of where you’re spending your marketing dollars, come to this workshop. I promise you will leave with answers – and information – that will help you reach your goals now and into the future.

About the Author:

Alan TarrAlan Tarr is a master copywriter and brand strategist. Author of Marketing Is…, The 7 Deadly Sins Of Marketing, Win The Marketing Game And Stop Wasting Money!, and Marketing Tips, Insights & Secrets From The MoneyWords Copywriter. Reach him at: atarr@MoneyWordsMarketing.com. http://www.moneywordsmarketing.com/

 

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How to Establish Your Brand in Social Media

This post originally appeared in the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog.

You are Your Brand!

You Need to Know How to Establish Your Brand in Social MediaWhether you like it or not, you are part of your brand. Especially if you’re a consultant, service provider, designer or professional anything.

You join a group like the chamber of commerce or an association as your business to promote your business. However, you attend networking lunches and other events as yourself. At that point, you are your brand!

So, your personal profiles in the social networks play an important part.

I know some of you want to stay as incognito as possible – get over it.

Like joining a networking organization, you get out of it what you put into it. That’s how today’s marketing works.

You can automate a lot of the media, but you still have to be social!

Is your LinkedIn profile 100% complete? Are you an “All-Star” or at least an “Expert”? If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile usually comes up in the top 3 search results. And remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression!

You Need to Know How to Establish Your Brand in Social Media
Having a LinkedIn profile without your picture is like going to a networking event with a paper bag over your head.

Just like you wouldn’t go to a networking event with a paper bag over your head – your online image is just as important. You don’t want fuzzy graphics or logos that are cut-off.

An incomplete social media profile is like having a sloppy lobby!

Branding should be consistent on all the social networks. They are like extensions of your website. People should know in seconds what you do and what you have to offer.

The average person has an attention span of 7 seconds.

Google indexes all the social media profiles – both personal and business.

Social Media is Here to Stay

It’s no joke. Yes, it could be fun and entertaining and annoying at times, but if you know how to work it properly, it can be a very effective marketing tool.

The key is to clearly identify your target market(s) and figure out which networks they use the most.

Though you should have a presence in the major ones: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, not everyone has to be on Pinterest, Snapchat or Instagram. It all depends on who you want to reach.

If you’re more B2C (Business to Consumer), you should be mastering Facebook, Pinterest and maybe Instagram. If you’re trying to reach the younger generation (12-24), you should check out Snapchat. B2B (Business to Business) – focus on LinkedIn and Facebook. If you want to drive traffic to your website (and who doesn’t), then you can automate content to Twitter and Google+.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. Join her on Wednesdays with the Wiz on Facebook Live at 4 pm MST every Wednesday.

 

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27 Jun

When do you see Social Media Marketing ROI?

How do you measure social media ROI?Whether you’ve been in business for a while or just starting up, a question that I often hear is, “When do I start seeing social media marketing ROI (return on investment)?

It depends.

Back in the days of old-fashioned marketing, determining your return on investment was fairly easy. Say you spent $500 placing an ad in the newspaper, and it garnered $1000 in sales. Your ROI is $500. Easy.

However, in today’s marketing, it’s not that easy. How did a customer find you? Did they Google you? Did they see a post on Facebook or Twitter that a friend of theirs shared? Were they driving by your store or restaurant or did they search an app on their mobile device? Also, what did you invest?

Today’s typical marketing costs are several:

  • Website design, hosting, domain name registration
  • Graphic designer
  • Your time
  • An employee’s time
  • Paid digital advertising on Google Adwords, social media or mobile
  • Printed collateral material like business cards, flyers or direct mail
  • Outdoor signage or billboards
  • Hiring someone to set up your social media profile pages
  • Taking classes on social media marketing

Stop thinking Social Media Marketing ROI and think KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

What are your goals and objectives? They could be:

  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Building your email list
  • Selling products or services on or off line.
  • Getting people to come to your store or restaurant
  • Building awareness
  • Fund raising
  • Establishing yourself as an expert
  • Driving word-of-mouth recommendations
  • Getting on the first page of Google search
  • Building a following on social media
  • Improving customer satisfaction/getting reviews
  • Promoting advocacy
  • Generating quality leads

Some of these are hard to measure. Like how do you know when you’re established as an expert? When you meet someone in an elevator or networking event and they say, “Hey, I’ve seen you on____” or “You’re the _______ lady/guy”! Some are more obvious:

  • When you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn
  • When you’ve got 1000 followers on Twitter
  • When you have 500 Facebook likes
  • When you’re getting 1000 visitors a month to your site

What does it mean to you?

This is different for every business, but you’ve got to identify your KPIs before you start doing any marketing. Write all this down. This becomes part of your overall marketing plan which is part of your overall business plan.

How long does it take to start seeing some Social Media Marketing ROI?

Again, it depends. Some take longer than others. You never know when something is going to take off. However, just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean what you’re posting is going to go viral. Understand this up front. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long-haul. Don’t expect overnight success. It doesn’t happen that way. And there are no guarantees that all this will work.

When I’m working with a client, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. That’s besides blogging 2-3 times a week. Once you have your following built, then it will take you less time. It should take you less than hour a day if you’re using the right tools and everything is set-up properly. Also, in the beginning, it’s like learning several software programs at the same time. It’ll be slow going at first, but once you get used to everything, it’ll take you less time to do what you need to do.

Checking your analytics and insights monthly

You have to check your analytics and insights at the end of every month. Both on your website with something like Google Analytics and on the social networks themselves. Each of the network provides analytics and/or insights which can tell you:

  • How many followers or likes you’ve gotten
  • Which posts got the best engagement (likes, comments, clicks or shares)
  • What other things your audience likes
  • Your following’s demographics: gender, age, location (Are they your target market?)

On your website, you want to see the monthly visitors growing each month. Besides that, you need to know:

  • Which search engines they used
  • Which social network where they on when they clicked on a link to your site
  • How long did they stay on your site
  • How many pages did they view while they were there
  • How many were returning visitors vs new
  • If you have a call-to-action (a freebie that you give away for a visitor’s email address), how many “converted”?

Based on your monthly analytics, you can then see what’s working and what’s not working and adjust your strategic and tactical marketing plans accordingly. You’ll also set new goals for the next month. If you met or surpassed your previous goals, then what you’re going is working. Keep it up. If you didn’t meet your goals, what happened?

  • Were you not blogging enough?
  • Did you not spend enough time engaging on the social networks?
  • Were you posting at the wrong times?
  • Did you not do enough research on your target market to understand how they use the networks and how best to reach them?

Wow! That’s a lot to comprehend! Unfortunately, if you don’t, you suffer the risk of getting left behind in the dust by your competition.

Have you been avoiding digital marketing? You can’t afford to wait any longer if you want to compete in today’s market. Start by attending one of my classes at Greater Phoenix SCORE. I usually do them on the first Thursday of each month. Please comment below with questions.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. Join her on Wednesdays with the Wiz on Facebook Live at 4 pm MST every Wednesday.

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