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If content is king, how do you become a king maker? It’s a simple question that unfortunately comes with a whole lot of “it depends” attached.

The KingMaker of 16th century England

Richard Neville, 16th century Earl of Warwick, England was nicknamed, The Kingmaker

While it is rare that there is ever any one simple answer to complex online marketing questions, there are thankfully a few handy guidelines that we use to focus our client’s Online Content Strategy.

Think like a customer.

The obvious answer here is to simply create entertaining content around your most frequently asked questions. In fact, the FAQ is often something that you will find on a lot of websites, and is a veritable gold mine of content possibilities. It really doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to slowly turn your most asked questions into graphics or video.

Say you run a Hair Salon: Do people keep asking what the best hair care product you sell is? Make a video of a stylist “answering” this question from a person in the chair. Lots of cutaways, establishing shots and closeups can create a sense of intimacy, serves to personalize your answers, as well as showcase your salon and an exceptional client experience.

If you haven’t got a list of FAQ’s, just sit down and try to think about all the questions your friends and family ask when you tell them what you do. Just don’t venture too far from highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition and why your customers do business with you in the first place.

Use Google tools like Analytics and AdWords.

Google wants to provide a better search experience to it’s customers. In other words, Google would like the first item on your Search Results Page to be exactly what you are looking for. So let’s make it easy for poor old Google and take some advice right from the horses’ mouth.

Installing and using Google Analytics (or some other Analytics software) is 100% necessary. Google’s package is free, so there is absolutely no excuse. If you don’t have Analytics installed on your site, go do it right now after you’re done reading…

The Adwords keyword tool, and quality rankings will give you the knowledge of what people are looking for within your market. If your quality is low, yet searches around that subject are high – it is a pretty good indication that you need to develop some better quality content.

Analytics will tell you whether people who actually make it to your site found your content to be of any use. Examining the visitor flow charts will show you where you are loosing thier interest and perhaps their business. Nobody seems to get past the first page? Guess what, you need to engage these people by providing your best most relevant content up front.

Taking these two systems together will tell you exactly the type of content you should be developing and give you a baseline measurement to improve against.

Ride the coattails of popular trends.

Pop open twitter and take a look at the trending hashtags. Are any of them related to your business? Is there any way that you could make them relate? The trick here is to do it quickly. Get on top of the trend, add your two cents and then move on.

Think of the long tail.

This is the area that will pay dividends in the long run. A simple way to come up with Long Tail content is to conduct various searches around your business topic and look for top rated links that are more than three years old. You may think the Original Poster (OP) has said everything that needs to be said, but hey, a lot has happened in the past several years and there is always follow up information that could be added.

Long tail content is often highly specialized and usually very specific. Highlighting technical aspects of your business or discussing possible ideas for multiple systems integration may seem boring and unsexy, but guaranteed with over a billion people on the internet, someone (lots of people) will share your enthusiasm.

The most important lesson

In the end, the important lesson here is to just start creating content. You will post things online that seem to fall flat and you will start to get discouraged, just ignore it and keep posting. Nobody produces great content every single time they put something on the internet. It takes patience and luck.

Don’t sit around trying to predict the future, it makes more sense to simply look at what people are doing right now, and put your own unique spin on it.

If you are still stuck trying to come up with content ideas give us a call or drop us an email and we can talk about some of these approaches and how they will work for your business. Because hey, it’s good to be king.

 

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Twitter, in a very short amount of time has become a serious force within the Media Landscape. With millions of users and hundreds of millions of tweets daily, twitter provides a quick, effective, personal outlet to entrepreneurs looking to develop and nurture their customer base.  Twitter is actually one of the simplest social media tools available to business owners and marketers, and it dovetails well with the passionate mindset of entrepreneurs.

As with all forays into Marketing and specifically Social Media Marketing it is important to mention that you MUST have given a significant amount of thought and effort to your strategy. Twitter is a tool like a cordless drill, if you haven’t got anything to build or fix then it won’t be much use. Don’t get caught up in the novelty of the tool – continuously focus on the end goal.

So, you have created your account and are wracking your brain for what to say? I won’t go into the details of what a hash tag is or how to get more followers as that type of info has been covered all over the internet. Let’s focus on the content of your first tweet. There are a few ways you can go here and they can be summed up rather easily with three examples.

Example 1.

A "personal" message

Example 2.

A "business" message

Example 3.

A "promotional" tweet

 

In the first example we have a tweet of a personal nature. The purpose of this tweet is simply an expression of the personal tastes of the poster and appears to have no monetary or financial tie in. The second example is market driven and questioning in nature. The purpose here is to promote discussion around a topic, idea or product. The third example is what I like to call a promotional tweet, simply because it directly points to a product, service or content created by the tweeter. (in this case re-tweeted by the content creator)

In very simple terms these three types of tweets can be employed by the same account to very effective use. Using personal tweets to tie your customers to the real you creates a personal connection and tangible support. Using business or market messages establishes you as an expert in your field. It goes to building social proof and can spark some amazing business and marketing realizations. Promotional tweets have their time and place. Of course it is always better if someone else does the promoting for you, as in the above example. But given the immediacy of Twitter, like radio, it is a good fit for daily or weekly promotions. Using too many promotional tweets will lose you followers and decrease the engagement of those who decide to stick around.

As a good way to get started start focusing on the personal side, work into the market side and finish up with a promotion. The actual content should be a reflection of you. What do YOU find interesting? If your end goal is to create a group of like-minded followers of what you do, then it only makes sense to talk about what you do with passion and conviction.

Still having trouble deciding whether to make the time/resource commitment to Twitter? Give Alfred a call at 613-220-2265 and we’ll have a chat.

 

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Steve Richards over at Econsultancy has a very important message to CEO’s

We’ve seen a real shift this year in the understanding of how social media can be integrated within consumer-facing organizations. The conversation has moved on from ‘how do we get involved in social media’ to ‘which areas of the business do consumers expect to interact with us over social channels?’

Social marketing has evolved, brands have a clear focus on ROI, and the debate is altogether more sophisticated.

Consumers don’t care how a business is structured.

If a customer contacts a business on its website, Facebook page, Twitter feed or call centre, it expects the same level of service and response, regardless of the contact channel. They want quick a response from the brand, whether that’s approving a review, answering a customer query, providing information or fulfilling a competition prize. As a result, social media agencies are changing the way they work with brands. Brands are turning to agencies for help in two distinct areas: Devising a social strategy and setting the approach which best supports the business needs. This means defining the goals that social media can support, what role social channels should play across the business, how to use social channels to gain insight to your customers and how to act on this insight and training on how to engage with the community; and programmes for measuring success.

Create tailored campaigns to support the strategic approach.

These might include game development, apps, community builds, bespoke platform campaigns, Facebook engagement tactics, and social asset development. Social commodities, if you will. What’s crucial for brands though, is that any campaign activity, or standalone social activity, must still fit into the wider marketing and social engagement strategy, this is still the only way for any business to successfully embrace social and to develop meaningful ROI from the activity. You can’t outsource your customer service to a social agency; however you can outsource the development of a bespoke customer community.

As the market develops, it’s not enough just to be a thinker in social media. You have to be a practitioner, across all relevant business functions, in order to meet the needs of your customers, otherwise they will go elsewhere.

via Social media: what happens when the L-plates come off? | Econsultancy.

“You see,” he said, “The people at these companies – these ad agencies – that have built them through the 50s and 60s and 70s, they want to retire, and they own more stock in the companies than the companies can afford to pay them. They have to sell.” And the holding companies, of course, will have to keep buying.”

A very interesting and telling quote. One that makes me hopeful of the opportunity for growth of new and different agencies. Are we seeing the changing of the old guard for new, younger and more flexible companies? Social Media companies didn’t exist 5 years ago. Nowadays there seem to be new ones popping up monthly.

I entered the Marcomm field in the late 90′s simply because I was convinced that internet would change everything.. so far this belief is playing out all over the economy. Not just in the field of marketing but in manufacturing, services and all manners of businesses. The agencies who at one time acted as the gate keepers between business and customers are being pushed out of the way as consumers start to get a feel for their true power.

To read the context of the quote visit the Burstmedia blog here.

 

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