Tag Archives: ChuckReynolds

The Many Ways to Align Your Mission With Your Content Marketing Strategy

  The Many Ways to Align Your Mission With Your

                    Content Marketing Strategy

You may have a strong, well-developed company mission, and a vision that summarizes your organization’s long-term plans and values. You may also have a brilliant content marketing strategy, capable of attracting thousands of new people to your brand and keeping your current customers engaged. But, how well do these two areas of your brand strategy mesh?

My experience in working with small- to mid-sized businesses is that content marketing strategies often get treated as separate entities, distinct from a brand’s core mission and objectives. Why? Because content marketing is seen as an external platform, when it should be seen as both an external display and a showcase of your company’s internal values. In fact, you should be using your content-marketing strategy as a platform to support your brand’s mission and vision. Here’s how.

1. Recognize the importance of brand consistency.

Your first step should be to recognize the importance of brand consistency across all your platforms. This is the only way to build continuity with your customers.

Even if you have a personal brand, or display a logo in order to visibly demonstrate that this content was written by your brand, the content isn’t “you” if it deviates from your main identity.

This is true no matter what medium you pursue, including social media marketing and paid advertising. Whenever a reader encounters your brand, he or she should have the same “feel,” the same overall experience, which ties directly into the identity you created through your mission and objectives.

2. Draw topics from your mission and objectives.

Mimicking the aesthetics and style customers associate with your overall brand is a good way to tie your identity closer to your content campaign. But don’t be afraid to draw new topics as well directly from your mission and objectives, to further your association with those causes.

For example, if you’ve explicitly stated your desire to reduce carbon emissions through the use of green technology, why not write the occasional post on how to be more environmentally friendly in the business world? If you’re out to improve educational resources, why not highlight an interesting case study or news development in the educational realm?

3. Keep tone and demographics in mind.

It’s also important to keep your demographics and your tone in mind throughout your content campaign: Let your mission and objectives dictate your operations along those lines.

For example, say your mission is to help teams improve communication and bond with one another. Why not practice what you preach by writing in a more conversational, collaborative style, with ample opportunities for your readers to engage directly with you? This is a way of demonstrating your mission through your writing style, targeting exactly the types of people you sought to impress in the first place.

4. Announce your efforts.

If your company’s mission or objectives relate to corporate social responsibility, you’ll probably be involved in efforts related to those objectives. For example, if you’re all about building the economy in your local community, you might be a speaker at an entrepreneurial summit, or your team might volunteer for reconstruction efforts in your area to encourage more business development.

When you engage in these opportunities, show them off. Write a press release, or at the very least develop an on-site post covering your efforts. It makes a big impact when you put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

5. Use images and video.

Throughout your content campaign, you should use images and videos to demonstrate your capacity to follow through on your mission and objectives. This can be applied to almost any of the strategies listed above; for example, you can include photos of your team participating in your cleanup efforts, or live-stream your speech at the entrepreneurial event.

Visuals make content more engaging, which leads to higher rates of social visibility and sharing, ultimately producing a more substantial boost for your brand.

6. Evaluate your touchpoints and customer reaction.

Throughout your efforts to incorporate more of your mission and vision into your content campaign, carefully evaluate your impact, just as you would any adjustment. Post new mission-related materials only periodically, never neglecting your core content campaign. And be sure to watch how prospective and current customers react. You’ll almost certainly need to make adjustments along the way.

If your organization has a strong mission and vision at the center of its operations, there’s no reason why your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be there to promote it and back it up. Let your customers know exactly what kind of company is behind the content they’re reading, and make your values known to your readership.

 

As you’ve seen, all it takes is a handful of adjustments, including a few new types of content and modifications to your current lineup: The benefits can be highly significant to your brand visibility and reputation.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

How do you define business development?

How do you define business development?

Some companies define it as “Partnerships and Alliances” while others define it as “Whatever it takes to Develop the Business”.

Business development can be many things.

It really depends on company. In my mind, however, the role of business development is to find new strategic opportunities for the company and start the company on the path to execute (incubation). It is not uncommon for business developers to have a combination of strategy, marketing & sales, finance, legal, and operations background.

Based on my experience in business development,

here’s the flavors I’ve run into (roughly from more to less common):

  • Partnership development
  • Strategic market development and sales
  • Strategic marketing
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and financing
  • New business line exploration
  • Channel sales
  • New product development

_______________

Steve Shu specializes in incubating new initiatives with a primary focus on strategy, technology, and behavioral economics. He is author of Inside Nudging: Implementing Behavioral Science Initiatives (to be released June 2016) and The Consulting Apprenticeship: 40 Jump-Start Ideas for You and Your Business.

Function of Business Development

The singular function of business development is to figure out how to  get your product or service into the hands of clients or customers,  ultimately, to increase the value of your business by gaining market  share or directly generating revenue. It’s easier to think of business development as a role within an  organization in the context of that function. A business development  role can include a wide range of responsibilities depending on the needs  and stage of a given company.

One of the most exciting and challenging roles for a BD person is to  help a start up find product-market fit. That might mean one-to-many  ‘selling’ to drive user adoption of the service/product or one-to-one  ‘selling’ to advertisers or licensees. In either case, what makes this  challenging there is little or no process or formula for success. For  example in the later case, it’s on the early stage BD person to discover  the practical need and value of the product or service in the  marketplace through trial and error with partners.

At more established  companies that have reached product market fit, the spectrum of BD roles can vary. It can range from a sales  person with a target/quota that has a BD title because the sale is  considered ‘highly consultative’ to a more strategic BD person who is  responsible for taking a more broad view of the business and generating  new businesses/revenue streams based on the current businesses assets.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Business Development – What does it mean? Who is it for?

Business Development – What does it mean? Who is it for?

Is it the same for everyone?

If you now maybe having worked in a number of roles that you might consider as business development (BD), You should start publishing journey on LinkedIn with a bit of reflection. It often gets asked what the difference between straight selling and BD is, so if you try and define the differences (for your own sake, if nothing more!). To some degree, they’re different sides of the same coin.

Selling and BD go hand in hand.

There’s been in roles where there is strictly selling, others where there is a combination of sales and BD, and also in roles that you would consider true and pure BD. In all, however, Some would link to what would be considered BD within that particular business.

So the answer to the header title is no, BD is different for everyone and every business, dependent on a number of factors – budget, a size of a workforce, attitude to BD, etc.

What is ‘true and pure’ BD?

The sales process is one that involves a lot of people – product development, designers, pricing, marketing, technical, management – ‘front-line’ salesmen and ‘top-end’ management need to combine forces to deliver a product that their customers want.

If you walk into a shop to buy a pair of trainers, for example, this has been designed from the early stages by trained footwear designers, manufactured from these designs in a production process of sorts (industrial or bespoke, depending on the brand), marketed in the appropriate manner to raise awareness of the product, eventually landing on the shelves of the shop you’re in, with a friendly guy/gal willing to help you transact some business when you make the decision to buy them.

So where does BD fit into this process? What’s it all about then? The foremost word that comes up in the BD world is ‘relationships’. That’s pretty much what it’s all about. Good business development will help identify, maintain and encourage relationship building within a firm, building rapport with both suppliers and customers.

It helps strengthen the bonds between these links, supporting the marketing copy and material that establishes your product in the relevant marketplace. It helps provide information as to what the client needs to the ‘front line’ sales team, assisting them in closing the deal at the end of the process.

It helps inform management as to how the market is moving, providing insights into new developments of technology, social media and other digital avenues that the firm can take advantage of, to build and maintain loyalty.

It helps small companies access bigger markets and large companies engage newcomers. So a definition of ‘true and pure’ BD is ‘helping a business to develop its relationships’.

Plain and simple.

It’s networking on a daily basis; attending cutting-edge events to learn about the industry you’re working in; finding (er… stalking?) people on LinkedIn to see what events they’re attending and making sure you meet them there, in person, so that you can have that all-important introductory chat; it’s offering your loyal customers something more than a newsletter – why not run a seminar and invite them along to it? They might be happy to be invited.

The personal touch is always a winner. We hear more and more now about relationships marketing, social currency, engagement, etc. BD is the platform that most of this is built on.

Who is it for?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve worked in roles that have been classed as BD but have really been sales. I’ve worked in hybrid roles where you might do a bit of both. And I’ve worked in the ‘true and pure’ BD roles too. What this has shown me is that BD has a place in every business. You can’t ‘develop’ your business without a good BD strategy.

So whether you’re encouraging your front-line staff to sign up to a few newsletters, or get yourself down to a few networking events, or join a LinkedIn group and start up a discussion, BD is something that can’t be overlooked. It’s all very well to have a great product and a nicely designed website, with some great leaflets and a slick business card but, without the right approach to BD, no one is going to see it in the way you want to.

Having worked as a supplier to a lot of startups and growing SMEs, the one thing that I’ve noticed which has set apart the successes from the failures is their approach to BD. Develop the relationships – build a community around your business and your product just needs to do what it says on the tin. The rest will fall into place and you’ll have a strong, loyal customer base who are happy to sing your praises.

For that reason alone, if nothing else, BD is essential for pretty much any business going.

 

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Contemporary strategies that help improve your rankings

5 contemporary strategies that help improve your rankings

The rules of the SEO game have changed over the years, but columnist Pratik Dholakiya has some solid strategies for increasing search visibility and authority that you can safely use in 2016.

Improving your rankings isn’t as simple as it used to be. As businesses have become more invested in SEO, search ranking algorithms have grown smarter and more sophisticated. The result is that many techniques that used to be acceptable are now considered gray hat or black hat — and in some cases, can even earn you a traffic-throttling Google penalty.

Still, the challenge remains: We need links, we need traffic, and we need rankings. How do we achieve this in an ethical manner? Luckily, there are still powerful white-hat strategies you can leverage to improve rankings. Here are five of the best that we at E2M use successfully to this day.

1. Guest posts

Guest posting has been contested territory for some time. Back in 2014, Google’s then-head of webspam, Matt Cutts, advised that guest posting was increasingly ineffective at building links. If you’re doing a lot of guest posting, he warned, “you’re hanging out with some really bad company.”

It’s easy to see why guest posting has come under fire in recent years. After all, guest blogs used to be a really easy way to get backlinks — maybe a little too easy. All too often, the standard guest post is 500 words long, includes no links to sources (other than the author’s own website) and presents no thoughtful commentary or new insight.

I’m not saying you can’t have a worthwhile 500-word post. Of course, you can. But the majority of guest bloggers aren’t looking at readers’ concerns. They don’t care whether you derive value from the post or not. They care about getting a link, and they’ve nailed the absolute bare minimum required to achieve that end.

That drags the name of the “guest blogger” into the mud. But it also gives you an opportunity.

Rather than focus on acquiring links, guest blogging can help with SEO in other, less direct ways. By consistently posting excellent, in-depth content on relevant blogs, you’ll drive up authority and get more social shares, along with signs of quality that Google takes seriously. You’re also more likely to get actual traffic to your website from high-quality content — which is what link building is supposed to be about anyway.

Stuffing low-quality posts with links to your site — or paid third-party links — may be a thing of the past. But guest blogging is still a powerful tool to increase authority and search visibility.

2. Infographics

Infographics are a powerful way of getting a point across quickly and intuitively. That’s one reason why they’re so popular. But they’re also an effective way of getting high-quality backlinks quickly.

The trick to getting that to happen is in the embed code. After you create your infographic, you can use a tool like the SeigeMedia Embed Code Generator to build the code. This is the code that people who want to post your infographic to their own site will use.

So include a request to link back to your site, and make it easy by bundling exactly the URL you want them to use into the infographic’s embed code. That way, they can’t avoid seeing it. Sure, some people will ignore it, but most people will attribute your infographic when they post it — and make the attribution a hyperlink back to your site. Bingo!

To get your infographic in front of more people, use infographic publishers (Visual.ly is one). Most will want a 70-or-so-word description of the infographic; then they’ll store it, and when other content marketers and bloggers want a graphic, they’ll be more likely to find yours. The free infographic publisher landscape changes quite quickly, so to make sure you’re not putting your content on dead sites.

Want some extra juice? On those sites, you can search for infographics on the same subject as yours, then reach out to users who have accessed those infographics and ask if they’d be interested in yours. Our annual infographic on Google’s algorithm updates (now in its fourth year) was picked up by Entrepreneur, Social Media Today, Marketing Land and more!

All in all, infographics are a great way to get quality backlinks from a range of relevant sites.

3. Personal blogs of the CEO & other employees

Blogging lets you connect with your readers. Most blogs are written in an informal, conversational style that’s a long way from what you’d see in a newspaper or magazine. And that’s true of professional blogs, too.

Using personal blogs at work — the CEO’s blog, for instance — can be a way to generate content that feels natural and personal. These people can blog about their own interests, and those interests are bound to overlap with the company’s targeting.

Blogs like this are also a way to offer specific insights, because certain employees will know things no one else on your team knows. For example, what are the legal implications of the product you’re developing? Get someone from legal to blog about it. Suddenly, readers in a similar position at other companies suddenly have a reason to read this content.

Personal professional blogs can be done one of two ways. You can offer a multi-voice blog on your company website, either as posts within the larger company blog or as separate sections with their own visual branding. Or you can have team members blog on their own domains and occasionally refer back to the company blog when it’s appropriate.

4. Beat the champ

How do you become the champ? By beating hundreds of could-have-been-a-contenders? No. You have to seize the top spot from the person who’s already there.

You can do the same thing with link building and SEO content marketing. Look at content that’s already performing well in your vertical. Find a piece of content that a) you think is awesome, and b) is performing well in organic search. Drop the URL into the usual suspects — like Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer — and see which sites are linking to it. Download all the linking sites into a spreadsheet.

Then, pick the post apart.

Would it work better if it were longer? If you’re looking at the “10 best ways to get more traffic with your blog,” maybe you should write the 20 best ways or the 100 best ways. Would it work better if it were more detailed? Maybe do the same number of methods, but in crazy, inch-by-inch detail.Remember that content is content. Your content doesn’t have to be a blog post. It could be an infographic, or a YouTube video, or a Vine. It could be a stand-alone resource page.

But that’s only going to be a winner for you if you’re getting your content seen. Once you’ve created your super-link worthy content, you have to reach out to the right people. All too often, reaching out to people is a stab in the dark. “You might be interested in something along these lines… ” Yeah, but probably not. The success rate of these attempts is often very low.

But you already have the lowdown on the people who would be interested in content like this. Remember when you used Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer or the tool of your choice to find out who was linking to the content you just improved upon? Check the spreadsheet you put together earlier, and then do a quick sanity check. Pages that don’t make sense, like article directories and forums (Yes, they still exist) can go.

What are you left with? A list of people who are actually very likely to be interested your content.

5. Giving interviews

CXOs and other employees are great subjects for interviews. Everyone else has to produce content, too, and the word of someone in the field (especially an expert) is worth a lot. So if you’re a high-level company spokesperson or an extremely knowledgeable subject matter expert, you’re likely to be approached more often than you’d actually prefer.

You can’t take up an offer for an interview and sit there like a stereotypical used car salesman, hard-selling your own product. But you can sell your brand.

When you’re in front of the camera, or on the page, you are your brand. If you’re confident, insightful and open, viewers relate. Remember, even in B2B, the buying decision isn’t made by highly sophisticated algorithms. You’re still selling to human beings. Viewers or readers need to see you as someone who understands the problems they’re trying to solve. That’s partly competence and partly a hard-to-define “she gets it” factor.

Interviews also offer the opportunity to talk directly about your company’s offerings. You can mention new initiatives, updates, new products or ventures. Talking about these in interviews gets them exposure. Add a link to the interview text if you’re being interviewed by email, or spell the URL out in a video interview.

Conclusion

It’s still possible to improve your rankings with careful strategy. Increasingly, it’s about leveraging content marketing to improve linkability. That can be done by targeted outreach, by encouraging social sharing or by using content itself to encourage linking. But it all helps drive up a ranking.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Ways to Invite Your Followers Into Your Content Marketing

5 Ways to Invite Your Followers Into Your Content Marketing

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Is Marketing challenging to you?

Content marketing is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for both business and consumer brands today. As brands look to expand their reach online and engage audiences beyond ‘interruptive’ advertising, they’re increasingly looking to cultivate shareable content that is informative, entertaining and interesting.

Marketers regularly cite challenges around producing enough engaging content. A lot of the content out there today simply doesn’t move a brand forward. Content should always map back to a broader brand story that is aligned to a brand’s fundamental story.

Social engagement apps are shareable digital experiences that invite consumers (and their friends) into a social relationship with a brand. Done right, engagement apps can also create snackable, sharable content that is perfect for kicking off a content engagement relationship between brand and consumer, as well as for filling out the content calendar to keep the drumbeat going. They provide the mechanisms that encourage consumers to both create content themselves, and share that content among their own network. The value of marketing on social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn is not only the size of the audience, but also the networked graph of connected consumers. So that sharing of content from person-to-person is a critical opportunity to tap ‘earned’ reach.

Here are five ways engagement apps invite consumers to create shareable brand-themed content.

1. Let your fans and followers vote

Voting allows fans to have a say in the brand’s direction, whether it’s helping choose something as light-hearted as a t-shirt design, or as important as a magazine cover photo. With engagement apps, fans can vote for their favorite destination, product, design — or marketing theme — and share their vote. Those voting results, enriched by commentary and insights, can provide content that fuels other branded channels and provides wider audience insights into how the crowd thinks and feels about your brand. Vitamin Water successfully deployed this idea with its social ‘favor creator’ campaign back in 2009. More recently, Outside Magazine tapped social fans to pick the ‘Best Town of the Year’ in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013 — campaigns that also fed valuable content for both the print and online magazine.

2. Give your fans and followers a personalized brand experience

A brand experience tailored to a user’s profile provides fans with something unique that keeps them exploring. Engagement apps can deliver a personalized experience, such as a set of product and service choices, white papers and case studies, or even fashion outfits, and reflect the identity revealed in their profile data. The clothing brand Jones NY is currently leveraging followers’ LinkedIn profiles this fall with their Style Creator campaign, allowing executive women to have outfits suggested based on their professional LinkedIn profile.

3. Ask fans and followers to contribute brand-related content

Contributions from fans don’t just make the community feel like a more essential part of a brand, they also help brand marketers delegate content creation. Social engagement apps can ask fans to submit photos, videos, or other stories on a brand-related theme. That fan-submitted content can then enrich a brand’s own marketing channels. For example, Dressy.com is reporting engagement success by asking fans to submit photos based on themes such as weddings, to their brand website. Virgin Mobile recently created a TV spot entirely from consumer contest videos.

4. Challenge the knowledge of your social audience

Challenge your fans, to get their attention and their engagement. Challenges can take the form of quizzes or polls that test a fan’s knowledge. They can pose questions for which the answers are informative and useful, and themselves become shareable results. Earlier this year, Air New Zealand launched a “Kiwi IQ” quiz that challenged fans’ knowledge of New Zealand sights by asking them to decide whether a photo or fact was about Auckland or about San Francisco. On a similar travel-related note, Visit Norway USA challenged their fans earlier this year to answer questions about Norway facts — a question a day for a month.

5. Help fans and followers uncover profile insights

Fans will be more likely to come back to a brand if they learn something about themselves by interacting with your brand or branded content. With engagement apps, access to a user’s profile can yield valuable personal insights that the user may not have noticed. By logging in with social credentials, a fan or follower might be able to see patterns or relationships in their profile they hadn’t seen before, or might see how they become ‘matched’ to some brand-related identity or product. For example, Microsoft launched a “Nametag Analyzer” powered by LinkedIn’s professional graph that gave followers a new look at their job title, while at the same time was introducing them to Microsoft products.

Success on social means finding a brand voice that resonates with fans and followers. Having audiences contribute content, discuss content, and talk about wider themes that relate to a brand is a way to cultivate a more prominent voice.

Marketing on social shouldn’t involve just talking about a brand’s products and services endlessly. Delivering informative and entertaining content is essential. When social audiences participate in the creation of the content, brands can reach a new level of success and authenticity, unparalleled to what a brand could deliver on its own.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business

Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business

Image via Markus Spiske via Flickr modified by author

 

One of our favorite quotes, provenance unknown, is “You don’t really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” But how many of us tried explaining social media to non-users, such as our older relatives, or even the C-suite of our companies, and failed to do justice to all its benefits? The challenge is underestimated since the definition of social media is in the state of constant flux.

Nowadays, no type of social media is completely isolated from others, as major networks adjust their functionalities to offer more services to their users—recent examples of this include Facebook’s announcement of Place Tips, as well as Pinterest’s acquisition of new advertising technologies. To help you distinguish different types of social media, we highlighted the primary capabilities of different online services and illustrated each with examples of major players.

8 Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business

8 types of social media

1. Relationship networks

You can’t talk about types of social media without first mentioning major networks such as Facebook. While personal relationship networks aren’t the oldest type of social media, they can be called the most defining of them all. These channels were one of the first ones to offer public mini-sites, which later became known as profiles, with extensive information about the user, and most often require them to register with their real name. Relationship networks allowed us to keep all our communications in one place, on our Walls, Timelines or private messages, and share updates with our entire networks in one click. They vary from professional relationship networks that help you find work, connect with other professionals in the field, and share recommendations, to romantic relationship networks that help you find single users in your area.

Relationship networks also offer a unique chance for brands to connect to their users on a personal level. These days, it is necessary for most brands to have a Facebook Page or a Twitter account, in order to reach out to their audience online and answer any customer service queries that may arise.

2. Media sharing networks

This type of social network is defined by the primary type of media shared among users. Facebook and Twitter have amazing video and image-sharing capabilities; however, the majority of posts shared on these channels contain text. For channels such as Flickr or Instagram, however, images are the main focus—users have to choose, upload and edit image files before proceeding with anything else, such as captions or mentions of other users. Similarly, with sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, or apps like Vine and Snapchat, A video is the primary mode of communication.

When determining whether or not your business needs to establish a presence on a media sharing network, it’s important to consider your available resources. If there’s one thing the most successful brands on platforms like YouTube or Instagram have in common, it’s a thoroughly planned mission and carefully designed media assets, usually following a certain theme. To increase your business’s chances of success on media sharing networks, consult our extensive library of resources.

  • 8 ways to get more likes and followers on Instagram
  • Which social video platform is right for your business?
  • A guide to social video, and where it fits in your marketing plan
  • Instagram or Tumblr? Choose the right photo-sharing network for your brand
  • How to build the perfect YouTube channel

3. Online reviews

Location-based review services such as Yelp and Urbanspoon are getting more traction as personal social networks adopt geolocation, and more users choose to consult the Internet along with their friends for recommendations of best dining spots. There are sites to review anything from hotels, restaurant or your latest employer—and user reviews have more weight than ever before. Sites like Airbnb and Uber, the biggest service providers in the emerging sharing economy, rely largely on host and driver reviews, respectively, to determine who benefits from the service.

It’s vital for your brand to have the ability to leverage user reviews, whether positive or negative, to maintain client relationships. The Internet is a huge collective knowledge base, and more and more consumers choose to consult the public opinion online to determine whether the brand is worth their business. In order to do this in a cost-effective way, select a customer success team member to address reviews on sites relevant to your business. Entrust them with answering any questions or concerns from clients with average or dissatisfactory experiences, and see if there is anything that can be done on your end to turn a possible detractor into a fan. For more on this topic, read our blog posts on how to respond to negative reviews and online reputation management.

4. Discussion forums

Discussion forums is one of the oldest types of social media. Before we connected to our first university friends on The Facebook, we discussed pop culture, current affairs, and asked for help on forums. Perhaps it’s that unquenchable desire to get a share of collective knowledge that accounts for the wide reach and numerous users on forums such as Reddit. “The front page of the Internet,” as well as other forums like Quora and Digg, seldom require the person’s real name to register and post, allowing for complete anonymity, if desired.

However, while anonymity may be an attractive feature for some users, we don’t recommend that brands adopt it. This defeats the purpose of being present on such a network; your best bet at promoting your business on a forum is by sharing content relevant to a discussion, and participating in as many discussions as possible. Be very careful to avoid explicit self-promotion—if you can, leave a promotion of your brand to your brand ambassadors. Both moderators and users on networks such as Reddit are sensitive to advertising disguised as a post, and this can seriously damage the perception of your brand. The best strategy is to offer expertise in your field by joining an existing discussion and linking to an article hosted on your official blog or a how-to video tutorial, for example. You can also go the General Electric route and share cool moments from behind the scenes of your workday, as they did in this cool video.

5. Social publishing platforms

Social publishing platforms consist of blogs and microblogs, where long and short-form written content can be shared with other users. These platforms range from real-time interaction networks such as Twitter—which, while still officially placed in the category of microblogging platforms, is not normally included in the blogging category by most users—to Medium and Tumblr, which are battling it out for the title of the best interactive social publishing; to more traditional blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Blogger.

While the benefits of Twitter for business are too obvious to recount, a blogging platform is a different story. If your promotion strategy includes content marketing (and if it doesn’t, you might want to consider it), your business can gain visibility by keeping a blog. Not only does a blog help increase awareness of your business and generate more engaging content for your social channels such as Facebook, it can also help carve out a niche for your brand as a thought leader in your industry. If you find the idea of starting a blog as scary as scaling a mountain, here are some steps to help you get to the top:

  • How to start a blog
  • How to promote your blog on social media
  • Content marketing idea: customer success stories
  • Let your customers tell the story with user-generated content

6. Bookmarking sites

In the early days of the Internet (think “Hosting your own site on Geocities” era), content discovery online was a difficult task. Nowadays, there is a plethora of interesting, useful and enlightening content online, and sifting through all of it on your own is simply impossible. Of course, search engines like Google come in very handy when you know what to look for, but when you only have a vague idea of a content you’d like to read or watch, their bookmarking sites. These are web services like StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Flipboard, where users collect content from elsewhere on the Internet and save it to their account on the platform. This content can be private or public, and shared with other users. Often, these bookmarking sites will then suggest content similar to the links or images you have already saved on the network.

First and foremost, businesses can benefit from making their website bookmark-friendly. This entails optimizing the headlines and images on your blog or website for RSS feeds, making them easier to access and read for your audience. Your brand might also benefit from ensuring the articles or videos can be pinned with Pinterest’s browser extension. Finally, pay close attention to the images featured on your site or blog—these are the window displays of Pins, so you want them to be good representations of your content.

Secondly, bookmarking sites are great tools for content curation. You can create your own Pinterest board or Flipboard magazine to sort through the most engaging content on your topic of choosing from third-party sources, and showcase content from your own blogs. If your brand uses Hootsuite, you can then add content to your RSS feeds or bookmarking sites such as Pinterest or Flipboard right in your dashboard! Dive into some of our resources if you’re not sure where to start with your Pinterest or Flipboard strategy.

7. Interest-based networks

One of the most wonderful opportunities presented by social media is the ability to find people with common interests, no matter how niche these hobbies may first appear to be. In addition to Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and Google+ communities, there are whole networks dedicated to an exploration of interest—such as Last.fm for musicians and music lovers, and Goodreads for authors and avid readers.

Keeping an account on one of these interest-based networks may not be a wise use of your brand’s resources—you don’t want to end up with a neglected social media account. However, it’s another story if your customers and social audience all share a common interest, and you know this simply due to the nature of your business. Such is the case for publishing houses, for example, and their book-loving clients. A hobby or interest-based network is a good place to keep up with current trends among fans of a particular industry or its products.

8. E-commerce

Last but not least, a big trend emerging across all types of social media is the ability to view and purchase desired goods with a click of a button. Sites such as Polyvore aggregate products from different retailers in a single online marketplace and services like Etsy allow small businesses and individual crafters to sell their products without an existing brick-and-mortar location. Over the past year, e-commerce elements have been adopted by many networks whose primary functionalities place them in different categories, such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Many consumers, especially Millennials, are researching and making their purchases online. If the size of your brand allows is, an online store, or, at the very least, an online catalog is essential to attract Generation Y clients. E-commerce sites and sites with e-commerce capabilities, such as Pinterest, can be a good solution for brands who aren’t currently hosting an online store as part of their website. If your business doesn’t have an e-commerce partnership with a major distributor like Amazon, you may soon be able to incorporate Buy buttons into social networks like Twitter.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Top 10 Tools for Reputation Marketing

  Top 10 Tools for Reputation Marketing

 

 

Increased use of social media and online marketing techniques gives companies a chance to engage with their customers, and brands are quickly catching on to the practice of reputation marketing. The potential downside is that this kind of interaction means customers are also free to publish reviews, complaints and comments that may negatively affect your brand.

This is where reputation marketing comes into play. Last year at Pubcon search conference, I ran into Shai Aharony from Reboot Online that summed it up well when he said “reputation marketing tools allow you to analyze, track, monitor and engage online activity, giving you the power to directly respond to customer complaints and turn potentially damaging feedback into a positive experience.”

In order to best manage your brand’s online reputation and make customer engagement a part of your marketing strategy, your team needs to have the very best tools at your disposal.

I’ve identified the top 10 tools for reputation marketing that I’ve used in the past so you can see a real impact as you invest more in your brand’s reputation:

1. ConsumerAffairs

With over 5,000 listed brands and more than a million consumer reviews, Consumer Affairs offers brands some of the most diverse and advanced features to build a strong online reputation and generate increased revenue. The consumer advocacy group’s website offers free and unpaid business plans and their third-party accreditation program coupled with a powerful software as a service (SaaS) platform offers brands a variety of resources to convert customer engagement into additional revenue.

2. BazaarVoice 

Best for larger companies with deeper budgets, BazaarVoice was created to extend the online marketing potential of customers’ voices to shopping portals, offline channels and natural search. Customers are able to leave reviews, ratings, questions, answers and other customer-generated content on client websites, which BazaarVoice then shares on social media and across the internet.

3. Better Business Bureau

Founded in 1912, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is the elder statesman of consumer reviews. The non-profit group serves as an intermediary to help resolve disputes between customers and brands, and with reviews for over 4 million companies, the BBB website is one of the most popular and trusted consumer resources available. Ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to personally interact with their customers, the BBB offers a variety of networking opportunities at a convenient price.

4. Yotpo

Yotpo is a powerful plug-and-play solution for ecommerce with a sleek, mobile-first design. Customers who make purchases on sites using Yotpo receive an email after their purchase asking them to review the product(s) they received. This Mail After Purchase (MAP) technique leads to more reviews, and since the requests go directly to the consumer, all of the reviews are automatically verified.

5. Cision

Unlike the previous tools that focus primarily on consumer reviews and feedback, Cision is a powerful public relations resource that gives brands the tools they need to get their message out. With more than 1.6 million contacts and outlets, Cision provides the perfect opportunity to connect your brand with crucial journalists, bloggers and social influencers who might otherwise be inaccessible.

6. Percolate

Managing all of your brand’s marketing efforts in one place is easy with software from Percolate, whether it’s planning campaigns, storing files, collaborating or content creation. The planner takes into account all your details, such as your target audience, brand identity guidelines and business objectives. Percolate provides a cross channel marketing calendar that helps you plan accordingly and is designed to make it easy to share content with consumers across social media, the Web and other traditional methods.

7. Reputation Loop

Designed to empower small business owners and allow them to expand their businesses, Reputation Loop is similar to Yotpo in that it works primarily by automatically contacting recent customers for reviews. But additional features like real-time reporting and review monitoring on sites like Yelp and Google+ provide valuable tools for brand managers.

8. TinyTorch

A social platform that helps brands build their online profile through social influencers and user-generated content (UGC), TinyTorch allows brands identify, monitor and manage their online presence. This platform helps find your best, most influential customers and cultivates their stories and photos to redistribute across multiple marketing channels.

9. HootSuite

HootSuite is a social media management platform that allows brands to monitor and sync all of their social media accounts in one simple interface. With support for popular networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, HootSuite makes it easy to share content across multiple accounts and schedule posts in advance for blanketed marketing. From a reputation management standpoint, brands can use HootSuite to monitor customer feedback posted to their social media accounts and share positive reviews and comments across multiple social media networks simultaneously.

10. TrustPilot

Like other third-party review websites, TrustPilot allows users to leave reviews for businesses on its website, while offering both free and paid listings for brands. More than 100,000 companies are listed and more than 13 million reviews are currently available — with more than 500,000 added each month. With its simple, easily navigated site and a basic assortment of analytics and engagement tools, TrustPilot is a good pick for businesses seeking simpler options.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Things You Should Always do to be successful

7 Things You Should Always Do

 

If you want to be successful online you need to read and follow these simple instructions.

7 simple rules you Need To ALWAYS DO If you want to be successful online

1. ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE

If you want to be successful online you need to advertise to build your team. SERIOUS people want the same things you want. And although some days it may seem like a losing battle, You NEED TO KEEP WORKING at it – NEVER GIVE UP! If you seriously try hard enough, You WILL get it done. And That’s When you will start making money

2. USE FREE OR INEXPENSIVE ADVERTISING RESOURCES

As an example, the 2 BEST programs I have found to build my list are Ad Slingers and FREE Safelists. These are great places to build a list because they have ALL the things that you and your team need to be successful.

First, your team needs to have an easy way to learn and Ad Slingers is the BEST place because it has every type of advertising they need to learn in one simple site. Plus, You can use your Ad Slingers mailer to help your team learn how to build a team. (Yes, this is a little ad for my Ad Singers..)

And did you know ?

Ad Slingers is also a GREAT place to advertise your other programs, like Solo Ads, PTC, PTR and other products that REALLY Work. Free Safelists are the next best way to build your Ad Slingers and if you look in your back office in Ad Slingers there are lists of Safelists and Traffic Exchanges that you can use to help build your Ad Slingers ,

And because Ad Slingers is FREE to join the Safelist members who are serious about working online WILL join Ad Slingers with you Then you can show them how to build a list like you are And you CAN invite your team into your other favorite programs.

3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEAM

Although advertising is the most important thing you will do because you can NOT build a team without advertising, taking care of your team is the next most important thing and taking care of your team is not difficult but you do have a responsibility to do the right thing for the people that you sponsor into ANY program.

So when they join you in Ad Slingers ( Or any other program ), you need to do what you can to help them learn what you know. They NEED TO LEARN that working online is not hard, It just takes time and a little work every day. So Please do the right thing, and send them a little update once or twice a week and let them know how you are doing.

They will appreciate it, and some of them might decide to do what you are doing but beware, If you are doing nothing to build your business today, Your team WILL likely do the same as you are.

4. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Working online is easy, but learning how to work online successfully takes time and patience so don’t expect to be able to learn it all in just a month or 2 and don’t expect to make a GREAT income in that time either. So don’t be surprised if it takes you at least 3 – 6 months to start making some money just keep working on building your list and follow your team leaders suggestions

5. DON’T FORGET TO WORK A LITTLE EVERY DAY

Believe it or not, The best members of your team will try to imitate what you are doing and when you are successful they will want to be just like you. So we have to make sure that we set a good example by working at least a couple hours every day.
The more successful you want to be, The more advertising you should do.

6. DO THE 3 STEPS TO SUCCESS EVERY DAY

You don’t have to learn the entire internet in order to be successful. All you need is to repeat these 3 steps every day

A) Join some good credit based safelists and text ad exchanges.

B) Log into both of your gmail accounts every day and read the emails and click on the credit links in the emails so that you can earn enough credits so that you can send out your own ads. Also answer any emails from your group if you have any

C) Log into the safelists you are signed up for and send out your ads.This is all you have to do every day.

Repeat steps 1 – 3 until you have ALL the people you want in your group.

7. JOIN THE ULTIMATE DOWNLINE BUILDER PROGRAMS

In order to be successfu,l you need to work with your teams AND The programs in The Ultimate Downline Builder.
The Ultimate Downline Builder is just one BIG team build where the members of all the teams get together to join
specific programs together

Team builds can be a good thing for all the members who join because we can structure the teams into the programs so that everyone can see a little money coming in every month pretty quickly, then we can show the members how to help their groups to do the same.

We are also working with other clubs who will be offering the same programs to their clubs on a rotating basis and that could also help you get a little spillover depending on how well their team members are working.

And ALL of the programs we have chosen for the Ultimate Downline Builder are programs that have been tested by us, that we are members of, and know the owners of so that we can help more people learn how to make money online.

But the best part of our team builds is that ALL the programs that we join will be advertising programs that have a FREE TRIAL option so that you can have a chance to test the advertising and watch your downline grow before you have to pay.

And we only work with advertising programs because it is all about teaching members how to build their lists so that they can learn how to be successful in ANY program.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Your Mindset Development Guarantees Both Success and Failure

Your Mindset Development Guarantees Both Success & Failure positive mindset and personal development

“Being an entrepreneur is a Mindset….you have to things as opportunities all the time….Soledad O’Brien

Alright, which one are you going to choose success or failure?  No doubt you desire to generate consistent, predictable and long-term residual income from your home business opportunity or any business you joinedbut the biggest obstacle to achieving success has ironically been yourself.  Okay, get the hell out of your own way, but how do you that?  Well, let’s start at the beginning to make things simple because the simple plans are usually the ones that work the best for all people.  Firstly, do you honestly believe you can succeed online?  If not then, let’s begin with the old grey matter and work our way down.  Yes, success begins six inches between the ears.

Do you realize that your pattern of thinking or Mindset will determine whether you generate profit or require a George Herbert Walker Bush rescue plan because your pattern of thought was self-destructive and lead to your arrival in the MLM Cemetery?  Hence, success or failure is a completely an internal process that begins with your mindset and then, executed through consistent action.  If, you are unable to formulate in your mind the belief you can succeed and sustain it during times of adversity then, you will succumb to the negative influences of the millions who surrender their dreams of being successful and remain content living as mediocre people.  “Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort is not all that comfortable, even if they see clearly want for something better.” â€• Donald Miller

Jeffrey Combs, President of Golden mastermind Semianrs.com once said, “mediocre people live in their comfort zone, but their comfort zone is their failure zone”.  So, are you afraid to step outside the norm and remain with the millions of people who do the J.O.B for life and die dead broke?  How about living a life, which is cautious, redundant and non-stimulating, which is an example of non-growth and more importantly, an example of failure.  Is that you and if so, why are satisfied with that kind of life.  Success requires growth and the ability to break through barriers and not remain stagnant, which is another form of failure.  Hence, to succeed one’s mindset must grow beyond what it believes are its limits.  The search engine Google is an example of an entity that is always growing and adjusts so as to not become stagnant; otherwise, it will become irrelevant.  Last I checked nobody wants to be known as being irrelevant; otherwise, you acknowledge you serve no useful purpose to others or to yourself.

Are you ready to go beyond your limit and seek the title of not 1st Place, 2nd Place nor 3rd Place, but most improved? Unfortunately, most will choose the life of mediocrity because it’s safe and familiar; however, today’s digital world with constantly changing technology will severely punish those who fall behind or refuse to adapt.  Well, the economy will actually meet out the discipline and reward those who bring value to the market.  The question remains is your mindset capable of adjusting to the challenges within a global economy that sees people as expendable and corporations as essential to societal, political and economic growth.  If yes, then, I invite you attend our next live workshop and learn how you can achieve online success with our global online community.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor


 

Reach Massive People by Blogging

There are more and more bloggers created every day. If you have a point to share about a product, service, business, events (the list goes on), many people choose to expose it online via their blog. With so many blogging services and platforms out there, how do you choose one? Even after you have chosen a blogging platform, service or network, can you still “Reach” enough people to make a difference.

We all know that blogging is definitely a numbers game. This is why so many bloggers are scrambling to create and promote their blogs on multiple platforms thinking they can reach more people. The greater the “Reach” can bring success to what you’re promoting. A big question is, how many people would you like to reach? Now that you have that number in your head the other questions is How do I do that?

MarketHive is the simple answer for many reasons. MarketHive makes it simple, easy and more affordable than any other option out there.  Before WordPress, Aweber, Constant Contact, Facebook and other marketing solutions is the CEO of MarketHive. He ushered in the industry of automated marketing back in the early 90’s known as the “Godfather of Automated Marketing”.  if that wasn’t enough he then created the first Inbound Marketing Network in the mid 90’s. Now he’s at it again with his new social Inbound Marketing Network for all entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs called MarketHive.

Don’t just take my word for it, see his video blow that talks about reaching massive people by blogging. This is just one component of his new business network and how it can impact any bloggers reach in a massive way.

If you’re a entrepreneur that specializes in helping others to succeed online, you owe your viewers this info. To get inside the MarketHive system for free more details is as easy as connecting any of your favorite Social Profiles by Clicking Here Now

Now you want to be telling others about MarketHive before they start telling you and others they know.

 

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor