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What do a rock star and a digital marketer have in common?
What if you were a rock-star standing in a crowded coliseum as thousands of fans eagerly await your performance? What would you do?
Stars know that it isn’t just their vocals that attract the fans, it’s that emotional connection that really sells it.
Well, if none of the audience members were affected by the band and their music then no one would want to come out and see you perform. They might as well stay home or drive around town listening to the music, possibly for free, instead.
Digital marketing is much the same!
Reaching your audience should never be the end goal, instead, it should be a mere milestone in your journey. A way of providing value to your readers or viewers in ways that will impact their lives or businesses in positive ways.
Tons of content hits the internet every day through digital marketing. While some of it can be useful or educational, much of it is redundant or pointless.
To be sure you’re providing valuable content ask yourself these questions before creating your content:
If your audience doesn’t take any action does your content impact their lives in any way?
Will this content drive your reader or viewer onward through the buyer's journey?
Will you get the engagement that you are looking for from this content?
So how can you urge your audience to action or engagement through digital marketing?
If you’ve ever tried to optimize your content or conversions within your website, then you’ll know how important calls to action can be. So, this means, if you want engagement with your audience you’ve got to stir those emotions before they’ll take the next step. Although calls to action are certainly important, the process of creating content before the call to action may often be glossed over. When making that emotional connection you’ll need to create an emotional response to drive the engagement or conversion that you are seeking.
Need help creating that elusive emotional connection through digital marketing? Drop us a line today!
Many customers have asked me this over the last couple of years. Why do I need a marketer? Is internet marketing a DIY project? Can’t I just do it myself? Why should we pay for marketing services online? In this post, I want to discuss these questions to hopefully shed some light on the subject and help companies to make a better decision on spending their marketing funds or not when the need arises.
Does everyone need online marketing?
Everyone does not need internet marketing, but most could use these services. Businesses with no online presence and no need to be online to find customers and grow their business will not need assistance with online marketing. Sometimes spending money on marketing in the online world can be foolish for small local businesses, unless it is for a local SEO strategy through Google My Business, Yelp, or other online listing sites. So whether a business needs an online marketing strategy or an online presence is a case by case decision. I am happy to discuss this with potential customers though and I strive to never sell packages or services unless a client truly needs them or will derive benefit for their business from them.
If I need an online marketing strategy do I need a marketer?
The internet is a wide world with a great deal of competition so unless you are well versed in marketing or plan to be in the near future then yes you’ll like need someone experienced in marketing. For online marketing, you’ll need someone who is experienced in other mediums besides traditional outbound marketing tactics such as cold calling, billboards, TV ads, etc…
Can’t I just go the DIY route for my marketing?
Again you could, but why? Many marketing professionals, myself included, provide reasonable pricing for many services and can develop packages and proposals to fit your own unique needs. We understand that you have bills just like we do and we do our best to help you get the exact services you need without hidden fees or overpriced services. When you go DIY you may miss out on important opportunities to promote across platforms, tips and tricks learned through experience and the latest marketing techniques. We’ve already taken the time to wade through social media marketing, email marketing, and many of us are certified in inbound marketing as well. I am HubSpot certified in both Inbound Marketing and Email Marketing; this allows me to help my clients get the most up to date marketing tactics to help them avoid the expense, lost time, and detrimental mistakes when marketing their company.
Another important thing to mention here is that it’s possible to damage your online reputation or standing through DIY marketing. Google is very strict on what is and isn’t allowed these days. Duplicate content, keyword stuffing, article directory submissions on multiple platforms, and spammy content could all lead to penalties from Google. This means lower search engine rankings in the search engine results pages, meaning that customers will be even less likely you to find you online after these penalties. After all, most users never search past the first results page, so what do you think the odds of finding your company would be if Google moved you to the fifth page or lower? An experienced marketer can help you to avoid these and other costly mistakes.
Why should I pay for online marketing services?
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. When considering working with a marketer or marketing form you should be prepared to pay some fee. These will vary based on location, experiences, and services rendered. Paying for services secures professional advice, services, and expertise just as if you paid an attorney or doctor for their services. While you will have to pay now, you will likely see monetary returns later as your business receives more traffic online leading to more leads and ultimately more sales.
A word of caution:
Before hiring a marketing professional ask them about their experience, credentials, and any results they’ve had in the past. For content marketing, you may also want to view a portfolio as well. You can view my HubSpot certifications here on the site and my portfolio as well. I hold an Associate of Arts Degree as well and I have two years of marketing experience with a heavy concentration of content marketing. For an example of what a website might look like if you chose to work with me feel free to browse through my site here as it is all my own work. All service packages listed on the right-hand side of the Home page layout my specific fees. If you don’t work with me that’s ok, but you should expect something similar from any marketing professional you are going to hire. You should also ask for a complete estimate with pricing for each item billed before beginning too and ask about fees for rush work, additional work added after the project begins, late fees, and any deposits they require upfront. We require a deposit of ¼ of the price of your project before beginning for any project over $100 and you may view our other fees and payment terms in the FAQ section of this site too.
Interested in working with The Content Oasis? Contact us today to boost your sales and establish a stellar online presence that you can be proud of!
Purchasing Twitter followers is not a new tactic; in fact many Twitter users have purchased followers throughout the short existence of this social media giant. Users are still buying Twitter Followers today too. In fact many Twitter users with large quantities of followers are making a profit by selling portions of their followers for a cheap price to many people and businesses alike. It’s easy, cheap, and most users would certainly see more followers as a plus. However, this is not always the case.
Many marketers warn against the dangers of purchasing followers.
A great deal of these followers may be bots which does not increase your social interaction or traffic favorably. These followers may also be interested in malicious hacking, phishing, or spreading a virus to you and your followers. As you can see there is certainly more than meets the eye when purchasing Twitter followers. You may also find your followers list filled with suspicious accounts, avatars of eggs, or a deluge of overseas identities outside of your target market. This could certainly be harmful to a company or brand’s reputation in the long run.
The reason this is so damaging outside of the obvious dangers is the ability for many followers to spot fake accounts.
In fact an entire site has been dedicated to finding fake followers. Simply connect to Twitter and let the search work its magic. In moments users can discover and unfollow fake Twitter followers with just a click. Of course they may also choose to unfollow those who are purchasing Twitter followers through these shady sellers and click farms.
Who Are These Twitter Followers That Are For Sale?
· Accounts with egg avatars
· Overseas accounts (in some cases, not all)
· Accounts that never retweet tweets, after all these bots are just filler. They are nothing more than a place holder to pad the number of Twitter followers in user accounts.
· Accounts that disappear as quickly as they were created.
So How Can I get More Legitimate Twitter Followers?
· Post regularly
· Post Valuable Content
· Respond to comments or questions from others
· Use Twitter Ads to gain more legitimate Twitter followers. This can help to get you in front of your target audience more easily.
· Follow those who follow you
· Follow others in your niche
What’s the Moral of the Story?
Purchasing organic traffic or followers is a misnomer in itself. Organic Twitter followers, or any other social media followers for that matter, occur through regular and genuine social interaction. This means we’ve got to go out there and make contact with the world while doing the dirty work to see our followers grow steadily. Please don’t buy followers; it will only lead to trouble in the end.
If we can help you with your social media marketing please contact us for a free quote today!
When I first heard of Kanban or time boxing from a friend who works in IT I was fascinated. The board seemed so simple and yet it could do so much. Even with all of my to do lists and other complicated methods to manage my home, school, and work life I couldn't seem to get the job done. So I resolved to see what Kanban was all about and see if it could work for me. I am still in the early stages, but it seems to be going well so far. Follow the steps below to get started with your very own Kanban board, it can even be used easily on top of other productivity tools for increased results fast.
What You'll Need:
One sheet of foam poster board.
Colored masking tape of your choice
A permanent marker or felt-tipped pen
Sticky notes of various colors (At least four different colors)
How to Build Your Board:
Section of your board with the masking tape into four equal sections (or as many as you need, I chose to label mine as home, school, work, and personal) vertically and four equal section horizontally so that you have a grid of twelve squares.
At the top of each vertical column label each section according to how you plan to use it such as work, home, etc...
Now label the far left side of your board horizontally as to do, in progress, ready for checks and revisions.
Using Your Board:
Get those sticky notes and choose a color for each column.
Now start writing those to-dos.
Assign a few tasks each day to the in progress column and assign a new task here each time another task is ready to be checked or revised.
The Benefits of a Kanban Board:
As a writer and a student, this board helps me to prevent overloading myself while being able to visualize my workflow. This allows me to be less stressed and more focused. In combination with the Pomodoro Technique, this board can really help you to be super productive. I especially love it for the writing process. It helps me to keep my editing in check and know exactly what I have waiting to be finished. Those in technology also find this especially useful as well as many other groups of users throughout various fields.
Contact us for small business success on the web!
I know that many small businesses operate as a solo team, but we can all learn to be better leaders. Even if you run a business all alone chances are someone relies on you, works with you, or looks up to you for advice. As leaders we need to be conscious of the messages we are sending out. While a leader should appear poised, confident, and firm in their decision making, there are some less than desirable occurrences in this arena as well. So I'd like to take a minute to talk about exactly what a leader is and isn't.
What is a leader?
A leader is a person who leads a group, company or organization. We know that from the traditional cut and dry dictionary definitions, but it's so much more. A leader should be a person who leads with confidence, but never forgets that they are leading the group not ruling the group. As a leader it's our job to facilitate good communication, positive interactions, appropriate conduct, and positive growth for our organization or business.
So what isn't a leader?
A leader is not a bully, a ruler, a sovereign or any other end all be all figure. Nor is a leader a lone figure who takes no direction and requires no input from others. The best leaders know that a great team is in the making of a great leader and a great organization. Individuals who bully, belittle, stifle, oppress, or reject are at best portraying a poor leadership image. At worst they are distorting the image of what a leader should truly be.
So how can we be better leaders?
-Listen to your team whether they are struggling or have positive ideas to share.
-Take your team seriously and strive to help all members succeed.
-Be flexible and approachable, after all scaring people away only hinders communication further.
-Keep it professional and remember to treat people like you'd want to be treated. In business dealings there's no need for discrimination, profanity, inflated egos, or holding your seniority over a beginners head. In fact you should use your experience to facilitate success rather than fear.
-Don't insist on being right. Being right is not as valuable as solid communication, work it out like adults and find a mutual solution if possible.
-Don't encourage any other leaders that you supervise to bully, demean, or treat others poorly either. This can be partly accomplished by example, but sometimes you may have to insist on fair treatment and appropriate behavior.
-Finally praise your team when things are going well and when things are going poorly. After all every cloud has it's silver lining. Try to praise any efforts made even if things are going poorly. By keeping morale up you increase your chances of future success greatly.
For more resources on leadership checkout Business Leadership Advice and this great talk from Simon Sinek.
Contact us today for small business success on the web!
When you woke up this morning chances are you looked at a smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device. We are all becoming increasingly reliant on our mobile devices for a variety of tasks including searching the web. In fact mobile internet usage has largely replaced that of the PC. So what does this mean for your site? With the current Google and Bing mobile updates you need to get ready. Several factors including your search engine ranking and customer experience could be impacted quickly.
Search Engine Rankings:
In the past search engines considered several of the same points they do today such as accessibility, keyword stuffing, readability, the amount of content, meta tag length, and the list goes on and on. However, until recently there was not a great emphasis on having a mobile site. There was also little concern for the sites that had gone mobile in regard to quality or accessibility. Today that is a different story. In fact, sites are now labeled with a mobile friendly icon by many large search engines allowing consumers to know upfront whether they can access the information on the go or not.
Today users are on the go and they've got no time to be chained to their PC. With so many mobile devices you'll want to be available to customers wherever they may be. Failing to be available on mobile or simply shifting a desktop site into mobile could cause decreased traffic and increased bounces from your site. If you can't be found by mobile you may be losing more than half of your potential traffic in many cases.
Of course, it's also very important to keep your users in mind. Even if your site is available through mobile this may not be enough. Users want to be able to access every feature on the site. If they get messages redirecting them to the desktop site or they are denied access to specific points of your site on mobile they may leave. Poor design that does not fit within phone or tablet screens may also be an issue. So pay attention to user comfort when putting together your mobile site for the best results possible.
This post is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile sites and their respective updates or policies within major search engines. For more information on this topic please check out the Google mobile site policies or the mobile information from Bing.
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Have you ever had a cold call where the seller focused on them and their product? Did you buy their service? Probably not.
Why aren't customers buying the outbound approach?
With outbound marketing consumers are faced with in your face information. No thought is required, but the information is often very biased. Before the internet came along and product reviews became the normal way to shop many customers had no choice but to rely on manufacturer or service provider information. Today this is no longer the case.
Another reason for this is that the consumer likely has their own problem that they are looking to solve. They don't want to know what you do or what you're selling. They want to know what you can do for them and how your product can help them to become more successful, less stressed, more efficient, and the list goes on.
How is inbound marketing different?
Inbound marketing, as opposed to outbound marketing, provides customers with meaningful information, education, and truthful product reviews. It also provides what the customer wants instead of what the seller thinks the consumer wants to hear. In fact, this blog could be considered and inbound marketing tool. My consumers come to the site looking for marketing, SEO, content and other business related materials. By writing this blog I am providing them with valuable information and driving traffic to the site to expose my services as well. It's a win for everyone involved.
Getting down to why we do what we do.
Which of these sounds better:
I provide web content for a variety of small and large businesses to drive traffic increase sales and get your site ranking well with Google.
Here at The Content Oasis, we want to help you to succeed. We know that starting a business can be tough and internet marketing may be a difficult field to navigate. Let us help you with great web content, blogging services, and so much more to help your site become a success. If you're unsure of how to create great content or just need some help with your marketing strategy we can help you to get back on track fast.
In the second statement, we are focused on the customer while telling them what we do. In the first statement, you clearly know what we do, but you're left wondering how it could help your business. When given the choice always go with inbound marketing for the best results in today's market.
For more great resources on inbound marketing check out HubSpot.
Need some help with your marketing efforts? Contact us for a free quote today!
Running a business is a difficult job to be sure. While large corporations often seem to have a department for everything, entrepreneurs are every department. From marketing to customer relations we wear all of the hats. This can sometimes leave us exhausted and frustrated, but with a little creativity you too can have peace of mind for your start-up.
Get a Routine:
While routines may conjure up the idea of boredom and single file lines from your grade school years, it doesn't have to be this way. Although routine is essential in some areas. You need to decide which tasks should be done first and how to do those repetitive tasks each time to get them out of the way and make room for more important things.
Automation is Your Friend:
With the option to automate everything from bill pay to social media we are truly living in the age of convenience. If you have to do a task more than three times and you can automate it, please do. Automation saves time and lets you focus on more complex tasks.
Take a Load Off... of Your Mind:
Trying to do too much at once can lead to fuzzy thinking and poor memory in the best cases. If you haven't found a great planner or software for your planning now is the time. With smartphones and tablets everywhere, planning has never been easier. Writing things down frees up your mind to create and engage with your customers.
Finally, as I've said before don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. This along with the tips above should help you to reduce your stress and get back to doing what you do best.
As a shy introvert I can tell you that business both intrigues and terrifies me. I enjoy the fast pace, the rush of increased sales, the joy of creating great web content, and helping my clients to achieve explosive growth within their own companies. Yet as an introvert I sometimes have difficulty carving out my place in the business world. If you too are a shy introvert, or simply an introvert read on to see how you can take the business world by storm too. For you extroverts, please be patient, we will find our words eventually and it will be amazing.
Introductions are terrifying, there's no point in denying it, but basically most meetings are difficult for the shy introvert.
I would rather hide in my house with Netflix in my pajamas all day than meet new people, even though most of my clients have been terrific people. However, I'd never get any business that way. While face to face meetings and lunches may not always be necessary, Skype video calls can be a bit nerve wracking as well. This is how I handle these events to stay cool and use my words appropriately.
Wear something comfortable, I never wear a new outfit to a meeting. This prevents the all too familiar clothing malfunction. Also, ladies high heels just add to the potential for tripping so keep that in mind.
Keep it simple, no need to give an oration. Just treat your client like a human being and present yourself with honest confidence. Most people respond to valuable advice and useful suggestions very well.
Be polite and try to keep them talking about themselves or their project if you become nervous to take the focus away from yourself. While it will be necessary to showcase your skills, temporarily shifting the focus from yourself can give you some breathing room to calm your nerves.
Provide, samples, graphics, video, or whatever else you can prepare ahead of time to help you explain your skill set or project approach in case you do become tongue tied at the worst possible moment. This also allows clients something to review later when they are making their final decisions.
Breathe, it's very important and seems like a no brainer, but somehow it can be forgotten at the worst times for that all too familiar lightheaded feeling that is sure to make you appear confused as well.
A quick word about conflict:
Finally conflict may also be a great difficulty for the shy introverted individual. In a previous blog I gave some tips for dealing with difficult clients. While these are certainly helpful, sometimes conflicts do occur. Try these tips the next time a conflict arises:
Stop! Avoid the urge to run. While this is what I know you'd like to do it only makes matters worse.
Remain calm and try to see the client's point of view. At this point it's also important to take responsibility for any mistakes you may have made.
Refuse to be demeaned or endure profanity (yes it does happen unfortunately).
Explain your points calmly, don't forget to use your words :), and be firm in standing behind your original policies.
Be polite and attempt to compromise, but do not allow yourself to be backed into a corner. If this is the case and resolution is not possible you may want to rethink your work with that particular client.
I hope this helps those of you who may be shy or introverted like myself. Experience also seems to be a great help in this area too. Let me know how you handle this in the comments section if you like. Happy meeting and don't forget to breathe!
While I know that this is a marketing blog, I'd like to take some time to showcase the benefits of having a mentor as a young entrepreneur. A mentor can help you to achieve things you'd never imagine or give you the courage to try some of your more outrageous ideas. At other times they may caution you to think a bit more carefully about what you want. In the end it's all up to you, but the guidance of a mentor is invaluable in most cases.
My own mentor has been a wealth of knowledge and support through the good or bad experiences.
Some days I feel the need to run to him with everything and ask a million questions. Although, on other days previous answers are enough to suffice. As I've branched out from a classifieds ad based platform to gather business and head quickly toward the launch of my own site I have learned a great deal about technology from my mentor as well, making my dreams to have a functioning, professional site an emerging reality. Being a writer, this is not my strong point, but my mentor has always been there to help.
So as you can see your mentor does not have to come from your own field, although that's certainly okay too.
What matters is that you are comfortable with your mentor, your mentor has some experience in the goals that you are trying to achieve, and that your mentor is willing to work with you. A mentor can be a former client, a business partner, a friend, or even someone from a professional group that you may belong to.
If you don't have a mentor, I highly suggest you search for one to get the most out of your start-up or growing business.
If you are an experienced freelancer or entrepreneur please consider mentoring someone who is just beginning on their business journey. Some of you may already have a great mentor as I do, please be sure to thank them for their time and patience. As I said before a great mentor is invaluable and I am so grateful for the time my mentor has given to me.
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