CompuKol Connection » Blog http://www.compukol.com When you need results, our expertise eclipses the competition! Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:16:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Effective Search Engine Optimization on a Global Level http://www.compukol.com/blog/effective-search-engine-optimization-on-a-global-level/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/effective-search-engine-optimization-on-a-global-level/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:00:17 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6758 Continue reading ]]>

You may have started your SEO efforts on a local level initially; however, lately, you may have been thinking that it is time to expand and go global. If your business is at a point where you have done all that you can do on a relatively small scale, it is time to tap into other markets. There is literally a whole world out there for you to explore.

How do you get started?

SEO has been important in the past, it is important now, and it will be important for many years to come. When it comes to the technology, small shifts are constantly occurring and new tools and technologies are being introduced on a regular basis. As they are coming at you, only you can decide which ones work for your particular business. Those are the ones that you should leverage. You will want to do certain things that will help you to expand your efforts to meet global needs for your business and for your clients and potential clients. It is very possible that you will need to come up with a different, customized strategy for your global efforts. That won’t be a problem as long is you approach it correctly and cautiously. In fact, each country that you target should probably have a different marketing strategy. You will discover (if you haven’t already) that the way that people think in one country will be different than how they think in another country. Of course, it goes without saying that those differences are bound to affect your search engine rankings as well.

  • Understand your clients well: This may seem very obvious to you (to the point of ridiculousness). However, sometimes, the simplest, most apparent things are the things that are overlooked most frequently. In order for you to understand your customers well, that means that you can empathize with them. You will need to have the ability to put yourself in their shoes and to think the way that they think. You will probably find it less challenging to accomplish this with your local customers but you will also need to make this happen for your international clients. It is critical to your success. Because you will be dealing with cultural differences (potentially) when you are interacting with your global market, it is imperative that you are sensitive to those differences. That fact makes ability to embrace the diverse cultures even more important. If your content can reflect those differences and blend them with what you represent, the search engines will pick up on that as well.

  • Do your homework: Discussions about keywords have been happening for a very long time. You may think that coming up with the appropriate keywords and key phrases is so simple for you at this point that you don’t have to exert any effort in that direction. However, that is one concept that you should not be taking for granted. Don’t forget to incorporate the cultural differences into those keywords and key phrases as well. They will be very important for your global marketing efforts. The SEO may be slightly (or very) different in each country so it is very important that you make everything work. You want to make sure that the efforts of the people who are searching for your products and/or services have as easy a time as possible.

  • Customize your content for your global customers: One thing that is universal is that if your content is top-quality, the people who are reading it will recognize the quality and it will grab their attention. Always remember to give your audience what they want and need. Once you start to interact with your online connections, they will reveal what they want and need from you. If you manage to successfully solve their problems, the results of your efforts will be very positive and you will start to develop a relationship together. No matter where those people live, human relationships are the same in one respect. They are all based on emotional connections. Humans are humans.

  • Monitor your content: It is very important to have a good sense and a good understanding of how your social media marketing efforts are doing. You can capture a variety of analytics and if you see that some of your efforts are not paying off, you can redirect those efforts and do things that work more effectively for your business.

  • The different versions of Google in different countries: It is important to keep in mind that Google has different versions of itself in different countries. The search results that you capture will be appropriate for that particular country but different than you might be used to seeing. In fact, the look and feel may be different entirely. You can start by registering and creating profiles on various social media channels from that country. They will get to know you and you can get to know them.

  • Rankings across the globe: Your interactions in countries other than the United States will be important to your business; however, they won’t be as significant as your interactions in the U.S. It is important that you recognize the positive attributes in each country and make the best use of those attributes for your business.

  • Using international search engines: You will discover that although it would be easy and convenient if Google were the only search engine that anyone used across the world, that is not necessarily going to be the case. In many countries, people will prefer to use local search engines and they feel that their needs are satisfied by taking that approach.

Conclusion

Now that you have made the decision to expand your social media marketing efforts to benefit your global clients and potential clients, you need to remember to embrace the cultural differences that are a definite reality in that situation. You may find that you need to approach your marketing differently than you would in the U.S. Your foundation will stay the same and you will have to make adjustments to fit those particular countries, which should not require a huge amount of effort, if you do it right. You may find yourself needing to make some language adjustments as well. Your efforts will undoubtedly be appreciated and they will go a long way.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Is Marketing the Same as Selling? http://www.compukol.com/blog/is-marketing-the-same-as-selling/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/is-marketing-the-same-as-selling/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6915 Continue reading ]]>

Many people think that marketing and selling are interchangeable, that it is just a different way to say the same thing. In fact, in many ways, marketing and selling are very different and require different skills and a very different approach. Of course they lead to the same end but the way that each approach progresses can be very different.

Is Marketing the Same as Selling?

Only is a broad, somewhat simplistic concept, where “selling” is thought of as the exchange activity. Marketing is an overall Organisational activity (the planning, pricing, promotion, packaging, advertising and selling of any Value Offer (Product. Selling is therefore only a part of the overall Marketing of any Product and therein lies the difference.

Are Marketing and Sales Different?

This is a perenial topic in forums and will get lots of responses – particularly I have found from sales folk.  Their basic message is that Sales and Marketing are different.  Marketers don’t understand Selling.  Sales people are important and underappreciated.

The basic problem with the topic and discussion is that very few participants understand or use the terms correctly.  They only think of “sales” and “marketing” as organisational departments, not as functions.

It is difficult to have a useful discussion if the key terms are not understood and agreed

So here are a few useful definitions to help (I hope) the discussions

 

Marketing

The process of exchange of value between Provider (Seller) and Customer (Buyer).  Involves creating and providing what customers want in return for something they are willing to give (money, time, or membership)

The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix (see Marketing Mix Strategy) of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products (Sale, Hire, Acquisition) for some form of Payment. The process of planning and executing the conception, Product Pricing, Promotion and Place (Distribution) of offers (ideas, goods and services) to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives.

(1) The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements while achieving organisational objectives (including profitably).

(2) Fundamental policy-forming activity devoted to selecting and developing suitable products for sale – promoting and distributing these products in a manner providing the optimum return on capital employed. (Teach Yourself Marketing, John Stapleton, 1975.)

(3) Marketing starts in the market place with the identification of the customers’ needs and wants. It then moves on to determining a means of satisfying these needs and of promoting, selling and supplying a satisfaction. The principal marketing functions might be defined as Marketing Information and Research, Product Planning, Advertising and Promotion, and Distribution.

Marketing is generally thought of as one of the three or four basic activities of all organisations.  Thus – Marketing; Finance and Operations (or Production and HR)

Marketing Department

A division within a company with responsibility for the planning and coordination of all marketing activities

Marketing Department Orientation

A term used to refer to the orientation of an organisation which has established a separate department to look after its marketing activities, but which is not totally imbued with the marketing philosophy. An orientation in which all marketing activities are brought under the control of one department to improve short-run policy planning and to try to integrate the firm’s activities.

Sale

A sale relates to someone or some organisation buying something. Sales are often confused with the process of Selling. Result – or pinnacle activity involved in selling products (goods and services) in return for payment (money or some other compensation of value to the seller).

The amount of Products (both goods and services) sold in a given period of time. Sales are operating revenues earned by a company when it sells its products.

Sales

The amount of Products(all forms) sold in a given period of time

The simplistic term to mean the “Sales Department.  This is OK except where it confuses the overall activity of the organisation in the Marketing function

Sales Department

Sales department is the division of a business or an organization accountable for selling services or products. The department responsible for planning, organising, controlling and evaluating the activities of the sales force.

Selling

Process of persuasion leading to an exchange or trading arrangement.

Personal Selling

One of the possible activities of the Promotional Mix.

The process of making oral commercial representations during a buyer/seller interview situation. Direct, face-to-face communication between buyer and seller. Personal selling is a basic activity and is old as marketing itself . Colloquially referred to as face-to-face selling. Sometimes known as buyer/seller interface.

Conclusion

Marketing and selling are not the same although they are both extremely important parts of the entire process. Each one requires a detailed level of expertise and an approach that is effective and compelling. One cannot exist without the other if you expect to be successful at selling your offerings and your brand to other people who are made to feel that they can’t live without them.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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How to Become an Influencer on Google+ http://www.compukol.com/blog/how-to-become-an-influencer-on-google/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/how-to-become-an-influencer-on-google/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6775 Continue reading ]]>

You may or may not be totally comfortable with Google+ for business but it is very important that you don’t underestimate what it can do for your business. It can help to strengthen your social interactions online and it can do so much more. It can help you to become an influencer, which is an extremely important position to be in.

Give credit where credit is due

Not only is it essential that you understand the capabilities that Google+ offers you and your business but it is also critical for your continued professional success that you do everything in your power on Google+ to position yourself as an influencer. It will carry you and your business to new heights.

Marketing with Google+

When it comes to your online marketing strategy, it is important that you understand exactly what Google+ can do for you and how you can use it to reap the greatest benefits for your business. First of all, Google+ has great search capabilities, which will be a tremendous advantage. Additionally, it is in a strong position to contribute tremendously to your search engine optimization efforts as well as your efforts with the social media channels across the board in general. It is important for you to understand that Google+ and its influence and effect on your marketing efforts will be sticking around for a very long time. You may as well learn how to make the most of it for your business and learn everything that there is to know. Now, you may be wondering exactly you how you are going to do what you need to do to make the most out of Google+. Well, here goes:

  • Make sure that your profile is everything that it needs to be: It is critical that your profile on Google+ is compelling and other people are interested enough in what they see to want to begin interacting with you. A great profile can definitely make that happen exactly that way. What they say is true: first impressions are everything (at least, most of the time). In this case, your Google+ is your first impression. Remember that your social media profiles (and Google+ in particular in this case)  is not a place to be stingy with information. People have one goal in mind and that is to get to know  you (to whatever extent they can) as human beings. If you can accomplish that through your Google+ profile, you will be able to start to build a relationship with the other person. There is no way around it. That must be your first step 100% of the time.

  • Share and share alike: When it comes to Google+, sharing valuable content is tremendously important and it will get you to where you need to be. It is very important that you keep in mind that the content that you share must all have one thing in common. It must all be valuable, exciting, and educational. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it all has to be your original content. It is fine if you want to make the greatest portion of what you are sharing your original content; however, if you happen to come across content that you feel is helpful to other people, by all means, share it. Mixing it up is a good idea as long as you have control over how much mixing you are doing and as long as you are still allowing your readers to get a strong sense of who you are and what you represent through your content.

  • Make appropriate use of your Google+ circles: As you are securing your position as Google+ influencer, you should keep in mind that you will need to use your circles in the most appropriate, most effective way possible. The first thing that you will need to do when it comes to your circles is to arrange your circles in such a way that makes logical sense to you. It has to be as easy as possible for you to work your circles. If your circles are organized well for your needs, you will have an easy time sharing content with those people in your circles. The information that you share will also be well received and appreciated.

  • Spend quality time with the people in your circles: One of the most interesting features of Google+ is the Hangout feature. Google+ Hangouts allow you to interact with many people at the same time by using a video call. You can host and the great potential is there to interact with your people at a myriad of events. It is very fun and very interesting!

  • Make a solid contribution with the comments that you share on Google+: It is critical that  you interact as much as you can and as often as you can. Although it is clear that the content that you share is valuable to other people online, it is also very important to add additional value by leaving thought-provoking comments that will stimulate additional discussions.

Conclusion

The more you interact and share content through Google+, the more you will position yourself as an influencer. Before you know it, people will be looking to you for the solution to their problems. You have the ability to make that happen and everyone will benefit tremendously. Becoming an influencer is essential to your success, however, you must also understand that it may take a little time and a great deal of effort. It won’t happen instantaneously. You may feel that becoming an influencer is out of your reach but if you think that way, you couldn’t be more wrong. It is absolutely a goal that you can realize.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Top-Quality Content Has No Inhibitions http://www.compukol.com/blog/top-quality-content-has-no-inhibitions/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/top-quality-content-has-no-inhibitions/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:00:26 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6754 Continue reading ]]>

In the beginning of your content-sharing journey, you make a wonderful first impression with the quality of your content. Of course, over time, you will need to maintain that top quality. In order to accomplish that consistently, you will need to put your inhibitions aside and give your readers something really valuable.

Distinguishing good from bad, for your sake and for the sake of your readers

You are most likely well aware of the fact that anyone who has anything to do with the Internet is inundated on a regular basis with all sorts of content. That also applies to content marketing. You will definitely want to get involved with content marketing if you want to promote your brand. If you have a business, you will want to promote your brand! When it comes to promoting your brand, that may mean your professional brand and/or your personal brand. Of course, along with that is the concept (and the reality) that if you generate a larger volume of content marketing materials, you will also be generating more content in general. As you are sharing your content, you need to give some serious thought to whether that content will be relevant to what you are doing with your brand over time.

Which content should you be posting?

As always, when you are considering quality versus quantity, it is important to choose correctly for maximum results. Posting content just so you have content to post is not a good enough reason. You must have confidence in the fact that you are sharing content that is truly worth sharing. You could try the approach of blasting content to your target audience online but it probably won’t do you any good. You will want to avoid posting uninteresting blog articles, plagiarized articles, and content that is not letter-perfect. What you should aim for is to post content that is compelling, exciting, educational, and valuable. It is extremely important that you post content that grabs the attention of your readers in a way that makes them want to interact with you. Don’t be too worried about offending anyone (you will no doubt have a strong sense of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate).

Plunging ahead without worrying about the consequences

When you think about plunging ahead, it doesn’t mean that you should do so without considering the people around you. You are definitely not going to become a “bull in a  china shop.” What you will do is to stand your ground. You definitely have a position. You just need to make sure that you don’t deviate from what you represent and what you believe. There is definitely a chance that when you stand your ground, not everyone will react positively to your doing so. However, one thing that is probably true is that those people will respect you for standing strong. Another important thing to remember is that you should try to be as open-minded as you can when it comes to the opinions of other people. Your position will invite interaction from other people and, as long as your approach is appropriate, you will be given the opportunity to begin to build relationships. It is important for you to understand that there will be times when many other people will support your point of view and your feelings and there will be other times when you don’t feel as though you are supported by as many people. The one thing that you need to remember, however, is never to deviate from that position.

Conclusion

When it comes to your content, it is important to remember to leave your inhibitions behind. Don’t let the task intimidate you or make you skittish. You will experience both positive and negative feedback. It is important that you are not afraid of or intimidated by negative feedback. The more you write and see that other people appreciate what you are contributing, the easier it will become. In fact, it is often the negative feedback from which you learn and grow the most. Remember that you can’t satisfy everyone all of the time. However, if you remain true to yourself, your business, your brand, and your principles, you will be fine.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Using Webinars to Qualify Leads http://www.compukol.com/blog/using-webinars-to-qualify-leads/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/using-webinars-to-qualify-leads/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:00:57 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6819 Continue reading ]]>

As you are thinking about how to get leads and eventually to turn them into clients, there are many different ways that you can go about gathering those leads. One of the very effective ways is by identifying the people who register for your webinars.

What your approach should be

Sometimes, it can be challenging enough to simply qualify  your leads. To qualify your leads through the registration of your webinars can be even more challenging and complex. As you are going through that process, there are several different elements that you need to consider. One of those elements is the subject matter of the webinars themselves. Another element is the actually attendees of your webinars. It is extremely important that you remember that they are individual people and you need to interact with each one according to that person’s particular wants, needs and personality.

Webinars are interesting when it comes to interacting with leads and eventually (hopefully) converting them to clients. Because webinars, by the very nature of what they are, are interactive tools (of a sort), you should be able to make a great deal of headway when it comes to establishing solid relationships. The people whom you meet (your webinar registrants) will be at various stages on their way to becoming your clients. Some will be at the beginning of the process. In other words, they are just at the information-gathering stage. Some will be further along and will be comparison shopping. Others will have just about made their decision and will be ready to buy what you are offering. You will be able to glean at least some of that information from the information that they have filled in when they registered. For your sake, it is very important for you to be able to make that distinction so that you can concentrate on those people who are at the point where they are either close to a decision or have already made the decision to become your client.

How the process works

Webinars are an effective way to draw people in and qualify your leads because the webinar is an extremely effective tool that engages people easily and keeps them engaged for a long period of time. The content that you have created for your webinar will cover educational materials, influencers, specific products and/or services, competitive intelligence, etc. Once you have covered everything that you need to cover in the webinar, it will be quite simple to figure out how to integrate that content with your marketing materials. When it comes to how the other person (the person who you wish to acquire as a client) and how you will cultivate a relationship with him or her, some of your webinar content will work to acquire certain pieces of information and other content will help you to acquire other pieces of information. Of course, it goes without saying that you must identify the needs and wants of  the other person so that you can figure out how to solve them problems most effectively.

Let the content speak for itself

As was previously mentioned, the different elements of your webinar content will have a different effect on your attendees. Not only is your webinar content extremely useful and effective on your target audience but you can really get a great deal of mileage out of it by sharing it with many different target audiences, if you have the opportunity to do so. For example, you may have a product and/or service that solves several different problems. You can run a few different webinars in a short time period and those different webinars may have a who different set of audience members. That is a good example of how you can get a lot of mileage out of your webinar content.

Why people attend your webinars

There may be many different reasons why people are interested in attending your webinars. Of course, if a person attends one (or more) of your webinars, it is safe to assume that they are interested in what you have to say. However, there may be more to the motivation in the other person than you think. You can gather all sorts of interesting and valuable information way beyond when they are physically attending your webinar. The information gathering may go on for a while and the webinar may  be the open-door opportunity that you were seeking and now you need to make the best of that opportunity. If you want to get to know those attendees a little better and really connect with them on an emotional level, don’t just stand in front of them and give a presentation. A breakout session is a really good way to get to know people and after that, you will definitely have a leg up.

Try to interact as much as possible

It will be difficult to spend a great deal of time with any one person during your webinar; however, any amount of time is valuable. It will create an impression of you that will stay in the mind of the other person for a long time. Of course, your interactions with the other person will not stop once your webinar has ended. In fact, that is just the beginning. Now you have to start to build your relationship together. However, it is a wonderful starting point and it is an opportunity to connect with the other person on a human/emotional level and that is something that they will remember you for and will want to interact again.

Conclusion

A webinar is a perfect setup for turning leads into eventual clients. It is an opportunity to start to build a long-lasting, solid relationship together and, if you do it correctly, you will have many more opportunities after that to continue to build on what you have already established. Webinars are one of the main tools for generating leads, which will eventually turn into clients. Additionally, your webinars will enable you to qualify those leads through your content.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Knowing When to Use Gated Content http://www.compukol.com/blog/when-do-you-use-gated-content/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/when-do-you-use-gated-content/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6741 Continue reading ]]>

It is very possible that many people are not familiar with the term “gated” when it comes to content marketing. There are advantages to using gated content under certain circumstances and it is important for you to understand when to use it and when it should not be used.

The definition of gated content

The definition of gated content is that it is content that resides behind a form, any form, which you make available on your website (or some other aspect of your web presence). In other words, it is content that requires an action on the part of your readers. That action could be interacting with you in some way, requesting whatever you are offering, etc. In any case, the result will be that your readers will voluntarily offer up some information about them. They will “opt in.” The typical information that they may supply is a phone number, address, Email address, etc. That information will enable you to start to establish a relationship with that person. Of course, you are probably aware of the fact that without a way to contact your readers, you are finished before you even begin. In a sense, using gated content is absolutely necessary to the success of your business.

What is considered gated content?

The truth is that if you own a business (or even if you work for someone else’s business), you have to market what you are selling. In order to accomplish that, you must create content. Your ultimate goal (and this goes for any and all businesses) is to sell your products and services to other people. Basically, everyone wants the same thing. In fact, the more you sell, the more successful  you will be. Why would you not want that. After all, that is ultimately why you are doing this in the first place.

With that in mind, you may be asking (when looking at your own content), what is considered gated content and should you be using gated content more (or at all)? Well, the answer is that more of your content may be gated than you think. Remember, it is the way in which you get your readers to connect with you. Otherwise, you are in a silo and you have absolutely no expectations or understanding that you need other people in order to succeed in business. That is a lot of nonsense, of course. We all need other people.

Some examples of gated content are newsletters, eBooks, webinars, etc. Some examples of ungated content are videos, blog posts, posts on the various social media channels, etc. However, it is important that you understand that there is some crossover with the ungated content. In other words, some of that content can be gated as well. If you think (on a basic level) about your goal when you write and share your marketing content, it is to get other people to pay attention to what you are offering, to connect with you, to build a relationship with you, and to buy something from you in the end. Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t merely want those people to buy from you once. You want them to become loyal customers and keep buying from you. That, of course, is exactly why you are building the relationships that you are building.

The mechanics of gated content

When it comes to the form (behind which your content resides), it is important that you keep it as simple and concise as you can. People generally don’t have the time or the patience to get involved with a long, complex form. If that is what you are offering, chances are very good that those people will abandon your form and look for the information elsewhere. So, the simplest approach is definitely the best approach in this case. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to give you information and allow you to interact with them in some manner. You owe it to them to make it as easy as possible for them to give you the information that you are looking for. It really comes down to a respect issue. With that in mind, your form should have as few fields as possible. Only ask for basic, essential information from them. Information that you feel you cannot do without.

It is important that you keep in your mind (at all times), the understanding that if the other person is willing to download what you are offering, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be willing to buy from you. The buying will come later and it will come only after you have built a solid relationship with that person. It will take time and effort to make that happen.

What should you choose, gated or ungated content?

Well, the answer is that only you can decide what works best for your business but it would not be surprising if you end up with a combination of the two. If you don’t use gated content as part of your marketing materials, you will need to find some other way of getting those people to connect with you. A good example of this is blogs. Blogs are considered ungated content; however, every blog should contain some call-to-action, which asks the reader to do something to cause the two of you to interact in some way. It is absolutely necessary.

Conclusion

When it comes to making a decision about whether it is appropriate for you to use gated or ungated content as part of your marketing materials, the easy answer is that you need to include gated content to whatever extent works for your business. The one thing that is sure is that you will need to use gated content to some extent, no matter what. Using gated content is an honest, transparent way to eventually get your readers to buy what you are selling. A combination of the two types of content (in the proportions that are meaningful and appropriate for your business) will contribute to your efforts to bring your business to the next level.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Weighing the Benefits of Press Releases and Pitches http://www.compukol.com/blog/weighing-the-benefits-of-press-releases-and-pitches/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/weighing-the-benefits-of-press-releases-and-pitches/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6784 Continue reading ]]>

As a business owner, you are constantly thinking about new topics to write about and share with other people online. Even if you have amazing writing skills, it isn’t always easy to come up with ideas. However, there are some effective and important ways to communicate with your online connections and it is time to look at the benefits of both so that you can decide what works best for your business.

Let’s look at the press release first

Advantages

There are several positive reasons why you would want to choosing a press release, including the fact that a press release has the potential to communicate whatever number of details you wish to supply. Another really good thing about a press release is that it is not time-sensitive. Once you post it online, it will stay there forever. You can also put backlinks in  your press release, which can be extremely useful to you and to the other person online. You can use hashtags in your press release, which is a great thing when it comes to the search engines finding you and giving you a good ranking on their pages. Interestingly (and fortunately), if another writer wants to write about you and your business, the person doesn’t have to go any further than your press release. All of the pertinent details are right there. A lot of people believe that press releases should only be released when there is some news to share. In fact, that is not the only way that you can use a press release for your business. You can use it like a newsletter as well. You can also use your press release to offer your online connections a list of tips and tricks that you have found to be effective. Before you actually post your press release, you can promote it and get people excited about the idea that it is coming and that it will give them a great deal of valuable information that they can use to advance their own business. Another wonderful result of a press release is that it can give other people the perception that you are a subject matter expert in your particular niche or industry. That is something that is essential for your professional success. No matter what you do, you must achieve that goal in some manner.

Disadvantages

There are many advantages to using a press release. However, just like it is with anything in life (and in business), there is another side to the coin. In other words, there are some disadvantages to using a press release as well. It is very important for you to understand the entire picture so that you can make an informed, intelligent decision. One of the disadvantages of a press release is the fact that it can’t really make a giant splash all by itself. A press release is an extremely common means of communication and because that is the case, business people receive a very large number of them on a regular basis. That means that the pressure is on you to come up with something that stands out and really grabs the recipient’s attention so that they don’t forget you and your business. As is always the case with content, you have exactly three seconds to grab your reader’s attention with the headline. If the headline of your press release doesn’t wow the reader, that person will probably not be interested enough to keep reading. Another thing to remember is that writing a press releases is an art form. You are not born knowing how to write an amazing, compelling press release. It takes time and effort to really learn how to do it well. Another thing to keep in mind is that concept that in this day and age of high-tech everything, the people who are running the show (in many cases) are young and won’t take your press release seriously. The last disadvantage is that a press release gives everyone the same information at the same time. There is no such thing as an exclusive in that situation.

Now, let’s look at the pitch

Advantages

One of the first advantages of a pitch is that, if it is really written well, the message that comes across to those people who are reading it is that you are representing you and your business clearly and that your readers understand exactly how you can help them. When it comes to the subject of your pitch, because you have so much information at your fingertips, you can really customize your pitch to that person. In fact, you can even go one step further and tailor several pitches using the same story. You will certainly get a lot of mileage out of that. Another good thing is that the recipients of your pitch don’t have any awareness of each other. That makes them feel like they are the only one who is receiving it. That makes them special. In a pitch, you can also dangle incentives to your audience members, which can make things very interesting. You can also control the timing on your pitch so that it is in synergy with whichever events you wish to connect it to. That can really work out well for you.

Disadvantages

If you use a pitch, interacting with your target audience afterward can be more difficult than it would be if you issue a press release. Another possible disadvantage is that pitches are much shorter than press releases and you won’t have the luxury of putting in as many details as you wish. When it comes to creating the pitch, it is generally more difficult to write a good one than it is to write a press release. If you do it really well, your pitch will tell your story in a touching way that will compel your audience to pay attention. Once you are finished with your pitch (if you do it right), the audience members will want to interact with you as a next step. One word of caution is that if you don’t do a really solid job of creating your pitch, you may fall flat. That means that you will need to really do your research properly so that the person to whom you are pitching really knows how important he or she is to  you.

Conclusion

It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of press releases and pitches and to understand when to use which one. Only you can decide for your particular business and the more you work on both of them, the better you will become at wowing our audience members. If you feel that supplying a comprehensive amount of details is essential to your target audience, you will choose one way over the other. On  the other hand, if you want to create an amazing first impression with a personal touch, you may choose to go the other way. There are those people who believe that press releases are old-fashioned and pitches are more modern. You need to look at your business’ needs and figure out which one will be most advantageous for you and your business.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Avoiding LinkedIn Certain “No Nos” http://www.compukol.com/blog/avoiding-linkedin-certain-no-nos/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/avoiding-linkedin-certain-no-nos/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6738 Continue reading ]]>

LinkedIn is an amazing social media tool that can be extremely effective for businesses. However, just like it is for all social  media channels, there are certain rules and guidelines that you have a responsibility to follow. On the flip side, there are some things that you should not do when interacting on LinkedIn.

The things that you shouldn’t do

It is important to understand what is off limits for you just as much as you need to understand what you should be doing with LinkedIn for maximum results for your business. First and foremost, you must keep in mind that LinkedIn should only be used for professional purposes. LinkedIn has been used for professional purposes (exclusively) since the beginning. It will never be anything else. Of course, that is a really good thing. There are so many social media websites that people use for personal communications and interactions. There are very few reputable, credible social media channels for professionals. LinkedIn is the “cream of the crop.” If you are going to make full use of LinkedIn, you will want to take advantage of its networking features. Additionally, you will want to avoid doing certain things that may work against your business.

  • Don’t underuse your brand marketing: It is very important that your marketing language (when describing your brand) is everything that it needs to be. It is important to remember that there is a lot that you can do to promote your brand and your offerings. Make sure that you take full advantage of that and do whatever you can to get people (and businesses) to notice what you are doing. That way, you will be successful at forming meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

  • Face the issues that your marketing presents head-on: When it comes to marketing your brand and your offerings, whether you happen to be a professional marketer or a business owner who happens to be marketing your brand, it is important to stand up to the challenges and resolve whichever issues come up. You will grow from the experience and you will be closer to your brand. The harder you work at that, the better your results will be.

  • Don’t borrow other people’s content automatically: Undoubtedly, other people have a great deal to say when it comes to their areas of expertise. However, if you wish to take advantage of what they are sharing, which is perfectly acceptable, don’t automate that. Pick and choose personally. Doing otherwise is inappropriate. Automating other people’s content also creates a bottleneck in many instances. It is one thing to automate your own content. It is another thing entirely to do it with anyone else’s content.

  • Don’t get involved in a spitting war: The truth is that there is a huge amount of content that is available to you online. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to (or are even able) to take advantage of all of it. Of course, not all content holds value for all people. Each person takes what they need for their particular purposes. Of course, along with that is the fact that there is also a great deal of competition among professionals. It is important to remember that everything that you post and everything that you share is visible to other people online. With that in mind, it is critical that you make sure to keep everything appropriate.

  • Don’t use an inappropriate photo or no photo at all: When it comes to your social media profiles in general and to your LinkedIn profile in particular, your photo is very important. It provides a bridge to your relationships with other people and if you either display an inappropriate photo (not professional enough, too casual, etc) or no photo at all, you will lose the opportunity for other people to have a desire to interact with you.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that LinkedIn is an excellent, highly effective social media tool that helps a very large number of professionals to bring their businesses to the next level. However, it is also important to remember that there is a way to behave when you are interacting on LinkedIn and a way that you should not behave. Your LinkedIn behavior includes what you write and the images that you provide. There are many more things that you can  do than that you cannot do. If you follow the rules and the guidelines, you will be fine and LinkedIn will be tremendously beneficial to your business and it will make a large contribution to your ever-growing professional success.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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The Importance of Landing Pages for Lead Generation http://www.compukol.com/blog/the-importance-of-landing-pages-for-lead-generation/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/the-importance-of-landing-pages-for-lead-generation/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:00:27 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6844 Continue reading ]]>

We know what landing pages are, but do we remember to review them or refresh them? Possibly, the idea of creating or updating the landing page(s) has slipped to the bottom of our virtual “to do” pile. If you are not using landing pages, it is time to add the creation of one (or more) to your list of things to do.

What is a Landing Page?

The idea behind a landing page is to encourage conversions.

While conversions can (and do) happen on the home page of a business site, they are much easier than using a landing page. Why is that? Let’s picture the visit to the home page of a new website. We may become excited over all of the resources that are available there, but we may also become overwhelmed at how much content is available and wonder where we are supposed to start. Let’s face it. We are living in the “Information Age” and we can easily become inundated with information and border on the precipice of information overload. That is where the landing page comes into play.

The idea, as a business owner (or website owner), is to reach our goal, our business objective, whatever that objective is. Generally, there is some sort of monetary element to our objective(s), but even if there is not (i.e., growing an email list, brand exposure, etc.), we want to “convert” the website visitor from a lone visitor to a participant on the overall path to that business objective. Hence, what we call the “conversion.”

In some cases, a business may have a website that is really just a landing page, but generally, it will offer additional links for more information and resources, which is, in essence, a landing page home page.

The key thing, on the landing page, is to keep it simple, and more than that, keep it focused on your overall business objective, without any additional distractions that will impede that conversion.

The Creativity of Landing Page Marketing

For years, marketers have understood the need and possibilities that landing pages had to offer. In an article in Entrepreneur magazine in 2008, called “Stick to the Landing Page,” author Gwen Moran provides case studies and information from marketers on how to use landing pages. Some of those ideas are still relevant. The ideas include the combination of postcard marketing to pull people to the landing page instead of to the business home page. As a part of that postcard marketing, the landing page itself can be used as the graphic on the postcard, creating that appeal as soon as the would-be customer opens his or her mailbox.

This can also be done with business cards and handed out at trade shows and conferences, saving that postage cost that comes with the postcard marketing.

Another idea is to include the marketing of the landing page through the use of QR codes on posters and coupons that are given out in your local area or local stores that allow you to offer your printed promotional material.

The offline opportunities really are endless.

You may want to obtain an easy-to-remember domain for your landing page, so that it fits well on your printed material and is easy for the future client to remember. That doesn’t mean that you have to be married to that particular landing page as you can always change the design of the landing page or point to the domain to another landing page, changing your campaigns as they need to be changed.

Do the Math

In an article this year (2014) in the Journal of Advertising Research, authors Ewing, Steward, Mather, and Newton discuss the need to understand the difference between the viral aspect and the non-viral aspect and the mathematics on how to measure the success. Their article is called, “How Contagious Is Your Viral Marketing Campaign? A Mathematical Model for Assessing Campaign Performance” (that is a loooong title, eh?!).

Fortunately, many landing page tools and providers exist and the online providers tend to have built-in analytics so that you do not have to do the math yourself. The importance of these analytics is how you can review the effectiveness of your landing page and whether it is providing the conversions that meet your business objectives.

Combine that with the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as quarterly or monthly goals that feed into the overall business objective(s), and the analytics become a real view into the success of your landing page campaign(s). It provides a view into what is needed to have even greater success.

While you can create the landing page “by hand” coding it in html, you can also hire someone to create the landing page for you or use a service where design templates are available to get your landing page up and running right away. The advantage, there, is that often, those analytics and A/B testing are built into the online system. If you do it by hand or hire someone to create the landing page for you, be sure to hook up <a href=”http://www.google.com/analytics/”>Google Analytics</a>, or a similar analytics system so that you can track the results. By doing that, you can find out which landing page or landing page design is providing the most conversions for you. You don’t want to rely on just how many sales (or conversions) you are receiving because without the analytics, you will not have a clear view into the “what” is behind the conversions and that is what you need to repeat the success (or minimize the failure).

Conclusion

We have refreshed our memory on why it is so important to use landing pages. More importantly, understanding the purpose of the landing page, which is to obtain conversions. It is helpful (more like a requirement) to have analytics to measure the success of your landing pages to ensure that they are meeting your KPIs and your overall business objective(s).

So, what is next? If you have a landing page, it is a good time to review the effectiveness of that landing page and consider whether it needs a refresh or update. If you do not have a landing page, it is time to create one. Remember, it does not have to be perfect right out of the starting gate and you are allowed to improve over time. You can always apply what you learn to your own designs and future endeavors with your landing page objectives and campaigns going forward.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Creating an Optimized Blog Post http://www.compukol.com/blog/creating-an-optimized-blog-post/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/creating-an-optimized-blog-post/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6714 Continue reading ]]>

You are able to distinguish good writing from bad. You can read content as it pertains to your business and your brand and you can understand very quickly if the right messages are in the content. The question is whether you can tell if the content is optimized for the search engines, which is also very important to your professional success.

The importance of optimizing your blog posts

First and foremost, if you have been paying any attention at all since the dawn of social media and the success of the Internet, you must understand the importance of blogging for your business. If you are just beginning to blog and to get your online efforts in order, you may be a little confused about where to start. It would be wonderful if you had someone to walk you through it. However, if that is not an option, you will have to manage it on your own. It is very important to remember that optimizing your blog posts begins with keywords or key phrases. The next step that you will need to take on your journey to writing optimized blog posts is choosing an exciting and appropriate topic. You will be motivated by a few reasons to choose the most exciting topic possible. The first reason is that you are trying to reach your target audience on an emotional (or human) level. If you can connect with them in that way, you will successfully start to build a relationship. Building a relationship with the other person is the only way that you will be able to eventually sell your products and/or services. The other important reason for choosing the most appropriate, compelling topic is for the purposes of the search engines. The bottom line is that if you don’t rank high on the search engine pages, nobody will find you. If nobody finds you, you will not have the opportunity to build relationships with the members of your target audience.

You have chosen  your keywords or key phrases

Once you have identified your keywords and/or key phrases, it is time for you to write a kick-ass title. Your title really needs to grab your target audience and it needs to entice them into continuing to read on. It is very important to keep in mind that every blog title that you create must have at least one keyword or key phrase in it. On the other hand, it is critical to remember that you should never stuff your titles with too many keywords or key phrases. You must do it in a sensible, appropriate manner. Your title should convey what your blog post is about and it will help you to write an effective, successful blog post that other people will want to read and want to share. You should include two or three keywords or key phrases (and not more than that).

The body of your blog post

There are certain guidelines that will help you to keep your blog post appropriate. As far as the length of the blog post is concerned, you should try to keep the blog at between 500 and 1,000 words. That may seem like a lot of words but once you start to develop a writing pace, it will be easier than you think to come up with a blog post of that length. Hopefully, you won’t experience writer’s block but if you do, there are many different places from which you can draw inspiration. If you choose topics that excite you, your excitement will come through and excite other people as well.

Make sure to use anchor text

Anchor text is text that has been hyperlinked to your website. The link should lead your readers to a specific page (and section) on your website. It is important to remember that your hyperlinks should be few in number and it is most appropriate to put them in the second half of your blog post.

Include graphics in your blog post whenever possible

If you can, whenever you can, you should include some sort of graphic element in your blog post. It is important to remember that many people are visual and your blog post will have a much more positive effect on them if they have a graphic image on which to focus. There are many free images from which to choose online. However, it is very important to make sure that whatever you are using is truly free. Otherwise, you may run into copyright issues and it may end up costing your money.

Offer an incentive in your blog post

It goes without saying that the quality of your content must be top-shelf. However, it can also be very effective if you offer some sort of incentive to your readers. People love that and they will respond positively to whatever you are offering them. People generally love to feel that they are getting something for free.

Use tags

Tags in a blog post are very important. Your tags will allow your article to be found by other people. It will also make searches easy and efficient. There is no limit to the number of tags that you can include in your blog post. The more, the better.

Include a call-to-action

A call-to-action is extremely important in your blog post. It is picked up by the search engines and it is the only way that your target audience members are able to interact with you. Without that, you will never see or hear from them, which doesn’t make any sense.

Conclusion

Optimizing your blog post is critical to the success of your business. What makes a successful blog post is not just one thing. It is all of the components that work together as a well-oiled machine and the results can be extraordinary. Remember to do keyword research before you do any of the writing and you can’t go wrong.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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