This Friday marks the second week of our first annual marketing clinic series: Giving Back to Our Community: Free Marketing Guidance for Local Small Business. We learned from several of our visitors that they were especially concerned with content: revitalizing their websites, creating brochures and reaching out to customers via email. Many small businesses owners simply don’t have the time or resources necessary to produce fresh, engaging content for these tasks - despite having a strong purpose and a positive outlook for 2013. To help with this, I have asked Pulse Marketing’s content writer and editor Erin Davis to provide a list of quick tips on creating strong content. Here are 10 great content writing tips to put into practice right away:
Pulse marketing offers private marketing clinics to 15 businesses for free
BANGOR – Tis the season for merry making and gift giving. Pulse Marketing is offering free, 90-minute private marketing clinics to 15 local businesses that are looking to build a marketing strategy for 2013 or to simply revamp their existing marketing strategies. The clinic is called Planning Ahead: Marketing Guidance for the New Year and is being offered one per day from Nov. 26 until Dec. 14.
“We were brainstorming about how we can help the community. We wanted to give back and we’re so small and so young … Donating cash is a concern for us because we don’t have a lot to donate,” said Cintia Miranda, the president of Pulse Marketing. “We can donate our time. We came up with the idea. We usually offer complimentary first visits for clients, but this is different.”
I am not big on politics. However, I vote in every single election, and always do thorough research beforehand in order to select the candidates worthy of my vote. I tend to be skeptical of campaign promises and try to look beyond all of the pageantry associated with political candidates. This past election was different, however. The negative competitive atmosphere was so intense that the candidates’ motivations became transparent, leaving no doubt as to how far they were willing to go to win.
Once again, I asked our Creative Director Ian Marquis to give me some insights on today’s website design and development. Ian handles all creative aspects of Pulse Marketing Agency and is well-versed in this subject.
Today’s web is fiercely competitive. Staying relevant is no longer simply a matter of having a website – you need to keep a close eye on your competition and see what they are doing, and ensure that your own efforts do not fall behind. And don’t think that because you were ahead of the curve a year ago that you are still there today, either. The web is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, and technologies and practices that were once cutting-edge can (and do) quickly become dated.
There have been many changes in the marketing industry during the past decade. These changes are rapid and demanding, meaning that marketers are continually running to catch up with the evolving environment. Just this week, for example, “Mashable” published an article about Facebook’s latest pitch to convince marketers that click-though rates are irrelevant, and that reach and frequency are more important. Another article from “Search Engine Land” discusses the death of SEO. At the same time, “Fast Company’s” October issue featured an article by Wendy Marx commenting on the need to change from promotion to education marketing. These are only a few examples of the current challenges that B2B marketers are facing – the list is in fact a lot longer.
A key part of any successful marketing campaign is clearly identifying your target audience. Crafting a message that speaks directly to your potential customers is equally important as the manner in which you reach them.
One way to start is by taking a look at your current customer base and dividing it into three columns: “great,” “OK” and those who cost you money to do business with (I’ll leave it up to you to find a pet name for that group). Now, take a closer look at the list of those you selected as your “great” customers. What makes them great? How much profit have they generated for your business in the past 12 months? How long has each customer been doing business with you? Do they pay on time? Are they in agreement with your business process policies? Are they willing to be of reference?
My greatest reward as an entrepreneur is experiencing the loyalty that our clients have for our little business. To me, a contract renewal is worth a lot more than just the financial incentive attached to it. It gives me an enormous sense of accomplishment to receive my client’s continued vote of confidence and commitment.
This week I experienced the best day of my life as a small business owner. One of my clients, who owns several retail stores throughout Maine, had been solicited by another marketing firm for a couple of months — a huge, national organization. My client’s supervising office had given this other marketing agency their blessing to court all of their franchisees, and was even willing to offer financial support for those who signed up.
I consider myself a straight shooter. From time to time, I’ve been accused of seeing things in a black and white sort of way. I just don’t have time for nonsense, and I don’t have much patience for it either. What does that make me? A tough customer with high expectations. But there is a good part about being a pain in the neck, as some might put it: I am continually judging the quality of my own work, which helps me not to fall into complacency.
My first and most memorable boss in the business world used to say that achieving success is easy - the hard part is sustaining it. Sometimes, success can drive a business into complacency, which is a very dangerous path to be on. When things are good for a period of time, people become overly positive about their success. They tend to think that their business will continue on that growth path, which can lead to a false sense of security and lack of a strong business strategy.
Forbes recently reported a new research study from Stanford’s business school, which suggests that individuals who tend towards feeling guilty when they do something wrong exhibit strong performance as leaders. The study involved 520 people and three separate experiments. For each of these experiments, researchers subjected participants to online personality tests that measured their tendency to feel both guilt and shame, among other traits.
Many (if not most) people think that guilt and shame are the same emotion. Psychologists, however, feel that this is incorrect. The difference, they say, lies in the actions a person performs subsequently. After doing something wrong, guilt-prone people often want to correct their mistake – to make things right. Those who experience shame, on the other hand, tend to feel bad about themselves, but do nothing to correct their errors.
The short answer: Yes and no. To many marketers, Facebook advertising is a challenge. Most brands want to maintain contact with their target audience globally, using the most widely-adopted social network - but doing so is more complicated than it first seems. The truth is that most marketers haven’t yet been able to prove the success of their Facebook advertising campaigns through verifiable conversion rates, but rather only through an increase in their fan base on the platform.
According to an article written by Ben Bunz of BusinessWeek, Facebook “likes” have become a devalued currency. “Liking [has become] as common as blinking, and a ‘like’ no longer signals that a consumer loves your brand,” said Bunz. Most organizations do not experience interaction with all of their fans; in fact, most fan interaction is at the other end of the spectrum, averaging less than 1 percent per day.
It’s hard to convince business owners and marketers to continue to invest money into Facebook advertising, as they haven’t yet been able to reap the fruits of their past investments on the platform. One striking example was the recent announcement that GM is going to withdraw its $10M Facebook advertising budget this year. Why? Among many reasons, including budget cuts, there is a simple one: Facebook hasn’t been able to prove that their ads work.
Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine