Content Marketing

Viral Content Sharing

Sharing content through social networks

Content sharing platforms allows users to discover content they can share with friends, family and colleagues. By now, most companies have accounts on several content sharing sites that allow users to publish and share content. These sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, among others.

Online communities are formed around shared interests and specific topics. If you produce a large amount of good and interesting content, you’ll benefit from building a presence on a content-driven social network to build your profile, gain fans and followers, and increase your rankings on search engines. There are social networks that are suited for sharing larger amounts of content, including LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Technorati, and Digg, among others.

Users visit content sharing platforms to discover content they can share with friends, family and colleagues. Research shows that online sharing tends to take place through many small groups and not via the single status post or tweet of a few influencers. While influential people may be able to reach a wide audience, their impact is short-lived.

In short, content goes viral when it spreads beyond a particular sphere of influence by ordinary people sharing with others. Content spreads online through large numbers of people sharing with small groups. There is little data to support so-called influencer behavior in social marketing. Content sharing can be compared to word-of-mouth conversation. 

Content goes viral when lots of people engage with their normal social circles to share content. So the best way to “go viral” is to engage millions of users with great shareable content with the knowledge that they will share at interpersonal levels. 

Marketers and publishers should focus on content that will resonate and get people talking to their colleagues, friends and families. Content sharing is about engaging people in conversations that mirror the offline world. 

Apple Passbook mobile app

Event Marketing and Digital Coupons Via Apple’s Passbook Mobile App

The Mobile Wallet Can Mobilize Your Business

Apple Passbook mobile app

Looking for a new way to promote your events or offers? How about one that eliminates the need to print flyers and other marketing collateral – an otherwise eco-friendly way to get event information directly into your consumers’ hands? Interested? Then what you’re looking for is access to your customer’s mobile wallet via Apple’s Passbook® mobile app.

Passbook is a standard, pre-loaded app on all Apple iPhones (operating system iOS 6 and up). Android’s version of this app is called PassWallet. According to recent research by eMarketer, smartphone usage worldwide will be at 1.75 billion users by end of 2014! So while many local businesses want to notify recurring clients of an event or special promotion, just think of the reach your event notification could have around the globe!

What makes these mobile wallet apps such as Passbook so unique is that they allow users to store various items such as digital coupons, airline boarding passes, movie tickets, event passes, retail store cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, and more, all categorized in one location and super easy to use. Oh, and they’re paperless too! So guess what? Digital passes, tickets and coupons will be really hard to forget, misplace or lose!

There are a variety of ways a user can add a pass into Passbook—you can do it via mobile apps, emails containing links to the pass, via websites with short links and QR code scanning from off of a Point of Purchase (POP) display, website, social media post, etc. Redemption is just as easy, the user just scans his/her iPhone or iPod touch to redeem a coupon, check-in for a flight, enter a movie or get access into an event. It’s that simple!

In addition to ease-of-use, Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, now delivers even more unique opportunities because the iOS 7 Passbook app has a QR scanner build right into it! And unlike other QR code scans that often take you to a website to get access to a link to then get to your pass, the Passbook scanner instead loads a digital and trackable pass directly onto the user’s iPhone. This enables yet another another unique opportunity that is giving you the ability to bridge your print with your digital media channels. You can now have direct and integrated communication with your customers from print materials, flyers, POP displays, etc. to your digital channels like a website, emails, e-newsletters, social networks, and much more.

Another very innovative feature, is that Apple’s Passbook mobile app uses location notifications i.e. all passes are time and location enabled so on the day of the event, the pass will appear on the user’s lock screen reminding them of the event. Their smartphone will vibrate or sound to notify them, passing along a gentle reminder: “Hey, there’s an event happening tonight!” Similar to when your boarding pass is loaded in Passbook, and a flight is getting nearer, you get a reminder notification when it’s nearing the time to board your flight. In addition, these location notifications will also pop-up a reminder in the lock screen when the customer/invitee is nearby your location or the event location, offering another reminder that this event is coming soon. What else? You can use this notification feature to also provide any updated information regarding your event. For example, if the date or time of your event changes, perhaps due to bad weather, you can send an event update and a new updated pass for the invitee’s mobile wallet.

The Passbook mobile app provides an innovative and convenient event ticketing experience for your customers. Your attendees can now access their tickets and information easily from their smartphone.

Engaging customers in this distinctive and yet simple way, through the digital invite, opens up a ton of opportunity for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other establishments that often host events, happy hours, special promotions to bring in foot traffic.

Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of integrating your company’s event(s) with Apple’s Passbook mobile app:

• Convenience for your attendees – Passes are stored in one convenient location, in the invitee’s Passbook app, totally paperless and easily accessible.

• Update notifications – If there are any event changes, your attendees will get a notification and an updated event pass.

 Location notifications – Your event pass will automatically pop-up on the lock screen of the registered attendee’s smartphone when he/she is nearby your location or nearby the event location.

 Easy QR scan for check-in – Each pass contains a QR code. Just scan it with any QR reader to check the attendee into the event and mark their pass as redeemed.

 Event details on back – There are two sides to every pass. By pushing on the bottom right corner of the pass, the digital pass flips over to reveal more event details. Here you can have the date, time, website links, contact information and more for your attendees’ convenience.

• Trackable passes – With the Passbook mobile app, all your coupons and passes are trackable. You can track things like the number of active and inactive passes in distribution (i.e. those redeemed and not yet redeemed), look at month-to-month pass usage and see a comparison month over month, look at active passes by template or different offers/events, and more.

As you can see, Passbook provides a seamless and yet robust experience for your customers, which of course reflects highly on your company event and/or offer.  Even if your event doesn’t require a ticket for access, it is still a very good idea to try this feature for your next event, if anything, for the marketing opportunity and for your customer’s convenience. Including Passbook in your mobile marketing strategy can dramatically mobilize your digital campaigns.

Content marketing strategy

Content Marketing Strategy Matters

The Power of Content Marketing in a Digital World

Content marketing strategy

Content marketing takes time and effort because you actually have to listen to your customers and know what their needs and challenges are.

You can no longer solve your marketing problems by just purchasing advertising, even if it’s a high profile space such as a Super Bowl ad. You must make a real connection to your current and potential customers by focusing on information that addresses their true concerns.  In today’s digital marketing world, what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell. Your message across the board must be in sync with your niche.

So how do you achieve your marketing goals in today’s world of blogs and social networking?  The simple answer — and the not so simple answer — is content marketing.  For many businesses content marketing requires a whole new mindset.  For this reason alone, content marketing in the digital media age can be a challenge.

Here are a few points to better help you understand the power of content marketing.Content Marketing Strategy with Content Editor and Writer

Content is more important than the offer.

Customer relationships don’t end with the payment.

News and press releases are no longer just meant to be picked up by the press; Official statements should be compelling and help customers find your content on the web.

Permission transferred is permission lost.

Communicating directly with customers is ideal. Keep in mind, content marketing can impact your influence, authority, online reputation, and SEO search rankings.

Hiring a content editor is quickly becoming a must for many companies.

Most business websites talk a great deal about how great the company, products, or services are but they forget about the customer.

The blogging community can be just as influential, if not more than traditional media and news sources.

Collaboration is critical. Work with your teams — social media, branding, PR, marketing, design, and sometimes even your technical staff and customers — when developing key content and distribution channels for your content marketing strategy.

The old way of marketing is where businesses talked at customers, constantly interrupting their lives.  Content marketing and its top trends for 2014 point to the importance of connecting with customers. Neuro-marketing and native advertising principles can also affect content marketing.

You can experience content marketing first-hand by developing a content calendar, including your “owned media” in social media networks, starting a blog, white paper, and similar efforts.  Write information that your customers want to read instead of dictating to them.  You learn the lesson quickly by evaluating your insights and analytics. Content marketing is art and science combined.

personal customer data

Consumers Are Increasingly Willing To Trade Data For Personalized Customer Service

Giving More Leads to Valuable Consumer Data

personal customer data

Online shopping is projected to be $226 billion this year — a number that represents seven percent of the total of all retail sales. As online shopping has increased, so has personalization: the capture of personal data. And with it, concerns over data privacy.

Privacy has long been an issue online. But consumers are increasingly willing to trade personal information in exchange for more personalized recommendations and customer service.

In a recent study of consumers, it was found that 85% said they realized that data tracking made it possible for retailers to present them with relevant and targeted content. Most notably, almost half (49%) of those surveyed said they’re receptive to a brand that they trusted track their data in return for a personalized shopping experience such as providing relevant recommendations, targeted offers, and information on future product availability.

And when asked to choose between personalized shopping experiences based on their past consumer behavior, or non-personalized experiences in exchange for having retailers not track their data, 64% of those surveyed said they’d prefer the personalized experience. The same number said they would be willing to have known brands send them text messages to provide personalized offers based on previous purchase history while shopping at a brick and mortar store.

What does this mean for the retailer? Retailers that collect and correctly use personalized content in retail and mobile marketing are more likely to see some real benefits:

consumer data for customer service * Collecting  personal data can help retailers get a stronger start with new prospects by immediately showing consumers that you have information relevant to their interests or needs.

* Personalized data and customer service flatters the customer and make them feel special. Flattering your customers by remembering the customers’ name, behavior, preferences, and information; they feel good about the shopping experience. And when customers feel good, they feel like buying.

* Collecting personal data, allows retailers to offer relevant additional products, services, or content offerings based on the personal data they have.

* Tailoring your message to the recipient has more resonance because it actually means something. Your messages are much more likely to get attention and spur action when you personalize the topic, timing, and content.

* Personalization also makes the conversion easier for the customer. It’s a marketing truism  that the more steps you require the customer to take, the more chances you have of losing them. Regardless of your ultimate goal, people are always  more likely to act when the action is fast and easy and personal.

* Improves lead nurturing in general. When you can personalize content to each person’s interests and behavior, your marketing will make a stronger connection and convert more leads into marketing and sales action. The information you use to personalize content all comes from somewhere in your database that your sales team can also use to personalize their sales calls.

Personalization can differentiate your company as the one that cares enough to listen to customers and deliver the information they want; all while increasing your revenue and close rates, enhancing prospecting results, creating new cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and increasing customer retention.

But remember that in most cases, less is more when it comes to personalization. You need to engage your customers with information they want. If you do, they are more likely to purchase from you. Bombarding them with unwanted, irrelevant information will soon turn them off and they’ll look elsewhere.

Hot Blog Posts

Foolproof Steps to Writing Hot Blog Posts and Other Social Media Content

14 Steps for Writing Effective Blogs

Hot Blog Posts

Do you have a blog? Is it getting the responses and pageviews you wanted? If not, you may be making some common but easily fixed blogging mistakes.

Here are 14 helpful steps for writing effective blog posts:

  1. Be Conversational: It’s called social media for a reason. Eliminate stiff, boring content that lacks personality. The goal is to bring your readers into the conversation. Write in the same tone that you’d use if you were talking face-to-face with your readers. An interactive, personal tone helps generate buzz for your content.
  2. Keep advertisements to a minimum: If you place ads on your blog, keep them separated from the content. Place them in a sidebar or in a banner along the top or bottom of the page. Always make your content the main focus of your blog. And don’t overly promote yourself. Social media users will soon ignore any blog that constantly displays ulterior motives. Make sure you’re adding to your readers’ online experience by being useful and educational.
  3. Use Pictures: Pictures act as a great supplement for your social media content. No matter how great your writing is, few readers want to be greeted with a long block of text when they click on your post. Pictures make your content easier to scan and they add aesthetic value to your post. Plus research shows readers are more likely to read a post that’s accompanied by a picture.
  4. Become a resource: If you want your content to rise to the top of social media sites and to generate inbound links, you need to write pieces that act as a resource. How can you do this? By providing detailed analysis or information that can’t be found anywhere else. Make your blog post a leading resource is by including the tools and links to some hidden gems that others have overlooked. Make your post the place where readers can learn all they need to about a particular subject from.
  5. Be unique: There are now literally thousands of blogs on the Internet and new ones are popping up every day. So, why should I read yours? The best way to stand out from the every growing crowd is to have a unique voice readers can’t find anywhere else. How can you do that? By being your own unique self. Write with a personal voice and be yourself. It’s that simple.
  6. Post frequently: Keeping your readers’ attention is the key to building a loyal following. That’s difficult to do this if you post every few weeks or whenever you get around to it. You probably don’t need to post every day, but post regularly enough to keep your audience’s awareness.
  7. Persevere: Social media marketing requires a long-term commitment. You have to keep writing and posting. Learn from your mistakes and keep tweaking your approach until you hit on a formula that works. It’s a learning experience. Building a successful blog can be a slow process. But with time and perseverance you can achieve something great.
  8. Open things up for conversation: Social media, including blogs, is about creating a dialogue with your readers. Your job as a blogger is to get the conversation started. You do this by expressing a clear opinion on the topics you write about, choosing timely issues, and then asking readers to share their thoughts.
  9. Respond to comments: If a reader leaves a comment he/she expects the writer to respond to it. Knowing the author will respond to comments gives the reader incentive to join the conversation. When your respond, you keep the conversation going and build relationships with your readers.
  10. Add something new to for your readers: Whatever topic you are writing about has probably been covered by someone else. That’s not a problem. But make sure you add a own unique perspective or some info not generally covered to the topic.
  11. Tag and categorize your content: Readers are interested in specific subjects and those subjects are what they want to read about. Categorizing your content makes it easy for readers to find the information they need fast. It’s a simple matter of usability.
  12. Write compelling headlines: A great headline is the first thing readers see of your blog and the foundation of all social media content. If your headline doesn’t grab the readers’ interest, they won’t bother reading the rest of your post.
  13. Link out: Linking out turns your blog into a resource for your readers. When you link out, readers know you’re giving them all the info they need. In addition, linking out captures the attention of other bloggers, helping you build your network.
  14. Optimize your posts for the search engines: If your posts aren’t targeting specific keywords, you’re missing out on long-term search engine traffic. Stick to some SEO basics like keywords in headlines, body content, and back links.

By implementing these 14 steps in your blog posts, you can spread the word and increase your readership.