Content Marketing – Thought Leadership


Content Marketing – Thought Leadership

The core objective that determines whether or not content marketing will be worth the enormous amount of time and effort is thought leadership. Are you able to become a thought leader in your field or are you more comfortable with being a follower? If you just want to be a follower you will inevitably be overshadowed in search rankings by more creative competitors. Thought leadership is about assuming command and determination in your industry at creating a huge community of followers.

Modern Expertise

Traditionally, leadership in general in our culture was reserved for the few who chose Content Marketing - Thought Leaderspaths through higher education or may have already been born into powerful circles. Rarely were mainstream people expected to become heads of big corporations or invent products that change the world. Experts were considered individuals with degrees from prestigious universities, professors, high profile business leaders and people with years of experience in their trade. Authors of books released by major publishers gained similar credibility.

Thanks to Google and other search engines, the definition of “expert” now includes a longer list of people who might not have those traditional qualifications that define expertise. Apple innovator Steve Jobs also inspired a new culture of people who want to change the world. These inspiring tech pioneers elevated the confidence of many people to pursue innovation as a vehicle for attention and respect. It’s now ok to go against the status quo and offer new ideas to improve systems and products. People who inform and inspire others online with original content are now called thought leaders.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may not be able to counter their strengths but you may find creative ways to counter their weaknesses. Perhaps they have limitations that are short-sighted. Even if you do not have the means to offer a better product you can still use their weaknesses to your advantage by commenting on them. Look for weaknesses that you can be the first to comment on and offer ideas for improvement.

If you can develop a steady stream of ideas that can improve your industry, you can take the lead in content marketing by utilizing business blogging. One rant isn’t going to change the world much, but a series of well thought out blogs can at least start to attract like minded followers who can convert to customers. As OTR Web Solutions President Ian Conklin has said, “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them.” 

Blogs are important because search engines regard them as potentially authoritative and prioritize them in rankings. That’s how many people end up connecting with thought leaders.

Video Credibility

Making informative videos adds to your credibility as a thought leader. YouTube has become the new encyclopaedia for people to gain knowledge quickly from trusted thought leaders. While blogs are meant to be personable written journalism, video can be even more personable and memorable. Now that online video has become so popular, a huge body of evidence is showing that people are more likely to remember what they see in an online video than what they read in a book. One reason for this phenomenon is that viewers can start and stop videos whenever they want.

The ability for people to learn from video has accelerated the time frame of learning curves in our society. The more you can inform people in videos, the more they will regard you as a helpful thought leader and want to check out more of your videos. Sharing your videos on social networks will help increase views.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Is SEO Dead Alive or Just Different


Is SEO Dead or Alive?

We have all read the (often self proclaimed) pundits writing articles about how SEO is dead and web masters are wasting their time and money concentrating on that aspect of their websites. As in most blanket type statements there is some truth and some non-truths in such a statement.

Organic SEO

Organic SEO or Natural SEO is alive and well – always has been and in my opinion always will be an effective and important tool for web masters. In simplistic terms Organic SEO comes about from researching the key phrases your website readers will use to search for your product or service.  Those phrases must then be placed within your web copy in such a manner as to attract not only the search bots but also your website reader…compelling them to take a specific action. Remarkable web content is still king.

Organic SEO also involves your website structure and navigation scheme by developing your website so as to assist the requirements of the search engines. In other words the back-end of your website, the part you do not see, must be coded to be effectively read by search engines such as Google or Bing.

If you build or have built a website without these elements (and yes there are many web designers that pay only lip service, if any to these critical elements of a website) you will find your website buried about 50 to 100 pages back on Google.

Not So Organic SEO

There hardly seems to be a day or a week that goes by that I do not get an email or phone call from a company the “specialises” in SEO. You answer the phone and you hear the crackling noise of an overseas caller telling you in not so good English how they can get your website number 1 on Google! Or the email comes across your desk extolling the virtues of their company and talking about link building and only “White Hat” strategies and techniques. Ever notice that most times the email is not from a business address but rather a free email service such as GMAIL or Hotmail or Live? RUN is the best advice I can give.

Then there are the companies that specialised in print ad books. They suddenly came to the understanding that they were falling behind, becoming irrelevant and jumped into SEO late in the game. They often coerced you into staying with their print ads by combining with their new super duper SEO packages. Those SEO packages seem eerily similar to the ones being developed and maintained by those offshore companies … with the same link building techniques and on-page web strategies. I have looked at the page coding on some and just shuddered.

Is this orchestrated type of SEO dead? … well if it is not it probably should be and with the changes in algorithms of the search engines, it will soon be dead and possibly your website along with it.

Where is SEO Alive and Well

SEO has become an entire package of responsibilities for your web marketing firm. Encompassing not just a new website with Organic SEO, but Social Media, Business Blogging, Email Marketing (to opted in recipients) and Online Video amongst others. This package when bundled together is called Inbound Marketing. Drawing customers to your product or service.

I penned a phrase in an earlier blog about Brand Strategies Inbound Marketing. In that blog I wrote, “clients want to believe they found you … not that you found them” in other words the days of cold calling on potential clients or invasive marketing techniques are long dead. Today a potential client recognises a need and searches to find the answer and that is when your information needs to be available. Sounds  a whole lot like SEO to me.

Take the Lead in SEO – access our eBook on Creating Remarkable Content

Creating remarkable content is still king in SEO. It is just that today that remarkable content is across a wider spectrum of media. Yes SEO is alive and well.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Creative Content Marketing Ideas


Content Marketing – Ideas for Creative Content

Content marketing is all about storytelling. Without this major ingredient, the recipe is flawed. It’s about connecting with people and building an audience that’s already searching for the topic in search engines with keywords. All you need to do is expand on those keywords and turn them into stories that you can share through different media, such as your website, blog, newsletter and social media profile.

Several formats can be used for content marketing. Essentially, it involves whatever typecontent marketing is all about telling your story of multimedia you’re comfortable with. Content can be created and shared in the form of text, audio, images, charts, info-graphics, videos or innovative new types of media. Many successful campaigns are built on a large quantity of text mixed with graphics or other media.

Planning Ahead

The first step to contenting marketing is mapping out the universe of possibilities for content ideas. Like keywords, start with general concepts and move toward specific detail. Creating outlines will help guide you to expanding on content because outlines will tell you where the story is leading.

Before setting out on this adventure of producing material, do some research and experience for yourself your topics. Gather information and organize it in a way that’s easy to use for your own reference purposes. Some people create different word documents for different topics and store them in one folder on their computer. Others like to create multiple folders stored in one folder.

Evergreen Content

Plan on creating evergreen instead of static content. Evergreen means something that will always be fresh for the people who discover it the first time, as opposed to content that becomes dated. Almost any subject can be treated in an evergreen style.

Evergreen content can be achieved if you tell a story in an historical context. In other words, the statement “gas prices are $3.50 per gallon” will become outdated, whereas the statement “gas prices hovered around $3.50 per gallon in 2013” is more of a timeless fact that will always have relevance as a time marker.

The reason you want to present your content in an evergreen style is that it saves you the work from eventually changing or eliminating content. Once web pages are created they become part of Google’s index. Even though Google encourages fresh content, they still give old web pages high rankings if they present useful information.

Problem Solving

Think about the buying cycle of your customer. Plan stories that will lead to when it’s right to buy your service or product. Important components of storytelling should be about problems and solutions. Make a list of what your customers tend to complain about. You can do this by studying existing reviews on sites within your industry. Create stories that address these issues.

Tell your story in a conversational manner, even if what you are selling is technical. Content marketing is all about humanizing your brand as opposed to last century’s marketing strategy for bigger than life mystique. Figure out how to tell the same stories in different ways so that you can recycle content that links together. Pay attention to word count and try to get it up to several hundred words per page.

Original ideas

Make your content as original as possible, which helps search rankings and your credibility with followers. Some of the ways to craft original content are to write about your historical perspectives, interviews with experts and lists of tips for efficiency. Check what your competitors are doing and do something different. Write about what the industry needs to improve. Give your readers something they can be excited about so that they’ll share it with friends.

Take the Lead in Content Marketing – Access the OTR eBook on Remarkable Content

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One


 What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One

A landing page is not just any page in a website. It’s a crucial page that can make or break your marketing campaign. And by extension, it can help or hurt your sales.

This is why professionals spend hours poring over landing pages. They don’t stop at stunning pages. Testing and tweaking are part of their job too. The result of their hard work is a perfect landing page that converts well for a long time.

Take the lead now by creating landing pages that convert.

What Exactly is a Landing Page?

Your website’s home page is a landing page. But it can also be any other page where visitors are prompted to make a specific action or result. An effective landing page contains a lead form for obtaining a visitor’s information. It can be a simple email campaign page where visitors are promoted to fill out a form with their name and email address. Or it can be a detailed data capture form with more than four fields.

What Can You Get from a Good Landing Page?

You may have seen hundreds of landing pages already. The question is, are they any good? Have all of them convinced you to sign up or give up some of your personal information? Realize that only a handful of them are effective. So if you’re going to design a landing page, make sure it’s a good one to get all of these benefits:

Increased Conversion Rates

Targeted landing pages are likely to raise your chances of converting traffic into leads. They can, for instance, encourage visitors to sign up and receive product offers and recommendations from your company. You can personalized these offers and recommendations so that prospects are likely to buy.

Establish Lasting Relationships

Of course, landing pages can prompt actions other than buy this or proceed to checkout. When people fill in a form, they are at the same time entrusting their personal details to your company. This comes with caveat of course. Never ever break their trust. Send them useful stuff only. Make friends with them through helpful information and irresistible offers.

Getting people’s trust and actually making money out of your marketing efforts are two compelling reasons to craft an high-converting landing page. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you only have to familiarize yourself with winning landing pages and understand the basics.

What Makes Landing Pages Effective?

You don’t need technical knowledge to create a good landing page. But you do have to be brilliant at the basics. Here’s how.

>Less is more, especially in design. So keep your design clean and simple. This will help visitors focus on the product you’re offering or call-to-action. Your design should make it easier for visitors to focus. Anything unnecessary will only distract your visitor from completing an action.

>Make it easier for visitors to thoughtfully consume content. Use enough white-space for them to think. Doing so will help them make sense of what your product or service is about. You don’t rush them into buying and regret their purchases later. But you do give them the necessary push to buy or get something valuable.

>Create responsive landing pages or design for multiple platforms: full-size and 11-inch monitors, mobile and tablet screens. The percentage of users using smartphones and tablets for researching and buying is rising. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.

>Hire a professional copywriter who perfectly understands your business and your target audience.

>Use relevant images and videos. Also, be wary of using stock photos. Use fresh, relatable and unique photos instead.

 Take the Lead with our free 48 page eBook – How To Use Landing Pages For Business

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


10 Real Bad Business Blogging Traps


Bad for Business Blogging Traps

A Top 10 List of Not To Do’s In Your Business Blog

There’s no doubt about it, blogs have fully arrived in the business world, and any company’s website that doesn’t include one is missing-out on a very popular item that Remarkable Contentcustomers regularly click on. And making your website popular with customers is a big part of commercial success in today’s business environment.

Yet while many businesses now understand the importance of having a blog, very few fully grasp the various components good ones contain that separate them from the herd. Let’s take a peek at 10 key things you definitely should not do if your goal is to take the lead amongst the most effective business blogs. Avoid:

Failing to integrate blog with your website 

Customers will frequently find an interesting article on your blog by doing a web-search. The whole point of your blog is to get eyes on your main business web-site, and turn those eyes into customers. Having their search lead to your blog – which is on your website – accomplishes the first goal.

Poor blog design  

The content of your blog is important, but if its look-and-feel don’t grab people, they may never stick around long enough to read anything. Design elements, such as bolded titles, sub-headings, social networking buttons, RSS feeds, and color elements, will keep those eyes on the page long enough to encourage reading your content.

Turning-off blog comments

Getting visitors involved in your blog makes them much more likely to get them to look at your main web-site. Include an easy to navigate comments section – with responses from you. People love to interact, and to have that interaction validated. It sends the signal that you care about your customers – which makes your readers more likely to become one.

No email plan

Another key aspect of interacting with blog visitors is to have a way for them to receive more info later – via email. They may not be ready to become a customer at first – but staying in email contact with them keeps the door open. Have an email subscription strategy.

Overly product-centered content

Your blog isn’t your main selling vehicle, your web-site is. Have content that addresses broad issues related to your product. If readers get interested, they’ll follow thebread crumbs to where you want them to be.

Off-topic content

On the other hand, don’t include material so broad that readers forget what brought them there in the first place. Attention spans online are limited, at best. Stay on message.

Anonymous authors

Blogs are supposed to be personal, so make sure each post is tied to an actual name. Blog visitors tend to be inherently suspicious of generic postings, and will be quick to hit the exit button. Give them that personal touch so they know there are real people behind the screen.

Lame blog post titles

Titles are crucial! They signal what’s to come, and if your title is trite or empty, there’s little chance the reader will continue to discover what you’re saying. Create titles that compel reading.

Posting infrequently

There’s a word for old blog posts; boring. Keep a steady stream of fresh material coming. It tells readers that there’s vitality here – and that’s what they’re looking for.

Overlooking SEO elements

Put energy into learning how search engines deliver results to queries – and include those elements in your blog. That’s how people will find it – which is what you want.

Bottom line

A business blog is crucial today; but so is careful attention to its elements. Do your homework. For further information and for even more in depth blogging mistakes information and strategies – Take the Lead and download the OTR eBook on Blogging Mistakes.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


10 Good Business Blogging Tips


10 Good Business Blogging Tips

Top 10 List of To Do’s for Business Blogging

Business blogging is changing. Some old rules no longer work; some new rules take over. If you’re smart, you’ll trash the old ones and incorporate the new rules into your content strategy. Take the lead in business by following these 10 rules.

1. Do Publish Something Fresh, New and Creative

Gone are the days when bloggers are expected to post daily. Nowadays, readers expectRemarkable Content you to give them something that hundreds of blogs haven’t published yet. Others, resist the temptation to publish your content just because you have to.

Invest time on finding fresh ideas or topics and on crafting your content. Follow blogs outside your industry and see if you can borrow some ideas.

2. Do Care About Human Psychology

Read books on color psychology or books that guide you in understanding human behavior. Pick up books authored by Daniel Kahneman, Dan Ariely, Robert Cialdini, Timothy Wilson, Dan Gilbert and Daniel Pink.

These authors will help you become a more effective communicator and influencer.

3. Do Learn the Basics of Good Copywriting

Reading books on how persuade others to do stuff is a good start. But you have to get your message across, clearly and forcefully. Hire a top-notch copywriter or blogger, or agency that understands the language your brand and your customers speak. If you can dedicate the time learn how to write a good copy yourself and raise your blog’s standards.

4. Do Kick Some Butt by Showing Some Personality

Is your tone friendly and approachable? It should be. If tone sounds too formal or condescending, readers will ignore you. The best business blogs are great at being human and professional at the same time. Theirs is a distinct voice everyone can relate to.

5. Do Something Different

Blogging is really cool if you’re the type who thinks outside the box. Tired of the usual business blogging tactics the “pros” offer? You don’t really have to offer long-form articles that sit unread for days. Take a look at blogs by iDoneThis and 37 Signals for a change.

6. Do Know Who Your Readers Are

It’s not enough to write a brief report on your target audience. Fictional or made-up characters are good but they’re not good enough. Real people who consume your blog are great. Get to know them through a form in your blog or through any of your social channels.

7. Do Invite Others to Join You

Are there other influencers in the industry your readers might care to read? Bring them in. Let them write an article or two for your business blog. Or feature them in your next post.

8. Do Make Your Website Attractive

Aesthetically, viewers want something easy and pleasant on the eyes. Give it to them. Use clean, readable fonts. Make use of white space. And avoid clutter like plague.

9. Do Invest in Your Content Tools

Your business blog is pretty but your content producers are suffering from your lack of good tools. Make your workflow painlessly smooth by using collaborative tools such as Editorially for writing, Trello for project management. Also, if you’re accepting outside contributions, be sure to have an editorial guideline.

10. Do Make Your Own Rules

Take the advice of a “professional” business blogger with a pinch of salt. It may work for his blog, not for your blog. But that’s alright. You can always make your own rules. Run some business blogging experiments and test for results. Want to include SoundCloud clips on your blog? Want to offer member-only content? Sure, go ahead.

Ready to take the lead in business blogging? Start with these rules now.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What Bartending Taught Me About Branding


Bartending – Branding

I moonlight as a bartender and I absolutely love it. I’m very good at it and make great tips. I reasoned that I was excelling at it because I have product knowledge and I understand the art of mixing flavors. I figured that those skills, combined with my quick bartending brandingwit were responsible for my success. Then I noticed that a group of customers were following me even when I changed bars. The fact that they would ask when I was working and show up on those days got me to thinking. (Though I admit, being a bar industry type, I was inclined to attribute my Bar Star status to my awesomeness! It just had to be my awesomeness, rugged good looks, or then again, maybe it was simply my humility that was bringing them in!)

After speaking with a wonderful couple who are a pair of my regulars, I discovered that I had actually created a brand for myself without realizing it. A brand which included not only my beverage knowledge and mixing creativity, but also the newsboy hat that I love wearing, plus an element which I soon discovered was the key to it all.

Bartending – Branding: The ‘Why’ Factor

What makes me a good bartender is also part of what makes me tick in other areas. I realized that when I’m behind the bar (and other places for that matter) my desire is to facilitate a unique and positive experience. Stepping back and figuring out why I do what I do was really eye opening. My “look” and attitude behind the bar all serve a single purpose. They are meant to provide my customers with the experience they are looking for. Be it a first date, an anniversary, or simply a chat and a beer after work, my goal is always to have my PEEPS leave in a better state than when they came in. This is my ‘why’. If I am successful, they will come back again and again.

Integrating Your Personal ‘Why’

Discovering why I do what I do behind the bar helped me really uncover and fine-tune my brand. Now, in every endeavor I undertake I ask myself this question: “Why do I do this?” By discovering the ‘why’, I am able to fine-tune my personal brand and the brand of the business or individual I am working with. This helps them take the lead in their industry and achieve their immediate and long term goals.

Working behind the bar, the goals of the customer are very often time sensitive. That being the case, I like to read their body language and converse with them to discover their ‘why’ for the visit. Once this is established, I mesh my ‘why’ to theirs and we become a team with a common goal which has more tools to accomplish these goals. Once I discovered this formula, I realized that it is easily transferable to clients I work with on marketing and branding. My goal is always for them to have the best possible experience and to help them take the lead.

The Benefits

By seeking out the ‘why’ first, we build a solid foundation together for the project. This will then facilitate an upbeat and efficient process – which in turn yields positive results. There is also the strong likelihood of exceeding the expectations set out at the beginning of the project. Behind the bar, in marketing, or in any other industry, establishing a good relationship leads to the all-important Satisfied Customer and repeat business is a consequence. A satisfied customer is a delighted customer, and we all know that delighted customers are the best promoters of you and your business.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Discover ‘Why’ you do what you do
  • Integrate your ‘Why’ with your businesses ‘Why’
  • Build your brand around ‘Why’

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Brand Strategy Inbound Marketing


Brand Strategy Inbound Marketing

Brand Positioning Strategy

Today’s marketing world is much different than last century’s invasive marketing. At one time a brand positioning strategy was shaped through mass marketing campaigns and whatever it took to generate leads, even if it meant buying them and then attacking them with aggression and repetition. But two profound developments have presented historic challenges to traditional marketing: the internet and consumer awareness. Today’s clients want to believe they found you … not that you found them.

Internet Empowerment

The internet has turned individuals into multi-dimensional messengers of products, content marketingservices and even non-business interests. Online pioneers who helped redefine the consumer landscape were Amazon, Craigslist, Google and eBay. These companies not only survived the dotcom bubble crash of the late 1990s/early 2000s, they each paved the way for successful online business models. Wikipedia also set a tone, since they emerged as leaders in search engine rankings for a wide range of topics. Apple’s iTunes also played a part in the online revolution by ushering in the first profitable model of the seamless digital download.

Amazon became the world’s number one retailer by letting consumers learn about products before buying them. Google empowered businesses with pay per click advertising while Craigslist and eBay, like Amazon, brought buyers and sellers together to find the best deals. How did these tech leaders alter the course of brand positioning strategy? They changed marketing by maximizing a concept called “the long tail,” popularized by author Chris Anderson. The long tail represents a long list of niche products that don’t sell as well as the most popular products, but the cumulative sales of several niche products can add up to huge revenue. The internet allows consumers to find the niche products they are looking for better than a flea market or a garage sale. The long tail empowers consumers to find bargains that cater to their needs as individuals.

Smarter Consumers

As a result of long tail resources such as Google, which lets people find specialty businesses quicker than phone books, consumers can learn about solutions to their needs at an accelerated rate compared with consumers of last century. So no matter how you measure intelligence, today’s consumers have much more research and answers at their fingertips than ever before. Consumers no longer have to surrender to the pressures of top brands controlling product selection at stores with limited shelf space. Consumers now have the green light to explore online as much as they want until they find what they want.

Traditional advertising still helps sell units, but it’s mostly an expensive gamble that doesn’t always pay off. There are many stories of companies that went bankrupt because expensive media advertising drained their budgets and didn’t generate a return on investment. Consumers can be fooled if they are bombarded with the same exaggerated messages over time, but the internet has also taught many buyers to become smarter shoppers by replacing impulsive spending with online bargain hunting.

The New Definition of Winning

The old definition of winning in business was a matter of accounting. Whoever scored the most dollars from market saturation of big but often vague promises in advertising became the market leader. The new definition of winning in business is successfully nurturing online followings that breed long-term loyal buyers. This revolutionary direction is particularly useful to small and medium businesses who do not have the budget to buy expensive repetitious broadcast time or print space. In this sense, websites, blogging and social media level the playing field for all businesses.

As you carve your own corner in this amazing new business landscape, remember that your brand positioning strategy to acquire followers is now closer to honest artistic leadership than ever before.

Take the Lead – Download our 10 Step Checklist to Website Redesign

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Brand Strategy Marketing


Brand Strategy Marketing

Stay One Step Ahead by Developing New Solutions

Market leadership cannot be disguised, but it can be manifested using imagination. The road to achieving that position is paved by offering the best solutions that no one elsebranding and marketing can offer then inviting the world to follow your proven path. Once you become a market leader you can stay there if you think several moves ahead like a seasoned chess player. By anticipating where the market is headed and what it needs based on customer feedback, you will be able to envision and construct new solutions.

Embracing Innovation

The first step to staying a step ahead of the competition is to treat innovation as a necessity, not as a novelty. The most intelligent and successful visionaries of the new century, which clearly have included Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, think outside of the box and ahead of the curve.

 Industry pioneers do not settle on being a one trick pony and put all their eggs in one basket. Out of the box thinking is not so much something that can be taught as it is a determined creative mindset that can ultimately synergize the best ideas from a talent pool of multiple sources.

The traditional business world and schools that shape careers have taught us many outdated principles and fables that no longer apply in today’s world. “Don’t reinvent the wheel” is a common saying that has many flaws. True, our universe is already composed of circles and orbits, but it doesn’t mean you can’t envision new ways to apply cycles and rotations. “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is another way of saying “some things never change” or “you can’t change the world.” Some people have in fact changed the world by thinking beyond these limitations, simply by using imagination. As Albert Einstein once said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The New Economy

Themes of the new economy in the 21st century that help shape modern brand marketing strategy are consumer choice, permission, trust, authority and transparency. Themes that help shape modern products are niche, efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility and credibility. Use these components to broaden your thinking to push imagination to further levels. The more your online resource becomes a time machine for your industry that connects past, present and future, the more resonance you will enjoy with loyal followers.

One key fundamental to remember in the age of digital decision-making is that hard selling and interruptive advertising are becoming overshadowed by the more consumer-friendly approach of inbound marketing. This permission-based approach points to developing long term relationships instead of hit and miss sales resulting from a mass media numbers game. While you can still use outbound marketing as a component of your brand marketing strategy, your brand’s future depends more on developing an online community that expects you to stay up to date and a step ahead of competitors.

The Anatomy of Innovation

Your quest to be innovative should break down the barriers of caution and encompass an element of fun adventure. Separate this mindset from your actual decision-making process so that you do not randomly change your business model for the sake of change, in which results can be unpredictable. Use brainstorming with colleagues as a tool for capturing exciting ideas, but don’t jump at changing your business model until you have tested or refined your new ideas to be effective solutions.

Create a library of ideas for future reference so that your business can move in multiple directions as new solutions become practical. Your long-term brand marketing strategy should be to aim high.

Take the Lead – Download our Guide to Marketing Automation

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Brand Marketing Strategy


Brand Marketing Strategy

Expand Your Brand Content

After you’ve envisioned your brand marketing strategy by plotting a series of newsworthy stories on your calendar, you can move a step further by expanding yourbrand marketing strategy web content in various directions to give your sitemap much more depth. Search engines love sites with hundreds of pages of deep valuable content. They keep updating their algorithms to favor such sites while pushing thin content sites down the rankings. Avoid expanding too quickly for the sake of quantity so that the search engines don’t write you off as a spammer. Instead, grow productively and thoughtfully with quality content.

Provide Detail

One way to expand your web content is to provide deeper details of items you’ve already written about. Let your sitemap guide you as an overall outline for your website. Not every page needs to be linked to the “master sitemap,” which can provide links to sections that have more thorough indexes. The architecture of your website should be set up so that each broad section has its own folder. Within these folders are subfolders for deep links to pages that house more detailed content. Think of your website as a tree that never dies. Its root is the main directory, which encompasses different sections, including a sitemap, which also links to various sections, which lead to deeper links.

Try not to get too scientific about SEO since it’s never been an exact science and its guidelines keep changing through search engine updates. One thing that has been consistent through all these changes has been search engines reward high quantity sites with high quality pages while almost every other type of website has been punished somewhere along the way. High quantity/low quality doesn’t work and neither will a five page website of any quality compete well with a high quantity/high quality site. Quality is measured by the information you provide that can be objectively determined as useful information to online users. Sites like Google know exactly what types of information are in demand.

Ideas for Unique Content

Unique content can be easily created through uniqueness on perspectives, exclusive data, product demonstration tips, historical facts and customer reviews. Videos have become very important to many industries now that YouTube has become a vast library of free video content. By creating educational videos, even with bare minimum quality video equipment, you can engage viewers and offer transcriptions at the same time that double the impact in search engines. Make a point to capture footage of any public events or interviews that you do and then use them to link with various angles of the same topic in your blogs and articles.

Your brand marketing strategy will naturally manifest from expanded content that’s meaningful to your followers. Focus some of your videos, blogs and articles on company personalities who can share the brand narrative to the online community. Let people become familiar with humans who work for your company by offering details to their backgrounds, which fosters familiarity, giving customers a more personalized feel of your business.

Give Industry Commentary

Let your most knowledgeable and articulate experts have a voice on your site. If you’re a one person company don’t be afraid to share your personality with the world, which can make your brand more human and memorable. Comment about your industry’s past, present and future. Discuss the industry’s strengths and weaknesses. By providing a timeline of your industry’s development, you can educate your customers and gain trust in many ways, especially if no one else is doing it. Crystalize your brand marketing strategy by researching unanswered questions in your industry and offer new ideas.

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Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

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