Brand Strategy Inbound Marketing

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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.

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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.

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

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Brand Strategy Marketing

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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.

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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.

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

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Brand Marketing Strategy

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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.

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

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Branding Strategy Blogs

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Branding Strategy Blogs

Plan a Series of Stories

One of the most forward thinking branding strategies is to use a calendar to schedule stories about your brand. These stories will appear as blogs, articles or videos on yourbranding strategy blogging website. You may even consider writing eBooks that are also available in print on demand. Instead of waiting for the media to tell your story, tell your own story with all your new media tools. Remember that storytelling is what sells products these days.

Story Ideas

Writing a story about something you created is much easier than writing one about someone else’s creation. The story does not need to follow many rules other than it needs to be appealing and rewarding to your followers. The stories do not have to take the form of a book or a DVD. The most important thing is that they represent an evolution of your brand with a continuous stream of fresh content. Use your imagination – the key to branding strategies – to shape the stories.

One idea to get the project rolling is to use a calendar as your roadmap. The story does not have to have a beginning, middle and ending or have a certain number of chapters. It can just be a series of announcements or a series of events. The calendar will simply assure that you are doing something regularly to update your brand for online users who are always hungry for fresh content. You might plan an exciting event once per month and create 12 chapters for a yearbook that documents your brand’s evolution for the year. The events can be public parties, seminars, webinars, meetings, interviews or messages about product development.

Newsworthy Stories

Ideally, you want to craft newsworthy stories that can become press releases. Planning a year’s worth of stories, whether they are weekly or monthly, will help keep your brand visible in the media without paying a cent. One way to do that is to be involved with charity or public service events. Television stations and newspapers like to cover such events because they raise their own credibility with the community. You may not be able to come up with twelve news stories for the year, but you can probably come up with three or four and simply build the series of stories around those main events.

Many news stories increasingly come from public relations firms who are hired to promote brands. The PR firm might be hired to help a battered company restore its image through a positive news story. Use the same principle to be your own PR firm and craft stories designed to strengthen your brand’s image. One of the most common branding strategies that gets news coverage is when a research firm conducts an interesting study such as a public opinion poll that calls attention to trends that affect certain brands. News outlets like to documents trends, especially those confirmed by studies that produce approval percentages and other statistics.

Focus on Genuine Events

Planning a series of stories to elevate your brand does not mean fabricating truth or trying to create false impressions. That’s the type of thinking that can backfire and become exposed by critics unless there is obvious artistic intent. The newsworthy stories you create should be legitimate events that become part of your brand’s history. What you are really doing is developing your own documentary. It can be dramatic and entertaining but remember that its purpose is to boost credibility and increase interest in the brand. Be careful not to promise what you cannot deliver. By planning ahead you will not have to worry about where your claims will lead.     

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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.

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

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Social Media Branding

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Social Media Branding

Let Feedback Strengthen Your Brand

Social media has become the most powerful extension of small business because of its immediacy, interactivity and popularity. The key to combining social media and branding is to blend information with entertainment, which essentially is the same dynamic for developing a successful blog. Through audience feedback you will learn which social media strategies work and which ones don’t.

Feedback Indicators

The number of likes you get on Facebook and +1s you get on Google+ are strong indicators. However, do not be sidetracked by these statistics as final judgements of yourSocial Media Branding posts. Look for consistency over time, since any given post can be missed by lots of people either because they weren’t online that hour or they became caught up in news stories. Although likes and +1s can be easily manipulated at any given time to distort reality, if you look for patterns over time you will see the bigger picture as to how people respond to different types of posts.

Social media can also be a haven for studying consumer reviews. Facebook and Twitter are set up more for quick one liner reviews while Google + is more designed for deeper analysis. Use each social network with its limitations in mind, such as character limitations and how feeds are delivered. You can have a thousand friends on Facebook, for example, but if you don’t engage with them on a regular basis, they might not see your posts in their feeds. When you do come across customer reviews on social networks, respond to them by adding information in a friendly way. Never over-react in a defensive manner to negative posts.

Learning From Feedback

The reason for engaging with customers in social media is not to put them in their place if they “don’t get it” or are simply “off-base.” Every interaction you have with them should have the goal of strengthening your relationship with them. One way you can do that is by acknowledging their comments. Social media and branding work together because it’s a two way conversation that does not occur in traditional one way media. While traditional media relies on lengthy studies over time to gauge audience response, new media creates research of feedback in real time.

You can learn a lot from social media because it can tell you flaws in your product for certain people in certain situations that you may not have considered. By clicking an individual’s name and studying their profile and personality, you can gain deeper insight into their mindset than a traditional research study. You can also learn from positive comments about brand strengths that you may not have been aware of. Furthermore, you can learn what friends of friends think about your brand.

Quantifying Feedback

Different businesses have different priorities for monitoring customer feedback. Social media and branding as a combined process is not an exact science, but it’s a useful tool for refining your business model. Several metrics will provide insight about how your followers perceive and respond to your brand. The most important metric for most businesses is return on investment. You may not be able to easily measure the thinking of your followers, but you certainly can measure to the penny the amount of money you spend on marketing campaigns and the amount of revenue you earn from those efforts.

Some of the other ways to measure user response are to calculate percentages of users that become buyers, the percentage of clickthroughs to product pages that become sales, the number of visitors who engage with you about your products and the number of people who inquire about your products.

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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.

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

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Brand Strategy :Testing Your Brand

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Brand Strategy : Testing Your Brand

Test Your Brand Against Your Competitors

Your brand needs to outshine the competition, maybe not in every way, but in enough ways to connect with the people you target with your narrative. A winning branding Brand Strategystrategy includes studying your competition and figuring out why your brand is better and in what ways it can be better. Keep in mind that consumer reviews keep everything in check, so part of your research needs to include finding out how consumers compare your brand with competitors.

Brand Strategy : Comparing Brands

Even though you may not have access to your competitors’ Analytics for every metric, you can still look at your own statistics and make estimates about your competitors. Sometimes you can get access to their data when they brag about it in the media. Your Analytics will tell you where your traffic is coming from, how much you are getting and what people do when they visit your website and social media profile. One thing competitors may not be able to hide from is how they rank in audience measurement sites such as Alexa and Quantcast. Both sites reveal interesting statistics about traffic for websites.
You can create your own estimates about your competitors’ social media activity by being friends with them and seeing how their users respond to them. You can also check their website to see if they publish online reviews. Another way to compare brands is to see who has higher rankings for keywords in various search engines. An element of your branding strategy should be to prioritize your most important keywords and phrases and then see if you’re winning those battles in online search.
You can also find out who is getting the most media coverage by going to Google and searching for news articles on your competitors.

Brand Strategy : Declaring Leadership

Once you have compiled a comparative analysis report of your brand versus competitors, create a list of goals that allow you to beat competitors. You can declare leadership in many areas, just like you will inevitably do with keywords if you use enough imagination and determination. The art of declaring leadership in anything is more up to you than your competitors. Don’t bother attacking them in areas that you cannot win. If they have a much larger budget, for example, don’t waste time imagining that you can beat them in an outbound marketing campaign.

But when it comes to inbound marketing, the playing field is much more level and you have many opportunities to overshadow the weaknesses of your competitors. The fact that you will be different from them in many ways will allow you be a leader in many areas. By monitoring their weaknesses you can assess where you can develop strengths and whether or not imaginative ideas alone can help you achieve leadership. Your best bet for developing an edge in competition will be in how strong you are with social media. If you enjoy interacting with people and mixing information with entertainment, then that element of your branding strategy will be tough to beat because most companies still do not invest enough time in social media.

Brand Strategy : Study Your Own Weaknesses

Never over-estimate your market position because the market is constantly changing. You never know when a new competitor will come into the market after studying everything you’re doing and mapping out market holes caused by your weaknesses. Instead, beat them to it by knowing your market weaknesses and what you can do to improve them. The most common weakness of small business is budget size. But that’s where imagination can be the key to overcoming money issues. Imaginative campaigns are what drives your brand strategy.

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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.

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

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Brand Strategy Developing a Narrative

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Brand Strategy Developing a Narrative

A crucial component to your brand marketing strategy is developing a voice in your communication with followers that becomes recognizable. That voice, also known asBrand Strategy Marketing narrative, can be in the form of a speaking voice or a writing style. It’s OK to hire different bloggers to create the volumes of content necessary for inbound marketing to be effective, but make sure they are all on the same page as far as delivering a consistent narrative. The narrative is the voice that tells your brand’s story.

Every Niche Tells a Story

If you can’t think of stories to tell about each of your brand’s niches, it’s time to fine tune those niches or find better ones. A marketable niche is one that tells a story about how people got very frustrated with products that didn’t deliver what they promised, then one day they found your solution and life became so much better. The narrative is the personality that offers tone and perspective to that story. It can be subjective and emotional or objective and rational. It can even be a mix of both approaches.


You can shape your narrative by brainstorming with colleagues to develop a list of keywords and concepts that are central to your brand. Fill up a page with words by thinking on two levels: general themes and specific details. Imagine you are writing a book and that the general themes are the chapters and the specific details are the text in those chapters. Then start building sentences around those words. Your passion about your unique products and the people who you want to use them will help drive the narrative.

Natural Voices

Your brand marketing strategy will have a huge advantage by embracing a quality that innovative businesses are already catching onto, which is a humanistic attitude, whether objective or subjective. As long as consumers know you care about their needs and aren’t just in business to make a quick buck, they will likely choose your narrative over an old fashioned approach that spoke at them as statistics instead of to them as individuals. Part of the reason radio has struggled to adjust to the new economy is that the internet offers more trustworthy narratives. People are now more likely to base purchases on Amazon reviews than radio commercials or something an announcer said between songs.

Let the narrative be defined not by what everyone else in your field is doing, but by the story you want to tell. The point is that you want your narrative, like your niche, to stand out from a crowd of competitors. One way to do that is just be yourself. We are rapidly departing from the “one size fits all” attitude about marketing and the idea that certain formulas must dictate how we interact with customers. In radio’s heyday, commercials that conformed to slick formulas were the rule. Radio professionals used to say “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” But they took that mantra too far and listeners grew tired of hearing similar voices from station to station. These days consumers are more likely to trust voices that sound more like everyday people.

Narrative Elements

In literature narrative elements are the components of storytelling that point to the big picture, such as introduction, setting, characters, foreshadowing, storyline and climax. The writer is the voice that ties all those narrative elements together. As you read through the story, pieces of the big picture start to come into view and you feel smarter the more you put those pieces together. A brand marketing strategy shares the same process.

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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.

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

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Google Plus Business

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Google Plus Business

5 Steps & 5 Tips to Google+ for Your Business Marketing

Since Google+ came onto the scene, almost 50% of businesses rate the social network as a vital component to business. As of January 2013, Google+ has grown to be the second-largest social network in the world. With the clear value of Google+ for business and marketing purposes, the following information gives insight on how to use Google+ for business.

What is Google+ Really All About?

The Google+ advantage for businesses is that the network allows you to reach out to an audience that is well beyond your social network. Through its integration with several different Google technologies and products such as YouTube and Google Search, this product is an amazing business tool. Google+ is all about data, connections, and people, which is essentially what business is about.


Designing a Google+ Page for Business in 5 Simple Steps

Now that you have a slightly better understanding of the implications of Google+ for business, it’s time to create your presence.

  1. Create a Google+ Page
    1. Visit www.google.com/+/ business and choose the option titled, “Create a Google+ page.” You can choose to sign in with your personal or business Google information, but it is required.
  2. Choose a Business Category
    1. Choose the category your organization or business is in from the five primary options. Once you do so, you will be prompted to choose a subcategory, which will further group your business.
    2. Selecting the right category will help Google understand your business and place your business as a provider in various consumer searches.
  3. Add Your Basic Business Information 
    1. Make sure you add your company’s website, so it will effectively link back to your main website.
  4. Customize Your Public Page
    1. The basic information is ideal for helping users identify your business page, but here is where you will help users understand your brand.
      1. Your “Story” is your tagline, which will be shown as a description on a search engine results page for someone who finds your page. Google defines this as the 10 words that best describes your page.
      2. The public contact information is what users will use to actually reach out to your company.
      3. Profile image is the first thing users will see representing your Google+ page.
      4. The cover photo is the welcoming image that greets visitors to your Google+ page.
  5. Complete Your Profile and Share Content
    1. After you have completed your profile, you are ready to share content. To do so, click on “Posts” from the top navigation on your page.
    2. You can always edit your profile by clicking on “About” from the top navigation. The more you use Google+ for business, the finer you can tune your page with users in mind.

5 Tips for Using Google+ for Business

  1. See What Your Customers Will See
    1. You should check out your Google+ page by choosing the “View profile as” option to see it exactly how your customers will.
  2. Teamwork Management
    1. Invite your team members to help answer questions, monitor the page, or to share content. Making it a team effort will help you create more lucrative content that is more shareable.
  3. # Use Me
    1. Although Google+ automatically includes hashtags to your posts based on the content, you should either remove those added to your content automatically or add your own to connect your conversations to other similar topics.
  4. Share Content That Speaks
    1. You can share content directly into communities by adding them with the (+) feature.
  5. A Thousand Words
    1. In addition to a thousand words, visuals can also mean that your content will be shared an infinite number of times. You should always includes visuals, which are allowed in several sizes, formats, and style.

Take the Lead and access our Guide on How to do Google+ 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.

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Brand Strategy Creating an Online Community

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Brand Strategy : Creating an Online Community

Your brand positioning strategy should include a determined effort to create a loyal online community. Building this interactive audience takes time and requires that you Brand Strategyoffer quality content, which will pay off when Google and other search engines index your content. No matter what the latest SEO techniques are, they have always pointed toward a refinement of search engines weeding out weak content sites and giving high rankings to quality content sites.

Web Content Development

The web content you create will determine who visits your website. Like minded followers will eventually find your site if you feed the search engines with web pages full of original and in depth content. Pages with useless content flooded with ads are what search engines are trying to avoid, so don’t fall into that trap. If you fill your product pages with lots of description and customer reviews, then you’re on the right track. Other types of web pages that help search engines bring you traffic are reports about the history of your product, industry reports, interviews, product demonstrations and any type of meaningful analysis.
    

Sitemaps are very important to search engines, so be sure to include one on your site that can clearly be accessed from the home page. The sitemap is the directory to the main pages of your website and serves as a quick summary and navigation tool. Adding a contact page or link can help start a dialogue with your users through email. It can also help you build your marketing list and establish communication with possible future customers. Once you have a substantial marketing list, you can strengthen your brand positioning strategy by starting a newsletter that you can email to your users regularly. The newsletter can help develop a sales funnel by providing links to your product pages.

Blogging Your Brand

A blog is almost like having a regular TV talk show or newspaper column. It only needs to be a series of articles, but adding video or audio pod casts can help attract a bigger audience. Many newbies to the web still aren’t clear what a blog is, although they write one anyway. Try not to follow the herd that thinks blogging is a superficial trendy art form. Focus more on bloggers who are thought leaders in your industry and can prove they have huge followings. Avoid copying them or anyone else, but let their success inspire you.

Blogging is storytelling about your niche expertise, whatever it may be. The goal of blogging is to become somewhat of a cult leader in your field by sharing deep information that cannot be found elsewhere. By giving your brand a narrative through blogging and providing a contact link, you can enter people’s minds and correspond with them. Over time you can learn which followers are worth spending time with. If you consistently share fresh unique content, you can develop a following that relies on your information for their empowerment.

Social Media Content

The easiest way to build a quick following is through social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. All you do is open an account, build a profile and start adding friends. Google+ is particularly designed to add new friends who share your interests. By interacting with social media friends, you can learn a lot about your market in a short time.    



One of the things that social media lets you do better than old media channels, is share a multi-dimensional personality. This dynamic allows you to build bridges with people beyond your brand positioning strategy and opens the door to developing a wide array of relationships.

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.

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How to Use Pinterest for Business

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How to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is the relatively new kid on the block of social networks that is all about driving traffic. Pinterest not only drives, but it transforms your customers into evangelists who Social media communication conceptare responsible for engaging other users 70% of the time.Your presence and activity on Pinterest is substantiated by the 70% of Pinterest users who are on the network for inspiration on what to buy. As a traffic-driving and evangelist-creating social network, Pinterest offers your business the type of targeted exposure that is exponentially beneficial. To get you started, the following information briefly explains how to use Pinterest for Business.

Understanding Pinterest for Business Key Terms

A Pin is when an image is added to Pinterest

Pinning is the actual act of sharing content.

A Pinboard is a group of pins that share the same theme.

A Repin is like reposting or sharing another person’s pin.

The Pin It Button is placed on different websites to promote sharing .

Pinners are the individuals who are sharing the images or videos.

How to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinnable Images

Simply put, every page of your website should have images that are pinnable and interesting to your target audience, which will result in increased traffic.

Pin It Button

Although the real Pinterest users will pin images without any help, some Pinterest users need serious direction, which is provided by the Pin it Button. By enabling the Pin It Button on your website, you will be reminding users about their Pinterest account and their ability to share images with their friends. The biggest benefit of the Pin It Button is that it makes sharing and pinning images a simple step.

Riched Pins

Rich pins include an added bonus to search results by including your business logo. In addition, rich pins simplify the process for visitors to get back to your website with one click.

Setting up Pinterest for Business

To get started, visit the Pinterest Business Section and choose the option for businesses.

You can even convert your personal Pinterest account into a business account with ease.

After the account has been set up, you will want to add boards that will allow you to group the photos that you pin and share with different customer groups.

Sharing Images

Using Pinterest to share images is parallel to the highly effective inbound marketing strategy. In either case, the object is to offer your audience what they desire, which on Pinterest is shopping ideas. However, you shouldn’t only pin images of your products. Instead, you should pin images of items that your customer base would genuinely love to purchase. Achieving the goal of providing your audience with valuable content will directly lead to an expanding audience and more traffic to your site.

The most efficient way to share images is with the Pin It Button extension on your web browser.

Open the Lines of Communication

Like most social networks, Pinterest for business allows you to engage the visitors and customers who have pinned images on your website.
To do so, simply visit http://pinterest.com/source/domain.com , but you will replace “domain” with your actual business website’s address. Once you do this, you can review the images that people have pinned.

Pinterest for Business is Important Because…

People are on Pinterest to make purchases or get ideas about what to purchase. As a business, this environment is exactly where you want to be. While other social networks focus on staying in touch, Pinterest is all about making relationships based on common interests, which undoubtedly includes your line of business.  



IIan Conklinan 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.

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