Social Media & Content Marketing Part 11


Social Media & Content Marketing

Social Media opens many new doors instantly

Social media has provided a big boost to content marketing because it allows you to organize audiences that you create into groups. It’s possible to use one social media platform to talk with various groups of followers. Using various platforms to reach various niches is an option, but the more interaction can be consolidated into one place, the easier it is to manage your social media campaigns.

Audience Size

The beauty of content marketing is that it does not have to reach millions of people to have an impact. Crafting niche content that attracts one thousand followers who have the intent to make online purchases is not a difficult goal to reach anymore. Analytics give us a lot of numbers to think about such as page views and number of unique visitors, but as soon as you can attract hundreds of followers, it’s possible to develop a steady stream of online income.

Social MediaAn online audience can essentially be built for free if you take the time to connect with new people one at a time. Finding five new online friends per day is enough to build a base of over 100 followers in a month. All you really have to do is click people after studying their profile. Each of the major social networks has a system for requesting online friendships. Google+ is a social network that encourages new relationships.Facebook puts audience limits on personal profiles but allows professional profiles to have thousands of followers. Audience size is based on how much time you want to invest in building it.

Friends of Friends

The key to building a loyal market that reflects your values, is to build a network one person at a time with individuals who match your target market. This project can take several months, but it simply involves interacting with friends of friends on social networks, leading to a maze of new contacts. You simply study a friend’s profile and look for people who share your views. It’s a good idea to avoid people who don’t share your views so that you can avoid a lot of long time consuming conversations.

As people who like the same things are grouped into networks, it becomes easier for like-minded people to connect more often. It’s important for friends to “like” each other’s posts on Facebook because it tells Facebook the content is important. It gives Facebook a better idea of which content should be displayed on individual news feeds.

Personalized Market Research

One of the most profound ways social media has revolutionized marketing is that it has created a more intense focus on actual individuals rather than treating customers as statistics. You can now find out many things about a customer through social media interactivity that was not known by marketers in the past. Finding out someone’s favorite movies or sports teams might be an ice breaker in a conversation about selling tax preparation services.

Social media has become a barometer for how respected you are as an online entertainer. You can figure out which type of posts get the best reactions. You can study the posts of popular social media superstars. You can also learn who your most loyal supporters are and the content they like the most. Social media lets you learn the emotions and inside stories about your market, giving you a better sense of awareness than raw statistics.

Facebook and other social networks have allowed believers in the same message to find each other easily online. Take the lead in content marketing by joining social network groups devoted to your topic and make new genuine friendships.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

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Repurposing Content


Repurposing Content for Various Media Formats

Multimedia has been a concept developing for decades to empower creative minds by presenting a message through different forms of communication. Computers and the internet have become the vehicles for accomplishing many multimedia dreams. The amazing power of the computer is that it can now combine video, radio, music, books, slide shows and many other types of media into one platform.

Deciding on Formats

Your computer has become your media center for producing content that can be Repurposing Contentexperienced through several different formats such as video files, audio files, news feeds, text files, image files, HTML and many other things. You don’t really need to know the technical side of multimedia other than how to copy and paste a code into web pages. Understanding basic HTML is a good idea even if you never plan to write code. Then again, if all your web-based solutions will be through easy to use cloud platforms, then all you really need to know is how to click a button that says “upload.”

No longer do you need to worry about the technical headaches and bandwidth issues of hosting your own videos, since you can just upload your videos to YouTube and link to them on your site. Images as well as videos are hosted on Flickr. You can create slideshows with SlideShare. Ebooks can be constructed through cloud platforms such as CreateSpace, Lulu or Libiro. Audio can be recorded and stored on SoundCloud. You can also upload original music to ReverbNation. Each of these platforms allows you to build a digital library for multimedia presentations. Let your imagination guide you on the appropriate forms of media to reach your audience.

Hard Copy Formats

The physical world and digital world can work together in an efficient streamlined manner. While digital publishing is more cost efficient and eco-friendly than print, there are certain times when it’s reasonable to use print to expand your market. It’s also true that CDs and DVDs are wise to manufacture if you know there’s a demand for them. It becomes unwise to manufacture thousands of physical discs if you have no way of marketing or distributing them. You may want to create different versions of your content for each type of media format so that it’s not considered duplicate content by search engines.

The best of both worlds is accomplished when you use an on demand philosophy. If you have 100 requests for your ebook in hard copy form, then it makes sense to print 100 books. You can do the same thing with selling videos as downloads or DVDs or music as downloads or CDs. By interacting with followers on social networks, you will be able to learn the formats in which people want to consume your content. You may want to manufacture a limited number of DVDs and CDs simply to give out free at street fairs and trade shows. Printed flyers are still one of the best ways to get the word out about your business.

Advanced Multimedia

Remember that standing out is always more important than blending in when it comes to content marketing. If your competition isn’t doing anything too amazing with content, then almost any multimedia ideas you come up with will be better. But if your competition presents a lot of videos, photos, audio and ebooks, you might trying taking multimedia to the next level. Creative cutting edge media such as video games, highly attractive colorful infographics and heat maps, animation and interactive technology. Take the lead in content marketing by investing in equipment and software that helps you produce sophisticated, artistic multimedia productions.

Ian 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.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Facebook for Business


Facebook for Business – Top 10 Uses

The age of social media has arrived for the world of business. There are over 1 billion people currently on Facebook alone, for example, so it only stands to reason that this would be a good place to be when you want to gain attention for your enterprise, or organization. But what exactly should you be doing?

Understanding the uses of Facebook for business is something that requires developing a systematic approach for exactly how it can help move you toward the goals you’ve set for growing your company. Let’s look at 10 ways you can leverage the astounding reach of this leader in social media to position your business to take the lead in this new commercial landscape.

1> Increase traffic to your website – getting people to where the action is builds your bottom line. Posting material with a sprinkling of links back to your company website is a great way to use facebook for business growth.

2> Create brand awareness – photos are worth a thousand words, and those showing your products, services, and views of your business operation in action, help establish you as a distinct – and memorable – entity amongst all the choices out there.

3> Build a Community – and as your brand awareness grows, so does the number of people regularly visiting your site to find more of what they enjoyed on their first visit. Your neighborhood is expanding. And since clients want to believe they found you, not that you found them, this is an excellent way to establish such a relationship.

4> Educate your market – the primary reason people go anywhere online is to accesseducation actionable information. As the old saying goes – Knowledge is power – and one of the best ways to use facebook for business is to regularly deliver important information that educates your audience about issues related to your business.

5> Staying in focus – people remember where they obtained valuable information, so the more of it you provide, the more you become a focal point of their cyber-world. This has the added advance of building online ‘word of mouth’ as your community informs people in theirs about you as a good source of data.

6> Demonstrate your expertise – a big part of using facebook for business involves making it evident that you are a skilled professional in your field. The cumulative impact of all of your postings, photos, and links is how this is accomplished – and it keeps paying dividends for your operation.

7> Expand your reach – with over a billion set of eyes looking in, getting access to the broadest possible audience is one of the chief advantages of adopting facebook for business and commercial purposes. Suddenly, your reach is worldwide in a manner businesses of the past could only dream about.

8> Developing new affiliations – you never know where cooperative alliances will come from, and adopting facebook for business has been the start of many such partnerships.

9> Provide customer service – with its chat, message, and pinned post features, facebook enables small businesses to expand their customer service while minimizing costs. Always a nice combination.

10> Increase sales – while this feature is certainly uppermost in your mind, it takes all of the features of facebook for business working together to get to this one. But once you grasp how the facebook world works, this is the natural outcome.

The bottom line is that having a presence in this burgeoning new informational universe is essential for any commercial enterprise. Today people want to believe they found you and not that you found them. Facebook is another excellent vehicle for prospective customers to find you and interact with you.

And with the above in-mind, you can see that there is a lot to like about Facebook for business. Our eBook on Facebook can help you Take the Lead with your business.

Ian Conklin

Ian 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.


Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content


Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content

Teamwork is how entrepreneurs with shared visions can make big things happen. You don’t necessarily need to partner with businesses in your same industry. As long as your content connects with their content in some way that is relevant to users, you can create cross promotional campaigns that expand the exposure for both businesses.

Link Sharing

At one time search engines considered link sharing to be a measure of site importance and popularity. Over time they realized that many sites swap links with each other to improve search rank even though the links don’t really help users. Search engines in recent years have placed less emphasis on link sharing unless both sites offer high quality content and they relate to each other. You need to be careful who you link to now because Google penalizes sites that link to low quality sites.

If you choose your link partners carefully and only exchange links with quality sites that make sense for your site, then it can improve your search rankings. Let’s say you offer a photography service and you write several blogs about weddings and each one links to a catering service that also writes blogs about weddings. The cross promotion makes sense for users and search engines because a bride and groom can conceivably hire both a photographer and a caterer for their wedding.


One way to create cross promotional content that potentially doubles the impact of exposure is to interview other bloggers with followings for your blog. Everyone in the content marketingonline world needs to be talked about by others online, so they will naturally want to link to your blog. It becomes part of their press kit portfolio. If you can do a video interview on YouTube you can help your cause even more because then you’ll generate traffic on a third site in addition to being indexed in another search engine.

Interviews make excellent content because they are original and personable. A conversation between two people creates extra energy on video and more variety in print. You don’t have to have special interviewing skills like a news reporter. The old rules of last century’s media no longer apply to the online culture. Human conversations are now acceptable and effective ways to share information. Relaxed interviews come off as more genuine than trying to sound like a scripted journalist.

Multiple References

There’s no rule that says one blog can only cross promote one other blogger. You may want to write a story that surveys several bloggers about their opinions of products or trends. You may even want to build a panel of bloggers that you frequently interact with as each of you cross promote each other. It wouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish since it can all be done through email. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating alliances on the internet.

Cross promotion of content, of course, doesn’t have to be limited to just blogs. You can share your cross promotional blog on social media, which can snowball into more sharing. Creating a big circle of alliances that all cross promote each other can generate active conversations that attract attention. The more you can develop a scene with a familiar cast of characters, the more you can build a cross promotional empire that brings an online crowd together. Familiarity is important for building any community.

If you find partners who share your visions of the world, your cross promotional content will make sense and be easier to produce.

Take the lead in content marketing by building bridges with friends online who you can cross promote.

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.


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.


Social Media Branding


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.

Take the Lead – Download a free eBook on Attracting Customers With Twitter

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 Creating an Online Community


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.


SMB Branding Strategy


SMB Branding Strategy

Developing a small or medium business branding strategy is essential for success. Any business, big or small, needs to work on this process as a top priority. Authentic products that live up to their claims are now the main key to winning customers in today’s crowded marketplace. The main reason for this type of marketing evolution is that consumers now take customer reviews much more seriously than TV, radio or newspaper advertising.

Consumer Problems

Consumers are bombarded with tons of marketing messages every day and have learned to tune out most of them, at least on a conscious level. People only have so much time in a given day to concentrate on what they need to buy to resolve issues in their lives. Your brand needs to provide specific solutions to consumer problems that you have researched and understand. Developing a product that mirrors other popular but ineffective products that leave customers unsatisfied is the wrong path. Your goal should be more than just making quick profits.

You should develop a brand that overshadows competitors by resolving problems that they can’t. The way to win the attention and trust of consumers is read their reviews brand strategyonline of similar products and study their complaints. Figure out what would make them happy and deliver it through your products. Stay within your means of production and take note of what’s special about your solution. In other words, create strategies by thinking beyond what’s already available on the market.

Product Solutions

Once you have developed a product that satisfies customers by outperforming competitors, you need to plan a strategy on how to communicate the product’s benefits to your market. Avoid hyperbole that makes the product seem bigger than life, which was part of last century’s mass marketing philosophy just to sell units. In the internet age consumers are much smarter researchers and it takes more effort to win their trust. You can earn much more credibility by delivering what you promise instead of making big promises that trick people.

Your products will likely get positive praise if they exceed customer expectations, which gives people positive energy and confidence in taking credit for help others find effective solutions. If your products only meet or fall short of expectations, there’s a good chance the reviews will be more lackluster at best and have no effect at stimulating a chain reaction of positive reviews. Staying ahead of the curve should be your focus.

Communicating the Brand

A small business branding strategy will likely not involve expensive advertising, which is a gamble even for big businesses. Instead, you should pay attention to inbound marketing, which involves techniques associated with web content development designed to attract search engines and users. It also involves engaging with customers and potential customers online through blogs, social media, email, newsletters. The era of hard selling is ending and is being replaced by a series of informative resources that culminate into a sales funnel that points toward online product pages.

Throughout the inbound marketing process you should take a subtle approach that avoids sales talk. It’s better to initiate products with a wealth of information that begins with social media and blogs, in which you will have the opportunity of exchanging valuable information with curious people. Then you can direct them to further resources, such as your website, blogs and newsletters. From there you can provide direct links to your product pages where they can make purchases after you have led them toward making informed decisions. Any additional advertising you do in your small business branding strategy should give reasons for customers to visit your website. 

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.