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Posts tagged ‘SEO’

Most Effective Communications Tools–List of 7

Below is a list of 7 of the most effective communications tools. If used in unison–together they will complement one another and bring value to your brand.

  1. Website: Store current information on your website. Websites are a static, usually non-interactive, resource for people seeking information. Therefore, it is critical to maintain useful, robust and up-to-date information on your website. The better and more useful the content, the more valuable your website.
  2. Blog: A blog does three important things: 1) It can help you build credibility in your field. Whether you are blogging on your own expertise, guest-blogging on another reputable site or inviting respected guest bloggers on your site, you are establishing yourself and your brand as leaders–experts on your topic.; 2) Search engine optimization (SEO)–drive traffic to your website and raise your website in search engine rankings by posting many links to your website throughout the Web. Whenever you blog on your blog site or guest blog somewhere, or encourage others to repost your blog, links to your website spread throughout the web increasing your SEO; 3) Serve as a platform for citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is an increasingly credible media source, when you/the public, formerly known as the media consumer, use the media-making tools at your disposal (such as blogs) to report news, that’s citizen journalism. Traditional media (print, broadcast, radio) is suffering with fewer staff and resources, making it more difficult to solicit news coverage. Citizens can help fill this gap by reporting on news themselves, providing coverage on critical topics the public needs to know to stay informed.
  3. Facebook: It’s where the eyeballs are. Engage, engage, engage! On Facebook you have a captive audience bundled with useful tools such as advertisements, “like” pages, groups, etc. The most powerful feature of Facebook is its ability to actively engage target audiences. Ask questions. Respond to answers. Develop contests and on-line activities. As for feedback. Respond to feedback. Show audiences exactly how their feedback was put to use and helped foster change. Also, reciprocate–like, friend, visit and comment on and participate on others’ Facebook pages. Spread the link to your website and blog around as a resource for people to help answer their questions and meet their needs.
  4. Media Relations: Build relationships with key media professionals. Get exposure to their work, know the topics they cover, their style and what they like. Contact them with leads that benefit your brand or your field or just leads that could benefit the media professional. Don’t be selfish. Submit press releases that are written in accordance with journalistic style (AP) to reduce editing time needed for print media. Submit polished video press releases to broadcast media professionals. Always be available to be a valuable resource to media pros. This will benefit both of you.
  5. Sales: Yes, the time-honored motto of “always be closing” is as true today as it has always been. Pitch and close. The craft of sales closes deals and takes proposals and ideas to the next level towards commitment, action and profits. Without proper sales, everything is just an idea or a creation. You need sales to translate this into profits.
  6. Visual & Multi-meda Materials: Let me SEE what you mean. Develop compelling, clean, impactful visual and multi-media materials. Keep words to a minimum (save that for blogs, reports and white papers). Keep visuals direct and simple. Use targeted focus groups to decide upon the most effective visuals or enhance/improve materials. Post this stuff everywhere: Slideshare, YouTube, Facebook, your blog, website, etc. Get it out through traditional means–traditional media, fliers, brochures, posters, etc. Show me!
  7. Public Speaking: So, data indicates that many people fear speaking in public more than death! If you are fortunate enough to NOT be one of those people, and even better if you have a particular flair in front of an audience with organized thoughts and a confident presence, rock on! You are already ahead of the wolfpack. Turn that into a communication strategy. develop trainings and presentations. Give away your magic tricks and gather a following, energize a tribe. You’ll close deals and build value for your brand. Also consider recording these presentations and developing webinars and video trainings, which you can post to your multi-media sites and host on-line trainings expanding your reach and reducing barriers to the content you offer.

One last tip: ALWAYS  use spellcheck and have your work proofread by someone who knows grammar and marketing-speak. This leads to credibility and how much trust and respect you will be able to build in your target markets.

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New Media Communications Consulting: for the beginner–how to avoid scams and paying for ineffective strategies

So, you want to hire a communications consultant to help boost your on-line marketing effectiveness? That’s a great idea. But they keep talking in acronyms you barely understand such as SMO and SEO without really telling you want it all means–why it’s valuable to you.

SMO and SEO are acronyms of great meaning in the world of communications consulting and new media marketers. If your idea of social media optimization (SMO) is posting all your family vacation photos AND videos for your “friends” to see in a couple clicks from your mobile device, you’re not alone. However, this leaves you in a difficult position when you go to hire a communications/marketing consultant to manage your business’s social media campaign.

Social Media Optimization is all about driving unique visitors to your website and business and ultimately creating customers and supporters of you brand/products/services/cause. At its best, SMO will identify and attract unique visitors of a certain profile who are most likely to be current customers, potential customers and/or supporters who will help spread the word about your brand/products/services/cause. Clearly, this could make a huge positive impact on your business’s success.

This is similar to another buzzword, search engine optimization (SEO), where a set of strategies, used properly, will help drive unique visitors to your website and business. Again, at best, the strategies employed will target a particular type of visitor who has already demonstrated some interest in a topic addessed by your business as evidenced by their web search interests, etc.

So, what we are focusing on here is not just SMO or SEO but target marketing. Marketing that targets a group of customers whom businesses have decided to aim their marketing strategies/messages and likewise their products and services.

Why does this matter? You will have far better success in turning 1,000 unique visitors to your website into customers/supporters if they are already interested in your products/services or at least show signs of fitting your target market’s demographics. For instance, it isn’t very helpful marketing a new micro-brewed beer to a group of individuals who are responding to blog posts on how to survive unemployment.

While this may sound obvious, I’ve said all of this to say this: beware of communications consultants/ marketers who try to feed you an SMO (or SEO) plan, which doesn’t strategize for target marketing. I’ve seen far too many consultants pad up clients Facebook “friends/likes” and Twitter “followers” with thousands of fellow marketing professionals whose personal profiles contain thousands of “friends/likes/followers” whom they follow and whom follow them.

For the most part, this is a worthless strategy, attracting nothing but marketers looking to pad their followers numbers and who have no interest in your business, products or services at all. They will not interact with you and help you build meaningful collaborative relationships, and they will not help you gain more customers or supporters. What they will do is often fill your view of messages from followers with endless chatter and make it difficult for you to decipher a true supporter from one who is just padding your numbers.

I say for the most part, because there are exceptions where this is useful. These exceptions exist when you are referring to income generated from ads and click-throughs etc. In some of these cases, large numbers of followers can help generate revenue for you, but certainly not the loyal supporters of your brand/products and services you need for true business sustainability. Plus, it doesn’t represent the best that social networking has to offer in terms of augmenting relationship-building, two-way communication and loyalty among customers and potential customers.

Beware of consultants who can’t or don’t map out a SMO plan for you that includes target marketing. There are far too many in this field who are looking to pad their own pockets with your money for merely padding your numbers of social media followers, conning you into thinking they’ve done a great job. What value was brought to the table for each strategy implemented? That’s the question you need answered. This will determine the value of your consultant.

Want to know about events and Tampa Bay greatness?

Check out Brand Tampa: www.brandtampa.com and say hi to Julia Gorzka, founder of Brand Tampa.

Say hi to Julia Gorzka, founder of Brand Tampa

Daphne’s List of 7 (Part 1): Communications Strategies for Visionary Professionals

Daphne’s List of Seven (Part 1):

Top Seven Steps Towards a Comprehensive External Communications Strategy: For Visionary Professionals

Communicate YOU!

1. Determine one over-arching key message that defines everything you/your business does and stands for. Keep it genuine and values-centered. This message is a part of your branding and should not change unless determined that it is absolutely necessary.

2. From this, determine two – three key messages that target a specific audience, product/service you offer or initiative that you/your business is championing. This should directly branch off from the over-arching key message mentioned above and reflect the same values. These messages can change as products/services or initiatives change, launch or are emphasized, etc.

3. Media watch—pick three key topics that directly pertain to your business for you and your representatives to watch in media. This includes traditional media such as TV, newspapers, etc. and new media such as blogs and social networks.

4. Divide this media “chatter” by how your company will respond to this media content:

a) Using data from newly released reports/studies to craft your own position and statement using this data;
b) Supporting an initiative, idea, activity, etc. and including a fresh perspective or compelling story directly related to your business;
c) Denouncing an initiative, idea, activity, etc., including a fresh perspective or compelling story directly related to your business

5. Decide on the best avenue for addressing this media you’ve identified:

a) Press releases to staff writers, TV or radio
b) Query a feature story from a columnist, TV station
c) Draft a letter to the editor
d) Draft an article for a community publication
e) Submit an OpEd article as a guest columnist
f) Request TV interview
g) Request radio interview
h) New media: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

6. Offensive media tactic—at least once per month, take an offensive stance on media relations. Utilizing the strategies d in number 5, pick unique angles on a story your business is passionate about, and work to get coverage in each of these media sectors.

7. Be the news—develop citizen journalism strategies to continue to get your messages out there. Think new media implementation. Write blogs and respond to blogs. Post on Twitter and Facebook. Use pictures. Develop a Vlog on YouTube. If your story will draw a broad audience, consider utilizing OhMyNews.com or other citizen journalism sites.

MONEY IS INFORMATION and you can manage information

Money is information. It is agreed upon values, which fluctuates based on the information surrounding your worth. If information says you are more valuable today than yesterday, the strength of your currency rises.

$$ Built by Information

If the public agrees that the information surrounding your brand says that your brand is more valuable today than yesterday, it is more valuable today than yesterday.

Learning to manage the information surrounding your brand is vital to business development and sustainability.

What is the information surrounding your brand today? What information would make your brand stronger/more valuable to your publics? What are a few actions you could implement to get that information out into your publics’ hands and encourage them to pass the information along–making the impact of that information stronger, more-widespread, more credible and hence valuable than ever before? Communicate!

Yes, you’re seeing it right–this is all about strategic communication management. Identify your audience. Engage in a conversation with your public. Learn what they value. Be responsive to those values. Interact, learn and grow based on the needs of your audience. Let them know that their input and conversations about your business and industry caused you to change something in a meaningful way: your customer service, your philosophy, products, services, etc. You are not only engaged and listening and responding. You care. You care so much that you respond to input by changing. 

If you are in business, your business is to serve. The strength of your brand depends on your ability to demonstrate that service, and your value is determined by your responsiveness.

All things being equal, people will tend to do business with those they know, like and trust. Be that person. Dare to be great! 

To find out more, contact me at daphnestreet@daphnestreet.com
Visit my website: www.daphnestreet.com

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