What’s a Blog, You Ask?Nowadays, we hear the word blog mentioned quite often. A blog for this…a blog for that. What exactly is a blog? Let’s first start by defining the term blog. It’s actually very simple–a blog is a page on a website where you talk about a specific subject matter. It’s where you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to the world. These days, it’s all about content. The more relevant content you can provide for your target audience, the more successful your blog will be. The actual writings for a blog are called posts. Here’s an example of a blog by Andrea Vahl, who is one of the top social media gurus. I must mention though, one of my most favorite visual blogs is Angelicamademe. Check it out and you’ll see why I like this so much! There are blogs on any subject you can think of—fashion, cars, photography, etc. A blog is updated regularly and can be written by yourself or someone you trust to write for you. A person who writes for a blog is called a blogger. A well-known blogger who I like to follow and has loads of wonderful information on blogging is Jeff Bullas. The goal for your blog is to get as many people as possible to read it…and read it regularly. There are tools you can use to help you with your blog. My favorite is WordPress. WordPress allows you to write, store and publish your postings on your website. It also provides you with tools to help people find your blog. This is crucial for the success of your blog, because most likely there are tons and tons of blogs out there on your particular subject matter. You want people to read YOUR blog. You might be thinking—well, this is all great, but I don’t like to write or I don’t have the time to write. Good news! There are a couple of options.
- As mentioned before, you can have other people you trust write for you. There are bloggers you can hire that will do this. Sprout Social has a list of websites to find bloggers. I’ve used Elance, which is on this list and had no problems. You will most likely need to pay whoever you hire and prices range, depending on your needs and their expertise in that subject.
- Instead of a blog, you can do a vlog. (Yep…what will they think of next?!) A vlog is a blog, which the postings are done in video. I follow Sonia Gil’s vlog for one of my clients. Her niche is traveling and traveling tips. Vlogs are great for your audience, because they are visual, which can be more appealing than something written.
What are the different Digital Marketing methodologies?
Digital Marketing Methodologies are so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news and social interaction. Consumers are now exposed not just to what the company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc are saying as well. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant and services which tailor to their needs and preferences. It’s not enough to just know your customers, you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and predict, coordinate with customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in all kinds of interactions. Digital marketing methods are faster, more practical and versatile than the old traditional ones. Some of the most common types of digital marketing methodologies are:
Website (SEO Content) –SEO content is any content created with a goal of attracting search engine traffic. For more information – http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/01/17/seo-content-beginners-guide
BlogsA Blog is the most commonly used form of digital marketing methodology, that is a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis. For example – http://www.liveyourdream.org/yourdream.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjw_42eBRDHqcG1psmtneEBEiQAWPL8WB8FMrCJVvBUd83rlk7I13ulijSao2iDIr0x87IJRvcaAleZ8P8HAQ
Internet banner adsThey are a form of advertising on the world wide web delivered by an ad server. How to create them – https://support.google.com/webdesigner/answer/3261498?hl=en
Online video contentEngaging the data through video files, audio files where in the content is relevant and fresh. Some of the best video streaming sites are – http://www.techsupportalert.com/5-Best-Free-Video-Streaming-Sites.htm
Pay-per-click advertisingIt is an paid form of digital marketing methodology which is used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked. To learn more – http://www.wordstream.com/ppc
Email MarketingThe most efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business. It is an easy and a quick way to reach the target markets. 10 best examples of email marketing are – http://blog.hubspot.com/
Social Media Marketing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pint rest, (G+,etc)It is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Some of the best social media campaigns are – http://www.postano.com/blog/
Mobile marketingThis is one of those marketing methodologies which can be done through a phone, that too a smart phone. They can provide customers personalized information that promotes goods services and ideas. Some of the types of mobile marketing are – http://harpsocial.com/2010/
An introduction to A/B testingWhat’s better? Thoughtful, researched decision making or decision making based on a hunch? The answer is obvious but unfortunately many companies take the later approach and then are left wondering why they aren’t getting the results they want. There are simple ways to take the first approach and one of those ways is A/B testing, especially when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. According to Optimizely, a company that offers software for A/B testing, A/B testing is defined as, “A simple way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results. It is a method to validate that any new design or change to an element on your webpage is improving your conversion rate before you make that change to your site code.” Simple is really the key word here. A/B testing can be simple and require only minimal resources. A/B testing is not just for your website. A/B testing can apply to multiple marketing channels including email, website, social media, and blogs. A/B testing is simply a split testing method that compares marketing variables to identify the one that brings a better response rate. Here are a few website components I encourage you to test:
- Placement of Call to Action button- try placing the call to action button on a different location on your page and see if placement matters and which placement gets the most clicks.
- Headline- switch up the headline on your home page and compare which headline produces the most website traffic
- Copy length- try shortening or lengthening text and compare results
- Navigation Bar- determine which pages on your website bring in the most traffic. Then, switch the order of your site navigation bar and measure which order brings in the highest number of clicks for the pages that are most important for converting leads to customers
- Test images- try switching up the images on your website to see if it increases engagement
What I say about my business may not be the keywords my clients are searching for …Why do I care about keywords? My interest in digital marketing is personal. It is about my business. I hadn’t thought that I would need to know as much about keyword gap analysis as I apparently need to! As a “solopreneur” I have built my business of seven years entirely as a result of relationships and word of mouth. My questions for digital marketing were: How can digital marketing impact/grow my business? What is different about it than what I have already done and continue to do, build relationships by doing good work? What I learned almost immediately is the power of keywords. I thought I knew about keywords. I have used them in my own Google searches. What I had not understood was keyword gap – the difference between what I am saying about my business and what my clients and potential clients are looking for when they are looking for me. The difference between these two is the keyword gap. A short analysis with the keyword planner on Google for my website (www.mapthemind.org) revealed a huge gap! I thought I was differentiating and clarifying my work by calling myself a visual facilitator. I was, within my community of practice, which largely referred to themselves as graphic facilitators. I started using “visual facilitator” five years ago, and in that time, this term has been more widely adopted among my colleagues, however, when I do a keyword analysis, it is clear that “graphic facilitator” is the keyword that my clients and potential clients are using far more. So my decision to commit to visual facilitator as my title, is fine, but the result of not using “graphic facilitator” on my website is one that is keeping me from being found by the majority of people looking for someone like me. The plan? For starters, based on the recommendations from Krista LaRiviere, I should put a strategy in place to address this keyword gap. First of all I need to start using “graphic facilitation” at least one to three times per page on my website. Second, I need to be more intentional about building up my unbranded keyword – visual facilitation. In addition I need to do a competitive analysis to see how my colleagues are doing in their use of keywords for our profession. After the analysis, the keyword gap should begin to close once I build a bridge between myself and my clients that is beyond word of mouth. This is my hope … Will this help?
Celebrate National Cheesecake Day at Buttercup Grill & BarIf you dine often at Buttercup I’m sure you have heard me constantly recommending our cheesecake, my favorite dessert. Great news! Cheesecake day is approaching! July 30 marks the annual holiday celebrating CHEESECAKE. As food holidays go, Cheesecake Day is one of my favorites! At Buttercup Grill & Bar we serve a creamy New York style cheesecake served with blueberry sauce year round. This cheesecake recipe has been developed and perfected by my mom, original owner of Buttercup Grill & Bar. We sell this cheesecake by the slice or you can purchase a whole cheesecake. Please call your nearest Buttercup 24 hours prior to pick-up so we can have it ready to go for you! In honor of this fabulous cheesecake holiday, Buttercup is sharing its top secret recipe! INGREDIENTS:
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.|
|2.||In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.|
|3.||In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.|
|4.||Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.|