Archive for Marketing for small business Posts

published in Entrepreneurs, Marketing for small business, Small Business, Social Media, Writing by Maryanne | October 15, 2015 | No Comment

 

 6 Tricks to Get More Marketing Mileage Out of Your Blogs

speedometer for mileage blog

If you blog on a regular – or not so regular – basis for the primary purpose of marketing a business, product, message or service, are you getting the maximum mileage out of your blogs?

I am a writer (not a social media or marketing expert but boy, am I learning a lot) and as much as I love writing blogs – and do so on a weekly basis – I don’t write them particularly fast.

As such, I try to make sure that for the blogs I do write, I get the maximum mileage out of them…the most bang for my buck, if you will, because time is money.

Bang!

So when I take the time to write and post a blog on my company website, I want that blog to find its way to as many readers as possible.

But I’ll tell you this for free (although, trust me, the lesson was expensive): if I just simply post that blog, then walk away and pray to the Google Search Engine Gods to send readers to my site, I will be waiting a very long time. I still have much to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

In the meantime, here’s what I do: 

1. I take the time to write a decent blog (750 words max), which usually takes me three 30-minute writing sessions to get from idea to rough draft to edit and polish.

The time in between those three writing sessions (usually a day) does wonders to ensure the finished blog is clear and concise. Plus this way the writing process is, for me, more enjoyable.

2. Then I post it the blog on my company website.

3. Then I put the link to that particular blog into one (or more) of my company’s e-mail campaigns. These e-mails go out to people who have specifically subscribed to receive them (i.e. not only have they given us permission to e-mail them on a regular basis, they actually want to hear from us).

4. We then go to town on social media (we use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to share the blog’s url link. Why we do this is obvious; HOW we do it is what matters…and that’s where having some sort of strategy in essential. But more on that in an upcoming blog 🙂

5. Depending on the subject matter of the blog, we will also often e-mail, or tweet directly to, one of our strategic partners whose readers/followers could benefit from the messages in that particular blog – to let them know about the new blog and invite them to post it on their website and/or share with their social media network.

6. Then I revise that blog and submit an updated version of it to ezinearticles.com. When approved, they publish it on their website – but the bio at the bottom, of course, directs readers back to my company’s site.

Here’s a specific example of the trajectory of a blog:

I am the author of a book, entitled A Widow’s AwakeningOne of the target markets for this book are people who are grieving the loss of a loved one – or supporting someone who is.

So one way for me to reach this “grief” market is to write blogs that offer people tangible tips, based on my personal experience, about healthy ways to grieve (unfortunately, on this subject matter I am a bit of an expert).

So, following the same steps as outlined above:

1. I wrote a grief-related blog entitled, Coincidence or Connection – How Grief Can Awaken Our Capacity to Notice Connections Between Seemingly Unrelated Events.

2. I posted it on my company blog, The Watering Hole.

3. I sent it out to the e-mail subscribers in my company e-zine.

4. Then we sent the link out via social media, including  tweeting about it on the A Widow’s Awakening Twitter account.

5. We also submitted the blog to a relevant organization (whose readers would find it interest and use) and then they posted the blog on their website: Widowed.ca.

6. Then we tweaked the blog (to meet the submission guidelines) and submitted it to e-zinearticles.com, where it was published.

I hope you find this information of use in getting more mileage out of your own blogs…and more bang for your writing buck!

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Psst…Might Sharing be the Secret to Social Media?

Smooth Sharing on Social Media – How Easy is to SHARE Your Blog or E-zine?

Related Upcoming E-mail Campaigns:

If you would like to sign up for our upcoming e-mail campaign, Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business, please send us an e-mail (with the subject heading: “Social Media e-mail campaign subscription”) and we’ll put your name on the list to receive the weekly blogs.

Likewise, we will also be starting an A Widow’s Awakening blog series entitled, Lessons Learned from Life, Love, Loss and Liberty. If you would like to sign up to receive these weekly blogs, just shoot us an e-mail (with the subject heading: “AWA e-mail campaign subscription”).

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Marketing for small business, Social Media, Writing by Maryanne | January 2, 2015 | No Comment

 Smooth Sharing on Social Media: How Easy is it to SHARE Your Blog or E-zine?

 

Seth Godin's Unleashing the Idea Viris book cover

If you are using social media as a business marketing tool and you haven’t yet read Seth Godin’s book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, I strongly urge you to do so. There is a good reason why it is the #1 selling e-book of all time.

In the book, Godin suggests that “the future belongs to marketers who establish foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.”

“It is imperative to stop marketing AT people. The idea is to create an environment where consumers will market to each other.”

– Seth Godin, Unleashing the Ideavirus

But here’s the catch: if you want to create an environment where your consumers market to each other i.e. help spread the word about YOUR products, services, ideas and messages, you have to make it as fast and easy as possible for them to do so. Sounds simple? It is. How often is it done? Not nearly enough, I can tell you that.

Here’s a prime example:

When I receive an e-zine in my e-mail inbox from a person whose products or services I have used in the past (and am obviously pleased with because I have given them permission to stay in contact with me), if what I read or view or listen to resonates with me in some way, I am happy to share their message/article/idea/podcast/video etc via social media. But 9 times out of 10, what happens when I try to do so?

I can’t find any sort of share button in the e-mail!

OR if I do, for example, find the option to share the item on Twitter and then I click on it – only to find that the tweet created doesn’t actually link to where the article lives on their website…it just leads to the home page. And what good is that? I will share your ideas or articles but don’t expect me to just blindly send people to your homepage for no specific reason.

In Ideavirus terminology, Godin uses the word “smoothness” to describe this quality of being able to quickly and easily share an idea, blog, message, etc.

So if you are a small business owner using social media to market your products, services and ideas, my question to you is this: how easy is it for someone, such as myself, to help spread YOUR word?  

Because if you are going to put in all the time and effort to write a blog and send it to your existing customers, please try and make it as easy as possible for the rest of us to help share your work.

Here are 3 simple ways you can help increase the smoothness of spreading your ideas:

1. Make sure you have the option to share on social media from your blog (on your website).

2. Make sure you have the option to share on social media from your e-zine.

3. Make sure the social media share options actually work e.g. if a reader clicks on the Twitter option, does the tweet that comes up actually take one to the correct place/blog/article?

Here’s to smooth sharing on social media in 2015!

Related Blogs:

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Pssst…Might Sharing be the Secret to Social Media Marketing?

6 Tricks to Getting More Marketing Mileage Out of Your Blogs

Maryanne Pope is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of theJohn Petropoulos Memorial Fund. She is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.

 

published in Entrepreneurs, Marketing for small business, Social Media by Maryanne | December 7, 2013 | 9 Comments

Psst…Might Sharing be the Secret of Social Media Marketing?

 

Soda tells Sable a secret

Soda shares a secret with Sable

 “The best way to be an interesting person is to be interested in others.” 

Jordan Keats

When I heard Jordan, our instructor in the Social Media for Small Business class at Royal Roads, casually state the above sentence a few weeks back, my little gazelle ears perked up. I know a truth when I hear it – and that was one.

It is also, I am learning, a very effective way to use social media as a marketing tool.

The catch, of course, is that you have to actually BE interested in other people’s ideas and messages versus pretending to be interested.

Mind you, feigned interest is a slight step up from NO interest, which I suspect is the norm more often than we care to admit. Because let’s face it, social media can be a very me-centered medium in a very me-centered society. Look at MY photo! Read MY blog! Buy MY book! Hire ME! Watch MY video!

If you want people to share your content via social media, you must be willing to share theirs.

As such, I am taking Jordan’s advice and actively looking at what other people have to offer – and then sharing what I’m learning…but not because I want other people to see me as a person who shares/plays well in the sandbox with others. As tempting as that might be, it’s not an authentic reason for sharing – and one can spot a fake a mile away.

 “Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get…and the intent of the leader matters. The tribe can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention.”

– Seth Godin, Tribes

Rather, I am sharing other people’s content because someone else might find it of use or interest. And how do I determine whether content is share-worthy? Simple: if it has value to me, I will pass it on to like-minded peeps. 

And get this: an added benefit of my efforts is that, in the past few weeks, I have learned more useful information about a wide variety of subjects, including social media, from reading other people’s blogs and articles than I have in the past year! By thinking I was “too busy” to take a few minutes a day to learn some new ideas and perspectives, I shot myself in the foot by choosing to remain ignorant on matters that would help me with my business.

That’s lovely…BUT how, pray tell, will all this lead to SALES?

Good question! And the answer is this: another significant benefit to sharing other people’s content through social media is that by doing so, you are joining – or creating – and perhaps eventually leading a tribe of people who share similar interests. You are becoming part of a network of people you can do business with.

In other words, you are finding – or creating – your market.

“The Law of Income: You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver according to the marketplace.”

– T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

So if the value you can deliver to the marketplace is not just your products, services and ideas but other people’s as well, you will vastly increase your capacity to earn money from your own products, services and ideas. Why? Because a) the value YOU deliver to the marketplace has increased exponentially and b) the number of people you are connecting with BY HELPING THEM has increased exponentially…and therefore so will your income. No – it won’t happen overnight. But if you are building a business that is meant to last, it will happen.

Here Are 6 Ways You Can Help Others Through Social Media:

1. Endorse people on LinkedIn

– Only if you know the person and can attest to their particular skill or experience.

2. Share another person’s LinkedIn post

– If  you deem the content valuable

– Don’t overdo it (says I, from experience)

– Don’t join every group in your industry and then proceed to share the same link in every group! A friend of mine told me how annoying it is to have to scroll through twenty of the exact same posts on her LinkedIn page.

3. Retweet other people’s tweets

– Again, don’t overdo it…we’re looking for quality here not quantity

– Be genuine: take the time to read the quote, blog, article, etc first

4. Share other people’s Facebook posts

– Be honest: only share someone else’s FB posts if you genuinely think it a useful blog, cute photo, good story, helpful tip, inspirational quote, etc

5. Comment on other people’s blogs

– Don’t just read them; let the person know you’ve read them by leaving a brief but insightful bit of feedback. This could come back to you ten-fold because the chances increase significantly that the person will return the favour down the road.

6.  Send tweets, or even write the occasional blog, that refers readers to other people’s products, services and ideas

– Choose people/businesses you know and trust – and in whose services, products and/or ideas you believe in. You will be amazed at how mutually beneficial this can be 🙂

So how much time should you spend sharing other people’s content on social media?

Effectiveness – often even survival – does not depend solely on how much effort we expend, but on whether or not the effort we expend is in the right jungle.”

— Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If you are learning valuable knowledge that is of use and interest to you and your business, then sharing it with other people who are also in your jungle – your tribe – is probably not, within reason, a waste of time.

Obviously, however, you have to first have a clear sense of what you are trying to achieve with your company and WHY it matters. Then you can use that as a guide to determine a) how much time you should be spending sharing other people’s content and b) what content to share.

For me, I am spending approximately 1/2 hour a day, three times a week sharing other people’s content through social media.

As for creating your own content to share through social media channels? Well, that’s a whole other blog topic…or two or three. So stay tuned!

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Smooth Sharing on Social Media – How Easy is it to SHARE your Blog or E-zine?

6 Tricks to Getting More Marketing Mileage Out of Your Blogs

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the upcoming book, Barrier Removed; A Tough Love Guide to Achieving Your Dreams. Maryanne also writes screenplays and play scripts, including the play, Saviour. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund.

The Watering Hole e-zine banner graphic