Tag Archives: marketing

More Social Media Marketing Tips

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

Social Media Marketing is a style of online marketing that enables businesses of all sizes to get the word out about their product or service, as well as boost brand awareness, build loyalty, and attract and retain customers. You want to use Social Media Marketing to increase your visibility, improve your search engine results, and drive more traffic to your company’s website.

Without a doubt, Social Media Marketing has become a crucial element of successful online marketing and brand building. All content that adds value and markets a business, directly or indirectly, can be considered a form of Social Media Marketing. The material can be distributed in long form (blogs, articles, and eBooks), short form (Twitter updates, Facebook updates and images), or through conversations and sharing (start or join Twitter conversations or share content in a forum comment). Social Media Marketing allows you to build lasting connections with influential customers who in turn share your content and your message.

Here are some more easy ways to integrate your Social Media Marketing efforts and surround consumers with branded experiences:

•   Always include social media icons in your blog’s sidebar.

•   Provide links to your branded online sites in your email signature.

•   Place your branded online destination links in your forum signatures.

•   Add links to your online content in the comment forms whenever you publish comments on blogs.

•   Always put links to your content in your ads.

•   Include links to your content on your business cards.

•   Insert links to your content in your email newsletter.

•   Incorporate links to your content on your sales receipts.

•   Include Facebook social plugins on your blog or Web site from Facebook’ Developer suite.

•   Include Twitter widgets from the Twitter Resources section of Twitter.com on your blog or Web site and other points of entry.

•   Add your YouTube videos on your Facebook page and profile.

•   Feed your blog content to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, your Facebook page, and any other social networking portals where you have a profile.

•   Share your blog’s content in LinkedIn groups that pertain to your niche.

•   Use the SlideShare app to display your business presentations on Facebook and LinkedIn.

•   Include links to your blog in your online profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Networking Portals.

•   The bio you include in guests posts for other people’s blogs should include links to your online content and destinations.

•   Include LinkedIn plugins from the LinkedIn Developers Community on your blog and Web site.

•   Include the URLs to your online content in brochures and other marketing materials.

•   Always list the URLs of your online content in your store or event signage.

•    Feed your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook updates to your company’s blog.

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Google+ Tips for Businesses

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

If you are an entrepreneur, you know that Social Media plays a big part in marketing your business. Google+ has now opened itself to the public, but it is asking businesses to hold off on creating profiles until the search engine giant has released an upcoming set of features that will better support businesses. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try out with your personal accounts in order to get your feet wet and prepare your business for the eventual rollout:

Use Your Business’ Actual Name

No matter what, you’re going to want to stick with your businesses’ actual name when you create your Google+ page. Although you may want to acquire pages that have keywords that are related to your niche, this technique will likely be against Google+’s future policy. Just concentrate on making your Google+ business page your business’ home away from home, and a back link for search engine optimization.

Add Information to Your Pop-Up Window

You may have noticed that a pop-up window appears when you hover over your profile picture with your mouse. This window is an area that enables you to add information about your business, so be sure to fill it out.

Use Circles for Privacy & Security

Due to the Google+ sorting strategy, social connections through the portal are a bit more efficient than Facebook. Circles enable Google+ users to organize their connections into groups such as Family, Friends, and Work Colleagues, in order for users to decide which circles get access to which posts. Users can create a circle for any type of group they want and connect with whomever they want, including people outside of their normal group. This makes it much easier to control that has access to what information.

Use Private Posts for Brainstorming

Just like a blog, you can use Google+ to brainstorm posts without all your followers reading a work in progress, as Google+ offers the users the ability to disable sharing on posts. If you have posted something that you would like to keep private for now, click on the drop down menu are at the top right of the post and select “disable reshare.” This will also disable the “+mentions” in the comments of your post, even if you want to mention another Google+ user who has commented before you disabled the reshare.

Use Hangouts for Video Conferences

You may not have realized it, but Goggle+’s built-in multiple user video chat tool can also double as a conferencing platform. Instead of contacting people and then triggering a conversation on the phone or on Skype, you hang out in a room that displays you via camera stream. If no one is available to chat, you simply let the application run in the background while you continue your work.

Integrate your Other Apps

Finally, when your business is invited to have it’s own Google+ profile, you should integrate your other Google applications with it, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar.

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10 Key Marketing Techniques for SMBs

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

Small business owners are notorious for ignoring marketing efforts. But if you are not spending time and money to market your business, then you are ignoring a critical success component. You need to invest at least 10 – 20% of your time in marketing. You may feel concerned about losing revenue if you do this, but revenues will increase as you invest more of your time and resources into your plan.  Here are some guidelines and ideas to get you started:

Create a Marketing Plan

First, document what marketing techniques you’ve successfully used in the past and expand on them, creating variations on your techniques. Then plot the time it takes to execute those techniques on a calendar, creating a marketing plan. A simple marketing plan always includes a list of marketing practices and a timeline.

Face-to-Face Networking

Most SMBS will benefit by creating relationships off-line regardless of the type of business you run. To meet like-minded people go to classes, lectures and other events that interest you. Keep your eyes and ears open at the grocery store, coffee house and other local establishments. Look into your local Chamber of Commerce and networking groups to see if those are up your alley as well.

Cold Calling

Buy a list or hire a college student, bring on an intern, or have an assistant compile a list for you. Begin by writing a script and giving intention to your call. Know what you wish to achieve; a face-to-face visit, permission to send information, to close the sale or send a free sample.

Telemarketing

If cold calling on your own is not an option, consider hiring a professional telemarketing firm.  A few hours a week can garner one or two solid leads for you. Depending on your business, this is a simple and sure way to increase revenues.

Social Media

Use Social Media to ask questions, express interest, get to know people.

Podcasting

Having your own podcast puts you in the position of the “expert’ and also helps you to expand your horizons. Promote your show via social media, your list,iTunes, in your blog and via your guests’ lists. Create special offers to bring traffic to your site and to build your list.

Guest blogging and inviting guest bloggers

If you are not blogging yet, do. This again, is a long term investment – you probably won’t see results right away, but they will come. Comment on other blogs and contact popular bloggers who also target your audience with ideas for their blog, offering to write for them.  You will gain subscribers and expand your audience. After you build your following invite popular bloggers to do a guest post on your blog. They will bring followers, many of whom will stay.

Follow up with your list and past clients

There is plenty of untapped business with existing customers, past clients and prospects. What can you upsell? What special offers can you promote? How can you recreate yourself or your product to spark new interest?

Ask for referrals

If you recruit the assistance of your clients your practice will grow. Supply them with materials to forward or hand to their friends and family. Make it easy for people to spread the word about you.

Consistent Messaging

It may take time for your marketing efforts to have an impact and prompt a significant response. We all have different “buy’ triggers and have to be in the right place emotionally and financially before we buy. Market frequently and be consistent in your key message.

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The 5 Essential Ingredients of the Writer’s Website

writer's websiteWhen it comes to marketing your self-published book, there are times you can rely on others, but mostly you have to assume the role of a one-man or one-woman dynamo. And the prospect of creating your writer’s website can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating. What the heck do you put on it, anyway? Here are some essential ingredients for any writer doing some necessary self-promotion with his or her own website.

Home Page – Very short, perhaps only 150 words. This is the “in a nutshell” explanation of who you are, what book or books you are currently proud of and promoting, and any aspect of your biography that is compelling or that relates to your books. Remember, you’re never “trying” to be a writer, or “just giving this a shot.” Give yourself more credit than that: you ARE a writer! And always include a link to Amazon or wherever you have the book available for purchase. The best link is not just a boring text link, but a fairly big and high-res image of the book’s cover.

Book(s) Link – Each of your books should have a dedicated page. You should list the genre, a logline (an attention-grabbing two sentences laying out the premise of the book), and then an overview of the book in a couple of paragraphs. Include a link to purchase the book as you did on the Home Page. And feel free to list any accolades or awards the book has received.

About the Author – Write a brief, third-person biography of yourself. It should not be overly laudatory, but neither should you eschew including any accolades or personal triumphs as they relate to writing. If you have a “past life” prior to writing, don’t be bashful about talking about it: your experiences are part of your makeup as a writer.

Media – The media page is tricky. You’ll want to wait until you have a few noteworthy news items to present, whether that’s an interview on a local radio station, a book signing at a local book shop, or a review of your book on a well-known blog or website. And don’t call this a News page – if you have months where you have nothing to report, you’ll look like yesterday’s news!

Blog – In this day and age, the blog is a powerful tool that can help you build an audience. But don’t think of a blog as the albatross around your neck that you have to toil to update. Keep things short, update at least every couple of weeks, and write professionally – sorry, no winky emoticons. And if you’re really on the ball, you’ll cross-post blog entries to your Facebook page and your Twitter feed. No one said marketing your book was going to be easy!

These are obviously just the essentials. To the active authors out there: What pages do you consider essential for your site? Any inessential but interesting additions? Please share your ideas (and your website if possible!) in the comments!