About admin

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far admin has created 48 blog entries.

Maintain Your Brand When You’re at Your Lowest

Maintain Your Brand When You’re at Your Lowest image shutterstock 84136351Sometimes, life just isn’t fair.

You could be at the top of the world one day, only to have a tragic event or accident send you spiraling down into a pit of nothingness.

If it has happened to you before, you may think your personal brand is the last thing you need to worry about. But the truth is, even though you’re at your lowest, your brand could be the best it’s ever been.

If you don’t continue to regularly maintain your personal brand, it could very well topple. And this may sound like lip service, but things will get better — and you won’t want to find that all the progress your brand has made turned sour due to lack of maintenance.

The following tips are to help you maintain your personal brand when you’re at your lowest. Each one requires an open mind and a small bit of determination.

1. Bring in the reinforcements.

Sometimes when you’re feeling down, the best thing to do is get away from all the stresses in your life, managing your personal brand included. But that doesn’t mean you have to watch it fail — there is still a way to go on a mental vacation while still maintaining your brand.

Hire a freelance social media manager or content creator for a couple weeks and charge them with the task of upkeeping your personal brand. The cost would be minimum, and you can take all the time you need to get your mind back together.

If you’re worried about giving random strangers temporary access to your profiles, ask your industry connections if they have anyone they can recommend. Don’t let your pride get in the way of keeping up your brand!

2. Fight through just one more day.

When your heart seems like it was replaced with a black hole, work is nearly impossible to think about. But if you’re reading this, it means some part of you must want to save your personal brand from destruction, so make it through just one more day.

Here are a couple ways you can use that day to maintain your brand:

  • Use a social media tool like Sprout Social to schedule your content days, weeks, or months in advance. Curate and schedule as much content as you can in that day, so you won’t have to worry about the basics of personal brand maintenance being in jeopardy.

  • If you were scheduled for any webinars or speaking engagements, you might have forgotten them in the frenzy of emotions. Take that day to formally and respectfully cancel and, if possible, reschedule for a date you know you’ll be better. You don’t want to burn any bridges while you’re on your sabbatical.

3. Challenge yourself.

The road to feeling better lasts only as long as you make it. Challenge yourself to do at least one thing every day to maintain your personal brand. It doesn’t have to be anything big — only the basics — and you can gradually do more and more as you start to mentally recover.

If you need to, make a schedule or to-do list in your phone that alerts you when you need to complete a task. If you have even an ounce of determination, you can get this done and maintain your personal brand until you’re at or close to 100%.

What helps you maintain your personal brand when you’re feeling low?

By |2017-11-15T23:05:46+00:00February 16th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments

Go Viral! Tips to Creating Content People Share

Go Viral! Tips to Creating Content People Share image shutterstock 172212293Word-of-mouth, buzz, referral, viral marketing, whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that people are more likely to take a look at something suggested by a friend. The challenge is to create content that people want to share. There is a bit of stardust involved when it comes to having something that catches fire versus falling flat, but there are strategies you can use to improve your odds of creating viral content.

Give it away: People like free stuff and they’ll share cool free stuff with others.

Tap into emotions: The two types of content I see shared most on my social media feeds are funny and heart-touching material. But those aren’t the only emotions you can evoke. Others include a sense of justice, inspiration, superiority and anger. Just be cognizant of the emotion you want people to feel. In 2008, Motrin ran a viral campaign designed to empathize with moms, but ended up angering them. Yes, the video was shared, but not in a positive way.

Enhance lives: I enjoy looking at funny and inspirational content, but I’m more likely to share items that help people, such as tax tips, a billion uses for baking soda or how to power a laptop using a potato.

Grab attention: Graphics and video tend to be shared more than text, but that’s not to say text (i.e. articles and Tweets) don’t get shared. The key to getting shared is in getting and keeping attention, whether that’s through a picture, video or headline.

Make It Easy to Share: There is a trend towards forcing people to “Like” content before they can see it. I can see the reasoning behind this, but restricting access to shared content is going to annoy people. How can I “Like” something I’ve never seen? If I “Like” it, but end up not liking it, I have to go through the hassle of unlikely. Many people, myself included, don’t bother. Remember, the goal of viral marketing is to get people talking about you in a way that expands your reach. Make your content easy to share by including share options (i.e. Tweet, Like, Pin), and the ability to embed or download the content, without having to “Like,” register, or jump through hoops to see it.

Don’t advertise: This is another challenge of viral marketing. You want people not just to share, but to connect your name to the content as a way of promoting your business. How many commercials have you seen and enjoyed, but can’t recall the company’s advertising? At the same time, people don’t want to be sold to. The best way to engage an audience is to tell a story and use the strategies above, without pitching your business. A great example of this is Dove’s Beauty Sketches, in which Dove, as it has done in years past, sought to help women of all-sizes and shapes feel beautiful, without promoting a single product.

By |2017-11-15T23:05:46+00:00February 16th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments

How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth

Millennials Are Too Hip, Too Aware and Too Savvy!

Poke fun all you want at us hipsters, the beakless tweeters, and the Facebookers who probably haven’t bought a tangible book in years. We walk toting tablets in hand, socializing on our smartphones, addicted to our favorite apps. Our stereotypes make fantastic jokes to lighten boardroom discussions, but the truth is that this generation—the Millennials—is 86 million strong and, with current predictions estimating our pockets to hold $2.45 trillion in annual spending power by 2015, we are the major consumer group of not only today, but of the tomorrows to come.

As you know, new customers bring new expectations. If you want to attract Gen Y, your companies must TEAR themselves away from traditional techniques and design their new marketing efforts around the four factors that best appeal to Millennials like me:

  • Transparency
  • Environmental Impact
  • Accessibility
  • Relatability.

How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image millennials Gen Y

Earn Our Trust, Earn Our Business – Be Transparent or Else!

As Ryan Donegan, a Millennial and writer for the Huffington Post acknowledges, “We’re quite possibly the most informed consumer generation ever to face marketing professionals.” With the convenience of tablets and smartphones comes constant access to the internet, meaning knowledge can be obtained at any time and from anywhere.

With answers just a Google search away, misleading advertisements for overpriced or overrated products can be quickly dispelled. In all honesty, Millennials are skeptics. We don’t trust you, let alone your ads that pop up, How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image millennials growing interestroll across, or play on our screens like some sort of sugar-crazed toddler. In a sense, having access to an abundance of information since childhood has developed advanced BS detectors in the 86 million Gen Y minds. Any marketing jargon resembling an old fashioned, over-the-top sales pitch surrounding a product immediately triggers a chorus of alarms in our heads.

Although we still thirst for information, we are attracted to what is concise rather than what is more detailed. In short, less is more; less information, less embellishment will translate into more interest, more belief. We want it clean, clear, and straight to the point.

We’re Not all Going to Join Greenpeace, but we Do Care!

According to Trevor Neilson, the President of the Global Philanthropy Group, 61% of Gen Y is concerned about the state of the world and is driven to make a difference due to a sense of personal responsibility. It is this moral obligation instilled within Millennial hearts that has fueled the success of such benevolent companies as Toms and Starbucks Coffee.

How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image GreenpeaceBrian Halligan of concluded in his article “How Millennials Think, and What to Do About It” that those of Gen Y “need to believe in your product and the message behind it.” Rather than simply presenting how your product affects our lives, you must consider its effect on the environment as well.

Even if your company does not hold any ties to nonprofit organizations or charitable movements, consider the capabilities of your products out in the world. Not only will we want to know what your product does for us, we will want to know what it does for people across the globe.

We Need Access 24/7 and Anywhere we Go!

As a member of America’s largest demographic, let me remind you that we were raised on instant downloads, on demand television, and Wi-Fi access. We are accustomed to getting what we want within minutes of deciding we want it.

In other words, us Millennials no longer value the touch and feel of a product—but rather the ease and convenience of acquiring it. It is this intense focus on accessibility that has attributed much to the popularity of Apple Inc. and has inspired innovations like Amazon Prime.How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image millenials 1

Gen Y is a generation on the move. Gone are the days of families sitting down on the couch to tune into channel 5’s evening sitcom. And what is replacing that single screen? A multitude of others that bring the same experience of the television set to the palm of one’s hand. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, you name it—all have to power to stream and download music, magazines, books, TV shows, and movies at the tap of a fingertip.

To be frank, as Millennials like me leave the material world behind and shift their attention toward the technological mess of mass media, so must you. Take the investment your company usually devotes to physical media advertising and put it into ads that will find Gen Y screens.

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, Inc. offer targeted audiences programs engineered to close in on users that have already expressed interest in your product or those of your competitors, translating into higher returns-per-engagement. Also, analyze your online purchasing processes.

Is it short and sweet? Studies have proven that the shorter the sales process, the higher the close-rate.

Empower Us to Make Our Mark!

Regardless of what you may expect from the generation who has replaced most face-to-face conversation with text messaging, posts, and tweets, we still lust for personal connection. As mentioned earlier, our fret for the world drives us to make a difference.

How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image Millennials Saving The World

This hipster era of championed individuality has fostered an obsession, an obsession with the possibility to be able to contribute a piece of ourselves to the larger environment in which we duel. Thus, we are attracted to products that grant us that power—the power to make a mark, no matter how small. Companies that have identified this desire have retargeted their ad campaigns accordingly.

Call of Duty: Black Ops recently released sported the slogan “Brings Out the Soldier in All of Us” and the newest iPad Air commercial featured Robin Williams speech from the film Dead Poets Society and concluded with the question: “What will your verse be?” Your marketing efforts must not simply tell, but show us Millennials how your products will impact our lives. Are they necessary to everyday tasks? Will they help us bring out new aspects of ourselves? Do they empower us, the consumer, to do something greater? You must meet us on our level and relate to our desires, our goals, our passions.

It is time to open your eyes—and your marketing budgets—to the Millennial consumer base, the largest demographic in the nation. You cannot simply dust of traditional advertising methods to be reused on this new generation. We are too aware of your tricks, too advanced in our knowledge that your old tactics simply do not compute. If you want to intrigue Gen Y, you must rid your companies of the old blueprints and return to the marketing drawing board with pen in hand and four fundamentals in mind: transparency, environmental impact, accessibility, and relatability.

How To Market to Millennials from A Millennial Mouth image db8fa78a 831a 4676 a318 91ac28976e54

By |2017-11-15T23:05:46+00:00February 16th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments

Adapt or Die – The Power of Customer Engagement

“Its not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one who is most adaptable to change.”

Charles Darwin

Today’s consumers are a savvy bunch. The rise of internet search engines and the lightning fast ability to sift through mountains of data has put the world in their hands. It is easier for today’s digitally connected purchasers to find what they are looking for with either a quick internet search, following their favorite brands on social media, or taking recommendations from influencers in the blogosphere.

Consumers are easily finding what they want, and more importantly for companies this unprecedented access is allowing them to easily tune out heavy handed advertising and blatant marketing messages. This represents a significant challenge for businesses that need to grow, but are stuck with an old school mindset.

For companies of all size it is time to adapt or die.

Competitiveness now and in the coming years requires companies to develop a new paradigm about how to reach their customers with their marketing campaigns. Gone are the days when a one-way message touting a company’s product or great service resonates and drives business results. Attention spans have grown razor thin, and today’s consumers have become adept at tuning out marketing attempts.Adapt or Die – The Power of Customer Engagement image evolve or die

To remain competitive companies will need to create online resources that offer significant value in the form of relevant content that will appeal to their buying demographics. This is where the power of engagement comes in. Engagement requires companies to publish quality content, invest in social media and grow online communities.

Relevant content comes in many shapes and sizes and can include:

  • Entertainment – Videos, Memes or Podcasts
  • Information – Blog Posts or eBooks
  • Instruction – Case Studies or White Papers
  • Support – How to Guides and How to Videos

How do I create relevant content?

In order to create relevant content organizations need to have a detailed picture of their targeted prospects in order to create the right content for them. A great starting point is to create buyer personas for your product or service. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

Simply put, to create relevant content companies need to know:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What problems do my customers need to solve?
  • How do I position my company to solve these problems?
  • Where do my customers hang out online and how do I connect with them?
  • How do I get my message across to them in a way that will be well-received?

Engagement demands that you offer VALUE upfront.

When we talk about engagement, we are talking about offering content that is both relevant to the needs of your clients and positions your company as an expert in solving those needs. Content offerings must be made upfront with little to no obligation and establish credibility, authority and trust.

A great example of this concept is the American Express Open Forum. OPEN Forum is a community of small business owners hosted by American Express. OPEN Forum gives business owners:

  • Tools to connect and collaborate. For instance, the Connectodex feature can help generate new leads by intelligently matching businesses with similar needs and interests.
  • The ability to share and obtain insights from industry experts and business owners. The insights range from blog posts and discussion boards to inform businesses.

Adapt or Die – The Power of Customer Engagement image amex open forumBy focusing on their core customer’s (small business owners) needs and avoiding blatant product pitches, American Express has established themselves as a partner to the small business community and has developed trust with their core customers. “As a result, the Open Forum now generates as many credit card inquiries (without pitching product) as any other marketing initiative from Amex.”

Companies like American Express that have moved away from the noise of the marketplace (disruptive advertising) are reaping the benefits of brand loyalty and an increased interest in their product offerings.

Your Road Ahead

Regardless of a company’s niche in the marketplace, this approach is not for the weak-minded. Developing a community takes time and most of all great patience on the part of company leadership. Investing precious company resources and capital over time with no guarantee of success takes great courage from the executive suite. Courage, however, is something that is in short supply for many companies that operate on a quarter to quarter basis.

Provided you have a good product or service to offer, moving your company to a customer engagement marketing approach will establish trust and social influence, increase brand awareness, develop a loyal customer following and ultimately lead consumers to your products.

For those that move towards move towards this model, stellar returns await, and for those that hesitate or choose to ignore this dynamic shift in the marketplace, the end is near.

Can you afford to sit on the sidelines and wait?

By |2017-11-15T23:05:46+00:00February 16th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments

Is Your Earned Marketing Triangulated?

When I speak with Chief Marketing Officers and marketers about their communications campaigns, the first question I ask is whether a program is “triangulated” in its execution, or whether their earned marketing programs integrate three key principle disciplines within digital marketing.

read more

By |2014-02-15T19:00:00+00:00February 15th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments

SEO Has Gone Social

Search engine optimization is not dead. It is alive and well; it has just gone social like nearly everything else. Social media has come to be a dominant force in everyday life, including marketing and business. Attaining SEO success now depends in large part on the social capital of your content.

read more

By |2014-02-15T18:00:00+00:00February 15th, 2014|Social Media|0 Comments