Consider SEO & SEM Bones, Social Media the Soul That Embraces

Mad Marketer, creative project management tools, marketing program management, marketing projects management, project management for marketing, project management marketing

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In a globalized economy and a world where customer relationships are everything, businesses are finding that “branding socially” is still the most effective means of retaining valuable customers and in acquiring new ones.

Traditionally, high ranking sales professionals found that they did well by keeping in regular contact with those in their Rolodex or their top-secret black book. To keep in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis  — holding one on one conversation with everyone in that Rolodex – was a difficult and even impossible task to carry out. As the digital world exploded, this all changed.

Now, we can keep thousands of people in the loop at once. We can interact as a group, and short conversations are now the norm. With social media, we can carry many short, private conversations at once. The downfall is, however, that many traditional business models aren’t up to speed and they’re throwing thousands of dollars away just to find no return on their marketing investments.

Social media influences our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. It can influence us for the better. It can influence us for the worse. It can simply be our entertainment. But, it definitely changes our ways of thought.

Chris Sewell, Creative Director and Chief Strategist of Chris Sewell Digital Media in Brooklyn, New York, pulled this concept into the work of cosmetic surgery. He recently released a video for plastic surgeons, breaking down the cold hard facts of marketing in the digital world. In this video, he discusses the reasons some surgeons are reporting a 40% decrease in customer retention and how they are ultimately throwing money into the garbage through their current marketing strategies.

Sure, billboards, for example, are powerful marketing tools. The problem, however, is that most target markets have become spoiled and want everything instantaneously. They have also become so distracted that every time they return to the billboard to grab the details, they either forget that they meant to take down the information or it just so happens to be that moment that their Facebook just got a notification. Consumers want to access information immediately after it cross their minds.

No one uses the yellow pages anymore, because it’s not personal enough. We want to see visuals, check out pricelists and even reach out semi-anonymously at 3 a.m. AdWords is effective, but only if the company knows what they are doing. With Google’s recent removal of sidebar advertisements, SEM advertising has to take advantage of the correct criteria to find themselves ahead. Trust is a major factor in this process.

We want to see what experiences others had with this company, before we waste any of our precious time contacting them. We don’t want to risk being put into the spam or scam loop, either. We’re frightened to give our phone numbers to just anyone anymore… We don’t want to be haunted for months to years later.  

With many companies now paying people to leave biased reviews, personal experiences are more valuable than ever. Interactions with brands and businesses continue to be more meaningful and impactful. We are able to evaluate the caliber of business we are dealing with, as well gauge the people within their walls.

 In the case of life-altering industries, such as Plastic Surgery, almost 50% of patients surveyed admit that that their influence was, indeed, social media. Peer pressure was a major contributor, as selfies have made us take a deeper look at the flaws we want to perfect.

Likewise, it is the actual media content being shared by social savvy clinics that have caused patients to travel hundreds of miles to take advantage of their services. Photos, videos, client testimonials… these all influenced the decision for patients to take advantage of certain treatments at specific facilities. We can blame it all on Facebook and Instagram.

With YouTube’s monetized video platform, more videos from local businesses are being seen on a regular basis. They are low cost advertising, and the younger generations are okay with consuming them before watching a video that interests them. For this, videos on social media channels are equally disruptive. The days of SEM and SEO are more numbered than you think. While they are the basis for more impactful and more aggressive marketing efforts, it’s going to take more – way more – for most businesses to not just be seen but to also be adopted.

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How and why Shorty Produkshins is shifting gears in 2016

Shorty Produksins is Internet Marketing Orlando. Brand Social.

As many of you must know, the face of SEO and Internet Marketing is rapidly changing. It’s been almost ten years since we completely evolved into a marketing company. True, we still made music clean up into 2010, but this was done through subsidiary, Shorty’s Playground, after splitting into two separate entities in 2007.

Shorty Produkshins has prided itself on keeping ahead of the competition by being early adopters and evolving our services to meet the needs of our growing audiences. We started as that tiny little studio, consisting of a computer and a closet, and delivered many phases to our most avid supporters. Many of you remember our plaza location and our studio suites. As time evolved and industries became saturated, we evolved. Shorty Produkshins has always given the audiences a “new era in royalty” through this constant growth.

In 2013, we celebrated 10 official years. Innovation and specialization came from the demand of our most prestigious clientele — those allowed to be named and those under NDA. We focused more on our abilities on “streaming,” graphic design, social branding, public relations and event marketing. We also continued to be one of the first to deliver mobile technologies to smaller brands — something we had been doing since around 2010.

Then, rules of event marketing changed.

We once packed audiences to the point they wrapped around blocks to get into our venues. We packed venues so full, people would leave just because there were too many people there. Mixtape release parties often found they didn’t have enough products to hand out to their audiences. We even contributed to many of our larger clientele in having the largest audiences they ever had in their annual events.

Soon, everyone started to adopt the same marketing plan. And, those rules really apply any more. And, let’s face it, if the client has a smaller budget, there is a limit to what can be done in competing against venues with holographs, strippers and free drinks all night long. More focus went on Public Relations, Streaming Shows and Social Branding. Shorty Produkshins soared throughout the latter half of 2014 and on through 2015 by directing attention to where it was most effective!

Focused on the media, owner, Jessica N. Abraham began growing closer ties with many of the media platforms she worked for over the years. She began to realize that these media ties were great in supporting her public relations clientele. With over 16 years of expertise in social branding, this service was only going to be enhanced by combining services with those of the public relations sector. And, then… Shorty Produkshins would change forever!

While we have been engaging in content marketing since around 2001, many companies have realized how effective it actually is. They are beginning to realize the importance of owning a blog and regularly adding content to their websites. They are learning how impactful social shares can be. And, even Google has changed their algorithms to reflect this ideal. Because so many black hat operations have ruined innocent SEO initiative, Google’s new algorithms began focusing more on social impact and content than on anything else.

At Shorty Produkshins, we have already “been there, done that.” We have already done the “expert guest” thing, too. But, what of all of it coming full circle? As a content powerhouse, we are scaling our methods for our clientele in delivering Online and Offline promotions where they matter the most, making them an expert in their field and allowing them to monetize all platforms.

As IT companies are shifting towards all-in-one integrations that promote “productivity, collaboration and communication,” we are enhancing our internal productions, partnering more frequently and communicating to our audiences more. We are making them part of our endeavors. We aren’t just making them part of the conversation, we are making them the conversation. While we will still cater to clientele directly, we are shifting our focus to the community.

We have always dedicated ourselves to the underdog. We made it our mission to serve independent artists, brands and causes. We made it our mission to give audiences something to consume. But, everyone is doing that now. Why be like everyone else?

We have built clout (and Klout) over the years. You have been faithful to us, and we are grateful for that. We have come with a new plan of action in serving you… the everyday person.  In 2016, we shift gears to the community. We shift gears to return the support. In order to continue creating opportunities for you, we must keep evolving us!

In the past, you may have noticed long periods of time that our websites weren’t even finished. This is because we focused on our client’s work, pushing our own work to the back burner. Over the last 13 years, we have been a mostly referral-based company. Our clients speak on our behalf, as they return for more. Our clients have even given us permanent positions within their own companies.

In supporting our past, our existing and our future clientele… in supporting our followers, our lurkers, our true fans… in supporting the customers of our clientele… and in supporting the community, it is time to focus on us… Our true mission.

If you ask Mrs. Abraham-Hogan what makes her continue to do what she does with Shorty Produkshins, she will tell you that it is all the support and loyalty she has gained over the years. It is her hope to create a balance between genuine customer service, the people and humanity.

As society corrupts, she feels a duty in giving the people hope for change. As innovation explodes, she loves being the first to tell you (it’s probably the little kid in her)… As misinformation is spread, she wants to be sure people are educated. She wants to help a young generation succeed and small businesses stay open. She wants to see people reach their full potential and to be a helping hand.

With 2016, it’s not just a new beginning, it’s a chance for transformation… metamorphosis in branding social… And, we just want you to pay attention as we begin to unveil our plan of action over these next few months…. You will NOT be disappointed. Because, you are the reason for it all!

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Florida businesses promote ‘independent’ through annual Pittsburgh cause

Orlando and Pittsburgh business join hands for a Toys-for-Tots Charity Event

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SweetNote Entertainment, a Production Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, presents an annual Rock’N’Soul Christmas Show that brings regional musicians, fans and area businesses together to raise toys and donations on behalf of the Toys for Tots Foundation to give to children during the holiday season. Each year, SweetNote collaborates with local businesses and corporations to make sure that everyone involved goes home “just a little bit happier.”

Products and services are donated to the company and given away during raffles and to bands, who perform during this charitable event. According to B. Michael Smith, owner of SweetNote Entertainment and Coordinator for this event, set for December 14, 2014, “The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. Our organization is dedicated to the process of making that happen, but we need your help (speaking to artists and businesses all over the United States).”

This year, two Florida-based companies are getting involved in SweetNotes Rock’N’Soul cause — Playas Mob Radio and Shorty Produkshins.

Playas Mob Radio, a weekly radio show that is based in Fort Pierce, broadcasts out of 6 FM stations around the State of Florida and to an International fan-base of Online listeners. Playas Mob Radio, dedicated to breaking Independent Artists, Businesses and Causes, will be presenting one winning band or business with a promotional radio spot during a high profile show to talk about their brand’s history and any upcoming releases.

If it is a band that wins this promo spot, they will also have their latest radio-edited release placed into regular rotation during The Playas Mob Radio Show on WJFP FM. The show will be live on-air and will also be archived for promotional usage for the brand in both Online and Offline arenas.

Shorty Produkshins, an Orlando-based Online Promotions Company specializing in Social Branding and Event Marketing and also affiliated with Playas Mob Radio, will be giving away a few items to encourage entrepreneurship, musicianship and, of course, giving during the holiday season and into the new year.

A spokesperson for Shorty Produkshins states that “It is our way of giving back, while helping artists and brands find awareness in the new year. We initially were giving away one graphic art in the form of a digital flyer to one winner to help boost their visibility, professionally and with intrigue, and we still are. However, we realized the need brands have in establishing credibility and awareness that lasts the lifetime of their career. So, we decided that we could write articles, as well, for five brands or bands who really deserve it — which would be more beneficial to them than a graphic design that serves the purpose of one project or announcement. These services will also really benefit their Internet Marketing and SEO efforts.”

They have donated one graphic design and five written articles to promote independent progress in the Pittsburgh Area.

With December 14, just two days away, we can only imagine the magic that the night will behold. Artists, businesses and audiences at Pittsburgh’s Sing Sing venue at the Waterfront can expect a night of entertainment, holiday spirit and motivation to usher them into 2015. Performing at this event, SweetNotes own Lyndsey Smith and Soul Distribution will take the spotlight alongside acts such as Kinetic, Sun Hound, Hakim Rasheed, Mike Why, Ine, Gene Stovall, Devan Rue and Brian Woods. With a roster like this, this is definitely a night to remember!

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Elements of Internet Marketing: Brand Social.

Elements of Internet Marketing 101: Brand Social (2013).

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

DISCLAIMER: Every once in a while, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Branding Social”. Enjoy!

As you have noticed in earlier articles, branding is one of the key elements in making “everything” come together and work properly. We have discussed archetypes and why they are important to a brand. We also discussed how archetypes and branding are what actually dictates the direction in which marketing endeavors are to go.

The next point of branding we are going to cover implements the brand presence, spoke about also in a previous post, and how it relates to your audiences and fans Online.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague on the levels of clientele one might have. Sure, you will have niche markets based upon interests and specific calls to action. However, through the implementation of the web and the use of social networks, the spectrum of opportunity has been broadened.

Versatility is one of those fine-line topics. Versatility can easily lead to the controversy surrounding the “Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none” paraphrase. The final perspective is that versatility is a very bad thing. Now, if you limit the usage of these “additional skill levels” to a minimum in helping to benefit and strengthen your brand, it is a great thing. Hence, the sky is blue but can also be grey!

Versatility, as related to target markets on a broadened-yet-basic level, are key in deciding specific marketing sets. After all NOT keeping in mind these many types of consumers, you have the chance of seeing a domino effect that will ruin your endeavors altogether! These markets, through hierarchy, include those of corporate, organization, client, customer and consumer.

We have to decide how to appease these markets while appealing to our niche. The reason is because how we conversate, what we upload, what we share –how we are perceived– is dependent upon the tastes of our audience and what will lead them into taking us seriously. There is so much that I could talk about on this subject that I might as well write a book on it! But, let me cover this topic a bit before moving on in this conversation, leaving out the trade secrets and psychological elements.

Let’s begin by breaking down the market types, what is expected by these markets, how one must appease them and why:

  • Market Type: Corporate
  • Relationship to a Brand: Sponsors, Partners, Affiliates, Investors.
  • What do They Expect?: Professionalism and Professional atmosphere. Conversions.
  • Product to be Provided: An ROI, mutually benefiting business arrangement.
  • Market Type: Organization
  • Relationship to a Brand: Supporters, Cross-Promoters, Partners, Supported-by, Influencers.
  • What do They Expect?: Professionalism, ethic and mutual benefit.
  • Product to be Provided: Something in exchange for something, tangible or intangible. Mutual benefiting relationship.
  • Market Type: Client
  • Relationship to a Brand: Pays for Services and Products.
  • What do They Expect?: High quality and professional work to speak for the brand and as the brand
  • Product to be Provided: Something tangible and/or intangible to fulfill the need of a customer, while attracting and converting consumers into customers.
  • Market Type: Customer
  • Relationship to a Brand: The End-User. Products and services are meant for this person’s consumption and are paying.
  • What do They Expect?: A need to be fulfilled to satisfaction.
  • Product to be Provided: Something tangible, such as an actual product or service in exchange for cash.
  • Market Type: Consumer
  • Relationship to a Brand: May or may not be a customer. They may be what creates virality and Word of mouth. Has a general interest in your work and may become a customer or client one day.
  • What do They Expect?: Entertainment and substance. Something that they can use to fulfill a need.
  • Product to be Provided: Something intangible such as websites, artwork, social media, conversation.

In order to brand socially, meaning having a social presence Online in order to promote and market your brand, you have to keep these values in mind based upon the “company you keep.” If any or multiple market types are non-important to you, you may exclude them from your current plan. But, keep in mind that literally everything you emit is saved on the web somewhere. So be cautious in exactly what you post and upload for public consumption.

One day, you may include these excluded markets into your business plan. It would be a shame if your reputation was soiled over something minor; and this would be the reason to miss out on opportunities for expanding your brand’s future. In fact, beware of any written or recorded medium, for competitors and brand enemies may use it against you in form of mp3, video or screenshot upload!

When involving the net for professional work, try to stay professional. Even if your archetype is that of the “Villain.” We can love to “hate” you, as long as you stay “about business” the whole way!

Back on topic, branding socially — or social branding — is the most important element in creating the perfect Brand Persona. The Brand Story is told through an interactive, digital journal comprised of uploads, status updates, polls, blogs and conversation. This is how you will include and interact with your audiences every step of the way, even lurkers who sit back and pretend to be invisible. They get the feeling of contribution to the brand’s success story.

In being “friends” with the brand, your brand gains loyalty and enthusiasts who will share and contribute to just about anything you post online and then speak about it offline. Your brand becomes a somebody in this “Always On” culture. This is Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth at its finest! This is also the full circle of Brand Awareness that leads to a thriving Brand Tenure (how long the brand can remain alive and in power) that will last for many years to come.

Have you ever heard the song by Ashton Martin (Detroit Rapper, National Recording Artist), called “I Know Somebody?” Through Social Networking, everyone “knows somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody that knows YOU…” or BrandYOU thanks to the web!

Take advantage of this and don’t forget to brand yourself socially today and to create a better presence for your brand on the web! It’s all about first impressions and perceptions. It’s all about the rules of BrandYOU! Brand socially and you, too, will be a “New Era of Royalty.

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Shorty Produkshins currently seeks independent contractors in major cities

Shorty Produkshins IS Shorty Productions, social branding, public relations and internet marketing.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

Shorty Produkshins has grown over the last ten years and has expanded borders from Orlando and Pittsburgh origins to other regions around the World that include places like: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Memphis, Detroit, Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, Toronto, Nigeria and more! They provide clientele with Social Branding and Event Marketing options that are optimized through “Advanced Internet Marketing and SEO tactic.” They also provide current clientele with Public Relations, Mobile Marketing, Design Strategies, and Consultation.

As the company has grown, and with recently adding new services to its menu, Shorty Produkshins current marketing teams have been faced with the challenge of time and possibility. Shorty Produkshins believes in direct focus and dedication to the creative process for each project in providing quality service in a timely manner. Because of this, it has become more difficult to continue ongoing efforts to market services to new and potential clientele. This is an important part of ensuring a successful future for the business. It is also the reason the current campaign has been prompted.

They are seeking “self-motivated” individuals that demonstrate ethics, professionalism and determination to add to the roster. As Independent Contractors, they would be allowed to set their own schedules, work from home and make as much profit from commission as they allow themselves to achieve. They will be marketing in-demand servicing from Shorty Produkshins that is geared towards individual brands, small businesses and non-profit organizations.

“Because the power of ‘Social’ is strong, Shorty Produkshins intends on hiring those Independent Contractors from a variety of backgrounds and education levels, as long as the individuals perform ethically, professionally and with great determination while having fun! Individuals will be working from home but are encouraged to network at larger events and gatherings. They will be working closely with the Shorty Produkshins marketing team from around the World through an Online platform created specifically with them in mind.”

They are asking individuals to submit resumes, along with a written answer or video reply to the questions: “Why I am qualified to be added to the team, and why would I be a great asset to the team?” Strong communication skills are a necessity. They are only interested in “individuals who can demonstrate a passion for Social Branding and Event Marketing.”

Ideal for “ those individuals who are well known in their communities, are attending college, are involved in the Entertainment Business and/or are “Power Hustlers” who can prompt and close sales quickly,” they are asking applicants to direct all deliverables to hiring@shortyprodukshins.com… Will you make the cut?

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Elements of Internet Marketing: Fresh Content.

elements_of_internet_mElements of Internet Marketing | Fresh Content (2013).arketing_fresh_content_jessica_abraham_Jessica_N_Abraham_Murray_internet_marketing_orlando_pittsburgh_punxsutawney_Warren

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DISCLAIMER: Every once in a while, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Fresh Content.” Enjoy!

Like produce, crackers, and bread over time, content can become stale and less able to do anything great for a brand, other than to stand in to fill space and act as a paper weight. Content is created for a purpose. And, true it is always great for storytelling and portfolio purposes. But, once that purpose has been fulfilled, there is nothing left for that content to do of any remarkable means… other than to hold position for a brand, be part of the brand’s story and acting as portfolio filler.

The purposes of content may vary. Content may be displayed for informative, educational, persuasive and entertainment reasons. It can also contribute to an aesthetic experience of a brand’s presence, as well as be implemented for Organic Search Engine Optimization tactic.

Eventually, technology evolves. Aesthetics lessen. Information becomes outdated or too widely known. People have “heard it all before.” Events have come and gone. And, content has optimized the medium to the fullest already. New content is a must, and it should have been here “like yesterday!”

There is always a need for fresh, new content. It is needed to give a website or interactive platform “the magic touch.” It keeps people returning. It keeps your awareness and presence viral. It continues to expand into new realms of optimization for the brand. And, hey! It gives your brand the credibility that something is always being done!

Ultimately, your brand’s influence translates into being a “hard worker” in the eyes of your audiences, gaining a powerful respect from them — even if your products or services are lacking in quality and demand.

Fresh content will keep competition competing fairly. After all, they can’t copy what you have done in the past and continue to “one-up” that same content and predecessors every week without feeling the threat of losing clientele, while taking yours. As a matter of fact, healthy competition will keep competing brands sending clientele your way, because “alternatives” are always sought after.

The more content available, the more your brand “speaks for itself.” Sales are more easily closed on their own; while more time and resourcing can be spent on pumping out quality products and services.

Fresh content will lead optimization efforts in a positive direction. The more content that is created, named correctly and shared amongst consumers, the better.

The more backlinks created through content, as well as content placement, the better. Awareness and optimization efforts will skyrocket. More keywords will be “owned” by your brand, and brand expansion will guarantee a lead in the marketplace, as far as Internet Marketing practices go.

Fresh content takes away the “stale,” outdated appearance of an idle company even if the client base expands through referrals. That being said, it is wise to update and add new content on an ongoing basis.

Why lose potential consumers? Why keep your brand from gaining new consumers? Fresh content is a necessity. Continue creating today!

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Elements of Internet Marketing: Continuity.

Elements of Internet Marketing | Continuity (2013).

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO EXAMINER

DISCLAIMER: Every once in a while, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Continuity.” Enjoy!

Today, we speak about continuity, because it is a very important matter that needs attended to “on an ongoing basis.” In the process of Internet Marketing, this is one of the most basic and most important elements. It doesn’t matter what you are doing in your campaign, as long as you are doing it repetitively, you will see some sort of progress.

While it depends on what you are actually doing as to how successful you will be in your campaign, you will always see some type of a positive reaction to all of your hard work. Think of someone taking a chisel to a large bolder. Eventually, it will break through and the job will be done.

Continuity does not necessarily mean to continue doing small tasks and waste your time on these tasks that only show a small return. But, it may mean that not doing those small tasks will hold your larger tasks back from their full potential. This is what we want to keep in mind at all times.

For example, in owning a smaller business that provides marketing services to clientele, you have to “be on point” at all times. Your potential clientele will “Google” you to see how well you do. If you are not on the first few pages of Google or get too much traffic to your site, they may look down on you.

If your site is constantly falling behind on important key searches related to your company, they will look at you cross-eyed and not take your servicing seriously. If you continue to let negative reviews and feedback build up against your company, you are hindering current and future prospective clients from ever using your services. Therefore, all that you do is in vain.

You may not have a large team of people working with you. That is fine. But, you need to be sure to have a daily or weekly checklist of things that seem silly to have a checklist of. This list would contain link building, landing page creation, press releases, social media updates and other tasks that would lend to building backlinks and traffic, as well as awareness for the company.

You also want to be sure that you are continually checking for your brand’s reputation on the web and redirecting any negative attention that you are getting. We know that your client’s projects are more important. But, remember your brand is just as important — if not more — because, it carries the weight of quality for your past, current and future client base.

Everything you do on the web optimizes it and improves your brand awareness strategy. Everything you don’t do that your competitors are doing stands to set you back and have your client base questioning your abilities.

Keep in mind, your clients may actually be knowledgeable of the science behind what you do but not have the time to do it themselves. You have to prove to be an expert in your field no matter what. You have to keep yourself in the limelight, shine positively, and continue to RISE in engines — not fall behind.

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Elements of Internet Marketing: The importance of the press release.

Elements of Internet Marketing | The Press Release (2013).

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

DISCLAIMER: Every once in awhile, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Press Releases”. Enjoy!

We all want to get our message out to the masses. We all want to scream it from the rooftops and keep the “telephone” effect going. But, what will really help our brand to succeed in today’s Global marketplace? How will we encourage rapid spread of our message to Corporate Partners, Investors, Brand Enthusiasts and the media?

Traditional approaches have always encouraged businesses to release press sheets to the media in the form of a Press Release. This has always been highly effective, because Media Partners are always looking for “the latest” in news on select topics to report to their audiences. The less searching that they have to do to find out everything that they need to know about your brand’s latest news, the more likely they are to even learn of its existence.

As populations increase and more businesses are founded through these populations, more brands are seeking attention from media outlets. This is leading to the influx of flooded e-mail submissions and mailroom ambushes of press opportunities, all the while being ignored due to lack of feasibility amongst available resources. Writers simply find their own stories, either by means of networking or through Online distribution sites.

Modern technologies have led to new venues of spreading your message to the masses. Yes, the continued networking on social platforms, such as Linkedin and Facebook (and especially with those in the press), comes in handy. But, so much information is being submitted amongst “friends” and “connections” per minute, that it is easy to simply fall through the cracks. Additionally, those Brand Enthusiasts are already aware and interested in your brand’s latest releases, but what about those new potential consumers that aren’t even aware of your brand’s imprint within your industry. How do we reach them?

This is where we discuss the importance of the Press Release, as we know it today. Press Releases can appear to us in a tangible form, but they are now more common to be found via digital formatting around the net. Some brands simply include Press Releases within their own blogs, Press Rooms (which are very important to have) on company websites, or in E-mail Correspondences with previous contacts. This is fine. But again, where is the outreach to new potential consumers?

Today, not only is the release of press more common within a digital platform, but the receiving end is also done this way. As mentioned, writers are finding themselves heading to distribution sites around the net to seek a variety of unique press opportunities from brands and organizations around the World. They can simply search a topic and find an intriguing amount of results based on entered criteria. Due to multiple submissions, it won’t seem as though a specific brand has a monopoly on the writer’s news stories due to “contact only” submissions from those already in their Rolodex.

Press Releases, and especially Social Media Releases, are key elements in Advanced Internet Marketing tactics. They are one of the fundamental stages in Brand Awareness on the web. They include information about our brand, news about the brand, and links (backlinks) to our brand’s presence around the net. They are organic in nature, so they tend to optimize all links attached based on keywords found within the content of our release. With Social Media Releases (SMR), we are able to include videos and pictures that better depict the information that we are distributing.

Some news sites, like Google News, AOL News or Yahoo News, tend to demonstrate loyalty by solely using specific distribution networks to create press stories. Some newswires, another name given to distribution sites, generate submissions through paid subscriptions by brands, which are also accepted by the third-party news outlet. Each channel uses their own set practices based on established readers of the site. The key to distribution “switch offs” are by creating easy-to-use content that makes the process easier for wires to continually flow.

Stories that are most shared, backlinked to and from, or that are most accessed will more than likely be picked up by news sources immediately, due to obvious interest in your brand’s story. Using distribution networks with Social Sharing enabled will allow your release to be shared around the net, hike your optimization in search engines, and show a count of shared interest and/or “likes” surrounding your story.

While this may help, it certainly will not hurt your brand. What will hurt your brand is “spamming” too many distribution channels with the same exact version of the press release.

You will find, search engines generally do not like “duplicate” materials. Therefore, they are less likely to rank duplicate sources unless they are attached to highly ranked web channels. This is another story for another day, but what matters at the moment is choosing the right distribution channel wisely. Duplicate releases are fine, but this must take place only through channels that hold a high reputation on the web. Some sites, however, will reject duplicate material in order to keep their prestigious reputation in place.

Lower ranking sites usually do not mind duplicate stories, and it would be wise to have separate stories to share at these channels. As a matter of fact, if immediate awareness is all that you seek, go ahead and place your release within these sites. It is not promised that your release will ever be seen here, however. By doing this, it is also not promised that search engines will ever recognize it as a valuable piece of search history, because it is a duplicate. By having a separate release and engaging in this method, it is a gamble — but it can be highly effective on the contrary.

In releasing your story to the media, make sure you do not forget to backlink to it. Backlinks will find ranking through crawling of already established and ranked sites. Do not forget to submit your release to search engines. There are hundreds of search engines with active searches in place on a daily basis. Keep in mind, there are more search engines than just Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Keep in mind that YouTube is considered one of our most used and influential search engines, as reported by recent web studies. That being said, do not forget to include video with your Social Media Release. It may be wise to create a video with your latest story intact, even if not release an SMR.

News sources may include your video within their own version of your story for release. There are many people that get their news through video depictions, as opposed to actually reading the story surrounding it in text.

Through video, you have the opportunity to tell the whole story in your own way and be promised that the story not be misconstrued and misrepresentative of important facts that you want portrayed. Video counts will also dictate interest in your story through video views. Take advantage of this! It shows that people actually seek information that you are giving.

Press releases aren’t just the point of contact for our brand to media outlets. They are a highly effective tool for Brand Awareness, Backlinking and Consumption. They are an effective way of telling our story in our own words. They are a means of updating audiences of our brand’s track record, documenting our story and keeping positive energies flowing through our brand’s veins.

Continuous press excites our audiences and keeps them interested in our brand’s progress, even feeling a part of our brand’s success. How are you using press to your advantage in staying ahead of the competition? If you are not, maybe it is time to start.

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Elements of Internet Marketing: Incentives.

Elements of Internet Marketing: Incentives (2013).

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

DISCLAIMER: Every once in awhile, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Incentives.” Enjoy!

Everyone likes “FREE.” As a matter of fact, it is pretty likely that nobody is going to turn down “free.” At the same time, most of our modern society hates doing anything for free… including giving up personal information. This reason comes from past abuse from naive and unethical businesses.

No one likes SPAM. While it may be free, it is not friendly. Think of it as a demon that needs “exorcised” immediately. No one wants a “buddy” that will haunt them and annoy them for the rest of their lives.

In business, when we give someone something free, it likely comes with a price. We usually expect some sort of “buzz” to be created, because one person will tell the next about this “cool” new “thing” that they got for free. The next person will seek out a free item as well. This is Word of Mouth Marketing. An incentive is given for word about our brand to be spread. It is as simple as that!

As with many successful marketing actions, many businesses are against giving things away for free or taking the risk. Yet, they will complain that they aren’t making the income that they would like for the overall business venture. This is where the problem remains for them. After all, you have to take risks and do something new in order to succeed.

There are many businesses, on the other hand, that thrive through incentives. Incentives often come in the form of products, services and trials. Yet, some businesses have been benefiting from creating an actual monetary reward for their consumer base. Companies like DealsPlus pay users per deal that they list on the site, creating content. They also pay for articles to be written on their blog, coupon posts and other actions that take place.

Other sites give incentive rewards to those that refer users to become users on the site, through content generation and followers, and through referring new hires to the team. In the past, I personally worked with a company that paid college students a dollar to sign up as users on their site. They had to literally sign up through our laptop and mobile devices and confirm their accounts before being paid. These users became the most active on our site, because they had something to gain from it.

The downfall to incentive programs is what may lead consumers from becoming willing to participate in them freely. You see, so many ethical businesses have failed to adopt incentive programs, while more unethical practices have encouraged them. This is where the evil SPAM comes into play, as well as unauthorized charges to credit cards, scams, false contest and giveaway programs in attempts of collecting important information from clientele and so on. As business owners, we have to find a way to combat this, while including an incentive program into our marketing plans.

In including incentive programs into our marketing plans, we have to ensure participants that their private information is secured and won’t be sold, that they can trust us, and that participation is worth “the hassle.” Ensuring that our Brand Presence is intact and our reputation precedes us, we have a better chance of creating Brand Trust with our new potential consumers and those who use our products out of necessity.

If we hold contests and giveaways, we must be sure that we prove that it was a real contest and announce the actual winner in a public place (Online). Those that entered will be more lead to believe that it will be “better luck next time” and will more than likely participate in the future.

What some people fail to realize is that incentives may be open to everyone. But, the opportunity was a “privilege,” because not everyone will know about it until it is too late. It was a “privilege,” because the consumer has a 1-on-1 experience with the brand, as well.

Privilege leads to a personal story where the consumer is part of the overall story and history of the brand. This makes for Loyalty and Tenure. And if you are a business owner, what better incentive is there? Remember, incentives are everything if you can prove it is worth anything for your consumer to take action. Give a good call to action and you’re halfway there!

Some ways that incentives will help brands:

  • Brand Loyalty
  • Brand Trust
  • Word of Mouth
  • Viral Marketing
  • Guaranteed Funneling – Call to Action
  • Sign Ups
  • “Privilege”
  • Sales
  • Press Opportunity
  • SEO Opportunity
  • Brand Action
  • Cross Promotions
  • Sponsorships
  • Conversation
  • Social Activity (Comments, Conversation, Conversion into Customer, Likes/Followers, etc.)

NOTE TO MY READERS: The “Elements” section of The Examiner was created for YOU. Clients and readers are constantly messaging me with questions about specific topics. While I don’t consult for free, I do address their questions in general terms through these columns.

I invite you to ask questions about Internet Marketing, Social Branding and Event Marketing, as well as submit information about your upcoming projects, as related to the World of Internet Marketing. I will try to include them in my future releases. And, speaking of incentives, if you would like more “Elements,” tips, tricks and Internet Marketing-related news, please subscribe to my articles today!

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ELEMENTS of Internet Marketing: BrandYOU.

ELEMENTS of Internet Marketing: BrandYOU.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER


DISCLAIMER: Every once in a while, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “BrandYou”. Enjoy!

BrandYOU! Yes, this is a very important topic. I am glad to be writing about it “on demand.” I have covered this topic many, many times within my articles. But, this topic is the most important one that we can ever cover. The reason behind that is that whether you represent a brand or ARE the brand, BRANDYOU can play a major part in your success… “strike that, erase it (Willy Wonka reference).” It will definitely play a major part in your success.

BrandYOU isn’t just about Branding. It isn’t even anything to do with Internet Marketing, but it can be. And, that is the problem. But, it is also the greatest thing that could ever happen! That is why it is so important to understand BrandYOU inside and out.

Have you ever heard that you need to eat, sleep and dream your business in order to see it take form? Have you ever considered the fact that YOU are a business? After all, don’t you file taxes? Do you file as an individual, independent contractor, sole proprietor or board member?

If you said yes, then technically you just proved that you ARE a business, whether you use your own entity, fictitious name or work for someone else’s brand. The truth is, all of these are brands, And the truth is, you are getting paid to represent that brand.

As a matter of fact, you are responsible to pay taxes because that brand is alive! Isn’t that interesting? So, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to keep THOSE interests at the ultimate peak high point at all times? After all, YOU are investing so much time into the brand and then paying taxes on that time that can never be replaced.

In considering this scenario, one should remember a few things about businesses:

  1. First impressions are everything.
  2. Quality customer service needs to be maintained.
  3. Reviews and Testimonials can sway the opinions of those who seek to know about a POTENTIAL service provider.
  4. Competitors exist and work against competitor brands.
  5. What will you do to protect your brand? What will you do to keep the reputation of the brand satisfactory to clients and community?

The obvious first step in BrandYou is always to be on your best behavior. This doesn’t mean that you can’t show your opinion. But, it means to act upon how you would like to be perceived. If your brand represents THIS, then you can display THIS in your actions.

I had a conversation with another business owner recently. The conversation was based around her recent activity on Facebook. She tried to apologize for the “recent racy content.”

What she didn’t realize, however, that showing a public interest in a subject based upon her role in the community of her target audience will actually allow her brand to be received as a trustworthy persona and build a lasting brand loyalty that will lead to a long enduring tenure of that brand.

It basically all boils down to this: CATER TO YOUR AUDIENCES. If you want to be perceived as an individual for hire, then portray the ideal characteristics of the ultimate employee.

If you are a business, tend to your community of followers and those that you want to target in “giving them what they want” and do not give them a reason to think otherwise. This means to be consistent, persistent and show interest in that particular characteristic.

Like in previous blogs, I would like you to think of a respectable business person, public figure or entertainer. They all have something about them that stands out, correct? This is something that is overemphasized in creating a character perception of them.

Now, look at those characteristics that aren’t “front row and center” in their persona. These characteristics do not conflict with the public perception of that brand. Contradictory elements will keep that brand from being accepted, in turn, they will more than likely remain unsuccessful.

Think of an artist that may be perceived as a “thug” or “boss.” To find out that they were once on the opposite side of the law and never really this “thug” or “boss,” we change our persona of that artist.

True fans will stay loyal. Those are those who really have learned to love the brand’s product and really could care less. But, others have lost respect for that artist. This leads to lower ROIs and less money in our bank accounts.

Keeping realism with your brand or YOU as an individual (BrandYou) and implementing the archetype you have selected for it, you will keep anyone from doubting your mission, vision or even track record. Which means, more often what you say will be taken at face value, respected and believed. If you go slightly off track, we know something is wrong. If you go “left” in your action, we start speculating, assuming and looking for a discrepancy in ALL actions and statements made by your brand.

It all really boils down to the ethics of your brand, professionalism and catering to your audiences. As long as you can be perceived as professional, you are entitled to your opinion.

If you feel you will offend someone, start by giving a disclosure and allowing them to understand your point or opinion… As yourself, how you have gotten to this ideal or interest?

If it is a fellow business person, they more than likely will understand already. As a matter of fact, they may reach out to you in liaising to these markets in cross promotions or future campaigns. They may just send you business or point you in the direction of that business, especially since you may not be competition due to the catering of different audience types.

Stay true to yourself, your brand, and consistency. You will be fine!

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