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  • Social Media for Beginners - Social Media Marketing Consulting
    in the one click away world of Blogs Tivo iPods Satellite Radio and Ad Blockers In social networking groups fast spreading messages and consumer trust are earned over time largely through marketing built in to the product or service and reflected in every move the company makes In February I spoke to a multi million dollar home security company with problems Inexpensive imported knock offs of business safes were flooding the market Confused customers searching the web didn t know the difference and despite trying this company couldn t advertise their way out of the situation Right there in the room were three people who knew more than 99 99 of the US population on safes and vaults yet they were behind a wall that divided them from their customers Unless someone called or took the time to read their website the conversation about quality disparities never happened Social Media tools can help scale these walls Getting Started The first step is to become part of the conversations already started They need to learn the steps required to efficiently monitor their market and reputation online using tools such as RSS and email alerts They need to add genuine value to these conversations without any expectation of immediate sales through participation They should create a multi author blog to share information and post track backs to other blogs on the web They should create a collection of inexpensive desktop edited videos to be posted on services such as Youtube com tagging them so they re easy to find and link to How to photos posted to the Flickr photo sharing service can be similarly organized all with a very small extra effort This way of thinking should become as natural as unlocking the door and turning on lights each day If you have the knowledge give it away and earn customer s trust then align your business with their needs In this case the people could make the company remarkable While the product is high quality the people and their passion make it possible to spread easily and cause many to forget the price difference To see an example of what I mean check out the social media phenomenon started by BlendTec commercial blender company Their sales increased five fold and made BlendTec a household name among tens of millions of Internet users using these techniques Each social media idea given time can grow a company s authority in the industry and open opportunities driven by that community Such authority helps prepare the company for public relations issues and disgruntled customers that are likely to use the web to voice their issues It also encourages web links to your material resulting in higher search ranking for their website something money cannot usually buy Finally this added visibility can bring journalists and authority bloggers to talk to you continuing the cycle The story of new media adoption seems to me especially disruptive but some companies cannot see the impact yet As Clay

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/social-media-ideas-for-beginners (2016-02-01)
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  • Using Blogs for Business Growth - Business Blog Ideas
    company line Nobody on the blogosphere wants a pitch or a refer to our website in place of a thoughtful answer It s a person to person style not a podium It s okay to express emotion and to give the world a peek into your company s culture Still one should be thoughtful enough not to embarrass the firm and some firms are establishing blogging policies to enforce certain restrictions What to expect after your blog is live is the next question This varies and you should watch blogs to see what seems to interest people in your line of business Unfortunately many are abandoned and the most common reason is a lack of time This is unfortunate because they aren t supposed to be long and drawn out Even posting a new paragraph a week is going to achieve many of these goals Timeliness regularity relevance and use of important keywords are more important than perfection in blogging Nobody is going to slam you for it when you post a fuzzy sneak peek of the latest product or a less than formal writing style Blogs can build important contacts Ben Cowgill a legal ethics attorney in Lexington says of his very popular blog It has been far more successful than I could have imagined The regular subscribers include lawyers throughout the United States Canada Great Britain and Europe It has also received visits from lawyers in Japan China Russia Africa and South America I have established relationships with a number of other experts in my field of practice Ben Cowgill s blog can be found at legalethicsblog com Don t forget Google loves blogs When people create regularly updated entries it increases the frequency of the Googlebot Google s scan For me changes to my website which holds my blog are now visible to Google within a half day letting me try new techniques fix mistakes or react to news If a hot new topic hits the web I can post my thoughts so they become part of the buzz early while people are still searching for it Whether it s about products services any company with motivation can create one that has real value to their visibility Even restaurants can blog about new menus for example and horse farms about new foals And no you do not have to call it a Blog You can call it Chef s diary The Chalkboard or Paddock 9 One growing use is the extending FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions On websites this is frequently the most visited page often receiving more visitors than the home page These blogged FAQs can be a fast spontaneous Q A answering questions like Are there any tables left for the Blue Grass Stakes Preview Dinner next week you d probably not post on your permanent FAQ page Lastly don t neglect the value of private blogs These are simply password protected types meant for one known audience such as members of a project They

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/blogging-for-business (2016-02-01)
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  • Writing Effective Business Email
    the overall impression it makes And don t forget many will open your message on a 3 4 mobile device Does it work Don t forward offensive content Obvious You d think so but h alf of U S employers have disciplined or terminated employees for sending sexually suggestive or explicit material via the office e mail system Always include previous messages in a reply You d never pick up the phone and begin the conversation Do you agree if the last time you spoke was several days back Bandwidth is cheap and it s okay to send the entire message thread Related tip Be careful what you include when you re forwarding Private messages often lurk way way down in the thread Name your attachments with care Remember they may be saved and searched for later An attachment named Proposal from Acme Industries 072805 pdf rather than proposal pdf would make a huge difference If you re using a Macintosh grumble if you must but adding an appropriate three letter extension would be really nice to us poor Windows users Think hard before CC ing or Replying to All It used to be true that physical barriers such as standing in front of a photocopy machine or carbon paper itself naturally limited this phenomenon At least we thought about it But cc and reply all on emails is too easy BCC when recipients shouldn t see other recipients Email privacy is important and to receive a mailing that exposes everyone else s address in the cc field is a breach of trust In addition Customers often reply to all and you surely see the problem I recently received an email from an industrial client exposing all FOUR HUNDRED of their email contacts to every recipient Ouch Be careful with promotional text If you find that your messages aren t being delivered this could be the reason Even short promotional messages like Ask about free shipping can flag Microsoft Outlook to mark the message as junk Don t forward scam or virus warnings These are almost always hoaxes and therefore by forwarding them you are the virus The industry has ways of warning people about viruses and scams Leave it to them If it doesn t feel right to send a computer message then don t Every now and then turn off the computer and go visit the person shake their hand sit and chat At least pick up the phone Never use email for confidential information Unless you ve set up an encryption method confidential information should not be sent via email Systems such as PGP 8 0 or Hushmail can allow some measure of confidentiality Think of email as an unlined envelope someone really wanting to can read it without you ever knowing Never use all capital letters All caps are the equivalent of screaming and should be avoided unless you are yelling related tip Never send email when you re mad Get your own domain name and

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/email-use-advice (2016-02-01)
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  • Writing for the web, Writing for Websites
    selling points at top followed by supporting copy around 200 250 words and then linkages to other pages to continue You can stop reading at any point along the way and get 80 of the benefit of the information The resulting structure looks like a tree and the path a visitor takes on that tree describes their interest and intent Some advantages Major Points Made First Details Available Visitors with greater interest are rewarded incrementally as desired carrying with them the big picture concept If they are interrupted or distracted your site still gave them something to take away If you should want to provide a printer friendly version you should do that with Adobe Acrobat and insert all information in one PDF file for simple printing Don t assume that your website will print well right off the screen as it usually doesn t Information is neatly sliced Search engines have their own economic decision to make when they visit your site It is well known that they have an easier time indexing each page properly in this simplified layout When optimizing a page having only one major theme to target usually results in better success all the way up and down the tree of your site Scrolling is reduced While hot rod mice make scrolling less a burden than it used to be many prefer to see everything above the fold Make sure the continuation links also show above the fold so they can find their way to the rest and never force them to scroll sideways Individual concepts are linkable Your sales emails can casually link to areas of your website to support a comment Others linking to your site in their blogs can get closer to the topic they re wanting to link to Web sitemaps can be constructed A site map is a table of contents for your website and search engines eat them like Halloween candy Google even has a way to feed your sitemap in a sort of fast pass around its normal process of rating sites When sections are sliced well sitemaps just work better In addition the off screen Adobe Acrobat version can be structured using Acrobat s Outline function mirroring the site perfectly but still very printable Click trails can be examined in web statistics You cannot track the user s eyeballs yet over a huge block of text so it s hard to say what was interesting to a visitor But when visitors click towards the area of interest you can track their intent as subsequent pages are requested from the site The site can adjust itself on the fly Ok advanced topic By reviewing actions dynamic websites can change the visitor s experience on the fly An example might be a website selling equine insurance The visitor who enters looking for Quarter Horse products has no use for sections on Thoroughbreds After a few software monitored clicks the website morphs into a full blown Quarter Horse Insurance site

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/copywriting-for-the-web-drill-down (2016-02-01)
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  • Email Marketing Ideas - Threading the Needle
    of sending another selfish re wording of your mission statement or a ho hum 10 off coupon you re using 1 response methods in a 30 world and become invisible One good thought experiment is the print out or forward tests Would you print the thing out or put your signature on a forwarded copy Take a look at the oft clipped news magazine Bottom Line Persona for examples of hyper successful mini content The quality of connection is based not only on the relevance of content but the ease of consumption Even if never stated the public doesn t want to hear another in order to improve quality and customer satisfaction we are undertaking a new initiative with the support of our highly qualified blah blah blah blah Imagine your message is like the water in bottles handed to marathon runners Here is what you need good luck in the race Consumed with the strain of their endeavors you can t expect much attention but a positive micro experience just happened and your name was on it Where should you concentrate efforts It may surprise you that the subject line is the most valuable real estate in the message Frequently this is wasted on uselessness such as Newsletter 3 10 06 or This week s happenings By using such subjects you make a bad assumption that people can t wait for your message to arrive You must assume they plan to delete it The subject is all you have until they open the note Graphics in your messages should be well placed and supportive So many newsletters graphics have a desperate I can t believe I figured out this software look to them It takes some practice to do this well Graphics should support not dominate your message Remember you have about seven seconds to earn or lose their attention Every message must have a partner page on your website a landing page to receive the clicks from your message These pages continue the story moving the client closer to purchase or inquiry No major visual differences just a fluid transition from email to web These are important clicks and you should give them a VIP pass to the most relevant content on your site Sending people to your home page and telling them you re on your own kid is something we need to get away from Of course only send to those who want it and watch their patterns First you must comply with CAN SPAM laws which are more common sense than anything but it pays to go a step further Google CAN SPAM to learn more If your messages go unopened by a recipient more than twice according to your software pull them off the list yourself or better yet send them a personal email or call asking if they d like to be taken off If so then thank them and send confirmation no pressure just consideration for their time and feedback You ll

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/email-marketing-ideas-part-1 (2016-02-01)
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  • Email Marketing - What Works?
    content A client of mine is publishing an email newsletter with links to interviews with experts in the field the recipients care about This client sells information products to the financial services industry For phone interviews the set up costs were low around 150 for the software and hardware needed a Sennheiser PC headset Audacity free audio editing software Skype a free PC based telephone Pamela Call recording software plus broadband service My client speaks with interesting people in his industry recording the 20 25 minute conversations directly to his computer He does this from a variety of locations and the slight ambient noise injected a type of on the go energy we both like Back at the office call recordings were converted to MP3 format saved on his website and later referred to in his email newsletter as a MP3 link to support a story Every interview he s done has sounded terrific but it s those he s chosen to speak with and what they have to say that matter I suspect the same would be true for you As an optional extra the podcast version of these interviews found on iTunes and Yahoo Podcasts will contain shorter teasers ending with an invitation to sign up for the whole interview which is delivered via email link only after registration This lets listeners get a feeling for the content but gives us the strong push component needed for effective marketing We re now rewarding referral subscriptions and letting subscribers contribute questions for future interviews automating almost all of this functionality on line Integrating viral marketing techniques is the next step in growing the subscriber base Another powerful use of landing media is the Flash movie screen recording Think VCR for your computer screen plus voice over The latest and most powerful of these I ve seen are created with Camtasia Studio or Adobe Captivate software tools With these you can give on screen tours of products websites real estate listings and anything else that can be recorded on the monitor and add voice overs The resulting clips are viewable in almost any web browser linked from your email messages The power of this is stunning especially for training and tips oriented emails Remember Baking tips by Betty Crocker then you know exactly what I m talking about When a visitor opens your message and reads the newsletter you can have links that say things like Click to let us show you three secrets to and then showing those tips in a flash movie followed by a tips brought to you by and your own little blurb It s so easy that I m amazed it s not done more often Interactive demos can be linked repeated rewound and forwarded to others Before MP3 Skype iTunes iPod and other tools we could have never put together this type of collection to give small business this kind of reach But it s here and customers are reading watching listening and talking

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/email-marketing-ideas-part-2 (2016-02-01)
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  • Press Releases on the Web
    and investors But for all of these human consumers one of the most important members of your audience is the search engines While few would recommend that you turn your release into a sales letter referring to offers and linking to them has become commonplace and can bring readers closer to your company buying cycle If your PR company says not to change how you re writing releases you should question their awareness of today s Web Learn the distribution networks These services can make the difference between the trashcan and the top of Google news Each has specific requirements and audiences and there are times when you want to distribute different releases to each Swallow your corporate ego Old press releases were egotistic by nature Now readers are intolerant of such messages They want facts relevant to their interests Unlike previous days where the audience knew exactly who you were you must now assume people don t have a clue This means your headline and the first couple of sentences in your release often called the excerpt have to be attractive to the busy information consumer Consider scrapping the lengthy about us footer in favor of a shorter one with a call to action Get familiar with tagging You must tag your releases so that they weave into the world of feeds blogs and social networks This means you have to understand the requirements of such networks An untagged release may be ignored by Technorati searches for example the biggest source of blogworthy content In addition if journalists are filtering releases based on tags you need to make sure yours gets through Ask yourself what you want to accomplish How will people search for this information Are you after brand awareness or marketing a specific offer A release becomes a Web page in the archives which are visited by search engines for years to come Having quality linkages in these archives can provide a very long tail of benefits Include high quality links Establish Web links inside your release to specific pages on your site which when paired enhance the message and possibly lead people closer to talking about or buying your product In addition to the human clicking that may happen this helps the search engines index your site well for the theme you have in mind Edit 8 14 13 Press releases have gone through some dramatic changes since this article was written in 2009 Links FROM press releases in a distribution network work far less well for SEO than they did in 2009 Forget the clip book as a performance measure The clip book was one way that PR agencies proved their worth by gathering press clippings from newspapers that picked up a story Since journalists make up only a part of the press release distribution now what matters for most companies is the amount of traffic leads and buying customers a PR effort generates Caution Discuss with me before trying to use press releases for

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/press-releases-on-the-web-2 (2016-02-01)
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  • Wikis in Business, Using Wikis for Teams
    checking egos at the door Sometimes Wiki scuffles edit wars do occur where two or more people spar about details but in the end the resultant Wiki is the beneficiary of the debate self organizing around a collective compromise Both sides of the debate along with the resulting publication are stored in a simple to extract document history giving readers the ability to better understand and contribute Sound chaotic It can be Wonderfully so if you ask me Skeptics said public Wikis would just fill up with junk and sometimes there are problems Then again the first printing presses were used to distribute scandal gossip and crackpot theories Wikis are usually self policed via a sort of online neighborhood watch program The question is as the early adoption phase transfers to the masses will the self policing efforts remain intact Take one John Seigenthaler former editor of the Tennessean who put Wikipedia arguably the largest public Wiki at 700 000 articles on the defense by insisting that they track down a publisher of false information that attacked his character After being traced by Wikipedia engineers user Brian Chase admitted to intentionally publishing entries stating Seigenthaler was involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy Chase lost his job over the whole thing and a precedent was set The subsequent news stories sent tens of thousands of people to Wikipedia to review what might be posted about them Conspiracy theories aside Wiki adoption within an organization is best left as viral marketing effort These are a stop by my office and let me show you something ideas Like Instant Messaging use will spread by itself I ve been asked to come and teach us how to use a Wiki but I always try to push back and suggest a self directed approach I like to let them be owned and adapted by individual teams as the process of discovering how they work serves as a catalyst for their use Speaking of deployment Wiki software is everywhere There are inexpensive hosted solutions or you can install some on your own company network The big players are weighing in too Microsoft is currently building a very Wiki like system called Microsoft Team System that should be making news soon Microsoft Lightweight software We ll see Mediawiki is a very popular open source Wiki Engine More are available at http www wikimatrix com The best way to start a Wiki is to start a Wiki Use a cheap hosted Wiki for something small like organizing a meeting You don t have to call it a Wiki call it a project whiteboard if you want Next develop a document or prepare a case and see where it takes you The first time will have rough spots but soon you may find that they are indispensable If you look around these concepts are already leaking into the public web Amazon has product tagging and reviews Yahoo Local has company ratings and blogs have comments A

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/wikis-for-business-teams (2016-02-01)
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