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Posts tagged with: marketing

How to Position your Blog in the Market the ‘Right Way’

positioning your blog in the market the right way

This is a guest post written by Paul Wallis of Webprofits.com.au, an online marketing agency based in Australia. Full Author Bio can be found at the end of the article.

There are two basic types of blogging- Productive and unproductive. A productive blog is properly targeted to its market. An unproductive blog misses its targets regularly. If you’re a typical commercial blogger, there’s no midpoint. You need to connect with your market effectively and constantly. That means you need to provide information which is useful to your audience and in touch with the most interesting and important issues on the market.

Blogging and Marketing Basics

There’s a basic concept in marketing which defines exactly what all blogs need, and it’s called “Positioning”. For blogs, this includes:

  • Information type, value and quality
  • SEO placement
  • Currency of information
  • “Brand identity”, the process of establishing a presence in your market

The positioning is the public face of your blog, and it’s also your primary point of sale for your commercial interests. It’s also the means of accessing your blog and an interest generator.

For example:

If your blog is about web design:

  • Information type: Value and quality is critical to an audience which will be largely comprised of experts. Your position in this case has to be a source of good information, created to meet the standards and expectations of your demographic.
  • SEO placement: Page rankings in a specialized field have to be earned, using good quality, relevant keywords, and good quality links.
  • Currency of information: In a specialist field, your information must be current, not material the audience has already seen. Stale blogs tend to be ignored.
  • Branding: “Brand identity” is the development of your positioning, establishing your own identity and enhancing the image of your blog.

The Big Don’ts of Marketing and Blogging

It must be noted at this point that blog positioning can go backwards, as well as forwards. There are some very serious “Don’ts” in blog marketing related to positioning:

  • Don’t get repetitive. This is fatal, and simply turns off the audience.
  • Don’t get stuck on a single line of information in your blog. Cover as many related fields as possible.
  • Don’t use lower quality materials in your blog. Keep up your standards, and you’ll keep your audience. If you’re outsourcing materials, get them from the best suppliers and freelancers.
  • Don’t assume your readers will read anything. They won’t. They’ve got the whole world to choose from. Your market position needs to be maintained, or it will inevitably deteriorate.

The Do’s of Marketing and Blogging

To develop and reinforce your blog:

  • Maintain interest: Use new materials, new forms of presentation and new ideas.
  • Ask for feedback: You need feedback to know what’s working and what’s not. Make sure you have a healthy interaction with your audience at all times.
  • Be creative and innovative: If you’ve got a new idea you’d like to try, do it. This stops you going stale, too, and it will generate a lot of interest.

The best blogs are fun, interesting and well positioned in their fields. Get your positioning right, and your blog will always be popular.

About the Author
Paul Wallis is an award winning professional freelance writer, and does a lot of writing in the SEO field. He works in the US, Canada, Australia and Belgium. He’s published 12 books on lulu.com and some of some of his other work can be found at Digital Journal.


4 Pillars of Social Media Marketing

This is a Guest Post by Michael Jenkins, Director of Shout Web Strategy. Shout is an online marketing agency based in Melbourne, Australia that is specialized in Search marketing, conversion rate optimization and web usability testing and more. You can read more of their articles in the Shout Blog.

4 Pillars of social media

No matter how big or small your business is, you are most likely trying to tap into the new media that has evolved in the last couple of years. Social media is the cool kid in town. Every website owner now works extra hard to get some ‘social love’. There are lots of factors that determine the success of your website or campaign in the social media space. But if you focus the right amount of time on the four main pillars of social media marketing, you are most likely to succeed. The four pillars are: Research, Content, Socialize and Testing.

It is logical to start any decent social media and SEO strategy with research. The more knowledge and tools you accumulate, the better prepared you will be for your tasks and the upgrade of your site’s content. As you know, websites would simply not exist without content, and search engines would have nothing to monitor and analyse. In a way, content is the glue that holds everything together and, therefore, should be considered as one of the main component of social media marketing.
Every successful marketing strategy slots in time for socialising. This is necessary, to spread the word about your company’s brand. Just think about it, if nobody hears about your products and services, who will buy them?

Aside from research, producing quality content and promoting your company through social media sources, marketers should also spend a fair amount of time testing. Analysing your website’s performance is one of the most efficient ways to determining your strengths and weaknesses. Now that we have established which components are vital to your online survival, and why, lets look at them in detail below:

Research

Doing proper research is very much needed in the social media space. It has to be conducted often and at regular intervals. Listen to what your audience says, because if you don’t, you will be unable to understand what their needs are and eventually your online presence will fade. You can avoid such a disastrous situation by incorporating social media monitoring programs into your online marketing strategy. Without your collected social data, the guidance of your audience, the support of influencers, and a chance to participate in real-time marketing opportunities, you will be flying blind in cyberspace.

While there are many things to monitor, pay close attention to these 4 elements, as they can help you achieve success in your social media campaign:

  • Define Your Social Channels – If you know your audience, you know where they socialise online. Do they interact on Facebook or Twitter, or are they LinkedIn members? Some people prefers media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, while others regularly visit popular forums and niche blog sites. Through social media monitoring you will discover where your followers gather, which will help you decide which social channels you should focus on most.
  • Acquire Social Keyword Insight – Proficient social media monitoring tools are able to analyse anchor text, tags, comments, and other forms of written content to identify keywords associated with your particular monitoring requests. The results of such an inquiry can be quite helpful as they will show you which subjects your audience is interested in. Furthermore, once you know your followers’ web behavior and interests, you can manipulate your website’s content and optimise around those ‘hot’ topics.
  • Identify Your Influencers – Research will also help identify your influencers, or the people who are – intentionally or unintentionally – promoting your company. Once you have categorised your influencers, you can prioritise who you want to connect with.
  • Track SERPs – Social media monitoring resources do not track search engine results pages (SERPs), but you can. Monitor key terms that are relevant to your business, as well as the social sources that use them. For instance, if Google displays blog posts containing certain competitive keyword phrases first, you may benefit greatly from blogging or commenting on those issues. Just don’t forget to include a back link to your own site.

Content

One of the growing industries in online marketing revolves around Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the creation, optimisation, and promotion of web content. Copywriters, editors and publishers pop up like wild mushrooms, creating great quantities of new content, and giving all businesses a chance to acquire a wide variety of promotional materials. Be careful though, as not all content is appropriate or of good quality. Many people believe they are superb writers, when in fact, they are not. Beginners or hobbyists simply do not have the skills, or they only practice traditional paper writing, which is quite different from the keyword-rich content necessary to stand out on the Internet. Publishing content online is more than uploading creative features and information about your products and services. Today, customers want more, and expect web pages with inviting images, informative videos, relevant audio, charts & statistics, and various file types that can be used for promotional purposes on social channels. Search engines recognise highly targeted content quicker, which will benefit your rankings. The faster you show up in a Google, Bing or MSN search query, the sooner potential customers will find you!

Socialise

Socialising is quite beneficial to those companies familiar with the most popular social media sources in their industry, a target audience, and rock solid content. But that is not enough. They also need a plan to connect all these elements so they can be used to communicate with their customers and prospects.

Be smart and don’t waste your marketing efforts. Instead, concentrate them on the following three socialising aspects:

  • Study Your Buyers’ Personalities – Discover what your customers do on social sites. Widen your research so you will also find out what their consumption and sharing preferences are. What persuades them to buy something, and who do they share their shopping experiences with?
  • Expand your Social Networks – Although a lack of time is often the main cause, there are numerous reasons why marketers fail to expand their social network circles. Nonetheless, it is important to maintain your social connections. Even if you are overloaded with work, try to spend at least 10-30 minutes a day writing blogs, following up on comments, updating your Facebook page, tweeting, etc. That is all you need to keep networks growing organically.
  • Carefully Select Your Promotions – Familiar with the preferences of your audience, you can now develop promotions that will further your business. Blogs are quite helpful, but so are other advertising features like cartoons, videos, and audio sound bites. Switching between different promotional options will give you valuable exposure on all your preferred social media sites.

Testing

Anyone involved in web development & maintenance, social media marketing, and SEO understands that ‘testing’ is crucial to success. Though many social media analytics and monitoring tools are free, or cost little; they usually take little time to learn. Do not ignore them, but use them to your advantage. Study the information they provide thoroughly and monitor your progress as you optimise your keyword selection, improve your content, and upgrade your social media strategy. Do A-B testing and see which one works and which doesn’t.

Changes do not translate into overnight, earth-shaking results, not even if you employ the most elaborate social media strategy. Be patient, and before you know it, your online identity will start to grow. Success will be yours, but remember, you will have to keep up the good work to continue with your success.


Yahoo Sponsored Search Improvements 2010

yahoo-search-marketingYahoo will be rolling out two new features for it’s sponsored search program, that will likely give advertisers more transparency & control over their accounts.

Network Distribution Feature: This will let you run ads on Yahoo! search pages, yahoo partners’ sites, or both. If you run your ads on yahoo’s entire network (search & partners), you can now set different bids. This is very similar to how Google Adwords bidding works, where you can choose different bid price for search & content network.

Import Campaign Data from Google Adwords: Since many advertisers are often existing users of Google Adwords, Yahoo is making it easier the Adwords users to bring in their campaign data & settings with them so that they can start at Yahoo more comfortably. Advertisers can import their files by simply clicking the “Import Campaigns” button. Yahoo strongly believes that the the ease of launching campaigns with existing data will encourage more advertisers to use Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Well I have to say that this is indeed a cool feature. Many advertisers doesn’t want to spend the extra time to go through all the steps of setting up an ad campaign. Once yahoo brings out this easy import feature, many adwords advertisers are likely to try out Yahoo’s network.

If you are interested to see how these features will work, check out the video below: