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How To Brand Your Business Through LinkedIn (Part 2)

July 8, 2013 No Comments »

LinkedInPart 1 of this LinkedIn series talked about the different properties of LinkedIn to get your content seen in order to get a branding edge. Part 2 will talk more specifically about the tools and possibilities for marketers to take advantage of at LinkedIn to gain a branding edge for themselves and their companies, as suggested by Dan Roth, executive editor of this platform.

The LinkedIn Company Page
The first tool every company should be using is the company page or profile. As already mentioned in Part 1, this is the number one tool for any business to get seen on LinkedIn and have a credible and established presence within the LinkedIn professionals community.  As explained before, these pages are created when someone puts that business in their personal profile. The company should then assign a manager to that page to make it come to life. (more…)

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How To Brand Your Business Through LinkedIn (Part 1)

July 2, 2013 No Comments »

Dan Roth, LinkedInI recently listened to Dan Roth, executive editor of LinkedIn, at a PR Week conference. He talked about LinkedIn and how brands can take advantage of it to get a branding edge. This will be a 4-part series about his insights. The first part, this post, will talk about the different properties of LinkedIn and how they work for your brand. The second part will focus on specific tools available on LinkedIn and how brands can take advantage of them. And the third and fourth parts will be focusing on how to create great content and how to ensure it gets shared and seen to propel your brand forward. (more…)

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Are You Crisis-Prepared?

June 24, 2013 1 Comment »

Crisis CommunicationsAs a PRSA member, I recently got to attend a luncheon focused on crisis communications. This luncheon couldn’t have come at a more fitting time: Right after the Boston Marathon bombings and right when Disneyland had to shut down some of their major attractions. Not that you could compare a Disneyland ride closure to a marathon bombing. But being in Orange County right next to Disneyland, it’s an appropriate topic to talk about when it comes to a crisis, especially when the senior vice president of Disney’s marketing team is on the panel.

And consider what just happened in Bavaria, Germany. They had such devastating flooding, it was even all over the news here in the States. I recently read about BikeSherpa, a company planning bike trips for their customers in that area of Germany. They had just put together a whole Facebook marketing strategy, when the flood hit and they couldn’t implement any of it. So what do you do in these instances? (more…)

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How To Attract Gen Y – Are You Being The Right Kind Of Social?

June 20, 2013 No Comments »

Social Media PeopleOver the past year I’ve really noticed the change in social media, and how it is being used beyond personal use and being more integrated into business. And after reading this article about why social media is more important than ever before, I couldn’t help but agree. This is where businesses today should start to focus more on – their digital presence, their social media profiles. (more…)

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The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist [Infographic]

May 28, 2013 1 Comment »

The marketing profession is changing. The Mad Men-style era of marketing, which prized creativity above all, has evolved as technology provides new opportunities to track performance and create data-driven marketing campaigns. While many view this shift from creativity to data as a battle between two distinct and separate ideologies, the truth is that marketers can’t afford to pick sides.

The modern marketer needs to be multifaceted, with one foot planted in art and the other in science. The daily responsibilities of a marketer are not conveniently divided into quantitative and creative tasks and marketers that truly excel in today’s environment are those that can shift effortlessly between these two mindsets. Marketers need to become part artists and part scientist. We have put together the infographic below to help highlight the tremendous assets marketers can bring to the table if they are able to find a balance between the two.

 

Click on the image to see a larger version:

 

 

Guest blogger Matt Wesson is a Marketing Content Specialist at Pardot.

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8 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

April 5, 2013 7 Comments »

teamwork

 

Companies who have waited to get started with social media still have an opportunity to get started with website updates, social media interaction, blogs, and other digital marketing tactics.

Whether you’re the owner of a small company, or running a corporation, if bringing your digital marketing in-house isn’t an option, working with an agency is an optimum solution.

Buyer Beware

The problem is that there are plenty of agencies out there who are ready to take advantage of people who don’t understand social media, web analytics, website design and development, and SEO. These agencies can charge customers unfair prices and may not deliver on their claims because they assume their clients won’t know any better. Clients sign up for a contract and are able to say, “We’re online” but aren’t seeing ROI, and aren’t incorporating their digital marketing into their overall marketing mix. Clients probably have no idea what their website is or isn’t capable of, what level of engagement they have with customers, or if the SEO research the agency is doing is working.

Here are 8 questions to ask before hiring an outside agency

  • Does the agency have an updated, modern website? If the agency’s site looks old, is difficult to navigate, and not attractive, chances are your website won’t be either.
  • Does the agency have examples of their work on their site? (Portfolio) This gives you an idea of their aesthetic, types of clients they work with, and their creative capabilities.
  • Do they have clients you can call for a reference/recommendation?
  • Does the agency offer a free consultation?  This gives you and the agency time to see if the relationship is a good fit, bounce ideas, and get a feel for how the agency works.
  • How often do they send analytics, and how often will they schedule meetings to review the analytics? (a monthly meeting is ideal for a meeting)
  • Do analytics cost extra? If they do, I don’t recommend hiring that agency. Analytics show the progress and successes of your and the agency’s work. Agencies should WANT to show you the progress of campaigns.
  • If the agency will be doing SEO for you, make sure you get notifications of which keywords they’re testing and the progress of that testing. (Again, this should not cost extra.)
  • Will the agency or will you be updating the website? This is something to discuss with the agency to figure out the best solution for your company’s needs. If the website will be updated daily, someone in-house should be able to update it.

Time Flies

One of the last things to consider is the length of the contract. I’ve talked to many companies who got “a great deal” by signing up for a 3-year contract. What ended up happening is they forgot about their website, didn’t work with the agency (and the agency didn’t call them to discuss updates) so the agency got a lot of money for not a lot of work. A 1-year contract is the longest I’d recommend because that is enough time for the agency to test out campaigns, build up engagement, and to see if this is a relationship you want for long-term.

What other questions do you recommend asking an agency? Are there questions you wish you would have asked before working with an agency? Let me know in the comments section, or call Branding Personality at 1.888.747.3263.

Lori Johnson, MBA, blogs for Branding Personality. She works in the healthcare industry providing social, website, and branding strategies. Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

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5 Common Social Media Mistakes Brands Commit

March 20, 2013 1 Comment »

Social Media HeartAs I was doing my daily reading this morning, I came across this article. It resonated quite well with me. Here at Branding Personality, we consult many clients that come to us with exactly these problems. ‘5 Common Social Media Mistakes Brands Commit‘ originally appeared on PR Daily. Digital marketing has come a long way in the last few years, evolving from a nice addition to your marketing strategy to a necessity for most businesses.

Thankfully, most small- and medium-size businesses (SMEs) avoid creating a social media presence just for the sake of being online, but there are other traps they fall into instead. Here are the most common problems. (more…)

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How To Become A Super Achiever For Your Business

March 18, 2013 2 Comments »

How to Become a super achiever for your businessI just read an article on Forbes about how to become a super achiever for your business. All ten points that the author, Jenna Goudreau, made focused on personal attitude, smart thinking, and doing the right things.

 

As I was reading her advice, I realized that all of it also translates into social media success. If you apply the advice on how to be a super-achiever personally to social media, your potential of becoming a social media super-achiever is just as great. Apply it to your business, and you will probably see the results you’ve always wanted to see. (more…)

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Personal Branding and the Importance of Online Reputation

March 11, 2013 2 Comments »

Personal Branding: Look Out Your Reputation Precedes You!

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses can make is thinking their brand is unimportant if they’re only selling products. This is far from the truth, because businesses require people to sell the actual product, and those people need to instill confidence in the customer. These individuals must be trustworthy and have a good reputation. (more…)

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Facebook Changes its News Feed – Will Advertisers’ Engagement drop?

March 7, 2013 4 Comments »

Facebook News Feed Update

Facebook announced changes to the News Feed today. The updates center around the increasingly photo-driven social world, and the popularity of visuals. Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the way the world shares information has changed from text-based interaction to visual communication, and that the new updates will revolve around the need to de-clutter the News Feed.

The updated News Feed design was created around three principles that will help create a more visually pleasing experience.

#1 Richer Stories

Richer Facebook Stories

As Facebook’s Director of Design, Julie Zhou, noted, the News Feed experience really comes down to stories. The update to the News Feed will enlarge photos and will place them front and center in order to immerse users directly into the visual stories shared by their friends, family, and public figures they have chosen to follow.

Facebook wants to give users a richer, simpler and more beautiful News Feed so people can find out what’s going on in the social world around them without having to dig too deeply. As a result, the new design will give more space on the News Feed to photos, article shares and check-ins.

Additionally, when friends share a photo, video or article, their face will appear alongside the shared content so you can scroll over their profile to see what exactly they are saying about the content, and what kind of comments have spawned off of their reaction to what’s being shared.

 #2 Choice of Feed

With the new update, Facebook users will now have more power over the type of content that occupies their News Feed. Instead of skimming the surface of conversation, the update positions Facebook more as a traditional newspaper, with sections, like sports, photos, music, etc., that users can choose to get content from.

With the all friends feed, you can view stories and status updates from your entire friends list. If you want to trim your News Feed down, you can choose the close friends feed in order to see content from those near and dear to you. The music feed lets you see content from the musicians you like, like concert showtimes and recent album releases. The photos feed will show users photos and photos only. And the following feed will show you content from all the pages and public figures you have chosen to give a “like” to.

However, this ability to choose the type of feed you want might pose problems for advertisers and company pages. Unless fans specifically choose the following feed, fan engagement could drop off significantly for businesses, which would require company pages to use promoted posts or spend more money on Facebook advertising.

#3 Consistency Between Interfaces

Facebook is striving to give users more consistency and material similarity across all devices- smartphones, tablets and desktops. With the update, Facebook will be more easily navigable, the News Feed will look and feel the same across all devices, and there will be a mobile-inspired web design for PC and desktop users.

Consistency Between Interfaces

Overall, the News Feed changes place a premium on visuals. Brands and companies must understand this in order to keep pace with the engagement wave that will undoubtedly change as the update continues to roll out. Text-based content will see a drastic decrease in engagement levels, so it will be advantageous to center content calendars and marketing campaigns around eye-popping visuals.

Facebook indicated that they will give the update to a small audience at first, beginning today, and will expand outwards as they continue to get feedback and fix any bugs that may occur.

The first feedback we have received is that this design looks very similar to Google Plus, and the mobile interface looks like Instagram. What do you think of the changes that Facebook has planned?

 

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