Posted by: Floridadude | July 29, 2015

Will Your SEO Make It Or Break It?

Having a SEO (search engine optimization) campaign can be easy or it can be time-consuming and costly.  Added to that are frustrations that nothing worked.  So how can you be assured your SEO campaign will work?  Here are some quick pointers that I found will give you some assurances that with a little work, planning, and some luck, you will have a great SEO campaign.

1.  Set some good goals.  Use Google or Bing.  Keep your service or product down to a reasonable choice.  Don’t load up with a bunch of stuff and expect everything to hit.   When you are starting out, pick that one key product you are offering.

2.  The cost is important.  If you are somewhat savvy on SEO, yes, you can get it down for free or for little expense. The problem with this is most small businesses do not understand the concepts of SEO and should choose  a professional to guide their plan through.  If you are in a highly competitive product line then expect to pay more.  As they say, “There is no such thing as a free lunch!”

3.  Keywords. What is this you ask?  Keywords are what goes into the body of your message such as your website.  When people begin that search for what they are looking for, search engines lock onto keywords within your demographic area first.  So if you sell widgets in  ABC County and in anytown within that county, you would come up under widgets. As to your ranking though depends on other factors.  Keywords involve a lot of data research and placement value.  Again, doing this yourself can be lackluster for your business and a disappointing ROI.  Not to say you can’t do it if you are in a rural non-competitive area but for most in larger markets, hire a professional.

4. The Rest of the mix.  Have a good website, good content, and track your data via Google Tools or other free data gathering software that is available.  If you are still unsure, then hire a professional marketing firm to do this for you.  Stay current and keep abreast of the current trends and social media tools to give yourself a chance to stay ahead of the game.  Good luck!

Posted by: Floridadude | July 15, 2015

Choosing The Right Social Media Marketing Partner

Being social with your business.  Not easy is it?  Those social media marketers.  They say it is important to their business but a lot of them find it hard to measure the ROI and even manage multiple campaigns for various clients.  So what do you do?  This sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Even for SMB’s who do not even hire a social media marketer to run their campaigns or social blogs, the world of social media and blogging is a mystery when it comes to what do I spend, where do I spend and how much do I spend to see a return on my investment.

Typically the first 90 days working with a social media partner should send you a signal as to whether or not they are doing an effective campaign for you.  Even if they are not, it is not always their fault.  Social Media is a quirky business.  Your business may be unique to social media. Some businesses are just not social savvy while others may have people buzzing all over your platforms.  Even with automation tools, you have to find that right niche that fists your business and attract the right customers.  Here are some basic questions to ask yourself when picking the right social media marketing partner to help you.

 

1.  How long does my campaign take to get out to the masses?

Typically, after on boarding can take up to a month.  Then the campaign rolls out.  The marketer needs to gather information about your business, get your logos or branding images, get the blogging or relevant content ready for distribution and so on.  Sometimes things can happen quicker and sometimes it may take longer.  I am giving you an average.  You need to have this most important information assured in writing before you write that check.  Taking too long can kill your ROI. Know in advance!

 

2.  When does the money roll in?

 

As I stated earlier, not all campaigns are written with a “money back guarantee.”  No matter how slick your campaign may look,  you still may not see an increase in sales.  You would like to, but not all business have an attraction to social media users.  there needs to be at least 6 hours a week invested in your social media.  If your partner is not doing that, chances are you are not getting any measured return.  The length of your program is also a consideration on that waiting paycheck!

 

3.  How Is my campaign measured?

 

Your campaign can be measured many ways.  By metrics, (SEO, SMO Ect.)  Most use fan base or followers, along with traffic hits.  Your content is crucial to success.  Make sure your content hits on relevant topics to your business.  Make sure your goals are clear to your marketing social media partner in what you want to achieve.  Good luck!

Posted by: Floridadude | July 9, 2015

MeerKat

Unless you been in the twilight zone these past few months, the biggest deal going on lately is Meerkat. So what is Meerkat?  It allows you to stream live via your cell phone or laptop web cam your live event via Twitter.  Simple as that.  I recently did a live event with a local band my wife and I enjoy in Florida.  I simply went onto MeerKat and clicked on my app and started sharing NightFly (the band) on Meerkat from Sebastian Inlet and there they were.  Within 45 minutes, we had 97 followers.  Pretty cool huh?

So let us talk about MeerKat.  What is this new app?  Meerkat came out several months ago as a video live app that integrates with Twitter.  You do need a Twitter account to make it work.  When you click on your web cam or cell phone cam  and go with Meerkat, you have created a live event.  People who follow you via Twitter will more than likely ask you questions like where are you, what is this event you are covering or  and so on.  If you are covering the event via your cell phone with no other resource, it is kind of hard to respond to your followers.  If you are doing an event from your laptop in your home or some other place then  yea, you can text back or type back to your followers.  It is always good to respond back to people who are following you in real time if  you can.  In my situation, I just said live on the mic on my cell phone, I was not in the position to answer any questions or Twitter questions due the fact that I was using my cell phone for the broadcast in  1080p.

MeerKat has now moved on to Facebook with the ability of brands  to link to Facebook for their live streams.  The only difference is that Twitter is in real-time  where Facebook is not.  Also MeerKat recently added Camo where your friends can take over your live feed if they wish.  This feature allows your friends to build upon whatever you are broadcasting  Cameo is already being used by big time broadcasters such as the Weather Channel , TMZ, Fox and the CW Channel.  Pretty cool huh?  .    If you have not downloaded this free app yet, you are missing out. Get MeerKat now!

Posted by: Floridadude | June 24, 2015

Getting The Media To Pay Attention To Your Business

So do you ever ask yourself how does my competitor get his business on radio, TV, or in the newspaper without paying for it? They do it with building relationships and offer a story that is interesting and not all about them.  Many SMB’s do not have a huge marketing firm promoting them and sending out press releases every day.  They get in the news by being relevant to a current event or subject and they just happen to put themselves in the limelight by making themselves available and knowing who is who in the local media.  So when something comes up like a new gadget or an appliance, you get those nice little “According to Joe Blow at Joe’s appliance shop, he states this product will be great and should be available in his store soon!”  And he did not pay a dime for that free tag.  So how do you get that free plug yourself?

Target media outlets and local journalists.  Know who they are. Read, listen, or watch their pieces they put out. Make a nice comment about it.  If you see them in person, introduce yourself in a non intrusive way.  They don’t bite and most are not above themselves to want to say hi.  I also suggest you use your own social media platforms such as your business Facebook or Twitter Account to introduce yourself and your business.  Media folks often will search these platforms looking for leads and story ideas.  Use your content marketing.  Using your web site or blogging platform also helps increase your visibility to media.  When they want a local expert or knowledgeable  authority on a subject, they will turn to bloggers or businesses who have content out there for help.  My last point is to mix up your information.  Do not always rely on formatted press releases.  Send a personal note or story idea to each of your contacts.  It makes you look like you personally sought them out to tell them of your media event or story idea.  Do not sell yourself or your business.  Sell your knowledge of the subject and the rest will come together.

Posted by: Floridadude | June 6, 2015

Social Media and Small Business. It is A Must!

Small Business Owners know social media is important in the way their customers interact today.  Many say they just don’t have the time or understand it all.  Oh sure they may have a Facebook page or have their face on Linkedin but what you do with that and the others you are missing out on is so important.  You have to take the time to interact and you have to take the time to update and post content otherwise why are you even doing it?  Is it staffing?  Do you think it because it is free it takes care of itself?  Do you feel you just don’t have the time?   Do you think your web site is enough?  Bottom line is if you don’t update or refresh, nobody will visit.  Plain and simple.  If you took the time to put in analytics, those within itself should be telling you something if you are taking the time to at least review the data.

 

So now that you feel that I am scolding you, the good news.  There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Take time to schedule.  Read my other posts about Hoot Suite or other auto programmers for your social media.  Plan 30 minutes when you come home to post content about you as a person or your business.  Post content related to your business.  Make it interactive. Make your customers ask questions and take time to respond.  It makes you personable.  Consider Google ads or FB ads.  Consider video drop-ins.  All are very inexpensive and you are charged by the click. Oh yes those other social media platforms.  Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and many others are fast becoming business friendly and now accepting digital advertising.  Why? Because their popularity is skyrocketing. Because digital media is fast becoming the social placement of Millennium’s and they are the ones with money to spend and are very social conscience.  Get on the bandwagon!

Posted by: Floridadude | May 13, 2015

Your Business On Instagram? Yes!

With today’s social media strategies, more and more people are turning to Instagram.  Why?  digital video and followers.  Instagram is hot right now.  Quick videos, posts, tie in to Facebook, it all adds up.  So are businesses using Instagram?  Absolutely!  But you need to pay attention to how you use Instagram to brand your business.  I will say that if you use Instagram on a business platform, it is probably going to take a dedicated team member or a professional social media consultant to engage your base.  Instagram is as says is “instant” or on demand marketing. You need to be ready to engage, respond, and follow through.  Having said that, here are some tips to use Instagram for your marketing strategy.

  • Use good clean photos or videos.  The videos can be from your cell phone but make sure they reflect your business and not some silly selfie of  you or “stunt”.
  • Tell a story of your marketing idea or brand.
  • Be yourself and be natural.  Don’t try to be that ridiculous used car salesman!
  • Engage and respond to your followers on Instagram and use # ( hashtags) to expand your band
  • Start Conversations! Talk about Who, What, and Why
  • Make a Call to Action.  Do things like Call now, respond to this promotional code, Share My post, make your followers do  something!
  • You can tag a follower and they actually do not have to be following you. If you tag a particular person, just use the @ symbol and their name.

I hope these points help you understand a bit about Instagram and its powerful platform.  Fortune 500 companies to small SMBs have turned to Instagram to get their brand out.  Now it is your turn. Use the video feature, engage your base, and use the hashtags!  Good luck with Instagram.

 

 

Oh those hard to reach teens.  Always switching it up.  Always using the coolest and latest technology to stay in touch with their friends.  Always shopping and looking for the latest trendy items.  What is a marketer to do?  Well if it helps, try Instagram!  A recent study done by Pew Research Center over 50% of teens in the US are using Instagram.  Facebook contrary to popular belief, is still used the most by older teens at over 70%.  This is good news for advertisers as they already have begun to gear their enormous advertising budgets toward digital media including Instagram.  In case you are still living in the dark ages, Instagram allows posting of video and photos which followers just like with Facebook, can like or make comments.  Female teens tend to use Instagram more than the guys but still, this is a gold mine for marketers and brands.

Instagram is a free app to download on smart phones and in this mobile society on the go you want to make sure your brand is being seen.  Using short video blurbs or images to capture those hungry teens looking for a great deal or to share their finds with their friends, marketing on Instagram is a no-brainer. Age ranges are typically between 12 to 17 but the catch is the average household income among Instagram users is over 70K.  (Defy Media) In 2015, expect over 15.5 million Instagram users in the teen bracket.    So what are you waiting for?  Got something to promote, sell, or engage teens with?  Better get on Instagram!

Posted by: Floridadude | April 8, 2015

Social Media and Getting Those Leads For Your Business!

We all want leads for our business.  Who Doesn’t?  Getting those leads however can be painstaking.  Using the information from your social media platforms is key to getting leads. Some keys to  building a good base profile.  Here are some tips to have that good base to get people to interact with you and thus you can start to pull good leads.

Brand. Make sure you have a good brand for your business.  Keep your branding image the same for all of your social media outlets including your website.

Posting Schedule.  Keep your posting of content consistent as your audience expects to see it at a certain time.  Don’t make them hunt and guess when you will be posting content.

Content.  As mentioned above, keep your content in line with your business and do not make it about you.  Keep it fresh.

Listen.  Your leads come from interaction.  Make your content to create feedback and allow that feedback.  Create conversation!

Now that you have a source for leads in social media, you need tools to capture and find, engage, and source.  There are many out there and yes, most do charge a fee to use them based on what leads you “win” over and create business with.  If you create prospects, most will charge you for it.  Most are reasonable.  Here are a few.

Colabo  gets you in front of leads by using key word searching you use and they charge based on the number of leads you find.  Another one is Chirpify .  It works very similar but is geared to more enterprise business.  The good thing about Chirpify  is it is mobile friendly as well.  If you use Twitter and Linkedin a lot then may I suggest Socedo.  Again you use your keywords about your business and through their automated messages you find your leads and you can engage quickly.  Socedo also gives you a free trial run.  Check them all out and see what works for you.  Good luck with getting leads and growing your business!

Posted by: Floridadude | March 26, 2015

Marketing Your Business The Right Way!

There are several key points to marketing your business so you have an effective and productive return on your investment.  In the world of social media  and digital interaction, one must be ready to jump the hoops and know how to reach their masses.  Here are some key points to consider to get that ROI of your advertising and marketing dollars.

1.  Social Media Management

With all the platforms out there you need to be able to control and mange your message to your masses.  Have a automation and leverage tool like Hootsuite or similar platform to help run your campaign.  Tying to do it all on your own is time-consuming, non productive, and worse, opening yourself up to errors.

2.  Content

In the world of content marketing, how much knowledge and leverage can you generate to keep your customers and audience happy?  To keep your content fresh, turn to your vendors or distributors for free content of subject matter you represent in your products or services.  Managing your content can make or break your marketing plan.  Keep it fresh, relevant and interactive.

3.  Know Your Competitors

If you are not up on your competition and aware of what and how they reach the very customers you also need then you are in trouble.  Be aware of how they market by checking out their web sites, their social media scheme, and advertising.  If you don’t have the time, engage a third-party application such as TrackMaven or similar tool to help you stay on top.

4.  Lead Generation

I am at times, not a big fan of some lead generation tools due to the fact that the very information they claim to have is outdated before they get it.  They deal with outdated data themselves and when passed down to you your time is wasted.  This is not to say all lead generation marketing is bad.  I am saying make sure the data or leads you get fit your verticals you are trying to reach.   3rd party lead generation  platforms and companies that are good get you current information with appointment setting capabilities which should convert to face to face business opportunities.  For what you have to pay for the services make sure they work for you and not against.

Stay fresh and market your business with goals!

Posted by: Floridadude | March 13, 2015

Get Your Content Out There!

Marketing for SMB’s is tough.  No question about it. You don’t have the budget of those “Big Boys” but you know what you want to do.  So How do you promote?  Think outside the box.  That is what you do.  I have some tips that may just help you.  Granted, not all may fit your particular situation but consider it guidelines if you will.  The best news is it costs you little to nothing to get your content out there.

1.  Make your content  exciting and downloadable.  Spreading the brand is the best brand

2.  Allow others who are knowledgeable in your field of business or brands that you sell be “guest bloggers”  (tap your distributors or area sales reps to do this)

3.  Use images or videos on your content.

4.  Tap your social media platforms.  (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and don’t forget those video platforms such as Vine, YouTube, or Instagram

5. Make your content about your brand or your profession.  Not about you.  Make the topic interactive and engage your readers.

 

With these tips, your content marketing campaign will soar!

-Roy

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