Simply Friday

Business & Marketing Strategy

We Can Train You - Can You Train Yourself?

Sure – there’s no point in having a Ferrari if you can’t drive stick – but imagine owning one of these classic race cars and having the skills of Mario Andretti...

and then completely ignoring it!

This is the trap that the majority of business owners fall into when they start a content marketing strategy.

“Bike-Riding” Information

Content marketing isn’t terribly difficult to learn – it’s like riding a bike – once you know how to do it you can’t really forget.  Yes you should title your content properly and add the right tags but really, it is more about what you produce than what you do with it.  The trick with content marketing is to create something that your customers are going to love:  is it unique, is it relevant and interesting, does it solve a customer’s problem, is it funny or accessible – is it worth creating?

Technology Makes Learning Easy

Do you remember the first time you used a word processor?  Probably not – neither do we – but we’re sure it looked pretty complicated until we got used to it.  We find that most clients like to learn visually in that, they like to look at the screens and ask questions – Skype is the perfect tool for this.  You can be a continent away and we can share the same screen and talk about which bits do what and how they work.

We back up these Skype sessions by making quick 5 minute screen casts specifically for your business that you can refer to if you do forget something.

The Number 1 Lesson We Have Learned

Everybody understands the power of content marketing, everybody starts out with good intentions but the vast majority of people fail to keep up their content marketing strategy because….

Nobody has the time.

Life Coach?

We can give you the knowledge you need to implement an effective content marketing strategy, we can quickly train you on how to use the tools to publish and distribute your content, yet unless you commit to it and in doing so, change your behavior during the working week, then you will fail.

We’re not recommending that you go out and hire the nearest Life Coach, what we’re saying is that, as part of your training, you have to look beyond taking on new skills and at how you will train yourself to use them.  That is the key to content marketing success.

Image Credit: Ferrari F430 in Madrid, HDR by markp_dmoz on Flickr

Social Media – If it hasn’t changed you – You’re doing it wrong

2007 doesn’t seem too long ago does it?

The fairly unanimous business argument back then was that Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, even blogging - was a narcissistic waste of time with no measureable return on investment.  Jump forward three years to half a billion people on Facebook and Twitter at 175 million strong, the sound of businesses scrambling to get up to speed is almost deafening.

It’s about Change

What most businesses we speak to don’t initially get is that the culture of society has fundamentally changed.  The way that people receive information has radically shifted in the last twenty years and that change has accelerated in the last 5.

It’s about Marketing

Businesses adapt their processes as new technologies come along – the arrival of economically viable robotics fundamentally changed the manufacturing industry.  Does it not make sense then that the arrival of practically zero cost distribution would change the marketing world?  If you are trying to incorporate Social Media marketing as if it was another process that you need to fit into your already busy schedule then you will fail

It’s about Now

There are no lead times in Social Media; content is published immediately and reacted upon within seconds.  It’s not about spending days working on copy for an ad that will be published once and read by millions, it’s about publishing a hundred times to a hundred different people with different copy every time and then reacting to their direct responses.

It’s about Bullshit

Western culture is so immersed in media that we are all experts.  We’ve had marketing speak rammed down our throats for so long that any whiff of corporate messaging is quickly relegated to the spam bin and your brand is weakened.  To sustain a Social Media campaign you have to be yourself, you have to know your product and service inside out, the person operating the Twitter account, the Facebook wall, writing the blog posts, has to know and love your company, anything less and your customers will call you on it.

It’s about Time

For those business owners who know every inch of their company and every employee personally – a Social Media marketing campaign should change your life!  If you have a dedicated marketing resource in house, how they spend their working week should look radically different now than it did three years ago.    Think about those robots on the assembly line and how manufacturing companies were able to grow faster and more efficiently once they managed the change.

It’s about You

This is all so very new and from what we can see there are no cookie cutter solutions.  There are tools that make this easier, there are protocols and best practices that can enhance your actions, but ultimately it comes down to you and your business.  If you’re ready to join this brave new world, call us, we’d be happy to talk with you.

Image Credit: Car Manufacturing Robotic Arms by razvan.orendovici on Flickr

Content – Are You Sure You Can Handle It?

I WANT YOU to write blog posts! by Search INfluence on Flickr

You get it!

Adding quality content to your website is the best way of moving up through the search engines – whether it’s text, video, audio, images – whatever – so long as it is relevant and interesting – the more new content you add the more likely it is that people are going to talk about you.

So why do the vast majority of people find it so hard to actually follow through and do this?

Producing Quality Content Takes Time

The majority of our clients are small to medium size businesses – if you’ve got less than ten employees it’s unlikely that you have the budget for a dedicated online marketer – so – whose job is it to write the copy for the website?

We can guarantee that the person with Marketing in their title is rushed off their feet with traditional channels - the longer term ROI of online / social media marketing just doesn’t stack up in the short term; phone a client or write a blog post – guess which one loses?

Writing Quality Content is a Skill

We’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating: just because you watch House religiously doesn’t mean you can diagnose your own illness and a passion for the Practice doesn’t make you a lawyer. Sure you’ve been writing most of your life but it doesn’t mean you’re any good at it.

Writing for the web is different than writing a letter or an essay or even a marketing brochure – there is a structure and an underlying logic to writing a blog post – it isn’t hard to learn but like the professions above, you have to practice it to get good.

Setting Yourself Up to Fail

As a small business owner myself I think the reason people struggle with producing copy is that they don’t allocate a significant value to it. Because they’re smart and capable individuals they look at the act of producing web copy and assume that they can do it themselves - why pay someone for something that you’ve been doing since you were three?

Of course what happens next is that life gets busy, time gets short and if they do actually allocate time to write they suddenly find that it’s hard to convey what they want in an interesting way. Be honest – if you have ten things to do – which do you do first – the ones you know how to do or the ones you have to work at?

Outsource the Writing of Content

We’re working with a couple of different clients who have some copy for their sites but need it optimized for SEO – keyword phrases researched, text tweaked, re-presented and organized. Good copywriters can charge anywhere from $35 an hour up to the $100+ - we tend to work with people in the $50 to $75 an hour range and are delighted with the quality we receive.

If you can establish a relationship with a writer who over time gets to know your business – where you can have a 15 minute Skype conversation with them where you relate the idea of what you want to get across – maybe provide a couple of links to sites – have them produce the copy, tag it and then post it to your site – how much is that worth to you?

This of course has sparked the idea for the next post – which will talk about online marketing spends shifting – I wonder what companies are doing with the hundreds of dollars a month they were spending on “SEO” – link building, multiple sites, etc – do you think they’re now spending it on copywriting?

Image Credit: I WANT YOU to write blog posts! by Search INfluence on Flickr

No point in having a Ferrari if you can’t drive a stick!

Having an integrated digital footprint is not enough; you have to know how to use it: how to add content, what type of content to add, what tools to use to track responses and so on.

Most successful business owners are used to learning new skills and fortunately none of this is rocket science.  A few hours initially to understand the concepts followed by an hour a week for the next month is normally all it takes.

Kilted Chaos will work with you to identify the best place to start; we use one on one Skype training supplemented by client specific screen casts that you can refer to later.  Training is built around you and your business.

Contact us and learn how to get more out of your own time.

Your Customers are using Social Media right now, you should be too.

Networks like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are great places for you to talk about your business and create relationships. 

Unlike traditional campaigns, effective Social Media marketing requires interaction; it is the ability to respond to individual people that makes the whole thing Social.  This means that although some elements of a Social Media campaign can be outsourced, by far the best way to manage Social Media marketing is in-house.

Kilted Chaos works with you to develop an overall online marketing strategy that starts with your website and identifies what parts of the social media world are going to deliver the best results.

Contact us to see how Social Media can benefit your business

Are you Doing SEO?

What - you mean as in "Am I doing Angelina Jolie?"
Seriously - this was the question I was asked by a list provider recently as he got to the part of the script where he listed the benefits of their list service. If anyone asks you if you are doing SEO - run - 'cos clearly they have no idea what they are talking about!

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