3 Questions to ask before Launching a Marketing Campaign

Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs

Launching a content marketing and digital marketing campaign is a big investment of time and resources. Before launching a campaign there are a lot of things to consider. Here are three questions that digital and content marketers should be able to answer before launching a campaign.

According to Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs fewer than 33% of B2B Marketers who use these tactics seen in the infographic said these tactics will be successful to their Overall Content Marketing success.

Before jumping in it is important to study what type of Marketing works in your industry. The one size fits all Marketing Campaigns of the past are over. Below are three questions to ask before starting a Marketing campaign.

1.What are the best ways to market to my industry?

The best ways to market to your industry is through offerings such as whitepapers, industry events, Social Media/Content Marketing and through direct selling. As there is no single best way, all of these methods need to be integrated together and function as a synergy. The Sales and Marketing functions need to be aligned and support one other in order for any marketing effort to be successful.

Becoming a part of your industry community is one of the best ways to market to them. This can be achieved by becoming a trusted advisor. Earning the trust of the community can be achieved by demonstrating your value and becoming a resource they the turn to all of the time not just when they have a need. Understanding the pain points of this group is critical to creating and implementing the best solutions to solve their problems.

2. How you would repurpose/rewrite/market to increase readership?

In order to increase readership, I would create accounts on other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Slideshare. Before content can be repurposed, you need to establish channels to share the content beyond a blog and LinkedIn in order for it to reach a broader audience.

Rewriting/Repurposing

The first thing I would do is to change the title in the form of a question. This way it invites the audience to weigh in. I would also ask a question at the end of the article.

A great call to action would be: feel free to comment, or asking a question of the reader at the end of the post. By having a call to action to comment, readers are more likely to start a discussion and share the content. It is important to talk with your audience and not at them.

Another, thing that I would add is an about the author section at the bottom of each post. This is another great way to showcase the author’s expertise and incorporate a call to action such as see how we can help or click here to sign up for a free demo.

Repurposing Formats

The contents of the article can be put into different formats such as a PowerPoint, a YouTube video all of which can be uploaded to Slideshare. The article can be published to LinkedIn’s publishing platform as well. The article can also be written and have presentations and videos embedded in the article itself. There are endless ways to repurpose content.

3. Imagine you could speak to a current customer. What would you want to ask them? How would you use their responses to market my product?

I would want to ask current customers the following questions:

1.Why did you chose my product?

2.What do you like about the product?

3.What do you dislike about the product?

4.Is it easy to use?

5.How long did it take to put the product to work?

6.Would you be willing to provide a testimonial in writing, on video about how the product helped your business, speak at an event?

(Questions may differ based on the user’s answers.)

I would take the information from questions to 1-5 and discuss them with the product manager and engineer to see how the product could be made better. Testimonials obtained would be uploaded to the website and integrated into product literature.

What questions are you asking before starting a Marketing Campaign?

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include Start Ups, Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content and Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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WordPress & Tumblr 101: Writing & Publishing an Engaging Blog Article

WordPress & Tumblr are great publishing platforms where users can create customized & branded content which includes domain names. For tips on setting up a blog click here.

Today I am going to focus on how to write & publish a killer blog article on these platforms.

image via singlehop.com

When writing a blog article, your goals are to:

1. Educate & inform readers about your products & expertise

2. Engage your readers & build an audience

Let’s examine the features of a WordPress & Tumblr blog.

The Structure of the Blog Article 

 Title

The platform provides a place for a title.

Tool Bar

Underneath the title, there is a tool bar similar to one you would see in Microsoft word that allows writers to use headings, Bold, Italics, underline, center, bullet pints and numerical lists. Users can also use the tool bar to insert links, images, and videos. (tumblr users need to click the button on the side of the blog platform for the tool bar to appear.)

Body

Next, is the body of the platform where users can write the body of their content and lastly there is the SEO tags.

Pictures/Images

Users can also upload an image at through out their article, Bloggers should  credit their image source whenever possible.

Writing on WordPress & tumblr

Now that we have described the inner workings of the the WordPress & tumblr blog, let’s describe how to write compelling posts.

Now you might be asking what topics should write about?

Popular topics are as follows:

1. Your insights on trends in your industry.

2. Case Studies

3. Topics in the News

4. How to articles that teach readers how to do something.

5. How you learned from failures and adversities.

6. Questions & Answers

The Body of your Post

Once you have chosen your topic you are ready to start writing. You must create a thesis which is the claims that you are making. This should be followed up with three to four paragraphs that prove your thesis, claim and assertion. Paragraphs should be 4 to 6 sentences when possible.

Within these paragraphs, you should use headings and  sub headings along with bullet points so your text is easy to read. The text should be visually appealing  to the reader.

In terms, of how long your post should be it is up to you. There is no set length, rather your post should be long enough to prove out your thesis, assertion and claim.

Title

Your title should reflect what the topic that you are writing about while being engaging to readers. Most people just skim the headlines as they are bombarded with content, in other words you have just seconds to catch their attention.

Popular titles include:

1. How to’s,

2. lists ex 7 ways to _______

3 A question.

4. Why ________

SEO tags Keywords

Make sure to pick keywords that reflect your topic and match the title and content

Images

Make sure when you upload images that reflect what your post is about.

Video’s/embeds

To enhance your text, you can embed videos and presentations from Slideshare & YouTube. This can be a strategy to re-purpose existing content.

Calls to action

Make sure that your posts have a call to action at the end. In other words, what action do you want your reader to take as a result of reading your post.

Sharing

You can share your post in the following ways:

1. On LinkedIn through a status update, your LinkedIn groups & messages.

2. Through the Social Sharing buttons that include LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ & Twitter.

3. Through links

4. Ask questions of the reader that encourage them to comment and start a discussion.

This is how to write a blog post on WordPress & tumblr that engages readers & builds an audience.

What strategies do you use to write a blog post?

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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How to Create & Execute a Content Marketing Strategy for Lead & Demand Generation

Content Marketing is a great way to connect and engage with potential customers. Only through thoughtful connecting and engagement with others will you be able to obtain quality leads and create demand for your products.

Making people want to connect with you on Social Networks is the key to uncovering any needs they may have. A great place to start is to write and create content that informs people on how they can use something or how they can fix an issue that they are having. This has the effect of offering a value message to potential customers because you are showing them what you can do to help. In essence this is your digital portfolio. Just as in the offline world, when you are trying to acquire new customers part of your strategy is to show samples of your work and what you have to offer.

Now this might sound like a lot. To start, try writing comments on blogs that you think are interesting. This is a great place to get comfortable sharing your insights in the digital world. Once you write a comment, make sure to follow up and respond to any replies as this will help get a conversation going. Make sure that you share the blog that you commented on so your insights can reach others. You can do this with articles on LinkedIn as well.

LinkedIn

image via amazonaws.com

As you start to build up your confidence to write, you will start to realize that you possess a lot of knowledge about your industry and business that you can share with others. However, if you are not ready to start writing blogs on a regular basis you can start by sharing thoughts on LinkedIn by using the LinkedIn long form.

The LinkedIn long form is a publishing platform that allows users to publish blog articles and share them with LinkedIn users. The long form can also be shared on other networks like Twitter & Facebook through the Social Sharing buttons. You can also share the URL on sites like Google+.

Using the LinkedIn publishing platform is a great way to generate leads because you can quickly share your thoughts and insights that demonstrate the value to connections. Your articles will also make people want to connect. People will start to send you invitations to join their network and send you messages asking to learn more about you. Once you have the interest of the people, you can tell them about what you have to offer.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is a great first step to creating your own blog. However, if you want to build up a following on other networks, you will need to build a website, and create blogs on sites like WordPress , tumblr & blogger. I use WordPress, tumblr, and the LinkedIn publishing platform.

Image via zanderchance.com

WordPress & tumblr

Writing a blog is great way to share your ideas and market your expertise in an area. I began blogging back in November 2011. Blogging had connected me with so many great people around the globe. I began publishing on the WordPress platform. Recently, I began cross publishing my blog on tumblr.

WordPress

The first thing that you need to do is to register on the site. You will have the option to create either a wordpress.com address or a custom domain name. I suggest that you pick a custom domain name because your blog will come up better in search results. WordPress gives you a choice of web suffixes to choose from, for example .com, .me etc. I chose the address http://dangalante.me. If you decide to change the address after you set up the blog that is ok. The wordpress.com address will automatically be directed to your new address.

It is important to note that you will have to buy the domain name if you want your own. Hosting is inexpensive and should cost about $25 per year at most depending on the name you choose. The investment is well worth it because this will give your blog its own brand identity.

Once you register, you will see WordPress’s default theme. Click on the appearance tab and browse the free and premium themes that are available. You can then choose the one that you would like to install.

Now you are ready to write a post.

To do this click, on the new post tab. A window will pop up. Here you will find tools to write and edit your post. When you are ready to post, just click publish and you are ready to go.

tumblr

Like WordPress, you will have to register on tumblr to set up your blog. I have provided the link to the registration page. If you land on the home page, just click on the sign up button.

Once you have signed up, you will be prompted to create a web address. You will notice that the only address you could create is a tumblr.com address. Tumblr does not support or partner with site hosting companies. In other words, you will need to find a third party host on your own. I purchased a domain name from Yola.com . The name I purchased is http://askdangalante.com .

Once I secured the name, I had to point the address to the Tumblr servers. (Tumblr provides the specific address and exactly what CNAME or A-Records need to be changed. Here is the link. You will know if this is correct if your address redirects to Tumblr and it say page not found.

You can test your domain address in the box under your tumblr address in the blog settings. Your address will not link to the site right away. It took 24 hours; although it can take up to 72.

Now you can click on the customized theme and browse through the free and premium themes. Pick a theme and now you are ready to post. To post, click on the text tab which is located underneath the Dashboard tab. You will see a window where you can copy, paste, write and edit your posts. When you are done, just click the publish button.

Now you have your all of this content. How do you track your progress? To do this you will need to set up analytics. LinkedIn provides this for the long form and WordPress does this. However for your own blog on tumblr and a custom website you will need to use a site like Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

 image via adventuretravelnews.com

Google Analytics is a great way to monitor your efforts online. It allows you to see how many people are visiting your site, the duration of their visit, what content they are looking at and from what network. You can also see what country they are from. Another thing you could do is to set custom goals to check for certain things. The site allows you to measure the amount of traffic that comes from social networks. To access this, just click under the social tab under traffic sources. Google Analytics also lets you track your Adwords campaigns. I use Google Analytics for my website and tumblr blog.

How to setup Google analytics for your website and blog. The first thing that you will need to get started is a Gmail account. Now with your Gmail account, go to the Google Analytics website. You will need to click the create an account button. Next you will be asked to login to you Gmail account. You will then be asked to create a profile and add the website URL that you want to track. You can also provide your time zone. Once you provide this, the site will provide you with a tracking code. Next, you will need to copy and paste this into the html section of each page of your website or blog. If you have done this correctly, you will see that the tracking code is installed.

You will start to see statistics about your visitors within a few hours. It is important to note that you cannot use Google Analytics with WordPress.com. WordPress provides users with a set of analytics.

I have also included a video tutorial via http://www.brilliantbusinessadvice.com/

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up,Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the  company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publish a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How Tech is Disrupting Marketing

disrupt image via bizdom.com

The goal of marketing is to help drive products sales. However, we cannot blindly follow the model of marketing & advertising of the 1960’s. Today, consumers have more access to more information than ever before. As a result, Marketers and brands do not control the conversation like they once did. Hitting consumers with ads through television and print and even online does not have the power that they once did. Consumers are being bombarded with messages like never before. As a result, their attention span is being diminished; meaning that unless your message is highly engaging and valuable to the needs of the consumer; it is likely to be ignored.

Traditional marketing is being disrupted by technology. The technology comes in the form of the internet, mobile, social media channels, publishing platforms, audio books and video on demand. All of these channels have the effect of giving consumers instant access to information. As a result, consumers are looking to brands not to sell their products through traditional marketing and advertising but to provide answers to their questions. In other words, brands have to provide a value message and earn consumer trust to get them to buy.

This marketing disruption is known as information marketing through content or simply content marketing. As a result, Marketers and brands have to become the educators or teachers of consumers. To become the educators of consumers brands have to become the industry resource  to consumers; showing how their products can solve problems and improve the lives of consumers.

Brands can do this by using an information marketing strategy. This can be done through creating custom digital and print properties that answer questions in that consumers have. Information marketing or content marketing  has to provide answers to consumers and should not be a flat out sales pitch.

During my time in Outside Sales in the dental industry, I didn’t sell dental products, I educated and taught my customers about the products I sold along with those of my competitors. In other words, I served as an industry resource to my customers, helping them buy my products that would be a fit. If my products were not be a good fit, I would not force the sales; I would suggest other products. This is what helped me keep my credibility; allowing me to earn future business.  As a classroom Teacher, I used the same strategy, when students had questions and when parents would ask me about what resources could help their children learn better.

As I make the transition, into digital and content marketing I provide consumers with information through content creation and advice.

Today, brands and marketers need to serve as industry resources for their consumers, educating them on what products would be best for them. This can be achieved through information marketing through content or content marketing. As you can see, marketing is being disrupted by technology into information marketing or content marketing. For brands to keep up their product sales, they will need to rise to the occasion and meet the needs of today’s consumer.

How has technology disrupted your Marketing strategy?

Want to learn more about the rise of Content Marketing? View this documentary from The Content Marketing Institute.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up,Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the  company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How LinkedIn can increase its Revenue from Pulse users

How LinkedIn can increase its user Revenue from Pulse

image via http://vpngni.s3.amazonaws.com

LinkedIn’s long form publishing is a great resource for users of the platform. Users can upload, pictures, videos and share links in their posts. Members can also add up to three tags for SEO purposes. The long form offers the blogging  functionality of other platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, tumblr & Medium.

However, the link addresses assigned to the long posts are very long; each user profile is assigned a specific number. Here is the opportunity for LinkedIn to raise more revenue from users. LinkedIn should allow users to buy a custom url or domain. This way users can brand the content they publish on the platform.

Letting users have a custom domain name based on LinkedIn will allow the platforms to compete with other blogging platforms. This will come in handy when sharing the content on other social networks because the content branding will be improved.

Custom domains on LinkedIn is the next step for the platform to become a full blogging site.

Would you purchase a custom domain or url for your content from LinkedIn?

Feel free to comment and share your ideas.

Build your Brand with a Blog

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource.

Popular blog posts formats are: How to’s, book reviews, interviews, analysis of trends in your industry and best of’s. I was approached by many people as a result of my blog. Now you are asking the question, “How did you get the idea to blog?”

I decided to write a blog while working on an assignment in the education field. This assignment required me get other people to work on their writing. One of the prompts I used asked the question, “What do you know a lot about?”

Make a list of topics, choose one and write a research paper on this topic.

This writing prompt made me think about the topics that I knew a lot about. The topics were Sales, Marketing, and Social Media. As a result, I decided to put my thoughts on these topics in writing.  I launched Dan Galante’s Sales and Marketing blog in November 2011.

A blog is very easy to set up. The major blogging platforms are WordPress and tumblr. Both sites allow users to register for free. If you want to choose a custom domain name there is a fee. WordPress directly offers domain names for sale on their site. With tumblr, you will need to go to an outside provider and redirect the site to tumblr.

The WordPress and tumblr platforms have many features of Facebook and Twitter. You can re-blog an article. Re-blogging is sharing someone else’s content on your blog; similar to a retweet. Your fellow bloggers can also like your post and comment on it, similar to Facebook.  These features are great for engagement. Articles can be tagged with relevant terms. You can then search out these terms to see all posts on that topic. This is similar to a hashtag on Twitter or SEO.

WordPress and tumblr allows bloggers to share articles on various social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. You can use badges and plugins from your social networks to build a following and community. I have used this method to expand readership.

Guest blogging and syndication is another way to share your content. I am now syndicated on The Strategic HR blog.

Once you decide to start blogging, stick with it and publish quality content. Try to set up a writing schedule to maintain consistency. I shoot for once a week.

Blogging is a great way to get your message out. This is how you can build your brand with a blog.

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