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5 Actionable Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

As we wrap up 2014, now is a prime time to look back at what successes we’ve had at work and where we may have room for improvement.  Many business leaders are projecting the next year’s potential growth along with strategies to increase business development.  While there are many known general methods to market a business, here is a list of 5 very specific actions you MUST take to stay ahead of the curve in 2015.

5 Specific Marketing Action Steps to Take in 2015:

marketing trends 20151. Use Facebook “custom audiences” for ads. Facebook has recently launched a new way to target your ads to your current contact lists.  You can import emails or phone numbers in the audience tab in ‘ads manager’.  Then when you create the ad, you can choose that custom group to show it to. 

Why it works: With Facebook targeting options you can narrow your ads even more by age, location, and interests.  This will increase click-through’s substantially as well as provide you with more options such as Facebook offers, deals and more to present to your interested lists that you could not otherwise through email. 

2. Build your personal brand on LinkedIn. Since rolling out the ability to post blogs and articles directly on the LinkedIn platform, many savvy leaders have begun to leverage their knowledge and expertise to further their personal and business brand awareness. Make sure your profile is updated and start planning the types of posts you can contribute on the largest business networking social media site. 

Why it works: When you post quality content on LinkedIn, you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build yourself a positive reputation with potential customers or referral sources.

3. Get on Google My Business. Google+ has been slowly creeping up on Facebook as the second largest social networking site since it launched in 2011. Google provides you with the platform to create a personal identity along with a business page, locations for your company and it all gets tied together under Google My Business.

Why it works: Having all these elements updated and posting relevant information to your page can actually help you rank higher!

4. Brand your visuals for Pinterest. Pinterest currently has 70 million users and that number is growing by the minute. People pin articles, blogs, websites, recipes, shopping, lifestyle dreams and work ideas onto their boards, and the one thing they see when searching the site is the visual associated with the content. Make sure that each piece of collateral you produce is branded well and also includes a quick catchy title.

Why it works: By placing your logo on all your visuals, you are expanding your reach to each and every person that searches for that topic on Pinterest.  When you place a CTA title on the visual, it will increase the clicks and provide viewers with a sense of motivation to read more.

5. Re-purpose your blogs. Pick 5 of your most popular 2014 blogs and expand on them.  Take those blogs and create a “part 2” for each. Or turn one into into a whitepaper or e-book. 

Why it works: By re-purposing your successful content that you already know is popular, highly searched for and engageable, you can collect leads and take potential customers further down your funnel.

2015 will bring us many new opportunities to build our audiences and see marketing success.  Which of these actions do you plan to implement into your strategy?

 

5 Reasons to Hire A Digital Marketing Consultant

You may have your own in-house team of talented marketers, or you perhaps you are on the fence about hiring a full-time employee to take on your marketing needs.  Regardless of where your company stands with it’s marketing strategies, your business can always benefit by bringing in a digital marketing consultant.

Below are 5 key reasons you should consider hiring a marketing consultant:

1. Digital Marketing Consultants stay on top of the latest trends in the marketing world.5 reasons to hire a marketing consultant

A digital marketing consultant NEEDS to know exactly what the newest and greatest strategies are in order to stay in business themselves. Consultants make sure to continuously educate themselves by attending webinars, expos, conferences and networking events. The greatest part is that the consultant does this all at his/her own expense, not on your company’s dime.

2. Digital Marketing Consultants have great insight from working with  other companies and multiple industries.

This is one of the most motivating reasons, if not- the most important reason to hire a consultant.  A successful digital marketing strategist or consultant works with an array of clients.  When a specific campaign is successful with one client, the consultant will likely implement it with all other clients where deemed appropriate. Consultants will also use his/her positive experiences with other business’s marketing platforms (pros/cons of email platforms, tracking software, lead generation systems etc.) to bring to your company as recommendations.  It is this type of constant exposure to other options that sets a consultant apart from a full time employee.

3. Digital Marketing Consultants give you what you pay for… and then    some.

Unlike a full-time employee, a consultant only gets paid for actual work produced. Great consultants work hard until the job, campaign or project is complete, which in most instances means quicker turn around time.  Consultants also have great resources of marketing experts. Need a web developer? Looking for a graphic designer? Marketing Consultants likely have a plethora of names to refer.

4. Digital Marketing Consultants have a fresh take on your company.

Let’s face it, things get stale. Even the greatest content developers hit a wall at some point.  Bringing in a consultant will also bring in fresh ideas.  Digital Marketing Consultants also often pick up on areas that can be improved that have been a part of the strategy for so long, no one else even gave it a second thought. A consultant can also work as an additional asset to your marketing team.  Many companies are confined by time and resources.  It can never hurt to bring on an expert to help loosen those restraints on the team.

5. Digital Marketing Consultants can connect you to other clients.

Building your network also builds your company. Many inbound marketing strategists/consultants will connect clients to cross-promote events, guest blog for one another, send targeted emails to segregated lists and feature each other’s products on social media.  This is a great way to expand customer reach and gain greater exposure.

To see if you business would benefit from a digital marketing consultant, contact us here.

7 Qualifications To Seek In An Online Community Manager | The Hiring Guide

The position and title of “Online Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Online Marketer etc.” is fairly new to many companies.  If you are striving to take your company to the next level and utilize the web to gain a greater online presence and ultimately increase new customers, you have likely already started planning to add this new role to your marketing department.

Below are 7 qualifications to look for when hiring an Online Community Manager:

1. History of social media experience:Online Community Builder

This person should have at least 3 years experience with Social Media Marketing.  Just because someone is active on twitter and Facebook, does not necessarily mean that he or she is qualified to run your Online Marketing Campaigns.  What blogs and websites do they follow?  This will show you how current this person’s social media knowledge is.  How many facebook friends does he/she have? This is important for a couple of reasons.  First, you want someone who is social.  Second, you want someone who is well networked already, giving you instant access to hundreds or thousands of new people.

Other important questions to ask:

What Linkedin, FB groups do they already belong in?
How do they leverage those groups for their social media strategy?
What Social Media publishing tools do they use?
Does he or she know what Facebook EdgeRank is?

2. They know and LOVE your product:

The Online Community Manager is going to be the face of your company also known as your company ambassador.   Do they want to SCREAM with excitement everything your company offers?  This person needs to be proud to be a part of your team.  An ideal candidate will not be hesitant  to use his or her personal accounts/name to promote the company.

How well does this person know your product and services?  The online community manager should know your products and key audience so well that he or she can feel confidant promoting, marketing and fielding questions.  You do not want someone who has to depend on you to develop content conception.  When it comes to Social Media, passion is key.  Your company is best represented by those who are passionate about it!

3. They are a marketing maven:

This person knows how conduct market research, has experience with brand development and brand awareness.  Ask if he or she has experience tracking marketing analytics.  Many print marketing practices can be re-purposed for online strategy.   It’s equally important that this person has online marketing experience and knowledge.  This includes basic tech comprehension, best practice understanding of how, why and when to post online and more.

4. Awesome and engaging personality:

We used to hire introverts as our IT/Computer people.  Nowadays however, we need outgoing people to represent us online. Does your OCM have a great sense of humor?  Great posts and status updates are often the funny and witty ones.  Your hire needs to have the ability to engage customers online.  Usually the way people talk in person is reflected in how they converse on Social Media.

5. Creative, strategic and analytic:

Yes, usually it is hard to find an extrovert (see above) who is also analytical, but if you do- you’ve hit the jack-pot!  Ask your candidates to provide a 3 month strategy plan for your Facebook page.  See how creative they are in these plans.   Creativity comes into play with how this person goes about executing such strategies.  Another question to ask is how this person would turn Facebook Fans or Twitter/Pinterest Followers into customers.  It is one thing to generate “likes”, it’s another thing to convert a Like or Follower into a paying customer.

6. Great time management skills:

Re-activity is extremely important in building online relationship with potential customers.  If someone asks a question on one of your social media platforms, an answer cannot and should not take more than hour to appear.  By then your potential client has already moved on.  And so have all the other people watching.  Find someone who is willing to be “on-call”.  Most OCM’s have every social app on their phone so that they can be accessible on the go!

7. They have a common community with your company’s community:

If you are interviewing someone who claims to be “well-connected”, great!  Please note though of who these connections are! It does not really do much for your business if their connections do not coincide with your target audience.  If they are sharing content from your site to their connections, how effective will it be in getting you qualified leads?

Obviously, there is no perfect candidate.  If you can find someone who possesses the majority of the above 7 qualifications you are on the right track!

Click the button below for more on how to hire and train a rock star Social Media Professional:

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