What is Content Marketing Strategy?

We all know or have heard in social media that content is king. This was to my knowledge challenged recently asking if it is still true. Well, in my opinion, it still is. Besides content in your blog, or on your website, we now are finding how to effectively use content as a marketing strategy as another form of pr marketing strategies.

Simply put, a content marketing strategy actually refers to the power of the content and Social engineering conceptunderstanding how you create the appropriate content strategy. Confused yet?  Ok, let me give an example.  In social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest you probably tell people, followers and sometimes even customers about your products or services. Take this PR one step further by now creating a “two-way” conversation.  Make your pr content be shareable, work to make it trigger a discussion to encourage your social network to continue the conversation within their social circle.

In order to be effective with a content strategy you should have a clear understanding of your objective before you begin making any statements, or starting up a conversation. This type of content is designed to build viable web content that will engage your target customers as well as search engines.  This can also help increase your visibility with the search engine rankings.

When you create conversations (content) it will usually increase your online business and generate maximum web visibility to build a strong reputation. Therefore be sure to always provide enough quality content for customers to talk about with others. This is an effective way to expand your pr marketing strategy.

Aron Agius a well-known person in the field who has helped online marketing campaigns become successful made this statement:

“The importance of content marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Content is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. A great strategy is needed in order to fuel social media activity, to create high converting landing pages for pay per click marketing, and to power increases in search engine rankings for target keywords.” He continued saying, “businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a solid content marketing strategy. Small businesses have just as much opportunity as big business to reach an increased audience trough content marketing – the key element that needs to be monitored is consistency. Consistent content creation and marketing is what sets apart businesses from the many similar businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.”

I do not think I could have said it any better.

And if you are not sure how to implement this strategy, Aron has these 5 steps that you can follow:

1) Focus your plan around being able to consistently create high quality content.

2) Ensure your content strategy covers a wide range of different content types. Text blog posts, advanced guides, info-graphics, images, video — the more types of media you create the greater the potentially reach and the number of different distribution channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content.

3) If need be outsource your content creation, but only do so once you have developed strict guidelines around tone, style, voice, and the core messages that you want your content to speak towards.

4) Identify the problems in your industry, the questions people are asking and focus on being a resource that creates content that solves problems and puts you in a position of authority within your industry.

5) Don’t forget the marketing in content marketing. This is the most important point. People are now creating endless amounts of content and thinking they are doing content marketing. You should be spending as much time in marketing the content as you are creating the content on the first place.

Now go and start some conversations to engage your customers.

The most popular mistakes midlife entrepreneurs make

As a business entrepreneur, it is very difficult to know if you are making good or bad decisions. Or if you chose the right type of business. So how did you get started, and how do you avoid any of these mistakes?angry-boss1

Starting a business in your mid 40’s or 50’s can be fulfilling, but has its risks if you don’t have any guidelines, especially if this is your first venture. To help you avoid being one of the 80% of businesses that fail in their first three years, review these mistakes that many businesses have made over the years.

1-    Start with a passion and keep it going. When you started the business you might have thought you had clarity and direction. Try to not get caught up in the “BUT” excuses. For example, if you are not a super salesperson or know how to generate sales leads, don say “I don’t know how to do this”, rather seek help and do some research to find how to improve your sales approach. Don’t make excuses for not knowing how things get done.

2-    Are you undercapitalized? Don’t rely on banks or other financial institutions lending you money because you have a great product/service. Banks are not in the business of loaning money to new businesses, it’s just a fact in life. So make sure you have enough capital to keep your business afloat for several months to a year before jumping in.

Before starting, estimate the overhead to run the business, consult with friends or colleagues who have their own business and ask questions on how they managed their first year and what expenses they did not expect. There are a few organizations available to help such as SCORE who can provide guidance and direction.

3-    Build it and they will come. If you want to start a business based on the fact you have a unique product and people are just waiting to buy, think again. People have developed buying habits and the only way to break into that habit is to let people know you exist and have a great product. Offer compelling reasons why they should switch to your product.

bigstock-Businessman-Circling-Success-41064631Do your homework. Identify who your customers are, and then develop a plan how to sell to them. The two simple reasons people buy are to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Not just aches, but the pain of not liking something, such as their kitchen, their clothes, or poor skin or hair.

4-    Know when to quit. This is about an exit strategy. Even though you are just starting out, knowing how you plan to leave the business will help you develop a plan to grow the business. Sounds weird, but this will help give you some clarity to building up the business.

Keeping track of your investment and what you plan to get out of it puts things in focus. Did you know that 90% of businesses that go up for sale never get sold? So have an exit strategy.

5-    Support from those you know, especially family. Starting a business is a commitment, and that will put a lot of stress on a family. In the beginning most of your time will be dedicated to building the business, and that should be clearly understood when you take this giant leap. After you get a foothold and the business becomes profitable then you need to take time off. If you are married and have children, you need to take a break from work. Vacations, even short, two day camping trips will re-energize you and keep the family supportive.

To sum all this up:                                                                                                                                 Keep the Passion, Have Clarity and Continue To Learn From Others

Give George Carson a call when you need to build more traffic to your business. A solid publicity campaign and marketing strategy can keep your passion alive! Call: 949-477-9400 today.

Why your website isn’t ranking high on Google or any SEO’s

Google and Yahoo are constantly competing with each other to prove they are the better choice. They are continually changing their algorithms and it affects the way companies are listed. Well, this has also created a lot of issues and complaints. Because just when you think all is figured out, they change it again. So now is the time to re-think your PR Marketing Strategy.web-optimizing

Ok, so what’s the secret? Actually, there isn’t a secret. Knowing the basics to search engine optimization and using these tactics can improve your rankings. Let me give you few tips to improve your website rankings:

1- Forget Keywords! Yes, that’s right. Keywords placed in meta tags, etc. are a waste and can actually cause your website to fall lower on the listings. In the last couple of years, SEO’s have decided this is no longer a valid way to rank sites. One reason (among others), many so-called web optimizers would “stuff” words and often they didn’t even relate to a company’s industry. So don’t let anyone tell you that using keywords in your meta’s is the way to go.

Ok, now that I crushed your SEO marketing strategy, let’s see how to effectively use keywords. Place keywords in your content. The website should include several of the keywords, but do not overuse them. That can also result in lower listings.

2- Titles are Key. One critical area that is always overlooked is the title of your pages. Web designers are becoming more aware of how important this is, but you should make sure that your titles are using keyword(s) to further improve your rankings. SEO’s look for titles that relate to your pages.

3- Content is Still King. Keep your content fresh. This doesn’t mean to always change your text. It means adding a blog section to your site. Be sure to keep this active. Have someone in your company blog at least twice or three times per week. And submit these posts to Google.

4- Backlinks. This still remains a positive way to show the SEO’s that your site is recognized by others. How do you get credible back links? Begin with a PR Campaign. This can be a series of press releases submitted to all the digital media in your market and submitted to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and sent through newsworthy online distributors. In addition, create a social media campaign. This should include Google+, a LinkedIn profile of your business, and a Facebook business page. These three social media combined with a pr campaign can give you the backlinks and awareness you need to get higher rankings.

The last thing on the list is a good, clean design. Why? Because as I said earlier, those little bots used by SEO’s are very sophisticated and can “see” if the site is ugly, hard to read, has poor grammar, or has too much color. The site should be easy to navigate and your home page should be clearly understood as to what services and products your company offers. If you need an SEO tune up to get more traffic and higher rankings, give George Carson a call. He will make sure you have a site to be proud of because it will get you results! Call today: 949-477-9400.

Social Media. Can Your Business Survive Without It?

Maybe the question should be: If you are not actively involved with your customers (whether they are B2B or B2C) on a daily basis, do you know if they will continue to buy your product or service next year? 

Social networking is powerful

Face it; social media isn’t a fad that will go away anytime soon. You can only ignore progress for a certain amount of time. Then you need to either accept the realities of how to make social media be your partner to succeed, or you wake up one morning wondering how your business suddenly is loosing sales. If you have a solid PR Marketing Strategy, it should include social media.

I’m sure you heard this lecture before, but now is the time for PR Clients to become very active with this media. Before you jump up and down saying, “show me the secret to social media success!” first lets look at some current statistics.

Over 30% of US adults get their news updates from social media. Of those people, 66% use their smartphone or tablet to access the news. If your target audience is 18 – 29 year olds, 71% of them use the Internet as their main source for information. To put this into perspective, a consumer will talk to others (using various social media like Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, Instagram, yelp, etc.) about their experiences. Over 90% will use some sort of social media while 27% will talk to an actual person, usually on the phone about their experience. Also, social media is a quick and instant method of making people aware of what they like, or hate. This is another reason why your PR Marketing Strategies need to be current with today’s forms of communication.

Email is an early form of social media. Today businesses cannot think of how to communicate without using email. Savvy PR Clients know that Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin are quickly

Publicity is part of social media

becoming the choice for businesses to stay in touch with their customers and end users. You get immediate feedback on your products and services when using social media. This allows a company to make the adjustments needed to maintain a good position in the market. No longer do we need to do a focus group, only to then wait about a month to get all the data and then act accordingly. That process is too time-consuming, and becomes “old news” very quickly.  If you rely on that form of testing, then you might go out of business before you know it.

With the upcoming holiday shopping season, retailers are pushing hard with their social media to get customers to buy from them. Case in point, Walmart uses Twitter to talk about how their competitors are not stocking certain items, and they publish (re-Tweet) complaints by people about other retailers. Some refer to this as Twitter hijacking. It isn’t. It’s just smart marketing and knowing how to use social media to your business advantage. Facebook is another social media that Walmart has profited from. Other retailers are using this strategy to cut through all the clutter this season.

As you can see, social media can improve sales, create positive awareness, build your brand, and all this can be done quickly (as compared to a print media campaign). Don’t spend valuable time learning how to use this powerful media, instead interview companies that specialize in this media and hire the one that best fits your needs. If you are open minded and willing to embrace social media correctly, then what are you waiting for, your competitors to jump ahead of you?

Better yet, get the jump on your competitors, call George Carson today at 949-477-9400.

Understanding Social Media For Business

We are constantly being hit with different social media networks asking us to “Join”, “Sign-Up”, “Become a Member”, “Register Today”. Soon after you get involved, you get lost in your daily business activity and do not know which social media will help your business. Or you are confused and possibly wondering how to get the most from being part of this new form of communication.

Social Media Overload

It requires time, and patience. Nothing will happen overnight. So if you want to take advantage of this explosion, then take note with these pr marketing strategies. I will give you some helpful tips to get your business into the social media game and how to benefit from it.

One reason to use social media—Recruit Candidates.

You may not be looking to hire at this time, but here are a few things to help you find a good candidate using social media. Let’s look at some statistics:

• 14.4 million people have used social media to find a job

• 56% of HR Professionals are using social media to source candidates

• 24% of managers found candidate personality & fit from a social profile

• Over 89% of all companies have used social media networks for recruiting in 2011

• 1 of 3 employers rejected candidates based on something they found about them online

• 45% of companies are using Twitter to find candidates

• 80% use Linkedin to find talent for their company, while 50% use Facebook

Pinterest is a new social media network. Unlike Twitter or a blog, Pinterest is entirely a visual network. If you have used Facebook for your business, then consider adding Pinterest. Before I go much further, let me make an important point. To become successful with a business in social media, you need to be informative. Do not use a hard sell. Social media is just as it is defined. It is a “social” way to communicate. Offer potential customers facts and images of how your service/product can improve their life. Again, get rid of the “sell copy” and use dialogue similar to a conversation. It will also improve your pr marketing strategies.

Making the connection

For example, if you own an RV company, or are a food manufacturer, or even a food retailer, show pictures of your product in use that your customers could relate to. You could create a “board” and post how other people are using your products. Invite customers to share their experiences. This is one way how social media will grow your business by getting people involved.

Let’s focus on Pinterest. Here are a few tips that can be applied to many other social networks:

• Add a “Follow” and/or “Pin It” button to your Pinterest

• Encourage customers to repin photos you or other customers are sharing

• Get higher rankings with SEO’s by having “Do Follow” links

• Make Pinterest a focus group for your products. People love to share their likes so start a discussion and collect the information to improve your product or know why people like it

• Use hash tags, like you would in Twitter. This allows you to place keywords in your descriptions

Since we mentioned Twitter consider using these tips to build a solid business account:

• Start by using Twitter Search to see if you company name, or competitors name are being used

• Add a photo of your main product or service so people know visually what you are about

• Start discussions regarding what your customers are talking about

• Mention something interesting, a unique fact about your company

• Share links of other interesting topics in your industry

• Keep the discussions friendly, share non-business topics

• Ask questions rather than answering them

• Have more than one person at your company to write tweets, do this daily

• Follow people in your industry, and potential customers that have similar likes

• When you do talk about your product/service, make it useful. Give links to further complete a discussion or solution to a problem

It should go without saying, but it is important to be involved with discussion groups in Linkedin. Share your knowledge with others, or start a topic. This is another way to learn if people will respond to a new product/service you want to add to your business.

Just like a website should have good and fresh content to rank high with SEO’s, your social media content will have an impact on your company and the search engines.

The Bottom line. Social Media networks can be very useful in building traffic to your website and increase sales while creating a branding campaign.If you need help in establishing a social media network for business, call George Carson at 949-477-9400. It could improve the way you do business.

Can Social Networking Help Your Business?

First we must ask ourselves is social networking for everyone, and is it right for my business? That may depend on your knowledge of this expanding media. Not knowing the benefits of the different networks or how they can help you could be critical when making a decision. Just because many businesses are using some of the popular networks such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, you need to determine if these are the right pr marketing strategies for your business.

It can IMPROVE your business

So how do you know if your business is ready for social media publicity program? How do you get started? And most important, which social networks will work for your business?

To answer these questions, you need to look at your industry, know your competition and what social networks relate to your market. Not an easy task, nor should it be. Too often companies will jump in because they don’t want to be left behind. The same is true about companies who get into social media, but after a few weeks, push it aside because it requires more work to maintain than they anticipated. It doesn’t matter if you are a local business or a national company, a social networks program can improve your business. This is a good form of communication that has powerful results, just like a publicity campaign.

Below are a few guidelines to help you decide on a social network program.

1- Does your business offer a service or sell product(s) that appeals to a limited market?If yes, determine the size of your potential market. Or, if your business provides the service/product to a broader spectrum, start with the top 2 or 3 markets that are the most profitable.

2- Do you have a sales team? Whether it is one salesperson (outside of yourself) or a dozen sales teams, choose a region to target. This can consist of an area such as the 7 western states in America, or a smaller region such as one specific state. You can grow the area after you have implemented the social network program.

3- Do you have the support staff that can dedicate the proper time to develop and maintain a social network program? If not, you can hire an outside firm.

 4- Does your business rely on walk-in customers, or online sales, or both?

5- Is your business B2B, or a B2C?

6- Are your business goals and objectives to increase sales, or increase profitability?

7- Do you have an advertising or publicity budget? Is it realistic with your sales projections?

8- Are you a start-up, or an established business (been around for at least 3+ years)?

Most businesses can benefit from a well-planned social network program. If you are prepared to take on the task of implementing a social network program, it is now time to see what is available. Here is a short list of other social networks to consider (these are in addition to those mentioned earlier):

Bebo—an AOL network that consumers can share photos, communicate and express themselves. A longer version of Twitter and similar to Facebook.

Focus—this is a B2B network mainly geared for the high tech industry. Companies can get experts to answer or solve their business questions.

MeetTheBoss—a great international network for business and financial industries. Consists of Fortune 500 CEO’s who discuss Leadership, Sales, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Strategy, Human Capital and Governance.

Ning—You can create your own custom network, and community website.

TalkBizNow—This is a comprehensive interactive business network that allows users the ability to network, advertise their business, etc.

Tumblr—Similar to Twitter that started in 2007.

EONS.com—For the Baby Boomers (40+) Internet users.

Athlinks—For the sports enthusiasts who enjoy swimming and running.

Ryze—Looking to find other new entrepreneurs? This is the place.

Other networks and productive tools to consider are: Ogoing, Pinterest, Dropbox, Twitxr, StumbleUpon. If you use social networks properly, you can reduce your marketing costs while increasing your profits. For example, did you know that Twitter has a search tool to find companies or related businesses that you can follow? Ok, now it’s time to plan a social network program that will meet your company’s goals and objectives.

If you need help, contact George Carson for a FREE Consultation at 949-477-9400.

Building a Smart Website

Smart Websites

The age of digital media is stronger today than it was just two years ago, actually stronger than it was just 10 months ago. You need to understand how to be an effective marketer to promote your website.

It isn’t a secret that the search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) continually modify their algorithms so that we as developers, designers, and marketers are constantly seeking better methods to attract customers.

Branding has and will remain a constant. In order to be an effective brand it is required to understand how the current process works to make sure your website is built smart.

Some of the things to be concerned about for 2012 are the following:

• Build brand links rather than anchor texts. This includes posts, articles and whitepapers that are relevant.

• Subdomains had become a no-no for the last few months with SEO’s. Now things are changing again. For example, Google is treating subdomains as internal links rather than independent URL’s. That means as you build subdomains, be sure to target your keywords while naming them. This will improve your rankings.

• Content is still king. Knowing this, you should choose wisely the links to your site. Be sure these are solid sites with good content.

• Contextual links are still very powerful. Base these on the following:

–  Appropriate anchor text

–  Content quality and relevancy

–  Place these links within the content and surround them by the content in the site

–  Contextual links drive more visitors to your website

• Backlinks are good when done correctly. You can build backlinks through blogging, forum participation and press releases.

In addition, you need to make sure that your website is easy to navigate, has no broken links, and has a site map. It should go without saying that the site should to be clean in design and not look too colorful like a circus. As much as this may seem obvious, just do some web surfing and see how many websites violate this rule. Maybe that’s why they are not well visited or ranked very high.

And keeping with the digital age, make sure your website is devise friendly. Meaning it will operate on all forms of handheld devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.) as well as different browsers. It also helps to stay in touch with new and current trends such as qr codes. Although this could be overused, it is good to know that qr codes can be text messages as well as links to your website. Use them as often as needed to keep active customers in touch with your company.

And finally, once you build that smart site, don’t let it sit for several months without updating or modifying the content. It is very important to have an active site. If not, then the SEO’s  will quickly decrease your rankings, and t will be difficult to regain the position you once held.

If you need help to promote your site, or want to get higher rankings, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400

How to Get Top Ranking on Google with Your Business Web Site

The words “optimize”, “keywords”, “key phrases” and “Title Pages” are used all the time by Search Engine Specialists, and Search Engine Optimization companies. But what does all this do? Not much. Ok, it will help a little, but this alone isn’t going to get your site highly ranked, or found on the first page of Google.

SEO Rankings are Changing

What is the secret? You need a good pr marketing strategy.
It’s something that most SEO companies won’t admit, or tell you, because they want you to pay for their optimizing service. And when they complete all these great things I mentioned, they’re gone!

Let me give you the truth behind high rankings, on all the search engines. As you may know, Google changed their methods of rankings as did Yahoo and Bing. It now requires fresh content. As previous years before, “content is still king.” Another secret is inbound links.

Use these tips to keep content fresh:
1- Web site pages.
Every 60 to 90 days update the text on your web site. No need to re-write all the text, just do about 30% so the search engines see new content. Remember to re-register the site with directories and seo’s every 4 months.
2- Social media.
This is one of the most critical methods to get fresh content and “inbound links”. If you do not have a social media program, start one. A strong pr marketing strategy is to have a solid social media campaign. This should include a blog site, twitter account and a business Facebook page. Don’t create any of these if you are not serious about maintaining them. Otherwise it will just hurt your business site.

These are just two methods. I’ll pass along others in another post. Or you can contact me if you want more information on how to get started immediately.

In today’s fast pace world of communication, you need to be proactive, and to do this you need to surround yourself with those who are knowledgeable about social marketing. Give Carson Marketing, Inc. a call when you are ready to get ahead of your competition. Call George at 949-477-9400. He’s ready to help your company get noticed and increase revenue.

How to get the advantage in a job interview

This is a topic I feel needs to be discussed. I will provide some information to enlighten those seeking a job, changing careers or those looking for a better position in their current job.job readiness, soft skills

The secret to getting the advantage over another person is Soft Skills!

If you are not aware or do not know what soft skills are, then you need to read on. Soft Skills are not taught in any schools or colleges. These are things like, listening skills, how to interview, networking, knowing how to write a business email, how to write a resume, knowing phone etiquette and much more. For example your body language tells a lot. If you cross your arms while having a conversation, this usually sends a message that you are bored, or just don’t want to listen to the other person speaking. Another example, in a business meeting, don’t check your cell phone for messages, or text anyone, and most important, sit in proper posture at a meeting. If you don’t it shows you are not interested and sends a bad message to the speaker as well as others around you.

PR marketing people need soft skills. Sometimes I meet professional publicity people who just don’t know or understand why others ignore them, or won’t take their calls. It’s because they never learned their soft skills.

These examples are just a few soft skills you need to know when interviewing. To learn how to have a great interview and how to network, there is a video lesson titled: “Interviewing and Business Networking” by Business SoftSkills. In all, the company produces over 12 video lessons that are entertaining and very informative. I highly recommend everyone learn their soft skills, it can only improve your chances in a job interview, as well as it could get you promoted at your current job.

This is the company’s website: www.BusinessSoftSkills.com.

Google accepts defeat to catch the “WAVE”.

Update news. I’ll keep this short, as there isn’t much to say after I make my statement. wave, email

It was just over a year ago when I wrote about Google’s introduction of their WAVE concept. At the time, it was going to change how email and social media is used by business and consumers. The article I wrote titled: Is your PR  Marketing Strategy ready for the next “WAVE” was written in May 2009. Today, Google announced it was canceling the program by the end of this year.

Seems that even the people with all the money just can’t demand to change things if people are not willing to accept it. A lesson I hope was learned by Google. So what then happens to all these followers who jumped in? They will just have to go back to the old fashioned email programs that they have been using for the last 15 years.

So if you are a pr marketing person, or a pr client who thought this would change how we communicate, dust off that old email account and get back to business.