Archive for March, 2016

Gathering Market Intelligence Online

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Market research is key to any business, big or small. Your market defines the boundaries of your potential sources of revenue. The more you know your market, the more you can craft your products and services to fit that market’s needs. As Shawn O’Connor writes for Forbes, “By doing your homework before starting your business, you can be assured that your product or service is properly priced and positioned and you are offering the most sought after attributes.”

How can you do that homework, especially if budgets are tight? Technology has had a big impact on how market research is conducted, for better and for worse. Here’s what you need to know. (more…)

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What South Park Can Teach Us About Transparency in Advertising

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

As we’ve discussed so often, content is king when it comes to modern online advertising. One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is to provide fresh, relevant content that is interesting and desirable to your target market. This isn’t advertising, because you’re not directly promoting your product or service. The goal is to entice audiences to visit your site and keep coming back because you provide a useful service. Hopefully they’ll look around your site a bit and start to develop a strong impression of your brand, whether it’s because they see you as an expert or because they feel that you represent the same values they do.

But there’s a line between content and advertising that is often crossed, and when that line is crossed, we end up with what is commonly referred to as native advertising. (more…)

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Yes You Can: Measure the Effectiveness of Your MARCOM Efforts!

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Recently we discussed the challenges of determining the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. We cited a McKinsey & Company report showing that many companies don’t make any effort whatsoever to measure the success of their marketing efforts, and we discussed that there is a variety of variables that can make objective comparisons difficult.

However, rest assured that you can, in fact, measure the results of your marketing investment. As Content Marketing Institute discusses, there are a variety of key performance indicators that you can use in your analysis. The article gives some KPIs and some specific examples of each: (more…)

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Rebranding? Make It Pay!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Recently, we discussed the sincere contemplation and soul-seeking that should go into any decision to rebrand your business. Entrepreneur’s infographic “The 8 Must-Follow Rules for Rebranding Your Company” notes that competition and a changing audience are two primary reasons for rebranding, and points out some successes and failures among a few big-name brands.

So, even though we’ve covered this, it can’t be overstated: think long and hard about rebranding. Still want to rebrand? Ok, here’s how we suggest going about it. (more…)

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Twitter: Beyond Self-Promotion

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

In our recent blog post about the best ways to use Twitter for small businesses, we mentioned several uses of Twitter beyond pure advertising:

• Research
• Content curation
• Sharing Information with key target audiences
• Keeping an ear to the ground

Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published an article titled “50 Companies That Get Twitter — and 50 That Don’t.” The article looked at a use of Twitter that is an important element of the pure advertising we choose not to focus on, and yet has a much broader usefulness: (more…)

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Exercise Caution Before You Attempt to “Rebrand”: You Have Less Control Than You Think

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Your business’ brand is its identity to the outside world. More importantly, it’s your identity to your target audience, including your current market and your potential market. Your brand is how these audiences see you, your products and your services. It is, therefore, a fundamental part of your organizational success.

Brands are generally developed and reinforced over time. Once built, brands represent great value and should be changed only based on good, sound reasons. For some businesses, though, there may come a time when it seems like a good idea to rebrand — to toss aside your current image and pursue something new. (more…)

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Building Your Personal Brand

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

For many people, recognizing that they have a “personal brand” may be a foreign concept. After all, products have brands, right? Yes, that’s true but so do you! And, if you’re a business professional, you should realize that your services, whether as an entrepreneur, or an employee, are not commodities. To set yourself apart from your competition, it’s crucial to develop and promote your own, unique, personal brand. So how do you do it? We’ve covered the topic of personal branding in the past, but it’s one that’s certainly worth revisiting. (more…)

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Blogs: A Natural Starting Point for Content Marketing

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

At Strategic Communications, blogging is a big part of what we do, both for ourselves and for our clients. A robust, well-managed blog is a key element of any content creation strategy. As we’ve discussed in the past, quality content is a must when driving traffic to your site. Blogs are a great vehicle for this.

Obviously, part of implementing an effective blogging strategy require developing quality content for the blog.  Assuming you’ve got quality content, your blog posts can serve as a great starting point for repurposing content across a variety of channels. Here are some of the things that we do to leverage the value of our, and our clients’ blog content: (more…)

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Twitter: Beyond Promotion

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Like most forms of social media, Twitter is largely used by businesses to promote a message, product or service. However, there are a number of uses for Twitter beyond purely promotional activities. Twitter, and other social media tools, can actually provide big benefits to businesses in multiple ways. Some of the ways we have used Twitter outside of traditional marketing include the following: (more…)

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Methods of Measurement: Don’t Cop Out When It Comes to Measuring Communication Impact

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

It’s hard to imagine which position would be worse: the small business owner agonizing about the wisdom of spending money on a new marketing campaign with seemingly vague and uncertain results, or the marketing manager struggling to find a way to demonstrate the financial value of her efforts to her boss. Marketing has traditionally been notorious as an expense for which the ROI is hard to measure. And according to a McKinsey & Company study on marketing measurement, (more…)

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