Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

The Role of Contributed Content in Your Marketing Mix

Monday, September 21st, 2015

by Linda Pophal

As more and more businesses engage in content marketing, studies show that implied endorsements from third-party experts hold more weight with buyers than what companies say about themselves. That makes logical sense. Think about how you are influenced to buy new products, try a new restaurant, etc. Will you be most influenced by their advertisements, social media posts and other self-promotions, or by what others say about them? The latter is likely to be true. (more…)

To Engage Your Audience, Provide Real Value

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Savvy business owners and marketing professionals are always looking for ways to deepen their connection with existing customers and attract new clientele. In the age of content, newsletters and e-letters are great ways to connect with an audience and good tools for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to use for customer engagement.

The key—as with any kind of online communication—is to (more…)

Facebook as Your “Website”? Here’s Why That Might Be a Bad Idea

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Not so long ago, having a website for a small business seemed like something that was only feasible for the high-margin business or the tech-savvy entrepreneur. Today, a professional-looking website is within reach of virtually any business. Still, in the Facebook age, many businesses are tempted to use a page on the social networking site as their primary online presence.

Facebook is certainly a low-cost option to very quickly get your business’ web presence up and running; however, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind before using Facebook as your only online vehicle. (more…)

Thanks Google! Content Really is King Once Again.

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

 

The world suddenly seems to have a voracious appetite for content as online marketers compete with each other in an attempt to capture the eyeballs and eardrums of current and potential customers. Not just any content, but high-quality, unique and relevant content.

It wasn’t always this way. The bottom kind of fell out of the writing industry back in 2008 as the recession hit full force. Media outlets were laying people off in droves, or closing entirely, and the demand for freelancers was rapidly diminishing. I know because I had been a freelancer for a number of years. Even while employed full-time, I made a very nice “extra income” from writing for a variety of trade and professional publications.

It was this extra income that I felt would help provide me with a cushion when I launched Strategic Communications in 2008. But I was wrong.

(more…)

How Do You Monitor Your Business Performance?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

by Linda Pophal

One of the most important elements of successfully implementing a strategic plan of any size (whether a business plan, an annual company plan, a marketing plan, etc.) is establishing benchmarks or objectives that are specific and quantifiable and that will be tracked throughout the planning period. The use of dashboards is a great way to visually—and simply—convey information on how the organization is doing. (more…)

An “Inside Out” Approach to Engaging Your Audience

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
We work with companies and individuals in the business-to-business (B2B) space on content marketing planning and implementation, including the use of social media. The greatest challenge—and opportunity—for companies of any kind is generating content that is going to be valued by their audience. That often means thinking, as we like to say, “from the outside in.”

(more…)

How to Get Customers to Spread the Good Word

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

by Linda Pophal

 

wrote a post recently about the value of positive public relations compared to other ways of generating awareness and preference for organizations. I made the point that what others say about us (e.g. positive word-of-mouth) is always more impactful than what we say about ourselves. One reader followed up with a question: “So how do we get our satisfied customers/alumni to talk about us more?”

This was my response: (more…)

Building Your Brand: Both Easier and Harder Than You May Think

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

by Linda Pophal

 

The most important element in brand building is that small business owners take the time to determine what they want their brand (or identity or reputation) to be and then take steps to ensure that all elements of the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) are aligned consistently to convey that desired brand image. Branding is not about a logo or a tagline—although those are important communication elements that help remind consumers about the company and its products. Brand, though, really is driven by (more…)

Are You Attempting to Influence “Controllers”? What You Need to Know

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

By Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

A few weeks ago, we looked at an article in Harvard Business Review written by Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller titled “Change the Way You Persuade.” In the article, Williams and Miller discuss what they found after spending two years studying over 1,600 executives. The authors discovered that the executives could be categorized into five different decision-making types: thinkers, charismatics, controllers, followers and skeptics. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve looked at thinkers , charismatics, skeptics and followers.  This week we’re going to look at the final group: controllers. (more…)

Are You Attempting to Influence “Followers”? What You Need to Know

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

By Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

A few weeks ago, we looked at an article in Harvard Business Review written by Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller titled “Change the Way You Persuade.” In the article, Williams and Miller discuss what they found after spending two years studying over 1,600 executives. The authors discovered that the executives could be categorized into five different decision-making types: thinkers, charismatics, controllers, followers and skeptics. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve looked at thinkers, charismatics and skeptics. This week we’re going to look at the followers. (more…)