The Marketing Advantage

Connecting You with Your Customers

Valuable Tools for Better Content Marketing

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 12, 2015

Check out these tools to help you make the most of your content marketing efforts.

Check out these tools to help you make the most of your content marketing efforts.

Make the most of your content marketing efforts and strategies by using time-saving tools.  These three will help you effectively manage your time and help you gain valuable insights into your competitor’s strategies:

SEMRush – Analyze how you and your competitors are ranking with SEO

This is a useful tool for monitoring how you and your competitors are placing on Google and the traffic that you’re receiving. By entering a web address, you can get an overview of the traffic you are getting, plus valuable information about keywords, link building and paid vs. organic searches. You can also see your competitors’ best keywords, discover new competitors and analyze their performance.

Use this data to evaluate your marketing strategies, keep the traffic that you do have and use the most successful competitors’ keywords to improve your domain rank.

Free and paid versions available.  Plans starting at $69.95 per month.

BuzzsumoDiscover and analyze which content is most popular

In the rapidly changing field of content marketing, Buzzsumo helps you keep up with what’s trending. This nifty tool collects data and helps you discover what content is being shared most frequently across the various social media networks. Buzzsumo will help you with content creation by analyzing competitors’ content marketing strategies, showing you what’s working for them and who their target audience is. Come up with better ideas, share great content, and find out who the industry leaders are.

Simply enter a domain or topic to see what is being shared most often. From here you can narrow your search through several filter types, view back links, and view who is sharing the content. This allows you to quickly identify what is working well, and what’s not.

Free and paid versions available.  Plans starting at $99 per month.

Quill Engage – Get Google analytics fast, easy to read and free

This tool analyzes and gains insights from Google analytics and provides fast, easy to understand results sent to your email weekly and/or monthly. Quill Engage tells you how and why your site’s performance may be changing. With Quill Engage, you will understand what’s driving your traffic, get relevant analytics, and receive advice on how to improve performance all for free.

Use these tools to improve your current marketing plan, revamp a plan that isn’t working, or simply to maximize your marketing efforts. Let us know what you think. Have you tried any of these tools in your content marketing?

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/h2ey1

Posted in content marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Website for the Housing Partnership of NJ

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 18, 2014

website development examapleWe had the opportunity to team with TAG Online to help the Housing Partnership of New Jersey create a new website. The Housing Partnership is a nonprofit organization located in Dover, NJ, that provides assistance to families of modest means who want to buy and keep homes of their very own.

While TAG Online was responsible for the overall design of the website, Advantage Marketing developed the new tag line, “Bringing You Home. Keeping You Home.”

We also worked with the Housing Partnership staff to write and edit the site’s content so that it would more clearly explain HP’s story and the full range of services it offers.

website development example

 

 

Check out the complete Housing Partnership website at www.housingpartnershipnj.org.

For more about our website content development services, contact us.

Posted in content marketing, Marketing, nonprofits | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whole-Brained Approach to Marketing Is Most Valuable

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 2, 2014

whole-brain-marketing

Today, you need both creative and analytical/technical components to your marketing plan, if you expect to be successful in engaging customers.

By guest blogger Laura Carter

When we think about marketing, we most often think of creativity, innovation, and visual appeal, traits that typically come from so-called “right-brained” thinkers. However, a new trend is taking over, where “left-brained” or analytical thinking is just as valued and respected in the marketing world.

The main goals for marketing have always been to understand the customer and then guide him or her towards a purchase. The path that a buyer takes to that purchase has evolved over the years. According to the CEB Marketing Leadership Council, customers now progress nearly 60% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before actually engaging a sales rep. This places a heavy burden on marketers to deliver value and education early on in the buying process.

As a result of changing buying styles, businesses must embrace the role of technology in their marketing strategies. If you expect to reach and engage customers today, your marketing strategy must employ both analytic/technical and creative strategies. In other words, you need to have both geeks and creative types contribute to your marketing.

Those who don’t include technology and analytics will surely be left behind, if they haven’t been already.   Spending in this arena has already increased and is still on the rise. In fact, Laura McLellan of Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.

The best companies must know how to generate interest using technology and turn that into actual revenue. They also must realize that their products and brand need to have a broad appeal that comes from a full right and left brain marketing approach.

With more money being invested in marketing technology, businesses want to see that they are actually getting a return on their investment. This often requires a more refined approach to analytics than what we have seen in the past. Modern marketers need to constantly monitor these analytics to know which areas to focus on and which areas to drop.

Marketers are not only expected to provide good marketing skills, but must also be able to track results with accurate analytics. They must also be able to merge fine details with creativity, analytics with the abstract, and logic with imagination to capture market share.

What marketing strategy do you use for your business? Is it a left-brained, right-brained, or whole-brained approach?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing automation, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media Metrics that Matter

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 14, 2014

social media metrics

Using the right metrics lets you track your social media campaigns and measure them against your business goals

My professional service firm and small business clients often ask me which social media metrics they should track. They often think that if they get a lot of Facebook “Likes” then their social media campaign was a success. Then they are surprised when “Likes” don’t turn into increased sales.

Hootsuite, a social relationship platform company, noted in a recent blog post that choosing the right social media metric can be a daunting task. They point out that social media can be used to achieve any one or more of these business goals:

  • Increasing customer engagement
  • Growing sales
  • Building brand awareness

Each of these goals has a different set of metrics associated with it. So, if you start by establishing your goal, you can then select the appropriate social media metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs).

Increasing customer engagement, for instance, requires that you track metrics for social media engagement. These include Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets, Mentions, and Favorites.

If your goal is to grow sales by increasing customer acquisition on your website, then you will want to pay attention to URL clicks and traffic to your website from social media. URL clicks can be tracked by using a shortened URL such as the HootSuite default shortener. Bitly provides a similar tracking capability.

Traffic to your site can be captured using Google Analytics, which your webmaster should have already installed on your site. If not, get him or her to do it immediately – you’re letting valuable insights slip through the cracks.

Building brand awareness requires that you track Follower growth rate, percent change in Followers, Twitter Sentiment, Reach by region, and Clicks by region. Shares and Retweets can also be tracked.

Hootsuite and Bitly are two of many tools that can be used to track social media metrics and both offer free and paid options. This blog post has a good list of free and paid tools for tracking social media campaign metrics.

 

Which social media metrics have you found most useful? Tell us in this post’s Comments section.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, social media metrics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Become the Expert People Want to Hire

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 7, 2014

content marketing

Your prospects will stick around when you give them the information resources they need to solve problems

Prospects Can’t Resist Sticky Content

When you give your prospects information that guides them to a problem solution – that’s sticky content!

When you use sticky content effectively, you become the expert people want to hire.

The Sticky Content Plan can help small businesses, consulting firms, and professional service firms build the information resources that bring customers to your door!

You get:

  • A 3-month content plan to rev up your sticky content creation
  • An analysis and suggested improvements for the “stickiness” of your website and two social media accounts.
  • An evaluation of your company’s brand messaging – does it compel people to stick around (and hire you)?

A $1,500 Value – Only $999!

Get Your Sticky Content Plan

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Growing Your Consulting Practice

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 25, 2014

Growing a Consulting PracticeIf you run your own consulting practice then read “Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice” from Chemical Engineering Progress magazine for practical advice from established, successful consultants.

Smart moves for your consulting practice

While the article was written for chemical engineers who run consulting firms, it can help any professional who wants to grow their consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Delegate so you can focus on growth
  • Align your growth plans with your company’s philosophy
  • Tell a compelling story about your company’s brand
  • And more!

Is your consulting practice in growth mode? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Need help growing your consulting practice? The experts at Advantage Marketing will review your consulting practice and provide advice you can use immediately. Contact us today!

Posted in brand building, Business, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Management, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law May Impact Your Email Marketing

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 7, 2014

Guest post by Laura CarterCanadian Anti-Spam Law

Canada is now taking action to control email spam. Effective July 1st, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) requires businesses to obtain consent for sending “commercial electronic messages” to clients or prospective customers.

If you operate in Canada or are in contact with Canadian prospects or customers, you need to know the new rules.

Are you affected?

According to CASL, “if you are sending email, SMS, social media or instant messaging with commercial or promotional information about your business to existing customers or prospects you must comply with the new law.”

Review Your Email Lists

Take some time to go through your email lists and make sure the individuals you’re contacting are interested in what you have to offer. You must now have implied or expressed consent from anyone that you are contacting in Canada, and must offer a way for them to unsubscribe from your emails.

There is a 36-month transition period that allows for time to adjust and gain consent from those currently on your email marketing lists.

Provide Good Content

Think about who you are sending to, the messages you are sending and what you include in them. Provide recipients with quality content, and avoid being too “salesy.” Tell the recipient exactly why you are contacting them and why they should be interested in what you have to say. These are things you should be doing anyway, to comply with the CAN-SPAM laws here in the U.S.

Avoid Penalties

In Canada, spam can now be reported and legitimate concerns could be turned over to CASL. There aren’t any automatic penalties but there is a range of consequences varying from warnings to penalties (up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses).

Businesses that are already maintaining their email lists and providing quality information to customers and prospects, will require minimal effort to follow the new law. Embrace this as an opportunity to clean up your email lists and streamline your email marketing campaigns, one of your most valuable marketing resources.

This post was written using information from the Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation website.  For more information you can visit http://fightspam.gc.ca.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Internet business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014

10025429_s

Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs

 

2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie

 

3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links

 

4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube

 

5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest

 

6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.

 

7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook

 

Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate

 

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You?

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 9, 2014

Starting a consulting practice

Are you thinking about starting a consulting practice? Get some practical tips for getting started by clicking on the above photo.

Are you considering starting your own consulting practice? If you are, then read my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine.

Consulting can be a professionally and personally rewarding career choice, especially if you enjoy helping others. While “Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You? ” was written for chemical engineers who may be considering opening a technical or engineering consulting practice, the article has lots of good advice for anyone who is considering running their own consulting practice.

This article can help you get hit the ground running when you start your consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Get your license or certification
  • Plan your move before you jump from your current company
  • Establish a professional presence
  • And more!

Have you recently started a consulting practice? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Posted in Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Entrepreneur, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter’s New Profile Layout

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 7, 2014

twitter-logoBy guest blogger Laura Carter

Twitter profiles now have a new look, aimed at being more eye catching and customizable. This new layout is now available to everyone and according to Twitter, focuses on an “even easier” and “more fun” way to express yourself or your business. There are a lot of cosmetic changes, but the way that you use Twitter is basically the same. The new web profile lets you use a larger profile photo, prominently display your best tweets and more. Here’s what to expect from this new web profile.

Header and Profile Photos

One of the most striking new differences is the large horizontal header image, very similar to the design on Facebook. Twitter will automatically resize your image to fit this space perfectly, but for the sharpest quality you’ll want to choose a 1,500 x 500 photo for your header. Profile photos are now bigger too, so chose a picture that is at least 400 x 400 pixels for the sharpest looking picture.

Streamlining Tweets

The new profile will highlight specific tweets and allow people searching through profile pages to find the specific kinds of tweets that they want more easily. Here are details on the main features:

Best Tweets

With the new design some tweets will have larger font than others. These are your best tweets, the ones that have the highest level of engagement. This helps make your most popular content easier for others to find. It also makes it easy for you to see exactly which content your followers are interested in.

Pinned Tweets

Have a tweet that you don’t want anyone to miss? Now you can “pin” that tweet to the top of your profile. This pinned tweet will stay at the top of your profile until you unpin it or change it. This could be useful for small businesses that are using Twitter and want to highlight a press release or promotion.

Filtered Tweets

There are several options for filtering tweets that are now easier to use since they are all together in one place, right under your header photo. They allow you to filter the tweets on your own page as well as other profiles that you view. You can choose between three options for filtering: tweets, tweets with photo/video or tweets and replies.

What do you think of the new Twitter layout and features? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 242 other followers

%d bloggers like this: