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Why Your Nonprofit Should Inspire Youthful Philanthropy

kids-volunteerWe talk a lot about how your organization can engage Millennials (the 20-35 crowd), but we can’t forget about the even younger generations that are more than willing to do their part as well.

From volunteering, to holding fundraising events, to working on campaigns, kids as

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The Twitter Chat That Never Happened (and 5 More That Shouldn’t Either)

twitter-chatYesterday, JPMorgan hosted the best Twitter Chat that never happened.

The financial firm announced via Twitter last week that its very own Vice Chairman, Jimmy Lee, would be hosting a #TwitterTakeover to answer questions live that followers had tweeted using the hashtag #AskJPM.

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9 Quick SEO Wins Every Marketer Should Pursue

seo-searchThis post originally appeared on Insiders, a new section on Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Insiders.

Search engine optimization isn’t about ranking for that one perfect keyword phrase anymore. It’s about making sure your website is performing like a well-oiled machine.

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10 Alarming Signs that Your Business is in Trouble

10 Alarming Signs that Your Business is in Trouble

My grandfather delivered milk by horse and cart. Clopping hooves, the clink of bottles and the promise of daily delivered fresh milk is now but a faint memory. It was his life and business.

Large supermarket chains have claimed his job.

Waiting to have your film developed was part of the holiday ritual. It also sometimes meant discovering two weeks after the event that they were overexposed or were so dark they were useless. Taking photos was restricted to a roll of a 24 or 36 shot film canister.

Kodak’s reign is over .

The city newspapers still deliver our news in print but billions in business assets and even survival is under threat as information distribution moves online. Bloggers, Twitter and technology have changed the game.

So what are some indicators that you are becoming irrelevant in a tsunami of change and  what can you do about it? Here are 10 signs that your business is in trouble.

#1. Technology is an afterthought

Sometimes the key difference between continuing to be relevant and business extinction is technology. I don’t mean upgrading your photocopier, but taking a long hard look at trends in your industry that are promising disruption. E-commerce is not just about buying on the web it is commerce driven by technology that offers better service, speed to market and global reach.

Invest in technology until it hurts.

#2. The content is light and fluffy

Ever visited a company website and found nothing but froth, fluff and corporate speak. There is often no blog and if there is, it all about them. No content to educate, inspire or entertain. They are afraid to give away their knowledge.

Add value to your customers and prospects. Online that is the only way they know you are an expert and thought leader in your industry.

Source, create and publish the best content you can. Every day!

#3. Can’t spell SEO

SEO is an acronym and it is only 3 letters long. Many CEO’s still can’t spell it despite having a degree and years of experience in writing and grammar. Not being found in search can be a death sentence.

Investing the time and effort in making sure that you rank high in search engines is not an option unless you think Google is going away soon.

#4. Forgotten about the rest of the world

How many of you buy a product from the other side of the world?  Book, software or fashion. Your competitors can be in Hong Kong, New York or London. Often delivery is faster than the corner store.

Relevance today means global thinking.

#5. No continuous learning

So you have been to university or college. Your education is done. You can sit back and bask in the glow of the framed degree on the wall. I know doctors like that and they are dangerous!

Read blogs in your industry, attend conferences and read till your eyes bleed.

A fast changing world means yesterday’s degree is just a piece of paper.

#6. Passion and purpose is missing

A person with no passion and a company with a flapping purpose is ripe for disruption. A company on a mission means they will do what it takes to keep up to date. They invest in their people, culture and  education. Maintaining the status quo doesn’t cut it. Dead people walking is a sign that life is ebbing away.

Make sure you have a clear mojo.

#7. Ignoring your young people

Grey hair, suits and shiny shoes are all good. If that means that you are doing the same things from 20 years ago and the results are static or diminishing then you may need an injection of new blood. Your 20 and 30 year olds are the future and they know what works on a social and mobile web.

Young and crazy is sometimes sensible.

#8. Buying is complicated

Ever bought an ebook on Amazon. It is one click! Do you put obstacles in the way of your customers. Do you make them jump through hoops.

According to Ev Williams, the founder of Blogger and Twitter.

Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company. Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

So the thinking should be when building a successful online business is “how can I take out the steps?

Companies such as Selz, with quick and easy set-up of online payments for bloggers and business and Canva, who makes design as simple as find, drop and drag know that. They understand the beauty and importance of simplicity

Jack Dorsey is doing that with Square that makes buying easy using a mobile. Started in 2010 it now has 600 employees.

#9. Mobile isn’t mentioned

Finding information, checking the weather and buying products is no longer a desk job. Reading emails and making purchases are done on the bus, the beach and in the cafe.

Companies that are ignoring the smartphone revolution need to design their business and technologies for a mobile world.

#10. Inflexible

We all have our own ideas but sometimes you need to listen and watch to what is happening around you. It’s called awareness. Resisting change doesn’t mean you don’t care. Being flexible is a way of thinking. Being open to new ideas and just plain listening means you can adapt

How do you remain relevant?

It can be summed up with a simple phrase, “Watch, listen and learn

Are you relevant or are you in danger of becoming a dinosaur?  Ecommerce, mobiles, new media and  technology are disrupting business as usual. How are you coping?

Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.

 

 

Want to learn how to make your blog a success with social media marketing?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.

Download and read it now.

 

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Advertisers Find Sneaky New Way to Make You Watch Commercials

commercialsI don’t know if this is innovative, annoying, or a little bit of both. (Probably a little bit of both, but let me know what you think.)

I was buying tickets for Bruce in the U.S.A. last night through Ticketmaster. I was doing this because Bruce Springsteen isn’t touring in the U.S. anytime soon, and I needed something to tide me over til his next tour.

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8 Up-and-Coming Design Trends Marketers Should Know About

web-designHave you ever felt like every time you mastered a new design technique, there’s something else new and exciting that you see on websites? I know how you feel.

There will always be new design trends we’ll hear about regularly and learn from. Some of these trends are long-lasting ones, though.

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How Data Cleansing Can Improve Your Cause Marketing

cleansingHaving an efficient way to update and manage your donors in your organization’s database is directly aligned with your marketing and fundraising success. Your current constituents and prospective supporters are the basis for your organization’s success and whom you’ll be engaging with via email, social media, and even in person.

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The Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

The top 5 social media marketing mistakes and how to fix them

Social media marketing is still the hot topic in town.

But even large businesses with expert marketers on the job make rookie mistakes when it comes to social media. Here are the top five social media marketing mistakes that you need to watch out for.

#1. Using the wrong metrics

When people are forced to deal with a subject that they don’t understand, they often try to gain some sense of control by applying the same rules to it that they’ve seen to work in their area of expertise. This kind of simplistic thinking can be the rot of many mistakes.

Many conventional marketers make this sort of mistake when they try to measure the success of their social media marketing efforts. They use the number of fans or followers that their efforts have gained for the company as the primary yardstick by which to measure their success. They tell themselves that if viewership numbers matter in the television business and circulation numbers matter in newspapers, follower numbers should matter in social media.

In truth, though, it doesn’t matter how large a social footprint you have. You could have thousands of Facebook fans without it making a difference to your business. In social media, what matters is how much people feel compelled to talk about your business by tweeting about it, bringing your business up on Facebook and sharing your videos among their friends. Businesses that truly understand social media marketing use metrics that make sense for social media. They measure brand sentiment, the number of times their customers share their experience with the company’s customer service department and so on.

#2. Setting up too many social network accounts

At one point, IBM discovered that hundreds of their managers had an IBM-branded Twitter presence, each one with his own handle. People who wished to follow IBM on Twitter had no idea which one of these was the real IBM. Top management had to intervene and shut down all but a few accounts.

Managing one social media business account properly can be a huge responsibility by itself. Even large companies often have trouble adequately staffing and running a lone Facebook account. Many small businesses, though, make the mistake of jumping headfirst into every social media platform, major and minor – Google+, Pinterest, Vine, Ning, Tumblr and FourSquare, among others. They only think of how they are stretched too thin after they’ve set up pages everywhere and got a handful of fans. They are then forced to abandon many networks and lose face. The lesson to learn here is that no small business has the resources to run more than one or two social networking accounts.

#3. Making your social presence all about you

Just as no one likes to be around a person who just likes to talk about himself, no one likes hanging around the Facebook page of a brand that can’t get enough of itself.

Brands that have no idea how social networking works jump in thinking that it’s a traditional advertising platform. All they ever give their followers are advertisements and unimpressive discounts to buy stuff with. While it isn’t wrong to get in a little advertising, it won’t do to plan your Facebook content around advertising. Even conventional TV advertising doesn’t work without offering humor, good music and visuals and an interesting plot. If you are going to get your business on a social network, you should concentrate on finding out what kind of content your customer base is interested in and invest in high quality content creation to meet the need.

If nothing else, you should try to make your Facebook presence customer-centric by promptly responding to every comment.

#4. No communication

Businesses run efficiently through division of labor. They create separate departments with specialized knowledge of HR, customer service, marketing and so on. Creating a separate, self-contained department for social networking, though, doesn’t work. Every business needs to involve multiple departments in its social media marketing effort.

The marketing, PR and customer service departments need to be in the loop.

#5. You don’t have a plan

In many companies, the decision to jump on the social bandwagon is an emotional one, not one that’s the result of thinking and planning. This results in a social presence that is always run on improvisation and seat-of-the-pants creativity. An unplanned approach can result in lost opportunities. For instance, if your business doesn’t have an editorial calendar for your social media presence, you may simply neglect to say something important and relevant when the Super Bowl comes around, when the back-to-school shopping season starts and so on.

Finally…

Sometimes, businesses manage to be unsuccessful without making any of these mistakes. This can come from unwillingness to try anything new. The most important thing with putting your business on a social network is to be engaged and to constantly try to find a way to reach out to your customer base and be relevant to them.

Guest author: Bill Nixon is immersed in all things social media and marketing. An experienced writer, you can find his interesting articles mostly on marketing, business and financial blog sites. Check out these reviews about services like Yodle for more ideas.

 

Want to learn how to make your blog a success with social media marketing? Struggling with creating great content?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.

Download and read it now.

 

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6 Ways Brands Can Amplify their Marketing with Flipboard Magazines

6 Ways Brands Can Amplify their Marketing with Flipboard Magazines 1

Flipboard is a social media content aggregation service that lets users grab content from anywhere and compile it into visually stunning digital magazines. It launched in 2010 with an app that was specific to the iPad. In mid-2012, an Android app was released, along with plans for a Windows phone app. The company recently launched a Web-based Flipboard portal that showcases select magazines.

Fast forward to 2013 and the numbers show that Flipboard now has 85+ million users!

Why you should be on it? Our age of information digitally is constantly evolving and with Flipboard’s strength you will be able to bring your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn into one location. This can sit alongside your favorite news sources and anything else you want your customers to read, or watch (like YouTube videos). This is your own personalized version of the web in a magazine format.

If you are really not convinced about using Flipboard and looking for some more features, check out what Kimberly has to say about some great features of Flipboard.

After creating the Flipboard magazine, you want people to read it, engage with you. Let’s look at 6 effective measures to grow your magazine readership and amplify your marketing with Flipboard magazines! 

1. Social care

Today people are connected 24/7 with their mobile’s, and with the array of applications made available to them. This is a chance for brands to reach out to them and connect with them. Social networks are the easiest ways for customers to complain regarding the product/services. But to connect with them beyond the customer care service, brands have to build a more personal relationship, which makes the customers feel like a friend. By doing so you will gain customer loyalty and they will even go out of their way to influence others for your brand!

Example: Give tips, so your audience knows you care. By just providing tips regarding “12 simple tips to improve your sleep” Delta Airlines build a friendship with their customers at no additional cost.

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard 1

2. Events and campaigns

With the option of creating multiple magazines in different categories you now have a platform where you don’t have to put all your content on one page! With this option you can create dozens of magazines for your events/campaign. Keep the storytelling style of your magazines for events fresh. To garner attention for events keep fun names which attract your customers. Make sure the description is clear and succinct and explains the purpose of your magazine.

Example: As a brand you can create different magazines for events covering – Images, Celebrities associated with the events, Information about the events. Like promoting a new movie.

3. Products and services

The key to promoting a brand is not just talking about the products and services. Use this opportunity to curate pictures, reviews or news stories relating to the brand keeping in mind Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule). Keep 80 percent flipped from across the web and 20 percent is allotted to brand, promotion and content. You then have a mix of related content, it keeps the subscribers informed as well as entertained!

Example: If you are a coffee brand use feeds and articles which are relevant to your industry by providing articles, photos and videos.

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard

Photo credit:  Phoblographer.com

4. Monitor and track your competitors

As the saying goes “Keep your friends close, and enemies closer”. In this case not really enemies but competitors! The magazines in Flipboard can be made public or kept private. You can keep a closer eye on your competitors, by creating a private magazine and tracking all their activities. With this it would help you compare the strong and weak areas of your brand over time.

And don’t forget, Flipboard allows multiple users to curate one magazine. So your entire research team can help you in this.

Example: With cut-throat competition in the mobile industry, the option of a private magazine you can provide a personal portal that collects relevant information and keeps you across what’s happening in your industry.

5. Make it a social hub

Social media can play a large role in attracting new visitors to your magazine. Flipboard has made it easy by consolidating your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ feeds into a magazine, which you can then flip (load) your brand posts into. As the audience like being connected to great experiences, you can use Tweets/Facebook posts as testimonials. Brands can now consolidate them into a magazine.

Example: Restaurants receive reviews by customers, creating a magazine of all the good reviews. Nothing excites a potential customer more than, to see testimonials by other customers as it re-instates their belief about the brand and makes them want to gain the same enriching experience as well.

6. Drive traffic

Marketing your brand is about being everywhere in a wide range of media formats to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your web properties.  So create your own Flipboard magazine for your blog. Load up your articles and you have your blog in a magazine format. Flipboard just happens to make it look sensational!

As Flipboard is now not just an app now but also on the web you have added another distribution point to amplify your content in another format. Here is the traffic being driven to the Jeffbullas.com blog by Flipboard a couple of days ago.

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard

Example: Here is the Jeff Bullas.com Blog Magazine

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard

Your turn

Flipboard is the new way to flip that marketing switch for visual impact. It adds another dimension to your content on a web that craves stunning images and photos.

So what do you think?

Are you ready to give the Flipboard Magazines a go? If you are already flipping share your experience with us!

Bonus Resources

Guest author: Harsh Ajmera is the founder of Digital Insights

 

 

Want to learn how to make your blog a success with social media marketing and contagious content?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.

Download and read it now.

 

The post 6 Ways Brands Can Amplify their Marketing with Flipboard Magazines appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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Google "Quick Actions" Put Clickable CTAs in Subject Lines

175898950_narrowWhen people receive your emails in their inbox, there are quite a few steps they need to take before they engage with the content of the email.

First, they receive the email in their inbox. Then, they notice the email and open it. Then, they click on something inside. Then, they land on your website. That took a while — and most of your audience probably dropped off after the first or second step in the process.

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