At the beginning of a new year, it is natural to want to set resolutions both personally, and professionally for your organization. We all start out with the best of intentions, but trying to do too much too soon can set us up for failure in our marketing campaigns or outreach efforts. And while our marketing to-do lists are ongoing, it is important to review and assess our efforts so they are as effective as they can be. Here are some tips and recommendations for resolution success for the coming year.
I wrote about this last in 2010 when unemployment was near ten percent and competition for work was fierce and cutthroat. And while a lot has changed in the past eight years, the components to consider when you want to create a successful new website for your business or non-profit have not.
I am worried. As I wrote earlier, part of creating a persuasive change message is to document and describe the problem before offering a solution built on shared values. My fear is that the blistering acceleration of focus scarcity, or attention deficit if you will, may soon make effective mission-driven marketing all but impossible.
One day as I flicked through a group of RSS and Twitter feeds for a client in education, I came across a sketch that made me chuckle in recognition. Bill Ferriter, a.k.a. @plugusin on Twitter, posted a reminder for educators: “What do You Want Kids to Do With Technology?” I chuckled to myself because several of the wrong answers listed for educators also regularly bedazzle small businesses and nonprofits into confusing a new tool (or shiny object) with a marketing goal.
"71% of internet users will access social networking sites regularly this year." source
One of the great challenges and great truths of social media is the quick speed at which everything changes. Whether it is your Twitter feed, the social news cycle or the speed at which each network grows, we can all count on everything changing and changing often. And the latest change is the stong push and focus on native social video by major social media channels.
As a business owner, you most likely already know how critical it is to be active and visible online. Google prioritizes mobile friendly sites over sites that aren’t mobile friendly when listing search results. Considering the oversaturation of websites online, having a mobile optimized website can make your business stand out. Let’s look at exactly why and how mobile optimization will improve your business.
Marketing, like many other worthwhile activities, is a team venture. And every effective team needs a coach, rules of the game, and a common goal. Think of your creative brief as a team playbook with a description of the goal, objectives and rules for a specific marketing project that involves more than one person. Maximizing the talents and expertise of your marketing project team will be much easier with a collaboration built on a shared understanding of the rules and a common goal.
Rich metrics are one of the delights of implementing an integrated inbound marketing program. Inbound’s ability to track the history of an individual’s interactions along her/his customer decision journey makes documenting the ROI for various marketing activities a possibility for small businesses and nonprofits. For years the Achilles’ heel of public relations (PR) has been its lack of metrics directly linked to business outcomes and the subsequent inability to document ROI. Inbound marketing is the answer.
Time is funny. It flies. It can be saved and wasted. When you’re working on a design and content project with lots of moving parts and people, time is also money. In many mission-driven organizations, time and money are often both in short supply. In an ideal world, every project begins with a creative brief that stakeholders within your organization and outside partners have signed off on. But for those seemingly inevitable, unexpected or rush projects, here are some time-saving tips for success I’ve hammered out on the anvil of experience on both sides of the design project management window.
Making sure that your website reaches and communicates effectively to everyone requires attention to many factors—design, language, search optimization, and adherence to accessibility guidelines and regulations. I’ll look specifically at website design for accessibility in this blog post and address language and other factors in a future post.
Confusion about copyright law is common these days — fueled by the rise in online content and easy sharing. And the constant demand for fresh, engaging visuals to be shared drives more and more copyright confusion about photography in particular. But confusion creates a significant risk for marketers because it exposes you to copyright infringement lawsuits and fines. Let’s look at common copyright risks you can avoid, and tips for quickly and safely creating the images you need for your blogging and social media efforts.
Do you know the secret to conducting a good video interview? Whether you are gathering video testimonials for your website or developing an informational video series for an outreach campaign, conducting your first video interview is about preparation and understanding human communication.
If ‘best-kept secret’ is a phrase you’ve ever heard used to describe your nonprofit, you are not alone. Perhaps it’s just the popularity of the Best-Kept Secret book, but it seems as if a larger-than-usual number of reluctant marketers self-described as a ‘best-kept secret’ have crossed my path lately. Yet knowing you are not alone does not ease your concern about knowing you cannot advance your mission if no one knows you exist.
Brand and branding are terms you hear used and misused daily in marketing and advertising. Once terms used only by those working in the field or by business people in large corporations, it’s now commonplace to hear in everyday conversations: “My favorite brand is…” or “XYZ has a really good brand.” Perhaps it’s the popularity of Mad Men, or maybe the proliferation of new technologies and media channels, but misuse and confusion about the terms keeps growing. Yet as a business owner or nonprofit manager, you want to understand exactly what you’re paying for when buying a brand property, or branding your product or services. Let’s look at two things a brand is, and seven things a brand is not.
Logo, Corporate Identity or Brand — What’s the difference? When a company begins to consider ways to visually represent themselves, their product, service or idea, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. There are significant differences though, and building a solid understanding of these three terms is valuable for every marketer.
Saying you need video for your business is kind of like saying you need a website. Both are general terms for an essential tool that can mean a lot of things. Websites can range from a simple and very basic informational microsite to an extremely complex fully integrated customer portal with an eCommerce back end.
Think of video styles in a similar way. You can have a quick ten-second video clip shot on your phone of a favorite client talking about how much they love working with your organization, or you can hire professionals to produce a 15-minute company video that involves multiple shoot days, multiple set ups, extensive post-production, and animated graphics. Knowing which video style is right for you isn’t a simple matter.
Do you worry about saying bad words? I know sometimes it feels as if I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how to avoid bad words and message mistakes. For change strategy, bad words are the ones that trigger bad frames — frames that run counter to the positive social change you want to see.