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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Archive for the ‘branding’ Category

Who Is Representing Your Company to the Public?

Recently I received an email from an organization with a message that did not seem to represent the organization well. I also noticed that the person who sent it added their picture at the bottom of the email, and it made a little more sense. This email was sent to business owners in an attempt to solicit them for a business membership, but it was worded like it was written by someone trying to be “hip and trendy” which did not seem best to reach this audience. Because I can’t keep my mouth shut (so says my wife) :-) I responded to the email and let the CEO know where I thought his message went wrong. I never respond out of arrogance, and my sincere goal was to help this organization and I am friends with one of the principals. I hope he receives the message well, and considers who his audience is and most of all, who is the best person to craft messages on behalf of the company.

Think about your company. Do you have the right person, team, or company in place to create or maintain the public image that you want? If not, now is a good time to think about it. If you are marketing with the wrong message, you are wasting time and money, and missing out on opportunities. Stop and ask yourself how you are represented in the following areas:

– Press & Media Relations
– Social Media (blogs, social networks, etc.)
– Email Marketing

It’s not practical for the business owner to be involved personally in each of these aspects of marketing, but it is critical that a business owner, know that his or her company message is being created for the right audience at the right time and through the right channels.

If you need professional help or an analysis of your current strategy, I’d love to help you. Feel free to contact me for a consultation to see how I can help you increase your profitability by having solid company communications.

How to Leverage Current Events to Promote Your Brand

Do you ever find yourself at a loss for blog content? One thing to keep in mind is that Google gives preference to content related to current events. All you need to do is ask yourself what is going on in the news or what holidays are coming up and then write a blog post about the event or holiday.

There are two approaches to making this work. The first method is to tie it in to your business by either adding a marketing message or showing that your company offers a solution to a problem being mentioned in the news. The second method is to simply put out the related content for brand exposure. Like every other marketing strategy, I recommend testing to see what works best for you.

After you have written your blog post, you will want to share it across your social media networks as this will help to “give it some legs.” A great one to use in this case is Twitter because you will also be able to leverage #hashtags which are basically keywords used to search on Twitter. Twitter monitors the top #hashtags which is an indication of what people are sharing or searching about. Tying your blog post into a #hashtag will help increase exposure to your blog post by leverage the event or holiday related activity on Twitter.

Last week I heard some interesting statistics about the Super Bowl and I decided to do a Super Bowl blog post on Sunday. I went the route of branding and made no mention of my company or what I did. It was a success; and is now the most visited blog post of the year. The real proof that Google listens came from viewing my analytics to see where the visitors came from. Most of the visits on Super Bowl Sunday and the two days following came through Google search (as indicated by Super Bowl search queries) and not just from the social media networks I submitted it to.

The moral of the story is that Google listens when you know how to speak their language.

Shouldn’t every employee be an evangelist?

So this blog just hasn’t developed feet on its own yet, and that is because I am just overwhelmingly busy these days with work and family (I know that’s not what you are looking for). At my old company, we used to ask ourselves where people found time to blog – and I still ask that question.

Anyhow, in response to Matt McGee’s Search Engine Land article on Hiring an Evanglist I propose that companies take a different approach and that is to instill company loyalty such that every employee becomes an evangelist. I know it won’t work simply in every industry, but we are in an information age where people talk, email, blog, use Social media and the like and if they are passionate about what they do or who they work for, that can create more buzz for the company. Of course, you may have to hold a few informal sessions on training people how to think like a corporate evangelist, and you will only get participation if you have their loyalty (which comes from creating a great work environment).

Few people enjoy what they do for work, and I think that is where the real problem lies. If every company did their best to make their employees truly feel part of a team, or that they held a valuable and desired position, I think the results would be amazing. I happen to work for such a company; I work with amazing people (smart, hard working, and genuinely nice people) and a great management team. I recall one time as I was leaving for the day, one of the VP’s thanked me – my response was (he just thanked me for doing my job). That may seem simple, but it says a lot about a person, management, and a corporate culture – and you would be surprised at how many people feel that they are unappreciated.

Employers & Managers, try doing something nice for your employees, try just being nice, smiling, or thanking them (for starters). You may get interesting responses, as many will think something is wrong with you at first because they aren’t used to seeing that kind of gesture. It will cost you far less than hiring someone to put on a good face for your company and will energize a team of ready, willing, and able evangelists.

One of the best investments a company can make is in its people and creating a great work environment – given that we spend most of our time working.

Feel free to send this to your boss as either motivation or appreciation :)

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