LinkedIn currently reports that it has 200 million members worldwide. Most have probably created a LinkedIn page to connect with colleagues and clients and have high hopes of connecting to prospects. However, many will probably never be found, because they have not maximized their profiles. Here are five LinkedIn profile strengthening tips to boost your profile and create a network of professionals that has the potential to increase your business.
April 29th, 2013
Do you want better SEO? Do you know why you want better SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming one of the most effective tools in the world of marketing–but only when it is used correctly. In the world of PR, we’ve been using it for years. Our goal is to get journalists to find the information for their story ideas at our clients’ websites, or by contacting them directly. We do keyword tweets on Twitter. We make sure that the keywords are clear on press releases and on our clients’ websites.
One of the ways to get better Search Engine Optimization is a process called Article Marketing. Here are two excellent resources for Article Marketing. You can start at Wikipedia and get the basics. There you learn that Article Marketing has been around as long as there have been newspapers and magazines. To use Article Marketing effectively, you must be an expert at something. You write an article about that subject, and you try to get it placed in a newspaper or magazine. The article has your name on it, and you are on your way to becoming well-known in your industry. That’s how Public Relations really started in the early 1900s. When the early PR professionals realized that if they helped make the journalist’s job easier by providing the right information for a story, they could get their clients’ stories placed in print publications.
When you add the Internet with Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., Article Marketing became, for some companies, a way of tricking the search engines to get your company higher up on the search engine listings. There were sites on the web that charged you for a link. Google and their colleagues eventually figured out what was happening and then made it very difficult for them to succeed.
But the actual concept of Article Marketing really can work for you. Your story has to be well written and informative. It can be a blog post, a press release that you have on your site, an article that you got placed in some other journalist website, or a case study that you have on your site. You want people to read it, and then go to your website and contact you. Phil Stone has written a really instructive piece called “What Is Article Marketing?” He gives you a good idea of the process, and what is possible.
The important thing to remember is to make sure your keywords are embedded in your story. But more importantly, make sure your story is worth reading–or it is a waste of your time and money.
April 17th, 2013
Do you often find yourself sitting at your computer noodling through a solution to a challenging technical problem only to find that the next time you need to perform the same task, or even worse, the next time you need to show someone how to perform it, you have totally forgotten the steps to success you had painstakingly sleuthed out? Well say hello to your new best friend, screen capture or casting. By simply capturing the activity on your screen and a voice over as you work through a solution, you can now walk the viewer through complex concepts more efficiently, helping you explain any subject with more depth and understanding.
Here at Placemaking Group we often use screen casting to record walk-throughs on the back end of our custom CMS system, “elfCP”. We are able to perform specific tasks in the admin panel for a client’s website and record the process with voice over tips and direction. This streamlines and simplifies the training process by showing the client exactly what to do step by step onscreen. The best thing is that the videos are then available for them to reference whenever they need a refresher course on completing a certain task or a when a new employee takes over the responsibility of completing it.
Here is an example of a walkthrough we created for one of our clients using the built in QuickTime Player screen recording feature.
Think about how you could utilize screen casting to your advantage in the business you are in; maybe it is demoing a new piece of software you have created, or maybe it is simply showing your employees how to fill out their electronic timesheet correctly, speeding up productivity and clearing up confusion … the possibilities are endless and exciting!
Looking for a screencasting application? For the little video above, we used the built in screen recording function in QuickTime Player, which works great, and if you have a Mac running 10.7 or above you most probably have it right there in your Applications folder for free!
Here are a couple more options to check out if you want to start your screencasting adventure and dont have Quicktime already installed:
- Jing (Windows/Mac, Basic: Free, Pro: $14.95 per year)
- ScreenFlow (Mac, $99)
- CamStudio (Windows, Free)
- Screencast-o-Matic (Windows/Mac/Linux – Free, Pro: $12 per year)
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Like the look of our ELF content management system, contact us for a more thorough walk-through and see how it could work for your site.
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March 13th, 2013
Sharing Your Knowledge Can Have Many Benefits
A blog can increase your search engine ranking thus helping you to generate leads from the web. How? By establishing many links across the Internet when your content is posted or linked to from other sites.
If you update the blog with new posts every week it can also create a community of loyal followers who will subscribe to receive weekly posts. However, blogs require ongoing updating and need to be marketed to realize their benefits.
February 28th, 2013
Video has become a super hot medium for online marketing. Not only do high-ranking videos improve search engine rankings, but having video on your website can be an effective way to engage your audience, drive web traffic and convert customers. In this post, we discuss six ways to build your brand with video.
- Customer Testimonials
- Product Presentation
- Product Demonstration
- Case Study
- Corporate Overview
- Training — Step-by-Step instruction or how-to
There are some impressive statistics that show the growing power of video today.
- Drive web traffic — Banner ads with video generate 6 times as many post-ad site visits as standard banner ads. (Source: MediaMind)
- Increase sales — Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97%, and brand association by 139%. (Source: Unruly). Also, a recent study from unBounce shows explainer videos can increase conversion rates by almost 20%. (Source Unbounce)
- Go Mobile — Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2016. (Source: Cisco)
- Use a Proven Medium — In the US, 181 million people watched more than 39 billion online content videos during September 2012 (Source: comScore)
- Increase email click-through — Including the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email will boost click-through rates from 7-11% and emails that contained an embedded video achieved a 21% higher conversion rate according to Business 2 Community.
February 22nd, 2013
Video is a powerful tool for telling your story, and is a compelling way to engage your audience and speak from a variety of viewpoints. With video, you can show your product and tell why it is different, in effect, building your brand.
Today there are many choices for shooting a video, from webcam to mobile devices such as iPhone or Android to bringing on a professional quality videography crew. Each has its advantages, from cost to turn-around time to quality. The video production choice should be made with the video goals in mind.
It’s important to note that a video used for a marketing purpose requires some pre- and post-production planning and often, expense.
Read on to view three examples of different levels of production values in marketing videos, ranging from a home-spun webcam video blog to a high-quality, professionally produced marketing video. Read the rest of this entry »