marketing


I’ve been on a number of networking group calls lately and realized there are some small business executives and some younger professionals that may need assistance on crafting a comprehensive marketing and communications plan. Here are some tips to get you started on a template. 

Download the PDF for a step-by-step overview to get you started on a successful plan!

Key Insights:

• Take the time to articulate your Unique Value Proposition.
• Collaborate with team members and stakeholders throughout the process.
• Know your audience—what language they use, what they care about, and what channels they use/visit.
• Stay up-to-date on emerging technology and apply it as appropriate.
• Take care of your brand! Be consistent with design and messaging. Pay attention to details—don’t be sloppy or you’ll look second rate.
• Use data and conduct research to inform decisions.
• Track, monitor, analyze, and be flexible.
• Make an investment to get expert help—whether that’s a designer, writer, digital marketing specialist, or strategist. It will pay off with higher engagement and profits.

Part of my job is to keep up on the latest channels of communication (in 2012 that translates to the latest technology and social media sites). Why? Because they are potential marketing vehicles for my company or one of my clients. Unless you’ve been living under a rock—or have decided that you aren’t going to be part of the social media environment like the people in the ancient days of the late 90’s who didn’t want to get an email address—then you’ve no doubt at least heard of the site called Pinterest.

Last year my friend and colleague, Stephanie, wrote about it on her blog and I took a look at it and asked for an invitation (you have to be invited to start your own account). I finally got one and have been pinning away for the last several days. I’m torn between absolutely loving this site and hating the fact that I have another potential addiction to deal with.

Pinterest has really opened my eyes to the amazing amount and variety of creativity in our world. And while this site is the fastest growing social media site in the world and is exploding with unprecedented popularity (they are making Facebook eat their dust), in the grand scheme of things is still a small community. Which makes me even more blown away by the sheer amount of imagination and talent that’s out there. I have been truly humbled. I like to think I’m creative (not a typical artist but a good amateur photographer and a half decent writer). I have to say though that there are some seriously talented people out there—whether it’s photography; designers of home elements, clothes, jewelry, graphics, and more; chefs, cooks, and bakers; authors; humorists; you name it—someone is there sharing their work. The travel photographs are making me really, really, really, want to see the world. Yes, I keep saying how much I want to travel and photograph God’s creation but the urge is getting almost painful when I see all these glorious pictures.

One of the nice things about Pinterest is that the community is about sharing and spreading cool stuff. Haters can stay home (with the exception of a few people who think certain things are funny but maybe not so much). Getting your stuff “repined” or “liked” feels good. Sharing others’ work and commenting on how cool it is lifts people up. I like this positive reinforcement, this encouragement of art in all its form.

So is it good for businesses? For some brands, absolutely. Others, not so much. Companies that have products or services that are creative in nature fit the mold of this site. But like any social media channel, if you shove your wares down the throats of the users, you’ll be ignored or shunned. Social media is about sharing content and creating a forum for discussion and thought. With that said, I’m going to shamelessly plug my page and ask you to follow me on Pinterest!

Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Need an invitation? Let me know!

(The photo below was something I found on Pinterest and was posted here: http://pinterest.com/pin/142989356888534418/

It's the latest "thing."

Pin It

I watched this webinar today on how to improve your blog. It was very interesting and the speaker—who was from the Kodak company—had some great stories and case studies to share. Being an amateur photographer myself, I loved all the fun posts they have. Let me just pose a question for your thoughts here. Why do we call ourselves amateur photographers? Basically almost every person in America over the age of three has their own camera and takes pictures. Almost all of them do not get paid, so isn’t everyone pretty much an amateur? Okay, not important I get it.

So, the speaker was telling us about a post she wrote that went viral. Of course, it had a dog in it so that helps, but she tested out one of Kodak’s products—a weird tripod thing which I think I need to get now—on her Pug. She summed it up by stating that all the photos that were taken showed him looking at 1) her, 2) his food dish, and 3) the cat. Too funny. Kind of sounds like men. (I bet they mostly spend their time looking at women, TVs, and refrigerators.)

Later on, she tried putting a video camera on the dog. It was like watching someone have a seizure inside your head. Not a good video but funny. The piece de resistance was when she put it on her cat. As you might guess, the only footage is of the back of the cat’s head. The cat was so lazy it didn’t move and so nothing of interest was shown.

After the webinar I put my iPhone in Grendel’s collar and hit record. He immediately turned his head to try to eat it so the only thing you see is black and then blurred randomness, and you can hear me in the background saying, “No Grendel! Awwwww. Dang it.”

I hope this was interesting content. Posting interesting content was the first tip on how to improve your blog. The second was to make a plan (I don’t think my life is that interesting to plan ahead like that), and the third tip was to answer people’s questions. If your questions have something to do with how to get cat boogers out of your window sill, how to get a Grendel dog to eat, or anything marketing related, I can help. Brain surgery, sewing, curling, eating with chopsticks, growing vegetables, and piano playing are not in my wheelhouse, so you’ll need to go somewhere else for those questions.

Check out the pug with the camera.

Kodak: A Thousand Words – Dog Photography: Not of dogs but taken by a dog.

Kodak: A Thousand Words – Pet Videography – Videos Shot by Pets.

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