2013 End-of-the-Year Blog Checklist

December 31, 2013

The best way to determine whether or not you are on track with your social media is by having a checklist. This can help you to see what you have accomplished and what’s holding you back and will allow you to make the right changes for next year.

1. Did you achieve your blog goals? Don’t just dive into the new year and expect new things to be accomplished. It’s important to set goals for yourself to achieve throughout the year so you know how far along you’ve come. It is the what you set yourself hoping to achieve and is measurable. Common objectives include: building a media platform or email list, driving sales and lead generation, supports search and social media efforts, establish thought leadership, etc. Compare your efforts this year to the previous year to track of what works better.

2. How much traffic did you blog generate? Use Google Analytics to track your traffic. Be sure to check your page views based on patterns such as what days are more popular to what time your posts are. By analyzing this, you can achieve the best potential audience for your blog posts. You should also check the causes based on your content itself. What special events or promotions were the most popular? What topics had the largest audience? It’s important to see what people want to read about and when they are most likely to read your content.

3. Has your audience changed over the year? You need to study your readers to see where they are coming from. This helps you to understand the demographic you have and their background. from search engines to inbound links on other sites, you can understand where you are lacking in content distribution. This also includes what device they are reading your blog on. Access time on your site is also important to see if you can attract and keep the people on your site with your content. If people are going to your blog and leaving quickly, you need to revise your content.

4. What content was the most effective on your blog? Analyze your content to see if they are aligned with your business goals. Does it resonate with your readers and keep them on your blog? Look at your best topics and work from there to see what people want to read. The statistics can tell you exactly which topics are working for you and which ones aren’t. This can also include what media you are including such as images, links and videos.

Your end-of-the-year checklist will help you to better understand your blog’s performance. Analyze what works and what doesn’t to help you achieve your goals and make changes to better next year. Use that as a basis to create a new action list for 2014 and your business will grow from there.

Key Marketing Highlights of 2013

December 30, 2013

As 2013 is nearing its end, marketing has clearly changed over the course of the year especially through social media. These changes are laying down the groundwork for what’s to come for social media marketing in 2014.

1.  Media Platform Distribution – In order to achieve the highest marketing potential for your business, you must distribute your content through as many different types of media and platforms as your budget can handle. The spread of your content is the key to marketing as you tell your audience of your business, products and reviews through this. As media multitasking is growing, it’s harder to gain the attention of your audience and it’s important to be visible on all platforms so that you gain more opportunities for sales.

2. Smartphone Device Adoption – Half of the population now owns a smartphone and because of this, media multitasking is growing. According to Research by eMarketer, the amount of time that people spend on a mobile device is also growing at 14 times the rate of desktop usage. Because of this, mobile platforms are also becoming the more prominent channel for sales. Businesses now need to prioritize their marketing strategies to become “mobile-first” in order to keep up with the advances of technology and their audience.

3. Content Marketing  – Marketing through content is still dominant in this industry. The three top types of content include social posts and updates, email newsletter and news/feature articles. In-house marketers still use content marketing as their prominent tactic to sell their products and services. Consumers interact with content rather than advertising and brands should use this insight to craft ads with the highest potential.

4. Facebook – Of all the social media, Facebook still dominates as it added features including graph searches and hashtags. Brands that use hashtags have a higher reach than brands that don’t with the ability to directly advertise to those who have clicked the corresponding hashtag. The graph search option helps you find those who like your page and allow you to create content, ads and even free giveaways and opportunities for fans in your geographical location. This would encourage a more interactive local community and benefit as a strong ground point.

5. Newsfeed Branding – People don’t usually search for brands or look at the ads in the sidebar. When your ads are integrated with your audience’s newsfeed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it is looked at because it looks very similar to the statuses and images of your friends and family. As the world is very fast-paced and people scroll through newsfeed on their smartphones quickly, people are way more likely to look at an ad and read it before even realizing it. This is the one of the best kinds of advertising as you know it will definitely be opened and read. Once your audience consumes the information, they can choose to ignore it or take action.

By understanding how your audience interacts with technology and how they interact with others socially, you can figure out how to incorporate your advertising into their daily lives with the highest potential. It’s important to analyze and understand this for the new year to stay ahead of the marketing game.

Social Media Content Distribution and Its Benefits

December 24, 2013

With a vast market in the New York area, not only is it important to understand the type of content you are providing for your audience, but you need to analyze where you are presenting it as well. Social media networks all work similarly, but they are all used differently by various audience types. Here is breakdown of the most popular social media networks for marketing and their benefits:

1. LinkedIn – This network offers a large B2B audience and positions your company with others. It provides credibility and expands your business network through both employees and clients.

2. Twitter – With the use of constant statuses, it’s easy to promote your content. You can also expand your reach by following others and allowing them to follow you back. The ability for instant feedback also augments customer service and enables sales support to connect you with your customers more closely.

3. Facebook – Because of its extreme popularity, Facebook already has a large installed global user base. It is also one of the only significant social media sites outside of the US, which has a great advantage for businesses. Every business should have a Facebook and post on it to reach the largest audience possible.

4. YouTube – Although it only provides video content, it has an advantage because it provides a 360 degree product view and support. Videos are more entertaining and can teach your audience exactly how to use your product. It can spotlight your brand and engage your users. Comments and reviews are also easily accessible.

These are the top used social media networks used for content marketing and are each effective in their own way. It’s important to understand the advantages of each network to really understand what to display on each of them. With the knowledge of what kind of content is the most effective and which networks it has the best feedback on, your marketing ventures will have a significant advantage.

Actionable Content Marketing Options and Their Benefits

December 23, 2013

Marketing through content is the most effective way to attract prospects and convert them into leads. Making that content marketing actionable furthers that concept and increases its potential that much more. With the amount of advertising in New York and its surrounding areas, it’s difficult to get ahead without having a strong successful tactic for your content marketing. Here are some the top actionable content marketing options and their benefits:

1. Social Media (other than blogs) – By adding sharing icons for social media, you are encouraging action with every piece of content you post. This will allow others to spread your content for you and expand your content marketing distribution.

2. Website Articles – The new content you add on a regular basis should be placed on your company’s home page. This will provide current and new product information and advertise exactly what you want to promote for the time being. It also supports search engine optimization so others will find you easily when they are searching for your type of product without even being aware of your brand.

3. E-newsletters – When you include links to the articles on your site and to third party sites, you offer product information directly to your prospects. This also offers customer engagement as they need to click through the links to learn more. You will filter out those who go to your website that are truly interested and know some information from those who are just searching the web.

4. Blogs – You should publish at least 2 to 3 posts per week to get the most of your customer acquisition impact. Your blog entries can provide product information and also support search engine optimization as well. Constant entries provide more content to bring more keywords to your pages and bring you higher in search engines.

5. Case Studies – This will show how related businesses can use your product. From websites like Pinterest and Instagram, you can show your prospective customers the many different ways your product can be used. Images and video are very important for this to excel as customers need visuals. Testimonials and reviews are great add ons to this.

6. Live Events – Through this, you can extend reach with the use of live tweeting or live blogging. You can even have a live example of how your product works through demonstrations. You will provide product information and also build trust and get instant feedback as you are physically in front of your audience.

7. E-books – You can educate your prospects and customers to generate leads though this. Only those that are willing to download your e-book will receive the information as well so you will know who is actually interested in what you have to offer. You should also incorporate a related promotion into the book content so that they are lead to purchasing. Call-to-action is the highly important to this concept as you want to educate your audience and then convince then to purchase after.

8. Annual Reports – This will provide statistical information so you have official documents to back your reviews. Testimonials and feedback is important but sometimes, people want a business official document to see your statistics and reviews. You should reference your online content where its appropriate. Add call-to-action after all of your extremely positive statistical content so that they are inclined to click through after they are convinced.

With content marketing, there are so many options and these are only some of the few top ones. When you have actionable content marketing, you give information to your potential prospects and lead them straight to where they can purchase what you have to offer. By paving the path to a shopping cart, you are more likely to convert leads into sales. These tactics also help you to understand those who are actually interested in your product compared to those just searching the web. These options will help you achieve more successful conversion rates and results.

Boost Your Holiday Sales with Twitter

December 20, 2013

The holiday season is the time where everyone is expected to spend money, especially for those in the New York City area. Whether it’s for your family or yourself, the best deals are usually around this time. From a marketing standpoint, it’s important to highlight your product and services during this time to take advantage of this buying atmosphere.

Many people use social media to find out the best deals and offers quickly. Twitter is one of the fastest sources of news. With millions of statuses shared by the minute, this is the way to go to get quick feedback. Unlike Facebook, Twitter was made for statuses. People are not going to be annoyed that you are constantly posting things. What’s also great about Twitter is that you can also include images and links as well. In the mere 180 characters, you must grasp the readers attention and lure them towards a call-to-action.

It’s important to understand the flexibility and advantages of using social media. Since Twitter is such a fast-paced environment, you can also allow limited time sales offers to ensure people quickly buy your product. Limiting time gives them less of a chance to think as they want to seize the opportunity before it passes. Provide the links and images necessary in your statuses so they can easily see your product and know where to go from there to purchase.

Don’t forget to give special offers to those who follow you as well. This makes them feel important; like they are getting something exclusive for being a follower. It’s a simple “thank you” to those who support you and also another selling tactic.

Don’t miss out on all of these quick and easy tactics to get your final holiday sales in! Take advantage of Twitter as a social media network and a marketing tool that leads straight to your site’s shopping cart. The holidays are the #1 time of year where everyone shops and you don’t want to miss out on any of those opportunities to gain prospects!

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics for the Multiscreen Generation

December 19, 2013

We live in a world where we have televisions, computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones and people spend hours on each of those devices. In a generation where there is constant media on multiple screens, marketing may seem easier but when you think about how distracted people can get, that may not be the case. It’s important to understand the latest consumer trends to maximize your content longevity and your sales growth.

Understand when people are actually taking the time to sit down and read what you have to say. The most read news are actually during commutes, evenings and weekends. Reading the news takes time and most people are involved with catching up with it and social media when they actually have the time to do so. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t release content during the day. You should be constantly posting content and allow several ways for readers to save the articles for future downtime reading. This can be easily done through social media by constantly posting statuses that link you to the content you want to present.

You must also think about how your content is viewed. It is on screens, which means you can post several different types of media along with your content. This can be anything from images to videos to audio. People get bored when all they see is just paragraphs of words so visuals are important. It will keep their attention span and keep them reading more when you break your content up with different types of media. When you have different types of media in your content, your article can be longer and you can fit more important things in there for your readers.

Having multiple screens changes how your readers will approach content in the media. By accommodating these tactics into your content for this generation, you will enhance your marketing and potential readership exponentially.

How to Increase Your Blog Following

December 18, 2013

With millions of blogs in the New York metro area, it’s hard to convince people to keep up with your blog among the rest. You need to show your audience that your content is worth reading to gain a consistent following base. When you give your readers effective actions to take that will better their lives, you will enter the realm of “necessary blogs to follow.”

Call-to-action is the most effective way to get readers to sign up for what you have to offer. You don’t want your readers to wonder what you want them to do next. Tell them exactly what they should do. By providing the steps for your readers, you can instigate them to do what you want them to. If you constantly provide this, you can be dependable to your viewers. Lead them to subscribe to your blog and then consistently give them reasons to continue following you.

Giving your readers offers they can’t refuse is a common way to attract prospects. By offering free advice and content that is useful to your readers such as an e-book is a great way to grasp your audience’s attention. This shows the effort you are putting to gain consistent readers. You are doing all of this work to create a helpful guide for your readers without really asking them for anything in return. Your audience sees this as “free useful content,” which will incline them to come back for more freebies that are helpful.

Constant marketing makes for the most effective marketing. Don’t just try asking for a subscription once. Be insistent and repetitive through your blog, email, etc. People may overlook it the first time and the same goes for your offers. The media is for constant marketing so don’t be afraid if you’re being annoying. You want to make sure your audience does as you want them to and being consistent is the most effective route.

When it comes to blogging, you must be consistent and show that you are giving content that is of value. By having offers that readers can’t pass and constantly urging your audience to subscribe to your blog, you will more likely have a larger follower base.

How to Add Value to Your Content

December 12, 2013

Curating content cannot be automated. You need to make sure you have valuable content to capture your audience and maintain their interest for the long run. By converting valuable information into sufficient quality content, you will get optimal results and achieve your business goals in the social media and blogging realm of your marketing.

Your audience is a community. When it comes to building your marketing persona, you need to understand this. If you content is built to engage your readers, you re more likely to get feedback including likes, comments and most importantly, shares. Your content will stir up conversation and spread through your audience to a larger community. If you understand the advantages and power of your audience as a community, you can excel in this path with exponential growth for your content.

Be selective when it comes to the information you curate. Do not have information overload. In this case, the “less is more” approach is the way to go. Pick the most valuable parts of information that isn’t stated elsewhere so that you are the first source for your audience. When it comes to information that is broadly available, place little to no content about that since they can get it elsewhere. When you edit this way, your readers are able to focus on the important things and that’s what you want to be the source for.

Show a variety of perspectives so that you don’t seem so close-minded. When it comes to stories, there is also more than one point of view. When you analyze the different sides and state all the pros and cons of each, you provide information for your audience to derive an opinion from. You allow them to participate by inputting their thoughts about a situation and stir conversation about your given topic. This also allows for more activity as a social network when it comes to your content. You want to give people something to talk about and this is a clearcut way to pave that road.

Only timely information matters. If you state things that are so old that everyone else has talked about it or are “over it,” then no one will want to hear what you have to say. Make sure your topics are up to date so they are still relevant to your readers. The only time information about the past would make sense to speak about is if it was a historical event that people are looking back on or if new information was discovered about a past event.

Curating content is the best way to enhance your marketing efforts. It allows your audience to read what you have to say and respond to it. Feedback is essential when it comes to social media marketing because they are your target audience and you want to know exactly what they are looking for. Likes and comments show that what you have to say will stir up conversation and show approval. Sharing is what you should mainly gear towards to expand your audience. Content curation is a strong marketing tactic and when you place your efforts and produce high quality content, you can optimize your results and achieve your business goals.

Small Business Branding Without a Big Budget

December 10, 2013

Many small business have the wrong idea about budget and expenditures. Having a large budget can be an advantage to expanding your business, but that isn’t the only way to get ahead in the game. Here are some branding tactics that any small business can use to grow, regardless of the budget size.

via Creative Commons

Define your brand with a promise by explaining what you can offer others that others can’t. You need to set yourself apart from others and you don’t necessarily “need” money in order to do this. Understand what your customers actually need and solve their problems for them through research. Give customers a reason to believe that it’s better to purchase from you instead of your competitors. Once you give them a promise and you keep it, that is the true core of your branding. From how you deal with customer care to the being green to having easy access to your services, there many ways you can approach this without a large budget backing you up.

Choosing the right name can go a long way. Make sure that it is easy to pronounce, spell and remember. Get advice from friends and family to test out the name to see if it’s catchy or relates to your product or the history behind it enough. This process may take some time or it might just come to you, but it must be perfect because that is what your name will always be so be careful. Also, make sure that it isn’t used by another business in order to avoid trademark or copyright disputes. That is the last thing your business wants and it will cost you money to get out that situation.

What’s your story? The history and background of your product or business is what captures an audience. If you have a loving family history behind your business, people can relate to you and understand your product more. If you are an all-natural food company, show the story of your products coming straight from a local farm to show how genuinely natural your products are. People may not be able to definitely remember your name and product, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel with your story. This is important to capture as you will engrave your brand into your audience through this.

Designing your visuals is relative to your brand name and also helps them to remember what your product is. Colors and images are easier to retain than a bunch of words so if you collaborate them, people will remember your product more. From colors to typefaces to styles and layouts, everything about the design can be incorporated in your branding. You want your audience to always think about your business, regardless of what they are looking at. By having consistent and definitive branding, people will be able to look at simple things like a color or typeface and automatically connect it with your business.

Branding isn’t always about paying huge advertisers to have campaigns for you. It is about having a definitive brand that people know of. If you make sure that you have a strong name, story, promise and a consistent design for your brand and product, people will more likely remember you and keep you in mind.

VWM Presents Amazing Spaces 2.0

December 9, 2013

As a prestigious interior design company and brand, Amazing Spaces LLC wanted to update their website to reflect upon their design capabilities and presence. Van West Media took Jason Landau’s vision and transformed it into a website as amazing as the interiors Landau himself produces.

Amazing Spaces LLC's new website

The highlights of this website include the bold, rich black and gold color scheme that represents both elegance and professionalism. Along with this ambience, the high-resolution images make you feel as if you are entering the interiors with each click. The site is very easy to navigate with dropdown menus for each category and instructions that appear when images are hovered. Information for each project including its testimonial, images and captions are all presented in an orderly manner that makes sense to the viewer.

Amazing Spaces LLC Project Page
Amazing Spaces LLC Project Gallery

An overview of Amazing Spaces LLC, including including information about the company itself and Jason as well as the rest of the staff, is clearly presented in the company tab. This tab also shows viewers the step-by-step process with PDF files to guide them throughout the project. This also gives potential clients an idea of what they would go through if they worked with Amazing Spaces LLC.

With incredible press recognition and stunning client testimonials, the recognition tab displays all of Amazing Spaces LLC’s reviews. For the press page, the actual magazine cover and pages are displayed on the website to show authenticity. The numerous testimonial pages also flow with constant reviews from very satisfied clients.

Amazing Spaces LLC Press Recognition
Amazing Spaces LLC Testimonials

Contact information is easily accessible as it is placed on the homepage, contact tab and permanent header and footer of the site. This ensures you will be able to reach Amazing Spaces LLC regardless of what page you are on. The consistency and organization of this website allows you to flow through the pages naturally to find any information you need.

This new virtual beginning for Amazing Spaces LLC captures Jason Landau, the interiors created by him and the company itself in an exceptional manner that will keep people coming back for more.