Inbound Marketing Tip: White Papers Demonstrate Expertise

I like this term.  A white paper is jargon for “research paper.”  White papers are typically based on a topic in your industry that warrants further research or discussion.  Why would a white paper help you in a business sense?  In several ways, first, if you are on the receiving end of a white paper, it’s usually going to be something you are interested to know more about.  If you are on the giving end of a white paper, it shows your audience your “marketing muscle.”   How does this show marketing muscle?  It shows you know a LOT about your industry.  Who wouldn’t pay for a good/service from someone who is a true craftsman?  Hands down, when all things considered are equal, I’d much rather give my business to someone who cares to continually learn and educate people on important matters that they are passionate about.

Here is how I need your help.  What (in your opinion) is the more accepted standard for writing research papers?  There are two widely used formats: MLA Format (Modern Language Association) – I used this format throughout high school and college.  Then there is the APA Format (American Psychological Association).  I’ve personally never used APA, I can easily become acquainted with it, so there is no issue there.

My friend, Jill, said that “English uses MLA and science uses APA.”  So that’s why I’m stuck.  I can see that marketing is an art form, a very intricate art form.  I also see that in marketing, the use of quantifiable data and statistical analysis is prevalent to get your marketing to where it needs to be from a numbers standpoint.  My first thought is to write papers with less data using MLA and papers with more data using APA.  I do not want to come across as a research paper format basketcase.

What are your thoughts?  APA or MLA?  What is your reasoning behind this?  Here is a handy poll to help me figure out what is best.  I’ve included an “other” category for your thoughts as well.  Or feel free to comment.  Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

Effective Advertising and the White Noise of the Web…

There is a lot of noise out there, especially when it comes to the world wide web and advertising.  There are millions of people with important things to say.  How do you set yourself apart from your competitors in a meaningful way?  How do you get your very important message out there to the right people?  Social media is the answer, if its being implemented correctly.

So, let’s say you’ve decided to venture into the world of social media… you’ve set up a few accounts, perhaps even uploaded some pictures.  You’ve very astutely filled in all of the pertinent information fields, and probably have even found some “friends” or “fans” depending which network you’re on.  Then… you come to a screeching halt.  It’s ok.  It’s totally easy to do when you don’t really know what to say.

The best way out of this debacle is to become opinionated.  Drink lots of coffee and find a soapbox to stand on.  In order to throw you a nugget of wisdom in regards to your soapbox derbies- here are some things you should consider when it comes to being opinionated about your business:

1) DO NOT rant about the person who cut you off in traffic today.  DO rave about a product or service that has helped better your business in some way.

2)DO NOT take strong political positions on your social media, unless you are a politician, or unless legislation directly effects your business and you can back it up with factual information.  Although you may have many people who agree with you, your business facebook page is not the proper platform.  DO take strong positions on industry-relevant matters.

3)DO NOT post about anything on your blog other than work related content.  If it is not directly tied into your industry, find some way to make it relevant.

4)Get involved in other discussions surrounding your industry.  Join a forum, post on message boards, find out what people want to know about.  This helps your content to be relevant.

5)Resist the urge to “moderate” your comments on your company blog.  I mean- completely disable the “approve comment” feature on your blog.  If people see that their comments have to be “approved”, this will further discourage them from speaking their mind.  Even if a comment is negative to you or your business in any way- this is the platform to show your customers that you want to make it right.  This is the platform where you stand up for your product/service.  It shows you care about giving the gold standard of customer service without “censoring” what people write.

6)Avoid schlepping your product/service all over the place.  The point of social media is to increase web presence- however you don’t want to come across as being annoying with your product schtick.  You want your audience to feel that you care about bettering them in the process.  Offer networking opportunities, best practices, webinars, etc.

You will without a doubt be seen as a master of your craft if you provide useful information.  What are some of your social media strategies?  What do you like to avoid when populating content?  What are you more prone to read when looking for information on your industry?

Our Passion: Making Your Marketing Work for You and Seeing Your Business Succeed

The reason why we’re so passionate about effective marketing is because marketing dollars are precious.  The costs of keeping your marketing goals alive and updated can be daunting.  Having worked in advertising, I have a real working knowledge of the costs of most mediums to advertise- what it costs from all perspectives- from radio rates, to billboards.  It’s costly.  To any business owner with passion and a great idea- the gates of business ownership are guarded by fierce looking guards, which is why most would-be entrepeneurs never just go for it.

The cost of failure is high.  Luckily, we found a solution.

Here at Daly Marketing, we’re able to keep our rates so low because of our mutually beneficial professional relationships with other local businesses. We’ve built a network with other like-minded companies to help each other out, to help each other win.  I’ve always wanted to find a way to be able to magically be able to wave a wand over the business here in Rochester and manufacture a winning streak for them, too.  It seems we’ve finally found a vehicle to be able to to this.  Rochester, NY offers the resources that so many small start-up companies need to get past the tense initial incubation period.

At Daly Marketing, we have access to these resources: a myriad of professionals to help us with coding and site work, all the way to business networking opportunities that we can pass on to our clients.

Our passion is to foster such a positive entrepenurial atmosphere that business owners realize they can manufacture their own success.  Eventually, we want to spread the prosperity to other regions of the country to help other business owners build their dreams into a reality without feeling so overwhelmed at the costs of marketing.  Obviously we want to profit from this business venture, who wants to work for free?  But if we spread the seeds of success now, everyone benefits.  Everyone gets a shot at building their own American dream and the entire economy is better for it.

If you have any questions at all, or suggestions on how we can improve our content to best suit your needs, feel free to e-mail me personally at kristin@dalymktg.com

Working With Charity: A Way to Give Back to Our Community

I’ve written quite a bit about what a great city Rochester is.  Part of the reason why Rochester is so unique and wonderful is because there are so many caring people who live here.  There are multiple charities and foundations to help people that struggle in one way or another.  An important part of rooting Daly Marketing in the community is to donate our time/resources to a local charity.  To be fair, our goal is to be able to give a little to each charity.  So rather than align ourselves with one specific charity, we are going to help a bunch.  Here’s where I need your help:  I’ve put together a Poll of ideas for our inaugural volunteer opportunity.  Please just take a moment and vote!

If you’re really ambitious, you can even e-mail me to volunteer your time.

Social Media Tracking? Or Social Media Stalking?

I would say among all great things having to do with the Social Media Revolution, is the ability to track your viewers. Whether you are using an e-mail program, a newsletter design program, or are just moderating your blog, you can track visitors down to their e-mail address and street address. Creepy, right?

No. Not if you’re using it the right way. The reason why trackability is so important is so you can strike while the iron is hot. The moment someone opens your e-mail, you can follow up with a phone call. I’d advise against calling and saying “hey I just saw you opened your e-mail” because frankly, that sounds a bit stalkerish.  A better way to phrase your follow-up call is to wait an hour or so, then call and say something to the effect of “Hi! This is XYZ from ABC company.  I am just calling to see if I can answer any questions for you regarding (insert product or service here).”  This way, you’re reaching out to them while the content you’ve delivered is still fresh in their mind.

Another way tracking is beneficial is so you can populate content that is useful to people in different geographic regions.  What I like to read about here in Rochester, NY, may not be useful to someone- for example- in Niagara Falls, NY or Buffalo, NY.  Sometimes, when tracking your visitors/audience, you can even see their company name if they’re viewing your information from work.  Again, this gives great insight into what KIND of content you want to populate.  What a Marketing person would want to read, is usually a bit different from what a Lawyer or Doctor would want to read.

Thankfully, most e-mail newsletter programs give you the handy tool of being able to use merge tags and edit source code to make different pieces of content viewable to different groups of people on your e-mail list.  This way, you’re not creating fifteen different newsletters each month.

I am sure you know (as any business owner does) that there’s nothing more disheartening to follow up with “dead” leads that have gone cold since your initial contact.

The idea behind tracking your audience, is to give you the unique ability to foster your business relationships- to remain in contact with them for pertinent business reasons at all times.  It gives you insight into their thoughts so you can create relevant content that matters to them.  This sets you apart in the industry as a business with a social conscience who truly cares about bettering their clients, and industry as a whole.  Even if the prospect isn’t ready to purchase NOW, when they are ready, you will be the first person they call.

So… what’s your take on trackability?  How have you been successful by tracking your leads?  What tools have you found to be most helpful?

Video on the Social Media Revolution

My cousin, Tom Hart, also a budding entrepeneur sent me a link to this video to ponder.   Not only did I ponder it, I stared at my screen in amazement.  Facebook took 9 months to reach ONE HUNDRED MILLION users.  Crazy, isn’t it?  If you don’t believe in the brute force of social media now, you most certainly will after watching this video.

The Best Advice I Ever Got Regarding Marketing and Sales

I was going to change the title of this inaugural blog post to be catchy, sassy, marketable…. but I thought better of doing so.  Imagine that- a marketing person actively trying to NOT market something.  I just felt that I had to let everyone know that sometimes it’s just a better idea to keep things simple.  I would even go so far as to say that sometimes we become too pre-occupied with the nitty gritty- that we lose focus on our priorities.

We lose focus on what the goal really is.  Is our goal to make sure you have the prettiest and fanciest newsletters- OR is our goal to make sure the people you send newsletters to extract useful information and actually READ them?  While the former may be true to an extent- aesthetics are indeed important-the latter is the most important.  Not only do you want your target audience to read and find your newsletters useful, you want them to see you as a master of your craft- not solely concerned with the bottom line- but also with the health and vitality of your industry as well.

Long long ago, a wise former boss of mine (Al Casazza, CBS Radio) told me “Kristin- people buy from people they like” – ok so that’s a fairly simple concept, yes?  No.  Not in the way my brain works.  For once in my life-I was totally stumped.  The meaning of this profound tidbit totally escaped me.

Homeward bound I skulked, dejected and sad.  How would I find a way to get these people to LIKE me and not just see me as another person they had to pay?  How in the world would I ever do this?  I could bake my clients cookies.  I could bribe them like all of the other sales reps did with bottles of wine or platters of sandwiches.  I could do lots of nice things… if I were rich.  At this rate- I was doomed!

It took me years… but I finally found the answer.  People like people who care.  They want to do business with companies that have a social conscience.  Would you rather patronize a business that was solely concerned with profits- or a business that was passionate about what they did and passionate about bettering their customers in the process?

All things considered equal- I’d much rather get the product/service that I needed while also getting some useful information in the process.  Time is money and in this day and age you need to believe wholeheartedly in the power of two-fers.  Two-fer-one- marketing excellence AND a pearl of wisdom.  Genius.  Julie Cottineau does such a great job explaining what I am so poorly trying to say.  Read on…

In closing, I truly hope that Daly Marketing can fulfill all of your wildest marketing dreams. 🙂 I hope I can get everyone as excited about this as I am- and if I don’t- I’ll try to distract you with catchy slogans and sparkle-graphics. Totally kidding about the sparkle graphics!