Smart content marketers know that constantly producing content can feel like trying to feed a beast with a nearly insatiable appetite. If long-form content like ebooks and whitepapers is a meal, then short-form content is like a snack, providing bite-sized information that’s easily digestible.

Both long- and short-form content should be part of your marketing menu, but the beauty of short-form content is that it lends itself to a variety of formats and can be repurposed into longer pieces. On top of that, short-form content can often be produced and distributed more quickly than longer pieces that require extensive planning and research.

Here are some examples of short-form content and tips on how to use them:

  • Blog posts and articles: Blog posts and articles can take a variety of forms including round-ups, reviews, or Q & As. For instance, Eloqua posted a round-up post of marketing tips from the Content2Conversion Conference in New York City earlier this year. Publish content on your own blog or provide it as a guest post with a link back to your blog or website. When posting on your own blog, make sure there’s an easy way for readers to subscribe via RSS or email so they’ll stay engaged with your content. Blog posts and articles published on your own site or elsewhere can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and email newsletters.
  • Curated content: Finding and sharing outside content that’s relevant for your readers helps position your brand as an industry thought leader. You could share links on social media or link to other sources on your blog with added commentary explaining why the topic is relevant to your readers. Companies in virtually every industry find curation useful. The Oregon Wine Board curates news on the state’s wine industry, including tasting events, legislation that’s applicable to growers, and more. And in its news section, Lawyers.com shares infographics, quirky news items, and other links of interest to the legal profession. Our Content Curation Look Book contains several other real world examples of companies large and small that use content curation effectively.
  • Podcasts: Not everyone wants to consume content through reading, so offering content in an audio format like a downloadable podcast lets them listen in as they’re driving, cleaning, working out, or otherwise going about their daily lives. Marketing expert Heidi Cohen lists the benefits of podcasting for content marketers, among them extending your content’s reach beyond your blog. One format that works well for podcasts is having a conversation or question and answer session with an expert guest. With the right host, a solo podcast works as well. Podcasts can be posted on your blog and made available as a free subscription through iTunes such as theContent Marketing Podcast by Rachel Parker.
  • Videos: A growing number of internet users now watch videos on their smartphones or tablets, making this a great format for relaying information to users on the go. Post videos on YouTube or Vimeo and include relevant tags and keywords so users can easily find them. Videos can also be embedded on your blog, pinned to Pinterest, posted on Facebook, and shared in a variety of other ways. KnowledgeVision posted a video of a skype interview and also weaved highlights of the video into a blog post.
  • Webinars: Webinars are a great way to drive email signups and demonstrate your value to current and prospective customers. Content for a webinar can be repurposed from other formats such as a blog post or ebook and polls or surveys completed during the webinar can provide fodder for new content pieces. Create a hashtag for your webinar and encourage attendees to tweet tidbits from the webinar to help build buzz. We hosted a content marketing webinar with Eloqua last year and wrote a blog post as a follow up to the webinar.
  • Infographics: Thanks to popularity of big data and visual platforms like Pinterest and Visual.ly, infographics are all the rage. You could create an infographic based on data your company has collected or synthesize data and other information from a variety of sources to tell a compelling story. Include your company’s logo in the infographic so that the original source is clear when it gets shared. Post your completed infographics on Pinterest and Facebook and encourage other bloggers in your niche to share the graphic with their readers.

Tell us! How have you used short-form content to build brand awareness and engage readers? Any other formats you’d add to the list above?

 

 

 

 

New research from the National Restaurant Association found that restaurants are increasingly using online and email marketing to give customers personalized offers. This electronic use of marketing channels has been proven to complement traditional marketing techniques, resulting in a hugely successful marketing mix.

The daily deal site, LivingSocial funded this research, which evaluated current practices in the marketing world used by restaurant operators and the consumer perceptions of a variety of marketing tools.

According to Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the National Restaurant Association, James Balda, “Finding the right marketing mix is crucial to success in the restaurant industry. Our new research outlines the challenges and opportunities o both offline and online marketing to help restaurant operators find the ‘sweet spot’ for promotions by identifying what consumers respond to and how various messaging vehicles are perceived.”

Some of the major findings from this research include:

-Restaurants using online marketing tools tend to be viewed as more popular and modern to consumers. In return, restaurant operators feel that websites, TV ads, social media, emails, and daily deals to be very effective in gaining new consumers.

-Restaurant operators and consumers agree that savings provided through customized messages are very important for business.

-95% of restaurant operators find savings offers to be a crucial marketing tool.

-78% of restaurant operators perceive daily deals as an effective way to increase revenue for their restaurants. And 69% of customers claimed that emails from daily deal providers motivate them to check out that featured restaurant from that daily deal.

-40% of restaurant operators claimed they plan to partner with a daily deal provider within the next year.

-87% of consumers would order from or go to a restaurant if given a savings offer.

-Consumers are likely to go to a restaurant if they received personalized marketing messages that referenced previous restaurant patronage, permitted reservations, and identified them by name.

-84% of restaurant operators feel that restaurant-specific marketing emails are an effective way to increase revenue for their restaurant, and 78% of consumers feel that an email from a restaurant would entice them to go to that restaurant.

-Online marketing can boost a restaurant’s brand image and bring in new customers.

With this interesting information, it is clear that the use of LivingSocial and other daily deal sites, or simple email offers, may be a great way for your business to take online marketing to the next level and see an increase in revenue and customers!

 

 

 

 

 

Top SEO company Oracle Digital has released new marketing techniques and marketing tools to assist businesses in finding an easier transition from the conventional marketing techniques to the newer, more efficient online strategies. Today, online marketing helps all businesses reach optimal success.

With the global financial crisis felt globally, a lot of businesses have been struggling to find success. This is mainly due to the increased interest rates and financing that have resulted from the financial issues in the market.

Retailers have been some of the hardest hit businesses from this economic crisis. Yet, there are many retailers who have actually been able to increase sales by effectively using Internet marketing strategies in operating their businesses.

Furthermore, online shopping has become a much more popular way of consumer purchasing recently. This trend could be both good and bad for retailers. Online purchasing offers convenience, which consumers certainly enjoy, but it also creates increased competition for retailers as more companies enter E-commerce marketing.

A recent survey conducted by Nielson Research Company found that the fashion industry gained 43% of their total online purchases from international online companies. Experts feel that this is a significant increase in online purchases since the year 2005, proving that more consumers are now very likely to make purchases over the Internet.

Another interesting feature of the online business world is that Facebook has now become a listed company, which will have a great impact on businesses. This will result in more changes in social marketing, across all social networking platforms, like Twitter and Google+.

Experts have also noted that the increased use of smartphones and mobile devices is making Internet marketing more relevant. With all these new ways of conducting business and marketing, finding business success could be a simple task if you develop a strong Internet marketing strategy.

While many may find that using Internet marketing can be difficult, it’s important to take advantage of resources available to help you learn the tricks of the trade. Businesses are shifting more and more to have a strong online presence, so it is worthwhile for you to get the most out of your business by utilizing online marketing!

 

 

 

 

When you combine the benefits of email along with social platforms, you can promote any product, increase sales and build brand loyalty in more ways than ever.

Big brands like Starbucks, and daily deal brands like Groupon have found success from combining rewards and discounts with their social media strategies. But what about businesses that aren’t so well known, or don’t promise amazing daily discounts?

You don’t need to be a top name retail brand or have thousands of Twitter followers to get the most benefit out of your social media strategy this year thanks to combining email and social marketing.

By combining social media efforts with a well-targeted email marketing strategy, companies can easily gain customer loyalty. To do so, you must use the perfect incentive and target the perfect audience, at the perfect time. Use these three ideas to increase your word-or-mouth marketing and boost customer engagement by using both social and email strategies:

1. Offer an appropriate incentive

Discounts are great, but there are other ways to push your email subscribers to get social with your brand. Some techniques marketers use to increase engagement include altruism (the idea of people passing on information they find valuable) or use unique social games like engaging videos or fun quizzes. Whatever technique you choose, make sure that the content and tone of your incentive align with the interests of your target audience.

2. Look for the social butterflies

Doing some research to customize your social engagement strategies will end up being more successful than simply asking your email subscribers to “like” or follow your brand. Find the consumer “influencers”-those who are active social media participants. Market to these people so they can help influence potential clients and bring more customers to your brand. You must find how engaged certain email subscribers are to your brand and pick out the most active social members, most loyal to your brand. To do this, use social data, social monitoring and listening platforms to examine existing email files with information about subscribers’ social interactions. With this information, you can come up with email-marketing segments based off subscribers’ social profiles. If you discover you have an active group of subscribers, think about creating a referral marketing campaign to push those subscribers to recruit new potential customers.

3. Learn your consumers’ passions

The key element of social media is about people being brought together who share a common interest. If you try to force your brand on an audience not interested in what you have to offer, no marketing strategy is going to work. You must find out what your target audience likes and interact with them based on those likes.

You might find your audience has a common interest in your product or service, but you must dig deeper to find the best way to get them excited about your product or service. You can’t expect your customers to buzz about your brand just because they’re interested in what you have to offer. Come up with ways to market to your audience that involves their passions. If your company sells car parts, think about igniting your consumers’ passion for cars and racing. Don’t just make your marketing about car parts; be creative and think of ways that can get people who share the common interest in cars to be active with your brand.

A thorough marketing strategy that utilizes the benefits of email and social tools can provide new and exciting ways for companies to build brand loyalty and boost sales. No matter what your company has to offer, it all comes down to how you connect with your consumers!

 

 

In the year ahead, there seem to be some major social media tactics you can expect to see affecting businesses. Some of these trends have already been carried out by companies, but in 2012, expect to see a mass adoption of these plans carried out by all types of businesses.

1. Google+ Explosion

Google+ will continually come out with new features, and Google+ pages will continue to become more business-friendly. The integration with other Google properties, like in paid search ads, its search engine results page, Google Reader and YouTube will be the greatest advantage for Google.

Google had a strong focus on social media last year by basing its employee bonus and salary structure off of its success through social media. This has resulted in everyone involved the Google world constantly considering social media. This internal focus will lead to an external force where consumers will make Google+ a main social media platform in 2012.

2. Creating Engaged Communities

Businesses will be sure to pay attention to their current community members in 2012, as marketers become more advanced in planning and measuring their campaigns. There will be a stronger emphasis on creating an engaged community as opposed to mere numbers of followers. So, community managers need to energize community members and engage with them in multiple areas, like market research, product development and product discounts, for example.

Managing and building communities is about the consumers, the information and staying consistent. This strategy will be seen heavily in 2012 and will become a key part of community management.

3. Stronger Marketing Intelligence

Last year there was a lot of new technology platforms that changed social media monitoring and provided advanced data to help drive marketing campaigns.

This year, businesses will move beyond just looking at company mentions and influencer scores, and move more toward combining different social data in order to create a marketing intelligence that will drive future marketing campaigns. Many tools do this already, but there is sure to be more this year.

4. Social Media Driving SEO

The usual on-page SEO factors will still remain constant, as it makes your content search friendly, but in 2012, strong sharing activities through social media will drive SEO results.

SEO conversions will be higher and simpler to measure on organic search. And as a result, more companies will carry out a closer collaboration between their social teams and searches.

5. Real, Quality Content

Everyone appreciates content that is relevant, engaging and unique to the consumer. In the past few years, companies have worked hard to come up with content with the sole purpose of creating content for SEO.

In 2012, there will be a more structured way for businesses to form content with a focus on giving unique value to consumers that will lead to higher engagement levels with community members.

5. The Power of Facebook

In the past, companies worked to get a somewhat superficial quantity of Facebook fans without considering the quality of those fans. This year, expect to see companies focus on finding greater profitability with a sharp ROI emphasis in the form of Facebook ads, contests and promotions.

Companies will find that there’s more to Facebook than measuring a linear conversion path from a fan to a consumer. Marketers will measure the non-linear path of ROI more by making Facebook-exclusive promotions to drive foot traffic to the retail stores.

Facebook Ads campaigns will be measured based on the profitability that leads to revenues or supports.

7. SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile)

More integrated campaigns that combine social media with local offers involving mobile devices will be seen in 2012. Socially promoted mobile content can build brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales.

Sites like LivingSocial and Groupon are good examples of using deals to drive local sales. Foursquare is another example of the SoLoMo strategy.

It’s clear that the quickly changing social media environment can be overwhelming. However, by staying on-top of the latest social media tactics, your company can stay strong in the social media world.

The Internet marketing environment changes substantially year-to-year. This past year, there were some subtle changes, and some, not so subtle. Regardless, marketers must know how to handle these changes! Here are some Dos, and a couple Don’ts, for Internet marketing this New Year:

DO Segment by Behavior: Be more effective by segmenting your emailing lists and only send out relevant messages to small, targeted consumers. It may be extra work, but the pay off will be worth it! You will be less likely to annoy some consumers, and you will increase conversions. Examine when people are opening your emails, clicking on certain links, attending webinars, visiting certain pages on your site, etc. By analyzing this behavior of your customers, you will also discover their interests. You will then be able to communicate with them on a personal level, in a relevant manner.

DO create more personal connections: Large companies (and small companies in an attempt to look more prominent) seem to communicate to their customers in a dry, corporate style. Therefore, personal connection is not as relevant in marketing communication as it should be. To change this, businesses must be more authentic! People want to connect with other people, not corporations. Always keep one customer in mind when working, so you always market your business with an intimate touch.

DO learn persuasive copywriting basics: In order to prevent the Internet from creating lazy marketers, you must understand that social media and Internet marketing do not see results simply from creating social media profiles. To really see an increase in sales, persuasive copywriting is necessary for converting traffic. So avoid being shy and hesitant when it comes to sales. Be active and involved to communicate your products and services efficiently!

DO incorporate more video: Video can be a marketing tool that creates personal connections fast. For many consumers, it’s also the preferred way to learn. Making quality video today is inexpensive and easier than ever! Create video campaigns specifically for a target market. Even if it’s shooting and editing a video with an iPhone, try it out-consumers will certainly get to see a personal quality to your company.

DO experiment with mobile for lead capture: Mobile marketing is a booming field now! Consider using QR codes if you do any sort of direct mail or outdoor advertising. With text messaging, give your consumers the option of requesting further information, offers or coupons if they text a keyword to a short code. If you don’t engage with consumers through their phones, you’ll likely miss out on potential business!

DO define your social strategy: Try not to focus on gaining a certain number of followers/friends. Social media marketing is meant to be a traffic source. Therefore, you should measure traffic, leads and customers from your social media efforts to keep you focused on the real goals of social media marketing. Measure customer loyalty with similar metrics to those of your customer loyalty efforts. However your company is using social media, be sure to measure the right metrics. Don’t ever think social media ROI is untrackable!

DON’T forget about direct mail: When used correctly with an online marketing campaign, direct mail can strengthen your message and build a better connection with consumers. Currently, many marketers are reducing the amount of direct mail they send out, due to its cost. So, this could be your chance to stand out! Only send direct mail to people who have responded to your marketing efforts so that you know you’re investing in the customers who are most likely to keep purchasing from you.

DON’T have a static website: Just because your business has a website does not mean you have an online presence. Building a website doesn’t automatically bring in customers! You must drive traffic to your site. A great cost-effective way to do this is to blog about topics that are important to your target market. Search engines love sites that actively add relevant content. This means that if you learn basic SEO concepts, you can turn your static site into a sales machine!

Keep these Dos and Don’ts in mind and your marketing efforts are sure to find success in 2012!


 

New survey data suggests that marketers are disconnected from the attitudes of their targeted consumers. About 60% of consumers have ended engagement with several brands due to poorly targeted communication.

This data comes from Experian, an information services firm, which surveyed 1000 consumers and 330 Australian marketing professionals from government, technology, retail, digital, travel and financial service industries.

At the top of the list of consumers’ most preferred way to engage with brands was through giveaways and incentives. In fact, 70% placed this method in their top three ways to receive information from brands.

Regarding brand websites, marketers and consumers were in agreement, with about 91% and 85% claiming websites were the most important source of information on brands and product services.

There was however, a disconnection found in attitudes regarding print and social media. 70% of consumers seem to value print media, and 60% value direct mail more than social media, while marketers see print media as one of the least important sources of information. Only 28% of markers felt print media was an important channel for communicating.

The survey also found that in looking at consumer trust of marketing channels, surprisingly, consumers aren’t as trustful of newer channels like social media and SMS for communicating with brands. About 30% of consumers placed social media at the bottom three trusted channels, with only 4% claiming social media was the channel they trusted the most.

General manager of Experian Marketing Solutions, Matt Glasner, feels this distrust may come from the relative infancy of social media’s use in marketing, along with the fact that while 89% of Australian marketers now utilize a customer segmentation strategy in general, this strategy may not be applied to newer communication channels, like social media.

Glasner also claims that this is comparable to examining where email and EDM marketing was five years ago. “The challenges uncovered by the research are similar to the barriers we saw five or so years ago when customers lacked trust in emails and EDMs. Yet, for many brands, these are now common place communication channels which are highly valued by customers.”

In the year to come, most marketers plan to increase investment in social media advertising. “Marketers are working hard to ensure their messages are heard. However, our research highlights that there is still a huge opportunity for marketers to further understand how and when consumers want to engage across all channels, including social media,” says Glasner.

Glasner thinks there’s opportunity in bringing the level of consumer segmentation seen in traditional channels to social media campaigns, and worries that the age of multichannel marketing comes with the challenge of information overload, therefore marketers must be more selective than ever in their choices of communication!

There are many different ways for Internet Marketing Strategies, including Social Networking. Everyone has a different way of teaching and explaining it, the one thing you need to know as a small business is finding a way that works for YOU. In the Social networking world there are many different tools you can use, for example www.hootsuite.com, www.socialoomph.com, www.tweetadder.com, www.tweetdeck.com, and many more. It is important that you take some time a read over each one and see if it is a good fit for you and your business. Social networking and internet marketing take time to build, it does not happen overnight; you must be patient, which I know can be difficult. I know for me it is difficult to be patient and wait to see the results. The one thing I have found to LOVE about Social Networking and Internet Marketing Strategies is you can really target who you want, on Facebook they are great about suggesting people that you may know or are in your area, Twitter you can search by profession, geographical area, and other keywords, LinkedIn, you can really get in touch with corporation and professional business people. These are all great ways to stay connected and meet more people that you would by paying for ads or yellow pages in my opinion. The key to Internet marketing and social networking is being of service to others! If you are on there just to Sell, Sell, Sell, then you may want to re-think the social networking world. You need to educate people on who you are and what you do. From my experience coming from person to person networking the #1 rule was: “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” You have to have that same mindset when you are doing Social Networking online. It may seem hard to find that balance of selling and educating, but it really is easy! You need to tell people about yourself, who you are and what you are passionate about, why are you in the business you’re in? Internet Marketing Strategies can be very beneficial to the growth of your business if done right.