Tag Archives: governmental relations marketing

8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing

Many business would benefit a great deal from outsourcing some or all of their digital marketing efforts — as these efforts are complicated and require specialized expertise.  A recent series of articles provides some of the best reasons why business should outsource digital marketing.  In preparing this post – I’ve drawn upon the insights of Freya Jones, Irene Sun and Sheldon Payne to create a list of 8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing.  Here they are:

  1. You’re hiring experts —  The best digital marketers can identify custom strategies for your business and their unique role within that strategy.  Some digital marketers maintain a successful focus on one or a small number of industries — and will have the track record to prove it.
  2. You’ll receive a valuable outside perspective on your business —  An outside perspective from a digital marketing expert will provide you with a wholly unique and informed perspective on what might best benefit your marketing strategy.   
  3. You’ll receive a continually optimized strategy — A digital marketing expert will be committed to the ongoing, informed optimization of your strategy to achieve best results.  
  4. Less risk —  Digital marketing involves a number of areas of expertise, including strategy,  content marketing, social media engagement, analytics and more.  When you outsource these tasks you won’t be wasting your own time attempting to hire one person who is capable of performing all of these roles capably.
  5. You’ll achieve better results — A digital marketing expert will have the experience of previous successful efforts and be in a position to help guide your strategy and implementation to faster results. 
  6. Your marketing efforts will be seamless — By hiring a digital marketing expert, you’ll ensure your own staff won’t need to worry about this often labor-intensive work. Your digital marketer will have much experience in juggling a wide variety of tasks at all times.
  7. You get to do more with less — As digital marketing utilizes many channels and a variety of areas of expertise – by hiring the right professional for each task — you can turn over large portions of your marketing function to the copywriters, designers, SEO specialists and others integral to creating a fully functioning, sophisticated digital marketing effort.
  8. You get access to the latest technology — Digital marketing utilizes technologies that often change and adapt in the fast-paced digital economy.  An expert in digital marketing will know about these changes and be adapting your marketing efforts to be as up-to-date as possible.

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Why it’s important for professional services firms to develop thought leadership

Companies are turning to online sources of information when seeking to be educated buyers of consulting services, according to an article by Braden Kelley.  It is vital, therefore, as Mark Clemente details, for firms to seek to maintain a sophisticated online presence.

Power has shifted to the buyers of professional services

The reasons for this, as Kelley detailed, are rooted in how the internet has changed the relationship between professional services firms and their corporate clients.  He explains that in the past — information “was scarce and external knowledge was valued by the client.”  But now as information is so readily available — corporate buyers of professional services are – via their own research — amassing data and information once held by their professional advisors.

Companies have, therefore, “become less open to being sold consulting services and instead more focused on becoming buyers of consulting services”.

Thought leadership requires commitment and discipline

But as Kelley details — professional services firms are “struggling to identify and provide the content necessary to help them maintain (and possibly extend) their success in this new environment.”  He argues that professional services firm tend to under-invest in thought leadership and consequently become vulnerable to competitors who do — missing out, therefore, on the revenue that would have resulted had that thought leadership been cultivated.

He argues that the value of thought leadership and those capable of creating it and facilitating the execution of a content marketing strategy — cannot be underestimated.  And specifically — to do it well — as Carter Hostelley details — “treat your blog like it’s important” – “think like a publisher” – “make it about your target audience” – “blog often but keep quality high” — and “get other experts to contribute”.

Sophisticated thought leadership distinguishes professional services firms

With this information in mind, professional services firms can seek to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace of competitors by a commitment to carefully cultivating the best thought leadership posture they can.

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How to find an excellent content writer

An article by Chris Warden on JeffBullas.com succinctly details what to look for in a great content writer.  As Warden details: “In an age where content is the new gold standard of web-related and social media marketing; it’s time to start producing great content or find someone who can.”

He explains that great writers are capable of creating content which is informative enough to lead customers or clients to take a desired action.  And that while anyone might have the ability to write, not everyone is a good writer.  Warden argues that if you’re not confident in your writing ability — or I would add – don’t have the time to produce excellent content — then it’s time to find a great writer to help you do so.

Warden details 5 key attributes to look for in a writer who can be trusted to consistently produce great content:

  1. Commitment to meeting deadlines 

Deadlines are about as important as the content itself.   Professional writers know this and always produce content in a timely fashion.

2. Ability to articulate your message in writing

Great writers have the ability to craft distinctive written messages capable of articulating the unique story of each client.

3. Adaptability

In today’s digital world – written communications take a variety of forms transmitted via a number of mediums.  Great writers are capable of understanding how to write for specific audiences and the specific mediums you’ll be utilizing

4. Ability to conduct effective research

What underpins good content and makes it meaningful is:  Good research.  Great writers are able to effectively research topics to help underpin your message with verifiable information of specific relevance to your unique audience.

5. Availability

A professional writer should be able to turn around even the most challenging content on short time frames.  Warden explains that: “This is one of the most profound arguments for hiring professional, full-time writers rather than hobbyists and those that use content as a means to derive a second form of income.”

Finding good writers isn’t easy

In the age of content marketing, finding and retaining a great writer isn’t easy – but producing client-focused superior content on a regular basis – requires it.

Need help with creating content or managing social media?  Click here for more information or to arrange a discussion.

White Papers: A top tactic for B2B lead-generation

Content marketing comes in a variety of forms.  Notably, however, white papers and sponsored emails are the “two top tactics for B2B lead-generation”, according to a Business.com report published in 2013, which Matt McGee (@mattmcgee) detailed in MarketingLand.com.  Of those surveyed, more than 50 percent said white papers are a “valuable” or “extremely valuable” source of new business leads.

What are White Papers?

As Lindsay Kolowich (@lkolo25) explains in HubSpot: “A whitepaper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report [of no fewer than 6 pages] on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.  Marketers create whitepapers to educate their audience about a particular issue or explain and promote a particular methodology. They’re advanced problem-solving guides.”

White Papers provide quality for content marketing campaigns

As Angela Stringfellow explained in AmericanExpress Open Forum, white papers are prime examples of the type of quality content that is most rewarded by Google’s new algorithm updates.  These algorithms, Stringfellow explains, “punish sites with low-quality content”.  And vitally, she notes: “You can’t use content designed solely for search anymore. You must provide value—and value comes in the form of content that resonates with your target consumer.” [emphasis added]

White Papers are more socially shareable and win more new clients

“Thought leaders…” explained Stringfellow, “[produce] white papers regularly as they are a valuable educational resource, [are] useful for “warming up prospects”, and are an excellent tool “to reach out to a prospect you’re hoping to land as a client”.

She also notes that white papers “provide share-worthy social media content. And since Social users tend to follow businesses that share insightful, engaging and relevant content… [white papers will] provide value to your network and generate more connections for your business.”

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Delegating social media: No easy task

Approximately 40% of the world’s population is connected to the internet, the growth of which you can view live here.  “In 1995, it was less than 1%.  The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013.  The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014”, according to the same source.  Back in 2004, an article in Entrepreneur magazine outlined why any business needs to be online.  Trends since then reflect in exponential terms why this is much more true today – and will increasingly be so.

Businesses need a sophisticated online presence

The question of whether your business should be online is clear.  However, the options for the form that presence would take are becoming more numerous and complex.  Given the rapid increase in the size of the internet audience and the multiplicity of potential social channels that might be deployed and utilized, businesses must become aware of all their online options to upgrade existing efforts or to begin new ones.

Any company considering an online presence will likely be asking itself:

  • What method should we use to promote ourselves online – a website, blog or more?
  • Which social media channels should be employed? YouTube, Twitter, WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, LinkedIn to name but a few.
  • What sort of content should be used?  Written? Visual? Audio?
  • How can and should new content be researched? Analyzing competitor data? Analyzing macroeconomic trends and applying them to ideal potential customers? Then how do we translate it into easily digestible “social” posts or broadcasts or videos?  Again, to name a few options.
  • And ultimately, to whom should you entrust your strategy, content production and social media management?

Why is the delegation of social media management important?

The public presence of your company on live, global, interactive (ie social) media — A 24/7 news cycle for business — is very important for seizing commercial opportunity.  But it can also be dangerous as social media is by definition public.  You will face danger if you’re not very careful in how you manage these very public channels.  For more information about those dangers, read GrantThornton’s paper on Social Media Risks and Rewards.  But delegating that social media management is not an easy task, as a recent article by Jonathan Gebauer (@jogebauer) explains.

What’s required of a social media manager?

The essence of Gebauer’s article is that social media management must be undertaken by someone with the maturity, gravitas, knowledge and skill set required to help your company navigate the pitfalls of social media while advancing your interests of engaging your ideal audience creatively and effectively everyday. Day in day out.   In particular, Gebauer points to the following attributes he see’s essential for a social media manager:

  • “A fair understanding [gleaned in a short period of time] of what defines your company and your company values”
  • The ability to “apply what you want to achieve and your company’s specific identity” to your social media efforts.
  • The ability to “work with advanced information that you probably can’t give [him or her] at the beginning.”

All these and more, I would argue, are imperative for the social media manager to be effective in an increasingly complex, global arena.

Need help with creating content or managing social media?  Click here for more information or to arrange a discussion.

Why a good writer is important to social media success

Writers are integral to the success of a company’s social media efforts, wrote Susanna Gebauer (@dreckbaerfrauin The Social Marketers Blog last April.  When it comes to marketing a business online, she explained, a writer is a “savior of your business”.  Why? Because writers create the most integral element of a social media marketing campaign: Good content.

And if you get that written content right, she explains: “…you have the chance of getting at least some of your content a significant amount of shares.” Shareable content, she adds, is what provides a business with the social media “traction” it needs.

Gebauer listed 8 reasons why your team needs a writer:

  1. Without content you have no chance of social media success— “I doubt that there is a successful social media marketing strategy without content. You need to provide value on your social channels or no one is going to follow you.”
  2. You need your own content—  “you can easily curate great content and this way provide value from other peoples’ content.  But curated content is only to get you so far. “how is all that curated content going to bring you any visitors to your own site? When all the value you provide originates from somewhere else, why should people listen to you as source?”
  3. A writer can provide you with all the content you need– “You can produce an endless stream of great content” with a good writer.
  4. In social media, more content can lead to more success— “…repeating the same boring sales messages over and over again. Most of the time that is not going to work. Most of the time this behavior can actually hurt your accounts and reputation”
  5. In social media, content is the key to pushing growth— “People do not love to follow over promotional accounts in social media. They like to follow accounts that provide value. If you have more great content to push with your social accounts, you can push growth” “A writer can help you to produce the content that provides value.”
  6. Good written content is a door opener— “A good writer also can help you connect to the influencers”
  7. Marketing messages work better if written well— “The better your content is written, the better will be your results.”
  8. Copy is everywhere and good copy counts— “Newsletters, your website, brochures, whitepapers, … Good copy is needed almost everywhere in your business.”

Need help with creating content or managing social media?  Click here for more information or to arrange a discussion.