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Monday, 22 April 2013 20:56

The old jeans...New again...

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Thinking of a new marketing or social media strategy? But stuck....overwhelmed.....unsure of where to go next?

Think of that old, favorite pair of jeans you own.
Comfortable, reliable, and proven.

As strange as it may seem, that old pair of jeans might hold just the key you're looking for.  Why do you go back to them?
Let's translate to a digital sense--what concept might this hold as you're embarking on a new digital or web strategy?

1.  Comfort:  What do your clients identify in you as their comfort level?  Why do they return again and again? 
2.  Brand:  What part of your company brand have your clients identified with to a level that they consider you reliable and an authority in your field?
3.  Proven:  Year after year, (and, ahemm, despite maybe a few pounds along the way) what is the consistency you are providing that warrants facilitating a trust factor?

All of these concepts can be easily translated into your internet strategy.  In fact, never has it been as simple to integrate the visual into your message as it is today.  Infographics, video, blogging, social media, et cetera--you are given the opportunity to provide your mark of expertise.  And, by really understanding what that expertise is, and how to convey it, you'll be able to connect on a level that makes it clear why your brand is a definitive answer.

Now, to dress up those jeans with some jewels..... (coming soon!)

 

Photo credit:
Jeans by Petr Kratochvil 

Monday, 01 April 2013 07:24

Editorial Calendar, Me??!

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In this internet and digital centered age, old fashioned personal planners are out and editorial calendars are in. If you run a blog, especially a corporate blog, then creating an editorial calendar is essential to keeping your blog, and quite frankly, your entire social media presence,  well organized. An editorial calendar is basically a calendar on which you plan the content of your blog and social media posts in advance.   By using this calendar, you can keep track of the content that is published across different mediums over time.  The main purpose of this calendar is to regulate your content to not only ensure that readers will remain interested, but to focus your writing efforts as part of your internet presence.

Editorial calendars have been used for years by editorial companies. Formerly they were done in print, but now they are done digitally. The publishing process of different publishing companies will differ depending on the company, but they tend to follow the same basic pattern which involves brainstorming different ideas, writing the content, editing, and finally publishing. Some companies utilize a more a complex publishing process.  In addition, different types of content will have their own process, so that must be included in the calendar as well. The creative process for different types of content must be fully understood so that the editorial calendar can be used effectively.

Using an editorial calendar is much better than using an old-fashioned planner because many websites have plug-ins which enable the creation of editorial calendars. They are very essential in your content strategy. The calendar basically displays when certain content will be published, along with what topic will be covered. With an editorial calendar, all of your content can be organized for the future. This helps keep the blog or publication streamlined and organized. And, you can have a post automatically publish on your behalf, as you are soaking up the sun on a beach in Bora Bora! (or if you're not quite so lucky, fully engaged in another role of your business demands!)

An editorial calendar can help greatly with keeping your readers interested. For example, if you wish to run series of posts on the same related subject, an editorial calendar will help you with accomplishing this. If you want to publish a post in a series once every week, then you can use the editorial calendar to plan out this series of posts so that they can be published on schedule. This can be used in collaboration with social media. You can also inform the audience of what posts are to come. This will give your readers some consistency, and it will give them something to look forward to, and may even increase your readership.

The best part of the editorial calendar? If you run a business that is seasonal in nature, you can REPURPOSE your former articles and content, thus you have a library of your own content to draw from over time.  More on that repurposing topic in a future post.....

 

Photo credit:  Prague Astronomical Clock Detail by Vera Kratochvil

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 07:44

Speaking of Infographics....

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Shutterstock's Global Design Trends Infographic 2013
Speaking of fabulous infographics--Shutterstock just put this out this morning.  What a great year to be designing!

Monday, 25 March 2013 08:51

Stuck in a rut? Diversify your content!

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As the internet has grown, so has the use of media on the internet. The internet is now filled with many different types of media, from video, music, images, etc. Internet users are no longer just satisfied with text alone; a combination of the many forms of media is what will satisfy your readership the most. If you own a website or blog, words and articles alone won’t be enough to keep visitors coming back. Sure, well-written, meaningful articles will get you a following, but frequent internet users want to see more. That is why it is better to integrate many different forms of media onto your website.

Many different forms of media are used to relay information; a video can provide information that a simple article cannot, and articles are much better assisted with images. To get the most our of your site, supplement your blog articles and text on your website with:

  • Infographics
  • Informative images
  • Video    

Infographics

If you are providing statistics or other numerical information, infographics are the perfect way to share this information without being to overwhelming. Infographics provide information in a simple, attractive, easy to read format that anyone can understand. Readers are more likely to remember information presented in this format than in plain chart or graph format, as a jumble of numbers and percentages can be quite overwhelming. 

We just stumbled across this fabulous inforgraphic last week from Trupanion: 

Click the image to see the larger version!
Pet Insurance 101
Pet Insurance 101 graphic created by Trupanion.

Notice how easy it is to quickly assimilate quite a large amount of data.  By sharing resources such as this, you are providing an enormous amount of education for your readers, but in a visual way.  Likely, if you were to present all of these major points in written form only, your readers would abandon.  Even better, Trupanion supplies easy-to-use embed code so that you can place this into your website or blog. 

Images

Images are practically essential for websites and blogs nowadays. Images and image galleries add much to the content of a blog. Usually, something more visual than just words is needed to get a point across. Images can cement an idea or fact, just like infographics.  We love this example: http://www.boeing.com/stories/ timeline.html  Talk about ramping up images in combining them with an infographic to effectively communicate historical perspective!  Put yourself in the place of your reader....would you rather read information in the timeline as text, or did you find yourself engaged in the way their timeline was layed out in an interactive manner?

Video

A blog that consists of written articles alone does not allow for the maximum amount of interaction with the readers. Video can be more expressive and informative than an article. Try to include videos to supplement your blog posts and articles, whether they are just videos found online, or videos you create yourself. Self made videos are much better, since your readers and website videos will feel a much closer relationship with you, the blog writer or website owner. Providing self made videos, or one branded uniquely to you, gives a face to your site. Also, if you are providing information on how to do things, then accompanying videos will help greatly. You can also use your blog or site to share videos you think your readers will find interesting or informative, or that fit in with the theme of your website or blog.

And since we were just talking about infographics above.......

 

By incorporating all of these forms of media, you can create a fun, interesting and informative website or blog that people will want to visit regularly. Try to include all of these types of media in different areas of your website or blog in unique and creative ways, and you'll keep your visitors coming back for more!

 

 

Image credit:  Newspapers And Glasses by George Hodan

 

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