Killer Content Strategy for Twitter

Twitter’s sizzling growth is growing like a digital rocket ship -  it’s becoming a global communications platform and we expect Twitter’s exec staff to bulk up functionality as we move forward through 2011, moving into video, audio and SMS.

Also, Google is starting to integrate hash tag Tweets (posts) and plain vanilla Tweets in their search results with page one rankings in many cases. Our Killer content strategy for Twitter:

1) Use Twit pics to show people what’s going on around you (upload to your Flickr account too).

2) Follow thought leaders in your industry and comment and build on what they are talking about.

3) Don’t sprinkle in lots of quotes  - this is getting mundane for many and old school (Twitter passe if you will).

4) Throw in a personal anecdote to add some personality to your Twitter content - be provocative, remember any “Twitter buzz” is better than none at all.

5) Remember ancient media like magazines and newspapers - read and Tweet about what you think is provocative, insightful or agree or disagree with.

6) Be provocative when you believe in a point you want to share; didn’t like Avatar? Okay, let people know why - maybe you don’t like special effects or think Jim’s already “king of the world” and doesn’t need the “Benjamins.

7) Take that blood, sweat and tears your putting into your Blog and re tweet it - we like the Tweetable WordPress Plugin.

8) Review products or services that you like/dislike. Case in point, we Tweeted about how much we didn’t like GoDaddy’s services and they “Followed” us with a generic “offer Tweet” - we bleeped em from our account, negative Tweeting in action.

9) Sign up for and use industry newsletters to come up with topics to Tweet about that are timely and/or informative.

10) Write Pithy Headlines that garner attention: “The iPhone That At My Lunch”

11) Timing impacts a killer content strategy for Twitter - most Twitter traffic typically occurs at 4PM Eastern Standard Time here in the US.

12) Include links in your Tweets - studies have indicated these get Re-Tweeted much more frequently.

13) Break News when you can - the 30th Tweet about Google’s earnings isn’t going to garner much attention unless Eric Shcmidt’s mother happens to be Following your Twitter stream.

14) If you can slip in a RickRoll now and then it should elicit some humor or Re Tweets if done well.

Come back later for more killer content strategy for Twitter and check our previous Blog post about Using Twitter for Business

Ten Best Tools for Building Business Online

1) Google Analytics works great, it’s free, very high value and an industry standard; be aware it’s not 100% accurate, you will find some discrepancies with Ad Servers, Twitter traffic and even Bit.Ly URL shortening services. Has a wealth of data for site metrics, keyword analysis, time on site, content viewed, exit and entry pages and much more (click on “Google Analytics” to go to reg page).

2) Google’s Keyword Analysis Tool - this tool used to be unavailable without registration but Google has generously made it available over the public web; you get the same functionality in Google Analytics, but comes in hand some times if you don’t want to log in to your account.  Be sure to understand how to use Broad, Exact and Phrase Search when looking at Keyword Traffic Projection.

3) Skype saves phone bills, has built in instant messaging which works great, enables you to record a call with third party apps, has built in conferencing and now even includes free video conferencing - the latter works great.

You occasionally may experience a dropped call, but certainly no worse than typical cell phone usage. Voice quality is excellent, it’s ubiquitous, used by tens of millions of people around the world. Also, now supports Iphone too.

4) best Pay per Click analysis service on the market bar none if you want to analyze competitor’s PPC campaigns and even organic search engine rankings. This low cost/high value Pay Per Click Service has a free (light) web based service with an upgrade (about $300. per annum) to a monthly or annual service.

It’s an invaluable tool that will save you significant time and money and give you a snapshot of exactly what and how your competitors are utilizing Pay per Click Marketing.

5) Aaron Wall’s Search Engine Optimization Book is much more than just a book; we use the free toolbar to get a quick snapshot of any site; but there is a back end community, sophisticated, meaningful training course and much more - Wall St. Journal, Wharton School of Business, PBS and many others have ranked this service well. There so much “SEO snake oil” being sold on the web but Aaron’s course and services are the real deal!

6) Constant Contact has been around for years - we’ve used their services for opt-in email campaigns many times; the service is not free, but it has so many extras; i.e. Analytics, Templates, Personal Coaching, Free sixty day trial and much more. Pricing plans start as low as under $50. per month - very economical - market leader in technology and customer service.

7) Aweber is best of breed Autoresponder but has also broadened out their services to include opt-in email campaigns as well, so some overlap with Constant Contact. Their powerful Autoresponder system is used by hundreds of thousands if not millions of web sites and will help you automate a great deal of your inbound and outbound marketing.

8) Snag It is a handy little application graphics and screen capture application that (under $50. USD) will save you a great deal of time if you are a Blogger that wants to quickly snag an image online (legally), make some image modifications and save.

Snag It  does not mirror an Adobe app  in terms of feature set, but our developers found that after they started using it their Adobe usage dropped dramatically. And the User Interface can be picked up by anyone in a few minutes, has a minimal learning curve.

9) Ginpic is a great little image search application that searches multiple search engines simultaneously - it’s powerful and free, works great, saves lots of time trying to find images online,  shows you the source of the image in the search return and much more.

10) WordPress - we saved the best for last and could wax poetically about the breadth, depth and power of this powerful best of breed Open Source Platform - we, like many other agencies and businesses could not run a business without it.

It’s free, there is huge community of add on plug ins and applications that extend its functionality and a large number of developers that can easily be found to help you build a site on WordPress. In the last 1-2 years it has moved from being the defacto Blog Platform to an industry standard platform for huge web sites; it’s robust enough to support virtually any type of web site that you can conceive.

So, our short list of the Ten Best Tools for Building a Business Online - please contact us via our web site if we can help your business grow online.

Ten Best Tools for Building Business Online

Content Development Landscape Shifting Dramatically

The Content Development Landscape is Shifting Dramatically -  it’s rapidly becoming a Web 2.0 world and your content needs to be everywhere.

If you read Rupert Murdoch’s latest Editorial you can see the proverbial “digital handwriting” on the wall - Content Development Landscape sands are shifting to Fast Food (in some cases) that is easily Repackaged, Reworked, Reused, Redone, Reworked, “ReRuperted” - am sure you get the picture.

Big Media Content Driving the Market

If your looking to drive search engine traffic with content using popular keywords your probably competing with large media sites  - these  could be your  Local or National Newspaper, TV Stations,  Content Aggregation Site, Social Media Site (archiving hundreds or thousands of pages per day), Wikipedia, Review Site, News Aggregator, etc. It’s a dog eat dog world when it comes to writing tasty content for consumption.

The thrilling days of yesteryear are now long gone when you could do a keyword search and optimize content on a set of high traffic keywords and expect to generate search rankings and easily. Now you have to choose your keywords carefully, take a hard look at competition and then write content accordingly. The web’s getting as crowded as a group of Geeks around Google’s latest Android Phone!

Why & How Content Game is Changing

Look at Demand Media’s New Content Strategy profiled via Wired last month - they are churning out 3-4K Videos per week, using outsource contractors in most cases, coupled with a super secret algorithm on the front end that helps them identify Topics and Keywords to utilize for Content Development. AOL must have been watching them, as they have announced a similar strategy “fast food content development” strategy!

Morph Your Content Strategy

  1. You may need to duck and cover and utilize a content strategy that focuses on keywords that are not too competitive to ensure you will generate search rankings and traffic.
  2. Write quality content (Blogs are great) over period of time with multiple keywords and look for extremely valuable “long tail keywords” to drive traffic, not high profile keywords with tremendous amounts of competition.
  3. Ensure your Link Development is consistent with Google’s rules of the road (no link farms) to ensure your site doesn’t trip any alarms.
  4. Build “Authority Web Site” by having 300-500 pages of content and you can compete with the big boys/geeks/girls.
  5. Write “content silos” - pages that have lots of inter-related keywords and cross link your pages.
  6. Incorporate Video as part of your content strategy - Video Content that has been annotated properly typically generates high search visibility.
  7. Tweet intelligently, use Hashtags - we think “Real Time Search” will have big impact on search results moving into 2010 - wild card is how Google & MSN (Bing) integrate Twitter Stream with Keyword search results, jury till out.
  8. They have their hired guns, you better get yours - use freelancers, we know what we are doing and operate with a level of expertise most corp copywriters don’t understand, we blend copywriting with Search Marketing skills for one.  (Think Jedi’s with keyboards.)

That our take on the Content Morphing - want to connect sign up via our Blog or Twitter please……..

Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing

EMail Marketing  Campaigns have lost a lot of the luster recently, especially when factoring the never-ending deluge of Spam Email we all receive. But, it can be a powerful tool that compliments Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Blogging.

Most importantly, Email delivers a great return on your marketing investment and its Measurable and “Testable.” Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing:

1) You can use list brokers or build your own list - it takes time to work up to this but use Aweber’s Technology to “ping” and email your contacts when have something of value to convey. But, if you can’t develop your own list the look online for a vendor.

2) Pick your Subject Line carefully - this single factor impacts your “open” (click & read) rate by 20-40% - be provocative if you can. “Save 30% on Rates Today”

3) Use 2-3 sentence paragraphs, with no more text than this and some “white space” in between your paragraphs,use power words that resonate with your reader at a gut (visceral) level.

4) Pick up on themes commonly held or believed to add credibility to your email message: “today’s New York Times talked about……..”

5) Use Paragraph Headers to drive the reader into your copy that have impact.

6) Test your messaging - change your “offer” or content in the message and send out a test campaign using 10% of your total database of names and see which offer outperforms the other.

7) Use PS to reinforce a core part of your EMail Marketing Campaign message ” we told you to save XXX% by clicking through this email for this discount.

8) We highly recommend Vertical Response and use have worked with them and had the pleasure of engaging and interacting with them many times over the years.

9) Frequency of messaging is important; meaning, you may have to send out several messages to get your message heard through the clutter/babble that we all deal with. Don’t despair if your first couple of mailers don’t generate much - retest and resend! Tenacity of purpose wins…..

10) Be actionable to your reader - give them a way to take some action (registration, sign up for discount, etc.); if driving them to sign up page keep it simple, with minimal fields (Name, EMail no more).

11) Cross promote email marketing with Social Media - we anticipate seeing more of this as we move into 2010 - Twitter is our Social Media Platform of Choice.

12) Don’t forget to check your Google Analytics to see what type of traffic your email campaign is generating; if you are using service providers they will have their own analytics, but always good to cross check.

So, our recommendations for Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing - follow us on Twitter or please sign up for our Blog to connect!

Using Social Media for Business

Social Media is not a Panacea for Many Business! Depending on marketing budget, headcount and size of company, some businesses will fail miserably using Social Media Marketing.

Many smaller businesses don’t have adequate resources, knowledge of the marketing processes, sufficient technical expertise to leverage web-based platforms that don’t always behave properly (think updating a Squidoo Lens), etc. Our Practical Advice for Using Social Media For Business:

1) Don’t believe the media pundits raving about tremendous success companies find using Facebook, Twitter or whatever VC-backed/20something wunderkind company is being touted via your Tech Columnist du jour!!

Don’t get us wrong, the media is great at pointing out that next great horizon that could reshape your business; but, details are the religion of success, not sexy five start review by reporters who aren’t worried about making a payroll.

2) Set up a budget and stick to it; start off small with one or two types of Social Media Marketing Activities. We’d suggest  Blogging as a first start; when you have 2-4 months of successful blogging under your digital belt then move to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube video development.

3) Be prepared to make a great deal of investment before you make any payoff for your efforts - time takes time right? Well Social Media Marketing is no different - unless your Ashton Kutcher or today’s hot starlet of the moment you won’t have 50,000 Followers on Twitter overnight.

4) Think about partnering with an online advertising firm that has some broad experience - yep, we are in the biz so self-serving to say so. But, if we could only tell you the tails of the orphan marketing campaigns that have died in the dust with insufficient budget, knowledge or human resources invested in the campaign.

5) Again, don’t get lost in the Social Media Hype Machine - old fashioned Press Releases still help to get your brand established and email campaigns, if done properly, still generate a great returns.

6) At the end of the day, your business needs and should use social media marketing - it’s in high growth mode and you want to have a presence when/where your customers visit online. There’s lots of free resources to generate a presence online via social media sites:

Squidoo Pages are free, great way to build a presence in this vibrant community and traffic back to your site.

Hub Pages are similar to Squidoo and give you visibility and links back to your site.

Upload those digital pictures floating around by setting up a Flickr Account - don’t forget to link them and do a good job on the descriptions.

Ping.Fm is a great web based service that let’s you upload a message/post/text to multiple Social Media Sites - there’s a list of 50-100 sites on their site. Challenge is setting up accounts for all; if you do, use the same email address and password to save time.

Google has a ton of free services that you can utilize to set up visibility within their “information silos” including Google Maps - great for organic search ranking if done properly.

We’ll have more thoughts on Practical Advice for Using Social Media Marketing for Business moving forward - bookmark us or follow our TwitterStream: http://www.Twitter/LinkedMedia