Archive for the Blogs Category

The Online Trust-o-Meter

You are a seasoned professional and you’ve worked hard to establish yourself as a credible, reliable expert in your field. Does your online presence reflect your position as a trusted advisor to clients and customers? When someone types your name into a search engine, where do you  place on the Trust-o-Meter? Do you come across as someone who knows what they are doing online? Do a quick rundown of these basics that affect your trust rating:

  • How do you show up in a simple search? Are there at least five accurate citations for you on the first page? Or, are you lumped in with eight other people with your same name? (There are seven other people named Steve Bruce on LinkedIn?)
  • Is your LinkedIn profile up to date and complete? Is your photo professional? Have you claimed your personal url? Is your bio optimized for SEO? Is everything customized? Does your profile still link to “My website” or “Company website” rather than to your url? Have you added industry specific applications to your LinkedIn profile? Are you utilizing applications that create regular touch points with your contacts such as Reading List?
  • Do you have a personal website? If so, when was the last time it was updated? Is the copyright notice in the current year? Is it mobile friendly?
  • Are you sharing your expertise and authority in a blog? Are you maintaining it regularly, or is it an abandoned shell of good intentions?
  • Have you claimed yourself and your business in directories, especially those specific to your marketplace?
  • Is your content accurate and grammatically correct? Typos and bad grammar are trust killers. This week’s Online Content Producers favorite from a large real estate company’s Facebook page: “Are you planning on attending any Open Houses this weekend? If so, where are they at?” Really, teen speak with a preposition on the end of the sentence? Sigh.
  • If you have a business Facebook page, YouTube channel, and/or Twitter account, are they skinned with graphics that support your personal brand? Is everything tagged and optimized for search? Is the content being updated regularly? Old content screams that you really don’t care enough to stay current, another trust buster.

These are just some of the basics that affect online credibility. We specialize in doing a deeper dive to assure that you and your brand are building trusting relationships online. It’s what we do and we love it.  We are here to help if you feel that your Trust-o-Meter reading is a little low.

TEDxOrangeCoast – Content Lessons Learned

There is a strong sense of altruism that emanates from TED and TEDx. The TEDxOrangeCoast team joined a global community of volunteers committed to bringing great ideas to the local communities in which we live. Hopefully each team member is a better person and professional because of the experience.

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We each learned new things. In the case of Online Content Producers, TEDxOrangeCoast was a real-time workout in pushing out important content to a new audience. We misjudged the local community in regards to awareness of TEDx. Being longtime aficionados, we assumed more people in Orange County were too. In the end TEDxOrangeCoast was a great success, but we were worried there for awhile. Each member of the team had some teachable moments. Here are mine:

1. Always, always, research your market.

No matter how great you think your product or idea is, there is never a reason big enough NOT to do your audience research. The more Kool Aid you have drunk, the more reason to research your market.

2. The right media mix still includes print.

By misjudging brand awareness we discounted print, and realized too late that much of our audience had to be reached through business journals and print newspapers.

3. There must be a Chief Content Officer directing content.

A Content Strategy Plan and Editorial Calendar is mandatory. A detailed plan spelled out content topics, dates, publication platform, keywords, tags, etc., and allowed the marketing team at Brandtailers to utilize the content to its optimal value. The content was the message, and taking the time to plan a strategy for delivering that message is essential.

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The TEDxOrangeCoast team has scattered for the summer as we each dive back into our businesses. In the meantime, the content lives on. I hope you will take some time to watch the talks and enjoy the “great ideas worth spreading”.

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Content Marketing Revolution? Try Evolution

When print magazines were in their heyday, there was a magazine for everything — even a magazine for the magazine trade – Folio. To its credit, Folio is still in print. An article in a recent issue declared that 2011 is the year of The Content Marketing Revolution. I think there is an extra “R” in that headline, and its a letter that makes a big difference in the meaning. Publishing professionals who have been in the business long enough to have developed expertise,  would suggest that its been an Evolution rather than an Revolution. And there is a big difference.

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Content has always been important. It’s nothing new that companies recognize that communicating useful, educational, and pertinent content can play a significant part in a successful marketing plan. What has changed are the platforms and how the content is delivered. Professionals know that good content requires research, fact checking, analyzing the intended audience and understanding what they need. What makes a good content producer in today’s market is the one who understands all delivery platforms, whether web-based, app friendly or traditional print. They know how search engines work and how an audience seeks content, and can deliver content in a variety of platforms that serves the right audience.  And we got here not by a Revolution, but by Evolution.