A large part of content marketing is customer engagement. How you interact with your clients can help build your business and increase revenue if approached in the right manner. We recently watched a ZenDesk webinar in which service expert Ron Kaufman, author of New York Times bestseller, Uplifting Service, explains how to offer clients superior service which keeps them coming back and improves revenue. We’d like to share the following superior practices that we learned with you.
- Take action. According to Kaufman, service is action, and the purpose behind any action should be to provide someone with something they want, need, appreciate or value.
- Provide excellence. Kaufman defines service excellence as taking the next step up to create more value for someone else. Always think of how you can do one step better to help your clients and meet their needs.
- Keep promises. Keeping service promises creates value. Making a promise and keeping it is something that customers greatly appreciate. If you cannot guarantee when/how a problem will be resolved, at the very least, agree on a specific time when you will call them back and update them.
- Extra mile. Look for ways to do something more, something extra, that will add even more value to the service and surpass expectations. When you create more value, more value comes back to you.
- Tone. When engaging clients, select your words and tone carefully. You want to create a culture that is uplifting in service. In addition to standing out as an expert in your particular field, you want to stand out on the customer service end of business as well and the attitude your company projects.
- Be clear. If your new brand or business is just starting out, you need to be clear from the get-go on the role that service is going to play in your organization. If you want to create brand preferentiality, and grow your business on the superior service that you provide, then service and service culture become really important.
It is possible to grow a business exponentially on superior service if you are willing to take the time to set the foundation and build your service strategy. For more information you can visit Kaufman’s website or read his book, Uplifting Service. Some companies demonstrating superior service that you may also want to follow are Nordstrom, American Express and Ritz Carlton.
Tell us in the comments section below, what are some of your favorite tips for providing superior service for your brand?
We have written many posts about Lingospot's Content Curation Tools and how we deliver our Software as a Service to content curators and online publishers of all sizes.
Many people still have limited knowledge of how Cloud Computing works and specifically how Software as a Service fits into to this important IT and Business topic.
The topic of Cloud Computing is very important to individuals , small and medium size companies as well as large corporations that can pretty much run their IT and specific applications be they be it Gmail or a full ERP in the Cloud.
We found this excellent thought leadership presentation that clearly and concisely explains:
1) What Cloud Computing Is
2)How It Works
3) Provides A Typical Work Flow Example With Standalone Business Systems and Compares The Process Flow and Efficiencies with a Cloud Based System of Integrated Business Processes
4) Provides The Information In A Non Sales / Non Marketing Format to Allow You To Determine if Cloud Computing could Benefit Your Business
We hope you enjoy the above video presentation and share it with friends and colleagues who may be interested in this subject.
Last night, Facebook announced the rollout of three new marketing tools for Pages. Facebook Pages are a great way to market your business online. More and more people are spending significant time on Facebook including sharing and recommending posts to friends. Make sure to optimize your brand and business Pages to reach your target audience. The following new tools will help you optimize your Page on an advanced level:
Scheduled Page Posts
Now you can create and schedule posts in advance. Pick a time to schedule all your Page posts for the week, rather than having to log in and post each time throughout the week. You can schedule your posts to publish at optimal days and times for your target audience and fans, from 10 minutes to 6 months in advance!
Unpublished Page Posts
With Unpublished Pages, you can create posts that don’t appear on your timeline, but only show up in the news feed for fans of a certain demographic to which you want to market a promotion, special or product to. This allows you to target only specific users who would be interested in that specific post.
Page Admin Permissions
Now you can control permissions for what various admins can do without having to grant permission to a third party app. This way you can control what information various admins and/or third party apps can publish.
Please see Facebook’s Developer Blog for detailed information and instructions. For additional tips on optimizing your Pages for successful content marketing, you may also enjoy this article.
We found this excellent video of a presentation from Martha Stone the CEO, World Newsmedia Network covering latest trends in usage patterns and revenue making in social media, tablets, mobile, ipTV..." at the Global Editors Network -- 2012 News World Summit in Paris. (May 30th - June 1 2012 ). It's worth starting the video at 2 minutes to save time.
The Global Newsmedia Trends Yearbook for 2012 will be published in September 2012 where much of the detailed data mentioned in the presentation can be found.
If you’re up to date on current content marketing practices, you know that the more content you put online the easier it is for you to promote your business and get found. To do this, make sure that you have a decent presence on each of the applicable social media platforms and outlets available. When it comes to businesses and networking with peers and professionals, LinkedIn is number one.
Here are 6 reasons you should start using LinkedIn to promote your business today:
- LinkedIn company pages are listed on Google and LinkedIn searches--great for SEO!
- It’s free promotion—make sure you have a presence and optimize your business and personal profiles.
- It’s the top online professional networking opportunity.
- Share and showcase your expertise by answering questions and interacting within the network (contacts, status updates, groups).
- See what other entrepreneurs or professionals on your level are doing. Make sure you’re on par with others in similar positions in your field.
- Seek out business partners and associates when you need to add manpower to your team.
So there are some excellent reasons to optimize your business presence on LinkedIn. For additional inspiration you may want to read The Guardian’s “60 Seconds with Ariel Eckstein,” in which they interviewed the head of LinkedIn Europe and shared his favorite tips on using LinkedIn for business.
There are times when you are looking for sources of content to curate and the excellent , relevant content you find has not actually been published on web.
Well we found this great tip from Gianluca Fioreli in the short video below and we would like to share it with you.
We also like Gianluca's post on content curation from last year. You can find the post here
In summary even if the content you have found is not published online there are ways to bring that content in and provide a richer experience for your audience.
You may be surprised to learn that Pinterest can be an excellent marketing tool for businesses. Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board on which you can create, organize and share interesting things you find on the web. It’s a social application so people can repin and share your content with their audience.
We recently attended a webinar presented by Pinterest expert Melanie Duncan in which she explains the benefits of using Pinterest for business. If you know anything about inbound marketing, you know that content is king and that creating lots of quality content is key to success. Pinterest is one new and increasingly popular way to put more content for your business on the web. Pinterest is currently the third most trafficked social media site after Facebook and Twitter. So, content is the most important component to marketing your business. Social sharing and recommendations from people you know is the second most important way to get your business known and trusted. Pinterest combines these two important marketing elements. You’ll want to make sure you create plenty of shareable content on Pinterest linking back to your brand. Here are some steps to get started:
- Create a Pinterest account for your business. Currently joining Pinterest is by invitation only, however the wait is short: you only need go to their site and request an invitation, which should arrive to your inbox within the next 24 hours.
- Add a Pin-It button to your site. You can visit the following URL to see what others have pinned from your site: www.Pinterest.com/source/”yourwebsite” (e.g. Lingospot.com)
- Add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook page by going to http://woobox.com/pinterest.
- Create your own, original and visually interesting graphic pins linking back to your brand that people will want to click on and share. Pinterest is extremely viral and over 80 percent of pins are repins. When you create your own content you can link it to wherever you like: blog posts, opt-in pages, product pages, etc. To add a link to your original pin, hover over the pin, click on the edit box at the top left and add the link URL after adding your images.
- Pin useful content, not just flat images: videos, information, tutorials and how-to’s. The best types of pins for businesses are infographics, tutorial pins, useful information and how-to’s, your videos from YouTube (if you get the Pin-It button for your browser, you can pin directly from YouTube), and results and testimonials, all in an image-based format—screen captures, etc.
- Always add captions to your pins containing keywords, hashtags, calls to action, links and prices (where applicable). All links and hashtags in Pin captions will be hyperlinked. Captions are great for SEO purposes.
- Build a following. Follow these simple steps from Devstand to get more Pinterest followers.
- If you offer a product or service, consider creating a TV or Video board organizing instructional videos on how to use your product. You can use screen capture software such as Camtasia to create these informational videos.
Hopefully these tips can get you well on your way to utilizing this popular site as another tool for spreading your brand’s content across the web. If you’d like more in-depth instruction on using Pinterest for business, you can visit Mealnie’s site and sign up for her course, the Power of Pinning. If you’d also like more information on how Lingospot’s software can help you save time creating fresh, quality content, please contact us for more information.
For anyone interested in media ownership in the US the data available here on the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism Journalism.Org is a great resource.
Who Owns News Media provides detailed statistics on the companies that now own the nation's news media outlets, from newspapers to local television news stations to radio to digital, and this accompanying summary highlights the major changes of the year.
The year to date has seen many changes of ownership for big media companies as per the summary here
In the context of what has happened in the last 12 months it is interesting to view the video below from 2008 featuring Michael Wolff the author of The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.
talking about Rupert Murdoch in 2008 in an interview to promote the book.
It is clear that the business of News , News Media and it's Ownership is not protected in any way from the rapid change and disruption that is taking place . Newspapers and News are at the heart of the disruption.
HubSpot’s David Wells recently interviewed Phil Simon, author of The Age of the Platform, during which time they discussed how the “big four,” Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have redefined business. Below we summarize the key tips that you can apply to your business to grow and succeed.
The platform is a new business model a lot of companies are adopting. You can learn a lot about how to approach business and technology by looking at these four big companies. Google has its roots in simple search, but has evolved into a platform, it’s own ecosystem, so to say. It’s all about diversifying and embracing failure and uncertainty until you get it right (e.g. Google Wave, Buzz, Plus). Each of these companies started out small and was able to evolve, stay afloat and ultimately rise to the top and diversify and adapt to stay there.
Lessons for smaller companies: A small or medium sized company can learn something from these big four. It’s a matter of skill. Can you adopt the practice that Google has where you let your developers play around one day a week/month, etc.? You want to innovate, experiment and take things in different directions, keeping in consideration that these things may not work out. You don’t need the resources of the big four to try and adopt a similar approach and aim for the same success.
Facebook wasn’t the first social platform. There’s something to be said for first mover advantage, but it’s not always necessary. David Kirkpatrick notes in his book, The Facebook Effect, that back in 2000/2001 Mark Zuckerberg was obsessed with speed, and Facebook ultimately succeeded and rose to the top. If you’re first to market and your product can’t scale you’ll turn people away—they wanted to get as big as possible as fast as possible.
You cannot afford to be afraid of failure and experimentation. You can’t predict the future, but by building your business and continually innovating and moving forward, you can increase the probability that when opportunity arises you’re able respond really quickly. None of these companies were able to predict the future, but they all started by building a platform so that when the right opportunity arrived they were there to respond. They put themselves into position to be successful. “Embrace uncertainty, embrace the unknown and don’t be afraid to fail, because if you just play by the rules and you’re very conservative and you only do things that you think will work, it’s probably going to be too late your competition will eat your lunch.”
Follow their lead, but carve your own path and be accessible. You can use these successful companies as models, but you can’t just follow their game plan. You need to have content and make your platform or service as easy as possible for people to adopt and use. Keep people on your platform as long as possible. Have the information they need there, and also be present on existing platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Build a community. Let your product users and consumers market for you as Google’s did for them, e.g. “just Google it.” People don’t want to watch ads, they want to see what their friends and mentors are doing and using and do the same thing too.
Platforms will become more and more important. Things are changing rapidly, people want convenience and one stop shopping, they don’t want to go to 50 different sites, they want to go to one or just a few. The owners of these companies understand that nothing is guaranteed. They understand if they don’t continue to grow and change and evolve and take risks they may not be around either.
So evolve, embrace uncertainty, don’t be afraid of failure—innovate and experiment—and nurture your community.
You can watch the full interview below:
We have written a number of posts about the importance of content marketing and how it should form a key part of the marketing mix for companies of all sizes.
Dawn Damico produced the video below on Content Marketing and the benefits over traditional marketing. We liked the clear and simple message and thought we would share it with you.
One of the key points in this simple message is that traditional advertising is time bound by the nature of the media you have paid for whilst content marketing has longevity and when executed with care and intelligence the potential to spread virally on the internet.
As Dawn notes "When you launch a content marketing strategy, every piece of content that you create and place on the internet is there well past the time your check has been cashed. That virtual sales team is working for you weeks, months, and years after your initial business investment is made."
Dawn breaks down Content Marketing into three steps :
1.Have an excellent product or service to offer your customers
2.Create solid, SEO optimized content that describes the benefits, features, and any other information your customers are interested in that relates to you, your company, and your product.
3.Consistently take steps to put that content on the internet in the places where your customers will find it.
As we mentioned in a previous post content can be a key component of a brand's marketing mix ,helping achieve long term gains in brand equity. Today the same tools available to online publishers can help brands use content to enhance their marketing efforts and ensure their is a return on investments that are made. Also as we discussed here investments in sponsorship can be enhanced by content marketing.
In summary not only big brands like Coca Cola use content marketing, but also businesses of all sizes as well as individuals who have specific interests or domain expertise to share with the online world.