Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

The Social Media Examiner Story: Proof Social Media Works

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Back in October of 2009 I launched SocialMediaExaminer.com.  The response was immediate and it was big (I’ll share some of the back story in the video below).

I relied 100% on social media tactics to drive traffic to this site.

In less than 5 months, Social Media Examiner was declared the #1 small business blog in the world by Technorati, added more than 13,000 email subscribers, brought nearly 100,000 people a month to the site and is ranked as one of the top 4200 websites in all of America by Alexa.

I didn’t advertise, didn’t rely on the press and almost none of our traffic is coming from search engines.  Nearly overnight, this site has become a top destination for businesses.

This all took place via social media.  I simply leveraged the power of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to deliver the kind of results that would’ve cost us a fortune in the past.  I didn’t spend a dime on marketing, just my time.

Watch the above video to hear more of the story…

Only a few weeks ago we launched a Facebook Fan Page and already more than 2000 people are actively participating.

Here’s a very common sentiment we hear nearly daily.

“Have I told you lately that I love you? No, seriously. I found your site a couple of months ago and signed up for email. Now with all the info I subscribe to I know that 100% of the time yours will always be a great informative read…..so thanks!” Jo McDonald Hooker

Clearly we’re doing something right!

How Does Social Media Examiner Make Money?

One of the big struggles most publishers face is actually making money.  Maintaining a site like Social Media Examiner is a big team effort for a LOT of people.

We toyed with the idea of running display advertisements.  However, it quickly became clear there’s very little money in advertising (we might reconsider down the road).

Since our inception, a “lot” of folks have asked for recommendations to better their social media learning.  The common questions were, “What courses can I take?,” “How do I really master this important form of marketing?” and so on.

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We’re Giving Away Free White Paper Success Summit Tickets!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

If you want to win free tickets to White Paper Success Summit 2010, be sure to check out the contest we have going on over at Junta42.

Your chances of winning are VERY good.

And the grand prize is two summit tickets and a free consult with me!

Go there now and enter to win your free tickets.

10 Essential Rules to Help You Create “Ready-to-Buy” Customers With White Papers

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Finding quality customers during tough times really is achievable!

Studies show white papers remain the most effective lead generation tools, bar none. Prospects turn to white papers when making large purchasing decisions. These marketing tools are so powerful that corporations repeatedly pay up to $10,000 to professionals to craft them.

But you don’t have to spend a lot of money or hire someone else to put the power of white papers to work for you.

Here’s some repression-proven steps any business can take to attract great customers…

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The White Paper and Its Following

Monday, December 21st, 2009

The goal of your white paper should be to create a following and start conversations that include you. Do you know your followers well enough to do that?

Colleague John Bromhead is fond of saying,”Marketing is the process of starting a conversation.”

David Meerman Scott is more specific:”Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll for one reason: To generate attention.

Attention + Conversation = FollowingIn short, we’re all trying to generate attention in order to start conversations. For a long time, we’ve assumed that the conversations would be between our prospects and us, but the big lesson of social media is that the most powerful attention and conversations take place in this “following” that we’re creating in our wake. Your white papers (and all of your content) need to fit your following.

The White Paper’s Call to Action

Do most of your marketing pieces contain a section titled, “For More Information”? Traditionally, this is where you place your call to action, the thing you want readers to do once they’ve read the paper or watched the video. But maybe you should rethink this.

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Announcing White Paper Success Summit 2010

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I know it’s hard to believe 2010 is just around the corner.  Like me, you’re likely putting plans in place for next year.  Better customers, more of them and so on.

I wanted to share something with you.  There are some amazing marketing superstars coming together for this really great event that will help you grow your business.

Before I tell you about it, I want to share a story that will encourage you. (more…)

3 Ways to Help Your Writer Over the Hump

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The blank page is a big obstacle almost every writer faces when sitting down to write a white paper.

Marketing managers can play an important role in helping writers over this hump, and get better writing in the bargain.

How does every white paper start out? As a cursor blinking on a completely empty screen.

Whether your writer had an idea of what he was going to write or not, he stared at the blank page for a while – the blank page usually stares back as well – and tried to come up with an opening, a title or an outline that would impress you and show that he understood what you were trying to convey. (And, just to help you read the cards your writer is holding, he tried to figure out the best way to start so that the rest of the writing would be easy.)

I don’t mean he was gripped by writer’s block or any other writer’s disease. It’s just the hump that your writer needs to overcome on almost every piece he writes for you.

You may say, “That’s the writer’s problem, not mine.” True enough, but getting good content from your writer is your problem.  Here’s the solution…

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Why ‘Forced Registration’ Can Backfire for Case Studies and White Papers

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Being bombarded with marketing from all directions, people have become skeptical. They require proof that your marketing hype isn’t just that – hype. Case studies and white papers provide that extra ‘push’ customers sometimes need to make a buying decision.

So, why make it difficult for prospects to get that further bit of proof? If it means the difference between clicking, “YES! I want to buy your widget,” and walking away from your website empty-handed, does it really make sense to force someone to give up his name and email address first?

Having prospects register for content is a very common B2B practice. You are asking readers to fill out a form prior to reading a case study or a white paper. The idea is that you will increase your leads list by doing so. But forcing readers to register can backfire.

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Learn How to Master Facebook and Twitter Marketing in Free Live Streaming Event

Monday, October 12th, 2009

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter… To some they’re social media. But for those in the know, they’re free marketing tools that can attract thousands of customers and make millions of dollars for businesses willing to get in the game.

That’s according to the “The Social Media Dream Team,” four powerhouse social media professionals (Mari Smith, Jason Falls, Chris Garrett and Denise Wakeman), who will be fielding live viewer questions on finding customers and making money online with social media. The group will appear in free real-time video streams on Monday, October 12, 2009 for the premiere of the new online magazine SocialMediaExaminer.com.

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Four Unusual Places to Promote Your White Papers

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Do you have a white paper that needs a little more attention?  What follows are four “not so obvious places” to promote your white papers.

1. Your Email Signature: Why not include a title, short description and link to your white papers in your email signature.  This will ensure that your white paper is prominently displayed in all of your email communications.  Be sure to include it in auto-responder emails, such as newsletter registration confirmations.

2. On Twitter: Create a custom background on Twitter with a thumbnail of the cover of your white paper.  Include a very prominent visual URL.  Remember that Twitter backgrounds are graphics, so you won’t be able to hotlink the white paper.  However, when folks want to learn more about you, they’ll see your white paper.

3. On Facebook: Try including a link to you white paper in your personal profile in Facebook OR on your Facebook fan page.  In addition, you can use the Notes feature in Facebook to paste in HTML formatted content, such as your white paper landing pages.

4. On Your Blog: If your company has a blog, the sidebar is an excellent place to promote your white paper.  Simply include a small thumbnail image and a link or basic form to gain access to the paper.

Do you have any other ideas?

Is ‘Voluntary Registration’ Smart Marketing for White Papers?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Are you using white papers to collect business leads? Are white paper registration forms ‘old school marketing?’  Is it better to let white papers roam free with the hope that they’ll magically draw opportunity?

These are very important questions you should ask yourself.  And perhaps nothing has spurred the debate more than the mass adoption of social media marketing.  Many businesses are experiencing the viral marketing benefits of unleashing their white papers.  Some of the benefits of letting the paper free include:

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