According to this research, 9 out of 10 organizations utilize content marketing and almost 80% of marketers believe that producing custom-branded contents will be even more important this year.
So if you’ve been doing content marketing last year to little or no avail, find out whether you’re guilty of committing the 7 marketing blunders below.
1. You’re doing a shotgun approach. Before you even begin your content marketing campaign, you have to sit down and set your goals. Know why you are creating the content. Determine what you want to accomplish within a given amount of time.
Without goals, there’s no way to know whether your campaign is successful or not.
2. You’re inconsistent when it comes to producing contents. One of the main purposes of content marketing is to provide your audience useful and insightful articles on a regular basis so that you’ll be established as the go-to resource when it comes to their content or information needs.
Imagine if after months of providing regular resource to your readers you suddenly went off the radar or start to become inconsistent. You’ll be losing the momentum. Even worse, you’ll frustrate loyal readers who keep coming back for your content and eventually lose their interest.
3. You’re too impersonal. Your content marketing materials is a way to give something to your customers. It’s a way to make people trust your brand. But if you’re too impersonal in your approach or too corporate-y people will have a hard time connecting with you. Your target audience wants to connect not just with your brand or your company, but with the people running behind them, too.
People want to talk with people and do business with people. It’s time to put a human face on your brand and take on a more personal approach.
4. You’re focusing on YOU! You want your audience to get the message that you are the best company out there. Well, newsflash! Every one of your competitors claims the exact same thing. Stop talking about yourself and focus on providing your audience with the information and knowledge that they need. That’s what content marketing is for, informing and educating your audience.
Again, you’ll be able to build trust this way and once you get the trust of your audience, it will be easy to sell them anything. Of course, you’re selling pitch should be timely. Your sales process should begin with getting a lead, building a relationship with that lead (through content marketing) before you start selling.
5. You’re forgetting your calls-to-action. Just because we mention that content marketing should be about informing and educating doesn’t mean that you forget your call-to-action. Every content marketing material that you produce should provide access to the next step of the sales process in the most natural way. That is, tell connected stories so that your call-to-action looks natural.
If you’re content is in the last stage of the sales process, then you can be bold with your call-to-action. Something like a “Let A Sales Rep Call Me” button would be totally acceptable at this stage.
Over to you..
Are you using content marketing in your business? Is it effective? If not, what do you think are the things that you are doing wrong? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
The very idea of growing your business from 0 to hundreds or even thousands of customers is a beautiful thing. Doing it on a shoestring budget utilizing smart marketing tactics that attract prospects, building your online brand awareness, and eventually, a solid customer base would be fantastic.
At MACsWomen’s Group, we always ask each other what other effective ways we can implement to expedite growth and achieve our respective business goals. As always we want you, our valued readers, to save time, money and energy looking for creative ideas to grow your business.
We would like to share with you our six proven tactics to acquiring new customers online:
1. Consider partner distributions
If you are not doing this yet, you are missing out on a lot of customer acquisition opportunities. Partner distribution is very easy and also very effective. All you need to do is offer your product or service at a discounted price through partner distributions.
You will need to do a couple of things. First, create a partner page for each of your partners involved in the campaign. Second, be ready to return the favor.
2. Try HARO
HARO is short for Help a Reporter Out. It’s one of the most effective ways to reach out to wider audience.
How does it work? First you need to sign up to HARO as a source. Second, look out for emails from reporters who are looking for sources related to your business. Third, respond to an email that suits your needs with your credentials and helpful tips.
3. Do social media prospecting
Start prospecting on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest. Run a search for terms related to your business and offer helpful responses to people looking for help.
4. Engage more in comment marketing
Find time to visit your favorite blogs or Twitter clients and leave them some nice and helpful comments. Using comment marketing intelligently is a very smart way to cultivate relationships and gain more exposure of your brand for free!
5. Win back customers
When a customer cancels her account or stops using your business you are more likely to forget about her. That’s a huge mistake.
Just because your service or product no longer fit the needs of your customers it doesn’t mean that it will remain that way. Win them back by offering an improved product that will make it easier for them to come back.
6. Send customer thank-you cards
This may seem like a very simple act of thanking your customers. But it is also still one of the most powerful ways of keeping your customers around. At Motivators and Creators Women’s Group, we do this as a habit and part of our business philosophy of showing gratitude to everyone.
Sending a simple and heartfelt thank you email can go a very long way in your business.
There you have it! Those are very easy steps that you can take without needing much of a marketing budget. Start implementing them today and you will be amazed at the results you get.
Communicate with us...
If you have anything to add to our list, please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Who doesn’t love an inspiring and motivating quote? Quotes show us the thoughts of the successful people we admire. And being an entrepreneur or a business owner can be difficult. Sometimes you need a little extra encouragement to get through a difficult day.
Here are 30 quotes that you can apply to your life and business right now. Read on and become inspired!
1. When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”– Helen Keller
2. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”– Anais Nin
3. “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” – Proverbs 12:24
4. I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”– Oprah Winfrey
5. Success breeds confidence.”– Beryl Markham
6. “The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how our world see us and how we see ourselves successfully acknowledged by the world.”– Arlene Rankin
7. “My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own. I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” Elaine Maxwell
8. “Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.” Debbie Ford
9. “Successful people understand that you don’t need to make things complicated.” Anne McKevitt
10. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” Melinda Gates
11. “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.” Marie Beyon Ray
12. “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Anne Bradstreet
13. “Perseverance is failing nineteen times and succeeding the twentieth.” Julie Andrews
14. “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” Erica Jong
15. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank
16. “If you develop the habits of success; you will make success a habit.” - Michael Angier
17. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? […] Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. […] It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
18. “You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West
19. “In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential.” Suze Orman
20. “Now, get out there and kick ass!” Stella McCartney
21. “I just want you to be yourself. Be a bigger yourself.” Tyra Banks
22. “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe
23. “A bad habit never goes away, it’s always an undo it yourself project.” – Abigail Van Buren
24. “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money – when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” Eileen Fisher
25. “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney
26. “All businesses make mistakes. The trick is to avoid large ones.” – Carlos Slim
27. “I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” – Ellen DeGeneres
28. “People do not decide their future; they decide their habits that decide their future.” – F.M. Alexander
29. "It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent." — Madeleine Albright
30. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” — Marissa Mayer
We hope these quotes inspire all businesswomen to succeed in whatever they set their mind to. Which ones were your favorites? Would you like to see any of these quotes become a MACs Women Facebook post in the future? Let us know in the comment section below!
Social media is a very important tool for building your business brand and influence. If you feel like you’re lagging behind your competition, don’t worry as most, if not all, business people utilizing social media are feeling the same way.
The thing is: social media is complex, highly sophisticated and constantly changing. What has worked a month ago may no longer be effective today. With so much information out there, it can be daunting to know what really works for your business.
All things considered; however, when it comes to social media, everything boils down to creating lasting relationships as the key to business growth.
That said, here are four smart ways you can step up the effectiveness of your social media strategies.
1. Improve your social media profiles
First thing first, before you do anything on social media, make sure first to review your social media profiles, especially if you had someone else setting them up for you.
Your profiles serve as the doorway to targeted web traffic where visitors can learn more about your business, and how you can help them.
See to it that your profiles are optimized and consistent to your brand. It would be best to have the text in the first person and well-written. Having a professional background image or graphic would also work best.
2. Build an intelligent network
Connect with people you already know on various networks. This can help you find new potential connections that you can add to your growing networks.
Schedule time as much as you can to deliberately grow your network and expand your influence and visibility.
3. Engage, engage, engage
Social media engagement is where most people fail. They freeze up and seem not to know what they need to do with the social medial profiles they have created.
Create a plan of business-building activities around your social media marketing. Most importantly, engage your audience with focus, discipline and intent. Be a deliberate "engager".
Be authentic, helpful and influential to people connected with you. If you succeed at engaging your social media audience with an influence-focused mindset, you’ll begin to realize the great business benefits of social media.
4. Be consistent
Again, consistency is key. The best thing with social media is that you don’t have to leave your office to participate in business networking activities. It saves you a lot of time, money and energy.
Having that said, you should not find it difficult to dedicate some of your time building your network and engaging with the people that are in your circle of influence.
Being consistent on social media can help you build trust with your audience. Update your social media status regularly and connect with them as often as often as you can. This can show your audience that you are always accessible.
They may not buy from you right away. But if you are consistent and easily accessible, it can spark a meaningful connection and a relationship that can go a long way in your business.
What’s your most effective strategy to step up your social media presence? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below. Download your Free Social Media Checklist!
Facebook marketing can help you reach a big chunk of your target audience, but only if you’re doing things right. Following are tips on how you can tweak your FB posts so that they can be effective tools in spreading brand awareness and increasing your customer base:
1. Use images to tell a story. Always add an image, chart, graph or a video whenever applicable. Of course, the image that you choose must be colorful, engaging and totally relevant to your post.
Sourcing great images may take some time, but every minute spent will be worth it if you’re able to catch the attention of your audience. It’s even better if you can create the images yourself then put your brand name or website URL on it.
2. Be relatable. You don’t have to make your posts exclusively about your niche. You live in the real world, and in a real world your target audience has more than just one interest. Post some stories about what’s going on with the world – breaking news, a bit of trivia, current events like the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro 2016. You can also share, every now and then, entertainment news like the upcoming 4th Season of Games of Thrones if you know that some of your audience can relate to it.
3. Don’t give away too much. If you want the article you’re sharing on Facebook to have more clicks-throughs, the key is to craft an interesting and short description about your post without revealing the main gist of story. Another is to create an image that would complement your teaser of a description.
4. Humanize your Facebook posts. Well, this doesn’t mean that you should be adding selfies on your business page (although you can if you think you can get away with it). What this means is that you engage with your audience and converse with them like you would if they were real people commenting on something they’ve heard you saying.
Another effective way is to use Facebook to ask your audience’s opinion. A survey-like post is very effective especially if what you’re asking is very timely, like: “Do you think Russia will bag more gold than the US?” or “Hosting the Olympic Game is pretty expensive, not to mention stressful. Imagine the entire world having a camera on stand-by waiting to dissect your every move. Do you think the cost & hassle of hosting the Olympics is worth it?”
5. Learn to adjust. The Facebook team is continually upgrading the Facebook algorithm. Unless they stop doing their tweaks, there’s really no way to predict that ONE strategy that will work in terms of audience reach. In fact, the new algorithm of Facebook is giving posts from brand pages lower priority, which translates into decreased audience reach.
However, this should not discourage you from utilizing Facebook; you just need to learn to adjust. Format your posts in a real catchy way, pick the peak times when sharing them and always make sure you have optimized copies and images.
Over to you..
If you have any more Facebook tips to share, please comment below.
When entrepreneurs are looking to start a business or improve their existing one, one important factor they should consider is the environmental impact of the business. Sustainable and environmentally friendly practices can easily be applied to any type of business, and it’s easier than many people expect. Any small change can make a major impact in the long run, for both the environment and for your business.
As a green business certified organization, we here at MACs Women are passionate about spreading the word about sustainable business planning. In this post, we have compiled some general guidelines for becoming an environmentally sustainable business. There are many ways to be environmentally friendly; you can do as many or as few of these as you want!
1. Invest in renewable energy.
Renewable energy is an important step to having a sustainable business. Every year, renewable energy increases in popularity and becomes more and more affordable. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, an estimated 36 percent of all new electric energy in 2014 came from solar power alone. Renewable energy is the way of the future, and will save your business a lot of money in the long run. Plus it’s a wonderful choice that will benefit the environment.
2. Go paperless, or decrease your paper usage.
With today’s technology like tablets, emails, and smartphones replacing the need for printing everything out, it’s becoming much easier for a business to go paperless. Reduce.org reports that the average American worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, and this is easily fixable by decreasing or completely eliminating the need for paper in your business. One way to do this is to print on both sides of the paper.
3. Change your lighting.
Use natural lighting whenever you can, meaning open the blinds and let in the sunlight! No one really wants those fluorescent lights! This will cut your energy usage down significantly, plus studies have shown that workers who are exposed to natural light are more productive than those who don’t.
4. Purchase local office supplies.
Al office supplies - paper, cups, paper towels, toilet paper, file folders – have to come from somewhere. The further away your supplies are coming from, the more gasoline is being used to transport those items to your place of business. Try and purchase your supplies from a local supplier than you are familiar with. This decreases the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the environment.
The overall takeaway from all this information is to think green for your business! No matter whether you are new to green thinking or an experienced veteran, thinking green simply means you are always searching for ways to minimize your business’s environmental impact. You and your business will be helping to ensure a sustainable future for everyone.
If you want to create an environmentally sustainable business but still are unsure about where to start, consider signing up for an event or conference that focuses on green business. If your business is based in the Westchester, NY area, the Westchester Green Business Challenge is a great place to start. The Westchester Green Business Challenge is an award-winning public-private partnership designed to guide Westchester-based organizations toward environmental sustainability, all while improving performance and saving money.
Do you have or are planning an environmentally sustainable business? We would love to hear your tips and methods for thinking green. Post your thoughts in the comment section below.
In today’s fast-paced and technology filled world, business promotion has largely shifted to social media and online advertising. While these digital methods certainly have their benefits, old-fashioned marketing and promotion should not be completely overlooked. We’ve put together a few ways you can promote your business or product without using social media.
1. Collaborate with partners.
Successful collaboration with your partners can greatly promote both of your businesses. Partnership is a win-win situation; both businesses benefit from the raised awareness and hype that your collaboration will bring. By collaborating in a project or combining your services to make a package, user engagement and brand awareness will increase. Get together and create a definitive business partnership strategy that is clear to both parties. Knowing what each partner expects is the key to a successful business partnership.
2. Go to conferences, lunches, and other events.
Business events are still one of the best ways to spread the word about your business or product. Never underestimate the power of face-to-face communication and networking. As Ryan Buckley of Scripted, Inc. says, “conferences are the physical, real-time equivalent of hashtags and LinkedIn groups.” And we all know how important those are in the digital world.
Try and purchase tickets to as many conferences, lunches, and other business events as you can. For example, MACsWomen holds a business lunch every month, which is a fantastic way to connect with successful businesswomen in the Westchester & larger, New York Metro area.
3. Use word-of-mouth.
Your happy customers are the best people to convince new people to try out your product or service. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth! Give your fans the language to share your brand story, whether you have a business slogan or well-loved startup story. This will allow them to become free advertising and promotion for your business, products, or services.
4. Use traditional marketing tactics.
This may include a public relations campaign, cold calling, passing out flyers and brochures, billboards, direct mail, and contacting business media outlets for news coverage or ads.
Though making your information into physical objects such as flyers may seem costly and pointless, having your business out in the real world helps legitimize and enforce what you are doing online. In this way, you become more than “just another business with a website.”
So here are some less tech-savvy, but still effective, ways to promote your business, product, or service. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity; these “old-fashioned” marketing and promotion tools can significantly help your business in the long run.
Take the first step to promoting your business without social media! Sign up for our next upcoming networking lunch MACsWomen in Business Lunch! You’ll meet other motivated and successful businesswomen. The more you connect, the more you broaden your reach and your business. We are looking forward to meeting you there!
There will come a time for most women in business where you may have to go through the process of hiring another person. Whether you are hiring for your own company or trying to select a service or product, the process can be frustrating and time-consuming.
No matter what role you take in your company’s hiring decisions, better business communication can greatly improve the process for everyone involved. Here are some tips that can enhance the communication between all parties involved!
Think about the position you are hiring for from a sales mindset. As a recruiter, you want to attract the ideal candidate for the position.
One way to go about this is to think of your candidates as customers. You want to appeal the best person out of your pool of applicants, however large or qualified the group might be. Think about what would attract the perfect employee, who would be a perfect fit for your business. During the course of hiring, act the way you want your business to be portrayed. Be empathetic, because job seeking is frustrating, as we all know.
Enhance candidate engagement.
Think of every conversation or interaction with a job candidate as an opportunity to engage the person and create a perception of your business or organization. Engagement of the applicant is extremely important. This engagement can include, but certainly is not limited to:
Just because everything is accessible by a Google search doesn’t mean that everything is automatically clearer. Vague or incomplete information in posted ads hurt recruiters and job seekers. Be clear about your business’s hiring process. In your job posting, make sure you have easily understood job title and description. Include the basic requirements for the job along with details that will attract the right candidate.
Also, avoid job ad language. Recruiters want to see unique language in resumes and cover letters, so do the same thing in the initial job posting. A boring job posting will not attract the candidates you want, so be clear about what you do want by using expressive language.
Every businesswoman will encounter the hiring process at some point in her career. Whatever form it takes, these simple communication tips are sure to ease the hiring process for both the recruiter and the job seeker.
Are there any tips that you have acquired that help ease the hiring process? Post your comments in the section below!
Canva is a web-based design platform that aims to make graphic design for your blog or website simple and accessible. With Canva, you don’t have to be a professional designer to make your business blog look appealing. For the everyday user, Canva is a wonderful tool to have.
Canva has a library of more than a million photographs, graphics, and texts, so there's no shortage of graphic elements to choose from. If you use the free elements available on Canva, or upload you own, your design is free for you to download and use as you please.
Because of Canva’s sharing option, it can now be much easier to share your designs with others. Instead of a cumbersome email exchange, upload your design to Canva and then share it with others. This is especially useful for professional designers, who may want to use Canva for collaborative purposes. As the company’s founder Melanie Perkins states, Canva isn’t meant to replace pro tools like Photoshop or InDesign. “We draw a line in the sand, and we don’t do things like logo design or things that require a lot of fine-tuned pixel manipulation,” says Perkins. “But what designers can do is upload that content, and then do the layout design in Canva.”
The majority of users who can benefit from Canva are bloggers who just want to create a newsletter, flyer, slideshow, or an image for a blog post. And Canva is accessible to the masses – it has a friendly interface, instructions that are easy to understand, and is free to sign up and use.
For those who may be reluctant to try so-called “design software,” Canva ensures that its users have no trouble using its features. When you begin a design, there is a menu on the left hand side of the screen that allows you choose design elements from categories such as banners, lines, shapes, backgrounds, and more. Then, simply drag and drop your desired elements to the blank canvas to your right. Other options let you add your own text, layouts, or uploaded work.
Canva is the type of design program where it’s so easy, there’s no harm in at least trying it. And who knows, you may decide that it’s a valuable tool for your blog or website!
Do you use Canva for your business blog or website? What do you think of it’s features? Let us know what you think by posting in the comment section below.
Any business blog would love more traffic! It’s one of the most important parts of running any type of blog. But sometimes the ways to get this traffic can be elusive and mysterious. How do you get more people to visit your blog and read your posts? Here are 3 simple content tweaks that will increase your blog traffic!
Intelligently promote your existing content.
It can become easy to constantly promote new content and information on your business blog. However, every article or blog post on your blog is a valuable piece of information and can be used to bring in more traffic.
One way to do this is to constantly promote your older content on social media. There will always be a new follower who has not yet seen this evergreen content, and it will be useful to them. One way to do this is to use a plugin, such as Evergreen Post Tweeter, to automatically tweet your archived content based on set criteria.
Another excellent way to promote content is to use links to guide readers back to older posts. Natural anchors, such as “Click here” or “Read this” are helpful and basic ways to do this; you can also use keywords as links to related articles.
Add an “About Us” section.
Your blog’s content, ideally, should be focused on the customer and how your business improves their lives with your services and products. There are a couple exceptions to this rule, and having an “About Us” page is one of them.
An “About Us” section allows you to talk about you and your business. It’s the one place in your blog where you can brag a little. Talk about the amazing team you’ve assembled, what your qualifications are, and what makes you better than your competition. This information will help you appear trustworthy to potential customers, which in turn will increase your blog traffic.
Proofread your work.
Simple mistakes happen. We all know that. But to someone who is reading your blog for the first time, your usage of the wrong “there” is going to seem like negligence, laziness, or stupidity. You don’t want to be perceived by a potential client as lazy or unintelligent. That may be enough for them to take their readership, and their business, elsewhere.
If you are too busy or proofreading is not one of your strengths, hire a professional to do it for you. It may seem like a waste of money to have someone proofread your content, but remember you don’t want to appear lazy to potential clients! The better your content is, the more traffic you will have, because people will share content they are impressed with. Proofreading is more important than you think!
We have shared what we think to be the 3 best techniques to easily tweak the content on your blog to increase traffic. What simple changes have you used to increase traffic on your business blog? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so post in the comment section below!