Should you be doing Content Marketing?

Not sure what that term means?

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

To answer the question above, Yes you should be doing content marketing! Why well for the very same reasons it says in the definition above, but summarized; “get people to like you, your brand, keep them loyal and make money.”

One of the best ways to generate Content Marketing is to create a blog, update it with relevant articles to your audience (customers). For example, if you’re a Mountain Bike Website, then having articles on how to fix bicycles or the latest product reviews would definitely fall under the category of Content Marketing. But if the mountain biking website only posts videos of talking cats, which can be cute, but are not relevant to their audience, then you’ll lose them as readers.

Now the problem with most businesses is that they either don’t know how to write well or they don’t have time. I’ve spoken to 2 owners whom one of them has so many ideas in his head that he’s confident that he could come up with an article a day for his blog, but he’s so busy running his company that he doesn’t have time. Then another owner I spoke with just this week said he wants to get a blog going and start getting some content on his site, but he HATES writing.

One of the services I offer is Content Writing for ANY business. I’ve published over 2000 articles in last few years and I’ve covered things from Real Estate Investing, Bicycles, Retail, Women’s clothing and even Rugs…yes Rugs, like the kind you put in your living room that can cost thousands of dollars. Another thing I need to mention, Content Marketing is really inexpensive to do. If you write the content yourself, then it’s free! If you can’t do it yourself, then I can help you (for a small fee).

Anyhow, I can could literally go on for hours on why and how Content Marketing Works, but I won’t. However, if you’re interested in further discussing it, feel free to contact me via email: RLPolicar@gmail.com

Why helping the needy is good for your brand

Have you ever considered having your company/brand contribute to a non-profit or help out in some sort of charity or noble cause? If you have, ever consider the societal implications it could have on your image?

Before I get started, I want to make it a point that I do not believe that people/companies/brands should only help out the needy in order to bolster their image. But they should do it because they can and that they want to make a difference.

One of the brands I represent is BikeCommuters.com. Recently I spearheaded a new initiative with the website to start helping out the local bicycles who had needs. I contacted one of the site’s advertisers whom they’ve had a long standing relationship with, to see if they’d be interested in helping out with some product donations. We also started helping out with Operation Feed The Homeless, a local non-profit that aides the homeless of Santa Ana, Ca. While they are out there providing food, clothing and other needs, I’ve gone around as a representative of BikeCommuters.com and would hand out bicycle lights and locks to people who I saw needed it.

We didn’t do this to make BikeCommuters.com look good, though it dos help, but because there are good hearted people that run the site as well as the generous donations, they were able to pull this off. In fact they’re going again with more support from another company that wanted to donate their time and products to the cause.

So here’s the thing, when your brand does something good like meeting the needs of the less fortunate or help build a house and etc, your brand will automatically touch a nerve with your audience. Not only does it show that the brand is conscientious of the needs around them, but it helps give the brand a humanistic touch that may never been seen before. When this happens, it tends to build brand loyalty, thus repeat customers.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more willing to shop at an establishment or online retailer who commits to some sort of advocacy or community service. It even helps when I read about their projects on their blogs or on Facebook. If anything at all, look at it as this…It makes for a great marketing opportunity for your brand. You’ll have tons of content for your site, it gets your employees excited and it’s also a great team building exercise.

Why you shouldn’t neglect your Website and Blog…or both

With Social Media growing as form of reaching out to customers, many people/brands have neglected their own website or blog. Heck sometimes they’ve neglected both and started using Facebook and Twitter more. Some think they are getting more out of Facebook and Twitter than their blog or website. Though that may make sense, there’s a few things wrong with that picture, let me explain.

If you neglect your website you’re taking chances on not being relevant. Out dated photos, stories, customer testimonials as well as company info gives a really bad impression. I’ve been to so many sites where their content is not only stagnant, but it’s pretty darn old. Here’s what I mean by old, my rule of thumb, anything older than 6 months or a season is considered old. For example, if it’s Winter but your content shows “hot deals” or “beat the heat” then that means it’s old.

The same goes for Blogs. Some companies have altogether got rid of their blogs. I met with 2 potential clients last week where they deleted their blog because they didn’t think it was doing anything or it wasn’t as important as Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a powerful tool, but it works better when you have a blog to work side by side or at least they work together much like and Officer Bill Gannon Sargent Joe Friday from Dragnet.
as-frank-gannon-with-jack-webb-dragnet-1968

But then again there are some legitimate reasons why people neglect their website, blog and social media all together. They’re just too busy. I had lunch yesterday with my Daughter and while we were paying I noticed they had a sign that said, “Like us on Facebook.” So I asked who handles it and the nice man told me he did it but he’s so busy that he doesn’t have time for it at all. This is where someone like me can provide my services, I told him what I can do for them and how it can help him focus on the things he needs to do for the restaurant while I do all the other stuff that he didn’t have time for.

So to make this long story short, don’t neglect your site and or blog. If you don’t have time to do it, let me handle that stuff for you.

Here’s my contact info:
RL Policar
RLPolicar@gmail.com
714 519 6661
Social Media, Content Writer, Blogger, Email Marketing

The Importance of Product Reviews

Have you ever gone shopping for an item and once you got it home, it just wasn’t as great as you thought it would be? What about that restaurant you ate at, the food kinda sucked? If you’ve ever had a similar situation like that happen to you, then you may want to consider reading product reviews before you spend more money on anything.

I’ve been in the Product Reviews business for the last several years. I own and operate 2 bicycle websites, one is MtnBikeRiders.com and the other is BikeCommuters.com. What do my sites do? We provide product reviews, news, articles, How To’s and provide our readers any relevant information they might find useful.

When I first started my websites, there were other sites that offered product reviews for free, but they did offer a package where you pay them a certain amount of money, then you’re guaranteed a great review. Those sites are no longer around and for good reason. My sites offer FREE PRODUCT REVIEWS, why? For one, my self and the rest of my staff are consumers just like you. We shop for the same things you do and why not share the info we discover about product that we test to others.

The way it works for my sites and I’m sure for other sites is a company contacts myself asking if we’d test out their products. We don’t say yes to everything, but as long as the item is relevant to my readers, we’ll consider it. Once we get the product, we typically will do a First Impression of the item. Basically we’re telling you what we thought of it during our first few uses of it. Then we’ll publish a formal review a few weeks later with photos, videos(if applicable) and links back to your site.

The Formal Review consists of a more in-depth look at the company’s product and we test it against the claims they make as well as look at the overall quality, workmanship and ease of use. There are more factors we throw in, but it all depends on the item we’re testing.

So why is it important for companies to have independent websites test out their products? Mainly it’s for exposure! It’s basically free publicity on your company and products. Here’s the thing, if your gadget, apparel, device or doodad claims it’s going to do A,B,C and D, then make sure it does all those as you describe it. But if it fails to do any of those and the review finds flaws, then you’ll be hit with a bad product review.

I’ll give you an example, a few years back I met a guy who had a magnetic bicycle pedal company that wanted MtnBikeRiders.com to review his product. He said the magnets on the pedals would keep a rider’s feet on the pedals. But during my review, that never happened. The magnets were weak and it just didn’t work they way he said it would. This was the last line I put in the review: “Truth be told, I was really disappointed in how these pedals performed. ”

Let’s say you’ve got a stellar product review from an independent site, heck share all that on Social Media! Push it out on Facebook, Twitter, Blog about it and even include in your next newsletter.

Now that you have that in mind, start reaching out to independent websites and have them test out your products, c’mon, it doesn’t really cost you anything and it has a reach greater than you may think.

Social Media means YOU being more Social

So what do I mean by being “Social?” It’s pretty simple. You have to be your own brand’s best ambassador. I’ll give you an example. Yesterday I was at a store and I noticed that they had a small signed that said, “find us on Facebook.” I immediately asked the clerk who handles their Social Media and she told me that it was a collection of the employees who really didn’t know what they were doing. So I began to tell her about my services and what I can do. From that I got the contact info of the owner of the company.

That interaction was of me being “social.” I gotta be gut level honest with you. I come from an IT background and us IT folks have a reputation to be introverted so being social doesn’t really come easy to me as it does for folks out there. But just being out going isn’t really enough. You also have to be somewhat friendly to the people you deal with, right? Besides, who’s going to want to work with a Social Media guy who’s a jerk or condescending? I know I wouldn’t.

With that in mind let’s list some things down that might help you with your branding/social media efforts when interacting with REAL people.

1. Be friendly.
2. Smile.
3. Ask questions directed towards the person you’re talking to. People love talking about themselves (More on that later).
4. Engage in conversation about their business.
5. Tell them about you and your brand.

I know some of these things are basic human interaction things that we all do on a daily basis, but heck some of us can easily forget. Hopefully this helps!

Why is blogging important to your business?

There’s a few good reasons why. Let’s start off with the most obvious, it gets your message out fast! When I first brought up the idea of blogging to one of my old clients, they really didn’t understand it nor did they think it was beneficial. For one they didn’t understand what it meant. Blogging, Blog or Blogger all stems from the term “Weblog.” But to shorten it, became blog. What it entails is a log of sorts that you fill out much like a diary and the most recent “post” you have sits on top. By the way a “post” is what an article is on a blog.

One of the things I told my old client is this, “Blogging allows you to get information out to your customer base without having to update your website or do any major changes to your existing site.” For the most part you can install WordPress (my preferred blog platform) to an existing website and have it under a sub-directory. For example, one of my current clients now has their blog set up as: blog.piratemfg.com. Others may have it set up as http://www.domainname.com/BLOG. Either way it works.

So now you’re thinking, “Should I be blogging for my business?” The short answer to that is YES. Here’s a why. Let’s say you’re a Personal Trainer who has a successful business. You NEED to be blogging to get more info out to your current customers and potential customers. What kind of information should a personal trainer be blogging about? EVERYTHING! If you’re a personal trainer, you get people asking all the time about the latest supplement, workout equipment and techniques as well as nutrition, right? Why not fill up your blog with useful information that gets people coming back for more?

Now that you have an idea on what kind of things you can post about, how often should you be doing it? My answer to that, as much as possible. Anytime you have a free moment, crank out a post. Why? Because search engines love fresh content. Google, Yahoo, Bing and etc love making new content available to people who use their service. Just think of it this way, let’s say you’re a Butcher at a meat market. Aren’t you more excited to show your customers the freshest cuts to them? Same thing with blogging and search engines. Your article is the meat that the search engines(butcher) wants to show case.

Blogging will also help your site traffic go up. Here’s how, remember the whole thing about search engines? Well what they’re doing is telling searchers that your blog has the keywords (more on that later) that they’re looking for. Then if your keyword is linked to a product or service you’re selling back to your site, then you’ve got direct traffic(more on that later) going to your main site.

I could literally go on for hours why Blogging is awesome, so for now we’ll end it here and I’ll publish a Part 2 on this subject. So stay tuned.

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