Should you sponsor a team?

Sure why not?! Well here’s a few things to think about before plopping down money towards a team. Let’s start with this, does this team have the ability to provide you some “exposure?” The E-Word seems to be the very thing soliciting teams often use to entice their potential sponsor to go with them.

To get the most out of your sponsorship/advertising money, the best thing to do is make sure the team you’re sponsoring has some sort of Social Media presence as well as blog. Part of your agreement with them is that they will always address their team your brand/company name. Here’s what I mean. A while back my websites, MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com sponsored a mountain bike race team. But they were also sponsored by a bicycle manufacturer called Airborne Bicycles which provided them free bicycles. The race team called themselves the Airborne Rangers. Since Airborne was the bigger sponsor, they got the title name. One of the agreements the race team had with it’s sponsors was to help promote the brands as often as they can on their website, race reports, at the venue and on Social Media.

airborne

If your sponsored team has some sort of Internet Marketing in place, then this will help stretch your reach further because you’ve got a bunch of people pushing out your brand to avenues you may not have had access to. It’s actually a great way to get into grass roots/guerrilla marketing.

Another thing to consider when you sponsor a team is the relevance of your brand to the sport/team your sponsoring. If you sell computer software and you sponsored a Men’s Slow Pitch Softball Team, what kind of exposure are you really getting? Unless the team uses Social Media and Blogging, then this might work, the key word is might.

If you sponsor a team, does it necessarily mean you give them free products or pay for their expenses? Nope. If you offer goods, then you can provide the team a Pro-Deal. Basically you are selling them your products at your cost. In this arrangement, you’re not really losing money, plus you’ve got some loyal fan-boys pushing your stuff.

Make sure you have some sort of agreement with the team that if they carry themselves unprofessionally, or inappropriately while participating in the event/activity you are sponsoring them for, that you could pull out of the deal. Just use Lance Armstrong’s example. Once the stuff hit the fan about him doping, all of his big sponsors pulled out.

So let’s recap:
1. Make sure you ask the team; “what’s in it for me?”
2. Ask them if they have at a minimum, Social Media in place to help promote their team as well as your brand.
3. Sponsor relevant teams and activities. Don’t sponsor a bowling team if you’re brand sells women’s underwear or something that has nothing to do with bowling.
4. Code of conduct. The team you sponsor needs to carry themselves in a professional manner at all times.

Now if you’re a food company, heck you can pretty much get away with sponsoring all types of sports teams.

Content Should be Fresh, Not Duplicated.

We’ve covered Content Marketing and Blogging before. These two things are pretty much similar but different in their own ways. Think of it like milk and chocolate milk. Essentially both are milk, but chocolate milk is pretty darn yummy…

Chocolate_Milk_by_hutchess
Before I get carried away on why chocolate milk is fantastic, let’s go back to content and blogging. You see content can be the stuff you put on static pages on your site. For example, if your website talks about your services, that text you have is content. Then there’s something called a Blog. I’m a huge proponent to this because of the fact search engines love fresh content or in other words, new material. With a blog you can update it as many times as you want, preferably 3 times a week and that triggers the search engines to start crawling your blog for info which then presents it to people looking for those keywords you have on your article.

So here’s where we have to talk about being fresh and not duplicated. There are MANY “content providers” that will sell you articles as cheap as $.03 a word. They’ll include 2 keywords and a 250 word minimum. Sounds like a great deal right? Well no it’s not. What you’re getting could be of two things. 1. Content from overseas writers that don’t speak English and use some sort of translator program. Thus the stuff don’t make sense! 2. Copied or duplicated content. This means the person you bought the article from Googled your competitors and hit copy then paste and emailed it to you. This is bad because Google will see that your content is duplicated and you can face repercussions that will greatly affect your traffic.

The bottom line here is, when you are going to pay for someone to write content for you, make sure you get a guarantee from them that it’s fresh/new and never duplicated.

My service provides content creation as well as editing existing content. All of my materials are guaranteed to be original. You may pay a bit more with RLPolicar.com, but my quality of work will outshine my competitors.

Facebook Fanpage Created just for You!

Part of the services I provide within the Social Media realm is to create Fanpages. The Dr. Tom Veal was made by yours truly.
drtom facebook
I’ve actually created over a dozen fan pages and currently manage 10 of them. Some are thinking, “Why should I pay you when I can do it myself?” Well, ya you could and the more power to you. But there are some folks who are not familiar with Social Media let alone Facebook. Another reason is that they may not have enough time to do so. This is where I come in and create your fanpage(s) and include a Cover photo, your office info, profile pictures, About info and a couple of status updates just to get you started.

My rate for this service is $50.00, not a bad price if you ask me since you’re paying a Professional to provide you with this service rather.

RL Policar
714 519 6661
E:rlpolicar@gmail.com

Facebook Etiquette

In this article we’re going to cover some of the basics of Facebook(FB) Etiquette on a business level as well as personal. If you’re anything like me you’re on FB ALL THE TIME! Well part of that is due to my job. I am a Social Media Consultant so that means almost every working hour I have is spent on it. But for the rest of you folks out there, you’re only 2 clicks away from FB. We typically will have it open as another window or tab on our browsers. Then at anytime, you just click on it to see what’s going on.

I’m sure you have it on your Smart Phones too, right? That way you can be connected to the people you love or at least find interesting on a 24/7 basis. Let me guess, when you wake up in the morning, you reach for your smart phone or tablet and check your FB feed and email? I’m guilty of that myself, so don’t feel too bad…”because everyone does it.” Right?
Ok let’s move onto some basic etiquette on FB. Here’s a few that should help you avoid arguments or unfriending (is that even a word?) situations.

*Avoid political or religious posts.

We all know people who post things as their status that is related to some sort of politics and religious stuff. This goes along the same ways towards gun control. Basically you avoid this because when you start posting your view point’s there’s always someone that will challenge that and argue with you. During the Romney and Obama elections, there were so many HEATED arguments on FB on why you should vote for who or which propositions you should vote for. At times it got ugly between my own friends and some even unfriended each other because their views are different from their own. I’m not saying having a different opinion or having a great discussion isn’t healthy, but for the most part, people are not mature enough to do that on FB. So much is lost in text that the tone is lost.

*Emoticons are not guaranteed to work

Do you know what they are? It’s icons that are supposed to mimic your emotions. For example, do you use emoticons at the end of your posts like this to show you’re happy 🙂 or sad :(? What about when you’re joking, I think the proper emoticon is using the colon and the letter P signify that you’re smiling and your tongue is sticking out to show you’re being silly. But the problem with emoticons is the person can’t see your face doing those same actions. So if I were to call someone FART FACE with  that could be taken as 1. Joke or 2. making fun of the person you called a fart face.

Yes there are hundreds of emoticons, even animals have emoticons, but they are still not great at REALLY expressing your facial expressions as if you were talking face to face with the person and that could cause problems in communication in which I’ll touch on the next point.


*The tone of your message may not be taken the way you want

A recent situation I had was with one of former my client’s FB page. A customer commented about his bad experience at one of the retail stores the company owned. I responded to his comment in a joking manner, very sarcastic in tone but he took it as a personal attack on him. That situation I had to immediately apologize to him after reading his rebuttal to my comment. The issue with tone is that sometimes people may not get your humor. Something that you may think is hilarious may not be as funny to another.

*Don’t send important messages through a status update or in a comment

This is one of my pet peeves. Basically what I’m saying is, if it’s important to the person to get you the message. Then pick up the phone! Here’s an example, I saw an argument start on FB and the people involved kept going back and forth on comments. Then they started sending each other private messages to continue their argument. Here’s the thing, if it’s a conflict, just call them. Don’t use PM or status updates to further argue or resolve things.

I recently had a situation where I commented in a joking manner to a serious tone. The person asked if I could keep it serious since this was something he was being sincere about. I said no problem and obliged to his request. Then here’s the best part, he picked up the phone and CALLED ME! Yes, he called me to make sure that I wasn’t offended that he asked me to keep it serious. I told him that I wasn’t and that I really appreciated his heart behind wanting to make sure no bitter root grows between our friendship.

*Posting photos

This one is a double edged sword because not too many people really want to see you having so much fun in Hawaii zip lining while drinking a pina colada while kissing your hot wife. Why? It’s due to the fact that people don’t like show offs. I’m sure there’s a friend that will see your photos from Hawaii who is sitting in his mom’s basement in Dayton, Ohio who is super jealous of your exploits and is probably single or has an ugly girl friend that wishes he could do what you’re doing…but he can’t. Besides, no one really cares about those photos of you looking to the left or right or pictures of your designer purses and shoes that you bought or what you are having for lunch.

The flip sides to this are business fanpages. Fans love to live vicariously through the pages they LIKE. I say post as many photos of your products being used, office shenanigans, customer photos and anything that shows off your product. If you make dog sweaters, then post as many photos of dogs in sweaters, preferably your own brand.

That’s about it, I’m sure there’s so many other things I could touch on, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Christmas is pretty much here!

merry christmas santa elf copy

As much as I love Christmas and New Years, I’m pretty much ready for January to get here. Why? Well in all honesty, and I’m sure you’ve seen this happen to, but businesses slow down during the holidays. Some are not in the mood to do any more work and often times things get busier with the new year. Budgets are refreshed, resolutions are set and people are more willing to work. So with that said I am excited to what the new year will bring.

Merry Christmas!

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

A Fortune Cookie can Motivate

I had lunch at a local Chinese Restaurant in which I wanted to talk to the owner about my services. At a certain point I thought that I should come back another day since they were busy. But after cracking open my fortune cookie and read it, I walked up to the owner to tell her about my services and not only did she ask me more about it, but we spoke for several minutes and I’ll be doing a follow up to show her examples of my work.
fortune cookie

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.

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