Content reuse and recycle: It’s not just good for the environment.

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You see, when the average person sits down to write a blog, that’s all they do. But wise content marketers compose that blog with the larger marketing ecosystem in mind. As they build the blog, they ponder all of the places that same information might appear. Before they know it, their blog gets reborn as an email, a white paper, a web video, an infographic and many other forms of content. And voila — they’ve got themselves a full-blown integrated marketing campaign.

To successfully repurpose, get clear on your purpose.
It seems obvious that reusing information in different forms makes a ton of sense, right? But according to the coschedule blog, the perks of repurposing go considerably beyond the practical idea of basing a complete campaign on a single piece of content. As coschedule put it: “When you focus your energy on producing one awesome asset…you’re likely to produce a better piece of work than you would by dividing your attention across every platform you’re responsible for.” Which means the recycling strategy saves more than time. It can also raise your campaign’s profile — and impact.

How to successfully recycle content.
The team at Fractl shares five great tips for recycling content. Here are three of them:

  1. You can work smarter instead of harder. You can research and create an entire integrated marketing campaign in a single, efficient effort.
  2. You can stretch your resources, “finding new uses for content even years later by republishing, reviving and renewing.”
  3. You can connect with new audiences. Rather than a one-size-fits all approach, take the same basic idea and adjust it for “different demographics and verticals.”

10X your content and multiply your results.
As the folks at coschedule say, every integrated marketer is “under pressure to deliver the high-quality our audiences want…if you’re working solo or on a small team, that pressure is further magnified, since all the weight is on you to do everything.”

A powerful one-two punch.
According to Wordstream, certain kinds of content are more recycling friendly. Examples: If you have a blog with a strong visual component, turn it into a Pinterest board. A series of beautiful PowerPoint slides might become an intriguing infographic. And your next blog post might metamorphose into a podcast.

Then: Write less…promote more. Now: Write less…reuse more.
Neil Patel reminds us of a time-tested content marketing strategy: “Write less…promote more.” While that’s never been truer than it is today, one of the best ways to promote more is to repurpose whenever possible.

The painless path is successful recycling.
Let’s close with an easy way to get the repurposing ball rolling: Before you to start work on a new piece of content, turn to what’s already been done. Is there something in your content portfolio that tested well the first time around? If so, dust it off. Polish it up. And commit your team to building an integrated marketing campaign around recycled content.

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How Three Small Businesses Got Big Results with Content Marketing

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If you think world-class content marketing is restricted to global companies with ginormous budgets, think smaller. See how these three businesses of modest size and means created a huge impact —and were rewarded big time!

1 – Mint.com
Infographics & blogging – According to an article by Alexandra Skey in Spokal, “Mint.com was the first company to create infographics to attract customers on a mass scale – that resulted in 2 million customers within 3 years.” Mint was started byAaron Patzer in 2006 to give consumers a new way to handle personal finances online. By 2007, the company was already managing 100,000 accounts, before skyrocketing to two million. Mint.com also has a very cool, friendly and inviting blog, Mint Life, that makes personal finance highly accessible.

Bottom line: Mint.com perfected creative content marketing — and made a mint. The company was bought out by Intuit for a cool $170 million. Mint currently looks after more than 10 million accounts.

Takeaway: Are you using infographics to paint the picture for your customers? You can review the basics here.

2 – Canva
Long-form articles 
– Canva’s website provides a stunning graphic design tool free of charge. An article in Marketing Insider Group revealed, “Canva doesn’t have a blog, they have a Design School. Canva’s content can be fun, inspirational, useful or of course — educational.”

But what’s particularly revealing about Canva is that their most-shared content isn’t about design, but rather a long-form article about the benefits of taking long walks. As Marketing Insider Group notes, “Despite containing very little imagery, the piece has been shared more than 60,000 times on Facebook, 400 times on Pinterest, and 2,000 times on LinkedIn. It’s also (according to Ahrefs) received links from 163 different domains. The really great thing about this is that it’s something you could emulate. You don’t need a design and development team – you just need to pinpoint a topic that resonates with your audience and write about it well.”

Bottom line: Canva grew to more than six million users in four short years. While their website does a fine job of showing off their creative design chops, what’s just as interesting is their willingness to go way outside of the box.

Takeaway: Are you growing your content marketing muscles by stretching yourself and trying new things? In addition to pushing the creative boundaries in house, trying going outside to try creative outsourcing.

3 – Old World Inn
Review Sites
 – SEM Rush shared some great examples of small business content marketing. One story in particular reveals how a California wine country lodging called the Old World Inn reaches out using review sites like TripAdvisor. The Inn takes the time to not merely respond to traveler inquiries — but to draw a word picture of what it’s like to experience the Napa Valley.

Bottom line: On their TripAdvisor site, you’ll discover the Old World Inn’s extensive history of communicating with the traveler – a history that spans several years. It’s quite a commitment!

Takeaway: Are you using the location-based sites that make sense for your company and industry? Get yourself on the map – and encourage customers to share your story.

5 Benefits of Facebook Business Pages

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Is your business one of the 65 million taking advantage of Facebook’s free local business pages? If not, check out the business benefits below to help sway you or any reluctant managers toward including a Facebook business page in your integrated marketing plan. Facebook business pages offer a number of benefits that you don’t want to miss out on.

Brand Awareness

Perhaps the best reason to develop your Facebook business page, is that likes and shares help get your content out to your followers, and their followers, etc., building brand awareness. A site that serves the customer rather than a sales agenda helps with recognition and associates users with your brand, making your followers effectively influencers. When customers post positive messages to your wall or their own, it is seen by an ever-growing list of potential clients.

Customer Communication & Support  

Nurture your current customers (and convert new ones) with a personal touch. A business page opens you up to organic customer engagement and the opportunity to build a community. Talk to customers, post messages and receive feedback, provide product or service updates, and listen to customer needs, responding politely and with authenticity. Take the time to invest in a long-term customer communication and support strategy, and practice it regularly.

Referrals & Reviews

Think of Facebook as a networking mixer for a couple billion people. Integrated marketers used to look for new business and referrals from among a few dozen people in a small midtown meeting room, but with a Facebook business page, the world is your Rolodex. Users share their experiences working with your business, seek/receive advice from each other, or find product reviews and testimonials right on your page from other members.

Web Traffic

Once you’ve built your community and fostered interactivity, you can use your Facebook business page to boost traffic to your website. Link to your site and encourage Facebook users to click through for a larger portrait gallery, more testimonials, longer posts, or to make a purchase. Those who visit your webpage are more likely to explore and convert, so offer them even more enticing content on your website. 

SEO

For many managers, this is the most important argument, so don’t forget to use it! Facebook business pages are quickly indexed by Google and other search engines. Ensure that the keywords you want associated with your page are used in the business page title to help Google’s bots find you. Any posts, links, and other activity that takes place on your public business Facebook page helps to lift SEO when indexed, so confirm that your page regularly features rich, relevant content.

As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons to use Facebook for business, from the obvious to the expert. Take advantage of as many of these capabilities as possible to spread the word about your business. And check back next month for five Facebook business applications that you will want to put to use ASAP.

Five Signs You Need Creative Design Help

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As great creative design software and DIY web and social apps become more accessible to integrated markers, more of you are taking the opportunity to create great-looking websites and design your own marketing collateral. But is there a time when you need to let go and call in professional help? Here are the telltale signs:

You’re Having Quality-Control Issues

Even though it seems like you’re saving money by doing it in-house, here is the real cost: when your project is at the printer, and your files aren’t set up right—or worse, it’s printed with the wrong fonts. Or your website goes live and your images look weird because they haven’t been optimized. A professional graphic designer or art director understands the technical fundamentals that can tank a job if they’re not done right.

You Want to Save Money

A design pro knows how to get the most impact for the least money, which includes recommending paper and format choices and negotiating stock photo usage costs. And a pro’s expertise means they can accomplish in a few keystrokes what might take an amateur 30 minutes.

You Want to Make Money

The power of good design speaks for itself, and the power of a good designer is that he or she knows how to capture your audience’s attention, build your brand, and help make sales. One study found that companies that invested in good design grew by nearly 300%.

You Need to Expand

Staffing services and print houses are trained to know the right questions to ask, looking not only for technical expertise but matching the aesthetic and the personality to your company’s need. By turning this over to a professional agency, you’re outsourcing the headaches of finding the right fit.

You Don’t Have Time For Your Own Job

You’re the expert on running your company; it’s more efficient for you to hand off the design tasks and concentrate on being the best at what you do.

Stress Less, Sell More

A good service agency can make you feel like finding talent is as simple as ordering from your favorite restaurant: you tell them the skills you need and how soon you need help, and it’s their job to make it happen. The bottom line is less stress and more sales for you.

Five Ways to Use Facebook Live for Your Business

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With the runaway success of video on social media platforms, and with Facebook giving priority to live video, it may be time integrate Facebook Live into your integrated marketing strategy. When paired with the most powerful social network in the world, you can experience new levels of customer engagement without a significant up-front investment. Recently Small Biz Trends put together a tip list for those interested in getting their share of the 4B video views enjoyed daily.

Offer a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Your Business

Everybody loves an ‘exclusive.’ Draw back the curtain and show customers how you operate: processes, decisions, operations – it’s your call. Determine what is unique or special about how you run things and share it with the world!

Hype Your Events

Host live video to let your audience know what events you will be attending. Target your existing network, a specific group or event, and let them know what to expect in your booth, display or offices. Combine the live video with teaser posts and paid ads to drive viewership.

Product Sneak Peeks

Get the word out about any upcoming or recent product launches. Give viewers details and generate excitement for the release. Drive viewers to a web page or landing page where they can pre-order, order, or view FAQs.

Broadcast to Your Business Page Members

Send messages directly to fans of your business page. Use Facebook Live to share breaking news or information relevant to your industry. Network and connect more fully with potential customers and peers while establishing yourself as a leader in the field.

Up Your Customer Service Game

Have your senior leadership get in front of an engaged audience and answer questions. Or your customer service staff can get personal and address individual concerns in one-on-one, real time sessions.

Before You Take the Plunge

Consider these other pointers from Small Biz Trends:

  • Have a plan in place –from the mechanics of privacy settings to how often you will address questions from the audience. We offer some helpful guidelines here.
  • Determine your CTA before go-live – end every Facebook Live video with a viewer call-to-action: visit your website, subscribe to a newsletter, like or share your business page, etc.
  • Deliver quality video – ensure that the basics for a good end user experience are in place.

If you’re willing to do the work in advance, Facebook Live can be a useful addition to your integrated marketing strategy. A more authentic and personal approach to customer engagement may be your ticket to building stronger relationships and increasing sales.

Delivering the Human Touch through Mobile Devices

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Mobile technology has changed social communication, allowing for richer experiences through personalization—from custom themes, fonts, and apps, to animated emojis and eye-catching GIFS. But can consumers have a genuinely human mobile-connection with a customer service agent or salesperson? You bet!

Mobile provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect with audiences in a familiar way, whenever you like, wherever they are. MarketingProfs gives integrated marketers four tips for building a nurturing relationship with consumers who spend 51% of their time using their mobile devices.

Get Personal

Savvy SMBs rely on behavioral data, including purchase history, online activity, and analytics—as well as demographics like age and gender—to customize messaging to the interests, needs, and location of users. Tailor the contact with mobile personalization, including push notifications (promotions, discounts), content adapted to user preferences, recommendations, or location-based deals.

Build a Unified Experience

We took a look at the value of platform integration here. For instance, integrated marketers could provide incentives for mobile opt-ins, or encourage mobile subscription through email. LivePerson reminds marketers that mobile helps break down barriers, using apps, social media, service and e-commerce to improve customer engagement.

Be Human

Today’s consumers are so connected to their mobile devices that it is strategically advantageous to engage with them there. Domino’s pizza famously embraced the call to humanize their customer interactions by admitting their faults, connecting with customers on social and mobile, and giving a face to those creating the product. Customers felt that they were heard, trust was re-established, and share prices soared.

Be Authentic

We’ve talked before about the importance of authenticity to customers. It’s better to be open and genuine than to use contrived verbiage that causes confusion and weakens relationships. Consumers who have a conversation with a real person who is interested and willing to listen to (or text about) their concerns—on their timetable—will remember and cherish those exchanges.

The same call for authenticity applies doubly with millennial consumers. This post cautions against heavy advertising or vague details that can lead to distrust; instead be transparent and honest, creating bonds with shoppers. Simplicity is the key, and mobile is the fastest, easiest way to simplify that connection.

Humanizing is Good Business

As Bruce Springsteen (“The Boss”) laments, “I just want someone to talk to / And a little of that human touch.” This is the same message integrated marketers are hearing from consumers. While mobile provides the mechanism to transform the customer journey with efficiency, convenience, context, and personalization, it’s ultimately up to companies and their teams to bring the humanity home.

Six Rules for Earning the Respect of Email Readers

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Email tends to be underestimated by many marketers. In fact, permission-based email marketing generates a higher return on investment than direct mail or traditional advertising. Email marketing can be an effective tool to attract and grow your customer base.

Marketers are integrating email into their marketing efforts for lead generation, sales, website traffic, as well as to strengthening customer relationships and building loyalty.

The trick with email marketing is to avoid the spam trap. We all have trouble getting to the bottom of our email inbox. So don’t make it easy for your customers to dismiss your next email.

Adapted from a list of 34 email tips on Campaigner, here are six rules that are so crucial they could be considered best practices for building a list of loyal subscribers who will open, read, and act upon your emails.

Six Rules For Earning The Respect of Your Email Readers

  1. Build a Permission-Based List — This is the most important as well as most difficult step. It takes time to develop, but you should only send emails to people who have signed up or asked to be on your list.
  1. Offer Something of Value — You’re asking for people to give up their personal information. It’s only fair that you give your readers something valuable or helpful in exchange for their name and email address. White papers do particularly well for B2B audiences.
  1. Only Ask For Info You Need — The more you ask, the more you risk putting people off and not getting any information at all. If you only need a first name and email, then keep it simple.
  1. Offer an Opt-Out — Give recipients the ability to unsubscribe in each email you send. Don’t risk damaging your business reputation with spam complaints.
  1. Practice Good List Hygiene — Addresses can change, so keep your list minty fresh by watching for bounce-backs or undeliverable emails.
  2. Respect Readers’ Privacy — Post a brief privacy statement (without all the legalese) on your subscriber page that says how much you respect your readers’ privacy and how you will use (or not use) their contact information. Always link to your privacy statement in every email you send. Then stand by your policy and never break your word!