Category Archives: eMarketing

Guest Blog Post: The Collective Power of One

Collective Power of One

Originally posted on the ExactTarget Blog.

The Collective Power of One

We all learned at a young age that the easiest way to avoid answering the “which is your favorite” question is by saying enthusiastically, “I liked them all!” Well, during a conference featuring “The Power of One” as the connecting theme throughout – “I liked them all” sounds rather like a cop-out. But that’s my answer to the question “Who was your favorite speaker at Connections 2011?” I loved them all. Collectively.

It wasn’t the power of just one of the speakers that moved and impacted me – it was the Collective Power of One (ahem, maybe the secret theme of Connections 2011) that made their stories the most powerful. After all, how can you compare the quality of the content of a speech from a man like Aron Ralston, who survived 127 hours alone, pinned by a boulder in the desert and amputated his own arm because he felt a tremendous drive to return to his loved ones – to – a panel of industry leaders having real-time conversations about real-time emarketing topics that mean the world to our work and our businesses?

Jimmy Wales, the CEO and Founder of Wikipedia, was thoughtful, intelligent, and even quite humorous – but I also spent my Wednesday morning enthralled in excellent conversations and panels on social media marketing and content marketing for B2B businesses. Both were tremendously valuable, thought provoking, and informative. I wouldn’t have wanted miss one for the other under any circumstances. I also can’t forget all of the product contributions and visionary conversations of the ExactTarget executive team of Scott Dorsey, Tim Kopp and Scott McCorkle; without their updates and edge-of-your-seat announcements Connections would not be complete or worth attending! And I of course cannot dismiss the powerful messages of education and giving that we heard on Day Three: between Soledad O’Brien’s poignant message about the Power of One education and impacting One life with One donation, and the panel of education equality advocates that joined the conversation at Connections 2011 – the message was overwhelming.

So, it is with some hesitation and some resolve that I stick to my guns and say that Connections 2011 wasn’t about the power of One speaker but rather the collective power of all of the “One” speakers and attendees – brought together by One conference that enables email and digital marketers around the globe to harness the power of One communication tool to reach millions and millions of “Ones” out there. Cheesy, I know, but I’m sticking to what I learned in 3rd grade when it comes to weighing in on a really tough decision: “Well, I guess I just really loved them all!”

Tagged

How to Content-Market for Free without a Single Drop of Technological Skill

Not everyone who uses a computer at work all day knows how to code HTML, and it isn’t like our public schools are planning to include a “PHP, Java, and Advanced Devlopment” course in place of Phys-Ed class anytime soon. So, for a business who wants to participate in Content Creation and Inbound Marketing to their website, what’s a non-techie to do?

Well, there are plenty of great content-creation tools that stir up some SEO-juice along the way without a single lick of code, and here are the best

3 Codeless Content Creation Tools Out There

… AND if you can take the extra step of linking these 3 resources together via RSS feeds (no code required) then you’re doing even better. Finally, if you can invest a few dollars into hiring someone to link these resources to your website (or getting someone internal to do it) then you’ve basically given your entire brand an often-updating facelift and a new lease on life.

1. Twitter.com – obviously you’ve heard of it, but do you know how easy it is to set up? If you’ve ever been frustrated that your static website just couldn’t express a single revelation or announcement that your company had EVER, think again. A Twitter account can be opened and up and running (with pretty logos/graphics) in less than five minutes. From here you can share content, update followers about events or seminars, and provide information must faster than you could ever get someone to update your site.

2. Facebook Groups – all you need to do is login, upload a photo, and request friends to join your group and it’s done. Announcements are as easy as hitting the “return” key, and users who might otherwise not go to your website daily now hear from your brand multiple times a week.

3. A Blog* – A blog requires some baby steps to get the maximum benefit out of it, but if you just want to set one up and start sharing your thoughts, then a simple platform like WordPress.com is super easy and the best way to go. All you need to do is define a URL for your blog, and you can be posting to it a few seconds later, e.g. YourBusinessHere.Wordpress.com.

That being said, the distinct benefit of a system like WordPress is twofold: it can be built easily, and it can morph into something much bigger and better down the road. Some small-to-medium sized businesses even use it as a template for their website: which means it can be easily managed and updates without any code – and it’s easy to include pieces from social giants like Facebook and Twitter as you go. The other great thing about WordPress is that you can eventually purchase your own domain for your blog, or fold it into your websites domain as well.

Once you have these 3 pieces set up, you’ve just laid a great foundation for future content marketing success. Sure, you can hire someone to update your website to include these new features, or you can convert your site into a WordPress blog, or spend money on making any of them look nicer… but at the onset as you “experiment” and try new ways to create content and share thoughts with your users – the only cost is the time you put in and the only skills you need are fingers and the internet, so why not give it a shot? It might just change the way you (content) market.

image: www.internetbillboards.com 

Originally posted on the ListEngage Blog – written by Kim Lindquist

Tagged , ,

Mobile Browsing Soars – Social Tops the Charts

Just walk down a crowded side walk at rush hour – and try not to bump into someone posting Facebook updates on their iPhone, checking in at the train station, or tweeting about work that day. It doesn’t take a super-sleuth to see that Americans are using their mobile devices more than ever to browse the web, check email, and update on social networks. But, the actual percentage of increase in mobile browsing from last year to this year – 45.7% to nearly 64 million users in total – is pretty mind blowing.

Within that growth, social media is posting up the most impressive statistics; it had the highest growth recorded in any user category. According to a recent study by comScore Mobile Lens, the number of users who accessed social media sites via mobile device “almost daily” increased more than 70% Year over Year as of March 2011.

So what does this phenomenon mean for mobile web users, and what sort of ripple effect will it have on industries that rely on these users? In the short term, it means more advertisers will start venturing into mobile where they can find new audiences, our data providers will likely have to invest double-time (and hopefully not charge double) in these new networks and, of course, you might have to pay a little more attention to all of those crazy new mobile browsers and updaters who have been let loose on the crowded sidewalks!

This post was originally written for and featured on the ListEngage Blog – written by Kim Lindquist.

Tagged

ExactTarget Guest Blog Post: Takeaways from Connections 2010

After attending ExactTarget’s annual emarketing conference, I was featured as a guest blogger on their blog. Read full post on ExactTarget Blog

Connections 2010

Kim’s Biggest Takeaways from Connections 2010

Digital Marketing. Email Marketing. Social Media. Conversations. Content. Blogging. Tweets. Research, research, research. Sir Richard Branson (whaaat?!?), Scott Dorsey, Joel Book, Jesse Engle, Ann Handley, Jeff Rohrs, Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget, CoTweet, BestBuy, Groupon, Coca-Cola, Citi, Hotels.com, McDonald’s, Threadless, Forrester Research, and the list most certainly goes on. Train! Wooo!

Where else could you possibly find this many people, tweets, and conversations all surrounding the future of online marketing? Flying into Indianapolis from Boston on Sunday night, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there was a jam-packed schedule, plenty of learning, and “just a few” opportunities to have a good time as well. Whelp, I was –to be perfectly honest– blown away. It all started with ExactTarget Academy on Monday morning where I learned a bit about pitching my brand as a Partner Reseller before I scooted over to my CoTweet learning session. Oh boy, although the pressure was on, I passed my test (by the skin of my teeth!) and became one of the FIRST EVER certified graduates of ExactTarget Academy (I’m sure my mom will be proud!). Tuesday and Wednesday just seemed to blend into one giant connected orb of great networking and too much learning to fit in this little brain of mine. I couldn’t BELIEVE just how much #ET10 had to offer to its participants (and I’m not just talking about delicious mini-sliders and mashed potatoes in a martini glass!) and seriously, all of the thought-leadership, collaboration, and insightful research has made me a lifetime CONNECTIONS Brand-Fan. There’s no chance that I wouldn’t suggest Connections to a fellow marketer; it’s just too valuable and the ROI, though perhaps immeasurable, is certainly palpable. So, as I sit in the Marriott listening to the final thoughts of some of the smartest marketers in the U.S. (and perhaps the world?) and the biggest thought leaders in the industry without a doubt – I can’t help but clear my calendar for #ET11, (and #ET12, and #ET13…).

Tagged

Email + Social Media: Your 1-2 e-Marketing Punch

Originally posted June 29, 2010

There’s been a lot of debate recently about the future of email: is it pushing forward stronger than ever or on the verge of extinction, about to be overrun by all-inclusive social networks?

As an e-marketing specialist, I find it hard to imagine the internet without email. No matter what you use email for, I believe that we, as online content consumers, will always need our inboxes to aggregate, create, organize, and search the hundreds of online data points we create daily as we navigate the web. Email is the only private online location where users can store and create content with very few limitations or restrictions. Where else can you manage your social networks, businesses, bills, family, friends, banks, job searches, and more in one location?

At ListEngage, we help our clients with email and social media marketing daily, so we see the benefits and drawbacks of each: email is a great relationship building tool but not a great prospect acquisition channel, while social media, if used intelligently, is ideal for prospect acquisition and qualification but lacks the “direct contact” that opt-in email does.

I’ve been really impressed with a company called Groupon lately, that seems to be using email and social media as a dynamic 1-2 punch for spreading their daily deals and messages. Click here to read more about the union of email and social media, and how Groupon is delivering a winning e-marketing TKO.

Tagged ,

Boosting Your Deflated Social Media Ego

Originally posted for ListEngage Blog – July 2009

First of all, we’d like to say “Congrats” to those of you who have held their breath and leapt into the often uninviting waters of social media—despite fears and disbelief that “this thing really works”. Believe it or not, you’re still ahead of the curve as far as Web 2.0 users go, and you should be proud that you’ve already taken the plunge.

We’re sorry that you’re not John Mayer, Shaq, Lindsay Lohan
 or a boatload of other famous people who instantly attained millions of followers upon their entry to Twitterville. And it’s really too bad that your company might not be as exciting to Facebook users as McDonald’s—whose actual business page gets trumped by a grassroots-created page with almost 2 million fans! Don’t worry, we still like you.

The hard-truth is that social media requires time and effort, and you won’t be instantly popular unless you’re already wildy popular in the mainstream media. Even then, there are stark examples of both how well and how poorly well known brands are doing on Twitter, Facebook, and the likes. Check out Kodak versus Fuji FilmPizza Hut versusDominos. Some sink, others swim.

The honest truth is, you have to “work for it” with social media—and we’ll be the first to admit, it’s not easy: we’ve been grappling with ways to promote our Facebook page on a closed network that’s usually meant for chatting and posting funny pictures. The question to ask yourself is—what do I have to offer that people will be interested in (and what makes my company unique)? Whether that means offering daily discounts, positioning yourself as an“expert” in your field by writing helpful blog posts, or using social media as a forum for direct customer relations, your business will dictate the answers. But the first step is doing it, and doing it consistently.

Just think: if you had just left your two-wheeler in the street the first time you skinned your knee, would you have ever learned to ride a bike? If you hadn’t stopped calling until she agreed to see a movie with you, would you have those two beautiful kids and that stunning wife? The point is, every success story starts with a challenge. Sure, adopting social media is tough, especially when it it takes away from “more important things” like paying bills and making money, but we guarantee that it will pay off in dividends if you treat it like any other challenge, and just “keep at it.”

For now, take some comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one who’s sitting in the office scratching their head and asking “But how the heck does this fit into my business plan?” and be proud—thinking about these problems and finding very few solutions is still a thousand times better than just sweeping them under the rug. Give yourself a pat on the back; then start taking the next steps to help build your social media brand (and boost you social media ego!).

Tagged
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.