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Friday, June 08, 2012
I Dream of Conny: A Good Marketing Strategy Has the Right Persona in Mind

I Dream of Conny: A Good Marketing Strategy Has the Right Persona in Mind

When a marketing plan is targeted at a general audience, your story will likely be all too general as well. A technique to avoid that is to visualize a specific individual, a persona.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Everyone on Social Media Is a Lead, so Use Them in Your Marketing Strategy

Everyone on Social Media Is a Lead, so Use Them in Your Marketing Strategy

Small businesses that are new to online marketing often misunderstand the concept of ‘audience’. You have more leads than you may think!

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series on developing an effective Online Marketing Strategy. It tells the story of John, a small business owner, who creates his first online marketing plan, using the Audience Creator. Content Marketing Wizard Tim coaches him along this journey.

Last episode: A Good Marketing Strategy Uses the Past in the Future


Wizard 2 - Audit
Tim introduces an novel idea about who your audience is.



Wizard 2.2 - Current Audience Circle


Current Audience Circle Content Marketing Wizard
'Audience circle??' John asks, when he reads the header above this chapter.
 
'Aye,' Tim tells him, 'keep in character, please. You're supposed to be a character in the story. I’ll get to that later.'

'Sorry,' says John, grinning.

Tim goes on: 'what about your online marketing? You said you have a newsletter? And a form on your website, so someone can subscribe to that newsletter?'

'Let me think,' says John. 'Yes I have one, everyone who subscribes is added to the mailing list.' He adds it to the marketing efforts that work.

'Good,' says Tim, 'and how many people do you send the newsletter to?'

'Hmm,' John thinks, 'around 300 people.'

'And are they all paying customers?' Tim asks.

'I wish,' John replies with a wry smile, 'only about half of them are.'

'What else?' Tim asks. 'Do you have other online activities? Are you active on Social Media? Do you use Twitter? Google+? LinkedIn? Facebook? Have you done online advertising? Do you know how many people visit your website? And how they found it?'

'Hey, wait a minute,' John stops him. 'No I don’t. And that’s just what the problem is: too many things to think of. That’s why I hired you, didn’t I?' he exclaims.

Tim grins. 'Just teasing you,' he says. 'And you’re right. There is a lot to think of. Most importantly, you have to make a change in mindset. The Internet, and especially Social Media have added a new dimension to the marketing process. First of all, they are a new channel for word-of-mouth. You can either publish your content on social media directly, or you can use social media to notify people when you have told a story somewhere else. Whatever story you tell, share it on social media. Sharing content on social media means it can get repeated and shared by others, so more attention is brought to your business.

It doesn't stop there. Through social networking sites, you can have conversations and interactions with individual followers. It isn't just a one way street. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Building trust is an important aspect of content marketing.

All people you interact with I collectively call your Audience Circle. Leads, prospects, customers, friends, followers, connections together form your Audience Circle. Content Marketing is about drawing people into your Audience Circle. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we were reviewing past marketing efforts.'

John enters in the Audience Creator:

Leads:
300 leads on e-newsletter mailing list.
Prospects:
LinkedIn 223 connections, Twitter (no account)
Customers:
5 corporate customers with a total of 150 participants


In the next episode, John enters wizard 3, that starts out simple enough...


The entire story of John and Tim is also available for reading on your computer or mobile device. Get it from Amazon or Smashwords.

Looking for more information and instructions on how the Audience Creator wizard can work for you? Learn more.

About the Author(s): This article was written by Arno van Boven and Ronald Kloots of Content Marketing Wizard.
Monday, June 04, 2012
A Good Marketing Strategy Uses the Past in the Future

A Good Marketing Strategy Uses the Past in the Future

Even when you start your marketing strategy from scratch, it is recommended that you take into account any previous marketing efforts you have put in, if any of course.

This post is part of a series on developing an effective Online Marketing Strategy. It tells the story of John, a small business owner, who creates his first online marketing plan, using the Audience Creator. Content Marketing Wizard Tim coaches him along this journey.

Last episode: Does Your Marketing Strategy Know How Big Your Goals Are?


Wizard 2 - Audit
Where has John been doing?



Wizard 2.1 - Past and current marketing efforts


Past and current marketing efforts Content Marketing Wizard'Where have you been,' Tim asks.

'I beg your pardon?' John answers with a puzzled look.

'What marketing have you done in the past, I mean,' Tim clarifies. 'What have you done already, and did it work for you?'

'I see, John says, let me think for a minute here. And I send a newsletter every 3 months. In the past, we did some cold-calling, but to be honest I hated it and it didn’t do a thing. A while back I put out some ads in a magazine, but that yielded nothing either. And lately, I have been networking more frequently, you know, good-old in the flesh. It takes a lot of time but it does give me new contacts I can send our newsletter to.'

'I see,' Tim says. 'Let's record that in your document.'

John enters in the Audience Creator:

Worked: 
E-newsletter sent every 3 months to 300 people on the mailing list; Webform on website yields 5 new subscribers a month; Visit networking events once a month. 
Didn’t work:
Intensive cold calling of 40 HR executives in a period of 2 months. Only 3 contacts added to the list; Advertising in three editions of a health magazine; Two direct-mailing (print) sent 9 months and 4 months ago to leads and customers on the mailing list.In the next episode, John learns a new way of looking at his audience.


In the next episode 2.2, John learns a new way of looking at his audience


The entire story of John and Tim is also available for reading on your computer or mobile device. Get it from Amazon or Smashwords.

Looking for more information and instructions on how the Audience Creator wizard can work for you? Learn more.

About the Author(s): This article was written by Ronald Kloots and Arno van Boven of Content Marketing Wizard.