Marketing content strategy is changing everyday and in today’s marketing the visual content is the biggest component. Here are three facts supporting the importance of graphics and images that every digital marketer should to know.
-Over 90% of communication is non-verbal.
-Infographics are shared and liked x3 times more than other content formats
-More than half of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds actively reading text on the page.
According to the infographic below from HubSpot, the average number of Facebook shares of posts without images is 28. With images, the average number of shares jumps to 65. Without images, the average Twitter shares is 10. With images, it jumps to 20.
The following amazing juicing recipe came from my friends Shaun Ketterman and Crystalina, who currently live with their beautiful two children in San Diego, CA. Shaun and Crystalina live a healthy life style and inspired me to look deeper into juicing.
This is pretty much just a massive combination of greens. The taste is a little weird… I didn’t like it at first, but eventually it became my breakfast every single day. Amazingly good for you!
1 cucumber (bigger the better!)
2 green apple (medium)
3-4 stalks of celery
½ lime (peeled)
1 handful fresh parsley
2 handfulls fresh baby spinach
1 small piece of fresh ginger root
Juice all of it and drink. Also, a few ways to modify this is you can add 3 or 4 carrots, or 2 small beets. I usually did everything. (by Shaun Ketterman)
What’s Uber? Uber, in simple terms, is your private driver and it evolved the way the world moves by seamlessly connecting riders to their smart phone at affordable rate. Unlike traditional taxi, you do not need to use cash to pay for your ride. All you need is your credit card (or PayPal) and a smart phone. By allowing the transactions strictly between the rider and their smart phone Uber simplified the idea of taxi.
At first, I’m going to admit, I was not moved by the idea of Uber and did not really pay attention to the mass hype about Uber; but after taking my first ride to Tech Week Chicago I absolutely “got the concept” and now use it whenever possible. I own a car but after doing the math for “owning a car” vs “using Uber” – I figured out that Uber is more economical. If you live in big cities such as Chicago or New York, it is better not to have a car. The cost of ownership, maintenance, gas, parking fees add up and it really becomes a hassle.
If you haven’t tried Uber, your first ride is free, and it is on me. I am giving you a $30 and to redeem it visit this page.
Personally, I am a big fan of WordPress. The CSS/ PHP/ HTML combination allows for flexibility in design and responsiveness, while the user-friendly back-end of WordPress makes it easy to edit content. However, despite its easy-use from a business owner perspective, it is not always the best content management system or CMS for a website.
There are two major instances where I would explicitly NOT recommend WordPress for your brand:
1. Is your site E-Commerce?
In the case of an E-Commerce site, WordPress would not be your best choice. There are WordPress themes and plugins to drive E-Commerce capability, but if the major function of your site is E-Commerce and your sales, WordPress would not be my first choice. Joomla and especially, Magento, are much better platforms in this case. Magento (formerly OSCommerce) is designed specifically for E-Commerce and the major admin panel functionalities are controlling your sales, inventory, and promotions. You can even manage your customer base from this portal.
2. Is your site more of a web application than a website?
Dynamic, user interactive sites are the new trend. There is a certain element of this that can be covered in WordPress, again through plugins, but this interactivity and networking capability is better handled through more development intense platforms such as Joomla, Drupal, and Ruby on Rails.
A web application would be more suited to the youngest of the three, Ruby, or Drupal. These two are the most dynamic and developer based. Ruby has a very friendly coding language that can be picked up fairly easily. Drupal is the elder and deeply-rooted CMS, sworn by for many old-school developers.
Something like an intranet of a site based in networking would often be more suited to Joomla. It is very flexible and easy to use. It serves mainly as a middle ground between the ease-of-use found in WordPress and the development-intensive flexibility of Drupal.
Aside from these two cases, the second of which could be quite broad, I would point you towards WordPress as the way to go. From the increasingly important Search Engine Optimization perspective, it simply cannot be beat. As content becomes increasingly important to search engines, a system originally built for easily managing the content of a blog can’t be beat.
Particularly for small and medium sized businesses looking to gain traction in the ultra-competitive internet marketplace, the ability to quickly add and edit content that WordPress provides is invaluable. Once a site has been built, it is easy to give the business owner, however inexperienced, the reigns to the site without too much worry of catastrophe.
As a web developer, I find what is considered to be the least development-friendly CMS to be perfectly flexible. Functionality is easily added and controlled through plugins, custom or sourced. Design is very subjective, and with the wealth of themes available on sites like ThemeForest, you are sure to find one you like.
In summary, with the increasing importance of web presence, regardless of the business, an affordable, modern, good-looking, and flexible website is of necessity. WordPress meets, and exceeds all of these requirements, producing a site that you can easily manage and in turn leverage to enhance your business.
This week Amazon.com unveiled its vision for 2015: the air drone that delivers packages up to 5 lbs within 30 minutes from the order. Jeff Bezos claims that the air drone can deliver within 10 mile radius from the Amazon fulfillment center(s); however, there are some prerequisite action items, such as approval from FAA, quality assurance, quality control, etc. before the air drone can be utilized. These new flying robots can be seen as early as 2015, and as a big fan of Amazon and Amazon Prime Member, I cannot wait to see them. Yes, for the drones. It’s innovative, and makes logistics more fun. You have my approval.
In my previous article, I mentioned that there are four types of people: the Directors, Socializers, Thinkers, and Relaters.
Working Together with Directors
Directors are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organized and get to the point. Give them bottom-line information and options, with probabilities of success, if relevant. Give them written details to read at their leisure.
Directors are goal-oriented, so appeal to their sense of accomplishment. Stroke their egos by supporting their ideas, and acknowledge their power and prestige. Let Directors call the shots. If you disagree, argue with facts, not feelings. In groups, allow them to have their say because they are not the type who will take a back-seat to others.
With Directors, in general, be efficient and competent.
Adapting To Socializers
Socializers thrive on personal recognition, so pour it on sincerely. Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions; get excited about them.
Socializers are social-butterflies, so be ready to flutter around with them. A strong presence, stimulating and entertaining conversation, jokes, and liveliness will win them over. They are people-oriented, so give them time to socialize. Avoid rushing into tasks.
With Socializers, in general, be interested in them.
Dealing With Thinkers
Thinkers are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. Support Thinkers in their organized, thoughtful approach to problem-solving. Be systematic, logical, well-prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work independently. Allow them to talk in detail.
In work groups, do not expect Thinkers to be leaders or outspoken contributors, but do rely on them to conduct research, crunch numbers, and perform detailed foot-work for the group. If appropriate, set guidelines and exact deadlines. Thinkers like to be complimented on their brain-power, so recognize their contributions accordingly.
With Thinkers, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.
Adapting To Relaters
Relaters are relationship-oriented, want warm and fuzzy relationships, so take things slow, earn their trust, support their feelings, and show sincere interest. Talk in terms of feelings, not facts, which is the opposite of the strategy for Thinkers. Relaters don’t want to ruffle feathers. They want to be assured that everyone will approve of them and their decisions. Give them time to solicit co-workers’ opinions. Never back a Relater into a corner. It is far more effective to apply warmth to get this chicken out of its egg than to crack the shell with a hammer.
With Relaters, in general, be non threatening and sincere.
In summary, the Platinum Rule provides powerful life-skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children. Improved relationships create infinite possibilities and think of the right things to say when you interact with people.
You’ve probably heard of the Golden Rule, which states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated.
The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” Say what?! So there is a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four basic styles: Director, Socializer, Relater, and Thinker
Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style.
Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. Directors are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations. They want to accomplish many things-now-so they focus on no-nonsense approaches to bottom-line results.
Directors seek expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Directors accept challenges, take authority, and plunge head first into solving problems. They are fast-paced, task-oriented, and work quickly and impressively by themselves, which means they become annoyed with delays.
Directors are driven and dominating, which can make them stubborn, impatient, and insensitive to others. Directors are so focused that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.
Socializers are friendly, enthusiastic “party-animals” who like to be where the action is. They thrive on the admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments that come with being in the lime-light.
The Socializer’s primary strengths are enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are eternal optimists with an abundance of charisma. These qualities help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals.
Socializers do have their weaknesses: impatience, an aversion to being alone, and a short attention span. Socializers are risk-takers who base many of their decisions on intuition, which is not inherently bad. Socializers are not inclined to verify information; they are more likely to assume someone else will do it.
Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem-solving. Thinkers are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results. They’re always in control of their emotions and may become uncomfortable around people who very out-going, e.g., Socializers.
Thinkers have high expectations of themselves and others, which can make them over-critical. Their tendency toward perfectionism-taken to an extreme-can cause “paralysis by over-analysis.” Thinkers are slow and deliberate decision-makers. They do research, make comparisons, determine risks, calculate margins of error, and then take action. Thinkers become irritated by surprises and glitches, hence their cautious decision-making. Thinkers are also skeptical, so they like to see promises in writing.
Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. Their relaxed disposition makes them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. Relaters are excellent team players.
Relaters are risk-aversive. In fact, Relaters may tolerate unpleasant environments rather than risk change. They like the status quo and become distressed when disruptions are severe. When faced with change, they think it through, plan, and accept it into their world. Relaters-more than the other types-strive to maintain personal composure, stability, and balance.
In the office, Relaters are courteous, friendly, and willing to share responsibilities. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through.
Relaters go along with others even when they do not agree because they do not want to rock the boat.
Relaters are slow decision-makers for several reasons: 1) their need for security; 2) their need to avoid risk; 3) their desire to include others in the decision-making process.
In summary, analyze yourself and figure out which one you are. I guarantee you will have at least two characteristics. If you cannot seem to figure out – ask your three friends and have them describe you. If you’re a Mongolian – you’re highly likely to be the thinker and be really good at math.
Disclaimer: this article had originally appeared on Seth Godin’s blog and he truly inspires me to do something new and worthy each day.
There are at least 200 working days a year. If you commit to doing a simple marketing item just once each day, at the end of the year you’ve built a mountain. Here are some things you might try (don’t do them all, just one of these once a day would change things for you):
– Send a handwritten and personal thank you note to a customer
– Write a blog post about how someone is using your product or service
– Research and post a short article about how something in your industry works
– Introduce one colleague to another in a significant way that benefits both of them
– Read the first three chapters of a business or other how-to book
– Record a video that teaches your customers how to do something
– Teach at least one of your employees a new skill
– Go for a ten minute walk and come back with at least five written ideas on how to improve what you offer the world
– Change something on your website and record how it changes interactions
– Help a non-profit in a significant way (make a fundraising call, do outreach)
– Write or substantially edit a Wikipedia article
– Find out something you didn’t know about one of your employees or customers or co-workers.
Enough molehills is all you need to have a mountain.
Media is good for you. Only when you do it right. While talking to FedEx’s America’s Small Business Summit representative, I learned the following important media tips.
1. KNOW YOUR THREE KEY POINTS. This is your opportunity to tell your story. Select three key messages that you want readers to learn. Think of facts and anecdotes to develop and support your three key points, making a compelling story. Keep bringing discussion back to the three points that you want to make.
2. YOU ARE ALWAYS ON THE RECORD. Only say things that you believe are fit to print anywhere and everywhere.
3. IT IS OK TO ASK QUESTIONS. If the reporter approaches you for a 1:1 interview, ask questions so you understand where they are coming from. This will help you better fit your story and their needs. What kind of story is it? What’s the angle? Who else has been or will be interviewed?
4. WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW, SAY SO. You are an expert but you don’t have all the answers. Say “I can’t speak to that, but what I can tell you is…” or “I’ll get back to you.” It is extremely tempting to hazard a guess, but this may be published … you want to be accurate.
A few additional tips:
Be assertive. Don’t just answer questions, seize every opportunity to drive your messages. Reporters grab audiences’ attention by leading off with the most important, newsworthy information. Do the same thing with your answers.
Use flags. Signal that a key point is coming up with a phrase like; “the key point is,” or “what makes this important is.”
Turn negatives to positive. Don’t repeat negative language or allow the reporter to put words in your mouth. Anticipate tough questions and develop responsive answers that are not defensive. Bridge to one of your key messages with phrases like “let me put this in perspective,” or “the real problem is”.
Avoid jargon. The public doesn’t know your industry jargon so don’t use it even when the reporter does. Explain abbreviations and technical terms.
Focus on your objective. Don’t get mired in statistics or lengthy explanations. It’s OK to pause and think!
In summary, you should know your three key points, bear in mind that you are always on the record, it is okay to ask questions, and if you don’t have the answer just say so in a polite way. It will add to your values.
So, I have been asked by many of my friends “Beck, What Exactly Does an IT/Marketing Manager Do?” While I cannot mention everything, here is the list of some of the things I do for Serola Biomechanics, Inc.:
1. EMAILS: As I arrive at 8:30am, M-F, and turn on my computer, the very first thing I do is read my emails. I receive, on average, 30-50 emails per day. I answer every one of them – personally, professionally, and in as much details as I can. (Since it is set up in Microsoft Outlook – the incoming emails are easily categorized/organized and all are assigned to their certain folders)
2. ORDERS: I go through each order that was received from http://www.SerolaBelt.com and separate them by type: RETAIL CUSTOMER’s order VS. WHOLESALE CUSTOMER’s order. I keep ONLINE SALES ANALYSIS spread sheet and keep track of the Total Annual Sales, Average Sales per Day, Retail Daily Sales, Wholesale Daily Sales, and Total # of Transactions. In addition, a Sales Graph is created for each month – it makes sales analysis look so much easier. There are also Declined Orders – if it is the case – I contact the customer to let him/her know why their online transaction was declined. It usually happens when they enter the incorrect billing address and/or CVV code.
3. MAGAZINE ADS: We advertise on 10+ different magazines, newspapers, and medical journals in which I coordinate which ads due for publication, and what artwork is due by when, etc. It is uniquely important to keep track of dates and deadlines for each magazines. Making changes is time sensitive – and once the publication is gone for print, there is nothing you can do about the ad. Ads cost anywhere between $800-$1,500 depending on size, color, & magazine. My favorite is Annual Buyer’s Guide because you reach potentially to 100,000’s of prospects with one single print – and these ads are distributed in big trade shows, medical shows, & expos.
4. MARKETING CAMPAIGNS: As a Marketing Manager, I determine the expected marginal revenue and the cost before we announce any campaign. I sit down with my boss and discuss it in details and analyze any potential risk(s) that may come from the campaign. When things go normally, you can just relax – but when you see the sales starting to decline, it is that time to think “What Campaign Can I Create Differently?”, “How Can We Acquire New Customers?” etc.
5. TALK TO PEOPLE: Yes, I love it. This diverse list includes Advertising Magazine/Newspaper/Journal Managing Editors, 3D/Flash Animation Artists, Photoshop Artists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Distributors, Wholesalers, Retailers, and people with severe back pain. By email, phone, fax, or even Skype – we try to acquire as much customers as we can. I also closely interact with our production manager, Tom, and administrative assistant; between the three of us, we can solve any resentful situation.
6. KEEP LOGS: In other words, keep record of what you did, as often as possible. Yes, it definitely helps me what I did and when I did. If possible, in any project, try to use MS PROJECT – it helps you define the project scope, budget, resources, and the time line. Great software. In addition, there are always bunch of Post It notes on my desk and I use them to take quick notes.
7. ONLINE ADVERTISING: I love this part and it is what I enjoy the most. We utilize Google AdWords (pay-per-click), Facebook Ads (pay-per-click) Yahoo Search Marketing (pay-per-click), SEO, and other social media sites.
If you were to go on to Google and searched for “Sacroiliac Belt”, “Back Pain”, or “Sacrotrac” – the chances are you’re probably looking at the ad I created: “Serola Belt – Slick Design, High Quality: Support Your Back Because It Supports You” or see something like “Serola Sacroiliac Belt – Heal Your Back. 100,000’s of Americans Wear Our Belt – They Loved It.” Pay-per-click ads great in the short run but keeping the keyword bid in the long run can be “expensive.”
On the other hand, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is free. You just have to use the right keyword(s) and define the META TAGS of your web site.
Facebook and other social media sites is great, as well. We have a company profile page wherever possible. We can announce any events, photos, videos easily and share it with our subscribers.
8. PLANNING : A comprehensive plan is created at the beginning of the year, and it determines our marketing plans: Online Advertising vs. Magazine Advertising. Usually more budget is spent on the traditional marketing channels. If you have the SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Treat) created – it is easy to see which areas need more planning and improvement. Also, I keep track of what our competitors doing. Where are they advertising more? How are they creating strong call-to-actions? Are they declaring a price war? Keep a note of all of this, and check it bi-weekly. Competition is a harsh yet fair game when it comes to selling – and always compare what you are doing with the industry leaders.
9. DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL: It used to be simple, before the Amazon.com era. Know everything about your wholesalers, retailers, and distributors both in the US and overseas. If someone asks where he can buy our goods in Australia – I send them our eight distributors’ address in Australia. Then, follow-up in a week or two to see how it went.
10. SELLING IN EUROPE: We have been negotiating with FedEx and MIDL (both trying to earn our business), and after a series of scrutinized cost-and-benefit analysis, we selected MIDL to become our logistics & warehouse partner for our European operations. The outcome of this project will potentially increase our company revenue by at least 40% by 2015.
So, that’s it folks – this is the short list with only ten bullet points.
Mirror.me knows what you care about and helps you find things that are highly relevant to you, and it is a simple tool to create an image of social tag cloud that describe you. For instance, this is how my reflection looks like:
Step-by-Step Instructions On How To Create Your Own Reflection:
Step 1: Go to www.mirror.me, and sign-in using your Twitter account
Step 2: Fill out the profile section and verify your email address.
Step 3: In the right upper corner, click on your username, then select “Settings”
Step 4: Make sure to claim your Personal URL. For example: mirror.me/bilguun
Step 5: Scroll to the bottom and you will be able to get the HTML code or the actual image.
301 redirect is the most efficient and Search Engine Friendly method for webpage redirection. It’s not that hard to implement and it should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, it’s the safest option. The code “301” is interpreted as “moved permanently”.
Redirect Old domain to New domain using htaccess redirect
Create a .htaccess file with the below code, it will ensure that all your directories and pages of your old domain will get correctly redirected to your new domain.
The .htaccess file needs to be placed in the root directory of your old website (i.e the same directory where your index file is placed)
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
Please REPLACE www.newdomain.com in the above code with your actual domain name.
In addition to the redirect I would suggest that you contact every backlinking site to modify their backlink to point to your new website.
Note* This .htaccess method of redirection works ONLY on Linux servers having the Apache Mod-Rewrite moduled enabled.
Redirect to www using htaccess redirect
Create a .htaccess file with the below code, it will ensure that all requests coming in to domain.com will get redirected to www.domain.com
The .htaccess file needs to be placed in the root directory of your old website (i.e the same directory where your index file is placed)