Category Archives: Tech Tools

10 Ways to Win with Online Video

Stand Out from the Marketing Crowd Thanks to Lou Bortone, video marketing guru for this guest post In an over-crowded and hyper-competitive marketplace, video marketing can help you break through the clutter and deliver your message in a powerful and

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Yes! You Can Afford to Do The Research That Lets You Understand Your Customers

How to Get Started on Cheap and Powerful Customer Studies Unless you understand your customers, you risk  painful marketing missteps. Because we know that effective content marketing depends on a thorough understanding of your customers, regular research should be a

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6 Secrets to Making Online Video Work for Small Business

Kathy Saenz of Neighborhood America Shares What It Takes to Make Video an Effective Content Marketing Tool Even a micro business can use video effectively to communicate with its customers online. But, as we amateur carpenters know, you can wind

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The Best Way to Promote Your Offline Business to Online Prospects

Use Google, Yahoo, and Micosoft Directories to Turn Your Physical Storefront into a Virtual Version
(Guest post by WordPress fanatic and small business web consultant Don Campbell)

If your business is an “offline” business with a physical storefront, the most effective way to improve your search rankings in Google is to list your business in the free local business directories from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Once you are listed in these directories, you have a chance to get listed in the “Google 10-Pack” – which is an invaluable way to get the word out about your business when people type in search terms in your local area.
In fact, if you don’t claim your Google Local Business Center profile, in some cases it can be scooped up by others who want to capitalize on the listings!

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Make Your Content Both Timeless and Timely by Integrating Your Website and Your Blog

The best small business solution is to eliminate a separate blog and website.
Unfortunately, typical small businesses misunderstand the power of a business blog–and cannot envision how it can and should be the driving force behind your online presence. Your best bet is to leverage the power of blogging software to create an online presence which is, at once, timeless and timely.

Most of us began with a website that contains static content that was never intended to change much over time. Your static website will be an essential source of product, service, and company data to the majority of buyers that now relying on the Internet as their primary repository of information for potential purchases. Your static website is a vital beginning. But, it’s only a beginning.

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Here’s Your Social Media Marketing Tool Cheat Sheet

Thanks to my co-author, Joe Pulizzi, and some helpful contributors for making your search for the right implements a lot easier.
If you are starting from scratch, it’s almost impossible to figure out what social media and other related online tools will be genuinely useful for marketing your business. Fortunately, Joe has taken the time to assemble and comment on 42 of the most worthy in his blog.

You’ll find that a common thread among many of the 42 is that they involve both inbound and/or outbound communication. In other words, they will help you send a message to your target buyers or listen to what those buyers are saying about you.

My five favorites of the less well known among the 42 that Joe highlights are:

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Great New Social Media Marketing Tool: PitchEngine

Jump Start Your Online Public Relations for Free
They call it public relations for a reason. Although PR methodology has focused primarily on getting the traditional media to write about your company or your client’s company, the goal has always been to influence ‘the public’, that is those members of the population that you want to impact positively.

Thanks to the infinite reach of the Internet, you have the capability to extend that influence dramatically. But, you need to change your approach and your toolkit as part of a 21st century PR strategy.

If your primary public relations strategy still amounts to sending press releases to a finite number of media contacts, you fail to take advantage of the Internet. You are not reaching the new influencers, to use Paul Gillen’s term.

You need to do do more than reach those influencers. You need to take advantage of the emerging power of social media by creating a new kind of release to reach a much broader audience. We have written previously about Shift Communications’ template that offers a useful template on which to create your news content: Social Media Release Template Makes It Easier to Get Social.

Now, another powerful tool has emerged: PitchEngine, which lets you create and share social media releases for free.

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Even a Very Simple Video Can Make for Effective Content

A Length of Wire, a Bunch of Sticky Notes, and a Red Marker Tell an Appealing and Amusing Story
Evernote is a cool web-based application that lets you save notes, web links, webpage clips, documents, images, and even iPhone phone voice notes. Because is both versatile and unique, Evernote requires a bit of explaining.

Most other explanation takes the form of short videos which illustrate the wide range of capabilities to which users can put Evernote. But, my favorite is a very brief video that uses stuff all of us would have at home to tell the Evernote story in just 44 seconds.

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Twitter for Business Made Easy

Great MindMap from the Mindjet Folks Simplifies Twitter and Proves Power of Mindmapping
On the most basic level,it’s easy to explain Twitter in a few bullet points:

Twitter is a micro-blogging servicethat you can use from anywhere if you get an Internet connection.
You sign up and give yourself an identity that lives on Twitter, such as mine–
You can then post 140 character text messages which may include hyperlinks.
You can choose to follow fellow members whose ‘ tweets ‘ will show up automatically on your Twitter page.
Other members can choose to follow you to see what you have to say.
The heavy hitters on Twitter may have thousands of followers and may post dozens of tweets per day.
Every Twitter member can pass on or ‘ retweet’ other messages so that the reach of what you have to say is potentially huge and global.
All of this happens in real time
At this point, you may be thinking, “Okay, I understand that, but what’s the point? Why would I want to do any of that stuff? That’s where this great mindmap created by Mindjet’s Michael Deutch comes into play. It illustrates why you need to care about Twitter for your business–and how to get smart about using it.

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How to Set Up Your Vital Online Listening Post

Use TweetGrid to monitor what’s being said about you, your company, your customers, and your competition.
Your business does not exist in a vacuum. Quite the contrary. Your success depends upon how well you satisfy the most important needs of your customers. Their level of satisfaction will be relative to what your competition is doing and what other customers are saying about you to their friends. If you fail to monitor those external elements, only good luck will rescue you from disaster.

That’s where Twitter and TweetGrid come in.

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