Marketing

Top 4 steps to defining your personas

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Creating buyer personas help marketers determine what kind of content is needed.  When you understand your target audience you can create content on relevant topics for them and gain credibility with them. Defining your personas is the driving force behind garnering the attention of your prospects.

Here are four steps to creating well-defined personas….

1.) Check your site analytics

Your website analytics provides data on where your visitors came from, what keywords they used to find you, and how long they spent once they arrived. This is valuable when identifying personas as you can begin to identify needs.

2.) Involve your company in the process

Have conversations with your entire team—not just marketing, but Customer Service, IT, Sales, Integration, and more. Include everyone that interactions with customers and have access to customer data. Gaining the perspective from all departments provides a clear picture of your customer needs and practices.

3.) Social media research

You can also do some research within social media. Review prospect and customer social sites and website comments. Here you can read what their customers are asking for and identify the problems your product can solve.

4.) Ask your target audience questions.

Who better to ask than the people you call customers or are looking to attract? Use Surveys and set up interviews to answer questions regarding your target audience. Hubspot offers a great checklist to use for this process.

What do you think the key components are to persona creation? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Marketing

Inbound Marketing Tips for 2016

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Expect social media to continue to be an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy in 2016. Social media is a proven strategy for building brand awareness and for engaging with target audience. Here are a few best practices to consider…

1.) Have a presence in all of the social media networks that your target audience frequent.

Facebook is a great for reaching a broad audience and a good place for companies who are just starting out and LinkedIn is known for great b2b interaction, but what about Instagram? According to Social Media Today, photos bring higher engagement than videos. Create a story about your brand and it’s okay to use humor. Give your target audience a look into your brand that they normally don’t get to see. Just like facebook you can attract a broad audience and build brand awareness in an unique way.

2.) Pick 1 or 2 keywords and SEO them 100% of the time.

In order to successfully gain traffic to your website, you have to consistently use relevant keywords. These keywords should be the longtail keywords utilized most often to find your type of offering or service.

3.) Don’t just post on Social Media…Have conversations

It’s not enough to merely have a presence on the social media platforms. Conversions are typically generated from organic search and email, so if you want to reach your audience ask questions and answer comments to build rapport and begin lead nurturing. Be alert of mentions of your brand and respond proactively.

4.) Content creation that is an engaging machine

Content Marketing is can be an exhausting machine to feed. Content creation platforms, such as SnapApp help marketers develop fun and engaging assessment, quizzes, calculators, videos and infographics from existing content. Publishing these content pieces within social media provides engagement with your brand. Analytics provides data on  what aspects appealed to various user demographics within social media platforms.

What do you think is the key to great communication? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Communication · Uncategorized

Three Effective Ways To Communicate

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When asked, many individuals believe that they possess strong communication skills and are able to connect with their audience effectively.

This is contradictory to the numerous case studies that report  deficiencies in workplace communication.  The University of Chicago School of Business conducted a study recently that identified familiarity as the main source for communication breakdown within the workplace.

When peers communicate with each other there is an assumption factor that causes miscommunication because there is a  belief in a false pretense that the person they are sharing information with is as informed about the subject as they are.

In order to reduce misunderstandings and to be effective in communication here are three tips to ensure your intended message is received.

1.)  Be Clear and Concise

Take a breath and take the time to articulate your message in a clear and concise manner.

Talking so people will comprehend your message means you must adjust your message to your target audience and their understanding and if possible, their personality.

Do not use big words or buzz words to impress rather gauge your success on good dialogue. If your audience is asking good questions, you know you’re on the right track.

2.) Listen

When you communicate, you must give people the opportunity to speak their minds too. If your conversation is a one-way street it is not communication rather a lecture.

When you are communicating face to face you are able to pick up nonverbal cues that are just as important as the words that are being spoken. Take advantage of this communication and you will understand the true message that is being communicated.

3.) Connect

Communication is about more than just exchanging ideas. It’s about understanding the intentions behind the information. We hear a lot of conversations in a day and forget, most of what is being said, however, we remember how people make us feel. If you take the time to be connected with those who you talk with you will find that you have a better understanding of what is really being conveyed.

Communication is an important element of leadership that is a part your everyday responsibilities. Taking the time to be intentional in how you engage others is key to achieving your goals.

What do you think is the key to great communication? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

 

 

Technology Trends

New Tech gadgets to consider

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When it comes to new technology I am always reading about the next cool new thing.  In the last few weeks, I have read quite a few articles relating to new items to consider for 2016 and I thought I would share the ones that have caught my eye in no particular order because in my opinion they are all great.

  1. Smart Crock Pot

A slow cooker that is integrated with webmo technology that allows you to turn on or off the cooker or adjust cooking temperature while you are away from your house from your smartphone and free accompanying app. The crock pot is made by Crock-Pot and is available on Amazon for $117. This crock pot gets 4 stars out of 5 by amazon reviewers and are for the most part all positive.

2. Ulo

Ulo is an adorable surveillance camera that looks like an owl and has eyes that project video surveillance to your smartphone app. The cost is $169 and is a fully funded Kickstarter project.  If you have not seen the video on facebook this small camera will alert you to any movement in the area it is placed and will send you an alert notice to your phone. The device looks like a kids toy and will go undetected by the normal individual.

3.      Airwheel Airboard 

It’s the hoverboard we dreamt about ever since watching back to the future. This board responds to your foot’s pressure for turning and just lean in the direction you wish to go. There are in malls across the country for more money they I am willing to spend, but a cool invention that I am sure will become more affordable in the near future.

4. Laser Projection Keyboard

There have been several times when a keyboard would have been helpful in taking notes on my mobile device, but who wants to carry around an actual Bluetooth keyboard in their portfolio or bag.Now you do not have to. With laser technology paired with Bluetooth wireless technology a virtual keyboard projects on a flat surface that track your fingers. The laser projection keyboard connects with your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Compact, keychain design makes our virtual keyboard super portable. The charge lasts for up to two hours of continuous typing.

And the last one is just because the sheer cool factor. I have searched Amazon for a cool Jedi Lightsaber, but nothing compares to the fun you can have by showing off to your friends and kids with your “real” saber.

5. Ultra Sabers

Ultrasabers is at high-end Lightsabers with a price tag of $399 and above. This is that cool toy you can display as the StarWars FX Lightsaber is an “elegant weapon, for a civilized age.” I love the ability to customize and construct your blade with different soundboards and LED colors. If the  StarWars nut in your life has everything, this might be something to purchase rather than a drone or other high price toys like the Yoda, R2D2, or BB8.

These are my picks for best new gadgets on the market. Send me links to your favorite.

 

Budgeting

5 Holiday Savings Tips

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During the holidays, money is always in short supply and for many, budgets are tight. Below is a list of some best practices I have picked up over the years to keep myself accountable and to avoid some of the Holiday fund frustrations.

  1. Create a 50/30/20 household budget on an excel spreadsheet that you stick to and use a budget calculator to assist you in figuring out your income after tax. The idea originated from the book “All You Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. The book advises that you limit your needs to 50% of your monthly income, 30% to wants and 20% to savings and debit repayment. By definition, a need is your electric bill and your cable bill is a want.
  2. Set up a Christmas fund with your financial institution to create a ready-made saving for Christmas shopping and events out of that 30% that you are allocating for wants. Do not allocate more than 1.5 percent of your household annual income to your Christmas fund.
  3. Create a list of everyone on your gift list and create a budget per person based on the 1.5 total amount.
  4. Download an App such as Mint to track your spending. In minutes, this app provides a complete picture of your account balances and transactions together. Mint automatically pulls together all your financial information into one place. This allows you to see spending patterns, investment strategies, and budgeting views as to how well you are keeping to the 50/30/20 rule all year long in categories you create.
  5. Use GASBUDDY to help you find the cheapest gas prices for when you are filling up and heading out to your Holiday events.

These are just a few ways to be aware of your spending ability and stress-free while you are holiday shopping.