What I learned about marketing from a talking horse.

What I learned about marketing from a talking horse.

Mr. Ed was a talking horse from the popular 1960's television series.  He was famous for saying, “You should never speak unless you have something to say.” He was one smart horse, folks. In fact, from a promotional marketing perspective, his advice is often overlooked by many businesses. Read on from the horse's mouth...

Blogging Basics-4 Questions You Need To Answer

Some people just get it. I recently met up with a new client, Carla Donnelly for lunch to discuss the promotion and marketing of her new blog. Carla is a Family Law attorney with the firm Gentile Horoho & Avalli, P.C. located in Pittsburgh. Her mission is clear-To provide clients with quality information and advice to empower them to make good decisions.

When I meet with clients or prospective clients, most agree that blogging can be an ideal way to increase the amount of traffic a website receives. They’ve researched the subject online well enough to understand that blogging can largely increase the amount of indexed pages and keyword usage on their website; allowing search engines to rank their site higher in search engine results. 

What many do not realize, however, is that writing without a clear objective or strategy can be a waste of their precious time. Not Carla. Carla gets it. I asked her four questions. Spontaneously, mind you. While eating a delicious salmon salad at Bravos. I was expecting her to hesitate, replying with vague answers and unclear objectives. I was wrong. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. She was able to clearly identify her audience.

Carla explains,” I am speaking to future clients based on my ideal client profiles addressing their pain points and offer true guidance and help. I believe my future clients will have much of the same pain points as my past and current clients.  The concerns of those facing divorce and custody issues are universal and I wanted to address them in my own voice.”

Here are four basic questions to help you begin structuring your blogsite strategy. Answer these as thoroughly as you can. Then begin your writing.

Who is your intended reader?

Describe your customer persona in as much detail as you can. Answer questions concerning:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Earnings
  • Family Size
  • Location
  • Interests             
  • Frustrations

This list can go on for miles. You get my point. Be as detailed as possible, including as many factors as are relevant.

What are their pain points?

 In other words, what problem does your ideal client currently face that you can help them solve? Write about it. Address and identify with their pain. Help them solve the problem that they are struggling with.  Carla’s list, in part looked like this:

  • Fear of “Making it on my own”
  • Husband or wife earns substantially more than their spouse
  • School district-geography issues after divorce
  • Does she (when representing a woman) need to go back to work? What issues will she now face?
  • Is mediation a viable option?

What should the blog accomplish?

  • What is your blog’s objective? Write with the end in mind. Again, using Carla as our example:
  • Educate the audience. Answer their questions (broadly) and give them points to ponder that they may not have previously considered
  • Build trust. Blog should establish Carla as a trusted source of reliable and valuable information
  • Comfort the reader by showing authentic sincerity in a personal way. Communicate that they are not powerless; their legitimate needs and concerns can be resolved with good council.

What do you want the reader to do after he or she reads your blog? What action steps or call-to-action should they now take? (CTA)

Here are just a few options:

  • Call for a consultation/meeting
  • Newsletter Sign-Up to grow your email list
  • Gain followers on social media platforms

Writing a blog can be a waste of your precious time or an effective marketing tool if you write with a clear objective and strategy. Please share your thoughts with us.

4 Painless Ways to Encourage Online Reviews

4 Painless Ways to Encourage Online Reviews

Online business reviews can influence internet search engine results. This is crucial for small business owners wanting to increase local seo results. Your business getting alot of mentions usuually translates into appearing higher in search results than a business that isn’t reviewed  often. Research suggests that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising. Here are four ways to encourage online reviews:

Say Cheeeeeeze!

Say Cheeeeeeze!

It is imperative to have a good quality business photo for your website, LinkedIn profile, and articles you write for industry publications as well as to give it to journalists who request it. Here are 6 tips for a great shot!

2 Reasons You Should Use Emojis in Brand Marketing

When it comes to communication, I’m an impatient person. Voicemail takes too long and email often requires too much effort. Like most people I know between the ages of 12 and 70, text messaging is the go-to method for communicating- with co-workers, friends, family and (sadly) the person in the next room. Enter the EMOJI.

“Emojis help companies add a human touch to digital marketing communication. Brands should think about what their audience cares about.”

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and emojis are just the next evolution of communicating, sometimes even complex thoughts or emotions, with simple pictures.  Brands are recognizing the usefulness of the Emoji in online marketing communication.  Here are 2 reasons you should be using the cute smiley faces as a marketing tool.

1. Emojis can transcend  language barriers. A smiley face is universal, (you know this if you have ever traveled overseas) and now there are literally thousands of emojis that are gaining worldwide acceptance and allowing an entire generation to communicate across borders. A smile. A wink to a heart. The simplicity of these images breakdown linguistic obstacles, in turn, enhancing brand recognition and generating positive impressions. Marketing experts say emojis allow recipients to fully comprehend the intentions of the brand, no matter the worldwide location of the consumer.

2. Emojis help companies add a human touch to digital marketing communication.When I see a brand using an emoji, I can instantly relate on a personal level to the conveyed emotional message of that brand. Most marketers understand that emotion is more effective than promotion by more than 2 to 1. Let’s face it. They’re cute. Who doesn’t like cute? O.K. Maybe Scrooge. Or Archie Bunker. But you get my drift. Most people are jaded to perfect PhotoShop images and slick online lead generation tactics.

How can emojis  be used in brand marketing? They can be incorporated into instant messaging applications, text, email, promotional products and social media messages to convey brand emotions. Developing your own emoji image can be a great way to extend your marketing reach to millennials. HubSpot has an Emojis for Dummies Translation Guide to help you get started. Transport the online experience into tangible residual marketing. Check out these great specific examples of national brands using Emoji Marketing from Ad Age to get your creative ideas flowing.

These branded emoji “Flingers” fly through the air with a flick of their tongue! The cute guys  (we have girl emojis too) are a fun new item that is sure to grab attention at your next function. They are part of Fina Promos emoji based product line. Why not run an Emoji contest? Think about using these guys as part of your next tradeshow giveaway, meeting, Facebook or newsletter sign-up gift. Take simplistic messaging to a whole new level!

All my best,

Audrey Gotto