Finding An Engaging Blog Topic

Blogging can be fun, but often the hardest part is knowing where to start or possibly what to start with when writing a post. Finding a topic that is both new and interesting can be hard and stressful. Creativity doesn’t always strike in sync with deadlines. Since content marketing such as blogging is so important to a business, we have come up with some helpful suggestions to get you started.

The most important thing when trying to find a topic is remembering or deciding what the goal of your blog is. Is your blog meant to inform your audience about your products, industry, etc? Is it meant to help or educate your audience on options and alternatives? Is it to persuade your audience to act? Your blog can do all of these things or just a few of these things, but it is up to you. A good blog topic comes from having a good purpose for you blog. By taking a moment to remember why you a writing, you will produce better content for you audience.

Ask questions. The number one way to come up with topics is to think back to the questions you are most frequently asked by customers. Think about the information that could be added to your website to make your job easier. For instance, if you are a gardner frequently asked why hydrangeas can be different colors, write a blog post explaining why. If you have a new patient portal on your website, write a post with images showing them how to use it. You can answer these questions post by post. You can also do FAQ posts where perhaps you do the top ten FAQ about frost resistant plants.

Explain your business. As a business owner, you know more specialized information about your field that your audience. That knowledge that may seem mundane and obvious to you is interesting to others. A post explaining the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore is valuable information for your customers if you are a dentist. You may think it is boring, but they will find it informative and useful.

Try a How To Post. While this may seem overdone, when done right this can be extremely powerful. We live in a world where more and more we want a way to do it yourself. Instead of messing up and making it up along the way, we like to google our life advice from everything about how to buy your first home to how to get over that lousy ex-boyfriend. If you write about a topic that is relevant to your audience, it will be relatable and thus, powerful.

Look at your calendar. There are more holidays and special events out there than you can imagine. Even if you work in a dental office, you can find a fun way to post about christmas time with a fun list of dental stocking stuffers. If you think about it, there is plenty of content sitting out there waiting for you.

Make lists. People love lists, especially checklist or short bullet points. We don’t need lengthy blog posts. We want shot and to the point. If you can list out helpful tips or tricks for you audience they would love it. Imagine if I just gave you here a list of 45 blog ideas. You would love it. The only problem is you wouldn’t be learning how to come up with topics on your own, which is the goal of this post.

Finally, go explore other blogs. It is okay to take inspiration from other people or write a post that has already been written. If you have a unique perspective or information to add, your audience will find it engaging. Get out there and look at other blogs from businesses like yours. Which ones do you like? Which ones do you hate? The ones you like are probably the ones that you should try to emulate on your blog.

Benefits of Blogging

It seems every business these days has a blog on their company website. Even your local dentist is featuring a blog on his website with weekly tips and how to’s. The fact of the matter is that blogging has lots of benefits for businesses and content marketing such as this helps drive traffic and customers to businesses.

To start, content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating and then publishing content online for consumers. The goal of this type of marketing is to engage your online audience in a new and exciting way. Blogging is one of the most effective and easiest ways to do this.

Think about it, if one business provides you blogs and resources that help you learn about all the different types of options related to their product or service, you will be more likely to want to do business with them. You will have helped them, and they in return will be more likely to want to use you and your business. This will also distinguish you among competitors.

Additionally, if you inform, amuse, or entertain with your blog, you will have the same effect. More consumers will want to do business with you. Plus, your brand awareness will not only increase, but so will the credibility and positivity associated with your brand. With each blog post, you are creating new ways for your audience to find you.

By opening up new channels through which consumers can find you, you may be able to both expand and broaden your audience. Your typical target audience or user base may grow, and you will find yourself naturally increasing sales revenue. Not to mention, you are creating deeper relationships with the online audience you have already created.

This development of relationships is the entire point of blogging and of content marketing. As we share information and ideas with our audience, we create and foster relationships. Through these relationships, business can increase brand, sales, relevance, and their target audience. As these relationships grow, your business will have an entire online community surrounding it.

Therefore, if you are thinking about starting a blog on your business website, it probably is a good idea. There are so many different ways it can benefit you, and numerous studies has been done to show how posting blogs directly affects your site visits and audience engagement. Don’t wait till later, get started now!

Three Channels of Marketing

Is your advertising campaign really reaching the audience you want in the way you want? That is an important questions to think about. The problem is how do we answer it.

In marketing, there are a number of different ways to reach your consumer, but all of these different types fall into three different channels of marketing. Each of these different channels have their own advantages and disadvantages.

By understanding each of these channels audiences and their various advantages and disadvantages better, you can better target your marketing and advertising strategy, and you can answer that question of is your advertising campaign really reaching the audience you want in the way you want.

First, there is the one-to-many model. This channel is where you are marketing as a company or business to a multitude of consumers the same message. In this channel, we find a very large portion of advertising included. General television advertising, billboards, and newspaper ads are all examples of advertising being distributed to multiple consumers at once. Sales promotions are another example. The promotion, for example of 50% off at a retail store, is distributed to everyone through advertising and given to everyone who participates.

Finally in this model, there is also public relations. These efforts are made by one company or business to maintain a positive image in the eyes of the masses. For instance, public relations does not focus on being perceived positively by one customer, but instead by all customers.

The advantages of this model is that it is faster and easier to do this type of advertising because it does not have to be personalized. Also, it is controlled to a certain level by the businesses doing it. Because this model involves messages going from a business to many consumers, the business is able to be aware of what messages it is sending to consumers, and it can change as the consumers change.

The biggest disadvantage is that this type of advertising can become generic as everyone gets the same thing, and there is not as much flexibility in who you are targeting. Even if you put a great television advertisment up and it reaches many consumers with the right message, people still may not care or identify with the message.

Second, there is a one-to-one model. This channel has messages being sent straight from the business or marketer to a specific individual or smaller group of individuals. In this type of advertising, databases and information is better used to target advertising. Instead of sending a flyer to everyone in the states, a financial services company may use database information to only send flyers to households that have a high income level. Direct marketing is a perfect example of this.

The biggest advantage then for the one-to-one model is that you can better target your audience and likely get a better response to your advertising plan. The disadvantage of this is that this benefit will likely cost more and be more time consuming. Plus, you have to have access to that database information on demographics and more in order to be able to target at all.

Finally, there is the many-to-many model. This is where consumers are actually communicating on channels to other consumers. The easiest way to see this is in social media and the buzz building that occurs when a post is shared over and over again.

This is an extremely powerful form of marketing, which is one of its benefits. Consumers are considerably influenced by other consumers, even more so than by businesses. As a result, consumers are more receptive to messages sent to them. Another advantage is that since this is mostly consumer driven, there is little to no expense associated with this. Most or the expensive would come from content creation or paid boosting and targeting of posts on social media.

The downside is that this channel is consumer driven which takes a lot of the control out of a business’ hands. Buzz building can be an organic thing that happens, but often businesses would need to pay to boost a post on Facebook for inorganic audience members in order for a business to spread its reach.

Now that you know the three different channels, which channel do you think is best for you and your business? Maybe it is a combination of all three. However, advertising is an art. If you need help changing or creating your plan, Adventure Ad Agency is here to help.

The Four Ps and What they Mean for You

Product, Price, Place, Promotion. In marketing, we like to call these the four Ps. These four strategy perspectives are a powerful way to examine any product or service and its marketing strategy. Whether evaluating someone else’s product or service or your own, by first looking at the existing strategy, you can then see where there is room for improvement.

Product  is simply taking a look at what product or service is being offered. From the raw materials that go into it  to the label on the box, examine what exactly the product being provided offers for the customer. Specifically, what value does it have. Looking at the value is especially important for the service industry, as they often do not have physical goods being provided. Their product is the value gained from their service.

Price may seem obvious, and it is. How much does the product or service cost? After asking yourself this question, it is important to then decide if the price set covers the costs of providing the good or service, as well as accurately accounting for the value. Later, when examining the competition, understanding your price is key.

Place is the strategy of determining where your product or service is being purchased. This part is key to learning where the audience for you product is. By determining where the items are going, you can better focus on providing value specifically to a more targeted audience, as well as advertising to that same targeted audience. You could also potentially see where your product or service is not reaching, that you believe it should reach. Then, you can adapt your marketing strategy to that audience.

Promotion – Finally, promotion has everything to do with advertising. Ask yourself, how are you currently advertising and promotion your product. Looking back then at product, price, and place, you may learn many ways to improve your advertising strategy.

The most important rule of the four Ps though is to always look at them in context, more importantly in context of the competition. These four ways to look at your marketing strategy are made even more powerful when used while also considering the competition in the market. Once you know your own product, price, place, and promotion and work to improve them internally, you can then look at the competition’s product, price, place, and promotion and improve externally.

What is your personal brand?

Who are you? What are you about? What do people think when they first meet you? These questions are weird to think about, because we do not often stop to consider them. We are more focused on what we are doing, not why we are doing it. The problem is that whether or not we are aware of it we are constantly conveying a sense to others of who we are through our personal brand.

The concept of a personal brand can sound vague and made up, but I will assure you it is not just real, but also crucial to professional success. It can make or break you in the business and marketing world.

Let’s break it down. The word “brand” simply means mark. Your personal brand then is your personal mark. A mark can be either a tangible or intangible impression that is left upon someone or something else as a result of someone or something else.

For instance, you can take this literally and think about the act of branding a cow. While this has a slightly different meaning, the concept is the same. The branding stick leaves a mark or an impression on the cow that will remain on that cow unless altered by some other force. Businesses have brands that convey the meaning and purposes of their organization. They also use their brand to create emotional associations. These associations and impressions can not be changed unless the business actively works to change them.

Similarly, when you meet someone for the first time, an impression is imprinted into their memory about who you are and how they feel about you. Every time you post on social media, develop a new relationship, or publish work, you are building your personal brand.

Therefore, everyone has a personal brand, and if you understand this, then you can focus on how to control what you personal brand is. Often, what people convey to others can be different than what they think they convey or want to convey. What can you do then to make sure that doesn’t happen?

First, think about it. Think about who you are and who you want you be. Then, each time you post, ask yourself if this post is adding to or taking away from your personal brand. Each time you meet someone new, consider what you are wearing and how you can conduct yourself to convey your personal brand.

Second, look the part. A big part of brand is image. Humans do not get logos. They get themselves, a powerful advertising tool in its own right. It is important then that we humans utilize this gift. We have all heard the sayings “dress the part” or “dress for success.”

Thirdly, beyond the day to day, look for opportunities to build your personal brand the same way you build your resume. If you want to convey to the world that you are care about the community, go out of your way to get involved. If you want to convey to the professional industry that you are serious about your career and informed about the industry, make sure to be informed by reading relevant journals and maybe even sharing interesting articles on social media or with colleagues.

Finally, to have a strong brand, you need to have something unique to set you apart. Luckily, you are already a unique and inspiring individual. You just need to spend sometime thinking and tapping into what makes you who you are. Never stop trying to answer that question.

Enhancing User Experience

The one essential design principle that spans across every platform of communication is usability. Consequently, user experience can make or break an advertising platform.

Any time you are producing content, you are communicating a message, and the ability of this content to be used and understood is absolutely essential to getting your message heard and remembered. This is why the user experience of everything from your website to your social media posts to your business card is arguably one of the most important design elements.

User experience is understood as how your audience experience or processes the information being given to them. For example, a website has its own unique user experience. From the way you navigate the page to the emotions your feel as a result of the pictures to the ease of finding the company’s address, you are having a user experience.

Despite the fact that user experience is essential to the success of communicating messages, enhancing your user experience is not very hard. In fact, it builds almost entirely off of the principles of segmentation discussed in the last blog post.

Therefore, the first step is to enhancing user experience is segmentation. This is identifying a target audience and understanding their needs wants and desires. Once you understand this, you can create a custom user experience strategy for your audience. After developing a strategy, there are three main steps.

  1. Define the information or message to be communicated. In this step, it is important that you decide what content needs to be included. This is when you need to take a serious step back and cut you thoughts down to the bare minimum. Be simple. What is the most important thing my audience needs to know? What information is required?
  2. Decide on and organize a delivery platform. After deciding on the content, the next step is deciding how you want to share that content. You need to combine your knowledge of your content and your knowledge of your audience to choose a platform that will provide the best user experience for your audience. For instance, if you wish to share news about an upcoming event, what social media site provides the best user experience for sharing it with friends and organizing an event? Is it Twitter through tweets and messaging or Facebook through posts and creating a group? Clearly, you would choose Facebook due to the marriage of user experience with content helpful to organizing a group
  3. Execute your plan. This is when you go ahead and create your graphics, images, text, etc. that supports your message and platform.

An important key to user experience is making your content purposeful and relatable. Following the process steps above will help make your content more purposeful by focusing in on segmentation and the specific needs of the audience. However, the actual final content created needs to be relatable and reflect this audience as well.

Through all of this process, it is important you follow the golden rule of user experience: don’t make things complicated. The more difficult it is to understand a message, the less the audience will be willing to engage with it. In a world of ever-increasing technology, people want things faster and easier. Be simple. Don’t overthink it.

Segmentation: How to Identify Your Target Audience

The only thing more important in marketing than what you are selling is who you are selling your product to and why they should want to buy it. As a result, the very first step in marketing or advertising any product is segmentation, which can be broadly understood as identifying your target audience or the group of people that will want to buy your product.

Philip Kotler of Northwestern University defined segmentation as “the subdividing of a market into distinct subsets of customers, where any subset may conceivably be selected as a target market to be reached with a distinct marketing mix.” As implied by this definition, the entire process of segmentation can be broken into three steps. These are segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

During segmentation, you need to identify your market and divide that market into smaller subsets of customers. In order to do this, you need to find measurable and distinct ways to differentiate your customers. The four common variables that can be used in segmentation are:

  • Demographic variables
  • Psychographic variables
  • Geographic variables
  • Behavioristic variables
Demographic variables are things such as age, race, and gender that we typically think of when looking for ways to divide large groups of people. You may also think of geographic variables, which measure climate, city size, and other locational factors. However, while these are easiest to measure, they are the least predictive of actual customers’ behavior. Conversely though, the variables that are hard to measure are more indicative and predictive. Behavioristic variables that measure brand loyalty, end use, and price sensitivity, and psychographic variables that measure lifestyles and motives are both examples.

After segmenting your market, you need to implement targeting. This is evaluating the various different subsets of customers to decide which group to target or focus on.

Finally, positioning begins to take place as you create a strategic marketing plan based on the selected target group. In this step, you make decisions and choose marketing strategies based on the needs and wants of that target market.

While this sounds simple, designing a marketing plan to specifically meet the needs of your targeted customer is not as easy as it sounds. However, if you are successful, you can drastically impact sales and competitiveness of the brand in the market.

4 Ways To Get More Leads Now

The goal of marketing is ultimately to generate more leads and conversions. Leads refer to people who inquire about your products or services, and conversions refer to those leads that actually buy your products or services.

Why do I need lead data?

Many businesses want lead data in order to create lists, such as a recipient list for e-newsletters, or to nurse sales. Your lead data can tell you a lot about your customers. By analyzing your lead data, you can better understand your customers and know how to reach them in the future.

So how can I get more leads?

There are several strategies for fostering lead generation.

1. Brand Awareness

One helpful aspect to lead generation is brand awareness, which comes from exposure. You can raise brand awareness by posting daily on various channels. These daily posts could occur on a blog, Facebook, YouTube channel, or any other medium that your customers are on. One thing to keep in mind is that, although your posts are daily, each one should add value to the customer – don’t post for no reason.

2. Use Your Existing Real Estate

You may be wondering where to find new leads. We recommend using your existing channels and mediums – there is no need to expand your channels just to generate new leads. You can always incorporate new targeting options on the same channels to reach new prospects – it is highly unlikely that you will exhaust all of your potential customers on a certain channel. Just be sure to post the right content on the right channels – always tailor your message.

4. Do What You Know

With new marketing technologies constantly expanding, it might be tempting to go after the ‘new and shiny’ thing on the market. However, you may be more effective on the channels you already know. Note that we are not advising you to completely ignore every new technology. Of course you want to be ahead of your competition on new methods, but be sure to properly do your research before offering these services to clients. You shouldn’t jump on every new opportunity that arises – choose which new technologies you explore carefully.

4. Analyze

Our last tip is to analyze your data. You must see what strategies are working so you know where to go in the future. Proper analysis will give you direction and guidance on how to generate more leads in the future.

If you have any further questions regarding lead generation, feel free to contact us today!

LinkedIn: What It Can Do For You

Creating a LinkedIn account is an exciting and necessary step in entering the professional world. When you join LinkedIn, you are joining a professional community for social networking that will allow you to interact and connect with colleagues, friends, and even future employers. You will be opened up to a world of new possibilities and opportunities to see how other professionals represent themselves, but at the same time, you will be faced with deciding how you want to present yourself.

Just like with your resume, cover letter, or interview, how you present yourself on LinkedIn is key. Almost all employers research their interview candidates through LinkedIn before hiring them. Here are a few key tips to make sure your LinkedIn profile will impress.

  1. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure you include a picture of yourself on your profile. Also, make sure it is a good picture that is suited towards your career ambitions and has no distractions in the background.
  2. Do NOT just copy and paste your resume. When future employers look at your LinkedIn account, they will likely have your resume in front of them. If you literally copy and pasted word for word your resume, not only will your potential employer feel as though you did not customize your resume for them, but they will also think you are lazy. This is not to say they cannot have overlap and be similar, as your experience is your experience, but there should be a conscious effort to be distinct.
  3. Clutter is the enemy. This is not your college application. You do not need to fill out everything LinkedIn prompts you to fill out. Instead, you should only fill out what is important and relevant to the industry you are in or the job you are working towards. Utilize your space.
  4. Order matters. You can control the order in which the sections of your profile on LinkedIn appear, so be sure to put the most important material at the top and the least important on the bottom.
  5. Recommendations and endorsements are powerful. Do not be afraid to go out and ask friends, previous or current employers, or professional mentors for recommendations or to endorse your skills. This is what will set you apart from your competitors, and it is what makes LinkedIn even better than your resume. Work samples are also great additions that can be provided through LinkedIn and cannot be provided always with a resume.
  6. Create a custom URL and optimise search engine searches. You can make yourself easier to find on LinkedIn by going to settings and creating a custom URL for your profile. This will make it cleaner and easier to share. You can also input key terms to help personalize your profile to be found when the terms are inputted in a search engine with your name.
  7. Take advantage of the professional network. Join groups related to your industry. Stay posted on the news, and follow potential employers’ companies to show interest.
  8. Finally, keep it updated. You should not just create your profile and walk away. It is important to update it regularly as you grow and gain more experience and more connections. Also, it is helpful to share, post, and comment on articles related to your field regularly to show engagement.

These quick eight tips are just the beginning of ways you can get the most out of you LinkedIn account, but if you follow them, you are surely on the road to success. There are many additional ways you can personalize your profile, and the more personal and distinct your profile is the better. Just be careful – there is such a thing as too much. Contact us today if you need further assistance!

How To Design A Killer Business Card

Having a small business means you must learn how to function in many roles. You are the owner, the manager, the accountant, and the marketer all in one. When people meet you for the first time, how will they remember you? Making a great first impression is important, but having a killer business card is key. You might think a business card is meaningless in today’s technology-savvy society. However, business cards are a timeless piece of marketing material that actually work. Your business card is not the end-all be-all, but if done effectively it will create a lasting impression on customers that will make them remember you when they need your services. Take a look at our tips for designing a killer business card.

1. There’s two sides for a reason

Nothing looks more unprofessional than a one-sided business card. Sure a two-sided full-color card may cost a bit extra, but it’s worth it to make customers know you didn’t forget to finish the other side of your design. Plus, when you are only working with a 3.5” x 2” space, wouldn’t you want to double that by using both sides of the card? We think YES!

2. Design

Of course the design is important, but did you know your aesthetic choices have actually been proven to make a difference based on human psychology? Spacing, font choice, white space, and colors are all perceived differently in the mind. For example, red displays power, while blue represents peacefulness. Be cautious what customers will interpret about your business based on the design.

3. Content

Just as important as the design of your card is the information on it. Your business card must contain a tagline that quickly explains who you are and what you do. Regardless of your profession or how complicated your job may be, your tagline needs to be a quick, simple explanation of what you do. Your card needs to explain what you do when you first hand it to someone, remind someone who has had the card awhile what you do, or show people who are passed along what you do. All of these functions require a tagline explaining what you do! In addition, you should add basic information about your business. Feel free to include social media icons or links, but be sure to have a nice balance between imagery and text. If you are unsure of what information to put, just stick with the basics: name, website, email address, physical address, and phone number.

These are the basic elements to a great business card. If you need help designing your customized business card, contact us today!