Reliable Acorn dot org

When I'm out-and-about (whether it's a meetup, or a conference) this is where you'll find my thoughts.

5 Habits for Creating a Customer-Centric Company by @c5geoff

TL;DR: Being customer-centric is not something your company needs to do- it's something your company needs to be (and can be).

Grow Revenue & Provide Customer Solutions with SEO by @adammelson

TL;DR: When it comes to SEO, don't just think about Google. You'll miss opportunities.

Sure, you might rank on Google, but what happens when someone calls you?

Don't just think about short-tailed keywords, lower in the sales funnel.  Consider long-tailed questions for people who might not know about your solution yet.

What other websites do customers search, to find your products or services? Amazon? Reddit? 

What do customers see when searching for your business? Bad reviews? Deal with the results. 

Do you see rich snippets or knowledge graph answers? Are they bad or inaccurate? Maybe your sites can show up, if you provide better answers.

YouTube Marketing: Building Your Brand with Video by @stephelisecarls

TL;DR: Video is easy and productive. Get started today! Here's how.

Why video? 
 * 74% of all internet traffic will be video by 2017 (next year!). 
 * 300% more video consumption will be on devices over the last couple of years. 
 * More and more customers want video content. Can be from you, as the business owner. It can also be from your customers. 
 * 157% increase in organic traffic from video content.
 * Double the conversion rate from sites with video. 
 * Video is the most effective vehicle to communicate information. Video creates an emotional reaction that can move customers. 

Getting started with video
Not much different than your other marketing channels. Set goals and ROI.

What are you passionate about? What do you have expertise in? What are your customers passionate about? What's in-demand and under-served? Find themes and develop startedies around them. 

It's never been easier to do video marketing than it is today. We all have quality video cameras in our pockets, right now. 

YouTube Marketing
This is the second largest search engine. 53x more likely to appear in search. Keep visitors on your site at 5x the average rate. 52% of customers are more confident in online purchase following video research. 

For a strategy on YouTube (5 steps)

1. Goals: measure what actually matters.
Views don't really matter. You can buy views. You want action to be taken. 

You need a valuable editorial plan. Give people what they want. Audience retention is the most critical metric. Stay conisistent with format and expectations. 

Have a clear and aligned CTA. Give value and ask for relative return. Graphics MIGHT be seen. CALL the action.

2. Addictive: format that keeps them coming back for more. 
You want to get your viewers to stay and watch more. How? Good content.  

3. What to talk about: never have a blank slate
Use themes to guide your editorial design. There are no stupid questions. To find them, use YouTube search. Instant returns come from possible searches by users. 

4. Optimize for Search
User your keywords in the first 4-5 words in your headline. Consider your competition. Keep it simple. Avoid series names and episode numbers in your headline. 

Sorry- lost the suggestions for tags and descriptions.

5. Community engagement matters. 

Video Performance
Utilize the power of your analytics. You know exactly how much of your content they have taken in. Track engagement and audience retention, too. 

The Economy of Content: Why Supply and Demand Should Guide Your Organization’s Content Strategy by @astute_ryan

TL;DR: A productive content marketing strategy considers demand and supply of topics. 

Why content marketing?

Leads from content marketing are better. You're able to charge more for them. It's easier to close the sale. 

The problem: content marketing strategies are poorly conceived. 

There is a better way: incorporate demand, supply and value into our content. Gauge demand for your content- will people be interested? Provide the supply, where it's lacking.

How do you determine demand for your content? 

Use a keyword planner (like Moz). Listen your clients. Ask people what they're interested in. Give the people what they want.

How do you create supply of your content? 

No reason to write the blog post, of others have already done it. Make sure your content is unique. How? Search Google. Dome some competitor research.

Where is the value? Opportunities? 

Find the inefficiencies and produce content accordingly. 

Selling For Those Who Hate Selling by @rprioleau

TL;DR: Sales is sharing something you can stand behind and what energizes you.

You're always selling something. It might be your company or within your company. It's also yourself- like in a job interview. 

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? This describes what motivates you and what energizes you. What does this have to do with sales? Start selling something and start standing or something. In other words, share the energy you're made of. 

So, what energizes you? What energizes your company? What are you good at? What excites you? 

Once you find your thing, how can you keep paddling? You need to keep working on it, to get good at it. When it comes to sales, you need to reveal brands and people for who they truly are. 

This reveal can be hard to do. You have to keep up with it. You have to get everyone involved. 

You should set some standards. Don't just say "yes" to everything. Sometimes "no" is important. It might be difficult but the world won't end. Your standards help you know when you should say "no" and when you can say "yes."

Part of having standards is interviewing prospective clients, as much as they interview you. Don't waste your time (or theirs) by not asking questions, to make sure you could even work together.

Keep your business in order. If your business is running well, you'll never have to compromise your standards just to make money.

Ultimately, sales is all about people. 

Crafting Your Content for Multiple Channels by @katiekdodd

TL; DR: Your website is the dough of the pizza. Your content is the toppings. 

Need to define what you're trying to accomplish through your website, first.  Identify your target audience. Develop marketing personas. 

As you create your content, it should be relevant, useful, insightful, attractive, creative, maybe funny, etc. 

Don't be too promotional. Only 20% of your content should be promotional. 

New content has an SEO bonus. Don't just write content for the sake of content.

Types of content you can put on your website: resource library, blog, FAQ. 

SEO best practices: 
 * Title tags and meta descriptions
 * Header tags
 * Keywords

Find your target audience to decide what channels over which you should share your content. 

Think about your social media as SEO assets. Fill in as much information as you can on your social media profiles. Social channels are also search engines, themselves. Publish regularly. 

The Buffalo Concept: every major piece of content you create is a buffalo. You want to use every part of that buffalo. Sometimes you build off of it to make new content. Sometimes you pull off parts and use them directly. Etc. Make it last and get a much out of it, as you can. Basically: repurpose your content.

When repurposing: Don't duplicate your content and don't exhaust your audience. 

When posting across several channels, be careful. Maintain your voice across multiple channels. Sure, different channels require different voices, but don't use conflicting voices. Understand what you're audience wants and address their needs. Experiment with your messaging. 

Why Do We Need All This Tech? – Building Your Marketing Technology Blueprint by @riverspearce

TL;DR: Marketing technology is here and indispensable. Don't be distracted by the pretty lights and pick the right solution for accomplishing your goals. 

We're living in a world that is constantly competing for our attention. How can we get people's attention, as marketers, in a world like this? If we can get their attention, we must make it worth their time.

Attention leads to engagement. Engagement gives us the opportunity to trust us. Once they trust us, we can earn their loyalty. We only have a matter of seconds to accomplish this (in our mobile, instant world). Trust is key. Trust is a non-renewable resource. 

This is why we need a marketing ecosystem. Not just a linear approach to marketing. Think about how it all fits together- like an ecosystem. 

It's impossible to produce scalable marketing without marketing technology (MarTech). This isn't the future; this is now. This is exploding because people need it. 

(Disclaimer: avoid shiny object syndrome. When it comes to MarTech, dont' just buy for brand, etc)

Non-Tech Questions to answer first:
 * What is your unique value proposition?
 * Who are your ideal customers and where can I find them? 
 * How do you define success?
 * What is your budget? 

Tech Defining Question about MarTech:
 * What will be the hub of your business and brand online? 
 * How are you going to attract customers?
 * Where are you going to send those visitors?
 * How are you going to engage, educate & convert them into customers? 
 * Where are you going to store their information?
 * What are you going to do with this information? 
 * How are you going to retain customers and create raving fans? 
 * How are you going to know what works and what doesn't?
 * How do you make this happen? Who is going to manage it?

Work through these questions to decide which kinds of MarTech to invest in. 

Once you have your blueprint (see above) then you decide your MarTech vendors. 

What are the essentials?
 * Website (mobile, responsive, good design, etc) 
 * Some sort of CRM (not a spreadsheet) to store your customer info, to use it.
 * An Email or marketing automation system
 * Social media presence 
 * Analytics

Your biggest challenge will be ADOPTION. Everyone will have their favorite. Tough decisions need to be made. 

You need a modern marketing team, too: Content, design, video, web dev, digital marketing (social, SEO, display, PPC), retention and database marketing, data analyst, technologist, etc.