Spring is an interesting time for JB Media. We find ourselves reflecting on the winter session of the JB Media Institute and preparing for our next cohort that will kick off on June 9th for the summer session. Intern inquiries are coming in from students wanting to gain real world skills, and, of course, businesses are asking for ways to more efficiently and effectively execute successful marketing strategies online. Overall, I see 2015 as being a year full of changes and opportunities when it comes to marketing and promotions on the web. To help you take advantage of those opportunities and enjoy the spring weather, I’ve compiled a list of tools and resources for Internet marketing. Your business or organization may not need to put every idea into practice, of course. Take your time in choosing, read as much as you can, and think carefully about what strategies will actually help you reach your goals and your audience. Happy spring!
Online Public Relations
If you are executing online PR strategies and need to build a stronger, more active media list, take a moment to visit Mustr. Mustr is a program that allows marketers, PR professionals and entrepreneurs to build, organize and manage a network of journalists and bloggers they want to communicate and build relationships with on a regular basis. They offer a free two week trial of their software and affordable packages that start at $49 Euro per month (approx. $52 US). The system is created so PR professionals and businesses can easily share press releases, high resolution images, and more to tell their story quickly and easily to interested members of the media. Mustr also runs an excellent blog on public relations full of free tips and resources that is easy to read and regularly updated.
SocialBro.com’s Ultimate 2015 Resolution List For Social Media Marketers
Posted on December 30, 2014 by Andy Vale of SocialBro.com, the Ultimate 2015 Resolution List for SM Marketers is an excellent checklist for anyone managing social media. Make sure that this year you don’t make the same mistakes many people in the industry are making. Following some of these basic best practices will help your social media content rise to the top and stand out against the competition. Remember, on social media success is not defined by how much you post, but by the quality of what you post and the level of engagement it receives.
ConvinceandConvert.com Explain How Online PR + SM = Success
The experts at ConvinceandConvert.com have provided a clear and easy-to-follow three step plan for maximizing PR contacts by utilizing social media. There are many other pieces to the online PR and social media puzzle to consider, but these tips are very useful and demonstrate how social media can play a variety of roles in your marketing plan. Social media is also an excellent complement to other marketing strategies. When executed cohesively and intentionally, it can increase the effectiveness of PR strategies. My favorite tip? #1, “Build Your List Twice. Once you’ve spent time building a brilliant, targeted list – go build it again using social media.”
Mind mapping is a great way to get organized and create interactive flowcharts that outline various processes, task lists, and operations, so they are easy to understand. For years, web designers have used mind maps and charts to visually chart the usability of a website and to better understand the site visitor’s experience. How do they move through the content? Are they being guided naturally through the content in a way that makes sense and gives every visitor what they need? Are there multiple ways to navigate the content? Are these pathways being clearly identified by visitors? You can use Google’s Mind Map tool, which is free and available via Google Drive. There is also an affordable online tool called MindMeister. This tool can be integrated with Google Drive and provides an even easier system for creating mind maps.
SEO Tactics for 2015
SearchEngineWatch.com’s recent article by Pratik Dholakiya shares 11 SEO Tactics You Need to Know in 2015. There are a number of great suggestions, but my favorites are:
#4 The Broken Link-Building Method – This is an innovative strategy, but requires consistent action, organization, and time to research.
#7 Competitor Analysis – This is a fundamental step towards real success in the marketplace. It opens your eyes to the marketing opportunities and obstacles your business may face.
#9 Create an SEO Strategy that Maps to an Audience – Usability is more important in SEO than it has ever been before. The people using the Internet are the focus now instead of search engine bots and spiders. Always think about how you can make the visitor experience better and you will often be on the right track naturally.
Google’s Mobile Tools
Google is about to launch its mobile friendly algorithm on April 21st, 2015. This will make it more important than ever to ensure your site is responsive and meets the mobile friendly standards of today’s modern marketplace. Searchengineland.com and Leah Quintal with JB Media have covered what this means and why marketers need to pay attention. Luckily, Google is making it easy to keep up with their changes by giving website designers, developers, and owners tips and help with their Mobile Guide and Mobile-Friendly Test.
Advanced and Essential Guides to Content Marketing
If you want to learn more about how to tell the story of your business or organization and truly understand the value of high quality, engaging, inspiring content, then explore these great tools:
Direct Marketing News’s 2015 Essential Guide to Content Marketing is an excellent download. My favorite takeaway is from the Editor-in-Chief, Ginger Conlon: “Don’t always default to the written word. Consider video, in-person and online events, and even online communities, which are often brimming with user-generated content.”
Also check out The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing from Quick Sprout. This is a very detailed download that gives you step by step instructions about how to build, execute and maintain your content marketing plan. My favorite takeaway is Step 1 under Strategy: “Craft your core message into a benefits statement or tag. From now on, your core message will serve as a guidepost for every piece of content you produce. If a topic or idea doesn’t support your core message, don’t waste time on it.”