Monday, December 24, 2012

Content Marketing in 2013

In keeping with our mini blog theme of looking ahead to next year, here's what we're predicting we'll see for content marketing in 2013.

1. In 2013, when it comes to content marketing, we're expecting companies to decrease spending for outsourcing content. In speaking with our current clients, we're expecting a lot of companies to deliver on their content marketing strategies, by using resources available in-house. Many of our clients are looking to their own experts within their companies to write blog posts and share their ideas on social media channels. It's much less expensive and leaders are recognizing that the people who work at their companies are the experts in their particular lines of work. It makes sense for leaders across all industries to look internally for content creation.

2. Content marketing, much like it's been in 2012, will be all about engagement in 2013. Content marketers will create content, including blog posts, white papers, videos, articles, social media updates and much more, designed to engage readers. People who are creating content will give readers expert advice and ideas in hopes that the return will be new business. In 2013, leaders and content creators alike will strive to give recommendations and advise on best practices to position themselves as the experts in their industries, which will drive engagement, and ultimately, sales.

3. In 2013, social media will be a big part of content marketing strategies as it has been in the past. The difference in 2013, will be that content marketing via social media will mature a bit. We think that content marketers will use social media to reach a very targeted audience through the use of customized tweets and statuses, inclusion of hashtags and relevent keywords. Additionally, content marketers will use social media to push out other content to a broader, more likely to engage audience. We believe content marketers will push out blog posts, white papers, links to videos and more on social media sites in 2013, but do so in a targeted way that is designed to give advice and ideas to an audience most likely to engage with the content.

In 2013, it will be all about engagement to make sales and drive customer acquisition. Enjoy the holidays and check in with us at the start of 2013! We'd love to hear about your early 2013 content marketing strategies.

*Offer valid through 12/31/12

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Look Back at the Launch of Insights and What's in Store for 2013

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at the launch of Insights and what's in store for 2013.

On the first of October, we launched Insights for businesses that blog. Of course, as it goes with most start-ups, we had a few bumps in the road, but we're live and improving every day now. We appreciate our launch partners sticking with us and being the first to take a chance with Insights. We are constantly learning from our clients and all the data we're collecting for Insights, and will continue to advance the product next year.

As part of our October launch, we introduced promotional units across, pages for our clients on and a print ad for The Boston Globe. We've since added many more clients to those promotional elements and we're so excited to add more new clients in 2013! Here are a couple of images of the promotional unit and the print ad.

Additionally, we launched this blog for our clients, and anyone interested in marketing and blogging tips. We recently wrote a few posts with tips about blogging during the holiday season and in the past we wrote about how our clients and readers alike can improve their blog post titles to attract more readers to their blogs. In 2013, we will be adding more tips and tricks for marketing and blogging to our blog, and hope to include more guest bloggers as well as encourage more comments. One of our major goals for 2013 is to e

In late December, we recognized a need for a new design of our business information pages. We wanted to include the three most recent blog posts as opposed to just the most recent blog post on the business information page. We're very excited about this new design and we know that in 2013 we'll be improving our designs and product as needed. Any feedback is always welcome!

As we enter into 2013, we're excited to see what the year brings for our Insights product. We're proud of its launch and look forward to our next improvements as well as meeting new future clients!

*Offer ends 12/31/12

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tips for Blogging Around the Holidays

We know it's difficult to stay on track with your blogging and marketing efforts during the holiday season especially the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Here are some tips for blogging around the holidays, including possible blog topics and other ways to stick to your blogging plan for the remainder of 2012.

1. Write about what you or your company is doing during the holiday season - Is your team volunteering to help those in need? Are you taking a trip to a new place? Are you having a great staff party to celebrate the success of 2012? Blog about what you're doing! People love to hear about what companies are doing around the holidays especially when they're volunteering their time to help others. Post pictures and include highlights from any and all events you participate in during the holiday season. It's an easy and great way to show the human side of your brand.

2. Create a mini blog calendar for the next few weeks - You work hard throughout the entire year to maintain your marketing and blogging efforts, so don't fall behind these next few weeks! Create a mini blog calendar and a marketing calendar (include social media, if that's part of your strategy) for the next couple of weeks, so you can stay on track and continue to create content. 2012 'ain't over yet,' so make the next couple weeks count!

3. Create a blog post that recaps 2012 - Did you have a successful 2012? Was there a special event that took place during the year? Did you help a client succeed? Write about all of the great successes, learning experiences, events, media coverage, etc that you're especially proud of from the 2012 year. Readers of your blog and clients love to hear about and see what happened to your company over the course of the year, so include details and pictures. It's an easy blog topic too because all of the content you need to write already happened!

4. Look forward to 2013 and write about your goals - What do you want to accomplish in 2013? Who do you want to meet with? What awards are you going after? Write about all of your goals and share them with your readers. It's another great way to humanize your brand and it will help you stay on track with your goals for the upcoming year.

Have any other tips to add for bloggers reading this post? We'd love to hear them! Add them in the comments below.

*Offer valid through 12/31/12

Friday, December 14, 2012

Networking As a Part of your Marketing Strategy

This past Wednesday evening, I attended and hosted a booth at the Mass Innovation Night here at The Boston Globe.  I met so many interesting people and had a great time introducing our Insights product to networkers at the event. Here are some of the pictures I took while hanging out with the interesting entrepreneurs and people from some of the most innovative companies in the area.

The purpose of this blog post is not only to show you the pictures I took at the event, but also to talk about the importance of networking. Although my background is in PR and social marketing, and I still believe wholly in both along with other online marketing tactics, I believe that networking is one of the best ways to market one's product. People respond well and understand well a product when they're introduced to it by a passionate person face-to-face. Promoting your product to a networking audience that is already interested in learning more about other people's work and products should be a part of your marketing strategy. Whether you're a part of a start-up or an established company, networking is a useful tactic for all marketers looking to reach a targeted and interested audience, and to promote a product or business offering.

If you're just starting to network, make sure you're attending events that attract your target audience, so you aren't wasting any of your valuable time. Also, look for events that will allow you to host a booth, so you have a physical space to show your product or business offerings. Lastly, do some research on networking events that are looking for speakers. It would be very beneficial to accomplishing marketing goals, if you could speak or present at a relevant networking event, so you can reach your target audience and gain hot prospective leads.

Any great networking events coming up in Boston that we should be at? Let us know!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Using Social Media for Offline Events

Tomorrow night, The Boston Globe's office is host to the Mass Innovation Nights. Insights will have a booth at the event, so in addition to looking at what the @massinno Twitter account is doing to promote the event online, we've been thinking about how we can be using social media for offline events such as this one. Here are a few ways I think we can all use social media to promote events and increase attendance.

1. Create a Twitter hashtag - To encourage attendance and promote your event, create a Twitter hashtag and include it on all promotions created for the event, so it's known to attendees and prospective attendees prior to the event. A twitter hashtag easily allows for sharing info and networking prior to, during and after an event. It also allows people to see who's attending an event prior to committing themselves.Twitter hashtag use is a great way to improve attendance numbers and keep people in touch about an event. It provides a social feel online and offline during the event.

2. Promote your presence at an event prior to and during an event - Prior to and during an event a social media strategy is crucial. We've been tweeting about the Mass Inno Night event and our booth using the Twitter hashtag that Mass Inno developed (#MIN45). We've also been promoting our special offer for the night to entice people to visit our booth tomorrow night. If you have a giveaway or sweepstakes that people can enter, it'd be great to use social media to get the word out that people should stop by your booth to enter to win, and more importantly learn about your business offerings.

3. Upload pictures during and after an event to your social media accounts - As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Posting pictures at an event makes the offline event even more social online. Pictures help to encourage people to stop by your booth and allows you to share all that you have to offer at your booth or event. (Don't forget to use the event's Twitter hashtag!) Posting pictures after an event helps encourage future attendance and humanizes your brand. In the pictures you upload include any special offer or giveaway as well as your business offerings you had at your booth or event to show prospective attendees what they can expect at a future event.

Do you have more tips for using social media to promote an event? Add them in the comments!

P.S. If you're attending #MIN45, be sure to stop by our booth!

*Offer valid through 12/31/12

Friday, December 7, 2012

Incorporate Mobile into 2013 Marketing Strategies

With 2013 right around the corner, it's time to plan your marketing strategy. Included in Insights packages are mobile advertisement impressions and they've proved quite effective for clients, so we've been thinking a lot about why companies should incorporate mobile into 2013 marketing strategies. Here are a couple of reasons why you should be doing this:

1. Smartphones are a constant companion to owners - Think about how much time you spend on your phone these days, all the money you spend on fancy cases, the articles you read, the tweets, the pictures on Instagram you see. Smartphones are very personal and a constant companion to owners. People are spending more and more time consuming content on their phones' browsers and apps each month. Companies should be hitting consumers where they're actually consuming information, so mobile is where you need to be in 2013.

 2. Smartphone sales continue to rise - Smartphones are outselling PCs and now tablets account for the growth in computer sales. This is all the more reason to be spending in the area of mobile marketing. Companies want to reach a growing, naturally engaged audience and mobile advertising is the way to do it.

Have any more reasons why companies should be advertising on mobile? Let us know!

*Offer valid through 12/15/12

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quick Tips: How to Boost Holiday Sales Using your Blog

We've been talking to and hearing about a lot of companies who want to boost product sales during the holiday season. We've seen several companies with great tactics both online and offline to do just that. Many companies are offering sales in-store or free shipping online. The Insights team wants to share some quick tips on how to boost holiday sales using your blog...and year round too!

1. Offer promotional codes or special offers exclusively through your blog: You can certainly boost holiday sales, by offering promo codes or exclusive offers through your blog posts. This is a tactic done over and over again, but there are more benefits as well! You can truly measure the effectiveness of your blog through these types of offers. You'll be able to directly track how many people are engaging with your blog content, by looking at how many people used your special blog offer or promo code. Also by doing this, you'll gain more readers and traffic to your blog in the future because people will be looking for these special discounts.

2. Offer exclusive product details, insight and reviews through your blog: For those products you're selling that are hot this holiday season, but that people might not know too much about, you can offer product details and reviews. People trust other people's reviews, so include not only your own personal reviews, but also those of people who have bought the product. Include details in these posts that aren't readily available on your competitor's sites. A blog, as you probably already know, is an amazing way to connect with readers on a different level. Offering advice and reviews through your blog is a way to gain trusted followers and customers during this busy holiday season.


*Offer valid through 12/15/12