I Quit My Job. The Reason Why Will Surprise You.

Sorry were you looking for content about quitting your job and/or Super Mario Bros? My bad…

Ever click on a link and the resulting content is not at all about what you clicked on or it wasn’t exactly what they promised? Find it annoying and frustrating?

The term for this tactic is “click bait”, and this is where the internet seems to be moving. More and more marketers are using this same methodology to maximize clicks to their free downloads. Promise something big to encourage form completes, meanwhile the actual content is a shadow of what was promised.

It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. And it’s not sustainable for building a business. Continue reading “I Quit My Job. The Reason Why Will Surprise You.”

The 5 Social Media Marketing Objectives You Need in Your Strategy

5 Social Media Objectives

Just like your website, in order for your work on social media to be effective, you need to have a clear strategy.

Right now major brands like Target and Coca-Cola are building massive social media campaigns with huge teams, but the dirty little secret of social media is that the barriers to entry are non-existent, and local brands can be just as powerful with a tiny fragment of investment.  All you need to do is follow a clear strategy.

With 2.8 billion people using social media and 48% of them interacting with businesses on at least one network, it’s apparent that social media isn’t going anywhere.

Creating clear social media objectives will help you reach your business objectives. Continue reading “The 5 Social Media Marketing Objectives You Need in Your Strategy”

Stop Abusing Your Email List

So many companies out there take their precious email lists and abuse it. Those lists only grow because of a ridiculous “content trickery” strategy where you give away a near-useless piece of content for the right to spam folks. Usually they shrink because prospects who register are really only interested in a free download.

Short term sales at the cost of high unsub rates rule the day and too many companies make this sacrifice. Too many companies are okay with taking their list of names and hammering all the blood (money) out of it they can.

I know the allure of looking at it purely from a numbers standpoint. Open rates. Clicks. Unsubscribes. Revenue. On the short term it’s easy to say that frequent mailing of revenue-generating content that is poorly crafted but sells can help meet quarterly goals. But that is not a plan that sets your business up for long term success. That is not a plan that most companies should be proud of. Continue reading “Stop Abusing Your Email List”

How Marketers Ruin Email

Why Do Marketers Ruin Everything?

I signed up for a PDF a couple of weeks ago about something I was moderately interested at the time. To be honest, I saw the file, and was interested in .

Immediately I got three response emails. One contained the PDF that I wanted, the next one (sent five minutes later, before I could even download the file) was a follow up question, and the next, sent 30 minutes after the first, was an urgent plea for me to join a webinar in the next hour.

I kept up with the mailing list for two weeks, and I counted the emails that were sent to me, in the end there were 38 emails delivered to me over the course of 13 days from this one marketer. Continue reading “How Marketers Ruin Email”

Creating Your Home on the Internet

Creating Your Home On The Internet

Business has changed, and the internet is a constantly changing place. While it’s important to have your Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media spaces, the core of any digital strategy is a website that you own.

One of the most cost effective and essential tools that any business can have is a blog, an effective place for your business to communicate to your customers.

There are many different platforms out there, from Drupal and Joomla, to Squarespace and WordPress.  Here at NorthIQ, we lean towards WordPress because it is easy to implement, and quick to develop for, but any tool that lets you quickly post to a website domain that you own, and which will allow you to get your content back out of it later is a great choice.

No matter what you choose, there are some things you should consider when building your home on the internet. Continue reading “Creating Your Home on the Internet”

Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited

How to Set Up An Automatic Email Download

We’re doing a bunch of work on Manage Comics this week. One of the things we were working on were the landing page and auto-responder for Manage Comics.

When you inquire about Manage Comics, you get a 32 page download sent to you automatically.  This download tells you everything you need to know about Manage Comics and how it works.

My plan, like everything else with Manage Comics, was to build the guide when the first person asked for it. That day came, and I started writing. Continue reading “Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited”

Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool

Storytelling in an era of echo chambers

It was a Saturday morning, I was just sitting on my couch when my phone pinged to let me know an email had arrived. I put down my coffee and looked at the notification. It was my friend Jonathan, and the subject had one word. “Help.”

“I’ve been posting online for a month now and I’m not getting any traction at all. I don’t have a bunch of money to put into ad words, and people tell me that I’ve helped them in the past. Why can’t I get any traction online? It seems like everyone is shouting and nobody is listening,” he asked.

He was right, I struggled with how blunt I was going to be, I saw the problem – the reason nobody was reading Jonathan’s posts was that they were boring, unoriginal, and had no unique point of view.

“You’re right, Jonathan, Twitter often feels like a big, vast echo chamber. The idea is to present a unique point of view in a way nobody else is doing it. You’ve got some awesome insights, but you’re fighting against the big guys, they’re louder, there’s more of them, and they aren’t afraid to post constantly. You seem afraid to actually take a position, so you’re showing two sides to the story when we both know one of them is right and the other is wrong. Let’s meet for a beer (my treat) and we’ll put together a plan.”

What Jonathan needed was to tell a story, he didn’t need to “share his unique value proposition.” We sat down for an hour, and I explained to him how storytelling works.
Continue reading “Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool”

How to Come Up With Content Ideas

Where to Get Content Ideas

This is the third post on content marketing that I’ve written, the previous ones “Getting Started in Content Marketing“, and “How to Write Content that Helps Find Your Customers” were about the process, this one is about the actual writing and how we come up with our ideas here at NorthIQ.

The number one thing that stops people from content marketing is that they are afraid they’ll run out of things to say. I’ve been writing semi-professionally in some way or another since 1997, I’ve had a personal blog for pretty much that entire time. I’ve never run out of things to say.

I’ve got a few simple rules for what I write, and I find that following those rules gives me good stuff to write about. Continue reading “How to Come Up With Content Ideas”

How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers

Content That Finds Customers

We have previously written about “Getting Started in Content Marketing” where we discussed content strategy, and what you want to get out of the experience of content marketing, where you will send people, what channels you’ll market with, how to format your postings, and how you’ll know you’re successful.

In our NorthIQ Smarter Business Guide we talk about figuring out who your customers are and creating personas around them.

Today we’re going to discuss how you can use content marketing to find your customers. Continue reading “How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers”

Simple Rules for Writing on the Web

Zombies and Giant Fluffy Kittens

When you’re writing on the web, you need to think about your what your message is, and how you will tell your story. A great idea with poor execution will fail. Great execution with a bad idea will fail. You need both a great idea with an amazing “hook,” and you need to execute on that idea well.

Well-written content will be read by more people, more often, and will be shared more than poorly written content.

There’s a few simple rules you can follow to make your writing better. Continue reading “Simple Rules for Writing on the Web”