Archive for November, 2015

Expert Interview Series: Lee Reams on Owning Your Online Reputation

by Susan Jennings on 11/30/2015

The rise of digital marketing has made it critical for brands to own their reputation online. And that’s as true for accountants and tax professionals as it is for celebrities and politicians.

Lee Reams II, CEO of ClientWhys, is in the business of helping CPAs and tax accountants invest in and protect their brands online – something he says makes a world of difference in their ability to attract new clients.

Some accountants are starting to understand how reputation marketing fits into their current referral funnel and new lead generation, Lee says. The market leaders are more responsive and are not afraid to stick their necks out to attract clients, and are heavily invested in user reviews to tell their story for them.

And with 40 percent of accountants still not having a web presence, it makes it that much easier for the market leaders to dominate their local markets.

“Those who are afraid or don’t get digital marketing will continue to hemorrhage clients,” Lee adds.

We recently checked in with Lee to learn more about the marketing challenges facing accounting professionals today, and get his insight on what business owners in niche industries can do to grow their online presence. Here’s what he had to say: (more…)

Expert Interview Series: Toby Ward on How to Create Great a Website

by Susan Jennings on 11/25/2015

Digital media is essential for every business these days. Toby Ward, the founder and president of Prescient Digital Media, knows a lot about the many facets of creating dynamic media in the digital age. He began his career in broadcast journalism before moving into communications, and then the technology side of communications. He started Prescient Digital Media nearly 15 years ago with a focus on enterprise intranet consulting. Toby generously shared with us his ideas on what makes a website highly effective at connecting with potential customers. (more…)

Writer Spotlight: Mastering the Basics of Writing for the Web

by Dan P. on 11/23/2015

How to write for the web…

*tents fingers*

There are some core principles for writing online. Tenets, of a sort, that are the foundation of a free and easy style guide defined by the idea that the web is a fluid and ever-changing thing.

While greatly simplified, the four concepts below form a basis for how I approach writing for the web.

This is the golden rule, basically. Never break it.

(more…)

Expert Interview: Mark Colgan on Getting the Most Out of Data

by Susan Jennings on 11/20/2015

Want to enhance the quality of your content? One way to do that is to include reliable, relevant, and accurate data in your content. If data is relevant and reliable, you will continue to build credibility with your audience, and your brand will continue to grow in reputation as a trusted resource.

Mark Colgan, marketing manager at The Local Data Company, has dedicated his living to helping other businesses get the most reliable data possible. Media Shower recently spoke with Mark about why that data is so valuable – and how businesses can use it once they’ve got it. (more…)

4 Ways to Work Thanksgiving into Your Content Marketing

by Fiona Merullo on 11/18/2015

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about what your company will bring to the table. There’s a lot of prep that goes into cooking the perfect thanksgiving dinner, just as there are many aspects to consider when marketing your company. My mom always forgets to put out the cranberry sauce; don’t let content marketing be the ingredient you leave off this Thanksgiving! Here are four tips to incorporate Thanksgiving into your content this year.

1. Serve Up Useful Information

We bring this tip up all the time, because it’s one of the most important parts of content marketing. Shareable content should be useful to your customers. Betty Crocker has a special section of their website dedicated to thanksgiving recipes and tips. Taste of Home magazine has Pinterest boards filled with content about thanksgiving dinners, side dishes, and desserts. Now, these are both food-related companies so it is pretty easy for them to incorporate thanksgiving tips into their posts. But really, anyone can offer advice like this.

If you sell car insurance, maybe you can write an article about how to avoid thanksgiving traffic or post some recipes that travel well for people taking long drives to family members. If your company specializes in sports equipment, write an article about the thanksgiving football games. All you have to do is include a brief mention of your company that somehow relates to the article. The connection doesn’t need to be as clear-cut as Betty Crocker and recipes; just focus on creating useful content that can be tied back to your brand. (more…)

Expert Interview: Stacey Miller on Helping Authors Achieve Success

by Susan Jennings on 11/16/2015

Things are looking up for the publishing industry. After years of think pieces on “the death of the author” and the decline of readership in the 21st century, we’re finally seeing a rise in reading. According to a 2013 Pew Center study, younger generations are starting to outnumber older age brackets in readership, and males are catching up with female readers. More people are reading, with the internet creating exciting new opportunities for authors.

The prevalence of the internet brings with it a unique series of pressures and demands for an author to navigate. There is more competition for readers’ attention than ever before, pitting up-and-coming authors against established best-sellers. How is an author to meet these demands and flourish in the new digital economy?

We talked to Stacey Miller, founder of SJ Miller Communciations, who specializes in helping authors craft winning media strategies about promoting their books online. (more…)

Expert Interview: Warren Whitlock on How to Connect with People

by Susan Jennings on 11/13/2015

There are two ways that your business can use social media correctly. Are you doing both?

When you connect with your clients, are you truly connecting?

It’s easy to confuse genuine connection with good salesmanship in an overly cluttered social media landscape, so Media Shower spoke with a true social media champion for insights on the right way to build connections.

Warren Whitlock is a business growth advisor and top 10 social media influencer, as well as an author, speaker, and social media strategist. (more…)

What’s the Next Back-to-the-Futuresque Opportunity for Content Marketing?

by Fiona Merullo on 11/11/2015

Just a few weeks ago, the Internet was filled with articles, videos, and memes (oh my!) about the 1980s film trilogy Back To the Future. Everyone was celebrating October 21st, 2015, the day Marty McFly goes to the future in the second film.

Looks it’s time for more marketing like this!

Fans and brands alike spent the posting content about the movie. There were countless articles discussing what predictions Back to the Future II got right about October 21st, 2015. Pepsi released a limited edition “Pepsi Perfect” drink, the soda Marty gets at a diner when he arrives in the future. AMC theaters showed all three films on the big screen. Even the Cubs tried to make the predicted World Series win a reality, but some things will always remain fiction.

Part of the reason Back To The Future Day got so much attention is because it was a one-day event 30 years in the making. But there are plenty of pop-culture events brands can use to take part in a cultural phenomenon. Here are some ideas for future opportunities for Back-to-the-Future-style marketing. (more…)

Expert Interview: Sarah Matista on Reaching Social Media Success

by Susan Jennings on 11/09/2015

“One thing that keeps many people from diving into social media is the perceived investment of time. They think that, if they’re going to do social media, they have to be on every platform, all the time. This simply isn’t true, but the misconception holds many people back from creating a targeted, engaging social media presence that is essential to growing a small business today.”

As the marketing communications manager of Pagemodo, Sarah Matista has expertise on the topic. She was kind enough to share her thoughts on a variety of aspects of social media marketing, including the things that you should never do on social media. (more…)

Nailing Your First Sentence

by Sam Jordan on 11/06/2015

Attention spans on the internet are shorter than leprechaun shins.

Not sure how short that is? Here ya go:

That’s very short.

When a visitor lands on your website and dives into your written content, you have precious few seconds to keep them interested.
According to data by Tony Haile of Chartbeat, the average visitor to your website will spend just 15 seconds on it before moving onto something else.

Think that’s fast? Microsoft Research analyzed user behavior on over 2 billion pageviews, and found that your page has just 10 seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
These stats confirm what we already knew: It’s crucial to grab your audience’s attention right away. And it all starts with nailing the first sentence. Here are some keys to writing a great first sentence: (more…)