Sunday, June 29, 2014

Want to Learn About Social Media Contests and Advertising?

By Erin Quinlan

So now you’ve gotten to know a little bit about social media, but you want to do more with it.

What can you do?

One fun and creative thing you can do – and yet another thing The Silent Partner Marketing can help you with – is to hold a contest on your social media channels.

It could be photos, videos, telling a joke on the Facebook wall, etc., and will generate buzz and accelerate engagement.

Contests are “skill-based” promotions – the fans and followers are invited to write an essay, upload a picture or a video. Entrants will ask friends to vote on their uploaded entry, so contests are a perfect way to reach the friends of fans.

Want to know more?

There are different type of contests.

One is a photo contest. Entrants should upload a photo to enter, and ask friends to vote. Another is an essay contest. Entrants may share their story in a specific topic, and ask friends to vote. Yet another is a video contest. This is the most engaging as entrants need to work a lot with videos. Entrants need to upload videos to enter, and ask friends to vote.

The photograph is an incredibly powerful tool. The fact that we are able to capture a single moment and keep it forever is mind-blowing. People enjoy looking at photos, but more importantly people love sharing photos, especially on social media. Not only will people participate to share their photo, they’ll get to compete to win a prize. 

Running a photo contest will get you more engagement with your fans on your business or organization’s social media page, and also expand your reach and attract new people to the page. You might also have other goals in mind, such as spreading awareness about an event, promotion or service. You can run the contest through social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook.

The winner should never be the entry with the most votes. It’s quite discouraging for entrants if someone gathers a lot of votes so they will lose motivation and stop promoting their own entry. You should include “luck” to the winner selection process, and pick winner(s) from the top 5 voted entries.You should also draw a winner among voters. If you want a big buzz around your promotion, consider drawing a prize among voters too. If you vote on your favorite, you can win something too.

The contest should also work on mobile. This one is especially important at photo contests, as these days, people use their mobile to take pictures. There is a 60 percent chance that people will see your contest on mobile, and this number will just grow. Let fans enter right away with the accessibility to upload photos from their mobile or take a picture immediately.

If a contest isn’t your thing, you could also advertise on social media. From sponsored posts to promoted pins, native advertising has found a home in social media.

With promoted posts, businesses pay to feature their posts in news feeds. And in December 2013, Facebook announced the launch of video ads, which are sponsored videos that automatically play in news feeds.

In 2010, Twitter launched Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Accounts. In December 2013, Twitter updated its advertising to better target ads to users. The product, called “tailored audiences,” uses data from browser histories to show users ads that directly relate to the sites they’ve recently visited.

Instagram, the photo- and video-sharing site, started selling ads to businesses in late 2013. Advertisers can purchase sponsored photos and videos to show up in news feeds, and users have the option to hide and provide feedback about ads.

Want to know more about contests and advertising on social media?

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can get you started.





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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Developing a Blogging Strategy for Your Business

By Erin Quinlan

You’ve heard about blogging, but you’re not really sure how to do it, what it’s all about, or why it’s important for your business. 

Have no fear, The Silent Partner Marketing can explain it all to you and handle your blogging needs.

Here is some advice that will help you develop a blogging strategy designed to advance your business goals. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is establish blogging goals. When creating a business blogging strategy it’s important to first map out your short term and long term goals. 

What do you want to accomplish?

Are you looking to increase exposure for your business, trying to build thought leadership in your industry, generate new leads for sales, increase your search engine visibility, or a little bit of all of these? 

Solidifying these goals before you start blogging will make sure you have the right tactics to advance your business.

More important than your own goals, you need to understand the readers’ goals. They will be looking to advance their skill set in a particular area, they want to learn about something new, or they want to have their curiosity piqued about a topic of interest.

You will also need to understand your readers. You must possess a deep knowledge of your target audience. To effectively create engaging and relevant content for your readership, you need to understand their concerns, business problems, and job priorities. Without this base level of knowledge there will be no way to generate original content for your target reader.

Makes sense, right?

By understanding business related issues from both customers and prospects, you will give yourself a great set of topics to start creating original content around.

That brings us to the next piece – creating original content. You want to develop as many high quality blog posts as possible. When thinking about developing your blog content, the most difficult part can be creating original material. 

The easiest and most basic form of business blog content is solution oriented content. Solution oriented content revolves around understanding your audience’s business problems and giving them tangible solutions to solve them.

You could also write about technology. Write about the effects of technology on the marketplace you’re in, or how the technology will affect your clients.

Occasionally, by taking a controversial stance or opposing the current wisdom, you can garner your blog content a lot of visibility. If you use this blog tactic, use it sparingly, and have good supporting facts to defend your contrarian stance.

You could also try being the first blogger to cover a change in the marketplace that no other blogger has yet covered. 

When all else fails, ask your readership for topics – you will find that your audience has many great ideas that you could use for content. 

To create and implement a strong blogging strategy, you will need to be efficient. There is only so much time in the day to develop content. So being a successful business blogger means learning how to be efficient in your technique while not diluting the quality of your content. 

A couple ways to ensure that you are efficient are to repurpose existing content and creating a blogging calendar.

Sound interesting? Want to know more?

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can get you started.






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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dumb Business Names And Other Bozo Marketing Moves

 By Kyle Reyes

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

How many times have you heard that one?  And do you ever want to be the business owner uttering these words?

There's a commercial running on Rock 102 right now for a new restaurant.  The bulk of the commercial is spent telling people how to pronounce the name of the business.

Hate to clue you.  If you have to pay thousands of dollars just to teach people how to say the name of your business... then you probably shouldn't have named your business what you did.

Think about it.  What's the first thing many people will do?  Look you up on Google if you're a new restaurant.  Or Yelp.  Or Facebook.  Do you really want to lose out on potential customers because nobody knows how to spell the name of your business?

Speaking of online - let's think about that as well.  We've seen countless businesses who are spending money on television, radio, print and billboards to drive people to a website...that, frankly, royally stinks.  More likely than not, more than 40% of your users are visiting your website from mobile devices.  Can they read your site...or are they pinching and zooming?  The Silent Partner Marketing has partnered with MD Tech Team to help knock some sense into businesses that are wasting their money on poorly designed sites and even more poorly designed marketing and advertising strategies.

Let's think about some other marketing moves.  How about using social media as a megaphone and not as a telephone?  There are far too many businesses that have an online social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) just to talk TO people...and not to speak WITH them.  #fail

Spending money on SEO.  Ask our team at The Silent Partner Marketing all about how SEO is dead.  Or talk to our boy Edwin over at CToutandabout.com.  He'll tell you all about how paid "SEO" is long gone...but content marketing...and providing unique and relevant content to your viewers and readers is the "Google Juice" of 2014 and beyond.

You use the word "viral" like it's an order you can give.  Things don't go "viral" because you want them too.  Things go "viral" through a combination of strategy, design, testing and a little bit of luck.  You want "viral"?  That's what your local college campus is for.

Want to learn more about how to create an award-winning marketing strategy?  Hit us up.  And it's ok to make fun of our website.  The new one rolls out very soon.  Why?  Because we recognize when something is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.


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Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology.  You can find him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.  He's the Chuck Norris of marketing.  It's outrageous - we know.  That's kind of the point.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What's the Difference Between Advertising and Marketing



By Erin Quinlan

At first glance, marketing and advertising seem to be different terms to describe the same thing - getting a product or service sold. 

However, although they both contribute to the same end objective, they are distinct from each other and each has its own process. 

Confusing, right?

Have no fear, The Silent Partner Marketing can help you figure out what marketing is, why it is king, and the best strategy for your business.

Let’s look at the definitions. Advertising is the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

After reading these definitions, it is easy to understand how the difference can be confusing. Let’s take a deeper look at each.

Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It’s the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. 

Advertising includes the placement of an ad in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, flyers, brochures, emails, cold calls, and the Internet. Advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations following in a close second and market research not falling far behind.

An example of advertising is “Long Arm by Fortum” that says you can “control your home from anywhere.” (See photos.) Fortum Oyj is a Finnish energy company focusing on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland, and Russia. Fortum generates, distributes and sells electricity, heat and steam and operates power plants. The company also provides other energy related services and products.




The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer service and satisfaction, sales strategy, and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. 

All of these elements must not only work independently but they also must work together towards the bigger goal. Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer.

Marketing is also geared toward one product or service, but as you can see, it’s much more involved than simply advertising a product. 

Today’s smart marketers are all about helping their audience – not hyping their products. It’s marketing so useful, people would pay for it. It’s marketing with so much intrinsic and inherent value that people actually want to be exposed to it.

An example of marketing is when Il Caffe di Napoli – an Italian restaurant in Dublin, Ireland – created a great, simple video guide to pronouncing menu items. Of course, the video doubles as an ad for the cafe’s food. To watch the video, click here.

Make a little more sense now?

It is being proven that marketing can actually be more beneficial than advertising for specific businesses and companies. Advertising seems to be becoming more of a thing of the past. While old fashioned advertisement was once believed to be the best way for businesses to reach target audiences and receive business, it is now believed that marketing is the real trick.

One of the main reasons why it is so important to make changes to advertisement is because of the way the consumer feels about the advertisement. Consumers never want to feel forced to buy or like a certain product and they surely do not want to feel as though the company does not understand them. 

Some consumers are very anti-advertising and believe that it is just a sneaky method for advertisers and companies to “steal” money from na├»ve consumers who are spending a ton of money on products because of advertisements that have been. Some consumers even believe advertisements are leading many people into debt.

Ready to get into the marketing game?

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can get you started.


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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Monday, June 9, 2014

Content Marketing and Your Business

By Erin Quinlan

You want to grow your business and you’ve heard of content marketing, but you’re not exactly sure what it is or how it could benefit your business.

Don’t worry, The Silent Partner Marketing has you covered.

Content marketing comes in many different forms and can be adapted for any business. It is a great way to increase visibility, gain a higher level of trust from customers, and increase customer loyalty.

We know that these are all good things.

The Silent Partner Marketing can handle all of your content marketing needs, including blog posts, images, videos, and much more!

We make it so that you get the exposure you want, without having to worry about it.

Blog posts are a big part of content marketing. Blogs are such a natural way to promote your message. By setting up a blog, you create a resource for your customers and a place that reinforces your brand.

At The Silent Partner Marketing, we’ll write the blogs and then post them for you. Easy!

Images are also important. According to one psychologist, 93 percent of communication is nonverbal, which means almost all of what you tell your audience happens outside the words you say. With pictures, illustrations, and graphics, you have an opportunity to make a real impact on your fans.

Who doesn’t love a great photo or photo gallery? We have one of the best photographers around. Trust us on this one.

There’s a world of variety within videos. No matter what type it is, however, a good video communicates a message in a succinct and memorable way. After you do the video, post it on YouTube and Vimeo. Both of these sites are great way to garner social signals for SEO and improved results for video search itself.

Did I mention he’s also great at producing awesome videos?

Testimonials are also a great thing to have. Endorsements from satisfied customers act as major social proof for your company’s value. Whether you post testimonials on your website, across social media, or strictly on review sites, the power of these comments is undeniable.

We know as a business owner, you love to hear that you’ve done a good job.

E-mail newsletters are a fantastic avenue for getting your message out to loyal followers – the key is providing highly relevant content that they actually want to read. Ask yourself how you can make your newsletter a must-read.All the follower will have to do is open his or her e-mail. And we all know that we check out our messages often.

“Newsjacking” is another method of content marketing. Take advantage of public interest in a hot news story by finding a way to connect it with your brand. Then write about it.

Makes sense, right?

A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. Think of it as an epic blog post. It goes beyond the length, style, and approach of an ordinary blog post. The idea has to be something that your audience wants. This is another thing that we can handle for you.

People also love “how-to” content. First, identify a common problem. Then, come up with a solution. The model is simple: introduce the problem, introduce the solution, discuss each step of the solution, summarize the discussion, and provide a conclusion. The more thorough your explanation is, the better. 

How often have you found yourself Googling “How do I….” do whatever it is? 

If you’re looking to have some fun with your content marketing, you could do a contest. Before the contest, you can introduce it to your audience. If you are working with another brand, capitalize on their audience through cross-promotional posts. During the contest, you can share updates of how it is going. Once the contest has ended, you can create additional content by recapping the contest and letting everyone know how it went, who the winners were, etc.

This is a great way to get your name out there, have some fun, and produce content for your business.

Another thing you could do is to create a meme. We’ve all seen them. They go viral and they’re hilarious. That’s one of the great benefits of memes – they’re humorous. People love something that they can laugh at, share, and get a kick out of. The great thing about memes is that they can be adapted for use in any niche. 

Sound like some ideas you’d like to try out? 

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can get you started.





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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Staying on Top of Your Online Reputation

By Erin Quinlan

Before someone walks into your business, they already know something – maybe many things – about your business. How?

Most likely, they searched your business online.

Ensuring that you stay on top of online chatter can be a full time job – but it’s a very important job. Reputation management allows you to monitor online activities and listings.

Not sure where to begin? Let us help. At The Silent Partner Marketing, we handle the reputation management aspect for our clients so they can concentrate on running their business.

With our reputation management services, it will ensure that you are aware of all places where people mention your business – from listings to positive or negative mentions and reviews, social updates.

We will also help you promote your business on Facebook, Twitter, and other places, and will track your followers. You will also receive automated reports to help you manage your business brand.

You should never underestimate the cost of a poor reputation. There’s one story that when potential customers searched a particular company’s name, 7 of the top 10 Google results were negative. After careful review of the rankings and prior-year revenues, it was estimated the venture was losing nearly $2 million a year in sales because of negative search engine results.

Ouch. It’s clear that online reputation management clearly has a big impact on a company’s revenue.

We know that it can be unsettling to wake up one day and see defamatory remarks appearing online, particularly when the items move beyond constructive criticism to include outrageous accusations and even slanderous or libelous remarks. 

What’s even worse is that the negative reviews are often on websites that rank high in search engines, so anyone doing a search on the company name will probably see them. Whether the comments are true or not, these negative search results jeopardize the company’s online reputation.

With this comes the chance for a loss in sales, negative press coverage, and hiring ability.

On the other side of things, you may have great reviews. You’re all set, right? Wrong. Just because the results are good today, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be that way tomorrow. Search engine results can change at any time based on recent news, social media, algorithm changes, or many other reasons. 

For this reason, creating and keeping a positive online reputation is a continuous, ongoing process.

In today’s world, any crisis will shortly be an online reputation crisis thanks to the real-time nature of social media. Even if it doesn’t make the news, blogs, tweets, and other social media can do great damage.

The first step is to do everything you can to prevent a problem from becoming a reputational crisis. That includes planning how to best use every online platform your brand is on. It also includes constant monitoring of online brand mentions and sentiment, and strong threat detection and protection.

During a crisis, you’ll want to have someone on call who can monitor your online reputation, assess the reputational risks of various events and solutions, and suggest reputation-protection measures.

That’s where we come in.

Because social media happens in real time, customers expect fast responses. To prevent minor problems from becoming a big deal – and to maintain a good reputation during a crisis – communicate and respond quickly. 

Fast communication is especially critical if the crisis involves product or service quality and safety, or the security and privacy of customer or employee information.

Ready to protect and grow your business? 

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com.




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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter