How to Develop a Successful Marketing Plan

[ Right-click to download ]

No matter what stage you are at in your business, it is imperative you have a marketing plan.

In this week’s show I talk through a sample model that I use in my own business and with clients.

The purpose of this marketing plan model is to identify where your business is, who your competitors are, what marketing you’ve been doing (or will be doing) and provide the benchmarks and goals against which you will assess the performance of you marketing annually, semi-annually, or quarterly. This steering document will drive your content creation and make sure that every stage of your marketing is covered.

The show is about ten minutes longer than my usual solo shows but I wanted to cover each section quite carefully rather than rushing through in my usual 20 minutes or so.

[Read more...]

The 4 Best Digital Marketing Platforms for a Consulting Business

It’s easy to drown in the different forms of digital marketing out there if you’re running a consulting business. Because time is precious, particularly if you work as a consult, juggling every aspect of your business, you need to focus on doing what’s imperative – not just helpful.

To help keep things simple but effective, here are the content marketing platforms I think you need to include in 2013 as part of your strategic online marketing plan.

1. Blog.

Do not ignore the power of a blog. They help get you found in Google and other search engines, generate leads and give prospects an insight to your core skills. What’s more, a blog is full of personality. If you write in a tone of voice that reflects just who you are instead of “corporate speak” you’ll show customers a personal side of who you are. This is important because we do business with people, not businesses.

Get a blog right and it will bring new customers to your door. If you’re thinking of starting a business blog or have let yours go on hiatus too long, check out this post on what makes a great business blog.
[Read more...]

Think Content Marketing, Not Copywriting


Great copywriting is meant to prompt visitors to your website to take action like sign-up for an email newsletter or purchase a product on a landing page.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is copywriting’s big brother; it’s blogs, podcasts, ebooks, white papers and video that are created directly for the purpose of marketing.

If you’re new to digital marketing, a first time business owner or just setting yourself up as a consultant, before you think about investing in professional copywriting services to tighten up or even create the copy on your website, it’s important to understand that online marketing is not just an online CV or newspaper ad.

Online content marketing, for example, is NOT:

  • a salesy landing page pimping your products or services!
  • or an advertising banner you see down the side of your Facebook page

3 Reasons Why Your Site Didn't Generate a Single Lead Last Month

Business failure

Small businesses starting out on the road of online marketing rarely generate leads immediately. Experience has taught me, both personally and working with customers, that there are stacks of reasons why things aren’t working out in the early stages of your first online campaign.

The Good

You’ve not posted a single thing on your blog, engaged in social media channels because you’re hiding away working on an ebook and that’s taking precedence because once it’s finished you’ll be able to market it.

It’s a really cogent piece of work, offering lots of valuable insight and well-designed. Also, it should be finished the week after next and you’re concentrating all your efforts on this.

Once it’s finished you know you’ll really have something special to drive people to your website and generate leads.

You realise there’s no point in having traffic to your site without anything that will convince people to get in touch about your services.

The Bad

You’ve spent way to much time on Twitter and Facebook trying to build a following without investing anytime in content creation on your business blog.

Although social media is great for banter, networking and idle chit-chat – oh yeah, and customer service – it doesn’t build trust like the way a well-developed website / ebook / white paper, etc, does.

Once you’ve got the pillar content on your site (i.e. kick-ass resources) that benefit potential customers, it will be time to focus more on using social media to get people to your site. Wait a while before going hell for leather on social media. A trickle of participation will do whilst your developing other stuff in your valuable time. [Read more...]

The iPad Will Change Your Marketing Strategy

With the launch of the iPad on March 12, 2010 Apple started a new era in online content marketing.

Ever since the iPhone appeared Steve Jobs and Co have been getting you used to the idea of reading on a digital device, of having access to the Net in the palm of your hand, of reading online newspapers and magazines in the browser and books via Kindle iPhone app. Just ask the 33.75 million who’ve bought them.

apple-ipad

A game-changer for digital marketing?

When Apple ships the first generation iPad on April 3, that reading experience is going to get a whole lot more slicker. Marketing strategy folks around the world will no doubt sit up and pay attention.
As more people adopt the iPad, and Apple competitors come out with cheaper clones, we’re likely to see a massive growth in the number of people reading digital content in the palm of their hand.

Discover how I can help your content marketing campaign with outstanding content!

What the iPad Means to Marketers

With more and more people reading on digital devices like tablets –and this will come given our increasing preference for (mobile) digital over print– there’s a wonderful opportunity for your business to provide customers and prospects with a variety of excellent digital content.

Blogs and websites are great to read on a computer and we’re pretty happy to do so. And I’m sure they’ll be just as popular on tablet PCs like the iPad. But I think ebooks will boom in popularity.

For starters, the landscape delivery of well-designed ebooks (Joseph Jaffe’s latest offering The Customer Service Manifesto is simply gorgeous) makes for a better reading experience. I expect that to improve even more when the iPad lands.

Then there’s the launch of the iBook Store. This will probably do for text what iTunes have done for digital music. Imagine if you can get the latest copy of your favourite magazine from the iBook Store. No more queuing in the newsagents. No more paper to recycle. That’s a whole market waiting to explode onto tablet screens in homes all around the world.

Ebooks and Digital Marketing Strategy

[Read more...]