Posts by Jon Clark:

The Hidden Marketing Power In Blog Posts You Aren’t Using

The Hidden Marketing Power In Blog Posts You Aren’t Using

Posting links to your latest blog posts on social media is a great way to promote your posts. But that’s where most bloggers stop. Some may go the extra mile and duplicate the post a few weeks later, trying to squeeze a little more promotional juice from the post. But there is a far more effective way to continually promote your latest blog post.

It’s All In How You Word It

Creating a colorful post that’s filled with engaging wording, great looking images and follows SEO best practices should be your baseline. Meaning, this should be the least every post has. To get the most out of your posts when it comes time to promote, make sure you have memorable wording sprinkled throughout. For example:

  • A great related quote
  • Valuable reference with a link to the source
  • Pithy statement that sums up an important topic

Once you’re ready, it’s fine to post the blog title along with its link to your social media accounts. This gets the promotion ball rolling.

Using the structure above, you now have literally several more unique social media posts for the same blog post. For each, just switch out the title for any of the memorable group of words and add the link. You can probably create a social media post for every other day until the end of the month.

There Are Plenty Of Pros Who Can Help With Marketing

Want to get even more out of your post and have big names help out? Go to some of the most popular posts of influencer bloggers in your niche. Grab a group of memorable words from their post and quote it in yours. Somewhere in the quote, link back to the influencer’s post. The stage is now set for a supercharged promotion campaign. Let’s say you have

The stage is now set for a supercharged promotion campaign. Let’s say you have wording from three different influencers. You can post that exact wording into your social media post and tag the influencer’s social media handle so they know. Now sit back and wait for the influencer to

Now sit back and wait for the influencer to repost to their social media accounts. It might not happen every time but you’ll certainly have better chances than not using this tactic at all.

…And The Benefits Keep Coming

Posting snippets from influencer blog posts can start building relationships for you. Don’t stop with only posting their content to social media. It’s always about going the extra mile.

In addition to posting influencer snippets to social media, comment on their blog posts so they will see your name there also. Feel free to even email them if you have something valuable to say about their content or to share.

All Of This From One Little Blog Post

That’s right. All of this started from the right structuring of one blog post. Now that you know how to do it for future posts, you can go back and rewrite some of your older posts. You don’t have to worry about a complete rewrite. Where you can, add in valuable snippets of wording and links to other bloggers.

Hope that helps in getting your name out there more. You can see there isn’t really any magic to it. Just a little elbow grease and imagination.

Out of Blog Post Ideas? Try These 4 Unusual Hacks

Out of Blog Post Ideas? Try These 4 Unusual Hacks

It’s no secret that great blog content is a lynchpin of inbound marketing, and today, almost every business has a blog that they update regularly.

But when you’re putting out epic content on a regular basis for a long period of time, you can run into a problem: you’ve already used up all of your best ideas.

Between keyword research and your own real world experience, you started off with tons of fruitful blog post ideas. But eventually, you’ll find yourself running through the cream of the crop.

This is more of a problem in some industries than others. It’s something you run into with a lot of “unsexy” service industries, like moving companies or HVAC repair services. When you’ve already covered the obvious topics with engaging, SEO friendly blog posts that cover things in detail, you can hit a bit of a dead end.

If you’re hard up for new content ideas, these simple “hacks” can help you refuel your creativity and spark a “lightbulb moment” that gets the ball rolling again.

1. Check out what comes up on BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo is an online service that shows you the top performing content for various search queries. It gives you a peek at what kind of content your competitors are putting out, and at what kind of content gets the most engagement and social shares.

You can search for either a topic or a particular domain. As a simple example, here’s what comes up for “digital marketing strategy.”

This shows you what kind of content is doing well in that particular niche. From topics, to target audiences, to headline structure, there’s a lot of information you can glean from BuzzSumo.

Buzzsumo

This is just a limited selection of what BuzzSumo can offer. Although they have a free 30-day trial, and you can see a few top results for free any time, it is a paid service. However, something like this could be worth the investment.

2. Use a longtail keyword tool like UberSuggest.

There are a handful of great online keyword research tools that are designed to help you find unique, interesting longtail keywords. These are search queries that consist of several words, and that don’t get a super-high search volume. These can be easy to target, without nearly as much competition as broader “head” keywords.

Tools like Ubersuggest are useful for SEO, but they’re also a great way to find new content ideas. There are several tools like this out there, but we’re spotlighting Ubersuggest because it’s one of the best.

Plus, it generates a nifty word cloud for each search, which shows which words tend to occur in the same queries as your main keyword. This can help you pinpoint related ideas and concepts, sparking new ideas for content that your audience would like.

Here’s what comes up for “digital marketing strategy” on Ubersuggest.

Ubersuggest

This is just the top of the list. UberSuggest found 192 total keywords. But even this tiny snippet from their search results provides some interesting information.

You can see that people search for things like “digital marketing strategy template,” “digital marketing strategy implementation and practice,” and “digital marketing strategy framework.” This suggests that people are looking for actual techniques and substantial, actionable advice that they can implement themselves.

You can also see that people are looking specifically for “digital marketing strategy pdf.” They’re looking for Powerpoint presentations (“ppt”) as well. You could create a whitepaper or ebook about strategy that’s available in PDF format, or create a powerpoint slideshow about it.

We mentioned that Ubersuggest also generates a word cloud. These are actually pretty massive, but here’s a screencap of part of it.

Ubersuggest Wordcloud

Pretty cool to look at, right? And if you look closely, you can find valuable information. You can see words like “newspapers,” “hospitals,” “government,” “schools,” and “hotel.” This implies that people are looking for digital marketing strategies specifically tailored for certain industries.

As an example, you could create a comprehensive longform blog post about digital marketing strategies that work specifically for hotels.

Ubersuggest’s meaty longtail keyword results are full of blog post ideas, based on things your audience is actively searching for. This can be a great way to help yourself brainstorm when your well of creativity starts to run dry.

Other longtail keyword research tools include keywordtool.io, keyword.io, and the humorously named KeywordS*****r.

3. Use “Answer the Public.”

Like Ubersuggest and similar online tools, Answer the Public is a free resource for finding longtail keywords. We’re discussing this separately because Answer the Public takes a unique approach that sets it apart.

This tool focuses on two types of queries: those in the form of a question, and those that contain a preposition. It’s for finding who questions, how questions, why questions, and more. It gives you a glimpse into what kind of questions your audience is asking, which is fertile ground for new post ideas.

Not only does Answer the Public provide a list of results, but it also generates two highly intuitive graphical representations.

One is for queries in the form of a question.

Answer The Public

The other is for queries that contain a preposition.

Answer the Public Tool

Pretty cool, right? These visualizations are easily digestible, showing you what types of questions are common for your query.

Each question can act as a writing prompt, seeding an entire blog post.

4. Check Reddit and Quora to see what kind of questions people are asking.

 Reddit is one of the world’s most widely used social media platforms, with a structure similar to old-school forums. There’s a subreddit for just about anything you can think of, and with a little Googling, you can find active communities relevant to your company’s product or service.

People use subreddits to ask questions and hold discussions. Reddit posts and comments can give you valuable insights into your audience, and you can find questions and concerns you might not have known about before.

Quora is another website that can provide this kind of information. It’s kind of like a higher quality version of Yahoo! Answers (which is still around, but less valuable than Quora or Reddit). People ask all kinds of questions here, and in many cases, they get answers from real experts.

Quora’s also a great opportunity for you to get yourself or your company out there by participating in the community and actively answering questions.

Ideas are out there. All you have to do is find them.

Eventually, we all hit a wall when it comes to good blog post ideas. Once you’ve covered the obvious, you have to get creative. These free resources can all help you spark the ideas you need to take your content marketing strategy to the next level.

How To Be A Better Digital Marketer Using Heatmaps

How To Be A Better Digital Marketer Using Heatmaps

As a digital marketer, the most valuable information on your website would be to know what areas your clients click on the most, and why. To know this, you would opt to conduct a survey and have your visitors directly tell you where they are clicking, and why.

But, surveys are not the most appropriate methods of gathering this information, especially because not all your visitors will respond to your questions, or even give accurate information. This is where visual analytics, especially heat maps, come in handy, for a digital marketer.

What Is A Heatmap?

A heat map is a graphical representation of data in a two-dimensional image. Usually, this data will be presented using different colors, which will show different levels of activity on a website.

For example, by observing heat map results, you will understand what parts of your website visitors spend the most time, hence using that information, to informatively decide on where to place your marketing campaigns or social media icons.

Types Of Heatmaps

There are different types of heat maps, each possessing its own visualization technique.

These are:

Eye-Tracking Heatmap

Eye-tracking heatmaps work by showing you exactly where your audience is looking at in your webpage.

To get this information, eye-tracking heatmaps use complex technology and expensive software, making them the most expensive type of heatmaps.

Let’s see in the image below, an eye-tracking heatmap results, for National Cancer Insitute:

Webpage Heatmaps

Mouse-Movement Heatmap (Also Known As Hover Map)

As the name alludes, this tool tells you how many visitors hover over a particular section of the page, showing how users read and navigate through your page. Consequently, this information helps you point out the most interesting and boring areas in your website.
Here is an example of how this feature looks like:

Mouse Movement Heatmap

Source: Staticflickr

The main idea behind hover maps is that people tend to hover where they look at, meaning that there is a strong correlation between mouse-movement heatmaps and eye-tracking heatmaps.

But, is this true?

The truth is, mouse movement heatmaps borrow their technique from eye tracking heatmaps but they are not as accurate. No wonder Peep Laja, calls this tool ‘a poor man’s eye tracking tool’.

Peep is supported by Guy Redwood at Simple Usability, who has a similar belief about mouse tracking as shown in the screenshot below:

Mouse Hover Heat Maps

Screenshot Source: Conversion XL

Now, where is the evidence?

Dr. Anne Aula, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google gave a presentation in 2010, talking about the disappointing facts about mouse tracking heatmaps.

According to her research, it was found out that:

  • Only 6% of people showed some vertical correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking
  • 19% of people showed some horizontal correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking
  • 10% hovered over a link and then continued to read around the page looking at other things.

Clearly, there is a very insignificant relationship between mouse tracking and eye tracking heatmaps.

Lesson:

Do not just rely on mouse-movement heatmaps. Instead, use a combination of heatmaps to get the most accurate data.

Clickmap

This is a very great feature especially when you want to track performance of important buttons such as the CTA button, since it shows you where site visitors are clicking, and presents this info as aggregated click data

Usually, colour intensity and what a shade of colour means, is dependent on the heat map provider.

Scroll Map

These show how far your audience scrolls down a webpage. This information is very important, because you get to know the desired length of content, and what part of the page (top, bottom or centre) you should put important CTA buttons.

In addition to Google guiding you on the length of content, you can use scroll maps to know how much your audience is reading. After which, you can re-strategize on your content length.

Way Forward

Struggling with content marketing or your social media campaigns are not picking up? Fret not, because by using different types of heatmaps, you can decipher why you are getting the desired ROI.  Get a heatmap tool today, and use all scroll maps, clickmaps, hover maps and eye-tracking heatmaps, to become a better digital marketer.

14 Reasons SEO is the Best Local Business Marketing Strategy

Still looking for some insight into how to do SEO the right way?

Join the club. You, and just about every other entrepreneur who isn’t already a pro on the matter, seems to struggle with the dearth of reliable information on how to get SEO tactics to work for them.

This isn’t to say that there is no advice on how SEO is supposed to work out on the ‘net. Quite the opposite. There’s too much advice, and not all of it is stellar. There’s article after article composed confusing, misleading, and downright incorrect tips that will have you chasing your tail until the end of time.

No matter which way you slice it, this is a disheartening state of affairs. Instead of embracing SEO, many are shunning it, turning their backs in favor of less effective methods that they feel aren’t as complicated. A critical error, unfortunately, as a well-developed SEO strategy can translate to big gains for you and your business.

In fact, SEO can be so effective that it don’t even have to employ the most complicated techniques. Even simple SEO, done right, can give you a leg up. All you have to do is be willing to give it a try. Let’s take a look at 14 reasons why SEO is still one of the most transformative steps you can take towards growing your business.

Debunking Some Common Internet Marketing ‘Rules’

Debunking Some Common Internet Marketing ‘Rules’

Do a web search for ‘best practice internet marketing’ or something similar and you will be inundated with thousands of articles and blogs on the ‘must dos’. Once you go through about a dozen of them, you’ll notice some common points. However, as many internet marketers have found out the hard way, the fact that these views are widely held does not necessarily make them true. We look at some of these ‘internet marketing rules’ and explain why you should tread carefully.

“You must understand search engine algorithms”

There is no harm in knowing how search engines work. However, focusing on search engine bots can be a major marketing miscalculation. Instead, create content that is appealing to the humans who will read it. It would be a loss to rank highly on search engine results and draw in tons of new eyeballs only for them to be disappointed when they eventually land on your website. Repairing the damage to your website’s reputation may prove costly.

“Focus on search engine rankings”

This ties into the previous point. Ranking high on a particular keyword is great. It should never be your number one marketing objective though. Ultimately, you want a return on investment (ROI) so conversion is what counts most. Remember, a keyword you rank well on may not always be the best fit for your business. More visits to your site will not always translate to a proportionate rise in sales. Marketers sometimes ignore or spend insufficient resources on the long-tail keywords that would be ideal for growing their reach.

“Check analytics data daily”

This would make sense for a large website with probably millions of visitors per month. However, for the majority of sites (which are small or medium-sized), this can not only be an unnecessarily time-wasting task but also potentially misleading. In low visitor traffic environments, using a daily spike to determine what works can lead you down the wrong path. It’s better to schedule analysis for weekly (or even monthly) so you can better pick out broader trends.

“Successful organic search ranking is sufficient”

Think about the ads you most often see on the internet (whether on a specific website, in search results or on social media). A lot of the ads are by some of the biggest brands in the world. They obviously already rank pretty decently on organic search so why are they doing Paid Search (PPC) and Paid Social Media Advertising? Because organic search ranking is never enough. For best marketing results, set aside a budget for paid ads.

“When it comes to social media, focus on Facebook and Twitter”

Facebook is by far the largest social media platform on earth. Twitter has always had a buzz around it and has newfound significance thanks to America’s President Donald J. Trump. Nevertheless, social media is a vast space that goes far beyond just Facebook and Twitter. It all depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to. If you are pressed for resources, find out which platform(s) your target market is likely to be found on. That could be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.

Conclusion

Be flexible and keep an open mind. Some of the rules that worked 2 years ago are probably not as effective or relevant today. Do not be afraid to change course when it is apparent that there is a better way to do things.

How to Write Effective Marketing Blog Posts

How to Write Effective Marketing Blog Posts

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing blogs on the internet. So, how do you make yours one of the best? Creating quality content for a marketing blog might feel daunting at first, but once you whittle it down to a few necessary points, you’ll be writing popular posts in no time.

Why blogging?

Blogging has experienced an enormous surge in popularity over the past ten years and is an important part of content marketing. Blogging can increase popularity, encourage consumer interest and raise revenue growth. It helps bring traffic to your website, build a strong brand name and promote your product.

When used properly, blogging can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. In fact, according to HubSpot, 60% of marketers consider creating good blog content to be their top inbound marketing priority.

The difference between effective and fluffy content

Before you get too excited and run off to write your first blog post, first you must learn the difference between fluffy content and effective content. Fluffy content has no substance. It lacks depth, precision and fact. Fluffy writing sounds vague, and uses nonsense buzzwords to gain search engine results instead of real readers.

Effective content draws the reader in and gives them something to think about. It’s well-researched and supported by facts or figures. For content to be effective, it must focus on a point, and deliver that point clearly.

Writing effective content

How to Write Effective ContentThere are a few key things to consider when you’re planning a blog post.

Format: what is the best way to present your information to readers? An eye-catching title and subheadings are important. No one wants to read a slab of text, so break it up with some images.

Infographics have also become a popular way to display information. Tools like Slideshare and Canva can help even the most artistically-challenged create vibrant visuals.

Audience: think about who will be reading the finished result. Are they going to understand the words and tone you’re using? Avoid using any lingo or jargon.

What information is your audience after? What questions can you answer for them? There’s no point writing a killer blog post if it’s not relevant to your audience.

Research: do your research beforehand. This is one of the most important factors in writing a successful blog post. Research enables you to get a better understanding of your reader.

Without research, you won’t reach them.

Social Media Promotion

Promoting your post

Congratulations, you’ve written an awesome piece of content! Now, you need to get it noticed. This is where social media comes into it. Social media marketing can increase exposure and traffic, provide valuable insight into the marketplace, improve sales and search rankings.

Sharing blog posts through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn can help gain interest and successfully grow your audience, reaching even the farthest corners of the world. These days, using social media is easy thanks to tools like MeetEdgar, Shareist, Flare and Tweroid.

The Internet might seem like a fickle beast to a budding blogger, but anyone can achieve great success by using simple tips like these.

Is Social Media Scheduling With MeetEdgar the Right Solution for You?

Is Social Media Scheduling With MeetEdgar the Right Solution for You?

Social media platforms have grown in number and sophistication over the years; despite early concerns about longevity, many major players have stuck around for a long time. In fact, social media use and engagement has grown or remained consistent throughout the whole of 2016. Facebook in particular dominates the world of social media although other platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have a loyal user base. Business owners and other social media professionals have long sought ways to improve social media saturation in order to communicate with an already-engaged user base and to gain greater market share through messaging targeted to highly specific demographics.

As widespread as social media use is, leveraging its immense power to your brand’s advantage can be surprisingly difficult. Social media managers have to think many weeks into the future in order to craft messaging relevant to time-sensitive concerns while also promoting evergreen content that will drive traffic to your website. MeetEdgar is a social media management solution that lets users schedule updates and posts to occur on a schedule that suits their needs. Automating routine update tasks has considerable appeal, but is MeetEdgar really the right choice for every organization?

Pros and Cons

MeetEdgar Scheduling

The primary advantage of MeetEdgar is the ability to enter social media updates one time and then schedule them to occur as often as you like. This is great for alerting account follows to a sale section of an online catalog, for instance. Regular updates capture attention and will show up on more of subscribers’ feeds, especially if users choose to promote their posts. The prospect of doing the work once and getting repeated returns is perhaps this platform’s biggest selling point.

Writing several updates is actually the easiest part of using MeetEdgar. The difficulty comes when developing a schedule for deploying these updates. Although there is data showing a sweet spot for engagement with Facebook posts, there is no way to be certain if this model is ideal for any given company. Determining the ideal time between scheduled posts is likely to require some data analysis; while MeetEdgar can provide users with some helpful statistics, advanced social media skills are required to identify the optimal engagement strategy for a brand.

Clearly, MeetEdgar has some immensely valuable services to offer users. For instance:

  • Time and money can be saved by doing social media work once and then enjoying the benefits many times over.
  • Automating posts allows employees to optimize their workflow.
  • Independent business owners can schedule updates to occur even when they are out of the office.
  • Engagement is tracked, including clickthrough rate.

MeetEdgar certainly rewards people who are capable of crunching the numbers required to find the perfect schedule for automatic updates, but a lot of valuable data is available at-a-glance. Posting frequently will dramatically increase the chance that branded posts will be seen on Facebook or Twitter feeds. Even if the perfect schedule seems elusive, users can start to see positive results simply by increasing account activity and fine-tuning their chosen engagement strategy.

Ease of Use

MeetEdgar Analytics

At its heart, MeetEdgar is a fairly simple tool – it allows users to schedule and track social media posts. This helps businesses achieve social media engagement goals, including driving increased website traffic and number of sales. Although it lacks the refined statistical analysis possible by other social media management solutions, few small companies really need that much data to meet their goals; MeetEdgar’s price point is also a lot more small-business friendly.

This platform’s simplicity is reflected in its user interface. The user has immediate access to a library where the posts they create can be stored. Store messages appropriate for various sales events, website updates, and seasonal information; all posts can be sorted into categories for easy organization. Messages to be scheduled are simply selected; new messages can be composed on the spot.

Once messages have been selected, they can be scheduled for posting. Users can select what kind of posts they want to occur and at what time. For instance, a social media manager might want a regularly scheduled update from the “store catalog” collection of posts to occur on a Monday morning; this can easily accomplished. The user-friendly interface makes setting up many different schedules a quick and straightforward task.

Users can also choose which social media platform MeetEdgar uses. This makes cross-platform updating a snap; MeetEdgar can accommodate posting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with multiple options. The data generated from posting on different platforms lets users see contrasting styles of engagement; this will help users further refine their social media strategies.

In Conclusion

MeetEdgar certainly fills a niche in the world of social media engagement – it provides cost-competitive social media solutions that are easily scalable for small businesses, individual brands, and companies in the early stages of growth. Bigger interfaces might certainly offer more comprehensive tools but the ease of use and no-commitment monthly billing makes MeetEdgar an ideal complement to existing SEO strategies.

3 Things that will Boost Your Social Media Engagement

3 Things that will Boost Your Social Media Engagement

Today, there are 2.2 billion social media users worldwide. With technologies continually on the rise to make social media available and more accessible to everyone, this number of social media users is expected to expand by leaps and bounds each year.

This is why marketers of all business scales are now looking at social networks as avenues for efficient promotion. Getting your brand on social media is a profitable move in itself. But did you know that your social media ROI entails so much more than posting about your brand & its wonderful offers?

You read that right. It takes more than talking. You need to engage with your audience. In fact, social media professionals are giving greater weight to engagements over following size.

If you are anxious about actually using social media right, here are 3 social media marketing tips you can readily apply to your campaigns to boost social engagements.

Focus On Social Monitoring

Social monitoring provides you an insight to your market – their concerns, preferences, and their thoughts about your brand. While it is good to give your customers an area to voice how they feel about your company, its products or services, social monitoring gives you so much more.

Social monitoring allows you to find feedback, both good and bad, about your brand when people are not that keen about writing you a review. Social media is also a good platform to find targeted individuals who are yet to discover your brand. Another thing about social monitoring is that it allows you to come up with social posts that your audience will actually consume.

The first step to employing this powerful social media practice is to get settled on a goal. Here are a few you might be interested in:

  • Gain useful feedback, whether it is something good or bad about your brand.
  • Identify if you are getting your expected number or percentage of people from your target market.
  • Monitor the market for what they want to be able to come up with an offer to assist the market with
  • Monitor to be able to attend to their needs, avoid unnecessary complaints that can ruin your brand and accept suggestions.
  • Monitor to know when to promote your brand.
  • Monitor to know where you have chances to get referrals
  • Monitor the Advertising cost by industry

Keep Tabs on Your Social Inboxes

In a social inbox, you will be able to see your public mentions, comments, message replies and shares. Just make sure that your inbox settings play accordingly to what you want to see. At some point, we keep on neglecting this as receiving a bunch of notification gets too annoying and overwhelming. Listed below are some of the things that are important for you to see.

  • Customize your social media settings:
  • Set to see: mentions private messages, connection or friend requests, likes, comment replies and shares.
  • Set to off: Their updates, events and anything that is not related or is fully connected to you.

Social engagement does not end on comments and likes on your posts. Under this umbrella is your brand’s efficiency at providing replies to messages sent to your social inboxes. You see, it has become more convenient for users to hit you up on social media through instant messaging than to ring your 1-800.

No wonder, emerging social networks such are designed to provide one-on-one messaging features to their users. At the same time, the older ones are continually coming up with ways to improve their instant messaging features.

Be Visual

Visual content is more engaging than plain text ones. People only remember 20% of what they read while with visuals, anything that the eyes sees are being processed 60,000 times much faster in the brain.

People consider good design as a major criterion in discerning the credibility of a company. This means that visual materials are more favored than other forms of content. Here are three of the advantages to look forward to with visual content in social media as shared by Huffington Post.

Visual drive results in social media:

  • Infographics help grow business by 72%
  • Posts with images attracts 3 times more than plain text content/photos.
  • 27% of people buy products when seen it in Pinterest.

These may all appear too simple and easy but it will take time and most of your patience before we achieve results. Take a moment to observe, experiment and conduct trials to guarantee the success of your campaigns. Social media can give you a heap of benefits but it can also break your business in an instant. It is necessary to be cautious while we follow trends and give essentials to the public.

Tips for Building a Better Story for Your Brand

Tips for Building a Better Story for Your Brand

Consumer brand perception and building engaging brand stories are fundamental to consumer awareness. The stories that brands weave into the marketplace have never been more important than now. With consumers’ access to multiple options via the Internet, your brand needs to really stand out to capture the attention of prospects, whether they encounter your brand on your products, in your storefront, on your website, or on sales booklets. The best way to do this is create a unique story for your brand. If you are able to attach a memorable story to your brand, then consumers are more likely to not only notice and remember you but also grow an emotional attachment to you.

Successful Brands Always Create & Share Stories

Brands build stories by creating value for society and solving the world’s problems. Brands are expected to do this while remaining profitable. Most successful brands work hard to contribute to the community within niche areas. Some brands have closely aligned themselves with causes. However, those receiving the most recognition are the brands that bring consumers on board with causes. Consumers enjoy supporting organizations they feel enable them to make a difference in the world.

Therefore, make sure to connect your brand with whatever charity organization you support. Let your customers know about your support by placing this tidbit of information on your labels, your website, your sales brochures, or any other piece of your brand in the public eye.

Story Building Translates into Sales & Customer Retention

The brightest marketers are aware of the importance of bridging the gap between announcing the brand’s good deeds and allowing consumers to join in to solve the problems as a team. Giving consumers the tools to assist in story creation for the brand leads to a better, more engaging story overall. Consumers become invested in the brand and become willing to spend money because they are investing in their own story. Some of the brands with the best stories are companies like Disney, Apple, and Nike; you may notice that the best stories are directly related to the value of the company’s stock.

To involve customers with your brand story, come up with a way to engage them either imaginatively or tangibly. For instance, it may be as simple as images that show customers living the lifestyle you portray or creating this environment in your store (such as with Starbucks and the strong brand environment found in every shop). Or you may get customers more fully engaged with a contest. You could even ask consumers to vote on certain brand story aspects.

Create & Refine Brand Stories for Optimum Results

Creating and organizing a brand story can seem daunting. Knowing what the story is about isn’t the hard part. Communicating a brand story in an interesting and relevant manner to audiences is the key. Story telling is the strongest form of brand building. Story telling is ingrained in almost every culture; it’s how humanity conveys ideas. Integrating story telling with public relations efforts can cause phones to ring off the hook and effectively build a brand.

If your brand is a product, consider placing your brand story on the back of the product. When consumers are perusing the store shelves looking for that perfect shampoo/conditioner, they very often read the back for ingredients. Your story will catch their eye and hopefully intrigue them enough to try out your product.

Share Success Stories with Consumers

One of the best methods companies can use is sharing success stories. This works effectively throughout all mediums – social media, print, TV. Stories that assist customers in overcoming obstacles and achieve success are stories that inspire action from consumers. Delivering stories like these is what brand building is all about.

Do you remember eating the cereal Wheaties for breakfast while reading the story of the latest sponsored athlete on the back of the box? This is an excellent example of how to engage customers with success stories associated with your brand story.

Build Interactive Brand Stories

Successful brands build stories and share them with consumers. Although story telling works with all mediums, the best medium for engaging consumers is through social media. When creating stories, make them interactive by posting them on major social media sites. Use a positive story on Twitter to blast a post on Facebook. If you get a favorable review, let your followers know. Show the brand at work making lives better and you’ll see improved engagement as customers make your goods and services a part of their story.