I’ve been leaning a lot toward some WP child themes recently, asking myself some of the same questions (performance issues?) addressed in this excellent post.
Fantastic post…not an exaggeration imho, a must read if you’re thinking about (or already have) a FB fan page.
It’s the NEW STYLE!
Read more at www.business2community.com
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that helps me keep up with my content production. I’m dictating this article while in my car on my way to a client meeting using the audio recorder on my phone.
As marketers, we’re all slammed with a never-ending to-do list. And no matter which side of the table you’re sitting on (corporate side or content service provider), one of the biggest challenges you face with content marketing is finding the time to create good content on a consistent basis.
If you’re a professional copywriter who has the gift of spitting out gold in mere minutes, good for you. I envy you. But if you’re anything like me, writing good content means inevitably wordsmithing every sentence, which requires a good chunk of time (even with my degree in journalism).
For those of you who are not natural or skilled writers, the task of blogging, creating web content or even tweeting on a regular basis is probably varying levels of daunting. How the heck are you going to get all that done in addition to your other responsibilities? A tool that has really helped me increase both my content production and quality is an audio recorder.
Tips for the Corporate Marketer
On the corporate side of the table, you’re probably responsible for keeping new content flowing weekly, perhaps daily. If you’re on the ball, you have an editorial calendar you follow and you have subject matter experts you can leverage for editorial help.
I remember my corporate days, sitting in an engineer’s office picking his/her brain and frantically taking notes. Then I’d go back to my computer and try my best to wordsmith something that made as much sense as the conversation I just had. I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself, “I wish I had recorded that conversation.”
What’s stopping you? Certainly not technology. Simple audio recorders are $20 on Amazon.com and your phone probably has one.
With my audio recorder in hand, here’s what I would do now:
Record every brainstorming meeting
Since you never know what great ideas might come up, put your recorder on the table and don’t forget to hit record. Don’t worry so much about taking notes. Sit back and listen. If the meeting doesn’t produce anything great, then delete the file. If it does, a quick transcription will help you recapture the good stuff.
Interview like you’re the customer
If you’re working with a subject matter expert (SME), facilitate your meeting as if you’re a customer with a specific challenge or pain point. Ask questions that help the SME address the issue in a way that benefits you, “the customer.” Then transcribe their answers into a great piece of benefits-focused content.
Keep the conversational tone
One thing that’s great about web content is that we can (and should) keep it more conversational than some other mediums. When we’re recording conversations, it’s a huge time saver to translate these conversations almost word for word so they maintain that voice and tone.
Use your drive time / commute
For busy marketers every minute counts, and the time spent commuting from place to place can be used effectively even if you need to be “hands free.” Look at your editorial calendar before you leave, pick a topic/content idea and talk through your thoughts en route. With my Android phone’s native speech-to-text function, I can start a new email to myself and bang out an article during a 20-minute drive.
Tips for Content Service Providers
Record your client calls
I’m a big fan of GoToMeeting, and hitting the record button allows me to capture both the audio and video (screen capture) from a virtual meeting. Whether you are creating content from this meeting or you’re handing it off to another writer, you’ll all benefit from capturing the client’s actual words.
Sit back and listen
When you’re recording the audio and not having to take frantic notes, you can let your brain explore a little more deeply into the individual thoughts that are flowing from the client. The meeting turns into more of a natural conversation and less like a question and answer session. Good things come from this.
Is the audio podcast worthy?
I’m no longer surprised to uncover unique, charismatic personalities within organizations. If I find myself looking forward to regular phone calls with these people and getting great stuff each time, should a podcast be considered? With the right people, a good content format, a little coaching and some inexpensive equipment, you can help your clients create their own industry radio show.
What did I miss? What other ways are you using audio tools to help you get more content done? Tell us about it.
I’m using Punchtab for WordPress. You?
Read more at smartblogs.com
The fifth post in SmartBrief’s Spotlight on Customer Service series is brought to you by First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing. Read First Data’s case study on how the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is using online payment to create a more seamless user experience.
Rewards programs can be more effective than other promotions because they promote a long-term relationship, while straightforward discounts become useless immediately after they are used.
If your business is offering coupons, you are competing every day with prices offered by all of your competitors. Great rewards programs, however, carve out a niche in shoppers’ buying habits and stay ingrained, regardless of what other carrots are waved in front their faces.
The trick, of course, is winning consumers over to your program. The good news is that there is no shortage of candidates. According to ACI Worldwide, three of four Americans participate in some kind of rewards program. The problem is that if you are only getting started, you’re arriving a little late to a party that’s already in full swing.
Here are some tips to help you wrangle loyal customers away from competitors.
- Decide what kind of strategy is the best fit for your company. Loyalty comes in several forms. Some loyalty programs revolve around referrals to new customers; others are based on the amount of money spent on products; some are based on how long a customer has been in the program. If your business handles many transactions or you sell products that are used regularly, you should probably lean toward a rewards program based on the number or size of transactions. If your business relies on one-time services, you probably want your rewards program to revolve around referrals.
- Target the right people. Rewards programs are geared toward your top 10% most frequent shoppers. If you’re a typical retailer, about half of your sales come from this group. It takes as many as 20 new customers to make up for the loss of one loyal consumer, said marketing analyst Keith Colbourn. Try to gather as much information as possible about this group. When do people in this group shop? What products are they buying? What rewards would they value? Of course, don’t limit your rewards program to your most loyal customers, because it is also your goal to attract new customers and engage as large of a group as possible.
- Offer tangible goals that are within reach. One of the most common reasons consumers give up on a rewards program is that they can’t envision it paying off in the near future. A good rule of thumb is that customers should be able to reap benefits within the first few months of participation. Also, rewards shouldn’t be too difficult to redeem. Don’t let your rewards program backfire because it frustrates your customers.
- Find out what your competitors are doing. There’s no shame in seeking out ideas from your rivals. In fact, this can be one of the best places to find out what works in your sector, or at least what’s been tried already. Look for things you like about competitors’ programs, but also try to figure out things you could improve.
- Reach out to your customers. You should use multiple avenues of communication when telling customers about your loyalty program. Maybe your in-store employees would be the most useful advocates, or maybe an e-mail campaign is best to generate interest. Most likely, a combination of marketing efforts is the most effective course of action. Even the most well-conceived rewards programs fall flat if they are not accompanied by a concerted marketing effort.
It is exploding…feel free to contact me for a free consultation!
A VC: Social Media's Secret Weapon - Email -
Email marketing is alive and thriving while social media drives “retention and repeat usage,” as Fred wrote. I still pay more attention to my Gmail account than my RSS subs. Most days.
tumblrbot asked: WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?
listening to "slowdive - some velvet morning"
listening to "Slowdive - Souvlaki Space Station live Toronto 1994"
listening to "To Love Somebody - Ray LaMontagne with guest Dave Gutter live at Beacon Theatre NYC - 11-10-2009"