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The 4 Branding Questions You Must Answer

The Four Branding Questions You Must Answer

Building a strong brand isn’t difficult, but it does require focus. It’s not uncommon for new business owners—and experienced ones, too—to drop the ball when it comes to branding. It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing. Rather, it’s that they can’t articulate it.

The good news is that there’s something you do about it. Answering four key questions about your brand can help you focus on what’s most important. And that will make it easy to create a consistent and memorable brand.

Question #1: If your brand were a person, what three personality traits would it have?

It might seem strange to attribute human traits to a brand, but it’s one of the most essential elements of branding. Brands have personalities, or they should. Why? Because consumers want to identify with a brand. Often, they project themselves onto the brands they use.

A brand like Dove might choose these traits: warm, compassionate, and confident. A quick perusal of their website or Facebook page shows all three traits in spades. Their content celebrates women as they are, and encourages followers to share their stories.

Question #2: Which celebrity would you choose to narrate a documentary about your brand?

The second question is one that can help you determine the right voice to use for your brand. A brand’s voice should spring from its personality. It’s important to think about tone, language, and who the audience is for your brand.

A brand that targets affluent people who care about appearances might choose someone like Sean Connery or Gwyneth Paltrow. A young, hip brand might prefer a very different narrator. The key is to come up with someone who would be a good spokesperson for your brand.

Question #3: How do you want a prospect to feel when they read about your brand?

Branding is a two-way street. Ultimately, you want people to identify with your brand. They can only do that if their reaction to it is something you consider. You can’t control how people react, but a carefully created brand is likely to evoke the emotions you want your customers to feel.

A brand like Nike, for example, might want its followers to feel these emotions: empowered, inspired, and strong. You can see these feelings being evoked by their slogan, Just Do It, which encourages people to pursue their athletic goals and overcome any obstacles in their path.

Question #4: What characteristics do the people in your target audience have in common?

Your fans and followers aren’t all the same, but the chances are good that they share some common traits that can help you create a strong brand that appeals to them. These characteristics may be demographics, or they might be personality traits like the ones you assigned to your brand.

A brand like Red Bull, which uses a rather brash, irreverent tone in its marketing, might identify the following traits for its customers: young, daring, and unconventional. By contrast, a brand like Rolls Royce might choose words like affluent, educated, and status-conscious.

The words you choose should describe your target audience. They can also help you define and flesh out your brand so that it attracts the people who are most likely to buy from you. In other words, they work in concert with your brand’s personality and voice.

Conclusion

Creating a memorable brand is a cornerstone of good marketing. When your brand is clearly-defined, it will inform every aspect of your marketing. The voice, characteristics, and feelings you want to evoke will show up in every email, social media post, and ad campaign you run.

 

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Content Marketing for Long Term Success

Content Marketing for Long Term Success

Content marketing is one of the fastest-growing forms of advertising online, and for several good reasons. More and more people are learning the power of strong content that potential customers are looking for, so it’s important to know how to make content marketing work for your long-term success online.

Content Marketing is Cheap

Yes, it is cheap, at least when you compare it to other forms of marketing that are out there for online marketers such as pay-per-click, media buys, video ads, and much more.

Content is not just limited to articles, as it can encompass all types of media, such as infographics (which are extremely popular now), videos, images, how-to reports, and slideshows.

In fact, it is best to diversify your content so that people do not get bored with the same content type all over your site.

Finally, it is best to get to know what type of media works best in your industry. Some industries, such as an auto repair business, would do best with how-to videos so people can see exactly how to fix a certain vehicle. Other industries, such as a logistics company, may do better with the use of the visually appealing infographic.

Test to see what works best for your industry, and you will see how cheap content marketing is when compared to the leads and sales that it generates.

Content Lasts Forever

Well, it may not last forever, but once you publish your content online, that piece will be available for as long as you allow it—meaning that people will benefit for a long time.

Unlike a TV ad that will be gone after the marketing campaign is completed, a content marketing campaign will create content that will last for years.

In essence, you are creating an asset that customers can reference for years to come. And, with the cost of content marketing being lower than other forms of advertising, your return on investment is often high.

Also, the longer that your content is online, the better chance it has of being linked to from other authority sites in the industry. The more links, likes, shares, and tweets that you get will just help solidify the investment that you initially made.

Become an Industry Expert

One more thing…The content that is created during a content marketing campaign will also help establish you as a known expert and authority in the industry that you are in, provided that you are supplying new and fresh thoughts. This will increase the likelihood that any leads you receive will be pre-sold and more likely to purchase what you have.

Becoming an industry expert is not only desirable among your peers, it’s also extremely valuable in the eyes of the search engines—specifically Google. The more content that you produce on a subject, the more you will start to organically move up in the search engines, thus increasing your traffic.

Getting Started

Content marketing will only grow in importance and effectiveness from here on. Since customers are already looking for and expecting specific industry information, it’s up to your company to get on board with this trend or risk losing a large portion of online visitors to someone else

Customers want to learn and trust the company they are doing business with, and content marketing will get you started in the right direction. It does not work overnight…but it does work!

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Best Apps for Mobile Marketing

Best Apps for Mobile Marketing

It’s easy to hunker down and turn off distractions to get things done on your computer. But in an increasingly mobile society, sometimes you need to work on the run. With the wealth of apps available today, you can leave your bulky computer behind and work efficiently with your phone on the go.

Tweetbot

Sometimes a never-ending list of tweets is hard to sift through for relevant content topics or sort out what you care about most. Tweetbot organizes your feed however it’s most productive for you. Whether it’s a list or a channel, Tweetbot can separate your stream so you can tweet or reply directly in the app in a more digestible way.

Flow for Instagram

If you’re a heavy iPad user, you’ve noticed that your Instagram feed doesn’t look quite right. The official Instagram app doesn’t render well across devices, but Flow provides a solution. With a display made for iPads, you can browse, follow, comment, or like from the app without dealing with stretched images.

Dropbox

File management is a huge part of an organizational workflow. Instead of making a note for yourself to follow up when you get back to the computer, download the mobile Dropbox app to preview files like images, or share them for an upcoming campaign.

Nimble

Keeping in contact with influencers is critical for marketing managers. The Nimble app integrates with the social profiles for each of your contacts so you can stay connected to your network no matter where you are. Sync your phone’s contacts with Nimble so it will search for new social media profiles to follow.

Mention

Mention listens, so you don’t have to engage as often. You can focus on other things while Mention finds brand mentions all over the web from blog posts, social media updates, or anywhere someone mentions your keywords. Use these mentions to follow up and stay in contact without the effort.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from and implement, or you can create your own. Relevant social media sharing gets an upgrade by setting up your profiles to share only when they meet specific criteria.

Aviary

Supercharge your editing power by using Aviary’s suite of editing tools. You can edit existing images or create new ones. With more filters and advanced options that your phone’s default tool, you can share moving images and stand out from the competition.

Flipboard

Link your social media accounts, set up content preferences, and organize categories in this RSS feed in a flippable format. Discover new content, stay relevant on any topic, and quickly swipe through for the latest updates.

Prismatic

Prismatic delivers content catered to your interests, so you don’t have to go looking for it. The more you use it, the more it learns about your tastes, so each individual gets a fully customized stream. It gets smarter, so you get smarter.

Dashboard for Google Analytics

Get the best Google Analytics right on your phone. You can check traffic stats and campaign results on the move, and it shows a visually stimulating display of all the same analytics you find on your desktop. It’s great for managing your social media campaigns.

MailChimp

Forgot to send out that marketing email before you left the office? No problem. The MailChimp app is a helpful way to manage your campaigns from anywhere. You can control lists, send campaigns, and view stats all from your mobile device. If you use an iPad, you can download the companion app to edit on the go.

Quora

Marketing specialists always strive for relevance to their audience. It’s the best way to reach people, promote your brand, and influence the online community. But it’s not always easy to know what people think of you, the latest trends, or what’s happening in their neighborhood.

Quora crowdsources answers, so it’s an excellent source for information and content ideas. You can post questions and answers, or search trending topics to gain valuable insight into products or services.

In our increasingly mobile society, it’s hard to move and work at the same time. These apps make it easier to stay connected to your network of leads, influencers, competitors, and campaigns so you can increase productivity and remain relevant every day.

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How Our Brains Work Against Us

How Our Brains Work Against Us

A lot of people hoping to make money online are limited to working at it just a few hours per day or less. If you’re working a day job and are frustrated that you can’t spend more time becoming financially free, I have some good news for you.

Do you know what’s even more effective than having more time to work? Getting as much as you possibly can out of the time you do have available.

The reason is that if you’re not focused and effective during a short period of time, then having all day would just mean more wasted time. As a mentor of mine once said, “If you can’t make money in your spare time, you can’t make money full-time.”

So, here are 5 proven tips I want to share, based on what modern neuroscience has shown (not motivational fluff), that will help you to get even closer to your income goals in less time.

How Our Brains Work Against Us

There’s a meme floating around called “Scumbag Brain” that jokes about how the human brain works against us sometimes instead of doing what we want it to. For example…It’s easy to get motivated, but hard to stay disciplined.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that gritting your teeth and relying on willpower alone is not enough.

Think of the last time you were on an exercise program that did not last. You went to the gym religiously for several weeks…until you caught a cold, or missed a day. Then, it was back to your old habits and behavior again—not to mention feelings of guilt and self-blame (which make it even harder to bounce back).

The key is to avoid self-criticism by understanding how your mind works. We all get lazy or have setbacks. The key is to get back on track again quickly when (not if) it happens.

Schedule 90-120 Minute Time Blocks

The easiest way to get something done is to set a specific time and place to do it, and then show up when the time comes. Otherwise, your goals and plans are not concrete enough, and you can fall into the procrastination trap.

It’s also a fact that people can only stay focused and productive for 90 to 120 minutes at a time, before we need a rest or diversion. It’s impossible to stay ultra-productive all the time. Don’t even bother trying.

Instead, schedule blocks of time when you’ll be doing nothing but working, and when it’s over, STOP. Take a 15-20 minute break, or wrap it up for the day.

Also, treat your scheduled commitment to yourself as seriously as you would your job. Isn’t it just as important?

Prioritize Your Top 5 Items

It helps to list the top 5 tasks to accomplish each day, preferably the night before. Then, when the time comes to work, work on one thing at a time, starting with the most important action item of the day. When it’s finished, move on to item #2, and so on, until done. Do NOT try to do two things at once! Multi-tasking is a myth and a joke.

It gives people the illusion that they are getting more done, but in reality you lose concentration while switching back and forth between items because it takes time for the mind to get caught up again.

Create an Environment for Focused Work

Your performance is affected the environment you’re in and the tools available to you, positively or negatively. Give your body and mind what they need to perform by setting up your workspace for success.

Before you start, clear out the clutter and remove any potential distractions. Have only one window open on your computer. Get away from email, phone, and social media until your work block is over. You can schedule a separate session for phone calls and email.

I have also found that upbeat music helps me move more quickly, as long as it’s not too distracting (and no vocals—otherwise my mind pays attention to the lyrics).

Take a Fun Break!

Lastly, don’t forget to give yourself the rest you need, in order to have the concentration reserves you need to fuel your work.

So make a point to schedule periods each day for breaks, leisure, and fun as well as working on your business. It’s just as important if you want to be consistent in the long run!