Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast
WSS #0049: BLOG > Butter & Beast Presents ‘Adapt and Reinvent: The Good, The Bad, and The Delicious’

If you’d like to read the article or get my Arroz con Pollo recipe, visit ButterAndBeast.com.

Direct download: 0049-blog-adapt-and-reinvent-the-good-the-bad-and-the-delicious.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Happy WHOlidays From The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast

This is Episode 48 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

We planned to take two weeks off but then the microphone jumped in front of us and said, “Record me!” And that led to a somewhat un-marketing-ish conversation about chocolate, bear burgers and other food-and-beverage related things. Hey, it’s the holidays!

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Our latest delicious Klout perk
  • Our friend Téa Silvestre’s Butter & Beast project
  • The best kind of chocolate
  • What it was like to spend an evening with a mixologist
  • Plus we have the first official Web.Search.Social snort and we thank you, Fred, for being the best audience a podcast could ask for.

Links & Resources

Let us know if you'd like to be a guest in 2015 - ask us a question, throw us a challenge or tell us your story!

Direct download: 0048-happy-wholidays-from-the-web-search-social-marketing-podcast.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:15am EDT

WSS #0047: Passion And Business Go Together Like Chicken And Waffles

This is Episode 47 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we talk to Clare Price, self-published author of Web of Betrayal, a cyber thriller set in the dinosaur days of the internet – 1994.

She not only self-published but created her own publishing house to do it. And she took on all of the marketing and promotion herself. How did she do it? Join us to find out!

And if you’d like a chance to win an autographed copy of the book, enter here by Friday December 19th.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • How to combine passion and business sense to achieve your dreams
  • Why you shouldn’t be discouraged if your book sales slow down and what to do instead
  • The “be everywhere” approach and how it can help you get the word out about your book (or product… or service… or anything!)
  • And more fun stuff about the evolution of technology and how you can use it to create a multimedia experience around your own book, product or service

Links & Resources

 

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Direct download: 0047-passion-and-business-go-together-like-chicken-and-waffles.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0046: Stop The Bleeding! What To Do If You Lose Your Website To An Unethical Developer Or Other Disaster

This is Episode 46 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today’s episode is a follow-up to last week when we talked about the things you need to get in order if you want an effective business continuity plan.

But what if you don’t have a business continuity plan and you lose your site? You have no backup… no access… your online business is paralyzed and you’re about to fly into a panic just thinking about all those lost pages and hundreds of blog posts… gone.

Stop, take a deep breath and listen to this podcast. We talk about how we helped restore our new client’s site from nothing and what you can do if this happens to you.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Where to start if your website suddenly and unexpectedly disappears
  • How to mitigate loss in Google (and other search) rank
  • We also announce a new official position for the Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast: The Villain, aka “Some Dude”

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0045: Marketing Products: The Good, The Bad And The Nebbish, Sponsored By Mike Brooks And The OMG Formula

This is Episode 45 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we invited Mike Brooks of Nuclear Chowder Marketing to sponsor our show and talk about his OMG Formula for marketing. We planned to have him on for five minutes but he stayed for the whole show and we had a spirited debate about how to market an information product online.

We also delve into the difference between a good product and a bad product.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • The difference between Mike’s product and the ones we’ve recently slammed for being poor quality
  • How to hook people in your marketing language to get them closer to a sale
  • When it’s ok to say that your product is worth $9,876 but you’re giving it away for free
  • The wrong way to start developing a new information product
  • And more about whether or not it’s ok to make promises, how and when

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0044: Designer Aaron Wood On Building A Social Media Empire With Posters, Propaganda And Popularity

This is Episode 44 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we talk to Aaron Wood, a graphic designer most recognized online for his social media and pop culture propaganda posters. We’re big Aaron fans if you can judge by the number of his posters that line our office walls. Aaron’s story is unusual but the lessons we learned can be applied to any business. They include things like “be nice” and “make friends”.

Enjoy our conversation and if you love his artwork as much as we do, enter our giveaway to win one of his propaganda posters. Winners will be chosen on Friday December 12th so hurry and enter now!

In This Episode We Talk About

  • The importance of recognizing opportunity even when it comes from unexpected places in unexpected ways
  • How word of mouth can propel your business in ways that no marketing tactic can match
  • Why you need to engage people, build meaningful relationships and more about taking a genuine approach to marketing

Links & Resources

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WSS #0043: BLOG > Good Search Engine Marketing May Be Bad For You

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/good-search-engine-marketing-may-be-bad-for-you/

Direct download: 0043-blog-good-search-engine-marketing-may-be-bad-for-you.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0042: Blog > How Do I Get More Traffic To My Website?

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/how-do-i-get-more-traffic-to-my-website/

Direct download: 0042-blog-how-do-i-get-more-traffic-to-my-website.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0041: In Case Of Emergency Break Glass (Or Use This Online Business Continuity Plan)

This is Episode 41 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we get serious and talk about a scenario we encountered last week when a new client had his site shut down by a vengeful developer. Website? Gone. Email? Gone. Google Analytics? Gone.

So we decided to talk about business continuity from the standpoint of protecting your business online. There are a lot of pieces to keep straight so on top of talking about all the things you need to think about, we’ve also put together a Business Continuity Planning Worksheet as part of the Marketing Game Changer Kit that you can download and use so that in the event of a crisis you won’t find your online business crippled.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • The ways that disaster can strike and take your business with it
  • How to protect yourself from an unethical developer, natural disaster or other emergency
  • What you need to know so that in the event of a crisis you can minimize the impact on your business.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0040: Fun, Joy And Excitement… You Can Have All That And Great Marketing, Too. Get Inspired By Bryan Kramer.

This is Episode 40 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we welcome Bryan Kramer to our podcast and we're admittedly superfans so we felt kind of shy and giddy and elated all at once. We had a fun and enlightening conversation about what it really means to be social online, why you need to bring the joy and plenty more to inspire you.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why you need to keep the fun in social media
  • How to be human and give people online the best of who you are
  • What it means to have a "social body language"
  • How to make the "unplanned planned unplanned" work in your business and more unique things you won't hear anyone else say but Bryan!

Links & Resources

 

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For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/im-writing-a-ton-of-great-content-but-not-getting-leads-why/

 

Direct download: 0039-blog-im-writing-a-ton-of-great-content-but-not-getting-leads-why.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0038: All I Really Need To Know About Marketing I Learned From Being Human

This is Episode 38 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

As we emerge from a weekend-long pie binge, we reflect on what marketing really means and decide it has a lot more to do with being human than people may think. And what better theme for this week than one that focuses on the human side of marketing and not on the charts, graphs and traffic statistics?

Stay tuned for our Thursday podcast, too, where we talk with Bryan Kramer, author of There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H and be sure to enter our giveaway to win an autographed copy of the book!

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Yet another down side to content curation that makes it impossible for people to get to know and like the real you
  • The importance of keeping the social in social media
  • Why the most important time to be marketing is when you have too much business
  • The underrated value of being a good human being
  • Plus pie, poetry and more!

Links & Resources

A new poem by Melanie Kissell:

I gobbled up too much turkey

I'm proud I passed on the pie

Glad the gravy had no lumps

Plugin problems make me cry

 

Tweets without your Twitter handle

Equate to turkey without stuffing

The quality's declining on freebies

I'd rather they offer me nothing

 

The Marketing Game Changer Kit

Is the exception to the rule

Relinquish your email address

Your marketing tummy will be full

 

I cannot consume another piece

Of crusty stale SEO cake

As long as I'm garnering leads

I don't care about Google's first place

 

I'm thankful for this podcast

I love you guys so much

The content here is yummy

I can never devour enough!

 

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WSS #0037: BLOG > Put Some Fun Into Your Day: Your Business Depends On It

For the full article visit  http://www.websearchsocial.com/put-some-fun-into-your-day-your-business-depends-on-it

Direct download: 0037-blog-put-some-fun-into-your-day-your-business-depends-on-it.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This is Episode 36 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

It’s Thanksgiving time here in the U.S. and that means we’re gearing up for a nice four-day-long food coma. We were planning on taking the week off but then there were too many things to talk about so here we are. Whether you enjoy this at work or over a slice of pie, we wish you a happy holiday!

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why you may be experiencing “page not found” errors when sharing your blog posts to Facebook and how to fix it
  • The importance of putting your Twitter handle into the tweet share button on your site
  • What “free” really means
  • Why it’s time to change your thinking about SEO and how you may be focusing on the wrong metrics
  • Plus a bunch of thank yous to just a few of the amazing people in our lives

Links & Resources

 

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The Best Time To Start Marketing Is Before You Start Marketing. Find Out How With Sarah Peters.

This is Episode 35 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago… and the best moment for change is now. But when it comes to marketing your business, the best time to start is… before you start!

If that sounds weird, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered in this episode of the Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast because we talk with web marketing professional Sarah Peters about how to plan, prep and get ready-and-set so you can GO when it’s time to start.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why YOU aren’t necessarily the best source of information when it comes to talking about what you do
  • What to focus on if you really want to generate leads and sales
  • Why you should ditch your testimonials page – and probably most of your testimonials – and what to do instead
  • And more great stuff about using photos, writing content and getting business through your website

Links & Resources

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Is Your Website Generating Leads? Fix These Things Now To Improve Your Chances.

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/is-your-website-generating-leads-fix-these-things-now-to-improve-your-chances/


WSS #0033: Here Are 10(ish) Ideas That Will Make 2015 Your Best Marketing Year Ever

This is Episode 33 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Since our last couple of Monday episodes have been a little rant-ish, we put on our thinking caps today and came up with a list of things that you, Fred, can do to improve your marketing in 2015. There are some practical “do-now” ideas and a few conceptual big-picture ones. If you want to get off center and see results from your marketing, this is for you.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Practical ways to improve your marketing, from email to ads and beyond
  • A few ways to adjust your thinking and strategy so you’re focused on the right things
  • A couple of dos and don’ts for everything from email to SEO to content and a whole lot more

Links & Resources

Our List of 10(ish) Ideas

Listen to the episode for the full scoop.

  1. Start segmenting your email list
  2. Use email more efficiently
  3. Reach out to existing customers
  4. Decide your website is a function of sales and not IT
  5. Keep your pieces connected
  6. Understand your marketing from a minimally technical level
  7. Spend money in the right places
  8. Stop lamenting the days of SEO past
  9. Stop trying to tie dollars to tactics
  10. Make your marketing about people

Bonus #1: lead with your customers, not with tactics or strategies

Bonus #2: think more narrowly about advertising

Extra Bonus #1: make marketing part of your process

Extra Bonus #2: recognize that marketing doesn’t produce immediate results

 

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WSS #0032: Once Upon A Time There Was A Podcast About Storytelling For Business With Protagonist Téa Silvestre

This is Episode 32 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

 

Snuggle up in your comfy chair and settle in for a good yarn. Today we talk to story spinner, tale teller and podcast protagonist Téa Silvestre about how, when and why to tell your business story. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a nice cup of tea with honey and a couple of chocolate chip cookies. What’s your favorite way to enjoy a story?

 

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why storytelling is “a thing” and how it can mean the difference between a sale and no sale for your business
  • What it really means to tell your story
  • How to tell a story even if you think you don’t have one – or even if you really don’t have one
  • Some of the things you need to think about if you want to succeed with storytelling and more about the hows, whys and whats of a good business tale

Links & Resources

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WSS #0031: BLOG > SEO Or SEarrrgh!? Search Optimization Pitfalls and Conundrums That You Need To Be Aware Of

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/seo-or-searrrgh-search-optimization-pitfalls-and-conundrums-that-you-need-to-be-aware-of/


WSS #0030: You Don’t Have To Hate Marketing Or Run Marketing Campaigns That Make People Hate You

This is Episode 30 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we thank you, Fred, for keeping us going by pointing out the madness in marketing. Today’s madness comes courtesy of a Fred who pointed out one marketer’s opinion that “it’s ok to hate marketing.” Well, we have a field day with that and thus follows a conversation and a bit of a rant about high pressure, disingenuous marketing.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why you don’t have to hate marketing to be successful
  • How you can market and have integrity, too
  • The misconception that marketing “should be” done by some specific (and usually random) rule
  • Plus we designate a new position for Chief Executive Research Dude, a most honorable title indeed.

Links & Resources

Ian Anderson Gray

John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire podcast

Lessons from (and about) Public Speaking by Brett Cohrs 

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WSS #0029: Marketing Can Be Oh, So Pinteresting With Cynthia Sanchez

This is Episode 29 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we welcome Cynthia Sanchez, mother of the Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast and Pinterest marketer extraordinaire. You can’t go two pins across the internet without seeing Cynthia pop up and for good reason – when it comes to marketing your business on Pinterest, she has all the insight, advice and know-how you need.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why Pinterest is for more than girls and wedding dresses
  • How you can effectively use it to market your business
  • Why you shouldn’t let people convince you that “Pinterest is for fun, not business”
  • What you need to think about (and do) before you start pinning
  • Promoted pins, rich pins and more!

Links & Resources

 

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Direct download: 0029-marketing-can-be-oh-so-pinteresting-with-cynthia-sanchez.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0028: BLOG > Attack Your Biggest Social Marketing Challenges With MavSocial

Visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/attack-your-biggest-social-marketing-challenges-with-mavsocial/


WSS #0027: How To Run An Email Campaign, Make Mistakes And Still Win Business

This is Episode 27 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today is all email, all the time… but before we get down to business we make a very important announcement: The designation of the official Poet Laureate Consultant In Poetry To The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast.

Rain down confetti because this is a big one. Our first official poem sent in by a very special fan who inspired us to create this most noble of positions.

Then it’s all email all the time.

In This Episode We Talk About

   The results of a recent email test we performed.

   Why segmenting your email list is important.

   What segmentation means and how you can go about doing it, even if you have a mess of a list.

   Plus we read our first official poem and talk about December’s upcoming giveaways so be sure to listen for all the good stuff!

Links & Resources

Our first official Web.Search.Social poem, brought to you by Melanie Kissell:

This is a tale of content curation

The new opium of the web nation

 

The 80/20 rule beats like a drum

Here to say it's dumb, dumb, dumb

 

Content curation is an empty calorie drink

Gulp it down and watch your business sink

 

The practice itself is deceptive and lazy

It's not good marketing, it's downright crazy

Where To Listen

 

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WSS #0026: Social Marketing Simplified: Manage Images and Plan Campaigns With MavSocial

This is Episode 26 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50.

Today’s podcast episode is a little different because we don’t usually talk tools, but this one stood out. We were first introduced to MavSocial through a campaign they’re running on Triberr. We’ve had a couple of weeks to try out the tool and it has some pretty neat features that might work for your business.

Listen in as we talk with MavSocial’s founder Matthew Holden about where MavSocial came from, where it’s going and how it can help with your social management.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why the MavSocial team decided on yet another social media management tool in a space that already seems pretty saturated.
  • How MavSocial is unique in the social space.
  • What tools are available to help you as a business or as an agency manage social accounts faster and easier.
  • Where MavSocial is going next and what that means to you.

Links & Resources

Visit MavSocial.com and click “Get Started Free” to try out MavSocial for yourself (no credit card required)

Read the MavSocial blog

MavSocial on Facebook 

MavSocial on Twitter 

 

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WSS #0025: BLOG > Web, Search And Social Marketing: DIY Or CTM?

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/web-search-and-social-marketing-diy-or-ctm/

Direct download: 0025-blog-web-search-and-social-marketing-diy-or-ctm.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0024: Content Curation Drives Us Nuts, Apple Makes Life Difficult But Wine Saves The Day

This is Episode 24 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Get your noise-dampening headphones ready because in this episode we crack out the bleep button. Ralph is on a warpath about Apple and I get on my soapbox about content curation. But in the end it’s all good because we wrap up with a fun lesson in wine and marketing.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why “change for the sake of change” has Ralph all riled up
  • Why the “80/20” rule doesn’t apply to social media and how content curation is the lazy way out when it comes to marketing
  • The importance of a good visual identity
  • And more about wine and superfans (with special thanks to Melanie Kissell for being one!)

Links & Resources

The Ihnatko Almanac

Your Hangover Was Not Epic. Not Epic At All. Written by Superfan Melanie Kissell

Backhouse wine

 

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WSS #0023: Ryan Hanley Can’t Shut His Big, Fat Face. And That’s A Good Thing For Your Content Marketing.

This is Episode 23 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Both Ralph and I have had the pleasure of being on Ryan’s Content Warfare podcast so today Ryan joins us on ours to talk about what he knows best: content!

If you’re on the content marketing bandwagon and want some insight into taking it up a notch, or if you aren’t convinced and need a push that will get you jumping in with both feet, this is the episode for you.

Ryan is all about challenging the status quo and that’s exactly what we love around here.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why content is so important and all the excuses about “why this isn’t for me” are just that – excuses.
  • What it means to be a "connected consumer".
  • How to use content to combat the noise and competition even if you’re “the little guy”.
  • How to break out of a rut and move beyond your “superfan” bubble to reach more people.
  • And more great stuff about making mistakes, accessibility and digital sharecropping.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0022: BLOG > How To Be Effective At Social Marketing Without Content Curation

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/how-to-be-effective-at-social-marketing-without-content-curation/


WSS #0021: This Podcast Is Guaranteed To Improve Your Marketing (Results Not Guaranteed)

This is Episode 21 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

[powerpress]

In today’s episode we button up a few things that have been nagging at us recently, namely ineffective programs, not-so-valuable "products" and the perils of SEO.

Our Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Cynthia Sanchez and Oh So Pinteresting! Cynthia Sanchez is THE authoritative Pinterest source for small businesses looking to expand their reach on Pinterest and take advantage of this amazing visual tool.

Cynthia is holding a Pinterest workshop designed to teach you how to boost revenue, generate more leads and increase web traffic with Pinterest.

Visit OhSoPinteresting.com to find out more abut the workshop and take your Pinterest marketing up a notch.

In the famous words of Cynthia herself, "Don't just pin it. Do it!"

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why you can't create a valuable product in just two hours.
  • What to be wary of when you see offers that sound too good to be true.
  • Why SEO is not about minutia.
  • And more on long-game thinking and taking a holistic approach to marketing.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0020: Get On Board With Pinterest And Synergize The Impact To The Next Level With Alisa Meredith

This is Episode 18 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

If you’re not using Pinterest for business then Alisa’s enthusiasm just may be the catalyst to get you going. But that’s not all we talk about because when it comes to marketing, Alisa knows her stuff.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Whether Pinterest is really a social network.
  • How you can take even a non-visual business and turn it into a Pinterest powerhouse.
  • Why jargon isn’t helpful and what you need to do to really reach your audience.
  • And we have a little… er, debate… over the difference between jargon and nouns-turned-verbs, especially in the context of commonly used marketing terms.

Links & Resources

Scalable Social Media

OverGo Studio

Why We Don’t Need “H2H” in Our Marketing Jargon Dictionary

Alisa Meredith on Twitter @alisammeredith

The Manly Pinterest Tips Show - With Special Guest Alisa Meredith

Ralph’s Pinterest movie board

 

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WSS #0019: BLOG > Improve Your Marketing By Tapping Into Your Failures

For the full article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/improve-your-marketing-by-tapping-into-your-failures/

Direct download: 0019-blog-improve-your-marketing-by-tapping-into-your-failures.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0018: BLOG > How You’re Being Tricked Into Wasting Your Marketing Dollars On Ineffective Programs

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/how-youre-being-tricked-into-wasting-your-marketing-dollars-on-ineffective-programs/


WSS #0017: This Podcast Is Worth One-Point-Seven Trillion Dollars But You Can Have It For Free

This is Episode 17 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

In today’s episode we revisit our conversation about SEO from last week because I call Ralph out on the fact that he said he had a “big objection” to the article we discussed but never ‘fessed up to what that was. And that takes on a whole life of its own.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • How a recorder saved our marriage.
  • When popups on websites are useful and when they’re really, really annoying.
  • When discount pricing goes from a useful marketing tactic to a questionably scammy psychology game.
  • The idea of letting your customers help create your brand experience.
  • And more stuff about how to pronounce Moleskine plus our super secret method for segmenting an email list.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0016: Facebook, Email And Landing Pages: Brought To You By The Power Of The Sun

This is Episode 16 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Plenty of people have “a big idea”. But not a lot of those people take their idea to fruition and watch it grow and thrive.

Yet that’s exactly what Glen Koedding did. One day he was hanging out in the pool with a business colleague, thinking about how to use solar energy to heat the pool and nine months later he was running his own solar business. Since then he’s grown the company into an impressive enterprise by doing all of his own marketing.

We talked with him about just some of the incredibly smart strategies he employs – from social to email to website. There are more good ideas here than miles to the sun.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • What it takes to grow your business from the ground up.
  • How you can market to your email list using one absurdly simple and wildly effective technique.
  • What it means to be truly “customer first” and how that can be a tremendous marketing asset.
  • How to use Facebook like a grown up and stop whining about your low reach.
  • And more inspiring stuff about landing pages, content creation and the value of planning.

Links & Resources

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on some new podcasts and other fun stuff that’s coming up.


WSS #0015: BLOG > It's Q4. What Does Your 2015 Marketing Look Like?

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/its-q4-what-does-your-2015-marketing-look-like/

Direct download: 0015-blog-its-q4-what-does-your-2015-marketing-look-like.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Have You Read The Story About Marriott International’s “The Envelope Please” Program?

Or more accurately, the stories.

Depending on which one you read it’s either a brilliant move or a complete outrage. Here’s one that I found to be relatively unbiased so you can read it and draw your own conclusions.

You can probably imagine that I have an opinion on the matter and I want to share it with you because it was the inspiration for this post, which could sort of be summed up as, “Don’t do stupid things in the name of marketing.”

If you listen to our podcast you may have heard us talking about the recent U2/Apple win/debacle (again, depending on the story you read) because it, too, seemed to engender mixed reactions, from joy to outrage. And while people had mixed reactions to both of these stories, I am comfortable saying that giving people a free album (in the case of U2 and Apple) may not have pleased everyone but it wasn’t a poorly executed marketing idea.

The Marriott, however, was hit with a serious case of the stupids.

If you disagree I would love to hear it (or even if you don’t disagree!) but the gist is this:

Under the pretext of helping the room staff (ie: maids) get “the recognition they deserve” and make more tips, Marriott has instituted a program that places envelopes and “polite reminders” in guest rooms so that guests can easily tip housekeeping.

I find this tasteless.

It also makes me wonder why I need to be responsible for “recognizing” housekeeping. Plenty of people go about their jobs without recognition. When was the last time you tipped the guy who made change at the tollbooth? Or carefully bagged your lettuce at the grocery store? Or noticed or appreciated either one?

I kind of feel like Marriott is pushing their responsibility (ie: pay your staff accordingly and show appreciation) onto consumers. So now on top of turning off the lights to save the planet and using fewer towels for similar reasons, I have to make sure maid service is paid well and knows how much I appreciate that they made my bed. You know, the way they’re supposed to do because it’s their job.

Before you flip out, I tip housekeeping. And my hairdresser. And the car valet and the guy who hangs my coat. And even the annoying lady who hands me a paper towel after I use the bathroom even though I have figured out how to work the dispenser all by myself.

I also think tipping is a stupid cultural convention and should die so that employers are required to pay people a sufficient wage that does not require supplemental income by way of what amounts to random acts of generosity.

I also think it’s idiotic from the standpoint that Marriott is international and tipping is seen as everything from “nice to do” to an outright insult in various countries.

That aside, I resent that Marriott has now made this my responsibility. A thing I used to do out of appreciation and generosity is now something I’m being prodded to do because… marketing. It’s basically a PR ploy. Look how awesome Marriott is for supporting those poor underpaid workers! The ones who do backbreaking labor and go so unnoticed! We feel your pain! We heart you!

As long as someone else pays for it.

Whew. So now that I have that off my chest, how does this affect your small business?

It turns out (surprise!) that stupid self-serving marketing tactics are not the sole domain of the large, ugly corporation.

Even small companies can do self-serving things in the name of marketing. It’s with that in mind that I share three of the most egregious marketing ploys that I see, not just sometimes but over and over and over. So much so that it seems like somehow these stupid ideas have made their way into conventional marketing wisdom as just one of those things you do.

And if you read or listen to anything we say around here, you know how we feel about “conventional marketing wisdom”.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Sending Me A Birthday Present. To You.

If you’re on someone’s email list for long enough you will eventually cross that person’s birthday on the calendar. And then you can expect the Birthday Marketing Email.

The one where the sender tells you it’s her birthday. And then gives you a gift! Because how cool is that? And the gift is 10% off her eCourse. Or a free hour of consulting time when you buy two.

That’s not a gift to you. That’s a gift to her. That’s money in her pocket with a discount to you, otherwise known as a sale.

This is such an incredibly cliché and tasteless trope.

It negates the idea of gift-giving entirely, which is supposed to be about giving, not about expecting something in return.

And if you’re on that person’s email list long enough, her birthday will come around again and you’ll get the same “gift” offer where you are generously offered the opportunity to spend your money. Makes you wonder who’s doing the gift-giving, doesn’t it?

I want to wipe this practice off the face of the earth.

My birthday passed in August. Do you know what I told my email list about it? Nothing at all! Because sometimes you can just not capitalize on every human interaction. Sometimes you can just go about your business of being human.

And how’s this for an idea instead? Give an actual gift!

Last year on my birthday I did tell my email list about it. And I said I would give them a gift because I was so tired of the trope-disguised-as-gift marketing ploy that I decided to turn it on its head.

Do you know what I did?

I gave them an actual gift. No strings. I literally bought a gift for a handful of people. If I had the budget I would have bought a gift for them all but in the end a couple of people went home happy and that ended that.

Some things don’t need to be in the middle of a marketing campaign. And if they’re going to be, then at least be honest about it. Calling your promotional email a gift is just plain stupid.

Sorry if that hits a nerve but if I’m irritated by it, you can bet there are at least a few more of me out there. And I’d venture to say that you can be more creative than to jump on the birthday gift email bandwagon.

This Email.

I get a lot of stupid emails but some stand out above the rest as shining examples of how not to run your marketing. Just recently I received this email:

I've been tracking the success of your website while doing some research on your industry—I'm impressed with your company, but there are some real opportunities for growth that you currently are missing.

The sender went on to offer me… wait for it… online marketing services.

Perhaps with all her research and being so impressed and whatnot she missed the part where online marketing is my business.

Like trying to sell ice to Eskimos in winter.

Granted, this type of thing is really just spam but it’s not so far off from some legitimate marketing emails I’ve received.

They usually start out by telling me how wonderful I am, followed by how busy I must be, and how if only I would read on for a second, there’s an awesome opportunity awaiting me.

Part of the problem is that they are so generic as to be applicable to pretty much anyone in the world.

Dear Carol Lynn,

I noticed you’re breathing today and that reminds me that it would be the perfect time to tell you how great that is so how about buying my utterly irrelevant thing?

The other problem has to do with the “utterly irrelevant” part.

These senders have an email list of say, a thousand people. And all thousand of them get the same exact email with no consideration for relevance. Prospects, leads, customers, they all get tossed into a lump. Hot leads get the same message as cold leads. Good, paying customers get the same message as tire-kickers who only signed up for the free eBook.

When you email to a single faceless, generic group of people it necessitates a single, useless, generic email. Nobody wants to be treated like a demographic. And on the flip side, if you irrelevantly message people too many times you are quickly going to become The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

People will stop opening or reading your emails.

They won’t bother paying attention to you because they’ll know you’re not paying attention to them.

Has this hit a nerve with you? Sorry again but I have to say it… generic sales-y email messages are a dumb marketing idea.

Next time you want to send an email, think about WHO it’s going to. Not “my list”. But who on your list?

Then talk to them as a human being, not as a statistic.

Promotional Stuff Disguised As A Gift.

What’s worse than you asking me to send you a birthday gift (and pretending it's for me)?

You sending me a gift – a mug, a t-shirt, a box of candy – with your logo on it.

It’s called promotional stuff for a reason. Because it’s promotional.

You can effectively use promotional materials in your marketing but calling them gifts is not the way.

Let’s not belabor the point and get one thing straight in case my earlier diatribe didn’t sink in: a gift is only a gift if it’s given with consideration only for the recipient and with no expectation of return. No marketing boost. No sale. Nothing.

If you can’t give a gift without ulterior motive then don’t give a gift. Call it a promotion and move on.

The holidays are approaching and if I’ve done my job here then none of you reading this will send out a Thanksgiving fruit basket or a Christmas box of chocolates with your big, fat logo on it (and business card inside!)

Now, let’s add a dose of reality.

We’re in business, here. And business isn’t about altruism. We’d all be running charities if it were.

So it would be disingenuous to say that gift giving is purely altruistic. Maybe you send a couple of people gifts because you truly have a special relationship with them. But let’s face it, we send our appreciation and we offer gifts as part of building those relationships – the kind you need to build if your marketing (and business) is going to be effective.

So yes, gift giving can be part of your marketing strategy if your intent is to build goodwill, show gratitude and enrich relationships.

But you need to be extremely mindful of that intent and never cross the line into gifts that amount to no more than a sales pitch.

Because that’s just a stupid marketing idea.

So tell me… do you vehemently disagree with anything I’ve said here? Are you feeling a little rant-y because I’ve insulted a tactic dear to your heart, or maybe just one you’ve been guilty of?

We all do dumb marketing things from time to time… but that doesn’t mean we have to do them again! Share your opinion on good and bad marketing ideas - maybe some you’ve tried  and wished you could un-try or others you’ve have tried on you. I look forward to your thoughts!


WSS #0013: Who Gets SEO In The Divorce?

This is Episode 13 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today's episode gets off to a bang as we tackle the subject of SEO, inspired by an article written by an industry-leader that reads like one big contradiction. Search is important for a lot of businesses that rely on it for leads and customers but it's also one of the least forgiving areas when it come to the "try - test - measure - try again" approach. Listen in as we share our thoughts on SEO, the dos, don'ts and definitely nots. We also talk email marketing and more.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why the article is wrong without being wrong.
  • The perils of the DIY approach to SEO and what small businesses should be aware of.
  • How we helped one client go from a 3% open rate on his marketing emails to a 37% open rate in one try.
  • And more conversation about marketing, two-factor authentication and whether or not it’s time to get divorced.

Links & Resources

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on some new podcasts and other fun stuff that’s coming up.

Direct download: 0013-who-gets-seo-in-the-divorce.mp3
Category:marketing, seo -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0012: Podcasting: The Next Frontier Of Marketing And Why You Need To Jump On The Bandwagon

This is Episode 12 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Are you podcasting for business? If not, it may be time to rethink it as the next step on your road to business success. Podcasting may be the next best frontier for marketing where you won’t be drowned out by the competition. It doesn’t have to be hard to jump in so listen to Chris Curran talk about how to get started and what podcasting can do for your business.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Using podcasting to build your authority and grow your business relationships.
  • How podcasting can be a rich source of content for your business.
  • Whether it’s easy or hard to do and how you can work it into your marketing plan.
  • What you need to get started (and why it has nothing to do with microphones and editing software).
  • And more about on-demand content and the new “podcast button” being built into 2015 cars.

Links & Resources

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on some new podcasts and other fun stuff that’s coming up within the next few months.


WSS #0011: BLOG > Forget About Content Being King. Forget About Contact Being King. Let's Talk About The Queen.

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/forget-about-content-being-king-forget-about-contact-being-king-lets-talk-about-the-queen/

Direct download: 0011-blog-forget-about-content-being-king-lets-talk-about-the-queen.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0010: BLOG > The Difference Between Magical Thinking And Actual Marketing

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/the-difference-between-magical-thinking-and-actual-marketing/


WSS #0009: Marketing Fails, Bad Blog Posts And The Importance Of Keeping Your Profiles Current

This is Episode 9 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Today we revisit the U2 “marketing fail” in light of an article written by Web.Search.Social friend Jessica Ann and ask whether it’s really a fail and then we throw our two cents in about a couple of other marketing topics that will help you control and protect your online brand.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Whether the U2 marketing fail really was and what that means for small business.
  • How marketers are getting lazy with their content and failing to provide real value to their blog readers.
  • Why it’s so important to keep your social profiles current.
  • And more conversation about online vanity and why some people simply refuse to put a photo of themselves online.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0008: Porn, Plagiarism And Protecting Your Content With Jonathan Bailey

Have you ever worked hard on a blog post only to find that someone else had pilfered it wholesale and reprinted it on their site without permission from you?

That really burns our buns!

On this episode of our podcast we talk with plagiarism consultant Jonathan Bailey about all types of content and what you can do to protect your intellectual business property.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why most people wouldn’t steal your car but have no problem lifting your content.
  • The recent “celebrity scandal” and what that means for privacy and content theft.
  • Whether or not you need a “Copyright” symbol on your site and when you should consider legally registering copyrighted content.
  • How to get your stolen content removed from an infringing site, including how to file a DMCA request.
  • And more interesting topics like music parody and porn!

Links & Resources

Learn more about Jonathan Bailey, the Copyright 2.0 Show and plagiarism issues at plagiarismtoday.com.

Visit copyright.gov for more about your legal protections and to legally file a copyright.

File a DMCA takedown with Google

Subscribe at websearchsocial.com/subscribe to be notified whenever a new blog or podcast is published and to stay in the loop on more cool stuff and special offers coming up. 


WSS #0007: BLOG > The Only Buzzword You Must Eliminate From Your Marketing Vocabulary

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/the-only-buzzword-you-must-eliminate-from-your-marketing-vocabulary/


WSS# 0006: BLOG > My Credit Card Or Yours? Your Marketing Relies On Smart Financial Decisions.

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/my-credit-card-or-yours-your-marketing-relies-on-smart-financial-decisions/


WSS #0005: Oh, The Outrage! The Reality Of Trying To Please Everyone With Your Marketing

This is Episode 5 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

Just recently Apple announced a new iOS update and as part of a PR collaboration with the rock band U2, Apple added a free copy of U2’s latest album onto Apple users’ iPhones.

While some of you may be thinking, “Cool, free stuff!” others were outraged by the fact that Apple did something “without their permission”, even if that something was giving away a free album.

Thus opens the conversation in this podcast about good marketing gone bad and when you should and shouldn’t run in to pick up the pieces.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Whether planting a free album onto an iPhone is as egregious as it sounds.
  • How that applies to small business marketing.
  • One of our biggest email fails ever.
  • When it’s time to rethink a strategy and when it’s time to sit tight.
  • And more ideas about what makes marketing effective or not.

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever a new blog or podcast is published and to stay in the loop on more cool stuff and special offers coming up.


WSS #0004: BLOG > Business Card Marketing: Titles Don’t Matter Except When They Do

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/business-card-marketing-titles-dont-matter-except-when-they-do/?


WSS #0003: Beer. Guacamole. And Writing A Great Email Marketing Campaign with Mike Brooks.

This is Episode 3 of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The money is in the list.” But if you still think email marketing is dead and you’re both disappointed and confounded by low open rates (or worse, you don’t know what you open rate is) then today’s podcast episode will set you straight.

We talk with Mike Brooks of Nuclear Chowder marketing about how to write an email that people will open and read.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • Why subject lines are so important.
  • Why a 3% or 5% or 10% or even 40% open rate isn’t good enough.
  • How to catch people’s attention so they’ll actually open your email.
  • What NOT to do once you get them to open it.
  • And more great stuff like whether design matters, what to do about colors and fonts and whether it’s ok to “go negative”.

Links & Resources

Subscribe to be notified whenever a new blog or podcast is published and to stay in the loop on more cool stuff and special offers coming up.


WSS #0002: BLOG > Here’s Why Hello Kitty Is Your Biggest B2B Marketing Ally

Read the full article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/heres-why-hello-kitty-is-your-biggest-b2b-marketing-ally/

Direct download: 0002-blog-heres-why-hello-kitty-is-your-biggest-b2b-marketing-ally.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WSS #0001: Ryan Hanley, Shut Your Big Fat Face

This is the premier episode of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast, a podcast for small businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur working from your kitchen table or managing a team of 50. 

We started this podcast because we want to challenge the marketing status quo and help business owners and marketers think past blueprints, “secrets” and 10-steps to the ways that they can really use web, search and social marketing to move their businesses forward.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • How we got started.
  • Why we decided to jump into the podcasting waters.
  • What that means for you and what you can expect to learn and hear.
  • And how you really know when you’re creating content that works.

We also thank a few amazing and special people who helped us along the way.

  • Cynthia Sanchez of Oh So Pinteresting for inspiring us to stop thinking about podcasting and actually do it.
  • Mike S. Brooks of Nuclear Chowder Marketing who has been on-call for months to answer logistical questions and talk us off the ledge when things got a little scary.
  • Chris Curran of Fractal Recording who let us coopt his studio so we could get some behind-the-scenes experience and who graciously spent hours of his time helping us set up our equipment.
  • Dan Cristo and Dino Dogan of Triberr who supported us from the beginning and even helped fund some of our equipment.
  • And Ryan Hanley of Content Warfare who is the gold standard to which we aspire.

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on some new podcasts and other fun stuff that’s coming up within the next few months.

Direct download: 0001-ryan-hanley-shut-your-big-fat-face.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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