Gratitude for Digital Marketing Tools

Gratitude for Digital Marketing Tools and Clients

In October, there is a focus on shutting down the garden, carving pumpkins and eating candy corn. But after everyone is done with the monsters, witches and zombies of Halloween, everyone’s attention turns to the activities of November, and some just want to skip right to December.

This year in particular, I’ve noticed that there is a fight for attention on what comes next. There are many who are eager for the Christmas season to begin. My daughter’s choral group is practicing carols for her Christmas concert, which has brought early Christmas cheer. A senior living center near my house put up their two-story high bedazzled and ribboned artificial Christmas tree on November 1. And of course, this year with the highly contentious elections, there have been lots of commercials on both sides, filling the airwaves with criticism, vitriol, accusation and anger. With the country so split on how best to move forward, it seems hard to imagine how we will heal the divide and come together as a nation.

But at this time, I want to pause the discussions of the winners and losers and hold Christmas at bay for just a little while longer so we can focus on Thanksgiving. This holiday asks us to focus on gratitude, one of life’s most essential qualities. It leaps across ethnic lines, religious differences and partisan politics to include everyone in its embrace.

Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to stop and think about what we are grateful for and the blessings in our lives. Here are five big things I’m grateful for:

#1: My Clients:

My clients fill my “to do” list every day, requiring time to ensure that webpages are updated, blog post a written, and email campaigns are analyzed. But that’s not what I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for the business challenges they provide, the thinking that provokes, the perpetual push for better and better results and the friendships that grow out of the struggles for those greater results.

#2: My Colleagues

While I am the lead for all of my client’s activities, I don’t do it all alone. I have technical experts on search engine optimization, copywriting, HTML coding, graphic design and email automation. I value their expertise and their contributions to making beautiful email layouts and website pages that appear on page one of Google.

#3: Digital marketing tools

Since I am a strategist, I spend a lot of time thinking about the strategies to build business for my clients. And for the most part, those strategies are timeless (deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience through the right vehicles).

But the tools were used to deliver those strategies continue to change dramatically. I can monitor my SEO ranking on a moment by moment basis and use email and social media tools to get a relevant message to thousands of followers in an instant. Pretty cool.

#4: Continuous Learning

Because the tools of the trade are ever-changing, I get to learn how businesses can use Snapchat or how building a database with e-books can lead to quicker sales. My clients have seen the tangible results of that learning, and it’s fun to bring them those results. I love reviewing the results and coming up with ideas for ways to do even more next time.

#5: America

For all the ugliness of this election cycle, I still feel blessed to live in America. I believe in the ideal our forefathers struggled to create, the inherent checks and balances created by having three branches of government and the freedom of the press that is meant to keep the people who work in those three branches honest. I believe in the American dream and feel privileged to be a part of helping my clients innovate in their respective industries and grow their businesses.

No matter where you live, no matter what your political affiliation, race or religion, everyone can stop and give gratitude for what is in their lives. If you are reading this, then you are a part of my life, and I’m so grateful for that. Thank you for being a part of my world.

May you have a Thanksgiving season overflowing with gratitude.

google personalization

Search Engine Optimization: Are You Getting Fooled by Google Personalization?

If you are doing your own SEO work, you may be getting lulled into a false sense of security because of Google’s penchant for personalization.

Everybody knows how important it is to be on page one of Google for the keywords relevant to their industry. Have you ever typed in your most relevant industry keywords and seen your company’s name appear in a prominent position on page one? It probably filled you with pride, to see that of all the millions of possible results available for that topic, Google thinks your website is one of the best.

But wait a minute… Are you really on page one?

Don’t get fooled by Google personalization. You may be misled by Google because of the search engine’s algorithm, which has been written to provide as much personalization as possible.

Search has gotten so sophisticated over the past several years, and Google’s search algorithm strongly takes into account your previous online behavior. If you have done searches in the past and have clicked on a particular website 100 times, Google is going to consider that when determining the best search results for your query. That’s Google personalization.

It’s also going to deliver local content, taking into account your geography. It uses your IP address to deliver the best location-based results for you. That’s why you were likely to get the pizza parlor down the street or right around the corner when you go searching for the “best pie in town.”

Remember, because of Google personalization, all search is relative, so when you want to know how you really rank, you can’t rely on your own normal search results to tell you how you’re doing.

Here are two alternative ways to find out how you’re doing:

#1: Clear your search history and open an “Incognito” window. Type in your keyword and see where you come up.

#2: Use professional services. There are plenty of great resources that can monitor your rank. Two that we recommend are SEMRush or HubSpot.

If you’d like to get a full analysis of where your website ranks for relevant keywords in your industry (as well as those of your competitors), feel free to set up a free consultation. We’ll look at you and your competitors and let you know where you stand. Schedule your meeting today!

Click here to see our sample offer!




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CAMX and B2B Digital Marketing

B2B Digital Marketing and Lead Generation: What 99.99% of All B2B Companies Need

As I explained in my last blog post, I recently attended the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo in Annaheim, CA. Since my particular area is in B2B digital marketing, I was asking people how they get their marketing done, who handles their search engine optimization (SEO) and whether their website is generating enough leads for them. I talked with both large sophisticated companies as well as small family-owned businesses , and here’s what I found:

Of those looking for more leads, some chuckled and sheepishly admitted that they haven’t updated their website in eight years (or something like that), while others felt that their website was “OK” but didn’t feel that it was generating as many leads as they would like. Oddly enough, I did find one guy who didn’t want any more leads (!?!)…He said his company couldn’t handle any more business at the moment (clearly he has other business challenges that he needs to address first).

In general, there are three different categories:

  1.  B2B Digital Marketing Masters: Less than one fifth of all those I spoke with are confident that their website is generating a steady stream of strong, viable leads for their sales team to follow up on.
  2. B2B Digital Marketing Skeptics: A surprising percentage of attendees did not feel that their website could do much for them and were not enthusiastic about what digital marketing could do for them (clearly, these folks haven’t talked to those in category #1).
  3. B2B Digital Marketing Missed Opportunists: More than half the people at the show felt that their digital marketing efforts could be doing a lot more to generate leads for their company. My guess is that these companies are losing business to those in category #1. The good news is, they have the opportunity to jump ahead of those in category #2.

In an industry of such extreme and constant innovation in composites, it seems funny to me that they wouldn’t feel the same way about their sales and B2B digital marketing efforts.

It was also interesting to note that the 17% who were happy with the leads they are getting are the companies whose websites are updated and who have strong search engine optimization and digital lead generation programs already in place.

If you are one of the companies in category #3 (or even #2) and would like to talk about what you need to do to get more from your digital marketing, I urge you to sign up for a free consultation about how to make your digital efforts work harder for you.



Click here to see our sample offer!




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Innovation in Composites: A Recap of CAMx 2016

I love to see the innovation in composites going on globally. I attended the 2016 Composites and Materials Expo in Anaheim, California, for the first time this year, and what an eye-opening experience it was! As a perpetual student of innovation, I love seeing how companies are pushing the boundaries of what has been done in solving the challenges they see around them. Here are some observations from the show:

 #1: Fresh Thinking + Perseverance: Sometimes Innovation Takes a Long Time

Innovation in composites is a combination of fresh thinking applied to a problem and then perseverance to bring those ideas to execution. I met a graduate student at the opening breakfast who was presenting the results of some research done by her and other colleagues from the University of Utah. The research had been started 12 years ago by some other grad students who launched the project, and the definitive results were just now being presented.

Learning: Sometimes, you may not see the culmination of your work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Persevere in your pursuits; you need to trust that your efforts will contribute to the advanced understanding of the collective and that will matter in the long run.

 #2: The World is Constantly Changing

The amazing innovation in composites showed me that the world is I know it will probably be vastly different in the very near future. There were three innovators who spoke at the opening session:

  •  Wunderkind Daniel Preston, CEO of Luminati Aerospace, who talked about the company’s work on high-altitude, long-endurance “pilot-optional” vehicles using solar and wind energy to power the vehicles.
  • Gregory Hale, General Manager of Local Motors, a company innovating in automotive manufacturing and already testing driverless mini-buses designed for local city transit.
  • Greg Lynn, a professor and architect who is bringing innovation in composites to reimagine living spaces and create never-before-seen interior design elements

The presentation of Gregory Hale spoke to me the most, I think, as he admonished that “the vehicle as we know it must die.” He talked about how the people of his Knoxville, TN, company, Local Cars, are bringing innovation in composites to the automotive world to transform the way we manufacture, sell and think about cars. They are working on micro-manufacturing, shrinking the vehicle development process (both from a time and materials standpoint) with the objective to eliminate the “wasted steel of old cars” — waste coming from Detroit’s huge car lots that are a result of making too much unwanted cookie-cutter inventory upfront and the waste of landfills filled with rusting steel once a car’s useful life is complete.

They are doing the work to bring about a reality where you order your car, it gets built exactly to your specifications using composite materials and when you need to change, you regrind the car down to build your new car from the same materials. While I love the visionary nature of this work and applaud the environmental consciousness, what struck me most was how they had flipped a negative into a positive.

Due to the innovation in composites, we’ve come a long way from the famous investment tip given to the young Dustin Hoffman character in The Graduate to “invest in plastics.” Historically, plastics were considered a threat to the environment. This field has become so much more sophisticated, with innovators using its assets in the most positive way.

 #3: Innovation in Composites is Never Ending

Processes are ever advancing and new applications for highly advanced materials are constantly being developed. There is no end to the innovation that can be brought to bear and the CAMx show is a great place to discuss, discover, review and see that Innovation in action. If you are in that industry and do want to be inspired, I would encourage you to sign up fornext year’s CAMx show, which will be held in Orlando, Florida.

 

I Need Your Input!

I have gotten some amazing feedback from last week’s personal branding webinar (hosted by MBO Partners). Based on what people are saying, I’m trying to determine whether I should run a special coaching program over the holidays or whether I should wait to start after the new year. I need to know what you think.

This is a quick question, and I would be grateful for your reply.

Would you be interested in learning how to leverage your personal brand to make more money and have more fun in your work and your life?
If so, would you like to get a jump on the New Year by participating in a Personal Branding Workshop over the holidays or would you prefer to wait until January?
Please click on the survey below and respond with one of the following answers:
  • Yes-now! (over the holidays)
  • Yes-but not until January
  • No thanks

Please give me your opinion in this one-question survey:

CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY.

If you need more information, feel free to email me at Rahna@YourBrandingEdge.com

Thank you so much for your time and input.
I really appreciate it.
As always, here’s to your branding success!

(P. S. One gentleman told me he was blown away and just HAD TO CALL me after I answered one of his questions on my most recent webinar. If you want to hear what he had to say, click here to hear this 2-minute recording.)

Celebrate Your Milestones

What have you done right recently? Stop! Before you move on to the next task, congratulate yourself on what you’ve done so far. Take time to acknowledge and celebrate the major accomplishments in your life!

Personal Branding Can Help You Reach Your Dreams

Today we are headed over to Flying Turtle Publishing to talk about how personal branding can help you achieve your dreams authentically and quickly. Click the link below to check it out!

http://wp.me/p2skCr-o4/

Be True to Your Personal Brand …Even if You’re Bald!

Today’s guest blogging “stop” takes us to BoldlyBaldWomen.com, a site geared to helping women affected by alopacia. How can you build your brand when you have significant issues with major aspects of your physical appearance? (spoiler alert: it’s not just about how you look!)

Be Bold in the Expression of Your Personal Brand

It’s Day Four of our personal branding blog, and we’re headed to BolderBusinessWomenPodcast.com to talk about how to “Be Bold” in the expression of your personal brand. Click here to hear this interview and hear Aprille and Rahna talk about personal branding.