Blog, Blog, Blog…Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

blog, content, seo, posting, web

 

So, you know you need a blog, but feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of creating—and sustaining—one. You have some topic ideas in mind, but how is that going to translate into a consistent, ongoing, informative and educational resource?

 

Here are a few simple tips to make sure you have content, content, content well into the future, once your initial set of topics have been crafted and posted:

 

Ways to Ensure Consistent Blogging

 

Posting Logistics

  • Start with a modest posting schedule and increase frequency after you get a feel for what it takes to generate an article
  • Share the load—assign multiple writers to develop at least one piece a month (not that you need to post it all at once, see above…)
  • Utilize guest posts—they typically come with fresh ideas and different perspectives

 

Content Ideas

  • Track a few key groups or publications and post responses or insights, linking to original pieces
  • Use everyday situations to inspire ideas
  • Conduct a quick online survey to customers and comment on results
  • Reuse the best content your blog has to offer, with an updated perspective
  • Conduct an interview with someone related to your industry
  • Create an infographic with a descriptive overview

 

For more ideas on how to get your blog up and running as well as implementing SEO best practices (to make sure it gets read!), give us a call or send us an email!

 

Have you embraced The Cloud?

cloud computing, network, online, work flow, digitalCloud computing has become more than just a place to store information; it’s an essential part of daily business operations.

 

Having moved the mobile workforce beyond merely ‘working from home’, the cloud provides a location-agnostic environment where collaboration can effectively be conducted regardless of your physical location or local time zone.

 

What is the cloud?

Simply put, the cloud is a network of servers that either provides an online service or stores data. You can then can access your info from virtually anywhere using a computer, tablet, smartphone, etc., as long as you have an internet connection.

 

What can be saved to the cloud?

Any digital file — documents, pictures, video, contact information, calendars, maps — can be stored on the cloud on both public and private networks. Common business services available via cloud computing include email, digital editing, design and publishing and some collaborative software.*

 

How can the cloud work for you?

Generally, businesses use the cloud to save money, as its more cost efficient for three main reasons.

 

  • First, it’s scalable—Businesses don’t have to spend money on limited hard drive storage. Cloud service providers only charge for storage used, with an almost unlimited amount of storage available. Businesses have the option to upgrade and expand or downsize their storage needs whenever they desire with no financial backlash.

 

  • Next, it’s flexible—The cloud can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. This means two things: employees and clients can collaborate from anywhere on the planet and files can be opened in any operating system, regardless of the word processing applications that are installed.

 

  • Finally, it’s eco-friendly—In society’s attempt to be paperless, the cloud reduces paper and ink requirements. From editing to filing, all of it can be done electronically and more efficiently on the cloud.

 

Another business benefit is enhanced disaster recovery, since cloud companies back up your data off site, and the data will be immediately available via the internet no matter the catastrophe.

 

For existing as well as up-and-coming businesses, cloud storage is a natural progression towards a modern business model that focuses on cost efficiencies and global collaboration. Check out this list of things to consider before employing a cloud-based environment.

 

*It is important to keep in mind that, as with any digital environment, precautions need to be taken to properly secure personal or sensitive business information.

 

An Open Letter to Those Employing Direct Mail

direct mail, direct marketing, tips for direct mail, direct mail best practices

 

Dear Mr. or Ms. Marketer,

 

First of all, BRAVO! It seems you already realize the importance of print in today’s digital delete-before-you-even-open-it world. That colorful mailer that crossed my desk made me pause for a moment…

 

You have obviously put considerable time and effort into developing a comprehensive, well-designed piece of literature, and, well, we feel it should go to someone who could use it.

 

See, we are a marketing communications agency, so we track relevant trade publications that are important to our clients and their markets by subscribing to the magazines and relevant sites.

 

We’ve noticed an increasing trend in publications selling unqualified leads from their subscriber list to companies, such as yours.

 

Companies are sending the wrong materials, or unsolicited information, to prospects that really have no use for it.

 

In our world, this is a big waste of valuable resources, especially when some thought, time and money has been put into those marketing materials.

 

If you are interested in discussing targeted marketing strategies that can give you some qualified leads, we’d love to talk. For starters, ask yourself these questions about your current direct mail efforts, then drop us a note when the feeling moves you!

 

If you think the checklist above is enough help, then we wish you the best of luck in your future sales and we hope the next person that receives your information finds in it the perfect solution for their next project.

 

Sincerely,

The Simon Group

Marketing Communications

More than 25 years of Business as Unusual

 

 

 

All You Need to Know about TED Talks

ted talk, better presentation, engaging audience, engaging presentationOver the past several months, we’ve heard people saying: ‘did you hear so and so give a TED talk about such and such’ or ‘did you catch that TED talk last week about blah-did-e-blah’.

At first, all I kept picturing was a cuddly, foul-mouthed brown bear, smoking a cigarette and hanging out with Mark Wahlberg. I couldn’t help myself…those were the visions that came to mind.

Obviously, I knew this was not what people meant, but it was certainly funny thinking about a stuffed bear standing up on a stage giving a riveting talk about the hazards of smoking as he’s puffing away on a cigarette and drinking a beer….

So for those of you who don’t know what a TED talk is, it’s pretty straight forward and simple. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED began at a conference in 1984 when those three topics converged. The talks are usually short, powerful and last no longer than 18 minutes. And according to its website, TED is a non-profit, global community devoted to spreading ideas and free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers.

What intrigued me is that when you listen to one of these talks, you’re captivated. Honestly, you want to sit and listen to what the speaker has to say. Their presentations are so well done, you feel like they’re over in a blink of an eye. Don’t we all wish we could give presentations like that?

So it got me to thinking. What makes a good talk, presentation or speech?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there…a speaker droning on and on and your mind wanders to the 10 other things you would like to be doing at the moment. Basically all you hear is ‘wha, wha, wha, wha’, like the teacher from the Peanuts. You don’t want to be ‘that speaker’. But how do you avoid that?

Know your audience and why you’re giving that talk. These two key factors will make speech writing and delivering much easier.

  • Hook ‘em in the beginning and involve the audience. People tend to be more interested if they feel they are being included in what you are saying.
  • Keep it real. Tell a story from personal experience or use real life examples that the audience can relate to. This helps you work the crowd.
  • Be sure to allow for questions throughout the presentation. Don’t wait until the end.
  • Show, don’t tell. Use interesting visuals, not slides that you are reading from that the audience can read at the same time. Nothing’s worse than being ‘read to’. The audience isn’t full of preschoolers, so don’t treat them that way.
  • Always remember less is more…be brief. Say what you have to say and then STOP!
  • Practice…you know the saying, practice makes perfect. So be sure to practice, practice, practice.
  • End powerfully. Make your ending as powerful as your beginning.

With that said, I hope I kept you engaged…

Check out this PDF for more do’s and don’ts of public speaking as well as a checklist to get you ready for your next presentation.

You can also check out the TED Talk website for more information.