Internet Marketers Did Not Invent Content Marketing

Did you know content marketing is not a new concept?

michelin guide

 

In 1900 Michelin created the Michelin Guide. This is an actual book of content that was used to inform and educate customers. They created a value to customers and potential customers, which in turn created trust. The books included ways to maintain your car as well as travel tips and help.

Jell-O Book of recipesJell-O had an earlier start with their book of recipes in 1906. This may have been recipes they created or recipes from their customers. The effort helped Jell-O push their sales to over $1 million, which was quite an accomplishment at that time.

 

So, what’s different about today’s “Content Marketing?”
  1. The scale of how many people you can reach and how fast.  The internet has made it easy to reach millions of people with out ever leaving your office. In the early 1900’s marketers were limited by distribution, how to get their books to the general public.
  2. The cost of producing content is much lower.  With the internet, there’s no printing cost, no shipping cost and no inventory to try to move. You can produce content yourself and the only cost is your time. Of course time is money, so if you don’t have the time you can pay someone like us to create great content at a fraction of the cost of a producing a book.
  3. Search brings your customers to you. With the invention of the search engine, it is now possible to get your product in front of people exactly when they are looking for it. The original guides and recipe books may have sat on shelves for months until someone found them or the right person walked past the shelf where they were.

The big question: Why should YOU use Content Marketing?

  • Content marketing is a great way to build trust with your customers and potential customers. Just thing about the Michelin Guides. If I’m an avid user of the guide books. I’ve seen that the tips they’ve given me about lodging, or the best tourist sites in Vancouver. Plus, I found great tips for taking care of my car during the long drive to get there. What company do you think will be top of mind when I need tires?
  • Plus, when you start creating great content around your products and services, the search engines will start showing your content to searchers when they are looking for services and products like yours. This gives you exposure and because you created useful interesting content people are more likely to read your content as well as share it. This will keep them coming back and build the trust that makes them think of your company when they are ready to buy.

We Love Client Feedback Like This!

I received an email from a client this week and among answering some questions she had this to say about Blackbird e-Solutions.

“I was just telling one of my co-workers that I am so glad we made the decision to do this project with you guys because I have such a high level of confidence in your abilities and your input and suggestions, which I value so very much…thanks again!”

It’s great when we can get this kind of excitement from our clients!

Goal for 2013, build more relationships like this!

How to Increase Your Likability and Network Like a Pro (Infographic)

Follow these simple tips and will be networking like a pro and your likeability will climb (info-graphic)

10 Things Organizations Need to Be Comfortable With When They Start Using Social Media

How comfortable is your organization?

  1. Releasing control to allow the community to grow organically.
  2. Being open with communication about organization and products.
  3. Encouraging community members to discuss products and services.
  4. People saying bad things about the company and being able to respond objectively and openly.
  5. Others writing content for the community.
  6. Asking for honest feedback, even if it is negative.
  7. Getting community members in touch with the staff that can help them.
  8. Employees talking with community members as real people and not using scripted monologues.
  9. Volunteers helping to moderate the community.
  10. Employees spending time interacting and engaging your audience.

Can you think of any others?

Amazon Web Services Goes Down and Takes a Multitude of Sites With It

Amazon Webservices LogoEarly this morning Amazon Web Services started experiencing a problem in one of their data centers in Virginia. Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing service from Amazon.com. Many online platforms and services use Amazon’s service to host data for their online applications. It’s been reported that the outages were caused by a networking event. The issue is with their Elastic Block Storage or EBS. EBS is used for block level storage that is used in Amazon EC2 instances. Here’s a statement from Amazon:

“A networking event early this morning triggered a large amount of re-mirroring of EBS volumes in US-EAST-1,”

“This re-mirroring created a shortage of capacity in one of the US-EAST-1 Availability Zones, which impacted new EBS volume creation as well as the pace with which we could re-mirror and recover affected EBS volumes. Additionally, one of our internal control planes for EBS has become inundated such that it’s difficult to create new EBS volumes and EBS backed instances.”

“We are working as quickly as possible to add capacity to that one Availability Zone to speed up the re-mirroring, and working to restore the control plane issue,” Amazon continued. “We’re starting to see progress on these efforts, but are not there yet. We will continue to provide updates when we have them.”

There are a variety of services being disrupted. Here are a few where I’ve experienced outages or limited availability:

Hootsuite
Foursquare
Reddit
Quora

If you know of any others please add them in the comments.

Central PA Staffing Firm, TriStarr Staffing Experiences Success Through SEO

We first started working with TriStarr Staffing about 3 years ago, when they contracted us to collaborate with the web design firm that was building their new site. We used our knowledge to ensure that the site was built for SEO success from the ground up. Since then we’ve helped them with Social Media, Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising, Website Analytics; basically they’ve taken advantage of whole line of services.

Last week I received a simple email from the VP, Scott Fiore:

“Bryan – just to let you know – another new client yesterday – found us through a Google search.”

Then a follow up from the President, Joan Paxton:

“Bryan – I am so pleased with the results that we are getting from Google!”

The new client was searching for a staffing company that could provide them with administrative staffing solutions.

This is certainly not the first time Joan and Scott have shared their excitement about the success of their website through SEO. In fact the site performs so well, that they have told me they look at the website as having another salesperson on their sales team. Except this one works 24 hours, 7 days a week!

I love when our clients are successful because of the work we do!

DecorMyEyes Owner Arrested After NYT Article and Google’s Announcement

Last week I posted about this guys story in connection to the changes Google made to their algorithm so that bad publicity won’t improve Google Ranks: Being Bad to Your Customers is Now Bad for Your Google Ranking

It looks like Borker’s campaign to gain more visitors through online reviews, good and bad, has given him more attention than he bargained for, and he’s been arrested. Borker told a reporter, “Borker told a reporter that securing many online reviews, regardless of what they say, is part of his strategy to generate business for his site.” The New York Times did an article on him after he harassed and threatened a customer. The incident also prompted Google to change their algorithm.

From CNBC.com:

“Vitaly Borker was charged with cyber-stalking, the making of interstate threats and both mail and wire fraud.

“Vitaly Borker, an alleged cyber-bully and fraudster, cheated his customers, and when they complained, tried to intimidate them with obscenity and threats of serious violence,” said Manhattan US Attorney Pheet Bharara in a press release. “Especially during this holiday shopping season, today’s arrest should send a message that we will protect online consumers and that victims of people like Borker are not alone.”

You can read the original article on the NYT’s site which came out a couple of weeks ago: A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web

First Friday December – Open House

Good things come to those that wait.

It’s been a long time coming, but we will finally be opening our doors for first Friday December (12/3//10). Stop by and chat with Bryan (@BbeS), and put a face to the name. RSVP via Facebook. Or use the comments below.

We’ll have some refreshments and snacks, as well as some local artwork. The office itself was designed by Genevieve Watycha and she will be there for a bit to answer questions.

We are located on Lemon St. less than a block from the Belvedere Inn and around the corner from the Candy Factory.

We will be giving away four free tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo. Check in with Facebook Places or Foursquare to win prizes!

We’ll also be featuring photography from Megan McIntyre (@CurlieMeg) and jewelry from Genevieve Watycha.

More info. to come!

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ASGroup Adds Blackbird e-Solutions as a Strategic Vendor-Partner

The Affiliated Staffing Group under founder Roy Fazio has named Blackbird e-Solutions a strategic vendor-partner for the group.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Blackbird e-Solutions as a strategic vendor-partner to ASGroup. Bryan Coe, Owner, and service provider to TriStarr was introduced to ASGroup at the San Francisco meetings this November.

Blackbird e-Solutions comes highly recommended by Scott Fiore, TriStarr Staffing and is looking for the opportunity to help other ASGroup members. We will post this vendor to our new ASGroup Website.

ASGroup LogoThe ASGroup is an organization of non-competing staffing firms from around the USA and Canada. We were first introduced to the group by one of our local clients in Lancaster, TriStarr Staffing. We will be offering group members SEO and Social Media services, as well as our other solutions. This is a great honor. Thanks ASG, Roy and a special thanks to TriStarr Staffing for the recommendations!

It’s Not Social Media Kool-Aid If You’re Prepared

I just commented on Are We Gulping Social Media Kool-Aid?

In the post Dick Lee argues that there are 4 things we need to concentrate on before using social media:
1. Improving processes to improve customer experience
2. Investing to determine what customers value and how much
3. Removing organizational impediments to delivering customer value
4. Getting your internal communication act together

My comment:

I definitely agree Dick there are many people out there that are preaching that social media is an end all of marketing and all things online. The fact is if you don’t have a sound foundation in your company, social media will not save you.

Social media is a tool. Right now it is very hot, partially because it is a relatively new phenomenon and partially because of it’s power. Social media usage continues grow in leaps and bounds and is definitely very powerful for reaching people. But, if a company is not based on sound principles and/or they don’t create a plan for social media, they will fail. You make 4 very good points which all lead to better customer service and customer relations. Social media has the power to extend this and engage your clients and potentials. Though without a customer centric attitude, the company will most likely miss the point of social media and it will be a further extension of their poor costumer policies. Which can even cause more damage than good.

Bottom Line: First create a strong customer centric basis in your company, then use Social Media to bring it to the masses.

I actually wrote about why companies fail at social media sometime ago: More Than 50 Percent of Fortune 1000 Companies Will Fail With Social Media, Will You?