Why more brands should hire bloggers for content development

Why more brands should hire bloggers for content development

When I started blogging back in 2009, I encountered a lot of critics who either thought the idea was “cute” (barf) or “interesting” (possibly even worse). Keeping an online journal wasn’t something that was taken very seriously until influential bloggers started flooding the internet and leaving their mark (like Dooce, the Pioneer Woman, and Perez Hilton). All of a sudden, everyone wanted in. Mom bloggers from all walks of life connected online to share their trials and tribulations of sleepless nights and baby firsts. Food bloggers shared recipes and cooking videos online that inspired us to eat healthier and stock our freezers with make-ahead meals. Fashion bloggers helped us create looks that mimicked what we saw on the runway at affordable prices. The thread that ties all bloggers together is an undeniable sense of community. Bloggers love to support, encourage, share, and promote. This presents an enormous opportunity for brands looking to partner with bloggers for content creation. When you hire a team of powerhouse influencers to spread the word about your product, a launch, or event, you are essentially paying a highly targeted group of people to broadcast your name in a very loud and often crowded atmosphere—the social space. Bloggers will publish content on their blogs and then share via social media. Not only is this like hiring a content development department, your content can go viral overnight. I’ve seen it happen firsthand and have attended blog events that have trended on Twitter in a matter of minutes. It’s not a fluke—it’s the power of bloggers tweeting collectively about a brand or topic. So how can this...
Meet Charlotte of Pixie Consulting

Meet Charlotte of Pixie Consulting

It’s been about four months since I started blogging at Pixie Consulting. Many of you followed me from my personal blog (My Pixie Blog), but there are quite a few of you who don’t know anything about me beyond my social media and marketing advice. Today I’ll be answering some questions so you can get to know a little more about me. And because I’d love to get to know my audience, I have some questions for you at the end I’d love YOU to answer in return! Email your responses to charlotte@pixieconsulting.net or leave them in the comments below. How did you get involved with marketing and social media? I made so many connections via social media and had started managing an online community for writers when an opportunity came up to work as a marketing manager for a small start-up marketing firm. At the time, I was working in the city for a publishing company but I wrote a convincing cover letter explaining my passion for marketing and I geeked out hard core in the interview about my love of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I must have made a good impression, because I landed the job and was soon writing copy for multi-million dollar franchises and national brands. How do you come up with material for your personal/professional blogs? Life. I never leave home without a notebook and I’m constantly inspired by everything that happens around me—from what I see in the news to a conversation I overhear at a restaurant. In terms of my business, I try to answer questions that solve problems small business...
Why your business needs an online strategy immediately

Why your business needs an online strategy immediately

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just “play around on Facebook all day.” I say this because it’s something I’ve come across quite a bit lately. There are moments when I have to defend my work to a client and tell them why it’s necessary to have a social footprint for their small business. Here are some interesting facts that you might not know. Facebook has a whopping 1.15+ billion users (700 million of which are active daily users). An astounding 82% of buyers say they trust a company more when a CEO or senior leadership team is active on social media. Why is this important? Because less than 36% of executives say their CEO either “doesn’t care or cares little about the company’s reputation in social media.”* This is an error of epic proportions. What if I were to tell you that you could be missing out on hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of dollars in monthly revenue because you don’t think having a social presence is important? Oh, NOW you’re listening. There is a strategy to marketing online that is very different from the traditional marketing you might be accustomed to seeing and using (as someone who got her start in print publishing, I have seen firsthand how antiquated many of these old school techniques have become). Unlike with traditional methods of advertising, social marketing allows companies to listen to their audience. Print, radio, and TV advertising is limited in that the relationship to the consumer ends when the commercial has finished airing or the user has put down the paper/magazine. If something resonates with the audience...
Why it’s good to be meticulous with your small business

Why it’s good to be meticulous with your small business

On Sunday I went to a new local manicure place with a Pinterest photo and an hour to kill. During my brief time there, I noticed something you just don’t see that often. The owner insisted that her staff go outside to clean the windows on two separate occasions. Initially I thought maybe this was excessive, but then I remembered the many shops that had closed their doors from this exact location and I commended the salon owner for her meticulous attention to detail in a climate where “git er done” often reigns supreme. It made me think of cringe-worthy shortcuts I have seen a lot lately in quite a few professional situations: the CEO who refuses to have an editor review his grammatically incorrect and nonsensical emails before pressing send; the outsourced writers who fail to use spellcheck and upload blogs with “Faceook” in the title; or the social media post with the words “want to loose weight?” on full display. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents and I come across sloppy copy, poor website design, and questionable content from marketers trying to establish themselves as “gurus” in the business constantly. While on the surface these might all seem like harmless mishaps, I believe there is a greater issue here—in an effort to produce more content quickly, we are becoming careless and our mistakes speak volumes about our attention to detail. I have lost jobs because of my rate and the fact that there is cheaper labor to be had. And I get it—bottom line and all that jazz. But all it takes is one mistake, one misstep,...
How brands can get in the Valentine’s Day spirit this year

How brands can get in the Valentine’s Day spirit this year

Unless you’ve been hiding out under a rock somewhere, you know that Valentine’s Day, a holiday that makes many of us cringe and helps florists stay in business, is just around the corner. As if you didn’t have enough pressure to find THEPERFECTGIFT for your mate, I’m here to tell you that you can also use this time to make the most of your marketing. Even if you are completely turned off by the hype of Cupid, I hope you’ll find something of value in this guide. For the shop owner who sells V-day products This is your Super Bowl, right? I mean, you should already be capitalizing on the schmaltz of the season with pink and red signage and irresistible Valentine’s Day specials. I hope, too, that you’re active on social media so you can use this opportunity to tweet to customers in your area looking for last-minute gifts. “#ValentinesDay” has been trending for days now, so this is your chance to announce your store’s specials in a tweet or post (don’t forget to include a link to your website and store location). For the online business There are so many ways for online businesses to hop in on any kind of themed marketing campaigns—all it takes is a bit of creativity! Etsy shop owners: create a Valentine’s Day Look Book with cute date night outfits. Book shops: find some long lost, romantic reads, perfect for a cold night by the fire and create a landing page on your website that directs visitors to some of your top sellers. Specialty food stores: celebrate all the single ladies and...
How to Create Effective Brand Messaging

How to Create Effective Brand Messaging

The most effective marketing campaigns are always the simplest; the ones that convey in few words what the brand is about while leaving a lasting impression. Think of the first few chords, the dancing silhouettes, and that classical music in those moving De Beers commercials; the iconic Clydesdale horses in the Budweiser ads; or even those gut-wrenching ASPCA commercials that beg you to pick up the phone so Sarah McLachlan can stop ruining a perfectly good song with sad puppy dog eyes. What do they share in common? They are all simple. Remember that Marketing 101 class where you learned the rule of KISS (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”)? (Also, relax, no one is calling you stupid.) Over the past few years, marketers have decided to tone down the in-your-face messaging points (“BUY THIS COCA COLA!!!”) in favor of ads with powerful imagery that tug at our heartstrings. Hold the pomp and circumstance; advertisers are now focusing on how companies are either contributing to a greater good OR how a purchase will make you feel good. Think of their messages as bite-sized takeaways for the masses. I noticed just the other day great brand messaging while opening my packaged Dunkin Donuts coffee. Neatly printed across the top of the flavor-sealed bag were the words “mornings are in the bag”—so clever and yet, so pithy! For other examples of great marketing, check out jetBlue (I love their “Flying it Forward” campaign), Dogfish Head and their fun packaging/website, and Trulia for their surprisingly witty contests (like their “Win a Freakin’ House” promo). Here’s a checklist of things you might want to consider...