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Travel Bloggers’ Secrets You Can Use: Part 2

 

As promised here is Part 2 of our “Travel Blogger’s Secrets You Can Use” blog post! If you missed Part 1 be sure to click here and check out all the amazing blogging tips we covered in last week’s post. This week we’re talking about the best marketing, monetizing, and travel tips our lovely panelists, Tamara Gruber of We3Travel, Lillie Marshall of Around the World “L”, and Priscilla Pilon of The Weekend in Paris, shared at our August #NIMRI event. So let’s get started!

Top 8 Marketing/Monetizing Tips

1. Soliciting Sponsors: The emphasis should always be on the content you’re creating. “Write it, and they will come,” said Priscilla sagely, “Produce high-quality content, and they will come.”

The Work With Me Section of the We3Travel Website

The Official “Work with Me” section of We3Travel’s About Page

2. Doing Business With Brands: There are a few ways a blogger can work with a brand: being contacted by people to place ads, contacting people to place ads, sponsored posts, or, if you’re lucky, a sponsored trip.“If I work with a brand or do a sponsored post, it has to be something I believe in. Once your audience doesn’t believe you, you’re done,” Priscilla warned.

“Native Advertising, which is when you have content that is already successful and then work with advertisers who would complement that content, can work very well,” said Lillie.

3. Navigating Negativity: It can be very difficult to figure out what to do when you have a bad experience as a blogger, particularly if the trip is a sponsored one. It is especially tricky because, depending on the country’s laws, you could potentially be sued for a negative review. “Contact the PR people and be sure to start with the positive things and then talk about the disappointments,” advised Priscilla, “I always give them a chance to fix it. If they do, I won’t write a bad review. If they don’t, I will offer to not write about it.”

“Steer away from negative content, even though it can be very effective. Everyone gets fired up over a bad review and they like to share it, but it doesn’t reflect very well on you and can get you into trouble,” offered Lillie.

4. Create a Community: “Facebook has become a pay-to-play platform. You can pay $5 to promote a post (and I do that sometimes), but you won’t see a big difference in your analytics. What’s really powerful is to form alliances and private Facebook groups, not just with other travel bloggers. People who like wine, food, lifestyle, even interior design share readers. The cross-pollenization that happens helps everyone grow,” Priscilla said.

5. Know Your Worth: “It depends on your reach and your demographic,” reasoned Tamara, “I have a group of travel blogger friends, and we share that information.”

“This is why you need the group mentality!” proclaimed Priscilla, “Building your blogging network is key. Whatever you do, don’t write a post for someone for free – it brings the rate for everyone down to $0. You’re time is worth something.

“I would argue that there is a value in giving content to high-traffic sites, so it can be OK to do something like that for free as long as there is some ROI. It’s a value to your resume,” Lillie said.

One of We3Travel's Pinterest boards

We3Travel on Pinterest © Photos by Tamara Gruber

6. A Photo’s Worth a Thousand Shares (nope, still not right): “For me, Pinterest is very important. It drives traffic to my site, often more than google,” Tamara shared.

“Be sure to link all of your photos: photos on Google and Pinterest should link to your website and have descriptions,” Priscilla said.

“Selling your photos can also be another source of income,” Lillie pointed out.

The Newport Interactive Marketers' Hootsuite dashboard

Here’s a look at the Newport Interactive Marketers’ Hootsuite dashboard

7. Tally Your Toolbox:  “Don’t be afraid to automate! Hootsuite can schedule your posts at the best time for your demographic. You could write the best blog post ever, but if no one ever reads it, it won’t matter,” explained Lillie. To find out when the ideal time for your demographic is, be sure to check out Tweepi. 

“The Tail Wind app is great for automating Pinterest,” shared Tamara, “Paying a little for the right tools can be worth it.”

Google trends is an invaluable SEO tool,” said Priscilla, “In WordPress there is a feature where you can try a bunch of different options and put them in Google Trends to see where you are in searches.”

Snapchat logo

Snapchat! If you want to learn more about using Snapchat as a blogger, check out AdventurousKate

8. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize (your media, that is):  “Learn and get busy on all social media sites and thank everyone who follows (NOT by direct message),” Priscilla advised.

“The biggest mistake people make is to just stop for an extended period of time on social media,” Lille said, “Be consistent and don’t be afraid to self promote!

“Snapchat is the newest thing people must be on, although it does appeal to a younger demographic,” said Tamara, “Its important to know who your audience is and where to find them.”

 

Top 3 Travel Tips

“Use Trivago or another trip-cost comparison site to look for the lowest fare. Then, take a screenshot and call the hotel. They will always match it, and it’s always better to book through the hotel because they tend to have a better cancellation policy and you also will be eligible for upgrades,” advised Priscilla.

“Tuesday is the best day to book airlines usually,” shared Tamara.

“People would pay a lot of money to stay in your home in beautiful Newport so rent it out on Airbnb to get money for travel and also find places to stay in yourself!” Lillie suggested.

All-Time Favorite Hotel

The Phoenix Resort in Belize

Balcony view from the Phoenix Resort in Belize © Photo by Lillie Marshall

Lillie’s Pick: The Phoenix in Belize “No better place for a babymoon!” 

 Kona Village Resort in Hawaii at Sunrise

The now closed Kona Village Resort in Hawaii © Photo by Tamara Grub

Tamara’s Pick: Kona Village Resort in Hawaii “Unfortunately, after 45 years, this resort was forced to permanently close their doors after the March 2011 tsunami.”

A hammock overlooking the ocean at The Bitter End Resort in BVI

The gorgeous Bitter End Resort in BVI © Photo by Priscilla Pilon

Priscilla’s Pick: The Bitter End in the British Virgin Islands “I’ve never been sponsored to stay at this hotel, but I visit every year!”  

And, of course, we had to ask about their favorite place in Newport! 

Castle Hill Inn from the sea

Castle Hill Inn from the sea © Photo by Priscilla Pilon

Priscilla’s Pick: Castle Hill Inn “They have the best lunch and the best views!” 

hotel viking

The beautiful Hotel Viking (#NIMRI venue sponsor for our annual networking event!) © Photo by Lillie Marshall

Lillie’s Pick: Hotel Viking “This is the place to go to feel like royalty!” 

Here’s what #NIMRI members were saying on Instagram and Twitter: 

 

Great turnout at #NIMRI! A photo posted by Suzanne McDonald (@newportinteract) on

 

 

Learning about travel blogging at #NIMRI at @ParlorNewport. #NewportRI A photo posted by The Newport Blast (@thenewportblast) on

Many thanks to our venue sponsor Parlor Kitchen & Bar

Register for the next #NIMRI event now! 

Integrating SEO and Social Media With Google’s Eric Enge

SEO guru Eric Enge broke SEO and Social Media down into plain English at NIM’s Aug. 23 event. Stressing an integrative approach using SEO and Social, Enge said the best way to compete in SEO keywords is to be user-centric.

If anyone knows how to boil down complex ideas for an audience, it’s Enge, who is CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 25+ person SEO firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. Enge is also a frequent speaker at marketing conferences like SES, PubCon, and SMX.

According to Enge, the job of any website is to be first in that search. So his PowerPoint presentation boiled down complex SEO and Social Media topics so that attendees of all social media aptitudes could learn just how.

Integrating Search and Social Media highlights

  • Spun or garbage content or cheap tricks to build brand and rank is not the best way to go
  • Devote the right amount of space to anchor text, key phrases, brand names, and domains
  • Avoid bad link-building and backlinking practices, e.g. low-cost or paid-for tactics
Eric Enge From Stone Temple Consulting

Eric Enge featured guest speaker at NIM’s Aug. 23 networking and learning event.

  • Emphasize users in your web content, because they are central to the Google algorithm
  • Make sure your brand lends itself to your audience (and if it doesn’t, ask yourself what it will take to get there)
  • Provide diverse, quality content
  • Title tags play a big role
  • Meta description influences click-through rate

Learning Google’s Algorithm

Quoting Google Search Quality Group expert Matt Cutts throughout the talk, Enge explained that Google algorithm finds quality, diverse results help solve problems for users.

Enge discussed the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm update, ushered in on Feb. 23, 2011, and the impact of Penguin, which came to the fore April 24, 2012.  He discussed the viability of SEO, Social, PR and Real Content integrated together for a masterful integrative marketing plan.

You can build a huge audience even if you’re a small brand, according to Enge, who said 48.8% of the population uses Google+ (that’s 150 million US users) and Google+ creates community circles. But he warned against trying to get too much out of driving FB “likes” and Google+ “+1’s” since these don’t specifically address which part of your content is working. Likes, +1’s and shares aren’t visible to Google. Tweeted links, for example, can help Google discover content faster than Facebook and Google+.

Title Tage, Meta Description & CTR

NIM attendees learned how large a role Title Tags play, how Meta Description can influence click-through rate (CTR), and more specifically, how Bing uses CTR.

“Saying SEO is dead is like saying you 85-year-old grandmother can configure your web server,” Enge explained.

In addition to good content that is user-focused, Enge provided an example of how one guest posting propelled one site from 0 to 100,000 customers using an integrated approach.

In the hierarchy of social media effort, the 1-on-1 meeting is at the top (takes the most effort), then the meeting, then meetups, then blogging, then LinkedIn, Twitter, then Facebook. The bottom line? Make the effort to meet with actual people to build real communities, and that will fuel social media activity that builds your reputation, since that’s what people (users) value most.

Thanks to Eric Enge for speaking in Newport; you can visit his website at www.stonetemple.com, follow him on Twitter @stonetemple, or add him to your Google+: +Eric Enge.

 

Record Turnout for 100% Networking!

Thanks to all of you, NIM boasts the biggest turnout so far! 100% Networking saw 150 signups plus some walk-ins – lots of new faces. Raindrops were avoided, connections were made, views were enjoyed, drinks were downed.

Beautiful views of Newport from the Hotel Viking rooftop

 

Ruth Bazine of PRSA chats with former colleagues from Roger Williams University

Was it the venue (who doesn’t enjoy a view of Newport from a rooftop?) or is the word being spread?

 

Coming in August … NIM is pleased to feature “Search & Social Marketing” with global expert Eric Enge. Details are forthcoming.

 

Newport Comic Book Store Thrives With Social Media

Continuation of June 5 interview with Wayne Quackenbush from Newport’s Annex Comics, see part 1 here

NIM: As a marketer of a narrow-niche store, it must be challenging to get new customers. How has Facebook helped?

WQ: People visit the shop, visit my website, or E-bay store just to meet the eccentric person behind the Facebook page.

NIM: Tell us what they’ll find if they make an appearance in your store.

WQ: A mess. Stacks and walls of comics and product, the aforementioned local artwork, masks, clown dolls, and DVDs everywhere.

NIM: What’s the misconception about comics?

WQ: Some Americans have the opinion that comics are for kids or for the unintelligent, or they think the store will provide a rarified atmosphere of hipster elitist geekdom. Comics used to be for everybody and, in many countries of the world, they still are. They are unique artwork by a single creator or small group of creators telling an immersing and synergistic story in a way that is not possible in any other medium.

NIM: You’re a little in love with the industry, and I think that authenticity translates on your Facebook and web pages. Describe graphic love, the comic-book kind.

WQ: Comics allow an imaginative freedom in way that isn’t seen in films or in video games. There is an aesthetic pleasure in the pictures that isn’t present when reading fiction. With comics, the reader has to imagine the sounds, smells, and motion that are implied by the language and vision portrayed.

NIM: Everything has changed so much in the past 10 or 15 years. How have comic books changed?

WQ: That would take an essay. Simply, the 32-page full-color slim pamphlet remains the same but with more sophisticated coloring and better paper. But other forms of presentation of the art form have come into being from graphic novels, which are a thick collection of individual and previously published stories.

NIM: What’s popular with the Kids now?  Zombies seem to be a big theme. I don’t get it.

WQ: Zombies are best used as a metaphor in fiction … they can symbolize the horror of “the other,” rampant consumerism, the pervasive anti-intellectualism of American society, the infantile and lizard brain hunger that lives in everyone, the hive mind … And everyone has a lingering fear of being bitten really hard.

NIM: Yes, it makes sense. Hey, do you have any plans for cyber-expansion?

WQ: I’m running four different Facebook accounts: my personal account, the store account, the store small business account, and the Annex Art Society page, so I really haven’t had time. Luckily, I have a Webmaster in charge of the store website.

NIM: I know it’s not polite to talk about religion or politics, but in business, it’s always polite to talk about money!  Has social media helped your business financially?

WQ: Yes.

NIM: See? That’s sort of the point that gets lost because social media is so much fun. I know you’re not a fan of hash tags, but #NIMRI is one hashtag you should “follow” on Twitter. You’ll learn so much about even more social media opportunities to promote your brand.

WQ: I found out about NIM from friends. The acronym reminds me a little of Nine Inch Nails. I would attend those meetings.

NIM: Hashtag NIN!  That’s funny. Well, NIM can help you learn search optimization, to spread the word effortlessly and worldwide about the Annex, so we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

NIM: ListenWayne, it was a pleasure talking to you about the Annex. I’m really happy that you have taken the social media bull by the horns, and it’s wonderful to learn you’re also helping kids tap their creativity. #socialmedia

To learn more about Annex Comics, or immerse yourself in zombie-lit, please FB friend Wayne on Facebook or visit his website at annexcomics.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Annex Comics Taps Social Media to Boost its Base

Around since the 80s, Annex Comics flourishes in 2012, due in large part to the way in which owner Wayne Quackenbush took the social media bull by the horns to promote the fine (and funny) art of comic books.

Here’s Part I of our two-part interview.

NIM: Wayne Quackenbush, I can’t think of a better name to stick onto a Web domain than Quackenbush, but you’re Annex Comics. How long has the Annex been around?

WQ: I started working at the Annex in 1994, and bought it from the owner in 1998. I had an extensive background in retail, having managed several photo-processing and video stores in NYC.

NIM: What’s photo processing? Just kidding. So you’re a savvy retailer who likes new media. Are you a wave-rider in your business, or does the Annex rely on your fan base/repeat customers for its success?

WQ: We’ve ridden through fads over the years, made a lot of changes and experimented with product as much as possible. I introduced video sales and rentals, for instance. The Annex was the first store in the state to go all DVD, and now we have dinosaur status because we’re the last store in Rhode Island to offer DVD rentals.

NIM: That’s very cool, Wayne. I miss the excitement of going to a place and renting something. Speaking of dinosaurs, a few businesses still have yet to embrace social media as a genius marketing tool. But you have. Tell us how you market Annex these days, and how that’s different from before.

WQ: I used to run occasional ads in the local papers, I put up flyers for events and got interviewed in local magazines and on public access TV. Word-of-mouth was and is most effective.

NIM: And what’s faster at getting words out of mouths than Facebook? Your store has quite the presence there. You have a Facebook page for your store, and a Web page for Annex Art Society.

NIM: Before I started following (stalking?!!) you on Facebook, I thought of your clientele as the hipster/nerd/geek squad. Am I on- or off-base?

WQ: My customer base fits the categories named but there’s more. A general description would be male, college educated, mostly in their 20s and 30s.

NIM: How to you market to the Kids who know everything and think everything’s “whatever”?

WQ: I always try to shock and amaze. The store markets a sense of wonder.

NIM: What’s shocking or amazing at the Annex these days?

WQ: I think people would be surprised at the inroads we’ve achieved in promoting local artists via Facebook through our daily artistic challenges, where artists all over the world participate, and our efforts to encourage creativity, especially in young people.

NIM: How do you reach the young’uns?

WQ: The Annex showcases at least 30 artists a year in our galleries. I work with local high schools in artistic intern programs and I teach a drawing class in the store every Saturday morning.

NIM: Well it must be fun, if people are getting anyone under 80 out of bed Saturday mornings! I think that’s great.

NIM: It takes a lot of effort to man those contests because they are so popular! And social media gives people lots of access to your wall. Why has the response to these contests been so great and how do you keep up with them?

WQ: Personally, the daily Art Challenge is a kind of creative calisthenics, an exercise to keep my brain hopping. I know a few others feel the same way. Plus, humans are social creatures, and it’s extremely gratifying to connect in this way and share images and ideas.

NIM: Isn’t that the beauty of social media? It allows you to actually have fun while you promote your business and grow your numbers. And, it gets people in your door who might otherwise just have walked by, had they not seen the quality of the art that’s being posted on your timeline.

Installment II: Facebook, Zombies, hashtags, and more!

Visit Annex Comics in real life at 314 Broadway in Newport, or go to https://www.facebook.com/annex.comics

 


NIM Brings the Film Connected to Newport

 

NIMRI celebrates its overarching theme – connection – with a film showing of Sundance’s “Connected” March 29

It takes a really good movie to silence the smart phones of a room full of NIMRI-ers, but the only lights flickering in the Jane Pickens movie house March 29 came from the big screen. Premiered at Sundance 2011, the gem “Connected, an Autoblogography about Love, Death and Technology” held the attention of NIMRI members for 85 minutes.

Afterward, the crowd spilled into Yesterday’s across the street to re-connect to their phones and each other, reaffirming the filmmaker’s message that human beings function maximally both naturally – and synthetically – as interdependents.

About the Film

Organizational leadership expert Dennis Rebelo of University Business Consultants sponsored and introduced the film, which was written, produced and directed by Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby awards. Viewers anticipating a trek through how social media is overtaking the universe were surprised – and deeply moved – when things got more personal. Shlain had initially intended for the film to talk about technology and where the human race is heading. But the plot takes a sad turn when her beloved father Leonard, a renowned surgeon and best-selling author, is diagnosed with brain cancer as Shlain herself negotiates a high-risk pregnancy.

There couldn’t have been a better plot device than hospital visits to humanize this technological coup of a movie. Shlain’s father is so brilliant and charismatic that visits with him are part classroom and part favorite grandfather. Through him, Shlain’s larger message about where the human race is trying to go via technology is somehow made palatable even to those who fear and loathe technology. The takeaway from the movie is really that humans seek out connection naturally, and do their greatest work in collaboration with others — and technology is simply a tool to support that. Technology is so often accused of thinning out human interactions, but Shlain’s magnified look at a family dealing with crisis shows how it can also deepen those connections.

Unfortunately, Shlain’s father died before the movie was over, and viewers are bounced into a reality of technological limitations that reminds us that we are still more human than ever.

Part memoir, part documentary, “Connected” is packed with animation, home movies and statistics, narrated by Shlain in a fast-paced, upbeat style that keeps the viewer running to catch up, mimicking the social media exercise of being everywhere, all the time.

NIM Events You Missed

New Media events you may have missed

April 26, 2012 – Pinterest for Business: All You Need to Know

Annie Colella of Discover Newport (the Convention and Visitors Bureau) shared how Pinterest can work for your business. Attendees learned how to get to get started with Pinterest and how to get the most out of the social media site. Highlights from Pinterest for Business are posted on the Newport Interactive Marketers blog.

March 29, 2012 – The film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater

 

 

March 1, 2012  Optimize Online Marketing With Secrets of a Revenue Coach

Let’s take a look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective.

Does your website put customers off? You think your website describes your company and products or services. You think you’re not “in the way” when they come to your site to learn about you — or via social media Read More

1/26/2012 Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, shared mobile web best practices for publishers and advertisers. NIM attendees learned the difference between a mobile app and a mobile site and how to build effective web content.

Check out the highlights from “Make Your Business Mobile Friendly.” Learn how to use mobile to engage with customers on Designated Editor’s blog.

 

Newport Interactive Marketers @ URI Social Media Social

Kevin Vine: Interactive Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

Shawn Simmons: Director of Public Relations, StyleWeek

Suzanne McDonald: Chief Content Strategist, Designated Editor, NIM founder

11/29/2011

Newport Interactive Marketers joined the University of Rhode Island for the URI Social Media Social. The NIM speakers provided insights to students and Newport Interactive Marketers about what an intern can do and how social media can boost a business.

Discover what attendees learned from “Cross the Digital Divide” between digital natives (interns) and busy professionals on Designated Editor’s blog.

Create and Market Your Brand Story

Jamie Palmer

10/27/2011

Jamie Palmer, the Senior Practitioner at University Business Consultants LLC, taught NIM attendees how to tactfully articulate the brand. Jamie stressed the importance of telling the story and not selling the story. NIM attendees learned how to engage their audience with messages that would resonate.

Check out the key points from “Create and Market Your Brand Story.” Learn how to create a personal and effective brand story on Designated Editor’s blog.

Enhance your Brand with Google+ and Twitter

Discussion Panel

9/29/2011

Panelists Matt Medeiros of Slocum Studios and Michelle Quillin of New England Multimedia shared their insights on Google+ just as it launched. A general consensus was Google+ was not appropriate for all brands at that time. But for those who are concerned about SEO, it’s worth considering.

Learn more about to enhance your brand using social media from “Google+ Twitter Q & A at Newport Interactive Marketers” located on Designated Editor’s blog.

Intertwining Social Media and Customer Service

Chuck Dennis

8/25/2011

Chuck Dennis, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Knowledgence Associates, taught NIM how to infuse social media with customer service to boost engagement and ROI. NIM attendees learned how to interact with customers’ concerns and complaints through social media. Tips for detecting and redirecting what could become a PR debacle were also included.

Discover what attendees learned from “Social Media and Customer Service With Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Join NIM at the top of Newport Tweetup

7/21/2011

Keeping the social in NIM, attendees gathered high over Newport for free appetizers, drink specials, and nonstop networking.

Drive ROI from Google Analytics

Jay Murphy

6/23/2011

Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts instructor Jay Murphy showed Newport Interactive Marketers how to maximize Google Analytics to drive ROI. NIM attendees learned how to attract people that will actually buy and how to bring in more buyers and prospects.

Find out more about what attendees learned from “Google Analytics with Jay Murphy at Newport Interactive Marketers.” Discover how to get the best results from your online efforts, on Designated Editor’s blog.

SEO Mythology and Tactics from SEO Book Community Manager Eric Covino

Eric Covino, http://www.creativesignals.com/

5/19/2011

NIM was thrilled to have Eric Covino of internationally regarded SEO community SeoBook.com and CreativeSignals.com answer questions on Search Engine Optimization and Google rankings. NIM attendees learned tactics to get search engines to rank their sites number one. Eric gave tips on how marketers can boost their websites in just one week! He also explained how SEO differs for service businesses and local retailers.

Learn more about SEO from “SEO: What’s working? What’s relevant? A Newport Interactive Marketers session”, on Designated Editor’s blog.

Facebook Marketing Best Practices to Boost ROI

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’

4/27/2011

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’ Director of Accounts, shared Facebook best practices and ROI measurement types. NIM attendees gained tools and insights to measure the value of marketing on Facebook. Tom explained how to utilize Facebook analytics to assess weaknesses and opportunities to make brand presence more valuable. Attendees learned the core metrics you can use to determine how much Facebook is doing for your brand/business.

Find out more about what Newport Interactive Marketers learned from “Facebook Marketing: Best Practices to Boost ROI.” Discover how to increase your return on investment using Facebook on Designated Editor’s blog.

Learn and Leverage Video for your Brand Success with Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick Hughes of Visual Post

3/29/2011

NIM hosted Patrick Hughes and Scott Quillin to share their expert opinions on online video posts. NIM attendees learned why videos are so important to the success of their businesses. The experts explained how to use YouTube and how to start your own brand channel.

Check out the highlights from “Optimal Video on a Budget with Newport Interactive Marketers.” Learn how to incorporate cost-effective video marketing into your business on Designated Editors blog.

Mobile for Marketing with Newport Interactive Marketers

Tamara Gruber

1/20/2011

Tamara Gruber, the founder of Red Giant Consulting, guided NIM attendees into the mobile marketing world. She explored the difference between mobile apps and mobile sites and how they could optimize their businesses.

Discover more about what attendees learned at “Marketing with Mobile with Newport Interactive Marketers”, and grasp why mobile marketing matters on Designated Editor’s blog.

Social Media Secrets with Newport Interactive Marketers

Kathie Manchester from the Rhode Island Blood Center

Dana Duellman & My Perfect Space Entrepreneur, consultant, Realtor

Moderator: Nick Brown, Community Manager at Astonish Results,

10/21/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted a panel of social media experts to teach attendees how to optimize social media. Experts shared the best way to connect with customers through social media and discussed the most effective platforms to use.

Learn how to enhance your success in social media from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Social Media Secret’s Out: A Recap and Tools with Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Search Engine Optimization Insights with Newport Interactive Marketers

Doug Wilson

9/30/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted Doug Wilson SEO specialist at Netsense, a Pawtucket-based market leader in outsourced IT, website, and web marketing solutions. NIM attendees received a how-to seminar on search engine optimization insights. Attendees also learned how to boost their Google rankings.

Social Media Answers With Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick O’Malley

8/26/2010

NIM hosted nationally known expert Partick O’Malley. Patrick is the former VP of Operations for Northern Light, Google’s former top competitor, and has spoken across the country and nationally. He is an expert on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google. Attendees gained insights to use social media to effectively boost their businesses.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Stephen Melanson

7/29/2010

Stephen Melanson opened the attendees’ eyes to the importance of Verbal Branding. The seminar focused on concise messaging.

Check out highlights from “Social Media and Verbal Branding: Get Your Twit Together.” Learn how to build your social media foundations with verbal branding on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Highlights from OMMA Conferences

Jessan Dunn Otis

6/24/2010

Jessan Dunn Otis, a linchpin, recapped Seth Godin’s talk in Boston on June 17, 2010. The seminar also highlighted from the OMMA Conference.

Check out a key point from “OMMA Video Conference 2011 Highlights on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers

Matthew Mamet

5/20/2010

Matthew Mamet of EditMe presented how small businesses and individuals can use a Wiki platform to share information and foster communities. NIM attendees learned how to up their online presence quickly and easily.

Discover what NIM attendees learned from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Tips for Building Communities from Matthew Mamet of EditMe, presented at Our First Newport Interactive Marketers Event.”

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Newport Interactive Marketers: Increase Sales With a Revenue Coach

Revenue Coach Shares Proven Strategies to Increase Sales

Let’s look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective. Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago helps helps brands become to customer-centric. 

What Your Current Clients Can Teach You 

  • What you think is important, isn’t what is important to the customer
  • Go where the customers are: a lot of CEOs are NOT on Facebook
  • If you’re imitating another company then you’re blowing it…customers are coming to you for a reason!
  • Best market research/data mining is asking existing customers the RIGHT questions
  • Client interviews will reveal the trends, in 6 phone calls; they’ll all basically say the same thing
  • Anticipate their questions and help buyers on their journey. You guess= you lose!
  • Have to ask current customers the right questions in the right way
  • People are doing their homework on you before they even contact you
  • If you call your customers yourself, you will still get the data, they’ll just be more polite
  • If you’re only asking one question of an existing client, ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes.
  • Channels,social media etc.- without customer knowledge is like whistling in the wind
  • Treat customers properly and give them what they want

Understanding the Buyer’s Process

  • Buying process changing radically. Overall, you are NOT in control of the process
  • Buying: First friends, then websites, and then Google
  • 80% of buyer’s questions are answered by others, not you!
  • Need to know why and how buyer’s bought from you
  • What’s going to happen to me after I buy? A key question buyers have that you need to answer.

Common Marketing Flaws

  • “Marketing is no longer about what you say, it’s about what you do.”
  • Don’t follow fads and don’t obsess with channels!
  • Is your data flawed? If you’re relying on salespeople, focus groups, social media, surveys and 3rd parties, the chances are your data is flawed
  • Stop selling and start supporting the buyer process
  • Relationship marketing is a misnomer. Do you want car dealers showing up to dinner?
  • Surveys are a waste of time, people will not say in writing what they are really thinking
  • Need to understand where you are in the spectrum to know what to say on your site, newsletter and other content
  • Everyone is doing something that gets in the way of sales
  • Usually you’re screwing up how you’re presenting the product or something else that’s fixable
  • Are you emphasizing what everyone already promises anyway? Everyone expects a boat to float
  • The problem with social media, It’s the biggest time-suck!
  • Usability matters more than design: We don’t look at billboards on the highway never mind on your screen

Branding

  • The difference between branding and your brand? Branding is what you say; your brand is what they say about you
  • Branding is the promise you make. Your brand is the promises you keep

 

A special thanks to all the NIM attendees who tweeted during the event! @KristinZhivago, @JoAnnLefebvre, @SusanneDay, @johnpicozzi, @PRnick, @scottindermaur, @vallerieMalkin, @trendyjenny, @NEMultimedia, @sue_DesigEditor, @NewMediaNPT

 

Don’t miss Newport Interactive Marketers’ next gathering: March 29 public is welcome to the film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater. Tickets are $10, payable to the theater. Preregistration requested. 

Revenue Expert Shares Proven Strategies on How to Increase Sales

Do you know why people buy from you? What about those who don’t?

Find out with Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago at Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1 in Newport, RI.

Revenue Coach Kristin Zhivago is an expert at aligning buyers’ perceptions with sellers’ assumptions. Zhivago has interviewed hundreds of business owners and their customers to determine what attracts people and what makes them come back.

Join Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1, 2012, to learn from Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago at 41 North, 351 Thames St., Newport, R.I. Offering Southern New England’s best networking and learning, Newport Interactive Marketers gather monthly to help area businesses and professionals leverage social media, online marketing, websites, and more. The March 1 event is free and open to the public.

Sellers, Zhivago says, do not know these crucial components: “What you think is important about your business may not be important at all, and what they think is important may be something you never even talk about.”

Her main goal is to help her customers understand the relationship they have with their own clients. And on Thursday March 1, Zhivago will help Newport Interactive Marketers attendees do the same.

“With that knowledge, all of your messaging – everything from your signage to your emails – will be relevant to new customers looking for the same experience,” Zhivago says.

The biggest mistake small businesses and local retailers make: They never find out why someone chose them in the first place – nor why they keep coming back.

It is possible to rectify these mistakes: Interview current and past customers by phone, using the guide Zhivago outlines in her book, Roadmap to Revenue. While online surveys may be more convenient, Zhivago advises using the telephone.

“These interviews work best because people talk freely when they are engaged in a private conversation,” she says. Using the information acquired from the interviews, businesses can make relevant changes to attract new clients.

It only takes about seven customer interviews for the business to see profitable trends. These interviews will show the company exactly what customers’ value about their business.

“The differences are sometimes subtle but always significant. Words matter. Sellers always talk to buyers in one kind of language, and buyers talk to other buyers in another kind of language. Until you actually interview your buyers, you won’t know what those exact words and phrases are,” Zhivago warns.

“And your words and phrases will not resonate with potential customers. And, by the way, you won’t get this data from social media discussions, interesting as they are,” she said.

Social Media and the Revenue Coach’s Perspective

In today’s modern age where every company seems to have a social media site, it can be difficult to “stand out” in the crowd.

“The trick, is to be helpful in a relevant way (interviews help with this also – you’ll know what is relevant).”

Zhivago advises companies to set up a content production system and work on it daily, whether it’s creating content from scratch or curating for your audience.

“Social media is the most resource-hungry marketing method ever invented. You can’t be lazy about it.”

Learn what to say to your customers, via social media and offline

Don’t miss Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago and Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1, 2012. Free registration.

Register for Optimize Online Marketing With Secrets of a Revenue Coach in Newport, RI on Eventbrite