Saturday, August 30, 2014

Been a While...

I know...I know...it's been WAY too long since I've touched this blog. It's not because I've disappeared. Quite the contrary. I've just been busy working for others. I have a few things in the works. For now...I'll start a series here that focuses on improving customer engagement. I'm hoping that by the end of the month, I'll have Andreeac.com done. At which point, this blog will be transferred over there. So...stay tuned.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Business Majors

My brother is a business major. Although he was a little lost at the beginning of his higher education career, he's come to realization that a bachelor's degree in business will suite him better than other options he was considering.  He's looking for real word experience and guidance, so I've taken to mentor him.

There are so many recent high school grads out there. I will tell you all what I told my brother. If you're going to major in business, don't just pick general business administration. Instead, pick a specialty. As a business major, you'll be exposed to all aspects of business (finance, accounting, marketing, business law, economics, human resources). Getting a business administration degree is fine, except that you graduate feeling a little lost. You don't know where to start looking for a job.

My advice is this. During your years in undergrad, intern within all aspects of business--or pay close attention to classes that really peak your interest. If you're finding that you're not so great at accounting, then maybe that's not for you. But with trial and error, you'll find where you're best suited.

Another piece of advice, even if you don't chose marketing, understand social media and be able to execute a social media plan. Consumers are taking to social media. Business grads need to understand social media, how it impacts the bottom dollar, and how to work using social media as a business. Social media is used for customer service and marketing.

My last piece of advice for business majors  is to utilize social media for networking. Don't think your Facebook account is enough. Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile and Twitter account. Google+ is on the rise with communities. Join them and stay active. I've gotten clients and job offers all because I'm active on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Here's some food for thought. I didn't get my undergrad degree in business. I got it in English. To be successful in business, you don't always go the traditional route. As it turns out, I use my BA in English just as much as I use my MBA on a daily basis. English is a good minor by the way. Companies want to hire good communicators and writers. We're in high demand.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beyond SEO: Real Time Marketing Fluidity

This week, the SEO community has been buzzing with Matt Cutts' announcement of upcoming algorithm changes. We pay attention because we want to prepare ourselves (and our clients) should our sites be affected. Unlike other online marketers, I don't see Google as the killer of our industry. My view is the opposite. The webspam team at Google is helping SEO.



SEOs use strategies to help websites rank well in search. It's our job to make search engines happy. That used to be all that mattered. The game has changed and now our job is to not only make search engines happy, but also consumers and website visitors. That should have always been our jobs--creating strategies and content written for websites with keywords in mind--keywords that consumers use to find what it is they're looking for. When Google's webspam got smart with their updates is when SEO went from being SEO to transitioning into online marketing--search engine marketing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've said this before, and I'll say it again. SEO is one part of the equation. We are all marketers. That is--SEO is part of marketing efforts catered to the consumer. Our job is to juggle consumers, business goals, and search engines. Good SEOs are more than just SEOs doing keyword research and link building. They are highly skilled individuals who are understand all three.

That being said, SEO is part of an integrated effort. I've said many times that online marketing is fluid. SEO is fluid. It's not dead as some claim because the roles are being rewritten. Real time marketing--a concept that is emerging (and one that I plan to research with my doctoral research) is taking front and center. SEOs are to provide relevant content. They are having to become content marketers. SEOs also need to be Social Media strategists because Social Media creates relevancy and boosts your link visibility. You can have separate roles-- SEO, content marketing, and Social Media, or you can combine them, which I recommend. SEOs need to go beyond their once segmented roles and understand and be able to perform all aspects of the new real time marketing SEO function. In order to reach your consumers, you need to know which keywords you need to use in your content (both offsite and onsite). You need to know which audience those keywords will be used and how to craft good quality messaging.

Online marketing is fluid ladies and gentlemen. Upcoming Penguin and Panda updates just remind us that we need to change and go with the flow--follow the consumer. In order to that, Google is reminding us to provide good quality content and be transparent with our efforts (penalizing ads that pass page rank, that are also misleading). Honestly, I can talk about this all day as they say. Instead, I'll just put it all in a dissertation. We can continue this conversation if you're so inclined. Shoot me an email at smiling.marketress@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter @andreeac_t.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Content Creation in 2013: Articles

By Gregory Sxarkiewicz


I have been creating a lot of content for my clients lately. It's the good (SEO) content that helps businesses with search engines, but also with conversions and reaching the right consumer. Back in the day, you could just submit an article purely for SEO purposes to any article directory site. Then came Panda and Penguin and sites like Ezine and GoArticles got hit really hard.

I don't post to those websites anymore. I have found better, more targeted alternatives. But it's not just about writing and posting for SEO. That's where a lot of SEOs even have it all wrong. Your content should provide some sort of value. Ask yourself how this [article] will help will help the consumer. If it doesn't, don't even bother. Google will see right through it, and it won't help you at all. Plus, Google is tracking author authority, so not only is the content at risk, but so is your reputation as a marketer.

I do push out a lot of content, specifically articles and blog posts for my clients. They provide some sort of solution or a suggestion for possible use. They always inform. I don't get link happy with anchor text links because too many links is spammy. Instead, I use my keywords as naturally as possible and link once or twice in the article. Too many links, even to different websites, are likely to get highlighted for spam.

So where do I post? I like tumblr, Hubpages, and Patch.com. I use tumblr to post blog-like articles. I use Hubpages for articles with some pizzaz. I also have used Squidoo in the past, but it's not a favorite. I love tumblr because what doesn't get approved with Hubpages goes on tumblr. It's a growing channel and reputable with Google.

Be fair warned that Hubpages does review all articles, like most websites. They are very strict, which is what makes them so good. Take time to build your author score. That's what will help you in terms of authority and do-follow-links for SEO.

Patch.com is my secret weapon. I've been writing with Patch for over a year. It's great for local SMBs trying to reach their market. That' is another post for another day. Just know that Patch.com is an online news site for cities and communities.  More on this later, I promise.

As you approach content marketing in 2013, really make sure what you're putting out there is good. Don't buy links or pay some blogger to write something about your business when they have no clue who you are what you do. Make sure the output is informative, solves a problem, and serves the consumer rather than yourself. If you focus on the consumer with your content, you'll have less to worry about every time Google updates Panda or Penguin.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Synflex America, Liquid Glucosamine Provider, Helps Nonprofits

I like companies who give back. Consumers do too. eMarketer 53% of consumers said they purchase from companies who support social causes versus companies providing a similar product. 47% are more likely to order/shop more frequently at the monthly level.

Synflex America is one of those companies that gives back. They are known for being the original liquid glucosamine supplement provider.  JR Rogers, now Synflex CEO, suffered from arthritis pain in his back and neck from an accident for many years. He came across liquid glucosamine and began taking it himself because he was tired of taking pain pills that didn't solve the problem. Fast forward years later, fully recovered and arthritis pain free, he made liquid glucosamine available to the public as an aid to arthritis joint pain relief.

Now Synflex is going to the extra mile to help those who can't help themselves. Their charity program helps nonprofits of all kinds with a little extra cash. The program is setup like an affiliate program. Nonprofits register and install a banner on their website. Every purchase that comes through their site gets $6.50 per bottle donated to the organization. Checks are mailed every month. Nonprofit employees and supporters are encouraged to order.

Synflex is made available for humans as well animals. I personally give my dogs the Synfelx for Pets beef formula and have noticed a big difference. One bottle usually lasts 1 month for humans. It varies for pets depending on weight. To notice any results, it's best to use Synflex regularly, every day.

If used every day and ordered every month through your banner on your website, it's easy to accrue a sizable donation from Synflex every month. Learn more about the Synflex Charity program or email for more information.

Monday, December 3, 2012

NYC, Fashion, and Getting Involved: Give-Back Opportunity Helping AIDS United


1.2 million
 

300,000 

Those are big numbers. Those numbers could mean anything. It could be $1.2 or $300,000 in profit. Now wouldn’t that be a grand idea, especially for a small business. Or those numbers could be another kind of dollar value like overhead or cost of a campaign.  Those numbers could mean something truly amazing.

But no. Those numbers are not happy numbers. 1.2 million is the number of people who currently have HIV/AIDS in the United States. The next number is even more sickening. 300,000 are people are infected with HIV/AIDs but don’t even know it.  Those numbers are scary enough to make anyone’s holiday season really  “blue.”

Now we can talk about how awful the problem of HIV/AIDs is in our country. Or…YOU can actually do something about it.  I’m one to get involved and do something. Talking about it is going to do anything unless we take some action. Now remember my post about professionals giving back and getting involved in their communities? If you’re in the #NYC area, you can check off a few of those things mentioned in my post with The Reality of FASHION the Reality of AIDS February 9, 2013 at the Altman Building. It’s not for a few months, but you should plan on attending if you can.

Fashion and AIDS United
What does fashion have to do with this event really? Well, it’s a fashion week event where celebrities will walk the runway, raising money for AIDS United. The goal is to raise $1 for the 300,000 who do not know they’re infected with HIV/AIDS.

Networking Fun
This event checks off the networking fun box of getting involved. You will be surrounded not only by fashion, but other professionals as well. You never know who you’re going to meet, and how that connection will help you later. Plus, it’s fashion! Of course you’re going to have a fabulous time!



Getting Involved
The first thing you can do is attend The Reality of FASHION the Reality of AIDS on February 9th. The second thing you can do is become a patron, which will make the biggest, most positive impact.

Patron gifts are suggested between the amounts of $2000 and $100,000. All Patrons are listed on the event website, within the event programs, and are thanked publicly via press and marketing materials. All donated patron amounts will be publicly displayed on http://www.realityontherunway.com . This is a great opportunity to even get your company involved and have a few coworkers join you. It’s a spectacular grass roots approach that will make your clients and customers proud to do business with you. Plus, the link on the website is great for SEO.

Patron gifts of $2000 - $5000 receive two tickets to The Reality of FASHION the Reality of AIDS event with priority row seating. You have to love that! You’ll be front and center of fashion week!

Patron gifts of $5500- $12,000 receive two tickets to the event with priority row seating, VIP celebrity gift bags, and access to the VIP Celebrity Gifting Suite. You know those gift bags have a reputation of including fabulous must haves.

Patron gifts of $12,500- $20,000 receive four VIP tickets with priority row seating, VIP celebrity gift bags, access to the VIP Celebrity Gifting Suite, and backstage passes.

Patron gifts of $20,500 + receive five (yes 5!) VIP tickets with front row seating, red carpet access, VIP celebrity gift bags, access to the VIP Celebrity Gifting Suite, backstage passes, photo ops with reality stars, on stage thank you,  and celebrity tweets.

Reality Star List Please!
So there is this constant mention of reality stars. I promise, it’s not a ploy. You can expect to see these stars doing their part to help AIDS United.  This is just an abbreviated list. There are others. You’ll just have to come to the event and see them.

Janice Dickinson of Americas Next Top Model
Nikki Rae Walker of Big Rich Texas
Mike Ruiz of The A List New York
Anthony Lombardi of JerseyLicious
Jon Kutlu of Glam Fairy
Briella Calafore's of Glam Fairy
Jessica Romano of Glam Fairy
Tiffany "New York" Pollard of I Love New York
Brittany Brower of Americas Next Top Model Cycle 4
Aviva Drescher of Bravo TV's The Real Housewives of New York City 

You have to admit—that’s one super fabulous way to give back. All it takes is writing a check and you can have one of the options listed above. You’ll network, have a grand time, and help AIDS United all at the same time.  To become a patron, email the amazing Monique Tatum or call 877.841.7244.

One more thing. Becoming a patron means you can take this off your taxes. That doesn’t hurt either. You really should be doing this because the fact that there are 300,000 people in the US who have HIV/AIDS but don’t even know it, spreading the virus is unacceptable. If you’re in the NYC area, take a stand and make a positive impact. Becoming a patron is easy and oh so worth it!

"Giving Back" for Professionals


It’s the time of year when we think of others, buying gifts, donating our time, and even making monetary donations. I’m a big advocate for getting involved in our local communities and making a positive impact on issues we care about most.  As a professional, it’s even more important to get involved.  Here’s why.

Networking
Making the choice to get involved with an organization can open doors to new opportunities you weren’t aware of. Trust me. I’ve done this. With every nonprofit I’ve worked with, I’ve connected with other professionals. They learn who you are and your strengths. When you need it, should you need it, those connections will come in handy and may even help you land your next career opportunity.

Positive Impact
This is the most important to me as a professional because it’s also the less selfish reason. Getting involved with a nonprofit organization should not be about what you will gain from the interaction, but rather what you can do to make a positive impact. Being selfless is incredibly rewarding. Working hard, using your super amazing talents to make a positive impact will leave a lasting a impression your community. These positive impacts will last longer than any personal gain. You will be changing lives.

A Good Time
From all my efforts, working with various nonprofits, I have to say that one of the selfish reasons I volunteer my marketing efforts or attend events is because it is fun.  You socialize with others, working hard together to do something amazing that will impact your community….You smile, you laugh…and have fun. Whether that includes drinks or food or getting down and dirty and actually doing labor, it’s fun to give back. You make new friends and personal connections you would have never had. I’ve met some of my dearest friends because I chose to volunteer.

Professionals Can Help By…

 There are many ways you as a professional can help.  It’s really a question of how much time you have. You can:
·      Offer your talents pro-bono. I do this all the time. I offer nonprofits the use of my marketing skills to help promote events and raise funds. You can do the same thing if you have the time.
·      Attend events. Events are so much fun. They are super easy and almost effortless. Sometimes all you have to do is buy a ticket, get dressed up (depending on the event), and have fun at the event.
·      Get your company involved. If you find a nonprofit you really care about and think your company would be willing to help out, ask your boss if you can get your coworkers involved. It’s great team building and will really boost the moral and culture of your office.
·      Donate money. If you don’t have the time, but you have the funds, you can make a monetary donation. Nonprofits are in desperate need of funding. You would still be making a positive impact just by writing a check.

As you go throughout your workday, think about what you can do to lend a hand. Do it because you care and because you feel called to help. It doesn’t have to be now because it’s holiday season. You should always look for opportunities to make our communities more beautiful and add more smiles to sad faces. 


Image courtesy of pakorn from freedigitalphotos.net