Madison Marketing Group Blog

A Blogger’s Best Investment?—A Library Card

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And over the centuries our society has given proof to these words. The best and brightest in all fields have continually turned to established experts for advice and inspiration. And this practice has resulted in some pretty great stuff. Otis Redding’s recording of “Respect” catapulted Aretha Franklin to stardom. Van Gogh’s Starry Night became a model for millions of replicas, and the 1983 Scarface we all know and love—1932 remake.

So why don’t we as writers do the same? We work tirelessly to produce quality content while too often not knowing what it really is that makes it quality. We forget that writing is a craft; that it can be studied just like any other. And while left to our own devices we may be able to string together a coherent sentence, can we really hope to achieve excellence without knowing what it looks like?

It doesn't take Sherlock to uncover this mystery—all it takes is a good book. Reading is the easiest, most effective way to improve your writing. Yet many bloggers fail to see this connection and pass reading off as a waste of time. Here it is in black and white:

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4 Basic SEO Tips for YouTube Marketing and Video Marketing

Video search engine optimization (SEO) may be a little less familiar to many of our readers than regular SEO, but it's certainly no less important. In fact, ever since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, it has invested considerable resources in integrating video results into search results. You've probably experienced the results of this investment yourself after conducting a Google search like this one:

It's for this reason that small businesses that find it difficult to rank for important keywords may want to experiment with adding video to their digital marketing strategy. Longer-tail keywords that were once thought of as unattainable may be much easier to rank for simply by creating an SEO-friendly videos. Remember, Google wants to include video results on results pages, so video search marketing is certainly a strategy worth pursuing for such businesses.

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Keeping Premium Content Offers Fresh

This week, we’re focused on ways to keep premium content offers or "text-based marketing content"—eBooks, white papers, case studies, or original reports—as fresh and relevant as possible.

As any inbound or content marketer will tell you, creating valuable lead generation content is not easy—it takes a lot of time and resources, and it can potentially cost a client thousands of dollars per collateral piece.

When collateral is finally launched and doing its job of converting leads, it can definitely be a cause for celebration: the project is complete and the marketing team or agency can focus on campaign duties like measurement, adjustment, and assisting sales.

The problem with this, however, is that marketing content—if done well—is likely chock-full of what we call “fluid” information, meaning information that won’t necessarily be accurate for very long. Think statistics, studies, even product or brand names that change frequently based on market trends and mergers & acquisitions.

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How Content Marketing Generates Qualified Leads

Digital marketers can make a lot of promises. We can promise to improve your business' search rankings, but Google now personalizes search results to an unprecedented extent; where your site ranks when you search for a given keyword may not be where it ranks when prospects search for it.

We can also promise an increase in website traffic, but if those visitors aren't interested in or able to become your customers, what's the point? 

"How could we know that promises end?" — Eric Clapton (and shady digital marketers, too)

For most businesses, the only "thing" that matters when it comes to marketing is the bottom line: are marketing efforts that are executed resulting in an increase in qualified leads that produce sales?

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What's it like to outsource content to an inbound marketing agency?

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The Easiest Way To Manage Your Social Media Reputation?—Stop Doing This

We all have that friend on Facebook at whose comments we simply shake our heads in dismay. That one who tells us exactly what she’s doing at 8:53, shares photos we simply don’t want to see, and complains in every comment box available.

And 15 people chose to comment...

These people always baffle me. It’s as though they feel compelled to hit the enter button, that they don’t realize they can control the image they project to their network.

For everyday Cindy Lou, this isn’t a serious problem. Other than annoy her followers, her ridiculous posts don’t do any real harm. But those using social media for business purposes can’t afford to act like this. Their every action on social media has a direct effect on the reputation of their company.

Because we believe so strongly in the benefits of social media, we’ve often used our blog to advise businesses on what to do on their social sites. But, as is the case with Cindy Lou, when it comes to managing your online reputation, it’s often more about what not to do.

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3 Ways Franchisors Can Engage With Prospects On Twitter

Twitter and Twitter marketing can be a scary undertaking for franchisors. There are millions of prospects out there, but for each of them there are a million more voices trying to get their attention. Furthermore, your messages are restricted to 280 characters — that can't possibly be enough space to sell your brand, right?

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Building a Franchise Website Around Lead Conversion: A Checklist

How can you make sure your franchise website is ready for inbound marketing?

Oftentimes, franchisors looking to add new digital marketing tactics mistakenly believe they can simply tack on such strategies to their existing website and achieve optimal inbound marketing success.

But because inbound marketing strategies in particular work to drive targeted traffic to your website and then convert and nurture them all the way until they buy a franchise (and beyond), it is essential that your entire website is set up to enable success before you just start blogging.

This post provides a short checklist to make sure your franchise website is truly inbound-ready. 

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How To Sell Inbound Marketing To The Decision-Maker

So, you’ve converted—both figuratively and literally, perhaps even on one of our premium content offers. (We have detailed analytics. We know who you are.)

After studying the latest trends in marketing, advertising and public relations, you began to question the very foundation on which a traditional corporate B2B communications strategy is built. Perhaps the best indicator—the one that brought the question to your doorstep—was a gradual southward trending in qualified leads, prospects, or even phone calls at the company for which you, yourself, work.

Soon realizing the domino effects of a marked reduction in sales leads—and thus sales—over an extended period of time, you began to consume everything from the experts touting ‘newer’ ideas in marketing.

Ideas like SEO, CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), social media management, and content publishing as the basis for a marketing strategy executed almost exclusively in the cloud.

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How-To Tuesday: Optimize An Image For Search [Screencast]

Outline: How to optimize an image for search

  1. Make sure your image is a JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, SVG or WebP so Google can index it.
  2. Make sure the filename is descriptive and includes a keyword.
  3. Make sure the title includes a descriptive keyword.
  4. Make sure the meta description is descriptive.
  5. Reference the photo and what's in it within the text.

Learn more about search marketing with our free eBook: The Essentials of Internet Marketing.

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How To Conduct Keyword Research: Some Tools To Try

Weighed down by mounds of research and writing? Find the right tool to do your heavy lifting.

In my latest post I made the claim that keyword research is, essentially, audience research. If you can come to know your customers, you can determine what keywords they’ll use to find you.

How exactly you get to know your audience is up to you. I suggested you simply go out and interact with your target market. But I realize that this approach isn't for everyone. We’re not all social butterflies—especially those of us in digital marketing—and we don’t all have the time to set aside our work and sit idly at Starbucks.

So here’s another option: turn to the web. There are an incredible amount of online tools designed especially for the purpose of keyword research. These tools tell you what words people are using in their searches, how competitive the market for these words is, and how to optimize your content to include them.

Here are 3 you should be familiar with:

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4 Reasons Why Buying Followers Is Always A Bad Idea

Whenever I see a a site or tweet promising thousands of free followers at a low, low cost, a lot of questions run through my mind.

How do these companies make any money? How could anyone possibly think purchasing Facebook Likes or Twitter followers is a good idea? What value do these people think they're getting? Do they know it's a scam?

I just don't get it. Buying followers can do a whole lot of bad things, but only one (kind of) good thing: making a number on your profile page higher than it was before. In most cases, that's all your paying for: a different number. And the bad things? Here we go ...

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In-House Content Creation or Outsourcing, Which Is Better?

Deciding to start an inbound marketing program to generate leads online is the tip of the iceberg. 
 
The next step in creating a functioning and automated system that is always on, acquiring visits and generating leads, is to figure out how you are going to get the work done.
 
That means figuring out who is going to create your content. You've already got a full plate, and it's likely your employees do too.
 
This post examines three ways you can go about creating your own content library along with the pros and cons of each system.
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