Author Marketing 101

YOU are your own best marketer.

No matter who else you hire and what you do, 
no one else will ever promote your book like you will. That means YOU have to work at it.

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet of what you should be doing before your book comes out.

  1. Pre-order Phase

• Establish social media accounts and a landing page for your book.

• Set up a payment system to accept online payments for your book – 
do not forget to add in the cost of shipping your book.

• Build interest on social media.

• Secure testimonials from friends, authors, experts, etc. 

• In normal times, this is when you schedule book signings several months out. 
Now, that might mean virtual readings and signings.

• Get press – send releases to hometown and current newspapers, colleges, 

any professional or recreational organizations you are associated with.

Stop Paying Too Much – Follow These 10 Best Practices for SEO Success

Lately, I’ve heard from way too many local business owners who are paying way too much for SEO services that are simply not working. The scary truth is that unless you have a very custom niche – or a bottomless budget – paid SEO is not the right fit for most small businesses. However, there are some things that you (or someone in your office) can do to get higher search engine rankings that don’t cost anything except your time (with the exception of the first item on this list).

Please note that search engine algorithms that determine rankings change often, but there are still tried and true SEO methods that are proven to help you rise higher in the rankings despite these shifting trends.

Here are the Top 10 best practices for SEO success:

  1. Ensure that your website is secure. Most people are concerned with the privacy and security of the websites that they visit. Consequently, this is also a crucial ranking factor in the search engines. A secure website will always rank higher than one that isn’t secure.
    • Talk with your web host or web manager about the type of security that is most appropriate for your website. A security certificate will ensure that your content is delivered by SSL (secure socket layer).
    • With SSL, your website will start with an “https://” instead of “http://” and the little lock icon will show up next to the web address in many browsers.
  2. Add your main keyword early into the content. Including your keyword early on lets search engines know what your content is about. Additionally, sprinkle the main keyword throughout the rest of your content – without going overboard.
    • This will tell the search engines that this term is important, which will help you rank well for this term.
  1. Use unique titles, descriptions, and content. This lets search engines know that your content is original material and can add further knowledge to the other information that can already be found on the internet about your topic.
  1. Optimize your title tag for SEO. Always include your main keyword in the title tag for your website, and if possible, put it at the start of the title. This will give priority to this keyword.
  1. Ensure that your website loads quickly. It’s important that you make your website load as quickly as possible. Especially with the dominance of smartphones, loading time is an important ranking factor for search engines.
    • Compress the size of images, remove any unneeded code, and consider using a content delivery network (CDN). If you use a CDN, your website will be able to serve images and other media from servers that are close to your audience, thus cutting down on the loading time.
    • Many web hosts now use CDNs to deliver content for their clients’ websites. Talk with your web host or your web manager about this priority.
    • If you have a WordPress site, there are many plugins that help you speed up the loading time for your website. 
  1. Optimize any images. You can do this by giving the filenames descriptive names. Using image alt text is also recommended so that search engines can understand which images are on your website. Properly optimized images can boost your website rank.
  1. Use internal linking. The key here is to link to your main pages. So, any smaller pages can link to a larger, authoritative piece. This will help to increase the rank of the more important page.
    • Try to use the main keyword, or a variation of it, in your internal links to ensure that the search engines know what the page is about.
  1. Create amazing content. Write high-quality content that answers questions that your readers might have about your topic.
    • If you can answer a question in less than 1,000 words, that is fine.
    • While search engines sometimes give weight to longer, authoritative content, be aware that your readers might not read it all. So strike a proper balance between catering to search engines and serving the clients who do find your page. 
  1. Build backlinks to your website. Despite what you may have read online that backlinks are no longer important, when done properly, are still critical. They show the search engines that your content is valuable enough for other webmasters to link to.
    • When you first start your website, you may want to go slow when building backlinks. After a few months, you’ll be able to ramp up your efforts.
    • With this strategy, you want to obtain links from other important websites in this field.Links from low-quality websites that accept advertising from anyone to any website are actually likely to hurt your search engine rankings.
  1. Look at the user experience. If you find that visitors are struggling to navigate your website or that you have a high bounce rate, which is when people leave your website after just a short time, take a close look at your user experience.
    • Perhaps your visitors aren’t finding the answers that they’re looking for, or maybe your website is broken in some way. See what you can do to improve the overall experience of your visitors.

Following these Top 10 SEO best practices will enable you to achieve higher rankings affordably. The higher you rank, the more traffic you should be able to drive to your site, which ultimately leads to more sales.

Marketing Arts in a Post-Covid Age

A huge thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle / Hearst Bay Area for including our founder as one of the marketing leaders in the arts and entertainment industry they tapped for marketing tips on how brands can navigate these unchartered waters.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Tip 3: Create and Share Activities for Families 

“Arts and entertainment brands are in a unique position to engage the public in a positive way during these challenging times.

Families are struggling to fill days with activities they can do from their homes, presenting a unique opportunity to engage audiences you might not ordinarily reach. Find one way that your brand can offer either a hands-on project for children or a virtual offering and reach out to local media to promote it heavily. Get creative and build on what you already do so well.

Your brand will help the public in a challenging time, which will be remembered long after this pandemic passes.

Read the entire article here.

Communicating In the Age of Coronavirus

It’s only natural to want to shut down when the world is quite literally closing its doors around you. When we watch the news (or look at our portfolios) it can seem as if the proverbial end of the world is at hand. While taking necessary precautions during this uncertain times is essential – business, and your clients’ need for your business, will not stop.

It will, however, most certainly change, and that’s where a strong communications game becomes even more vital.

If you haven’t yet developed a realistic plan for what your organization will look like over the coming weeks, take the time to do so.

If you haven’t yet considered alternate ways to get your essential products and/or services into clients’ hands, take the time to do so.

If you haven’t yet examined other opportunities that may arise from this crisis (not in an exploitative way, but in a manner that is a natural evolution of your business), take the time to do so.

But most importantly, take the time to talk to and reassure your clients. Let them know what your plans are – and realize that it’s okay for those plans to evolve. Let them know that you, like them, are in uncharted territory but navigating it with their needs in mind.

Because when this passes, and it will pass, the business landscape will be altered in many ways – some small and some significant. The first steps to making certain that your organization still has a place in it is making certain that clients remember that you are still here and that you were there for them.

 

IE Marketing Earns Constant Contact All Star Award

Recognized Among Top 10 Percent of Customers Driving Powerful Email Marketing Results

 

Lake Norman, NC — April 14, 2019– IE Marketing, a local boutique marketing agency, has been named a 2018 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact, an Endurance International Group company and a leader in small business marketing solutions. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10 percent of Constant Contact’s customer base, based on their significant achievements using email marketing to engage their customer base and drive results for their organization during the prior year.

“We’re thrilled to once again be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results for our clients,” notes IE Marketing Principal Trish Stukbauer. “Constant Contact’s tools have helped us assist our clients in better managing customer/ constituent relationships, driving engagement, and increasing sales. Gaining tangible results for our clients is what we pride ourselves on, and this is one of the many tools that helps us achieve that goal.”

 

Small businesses and nonprofits using Constant Contact’s online marketing tools are eligible for this award. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following during 2018:

 

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

 

“Constant Contact’s primary goal is to fuel small business success. We know it’s not an easy road for small business owners, which is why we work to provide easy and affordable marketing tools and advice that can elevate their customer engagement and awareness to new levels,” said Holli Scott, Vice President of Customer Success. “The campaigns created by this year’s All Stars demonstrate that a business, regardless of its size, can accomplish their marketing goals and we celebrate IE Marketing’s impressive achievements with this All Star Award.”

 

About IE Marketing
IE Marketing puts your message in other words: Words that cut through the clutter to generate results. With more than two decades of experience in B2C, B2B and non-profit communications, IE Marketing creates content that drives conversations for clients ranging from international creative groups to enterprise-level organizations, marketing agencies on both coasts, and organizations just like yours. Contact them today at trish@instantedits.com

 

About Constant Contact

Constant Contact, an Endurance International Group company and a leader in online marketing for more than 20 years, offers an easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses create professional campaigns that can help increase customers and revenue. From advanced automation features to industry-leading integrations, to personalized coaching, Constant Contact is the trusted marketing partner of hundreds of thousands of growth-minded small businesses around the world. For more information, visit: www.constantcontact.com.

 

About Endurance International Group

Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc. helps millions of small businesses worldwide with products and technology to enhance their online web presence, email marketing, business solutions, and more. The Endurance family of brands includes: Constant Contact, Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com and SiteBuilder, among others. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance employs over 3,800 people across the United States, Brazil, India and the Netherlands. For more information, visit: www.endurance.com.

 

Endurance International Group and the compass logo are trademarks of The Endurance International Group, Inc. Constant Contact, the Constant Contact logo and other brand names of Endurance International Group are trademarks of The Endurance International Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries.

 

 

How Heinz won the Super Bowl by Punting

Super Bowl Sunday is the day of the year that marketers truly relish: The day when EVERYONE turns on the TV just to watch their ads. Taken as a whole, this year’s crop seemed just okay to say the least. From political statements that tried to unite but may have actually divided to humor that fell flat, I don’t think there are too many companies that are looking at an earth-shattering ROI on their substantial investment.

smunday

Except perhaps for one that decided not to play. Kraft Heinz opted to take the money they would have spent on a Super Bowl commercial and use it to give all of their salaried employees – more than 42,000 – a paid day off on Super Bowl Monday. They went so far as to launch a social media campaign (complete with a truly funny video) and petition calling for “Smunday” to be a national holiday that has garnered 65,082 signatures as I write this.

While “Smunday” might not have the impact of a Tom Brady-esque super bowl spot, it definitely gave the company some fabulous PR for a league minimum price. (The only thing I wish they would have done differently is to give their hourly factory employees a day off as well, or switch it from salary to hourly if budget was truly an issue. That would have scored huge points in an era when everyone is trying to cater to blue collar workers, voters and customers.)

Overall, “Smunday” represents the kind of creative, out-of-the-box marketing that we love to see our clients learn from and adapt to their own businesses.

Change is Here!!

What are the perils, influences and merits of progress? change

CHANGE: Robots Driving Covered Wagons, explores these ideas in a volume of evocative poetry from Glenn Proctor – award-winning journalist, mentor and leadership coach. Proctor wants his poems to elicit responses: an agreeable nod, a wrinkled grimace, a flat chuckle, a blank stare or a reader feeling that a poem spoke specifically to them.

Change is the  just-released last volume of the Finding Dust Trilogy that includes:

  • KICKING BOTTLES, NEWS & DUST: the story of a foster kid in the 1950s, raising children as a single parent, decades as a journalist and becoming a top editor.
  • Love, Lust & Flirts: celebrates the fun, joy and pain of relationships.

Learn more and buy it at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Outskirts Press.