What can we do?

Man Paper AirplaneThat was the honest question asked by a new blogger.  "What can we do to get our company blog post out there more?"  

They wanted to know if others would re-post their blogs or if other bloggers might use their content or if somebody in publishing might pick up their blog for some technical information.

Here is the reality:  Other bloggers might pick up another company blog IF it has amazing content. The blog might get re-posted IF there is some really interesting content that helps others. The media might pick up the blog if, once again, there is some great content that they might not have access to.

Notice the one word "content".

To be fair, we had not seen this corporate blog until we got the email and once we clicked through and found it...

Lesson #1 about blogging:  Quit selling!  When your company blog is simply a sales message about what you can do or what you have for sale or how wonderful your service is...nobody will pick it up or re-post other than friends (maybe) and family (maybe).

Three tips on content:

Be Helpful - You might have the very best product on the market but if you are seen as constantly selling it...it turns folks off.  Better to tell a story about how your product or service truly helped somebody that needed it. Story telling is powerful.

Be Sincere - The days of the "Snake Oil Salesman" are long gone. (Unless you are in politics it seems.) Better to help people understand how you can fix a problem they have and be factual.  

Be Easy - A blog post should not scream at the reader.  It can be funny, helpful, informative but bold type, various hot colors in the text don't cut it.

One more?  For your blog post to "get out there" you must post more than three times a month. Honest...

Now, go "Get Out There!"

Thanks for reading...

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The Power of Sharing

Our agency Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is the fuel behind the daily business news broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour where we report on Yarn ONE usethe business news of the nation, region and the Des Moines Metro. 

Along with the business news of the day we also have a business interview or two.


One of the things we do is, following the interview, we send to the business we've just interviewed the link to the Radio Blog, the Podcast Page and several photos.  We tell our guests they can use them however they wish.  They can post on Facebook, on
their own website, share on Twitter...whatever it takes to get even more benefit out of their time behind the microphone.  Yarn Two

Here is a great example of doing it all well: (Go ahead and click the images!)

On October 15 we interviewed Beth Rowles from the Yarn Junction located in Valley Junction in West Des Moines.  Since then her interview has been downloaded over 500 times!  Here is a screen shot of our Podcast Page with the numbers clearly shown:

How was she able to boost the value of her 10 minute interview?

She did exactly as we suggested.  She placed a photo of her doing the broadcast on her website along with the interview...see.


Yarn threeThen she went to Facebook where she posted the same thing and notice that there were 1
3 shares of her post...which no doubt accounted for more downloads and listens.

Clearly she "got it" when it came to boosting the value of her time in studio and she did exactly as we suggested.  


Nice job Beth and Crew!!  Oh, you want to see that screen shot of her Facebook Page too?  

Here you go, click on the image. 

 

How to turn ten minutes into so much more...it is the Power of Sharing!  Something for your business to remember when you've been in front of the media and you want to extend the value of your opportunity!

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The New RAGBRAI Logo

When we first saw the 2015 RAGBRAI Logo we LOVED it! And, because Soviet Ag Poster (some of us are old enough to recognize some historical things) it looked faintly like a Soviet Agricultural Poster from the Stalin Era. See...

That made it all the better...great lines and the "red star" made it even more attractive. (Commies....)

Then our friends from the "cycling community" started to voice concerns, "It looks like the tractor is running over a bicycle!" was the most 
RAGBRAI Logo 2015common.  And, indeed, if you look at the logo with that eye...it does.

"News Flash!" (Yep, the words of the RAGBRAI Director...) Clearly the Des Moines Register graphic design folks must have read the piece written by our friend Kyle Munson just days before the logo reveal (maybe not) which centered on the killing of a cyclist in Calhoun County early this year.  The judge set down the maximum penalty under Iowa Law, $1,500.  If you didn't read that you can listen in to a segment of the Business News Hour where it was discussed. 

Did we happen to mention that Iowa has fallen in the rankings of "bicycle friendly states" from 6th most friendly to...25th?

But, this isn't about the pitiful way in which Iowa treats its cyclists.  Or how many folks in Rural Iowa think bicycles have no place on the roads of our state.  Nope, it's about the logo...which, by the way, we still like.

Now, if only, we could get more folks in Iowa to love cycling for more than the dollars it brings some of our hamlets, THAT would be super!

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Mobile Doesn't Matter?

Being able to connect your message with your target consumer has never My Emma Opens Desk vs Mobile been easier or more complicated.  We've got all sorts of tools from email campaigns, traditional media, social media and so much more. That's why these latest statistics are so important.

We've been telling our clients, and anybody else who might listen, that having the ability for your message to be seen and understood by mobile devices is so critical. And, I've got proof (I know, you like the proof part.)

We do a weekly newsletter that highlights our guest list for the daily business broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour.  The percentage of people who open the email is pretty good, averaging about 34%.  How they are getting the email is even more astounding:  About 36% of the folks who open the newsletter do so on...wait for it...mobile.

Mobile is responsible for over a third of our readers.

So, how about you?  Can your message be seen by your target market? Can your website be used by your target market?

Or...not?

Mobile Matters...

Need some help getting there?  Ask your local advertising agency or give us a call...love to chat about the opportunity! 

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Oversaturation!

Why would you want to start a new business?  It's a fair question and one we asked Joe Shields MPL talking 21 August 2014ourselves when we launched the only business news broadcast in the region. After all, does the Metro really need another news/talk outlet?

The answer on that is a firm "No!"

And, judging by this article about "Oversaturation", we were right when we launched and said, "This is non toxic-talk radio".  This is the business news of the nation, region and Des Moines Metro without the shouting and finger pointing.

The article mentions "listener fatigue" because what you'll often hear on "news/talk" stations is the same old thing, outrage and silliness. And, listeners are tired.

When we launched Insight on Business the News Hour last year our goal was, and is, to give voice to the owner/managed businesses that would never get a chance to tell their story in a broadcast.  To provide news that is not only informative but also useful in the business environment.  To celebrate the large and the small and be even handed.

Why?  Because nobody in the broadcast world was doing it.  Nobody, and that would make it...."under-saturated".

Thanks for the opportunity!

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The Numbers...Just Stop It!

This is severely going to fly in the face of those of you who slice and dice Stop figureyour engagement metrics.  I know some business people who pour over the analytics, spending hours comparing last month to this month, how long a person lingered on their website, how many page views, what they looked at last before they were gone.

Stop it...

Go check the deposit tickets.

Did your marketing efforts result in more (wait for it...) sales?  If the answer is "yes" wonderful keep rolling forward.  If the answer is "no" let's start to pay attention to your message.  In other words does your marketing message match the needs of your target market?  Are you using the correct channels to reach your target audience? 

Don't get me wrong.  Your metrics can yield some valuable information but, from our seat, you might better spend your time with a focus on the message and the channel.  

But, hey, we're "old school" about those sales things.

Thanks for reading!

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What's Your Value?

Not long ago I was visiting with another business owner and he asked me what Business Value"value" I brought to the business relationship.  It's a good question and something that goes beyond, "What is it that you do?"

Without a doubt the value we bring to business, any business, is the ability know what consumers want; often long before our clients.

How can that be?  It's our business to hyper-listen to consumers because those are the folks who are buying what our clients have to sell.  It doesn't mater if it is a product or a service.  What does matter is are you selling what the consumer wants?  Are you bringing true value to the consumer?

Even a commodity has value.  It might be price or delivery or something else...but there is value here.

However, if you are selling something really special are you taking that thing that is special to the consumer and explaining its...value?

Here's a test:  Did you know NAPA, you know the car repair centers, have a 24 month guarantee on the parts they install in your vehicle? Let's say you get your car fixed by a NAPA Center in Dubuque and you drive to Denver and the part fails. Did you know that NAPA will replace that part and even pick up the cost of labor?

I didn't. 

I see loads of TV ads...but can't remember this being mentioned.  Maybe I missed it...but that, my friends, is value.  But...how is it being explained?  I dunno.  You? 

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No, Not Your Grocery Store!

Pepsi just launched a new mid-calorie drink but you'll not find it at your Pepsi True grocery store and it won't be at the local convenience store you'll only be able to get it at...wait for it...Amazon.com.

Seriously, no Pepsi True at your grocery store.

So, is this a big deal or a gimmick?  We think it is a seismic big deal because it points to the power of online vs. brick & mortar.  But there is more to this and that part has to do with saving launch dollars.

Pepsi saves money by not having to provide distribution to physical locations across the nation.  They won't have to pump up a traditional advertising campaign.  It's a very low cost roll-out.  And, if the soda catches on with consumers Pepsi has the option to move the product into brick and mortar stores...quickly.  And, this is cool, the money they save can be then spent in distribution and marketing.  In other words, they can "bank their savings" now and then...only if Pepsi True takes off...they can lay out the cash.  If it flops...no biggie.

Your take-a-way? Can you find alternative distribution methods to take your product or service to the consumer and then...bank your savings for a launch when it is accepted?

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Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency and the fuel that powers the only daily business news broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

Wait! What?

"Free? Did he say, free? Nah, what's the hook?" Man Surprised

There isn't one. Over a year ago our ad agency, frustrated that the broadcast media in the Des Moines Metro ignored much of the business news being generated by small to mid-size businesses, decided to try something.

If no one was going to spend the time broadcasting the business news of the nation, region and the Des Moines Metro...well...we would step up and do it. So we kicked off Insight on Business the News Hour with the Des Moines Radio Group. We purchased the time, we own the hour. Each day, Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT we talk about the business news of the day and provide business an opportunity to come to the station and talk about...their business.

For...free.

It's "Non-Toxic Talk Radio" there isn't any "gotcha" moments. Our goal is to help drive the business of business.

We're able to do this because we've got some great partners as sponsors who believe in live, local broadcasting about...business the engine that moves our Metro.

And, it doesn't stop there. We made the decision to put up a podcast of each business interview so that those businesses who come and share their story can extend their reach beyond the eight to twelve minutes we broadcast live. To date there have been close to 30,000 downloads of those business interviews. The cost? Free.

Then we take that interview, photos and video and share it with thousands of our friends on social media...for, you guessed it...free.

So how about your business? I'd invite you to give me a call directly and let's talk about the Business News Hour and having you set a date to talk...business. My direct line is 515-331-3207.

Thanks for reading....

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How to Recruit, Retain and Polish Your Brand

Here, in the Des Moines Metro, the unemployment rate is about 3.5 Woman Help Wantedpercent. Statistics say that about a third of those unemployed are not seeking a job. If that is correct the unemployment rate may be closer to 2 percent and THAT is a pretty tight labor market when you're seeking to hire...anybody.

What to do?  Back in April I authored a piece on using radio and today I'm even more convinced that this will work and work well; especially for specific job postings that are nearly impossible to fill.  

Why?

Because with radio you can be strategic in your search for high quality employees who...given the unemployment rate...are not in the job market.

Until today I had no idea there were 10,000 job boards in the United States and that only 39% of American's read a newspaper (hard copy or online) and that the average newspaper (hard copy) reader is over the age of 60. Stunning, right?

With radio you can target and passively recruit and drive interested people to YOUR job posting not everybody else seeking an employee. In addition friends and family of the job seeker hears the radio campaign and shares the news with the seeker.

And retaining?  That "Employee of the Month" plaque; who sees it?  But by using radio to congratulate individuals on their anniversary month...everybody hears it.  Retain or you must re-train.

And, finally, all the time you are in the campaign you are polishing your business brand...in public.

Make sense?

It does to us!

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