Blog

The New Twoosh: What Twitter’s 280-character rollout means for B2B marketers

A tweet that is exactly 140-charaters is called a “twoosh.” As of last week, this definition is null and void. Twitter announced the biggest change to their service in their 10-year history: doubling the platform’s character restriction from 140 to 280 characters. They have also moved the user name character restriction from 20 to 50 characters.

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Keep the Cookie Cutters in the Kitchen

Unless I happen to be standing courtside at an NBA game, I’m pretty easy to spot in a crowd. I’m 6’6”, which is great when I’m playing basketball, but it can be a real problem when doing everyday things like shopping for clothes. If I’m fortunate enough to even find clothes in my size, I have to try every single item on, even though the labels all indicate the same size. You’ve likely experienced this frustration too: picking out two shirts or dresses that are the same size, but are made by different companies, and finding that one fits while the other does not. (Don’t even get me started on airplane seats.) One size truly does not fit all, at least that’s too often my experience.

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How to Become an Inbound Marketing Content Creation Machine!

Even if you’re not an HBO subscriber, you’re likely familiar with the network’s smash hit “Game of Thrones.” The latest season ended a couple weeks ago, and HBO is basking in the glow of nationwide media coverage and thousands of fans promoting the show across their social media networks. But if HBO does not hook viewers with new shows, many will just move to other channels that offer the content they want to consume and share. Your prospective and current customers can be just as fickle when it comes to the inbound marketing content you develop in the on-going effort to hook them and turn them into brand advocates. As long as they find the content fresh and compelling, they’ll keep coming back. But if it grows stale or doesn’t answer their questions, you’ll quickly lose them. So how can you become that great content creation machine? The first step, without exception, is to develop a plan of action, even if at first that is simply laying out a series of processes you and your team can follow.

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Measuring the Value of PR Requires Looking at Outcome, Not Output

When my husband and I recently bought a new car, we began our search not by wandering from dealership to dealership, but by conducting several hours of research at home. We read dozens of reviews and recommendations, paying particular attention to those that examined the features and safety ratings important to us. We were just as interested in reading case studies about why buyers selected their cars as much as were in the experts’ reviews. We searched industry publications like Consumer Reports and Car and Driver, consumer and car enthusiasts’ blogs, and social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. By the time we walked into the dealership, we had basically already made up our minds. The salesperson merely helped to validate our choice.

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Marketing/Sales/PR Commandment: Know Thy Customer!

There is an unwritten commandment to marketing, PR and sales … “know thy customer!” Knowing who the customer is requires a holistic view based upon good research and solid facts to ensure that what you deliver in the way of content, messaging and features meets your customer’s needs.

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What the Red Cups Revival Can Teach Us About Timely Social Media

It’s that wondrous time of year again, when the temperature drops, snow starts to fall, and Christmas flavored everything hits the market.  What can gingerbread lattes and peppermint mochas tell you about social media?

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Social Media Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s the holiday season, and everyone is winding down for the end of the year and getting ready for the December holidays to begin. It’s important to think ahead to figure out your social media strategy for the upcoming season.

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Get Rid of the Muck - Five Tips for Contributing a Gem

Editors at TechCrunch and ReadWrite say they’ve seen more poorly written contributed articles cross their desks recently than ever before. The editors at GigaOm are so tired of promotional articles being submitted for consideration that they are now refusing to consider articles submitted by PR and marketing professionals.

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Steve Jobs Didn’t Like Focus Groups. Why You Should.

Steve Jobs reportedly hated focus groups. His famous quote …

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The Kobayashi Maru and Other Marketing Stories

If you know Star Trek at all, you recognize the name Kobayashi Maru as that of a pivotal test James Kirk, as a cadet at Star Fleet, had to take to become an officer. No cadet had ever passed the scenario because it was, in fact, a no-win situation (details are here for closet Trekkies who aren’t familiar with this story).

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7 Tips to Write Your Blog Post Today, Not Tomorrow

Blogging once a week is one of the most helpful SEO practices a marketer can do. You need to feed the Google monster and it survives on a diet of fresh content. The more blog posts you create the more chances you have to boost your search ranking for a variety of keyword phrases. More quality posts mean more quality traffic.

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Inbound Marketing: Rethinking PR's Relationship with Sales

For more than a decade I have been doing public relations for healthcare and technology companies. Clients often asked me how PR helps their business increases sales. This conversation happened so often that I had a memorized response — PR isn’t lead generation, but instead it provides thought leadership and brand recognition.

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Oxford Dictionary, AP Stylebook, I'm More Than Over Your Cray Updates

I’m a word nerd. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation make me happy. It’s surprising that I didn’t become a copy editor. I have a love for my red pen (and its successor: track changes in Word) that some may find disturbing.

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Unleashing the Power of the Customer Voice

“I love you but I will never admit it in public.”

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The Four “B”s of Thought Leadership

What is one of the most effective ways companies can become better known in their industry? The answer lies in an effective thought leadership program. But first, what is thought leadership?

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Four Social Media Mistakes Every Executive Should Avoid

Early in my mother’s elementary school career she mistakenly learned to spell the word “been” as “bean.” Throughout her adult life this mistake has been (or is it bean?) something she has been (or bean?) cognizant to recognize and correct. However, the mistake became a habit and has been a struggle for her and at times she still misspells the word.

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Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and LinkedIn

How many degrees of separation are you from Kevin Bacon? If you don’t know the parlor game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is based off of the concept that everyone on earth is six or fewer links away from another person. But wait, in today’s social media run world, isn’t everyone just one or two connections away from any celebrity or business guru? While that may be true, following Beyoncé on Twitter does not make the connection real and worthwhile. So how does one harness connections made and with another and utilize that network of people in a real and marketable way?

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The "Be" Attitudes of Work and Life

Our attitudes can make or break any opportunity whether at work, home or play. If your attitude doesn’t add value to any project or opportunity, very little will help you be successful at achieving your desired goal. For example, I had a co-worker that I didn’t get along with and every meeting we were in together turned into an argument and ultimately we both decided we couldn’t work together. Thankfully, I had a manager pull me aside and suggest that I try something different – a change of attitude. He suggested that I separate my frustration and anger for this person from the situation. By stepping back and removing myself from the situation I realized that I was ignoring real issues simply because he brought them up. Clearly my poisoned attitude toward him wasn’t helping either of us succeed.

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Run for the Hills

When was the last time you watched a movie about a crisis or disaster? Given the popularity of the genre, it probably hasn’t been long. I’ve noticed that when disaster strikes, screen writers take one of two approaches: Everyone runs for the hills or they come out guns blazing.

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Why Infographics?

Infographics are all the rage these days in marketing departments. But why? What can an infographic do that other marketing tools can’t? And, just as importantly, what are the limits of infographics?

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Keeping the Momentum Part II

Keep the heat dialed up.

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Keeping the Momentum Part I

Declare victory and stay home.

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Becoming a True Partner

I was asked recently by a long-time friend how our organization has been able to establish such a loyal client base. A significant portion of our business is comprised of repeat customers – what we call serial clients. As clients are acquired and contacts move on, many come back to Connect. In truth, there is no greater compliment than a repeat customer, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners anew.

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How to Create Content that Does NOT Suck

Content is King. A successful inbound marketing strategy relies on a consistent stream of quality content. And there are hundreds of blog posts out there with a slew of ideas and tips for generating this content. Just search Google for “create great content” and you’ll see 6 tips, 7 elements, 10 commandments, 22 ways and 88 ideas.

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Corvettes and Vipers

Effective marketing requires crisp differentiation. Define a unique market segment and be the best in that segment. Simple enough, but be careful – it is not product differences that define your segment, but rather buyer differences. Segments are defined by unique buyers with unique needs and desires.

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It Starts With a Good Story

I saw two great movies last week. The first – The Sapphires – was an independent film with unknown actors. The other was Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr. You couldn’t find two more different movies in terms of star power, production values, and overall polish.

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The Art of Listening

It was Mark Twain who said “if we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.” In the context of business communications, truer words were never spoken. Over the past 20 years of my career I’ve come to realize that “listening” truly is an art form and an important skill for any marketing professional.

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Pitching the Business Press: Fishing For the Elusive Catch

The fish did not want to go near my bait. I had put out what I considered the ideal fly and perfected the cast – hoping for the “catch” I had been promised by the guide. No bites.

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What, Exactly, Is Inbound Marketing?

A while back one of our clients called and asked if we could help with their inbound marketing. I’ll confess I had heard of the term at the time, but wasn’t precisely sure what it was. I told our client so and she went off to find an inbound marketing firm.

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Getting Views for Your Videos

Two questions clients ask me all the time about online video are “how many views are enough” and “how can I get more views”. These are great questions. The answers might surprise you.

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Who Is Your Target?

Yogi Berra famously said “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” You never knew what Yogi was really talking about, but in this case he may have been talking about choosing your marketing targets carefully. Here are three things I’ve learned over the years about choosing your marketing targets:

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How Do You Define Creativity and Where Do You Look to Find It?

Creative and out-of-the-box are two phrases I tend to hear quite often when talking with clients, friends and colleagues regarding marketing and PR related topics.

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Using Surveys to Create Relevance

I’ve observed that many companies struggle with up-leveling their PR programs beyond product-focused campaigns. Back in 2002 Symantec struggled with that same issue and I proposed what was then a novel idea: A survey that would measure consumers’ experience with spam as well as their general and specific concerns about receiving unsolicited e-mail. The goal was simple. Symantec’s Norton Internet Security included Norton Spam Alert and we wanted to generate issues-based coverage.

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Issues Management: Using Social Media to Mitigate Potential Crises

Social media and public relations professionals across the nation cringed when they saw this pre-scheduled tweet the NRA sent a few hours after the Aurora shooting. Articles and blogs asked: What in the world was the NRA thinking, and could this happen to my organization?

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The Death of Silos

About four years ago we noticed a fundamental shift in marketing. PR — which had always been the lead tactic of emerging technology companies — was becoming less relevant. We never saw the CEO in pitch meetings anymore. You can read our thoughts on what was causing this shift in marketing.

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Surveys Are Not About the Truth

Market surveys don’t discover the truth. They uncover perceptions. Let me give an example.

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How IT Learns About New Technology

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