• 4 Basic Rules for Approaching Influencers

    You’ve probably heard the word “Influencer” floating around the web lately. Yes, now those we follow and learn from have a name. While these influencers are members of our industry that we find authoritative, what’s cool about how they’re changing the industry is by creating a community. Labeling different companies, organizations, and people in industries who have an impact as “Influencers” is allowing us to have conversations with them and engage. It’s helping us build our followers and network to build stronger relationships. One of the ways we’re building relationships is to reach out to influencers about posting on their website. This can be intimidating at first and so we wanted to give you some tips on the best way to go about your approach. Be Real Working on the internet has us interacting with screens most of the time. That said, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t still capable of sniffing out a phony. When you approach an influencer, be honest about your motives (which should be genuine). Make sure that you stay on brand in your message. If your influencer goes to your website and your social media channels and sees that the site has a certain sort…

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  • Influencing Influencers – What Seed Content Can Do For You

    Top of mind for most marketing directors is the eternal quest to create relationships with influencers. Capturing their attention, forging a relationship, fostering good will – and getting them to share your content. Every content marketer knows this is the alchemy that turns base metal into gold. But achieving this transmutation is often easier said than done. Value Is The Measure And it comes down to a simple reason: how can you even approach a famous (and busy) influencer without seeming self-serving and off-putting? Ask not, O despairing creator of content, what value you seek to gain, but what value you bring to the relationshi Knowledge Is Power Capturing the attention of influencers is first and foremost a matter of understanding those influencers. What matters to them? What do they care about? Not knowing their passions and peeves can mean that generic emails and other clumsy attempts at contact will bounce higher than a rubber ball. Like a general planning an extended campaign, your first concern is climate and terrain. Stalk those influencers whom you hope to woo; understand where they’re coming from. Once you can grasp solidly what they value, you can plan on bringing that value to the…

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  • 8 Ways To Ruin Your Branded Content

    Brand content is among the most useful online marketing tools. A recent study by Online Publishers Association revealed that “web sites featuring branded content outscored internet industry norms 41 out of 43 times across a wide range of advertising metrics.” But branded content is a two-edged sword: do it poorly and you’re almost worse off than having no content at all. Here are some of the most common traps the unwary marketer can succumb to. Don’t listen. The modern consumer wants dialogue with business, so relaying on outdated advertising that only talks about the company and products in hyper-glowing terms is a safe bet to alienate consumers. Hard sales tactics couched in the language of self-flattery is marketing suicide to an age jaded and skeptical of marketing claims. Listening to customers’ concerns gives you the means to gather data and make informed decisions with accuracy and speed that marketers of a generation ago could only dream about. Write primarily for SEO. You’ll never fool anyone. Focusing on keyword density is not going to be the portal to quality content. Instead focus on developing an authentic voice to share useful information about your products and services. Consumers use internet searches and…

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  • A Blog’s Not Just a Blog: The Evolution of Content Marketing

    It’s a question just about everyone gets on a regular basis: What do you do? And as someone who ghostwrites client blogs for a living, the right answer has often eluded me. If I say I’m a writer, people automatically assume I’ve written a book, or that I write for a magazine. It’s a response that instantly elicits a high level of prestige and respect. But while I have written for magazines, that’s not what I do now. If I say I’m a ghostwriter, people usually need clarification. They have a vague idea of a ghostwriter as someone who writes a book for a famous person who couldn’t string two words together on his or her own, but then gets none of the credit – still a respectable job in their eyes, just one that keeps a writer out of the spotlight. Interestingly, though, if I say I’m a blogger, all I get are polite but disinterested – and sometimes even dismissive – responses: “Ohhhh….” or “Huh. Really? Ha-ha!” “Blogs” have become so ubiquitous, and “bloggers” so numerous and varied, that most people associate the terms with mediocre-quality writing and an inflated sense of self-importance. My own parents told me…

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  • How To Successfully Market Music Online

    Today we’re excited to have the opportunity to share a blog post written by one of Zen Media’s content marketing interns, Matthew McFarlane. Matthew is an English major at the University of Missouri – Columbia. In this article, he gives musicians insight into how they can increase their fan base through online marketing.   With the advent of the Internet and the current ability of its users to share music, legally or illegally, the way artists and bands market their music has changed dramatically. The ability of an artist to expand their listening base and find more fans across the country, and even the world, has increased exponentially, but the way those fans consume their music has changed as well. Without using the Internet to their advantage, an up-and-coming artist can be hurt by its disadvantages, namely piracy. Let’s take a look at some of the more creative ways a band or recording artist can make use of online marketing. Social Media Using social media to connect with fans is a must. There is no easier way to expand your fan base and keep them updated as to what you are doing. Someone who hears your biggest song might use Shazam to…

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