A Reputation Management Plan: How to Formulate

Having an online reputation management plan is pretty standard these days. Even if you don’t have any issues with your reputation, it’s good to stay well ahead of the game. All it takes is one negative link ranking on the front page of Google to complicate things. Trust me, I know! In order to achieve reputation management success, I’m going to show you how to formulate a reputation management plan.

Why Online Reputation Matters

The online space is a highly competitive place. A sure way to end up on the bottom is to ignore your own rep management or reputation management for business. When someone looks you up online, what can be perceived from that search is your online reputation. On average, 40,000 Google searches happen every second. When someone searches for you or your business, it’s your responsibility to make sure the right things are shown in the results and not someone who shares your name, but resides in prison. That’s why now is the time to come up with your reputation management plan.

How It Works

Initially, conduct a search and see what pops up in regard to your name or your brand. This is where your rep management begins:

  1. Create your social profiles and pages on networks relevant to your industry. If you’re unsure, Facebook and Twitter are great places to start.
  2. Check and update any local listings showing in the search results on sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
  3. Use Google Alerts to monitor chatter on the web.
  4. Respond to any customer service queries or reviews

Now that you’ve created the right kind of presence, you have completed the first step for online reputation management.

Assessing Your Online Reputation

To assess your online reputation is a lot like our first step in the previous section: Googling yourself or your business. However, this time you need to do it as if you were an anonymous stranger.

  1. Log out of your browser or use a different one that you don’t normally use.
  2. Clear your cache and ensure you are logged out of everything.
  3. Google yourself.
  4. Search alternative engines like Yahoo and Bing.
  5. Assess the situation by making a list of how many sites you control your information on and how you appear.
  6. Conduct research using Google Adwords Keyword Planner to determine what terms are searched most to find you and the overall reputation of those terms.

Once you understand your online presence, you can now put together a reputation management plan.

Formulating Your Reputation Management Plan

Using the information you gathered during your assessment, build your reputation management plan. If you have search terms that return negative results on the first page, tackle these areas. Work diligently on that first page. Remember only 1% of searchers bother to go further.

Creating content is one of the best ways to achieve reputation management success. Check out these types of effective content:

  • Websites – If you don’t own yourname.com, consider buying it and creating a site for your brand
  • Social Media – Post regularly to your social media pages
  • Photos and videos – optimize your images with alt tags or hashtags containing keywords and post them to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, or Pinterest
  • Forums – Participate on online forums and message boards
  • Business Listings – Make sure you’re listed everywhere and that you have control of that listing
  • Press Releases – Share newsworthy events and news

All of these content types can improve your reputation by replacing negative  results with positive authoritative content you create.

Wrap Up

Online reputation management is an ongoing process. You will need to occasionally monitor your progress and adjust your strategies likewise. Once you have things under control, your efforts will eventually turn to prevention. A steady stream of fresh content should maintain things nicely. Let me know about your reputation management success in the comments!

Vick Strizheus’ Email Platform Evaluation

If you haven’t implemented email marketing into your business and begun building your list, then it’s definitely time to get started. Building a list of contacts is the first, cheapest, and most important asset you can build for your business. I’m going to share my email platform evaluation with you to help you get started with the best service for you today!

AWeber

AWeber has long been an industry standard for Internet marketers and it’s a worthy choice. It’s actually the PC Magazine 2016 winner for the Business Choice Award for Best Email Marketing Service. AWeber was founded in 1998 and serves more than 100,000 businesses with its plethora of email marketing tools. If you choose AWeber, you’ll find their tools simple to use and their customer service is second to none. Certainly a great service to get the job done, and you can try them free for 30 days with a trial.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a full-service platform and then some. Not only do they make it simple to handle your email marketing endeavors, but they will also do it for you. If that’s not enough, you can likely find one of their partners near you who is trained and certified to help you get your campaigns off the ground. Since they are a popular platform, you’ll find plenty of ways to integrate them into your business platform and you can get started with their generous 60-day free trial.

MailChimp

MailChimp is another popular service with a ton of integration options. What it does really well is simplify the entire process with templates that are easy to customize and sign-up forms that…well, a chimpanzee could build. Simplicity is very important for beginners, but so it affordability. MailChimp is pretty much the only email marketing service to bring both to the table with their Forever Free plan. This allows you to build a list of up to 2,000 subscribers and send them 6 emails a month (for a total of 12,000) without paying a dime for the service. MailChimp is a little less robust than other services, but this is one of the ways they manage to stay simple and easy to use for a wide margin of users.

Campaigner

Campaigner is another offering that is friendly for newbies. However, you shouldn’t just choose a platform for that reason. One of the more notable things about Campaigner is their research into integrating Buy buttons into social campaigns. That seems like a pretty innovative company to me. Their knack for data and analytics spills over into their platform with some pretty hefty monitoring tools for your campaigns. Overall, Campaigner looks to be a decent new player in this realm and you can find out with a 30-day risk-free trial.

Get Response – Vick’s Pick

I’ve noticed a lot of marketers who’ve had trouble with other platforms use Get Response, but that’s not why it’s my top pick. Get Response simply gets the job done. Their service is reaching nearly 1 billion email recipients per month from the campaigns of more than 350,000 businesses worldwide, including mine. Their simple drag-and-drop design gives me the ability to create campaigns so stunning, you’ll think they were professionally designed. I just have no complaints with this service. I affiliate with them, and I use them exclusively to handle my lists and email campaigns flawlessly. That’s why Get Response is Vick’s Pick for this evaluation. Try them free for 30 days!

Wrap Up

When it’s all said and done, it really doesn’t matter which service you choose, as long as you choose one and start building your list as soon as possible. Most, if not all, of these services will allow you to export your list in a CSV file. That way, you can upload your contacts to a different service later without leaving anyone behind. So, you have no excuse not to choose one and get started.

Let me know in the comments if you started building your list today. What service did you choose?

What’s New with High Traffic Academy? | April 2016 Edition

There are so many new things happening at High Traffic Academy that I can barely keep up with them all, but I’m still so excited to share with you all that’s going on. When I started High Traffic Academy, it was my sincere hope that it would grow to what it has become. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to build this great online marketing company that concentrates on showing others how to do the same.

High Traffic Academy Expands!

First and foremost this month, we opened a new headquarters located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Not only is this our new home base, but it’s also a facility that offers space and equipment for use by our current and future members. In addition, we also welcome guests to come and see what’s happening at High Traffic Academy.

With this new facility, we not only have an awesome space for our staff to work, but a place for the HTA community to hang out and build their businesses. It’s a huge convenience to members residing in the Orange County area. They can stop in and we can show them in person how to make their business work. It’s our hope that this kind of interaction will bring a new perspective to online marketing for our members and possibly new things to the industry as a whole.

That’s not all! We’ve also added new offices in Oregon and Baja and have been busy staffing them with new and fresh talent. These new additions to the High Traffic Academy family are focusing on the following areas:

  • Web development
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service

With more than 60,000 members in High Traffic Academy, we just needed more help. That’s all there is to it. We are honored to add new talent from all over the country to our growing team. I really think they are the key to helping us stay relevant in the marketplace with the constant changes in the online marketing terrain.

DotCom Reporter Launch

This month, we released DotCom Reporter as an extension of the High Traffic Academy Elite membership. What DotCom Reporter does is help you understand the pro’s and con’s for all of the different ad networks available to you as an online marketer. DotCom Reporter exists inside the closed Elite community and gives you exclusive insider information so you can make educated choices for your campaigns.

The goal is to ultimately save you the time of testing numerous networks on your own. You get the benefit of the community sharing what worked and what didn’t for them on a personal level. You can avoid networks that fail to deliver and shoot for the ones that are in it to help you succeed. There are already hundreds participating. If you’re interested, get over to High Traffic Academy and become an Elite member today.

Introducing Data Secrets

Data Secrets was another huge product we launched this month. My partner, Jason McClain shows you how to master data and monetize it. Did you know that you can monetize text messages, emails, and more without spamming? This is a huge gap in Internet marketing that no one else is teaching!

Jason put together a course containing 6 modules that will show you how to monetize data that you already have. While this can be a complicated topic to learn and implement, Jason will take you step-by-step from data mining to dissecting and analyzing it for monetization. Data is a very lucrative, but often overlooked, aspect of online marketing that can completely overhaul your bank account for the better. Make sure you check out Data Secrets.

Wrap Up

Wow, it’s really been a busy month here at HTA, and it’s not even over yet. However, it’s left me feeling really motivated for the future and I hope you feel it as well. We are completely dedicated to offering you the very best that we can. Big things will continue to happen at High Traffic Academy, and I hope that you will be a part of it!

Steller Enables Facebook Instant Articles for Brands

Are you telling your story on Steller? Sometimes the only way to new great features is through an entirely different network, and that’s what is going on with Steller and Facebook Instant Articles. Facebook has given Steller users  access to the Facebook Instant Articles platform. Steller is really a unique application that centers around the idea of stories. If you recall, back when Facebook replaced the concept of the Wall with the Timeline in 2011 to early 2012, it included an emphasis on users telling their own stories. It makes sense that these two would unite in some way.

What’s What?

Both of these are pretty new services that you may not have heard of yet, so let’s find out more about them.

  • StellerSteller launched in early 2014 as a app for iPhone designed to allow users to create stories seamlessly with videos, images, and text. These stories are viewable via the app and also on the web, but the creation process is exclusive to the app only and still only available for iOS.
  • Facebook Instant Articles – While Facebook is probably insanely familiar to you, Facebook Instant Articles might have you scratching your head. Facebook Instant Articles is simply a platform that allows you to publish content from your blog or CRM instantly to Facebook using HTML, RSS, or a WordPress plugin.

 

Facebook Instant Articles for Brands

Media companies like BuzzFeed and the New York Times have been able to corner the Facebook Instant Articles market since it’s launch last May.That will change on April 12, 2016 when Facebook opens the platform up to all publishers. Brands seeking to get an early start can gain an entry point with Steller.

One of the huge draws for Facebook Instant Articles is load times. It’s called “instant” for a very specific reason. Content like Steller benefits greatly from these fast load times. The idea is that people spend less time waiting for the content to load and that increases the chance that they will spend more time interacting with the content. In business and brands, that’s significant.

Another huge feature of Facebook Instant Articles is that publishers are able to create widgets such as an email sign up form. To capitalize on this feature, Steller is developing a couple of interactive widgets with a high value for Internet marketers: Call Now and Reserve Now buttons.

It is important to note that even with Facebook Instant Articles, they still limit the organic reach for brands. In order to have a measureable impact, it will most likely be necessary to create some Facebook ad campaigns to get your content in front of users. You will need to understand that you are making an investment in the content you create and share using this platform whether you involve Steller in the process or not.

Wrap Up

Even with the ability for everyone to publish to Facebook Instant Articles looming, it could still be beneficial to tell your stories through Steller so you can take advantage of their custom widgets and other features. A disappointing downside is that there is no news of an Android release of the app, so both the user base and audience of the service are limited. There is significant evidence that Android is worth the trouble.

If your business is one that depends heavily on content, I recommend checking into Facebook Instant Articles.  I’d love to know in the comments if it’s something you are focusing on in the next couple of months. I anticipate that the initial tests are going to have phenomenal results. As I’ve said many times before, Facebook is the number 2 source of traffic on the web after Google. Take advantage of that whenever you have an opportunity.

 

Content Marketing Round-Up: April 2016 Edition

Content marketing is all the rage right now and with Spring in full swing, there’s a lot happening. Let’s round up the news for April 2016 in the content marketing world!

April 2016 Opportunities

Whether it’s a holiday or just the overall theme, there always something new each month that you can steal a little buzz from to boost your content marketing efforts. For example, like I said in the opening statement, it’s Spring! That in and over itself is huge. It encompasses its own set of colors, themes, and topics.

April Fool’s will have passed by the time you read this, but have you seen the sheer number of prank videos on YouTube lately? April is also Mathematics Awareness Month, and we know all about the math of a successful campaign, right? In addition, check your local, national, and global calendars for popular festivals this month and there are also Olympic Trials events taking place. You can use any and all of these topics to boost your content in the marketplace. All it takes is a little creativity.

What You Need to Know Right Now

Whether you are new to content marketing or have been creating and curating for a while, it’s important to stay on top of the latest developments in the industry. I’m going to cover a few things you need to know:

  • There are a ton of tools out there for content marketing. There are many paid tools and most of them are probably pretty good; however, the top recommendations here are Buffer with the Chrome extension so you can share and schedule content with one click from all over the web
  • Stay on the up and up! It’s your first line of offense to ensure you’re on the cutting edge so you can optimize your content and funnels
  • Create a great sales funnel. Now, this is right up our alley!
  • Build your list! Again, right up our alley. One of the first assets you build for any business is that list and it’s so easy to set up these days. When I first started, everything was in HTML, and if you didn’t know where to put it, you were lost! This is your first step right after you create a landing page or website

How Social Media Drive Content Marketing

Social media and content marketing work well together. 93% of business to business marketers agreed that social media is one of their top 5 strategies for marketing. Think of social media like a car that takes your content where you want it to be shared. How can you drive it forward?

  1. Know where you want to go. Think about what you want customers and followers to know about your business. Where is my audience? Where do they hang out online? Once you understand your target audience, you can direct your social media campaigns in the right direction.
  2. Track your results. Use a good analytics program.
  3. Consider surveys and polls to help you adjust your campaigns to fit your audience better.

Are You Using Content Marketing for Personal Branding?

You should be. Pretty much the biggest aspect of the marketing game today is branding. Even if you’re not marketing anything, having a personal brand is the new resume`. The only way to build a brand is through content. It’s how we communicate.

Think about how powerful it is for your content to be seen by a company you’d like to work with or for. Not only are they seeing your content and your brand, but they are seeing your ability to build that brand. If you can build a brand for yourself, then you can build a brand for anyone. That is huge!

Take Action

Check out these action steps for your content marketing campaigns:

  1. Take monthly opportunities into account
  2. Monitor the industry
  3. Use social media to drive your content where you want it to go
  4. Create content that builds your personal bran

Even if you’re new to content marketing, this is like a blueprint for getting started. Get in there and start creating and curating. Most of all, have fun!