Author Richard von Weber-Hahnsberg

  • 3 Ways Aristotle Can Tweak Your Content And Beef Up Your Brand

    Drama, olive oil, democracy – just a few of the things the ancient Greeks gave us. While they helped to lay the foundations of European civilization over 2,000 years ago, you probably think they haven’t got much to offer modern online marketing. And you’d be wrong. Ars Rhetorica The Greeks were the first to seriously and methodically study the art of rhetoric – the art of persuasion. Although to modern ears the word ‘rhetoric’ often means just empty expressions and verbal trickery, in reality it is the careful study of the methods and means of persuading an audience through language. In Greek democracy, decisions of policy at all levels required convincing the assembly of citizens that your idea was the best one. Just like in today’s world of online marketing, an ancient Greek needed to identify his audience, convey a message, and convince that audience that the message was given in their best interest. In other words, he needed to brand himself. Aristotle On Persuasion Aristotle was the first person ever to write on what we can think of as marketing strategy. He identified three ways that can be used to persuade an audience: ethos, logos, pathos. For our modern…

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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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  • A Digital Christmas Carol

    It was a snowy Christmas Eve as a grumbling CEO made his way home. It was late, for he had made sure to keep his employees working that night. Humbug! he cried when his workers complained about the hours. As he stamped his feet on his step, he thought he saw a face in the glare of the windowpane. Dismissing it, he went inside and made himself a dinner – a thin, cold gruel: a miser’s feast. Soon he was in bed, having nothing of the season’s cheer in him. Just as he was nodding off to sleep, he heard a ghostly wail, and it seemed to him that he heard his name. Opening his eyes, he beheld the shade of his business partner, dead these fifteen years. “Wake up! Wake up, and harken to my tale!’ cried the ghost. “Listen to me or suffer my fate!” and as he spoke he rattled chains. Chains! he dragged with him loops and loops of heavy chains that clashed and clanged like hellish laughter. “Why, how came you to so great a burden?” asked the CEO. “Each link was forged,” wailed the ghost, “when we were in business together. Every time I…

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  • The 2 Ideas that Will Change Marketing in 2015

    The year 2014 is nearly over, and it’s time once again for marketing experts and business experts to predict the hot marketing trends of the new year. The overwhelming number of predictions, lists, and must-do action items can dampen any CMO’s holiday spirit. But not yours. Thanks to Marketing Zen’s analysis, you can be prepared for 2015 marketing trends if you keep these two principles in mind. All the predictions, crystal balls, and marketing forecasts boil down to two simple principles that, if you keep them in mind, will give you the edge you need for your 2015 marketing success. 1. Personalization Probably the hottest new word in marketing for 2015 will be personalization. The brand, the product, the message, and the delivery will be personalized for success. A brand becomes increasingly personal through its digital marketing voice. Over 2015, brands will continue to showcase their personality through the marketing message. The customers will increasingly connect with the brand as a personality, and wise marketers will capitalize on that trend. Successful brands will communicate this personality through thoughtful or quirky photos, “behind the scenes” shots of the people behind the products, and user profiles highlighting the brand’s influence. They may…

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  • The No-Fail Recipe to Email Marketing Success

    While content is king and social is the new platform, nothing replaces your email list for online marketing revenue. How do you take advantage of this essential marketing ingredient? Here’s the simple recipe for email marketing success. First, create an irresistible lead magnet. Study your audience carefully. Consider your personas. Get to know your community. What are their biggest concerns? What do they wonder? What makes them feel successful? Take those answers and create a simple one-page tool, resource, or cheat-sheet that solves their problem. That is your lead magnet. To be most effective, use your lead magnet to pre-qualify your opt-ins. Make it on a subject or action related to your service or industry. Successful lead magnets are fast to make (it should cost you little to publish) and easy to use (it makes the consumer feel successful or more knowledgeable immediately). And if it seems like valuable information, your consumer is more likely to share it, growing your community. Next, create a simple landing page. This is where your audience will opt-in to your email list and obtain your lead magnet. As the one place you use to grow your email list, this is one of the most…

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  • 5 Content Marketing Secrets Every CMO Should Know

    Content Marketing. It’s the new marketing essential. As a CMO, you know your long-term growth as well as quarterly earnings depend on capturing the minds and wallets of your customers through today’s relevant content. But successful content marketing is about more than throwing up a few blog posts and colorful infographics. A winning content strategy is purposeful and intentional. Get ahead of your competition by including these secret ingredients. Know your audience. Don’t just blog – write a personal post directed to the heart of your customer. What are the secret dreams, aspirations, and longings? What are the obstacles, fears, or roadblocks to success? Address them one at a time, systematically and completely, to build his confidence in your expertise. Never stop learning about your audience, either. Listen carefully to customer service comments and complaints. Log common objections to your service or product, and create content to overcome each one. Record social media questions and criticisms for issues you can expound on more fully on your blog. The more you know about your customers, the better you can write in their language the very message they most need to hear. Start with the basics. A common content marketing mistake is…

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  • 8 Ways To Rethink Your Holiday Marketing Strategy

    The holiday season is the holy grail of sales. But achieving the sales figures your company needs can be harder than you think. Here are 8 ways to rethink your marketing strategy this year. Go Mobile If you don’t have this capability, now is the time to make the switch. Gone are the days when mobile devices were a luxury – they are ubiquitous. Add to the fact that as many as a third of all internet users are doing so from a mobile device, and you can see why not having mobile capability for your sight is like throwing money in the trash. Unify The last thing a customer wants is a slapdash experience. A positive user experience is the foundation for positive brand placement. Unifying all possible data streams in a single persona allows you to bring information from e-mail, customer relationship software, and transactions to bear in creating smooth, cohesive, pleasant experiences for your customers. Share Providing quality, sharable content with consumers isn’t just preaching to the choir. You’re establishing reliability and assuring potential consumers have the ability to shop your site. The content you share is among your most valuable online possessions – it is content…

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  • 7 Marketing Mistakes that Make CMOs Look Dumb

    Critical Errors to Avoid to Stay Ahead of the Competition This blog post isn’t for you; it’s all about your competitor. You know who that is, that clueless guy across town or on the other side of Twitter. The CMO who thinks he knows it all while his online influence and marketing revenue dwindle. You don’t make these mistakes. You are smart, savvy, and sophisticated. Your marketing strategy, planning, and execution are flawless, all because you don’t make these seven key mistakes. What are those critical errors? Here’s the run-down of key online marketing mistakes you will be sure to avoid. 1. Stale website design. The internet is ever-evolving, and users expect the very best. You keep up with the latest trends in web design and usability to keep your brand current. Your website has been redesigned or freshened up in the last 12 months with a clean look, simple navigation, and a recognizable logo. You are mobile responsive and look great on phone, tablet, and laptop. No mistake here, because your site rocks. 2. No content strategy. Strategy is your middle name, and implementation is your game. You have done your research, and now you know what your customers…

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  • 7 Tips for Increasing Twitter Engagement

    If your brand is not on Twitter, you need to get on or get out. With 500 million Tweets being pushed each day between 271 million active users, this is a marketing tool you cannot afford to ignore. To increase your brand’s number of Twitter followers and your level of influence, you want your followers to be engaged and motivated to reTweet your work. Being clever and interesting certainly helps. But there are some basic tricks that you should have in your toolbox to be as reTweetable as possible. Let’s look at some key Twitter statistics. Know the Rules of Engagement A picture is worth a thousand words and your Tweets are only worth 140. Take advantage of the bonus 860 words your image will get you. How effective is an appropriate image to your reTweetability? Twitter published the following guidelines. A Photo URL will increase your RTs by 35% A Video URL will increase your RTs by 28% Quotes will increase your RTs by 19% Using Digits will increase your RTs by 17% Using Hashtags will increase your RTs by 16% Please, You, reTweet and Post to Twitter! Poor grammar aside, the 5 most reTweeted words ranked from first…

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  • Beware The Curse Of Zombie Marketing

    Even a marketer who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a ZOMBIE when the linkbait blooms and Google’s noose draws tight. In a dark corner of the digital marketplace dwells a terrible creature that hungers for the brains of the living. A relic of bygone days, the beast limps and drags its desiccated and decaying body slowly and painfully as it stalks its prey. A ghost story, you say? No, it’s zombie marketing. Picking Off The Stragglers Failure to understand the reality of the new world of digital business can spell catastrophic disaster for your enterprise. The radical shifts in the ways consumers interact with business have generated a host of new expectations that buyers bring to the purchasing act. If you’re a digital straggler, the time is coming when you face being shut out of vital avenues of growth. Given the competition for digital business, if you’re running slow, the wolves are gonna bring you down. You know, the non-vegetarian kind of wolves. Reanimating The Dead The most common type of zombie marketing focuses on websites and marketing practices that are simply outmoded. A website design that was cool way back in the…

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  • The One Email Marketing Metric You Didn’t Realize Mattered The Most

    While its social use is declining among younger professionals, email remains a power in business. 59% of B2B marketers believe email is the single most effective channel for generating revenue.[1] Creating engaging content for email campaigns is of course imperative. What is often neglected, however, is the vital topic of deliverability. Think Deliverability Is A Waste Of Time? Think Again. Because email marketing is permission based, it can be tempting to think that deliverability is nothing to be concerned about. After all, the permission has been granted, and the content is quality. No way you’ll ever be tagged as spam. So everything’s fine, right? On average, 82% of emails achieve inbox placement – but the remaining 18%? 13% simply disappears, while 5% gets labeled as spam. While that 82% placement rate seems sound on the surface, ignorance of how spam filters and other aspects of email communication affect campaigns can result in significantly lower placement. Reputation It used to be that the content of email was the primary means of indentifying spam. And it still is important, but what is increasingly tipping the balance is your reputation as a sender. This reputation isn’t static. It requires monitoring and careful planning…

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  • How To Create a Framework for Your Content Marketing Strategy

    Initiating a content marketing strategy requires extensive research and planning, all based on the position of your current content. If a CMO intends to initiate a content marketing plan from scratch, the planning might resemble a mission statement or a business case study. For businesses that already have a growing content base for their marketing initiative, it serves as a check point from which the content will evolve in compliance with the planning and the framework of the strategy. Furthermore, it should guide content development towards achieving broader business goals as more resources are invested. It is important to note that a content marketing strategy is considered to be a constant work in progress, growing, evolving, maturing, innovating, but always in line with the preplanned framework within which the strategy operates. Thus, this post is meant to address the planning and creation of a framework on which a solid content marketing plan is to operate. Mission Statement Before developing a content marketing strategy, it is imperative to understand your reasons for creating content. The objectives or intended impact of the plan must be understood and outlined. The best way to start the planning process is by creating a mission statement…

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