I suppose this is the most common issue that comes up with my colleagues wanting to write a blog. They may have one or two brilliant blog ideas but then have nothing else to update their site with and end up abandoning their efforts early on. I may not be able to help you brainstorm– I take that back. Who knows? Shoot me a message and I could toss out a couple ideas for you! But either way, let’s get you walking in the right direction.
First pick a topic or two you would like to write about. You could do what I first did and post random topics at random times, each post completely unrelated to the other (How embarrassing talking about my younger years). However, what you write might not always meet the interests of your readers, causing them not to want to revisit your blog. Pick something you are interested in; it could be something you know about or something you are interested in learning yourself. Do you like soccer? Talk about the players, coaches, teams, and maybe add some tips for those learning about the sport. Are you a creative writer? Write short stories, fan fictions, or novels that will attract your literary enthusiasts. Where do you live? You could talk about the local attractions in your neighborhood not many people are aware of.
Unless it is some sort of news blog that requires the most recent updates, I suggest that you get some posts written up before you create your blog to update weekly or biweekly. This will give you ample time to come up with new content for your blog. I suggest this same strategy when starting a vlog (Video blog) as well.
Just writing that phrase brings me nightmares! Never fear; there are ways of pushing past that dreaded feeling. Go back to your topic and think of keywords or phrases related to it and input that into the search bar. Reading other blogs may give you that boost you need to write. If that does not help, use a friend to help get ideas. For this blog, I find myself asking my friends what they want to read and have them ask me questions they want answered, as long as it is topic consistent. If they asked a question you don’t know the answer to, just do like before and read other blogs to learn more about the topic. But don’t steal ideas! Be sure to reference back to them if you took an idea directly from them.
Or again you can shoot me a message! Maybe I can provide you with a different perspective. I’m always eager to help a fellow blogger. Do you have a blog or a vlog? What is it about? Now’s your chance! Promote it by leaving a link to it in the comments section below!
There are so many ways to collect consumer data now and days that market researchers sometimes find themselves in data heaven. Some consumers don’t like the idea of having their information too readily available. But unless you live without internet, one way or another your information will be collected.
Of course there is the most obvious way of data collection, and a more traditional approach turned digital, surveys. Many of the online survey banks pay consumers for their time through direct cash or other incentives, such as being entered into a contest. If you are seeking to elicit your own surveys, programs like Survey Gizmo or Survey Monkey can provide their services for free for some of their features. There are other old school methods such as online focus groups and video interviews that have turned digital.
Another way of gathering consumer data is through social media. Have you ever found an ad on your Facebook page related to your location or something you recently posted? Facebook collects information on your page so businesses can effectively target you. That is some of the harmless data collection. Employers use Facebook as well to collect information about you. If you are looking to get hired but have a picture of yourself getting drunk or something else of similar standing, and employer may not hire you. I’ve spoken to many employers who have found questionable content about their employees and job applicants on their Facebook pages. Employees were soon released from their positions and job applicants were no longer considered for the job. Moral of the story: Remove questionable content from your social media sites and keep them clean.
Twitter, on the other hand, can be a very valuable asset. There are many online twitter programs used by market researchers to discover what people are talking about, where they are talking about it, and who exactly is talking. Programs like TweetDeck help us stay updated on the latest trends of certain topics. And like I mentioned in my previous post Twitter is used very often by news and media.
Market research is done with other social sites as well in similar ways, but Facebook and Twitter, I believe are the primary sites.
Blogs, Websites, Search Engines
What better way to learn about consumers than to visit the most voiced group of their market? Well-known companies can visit the sites of bloggers to learn what in-depth insight consumers have about their product. Information is not just collected from what the blogger says, but what their readers are saying when they comment on the blog/vlog posts. Entrepreneurs looking for a problem to solve can also look at these blogs and the comments for a potential market.
A couple of other methods for online data collection are directly through the business's website and through search engines, with Google being most famous for the topic. As I mentioned before, the internet is an online goldmine for consumer data. Every click and search term you type is searchable and collectible. When you are on a shopping website, they often give you product recommendations based on what you have previously searched and looked at in the past. Since many businesses and websites use Google advertising, much of what we search in Google is tailors what advertisements we see on websites.
I know sometimes online advertisements can get pretty ridiculous when targeting consumers. Sometimes the data collection does not always work. For example, I post one status in a different language and start getting advertisements in that language, whether I’m able to read the ad or not.
What are some strange online advertisements you have seen?
Leave a comment and let me know!
One of my projects this semester is to create an international marketing plan for Coca-Cola specifically pertaining to the market in Japan. Since I like to talk about international topics, I’ll pick on a couple of interesting things I noticed about Japan, aside from the renown anime scene widely accepted within western culture.
As I did research, I realized how important vending machines were to the Japanese Market. A couple of blogs I skimmed through joked about how, in Japan, everything you’ll ever need will be in a vending machine, although their humor may not be so far from the truth. Here are a couple of sites that demonstrate the wide variety of items found in vending machines:
Initially I was surprised, but after learning a little more about the Japanese culture, especially in the bustling cities like Tokyo, vending machines fit the market perfectly. They tend to be time-savers when people have little time to actually stop inside a full-fledged store.
One of my most recent clients is a developing newspaper in Osceola County. I was called in as a consultant into a meeting with them because of my experience in e-marketing. The goal of the online newspaper is to create a different perspective from what other local newspapers, such as the Orlando Sentinel, write on.
Some of the problems we face included: coming up with a name, and, of course, marketing for the newspaper.
Coming up with a name
Several aspects needed to be considered when creating a name for an online news site.
- What perception will the name give readers? A particular name may make the readers perceive a bias within the newspaper. Also the name should be remembered easily, nothing too long. When searching for the name on a search engine, it shouldn’t be called up with any negative associations.
- Is the name and tagline SEO friendly? As a developing new site with most of its readership online, it will help increase readership traffic by applying the appropriate keywords within the title and tagline of the news site.
We went through 30 different names, but finally decided on a name that was both memorable, unbiased, and SEO friendly.
Marketing the newspaper
- E-Marketing: As an online newspaper, this will be the majority of marketing. The newspaper is currently in testing, so we created a WordPress site until we are able to get the readership and participation needed. Social media platforms that will most effective initially to market to their audience will be Facebook and Twitter. They will be able to expand to other platforms eventually, but for now stick to the basic two until they can gain the participation they need.
- Print Paper: Let’s go old school. While online marketing is effective, distribution for a hard-copy of the paper will increase readership, awareness, and credibility of the paper. This may not be something we make as a tradition, but will be done to get the newspaper’s name out.
- Giveaways: The prize for the giveaway to was a $100 spotlight on the website for companies looking to promote their business. Registering for the giveaway, encourage subscriptions and increases traffic to the website.
By the end of the meeting, we had a name and an e-marketing plan. All that was left is for them to begin finding and writing the content for the newspaper.
A Marketing Major with an interest in e-Marketing, International Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.