The ADM Blog
Published Friday May 30, 2014  
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Are you having this kind of a day? Is your computer to blame? I can relate!



When your PC starts to lose steam, sometimes a simple upgrade can solve your problem. In other cases, it may be smarter to start fresh with a new machine. You can save time, money and hassle by learning to make the distinction yourself. Whether you're a Mac or Windows user, here's your simplified plan of action.

The fundamental concept to understand is that your computer may slow down when its memory fills up. Sometimes the solution is a quick fix, so begin by cleaning up your desktop.
  • Be honest with yourself: which programs do you no longer use? Begin by uninstalling these, even if they've developed sentimental value just by being those familiar, unused icons on your desktop. They have to go.
  • ...so does the outdated Internet Explorer browser with toolbars and plugins that slow down your Internet. Get the renovated Internet Explorer 9 instead, or opt for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. All three are good browsers, and can be easily downloaded for free from their respective websites.
  • Clear your browser's cache (the temporary data files automatically stored by your computer every time you go on the Internet). This process will be different depending on your browser, but a quick internet search will take you step by step in under two minutes.

If your computer is still lagging, it's definitely time for at least an upgrade in hardware. Here are a few ways to add memory space to your device.
  • Buy more RAM memory by the chip.
  • Buy a larger hard drive.
  • Even better, advance from a hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD). Unlike the traditional hard drive, SSDs use innovative flash memory, making your device move practically at the speed of light (well...really fast!).
  • Inspired by recent events, don't forget to consider your wireless router as a source of your computer's connectivity problem. Replace it with one of higher bandwidth if you find yourself constantly having to reboot.

When all else fails, invest in a new PC.
  • If you've tried one or more of the above options and performance still isn't up to par, it may be time for a replacement. You never want to end up having spent more money on repairs than it would've cost to start fresh with a new machine.
  • With a new computer, minimize the potential for future issues with regular checkups, always backing up your data (there are plenty of software packages to choose from or even online services), and keeping your programs, especially your antivirus software, updated.

Guest blog by Stephanie Ursitti




 

Published Friday October 18, 2013  
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Are you still questioning or confused about using Twitter to grow your business and brand? The Twitter platform has continued to grow and help businesses and brands impact a broader reach of people.

The 2013 Inbound Marketing Report confirms 36% of marketers found a customer from Twitter this year. Twitter has actually surpassed Facebook in terms of Fortune 500 adoption rates with 73% having corporate Twitter accounts, 66% corporate Facebook accounts and 62% corporate YouTube accounts. (Sometimes stats are needed!) Some of the not so obvious benefits of using Twitter are brand building, visibility, prospecting, and monitoring trends. Twitter is one of the few social media pillars that has not only survived but is thriving.

Here are 4 Easy Ways to Use Twitter to Market Yourself and Your Business.
  1. Provide Valuable Tips, Tools and Resources to Your Community
    Create content and be a content provider in whatever industry you are in or want to be known for. Mix up original content and leading trusted sources on your Twitter feed. If you have a blog, tweet it!
  2. Feature and Promote Your Trusted Colleagues
    Twitter is the perfect media to show your support of and for trusted colleagues and what they are doing. Re-Tweet their Twitter posts to your community. Supporting others for the right reasons goes a long way!
  3. Explore #Hashtagging
    Use an existing hashtag if you want to join in an ongoing conversation or start one of your own. Pick a topic, an issue, person, story or trend and chime in. That hashtag, when clicked will point people to where all the activity is about it. #conversation
  4. alison drake twitter marketingUse and Include Visual Images and Video Links
    Using visual images and video on Twitter allows your followers a glimpse into your personal world and your business world. If you are using the Tweet Deck or HootSuite app, your images will show on their screens.

Score has scores of templates & tools to help you grow your presence on Twitter. Small Business Trends offers some do's and don'ts. Do a little research for what is fitting for you.

Curious as to who has the most followers? Check it out: Top 100 Twitter users. It's true, people are REALLY looking at, following and interested in what people are saying on Twitter. What's in your next 160 character tweet?

Follow me at @alisondrake. See you on Twitter.

 

Published Monday July 29, 2013  
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Meeting the right people and making smart connections is essential and strategic for career and business success.

Prior to 2002, the year LinkedIn was born and launched, we primarily met in person by: going to chamber events, meeting up with friends, and friends of friends, following up on recommended leads, and joining various local networking groups. Meeting strategic people in person is still the end goal because that is where the magic can happen, but we have a whole new online and web universe now added to this process.

Fast forward to 2013 and certainly beyond, where LinkedIn is the top professional online networking community and site where professionals connect, endorse and recommend each other, brand and self market themselves.

Consider these new statistics from a recent LinkedIn survey of its members.
  • 87% trust LinkedIn as a source of information for decision making
  • 65% of journalists have used LinkedIn for research materials.
  • More than 2.6 million businesses have LinkedIn business pages.

If you and your business want to be taken seriously today, than having a complete, content rich, active personal profile or business page on LinkedIn is a must.

It simply says I am serious.

These 5 things can make you and your LinkedIn profile stand out.

  1. A professional picture or head shot - Your picture is the first thing people see. It should represent you and your professionalism in the best possible way that you want to be remembered or perceived.
  2. A strong headline that tells people who you are and what you do - Social Media and Content Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, New Business Leader.
  3. A content rich profile that tells your career story - Rather than list vertical bullet points, use the summary and career experience sections to tell your career story. Who you have worked for, what you specifically did and what you accomplished. Use all the sections and fill in as much information as you have for your education, causes, interests, published work that all paint your brand past and present.
  4. Be Active: Engage, Post, Link and Comment - Try to be active and engage regularly with as many people as possible by connecting, posting links to great articles, posting your blog articles and commenting on your connections activity. Activity creates energy, energy attracts people to you.
  5. Endorse people's skills that you respect and believe in - Skill endorsements tell people what you want them to know you for and show how others see you. Don't endorse people with the wrong motives. Do it because you respect and admire people for your relationship with them, their professionalism and credibility.

With 200+ million users in 200+ countries on LinkedIn, (74 million in the US), LinkedIn offers the opportunity to find and make smart connections, potential customers and referrals local, national and worldwide.


In the professional world, a fully developed and branded LinkedIn profile with the right skill endorsements can be the best tool you have to meet those right people and make those smart connections.

How are you using LinkedIn to grow your professional connections?

 

Published Wednesday May 22, 2013  
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Pretty pictures are the best. But you know who likes them even more than your readers, leads, and customers? Marketers...

In the content marketing world which includes emarketing, blogs, websites, podcasts, video and all the social media's, including vivid, impact visual images greatly enhances the conversion, opens and shares.

We are visual. We are moved by seeing things. Here are the latest research and statistics that make the strong case for why you MUST accessorize your content with more visual imaging.

Consider these compelling statistics.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • Visual content drives more social media engagement by 65%.
  • 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online
  • Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.
So, it's not just any image, or video, it's the best images that enhance the impact, interest and engagement of the content, topic or point you are trying to make and get across.

In two of our prior blog posts, Create a More Compelling Customer Experience by Telling Your Story, and Exploring the Essential P's in Marketing, we created custom, simple images that we knew people could remember and enhanced the message.

Images not only add life to a website or social media post, they also make them convert better to leads, followers or comment engagement. People no longer want to casually browse, they want to experience it and use that experience to inspire them to remember you, so they want to come back. Images can boost conversions and can get people connecting better with you and your target audience.

One of the most comprehensive books on the topic of visual marketing is by SmallBizTrends.com founder Anita Campbell and graphic designer David Langton: Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design.

Ad Marketing believes that bold branding and imaging for their clients ensures that they will stand out from others in their field.

Visit us and see some of our client visual branding work.

 

Published Wednesday April 24, 2013  
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Digital Analyst and Sociologist Brian Solis believes "now's the time for investing in something more than price, performance or value. The customer experience is everything now. Businesses must create experiences that mean something".

In today's marketing and advertising, trusting the company or person first, before you buy what they are offering is quickly becoming the norm. People simply do not want to be marketed to or sold by people and companies that have not earned their loyalty and trust.

Telling more of the story in all of your marketing about your process, results and experiences to create the customer experience with you is a very effective approach and tactic that works to build that interest.

Show Integrity and Credibility
Forget about trying to fool people today. Transparency and Google will out you. Be who you say you are and do what you say you are going to do. Zappos does this so well.

Demonstrate a Consistent Track Record
Create products and services consistently that help people innovating according to trends and times Minnetonka Moccasin has been doing this since 1946.

Tell the Truth and Be Authentic
Stories include failures, down times, and challenges, as well as successes and great things we do in our communities humanizing us. Sara Blakely of Spanx story of entrepreneurial success wasn't easy.

Care about Your Customer and Humanity
There is no better example of this than Tom's Shoes, who matches one for one, for everyone they sell, they donate.

Talk to people personally, and yes look them in the eye, as if you were face to face having a cup of java or tea with someone through your ads, writing, video and photographs and especially in your social media.

Who doesn't like a great story? We can help you tell and market yours, so people will become interested in you and then what you sell.

 

Published Monday March 18, 2013  
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We wanted to refer back to our January Blog article: Top Content Marketing Tactics That Grow Your Business and Brand and talk more about aggregating rich content on your blog site.

Making your blog an active hub that people want to frequent, learning from and recommend pays big dividends. Ultimately, if you can write content, you should, but finding and featuring great articles and authors is also a great way to provide resources for your community.

Here are some FAQ's about aggregating content.

1- What kind of content should I be featuring?
This is all about what you do and whom you serve. What are the top 3 areas of expertise you feature and want to be known for? What are 10 additional related or complimentary content areas you can feature? Whatever business or industry you are in; gather the content that is most useful and interesting to your community and for those who you want to attract.

Jeff Sonderman of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St Petersburg, Fl, says: "By aggregating the work of others alongside your own, you place the readers' interests ahead of your own competitive pride. You build a stronger reader relationship than other sites, and you earn loyalty and trust that can pay off in real dollars".

2- Where do I find the best content to aggregate?
The best ways to find just about anything is of course using a major search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo, and put in very specific key words or key word phrases. Also, use the top websites and blog sites of your industry and professional organizations. Follow the RSS feeds of sites and experts you want to keep up with weekly.

Some of the major news and information sites such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes or the New York Times are always great sources for content or finding other sites to link to. Here are some must read tips for using Google search for content curation.

3- What are the best ways to promote my content rich site?
The "best practice" for promoting content is using social media marketing, through all of the social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, as well as a permission based email marketing system. These tap into your voluntary, permission based community that you already have a relationship with and then are re-posting out to their communities.

Another feature you can use is to put a "Blog-Roll" feature or resources section on your blog that lists the experts and their blogs and links to their sites. Linking to your guest bloggers, authors and writers not only features them but gives them a reason to feature you.

If you want to see how some of the top blogs and websites present and aggregate their content in a diverse cross section of categories check out Daily Tekk's 100 Best, Most Interesting Blogs and Websites for 2013.

Aggregating quality articles and content from key websites, writers, bloggers or industry sources is a smart way to support people whose content you enjoy, bring people to your site, brand your business and keep people coming back and staying on your site longer.

 

Published Thursday February 21, 2013  
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When it comes to anything marketing today, we can all agree how much things have changed, but also how the fundamentals still work. Fundamentals that are timeless will always work if they are applied and adapted.

We enjoyed reading an article by digital analyst, strategist and sociologist Brian Solis, about "Exploring the 5th and 6th Ps of Marketing", because this is our business and our background.

The marketer E. Jerome McCarthy proposed a four P's classification in 1960, which has been used by marketers throughout the world.

The fundamental 4 P's of marketing: product, price, place and promotion will always be the base line, but new media marketing adds a multitude of essential marketing fundamental to this mix now.

Solis says, "We now live in an era where customers are more connected, informed, and empowered, and as a result, their expectations amplify and modify".

The 4 P's will always apply to the fundamentals of solid marketing.
  • Is the PRODUCT marketable and bankable and finds and fills a viable niche?
  • Is it PRICED competitively to sell?
  • Is it being PLACED in front of the target audience who can use or recommend it?
  • Is it being PROMOTED where target customers are motivated to buy?

The 5th and 6th P's suggested in Brian's article add two important dimensions for 21st century relevance.
  • Is it reaching PEOPLE in a way that taps into their empathy?
  • Is it sending the right PURPOSE for why it should be considered and consumed?

AD Marketing wants to add six more P's that we believe are important in today's marketing process that we use in our approach with our clients.

Personality
Presence
Positioning
Performance
Privacy
Platform

The marketing and branding strategy that goes into the success of products and services today reflects the prominence that the consumer now has in it. The customer experience now becomes the deal breaker.

Are you creating that experience for your customers?

 

Published Thursday January 31, 2013  
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Content Marketing is the key tactical communication trend for 2013. It's not new, but it's finally reached main street business, as we all continue to publish our expertise through many platforms media.

Content Marketing is creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat, long term buyers.

The type of content you create and share should mirror your values, what you want to be known for and yes, the services you sell.
Content marketing does three important things to advance these goals.

  1. It helps you to educate people so that they come to know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
  2. It builds your credibility in your field.
  3. It can inspire others to share and spread your information.

The relationship in business with your customer and community must come first. Content marketing is a very effective strategy to building and maintaining relationships with customers, community, friends and family.
 
According to the 2013 B2C Content Marketing Trend Report the top Content Marketing tactics being used are:
 
Social Media
There is NO ignoring this, doing it half heartedly or convincing yourself that it's not important. If you are a dedicated, business professional then using one or more form of social media - Face book, Twitter or LinkedIn is simply a must. Why? It brands you and your business as relevant players.
 
Aggregating Articles on Your Website
Making your website a hub that people frequent, enjoy and learn from will pay big dividends. Aggregating articles form key websites, bloggers or industry sources is a smart way to bring people to your site and keep them on longer.


Email Marketing Newsletters
Building a permission based, voluntary opt in email marketing list is one of the most effective tactics for building strong relationships that become loyal and responsive to your products, services and information you share freely with them.
 

Blogs
Blogs are one of the most effective tactics to build your credibility and authority in whatever field of expertise you want people to align your brand with. Writing articles or featuring other bloggers that educate and inform people is the best way to sell.
 
Two sites where you can learn a lot about content marketing tactics and strategy are the Content Marketing Institute and Brian Clark's Copyblogger.com.

AD Marketing takes a broad, blended and integrated approach to marketing your business with content marketing being a core part of their marketing strategy. Visit us and see what we are doing for our clients.

 

Published Tuesday December 11, 2012  
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The holidays are a special season and sending personalized greeting cards, videos or messages makes it a special occasion.

Think about it...how many holiday greetings do you receive that you can tell almost no thought went into the email or message?

Personalized holiday messages take more time, effort and can cost more but they have more impact on people that have impacted us.

This the perfect reason to "get more personal and wow them" with your holiday cards and messages this year!

We see the decorations go up all over towns, businesses, communities and homes creating a warm, exciting, fun and festive experience. An important part of the festivities is reaching out and touching people we care about and appreciate both personally and professionally.

Although much of our communications have shifted online, it's still a wonderful gesture and an effective way to send holiday greetings to distant or near friends, and colleagues either as an e-card or video message.

When you make the time to create a holiday message that is thoughtful or memorable and think more personal and creative...tis the season!

Consider these suggestions.

  • Cut down your list to your key VIP's, and spend more time showing them you really care with some cool, different cards and a personalized message especially for that person. Need some inspiration or ideas on cards, check these out!
  • Holiday cards are part of the visual festivities. Choose colorful, vibrant cards, with bold, interesting images that will adorn any home, or holiday setting. String them up, pin them to a corkboard, or put them in the tree or around tables and furniture.
  • Take this more personal opportunity to say thank you. A thoughtful, heartfelt message to someone who has supported you, sent in a holiday card or message is very effective.
  • Think creative and include other things. Write a year in review, include a vacation picture, stick in a cool holiday bookmark, or update a new address, phone number or website.

Holiday gift giving and messaging is a tradition that should be protected and saved. We should never get too busy during the holiday to participate in and be thoughtful to people we care about in our family, business and community. Tis the season to spread good cheer, kindness and gratitude!

Here are some great organizational tips for sending out your holiday cards and messages.

Looking for a special way to involve the whole family? The Holiday Mail for Heroes program through the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes makes sure our Military gets holiday cards from anyone!

At AD Marketing we look forward to this time of year, to say thank you to all of our loyal friends, fans and customers for their love and support. So, from all of us to all of you have a Happy Holiday and Wonderful New Year!



 

Published Tuesday November 20, 2012  
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In today's business world, you'll probably get just one chance to make a dynamite first impression and that's why, how you look online, on your marketing materials, and in person is so important.

We are judge by our visual image and branding. It makes a statement, gives an important first vibe and can make all the difference in what next step someone is willing to take.

So what's your SWAG, both inside and out?
Sparkle
Wisdom
Authenticity
Generosity

It starts with your Sparkle. How you look and your personality. Being optimistic, outgoing and having humility and humor are what sparkle is all about. These qualities are magnetic. My colleague and friend Deborah Shane talks about the 5 Keys to Styling Your Personal Branding:
  • Find Your Sweet Spot and Live there.
  • Look Like a Million Bucks.
  • Serve More, Sell Later.
  • Be More, Do More.
  • Suit up, Show Up and Speak Up.
According to marketing software giant Hub Spot: "Social media is changing--its rushing into its most visual stage. If you aren't prepared for the visual content revolution, you may be left in the dust."

This year, at AD Marketing we took our visual imaging and marketing, as well as our clients very seriously and to the next step! We made sure our websites, blog sites and social media sites were all real time, up to date, appealing, easy to find and easy to navigate.

We call it "The Sum of All Things Concerned", where we use media, technology, social platforms and engagement to coordinate the movement of multiple disciplines to capture market attention, engagement and action.

Here's TopTenz.net Top 10 Brands. They all have a distinct visual presence.

We start with and can help you with ideas about your own brand identification, helping you break through the clutter and making sure that you gain the attention you need to stand out and be successful.