Are You Walking the Marketing Marathon?

Posted by Pete Caputa on Aug 26, 2008 4:37:00 PM

This a guest article written by Shannon Golladay of Paragon Wealth Management.  

It is race day and you are about to run your first marathon. You have two choices... you can run the race and do something you've never done or you can back out and cheer on the sidelines.

If you decide to run, it will be difficult, and it will take time to get to the finish line, but your reward will be great.

If you decide to stay on the side lines and watch, you might have fun, but you'll be doing the same thing you've always done: just watching people get further ahead.

This situation is similar to ours at Paragon Wealth Management as it relates to marketing. For over 20 years we stayed on the sidelines. Our business grew gradually by referrals and it was successful, but it never really took off... until now.

We decided to do something different. Our services are unique compared to the typical money manager so we decided to do something completely unheard of in the investment industry: online marketing.

Most businesses in our industry build their businesses solely by referrals. They may do an ad in a magazine or newspaper here and there, but most grow by referrals. This method does work, but it isn't the best method.

I started working at Paragon last November 2007. I was hired to do public relations and to help us "run a marathon" to grow our business.

My background is in public relations. In school I learned the traditional ways to pitch the media with story ideas. I had used these methods for several years. They worked, but nothing like the new way of doing public relations.

The first thing my boss, Dave Young, did when I started my job was give me a book to read called, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. It is - by far - the best book I've ever read about public relations and marketing. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of marketing Paragon.

In the book I read about David Meerman Scott's blog and then I learned about Hubspot, an internet marketing company, which is outstanding.

We signed up for Hubspot and started implementing the ideas in David Meerman Scott's book. We started two blogs, Money Managers Live and a blog on our website. We also redesigned our website to make it easier for people to learn about us. We submitted press releases online with links in them. The list goes on and on.

The moral of the story is that we had great Personal Wealth Management Services, but not many people knew about them. We were sitting on the sidelines just watching the marketing marathon - doing the same thing each day.

We decided to start training for the marathon by making some changes and getting help from great resources. Now we are running the race as fast as we can.

So what's your story? What are you doing for marketing or public relations? Are you on the sidelines watching or are you running the race?

Shannon Golladay is the Public Relations/Marketing Director for Paragon Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Paragon takes a dynamic and proactive approach to investing and has over 20 years experience working with both good and bad markets that can be difficult and constantly changing. They are client centered and have a fiduciary responsibility. Shannon also writes and edits articles for Paragon's blogs Money Manager's Live and Paragon's company blog.

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Topics: online marketing, online pr, HubSpot

Effective Online Marketing Internationally

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jun 6, 2008 4:25:00 PM

This is a guest blog post written by the President of CloudBurst Consulting, Adrian Tennant. Adrian is an Internet marketing speaker with 13 years of online marketing under his belt.

One of my biggest pieces of advice to businesses today, especially those in travel/tourism, is to consider international opportunities. How do you best reach foreign visitors?

In 12 years, the web has transformed into a multi-lingual content environment. In 1996, 75% of the content on the web was written in English; today it's more like 25%, or to put it another way: 75% of the content is in a language other than English. In the Internet World stats report for last year, 81% of the world's Internet users are located outside of North America. So how do you tap into this potential market?

To attract users from outside the U.S., your website must be visible on local search engines. Many international users speak English as a second language but perform searches in their native languages on local search engines. Fortunately, completely translating your entire website into several different languages isn't always necessary. What is important is that you have at least one page translated, or better yet, have a new page written specifically for this purpose by a local expert. That page must also have the meta tags in the top of the page (which are invisible to users) and the keyword phrases properly translated. This way your site can appear in German, French, Mexican and Japanese search engines - or whichever geographic locations you are targeting.

For the U.K. it's a slightly different approach, but the same issues apply - they use Google.co.uk, which is not the same as Google.com. And no one in the U.K. takes a vacation, they go on "holiday" - so there's still a translation issue! I recommend that whenever possible, a micro-site is hosted in the U.K. if you're targeting that audience; similarly, a micro-site for the French market is most effective if hosted in France.

Hopefully this provides you with a clearer picture of what is needed to start bringing international visitors to your website

I (Pete) have zero experience with online marketing outside of the US. I'd be interested in hearing from some other people who do. At HubSpot, we generate a lot of inquiries from UK and Australia businesses, mostly because Website Grader, our free SEO tool, is an international success.

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Topics: online marketing, internet marketing

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