Archive for January, 2011

Katie has a Facebook Fan Page!

January 19, 2011

After much thought, I’ve decided to separate my worlds a little bit. This goes against my conventional wisdom and my thoughts on a personal brand. For the record, I think people are your friends because of all that you are as a person – that includes your personal interests, hobbies, passions, and more. That may even include work now and then.

With that said, I’ve had a few friends on Facebook that are a little overwhelmed with all of the marketing gab that I share. I don’t blame them – I wouldn’t want to read about what’s new in the SEC world. So, I have a new Katie B. Roberts Facebook Fan page.

Don’t worry, I’ll still share the important stuff with my personal Facebook page. BUT, I’ll have even MORE content over at Katie B. Roberts, the official fan page.

I also plan to do some specials, contests, and all the other cool and fun things I preach about… so you want to make sure you are in on the fun. Plus, it’s cool to be an early adopter of Katie B. Roberts, the official fan page. ha!

So here you have it…. “Like” Katie B. Roberts, the official fan page on Facebook .. and you’ll be in the know of cutting edge marketing information on a regular basis. That’s a guarantee!

Hope to see you in the fan club!

Posted in Uncategorized 1 Comment »

(Late Edition) Marketing Monday: Video as a marketing tool

January 18, 2011

Every Monday, I post a marketing challenge in the AMA Baltimore Linkedin group. If you haven’t joined the group, c’mon over.. we don’t bite!

I’m a fence-sitter when it comes to video and using it in the marketing mix. I am not a fan of it on websites, yet I love it on Facebook and, well, YouTube of course.

Check out the rest of my opinion on this quickly-becoming-popular marking tool over on Linkedin:

AMA Baltimore Linkedin Group: Marketing Monday

Here’s the blooper reel of my last quasi successful video attempt: Watch Katie Screw up a 19 Second Commercial

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Posted in AMA Baltimore, Marketing, Marketing Monday, Marketing Tools, Social Media No Comments »

Social Media Seminar

January 18, 2011

This past Friday, January 14, I spoke at the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC), Women in Business kick off meeting. I spent most of the time discussing various social media strategies with real word case studies that have proven to drive lead generation, compliment the sales process, and help manage customer service issues.

Here are a few of the bullet points from the seminar:

  • There is no science to social media
  • Social Media cannot stand alone in the marketing plan; instead, it should be integrated with other sales and marketing strategies
  • 3 buckets of marketing: Online Marketing, Face to Face, and Media & Advertising
  • Social media is not a sit back and wait; “If you build it and they will come” does not work in social media
  • 3 ways to attract community members on social media platforms: Engage, Provide Content, and Give to Get
  • ENGAGE: Contests, listening and responding, humanize the voice
  • CONTENT: Captivating & creative, include things like blogs, white papers, product specs, industry information
  • GIVE TO GET: Offering coupons and other discounts to your customers is a great way to attract new members
  • Tips to engage, types of information to share as content creations, and “give to get” ideas
  • “Give ’em something to talk about…”
  • Resources
  • Websites I follow to learn about social media
  • If you’d like a copy of the presentation, download it here.
    If you share this with others, please credit the author (ME!) appropriately. Lots of time went into that..

    Stay tuned right here, on this blog channel. I’ll be exploring more of each of the topics in the presentation over the next few weeks.

    Feel free to post your questions from the seminar or the presentation. I love to chat about social media, in case you haven’t noticed!

    Or, if you’d like to chat about your current strategy and where you’d like to be, I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation – just because I like you. Simply fill out the form and I’ll be in touch.

    [caption id="attachment_407" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Look at that awesome group!"]Katie B. Roberts speaking on Social Media Strategy at BWCC[/caption]This past Friday, January 14, I spoke at the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC), Women in Business kick off meeting. I spent most of the time discussing various social media strategies with real word case studies that have proven to drive lead generation, compliment the sales process, and help manage customer service issues.

    Here are a few of the bullet points from the seminar:

  • There is no science to social media
  • Social Media cannot stand alone in the marketing plan; instead, it should be integrated with other sales and marketing strategies
  • 3 buckets of marketing: Online Marketing, Face to Face, and Media & Advertising
  • Social media is not a sit back and wait; “If you build it and they will come” does not work in social media
  • 3 ways to attract community members on social media platforms: Engage, Provide Content, and Give to Get
  • ENGAGE: Contests, listening and responding, humanize the voice
  • CONTENT: Captivating & creative, include things like blogs, white papers, product specs, industry information
  • GIVE TO GET: Offering coupons and other discounts to your customers is a great way to attract new members
  • Tips to engage, types of information to share as content creations, and “give to get” ideas
  • “Give ’em something to talk about…”
  • Resources
  • Websites I follow to learn about social media
  • If you’d like a copy of the presentation, download it here.
    If you share this with others, please credit the author (ME!) appropriately. Lots of time went into that..

    Stay tuned right here, on this blog channel. I’ll be exploring more of each of the topics in the presentation over the next few weeks.

    Feel free to post your questions from the seminar or the presentation. I love to chat about social media, in case you haven’t noticed!

    Or, if you’d like to chat about your current strategy and where you’d like to be, I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation – just because I like you. Simply drop me a note and I’ll be in touch.

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    Posted in Case Studies, Events, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing, Marketing Tools, Social Media, Speaking, Twitter No Comments »

    Implications of the New Starbucks Logo?

    January 5, 2011

    There has been quite a bit of buzz around Starbucks today. First, Bloomberg offers an opinion on the new partnership between Kraft and Starbucks. A few hours later, Starbucks unveils their 4th logo in the 40 year history, sans “Starbucks.”

    Most companies could only dream of such buzz, but leave it to Starbucks to reign supreme.

    Let’s look at the Starbucks-Kraft partnership. Bloomberg reports that this partnership could cost Starbucks in grocery retail as home-brewing is becoming popular among coffee elite. If you didn’t receive or purchase a Keurig in 2010, chances are someone you know did, or it has been installed at an office near you. The argument made by Bloomberg is that Kraft’s home-brew system ails in sales, which could have a detrimental effect on sales as Newman’s Own, The Donut Shop, and other home-brew ready coffee cups are penetrating the market.

    My opinion? Meh.
    It’s Starbucks, already. They are way ahead of home-brew cups. Anyways, if you are a home-brew user, you can purchase a reusable cup compatible with your machine and use any coffee that you like – you don’t have to purchase the ready made plastic cups of coffee. Plus, you’ll help the environment through eliminating the use of prepackaged cups and the shipping footprint while saving a few bucks on the overpriced prepackaged cups.

    Oh, I can’t forget about instant coffee. Coffee snobs around the United States gasped as Starbucks entered the instant coffee market earlier this year. Starbucks trotted forward, determined to make a splash in this space dominated by Maxwell coffee, another supermarket staple. Many saw this as a huge gamble for the mega-brand, but it has actually fared well for Starbucks. They now offer 3 different types of instant coffee and are available both in Starbucks stores and grocery stores. Smart. The decision to do so, supposedly, was upon realizing a drop in retail stores sales as more folks opted to brew at home, Starbucks introduced what they consider a price-conscious package. I still think it’s overpriced, given Maxwell is just as good and is about $2 less for a pack of 8.
    Oh yeah, Maxwell is part of the Kraft brand network…. Hmmm.

    Now onto the real news.
    Coca-cola, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew have all gone through major rebranding of their logos. One thing in common though – none of them dropped the name on the logo. This leaves many, including me, wondering why Starbucks would even consider dropping the “Starbucks” name from the logo.

    Since the original Starbucks opened in the 70s (Which I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Seattle), the Starbucks logo has always had a round-shaped siren. It started as brown and white, then later evolved to include green. (I’d love to see the market research on choosing the color green…) Now, facing new market entries and attempting to get away from the snobby Starbucks stigma, the beverage giant has decided to drop the circle around the siren touting “Starbucks.”

    After the initial shock wore off within a matter of seconds, I thought to myself, “Genius!” Only if they change the color from green to something else. The green circle, regardless of what’s in the center, is identified worldwide as a Starbucks beverage. Be honest – how many of you knew there was a siren in the middle of the green circle? You probably knew there was something there, but the green circle is what has been ingrained in your brain. Forever.

    Is it a huge leap for Starbucks and diminishing the coffee-snob reputation? No.
    I think the price point of their products would have a bigger impact of reducing a premium brand reputation, because let’s be honest – Starbucks isn’t the cheapest cup in town and it’s not the only one with free WiFi and cushy leather seats, and baristas that speak a language I will never understand – hence why I continue to order a Medium Latte with Skim Milk and Sugar Free Vanilla.

    I’m not sure how much of an impact the new logo is going to have on the non-Starbucks products and services. I still think the logo is too recognizable to fully separate Starbucks retail coffee shops from Starbucks-owned Tazo tea .. and whatever else Starbucks has cooking. I suppose time will tell.

    And just think, in about 4 weeks, we will all have forgotten about this silly little Starbucks news.. we’ll be talking about the funniest Superbowl commercial, surly to stir the pot yet again!

    For the record, I prefer tea. Twinnings Lady Gray Tea, specifically.

    And I love Dunkin Donuts. I don’t need a degree in coffee ordering to order, either.

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    Posted in Branding, In the News, Marketing 1 Comment »

    Upcoming Seminar: Inbound Marketing to Grow the Pipeline

    January 3, 2011

    Guess what? I’m speaking! Those of you that have known me for a while know how much I love speaking, even to small audiences. I found my speaking niche a few jobs ago when I was the face of the company, sent to share tips and tricks, marketing trends, and advice to user groups and […]

    Posted in Uncategorized 2 Comments »

    HOW TO: Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

    January 3, 2011

    One of the biggest challenges of social media is that it is not a quick-fire impact-driven marketing tool. It takes time to build the communities, following, and to start to gain measurable results. Blogs are not much different. It takes time to foster a following, build regular commenters, and have people share your content.

    With that said, what’s the best way to drive traffic to your blog?

    1. Provide valuable content – content that people want, not what you think they want.
    The best way to know what this is, is to poll your expected reader base to find out what they really want to know from you.

    2. Make sure the blog is decked out with appropriate meta data to ensure the search engines are picking up all of your hard work. This also includes categories and relevant tags relating to the post itself. If this blog is on your website, the meta data and tags should fall in line with the keywords/meta data of your website.

    3. Market your blog.
    This means including a link to your blog on all print media, on your business cards, on the social media sites.
    This also means pushing the content out to information aggregators… Technoratti, Digg, Delicious (for now), and a few others. It also includes posting your blog posts to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.
    when doing this, turn off the sales speak, and turn on the engagement speak.
    “Did you know 4 out 5 marketers only rely on sm 20% for their 2011 plans? Read more: [blog link]” … not …. “Hey, read my latest blog post about marketing…”

    4. Grow your communities external to your blog.
    This means commenting on peers with similar content or complimentary content blogs, engage in dialog with people on twitter and facebook, LInkedin too (groups, Linkedin answers, profile posts, etc.).
    Establish yourself as a thought leader with valid content. and they will come.

    5. Use email marketing to continue the cycle. Have a section of your email newsletter that features a popular blog post(s) each month. Leave a little to the imagination and use a “read more” link to drive people to the blog to continue reading the entire blog post. Also include links to your social media profiles in your email. And be sure to include an engaging call to action that perhaps drives them to a landing page about your blog with a few snippets from key blog posts. On the landing page, include a form for them to fill out to subscribe to the blog.

    6. Make it easy for people to follow your blogs. Make the call to action to subscribe clear, and obvious. Include both RSS and email subscriptions.

    7. Add outbound links within your blog posts. Include links to blogs of your peers, thought leaders, and marketing tools’ website/blog to boost your SEO rank while notifying those blogs that you are listening to their content. It all counts!

    What else do you do to drive traffic to your blog?

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    Posted in Blogs, Marketing, Marketing Tools, Social Media 2 Comments »