F E AT U R E S
New Tools for Your Marketing
Quality content delivered to your audience will produce results.
By Deb Evans, CFE
is King” was written by Bill Gates in
1996 and encouraged small-business
owners to deliver quality content on their
websites. “Those who succeed will propel
the Internet forward as a marketplace of
ideas, experiences, and products – a
marketplace of content.”
The phrase has been replaced with
“Content is Queen,” “Audience is the
King,” “Content is the Servant,” “Social
Media is the Kingmaker,” and several
others. The message is the same. Quality
content delivered to your audience will
produce results. Interesting and new
information provided on a brand’s social
platforms will rank the brand higher in
search engine results.
Analytical tools and understanding
their power and the role of online trackers
will extract relevant information to
enhance digital marketing efforts. Some
of the tools are not new, but may be
underutilized or misunderstood.
Digital marketing continues to evolve
rapidly and keeping up with the new
technology is a challenge. Platforms,
apps and resources come and go. Just
as you educate yourself on a particular
tool or platform, the process and
analytics, something newer and shinier is
FRANCHISING WORLD NOVEMBER 2013
Content Curation and
Curating content is always a challenge.
Where can content be found? How
should content be analyzed, presented,
published and organized? Does the
content represent the brand with authority
and position the brand as an expert or
leader in an industry? These pertinent
questions should be answered in the
brand’s digital marketing strategy.
Not every brand is as easily recognized
as Subway or McDonald’s. Fred DeLuca,
CFE, and Ray Kroc, respectively, are
well known businessmen who built very
successful franchise brands. The average
brand is not a household name. Content
marketing strategy for the everyday brand
should include company history and
value. A story should be told about the
people behind the logo. The stories need
to be interesting and visually compelling
to keep the audience engaged.
The tools below can be used for
finding great content and, in turn, used for
BizSugar − Business news, tips
Google+ − Second largest social
Pinterest − Photo sharing site
allowing users to manage theme-based
images or videos found in articles, blogs
Scoop.it − Searches the Internet
and presents content related to your
topic of interest.
Storify − Stories are created
from tweets, blog posts, videos, Flickr
and public Facebook posts.
Social Listening Tools
Understanding what the customer
wants to know is often overlooked. To
deliver your story, listening to the audience
should come first. Understanding what
drives decisions and the emotional
connection is critical to meet and exceed
Several listening tools are used for
online conversations. The tools below
will assist in drilling down to specific
topics, trends, keywords and provide
Curate.me − Daily brief of news
from Twitter followers and Facebook
Guzzle.it − Topic-based news
aggregator. It updates every second and
can be customized.
Google Alerts − Real-time alerts
of mentions on the Web.
LinkedIn Today − Key topics
professionals are discussing.
PinAlerts − Sends an alert each
time your Website receives a new pin.
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to Google Alerts, real-time alerts of
mentions on social platforms.
Tagboard − A social media
hub for hashtags. It searches multiple
social media networks for posts with a
Talkwalker − Social media
monitoring by defining your brand and
Talkwalker Alerts − Free alert
system that provides email updates of
relevant mentions on the Web.
Content Sharing Tools
Once content is developed, it should
be shared via traditional marketing on
websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn
Easy-to-use tools should be added
to the marketing technology arsenal.
Google Hangout − Brings the
conversations to life. Shares content
via a hangout with a live audience while
recording to YouTube.
Instagram − Online photo and
video sharing site.
9Slides − Adds audio or video
to presentation slides.
SlideShare − Ability to share
presentations (PowerPoint, Open Office
and Keynote files) online.
Vine − Mobile app that allows
user to post short video content to
Infographic Design Tools
and videos) rank high for search
engine optimization. Even though
search engines cannot read text on
an infographic, their popularity is
increasing and with good cause. When
well-designed, an infographic can play a
role in an SEO and marketing campaign.
Creating an infographic that is visually
heading tags, embedded in a blog or
Web page, is more likely to be found and
shared quickly by readers and potential
Visual.ly − Designs and shares
complex charts and graphics.
FRANCHISING WORLD NOVEMBER 2013
Creately − Creates mindmaps,
wireframes and website outlines with
Infogr.am − Creates more than
Easely.ly − Creates and shares
visual ideas online.
The human voice is a great influence
and can convey a message or a passion
better than the written word. Video may
have stolen media attention and SEO,
but audio podcasting ranks high for
listener convenience. Screen time pulls
the user away to focus on the message,
which means that video messages need
to be brief. Audio messages can be
played when the user is multi-tasking
- jogging, driving, using the screen for
other purposes. Part of what makes
podcasting great is that you’re having
a conversation, not delivering a highly
structured set of information as you
would in a blog.
Podcasting is the least used option
for digital marketing and provides a
huge opportunity to get noticed.
Several Web-based services with
different features and costs are available
for podcasting. Some of the most widely
used are ReadyTalk, BlogTalkRadio and
Skype with VodBurner.
FranSocial − A Franchise Tool
Where do you turn for help? Take
advantage of the franchise community
and the relationships that exist. Peer-topeer networking that is evident during
each International Franchise Association
annual convention, expo and webinar.
adopting cloud, mobile and private
social business platforms to share
organizational knowledge. FranSocial,
established by Higher Logic, one of the
leaders in this technology, provides an
exclusive franchise community. Profiles,
wiki glossary, blogs and events are on
one platform where knowledge can be
easily searched, shared and discussed
within private communities. FranSocial
practice sharing and mentoring on a
secure, branded business network.
Social media and their tools
represent a simple means to a powerful
Deb Evans, CFE, is the
owner of Deb Evans
Consulting that specializes
in franchise operations,
franchisee relations and
strategies. She was the IFA task force
chairwoman for FranCamp, IFA Digital
Marketing and Technology Best Practices
Conference, and serves on the IFA
Marketing and Technology Committee, as
well as the Women’s Franchise Network
Committee. Find her at fransocial.franchise.
org via the directory.
Sources of Information
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