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Benefits Of Six Sigma Certification

Obtaining your Six Sigma certification makes you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for a new job or trying to get a promotion with your current employer. Six Sigma expertise is in high demand, and hiring managers at companies that have implemented Six Sigma know the value of certification. They understand the commitment it takes to become Six Sigma certified and might not even consider your application if you don’t have the credential. Six Sigma certification shows employers not only that you understand Six Sigma but also that you are committed and motivated. They instantly recognise that you’re very knowledgeable in reducing costs, increasing revenue, improving quality and processes, and gaining employee buy-in. Six Sigma certification also signals to employers that you’ve been trained to be an effective leader. Whether you’re a certified yellow belt or black belt, Six Sigma training and certification is all about honing your leadership skills. Employers understand that and will reward you for it. Job Opportunities for Six Sigma Certified Yellow, Green, and Black Belts A wide variety of companies and government organizations use Six Sigma and need certified yellow belts, green belts, and black belts. Companies like American Express, Boeing, Amazon.com, and Bank of America have all used Six Sigma to improve processes and business operations. Depending on which belt you have and how much experience you have participating in or leading Six Sigma projects, you could obtain a job in operations, manufacturing, information technology, quality assurance, and more. For example yellow belts, green belts, and black belts could be employed as Six Sigma consultants, production managers, quality analysts, business analysts, manufacturing engineers, process development engineers, project managers, warehouse operations managers, information technology project managers, data scientists, industrial engineers, process improvement directors, and more. The list goes on and on. Salaries for Certified Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belts Six Sigma certification is a highly sought after credential among employers, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for job candidates that have yellow, green, and black belts. According to Payscale.com, a certified Six Sigma yellow belt employed in the United States could make anywhere from $40,299 to $76,529 per year depending on the company they work for and where they work. Payscale.com reports that certified Six Sigma green belts can earn from $51,280 to $98,381 annually, and certified Six Sigma black belts salaries range from $62,214 to $118,134 per year. Again, depending on how many years of experience you have, which company you work for, and where you work, your salary could go even higher. Six Sigma Job Requirements Keep in mind, most employers won’t even consider a candidate for a Six Sigma position that requires more than entry-level knowledge of the Six Sigma DMAIC framework without yellow belt, green belt, or black belt certification. In addition, many employers want candidates to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business or another relevant field. Coursework in project management, statistics, accounting, finance, and business administration are also important to hiring managers. Finally, employers are most interested in candidates who not only have a Six Sigma certification but also have a history of ongoing education, particularly training related to Six Sigma, project management, and continuous improvement.
Benefits Of Six Sigma Certification
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Benefits Of Six Sigma Certification 225 Benefits Of Six Sigma Certification Quality Management
Susan Gunelius Jul 11, 2016
Obtaining your Six Sigma certification makes you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for a new job or trying to get a promotion with your current employer. Six Sigma expertise is in hi...
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Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that was first used in the 1980s by companies like Motorola and Honeywell. By the 1990s, a long list of Fortune 500 companies had adopted Six Sigma in an effort to increase quality (and profits) by eliminating defects, service failures, and waste. Today, companies in almost every industry use Six Sigma to improve their operations, bottom-lines, and customer satisfaction. All Six Sigma projects are managed using a set of tools and techniques across five phases known as the DMAIC framework: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Using statistical analysis, Six Sigma teams work to fix processes so they’re 99.997% defect-free, which translates to only 3.4 defects per million. Six Sigma projects are managed by individuals with specific titles, roles, training, and certifications. These roles are identified by a hierarchical belt structure with darker belts representing roles that require more experience and training: white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black belt, and master black belt. White Belts Six Sigma white belts are engaged at the first level of the Six Sigma process and have a basic understanding of Six Sigma concepts. They’re responsible for connecting with the next highest belt (green belts) to solve specific problems at a local level. Often, white belts are called upon to support an overall Six Sigma project but aren’t actually on the Six Sigma team. Certification: Neither of the widely recognized Six Sigma certifying organizations, the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) or the American Society for Quality (ASQ), offer a Six Sigma white belt certification. However, some universities and companies do offer this level of certification. Yellow Belts The yellow belt is the first level of Six Sigma certification. Yellow belts are Six Sigma team members who report to green belts. They understand the basics of Six Sigma, including the first three phases of the DMAIC framework: define, measure, and analyze. Yellow belts are responsible for reviewing process improvements in support of a Six Sigma project. Certification: To obtain a Yellow Belt certification, you must pass a 60 question exam. Green Belts Six Sigma green belts are usually at the manager level and report to Six Sigma black belts. They’re considered to be the worker bees of a Six Sigma project because they do most of the data collection and analysis work. Green belts are knowledgeable on all phases of the DMAIC framework. Experienced green belts might lead small Six Sigma projects. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma green belt certification, you must have three years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge (e.g., process improvement), and that experience must have been in a paying role. You are also required to pass the 1.5 hour, 100-question green belt certification exam. Black Belts Six Sigma black belts lead Six Sigma projects, green belts, and teams. They are Six Sigma experts with a great deal of experience. Black belts interface with executives and ensure Six Sigma project goals are met. They also act as coaches to people with lower level belts. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma black belt certification, you must have green belt experience and have completed two Six Sigma projects with signed affidavits. In addition, you have to pass the 4-hour exam, which includes 150 questions. Master Black Belts Six Sigma master black belts act as trainers and coaches to people with lower-level belts. Their role is typically strategic rather than project-based and focuses on Six Sigma at the program and enterprise level. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma master black belt certification, you need to have at least five years of experience as a Six Sigma black belt or a minimum of 10 completed Six Sigma black belt projects. In addition, you need to pass a two-part exam. Other Six Sigma Roles In addition to the Six Sigma belt designations, organizations typically have Six Sigma executives and champions. A Six Sigma executive’s role is to align the Six Sigma program with the company’s culture and strategy. The champion translates the company’s vision and goals into a comprehensive Six Sigma program and individual projects. Each of these roles plays an important part in ensuring Six Sigma effectively improves a business and its profitability
Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified
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Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

Susan Gunelius
Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that was first used in the 1980s by companies like Motorola and Honeywell. By the 1990s, a long list of Fortune 500 companies had adopted Six Sigma in a...
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Certified Ethical Hacker Jobs and Salaries

Businesses and government organizations need certified ethical hackers (CEHs) to ensure their networks, systems, and applications are secure from illegal hackers. When a company’s data is breached or a denial of service attack takes down the company’s systems, money is lost and the company’s reputation could be tarnished. Organizations are willing to pay high salaries for ethical hackers that have the right education, hold the right certification, and have the right experience. Credentials to Get a Job as a Certified Ethical Hacker Before you can obtain an ethical hacking job, you need to have the right credentials. You’ll need at least a couple of years of experience in the IT field for most large companies and government organizations to consider you for a position. Furthermore, you’ll probably need at least a bachelor’s degree to land a job at a Fortune 500 company. However, there are many different kinds of companies looking for ethical hackers, so these credentials aren’t always requirements. A credential that is a requirement is certification. When you become a certified ethical hacker, employers know you have the technical knowledge to do the job as well as the necessary soft skills such as social engineering, communications, and problem solving. Importantly, employers see the certified ethical hacker credential and know that you understand the laws and ethics of legal hacking and that you adhere to the certified ethical hacker’s professional code of conduct. Job Titles for Certified Ethical Hackers Certified ethical hackers have a specialized and highly sought after set of skills that can be applied to a variety of job titles. When you’re looking for a position, search for jobs with titles like information security analyst, security engineer, penetration tester, security analyst, security consultant, site administrator, network security specialist, information technology auditor, computer forensics analyst, and homeland security specialist. In the government sector, search for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin or Booz Allen Hamilton, which provide information technology contractors to government organizations. You can also search for jobs directly with the military or government agencies such as the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, National Security Agency, or the Department of Defense. Of course, you could always start your own independent security consulting company. Many companies prefer to bring in an external expert to handle penetration testing and other ethical hacking projects rather than hire a full-time employee for the job. Salaries for Certified Ethical Hackers Entry level salaries for professionals who are certified ethical hackers typically start in the $50,000 range. Depending on how many years of experience you have, your salary could start in the $80,000, $90,000, or even $100,000 range. According to Payscale.com, salaries for individuals with certified ethical hacker credentials in the United States range from $48,952 to $109,573. Payscale.com also reports that most people with certified ethical hacker credentials have between one and 19 years of experience (2% have less than 1 year, 29% have between 1-4 years, 28% have between 5-9 years, 33% have between 10-19 years, and 8% have 20 or more years). Bottom-line, if you enjoy legal hacking and have the right education, experience, and certification, then a job as a certified ethical hacker could be perfect for you.
Certified Ethical Hacker Jobs and Salaries
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Certified Ethical Hacker Jobs and Salaries

Certified Ethical Hacker Jobs and Salaries

Susan Gunelius
Businesses and government organizations need certified ethical hackers (CEHs) to ensure their networks, systems, and applications are secure from illegal hackers. When a company’s data is breac...
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How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker??

One of the fastest growing information technology careers is ethical hacking (often referred to as “white hat hacking”). The goal of an ethical hacker is to beat illegal hackers at their own games. To become a legal hacker, you need to get the right certification, which shows that you not only understand the technology and business implications of hacking to improve security but also that you understand the ethical requirements of legal hacking. In other words, you need to be a learn Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) to land a corporate, government, or consulting job in the field. Certified ethical hackers spend their days looking for ways to attack information networks and systems. They search for ways to exploit vulnerable systems just as illegal hackers (often referred to as “black hat hackers”) do. Their findings help businesses and government organizations improve security and keep networks, systems, applications, and data safe from theft and fraud. The Certified Ethical Hacker Certification and Exam You can’t become a certified ethical hacker without the appropriate certification from the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (the EC-Council). Certification requires that you pass a 4-hour exam, which includes 125 multiple-choice questions. The exam costs $500. To prepare for the exam, you need to do some studying! Fortunately, there are many certified ethical hacking courses available to prepare for the exam. These courses will test you on everything from IT networking and programming to regulations and ethics and everything in between. When you take a certification course, you’ll learn about a long list of technology-related topics that you’ll see on the exam, including: • System hacking • Trojans • Worms • Viruses • Sniffers • Denial of service (DOS) attacks • Session hijacking • Web server hacking • Footprinting • Reconnaissance • Scanning networks • Hacking wireless networks and web applications • SQL injection • Penetration testing • Cryptography • Firewalls • Honeypots • Phishing • Identity theft • URL obfuscation • And more Certification courses also provide you with soft skills training which is critical to your success as a certified ethical hacker. Social skills are used everyday in three primary ways: 1. Social Engineering As a certified ethical hacker, you’ll need to convince people to give you their login credentials, execute files, or even shut down or restart systems. This is referred to as social engineering and it requires training and practice. 2. Problem Solving When you’re trying to legally hack a system, you will encounter roadblocks. You need to be able to think through problems and come up with innovative solutions to achieve your goals. 3. Communication You’ll be required to report your findings and make recommendations for your employer to improve security and eliminate vulnerabilities. That means you need to be able to effectively communicate with people at all levels across the organization to gather information and disseminate your results. Certified ethical hacking might sound like a lot of fun, but there is a fine line between legal and illegal hacking. When you take a certification course, you’ll also learn about the laws and ethics of white hat hacking so you stay out of trouble. You’ll even be tested about the professional code of conduct that certified ethical hackers are expected to adhere to as part of your certification exam. The key to becoming a certified ethical hacker is gaining some IT experience and combining it with the right certification. Once you have those credentials, you’ll be on your way to a new career!
How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker??
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker??

How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker??

Susan Gunelius
One of the fastest growing information technology careers is ethical hacking (often referred to as “white hat hacking”). The goal of an ethical hacker is to beat illegal hackers at their ...
Continue reading

10 Digital Marketing Tactics Every Business Should Use

Digital marketing encompasses a long list of tactics that you can implement to build your brand and business. From content and social media to advertising and email, there are so many opportunities to connect with your target audience! Now is the time to do an audit of your digital marketing plan. Are you utilizing a diverse array of marketing tactics to attract and engage with your best customers? Do you know who your best customers are? If you don’t, then you need to back up and figure it out right now! Once you know who you want to talk to in order to achieve the highest return on your marketing investment, it’s time to start implementing your digital marketing tactics. Here are 10 that most brands (including personal brands) and businesses can use to increase brand awareness, recall, purchases, and loyalty. Social Media 1. Social Media Updates, Sharing, and Engagement If you’re not active on the most popular social media sites, then you need to get active as soon as possible. Spend time every day publishing original updates, sharing other people’s content, and engaging with people through comments. Also, make a point to share content from and interact with online influencers whom your target audience already knows and trusts. Getting on their radar screens can give your own content a big bump in the future if an influencer shares it with their audience! 2. Social Media Promotions Facebook is one of the best social media sites to offer promotions. Hold contests and giveaways directly through your Facebook Page. Use the header image in your Facebook Page for special promotional messages. Just make sure you’re following all of the Facebook Page Guidelines! Content 3. Blog Posts There is no better place to demonstrate your expertise than your blog. Consistently publish useful, meaningful content that solves your audience’s problems and helps to reduce their pain points. And don’t forget to share your posts through your social media profiles and pages! 4. Videos Video content is incredibly popular, so if you’re not publishing any videos, you’re missing a big opportunity to give your target audience a specific way of consuming your messages that they want. Your videos don’t have to cost a fortune to produce. Once you’ve created a video, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, share it on your blog, and be sure to share it on your social media profiles and pages. 5. Visualisations People love to see information in visualizations such as charts, slide shows, presentations, and infographics. Visualizations are particularly popular for data-heavy content. Review your content for opportunities to turn text information into eye-catching visualizations. Of course, publish your visualizations on your blog and share them on your social media profiles and pages. 6. Podcasts Podcasts give people a chance to consume your content through audio. The key to successfully publishing a podcast is to be consistent and publish a new episode with useful and meaningful content on a regular basis. Make sure you make your podcast available on iTunes (it’s free), and promote it on your blog and social media profiles and pages. Advertising 7. Display Ads Display ads are banner ads. You can create a variety of display ads to use in all of your digital advertising from Google AdWords and Facebook to direct placement on highly targeted blogs and websites where your target audience spends time. You can even include them in your email newsletter to promote certain products or services at specific times 8. Pay-Per-Click Advertising Google AdWords is the most popular pay-per-click advertising option, so it’s a great place to start. Be prepared to experiment a lot! Pay-per-click advertising is tricky, so you’ll need to invest a lot of time to get it right. 9. Social Media Advertising Facebook advertising is highly effective for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands. LinkedIn advertising is also effective for business-to-business companies. Other social media advertising options to consider include Twitter and Pinterest. The trick is to always publish laser-focused ads that are shown to highly targeted audiences. 10. Sponsored Blog Posts Sponsored blog posts are legal and very effective, but only if you follow some rules. Make sure you only publish sponsored blog posts on quality sites that clearly disclose the post was paid for. This is required by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Don’t publish self-promotional content or no one will read it. Instead, publish useful information and include a link within the content to a highly relevant page on your website or to a customized landing page created for the specific sponsored post.
10 Digital Marketing Tactics Every Business Should Use
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10 Digital Marketing Tactics Every Business Should Use

10 Digital Marketing Tactics Every Business Should Use

Susan Gunelius
Digital marketing encompasses a long list of tactics that you can implement to build your brand and business. From content and social media to advertising and email, there are so many opportunities to...
Continue reading

5 Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

Content marketing has become an essential component of marketing strategies and for very good reason. It’s one of the best ways to build your brand reputation, extend your brand reach, increase brand trust, improve word-of-mouth marketing, and boost sales. What’s not to love? While content marketing isn’t difficult and can be inexpensive in comparison to other marketing tactics, being too cheap or short-sited with your content marketing can get you into trouble. Making mistakes can actually damage your brand! With that in mind, here are five content marketing mistakes that will surely annoy your audience. Avoid them at all costs! 1. Don’t Forget to Use the 80-20 Rule. Content marketing is not about self-promotion. When done correctly, content marketing is an amazing indirect marketing tactic, but that doesn’t mean you can never promote your brand, products, or services within your content. As you build your content marketing funnels, stick to the 80-20 rule where 80% or more of your content is not self-promotional and 20% or less is self-promotional. If you tip the balance to being overly self-promotional, you’ll annoy your audience and they’ll turn away from your brand in search of another that doesn’t constantly promote itself. 2. Don’t Publish Content that No One Wants to Read. One of the worst things you can do is invest time and money into writing, publishing, and promoting content that no one wants to read. Instead, take some time to understand your target audience’s problems, wants, and needs, and then, create content that is useful and meaningful to them. Use tools like Buzzsumo or NinjaOutreach to research content published by other sites related to your niche or about topics similar to those that are important to your target audience to determine what content is performing well. Use your learnings to create even better content on similar subjects. Also, invest in a great writer, because today’s audiences won’t bother reading poorly written content. 3. Don’t Forget Whom Your Target Customers Are. Speaking of your target audience, it’s essential that you always keep your target customers top of mind. If you spread yourself too thin and try to be everywhere online by publishing content on every blog, website, and social media site you can find, the quality of your content will suffer. More importantly, you’ll waste time and money communicating with people who will never become your customers. Instead, go where your target customers are. For example, business-to-business brands need to be active on LinkedIn while business-to-consumer brands should definitely be active on Facebook. Yes, big companies with big marketing budgets are active everywhere, but with a limited budget, you need to be laser focused. 4. Don’t Publish in a Silo. Don’t make the mistake of publishing content only on your own website, blog, and social media profiles and pages. This type of silo marketing won’t work. If you build it, they will not come. To be successful with content marketing, you need to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there across the web. Look for websites and blogs where your target audience spends time and publish guest posts and content. The goal is to spread your useful content, and that means letting other sites publish it first sometimes. 5. Don’t Forget to Publish Offline. Content marketing isn’t just a digital marketing tactic. You should also publish content offline to surround consumers with your content so they can self-select how they want to interact with your brand. Not everyone likes to read blogs, but they might like to read a newsletter. Effective content marketing options that don’t necessarily happen on the web include email marketing, newsletters, and direct mail. Yes, some of these are more expensive than publishing online content, but the results can be even better since your brand is likely to stand out than it is on the crowded web
5 Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
5 Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

5 Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

Susan Gunelius
Content marketing has become an essential component of marketing strategies and for very good reason. It’s one of the best ways to build your brand reputation, extend your brand reach, increase...
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5 Website Improvements To Boost Your Digital Marketing Results

When most people think of web design and development, they think of a website that looks great and works well. However, there is more to a great website that can actually help you turn visitors into paying customers than a pretty design and cool features. In fact, there are a number of very simple features that you can add to your website right now to ensure it helps your bottom-line rather than hurting it. Here are five improvements to get you started: 1. Supercharge Search If your site doesn’t include an internal search tool so visitors can find exactly what they’re looking for, then you need to add one right now. Research shows that conversions improve on sites that make three specific changes: 1. Include a colorful, easy to see search bar on every page 2. Upgrade the search function on their sites to offer semantic search rather than just plain text search 3. Use intelligent autocomplete Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find not just what they’re looking for but also, to find relevant content that might interest them. To that end, consider including related content links in your site’s search results. 2. Offer Formatted Page Printing We might live in a digital world but people still love to print. Don’t assume your audience will view your website on their computers and mobile devices only. Many people like to print information so they can review it offline. Have you ever tried to print an article or product description from a website but the information on the page doesn’t print correctly? Has the page ever printed out completely blank? The last thing you want to do is frustrate visitors by making it difficult to print the information you provide on your website! Instead, make sure every page on your site prints legibly. 3. Upgrade Your Product Catalog Is your site’s product catalog easy to navigate? Can visitors search your online catalog, filter the results, and view related results? Can they save items they like so they can buy those items later? Can they quickly and easily make a purchase? If you answered “no” to one or more of the questions above, then you need to upgrade your online product catalog. You might even have to upgrade your shopping cart system to ensure visitors stick around long enough to make a purchase. 4. Make It Easy for People to Share Your Content If visitors to your site can’t share your useful content or links to products they love or services they recommend, then you’re missing a big opportunity to expand your brand’s online reach and boost word of mouth marketing. At the very least, your website should offer buttons so people can share your content through Twitter and Facebook. For consumer product companies, a Pinterest sharing button is equally as important. Other social media sharing buttons you might consider adding are Google+ and LinkedIn. The key is to make it easy for people to share your content on the social media sites where your target audience spends time. 5. Invest in Professional Copywriting Without the right messaging on your site, you’ll lose customers. Invest in an experienced copywriter who can understand your target market and your goals. A copywriter who knows what he or she is doing will craft messages that increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site and increase sales. Keep in mind, you need to write every page equally well because you never know which page someone will arrive to first when they visit your site. First impressions are critical to your digital marketing results
5 Website Improvements To Boost Your Digital Marketing Results
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
5 Website Improvements To Boost Your Digital Marketing Results

5 Website Improvements To Boost Your Digital Marketing Results

Susan Gunelius
When most people think of web design and development, they think of a website that looks great and works well. However, there is more to a great website that can actually help you turn visitors into ...
Continue reading

5 Tips To Use Twitter Hashtags For Digital Marketing

Twitter hashtags (i.e., keywords preceded by the # symbol) can be used in a variety of ways to find, attract, and retain customers. Whether you’re building a business or personal brand, you should be connecting and communicating with people on Twitter. Hashtags are an important part of that communication process. It only takes a second to add a hashtag symbol in front of a word, but it does take longer than a second to use hashtags effectively for digital marketing. Here are five tips to successfully integrate hashtags into your marketing strategy: 1. Include Hashtags in Your Twitter Bio Use specific hashtags that people might search for to find a business or person like you within your Twitter bio. Don’t overload your bio with hashtags though! Make sure your bio explains who’s behind the Twitter account first and foremost! A few relevant hashtags can be included within the bio description or appended to the end of the bio. However, more than three hashtags gets spammy and will actually annoy other Twitter users. Don’t undo your hard work by overusing hashtags. 2. Use Hashtags in Your Tweets Using hashtags within your tweets helps other people find them. For example, if you’re a scrum master tweeting about agile project management, then you should definitely consider including the #scrum hashtag. People can search Twitter posts for specific hashtags. If you’re trying to build your online audience and influence around a specific subject, it makes sense to use hashtags related to that subject in your tweets. 3. Find Content by Searching for Hashtags Want to find tweets about a specific subject? It’s easy with hashtags. You can search for hashtags in posts using the Twitter search form or you can use a third party tool like hashtags.org to find them. If you use a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social for social media listening and management, you can add specific hashtags into your lists of monitored keywords, so you see all of the Twitter posts published using those hashtags in real-time. This makes it very easy to jump into relevant conversations! 4. Create Your Own Hashtag for Your Brand and Conversations If you’ve trademarked your brand, then you can feel free to turn your brand name into a hashtag. You can also turn phrases or other text identifiers related to you or your business into hashtags. For example, many companies run promotions that include specific hashtags. Even television shows encourage viewers to tweet about their programs using specific hashtags. If you can convince people to tweet using your hashtag, it’s just one more way you can build your brand reputation and influence, which could turn into sales! 5. Communicate in Real-Time with Tweet Chats Tweet chats are pre-scheduled (but they can be unscheduled), real-time conversations between groups of Twitter users. For example, the scrum master in #2 above might schedule a tweet chat to answer questions. By including a specific hashtag created for that tweet chat in every tweet published as part of the chat, all participants can easily follow the conversation
5 Tips To Use Twitter Hashtags For Digital Marketing
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
5 Tips To Use Twitter Hashtags For Digital Marketing

5 Tips To Use Twitter Hashtags For Digital Marketing

Susan Gunelius
Twitter hashtags (i.e., keywords preceded by the # symbol) can be used in a variety of ways to find, attract, and retain customers. Whether you’re building a business or personal brand, you sho...
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What Is A Content Marketing Funnel And Why Does It Matter to My Business?

The term “marketing funnel” has become a hot buzzword in recent years, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not a new concept. When I was in college 20 years ago, my marketing professors and marketing textbooks referred to the concept as a pyramid where every marketing effort moves customers up the pyramid until they ultimately buy. A marketing funnel explains the same concept, but instead of climbing up the pyramid with people dropping off along the way, people move down the marketing funnel with only the “best” customers making it through to the bottom of the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel term has evolved to have not only a strategic meaning (as described in the previous paragraph) but also a tactical meaning. Marketers build content marketing funnels using specific content offerings to move targeted customers through the buying cycle. The marketing funnel is divided into three parts: top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), and bottom of funnel (BOFU). Let’s take a closer look at each. 1. Top of Funnel (TOFU) At the top of the funnel is everyone who isn’t close to ready to buy yet. For example, new prospects are at the top of the funnel. Your goal at the top of a content marketing funnel is to create a lead magnet that will attract a large number of leads into the top of the funnel. Offering a free ebook is a great way to generate leads through content marketing at the top of the funnel. Here’s how it could work: 1. Offer a free ebook to visitors on your website who provide their email addresses. 2. Using an email automation tool such as MailChimp or Infusionsoft, instantly send an email message with the free ebook to the lead. Now, you have the lead’s email address, and you can follow up with them with more useful content to try to push them further down the funnel. Customers at the bottom of the funnel are much more likely to buy, so a content marketing funnel should be built with a specific end goal purchase in mind. In other words, when the email campaign for the content marketing funnel is over, customers at the bottom of the funnel should be ready to buy a specific product or service. 2. Middle of Funnel (MOFU) Your next step in a content marketing funnel is to move people from the top of the funnel to the middle of the funnel. Using the email marketing campaign in the Top of Funnel section above, you could offer at least two free bonus items and automatically send those bonuses to leads through two separate email messages sent at a timed interval. For example, you could send the first bonus one or two days after the ebook download message is sent and the second bonus one or two days after that. The goal is to start building a relationship and trust with prospects by giving them more useful content. You’re building a comfort level between your brand and the prospect. However, a couple of freebies aren’t enough to push someone to the middle of the funnel. You have to give them more. Offering a free webinar is great way to start pushing leads into the middle of the funnel. For example, a new email campaign could promote a webinar that is a natural extension of the free ebook and bonus items. People who attend the webinar are clearly getting more interested in your business and brand and what you have to offer. They’re moving to the middle of the marketing funnel! The key to success at this point is avoiding the mistake of giving too much away. Remember, your goal is to get people to buy a specific, higher priced item at the bottom of the funnel, so your webinar should offer just enough that the audience gets extremely interested and wants more. You can give them the “more” at the end of the webinar when you promote the ultimate product or service you’re trying to sell. 3. Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) When you promote the ultimate product or service you’re trying to sell in your content marketing funnel, your job isn’t over. It takes a bit more effort to move some people from the middle of the funnel to the bottom. You’ll need to create an email campaign for everyone who attends your webinar that offers more useful bonuses and content and reminds them about the product or service you’re trying to sell. Communicate with them every couple of days for at least the first week after the webinar and then touch base again each week with more targeted, useful information that will make them considering buying your product or service. If they haven’t purchased within a month (or two at the most), it’s unlikely that they will. You’ve moved people as far through this content marketing funnel as you can. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t convince them to buy through a different content marketing funnel. The trick is finding the right mix of content to effectively move the largest number of your best customers through the funnel to make a purchase. This requires a lot of testing so don’t worry if you don’t get the results you want after your first content marketing funnel comes to an end. Review the results and build a better funnel next time! Eventually, you’ll get your content marketing funnels running like well-oiled machines.
What Is A Content Marketing Funnel And Why Does It Matter to My Business?
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What Is A Content Marketing Funnel And Why Does It Matter to My Business?

What Is A Content Marketing Funnel And Why Does It Matter to My Business?

Susan Gunelius
The term “marketing funnel” has become a hot buzzword in recent years, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not a new concept. When I was in college 20 years ago, my marketing profe...
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5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketplace

Building a business or personal brand in the digital marketplace can seem overwhelming with all of the tools available and the vast number of “experts” offering differing opinions about what works. Things seem to change every day! However, if you start with the five steps outlined below, you’ll build a foundation that positions you for success for years to come regardless of the new tools or changes that might pop up along the way. 1. Set up Your Website as Your Core Branded Online Destination I speak about marketing and branding at events around the world and one of the first things I always teach people who are trying to build businesses or personal brands is the importance of staking your claim in the online space with a core branded destination. That core branded online destination should always be your website. A core branded online destination is the center of your online world. All roads lead back to it. When you comment on a blog post, publish a social media update, or publish a piece of content on your site or someone else’s site, readers should always be able to get back to your core branded destination through a link. This is how they learn more about you and decide if they want to engage with you further. Your core branded online destination should be your own website with your own domain name because this gives you complete control. If you use a Facebook Page as your core branded online destination, what happens when Facebook changes the rules about how Pages work or gets rid of Pages entirely? All of the work you’ve done to build that page could go down the drain! This doesn’t happen when you’re in control of your core branded online destination. 2. Extend Your Reach with Social Media Once your core branded online destination is established, it’s time to extend your reach. You should do this through social media. Set up a Twitter Profile, Facebook Page, and LinkedIn Profile at the very least. Other social media options that give you more opportunities to extend your online reach are Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. The list goes on and on, but these are certainly the most popular options. Start publishing and sharing content on your social media profiles and pages. Comment on the content that other people publish and be an active participant in the online conversation. This is how you stay top-of-mind with your audience and continually prove your value. 3. Prove Your Value with Content on Your Own Site You should also prove your value by publishing useful and meaningful content for your target audience on your own site. Do this on your blog so it’s easy for people to share your content and converse with you about it through blog comments. Most importantly, don’t write salesy blog posts! Yes, you can mention a product or service from time to time, but too much self-promotion will drive your audience away. Who wants to read one ad after another? I recommend to all of my clients that they use the 80-20 rule where at least 80% of your content should not be self-promotional and no more than 20% can be self-promotional. Stick to that rule and you’ll have an acceptable balance. 4. Increase Your Influence with Content on Other People’s Sites Once you’ve established your online presence, it’s time to increase your influence. The best way to do that is by publishing content on other people’s sites. You can do this on LinkedIn or Medium.com as well as through guest posting on other blogs. The important thing to remember is that you should never republish content on multiple websites because publishing duplicate content can negatively affect your site’s Google search rankings. Since many visitors to your website will come through Google searches, you don’t want your search rankings to go down. In fact, publishing duplicate content could get your site banned from Google search results entirely, and once your site is banned, it’s very hard to get back in. 5. Get Timely and Targeted with Advertising Now, it’s time to start promoting specific products, services, or messages to targeted audiences. Advertising on websites and blogs where your target audience spends time can be useful as can Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. Keep in mind, getting good results from Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising can be difficult, so this might be an area where you want to invest in an expert to help you. Your ads should always be laser-focused — both on the audience and the message. Testing is extremely important to find the recipe for success, so don’t give up too soon! Plan on committing to at least a three month advertising plan before you make any hasty decisions to pull the plug.
5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketplace
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Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketplace

5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketplace

Susan Gunelius
Building a business or personal brand in the digital marketplace can seem overwhelming with all of the tools available and the vast number of “experts” offering differing opinions about w...
Continue reading

Why You Need To Break The Mold And Get Agile

Things change. While changes are inevitable, they cause problems for software developers and project managers who are used to getting things done sequentially. Being agile solves many of the problems that changes create. The Project Management Problem Whether you’re managing a software development project, a website development and design project, a marketing project, or any other kind of project, you can’t avoid changes. If something can’t be completed instantly, then you’re at the mercy of changing environments, changing opinions, and changing players — all of which can affect the direction of your project. Think of it this way. How often do you start working on a project with a team (particularly with cross-functional and cross-departmental members) and suddenly get a message from leadership saying the executives want something different? How often are you in the middle of a project and learn that something that was supposed to happen (such as a piece of equipment performing a specific functionality or a team member being able to produce a specific output) won’t end up happening? What happens in those situations? You have to change course. Let’s look at it another way. How often do you develop a software product or marketing piece, show it to your client or leadership team, and once they see it, they realize it’s not what they wanted at all? You’ve built a functional software or created an amazing website or brochure, but this needs to change, and that needs to move here, and so on and so on. Whether these types of changes happen in the middle of a project or at the end, they cause delays and higher costs. Wouldn’t it be better to get feedback and pivot as needed throughout the project? With agile project management and development, that’s exactly what you can do. Reducing Costs and Time to Market with Agile Development Agile is a project management framework that focuses on helping teams be more productive and waste less time by working in sprints. At the end of each sprint, feedback is provided, everything is evaluated, and next steps are identified. Being agile means focusing on incremental accomplishments using an iterative process rather than focusing on the big picture in a sequential process. For projects that are likely to require a lot of changes, agile project management can actually shorten the development cycle! Are You Ready to Get Agile? Once you and your team commit to using an agile methodology, such as Scrum, you’ll start to see benefits very quickly. The key to success is training everyone so they understand how the new approach to project management and development will ultimately help them. Getting team member buy-in is critical, so open communication is a top priority within any agile team. Furthermore, invite your team members to identify projects that could be improved with agile management and begin your shift to agile processes with those projects. Allow agile teams of approximately seven people to self-organize and take ownership of each project. Once they see the benefits of being agile first-hand, they’ll support your efforts to move to a completely agile environment.
Why You Need To Break The Mold And Get Agile
Author Image
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Why You Need To Break The Mold And Get Agile

Why You Need To Break The Mold And Get Agile

Susan Gunelius
Things change. While changes are inevitable, they cause problems for software developers and project managers who are used to getting things done sequentially. Being agile solves many of the problems ...
Continue reading

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