Welcome to Crowd Hydrant

Crowd Hydrant is for businesses that want to harness the power of the crowd.

We work with startups and established businesses. We help startups get off the ground faster through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. We also provide crowd marketing solutions that help our business clients untap the potential of social media. We offer strategy, planning and execution. We're affordable and effective.

To learn more about Cloud Hydrant, please CONTACT US today.

 

Tracking the Impact of Content Marketing

 

You can track the impact of content marketing on sales, and many companies are doing it with incredible accuracy. But, don’t expect results overnight. Remember, patience is a virtue.

The companies companies featured in this article, including Dell, L’Oreal, and Target took time to let their content seep through their communities of customers. That’s how you should consider your content when you begin to enact it in your business. What you are putting out there is important, but allowing it time to grow naturally, through your effort and your customers interests, work hand in hand. Your company is building a voice and personality with your content.

The first thing you must do is start creating content, that is first and foremost. This is the new way of marketing for an ever growing electronically connected marketplace. The longer you wait before starting, the more time competitors in your field have to connect with your target audience.

Second, do not rush your company out into the Internet with content, regardless of how good it might be. Allow yourself a steady pace, this will keep you from bombarding the social feeds. 93% of marketers use social media for business, and you don’t want to be just a point in that percentage - you want to be found! A well-paced start builds demand over time with anyone who is reading it. Further, it allows you to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t work for your company.

Finally, don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. In the CMO.com article mentioned above, L’Oreal Americas CMO, Marc Speichert said, “What we realized is that we shouldn’t create just one piece of content that will be relevant to the majority of people. Instead we’re creating many different assets that address the specific needs of consumers.” For L’Oreal, that “implies a different content supply chain.”

 

The All Mighty Search Engine

 

In my last post, I talked some about the importance of content marketing in business. When you create interesting content you help your company stand out. Your content gets visibility through your own sharing, on social media sites, and through search engines like Google and Bing.
 

There are several ways people find your website. The first is called organic, meaning people know your web address and type it in. This usually accounts for the largest percentage of traffic on the average website. The second is refferal, someone sees your link on a different website and clicks on it. Searching for a need or service specifically, makes up a third category of website traffic, with links in marketing campaigns (email, etc.) taking fourth place. So why are search engines still the critical part of content marketing?

 

Simplicity, meaning it’s easier to type in a word or a sentence into, insert search engine here, and find what you are looking for. This goes for everyone and everything. Prospects will see your business on social media sites, especially if you connect and share your content. Yet, if someone is actively searching for a product or service, they’re most likely going to search the web. You’ve got to be visible there.

 

I said a little about who uses search engines in the above paragraph, but to embolden it, everyone uses search engines. It’s second nature now, when we want to know or find something, we Google it.
 

The algorithm is the how, what and backbone of any and all search engines. It’s what translates the sentence, “boots that won’t wear out” into 17,000,000 pages in .17 seconds. The algorithm is the maker or breaker of a web sites traffic.

 

 

Content Marketing in the B2B World

 

You can find anything you want on the internet these days, from how to make a tasty pie to shirts for dogs. That wealth of information comes with a price. You end up sorting through every little post and website that might have something to do with the keywords you typed in. If you’re at home, you might have the time to sort through all this “clutter”, but what about in the business world?
 

When was the last time you actually clicked a banner ad on a website? For that matter, when was the last time you even noticed an ad? Over time we’ve conditioned ourselves to ignore them. For small businesses digital advertising is becoming more difficult to justify. Even big companies struggle to get a return on their investment. This is where content marketing comes to the rescue.
 

Content marketing, as defined by The Content Marketing Institute, is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience,”. In a simpler sense, its about creating information that informs and/or entertains your prospective customers.
 

Creating worthy content is important but, to increase the effectiveness, a company must also extend itself onto social media networks. A social media presence works like a spider’s web, one snag on any line and you can come to assist and inform. Your community of connections read your content, and when they have problems, think of you to help resolve them.
 

Publishing original content on social networks positions your company and your employees as thought leaders. Take LinkedIn for example. Every time someone is endorsed for a skill, that endorsement is visible to others in their network. It validates the person in their area of expertise. They are now someone in the B2B world that other businesses can come to and ask questions.
 

Now wait, before you go to facebook, twitter or any other social media site and begin making posts and comments, think about your content. You need to say more than “we work with computers”, you need to make the reader stop their scrolling and click on you. Just as the definition says, content marketing is more engaging than a banner ad. Its about demonstrating that your company offers practices that are innovative for the field. When done correctly, it makes your audience want to go beyond what you’ve shared and learn even more about your company.
 

 

SEC Ruling Changes Startup Funding

 

With the recent announcement that it would now allow startups (and other investments) to publicly market their offering, the SEC has opened a whole new world of opportunity in startup funding.

One of the startups we work with is a great example. It formed when a group of passionate people got together and rallied around an idea. In this case the idea was an application of a new technology with serious potential. We spent significant time setting up shop and have worked hard to gain traction in the short time we've been working together.

Soon after we formed our business, we met with our attorney who gave us a lesson on how traditional, venture capital was raised. When he explained the SEC's 81 year old ruling that prohibits startups from advertising their offering, I was gobsmacked.

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