Small Business PPC

Image Source: Flickr/Gerald Rich

Pay Per Click advertising is an extremely powerful and highly effective marketing tool. Whereas billboards, television adverts, newspaper and magazine pieces and of course radio exposure are all great tools they do take time and significant effort to transform into a solid sale or lead. A PPC agency will help businesses to stand out from the crowd in a place where instant ordering and contacting people is not only possible but even probable, and that place is the internet.

The top 5 reasons that PPC is so right for your small business is:

Your Budget

When you start out in any type of business it is essential that you make sure that people know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It is also important that you don’t overstretch your advertising budget as start-up and smaller businesses rarely have huge amounts of cash to use for this therefore there needs to be a budget in place that yourselves and the PPC agency agree on in order to set realistic goals with the aim of getting you what you want and need. Unlike some advertising forms PPC advertising is still an effective marketing tool regardless of the fact that it doesn’t require a large amount of funding.

PPC and Geography

Having local support for your business is important for anyone however for bricks and mortar businesses located in a town for example, local support is vital for the success of the business. Fortunately your PPC agency is able to combine PPC with geo-targeting which increases local community visibility.

PPC is Quick

A quick fix isn’t always best in business however when it comes to small business start-ups PPC campaigns are fantastic at giving your business a quick boost and building immediate levels of traffic which in turn starts to bring profit in quicker. Over time your other slower to build yet very effective marketing strategies will start to show results however in the meantime you will have already started to build visibility.

PPC is Specific

As a small business you need to stand out above the bigger names and brands in order to get noticed. If you have a very defined niche then PPC agencies will be able to use this to further increase the success of your campaign as specific search terms, which also tend to cost less per click, are going to find you more targeted traffic which is most like to turn into a solid lead or sale.

PPC is Convenient

The beauty of having a Pay Per Click agency working on your behalf is that the advertising campaign will literally run itself in a sense, not requiring you to do anything to maintain it. Small business owners rarely have extra hours in the day so this cost and time effective method of targeted advertising is ideal.

Attribute to: Jag Ture

Jag has been writing for over 5 years. Her sales and marketing background at PPC agency, Cayenne Red has helped her write informative articles in areas including digital marketing; specifically, PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

Yelp Reviews

Image Source: YouTube/Yelp

Often times review sites play a major role in the make or break of a local business. If you have positive reviews people are going to want to conduct business with you more frequently. If you have negative reviews you might find yourself trying to convince new clients and customers that you are worthy of their business (can you say counterproductive?).

We know what we have to do when we receive a negative review but have you ever stopped to wonder what needs to be done when you generate a positive review? Do you say thank you? Do you leave it alone? What do you do?

Yelp will tell you.

Yelp Video

Social Media & Communication

 

Everyone who is in business is aware of how important marketing is for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is to expand their company and their reach to potential as well as existing clients. Although there are many traditional forms of marketing such as television, newspaper and radio adverts, social media marketing is a medium has changed the way that marketing communication is performed these days, and it is definitely for the better.

 

 

A Two-Way Form of Communication


One of the most important differences that social networks have made to marketing communication is the fact that, unlike traditional marketing methods, which were only able to offer one-way channels of communication, it offers the ability for companies and clients to communicate with each other in real time. Because various forms of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or even email allow those who are receiving the marketing message to respond to the information they have received and interact with those who have shared it, it means that businesses and marketers are able to receive feedback about their marketing strategies almost immediately.

 

Smaller Businesses and Marketers can now be Heard


The increased usage of social media marketing has ensured that almost everyone who advertises online has the opportunity to see their brand go viral, whereas with traditional forms of marketing, only larger corporations were able to afford the high costs of TV and radio advertising, which gave them an unprecedented advantage. In some cases, social media marketing has enabled smaller companies to overtake their larger competitors with ease, because of the fact that social media channels literally know no boundaries. The use of social media as an effective marketing tool has also enabled advertising messages to be tailor-made to suit specific individuals, groups or companies.

 

Feedback Within Minutes


Another advantage to this form of marketing is the fact that customers are able to voice their concerns in real-time and in many cases, they receive feedback within hours or even minutes in some cases. This is a definite improvement in customer service levels because when it came to traditional forms of marketing, customers who wished to voice their opinion often had to wait days or weeks before receiving any type of response. Because of receiving almost-instant feedback, marketing companies can now resolve customer issues and complaints far quicker as well. An added advantage to using social media for marketing is that your client base will continue to grow on a daily basis.
 
Although many people are against trying anything new (even when it comes to advertising), this form of marketing will not be going away any time soon, so it is best for companies and individuals to learn how to embrace it and use it to their advantage in order to reap the many benefits that it has to offer. It is one of the most effective advertising mediums, because virtually any business out there is able to spend an hour or so per day interacting with their clients.
 
Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, have completely revolutionized the way companies promote their products and services. Social media communication has changed the business world forever. It is a big part of the marketing plan of the future for many companies, and it is largely free, which makes it even better.

 

The Social Media Revolution


Advertising, marketing and public relations are the areas of business that have been impacted the most by the social media storm. Companies are saving thousands of dollars every year in their advertising budgets by moving away from traditional print, radio and television advertising. There has even been a noticeable reduction in businesses purchasing online banner ads because they can set up their own Facebook, Pinterest or other social media page and get their message out without paying hefty advertising fees. Social media platforms allow companies to hyper-target the exact relevant audience they want to reach instead of buying an ad and hoping potential customers see it.

 

Making the most of Social Media


The way social media is used to communicate a company’s message is vitally important. Companies should:
 

  • Clearly identify their mission, goals and objectives on their social media pages
  • Keep the content on the page fresh by posting regular updates
  • Be responsive to consumer questions or comments posted on the page
  • Remain consistent with the social media marketing plan and do not let the page fall into disuse
  • Change product and service offerings based on consumer response

 

Analyzing your Target Audience


An amazing amount of customer data can be gleaned through social media platforms in ways that were never possible through traditional marketing methods. When consumers “like” a company’s Facebook page and post comments, they provide important information. The company’s marketing department, product development division and management team can obtain valuable data about consumer behavior by analyzing the customer responses on their Facebook page. The same goes for reviews posted on Twitter or other social media outlets. The key is listening to and analyzing audience comments and reviews, and responding by making the appropriate adjustments to product and service offerings.

 

Direct Communication with Customers


 

Another unique way in which social media communication has changed the world of marketing is just that:  communication. Customers can actually communicate with company representatives via social media.
 

  • Potential customers can post a question on a social media site and get an answer from the company
  • A customer can make a suggestion about product improvement, and the company can respond
  • A company can run a contest that prospective customers can enter and possibly win.
  • The company can offer discount coupons, and customers can make purchases via social media platforms

 
One thing is certain. Social media communication is here to stay, and the companies that stay on top of the social media marketing revolution are the ones that will thrive in the changing marketplace. Using social media to the greatest advantage will help forward-thinking companies impact the way consumers select and purchase products and services.
 
Social Media

If you are someone that moves around the internet even just a little bit you have probably bumped into something called an infographic. An infographic is basically a creative piece depicting some sort of useful data. Infographics have become very popular over the last few years mostly because they are fun to read and they share very well (you remember how important sharing is right?).

Below is an infographic designed by Customer Magnetism which goes into detail what an infographic really is.

What is an Infographic?

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Video Marketing Tips

Image Source: Flickr

Video marketing is on rise in the current scenario. Experts believe that it gives a business much more boost than one can expect from a traditional advertising media.  Bonuses on this are the online global buyers who can take a look at the products and services offered by a particular business entity, and a couple of them can even turn out to be really potential ones too. Hence, this is the simplest way to go global. But this is equally true that if you have opted for video marketing  then you need to find out whether you are getting the benefit from the deal or not. So, let’s find out what are the primary advantages that you might not be enjoying at all!

Boost in search engine ranking

Video marketing works as magic wand in boosting ranks in popular search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.  Marketing experts as well as a few businesses, who have already implemented video marketing for salability of their products and services, comment that while SEO enriched contents might take several weeks to get to the top lists of the search engines, video marketing does the same within hours of being created and published.

Reduction in bounce back rate

While a carefully created profile page may fail to hold back traffic, video marketing can keep them glued to the same.  The reason is perhaps needless to explain – 2-dimensional exhibition of a particular product, its method of use and other related things will always have less impact in comparison to a 3-dimensional, highly responsive system.  The interactive footages in video marketing make much better representations of the products in comparison to plain texts and images. Thus, it is inevitable that the online traffic will have better understanding of the products. This reduces bounce back rate, engages visiting traffic and generates more clients.

Social Networking sites help the business further

No video marketing is successful without its active connection with social networks. Marketers can never think of an advertisement in such a stream which cannot be shared and liked in Facebook or tweeted and re-tweeted in Twitter.  Basically, the tie-up of video marketing profiles with that of the popular social networks helps them to go viral and expand their markets much conveniently. If you have never tried it out till date then you have definitely missed your opportunity to expand your target market and increase your chances of earning more profit!

Economic deal

Have you spent loads of money so far in order to showcase your products to a profitable result through video marketing? You might have hires technical persons for the purpose too.  But the practical story is that you have made a fool of yourself.  This happens to be one of the cheapest form of online marketing that can be managed successfully even by a novice business owner who does not have extensive technical knowledge.

Author Bio

I am Francis Boyle, a research analyst at a video production firm in London. As a part of my job, I often have to do a lot of research about various products and services. I write blog posts related to corporate video and video marketing.

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Facebook Ads Marketing Guide

Internet marketing is one of the hottest trends these days especially for people who want to earn some money. If you are a newbie, it would help if you know more about Facebook marketing. Getting targeted traffic can cost you money, but one way to get cheap traffic is through Facebook ads. The good news is that these ads are very easy to make at a low cost. When it comes to performance, you can expect a great deal of traffic soon.

Facebook, like other popular social networking websites, have millions of users or members. This is a good way to tap on an effective tool to drive traffic to your website. Within the social network alone, millions of people share blog posts, notes, photos, news stories, and even links every month.

Using Facebook is not confusing as it seems. People of different age groups are now using the network, and as a business owner or internet marketer, it is much easier to reach your target market. As a beginner, you can focus on the three tools that Facebook has provided for purposes of marketing. You can use their tools alone or you can combine them according to your preference. These tools include the following – pages, ads, and groups.

The ‘Pages’ tool is designed for public figures, organizations, and businesses; and it is very much similar to the profiles created by individual users. Anyone can ‘like’ pages and there are no restrictions as to the number of fans or friends. This tool is free and you can set it up with ease. However, you have to invest time in building your very own fan base.

If you are willing to spend some money on Facebook ads, you should check out the ‘ads’ tool. This is a targeted ad platform that you can use for specific age groups and geographic areas. Users can like or close the ads; therefore this tool can be powerful enough to enhance your marketing efforts. Since the goals of each internet marketer or business owner tend to vary, the cost of these ads differ as well.

The third Facebook ad tool is the ‘groups’. This tool is similar to forums but Facebook has integrated additional features that are similar to the Wall found in profiles and pages. Groups can be created that are relevant to product offerings or industry. If you want to reach prospects, this is a free tool that you can use. If you want this tool to work for you, you need to invest time and effort because it can be time consuming.

To start marketing using the ‘pages’ tool of Facebook, you can do many things like:

  • Make use of the info tab. This will serve as your ‘about us’, and it should contain vital information about your company and what you do
  • Use FBML when creating custom tabs
  • Work on different landing pages to suit users
  • The wall should always have new posts, and focus on useful info
  • Ask questions to get engage the fans
  • Don’t spam
  • Run contests
  • Study the results of your marketing efforts

For now, you can focus on the pages tool since it is free like the groups. If you see amazing results, you can proceed with the other tools that Facebook has to offer.

Author Bio

Patric Seeley is a Global Brand Manager at Mattressnextday.co.uk/- huge range of adjustable double mattress in different constructions and all comfort ratings catered for, with free next day delivery.

Twitter for Marketing

I’m sure you’re no stranger to the old “your business should be on Twitter” lecture. Everyone has a Facebook or Twitter page now, and they expect companies to have one, too. In truth, to really see success as a business in this digital day and age, you need to connect with your customers on a personal level; Twitter helps you do that.

But how do you make it effective? What are customers looking for when they “follow” you? Let’s take a look at a few ways to effectively use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business:

Always Provide Value

Every Tweet you post should provide valuable information for your followers. Whether it’s important industry news, a new company product or service you’re launching, or a behind-the-scenes photo of your staff, your customers should get something out of it. It should be something they need to know or will enjoy as a fan of your company.

Also keep in mind that the content of your Tweets should be something shareable, something your users will want to pass on to their friends. In the Twitter world, the more re-Tweets you get, the more people who see your company name and logo. Who knows, maybe you’ll go viral?

Be Conversational and Welcoming

Though you’re using Twitter as a marketing tool, don’t be too pushy with your promotions and marketing messages on your account. You’re bound to turn off your followers. Instead, use a more conversational tone and approach your followers as equals when posting content. Ask them questions, start discussions and engage them. The great thing about Twitter is that it personalizes a company; no longer is it some big, cold corporation. It has a face, a voice and a personality. Twitter breaks down the typical wall between a company and its customers; embrace that.

Give It Love and Attention

Twitter takes time. You can’t just put up a page and it expect to take off; it takes work, effort and planning to truly make it a success. When starting off on Twitter, you should plan to spend at least an hour a day on it: post a few updates, respond to any @replies or messages you get, and maybe send out a few fun or interesting re-Tweets. Don’t let your account fall by the wayside!

Watch your Timing

While posting regularly is important, when you post is important, too. Believe it or not, there are certain times that are better than others for posting Twitter content. For example, studies show that Tweets sent out Monday through Thursday in between 1 and 3 p.m., just after lunch, see the most clicks and re-Tweets. On the other end, updates sent out after 8 p.m. any day, or after 3 p.m. on Fridays, see a steep drop in clicks and re-Tweets.

Offer Exclusive Content

The best way to gain new followers on your Twitter account is to offer exclusive deals or content. Start a weekly Twitter contest or begin posting monthly deals for your followers. This will encourage new fans to join and will ensure you keep the old ones happy.

About the Author

Eric Stauffer is an online marketing expert and small business advocate, his firm helps small businesses by reviewing companies like PayPal Here and Square Up. For more information please visit http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is one of the hottest trends right now and is especially popular to use as an overall website marketing strategy. Those who are interested in how to plan a social media marketing strategy have already realized the many advantages it has to offer if executed properly. Planning how to run the marketing strategy is essential for it to be as successful as possible.

Identify your Goals

For people who are researching how to plan a social media marketing strategy, having a clearly defined set of goals right out of the gates is essential. A successful social media marketing strategy has a specific goal, although others may be attained as side benefits. There are a variety of different goals that can be achieved by utilizing social media properly including:

  • Increasing the company’s bottom line by increasing sales
  • Gaining valuable information about customers
  • Gaining inbound links to improve the company’s online ranking, which will in turn help to increase sales
  • Getting customer testimonials and sharing these reviews with potential customers
  • Monitoring the reputation of the brand
  • Building authority
  • Educating customers about the product and brand
  • Finding new audiences
  • Forming a direct relationship between the customer and the company

Design the Strategy

Once the goals have been clearly laid out, it’s time for those learning how to plan social media marketing strategy to design the strategy itself. This strategy should be based heavily on research into strategies that have been used in the past. The best social media agencies learn from other people’s failures and avoid them in their own campaigns by researching what has worked and what hasn’t worked.

Here are a few ways you can measure what you are doing:

Measure Success

Social media companies need to clearly determine a way to measure their own campaign’s success or failure. Without this measurement, there will be no way of determining how effective the marketing strategy was. This measurement should be a direct reflection of the chosen goal of those deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy. For example, if the goal is awareness, things such as shares, likes and new subscribers are good ways to measure growth and engagement. There are a variety of tools and tracking programs that can help determine social media searchers for a specific company or marketing plan.

Overall Trends

As an additional measure of success and of social media trends involving the company, overall trends should also be examined as an answer for how to plan social media marketing strategy ideas. Look for mentions of keywords in the industry, the company name, key employees’ names (such as the CEO), brand names and product services and compare them to mentions of competitors. Depending on which social media outlet is being used, there are also many different tools that social media companies use to help track these overall trends quickly and accurately.

Communication Policies

Communication policies are an integral part of how to plan social media marketing strategy. Make a plan as to what the answer is to customer questions and complaints before they happen. Clarify the role that different team members will take and reiterate the goal behind the communication policies. Make a reasonable timeline for different success measurements and when the associated tasks will be completed. It is important for even the best social media companies to have a written plan identifying which different networks will be used and how the goals will be accomplished.

Growth and Promotion

Once those interested in how to plan social media marketing strategy have implemented their ideas, make sure that the momentum is kept going. There needs to be consistent promotion of social media platforms company-wide, including adding the networks to letterheads, signature lines, business cards and promotional literature. Make use of plugins and icons on the company’s website to thoroughly link to the company’s different media outlets. Promotions such as Facebook ads and contests are affordable and easy ways to draw more attention to the company. Try live webinars, question and answers, guest blogging and expert interviews to keep growing and promoting.

Deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy involves a variety of facets, as outlined above. Promotional policies, goals and communication policies must be clearly laid out before any campaign begins. Make sure to keep measuring to see how successful the strategies were. These evaluation processes can help to develop different strategies over time that may be more successful with the company’s target audience.

Google Plus Branding

Many entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in the practical (physical and financial) aspects of starting a business that they don’t stop to consider what branding can do for them, much less how to go about building a successful brand. But when you stop to consider that even widely recognizable brands like Coke, McDonald’s, Nike, Ford, and hundreds of others started out in exactly the same place you’re at today, you’ll see that it is possible to take a small local company or online operation to a higher level through branding efforts. It’s not enough to simply float along on the goodwill of a few patrons and hope that others find you; you’ve got to be proactive about expanding your own brand. And while plenty of social media sites can help to spread your message at light-speed, Google+ offers some fantastic benefits to help you build your brand.

#1 Identify Goals

Create a mission statement. Okay, so this is not actually an aspect of Google+; it’s something you must do on your own before you begin your foray into online branding. And if you have not already created a mission statement to specify the overarching goals and ideals of your enterprise, now is the time. By opting to create a brand rather than simply slogging along as a generic vendor, you’ve taken a step towards transforming your operation into a highly visible business entity, one that will be more likely to enjoy success and longevity. And you need a mission statement that you and your fans can refer back to in order to keep your original vision alive. This is really the first step to brand creation (after opening your business, of course).

#2 Build a Profile

Create and update your profile. You might not think that the profile feature is terribly important, but considering it can provide consumers new to your brand with a snapshot of what makes you…well…YOU, it is imperative that you put some thought into creating a well-rounded profile that offers pertinent information about your company and links out to your website, blog, or other social accounts.

#3 Engage your Audience

Start threads, use sparks. Engaging with your visitors is one of the best ways to encourage them to have a relationship with your company, which is essentially the essence of branding. You want to approach potential customers on a personal level so that they come to see you as a trusted friend rather than a soulless corporation. By starting interesting conversation and then carrying on communications, you can work to build bonds and create a community that centers on your business. And the sparks feature can help you to use current events and other news to stimulate discussions. This is a fantastic strategy for drawing people in and helping them to become invested in your company.

#4 Build your Brand

Create brand ambassadors. Although internet marketing is an excellent and often affordable tool for businesses seeking to expand a brand, having trusted sources recommending you to friends and family is even better. By providing excellent customer service and really making the effort to connect with people in your network, you can create an army of brand ambassadors that give you access to their inner circle. And this is one area in which Google+ has other social media outlets beat thanks to their easy-to-use “circles” feature.

#5 Cross Promote

Cross promote. It is said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you want to build your brand with Google+ you need every link to be solid. So be careful about who you let into your own circles if you want to remain attractive to prospective patrons.

About the author:

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for 522 Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps companies reach their target audience.

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SEO Audience
Image Source

That written content which is most effective is original, easy-to-follow, engrossing and to the point. Needless to say, this requires a lot of thought, research and editing on the part of the writer!

The best way to achieve these goals is to keep the target audience in mind. Your visitor or client must like your writing and it must provide the benefits he or she is looking for. There are many ways to make this happen:

#1

Try to think from the reader’s point of view. What questions is he or she likely to have? What promise do you make him the title of your article? Fulfillment of that promise is what the reader expects of you.

You may find it useful to create the title after you have written the article, or at least change it based on the content-sometimes it is hard to know exactly where an article is going to go at first. If you’re writing for a client and you are unsure of his or her requirements, then you should ask!

#2

Be sure to do your research. If you have any doubt about something whatsoever, you should verify the facts by either visiting the site of the company you are writing about or some other authoritative resource like Wikipedia.

If you are writing for a client, ask for useful links that will aid you in developing your content rather than writing something that is not even close to what the client wants.

#3

Remember that, although content writing is different from SEO content writing, there is no reason that the same piece of writing cannot serve both purposes. SEO content writing relies more on strategically placed keywords, but all writing must fulfill the same basic goal: to provide valuable or useful information to the reader. The difference is just that the SEO content writer must target the search engines as well as the intended audience.

#4

Some people find that they can write more freely when they aren’t bound to the keyboard. When their fingers don’t have to catch up with their brain, they can enter into more of a “stream of consciousness” mode that makes writing flow more freely. The downside of this is that it can cause one to be more verbose than otherwise, but good editing after-the-fact can usually resolve this problem.

Dragon Dictate for Mac and Dragon NaturallySpeaking for PC can help many people achieve this “stream of consciousness” style of writing, and it can also help to avoid repetitive stress injury for those who have to write a lot. Voice dictation is even built into some tablets like the iPad for those who wish to do some writing while on the go. Of course, careful proofreading will be needed, but this is always the case, whether you dictate or write by hand.

Content writers need to work hard in order to fulfill the sometimes conflicting goals of search engine optimization and the maintenance of a high standard in terms of interest and readability. At all times the writing should be creative, keyword centric and most of all useful and informative.

Author Bio

Tim Arends is the webmaster of InternetMacMarketing.com. A user of Macs since 1994, he has helped purchase, install, maintain and troubleshoot Macintoshes and Mac networks for business for several years. Get his FREE 75-page ebook that covers everything you need to know about running your Internet business using a Mac, iPhone and iPad.