The impact of the Internet on today’s culture has been impossible for businesses to ignore. Yet a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses have responded to the perceived need for an online presence simply by putting up a company Web site with informative content. For anyone familiar with the vast array of marketing options the Internet offers, this is clearly a waste. Here are some of the choices for building an online business presence:
Online Sales – Being able to sell your products and services in any part of the world is one of the most revolutionary business concepts the Internet has introduced. Yet a lot of businesses ignore the option of online sales simply because they only want to distribute their products and services locally. This outlook ignores a lot of advantages that online selling provides even for local businesses, such as reduced work per customer for the on-site sales force, the ability to sell gift coupons, and being able to allow the potential customer to immediately act on any promos or special offers posted online.
E-newsletter – This allows a business to keep in touch with its customers, increasing the likelihood of repeat sales not only with greater customer recall but also by being able to inform past clients of any new promos, products, or developments. Anyone opting for this route needs to pay close attention to subject lines and content, though, since missteps here can result in your newsletter ending up in the spam bin. It’s a good idea to test drafts by sending them to friends or other people in the organization, just to make sure they end up in the inbox.
Social Networking – Facebook and Twitter are the current frontier in the battle for the customer’s time and money. Facebook pages are becoming SOP for a new business trying to build awareness, and Twitter is one of the easier ways to get ads out – once you add an RSS or Twitter feed to an ad, the ad automatically goes on the social network sites. Using social media for advertising also needs care and discretion in order to avoid irritating the potential customer. The digital consumer’s expectations of control regarding how and when they interface with advertising should be respected, and this poses a greater challenge to the creative talents of the ad creator since ads need to be engaging enough for the viewer to voluntarily engage with them.
Just like the traditional forms of marketing, however, in Internet marketing you cannot simply keep throwing out money and time and expect results – the business owner needs to choose the specific marketing tool according to their needs, and any efforts should be tested and their results assessed continuously. Fortunately, numbers and statistics are easy to come by in the digital world. Traditionally important statistics such as turnover and conversion rates, as well as newer markers such as click-through rate and viewership, are easy to quantify, analyze, and mull over. The availability of data is in fact revolutionizing marketing: From a field once ruled by gut feel and decision-makers with a large amount of discretionary power, it’s now evolving into a discipline capable of pinpointing who you want to reach, where you need to go in order to reach them, and how effective your methods are, starting from getting the prospect’s interest to adding numbers to the bottom line.
Brandon Peters is an entrepreneur, amateur photographer, and content writer for Koeppel Direct. He also writes content for successful online vendors such as Tradequip and Trade-A-Plane.
There can be no doubt that online marketing is a growing field. In fact, throughout these tough economic times, the digital sector has continued to show strong growth. Of course, much of this increase in uptake can be attributed to larger companies – the multinationals who had the foresight to stay ahead of a rapidly changing online landscape, as well as a size-able budget to implement their plans.
These big corporations tend to have in-house online PR and marketing staff, meaning that they are ready to adapt to new situations. Smaller businesses don’t have this ability, and in fact, they probably don’t need it. But it should be regarded as essential for every business to have its own website and preferably a number of social media profiles. Many small business owners have recognised this, and have become a part of the new digital economy. What benefits are they enjoying?
The most basic reason for small businesses to get on the web is that they are expected to do so. In a time when we are depending upon the internet more and more for a wide variety of tasks, the average customer will not be searching the Yellow Pages for local companies. Instead, they will be using a search engine. Your company will be invisible to many potential customers if it lacks a website. Now that so many of us are turning to the online world for products and services instead of walking into the town centre, your website is your shopfront. A basic site with information on your services and contact information is cheap and easy to set up, so there’s no excuse!
Social media platforms are a great way to establish a link with potential consumers. Not only do they add another form of online presence over and above your website; they put you on the same plane as the people you want to sell to. Social media marketing is effective for two reasons. Firstly, you are communicating with your target market via a medium that they have chosen to sign up for, and which they probably spend deal of time on. Secondly, there is great potential for viral growth. Social networks are a fantastic resource because when a customer ‘shares’ something that you have posted, they are implicitly endorsing your business. Their contacts are then more likely to view you in a beneficial light, thus making them more likely to also interact with your profile.
The viral potential of social networking makes it child’s play to attract more traffic and, hopefully, sales. By running a competition for a comparatively low-value item, such as a free cinema ticket or something from your shop, you can achieve massive exposure. Do this by requiring each entrant to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ your page before they can be entered into the draw. Once again, you are receiving a subtle endorsement from each entrant, and you are making it more likely that increased numbers of people will be exposed to your messages. This is because once they have ‘liked’ your page, consumers will see your status updates in their home feed.
Thomas Jones is Content Manager for I Say! Digital, the outsourced SEO specialists. Though he mainly takes care of copywriting and content creation services, he is training to become a social media consultant. In his spare time, you might find him brewing his own beer and talking politics.
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:
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.
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.
Marketing anything these days is a very difficult road to take. So much clutter and competition in the way you better have a good grasp on what it is that you are trying to convey to your audience. ROI is getting easier to understand but still a sticky road when it comes to search engine marketing especially in the social media space. Let’s not even mention the complexity of the Google algorithm which continues to get even more complex each and every day.
This is a story about how one little (now big) mobile app took the traditional channels for marketing their application which triggered less than desirable outcomes. When I read the TechCrunch story the other day I really wasn’t that shocked. Mobile apps are becoming like websites and they are all over the place now. Do you really still think that just launching yours is going to bring you success? Most apps these days have to really think outside the box a bit to drive visibility. Mobile app marketing is a process that is changing very rapidly and those that win typically have something either really interesting boat loads of personality.
“The day my app (AutoCAD WS) crossed one million downloads on the App Store, the first question that crossed my mind was how did I ever end up doing marketing? I was a techy product manager and never imagined myself in marketing, until my app was in a life or death situation.”
Most app owners will never really know how this feeling actually feels but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be trying to reach a 1 million download mark. Iris Shoor created a mobile that was later acquired by a much larger organization and she gives some extremely valuable information on how she went about marketing a mobile app. Her experiences are amazing to read about especially if you have a mobile application you are trying to market.
First, let’s watch a little YouTube video regarding the mobile app we are discussing.
Now let’s talk about what worked and what didn’t for just a moment.
Here is a screenshot of the current website.
To read the entire article click here and channel over to TechCrunch, you will be happy you did.
At some point in time if you run an online business you will need to have effective and profitable landing pages to optimize your online marketing approach. I have seen good landing pages and I have seen my share of horrendous ones as well. The folks over at Pardot put together this great infographic showcasing the right areas to address on your landing pages.
They break it down into 4 important categories:
Many business owners who have never depended on the digital space to attract new business have found themselves in an unfamiliar territory in recent years. With a rather large portion of off line marketing disappearing and shifting towards a new digital marketing era sites like Facebook have left them scratching their heads on what to do next. The media has flooded the web space with Facebook headlines causing website owners to realize that they need to be there but not necessarily understand how to do it properly.
Here are some of the different elements that are important when building a Facebook fan page:
Always make sure your logo renders correctly. There is nothing worse for building your brand than placing logos that do not appear correctly on the fan page.
You always want to take advantage of your photo section within your Facebook fan page. This is a nice area where you can actually customize your photos or pull some images from your website to build the attractiveness of your FB page. Some people even take a very creative spin on how to fill this image section.
A custom landing page is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. Many businesses large and small are really focusing on custom Facebook landing pages to help really brand themselves in a new light when it comes to how their audience perceives them. Some experts say that dropping visitors directly on your wall is “bad” but it really depends on what your goals are with your page.
This is probably the holy grail of the Facebook fan page. The goal is to get as many fans to “like” your page in order to get your status updates to appear in their wall stream.
There is no doubt about it the search space has changed quite a bit over the years especially when it comes to website marketing. Those who might have had a difficult time rolling with the punches over the years might find themselves down for the count right about now. It is really quite fundamental when you think about the digital chaos in its raw form. For those businesses who have been making an effort for the last decade they will be the first to tell you that things are certainly different in the online space. Once thriving niches are now inundated with web pages and articles often times leading to nothing but crap. Crap that makes a great deal of noise, clutter and distraction that your business has to fight whether you like it or not.
If you were standing in the middle of a Justin Bieber concert before the concert started and yelled in the arena “New Kids On The Block were better!” chances are someone working in the arena or walking through might bump into your voice and hear you. Now if you did it while the concert was actually happening there is a good possibility that no one would hear you yell at all. That is sort of like the online space right now.
The reason is because there is so much going on around you and a good portion of your audience might be having a hard time paying attention to you for one reason or another. What are you going to do differently in order to stand out in front of your audience? Over the years it has become much more important to grow an actual brand rather than just a “website” because a brand is going to stick out and just having a website simply might not have enough strength to handle the needs in today’s online space. Everything online is now all about building a following and an audience that will listen to what you have to say.
Let’s brake down some of the important differences between an online brand and just having a website:
An Online Brand: Has the ability to tell and build a story and allow others to follow that story creating a group of fans.
A Website: Only has an “about us” section. Not very story like.
An Online Brand: Has a voice and a personality others can connect and relate to.
A Website: Just has “hits“.
An Online Brand: Has personality and flavor that people online thrive for.
A Website: Has images. Sometimes not even good ones.
An Online Brand: Has a following that continues to grow and listen.
A Website: Has unique visitors.
An Online Brand: Does not rely on search engine rankings to grow and prosper.
A Website: Relies on search engine rankings to grow and prosper.
An Online Brand: Offers substance and quality marketing material to its audience on a consistent basis.
A Website: Offers simply communication.
An Online Brand: Creates an audience that wants to receive communication from a business.
A Website: Forces communication onto its audience.
An Online Brand: Use every resource around them online to spread a positive business message.
A Website: Tries to identify loop holes and pounces on them.
Take a look around you at any business that is really thriving online right now. What do they all have in common? Online branding is what they have in common. In order to be successful online you need to have the perfect package. The perfect package has not just rankings but a brand following that is helping your company grow.
When it comes to marketing anything online influence is everything from a brand image standpoint. Becoming an authority and spewing trust around your online community is really what it takes to grow your business online in today’s social business space. It is important to be able to make an attempt to stand out in your sea of competitors if you want the power of your appearance to grow amongst your online community.
What does influence mean?
noun, verb, -enced, -enc·ing.
1. The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others: He used family influence to get the contract.
2. The action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others: Her mother’s influence made her stay.
3. A person or thing that exerts influence: He is an influence for the good.
Sure you can spend heaping amounts of cash on advertising & proactive marketing but when the community starts to really perceive you as an influencer in your space that is when the natural power starts to really set in.
Here are some ways to become an influencer online:
The days of simply growing a business because you rank in the search engines for some keywords is over. For companies who truly dominate the online web space they typically have a very strong branding plan in place helping their name spread through all the social nooks and channels. Search engine rankings are important but it takes much more to grow a successful business online. Growing your personal brand or your company brand can be done using a variety of methods. People often think that it is this big science project to grow your brand online. Sure it doesn’t happen overnight but the tools are there for everyone to use you simply have to put a plan together and start using them.
Getting your audience to engage with your brand on a social level is probably one of the most important areas to consider when becoming an influencer. Keep in mind that influence cannot be forced as it is a natural process but there are things you can be doing as a business to entice that natural growth process. Being social online is not a novelty any longer, it is a necessity. Brands survive by using the social space to leverage their brand and their company name and you should to. Growing your influence online really revolves around engaging your online community in increased chatter surrounding your business. Whether it is proactively starting conversations or heavily using social media it a must and has to be done.
There is a reason why email marketing is still widely used by thousands of businesses and organizations each day across the world, because it works! Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of online communication and will most likely be here to stick around as long as nobody kicks out the plug on the internet. I talk with so many businesses that have never thought about doing a newsletter for their audience and their clients and it completely boggles my mind.Internet marketing is all about creating touch points with your audience. They want to see you in multiple locations before they purchase anything from you. It makes them feel warm and fuzzy and in today’s economy that is what it takes for a company to be successful. When a client opts-in to an email list they are giving you the privilege to contact them on behalf of your business almost when ever you want. If you don’t abuse this privilege you could drastically see a nice spike in traffic and business.
Here are some tips for items you could throw into the newsletter to keep your list happy:
If you write in a company blog leaving blog posts in your newsletter is a great way to get content into your blog and get your list subscribers channeling over to your website on a weekly basis. It is like planting a seed, over time some of those seedlings will make it over to your website but it takes time to nurture that relationship. If you write a bit less just change the frequency to once or twice a month.
Right now product discounts are driving the majority of most sales in the market place. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in sales are the driving force for lots of businesses right now. People respond very well to receiving a discount or a deal. Sales & discounts in a newsletter could make it a very successful newsletter over time.
Some of the people on your list will most likely be very supportive fans of your business. Some will enjoy hearing about new partnerships and exciting efforts happening at your business. Whether you won an award or painted the office have a little section that offers fun business information. Remember that your audience wants to feel like you are a real person and not just some heartless business. Give them a reason to make a personal connection with you.
Make sure to have a schedule whenever you decide to start putting together your email newsletter campaign. Email marketing only works with consistency so be consistent in putting out your email campaign.
Creating a search engine marketing strategy for yourself or your client does not require a hair pulling session. You just have to really step into the shoes of your audience and really try to anticipate what they might be doing online. I know that sounds easier said than done but it all comes down to relevancy and keep things strategic for any business. When thinking about starting a marketing plan for you try thinking about a blended marketing approach utilizing everything the internet has to offer. There is a lot out there that people can use yet they still hunt for that magic pill. There is no magic pill to marketing your business online. It takes hard work and dedication with an eye on the prize mentality to get the job done right.
Start by really being able to visualize your internet marketing strategy. Get yourself a nice brand spanking new Excel spreadsheet and label out 6 or 12 months so you can really see what will be done every single month. A great search engine marketing campaign usually has very clean and tight organization throughout the entire campaign. Keep your excel spreadsheet as your base camp for everything that you do online and you will have a much better success rate than just shooting from the hip every month.
When putting together a plan of attack think about the diversity of that campaign.
A typical SEO marketing strategy for me looks a lot like this:
I take this type of approach and really mix things up every month for any online marketing plan that I am taking on keeping things strategic at all times. In today’s online market place it really requires a strategic and blended approach to create any successful online marketing campaign. A hefty dose of all of these search marketing efforts spread out over a period of time so everything looks natural is my process to market a website. Is it the only process? No, many have their own approaches that work for them. Now you can turn up or down the heat depending on how aggressive you want to approach the online space but in today’s business economy you want to really it the ground running. The online space is busier and busier every single day so don’t waste any time turning the heat down.