Latest From Blog

Social Media Strategy for Local Businesses

Posted in Blog by Steve on February 13th, 2011

With everyone extolling the virtues of getting your local business on the social media scene, how exactly should you go about it? You need a Social Media Strategy- a game plan to win and to win big. Here are some pointers to a successful Social Media Strategy:

Establish a resources budget
Know exactly how much of your finances, human resources and time you are going to dedicate to your social media plan. Consider such things as  how much you are willing to spend on ad campaigns; whether its better for you to hire a social media manager or assign an employee to the task ; and if you have to do it on your own decide which days and times are you going to dedicate to focusing on your campaigns.

Do market research
It pays to get your facts right before you dive into the social media world. Research will show you who your target market is, what products and services they want, their demographics, what appeals to their emotional psychology (since this is what drives buying decisions), which social media platform  they are more likely to use and the best platforms to engage with to deliver your  business message.

Choose what suits your business niche
A big mistake businesses make in social media strategy is spreading themselves too thin by joining every social media bandwagon. Each business niche is unique and every target market is unique too and some social media platforms just won’t work for certain businesses. It’s always best to focus on the top 2 to 3 social media that work best for your kind of business. A professional consultant would wisely choose Linkedin and Facebook Groups, while an interior decorator would best profile their expertise through YouTube videos and an entertainer would certainly find Twitter and Facebook fan page a good fit.

Have a social media policy
When you first start interacting with social media it looks easy and manageable, but as your business gets more popular, you can easily find yourself avalanched with a mass of followers. A wrong comment by your employee on your company’s social media account or their own personal account can be damaging to the company’s reputation and open the door to legal problems. If you have employees, it’s therefore best to develop a policy from the get-go that governs their online communications. Have them read it and sign it.

I hope these pointers have opened your eyes to see the bigger picture of social media and how your local business can go about maximizing the potential of social networks by starting out with a Social Media Strategy – a plan before engaging in any action.

For a free consultation where we will explore how you can explode your revenue, and dominate the competition call (800) 806 1232

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising and How Does it Work?

Posted in Latest From Blog by Steve on February 19th, 2010

What Exactly Is Pay per Click Advertising?

Pay per click advertising is just that. You place ads on the internet through a service or through affiliates. You only pay for the ads when internet surfers click on them, leading them to your sales website.

There are several types of pay per click advertising, and there is no reason that you should not use them all in your internet marketing campaigns. Some pay per click advertising is displayed as sponsored results on search engines and directory web sites. Other pay per click advertising places ads on popular general or related web sites that are often visited by internet surfers that may be interested in your products or services. The final type of pay per click advertising is when you enlist affiliates to place ads on their web sites and pay them when you receive visitors from their site.

How Does Pay per Click Advertising Work?

The details of how pay per click advertising works is based on the type of pay per click advertising that you use. However, there are some basics. First, pay per click advertising is based off of keywords.

When you start a pay per click marketing campaign you choose keywords or phrases that describe your web site, products, and/or services. This should already be done through your initial web site development and search engine optimization techniques. If you do not already have a list of appropriate keywords and phrases, you need to develop an exhaustive list now.

The keywords that you choose to use in your pay per click advertising are important. Not only are these the keywords and phrases that people search for to find your web site and advertising, but they are also what is used to determine the amount you pay for each click that you receive. When you begin to go through your list of possible keywords and phrases, you will find that some of them are much more expensive than others.

Keywords are bid on by internet marketers through the pay per click program. The winning bid receives top placement of their ad. The lower bids receive lower, and therefore less prominent, placement. Each program is different, however, so the amount that you pay per click on one program may not be the same amount that you pay on another program.

Are You Getting Repeat Business with Email Marketing?

Posted in Latest From Blog by Steve on February 19th, 2010

This is a question which is on the mind of all business owners who use email marketing for the purposes of promoting their business. In fact questions regarding the effectiveness of any type of marketing endeavor should be asked regularly to ensure the marketing efforts are producing the desired results. Asking these questions on a regular basis and continually evaluating the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign will help to ensure the email marketing campaign is working well and remains effective whenever changes are made to the marketing strategy. This article will highlight why it is so important to evaluate your email marketing strategy often and will also provide a few tips for evaluating your email marketing strategy.

Evaluating your email marketing strategy on a regular basis is very important because failure to do so may result in your efforts being essentially a waste of time. Email marketing may be a cost effective way to advertise your business but there is some time, money and energy involved in planning and executing an email marketing campaign. If the campaign is ineffective and nothing is done to attempt to make the email marketing campaign more effective your business is wasting resources by continuing to invest in this type of marketing strategy when it is not generating profit for your business or even interest in your products or services.

It is important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy but it is even more important to set goals before you begin the process of evaluating your marketing efforts. This is important because without these goals it can be difficult to determine whether or not the email marketing efforts are effective. For example your goal may be to increase the number of sales you make per month. Evaluating whether or not you are generating more sales each month is a fairly simple process. However, if your goal is to generate more interest in your products you would use website traffic as opposed to sales to evaluate the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign.

Once you have determined how you intend to evaluate you progress you should be able to easily determine the effectiveness of your current email marketing strategy as long as this is the only marketing you are currently doing. This is because if you have more than one marketing strategy in use at once you cannot be sure which strategy is driving customers to make purchases or visit your website. When you decide to evaluate your email marketing strategy according to specific goals you should take care to ensure you are not currently running other types of marketing in conjunction with your email marketing effort. This will help to prevent confusion about which type of marketing is producing the desired effect. It will also help to prevent business owners from mistakenly believing email marketing is producing a desired effect when it is actually another marketing strategy which is helping to product the desired effect.

Customer surveys are very important for evaluating the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. Asking customers how they heard about your products or services is an excellent way to determine whether or not many of your customers are being enticed to make a purchase based on your email marketing efforts. Additionally, these surveys can be used to obtain more detailed information about the email recipient’s reaction to the email marketing campaign. Customers can provide valuable feedback about topics such as the layout and appearance of the email to the ease of readability of the content included in the email. All of this information can help a business owner determine how to design future emails to achieve a desired effect. Armed with this information the business owner can design subsequent emails which incorporate many of the qualities previous customers found to be useful and avoid qualities which were viewed as useless in the past.

Understanding How SEO Works

Posted in Latest From Blog by Steve on February 18th, 2010

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a critical part of your web site designing program. When you design your website you are doing so to get relevant customers to visit your website so that you can convince them into buying your product. As much as it is important that your website design is attractive, it is equally important that your website attracts more customers. This is possible when you are able to get search engines to index you high on their list for searches relevant to your product. Keep in mind a few things like keyword research, on- page and off-page optimization techniques, also a few long-term plans for SEO, and you can drive many customers to your website.

Keyword Research

Keyword research holds relevance, as it is necessary that your targeted customers find your website and reach you. You should undertake a systematic research of keywords related to your product and determine what attracts maximum traffic and generates the maximum response. Alongside, also research the keyword density of your website, making sure not to stuff in too many keywords nor put in less, so as to affect your ratings badly.

On-page Optimization

A very important thing to try to do is to keep your domain name with the keyword. Similarly, you can also put the keyword in the Title tag as the search engine spiders would find the relevant keywords for your products and would find your site suitable right in the beginning of the page itself. Rather than making your entire site using Flash, design only some parts of it like banners or buttons with Flash, which can be enough to make it attractive. Similarly, make internal navigation simple, which helps not just the visitors but even the search engines. It is important that you do not use frames that pose difficulties for search engines. Do not use hidden texts or links, spamming, mirror domains etc

Off-page Optimization

Back links are very useful and help you get higher rankings. Try to get links from high page rank pages. Rather than using reciprocal linking, anchor linking proves to be beneficial. Sometimes excessive reciprocal linking can even get you penalized. Submitting articles to article directories, blogs, and forums is a better way of getting back links. You may also try blog carnivals sometimes, which can attract great traffic for you.

Long Term Plans

Remember that content is important for SEO but unique content is rewarding. It can make a huge difference if what you write is not simply re-written content from other websites. Updating your website with fresh content is an important part of your SEO plans. Always keep a check and analyze on what is getting you more visitors and ensure that you fine-tune your strategy to that area. When you gather your information, try to create a niche area for it. It is necessary that you communicate a service that can be seen as a solution to some problem by the visitors. You should be able to provide great stuff for the customer. Always get feedback and try to improve on those areas.

When you design your website keep in mind that though your ultimate aim is to make money, your website should be such that it is helpful to your target customers.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Email Marketing

Posted in Latest From Blog by Steve on February 18th, 2010

Even if you are already running a successful business, you may be surprised to learn your business can benefit greatly from orchestrating an effective email marketing campaign. An email marketing campaign and a number of different advantages including the ability to reach a worldwide audience, a variety of different marketing options at your fingertips and the ability to do a great deal of marketing with very little investment dollars. This article will take a look at all of these different topics to provide insight into how email marketing can benefit your business.

For many business owners one of the most prominent advantages to email marketing is the ability to reach a worldwide audience with minimal effort. While traditional marketing methods such as television advertisements, radio advertisements and advertisements in print media are typically targeted at a rather small geographic area, email marketing can reach a worldwide audience. It is possible to reach an audience of this magnitude with other marketing methods but it would be much more complicated to do and would likely involve launching advertising campaigns in several different markets. This is possible but would require an intense coordination effort and will likely require at least a few staff members to assist you in this effort.

Conversely, the ability to transmit instantly via email can make it much easier to reach target audience members with literally just the click of a mouse. The act of creating the marketing materials for your email marketing campaign is significantly more involved but once this is done reaching members of your target audience is quite simple.

Another advantage to email marketing is there are a multitude of advertising options available to those who wish to utilize this marketing strategy. The most commonly used method of email marketing is to send out group emails with product information and other promotional materials. However, another way to approach the concept of email marketing is to publish and distribute e-newsletters to interested email recipients. An e-newsletter is typically much more in depth than the type of information which would normally accompany a promotional email. These e-newsletters typically feature at least one in depth article as well as a few shorter articles which either offer useful tips or review products. Additionally there may be some graphics, advertising and links include in the layout of the e-newsletter. Email marketing campaigns can also take the place of email correspondence courses which typically focus on one niche subject and feature a few installments which provide detailed information on a specific facet of the niche subject.

Finally email marketing can benefit your business because it is an extremely cost effective method of advertising. When you opt to orchestrate an email marketing campaign you will likely invest money in hiring professionals such as writers and graphic designers to assist you in creating content and an appealing layout for your promotional emails. However, this is typically not more than you would invest in hiring the same type of personnel for an offline marketing campaign. However, unlike offline marketing methods there is not a great deal of cost associated with executing your email marketing campaign. Consider the creation of a television commercial where you will have to pay fees and purchase advertising space to allow your advertising to reach the public. However, when you transmit your advertising via email, there is virtually no cost associated with this transmission. There are of course costs associated with maintaining an Internet connection and retaining employees to send these emails but these costs are minimal and can be considered to be part of normal operating costs.