- Online Marketing
As we embark on the journey called 2013, we have an opportunity to evaluate and evolve how we do business to grow revenue and profits in the coming year. Online marketing represents a tremendous opportunity for growth in 2013, as more business is conducted online now more than ever before. Here are seven online marketing ideas you should embrace to be successful.
1. Ignore your website at your own peril. You’ve put it off long enough; it’s time to get serious about your website. As the endorsed online marketing consultant for a variety of industrial associations, I review hundreds of distribution websites each year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are just awful. While you may have been able to get away with this in the past, you will not get away with it going forward.
The changing face and needs of your customers, combined with the rise of online technologies in the workplace, have rendered your neglected website inadequate. If you use Google on a daily basis to research products and companies, don’t you think your customers do too? Make it a priority in 2013 to turn your website into a customer-focused sales machine. If you want to see an example of a distributor website that ‘gets it,’ check out www.foodservicewarehouse.com.
2. Abandon ‘megaphone marketing’ tactics. Megaphone marketing is shouting at many with the hopes of attracting a few; 2013 is the year that successful companies will realize that megaphone marketing tactics just don’t work. Examples of megaphone tactics include print advertising, yellow page advertising, directory advertising, untargeted banner advertising, cold calls and mass email blasts. Megaphone marketing tactics no longer work because of a fundamental shift in customer behavior. Customers don’t want to be interrupted and megaphone marketing is an interruption. Customers want to be in control of the information they receive. With megaphone marketing, the company is in control. So, what should you do?
3. Embrace ‘magnet marketing’ tactics. Magnet marketing overcomes the problems of megaphone marketing by putting the customer in control. Magnet marketing helps you get found by customers at the very moment they have a need for your products and services. It allows you to earn trust by providing customers with information they value to attract them to your website to do business. Examples of magnet marketing tactics include content marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing.
Not only do magnet marketing tactics generate more leads and sales, but they are also less expensive. According to research, companies that focus on magnet marketing tactics have a 62 percent lower cost-per-lead than companies that focus on megaphone marketing tactics.
4. Content marketing is becoming the new advertising. Search engines, blogs, social networking sites and other online platforms offer you a tremendous opportunity to engage directly with customers. However, to get in front of them in the first place, you need great content. In 2013, spend less time focusing on traditional advertising, and spend more time creating great content.
People don’t choose to do business with you just because you offer the right products at the right price. They choose you because you and your team have valuable, specialized knowledge about the applications of your products. Lead with that specialized knowledge in your marketing by writing best practice articles, filming ‘how to’ videos, producing an insightful blog and creating educational guides and whitepapers. By marketing your knowledge instead of just marketing your products, you will create a unique differentiation in the marketplace.
I started taking drum lessons in seventh grade. We were taught “rudiments” which are like scales for other instruments. Learning these rolls and triplets prepared me for band and orchestral music but not for jazz and not for improvisation. I didn’t realize I needed a different perspective, one with rhythm and passion. A friend who was a jazz musician gave me The Drums of Passion by Michael Olatunji. He thought it would give me that new perspective. I have never lost this rhythm. Listen and you’ll understand.
Passion and experience
Many a night have I tossed and turned with words scrolling through my mind trying to find the right headline or a different arrangement for a sentence. Obsessive? No, exacting. This is the kind of passion I’m talking about.
Expressing the right idea, touching someone else’s heart, creating interest and value for the reader, that is writing with passion – regardless of whether I am working on a TV commercial, a video script, a website or a brochure.
A good copywriter can climb right inside the mind of the reader and that takes experience. A huge part of copywriting (and Internet marketing especially) is being able to strike a cord with a particular audience. What motivates my audience? What makes them angry, frustrated, happy or hopeful? That is always in the forefront of a good copywriter’s mind. How can I move them to action?
I am more inquisitive than most people I know. I am called on to write about photovoltaics, free-range chicken and cubicle furniture. I am challenged endlessly to come up with new angles on the same products and services. Without a genuine lust for learning, and a healthy tolerance for research, I would not be able to understand the mechanics of everyday objects (the crux of copywriting). Good copywriters crave knowledge, are tickled by trivia and love knowing the inside story.
To write marketing literature that really connects with people and drives them to action, I need to understand, and more importantly the reader needs to understand, the values your business holds dear. All of this information forms the foundation of your business branding but rarely can you articulate those details, with passion. I need lots of details and I need to hear you express why you are in business.
This appreciation for what you offer is fundamental to transforming routine promotional language into a heartfelt brand identity. If done well, the copy in a sales letter or a newsletter or a speech will take the prospect on a small journey. The story will help the customer know exactly what they are buying and why they are buying from you. This is the voice of your brand which lingers in the subconscious of your audience because it speaks their language. A good copywriter will breathe life into your brand, creating a personality that your audience will value. Before you tell them what’s in it for them, you have to explain what’s in it for you.
So I am an editor, headline writer, technical translator, researcher and improviser — all of which require passion and experience. The first is inbred; the second is only gained over time. It takes a lot of practice to get it right and hours of rehearsal to make it blend together.
Research indicates that the majority of buyers conduct their own research using the internet and then contact you, not vice versa. Do you know what your customers/prospects are searching for in relation to your business?
When is the last time you used your “yellow pages?”
The Internet is the first place they turn for information and they do it nearly 18 billion times each month. Your website is unlikely to be the first thing they find. You can engage them earlier with stories, fact sheets and case studies using the technologies of connection rather than waiting for them to find your website.
Q1: What are the three most important buying criteria for your prospects?
Start talking about these criteria on line. Become “needs focused.”
Q2: What are the three biggest challenges you’re having with your prospects?
What are their worst fears? What do they think might go wrong? Describe what you do in your business to relieve their fears, besides promises. Develop recommendations to help them avoid these problems.
Producing interesting, non-promotional content is critical. It is more than offering product or service information. It is understanding what customers are looking for when searching. What problems are they trying to solve? If you publish solutions, answers and guidance you begin to look like the best choice.
If you struggle with writing, or the time to do it, hire a professional writer to do some of the work with you. Have a publishing schedule.
Chas. McNamara – SHOW&TELL
Phone: 720-951-0001. Email: email@example.com
If our ideas aren’t worth a nickel, you won’t owe us a dime.
Also take a look at Five Content Marketing Tips.
It was only a matter of time before it happened. Facebook out performed Google in total usage about a year ago, now with sign-ins. How much longer before Facebook overtakes the #1 internet property?
In Q1 2011, Facebook overtook Google as the most popular social network ID used to sign in to websites to share content.
There are several benefits to social sign-in. For marketers, there is an increase in engagement and more profile data for targeting. For consumers, social sign-in is an easy and simplified process, provides flexibility to choose sign-in preference and verifies a user’s identity.
User management platform Janrain analyzes the preferred networks for social sign-in, and found that in Q1 2011, Facebook was the top social network ID used to sign in to websites to share content, with 35%. This was more than Google at 31%. In Q4 2010, Facebook stood at 27%, while Google was at 38%.
While Twitter only accounts for 7% of social sign-ins on websites, it is used to share 32% of content that users distribute via a social network. This difference is important to note as most consumers are not yet comfortable using Twitter as their main social login, but they do find it useful for content sharing.
Another great article from Mashable, who I consider to be one of the most informed sources when it comes to social media.
Rebecca Black‘s not the only one who thinks there’s something special about Friday. Two separate pieces of research out this week show that the end of the work week is the best time to get traction on status updates and tweets.
Analyzing more than 200 of its clients’ Facebook pages over a 14-day period, Buddy Media found that engagement on Thursdays and Fridays was 18% higher than the rest of the week, and that engagement was actually even better on Thursday than on Friday. Meanwhile, Twitter Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain — speaking at the Ad Age Digital conference earlier this week — said that Twitter users are more engaged with tweets on Fridays.
Social Media again makes it’s mark in the world of advertising, with social sites being America’s number one online activity, no wonder social site marketing works so well. Another great article from eMarketer
As marketers continue to look for new social media marketing metrics, a broad look at engagement and the cost of social advertising paints a promising picture.
According to a comparison of cost and engagement across online ad types by social media advertising firm appssavvy, “social activity” ads outperform static banners and rich media, though not paid search, in ROI. Social activity advertisements include those served to social media users as an integral part of consuming content on the sites. For example, ads can be an item in a social game or appear after a social network user fills out an online poll.
appssavvy created a “Social Activity Index” to compare different ad formats with respect to pricing and interaction rates. Engagement rates and the weighted cost of various ad formats, compared to display clickthrough rates (used as a benchmark), translate to “equivalent display impressions.” In the case of social activity ads, they outperform static display ads by more than 11 times, controlling for cost.