- 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.
The promise of social media marketing often goes unfulfilled. The objective is to create a dialogue with customers, generate traffic to specific websites and/or to generate interest in your offerings. Very often, the key to success is to share adroitly branded and highly relevant content with users who, in turn, pass your content to like-minded people they’re connected to. Your effectiveness at social media marketing can be measured by the demonstrable monetization of your efforts.
The reason so many companies and professionals fall short here is not because social media marketing lacks power. On the contrary, it can be amazingly effective. The reason for a lack of success is quite often:
(1) A lack of understanding of the interplay between the target audiences, of the need to add value and of how to maximize the power of the various social media platforms.
(2) Lack of ability to effectively implement this troika.
Putting the second reason aside, we’re left with needing to know what select audiences are looking for and being able to deliver accordingly. What regularly sets the stage for disappointment is the failure to provide high-caliber content that wows the target audiences.
A core objective of social media marketing — or of a thought leadership campaign, for that matter — is to gain “mindshare.” You want to be top-of-mind when potential clients or customers are interested in products or services you can deliver. You want to provide content your preferred audiences find so appealing and beneficial that they’re motivated to pass it on.
Social media marketers are often most successful when they are exceptional content creators. Being able to develop proprietary customized high-caliber content is commonly the most effective way to develop a solid position as an authority in a particular area. There’s certainly a cost to developing this level of proprietary content. If you lack the abilities or resources to develop your own astounding intellectual content, a reasonable alternative is curating third-party content. By bringing together relatively new ideas and adding some transformative or explanatory and creative elements, you can also position yourself as a leading reputable authority.
Wikipedia: Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. →
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.
WASHINGTON — Twitter didn’t exist the last time the Federal Trade Commission seriously checked out alcohol advertising, back in the last decade.
Now, some 175 million tweets fly daily across the micro-messaging site, including an increasing number from wine, beer and liquor companies seeking market buzz. It’s part of a new media frontier, which federal regulators are about to explore.
In an ambitious venture, the Federal Trade Commission is requiring 14 major alcoholic beverage producers to release information about their Internet and digital marketing efforts. The parent companies for storied wineries including Kendall-Jackson, Robert Mondavi and Beaulieu Vineyard, as well as the likes of Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi, are all being tapped for precious data likely to shape future advertising rules.
“The industry is innovating quickly,” Johns Hopkins University public health specialist David Jernigan said in an interview Tuesday, while “the pace of regulation and monitoring” has lagged.
Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, Jernigan said the new study “can shine a bright light” on industry marketing that’s rapidly evolving to exploit new technologies. Once completed, probably next year, the study will guide Federal Trade Commission recommendations on how the alcohol industry should regulate itself both on- and offline.
“We as an industry have always been up front about our practices,” Larry Kass, director of corporate communications for the Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, said Tuesday.
The last study of this kind, completed in 2008, compiled alcohol marketing data for 2005. That year, 42 percent of the surveyed companies’ $3.3 billion in marketing expenditures went for traditional media such as television, radio, print and outdoor billboards. Only 1.9 percent covered Internet efforts.
It was a different time, though. In 2005, Twitter was still months away from being launched. YouTube had just debuted, and Facebook was barely a year old. Since then, some companies have really bellied up to the social media bar.
“They’re everywhere. They’re blanketing online,” said Sarah Mart, research director for the San Rafael, Calif.-based group Alcohol Justice, an advocacy group that criticizes what it calls the alcohol industry’s “negative practices.”
The makers of Southern Comfort, for one, several years ago diverted most of their marketing efforts to social media and away from traditional advertising. Bacardi, Jernigan’s research found, has at least seven Facebook pages that together claim some 1.7 million fans. Kendall-Jackson offers online video interviews with winemaker Jess Jackson. Captain Morgan Rum promotes a video game app for iPhones.
“Fearless adventurers battle friends and rivals in the true spirit of the legendary Captain Henry Morgan,” the game’s introduction states, adding that one should “raise your glass, always in moderation.”
Other companies are still finding their virtual way.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., for instance, is one of the firms being surveyed by the trade commission. But though it has had a Twitter account for 13 months, the @mhl Twitter address has trickled out only 139 tweets for a scant 77 followers as of Tuesday. Other companies, meanwhile, can sound so excruciatingly straight-arrow that boosting sales seems secondary to seeming responsible.
“Earth Week Tip,” the makers of Miller’s and Coors beers tweeted last month. “Bring your own bags to the grocery store.”
The trade commission’s marketing survey went to some of the largest companies that represent myriad individual labels, such as Diageo PLC and the New York-based Constellation Brands. California-based E&J Gallo Winery, the world’s largest family-owned winery, is not being surveyed.
Wikipedia: The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. →
Not long ago, online marketing was a limited affair and was explored by already successful or adventurous businesses. Likewise, search engine marketing(SEM) was restricted to an elite few. However, things have changed now to a considerable extent and these two marketing mediums are no longer restricted with some few.
Search engine marketing, in particular, has seen triple-digit growth by gaining access to marketers as well as rewarding, serious streams from billions of users. It is a continuing and a bit complicated process in its entirety. However, these complications can be resolved by seeking expert services of an internet marketing agency. Search engine marketing is like an efficient way to bring in sales leads. It is almost a collective form of newspaper ads, yellow pages, direct mail, and classifieds rolled into a single pinch.
Search engine marketing is concerned with finding and submitting the most sought-after keywords to search engines such as Google and Yahoo! This is because by using these keywords, a business website can prominently figure in the search results, leading to credibility, market exposure, more customers, quality leads, customer satisfaction and better sales.
SEM can help a business to enhance its brand profile, acquire new customers, retain existing customers, gain industry exposure, increase web traffic, and generate quality leads and increasing online sales.
However, a business must ensure that its objectives are not killed with keywords by slicing and dicing. It is also important for a business to realize that managing rankings is a full-time job. Furthermore, it must also realize that a combination of search engines to successfully reach customers is the best way for it to gain market exposure in the long run.
Once a business realizes these facts, there is nothing that can come between it and success in the online world.
These days, most business owners and entrepreneurs are aware that they need to incorporate the internet and its associated strategies to remain competitive and indeed, simply to remain in business at all. However, after years at the cutting edge of internet marketing and assisting clients from small business to multi-national corporate organisations, I am still surprised just how many of them consider their internet strategies to be separate from their business’ marketing strategy and, indeed their overall business plan.
Internet marketing does not exist separately to your other business lead generation and customer service models. It should co-exist and complement every other marketing exercise you do. Similarly, there is little point having a fantastic and highly effective lead generation strategy to your website, if you fail to pick up the phone when all your new clients call to buy from you. Believe it or not, I have seen this happen.
When it comes to devising your business plan and incorporating internet marketing as part of it, it pays to go back and revisit the basics in business, as these indeed are important. Revisiting the basic business formula will help you determine which online strategies to use.
The most basic aim of business – any business – is to make a profit. If yours doesn’t aim to make a profit, then it’s not a business, it’s a hobby or a charity. Simple as that. Notice I said aim to make a profit. Obviously not all businesses do make a profit.
I like to consider that business consists of five main elements:
As long as you concentrate on these five elements to your business, you should expect a profit at the end of the month. When we put them together, what we come up with is in effect the formula for running a successful business.
If we take the number of leads we get each month and multiply that by the conversion rate, we get we get the number of customers we have. Then, by multiplying this number by the average number of transactions they each do and multiply that number by the average number of dollars they spend, we arrive at our total average turnover. Then, by multiplying that number by the margin, we get our profit.
This is what that formula looks like:
Leads x Conversion Rate = Customers x No. of Transactions x Average Dollar Sale = Turnover x Margin = Profit.
By concentrating on and improving each of the elements to this basic formula, you will dramatically improve your eventual profit. How you go about doing that depends largely upon your own personal desires as well as the industry you are operating in. For instance, you may not enjoy door knocking, so don’t use this strategy to gain more leads. Similarly, you wouldn’t use TV advertising if you wanted to reach dog owners in your suburb. Nor would you consider using Google AdWords if you wanted to reach pensioners who played Bingo in your neighbourhood.
This is the formula you need to always keep in mind when planning, carrying out and monitoring your internet marketing strategy, that forms part of your business plan. Ask yourself how your internet marketing is affecting the number of clients placING enquiries, whether they buy from you and the amount they spend each time.
This is exactly what I did when I first become involved in the world of internet marketing to grow my own business. My first experience with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing was during my efforts to ramp up bookings for my corporate magic business. At the time, I was using the traditional methods to market my business and reach my target market, such as the local print directory for Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, visits to agents, sending out flyers as well as anything else I could conjure up to generate bookings so I could feed my family and pay the bills. My marketing efforts were having a small impact on my bottom line, so much so that I wasn’t able to survive. Then I came across the Yahoo Search Marketing Platform and everything changed. Within a month of putting ads up on the search engines my business was profitable! Almost immediately I began generating a steady flow of enquiries and bookings and best of all I didn’t need to knock on doors or lick stamps. All I needed to do was wait!
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
This is such a great article about online media. I love number 2 because so many companies these days sell a bucket of click to customers and then hang their hat on it.
With that in mind, I thought it was worth enumerating the 10 biggest lies in Online Advertising. And not even with a slideshow — think of all the lost pageviews!
2. Clicks and Clickthroughs Matter
This is only a lie to the extent that intelligent people benefit by continuing to believe it. Studies have shown that most people don’t click; that those who do are less desirable consumers; that most clicks are accidental; and that in any case clicks are very rare. Yet, clients and media planners continue to evaluate online advertising based on click-through-rates. There’s still a place for clicks on pure direct response offers or specific calls to action, but they aren’t a viable currency for generally evaluating online ads and should stop being treated as such.
3. Reach = cookies
Reach is defined as the number of people reached by an advertising campaign or media property. Cookies can measure the number of browsers exposed to an advertising campaign. Browser<>Person. Unless you have a mapping (panel, statistical, or otherwise) such that f(browser)=people then you can’t calculate reach. And just grossing up based on deleted cookies doesn’t qualify.
We run many restaurants on the RL platform. The one thing that stands out above the rest with restaurants is the amount of online booking we track on a monthly basis. I think this articles information is very accurate and it is something that every restaurant should have on their site. If you don’t, opentable.com can manage it for you.
NEW YORK — Livebookings today announced that its total number of seated diners in Europe grew almost 11% over the previous quarter to 2.3 million diners, demonstrating a strong performance in the company’s largest market. In addition, Livebookings’ European installed restaurant base grew by 9 percent sequentially.
This news follows Livebookings’ latest announcement that it processed over one million restaurant diners in the month of March and secured $10 million in funding from existing shareholders, including Balderton Capital and Wellington Partners.
“Livebookings has been the dominant player in the European restaurant reservations market for the last decade and despite increasing competition, continues to see success in its key metrics,” said Colin Tenwick, CEO of Livebookings. “We look forward to our continued international expansion and expect to see more success stories and growth in the future.”
Although a new study suggests social media has very little direct impact on most website traffic, social networking sites do influence consumers’ interest in visiting companies’ URLs.
In fact, fewer than 1% of website visits came from a link to a social media page, according to research released Thursday by ForeSee Results. However, 18% of website visitors said social media content–such as a Tweet or a friend’s comment on Facebook–prompted them to stop by the URL, the study found. These are benchmark averages, with some individual companies seeing vastly different results in both direct and indirect influence percentages, ForeSee cautioned.
“We ask people, ‘What influenced your visit to this website?,’ and then we give them a list of choices. We ask about primary, secondary, and tertiary influences so we are able to get a good sense of what kinds of marketing activities have the most impact. If someone “likes” Best Buy on Facebook and sees that there is a sale on TVs and then types www.bestbuy.com into their browser and clicks through a Google ad, Best Buy will register that as an SEO win rather than a social media win,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, in an interview. “We feel it’s very important to have behavioral data–like where they came from–in addition to attitudinal data–what influenced them, what satisfies them, etc.”