- 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.
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#). →
I found this article today when i was looking at the ZMOT approach to looking at online marketing. It really is something that I talk with business owners about every day, yet don’t make any special points about it at all. The education process has become so short in many aspects that while the information comes up in conversation, I never really hammer the point home about how much goes into each program.
The online world can be tough to navigate sometimes, especially if you are trying to sell or market a product or service. There are so many websites, tools and strategies out there that promise you customers and sales contracts. Sometimes they work, but the truth is, there’s more to online marketing than simply having a Facebook page and creating some Google Ads.
Online marketing at its core is about creating great brand recognition, so that even if a customer doesn’t make a purchase in a given moment, they are well aware that your products exist. For a marketer, that is often more than enough. To build brand awareness, here are a few tips:
Generally, online marketing is similar to greeting your customer when they enter your store. You want to give a pleasant smile and introduce yourself, but you do not want to bombard them with questions and follow them around; you want to leave a good impression even if they don’t make a purchase. Marketing has transformed over the years and we as entrepreneurs need to remember that with this online revolution we can no longer rely on brochures and billboards. Word of mouth has become the “ word of the web,” and customers are creating our marketing strategies without us realizing it. We must learn to adapt and accept the fact that online marketing is going to be a new phrase on our yearly budgets.
Amazon flew under the radar in late June when it announced it was entering the world of advertising by using its consumer data to deliver targeted advertising on third-party sites across the web, but it’s big news for online retailers and advertisers. Amazon will now use its huge supply of data to pool consumers into buckets based on the products they looked at or purchased on the retailer’s website. The company will help advertisers reach these consumers with targeted media, using behaviorally targeted display ads to drive them to any URL.
Amazon has more than a decade’s worth of sales and consumer shopping data, so it’s almost a surprise it took the company this long to capitalize on its data and enter the behavioral-targeting space. It’s a great idea that will help marketers find interested consumers, and other retailers are already trying to copy the model. Every online retailer is a media network, even if they don’t know it yet, and there’s plenty of opportunity for retailers of all sizes to copy Amazon’s model.
Merchants can function as both media properties and audience networks because they already posses a targeting criteria that actually matters: consumer behavior or brand-preference data that can power interest-based advertising across the web. Retailers know which brands consumers interact with on their sites, and that is indicative of consumer desire.
Amazon will compete with most behavioral-targeting networks right off the bat because of the scope of its data. Consumer ad networks or vertical-related networks are often selling contextual advertising, and Amazon has an immediate advantage because it is using proprietary data.
Best. first. quarter. evar. Some good news in today from the online advertising industry: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced that online advertising revenues hit $7.3 billion in the U.S. in the first quarter. While this does not represent the best quarterly performance in history (Q4 2010 takes the cake at $7.45 billion), it does mark the best first quarter on record, and reflects a 23 percent increase since the first quarter of 2010.
The overall numbers for 2010 were impressive, with total online ad revenues reaching $26 billion. Search made up 46 percent of that total in 2010, followed by display ads at 38 percent. But display advertising grew twice as fast as search (24 percent growth versus 12 percent), and, today, Karsten Weide of IDC says, display advertising continues to grow faster than search advertising.
“If you want to regulate the offline world, you have to remember that people have access online too and you have to think about how that online world is going to mitigate the effects of your regulation,” says Avi Goldfarb, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management who co-wrote a study on the topic with Catherine Tucker of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
The researchers compared data on respondents in 17 U.S. states where there are advertising restrictions on alcohol, with data for respondents in 33 states that did not regulate such advertising.
Respondents in states subject to restrictions were 8 percent less likely to say they would purchase an alcoholic beverage. But that gap narrowed to 3 percent when some of those consumers were exposed to online advertising for the product, suggesting the internet hurts the ability of local government to curb the effect of advertising on their residents.
Smaller local studies reinforced these findings, showing an increase in regulation of offline advertising increased the effectiveness of online ads, making them a “substitute” for the offline format.
The study shows that online advertising works especially well with consumers who have limited knowledge of a product — either because the product is new in the marketplace or because the consumer has not had exposure to it through other forms of advertising.
Besides the implications for authorities seeking to regulate advertising for things like tobacco, prescription drugs, and gambling, the study has implications for products that may be hard to advertise offline for other reasons besides legal restrictions.
There is never a bad time to start looking at display advertising online to replace some or all of your creative marketing efforts, but earlier is certainly better than later. This is an article from Nielsen ratings talking directly about the topic that TV, Radio, and Newspaper don’t want you to hear about
ONLINE advertising display revenues could jump by as much as $150 million this year following the appointment of The Nielsen Company yesterday as sole preferred supplier of website audience measurement data — the equivalent of TV ratings for the web.
Universal McCann chief Mat Baxter estimated online display revenue, which last year grew at 22 per cent to $605m, could be boosted by 5 percentage points — worth $20m — as a result of internet publishers adopting a uniform audience measurement currency.
He said the biggest uplift would occur in online video advertising, particularly the websites of the big TV networks, which allowed people to watch some of their shows online.
The new data means online advertising audiences, to be measured in people rather than computer browsers, will be comparable with confidence with those of other media.
“I do think it will be the case that advertisers will spend more money online,” Mr Baxter said.
Another study that shows advertising dollars being directed digitally.
When it comes to online entertainment, online video in particular has become recognised as a powerful format for both communicating online and providing an enhanced online experience, with advertising becoming the key source of revenue for online entertainment providers.
Around 15% of overall worldwide advertising spending will be directed towards digital media channels in 2011, according to BuddeComm.
Even though the economic downturn initially impacted upon the growth of overall advertising spending; in 2011 there are signs of recovery with online advertising continuing to grow and the ever popular TV advertising rebounding.
The rise of digital media channels has placed much pressure upon the traditional media and entertainment outlets in recent years, the firm said. This, combined with an economic downturn, has led to much unrest in the media sector. The digital media companies are the clear leaders however, but to a certain extent there will be parallel developments: one driven by digital TV, using the traditional broadcasting networks; and one driven by broadband using new fixed and mobile telecoms infrastructure.
This is a great article about a business owner who has found online marketing to be the revenue generator his business needed. I added this article because some businesses think that online marketing isn’t going to benefit their business, and this is a great way of demonstrating that no business can’t benefit from online marketing.
Constellation was a collection of four operating units, each concentrating on different wine price segments. The groups had separate marketers, sales forces, and distribution networks. Then Chief Executive Officer Robert Sands consolidated these separate functions into a single entity and dozens of distributors into four. Sands also got out of cheap ($5 and less) wines to focus on varieties that sell for up to $20 a bottle. Meanwhile, North American President Jay Wright aggressively sought younger customers on the Web. Constellation says the changes helped boost sales of its 15 most profitable brands by 10 percent last year. “We’re supercharging our investments in brand building,” says Wright, a former brand manager at P&G for Duncan Hines cake mixes.
For decades, marketing at Constellation amounted to little more than in-store pitches (Wine Spectator ratings or staff picks) and ads in magazines. Sands last year doubled his digital marketing budget to $10 million and is raising it 50 percent this year. He’s convinced online marketing is ideally suited to selling wine because drinkers have long discovered new tastes through real-life social networks. “If anything lends itself to social media, it’s wine,” he says.
A key target of the online strategy is Millennials, the 21- to 34-year-olds who are now the fastest-growing segment of wine drinkers. In early 2010, Constellation staged a “tweet up” for its Robert Mondavi brand. Bloggers and others were brought in to tour the Napa Valley (Calif.) winery and encouraged to send Twitter posts as they strolled and sipped. Fehrnstrom says the brand’s sales surged 29 percent in 2010, though it’s unclear the event played a role.