- 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.
CHICAGO, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Study Finds Customization Vital to Effective Marketing and Business Growth
Restaurants use online and email marketing to provide consumers the personalized offers they prefer, according to new research by the National Restaurant Association released today. The research found that electronic marketing channels complement traditional and offline channels as part of a successful marketing mix. Funded by an unrestricted research grant by LivingSocial, the study analyzed current marketing practices employed by restaurant operators and consumer perceptions of a range of marketing tools.
“Finding the right marketing mix is crucial to success in the restaurant industry,” said James Balda, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the National Restaurant Association. “Our new research outlines the challenges and opportunities of both offline and online marketing to help restaurant operators find the ‘sweet spot’ for promotions by identifying what consumers respond to and how various messaging vehicles are perceived.”
Key findings of the new research include:
Online marketing can elevate a restaurant’s brand and attract new customers
Restaurants that use online marketing (emails from restaurants, emails from a daily deal provider, and websites) tend to be viewed by consumers as modern (67 percent emails, 59 percent daily deals, 65 percent websites) and popular (63 percent, 59 percent, 63 percent). Restaurant operators perceive websites (90 percent), TV ads (87 percent), social media (84 percent), restaurant emails (82 percent), and daily deals (77 percent) as effective in bringing in new customers.
Customized marketing messages that address a consumer’s preferences result in more sales
Consumers and operators agree on the importance of savings in customized messaging.
87 percent of consumers would go to or order from a restaurant if provided with a savings offer.
95 percent of operators perceive savings offers to be an effective marketing tool.
Consumers would go to or order from a restaurant if they received customized marketing messages that referenced past restaurant patronage (68 percent), allowed them to make reservations (66 percent), and identified them by name (64 percent).
Restaurants understand what marketing tools work; they just need to implement them
84 percent of restaurant operators consider restaurant-specific marketing emails to be effective in increasing revenue for their restaurants, and 78 percent of consumers said an email from a restaurant would motivate them to go to that restaurant. In addition, 63 percent of restaurant operators say they plan to use such emails in the next year.
78 percent of restaurant operators consider daily deals to be effective in increasing revenue for their restaurants, and 69 percent of consumers said an email from a daily deal provider would motivate them to go to the restaurant featured in the daily deal. In addition, 40 percent of operators say they plan to work with a daily deal provider in the next year.
Consumers are very sensitive to social media and Internet advertising
Consumers perceive the least effective efforts to entice them to go to a restaurant include online advertisements (58 percent), social media (56 percent), and radio ads (56 percent).
“Many restaurant owners feel overwhelmed by the wide range of marketing options available to them,” said Mandy Cole, SVP of Sales, LivingSocial. “We partnered with the National Restaurant Association to conduct this study to see which tools are most effective at increasing revenue and improving business for restaurants. Working together with our thousands of restaurant partners, we look forward to turning these findings into actionable steps to help restaurants improve their marketing efforts.”
Full results are scheduled for release today, May 7, at the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, Ill. The session, “Myths vs. Facts: How Online Marketing Can Benefit Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line” will be held from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in room S402A. For more information and to review the full findings, please visit .
The study is based on an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,064 adults in February 2012, and telephone interviews with 425 restaurant owners and operators nationwide in February-March 2012.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
If you have spent any time on my website reading about PPC or pay per click marketing and would like to try your hand at running your own campaign, shoot me an email, and I will give the first 30 people a $100 Google AdWords credit. You can use this credit to run your own PPC campaign online.
The reason that I am offering this to you is because most business start with attempting to run campaigns on their own before every contacting me about doing it for them. It’s only after many failed attempts that I receive a call asking for help, or even to take over their accounts.
Setup of an AdWords campaign is so simple on the surface, but once you get into the program and start building out all your creative, choosing keywords, and destination pages…most people decide to hire a professional.
Again, no strings attached $100 credit for any new (have not attempted AdWords before) account. My only request is that you have a five minute conversation with me about your business.
Call me at 720.427.3707 or email me at Chris@onlinemarketingdenver.net
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.
This is a good article on the high level things that can cause online marketing programs to fail, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Online marketing isn’t something you can just through in. These campaigns, just like traditional marketing, require thought.
Online marketing demands that entrepreneurs continue to innovate and evolve. Be it creatively repackaging products, promotions of services etc, a bit of freshness is sure to create an interest in your business. However, entrepreneurs are often found to refrain or limit their creativity unknowingly.
TJ Philpott, blogger and Internet entrepreneur, believes that the opportunities for creative online marketing are unlimited, and that small or medium business owners need to explore and to come up with new ideas to get the strategy right.
Studies have proved that there is a pattern to these creative inhibitions. The most common reasons are:
Lack of focus on creation
When creativity is flowing, multi-tasking has to stop, as it disrupts, dilutes focus and does not allow free flow of creative thoughts. Hence, at the first flashes of creativity entrepreneurs need to concentrate and let the ideas seep through and evaluate at a later point of time. Experts say set goals and pursue them, “For this month, I want to see my business bring in $100.” Then begins the process of ideation and motivation, inspiration will flow and creativity is optimized.
Chicago, – Affinity Express Inc., the leading offshore, onshore and onsite provider of high-volume print and interactive advertising and marketing production solutions, with hundreds of multi-media publishing, marketing services, retailer and other clients, released the results of its survey of small- to medium-sized business (SMB) customers to measure their use of online advertising and marketing tactics.
Around 70 SMBs responded to the survey and 63% and have used online advertising or marketing for their business. Website and landing pages is the most commonly used tactic used by 77% of respondents, with email marketing following closely (73%). Half of the respondents use social media marketing (50%) and around one-third use search engine optimization (31%) and online catalogs (27%). Channels like display ads (23%), blogging (23%), search ads (19%), and mobile (15%) are less explored.
An interesting find is the low use of search engine optimization compared to the prevalence of websites and landing pages as a marketing tactic. This indicates that SMBs are focusing efforts on developing websites and landing pages, but not on optimizing those pages to get found in search results.
Sales is the Most Important Online Marketing Objective
Sales is the most important focus for a small business owner (36% voted it the most important objective of their online advertising or marketing activities), and drives her marketing strategy. However, 23% respondents indicated that brand awareness was most important. Less important are lead generation (14%), lead nurturing (9%), customer service (9%), reputation management (5%), and customer lifetime value (5%).