Posts Tagged ‘building customer loyalty’

SEO for small business: How hard is it?

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Marketing strategies, Search engine optimization, Social media Be the first to comment

We all want magic wands. To lose weight. Get strong. Become rich. Find the perfect mate. “Just do this or buy that and you dream will come true.”

As small business owners, we want magic wands, too.  “Just wave it and customers will find you and flock to your store, office, or Website and buy, buy, buy.”

Today’s marketing “magic wands” often involve social media and search engine optimization.  “Just put up a Facebook page. Just use certain keywords in your Website text. Or just buy “top-rated” links.” Or more likely, “Just pay us to do it, and you’ll have to beat the customers away.”

Uh, no.

Like most of our other instant-success fantasies, social media success involves many tasks. It takes lots of planning, time, and hard work.

SEO success is also complex and requires hard work on many fronts. Take a look at the chart above, created by Marketing Sherpa. It’s based on the experiences of more than 1,500 search marketers.

Remember this chart the next time someone promises you that their magic wand is all you need.

Marketers market rather than buy social media ads

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Marketing strategies, Selling tips, Social media Be the first to comment

Here’s an interesting item, published last week by eMarketing.com.

When ad agencies decide on the ways to publicize their own companies, a full 87% choose not to advertise on Facebook.  Agency ads appear on even a smaller percentage of the other major B2B social media sites–LinkedIn and Twitter.

Here’s the chart showing the percentages:

Social Networks on Which US Ad Agencies and Public Relations Firms Purchase Ads, Q2 2011 (% of respondents)

“Overall,” eMarketer concluded, ” most companies prefer to focus on marketing on social networks, rather than spending money to advertise.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Blog ideas

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, Marketing strategies, Social media Be the first to comment

Blog ideasIf you’ve followed this blog, you know we’re huge fans of blogging (even though we don’t do it often enough!)

We believe that after creating a professional, user-friendly Web site, blogging should be the next layer in the foundation of any small business marketing plan–and specifically, of any social media plan. Valuable blog posts can pay dividends many times over.

For some reason, blogging intimidates people. It shouldn’t. You’ve got ideas, opinions, suggestions, and experience that can benefit others. Blogging is simply a great way to share that knowledge and introduce yourself to people.

Here’s a quick pointer on blogging from infusionsoft, a marketing automation company.

“The key is to create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Keep it consistent and keep it real. Other than that, just have fun with it!  Some suggestions for blog posts include:

  • Industry-specific tips and insights
  • Special offers or give-aways
  • Analysis of recent news items
  • Product tutorials
  • Humorous anecdotes
  • Interviews with employees, customers or partners”

If you’re set up to blog, think of anything in the short list above, and jot a quick post. If you’re not set up, check out WordPress (the format we use) or the also popular blogspot.

Take advantage of one of the best–and free–ways to connect with customers.

Mobile users: Personalized messages best

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, Marketing strategies, Selling tips Be the first to comment

While every marketer tries to figure out the way to turn smartphone presence into big bucks, an interesting survey just indicated  the best way to get smartphone users to click through to your Website or your product. The answer: personalization.

Upstream, a  global mobile marketing technology company, and research company Luth Research, checked in with smartphone users to see what they responded to in messages sent to their phones. Interestingly, respondents indicated that mobile advertisements “that are tailored to their “tastes and interests” far out-performed other offers based on time, lifestyle or location.

The research polled more than 2,000 American adults and found that feature phone users ranked the appeal of personalized offers at 59%, compared with offers that focused on timing (18%), lifestyle (16%) or location (8%). Smartphone users responded similarly:  60% preferred personalized offers over promotions based on timing (17%), lifestyle (10%) or location (14%).

“‘Comparing the importance of personalization versus location in receiving mobile ads is especially interesting, given the hype around location-based players such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Facebook Places or even Google+ with its Latitude check-ins,’ said Assaf Baciu, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Upstream. ‘While location remains an important factor in delivering mobile ads, tailoring interactions via mobile to consumers’ tastes and interests’ clearly presents much greater potential for driving higher response and conversion rates.’ “

Business blogging don’ts

Posted in Advertising, Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Special promotions, Web design Be the first to comment

Whether you’re creating or updating a Website, an e-mail marketing program, printed materials, or engaging in any type of social networking, providing content that your customers want and need is not only essential, but also highly cost effective.

Giving customers marketing materials that focus only on how wonderful your products and services are is a waste of your time and money.

Hubspot, a company that markets business software, offers some solid advice about business blogging. The company recently published a free e-book that highlights 13 mistakes that business bloggers make. Number 1 is not integrating your blog with your Website. Here’s number 2 :

“Mistake:
The content you publish on your blog is too heavily focused on you – your products, services, achievements, and why you’re awesome – and it’s seriously lacking thought leadership.

“Why It Hurts:
If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published thought leadership-based content.”

Amen.

To read or download the free 13 Business Blogging Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes, (registration required),  click here.