Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Small business owners and search

Posted in Blogging, Marketing strategies, Search engine optimization, Social media Be the first to comment

Like lots of other people, I bought a MegaMillion ticket last Friday, and spent hours deciding how I’d spend the $640 million. I wound up with a good mix of the charitable, the frivolous, and some sound investments to ensure that the money lasts.

It’s easy, I fantasized: “Spend a buck, win a gazillion dollars.”

Lots of small business owners view Google rankings in much the same way: “Pay someone to optimize my Web site, watch the rankings soar.” Or even better, “Slap up a Facebook page and watch the new orders pour in.”

This kind of stuff  is called “magical thinking.”

I just saw a pretty good reality check, from Carl Weiss in yesterday’s SiteProNews:

“While even the smallest of businesses can generate page 1 results on Google today, it is a far more complicated affair. And in the wired world, complicated translates into time and money. Whereas back in 2000, it was relatively simple to have an SEO expert tune up your homepage, in the modern world of Internet marketing, there are 31 points of light that every search engine spider alights on today, including such things as blogs, social networks, backlinks, and video. If your web presence is lacking in any of these, or you aren’t adding compelling content to them on at least a weekly basis, then your chances of achieving a page 1 result are slim at best…

“Not only are there far more stops on the technology train in 2012 then there were in 2000, but a number of the stops have siderails. Consider social networking. If you are serious about making the grade online, then being on Facebook (the second most visited destination online after Google) isn’t enough. You also need to Tweet. Not to mention the fact that back in November of 2011 Google launched its own social network Google+. So if you are looking to make the grade with Google, it’s probably a good idea to add this to your marketing mix as well.”

Ah, yes. Fantasies are fun….. I wonder how much I’ll win in this week’s lottery. As for the rest of it, I’d better get back to work.

To read the rest of the SiteProNews article, click here.

Image Credit: Pat’s Papers

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.

How to attract customers: The best way

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Marketing strategies, Print materials, Search engine optimization, Social media, Web design Be the first to comment

I get lots of e-mails–as we all do. Most of mine contain information I’ve requested from expert resources in all areas of marketing. Hey, ‘ya gotta keep up!

Just saw a simple explanation of today’s marketing landscape. It was in a white paper on Twitter as a business tool that I downloaded from Hubspot, a company that sells marketing automation software. This paragraph summed up today’s marketing landscape clearly and succinctly:

“Th[e] changing nature of consumers‘ shopping habits means that instead of continuing to push marketing messages out, effective marketers must adapt to consumers‘ new behavior by creating marketing campaigns that pull people in to their business. This strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketers offer useful information, tools, and resources to attract people to their business and its website, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers on the web…”

Put more simply: Offer information that customers will find interesting and helpful. That way, they’ll see you as a great resource, someone they can trust.  And they’ll want to come to you–to learn more about you and your business.

The bottom line: Don’t waste your money on marketing that focuses on you.  Think about what your customers want and give it to them.

You really can be a customer magnet. Easily and affordably.

To download the Hubspot whitepaper (registration required) click here.

Group buying: A good marketing tool?

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Selling tips, Social media, Special promotions 1 Comment

Small business marketing strategyIf you’re planning a small business marketing strategy that includes signing up for Groupon, LivingSocial, or one of the roughly 500 other social buying plans, you may want to think more about it.

According to an article on ClickZ,  Utpal Dholakia, a management professor at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, has found that only 20% of people who use such deep-discount coupons ever return to pay full price.

Here are some other key findings of Dholakia’s study:

  • 36% of deal users spend more than the voucher value when visiting a merchant.
  • 22% never redeem the vouchers they’ve bought.
  • 56% of businesses reported making money on their promotions, 27% lost money, and 18% broke even.
  • 48% of all businesses planned to run another daily deal promotion, 20% said they would not, and 32% weren’t sure.

How might you do? It depends on the type of business you own, the study found:

Roughly 70% of marketers in special events, health, and services reported making money on their promotions. Conversely, only 44% of surveyed restaurants were as fortunate.

Perhaps most telling, only 36% of restaurants/bars and 42% of salons/spas that had run such promotions said they would do it again.

To read the study summary, click here.

E-mail remains top marketing method

Posted in Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Search engine optimization Be the first to comment

E-mail-marketing.jpgAre you using e-mail to reach existing customers and prospects? Almost every other business is.

A new white paper on e-mail marketing trends, issued by Lyris, an e-mail marketing company, indicates that  e-mail remains the most frequently used marketing method. Here, from “10 Trends that will Make or Break Your Email ROI this Year,” are some interesting insights.

“Trend #1: Email Remains the Cornerstone
Of all the trends to watch, this is the one that many people will
miss simply because it seems so obvious. Email marketing alone
isn’t exactly a hot new trend, but you’ll want to start using email
more effectively in your marketing mix.

The primary reason why email has been, and will continue to
be, the cornerstone of the online marketing world is that it’s the
one method of online marketing that everyone uses….with over
90 percent of companies using email marketing.”

According to Lyris, the second most popular marketing tactic is search engine optimization (SEO), followed by paid search listings, and purchasing display ad space directly from publishers.

To read the entire report (free online registration required), click here.