Category

Uncategorized

Internet Marketing Part 1 of 6

laptop sitting on a desk

What Is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing (also known as internet advertising, online marketing and online advertising) is the different ways that we advertise our businesses and products/services over the internet. We have many different platforms to take advantage of, in order to optimize the way we reach our current/potential customer base. The following is a list of different platforms that we can use. Later in this series, I will explain these platforms in more depth.

  • Websites
  • Email
  • Social Media /Blogging
  • Mobile
  • Search Engine (search results and optimization)
  • Ads

How does it Work?
All of the platforms I mentioned above compile into the bigger picture. Websites are the base for all internet marketing; the goal is to get as much traffic to your website as you can. By using these other platforms, you will draw current/potential customers to your website, doorstep, or phone line. Internet marketing is the same principle as paper marketing (newspapers, magazines, flyers, pamphlets, and posters). The only difference is that internet marketing can reach a larger group of people more effectively, and “guess what”…it is also environmentally friendly.

 

Internet Marketing 6 Part Series

Desktop Computer on a wooden desk

6 Part Series on Internet Marketing

This 6 part series will cover what you need to know about internet marketing, and how it can benefit your business. Each week I will cover one of these topics:

  1. What is internet marketing, and how does it work?
  2. How to decipher your audience and choose the platforms that will reach them.
  3. How you can get your website seen?
  4. How content can help or hinder you, in reaching your goals.
  5. How, and why, you should implement a solid call to action (CTA) plan for all of your internet marketing ventures.
  6. Website and Marketing evolution; why you should remain proactive.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Typewriter

If you want to increase the traffic to your website, there are three major areas to consider. These areas are part of CRO (conversion rate optimization). CRO is the process of optimizing all aspects of your website that draw somebody in. These include the overall design of your website landing pages, and sponsored search ads.
The most important thing to consider when creating these landing pages and ads is the keywords that you use. These keywords will help individuals find your page.

Conversion Rate Optimization Keywords

Here are some important things to remember when choosing your keywords.

  • Make sure that the keywords are relevant, so that your intended audience will be able to think of these words when searching the internet.
  • Remember to group and organize your keywords. Specific keyword groupings of a relevant nature will increase the chances of your website showing up in a search.

Conversion Rate Optimization Landing Page

The next item to consider is the landing page itself. The landing page is an introduction of what is to come if they continue into a website. This is why the overall design and attractiveness is important. Here are some things to consider when designing your landing page.

  •  Landing pages should always be the highest quality.
  •  Headlines should be concise and compelling.
  •  The content of the landing page should be concise and straight to the point.
  •  Make sure that your content will make sense to your intended audience.
  •  Make sure the design is attractive, but also simple and clean. Try out several pages, until you find out what will work best.  AVOID CLUTTER!!!
  •  Do not request too much information, ask for only what is necessary…keep it user friendly.

Conversion Rate Optimization CTA

The other item you need to consider is the CTA (call to action). The CTA is part of both the landing page and the ads. CTA is important, because it asks the individual to take action. Here are some things to remember when considering the CTA.

  •  Keywords are important to creating good ads. These ads need to ask for a CTA, because this brings the customer further into the website.
  •  When creating the CTA for your landing page, remember that it needs to stand out.
  •  CTAs should be a focal point.
  • CTAs need to be visually appealing.
  • Most importantly, make sure that your CTA on your ad ties into the CTA on your landing page.

If you use these optimization tools, you are guaranteed to increase the traffic to your website.

Relationship Marketing

Couple in an old car

When you go on a first date there are two things that can happen. You can go on a second date or you can call it quits before anything started.  When somebody comes to your business for the first time two things can happen. They can come in again or they can go somewhere else.  The common goal here is to keep the relationship going.

Communication and interaction are vital for your relationship to succeed. Kim Kardashian taught us that after her failed 72 day marriage. As a business, it’s important to practice relationship marketing. Relationship Marketing is a strategy to build long-term relationships with your customers by providing satisfaction and promoting open communication. 

Valuing your customers, being on social media and listening to their feedback are three ways to communicate with your customers and showing them you care.

Value Your Customers

When you’re in a relationship you like to be appreciated, and as a business, I can only imagine how you love to be told how great your products and services are. But it’s not a one-way form of flattery.  You can’t expect your significant other to say, “Honey, I really appreciate you doing the dishes,” while you sit there and act like she wasn’t the one who made dinner. Do the same for your customers and let them know how much you value them.

 Be Where They Are

It’s important that you understand the power of social media and have active profiles set up on all the popular social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. When you’re in a relationship you can’t be together all the time, that’s why texting is a big deal. We can annoy our loved ones during movies and wake them up from naps with a simple text. Social media is the texting to your relationship with your customers. These sites allow your customers to interact with you by giving feedback and asking questions when they aren’t with you.

 Listen to Your Customers

You know that thing your significant other does that really annoys you – the gum smacking, the pen tapping or the annoying way you never get to hold the remote?  How many times have you had the “just stop and ask for directions” talk with them? As a business you should strive to use customer feedback in order to improve your products and services.  Let them know you are listening the first time feedback is given by integrating it as much as possible.

 

Techniques to Improve Your Web Conversion

night sky

If you have a website for your business you probably are interested in two things, increasing targeted traffic and increasing conversions. For some business owner’s the problem arises when you get traffic on your website but for some reason that traffic does not lead to a sale.

Your conversion rates measure the number of possible customers that go on to your site and buy. In the context of a website, it is usually the percentage of visitors that make a purchase. Most people tend to only focus on increasing the number of visitors, when in reality is they don’t realize the problems that their site may have for customers wanting to buy something, thus, do not get any of those visitors to make a purchase. Often times these simple problems with their site, if solved, would make a huge difference on their conversion rate.

Improving a website conversion rate can be relatively simple. Here are a few techniques you can use in order to improve your conversion rates:

Be Consistent

When it comes to the look and feel of your site be sure to make the site aesthetically pleasing to the customer. The website should be simple yet professional, and the transitions from page to page should be uniform and easy to maneuver throughout.

Visitors shouldn’t have to adjust to each individual page; they should be comfortable with the layout on every page they visit. If you can keep the redirection and different templates on each page to a minimum, then more people will likely want to stay longer on your website.

Having consistency will make it easier for visitors to compare products, possibly leading to a sale. You need to make it stand out with a clean, user-friendly layout. Your website should give visitors the feeling that you are a reputable, trustworthy company. Make sure the color schemes are consistent along with any fonts and other styling details.  If you ensure that it does, you will see an increase in overall conversions.

Have Easy to Find Contact Information

Questions and concerns often arise during the decision making process. The contact information should be easy to access and find. If a customer can’t find that information then they may get frustrated and take their business elsewhere.

If the customer has a specific question that gets answered by a customer service representative they are more likely to purchase from that website. If however no contact information is displayed, this makes you look like you are trying to hide something and will possibly affects your credibility.

Use High-Quality Images

Your product image has to be eye-catching, producing interest in the viewer. Make sure that the picture is a high- quality image that appeals to the eye.

Adding images that have different colors and angles can really boost your conversion rate. For some, they relate more and interpret more visually as opposed to reading text. Especially in a page dominated primarily by text, an image or two is a great way to break up content and keep visitors engaged. You want to please both types of people with quality images and clear text.

Create Detailed Product Descriptions

Don’t fill the description and pages of your site with useless information. The product description is a crucial part in the customer’s decision making process. Use this section to highlight the features of your product in an easy-to-understand way.

Be sure that your description leaves nothing out, and is as detailed as possible, without being too overwhelming. You don’t want your visitor to have any unanswered questions when they go to purchase that item.

Consider Pricing

One of the most significant contributors to conversions is the price of the item. Pricing can be very tricky for almost any industry. If you price yourself to high you may lose customers to the cheaper competitor, and if you price to low you may come off as cheap. The best thing to do is to make sure that you do your research and come up with an industry competitive offer that makes you profitable and covers your expenses. Also, make it easy for yours customers to buy from your site. Include a variety of different methods to pay online, which will help increase online orders.

Be Honest

Do not try to trick your customers. Display the prices and extra charges clearly for the customer to see, avoid using any gimmicks they will lead you down a path of refunds and angry customers. If a customer goes to pay for their item and realizes that shipping is way too much, then most likely they will leave that item in the shopping cart and go look somewhere else for the product.

If you take all of these techniques and apply them to your website, then there is no doubt that you will see a positive increase in your web conversions. Take action now, and those visitors won’t just be going to your site just to look, but will in return actually make a purchase.

 

 

 

Reviews Are a Very Powerful Tool (Infographic)

tools

I am sure at some point you have gone online and looked at a product or service you were interested in and checked the reviews before making a purchase, and you are not alone. Today, anyone who is looking to spend money will make sure to do their research, and often times it is done by using the feedback left from other users.

Most businesses now offer the ability to go on to their site, and read the reviews. A negative review can lead to trouble for a company and that is why it is important to understand the impact that a review can have for current and future customers. This is an opportunity that business owners should be aware of.

PeopleClaim have put together this Infographic looking at some statistical measures of ratings and reviews. They were curious as to how many people were searching for reviews, what they were finding, and what type of decisions they were making based on this information.

PeopleClaim - The Review of Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://socialmediatoday.com/rosalind-henshell/1381166/review-reviews-why-opinions-matter-infographic

Facebook Announces New ‘Facebook Home’

Sheep in a Feild

As of today, Facebook launched a new crop of Facebook-centric apps for the Android home screen called “Facebook Home.” Much to the excitement, as the comments and crowdsourcing have suggested, no one.

Not to say that if you are interested in an Android platform that incorporates Facebook into the basic operations of the phone, making Facebook usage as simple and accessible as using a standard messaging service or dialing a phone number, that this phone is not for you.  Other tech sites have suggested, you may be in a very slim category of interested people.

As Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, puts it, Facebook Home is a family of apps designed to connect your home screen “with people, not apps.”

When you turn on your Android phone that has downloaded Facebook Home, you are immediately shown pre-downloaded content from friends and family on Facebook, “pushed” like a text to your phone while your phone is sleeping. A simple double-click of the screen allows one to “like” a picture or story, and there is a section to comment on the content as well.

The main draw of the new Facebook Home feature seems to be the chat/messaging features, called “chat heads.” Basically, if you download Facebook Home, new chats and messages will be “pushed” to your phone and notifications will popup in the form of your friend’s profile picture. If you do not feel like talking to them, simply swipe their face away to “trash” it, or click on their face to open up a chat box and converse with them.

Summed up, this bundled family of apps called Facebook Home, which strikes me as not quite an operating system, and not really an app either, is designed to bring Facebook content to you. Downloading Facebook Home will, essentially, permanently tether yourself to Facebook and keep you “connected” in real-time. For instance, Home is working, and will send notifications, even while you are using non-Facebook related apps. So keep in mind, that if downloaded, you are welcoming Facebook 24/7 into your life.

If that is for you, awesome. But to myself, and many others I have spoken to, we will keep our old apps and visit Facebook on our own time.

For those interested in using it, the app will be available on Google Play, April 12th. Also, if you have the most recent Facebook App on your Android, a link to download on the app will appear shortly as well. (Source:Examiner)

10 Things To Do While on “Social Media” Spring Break

Pink Flowers

A lot of people have taken the past few weeks off to enjoy time with the family for Spring Break. Here are 10 tips for your Social Media accounts and lifestyle. It is a good time to clean house and get to those things you don’t usually have time for during a normal busy week.

  1. Enjoy time with the family in real-time (no electronics).
  2. Update your Social Media profile photo across all platforms. Isn’t it about time for a refresh? Be sure and make them all the same! It is your brand and identity, so keep them professional and consistent.
  3. Update & Change your Social Media account passwords. Make them slightly different, say your root password contains the word: Idaho then change it up for each platform: IdahoTweet! or IdahoFB!
  4. Clean house and disconnect, unfriend and delete any SPAM accounts or BOTs that have followed you or that you accidentally followed. They aren’t doing you any good, so why not just unfollow and block them now.
  5. Repeat #5 but take it to your Inbox. How many SPAM/Junk/Sales emails do you get each day that you either ignore or delete on a daily basis. Really, GAP I get an email just about every day and there is nothing I ever want to buy. I also don’t need the 30% off in-store because you never have the size I want anyway.
  6. Find some new and interesting people to follow on Twitter & Google+. See who your friends are following and follow some of the more interesting people. Also, check out your friend’s lists on Twitter–they’ve already done the hard work to filter. Most lists are public, so you can follow individuals or the list too.
  7. Check out Vine, the new ulta-short-form video service. It is catching on and is going to be sticking around for awhile. You might as well get to know it sooner than later.
  8. Pin some interesting pins to Pinterest. If you have been too busy to play with Pinterest, you are missing out. The #1 demographic on Pinterest is 28-54 year old women. Men are catching up, but there is a lot of marketing power in this platform for just about every type of business niche.
  9. Untag people from your photos. No one likes to be surprised with a shot on Facebook and not many people want the world to see them in your photos. Even with the right privacy settings, it would be best to go old school and email your buds pics from the party instead of them finding out on Google or a timeline.
  10. Create or update your company and personal LinkedIn profile pages. How long has it been since you’ve updated your online resume and the product/services pages within your company profile? If you don’t care, then you should.       (Examiner.com)

Five Ways Social Media Can Be Used to Achieve More Leads

Road in the mountains

Correct me if I am wrong but consumers buy from brands they trust. It may sound like such a simple solution to get more customers, but it is extremely important.

 Luckily for businesses social media has the tools to inspire the kind of confidence in their company that leads to more money, but if not done correctly could leave your consumers discontent and searching elsewhere for that service or product.

In a recent survey done by Forrester Research 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews while 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends.  If you are looking to give fans the feeling that they can trust and rely on your company, follow these five simple rules:

1. Reply fast.

In the days of social customer service, people expect fast answers to their questions. Leaving a customer hanging is a sure way to break their trust – and encourage them to spread the word about your bad service through social channels. Super-fast responses are a great way to get them singing your praises instead.

2. Show the company behind the curtain.

Post content that shows your personality, whether it’s an informal Q & A or a simple post and reply. It’ll make your fans feel like they have a personal relationship with your brand.

3. Create a customer community.

No one can be a better advocate for you on social than your own customers. Make them feel prized by retweeting or sharing their content. Curate all the great comments they make about your product, service or support and make it publicly available.

4. Tap into the influencers.

There are bound to be bloggers, authors and speakers that people in your market trust. Identify who those people are and attempt to build a relationship with them. Share their content, collaborate on projects together, or even host them at your events.

5. Know your fans.

When your customer in Idaho receives an email from somewhere far away, it can come across as spam or out-of-touch. Go through your social data for insights about who your customers are, where they’re from, what their interests are. Use that to create more targeted marketing campaigns. Social data can help you get the messaging right.

 

(Source: business2community.com)

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Social Channels

Lake and sky

It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out the closets, get rid of the household clutter, and do a deep cleaning to get rid of the winter cobwebs.

Spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to your home. Dig into those social channels, and use this season to put some polish on your social outreach.

1. De-clutter your fan base. social channels spring cleaning

Use a social tools to identify and weed out inactive users on your social channels. Start spring fresh with a clean, organized, and socially engaged fan base.

2. Give your channels a social makeover.

Time to toss out the old wardrobe for updated styles. Modernize your cover images on Facebook and Google Plus, profile pictures, and social channel backgrounds to show your brand in a fresh light.

3. Refresh dusty social channels.

Re-evaluate your social channels. Unused, abandoned, or lackluster pages are signs that no one is engaging with the brand. Have you not posted in months? Time to rethink your overarching social strategy and decide which social channels still make sense in order to maximize fan engagement.

4. Organize lists. 

Create lists on Twitter that match your demographic and social influencers. Whether you’re creating a private list of competitors or publicly classifying best customers, it’s important to identify and organize key people who make your marketing mix successful. This also helps you listen to relevant conversations based on the audience you’re targeting. 

5. Spring into action. 

Partner with a local community group or nonprofit and host an event outdoors. Take advantage of the sunshine and extra time you’ll have now that your social channels are refreshed.

How do you clean up your social channels? (ragan)