Welcome to 2013! The internet and mobile revolution has brought on many changes to business marketing strategies. Advertising that once worked splendidly has lost impact due to the changes in the way consumers communicate and seek out information. Many people, for example, forgo a home phone and every member of the household has a cell phone. With the advance of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones in virtually every aspect of our lives, people are reading more of their information from online sources than any other. This changed reality has resulted in an array of new and inexpensive advertising opportunities that allow you to reach your target audience any time day or night, no matter where they are or what they are doing, and in more personal and meaningful ways.
Technology is everywhere: At home and work, when playing and shopping, sitting down and on the go.
Companies that are slow to embrace new technologies and continue to focus their advertising budgets on methods that worked decades ago are being quickly outpaced by more modern competitors. As a result, they are losing potential customers every day. A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods. In most industries, increasing the effectiveness of marketing investments means embracing the digital era and moving their advertising efforts to the internet.
How can a business, currently entrenched in marketing methods that worked a decade ago, take advantage of the upgraded advertising opportunities available to them and get ahead digital era? This article is designed to detail four obsolete business marketing methods, why not to use them for your modern business, and how to replace them with more effective advertising technologies. Stop wasting your money on advertising that simply does not work. Abandoning these four obsolete methods of traditional business promotion can lead to an increased return on investment when they are switched to more cost-effective methods online.
Telemarketing, or cold calling, was a popular form of marketing for many years. The concept works similar to door-to-door sales, only over the phone. Simply obtain a list of potential clients, call them at their home or business, and read a professionally written script. Ideally, the phone calls are made quickly with minimal talk time, with an attempt to talk to as many people as possible while minimizing rejections.
This may sound like a great marketing strategy, however, there is a major downside. People generally have become annoyed with these types of calls. When the concept was fresh, people happily answered their phones and many of them would listen to what you had to say. In today’s world, people are used to communicating quickly and have access to a wealth of information digitally, eliminating the need to learn about products or services over a forced and disruptive telephone call.
In addition, call screening and gatekeepers have become common. Digital telephone systems exist that screen out calls from unwanted parties. With the increased use of smartphones, many people have downloaded apps specifically designed to identify and block telemarketing calls. Because of all these factors, it is unlikely that your target audience will be reachable by phone, making telemarketing obsolete.
Use social media to your advantage for a much improved, non-intrusive way of reaching potential customers. A professional marketing campaign on sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook can help your business target and reach out directly to people who have already expressed interest in or a need for your services. With the use of marketing content such as website landing pages, infographics, and videos, you are able to provide useful information and advertise your business to potential clients. In general, people are more receptive to companies they find via their favorite social websites, especially when they recognize one of their friends as having ‘liked’ or endorsed your business in the past. This form of promotion is inexpensive for the value and, when done correctly, can produce a much higher return on investment than telemarketing.
Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of promoting products or services. Businesses gather a mailing list of potential clients, usually tens of thousands, and put together a clever letter or post card. This method is most commonly used for coupons, store newsletters, or as a way to inform people about new products. The material is then mailed to the target client’s home or business address. Often times a single ad from one company is combined with dozens of ads from multiple companies, resulting in a single mailer of ads sent via bulk mail to the advertiser’s targeted list.
Direct mail has another term associated with it: “junk mail.” These mailings often go directly into the trash can and are often not read. This creates an inconvenience to the client and is a waste to businesses. It can become expensive to print and distribute high color advertisements via mail, so it is important to see a high return when using them. Unfortunately, “Junk mail” does not usually result in a high sales return.
In addition, the United States Postal Service has begun to limit its services, offering limited services on Saturday and no service on Sunday. In recent years, the mail industry has seen a seen a heavy decline is overall sales. Businesses are now limited to advertising via this method Monday through Friday, the busiest days of the week for most people and the days where they are least likely to have time to sift through disruptive advertisements. Plus, if addresses are written incorrectly or the client has moved, it is even less likely they will see the advisement. High cost, poor targeting availability, and low return on investment has made advertising by direct mail obsolete.
The better solution to reach tens of thousands of people in a cost-effective way is by building an internet marketing strategy using video and social media advertising campaigns on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. Advertising via social media allows your businesses to reach targets based on highly specialized criteria, narrowing down your targeting to people who are specifically interested in your message. This form of business promotion is far less limiting than a piece of paper, giving you the opportunity to present your potential client with videos, long pieces of information, images, or interactive content. This can be used to create an overall deeper relationship with the client, giving them a greater sense of loyalty to your brand. “Going Green” with your advertising will not only result in less wasted paper and an overall better outlook for the environment, it will also result in lower marketing cost with a much higher return. And, unlike sending “junk mail” with the USPS, there’s nothing to print, no postage to buy, and you can reach people any time day or night, seven days a week.
The yellow pages within a phone book are a listing of all the businesses in a particular area organized by category and name. Businesses can buy ad space for their respected categories, up to a full page, in hopes they will catch the eye of the person seeking the type of service or product the company offers. Phone books with yellow pages are often dropped off at a telephone customer’s home or business address, usually in a bag on the ground near the door.
People readily access most information online or on the go with a cell phone, making an advertisement in the phone book yellow pages rather ineffective. The printed copies of business directories often make their way into the trash bin immediately upon delivery. While many yellow page directory services have created online versions to go along with the printed book, these are equally as ineffective. No one uses business directories to locate information on products or services, preferring instead to directly search for information on a search engine such as Google or Bing, or via social search in Facebook. Due to the high cost of advertising in yellow page and directory services, and the dwindling number of people looking to them for answers, the Yellow Pages are obsolete when it comes to advertising your business.
People go directly to search engines to search for service providers in their area, and use search engine relating mapping services provided by Google or Bing to locate products or services nearby. Creating search engine listings and having a modern website listed in online search is vastly superior to yellow page advertising. With search marketing, instead of a small, single advertisement on a piece of paper, you are able to drive interested customers to a website full of robust pages of information, contact forms, interactive media, videos, and integrated social media components unique to your business. As a bonus, search engines are available on the go, so potential clients can find you while on the road and away from home. In addition, these searches are conducted using keywords typed in to a search box, allowing you to laser focus your advertising to only those people who are most likely to need your products or services. Search engine marketing provides your business with a quick, accurate, round-the-clock advertising method, helping you drive interested clients straight to your location or website.
Newspaper and Magazine Ads
Newspapers and magazines are a common place for advertisements, especially for local products or services. Each newspaper or magazine is printed and distributed to thousands of client’s doorsteps on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The ads can be placed in a number of different sizes ranging from as little as one forty-eighth of a page to a two page ad, depending on the paper.
Print newspapers and magazines are becoming less and less common. It’s a dying industry with rapidly shrinking readership. This is due to the ease of finding information, including news, online. Many traditional newspapers are no longer existent or have moved their operations online in the form of dedicated blogs or E-newspapers. Most magazines have replaced printing in favor of digital copies that incorporate video as well as images.
Traditional newspaper ads can also get quite costly depending on the size of the ad and the following the newspaper has. While small ads are often available at a reduced cost, they may be overlooked by readers depending on the placement. The traditional paper size is 15 by 22 and a half inches, and one forty-eighth of that amounts to a tiny ad space, a little over an inch. The fact that readership of printed magazines and newspapers has declined, and your tiny ad often blends in with the page and is seldom seen, makes advertising in paper newspapers and magazines obsolete.
Online display advertising allows you to publish high quality color advertising images and online videos to targeted websites at a fraction of the cost of a printed ad in a newspaper or magazine. Many of these websites are visited on a regular basis by your ideal customers, so a steady flow of potential clients will see your ad. In addition, online display ads can link those viewers directly to your website, putting them just a click away from a wealth of information about your products or services. Display advertising allows you to target readers with a particular focus, making it possible to specialize further and show your ad only to people who are likely interested in what you offer.
From a creative standpoint, this type of promotion is far less limiting. It is possible to have full color, beautiful ads for your business, where as a traditional newspaper will usually limit the ads to black and white or low-quality color ink. This means that not only are you targeting potential clients effectively, but you are creating more interactive ads that allow you to engage your target audience in meaningful ways. Display advertising ultimately provides a higher return on investment than printed newspapers and magazines, allowing you to provide more relative, higher performing ads for less.
In addition to all of the benefits outlined above, there are several additional reasons why digital advertising methods via search engines, websites, and social media far outpace telemarketing, direct mail, yellow pages, or newspapers and magazines:
Advertisement Performance Tracking and Analytics: Internet advertising provides the ability to measure advertising effectiveness. You can quickly compare cost vs. performance via mechanisms that track the number of times your ads were viewed and the number of times they were acted upon. Detailed performance tracking makes it easy to determine if your advertising is working or needs to be adjusted.
Advertising Campaign Scheduling: Online ads can be scheduled to run according to your precise needs. You can run ads at only certain times of the day, certain days of the week, or start and stop advertising as necessary based on the needs of your business.
Detailed Control Over Budget: With internet advertising, you are not trapped into a pre-determined set price for your ads. You can allocate the budget that’s right for your business at the time, and increase or decrease your advertising budget as your goals change.
This is the dawn of the digital age. Looking at your business advertising plan and reallocating it now is a wise decision. While finding the most effective marketing strategy for your business can be a difficult task, eliminating useless business advertising methods is a good first step towards that goal. If your business is investing in any one of the aforementioned methods, you are probably wasting your money that could be better invested online. Add up how much you are spending monthly and yearly on useless business advertisements and write that number down. That’s the amount of money you should be investing into high impact internet advertising instead.
It’s common sense to advertise where your potential clients are, and chances are good that most of them are online. Roughly 80% of Americans use the internet for an extended period of time on a daily basis, and that number continues to grow each year. Compare to the only 23% that read printed newspapers on a semi-frequent basis. Because internet advertising is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing methods, and most of your competitors haven’t yet figured this out, promoting your business digitally will yield higher results. Get started now to help establish your company early on and gain the competitive edge.
So, what’s the next best step after making the decision to replace outdated advertising with digital marketing? If you want quick and reliable results, find an expert internet marketing company in your area that is knowledgeable in the pros and cons of marketing your business online. These firms can help you create a new, custom marketing strategy based on a professional website, content marketing, display advertising, social media ads, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and interactive online videos. The right company can help your stand out from the competition, allowing you to grow in a modern and highly-effective way.
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Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is an internet marketing strategy that will make it easier to find information about your business online. SEO serves as the backbone of every successful internet marketing campaign you run and can help to increase website traffic and sales.
In order to create a powerful SEO campaign, an SEO team will determine the composition of your industry, the makeup of your customer, search statistics, and the advertising media that you plan to target such as Google Search or Facebook.
Next, the SEO team will analyze your domain name and server, advertising copy, website content, code, and structure. Good SEO will improve the appeal of your website on search engines, making it easier to match what you do with the customers who are searching for you.
An effective SEO team consists of a professional website designer, developer, internet marketing expert, and content writer. These professionals create articles, videos, and other interesting content to increase lead generation.
The quality of your SEO has a profound impact on the success of all of your paid search engine marketing campaigns. If your goal is to attract more customers from the internet, having better SEO than your industry competitors and maintaining your SEO campaign on a regular basis is crucial.
The construction of a professional new website for your business and brand can be a major undertaking. While you definitely want to focus on the website design itself, you should never neglect the “what comes next” question during the design meeting, the first and most critical phase of website development. Working under the assumption “build it and they will come” during a new website design makes it easy to overlook key SEO design elements that are so vital to driving traffic, generating leads and marketing your business on the internet.
In order for your business or brand to draw in new business via online marketing you will need strong placement on major search engines and tight integration with social media. That’s why your new website should be designed, developed, and launched by an internet marketing team with in-depth knowledge of how all of the small pieces work together to complete the larger picture. To get the best possible marketing results online, your website design plan should be fashioned around SEO friendly elements that impact search engine results and social media campaign performance.
Search Engine Friendly Design Process Considerations
Website optimized for SEO perform better in search engines both organically and via paid search. They also perform better than non-SEO websites when used in conjunction with a social media marketing campaign. The following is a list of SEO related concepts that should be planned prior to starting work on the design and development of a new website:
SEO Keyword Analysis
Social Media Integration Plan
HTML Coding Standards
CSS and Scripts Integration and Minimization Strategy
File and URL Naming
Proper Alternate Text and Image Code
Use of Proper Anchor Text
Website Navigation and UI
Websites optimized for SEO are easier to use and provide a user interface that is better organized to the needs of the visitor. The improved navigation and user interface provided by SEO logic results in a positive effect on a website’s bounce rate, helping convert a higher ratio of visitors into leads. Some important navigational aspects which are benefited by SEO insights are as follows:
Which internal web pages are linked to from the homepage
How to best incorporate breadcrumbs
Managing the best cross navigation between pages
The website sitemap
SEO Planning Saves Time and Money
Blending SEO into the website design process harmoniously ties together elements of design, functionality, and performance. Successful marketing websites are formed as the result of a strong relationship between search engine optimization and website design principles. From a cost and efficiency standpoint, a website development process realizes several important benefits when design and marketing pieces are strategically planned in advance:
The web designer has better direction that results in a design that appeals closely to the needs of the target customer and visitor. Costly design revisions are often unnecessary down the road due to proper initial SEO planning and targeting.
The web developer has a clearer understanding of the right framework, code, and features to integrate when programming the website. Costly revisions to the framework of the website are minimized when SEO is integrated from the start.
The SEO team can spend less time focusing on the on-page optimization of the website during future internet marketing campaigns. They can instead use the excellent tool that is your new SEO optimized website to immediately launch successful search engine marketing campaigns.
Proper SEO during the website design process not only saves time and money, it also has a direct impact on marketability. A website designed with sound SEO principles will;
generate more traffic from search engines,
perform better in paid search engine marketing campaigns,
provide more value to associated social media campaigns,
and provide a better user experience to new visitors, leading to increased conversions.
If you have plans to design a new website, or redesign and improve an existing website, it is always important to let SEO planning guide the web design process. The planning you do during early stages of the design process play an important role later and help determine future website success. Hiring an expert web design and internet marketing company that is knowledgeable of the important relationship between SEO and Web Design is likely to provide the best results.
Online advertising plays a key role in the success of any modern business. At the cutting edge, internet marketing experts employ viral marketing techniques through social media to create instant buzz for brands, establish an online identity, and secure customers. One of the most important marketing methods to further this cause is Video Marketing. However, not all video is created equal. While many video sharing websites exist and many have similar features, only one carries a tremendous user base that will contribute to increased visibility for your products and services.
YouTube, when used for the promotion of a business, provides the perfect platform for the interactive advertising via social media and the web. YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world. Every month, over 4 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube and it receives over 1 trillion page views per year. Internet users visit YouTube for a variety of reasons ranging from entertainment, information, news, music, or to simply pass the time. Those millions of YouTube users comprise a massive audience just waiting for your video content and eager to help share and promote your business. When used correctly, YouTube becomes an excellent resource to target potential customers.
Business owners advertise their businesses on YouTube by creating and branding unique channel where they can later create and upload promotional videos. These videos can be embedded from YouTube on website landing pages or blogs and distributed through social media properties. The type of videos that are often created to advertise a business depends on the needs of the business and the goals of the campaign. Typically, online marketers have a variety of different types of videos they use for promotion which include product demonstrations, customer testimonials, virtual tours, how to, and support videos.
However, creating an impressive video and uploading it to YouTube is not enough for success. In order to drive traffic, increase visibility, and see increased sales you need to attract viewers to your videos. Success in YouTube marketing depends upon the quality of video content, its interactivity, the call to action, and most importantly video optimization. An expert internet marketing firm with video production services can help produce and optimize videos for maximum views, and will:
Create keyword rich video channel and description text based on existing SEO campaigns
Include relevant and informative video content
Include the appropriate call to action in the video and in the description
Brand videos with appropriate product logos and slogans
Embed subscription options and overlays within the video
Share the videos on established social media accounts
Embed the video on all necessary websites
Create advertising campaigns for the video to increase visibility and interest
You can instantly promote your business and see results through the use of YouTube, a powerful platform for business video advertising. There are so many different ways to market products and services using YouTube that each type of business often requires a unique strategy. Contact us today if you’d like to get started right now with a custom YouTube marketing strategy and videos that have been scripted, produced, edited, and promoted for your business. In the future we will address unique marketing and promotion strategies for different types of industries via a series of additional blog articles under the title “YouTube Video Marketing”.
Online content, otherwise known as web content, is defined by Wikipedia as “the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations.” A popular expression in the online marketing world is “Content is King”, because without quality content no online marketing campaign can be successful.
Effective web content is content that has been written or produced specifically to serve a target audience. Some types of content you will find produced specifically for online marketing purposes:
Quality content is necessary throughout every phase of an online marketing campaign for both websites and social media. Through the use of social media, blogs, and landing pages, you can increase the number of people who know of your products and services. The key is regular production of content for topics related to your industry along with distribution to effective channels. A single blog post once per year is not enough to generate much interest, but a regular blogging campaign of multiple blog posts per month can result in increased traffic and awareness.
Content Production to Promote Your Business
Regular content creation can be a time consuming and challenging process and, while it’s not easy to constantly come up with something new to share with your fan base, it’s definitely worth the effort. Regardless of what type of business you own or the products and services you offer, there will always be a content marketing strategy that can help you achieve your goals. The key to find the right strategy is to first identify what interests your customers. Using that knowledge you can then produce articles, videos, and images about those topics to keep your customers engaged.
A few examples of web content for various types of business:
A local beauty salon can write blog articles about the latest industry products and trending celebrity hairstyles. The products mentioned could be ones the salon is currently stocking for sale and the hairstyles could be styles that the salon could recreate for clients.
A pet shop could create videos of dogs playing along with pictures showcasing the latest dog clothes and pet accessories. The dog videos could be of dogs that are available for adoption and the clothes and accessories could be available for sale in their online store.
A restaurant could create an eBook of recipes, along with cooking videos created by the head chef. The recipes and videos could be lite versions of available dishes at the restaurant.
If the production of content is the first step, the second step is distribution. Where can you find an audience for your articles, videos, and images? There are traditional distribution platforms:
By distributing your content to interested parties, you encourage new customers to learn more about your products and keep existing customers informed about new developments with your business. Does your business have a content marketing strategy? If not, look to create one that includes details for both content creation and distribution. Well written and strategically distributed content always delivers multi-dimensional benefits for any business. If you are a business owner looking to expand your wings online, content writing and distribution will help you achieve growth. To make the process easy, consult with an expert internet marketing company. They will have the resources to manage the entire process for you, blending websites, SEO, content production (including articles, images and video), and content distribution together into an affordable monthly package.
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Specializing in website design and internet marketing services for these Arizona cities: Apache Junction, Ahwatukee, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, Chandler Heights, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Laveen, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe