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Effective Business Advertising: Four Obsolete Marketing Methods in the Digital Age

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

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.

 

Online Advertising

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 A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods.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

Cold CallingTelemarketing, 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.

 

Why not?

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.

 

What’s better?

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

Junk MailDirect 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.

 

Why not?

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.

 

What’s better?

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.

 

 

Yellow Pages

Phone Book AdsThe 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.

 

Why not?

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.

 

What’s better?

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

Magazine AdsNewspapers 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.

 

Why not?

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.

 

What’s better?

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.

 

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

Facebook changes the ads and sponsored stories creation process

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Logging in to my Facebook advertising account this morning I found a new message:

 


“New: We’ve updated how you create ads and sponsored stories. Learn more.”

 

Whoa! A changed Facebook advertisement creation interface. Instead of placing me immediately into the configuration of a new ad, Facebook is now asking for an ad destination before anything else is visible. For destination it appears that you can enter a page, app, or external URL and the drop down box will automatically select the best option. From here, Facebook makes some determinations as to what you see next based on the destination you select.

 

Here’s a quick list of the most important changes that I’ve noticed right away in the new ad creation interface:

  • The ad creation process is now more of a step-by-step process and series of questions
  • You have more flexibility when assigning app URLs to ad copy and page posts
  • You can add optional URL tags to new ads
  • Pricing is completely changed, you can no longer set CPM manually

 

The biggest change I see deals with pricing. Before you can set pricing, you’re first asked an objective. What would you like people to do, like the page or click on your ad? Changing that selection automatically converts your ad between CPM and CPC.

 

I was surprised to see that CPM no longer allows us to set a bid price! After creating a new CPM ad the status of the ad in the main dashboard shows up as Optimized CPM.

 

Overall, I think the recent changes are helpful to people who are new with advertising on Facebook. The step by step questions will allow them to make better advertising choices. For those of us with more experience and especially people who are creating multiple ads on a daily basis, the new process does seem to make the ad creation process slower. It’s going to take me a little while to get used to this.

 

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

 

 


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Get a Business Referral APP for Facebook Pages

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Does your business offer a referral program to drive leads? Have you integrated that program into your Facebook page?

 

Facebook is a powerful platform for referral programs. Almost everyone uses Facebook and, using the right Facebook tools, it is possible to provide everyone an easy to use method for sending promotional data about product and services to their network. With this type of application you can have your friends, family, and customers refer your business to the people they know. You can even drive targeted Facebook ads to your new app.

 

Take a look at this referral APP example on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/energysavingaudit/app_369491899737901

 

This application is a valuable tool that can be used for affiliate programs and any other type of lead generation where you want to leverage the power of social media to drive traffic. If your Phoenix or Scottsdale area business would like to integrate referrals into Facebook, schedule a free consultation with a local internet marketing expert: (602) 456-0150.


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Google+ for brands offers seamless integration across the web

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Google+

I have come to appreciate the strategic advantage that Google has over the competition with Google+. Let’s face it, Google+ can do some very cool things that no other social network can do simply because it is, well… Google.

 

One of the most useful strategy decisions from a brand perspective that Google has implemented in Google+ is the ability to integrate the +1 experience throughout the entire web in a way that really gives the largest return on investment to a business engaged in online marketing.

 

Most people know what you can do with Facebook when it comes to your brand. You can create a branded Facebook business page, and you can place a Facebook like button on your website.

 

Now consider what you can do with Google+. With Google+ you can also create a branded business page, and you can also place a +1 button on your website. However, there is a list of things you can also do with Google+ that Facebook can never do because Facebook is not, well… Google. Such as:

 

– Associate the like button with website search results, as all website search results do have a +1 button.

 

– Associate the like button with Adwords pay-per-click ads, as all PPC ads do have a +1 button.

 

Why does this matter? With the recent releases and updates to Google+, Google has linked all of your +1 data together to make the +1 experience a seamless integration across the entirety of the internet. With Facebook, you often had one set of likes on your business Facebook page and a completely different set of likes on your website Facebook button. The two weren’t necessarily connected and promotion to generate likes was wasteful. You had to drive money to your website for one set of likes and more money to Facebook pages for another set of likes.

 

Google+ however has made your online advertising spend a cumulative endeavor. With the right code on your website and the right social extension settings in your adwords campaign, the +1 data is completely shared throughout all of your online properties. If someone gives your website button a +1, the +1 data increments on your branded Google+ page as well. The same for your PPC ad, when linked to your Google+ page, those +1 clicks are also stored and updated.

 

This all adds up to maximization of your internet marketing spend. If you are spending money to promote your business with PPC ads, and spending money to promote your website through other means, the +1 counter throughout all pages are incremented to reflect the total social value of your brand across the internet. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Google+ targeted ads come out as well, which will only further increase the +1 value of your online portfolio. It’s nice to know that Google has taken such care to plan out the +1 integration in such a way that maximizes the return on your internet marketing investment.

 

If you’re not making the most of Google+ for your small business, contact seenBEST Web Design today. We can help you create branded Google+ pages, establish a +1 button on your website or design a website for you with a Google+ button integrated, link your website to your branded Google+ page, and even help you link your PPC ads to the +1 data so you can achieve maximum results with your internet marketing budget. Give us a call today to setup a free consultation (480) 256-9010.

 


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Are Your Marketing Dollars Working for You or Against You?

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I recently spoke with a small business owner in Ahwatukee who called with some questions about Internet marketing. He was spending over $1,000 a month on magazine and yellow page ads, but heard that Internet marketing was more affordable and could be more effective than other types of advertising. Like many small businesses today, his operating budgets are tight and marketing expenses are often the first to be cut.

 

When a new client comes to me and is considering Internet marketing for the first time, I usually ask if the business has some kind of method in place to track the effectiveness of current marketing expenditures. How does your business track the source of inbound leads? Many companies don’t have even basic leads tracking systems in place, such as asking new callers how they heard about the company and recording their responses. Owners often don’t know:

 

  • How prospects find them.
  • How to track results to determine which marketing programs are working effectively.
  • How much money they’re spending on ineffective marketing programs.

 

The owner followed my suggestion and began asking all new customers “how did you hear about us” when they contacted his company. He trained his staff to ask the same question when answering any new inbound call and had everyone record the answers. He was shocked to learn that over a 30-day period, not a single new inbound lead came from those magazine or yellow page ads. The end result? We learned that he was wasting a lot of money on advertising that did not work.

 

If your traditional marketing programs aren’t producing a reasonable return on investment (ROI), consider redirecting those dollars to a more effective method, such as Internet marketing.

 

 

Be Where Your Audience Is Looking

 

Consider the stats: 78% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 78% of those search for information about a product or service they’re considering buying (Pew Internet and American Life Project Tracking surveys). Given the sheer numbers of potential buyers online, business owners can no longer ignore the power of the Internet for marketing.

 

People today access information any time they want it via Internet marketing (websites, social media sites, blogs). People increasingly control how, when and where they receive information. They are also finding more ways to ignore unsolicited information coming via traditional marketing (TV, radio, print ads, direct mail). Consider this:

 

  • Television ads are often avoided through the use of TV capture devices such as TiVo
  • Radio ads are often avoided through the use of Pandora and/or advertisement free satellite radio stations
  • Many magazine and newspaper companies have gone out of business – the same information that was once printed can now be obtained for less cost online

 

The internet has made it possible for people to obtain the information they need at the exact moment they want to find it. That driving force can lead to overwhelming success for your business. Web marketing allows your business to display advertisements only when an interested person is searching for your products or services, or is reading information that is relevant to your business. With Internet marketing, your marketing is delivered with laser-like focus to a highly targeted crowd of interested buyers.

 

In order to increase ROI through effective Internet marketing, you need to know:

 

  • Who your target audience is.
  • What they may be thinking about when they need your product or service.
  • Who your competition is and what is their message.
  • Which of the many Internet marketing technologies are best suited to produce results for your business.

 

The answers to these questions build the base upon which an Internet marketing campaign is created. An experienced internet marketing firm can help you achieve success by:

 

  • Developing effective branding for your products and services.
  • Creating clear and concise marketing messages.
  • Clearly communicating value to your potential clients.
  • Evaluating your marketing budget to employ the technologies that are most effective within that range to accomplish your goals.

 

Your campaign may be comprised of a mixture of various technologies, including websites, social media, SEO, online promotions, content, blogs, email marketing, and PR. They can all blend together seamlessly as part of a well-defined strategy. However, once you create your ideal online marketing platform, the work isn’t finished. These digital tools allow you to go further than ever before with your marketing, and give you the resources to constantly analyze online marketing effectiveness to make changes as needed that will help you maintain a competitive edge.

 

Measuring Internet Marketing Results


So, how will you know if your internet marketing campaign is providing you the results your business needs to succeed? How can you know what changes need to be made and when to make them? Have you seen an increase in:

 

  • Website traffic?
  • Conversions?
  • Click-throughs?
  • Visibility/brand image?
  • Sales revenue?
  • Number of subscribers?

 

The ability to track every aspect of your marketing campaign is one of the most powerful results of marketing on the internet. Virtually every statistic can be measured and, more importantly, adjusted in real time to increase results in specific areas. A well-planned Internet marketing campaign will start off with advanced configurations, and grow and shift over time as the needs of your business also change. Online marketing is flexible, allowing you to modify, in real-time, factors such as ad scheduling, ad copy, your budget, geographic targeting and more.

 

The ability to modify your campaign in real-time, monitor it, and improve it will allow your business to create awareness, build trust, and develop more leads than ever before, resulting in increased sales and repeat business.

 

If you could increase visibility, leads and sales while decreasing marketing costs, how long would you wait to start? Investing in a marketing campaign designed by Internet marketing experts like seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will cost no more than a few traditional ads, but can produce greater long-term results. Contact seenBest Web Design today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free consultation and find out just how successful an effective Internet marketing campaign can be.

 

 


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Google +1 Button Comes to Adwords Ads

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Google has just released a notice to Adwords account managers that the Google +1 (plus one) button will soon be integrated with all Adwords ads. The news from Google states the following:

 

Adwords makes use of the Google +1 button“In the coming weeks, your search results and ads on Google will include a +1 button, which users can click to recommend your ads. You don’t need to make any changes to your account in order to take advantage of them. The final landing page URL of your ads can also appear on the Google profile of any user who +1’s your ad.”

 

As previously discussed in our recent article, Google 1 (Plus One) Button | How to Add to Your Website , social appears to be ramping up to change traditional search forever.

 

Google has declared that the +1 integration with Adwords will modify the way other users see the ads displayed while searching. In their own words, “Think of the +1 button as a way for fans of your business to recommend what you offer, for all their friends and contacts to see.” As you imagine, this will have major ramifications for advertisers on Google.

 

To learn more about what’s changing and how +1 works, visit the AdWords Help Center. To add the +1 button to your site, visit the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central.

 

 


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Your Website Can Be The Perfect Sales Pitch

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Imagine yourself in a crowded room packed full of hundreds of interested customers who are there to learn about your products and services. You’ve prepared, have ample materials, and a projector with a screen and a video presentation ready to go. If you deliver the perfect sales pitch you’re going to convert almost everyone in that room and your business will skyrocket. Does this sound too good to be true? It shouldn’t. The internet is that crowded room packed full of interested customers and your website can be the perfect sales pitch.

Everything you can do at a sales meeting can be done through your website. Product information, pictures, video samples, testimonials, and sales materials can be made available to interested parties at the click of a button. If your business is not generating significant new leads from your website my question to you is ‘why not’? This is a proven marketing method for thousands of local business owners who have found the secret. Your problem could be anywhere and your existing processes must be thoroughly inspected:

  • Not enough traffic
  • Inaccurate marketing messages for your current visitors
  • Competitor websites with a more appealing message
  • Lack of a clear call to action

At seenBEST Web Design we take care of your complete marketing platform. From web design, to development, promotion, marketing, and lead generation. We are your complete solution to digital success. We will design the best website for your business and then make sure that your website is seen by customers at the moment they are ready to buy. If your sales are down or you are not generating significant profit from online marketing activities first ask why, then give us a call. We will meet with you face to face, learn about your business, then offer you the most effective web and online marketing solutions available. Make your website the perfect sales pitch today, call (602) 456-0150.



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