by seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona
Posts Tagged ‘budget’
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.
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 A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods.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.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know
There is a time and place for both inbound marketing – search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, content publishing, subscriber emails, and social media – and outbound marketing – print and TV/radio advertising, telemarketing, trade shows, and cold calling.
The debate should not be about which one is better, because both have merit. But for small business owners who can’t afford a large marketing staff and don’t have a large advertising budget, the debate should focus on where to spend your limited time and advertising dollars to get the highest ROI (return on investment).
That said, the reality is that people are increasingly going to the Internet to learn about the products and services they want to buy and to find places to buy them. Last week I decided to buy a patio umbrella. I wanted to make sure it can withstand wind and rain, and would not fade in one summer. Did I want to wait to get a direct mail piece selling patio umbrellas? No. Did I want to wait for a radio, TV, magazine or newspaper ad to tell me where to find one? No. And even if I did see an ad, how much can they possibly tell me about patio umbrellas in a 30-second spot or a 4” ad? I don’t have time to wait for an ad or drive around to several stores until I find what I want. In a few minutes online I found several manufacturers’ and local stores’ websites, read consumer reviews, and learned all I needed to know about patio umbrellas, including prices. I chose a nearby store from the ones I found online, and when I went to the store to look at the umbrellas, I already knew they carried what I was looking for. All I needed to do was decide which color I liked best, buy it, and bring it home. I saved gas, time, and money using the Internet to do my leg work. That experience shows the power of inbound marketing.
Inbound (“digital”) marketing “pulls” people to your products or services. Inbound marketing strategies and techniques are designed to attract people at the moment they are online looking for information about something they want to buy. Companies must to provide useful information and tools, interact with potential customers, and develop relationships to meet the expectations of today’s online consumer.
Outbound (“traditional”) marketing “pushes” information about your products or services to the public. Promoting your business with outbound marketing keeps your name in the public view and creates a sense of urgency to buy what you sell.
What is the trend in marketing today? Industry sources estimate the ROI on email marketing at 4,300%, making it the most popular form of marketing by small businesses. Numerous studies and surveys indicate a movement toward inbound and away from outbound marketing. Consider:
- 84% of Americans do Internet research before going to a store. (Google – Zero Moment of Truth)
- 70% of consumers trust online consumer reviews, an increase of 15% in four years, more than any other source of brand information and messaging except referrals from friends and family. (Nielson)
- 42% of total retail sales in 2009 (online and offline) were affected by the Web, with sales growing to 53% by 2014. (Forrester)
- 87% of companies now employ Twitter as part of their social media marketing strategy, while 82% use Facebook.(eConsultancy.com)
- 86% of TV viewers skip ads. (The Guardian)
- 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened. (About.com Environmental Issues)
- 74% brand recall is experienced by consumers when the advertiser’s integrated strategy is carried across mobile, TV and online. (NYTimes/Google)
The bottom line: Your inbound marketing strategy is critical to the long-term growth of your business. Get your share of the $224.2 billion estimated online sales in 2012. Contact seenBEST Web Design to help you develop an online marketing strategy that gets results.
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Monday, January 9th, 2012
Chart Your Business Course for 2012: Check the Economic Trends and
Select Your Next Internet Marketing Move
Good news on the economic horizon means opportunities for small businesses to ride a prosperous wave in 2012. Review these recent reports and then consider whether (and how) you should adjust your Internet marketing presence.
2012 Business Trends at a Glance: Curving Upward
Jobs – Up: Available jobs are increasing, especially in Arizona. Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University, reported Arizona moved from No. 49 among the states for job creation in 2010 all the way up to a top 10 growth state in 2011. Nationwide, the hiring outlook overall for 2012 remains cautiously optimistic, with small business hiring notably expected to increase, according to CareerBuilder 2012 Hiring Forecast. The ABC News 2012 US Economy Forecast cited CEO Brian Hamilton of financial information firm Sageworks, who said, “The jobs numbers are getting better,” and Kiplinger agrees that job creation is picking up.
Retail Sales – Up: Not only were holiday retails strong in 2011, according to USA Today, but overall retail sales rose 4.5% year-over-year in 2011, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index (cited by CNN Money). For small businesses and especially those using refined Internet selling strategies, the news was very good. As Internet Retailer reported, the online holiday shopping season generated at least $35 billion in sales for web retailers according to comScore Inc. Many smaller niche web merchants also closed out the online Christmas shopping season with a nice boost to their fourth quarter sales by making constant updates to their marketing and merchandising plans. Internet businesses gained ground by concentrating on their best customers, using social media and offering highly targeted incentives.
Economists – Favorable: Arizona’s economic indicators have been improving, according to the University of Arizona – Arizona Economic Outlook 2012-13. The state’s personal income, wages, and employment are growing at increasingly faster rates. Spending is robust while unemployment, bankruptcies and residential foreclosures are happily declining. Nationally, the 2012 Goldman Sachs white paper, The Outlook for the US Economy, reports household debt burdens have continued to improve. Inflation is not expected to significantly increase. As USA Today reported, holiday retail sales strength, steady manufacturing performance steady and housing market resurgence all point to sustained corporate profitability in the coming year.
Business Metrics – Up: Kiplinger estimates the U.S. economy will grow about 2.3% in 2012, a bit faster than the 1.8% pace in 2011, and businesses appear willing to invest in new equipment to expand production after several years of slowed production. A Reuters report observed manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in six months in December, capping a late-year upswing, and a rise in new orders for manufactured goods suggested momentum going into 2012. Another report showed U.S. construction spending neared an 18-month high in November.
Consumers – Polling Optimistic: An Associated Press poll result suggests 62% of Americans are optimistic about the economy in coming year, while 78% are hopeful about the year their family will have in 2012. The public’s expectations for this year’s economy reached their highest point since last spring.
What Is Your Internet Marketing Agenda in 2012?
Being first to spot an oncoming tide is vital both to boaters and to business owners. Given these economic climate trends, now is the time for small business owners to re-evaluate and re-energize their online marketing campaign. Over the next four weeks, we’ll give you insights and tips for creating websites, SEO/SEM strategies, social media campaigns, and other tools to build your Internet marketing presence and success.
1. If you don’t have a website, now is the time to get one. Truly, if you don’t have a viable website, then you are almost certainly missing tremendous business opportunities. If your website has not been redesigned in over three years, it might as well be an old phone book: outdated and not terribly practical. Rather than rush into new marketing channels, it makes sense to build a website that helps establish your brand and reputation while it produces leads and sales. With more online customers out there, you can’t afford to ignore them.
2. If you do have a website but don’t show up near the top of the search results page, now is the time to invest in strategic Internet marketing. More than just techie buzz words, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) help propel you to the all-important top spots in relevant searches for your products and services. What strategies will make the biggest impact on lead generation for your business? Pay per click advertising via search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) can be the most effective forms of marketing activities for your business in 2012.
Staying on top of the latest trends is not an easy task. While you focus on the day to day operations of your business, hiring the right SEO and internet marketing company can save you time, money, and increase the bottom line. Google is making more changes to their system in 2012. New website analytics are coming as well. Hiring experts to help update your website design and SEO will keep your business in front of potential customers under the current Google system and continuing as Google evolves.
At the same time, consumer Internet use patterns and preferences are favoring social media as well. Webmarketing’s report also showed 55% of companies closed deals from social media leads, and social media is expected to see the biggest increase in investment moving into 2012 as it impacts all facets of marketing strategy.
3. If you don’t have an ongoing relationship with your clients, now is the time to establish social media and email campaigns. Social media helps develop interlocking communities, building relationships with site owners, publishers, and bloggers, which in turn bring new link opportunities for SEO. The landscape is diverse, with many areas to focus on including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. A competent internet marketing firm with the experience to help tie all of these social networks together with your overall SEO and SEM plan will position your business for future success.
Experts agree that tapping into social media empowers small businesses with limited budgets (or low cost items) to market to a receptive audience and even create brand recognition and trust. Michael Brito of Social Business News suggests focusing “on building trust with the community first, then figuring out how to monetize (or get a lead).” A company with the right social media strategy can reach and out to customers like never before.
4. If you have some Internet marketing pieces but not all, it may be time to compliment what you’re doing with video marketing, PR campaigns, blogging and quality content. Which of these Internet features make sense for your business? Hiring the right internet marketing firm that has a solid understanding of what’s out there and how it can best help your business is key. The companies with the best internet marketing strategies, using the most cost effective marketing techniques that are custom to their business model will outpace the field by generating and converting more leads than the competition.
Wow! But Can I Do Any of These Great Things?
To learn how to ski or surf, your best bet is to get an expert skier or surfer to teach you. The expert sets you up with the right equipment, shows you the right moves and why, and stays with you as you learn. You may not need the expert forever, but the coaching prepares you to move forward on your own when you’re ready. And so it is with Internet marketing and website design. The experts at seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will help you create a successful online marketing campaign using the latest technologies in web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, video marketing, and internet marketing. Call today (480) 256-9010 for a free consultation and catch the wave to prosperity in 2012!
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Friday, November 18th, 2011
Why 10 Leading Marketing and Business Experts Warn Against the All Too Common Mistake of Cutting Marketing Budgets in a Slow Economy
Imagine reading a newspaper that has one and only one advertisement. You would notice that advertisement. You might even marvel at it. Now imagine the same newspaper with 50 advertisements. Would you still notice that one advertisement? Not likely.
When all other advertisers cease their marketing efforts, the advertiser who stays in the media is the one who catches the readers’ and buyers’ attention. But don’t take our word for it: consider what the experts say.
“Successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them.” The venerable Harvard Business Review instructs business owners in “How to Market in a Recession” to adapt marketing strategies rather than cut them. “Instead of cutting the market research budget, you need to know more than ever how consumers are redefining value and responding to the recession….This is not the time to cut advertising….Brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”
“Prospects are more likely to recall marketing messages delivered consistently during a fragile economy, even if they are smaller and less frequently delivered.” Jay Levison, veteran marketing consultant and author, warns in his book, Guerilla Marketing During Tough Times, that “…many companies have scrubbed or reduced their marketing budgets to combat tough times and that it will cost those firms three dollars for every dollar formerly spent to reach the same level of consumer recognition and share of mind they previously enjoyed.”
“Cutting your marketing spending is a sure way to give ground to competitors who may be more aggressive during the downturn.” An article published on business mogul Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, “5 Don’ts for Marketing in Down Times,” offers that “just as the savviest investors view down markets as a time to buy when everybody else is selling, the savviest marketers know recessions are a great time to pick up market share. They understand that by maintaining their budgets (or even increasing them) they may not come out ahead during the down times, but they can pick up market share that will pay off in the long run.”
“Research shows that companies that consistently advertise even during recessions perform better in the long run.” A Wharton University article, “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Don’t Skimp on Their Ad Budgets,” urges business owners to continue advertising. “A McGraw-Hill Research study looking at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 found that those businesses which chose to maintain or raise their level of advertising expenditures during the 1981 and 1982 recession had significantly higher sales after the economy recovered. Specifically, companies that advertised aggressively during the recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise.”
“Become proactive rather than reactive.” The book, How to Up Your Profit in a Down Economy, by author and advertising copywriter Robert Boduch, encourages business owners “to make it a habit to reach new prospects every week – better yet, every day….To generate new customers consistently, you need a continuous marketing action plan.”
“With the right advertising tactics, a downturn can actually provide opportunities for online marketers.” A Google Adwords acticle, “Top Tactics for Tough Times,” suggests that “Now more than ever, your customers are relying on the Internet to help them make the best purchase decisions during tight times.”
Online “communities and social networking sites are cost-effective and have a measurable impact on prospects’ decisions in the consideration stage, which will be important to companies under recessionary pressures.” Josh Bernoff, Sr. VP Idea Development for Forrester Research, one of the leading IT, marketing, and technology research and consulting companies, writes in “Strategies for Interactive Marketing in a Recession” that “interactive marketing programs are now fueled by measurable results.” Bernoff suggests that “interactive marketers should stop toe-dipping and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics.”
“What you have to think about is whether increased spending will give you an even greater return.” An article in the Search Engine Guide, “How to Get the Most Value From Your SEO Investment,” explains that “spending less would be nice, but you have to get out of that mindset. Target, Walmart, Pepsi and Coke all continue to spend, spend, spend on their marketing because they know it gets results. And the second they stop spending, they know they lose market share to their competition.”
“Today, as web browsing has become more and more pervasive, the way people shop has changed.” Google’s Jim Lecinski defines “What the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ Means for Marketers” and explains that “long before shoppers find products on a store shelf, they search for the best options online. By the time they make a purchase, they have read reviews, compared prices and fully evaluated their options, whether they are buying a pillow or a Porsche.”
“As Americans spend more time online for information and entertainment purposes, digital advertising and marketing has emerged as one of the most effective tools businesses have to attract and retain customers.” The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported “Internet Advertising Revenues Hit $7.3 Billion in Q1 ’11,”a 23 percent increase in the first quarter of 2011 over the same period in 2010. “This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry and a significant increase over last year’s first-quarter revenue level, which had been the highest on record to date,” stated the IAB. “The consistent and considerable year-over-year growth we’re seeing demonstrates that digital media is an increasingly popular destination for ad dollars, and for good reason,” said IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg.
“Now is exactly the time to take advantage of marketing, and to use it strategically, proactively and effectively,” counsels Allen Levine, a respected marketing consultant to the legal industry, in his article “Marketing in Tough Times.”
Ready to take advantage of this challenging economic period and make your business stand out from the competition? A professional online marketing team will give Phoenix small business owners the best ROI for their marketing dollars by developing an integrated campaign. The experts at seenBest Web Design, Phoenix, Arizona, are savvy in all areas of marketing on the internet and can tailor a campaign to effectively and affordably meet the small business owner’s budget and business goals. Call us today for a free consultation, (602) 456-0150!
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
The Internet marketing industry has existed since only 1994, and sales have grown from $300 million in the U.S. in 1996 to an astounding $200+ billion in 2010. Online marketing is thriving, and businesses that have invested in successful Internet marketing campaigns are reaping the rewards today.
Internet marketing stands as an essential business development tool for today’s successful companies, as traditional “old school” marketing has seen a substantial decline. Internet marketing makes information about your business available anytime consumers or clients are looking for it. But traditional marketing – print and media ads, telemarketing, and direct mail – relies on pushing out a message and hoping someone will want what the company is offering at the time they see the ad. Joseph Jaffe, consultant and author of Life After the 30-Second Spot, suggests, “Consumers are starting to outgrow us. They know what to buy and where to buy it, and they don’t need us to tell them anymore.” Accepting and addressing this major change in consumer behavior is the key to why Internet marketing works.
Internet marketing is successful because:
- It is more cost effective than traditional marketing methods. Internet marketing campaigns are inexpensive compared to the thousands of dollars spent on traditional ads.
- You can target specific audiences. A personalized message encourages people to take the action you desire. The Internet provides endless opportunities to tweak and tailor your message for every type of buyer wherever they may be. And your message is there when they’re looking for it – when they are ready to buy.
- Your return on investment is much higher. A well-orchestrated Internet marketing campaign can deliver substantial increases in profits, with a much lower cost per lead than traditional marketing. Even a small budget campaign can produce an impressive ROI and the viral nature of Internet marketing keeps your campaign moving and expanding, providing a steady stream of leads.
- There are many ways to measure results. Traffic to your site, conversions, number of sales or subscribers, inbound links, brand image…these are just a few of the numerous web metrics and analytics you can track to determine the success of your campaign. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to make changes on a regular basis, even daily if necessary, to improve results.
For local businesses, Internet marketing can be especially successful. The Pew Research Center ‘s Internet & American Life Project’s Spring Tracking Survey 2011 found that 78% of American adults who use the Internet look for information about a service or product they are thinking of buying. Small companies can compete head to head with larger businesses, and companies in smaller towns can compete with companies in major cities. The cost effectiveness of internet marketing makes it possible for you to compete on a small budget and go up against much larger competitors. An attractive and effective new website for your business can make your small business appear more attractive to a potential customer than larger competitors, especially if you are providing local services. Online marketing using SEO and SEM targeted to you area also helps to create a level playing field. Finally, there are several affordable internet marketing tools that can be employed for client retention and content distribution, including social media branding and email marketing.
One necessary ingredient in a successful Internet marketing campaign is patience. To see the results of your efforts, it takes time and requires constant monitoring and analyzing of web analytics and metrics. Using an Internet marketing expert to help you develop and maintain your campaign is the best way to achieve your goals. The professional Internet marketing team at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona are experts in all aspects of Internet marketing and will work with you to design an effective campaign. Are you ready to build leads, increase sales, and maximize profits for your business? Call seenBest Web Design today at (602) 456-0150 and put their Internet marketing experience to work for you!
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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?
- 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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Thursday, September 8th, 2011
This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising undoubtedly ranks as the most effective form of paid advertising available to small business owners today. The results can be almost immediate, with new leads coming in the day the account is created, configured, and made live.
PPC is the price an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on an ad. Unlike most other types of advertising where you pay to have ads printed or distributed, with Pay Per Click you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. The power in this form of marketing is the assurance that you only pay when your marketing message is seen. PPC advertising puts your site at the top of search engine results for your product or service every time someone uses the keywords you chose for your ad. Using a number of advanced research tools to determine the best keywords and ad copy, you can generate qualified visitor traffic and increase the conversion rate of click-throughs to sales— guaranteeing a competitive, profitable PPC campaign.
The Benefits of Using PPC
1. Targeted marketing message. The reason PPC is so effective in generating sales? PPC reaches potential clients or consumers at the exact moment they are ready to buy. Unlike other forms of marketing that require you to convince the general public that they need your products or services, PPC ads deliver a targeted marketing message directly to targeted buyers at the instant they are searching for what you offer. It’s already in their mind that they need it … and then your ad appears in the top of the search results.
More than 300 million searches are conducted every day, and up to 80 percent of people use the Internet to find local products and services. The more often your ad appears at the top, the more credibility and trust your company will gain with consumers.
2. Cost effectiveness. A typical PPC investment is anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month, depending on the client and their services. While a one-time full page ad in a magazine can run over $1,000 and bring in only a handful of leads (if any at all), that same $1,000 spent in PPC can bring in two or three new clients EVERY DAY over an extended period of time.
PPC can be extremely cost effective when using the right combination of complex configurations and campaign strategies. Without the right configurations and analysis mechanisms in place, PPC can be a budget drain producing few to no results. At best, you may have a lucky accident and see some short-term success. But for long-term success in this highly competitive market, you need to create the most efficient marketing campaign possible: optimize the PPC landing pages, use the right combination of filters, and manage your PPC campaigns across multiple search engines to make sure every dollar is working maximally to deliver the highest possible return on investment (ROI).
3. Flexible ad schedule. Because advertisers have a high level of control over their PPC ads, this can be the single most effective form of marketing available. Unlike many other types of ads, you can enable or disable PPC ads based on the daily changing needs of the business. Some advertisers may increase or decrease their ad budget, turn off the ads temporarily for health or staffing reasons, or run ads seasonally based on their business. There is even detailed control over the days or hours ads are displayed, and the schedule can be adjusted to exactly match the working hours of your office to ensure that someone is available to answer the phone when new inbound leads are generated.
PPC Tracking Gives Precise, Measureable ROI
How many people came to your website from the most recent print ad? How many sales did you make from the radio ad? PPC is the only form of advertising that allows you to find out exactly how many people actually saw your ad, how many of those people came to your store (website), and how many of the people who saw your ad bought your product. With PPC, there are a wide variety of tools to measure and track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some of the metrics available include:
- Click-through rate tells you how many people are clicking through from your ad to your site, which helps to determine if your ad text is effective.
- Conversion rate tells you how often people are buying your product or service after clicking through to your site.
- Cost per acquisition tells you the average cost per sale or lead and which keywords are most effective.
- Return on Investment (ROI) tells you whether the profits from the campaign are meeting your financial goals.
The goal of PPC campaigns is to attract better qualified visitors to your website who are more likely to buy. Working with experienced PPC consultants can result in a significantly higher rate of return on your investment. The team online marketing experts at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will relieve you from the time drain of learning how to create a PPC campaign…and will work with your goals and your budget to design a winning campaign. Call us today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free one hour consultation and let us demonstrate to you how we provide your Arizona business with the best online marketing solutions and greatest return on investment for your limited marketing budgets.
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