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Posts Tagged ‘marketing strategy’

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 A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods.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

Why You Should Create Fresh Content for Your Website on a Regular Basis

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

While many business owners know that it’s important to create and update website content on a regular basis, very few actually follow through with the task. The main reason why businesses fail to produce new content is time, most companies simply do not have the time necessary to invest in content creation. Another is a lack of ideas, most businesses have not created a content marketing strategy to help them plan out the creation of content.

 

However, a lack of fresh content can be a serious problem when it comes to business growth. Without fresh content, your website will quickly fall out of date in the eyes of major search engines, including Google. That can cause traffic flow problems and will make it easier for your website to fall behind the competition in search engine rankings. Additionally, your website and social media properties will become stale to visitors and potential customers.

 

A good content marketing strategy for any business involves the creation of new, high-quality content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This helps your business a number of ways, mainly:

  • Existing customers will check back to your website and social media properties often to find out what’s new
  • Your website will perform better in major search engines and will position higher than your competitors
  • Potential customers visiting your website will be more inclined to purchase your products or services if the information is recent and relevant to their needs
  • Website visitors fall into two categories. They either want new information or they want a product or service.

 

Products and Services

In the case of selling services, content creation involves the creation of helpful information and media that explains your services, what you do, and how you can help. Potential customers want to know if your service fits their needs and how much money your services cost. If your website provides regular and fresh content concerning your services it will be more likely to help you close a sale.

 

In the case of products, potential customers want to know everything about the product. They want to see images and videos of the product, and they want reliable descriptions and technical specs. It’s also helpful if you provide a place for customer reviews. Customer reviews do count as fresh content for a website, and they provide valuable information to other potential customers.

 

Information

People are always looking for new information on a wide variety of topics. Some individuals want to know more about business or personal finance. Others want to know how to remodel their homes, decorate and fix minor repairs. Still, others are looking to broaden their overall knowledge or be entertained by blog articles.

 

Keep in mind that every unique individual is looking for specific answers to their own angle on a question. That is why content creation should be an endless process for your business. The more content you produce better prepares your website to answer a broad range possible of questions presented by people searching, which leads to an increase in website visitors. After they visit, providing those visitors with quality information on the topics they are searching for could translate into increased leads and sales.

 

Social Websites

Social media is a great place to share ideas and keep your friends, family, coworkers and potential clients and customers up-to-date, but it’s useless if you have nothing new to share. When you have no new links, videos, information or discounts to share you stop updating your webpages and chances are good that you’ll also stop updating your social media pages. A content creation strategy ensures that you will always have regular content for your website, which in turns fuels content for your social media channels.

 

Internet Marketing

Since many businesses lack the time and often the internal resources to produce fresh and relevant content for websites and social media, hiring an Internet Marketing firm can help dramatically. A good internet marketing firm can first sit down with your business, learn about your customers, and help you develop a plan to generate fresh and appealing content. The Internet Marketing firm will can utilize a team of professionals that is almost always unavailable to a small to mid-sized business. The team will often include a content writer, advertising professional, videographer, photographer, website designer and web developer who all work together to produce interesting new:

  • Articles and blog posts
  • Graphics and photographs
  • Videos
  • Website pages
  • Applications
  •  Contests and promotions

 

When you hire a professional Internet Marketing firm to help you implement a content marketing strategy you free up internal time and resources for other projects, saving time and money. The fresh content these professionals produce will help your business remain competitive, attract new visitors, and successfully contribute to the overall growth of your business.

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

What is Google Adwords Express?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012



seenBEST Web Design

The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Marketing strategy is hands down the most important area of focus for any business. Owning a business and working on one’s own terms is a common dream shared by many, but creating a constant funnel of potential customers and converting them to real customer is not an easy task. Failure to bring on new business is the single most common reason why most companies fail. If you want to be a business owner and enjoy all the freedoms of working for yourself, you must bring on sales and you must first master marketing strategy.

 

All that glitters is not gold! The intelligent use of your marketing budget is what separates success from failure, and online marketing one of the most effective ways to get noticed by a large pool of potential customers. The key component of every single marketing campaign, whether on or offline, is the company website because that’s where most customers go to evaluate a company and make the final decision to buy. Having the right website design and web marketing strategy in place is critical, so it’s important to hire the right website company to help.

 

An expert in web design and online marketing will know the importance of the topics listed in this article. If you are looking for a company that can help you build a great website and effective internet marketing strategy, find out how knowledgeable they are with the following concepts:

 

Twenty Important Website Marketing Concepts

 

Go down the list one by one, asking your next potential website design company to explain how they can help build your website with each term in mind. Listen carefully to their response. While some companies are good at knowing a lot about very little and will try to bluff their way through the conversation, the right company will have more than just a quick one-line response. They will be able to describe to you at length the pros and cons of each term and how that aspect of web marketing applies to your specific website marketing strategy and goals.

 

Why is all of this important? Remember, the marketing success of your business depends in large part on the web marketing qualities of your website. An expert web company can design a brilliant website without compromising search engine friendliness.

 

Creating a buzz around your brand, getting your website found by potential new customers, and encouraging people to buy is a tough task. It requires a detailed knowledge of web design best practices, market research, internet marketing, website optimization techniques, and social media promotion. Hiring the wrong company to handle your next website project could result in failure and wasted budget. Hiring the right web design and internet marketing company will result in a website that consumes less of your time and money overall, provides fantastic lead generation for your business, and avoids the need to do the entire website project over again because the first company missed the mark.

 

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