Have you struggled to achieve satisfactory results from past business marketing efforts? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs waste lots of valuable time struggling to find effective advertising solutions. Trying to grow a business and spending a small fortune in the process, only to get back very little in return, is a painful and unpleasant experience. The failure to bring on new clients via effective advertising will keep you from becoming successful. This inability to generate leads is common in new businesses, and forces most one-time business owners to abandon their dreams, back to the safety of a 9 to 5.
Don’t let past marketing efforts that failed to produce new clients lead to a fear of failure, or convince you to abandon advertising completely. It takes money to make money, all successful business owners and managers embrace this fact. New clients are a necessity for any business to grow and remain strong, without them your business will fail. So, the question is not whether you should market your business, the question is how can you best market your business? Yes it takes money to make money, but that money needs to work smart to make an impact. You need to find out how to allocate the money you do have into advertising methods that guarantee higher margins of profitability, and invest your advertising budget in new lead generation techniques that result in a measurable increase in new clients.
How could a profitable advertising campaign help your business grow? Visualize the success you want, and then focus your resources on the positive to make it happen. A positive outlook could provide the spark you need to evaluate and learn from negative advertising experiences, and create a successful marketing plan from past failures. Here’s how:
Go back and make note of every advertising method you have ever tried in the past
Now examine and make note of all of the current ways you are spending money to advertise your business
List each marketing type above in a spreadsheet
For each method in the list, write down the total amount of money spent on that advertising method to date
You should also calculate in the cost of time allocated by staff members to the total amount spent for each
Now add up how much projected revenue you’ve gained from each of those methods to date
Including recurring revenue from clients who found you via that one method but used your services multiple times
Your list may resemble the following, an example marketing analysis data provided by a Phoenix area IT firm:
How can you take a list like this one, built with data from your own business, and focus on the positive to turn around negative advertising adventures? To start, look at your list as a framework to learn from and build upon. The first step is to identify which advertising methods work and discard all others. It’s important to avoid wasting marketing budget if you want your business to grow. See the following graphic, we went through our sample list and crossed out all forms of marketing that resulted in wasted budget:
The above methods, crossed out in red, cost a total of $142,112 but only resulted in a total of $12,224 in revenues. That’s a total loss of $129,888. The first step towards success in marketing is eliminating those methods that fail to generate more revenue than they expend. If you are losing money, consider another medium. Your most important resource as a business owner is time, so don’t wait forever to take action. Reallocate your budget immediately by eliminating every advertising method you’re spending money on that isn’t working (those items in red above). Once you free up this money, you can either move those funds to advertising methods on your list that are proven to be profitable, or try new marketing avenues that you haven’t yet explored.
Focus on the Positive to Improve Your Advertising
To improve on advertising methods that are not as profitable as they could be, the solution is to focus on the positive. The return for methods on your list that are close to break-even can usually be improved by making a few adjustments. In our example above, the question was how can we improve our video ads to make them more profitable? For your list, evaluate your products and services from the your customer’s point of view. What service or product are you currently providing that existing clients really like? Think about all the positive qualities of your product, service, and offer, and hone in on what your customers are looking for. Next, change up the message in your lower performing advertising methods to better deliver on the needs and wants of your ideal client. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles for content marketing or producing videos for social media sites. Pour your enthusiasm and pack value into what you’re doing, the main idea here is to focus on the positive. In our case, for a recent video content marketing campaign, we re-thought the entire campaign to come up with ways we could produce higher quality videos that were more engaging, entertaining, and useful for our target clients.
Whatever you do, keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Remember, it takes money to make money. While you should definitely try new things, you should also keep a watchful eye on your investments and tend to them on a regular basis to maximize results. Doing so will allow you to eliminate obstacles and negative investments, focus in on those things that are working well, and create powerful new marketing messages to attract new customers.
What are the differences between responsive mobile websites and mobile apps? Why would you select one over the other for your business?
Two of the most effective tools in online marketing over the last few years have been the mobile website and the mobile app. However, most businesses that do not have the budget to have both must choose one or the other because of financial constraints. The question then becomes: Which outreach vehicle is the best way to facilitate an online marketing campaign?
The answer is not a set yes or no; rather, it must be determined by the kind of marketing that you need to do based on the audience that you have targeted and are trying to attract. Below are some of the ways that you can know to choose one over the other.
One – What kind of an audience is your target market?
Overall, mobile websites are much more relevant to the business community in the industries that have to do with manufacturing, retail, complex business operations, management, administration, etc. Any topic within an industry that deserves a more serious and thorough treatment should have a mobile website so that it can be talked about in a complete way.
On the other hand, mobile apps are more useful for younger demographics and businesses in industries such as entertainment, retail, apparel, etc. If your business is a personality driven business rather than a product driven business, you may do a lot better with a mobile app than you would with a mobile website.
Two – What is the purpose of the interaction with your audience?
Mobile websites and mobile apps interact with the audience in two completely different ways. Mobile websites, although they can be made quite interactive, are inherently much less interactive than mobile applications are. Although you can get a lot more information about your company and your service on a mobile website then you can on a mobile app, the experience is much more passive for the potential consumer.
Mobile apps are by nature more interactive. Many mobile apps attempt to solve a problem in real time for a potential customer, and thus require the complete attention of that customer in some sort of active display. This means that mobile apps are better for consumers who appreciate direct interactivity and have an active need for a problem-solving application in real time.
Three – What is the conversion action that you wish to take place?
For most businesses, the conversion action that they want will be a sale. However, this is not the case for all businesses. Conversion actions can be as varied as opting into an e-mail list all the way to signing up for a company newsletter. Whatever the conversion action is, you should identify it well before you try to decide between a mobile website and a mobile application.
Because of the more passive nature of the mobile website, conversion actions that are successful will more than likely be more passive as well. It is much more difficult to get a potential customer to spend money through a mobile website that is through a mobile app. Many mobile apps actually require monetary exchange as a part of their operation.
Basically, if you want your conversion action to be a sale, mobile apps is the way to go. If your conversion action is anything other than a sale, you might do better with a mobile website.
The construction of a professional new website for your business and brand can be a major undertaking. While you definitely want to focus on the website design itself, you should never neglect the “what comes next” question during the design meeting, the first and most critical phase of website development. Working under the assumption “build it and they will come” during a new website design makes it easy to overlook key SEO design elements that are so vital to driving traffic, generating leads and marketing your business on the internet.
In order for your business or brand to draw in new business via online marketing you will need strong placement on major search engines and tight integration with social media. That’s why your new website should be designed, developed, and launched by an internet marketing team with in-depth knowledge of how all of the small pieces work together to complete the larger picture. To get the best possible marketing results online, your website design plan should be fashioned around SEO friendly elements that impact search engine results and social media campaign performance.
Search Engine Friendly Design Process Considerations
Website optimized for SEO perform better in search engines both organically and via paid search. They also perform better than non-SEO websites when used in conjunction with a social media marketing campaign. The following is a list of SEO related concepts that should be planned prior to starting work on the design and development of a new website:
SEO Keyword Analysis
Social Media Integration Plan
HTML Coding Standards
CSS and Scripts Integration and Minimization Strategy
File and URL Naming
Proper Alternate Text and Image Code
Use of Proper Anchor Text
Website Navigation and UI
Websites optimized for SEO are easier to use and provide a user interface that is better organized to the needs of the visitor. The improved navigation and user interface provided by SEO logic results in a positive effect on a website’s bounce rate, helping convert a higher ratio of visitors into leads. Some important navigational aspects which are benefited by SEO insights are as follows:
Which internal web pages are linked to from the homepage
How to best incorporate breadcrumbs
Managing the best cross navigation between pages
The website sitemap
SEO Planning Saves Time and Money
Blending SEO into the website design process harmoniously ties together elements of design, functionality, and performance. Successful marketing websites are formed as the result of a strong relationship between search engine optimization and website design principles. From a cost and efficiency standpoint, a website development process realizes several important benefits when design and marketing pieces are strategically planned in advance:
The web designer has better direction that results in a design that appeals closely to the needs of the target customer and visitor. Costly design revisions are often unnecessary down the road due to proper initial SEO planning and targeting.
The web developer has a clearer understanding of the right framework, code, and features to integrate when programming the website. Costly revisions to the framework of the website are minimized when SEO is integrated from the start.
The SEO team can spend less time focusing on the on-page optimization of the website during future internet marketing campaigns. They can instead use the excellent tool that is your new SEO optimized website to immediately launch successful search engine marketing campaigns.
Proper SEO during the website design process not only saves time and money, it also has a direct impact on marketability. A website designed with sound SEO principles will;
generate more traffic from search engines,
perform better in paid search engine marketing campaigns,
provide more value to associated social media campaigns,
and provide a better user experience to new visitors, leading to increased conversions.
If you have plans to design a new website, or redesign and improve an existing website, it is always important to let SEO planning guide the web design process. The planning you do during early stages of the design process play an important role later and help determine future website success. Hiring an expert web design and internet marketing company that is knowledgeable of the important relationship between SEO and Web Design is likely to provide the best results.
Online advertising plays a key role in the success of any modern business. At the cutting edge, internet marketing experts employ viral marketing techniques through social media to create instant buzz for brands, establish an online identity, and secure customers. One of the most important marketing methods to further this cause is Video Marketing. However, not all video is created equal. While many video sharing websites exist and many have similar features, only one carries a tremendous user base that will contribute to increased visibility for your products and services.
YouTube, when used for the promotion of a business, provides the perfect platform for the interactive advertising via social media and the web. YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world. Every month, over 4 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube and it receives over 1 trillion page views per year. Internet users visit YouTube for a variety of reasons ranging from entertainment, information, news, music, or to simply pass the time. Those millions of YouTube users comprise a massive audience just waiting for your video content and eager to help share and promote your business. When used correctly, YouTube becomes an excellent resource to target potential customers.
Business owners advertise their businesses on YouTube by creating and branding unique channel where they can later create and upload promotional videos. These videos can be embedded from YouTube on website landing pages or blogs and distributed through social media properties. The type of videos that are often created to advertise a business depends on the needs of the business and the goals of the campaign. Typically, online marketers have a variety of different types of videos they use for promotion which include product demonstrations, customer testimonials, virtual tours, how to, and support videos.
However, creating an impressive video and uploading it to YouTube is not enough for success. In order to drive traffic, increase visibility, and see increased sales you need to attract viewers to your videos. Success in YouTube marketing depends upon the quality of video content, its interactivity, the call to action, and most importantly video optimization. An expert internet marketing firm with video production services can help produce and optimize videos for maximum views, and will:
Create keyword rich video channel and description text based on existing SEO campaigns
Include relevant and informative video content
Include the appropriate call to action in the video and in the description
Brand videos with appropriate product logos and slogans
Embed subscription options and overlays within the video
Share the videos on established social media accounts
Embed the video on all necessary websites
Create advertising campaigns for the video to increase visibility and interest
You can instantly promote your business and see results through the use of YouTube, a powerful platform for business video advertising. There are so many different ways to market products and services using YouTube that each type of business often requires a unique strategy. Contact us today if you’d like to get started right now with a custom YouTube marketing strategy and videos that have been scripted, produced, edited, and promoted for your business. In the future we will address unique marketing and promotion strategies for different types of industries via a series of additional blog articles under the title “YouTube Video Marketing”.
One of the reasons some companies have thrived while others have faltered over the past several years comes down to smart marketing decisions. Smart marketing involves looking at your overall marketing budget and increasing marketing methods that work while decreasing, changing, or eliminating the ones that don’t. One smart marketing method that provides a low cost and high return on investment is online marketing because internet marketing provides an excellent ROI. Why?
Because a well setup online marketing campaign works with amazing efficiency and
Because the cost of internet marketing is low compared to most other forms of paid marketing
Internet marketing, because it is so affordable and generates the highest number of new customers, is a necessity for any modern businesses today.
Money that your company allocates to advertise your brand, business, products or services online is a smart investment when done in a structurally planned way. However, many business owners are still not aware of the immense potential of online marketing and feel that advertising a business over the internet is not necessary and a waste of money. Occasionally we meet with a new client who uses the phrase “spend money” to describe search engine marketing or social media marketing. While that phrase may be correct when hiring the wrong internet marketing firm, when done correctly internet marketing is actually an investment in business growth.
Spending Vs. Investing
In any economy, marketing and advertising is mandatory for all kinds of businesses, small, medium or large. Even the strongest of businesses risks failure when the influx of new customers comes to an end. Expenses incurred in the generation of new customers should be considered an investment if those expenses deliver direct or indirect monetary returns. Only when they do not deliver any kind of direct or indirect monetary benefits should it be considered spending. Allocating budget to marketing aimed at increasing sales or revenues, generating awareness about your business, brand, or products, or influencing customer buying behaviors is often a wise investment for future success.
Internet Marketing is a Powerful Investment for Your Business
An investment in internet marketing can help you:
Create a positive online reputation – Sound online marketing and search engine optimization practices help create an emphatic online reputation. It helps in strengthening your brand presence online and impacts existing and potential customers in a way that results in direct and indirect fiscal benefits.
Capture the modern consumer – Online marketing is the fastest and most affordable way to reach thousands or millions of potential new customers. You can connect with people who have never heard about your business before and even target your ideal client with your ads, allowing you to focus your advertising message. This increases the visibility of your product or brand.
Generate direct sales leads – Search engine marketing activities like display advertising, PPC campaigns, etc., drive direct sales leads to your landing page where visitors can then place direct orders or ask for help. This provides a direct and immediate financial benefit to your business.
Beat the competition – The modern consumer is online and more connected than ever. By incorporating an effective use of online marketing, website optimization, and social media marketing, you can beat the competition. This allows you to be certain that thousands of potential customers see you first online, not your competition.
Increased visibility, brand awareness, direct leads, and beating your competition to new customers are the benefits you gain through an investment in internet marketing. While it’s important for your business to invest in online marketing, it is even more important that you choose the right internet marketing company to help. An internet marketing expert will greatly increase profits while reducing marketing cost. Hiring an online expert is a wise business investment that can make you more money.
Social media has become an important part of the regular marketing plan for most successful businesses. Few other advertising vehicles can match social media’s ability to reach people from every walk of life in practically any corner of the globe. If your business is in a competitive industry and plans to stick around awhile, the intelligent utilization of social media for marketing is mandatory. Even if you’re not using social media right now, the chances are good that your competitors are, and they’re reaching thousands of potential clients every day.
How to Integrate Social Media with Your Business
In these digital times people are increasingly connected to the internet ‘round the clock using their home computers, work computers, smart phones, tablets, and other internet enabled devices. They spend a majority of their online time using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. They absorb information and research via blogs, websites, and forums. They watch videos on YouTube. They search for jobs and networking professionally via LinkedIn.
People who spend much of their time using social media have developed a tendency to associate with the brands and businesses they see most often on their favorite social platforms. Developing a presence on those social media platforms for your business allows you to reach these internet power users where they spend most of their time.
However, social media integration doesn’t mean simply creating a Facebook page and making a post every once in a while. True social media integration is a strategic process that involves the intelligent promotion of your social media channels everywhere, including:
The use of social media badges and links on your website
Placing social media links and icons on all printed materials including business cards
Cross linking social media to blogs, and even other social media properties
Using social media in your PPC ad campaigns
Marketing through social media directly to targeted prospects
Specifically creating content for social media to help achieve your marketing goals
The most effective way to promote social media for a business is to talk about your social media presence everywhere. Not only on a website, but also business stationery, product brochures, flyers, business cards, television ads, etc.
Social media strategy and business integration also involves training to educate staff, teaching them how to use social media as part of their official job duties to build a positive corporate identity. Teaching them limitations, establishing guidelines of what employees should and should not do in social media properties while representing the company. And finally, a checklist of steps to take that will help amplify the effects of the official social media campaigns currently being sponsored by the company.
Including your social media profile details throughout all available channels helps to build a network of loyal customers who are connected to and engaged with you on a regular basis. The following are important benefits of social media integration for your business:
Expanding your business network – Social media connections (fans and followers) are often the first to see the latest news about your products or services and have an ability to easily share that information with their network of friends. This helps with indirect and rapid promotion of your business, brand, products, and services across a wide audience.
Enhanced credibility – Social networks can help enhance the credibility of a business. If someone notices that a friend or other trusted person in their network has mentioned your company in a positive light, they are more likely to trust and use your product or service.
Improved sales – Several surveys and statistics confirm that the proper use of social media helps to improve business sales by increasing brand visibility and awareness.
Making social media work for business is fairly complex, mostly due to the way people are currently using it and what they expect to see there. People are easily turned off by direct advertising on these types of networks, so getting social media wrong can actually do more harm than good. When seeking to maximize your marketing budget, it’s always best to hire a team of social media optimization experts. Whereas a self-proclaimed social media guru may be able to deliver short-lived success, an experienced internet marketing company will have the knowledge and resources to create effective strategies based on your budget and goals that will deliver consistent and meaningful results.
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The Conversion rate is a major benchmark that is used by website owners and internet marketing teams to measure the success of an online marketing campaign. The primary goal of an internet marketing expert is to maximize conversions because a high conversion rates equate to higher sales and greater profits.
Conversion Rates Described
In a nutshell, a conversion rate is the number of goal achievements divided by the number of unique visitors to a website. Most people get the wrong impression about conversion rates, assuming that a conversion rate is only associated with online orders and ecommerce sites. However, this is not true. Conversions are goal achievements and may include the filling out of online forms by visitors, user interactions on a landing page, inbound telephone calls, and other types of actions. For most businesses, the easiest way to determine a conversion rate is to find out how many users visited the website, and then calculate the percentage of them that were converted into a sale or a lead.
Increasing Conversion Rates
Increasing conversion rates can be tricky because of the huge number of factors and strategies involved. Conversion rate improvement is a scientific process and often requires a good deal of time and resources to perfect by a trained professional. Some common conversion improvement practices that apply to most online marketing campaigns are:
Comprehensive analysis of your potential market segment
Creating the best positioning statement for your business, brand, product or services
Developing a website and landing pages with the correct mix of design elements, user interactivity, and search engine friendliness
Adding original and relevant content on the website
Developing your social networks by gaining subscribers and fans
Writing the best ad copies for your Adwords or Facebook marketing campaigns
Constant monitoring visitors to your website via Analytics and other methods
Developing a method to track goal completions such as form submissions, phone calls, emails, product purchases, etc.
The optimization of conversion rates is an ongoing process and requires careful, regular maintenance. New competitors, seasonal fluctuations, shifts in consumer mood, and many other changing market conditions contribute to conversion rates that vary from month to month. The monitoring of online marketing campaign performance on a weekly and even daily basis allows internet marketing experts to help you squeeze the largest number of sales you can out of the smallest budget possible. Contact us today for more information and a free consultation to discuss the many ways seenBEST can help your business maximize profits.
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