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Posts Tagged ‘value’

Business Marketing Tip: Focus on the Positive

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Focus on the PositiveHave 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:

 

Marketing Methods Analysis

 

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.

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

Google+ for brands offers seamless integration across the web

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Google+

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


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Are Your Marketing Dollars Working for You or Against You?

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Be Where Your Audience Is Looking

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Measuring Internet Marketing Results


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


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Strategy, More than Just an Eight Letter Word

Monday, September 20th, 2010

What a mess we’re in.

The online marketing industry right now is saturated with poorly trained freelancers, scam artists, and under-skilled web design companies that know little, promise much, and eventually wind up under-performing. When a business owner responds to a piece of spam that promises him SEO that will deliver 3,000 new leads per day for $20 a month, buys it, and gets nothing in return it really hurts the perception he has towards this industry. In his mind, SEO doesn’t work, and it’s very difficult from that moment forward to change his opinion. So many people have been burned this way and they are hesitant to participate again, even after they come in contact with a firm that really can deliver proven online marketing results.

Adding to the problem is the fact that online marketing methods have become confusing and difficult to follow for many business owners. SEM, SEO, PPC, Keywords, Blog, Social Media, PR, Linking, Meta Tags. Most people just scratch their heads and turn away. They don’t have time to figure this out, and most people don’t purchase services they can’t fully understand. Why should they? It’s hard to see real value in any service if you don’t first understand how it works.

Marketing StrategyAdding even FURTHER to the problem is the basic fact that strategy is more than just an eight letter word. Sure, you could go out and hire a self-proclaimed “Social Media Guru”, but what good is that going to do you when those efforts are not intelligently linked to your overall marketing efforts? Very little unfortunately and therein lays the dilemma. Business owners who have been burned in the past, do not understand the industry, but are willing to give it another try often end up trying some type of piecemeal approach where they hire several different people or companies. They may have a web design person, a social media person, an SEO person, some company in another state handling search engine marketing. Usually most of these organizations never sit down or meet with the business owner. This is a recipe for failure. These strangers, each handling some different aspect of your business presence, do not care whether or not your business generates new leads. They will be more than happy to take your money, however, and as a result you will end up with poor results and the attitude once again that online marketing does not work for you. Wash, rinse, repeat. The cycle continues.

If you own a business and want to become wildly successful you absolutely must establish a successful online marketing strategy. That strategy cannot consist of a piecemeal approach. The game has become very complex and, much like football, it is going to take a trained, well-coordinated team effort to win. Imagine if the owner of the Arizona Cardinals walked outside, pulled 11 complete strangers together that have never met before into the stadium, and had them play a quick pickup game against his team without any prior practice. What would happen? Those poor guys would get crushed. In similar fashion, your business will get crushed by your competition if you don’t hire a complete team that knows the game and has a solid game plan.

seenBEST Web Design knows the detailed methods of online marketing, how to make them work for you, and more importantly how critical it is for all of them to work together in order to bring success to your business. Our team will sit down with you, determine exactly what your business goals are, and then explain to you point by point the online marketing methods that are most cost effective for you to achieve results. We will not suggest driving traffic to your website, for example, without first making sure that your website is adequately designed to convert those visitors into leads. We will not suggest that you build a killer new website without first giving you pointers on ways to design it that will make it easier to market it once it’s complete.

We do these things at no additional cost, first because we understand the industry and we can, and second because the success of our clients is very important to us. SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email Marketing, Blogging, and Web Design are all interlinked with each other. You need to think outside of the box to target, plan for, and achieve business success. The way to do this is through an expert team that will communicate with you, educate you, and work together with your company to bring in real profits! Break the cycle, pull your online marketing team together, and let’s start generating new sales.



seenBEST Web Design

Notice something different? That’s Google Instant.

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Google announced today major changes to the user interface of the popular Google search engine. For over a month, beta testers have been testing a new instant results search feature that displays search results instantly on the page as they are typed into the search box. Rather than displaying a list of terms, the entire page itself changes to reveal all results that match your term the moment a new key is pressed.

Individual reviews of this new feature have been mixed. Some found value in the new feature, others found it annoying, some didn’t care either way.

It will be interesting to watch, over time, the progression this feature will have on search as we know it. Will users continue to formulate search phrases in their minds, typing them into the search box to find what they’re after before looking at the results? Or will they simply enter a single word for a term, then let the search itself guide them to the complete phrase? Whatever the outcome, this change will have some impact on online marketing and SEO, especially page impressions. Expect the number of impressions to skyrocket for high ranking pages of basic terms, but click through rates to plummet as searches plow right past those initial pages for more specific searches.

The technology behind this feature is an absolute beast. The volume of data processed through the previous method of search was astounding! Now Google has transformed each key press into a ‘search’ button click. The ability of their systems to process this type of intense data processing demonstrates two things: One, Google likes to show off, and two, they can because they are miles ahead of the competition.


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Web design tips for women focused product and services websites

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Being a woman myself, I know the importance of making your business website ‘just right’ when it comes time to market women only services.  Imagine that you own a fashion products business with women are your prime customers. What types of subtle and not so subtle design elements should be included to appeal to your target customer? This consideration must begin at the very early stages of design, and carry itself throughout the entire project in order to reach maximum conversion rates.

Some key elements will matter more to a site targeted at women and must be kept in mind: Attractiveness, content friendly, understandable, eye catching, and customer focused. Women are not a fan of boring websites, and the quickest way to turn them off is to produce a bland or boring look. Web pages that represent social aspects, including pictures of other women using and enjoying your products, will add a lot of value to your project.

My experience thus far with website design and online marketing has taught me of one sure-fire way to impress female customers: video marketing. The use of compelling and relevant videos on your website will do wonders for building word of mouth marketing amongst your clientele. Video marketing and media linking is just another tool in the SEO toolbox, with value that goes far beyond page rank. Marketing to women using video is especially important because women like to see body language and expressions. That level of business to client interaction is impossible when using static images alone.

Decision making processes with women are, of course, very different from men. Color schemes, styles, images and videos are processed differently in the female mind. It is important to hire a web design firm that understands these subtle differences when developing websites for gender specific products. Everything from the inclusion of emotional elements to Social Networking geared towards relationship forming can be on the table and open for discussion. The modern website has become a wonderful source for word of mouth opportunities. Provide a home for women on your website and you will find that they’ve started to recommend your website to other women, all on their own.

For intelligent websites that marketing products and services effectively, based on the needs of your business, visit seenBEST Web Design. We are your best solution when you want the best website and you need it to be seen.



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