Category Archives: Marketing

How To Get High-Value Sales Leads from Your Opt-In Page

When it comes to online marketing, one of the key pillars of a building successful online business is having a healthy and growing mailing list.

It’s simple, very basic business advice for today. You establish a website, you give good, valuable content, relevant to your target market, and you build an email list.

  • You offer freebies, people sign up to get those in exchange for their names and email addresses.
  • You get names and email addresses, you build a  mailing list of people who have given you their permission to contact them and who have shown they are interested in your content.
  • You build a pool of subscribers, a group of people who have pre-qualified themselves to be your customers simply by signing up, whether to get notified every time you update, or receive a free report with relevant, valuable, helpful information.

 

That’s part of the basic practices. The further on you grow into managing your business and connecting with your customers, the more you can develop an eye towards spotting the nuances and driving needs of your market. You want to succeed, so of course you study better ways of monetizing your website, leveraging your content, and converting your leads into actual sales.

You study your customers. You study your conversion rates. You read customer feedback, etc.  and you act on what you learn, adjusting your actions to make the best next choice.  With this consistent study, the real-time analysis,  and staying on top of things…you  sharpen your business acumen. And you develop your gut instincts.

The further along you get, you can realize that some tactics or strategies need to be revamped or discarded entirely,  to make room for ones that work better. It’s at this stage that you can truly start taking counterintuitive-seeming steps that actually help maximize your work and leverage your mailing list. Continue reading How To Get High-Value Sales Leads from Your Opt-In Page

How To Use Personalization In Marketing

If you’ve been keeping up with marketing industry trends, you ‘ve probably heard a lot about personalization. Given the competition you face and the rising customer expectations because of that, it’s becoming more difficult to  sell  your products to anonymous, generic market prospects.  The pressure is on to create marketing campaigns that can really connect with people. The difficulty lies in finding the best ways to do so without breaking the bank, or investing in personalization tools that are labor and time-intensive.

To get past  the initial confusion and concerns, we need to define what personalization is in this context. In marketing, personalization breaks down into two things:

  • It is identifying the relevant attributes of a person. We can refer to demographics, customer behavior and profile, and their potential towards the product. Will they embrace it? Is the particular market viable and lucrative enough to support the effort?
  • Then, it is customizing their online experience with your company or business by showing them the product, content, choices or opportunities most relevant to their needs and desires.

Personalization tasks you to study your target consumers: you get a sense of their personality, their needs,  and their wants, and you create an experience with them that presents products or experiences that  hits their emotional and rational points.  This is to show them that your products will fulfill their needs and help them answer their wants.

It’s like getting taking all the relevant details of your target consumer to create a ‘focus personality’ — someone to aim your messages to specifically, tailor ads and marketing strategies to, and create  focused  messages for. Instead of  crafting messages towards a generic consumer, you  address the personality of your market.

Whether you’re a business-to-business  marketer, or a business-to-consumer marketer, personalization helps you create a more meaningful interaction with your prospects when you can present the best content they need at the right time.  And that is only the beginning. Continue reading How To Use Personalization In Marketing

‘Staging’ Tips For A Welcoming Website

When people visit your websites, what do they see right up front?

If you’ve ever been a fan of those DIY and home-flipping shows, you probably know that ‘staging’ a house for sale prepares the house in the most appealing way possible. In the language of real estate, ‘staging’ is strategically dressing a house up with carefully placed furniture, cool accessories, and using attractive paint colors so that viewers would be drawn in and really be able to  imagine themselves living in the house. Staging sparks desire, and desirability pushes  prospective buyers into making an offer.

A business website is designed for many things. It is the public front of the business on the internet, and as such must be designed for ease of communication and commerce. As your business portal, your website sets the stage to highlight your product’s strengths and make them appealing to the greatest number of prospective buyers. What feelings do you intend your website to spark in your visitors? How do you do it so they would be most influenced to buy?

It is essential that  you use all available elements of your website to show how your products will make a difference for  the people comprising your target market. You need to ‘stage’ your website.
Continue reading ‘Staging’ Tips For A Welcoming Website

3 Pillars of Marketing Effectivity

Business depends on profits to survive and to thrive. Whether you sell products or services,  all the processes that keep money coming in must be given particular focus to keep the pipeline open and healthy.  Marketing sometimes gets shifted off to the side, but it is still an integral process.

Marketing is not just getting clicks or sign-ups. It has evolved to take a bigger presence at the decision-making table, and shouldn’t be relegated to a ‘follow-up activity after product development.’ You can’t afford to do that. Technology, competition and communication-wise,  there’s too much going on to leave things to chance. At the speed which commerce moves, important business processes like R and D,  marketing, and customer and public relations must be aligned and responsive, not reactive.

Marketing contributes to the bottom line too. It’s not just a money-pit.  To see that, you have to have the hard numbers, get the quantifiable data. You put money into marketing, you have know the returns you’re getting on that.

The proof  will lie in the solid results and analysis that comes from in-depth data-crunching and aggregation. Anything that gives you an edge over your competition, advances your position in your  market, and  helps you give your customers a better experience?  You better know about it.

 

What are the metrics that matter?
Don’t just glance at the surface metrics that garner surface attention. The number of ‘likes’, re-tweets, and followers can easily swell the ego, but ego means squat to the bottom line when you can’t measure the impact of these numbers on your revenue.   Get an objective assessment: You need to pin down where your marketing dollars are making the best contributions towards your profitability so you can make the best  decisions on where to spend more money, now and in the future. Continue reading 3 Pillars of Marketing Effectivity

5 Reasons You Can Trust Content Marketing To Stay

Maybe as an average internet surfer you can claim to have seen just about everything on the internet, and then some. You have Google, YouTube, Instructables and Wikipedia. You have your RSS feeds, your podcast subscriptions and your favorite live-stream sources for the latest news. Why fork out money when you can get all the information you need for free?

The scenario above is from the vantage point of a consumer. Yes, there is good, solid information freely available on the internet on just about any topic you can care to name, so why pay?

Flip the view and look at it from the point of view of the content creators who make it to the top of their niche. Content marketing isn’t always or only about money, despite the ‘marketing’ part. There are things other than money you can accrue with good content.

Here, put the spotlight back on you: Why do you patronize the sites you do, or follow the bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and creators that you do? What do you do with the content?

You like the content provided. You trust that the content creators know their stuff , and trust the stuff they put out there. You follow them, ‘like’ them, recommend them, rely on them.

What do they get in return?

  • Followers. People who like their work and support it, and them.
  • The knowledge that people in their market — the audience they’re creating their work for– trust them and rely on their content.
  • The knowledge that their work is appreciated and helps make a difference.
  • A reputation for interesting, good work. For being an authority in their niche.

The list goes on.

Now do a little flip again, and put yourself into the role of the content provider. What do you get in return for the result of your determination, imagination and hard work? Continue reading 5 Reasons You Can Trust Content Marketing To Stay

How To Plan Good Advertising Campaigns

Advertising falls under the broader umbrella of marketing. If marketing is getting people to buy your products, advertising is what you do to inform a targeted audience that your products exist, and that they provide the perfect answer to your audience’s specific needs.

When you’re drawing up the strategies you will use to advertise, you have to have specific goals in mind to help you focus your efforts, time and energy through out the advertising cycle. The most basic goals for on-line advertising campaigns are:

  • To build and grow brand awareness.
  • To get more visitors to your website.
  • To generate more sales of your products and get more leads.

With these goals in mind, the next logical step would be to pick what type of advertising to use, and where you will apply them. The Internet has dozens and dozens of styles of advertising, with some suited to particular styles or products, and others tailored to specific content types.

  • For example, visual content is the mainstay of websites that sell clothes, shoes and accessories. Nobody wants to buy clothes based solely on a description. Customers would want to see for themselves how exactly the items look like, and pictures help set expectations as well as sell the product. On websites like these, picture ads and banners predominate over links and text ads.
  • In other situations, like promoting though content articles, or advertising in an internet forum, for example, picture ads would be thought of as spam and can result in banning. Text ads and links can be more discreet.

Whatever advertising method you choose should align with your goals . Continue reading How To Plan Good Advertising Campaigns

How Video and YouTube Can Strengthen Business and Market Share

Let’s start with the facts:
YouTube is the third most visited site in the word, right after Google and Facebook. The site gets over a billion unique users visiting on a monthly basis, and their viewership base is helped along by the sheer number of videos they offer, with more coming in: a 100 hour’s worth every minute, according to them.

If you’re a US based business, Nielsen ratings identify YouTube as reaching more US adults (18-34) than any US cable network, and you can also reach a world-wide audience easily, what with 80% of the traffic coming from outside the country. When it comes to accessibility and global reach, YouTube “is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages.”

With millions of subscribers, it’s virtually impossible not to have a significant population of your target market included in the YouTube tribe. When you include videos in your marketing strategy, you’ll be adding an enormously powerful tool and YouTube’s brand to work in your corner. In conjunction with Google ad platforms (Google bought the company in 2006), there are thousands of channels making money for their content-creators. You won’t be limited to laptops and desktop users, since the videos are also available on mobile device platforms.

Another good thing is that you’ll have a form of copyright protection built in with YouTube’s Content ID system, which filters identical files uploaded by other members and checks them for matches.

What can you do with YouTube?
Inform, educate, respond. You can teach your customers how to get the most out of your products. Continue reading How Video and YouTube Can Strengthen Business and Market Share

Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy

The presence of the internet broke down all the old rules, regulations and expectations when it came to controlling information, and now it’s a free-for-all when in comes to publishing, ie. the “production and delivery of content.”

No gate-keeper can stand against the transmission speed of the internet, and the sheer numbers of people who want to share their messages on it.

Of course, on-line you can still find the big publishing houses like HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Random House. You got the film companies: Warner Bros., Paramount, and 20th Century Fox websites.

You’ve got production companies, music artists, and all sorts of creative minds sharing their labors and their work on-line.

You also have millions of smaller content-creators on blogs, channels, websites, and various other media-sharing hubs (for example, DeviantArt and ConceptArt.org).

What are the new rules to thriving in this world-wide network? How do you navigate the possibilities and get noticed in your field, market or niche?

If you want to be recognized at what you do, there are certain elements you should have.

  • You need content that gets attention and turns casual visitors and lurkers into customers, followers, fans and supporters.
  • You need to present your content in such as way that it helps you connect to your target audience, and keep you connected.

Yes, the most used words for this are optimization, leverage, and maximizing, and if they’ve put you off because they’ve been used so much, here’s a more relatable scenario: Continue reading Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy

How Do You Make Money From Social Media?

There are many ways to make money via using social media; you can check it for yourself with a little judicious research. After all, with the internet connecting everyone, on a personal level you already get to see how much time people spend on Facebook, or YouTube, or tweeting, and then witness other people managing to monetize those activities , for example, with revenue from ads and sponsors.

What is your main goal?
Okay, you want to make money using social media. That’s clear. Now, how do you want to go about doing it?

  • Do you want to make money in addition to your main income via a sideline, some moonlighting, or by setting up an additional stream of income?
  • Or do you want this venture using social media to make you money by itself ?This is a lot more involved.
  • Or do you want to venture out as an expansion of your online presence? This takes a good view of the long-term.

Your action plan will of course differ with your main goals, so you need to be very clear on what you want, and what you’ll have to do to make it happen.

  • Are you using social media to funnel visitors to your website? That’s income if they buy something, or click-through your affiliate page.
  • Are you using it to inform your customers or educate them? That’s informational and promotional, and falls under marketing too.
  • Are you using it to solicit feedback on a project ? That’s testing the waters to see if an idea can make money.

You can use social media marketing to fulfill a business goal (make money, promote a product, solidify brand awareness), gain exposure, or even change public perception. Maybe your brand is in trouble – social media marketing can you get real-time assessments and feedback from customers, faster than any formal focus group. That can help you address issues before they gain a life of their own. Continue reading How Do You Make Money From Social Media?

The 2 Little Things to Convert Visitors Into Customers

21 October 2013, by A. Cedilla

When you want to think about the most basic elements of a successful marketing campaign for your online business, what comes to mind? Market penetration? Ad segmentation? Profiling? Number of likes and re-tweets??

With all the marketing tools that technology affords us, sometimes it’s the simple things that get pushed off to the side. Yes, research is important, branding is vital, knowing our customers and niche is the lifeblood of a busiacness, but like thin threads running through all of them, there a couple of things that are necessary to transform visitors into customers.

First of all, prospective customers need to be assured of getting real quality, whether it’s in a product or a service. They will recognize quality when the products or service is effective in solving the problem for which they intend it to solve.

Of course, it can be quite difficult to prove that on first look, with no hands-on assurances, so what can you do to show them you’ve got the real deal and the perfect fit?

You provide proof that the products works, and the assurance that with your product, this time the customer can change his situation with your products.

Proof of effectiveness can be supplied by the following:

  • Visual records, when applicable – Whether in the form of videos of the product being used in real-life situations (and not just in sanitized, just-for-TV circumstances), or before-and-after photos, the closer you get to capturing the image of getting the target market’s problem captured and resolved with your product, the more the message resounds with them that you have a product that works on their bugaboo. Continue reading The 2 Little Things to Convert Visitors Into Customers