Tag Archives: best practices

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

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

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

Investing In Customer Relationships

07 October 2013, by A. Cedilla

Permission plus access equals consent to email. That is permission marketing in a nutshell. The first step to starting a good customer relationships is getting consent. The other steps cover generosity, professionalism and providing value while building goodwill and trust.

Even family can fall by the wayside if you –and they– don’t keep in touch. Just think of Facebook:  while some people have mastered the art of keeping in touch via social media, it’s far too easy to rely on pictures and status updates and think you have the entire picture.

Face-time –or any constant, meaningful interaction, is necessary so you won’t be forgotten. Everyone has their own thing to do, and are busy doing it, and as a business owner it’s your responsibility to keep the flow of communication open and active. Whether it’s personal or professional, taking the effort to keep in touch matters. And business-wise, where does your most vital relationship reside? Between you and your customers.

Don’t be like the people who turn into slobs after they’ve got a commitment. Passive aggressive bait and switch and tactics like that will sink your business in the long run. Keep customers engaged and continue giving them great value. Surprise them. Go above and beyond once in a while to show you appreciate their presence in your life. That’s why people stay, they keep getting good value and they keep interested.

Kept these three words in mind: Invest, Customers, Relationship. Continue reading Investing In Customer Relationships

Web Traffic Analysis – A Basic Overview

31 July 2013, by A. Cedilla

Here’s the thing: your website provides your business’s face to the online community, i.e everybody who clicks onto your site on purpose or by mistake.

For the ones who clicked on purpose, your web site is also the gateway to knowing about your products, services and business. They were looking for something in particular, and found your site, which is a good thing.

  • Even better, the more visitors you get, the higher the traffic.
  • Best of all, the more traffic, the more data you have to squeeze for information about your visitors, and what you can do to clinch the sale and make a profit.

Think of how much you can glean from people’s behavior online. On the surface, they look around, poke into a few corners, maybe download a free report (the equivalent of getting flyers). Some may sign up for a newsletter, others browse, and still other buy something and leave. To use the information they leave behind, you need to ask good questions, you need a record of their activities, and you need a tool to analyze those records.

  • Where do they look first, where do they linger and for how long at those pages?
  • What did they do while they were there and what did they look at in particular?

 

What can you extrapolate from the web log files?
Traffic analysis software can help in profiling and tailoring targeted responses to your visitors, and is a valuable tool in maximizing and optimization your website for sales, email capture and lead generation

Not only does tech let you establish an online presence, but it can help you find out more about the people drawn in by that presence. Getting more data means you can refine your products and practices for continuous improvement, and have the eyes to spot incoming trends that will affect your business, adjusting to meet and roll with the tides. Continue reading Web Traffic Analysis – A Basic Overview

How Do You Think Marketing Will Change?

31 May 2013, by A. Cedilla

Marketing:
“[…] the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.’’ (1)

In simpler terms, marketing is identifying who your buyers will be and making a connection to them, and it also covers all the actions you carry out to get to that place.

Advertising is to get your product known. Marketing is selling it to your customers.

Advertising is trying different things to let your product presence be acknowledged, and often through different campaigns. Marketing is building strong relationships through your brand with your market, advertising is getting your market aware of your brand.

Marketing Research:
“[…] is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.(2)

Businesses, at their core, survive because they make money. Money to grown with, money to live on, money to keep going.
Businesses grow out of the seed of an idea.
Then the Internet happened.
People started thinking of old things applied new ways.

What if we can sell stuff online, like, an online mall or something ?
What if we make a place online to upload and show videos?
What if we set it up so people can buy, sell and bid online?
Continue reading How Do You Think Marketing Will Change?

10 Timeless Rules For Business Survival

17 May 2013, by A. Cedilla

 1. Manage your costs.
Financial management skills are necessary to a business’s continued operation and survival. You burn through capital without anything to show for it, you might as well have set your money on fire. A business can’t survive without money — that defeats its purpose.

  • First you have to have money to start a business in the first place : a bankroll, start up funds, inventory purchasing, tools and equipment, or web-hosting costs, site design, advertising, etc.
  • Then to keep it running (operational, labor and overhead costs) until it starts making money, and until it reaches the point of sustainability
  • Then there are things to consider like market research costs like trend analysis and forecasting, and the work needed to gather and act on customer feedback in order to be competitive.

Luxury brands can keep their margins high because their exclusivity and craftsmanship practically guarantee that the people who can afford their products are those in their target market. Other brands make their money through sheer volume (think Forever 21). And that’s just for physical goods. Digital goods are another kettle of fish entirely…with the speed of their transmission, generating buzz, viral marketing, and social media marketing are just the tip of the iceberg. And doing all that takes time and money.

Market savvy in relation to sourcing, costing and pricing (material goods and their production), value and pricing again (e-commerce) is a very real edge in business. You need to find the sweet spot to profit, and to produce the things your market buys from you..

2. Constantly check yourself.
Without intervention and direction people plateau, and so do businesses. Can you imagine peaking in high school? Or hearing that you made it on the list of a “Where Are They Now?” gossip session? Time passes for everything, and in order to be relevant today and tomorrow, you must be able to still connect to the times and with the times.

One way is to watch the market you occupy and adapt before you’re flattened by change. Kodak, once the world leader in photography and film equipment, wasn’t able to adjust to the digital revolution, and is still struggling to get to its feet in the aftermath. For a business to last, it must find ways to stay relevant to the times, and that means numerous adjustments to stay on course.

For instance, who would have thought you could still make a living making seals and signet rings? You’d imagine a tiny, crotchety old guy crafting shiny silver thingies in a small store somewhere, but no, these craftsmen advertise on the internet and are quite active in their respective fields.

Continue reading 10 Timeless Rules For Business Survival

Knocking On Wood: What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

When you do a cost-benefits analysis, it doesn’t take that much more effort to think up worst-case scenarios, right? You’re planning for success, you might as well plan for failure — in the sense that you try your best to keep it from happening, that is. “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” after all.

It’s A Mind Game
When you think of the worst that can happen, you also have to remember that the worst-case scenarios are all in your head. It’s your knowledge and your imagination that comes up with all these awful, oh-hell-no mini-commercials playing in your mental movie-theater-for-one.

  • Your experience – This is the stuff that: you know, you have done, you have learned and you have absorbed.
  • Your inexperience – This is the stuff you know you don’t know, etc.
  • Your ignorance – This is the stuff you don’t know you don’t know but you can find out. Whether you find it out the hard way or the easy way, it depends on you.

A quick solution is to exploit the first, address the second and counter the third with your ability and willingness to ask for help.

 

Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto , and John Wayne’s solitary heroism is the stuff of movie reality, which isn’t real life at all. To go even deeper,the hidden fear of failure or fear of success acts as fuel for even darker imaginings, which can then paralyze you into inaction. What follows are a few ways to deal with that. Continue reading Knocking On Wood: What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

Fast, Good, Cheap: On Making Your Cost-Benefit Analysis

Fast, Good, Cheap. You’ve heard of the entrepreneurial trifecta, right? There are also other, prettier variations of this sign, like the ones here (for web developers) and here (for freelancers). Wikipedia’s explanation of the project triangle also has a colorful diagram (but not as funny). When you make plans and draw up time-line for your projects, what factors do you consider in your risk mathematics?

  • When the emphasis is on COST, the aim may be to max it out where you feel that you have to get more than what you’re paying for, if you get what I’m saying. A bargain. A steal, as it were. If you’re serious about success and building a network, for example, and want to establish relationships you intend to be long-term, starting with a steal may not be the best thing.
  • If the emphasis in on SPEED, how is your time-line? Congested? Open? Tangled?
  • With an emphasis on QUALITY, you enter into craftsmanship, painstaking attention to detail, precision engineering, no fudging, no cutting corners…you want the expected results.

What are you looking at, priority-wise? You want to save money, so you draw up a budget. You want to get the most out of the money you have earmarked and spend on quality. You want to get it done on time. What you want to happen decides what needs to be done. And how it’s done is affected by your priorities. Continue reading Fast, Good, Cheap: On Making Your Cost-Benefit Analysis

Measuring Your Website’s Success

When you’re truly intent on making your site successful, you need to define your terms for success. There’s nothing crazier than running after something when you’re not sure you want it — but since it’s there anyway, why the heck not?– and getting it, then not knowing what you want it for.

What can be crazier is getting it and not knowing what you want to do with it, or where you want to go with it. Action for action’s sake gets you nowhere. You want to be successful, fine. What is success to you?

 

To flesh out the big picture, first we need the broad strokes to outline the issues.

“Why do you have a website?”
The answer to this determines the intent. A website is a place on the internet, one that establishes your presence on the world-wide web. There are no geographical boundaries, and you are only limited by the language you use. In any case, English being a global medium, even that is a weak barrier to communication.

So, presence. Presence means communication. Presence says, “I AM HERE.” Thus, a burning second question:

“Now that you’re here, what do you have to say?”

To communicate means passing a message on. What’s your message? You want to talk, what do you mostly talk about? What drives you to plunk down on a spot by the information highway and hold up a placard saying, “Hey, will talk for free!”? Continue reading Measuring Your Website’s Success