Tag Archives: platform

Thinking Ahead in Marketing Communications

When it comes to internet marketing we have tons of tools available to help us, but without clear goals supported by solid plans, even the best of tools won’t do us any good. We need to have  compelling  goals and solid processes to help use leverage the tools and resources we have. To be successful at fulfilling our targets, we need the ability to make and re-make well-formed plans  that will  bring us closer to realizing the big picture that our goals paint for us.

What are the helpful tools, skills,  and processes that an entrepreneur should work to make their own? Continue reading Thinking Ahead in Marketing Communications

Do You Have A Mobile Strategy?

Is your business dependent on the internet for its customers? Then maybe you should devote some serious thought and time towards creating a mobile strategy. Here’s why.

In a previous article, How To Develop A Mobile Mindset, we pointed out that the world-wide population of smartphone users is expected to exceed 2 billion by this year.  Smartphone users can do business and leisure from their phones — having your website optimized for mobile platforms lets you keep connected to your customers and your target market wherever they are.

The internet is not limited to personal computers — when you design your website to be mobile-friendly, you get to meet your customers where they are, whether they use tablets, phablets, or smartphones

Now, optimizing your website for mobile platforms is different from creating other initiatives for smartphones. The first deals with website design and content presentation, the second goes deeper into things like mobile apps, related security issues, and the like. The goals in this second area should relate to your business needs and goals as well. Continue reading Do You Have A Mobile Strategy?

How To Use Product Reviews As An Effective Sales Strategy

When it comes to making buying decisions, people want to make a good choice, and for that, they turn to the internet to get the the information they need. As a customer yourself, you want to make an informed decision, so you look around. You do the research.

If you want to keep things affordable, for instance, there are numerous tools you can use to track prices. For example: Lifehacker’s Five Best Price Tracking Tools article shows the top 5 price tracking tools as voted by their readers.

But the most effective way of getting all the information you need to decide is through looking at product reviews.  For that, simply look at Amazon’s rating system as the best example out there.

 

Amazon prides itself on keeping their product ratings and reviews honest because their reviews system is incredibly important to selling products –and as the world’s biggest e-commerce company, Amazon’s continued survival is all about the sales. Good reviews — and a cutting-edge review system– is good for their business.

Customer’s can’t touch or examine products displayed online, and so, keeping the reviews honest helps protect the reliability and trustworthiness of Amazon’s brand And customer-supplied proof of product quality helps support all  the customers and the marketplace. It’s social proof and information-sharing. Continue reading How To Use Product Reviews As An Effective Sales Strategy

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 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?

Expanding Your Advertising To Newsgroups

23 September 2013, by A. Cedilla

Agora is the Greek word for a ‘gathering place’ or ‘marketplace.’ If you want to meet people and listed to them discuss news, politics and other important things, you went to the agora. If you wanted a place to sell your wares, you went to the agora. Now, if you want to do all of these and check your email, you go online: the world wide web is also a world wide forum-slash-marketplace. The trick is to finding our where the members of your target demographic gather, and getting their attention in a good way.

So…have you ever participated in the discussions that happen in newsgroups?

Now, you probably have your favorite blogs and forums that you visit regularly, and maybe leaving comments and questions behind. And you’re also likely to be a member of several mailing lists, where you get relevant data delivered to your inbox. In these cases, you’re the visitor/customer. Blogs and forums and mailing lists are ubiquitous, but newsgroups? Aren’t those, well, you know, old-fashioned?

If you’re turning down down the opportunity to meet potential customers because you think the place they frequent is ‘old fashioned,’ better shake up your mindset. “If you build it, they will come,”* is not likely to get people into visiting your website and start patronizing your business. You have to go after the members of your target market and make it easier for them to find you. Newsgroups are just another way of online communication. Continue reading Expanding Your Advertising To Newsgroups

Marketing Your Brand With Ezines

28 July 2013, by A. Cedilla

Have you ever thought of making an e-zine to spread the word about your brand?

An e-zine is an electronic magazine, like a little pocket full of content that can quickly and easily be shared from person to person as much as forwarded emails are. Many paper/dead-tree magazines also have digital editions to take advantage of today’s tablet-rich consumer environment. For example, look at Time, Sports Illustrated, GQ and People magazine.

Publishing survives because of advertising and subscriptions. When publishers of popular magazines decided to venture into online digital versions of their original product line, they establish an online and offline presence that lets them take advantage of new (to them) technology.

Ebooks and ebook readers paved the way for ezines to gain mainstream acceptance, and for cross-pollination to occur, since there are ezines that also ventures into print edition. Either way, an online and offline version of content can only spread the influence of the magazine’s brand –as well as the advertiser’s products in it.

For a purely online business, an ezine can help spread the word about what your customers can do with your products farther, faster, and cheaper than traditional methods. With an ezine, you can promote your website with back links to your site, with direct links to your products for one click orders.

How do you lessen the production load?
Join up with others in your niche, people you can trust, and move towards a common goal. Forging agreements where people also pay you to let them advertise their products in your ezine can also lessen the costs of producing it, and provide additional income.

Promoting each others’ products, sharing relevant information, lessons, and tips also fosters community, and a robust support system, a vital aspect to ensuring good relationships with others and a healthy business online. Continue reading Marketing Your Brand With Ezines

Refining Your Presentation Skills For The Internet

“You know what they say about first impressions…” Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Well yes, practically everybody has an opinion about ‘What They Say’, but that old saw doesn’t always hold true for all occasions, nor for every circumstance, especially on the Internet.

For every visitor to your website whose initial excitement died down in a hurry, there are more who stay to browse. And the Internet being a huge place, you have a lot of chances to make a good impression, you just have to make sure your customers know where to find you. And that takes some presentation skills.

There’s a high probability that a majority of your customers stumble on your site through search results, or found it mentioned on a forum somewhere, or perhaps were referred by their friends. Base it on your own actions. How many times did you look up a general service or a product on the internet and click on the resulting links, only to find out for the first time about this specific product, or that particular service, from one particular company?

Good presentation gets attention. Effective presentation guides your customers into taking a course of action that is in your favor: it gets your customers to give you their email address, sign up, or buy a product.

It gets you ‘liked’ and followed.

Then you follow through on the unspoken deal by giving them what they expect: value.

Not for nothing do we use the words “highlight” and “showcase” in these circumstances. To get readers’ or customers’ attention, you need the chance to catch their eye. When you display your products in a very good light, it’s the customer who does the rest of the work, because at that point, it’s their decision now on whether to accept your offer or not. And when they like what you’re doing, they’re likely to keep tabs on it. Continue reading Refining Your Presentation Skills For The Internet

How Do You Use Location In An Online Business?

One basic law of intention is, if you want something, it’s not enough to want it, you actively have to go for it. You go after it. You work to make it happen. And when you do so in places which provide a hospitable environment for that thing to happen, that’s a law of location.

  • If you’re fishing, you go where the fish are. Even better, you go where there are lots of them, and you use the bait that appeals the most to their taste.
  • If you want good grades, you study in nice, quiet places where you can do your best concentrating. And you don’t bring distractions with you.
  • If you want to have a successful sideline, you grow your little starter venture in an environment where it has a good chance of getting its roots established.(This is the same for solid businesses too.)

If you can’t find the place, you make the place. Many solid enterprises began their lives as garage start-ups and back-yard businesses (or basement incubators and the odd attic-enterprises).

The people who made it work made the effort to arrange their environment towards success. They clean up their act, or clear out a space, they clean up their schedules, they clean out their heads…the prep-list for success is a long one.

But let’s get back to location.

Brick and mortar stores have to have a good location with a lot of people, or their chances of survival go down. For example, foot traffic. Not for nothing do many convenience stores take corners. People pass by at intersections. There’s always foot traffic at corners and busy streets. Plan it right, you can make a living off the stream of people passing by.

And think about all the shelves by the cashier at the grocery stores. Those places are perfect for impulse buys — batteries, candy bars, dental floss, toothbrushes….little things you can just grab and throw in the cart before paying for everything.

Those are physical methods to position merchandise for better sales.

There are also other ways to push merchandise, of course. Consider the ubiquitous offers and tag questions at fast food joints: “Do you want to up-size your drinks?” and the classic “Do you want fries with that?”

See it now? Physically, carefully making the best, most advantageous use of locations brings merchandise to the attention of shoppers, making it easier for them to buy, convenience-wise, without thinking too much.

Attention-wise, sellers and businesses make it easier for the customer to buy by bringing deals, add-ons and freebies to their attention in line with their products. Continue reading How Do You Use Location In An Online Business?

Building Your Own Website

Imagine this:

  • You meet an old college friend in the mall, one you know has a very active social network and loves to shop. You get to talking about old times, and before you go on your separate ways, you hand her your card and ask her to visit your website to see your on-line clothes shop.
  • You’re a free-lance photographer. Your gallery is on-line, as are your contact numbers and information.
  • Your family is scattered all over the globe and current airfare is atrocious. You have a family website (set to members-only access, can’t be too careful nowadays).

Your website can be your showcase, your business and advertising in one, a place to welcome family, customers or people with similar interests. All it needed was planning, some research on tools, and patience… voila, your very own website! Continue reading Building Your Own Website