Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

postheadericon Tweeting Without Meaning

I read an interesting article today regarding the importance of social media in the new world of search engine optimization and website rankings.  It has been by and large confirmed that social media is quickly becoming a necessity for all companies if you want to stay at the “top of the charts,” so to speak.  So now, you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, you probably have your own blog with WordPress or Blogger, maybe you are trying out the new Google Plus, and you have a company LinkedIn page.

What next?

You need something to write about.  Having these accounts without having any content is like fishing without a fishing pole.  You went to the lake and expected the fish to jump out of the water and into your hands, but that isn’t the way it works.  You need a pole, some bait, and you need to be in the right time and the right place.  Sometimes that means waiting with your line in the water for a long time, but if you take it out, you will never catch anything.

However, there is a difference between posting something meaningful and something pointless.  If you are only using your Facebook account to say “Check out our new Product!”, you probably won’t get many followers.  The reason is that what you are saying is boring.  I don’t mean that as an offense, but rather to remind you of what Facebook was created for.  It is for sharing stories and interesting tidbits.  It is for making you laugh, cry, or angry because of what someone else said.  It is supposed to spark emotions in the reader, and that just isn’t going to happen with words like “Check out our new Product!”

Where is the laughter?  Where are the tears?

You have to approach social media marketing the way that we have been approaching traditional marketing for the last century.  Make it interesting.  Make it memorable.  People will remember it better and come back to you more often.  Lure them in with stories of other customers.  Show them interesting pictures or funny videos of someone who has used your product or service.  Once you have baited them, reel them in.  And once you have caught them, turn their experience into the stories you use to lure in the next customers, thus creating and completing the social media marketing cycle.

This is how you use social media and be meaningful about what you post, while driving customers to you.  Hey, if you are still reading, then it obviously works, doesn’t it?

postheadericon BBB Rankings

We’ve all seen the logo of the Better Business Bureau on some of our favorite sites.  They are the ones who will rate a compnay based on how well their service is and how they treat their customers.  Suffice it to say that some of the best companies we know are ranked highly by the BBB, and it shows on their website.

Some of ActiveNation’s clients, including Virginia Green Lawn Care and Party Perfect, have been ranked with an A+ ranking and are therefore entitled and encouraged to place the self-updating logo from the BBB on their website.  This logo serves a multi-faceted purpose in terms of website marketing, and it is important to look at the various values of using it.

From a purely customer-friendly point of view, the BBB is a well known and respected organization and their ranking system is trusted by many.  Just seeing that a business has an A+ ranking is a good enough reason for many potential clients to give that company a call.

However, it also serves an SEO purpose, in that by listing your website with the BBB creates an inward link to your website while the logo on your webpage will actually link to your company’s profile on the BBB’s own website.  That means that when someone goes through the BBB, they find you.  When they go through a search engine, they find you.  When they click the BBB link on your webpage, they find you again.

There are a variety of organizations that are similar to the BBB, but this goes to show the benefits of being a member of any one of them.

postheadericon Inspire Your Own Creativity

Don’t you hate it when you encounter spontaneous inspiration by something or someone but you forget the idea later or it’s not as innovative as it was initially? In the world of internet marketing it’s pretty easy to run into writer’s block or develop a brain freeze when trying to focus. Whether you’re trying to conjure up creative marketing campaign strategies or trying to clear your mind so you can tackle your reporting routine, there are plenty of ways to ignite that creative spark and effective thought process. Well I’ve outlined 10 essential and effective tips that have helped inspire my own creativity and have also helped me keep track of  my creative efforts.

1.       Record your ideas. It’s always beneficial to have a pen and paper on hand for those light bulb moments. Or even better, browse your mobile device for notepad like apps to record and organize your thoughts.

2.       If you dream it, you can conceive it. Daydream, doodle, ask questions, etc. All of these techniques will get your creative thought process going and will eventually manifest into reality.

3.       Do not focus on the competition…excessively. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing just enough so that you stay in the loop on what is and isn’t effective. But don’t obsess over their approach otherwise you can’t stick to your own identity.

4.       Brainstorm ideas with people you trust with your ideas and who know you well enough to give you genuine input.

5.       Eat Healthy. Spinach, milk, salmon, whole grain pasta, tofu and sunflower seeds are all proven to make you feel happier and more creative.

6.       Sleep on it. Sleep is a great aid in the thought process. Taking a power nap can refuel your brain and generate more room for your creative objectives.

7.       Listen to music. I’ve found that classical and jazz music soothes my brain and sparks creative energy.

8.       Exercise. This is a great way to clear your mind so that ideas will have room to pour in and out…of course once you get your mind off the pain in your body.

9.       Walk away. When you run into writer’s block or hit a creative wall, sometimes you should just stop, walk away, and then come back to what you’re doing. Sometimes when you’re focusing so much for such a long period of time, your brain can hit a roadblock. Give it a break and it will come back to you.

10.   Love what you do.  Have a passion for what you do and trust yourself. Confidence is a significant trait to have when you’re really trying to put things in full gear.

postheadericon Interesting Online Marketing Trend Tidbits

I stumbled across some pretty intriguing information regarding anything and everything an online marketer would want to identify their typical consumer’s profile  and when targeting their ideal audience. Check out some of the interesting tidbits I collected while navigating through different online infographics. Hopefully this will help some of you on your journey to successful internet marketing and even more specifically social media marketing!


How Global Users Spend Their Time Online

  • Percentage of User’s Time Spent Online: 22% Social Media; 42% Viewing Content; 36% e-mail, e-commerce and other.
  • The average American spends up to 60 hours a month online which equates to 30 days a year.

via Visual Economics

via Marketing Pilgrim


  • 61% of adult internet users view videos online and 61% view online videos on a video sharing site.
  • The most common online video viewing and sharing age group is 18-29 at 78%, 30-49 age groups at 66% and 45% of 50+ ages watch videos online.
  • Men appear to watch more online videos than women. In fact 65% of men watch online videos while only 57% of women do.
  • The most popular age demographic in the blogosphere is the 35-44 age group with 28% and following closely behind at 25% are bloggers aged 25-34.
  • When it comes to what age group utilizes the internet the most, ages  18-29 spend more time online at 93%!

What do you think about some of these statistics?

postheadericon Internet Marketing Shouldn’t Be Boring, Right?

When you think of internet marketing or any type of marketing you automatically think of the words tedious and boring, right? Well who says marketing should be boring? I mean the tedious aspect is pretty inevitable but that doesn’t mean it should be so blah. In fact I think the internet is what has made marketing, in general, fun especially in this new era of the digital world that is being lead by the success of social media and networking. Let’s not forget the realization that there are multiple companies out there selling the same products and are after the same objectives. You want consumers to be able to differentiate your brand from your competitors because honestly competition has become steeper thanks to the budget friendly and convenient opportunities provided by viral marketing. So how can we make internet marketing hip with these viral tools we’ve been introduced to in this generation? Well there are a few tweaks to your marketing campaign that can make it a little more appetizing to the eyes of your consumers and may spark an interest in your business rather than your competitors’.

The top reasons users venture the World Wide Web is to research, shop, network, sell products, and of course entertainment.  We all know that social media is the biggest player in the marketing game but it’s not as effective if you don’t utilize it to your benefit and the right way. When I say the right way I mean in a way that will keep your fans, potential consumers and loyal customers intrigued. We always stress quality content anytime social media is mentioned but it is pretty essential if you expect a successful online campaign.

Fun and exciting updates that will benefit your consumers and entertain them is key. After all anyone can broadcast information about their products, including your competition, so that’s why it’s significant to do it in a way that will not only provide your fans with information but will also connect to them and will also relate to them on even a personal level. By producing creative brand advertisements that pertain a message regarding something serious or entertaining that your customers can relate to is a sure win. Universal issues like economic status and natural disasters that effect masses of people show that you aren’t just trying to sell them something but that you are genuine about your message. Incorporating humor or attractive visuals are what also make ads fun and entertaining. By incorporating pictures, graphs, diagrams and videos, you’ll grab the attention of your visual learners and give them something to look forward to, other than words on a page. This works especially when it comes to blogging considering you’re not limited to a certain amount of characters like Facebook and Twitter.

Another way to make content building creative and fun is with Voice Recognition Software. Sometimes you may find yourself with writers block and staring at your blank document without an idea as to how you will get the right words on the page. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about something than it is to write it. With Voice Recognition Software you can record your ideas by simply talking about them, it’s a conversational tone which can be more effective when it comes to connecting with your audience. Not to mention it’s a much faster way to spew out content for your post. An hour or two of blog posting can be condensed down to 20 minutes just like that!

You can also try video blogging, also known as vlogging. This gives your viewers a sense of security when they can put a face to the brand; it also reaches them on a personal level and can be fun for whoever is doing the vlogging since you’re connecting with your audience. Who doesn’t like to not just talk but show their excitement about new products and specials while convincing users to come to trust your brand over the others.  Personally, when a sales rep or anyone who is trying to sell me something is exemplifies their enthusiasm about the product through their voice and expressions it becomes contagious and more than likely will generate a sales lead.

YouTube is a prime example of vlogging and how impactful it can become. You can post videos to your company blogs and of course generate interaction from your fans. Having a great voice and knowing how to present information on video blogs is also something to keep in mind, because again you want to keep your visitors interested in your business just like with any other platform so you will need someone who is passionate and isn’t shy in order to get the message across creatively and adequately.

Providing an outlet for customer feedback is a great way to interact with your customers and make it fun for both parties.  When consumers feel like they have a voice on a certain platform that is relevant to their lifestyle they will definitely use it.  This will also give your audience something to look forward to and can be fulfilling for you, especially if you’re actually interacting with them through forums and discussion boards. Mobile marketing is becoming more and more popular as carriers are making it easier to conduct it. Before you know it you will be able to see ads throughout various features and apps on mobile devices, which is pretty cool. You will grab the attention of the recipient no matter where they are and it’s convenient for them to take advantage of your offer whether they initially needed it or if it’s because you reminded them [wink].  It’s like advertising on the go. This is probably more fun for the advertisers and more convenient for the consumers if anything.

Internet marketing and marketing overall doesn’t have to be such a “snore-fest” as long as you are taking the right approach to these new digital tools that we’ve been seeing everywhere. If there’s only one thing you remember, it’s creative content building. You can never go wrong by producing quality content that is both entertaining and informative. Research your platform options and what is relevant to what your brand stands for and that’s a good recipe for a successful internet marketing campaign.

postheadericon How’s Your Image?

Let’s face it, you’re probably not the only company out there selling the same product or service and it can get pretty confusing for consumers to know which brand to run with, which is why it’s important to make the decision for them by maintaining a positive social image. Naturally when consumers are searching for a product, they want to go to the best company for the best in quality. Consumers look at which brand is the best based on a number of things but above all they will want to go to a familiar name that they feel they can trust. So the question is: Does your brand have a positive online reputation?

You may want to know why it is so important to have a positive online presence in the first place or even an online presence at all. Well, the internet is where it’s at right now, for everything. More and more businesses are jumping on the internet marketing bandwagon which creates heavier competition. You want to make sure your company is what’s in and up to date on the newest marketing technologies for your benefit. When you stamp your brand in the online marketing world you can expect higher performance, generate an increase in sales leads and even establish higher rankings within the search engines. You want to be accessible to your target consumers in any way possible so that they don’t miss out. Realistically, while traditional marketing is still effective, internet marketing has taken the lead role considering its cost friendly, convenient for both companies and consumers to interact and it’s not as time consuming when it comes to reaching a mass group. All you have to do is click a button and you can send out emails, share corporate updates for your customers, and send out special offers without the hassle of printing and delivering.

The foundation or the premise of attaining a positive online social image would be having a quality website. You should look at your corporate website as a formal introduction where your visitors can learn as much as possible about what your company offers and you want to make sure they visit again, refer you, and/or transition from a visitor to a sales lead.  Content management, performance, and appearance are important factors when a user visits a site. You should make sure your site’s appearance is clean and not cluttered with too many graphics which can cause slow loading time. Watch your content to ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors. Make sure your site’s content is creative and informative at the same time. We know reading can be boring for some so it’s definitely a plus to engage your audience with content that they can relate to and that is entertaining.

The same concept goes with social media content. Is your company socially responsible? Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, and others alike are great outlets to provide entertaining and effective information to mass groups and target audiences. Joining sites like this alone already gain you cool points considering social networking sites are all the rave and has formally introduced us to this new generation of marketing. vlogsPlatforms like these allow a company to be as accessible as necessary to inquiring patrons and provide a home for loyal customers to visit whenever they need your services again. Content management again is significant so it’s wise to provide creativity and influence with your words. Even with video blogs, or vlogs, it’s important to have an outgoing personality and the proper knowledge to get the message across to viewers. When you incorporate social media platforms onto your website like vlogs, Facebook and Twitter plugins as well as links to your company blog, visitors will feel like a kid in a candy store almost.

By participating in forums and discussions with your consumers this will leave a positive influence. When people know that they can interact with staff members, support, or even company heads they will put more trust into your brand considering they feel like they have a voice with your business and it’s valued. I mean after all when you’re a consumer you want to feel like you’re in the best hands with whatever company you choose, right? What better way to feel secure than knowing that you can always ask a question and get a response from a representative or post a review on a company’s site.

All in all you want consumers to come to your company before going to your competition for their needs and you want to build a trusting relationship with them so that they will come back again and share their positive experience with others. By maintaining a positive online presence you can expect a boost in your brand’s overall reputation while acquiring an increase in sales and business performance. Considering all of the benefits of online marketing, how can you not take advantage of the resources? You are in control of what you share so make sure it’s worthwhile, efficacious, and entertaining. Otherwise why do it if you won’t do it right? Another plus is that you can always hire an internet marketing company to handle it for you to make sure what you share virally will only guarantee a positive image.  So I guess the real question at this point is: Why not?

postheadericon Target and Maintain Your Website Audience

Ever so often companies who market their brands digitally are confused as to why certain aspects of optimization and/or social media marketing may not work for them. There are common mistakes that are made not only when it comes to identifying your target audience but also retaining any leads and consumers.  A lot of times this feeling of failure to maintain leads and potential patrons result from simply not knowing which market of consumers to target and not knowing how to market to maintain them. As it’s been said before, it’s great to receive new leads but maintaining the consumers you have and making sure they’re building a relationship with your brand is just as important.

One of the main reasons for missing the target audience mark is that the target hasn’t been quite identified specifically. Too many times businesses may get a little overzealous and think that marketing to any and everyone to cover all bases is the way to go, but not so much. You want quality leads that are relevant to what your company has to offer and you want consumers who will actually benefit from your service. The ideal scenario is to generate great sales leads that will provide longevity and loyal consumers as opposed to one time deals. You want to build relationships between your brand and patrons so that they won’t want to go to your competitors the next time around. Word of mouth is one of the most ancient and effective ways to receive new leads so it’s pretty important to maintain customers after the first sale so that they can also refer promising leads in your direction. When people find a brand that works for them they are usually pretty excited and want to spread the word!

Figuring out your target can be done through a series of questions you may have to ask yourself. A general first question to ask would be: What kind of consumer can benefit from my company’s products or services? You should try and create a profile for a typical consumer who would request your services which ultimately will define your target audience.

Another good way to figure out your intended audience is through measurements. Through measurements and analytics you can produce a profile for your company’s average consumer through page views, keyword searches, comments and reviews, content sharing, and much more. Basically you can find out your target consumers wants and needs by their requests and interests within your site and web pages. Measuring and monitoring is a continuous process that requires time and consistency so make sure you’re constantly analyzing your company’s web performance to produce leads, maintain customers, improve company internet performance, and to predict trends with your consumers.

Also, knowing how much information to share and knowing when content can be excessive is key. We like to call it content control. The content that you put out reflects your company so it’s important to have relevant and creative content that your site visitors can relate to. You also want to keep them wanting to know more about what your business can do for them. Once a consumer actually connects with a brand, they’re usually there to stay; hence the brand relationship.

All of this may seem simple but it’s more complex then you would think, which is why so many businesses can and have failed at internet marketing campaigns.

postheadericon Social Media Marketing On the Rise: Measuring Your Brand Awareness

Nowadays all you hear about is Facebook this and Twitter that, but these social networking sites aren’t just for the leisurely users or the tweens and teens. Big and small businesses are starting to become hip to these same sites as well. I mean why not? It’s a great source for reaching out to thousands and even millions of people as fast as a snap of your fingers. It’s pretty amazing how useful social media can be for online advertising, marketing, and branding a company but while it is impressive, it also can be a lot of work to maintain a social media page and measure your brand awareness. There are quite a few things any company should take heed of before starting a social networking profile alone or even when hiring a professional to do it. Measuring your company’s brand awareness through social media sites is a key factor and one of the many processes for maintaining a social page.

Know Your Audience and Goal

Before anything, knowing your target audience and your company’s objectives when running a social media page is key. You should know who you’re targeting and what you are marketing to them. When you have this already set, everything else should come easier. By knowing this information, quality and relevant content you put out on your page can automatically generate sales leads from your followers and fans. As you may already know, there are plenty of social networking sites out there [Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Youtube, etc.], so it is wise to choose your social media platform based on your company’s budget, what you may need from the site, it’s relevance to your target audience, and how effective it will be for your company’s sales. Majority of social sites are free and pretty easy to set up which is pretty beneficial for company budgets but eventually you will pay with time and consistency. By consistently updating your page[s] it is very likely that you will build more fans which in return can produce different ways to measure your branding.

Know Which Social Site Works Best For You

There are different ways to measure your company’s growth rate and brand visibility based on which sites you choose to participate in. With sites like Twitter and Facebook, you can measure the amount of fans/followers on your page regularly, monitor feedback from consumers such as comments on status updates, retweets and sharing links that you post. With sites like Youtube and Blogs you can measure the amount of views for video posts, subscribers to your page, comments and content post views. All of these measurements are pretty effective when trying to create and predict trends on a normal basis and even during specials and promotions your company may offer. You can also measure your growth through sales calls and requests from fans. You can see changes in consumer needs and wants and interact with them fast and frequently.

How influential is your page?

Another great way to analyze your brand’s awareness is by measuring any influence your company has had on your fans through your measurements of trends. You can find this out by staying in the know with your followers’ loyalty, the content of their comments, and if they share your page information, updates, and images with others in a positive way.

Don’t forget about the competition!

`With social media marketing on the rise you shouldn’t forget the competition because you can also expect your competitors to be keen on this effective tool. By measuring even your competitors’ page[s] you can also use their findings as a source of measurement for your own stats. By knowing how your competitors are doing will give you a sense of where you may be ranked or should be as well as effectiveness for their brand.

So now that you know some of the basics of brand awareness through social media marketing, it can be much more complex, you should carefully weigh your options and a possible role in the social marketing world as well as planning your company’s internet marketing campaign all together. With much planning, monitoring and maintaining your social media efforts, positive measurements and a high social media marketing status can be attainable.