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Mar 12, 2012

March Madness: Can You Really Make More Money Marketing Your Business On-line?

In the spirit of March Madness, I want to talk about your Game Plan. If you’ve ever asked the question, “Can my business really make more money from marketing on-line?”, the answer is YES! Yes, you can!

If you have heard NO in the past, it is more likely that the person didn’t have a good experience with on-line marketing. Many times people try the DIY marketing technique by jumping onto a site like, Facebook and expecting huge results.  Here I will explain that there’s a big difference between people who make money with internet marketing and people who don’t.

People who fail to make money with internet marketing and social media are those who never get their plan off the ground or worse who never have a solid plan to begin with. They’re the ones who (among other things):

  • Don’t understand it takes more than being present in one place like Facebook to be successful.
  • Don’t understand how to use SEO (search engine optimization) to get found on Google, Yahoo & Bing
  • Don’t know how to set up a landing page or conversion forms to turn visitors into leads
  • Don’t understand how to effectively target pay-per-click ads and write content that generates results
  • Don’t know how to turn a social media campaign into a sales campaign
  • Think they can do it all in a few minutes a day
  • Think they can set up social media profiles and then sit on the sidelines
  • Don’t understand how to monitor and manage their on-line reputation and reviews.
  • Don’t understand how to promote their business using Press Releases for more publicity
  • Don’t understand what types of internet marketing to use to generate the best Return on Investment
  • Don’t understand how to integrate on-line and offline marketing

But people who make money are different. They understand their markets, they understand the customers, they understand the platforms available, they set objectives, create a plan and then execute the plan with persistence. And that’s what this post is all about—The Game Plan. You’ve heard the old adage, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” Well it’s true. And to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you, Megan provides a thorough and proven strategy that will put you on the path to success.

Here’s what you should know:

The goal is to teach you some innovative ways of using internet marketing and social media, in order to generate real revenue and profits for you and your company.  

How? It’s simple. Fill out the Form below. I will send you an Internet Marketing Audit Form which asks you a series of questions designed to uncover the key factors for your business: this includes your business goals, your products, your target customers, and your competition.  With this information I will gain valuable insight into your business. I will then design a FREE WINNING GAME PLAN for your business to help you find your path to success with internet marketing. This complete report will include a roadmap for a proven strategy designed to get you real results and more revenue.

Some of the topics the WINNING GAME PLAN report will cover are:
  •     A Competitive Assessment: Where are you in comparison to your main competition
  •     A Traffic Analysis: How many people  are searching for your products, services or brand on Google, Yahoo & Bing each month
  •     A Reputation Review: Is there anything negative being said about your business on-line
  •    Where are your target customers? How do they spend their time on-line?
  •    What strategies and platforms are most important for you to use in order to generate a real positive return on investment?
  •    Understanding Internet Marketing: A look at how all of this stuff really works together.

Plus if you sign up now you will also get a FREE 30 Minute Strategy Consultation. I will call you to discuss your personalized WINNING GAME PLAN and answer any other questions you have so you are truly ready to use the Internet to make more money for you and your business!

Why is this all this information free? Because, I care. I enjoy helping others succeed, and I understand that to help build successful business it takes building a relationship first. This is a great investment of my time and knowledge all to show you I truly care about your business and helping you grow. If I help one more business with this strategy then I have helped the business, the community and the economy—all of which I am proud to support!  So, what are you waiting for? There is no hassle and no obligation, only great information and hopefully the start of a great relationship to build your success!

Jan 12, 2012

Marketing for 2012: What you Need to Succeed!

As we enter 2012, the question on every business owner’s mind is how I will I be successful this year. With the economic challenges faced by many businesses last year it has become harder than ever to break even much less make a good profit. Let’s look at some key marketing challenges every business needs to focus on in order to succeed in 2012.
Be Found or Be Left Behind. The simple fact it is that the number one way consumer’s find what they need today is by using search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing. A website and strong website visibility should be the number one priority on any marketing list. Why? Because it will be the single most utilized method for finding your business. Example—you have a billboard. Did the customer have time to right down a number while driving—No. So, if they are interested how do you think they are going to find you? According to research over 70% of them will use the internet to search for your business! Ok—so to reach 70% of customers you need a website and they should easily be able to find it on search engines. If they don’t find you-they will find your competition instead. This is why this item is first on the list! If you don’t have a good SEO marketing plan get one soon.
Make Way for Mobilization: In a world of Smart Phones, iPads and Tablets marketing will need to be mobilized. So what does this mean? People better be able to find your business in search - and even more to the point local search. With mobile devices changing search habits, people are looking for information on the fly. They want to know what is close to them (now), where they can find something (now), and what's available at a place (now). Having a mobile marketing strategy is crucial, in fact smart phones and mobile devices like the iPad, are predicted to outnumber computers within 5 years! This is happening now. People are already searching on mobile devices, using location based services to find it now. If you aren’t found in mobile search you are missing a lot of customers! Start with a mobile website, that loads quickly and that is optimized to fit any device. Mobile users want a mobile experience—they don’t want to pinch and zoom and scroll to navigate your regular website. Give them a mobile version and you will see a dramatic difference in conversion and time spent on your page from those customers.

Monitor and Manage Reputation: Everyone has a voice and today they are sharing it with the world by talking about everything they do; the lunch they just ate, the plumber who just fixed the leaky sink, the dentist who whitened their teeth, the shop where they bought those great shoes…the list goes on. Now, what happens when that customer had a bad experience? They posted a terrible review of your company with a laundry list of all the things wrong with your business. Are you prepared to quickly address and limit the impact of negative streams of publicity such as complaints before they hurt your business or brand? If not you could have some trouble. Why? Because what other people say about a brand is more important than what a brand says about itself. People trust peer recommendations and reviews because they know most advertising is not candid and is designed to promote the business.  They believe what other people say—so you want to be sure you are monitoring what is being said and then managing anything negative to keep your brand or business reputation positive. Don’t let bad reviews or even worse fake reviews from your competitors drive away potential customers. Find a reputation management program that works for you.

Marketing to a New Attitude: Today, people more empowered and more informed than ever before, but they also are far less trusting of businesses. People are tired of gimmicky marketing and unethical advertising tactics. They are looking for businesses they can trust. So what does that look like to a customer? They want to see a business that is authentic, candid and open. One way you can do this is by engaging your customers and actually opening communication with them. Have conversations instead of marketing pitches. Using social media like Facebook Pages or Twitter you can develop a community with your customers and then have conversations, retain customers and even have them promote you on their networks when they recommend your brand or business. People believe that businesses should have a presence on social networks; they are willing to interact with your business and even share it with others if you are willing to be candid and authentic with them. Do you have a social media marketing strategyfor 2012?

Marketing basics like Brand Awareness will be important.  With new businesses and more brands popping up every day the competition is stiff. Strong brand awareness matters now more than ever.  As more competition fragments the market…only the strong survive. The science of marketing, in particular finding the right audience, at the right time, and then delivering the right message will be the key to building your brand and succeeding. Fortunately we have amazing new technologies and target marketing strategies that help you target the right customers online to build your brand. Building brand awareness on-line takes an integrated approach based on your business you can do several things to make sure you are constantly visible to your audience. Ideally you want to be visible when they search by using SEO to get high natural rankings, but with stiff competition you can also use Pay-Per-Click or Display Ads to maintain high visibility.

With these new search habits, and attitudes people want information differently than they did before. Having a plan to succeed is crucial to make sure you adapt to meet these new marketing challenges. So here are some things you can do to Succeed in 2012:

  • Have a website design that works for you with a strong presence. Be found by having strong visibility on search engines. If you don’t have a website or a strong SEO strategy then get one now.
  • Google Places account (claim yours if it is already out there) or create one for yourself.
  • Correct content on local social sites (aka Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc  - this is different for every location) Make sure your business is listed correctly. To make this easier you can use a service like this one which includes business visibility monitoring. Always make sure you provide clear ways to connect with you (phone number, email address)
  • Monitor your Reputation. Use alerts or sign up for a Reputation Management service.
  • Get a Mobile Website (for all those searching via mobile devices)
  • Create Great content (think of something that they'll want to share with friends...this will help you promote your online brand.)
  • If you aren’t doing so already...Get going with Social Media Marketing. To save time you may want to consider a Social Media Management program to keep all your profiles and updates easily controlled from one place.
  • Consider Building your Brand Awareness with a pay-per-click campaign or display ads. This strategy keeps you stay in front of the customer even when competition is tough in your local market. Not sure how to handle a campaign like this-then check out this pay per click management option.
What other strategies will you be using in 2012 to make sure you Succeed? 

Jan 11, 2012

How to Generate Leads On-Line: Using Display Ads and Pay-Per-Click Together

How To Generate Leads Online: New Insights for Internet Marketing Strategy
With over 70% of consumers reporting that they go the internet first to search for what they need today it is no surprise that internet marketing and lead generation on-line are trending topics which are critical to the success of any business today. Days of the phone book are long gone...and businesses have to catch up or get left behind. 

As an internet marketing consultant I work with businesses along the Gulf Coast and all over the US, and as a consultant it is my job to stay on top of the latest trends so I can leverage them to help position my clients as leaders in their local markets. I read case studies and internet marketing strategies everyday, but those are not always worth sharing; however, a study showed some surprising insights that I simply must share. 

Here in an excerpt of the study conducted by Yahoo: 

Better Together
Maximize the return on investment and value of your on-line marketing by using search and display ads together.

Advertisers tend to separate their digital advertising—they think of search advertising for performance marketing and turn to display ads for branding. But the reality is that search advertising coupled with display advertising yields better results than when used independently.
Implementing this proven tactic allows advertisers to optimize their campaigns while increasing both their reach and results. So bottom line: 

Search Ads (Pay-per-click) + Display Ads (such as Yahoo Display Ads)= More Leads

Display advertising generally is measured by direct responses—a click of some kind—which is the simplest metric to track. But this method misses a great deal of an ad’s effectiveness and makes it 
impossible to accurately determine the return on a campaign spend. That’s because nearly as many Internet users respond to online display advertising by performing a search on a search engine (27 percent) as those who simply click on the ad itself (31 percent), according to iProspect’s study Search Engine Marketing and Online Display Advertising. 

This means that when users are exposed to banner or display ads, there are significant increases in related brand-term searches, such as for the name of the brand, company or product. Aligning the messaging in display and search marketing ads maximizes their impact by creating a cohesive experience for users.

Value City Furniture tested this philosophy, running display ads along with search ads, and was extremely pleased with the results. The company discovered that its Yahoo! display campaign increased branded-term searches by 168 percent. As a result, Value City Furniture increased its display advertising budget by 30 percent.

An extensive study by Specific Media proved that the Value City Furniture study isn’t merely an anecdotal example. It tracked more than 60 campaigns over 12 months and found distinct evidence that display advertising and search supported each other.

The study confirmed that consumers exposed to display advertising were significantly more likely to search for brand terms (i.e. automotive manufacturer), and segment terms (i.e. vehicle class), than unexposed consumers. On average, there was a 155 percent lift in search activity across eight industry categories. These impressive results also prove how essential it is to evaluate campaign effectiveness using methods that track more than just click rates.

For Property & Real Estate the average lift in search was over 130%!!
Here is the chart that shows the impact of Display + Search Ads and the lift in searches:
 Behavioral Targeting and Display Advertising

There’s a lot going on beyond the click.
Yahoo! conducted the Retail Reconnaissance study, which measured other kinds of actions consumers took beyond clicks. It found that there was a 59 percent lift in conversions when users searched for retailers after being exposed to display advertising.

So, in other words combining display ads and search ads yields higher results in search, more clicks, more leads and more conversions! To me, this is a winning strategy. One of the other advancements includes behavioral targeting for your display ads. What does that mean exactly? It means Yahoo is using collected information on the user based on their internet activity such as typed searches, pages viewed, etc to determine what ads to place in front of them. They have isolated two groups: engagers-people who are in early stages of buying and learning about a product; and shoppers-people who are at the end of the buying cycle who are ready to make a purchase. Using this method you can target the right customer, in the right geo-graphic area at the right time! If you want to learn more about Yahoo Behavioral Targeting and how our company manages those programs check out the video by clicking the link below: 

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