Thursday, 23 December 2010

Top Tips to Try Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

If you have a small business that is just getting started, there are a few things you can do before you retain the services of a marketing agency to help you in the marketing arena. With a few right moves, you can get started on a positive note with a basic game plan set in place before turning to a professional firm for additional guidance.

Define your Customer and Communicate Effectively
Don't fall into the new business trap of not knowing who your customers are. It is important to identify your target market through effective due diligence such as market research and the ability to fulfil a particular need that may not be totally taken care of by your competitors. It is important that you find a way to stand out from your competitors such as superior customer service.

Brainstorm on paper to ensure you are projecting the right message to your potential customers. A marketing agency will often have new businesses do a SWOT analysis, evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat factors that might impede business operations.

Spell Out Benefits and Features of your Products and Services
It is important that you present the most pleasing features of your products and services. However, it is equally important to support those features by advertising the benefits the customers will reap if they use your products over a competitor's. Why would your products and services be better?

Follow-through is an additional feature of promoting your business. Once you have attracted a potential customer to use your product or service, speak with them about their needs and how you can meet those needs. Even if you cannot close the sale immediately, it is important to follow-through by calling or emailing them. This action shows that you care about them as a customer and illustrates that by going with your company, customer service will be excellent. Follow-ups are the key to sales conversions down the line as well as positive word of mouth to new, potential clients.

Maintain Marketing Momentum
It is important to structure your marketing budget in such a way as to keep your company brand name in the public eye year round. Many new businesses have a huge marketing push only to run out of advertising dollars before year end and then experience stagnant sales. For this reason, internet marketing can be helpful through the use of blogging, banner ads, website-only specials and email marketing to existing customers about special sales.

While you can definitely succeed without the help of a marketing agency, it is important to allocate a portion of your budget to hiring one, even if it is to just check where you are in relation to promotions, advertising and industry placement. Having a marketing professional assess your business and present suggestions for improvement is important to your overall, long-term success.

Expand Your Internet Marketing Horizons and Try Blog Advertising

With the advent of the cyberspace age in the 1980's, internet marketing was born. As more and more people signed on online, the more business advertising grew. Whilst television, radio and print ads are still quite effective ways of reaching the average consumer, technology is the wave of the future. The introduction of the web log or blog has really revolutionised the way products and services are promoted online. Defining Blog Advertising Because a blog is an all-purpose vehicle serving as a voice, a platform and a way to send a memo out to the world, it makes sense as a business owner to take advantage of blog advertising. You should tie your blog to your company website, offering breaking news of new products and services as well as insight into the company itself. Or, you might consider being a guest blogger on other websites that complement your business. For instance, if you own a string of beauty salons, you might blog for a fashion hair magazine or one of the top beauty supply places in your area. To tie into your blog, advertising makes sense. These can be banners or small ads placed on the sides or at the top or bottom of the page. Direct links to your products and services you mention in your blog can be placed within the body of your writing. Tying into what you say in your blog with your company's products and services is an important step in internet marketing. Benefits of Blog Advertising Besides the entire world as your audience when you create a blog, advertising through it can hold a number of advantages. For instance, you can boost web traffic to your company website and gain a new customer base. You will also be able to better translate those visits to your blog into real sales, thereby reducing your clicking costs to a minimum. Finding a target audience for your company products and services becomes easier with blog advertising. This type of marketing is specific and more precise than traditional ways of advertising such as radio, newspapers, television and magazines. When someone finds your blog, chances are they are already interested in what you have to say and therefore would be more likely to follow the links or click the ads to purchase what your company has to offer. The final reason why blog advertising makes sense, no matter what the size of your business, is because it offers a continuous source of advertising. As long as you continue with your blogging and updating the ads and links associated with it, you will always draw in new web visitors and have the opportunity to translate those visitors into future sales. In the world of internet marketing, this constant source of potential customers is a key factor to overall success in this technological era.

Marketing Advice on How to Maintain Pricing Strategies in an Economic Downturn

These days, thanks to the economic recession, it can be tough to continually think of marketing tactics to maintain your market share and avoid losing sales. There is the temptation to slash prices or even contemplate the action in order to compete with others in the same niche as you. While cutting prices may seem to be a simple thing to do, particularly in the short term, it does not always make sense to do so because it could become a habit. What if the recession stretches further than you thought? You cannot keep cutting prices because you could soon be selling at a loss rather than a profit. Offering the Best Value for the Price Having a strong, recognisable brand is important if you want to maintain your pricing strategy as high as possible without losing customers to the competition. How you define the value of what you offer is important when communicating with your customers. The stronger the communication you have with them, the more control you can exercise over your pricing strategy. Of course, you should have a few marketing tactics available to you so that any issues a customer might have will not be about price. One smart move to try is bundling some of your products together which will accomplish several things. First, bundling effectively creates the illusion that you have broadened your product base. And second, bundling offers you a way to establish a broad spectrum of low to medium to high value offerings, so you can create a pricing strategy accordingly, without a straight price cut, thus maintain your profitability. Long Range Planning Lowering your pricing in order to make more sales and stay competitive in the market may work in the immediate short term, but it will not do much for the long term. However, you can alleviate cutting tactics and the effect on your profits by controlling operating costs in your company and look for ways to eliminate any redundancies and inefficiencies. Streamlining your operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency makes good business sense anyway. Unfortunately, when business is good, you don't always look for ways to streamline. Rather, it takes a recession and reduction in sales to prompt action. To maintain your competitive edge, even in a recession, look for ways to offer something innovative or unique to your customers. Can you easily change the packaging for some of your products to create a new look to attract attention? Can you offer any sales incentives or coupons for future purchases? Perhaps partnering with a complementary business (one that does not necessarily directly compete with you) can drum up new business. Marketing new products during the recession can be a good move but don't expect an overnight boost in business. The same principle applies when cutting prices. If you do this too often, just to stay in business, then that is what customers will expect once the economy improves. Instead, try the product bundling or offer sales incentives so that you can present the illusion of offering a deal without negatively impacting your business financial bottom line.

Using a Business Consultant When Promoting Your Services Business

A business consultant does more than just advise you on how to best run your business. They can also work with you on promoting your business and making sure that it remains profitable. Some business consultants can help you launch full-scope marketing programmes as well. If you own a direct services business, a consultant can help you figure out how to market it to the public, improve the service by tweaking certain areas, and help you research your competitors to make sure that your service business has a unique angle to offer customers. Tweaking the Business Before you launch your first (or next) campaign to market your business to masses, you may need to tweak a few areas. Your business consultant will research your current methods or ideas and observe the company at work. He or she will let you know which areas of your current business practices should be improved before you start an aggressive marketing campaign. Researching Competitors When researching your competition, you're looking to see what services they offer that are similar to yours and which are different. If you run a call center service business that takes calls for business professionals such as doctors or lawyers, you need to find out what other similar businesses offer their clients. Then you need to see if your business offerings are the same, and if you have any angle that makes your business unique. A small business consultant is a great advisor because they're not going to tell you that any aspect of your business is unique if it isn't. If you find that your business is just like all the others, your consultant can work with you on creating a unique angle. Maybe very few of the local services offer online options; that's one area you can explore to see if you want to expand your business to the web, for instance. A consultant can help you define your unique selling proposition so that you appeal to potential customers and existing customers of the competition, too. Promoting the Business The next step is to start promoting your direct services business, focusing on the unique angle of your company. You can start by creating print ads for the newspaper or local publications, and then move onto an online advertising campaign.

How to Avoid Spamming People When Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is the act of marketing your business using different techniques online. There is a variety of ways to market your business to potential customers through email, message forums, and instant messaging; however, you need to avoid sending unsolicited marketing messages to avoid losing customers and being reported for spamming. Spamming is the act of sending multiple marketing messages to people who didn't request them, don't want them, and won't be impressed just because you send them over and over. You need to target your Internet marketing campaign and learn how to get people to subscribe to the information provided about your business. Email Marketing Spam It's perfectly acceptable to send email messages to potential clients, but you need to make sure they want them. If you start sending unsolicited emails it's considered spam. If you purchase an email list and start sending out automated emails to everyone on that list, it's considered spam. In order to send out Internet marketing email messages, create a website or newsletter and let people subscribe to your emails. This way, you're only sending out information to people who are interested, and they can recommend your business to other people. If you want to protect yourself from being reported for spam, make sure your marketing emails have a disclaimer on the bottom that allows people to unsubscribe and apologizes for sending unsolicited emails. This way, if a person accidentally signed up for your messages, they can easily unsubscribe. Message Board Spam If you're not familiar with Internet marketing methods, you may think that signing up for numerous message boards and posting about your business is a great way to advertise. In fact, many business owners did use this method a few years ago, aggravating forum users and getting themselves banned from the site. Most business-oriented sites have a forum dedicated to advertising a business. You should stick with this forum and follow the rules and guidelines that govern how often you can post, which types of links you can provide, and what sort of information is allowed in an ad. Instant Messaging Spam When some shady business owners started getting reported and banned for forum and email spam they moved onto instant messaging systems. Users would get an instant message with a link from someone they didn't know, with the link redirecting a website. If you want to use this sort of marketing, make sure that the instant message names you have are people who have agreed to receive information from you. To avoid spam and insure that your Internet marketing campaign is a success, set up a form on your website that allows users to select which types of correspondence they're willing to accept.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Tips on Being a Great Internet Marketing Consultant

Standing apart from the pack is good when it comes to being an internet marketing consultant. If you're hiring a consultant to help you with your internet marketing, you'll want someone who stands head and shoulders above the competition. If you're a marketer yourself, you know this will bode well for you in terms of finding clients, getting great results, and gaining word of mouth referrals. Here are some ways you can be a great internet marketing advisor and if you're searching for an advisor, here are some signs you can watch for to help you be a discerning buyer: Business Expertise Knowing about the internet is good. It's essential. But knowing about business as well is an integral part of being able to consult to others on the growth and operations of their business. Combining extensive marketing, business, and internet knowledge can help a consultant provide excellent advice to clients based on real world experience. Most effective consultants have a rich history in their field and people want to know about that history. Many skills are transferable across industries. A former business owner who's aware of various attributes of a successful business could do better than a consultant fresh out of university, for instance. Practical experience is quite often desirable as a trait for a business consultant. People Skills Great sales people can make great consultants. They can also make lousy consultants it their personality tends to be pushy. A consultant works with a client rather than try to simply "pitch" them. Networking can be an important part of an advisor's job and someone with great skills could have a wide network that provides value to clients. Think consult rather than sell and that's the first step in developing a productive relationship. Ongoing Skills Development There are a lot of different areas that relate to successful internet marketing. A consultant needs to know more than just how to get a website published, for instance. He or she should be well versed in the latest news and trends related to the world of online marketing and should be staying up to date on current marketing techniques and trends. Ongoing personal development is a good sign of a professional that takes their role as a consultant seriously. Whether you're a consultant or are looking for someone to help your business, do look at the level of expertise, the people skills, the industry knowledge, and the approach to determine whether someone can stand head and shoulders above the competition. If you're trying to develop your consultancy business, continually work at deepening your knowledge and finding ways to create productive relationships with your clients. And if you're looking at hiring someone to serve as an internet marketing consultant for your company, shopping around can reveal many things that help you make a smart decision.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Need Help from a Marketing Agency? Look for a Customer Focused Company

When hiring a consumer focused marketing agency you need to ensure that the agency meets your business needs. Not every agency operates on a consumer focused philosophy, so it's important that if a consumer focused philosophy governs your main marketing objectives that the agency you choose understands how to implement consumer focused strategies. Customer focused marketing can be a struggle. It's not easy to plan and implement strategies that appeal to your customer base without extensive research on company and client demographics. Interviewing Agencies Before you choose a marketing agency, you should set up an interview and talk to the lead marketing manager to ensure that their agency meets your needs. If you feel that personalities don't mesh or that your vision differs from what they want to do, keep looking until you find a place that makes you feel confident about letting them handle your marketing. Questions to Ask Let's say you've narrowed the hiring pool down to two agencies. Now is the time to ask pertinent questions to make sure you choose the right agency. Find out how the agency plans on conducting research to learn about your client demographic. Will they send out questionnaires, take a survey of current clients, look at your competitors' client base, and perform general research on consumer behaviour? Are there any business models they use to help them determine the best marketing methods for your company? How often will you need to meet with them in order to discuss the effectiveness of current marketing campaigns? Once you have asked all of your questions, it's time to hire the right one. Working with an Agency Hiring the right agency is just the first step. You need to make sure that they continue to fulfill any promises that they made in the interview. You also want to make sure that they communicate with you about the effectiveness of your campaigns and let you know if they plan on making any major changes. Working with a marketing agency can really help promote your business as long as you work well with the firm that you choose.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Tips for Online but Local Marketing

Attracting people to your website is good. Marketing is an essential part of achieving online success. But if you’re not marketing to the right people, your efforts will be for naught. Here are some tips to help you target your local market with your marketing efforts: 1. Long Tail Keywords Use long tail keywords in your search engine optimisation campaigns. These phrases refer to local places and niche specialties in many cases and can help you target your local demographic, rather than fight with the much larger competition base trying to rank for short tail keywords. A good example of this is to try to rank for Cheshire pizza parlour, rather than pizza or UK marketing consultancy firm rather than “marketing”. As your competition narrows, your target customer / prospect has more of a chance of finding the thing they seek. 2. Know Your Competition Understanding who you’re up against in the world of online marketing can help you be more appealing to your target market. If you’re a restaurant, you can try to appeal to your local area and try to appear to your biggest competitor’s clients as well. Understanding what your competition may not do well could help you surpass them. 3. Local Directories Getting listed in local directories does several things for you. It helps people browsing local directories find you and it helps search engines connect the dots between your geographical area, your business niche, and your target customers. Directory submissions, particularly when targeted by local geographical area and by niche, can help you improve targeted traffic levels and organic SEO. 4. Lead Capture Local marketing should be about more than waving at your website visitors when they arrive. Try to capture those leads through permission marketing techniques or via a sales pipeline with autoresponder software, for instance. Not only can you work on turning visitors into real customers but if they’re local, this could help you with local referrals as well. There are many things you can do to slowly increase your market share in your area! 5. Social Marketing Social marketing is great for local businesses. They can find people to follow based on geographical area, advertise to their customers, use data mining techniques to learn more about their audience, niche, and competition, and use it to build their brand and strengthen their relationships. If you’re not using social marketing tools such as Twitter and Facebook, you could be missing out! Local marketing techniques can help you grow your business substantially. And if you need help there are consultants who could provide you with a customised strategy.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Half a Dozen Things a Small Business Consultant Could Do for Your Business

You want to succeed in business, especially online. All entrepreneurs who are paying attention to the potential that exists on the internet do. Is it worthwhile to invest in a small business consultant who will help you? Read on for five areas you might hire a consultancy firm to help you succeed in: #1 SEO Search engine optimisation is vital for any business wanting to succeed online. A consultant can help you learn what search engines are looking for when they categorise companies for highly searched terms. You could quickly move ahead of your competition in terms of search engine rankings and this equates to targeted traffic landing on your website. In many cases, that traffic is ready to make a buying decision and your position being ahead of competition could help you get that sale. #2 Process Improvements Another area many consultants are well versed in is in streamlining processes. A skilled consultant has a wealth of business experience that puts him or her in a position to help you see areas where you could reduce redundancies via process automation. Very often an outside source can see areas for improvement and you could see results in a matter of weeks. Process improvement doesn't even need to be extensive to make a difference. You might be surprised with advice given by an experienced professional. Sometimes a few minor tweaks can make a major difference. #3 Missed Opportunities Business owners who run their business like a well-oiled machine may not see potential growth opportunities. They often get caught up in the existing setup. A small business consultant may see quite a few areas that you could delve into. Whether this is in new areas, complimentary products, or getting more business from existing customers, it can all equate to more profit for you. A great part of a growth strategy is to expand on your existing customer base and strengths and a consultancy firm can show you how to do that. #4 Competitive Analyses Analysing competition is something that can help you make wise business decisions. You may not know how easy it can be to actually do this --- especially with the internet. A consultancy firm can help you do this in a way that helps you gather market intelligence that will enable you to forge ahead and win more market share as well as prevent competition from wooing your customers to their side because they do things better than you do. Competitive analysis is essential in the 21st century! #5 Lead Generation Generating new business via leads is a great way to expand. Website visitors, for example, can be turned into a lead. Every single person who visits your website is a potential customer and you can be taught how to take maximum advantage of that. #6 Customer Retention Do you know why some customers jump ship and find someone else to do business with? Your small business consultant can help you market more effectively to new customers but he or she can also help you retain loyalty of your existing customers through relationship management techniques that can help substantially. However you run your business today and however you plan to grow in the future, you can get coaching, business advice and mentoring to help you reach the next level of success. A trustworthy advisor could make a huge difference. Why do it alone when a specialist could help you achieve your goals faster without costing you more time that you don't have. The results could provide a huge return on investment.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Look for a Business Marketing Professional to Help with your SWOT Analysis

Hire a business marketing professional to help perform a SWOT analysis on your business. This analysis can help your business move forward. Whilst your current business team can do it, hiring a business marketing professional to help conduct your SWOT analysis is beneficial. An impartial party reviewing your business to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) can provide a clear, unbiased view of your current performance as well as future prospects. Self-Study Bring in your supervisors, directors or other top people to get a vision of the big picture first. Get their perspective as well as those of key customers and even major vendors. Brainstorm key issues that your business and the marketplace face. Encourage everyone to make comments and suggestions without worrying about any judgment. Observations may include strengths and potential growth opportunities as well as weaknesses and failures. Evaluate all the significant issues that crop up during the brainstorming session and outline potential action plans to address them. Your hired business marketing professional is in the best position to help with the plan of action as they will best know the marketplace and know how to capitalise on strengths and opportunities and minimise weaknesses and failures. Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths are often the easiest to identify and may include a strong financial position, excellent personnel and management, a solid marketing plan and cost-effective production. Weaknesses are often the considered the elephant in the room. You know you have them but don’t want to acknowledge them. However, with the right SWOT analysis, you can tackle those weaknesses and turn them into strengths and opportunities. Weaknesses may appear as insufficient liquid cash to use for expansion of a new product line or poor management and personnel. The products may be outdated or customer service and after-sales service may be ineffective. Poor production schedules and outdated equipment could be contributing factors. Opportunities and Threats Threats are often easy to spot and must be prepared for. It could be in the form of a key employee that leaves for the competition – with full knowledge of your business practices. Price increases from vendors, rate hikes in rent, legislative changes, market recessions and more contribute to potential threats too. Identified opportunities can mean a boost of business for you. Perhaps it is the failure of a competitor’s product line or the addition of a new sales distribution outlet. A new customer base and innovative technologies that lower production costs are additional opportunities. Every business – large and small – should perform a SWOT analysis on occasion to maintain their competitive edge. Once the analysis is performed, a clear plan of action can be put into play. With the help of a business marketing professional who is knowledgeable about the marketplace, your business can take advantage of those opportunities and minimize its weaknesses to avoid failure.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Marketing Companies -3 Secrets of Successful Online Marketing Companies Revealed

Marketing companies can help companies like yours succeed online regardless of your size or your industry. Quite often companies will outsource their marketing tasks, specific campaigns or even their entire marketing function to an outside organisaton either because they don’t have an in-house marketing department or because they want a specialty service. Marketing online is also an area where many companies look for specialised services as well because the internet is ever-changing and it can be difficult to keep up to date with information and strategies for success. Read on for a few secrets that help specialised marketing companies retain their advantage in this area: Content is King Content is a powerful tool online. People want information and articles can provide them with that. Articles can also help you gain strength in search engines so that you get what amounts to free traffic. If you can achieve the top organic spot for the keyword phrases your target audience is searching on, you can get a flow of traffic. Marketing companies know what those terms are for your niche and geographic area and they can help you come closer to achieving it through many techniques including content marketing. Content that contains quality is like cream that rises to the top of search engine rankings. People rank it, search engines rank it, and it will point back to your website and help you in multiple ways. Write good content that’s researched and that is search engine optimised and you will increase your chances of online success. Build Relationships with Your Audience Today’s consumer is highly savvy. They see through gimmicks and they want value. Companies that build relationships with their customers and demonstrate value will be winners. The web provides a massive amount of tools that can help you in this area. Social media, interactive websites, relationship marketing, permission marketing…. All sorts of areas exist for you to build and strengthen a bond with your customers. Analyse Results The great thing about online marketing is the fact that you can so easily analyse what is working well and what is not. Traditional 20th century marketing techniques took ages to analyse but in the 21st century, you can easily analyse results almost instantaneously. This maximises your marketing reach and minimises unnecessary costs. Successful marketing companies who use the web know that content, relationships, and analytics are three of the essential ingredients for success.

Marketing Consultancy Investment Can Actually Save You Money

In a time that’s famous for shrinking profit margins and companies that are unfortunately folding, too many companies take it out on their marketing budget out of fear and the urge to cut costs. But a marketing consultancy investment might be more important now than ever. In fact, the right strategy could mean that your investment provides a huge ROI. Marketing isn’t an expense that should be cut and in fact, it should be considered more of an investment than an expense. The right strategy and the right expert could result in your benefiting whilst your competitors are suffering. Why is a marketing budget vital? Companies need to market to customers during any economic conditions. Customers are still making buying decisions and if you’re in the right sort of business, your product should continue to have demand. If not, you can still thrive by expanding your product line with the right strategy. It’s important to continually deliver what your customers want otherwise they’ll forget about you. Provide value and you could strengthen their loyalty. Delivering the right message to your customers can result in retaining customers during difficult times, times when your competitors could be in wait or could be planning on swooping down to prey on them. If you’re not happy with your current position in your market niche, talk to your marketing company about it. If you’re not dealing with a marketing consultancy firm or if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting from the company you’re currently working with, consider partnering with a new company, one who can help you illustrate your value added proposition to your customers. A consultancy firm can help you analyse the existing market that you’re competing in so that you can make necessary adjustments to ride out economic storms. A consultant can look at your existing business structure and help you make subtle or drastic changes --- whatever is necessary to help you retain customers and grow your business. A firm with expertise in helping businesses succeed can help you find success in your existing market as well as tap into new markets. If you’re marketing online, an experienced company can help you to analyse, measure, and improve your online presence to increase traffic and conversion rates of traffic as well. Don’t make the mistake of cutting costs in the wrong area. Some expenses can be trimmed to save you money but cutting your marketing and advertising budget could ultimately cost you customers. Difficult times call for strategic measures and a marketing consultancy firm can help you turn your investment into a competitive advantage.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

What Can A Marketing Consultant Help You With?

If you are considering hiring a marketing consultant to help with one or several aspects of your business, it may surprise you just how many areas a consultant can actually help you with. Some companies outsource all of their marketing needs to a company and some pick and choose specific campaigns or business areas to get help with. In any event, an expert consultant can help you grow and prosper in many different areas, such as some of the categories listed below. Design A marketing consultancy firm knows what sort of design elements will help you appeal to your audience as well as sell more. This applies to overall branding and to brochures and other printed material you hand out but it also applies as well to your organisation’s electronic design elements with your website and electronic adverts. Various elements of design will help you appeal to your customers and prospects and a marketing expert understands how to blend design, colours, fonts, and words to help you maximise your impact on your target audience whilst gaining brand identity. Public Relations Are you managing your reputation? What feelings are your customers left with in dealing with you? Public relations is a vital aspect of running a business. Relating to your public in the right way will help you acquire and retain customers. A consultant can help you develop a public relations strategy that utilises tools and resources that can help you succeed. SEO Paying attention to search engine optimisation is vital for any company looking to succeed in the 21st century. But you’re not an SEO expert. The thing is, SEO isn’t always easy for businesses to take advantage of. You need someone to help you optimise your website in both on-page and off-page so that you can attract the maximum amount of traffic for your marketing spend. SEO also allows you to get traffic with a small budget, versus pay-per-click internet marketing techniques, which can be more expensive. Growth Planning How do you plan to grow your business? A consultant can help you strategise so that not only can you grow but that you can grow sustainably. This can be achieved through uncovering new opportunities as well as cross-selling and repeat selling to existing customers. Hiring a marketing consultant to help you grow your business makes good business sense. There are experts that will help you reach your goals and who will offer guaranteed services that will help you immensely.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Why do business consultant tips include blogging for maximising your online exposure? Learn why a blog is one of (if not THE) best way to market

Business Consultant Tips – Does Your Business Have a Blog? If you could ask a business consultant for a list of what is considered to be some of the best ways to capture the attention of online audiences, most would list building a business blog near the top of that list. Many would say that blogging is one of the best ways to reach your target audience --- regardless of your business type and whether or not you exist online, in a bricks and mortar business, or both. Read on to find out why blogging is such a good idea. Blogs are dynamic. Blogs, by their very nature, incite participation, feedback, and an informal atmosphere that can be business-like and casual at the same time. Companies can communicate and people can interact with the companies. This attracts people to read blogs. They often allow people to make comments and they also allow people to subscribe to receive updates automatically. Blog marketing can be an excellent sales and communication tool. Search Engines love Blogs. When you have a business website, adding a blog to it stops the site from being static. Search engines love sites that provide regular updates and will keep visiting and therefore sending new traffic to blogs. The fastest way to lose ground in search engines is to stop making new pages for your website and a blog allows a business to create pages in the background that do not interfere with the company's branding strategy. You can't change your home page daily so why not add pages in the background that work to your advantage with search engines who will send you free traffic? Make Use of Social Tools. Business consultants agree that social media optimisation is something all businesses should be considering in the current day and age. Blogs can be well integrated with social media optimisation tools so that you can kill two birds with one stone. Companies need to take their online potential audience into consideration and by blogging you can easily do that. It is a relatively low-cost way to keep fresh content on your site that talks about your company and talks directly to customers and target customers. The blog can also serve many other purposes from a marketing perspective as well. If you want help figuring out how to maximise a blog's impact on your business, a business consultant who is specialised in internet marketing can help you figure out: how to attach a blog effectively to your business, how to optimise that blog for maximum targeted traffic and maximum search engine optimisation and they can help you figure what to blog about as well.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Doing Company Marketing Through Social Media? Get Info and Manage Your Reputation, too

How do you manage your online reputation? If you’re using social media sites to help you with company marketing campaigns, you should also consider using them to help you with your reputation management as well as data mining needs. Social marketing tools can provide a lot of valuable information to you about your customers, your prospects, what people think and say about your brand, and about succeeding online and offline. Using social media for business is an excellent step toward effectively marketing online. Many successful businesses use tools such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other such tools to reach people who use them in their daily life and those people, who could be customers might be interested in connecting with you through those tools. In fact, you can often use the tools to find new potential customers as well. A lot of companies use Facebook fan pages, post on a company Twitter account, and use social bookmarking services to help them draw attention to articles, blog posts, and press releases. More company marketing campaigns than ever use many of these tools to push out information. But some forget to use them to mine for information as well. Social Media and Data Mining You can gather business intelligence through these tools. Find out: • Who is linking to your site • Who is talking about your products and / or services (and what they’re saying) • Who might be a good candidate to market to, based on user preferences and keywords used You can also use these tools to build authority in your niche. By developing a list of followers and interacting with them, you can do a good deal of relationship marketing and the great thing about the venue is that everything you do can: attract new customers, improve your SEO (search engine optimisation and traffic levels), and help you increase your sales. Because social media tools optimise your site while real-time conversations happen, results can be surprising. Use these tools to talk to others, to find who to talk to, to learn what’s being said about your brand, you, and your industry, and even make direct sales as a result of a tweet, re-tweet, or social bookmarking ‘thumbs up’. Is it any wonder that so many companies use social media tools for marketing purposes? It’s important that you learn how to capitalise on these tools. Don’t jump in head first! There are “wrong” and ineffective ways of using social media. Getting solid advice about a good company marketing plan to launch will help you take advantage of the amazing free tools that are out there.