Harry Gold on Digital Business Hour

 

 

Harry GoldHarry started his online career in 1995 when he founded Interactive Promotions. Since then he has been at the forefront in developing successful online programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Harry brings to Overdrive a highly distinguished background in online development, marketing and media that goes back over 10 years. As the architect and conductor behind Overdrive’s programs, Harry’s primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real world success and make sure that the best marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites Harry is the knowledge that Overdrive’s collaborative environment has created a company of online marketing experts who all drive success online for our clients and the companies they serve.

Harry is a frequent lecturer on such topics as search engine optimization, paid search management, social media marketing and online media throughout Boston for The New England Direct Marketing Association, The Ad Club, UMass Boston and Boston University.

Pinterest Makes the Business Leap

Pinterest PinboardThree years after their humble beginnings, Pinterest has made the leap to the big time.  That’s right, on November 14, nearly 3 years since launching the site as a closed beta Pinterest has opened themselves up to the business world.  No longer do we have to “pretend” to be a person within the photo sharing site.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is a pinboard photo-sharing website that allows users to create individual “pin boards” based upon their interests, and share specific photos from around the internet to their followers.  And for the past year, businesses have begun to use Pinterest to increase their global reach through this visual medium.  Brands like Macy’s have been using Pinterest to showcase products found within their stores organized by category and holiday.  But, they have been doing it without direct sanctioning from Pinterest themselves.  Brands had no more abilities within Pinterest than individuals.

Now, things are different.  These new business pages now allow users to specify their company names, as opposed to using a “First Name Last Name” system.  In addition, companies can now verify their accounts and add new widgets to their websites (these widgets will offer the opportunity to display Pinterest content directly on your website), to help increase engagement among their followers.

Pinterest has made it fairly simple to convert your personal page to a business profile, simply by visiting www.business.pinterest.com and clicking the “Convert your existing account” button, and then answering a few questions about your business.  Nothing could be simpler.

In addition, Pinterest has created a “Best Practices” section of their website to help users best use this site to promote their business goals.  This section covers:

  • telling your brand story,
  • building a community on Pinterest,
  • how to send traffic to your site, and
  • how to analyze your Pinterest presence to improve.

Pinterest also offers businesses a full set of case studies about how different organizations are effectively using this platform.

It is my belief that Pinterest will slowly move towards a monetization scheme which would allow users to create advertising within the site.  In addition, I anticipate Pinterest will begin to offer an analytics platform similar to Facebook Insights, so that users can gauge the interactions within their accounts.

Are you looking forward to an easy way to use Pinterest for your business?  Will you be converting your personal page to a business page?  Where do you see Pinterest going in the future?  Feel free to join the discussion below!

 

Resources:

Pinterest Introduces Business Accounts and Tools

Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Business Accounts:  How to Set Yours Up Today

New Tools for Businesses in the Pinterest Community

Pinterest Makes a Brand Play with New Business Toolkit

Wikipedia — Pinterest

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Marketing Lessons from the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates

Nationwide the “conversation” in October centered on the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate.  From the perspective of a business person involved with public relations, media relations and social media, the debates were extraordinary spectacles.  When taking the time to analyze them from a marketing standpoint, each provided perfect examples of effective marketing, communication and branding techniques.  It is worthwhile revisiting the debates and look at the techniques that were validated by each of the candidates.

It was clear the candidates were, for the most part, well prepared for each debate with clear, concise and consistent messages created for the sole purpose of winning over voters.  For example, Gov. Romney’s five point plan was repeated in all the debates to reach his base and the pool of undecided voters.  This was an effective approach for the candidates and it can be effective for you too.  A business marketing plan with a well formulated message about your products and/or services when repeated by you enough will resonate with customers and prospects.

President Obama, as the incumbent, went into the first debate with the advantage of having been in office for nearly four years, but despite this, his performance in the debate allowed viewers to see how vulnerable he could be.  In the following debate he was prepared to deliver his message with conviction.  By his own admission, he was “awake,” enough to get credited with winning the 2nd debate.  In the business world, a CEO who appears to be a leader unwilling to face business challenges and competition could be branded as weak.  Many today consider the brand of a CEO a mirror of the business’s brand.  So if the CEO doesn’t recognize his/her shortcomings and is lackadaisical about taking action to improve it, his career and/or the business can suffer, perhaps even fail.

It was interesting that FOX News introduced the “Twitter Box” for its social media minded audience watching or listening to the debates and election results.  Seeing tweet numbers fluctuate with highs and lows indicating favorable and unfavorable answers to questions or reactions to candidate gestures during the debates was telling. The idea of following tweets was novel but reasonable considering the impact of social media on the presidential campaign and the outcomes as to who won or lost each debate.  In our everyday lives and in the business marketplace Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and YouTube have earned their keep by proving they make an impact on our daily lives and businesses.  If you are in business and you’re ignoring or unwilling to adopt appropriate social media vehicles, your business growth and vitality can be stymied.

According to dailycaller.com, the first debate, on Oct. 3, 2012, set a Twitter record. 10.2 million Tweets were sent during the event, the most sent during a U.S. political event in Twitter’s short history.  7.2 million tweets were sent during the the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, according to Twitter’s official count.  The third and final presidential debate appeared to spark less interest among Twitter users than either of the previous two debates.

People who listened to the debates and did not see the candidates drew different opinions as to debate winners, on style and content.  As mentioned, messaging is extremely important.  Radio listeners didn’t see Vice President Biden’s smiles that were interpreted as rude and  inappropriate or Paul Ryan’s “nervousness” attributed to his “gulping water” from a glass ever so often.  Viewers interpreted their gestures and actions. Listeners did not have to deal with the gestures.  Their opinions of who won or lost was based on the substance of what they heard – the messages.

Following the vice presidential debate columnist Charles Krauthammer on FOX News gave his perspective on the candidates’ performances. Krauthammer said, “If you heard it on radio, Biden won. If you watched it on television, he lost.”

What does this tell us about marketing?  Presentations you make related to your business, professional practice or services and products or areas of expertise, must be well prepared.  The way you present yourself at all times must not be off-putting.  When conducting a seminar, making a speech or networking at a business event, it is essential to convey a sense of openness to others.  You want to be a “likeable” and “approachable” person.  Looking stern, hammering the podium, pointing at someone to make your point, interrupting or talking over someone will not come across very well in a business circle.  How to overcome these and other pitfalls to public speaking and interaction with business peers? Practice and practice again and again.  That’s precisely what the candidates did, but under pressure even they had moments when they fell short of their “likability” goals.

According to www.business2community.com “Your professional image can be greatly impacted by the way you interact with others. Portraying your best self is critical for preserving your reputation and establishing likability. Pay attention to the way you interact with others, no matter who they are—or how much you may disagree with them. Whether you’re a politician or an office worker, your personal brand matters if you want to maintain credibility. The presidential debates show that even the smallest elements, like articulation and body language, matter when it comes to promoting your best image.”

There is no question that business people can learn effective marketing, communications and branding techniques from the success and shortfalls from these debates.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

A Guide To Virtual Services – How They Are Modernising The World

When it comes to being successful in the world of business, having the right company image is key. No matter how great a company may be, without looking professional, it won’t get very far. Getting that all important professional image can be a difficult task, especially for smaller businesses.

One of the major elements required to achieve a strong company profile, is having a respectable business address. Entrepreneurs starting a business from their homes aren’t going to impress clients with a standard urban address. This is where virtual services can help transform the way in which people see a company. Here is a breakdown of what virtual services entail, and how they can massively improve company appearance.

Virtual Office

Anyone running a limited company is required to provide a business address. This address is where companies will receive any official correspondence, and of course, the address that clients will see. Renting a virtual office from a virtual service provider is a great way to get a professional and modern-looking address.

With a respectable point of contact, companies will come across as both credible and reliable to their customers. Another benefit of having a virtual address is the added privacy is confers. With all correspondence sent to the virtual address, business owners can protect their homes from unsolicited callers and mail.

The Power of the PO Box

Being able to receive business correspondence via a professional-looking PO Box is a great way to raise a company’s profile. Instead of an endless supply of letters falling through the front door, company mail can be directed straight to the virtual address. Some virtual service providers also offer mail forwarding. This allows business owners to receive their important correspondence at home without needing to visit their PO Box. A virtual mail box can be great for those who want to make a strong first impression, whilst having the ability to prevent a torrent of post in their homes.

Company Growth Made Easy

For companies looking to branch out to a different geographical region, the move can be both expensive and time consuming. Instead of spending large amounts of capital on securing new office space and personnel, companies can instead make use of a virtual office in the area. Simply put, this affords companies the power of a professional business presence, without the looming overheads.

Unlike establishing a physical base of operation, utilising a virtual office is quick and cost effective, meaning company expansion is made a smooth as possible.

More than a Mail Box

As well as the ability to make use of virtual offices, it is also possible to benefit from phone answering services and dedicated business numbers. Some virtual service providers also offer the option to have company calls handled professionally by a receptionist. This service can go a long way to boosting company profile and giving a credible impression to clients. Calls to such business numbers can usually be forwarded to a home number; meaning business calls can be handled from home without losing that professional image.

Calls can be handled professionally with virtual services

Conclusion

For an easy way to get a great company profile, virtual services are an excellent solution. From virtual office space for quick expansion, to dedicated post boxes for important correspondence, there are many ways in which companies can benefit. With so many advantages to virtual services, it is easy to see how they are modernising the world of business.

Image License: Creative Commons image source

This article was provided by Nathan Griffiths on behalf of the Workstation a virtual services provider.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

Inbound Marketing & 3rd Generation of Websites: Part 2

In part I we delved into the early stages of websites, how they begin, their evolution and where they are heading today. From a business perspective, sites have seemingly gotten smarter, and the potential to utilize them for growth and lead generation is amazing. I like to think of a website as having a salesperson working for you 24/7/365. No vacation, no sick days and a constant ability to draw in fresh prospects. Sure there’s upkeep and in this article we are going to get our hands dirty with the foundation principles of Inbound Marketing. What exactly is Inbound Marketing?

Much like many people asked what social media was a mere few years ago, the term inbound marketing is not part of the mainstream vernacular, yet.

Inbound marketing is the process of drawing customers and prospects to you, instead of you seeking them via outbound techniques, like direct mail or cold calling. Oftentimes, these traditional methods are unwelcome and interrupt people without their permission. Inbound uses a combination of methods that position a business to be found when the prospect wants to find you. This is a much different idea, and simple at it’s core. Think of it like this: If you were watching your favorite TV show on DVR, and suddenly thought, “Hey, I need a new vacuum” and a vacuum commercial came on, you wouldn’t skip it. It was there when you wanted it there, not when the advertiser would force you to watch it.

Mind you the concept is not new, and the term Inbound Marketing has been around for many years, created by Hubspot, who is at the forefront of inbound marketing software and education. (full disclosure, my agency Soul NYC is a Hubspot Partner).

For businesses looking to redesign their website to be 3rd generation, there are some key elements to consider to set it up properly for Inbound Marketing. Your website is the major component, but external factors also can come into play. 1. You must have a blog. This is a must. The cornerstone of inbound marketing is producing interesting and relevant content on a regular basis. A website with a blog, gives a business the opportunity to broadcast at will. Blog content, besides providing useful information for your audience, also gives the search engines more opportunity to find your site. Continually adding to your blog adds pages to your site, and that fresh content is actually considered differently by Google and other search engines. Recent changes to search algorithms give more weight to fresher content. “Google’s aim is to include recency and freshness when determining relevance.”

  1. But what do you write about? Think about the things your customers ask you over and over again. These are great fuel for blog articles, and will be the types of things people will search for. Make a list of at least a dozen potential titles, so you have somewhere to start. Try to schedule posting at least one blog article a week, if not more. Make sure your content and titles are SEO friendly, which leads us to…
  2. Optimize Everything SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key component is setting up your website for inbound marketing. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do to drive traffic to your site. It is important that the page titles are used properly. We often see the name of the company only on every page title, or just a simple one word description of the page content. The title should include important keywords and other information, like location that can help to return better results on search. These title tags show up in the browser, search engine results and many social media sites use that title tag as the link when posted. Example: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name 2 In addition it is good practice to link keywords within the body of your website content and blog posts to other pages on your site. Remember to write your content for readers, but consider the terms or keywords that they might be looking for. As always make sure that content is relevant to your audience and useful. Stuffing it with keywords over and over for the hell of it will make it unreadable and Google doesn’t like that either! These are just a few of the many things that affect SEO on your site. Do some research or discuss with your web design agency about properly structuring your site for SEO. There are also practices for Offsite SEO that are equally important. As we’re talking about fine tuning your website for Inbound Marketing, we will save that for another article.
  3. Integrate Social Media Social Media can work on many fronts. It can help you build presence and audience external to your website and position you as a knowledgeable leader in your field. In terms of your website, social can be used to draw people back to your content when you post it on the channels that you choose to use. It also is a way to spread that content. The larger your audience is on social, the wider your potential reach is. So post often and with relevancy. Share and retweet other people’s content as well. It’s just good practice to do so, and will always lead to reciprocal sharing of your content. On your site, implement tools to make sharing easy. Give site visitors the opportunity to like, share, tweet and email without leaving your pages by using social share buttons.
  4. Create Clear Calls To Action Once you’ve done the work to get visitors through your site through blogging, SEO and social, now what? You want to speak to them directly. A call to action helps to do that by giving them a specific action to take. These can be catered to the different types of people who buy your services by creating “buyer personas.” This differs for every business and usually there are several types of them. Regardless of the specifics, your call to action (CTA) should be written and designed in a manner that will incite a response. Some examples: Start Your Free Trial Today Call for a FREE Consulation Download our Ebook on XYZ Tell them clearly what you want them to do. A good CTA is explicit, concise and stands out on your page. Place them on pages where people wind up from search and social, like your homepage, blog, and services pages. You should have multilple CTA’s to use that are specific to the page or content the viewer is looking at. Then link those CTA’s to landing pages…
  5. Use Landing Pages to Convert Visitors to Leads This is where the magic happens. A good landing page is written to reinforce the offer of your CTA. It should describe the benefits of the offer and again incite an action. Common practice on landing pages is to remove all buttons and links, leaving the user with just the form that you will use to capture their info and register them as a lead. Once the form is completed, the user is typically sent an email with a link to download the offer or confirming receipt of their information and the next steps you will take. Here are 7 Tips to Landing page success from Search Engine Watch 3

    1) Have a Clear and Emphasized Call to Action
    2) Align Your On-Page Message and Call-to-Action With Your Off-Page Promise
    3) Simplify Design and Reduce Text
    4) Use Images Judiciously
    5) Show Brand Validation
    6) Enable Sharing and Highlight Social Validation
    7) Test, Test, Test

  6. Analyze & Measure Everything The foundation for all inbound marketing efforts is analytics. You have to know where your traffic sources are coming from, what they’re looking at, and whether or not they are engaged with your content. This requires robust software to be installed on your website.

Google Analytics is a start but it doesn’t offer the full suite of measurement tools needed to effectively get the job done.

Good tools will track and measure many important bits of information that will allow you to continually improve your inbound marketing game. Knowledge is power, and the right platform will provide you all of the insights needed to craft better optimized content, stronger CTA’s and landing pages, as well as gain valuable insight about who is hitting your site. Leads and Conversions are also recorded and data can be tracked and compared over time.

This constant measurement allows us as marketers to improve our efforts while the customer or business owner has real data on what is being done and how that relates to ROI.

Final Thoughts…

Inbound Marketing, is a worthwhile, proven approach that can create a steady flow of traffic and leads when executed properly. If you’re considering a website redesign, ask your developer or agency about how you can implement features in your new website to facilitate this. As always make sure that the approach is right for your business. If you decide to go it alone and are not capable or writing and producing content in a timely manner, it may not be a fit. You can seek out assistance from a qualified professional or agency so that you get the most out of inbound marketing.

Sources:

About Tommy Spero

Tommy Spero ( @tommyspero ) is the Principal and Creative Director of Soul NYC (www.soulnyc.com) , a branding, web design and inbound marketing agency that helps companies large and small use design and technology to grow their businesses. Tommy drives the vision of the agency, with over 14 years working in the design and interactive space. His experience working with some of the worlds biggest companies, like American Greetings, Sony Music, VH1, Showtime and Novartis, gives him unique insight on how small and medium businesses can succeed through the use of branding and technology. His design work has been featured multiple times in the LogoLounge series of books by Rockport Press, as well as appearing on television and all across the web.

Devon Edwards and Phil Sharp on Digital Business Hour

 

Devon Edwards

Served more than 15 years in the Armed Forces and upon retiring from Military went to Film school. Attended and graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Film. Worked as an Assistant Editor on 2 Independent Feature films: “Blessed and Cursed” ( DVD at Wal-Mart, Red Box, On Demand, and Netflix), “Dreams” (currently in market with Major Production Companies). Worked on several Chicagoland Chevy Commercials, Concerts, DVD recordings of artists such as Phil Tarver, Chris Searcy, Vicky Yohe, Mali Music, etc. Currently pursuing MFA at DePaul University in Cinema Productions. Lastly, but certainly not least is that I am launching own Film Company “Inspire-Films” Coming Soon.

Phil Sharp

A recent study from researchers at Wharton, Yale and Harvard suggests that when you’re pressed for time, a great way to be more productive is to help others. Yet, when you’re busy, lending a helping hand is often low on your priority list.
That’s why Good Deed Time was created.
Every week our members are emailed one specific good deed to accomplish. With all of us focused on accomplishing the same good deed, we’re bound to make people smile, make a difference in the world, and make ourselves more productive.

Quick facts:

-We have spent absolutely no money promoting the site. All sign ups have come through social media channels, community powered sites, and word of mouth.

-So far we’ve send letters and packages to a young girl with leukemia, sent supplies to the Atlanta Humane Society, and wrote letters of thanks to military families.

Why B2B Marketers Need to Act More Like B2C Marketers

Paul Dunay on Marketing Made Simple TV

In this show, sponsored by Eloqua (with a great content offer of the Real World Marketing Syllabus by Aberdeen. Download it with this link or the button in the show), Paul Dunay, VP of Global Marketing at Maxymizer, shares five ways B2B Marketers need to start acting more like B2C Marketers (Click the link to read Paul’s article at BtoBOnline.com.) in this interview with Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers. Here are the five things in B2B marketing that needs to emulate B2C Marketing.

  1. B2B website design is outdated. Needs to be designed for people, and not companies. (Case in point, when Find New Customers slashed words on its home page from 550 down to just 28, registrations of the flagship white paper, How to Find New Customers shot up by 500%! It works!)
  2. Start testing, seriously. Marketing needs a serious focus on testing
  3. Treat your content like a category. Get rid of the Resources tab and re-organize your content in approaches for people.
  4. Employ deeper search and sort capabilities.
  5. Allow product reviews. Welcome interaction with people. Let them share comments, like Amazon reviews.

We thank Paul for appearing on the show. You can follow him at @pauldunay on Twitter. And we also thank our other sponsors – Avitage (Great video content marketing firm), Communication Strategy Group (Brandtelling), Digital Ethos (non-profit marketing education) and Watchitoo (streaming media conferencing and the show platform.)

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Stop Using Social Media Now….Without a Plan (Part 2)

I wrote “Stop Using Social Media Now…Without a Plan”  blog in February of 2012.   Since then it became very clear to me that many businesspeople do not have a marketing plan for themselves or their businesses.  They “wing it” in terms of social media marketing and they continue to market without a method to track effectiveness or cost (time and money).

In today’s competitive marketplace people need to use their time, energy and resources effectively.  The business and marketing paradigm has changed.  Without a plan you are at a competitive disadvantage right from the start.

It is not only the time to rethink your marketing efforts but the time to make sure you have a viable program in place. If you do have a marketing plan, it’s time to revisit it.  What’s been working? What has not been working? Social media marketing and the overall digital media marketing activities need to be examined and new strategies implemented.

If you have never had a marketing plan, it would be wise to create one.  In addition to Digital Ethos there are many free resources online that talk about marketing plans for businesses.  Check out the National Federation of Independent Business http://www.nifb.com and the United States Small Business Administration www.sba.gov for ideas and information.

Your time is precious. Don’t waste it. Whether your business has one employee, 50 employees or 500, you need a marketing plan to establish goals for business growth.  The plan should outline the strategies you want to implement and the vehicles you need to use to reach your target audiences.  Include social media, but don’t focus 100 percent on it.  A plan that includes traditional marketing methods that has a mix of direct mail, SEO, networking, website, public speaking, advertising, networking and/or trade shows along with select social media vehicles will be most effective.

A marketing plan should be based on specific short- term and long-  term goals for your business.  For example, a short- term goal to improve branding might be to update your logo or create a tagline for your website and other social media vehicles as well as print materials.  This refreshed look will attract the attention of prospects as well as current customers.

When analyzing your marketing efforts, determine if social media efforts are delivering an ROI.  If not, look to other digital media possibilities, such as email blasts, direct mail with QR codes or personalized URLs.  Know the mind-set of your target audiences and your clients when exploring these options and consider how they will react to your marketing methods.  Do you want to use a soft marketing or passive approach? Do you want to use a direct approach, one in which you seek a response to an offer of some type.  Regardless, you must have a plan in place to make the effort worthwhile.

Let’s look at three traditional forms of marketing, each still viable in today’s marketplace, that if combined with social media tools, can improve the effectiveness of your marketing effort.

1. Trade Shows

Trade shows offer an excellent forum for meeting face to face with contacts and prospects.  Within your marketing plan include a trade show program with these three basic sections recommended by Trade Show Advisor www.trade-show-advisor.com

  1. Pre-Show Marketing,
  2. During Show Marketing,
  3. Post-Show Marketing and follow up.

You’ve must aggressively market to prospects before they arrive, fully engage them during the show, and promptly follow-up with them after the show to generate additional sales.

It is important to note: 80% of exhibitors do not follow up on sales leads they collect at trade shows. Many do not have a self-working system in place to consistently and automatically follow up with prospects and stay in touch with customers on a regular basis. http://www.growingmybiz.com/images/Trade_Show_Follow_Up_Article.pdf

2. Direct Mail.  Everyone and every business still have mail boxes and people do look at their mail.  There are many new ways to generate sales leads today, but direct mail remains one of the most powerful lead-generation tools.

Even successful online businesses are discovering that direct mail is essential for growth, since newer marketing tactics, such as SEO, social media, and email marketing, often have limitations because of the rapidly changing rules and technical issues involved.

http://www.marketingprofs.com/8/cheap-direct-mail-tools-generate-sales-leads-fast-rieck.asp

Direct mail allows you to reach individuals, firms and the target audiences you identify.  If you place one of the ugly black QR Code boxes (quick response) on your marketing materials you may be able to get more mileage out of this tried and true effort.  Use QR Codes to drive people to videos, social media sites and websites – they can even dial your phone number.  Consider using QRs to make your print documents come alive and connect with mobile device users.  While QR codes have not been super popular, they are catching on with more and more smartphone users. Data shows that almost 50 percent of all American adults own a smartphone.  Study show that over 100 million Smartphone users are projected by 2013. This will no doubt increase the use of QR codes significantly http://www.foliomag.com/2012/study-over-100-million-smartphone-users-projected-2013

3. Networking – Face to face relationship building still works.  People prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust and they get to know you through networking.

According to the website Businessballs.com business networking is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions – either face-to-face at meetings and gatherings, or by other contact methods such as phone, email, and increasingly social and business networking websites. http://www.businessballs.com/business-networking.htm

Whether a CEO of a large company or a sole practitioner accountant, you are already networking to some degree. Networking events are meant to facilitate business and professional relationships.  In order to get the most out of these events it is best to have a networking plan within a marketing plan. You do need to devise how you are going to meet and interact with new business contacts and grow these relationships.

LinkedIn is an excellent digital means for business-minded people to network effectively and to foster relationships.  Small businesses or individuals can use LinkedIn to tell their story, gain exposure, and create or enhance their business or personal brand, and be connected with hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals.  Card Munch, a business card scanner app on smart phones produced by LinkedIn, is another way to immediately capture contact information and connect with people and begin business relationships.  

To develop an effective marketing plan the elements which are appropriate for you to include will largely depend on your particular industry and circumstances.  However, you must be eager to explore ideas and be willing to implement new approaches to create a marketing plan that will not end up wasting your time and energy but instead will generate the ROI that you expect.  Don’t procrastinate; begin to develop your business marketing plan today. Remember, many of your competitors have marketing plans and they are using them to go after your clients and business prospects.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Best Ways to Market to Different Generations

http://www.edupics.com/coloring-page-different-generations-i4588.html

Every successful business owner knows that marketing is the key to expanding a business and gaining new customers, but not all types of marketing are equally effective. Multiple marketing techniques exist; each of which are helpful for reaching different age demographics. Knowing which type of approach to use to target various generations is essential for a successful marketing campaign.

Youth

Children are easily targeted through television. Commercial advertising to young people during popular television shows can bring in sizeable revenues. The key is advertising during after school hours and on the weekends when children are most likely to be watching television. Another way of marketing to children is through strategic store displays and product placement. Noise and Bright Colors are always great ideas to catch their attention. Mobile apps are also a great way to reach children and generate familarity with a brand, Rovio’s Angry Birds is a great example of how mobile apps are reaching the youthful market.

Teenagers

When they are not in school, teenagers spend a lot of time on social networks. That means hours perusing Facebook and reading Twitter updates from friends. Every business — regardless of whether it is marketing to a teenage demographic — should have Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is an easy way to keep potential customers updated on special deals, sales and information pertaining to a particular business. Retailers, for example, can post pictures of the season’s new inventories, and Twitter is a viable way to respond directly to followers. One of the important aspects to consider is the right mix of organic marketing on the social networks with advertising models. Facebook is particularly useful remarketing specific ads to those teenagers that have already connected to your brand, product or service.

Young and Middle-Age Adults

Young and middle-age adults are one of the most profitable demographics for business owners. Marketing trends for this generation are directly connected to digital media. Online banner ads and pay per click marketing, for example, are profitable ways of reaching the millions of people who use the Internet to get their news, socialize with friends and conduct business. The introduction of remarking tools have made these even more effective as you can target audiences that already are familiar with the brand, product or service. One of the top things to consider is if remarketing is a part of the banner campaign and what that looks like compared to your standard banner campaigns.

Another increasingly popular way of marketing to young and middle-age adults is by using mobile marketing. Mobile marketing companies help business owners take advantage of the rising number of cell phone users who access the Internet using their Smartphone devices. Mobile marketing companies help serve business owners by teaching them which customers to target and how to gain the most financial return on their marketing investments. While mobile apps are great for youth, mobile SMS campaigns have also become very successful, with success rates in the high 90′s SMS is a must for targeting this generation.

Seniors and Baby Boomers

Senior citizens and baby boomers are less likely to take advantage of digital media. Traditional marketing methods are still the primary way of reaching senior citizens and baby boomers. For example, according to StateOfTheMedia.org, individuals over the age of 55 are significantly more likely to subscribe to newspapers than individuals under age 35. As of 2011, approximately half of Americans over age 55 and six in every ten Americans over age 65 read a newspaper on a daily basis. With this age range being the fastest growing user base on social sites it shouldn’t take long before they become a viable audience for other digital campaigns but for now you might find a higher rate of success with email marketing. While email is prone to low open rates, developing loyalty programs with email marketing can be extremely successful with the generational group.

Alex Nieland provides editorial on the mobile marketing industry. Mr. Nieland has written several publications relating to the latest tips, trends, and statistics within the mobile advertising sector.

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Google AdWords, Part 2 [Internship]

As you read in the Google Adwords part one, pay per click (PPC) is one of the options Google offers as an advertising feature. However, PPC is not the only feature. Cost Per Impression (CPI) is another online advertising tool that Google offers. CPI usually is in the form of a banner ad on a website and advertisers pay for every time their ad is displayed. CPI is different from PPC because CPI is only when the ad is displayed on a website, not clicked like PPC. Cost Per Mille (CPM) is the most common marketing practice used on the internet. CPM advertising is the way a marketer can be more certain about the revenue they generate from their website traffic. When the amount paid for every thousand earning impressions served, this is said to be CPM or CPI.

Some of Google Adwords advanced features include location options. In the previous Google Adwords article, it talked about setting your location to make your ads visible to a certain area. Advanced location options allow a marketer to reach people viewing pages about your targeted location. This will help because you will not only be seen in just your targeted area anymore. The only catch is that this feature is only available for certain campaign types that have “all features”. The good news is that you can switch your campaign type whenever you like.

Google had recently been trying out a new feature called Google Email Subscription Ads. This allows companies to buy ads that automatically fill in a newsletter slot. This allows users to sign up more easily for email subscriptions or other free newsletters. A cool feature on this allows your Google email address to be displayed next to your ad.

A new revolutionizing feature that Google Adwords set up is calling Pay Per Call (PPC). Pay Per Call is simply the process of an advertiser paying the publisher every time their phone number is clicked off a Google search page. This is another good way a marketer can establish their advertisements and see how their PPC option really works.

Google offers many different features for businesses to choose from. Google Adwords is a great beneficial step for your business to take. The set up is easy, and Google is kind enough to show you a step by step process. Even though Google is testing out some features, it’s easy to see that they are thriving and will go into good use.

Read: Google AdWords Part 1

Sources:

http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/advertising-internet-advertising/2646-1.html#axzz29NUBY4iJ

http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1722038

http://www.crunchbase.com/product/google-adwords-2

http://paypercallexchange.com/mobile-marketing/google-mobile-adwords/

 

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

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