Apr 252012

Internet Marketing StrategyYou have heard about all these businesses successfully marketing online and have probably been assaulted by dozens of social media managers by now, but how can you be confident in their anticipated results?

It all comes down to one word, strategy.

Beware of these social media managers and website designers willing to accept your money without ever addressing the strategy they propose to implement. Creating a posting schedule for every social network out there and creating a pretty website may sound glorious, but is it worth it if is not generating any income?

I am pretty sure you like to make investments that yield an ROI so I am going to guess you said “No Joe, it isn’t worth it.”

So let’s go over 5 imperative segments of a successful strategy.

1) Design Strategy
Any graphic artist or competent website designer can make something pretty, but will it convert visitors to subscribers and sales? It is important when creating the look and feel of your site you take into consideration what actions you want your audience to take on every page of the site. The home page design is the most critical because it is where most of your visitors will land, but remember your objective is to get people to stay interested and check out other pages.

2) Content Strategy
Ok, so you have addressed the design of your site as a whole and you have defined the objectives for all your pages, now it is imperative that your copy leads people through your site the way you want. It is your content which is going to directly influence the time spent on your site. The more time on your site the more opportunity you have to develop confidence and comfort with your visitor.

Content is typically a component drastically overlooked when developing a site, but it is more important than the design in my opinion. Unless you have a site like Jim Carrey, which is freakin’ amazing by the way, your site must be engaging and provide as much value as possible on each and every page.

3) Promotion Strategy
Now you have got a design people will love, and content has been created that will fully engage anyone interested in your topic, but since less than 1% of people come to your site for the first time to make a purchase how do you plan to capture their information?

This is where the rule of 7 comes into play. In order to capture information you must create an irresistible offer. Now this is not a news letter or some PLR crap you downloaded and repackaged, you really want this to be something that exposes your awesome knowledge and credibility. You want people to take advantage of your proposition and make it a point to revisit your site since you exceeded their expectations.

4) Engagement Strategy
If you have completed the first three segments, congratulations! You have already done more than most businesses, but your work is not over yet. That was the easy part, and it was easy since all of those tasks, once they are set up, are relatively stagnant.

There should not be regular massive changes to your design, but engaging with your audience frequently is a must. Just because someone opted in for something you offered does not mean you have free reign to market and sell them on the next greatest thing out there. Engagement on social media, your website, and in your email campaign, offers you the opportunity to establish comfort and reliability in your knowledge so you can earn the permission to offer a product or service to your list.

5) Conversation Strategy
Knowing how to create blogs, status updates, and content updates on your site in a way that spawns conversation is a strategy that you should establish ahead of time so that there is a predetermined schedule of content going up and a scheduled time to respond to interaction. The last thing you want is happy and maybe not so happy people talking about your brand and you not have any response.

If you are willing to take the time to address these 5 areas prior to fully launching your site you will find it much easier to generate and measure the results of your internet marketing efforts. Check out the Biz Resources page for other tools both free and paid that may help you on your online marketing journey.

Have an awesome day!

Dec 012011

So Pay Per Click costs on Google have exploded in cost over the last few years. In 2006 average we were looking at an average of $.32/ per click and 2010 we were up to $1.24/ per click. On top of that that the majority of businesses participating don’t even know if they are converting enough people to justify spending $1.00+ to get them to their site!

If you are like most site owners you probably have no idea what your conversion rate is, but you still want traffic.  Social media, organic SEO, and all the other site optimization strategies are great, but what if there was a way to get clicks for $.04-$.10 per, is that a little more budget friendly? Would it be worth it to spend $5/ day and get another 60-100 unique, targeted visitors to your site?

Absolutely! Even if you don’t know anything about your conversion rate another 2000+ hits to your site a month should show you some profitability, and for only $150/month it’s a no brainer.

Ok so where the heck can I set up these campaigns?

There are 2 areas to get super cheap PPC ads as of June 2011.

1) YouTube

2) Gmail

YouTube is starting to get some legs behind it in regards to businesses launching successful campaigns, but fortunately the majority of the social media marketing focus is still revolving around Facebook. Imagine if you had dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people watching a video you created that not only provided great content, but had an enticing offer at the backend. Maybe your offer was just to subscribe to getting a free gift this is a very inexpensive way of getting visibility and growing your list.

How cool would it be if you could advertise on all the emails your competitor sent to people that used Gmail? That is one of the cool features in Gmail PPC. You can identify a specific phrase or tag line that is in all of your competitor’s emails and use them as the keywords. Then bada bing bada boom, you are in there like swimwear for only $.05-.10/click.

Before you jump in with both feet make sure your site is converting well. If you need some pointers check out the 5 elements of a online marketing strategy post.

What have been your most effective sources for traffic?

May 232011

I recently went on the backstage tour at Disney World and learned some top secret Disney information that can help you with your online marketing!

Here is a quick review and recap of the tour before we begin: Six hour tour, $75 per person lunch included, lots of cool and interesting facts, it was cool to see all the backstage storage and employee areas, the efficiency is beyond amazing, and I saw 2 characters without their heads!

So Joe, how does any of this relate to my online marketing efforts?

I am so glad you asked!

Within the first hour of the tour our guide filled us in on how Disney makes all their decisions within the park regarding attractions, construction, and pretty much anything else that people see while they are in any park. The four things they evaluate, and this is in order of importance: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.

It was funny how my brain immediately related this into internet marketing. After thinking about each of these four evaluated areas here is how I interpreted into a successful web presence.

1) Safety- Most people’s focus on, once their site is “up,” getting traffic. Now obviously traffic is a critical component of your site, but when your site is not ready to convert visitors into anything that is going to benefit them or yourself, what good is traffic? It is important to aim at increasing traffic when it is safe to do so. Don’t waste all your ammo on setting up an amazing launch if you haven’t spent some time testing out conversions and what calls to action are going to be most effective. Do some upfront research on your industry and competitors to determine what will be most effective, then you can set up a safe, successful, profitable launch of your site.

2) Courtesy- How generous are you with information? Are you accessible to your followers? Is everything you blog about and have on your pages a blatant sales pitch? As a business marketing online, it is important to communicate and respond to your audience as quick as you can. More importantly, be courteous enough not to see every engagement as a sales opportunity. People enjoy and appreciate communication without solicitation, it builds confidence and a comfortable dependency on the easy access to your knowledge.

3) Show- This is really the “sales pitch” of your product. How well is it viewed? Is your pitch enticing and does it draw your audience into wanting to learn more about how your product or service can help them? If they aren’t ready to make a purchase today is there any kind of freebie or trial version they can take advantage of? It is the user engagement with not only your sales pages, but your site as a whole which is the “show.

4) Efficiency- This is more of a backend necessity. You really don’t want to be scrambling daily or weekly to manage comments, sales, and social networking. This is why a routine schedule you create for yourself is imperative. I am sure at some point in your life you made a list of things to do and found it to be significantly more productive.

So there it is! You now know how Disney operates and how you can apply it to your internet marketing.

Let us know of an interesting situation you have been in that you found yourself relating back to the internet.