May 122012

We just discussed 3 easy strategies that will increase your online presence; let’s identify a few things to avoid that can save you time and money on you internet marketing.

I think we can all agree that the internet is a non-stop avalanche of new ideas and informational products. So how can you to be expected to know what is crap and what is gold? There is no shortage of self proclaimed guru’s out there marketing all of the “secrets” of Facebook, and Linkedin, and Youtube and on and on.

Here are 7 reasons why your efforts may be falling short and some ideas to improve your results.

1) Your website is an online brochure.

This is a very common error in the market place because the capability of a website has evolved dramatically. We have gone to, I need a website so when someone search for me something comes up; to my website is a lead generation system, company validation platform, sales processor, dynamic face of the company.

Get your site on a CMS like WordPress, or Joomla (Just 2 of many examples, I prefer WordPress myself)

2) There is no “Call to Action”

I have heard people say, “My site has a Contact Us page, if they want our information they know where to find us.This is horrible!

We as a society have become lazy and impatient. When we get to a website we want benefit, instantly. By not capitalizing on why people come to your site and addressing their needs immediately you are losing people faster than it took them to find you

3) No communication

When people interact with you on your site or social media it is your duty to respond. Most of your efforts are probably being made to try to get people to interact with you and when they finally do you don’t even communicate back! Now, I am not referring to having an auto responder send them an email, I am talking about you actually taking a moment and show you give a damn about what they took their time to say.

Making a phone call based on someone’s communication online is almost unheard of. I have asked this in seminars “Who has ever gotten a call from someone online based on your subscribing or purchasing something?” The response is maybe 3-5% of the room, and of those people all of them can tell you exactly who it was that made the call.

Pick up a phone based on an online communication and skyrocket participation and exposure.

4) Shiny object syndrome

Marketing online is great, but when you are doing something new every week, are on every new webinar, and are looking for the magic bullet to explosive viral growth you are wasting an immense amount of time.

Which leads into the next ROI killer.

5) Lack of strategy

Creating a profile on all the social networks, and setting up a website is not a strategy. Making random posts about what you do or about your company of your Facebook page is not a strategy. Telling people about your business in everyone of your post responses is not a strategy. Posting a pitch of your company on other people sites or fan pages is NOT a strategy.

You may laugh, and say “Joe, duh! Why would I do that stuff?” Well the fact is it happens all the time, and for some reason people think it works.

A strategy is exactly that, a strategy. It is a formulated plan of attack. It defines objectives, goals, timelines, milestones, checklists, and a success tracking plan.

6) Tracking

Strategy is great and necessary, but when you don’t ever take the time to look at what is and isn’t working the wheels never stop spinning and they may be taking you down a path of failure faster than you can imagine.

Identify how many people come to your site (daily, weekly, monthly), where are they coming from, how long are they there, what are they clicking on, what percentage of people are subscribing and/or buying, how many are opening your emails, are they clicking on links, what is your sites rank and bounce rate?

All of these things can pretty much be achieved with Google analytics and a CRM like iContact, Constant Contact, or Aweber.

7) Thinking you can do it on your own

There is nobody out there creating massive success online completely by themselves. Just like in any business everyone has a few things they like to do and a few things they are really good at. It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and leverage them.

Outsource, collaborate, barter, do whatever you have to do get away from the stuff you know other people are much better at than you are. You may be great at implementing a strategy, but have no idea how to create something that is going to generate revenue or vice versa.

I love creating strategy, but hate doing the leg work. There are pieces I like, and I can do everything (for the most part) that I need to get done with some exceptions, but I began to pay others to do the bits and pieces I don’t want to be bothered with and life is much easier.

Don’t be another “I tried internet marketing and it didn’t work ,” B.S. story. You can do it, it does require learning new stuff, and the only one who can make that decision is you.

Thanks for stopping by, and please let the audience know if there is some tool you used that you did or didn’t like or even a strategy.

Have a great 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 152011

[google1]Much like how life is always changing and evolving so is consumerism. What was the last sizable purchase you made? How did you start the process?

One of the most interesting things to me is analyzing how buying patterns shift. The psychology behind how people make purchases has changed dramatically over the last few decades. A friend of mine, Rusty Fox, was doing a training and told us the story of how the purchase of a microwave has evolved over the last 30 or so years.

Now, I wasn’t around 30 years ago, but this still makes perfect sense.

When someone wanted to go buy a microwave or a comparable item where would they probably end up? Some place like Sears, or another local appliance store. The person with all the info was the well dressed sales person, typically a man, who was there to tell you all the great benefits and all the amazing features your new “toy” would have. There wasn’t much validation to his sales pitch other than his word, but he sure did get you excited about having your steak reheated in only a minute!

So how has this changed? Sears is still around, now we even have Lowes and Home Depot. Ask yourself this, “When I go into a store do I really need a sales person’s assistance in helping me make my decision or do I just need them to show the right isle?”

We have taken the product knowledge responsibility away from the sales person and tossed it online so we can figure things out for ourselves.

“I don’t want something I need, I want something I want.” – Quote from the movie, “Love Actually

We want to come to conclusions on our own; the skilled sales person is no longer the one who provides valuable information, it is the one who can best lead someone to coming to a decision based on information they already had. This is why marketing online is so revolutionary and effective, the conclusions have already been made and consumers are searching for the product to purchase.

How do you engage with potential customers and become an information resource they can use to investigate products and services? Are you bold enough to review your competition and highlight their benefits? (You should be because as an affiliate you can get paid on it!)