internet marketing

Of the 300+ major social media channels, is your brand on the right one?

With over 300+ social media channels out there, choosing the right social media for business can be difficult.

 

I recently found myself searching for the right social media channel for one of my clients, a regional nonprofit wildlife organization. We wanted to see how we could leverage social media to increase their membership. Since hunters and fishers love talking about their trips and what they harvested and caught, social media appeared to be a logical strategy. 

My friends who hunt and fish frequently post photos of themselves with their 8-lb bass or 12-point buck on Facebook. I started to think of other photo sharing social channels that hunters and fishers might use and it made me think of Pinterest. 

While I was skeptical at first (because of the plethora of boards on weddings and jam recipes), it was apparent after doing a few searches that the hunting and fishing community has begun to adopt the channel for media sharing. 

In the last 20 years, marketing was relatively simple due to the limited channels--radio, print, television, telephone, and word of mouth. The Internet has made choosing the right social media for business significantly more difficult. According to Wikipedia, there are over 300 major social media channels. That list does not include the thousands of minor social networks out there. 

Participating on all of these social networks would be an impossible feat even with an unlimited budget. And while it’s true the spray and pray method of marketing does work, it is not an efficient use of your time or money. 

Determining which social media channels to utilize is not an easy task, but it starts with identifying what your target market is doing on these networks and ensuring that it is aligned with the ultimate goals of your social media campaigns. 

Observing how your potential market utilizes the social network is an obvious way to determine whether the social network is a good fit. That may not always be easy because of privacy settings on certain networks. In which case, you can take the study a step further and survey your ideal clients to determine which social media channels they utilize and how they use them. 

To go back to the wildlife organization case, because of the regional nature of the non-profit organization, Pinterest would not be a good fit. The amount of effort required to make an impact would have far surpassed the benefits  their organization would have felt from a membership growth perspective.

Once you’ve determined which marketing channels are most effective for your target, it’s time to change channels. Pause the channels that your audience is not using or not utilizing in a manner that is conducive to your number goals. Focus your time and attention on the channels that will produce for your organization. Get your brand promoters to interact with your target audience on those channels and watch as your promoters convert your passives and detractors into customers. 

Read this article: Of the 300+ major social media channels, is your brand on the right one?

10 Secrets to Leading a Successful Marketing Campaign: Part 2

Thanks for tuning back in for part two of 10 Secrets to Leading a Successful Marketing Campaign. For those of you who missed the first part of this blog series, please click here to read part one.

6. Know What a Client is Worth to Your Company

During the launch meeting of every campaign we ask our client “how much is the average client worth to your company?” When we do get an answer, we then follow up with a calculation to determine how many leads and sales need to be generated every month to ensure that the campaign is profitable.

Whether you use a marketing agency or not, as a marketer, you must know how much a new client is worth. Otherwise, you will not be able to make informed decisions on how to spend your marketing budget.

For instance, if the keyword “buy print materials” has a cost per acquisition (CPA) of $100, you may dismiss the keyword at first. However, if you’re able to establish that the average client is worth $1,000 in profit, then you would more then likely rethink spending $100 to acquire that client.

7. Leverage Great Tools

Utilizing tools can help you organize your efforts, analyze data, make you more efficient, and your marketing campaigns more effective.

Here is a list of a few of my favorites:


Project Management:

Basecamp
Evernote
Google Docs
Things


SEO:
Market Samurai
Screaming Frog
Google Webmaster Tools
SEO Site Tools Chrome Plugin
SEOMoz Chrome Plugin
Open Site Explorer


Traffic Analysis:
Google Analytics
Omniture

PPC Management Tools
:
Adwords Editor
Marin Software
SearchForce
WebTrends


Marketing Automation Tools:
ActOn!
Marketo
Pardot
Silverpop


Social Media Management Tools:
HootSuite
Radian6
TweetDeck

What are some of your favorite marketing tools?

8. Create Phenomenal Collateral

By now you know your clients and what makes them tick. Begin producing marketing collateral on a regular basis that addresses your potential client’s needs and desires.

Don’t limit yourself to producing one form of collateral. Some clients may prefer the written word, but others may prefer video blogs, webinars, or interactive demos.

If your company does not have a blog, get one. It opens doors for meaningful conversation, new relationships, and opportunities. Blogs help your company demonstrate its expertise. Blogging should not be optional, make it a mandatory company activity.

Few things are more powerful then a gleaming client testimonial. Create testimonials and case studies detailing your clients’ experiences with your company. Set aside a budget to film customers talking about their experience with your company. Not only are whitepapers fantastic link bait, they are also a great way to prove your knowledge and gather contact information.

9. Nurture Your Leads

In today’s tough economy, buyers are more fickle then they have in the past. Lead nurturing using marketing automation platforms is critical to creating relationships with potential clients.

A good lead nurturing campaign decreases the total number of man-hours needed to create a sale. They also increase your conversion rate for all of your Internet marketing efforts by continually engaging with a potential client and tracking the client’s engagement with your company.

Setting up a lead nurturing campaign can be a daunting task considering the total number of man hours, but once it is up and running smoothly, you will save your company significant amounts of time.

The success of your lead nurturing campaign relies entirely on your ability to create phenomenal collateral. Ensure that you invest enough time and effort into the creation and review process so that your potential clients are blown away by their experience. Additionally, don’t skimp on promoting your own collateral because it doesn’t do anyone any good if there isn’t any viewership.

10. Analyze Your Data and Take Action

Are you using a CRM that integrates with your Web Analytics and can report exactly how much revenue has been generated from your Pay-Per-Click, E-mail Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization campaigns? If the answer is no, then you are not tracking enough data and will not be able to make data-driven decisions.

Make sure that you are regularly reviewing and analyzing data to find trends in your data. If a particular marketing campaign is generating more revenue then another, you should try and understand why that is happening. Market frugally; do not spend money if it is not producing bottom line results.

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What commonalities have you noticed between successful marketing campaigns? Is there any particular “secret” that you have found to be most helpful for you in the past?
 

Read this article: 10 Secrets to Leading a Successful Marketing Campaign: Part 2

10 Secrets to Leading a Successful Marketing Campaign: Part 1

Having been involved on many marketing campaigns, I have found that there are commonalities between all successful marketing campaigns. While this list could be much larger, I limited it to 10 then decided to split the original blog post into two for the sake of brevity. I attempted to organize these tips in sequential order so that it is more logical. Without further ado, let’s start with number one.

1. Know Your Target Market

When I say know your target market, I don’t mean what their names are, but know what makes them tick.

What motivates your target market? Do they have an innate need for recognition and respect? Are they highly motivated and A-Type personalities? Now tie that in with their demographics. Are they 20-somethings? Are they Baby Boomers?  Technophiles? Do they have a large amount of purchasing power? Own a home? Have a family? What is important to them? What do they do to relax?

Create a document that describes your target market and distribute it amongst your co-workers. Ensure that they understand the importance of knowing the company’s target market and incorporate this knowledge into everything that they produce that is customer facing.

2. Address Your Client’s Needs

Now that you know your target market, review your product or service. Does every aspect of that product help satisfy your target market? Does every official piece of communication from your company somehow address your client’s needs and gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling?

If not, take a step back and rethink your strategy. Your client’s are your biggest piece of “marketing collateral” and if they’re not having an amazing experience, then they’re not going to refer your company to their friends and family.

3. Write a Marketing Plan

A great marketing campaign starts with a great plan, though the planning stage is frequently overlooked. If you’re not sure where to start, Volacci offers a free Internet marketing plan template.

After writing your marketing plan, make sure that you get buy-in from all parties. Ensure that they know what parts of the plan that they are responsible for. Finally, prepare for deviations to your plan. No matter how much time and effort that you put into your plan there will be changes that you could not predict.

4. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

The idiom holds true in marketing as well as most things in life. All too often I see companies unwilling to commit to multiple forms of marketing. Instead, they put all of their proverbial eggs in one basket and commit only to SEO or PPC, for example. That’s like saying I am going to take my life savings and invest only in General Motors. It may serve me well for awhile, but when the auto industry hits a funk, you’re up the creek without a paddle (excuse the abuse of idioms).

As important as it is to diversify your stock portfolio, it is equally important to diversify your marketing efforts. Fully commit to all of your marketing efforts, to ensure that you are giving yourself the best opportunity to create success.

5. Set Goals and Track Progress

After you have finished your marketing plan, set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals for you and your team for every aspect of your campaign. You cannot do it alone. Make sure that your team is comprised of people you can trust and depend on. Delegate the work that needs to be done between your team based on their individual strengths. Have someone who is a whiz with PowerPoint? Put them in charge of creating the PowerPoint template for your new sales presentations.

Hold your team accountable for progress. Create 15-minute weekly standup meetings that are basically a round-robin of the progress that has been made with a particular campaign.

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Click here to read the part two of this blog.

Read this article: 10 Secrets to Leading a Successful Marketing Campaign: Part 1

5 New Year Resolutions Every SEO & Business Owner Should Make in 2012

SEO in 2012
(image from http://internetmarketingonlinecourse.org)

2011: Good riddance. We appreciate you, but your SEO loins were fickle, your algorithm updates were disorienting. We hope for a 2012 full of predictability and fruitfulness for quality sites.

Here are a few ways to make your SEO dreams come true in 2012.

Read this article: 5 New Year Resolutions Every SEO & Business Owner Should Make in 2012

SEO Tracking, Reporting and Accountability: B2B Transparency

Search-Engine-Marketing.jpg

One element is almost always missing between a business and its SEO/Internet marketing company: Immediate accountability. Business-to-business transparency is a myth, right? “If only I actually knew and understood the details of what my provider is doing for me.” “I’ve sunk a year of monthly payments into this company and I’m just now realizing it’s not worth it.” “It’s way too technical. I’ll leave it to them and follow blindly.”

Read this article: SEO Tracking, Reporting and Accountability: B2B Transparency

Google’s Places/Organic Mashup and What Does It Mean?

In case you have been living under a rock, here’s a news flash: Double rainbows are awesome. Oh, and also Google has made some changes to how they integrate organic and local results. This new presentation, called Place Search, moves local map results to the right column and integrates meta data, address, phone number and reviews into results. Another interesting feature of the map is that it scrolls down the side of the screen as you scroll down.

Read this article: Google’s Places/Organic Mashup and What Does It Mean?

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