Grow Your Web Presence. One Campaign At A Time.


  Contact : (800) 605-4988

All Posts in Category: Featured

The Internet, and The Future of Bumper Stickers

Oh where, oh where have the corporate bumper stickers gone?

It used to be that in the good old days of marketing, not so very long ago, businesses could simply go to any trade show and hand out bumper stickers with their name and corporate logo on them, and that would be about it for any outbound marketing effort. Add on some type of contest like the radio stations did, and you were really going above and beyond.

But look around these days and you don’t see anything near the proliferation of bumper stickers that there used to be.

Oh sure, you can still find witty and religious sayings, magnetic ribbons for various diseases, words of support for politicians and sports teams, “my child is an honor student” and those omnipresent stick figure families.

But when was the last time you saw a bumper sticker with the name of a local business on it? If you have seen one, odds are that it was probably on an older vehicle and had a purpose of helping to keep the bumper on the car!

Well, times have changed, bumpers have changed and the marketer’s idea of only using bumper stickers to attract prospects and customers will have to change, too.

Those once-plentiful signs of company pride used to be a popular form of traditional — or push — marketing. The objective was to push information, the company’s name or branding statements out to consumers, and they would be more inclined to frequent your business.

Now it’s a much more in-depth and delicate wooing process for companies to capture the attention of prospects and win their consumer hearts. It demands the strategic use of Internet marketing.

Social Media Marketing Companies

The good news is that businesses of every size can utilize Internet marketing. The bad news is that businesses of every size have to utilize Internet marketing, or they will simply lose out to their much more aggressive and Internet-savvy competitors.

This form of marketing is known as pull marketing. It’s a little similar to fishing, where you put something of interest out there to attract some attention, and let it slowly lure in a prospect. The differences here are that you have to use lots of lures and you sometimes have to gain the fish’s permission to participate in the process.

The Move to Social Media and Online Marketing

One similarity between bumper stickers and pull marketing is that you have a very short period of time to garner some attention. Just like passing another car and noticing what the slogan is, your online communications have to be sharp, focused and consistent.

Get to the top of the search engine rankings or nobody can find you, have a succinct Facebook message or it’s gone in 60 seconds as new posts appear, catch attention in six seconds with a blog title or your prospect moves on. It’s a fast and furious world, and you’ve got to be on the top of your game.

Here are just some of the amazing statistics about the opportunity represented by social media and online marketing:

» Social media is huge and it’s still growing: In January, ClickZ highlighted a report from eMarketer that found that social media will have 5.4 million more users by 2016, on top of the 180 million Americans who already rely on it for social interaction and information.

The top five social media outlets are Facebook, TwitterInstagramPinterest and Tumblr. If your business doesn’t have a presence on these five as a minimum, you could be missing out on customers, regardless of your target age group.

Amazingly enough, there will be 4.9 million social network users younger than 12 and 21.1 million teenagers engrossed in social media. Older Millennials are the most active social networkers, and even 17.1 million 55-64 year olds frequent Facebook.

No matter who you need to communicate to in order to present your features and benefits, you had better include social media if you plan to accomplish that goal.

» Young adults are watching less TV: According to Nielsen’s 2014 fourth-quarter analysis of television viewing habits, young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are actually watching less television.

If this is your target group, it’s going to be harder and harder to find them without incorporating an Internet element to your marketing strategy.

The primary reason for their decreased interest in traditional television is their increased interest in digital devices. They are surfing the web, using social media, and Googling answers to every question that comes up in conversation. They use their mobile devices and smartphones extensively and, if they want information on a product or company, they want it now. If it’s not easily available, they are more than willing to move on.

» Social media is the new “back fence”: If people wanted to communicate with their neighbors just a few years ago, they could simply walk to the back fence and exchange information. They might ask about local businesses, relate good and bad experiences, or even provide a referral.

Now all of that is accomplished online through social media networks, bloggers and influencers. Consumers are now in the habit of searching online for answers and information first before making decisions from where to eat to where to have surgery.

In fact, Power Reviews found that 86 percent of consumers say reviews are an essential resource when making purchasing decisions. They trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising and, if they do have a question or concern for a business, they want to be able to get a response quickly.

Does it seem like too much effort to learn about the new “pull” marketing? The return on investment for the time and energy needed is that you get to stay in business and keep attracting customers. Not such a bad return.

So, are bumper stickers totally useless now? Well, not exactly. But I’d recommend adding your web site with a call to action and a coupon code.

— Taylor Reaume is an e-Business coach and founder of Search Engine Pros. He can be contacted at taylor@thesearchenginepros.com, or 1.800.605.4988. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Read More

How To Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

By Taylor Reaume @ NOOZHAWK.COM

There is no denying the importance that a first impression can make. And in today’s tech-driven world, in which impressions can be made in an instant, it’s vital that you are using content that is making a positive and lasting mark on your audience.

If you notice that you aren’t getting the type of traffic that you’d like, it might be time to evaluate the quality of your website. In your evaluation, ask yourself:

» Does the site look physically appealing for viewers?

» Does the site load quickly on different browsers and platforms?

» Does the site offer content that attracts people and sticks in their minds long after they’ve left?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, it’s time for an overhaul of your content marketing strategy.

The good news is that there are plenty of options from which to choose when trying to improve your strategy. The bad news is that the multitude of options makes it hard to narrow down the choices that might be best for you. To help with the process, here are the top seven ways to improve your content marketing strategy for your brand, product or service.

View from a Customer’s Perspective

Before you start doing anything with your new content marketing strategy, it might be time to look at your entire approach from a different perspective.

There is the possibility that you’ve been looking at your content strategy for too long as a member of the business. This may lead you to become biased or judgmental to certain parts of your website. In doing so, you’ll lose out on the perception that your viewers and customers have.

To do a better job of viewing your website from a customer’s perspective, be sure to ask plenty of questions and be open to honest feedback from others. If you fail to realize that your audience isn’t interested, or maybe it simply isn’t seeing your content, then you will have an incredibly difficult time trying to maximize your marketing strategy efforts.

Know What You’re Getting Into

If you plan to improve your online content strategy through blind luck, you may want to think again. Instead, you’re going to want to ensure that you put in plenty of research into your content marketing strategy before you get yourself too deep into anything. Reading this article is a great start, but there’s plenty more that you can do as well.

For beginners, look up the keywords that you plan to use and how you think those will be most useful with your specific site. By using a program like Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you’ll be able to create strings of keywords that are likely to bring back the best results for your website.

The more likely it is that someone is going to put in the string of keywords that you have, the higher likelihood that you’ll get visits to your site. Therefore, do enough due diligence beforehand to ensure that you know what you’re getting yourself into before starting your content marketing strategy.

Look for Cohesiveness Across Platforms

Remember earlier when we asked if your site looks good across platforms and on different browsers? Well, if it doesn’t, now is your time to get this figured out. You never know where your audience is coming from when it’s viewing your content. Visitors may be looking with their phones, their tablets or their computers, and there are also plenty of Internet browsers that they could be using as well. This is important because each browser works and functions differently, which may affect how your site runs.

Therefore, you should look for cohesiveness across all platforms for your website. The more smoothly your site runs on multiple browsers, the more likely it is that people will trust that they can visit your site no matter where they are coming from.

Allow Customer Feedback

Your customers want to let you know how you’re doing. If you don’t listen, you’re missing out on a prime chance to learn how to improve and make your company better. Therefore, a great way for you to improve your content marketing strategy is by letting others provide you with feedback.

Not only does feedback give you a better idea of how you can improve your image and what you can do better, but it also will help your SEO rankings. Finally, by having updated content in the form of customer feedback, other people will see that you make a diligent effort to provide the best service that you can for your clients.

Have A Personal Blog

A personal blog is another great way to improve your content marketing strategy. Since search engines like Google give priority to sites that are regularly updated, a blog is a great way for you to continually update your content. In addition, a blog is an ideal way for you to connect with potential clients who are looking to learn more about your business.

Get Social

Social media also take a big piece of the pie when you are looking for important factors for content marketing.

If you have Facebook and Twitter profiles, that’s a good start. However, do something about it and keep your account as active as possible.

Interacting with clients through social media will help to generate traffic to your site, and it’ll also boost your online web presence in the process.

Always Build Trust

No matter what you’re doing, your goal should always be to build trust with your clients. Every blog post, status update and change to your website should have your clients and customers in mind. Your content marketing strategy should be geared for the long run, which is going to require a lot of trust between you and your audience. Therefore, make sure that you continue to do the right thing in the eyes of your audience, and you’ll notice more loyalty on their behalf.

Content is king in today’s online world. But instead of just throwing any type of content out there, you need to have a precise strategy that will work. With the seven tips, you’ll be able to improve your content market strategy and build strong relationships with your audience.

— Taylor Reaume, is president of Search Engine Pros and a regular speaker on topics of online marketing and web strategy. He has created over 550 web sites since 1998, one which sold for six figures in 2007 to Jupiter Media.  Taylor is Vice Chair of the Board at TVSB and an active member of several local non profits and foundations in Santa Barbara.  He can be contacted at 800.605.4988.  Follow him on Twitter: @SantaBarbaraSEO and Facebook: http://Facebook.com/thesearchenginepros

Read More