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All Posts in Category: Online Marketing

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 [email protected], or 1.800.605.4988. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Get Your Online Marketing Plan Ready For The Holidays

Can you believe it? The holiday season is here, though it seems like 2014 just started. From the team here at Search Engine Pros, we’d like to take a moment to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and a prosperous and safe holiday season.

For the companies out there, you likely know that it’s time that you start planning for holiday marketing. With an economy that is finally back on an upswing, it’s expected that this could be a record quarter for sales as we finish out the year. That is why it’s important that your business has a dedicated web presence this holiday season. If you don’t, then you’ll be missing out on valuable clients and an increase in customers during a golden time of year to do so.

If your current online campaign is leaving you with something more to be desired, then there is no time to waste. With a search marketing team on your side, you’ll be able to get back in the game and earn more recognition for your company.

When it comes to working with a web marketing company for the first time, you may not be familiar with what to expect. Here are some of the services that an online marketing team will provide you with.

Holiday Marketing Plan

A Personalized Website = 24/7 Employee

First impressions mean everything when it comes to your online presence. That is why it’s imperative that you have a fully personalized website that makes a lasting impression on your clients.

In order to implement a personalized website, you’ll need a marketing group that can provide you with top web design ideas. Your web design needs to be something that works best for you and that really shows off your company’s personality.

In addition, your website should also be optimized for future growth as well. The internet is always changing and the way people look for information is as well. Therefore, your web marketing approach should include a strategy to ensure that your site will last for years to come.

By building trust with your customers through your website, your marketing plan will be much more effective to build from.

A Diverse Marketing Plan

Having just a website isn’t going to be enough to get the type of sales that you are looking for. It’ll help, but you’ll also need a diverse marketing plan that uses a variety of different methods.

With an SEO marketing plan, you’ll be able to rank higher in search engine results provided by Google, the largest search engine on the web. With social media marketing, you can target customers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more.  Email marketing and list building are also essential elements to your long term success.  The more that you build as an online presence, the more successful your marketing approach will be. Keep this in mind as you look for a marketing agency to assist you, and make sure that they have a comprehensive approach.

Diligent Customer Care

Working with a marketing service that you can trust will hopefully go well right out of the gate and everything will be smooth. But because we all know that business has plenty of variables, you never know what’s going to happen. That’s why it’s important to work with an agency that promises diligent customer care. There is no telling what obstacles that you may come across, which is why it’s vital that you work with a team that is ready to take on additional challenges with you. A reputable marketing company will evaluate what is working and what is not, and then help you make adjustments accordingly to better implement your strategy.

Happy Thanksgiving

As the year comes to a close, we’ve had the chance to look back and realize how grateful we are and how much we appreciate everyone who has supported the growth of Search Engine Pros over the years.  Many, many thanks to our wonderful clients for your continued trust in our team.   Thank you to our dedicated staff for your exceptional focus, drive and determination. Your contributions make a real difference every year.

  • Q: Why is web marketing more important than traditional marketing during the holidays?
  • A: Black Friday was once thought to be something that was worth going out for in order to get great deals on things. However, with so much chaos that ensues every time, people are now starting to opt for more online purchases. That is why you need to ensure that you are online for people to find when they are looking for ways to beat Black Friday madness.
  • Q: Why is web marketing a better investment than physical mailers or advertisements?
  • A: When you use web marketing, you are building multiple different avenues to keep in contact with your clients.  With an investment into online marketing, you can build email lists and social media accounts, which then will make for even more cost-efficient marketing in the future.
  • Q: How long does web marketing stay relevant?
  • A: It doesn’t look like the internet is going anywhere, so it’s safe to say that your online marketing approach will be relevant for years to come. By getting a head start on your online marketing, you’ll be able to get ahead of the curve and stay relevant for years to come.

About Search Engine Pros: Search Engine Pros is a Santa Barbara web marketing firm specialized in online marketingSEO marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click Google Adwords) and SEO/web designVisit the website and Facebook page or call 800-605-4988 for more information or to request a copy of 101 Ways to Drive Traffic.

 

Big budget results. Small budget costs.

Step 1. Design a site that captivates, informs and motivates customers to action.
Step 2. Develop a content publishing plan detailing specific steps to success.
Step 3. Delegate execution to a team with a strong track record for success.

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Smile, It’s Contagious!

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