Archive for the ‘marketing strategy’ Category

Jan 13
2010

I tuned in to the HubSpot webinar a couple weeks ago, which was called “The Science of Social Media Marketing.” It was one of the first webinars on Social Media that I attended that I actually learned from. Usually webinars about social media introduce the different funnels of micro-blogging, which is something many of us already know. What I’d like to know is how to USE these funnels to benefit my clients! ConnectionsDan Zarrella from HubSpot gave some excellent tips on how to use micro-blogging to engage your audience.

When I look at popular blog posts, videos, and tweets, I often wonder, “How in the world did this spread virally?” when it isn’t particularly good or even entertaining. Dan described it perfectly in saying that news spreads simply because of “contagiousness.” It has nothing to do with whether a video is good or not. People seem to be more attracted to posts that have many views; it seems to add credibility that many people have seen this post. The problem here is how do we get our social media content to reach a viral popularity?

Pressures of Micro-Blogging

The pressures of micro-blogging are much different today than they were even a few years ago. The problem with micro-blogging before was there was a limited amount of people that you could reach. Seeing as nowadays the amount of people you can reach is not an issue because of sites such as Twitter, and MySpace, where you can add people who are in your field, and in most cases they’ll add you because of your connection through the field. A new problem has occurred though, there is so much information that is being thrown at us daily, how do we make our content grab the user’s attention. That is the new issue arising with micro-blogging.

The way to grab a user’s attention is through finding a person in your field who has the power over influencing a large amount of his followers. Once you find this influencer, as Dan calls it, your next step is to make people aware. When you post your information, make sure your influencer reposts it. In terms of Twitter, post your information as a retweet so that it is simply passed on exactly as you posted it. A good tip is that you shouldn’t post very often; many people think to get a lot of people interested post as much information as possible. The problem with doing that is people will start to get frustrated with seeing multiple tweets and posts that it will get ignored or they will stop following you. So when you post information, make sure it’s relevant and don’t bombard your followers with updates.

Benefits of Social Media

Many traditional companies seem to shy away from social media; they fail to see the benefit. But what they don’t realize is that their competitors are one step ahead of them. Just being involved in the conversation about your company that is happening in the social universe is beneficial for you in itself. Having a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter, and the conversation in those spaces or directly on your page (through posts and updates) can help you identify problems that you may not have known were there otherwise. Through your pages you can instantly address problems. For example, If you are getting negative publicity, the more time you allow without addressing such issues can make your company seem stale or irrelevant. Your social media outlet will be the perfect place to catch these problems quick.

Having a presence in these spaces can also enhance your marketing efforts in ways you may not have thought of – announce sales, promotions, and posting live information as soon as they occur.

So, go out there find your influencers; stay connected, and don’t forget your calls to action!

Quick Tips:

  • Stay active on your social media funnels, check your profile, and keep up with your followers inquiries
  • Keep it personal; after all social media is about a human interaction with a company, not just a logo! For example, share pictures from your office, store or warehouse.
  • Use URL shortening tools for Twitter, since you are only limited to 140 characters.
  • Try to participate in conversations about your company where it makes sense.
  • Don’t forget to comment, retweet, and respond to tweets because this will build a community around your brand!

Related Links:

  1. Dan Zarrella’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/danzarrella – Very useful tweets! :)
  2. http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/5-ways-to-grow-your-local-business-with-social-media-john-jantsch – Article about how to use social media for a small/local businesses
  3. Follow E-Nor on Twitter! — http://twitter.com/enorinc

Aug 27
2009

You’re starting a website and you’re excited! You get to choose your own domain name! As the world keeps moving closer to the Internet, the value of your online marketing presence is ever growing and becoming ever necessary. You want to make it as easy as possible for prospects or leads to get to your site, and having a domain name conducive to that is important.

Especially with everyone surfing the net using their tiny mobile devices, you want to make sure your domain is simple to remember and simple to type using those tiny, sometimes virtual keys (which makes it easier to mess up)!

For illustration’s sake, let’s pretend you’re the greatest basketball player of all time – Michael Jordan.  You want to buy a domain that represents your company.

Here are some things to consider:

1) Branding

The number one search engine everyone uses is the search in their brain. If they can pull your url from memory, chances are they’d rather do that before they bookmark it or use a search engine. So we need to make it as easy for them as possible. If you’ve done a good job branding your business name, it’s a good idea to stay consistent and simply have your domain be your business name.  That’ll be your prospect’s first guess.

If that’s the case, let’s go with the most straight forward domain – michaeljordan.[something]

2) “.com” or “not.com” – that is the question…

“.com” has been the url standard since the beginning of the internet and should be your preference. Most people, whether intuitively or through experience, usually understands this and thus “yourbusiness.com” is usually their default guess. However, respectively, .com’s are the most in demand, which means the specific domain.com you’re looking for could be taken.

Challenge: A business savvy geek has bought “www.michaeljordan.com”, and is holding it for ransom! He’s demanding $100 billion for it! MJ is rich, but maybe you’re not. If you want to avoid this hefty fee, you have a couple options explained in my next points to make a unique “.com”.

In this case, if domain.com is taken, “domain.[somethingelse]” like domain.net or domain.org may be  the next best thing, but before we eliminate the “.com” option, let’s see what we can do.

3) Extra Words (watch the length!)

You do have the option of adding simple words related to your brand that hopefully don’t veer your domain name too far away from your company name. It’s best to choose words that are associated with your business or have some other logical association.

Ex. michaeljordanonline.com or michaeljordanbasketball.com.
Ex. thedarkknightmovie.com, where The Dark Knight is a movie.
Ex. theofficenbc.com where the tv show is The Office is on the tv station NBC.

Challenge: As I said in the intro, if adding words ends up making your domain hard to remember or hard to type (consider mobile virtual keyboards), this may not work.

4) Extra Characters (watch the length and the confusion!)

We can add a character to see if that gets a us a unique domain name.  The usual character to add is the hyphen. Ex. www.michael-jordan.com

One hyphen may not hurt, but you’d be surprised how much the human brain hates hyphens. No matter how sure you are or how logical it is, believe me, your mind will play tricks on you. “Wait, is it a dash or an underscore?”, “Wait, is there even a dash or underscore?”, or “Is it between ‘Michael’  and ‘Jordan’?”.   Thus, I’d avoid this and pretend the option of multiple hyphens doesn’t even exist.

What about other characters? Generally, other characters aren’t used in domain names.

What about numbers? Unless you have a number that is heavily branded, like in this case, Michael has been forever associated with “23″, or your company name has #1 or 123 or something, I probably would avoid numbers. Numbers look like an afterthought that got you the email you wanted. If your domain reminds someone of their friend spidermonkey626@mail.com, chances are it wont seem as professional.

5) Symbolic Words Representing Your Branding

If target.com was taken, theredbullseye.com may be a little far-reaching. However, for you MJ, since Nike has worked so hard to brand your symbol the “jumpman”, “jumpman.com” may work.

6) .net, .org or dot.[something else]

MJ, you’ve exausted all your “.com” options. In that case, you may want to consider having a very easy straightforward “.net”, i.e. www.michaeljordan.net.

Repeat steps 1-5 above for “.net”, and chances are you’ll find something. If in the off chance that none of the “.net’s” work for you, you have the option of choose other suffixes, such as “.org” (if you an organization), “.us”, “.info”, or international suffixes, such as “.uk” (England) and “.ca” (Canada). In my opinion though, with the exception of the international urls, “.net” is your next priority after “.com”.

In conclision, like everything else in marketing, there’s no right answer.  You have to do your best to understand your business, your market, and outweigh the above points to hopefully get you a great domain that’ll even itself be tool for conversion.

Jun 23
2008

On June 14, I attended a networking event hosted by OPEN Silicon Valley. It was an all day event with an impressive list of keynote speakers and entrepreneurs, including Howard Dean (DNC Chair), Mike Mortiz from Sequoia Capital, (the VC firm that funded Google and many other big name internet brands today), Steve Westly, and many others.

I took some random notes of tips and proven practices form those that are more experienced and those with a track record of success and accomplishments. I took my notes on my Blackberry.  From the looks of some people, I felt like my teenage daughter at the dinner table when we ask her to stop text messaging :) .

The notes are not very structured but I hope you find them useful as I did and pick one or two golden nuggets that would help you grow at the personal and professional level.

  • Mike Moritz said when they look for start-ups and entrepreneurs, they are inclined to invest in companies that require “small” funding initially. Also companies that are about to catch a huge tail wind. They also look for companies that can have a healthy margin, so they can turn cash-flow positive quickly and reinvest in growing the company. He also looks for entrepreneurs that are big on the mission, and want to do great things for their customers.
  • There was a discussion about investing in a company where the founders/key players are “young”. One of the characteristics of being young is that you are single-focused on your start-up. Mike Mortiz did acknowledge that fact, but also said they invested in companies (e.g. eHarmony) where the founder was a grandfather, but he still had the fervor and passion to accomplish his goals.

What is Success?

  • A panel of successful entrepreneurs addressed this topic. The answers varied: “Having a lot of fun and make some money along the way, and also make a dent”. Others said “Success is about positive relationships”. One speaker said a key element to their success was by “always having a mentor in my life”.

Making it big without VC funding, possible?

  • A session was dedicated to this topic. 5 very successful founders of now-established businesses spoke. They echoed the same themes we hear all the time. You have be optimistic and realistic. You have to work hard, long hours.. One panelist said that since he was 16 he has been waking up at 4:30am and working 14 hours/day. He does his spiritual routine, swims 40 laps, then off to the challenges. He is now in his mid 50′s and reaping the benefits of his hard work. Others attributed their success to how they built their companies around taking care of the customer, about strong relationships they have had with their customers for year after year.

I always enjoy attending such events and mingling with bright minds; you share what you know and most importantly learn from others!

Oct 18
2006

In working with clients, we often come across companies both small and large that run their SEO or PPC programs in-house. As consultants, we aim to be objective and offer a recommendation that is in the best interest of the client.

Our general recommendation to clients is that you either build the expertise in-house and do the job right or you should outsource. So many times we have seen companies that claim to be running an effective PPC campaign internally, but after further examination we find that thousands of dollars are spent on an account that is running on auto-pilot and no optimization techniques or best practices have been implemented. The Internet marketing program might be running “OK” but it is no where close to the potential ROI it can bring. In one incident, we were asked to audit an existing PPC campaign and optimize its performance. One month after implementing a few best practices, we were able to achieve double the amount of site visitors for half the click spend. And this was just the beginning!

If you are planning to run your web development, web design, or Internet marketing programs in-house, invest the time in learning and mastering these fields or hiring someone with that expertise. Otherwise, work with a professional and let them do what they do best.

Feel free to contact us for further information on website design, internet marketing consulting or a free Internet Business Analysis.

Mar 08
2006

Two of our favorite definitions of “Marketing” are found in organizations that help small business owners establish and grow their trade, one in the U.S. small business association and the other is in the Australian Department of State and regional development. These definitions revolve around the concept of customer, customer and the customer! Simply, marketing is about finding out the wants and the needs of the customer and offering a product or a service that meet these wants and needs. And Integrated Marketing is basically the process of managing all media and coordinating all activities that will help the marketer reach and acquire a client. It is more important now than ever for you as a business owner, a president of a company or an executive to fully adopt an integrated marketing strategy for your business. Depleting the allocated marketing budget in one medium no longer provides the anticipated return. We advise our clients to “maximize the marketing mix”. Here are some practical steps to help you develop then maximize the marketing mix:

  • Research. First and foremost, understand and profile your “ideal customer”
  • Survey. Ask existing clients and new leads how they found out about your business, your product or service.
  • Segment. Equipped with the knowledge of research and surveys, segment the media to reach potential clients and the multiple media that each prospect uses
  • Implement. Put to practice the activities that will generate a higher impact when combined and keep in mind that;
    • Different customers will require a different combination of media
    • Integrate your online and offline advertising and communication
  • Measure. Track your Return on Investment (ROI) and apply your “lesson learned” in your future campaigns

Case Study – A high-tech company that offers Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS). Working closely with the president of the EMS company and his business development team, a WSINetSense senior marketing consultant devised and implemented an integrated marketing plan that helped the company achieve and exceed its yearly goals. The company’s integrated marketing strategy included an effective combination of offline activities such as print ads, technical papers, technical presentations as well as a very comprehensive online marketing initiative leveraging the merging internet marketing programs such as Search Engine Marketing (Pay-per-click and Search Engine Optimization campaigns), banner advertisement, webcast sponsorships among other targeted campaigns. For every campaign, metrics and periodic measurement and analysis was done to ensure the planned objectives are achieved. The company has seen a substantial increase in exposure to potential customers. For more information on how WSI NetSense can help you maximize the return on investment and show you how the overall return of your integrated marketing activities can be significantly higher than the individual sum of each component and to help you implement an effective Integrated Marketing strategy, contact us for a free consultation.

Feb 27
2006

What’s with all of this blog hoopla anyways? Well a Blog (short for Web Log) has become a phenomenon on the web and is being used as an effective medium for everybody to spread their message in a unique and effective manner. In its relatively short existence, blogs have become an addicting trend for those interested in sharing their thoughts with the world. Simultaneously, it’s becoming more of an integral part of an effective marketing strategy for businesses worldwide. Its benefits include:

  • expressing your expert opinion in your field of trade
  • method to attract individuals to your site
  • a personable method of relating news of your industry
  • gather feedback and responses from customers
  • provides potential customers with information on your opinions

Don’t think anyone will read your blog? Well, consider the study which was done by EuroRSCG Magnet & Colombia University which states that 51% of journalists use blogs regularly for their research. The following was also revealed;

  • 53% of journalists use it for finding story ideas
  • 43% use it for referencing facts
  • 36% for finding sources
  • 33% for breaking news or scandals

Still don’t believe it? Consider that Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report, affirms that blogs shouldn’t be ignored. Blogs are transforming the way Americans get information and think about important issues. It’s a revolutionary change and there’s no turning back.

The word is spreading quick as there are approximately 30,000 – 70,000 new blogs created daily. The team at E-Nor has always striven to become a leading Marketing and Internet Consulting Firm and has added this blog to its arsenal of useful tools to help you become the leader in your industry. If you have any questions about blogs or any of our latest services, please do not hesitate to contact us.