Tag Archives: internet marketing

The Lowdown on SMB Marketing

 

If you own a small business, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the new emerging ways to connect to customers and promote the growth of your business. You may be wondering how you can leverage the power of mobile, social and online marketing to be successful.

I recently came across an infographic about small business marketing and discovered some facts:

 

27%     of small businesses have a current SEO plan

52%     plan to increase their SEO budget

40%     of marketers are using mobile marketing tactics

63%     of small businesses think social media is a good way to increase loyalty

27%     plan to increase their investment in social media

 

If your small business is looking to revamp its marketing strategy, consider the following suggestions:

Get Mobilized

In addition to optimizing your business’ website for mobile, there are several other marketing tools you can employ to make sure you reach those consumers who are always on-the-go.

With the economy still in recovery-mode, consumers are still searching for those deep discounts. Use mobile marketing to target those shoppers who are looking for affordable deals by sending coupons and loyalty rewards directly to their mobile devices, or creating a mobile call-to-action through a QR code. Mobile marketing has proven to promote loyalty among customers and encourage repeat visits, plus, what better way to reach consumers than on a device they’re carrying around with them all the time?

Be Socially Active

Social media can facilitate communication between businesses and their customers or clientele, but businesses need to be aware that simply creating a presence on social media sites is not enough. Businesses must be active on these sites, engaging with customers to get feedback, posting content that holds value for customers, and creating an identity for your brand that will make others want to engage with you.

Businesses should also be aware of social media analytic tools such as Google Alerts to find out what people are saying about your business and then join the conversation.

 

Go SEO

Another important element in a marketing plan is implementing an SEO plan. Looking for the elements that will get you to the top of a search is very important for a business’ online presence. A big part of SEO is being conscious of keywords—adding keywords to the hidden meta data (the code of information on the backend of your website that helps search engines recognize data) includes the keyword field, page titles, descriptions, site maps, and heading tags.

Links are also very important to a company’s online presence. If you have reputable websites link to your content, you’ll have good SEO. Adding a blog or posting videos, podcasts and other types of content are some other easy ways to optimize your business’ site for search.

New marketing tools don’t have to seem so foreign. Check out this infographic below that shows how small businesses are allocating their marketing budgets and using these tools to grow.

What are the Marketing Opportunities with Facebook Mobile?

Facebook recently created some new opportunities for brands and marketers who want to target mobile consumers on the social networking site, which include three main components – Pages, Ads, and Sponsored Stories. 

Checking in

There are some exciting opportunities for brands and marketers that want to target mobile consumers on Facebook, the company revealed in an exclusive interview with Mobile Marketer.

Facebook has mobile applications for all of the top smartphone operating systems and has a mobile Web site as well. The company claims that approximately 200 million consumers access Facebook from their mobile device daily.

This is an obvious and huge opportunity for marketers. But it has been unclear as to what Facebook offers marketers on its mobile destinations, until now.

Mobile Marketer Deputy Managing Editor Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Facebook regarding some of the opportunities for marketers on the social network’s mobile destinations.

Here is what the company said:

What are some of the opportunities that Facebook offers brands in terms of marketing and commerce?

Facebook has become an important part of online marketing. This is evidenced not only by the growth of Facebook’s business but also by the industry being quickly built around it. Facebook is now at the center of a fundamental shift in how marketers think about the role of social in their marketing.

There are three components for brands who want to get involved on Facebook – Pages (owned), Ads (paid) and Sponsored Stories (amplifying earned).

When you combine an engaging Page with creative Ads and Sponsored Stories, the opportunity to achieve a truly “always on” status increases exponentially.

We’re just getting data back on the success of Sponsored Stories, since they are a new addition to a marketer’s toolbox on Facebook, and it’s impressive. On average we’re seeing twice the engagement over Ads and in some cases we’re seeing up to seven times the engagement.

In order to help brands scale their efforts, Facebook created the Ads API, the Insights API, and the Pages API so third parties can help their clients efficiently buy and measure Facebook ads.

The Ads API is now out of Beta and anyone can apply to use these APIs.

The Ads API Beta included more than 20 companies that have already used the Ads API to service thousands of advertisers.

What role does mobile play in terms of the marketing and commerce opportunities for brands on Facebook?  

Brands looking to take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities with Facebook can activate Check-In Deals when they claim their Place on Facebook.

Check-In Deals can be a powerful way to connect with local customers and spread the word about a brand or business.

There are four types of Check-In Deals: 

● Individual Deal: You can offer this type of deal to both new and existing customers. You may create Individual Deals when you want to launch a new product, get rid of excess inventory, offer seasonal incentives, or simply get more people into your store.

● Friend Deal: Friend Deals allow you to offer discounts to groups of up to eight people, when they check in together. Friend Deals are a great way to build even more exposure for your business because more stories are generated when multiple people check-in.

● Loyalty Deal: To focus on rewarding your most loyal customers, create a Loyalty Deal. These deals may be claimed by customers only after a certain number of check-ins. Depending on your business, the number of check-ins may vary. Please note that you must create a deal that is redeemable after no fewer than two and no more than 20 check-ins.

● Charity Deal: Create a Charity Deal to make a donation to the charity of your choice. This is a great way for your business to give back to the community while adding a human touch to your business.

Recently, Places has been enhanced, allowing people to also check-in to an Event on Facebook, view their friends’ check-ins through a map view and have the ability to Like a Place (like a brick and mortar location) without leaving the mobile app.

At this point Facebook has not announced plans to serving Ads on mobile apps. However, a developer could choose to serve Ads in their own mobile application or mobile Web site.

Can brands split efforts for mobile and online? In other words have specific programs for PC users and different smartphone-tailored programs for mobile?  

Yes, brands always have control over where they want to focus their efforts.

 

Original Article

Predictions for “Interactive Marketing”

Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of articles detailing the spending forecasts of individual marketing sectors, and whether spending in each respective sector is expected to increase, decrease or stay the same in the next 5-10 years.

However, I just read a study from Forrester Research that put the predictions in a different light. It forecasted the total combined spending of all these different marketing sectors. Forrester calls it “Interactive Marketing”—the combination of search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, e-mail marketing and social media.  It emphasizes the idea we have been focusing on – the importance of incorporating all elements into a business’ marketing mix, not just one.

The study predicts Interactive Marketing spend to reach nearly $77 billion by 2016—just as much as television ad spend is today. This is huge.

It’s been fun following the transformation of marketing in the past decade. Seeing the total interactive marketing spend shift from solely traditional channels to online channels, mobile channels, alongside traditional channels really legitimizes the growth that interactive media has gained in such a short amount of time.

It’s important to pay attention to these kinds of forecasts to see the direction marketing is heading in the future so businesses can plan their budgets accordingly. Marketers can no longer ignore the changing marketing budgets or eliminate a particular marketing tool right off the bat just because they’re hesitant to change the way they’ve always operated and delve into something new and unfamiliar.

Interactive Marketing has proven itself now. It isn’t just about the television and print ads anymore. Yes, they’re still going strong, but with the emerging importance of customer loyalty and new mobile and social technologies playing a huge role in marketing efforts today, we can see how integrating different media into a marketing mix can significantly contribute to a business’ success.

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Retailers Place Hopeful Bets on Social Marketing

According to survey data from Forrester Research Inc. and Shop.org, retailers will spend more this year on Facebook and other social networks.

Nearly three-quarters, or 72%, of retailers plan to spend more on marketing via social networks this year than in 2010, according to survey data from Forrester Research Inc. and Shop.org. Only search marketing—this includes paid search and search engine optimization for natural search—beat out social networks for anticipated increases in marketing spend in 2011. 75% of retailers plan to spend more this year on search marketing.

The results come from the annual State of Retailing Online survey  conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for Shop.org, the online retail division of the industry trade group National Retail Federation. The first wave of the two-part report, released today, is based on a survey conducted in March and focuses on marketing, social networks and mobile commerce. The second section of the report will cover other aspects of online retailing and be released in the second half of this year.

The survey, conducted in March, includes responses from 68 e-retailers, including web-only retailers, multichannel retailers and manufacturers who sell online to consumers. Survey respondents reported a 40% average increase in 2010 web sales compared with sales in 2009—a hike skewed upward by a 79% increase among the manufacturers in the survey. (The 40% increase compares to 2010 online retail sales increases of 11% reported by Forrester, 14.8% by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and 9.8% by comScore Inc.)

Despite the anticipated spending increases, social networks account for only a small part of marketing budgets—2% of the $5.5 million average marketing budget among the retailers responding to the survey. And only 29% of respondents say social marketing has helped grow their businesses.

Still, 18% of respondents say that a social network presence was among their top sources for acquiring new customers—tying social networks with e-mail marketing for fourth place among customer-acquisition techniques. Search engine marketing led that list with 90% of respondents, followed by affiliate marketing with 49% and organic traffic at 44%.

When asked about their attitudes toward the value of marketing through social networks, the largest group of respondents, or 82%, say they are pursuing social marketing strategies because “this is a great time to experiment and learn more about what they can do.” The next-largest group, 62%, say the returns on social marketing are unclear; and the third-largest group, 61%, say the primary benefit of social marketing is “listening to and better understanding our customers.”

When asked specifically about the benefits of marketing through the Facebook social network, brand building is cited by 40% of respondents; listening to customers, 37%; getting new fans or Likes, 16%; building the lifetime value of existing customers, 6%, and customer acquisition, 1%.

Original article found at: http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/05/03/retailers-place-hopeful-bets-social-marketing

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