Vesta Digital Blog

Posts Tagged ‘internet marketing

The True Impact of Social MediaAre your social media efforts paying off? Only if you know what to measure.

The proof that social media marketing works is not measured in ROI or sales but rather in retention and what happens as a result of your social media marketing efforts.
The frequent questions executives and business owners ask are: “How much money will I make?” and “How many new sales will I have? While logical, these questions are not necessarily the right questions. With social media, it is not how much you make but how much of a difference your social media efforts make to attract new customers.

Even though social media has great potential, many organizations do not properly integrate social media in their marketing and communication efforts. The underlining point is that social media is not a one-way communication channel, but instead a medium for listening, analyzing, and driving those conversations.
The companies that realize the full potential of social media are not only experimenting with multiple channels, but also creating metrics to measure impact and using new tools to understand how to enter into a new conversation with their customers.

How does an organization gain not only an understanding of their audience’s social network but know when and how to reach out to a customer or prospect?

  • Listen
  • Segment
  • Engage
  • Gain Expertise and Validation

Range of Social Relationships

Jen Roberts offers her scientific break-down from a customer perspective of their interest in being ‘friends’ with your organization as follows:

  • Don’t talk to me. Ever. I’m still recovering from our last encounter.
  • I don’t want to be your friend but I do need answers. Where can I find them?
  • I like you and I’ve clicked a button.
  • I like you and love discounts. Let’s talk.
  • I love you and I want to co-create.

Benefits of Social Media

One of the benefits of social media is that it can help reinforce existing ties and that is one way of looking at consumer relationship; the strength of that tie between the consumer and your brand. Analyzing and filtering for consumer insights or preferences is a critical piece for surfacing consumer intentions that can provide a unique perspective on the degree to which a consumer wants to be engaged.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

3 Steps to Take BEFORE Setting Up Your Business WebsiteIf you are starting a business online, you should be using as many resources as possible. Entrepreneur.com is a great resource for aspiring small business owners and new entrepreneurs. Allen Moon, the founder of On Deck Marketing (an internet marketing agency that specializes in product marketing strategies, e-commerce and online marketing), wrote a great post specifying each step you can take to set up and run a business online.

I decided to use a few of the steps to help you prepare before you set up your online business. These three steps from Moon’s original post are the most fundamental things you can do before you’re ready to set up your online business.

Step 1: Find a need and fill it

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second. To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results.

Step 2: Write copy that sells

There’s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:

  1. Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
  2. Describe the problem your product solves.
  3. Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
  4. Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
  5. Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
  6. Make an offer.
  7. Make a strong guarantee.
  8. Create urgency.
  9. Ask for the sale.

Step 3: Design and build your website

Once you’ve got your market and product, and you’ve nailed down your selling process, now you’re ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention–otherwise they’re gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
  • Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
  • Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
  • Make it easy to buy–no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
  • Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

How Small Businesses Can Use Marketing EffectivelyMarketing for small businesses can be difficult. It is important to remember that you are a small business, with a small budget and you need to make wise decisions. Larger businesses have a little more wiggle room when it comes budgets and resources. You as a small business owner need to know how to allocate your resources as efficiently as possible.

Business know-how gives us some advice on how to market wisely as a small business. Follow these tips from a post on Business know-how and learn how marketing can help you greatly if done well:

1. Offer a Cheaper Version

Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.

2. Offer a Premium Version

Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.

3. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods

Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

4. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses

Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.

5. Take Advantage of Your Customers

Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Small Business Marketing BasicsIf you have started up a new small business, and need to build your company name, it is important to understand the fundamentals of marketing. Marketing requires an integrated method of multiple activities that is much more than just advertising your product.

The U.S. Small Business Administration gives a great detailed explanation of the basics of marketing and why it works.

According to the SBA, marketing has two main principles:

  1. All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.
  2. Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume.

The SBA also says that there are very specific ways to use these principles such as using market research to determine the needs of their customers, analyzing competitive advantages, selecting specific markets to target, and figuring out how to satisfy customer needs.

Market Research

It is important to conduct market research by using simple questionnaires to give you an idea of current customer preferences, dissatisfaction, or possible new product ideas. You can also use market research to find trends in the market that can encourage or shut down certain sales ideas.

Target Marketing

Most small businesses don’t have unlimited resources to devote to marketing; however, the SBA wants you to know that you can still see excellent returns while sticking to your budget if you focus on target marketing. By concentrating your efforts on one or a few key market segments, you’ll reap the most from small investments. There are two methods used to segment a market:

  1. Geographical segmentation: Specializing in serving the needs of customers in a particular geographical area.
  2. Customer segmentation: Identifying those people most likely to buy the product or service and targeting those groups.

Figuring out Customer Needs

It is important to know how to satisfy your customers. You need to develop a highly specialized product or service, or have some sort of high-quality service. You need to stand out among your competitors.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

5 Rules To Follow When Picking Keywordsseo keywordsDo you have a business website? Are you frustrated that you have a fantastic business website with every bell and whistle you can think of and yet no one seems to notice it? Many small business owners feel the same way. Thankfully, there’s something you can do to change that.

If you want your small business website to appear higher up on Google so that people will see it and have access to it when searching for your product, you need to have a selection of very deliberate keywords throughout your website. This will give you higher search engine rankings and ultimately – higher traffic.

Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing keywords to include in your website content.

1. Keep it relevant

Every keyword you choose should have relevance to the product or service you provide. The more relevant keywords you have, the higher search engines will rank your site.

2. Conduct research

When choosing keywords, you need to make sure that you are choosing keywords that people are actually searching for. Use Google AdWords to find out if the keywords you are using are actually in demand. This will ensure that you are selling to a market that needs your product.

3. Beware of your competition

When you are researching the possible keywords you should use, you will be able to see how competitive they are. Try specifying and refining your keywords, use phrases instead of just one word, to set yourself apart from your competition.

4. Keyword stuffing

Try to avoid stuffing your content with repetitive keywords. Also, it is important that you have enough keywords on your page to make it count. There is a particular balance that you need to pay attention to. If you have too many keywords, you will be labeled as a spammer. If you don’t have enough, your page will not be considered relevant when people are searching for those keywords.

5. Quality content

Even if you select the best keywords, and insert them perfectly into your content, your efforts will continue to suffer unless you have quality content. Quality content means content that is relevant to your business, targeted towards your target market, and well written.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Affiliate MarketingIn theory, affiliate marketing is the fuel that powers e-commerce. Everyone wins with affiliate marketing. The company profits, affiliate marketers earn a commission, and consumers have more access to the products they are searching for.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Many businesses expand on affiliate marketing in an effort to gain more traffic to their website and business. Affiliate marketing is the idea of rewarding other blogs or websites for every customer that is referred to the original company. So, the affiliate marketer’s priority is to bring as many visitors to the affiliate’s website as possible.

Often times, affiliate marketers sell high-involvement products that require the consumer to be educated before the purchase. Affiliate marketers are required to not only advertise and promote the product to consumers, but also begin the education process required by uninformed consumers.

Generally each individual affiliate marketer has his or her own set of regulations about how the advertising will be done. Due to the fact that there is no association or organization for the industry of affiliate marketing, there is a lot of room and flexibility in marketing methods. It is extremely cost-effective, because affiliate marketers earn a commission from converted consumers, as opposed to traditional marketing strategies that have upfront costs and financial risks.

Affiliate Marketing for your Business

If you are trying to market your small business online, you should certainly consider employing the use of affiliate marketing. The main reason being: it’s cost effective. It’s a strategy that would only cost you after you have already converted a customer. So regardless, you profit.

There are varying types of strategies a business can use to drive traffic to their sites. These strategies may include e-mail lead nurturing, or social media marketing. However, while these tactics may very well drive an increased amount of traffic to a business’s website, what does it do for converting viewers into buyers?

Affiliate marketers deliberately seek out potential customers and pitch the product to them by addressing how the product will solve whatever dilemma they are facing. This strategy allows marketing efforts to be completely focused and targeted, rather than casting a giant net out into cyberspace, hoping to catch and keep a few customers. Using affiliate marketing will allow you as a business to increase sales at a much lower cost.

face to face sellingMany bloggers and social media experts say to plan and execute a social media strategy. I myself have given similar advice, almost verbatim in fact. While this tactic is effective and will undoubtedly drive traffic to your business, implementing a strategy without some human touch will ultimately cost you in the end.

Generally when you develop a “strategy,” there are plans, targets, estimations, research, and results. However, when it comes to social media, you as a business owner need to market your product and your brand in a way that is much more personal than a simple marketing strategy.

Engaging with consumers and fans through social media sites is not a completely radical idea, it’s simply a newer, more innovative way to ensure customer satisfaction and to make the most important people – your customers – actually feel important.

Simply put, your social media strategy should be this: talk to people.

Here are a few tips to have genuine and authentic conversations with people via social media, and earn their loyalty and respect. Using these tips will keep you from putting people off, and avoid appearing like a number hungry marketer.

Be Friendly

Engage in genuine conversation about common interests. When people feel like they are actually talking to a human being and not a machine, they are more apt to actually listen and consider what you have to say. Be nice, it goes a much longer way than just jumping to the facts.

Answer Questions

When someone makes an inquiry about your product, answer! If you don’t know the answer, offer to do your research and get back to them. If people are actually asking you questions it means they are interested and they want to know more – personally. You should jump on this opportunity to express your enthusiasm for your product and brand.

Respond To Conversations About You

By participating in conversations where people are actually discussing your product, you give yourself an opportunity to straighten out facts and misconceptions. People will be able to see that you are willing to put yourself out there for the sake of your company’s integrity. You will earn respect and people will understand you better.

Take advantage of what social media has to offer. However, when you are implementing your social media strategy, make sure its just you behind the conversation, not your marketing team.

face to face sellingMany bloggers and social media experts say to plan and execute a social media strategy. I myself have given similar advice, almost verbatim in fact. While this tactic is effective and will undoubtedly drive traffic to your business, implementing a strategy without some human touch will ultimately cost you in the end.

Generally when you develop a “strategy,” there are plans, targets, estimations, research, and results. However, when it comes to social media, you as a business owner need to market your product and your brand in a way that is much more personal than a simple marketing strategy.

Engaging with consumers and fans through social media sites is not a completely radical idea, it’s simply a newer, more innovative way to ensure customer satisfaction and to make the most important people – your customers – actually feel important.

Simply put, your social media strategy should be this: talk to people.

Here are a few tips to have genuine and authentic conversations with people via social media, and earn their loyalty and respect. Using these tips will keep you from putting people off, and avoid appearing like a number hungry marketer.

Be Friendly

Engage in genuine conversation about common interests. When people feel like they are actually talking to a human being and not a machine, they are more apt to actually listen and consider what you have to say. Be nice, it goes a much longer way than just jumping to the facts.

Answer Questions

When someone makes an inquiry about your product, answer! If you don’t know the answer, offer to do your research and get back to them. If people are actually asking you questions it means they are interested and they want to know more – personally. You should jump on this opportunity to express your enthusiasm for your product and brand.

Respond To Conversations About You

By participating in conversations where people are actually discussing your product, you give yourself an opportunity to straighten out facts and misconceptions. People will be able to see that you are willing to put yourself out there for the sake of your company’s integrity. You will earn respect and people will understand you better.

Take advantage of what social media has to offer. However, when you are implementing your social media strategy, make sure its just you behind the conversation, not your marketing team.

infatuation with technologyHaving an online presence is the most important thing your small business can do to gain exposure, build a customer base, and establish credibility. Most businesses have an online presence to make themselves available to consumers who turn to the Internet for all of their resources.

Michael Cohn, a writer for Focus.com  wrote an article about how important it is for a business to engage in online communities. Below is an excerpt from the article. Follow the advice and watch your business flourish.

There are many reasons why being a part of online communities contributes greatly to the success of your business.

Universal exposure

As part of an online community, you are able to reach people around the world and it is as though you are all in a room together, interacting on issues that are important and interesting to all of you. It is incredible that you are now capable (through social media) of reaching numerous people at once from one location. This allows you not only to market your business easily and successfully but also lets you do a large number of other things connected with your business. Remember that connecting with your online communities does not mean that you should be giving those people a hard sell. You should be sharing valuable information with them.

Learning from others

As a member of an online community, you have the opportunity to learn new ways to market your business  to other marketers. You should take advantage as much as possible of the expertise of other people who are members of your online communities and put their principles into practice, where appropriate.

Strategic partnerships

You will have many opportunities to form strategic partnerships with other members of your online communities. There will be a lot of synergies between you and others and if you find that your skills and expertise compliment those of people in your online communities, you should approach them and see how you can work together most effectively.

Build your online relationships

It is very important to continue to develop relationships with those people with whom you interact online. A good way to do this is by continually sharing information with them that you feel they will find valuable and that will help them in some way. Not only will your online connections want to interact with you but they will also speak favorably about you to others online. 

Cohn’s article is especially important for aspiring entrepreneurs starting up small businesses. It is not difficult to recognize the importance of having a presence in the online community. The trick is to make your online presence work for you.

infatuation with technologyHaving an online presence is the most important thing your small business can do to gain exposure, build a customer base, and establish credibility. Most businesses have an online presence to make themselves available to consumers who turn to the Internet for all of their resources.

Michael Cohn, a writer for Focus.com  wrote an article about how important it is for a business to engage in online communities. Below is an excerpt from the article. Follow the advice and watch your business flourish.

There are many reasons why being a part of online communities contributes greatly to the success of your business.

Universal exposure

As part of an online community, you are able to reach people around the world and it is as though you are all in a room together, interacting on issues that are important and interesting to all of you. It is incredible that you are now capable (through social media) of reaching numerous people at once from one location. This allows you not only to market your business easily and successfully but also lets you do a large number of other things connected with your business. Remember that connecting with your online communities does not mean that you should be giving those people a hard sell. You should be sharing valuable information with them.

Learning from others

As a member of an online community, you have the opportunity to learn new ways to market your business  to other marketers. You should take advantage as much as possible of the expertise of other people who are members of your online communities and put their principles into practice, where appropriate.

Strategic partnerships

You will have many opportunities to form strategic partnerships with other members of your online communities. There will be a lot of synergies between you and others and if you find that your skills and expertise compliment those of people in your online communities, you should approach them and see how you can work together most effectively.

Build your online relationships

It is very important to continue to develop relationships with those people with whom you interact online. A good way to do this is by continually sharing information with them that you feel they will find valuable and that will help them in some way. Not only will your online connections want to interact with you but they will also speak favorably about you to others online. 

Cohn’s article is especially important for aspiring entrepreneurs starting up small businesses. It is not difficult to recognize the importance of having a presence in the online community. The trick is to make your online presence work for you.

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