Vesta Digital Blog

Posts Tagged ‘web marketing

Many companies are including customer testimonials and commentary on their websites to increase credibility and encourage customers to make purchases. However, is it possible that even bad reviews can help your sales?

Case Study

According to an article by Jennifer Alsever on CNNmoney.com: Jim Hobart, a co-founder of the online store AlpacaDirect.com, introduced a section on his website that allows shoppers to write their own product reviews right there on that website.

“It was a risky move for the four-year-old company, based in Brentwood, Calif. Hobart was effectively paying to host bad press — such as posts by customers who described AlpacaDirect’s golf cardigan as ‘kinda sweaty’ and a ‘poor fit.’ Both awarded the cardigan three out of a possible five stars,” Alsever said.

However, after only a month of hosting reviews, positive and negative alike, Hobart reported an increase in sales by 23% on items that had customer reviews (even that cardigan, which gained an average of four stars!).

How will this work for my business?

Because e-commerce is now in the hands of the customer and the reviews of their peers, it is growing more sophisticated, personal, and credible. By encouraging conversation about your business as much as possible, including on social media networks, you increase your chance of growing in sales.

“Consumers are becoming used to searching for reviews when they shop online. Internet shoppers rank reviews as the most desired feature of a Web site, according to a recent survey by Forrester Research. ‘People want to talk among themselves,’ says Jacqueline Anderson, a senior consultant at Forrester,” Alsever said.

So take the risk and encourage your customers to write reviews and give you feedback after purchasing your product. Negative or positive, it will reinforce the idea that your product is popular and in demand, and people are buying it. Ask for honest answers from the social media networks you belong to, a little conversation can go a long way.

Advertisements

The Creative Campaign

Due to the overwhelming number of Tweets popping up all over Twitter discussing the hilarity of the new Old Spice commercial, the shirtless Old Spice Man is shooting YouTube videos responding to people’s Tweets.

The Old Spice Man has even made videos responding to Tweets from very famous people with huge followings, such as Kevin Rose, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, and Justine Bateman.

This social media ad campaign has had tremendous success because Old Spice is diving right into the social media scene and interacting with audience members. If you think about it, it’s a genius idea. How would you feel if a commercial spokesperson made a video responding directly to your Tweet?

There are already over 100 customized Old Spice video responses on YouTube, each are highly targeted toward a single individual. The social media interaction that Old Spice is expounding upon, can be called one of the most creative and interesting marketing strategies we’ve seen in a long time.

By harnessing the power of social media sites like Twitter and YouTube, Old Spice has spread explosively across the viral marketing network.

Here is an example of the conversation between Kevin Rose, CEO of Digg, and the Old Spice Man by way of Kevin Rose’s Tweets and the Old Spice Man’s video responses.

Kevin Rose:

Old Spice Man:

Kevin Rose:

Old Spice Man:

Because of these videos, thousands of people are Re-Tweeting conversations about Old Spice and searching the web for the YouTube videos. Old Spice’s creative campaign may have been entertaining for us viewers, but the viral marketing that resulted from the customized videos will certainly do well for Old Spice.

Why does this work?

People love public recognition. If you single out and thank a particular client or customer in the public eye, you will undoubtedly gain that client’s loyalty. Which brings me to the point, how long will the Old Spice Man continue to make personalized videos tailoring to each individual audience member? Hopefully a little longer, because these videos are hilarious.

online securityAccording to the Wall Street Journal AT&T’s new phenomenon, the iPad, recently suffered an astronomical security breach. A hacker group, calling themselves Goatse Security gained access to the private details and email addresses of nearly 114,000 early purchasers of the iPad. People such as the New York Times’ chief executive Janet Robinson and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel were exposed.

The hackers were actually able to gain access to this information through a script they located on AT&T’s website. The script automatically returns email address in conjunction with each iPad ID Number. The iPad ID Numbers were simply guesses made by the hacker group.

The gaping hole in AT&T’s security was reported to be closed, but not before it exposed several military accounts.

Security online is a huge issue. In order to maintain a strong online business presence, you must be properly equipped and safe. Many people are scared to buy online and you must be able to reassure your web-based customers that your online business practices online are secure and credible.

Make sure you’re safe

Make your online business credible and trustworthy. You want to be able to implement your online marketing strategy efficiently, so you must make yourself safe and secure in order to move forward. Apple will probably lose very valuable customers due to the vulnerabilities the hackers were able to find. They must quickly implement an internet marketing strategy to cover their bases.

Have a security seal

You may already have an SSL system, or Secure Sockets Layer (encryption to provide security for communications), but these still have potential loopholes. Merchant accounts are a little safer since in the future, they will all be requiring PCI Security Standards Council compliance. The PCI data security standard is a multifaceted security standard that includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures. You can promote the credibility of your security seal in your internet marketing strategy.

Use Trust Guard

Trust Guard is a third party verifying system that not only help you recognize certain issues, but they provide you with a seal that enhances your visible credibility.

Trust Guard services include:

  • Low prices
  • Vulnerability Scanning
  • PCI Scanning
  • Privacy Policy Generator
  • Security Seals
  • Business Seals
  • Privacy Seal

facebook adsPeople treat Facebook as an authentic part of their lives, so by usingFacebook as an addition to your online marketing strategy, you can besure you are connecting with real people with real interest in yourproducts.

Why Advertise on Facebook?

  • Reach over 400,000,000 active Facebook users
  • Attach social actions to your ads to increase relevance and credibility
  • Create demands for your product with relevant ads
  • Quick and simple image and text-based ads
  • Advertise your own web page or event
  • Choose to pay per click (CPC) or impression (CPM)
  • Track your progress with real-time reporting
  • Gain insight about who’s clicking your ad
  • Make modifications to maximize your results

What you’ll need

Link – choose whether you would want to advertise your own web page or something already existing on Facebook like a Fan Page, Application, Group, or Event
Ad content – write a clear ad targeting your specific audience, title can have a maximum of 25 characters, the body has a maximum of 135 characters
Photo – use an attractive, appropriate, and relevant image. The dimensions are 110px wide by 80px high.

The Steps

1. Get Started
  • Click on Advertising on the bottom menu of Facebook.
  • Click Create an Ad

         

2. Design Your Ad
  • Use a creative title for your ad (25 characters max). Use effective wording for the body content (135 characters max). You will be able to see a preview
  • Upload a photo or image (optional)
  • Write in your website URL or choose your Page from the dropdown menu

         

3. Targeting
  • Choose your target Location
  • Choose your target Demographics: Age, Birthdays, Sex, Interests, Relationship status, Language
  • Choose a target Likes & Interests
  • Choose a target Education & Work status

           
*Note a box on the side will show you your estimated reach depending on the options you choose
         

4. Campaign and Pricing
  • Select your Account Currency (ex. US Dollars – USD)
  • Select your Account Time Zone
  • Write your Campaign Name
  • Select your Daily Budget, or the most you want to spend per day
  • Select your Ad Schedule, you can choose between running it continuously or only on specific dates
  • Choose your Payment, whether you pay for clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM) and how much you are willing to pay per click. The minimum is $0.01

        

5. Review your Ad
  • Login to Facebook when prompted
  • Review your ad
  • Enter your payment information
  • Place an order

          

business networkingSocial media is big. We don’t need to hear it twice. It is becoming the most important web-based tool to increase sales in online business and to expand socially. But how do we use social media and social networking sites to our advantage?

There are so many sites to choose from, so many ways to design a site, and so many mistakes we can make online. So what do we do?

It’s so simple! Use many different websites, but use each one to its fullest potential, respectively.

Use your Facebook and Twitter to build better relationships. Use your WordPress and LiveJournal to blog about your business and give releases to people who want more information. Take advantage of programs like LinkedIn, APSense, and Plaxo to organize your business networks and relationships.

Eventually, you may need a social media platform to help you manage everything from one place.

Use these tips to network online like a pro:

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Having an online presence means you get full control over the content you publish. Customize your websites and define who you are online. Be authentic and make people want to be associated with you. You are in control.

2. Make Friends

You have an unlimited amount of space to network. You are not limited by location, culture, language, finances, or really anything. Social media gives you an unprecedented amount of freedom to build your network, so do it! Request friends on Facebook, follow people on twitter, add contacts to your APSense, it’s all at your fingertips.

3. Explore

Each website has different forums, boards, and applications that all pertain to certain interests. If you are a running shoe business, go post some discussion topics at a forum that discusses the coolest places to run trails. People connect through common interests and it’s important to express those interests to reach people on a personal level.

4. Be Real

The difficult part of exposing who you are online can be the very fact that anyone has access to the information your publish. So be authentic. Don’t plagiarize, and don’t be facetious. Everything that goes online, stays online, so don’t post anything you might regret. Be cognizant of your internet actions.

5. Invest Time

The most important part of maximizing the use of your social media sites is the fact that you have access to them all the time. You should constantly update your profiles to give your audience a sense of participation. You cannot just exist in your network, you need to contribute value to your network.

social mediaThe idea of using a social media platform to help your business has been exploding all over the online marketplace. However, social media has been a tool to simply market your business, but things are beginning to push forward from that standpoint.

Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday on how merchants are pushing sales through social media. It discusses the new innovative technique of actually adding shopping-cart apps to fan pages in order to sell products and services.

This direct e-commerce platform may actually significantly increase traffic and sales if the social networking page has a steady number of fans or followers. More fans makes a business seem in demand, which increases the chances that a consumer will make a purchase.

The downside of having an e-commerce platform in addition to your Facebook marketing strategy is the cost. You have to actually invest money to market your product, make people aware of your page’s existence, and your audience’s ability to purchase directly from your page.

Adding shopping cart applications to your Facebook page will also cost money. The applications will most likely charge a monthly fee depending on the size of your online store.

Also, the domain, like Facebook or Myspace, may actually take a percentage cut of sales.

The other frightening possibility that comes with social media e-commerce is the likelihood of negative viral marketing. Hypothetically if a purchaser was dissatisfied with your product, he or she could very well bash your product to the masses. Such is the beast of ease of social networking.

Even PayPal launched a widget that allows users to embed PayPal storefronts into blogs, sites, profiles, or anywhere else really. Shoppers can choose items from the widget and add it to a shopping cart. They checkout using PayPal, which makes it really simple to sell from Myspace or Facebook pages.

WebinarWhat is a Webinar?

As the name implies, a webinar is a one-way seminar conducted on the web. The functionality and demand of webinars are increasing significantly. Companies employ the use of webinars to conduct presentations to their employees, clients, and prospects.

They can include polling and question/answer sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. In some sessions, the presenter may speak over telephone while discussing information onscreen. The audience can tune in using their own telephones.

A webinar can also be a powerful tool you can use to help your online marketing strategy.

Why YOU Should Webinar 

Using webinars are fast, easy, low-cost, and effective. It is a revolutionary tool used to connect a presenter, an audience, and a subject. The advantages of using webinars include:

  • Receive valuable and useful information in a fun, convenient, low-cost and flexible way
  • Distance is not a barrier, all you need is a computer, internet access, and a telephone
  • Allows the presenter to combine audio with an online visual presentation
  • Allows the presenter to structure and pre-design the presentation content
  • Gives the audience an easy flexible way to participate and ask questions

Features

  • Slide show presentations
  • Live or Streaming video
  • VoIP (Real time audio communication through the computer with headphones and speakers)
  • Web tours – URLs, cookies, scripts, and other important information provided to audience
  • On-demand replay and event recording
  • Whiteboard with annotation – allows attendees to highlight or mark items on slides
  • Text Chat – for live question and answer sessions, can be to the whole group, or private
  • Polls and surveys – allows presenter to conduct questions with multiple choice answers for audience members

There are several sites out there that provide fast and easy ways to design and set up your own online meetings and webinars.

Check out some of these websites:

GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar

FUZE Meeting

PGi Better Meetings

WebEx

Infinite Conferencing