Posts Tagged ‘advertising’
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
How often have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to expand my page’s reach to a demographic exactly like the one I’m targeting now with little or no effort?” If you’ve ever said that, or thought that, then Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences promises to be the tool you need.
Thinking about what this tool actually does, it seems intuitive. Who better to know what demographic you are targeting (or reaching) with your Facebook page than Facebook? They have all eyes on. But the “lookalike” audience is based on your custom advertiser settings, so the “eyes on” is easy.
But note that by using Lookalike Audiences you are not reaching an exact duplicate of your current audience. You are reaching a “similar” audience. Consider:
Facebook is now offering advertisers a new feature called Lookalike Audiences, which enables direct marketers to target audience segments with similar customer profiles to those they have uploaded themselves with Facebook’s Custom Audience feature.
Emphasis is mine.
So if you tell Facebook that you are targeting women between the ages of 20 and 25 with an earned income between $50,000 and $100,000, then people who fall into that same demographic who are not already fans of your Facebook page can be targeted with your advertising.
Or, suppose you are a local business catering to anyone living in Minnesota. Facebook users living in Minnesota not already fans of your page can be targeted by your ads.
This is a powerful feature, but like all new features, it remains to be seen how Facebook advertisers will apply it to their situation. Go, experiment.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
I hate to say it, but there are tens of thousands of websites that are really just taking up valuable space. And I’m not talking about spam or get rich sites, or mom and dad blogs here. I am talking about legitimate businesses that have a physical bricks and mortar business, and there are plenty in almost every town in the country. Why do they take up valuable space? Because they serve no other purpose than to ‘have a presence on the web’. The business owners who have put these sites up would most likely admit to never having had a legitimate lead coming from their ‘web presence’.
So why do they do it? Why pay for hosting, a domain name, and perhaps even website design? Most likely it’s either because it’s the ‘in thing’, or because someone has convinced them of this need, and most likely walked away with a tidy profit for having done so. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree that most businesses do need an online presence, however, it does need to be more than just a basic website.
Let me change angles for a moment. Would you ever consider opening a branch office in the next town? And if you would, would that branch office sit in a corner of some old office block, or would you prefer a good location, plenty of passing traffic and nice large windows that can be dressed up? I know I would prefer the latter, and that is how your online presence should be treated.
The difference between the two is not that different. The main street or busy shopping mall is the search engine and social media like Facebook. Your web page is your shop front window, and like the inside of a shop, your internal pages are warm, inviting, and designed to promote and sell your business. Instead of local advertising, you undertake search engine optimization – the aim for each is the same, getting your business in front of people’s eyes.
Of course, the online world and the physical world do have their differences, however, if you want an online presence, treat it like you would a new shopfront – don’t do it because everyone else is. Your just wasting good money
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Google has become mean concerning web sites and display advertising. If the advertising on your web page pushes the content down below the fold, then your site may receive a ding in the search rankings.
Why do I say “mean?” One poorly designed page could affect your whole site, not just that one page. If you’ve recently suffered a serious drop in search rankings, check your pages for advertising, have you overdone it?
There is a logic to Google’s approach. Google wants to present searchers with the best content. If a web page has more ads than content, and if a user has to scroll down below the fold to find that content, then, in Google’s humble opinion, that page is not quality. Furthermore, if that page is not quality, then neither are any of the other pages on that site. What isn’t clear is whether or not your own display advertising has the same effect – logically, it would since the emphasis now is content and having it readily available to users.
If you do have a lot of advertising on your pages, there are a number of approaches you can take. These include:
- reducing the number of ads,
- redesigning your web page so that content appears above the fold,
- using sidebars for display advertising,
- ensuring ads are relevant to the pages’ content.
Google is not anti-advertising. In fact, Google does encourage website owners to include Adsense ad units on their sites although they do suggest you follow their guidelines when it comes to quantity and placement. The rules related to SEO are constantly changing and so it always pays to stay on top of the latest news.
Sunday, January 8th, 2012
Think about commercials on television. Which ones can you just not forget? You know, the ones you catch yourself singing their theme song or repeating verbatim parts of the commercial? Those are the ones that are constantly on the TV. Every time you turn around, they are showing the same commercial again. This is a good market strategy.
Yes, they are annoying to us. However, they are bringing in money for the company by inundating the viewing public. That is what small businesses need to do with their online marketing campaigns.
It’s sort of like brainwashing. For instance, if you are constantly hearing in the background about a certain cold medicine. You are not really listening because you don’t need it. But, when you get sick, your subconscious is going to quickly remember all the commercials you have heard about this certain cold medicine. And, you are sick enough you want to try it.
Online marketing needs to be out there on a regular basis. Not just one ad all the time. Mix it up and have different ads going all the time so that your brand, products and website are getting ingrained in people’s minds. This is one of the oldest forms of advertising and still one of the most effective.
Since you are already thinking of new advertising campaigns for this year, think about how often you can afford to place ads all over the internet and especially social network sites. You just never know where your next customer will come from.
Friday, January 6th, 2012
Just as in the old days, word of mouth was one of the best forms of advertising. It is basically the same today in cyberspace. Online reviews about your business, yourself or your products can and do go a very long way in bringing customers in.
The way it works is that if you put your website on other sites for review, consumers will be able to review your site and make comments. As others come to the site, they will read the reviews and will be influenced by what they read. It’s just like word of mouth.
This is an easy way to market your business and put it in a glowing light with consumers, providing you are providing a good quality product, interact with your customers and are available to your customers.
On the other side of the coin, if you don’t provide good customer service, or your products are always shipped late or your website is just not user friendly, you will get bad reviews. This in turn will keep potentials shoppers from your site which will be bad for business.
Between reviews and social media sites, your on line presence will grow and so will sales. Give the review sites a chance. Try something new. You never know, this strategy may just boost your business better than you ever thought. And, every business needs a boost now and then.
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
For small businesses, making more sales is what keeps your doors open. We have talked about a lot of ways to boost your business and get your name out there. It’s been mentioned a couple of times, but mailing lists are one of the most important marketing tools you will have.
It’s important to keep mailing lists up to date with current postal addresses and email addresses. You may only use this list to send out newsletters or flyers every once in a while.
Think about ramping up your mailing list by adding new customers to the list and using it for more than a newsletter. You could make several templates of how-to tips, products, or did-you-know facts. Whatever your business is, use that business for all kinds of ideas you can use in a mailing list.
Most regular customers will expect your mailings as they are used to getting them, but new customers like the feeling of a welcome letter maybe coupled with a discount coupon in appreciation of their business. It makes them feel like you value them, which you do. You just need to do something to reinforce that feeling.
The single most important thing you can do in building a business is to build customer confidence in you and they will come back. Customer loyalty goes a long way in making a business a success. Mailing lists help you do that. You may not see a regular customer but once every month or so. Let them know about special sales that they might be missing in between their visits.
Think about your mailing list. Clean up any discrepancies and ramp it up for the coming year and you will be surprised at how much it will help you and your business.
For ideas or help with setting up mailing lists, visit a small business consultant who can get you on the right track.
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
You have your brand new website up and running. It looks fantastic and you have a lot of great products listed along with article or blogging content. Are you wondering what else you could do to enhance your website?
Consider doing various videos or podcasts about you, your business, what your products are and other ways. The general online public loves short podcasts on just about anything.
For instance, maybe your website business is providing a service. Whatever the service is, you could have short videos on tips and tricks of the trade to help someone do something instead of always hiring to have it done.
You can also have a how-to section for people who like to have do-it-yourself projects. Look at it as giving away freebies. Everyone loves freebies and if you give your customers something, they will be sure to give back by purchasing something from your website.
It’s also a great way for SEO. Podcasts and YouTube videos will get you moved up in the search rankings faster than without them, thats for sure.
If you are not sure how to go about making videos, there are a lot of self-help videos online. See there! You are even using them now! A world of information is right at your fingertips so why not use it to optimize your business presence on the internet.
With a new year upon us, now is the perfect time to try something new. You will be surprised at how effective videos are on your marketing campaign. You can even attach them to your marketing emails for an even bigger response.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
The year 2012 is going to be a good year! A positive outlook goes a long way in making your small business grow. The coming year will be new; it’s time for a new look and a new way of doing things.
The first thing to consider is employees. If you have employees and you are growing, think about if and how many new employees you need. Figure out a new budget which includes employees and any upgrades or repairs that need to be done.
It’s also an excellent time to make a new marketing plan, some fine tuning to your website and possibly new business cards. Consider how you want to advertise your business such as online, radio, television, newspapers and the simple newsletters or e-letters.
New technological advances need to be considered as well. Implement a plan for texting, email campaigns, phone apps or video chat. There are now so many ways to stay in contact with clients, suppliers or employees. These new ideas are just the ticket to jump start your small business right into 2012.
Since you are now thinking of all kinds of things you can do or start in the coming year, be sure to organize your files and get tax information ready. That dreaded time of the year is not far off. At the same time, clean up all the old email addresses you keep telling yourself you need to update. Even if it is winter, get the mind set for spring cleaning.
And don’t forget to add social media to your new marketing plan. It’s such a simple and free way to get your business noticed and out to the public, using social media. Word of mouth goes a long, long way in bringing in business.