Posts Tagged ‘marketing’
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Search engine optimization has changed a lot over the years. There are still some companies trying to do it like it’s 2005. That is, their main aim is to acquire as many links as possible. I don’t think that’s the best approach in 2013.
For starters, if you don’t see SEO as an intrinsic part of your overall marketing efforts, then there is a disconnect somewhere. The goal of marketing is to increase your bottom line. That is, you want to make new customers. And you want your old customers to buy new products. That’s why you have a marketing strategy. That should also be why you have an SEO strategy.
If you approach SEO correctly, you’ll start to see every page of content you create as a part of your overall marketing initiatives.
Instead of creating content for the sake of creating content, if you focus your efforts on making each piece of content you do create tell a part of your overall story and connect with your audience, then you’ll get a lot further. Links will only get ignored – if all you do is acquire links for the sake of acquiring links. They may even hurt your rankings.
Marketing and SEO go hand in hand. It’s a complete online marketing strategy. If you don’t count your SEO as a piece of your marketing, then maybe you need to rethink it.
Monday, December 31st, 2012
Have you set your New Year’s resolutions for 2013 yet? Do they include marketing goals? Better yet, do they include your plans and goals for online marketing in 2013?
It’s important for small business owners to think about what they can do for the new year to take their businesses to the next level. That means more than thinking about how many sales you want to make, or how much profit you want to generate. It also includes how many new marketing initiatives you want to try and whether or not you want to pursue a particular revenue channel.
When you sit down to establish your 2013 goals, if you haven’t already, think about which online marketing strategies you want to try this year and how much time, effort, and money you want to put into them. Do you plan to do these things yourself, hire an in-house person to handle them for you, or outsource these strategies to a marketing firm? There are pros and cons to all of these options.
I hope that 2013 is the year for you and your business. But don’t leave it to chance or hope that the year takes care of itself. Take the initiative and set a plan. It’s the way that successful people take themselves higher, and I know you can do it.
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Budgets aside, there is such a thing as not doing enough to promote your business. You could always be doing more. If you find yourself wondering why you aren’t getting more results for your efforts, there are a few reasons why that might be the case. For instance,
- Maybe you’re spending too much time doing all the wrong things. Perhaps you should redirect your efforts into other channels.
- Or you could be not doing enough of all the right things. Maybe you should write to your blog more often, or spend a little more time on social media.
- It could be that you aren’t talking to the right people. Are the people you talking to not interested in your product or services? Are they the right market for what you have to offer?
- Perhaps your message is slightly off kilter. You could be mis-communicating something, or not communicating powerfully enough.
Sometimes all it takes a little tweak here and there to get your marketing message on track. Other times, you might have to overhaul the entire campaign.
Whether you are seeking to promote your business through traditional marketing channels or online marketing channels, it wouldn’t hurt to evaluate your practices to see where you can make improvements. That often takes a third eye – someone not associated with your business who can see things more objectively. Why not ask a trained small business consultant to look at your business and see where you can make the right adjustments?
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
One marketing concept that has caught on and become very popular in the last couple of years is the idea of content curation. There are several content curation platforms online that make this easy for the average small business owner to accomplish. You’ve likely heard of sites like paper.li and scoop.it. These are online curation platforms that you can join and start curating, but is it worth it?
I personally think that online content curation is somewhat overrated. Most curation platforms allow publishers the ability to select content published on a variety of websites for distilling into one product. That product – a “magazine”, if you will – is then tweeted, shared on Facebook, or distributed through RSS or other means. Many curation platforms allow publishers to include text-based content, videos, images, and social media content. But for many of them it involves an expense for the business owner to get the most useful features of the service.
I’m not saying that content curation doesn’t have its benefits. I don’t think it’s the future of marketing, but you could say that it is a pretty powerful present.
I believe online publishing is going to improve, and when it does content curation will either go by way of other Internet dinosaurs or evolve with the rest of the Web. Someday, you may see interactive magazines that do for online content what print magazines have done for traditional marketing for the past 50 years. Until then, online content curation is a useful marketing concept.
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Does your website promote every service that you offer? It may seem like a good idea, yet that very concept could be harming your business. Peter Lawlor has an article on Copyblogger that discusses this issue, and much of what he says makes sense. If you do cover a wide area in your niche, it can be hard to adequately cover them all properly on webpage. I know many would argue that a website can cover a virtually infinite number of business areas, and they are right, a website can, however, a single page cannot.
Your front page is the dress window of your business. If you provide a service across a dozen or more areas, can your front page effectively promote them all without looking overcrowded. Worse yet, does it make it look like your a desperate trying to cover that large range – in effect, a jack of all trades and master of none?
I wrote last week about having a single website to cover your entire business, and this article by Peter Lawlor does follow up nicely on that topic. There’s a fine balance that needs to be found when running a broad based business. You don’t necessarily need a dozen websites to cover your business, in fact, a single site for just one area of your business could have the opposite effect, make you look too narrow.
What is needed is a careful balance that gives you a professional edge. You can link sites in a number of ways – a blog can make a good tool for pooled resources. There’s also no harm in bridging some areas of your business over two websites. For many, the website is their business. What that front page says to a potential customer will determine whether or not they stay and do business with you. If that front page doesn’t exude confidence and ability, then you’re going to lose custom, and that’s the danger you face if you try to sell to much of yourself on that one page. Sometimes, small business internet marketing starts with the decisions you make about your website structure.
Sunday, February 12th, 2012
Everywhere I look I see stories about a site called Pinterest. We discussed this site several weeks ago in a post titled Pinterest – A Social Media Site Worth Consideration. Since then, everyone seems to have an opinion about the site, and they all appear to be positive. One wonders how a site that is still in beta and is invitation only could generate such interest; that in itself should have marketers sitting up and taking notice. Of course, Pinterest could be just another fad that will rise quickly and fall just as quickly.
There is something about Pinterest that does capture the eye. It could be the ease of use, or perhaps its central philosophy – we all love lists, and Pinterest is really based on that list philosophy, the only difference being that these lists are generally image and video related. There are some notable differences between Pinterest and many other sites. To begin with, it’s already monetized. Don’t be surprised to see some of your content bearing links – that’s how they make their money. Fortunately, it’s not overdone.
Another area that marketers will like is that you can add prices – in effect, using content to advertize what you are selling, price and all. The site is not setup up to be a marketer’s paradise, but with the right approach, it could be very effective. There are reports that Pinterest is delivering more traffic than Twitter and Google+ combined – and I repeat, it’s still in beta.