Online Marketing

  • Your 2013 Online Marketing Checklist

    ‘Tis the season to make a list – and check it twice!  What kind of a list?  An online marketing checklist for 2013, of course. No matter how hectic your holiday is, it’s a sure bet that reviewing your 2012 results and making sure that you’re on track for 2013 is on your priority list – and if not, it should be! What do you need to have in place to insure that 2013 meets (or exceeds) your marketing goals?  How can you make sure that you’re monitoring the right analytics, and measuring the right metrics, to make the best decisions about priorities and spending? Here’s a sample online marketing checklist to get you started.  If you need help with any item on the checklist, be sure to contact The Marketing Zen Group to see how we can help you make 2013 the best year yet. Branding Do your brand impressions (the number of mentions of your brand vs. the number of mentions of your competitor – that is, when someone talks about your brand by name without including contact information or links) and brand volume (this is how many times your brand is mentioned over a given period) deliver…

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  • Four Reasons To Market Your Business With Webinars

    The benefits of using webinars as part of your marketing strategy. For many businesses who offer their clients specific products and services, their average web user is typically looking to be educated by their website.  Whether they are specifically looking to learn more about what your company can do for them, how your services differ from your competitors or simply whether or not they would like to work with you one day, most visitors looking at your business site are in research mode and are hoping to learn something more about your company. One of the best ways to attract these potential customers to your site and keep them coming back for more is to continuously feature educational offers on your website that will not only give users the information that they are looking for, but also establishes your company as an expert in that particular topic or field of information. One of the best and most engaging ways to do this is through an online webinar. A webinar is simply an online seminar or training session presented live on the internet. During these sessions, a moderator from a particular company or industry shares information to an audience who have…

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  • Facebook Advertising Options Demystified (Chart)

    With a potential audience of over a billion users, many brands have found success by adding Facebook advertising to their online marketing efforts. In recent months, Facebook has focused on providing more advertising options and tools for companies to use to grow their customer base and increase engagement and loyalty. But with so many options available, it may be hard to keep the options straight – and to know which ones meet your needs. To help clear things up, we’ve created summaries of each of the current major Facebook advertising options along with a chart for at-a-glance comparison.   Facebook Ads Facebook Ads are simple and straightforward: Businesses purchase ad space, and their ads show up on the right side of most Facebook pages. These ads can promote a brand Page, Facebook app, Facebook event, or even an external website. Facebook Ads generally contain ad-specific copy (content created specifically for each ad), including a headline, 90 characters of body text, and an image. They can also contain text from an existing post. Ads are targeted to reach an audience of the demographics you choose, and can even include “custom audiences” – specific people matched through your imported lists of email…

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  • Mobile-Friendly Sites Translate To A More Successful User Experience

    A mobile-friendly site may be what you need to turn visitors into customers. In a world where people are constantly on the go and the average consumer is splitting their attention between information found online and in person, most people have come to expect to find the resources that they want on a variety of different platforms and available to them whenever they want it.  This could be the simple task of Googling information on their laptop, all the way to the very modern act of purchasing a brand new laptop right from their mobile device. However, just because mobile-sites are becoming more and more readily available for the average consumer, does this mean that mobile users are actively seeking out these sites to use on a day-to-day basis? For many researchers and marketers who have been exploring the importance of mobile-friendly sites for consumers within the last few years, the answer is a very resounding yes. Having a quality mobile site is more than just creating an attractive mobile layout for your web page or hoping to bring in a few more sales. This platform is becoming an irreplaceable component for many brands who are hoping to create long-lasting…

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  • Can Your Social Media Profile Be Both Personal And Professional?

    Blurring the lines between business life and personal life with social media. Back before the immense growth of the internet and social media, it was never too difficult to keep your business life separated from your professional one. Intense sport and political talk was reserved for passing moments around the water cooler, and live commentary of your favorite television sitcoms were reserved specifically for whoever was in the room with you at the moment. However, as we saw just last night following the first presidential debate, more and more people are turning to Facebook, Twitter or Google + in order to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from politics to pop culture references. And while this may a great platform to banter back and forth with friends or dive deep into the thoughts of your favorite celebrities, where should you draw the line when your business and personal social profiles are one in the same? The main idea behind social media for business it to engage one-on-one with fans and followers, while also creating a company brand that encompasses your goals and objectives as a business. However, behind every company Twitter or Facebook account lies an employee―whether it be…

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  • How To Get The Most Out Of Your Twitter Hashtags

    Using hashtags to further your businesses Twitter marketing campaign. In the world of social media, it is not simply enough to create a profile page or account for your business in hopes of reaching out to clients and furthering your online marketing efforts. Instead, you must take advantage of the many elements and features that these sites offer as a way to help your company create a unique identity for itself, while also connecting with your audience in a way that you are unable to do through traditional marketing. If you already have a Twitter account that is dedicated to your business, there are several tools that you can incorporate into your existing social media strategy to improve your engagement among readers and also increase your Twitter following. One of the best ways to do this is by using hashtags. Designated by a number sign (#) at the start of a word or phrase, a hashtag is a Twitter feature that helps to spread information among different Twitter profiles, while also helping to organize it throughout the entire website. Twitter users also will use hashtags within tweets as a marketing tactic during certain promotions or events. Research has also found…

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  • The 5 Elements of Excellent Content

    Transcription of “The 5 Elements of Excellent Content” Shama: Hi, this is Shama Kabani, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, and I have recently been wondering about what makes excellent content different from just good content, and I have come up with these five R’s of excellent content.  [inaudible 00:00:17] and there is no actual letter R in the word content but these five R’s really define what makes up excellent content. The first is relevance.  Is it relevant to the person reading it and that context can make all the difference and you know that if you’ve ever been married and had to plan a wedding or you’ve ever renovated your house or worked on any project for a specific amount of time, you know that you’ve delved deep into everything related to that and all of a sudden it mattered so much more to you because it was relevant.  When you are creating content on the web, you want to make sure that you’re keeping it relevant to your audience and recognize that not everybody will love it.  Recognize, not one of our R’s but still important. Number two excellent content keeps it real.  We can relate to it. …

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  • Tips For Using Facebook As A Successful Marketing Tool

    Essential marketing tips that will ensure a successful Facebook campaign. It is no major secret that many businesses are now taking to Facebook to market their company and connect with new consumers. After all, there are more than 900 million people on Facebook who are liking, subscribing, posting or sharing information with their friends and family on a regular basis. Given this major statistic, it only makes sense that many businesses are flocking to the site in order to increase their customer base and build a lasting relationship with the ones they already have. However, what many companies do not realize is that simply registering on Facebook is not enough  to reach your business objectives. There is an actual science behind the art of social media marketing and there are many different resources and tricks that marketers can utilize in order to become more successful with their online marketing efforts. If you are looking to amplify your Facebook marketing efforts in order to build up your company’s fan base and stay connected with your consumers on a day-to-day basis, then you first need to understand the best ways for reaching your business goals in the most successful, effective ways possible….

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  • How Embracing Change Can Lead to Online Marketing Success

    When it comes to online marketing, many people are unwilling to leave their comfort zone, unfortunately clinging to ineffective techniques. Whether they received poor advice, are using outdated practices, or are simply utilizing techniques that don’t fit their business – after all, online marketing is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution – the longer they hold on, the more time and resources they waste. If your social media marketing or online marketing efforts aren’t producing reasonable results, it may be time to let go of what you’re used to, learn why you’re failing, and try something new. Though the source of the quote changes with each retelling, most people are likely familiar with the adage: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” While this could of course be countered with the saying that practice makes perfect, the distinction lies in the difference between getting better at doing something the right way – and stubbornly refusing to deviate from methods that simply aren’t effective. There comes a time when you simply must realize that what you are doing in your online marketing efforts needs to change. Adapt to the Times Technology has always moved…

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  • Sales 2.0 – How to Use Social Media to Turbocharge Your Sales Cycle

    As anyone in sales or marketing knows, the sales process is more than a blunt approach with a single message; introducing yourself by immediately asking others to part with their money is not likely to win many customers. Instead, an effective sales process is one that guides potential customers through a journey that builds a relationship between them and your brand, eventually reaching a point of acquisition before cycling back again. In the past, this cycle was mainly initiated on a broad level through carefully crafted print or broadcast advertisements, and on a more focused level through direct interaction with a salesperson. Today’s sales and marketing teams, however, have a broad range of online marketing options at their fingertips, including one that can assist along every step of the sales process: social media. From announcing your brand to the world to closing sales and assuring future success, social media can be an incredibly effective tool throughout the sales cycle. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to be using a slightly modified version of the AIDA process developed by marketing and advertising pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis. Lewis broke the cycle down into four steps: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action….

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  • Bloodhound: The Perfect All-In-One App For Your Next Conference

    One of the hottest apps on the horizon! Trade shows and conferences are a great way to connect with a number of different people in your industry, while also providing you with the perfect avenue to promote your products and services to future customers. However, while these big conferences and events are supposed to be useful, inspiring and beneficial, they can often leave many exhibitors and attendees feeling flustered and overwhelmed once they finally arrive at the event. If you have ever attended a conference, as either an attendee or an exhibitor, than you may recognize some of these familiar occurrences―collecting hundreds of business cards that you either end up losing or never look at again, hectically walking across the trade show floor trying to locate a presentation that you don’t want to miss, or simply just fumbling around at the last minute trying to figure out the timeline of events that are happening while you’re there. Unfortunately, with the number of people attending these shows and the sheer number of talks, presentations and exhibits happening over the course of the event, it can be difficult to feel as though you are not missing out on something while you are…

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  • How to Optimize Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign in Five Simple Steps

    Whether you use Google’s AdWords, Facebook Ads, or any other platform, integrating a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign as part of your overall online marketing strategy can help you supplement – or even replace – your traditional advertising strategy. Implemented correctly, PPC can be an extremely effective tool to help bring qualified, targeted traffic directly to your website. The problem, however, is that companies are often eager to jump onboard with PPC campaigns – but once they’re set up, they don’t know how to keep them running smoothly, efficiently and effectively. The following steps outline a cycle that can help you keep your PPC campaign running at peak performance. Following this cycle on a regular basis serves as a sort of maintenance plan for your PPC campaign, helping it to continue getting better and better results as time goes on. How often this cycle should take place depends on your budget, but it’s generally recommended after the first 100-200 clicks, and then at the same regular intervals for the life of the campaign.   1.    Identify and Pause Keywords that Under-Perform The key to successful PPC campaigns is one that’s universal across almost every aspect of online marketing: carefully tracking and…

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