Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Category: online marketing

Marketers on the Move to Retain Market Share

Online marketing ad spends continue to trend up as target audiences spend more time on the Internet. Marketers are responding by shifting their marketing budgets to retain market share.

According to recent findings by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA), the Internet has more than gained traction, it is the place to attract new customers – both Gen X and the baby boomers.

Not surprisingly, 16 to 24 year-olds access the Internet more frequently than they watch TV and spend 10% more time on it.  But did you know there’s been a double-digit increase in weekly Internet access among the over-55s since 2006? About a third of the current Internet users spend 16 hours or more each week on the web.

How are marketing managers responding?

Continue reading

Ad Design Tactics That Increase Response Rates Online

Why are ads with pictures of people seeing higher response rates than those without? Human beings read a person’s face rapidly; the emotion and feelings are conveyed before the words are even noticed. A recent survey by the MarketingSherpa suggests using people photos in your online ads will increase your response rates.

What else is working for online ad design? Here’s a chart that provides insight into ad design based on an online advertising survey of marketing professionals (click on the chart to read the full article at MarketingSherpa.com):

Ad_design_chart_09-23-08-lp

Luxury Brands Now on MySpace, Social Networks

You might not expect a luxury brand that is a global symbol of cosmopolitan fashion to choose MySpace to target their market. But the market is there and so is Cartier; the French brand known for their exclusive $10,000 watches, clocks and diamonds. 

The Cartier ad campaign includes a link to a Cartier mini-site where you can download free music by Lou Reed, Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and others. Mercedes-Benz USA has used the free music download marketing strategy for several years now at their corporate site. The latest from MBUSA (excerpt of their email marketing I rec'd on June 26, 2008):

Mixed Tape 21 and Mixed Tape Music Magzine # 5 – now online
Enjoy the fifth edition of Mixed Tape Music Magazine on mercedes-benz.tv. Also online: Mixed Tape 21 with a selection of brand new tracks.

Every eight weeks, Mercedes-Benz not only presents ten handpicked tracks by international newcomers for you to check out and explore as a free download compilation at www.mercedes-benz.com/mixedtape. For added visual delights, visit Mixed Tape Music Magazine, an innovative monthly online TV show featuring audio-visual highlights from around the world, now in its fifth edition.

This month’s theme is ‘Up North’ with artists hailing from the globe’s upper reaches – think Norway, Sweden or Canada. Their music, on the other hand, is decidedly international and at home between Hip-Hop, Folk, Pop and R&B. From Sweden, we have Kocky and his singer Rosanna, Joel Alme and MC Chords – the self-proclaimed luckiest man alive – while Chris Lee represents Norway’s cutting-edge music scene. On the other side of the Atlantic, MC Moka Only and Alanis Morissette shake it up for Canada.

Enjoy the mix!

Your Mercedes-Benz Team
www.mercedes-benz.tv/mixedtape
 

Why MySpace?

MySpace is an online social gathering place for teens right? Think again. Abbey Klaassen of Advertising Age has published an article with more details. Here's an excerpt:

"There's this misperception in the market about MySpace being a youth site, a site for teens," said Travis Katz, managing director-international operations for MySpace. "But 85% of our audience in the U.S. is over 18, and 40% of all moms in U.S. are on MySpace." He claims that MySpace reaches more people making $100,000-plus than other social-network competitors, such as Facebook and Yahoo 360. Real the full Adversiting Age article here.

More info: Cartier's MySpace profile.

6 Essential Tactics To Maximizing Your Affiliate Profits!

Below you'll find an article by Mark Davies.

Here are six essential practices to maximizing your income as an Affiliate Marketer!

If you are like most new affiliate marketers, you have signed up as an affiliate and posted links and are actively promoting products but you are making few sales. Here are things that you can do to start making real profits:

#1 – Build your own Website:

You need to build your own website to promote the products. Make sure it has its own paid for domain name (mybizsite.com), not a free site like (mybizsite.othersitename.com). If you have been using free hosting, people looking at your site will not take your business seriously. If you don't know how to build a website there are many services that offer simple website building programs for a small fee or you can hire someone build a site for you. Check out elance.com where website designers will bid for the opportunity to build a site for you!

#2 – Write reviews of the products you are promoting:

You need to know the products you are promoting! It is crucial that you purchase all the products you are promoting so that you can write honest reviews about them. Let potential customers know that you are using these products and why they are worth buying! You then need to post these reviews on your website, in your newsletters and in articles.

#3 – Get yourself a Blog:

I recommend that you get a Blog and link it to your website. This will allow you to create discussions on the blog about the products you are selling and list any updates to your regular website. Blogs that are updated and posted to regularly (I recommend every other day) are indexed quicker by the search engines than are new websites, and after the blog is indexed, the pages you have linked to the blog will also get indexed. This is a very powerful way to get your Continue reading

Green Turning into Gold on the Internet

The environmental movement is rising almost as fast as the rising cost of fossil fuel and the Internet is playing a major role. Environmentally-conscious consumers and the overall population are turning to social networks, online communities, niche-market websites and blogs for green products, hybrids, organically grown food and eco-tourism. 

Just look at some of the numbers from Sarah Radwanick's post, The Internet Goes Green:

TreeHugger.com, a popular green site, has seen visitation reach 515,000 people in March 2008, an 81% increase from March 2007.

Freecycle.org, site connects people in communities to exchange items they no longer need or want for free, gained 15% from the previous year to 322,000 visitors in March 2008.

(Reference: ComScore blog, The Internet Goes Green, by Sarah Radwanick)The Happy Gardener - Making a Difference

Using comScore Marketer, a search intelligence tool, Sarah Radwanich investigated several green search terms and came up with the following:

Terms such as “ecotourism” and “climate change” have experienced large search query increases in the past year, with “ecotourism” growing 574% to 12,864 searches in February 2008 while “climate change” jumped 167% to 9,542 searches.

Searches for “hybrid cars” also gained (up 48% to 68,332 searches), while basic environmental word searches have also seen growth, including “recycle” (up 35% to 72,779 searches) and “pollution” (up 58% to 32,788 searches).

At AIM Custom Media, we're seeing more interest in the environment as well. One of our new clients, Eco-Gardeners.com (a new blog by The Happy Gardener), provides articles and organic gardening tips for gardening enthusiasts. In addition, they offer a full-line of organic gardening products that are safe for children, kids and your kitchen table. Their business model also includes the opportunity for passionate gardeners, and/or savvy entrepreneurs, to start their own home businesses.

The Happy Gardener, has been featured in Women's Day, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Prevention Magazine and the Richmond Times Dispatch (among others).

Annette Pelliccio, owner of The Happy Gardener, said,

 “Everyone involved with our growing company is committed to helping families learn healthier methods to benefit the future of our communities and the environment.”

Going green to gold isn't limited to gardening and numerous corporations are helping to drive the environmental moment. One book explains how, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (you can read the reviews on Amazon).

There are several articles on this topic. Here are a few more for those interested:

How to alienate your customers

Email blast after email blast with little, if any, content of value. That appears to be the email marketing strategy of business network Fast Pitch. Everyday, another email like this:

Last chance to become a Platinum Member for only $99 per year. 
Offer ends tonight at midnight (Wednesday, March 26, 2008). 

Give your profile top ranking, receive 10x more visibility, make unlimited connections, get ranked higher on search engines, post unlimited press, see who visits your profile and more… for less than $9 per month (normally $27 per month).
 
Upgrade:  http://www.[DELETED OUT OF RESPECT FOR OUR READERS TIME]

Once you click the link (above), be sure to click on the special promotion image to receive the special discount.

If you want to learn how to alienate your customers using email, just sign up at Fast Pitch – it won't take long for the onslaught of promo emails to arrive. I deleted my Fast Pitch business networking profile "fast." Maybe they should consider changing their name to, "Fast, Switch" to another online business network!

UPDATE: April 3, 2008 – More questionable tactics from Fast Pitch: 

It appears they hired people to combat negative press about them or they may be posting this b.s. themselves using one-up gmail accounts. I rec'd the following comment after publishing this post from a person claiming to be a paying customer (they didn't provide their website address or an email that shows up anywhere on the Internet BTW):

I've gotten those too.  A little annoying – sure.  But, I've got to say… of all the online business networks out there, Fast Pitch! has provided me with more valuable advice than I can remember.  After I signed up, I received 6 weeks worth of 'How To Market My Business' Advice emails from the company.  They taught me how to enhance my profile for search engine optimization, the importance of creating content, how to generate an audience for my press, blog, profile, etc…), how to make introductions to people online, and more.   In fact, I also received a Welcome Call from the company 3 days after I created my profile . . . I've always been able to reach a customer support rep through email, live chat and phone.  In fact, the CEO chatted with me the other day during what they call a virtual tradeshow – whereby hundreds of members actively networked online using webcams.  Cool stuff. I think your being a little too sensitive…

The person that submitted the comment above didn't leave a website address, I did a quick search for the "text content" of the message without the name of the company.  No surprise, the search results came up with a Blogger blog edited by the Fast Pitch owner! And, posts with the similar text and "cool stuff" claims – a mere coincidence, I doubt it. The IP address range is also from the same area, SE Florida and the owner is, where else, Florida. It appears they are paying people (or doing it themselves with fake gmail accounts) to leave positive comments about them. 

I agree with David, Fast Ditch! may be a better choice for their name. 

Blogging Tips, AIM Custom Media Weekly Update

Those that invest years of their time gaining experience in a particular field review a vast amount of information. Translating the information into knowledge requires the skills of organization, prioritization, and collaboration. From those with both the experience and the skills, you can acquire wisdom.

Blogging Tips
After blogging for several years now, I find the greatest value, and wisdom, comes from bloggers that express their point of view based on their personal knowledge and experience; before they send readers off to another website via a link. When you post a link on your blog, tell your readers why you recommend the link and add your own unique content. The end result creates value for your readers as you foster a relationship with them.

Did you ever wonder where the term “weblog” came from? A guy named Jorn Barger coined the term in December 1997. And yes, he has many years of experience on the web. Barger is a philosophical guy and his advice can be somewhat esoteric but he does share his wisdom. Here are a few of his blogging tips that I like from a brief article published at Wired.com:

1. Re-post your favorite links from time to time for people who missed them the first time. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading

Tutorial for Enhancing Local Search Results SEO

This article covers simple online marketing strategies you can use to improve your ranking for local search results (SEO). So, how do you let everyone know you're in town?

Local Search Marketing Strategies and SEO Tips

Before you start bidding on keywords and throw money at PPC (pay per click) marketing, consider using simple "organic SEO" online marketing strategies to improve your local SEO results. Whether your revenue comes from business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), increasing your local search ranking will benefit your business.

First and foremost, create an SEO friendly website. The first step you can take to improve your local – as well as your overall search engine results – is make sure your website is search engine friendly. Make it easy for search engines to identify your business location and your keywords by following this short-list of SEO tips for local search:

  • Prominently display your business name and address as text on both the top of the page and in the footer. In the header, it helps if you use an "H1" tag that includes your address. Avoid placing your address and keywords in image files given they can be hidden from the search engines. Also, it is difficult for your site visitors to capture your address and phone number for future reference when it is embedded in an image. Continue reading

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