Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Tag: Marketing (page 1 of 5)

Opportunities Abound During Tough Economic Times

Contrarian view? Absolutely not. The best time to strike is when your competitors are off guard. While they gather in their conference rooms to complain about the economy, use this golden opportunity to reach out to your existing customers and find new prospects.

Far too many business owners absolutely take the wrong approach. They hunker down, cut marketing budgets and pull back. The end result is "unattended customers" and less competition for you. Businesses that cut marketing budgets also demotivate their best salespeople, which start spending more time thinking about getting a new job than a new customer.

Economic downturns are an excellent time to strengthen your relationships with both your existing customers and your competitors' customers. Odds are, they are not as busy. Are they willing to spend a little more time with you? Very possible so get in touch with them and consider the following:

  • Collect testimonials: Asking for a testimonial is a contact with your customer that's not a sales call. Tell them you would like to promote the testimonial and link it to their website, which will promote them as well. Use the opportunity to show your customers you value their opinion, your business relationship, and their business (i.e., dynamic websites, blogs, Scribd, PR news, etc.);
  • Survey your customers: Create an opportunity to collect feedback and discuss services and/or products you offer that they may not be fully aware of or completely understand (i.e., email marketing, custom website landing pages, etc.);
  • Network: Introduce your customers to people in your network that they consider prospects and ask to meet their business colleagues and associates – an excellent source of referrals (i.e., LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, etc.), and
  • Use your "consulting" skills: Help your customers and prospects save time and money by providing pertinent industry news and educational materials that will help them compete during these difficult times (i.e., email newsletters, white papers and custom publications all have high ROIs).

But don't be fooled. There is also new competition for you – competition from << Continued on digital AIM >>

[Please note we have updated our marketing news website. To receive future updates including our 2009 Marketing Plan series, add your info here | digital AIM – Email.]

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

Promo Content Working Better Than Expected B2B

We all know that content is king, right? Not necessarily. Too much content performs poorly if the recipient doesn't have the time to read it. And, if the goal of your email marketing content is to sell then don't dismiss targeted B-to-B promotional copy. Here's my point.

B-to-B email marketing focuses heavily on relevant content – lots of info and educational flare. Is it working? Not as well as we think in all cases according to a recent study published by the MarketingSherpa, which provides an example where a merchandiser targeted and tested promotional content against informational content. The promotional content won with 89% more CTRs and five times more revenue! You can read the entire article here, Test Shows Promotional Content Beats Information (open access closes August 27).

Take aways from the full article:

  • People may not want to read about you products or services as much as you think. They might just want to buy them.
  • Discount offers or coupons are common nowadays so don't hesitate to use them; almost required to get attention.
  • Email marketing works best when the subject line text reflects the content closely. 
  • Don't abandon educational content but condense the info as much as possible; use only the most important aspects of the message you are communicating.

Also note there are two critical items associated with successful email marketing: testing and targeting. When you know your audience (targeting – list segmentation), you should be well aware of what he or she wants – make sure you know what they want (testing). And, let them know you value their time – quickly get to the point.

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

Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make

If your using PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to boost your web traffic and sales, check out Igor's post over at his BizMord Search and Marketing Blog. His recommendations are specific and will increase your ROI in many cases:

17 Most Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make–BizMord Search and Marketing Blog
As I manage quite a few PPC campaigns I always notice the silly and sometimes not so silly mistakes that advertisers make with their PPC programs. Mistakes when creating PPC ads, click fraud detection, and lack of testing are just a few of them. Fixing each of these mistakes could mean an extra 70% of revenue or a savings of thousands of dollars every month.

2006-08-25 Links

MyWeb Bookmarks


eoecho.com | custom publishing | marketing | communications | blogs
AMG Mercedes-Benz Cars
AMG Mercedes – For the AMG Mercedes-Benz Enthusiast
fitness – health
Word of Mouth Marketing – Articles & Research
Traffic Reports and Alerts | Real Time Traffic | Road Conditions | Delays :: Traffic.com
www.myspace.com/eoecho
The History of AMG
Phoenix Fitness
Sociable
Virginia Fitness
Spot Runner
Create PDF Files Easily – Fast and Free Site
Are Corporate Blogs a Waste of Time For Upper Management
Proving the Value of Public Relations
Fitness Liaison Project
Astronomy
Squidoo : Fitness and Nutrition
Hotscripts.com :: PHP, CGI, Perl, JavaScript and ASP script collection
Let’s Share Some Files – Four Services Compared
AMG Mercedes-Benz on Squidoo

Are Corporate Blogs A Waste of Time for Upper Management?

Telling your boss he or she needs a blog could get you fired. A generic blog with generic comments by your CEO and/or your upper management team does not produce significant returns for the time invested. More to the point, it is likely a waste of their time. We all know it, but thousands of blogs like this exist. Why?

Corporate management has been told they need to blog to connect with customers, prospects, vendors and associates. This is good advice for CEOs and managers that are excellent bloggers with plenty of time on their hands. Slim chance you work for one of these people.

So how should corporations more effectively use a blog?

PR Blogging Machine
Add your blog as a link on your corporate website, but you don’t necessarily need to call it a blog. There is no need nor many compelling reasons to have a stand alone blog. Your blog should look and feel just like any other page on your website, except the content is now going to be fresh, relevant and informative to your target market. Use the “News” link on your website and turn that stale, outdated content into a well-oiled, PR blogging machine.

Limit the posting rights to your marketing/PR department. Publish at least 2-3 posts per week; not an overbearing workload. Write press releases and relevant industry news that includes quotes and comments from the CEO and upper management. This will minimize their time involved while maximizing their exposure both internally and externally – everybody wins.

Pros: it is easy for your IT Department to set up and little (if any) developer time is required to keep the “News” page updated. Search engines will love the fresh content and your website SEO results will improve. Also, your website visitors can comment, you can promote the site in your newsletters and marketing materials, and your customers have a compelling reason to bookmark your website.

Get Your Human Resources Department Involved
With little effort, your human resources department can post job openings on the “News” page after you convert it to a blog format. A separate HR page, or multiple pages for each job opening, can easily be included and updated by your HR Department. Consider creating an RSS feed so potential candidates can check your job openings from their desktop without the need to re-visit your website for updates.

Marketing Department Announcements
Again, with little effort you can also include an “Events” section on your “News” page once it is converted to a blog. Exhibiting at a trade show next month? Is your management team involved in any seminars, webinars, webcasts, or other marketing events? Using a blog to promote your corporate events is effective and the content improves your SEO results.

There are many ways to view blogs. When you realize blogs are software tools as much as anything else, their uses are practically endless.

PS: If you need help setting up blogging software to accomplish the recommendations above or if you have questions, contact eoecho.com. We can give you a hand.
[tags] Corporate blogs, blogging, PR, News Links, SEO results, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Social Networking Sites and Links – Red Hot Technology

If you’re not in a social network join one now. All for good reason. Millions are using social networks to reach out and grow their businesses. And, the technology is catching up with the needs and demands of business professionals both large and small.

Neilsen NetRatings reports their findings of the phenomenal growth in one of their recent press releases. Social networking is red hot and continued growth is on the horizon.

Consider the following examples of social networking sites:

Neilsen isn’t the only one talking, Researcher Gartner Inc. identified the technologies it believes will have the greatest impact on businesses over the next 10 years, hot areas include social-network analysis.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is rated as high impact (definition: enables new ways of performing vertical applications that will result in significantly increased revenue or cost savings for an enterprise) and capable of reaching maturity in less than two years. SNA is the use of information and knowledge from many people and their personal networks. It involves collecting massive amounts of data from multiple sources, analyzing the data to identify relationships and mining it for new information. Gartner said that SNA can successfully impact a business by being used to identify target markets, create successful project teams and serendipitously identify unvoiced conclusions.

Which social networks are you involved with for business?

Greg's profile on LinkedIn[tags] social networks, social networking, ryze, myspace, linkedin, live spaces, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

User-Generated Content Drives Fastest Growing Web Brands

Nielsen NetRatings has released their findings on the top 10 fastest growing web brands. Leading are several “user-generated content” sites; MySpace is the fastest growing while the Google brand maintains double digit growth.

The following is an excerpt from their press release (link to the full content press release is provided below):

NEW YORK– August 10, 2006– Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that user-generated content sites, platforms for photo sharing, video sharing and blogging, comprised five out of the top 10 fastest growing Web brands in July 2006.

Image hosting site ImageShack ranked No. 4 among July’s fastest growing Web brands, increasing 233 percent, from a unique audience of 2.3 million to 7.7 million (see Table 1). Heavy.com, a video sharing site, took the No. 5 spot, increasing 213 percent, from 965,000 to 3.0 million unique visitors. Photo sharing site Flickr followed at No. 6, growing 201 percent from 2.1 million to 6.3 million unique visitors.

Other user-generated content sites that made it into the top 10 fastest growing Web brands were MySpace, with a 183 percent year-over-year increase, and Wikipedia, with a 181 percent year-over-year increase.

“User-generated content sites have seen significant growth over the past year, owing in large part to their reliance on viral marketing,” said Jon Gibs, director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings.”

Nielsen NetRatings PR – August 10, 2006

Hat-tip to Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion for pointing out the link to us.

[tags] MySpace, Google, User-Generated Content, Web Brands, Wikipedia, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Career Opportunity Marketing Via RSS Feeds

Are you seeking new hires for your team? Why not market your company at the same time? Edelman has developed an effective mechanism for posting their job ads while marketing their brand to bloggers and other feed fans. Their answer, RSS Feeds; pushing HR job openings to feed subscribers.

I tried using Sage feed reader and a Firefox browser to local the feed on the main “Career” page, but the feed wasn’t discovered. Note you must drill down to their listings per your selected location to access the feed (i.e., select a location, click to get the opening list, then use your feed reader to search for the RSS feed).

The link below is the original post by Steve Rubel:

Micro Persuasion: Edelman Career Opportunity Feeds

[tags] Edelman, Steve Rubel, HR marketing, RSS Feeds, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Blogging Builds Social Connections

Earlier this week, I attended a local Media Trade Show and sat in on an Internet Marketing Strategies seminar. The speaker was an experienced spokesperson for wireless carriers, Nextel and Sprint. And, he has appeared on the Fox Morning Show, ABC News, CNet Live Radio, The New York Times, Industry Standard, Wired, and numerous other news programs.

Overall, he gave an interesting presentation on basic SEO concepts and marketing strategies, but when it came to blogging he appeared clueless. Although blogging is one of the better ways to build social connections for networking, he presented blogs as diaries of people expressing their innermost thoughts and mundane daily activities. He clearly didn’t do his homework before adding a brief discussion of blogs in his presentation.

Blogs are quoted on almost every news program and lead bloggers are changing the media landscape, as well as public opinion and the outcome of political elections. Not so mundane.

The economic world likewise depends on networks. General Electric, for example, is famous for moving people across organizational boundaries and for using training programs to give people from different geographies an opportunity to forge lasting social connections.
– Eric Beinhocker, The Origin of Wealth

[tags] Internet Marketing Strategies, Blogging, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Setting up email and auto response software

After an extensive review of available email software products, I purchased AWeber for email marketing. I’m in the process of setting it up and would like to see examples of its use.

If you are using it, please leave a comment below with a link to your site. Thanks!

PS: Here are a few promo links from the software provider if you don’t already use AWeber software and email marketing:

08/03/06 – Blog: What Do Subscribers Expect from You?

08/01/06 – Blog: Stumped Trying to Write Follow Up Messages?

07/28/06 – Blog: Post Purchase Customer Follow Up

07/26/06 – Blog: HTML without plain text mistakes…

07/25/06 – Blog: Open Rates by List Size

[tags] email newsletters, email software, AWeber, email marketing, autoresponders, auto respond, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

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