Online Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid!

Online Marketing MistakesWhen it comes to online marketing, everyone starts off thinking they know how to do it, but, the truth is it is not very different from other types of marketing. The tool is different, but the way you go about it really isn’t. You still need to understand who your audience is, what your product or service is, and know how to explain to your audience why it will solve their problems and why you are the one to offer it.

8 online marketing mistakes you need to avoid:

Not Sticking to One Brand – Don’t try to be someone different online than you are offline. Don’t try to recreate your brand for every social media network. Keep the same brand image, slightly changed up for each network’s platform and features, but keeping the same colors, values, and ideals as you have on your website. You want your customers to know who you are, no matter where they connect with you.

Not Watching Your Competitors – You don’t want to copy your competitors, but watching them will help you stay one step ahead of them. It might even alert you to some cosmic change in the marketplace if you are paying attention. Be aware of what type of products and/or services your competition provides and be ready to do them one better.

Not Having a Goal – It’s imperative that for each type of marketing you do, you have a goal in mind. Whether it’s content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, or social media marketing, having a goal to reach will help you know whether or not you’ve accomplished your mission. Plus it will help you know how to move forward.

Not Using Your Domain Name – Not only should you have a domain name, but you should also have an email @yourdomainname if you want to be taken seriously as a business owner. You can easily set up your own email address with your webhost provider, sometimes at no additional charge. One service we recommend is Google’s Apps for work service, you can read about it here: http://goo.gl/4DyGtV – use code AWHJC3YUH7Q6N7 for 50% off your first year.

Not Having Diverse and Regular Content – It’s no longer enough to simply put up 500-word blog posts and expect to get a loyal following. Today you need longer blog posts, video, podcasts, infographics, memes and more to ensure that you are reaching all parts of your audience. Everyone learns differently, and it’s your job to educate them in the way they learn best.

Not Having an Email List – It’s surprising how many business owners there are who don’t realize the importance of building an email list for successful online marketing. But it’s true; some people don’t build an email list, and they should.

Not Having Well-Written Content – You can’t just slap anything up and expect it to be successful when it comes to content marketing. You need original, unique content that speaks directly to your audience. In addition, you need curated content from other experts which you comment on.

Not Focusing on Benefits over Features – It’s tempting to discuss all the features of your product or service instead of the benefits. All marketing messages, even on your “about us” page, need to be focused on your client and how your products or services benefit them. That can be difficult to wrap your brain around sometimes, but it is imperative in order to get more conversions.

Don’t make these mistakes with your online marketing. If you really want to be successful at online marketing, learn from those who have gone before you, and do not try to reinvent the wheel.

Thanksgiving Social Media Facts…In Case You’ve Got Nothing Better to Read!

As we hit Thanksgiving Day here in America, I figured most people aren’t looking at their social media posts or reading blogs, but… in case you have nothing better to do, here’s Thanksgiving by the “Social Media” numbers! Enjoy and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thanksgiving-Trends-on-Social-Media

STOP THE MUNDANE!! Stand Out with Your Marketing

Guest Post by Jack Klemeyer

Stand out with your marketing - be bright, bold and brilliant!

Credit: everythingpossible @123rf.com

Marketing is a funny – and fun – thing, isn’t it?

Marketing is that place where you can really show your personality and make an impact on the marketplace. So why do we tip-toe through it?

Make a splash, a statement… and more sales

Look at the recent uproar over the plain red cups Starbucks has introduced for the holiday season. I mean plain – as in nothing but red. People have come to expect some design and the plain just threw everyone for a loop. There’s all sorts of speculation about “why” and what “statement” they were making, but let’s look past all that.

The fact is that it has made a big splash and you can bet that people who don’t normally patronize Starbucks will stop in for something just to see what all the talk is about. Even if they only stop once – or maybe twice when they bring someone at the office to see the “plain cups” – sales will go up.

And that’s not because of a statement or anything other than the fact that the plain red cup made a splash. It was different, unexpected, and fueled speculation and conversations.

So, why not you?

Yeah, why not you? Why create the “same old” marketing piece? Give people something to think about, something to smile about, something that they will keep on their desk because it’s unique. On-line, give them something they will forward to a friend or share through social media. Your business is attached and goes right along with all those shares and forwards. Isn’t that what you want?

A few words of caution in this: Stay true to your brand and personality. You don’t want to be known for a “gimmick.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and let your sense of humor show. Be you, be your UNIQUE and valuable sales proposition, but make marketing work for you.

To Your Success,

Jack

 

jack klemeyerGrow Your Business™ Coaching founder Jack Klemeyer is recognized as a preeminent resource for business professionals. As a John Maxwell Certified coach, speaker, trainer and facilitator of Mastermind groups for business owners and professionals, his results-driven philosophy calls for action and accountability. He and his Grow Your Business™ team are dedicated to taking businesses and their owners to the next level. Jack can be reached at Jack@GYBCoaching.com or at 317-755-6963. Learn more at GYBCoaching.com.

Defining Your Brand Through Pinterest Boards

Guest post by Andrew Jones

While you may think that simply having a presence on social media will lead to your success, I’ll be the one to break it to you—there’s much more to it than that. You have to hone your skills, know your audience, own your voice, and learn how to use your social media presence to your favor. If you can’t work your social Pinterest_on_Androidmedia magic like the best of them, your online presence may not help you brand at all—and, even worse, sometimes it can have a negative effect. Because no one wants that, I’m here to give you a few tips on how to define your brand like a social media master, specifically through crafting well-thought out boards on Pinterest.

Why Pinterest?

You may find yourself wondering, “why Pinterest?” when we have so many different social media outlets available to us, and I’ll tell you: not only does Pinterest drive a crazy amount of referral traffic, but it is a proven marketing sensation for businesses of all kinds.

Because there’s a focus on visual content, it’s great for businesses that are in retail, the food industry, and home improvement or decorating—and even for businesses that aren’t, it’s a great platform for adding a human touch to your branding.

Make Sure That Your Boards Show What You’re All About

When it comes to defining your business’s brand through Pinterest boards, you should always make sure that you focus on topics that can accurately showcase your business’s goals. If you’re trying to promote a new clothing line, dedicate a board to your just-in styles.

If you’re in charge of beautifying your city’s urban areas and you’re trying to get individuals from your community involved, create a board that shows your progress and the successful interaction thus far. Every brand is different, and Pinterest boards help you organize your content in a way that is visually compelling and user-oriented.

There’s always a way to build a visual representation of your brand, and because it’s so easy for followers to repin things to their own boards, word spreads like wildfire. In a sense, your consumers even become your marketers!

Get Social With It!

shopping-606993_1920Another thing that’s great about having an online presence through Pinterest is that you can easily build relationships with your customers, similar businesses, and influential pinners. You can share, like, and comment on pins, follow other users and other businesses, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website. All you have to do is update your content often with meaningful pins and you’ll be sure to define your brand and reach your target audience. However, if you really want to hit it out of the park, you can always take your marketing campaign one step further.

Go for the One-Two Punch

One component to utilizing your Pinterest boards is cross-promoting any updates you pin about on your other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). After that, it comes down to pairing your Pinterest presence with a local advertising campaign. Whether you’re a small business who’s looking to gain footing with potential customers in your area, or you’re a larger company who’s opening a new location in a new city, there are local marketing agencies out there who can help you get take the world by storm—like CBS Altitude Group.

With access to 117 major market radio stations in 26 cities nationwide, 29 owned and operated CBS Television stations, and 26 different branches of the digital powerhouse that is CBS Local Digital, CBS Altitude Group has resources like no other agency out there, and with that kind of power on your side, defining your brand will be easier than you even imagined.

 

AndrewAndrew Jones is a professional web developer and online marketing specialist.

When not working on website optimization, he can be found riding his motorcycle.

 

 

How to Develop an Email Course

Wemail coursee’ve all seen them before, right? You arrive at a website for the first time and while you are looking around you are invited to sign up for an email course, something like the image to the right from www.marketingtechblog.com. Email courses are effective ways to connect with prospective clients and really show them who you are and what you have to offer. In fact, they are an essential part of any marketing campaign that attempts to communicate their value by getting people to Know, Like and Trust them. See our post, “Creating Your Prospect to Client Experience through the Marketing Hourglass” for more on this topic.

So how do you do it for your website? Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to do. An email course is usually delivered in “drip” mode. This means that whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, part of the course is delivered to those who signed up for it via their email, through an autoresponder service. An autoresponder service like Activecampaign.com, Convertkit.com or Mailchimp.com, can get the job done delivering an email course.

7 Steps to Building Your Very Own Email Course

1. Determine What the Purpose of the Course Is? Is this a free or paid course? Is the purpose of the course to encourage your audience to buy something from you when the course ends? If it’s a free course, what will the offer be at the end of the course? If it’s a paid course, how can you deliver exceptional value to your audience and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth?

2. Decide What to Teach. Teach your audience about or how to do something that is unclear, frustrating or hard to do for your audience. If you’re not sure what this could be, look be ask your audience for the answers. You can ask them directly, or you can find groups where they ask questions. Any question is a likely a good choice for an email course.

3. Organize the Subject. Choose your topic or question to answer so that you can now organize the subject into subtopics. You’ll want to pick one focused subtopic for each part of the email course. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information at one time. Instead, think of it like teaching one point of a problem at a time in a logical order.

4. Choose How Long You Want the Course to Be. Usually an email course consists of five to seven emails for free courses, but sometimes a topic will require a lot more than that – especially if it’s a paid course. Decide how long, but more than six to eight weeks might be too long. It’s important to consider your audience so that you know how they’ll deal with shorter or longer courses. Making it too long might mean a lot of people don’t finish, but you do want to give enough information that they learn the material.

5. Tell the Subscriber What to Expect. Before and after the subscriber signs up for the course, you should let them know what to expect. Be explicit about what is in the course so that they’ll know what’s coming and know what to look for. How many emails will be in the course? How often will they come? Will you send other emails and information to them? Let them know what to do if there is a problem. Probably the best place to do this is on the sales page, plus on the thank you page, plus in the first email.

6. Format Each Email Similarly. You want each email to look like part of the same course by branding it the same. Use the same fonts, images, colors, intro and exit. Always tell them what you have already told them, and then after the body of the email tell them what to expect for the next part of the course. This will help hone their expectations in a way that keeps them interested and involved.

7. Make Each Email Simple and To the Point. Once you’ve created a template for your course, it will be simple to fill in the details for the course. Give them one strong lesson each email, and keep the emails on the short side – no more than 700 to 1500 words per email. Otherwise it will be too overwhelming.

8. Craft Subject Lines They’ll Recognize and Open. The subject line is important because it will be key to ensuring that your subscribers know to open the email. You probably want to put the name of the course and the lesson name inside so that they know.

9. Give your audience a way to report problems and ask questions. You can do that via a special course email address or by making a private and closed Facebook group only for people who have signed up for the course.

Once yo have all this information sorted out, all that remains is to setup the technology and plug it in to your site. Here’s a great article from Convertkit.com that shows you exactly how to set this up using their automation tool – http://kb.convertkit.com/article/understanding-email-courses-convertkit. Let me know if yo have any questions and please feel free to leave your comments below.

What Should My Marketing Budget Be?

marketing budgetGuest post by Andy and Shawn Catsimanes

 

What do you think when you’re asked about your marketing budget?

Unease? Like a deer in the headlights? Or do you have a good idea of what that number is?

Since the (often unspoken) question, “What should my marketing budget be?” has come up multiple times in the last few months, I thought it might be a good time to explore what a marketing program should cost you.

By enlisting some expert advice, we can give you a good idea of what you should pay for these kinds of services.

Money Can Be a Delicate Subject for Business Owners

But the truth is, unless we’re unabashed altruists, we’re all in business to make money.

Still, it’s the one word that strikes fear, worry, doubt, distrust (and I could name a few more) in our hearts whenever it’s brought up for discussion.

Like so many uncomfortable topics, leaving it unexamined also leaves a number of questions in the mind of both the prospective client and the service provider. The prospect is unsure if he/she has budgeted enough for the project and the supplier is unclear of the parameters he has to work with and what he/she will be able to provide without those guidelines.

While every marketer, every client, every situation will be slightly different, there are a few general rules of thumb. Let’s start with some of the basics:

Your Website

Years ago, in another life, when Andy was a restaurant manager, he thought anyone could just whip out a website and customers would line up at the door. Some people still believe the fantasy today.

Yes, you see TV advertisements for free websites perpetuating the same misconception, all the time.

The truth is more complicated. While you can have one of those companies build you a website and then host it on their server for a fee, your site will look pretty much the same as everyone else’s that takes them up on their offer. And it’s a good bet you don’t actually own the website.

webpagefx

How Much Should a Website Cost in 2015?

In addition to a well-placed a quote calculator at the top of the page, when you scroll down, you’ll find some very comprehensive information.

Nothing is left to chance.

If you’re questioning why the cost varies so much from package to package, take this into consideration:

“Responsive design is now a necessity for web design. Responsive design means that a website functions on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. With 232 possible screen sizes in 2015, it isn’t difficult to understand why responsive design has driven the high end of website cost upwards. The necessity of having a website with responsive design is one reason for the widening gap between the highest and lowest possible costs for a website.”

There’s also some good info showing how the range in the amount you can expect to pay has widened over the past few years, from between $7500 and $12,000 in 1996 to between $2500 and $10000 today.

nutsandboltsAndrea Whitmer – The Truth: How Much Should You Pay for a Website?

This article is a couple of years old, but as we learned from the previous post, not much has changed cost wise during that time.

What I really like is the honesty Andrea employs here.

Take, for instance, her third point in the main body of her post: “How demanding you are as a client? Oops, I mentioned one of those things no one is supposed to talk about! But in the interest of being honest, I’ll just tell you: If you email or call me 50 times a day, expect a billion tiny revisions, cut into my time with my family, and/or request things outside the scope of our working relationship, it’s going to cost you.”

Something to consider, for sure.

platoA REALLY SIMPLE WEB DESIGN PRICE CALCULATOR

 

Another site that uses a calculator as an engagement element with an ingenious price tag to go with it.

You might be tempted to think that $1100-$2200 is all you should expect to pay for a website design, unless you dig deeper into the article.

The author answers this way when a question arises about obtaining a website for under $1000: “Yes, but you probably won’t like what you’re getting. Around the lowest price you’ll find for an entire custom website will be $400-$500, which will almost certainly come from overseas … These websites are notoriously of very, very low quality and likely will do little to help your business succeed.”

MARKETING

Now let’s look at what it takes to fund your marketing campaign, from the basics on down through the various elements that comprise a complete marketing package.

isuHow Much Should I Spend on Marketing?

This article may be directed toward the agriculture industry, but the fundamentals hold true for any business, especially start-ups.

Like the author points out: “Your marketing efforts – for the most part – pay for themselves.

Sure, there are some things you simply must do to establish your company’s image, your brand, etc., especially at start-up. The point of marketing is to increase business. In other words, it must be effective.”

joey'sJoellyn ‘Joey’ Sargent – How Much Does Marketing Cost?

 

Here’s what I believe to be the crux of Joey’s blog post: “What do you hope to achieve with the plan?

Do you need help identifying the right customers, streamlining your product plans and developing competitive strategies?

If so, you need someone who specializes in marketing strategy. Look for a consultant who has executive-level marketing experience that relates to your market or industry.”

When you drill down to what you hope to gain from a marketer, it can help both of you determine exactly what it will cost.

Knowing what you expect from them and what they can expect from you will go a long way in coming up with a solution that will satisfy you both. They won’t overcharge and you won’t overpay.

sales lionJessica Davis – How Much Does a Content Marketing Consultant or Agency Cost?

Defining expectations, in great detail, at the outset, is the prime ingredient for all marketing agreements.

You need to know what you’re getting for your money and what is involved in each step of the process. While you may think what you need is a $500 website, a logo, and a few blog posts a month, it might not be nearly enough to distinguish you from your closest competitor.

It comes down to this: “When all is said and done, as an organization that is considering bringing in outside help to market your business to greater heights you need to be able to answer (to the best of your ability) these two incredibly important questions:

  1. Because we are not currently maximizing the internet and digital realm with content marketing, how much is this potentially costing our business?
  2. If we embraced content marketing and truly did it well, what are the realistic results in terms of branding and bottom-line we might expect?”

imaJessica Bowers – How Much Should You Pay for Content?

If you decide to go á la carte and hire out your social media or blog content, it’s good to know what the going rate is.

While there will be a number of variances, there are some general rules to follow. Jessica asks this question to get things started: “Is Your Business Really Benefiting?

To walk you through the math here, the way that businesses can start to examine whether or not they’re investing enough in content is to look at the amount of traffic that their blogs drive, look at the number of leads they’re generating, look at the conversion rate of leads into customers, and examine what the average lifetime value of their customers are.”

content factoryHow Much Does Social Media Cost?

In today’s market, it doesn’t make sense to not have a social media presence. And if you’re clueless as to how to make social media work for you, it might be beneficial to pay someone to help.

That being said, the cost of hiring a consultant can be through the roof. As you read through this article, expect to come away with sticker shock and that deer-in-the-headlights look on your face.

In a nutshell, outsourcing social media is expensive. “Why Does Social Media Marketing Cost So Much? Don’t ask us, because we don’t know,” say the authors of this blog post. And if they don’t know, who does?

Conclusion:

Good marketing requires investment, pure and simple.

If you go it alone, you will be spending inordinate amounts of time crafting strategies and implementing plans that may or may not grow your business. If you hire someone or several someones to help you, it will cost you in dollars.

You risk failure either way, especially if you don’t choose your marketing partner well, or they don’t have your best interests at heart. But professional marketers, by and large, know what they’re doing, and they know what practices are necessary to make your business stand out in the crowd.

Knowing what you should spend on marketing and what will (pardon my expression) give you the most bang for your buck, will go a long way in helping you decide which services will work best for you and your brand.

 

Andy & ShawnAndy and Shawn Catsimanes are dedicated to helping SMBs, churches, and non-profits identify and implement workable marketing systems for predictable growth.

Andy’s a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, direct response copywriter, and experienced WordPress professional. Shawn’s a crack client service specialist. In their spare time, Andy and Shawn volunteer as allies for Circles® USA. For more articles like this, subscribe to the DayByDay Marketing Blog, or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

 

Video Marketing Strategy – Check Your Stats for Hot Pages on Your Site

video marketing strategyWhen you are trying to come up with a new video marketing strategy, one way to do it is to find out what is already popular on your own website. What pages get the most views? What pages get the most interaction? What blog posts get the most questions and “likes”? This information is important because any time you have some topics that are popular already on your website, they will also end up popular as a video.

How to setup a video marketing strategy based on your hot web pages:

  1. Install Google Analytics – You will need to have analytics on your blog in order to know which blog posts are getting the most traction. You can use Google Analytics to figure out what your website visitors go to first, which page they entered on, how long they stuck around, whether they read something else, thius is an essential step in setting up your video marketing strategy.
  2. Understand What a Hot Page is – A hot page is the page that gets the most views on your blog. In addition to views, find blogs that get the most comments, likes and shares. Read the comments to find out what people want to know, as this is a good way to determine what video to make.
  3. Make a List – Using a spreadsheet or other method, make a list of the hot blog posts, with links, notations on visitors, likes, discussion notes and so forth. Use this as your starting point for coming up with video ideas.
  4. Create a Video Creation Calendar – From the list, create a publication calendar that makes sense with your current and future promotion ideas. You don’t want to make videos without knowing what your goals are (more sales, more newsletter sign-ups, etc…).
  5. Repurpose Blog Posts – If you have a popular blog post, turn it into a video. Your script is practically written. You need to determine how you’ll show it visually, and how you might either cut it down to a smaller and shorter point or expand it so you can go more in-depth about the topic.
  6. Start with a How to Post – If you have any “how to” blog posts, start there. They are super easy to transform into videos; you can even make an explainer video with a how to post that will blow your viewers out of the water.
  7. Fill in the Gaps – If you notice you have some hot pages, read through the posts. If you find gaps in a post even if it was popular, make a video that fills in the gaps, and then link to the video under that blog post.
  8. Make Them Special – Consider doing more than “talking head” videos. Talking head videos are great because people like seeing your face (or any face) as it develops trust. However, you should also add in visuals such as charts, and images that advance your message.

When you go with what is already popular, you’ll start off on the right foot when it comes to setting up a video marketing strategy. More than likely the people who liked the blogs you already made are going to like the videos you make, using the blogs as your starting point.

Resource Review – 10 Minute Articles

10 minute articles10 Minute Articles
Where to buy: 10minutearticles.com

Content is still the best way to convey information to your audience. People search for it every day on the Internet. As an online business owner or an offline business owner with an online presence, what is your website offering to potential customers? Stagnant content is not going to cut it. If writing is not your forte or you don’t know how to fit article writing into your schedule, consider using the methods laid out in “10 Minute Articles.”

When it comes to making money as your own boss, time is of the essence. Spending too much time on any one process, like article writing, lowers your hourly rate overall. When you’re starting out, the business might be on a tight budget. Outsourcing may not be in the cards for you. The ten minute program developed by Jonathan Boettcher shows you how to get rid of your writer’s block, brainstorm hundreds of ideas in a short period of time and get those articles written in no time flat. This system provides you with the strategies for coming up with magnetic article headlines, enticing resource boxes and targeted content. Increase your productivity and grow your business.

10 Minute Articles direct link: Click Here!

Blogging Strategy – Plan in Advance Based on Season and Products

blogging strategyWhen you’re blogging, it’s important to make your plans in advance for the content that will appear on your blog. This needs to be based on the season as well as the products and services that you plan to promote or launch. Just like a retail store is planning fall sales in the summer, you should have a blogging strategy in advance for each season too.

Things to Consider in your Seasonal Blogging Strategy

Survey Your Audience – Just that because you’ve studied your audience once doesn’t mean you shouldn’t survey them occasionally to ensure you’re still delivering to them the information that they need and want. Try a quarterly survey so that you can find out what’s on their mind, and get a deeper insight into their problems.

Research Your Industry– Keeping up to date on the industry you’ve aligned yourself with is imperative if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Read industry news and study regular news for clues to the state of your industry. Look ahead for killer technologies that might turn your industry on its head.

Check Out the Competition – You should always be aware of what your competition is doing… not to copy them, but to stay one step ahead on whichever way you want to compete with them. For example if you offer higher quality, test their merchandise to ensure that your quality is better.

Know What’s Coming – Not all businesses are seasonal, but all of your audience is. They think of things in terms of certain seasons depending on where they are in their life. For example, if they have school-age children they are thinking differently during back to school time than summertime. Plus, if you have a product or service launch or other event coming up, you should be planning it in the quarter before the event.

Know Your Realistic Schedule – If you have a regular job, or children at home, or other responsibilities that will get into the way of your blogging duties, be honest about that as you create a schedule for yourself. If you have a lot to do, set a realistic blogging strategy around these other responsibilities.

Brainstorm Topics – Once you have some of this other information set up, it’s important to take some time to brainstorm topics based on the information you’ve gathered above, plus the events you know that are coming. At this point nothing is wrong; just write it down.

Organize Your Topics – Take the brainstormed topics and categorize them for your blog. Throw out anything that doesn’t fit. Then organize them and match them with the seasons, events and products that you want to promote.

Create a Publication Calendar – Add everything to a publication calendar. If you use WordPress, there are numerous plugins that you can use to help create editorial and publication calendars, we particularly love and use Coschedule. Here you enter the information so that during the times you’ve set aside for writing and producing content, you can get right to work.

Set Aside the Time to Create – Now that you have everything ready for you, each time you have the time to work you can get the information from the publication calendar and get going. You can also look ahead easily so you can know whether some of the content needs to be outsourced.

Planning in advance will actually end up saving time and ensuring your success. Working off the cuff will rarely work when it comes to building a successful blogging strategy. What will work is planning, knowing what is coming up, knowing what products you want to promote, and relating the seasons and current events to your blog posts.