The following executive summary is based on expected eMarketing trends in the current online marketing arena both here in the UK and in Europe. It looks at the way that internet marketing is currently impacting on the overall marketing theatre (including traditional methodologies) and forecasts how things will progress in coming years. The report takes into account Internet usage, how penetration is progressing, and how is it is likely to continue to progress. It examines and compares all aspects of marketing; traditional, digital, the impact of the social media scene, and how the mobile advertising sector is performing. Continue reading
A recent change to the way Google lists local businesses is set to transform the online marketing landscape – for the better. Gone is the familiar Google Places listing to be replaced with the more social ‘ Google+ Local ’ format.
While still in the transition process, the plan is to merge Google’s social media platform, Google+ (which continues to grow at a pace) with Google Places, to create Google+ Local Pages. The result
being that all searches conducted via Google Search and Google Maps will also include Google+ Local Page results.
Add to this the Google+ recommendation feature (called Zagat) and you have a very powerful way to market your business at a local level. Continue reading
Social media marketing (SMM) offers better reach, expanded area of coverage and enhances your brands awareness. Most importantly, it is a great tool for interaction and engagement with your target audience. Now is as good a time as any to adapt to the changing landscape and market your product or service through social media, if you haven’t already started.
Leveraging Social Networking in Business:
Social Networking is a Strategy Accelerator
It allows you to connect with people, strengthen your relationships with them and reach potential customers faster than ever before. How can you leverage social media for your business?
- The first step is to register on a social site and create an account. Add as many business contacts, colleagues and friends as you can to widen your business circle. Online business networking sites like LinkedIn are specifically tailored to facilitate professional communication and recommendation.
- Get on Facebook and set up your company as a group page (even more so now with the very recent addition of photo tagging for businesses). If you have a specific customer niche you want to reach, set up a LinkedIn or Facebook group and invite current clients and prospects to join. Update your page or the select group with regular, and engaging content as no Facebook presence is better than a lacking one that is not updated.
- Social networking sites enable you to get in touch with people who may be interested in your product or service. Communities within social networking sites which are formed on the basis of an opinion (E.g: “Likes” “Dislikes”) are great ‘entry points’ into potential customers’ mind space, and you are adding the human element to your product offering by connecting with them on the ‘same level’.
- Promoting and endorsing business through social networks helps build your online brand reputation.
- Blogging gives greater exposure to your business / sector expertise and knowledge. You benefit as social media users, a.k.a. your prospects from around the globe gain awareness about your business.
Here are some key social networking best practices that will help you engage with the online business community:
- Be Visible and Credible – Establish yourself as an expert in your field through regular updates via: blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook on news or updates in your area of expertise.
- Listen and Respond – Don’t participate in random conversations. Listen in on social networks, try to find out what is the online buzz, what your prospects need or are interested in. Then offer your opinion and solutions specific to the person in mind.
- Advise, Don’t Sell – Listen in to problems and offer expert advice. The more you have to give, the more you get back. People who use social networking sites have a natural aversion to receiving sales pitches. So be the expert first, build a strong online reputation in your field, and then leverage your social networking position to gently ‘recommend’ your products or services.
- Welcome Participation and Feedback – Let people talk to you. Developing relationships within social communities on the web can facilitate buy in, provide invaluable feedback and crowd-sourcing opportunities.
Social Networking for Business Growth: Use social networking to work your way into the hearts of potential customers. Don’t be pushy, and respect the tone and culture of the sites that you join. Gain and dispense knowledge and expertise, and soon social networking will give you a good boost as you market your products or services online.
Want a more in-depth idea on using social media to get better leads, drive results, gain ROI? We run a series of great Social Media Strategy for Business Workshops, but don’t take my word for it, see feedback here.
With over 600 million users, Facebook represents the single most connected platform on the internet. For internet marketers, this means it is also the most potentially valuable resource available for connecting with consumers. The first step is to create a business page on the site itself – think of this as a ‘blog’ like summary of your main website.
As with any platform however, the rules of internet marketing still apply, the most important of which is to formulate a basic strategy with which to move forward. Jumping in with both feet may result in short term gains initially, however long term success can only be attributed to some form of battle plan. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some tips on getting it right, first time.
1. If the Mountain Won’t Come to Muhammad…
Bringing the power of Facebook to your website can increase your exposure literally overnight. This can be achieved by something as simple as adding a ‘Like’ button to your website while displaying a feed from your company Facebook Page, thus cross promoting your web presence at the same time as bridging any gaps.
2. Facebook Advertising
A wonderfully inexpensive way to leverage targeted advertising, Facebook’s advertising represents fantastic value for money. There are virtually limitless options to target different groups, too. A far more targeted alternative to most other online advertising channels.
3. Make it Fun
Social media presents an opportunity to show your fun side. Try and think up fun and interesting posts that encourage users to engage with you. Pose an intriguing question, make an announcement or even ask advice – easily shared content will help acquire ‘fans’ whilst reinforcing your brand.
4. Video Content
Strategic use of video has long been a favourite of savvy internet marketers. It appears as though Facebook’s feed algorithm favours it too. Each time a non-fan watches one of your videos, a button is shown suggesting a ‘Like’ for your page. To achieve this however, the video needs to be uploaded to Facebook as opposed to a simple link.
5. Generate Leads
Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) allows you to add custom content to your Facebook page. This is a great facility for generating leads as it enables you to create opt-ins such as free newsletters, podcasts and offers. View this example of how we’ve done this very effectively and look out for our next blog which focuses on the changes Facebook made for business just last week!
If you’re only just getting started with Facebook worry not – it’s still early days and the world is only just waking up to a new dawn of connectivity and online social interactivity. Of course this said, the earlier you build your strategy, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards! Call 01454 261111 if you would like help implementing your social media marketing plan.
Thanks mainly to the meteoric rise of Youtube, online video is now the single most powerful medium for just about anyone looking to make an impact on the web – whether you’re hoping to be discovered as the ‘next big thing’ or are looking to make a splash with the next viral sensation. To understand the unprecedented impact of Youtube, consider the following statistics:
- Youtube exceeds 2 billion views per day, which is nearly double the prime-time audience of all 3 major U.S. networks
- 24hrs of video are uploaded each minute
- The average person spends 15 minutes a day on Youtube
- 70% of traffic comes from outside of the U.S. (Source: website-monitoring.com)
Understandably, online marketers have been quick to recognise the potential of the platform. A video presents the perfect opportunity to capture attention in a dynamic, creative and high-impact fashion. In this article, we’ll look at four ways to make the most of online video in your own marketing campaigns.
1. Start With Your Own Website
Embedding video on your own website is a great way to launch your online video strategy. Youtube is the obvious choice, providing ready-made code which can be embedded easily on your website or blog. Make it easy to share by adding social media ‘share‘ buttons for added replay value.
2. A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Using a video on your landing page is a great way to introduce or demo your product or service in a dynamic, attention-grabbing manner. A short demonstration of key features and benefits is likely to sway the undecided visitor far more than any amount of persuasive copy. Interactivity is the key here – giving visitors a more engaging experience using video will provide a greater incentive for visitors to stay rather than go.
3. Online Advertising
The same principal applies to online advertising. Video ads are known to be amongst the highest-converting in the internet marketing world. During 2010 search engine giant Google captured 43% of the online video market share, offering nearly 13 billion downloads each month. Facebook has over 600 million members, each capable of sharing online videos to their network of friends. There’s no getting away from it, the consumer has spoken.
4. Mobile Platforms
Apple’s iPhone has forever changed the way we view media, and the age of the smartphone means that more of us than ever before are regularly viewing video via a mobile device. With this in mind, make sure your video player will provide compatibility across multiple platforms.
Video is here to stay – but it doesn’t have to come with prohibitive production costs, creativity will win the day. If you would like help in developing a video marketing strategy for your business, call 01454 261111.
As consumers continue to turn to email, the mobile web, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter more than ever before, it’s imperative that marketers are prepared to adapt their approach in order to successfully engage with customers and get their message across. With the steady growth of web enabled mobile devices and consumers’ increasing appetite for content the opportunities – and with it the competition – have never been greater.
So what should marketers be focussing on for 2011? Will it be the ‘year of mobile’? What will give you the edge and make you stand out in 2011? What follows are some trends and techniques that might help you direct next year’s online marketing budget.
5 Online Marketing Trends To Respond To Continue reading