Articles in The 'Marketing' Tag

March 13 2009

Google it!

by Shawn Escott

Pass me a Kleenex.
Put it in the Fridge.
I need some Halls for my throat.
Can I have a Coke?
Twitter me.
Catch me on Facebook.

My guess is, you are able to understand exactly what each of these statements mean. They are simple phrases which pack a huge branding punch. When I just say the word “Kleenex”, an image pops into your mind of a tissue. How about Facebook? You’re probably thinking of social media. Branding is about creating a specific thought or emotion in a consumer’s mind, leaving a deep impression.

Here’s an interesting and fun way to see how effective branding can be. Below are some random words which are associated with a company, service or product. What do they make you think of?

French Fries
Tall Mocha
Just do it
Green Giant
The quicker picker upper.
To infinity…

Now we come to “Google”. The word “Google” itself has become an everyday household name, synonymous with search. Instead of saying, “Can you search for something on the internet?” many people just say, “Google it!” This type of branding is every Marketer’s dream come true.

Until next time, stay true to your brand, and your brand will stay true to you.

October 29 2008

Online Presence for the Small Business

by Emily Creech

The best part about internet marketing is that anyone can participate.   There is a low cost of entry, regardless of whether you are a large corporation or a small business owner.   However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to both the small business and the large corporation when it comes to having a presence online.

To begin with, those who manage the website for a small business are often stretched thin.   They are likely wearing many hats throughout the company and the website does not always fall at the top of the priority list. At large corporations, there are often entire teams that manage the website.   One person may be responsible for the website’s content, another individual may handle the programming, and another may be solely dedicated to writing on the company’s blog. Small businesses don’t usually have the luxury of having an entire website team.

On the flip side, an advantage of being a small business is that change comes a bit easier. If you want to try something new such as participating in an emerging social media channel or building a new pay per click campaign, the decision can be made quickly. You can also be more creative at times and be an early adopter of new ideas. Larger companies can have internal procedures that can make even small content changes to the website a time consuming process.

Even though small businesses typically have a smaller budget to spend toward their marketing efforts, ensuring that the company has a presence online is essential. Below are a few inexpensive tips to help boost the visibility of your small business.

1. Add a blog to your site.   Blogs are great for many reasons.   They allow you to connect with your customers through posting new content and they provide you with the perfect opportunity to establish yourself as an authoritative source of information.   Another great thing about blogs is that you can add an RSS feed, which will give visitors the ability to subscribe to any new information and will encourage them to come back to the site.

2. Participate in local search and other local directories.   (Additional information on local search tips can be found in one of our SEO team member’s previous blog entries.)

3. Leverage sites where customers post reviews such as the sites listed below. Encourage customers to rate your company after they do business with you. Reviews by customers add creditability.   Don’t be afraid of the possibility of negative reviews. Instead, use them as an opportunity to listen to your customers and fix any issues that need fixing.

4. Communicate with your potential customers.   If your product or service is targeted towards a defined audience, find groups or networks where those people are and participate in their discussions. Add value to the conversation and remember to include a link back to your site where appropriate, even a link in your signature will do.  

5. Track results using an analytics program.   If you are putting time, effort, and money into your internet marketing, then you will want to have a way of tracking the results. Fortunately, internet marketing is highly measurable, unlike many other forms of marketing. How else will you know if your efforts are actually working? For additional information about analytics, visit our Analytics Blog.

October 13 2008

Patience Is The Key To SEO

by Darren Franks

Search Engine Optimization should be looked at from a long term perspective. One should always ask themselves, “How am I going to benefit from SEO over the next few years?” as opposed to “If I optimize my site today, will it be number one in search engine rankings tomorrow?” Patience is the key to SEO and with the economy in its current state, increasing your website’s visibility by organic means can be beneficial. If implemented correctly, over time, you will start to see your hard work pay off.

For instance, the real estate market is most definitely in disarray from a seller’s point of view. What does someone working in real estate do if their other (more expensive) marketing budgets are drying up? As opposed to gaining the quick satisfaction of alternate marketing techniques, SEO could afford you the luxury of sustaining your presence if your highly optimized website is already ranking well in the search engines and is already getting a nice flow of traffic. SEO, over time, is much more advantageous than most other common advertising strategies (newspapers, magazines etc.). It can also be a lot cheaper too.

No serious Internet business can afford to be without SEO today. It targets consumers who are already searching for what you are offering. Is there any other form of advertising that can be that targeted as cost effectively? Ongoing and highly focused SEO of a website is crucial as the algorithms are extremely volatile. Keeping the content fresh by tweaking your pages will inspire potential returning visitors to spread the word and get you that nice flow of traffic. The future of SEO seems bright indeed as this harsh economic spell will dictate people’s advertising habits. Even though SEO needs constant attention, it still out-weighs the expensive disadvantages of the more expensive marketing campaigns.

So, while performing search engine optimization on your site will never be the “quick-fix” solution, over time it will give you that edge over the SEO-less competitor and that’s no small feat. Developing a good linking strategy, building out new content and making sure that the pages are targeted correctly for its key phrase should deliver desired results in the long run.

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