Archive for 'Internet'

4 Great B2B Internet Marketing Strategies

4 Great B2B Internet Marketing Strategies

If you operate in a business-to-business environment, you can still apply what are traditionally considered consumer-oriented internet marketing strategies to reach your targeted market. However, you will need to customize each strategy in order to maximize its effectiveness with your particular customer base.

Here are 4 Great B2B Internet Marketing Strategies to Get Your Started

1. Education. The first B2B internet marketing strategy is to educate your prospects. When new visitors arrive to your web site, they are most likely looking for valuable, informative content that answers theirs questions and alleviates concerns. By providing your prospects with the tools they need to make an educated and informed decision, you are paving the way to a potentially rewarding long-term relationship. At this point, your goal should be to help your prospects make their own decisions, without beating them over the head with a blatant sales pitch.

2. Establish Communication. Another important B2B internet marketing strategy is to open the door to two-way communication with your audience. The goal at this stage is to educate and/or entertain your customers, while inviting them to participate in a dialogue with you by providing opportunities to make contact, leave comments or otherwise contribute to your web site community.

However, you will also want to make sure that you don’t go overboard with this. Too frequent or forced communication is a bad thing. So, when you do communicate, carefully evaluate the frequency and duration of each contact. Remember, a little bit of a good thing can go a long way!

Besides, you can always use follow-up methods like eNewsletters and personal e-mails to keep things moving forward once communication has been established. This, in turn, leads to the next B2B Internet Marketing strategy:

3. Stay in Touch. Once you’ve connected with audience, you won’t want to leave them hanging. Regular eNewsletters and/or e-mail training series (eCourses) are great ways to provide value and stay in front of potential customers. Again, you don’t want to bombard your potential customers. Instead, you will want to reach her at regular and pre-defined intervals. Further, each e-mail should include a short description of the topic and a case study or scenario that brings it to life. Providing a brief assessment or conclusion at the end of correspondence is also helpful.

4. Collect Feedback. In order to measure the overall success of your internet marketing strategies, you will need to collect feedback from your visitors. This feedback is invaluable in terms of helping you improve on your product or service. Surveys and questionnaires are great ways to collect this type of information. To improve participation, you may want to offer some form of incentive such as a free report or other valuable giveaway in exchange for their time and opinions.

This last B2B Internet Marketing strategy is very important because not only will it illustrate opportunities for improvement – it will also highlight what you are already doing right!

Trish Lindemood is a marketing consultant, business writer and entrepreneur who teaches other business owners how to grow and market their business online with content creation and promotion.

Have Questions? See what Content Marketing can do for your business!

Internet b2b Marketing – B2b Market

Internet b2b Marketing – B2b Market

Search Engine Internet Marketing Strategy – The Value of Search Engine Marketing As an Internet Marketing Strategy

Search Engine Internet Marketing Strategy

If your website does not appear within Google’s first 10 search results, it might as well be invisible. Utilizing the power of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which both fall under the umbrella term of Internet Marketing to effectively promote your website and direct relevant traffic to your site is what is needed in order to be able to compete in a competitive online world.

Investing in a sound SEM or SEO campaign is an essential means by which to separate your website above from the crowd’s. The days of using the ‘build it, and they shall come’ approach to website management has long gone, and even securing a perfectly user-friendly website will not be enough to attract the visitors. Getting noticed on the internet will require that you employ solid marketing strategies and endless promotion. Understanding the concept of might aid you more in your quest for the ever elusive high page ranking. Internet marketing aspires to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages, or SERPs, through the use of various marketing strategies such as SEO, paid placement ads, contextual advertising and paid inclusion. Search Engine Internet Marketing Strategy

SEO is the practice of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to the proposed website or page such as a blog from search engines by the use of natural and unpaid search results as opposed to other forms of internet promotion that might include paid advertising. The theory aspired to is that the higher a site appears in the search engine’s results, the more traffic the site is set to receive. SEO may possibly target various types of search formats, such as image search, local search, video search and industry particular vertical search engines. All this accumulates to giving a website web presence. As an internet marketing strategy, SEO reflects on how search engines operate and what people search for. In effect when you optimize a website for SEO, it first and foremost involves editing its content and HTML and related coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Search Engine Internet Marketing Strategy

Paid placement as an effective SEM tool is an internet advertising tool utilized on websites where advertisers only pay the hosting website when their ad is clicked on, Advertisers may in general bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market, whereas content sites normally offer a fixed price per click instead of making use of the bidding system. Contextual advertising may offer a valuable tool in any SEM strategy. A contextual advertising method scans the text of a website for keywords and returns advertisements based on what the user is viewing. The advertisements may be displayed on the web page, or as pop-up ads. The value of Search Engine Marketing utilizing Paid inclusion is that a website can get the benefit of immediate traffic to a site. SEO is very effective for driving traffic to a site through the natural or organic results of the search engines, however, SEO campaigns can take a long time to show results whereas SEM campaigns can show an immediate benefit and is easy to justify with regards to benefits since the ROI can be tracked directly.

There are many strategies to follow to establish one’s web presence in an increasingly online competitive market. Search Engine Internet Marketing Strategy

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Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies – A Lesson From Radio Marketing

Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies

I’ve spent a lot of time learning about advertising on the radio. I understand ROI as well as MER (Media Efficiency Ratio). I understand the point of 30 minute long form ads versus :30 second spots and prime placement versus remnant space. These are all radio terms that help businesses get good at advertising on the radio.

But here’s something I don’t get. When I was a kid growing up in Anchorage, Alaska I first heard “That Song” by Genesis on KGOT. In Omaha during college I listened to Rush Limbaugh on KKAR and in Nashville I listen to music on JackFM.

There doesn’t appear to be anything strange about that, does there? EXCEPT while driving today I couldn’t remember where JackFM was on the radio dial.

That’s what’s strange. At least JackFM has branded itself with an attitude, but what about KGOT and KKAR and WTN? Who cares what the call letters are? I certainly don’t and I’ve never had a radio that was organized by call letters, it’s only numbers.

Now I’ve certainly listened to my share of stations that use their numbers with their name every 2 minutes like 101.3 KFAR. It gets ingrained in your head after a while – that part makes sense. But what marketing value do the call letters KFAR bring? Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies

But there’s always an exception, isn’t there? There’s a station in Omaha that goes by Lite96. That’s their moniker, that’s their name, that’s their brand. Genius! They’re a light rock/pop station at position 96 on the dial – thus Lite96. That’s pure radio genius. They say their call letters every once in a while because some government body forces them to, but Lite96 is their name – no matter the call letters.

So if you’re an internet marketer looking for some good strategy ideas, before you go out into the world and market yourself – determine how people are going to find you when they can’t remember all the details. Then think about the name Lite96.As summer rolls into town, we visualize tulips and beautiful gardens beginning to bloom. Summer also brings out the homeowner who is looking to sell their property. As potential home buyers come to see your home, you must make some adjustments to the homes exterior appearance.

As the interior scene is very important so is the front lawn that has not been taken care of since last season. If your entrance screams community trash and items that should be recycled are lying outside around your home, this does not give your home any curb appeal for potential buyers. Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies

What homeowners should do is clean up as much as they possibly can and either use potted plants along their walkway or if possible artificial evergreens. Which can be taken to their new home when they leave. Light fixtures outside of the home should be turned on as this will allow the potential buyers to see what size and type of landscaping area their new home has to offer.

There are many ways in which a professional home stager can help potential homeowners with curb appeal.
Stagers are familiar with floral arranging and can help many clients with suited arrangements for their gardens that are cost effective. If the homeowner is using existing returnable flowers, perhaps using other arrangements alongside these can spruce the appeal to up to potential buyers as they visualise their own gardening the following year. Curb appeal is very important and can add value to your home. This is one asset that homeowners should consider when placing their home on the market.

If you’re a local roofing company and you want TedsTopGuys.com to be your website name- could you be missing something? When your customers just can’t remember your name, are they going to go to Google and search for “your town name + roofing contractor”? If you’re nodding yes – then maybe for your long term growth, you should stop thinking about naming the website after yourself and name it something like Nashville Roofing Contractors. Hmmm. . . Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies

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This post is based on a couple of real world experiences along with conversations with others in the marketing industry and should serve as a warning to all marketers, web designers and programmers the globe over.

Since we’re all in tight times financially, scams are running rampant no matter what industry you’re in, and they happen in marketing just like any other industry.

Background

For the second time in about three years I’ve been exposed to a scam in the making that is camouflaged innocently for unsuspecting types. Luckily, my BS radar has gone off, and I have gotten some timely (sage) advice both times so the personal harm was relatively light.  For others, it hasn’t been so painless.

As you undoubtedly know, there’s a section of our population that will scam and scheme their way to riches no matter how many bridges they burn … that’s no surprise to anybody. What is a surprise is that there are entrepreneurs and business owners out there that pull worse crap on hard working people that are just trying to do a good job and earn an honest living.

I’m going to outline exactly how they try to scam hard working marketers like us in this article.

Innocent Beginnings

Typically, these scam artists operate a little like this:

Person A (we’ll call him Brad) has a good idea to create a website that’ll match a service provider (we’ll call them plumbers in this example) with a prospect seeking those services. Simple enough, right?

Brad wants to take data from plumbers such as their bio, city, state, zip code, services offered, and pricing to offer to visitors of his website to search for potential providers.

In order to make money, Brad may charge the service provider to be listed in their database or for access to the leads along with running ads on the site to generate revenue.

Nothing wrong with this scenario at all … it’s got the potential to be a very profitable business especially if Brad can attract enough traffic from relevant prospects.

The problems seep in shortly after the initial exploration phase however, and here’s how they go …

Find a Marketer or Web Designer with SOME of the Skills

What people like Brad will do at this stage is find an eager to please marketer or web designer to engage in a couple of “exploratory” talks about their project. Brad briefly discusses his project and hypes it as “this shouldn’t be that hard to pull of, right?”

Frequently, the unsuspecting marketer or web designer will agree that it shouldn’t be that hard provided there is someone that can help with the database and programming if it proves to be too complicated. Even if the marketer or web designer freely admits they don’t possess the complete expertise to complete the entire project by themselves, Brad won’t pay that any mind because he ultimately wants to jam somebody up.

Beginnings of an Outright Scam

The scam begins when Brad suggests “I’d like to see a prototype developed so I can check it out before moving forward. We have a ‘done deal’ if you can demonstrate a simple and functioning prototype.” Since the marketer aims to please, he starts working on the prototype.

The prototype will often be given an unrealistic (i.e. quick) deadline, and Brad will bitch, belly ache, and complain about anything shown to him because he’s looking to get over on you. It’s what guys like Brad do to keep their costs down while feeling more “in charge” and self-important.

Brad will also suggest “it would be great if we could get the search to stay within a certain radius of the zip code or city to make the results more relevant. That shouldn’t be too hard either because I saw the same thing on whatchamacallit.com, right?” That’s a good feature and a valid request, but that’s where things get more complex and will take more time to implement.

All the while, Brad will choose to focus on the fact that you agreed in the exploratory talks that it should be easy. He’s pitting your own words against you to plant the seed that maybe you shouldn’t charge fair market value for this project … it’s a common practice in every industry, but most people don’t realize it’s being done to them because they’re too deeply involved.

That’s What Contracts Are For, Right?

I can hear you saying, “that’s why you get a contract drawn up and outline a mutually agreed upon scope of work,” right? Even if a contract is drawn up, signed and an initial deposit is made, the scam is already on!

The web designer or marketer will design a rough prototype to show Brad, but he will always bitch, moan and complain about everything in an effort to drive down pricing because he knows the price tag to pull off everything will likely be in the tens of thousands when all is said and done if it’s to be done his “liking or to spec.”

This Doesn’t Meet My Specifications!

That’s the key phrase above … “done to his liking or spec” because nothing will ever be done to match the ever moving target even with a contract executed.

Brad believes that once work commences and there’s a deal in place, he can bitch his way into getting more and more done for the project as long as the demands don’t change the overall scope of work too much. More often than not, he’ll get his way because the marketer doesn’t want to lose his business especially now.

Then, if the project ever gets completed, the finished product won’t be remotely close enough to suit Brad or match the exact scope outlined in the contract. He’ll then threaten to sue because what was delivered wasn’t what he wanted and doesn’t match the scope in the contract so the designer will offer to find someone to complete the job on his dime to avoid the embarrassment and anguish of an upset client.

Once the designer finds someone that can complete the job, they end up taking a bath on the entire project. Brad wins, designer loses, but nobody is truly happy. Brad goes on to live happily ever after while the designer is left holding a very heavy bag of crap.

Let’s Stick Together!

I sincerely hope this hasn’t happened to you. Like I mentioned above, I’ve come across this exact scenario twice in the past three years yet I avoided getting involved in either project beyond the exploratory phase so I have no deep scars.  Others haven’t been so fortunate however.

As marketers, we need to stick together to help one another avoid the “Brads” of the world … they’re bad clients no matter how much they pay us. They typically present themselves as very knowledgeable overall, frequently boast about how wonderfully successful they are (that always seems to trigger my BS meter), will claim to be a “straight shooter” yet they act incredibly naive about their project. Don’t be fooled … they know it’s a much bigger project than they’re letting on. It’s all part of the scam.

Anybody who is looking to stick it to you from the outset is a bad seed, and they will gobble up your resources with their incessant demands and requests for “status updates” that usually involve useless conference calls or face-to-face meetings. At some point, you’ll find yourself having meetings about meetings that serve as nothing but hot air spewing from Brad to build himself up and try to make you feel guilty for not meeting his misguided expectations.

In many cases, rotten eggs like Brad get a lot of work done on the front end for free because they want to see the “prototype” developed before they agree to pay the first penny, and hard working web designers like you want to land projects like this because there’s hope for a bigger payday.  That’s where the trouble begins … don’t fall for this shell game!

What’s Your Take?

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, I’d love to hear your story.  Drop me a line or leave a comment below.

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