4 new Twitter features for your online marketing campaigns

Posted by frank harris on 09/04/15 01:36

twitteronmobileThe Wall Street Journal reports, at least 85% of Twitter users access it from their phone or tablet. Taking advantage of this use of social media on smart phones, Twitter recently released four new features for its mobile app: Twitter Video, Twitter Analytics for individual tweets, Group Direct Messaging and Postcode Targeting.

 

What are exactly these new features and what are their benefits for your online marketing campaigns?

Twitter Video

Twitter video is live to all accounts using the mobile app. You can capture, edit and share videos directly from the Twitter app.

 

When you tap the camera function it now brings up a video icon. By clicking on it users can record 30 second videos, edit them using Twitter’s inline editing tools and share them with their followers.

 

In Twitter’s own words: “We designed our camera to be simple to use so you ca capture and share life’s most interesting moments as they happen”.

 

And this can be an marvellous opportunity for businesses to connect with their followers. Social media is all about valuable content and organising your editorial calendar of updates, but a spontaneous tweet or video can work wonders!

 

You can for example add a video of a live event, a special moment in the office like the launching of a new product or celebration of a milestone, or just show something interesting or funny!

 

This type of content has incredible potential for engagement and interaction, so take advantage of this new feature in order to add some creativity to your brand!

Twitter Analytics for Individual Tweet

Do you know how many people are reading your tweets? This new feature tool allows users to see a variety of metrics about their tweets.

 

When you focus on a single tweet, underneath there is a tapable function that says ‘view tweet activity’ which will quickly brief you on impressions and engagement. Separate drilldowns reveal the percentage of followers that viewed media and clicked any links associated with the tweet. The analytics provided are dependent on the type of content in the Tweet, and the interactions that occur.

 

The feature gets its data from Twitter’s Analytics platform.

 

So if you daily manage your business Twitter account “on the go”, or are at a specific live business event and are tweeting from there, now you can see how people engage in real time with your tweets, all from the convenience of your phone.

 

These statistics also provide you instant actionable data and is an excellent supplement to the comprehensive analytics Twitter offers for use in its desktop client.

Direct Messaging to more than one person at a time

You can now target a group of Twitter users in one go using Twitter’s new group Direct Messaging feature, giving you the ability converse privately with larger groups which ultimately gives you more options for how (and who) you communicate with via Twitter.

 

The group function has the advantage of letting you start a conversation with any of your existing followers, however they don’t all need to follow one another in order to chat! You can add up to 20 people at one time and they will all get a notification on being added to the group - fantastic for your online marketing campaigns.

Postcode targeted ads

Twitter have launched postcode geo-targeting to their ads. Though Twitter advertisers in the UK were already able to focus their campaigns on specific regional areas, this focused strategy can precisely target at a much more local level for the first time.

 

The use of smartphones and tablets open up a whole realm of possibilities for geotargeting, as GPS can locate you within meters of your location. Your mobile network and WiFi plays a huge part also, with the connections being able to track you within a few streets.

 

You can focus on local customers on their commute to work or lunch breaks with offers tailored to them. You don’t want to be targeting customers 15 miles away, the postcode targeting will get your customers and potential customers who walk in the vicinity of your establishment every day!

 

So that’s what’s new with Twitter. If you didn’t catch a recent blog you may have missed how to get some great tips on how to use LinkedIn in your B2B world. To get them follow the link below:-

 

35 LinkedIn Tips for Small Businesses

Tags: online marketing companies

8 Questions to ask B2B Online Marketing Companies

Posted by frank harris on 26/03/15 02:57

BtoB_website_marketing_2As a small business owner who runs an online marketing consultancy, I hear about the relationships between online marketing companies and clients that didn’t work out. 

 

Communication is key to avoid these issues.

 

Remember, marketing is a partnership. You need to be able to do your part to make the relationship work. And a big part of doing your part is being extremely clear about what you want. To do that, you need to ask yourself some questions first.

  1. Are you willing to Listen and Try new things?

Before you spend anything on your marketing, ask yourself if you’re ready, willing and able to listen to the person you hire.

 

No one says you have to implement every idea. Working with a online marketing consultant doesn’t mean adhering to everything they have to say. But if you’re not willing to consider something different from how you’ve always done it, you’re wasting your money paying for someone else’s new ideas.

  1. What’s your Communication Style?

Every small business is different. Some prefer to communicate with their online marketing companies rarely, communicating through emails and scheduled meetings. Others want more time from their team, expecting instant availability and response to calls, and emails.

 

Understanding your communication style is helpful when appointing an online marketing consultancy. Find a company that’s a good fit. If you like instant communication and the firm you appoint has a laid-back approach to answering calls and emails, it will be a difficult working relationship to maintain.

 

But remember the more time a marketing company spends, the larger your bill.

  1. How are you with Deadlines?

Every marketing company will need things from you to do their job. It takes a lot of informational collateral to run successful marketing campaigns.

 

As the business owner, online marketing companies depend on you to answer questions, provide insights and in-house graphics, review material and give approvals in a timely fashion to hit deadlines.

 

Maintaining an awareness of timelines are important to successful marketing.

  1. Where do Ideas come from?

Be clear about what you expect your B2B website marketing consultancy to do. Do you want them to generate creative ideas for you, or do you want them to implement ideas you already have?

 

The answer to this question can vary over the course of time. In a long-term relationship some creative concepts are consultancy-generated while others come from clients.  The best ideas are often collaborations.

 

Your personality and expertise are two of your business’ biggest assets. Consider how you’re going to integrate these qualities into your brand messaging.

 

Some people prefer to be behind the scenes, letting their business be represented by logos etc. Other business owners want their customers to be able to put a face to the business. When it comes to expertise, some businesses believe that sharing results in empowered, educated buyers, while others are more close-lipped.

 

There is no right or wrong answer here. Use the approach that makes you comfortable. Communicate your preferences to your marketing company.

  1. How much Education do you want your Marketing Consultancy to provide?

If you’re experienced and tech-savvy, you may feel confident about implementing the strategies online marketing companies recommend, using the tools they suggest. However, if you’re not confident, get your marketing firm to provide education and training for your team.

  1. What do you expect your Marketing Agency to do?

One problem that crops up in the relationship is when clients expect services that the agency doesn’t provide. Not every marketing firm does everything.

 

Understand what your agency does, what they do well and when you’d be better served by seeking out another company to handle your needs.

 

Taking some tasks in-house or finding a more affordable third-party provider to handle them can make the most of your marketing budget. However, ensure everyone knows how to work together to support your overall brand and message.

  1. Do you want your Marketing Firm to work with other Professionals?

You may have established working relationships with professionals. People such as your Web master, a graphic designer and so on – that you wish to continue.

 

Talk to your prospective marketing consultancy about the existing relationships you have, and ask about their willingness to work collaboratively. Some firms are open to the possibility while others are not.

 

Clear communication is essential.

  1. What about a Guarantee?

Guarantees are good. They mean if something doesn’t work out, you get your money back. B2B website marketing consultancies will present you with tactics and tools that have worked well for companies similar to yours in the past, as well as their own approach to implementation.

 

However, there’s no way to guarantee that your personas will respond the way you want them to. There are too many factors beyond the marketer’s control. That’s why you seldom see guarantees offered by marketing agencies.

 

To get you going why not understand the trends in online marketing by following the link below:-

 

A Guide to  B2B Web  Marketing Trends   in 2015

 

Tags: b2b website marketing, online marketing companies

10 Small Business Marketing Budget Pitfalls to avoid

Posted by frank harris on 25/03/14 20:13

small-business-marketing-budgetsRegardless of industry, those in small business marketing struggle to track budgets. Even the savviest marketers have difficulty to gain an accurate picture at any given time. What they plan, committed and spent changes daily. Plus, the information is dispersed across people, emails, spreadsheets and finance systems.

So, marketers find it difficult to make the most of their budgets and build credibility in the eyes of finance. Here are the 10 most common problems that marketers face:-

1.    Lack of Internal Collaboration

One marketer attempts to develop the perfect marketing plan, even though multiple people own areas of the marketing budget. Also, it’s hard to reconcile budgets across teams making the final budget untrustworthy.

Marketers often perceive planning as a top-down process with one person owning the entire budget. But really everyone spending marketing monies needs to be involved in the budgeting process. Otherwise, you end up with a plan that never becomes reality, and is inaccurate.

2.    Planning Based on Last Year’s Budget

As you’re constantly busy, you rush through the planning process by tweaking last year’s budget instead of starting with this year’s goals.

Start your plan by answering the question, “What are we trying to achieve with marketing investment over the next year?”  Clarify this from the corporate viewpoint and a strategic marketing perspective. Then put in place a plan that supports those objectives. In other words, focus your investments where it makes most sense.

3.    Spreadsheet Hell

Marketers often create massive workbooks using Excel. It’s not uncommon for one person to create a budget spreadsheet with multiple tabs and unwieldy number of columns.

While this person understands the details, anyone else would be confused because they weren’t involved in creating the spreadsheet. Countless spreadsheets creates problems, and don’t offer the integration, visibility, or control needed to justify spending.

This creates confusion and frustration within marketing, and results in poor financial reporting for either the Finance or Marketing Director, who control the purse strings. Also, you waste time with spreadsheets etc. instead of strategically on the plan.

4.    Planning the Budget with Finance

You need alignment between marketing and finance when it comes to the budget. Problems arise when finance assigns a couple of line items to marketing, and marketing builds its plan around the finance framework. This satisfies neither.

Fitting marketing spend into finance’s reviews is stressful for marketers risking mistakes being exposed and loss of credibility. Without collaboration, marketers find it difficult to answer finance’s questions.

Marketers should build detail within the finance plan but keep it separate from their stand-alone budget.  Thus, marketing can show that marketing is budget conscious and supports the company’s goals.

5.    Hiding the Plan Frustrates Good Decisions

You can have the best plan in the world, but it’s meaningless if no one sees it. Without access to the plan, marketers cannot understand what they should be doing to achieve the company’s goals.

Your marketing plan needs to flow into the day-to-day execution of the marketing business, informing what people are doing on a daily basis. That means it needs to be seen by all, so they can see their part in the plan and budgets.

6.    Not Knowing what you’ve Spent so far

When you lack access to the data, you’re unable to associate expenditure with the marketing programmes currently running. You then struggle to share this information with external decision-makers in a format they’ll understand. So, you’re challenged to make better use of budgets, justify spend and secure additional funds based on actual performance.  

It’s tough to reallocate budget where it’s most needed when you’re not clear if the money is available. Yet many marketers lack this clarity because they pass the budgeting plan to finance and then rely on them to tell them current expenditure. You need to understand expenditure against plan at any given time.

7.    Unable to Communicate the Plan and Progress it

Marketers are seen as having a poor grasp of their budget. With so many programmes at any one time, it’s difficult to reconcile and show progress. One way to counter this is to better communicate the plan – to your entire team, so you can execute against it.

8.    Failing at Forecasting

Forecasting isn’t just for sales. Yet marketers find it difficult to accurately forecast their future marketing spend. By tying invoices and purchase orders together with marketing programmes, you can provide accurate forecasts on your marketing spend.

9.    Struggling to prove ROI

Proving ROI is critical to illustrating the value of marketing’s contribution to the company, especially with the data now available. Pulling together costs and data for ROI analysis is a time-consuming and manual process. You need software that helps you connect cost data to your marketing programmes for ROI reporting.

10.     Adapt or Flounder

No matter what you do, your marketing plan will never be perfect. Design a budgeting and planning process that builds in agility. Look what you’ve spent to date so you can reallocate funds to what works, and stop investing in what isn’t.

Adapt your plan based on what happens as the plan. Evolve your overall budget as you go - stay open to change and move investments around as needed.

That’s my tips on budgeting.  To be really successful why not download the eBook from the link below:-

How to make your  Marketing  MORE Successful


Tags: b2b website marketing, online marketing companies, integrated online marketing, small business marketing consultant uk

Is Your Homepage the best for your Small Business Marketing?

Posted by frank harris on 20/06/13 08:30

b2b-web-marketingCan you judge a business by its “home” page i.e. a page that acts as the only entranceway for visitors to access a website and its vast content.

The emergence of landing pages and other web pages generated through search engines, social media, mobile devices and more has changed the homepage into a way for companies to brand themselves online rather than act solely as an access point.

As an Internet Marketing Consultant I don’t find that surprising. With the emergence of search engines, social media and mobile devices, the way consumers interact with websites has drastically changed. It’s now about searching for key terms, sharing socially with friends and accessing bits of information from anyplace, anytime which should be recognised in b2b web marketing.

Take the New York Times, for instance. While the site received more than half of its visitors through its homepage in 2011, today it is seeing more than half of them entering the site through internal pages mostly due to search engines. (Nieman Lab)

If the most popular news publication in the United States is seeing a huge reduction in homepage visits, it seems likely the situation is even more drastic for lesser known websites, especially those involved in b2b web marketing.   

This makes it more important than ever for websites to treat every page as if it’s the homepage. Visitors accessing side doors can be so far submerged in websites that they may never surface on the homepage...ever.

We shouldn’t panic though. Spending a lot of time and energy on building a homepage while leaving other pages neglected is easy to fix.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when designing a website.

Up the visuals

It’s no secret that our attention spans have diminished. We’ve grown to love colourful visuals and selections of words, so long as they remain short.

When branding a homepage, it’s important to avoid using long, drawn out descriptions and to make sure the homepage visually represents the brand we want our company, product or service to convey.

The homepage and internal pages should combine professionalism with beauty, which means using little content to say a lot and creating a layout that’s intuitive and easy on the eyes.    

Navigating should never be difficult

Many websites have excellent navigation menus on the homepage. However, now more than ever it’s vital for websites to also have excellent navigation menus on every subsequent page.

If people click on a news article tweeted by a friend and enter a site through that side door, they should be presented with more ways to easily engage with that website (e.g. where to access the blog).

It’s important to make sure each web page (not landing) features the main navigation bar so users don't have to jump to the homepage in order to get somewhere else on the site.  

Ready, set...provide action

In addition to including navigation menus on every page, each website page should also include CTAs (calls to action). These can include anything from signing up for a company’s newsletter to sharing a particular page with friends on Twitter.

Or maybe it’s a way to contact the company. Each page, no matter how submerged in the website, should contain ways to interact and engage with the business.  

Make a great first impression

Given that the homepage now serves as a branding mechanism for businesses, those involved in b2b web marketing should carry the brand over to all pages so visitors can get a clear grasp of where they are and who they’re visiting at all times.

This can include an introductory header or quick greeting to welcome visitors to a website, whether accessing through the homepage or one of the many side doors.

Creating a great first impression, whether on the homepage or a subsequent page, is key in grasping and maintaining attention.  

Track, enhance, repeat

When a website is up and running, it’s vital to track web statistics. This information is key in discovering what visitors like and don’t like about your website.

By tracking website analytics, we can get an inside look into the most popular pages, how visitors are accessing these pages (e.g. social media) and what search terms drive them to click.

It also tells us what devices are accessing what web pages the most, and if it’s mobile devices, what a perfect time to make them more mobile friendly.

As an Internet Marketing Consultant I know that being able to cater websites to visitors’ likes and needs can make all the difference in enhancing business online.

Since the homepage no longer serves as the gateway through which all internet traffic flows, many now just access it to visually get a sense of what the company is all about.

To see what I mean I have produced in conjunction with HubSpot a FREE eBook on “54 brilliant homepages”.  Why not download a copy? -

Your FREE eBook  54 Brilliant  Homepage Designs

Tags: internet marketing consultant, small business marketing, online marketing companies, integrated online marketing, b2b web marketing, business marketing agency, analytics, digital marketing agency

Small Business Marketing - What We Know That You Don’t

Posted by frank harris on 26/10/12 09:30

small business inbound marketing resized 600I use the term “We”, i.e. "Internet Marketer", in the title here in a less than flattering way. There are certainly those who make a living selling products and services via the Internet that deliver real value, but many “info and Internet” marketers also prey on people’s fears, hopes and irrational dreams to pedal worthless junk over and over again.

However, what these people know that you don’t is that you don’t necessarily need the best product, you don’t have to create a revolutionary innovation, you don’t have pile on more and more services and features and you certainly don’t have to slash prices to compete.

No, what Internet marketers know that you don’t is that all you really need is better small business marketing.

I’m not suggesting that you aim for inferior and worthless products and services, but I am suggesting that focusing on better small business marketing from top to bottom is more important than trying to improve or enhance your products and services right now.

In fact, if you were to find a way to sell more of what you’ve got, you could confidently raise your prices and invest in making the best product known to mankind, but not until your fix your small business marketing.

I’ll go as far as to suggest that you might not even want to create a product or service until you’ve figured out how to effectively market it.

What Internet marketers know that you don’t is that in Inbound Marketing:

•    You have to focus on the narrowest market possible

•    You have to get personal

•    You have to slay your prospect’s demons

•    You have to get them emotionally involved in a solution

•    You have to draw them in with a story of hope

•    You have to focus on building and segmenting better lists

•    You have to write better headlines

•    You have to write better bullet points

•    You have to write better calls to action

•    You have to offer better social and tangible proof

•    You have to offer free that is better than most paid

•    You have to engage your prospect through multiple forms of content

•    You have to move your prospect with little steps

•    You have to give them reasons to act today

•    You have to create scarcity and exclusivity around your offers

•    You have to introduce increasing levels of engagement

•    You have to create opportunities to involve your community in sharing

•    You have to build a team of partners and make it easy for them to promote your offers

•    You have to follow-up consistently, predictably and repeatedly

•    You have to monitor, measure, analyse, test and refine everything you do

In other words consistently do great Inbound Marketing that will get more traffic to get more leads that will convert into more customers whose journey you can review to find out where you went right and where you went wrong and start all over again!

Now, you can use these steps to manipulate and do evil things in support of false promises, hopes for riches and worthless products.

Or, you can use these steps to create awareness, build trust and move people to investing in products and services that deliver immense value, but either way, what you really need is better small business marketing.

To learn more and to improve what you currently do and find out what you should do I suggest that you download the eBook below. It will tell you:-

  • How to Start Making Effective, Lovable Campaigns        

  • How to Develop an Irresistible Marketing Offer            

  • Place the Offer on Your Website                    

  • How to Make Effective Landing Pages                

  • Calls to Action                                

  • Build Workflows                            

  • Marketing to Your Existing Contacts                    

  • Promote Your Offer Through Blogging & Social        

  • Measure Every Element of Your Campaign                

So what are you waiting for click the button below now.

FREE eBook on Effective Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Tags: small business marketing, online marketing companies, online marketing services, internet marketing company, b2b marketing agency

What’s Working For B2B Small Business Marketing In Search And Social

Posted by frank harris on 24/10/12 09:27

online-marketing-companiesIt’s an on-going struggle for SMEs to figure out how to get the most out of their marketing budgets. While email has proven time and time again to be an incredibly effective channel, there’s still a lot of question as to how to maximize ROI in channels like search and social. Here, I’ll show you what seems to be working for B2B businesses in their small business marketing efforts.

Webmarketing123 in its "State of Digital Marketing 2012" report looks at B2B vs. B2C marketing efforts in terms of SEO, PPC and social media. We’ll focus on the B2B side of things here. Among other things, it looks specifically at the satisfaction levels of in-house vs seo marketing agency and social media efforts, as well as how much money businesses are putting into different social networks, and how much they’re getting back.

The survey included companies like Sony, Olympus, Phillips, IBM, Hitatchi, Cisco, Agilent, Microsoft, Citrix, Medtronic, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Blue Shield, ADP, Pitney Bowes, Monster.com, Angie’s List, GE, John Deere, Aramark, Thomson Reuters, Federal Express, Bose, and Nestlé. In all, over 500 marketing professionals from the U.S. responded to the survey.

The main B2B takeaways appear to be that lead generation is the top objective among brands, and SEO is found to be twice as effective as either PPC or social media marketing. This is quite interesting, considering that it is getting harder and harder to get on the first page of Google results. Of course, there are some major brands that took this survey, and they likely don’t struggle with rankings as much as some smaller businesses.

According to the survey, about 50% more B2Bs (21% of sample) now consider social media as having the most impact on lead generation, compared to last year, though SEO is still significantly ahead with 59% of the sample.

Based on the survey findings, 84% of B2B businesses engage in SEO, and 63% do so in-house, rather than hiring online marketing companies. 98% of them either intend to increase their SEO budgets in 2013 or at least maintain their current budgets.

According to the survey, the most common measures of SEO performance are the volume of traffic, organic traffic, and the number of keywords appearing on page 1, “which give no insight into financial impact.” Fewer marketers, Webmaketing123 says, are employing “more sophisticated measures,” like number of qualified leads or sales attributable to organic search.

Interestingly, while in-house dominates the efforts of businesses across SEO, PPC and social media, the satisfaction levels are significantly higher when an outside online marketing agency is hired, according to the survey:

 online marketing companies resized 600

Also, according to the survey, B2C businesses are getting more engagement than B2B businesses from their social media efforts, but the gap is narrowing. B2B businesses are getting better at social media.

It probably helps that the social networks are putting out more business-oriented products. Facebook, since the IPO, has certainly had businesses on the brain launching more and more ad products and targeting capabilities for posts. Twitter, has announced new ad targeting options of its own, as well as the Certified Product Program for businesses. Google also announced some new business-specific features for Google+.

As these networks continue to cater more to businesses, businesses are likely to find them more valuable, and perhaps find more room in their budgets to take advantage. However, it is LinkedIn, the social network that has always been business-oriented, that currently seems to be providing the biggest return for B2B business’ money.

Last, but not least, Webmarketing123 provides a look at the break down of money spent among popular social networks, and money made from them. It looks like businesses are getting the most out of their money spent with LinkedIn, though for B2C, Facebook blows LinkedIn out of the water. This makes sense, however, if you consider the professional nature of LinkedIn.

Businesses may soon be able to get even more out of LinkedIn, as the company expanded LinkedIn ads into 17 new languages. The company is also improving its developer platform, which could lead to some more business opportunities.

To help you improve your Social Media efforts why not download our new FREE whitepaper on “7 Social Media Best Practices for Small Business Marketing” by clicking the button below.

FREE Whitepaper 7 Social Media Best Practices

 

Tags: internet marketing consultant, SEO for small business, SEO services, online marketing companies

Should you get involved in Social Media Marketing Services?

Posted by frank harris on 21/08/12 09:30

social media marketing servicesWhile social media does a lot of things right for marketers, we struggle to keep up with its constant change and importantly, we need to demonstrate its ROI .

42% of marketers are very concerned about demonstrating the value of social media—35% say improving social media measurement is a top priority. But just 4% of marketers say their ability to measure the overall impact of social media is excellent.

A Google search of “social media marketing ROI” yields more than 4 million web pages on marketing automation software, to listening platforms and Social Media Marketing Agency Services. It’s clear that everybody wants to get in on the social media ROI game, yet marketers claim they haven’t got it figured out!

It certainly isn’t for lack of desire. Most marketers claim measurement is a key priority—yet they end up giving themselves a ‘C’ in their ability to do it. With 4 million web pages available; all the tools, technology and thinking focused on this top of mind topic, why aren’t we all getting As in the ROI department?

 Social Media Can Be a Scary Place

The rate of change in digital is in constant acceleration. New social apps and networks appear overnight and it’s difficult to tell a flash-in-the-pan fad from the next killer app. And we’d better get it right. If we don’t show up to the right parties our social currency plummets.

Customers expect us to be at all the right parties, and engaging them in specific ways. When our social customers like us on Facebook, 60% of them expect to find peer-to-peer experiences,  46% expect incentives or rewards and 40% say they want more from brands in social media.

Indeed, the landscape is complex, crowded and demanding.  45% of marketers are very concerned about getting the right social media tools and technologies in place and 44% say they are very concerned about competing for attention in social media. Many worry about dipping their toes into the social media whirlpool because they might find a mass of negative sentiment swirling around the social web over their brand or their products.

Consumers grumble when they’re unhappy and social media makes it easy for them to spread their dissatisfaction as 42% of consumers report they are more likely to share negative brand experiences because of social media.

Despite the bumpy road that social can be, it’s important to remember that marketers who dare to tread are those that come out ahead with social customers. Those who listen, engage, experiment, and approach their social media marketing services with goals, are those best able to take advantage of the things social does right.

What Social Media Marketing Does Right

For sure, social media marketing is great at raising awareness.  In surveys 26% report social media is among the top 3 ways they become aware of new brands and products, and 52% report using social media to connect with brands.

Today’s marketers agree that social media does a great job at the top of the funnel with 75% saying their efforts generate brand exposure. And while brand exposure is hardly a metric, unique visits to the website is not. 74% of marketers say their investments in social media have increased web traffic—important for SEO. Traffic volume and growth matter to those algorithms that help our customers find us. The more traffic we have, the more likely our customers will be able to find us.

For marketers claiming difficulty with demonstrating quantifiable ROI this is welcome news. Our efforts undeniably raise awareness and data backs it up. It drives SEO, which can be benchmarked as we put our social media marketing initiatives to work.

Social media also does a job at deepening engagement. 72% consumers report that because of social media, they are more likely to stay engaged with brands. So it also makes consumers more likely to consider what we have to say, join the conversation, and check back again.

Consumers like connecting with brands through social media because it’s a two-way street. They get to listen actively when and where they want to, interact with others like them, and be heard. Our social efforts raise awareness, deepen engagement, even help us to innovate—11% of marketers say they they’ve developed new products with help from their social customers. Finally, consumers corroborate the value of social media for word of mouth marketing—80% report that they are more likely to try things based on friends’ suggestions because of social media.

Overall, the social media marketing channel has pretty high marks. 35% of marketers say social media marketing helps to meet business objectives better than other channels. So we all agree that even though it’s a bit scary, it does some things very well.

To fully understand how to use Social Media you must first understand the target group(s) your product or service needs to consider. The eBook below gives you an analysis of the UK Social Personas and how to use them for content. It's FREE so download it by clicking the button below:-

FREE eBook Social Media Services

 

Tags: online marketing companies, social media marketing services, online marketing services uk

Social Media Marketing Services The UK Social Profile

Posted by frank harris on 14/08/12 09:00

social-media-marketing-services-eBookSo you wish to get involved in Social Media? What's the first thing you need to know? As with all forms of marketing it is your target group(s). The world of online social does not revolve around social economic groupings but social personas.

Understanding the UK personas for social media marketing services is the purpose of our new FREE eBook. We analyse 13 different personas and show the statistics of how they interact when online. To give you a taste here is the introduction:-

"Research in 2011 examined the ways social media is revolutionising the marketplace in the United Kingdom. It, identified SUBSCRIBERS, FANS and FOLLOWERS, their motivations for interacting with brands online, as well as their usage of and attitudes toward email, Facebook and Twitter.

It revealed that when looking at the UK population, 93% are Subscribers, 45% are Fans and 7% are Followers. When reviewing this information independently, it’s easy to think about these audiences in silos. One may be tempted to believe that the way to reach the 7% that don’t subscribe to email is through Facebook, Twitter or some other new media channel. In reality, only 2% of online consumers in the UK engage with brands through Facebook or Twitter but not through email. The remaining 5% do not engage with companies through any of these channels.

Of the 95% of consumers that do choose to engage with companies online, we find that they interact with brands online in one of two ways, either:

1.    They adopt a layered communication strategy.

Consumers, for example, may choose to “Like” a favourite company on Facebook and subscribe to email from that company, but they expect to receive different types of communications through each channel. Channel exclusivity is important here. There must be some added benefit to become a SUBSCRIBER, FAN or FOLLOWER. It’s also important to note that while 5% of online consumers interact using all three channels, they aren’t necessarily interacting with the same brands across all three channels.

2.    They adopt an isolated communication strategy.

In this case, consumers will keep interactions with brands isolated to a single channel where they expect to hear from brands, while keeping other online channels focused on personal communication only. Email is largely seen as a place where brands are welcome to engage consumers, while some consumers question the presence of brands on Facebook and Twitter and consciously avoid them as a result.

What’s even more important for marketers to consider are the actions consumers take once engaged as SUBSCRIBERS, FANS or FOLLOWERS. Do they make purchases as a result of getting an email, becoming fans or following a brand? Are they more likely to recommend the company to a friend? The answers to these questions are largely tied to the reasons people go online in the first place and that is what we’ll examine in this report."

So there you have it an analysis of the UK population in terms of social media marketing services. The eBook also covers the following topics:-

  • UK ONLINE PERSONAS

  • ONLINE PERSONAS IN THE UK

  • PURCHASING BEHAVIOURS

  • PURCHASE INFLUENCERS

Also we look at Facebook and Twitter and show you the statitics on "likes" and "followers" and who and why people engage and what motivatesthem to do it.  Finally we give you tips on "how to do things right" and "what not to do so you don't do it wrong."

So you can see it's quite a full analysis to get you on the right track. To get your FREE eBook, all you have to do is click the button below and the download is yours.  What are you waiting for?

FREE eBook Social Media Services



Tags: online marketing companies, website marketing strategy, social media marketing services

How can Small Business Marketing bring success

Posted by frank harris on 10/07/12 09:30

Growing a small business takes time. You can’t expect to make your fortune overnight (despite what you may have read). It takes a sustainable, comprehensive marketing aonline marketing companiespproach to build your leads, your sales, and ultimately, your bottom line.

Many of the successful businesses you see have a highly specialised marketing team running their daily operations. Most small business owners can’t afford such a ‘luxury’. You are on your own.

However, with the right focus and time investment, you could become that specialised marketing department or you can outsource to one of the online marketing companies for the specialist help you need.

Small businesses always want to grab the idea of the week. And small business owners are absolutely the worst at this because they’re doing a hundred things. So the shiny object that makes the most noise this week is now the marketing plan. The thing is, if a business owner gets their online marketing strategy part right in marketing, he or she can surround it with just about any set of tactics that are performed and measured consistently.

There are two very significant components to getting an online marketing strategy down for a business: to narrow focus down to an ideal client, and to find some way to clearly differentiate one’s business. Now those may not sound like earth-shattering ideas, but most businesses don’t think about them as thoroughly as they should.

In today’s digital age it’s a success driven online marketing strategy that you need.  Old fashioned methods work BUT are becoming very expensive for small businesses whether they are B2B or B2C.

So first you need traffic to your site.  But is your site good enough to get that traffic (PPC and/or organic search engine optimisation)? Has it been designed to how your visitors look at it and take what you are selling into their heads?

Then do you know how you can get leads coming in the door all by yourself … even though it will require some work up front. Invest some time in educating yourself on simple marketing strategies and resources. You will discover a whole new level of business growth you never thought possible. Nobody’s asking you to get a degree in marketing.

If you can become proficient in a few simple areas, you will be well on your way to success.

The areas you should consider are:-

  • Website Effectiveness                        

  • Traffic Generation

  • List Building    

  • Contact Management        

  • Email Marketing    

We’ve put together an eBook with the most important things you can be doing to grow your small business, starting right now! Don’t try to implement all of these steps at once as that would be much too overwhelming. Take them one step at a time and build as you go. Just choose a few of the strategies you want to work on now and start there.

Then, little by little, you’ll build up your marketing efforts until you can just sit back and watch the sales come rolling in.

Many of our marketing strategies suggest using a variety of companies or resources. As you grow, you may begin to experience what we call “multisystem chaos.” We can combine many of the tools small business owners need to use into one application. While it may not be time for your business to begin using an internet marketing consultant, we hope you will take advantage of our advice and automated software when you’re ready. I give you a toast to your success and the best of luck in growing your business.

To get your FREE copy just click on the button below and you’ll be off and running on your successful path.

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Tags: online marketing companies, online marketing services, internet marketing company

Cookie Law update for online marketing companies

Posted by frank harris on 18/06/12 09:30

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The EU’s ePrivacy Directive on how consumers’ data is stored and used by website owners is now in force.

There has been panic and confusion surrounding the new EU ePrivacy Directive - dubbed the ‘cookie law’ - with the intention of raising consumer awareness about how information is collected and stored by web pages.

In simple terms, the new law requires all websites to ask visitors for permission to store information about them - information that is often held in text files called cookies. While some cookies are essential to the smooth running of a site - for example, those used to remember what someone has put in an online shopping basket - others could be considered ‘intrusive’, such as those used to analyse users’ behaviour and to target ads according to their interests. The ICO has said that ‘essential’ cookies are likely to be exempt from complying with the rules, and it will focus its regulatory efforts on the most intrusive, ‘non-essential’ cookies.

As the laws are now fully in force, websites should already be seeking consent from visitors if they intend to use non-essential cookies.

Eccomplished research also showed that 67% of companies are updating and reconfirming their privacy statements. However, just days before the cookie law came into force last month, the ICO changed its guidance to indicate the approach, known as ‘implied consent’, would not breach its interpretation of the law. But if the ICO doesn’t make websites ask users to explicitly opt in to receiving cookies, the European Commission could eventually rule that it is not enforcing the law effectively. Until that happens, however, it seems the most common response to the law is for websites to inform users that continued use of the site counts as consent.

While carrying out audits and updating privacy policies might sound straightforward, there are challenges involved in compliance. However, I am not getting into the nitty gritty here but as an Internet Marketing Company we are available to help you.

One of the main concerns from brands comes from the fact that site analytics cookies, which enable brands to record traffic numbers to their site, are being regarded as ‘non-essential’. Site owners are therefore worried they would have to ask for explicit permission to use them.

The ICO trialled this on its own site, requiring consumers to tick a box to allow analytics cookies to be used. It saw a 90% decrease in recorded traffic. Site owners fear, therefore, that using an active opt in could mean they will only be able to understand the behaviour of one in 10 of their customers, a big problem in small business search engine optimisation.

A study commissioned by consultancy Evidon shows that the majority (57%) of UK consumers claim not to be aware of the new directive, while just 31% believe they have a good understanding of the current rules about online data privacy. This would suggest that education - not an ultimatum - is the most sensible way forward for brands, to avoid consumers panicking and choosing not to opt in.

Key research findings

  • 53% of UK consumers would have a more favourable opinion of a company that asked permission to collect personal information.

  • 48% of UK consumers would be more likely to purchase from a company they think is honest about how it collects and uses personal information.

  • 57% of UK consumers are unaware of the EU’s ePrivacy Directive.

  • The large majority of UK respondents could not think of any positive examples of brands or websites in terms of the way they use data or information collected about them online. However, by far the most commonly mentioned brand/website is Amazon, with 13% of respondents citing it as a positive example.

  • Nearly two in every five (38%) consumers are happy for companies to use information they have collected about them online to show relevant offers, discounts and loyalty bonuses, provided they are transparent about it and give them control over their data. However, nearly a quarter (23%) would be unhappy about this.

Source: Toluna/Evidon

Check out the major websites like John Lewis and you will see that they use the "implied" permission statement.  So can you!

For marketing tips from Optimax your digital marketing agency, why not download the FREE whitepaper below.

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Tags: online marketing companies, internet marketing company, b2b marketing agency

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