Must Have’s in Viral Ad’s

Broadcasting a message through viral marketing is one of the most effective and widely accepted methods of marketing. Viral marketing involves the creation of unique and quality content that compels people to share it with others. Creating and executing a viral marketing campaign on the other hand is a very challenging task that requires a perfect plan and extensive research.

Here are a few pointers that can help with the creation and execution of a viral marketing campaign

Get an immediate reaction

A diplomatic stand is ideal to use in press releases and interviews, not in viral marketing campaigns. In order to make your content viral, you need to inspire and compel your audience to spreading your content. Viral marketing is all about having strong opinions that address the emotions of your audience. You cannot please everyone. You need to take a stance that gets an immediate reaction from people.

Come up with something out of the blue

People are bombarded with the same old monotonous ad campaigns and other marketing techniques on a daily basis. As a result, people have adapted themselves to tune out the commotion. Instead of trying to promote your product and showing people how cool it is, try something new like how you can use the product very usefully in unusual circumstances or situations.

Viral marketing is not about advertising alone

Everybody crafts unique and creative advertisements and yes some of them do go viral. But, viral marketing is not all about making creative advertisements. You should find newer and less explored avenues to create an interesting story.

Once more

“Once more” this is what your audience will be saying if your content goes viral. Creating a single piece of viral content is good but a series of content that goes viral is one of the best things that can happen. It also insists your audience to act instead of simply appreciating your content. Making sequels is a good idea to quickly gain brand recognition.

Sharing and Commenting

Sharing is caring and the same applies to your brand. Sharing is also the bread and butter of any viral marketing campaign. The easier it is to share your content, the greater is its impact on your campaign. Make sure that you content can be easily shared via email and social networks.

Another important aspect of viral marketing is commenting. Commenting helps you connect with your target audience and as always, a personal touch goes a long way in making any content go viral.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

No Cost Ad Space on Google – Really !

Google ads have been the favorite choice of online advertisers for about a decade now. Google is also one of the most effective display advertisers online. Many inbound marketers have used these ads and other services to their advantage and boosted the reach of their businesses successfully. Google on the other hand has always been trying to give more attention to its local search results and the Google Maps technology. Google Places is the result of the search engine giant’s attempt at enriching its local search. Google Places is something that is essential to every business and it is also one of the most neglected fields in any SEO strategy.

Many online marketers today are using Google Places as an avenue for free advertisement from Google. How are they doing it? By simply getting listed on it.

The pros

Listing your business on Google Places means your business is shown in local search results. You end up increasing your SEO ranking along with getting a free advertisement for your business. In addition to this, your web traffic increases, you get better leads and eventually, your customer base increases. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for your business to get listed on Google Places.

Getting started

Setting up your Google Places listing is a fairly simple job. But it does require some information about your business just like any other ad. Before setting up your listing, you will need to have some information at hand such as

  • A brief description of your business
  • A valid phone number, email, address and any other information that might be useful to your customers.
  • A logo or a photograph of your office so that your customers can recognize your business
  • Finally a special coupon to attract more visitors. Google lets you include a coupon on your Google Places listing for free. Having a coupon is optional but it can significantly increase your sales and also your web traffic.
  • You can also pitch in a few videos and any other information that you want your customers to know.

The validation

 This is the only painful part of having a local listing on Google. Google will not accept the information you provide blindly. You will have to validate your information. While this might seem annoying, it is good on the long run as any fake listing can be avoided. The validation process involves receiving a post card from Google with the next steps written on it. Once you follow these steps your account will be validated and your listing will be made available to the public.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Should You Invest In Inbound Marketing?

Businesses have been relying on traditional outbound marketing strategies for too long. An average person is continuously being bombarded with thousands of advertisements, emails, telemarketing, and many other outbound marketing tools. As a result people have come up with numerous ways to either block out or ignore outbound marketing strategies.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a new innovative marketing strategy used by online marketers to get across to the ‘tougher’ audiences. It focuses on the use of certain non traditional methods such as search marketing, content creation and social media marketing in order to attract visitors by addressing their interests. Inbound marketing can be easily monitored and attract high quality leads to boost sales.

Inbound marketing aims at creating marketing campaigns based on the consumer interests as opposed to traditional marketing strategies that aim at generating interest among consumers based on your campaigns.

Why not traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing involves the implementation of conventional marketing techniques such as email marketing, billboards and commercial advertisements. The conversion rate using traditional marketing techniques cannot be measured easily. Another huge disadvantage posed by traditional marketing strategies is its inability to target potential customers. As the ads are simply shown to a host of people, there is a good chance that your ads may go unnoticed or reach the wrong audience.

Why go inbound?

There is no doubting the fact that people are leading increasingly active online lives. We now rely more on Google, Yahoo or Bing to explore and get information about products.

So it is not surprising that marketers today are investing more money on advertising online. Inbound marketing is one way of reaching out to potential customers – it is a strategy where you try to be found when someone searches something related to you. It is much better than hurling an advertisement on somebody’s face. Marketers today are more interested in being found by their consumers and targeted prospects, rather than seeking out individuals who may not have a need for their products/services.

The internet is no longer a platform of monologues. Social media has transformed the internet into a platform for dialogue between businesses and customers. This is one of the main reasons to opt for inbound marketing rather than the traditional outbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing helps marketers stumble upon customer interests and modify their marketing campaigns to cater to customer demands.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Is PPC a Good Interactive Marketing Investment?

A PPC (pay per click) ad campaign is one of the quickest and most affordable forms of online advertising. PPC ad campaigns require effective strategy and planning in order to reach out to the right audience. These include keyword targeting, where you target your ads based on prospective keywords. But marketers often find themselves in a dilemma about when exactly they need to invest in a PPC campaign to promote their products. Here are a few pointers that might help you get over this dilemma

Budget constraints

The most opportune time to use a PPC ad campaign is when you are running on a limited budget. It is one of the most affordable and reliable forms of advertising. PPC ads are charged based on the number of times your ad has been clicked and PPC gives you the freedom to change the content of your advertisements at will.

Do you have the right keywords

PPC ads are driven by keywords. The popularity of your keywords is also a factor that influences the rate of an advertisement. A lower bid on a highly popular keyword will not get the desired result as your ad does not have enough exposure. If your target keywords are of high quality but not very popular, then it is the right time to plunge into a PPC ad campaign. But you need to strategize and plan your campaign more carefully if your keywords are more popular.

Immediate traffic generation

While techniques like SMO and SEO are excellent to generate healthy traffic to your site, these techniques are time consuming. PPC can act like a make shift SEO for your site in situations where you badly want your products sold or a survey form filled out.

Achieving conversion goals

If you need to meet certain sales goals, PPC is the best method to achieving this. With platforms such as Google Adwords, you can easily monitor your ads, set specific conversion goals and work towards achieving them.

Higher return on investment

PPC ads provide a high return on investment. Pay per click advertisements can be targeted in such a way as to reach only the audience that is interested in your offerings. This means every time your ad is clicked there is a high probability that you will make a sale. And since you pay only when an ad is clicked, the investment at your end will not be unmanageable.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

What Is Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click or PPC is an online advertising model where web users are directed to advertisers’ websites when they click on an advertisement. The advertiser has to pay only when a user clicks on the ad. PPC is one of the most easiest and economical means to drive a target audience to your site with the intention of making a sale.

How does it work?

PPC ads are driven by keywords. The keywords are common phrases that the advertiser thinks the users will type into a search engine while searching a particular product. The process begins with the advertiser creating an ad and submitting relevant keywords to the advertising ‘agency’ such as Google Adwords. Once the ad is submitted and approved, it might be displayed whenever a user types the predetermined keyword on the search engine. A PPC ad is generally placed at the top of the page or on the right side of the page. If the ad is placed on any other website, the placement is subject to the adspace as determined by the web owner.

Benefits of PPC

PPC ads are very popular because of the ease in monitoring offered by this model. The PPC service usually comes with a panel to analyze and gauge the performance of the advertisements. The PPC ads are of benefit to both the advertisers as well as the users. PPC ads help the advertisers get noticed by their target market. PPC provides a greater return on investment than any other type of advertisement as the advertisers get charged only when someone clicks on the ads. Also, because of the ability to target audiences based on factors such as keywords and geographic location, you can make sure that your ad reaches the right people. The users on the other hand can breathe a sigh of relief by being able to find the right products without having to deal with the frustrating pop-ups and display banners.

PPC rates

PPC services are provided by many companies but the most effective ones are Google Adwords and Microsoft adCenter. The PPC rates may vary significantly based on the service provider and the popularity of the keyword being targeted. The quality of a keyword is one of the major factors that influence the PPC rates. Many PPC service providers allow the advertisers to set a custom bid based on their campaign budget. But they might not be able to reach a large audience for a high quality keyword if they place a low bid.  The investment made to gain a high position is clearly based on the competitive nature of your service or product, with respect to the geo targeted area and the price the competition is willing to pay for specific key words in the PPC model.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Why Is Proper SEO Important

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method used for analyzing websites and pages for discovery and indexing by search engines. SEO can help search engines easily read and index your site using crawling software.

Advertising is essential for business but so is SEO. Advertising can create brand awareness among people and increase your market presence, but there is a good chance that some of your advertisements may go unnoticed or may not reach some potential customers. That is not the case with SEO. With proper SEO techniques you can make sure that your website appears on top of the search results every time a potential customer conducts a search for anything related to your niche.

How do search engines work?

Search engines index and rank webpages with the help of software known as spiders, robots and crawlers. The software scans each webpage from time to time and downloads a copy to the search engine database. The exact method in which the search engines rank and index webpages is a closely guarded secret by the search engine. The algorithms are continuously changed, making them almost impossible to predict. They however reveal certain information in the form of algorithms and analysis of keywords, which can help you optimize your sites.

Using the information provided by search engines, you can analyze and decide different methods that can improve a site’s search engine ranking. Some of these changes may include making certain subtle changes to the content in your website and others may depend on modifying some coding elements.

What to avoid while optimizing your site

SEO can greatly increase your inbound site traffic. The higher the number of different keywords in your content, the greater the chance of getting ranked in search results. That does not mean you should fill your site with irrelevant keywords. This method may definitely increase the traffic to your site but it serves no purpose, as most of the traffic that comes to your site may not be interested in your content as well as your products. Spamming and other malicious methods drive traffic to your site might see your site being removed from the search indexes.

SEO is a very important tool that can help you increase your web traffic and benefit from potential customers. A website without good SEO would be like a shop without a signboard. A good SEO strategy on the other hand can make your website stand out from the crowd.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

What Is Display Advertising and Why would you need It?

Display advertising is one of the most effective ways of grabbing the attention of your customers and prospects through visual content, replacing or accompanying print media with Interactive Advertising. . Display advertisements use Flash, videos, images and other technologies to appear alongside any content published by a website. Display advertisements are also used for their effective customer reach.

Why display advertisement?

 With a vast majority of users researching for brands online, display advertising constitutes an important marketing strategy that aims at engaging such users. Display advertisements can be used to accomplish several marketing goals such as creating brand awareness, delivering a message, driving traffic and even directly influencing the sale.

Also, display advertisements provide an opportunity for marketers to measure the return on investment as they can be easily monitored. This makes display advertising a desirable medium compared to the conventional cost per impression based advertisement campaigns.

Cost per click vs. Cost per impression

 Cost per click advertisements are the ads that charge the advertiser based on the number of clicks their ads receive. Cost per click ads are used mainly for online marketing.

Cost per impression advertisements charge the advertiser based on the number of impressions the ad receives, i.e. the number of times the ad appears. Advertisers run these ads on conventional mass media.

The advertisement industry is a very competitive place. The traditional cost per impression based ad channels continue to be in vogue even though they do not offer the flexibility offered by cost per click based display ads. Many bigwigs of the consumer industry continue to use the traditional ad mediums. The traditional medium offers better avenues for gaining customer loyalty as opposed to the display ads. But there has been a massive resurgence in display ads in recent times, the reason being they provide opportunities to measure and analyze the costs and returns from the campaign.

Both the forms have some unique benefits – impression based ads help capture customer loyalty while the cost per click based ads help with analysis and planning.

Flexibility

 Another important aspect that has popularized display ads is the flexibility that they offer. Display ads can be tweaked based on several parameters so that you get maximum benefit out of them. In this regard, you can create ads to select your target audience by:

Geo Targeting: The option of targeting your audience based on their geographic location.

Keywords: Targeting your audience with keywords suggested by Webmaster and other SEO tools.

Interests: Web browsers store users’ history of activity and this information can be leveraged to create ads targeted at your audience’s interests and likings.

Retargeting: Retargeting is a method where a cookie is placed on the browsers of all your visitors, and ads pertaining to your products and services are shown to them whenever they visit any other website.

Social Media: Many social media sites are now allowing businesses to display ads for site users. The vast user base of such online channels translates into greater visibility and brand awareness for the advertiser.

 

Positioning the Effectiveness of Interactive Marketing

There was a time when the only option company’s  had was the traditional push marketing model, forcing their offerings on people through print and other forms of media to consumers who were more often not likely to buy them. Now with the advent of the pull marketing model, we see a change in the way businesses are approaching their marketing campaigns. The strategy, in this case, is to go after an audience that is actually interested in what the company has to offer.

Interactive (pull) marketing has become the preferred solution to traditional (push) marketing, and for good reason. We know marketing is the art and science of connecting with customers. Interactive marketing goes a bit further. It is the process of connecting with customers to facilitate a conversation with them, and to react or change depending on how the customer acts.

It is important to note that interactive marketing is different from online marketing. It can be safely said that online marketing is a component of interactive marketing. Like the former, interactive marketing also leverages the power of the internet to get its job done.

Take Amazon.com for example 

The company is an excellent example for how interactive marketing can be used to connect with customers. When customers search for a product, the site records those preferences. Based on these preferences and recent purchases if any, customers are shown recommendations that match their selections. What would you do as a customer in such a case? You may go through some of the recommendations and if they strike a chord with you and maybe go ahead and make a purchase. What the company did was turn a single purchase into an avenue to promote more purchases.

Companies and business have realized how effective interactive marketing can be and they treasure this ability. IM is also called trigger based marketing, because you are reacting to customers, in effect they trigger action on your part. Surprisingly, it is this function that makes it more effective than traditional marketing.

How can you use interactive marketing to engage customers more personally?

The good news is interactive marketing is applicable to all businesses. Some examples where IM can be used are B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer), high/low transaction businesses, prospect management and customer management. There are various approached to IM; here are the commonest (and popular) ones.

  1. Leveraging social networks – Use tools like Google Alert to identify blog posts and online discussions related to your service/product. You can then provide your input on the same and post links back to your website.
  2. Website visits – A great way to bring in new business is to create a website that is tailored to your target demographics’ likes and dislikes. Look to Amazon and Yahoo for inspiration!
  3. Conversational emails – Never underestimate the power of conversational emails. Identify customer interests and have a follow-up system in place that keeps the conversation flowing till the transaction has taken place.

Mobile marketing – promoting your offerings through SMSs – is also an interactive marketing technique that you can consider.

Times are changing for small business marketers, to succeed you need to stay on top of the trends, test and see what works for your business.

Interactive Advertising With Greater ROI

Advertise With Greater Confidence Knowing You’re Maximizing Your Response Rates

“Half my advertising money is wasted. The problem is that I don’t know which half”, said William Lever, founder of Lever Soap Company back in 1886. Sadly, well over a century later, it’s estimated that 50 percent of advertising budgets are still wasted on programs that don’t produce a meaningful response. Yet, marketing executives are being held increasingly accountable to deliver greater, more predictable, and measurable returns on investment from their advertising spend, according to Forrester Research.

While some marketers grow increasingly frustrated with declines in response rates to their traditional print advertising and shifting their focus to digital channels, others have discovered how to “crack the code” and are achieving new highs in response rates and returns on investment through properly integrating the offline and online channels. This guide aims to provide the practical, yet frequently overlooked, tips and critical action steps to dramatically increase the response rates and maximize the returns on investment from print advertisements.

1. With so many distractions today, capturing customers’ attention with an ad has become as much science as art. While a great picture can tell a thousand words, studies show that wondering eyes automatically gravitate more towards pictures than words. Use a relevant, high contrast image that supports your core message. So don’t make your audience “work” – read more than is absolutely necessary. Use a picture whenever possible to enhance your offer. Pictures of people and smiling faces are very  effective.

2. If your image succeeds in capturing your readers’ attention, the rest of your ad copy must gain and keep their interest – that’s where your headline plays a pivotal role. Think of your headline as “an ad for your ad”. Its sole purpose is to captivate your audience and “sell” them on reading the rest of your ad copy. Eyes automatically gravitate towards large, bold text. Therefore, be sure your headline stands out from the rest of the ad copy. Focus on your offer’s key benefits. Most readers are “skimmers” and will make a split-second decision about whether or not to keep reading. A “skimmer” should be able to get the “gist” of what the ad is about by the picture and headline (and subtitles if applicable). Books have been written on the topic of writing effective headlines. Refer to a few and them by your side for creative inspiration.

3. Readers are “skimmers”. Avoid long, small-type paragraphs. Instead, bullet out your offer’s benefits whenever possible. Newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are written at an 8th grade level to make the content easier to consume. So present your offer’s benefits in an easy-to-digest manner. Use color and call-outs to deliver the most relevant points.

4. If your ad succeeds at capturing your audience’s attention and interest, be sure to provide a clear, concise call-to-action; tell them what to do next. Don’t leave it up to them to guess what they should do next. If you want them to call a phone number or visit a website, say so. And be sure to include the benefit of doing so. An extra incentive  can instantly increase response rates. For example  by applying an expiration date to your CTA, you can instill a sense of urgency and further increase response. If you’re selling flowers, for example, your CTA might be to visit your website and offer a coupon code with an expiration date.

5. Providing readers multiple options to respond to your ad can not only dramatically increase your overall response rates but also increase the value of your response. A Direct Marketing Association study found that customers who buy from two channels (vs. just one) are between 20 and 60% more valuable, while triple-channel buyers are 60-125% more valuable. Ads that provide readers the option to respond by calling a phone number or by visiting a web page tend to get higher responses than identical ads that offer only a single option.

6. Displaying your main company phone number in your ad is sure-fire way to keep yourself guessing about the performance of your ad. Instead, use unique phone numbers with call tracking. By assigning a unique number to each of your ads, you can accurately test and measure which ads generate the best response. You can view reports to analyze the data and adjust your advertising to increase the overall ROI. This is critically important for new ad campaigns.

7. Most advertisers today already get it. Displaying a website address in a print ad increases response rates. But where many ads fall short is by display the link to their website home page. For better results you can measure and repeat, drive customers to a unique web page, specifically designed to complement your ad, also known as a “landing page” or “micro site” using a personalized URL, or “PURL”. This method is proven to provide a better user experience and increase conversion rates. Sending customers to your home page and making them hunt through your website for the offer they’re interested in is a sure way to aggravate them and lose sales.

8. Studies have shown that the majority of prospects don’t convert into customers the first time they’re exposed to a brand, product or service. Conversions increase over time as prospects are repeatedly exposed to an offer. Since the majority of visitors to your landing page won’t immediately convert, provide an incentive that gains you their contact information.

8. Assuming 5 percent of visitors to your landing page immediately convert and another 10% take advantage of an incentive and share their contact information, you’re building a highly valuable database of prospects and customers. Nurturing those prospects with routine email offers further increases conversions over time – effectively increasing the ROI from your print ad.

9. The saying, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” doesn’t ring more true when it comes to direct response advertising. Create variations of your offer using live A/B tests to determine the best response. You might determine mid-campaign that one version of your landing page is clearly outperforming the other and redirect all traffic to the winner to maximize conversions. To make all this possible you must, of course, properly install and configure a web analytics program and understand how to interpret the data. Using PURLs, you can clearly see how visitors behave; how long they stay, where they click, how many convert, etc.  – providing you the hard data you need to eliminate the guess work.

10. Properly analyzing the data contained in web analytics and performance reports will clearly indicate how visitors respond to a given offer and interact with the content. This valuable insight can then be confidently applied to the design of future print ads to incrementally improve response rates and maximize advertising ROI.

While any one of the above tactics can produce immediate measurable results, you can expect the greatest positive impact from a comprehensive approach. I hope you’ll gain value from these tips and that you’ll advertise with greater confidence.

 

Mobile Marketing Trends in 2013

Over the past few years, large numbers of companies have realized how, ‘responsive websites’ can make a difference to them. This type of development implementation has enhanced the user experience on mobile devices to the extent that larger numbers of consumers are now viewing content on their smart phones. As a result, this shift has opened up a new arena for businesses and marketers to advertise their products. The trend this year seems to be that more and more businesses are focused on mobile marketing. Here’s what can be expected as far as mobile devices are concerned in 2013.

New operating systems

Mobile operating systems play a huge role when it comes to user experience. Currently iOS and Android have been dominating the consumer market. However, with Blackberry releasing the Blackberry 10 OS and a few more other alternatives such as Ubuntu, Sailfish and Firefox all set to come up with their own versions of open source OS’ the world of mobile marketing will definitely change. Marketers would now have to account for all the new operating systems in their strategies.

Mobile e-commerce

One of the most awaited advancements in mobile marketing includes syndication for e-commerce. This is something that will start to take place in 2013 with applications which allow consumers to make purchases directly from their mobile devices. This will not only increase the user experience but also allow consumers to make purchases conveniently from any place. On an overall note, the mobile marketing industry is all set to make a turn for a complete approach towards establishing a PC like experience on mobile devices.