Top 3 most important interactive marketing steps a small business needs to take to succeed.

Every small business owner needs to understand that they will have to do what it takes to draw in a new set of customers. If they want their operation to succeed, then owners will need to consider some of the new marketing strategies becoming available to them. It will be surprisingly simple for people to link up with interactive marketing. This strategy is promising to deliver an unparalleled level of support for professionals who want to make the most out of their business strategy. Owners will be able to generate some support for these projects when they want to integrate interactive marketing with their existing strategy.

3. Set Up A Conversation

A hallmark feature of interactive marketing is that it has coincided with major changes in the marketplace. Notably, the market is moving away from a transaction-based relationship between seller and buyer. The market is now moving towards a more conversational approach, which will provide a substantial amount of information to the buyer. Owners should make sure that their interactive marketing approach emphasizes the conversation and draws in support from buyers.

2. Follow Customer Preferences

If owners want to make the most out of their sales, they should try to cater their services to suit the preferences of customers. They can do just that if they opt to effectively utilize interactive marketing. Major companies are now starting to track customer preferences in a few simple ways, providing an important boost to their sales profile. This has enabled companies to actually upgrade the different types of products that they have to offer and market them directly to consumers. People will invariably want to review some of the unique services that they can offer when they make use of the interactive marketing approach.

1. Use Effective Web Design

Web design agencies are increasingly searching for ways in which they can make the most out of their services. These web design teams are reviewing some important strategies that are available to people out on the market. Owners will want to understand more about how having an effective web design can work for their business. This will add to the overall performance that owners can get when they adopt an interactive marketing approach. It may take some time to find a team that has experience when it comes to offering all of these services but it will be an investment well worth the time for business owners.

Ultimately, it is important for owners to review the effectiveness of the interactive marketing approach that they are taking. They may want to get a better idea of whether their approach is working as it should to enhance their web layout. Owners should try to use objective measures to do this. They can evaluate the performance of their strategy by looking at sales data and website viewership. This kind of information can be an invaluable insight as to whether the interactive marketing strategy is working as it should.

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.

Retaining Clients and Maintaining Value Prop.

The world out there is quite competitive. Company’s are ready to jump at the first chance, to help ensure they get there unfair share of the market. And, in this ultra-competitive and ultra-materialistic race for growth, maintaining a sound customer base is critical to insure survival.  The willingness of the customer to stay with your company come what may, is the real key to success. The loyalty has to be mutual. Just as a single loyal customer is preferred over two new customers, the business valuing the loyalty of the vendor, should be preferred over others.

The enterprise should be willing to acknowledge and appreciate the loyalty of those customers that have seen them through the good time and the bad. The customer is not bought they are earned, slowly and steadily by investing in them, by giving them quality services, by listening to their needs. So, your business should continue to work towards retaining the customer base that you have earned, so laboriously. A healthy mix of customer loyalty and customer retention campaigns or programs is recommended for renewing the strengths of the relationship.  Efforts should be made to help ensure retention of those customers so that they won’t move away from you as soon as your competitor announces an alternative option in pricing or performance.

One of the most common practices (beyond un-compromised service) to ensure repeat customers in your business is to announce a simple points systems. The repeat customers are rewarded with points that can translate into attractive discounts, or cash-back rewards. The trick behind such a point system is to keep it simple.

To earn the loyalty of the customer, businesses are also venturing into offering attainable and desirable rewards, based on the depth and breath of product purchases, or amount of time spent as a valued customer. This has been seen in the credit card services industry such as, gold and platinum card owners that enjoy certain special privileges over regular cards. Broadening the product or service base has also worked in favor of businesses aiming to retain their customers. A single point of contact to purchase complementary products or service offerings keep competitors at bay and helps insure customer retention.

Loyalty is built slowly and gradually by keeping in touch with the customer through planned campaigns such as emails, blogs, discussion forums.  Your team should be motivated enough to always present a positive and upbeat attitude when engaging directly and indirectly  with the customer. And on the top of the list is always making sure product and service expectations are met every time. This can happen only when the company is willing to listen to the customers point of view and bring out products and services that meet the needs and demands of the customers base.

All your marketing and operational endeavors should be directed towards having a growing and delighted customer base. Number matters, but then loyalty matters as well, and, the loyalty will translate into numbers gradually. There is no denying that generally, what you give, is what you get. You treat your customers well and they treat you well, in turn.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

The Evolution of Permission Marketing

Permission marketing is the latest buzz word in the online advertising industry. With the recent uproar about illegitimate data scraping and other issues, online marketers are now turning towards a new and innovative method of marketing known as permission marketing. Permission marketing is based upon the concept that originated over a decade ago as observations made by Seth Godin and others were introduced, as a necessary path to take with respect to the future of effective online marketing.

Internet and marketing

While this conventional medium had been continuously interrupting audiences with an unending array of advertisements promoting sponsors, the advent of PM heralded a welcome change to the consumers. Online advertising has always continued to remain as a mixed bag of solutions, however there have been a few exceptions such as Google adwords that deliver the marketing message at the right instant without hampering user experience. Interesting enough the internet has continued to exist as the only medium where marketers have not been able to pitch their products against the will of the consumer.

The most you can do when it comes to online marketing is to leave a message to the users. You cannot enforce your marketing message on anyone. Permission marketing sprouted out of this observation. Here instead of trying to win the attention of the consumer, the marketer looks for consumers that are genuinely interested in their products by asking permission from the prospect in order to deliver their marketing message. This is being achieved through several new tools such as social sign on, email, mobile applications, and social media applications.  This paradigm shift in marketing is characterized as ‘Pull’ marketing as opposed to ‘Push’ marketing, which is the traditional method we all recognize.  Creating a true interest in your product or service and engaging your prospects to want you to market to them, creates a whole new way of more effectively communicating with your market.

B2B Strategies for LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing has quickly gained center-stage as large numbers of businesses are realizing the value and potential that LinkedIn has to offer them. With a number of corporate and industry leaders, LinkedIn is gaining prominence as one of the world’s largest social networks. In such a scenario, hesitation to cash in on the opportunity can cost your business valuable leverage when it comes to online marketing.

Brand awareness through LinkedIn

One of the most popular ways LinkedIn is being used is to generate brand awareness. In order to do this, first you need to establish your presence through a company page. You can then use this as a promoting machine where you can market, re-market, target and re-target your brand identity to people across the globe. You can also engage your audience and make sure that they keep returning to your content. When this happens, you will see that the customers will begin to associate your brand with your niche. This is possible because LinkedIn provides highly relevant content to an audience that is interested in your brand.

Advertising

Another popular marketing technique used mostly by B2B businesses is advertising on LinkedIn. Although the market for advertising on LinkedIn is still in its evolutionary stage, a large number of B2B businesses are leveraging it for job titles, and other marketing initiatives. Advertising on LinkedIn has been proven to be highly effective as it allows you to narrow your targets based on where your potential prospects are likely to spend most of their time on LinkedIn.

Is RSS Still Significant?

With Google announcing the demise of Google Reader recently, a lot of talk is being generated about the move to shut it down. While several enthusiasts express emotions ranging from sadness to outrage over Google’s move. Others think that RSS never had a significant role to play online, and that it was about time Google shut it down. However, RSS is still continues to prevail despite all the turmoil surrounding the Google Reader. Some discussion over RSS as a standard continues.

Can Twitter replace RSS?

A vast majority of people are of the opinion that the micro-blogging platform ‘Twitter’ can act as an effective replacement to RSS. This is far from being true in my opinion, simply because Twitter is a web service, and it is not an open standard. RSS, when compared to Twitter, could be like a webpage where anybody could create and host their own personalized feed allowing anybody to read it. This is not possible in twitter as you do not have any control over your feed, and the service does not allow you to host your own custom feeds. In short, Twitter is a closed standard and as a result, it is an unlikely replacement for Google Reader.

Real-time versus time-shift

There is another major issue when it comes to replacing Google Reader with Twitter. While on the outside, both may seem to perform the same functions, they are quite different in reality. Twitter feeds are usually real-time as opposed to the time-shifted nature of RSS. It’s quite difficult  to follow every single tweet all day. Also, it is hard to access an old tweet using twitter. RSS on the other hand, can provide organized information for easy access, at any given point of time. So, replacing Google Reader with Twitter can be difficult. It is better to look for an open standard as a replacement for RSS, since it is the backbone of sharing information on the web.