Common Misconceptions Digital Marketing

If you understand what electronic marketing is, you must understand exactly how efficient it has come to be today. Well, in some cases it is discovered that novices encounter a couple of typical mistaken beliefs regarding electronic marketing. And also inevitably, they have to taste early defeat in this tough market. Believe it or otherwise, I have actually likewise gone through the very same situations. This is why; I feel I should inform you exactly what factors can largely have negative impacts on your electronic media advertising initiatives.

It is no doubt that in this innovation driven globe, electronic media based marketing has given the business development a brand-new improving towards faster development. But following are some typical errors that a newbie should stay clear of:.

Greater time consumption versus less outcomes: The first thing that lets down a newbie is time versus outcomes. It is a fact that there is hardly any route to success (other than pay-per-click advertisement) in the electronic or the online marketing ball! When you start to start market your company online, you need to stand and also watch for outcomes for some time. After a few end results, rework on technique could lead to expected outcomes. However this does not indicate that you need to stop working on electronic media based advertising schemes. Something you need to bear in mind or communicate to your superiors that outcomes of digital marketing visit for a long time. As soon as the flow of company beings, it does far a lot better in profits collection compared to off-line marketing procedures.

It is as well technical and also hard to track or gauge: I can personally tell you that I have actually come across folks that merely attempt to void electronic or online marketing as it is a bit technological. A few of my friends and even clients are heard to claim, “You folks much better recognize factors as you have the technical know how”. However let me inform you my friends, I am not at all technical individual and also I do not hold any type of technological level. Yet, Goggling around as well as with the help of several of my friends, I am now conveniently managing my own website’s online marketing process. And talking about the tracking procedure, I could state there are so many tools to evaluate and also trace the outcome of your electronic advertising efforts. For instance, there are lots of keyword analysis tools that assist you recognize the best key phrases or phrases that would certainly assist you move forward and outperform your rivals on Google search results page.

You need to spend lump sum cash for success: One more obstacle that can really affect a novice to take the very first firm step in the domain name of electronic or online marketing is a money problem. Some folks have a large mistaken belief that digital or online marketing implies a financial investment of a considerable part of your advertising and marketing budget plan. Yet this is not at all important. Whether you use any kind of digital marketer or on your own begin to operate in this domain, quite nominal investment can begin revealing you greater results. You can anticipate far better results from other standard advertising schemes even. There are many cost-free techniques that can be executed to obtain firsthand outcomes.

SEO is going to die so stop this nonsense: There are many Big Brothers which have expanded some deep know-how in themselves regarding Google and also Search Engine Optimization. They have the judgment – Google now does not allow or follow typical methods of optimization of website page (Meta tags, material and so on) so it is not necessary to invest your cash in electronic or online marketing (INTERNET MARKETING is definitely the part of it). It would certainly be far better to adhere to other strategies. These sorts of fertilization are just false impressions concerning digital advertising and marketing! The on-page SEO (working with Meta and also content) still has importance to Google and other online search engine. Those ploys lead search spiders to index as well as show the most effective results against the customer queries. Yes, INTERNET MARKETING methods are coming to be advanced to bring the most effective result in the customers and also it is not visiting die till the search engines are in the marketplace.

Social networking is all electronic or online marketing: In this age of ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘exactly what’s Up’ individuals are increasing a deep false impression in themselves. They have actually started to believe that social media sites marketing is overall in electronic advertising. If you can market you company in social stations, you then do not need to do anything else. But also for the novices I need to claim, quit thinking also! If you search, you would certainly locate there are a lot of other strategies that help in bringing outcomes. Do not indulge your time completely on social media sites advertising. For instance, you have to recognize and work on making your online presence mobile friendly to get to the best variety of folks. And to do that, you need to understand some crucial methods that stand as a part of digital media based advertising.

Well, there are many various other false impressions regarding electronic marketing procedures. Yet I have attempted to put forward only 5 misconceptions that should lead a novice to defeat! I have directly charred my nail falling in a few of such damaging misconceptions. So I think, everyone must look into well as well as learn the fact. There are many blog sites of experts that can assist a newbie to success in electronic and also online marketing. As an example, Google’s Spokesperson Mr. Matt Cutts has a blog where he shares his great thought and feelings on electronic and also online marketing good practices. Such blogs and aids are numerous and also list below those, success is expected to come for a novice. I desire the above factors would assist you all be successful in avoiding typical mistaken beliefs of electronic advertising. Know the fact and get the success.

How To Prove The Value Of SEO

Having a tough time communicating the value of SEO to your C-Suite? Erin Everhart provides some tips on how to tackle this common issue.

We’ve come a long way as an industry.

Since our humble beginnings in 1995 – arguably the birth year of SEO — to the serious identity crisis we’re in today, it’s sometimes easy to forget how much progress we’ve actually made in making this a “legitimate marketing tactic.”

We’ve moved past the hat identifiers and (most of us) have given up spam tactics. We’re better than keyword stuffing and keyword density, over-optimized anchor text and the mentality that “links aren’t for driving traffic, just providing link juice.”

The number of people that call SEO a Jedi magic trick are dwindling every day, but that far from means they get it. They may recognize SEO as important, but when it comes to allocating budgets or making business decisions about the website, it’s usually the first thing to get pushed to the side.

That just means we have to fight harder to prove SEO’s value – and thankfully, we have the data to prove it. Now, it’s about using it correctly to tell the right story.

Drowning In Data

The amount of data we have available to us as SEOs is both helping and hurting us. On one hand, we have more actionable proof that what we’re doing drives more traffic, engagement and revenue than most marketing channels out there. Entries, visits, instances, page views, bounce rate, exit rate, pathing, conversion rate, AOV, revenue – each is important in their own regard, as they each tell a slightly different story.

The problem is that we have no idea what to do with it, so we end up reporting on every number available, which is both meaningless and will fall on deaf ears.

No one likes data as much as SEOs (especially the C-suite), so if you go into a meeting armed with 15 different numbers, you’ll be on the receiving end of a handful of blank stares. Reporting on everything is meaningless. Just because you have the numbers doesn’t mean you have to use them.

Isolate & Dominate Your Base Metric

The best way to avoid this data puke (hat tip to Avinash Kaushik for coining the phrase) is isolating your most important metric or metrics and only reporting on that. Most of the time, that’s going to be:

  • Organic revenue
  • Visits compared to last month
  • Visits compared year-over-year

Regardless of whether things are up or down, some of your stakeholders are going to want to know why — and that’s where you can either keep your supporting metrics in your back pocket or put them in an addendum to your main report.

A good rule of thumb whenever you’re reporting is to start with the highest level possible (revenue and visits) and then drill down to the metrics that support that story.

Relate Back To The Overall Business

Every marketing segment gets stuck in their own world, and far too often we search marketing professionals only think about SEO. We view it and report on it myopically, without thinking of the overall business impact.

Now that you’ve isolated organic visits and revenue, the next step is comparing that to overall traffic and the other individual traffic-driving channels. Saying that SEO accounted for $20,000 in revenue in great, but showing that SEO accounts for 45% of your total revenue is an even more powerful statement.

The same goes for the reverse if you’re showing the negative impact of what happens if you stop doing SEO. Don’t just show loss of ranking or traffic and how that affected just organic search. Show the bigger picture – how the lack of SEO has impacted the whole business — and you’ll have an easier chance of fixing the problem.

Remember: SEO Extends Offline

According to its annual multi-channel shopping survey, PWC found that 88% of US respondents first research online before buying a product, where they’ll either buy it online, buy online and pick up in the store, or go to the store and then pick it up.

SEO plays a key role in that. If you’re not ranking while people are researching, you’re immediately out of consideration for when they decide to buy the product offline. Customers can’t buy what they can’t find, so whenever you’re showing revenue, don’t forget to mention the assumed offline impact that SEO brings for the online researchers.

Getting hard data on those numbers is murkier, because alas, we can’t have cookies following them and tagging their source code when they’re note wired into the Internet.

How else can you prove SEO’s value to your overall business?

 

Source: http://searchengineland.com

5 Social Marketing Tactics That Need to Be Retired

Marketing has, thankfully, evolved since the dark, early days of social media. Back then we were stumbling newborns, desperately crawling and clinging to anything that would get us those coveted likes and shares. Companies just weren’t sure how to market using this new media, and so many committed huge gaffs like hijacking trending tags or blasting updates every hour. Some lessons have, thankfully, sunk in, and most brands now know how to behave on social media. But in researching this article, I found a five hackneyed, tired tactics that are still being used, and that need to be put to rest.

Let’s play a game…

This is starting to die out, but some smaller businesses still use it so I feel it’s worth mentioning. Now, I don’t mean sweepstakes or contests or anything like that. Rather, I can’t stand games created as an obvious, last-ditch effort to create engagement – something like ‘Can you name a business that doesn’t use an A in its name?!’ Yes, I can. But what possible reason do I have for writing it in the comments? How does this have anything to do with your wider marketing strategy? A crummy game is not the way to boost visibility.

Click-baiting

I understand that people are split on click-baiting, and I do understand why news and article aggregators like Buzz Feed and UpWorthy do it. They are driving an audience to a light, simple, easy topic, and raking in the ad revenue. But, for most companies, click-baiting makes absolutely no sense. I know it’s hard to drive traffic to company blogs or smaller articles, but writing everything under headers like ‘What our CEO says about fiscal solvency will change your life!’ is not the answer. Even if you do see a small uptick in traffic, people are going to catch on and stop clicking.

Look at me!

It is absolutely and perfectly acceptable to post pictures of your office and staff on your feeds – in fact, I recommend it. What’s not okay is polluting your feeds with nothing but these pictures. I think the problem lies in initial reaction, rather than vanity. A CEO will want to post the picture of an office party, and a bunch of people like, share, and comment. Then they say okay, well let’s post pictures of people working. Next it’s the CEO, hanging out in the office, or someone’s kids visiting. Eventually their social feeds are nothing but pictures of people looking exasperated and bored.

Hashtag Overload

#We #all #want #our #content #to #be #seen. But throwing a hashtag in front of every, single word of every, single update is not going to drive traffic. In fact, you are shooting yourself in the foot by using too many hashtags. Hashtags should be used, but sparingly, and only when relevant to the content or status you’re posting. Not only will this help up engagement, but your hashtag campaigns will be way easier to track, and you’ll start to make an impact on the larger social communities built around those tags.

The Selfie

Selfie-based marketing reeks of corporate pandering. I can just imagine a 40 year old executive, telling the boardroom that their teenage daughter takes selfies all the time, and how they should capitalize on that. It’s a desperate, obvious attempt to force people to engage with your brand, and even if it does increase chatter, it just looks tacky. Wheat Thins was actually dealt some heavy criticism for their own, arguably failed attempt to capitalize on the selfie. Selfies are meant to be fun, spontaneous ways to capture of a moment, but when you try to force branding into it, that spontaneity is lost and all you’re left with is a boring picture with an oversized box of crackers.

Now, I know that there are marketers out there who will disagree with my list, and there are people who will be upset that I called out one of their favorite tools. Heck, I admit that I’ve used a couple of the above myself. But one of the coolest things about social marketing is how quickly it evolves, and I’m hoping that, as things change, the above five tactics will finally be put out to pasture. Trust me, we’ll all be better off without them.

 

From http://www.socialmediatoday.com/

What the Ice Bucket Challenge Can Teach Us About Engagement

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been the viral event of the summer, but what can it teach social media marketers about engagement?

If you’ve paid attention to social media at all in the past several weeks, chances are you’ve seen video of everyone from Bill Gates to Oprah dumping buckets of ice water over their heads all in the name of a good cause. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been the viral event of the summer, just as bizarre as planking or the cinnamon challenge, but this time, the fad is for a good cause.

The Ice Bucket Challenge began in Boston in honor of Pete Frates, the 29-year-old former captain of Boston College’s baseball team who was diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) two years ago. The rules are simple; if challenged, participants have a choice: either douse themselves with a bucket of freezing water or donate $100 to an ALS charity.

President Obama chose the latter; however, most participants are choosing to do both. The results of the grassroots viral campaign have been astounding. The ALS Association reported $31.5 million in donations between July 29 and August 20 from both participants in the Ice Bucket Challenge and those who simply enjoyed the videos, a significant increase from just $1.9 million in donations during the same time period last year.

While the ALS Association has certainly benefited from the Ice Bucket Challenge, they didn’t launch it. The challenge is completely user-driven; however, social media marketers as well as fundraisers can take away a valuable lesson in grassroots marketing from the hottest campaign of the summer.

According to Gene Lewis, partner and chief creative officer of Digital Pulp, the secret to the Ice Bucket Challenge’s success is the fact that its call to action is nearly impossible to avoid.

“Like so many things that are simple and successful, the Ice Bucket Challenge now seems inevitable; it makes us all wonder why we didn’t think about trying something like it sooner,” he says. “It has the perfect mix of elements to make it viral: it’s fun (and funny), it’s personal and broadly relevant, it’s for kids and adults, it’s intensely shareable, and most critically, it includes a dare. And not just a simple text dare. When you’re challenged, you’re called out, on video, for the world to see. It’s not just a small status update that will soon pass – it’s a personal challenge that must be addressed.”

According to Bob Cargill, director of social media at Overdrive Interactive, another crucial aspect to the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge is its social nature. “What both social media marketers and fundraisers alike can learn from the success of this campaign is to realize that in the era of the selfie, more people than ever are glad to show off their support for a cause or passion for a brand, especially if they have something to gain in the process,” he says. The gain for the user, in this case, is to see him or herself as a part of the cause, namely “the personal satisfaction that comes from any philanthropic effort and the public acclaim they receive from their friends.”

And finally, a major aspect of the challenge’s impact stems from its brevity, explains Rob Moritz, managing editor of the social newsroom at Innocean USA. He says, “The key from a social media marketing perspective is the fact it only takes a few seconds to do — or watch — and generates consistently entertaining, super-short-form content that’s as easy to replicate as it is to share.”

Of course, the viral success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was completely unanticipated. And while social media marketers should surely note the psychology behind its success, they should also be wary of creating content with the intention of going viral, because the expectation all too often results in customer backlash. A safer solution is to focus on consistent production of brand-specific, quality content.

You can access the full article here

What Would a Real Business Do: Facebook

In terms of number of website visitors on a daily basis, it’s clear that Facebook far out distances other social networks. Consumers have made the site part of their everyday lives as they use it to keep tabs on friends, families and associates. In recent years, the company has become more aware of the need to bring in ad revenue. As a result of this, Facebook has been giving companies an increasing amount of access to users in terms of marketing opportunities.

Small businesses have options when it comes to promoting their business on the social network. Those choices seem to fall into two basic categories.

There is earned media where companies seek to build relationships with those that are socializing on the network. 2.) And then there is paid media where companies strategically place their content in areas where individuals will see it.
Earned media has distinct advantages. First, it is no to low-cost. Second, it depends on human interaction. That means that companies can get first-hand information on what customers want and may be willing to buy.
They can also use the social network to build brand loyalty, as consumers have the opportunity to interact socially on fan pages. This continual interaction works in the same way as repetitive messages delivered through media commercials. At least that’s the hope of companies relying primarily on earned media.

If there is any disadvantage to earned media, it is that its results aren’t immediately measurable. In addition to this, a considerable level of time and resources are necessary to build and maintain traction. Companies engaging in earned media on the social network, typically need to employ someone whose job is solely that kind of activity.
Because of the indirect nature of Facebook communication, sales efforts can be untargeted. Therefore, promotional campaigns focus their attention on getting Facebook likes, comments and shares. However, it’s unclear as to whether or not this kind of activity leads to more purchases of individual products and services.

Paid media allows companies to find the audience they want to communicate with and structure the promotion based on its peculiarities. In some cases, that advertisement can look like a social posting that any individual would compose to post in their news feed. In other cases, companies structure their advertisements so that they appear on the right side panel along with other promotions.

Paid media provides companies an advantage because of the targeting feature. Companies are able to decide on who their message will reach and subsequently lower the effective cost of their promotions. In addition to this, promotional campaigns on Facebook are both testable and tractable. This allows companies to work on their advertisements until they resonates with the right audiences.

If there is a downside to using paid media on Facebook, it is 1) the learning curve necessary to find the right audience and 2) the tailoring process of the advertisement to the buyers. However, this can be overcome, if the money spent on less than high-performing ads is considered to be market research. A certain level of research is always necessary before knowing if an advertisement will actually work with a particular audience. This is especially true of Facebook paid media.

Companies should use a mixture of both paid and earned media. Depending on the goal of a company’s particular promotion, they should work to determine the combination based on the velocity of results needed. In other words, when sales are desired quickly, then companies should lean more towards using paid media. When sales are secondary to relationship building then the company should lean more toward using earned media as a way of building a platform to sell.

How to Generate Leads Using Your Website

Most businesses have a standard website that displays their hours of operation and directions on where prospects can go to make purchases. While these websites are effective in getting people the information they need quickly, it’s also prudent to use some of the space to generate leads.
When a potential customers come to your website, you can get statistics on what they did when they visited. You can also find out what pages they were most interested in clicking on.

Identifying Your Visitor

However, you will probably not be able to identify them by name. The fact of the matter is that your website visitor has to give their permission in order for you to contact them. Every website visitor has a right to their privacy.
As a result, you can have a positive effect on your business of getting people to visit your website, while simultaneously having the negative effect of being unable to benefit.
This would be comparable to someone coming to your store location or office, and leaving again without giving you their name and/or telephone number for you to contact them again. You would never find out what they were truly interested in and or what may have caused them to go away without making a purchase.

The Contact Database

However, you can build your business and counter act this occurrence by collecting the names and e-mail addresses of your website visitors. Depending on what the jargon is in your particular industry, this collection process is called your contact database.
In other words, when a person comes to your website, you are giving them the opportunity to access to something that you’re offering in exchange for their contact information. As soon as they give you their name and e-mail address it’s subsequently stored in a contact database online.
This way of collecting contact information, is one of the improvements that business has seen since commerce began to be transacted online. In times past, business owners would have to extract information from the sales process to ask the buyer for their contact information.
Prior to the 1990’s, there were only one or two ways for a business to contact their customer to promote more products and services to them. Business had to mail something to the prospect or they had to make telephone calls to them.

Fast forward to the 2010’s. If you were to look at recent statistics, neither have been traditionally very successful in being able to reach buyers to convince them that a purchase favorable to them. However, most business communication today takes place using e-mail.
E-mail allows a customer or prospect to be contacted, while giving them the ultimate level of freedom. A consumer doesn’t have to open an e-mail, unless they so desire. To use email along with their website, businesses work with local marketing consultants in order to set up visible contact forms where prospects can type their name and e-mail address in order to receive more information.

What to Do About Falling Sales

When you notice that your sales lower then you are feel they should be, you will need to take action quickly. However, the common reaction is that your company may not be getting enough traffic to your location or to your website.

While that may be true, there are other things to observe prior to spending more financial resources on traffic. In fact, you’ll benefit most from looking at some fundamentals before you consider attracting new customers to your business. One of the most commonly overlooked fundamentals is the location’s conversion rate.

The conversion rate is important because it tells you exactly how many of the prospects and visitors that are converted into paying customers. If you don’t know what this number is then your first action point is to implement a suitable tracking system. Without tracking your results, you won’t know what to do when you see indicators such as falling sales, decreasing profits or steep declines in prospect levels.

If you notice that the conversion rate is falling in concert with the decline in sales, then you have found your culprit. However, the action that you need to take, will have nothing to do with attaining more traffic. You will need to work on your sales process.

You want to find out what is happening on an everyday basis, to cause your company to have less sales than in the past. Do you have an employee that is less productive than they have been in the past? Is there something happening at a particular time of day that causes your buying customers not to come to your location? Is there something happening on your website, that is driving people away? All of these are possible scenarios that would cause your conversion rate to fall. Your job as a business owner, is to act as a detective and find out what the cause of the declining conversion rate is.

Once you’ve narrowed down the problem, it will be time for re-training in basic sales principles. You want your store employees, not only to avoid the mistakes that caused the decline in sales revenue, but you’ll also want them to be on the lookout for opportunities to generate more income.

This may mean that you’ll need to consider some kind of incentive for your employees to go above and beyond their normal responsibilities. If your sales are flat or declining, make sure to ask your employees what the company can do to generate more sales?

Typically if you’re having a motivation problem, your employees will take the opportunity to let you know at that time. Upon asking them the question; they choose not to answer you probably have a different problem. It’s likely that your current staff may be indifferent about looking for sales opportunities.

This will definitely require you to be creative in putting the right systems in place to give them motivation to sell more. Consider using a system that allows for front line employees to benefit when the store experiences increased sales activity.

The New SEO

Google has once again changed the way that businesses make themselves visible in search engines. For the last 10 years, Google has set the rules for visibility across all search engines. The reason for this is that Google users visit its website 66% percent of the time that they are looking for information in search engines. As a result, companies focus their efforts on being visible in Google assuming their efforts will have similar effects on other sites.

For most of the years that Google has made its search engine available to business websites, it was done so based on the ‘keywords’ that users would type in. In other words, when a user was looking for a plumber in Chicago, they would go to the search bar and type in “plumber Chicago”.

Then Google would return what it said to be the most relevant results for that phrase. Companies that did a good job of making their websites appear relevant to Google’s search engine robots (called its algorithm) would be visible as one of the first 10 listings on the first page of results that a user would see.

In the last five years, companies have been competing for those top 10 spaces on the first page in their local market or area of expertise. Most of the time they would employ consultants that understood how keywords work and how the algorithm interpreted them. These consultants would structure the website and have experts write out web page content on behalf of their clients.

They would also make the website look authoritative in the eyes of its algorithm also. They would do this by making sure that there were enough websites linking to it hinting also at the fact that they were relevant. In other words, companies and their consultants would make sure that there were enough votes from other website owners saying that this was relevant for a particular line or phrase of search.

However, over the last three years, Google has begun to dismantle this way of its algorithm determining which sites were most relevant. It was the belief of engineers at Google, that there were companies that were ‘gaming’ the system and exploiting its weaknesses. Therefore, they began to systematically eliminate the advantages of those that appeared to be involved in this activity.

This meant that companies that appeared on the first page of Google for their business term, in some cases slid back to the last page. Some companies disappeared altogether from Google’s search results. This was disastrous for some of those businesses.

Think about what would happen, if the main way that people found out about what you offered was suddenly turned off. Think of what that might do to the amount of foot traffic that ended at your door. Think of all those that would never consider you, otherwise.

This meant that companies needed to themselves visible in different ways. As the 2010s approached, these small businesses started to explore the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LInkedIn as a way to reach new customers. The logic was that if customers were on these sites, then they needed to be there to meet them. Of course, since that time, most businesses have made it their priority to have a presence on the social media sites also.

Social media provides a different kind of opportunity for businesses to make themselves visible on the web. Often, their customers and or prospects come in contact with them because someone shares information that they have made available. In other words, social media allowed companies that understood how it worked to make themselves available to individuals through the personal online networks of social media users.

This sharing process then hit the radar of Google. Their assumption was that if people were sharing content among each other, then it was likely to be relevant for its topic area. Therefore, in the mid-2011’s, Google Incorporated this activity into its search engine results.

Marketing consultants called this social signals. It was a term that meant that the more people got involved with a company and its information on social media that this was a signalof its relevance. Therefore, the more social activity that Google detected from companies and their products and services, the higher they began to write them on their result pages.

This factor was a little harder for individuals to “game” the system. When something began to be mildly popular or relevant, people talked about it on their social media accounts, they shared it with their friends and they voted it (liked) as being worthy of their time. This is still an important factor in search engine results as of this writing.

Fast-forward to 2013, where convenience for users has taken center stage on the web. Although Internet users are just as active as they have always been their desire is to do more on their terms with maximum convenience.

Instead of accessing websites through their home computer, users are visiting websites using their mobile device. (Smart phone, iPhone, tablet, etc.) And as their computing has grown more convenient, they are now desiring their search experience become the same thing. Google has taken note of this trend.

In 2012, they began to initiate searching on its site that could be completed by a user speaking its search. While PC users could do this on their laptop and desktop computers, voice search’s main benefits were directed toward mobile device users. Google’s desire was for searchers to be able to ask the search engine a question and to get the answer that they wanted from the search engine results that were presented to them.

While this was an advance in technology and marketing, it wasn’t quite a full experience for the person looking for information. The search results that the person received on their mobile device where the same as the ones that they would have received on their PC, if they had typed in their search years prior to that time. It was the same search formula: all of the information that a user received was based on keyword use, link authority and relevance.

It is for this reason that Google recently updated their search engine robot (algorithm). They wanted to make the search experience as convenient as all other computing was becoming, yet even more effective. The innovation that an individual could pick up their mobile device and ask the search engine a question was the starting point for their most recent change.

Marketing consultants and search engine experts are now using Google’s codename when referring to the change. Called “Hummingbird”, the change gives users more of the answers they seek, rather than the keyword based information they’re looking for.

It’s uncertain at this time, whether or not the algorithm is doing this accurately. However, their decision to move their business is likely to be final. There truly is no going back to the old way of looking for information based on keywords.

Local marketing consultants, have been ahead of this change. Many have been putting blueprints in place anticipating a major change like this. Having kept up with the clues that Google has been giving, marketing consultants had been noticing the changes that gradually came and incorporated them into the way they advised their clients.

In fact, the announcement didn’t necessarily catch local marketing consultants off guard. While no one knew the nature of Google’s change, marketers were already preparing to work in this new environment with new search algorithms.

If you’re working with a local marketing consultant that understands these changes fundamentally, not only are you unlikely to see any loss in search results, but you may in fact see increases in activity. The reason for this is simple. Consultants have been advising their clients since 2011 to become more socially oriented online in their activities.

This means that companies should have already established their presence on the major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Google Plus. These same companies should have gone even farther and begun to connect with customers, prospects and partners on these networks. If that is the case, they may have seen some favorable treatment in the search engines, as well as an increase in activity on their websites.

How to Market Your Business in a Downturn

Define Your Position

When economic times are tight, companies must be smart in their marketing and promotion The income that was easily earned in years past now requires double the effort. Companies are now fighting fiercely to acquire customers and laboring hard to keep them.

Is the answer to difficult times more foot traffic? Do companies need to pay closer attention to social media? Should they be investing in an SEO program? Are they ready to attract new customers with mobile marketing? While all of these channels are good places to find new avenues of customer attraction, they may be unreliable upon in tightening economic conditions.

Be forced launching new programs in those areas, companies must make sure that their marketing structure is in place. The marketing structure will provide the right channels for all of the other marketing activity. Without the structure, the channels mentioned above may work temporarily but won’t provide you with consistent and predictable profits.

In addition to this, it’s important to note that 5 to 7 years ago. These factors would not have been mentioned in what experts defined as a typical company’s marketing focus. You would not have heard about ‘mobile marketing’ as a channel. Neither would you have heard about social media. These channels would not have defined your context for marketing.

This is important to note the marketing landscape is likely to change just as dramatically in another five to seven years. What new channel will consumers use to buy goods and services? How will they entertain themselves? Where will they hang out? These are all questions that none of us can answer today with certainty. In effect, the marketing channels of today may not be required for success in another 5 to 7 years.

What will be important is the structure that makes these channels work so very well. The foundation in that structure is that a company must first define their position in the marketplace. While that principle is much discussed, it is typically not practiced by small and solo businesses. Companies that can answer the question of why should a buyer should come to their location will have successfully defined a important position in the marketplace.

What is your marketing position? Do you know why customers have bought from you and not from competitors like you? If your company is an online business, why did your customers choose to make their purchase from your website and not from one of the thousands of others like it?

Answering these questions will help you to determine where you have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Most importantly, it will let you know what space you’re taking up in the mind of your buyers. When your buyers think of the products and services you offer, you want them to think of you. Moreover, you want them to come to you for reasons other than “saving money”.

This will not be possible in some cases, especially if you are the lowest cost provider of your product or services in your local area. However, that will be rare among small businesses to take that position. You must seek a specific position in the mind of your customer and allow them to buy from you on a basis other than low price. When you have defined that reason, you will be well on your way to building the right foundation for your position which will give you an advantage in tight times.

What Would a Real Business Do: Educational Marketing

Deepening on what your business sells, you can keep existing clients engaged and win new clients by educating them. If you can determine what their most frequently discussed problems are, then you can get their attention by demonstrating your understanding of them. You can win new clients by providing solutions for those same problems. Educating clients keeps them inside of your marketing funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.

One of the great things about educational marketing is that it does not rely fully on your sales message. It relies heavily on your research of your customers’ problems and your ability to articulate your understanding to them. Once customers feel as if you “get” them, they will be much more open to hearing about the features of your product.

Traditionally companies have used webinars in order to educate their prospects and customers. Webinars are, as their name implies, web seminars. They allow the presenter to show an audience online what is on their computer screen while communicating with them audibly/verbally.

In order to attend the webinar, individuals must sign into a facility online. Some companies use that opportunity to double as an opt-in. Therefore, when the webinar attendee adds their name and e-mail address to the webinar company’s sign up form, a third party script is then used to have that same mail and name transferred to an autoresponder like Aweber or Constant Contact.

The difficulty in this method is that the attendee only expects to sign up for the educational webinar. They do not necessarily expect to be added to a marketing list. Companies that begin to market to these individuals using their autoresponder could irritate them. However, some marketing experts have countered this with the fact that that if an individual leaves or unsubscribes from a mailing list for this reason, they are unlikely to have ever become a paying customer anyway.

Once on the webinar call, it is the presenter’s job to clearly state the problem as they understand it. While doing so, the presenter should be asking their audience for feedback. Are they stating the problem correctly? Do they understand the depth of it and what it means to the attendees? These are all things that should be answered at the very beginning of the webinar.

The company should then discuss what will happen if the problem being discussed gets worse. Examples should be provided of those that have experienced this worsening condition. This is an important aspect of the presentation, although the goal should ultimately be education. If there is to be any subtle selling activity in an educational webinar, it should be the discussion of what would happen if the problem persists or gets worse.

Once the presenter has thoroughly discussed the problem in terms that the attendees understand, a solution should be provided. While the solution is likely to be a product or service that the company offers, it does not have to be. If the goal of the webinar is to build relationships because of the education, then the presenter could direct them to helpful resources regardless of their source. Of course, this would build trust and give the customer the impression that the company’s first concern is their well-being.