• ONline marketing and the small business owner

    What does It Take to Build a Successful Online Marketing Strategy?

    What is successful online marketing? We all like to get what we want RIGHT NOW.

    • We want information so we go to the internet and search for it and get what we want RIGHT NOW.
    • We want to re-supply our cupboards and cabinets so we reach out via phone or computer and get it ordered with the touch of a few buttons RIGHT NOW.
    • We want to watch a certain show or movie so we use a provider, a recording, or an on-demand feature and get it RIGHT NOW.

    We are certainly getting used to the RIGHT NOW lifestyle. But not all things work that way and an effective and successful online marketing and social media strategy for your business is one of them.

    The difference for online marketing and social media

    While you might get responses pretty quickly when you start posting and tweeting, to get the results that will provide a good ROI, you have to start and build. Just like babies must crawl before they walk and walk before they run, effective social media marketing is built in much the same way.

    Planning and establishing specific goals at the onset will help you streamline what it is you want to achieve and give you the benchmarks needed to measure your progress.

    Step 1 – Develop your stage

    A business must build a stage using social media channels that are going to best serve its goals. Not every business benefits from Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Knowing who your target market is and where they hang out are two questions that will answer which channels your business should develop. Identify the platforms and set up accounts and profiles that reflect your business, your purpose, and give hints as to the kind of participation you will have in the online venue.

    Step 2 – Build a presence

    This is where online marketing really begins. Through posting and interacting with others, you let them know you are there. You share your knowledge, ask for input, respond to posts, and, in general engage in the give and take of conversation and community. This is very much like striking up a conversation with a customer in a retail situation. You want to get to know them more so you can best serve their needs. They want to know they can trust you and believe you will do what you say you will do. It requires conscious effort and time but is well worth the time and effort it takes.

    Step 3 – Develop campaigns

    Once you have a following you can then begin to provide offers and build campaigns to create funnels to feed your goals. There are different kinds of goals in different campaigns. You could be working to drive people to your website, have a goal of people signing up for a mailing list, or actually making a purchase.

    Step 4 – Measure and refine (or revise)

    There is no escaping the fact that every business has to go through each of the steps to build successful online marketing. And then, in order to truly be efficient and effective, you have to measure your results and do more of what works and create new options that will directly affect achievement of the goals you set.

    It’s important to note that there is not a given 1-2-3 magic formula that fits every business. Each business has its own offerings, goals and unique flavor. That’s why measuring the results and then refining the online marketing campaign is so important, second only to having an established plan and set of goals to be achieved.

    And, because we live in a RIGHT NOW world, everyone has to realize that achieving online marketing goals takes time. Here at NuMedia Marketing, we know that is a challenge for many business owners. They want results, RIGHT NOW.

    Smart business owners know that besides getting to the goals you want, online marketing is based on establishing relationships with potential clients out in the online community. They know that long-term relationships mean sales now and down the road. It just takes an investment of time and the patience to build it and set it in motion.

    For the best results, small business owners should take the time to …

    • Determine who they want to reach
    • Know why they want to reach them
    • Pinpoint what they want them to do
    • Figure out the best way to get them to do it
    • Set benchmarks and ways to measure their success
    • Analyze what is, or is not, working
    • Make adjustments to make everything work better

    Start at the beginning and understand that online marketing is not a sprint to the finish line. No, online marketing is a long-distance strategy that can serve you well given time and patience. You are putting effort into building a long-term business, so do the same with your marketing. Contact NuMedia Marketing today.

  • accomplice-handshake

    Looking For An Accomplice

    “When we ask advice we are usually looking for an accomplice.”
    — Charles Varlet de La Grange, 1639-1692

     

    I doubt Chuck had internet marketing specifically in mind at the time, but his words regarding the accomplice still ring true. It’s uncanny just how many stories circulate about a business contacting one marketing firm after another looking for someone to agree with some really poor marketing concepts or some really “slick” new way to work around internet standards or best practices in hopes to promote their business for little effort and often even less cost.  (We’re not talking about shoe-string marketing and startup practices. After all, a lot of shoe-string and elbow-grease can go a long way at times… but that’s another topic.)

    The fact remains that people are generally unwilling to invest in businesses or organizations that aren’t willing to invest in themselves. And why should they? If those businesses or organizations don’t believe in themselves enough to make a personal investment… how can they honestly expect someone else to do so?

    Turn to a Trusted Adviser

    When you’re looking to grow — personally or professionally — turn to a trusted adviser rather than looking for an accomplice. It’s far more rewarding to work with other professionals who will listen, share your vision and work diligently with sound, proven experience. This is particularly true when you’re developing new and innovative strategies. In these situations a business is working in new, unknown territory and it’s particularly helpful when your adviser recognizes the landmarks and knows just how to navigate the known territories. Minimize the risk. Don’t look for an accomplice. Find a trusted adviser who will challenge you to even bigger, better and more rewarding goals to make your vision a reality.

  • Blog Post Timeliness

    Blog Post Timeliness

    In some moments, I still find it hard to believe that it’s actually 2016. The fact it’s actually the end of January, 2016 and my last personal business blog post was more than a year ago sparks a reminder that blog post timeliness is important. There are so many news, events and insights we promoted throughout 2015 for so many clients, yet not one for NuMedia Marketing. Shame on us.

    The professional team working at NuMedia Marketing understands the importance of accuracy, search engine optimization, trending and… timeliness.  If blogging doesn’t come natural for you, we’d welcome the opportunity to learn more about how we can help you grow your business. But if you’re a natural at writing looking to get your feet wet and just need a few ideas for topics relevant to your business, consider trending. Knowing your audience is key to good communication and marketing efforts. One way to better understand your audience, is knowing what they currently consider to be valuable, interesting or popular. Did you catch the word “currently” in that last line? It’s pretty important. What’s currently popular online may also be referred to as “trending” online. So for a timely blog post, let’s try some trending topics using insights with Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more:

    Would it surprise you to learn that Tom Brady, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Peyton Manning and Broncos were trending yesterday? If not, then you certainly shouldn’t be surprised that Tom Brady isn’t trending at all for the moment.

    Blog Post Timeliness

    Once you know what’s trending, how do you pull it all together for a relevant post? First, know your audience. Look for trending topics they connect with regarding your business, then open up with a few insights. What may seem common and simple to you with all your industry knowledge, may just be the tidbit of insight they need most. With a little blog post timeliness you’re far more likely to connect with your audience or prospective customer in just the moment they need you most, too!

  • Refreshing, Isn’t It?

    The soft-launch of our new website is finally here! We’re not making a big splash as we continue to expand the site with new material reflecting more of the products and services we’ve been adding this past year. It’s certainly been challenging to keep up with it all, but there are still more great things coming soon and we appreciate everyone who has helped along the way. We cannot express enough thanks to our loyal clients who have allowed us to share in their success as we grow business together. THANK YOU!

  • survey-image

    90% of Small Business Use Social Media

    A recent survey indicates 90% of small business owners use social media and 74% of the survey respondents “percieve social networking as valuable — if not more valuable — than networking in-person. ” The survey also indicates that these businesses gain at least one quarter of new customers online.

    People are far more valuable that online networking. Without them, there is no reason to network at all. But when it comes to a successful business, generating as much qualified traffic to your business as possible is invaluable. You need to connect with the people that value your goods and services most.

    Learn More About the Survey Here

  • Let Your Customers Have Their Say on Your Website

    Want to give your website a boost? Think about testimonials.

    You’ve heard all the marketing talk about people relying on friends’ and family’s referrals for where they take their business. You know that “friends and family” has expanded to include those people who have never been met face-to-face, but are Internet connections.

    Hearing that a “regular guy” just like you had a great experience or got great service from a business goes a long way to generating that click to “contact us” you want to hear on your website.

    Of course, the testimonials have to be true … that goes without saying. However, there are a few things you can focus on to make them most effective:

    • Be specific. Exactly what service or product was used? Who exactly was the person that provided great service or help when it was needed most? What exactly was the outcome that was of benefit to the customer?
    • Be timely. Are there certain products or services that you provide on a cyclical or seasonal basis? Make sure the testimonials coordinate with those on your website. When it’s time to service snow blowers, you don’t want a testimonial about the great service you provide on lawn mowers.
    • Be local. If you are a business that focuses on the local market, note that the testimonials are local, too. Susie, in Avon says … can mean more than Susie says … From the local angle, potential customers know that the testimonial is based on local services and products AND that they are just like those he needs. Think about gardening zones. A gardener in Zone 5 (like in Central Indiana) is not going to want to hear much about what the gardener in Zone 10 (southern Florida) says. Don’t make the customer wonder.

    As a business owner, you want to provide the best you can to your customers – and you want your customers to appreciate it and spread the word – and they will. Help them do that by creating a SHORT survey with specific questions and asking them to complete it. Be sure you note that you want to use the information on your website and make sure they agree to that.

    Capture all the great things your customers say – and share them with all the potential customers who find you on the Internet.

  • What’s the Name and Image You’ll Hang Your Business Hat On?

    You’ve got a great idea for a business – some product or service that is going to rock the world. Great. Now what? 

    You’ve got to give it a name and an image (speaking visually here). Some business owners, like Razor Suleman, name their company and then later discover, oops, maybe that wasn’t really what my company is all about. In 2002, Suleman started I Love Rewards. As he grew, the company expanded and he discovered his customers – and potential customers – were confused. That is never a good thing. You can spend your time explaining what you REALLY do – or you can spend your time winning and servicing customers.

    So what you name your business and the logo you want to represent your business are important and require serious consideration – and development.

    • Being too abstract means customers won’t know what you do at a glance – and may just glance over your contact information.
    • Being too specific (as Suleman discovered) may pigeon-hole you.
    • Selecting a name that can be interpreted in different ways can be a problem, too. What really will you find at “The Hot Spot”?

    Likewise, the logo that is the visual label for your business is equally as important. That one image tells the story of what you (as the owner) are, what you provide and the way you work.

    Consider what these logos say to customers:

    • Ben Franklin holding a watch
    • A cuddly soft, cream colored teddy bear
    • A shark fin driving through open water

    Yes, a logo may be fun – or funny. Yes, a business name can be funny or a play on words – or even a word written in backwards order. But before you sign that paper or buy that domain or set up that first website, be certain the name and logo represent you and what you want your business to be today – and in the many years to come.

  • In the World of SEO, Two Things Ring True

    The SEO world is a topsy-turvy world of continual change. Those of us in it are accustomed to it, but for our clients, it is unnerving. We understand how you may feel, really, because we at one time or another felt the same way. That’s why I would give you a couple things to hang your hat on that have remained pretty constant in the SEO world:

    1. Good content rules. Through all the changes with Google and Panda and everyone else, one thing remains clear: useful and unique content has always been a benefit to sites and their SEO endeavors. Weak and “gaming” content is the target for many of the efforts by Google. They want to provide the best product they can find over the Internet to the people searching for it – isn’t that we all want?
    2. Expert voices cut through mire. Yes, keywords and long-tail phrases matter. However, when those are used by a site that has built up a good warehouse of information for the consumer, expert voices are established and become a resource. When the resource is acknowledged with links, the expert (and the site) gains even more credibility – and recognition by the search engines.

    As a business, you want to provide a product or service that you are proud of giving your clients. You spend hours and hours developing it and continually try to keep it current and fresh. The same is true for the Internet and search engines – and your website.

    The bottom line is that if you want to optimize search, you have to consider your web presence the same way you consider your products and services. Develop it by sharing the expertise and knowledge you have so anyone looking for help in your industry or niche will find you – on top!

  • Website design – less flash and more meat

    Why do you think prospective customers would come to a website and then leave (without so much as a squinch of time to leave a “Hey, how you doing?”)

    Two reasons come to top of mind.

    First and foremost – to keep web surfer’s interest, you have to be, well, interesting! If the site is lovely to look at but has no meat to it, it’s just not enough to keep anyone hanging around.

    Solve that by providing some useful and interesting content – landing pages or a blog. (It will also have a positive impact on your search results and traffic.)

    The second reason for quick defections: the site is difficult to navigate. In the language of web designers, it’s not “intuitive.” Surfers who have to search for navigation tools
    or can’t figure out how to access information are out the door. The other part of that is the speed of download. Videos, tons of pictures and content can be pretty and flashy, but might take a long time to load, which prospects might be unwilling to wait for so they’re gone before the site even comes up.

    The words of wisdom here: just like in training, everything on your site must be user friendly and purposeful – and geared toward the visitor.Turkey

    Just like you wouldn’t serve a turkey dinner to a pool party for 8-year-olds, don’t serve up a website that is flashy, shallow and slow if you want good results.