Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Your Business Needs YouTube Videos

The familiar YouTube logo and Vimeo name attract attention on the web - in 2010 alone, YouTube reached 2 billion video views per day. Consumers are comfortable clicking their computers, tapping their tablets and swiping their smartphones to access videos that provide meaningful or entertaining information.

So whether you're involved in B2C or B2B marketing, an audience - or even a community of viewers - likely exists for your online video advertising.

The Advantages
While a blog imparts information, video adds color, movement, sound and immediacy to your message.

• Imagine the impact of showing how your product works instead of just telling how it works.

• Web-based videos are "share"-ready, and the best or most unusual can go viral, giving you more online exposure.

• And in a media-friendly marketplace, you can create videos for the fraction of the cost of shooting a broadcast commercial or placing a radio ad.

If you spend any time on the web, you've likely downloaded YouTube or Vimeo videos for professional or personal viewing. If you take a moment to remember the best and worst you saw, how would you draw that distinction? It likely involves criteria like...

• Relevancy. When you see the title and description of a video, you have certain expectations when you click through to it. A video that doesn't fulfill the promise of the title is likely to generate ill will (and negative comments).

• Length. The average viewer's attention span is short. How short? According to the Tubemogul tracking service, about 10 percent of viewers click off the video after just 10 seconds, and more than half leave after one minute. Online video advertising that exceeds two minutes is at risk for losing viewership.

• Production values. Viewers can spot in an instant the difference between a grainy, shaky-cam video and one that runs smoothly, with a polished look and sound.

Getting the Most from Your Video
• Watch YouTube and Vimeo. Before you shoot, watch the kinds of videos your peers, competitors and customers are posting. Web videos often differ in style and tone from broadcast commercials.

• Create a series. Keeping each video short and to-the-point can help hold attention spans; YouTube limits video runs to 10 minutes. So rather than a lengthy product demonstration, cut the long presentation into a series of video clips that will load more quickly and impart the same information.

• Stress the benefits. This advice applies to all marketing, not just online video advertising. People respond better to benefits over features.

• Get close up. Your product or service deserves the star treatment. Use close angles and voiceover to help viewers understand what your company offers.

Getting Noticed Online
• Tag with care. Your video tags help search engines and visitors identify your video's content. Use the same SEO keywords you'd use in your blogs and website.

• Upload to your social networks. Promote your video by providing a link on your Facebook, Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn page. In some cases, you can embed the video right on the page, saving the viewer a step.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Advertise on Facebook

Business over the web is thriving these days. As a matter of fact, practically every company or even the typical businessman is building their own website to promote products or offer services. Online businesses thrive because majority of consumers today opt to do their shopping in the internet where there are basically more options and choices.

Now if you are one of those who wants to succeed in your business online, what you need are the right tools in internet marketing. While the term alone is vague and big enough to discuss here, it's actually a no brainer to include the most popular social networking site, Facebook as your greatest weapon in establishing a popular niche online. So here are the answers to the question: why advertise on Facebook?

It's the Most Popular Website

Aside from Google of course, Facebook is the most popular website online. Popularity in such magnitude means there are exactly 250 million unique visitors every month. Hence, you will likely get noticed in the site than any other websites out there considering that more people are likely going to see your page. And when people get to stumble upon your page, there's a greater chance of exposure for your advertisements as well.

Targeted Advertising

One particular feature ideal for online advertisers and marketers found in Facebook is called targeted advertising. With it, you can target and focus on a specific group of individuals to market your products or services. The parameters may include age, personal interest, gender, keyword, and others.

Better Chance at Customer Loyalty

Another good reason on why advertise on Facebook is the fact that you will have a good chance of increasing customer loyalty by creating fan pages. There are currently millions of online businesses today that have resorted to creating fan pages where users can freely join. With these pages, you are able to communicate and correspond with potential customers and in the process, build a bond with them.

Special Promotions

Aside from creating fan pages, another great benefit of using Facebook as an internet marketing tool is that you get to build special promotions as well. In order to do this, you must first create a fan page, which in turn can be used as the platform for promoting new product or perhaps unveiling advertisement campaigns. Special promotions also include daily updates on the products and services you are offering.

Facebook Advertising is Inexpensive

Furthermore, Facebook is originally intended for social networking - being able to socialize with other people over the web. Hence, it's not a profit oriented website since there are no signup and registration costs and fees. Accordingly, the targeted nature of its advertising prowess enables your online business campaign to reach a specific market with almost no cost. The affordable price allows for a range of packages depending primarily on your budget.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Unique Ways To Get People Talking About Your Business

When push comes to shove, consumers go with the names they know. If a company is not on their minds, it will not receive their hard-earned dollars. Make customers continue coming back by promoting the business in unique ways. The best promotional efforts subtly embed the company name in the minds of consumers. Without even realizing why, people will automatically reach out to the company when they are in need of what it offers.

The Website Is a Powerful Tool

A website has the potential to draw customers from all over the globe. Even a small business can harness the potential of a website, attracting customers day and night. Developing and maintaining a website that lands customers on a daily basis is not difficult to do. One method is to add an internal or external blog and start writing. Address the audience as if the experience were a normal face-to-face conversation and provide information that has substance such as tips about additional uses for products.

Tying the website to social media networks on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest develops a sense of community. Post status updates on social media sites and encourage customer comments. Listen to what customers have to say and respond to their questions and concerns. Keep asking for feedback because it will prove invaluable when refining products or services or developing new ones. Develop programs to recognize and reward consumers who contribute thoughts and suggestions via social media.

Customize Marketing Efforts

Prospects and customers are much more likely to pay attention to a marketing message addressed to their name rather than "Dear Valued Customer." It is easy and inexpensive to integrate information from customer mailing lists into marketing letters, postcards, and even email communications. This extra step can make a huge difference in the amount of new and repeat business. Recipients will take time to read and act on the promotional messages.

Show existing customers some appreciation by providing them with custom promotional products as a thank-you for their loyalty. Customers like the extra thought put into gifts that correspond with their interests and they will enjoy the personal touch that the customization provides. These gifts contribute to corporate branding by keeping the business on the mind of the recipient. They also show that the company values each customer as a unique individual.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Planning Trade Show Stand Giveaways? Questions To Ask Before You Spend The Cash

Most companies agree -- giveaways are an important part of a display for a trade show. However, these handouts and promotions aren't exactly cheap! Before you shell out thousands of dollars in trade show exhibit giveaways, ask yourself these questions.

Question #1: What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Before you can choose your trade show stand promotional materials, it's important to ask yourself what you want these giveaways to accomplish. If you want your item to be in constant use, giveaways such as personalized pens, post-its or notepads are excellent options. However, these promotional items will have limited space to personalize your message. If you're trying to share information about your company, it's a good idea to pair a small giveaway item with some printed material that tells visitors just what your business does.

Also, consider the shelf life of your giveaway. Some items, such as a candy bar with an imprinted wrapper, are meant to be consumed right away. While guests will likely love your treat (who doesn't like free chocolate?), they'll eat it and then throw the wrapper, with your contact information, away. Instead, look for a product that customers will be able to use over and over, like a coffee mug.

Question #2: What Do You Want To Give Away At Your Trade Show Stand?

Once you know what you want to accomplish with your trade show stand giveaways, it's time to decide what type of item you want to give away. Do you want to give out bigger items such as stainless steel water bottles or gym bags? Or are you looking for smaller things such as pencils or stress balls? If possible, tailor your promotional items to your industry. Knowing your industry and what type of items your customers prefer will definitely help keep them interested in visiting your display for a trade show. It's also important to choose something that you'd like to receive yourself. Before you pull the trigger and purchase your giveaways, ask the employees in your office to rank your top five choices. This can help ensure that you're buying something that clients will be excited to receive.

Question #3: What's Your Budget?

Budget matters! Chances are good that you're already spending a lot of money taking your trade show exhibit to an event. If you're working with limited funds, you're not alone, but that doesn't mean you can't afford to give your visitors a great giveaway. Look for something inexpensive, yet desirable, like a USB drive, a keychain bottle opener, car ice scrapers, clocks or pens. If you have a little extra room in your budget, look for a higher value promotional item, such as T-shirts, stainless steel water bottles or even a tote bag.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taking Your Bannerstands And Other Displays Outside: Tips For A Successful Outdoor Exhibit

It's easy to control your exhibits if you're going to an indoor marketing event. However, it's likely that you'll want to exhibit outdoors at least once. If you're planning on taking your bannerstands and other displays to an outdoor event, use these tips to help ensure that you have a successful event.

Consider A Canopy Over Your Tables

A canopy is vital if you're going to be outside. Canopies can provide a great deal of shade in the hot sun, but they can also help protect expensive equipment in case of an unexpected rainstorm. This will not only protect your own employees -- your canopy can provide a welcome refuge for attendees!

Use Bannerstands That Are Designed For The Outdoors

If you're tempted to use your regular bannerstands outside, don't! Instead, look for bannerstands that are designed to be used outside. These bannerstands are specially weighted on the bottom to protect them from strong winds. Also look for graphics printed with special inks that are resistant to UV rays -- these inks will help your graphics remain bright and vibrant, even after hours in the hot sun.

Plan A Trade Show Booth Design That Can Anchor To The Ground

Another thing you should do is to have your trade show booth design company come up with a display that can be easily anchored to the ground. Make sure to let them know that you're planning on using your exhibit outside and ask them for any special tips to keep your booth safe from a strong gust of wind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Successful Attendant Management for Product Launches

To help customers, event managers need to host a solution (event) that highlights the target markets need to improve, whether its sector knowledge, making new friends, integrating new trends through marketing or entertaining their target audience in new ways. Sometimes we have to highlight the requirement to improve by placing an idea into their heads, turning this new found recognition into an urgency to better their business or personal development.

The process we make to attend an event is as follows;

1. Realising the need to fix a problem.

2. Research into the ways on how to do so.

3. Comparing the alternative options.

4. Documenting the behaviour of audiences deciding to attend.(Peer influence and opinions play a huge part in this).

5. Reviewing the experiences gained from doing so. (Whether it was a positive or negative experience, deciding any future action with the event and its management. Do we estrange ourselves or stick with them?).

This structure is then edited by event managers to create a marketing initiative suited to the process of a decision maker, which is why social networks have become our best friends.

The power of technology for marketing hasn't gone unnoticed, but what we tend to forget is how much websites control and consume our information;

· We create multiple online profiles throughout the internet because websites ask us to, casually sharing our entire identity with strangers. Our occupations, salaries and personal information are no longer a secret.

· We target the search behaviours of our audiences because the internet documents them. Interest based targeting through cookie capture and questionnaire data on websites ask us for detailed information which is then published where marketers can track them.

· We optimise our websites with user search terms to suit growing trends relevant to our sector, because we can no longer research without Google, Bing or Yahoo.

· We listen to social opinions of strangers who claim to be- and sometimes are- experts. Their opinion and social status becomes more important than our own decisions!

Our social networking personas tell the world what we are looking for. We pour our groaning into statuses and make people jealous with our constant stream of social updates including images and videos. We brag, and this makes it pretty easy for marketers to find, analyse and pester us.

Our communities are made up of people who have the same interests as us and although we can very easily - and still do - search for an event that suits our notions, we are personally invited to events by our peers through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Trends and feedback now come to us in realtime, whether those experiences are a good thing or not.

How has this changed our attending behaviour?

Technology has given us the ability to ensure upcoming events are sector or socially worthy. Event feeds populate the web, influencing our ideas with extensive content which helps us compare multiple event options before we make the decision to attend. We skim through the comment feeds and attendant lists of online registration sites and also search into the past of event organisers and hosts through search engines.

· YouTube allows us to watch past events, gaining personal reviews of events from the online social public whilst also compiling our own thoughts based on films.

· Facebook allows us to follow venues and promoters who host those events we are interested in, meaning we get personal invites to events as they appear.

· Twitter gives us the chance to follow those we aspire to be and like, giving us a live feed of what they are up to, where they are and how they came to succeed. But Twitter also gives us the ability to manage issues in the real world, hash tagging our thoughts and events into the trending, following world.

But social media isn't the be all and end all as blogs review those events that make an impact on the real world, with articles showing up in our Google search results. They deliver an emotion to the information seeking public, deterring our thought process to become more analytical. This means that expert opinions and peer incentives are even more relevant for event managers when deciding to make your event stand out because finding an alternative has become very easy.

Blogs are our idea outlets. Their sour reviews amplify our cognitive dissonance which needs to be avoided if you wish to be an imperatively savvy event professional. The slander of a particular event could leave you with a lack of attendants. The event management company, host and venue could also be at risk of becoming socially downgraded with the disappointment of those attendants.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Foundations of Marketing

How to Market Your Business

Marketing is a crucial business function. Having a great product or offering an excellent service is very well, but if people are not aware of what you are offering they can't buy your products or use your services. Marketing refers to activities that determine and communicate the value of your product or service to customers.

The first step in effective marketing is identifying your customer. This can be done by determining the target customer's:

• Age group
• Sex
• Marital status
• Geographical location
• Income
• Occupation
• Level of education attained
• Interests
• Cultural and ethnic background

This is known as demographic information and is used to create a customer profile and identify the target market. Market research may be required to identify your target market and the needs of the people within it.

It is important to identify the needs of the target market in order to effectively communicate with potential customers. If you don't understand why people need or want your product, chances are that you won't be able to tell people why they should buy it. Understand these needs by asking questions like:

• How does my product or service help people overcome challenges in their daily lives?

• What do people expect from this type of product or service?

• What do people in this market segment desire?

• Where do they spend their money?

• What do they spend their money on?

• Which member or members of the household makes the spending decisions?

Conducting thorough market research gives you the information you need to make the right decisions for your business.

One of the cornerstones of marketing is the marketing mix, or the four Ps of marketing: product (goods or services), price, place, and promotion. These are the four main factors influencing the marketing decision.


Products fall into various categories:

• Mass produced (all identical) or custom (unique for each customer)

• New or existing

• Convenience goods (for example, bread or milk), shopping goods (such as jeans or shoes), specialty goods (for example luxury items that are bought as gifts or once in a while), unsought goods (something that is necessary but not particularly desired, such as emergency plumbing services)

Understanding which category your product falls into will help you to formulate a marketing strategy. Have your product tested to make sure there are no small things that may put customers off buying it.


The price should not be so high as to discourage buyers or so low as to make them think the product is inferior. Consider the cost of the production (including overheads), the existing market price, and what people can and will pay for similar products.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Eight Golden Rules of SMS Marketing

1. Never inundate your opt-ins with too many messages.

The general rule with text message frequency is no more than 4 a month. Anything above this amount will become an annoyance and run the risk of your customers opting out.

2. Always give the customer the option to opt out at any time.

Customers should always feel that they are in control of the experience and can opt out at any time. For both ethical and brand protection reasons no promotional text message should ever be sent without the functionality for the recipient to call a halt to further texts.

3. Always include an offer.

People want to be a part of exclusive clubs that receive special offers and discounts; they don't want to have their phone cluttered up with junk texts. Keep offering them value and they will remain opted in and buying from you.

4. Never send out messages outside of business hours.

As a general rule text messages outside of business hours, when consumers are relaxing or with their family, will seem intrusive. In some instances this can be stretched to 7pm or 8pm but it's safest to stick to the rule. As discussed above don't ever give your customers a reason to opt out.

5. Personalize your messages and use humor where appropriate.

If your software allows and you have the data try and include your customers name in the text message. Consumers want to feel special and that you are taking the time out to talk to them personally and not just as part of a mass marketing exercise. Humor also works if it's appropriate to the brand, the campaign and the audience.

6. Always be aware of other marketing efforts.

SMS marketing will rarely, if ever, be the only marketing activity that is being utilized by a business or brand. When planning a SMS marketing campaign make sure you are aware of all other marketing efforts and link in where possible.

7. Speak with a consistent voice that reflects the qualities of your brand.

Don't confuse your audience and dilute the power of your brand by speaking with different voices across the various marketing and advertising channels. If your business has spent a lot of time in building a friendly and playful tone for your brand, keep to this tone in all communications including SMS.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Content Should I Have on My Website?

If anyone should know your business like the back of your hand, it's you. But do you know your business' website just as intimately? If not, don't expect your site visitors to get to know it very well. In fact, they might not even stick around if it doesn't contain some very basic elements.

While there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all sitemap, there are certain types of content you should always consider putting on your site.

Here's the list:
  • About: Tell prospective clients a little about who you are. It doesn't need be too detailed; the idea is to build your credibility as an expert or thought leader in your field.
  • Team: Do your clients work closely with you or some of your staff? Providing background on your key players could be important, particularly in service industries. Again, you want to position your company as an industry leader, so highlight the team members who can help potential clients become leaders as well.
  • Process: Depending on your business, you may have a particular process in place that ensures your clients receive the highest value. If so, feature it on the website. An infographic is particularly effective.
  • Products/Services: People need to know what you offer. As much as possible, each of your products or services should have its own page (it's better for SEO). Because the web is a visual medium, images and graphics are helpful. Showing real products, staff and customers can position you as trustworthy and credible. However, if custom photography isn't in your budget, carefully selected stock photos can also enhance your product or service descriptions.
  • Industries: If you serve particular industries, make sure to promote that fact on your business website to build credibility in that industry. It can also be good for SEO.
  • Resources: Whether it's a blog, a list of whitepapers, videos or podcasts, providing useful content is great for SEO and for your clients. Just make sure everything is in a format your visitors can download. PDFs or streaming audio/video are preferable.
  • Contact: The more options people have to contact you, the more likely they'll be to do so. Don't bury your contact information. Many businesses include address and phone number at the bottom of each page.
  • Call to Action: This is perhaps the most important element of all. On each page, show your visitors what to do next, whether it's click on an email link to request more information, call now by phone or via Skype link, download a whitepaper after completing a contact inquiry or visit another landing page. After all, if you don't tell them what to do next, they may do nothing at all.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Targeting Social Media Markets After an Exhibition or Event

With many businesses using social media for marketing campaigns, it can also be used after an exhibition to report on increases in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media market not mentioned. In 2012 there has been an increase of 80% in businesses using social media in an exhibition or event.

We have compiled together a useful list of possible targets that you could use at your next event to identify success utilising a social media campaign with your next exhibition.

Which ones do I target?

Every business will have different measures or targets for a campaign and which social media they wish to target for their exhibition, depending on the chosen audience.

New members for Facebook, Twitter followers and incentives to encourage

Targeting Facebook is rewarding depending on the business and the campaign. Give out Facebook like us cards with your business details encouraging likes and friends to visit your profile page and share or spread your brand.

As an incentive give 10% off next order or discounts for likes to encourage likes to your profile page. Create a business card with twitter on one side and Facebook on the reverse to give customers an option which social media they wish to use.

This is reported on after the event to report and analyse which social media your company can use with success. Give out a flyer with like us today and guarantee a place in the monthly prize draw for example as an incentive, Follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a prize each month. ( For example using Twitter).

Building your brand

Reporting after the event is very powerful information;

Did you receive an increase on likes on your Facebook profile and shares;

Did your Twitter followers suddenly increase;

YouTube page hits increased;

LinkedIn connections increased;

Company Hashtag, retweets and comments increase;

The above are all options of testing each market and choosing which one is right to target your business marketing towards.

Looking at the total reach of your brand