Archive for the ‘Online Marketing’ Category

Free Marketing – Take It!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Jamillah Warner talks about balancing free marketing (online social channels) and paid marketing (traditional) in her post. Winning in Business on a Budget: Marketing on Small Business – and we say, If the Marketing is Free – take it!

It sounds obvious, but many businesses are still dragging their feet when it comes to jumping into the online arena. In marketing, we know how important it is to be an early adopter of technology in order to get ahead in an industry. However, convincing other departments can be a hard sell. Especially when no one can agree to what should be expected and how to measure the return. The kicker is, right now, you could be doing it for just the time you spend – and it could end up being the difference between you and ‘the other guy’.

Marketing can be extremely expensive – think Super Bowl Commercial – because it has a ginormous viewer base. Compared to Facebook though – it has nothing. You don’t get repeat exposure during the Super Bowl, you don’t get engagement from an outgoing broadcast either. So why wouldn’t you want to jump on board and learn this social media thing now, and know that you are going to be in the lead because your competitors aren’t even thinking about getting social?

“Marketing doesn’t guarantee that people will want to buy your products or services. It only guarantees that people will have a chance to see your message,” says Jamillah.

2 Universal Tips from her post:

  1. Be friendly, sincere, and helpful.
  2. Make your story matter to your community.


Don’t be afraid to jump into the Social Media waters, do it now – while no one is watching. Be the leader in your industry, in your area, in your field. It will pay off down the line, and the initial investment is minimal.

The ONLY Social Media Law to Obey

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

We all feel the need to bend the rules sometimes. In social media, it’s no different, there are many ‘rules’ that can be bent or even broken – it’s new and most suspend judgement – except on this one area.

Social media has one LAW that should NEVER be broken.

You may think you know what it is – and maybe you are right. Social media is about CONVERSATIONS – if you are shutting down conversations, you are breaking the LAW!

The point is not to push your opinion on others, but to provide a place where everyone can express their opinions.  It is our job to promote a discussion where all sides are safe to express themselves.  Catherine Lockey from Cyclone Marketing brings up this same idea in regard to Linkedin.  Her blog post, “Are you the King of Linkedin?”  talks about 6 surefire ways to alienate your connections by trying to be in charge of the discussion; I have listed them below.

  1. The Know It All
  2. Arrogance
  3. Yes Man / Woman
  4. Group Control Freak (Bully)
  5. Spammer
  6. Innovative Entrepreneurial Expert

We believe these types of behaviors all lead to the same place – controlling and quashing the conversation – and they should be avoided on all social media platforms in order to be truly successful in online communities.

Remember, the online community has a long memory and although they can be very forgiving of honest mistakes, they are NOT going to forget a mistake of this caliber.  You have chosen to be online and social in order to share your opinions and thoughts – allow others the freedom and respect to do the same – whether they agree with you, or not, doesn’t matter.  Instead, try to facilitate the conversation in a safe place (like your Facebook fan page or in your Linkedin group), and the online community will remember and respect you because of your willingness to listen.

Have you had an experience (good or bad) where someone was trying to control the conversation or push their agenda? Share it with us on Facebook!

Social Media Marketing for the B2B Crowd

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

In the new world of social media marketing, there are several challenges for business-to-business marketers. Bryan Brown, on, in his guest blog post, “What ‘marketing automation’ means for the well-rounded B2B marketer,” talks about how to use marketing automation to your advantage.

Bryan discusses ways to use social media for Data Collection and building your database with more information than was ever available to marketers prior to social media platforms – the ease of users or fans or followers to ‘sign-in’ to your site with their platform credentials allows for more information to be had by you on their behaviors, demographics, and interests than ever before.

Lead management is more efficient and better aligned between sales and marketing departments in this new world of social technology. Apps are available (often for free) to compile data and use it to make decisions about buyer interest. Marketing efforts toward specific demographics are also easily analyzed, which leads to faster decision making abilities within your company.

Engagement covers two of the sections Bryan writes about, “Cross-Channel Campaign Management” and Social Marketing. Engagement is definitely a new field for business-to-business marketing, many top B2B companies are still not on board with the idea of using social media for marketing and staunchly express that it only makes sense for B2C businesses.

Hopefully, these businesses will realize they’re mistaken before the early adopters in their industries run away with their share of the market. The truth of the matter is that all businesses can benefit from social media marketing because all businesses are run by PEOPLE and all products and services are bought by PEOPLE – whether for a company purpose or a personal one, people are always the deciding factor.

If you are a B2B company that wants to take the lead in your industry and begin utilizing the amazing social tools of our time for marketing purposes, please let us know!

We love talking about how social media can help you be more successful and how we can help you get there. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Relationship Marketing vs Social Media Marketing: Oxymoron or Redundant?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Clarifications, first.

We all know a typical oxymoron, right? Words and phrases that seem to cancel each other out: military intelligence, jumbo shrimp, old news, practical joke, peace force.

We also know about redundancy, or saying the same thing twice, as in: basic fundamentals, actual experience, advance planning, free gift, frozen ice, general public.

These two odd word pairing categories are opposite sides of the same coin, so I will flip the coin, and you can call it in the air….

Are Relationship Marketing and Social Media Marketing the same or opposites?

You might be surprised at the answers I found!

Redundant (Heads)

Mari Smith, speaker, author, and social media guru, has recently written a (not yet released) book titled, “The New Relationship Marketing”. Considering the source’s area of expertise, it would appear that the book will be about nurturing relationships to social (online) connections and turning that into a profitable business, at which Mari has been extremely successful. Mari shares some of her life story in this video, and talks a bit about her new book which has the subtitle: “How to Build a Large, Loyal and Profitable Network Using the Social Web”. It is clear as she describes her approach to relationship marketing (in a beautiful Scottish / Canadian accent) that she would be of the camp that this is a redundant relationship. She talks about how she believes that social media marketing is about building those relationships with all people online and leveraging (my words) that relationship to be ethically profitable.

Oxymoron (Tails)

On the other side of the coin, would be Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz, who is decidedly less glamorous and more punk than Mari Smith. However, Naomi is very passionate and (apparently) knowledgeable as she has become an expert at being overtly honest and downright open on how marketing for small businesses works. Naomi’s guest blog on about Relationship Marketing, “7 Ways You’re Screwing Up Relationship Marketing”, is in line with the oxymoron stance on our topic.

The 7 ways, are easily the complete opposite of the (widely accepted)point of social media (to engage, connect, build relationships), in that she feels (strongly) that relationship marketing is solely about what makes the customer make a purchase of your product and how can you get them to do it again. It has nothing to do with relationships, communication, being social, authenticity, transparency, equality, or having a connection. It is about THE relationship of a customer to your product and their purchase of same. Period. That’s it.

What do YOU think?

What is your take on this question? Is all marketing becoming social? Should it? Or are we too caught up in this ‘relationship’ business with online media that we are incapable of talking about marketing without describing some inner bond between brands and consumers?

We’d love to hear your side, so leave us a comment!

Social Media Pays it Forward

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Social media has opened new doors for people and businesses alike.

Whether you are a large corporation, like Skittles, or a startup looking to expand your audience; whether you are a motivated individual looking for a way to stand out from the crowd during our currently challenging economic times, or one of the many computer savvy people looking to be your own boss, social media can help.

In Brad McCarty’s blog post, 6 stories of life-changing social media connections, 6 stories are shared about how social platforms positively affected someone’s life or career. As marketers we understand the importance social platforms can play in business.

Social platforms have the ability to change everything.

It has already changed the way businesses interact with their customers, the way families stay in touch, the ability to get honest and unfiltered feedback on a host of topics, a transparency for human and business interaction and the idea that all businesses have people behind them. Social media goes beyond the idea that a business has a ‘culture’ – it reinforces the idea that even large corporations are made up of people and that all business decisions and interactions with consumers are done on a human level.

More now than ever, social platforms use the power of communication to create honest interactions between businesses and consumers. As a business owner – why wouldn’t you utilize these new tools to get the most from your life and your work? It reduces the gap between ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ but in a good way. Social media promotes the underlying belief that not only are we all ‘in this together’ but that we are all the same – human – and we should connect on that level. The implications are endless.

So enjoy the stories that Brad McCarty wrote about – and then, we invite you to go make your own success story – isn’t that still the American Dream?

Innovative Marketing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Recently, I came across a blog post that got my attention.  9 Ways to Keep Innovation Alive in Your Marketing Organization, posted by Matt Heinz from Innovation Excellence, he writes about Innovation and Marketing, two things I find very useful and interesting.

Several of the ‘9 Ways’ are things that most (successful) companies are already doing – things like tracking progress, predicting trends (or at least watching them), and focusing on teamwork as a way to brainstorm diverse ideas. My favorite, though, is number 5 – let everyone contribute, even (or especially) employees outside of the marketing department.

Why is cross-contributing so important?

Because, as Heinz describes, many of these employees have ideas about how to reach your audience. I would specify that the user-facing employees know more about what the customer is looking for or what things push them to buy your product over another brand than your marketing department. This is valuable information that is available to your company! However, the company culture has to be supporting it, asking for it, rewarding it and following through on the ideas they get for this to be truly successful.

As any good marketing professional would tell you – knowing what your target audience wants is imperative for creating a marketing strategy that will tell the story of how your product or service can fit into the lives of your consumers and why they need to purchase what you have to offer.

Innovation Speaks to All of Us

Innovation is something that speaks to all of us – we are all interested in the newest, shiny, tech savvy bauble; the more bells and whistles (or functionality as we have come to know it), the better. Humans are observant and have a relatively natural ability to look at something they are doing and see how it could be done better. Utilize these instincts and ideas to find new things that will resonate with your audience in a new way, or explain the use of your product or service in new terms.

What kind of innovation does your marketing need?

Give us a call at 775-322-3663 and we can help you find out!

For the full blog post from Matt Heinz, please click here.

E-Mail Marketing, E-Newsletters – Permission Marketing Works!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011







Personal Marketing that’s Still Viable After All These Years

E-mail marketing is one of your best, personal marketing tools on the Web. We integrate it with your marketing strategy to reach new customers, build customer connections and to create a one-on-one dialogue. We use it because it works, and when done right, becomes a valuable resource for both you and your customers.

Our Email Marketing Strategies Work to:

  • Drive direct sales to your door
  • Create a loyal customer base, and develop trust
  • Develop relationships for long-term and repeat sales
  • Customize your message to the various segments of your audience
  • Integrate e-marketing promotions with corresponding landing pages on your Website
  • Position yourself and your company as industry experts and leaders
  • Support sales, market sales and events and drive traffic to your doors and your Website.
  • Track your customers’ needs and desires, with detailed reports of open and click-through rates

No matter how clever we get with Twitter and Facebook and other public media, E-mail marketing remains the most personal tool in your Internet marketing toolbox.

How Do We Know that Email Marketing Works?

The Proof’s in the Documentation. We’d like to share some recent surveys with you.

  • The Ad Effectiveness Survey commissioned by Forbes Media in Feb/March 2009 revealed that email and e-newsletter marketing are considered the second-most effective tool for generating conversions, just behind SEO (reference).
  • A November 2009 survey of B2B marketers found that email marketing was likely to see more spending increase than any other form of online marketing, second only to Website development (report).

Modern Email Marketing Solutions

Email Marketing is a contemporary and powerful promotional tool that incorporates a ton of nifty technology. Here are just a few of the things you can do with email marketing:

  • Database integration
  • List segmentation
  • Pre-scheduled delivery
  • Analysis of open and click-through rates
  • A/B testing
  • On-the-fly customized email based on individual profiles
  • And so much more!

Plus every email campaign you send out generates actionable data you can use to refine your approach to future messages. All in all, a pretty good way of going about your marketing business!

Ready to launch an effective email marketing for your business?

Contact us today at 775.322.3663 or 800.233.0329, or email us, and we’ll get you started.

You Are Your Brand – “Stay Human”

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Everyone knows that your brand reputation is important – especially when you own your own business or are seen as a reflection of that brand, product or service.  What frequently happens, however, is that we forget that anyone could be our next customer, advocate, business partner, sponsor, or raving brand fan (if we do our jobs right!).

Let’s face it, the mass adoption of social media platforms and rabid posting to massive online populations has catapulted word of mouth to a whole new level.  Its power has grown exponentially and our brands need to be on the radar in a big, positive way.  So how do we do that?

Well, Scott Ginsberg (video) sure knows how to make it happen.  His article, Consistency Is Far Greater Than Rare Moments of Greatness, truly hits home.  Scott talks about how “you just never know” who you will bump into at a random event or in a seemingly unrelated place.  He says (and we agree), that it is both easier and more effective to consistently be a nice person than realize, too late, that you have made a horrible impression on a future or current customer. In Scott’s words, “Stay Human”.  Does that mean you can’t show the “real” you in public, that you must hide the more zany, creative sides of your personality, or not speak your truth in an uncomfortable situation? Of course not, but be mindful of your behavior and ask yourself what “brand” you want potential clients to see.

Because, if you are like us, all people are essentially potential clients in some way shape or form.  So why risk offending someone or ruining that possibility and relationship before it can even begin?  Not to mention the karmic factors of just treating people with respect and dignity no matter the situation or the event. You are your brand….don’t forget it!

Engage Your Audience: 6 Blogging Tips

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Engage Your Audience With These 6 Blogging Tips:

  • encourage your audience to participate
  • empower them to action
  • remove obstacles from the communication process
  • use words your audience will understand
  • make your topic and content accessible to everyone
  • write content that is engaging andthoughtful

Encourage and empower your audience –this is how you increase engagement with your clients!

Remove obstacles in communication –your content must be easily understood and communicated clearly in order to be useful to your audience.

Accessibility is everything – make it easy or they will find someone else who does!

Content is and will ALWAYS be, King –it if doesn’t inspire, engage or evoke thought – it isn’t worth their time.

What is SEM and How Can it Help My Business?

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

SEM, SEO, and SERPs….Oh my! What the heck is the difference and what does it mean to you?

Here’s the low-down:

Search Engine Marketing, (SEM), according to Wikipedia, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.  This is different than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which “optimizes” website content to achieve a higher ranking in search results, for example, by incorporating specific keywords or links associated with the website.

Search Engine Marketing is basically a way to pay to put your name out there in all the search engines.

Some of the SEM Tools

“SEM uses ad words, pay per call (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to get in touch directly to a company with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect changing usage.”

If you have questions about how SEM can specifically help your business, we’d love to help! Visit our page on SEM, or contact us for a personal review of your website!

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