Tag Archive for: Internet Marketing

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Cold Calling Tips: Getting Over Your Fear Of Calling Clients First

If your social media and inbound marketing strategies are generating a steady stream of quality clients that keep your sales activities always busy, then you’re one of the lucky few who are sitting pretty on passive income. Getting to this point requires hard work and if you’ve already “arrived,” congratulations.

However, not all businesses are like that. For most, especially startups, the sales team has to proactively seek potential clients out and get them to sign up. Prospecting on top of other operations initiatives is a must, but can get pretty challenging. This is because the process requires appealing to your and your target market’s emotions. When you lose the enthusiasm and the energy to pursue new business leads, you might be suffering from what the industry refers to as “sales call reluctance.”

As the term implies, it is your inability to make that first move on a fresh client. It is the emotional and psychological hesitation to self-promote. In the world of business, those who succeed aren’t necessarily the smartest in the bunch. It is those who prepare the most and work the hardest.

Are you scared of having to make cold calls on target clients? Here are some tips to help you get over your fear of reaching out.

1. Make a decision to stay motivated.

The first step is always the most difficult part of cold-calling. It is when you convince yourself that you can and will make the first move. If you are not motivated to succeed, that’s a different story altogether and will require psychological intervention. But we’re not talking about that here. As a sales person, you must make a decision to get that call done.

2. List the reasons why you’re scared and then crush them out one by one.

The mind is boggled by a lot of “what ifs” and these are often what stop you from making that call or sending that email or text. What are the reasons why you seem so hesitant to move forward? By identifying all the reasons, you become more at peace with your excuses and the better it will be for your to finally face them and kick them out.

The most common reasons why business owners hesitate include being told by the client that he is not interested, being informed that he already has a supplier and is happy with it or get rudely cut off. Other reasons are more introspective. What if I will seem disorganized and cluttered? What if they think of me as trying too hard and laugh at me? What if my script doesn’t work? You can be free from all these negatives once you point them out.

3. Change the way you think

Again, this needs conscious and firm decision. Why? Because you want to succeed. It’s really amazing how the brain works. It allows you to create future scenarios and picture out achievements. By setting your eyes on the prize and thinking about the many ways success can change your life for the better, you can overcome all the reluctance.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve in life?” Your answer will help transform how you perform and, eventually, how your sales numbers perform. Remember, it’s not situation that’s causing you a lot of stress — it’s your reluctance to go for change and make your mark.

Marketing Cheat Sheet: 3 Key Metrics That Truly Matter To CEOs

Thanks to technology and the Internet, chief marketing officers can now translate a campaign’s performance in measurable and numeric terms. CMOs often struggle to establish credibility when it comes to their strategies because, in the past, it was hard to quantify results.

The challenge becomes greater when CMOs have to convince chief executive officers of the merit of their efforts. Luckily, there are new technologies that enable CMOs to produce clear results that relate to the types of figures CEOs are concerned about. These include customer acquisition and profit.

Most CEOs only care about the net product and the cost of the campaign. They rarely bother with the nitty-gritty of the interim steps. During your presentation, there are specific points that senior leadership is looking for. Here are three marketing metrics that matter to your board to make them understand your proposal more easily and give your project the green light.

1 – Total Sales Marketing Cost

Also called Customer Acquisition Cost, this expense covers everything that costs money to produce your advertising campaign. These even include overhead cost, salaries and bonuses within the specific period. Once you have the total cost, divide it by the number of actual new customers during the same time frame. For example, if you shelled out $200,000 on sales and marketing efforts in a quarter and then recorded 50 new customers during the same three months, then your CAC is $4,000.

You then compute the marketing part of the CAC (or marketing percentage of CAC) and get its percentage from the total. Knowing this is crucial because it will tell you three things: 1 – your missed quotas that’s why your sale costs are down, 2 – you are overspending of marketing efforts, and 3 – you are raising sales productivity by upping the spend, thus providing more leads to sales.

For example, if a company has an in-house marketing team and employs simple sales processes, the MCAC will likely be between 20 to 50 percent. Meanwhile, a company that has a long and complicated sales cycle can expect an MCAC of 10 to 20 percent.

2 – Payback Time For CAC

This is simply how long it will take for your campaign to earn back what has been spent on every new client. To find out, get the CAC and then divide by the margin-adjusted monthly revenue for the new client. The result is the number of months it will take to recover the expense.

In the case of subscription-based services where client pay an annual or monthly fee, the projected payback time should be less than 12 months. Otherwise, your efforts will fall into the category of “profitable.” If it takes over a year for your investment to translate into income, it’s not likely that your CEO will agree to the campaign. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pour money into something that takes too long to gain value.

3 – Marketing-Driven Customer Behavior

This number reflects how much your business is attributed to your marketing efforts. To find out, take the total number of new clients you got in a specific period then look how many of them started based on a lead that your advertising effort put out. What is special about this metric is that it provides straightforward answers.

You can also determine the percentage of your new customers who were driven by your marketing efforts. For instance, if your sales team identified a potential customer and this person attended your marketing event and then later bought something, that new client is considered “marketing-influenced.”

Overall, what CEOs really care about it how much money is to be made and how fast it will be acquired. As CMOs, the objective is to translate these metrics into easily identifiable figures so that your board and senior leaders can meet you halfway.

How Online Influencers Can Help Your Business: 3 Ways To Generate Links

Online influencers, or those people with a huge following on social media, are often tapped by small business and huge advertising companies to promote their brand. Because most of these so-called Internet celebrities have a near-cult fan base, having them say a certain product is “good” is a huge deal in building a positive online reputation. If you’re a new business and have a new website you’d like to share to as many people as possible, it would do you well to partner up with a digital influencer to help spread the word. But, how?

Up and coming businesses are intimidated by the thought of having an online influencer promote their products and services. How do you reach out to somebody so popular on the Internet? How do you stand out from the many other brands that are also trying to get his or her attention?

Establish A Connection

Before anything else, find out more about your target online influencer. Based on his or her previous Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post, do you think there would be interest in your product or service? This is a crucial first step when considering which influencer you want to work with. If your brand involves beauty products, it would be wise to connect with an influencer who is fond of posting and re-posting beauty or fashion related topics. Reaching out to somebody who’s enthusiastic about cars will not likely give you any call backs or responses.

By studying what your influencer likes, what her or she advocates and then finding a plausible connection with your brand, you can create a stronger connection. This will increase your chances of getting a reply and, if things go well, an endorsement.

Offer Samples

By getting your product or service to the right influencer, you can boost your chances to raking sales in. Word of mouth is very popular online and if a celebrity does give your product a thumbs up, it’s highly likely that his or her followers will want to try you out, too. Send free samples or gift checks to your target influencers so they themselves can experience it and share their first-hand account.

Another thing is to send multiple samples that influencers can share with their followers as giveaway, a bonus or a raffle item. Remember Oprah’s “favorite thing” segment? Those companies invested by giving out some of their products to the audience and the returns were massive. Because Oprah was such a convincing endorser, not only did the brands get tons of TV mileage, but these translated to actual sales worldwide.

Sponsorships

Some online influencers, because of their massive reach, are like TV networks. They charge a fee (in cash or in kind) to people who would like to use their channel to promote a brand. If the celebrity is interested in your item and is willing to promote it on his or her social media page or blog, there will be fee. If he or she has to write the advertising content in addition to the promo, that would cost extra.

For some companies, this is a good investment considering how many followers a certain influencer has and how big of an effect he or she has with the public. Some exposures are one-time, like Facebook or Twitter posts, while others stay on for a longer fixed period, as with blogs and websites.

One of the most powerful relationships you can build with a digital influencer is one where you support each other’s success. Advocate his or her goals by writing about them in your articles or website content. They can do the same for you. You can also be real friends with these influencers by meeting up with them and attending similar events that are relevant to both of you. Who knows, the relationship might get so strong that you won’t even need to do any convincing (or paying) to advertise.

 

SEO Marketing: 3 Key Goals Every Consultant Should Meet

How does an SEO strategy benefit my business and do I really need it? This is a question that many digital marketers get asked often. Because we see advertisements on TV, billboards and even online, a lot of business owners wonder what else SEO can bring to the table. The challenge for the SEO consultant is to prove that an ROI (return on investment) exists.

Here, we talk about the three things every SEO consultant should fulfil and master in order to have a good working relationship with your client. These are traffic, visibility and, of course, ROI.

Traffic

Many business owners make the mistake of not bothering to lure traffic in once they set up their website. Build and they will come, right? Wrong. Simply launching a website with no follow-through is like opening up a shop in the middle of nowhere. You have to tell people that you exist and show them how they can find you.

The goal of an SEO strategist is to create an easy way for your target market to “discover” your website. Experienced search specialists should take the time to understand your company’s goals, learn about your products and services and create marketing methods that truly speak to your target market.

Visibility

The initial goal of a SEO strategy is to increased visibility online. Many consumers carry this belief that the brands or websites that appear on the first page of Google searches are the ones that are the “best.” Although marketers know that this is not the case. Still, what every website aims to achieve is a page 1 ranking. Your SEO consultant should be able to present a strategy that would help increase organic traffic to your site based on specific keywords.

Effective SEO exists not just to protect your brand and create only a positive stream of information when search results appear, but also to make sure that your target market sees you. And even if they don’t purposely try to find you, there must be a set of keywords that when keyed in would make your website appear.

Deliver Real ROI

Because you are paying for a professional service, so should you expect to see an ROI. Your SEO consultant should be able to project when and how much of an ROI is expected. However, you should also understand that these are not set in stone. Each business has a particular set of goals and your SEO strategy should be working in line with them.

There are business goals that cut across all industries, like leads and sales. Your SEO strategist will map out how the campaign will play a role in generating these and to do so means employing the right monitoring and tracking tools. A good way to monitor is Google Analytics. With this, you can measure how much impact your SEO efforts have made on your business. You can then report the findings via Data Studio.

The ultimate goal of an SEO strategy is not just to rank your page and drive traffic to your website. It’s to attract an audience that will do something about their visit. They should buy. They should employ your services. They should get in touch with you to know more about you and ask for a meeting. Search engines are very powerful tools to building and making your business succeed. Maximize its power.

3 Internet Marketing Tips To Boost Your Traffic In 2018

The year 2018 is fast approaching and, more likely than not, you are among the many business owners who have once again resurrected the same New Year’s resolution: to increase profits. But that’s easier said than done, as we already. Like the age-old resolution of finally losing that extra weight, getting your sales to go up by double digits requires a strategy (and commitment). You can make sure that your business resolution actually does happen and sticks by following these three golden rules for increasing traffic in 2018.

Keep Your Website Fresh & Updated

Every business needs a website. This is because customers will likely search about your brand or product first online and try to know more about who you are before they choose to transact with you. If you already have one, good. But make sure that it’s updated with your latest contact details, photos and menu of services. If you don’t have one yet, enlist the services of a pro so you’re on the right track.

How your website looks and “feels” matters a lot. Your potential client will judge you based on his or her experience while navigating the pages. Much like how an interviewer initially gauges an applicant based on how he or she presents himself or herself, so does your market form an early opinion of your brand based on your site’s aesthetics and ease of use.

A study of Internet behavior shows that many would-be customers who search about a certain company or product end up with dead links and erroneous URLs. This is a surefire and quick way of losing a possible client who might be interested in your services. If your page does exist and it contains wrong information, not only will your client get annoyed after finding out that it’s not the same business address anymore, he or she could choose to never do business with you again after all the trouble.

Maximize Your Social Media Presence

Many old-school business owners think that social media is just for kids and consists of just “noise.” Meanwhile, there are some entrepreneurs who have an over-reaching definition of how these can help a brand succeed. It’s true that popular business pages on the likes of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram managed to gain impressive followings on their own, but that’s not always the case. In fact, simply having a social media page is not enough.

Some brands manage to achieve to viral status after a controversial tweet, video or similar strategy. However, many struggle with follow-through. Your viral video may have had 1,000,000 millions but if it failed to position your brand positively or in a way that makes people want to know more about you, then you’ve failed at the attempt. One other thing is follower numbers. Sure, 100,000 people LIKE your page, but are they really engaging? Are they actually buying?

Let’s take Facebook, for example. Simply having a page is good, we don’t discount that. However, if that page does not engage your audience, then it will be forgotten like many other page that exist. Find a way to connect to your LIKERS through a promo, contest or just Q&As that appeal to their emotions and sense of nostalgia. If you don’t have that many followers yet, it would be smart to invest in a sponsored post to reach a wider market. Word-of-mouth marketing is effective, but if you’re a new business, it might only go as far as your family and friends.

Strategize & Market Aggressively

So you have an updated and sleek website, plus an active social media presence — what to do now? Integrate everything into a solid marketing campaign. In the past, the only way people know about your brand is if people talked about it, or if you spent so much on the likes of TV ads and billboards. Now, you don’t need to shell out so much just to get noticed — not just locally but even internationally. Remember that the Internet can be accessed by anyone all over the world. Keep your website clean, clear and fun. Who knows, you might get a client from another country, right?

Give your audience something to browse and read. Your website is not simply a business card. It’s a virtual experience for your potential market. Produce quality content from time to time and keep the visuals fresh with new photos and videos. Make every time a person clicks into your site a new and refreshing experience. This way, he or she will want to keep coming back for more.

There are plenty of opportunities to make sure your 2018 business resolutions happen — and more. Our advice is to take every bit of advertising window and maximize their capacities. Never take anything for granted.

Duplicate Content Is A Myth: Here’s Why

There is a lot of talk about how duplicate content can hurt your business and cause Google to drive your site to the farthest back of the list, but we’re here to tell you that’s it’s all just one big fat myth. Truth be told, there really is no such thing as duplicate content or duplicate content penalties. If you understand how Google really works, it being a highly intelligent machine and all, you will know that the term is just a doomsday scenario created by those with not enough knowledge.

They’re all over the Internet — articles and so-called technical audits of how Google treats duplicate content saying that it’s the reason why your site is not getting the attention you want. They’re wrong. Case in point, the Google Webmaster blog resolved this issue way back in 2008: “There’s no such things as a ‘duplicate content penalty.’ At least, not in the way most people mean they say that. You can help your fellow webmasters by not perpetuating the myth of duplicate content penalties!”

Why People Think Duplicate Content Penalties Exists

It’s easy to belief that Google penalizes websites that contain duplicate content by positioning them on page 3 and onwards of search results (where people don’t really bother anymore to browse). However, the way Google works is that it simply filters similar content and chooses one that best represents the typed-in search parameters.

You can test this out yourself by adding &filter+0 to the end of the URL to remove the filtering feature. If you type in “Miami SEO meetup,” you’ll likely see the same page twice. And when you really think about it, the term “duplicate content” is really vague, especially since about 30 percent of the Internet is composed of this.

 

How Google Reacts To Duplicate Content

All that said, it boils down to presentation. What can you do to make Google see that it should choose you over the other sites that basically say the same thing? That’s the challenge. Don’t just rattle off “duplicate content penalty” because your SEO specialist was just too busy to understand how things work.

Google works by looking for a diverse way to present results based on your given parameters. Hence, it will choose to consolidate articles with similar content and show only one version. There are specific algorithms that place different versions of the same thing into a cluster, from where the “best” is selected to be displayed.

Clearly, it is the system’s design to not present you with exactly the same search results because where’s the fun in that, right? If your page did not get chosen to be on the main display, that doesn’t mean you were penalized. That simply means your version didn’t stick with Google enough to make it notice you. Now, the question is: how do you make Google choose you? That’s another discussion altogether.

SEO Spotlight: Target The Right Keywords For Your Business

The first and perhaps most important thing about achieving SEO success is making the client understand why it is necessary and how Google navigates around it. If a client hires a specialist, you can bet that expectations will be high. However, if the customer knows and appreciates the process of SEO building and keyword targeting, he or she will be more realistic with outcomes and will know that it does not happen overnight.

Landing the first page on Google searches is not just about using the right keywords. There is a careful analytic process that precedes keyword assignment and placement to make a website stand out from the Internet “crowd.”

Client Education

As digital marketers, it is our job, no DUTY, to make clients understand why our expertise and services matter. We’ve seen too many so-called agency hoppers who go from one professional to another because they don’t really understand why things are done a certain way. With a bit of explaining, clients’ expectations will be more aligned with what you can actually deliver — and that’s when they stop “hunting” and stay.

Remember that most clients are not tech-savvy. All they really know is when they type something into the Google search box, results come out. They also know that what they want is to land the first page. They don’t really bother with the hows and whys, don’t know anything about Google keywords, search engine optimization and similar concepts. This why some form of client education is in order.

Expect Problems When Results Are Not Aligned With Expectations

A client who wants his auto dealership on the front page, for instance, will not care if his company lands page one via SEO or PPC. He probably won’t even bother to find out the difference between the two. SEO is a result of organic effort, while PPC is simply a paid ad. However, all your client will see is whether his company is there or not.

By explaining to your client what SEO does from the very beginning, you can manage expectations. If he or she just wants to be visible right here-right now, then suggest PPC (which might not be in your menu of services). But if you can explain the long-term benefits of a solid SEO program, such as a steady increase in organic traffic by using the right keywords, then your client will not have a fit when he sees a sponsored post by his competitor.

A Little Knowledge Moves Mountains

Do not be that haughty company that scoffs at clients for not knowing what SEO can do. If they don’t know how Google works, explain in the simplest terms so they can better appreciate what you are doing and how they can benefit over the long-term. Remember, the average person is not as obsessive over Google keywords as we are — and that’s because this is what we do for a living.

It takes time, effort and patience to educate your client about SEO keywords, but it’s an investment that’s worth getting into, especially if you want clients that stay for the long haul. By engaging your client into your process, you establish a more connected relationship and, in the end, both you and the customer is happy.

Reputation Management 101: How To Promote Your Press Release

No matter how good your press release has been written, if it does not get any mileage online, nobody will know about your product or service. Reputation management experts note that it’s not enough that you have a perfectly written promotional piece. You have to get people to talk about you. This is where fostering a relationship with reporters and industry influencers comes in.

Decide What You Want To Happen And Focus

Reporters get dozens of letters and emails every day from friends and strangers pitching stories and hoping to get their products or businesses featured. Because of this flood of messages, chances are, the reporter will have only a split second to decide if he or she wants to give your message attention or not. What do you do to stand out? Find out what they are interested in and anchor from there.

Do not spam writers and editors. In addition to being annoying, it will not help your brand at all and will only further flood his or her inbox. To get noticed, find out first what the writer or publication’s demographics and target readers are. That’s what you build on.

For example, if you are selling an orange juice, don’t pitch to a writer who’s only interested in apple juice. If you must, relate the benefits of orange juice alongside apple juice so the media person will have something to write about. Of course, this is an oversimplification — but surely you get the idea. Pitching to somebody who will find no value in your product or service is a waste of time.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thinly

Sending out your press release to every possible news agency, writer and editor available is no way to effectively promote your business. This is lazy and sloppy work. Worse, it can brand you as a jack of all trades but master of none. Create a niche. Find out which publications have some relation to your product. Research which writers are likely to give you the time of day. Know their beats and areas of expertise. That’s how you create a positive reputation.

Once you have identified your target reports and outlets, get personal. Sending out generic press releases sends off the message that you really don’t know who you’re talking to. This will likely result in a disinterested (or worse, offended) receiver. Due to the number of pitches they receive on a daily basis, these people can identify a generic press release from the first sentence. So be sure to find out something on your target reader, so you can create an effective hook.

Be Knowledgeable About Industry Trends

The movement of articles is faster online than on print. This is because editors can easily switch out a story with another depending on the attention it is getting and the content it carries. If your press release gets trumped by a big story, you can expect your online presence to get relegated to the back pages, if not removed.

That said, your press release should be packaged in a way to is relevant to what is currently trending. By coming out with fresh content and timing its release properly, you can enjoy placement success. Another strategy would be to hold off on having your content released until the current trending topic has started to subside. This way, when the editor isn’t too overwhelmed, he or she can lend your press release his or her attention. In short, don’t swim in a school. Find a way where you can swim above and get light.

Make Your PR Easy To Digest And Share

When it comes to effective reputation management, the challenge is to not get drowned in the mass of similar news. In addition to being relevant and timely, you should also make your press release easy to share. Give it a viral element. Make it entertaining. Inject something that people will want to engage in. Otherwise, your press release will just stay where it is — in their inbox — and not move at all.

 

When Ripoff Report Threatens Your Online Reputation: What To Do

Building a positive and solid reputation for your business is relatively easy when you’re just starting out. However, in these social media driven times, one small mistake could also spell its end. With so many people having access to the Internet, bringing a business up or making it fail can happen in just seconds. This is why you should be wary about what’s posted about you online.

Take the case of taxidermist Marissa Hernandez. When she was just starting out from her New York home, she established name that made her service provide of choice by many locals. At 20 years old, she was already managing a small business and created a solid source of income.

However, years later, she suddenly noticed a drop in sales. She typed her name into Google search and discovered that a report had been filed on a website called Ripoff Report complaining about her work. The said report even went as far as saying that she had been accepting orders that involved illegal animals.

Worried about her business, claiming that none of those allegations were true, she discovered that the Ripoff Report complaint was not filed by a customer, but actually a competitor. While she was eventually able to convince the competitor to have the complaint removed, things don’t really work that way with the site. Hernandez then decided to reach out to the website directly and was rejected. Follow-up calls and emails were ignored and the report remained online. At that point, Hernandez started contemplating whether she should just shut down because she was getting zero orders.

The Ripoff Report Effect

Ripoff Report is a popular website where people can anonymously posted complaints about a certain person or business. While there’s nothing wrong with posting reviews, the fact that users can file anonymously creates a huge problem. You can’t really verify if the claims are true or not.

When the site was first established in 1999, it was a go-to place for reviews. However, because of its questionable process, it has turned into an often-unreliable source of untrue (and sometimes damaging) reports. Worse, once you are mentioned on the site, you have to go through hell and high water to get your information corrected — if at all. At present, Ripoff Report remains high up in Google search results, despite its reputation. Thus, a single mention spells a major problem.

What To Do When You’re Mentioned

However, there is something you can do to recover. Do not close down and give up just yet. You can employ reputation management strategies or get in touch with professional reputation management firms to help push the bad stuff to the back and bring only the good to the front. This involves a technical process.

Ignore

Once you or your business appears on Ripoff Report, the first thing to do is to not engage. When you leave a comment or post, you only refresh the page and keep it active and relevant. Your goal is to make the page about you extinct by ignoring it. Remember, Google’s algorithm notices which sites are active and which are dormant. Do not give your detractors the time of day by responding to the negative press.

Acknowledge The Problem

When somebody complains about you, it’s most likely because there IS something about your product or service that he or she does not like. Even when you think your business is stellar, you cannot please everybody. The best way to deal with this is to contact the posted directly and try to make amends.

By creating a positive relationship with someone who used to complain about you, you build a fresh start. You might even convert this disgruntled customer into an advocate, so he or she will start writing good things about you. Reaching out to your client will not erase the Ripoff Report complaint, but it will open channels for people to say something positive instead. Also take it as an opportunity to make improvements to your service.

Hire A Pro

There are online reputation management services whose focus is to change what appears on Google’s search results, so all the negative stuff is pushed to the 5th page and so on. When somebody types your name or business’s name on Google search, the general response would be to check out only the first or second page (sometimes third).

You can employ SEO practices to make sure your first few pages go in your favor, but this can be tricky. The smartest bet is to get in touch with the pros. After all, you need a fast fix to your problem or else you will continue to shed clients. By promoting only positive content about you online via reputation management strategies, you minimize the appearance of bad press and make the good stuff rank in their place.