Promote Your Web Site Online

Create Local Listings Local listings are a great way to get a presence at the top of the search engines. These are essentially pages that present a profile of your business with descriptions, photos, reviews, and links — and they appear at the top of the search results, second only to sponsored listings.

Forum Posting By posting references on various forums to targeted landing pages on your web site, we can drive a significant amount of traffic to your site. Forums are targeted for their relevance to your business, and your customers.

Directory Submissions We post your web site to various directories on the Web (such as YellowPages.com), so that visitors who use those services to find vendors and service providers will be directed to your web site.

Blogging has taken the Web by storm and is quickly becoming an important way to market products and services. By starting a blog for your company you can develop a following that can turn into buyers, and bring their friends and family along for the ride.

Press Releases can be a great way to get one-way links back to your company web site. They’re an excuse to put relevant information out into the world, and are sometimes picked up by web sites with high ranking that can drive large amounts of traffic to your site and boost your rankings.

Article Submissions are a great way to share your content with other web sites. Not everyone has a great team of copywriters, which means that many companies can use help when it comes to creating content. By sharing your own content in the form of articles, you can get great links back to your web site to boost your traffic and increase your rankings.

Customer Reviews Everyone agrees that good testimonials go a long way to increasing a company’s credibility. Online marketing is no different. By encouraging your clients to write positive reviews for you on all the important web sites you can boost your credibility and increase your traffic when your customers do research.

Link Exchange This strategy can work out well if it is properly planned. Certain types of link exchanges can actually be counter-productive, but for the most part if it’s done properly, you can boost your ranking and traffic by exchanging links with various companies.

Social Networking is the new wave of online marketing, with sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. companies can tap into this rapidly growing online marketing vehicle. There’s so much activity on successful social networking sites, and so much volume that they really are a terrific way of introducing people to your business.

Advanced Social Networking with our advanced package of online social networking, you can tap into some of the more exciting features of online social networking web sites, and have an ongoing custom campaign that aggressively gathers steam and rallies people around your business.

Marketing, Branding, and Sales: The Hierarchy

There is a hierarchy in business that has three tiers. All three tiers are equally important, and each is intrinsically connected to the others. The most important thing for a marketer to understand is exactly how the three are interconnected. The hierarchy goes like this:

(1) Branding –> (2) Marketing, –> (3) Sales.

What does this mean? This hierarchy represents the way a business acquires new customers, keeps them, and turns them into loyal clients.

Tier 1: Branding

Let’s start with branding. A company’s brand is almost like a physical asset. Take a minute to think of any large cap company that has a well known brand (such as Nike, IBM, Citibank, etc.), and ask yourself how much it would cost to buy their company name brand for use in your own business. Do you think you could afford to buy their name? Can you imagine how how much money that name brand is worth?

What if a company like Coca-Cola sold its name brand to some other company, and started building a new brand for itself? Even though their physical assets such as people, warehouses, factories, trucks, etc. would remain the same, if they had to start over with a totally new company name the cost of doing so would be astronomical. Moreover, the worth of the company would drop by many billions of dollars!

Why?… because an avid Coke fan entering a small gas station on a hot day to buy his favorite drink will most likely walk out of the store if he doesn’t find a bottle of coke. It doesn’t matter if the gas station has some other drink that is very similar to Coke. He wants to buy Coke, and that’s that. Unless this avid Coke fan is getting very dehydrated, he won’t reach for another brand, no matter how similar it is.

That’s the power of a great name brand — over time it garners a tremendous amount of loyalty and momentum, and as far as our Coke example goes, it doesn’t matter if another drink is physically exactly the same… if it goes by a different name brand, then most Coke fans simply won’t buy it — they’re happy with what they’ve got, and they don’t want to take a chance on something different. That’s Newton’s first law — the law of inertia… “A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force.” Generally, it takes a very strong force to cause people to change their deep-rooted existing habits.

Over the years, Coca-Cola has invested so much money and resources to increase their market share and win over the hearts and minds of loyal customers all over the world, that a large amount of their momentum as a company is due to the power of their name brand. Without the name brand, it doesn’t matter that Coke has factories and employees and trucks. All of those physical assets are infused with an extra value by Coke’s name brand. Take away the name brand, and those physical assets would instantly lose their worth, because infrastructure means nothing if you can’t sell your products. A new name requires an enormous investment of marketing dollars and the passage of time to build a large and dedicated following.

So, branding creates loyalty over the long term, and a strong name brand is just as attractive to its target market as it is repulsive to people outside its target market. You must not be afraid of being repulsive to people or companies that aren’t part of your target market, because the more successful a brand gets, the more it attracts its loyal followers and repulses people outside its target market. You have to be prepared that the more successful you get, the more simultaneously repulsive and attractive you get. Your fans will adore you that much more, and your critics will dislike you more intensely as well. For example, many Pepsi fans hate Coke, and vice versa. It’s almost like fans of a sports team. People choose sides, and get really intense about their position.

Another clear example of this behavior can be seen in the entertainment business. Take any mega star in music, acting, sports, etc, and ask yourself whether this star is controversial. Consider the names Donald Trump, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Jay-Z, and Kobe Bryant. Do you like them? Do you dislike them?… Now ask yourself the most important question from a business point of view… Do you think they have a strong fan base? Are they doing well financially?

Chances are you know some or all these celebrities, and chances are you know that they make a lot of money, too. Are these celebrities controversial? Yup. Some people hate these celebrities, and others love them. Do you think these celebrities care how many people dislike them? Do you think perhaps some of these celebrities cultivate their controversial sides in order to increase their wealth?

The answer is very definitely, “yes!” They know their target market, and they know what their target market wants. Everybody else doesn’t matter, because they don’t pay their bills. Clearly, it doesn’t matter how many people don’t like you. When your brand is powerful, some people love you and others hate you. When it comes down to it, the main question you should be asking yourself is “does my brand get me paid?”

Tier 2: Marketing

So now that we’ve discussed the basics of a great brand — which is a long-term goal and takes a lot of time and effort — let’s turn our attention to what you can do to generate immediate profit. The way to do that is marketing. We’re not going to cover marketing in depth, because we already published plenty of other articles that effectively cover this subject; however, the main idea that we’d like to impart is that the role of marketing is to somehow draw peoples’ attention to you, so that you can interest them in your products and services. Great marketing does four main things to increase a company’s profits:

  • It increases a company’s number of new customersIt turns new customers into return clients
  • It turns new customers into return clients
  • It increases transaction frequency (the number of times a client buys something)
  • It increases the volume of each transaction (the amount of money charged per sale)

So, let’s break this down a bit. Good marketers are able to get new customers by creating a well-thought out marketing plan which includes elements such as an ideal client profile, and a clear understanding of their industry. One of the main things a good marketer must do is to get to know their costumer as closely as possible. They must understand the customer’s likes, dislikes, needs, wants, fears, etc.

This allows them to bring the right type of customers to salespeople — customers who are predisposed to buy the product/service, and have the means to make the purchase — which makes salespeople’s lives a lot easier. Imagine trying to sell a product/service to someone who is not interested, and more importantly, can’t afford the product/service. That would be a waste of time and resources. That’s why marketers prequalify prospective customers, so that salespeople can do their job with ease.

That’s why marketers must ensure to narrow down their target market to only their ideal client type. When businesses try to do business with “everybody” they end up dealing with too many types of clients, most of which are inevitably bad for the company’s long-term health. When a business deals with customers who don’t fit its ideal client profile, these customers tend to waste the company’s time, money, and energy, making it harder for the business to stay profitable. Instead of growing and finding more ideal clients who spend money and happily recommend the company to their friends and family, the business starts faltering when it focuses all of its resources on appeasing problematic clients, and handling their complaints. The wrong type of client is like the wrong type of fuel for your car… If you try to run a Ferrari on regular fuel (instead of high-octane fuel), you will soon begin to experience engine problems.

We’ve all had experiences with incompatible clients who exhibited such behaviors as non-stop complaints, resistance to the company’s prices, or unrealistic expectations for products and services. When a company allows incompatible customers to become its clients, these customers tend to dominate the company’s attention and they divert the company’s focus away from its prime clients who make up the bulk of the company’s income. The results can be disastrous, because as a business begins to increasingly struggle with its incompatible customers and neglects its best clients, these great clients begin to leave, and the company loses more and more money as it continues to spiral downward in a never-ending cycle of dwindling resources and over-complicated day-to-day operations.

As the severity of this situation increases, and all the prime clients leave to find new providers, the company is left with the most annoying, low-paying incompatible clients who were the source of its trouble in the first place. Once all the highest paying and easiest jobs are gone, all that is left are the incompatible demanding clients who don’t want to pay fair prices. Worst of all, these clients now control the company’s future, and the business is totally dependent on them for its existence.

This is why it’s so important to clearly define the company’s ideal client type before starting any marketing campaign. Once the ideal client profile has been determined, a business can begin finding and “collecting” ideal clients on which it can base its future. Oftentimes, having a handful of great clients is better than having large numbers of terrible clients, and it’s important to go through your client list once in a while and see where you can trim incompatible clients, so you can find better clients to replace them.

When a business begins acquiring new ideal customers, it has to convert them into regular clients. By doing so, and by increasing the number and size of their transactions, the business begins to grow exponentially.

Tier 3: Sales

Although sales is a topic of paramount importance, it will receive almost no attention in this article. It’s only mentioned here in order to illustrate the interdependence between branding, marketing, and sales. Ideally, a marketing strategy is so effective, and the company brand is so powerful, that the final step in the hierarchy (sales) becomes virtually effortless. If a company’s marketing is able to educate its customers, prequalify them (i.e. ability to pay, timeframe, level of interest, etc), then it stands to reason that the sales team will have a much easier time closing sales, because all of their customers are able and willing to pay for the services being sold.

Why Online Marketing is More Important than Ever

In today’s volatile markets, the significance of the Web as a marketing medium has become more important than ever. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly relying on the Web to generate low-cost, high-ROI sales.

 

Online advertising is one of the most efficient ways to implement direct-response marketing, increase market share, and encourage customer loyalty and return business. Moreover, today’s consumers are more connected than ever, and a growing number of people and businesses are transitioning their buying power out of brick and mortar stores and onto the Web.

This drives online growth as consumer choose the Web as their primary mode of shopping. Online sales numbers are soaring across the globe, and technology is constantly on the move as companies discover new and more profitable ways of doing business online.

There’s no question that online marketing is of paramount importance to businesses in all sectors of the economy, as they position themselves to capture a larger piece of the online pie. Due to mounting competition on the Web, companies are hard-pressed to stay ahead of online marketing trends and keep their finger on the pulse of their respective markets. As a result, online marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and many inflexible businesses that are stuck in the past are being left behind by their more agile and innovative competitors.

Will your business rise to the challenge and harness the power of search engines, social networking sites, and paid online advertising? Will you make the commitment to stay ahead of the crowd and find the best ways to get more clients, more transactions, bigger transactions, and more return business? Call us today to find out how we can help you analyze your online market, increase your profitability with high-ROI web design, and drive pre-qualified web traffic to your web site, so you can close more sales and get more leads.