Category Archives for Marketing

Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing

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here is no question that multi-channel marketing offers a high return on investment. It doesn’t matter what your product is – if you’re not sending your message to multiple channels in multiple ways, you’re going to miss a large portion of your audience. Reaching more of your audience translates into higher profits. But, along with these profitable opportunities comes challenges.

 

Keeping a Consistent Message

It’s tempting when moving to a new channel for marketing to change your entire personality. However, you actually want to keep your message consistent no matter what channel you’re sending the message.

Cohesive Branding

Think about brands that you know. Taco Bell, Netflix, Facebook – all of these are very recognizable to us regardless of where we see them being discussed. Even if we just see the bell we know what it’s about.

Knowing Which Channels to Use

Your audience is not everywhere, but you should be where your audience is. You’ll need to understand who your audience is and where they “hang out” to know where you should be sending your marketing messages.

Understanding Who You’re Talking to on Each Channel

While your audience doesn’t change completely based on the channel they’re using, the way you talk to them might change a little. Your message is the same, but how you say it may be different. Twitter requires you to use 140 characters, while on TV you might have 30 seconds. This requires different approaches to delivering the same message. So knowing who you’re talking to and where you’re talking to them will help.

Creating a Customer-Centric Voice

You’ve heard a lot about finding your voice, but the truth is, the voice you need to find isn’t yours. It’s your customers’ voice. Who is your audience and what do they need to hear? What do they want to know? What is it about them that makes your product work for them? It’s never about you; it’s always about them.

Making the Experience Consistent

The other challenge with multi-channel marketing is ensuring that for those of your audience who see your message on different channels, or visit you from different channels, have a consistent experience. This can be confusing and difficult if you aren’t sure who you are, or who your audience is, or understand what your product does for them.

Understanding the Metrics

Each channel has different metrics that are important and different methods for which to analyze them. Click-through rates on your website to your sales page are counted using different software than click-through rates within your newsletter. You need to understand how it all works and ties together and what it means, as well as which numbers you want to test.

Putting Together All the Parts

It can be difficult to put all these parts together into a cohesive marketing campaign. But, every channel works together as well as independently. Each should stand alone, but each should be integrated as well. This can be a big challenge for many marketers.

Finally, no matter what happens you have to continually test every aspect of your multichannel marketing effort. Nothing is ever done until you understand the results of each effort. Success or failure comes down to the numbers.

Yes – You Can Network Locally

 

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ven if you have an online business, you don’t need to overlook your local market. Networking locally might even be the very best way to jump-start your business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a product or a service; there are people local to you who need what you’re offering. What’s more, it might be easier to market to local people than you think.

 

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    BNI -– Business Networking International is a networking group that enables local people to get together to help refer business to each other. Usually, the way it works is that only one person representing each type of business is in each networking group. There is a steep fee for being involved, but most people who stick to it report that it's worth it.                                                                                    Link - http://www.bni.com/
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    Chamber of Commerce –- Your local chamber can offer you a lot more than you might think. As a home-based business owner, there is a special need for your involvement in your chamber. You can go to business after-hours events, volunteer to help with ribbon cuttings, send out flyers to other business owners and more.
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    Niche Groups –- Even locally you'll find some niche groups such as local blogger clubs, network meetings and more that can help you find like-minded individuals or customers. You can even start your own niche groups.
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    Meetup.com –- This is an online service that helps you meet with people locally. You can find a lot of groups and events via this service that are relevant to your local networking needs.
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    Local Mastermind Groups -– Look through your local college or university to find local mastermind groups that can help you reach the next level in your business. If you're a woman, look for women-owned business networks.
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    Teach a Course –- Why not start your own networking events by teaching a course to others? You can usually rent a space relevantly inexpensively; place an advertisement in your local newspaper and via other networking groups to teach something important to local people.
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    Host a Workshop -– Once you get involved, other people will ask you to host workshops with them. Joining forces with others is always helpful and can help you get known as a local expert.
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    Sponsor an Event -– There are many local events that need sponsors. This can cost a little bit of money, but having your business name as a sponsor for a major event in your town can make a huge difference in brand awareness.
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    Volunteer for a Cause -– While you shouldn't volunteer only to get your name out there, it is still a good way to add to the knowledge others have about you. Choose a cause you like without thought to sales, but only to helping the local community get to know you while you do something helpful for a cause you care about.

Networking your home business or online business locally can help you either get jump-started or help you get out of your comfort zone to become a well-known expert in your niche.

Provide High Value to Visitors

 

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hen people search for information online, they look for about the same things that a search engine does. They do the search and then evaluate whether or not the information is authentic and useful to them. If you always seek to provide high value information to your visitors, you’’ll be a lot more likely to not only attract a high quality of customers to your website, but also to keep them there. Here are some great ways you can provide that high value that people are looking for.

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    Develop White Papers - –A white paper is an authoritative paper that either persuades a consumer toward a particular product using facts, or describes problems and offers multiple solutions to the consumer. You can provide white papers on a variety of topics for your audience that will be seen as high value to your audience, whether they'’re free or not.
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    Create Videos - –A great way to provide high value to your audience is to make videos for them. You can create “how-to” videos, explainer videos, and other types of demonstration videos, or even just informational videos about topics that your audience cares about. Make them short, no more than three to five minutes. The value will be perceived as very high when it’'s information they want.
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    Write eBooks –- Another way to provide high value to visitors is to offer eBooks about the topics they care about. In this way, they can read the information on their Kindle or other reading device away from the website.  
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    Form an Inner Circle -– One really great way to provide a super high value to your audience is to create a members only area, paid or free, where people have to be approved to join. You can now do this via Facebook private and secret groups. People like feeling exclusive, and this is a good way to do it.
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    Host Monthly Webinars –- Offer periodic webinars or teleseminars for your website visitors. If you offer them monthly, based on various topics of importance to your audience, you'll up your authority quotient with your audience exponentially.
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    Conduct Case Studies -– Once you've been around long enough, you'll likely have some success stories that can be shared. Collect case studies about people who have used methods you describe. You can even collect studies about people who have succeeded using methods like yours. This will make the audience feel like they're truly getting a lot of value out of the information provided.
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    Interview Experts - –Your audience will absolutely love it if you interview movers and shakers within your niche. What's more, the more you interview experts, the more people will view you as an expert. That's how Oprah became the guru we now know today. Not only has she learned from those she’ has interviewed, but her audience sees her as an expert in a variety of fields.

Most bloggers don’'t really understand the ​​​​​power in providing value to their visitors, so they miss out. But now you know that providing high value through the various types of content you offer can increase the traffic and even improve traffic loyalty.

Quality over Quantity

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hen it comes to building traffic to your website, the thing to remember the most is that quality matters more than quantity. You’ve likely heard before that “less is more,” and that’s definitely true when it comes to building traffic to your website using methods like blogging, social media marketing and more. But, in some ways the idea of quality over quantity is not even a real choice.

The real questions you should answer are:

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    What is your purpose? - Explain the reasons behind doing what you're doing in one to three sentences. 
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    Who is your audience? - Explain who you're doing it for by creating a persona of your ideal client or customer.
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    How fast do you want to succeed? - What is the timeline of your success story?

The thing is, high quality should be a given. The next question is how much time you have to devote to producing the type of quality that you want to produce, and how quickly you want to experience success. It's all a numbers game and easy to break down if you understand your niche and industry.

A PLAN OF ACTION:

When you determine the type of traffic you want, it will dictate the type of content you create for your audience. Then, figure out how many visitors you need to get to your website to convert to a certain number of sales. Work out how each piece of content you use, and each pay per click you add, affects those goals, and from this you can create a plan of action.

That plan needs to include both quality and quantity, at least up to the point where you are generating the amount of traffic you need to generate in order to earn the amount of money you've planned to earn.

For example, suppose in your niche an average daily visitor total is 200 a day, your product costs 20 dollars and your conversion rate is 5%. This means that for every 200 visitors, you'll make 10 sales. That would be, in this case, $200 dollars per day gross earnings for your efforts. If you want to have more results, you'll need to produce above average traffic or increase the price of your product.

The best way to increase traffic is to increase the amount of activity on your website through blog posts and various other types of content that you offer your audience, but to keep the quality high. So, that's why the idea of a choice between quality and quantity is really not a real choice. Depending on your goals, you may have to do both. You're always going to need to produce high quality information or products - that's expected. But, you may bring the quantity of the content you add to your website or the development of new products up faster or slower depending on your goals.

10 Things That Should Be In Your Marketing Plan

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hen developing your online marketing plan, you have to take into account all your goals for it. You need to understand who your audience is, how to make them aware of you, and what their buying process is so that you can create the best online marketing plan for them.

Here’s what an online marketing plan will consist of.

Website Management and Updates

From the start, create a website that takes into consideration all the rules of SEO. Do this from the first page created, to every page that links in, and every article, blog post or image that you include. Everything should be something that you know will advance your marketing goals.

SEO: On- and Off-Page

Learn everything you can about SEO because getting organic traffic that you do not directly pay for via pay per click or other types of advertisements is worth even more than paid traffic. Why? Audience members who seek you out, rather than the other way around, will be more likely to convert to paying customers. They are going to be much more likely to buy than someone who reads and responds to an advertisement.

Link Building On and Off Your Website

Link building helps search engines, but it also helps your audience find your information in a more organized fashion. Take some time to consider your link-building strategy and create a plan of action going forward that will provide links from outside your website to your content, plus links within your website to more of your content.

Locally Optimize

One way to ensure that people find you, especially if you have a locally focused business, is to ensure that you use keywords that help local people find and discover you. For example, if you are a local dentist you want to use the name of your location as well as the name of your business within meta descriptions, headers, titles and tags.

Press Releases

Many people dismiss press releases as offline marketing, but today with PRWeb.com you can send out press releases online, too. This will provide information for your audience in numerous ways. You can put the press release on your website, as well as send it out to those who might want to pick up the story.

Email Marketing

No online marketing plan is complete without email marketing. Email marketing is the lifeblood of your online marketing plan and will infuse your online marketing program. With email marketing, you have a way to capture leads, turn them into customers, and more.

Blogging

Everything starts with your website or blog. All the content you create, all the products you promote, and all the services you provide, live on your blog or website. Even if you have a storefront, the website or blog is the central hub of your online existence.

Social Media

Using social media to promote your content and information to your audience is a fabulous way to get the word out. Plus, it’s a great way to engage and build trust with your targeted audience. You can have conversations, share interesting things you read, share the information that others share with you, and more.

Pay Per Click

Using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and more, you can conduct pay-per-click campaigns that get great results and are a good addition to the other types of market that you do online.

Reputation Management

Use articles, eReports, white papers, posts, messages and more to boost and manage your online reputation. This is a useful aspect of online marketing that should not be ignored.

You can make an online marketing plan in a page or two, or you can create a page for each aspect with a step-by-step to-do list of what you will do to ensure that each part of your plan is realized. The worst thing you can do is proceed without a plan.

Earning Income with Courses

There are many ways to earn an income with online courses. You can set them up on your own website, as a paid email course, or on a special website that promotes courses like Udemy. But, whichever way you do it there is a lot of money to be made with online courses. You can earn money from a course directly, or you can make money on the back end (or both). Let us look at some of the different ways to earn money with online courses.

Paid Course – You can earn money directly with a paid course. There are course websites like Udemy, Fedora, and many others. Look for “sell your course online” and you will find a lot of them to help you. You can also set up your course on your own website using a membership website feature like Infusionsoft, Memberium, or even just a PayPal button with a password only website.  We also offer our custom course solutions here.  Here are some great resources:

Free Course – You can still earn money with a free course. By giving your audience a short free course via email, or in a membership on your website, you can use the course to build your email list. You can then promote other things to them via the course and the email list. For example, on each email that you send about the course, you can include a link to your paid courses.

Backend – Remember that for any page on your site (such as the page where you send people to collect the next free module of your course), you can put recommended products that match things that your audience will need if they are to become successful at whatever you are promoting through your course.

All Three – You can earn money through all three methods if you want to. It does not matter if a paid course is delivered or not; you can still add complementary products to the delivery page, or via an email newsletter that the students sign up to receive.

Complementary Items – For example, if you are selling a course about how to write and sell a book on Kindle, you can promote services related to the venture, such as contractors who will do the work for them. You can also promote software that helps them or peripheral products that they may be interested in.

Future Courses – A series of courses are an excellent way to earn more money through online courses. This works very well if the first course is free, then to learn more they have to pay for the upgraded future course.

You can always make money with courses. You just have to think about what your audience needs outside of the course, and you can promote those things to them as well. You can make money from the course directly and then make money indirectly by promoting complementary products, services, and more courses.

8 Common Mistakes Made in JV Partnerships

A JV partnership is a joint venture where two different businesses join up to work on a particular project together. They do not become one business entity; rather they stay separate through the JV experience and after.

There are many advantages in having a JV partnership. At the same time, here are some common mistakes that you’ll definitely want to avoid.

Not Having a Contract – So many people get involved with JVs without a contract and this is a huge mistake. If you have no control over the purse, the domain, or the intellectual property, you could end up being left out from the profit too.

Not Having a Clear Delineation of Duties – Each partner in the relationship should have some type of duty or responsibility. There are cases of silent partnerships where one gives their name, their list, or some funding in exchange for a split of the profits, but everything should be spelled out specifically. If you want one person to deliver a specific amount of work each month, say so.

Giving Up Too Much Control of Your Brand – In a joint venture, sometimes one person is in control and in charge. However, you want to keep an eye on your brand so that you do not give up too much control over it.

Unrealistic Expectations – It is easy to get excited about a joint venture, but do not place all your hopes and dreams into a single venture. You never know what can happen, but you need to have contingency plans.

Entering into Partnership with a Competitor – It is a bad idea to enter into a JV partnership with someone who is a direct competitor. Instead, try to find people to work with who market complementary goods and services to your audience.

Not Planning an Exit Strategy – Most JV partnerships do not last forever. Therefore, you should write into the contract how long the relationship will last and how it will end. Planning everything in advance usually works better than just letting it dissolve on its own due to potentially having different expectations.

Not Offering Something Valuable to the Partnership – If everyone is to be satisfied in the partnership then each person needs to contribute value to the partnership. Everyone will feel better and it will cut down on resentment.

Trying to Hook Up With Someone in the Wrong Niche – It is hard sometimes to differentiate between working with someone who offers complementary products in your niche and someone who is in an entirely different niche. But you need to stick to what you know and only enter JV partnerships within your niche.

When you enter into a partnership, it is more important than ever to cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s. Do not be afraid to ask for a better contract or better terms when working out the initial phases of the JV relationship. If you are setting it up, do not have a  “me first” attitude about the situation. Instead, find a way to make the JV a win-win association for everyone involved so that everybody can contribute talents and benefit as equally as possible.

Creating a Content Marketing Plan

Pretty much every aspect of online marketing needs content. You need content for social media posts, blog posts, guest articles, white papers, eBooks, and more. You can use many types of content to help get the word out about your products and services while educating your audience about the issues in your industry.  Taking this approach will help you develop yourself as an authority and your products and services as answers to your audience’s needs.

The best way to accomplish this is to develop a content marketing plan. You can create a content marketing plan for any type of business quickly and easily.

Set Goals for the Future – What do you want to accomplish with each piece of content that you want to create? First write down some ideas, such as increase traffic by 50 percent within 6 weeks, increase sales by 60 percent within 4 weeks, or get more targeted newsletter subscribers within a specific period of time. Be specific about your goals in terms of the exact results you want to achieve and how you will achieve them.

Assess Where You Are Today – Everyone has to start where they are today. How many subscribers do you have now? How many people have purchased your product or service to date? What type of content do you have and what types of results is it producing right now? Can you pinpoint exactly which pieces of content are getting the type of results you want? Perhaps none of your current content is getting any results. Note that, so that you know where to begin.

Know your Target Customer -Take a closer look at who you want your exact customer to be. Create a persona describing that perfect customer so that when you create any marketing content you know who you are creating it for. You may find you have several subsets of audience personas for the same product; that is okay, but looking at them will help you develop even better content.

Understand Your Sales Funnel and Your Audience’s Buying Cycle – You have your product/sales funnel, plus your consumers buying cycle to consider. Content should be created for each stage of the funnel and the cycle because each type of content has a different purpose.

Know the Purpose of Each Piece of Content – When you know the purpose of each piece of content you create, you will be able to direct it to the right person, at the right time, and put it in the right place. These actions will ensure that you receive the results you are looking for.

Create an Editorial Calendar – Once you have an idea of what type of content you want to create, get out a calendar and start writing in what needs to be written or created. For example, if you are promoting a video eCourse, you may need to produce some shorter videos along with articles to give your audience the information they need to choose your course.

Have the Content Developed – Once you have a calendar, you can just go day by day and create the content you need. Or you can send it to someone else to do it for you such as a contractor. If you want to hire a contractor, you will need to create content in advance to allow for the turnaround time of each contractor that you hire.

Promote Your Content – Do not just post the content and leave it at that. Instead, once the content has been published tell everyone about it. Promote it to your list; promote it to your social media followers. You may want to try using Twitter Ads and Promoted Posts on Facebook. Also, ensure that you set up SEO on your site using a good plugin like SEO Yoast.

Measure the Results – Using the analytics systems that you have already in Google Analytics, your email marketing software, and any other software that you use for your business, test and measure whether what you are doing is working or not.

Optimize and Adjust – When you look at the results of your work, take a look at what you can improve upon and adjust. Try changing one small thing, or doing more of something that is working really good to improve your content marketing plan.

Rinse and Repeat – Like with most things that work, you should do it again. Keep the process moving forward month after month, year after year, based on analytics and the products and services that you want to promote.

Creating and following a content marketing plan will improve your business exponentially. You will be able to stay ahead of everything based on your products and services, including planned launches and so forth. It is important to be proactive to ensure that the results that you want are obtained.

How to Integrate Scaled Content Creation

Knowing how to scale content, or get the most out of your content, is an important idea that all small business owners need to understand. There is only so much time in the day, and only so much information that can be out there at any one time. If you do not learn how to scale the content that you spend a lot of time, money and resources on, you will come up short.  Here are 8 ideas that will help in creating a positive ROI and scaling your content.

Curate Compelling Content – Researching and finding content that your audience will find valuable outside of your own content is an important component of becoming a thought leader and getting your name into the discussion. Plan in advance to find the right content that relates to the information that you have created for the day, week or month. Share your thoughts on the content that you share, and link to the original source.

Use a Lot of Original Content – It is important to use at least as much original content as you do curated content. To craft content that speaks to your audience you need to always research your audience. Remember that while an audience may not change, e.g. “Housewives with children under 2 who stay at home,” their ideas change through the generations. You would not create content for the wife and mother who stays home with her young children today that has any relationship to content that you may have created back in 1960.

Craft Engaging Social Media Content – Remember that each social network has its own personality and values. You need to make sure the content you share on the social media matches this personality. You can edit and change it to make it fit. Share older evergreen content when it relates to a discussion on social media as an answer. Also, don’t be afraid to share everything more than once on the same social media. The people who are online right now may not be online later.

Repurpose Your Content Well – When you repurpose content, do not copy and paste into new formats. Truly change the personality of the content by using it as research and making it practically new for the different format. You do not want it to look cookie cutter; you want it to look and feel new. All content should be housed on your website, so by making it new you avoid issues of duplicate content, and maintain the originality of the piece. Cross-link to all your content as needed to tie it in.

Tell Your Story – The best way to improve brand awareness is to find ways to tell your story. You will generate more leads and make more conversions by getting close to your audience, and let them get to know who you are, why you are who you are, and what you stand for. Craft a compelling story that puts your audience front and center.

Plan in Advance – You know the saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When it comes to content, nothing could be truer. You need to decide how much content you want to create, what formats the content will take, and the volume of curated content you want to add. In addition, you need to put it all in writing in the form of a publication calendar so that you can visually see how it all ties in with your product funnel.

Promote Everything – Whether it is curated content, or content you have created in its original form, or repurposed content, it’s important to share it all. Promotion is at the heart of your success. Promote via social media, pay per click, email marketing, and affiliates. The more ways you can find to promote the content that you want your audience to see, the better conversions you will see.

Get Help – All of this seems like a lot of work, and it is. But, you can do it by getting help. You can outsource to individuals and manage everything yourself, or you can hire a company or a content manager or content strategist to help you with the process. You can be as hands-on or off as you want as long as the content that is created and promoted fits your brand.

Your audience wants a continuous flow of information, and they want it in different forms and from different resources. You can offer them the best of all worlds by giving them the content you believe is valuable that other people create, and by providing them with your original content in many different forms for their use. Putting all that together in a cohesive form needs to be planned in advance to make it work seamlessly.