Posts Tagged ‘web marketing’

RSS Your SEO

September 13, 2008

Every website owner and manager fantasizes about the day a flood of prospective customers hit Google researching product information and the site owner’s website site shows up in the top 5 search results.  This fantasy is soon crushed when the reality sets in that millions of other site owners accross the globe are also competing for that coveted spot in the search engine’s results.
 
One of the best ways to win search engine favor is to blog.  Blogs produce an abundance of a search engines favorite food, text. In addition, blog content updates can be distributed through RSS feeds (read definition) and if your feed is distributed through a service like Feedburner (see details), then search engines are notified of updates immediately vs the 4-6 weeks it normally takes for search engines to index your site in response to your direct request (more on indexing).  In short, a Feedburner enabled blog is exponentially more search engine sticky than a standard website, even if the site is tricked out with the latest rooty tooty fresh and fruity search engine optimization modifications.

Now if that blog of yours is integrated into your site vs operating as a stand alone entity, then your website proper can benefit from a traffic rush from Google searchers. The morale of this story is add a blog today so prospective customers can’t help but come your way.  That was a horrible rhyme but you get the point.

Related topics

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  2. Consider This Before You Get a Buddy to Build Your Site
  3. For Website Success Dedicate a Resource
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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IKEA to Sell Solar Panels, Who Knew?

August 14, 2008

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From the title of this post you might think I am trying to help spread the word for big box retailer IKEA about their strategy to start selling eco-friendly products like solar panels.  The idea is pretty cool, but I am more interested in illustrating a mistake I see a lot of firms (large and small) making by neglecting to use their website home pages to feature attention-grabbing company news blurbs.

The folks over at Inhabit and others are blogging about IKEA’s developing eco-strategy but there is no visible mention of it at the IKEA site.  I will be the first to tell you to repurpose your broadcast Television video on the web but tell me what is more interesting; the headline, IKEA the first retailer to sell solar panels in stores or watch all of my tv commercials?  The morale of the story here is to constantly comb your organization for interesting, cool ideas and when you find gold let the world know.  Don’t bury the news in your online newsroom for journalists who happen upon it.  Add a catchy headline to your homepage to advertise exciting news to the world. Heck, have your web developer add a little RSS code to the page to instantly ping search engines about your great news.

How do you use your website to spread the word?

Related Topics

  1. Search Engine Optimized Press Releases
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  3. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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This Weeks Web Marketing Roundup

August 5, 2008

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As website developers I and my staff are frequently asked how to better market the websites we create.  Below are some great resources to get some of the basics and to stay on top of new web marketing trends.

Web Marketing Today (Click Here):
This site is filled with a lot of very sound advice and the publishers are great at evaluating new trends.  With so much information it can be a bit difficult to navigate but the time spent getting familiar with the site’s content will pay dividends.

ClickZ Small Business: (Click Here):
While this site is primarily targeted toward managers within large firms, many of the principles are applicable to small businesses as well.  I took the liberty of pointing you to some of the small business focused content.

Duct Tape Marketing: (Click Here):
John Jantsch is a master online and offline marketer.  Following his insights and subscribing to his blog, you are sure to walk away with something usable with each read.

The Blog Squad (Click Here):
If you are not already blogging or using social media to grow your small business, here is the place to learn how to do it right.  I just picked up a great tip on feeding blog content through Twitter.

Pronet Advertising (Click Here):
Social media has emerged as an effective and inexpensive opportunity for business owners to participate in the groundswell by building relationships with prospective customers who might purchase products and evangelize your business to others.  At Pronet follow Neil Patel’s personal experience in online marketing and you just might learn something.

Related Topics:

  1. Finding Keywords for Great SEO Results
  2. For Website Success Dedicate a Resource
  3. To Get Google to Find You, Start Writing
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive

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Your Own Media Juggernaut!

May 26, 2008

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I pride myself on my ability to come up with creative marketing and business development ideas but I recently met an entrepreneur who matched my enthusiasm and knack in every way; so I had to share her perspective with you. Donna Maria Coles Johnson is an award winning attorney, blogger, publisher and helps women and families successfully manage home and business through her Indie Business Radio Show. She is the founder and President of the Indie Beauty Network, a membership based trade organization providing business services to 700+ cosmetics manufacturers nationwide.  

Anyone who knows me has heard my mantra, “how would you market your business if you had a television station, radio outlet, magazine and newspaper totally dedicated to your business?”  Mrs. Coles is the living embodiment of this ideal and has seen fit to impart some of her wisdom and experience with us.

Q:  What has web video done for your business?
 
Video allows me to reach more people with the Indie Business messsage of self-sufficiency and empowerment. The message is powerful on its own, and whether it was my blog, radio show or magazine, it has always been well received. But video is a medium that engages the senses more completely than the others. Video allows me to share in a way that not only educates and informs, but is also entertaining. Additioanlly, video allows me to connect with people in a memorable way. I often hear from viewers that, when enjoying one of our videos, they have been made to feel like they were chatting with me over tea, and like I was speaking directly to them. Now that’s powerful! Finally, because my husband is a long-time video professional, it has also allowed me to collaborate more with him so we can expand the business beyond where either of us could take it separately.
 
Q:  How do you use video?
 
Four ways. First, by sharing an empowering and heartfelt message that I feel is important. For example, at the start of the New Year, I taped a segment called, “Ready, Aim, Fire” to get people excited about moving their business into 2008.

Second, I create packages that share Indie Business owners’ personal stories. I usually do these on location, just as a news reporter would, interviewing the Indie Business owner, showing video of them at work and sharing a bit about how they successfully combine their family responsibilities with their business ones.
 
Third, I use it to promote other things I am doing. For example, if I am having an especially exciting guest on Indie Business Radio, I’ll tape a “program note” to encourage viewers to tune into the radio show and enjoy the show live.
 
In each case, we load the video to social networking sites so that it can be played by millions of people the world over. This promotes our message and our work while we are asleep. Technology is great for that!
 
Q:   If someone is considering web video, where should they start?
 
They should start by setting goals. What do you want a video to do for you? I have seen too many videos thrown together at the last minute that make a business owner look so bad that even if what they are promoting is good, it’s ruined with bad video. So set a goal first. For example, if you are a self help author, perhaps you want to use video to promote your book. A 60-second promo message is great, especially if it includes a testimonial or two from some sincere people who can vouch for how your book has helped them. On the other hand, if you own a yoga studio, you’ll probably want less of you talking and more video of people in your yoga studio performing yoga routines and enjoying healthful time at your location.
 
A combination of things must come together for a good video: a good camera, appropriate lighting, proper makeup, a good set, good sound quality, and a powerful and organized message. Because good video is more than just “pointing and clicking,” I suggest engaging the services of a professional who can get to know your business and help you not only produce a professional quality video, but who knows enough about your business and your goals to actually help you script and produce the video.
 
Start small at first. Even 45 to 60 seconds is long enough if your message is powerful and professional.
 
4.  When does do-it-yourself video work and when should you bring in a pro?
 
Do it yourself video works for your hobby or personal ventures. But if you have a business, and you are using your video to generate sales leads, you have to have a quality product. Not many people are going to pay for your product or service if you are not professional, and if you have an unprofessional video, you will not look like a professional. This is why it’s important to have a goal in mind. If you are short on cash, start with a goal and a plan in place to recoup that cost as quickly as possible so you can start to enjoy a profit sooner rather than later.
 
Having said that, I realize that everyone has to start somewhere and that not everyone has the budget for a professional quality video. There are plenty of free or low cost resources online to help you make your own video until you get to the point where you can afford to engage a professional. You can get free video at archive.org or veer.com. You can get free music at freesounds.com or go to myspace.com and find some music you like and ask the musician if you can use it. Then get “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Videos” by Steven Beal, a great book to get you started.

Related Subjects:

  1. Entrepreneur Magazine Talks Video
  2. Do It Yourself Video: The Quality Myth
  3. Using Video to Boost Direct Mail Results
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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If You Don’t Do PR Video Now, You’ll hate Yourself Later

May 21, 2008

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30 minutes ago I appeared on a teleseminar with Internet PR phenomenon, Joan Stewart where I covered 9 Clever Ways to Use Video to Become a Publicity Darling in your Industry or Community and let me tell you I am even more psyched about the opportunity to use video to get the media to cover you.  The speed of Joan’s questions, audience queries and the general energy of the seminar did not allow time for me to share some “horse’s mouth” input I received from a local print publisher on this subject, so I will share the Q and A here.  

 The reality is that print publications are trying hard to determine how to remain relevant in world where people are flipping through less paper in their media consumption and web video is the publisher’s tool of choice.  Gerald Johnson, Publisher of the Charlotte Post Newspaper weighs in with his opinions.

Q:  Would your publication feature web video content produced by local citizens if it was of acceptable quality (video and audio) and directly spoke to the interests of your consumers?

Gerald:  Yes. We look at it as being paramount to “letters to the editor”. It is a great way to expand your audience and your community reach.

Q:  What should business owners consider to successfully pitch video stories to the Charlotte Post?

Gerald:  It is important to:

  1. Have knowledge about the current demographics of the publication.
  2. Know who we are targeting to expand our current reach.
  3. Get an understanding of our corporate and editorial culture.
  4. Pitch us on how your video stories fit who we are and where we going (1, 2, & 3)

Related Topics:

  1. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)