Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AN ONLINE MARKETING LESSON for BUSINESSES

Sorry for the long delay between posts, but my football website (www.900footballinks.net) gets very busy around the draft and that, along with my new walk-on ad product has been keeping me very busy.

The Internet is an ever-evolving medium that can offer businesses, even businesses that concentrate on local markets, excellent opportunities for expanding sales, building brand, cementing customer loyalty and showing their staff’s expertise.

First, if your business sells products, it is very easy and inexpensive to sell those same products online. Whether making it convenient to sell to your existing customers, selling to people who knew your store but have moved away, or expanding your customer base outside of your local market, there are low-cost, low-tech, on-line solutions to help you. One place to start is at www.PayPal.com where you can get a merchant credit card account and a shopping cart for free (except for the payment processing charges incurred when you make a sale). PayPal is fairly easy to use so you can set up your on-line store yourself. Of course if you do not have the time, you can hire a company to consult with you and set up your online storefront. When you build your storefront, be sure to include an online customer service function (to deal with customer inquiries) and email notification process (inform customers of new products/services, a monthly newsletter, etc.). These help build customer confidence and customer loyalty.

From a marketing standpoint there are a number of tools you can use to help increase sales. The first is the use of online press releases. Many of the sites that provide press release distribution are free. One good one is www.prlog.org. This site has a very effective free service as well as enhanced services that cost money.

The key to an effective press release is to make an information announcement, and then go on to explain the benefits to your customers. End the press release with a link to your web site.

For example, use a press release to announce a new product, a new relationship with vendor, a special sale, an event the business is sponsoring, a promotion for a key staff member, a new credential for a key staff member, new-found benefits of a product, etc. After informing the readers of the information (e.g. Company ABC is now carrying a new product that helps reduce cholesterol), explain how your customers benefit from the information in the announcement (e.g. facts about product testing showing the significant cholesterol reduction, sample taste-testing at store location during the month of May, product on sale at 25% off during the month of May) and then be sure to have a link to your web site where the reader can get directions to your location, read the taste-test results from the customers that tried your samples, and can purchase the new product on-line.

Another way to market your business is through the use of blogs, feeds and widgets. Blogs are opinion/information write-ups. If you write a blog you can become known as an expert in a specific subject matter, and that could help you retain your customers and bring you more customers. Using the example in the prior paragraph, you could write a series of blogs regarding how to manage health issues (such as reducing cholesterol). The blog would include, but not be limited to products and services sold by your company. Your blog then generates clicks to your web site, and questions from individuals (either via email or posted at your blog site). You then have the opportunity to turn these clicks and contacts into sales.

After writing your blogs, be sure to have them turned into feeds. When blogs are turned into feeds your write-up can be viewed at sites other than your own (many sites carry blog feeds), and people can subscribe to your feed bringing your write-up to them. This extends the reach of your blog beyond the visitors who come to your blog site.

The last topic regarding blogs is widgets. A widget is a box containing the titles of your blogs and the first couple of sentences of each of your blog postings. Webmasters that like your information can place your widget on their web site. Why? Because it is a way for a site to get free, fresh content thus attracting traffic to their site. However, anyone can click on an article in the widget to read the full article, which of course, contains links to your site. Oh, and the best thing about widgets is that anyone reading a widget can capture it and place it on their web site. So widgets are a great marketing tool, but you need a blog with interesting information for your widgets to spread.

For a free blog, you can sign up at www.google.com/accounts. Google also provides a free feed burning service, so sign up for that as well. For a free widget (after establishing a blog and burning a feed), go to www.widgetbox.com.

Blogs and press releases are applicable to every business, and should be used by every business. If you need help coming up with topics or setting up and writing your press releases and blogs, contact me at JayGoldberg@DTRConsulting.BIZ or call and leave a message at 561-842-9942. You can also go to my web site www.dtrconsulting.biz/dtrms.htm.

Now, we get down to the nitty-gritty.

Advertising on the World Wide Web is a major business. In 2008 about $30,000,000,000 was spent advertising online (with a little under $50,000,000 coming from the West Palm Beach area).

The Internet has become the main focus for entertainment. And not just for watching movies and tv shows, and listening to live radio. Many people play games, look for people to date and visit sites and blogs to read about football, politics, television shows, movies, books, celebrities, the news, pets, recipes, science fiction, investments, the environment, health, the weather and more. Advertisers need to reach people on the Internet to have an effective advertising campaign.

While most people think of banner ads, pop-up ads and spam email when they think of Internet advertising, it is the pre-roll ads on video (e.g. the commercials that play before watching a television show online) and audio (e.g. commercials that play prior to listening to radio stations online) that represent the most effective and growing segment of online advertising.

Now, however, advertisers can use “walk-on ads” on web sites creating a tv-like, pre-roll ad that site visitors must watch as they enter a web site. These ads are great for generating traffic (there is a click through to your site) and for establishing and building your brand. The ads are relatively inexpensive to make and to run, and in many ways are more effective than the current pre-roll ads. For example, if you have a pet product, you can target an age/demographic group with a pre-roll ad for online television/radio shows; but using web sites, you can target a site dealing with pet health or pet-friendly hotels for your walk-on ad. Walk-on ads can also be used on your own site to inform and direct your visitors to new products and special sales.

If you would like to see a sample ad, I made a demo at www.DTRConsulting.BIZ. I am far from a professional model, but I made the ad to understand the process and demonstrate its ease. If you are interested in using a walk-on ad for your business, or if you have a web site and would like to offer walk-on ads to generate revenue, be sure to click on the ad to find out more information and send in the contact form. The direct link to that page (will skip the ad) is www.DTRConsulting.BIZ/dtrwalkon.htm.

And now, finally, I am looking for a few good men and women who would like to sell walk-on advertising. Do you know someone? This is independent contractor status; there is no salary, and no benefits. I am your back office support which includes coming up with a script for your client. You earn commissions for your sales, including residuals when your customers order additional ads. This is not an MLM, there are no fees to join, and you manage your own time. You can do this part time, or full time. In fact, if you are looking for a job this is not a bad interim gig. After all you will be interacting with businesses, so you can network while selling the walk-on ads. If this interests you, there is a box you can check on the contact form referred to in the prior paragraph. You can also call and leave me a message at 561-842-9942.

That’s it (and certainly enough) for now. Catch you in my next post.

6 comments:

emarketed said...

wow this is great info. Thanks for sharing. I just learned something new...

Jay Goldberg said...

I'm glad my blog was informative.

Mary said...

Hi,

Nice post! I feel one must develop profit pulling marketing techniques for a successful business.

Jay Goldberg said...

Thanks Mary, I agree. Are you a provider of marketing services? Or do you have a business and want to discuss an online marketing strategy? If so email me (JayGoldberg@DTRConsulting.BIZ) or call me (561-842-9942, leave a message and I will return the call).

priya said...

I did not use this tool yet, but it could be nice and impressive tool in the online marketing world.
Online Marketing

Mary said...

Advertising invites your target audience to evaluate how your product or service measures up against your competitors. well ! Printandradio is a full service advertising agency and it’s known every business dollar is essential in the overall health of a company.


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