Archive for February, 2011

7 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Marketing Events

Events, big and small, have historically been an important marketing tool. Internet Week New York, consisting of over 200 smaller events, and Social Media Day, comprising over 700 Meetups across six continents, show the power of social media to significantly transform the impact of an event to achieve a variety of goals. Social media was a critical component of these events in terms of raising awareness, encouraging participation, and enhancing the experience.

7 Reasons to Add Events to Your Marketing Mix

Events can help marketers attain a variety of business goals whether your firm has a permanent physical presence or not. Here are seven reasons to create and/or participate in events:

  1. Create revenue opportunities by offering either additional or related product or by charging admission.
  2. Expand reach to new prospects who either hear about and/or attend your events.
  3. Build your brand cost-effectively, either directly as the creator of the event or as a sponsor, advertiser, exhibitor, or presenter.
  4. Enhance relationships with existing customers.
  5. Provide education and/or training related to your offering.
  6. Gather consumer input, especially for testing new business ideas and products.
  7. Use as an internal tool set to enhance employee team building offsites, annual meetings, or fun outings.

7 Types of Events

From a marketing perspective, consider the type of event and match it with the appropriate social media to achieve your company’s goals. Here are seven options from which to choose.

  1. Festivals are often consumer-oriented and include established, recurring events, such as those around holidays like Independence Day or annual events like Fashion Week. The social media version is a Twitter festival organized for social good with offline events. For example, Twestival Global 2010 consisted of 175 offline events focused on education. Company participation can vary from sponsorship to special-related activities.
  2. Conferences, including their less structured social media cousins, unconferences, and the online version, virtual conferences. These can be important revenue-generators for businesses. Alternatively, companies can be sponsors, exhibitors, or presenters. For example, ThoughtLead created The Influencer Project. Billed as the world’s shortest conference ever, it presented 60 social media experts in one hour. The event was promoted and shared using #Influencer.
  3. Meetings and their social media variant, Meetups, can be organized around business topics such as WordPress or consumer interests such as knitting. For example, SEMPO NY has a Meetup group with over 1,100 members.
  4. Classes may be a fee-based line extension to provide skills to enable users to more effectively use your product or a means to encourage additional sales. Online video demonstrations also fall into this category. One great example is WordPress.tv.
  5. Webinars – while most frequently used to reach a business audience in order to raise awareness or engage prospects, Webinars can be adapted to help consumers with complex topics like finance.
  6. Twitter chats – promoted on Twitter and blogs, these are discussions that occur on Twitter where participants contribute to the conversation using tweets. They are identified through the use of a hashtag. (For a list of Twitter chats, check out this.) One popular example is #blogchat, which occurs Sunday nights.
  7. Tweetups – formally or informally organized real-life meetings promoted via Twitter. Location-based services like Foursquare also enable impromptu gatherings at a specific location. For example, Boston and Chicago have regularly planned events.

7 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Events

Social media expands the reach of your event while generating content that can be used to promote your events.

  1. Organize events. Use of products like Meetup.com and Eventbrite facilitate keeping on top of meeting details.
  2. Provide venues for the online participation in events using Twitter and Facebook, for example.
  3. Promote events with a variety of media formats such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter to encourage participation. Enhance the reach of your event by making content about it socially shareable. To this end, create a unique event hashtag like #smday to aid findability across social media platforms.
  4. Enhance live events by providing concurrent commentary and capturing salient ideas using Twitter, live blogging, and live streaming. For example, moderators at live panels can incorporate comments and questions sourced from Twitter.
  5. Extend audience for live events via online participation both in real time and on-demand. For example, the contents of Facebook’s F8 conference are available on its site.
  6. Enable attendee interaction through Twitter, blog posts and comments, blogs, video, photographs, and Facebook. For example, check out the highly popular NY Tech Meetup’s page.
  7. Record and post record of events via Facebook, blogs, video, and photo sharing. For example, here’s the record of Social Media Day on Flickr.

7 Metrics to Track Event Success

As with any marketing program, it’s critical to measure your results to determine their effectiveness. Among the salient measures to track are:

  1. Participants. Monitor separately how many people attended your event live and online.
  2. Shares of event-related content. Users that share feel strongly enough to spread word of your event to their contacts. Remember that sharing can happen across a wide range of platforms.
  3. User-generated content created in a variety of formats including tweets, comments, check-ins on location-based services, blog posts, photographs, and video. In addition to tracking the number of comments and uploads, assess the sentiment of the contributions to determine how they reflect on your company and brand.
  4. House file. As a result of this event, how many new prospects registered to receive your e-mails, catalogs, tweets, RSS feeds, or other forms of content?
  5. Media attention. Did the event garner additional media attention? How large was the audience for this “free reach” and what were its demographics?
  6. Revenues. Did you generate additional sales of product via new streams or any other related revenues such as training or conference fees?
  7. Expenses. What was the cost in terms of the event and related marketing? Was additional headcount needed to support the event?

In addition, don’t forget to track less quantifiable variables. For example, did the event improve employee moral or brand recognition?

While events in themselves don’t constitute a total marketing strategy, they can be an important component of the mix, since they provide benefits for both marketers and consumers. By using social media to enhance your events, you can extend your reach while providing additional means to connect with your firm.

What is the Social Marketing Revolution?

Social marketing is revolutionary phenomena in online marketing. Social marketing sites like Twitter, FaceBook are used to generate more and more revenue. These social networking sites are the hot places for business promotion. Twitter uses for many purposes like information and media sharing, and for business purposes. Twitter is a social tool that helps connect businesses more meaningfully with the right prospect. These sites are used by business organization as well their customer. Different people use it for different reasons, business organization uses it to connect with their customers, for sharing information, for gathering real time market information or market intelligence and undoubtedly to build relationship with their business environment may be it is internal business environment or external business environment, on the other side twitter is used by customers as well, they use twitter to tell their experience with your product, offer and for gathering more information about the product.

Twitter followers usually have a specific reason for following you. If your twitter account is for professional networking, they most likely want to hear your thoughts on relevant industry topics. Twitter thrives on the relationship between you and your followers, so almost all internet marketers use it to advertise their product. We all know social networking is about building relations. The only way to build strong relation is to follow those who follow you. There is automation software available which will help to grow twitter followers. Twitter is the cheapest way to market your online business. Twitter is a simple tool that helps connect businesses more significantly. Online businesses earn more and more profit with the increase of twitter followers, so online marketer always try to increase twitter follower. Online marketer always searches for a solution which will provide them right prospect without using any time consuming process like searching the client and then interacting with them. Many web sites provide the facility to buy twitter follower, this type of packages are available in different variants in terms of number of followers say they will provide you package of 1000 , 2000 and 5000 followers, which an online marketer can buy easily. But it’s not a guarantee that these are your prospects, if not than your money is not utilized and again you have to search for the prospect. For approaching correct prospect online marketer always try to buy targeted twitter follower.

These websites help attract thousands of followers that you can keep informed about your product or service you just have to give an offer to move them into your network. Both the above ways are useful in case of online marketing. For promoting their product online marketer always searches for a place where they can promote their product to a large number of audience so they can target their prospect easily and at affordable prices.

Tips To Building Up Your Internet Business

To obtain more local customers for your business, consider expanding your local business through the Internet. If you want to know a sure-fire, almost 100% fool proof secret that will keep your Internet marketing business alive and thriving for years into the future, then this article will show you how. Strategic Internet marketing is going to be the basis for any online Internet business being a success and earning you money.

Finally, niche marketing while not unknown to the offline world, is taken to new heights online where automated internet tools allow an internet business owner to target these highly targeted online niches and exploits them. Firstly, an internet business that sells an online service like service that can be highly automated can potentially outperform an offline business. The benefits of operating an internet home business include enormous profit potential, easy access to highly successful affiliate programs, and an effective means of advertising your service or product.

The key point in building up your internet business, and effective money generating business website is to know who are your potential consumers, or will be; to clearly understand their needs, and turn them into loyal and paying customers who provide the basis of your business survival, let alone thriving. The more you know and understand about your potential customers, the more you are to focus in building your business website to cater for their needs, thus the more successful your business as it goes in the long run. Word of mouth tell all your friends about your website you never know they may tell someone who tells someone who purchases something from you or decides that they too want to get into the internet business and they may join you in building your down line and sign up for one or two of your programs.

In conclusion, participating in internet business or internet marketing forums and helping others along is a good thing. No matter what product or service you sell, developing a support system is critical to the success of your internet home business.

Maximumize AdWords Marketing

Google has formed a very productive internet marketing method in AdWords advertising. In accordance with the theory of keywords, the idea necessitates brilliant placement of ads on applicable websites, so as to establish that only the most highly targeted traffic is led your way through those ads. You have the preference of both text ads or banner ads. Google has specified size parameters, and your ad units must abide by those parameters. Text ads must consist of 2 lines of text, along with a header line.

The Quality Is In The Keywords

No matter what you eventually sell on your website – whether it’s a complete product range regarding something, or some services, or even a simple affiliate marketing plan – you must have quality content on your website. The quality of your website content determines the price of your AdWords advertising. It also determines the amount of revenue generated by the hits resulting directly from this advertising.

It might seem like a good idea to use a misleading keyword phrase in your Google AdWords campaign in order to direct more traffic towards your website. But always remember internet surfers aren’t stupid, and they know what they’re looking for.

And if your AdWords advertising and marketing says you’re marketing carpets, but there’s no reference of carpets anywhere on your website, your visitors won’t turn into customers just because they’ve reached your website, so they might as well buy something.

On the contrary, this kind of misleading AdWords advertising can have the very opposite effect. It can totally destroy your brand name and market trustworthiness. It can cause the search engines to hate you. It can even lead to a “Google Slap”, which is what happens when Google increases your bid prices for keywords because of irrelevant website content and low page ranks on the search engines.

The Targeted Audience

The importance of relevant keywords can’t be emphasized enough in making your Google AdWords campaign a successful marketing venture. Internet surfers like websites that provide what they advertise. Even more important is that your ads should be relevant to the particular market segment you’re targeting.

For example, if you’re selling health products related to asthma, mention something about the discomfort experienced by asthmatics – in such a way that it touches an emotional chord inside them somewhere, compelling them to check out what you’ve got to offer.

Almost all Internet marketers are however aren’t capable to make optimum use of AdWords advertising. Consequently, they simply end up paying needless costs without adequate conversions into revenues. Furthermore, the bid prices of the AdWords also increases, if the landing page of your website isn’t totally related to the keywords employed.

If you make use of the simple tips provided above, you can easily gain a pretty decent advantage over your competitors, with increased revenues and a reduced cost of advertising.

 Provided by: Charles McDuffie

Improve Your Email Marketing

Email marketing has come a long way since the early years of the modern internet. Marketers have moved beyond the traditional batch and blast approach in an effort to deliver campaigns that are more focused, personal, and effective. Technology has moved the industry forward in a big way, and left behind a variety of useful tools in its path. Keeping up with these tools is critically important for those who wish to continually reap the benefits of email marketing.

The Business Then and Now

In the beginning, email marketing made its reputation as a reliable method for connecting with a large audience, offering benefits that could be compared to the internet itself in terms of reach. Most of the initial rage was attributed to it being more cost effective than traditional channels. Those days saw marketers sending plaintext messages to one large list and generating very positive results. A few years later, HTML emerged, extending itself from the web to the email platform. Today, it provides a way for marketers to communicate far more effectively and create a better experience for consumers.

The past days of email marketing were largely based on sending messages to as many people as you could as fast as possible. Reporting was limited to viewing general data related to opens, clicks, and conversions. These days, savvy marketers are relying on segmentation to achieve relevance and personalization, while analytics is available as a tool to track everything from website activity to engagement. The industry is currently blessed with techniques that enable businesses to deploy campaigns with a greater level of sophistication, and gain deeper insight into their success with technology that was not available before.

The advancements in email marketing tools have added tremendous flexibility to a tactic that was always known for its power. Today, it can be integrated with a variety of different methods and channels that make it possible for businesses to tap into new markets. It is an ideal match for traditional vehicles such as direct mail, as well as newer channels such as blogs, social networks, and mobile platforms. These integrations not only significantly enhance the value of email, but also other methods and channels. More importantly, they offer the power to strengthen your overall marketing efforts.

Observe and Adapt

Technology has had such an impact on email marketing, that it has delivered useful tools we will likely rely on for years to come, while rendering many others obsolete through the process of evolution. It is important for marketers to understand that consumers have also evolved. So, in addition to staying on top of technology, we must continuously make an effort to better understand their evolving wants and needs. The key to enjoying long lasting success in any industry is one that calls for its players to observe and adapt. This has been proven time and again by the many businesses that have applied the same approach to email marketing.

Can Utilizing SEO Help Grow Your Business?

Business owners are always looking to maintain stable business and steadily increase their demand. They must constantly be aware of new marketing strategies that cater to their target demographic. As our community changes through time, so do the needs of our community. More and more people are relying on their connection to the Internet for socializing, researching, to make purchases, and acquiring their news and entertainment. With the continuing increase of Internet traffic, the battle for attention has become a war. Business owners are turning to Internet marketing tactics to grasp the attention of the growing online community. Determining the right SEO tags can help a particular business rise to the top of the search results and get noticed first.

A good SEO strategy is to think of the specific functions and needs of the particular business, then deciding which tactics will get the best online results. There are several ways to optimize a business’s exposure. Check out your business’s website, make sure it is inviting and can be easily navigated by the potential consumer. Design your website to effectively target potential consumers, or turn those who are just looking for more information into consumers.

Pay-per-click marketing is another method that can be helpful. Pay-per-click is a cost-effective method to bring your business to the top of the rankings. There is a charge for every time your business’s impression is clicked on. The business also pays for placement when a certain keyword is entered in a search engine, in order for their impression to show up higher when the results page is shown.

You can also get higher rankings by creating content and using link building services. Creating content and publishing it on various and relevant Internet sites is a way to get your company ranked higher in the organic search engine results. Link building targets visitors and directs them to your business’s website. It is important to base your SEO strategy on the needs of your particular business. This will ensure a link to your website will pop up when someone sits down at their computer and searches for your business’s product or service!

Four Axioms Of Brand Recovery In A New Economy

Though the economy is now hinting at improved conditions ahead, consensus remains that the recession’s effects on consumer spending habits will endure beyond the recovery. Much like the Great Depression changed the spending habits of a generation, the current recession has left consumers reaching past the lure of luxury in search of value-driven purchases. While this has been a boon to mass and value-priced retailers such as Target and Amazon, it has left many premium brands swooning.

To compete in this new environment, many marketers are finding themselves at square one, revisiting the basic tenets of connecting with consumers. Along with the economic shift, we have also seen a shift in the media landscape and audience media-consumption habits. So the fundamentals of how marketers approach and engage consumers must change as well. Here are a few marketing axioms and a look at how various brands are successfully approaching consumers in the new economic environment.

Connect on a personal level
Create opportunities to connect with consumers on a personal level. Find out what they think, what they dream and what they want. This affords you insight into their perspectives, motivations and needs. In turn, you can leverage this knowledge to benefit your brand as you provide real answers to the needs of your consumers.

Asus and Intel did this with the development of WePC.com. The two partnered with FM Publishing to create a site where users can share their ideas for computer features and uses, thereby giving the technology producers acute insights into consumer motivations. The crowdsourcing experiment has a yield of over 2,138 ideas submitted, 13,566 votes received and 3,944 “dream PCs” described.

This past year, the marketers at Lufthansa Airlines devised a method of connecting travelers with friends and family via MySkyStatus.com. Lufthansa established the site as a social utility to keep travelers connected with their social networks while flying. I had the pleasure of working on this campaign while at Profero NY (Lufthansa’s digital agency) and found that in the course of keeping users connected with each other, the airline successfully kept them connected with their brand.

This year, American Express put a social spin on crowdsourcing with its “Members Project” campaign. Leveraging social-media tools, American Express allocated a portion of its philanthropic spending and energy toward the causes advocated by voters at its site. Not only has the campaign been effective in generating a great deal of media exposure for the brand, but it also provides the team at American Express extensive insight into the values and motivations of its target consumers. This is precisely the type of intelligence brands need to facilitate connections with consumers.

Wear your heart on your sleeve
Develop a set of core values and create opportunities to communicate those values to your consumer audience. The more honest and revealing you are in communicating these values, the greater your brand’s potential to live in the heart of consumers as more than just a name.

As a corollary, join a cause that aligns your brand with a social initiative that reflects its core values. Social-cause marketing is an effective means of communicating that your organization shares a common set of values with your target consumer. Also, create opportunities for your consumers to get involved alongside your brand (either through sponsored events or purchase options that support your given cause financially through a portion of the proceeds).

Yoplait employs this strategy with its “Save to Save Lives,” where it donates $.10 in support of breast cancer research for every lid sent in by consumers (up to $1.5 million) with a guaranteed minimum of $500,000. The project successfully affiliates the brand with an issue that is of great importance to its largely female consumer base.

This year, Puma (in partnership with Fuse Project) is exhibiting this principle with the brand’s “Clever Little Bag” project. In attempt to reduce waste for the sake of sustainability, Puma has re-thought the consumer-packaging experience and reinvented the shoe box into something more eco-friendly. This initiative reaches beyond immediate commercial goals to satisfy larger social initiatives. Clever Little Bag is part of Puma’s corporate sustainability program that intends to cut its water, energy and diesel consumption by more than 60%.

When your brand stands for social progress, consumers will stand with your brand.

Constantly innovate
Innovation is the hallmark of a premium brand. Constant development and improvement distinguishes market leaders from their competitors. The economic performance of brands such as Apple, which has maintained a sales growth rate of 89% over the last three years, demonstrates that consumers recognize this commitment to excellence.

This year, Apple continued its legacy of innovation with the introduction of the iPad. At product launch, Gap was among the first set of marketers to establish a presence on the new device with its “1969 Stream” app. Gap partnered with AKQA to create a multimedia experience full of robust content intended to showcase all that the new platform has to offer. As an early adopter, Gap gained a competitive advantage as one of the few marketers with a presence on the iPad at launch.

This year, Domino’s Pizza communicated a sincere commitment to constant improvement with its “Pizza Turnaround” campaign, created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky. The campaign employed a viral documentary in tandem with a microsite and guerrilla-marketing tactics, all highlighting the company’s proactive response to long-standing criticism. It improved its organization. Its improved its product. And it improved dramatically. So far, the campaign seems to have resonated with consumers, as Domino’s celebrated $1 billion in online sales in February, just over a month after the campaign’s launch.

Remember the love
Probably the most important of steps, remember — or discover — what you love about your product. Remember what your consumers love about your product. And most importantly, remember what you love about your consumers.

ESPN employed this axiom when it teamed up with Wieden & Kennedy to produce the “One Game Changes Everything” campaign in support of the sports network’s FIFA World Cup coverage. The campaign led with a spot featuring a voice-over by U2’s Bono emphasizing the power of sport to unite men in the face of opposing politics, religion or other issues that divide humanity.

Another example of this principle at work is how BMW introduced its new “Efficient Dynamics” engineering, which the company touts as the linchpin for new innovations in its 2010 line. Instead of getting lost in science and tech speak, BMW simply states that “Joy is Future-proof,” reminding us that, beneath it all, it is the same car consumers have relied on for the ultimate driving experience for over 80 years.

Should Cut Back on Marketing During Tough Times?

If you have a business that sells products, you need to get the word out about your product to as many people in your target market as possible. Everything you do should start with getting customers. If you have no customers, you have no business. It is an unfortunate situation that most business owners cut back on their marketing and advertising budget when sales go down. That is exactly the worst approach you can take. Marketing is both a short-term and a long-term investment in the survivability of your company. Saving money on marketing when dollars are scarce may seem like a logical way to cut expenses. But, while you may see a short-term benefit, over the long haul, you may be slowly killing your business.

When consumers are scrutinizing each purchase carefully before they commit their dollars, you must keep on top of their mind why they need to purchase your product. You must keep reminding them that you are still in business and they need what you are selling. It is likely that your competitors are going through the same cost-benefit analysis in which you are engaged and that many of them have decided that they are not willing to spend their dollars on advertising or other forms of marketing. That’s great news. That is how you get to dominate your market. When others are pulling back, you push forward. You fill the vacuum left by your competitors’ trying to save money.

Similarly, if your business is a service business, you still need to market and create new referral sources and nurture the ones that you already have. This is the time to let your referral sources know that you are still in business and how much they mean to you. This is the time to spend on forming new relationships with movers and shakers who can bring you new clients. Keep up with those lunches and dinners, tickets to sports and other events, or however you used to develop new referral sources.

You may want to change your message a bit to acknowledge that times are different. If you are lucky, your product or service is even more needed, now that people are facing hard times and cutting their spending.

Don’t neglect using the free or cheaper forms of marketing that are out there. You can use social media to get your message out for free, you can hire independent contractors for each marketing project (check with your lawyer to make sure that you are not hiring an employee and classifying someone as an independent contractor), you can offer internships to college students to get some help instead of hiring employees (do this through the colleges that are near your office). There are many ways to market on the cheap if you need to economize. But don’t stop marketing. By consistently getting your marketing message out to your existing customers and to your target market for new customers, you are doing the most you can to ride out the hard times and still be in business when the good times return.

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