Marketing Idea #79: Can’t You Read The Sign?

Marketing Ideas Signage

Consider the signage at your office or facility. Can a visitor find you easily? Can he find his way around your facility easily? Large buildings such as hospitals, office buildings, and malls often suffer from poor signage, creating a sense of unease and annoyance in their patrons. You know that even grocery stores can benefit from clear signage if you’ve ever had the misfortune of searching for way too long to locate a certain item on your grocery list.

Marketing Ideas Signs

To Market Online, Know Your ‘Why’

Marketing Ideas Know Your Why

Question: When marketing online, I have always focused on marketing only one of my many services. Should I market something else? How should I market my business online?

Answer: Many folks wonder how to market businesses online. I believe your starting point depends upon where your heart lies.

If you’re in love with one particular element of your business, focus on that. For instance, if you’re a photographer who favors working weddings, I would recommend staying focused on ‘wedding photographer’ as a keyphrase. Then add your target location (where you want to work these jobs.)  Your keyphrase would then look like ‘wedding photographer Detroit’ or ‘wedding photographer Chicago’.

Yes, if you’re a talented wedding photographer, you probably do well photographing other events. If you prefer photographing sporting events, sure, follow that. However, know that maintaining a singular focus over time will yield more singular results than a dispersed focus (better position in the search engines, more qualified traffic, therefore higher conversions to paying wedding photography jobs.) When choosing keywords during your online marketing activities, take aim at your singular idea—your one thing—and charge after that.

At the time of this writing, MarketingIdeas101.com is only about five months old. Judging by the domain name, it’s safe to guess ‘marketing ideas’ is one of the coveted keyphrases. Well, it so happens there are lots of top-dogs ranking well for that keyphrase, nationally and globally. When the Marketing Ideas 101 site first hit Google, it was on page 2 for ‘marketing ideas 101’ and between pages 13-17 for ‘marketing ideas’. For ‘marketing ideas’, that’s a position of 130-170 out of the approximate 196,000,000 results found by Google. Who is going to go to the 17th page of their search results? The site may as well have not existed!

It took only five months and now Marketing Ideas 101 dominates ‘marketing ideas 101’ (top four positions when I looked this morning) and is now on page 3 for ‘marketing ideas’, surpassing even an Inc.com page. During this time, Marketing Ideas 101 has been grown from a single page to over 50 pages, most of which have ‘marketing idea’ or ‘marketing ideas’ in the title and URL.

(Note: Don’t think for a second I believe there are throngs of people looking for ‘marketing ideas 101’ as a keyphrase. This phrase—which coincides with the domain name MarketingIdeas101.com—was simply one of the smaller milestones I used to gauge progress. Now that the top position for the full phrase has been captured, we’re continuing on after the big fish on the national and global levels; those who sit atop the ‘marketing ideas’ search results.)

The off-site marketing of the MarketingIdeas101.com site has not been aggressive. Maybe there has been a blog comment every two weeks? Maybe there has been a broadcast for new post or article to Twitter and LinkedIn about once a week? More importantly, there are 2-3 new posts every week. Plus, most these posts carry titles based on low- to medium-competition keyphrases with higher search volume.

The aim is to reach folks who have specific marketing questions on topics that have been under-served. Combine this with broadcasting new posts through Facebook, Twitter (automated), LinkedIn groups, and Pinterest (my photographer example should definitely be using Pinterest) and Marketing Ideas 101 moved up to an average daily volume of 50-60 visits each day. The Marketing Ideas site cleared 100 visits in a day last week. Yes, these are still small numbers, but for many small businesses and nonprofits operating at a local level, it is targeted traffic at this volume that begins to make the phone ring.

Again, the only aggressive effort here has been in the delivery of solid content. This content was designed to provide answers to current marketing questions, assisting as many people as possible (e.g. where to find Google Analytics report templates, what’s hot in social media, why you don’t care about building a mobile app, etc.)

Make no mistake; claiming page 1 positioning may take a couple more years even though the Marketing Ideas 101 site jumped to page 3 after 5 months. I can be patient. I understand this is a journey. As long as I’m serving others with the goal of making a difference for as many people as possible, I’ll keep after it. You must know your ‘why’ though; otherwise you may find it easy to become distracted or frustrated when you occasionally lose position to a competitor (or the latest Google update,) or when you lose a client, etc.

My goal for this project is to serve as many folks as I can by providing great content, tools, instruction and support. The intent is to help my followers and students 1) gain the competitive edge in their marketplace and 2) see their dreams through to fulfillment and expansion. Ultimately, my ‘why’ is to fortify or restore hope in the entrepreneur, the small business owner, the freelancer, the nonprofit–anyone who would have more from life from the status quo. Then I arm them with a set of the tools by which to do this.

Knowing your ‘why’ will help you focus your direction and your dedication. Then you can begin selecting your keyphrases. Then you can really get into your online marketing strategies.

So my question to you is this: What is your ‘why‘? Why is it you do what you do? What does driving toward your mission fulfill for you and what does it fulfill for those you support?

What is your ‘why’?

marketing ideas ebook divider

Update, Saturday, July 14, 2012

It appears the Marketing Ideas 101 site has jumped to page 2 in at least one of Google’s indexes (Google has at least two I’m aware of.) Since this original post 20 days ago, I’ve produced three light posts and two full-length articles. Additionally, I had an online article publisher offer to publish this article and Google Authorship: How to Get Your Picture into Google Search Results. (Read more on article marketing.)

Page Position Marketing Ideas

I’ll report back once I’ve achieved a first page position for “marketing ideas”. Until then, go forth and conquer.

Matt

Marketing Idea #91: Send Reminders!

Marketing Ideas Send Reminders

Send reminders to refresh your clients’ memory of specific recurring events, such as dental appointments or subscription renewals. If you’re using direct mail (postcards, letters, and so on), have your clients fill out the address information for their next reminder at the time of checkout.

Tip: Go one step further and hand them a sticker with the date of their next appointment, for easy placement in their wall calendars.

Example: Oil-change shops are great at this. They are always certain to leave those little window clings on your windshield for easy reference. As a result, you always know exactly when you’re due for a visit!

Better: Send them their calendar appointment electronically. (You are collecting their e-mail addresses, right?)

Marketing Idea #95: Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

Marketing Ideas Retail Sign Road Sign

When your business is the first one that comes to mind as a place to find a product or service, you have achieved what is called top-of-mind awareness. Top-of-mind awareness is built and reinforced through repetition.

If you hold a retail store, 85 percent of your customers live or work within a five-mile radius of your business. When driving to and from work, school, and shopping, they pass your location some fifty to sixty times a month. Your sign should be designed so that it commands their attention every time they pass.

That’s how signs help build top-of-mind awareness and brand your business. To further this effort, make sure your sign is included as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Google Analytics 2012 Report Templates (Some Assembly Required)

Marketing Ideas Google Analytics Report Templates

Thank you, Google.

Thank you for offering us such great value over the years. Thank you, especially, for Analytics. Google Analytics has been a mainstay in our statistical web traffic reporting for years! You were our main constant, Google. You made reporting on client website traffic easy to implement and automate. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

But..

Let’s talk about this new version of Google Analytics (G5) you’ve just blurted out onto the world. No doubt it’s powerful, but I’m wondering–for the love of all that’s holy–why did you put a three year old in charge of the roll-out?

For it must be a three year old at the wheel. Who else could take what was easy (automating scheduled emails of a single, complete web traffic report) and make it ridiculously painful and patchwork to pull together the same information and deliver it to a client?

Who else would send an entire industry scrambling to migrate all their clients’ reports to this same, disjointed cluster of reports?

Who else would miss migrating those email addresses and report schedules?

As a father of four children, I know a thing or two about three year olds and I can tell you none of my three year olds have known how to use Google Analytics. Apparently, neither does the Google project manager who spearheaded this effort, for he or she would have figured out how vital the delivery of these reports are to customers all over the world.

Alas, it is apparent the Google project manager who owns this worldwide debacle wasn’t terribly familiar with this part of the process. Or maybe their Google superiors were asking them to cut corners. Whatever the reason, between this and the ghost town that is Google+, I think Google may be losing their clue. Maybe they’ll get caught up again. I hope they do.

If you saw your traffic reports go away this week, we were warned it would happen. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing (ranting,) it appears there is no solid solution for getting the old, user-friendly reports automated again. Until that is developed, here are some of the “patchwork” reports I referred to earlier. Each has pieces of what you’re accustomed to seeing, but not all of what you were seeing. If you want to have these reports emailed to your inbox regularly, you now set this up on a dashboard-by-dashboard basis.

So, whereas you once received one succinct report delivered to your inbox, now you can receive four or five partial reports, all sent via separate emails. Clever!

I will update the following list of Google Analytics report templates as more become available. If you come across other report templates, PLEASE SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!

Enjoy!

(Andover IT)

(Watson)

(Kaushik)

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References

Andover IT. Google Analytics Report Templates. Retrieved from http://www.andover-it.co.uk/tools-tips/google/google-analytics-report-templates/.

Watson, C. Free Google Analytics Dashboards and Custom Reports. Retrieved from http://www.smileycat.com/miaow/archives/002851.php.

Kaushik, A. 3 Awesome, Downloadable, Custom Web Analytics Reports. Retrieved from http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/best-downloadable-custom-web-analytics-reports/.

3 Reasons You’re Not Building a Mobile App

Marketing Ideas Mobile Web Apps

According to Tonia Zampieri, Mobile Strategist at Atlantic BT, “a full 50% of US adults own and use smartphones. This number jumps to over 75% for those under 44 years old. These numbers are only going up…” Yet, many organizations still have not chosen to enter the mobile fray. Here are a few reasons why I think small to medium-sized organizations of all types remain sluggish in their response to the mobile revolution.

Generation Gap or…

If you look at the demographic of individual donors who give $1,000 or more to any given cause, I’m betting most of them are over the age of 40-50 years. Indeed, I would also hazard a guess to say most nonprofit directors would be among this age range or older. Whether from a subtle, underlying apprehension to learn yet another technology that experience says will be outdated in two years, or maybe just out of pure wisdom, this older, more seasoned demographic tends to be slower at adopting the latest technologies, including mobile computing.

…Practical Priorities?

In the natural course of responding to today’s hectic schedules, I think most folks are still content with email at the desktop. Most C-level executives and program administrators I know don’t do much surfing from mobile (but they’re more than happy to check their email in the middle of a meeting!) If they’re not using the technology in that way, they have considerably less notion that others will use the technology in that way. When this is the case, a firm mobile strategy becomes less of a priority and the focus is placed on more familiar traditional strategies.

The Advent of Mobile-Friendly Web Design

Additionally, web technology is evolving in such a way as to compete with mobile apps. In the past, if you wanted a mobile-friendly website (which sometimes was what the client really wanted—not an app like they originally requested) you had to develop a whole new shell for the site’s content; if you were lucky enough to have a database-driven site. For those who had static websites, you had to create a whole new site and now you would be charged with the tedious task of maintaining two websites instead of one.

With more thoughtful design, we now have websites that collapse to fit a mobile format. These sites require no extra management to be mobile-friendly—you still manage a single site. Additionally, if you build a web application using the same mindfulness, now your web application can double as a “mobile app” (or, at least, a mobile-friendly app.) Obviously, there is a difference between this and a true mobile application, but for those on a budget (which I think describes most small to mid-size organizations,) this approach can help fulfill the mobile strategy they seek.

Afterglow

Ultimately, if you’re a small business or nonprofit interested in marketing online, you should be watching your web statistics on a weekly basis (at a minimum) to determine how much of your traffic is coming through mobile platforms. Whatever that number is now, you can bet it will only continue to grow as mobile computing becomes more popular and as the mobile-savvy population advances in their careers and influence.

marketing ideas mobile app divider

Reference

T. Zampieri. Unlike Facebook, Nonprofits Don’t Get an IPO. May 28 , 2012. Retrieved from http://www.atlanticbt.com/blog/unlike-facebook-nonprofits-dont-get-an-ipo.

Marketing Idea #82: Business Card Brochures

Marketing Ideas Business Card Brochures

A great rule for a brochure is, “If you can’t say it all on a business card, you shouldn’t say it at all.”

(Okay, so it’s not really a rule, but it should be.)

Distill what you want to say about your product or service and fit it on a business card.  Instead only offering your contact information, place a few bullet points and add some nice, simple graphics to the back of the card. By doing this, you are able to leave those you meet with a message that they can carry with them or organize into their Rolodex. (This presumes you made a great enough impact to compel them to keep your card.)

Example: Feeling clever? Leave off your contact information to complete the “brochure card” effect. Place the logo and tagline on the front of the card, and the content on the back, for a playing card–type feel. Also, by utilizing both front and back in your design, you can leave two cards on a bulletin board or elsewhere, flipping one over to create a small, two-piece brochure/billboard effect.

Marketing Ideas Business Card Brochure

Marketing Idea #84: Using Billboards as Brochures

Marketing Ideas Billboards as Brochures

Why is it you occasionally see billboards that attempt to be brochures? Is their message so important that it couldn’t possibly be distilled down into a couple brief phrases? Is their key message so complex? When you get ready to make your billboard investment, don’t insist your billboard become more than a billboard. A message received from a billboard is geared toward the audience on the go—and they’re usually going over 70 miles per hour. Keep it eye-catching, short, and simple for greatest impact.

Marketing Idea #7: Start Joking Around

Marketing Ideas Use Humor

Use humor in regard to your product or service. Poke fun at yourself and get your message across at the same time. Humor relaxes us. It invites us to let down our guard and have fun. If you associate your brand with a Jester brand archetype (also known as the Fool or Joker archetype,) you are likely already doing this.

Example: Dental offices are famous for providing dental floss during Halloween trick-or-treating fun. Instead, why not send your clients fake hillbilly teeth as a reminder to maintain good dental hygiene during sweet holidays? For promotional thrust, have your office’s logo and contact info printed on any giveaways.

For Your Entertainment

Marketing Idea #20: Donate to Charity

Marketing Ideas Donate to Charity

Donate your products or services to a charity auction. In doing so, you add value to the fundraiser while promoting yourself. Furthermore, the fact you’re willing to offer your time for a good cause can only help your own cause, and you just might be helping someone who wouldn’t have been able to afford your services otherwise.

Tip: Get started by contacting your local radio stations, libraries, or newspapers. You might also do a search online for charity auctions in your area.