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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top 10 Online Marketing Tools: Blog Marketing (Tool 1)

Online Marketing is one of the farthest reaching, yet least expensive method of promoting your business. In fact, on few channels you don’t even have to pay a cent for your marketing and is effective because the opportunity for success is unlimited.

Based on my learning and experience, I will be providing a series of articles based on tips, suggestions and examples for marketing your business online. The posts will be up in ten parts and first we start with:

Blog Marketing

Blogging, in a conservational manner, could make your industry interesting to people, which gives them a glimpse into a world they don’t know.

It becomes easy to gather and develop a community from all over the globe, sharing similar interests through blogs, and it has also been proved that the blogs act as good PR vehicle for their companies. But it doesn’t mean that you can sell products or services through blogs.

Mostly bloggers who believe that they can sell through musings subscriptions, there is a bad news for them. Blogs should not be used for selling; rather they can be used for promotional and advertising activities.

Now-a-days, most of the companies are using new media marketing tactics along with the traditional media for the PR purpose. Such as the PR department of General Motors loaned the new model of Corvette for one day to Guy Kawasaki, that resulted in a form of post with few nice pictures of the car on his blog How to Change the World to showcase the new model of Corvette 2009 to his readers.

Similarly, Jeremy Schoemaker the author of wears a t-shirt every Friday received by different organizations with their logo on it, along with few more complimentary things. Jeremy gives a snap shot of him while wearing the t-shirt and provides a small brief about the business and its products or services.

If you look at the scenario, both Guy and Jeremy have more than 50 thousand subscribers, and when they click “publish”, their posts go to every single subscriber in a nick of time. Now you can see how blog can serve as a powerful tool for marketers in terms of advertising and building public relations.

Stay tuned for the Tool # 2

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Business should be Marketed using New Media Tools?

The term media refer to the channels through which companies reach to the customers in terms of advertising the products or services. Let’s have a quick look at the traditional media marketing, which was based on radio, television and print advertising, outdoor or media known as billboards and direct mailing.

In actual fact the aim of traditional media is to make consumer recall the brand at the time of purchase through developing brand awareness and loyalty.

New media has replaced old media with internet driven technology which generally refers to website, online advertising, blogs, podcasts, e-mail and social networking sites to market products and services.

The traditional media has an advantage of reaching all types of audiences regardless of the term media or tech savvy but cons of traditional media are observed that the consumers were spending more time online due to the better interaction opportunities by New Media. Although it has been proven that the businesses are gaining success by integrating new media with traditional media a good example here could be billboards or posters where the audience can SMS for more details. Although it is a con for small business in terms of expense, traditional media particularly television advertising isn’t cheap.

Whereas if we talk about the pros and cons of new media the pros includes cheaper cost of targeting customers, higher engagement and interactivity, capturing customer in buying mode, faster ways of delivering the information required for buying and the ability to track leads on ROI though measuring clicks on PPC banners (online advertising).

The cons of new media includes non internet and media savvy audience, not well tested methods of marketing, difficulty of controlling the message such as blogs, could be ineffective without a website.

So, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses should keep in mind:

What are their objectives?
Whom they are targeting?
Where they can find their customers?
How the message could be delivered to them? 

Small businesses can get high ROI through considering free online media such as blogs, networking sites and listings. Remember! Having a good website is an essential part of successful marketing strategy particularly in New Media, it should be simple clear and relevant to your audience not necessarily biggest or expensive one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

How you can use Social Media for Online Business Branding?

Today, online branding is a buzz word in the market. Online business branding requires the development of unique, strapping, and favorable associations in the minds of the people over the internet. Business having excellent website and a well designed logo has greater advantage to differentiate itself from competition and earn more profit in less marketing spending. However, online branding is lot more than just having a logo and a website. It involves extensive internet marketing strategy to stand your brand out of the crowd.

Blogging can do a lot for your business branding. With your blog, you provide tangible evidence of your expertise and achievements. Things you should do while setting-up your blog is to first get simple, easy-to-spell, content appropriate domain name. Secondly, nice theme design suitable to your business market then set everything necessary like about us page, comments, RSS etc. Make sure to update your blog regularly with quality content related to your area of expertise or industry to keep your readers engaged.

Subsequently, you need to increase your online presence. Therefore, get listed with blog search engines like Technorati and Google Blog Search, comment frequently on other blogs that write about the same industry, use Google reader to store your searches, and check regularly that who is linking back to you through Yahoo! Site Explorer.

At the same time, to further extend your business branding, creating accounts on other social media and networking website would work. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace etc. are very useful to build your online presence. Also creating accounts on Flickr for photo sharing, YouTube for video uploading, Stumble Upon and Dig for voting, for social bookmarking, LinkedIn for professional networking, and Gmail for docs, reader, calendar etc. would definitely help to enhance your online visibility.

After all the aforesaid efforts, it’s time to start networking with the people around. Make your site and your efforts heavily about other people, ultimately it comes back. Allow people to reach you easily, thank them for their time and attention, and often ask questions in your community about your area of interest. Let people think that you care them a lot. Doing your efforts in building community grows out your brand as a natural extension.

Online business branding is still a new concept with considerable scope for further research. Social media is one very effective way to position your business and get your brand recognized online. Furthermore, it’s up to you how you use your brain over social media for brand visibility that would eventually return in a shape of business growth and brand identification.