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    Google+ For Your Business

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Google+ has quickly become one of the leading social networking sites to compete directly with Facebook. The site was created by Google to gain traction in the growing social media market.  Google+ launched in June of 2011 and it was one of the fastest growing social media sites on the web. While it still lacks the membership of Facebook and LinkedIn, especially when dealing with the business aspect of social networking, the platform easily allows users to engage with each other. There are many similarities that Google+ shares with Facebook; however the site emphasizes giving user’s full control of their profiles and personal data. A Google+ profile is built around your typical Google profile. Everything is centered around Gmail and all of the other Google accounts that are interlinked. The site is very easy for a beginner to utilize and its unique features offer a new spin on the traditional model of social networking properties

    One of the key drivers to the success of Google+ is the way that they approach the categorization of your friends. The company has created circles. Circles redefine the way we classify our friends and acquaintances by allowing the user a multitude of choices. You can create a circle to categorize the types of people you want to share information with. For example you could create a circle of business contacts and keep the information you share with them strictly on professional topics. Conversely you also have the ability to create circles for friends, family, and associates. By having this flexibility you can take more control over the information that you share and with whom. From a marketing perspective the circles allow companies to filter and direct their content with greater granularity.

    For marketers and businesses alike, Google+ can help increase visibility and generate sales and conversions. Often times we see various companies utilizing rich media such as videos and tutorials to draw in customers and keep existing customers informed and entertained. Often times the platform is utilized in conjunction with other social media properties to create and interlinked content distribution network.  With the video tools such as the hangout feature in Google+, companies have been able to hold focus groups with new and existing clients. This has a tremendous impact, as this feature set was not available to individuals and businesses on such a grand scale. The ease at which it is incorporated into the Google+ platform allows for small and medium-size businesses to reach their customers just as effectively as larger companies do through these channels.

    In and of itself, the Google+ platform is another essential tool in your social networking toolbox as a business or marketer. With its high adoption rate and ever-growing feature set, the social network is establishing a firm foothold in the social media landscape. It will be interesting to see the further developments that Google has planned for the platform. The company understands the importance of business integration and has taken steps to provide even more tools and services for business professionals and companies on the site. With tools like Google+ our disposal we are really seeing the true power of social media and social networking in today’s internet landscape.

    Do you have a Google+ page for your business or personally?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,800,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009067

    Online Branding ROI

    Last updated 5 years ago

    How is online branding any different from traditional branding? What is the difference between how your brick-and-mortar business on Main Street captures consumer interest and the way your similarly designed online storefront captivates those consumers? At a glance, there may not be one, but online branding offers a great advantage that simply applying a logo to your products or location cannot compete with. That advantage is interactivity. Web browsers are able to handle a combination of sound and video that simply cannot be physically replicated in the real world.

    At its core, online branding encompasses the same principles as branding in the real. You need an established logo, stylization of your company name and maybe even a recognizable jingle. Walking into a store, you never hear a company song playing as you shop. Online, that is more than possible. Above all, you need to create an engaging experience that is characteristic to your brand. You need to create the kind of website that users come back to again and again even if they are not in need of your services. If potential customers have that feel-good sensation upon seeing your content of the web, you’ve effectively branded online.

    Creating a personality does not require excessive creativity. Simple designs are often the most remembered. A shoe salesman can create an image for himself by animating a pair of running shoes. If the animation catches on and begins to grow as you purchase online display ads on other websites, people will begin to recognize you just on account of a basic symbol. From there, all you might need is a static image and the connection will instantly be made. For an e-commerce site, channel your product through your design. Maybe transitions between one page and the next can involve a runner blazing past the screen; maybe that runner featured exclusively online might eventually develop into a new mascot for your company.  Think about it, the possibilities are endless.

    However, to truly make an impact with online branding, there is a much more specific course of action that will lead you to success. There are a number of articles available on this site that will help to steer you in the right direction as you seek to make a household name out of your company assets.

    Does your business have a consistent, online brand?  Have you purchased online display advertising for your company?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,800,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008964

    Online Video Advertising 101

    Last updated 5 years ago

    If you are a business owner, you probably have not spent too much time browsing the web, looking for entertaining videos to keep you occupied in your “free” time. That might also mean that you are oblivious to an entire universe of advertising with which millions – even billions – of people worldwide interact. Online video advertising is not simply for people looking to make a profit on the Internet in much the same way television commercials are not primarily designed to showcase talent within the industry. Activist groups, video game companies, electronics stores, and many more diverse industries have discovered the world of profit available through online video advertising.

    Again, in your position, you probably do not spend much time on sites like YouTube. You probably do not remember its post-Google lifetime before it ran ads, and you probably do not know that every popular video on YouTube is now monetized.  With a small contribution (READ break out the credit card), you can have a space on that video, broadcasting your message to millions of viewers. The joy about online video advertising is that it sustains itself. Unlike conventional advertising, you are not required to manage an advertisement plan. Moreover, the only money you owe the host of the video on which your advert runs is when your ad is actually viewed. Because of that, online video advertising is an efficient way to spread your message.

    The most powerful aspect of online video advertising is that the ads are able to be specifically targeted to a demographic that will have the greatest interest in seeing the ad. Suppose you want to advertise a new formula of vitamin water. You can augment your ad to only run on videos labeled as being relevant to health and fitness. If you are a small video game development company, your ad can be targeted specifically to channels that handle video game news and walkthroughs.

    Compare this to purchasing a television commercial spot. How many people actually watch programs through the commercials? Many see it as a five minute opportunity to accomplish a short goal before the regularly scheduled programming returned. Video ads can be much different. While there is nothing stopping you from generating a thirteen-minute or hour-long ad to run on videos, short and sweet is more bearable and makes viewers less likely to skip your ad. Moreover, ads less than thirty seconds have a higher chance of being of the variety that cannot be skipped. In thirty seconds, there is very little that can be accomplished, leaving most users watching through the entirety of the ad. And the more videos they watch, the more they see the ad and the more their affinity for it grows.

    Clearly, online video advertising is the tool of the future. Online video sites may very well have more viewers than standard television, making it comparable to the kind of turnout expected by advertisers during the Super Bowl except that high volume of viewers will be more consistent. Efficient as it is, every business looking to get their name out, should do themselves a favor, and look into online advertising opportunities.

    Does your company have an online video?  Have you used online video to create brand awareness or drive leads/revenues?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,800,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008967

    Online Display Advertising Is Great For Branding

    Last updated 5 years ago

    When using the web, consumers tend to get drawn into captivating pictures and video that accompany their desired content. This form of web marketing is referred to as online display advertising. This is a marketing channel that leverages promotional messages in the form of logos, video, or pictures displayed on relevant websites and search engine results pages. Typically, we see these advertisements take the form of banners, pop-up ads and text based ads. Online display advertising has been the cornerstone of many successful advertising strategies on the Internet. The market has represented a considerable share of the total online advertising market during 2011. From this statistic, the banner ad segment represents the most high-performing area. Traditionally online display advertising commands a high degree of attention from many advertising professionals.  Its goal is to capture the attention of consumers and create a branding opportunity for the business.

    The success of online display advertising can be attributed to multiple factors. The growth of these marketing networks has seen a continuous uptrend. This unprecedented growth can be seen everywhere from major news websites to even Facebook and Google.  Therefore, many online advertisers have sought out this method as a core focal point to their online strategy. With the accessibility of these online display advertising networks, marketers have been able to leverage the power and reach of these networks to meet their campaign goals. Online display marketing allows ad buyers to be able to buy blocks of impressions to further enhance their presence and ensure that their content is being delivered at maximum efficiency. Another key feature for marketers, that has increased the popularity of online display advertising, is its ease of use. There are many automated tools that will allow you to customize your campaign as needed in addition to providing analysis and analytical tools to measure your results. This is important as ad buyers need to continually measure how their offerings have performed in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of their advertising budgets.

    With their ability to specifically target the intended demographic and provide traceable analytics, online display ads will continue to be a success in providing high visibility and generating real conversion revenue for their owners. With the evolution in the marketplace as it relates to search advertising and the influence of social media, it is important for marketers to focus on methods that have been identified as most beneficial for their customers. The goal should be to accentuate the number of views and take advantage of the resultant site traffic. Marketers must be conscientious of the websites that they rely upon as ads may not reach their full potential if displayed on poorly trafficked websites. These online display advertising tools will continue to allow businesses to come in contact with their consumers and effectively maximize their advertising ROI.

    Are banner ads part of your online media mix in 2012?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,800,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009030

    Reach 1 Billion Consumers with Facebook Ads

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Social media advertising has become increasingly important in today’s Internet marketplace. One of the fastest-growing platforms for social media advertising is Facebook Ads.  This medium has a tremendous potential to allow businesses to target their key demographics and generate maximum conversions. Facebook has extensive leverage in this area, as never before has there been a platform for marketers that provides such detailed customer demographic information. The site allows you to specifically select or demographic through a multitude of different options. These include location down to the zip code, age, gender, interests and connections. This is an incredibly useful feature for businesses and marketers, as their ad offerings will be targeted appropriately. Through Facebook Ads dashboard, the company can also view the estimated reach within the demographic targeting they selected. The more niche the segmentation, the more precise the reach and hence the smaller the sample size.

    The pricing model that Facebook has leveraged is that of cost per click. There is also an option for marketers and advertisers to choose a cost per impression model. Through the cost per click methodology, you only pay if someone clicks directly on the ad.  With the cost per impression, for every 1000 impressions, you will be assessed the advertising fee.  Costs can vary widely as the unique components of the campaign vary.  Facebook will give you a ballpark range on whatever model you select, whether it is CPC or CPM.  Dependent upon the demographic target and the bid amount for the ad in addition to the duration of placement, all of these play a role in the cost of the advertising. Typically, Facebook Ads are less than that of the equating keyword ads in Google and for the most part, less valuable due to consumer intent.  Google AdWords are more expensive for a number of reasons. AdWords has been around for more than 10 years and hence their advertising customers typically bid for the same keywords on repeating basis. Through demand, this creates a situation in which specific keywords are hard to target and become highly competitive. This high competition also equates to higher prices for those specific keywords. As marketers try to get a leg up on the competition, more emphasis and hence more advertising dollars have shifted over to Facebook Ads.

    Facebook Ads offers detailed reporting that allow marketers and businesses to gather important statistical information on their campaigns. Statistics that are included within these reports include impressions, click through rate and time spent on page. Many marketers have been able to leverage the Facebook ad platform to not only generate more traffic to their existing web properties but to boost the “likes” of their own Facebook Pages. Companies have developed coupon programs that allow potential customers to use coupon codes that are specifically created for the Facebook platform. Once they arrive at the company site, they can utilize the Facebook coupon code during their purchasing process. This allows the parent company to identify the conversion rates and success of their Facebook ad campaign. Advertising on Facebook is growing in popularity. As the membership on the site approaches 1 billion users, we will continue to see more granularities in targeted demographics and further enhancement to the features available to marketers. As with all advertising, it is imperative that you use creativity in your marketing and optimize the investment spent on the campaign.

    Are you using Facebook Ads as part of your online marketing strategy?  Why or why not?  What kind of success have you seen from your campaigns?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unprodu

    ctive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,800,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009058




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