Tag Archives: Marketing

Are You For Real?

There’s only one thing you need to get right if you are promoting your business in any way on the internet.

Are you real?

It might sound silly but Google is looking for signs all the time that prove you are a real business worth promoting to their searchers.

Here is my top list of ways to prove your real:

1: A website that has been built and left the same day in day out will slowly go down the ranks. Google will stop looking at it because nothing new is going on it and this proves no real value to visitors.

2: Add a blog to your site to add fresh content on a regular basis and also prove you are the expert in your field. Writing a blog takes dedication and a little bit of time. It does get easier if you build it in to your routine.

3: Links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential but just like your website they must be updated regularly with engaging content. Get involved in discussions, reply to reviews and build your audience.

4: Make sure the web pages on your website are labelled correctly. You would be surprised how many businesses miss out key information like location. Ensure photographs are labelled too. Often pictures are labelled photo a for example which Google will not find any value in. Label them as a description and location. Right click on information pages/ images and view source to see what the labels are.

5: Add testimonials. People trust what other people say so a make sure there are fresh reviews on your site.

6: Add your business to as many local directories as you can- paid for or free. Just make sure you monitor them and ensure all information is accurate.

7: Act real! Add photos to your social media or websites of your staff, of you, of your work. Add testimonials. Respond to reviews and complaints. Respond quickly. Respond professionally.

8: Regularly Google your business to make sure there are no skeletons from your closet lurking in the search engine.

Above all see the internet as an opportunity to brand and promote your business.

Be aware though- you’re customers will be more demanding and expect responses quickly.

Don’t disappoint.

If I can be of any help please let me know

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Don’t Take Everything At Numbers Value

I regularly hear that the answer to all sales problems is a website. Do you need to advertise? No-I have a website. Do you need more sales? Yes- but I have my Facebook site. Do people know about your business? Yes- I’m on Twitter.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking that there is a shortcut to getting sales for your business-in fact marketing your business is harder now than it ever was. Well when I say harder I really mean that there are so many marketing options available businesses can think they can substitute effort with numbers and the sales will pour in. Ummmm I didn’t see anyone wave a magic wand-did you?

Here are some typical marketing responses.

People hear from me from Facebook
TRUTH: You may have 633 likes but how many of those people engage with you? 2-3? If you aren’t engaging with people then they WILL NOT see your posts.if you opened a shop and 2-3 people came in to look would that be a good sales day?

I’ve got a website so I don’t need to advertise
TRUTH: Website traffic in some of the worlds largest organisations is declining. Why? Because of social media. Your customers don’t just sit on the internet and think ‘what website shall I look at today’. They go to websites because they’ve been sold the idea. They’ve seen an advert in paper, a Facebook advert, a bus drop poster, a TV ad etc. People do not search for things they don’t want. 90% of people research online before they buy. So do you really know how many people actually go to your website?

I’m number one on Google so I’m the best.
Being number one on Google is not the Holy Grail. Yes it’s good to be on page one but have you looked at your business online lately? Is your competition buying adverts from Google which puts them on top of your business? Are people being tempted away to another site with better reviews? The journey to page one of Google starts with the customer getting an idea that they need something. You’ve still got to work hard when the customer finds you online. What does your website say about your business? Look at it from a customers point of view.

I don’t need to have a social media presence.
‘You don’t have a choice whether or not to do social media. The choice is on how well you do it’
90% of people research online. If you are advertising and have no online presence you are donating your sales to a competitor. It’s as simple as that.

My next blog will be on the buying cycle so please come back and visit soon.

This blog is basic because you don’t need to be technical to be good at it.

Have a great week.

Ignorance Is No Defence

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat

ignorance

If you are in business and are preferring to remain ignorant about the effects the web has on every aspect of life then chances are you may not survive. Because ignorance is no defence.

I am an advertising manager of a newspaper and somehow I have now become a multi media manager within a newspaper. It happened fairly slowly but over the last two years the rate at which we continue towards an ever increasing digital future is alarming.

Like  a lot of people in business I thought internet propositions would disappear so I played the game and kept my focus on the printed newspaper then BAM! digital hit me again and this time I knew it was sink or swim.

It takes courage and strength to change the way you work-as a colleague of mine says it’s like trying to turn an oil tanker on a narrow road. So I recently made a conscious decision to surpass myself and become a more competent manager better suited to today’s world.

So as a multi media manager I decided to make the conscious decision to almost ignore printed advertising- after 12 years in the industry I almost know newspapers inside out. Instead I decided to become a digital advertising expert to work in tandem with my knowledge about print.

What did I do?

First of all I briefed my team on how we are going to attack our digital targets in the most productive way-by breaking down our targets in to small manageable chunks. If I told you that my target in April is to generate over one million impression sales for our website then you should be able to better appreciate my need for turning this oil tanker.

Then I gave each person a sliding scale of impressions and their cost-to avoid the endless tapping of calculator keys but also to make it easier to build in to campaigns and tailor to the needs of their business.

Thirdly I made sure that every single day every member of my team was given daily visit information from the previous day. I also did spot checks on how much of this information they were taking in. Was it much-no! Is there improvement-three days of me spot checking and my team are getting closer to the right figures.

After this I started working on the creativity of the sale and pitched a campaign bespoke to a business which would mean them targeting sports readers on our website. It was a success.

Finally-I’m not going to stand back and watch the web take away my business-I am learning, researching, calling people for advice, tying, testing and above all enjoying becoming someone who understands online advertising.

My point-yes it was longwinded- is that it is much easier to sit back and say ‘Well I don’t need to learn’ ‘I don’t use the internet’ or ‘I don’t need online advertising’ because the truth is-you do.

Don’t think of the internet as a new way of doing business-think of it as an essential way of doing business that can ensure your company becomes accessible to people at any time of the day-even when you may be sleeping.

A new challenge can often make you develop a new love for your products or services.

I’ve said it before but the changes in my industry have been so refreshing and now, although hard work, are such amazing learning curve.

So please learn because gnorance will be no defence when a competitor takes your business.

 

Chasing audience

Image

Advertising has always been charged on how many people a product attracts that’s why advertising on television was always so expensive. Things haven’t changed that much-it’s just the people aren’t in the same places any more.

Think about it in terms of the new media platforms that have evolved over the last twenty years or so ago:

Television advertising expected high revenues from advertising and with just three channels to advertise on the expected audience was vast- in 2014 my Sky remote channel numbers go up to 999 so the audience will be diluted significantly and scattered across many channels.

Radio advertising-in my youth there was Radio 1,2 3 and 4-I can’t remember any others so again advertising could dictate high prices. in 2014 there is a radio station for every era and genre. There are literally hundreds and many change their target audience as figures rise or decline. DAB Radio has meant that radio listeners don’t have to only listen to local stations because that’s all they can get a signal for.

Newspaper advertising also dictated high prices as competition in the news sector was minimal-if you wanted news you read a paper or watched the news bulletin on TV. 2014 if you want news you find it on your mobile phone, on you laptop, on a tablet, in a newspaper, on the radio or on the TV. News travels via social media-news is accessible, can be localised or national and can be tailored to suit the reader.

There has been a significant change over the last couple of years-when the audience for content shifted to online the radio, television and newspaper industry creaked-some toppled, some completely lost their share of the market by refusing to accept the significance of the internet and some lost their heads.

But….

Some-after a little dunking under the water-re emerged as some of the Worlds most powerful magnets for the audience every advertiser wants.

Take for example the Daily Mail-a newspaper which now has more UK visits than any other newspaper site. It is read across the globe. Combine its audience with the printed title and the Mail reach a significant amount of people.

The BBC-once seen as channel losing it’s audience to younger, funkier channels-now reaches an audience of 256 million people per week with combines reach of television and online platforms. It’s phenomenal.

I work for the South Wales Evening Post newspaper and on an average week we reach an audience of over half a million people. When I began working in the industry 12 years ago, with a newspaper only we reached 172,000 people. It’s an amazing transition. Our website attracts close to one million unique users on an average month. It doesn’t feel real. I’ve seen the newspaper industry seem like the underdog in media as people only talk about losing circulation-with confidence and with pride I can say that my products can reach a vast local audience. It’s a lot more intelligent, it’s more flexible and what’s more I have a revived passion for the business because like in the old days we are at the top of our game.

So my advice to you today is don’t buy advertising on price-buy it on audience.

A former boss of mine used to say ‘You get what you pay for’-if something’s cheap then it probably doesn’t command a high audience.

An advert without an audience viewing it is like a football match with no crowd.

 

Tempt Me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As an advertising manager I’m really interested in how people buy but when advising customers I think about how I buy and apply it to campaigns if relevant.

I’ve had some really good buying experiences which have really made me aware of how differently we operate with all the choice we have.

I very rarely buy on impulse now-I can shop online for days/weeks for something and never actually buy anything.

I visit lots of different sites before I buy too.

More importantly I am often ‘tempted to buy’

Here’s a couple of examples:

Every year I help to organise a food and drink festival and every year I think what I’d like to buy and yes-it’s always a locally sourced, delicious sounding product like Welsh Cheese.

That was before I used Facebook as a marketing tool for the event.

With every exhibitor I signed up a new post was added to the event to give all attendees a tempting preview of what they could buy. As I added the exhibitors to the group I liked some of the companies pages too.

You know what I’m building up to don’t you?

I bet you think I came away from the event with lots of delicious goodies don’t you.

Well I did but it was some lovely soya wax candles!

What?

Why did I buy that?

While I was attracting over 100 people to the event with my marketing on Facebook one customers website I’d liked was busy tempting people directly to their stall.

Every day a new customer testimonial was added to the website.

Every day a new candle scent was talked about.

Every day the enthusiasm of the owner reached me and before long I was virtually shopping and choosing what I’d like. I didn’t mean to but sub consciously the good things I was reading started to create a need.

I need candles! I can’t live without candles! These candles burn for longer! These are the best candles around!

I almost couldn’t wait to get to the stall and buy my candles. I chose lavender, lime and vanilla and a burner. I got home and lit the candles and thought -‘She was right-they do smell great’

So my point it that you heavily influence buying purchase by advertising and marketing in print and online by:

  • Being enthusiastic
  • Using customer testimonials
  • Describing your products
  • Let people know where they can get them
  • Thank people for the feedback they give
  • Showing your passion for your business

My other great example is slightly different but just as powerful.

I recently organised a health and well being fair which was run in conjunction with Tara Hammett- a personal trainer and TV personality. Apart from feeling like a sloth standing beside this glowing, sporty, healthy lady I saw how her passion for her business has made her so successful.

Tara reaches out to her ‘customers’ by giving away free content-you can go on to YouTube and watch her giving health and fitness advice, you can add her on Facebook and ask her questions at any time and she’s happy to reply, she’s written a book giving a wealth of her experience away plus scientific nutritional advice tips, you can join her fitness programme or follow her on Twitter.

Wherever you engage with Tara she is the same enthusiastic role model that inspires people on a daily basis.

She is approachable which is really important in todays society.

I wanted to join her fitness programme, I wanted to be fitter and healthier but more importantly I believed in her brand as I trust her and admire her.

This is such an excellent idea of personal marketing that I had to share it with you.

There is one thing about Tara though that you do need to know-she invented chocolate sprouts. Don’t diss them before you’ve tried them-they are actually very nice.

My message today is simple really-time spend marketing yourself in as many places as you can, to as many people as you with as much enthusiasm as you can will escalate your business in a matter of time.

It’s hard to quantify but every time you engage you could be slowly tempting a person to buy from you.

Invest in your business today but make people know it I you.

Be the King and make your move!

Has the internet changed the journey

people make when buying a car?

chess-game-wallpapers

Well it’s certainly added another researching tool in to the equation.

Auto shoppers now use on average 18.2 different sources of information-from TV, news articles, online, family etc. to finally form their decision

‘The zero moment of truth for automotive study’

Marketing and advertising for car dealerships has never been so important. It needs to target as many of those 18.2 sources as possible-now that’s no mean feat.

Google’s study which can be found above really delves deep in to the psyche of a car buyer. It might make you think your customer targeting is a little archaic but it’s really important to know these trends.

I have picked out some key facts from the report for you-things I think can provide enlightenment to local new and used car dealers:

  • Shoppers take several months to go from decision to action
  • Shoppers clearly identify in person experiences as the most influential-test driving, visiting the dealership etc.
  • The internet has added a new stage to the car buying process-pre-shopping
  • Top stimuluses’ for buying a car include TV advertising, magazine articles, newspaper articles, direct mail and advert in newspaper
  • Test drives were listed as the number one decision influencer
  • Second to a test drive looking at a car was a major influence
  • In newspapers people react most to price guides and special offers, financing options and style.
  • 59% of online car buyers were looking at style as a priority
  • People who buys cars more frequently use almost 4 more sources in their search than people who buy less cars

So what does this mean for car dealers?

I would suggest not putting your marketing budget in just one place-advertising to sell cars now means promoting via social media, online advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, own website, search engine optimisation and branding.

I was going to say car buyers are much more savvy these days but I don’t think that’s actually true.

There are so many choices and so much information available it is possible to completely change a purchasers mind several times advertising/marketing needs to be consistent and the message needs to change to suit the medium. And the purchaser.

The average person test drives 2-3 cars.

Consumers love online video.

In the UK 23% of people experience “switchbacks” where they move backward into earlier stages of the journey.

It’s such an exciting market to be part of-a little bit like a game of chess.  If you think strategically then the other players piece of the market can be yours.

A sample a marketing campaign that encompasses some of the research data available might consist of:

Magazine article detailing a test drive of a new vehicle listing pro’s and con’s plus sleek images to target reader type.

Online advertising on an influential website to include a video of the latest car being test driven or link to national ad campaign video

Search engine optimisation to look at key search criteria (Linked with Google keyword tool)
Newspaper advertising to promote a good price, finance deal plus car profile

Social media to capture wants/ already has/ knows someone who has feedback

Blog to talk in a frank and honest way about cars in your showroom, adding in personal experience, likes, dislikes and knowledge.

This is a very broad basis for a campaign-what matters is that the reason and logic is behind each reason for advertising.

All you need to remember is

‘I WANT TO BE IN AS MANY OF THE 18.2 INFLUENCIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO BE IN WITHT HE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING PEOPLE IN TO MY SHOWROOM-ONCE THEY’RE IN I HAVE MY BEST CHANCE OF SELLING THEM A CAR’

Let me know if I can help you in any way

Spread Your Net To Catch The Fish!

 fish

I’ve had some really good conversations with customers this week-I really enjoy being able to give advice on advertising and marketing-I’m not afraid to say when I feel that something won’t work. Money spent on advertising/ marketing that doesn’t work is not good business.

I’m not a fortune teller-I can’t promise 100% that a campaign will work-I can, however, guarantee how many people a campaign will reach, where those people live and what they read and where they read it.

I’ll give you a really good example- I spoke to a representitive from a large organisation who wanted to promote a scheme relevant to winter heating.

As a multi media organisation we can offer such a variety of ways to target local people that I can help any business ‘get seen’

After finding out what the company wanted to acheive I thought about the types of people that may need the service being offered. It turned out to be people of all ages and all walks of life- this may make it sound easy but in fact it’s much more difficult because for advertisnig to work you need to ‘reach out’ to people.

There are different ways you can reach out to people-it can be by way of:

  • A good headline
  • A specific offer
  • Marketing/advertising under specific headings so people seek to find
  • Marketing/advertising in a place where it will be seen by the right reader

For this specific campaign i decided the best route was to target by platform-so publicising the campaign in places I knew the right type of reader would see it.

 

Here is what I presented to the client and why-I thought this would be useful for you to see how to choose the right places for your business and why (I’ve left it generic because it can apply wherever you are):

  1. Classified section in the newspaper-people use classified on a seek to buy basis so it’s a great opportunity to attract the attention of readers who have money to spend plus they are in the buying frame of mind
  2. Television listing pages-think about where people are when they are reading the TV pages-warm and cosy in their homes-where better to be to make a decision about something home related? I also considered the age of a typical reader- it’s mainly the older generation that refer to in print TV guides as the younger ones tend to use on demand or info on their TV’s
  3. Run of paper-the main body of the paper is where people go to read the news-advertising has to be strong to draw people away from it-or newsworthy which is what this campaign is. I thought the message behind the campaign would be ideally suited alongside the news.
  4. Digital advertising- research has been carried out that people trust online adverts far more on a local news website than they do other sites. You can reach a whole new audience demographic and on our website a younger, more affluent reader-speaks itself.
  5. Reader offers-the company has some giveaways for our readers-an added extra to the campaign but great for the camapigns awareness and we don’t charge for this service
  6. Editorial- If a campaign is of huge interest to our readers we may support it with editorial coverage. In addition to the advertising campaign mentioned before this is the final cherry on the cake to make a campaign which:
  • Reaches a vast number of local people
  • Targets different ages/ reader types
  • Targets in print and online audience
  • Targets people across a span of a few weeks

I’m really lucky to be able to offer such a vast range of different media to local businesses. Unlike many others we can offer ways to market a business:

  • Online
  • In print
  • Sponsorship
  • Niche magazines
  • Events
  • Editorial

If you’d like me to help you or if you would like any advice please get in touch