Archive for April, 2010

The Truth Behind Advertising

Advertising is more than just the means of disseminating product information. It is a primary communications tool of our economic system. Moreover, aside from its diverse role as a persuasive communication tool, it is also part of the everyday culture of virtually everyone. Actually advertising is a part of our social, cultural, and business environment.

The specific reasons that a company chooses to advertise at a particular level is often difficult to determine. However, there are a number of situations that usually dictate a higher proportion of advertising to sales than might otherwise be used.

  • First, it introduces a new product of service; to enter the marketplace against established competition, extra weight is needed.
  • Second, to encounter competition; some industries are engaged in price wars and have far more competition than others, especially when nobody is a real leader in the field.
  • Third, to maintain a leadership position; companies decide to spend in advertising investing in promoting their brand names. Fourth, to emphasize price; among all competitive pressures, price is probably the most usually used feature that gets heavily promoted.
  • Finally, to keep up with a fast growing industry; in fierce competitive fields it is vital to spend more on advertising to prevent others from surpassing your offer.

Advertising primary strength is that it reaches a large mass audience to intensify broad-based demand for a product. As specialists support, advertising can build brand awareness, create long-term brand images and positions, and increase brand knowledge effectively. It can furthermore, alter the image of an existing product and act as a reminder mechanism. Finally, advertising acts also as a memorability mechanism through message repetition.

Regarding new product launch, advertising is considered of vital importance as it can provide the necessary information to the targeted audiences and increase their awareness levels. It moreover can act as an Awareness-Identification-Desire-Action tool since it can provide all the incentives needed for a trial. As far as the action stage is concerned, advertising can become the element through which a prospect will decide upon purchasing the product or service. Coupons, free samples, discounts, and many other promotional mechanisms can become the reason behind a new product’s success. Penetrating any market is a matter of well-planned integrated marketing program and in order for a new product’s or service launch to be successful, advertising can serve as a valuable tool for the company’s future goals and current sales increase.

Advertising has limits, however. Consumers often tend to believe it is intrusive, and try to avoid it by changing the TV-channel, radio station or page. Because of the abundant of products and services in today’s world, clutter issues can threaten advertising, as the more advertisements exist, the more frustrated the consumer becomes. Another major drawback of advertising is that of lost impressions. Due to its high penetration, the mass market is not always the right target to which the messages are directed.

Regarding new product launch, advertising is valuable only to companies if it creates consumer identification, is differentiated from clutter, and in the long run its success is measured by repeat purchase. If a product or service stays viable for a longer period than its competition, it is due to its penetration to customer minds and homes.

In conclusion, advertising should be used in the marketing communication mix to maximize its strengths, which should be analyzed relatively to other marketing communication tools.

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

Why It Pays To Advertise

“You can have the most wonderful product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to be worth much. There are singers in the world with voices as good as Frank Sinatra’s, but they’re singing in their garages because no one has ever heard of them. You need to generate interest, and you need to create excitement.”

Donald Trump, American real-estate tycoon

Advertising doesn’t cost, it pays! And good advertising can pay you well. Bad advertising, or no advertising at all, invites disaster.

You have to advertise if people are to be made aware of your business and the benefits it offers them. Without advertising you rely on word of mouth recommendation or press editorial, both extremely effective, but slow and generally unpredictable.

Advertising takes many different forms, from painting your name on the side of a van to delivering leaflets door-to-door or posting printed cards in shop and post office windows. More often the term applies to classified and display promotions in appropriate media, usually newspapers and magazines, and it is with this definition we concern ourselves here.

Advertising by itself does not sell. It will not sell a bad product (customers will ask for refunds) and it won’t open up new markets. It is not a miracle cure that can generate sales for a dying product. Conversely, advertising will not sell your must successful products to people who simply don’t want them.

Main Points About Effective Advertising

It reduces the entire population to your target audience and reaches as many of those people as possible at least available cost.

It must always have an objective. This means having a clear idea about what you want to accomplish in your advertisement. Reasons for advertising include:

  • To invite orders or enquiries
  • To launch new products
  • To publicise price changes.

The message must attract your target audience, it must interest them, create a desire for your product and prompt people to act (order or ask for further information). This acronym AIDA is one you will encounter many times in advertising.

  • It must be truthful and straightforward. The nearer your advertisement is to reality, the more effective it is.
  • Sufficient resources must be allocated to accomplish your advertising objectives.
  • Testing is crucial to effective advertising, allowing good promotions to be repeated and bad ones to be eliminated.
  • Every aspect of your advertisement must be prepared from the customer’s point of view. That person wants to know how you and your product can benefit him. The most important feature of any advertisement is the benefits it contains.
  • It must be placed in the appropriate media.

Newcomers to business tend to confuse the real benefits of advertising, frequently considering it a necessary, and expensive, evil, not the long-term investment it really is. In short, effective advertising is the lifeblood of your business. Without it you will surely fail!

Viral Marketing – A Great Way To Spread The Word

Before we explain how you can use viral marketing strategies to promote your online business and get a buzz spreading through the worldwide web, here’s a definition from Wikipedia,

“Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use preexisting social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, images, or even text messages.”

If you’ve ever used hotmail, yahoo or G-mail account, you’ve participated in a viral marketing campaign every time you sent an email to someone – because the company inserted a small (and usually discreet advertisement) at the bottom of all of your outgoing email messages – inviting the people you were communicating with to receive their own free email account.

So, how can you put a viral marketing campaign together for your own online business to get the same advertising buzz like these major companies for free?

You don’t have to look very far to find the answer these days. Viral marketing has taken off with a bang with the introduction of web2.0 web sites like Youtube, Facebook, Myspace and twitter – to mention a few. Bookmarking and social networking sites have made it easier for you to engage your friends in spreading any message you want to promote.

According to a recent survey done by Forrester Research, people are almost 65% more likely to trust a review posted by a peer – or even a complete stranger – than they are to trust the marketing or sales information put out by the company.

Companies like Amazon and I-Tunes have used these tactics to build their brands to mega corporations, and now all the celebrities and broadcasters are using Twitter and Facebook to spread their messages and expand their brands.

Why is this the case? Because as consumers we tend to think that the average “Joe Blow” has less of a personal agenda when posting his review about the latest “Dixie Chicks” album and so we give it more weight.

And, by the way, this is a normal reaction – it’s one that’s kind of hard-wired into all of us. People have always shared the things they like – or hate – with their friends and family members. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, our grandparents used to talk to their neighbors over the “back fence,” call each other on the phone or tell their friends during lunch. The difference is, these days we use the Internet and cell phones.

What’s interesting though, is that with the popularity of the Internet, our trust – and believe in “social proof” – has become even stronger.

By creating your own viral marketing campaign, you’ll be doing more than getting the word out about your new product or service, you’ll be gathering social proof – and that will help your sales to go through the roof.

If you don’t have your own product or service as yet, you can start promoting affiliate products. Affiliate products already have a brand name presence and an established market.

So, how do you set up your own viral marketing campaign? The first thing to do is to get back to the basics.

Then make sure that you’re sending out the right message – an in the right way. If you’re marketing a product to teens, you’ll want to make sure that it’s something they want – and you’ll have to reach them where they’re hanging out. That might be on MySpace, twitter or even Friendster.

What’s the right message? Maybe it’s a special report. But it could just as easily be a video. Or an audio mp3 file. Match your message to your audience. And finally, make sure that you’re getting your message out at the right time – when your audience is ready to buy it.

Make your viral marketing campaign stand out from the crowd – because that’s how it’s going to get passed around and become viral. By understanding the basics – who your audience is, what they want, how they want to get it and when they want it – all you have to do next is to create something that your audience loves – or hates – or finds interesting enough – to pass around to their friends. And because your product comes with an implied endorsement – social proof – those people will pass it around to other people – and the buzz goes on…and on…and on…and you’ll start hearing the “ka-ching!” of your cash register going off a lot more often.

Writen by: James Max

Is Time To Revisit Your Website Strategy?

Why should you care about your website strategy? Wouldn’t it be easier just to put up a website and hope you hit on something that makes you money? If you’re like hundreds of thousands of other online business owners, that’s probably what you did. But now it’s time to re-assess the results and develop a strategy that will increase revenue consistently.

When you put up your first website, it was a snapshot of your business at that point in time. As your business evolves your website should reflect that. Have you added new and different products? Have you changed the focus of your services? Like websites, the businesses they support are organic. They grow and change. Your strategy for meeting those goals and objectives must change with it. Adding content piecemeal is necessary to keep your site updated, but at some point during each year you need to re-assess the big picture.

Make time to sit down with your key staff and review what your main business is today. Don’t cling to old notions about what it was or should be. Decide what it IS. Make sure that you are taking advantage of opportunities that will propel your business to the next level.

Analyze your Website Content

Does your content match your current goals? I recommend using a tool called a webmap to analyze your website. You can use any tool that allows you create a map showing all the main branches on your home page. The key here is to strip away the graphics and really look at your content and navigation path. Don’t be distracted by pretty colors and pictures.

Take Action: Create a specific path on your home page for visitors to “walk” For example, if the main goal of your website is to get visitors to call, don’t put up extraneous links to distract them. You want to them to write down your phone number and call you. Everything on your home page should support that! An 800 number in the banner area is a great idea. Links to books they should read on the subject is not.

Compare the Competition

It’s always a good idea to look at what the competition is doing on their website. Create maps for their home pages as well. But don’t assume that because they are bigger, that their website has a better strategy. Deep marketing pockets can often mask website failures.

Take Action: Compare your maps and see what emphasis the competition places on their home page. Do they focus heavily on promotions? Are they using free content to attract visitors? Note the best strategies and see how they apply to you. But have confidence that your content has value.

Revise and Test

Be prepared to change your home page content based on what you learned. Be bold, try new things. But be sure you test what you’ve done. You don’t want to change something that was working. Your webmaster should be providing you with the statistics you need to test and revise.

Take Action: Carefully analyze the changes you’ve made. Buy the best website analysis tool you can. Make sure you know what kind of content generates sales. Then pour it on and watch your revenue grow consistently!

4 Ways Viral Marketing Will Drive Traffic To Your Website

Viral marketing comes with an array of possibilities and ways to achieve your overall goals. As with anything all you need is preplanning and the right setup to create success for years to come. Viral marketing is a very powerful asset every web site owner should pursue.

However, don’t get over-zealous. One issue you must avoid at all costs is spamming. Spamming otherwise known as “spam mail” is still used widely, but with government establishing more restrictions and fines you don’t want this to be a source for income. The professional image of your site will also suffer greatly if you send mail blatantly.

To create Spam mail you typically need a database that contains a huge list of email addresses where you can deliver your message with one click. Unfortunately, Spam mail takes us back to the days of broadcast faxes. It irritates the recipient and kills the validity of your company, which in turn kills the factors that would motivate someone to refer your site.

However there is good news, you can get your message out in a way that motivates people to check it out and keep coming back for more. Let’s look a little further at the next four avenues you should consider.

  • Personalize – Create your website with personal appeal. In other words, design it where customers can go in to setup their own personal profile. This will help to give your customers a feeling of comfort. Let’s face, it people instinctively think about themselves and their own needs above others. So give them the ability to use your site in a way that they feel safe secure, and cared for.
  • E-mail – Email is very important, because it is going to be one of the most affordable ways to keep in touch with your customers. The proper way to handle email permission is to first let your customer know that you will not transmit their email to third party companies. Then you will want to attach the need for their email to the benefits they can receive. For example: Coupons or discounts that are only available to members that receive email notifications.
    With each e-mail, you send, the viral marketing effect takes place. If the receiver feels good about the information they received, they will pass it along which is exactly what you want to accomplish. Another good viral marketing method to use with e-mails is to offer another piece of viral marketing material in your e-mail. Incorporate things like a free report, free e-book, or a free newsletter. Anything free will attract attention and help to build your prospect list through viral marketing.
  • Scheduler – Building a way of reminding people of certain events or sales on your website will go along way in customer retention as well as keeping your site on their minds. Basically, the more you stay in front of your customers the more they will be talking to others about your site. Offering simple services like this can keep your name in front of potential customers on a regular basis as well a generate the viral marketing results you want.
  • Web Forums – Once you have obtained your customers email address you will want to setup a link that will allow them to discuss products or services that you offer with other customers. This helps in building bonds, but more importantly people typically like to include their friends in the arena. Look at gambling sites; the majority of business that they receive is via referrals. Once you’re on the site the majority of them have rooms that you can go to and talk and play with others from around the world.

By properly building a web forum community, you will create a buzz and with the right preparations will cause your business to grow significantly.

Radio Or Television – Is One Media Better Than The Other?

Making the most of your media efforts is important to every organization. Even more important is maximizing your profit potential when advertising through radio, television, and other methods of exposure.

The two most common forms of advertising consist of radio and television. First off, let’s talk about how radio spots can be an effective form of advertising.

Radio has many distinct advantages that a media buyer should take into consideration. Radio spots can be had on both local and national levels. This allows targeted marketing efforts to be coordinated. In other words, if you are advertising for a local company, you would be best off using local radio stations. Also, radio can be used in cooperation with other media efforts. Many companies find success in using radio spots to correspond with television efforts, or vice versa. This guarantees that you are reaching as many people as possible, both while at home, and while in the car. Also, it should be remembered that people often listen to the radio while on their way to purchase new products. So, if somebody is on their way to the car dealership to look at a new car, and hear a radio spot advertising for the newest luxury sport utility vehicle, the buyer would be more so inclined to check it out. When used alone, or with another form of media, radio advertising can be most effective and a great way to maximize return on investment.

Now let’s talk about advertising via television commercials. To many companies who can afford it, this is the most effective way to reach potential clients. Millions of people spend millions of hour’s everyday watching television, including the commercials. During the Super Bowl, advertisers spend millions of dollars on a single 30 second spot. That alone shows that advertisers feel that television is the greatest way to reach the largest amount of the population, with the smallest amount of effort. Like the radio, television spots are also available on both a national and local level. During the Super Bowl advertisers are paying to be seen by everyone watching the game, thus the price increases greatly. On a more local level, companies can place spots on local access television stations. Again, if you are going for a more regional presence, local stations would more than likely be the way to go. It will save you time, and also ensure that you are in front of your most prized customers.

The biggest factor in determining which media to use, outside of who your audience is, would be money. It is much less expensive to run a 30 second local radio advertisement than running a 30 second television spot during the Super Bowl. All of these factors are taken into consideration by the buyer before making a decision.

Overall, both radio and television provide a great way to get your message out. The more research that is done before the buying, the better chance you will have of making the most of your hard-earned money. The next decision will be think about whether you want a 40 inch television or a 35 inch television.