Marketing – Performancing http://performancing.com Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Get–and Keep–Attention with Custom Content Marketing http://performancing.com/get-keep-attention-custom-content-marketing/ http://performancing.com/get-keep-attention-custom-content-marketing/#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:30:54 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=14226 The Internet is deluged with new articles, videos, and images every day. People don’t have to go far to get something new to look at it—and most of the time, it’s being shared en masse on their social feeds. To rise above the noise, you have to offer something special. Once you’ve captured the attention […]

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The Internet is deluged with new articles, videos, and images every day. People don’t have to go far to get something new to look at it—and most of the time, it’s being shared en masse on their social feeds. To rise above the noise, you have to offer something special. Once you’ve captured the attention of a person, you need to maintain consistency to keep it. Custom content marketing must be added to your marketing strategy if you’re hoping to be a standout in your niche.

 

What is Custom Content Marketing?

Custom content marketing seeks to gain the interest and attention of your currently-established audience. It’s content geared toward their interests, answering questions they have, and reinforcing what your company is all about. According to Andrew Boer in a piece for Adotas:

Custom Content — pioneered by folks like Pohly & Pohly over 50 years ago with the airline magazine — was typically the creation of content meant to build an affinity with your existing audience. This content would reinforce the brand, communicate the value of the product and create new opportunities. Custom Content is the creation of ‘branded content’ for a customer. And, for the most part, custom content is created for the client to communicate with their own existing customers.

Custom content is something that creates a foundation for your brand and helps maintain your relationship with the people who already know your company.

 

 

How is Custom Content Marketing Different from Content Marketing?

Traditional content marketing is geared toward attracting new customers for your business. Everything is developed with that goal in mind.

Think of it as outward content versus inward content. Traditional content marketing is a process that looks outward. It tries to attract people who may not know much about your industry or products. It’s probably less technical and includes more explanations of niche terms and processes.

Custom content, on the other hand, can be more technical because it speaks directly to people who already know about your business and the industry it’s in.

What are the Benefits of Custom Content?

Custom content offers a variety of benefits that make it worth adding to your toolbox.

Niche Authority

When you’re an authority in your area of specialization, people trust your brand more. They’re more willing to spend money on your services and products. Customers who trust your company are also more likely to share it with their social groups online.

The Custom Content Counsel found that 90 percent of chief marketing officers believed there was a link between custom content and a positive effect on a person’s attitude because it made customers feel more connected to the company and therefore more favorable toward it. Customers who see a company favorably are more likely to engage with it.

Building a knowledge base of custom content goes a long way toward showing your deep understanding of your topic area. The better you know a subject, the more people can trust that they’re safe contracting with you. You can demonstrate your knowledge, any independent research you’ve done, and the benefits of the products or services you’re selling in your custom content.

Custom content can also function as cornerstone content, which can help improve your SEO. Cornerstone content thrives on explanations of important concepts and ideas in your niche. You can use this to help existing customers better understand the industry that your company is part of.

Customer Assistance

Sometimes existing customers need help using the products you’ve created or the services you provide. Custom content can assist them with these problems before they pop up. It also assures your customers that they won’t get lost when they leave your business and start trying to use what they’ve purchased. It’s a kind of safety net that’s there when you can’t be.

Having the answers available online may also cut down on the amount of after-purchase contact you have with customers, leaving more representatives available for other tasks. Customers can help themselves with the custom content you’ve made available and won’t need to call in for person-to-person support.

Increased Content Benefits

When you create more content and publish it regularly, your site can see an improved PageRank. One of the ranking factors Google considers when establishing the order of entries on the search engine results page is how often a page is updated. By updating your site, you’re showing Google that you’re more active, more responsive, and more up-to-date than competitors who update less often.

It allows you to diversify the types of content you publish, too. Not everything you create has to be about direct marketing. Instead, you’re publishing content that speaks to a different audience, ranks for different search terms, and provides a different kind of value. Custom content gives you a different avenue to explore trends, topics, and information in your niche.

Visitor Retention

Custom content also helps keep your viewers coming back. The first time someone visits a site, they’re going to read through the things that a visitor needs. For example, the frequently asked questions, explanations of your business, and other information that a person would need when they aren’t familiar with your business.

Once someone has experience using a site, they’re going to need something more in-depth and targeted. That’s where custom content comes in. When you offer something interesting on a regular basis, people are going to keep logging in to read about it. When you offer something that adds value to your services or products, customers are going to come back to experience it.

68 percent of customers leave a business because they feel it is indifferent to them. This means that you need to show you’re still engaged to keep your existing customers. This is especially important because increasing customer retention by only 5 percent can increase your profits anywhere from 25 percent to 125 percent. Keep your customers engaged, even after they’ve already made a purchase from you.

These returning customers may end up choosing to retain your business for other products or services. They may also increase your reach to people in your customers’ social spheres when they share content you’ve published. The more people your content is pulling to your site, the better.

How to Create Great Custom Content

Custom content is definitely worth your time and will bring benefits to your business. But there are millions of pieces of content being published every day, so mediocre content isn’t enough. You need to learn to create outstanding custom content that offers more value than what competitors in your niche are providing.

Answer a Question

One starting point for custom content is answering a question that an existing customer might have. For example, if your business has an app, you might include a guide on how to use a certain aspect of it. Another piece you could do would be connected apps that work in tandem with the one you produced. User guides, how-tos, and other valuable content is a great starting place for custom content that will engage a current customer.

Generate a list of questions that someone who just bought your product might have. Think a year or two in the future for other questions that a more experienced user might come up with. For each question, you can create a piece of content that provides assistance to your customers, updates your site, and expands on your topic authority.

Time-Related Content

Certain products and services are useful at different times and you can create content that is specific to those parts of the year.

For example, a product like a grill might inspire custom content like grilling summer favorites in July. Then in October, custom content about grilling pumpkin would become relevant. Each piece would provide you with a point-of-contact for past and current customers, as well as reiterate your experience with the product you’re selling.

Holidays, seasons, and industry calendars can be used to generate the right content for your audience at the perfect time.

Other Uses for Existing Services

If there are other ways to use your products or services beyond the basics, write content to explain how and why. Many times, people purchase something for a single or obvious aspect of that thing. They’re unaware of other uses that can improve their experience with their purchase.

Illuminating current customers about tips, tricks, and new uses for what you sell will help keep them interested in your services. They’ll stay engaged with you—and they’ll keep coming back to your site to learn more. Keep it upbeat and positive so that they have a positive experience with your brand every time.

Speak to Your Customer

Remember that this content is for a targeted audience. Consider your largest target market and then design content that speaks directly to that market. Understanding your customers can help you understand how to create content that resonates with them. It helps you understand what they want and how you can deliver it to them.

Target your existing customer base by figuring out what will interest the majority of them.

Speaking to mothers with school-age children is a lot different than speaking to first-year college students. They have different incomes, lifestyles, and priorities. Knowing this information about your customers gives you insight into what matters to them and when they’ll engage with you. If saving money is a priority to your customers, creating custom content that promotes luxury travel might not resonate properly.

Consider Your Keywords

One way to grab your customers is through a search engine. Doing so requires using the right keywords that capture the correct searchers but also are not so popular that you can’t rank in them. Using targeted keyword phrases can help get your custom content to the top of a search engine results page.

For example, it’s incredibly difficult to rank for a keyword like “cars” or a generic keyword phrase like “great cars to buy”. But more specific keyword phrases like “best times to get your Ford detailed” may be targeted enough that you can gain traction and views. Do your keyword research to find the ones that work best for your site.

Optimize Your On-Page Content

Some topics and audiences lend themselves to long, written articles. Others require a different approach. Charts, videos, pictures, and other types of media are something to consider when you’re developing custom content. You want to use what best resonates with your targeted audience.

Growing Your Existing Customer Base

Keep in mind that custom content can only go so far if you don’t have a sizable customer base. If you’re not seeing a lot of traction with custom content right away, don’t fret. It takes time to establish a large pool of customers who can read, share, and engage with your content. It also takes time for your pages to be indexed and show up in search.

Just keep producing a library of custom content and it will give you benefits over the long term, even if it doesn’t provide a significant boost as soon as you hit publish.

Sharing Your Custom Content

Once you’ve written and published an excellent piece of content, you need to get it in front of your customers. In addition to having it on your site, you should share it on your social networks. If you have a mailing list, you can also use it to send the custom piece you’ve published to existing customers.

Make sure you don’t spam your customers with content, though. Keep an eye on who is navigating to your pages and what source they’re coming from. If most people on your mailing list are only opening articles once per week and you’re sending them daily, consider cutting down to two or three times per week. If you’re not seeing a lot of traction from social posts on weekends, post your best content during the week. Custom content needs to engage your audience. Tweak your approach until it does.

Custom content marketing helps you connect with and retain existing customers. Doing so can lead to more profits and a better reputation in your industry. When you’re targeting a piece for your existing customers, you need to take a different approach than you do for people who haven’t yet encountered your business. Once you’ve mastered that, developing a library of curated custom content will serve your brand well for years to come.

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9 Ways to Maximize Your Reddit Marketing http://performancing.com/9-ways-maximize-reddit-marketing/ http://performancing.com/9-ways-maximize-reddit-marketing/#comments Tue, 12 Sep 2017 10:00:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=14143 Reddit is an online hub where people shares links, content, and stories. Every post made has the potential to generate user discussion, too. While Reddit as a community doesn’t respond kindly to direct advertising or marketing, it can still be a useful place to get the word out about your site, product or service. Just […]

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Reddit is an online hub where people shares links, content, and stories. Every post made has the potential to generate user discussion, too. While Reddit as a community doesn’t respond kindly to direct advertising or marketing, it can still be a useful place to get the word out about your site, product or service. Just go about it the right way. Since Reddit has more than 234 million unique users, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to join in and share on the site if you aren’t already fluent in Reddit.

Why Should You Market on Reddit?

Reddit’s users visit the site more than 500 million times per month. Though there are too many subreddits and posts for every visitor to see them all, that still means a post in the right subreddit can get a lot of attention.

Another benefit is that posts with enough upvotes become dofollow links. So if you’re linking to your blog from Reddit, a little positive feedback can help beef up your link profile.

What are Reddit’s Demographics?

Most Reddit users are from the United States, with 54 percent of users being American, and the rest international. 87 percent of users are under 35 years old, while 63 percent are under 25. 70 percent of Reddit users are white.

Two thirds of Reddit visitors are women. 42 percent have a college degree, 40 percent have some college education and 18 percent have a high school education or less. 69 percent of users make $30,000 or more per year.

The average person spends 14 or more minutes on Reddit.

Even if the average Reddit user isn’t the primary demographic you’re targeting, you can still get traction. Targeting the right group is all about choosing the right part of Reddit to post on.

How Does Reddit Work?

Reddit is separated by topic or interest into subreddits, each of which has a particular focus. The name of a subreddit is designated by /r/name. For example, one of the largest subreddits is /r/askreddit, where a person asks a question and anyone with an account can answer. Another is /r/funny, where people post mainstream, funny posts.

Reddit users can comment on any post, provided they follow the rules of that particular subreddit. Each subreddit is run by moderators who set and enforce the rules. On the desktop site, the rules are posted on the right of a subreddit’s main page. Read the rules before you post or comment on any subreddit. If you don’t, your post could be removed and you could be banned.

Every person can either upvote or downvote a post. Posts on Reddit itself and in each subreddit are made more or less visible in the list of posts according to the number of upvotes and downvotes it gets. Posts with more upvotes are more visible. Comments function the same way, where votes determine visibility.

This is the main page of Reddit.

Creating Your Account

Navigate to Reddit and choose “Sign Up”. Make a username that you’ll remember, that isn’t personally identifiable, and that isn’t offensive. Choose and verify your password, then enter your email. That’s all it takes to make a Reddit account.

Commenting on Posts

As soon as you sign up and have an account, you’ll be able to comment on posts. The first posts you see will be the most popular ones on Reddit, because you aren’t subscribed to any niche subreddits yet. Refrain from commenting on these at first, until you’re more familiar with the site. Think of your account and all your comments as your first impression with every Reddit user.

It’s important to get a feel for the site before diving right in. So read through the comments and start learning reddiquette, which means the loose rules and values of the site.

Deciding What to Share

One important thing to know about Reddit is that users don’t like direct advertising. If your post or comment looks like an advertisement, it will likely be downvoted or removed. Check the rules of the subreddit, of course, but a dislike of marketing is part of the Reddit culture.

So choosing what to share isn’t only about knowing what product, service or site you want to promote. It’s about deciding how to share it. One way to do it is to comment on posts where people are looking for what you have to offer.

Of course, part of the way to do Reddit marketing correctly is to use an account with some seasoning. If it already has a significant number of upvotes, non-marketing posts, and submissions, your posts are less likely to be seen as just advertisements. If you don’t already have an account, today is the day to start one.

Choosing a Subreddit

Once you have an account, subscribe to subreddits that reflect the interests you and your business have. These subreddits aren’t only the place you’re going to share your content, but also the place where you need to read and comment on others’ posts.

You can find relevant subreddits by using Reddit’s search function. Look on the sidebar of the subreddits you find to subscribe to, because they may list relevant subreddits. Read through posts and look at the r/subreddit they come from, then click to be taken to the subreddit. Ones with more subscribers are better than empty ones. Subreddits with active posting are better than those in which no one posts on a regular basis.

Being active on the subreddits you choose will help you build a strong Reddit profile. You don’t need to hide that you’re a business owner, but promotion shouldn’t appear to be your primary reason for being on Reddit. Become a part of the community and your promotional posts will have a better outcome.

The sidebar of /r/technology.

Making a Post

The best way to make a post on Reddit is to find someone directly asking for what you have to offer, responding to it, and letting them know about its benefits. In that way, you’re responding to exactly what is desired by the audience.

Another way to make a post is to develop content that fits into that which is shared on a subreddit. Some subreddits share articles about interesting paths to hike, for example. If you’re selling outdoor gear, write a blog post that is similar to the ones shared, then share it. As long as it offers utility and is in line with the subreddit, it should be welcomed.

Keep in mind that people can go through your post history to see both your comments and submissions. So even if you’re commenting on something that isn’t relevant to your business, people may be able to find links to your content from your profile.

Keep It Relevant

The most important thing you can do when making a post is to keep it relevant. It should fit into the subreddit where you’re posting.

Don’t just jump into posting right away. Start by reading the top posts of all time in the subreddit you’re targeting. See what people upvote. See what interests the subscribers. Spend time getting to know multiple subreddits that might work for you, then start commenting.

Once you’ve made a few comments and interacted with people, what is relevant will be clearer. Before posting, imagine seeing your post as an outside reader. Make sure that it would fit in and that you, as a subscriber, would upvote it.

A Reddit submission form.

9 Tips for Better Reddit Posts

Follow these suggestions to keep your Reddit posts the best they can possibly be.

Focus on Your Title

The title of your post is what will draw people from the main page of Reddit or the subreddit. It’s what makes them click on your link. Spend a little time deciding what titles is most likely to be eye-catching for your target audience. Test out different types of titles with different submissions until you get a feel for what works.

Space It Out

Remember that people can see your profile with a list showing what you posted and when. Take your time making posts. Judge each one you make and adjust your strategy going forward based on what you learned. Make a few comments at least between every post. Participate in the community.

Also, make sure that some of your posts aren’t self-promotional. If someone looks at your page, you should appear to be a Reddit user who is mentioning their site or service, not a marketer who is using Reddit as a platform. Post other interesting content outside of your own content. It may also lead people to your profile where they’ll find old posts about what you’re trying to promote.

When you start with Reddit, let your first posts not be about what you’re trying to promote. Practice contributing first, then add your own content. Gain both link and comment karma (which are your positive scores for links and comments) before you start marketing.

 

 

Triple Check Your Subreddit

One of the keys to making successful Reddit posts in being in the right subreddit. If you’re not sure, don’t post. Better to wait a day and do your due diligence rather than racing forward and getting banned from the subreddit altogether. Browse the posts. Read the comments. See what makes some posts more popular than others, and then see if you can use that knowledge to make better posts yourself.

Try Popular Subreddits

If you make content that fits into one of the most popular subreddits like /r/technology, /r/todayilearned, or /r/gaming, try posting there. These subreddits have millions of subscribers. Study which posts get upvotes and then try to make content that hits the same target. If you get traction, you may have a lot of new visitors in the future.

Subreddits like /r/askreddit, /r/funny, and /r/technology are also good places to get comment karma. Make amusing, non-offensive or helpful remarks and people may upvote your responses. As you get more positive votes, your comment karma will rise.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

Internet trolls are as prevalent on Reddit as they are anywhere else. Don’t let negative comments on your posts prompt a heated response from you. It’s fine to respond to questions, but never go negative. Maintain your public profile.

Impressions Matter

When making your comment, use proper grammar and spelling. Get familiar with what you can and can’t do on Reddit. The commenting FAQ has information about how to best style your content when you post and comment. For example, you can use Markdown syntax to make what you say more attractive and noticeable.

Crosspost

If you think content you have fits into multiple subreddits, don’t limit yourself to one. You can submit to a few different communities with the same content. For example, a post about a video game might fit into /r/games and /r/technology. If you did that, include a note about it in the title. For example, if you were posting to /r/games, the title might be: Study Shows Video Games Promote Learning [Crosspost from /r/technology].

Manage Your Profile

We all make mistakes. If you make a post that does extremely poorly or lash out in a comment, delete it. It will be removed from your profile and won’t show up when users click to view your history. Don’t get too personal and don’t give enough information for people to determine who you are in real life if you want to keep your identity private.

Link Your Site

When you’re ready to add a hyperlink to a post that doesn’t go directly to the submitted content, do it right. For example, you might post a blog post but want to share the hyperlink to a specific product you’re selling. The absolute best way is to wait for someone to ask for a link. Barring that, it’s best to add it in the comment as supplementary material, as if you decided at the last second to give people more information and another place to check out. Keep it organic.

Tools

If you’re serious about using Reddit to market, add Reddit Enhancement Suite to your browser. It adds a bunch of neat functionality to Reddit that may help you out.

When you’re marketing on Reddit, think of yourself as a community member rather than a marketer. That way you’re posting something that adds value to the community while you gain an audience for what you’re promoting. There are so many different niches on Reddit that you’re sure to find one that’s relevant to you. Jump in today, create an account, and start building up your link and comment karma.

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What Is The Inbound Methodology? http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/ http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:00:52 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13373 If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on […]

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If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on creating quality content and make them come to you

How can this be done though? There are 4 main segments to the inbound methodology, attract, convert, close and delight. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

Attract

The first step is that you need to capture the attention of your chosen audience. But who is the audience? Right now they are strangers but we want to make them into visitors. To find out who your target audience is you need to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a representation of who your customer might be, what is their age and sex, what are their problems and how are they looking to overcome them? What motivates them, what are their goals and also what activities do they partake in? To get an in-depth understanding of your buyer personas you should make them as detailed as possible and also try to understand what their buyer’s journey is too.

professional-info

Once you have created your buyer personas you should have an idea of the type of content they consume and where they get this content and you can begin to plan your content creation around this. For example if your target audience are people in the over 50’s or ‘boomers’ demographic are then chances are they aren’t going to be on Snapchat much but they could be on other social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest and there will be an even higher chance that they read blogs and other web based content.

Now you can create your content and publish it to the places that your buyer persona is most likely to see and consume it. Although there are many different ways to create content to attract your target audience the main 3 are SEO & organic search, blogging and social media.

SEO & organic search – Here you can create content to place on your website that you want to rank for specific search terms that your audience are searching for, this content might be a pdf file or ebook, an infographic, an article or a cheat sheet. The page that the content is placed on needs to be optimized for the target search terms and you may want to also link to it internally using the sam anchor text and if possible build external links too.

Blogging – Blogging is by far one of the best and cost effective ways to produce content to attract your audience and potential new customers. Every blog post page on your website can be optimized for specific search terms so that it rings in organic search traffic and you can share your posts across all your social channels. Finally, you don’t have to only post on your own blog, guest blogging is a great way for not only exposing your brand and message to new readers elsewhere but it can also build quality, related backlinks that will further boost your rankings in the search engines.

Social media – Lastly, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others are another viable source of attract your desired audience. Remember though, you need to first find out which platform your buyer personas are mainly on, you also need to put the right content across and at the right times. Blasting out endless Tweets on Twitter about your latest sales promotion is just going to annoy people and they may ignore or even unfollow you. Publishing your content at the correct times is also crucial, generally speaking, first thing in the morning, noon and early evening are the peak activity times for social media users.

 

Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content?

 

Convert

Once you have attracted people to visit your website you need to convert them into leads, this has to be done by getting them to give up their personal details, something that often isn’t easy to do! Many companies fail at this point and never really manage to get those all important contact details. This is often because they don’t have the right content to capture that lead or they give away too much information in their content and thus the visitor has no need to seek further help from the company and the leave the website.

So what are some of the most effective ways to turn a visitor into a lead? Let’s look at two:

Call to action – A call to action (or CTA) is where you request the user to perform some action such as download a file or click a link. For the latter this will most likely lead the visitor to a landing page.

Landing pages with forms – A landing page should not be like the other pages on your website, it needs to be totally free of clutter so no ads or links or anything else that might distract the visitor. The page should have a clear & concise action-oriented headline as well as clearly stating what it is offering as well as giving a sample or glimpse of what else the viewer can get from the company. The goal of any landing page is to get the visitor to fill out that form so that their contact details, making forms that are simple to understand and concise is important and you need to get the right balance of the visitor being able to complete the form quickly while also getting the right information from them so that they may be nurtured into a lead and customer.

Check out these 25 awesome landing page ideas for inspiration.

 

Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips

 

Close

The close stage is critical, this is the part where you make the sale and that’s what we’ve been working towards right?

In the close stage we are looking to turn your website visitors who are now leads into customers, however, getting people to part with their money is a lot harder than getting them to fill in a form or download a file! Everytime a lead is reading a piece of your content, visiting a page on your website, reading an email from you or interacting with you this is called a ‘touch point’ and marketing data has shown that often as many as 7 to 13 touch points may be needed before a lead closes and makes a purchase.

Email marketing is a highly effective way of enabling multiple touch points with a nurtured lead while at the same time being able to provide them with further content and information on what you do and taking them further down the sales funnel. Even though a visitor may have signed up to receive emails, further analysis is required to ensure that you send them the right kind of email, and at the right time. Segmenting your email subscriber’s list into different sections based on data you have gathered such as how often or when they open your emails and do they click the links within them will help you determine what to send these leads next.

At this point it’s important to know where the lead is at in the buyer’s journey. If they are in the awareness stage then it would be best to send them blog content and free tools, if they are at the consideration stage then webinars and case studies and if they are at the decision stage and ready to make a purchase then demos, consultations and quotes.

the buyers journey

Delight

The final part of the inbound methodology is to delight your customers so that they come back again and again. Many companies neglect this part which is one of the worst things you can do, now is the time to go above and beyond your customers expectations. The goal here is to not just make these people into repeat customers but into promoters. There are 3 ways this can be done, innovation, communication and education and they are seen as the ‘pillars’ of the delight stage.

Innovation – Don’t maintain the status quo, always be looking to push the boundaries of what you do and offer, you should always be looking to improve the customer experience so change is absolutely necessary.

Communication – Keep in communication with your customers, address them by their name and don’t make them feel like they are just a number, make them feel special.

Education – Knowledge is power and education empowers, if you educate your customers on the right product and services and how to use them then they can make informed decisions for future purchases.

So that’s the 4 main principles of the inbound marketing methodology. We have only touched on some of the main points and methods and

 

8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016

 

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Top 5 Marketing Mistakes That Will Cost You http://performancing.com/top-5-marketing-mistakes-will-cost/ http://performancing.com/top-5-marketing-mistakes-will-cost/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 03:31:49 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13263 Marketing via email is a great way to expand your customer base and increase your sales without spending too much money. Providers of services and goods can easily disseminate announcements, deals, and promotions, and also grow their business by increasing the number of prospects and making the first contact with cold leads. Taking an effective […]

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Marketing via email is a great way to expand your customer base and increase your sales without spending too much money. Providers of services and goods can easily disseminate announcements, deals, and promotions, and also grow their business by increasing the number of prospects and making the first contact with cold leads. Taking an effective marketing campaign from theory to practice, however, is easier said than done. Unless you employ the proper marketing strategies and techniques with your email marketing campaign, you may even suffer brand damage instead of just suboptimal results.

marketing_mistakes

According to Amit Khanna, Salesgenie’s president of medium and small businesses, a great email campaign comprises multiple elements. Among the most important of them are the offer and wording, which covers everything from devising an engaging subject line to coming up with a powerful call to action to conclude with. “But a winning campaign is so much more than an excellent service or product and compelling copy,” adds Khanna. You can check out a marketing guide to learn more here.

Besides the email itself, other elements such as mode of delivery, email design, the way information is targeted and mailing list data are equally important to email marketing, said Khanna. He also added that, in sales, everything revolves around delivering the right message to the right individual in the proper time frame, and email marketing is no exception to the rule.

According to Khanna, there are five critical mistakes that email marketers commonly make, which small businesses should avoid in order to enjoy higher return rates from their marketing campaigns. Read about them below.

Not targeting individual customers.

While all it takes are a few clicks to send out emails to all your customers with email marketing, going with the same email to each and every one of them is far from effective. To ensure that each recipient only receives the most appropriate message, segment your customers based on certain criteria, such as target demographic, context, or offer of your emails. It may require additional work, but it will definitely pay off in terms of results since customer targeting is essential to email marketing success.

Using non-responsive design.

More than half of all emails are now being read on mobile devices, which means that your emails should be optimized with responsive design to be easily read on smartphones and tablets. By complying with the principles of responsive design, your content will be seen how it was meant to be seen, regardless of the end user’s device. Otherwise, your customers will be forced to pinch or scroll left or right, just to read your content, which could be enough of a reason to get rid of your email in the first place.

Violating the terms of service of the email marketing platforms.

Avoid using communication platforms like ConstantContact or MailChimp for email marketing purposes, since these services prohibit companies from using any mailing lists that aren’t coming from them. However, many marketing professionals violate this policy by purchasing third party mailing lists and loading them on these platforms, thereby risking account closure or, worse, banning of your domain, which you can learn more about here.

Buying lists without assessing the source.

If a mailing list is priced too low, avoid buying it. What you get usually corresponds to the price you paid for it, so try to get your mailing lists from cross-checked providers. For example, it is easy to find a whole DVD filled with email addresses for a hundred dollars, but the chances are that most of them are not valid anymore, resulting your email to be listed as spam or, worse, your whole domain being blacklisted. Buying lists is already not a great practice for the majority of companies

Using an outdated email address list.

There are two ways to get an email mailing list: either purchase it or compile it yourself, through website or personal sign ups; however, the validity of the email addresses is far from guaranteed in either case. There are anti-spam programs set up by email providers, which block or blacklist obsolete email addresses, so if your mailing lists contain many such addresses, it could trigger a red flag on your email address or domain. The best way to avoid this unfortunate situation is by validating the contents of your mailing list.

Of course this list is just the beginning. What else would you add? Let us know your thoughts and your story in the comment section below.

Matt Cutts Details the Most Common SEO Mistakes: What This Means to You

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The Powerful Art of Community Building – Increase Your Blog’s Reach & Traffic http://performancing.com/powerful-art-community-building-increase-blogs-reach-traffic/ Fri, 21 Feb 2014 02:31:15 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12690 Community building is basically communicating with users in your niche, whether online or off, by engaging them in conversations important to them and the market, offering advice or any useful content to make their lives better. Its about becoming a leader in your industry, with whom other users can relate to and rely on. Its […]

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Community building is basically communicating with users in your niche, whether online or off, by engaging them in conversations important to them and the market, offering advice or any useful content to make their lives better. Its about becoming a leader in your industry, with whom other users can relate to and rely on. Its about building trust and relevance in a fast paced and ever changing environment. Yet, as bloggers, how do we achieve this? Where do we go to find the users and environment for building that closely knit and profitable community?

Well, the easy answer is that its everywhere. Wherever users have a voice and are free to connect and express themselves with others, you’ll find an opportunity to engage, extend your reach and grow your community. Although communities are all over the web there are some sites which will help you gain much better results and better connections.

Don’t know where to start? Here are 2 powerful places.

Search.twitter.com – Twitter’s Powerful Search Engine

This is a tool I rarely hear anyone talking about but it’s a powerful tool for discovering conversations on the Twitter community which spans 645 Million users across almost every country on earth with about 58 Million tweets per day. That’s a lot of talking! How many of the users in your niche can you engage? Just think about it.

Twitter’s search engine allows you to search the entire landscape of tweets currently published in real time relating to your search queries. So if you’re passionate about beer, for example, or some other beverage and have a blog dedicated to that, you can enter a search query like “I’m thirsty” and take a look at the results of which I’ve posted a small screenshot.

In the results above, I know some of those people might not be talking about “thirst” in same context as we’re using, but you get the picture. Instantly you’ll see hundreds of people talking about “thirst” who you can begin talking to. The site is rich with conversations and opportunities to offer yourself freely in conversation and assistance. Just think about the value of this to service providers, especially those who have new products to launch.

Be Authentic

I can’t express enough the importance of not going about this in a spammy salesperson way. Be authentic, show real interest in what people are talking about and express yourself. Forget about selling and just enjoy talking about the topics within the community. As you extend your reach opportunities will show up for sales, collaboration and traffic to your blog. Give it a try and start talking.

Try Exploring a Blog Directory

Commenting on other blogs is still a powerful way to connect with others in your niche. It presents opportunities to be discovered and acquire functional links back to your blog, provided you’ve got some useful content. However, commenting an any old blog may not work, you need to spend your time on the best, the communities with lots of eyes and connected users. So how do you sift through the plethora of sites and determine who’s popular and influential?

Try using a blog directory like the Eaton Web Directory to compile a list of blogs to target. The uniquely useful feature about this blog directory is that it rates blogs based on 3 very important metrics to help you determine the value of the potential communities: Strength, Momentum and Overall metrics. Strength presents the powerful, mostly influential blogs, momentum shows the rate at which the site grows or shrinks and the overall metric takes everything into consideration.

The site is simple and user-friendly and it’s fairly easy to begin compiling a list of sites in your niche to start networking. This is a vital step in preparing your battle plan as you market yourself and your brand online, get organized, start talking and position yourself to start earning money through blogging.

Go forth, engage!

There are many free tools available online to help you discover rich communities and opportunities for reaching an unlimited number of people across the globe, all without a marketing budget. Your blogging strategy needs to include community reaching activities and these 2 tips are perfect starting points.

I love hearing about what other bloggers are doing online to expand their reach, unique ways they connect with readers in the community and sharing on how to do everything better; so leave a comment and let us know what you’ve been up to.

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5 Free Photo Editors For Viral Image Creation http://performancing.com/5-free-photo-editors-for-viral-image-creation/ Fri, 24 May 2013 17:50:02 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12550 Thanks to the exploding popularity of sites like Pinterest and Wanelo have shown that creating visual interpretations of content (like infographic creation), as well as substituting images for the written word itself, can have a big impact. As the web gets larger and larger, it seems like its users are looking toward a more beautifully-design […]

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Thanks to the exploding popularity of sites like Pinterest and Wanelo have shown that creating visual interpretations of content (like infographic creation), as well as substituting images for the written word itself, can have a big impact. As the web gets larger and larger, it seems like its users are looking toward a more beautifully-design Internet that both inspires and educates them.

Photo manipulation has grown from correction to more of an art form, allowing anyone with an iPhone and the Instagram app to create edited photos with filters applied, easily and in a matter of seconds. This has created a demand for more photo apps that have greater features that are easy to use but can make a photo look how a user wants it.

If part of your social media strategy includes quotes or sharing images of projects or products, then the following free photo editors can certainly help. Each has its own benefits and set of unique tools that can make any image posted on your social media accounts, websites, or blogs stand out better than ever.

Pixlr

Pixlr is a popular and easy to use app because it mimics the major tools of Adobe Photoshop, but it is free and online. This means that you can access Pixlr from any internet browser without having to download (or pay for) any software. Pixlr is great for basic image correction and editing, including resizing, color correction, and cropping. It is easy to save images and the process is fast. Pixlr also has an app for iOS.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey is what most Insatgrammers probably envisioned a great photo editor should be. The controls and options have fun references (e.g. you save file sizes as Roger (Federer? Ebert?), Pierce (Brosnan), or Sean (Penn)) and there are so many creative and fun features: cool fonts, seasonal clip art add-ons you can lay on top of your photos, custom filters that can be applied to only certain parts of the image, beauty filters like wrinkle remover and blemish fix, and so much more.

There are certain fonts and features that are only accessible with a paid membership, which is $4.99/month or $33 per year.

QuotesCover

QuotesCover is an image editor that was created to put words on patterns or images, with a typographic, artistic emphasis. There are hundreds of quotes you can already choose from on the site, as well as color combinations to create the perfect background. You can also upload your own words or images for the background. When you have chosen your words, you chose from 5 different image types: Facebook Cover, New Google Plus Cover, Viral Images (these are square), computer wallpaper maker, and for art prints.

Once you have chosen your image size, it then takes you to a creation tool where you can choose from pre-designed font and color combinations. You can also add your image background.

5 free photo editors

Once you are ready to download your image, click Download Picture. When saving, do not change the file name until the image is downloaded. Otherwise it won’t download (for reasons unclear).

Using the viral image size is also a great option for creating unique Pinterest pins that can help get your Pinterest account more traffic.

FotoFlexer

This free image editor is online as well. It has a robust set of features and lets you upload a photo from your computer as well as get your photos from a variety of online sources, including Facebook, Flickr, and SmugMug. Once you have chosen your photo, you can begin to make edits, which include the ability to fix red eye, smooth wrinkles, add glitter text and stickers, or even a border. There are also a wide selection of effects (or filters, to the Instagrammers) to add to the photo.

There is even a Geek section, which allows you to use Smart Resize, Smart Recolor, and the Morph feature. Because of its fun stickers and actual photo editing features, FotoFlexer is a great choice for creating viral images with text or just retouching a few images that need help with coloration or red-eye.

GIMP

GIMP is the only downloadable program on this list, and it is most similar to Photoshop. For that reason, it is useful to have some Photoshop experience before using it. GIMP is completely free and has a variety of features, including a customizable interface, photo enhancement, and the ability to open several different kinds of photo formats, including .PSD, the default Photoshop format. GIMP is a great alternative to Photoshop and while it cannot do everything that Photoshop can, it is a great alternative, especially because it is free!

 

While these are just some of the copious amounts of free image editors online today, these 5 will give you a great start toward creating viral images that could help you get more traffic and views online.

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Wanelo Marketing: Does Your e-Commerce Site Need to be on Wanelo? http://performancing.com/wanelo-marketing-does-your-e-commerce-site-need-to-be-on-wanelo/ Wed, 27 Feb 2013 18:21:47 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12371 Wanelo, short for Want, Need, Love,  is a visual image collecting site that is similar to Pinterest. Their website states: “Wanelo (“wah-nee-lo,” from Want, Need, Love) is a catalog of products organized by people. You can buy almost everything you see on Wanelo, and everything is posted by members.” The main difference is that all […]

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Pinterest-Alternative

Wanelo, short for Want, Need, Love,  is a visual image collecting site that is similar to Pinterest. Their website states: “Wanelo (“wah-nee-lo,” from Want, Need, Love) is a catalog of products organized by people. You can buy almost everything you see on Wanelo, and everything is posted by members.”

The main difference is that all images link to the pages where the item depicted in the image can be purchased. This is of great benefit to e-commerce sites that have their products on Wanelo, as it makes it easy for customers to purchase items quickly.

Wanelo is still a fairly new site, but has gained the greatest amount traction among  teenage to twentysomething women. For e-commerce businesses that offer products that may target this demographic, it is crucial that they get on Wanelo as soon as possible. While it isn’t experiencing the record numbers of growth that Pinterest has, it’s audience continues to grow.

For e-commerce sites that offer home, fashion, design, or even technology products and accessories, Wanelo can still be another great outlet to promote online products. The type of items shared on Wanelo shouldn’t be strictly feminine items– there are also several occurrences of gadgets, video games, and other products that are gender neutral and even masculine. Just like with Pinterest, Wanelo is skewed to the feminine audience. However, sharing items that are visually appealing and creative can still be of great benefit to online marketers.

Once a company’s products are shared on Wanelo, they can be reported for incorrect or missing links to product pages by users. This is great for companies who have had their products shared by a user instead of via their company profile.

To get your company started on Wanelo:

  1. Sign up for a profile on Wanelo.com.
  2. Add the Wanelo Save buttons to all product pages on your e-commerce site.
  3. Add a link to your company’s wanelo profile on your website with other social media profile links.
  4. Maintain the company Wanelo profile by regularly sharing new items to your collections, as well as uploading photos and links to new products as they appear on your e-commerce site.

Wanelo marketing is still a relatively new e-commerce strategy, but companies that stay ahead of the growth of Wanelo are sure to find success, especially if they are in the design, fashion, and technology industries.

 

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Four Free Photo Editors For Marketing Campaigns http://performancing.com/four-free-photo-editors-for-marketing-campaigns/ Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:00:43 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12344 Don’t spend hundreds of dollars for photo editors like Photoshop when you are just doing basic changes. There are several free online photo editors that make it easy to edit photos for Facebook posts, blogging, and other marketing campaigns. These can be done fast and on the fly, so you don’t have to worry about […]

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Don’t spend hundreds of dollars for photo editors like Photoshop when you are just doing basic changes. There are several free online photo editors that make it easy to edit photos for Facebook posts, blogging, and other marketing campaigns. These can be done fast and on the fly, so you don’t have to worry about starting up a program from your computer or not having access to photo editing capabilities when you are out of the office.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a light, fun, and easy to use photo editor. They have great seasonal clip art and fonts that can be laid over your photos and loads quickly. Some of the slang used may take a while to get used to, but it is a fun program that has a lot of extra features. There are some paid options, but the free options make it possible to make the majority of basic photo edits without the additional cost.

Pixlr

Pixlr is one of the most popular online photo editors. Its layout is a lot like Photoshop, so designers who are familiar with that infamous Adobe program will enjoy this and get used to using it a lot faster. It has a basic navigation and features, but there aren’t any features that free users are barred from using, so that makes it a plus.

FotoFlexer

FotoFlexer states that it the “most advanced online photo editor”. You can import photos directly from sites like Flickr, Facebook, and myspace and the site allows you to use sample photos to get the hang of the layout and program before going in to edit your own photos.

BeFunky

four free photo editors for marketing campaigns

BeFunky is a younger, hip free photo editor, like PicMonkey. It features effects that are common on apps like Instagram and offers many interesting photo enhancement features. Besides the online website editor, BeFunky also offers apps for the iPhone and Android via Google Play.

 

Having an arsenal of free photo editors and other online marketing tools at your disposal is important for marketers because online campaigns usually move and change quickly. Easy online photo editors that allow the addition of text can be great for contests, banner advertisements, blog headers, and even profile photos. The variety of different fonts and photo effects that these free online editors can provide can provide some visual interest and break up online content, whether it is on a blog, social media profile, email newsletter, or other online marketing medium.

 

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How to Utilize the Personalization Features of Facebook http://performancing.com/how-to-utilize-the-personalization-features-of-facebook/ Mon, 07 Jan 2013 13:05:29 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12287 Facebook is becoming more intuitive and taking strides to give Facebook page administrators more creative control over their pages. There are several new features that make it possible to have a somewhat cohesive theme throughout the page as a whole. Cover Photo Many Facebook users are taking their time when it comes to getting acclimated […]

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facebook marketingFacebook is becoming more intuitive and taking strides to give Facebook page administrators more creative control over their pages. There are several new features that make it possible to have a somewhat cohesive theme throughout the page as a whole.

Cover Photo
Many Facebook users are taking their time when it comes to getting acclimated to the new Facebook Timeline layout, but it  can be a great way to further promote your company and its products. A good example of this would be a website design firm listing their available services, or a business consultancy     including a photo of their office with the contact information. The photo could also change to reflect current marketing promotions or seasonal messages.
 
Custom Tabs
Custom tabs have been around for years, but they remain under-utilized, especially by small businesses. They have so many uses, but many owners stay away from them because they do require  some set-up time with a knowledge of HTML or FBML. Custom tabs can be used to create contact pages, coupons, event sign-up, and much more. All it takes is the installation of the blank tab app and creating the new page.
 
Posting Display on Timeline
Another new feature of the Facebook timeline layout is the options to decide how certain posts, timeline milestones, and photos are displayed. They can span the width of the page or just be on one side. Or, they can be removed completely.
 
Post Promotion
Facebook now allows page owners to promote either their pages via Facebook Advertising on the sidebar, targeted to their demographic,  or the promotion of posts via the option to sponsor it, meaning that the post may show up in target audience members’  newsfeed, even though they haven’t liked your page yet. Users can opt  out of this service, but a highly targeted ad is likely to engage their interest and make them want to “like” your page.
 
Offers
Facebook Offers is slowly rolling out to all pages; it is an option that isn’t available to everyone yet. It allows a business to host a deal or coupon on their page. If someone clicks “get offer”, they will be sent the coupon or offer link through their personal email account that is connected to their Facebook account. Users like claiming offers because it doesn’t tell the company their personal contact information and also allows them to get a great deal.
There are so many different ways to personalize Facebook and make it showcase your company’s personality and the products or services that you have to offer. Not taking advantage of these may only prevent you from being as successful as possible on Facebook.

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Stay Updated on Social Media with Webinars http://performancing.com/stay-updated-on-social-media-with-webinars/ Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:07:50 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12251 There are a variety of well-curated internet and social media marketing blogs and websites that offer great free webinars about social media. Regularly listing to webinars or podcasts from experts in the field that you are trying to improve on can help increase your expertise while keeping you up-to-date with the best marketing practices. Below […]

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Stay Updated on Social Media with Webinars

There are a variety of well-curated internet and social media marketing blogs and websites that offer great free webinars about social media. Regularly listing to webinars or podcasts from experts in the field that you are trying to improve on can help increase your expertise while keeping you up-to-date with the best marketing practices. Below are some great webinar resources for marketers looking to keep their skills sharp.

Hubspot: You can’t fault Hubspot for following their own advice when it comes to offering free resources to customers and users. Their Internet Marketing Webinar section of Hubspot.com has several free webinars about social media and internet marketing. You can view a live webinar or view all of their past webinars on demand.

Social Media Today: Social Media Today has a occasional webinars that tie in to current news and events. As these webinars are live, it’s important to check the webinar pages often to see a schedule of upcoming webinars.

Buddy Media/Salesforce: Buddy Media is a company owned by Salesforce.com, and has a great list of on-demand Social Media Webinars. They also offer free white papers.

HootSuite: If you use HootSuite for your social media marketing, they offer related webinars that show users how to use their products to improve their social media marketing.

VerticalReponse: VerticalResponse has a list of their past recorded webinars that can be listened to at any time. Each webinar focuses on a different expert and their take or expertise on a particular topic.

It is important to note that many of these webinars are viewable once you fill out a form giving the company your information. While free webinars are definitely a resource that can help your marketing strategy, it is OK to be wary about what information you give to companies. Each of the above mentioned are reputable, but be sure to make sure that the company is legitimate and practices the same methods they preach.

Other free resources that can help you increase your social media marketing knowledge include podcasts, audiobooks (if you check them out from the library), and white papers. In addition, subscribing to social media marketing blogs is an easy way to stay updated. SoundGecko is a free service that will transcribe articles into MP3s (and then email them to you) so you can also listen to them while driving, working, or exercising. For many, listening to information can help  them retain it much better.

 

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Three Social Sharing Networks You Might Have Forgotten About http://performancing.com/three-social-sharing-networks-you-might-have-forgotten-about/ Thu, 29 Nov 2012 17:36:48 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12227 Social sharing is something that goes beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest (which is now the #3 social networking site in the United States). Sharing your content beyond the top four may help you reach an audience that you hadn’t before. This may increase visits to your blog or website and may even turn […]

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Photo courtesy of http://nba.tumblr.com

Social sharing is something that goes beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest (which is now the #3 social networking site in the United States). Sharing your content beyond the top four may help you reach an audience that you hadn’t before. This may increase visits to your blog or website and may even turn some into loyal readers or customers.

 

BizSugar

BizSugar is a content sharing site that is similar to Digg. You can submit links to your content and then vote up content (each vote is called a sugar). This is a great, supportive site because it focuses mainly on small businesses. Even though content is easy to submit, the site isn’t spammy and a majority of the content is well-written. The main categories are marketing, finance, management, technology, and startups, with sub-categories for each one. The advertisements aren’t too distracting and in some cases, the comments on articles are just as informative as the content itself.

Google+

Google+ continues to gain traction for marketers looking to share content, especially because of Google’s growing emphasis on Authorship with Google+ profiles. Because of Authorship, marketers should set up a profile for themselves as individuals to take advantage, as well as a business page for their company. Businesses can’t be listed as authors, but having an active Google+ page (one that regularly posts content and contributes to online discussions) doesn’t take much time and may eventually make a stronger difference when it comes to SEO.

Tumblr

Many marketers may swear off Tumblr as something that is for teenagers sharing photos of Robert Pattinson, but it can be a real resource and opportunity to build community for brands and companies. For instance, the NBA has an amazing Tumblr that showcases unique photos of players and fans during games. They are all photos that don’t always make it in news stories and are worth a look. Tumblr can be a great place to not only share your own content, but follow and share content of customers and readers. Tumblr can be a great marketing and engagement tool if is it maintained and used properly. Take the time to have a great layout and make it easy to access the company’s profile from your website.

 

These are just three of the often under-valued social sharing networks that can help increase your audience and website traffic. When used with respect and a high level of engagement, they can really make a difference in your company’s overall online presence.

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Do Social Media Really Anchor Your Marketing Campaign? http://performancing.com/do-social-media-really-anchor-your-marketing-campaign/ Sun, 04 Nov 2012 07:03:46 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12125 The strategy of positioning a website in social networks must be coherent and in concordance with the general business strategy of the company, and the efforts to position the website online need real and reachable objectives. We always say that the positioning strategy is the one that must guide the webmaster in choosing his social […]

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The strategy of positioning a website in social networks must be coherent and in concordance with the general business strategy of the company, and the efforts to position the website online need real and reachable objectives. We always say that the positioning strategy is the one that must guide the webmaster in choosing his social media platform. One thing is certain: without social media, a website can’t survive today, therefore it is important to have a strong online presence, and this can only be done with a good marketing campaign.

Implementing and choosing the social media platform

–          how to choose the social media website

–          hot to target a public

–          implementing the campaign

It is known that the social media environment know a massive developing during the latest years, and choosing the best communicational environments is a key factor in developing a long term marketing campaign, whether we are talking about a personal blog or an online solid business.

The unequaled possibilities of targeting place the social media as a way of communicating, creating a quick connection between the consumers and brands. However, if you want to reach the desired results, you should always establish a targeted public and the type of campaign that is mostly suited for those targets. It is just like creating a TV commercial. You can’t sell expensive watches with simple teleshopping that is only effective in case of cosmetic products and appliances. A good campaign must not only find a target, but it must also be designed to have the desired impact on the respective target.

Why should you choose a marketing campaign through social media?

Because there is the public From MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, to personal blogs and podcasts, the social networking sites enjoy a massive popularity, and your business can reach communities that are already formed and interested about your products. There, you will find people and you can communicate in their language, with the help of a solid social media campaign.

On the other hand, there are some webmasters that consider a Fan’s page on Facebook and a few tweets on Twitter as a good marketing campaign. The social media represents a useful tool, but it is also dangerous. It is true that the news about a new product of yours spreads fast, but a rumor about some bad products or about a problem with your company spread even faster. This is why, it is recommended to use the specialized companies for such a campaign, even if it will cost you some money.

The specialized companies will offer you the next plan usually:

–          establishing the audience and the targeted public

–          creating good fan’s pages, blogs and posting on forums to promote your business

–          A reputational campaign – no matter how good your products are and how exceptional your services are, there is no way to avoid bad comments about your business. Those reputation campaigns will clear your name from those unwanted comments, making sure that your name is clear and that your visitors will only see positive comments about your business.

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Negative Effects of Social Networking Sites for Students http://performancing.com/negative-effects-of-social-networking-sites-for-students/ http://performancing.com/negative-effects-of-social-networking-sites-for-students/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 12:32:33 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12118 The popularity of the social networking sites increased rapidly in the last decade. This is probably due to the reason that college and university students as well as teens used it extensively to get global access. These social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become a raging craze for everyone nowadays. The negative […]

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social networking
(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The popularity of the social networking sites increased rapidly in the last decade. This is probably due to the reason that college and university students as well as teens used it extensively to get global access. These social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become a raging craze for everyone nowadays.

The negative effects of these social networking sites overweigh the positive ones. These sites have caused some potential harm to society. The students become victims of social networks more often than anyone else. This is because of the reason that when they are studying or searching their course material online, they get attracted to these sites to kill the boredom in their study time, diverting their attention from their work. Other negative side effects of social networking websites include the following:

Reduced learning and research capabilities

Students have started relying more on the information accessible easily on these social networking sites and the web. This reduces their learning and research capabilities.

Multitasking

Students who get involved in activities on social media sites while studying result in reduction in their focus of attention. This causes reduction in their academic performance, and concentration to study well.

Reduction in real human contact

The more time the students spend on these social media sites, the less time they will spend socializing in person with others. This reduces their communication skills. They will not be able to communicate and socialize effectively in person with others. The employers are getting more and more unsatisfied with the communication skills of the fresh graduates due to this reason. The effective communication skills are key to success in the real world.

Reduces command over language use age and creative writing skills

Students mostly use slang words or shortened forms of words on social networking sites. They start relying on the computer grammar and spelling check features. This reduces their command over the language and their creative writing skills.

Time wastage

Students, while searching and studying online, get attracted to using social media sites and sometimes they forget why they are using internet. This wastes their time and sometimes students are not able to deliver their work in the specified time frame.

Low grades

Students get low grades in school due to lack of the desired information and writing skills.

Loss of motivation in students

The student’s motivational level reduces due to the use of these social networking sites. They rely on the virtual environment instead of gaining practical knowledge from the real world.

Effect on health

The excessive use of these sites affect the mental as well as physical health. Students do not take their meals on time and take proper rest. They take excessive amount of coffee or tea to remain active and focused which effects negatively on their health.

The overuse of these sites on a daily basis has many negative effects on the physical and mental health of students making them lethargic and unmotivated to create contact with the people in person. The parents should check and balance on their children when they use the internet. They should be on guard whether they are using it for appropriate time period or not. The peers and teachers should also help students make them aware of the negative effects and explain what they are losing in the real world by sticking to these social networking sites.

How to Launch a Successful Blogging Career as a Student

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2 Ways To Get More Twitter Followers http://performancing.com/2-ways-to-get-more-twitter-followers/ Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:32:13 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12070  Social media is an excellent resource for every type of business—brick and mortar, online, or both. Twitter is one of the biggest social media networks out there, which means you’re missing out if you aren’t maximizing your tweeting potential. Here’s how to get more Twitter followers for your business, both the easy way and the […]

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 Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Social media is an excellent resource for every type of business—brick and mortar, online, or both. Twitter is one of the biggest social media networks out there, which means you’re missing out if you aren’t maximizing your tweeting potential. Here’s how to get more Twitter followers for your business, both the easy way and the hard way.

1. The Easy WayBuying Your Followers

Social media can feel like a popularity contest—people judge the importance and prestige of their peers based on a single number: how many followers. The more followers you have, the easier it is to accrue even more followers. But how do you get people interested in the first place, when you’re just starting out? One shortcut that’s been gaining momentum recently is the practice of buying Twitter followers. If you want to buy some fake followers to raise your profile, all you need to do is visit one of the many third-party websites offering the service, enter your credit card number and Twitter handle, and you could gain thousands of “fans” over the course of a couple days. Prices vary, though it tends to be relatively inexpensive: some sites offer 1,000 followers for only $5. Though the practice is technically against Twitter’s terms of service, it’s incredibly widespread; high percentages of even the most famous tweeters’ followers are fake.

If you’re a business looking to help build up buzz around your company, buying Twitter followers is the easy way to get people interested in your account.

2. The Hard (But Necessary) Way – Creating Quality Content

Whether or not you decide to buy fake followers to fluff up your Twitter standing, you need real followers to be interested in what you have to offer. In order to build up your Twitter fan base in a meaningful way, you absolutely must produce content worth reading. According to Derek Halpern on DIY Themes, several professors from various prestigious institutions recently did a study on what exactly the average Twitter follower considers to be valuable content. What they found was that followers do not appreciate irrelevant, vague, boring, context-free commentary and/or links. Before posting a Tweet, stop and ask yourself if it could be considered any of these things; if so, figure out a better way to frame it.

The tweets considered worth reading were usually deemed funny, useful, informative, or exciting. What does this mean for you? Test out different styles and approaches, and find out which avenues get you the best responses and re-tweets. Humor has the potential to be very effective, but is also risky—comedy is subjective, and it’s easy to fall flat. Another route is to seek out news that relates to your business (even in an oblique way) and post it with an intriguing hook to get people clicking. On the useful front, you can offer Twitter followers specials and deals for your business, and keep them posted on new products and services. Even mundane things like a new look for your website or a shopping cart software upgrade can become interesting if given the right spin.

Social media has the power to help your business grow—you just have to know how to harness its power!

Martha Ryan lives and writes on ecommerce topics of all varieties from her hometown of San Francisco, CA.

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How Google’s New EMD Update Ruined My Life http://performancing.com/how-googles-new-emd-update-ruined-my-life/ Thu, 18 Oct 2012 08:01:54 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12058 Every new update from Google bring the bad news to thousands of internet marketers. One of my internet marketing passion was searching for the exact domain name with good search volume, rank it by doing some SEOs & then make money by placing AdSense ads on this. I was having more than 20 exact match […]

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Every new update from Google bring the bad news to thousands of internet marketers. One of my internet marketing passion was searching for the exact domain name with good search volume, rank it by doing some SEOs & then make money by placing AdSense ads on this.

I was having more than 20 exact match domain (EMD) sites which were ranking better in Google & making me more than $1500 per month. Life was going cool until 28th September 2012 but suddenly I found many of my EMD sites (more than 15) were not ranking any more on the first page. Initially I was under impression that its a usual Google dance but when none of my domain returned to the previous rank then I thought there is really some problem.

So what went wrong?

And then I came to know about the latest Google update which was for exact match domain (EMD). I was never affected by any of the previous updates from Google (Panda or Penguin) but this time Google ruined my life. My earnings from these EMD sites dropped from $50+ per day to $10.

After Matt Cutts (so called Web spam chief of Google) tweeted

“Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.”

It was really not minor update for me & even for thousands of people like me. I was 100% sure that Google will bring some EMD update in future but I was not prepared for that. I never thought it will come this way & how much impact it can bring in my life.

But one thing I want to admit here. As per the Matt Cutts statement, many of my EMD sites were of low quality & they deserved to lose ranking. But even my quality EMD sites lost ranking after this update.

For instance, one of my blog PNRStatusCheck.org was receiving more than 500 pageviews a day before EMD update. I used to publish quality content on this blog. This blog was much better in quality as compared to other websites which were ranking in Google for many of the keywords like ‘PNR Status’, ‘Check PNR Status’ etc. But some of those low quality websites are still ranking just because they were more focused on SEO than content.

It’s not like I make money by creating EMD sites only. I have authority blogs as well to my credit & I never compromise to publish quality content on this blog. But big part of my earnings was coming through these EMD sites & I am sure it will be very hard to recover from this EMD update.

It was a big lesson for me! I knew only great content can make you authority in Google. Don’t try to take advantage with loopholes in Google’s search algo because Google knows everything & soon they will punch you straight to the nose.

Writing high quality content & doing quality SEO is the only thing that matters in your internet marketing success. Be prepared for the next big update from Google. Experts believe this would be more dangerous than all of the penguin & panda effects combined together. And that will be Author Ranking. Go & read more about that.

This article is written by Pritam Nagrale who blogs about how to earn money online. If you are looking for tips to make money, then you can visit his blog to find many tips & resources about online income opportunities.

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Why Email Marketing Presides In The Online Marketing World http://performancing.com/why-email-marketing-presides-in-the-online-marketing-world/ Mon, 08 Oct 2012 10:21:03 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12030 We all are well aware about the importance, dos- don’ts and basic etiquettes associated with email marketing. But one question that intrigued and amazed me was why this marketing option enjoys the monopoly in the social marketing world. True, it has the ability and scope to reach out and engage maximum customers but so does […]

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email marketing
email marketing (Photo credit: opportplanet)

We all are well aware about the importance, dos- don’ts and basic etiquettes associated with email marketing. But one question that intrigued and amazed me was why this marketing option enjoys the monopoly in the social marketing world. True, it has the ability and scope to reach out and engage maximum customers but so does the other online marketing tools. Then where does the difference lie? To discuss it and compare it with other marketing tools, here are few points that deserve consideration:

  • The bridging of online-offline gap: – With the industry spending multi millions of dollars annually on the print Medias, TV and online advertisements, the question remains unanswered. Who might have seen those advertisements? While the print advertisements succeeds in keeping the newspaper alive but the probability of audience viewing it and making a decision is always unknown. But with the emails, you are always aware when a customer opens the mail and if he clicked on the link provided or not. This clarity lets you know about the interested market and where your target audiences lie.
  • Budget friendly: – While the print media and the online advertisements consist of the maximum share in the annual expenditure of a firm, the results are unexpected and unknown. But what does sending an email costs? With the proper structured format and customer friendly options, the chances of the customer being interested in your advertised email are more and at the same time you are aware whether the customer read the email you sent or not.
  • Personalized advertisements: – While the advertisements on the print media and online world are kept generalized based on the target audience, the emails can be sent to the individual customers based on the retrieval of the information he browsed in past and providing him with the similar options. The top ten firms who are claimed to have used the email marketing to the best of its abilities, have disclosed that they send the emails to the customers in a structured format that makes the email appear personal and sent solely for the customer’s benefit and help.
  • Subscriptions: – When a customer usually browse through your website and makes a purchase, you generally provide him/her with an option to subscribe to your latest newsletter edition. With this, while you provide the customers with the latest information about the product similar to what he bought, you also get an opportunity to include and advertise your latest products.
  • Combined advertisements: – Sometimes in email marketing, the companies providing the complementary products promote together. For e.g. an online clothes store can advertised its product with the company providing the shipping services or storage & Distribution services. These kinds of promotions do not just cut down and divides the advertising cost but also increase the chances of more customer reception.

 

 

About The Author

Author of this post is Alan. I work in a Logistic company. I am very fond of reading and sharing knowledge about logistic Industries.

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What are the Benefits from Using the Services of a Digital Marketing Company http://performancing.com/what-are-the-benefits-from-using-the-services-of-a-digital-marketing-company/ Mon, 08 Oct 2012 09:01:43 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12035 Online marketing has become extremely important these days with the increased number of companies that prefer selling their goods online. How can you benefit from working with an online marketing company? People have turned into a consumer society. This means that we want everything we need to be as close to us and as easily […]

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Online marketing has become extremely important these days with the increased number of companies that prefer selling their goods online.

How can you benefit from working with an online marketing company?

People have turned into a consumer society. This means that we want everything we need to be as close to us and as easily accessible as possible. And what selling method is better than selling via the Internet? Almost all companies offer sales or services through their websites. If there are companies that do not do that they would at least have a list of the goods or services on their website. That is what makes working with a good digital marketing company so important.

An online marketing company would certainly be able to make your sales go through the roof. It would help you get better SEO optimization, it would create different advertisements for your website and it may create special Facebook pages where they would promote your company and the products you want to sell. No matter what would these professionals do it would certainly have a great effect on your business. Not only would you sell more but you would also have much more visits to your website. If the clients are satisfied with the services you offer they would most certainly recommend you to their friends and relatives. All of this may easily turn into a long term increase in sales.

What businesses should use the services of a digital marketing company?

If you are the owner of a newly created business then you should definitely try to contact a professional online marketing company. After you talk to their representative you would both be able to decide on what has to be done in order for your very small business to quickly turn into a huge business. You may have to allocate a larger sum in the beginning for the services of the digital marketing company but it would certainly be worth it. It would be worth it mainly because you would get the money back in less than a month after you begin earning much more than before optimizing the marketing techniques.

However, you should be very careful when choosing which digital marketing company to work with. You should definitely not choose the lowest price as this may either be scam or a company full of amateurs that would not be able to do what you need to be done. When choosing the company the best thing you can do is check for as many as possible positive reviews and feedbacks. This is probably the most important thing as feedback is almost never fake and usually reflects the way this company works very well. A great company would often offer you with live feed and would be able to communicate with you immediately. What’s more, they would act professionally during the communication and would not act as if they are your best friend.

A digital marketing company may help you improve your business significantly. It is really important to choose wisely when deciding which online marketing company to work with.

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How a Magento based e-commerce website would lose customers? http://performancing.com/how-a-magento-based-e-commerce-website-would-lose-customers/ Sat, 06 Oct 2012 03:19:45 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12024 A website is mostly designed and developed to get more customers to the business for growth and sales. Magento based e-commerce websites do the same job by encouraging online shopping and promotion. E-commerce websites are designed so that customers come to shop as per the need to contribute to the business. If the website is […]

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Image representing Magento as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

A website is mostly designed and developed to get more customers to the business for growth and sales. Magento based e-commerce websites do the same job by encouraging online shopping and promotion. E-commerce websites are designed so that customers come to shop as per the need to contribute to the business. If the website is not up to mark, customers would never turn up which might lead to losses. In this article, we would discuss why a Magento based e-commerce website would lose customers.

When the design is weak

A Magento based e-commerce website would lose customers when its design is weak. A website with weak design does not match the aesthetical expectations of its customers and hence, it loses them gradually. Weak design connotes a situation wherein products are not arranged ideally and the navigation is not spot-on.

When the site is not usable

A usable e-commerce website is one where customers don’t feel issues while buying products and services. If any of website’s features causes issues, when the site’s usability hinders the transaction, its customers are sure to move on to the next available option. Usability is all about letting customers shop with an ease available nowhere else.

When the site poses many shopping barriers

Buyers won’t like to be tied down with barriers especially while buying products and services. Barriers could be of many types, though seeking too much information out of customers is one of them. Giving puzzled navigational structure is another big put-off for those buying products on the site.

When the customer service is bad

It may sound absurd, but it’s true that bad customer service is another factor which forces customers to leave a Magento based e-commerce website. If communication tools are not easily available, if such tools are not placed as per the merit, if correct information is not delivered on every possible step, customers are bound to leave towards other options.

When the search option is missing

To not have a search option in an e-commerce website is a sin which is justified only when there are only few products to sell. With hundreds of products, grids, categories and classes, a missing search option would make customers go faint while going through them. Endless and futile navigation would take a heavy toll on customers thus forcing them to go away to different sites.

When the layered & filtered navigation is absent

If an e-commerce website lacks filter option, customers are supposed to squander away too much time to get to the desired products or services. Grids are also not a good choice to have for consuming too much time for product search. If customers have to be retained and sales have to be improved, the website should have layered & filtered navigation to lend the ease factor for search.

When users are compelled to registration

When customers are either compelled to register or asked of information while signing up, it makes them leave the site in a hurry. Customers don’t need any persuasion to either enter a site or move further, and forcing them or hurrying them to do is a mistake. If registration is asked for, it makes customers fume to the extent of leaving to other sites.

When clear path is not given to checkout button

Any mistake with checkout button might cost dear to the website as customers take it very seriously. Once the transaction is complete, customers want to smoothly return to the site, or go out. If clear path to check out button is not given, it can create problems in plenty. So a Magento website should always consider giving clear path to checkout button to keep the customers’ interests alive.

When the website is stuffed with loads of categories

Stuffing the website with loads of categories is definitely not a good sign once a niche market is targeted. Even if the product is in thousands, a sensible approach to classification and categorization would be needed. Adding up the number of categories for the sake of more could put-off the customers in a big way. If few categories have one or two products, get them shelved instead to avoid the confusion.

When the information is not latest

A Magento based e-commerce website should always offer up-to-date information related to each aspect. Products and services should never be lied about, and the same is true for inventory. If correct information is not given, customers can easily go away to other websites for the needs. So make sure to give only correct information on the site.

Conclusion

If right steps are not taken, any e-commerce website might lose customers to see losses. The same is true for a Magento based site which meets the same fate when it falls off the right steps. This article has listed how a Magento based e-commerce website would lose customers, and invites users to add to the comments.

 

About The Author

Amit Pankaj associated with a specialized division of Creativeweblogix. He specializes in Social Media, Content Management and SEO is what he deals with, while sharing information and insights on PHP-based CMSs like WordPress and Joomla. XhtmlJunction is known for providing effective PSD to Magento and PSD to WordPress transformation at reasonable prices. You can follow us on G+ for latest updates related to web design and development.

 

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How To Use Pinterest For Smart E-Recruiting http://performancing.com/how-to-use-pinterest-for-smart-e-recruiting/ Sat, 06 Oct 2012 03:05:07 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12020 What is Pinterest? It is a fastest growing social networking among recruiters. They say about it “Think social”. It has almost 12 million unique visitors recorded in January 2012.  E-recruiting is done on this social website. It is the third most popular website currently. Every company wants to have a head start in hiring the […]

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What is Pinterest? It is a fastest growing social networking among recruiters. They say about it “Think social”. It has almost 12 million unique visitors recorded in January 2012.  E-recruiting is done on this social website. It is the third most popular website currently. Every company wants to have a head start in hiring the most talented people.

E-recruiting on pinterest offers two possibilities:

  • How to drive traffic with SEO: Befitted tagging of pins leads to the traffic on this site like every other social site. Corporate recruiters can pin their pictures, logos and their companies’ information as well as job openings using different logos, photos, graphics and links.
  • Candidates’ sourcing: Pinterest provides an opportunity for infographic designers. They give rise to the infographic resume. This is something very popular in Pinterest.

Designing in Pinterest: Corporations recruiting on Pinterest not only look into the information what you have provided but they also look closely into the designing, management of your account, comments on your page, your understanding and solid aesthetic appreciation. You need to give a lasting impression to the companies who are visiting your page.

Therefore, while setting up an account on Pinterest, you must be careful of the arrangement, designing and comments on your page other than providing information or content about yourself.

How to get started with Pinterest? In order to have an account on Pinterest, you need to have contact with someone who already has an account on Pinterest so that he/she can send you an invite. This way, the process of having an account on Pinterest will speed up.

To get your profile completed, you need to do the following:

  • Include a photo, ideally your logo.
  • Website, so job seekers can easily approach you.
  • Location, so they know where they might be working.
  • A brief cover letter which tells about you that who you are and your requirements.

Next, you need to have an attractive title on your board page like “we are hiring!” or you can also put the role on board that what exactly are you searching for. Example: Art, Education, Technology, Designing, Fitness and if none of the roles fit into what you want then you can go for “other” option.

How to use Pinterest for recruiting? Pinterest provides an opportunity to reach talent first in all. Here are some tips how you can use Pinterest to get your next talented employee.

  • Building a pin board for each job: Creating different boards for each department makes it easy for the applicant to find the right board of their interest. For example: Finance, IT, Accounting, Human resource, Marketing, etc.

You can also personalize these boards by pinning photos, logos, head tags. In the end, give a brief job description for each department that you have given.

  • Multimedia pinning: Pinterest is a multimedia channel. Do not limit yourself to pinning photographs only. Enhance your profile and make it attractive to new talent by using new integrations with the help of Vimeo. For example: You can use corporate videos of the technology that you are using to attract new talented and technological candidates.
  •  Promotion of your company’s culture and values: You want someone selling quality- not any random person who can just occupy the vacant position. So add more and more photos through which your company’s culture is evident to the one who is applying. Example: You can attach some photos of any recent event like career planning.
  • Using trends: Make sure that the majority of the users of Pinterest are women. They love to have do-it-yourself projects. They love to pin fashion and travel. Use this thing as your advantage. Attach some photos or detail something like an outfit for the interview. You can also attach the photos of the place where hired candidates are going to work and pinpoint some relaxing place nearby it like a restaurant.
  • Connecting through rapport: Recruiting is not just hiring people. It’s about making relationships with your employees. This is a good tool in making them committed and loyal to your company and keeping most of the talent with you. Remember, you will get what you give!

I am Susan Hannan from Pass Certification; it gives 100% guaranteed success in your IT Certification Preparation exam. Let’s take benefit of IBM Power Systems 000-105 Exam material efficiently and get guaranteed success. Check out free demo of all certifications Exam.

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How to Stay Connected With Customers Via Social Media While Out of the Office http://performancing.com/customers-via-social-media-while-out-of-the-office/ Thu, 04 Oct 2012 12:00:59 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12013 In some company’s marketing departments, there are only one or two employees who may handle the social media aspect of a company’s online presence. Because of this, when those employees travel for work or go on vacation, there may be issues that arise from ensuring that the company presence online stays constant. However, there are […]

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stay connected via social media while out of the office

In some company’s marketing departments, there are only one or two employees who may handle the social media aspect of a company’s online presence. Because of this, when those employees travel for work or go on vacation, there may be issues that arise from ensuring that the company presence online stays constant. However, there are some ways that social media coordinators or marketers can ensure that the corporate social media marketing and outreach isn’t compromised just because they aren’t in the office.

Scheduling

There are a variety of services that allow companies and individuals to schedule their social media posts to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These include LaterBro, HootSuite, TweetDeck, and Sendible. Costs and features may vary; some services offer a free account but have limited features. A social media marketer could schedule posts to run while they are out of the office, thus keeping the social media presence current and updated.

Smart phone Access

Scheduling social media posts may be part of the problem, but social media marketers will also need to monitor the accounts to answer any posts, questions, or comments. Usually smart phones like the iPhone or Android make this process fairly easy; the Twitter app can send a user an alert when someone follows or mentions their username in a tweet. The Facebook Pages app does the same. To stay connected to social media profiles, it is almost a necessity to have a smart phone so questions and comments can get answered in a timely manner.

Take It On the Road

Some social media marketers prefer to take their company’s social media presence live on the road with them. Companies live-tweet and share photos and updates from their conference, meeting, or other event that the company (or just a handful of its employees) have traveled to. This may make the users feel more connected with the company, but also takes a higher level of commitment and engagement from the employees’ side.

Transferring Duties

If the employee is on vacation or will be too busy with other duties, they may not want to be responsible for the social media community for their company. This is when it becomes necessary to cross-train other employees to handle social media while those who usually handle it are out of the office. This can take some of the stress and anxiety off of the departed employee’s shoulders while also giving other employees a chance to learn more about what goes into building and maintaining a social media presence and community.

 

Photo courtesy of vjeran2001 on stock.xchng

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Using the Proper Equipment can Boost Online Marketers Production http://performancing.com/using-the-proper-equipment-can-boost-online-marketers-production-2/ Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:40:00 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11938 Are you struggling with production due to waiting…and waiting for the Internet to start up? Or, perhaps your web meetings are getting shut down unexpectedly, with temporary disconnections. Another concern is wasting time sitting in airports, doctor offices, or even in line at the grocery store, when emails are piling up. I realize that a […]

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Are you struggling with production due to waiting…and waiting for the Internet to start up? Or, perhaps your web meetings are getting shut down unexpectedly, with temporary disconnections. Another concern is wasting time sitting in airports, doctor offices, or even in line at the grocery store, when emails are piling up.

I realize that a big perk to working on our own and independent from the rules and boundaries of the corporate world is that we have the flexibility to sit in an airport, go to the doctors, or even shop when we feel like it.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to maximize our time and make the most of it.

I like to learn. And, I have been doing a great deal of that through writing about topics I am unfamiliar with, as well as listening to those who have paved the path for fellow online entrepreneurs. One of the people I have been listening to is James Martell. He and his wife Arlene co-host the Affiliate Buzz, featuring informative podcasts on various topics.

The one I just listened to featured their son Justin as a guest, who had a lot of good information on how to keep our businesses running smoothly, so we can concentrate on content and marketing, rather than why our computer is running so slow.

A Little about Justin

I want to first share a little background about Justin, just so you can see he has some background in what he is talking about.

Just after he graduated from high school, he took a summer job at a computer store. He learned as much as he could about the ins and outs of computers, including the hardware behind it all. The determination to learn landed him a management position in one of the largest computer retailers in Canada.

So, let me share with you the information he was talking about on this podcast.

Routers

Routers can be considered the freeway of our Internet access. It will determine the speed, as well as how well we stay connected. If you are dealing with a sluggish system, and lose the Internet and calls often, it’s probably due to your router.

Many devices you have in your home are trying to drive through one router, such as laptops, iPads, Smart Phones, and even game systems and Netflix.

Justin likened it to trying to put 3000 cars through a 2-lane freeway, rather than a 6-lane freeway that could accommodate more cars…or, bandwidth. All the devices that I mentioned above use bandwidth, so your router needs to be able to handle it all. If you are working out of the home with an online business, then you will want one with a 300 bandwidth.

The good news is that you can pick one up for around $200.

Computers, Laptops, and iPads

The computer; the heart of any online business. Without it, the job would be impossible. Whether you choose to use a desktop, laptop, or iPad, Justin had a couple basic suggestions:

  • RAM – 6-8 GB
  • Processor – quad

I want to add just a couple of my own that I have learned along the way, about protecting your system, such as:

  • iPad secure case, or equivalent for a laptop to protect system from damage
  • Online backup program to save data

The above information will help you in obtaining a decent system, as well as maintaining and protecting it.

Smart Phones

If you don’t have one already, I suggest getting one. In getting back to standing in line at the grocery store, or sitting in a doctor’s office, this is where a smart phone could be your best friend. I have often checked emails while waiting for someone, or something.

Also, Justin pointed out that a Google Android allows access to Google Docs and calendar, as well as the ability to sync to social medias. In other words, if you use Facebook in your marketing, you can access, link, or send photos and videos directly from your phone.

In Closing

Online businesses are great opportunities for people to enjoy flexibility in their life and still provide support for the household. However, it would be difficult to do so without decent equipment and tools and could lead to an early burnout.

 

About the Author

David Crawford is a freelance writer, with topics ranging from medical, online business, to family. David is currently working on a series of articles on tools and equipment for online success, including iPads and iPad floor stands.

The post Using the Proper Equipment can Boost Online Marketers Production appeared first on Performancing.

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Useful Tips for Entry-Level Businesses Planning to Jump into Social Media Marketing http://performancing.com/useful-tips-for-entry-level-businesses-planning-to-jump-into-social-media-marketing/ Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:55:39 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11920 Jumping in to the world of social media marketing arena for entry-level and small businesses might be quite a headache. There are strategies and a firm plan that must be followed to have a strong social presence on the web to effectively market and advertise the brand, product or services. Sufficient time and patience is […]

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Social Media Marketing Hub and Spoke Infographic
Social Media Marketing Hub and Spoke Infographic (Photo credit: ralphpaglia)

Jumping in to the world of social media marketing arena for entry-level and small businesses might be quite a headache. There are strategies and a firm plan that must be followed to have a strong social presence on the web to effectively market and advertise the brand, product or services. Sufficient time and patience is required for the strategies to take effect. There are some do’s and don’ts that must be appropriately followed to bring your social media marketing plan strong recognition over the web.

Following are some of the useful tips that might be of great benefit to the beginners in the field of social media marketing.

Begin at a small level

Beginners should start planning the social media marketing at a small level, trying out on a limited number of services. Entry level businesses usually grab a number of tools and services in a hurry to get instant success. Such attempts usually fail in the long run and end up having nothing at their side. Managing profiles for various social network sites is tough and time consuming task and one should try on one particular site in the beginning and then gradually expanding the business to other sites

Place your social profiles’ icons on your website

Having buttons and icons of the social media profiles at your website will make it easier for readers at your web page to follow you on social media networks. At the bottom of the articles or posts at your page, paste a link of your profile so that readers can get more content by following the link to your social profile.

Don’t create annoyance for your readers.

Beginners in the social media marketing often start sending requests, offers and other content related to their business to the fans and followers. Unwanted messages and requests create great annoyance for the users and they are likely to avoid or block your page. Instead of disturbing the users, try to offer them helpful content. Try sharing useful and helpful content and articles that might be of interest to the readers. Do not always promote your cause. Try sorting out your fans’ issues and then ask them for favors.

Don’t panic about the increasing your fans’ number

Articles and books that offer ways of increasing fans or followers instantly are usually spam. Don’t always believe such sources. Growing the number of fans or traffic at your website takes time and effort. Be patient. You need followers that must interact with you and spread your word. Take your time, put all of your efforts and you will see your page flourish with increased number of readers and fans.

Opt for social media networks other than Facebook or Twitter.

Small businesses and beginners think that Facebook and Twitter are only means of implementing your social media marketing plans to advertise about your brand or product. Go for other networks too. Small and unpopular social media sites can also help you to promote your business effectively. Such networks might help you to generate excessive traffic on your page.

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Why You Should Use Performance Marketing http://performancing.com/why-you-should-use-performance-marketing/ Tue, 18 Sep 2012 15:03:34 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11903 You’ve got a business, you want to increase your sales (duh!) and you want a larger Internet presence and market share. In the old days, you know, circa 1992, you could put an ad in the local paper, you could run an ad on television (1 minute  = $$$) or you could try radio (1 […]

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The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a fra...

You’ve got a business, you want to increase your sales (duh!) and you want a larger Internet presence and market share. In the old days, you know, circa 1992, you could put an ad in the local paper, you could run an ad on television (1 minute  = $$$) or you could try radio (1 minute spot = $+ a half $). As for marketing, you could slap your logo on a hat, pen, refrigerator magnet, tote bag (think PBS’ annual telethon), and then go to conventions and trade shows to give them all away.

Several of these methods still work. Television works, but it’s even more expensive now than it was back then. Same with radio. You can advertise in the local paper, but in all likelihood, the only person who will see it is your grandmother, and unless she’s your target demographic, kiss your ROI goodbye.

So, how to you advertise and market to those most willing to buy without breaking the bank?

Enter performance marketing. In short – you pay for what you use and what works. It eliminates the issue that department store guru John Wannamaker quipped about when he said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

So, how does performance marketing work and why is it important to you? Think about this: We’re all pretty aware that the Internet is the new frontier as far as gaining new customers. We also realize that the Internet is a HUGE marketplace. When you consider how many millions of people use the Internet daily, that’s a lot of people to target, even when you narrow your demographic. If you tried to reach that many customers with a newspaper ad, you’d go broke. Reaching your entire audience through television is out of reach for many small businesses, and there would still be no guarantees that your marketing would work.

With performance marketing, ads for your business are posted on the sites of others, and the ads that result in a “click” are the ones you pay for. A “click” consists of either a new visitor, or if your link is for ecommerce, a new sale. For each “click” you receive from the link of the sites, you pay the site a commission.

Let’s look at it another way. Let’s say you offer online tutoring services to high school kids, and you place a flyer in a local bookstore with the arrangement that for every new customer you receive from that flyer, you’ll pay the bookstore a dollar. When the new customer tells you they got your information from the flyer in the bookstore, that’s a “click.” Now, instead of using a bookstore in town, substitute an online bookstore or website geared toward high school students. Make sense? You can set these arrangements up yourself through individual companies, or you can use an affiliate marketing program that will reach out to hundreds or thousands of website publishers who would love nothing more than to market your products and services.

So, how does this benefit you? Let me count the ways:

  1. You’ll know how much you’re spending on marketing and how much you’re earning from your marketing efforts. This is commonly referred to as “Return on Investment,” or ROI. You can keep the ads and publishers that work, and replace the others.
  2. You’ll know which marketing approaches are working, and which ones are not. Unlike more “old school” marketing methods, you don’t plop down the money first and hope everything works. You pay for the results after you see them.
  3. In real estate and brick and mortar businesses, one of the primary keys to success is “location, location, location.” With performance marketing, it’s “saturation, saturation, saturation.” The more places that offer your link, the more sales you’ll generate, provided…
  4. The links are on targeted sites that reach your demographic. It’s much easier to target your key demographic and have a link created that’s tailored for them and their needs.
  5. You’ll be working with innovative and creative advertisers. Affiliates only get paid if they drive traffic to your site, so you can bet your next 12 salary draws that they’ll create links that will get attention and increase your sales.

And there it is, your brief (very brief) crash course in performance marketing. Now, go forth and market.

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How e-Books Can Be Used to Improve Your Internet Marketing Efforts http://performancing.com/how-e-books-can-be-used-to-improve-your-internet-marketing-efforts/ Mon, 27 Aug 2012 12:00:32 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11845 E-Books and e-Book readers are all the rage!   We’re a mobile generation.  Long gone are the lazy evenings where we grab a good book and curl up in front of the fireplace.  Nowadays, we can’t seem to sit still.  And yet, we still want to read, learn, explore.  But we often want to read just […]

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E-Books and e-Book readers are all the rage!   We’re a mobile generation.  Long gone are the lazy evenings where we grab a good book and curl up in front of the fireplace.  Nowadays, we can’t seem to sit still.  And yet, we still want to read, learn, explore.  But we often want to read just a quick article – learn what we can, fast.  Get in and get out!  The answer?  E-books and the devices that read them to us.

For those who are unfamiliar,  an e-Book is simply an electronic version of a printed book; however they can also exist without a printed version. Many, many electronic devices can download e-Books.  Some of these devices, like the new Kindle, can even READ the text to you.  Images and life-like pages are also  available in certain devices.  Here is a short list of electronic devices which can download e-Books.  This list includes but is not limited to:

  • – Computers:  desktops and laptops
  • – Audio players, like MP3
  • – Smart phones, Blackberry, i-Phones, and Androids
  • – Computer tablets, like the iPad and Xoom
  • – E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and  Sony Reader

There are a variety of blogs AND E-BOOKS on the advantages of each of these electronic devices.  To choose which one is best for you, make a list of features you are looking for and decide what, when, and where you will be reading. Once you’ve done that, you can research these blogs and e-Books and choose the device which best suits your needs.

The Ins and Outs of Creating an e-Book

What many don’t realize is that companies are actually writing short e-Books in order to improve the visibility and reputation of their brand.  This is the latest and greatest trend to get your company name and mission statement out to the savvy technologically-aware consumer.  In other words, it’s marketing in the 21st century.

E-Books can promote your company’s ideas, products, and mission statement.  You write the E-Book similar to a training manual that you might use internally.  Then you search the Web for target words that would apply to your particular E-Book.  Then you offer your E-Book to the general public online.  E-Books are generally written by in-house content writers or by simply publishing an already written document from the company owner or another staff member. However, some companies do opt to hire a writer to create the e-Book .

Advantages of e-Books for Marketing

E-Books are generally offered to potential clients and customers for free.  So why bother?  The benefits to you as a company are varied; however there are always huge advantages. A few include:

  • Your company becomes the leader in your industry

It’s as simple as YOU have an e-Book and your competitor doesn’t.  YOU automatically become the trusted authority in the industry.  When a consumer is faced with the decision on whether to choose a local business, a business recommended by a friend or neighbor, or a business that has taken the time to create a published e-Book, they will choose the latter (you) most of the time. An e-Book gives weary customers something tangible to refer to when making their decision.

  • Your company name is all over the internet

When it comes time for a consumer to purchase a product or research an idea, they go to the Internet.  If you have an e-Book, they may choose to download it, read it, and probably even share it with others.  Your name is all over the internet, and more importantly, traded among savvy consumers.  This transfers into sales, and increased sales equals increased profits.

  • Marketing Outreach Programs

Every time someone downloads your e-Book, you acquire a new contact.  Then, a marketing dominoes affect takes place.  New contacts are potentially new customers.  New customers easily generate more contacts, and the dominoes continue to fall – right into your lap!

So next time your advertising manager approaches you about running an ad in your local newspaper, ask them to consider an e-Book instead.  The costs are minimal, the scope is immeasurable, there is no deadline or timeline involved, and your company will reap the benefits for years to come.  So jump on the e-Book Band Wagon and watch your profits grow.

Has your company ever created an e-Book to help improve visibility or teach your audience about your industry? Did you find it successful? Tell us your story in the comments below!

Photo Credit: deweybstrategic.blogspot.com

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. 

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Using the Proper Equipment can Boost Online Marketers Production http://performancing.com/using-the-proper-equipment-can-boost-online-marketers-production/ Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:33:26 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11840 Are you struggling with production due to waiting…and waiting for the Internet to start up? Or, perhaps your web meetings are getting shut down unexpectedly, with temporary disconnections. Another concern is wasting time sitting in airports, doctor offices, or even in line at the grocery store, when emails are piling up. I realize that a […]

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Are you struggling with production due to waiting…and waiting for the Internet to start up? Or, perhaps your web meetings are getting shut down unexpectedly, with temporary disconnections. Another concern is wasting time sitting in airports, doctor offices, or even in line at the grocery store, when emails are piling up.

I realize that a big perk to working on our own and independent from the rules and boundaries of the corporate world is that we have the flexibility to sit in an airport, go to the doctors, or even shop when we feel like it.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to maximize our time and make the most of it.

I like to learn. And, I have been doing a great deal of that through writing about topics I am unfamiliar with, as well as listening to those who have paved the path for fellow online entrepreneurs. One of the people I have been listening to is James Martell. He and his wife Arlene co-host the Affiliate Buzz, featuring informative podcasts on various topics.

The one I just listened to featured their son Justin as a guest, who had a lot of good information on how to keep our businesses running smoothly, so we can concentrate on content and marketing, rather than why our computer is running so slow.

A Little about Justin

I want to first share a little background about Justin, just so you can see he has some background in what he is talking about.

Just after he graduated from high school, he took a summer job at a computer store. He learned as much as he could about the ins and outs of computers, including the hardware behind it all. The determination to learn landed him a management position in one of the largest computer retailers in Canada.

So, let me share with you the information he was talking about on this podcast.

Routers

Routers can be considered the freeway of our Internet access. It will determine the speed, as well as how well we stay connected. If you are dealing with a sluggish system, and lose the Internet and calls often, it’s probably due to your router.

Many devices you have in your home are trying to drive through one router, such as laptops, iPads, Smart Phones, and even game systems and Netflix.

Justin likened it to trying to put 3000 cars through a 2-lane freeway, rather than a 6-lane freeway that could accommodate more cars…or, bandwidth. All the devices that I mentioned above use bandwidth, so your router needs to be able to handle it all. If you are working out of the home with an online business, then you will want one with a 300 bandwidth.

The good news is that you can pick one up for around $200.

Computers, Laptops, and iPads

The computer; the heart of any online business. Without it, the job would be impossible. Whether you choose to use a desktop, laptop, or iPad, Justin had a couple basic suggestions:

  • RAM – 6-8 GB
  • Processor – quad

I want to add just a couple of my own that I have learned along the way, about protecting your system, such as:

  • iPad secure case, or equivalent for a laptop to protect system from damage
  • Online backup program to save data

The above information will help you in obtaining a decent system, as well as maintaining and protecting it.

Smart Phones

If you don’t have one already, I suggest getting one. In getting back to standing in line at the grocery store, or sitting in a doctor’s office, this is where a smart phone could be your best friend. I have often checked emails while waiting for someone, or something.

Also, Justin pointed out that a Google Android allows access to Google Docs and calendar, as well as the ability to sync to social medias. In other words, if you use Facebook in your marketing, you can access, link, or send photos and videos directly from your phone.

In Closing

Online businesses are great opportunities for people to enjoy flexibility in their life and still provide support for the household. However, it would be difficult to do so without decent equipment and tools and could lead to an early burnout.

About The Author

David Crawford is a freelance writer, with topics ranging from medical, online business, to family. David is currently working on a series of articles on tools and equipment for online success, including iPads and iPad floor stands.

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