Speak to any online advertising expert or agency and chances are they will tell you how much more beneficial it is to use both organic and paid search together. There are obvious advantages to both paid and organic search, but leveraging your campaigns off the other, you can build a powerful search campaign.
Using paid search, you have more control over your listing including placement, ad copy, and landing pages. With these options, you can run a lot of tests to determine what works best for you. Paid search also allows you to gain search visibility immediately whereas organic visibility can take months to appear. Some of the disadvantages of paid search include cost. Every time your ad is clicked on, you are required to play regardless if you sold something or gained a lead from them. Paid search can easily become very costly if not managed carefully and on a consistent basis.
About 2 months ago, we had a contest for customers and others who were interested in helping us create a new design that would go on our Contour Pen. National Pen specializes in full color designs ready-to-use on pens, mugs, magnets, key chains, and more. With a variety of industries and themes to choose from, we wanted our customers to help us develop one for universal use. The one we chose as the winner fits well for our business. Congratulations to Mark Brace and his winning design.
As a special gift to our participants, we also announced a few runner-ups where we really enjoyed the look and concept.
We really enjoyed reviewing everyone’s submission and thank you for your time and effort.
It’s important to know what people are saying about your company, but searching for your brand name online can take hours and if you want to check up periodically, you’re faced with search results you’ve already seen.
So how can you find out what people say about you online? Create a Google Alert and have new mentions of your company sent directly to your email. It’s easy to do, just visit their Alerts website, then type your company name in quotes in the search box. Select what kind of results you want and how often you’d like to receive them, and enter your email. Hit “Create Alert” and you’re done!
Every time a new site uses your search term, you’ll get notified via email. Of course, if you have a very generic name and pull up too many search results, you may want to try including your city name or your industry in the search as well.
Welcome to part 3 of our coupons series. We’ve already discussed offers you may provide and how to print them. Now you’ll need to distribute them. So how do you do that without spending an arm and a leg?
• In person. Place coupons in store or in shopping bags. The problem with this is, with the exception of referral coupons, it can’t help you get new customers.
• Mailing List. You can always mail or email existing customers with coupons. Again though, this will not get you new customers unless you send a referral coupon.
• Door to door. This may be time consuming, but canvassing is mighty effective. Leaving coupons on car windshields, house door steps, etc. is an easy way to bring your message to the masses.
Now that you’ve decided to use a coupon and what kind of discount to offer, let’s learn about printing options.
• Do it yourself. Printing yourself is easy. You can print off hundreds of your own coupons on your PC or take a trip to the local copy store. It’s easy, but you risk customers making their own coupons, which can suddenly turn 100 coupons into 10,000. This can work positively as viral marketing, but be sure you can handle that sort of discount.
• Have customers print them. This is the easiest and the only free way to print coupons. This method requires online or email distribution. The downsides are the same as printing yourself, people can try to manipulate the coupons or print off too many.
Coupons are a great way to get customers to try your service or product. They can also “woo” your competitor’s customers to give you a try. If you have a new product, service or an overstock, try offering a coupon to draw attention and sales. You can also minimize the impact of a price increase with a coupon -people won’t realize there was a price hike when excited about a coupon.
Different offers work better for some businesses than others. Which type of offer will work best for you?
• BOGO. The always popular “Buy One –Get One.” This is a customer favorite. This offer works best to clear out surpluses or to sell things with huge markups. If your item doesn’t fit into either category, this probably isn’t a good discount for you.
About a month ago, I wrote about online marketing tips for the holiday season, now that we are truly in the midst of the holidays, many businesses are getting desperate on how to maximize sales in this tough economy. Multichannel Merchant has a great article called “Three Steps to Increase Online Holiday Sales” which points out some very simple things you can do to help drive conversion after a visitor has landed on your website.
Automate Product Recommendations/Suggestions
For those companies who recommend products, many still organize and choose products manually. This can be an extremely tedious and time consuming task. By investing in automated product recommendations, you will be able to more suggest more relevant product recommendations in much less effort.
Google released a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide last week. If you are looking for some basic tips on how to optimize your website for the search engines (Google to be specific), then it is something definitely worth reviewing. Something to note though is that this should just be used as a guide and does not guarantee rankings. There are many more things you can do to optimize your website, but I would say this is a good best practice guide for the beginners out there.
Photo courtesy of dannysullivan
With the New Year coming up quickly, small business owners are looking to strategize and finalize their marketing plans for 2009. While traditional methods of advertising such as print ads, television, and radio always seem to be in the marketing plan, advertisers might want to put more focus on an alternative form of marketing next year. What might that be? Promotional products, giveaways, swag, freebies, whatever you want to call it, it is simply a product imprinted with your company logo, name, and/or contact information.
The Advertising Specialty Institute just released results from a study focused on the cost analysis of promotional products compared to other advertising media. Surveying 600+ people in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, the ASI team focused on understanding how promotional products influenced consumers to purchase, determine the number of impressions promotional products produced, and to compare the Cost Per Impressions (CPI) of these products compared to other forms of advertising.