Internet Marketing India
INTERNET MARKETING INDIA | ONLINE MARKETING INDIA
Employing effective internet marketing strategies is like battling the mythical many-headed serpent, the Hydra. Every time you lop off one of its heads, two grow back to replace it. Unless you’re Hercules, that’s just no fun at all.
Hercules and the Hydra – John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) Credit
You could spend 100 hours a week marketing your small business and never “finish”. There’s always more you could do, always new potential avenues appearing as you dig deeper. How do you manage this beast and get back to the rest of your business?
INTERNET MARKETING INDIA | ONLINE MARKETING INDIA
Internet marketing strategies that make sense
There is a smarter approach that won’t sap all your time (and money). And you find it by following the 80/20 Rule, aka the “Pareto Principle“:
80% of the results can be achieved with 20% of the effort.
For small business owners, this should be the Golden Rule. And the corollary should be enough to instill terror in your heart:
The remaining 20% of results require 4x the effort!
So, assuming that you want to use your time and money wisely, how can you best apply the 80/20 Rule to Internet Marketing?
1) Focus on one marketing program at a time
Pop quiz: If you can get 80% of return from 20% of effort, does that mean you can get maybe 60% of return from just 10% of effort? (And, therefore, should you do just a tiny bit of work on a whole bunch of marketing programs for the best results?)
Nope. The Pareto curve for results vs. effort is an S-curve. The long tail at the end represents diminishing returns, and the short curve at the beginning represents initial setup and learning.
For example, an “80% results” FaceBook campaign to build fans might involve configuring a new FaceBook page for your small business, adding enticing info and images, adding some seed posts, and setting up a contest with exciting giveaways (10% effort), and only then inviting everyone you know to your new page and engaging in conversations on your wall (20% effort).
The initial 10% of work didn’t bring you a single new fan, while the next 10% brought you oodles!
And the problem for many of us is that we end up doing 5-10% effort on a half dozen different internet marketing programs instead of prioritizing the best one to tackle first and giving it the 20% effort needed to see significant results.
Zero results from six programs will always be less than 80% results from one!
BOTTOM LINE: To see the most results the fastest, pick your single highest priority marketing program and put in the 20% effort to nail it. Then move on to the next program and do the same.
BONUS: Did the FaceBook contest idea sound interesting? Here is Social Media Examiner’s take on how to run successful FaceBook contests and how to make your FaceBook contest stand out. And consider using affordable expert help to create your FaceBook contest.
2) Find one tool that’s “good enough” for the need
The wonderful thing about the internet is the seemingly unending supply of tools, guides and advice. And the terrible thing about the internet is the seemingly unending supply of tools, guides and advice. How do you make use of it all? Well, you can’t. And you’ll injure yourself trying.
Take keyword research for SEO optimization as an example. There are dozens of professional tools you can use if you decide to do this yourself.
- Some are one-time purchases while others have monthly fees.
- Some run on your PC while others run in the cloud.
- Some focus on organic keywords while others specialize for Adwords.
You could spend a week just researching these SEO tools. (I know. I have.)
But you can get 80% of the results in 20% of the time (and for FREE) simply by using Google’s Keyword Tool and just a few columns of its data.
Given all of your other urgent business priorities, why do more?
In this blog post I cover how to perform this 80/20 keyword research. (By the way, here’s why I think keyword research is a critical first step for your small business marketing strategy.)
BOTTOM LINE: Find one internet marketing tool that’s “good enough” for a particular project and master it. You’ll get faster results than from analyzing and testing dozens of tools, and you’ll get better results than from using several tools “kinda well”.
BONUS: If you’re ready to go a bit beyond Google’s Keyword Tool, my next recommendation is to download a free trial of Market Samurai’s keyword tool. It has a steeper learning curve, and it uses a different search database so you still need to correlate the results to Google. But it will broaden the scope of your keyword research, make it easier to filter down to the best finalists, and provide very valuable additional competitive info. Plus they have some of the best how-to videos (complete with transcripts) that you’ll ever find.
3) Start and stop working before it’s “perfect”
For a busy small business owner perfectionism is an illness (one that I’ve been personally afflicted with my whole life).
Perfectionism slows you down and drains your energy away from more fruitful labors.
Blogging seems to be perfectionism’s favorite target.
Why don’t you start blogging for your small business?
- “I haven’t found the perfect topic yet.”
- “I haven’t completed all the research yet.”
- “I haven’t had it reviewed by enough people yet.”
- “I haven’t rewritten it enough times yet.”
Why did you stop blogging?
- “I ran out of perfect topic ideas.”
- “It took too long to keep writing perfect posts.”
The problem is obvious:
“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” (Ivan Turgenev)
Following the 80/20 rule for blogging means:
- Start writing when an idea moves you. You can worry about crafting it into a complete, well-structured blog post later (or possibly never!).
- Limit your iterations. Feel free to do a little research to check your ideas and get feedback. But recognize that, here too, the first 20% of research/feedback will yield 80% of the results, so don’t wait for the rest.
- Publish before it’s perfect. Remember, it’s okay to go back and edit blog posts later if you find you really need to. But most likely you won’t, and that’s okay!
BOTTOM LINE: The path to success for today’s small business owner is to move forward as quickly as possible. Perfectionism straps a load of bricks onto your back. Remind yourself that it’s not worth it right now to spend 4x more time to achieve the last 20% of results from a particular internet marketing effort, and keep moving forward!
BONUS: If you’re itching to start blogging, here is a diverse and valuable collection of ProBlogger’s most helpful blogging guides.
4) Recognize when you can save by spending
You know there are many parts of your business where you come out ahead by paying someone else to do specialty work.
- You pay an expert to do your taxes.
- You pay an expert to write your legal contracts.
- You pay an expert to balance your books.
Similarly, it will often make sense to pay an expert to plan and execute some or all of your internet marketing strategies.
Sure, you could spend several months learning how to use, interpret and optimize Google Adwords through your own diligent study, research and trial and error. And in the process you’d “save” the several thousands of dollars you might pay an expert to run an optimal campaign for you.
But did you really save money?
To answer that, decide how you value your time. Do you consider one hour of your time spent on your business to be worth, say $100? Then if you spent 100 hours mastering Adwords over a span of 3 months, that effort had an opportunity cost to you of $10,000!
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
Depending on the size of your campaign you might have paid an expert anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for the same work, and they would have achieved better results more quickly.
Plus you would have developed a new relationship that could continue to multiply your returns for months or years to come. And you would have off-loaded your to-do list.
So in this case, you can get >100% of the results that you would achieve yourself by investing 20% of the time and money in an internet marketing expert instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades yourself.
BOTTOM LINE: As a small business owner you win when you spend your time doing what you’re good at. Learn to effectively delegate everything else.
BONUS: If you determine that your time is well spent by running your own Google Adwords campaign, you’ll need some help. You can use Google’s Adwords Learning Center (even if you don’t take the certification tests), and you should consider using the very insightful WordStream Adwords Performance Grader for a free report of how you’re doing.
Following the 80/20 rule can help small business owners like you employ effective internet marketing strategies without neglecting the rest of your business.
Focus on one internet marketing program at a time, use one effective tool, and move ahead before everything is perfect. And if you can save (or earn) more money in the long run by instead hiring an expert – do it!
Why was Hercules able to slay the Hydra when all others had failed? Because he was the right guy for the job, he didn’t worry about making perfect cuts, he used an effective sword, and he focused on just one head at a time.
The world of business is abuzz with a new phenomenon and that is crowd sourcing. Basically, you raise a certain amount of seed capital in order to fund your start-up venture through dedicated social media platforms that have been created for such purposes.
So, if you are the chief executive of your company and you want to raise funds for your business through a similar platform, then you need to know the indispensable aspects of creating a good Internet marketing strategy.
Internet marketing plan for crowd sourcing – The motive
Your direct goal of implementing the Internet marketing plan must be to generate organic traffic to the respective website. This should help you to convert that traffic into prospective investors. Moreover, these visitors should come from all the affiliates that are working on your behalf.
For that to happen, you need to use best quality search engine optimization (SEO) tools as well as execute impeccable social media marketing tools and club them with the conventional tools of public relations. If you can abide by these rules, then hopefully you’ll be successful in your endeavor to amass a handsome amount of seed money since people will able to discover your website on the World Wide Web much easily.
Essential aspects of an Internet marketing plan
Being at the helm of affairs in your company, the onus lies on you to incorporate the following basic rules while implementing the Internet marketing plan in order to generate more traffic for a crowd sourcing project:
- You need to take full advantage of the online marketing tools like news story articles, press releases, company announcements and the likes. These are great Internet marketing tools that can drive up traffic to your website’s home page or any other targeted web-page.
- In addition, you may use tools like business calendar websites that have a list of all the events scheduled to be held throughout the year. This will entice both the affiliate marketers as well as prospective clients and make them subscribe to any particular event of their choice or preference. However, do remember to put a link back to your website in that business calendar website.
Apart from the above tools and techniques, you may find using advertisements that promotes angel investors or venture capitalists quite useful for the crowd sourcing project. Websites with such ads are good place to find investors who might be too eager to help you out in your fund raising effort.
Becoming An Expert at Internet Marketing
If you run an online business, internet marketing is necessary in order to properly promote the business. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should give it a shot. Use the basics of internet marketing outlined below to begin building the strategies for your own online business.
- Site-wide links are the links that you use on each page of your website. Generally these links are located at the bottom of the webpage. The most common site-wide links forward the user to contact pages or website indexes. If you are trying to steer your web visitors to a particular page of content, these links will enable you to do this. They also make it easy for visitors to see the different areas of your site.
- HTML code makes use of an important item called a meta tag. These tags are not visible to site visitors; however, they are key for search engines to help establish what your site focuses on. Be sure that the initial meta tags that you list are the most central to the content and keywords of your website. Use a few meta tags only. You can add alternative tags to your pages if you need to. It is important that you conduct keyword research to allow yourself to pinpoint which keywords are the most searched by your target market.For the headings of sections, articles and picture descriptions. A format that is clearly defined by headings, articles, and descriptions (for images) is not only better for web crawlers, but your human consumers as well. Don’t forget to sprinkle keywords into other parts of your pages, such as headings, article descriptions and ALT tags.Do not be afraid to try something new or unusual when promoting your business online. While there is no reason to stop using the strategies that you already employ, you should always look for new ideas to further increase the success of your business. The next video you post online could become the next viral “buzz” on the internet. If you do it correctly, you can start a serious buzz about your product. These “viral” episodes normally do not last long, but you can benefit from them when they do occur. You should always be trying something new, funny, different and exciting, as you never know what will take off. Share things on social media outlets like YouTube. If you check out some of the popular videos on the web, you can create something similar and have great results.These are just a few of the strategies out there for internet marketing. When you get the hang of it, you can add more ways to market your business online.
The four pillars of online marketing success
SEO India has been delivering free online marketing advice for nearly 6 years, and we’ve found four themes that keep coming up.
So we created a series that works through these four themes, systematically introducing you to the most important concepts we think every online marketer must know about. It’s a 20-part course in Internet marketing that prepares you for the more in-depth newsletter content that follows (still all free).
These are the cornerstones of how to build and market a business with the SEO India model, using everything we’ve learned over the years. Ready?
Pillar 1: Relationships
Creating strong relationships with an audience is critical to everything we do here. Rather than constantly hunting down new customers, we’d much rather create a valued environment that benefits our existing readers and customers and keeps pulling them back. We don’t advertise in the traditional sense; instead, our readers do a great job of “spreading the word” for us.
It’s about having consummate respect, always, for your audience and your market.
It’s about focusing almost obsessively on their needs, over and above your own (and getting what you want, almost magically, in the process).
It’s about making a commitment to creating a quality experience for your readers and subscribers.
Pillar 2: Direct response copywriting
We certainly stay abreast of the latest social media trends (and sometimes create them), but underlying everything we do here is solid copywriting techniques.
Starting with a killer headline and moving strategically through the copy to a stirring call to action, traditional copywriting technique works amazingly well in social media.
“Old-fashioned” copywriting advice can make all the difference between a business or blog that limps along and one that truly thrives.
We’ll show you precisely what we mean in the initial issues of the newsletter.
Pillar 3: Content marketing
What’s the backbone of the SEO India formula?
Deliver great content.
Then keep delivering great content, but in a strategic and focused way.
Every once in awhile, make a great offer that benefits the reader and involves the exchange of cash money.
Of course, we’ll give you some more specifics on how to do that once you’re on board.
Pillar 4: Have something worth selling
Everyone is selling something. It might be a product, a service, a download, an idea, or a worthy cause.
Whatever you’re selling, it’s got to be worth the price. (And never forget that reader attention is a valuable commodity that’s in strictly limited supply.)
Whether you’re asking for dollars, euros, yen, or valuable time and attention, you’ve got to deliver something that towers above your asking price.
Bringing it all together
Each of these four pillars enhances the others. Together, they’re much stronger than they would be if any of the pillars were missing.
Internet Marketing for Smart People is a free 20-part course and ongoing newsletter that’s delivered via email. Each week you’ll get a new lesson on one of the four pillars.
You’ll get lots of pointers to archived SEO India content, but with a new frame that will help you “connect the dots” and start putting this advice to work in your own business. Of course, our advice will be supplemented and ever-evolving as the Internet marketing space changes (which is fast).
To make it work even better, we’ll also be including “behind the scenes” lessons that show you how we put our own marketing systems and launches together, and the role each piece plays.
Ten Tips for Online Promotion
Ways to Increase Your Home Business Profits
1. Pick the Right Domain Name
Your business should be as easy as possible to find when people are searching online, and one of the best ways of guaranteeing this is by purchasing your own domain name. Your domain name should be short, easy to remember, and have some connection with the name of your business. Having your own domain name not only makes it easier for customers to reach your website, but also makes you appear more professional as well.
2. Make Your Website Easy to Find
Any business that hopes to succeed in today’s world needs to have a website that is accessible and easy to use. When customers are looking for a business that can meet their needs, the first place they tend to look is online. If you do not have a website, or if your website is difficult to use or unfinished, they will move on to someone else. Without a visible online presence, you will not be able to reach very many customers.
3. Get Help or Buy a Killer Template
If you do not know how to design your own website, do not hesitate to invest some funds in hiring an expert web designer. Doing so will be well worth the added expense in the long run. This way, you can be assured that your new website will be highly functional and easy to use, and you can focus on running your business instead of having to learn web design as well.
4. Use Credible SEO Techniques
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process by which a website is optimized to receive the highest ranking possible from the major search engines, such as Google and Bing. If your website does not appear near the top of the search results when someone is searching for a keyword or phrase connected to your business, they will be far less likely to visit your site. There are a number of different SEO techniques, but in general, they all involve making sure that your website features regularly updated, high-quality content and that it is linked to by other reputable sites.
5. Consult the Experts
SEO can be a complicated subject, so if you do not know much about it and do not feel comfortable trying to learn more, do not hesitate to hire someone who can help you out. There are many high-quality, experienced SEO firms that will be more than happy to help you boost your search ranking so that you can start attracting more customers. Be sure to avoid any firms that do not have a good reputation, however, or who practice “black hat” SEO practices. While these firms may promise amazing results, in the long run, you will regret working with them. Stick with reputable firms that practice tried-and-true SEO techniques. The most effective SEO technique is just to have an excellent website.
6. Engage Your Customers
People love to get some value from a visit to a website, and one of the most effective ways of providing valuable information to your customers is by regularly blogging on your website. Share all of your insight and expertise with your customers by writing informative, engaging, topical posts on a regular basis. People love to feel as if they are getting something for nothing, and a blog is a good way to make them feel this way. Be sure to respond to comments left on your blog as well, so that customers feel engaged and involved with your business.
7. Use Email Marketing
An email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and tell them about any new products, special discounts, or other news about your business that you may want to share. Make sure that your newsletter is opt-in, though, meaning that your customers have to actively choose to subscribe to it. Give them the option of doing so when they visit your site or when they purchase something, but never send them unsolicited emails. Doing so will only upset them and make them less likely to do business with you in the future.
8. Get Customer Testimonials
A testimonial from a satisfied customer can be one of the most effective forms of promotional material. Other people will be more inclined to believe in the value of your products or services if they are able to read positive reviews from people who have already done business with you. Solicit testimonials from your customers and post them on your website. Be sure to rotate these testimonials or post new ones regularly, so that visitors do not see the same material each time they visit.
9. Post Videos on Your Website
Online video is an extremely effective tool for promoting your home business, so post videos on your website that demonstrate how your product works or how to use your service. Make sure that your videos are well-produced and easy to view. You do not have to hire a professional production company, but you do not want your videos to seem amateurish or cheap.
10. Forums and Blog Commenting
One good way to learn more about Internet Marketing and to attract more traffic to your website is by including a link to it in your signature when you post on forums or comment on blog posts. This is an easy way to raise awareness of your website without making it seem as if you are trying to do so. Find forums that are relevant to your business and post on them regularly. Try to develop a reputation as an authority in your field. If you are able to provide people with valuable advice, they will be more likely to come to your website and do business with you.
Last year, we compiled 75 Marketing Blogs that covered conversion, content, email, paid search, SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media marketing. Of course, there are many more awesome blogs out there. So today, we’re going to expand that list and add 75 MORE must read blogs for you to consume that cover marketing and business inspiration!
All-in-One Marketing Blogs
- Econsultancy Digital Marketing Blog (RSS) – Latest digital marketing and ecommerce insight, analysis and opinion from multi-award-winning team of analysts and experts. Read the blog and search press releases.
- Unmarketing (RSS) – UnMarketing by Scott Stratten is for those that believe business is built on relationships.
- Heidi Cohen (RSS) – Heidi Cohen’s blog provides marketing related insights, grounded in digital, direct and social media marketing; served with a creative twist simplifies the complex concepts behind today’s evolving business challenges into an easy-to-understand format that facilitates readers’ grasp of new topics.
- GetElastic (RSS) – #1 Subscribed Ecommerce Blog. Get Elastic blog is meant to share ecommerce best practices and better ways to manage the digital relationships. It covers mobile, search, social, and multichannel marketing.
- Adobe Digital Marketing Blog (RSS) – Covers advertising, analytics, social media, targeting, mobile, and more.
- Chris Ducker (RSS) – Chris Ducker helps entrepreneurs catapult their small business into the 21st century by utilizing ‘New Business’ marketing strategies such as blogging, online video, podcasting, outsourcing, social media and more!
- WebProNews (RSS) – Breaking news in tech, search, and social media.
- Marketo (RSS) – Catch the latest trends and proven best practices in modern B2B marketing on the Marketo blog.
- B2B Marketing Insider (RSS) – B2B Marketing Insider by Michael Brenner discusses the latest on social business, content marketing, and more.
- Business 2 Community (RSS) – An inside look at business news and trends focusing on Marketing, Strategy, Leadership, Branding, Public Relations, Technology, Social Media, Mobility, Media and Entertainment.
- Digital Marketer (RSS) – Covers search, social, mobile, conversion, traffic, and ecommerce.
- Occam’s Razor (RSS) – Avinash Kaushik is the author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. He is also the Co-Founder of Market Motive and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. On this blog he presents ideas to empower companies to make evolutionary leaps in their digital strategies.
- Eugen Oprea (RSS) – EugenOprea.com provides Web Analytics, WordPress, SEO and technology advice in general to help people build a remarkable presence online.
- Annielytics (RSS) – This blog provides marketers with bite-size tips, strategies, tricks, and warnings in the pursuit of gathering and visualizing data.
- Analytics Talk (RSS) – Digital analytics for businesses by Justin Cutroni.
- BlogTyrant (RSS) – Blogging and online marketing advice.
- Boost Blog Traffic (RSS) – Jon Morrow of Copyblogger teaches you how to get more readers, build your email list, become an authority in your niche — everything you need to get the attention you deserve.
- The Sales Lion (RSS) – Inbound and content marketing, social media, and branding success for businesses by Marcus Sheridan.
- Social Triggers (RSS) – Learn how to turn traffic into subscribers, persuade people to buy your products, and encourage people to share your content.
- Sparring Mind (RSS) – Sparring Mind is a behavioral psychology blog that focuses on improving creative work and productive output.
- Daily Blog Tips (RSS) – Everything you need to know about blogging, Internet marketing, promotion, and more.
- Traffic Generation Cafe (RSS) – Want to increase website traffic? Join the cafe. No, really. Find current, tested, proven to work web traffic advice.
- Become a Blogger (RSS) – An online community with the mission of helping as many people as possible, set up Authority Blogs and build successful businesses around their blogs.
- Blogging with Amy (RSS) – Helping non-techy people start their own blogs or websites.
- Kikolani (RSS) – Shameless plugin, I now, but Kikolani offers blog marketing and blogging tips for personal, professional, and business bloggers. Other topics include SEO and social media marketing.
Content & Copywriting
- ContentVerve (RSS) – All about content, copy, and conversion.
- Copypressed (RSS) – Building brands one word at a time. Get quality content that helps drive SEO, conversions, revenue, and more!
- The Copybot (RSS) – Essential web writing advice from the chief copywriter for Copyblogger, Demian Farnworth.
- SEO Copywriting (RSS) – How can SEO copywriting help your business? Discover actionable SEO copywriting tips, social media writing advice and strategies for creating great web copy.
- The Content Strategist (RSS) – The Content Strategist delivers daily insight into content trends and digital publishing best practices for media companies and marketers alike.
Conversion Rate Optimization
- Bryan Eisenberg (RSS) – Bryan Eisenberg is the recognized authority and pioneer in online marketing, improving online conversion rates, persuasive content, and persona marketing.
- Monetate Blog (RSS) – Expert advice and commentary on big data, analytics, segmentation, personalization, merchandising, website testing, marketing consistency, and more.
- ConversionXL (RSS) – Radically increase your conversion rate, one element at a time. Advice, tools, case studies and a library of actions you can take now. Run by Peep Laja.
- Conversion Rate Experts (RSS) – Find out why the likes of Apple, Sony and Google turn to us when they need help increasing their website conversion rate.
- Online Behavior (RSS) – Covers targeting & segmentation, website testing & usability, and web analytics & optimization.
- Invesp (RSS) – Read the Invesp blog: Your source for the latest information on conversion rate optimization.
- Conversion Scientist (RSS) – To be successful, a Web site must convert traffic to leads and sales. To convert, a Web site must know who is coming and why they are there. The Conversion Scientist applies analytics, content, personas, layout, social media, marketing strategies and more to help make your Web site successful.
- Conversion Voodoo (RSS) – Covers conversion strategies, testing, landing page optimization, and mobile.
- Proimpact7 (RSS) – Conversion and analytics blog.
- User Testing (RSS) – Covers conversion tips for content, marketing, navigation, mobile, and more.
- GetResponse (RSS) – Email marketing tips blog.
- Bronto (RSS) – Email, mobile, and social marketing insights from Bronto Software’s team of marketing strategists.
- Deliverability (RSS) – Covers authentication, deliverability, reputation, and other email marketing topics.
- Retail Email (RSS) – The Retail Email Blog is your daily guide to what’s going on in the world of retail email marketing—as well as a powerful archive of creatives and tactics.
- Be Relevant! Email Marketing Blog (RSS) – I read so you don’t have to – don’t have time to follow email marketing trends and best practices? Consider this blog to be your email marketing content curator.
- Entrepreneur on Fire (RSS) – EntrepreneurOnFire is a business podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 5-days a week. Past guests include Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others.
- Blogcast FM (RSS) – BLOGCAST FM is the most prolific resource of interviews from successful and nationally known business owners, bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and published authors.
Search Engine Marketing & Optimization
- Blind Five Year Old (RSS) – Blind Five Year Old is a San Francisco SEO and Internet Marketing consultancy and blog by AJ Kohn.
- Internet Marketing Ninjas (RSS) – The latest SEO Industry news, notes, and chat.
- ViperChill (RSS) – ViperChill is a blog authored by Glen Allsopp which covers viral marketing, search engine optimization, and blogging advice.
- CognitiveSEO (RSS) – Learn how to benchmark and outrank your competitors with search and social media advice.
- SEO.com (RSS) – SEO.com discusses the latest SEO news, topics and events. SEO is always changing and evolving. To stay on top, you need to stay current. Join the discussion at SEO.com!
- Matthew Woodward (RSS) – Matthew Woodward publishes high quality internet marketing and SEO tutorials. Learn over the shoulder of an established expert.
- Distilled (RSS) – Covers mostly SEO along with other mobile, marketing, and social topics.
- David Mihm (RSS) – Local SEO strategies, tactics, and musings. Not updated often, but great local marketing posts when it is.
- Kaiser the Sage (RSS) – Journal of creative and scalable SEO, content marketing, social media and link development strategies based on ethical principles.
- PointBlank SEO (RSS) – Empowering ordinary marketers to build extraordinary links.
- Portent (RSS) – The Portent Interactive blog covers Internet marketing, SEO, PPC and random silliness.
- Trada Blog (RSS) – Learn more about the tricks of the trade, some of our community members and even some tips on how to run your own PPC campaigns all in one place.
- Digital Inspiration (RSS) – Digital Inspiration is a popular how-to website that covers computer software, mobile apps, video tutorials and useful websites by Amit Agarwal.
Social Media Marketing
- Danny Brown (RSS) – Danny Brown is a multiple award-winning marketer and blogger. His blog is recognized as one of the leading marketing blogs in the world.
- Amy Porterfield (RSS) – Amy Portferfield is a social media strategist and trainer as well as the co-author of the Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.
- SocialMouths (RSS) – Kick-ass social media advice for the real entrepreneur.
- HyperArts (RSS) – HyperArts blog covers Facebook, SEO, social media, web design, and WordPress.
- Pam Marketing Nut (RSS) – Social media tips, best practices, training and tools for small business, medium business, large business from Pam Moore, Pam Marketing Nut.
- Andrea Vahl (RSS) – Learn how to use Facebook and social media for your business.
- Social Blogging Tracker (RSS) – Comprehensive social media guide to optimize social networking and branding.
- Razor Social (RSS) – Razorsocial is the best resource on the web for free information on social media tools and technology.
- Jon Loomer (RSS) – Jon Loomer uses his blog to provide daily tips and breaking news to make you a better Facebook marketer and blogger.
- Jeff Bullas (RSS) – Helping business and personal brands with digital social media marketing including social media with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and search engine optimization
- 60 Second Marketer (RSS) – The 60 Second Marketer is an online community that provided tools, tips and tutorials for marketers around the globe. It was founded by Jamie Turner, co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.”
- Boom Social (RSS) – The core of our publicity and marketing strategies are based on age-old principals, carried out through modern day social media tools.
- The Buffer Blog (RSS) – A blog about social media, productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.
- Royal Pingdom (RSS) – Ramblings and musings about web tech and the Internet in general from the team at Pingdom.
- Rich Page Website Optimizer (RSS) – Website testing, conversion rate and website optimization services and blog, great for small and medium online businesses.
- Unbounce (RSS) – And don’t forget Unbounce (or just in case you missed it the first time around). Enjoy refreshing, unique posts geared toward stats-driven marketers that live and breathe conversion rate optimization, landing page optimization and A/B Testing.
In a world where attention is currency, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to attract the eyes and ears of your target market. Not only are you up against larger companies with nicely funded marketing departments, you’re also competing with social media and a multitude of other distractions for the attention of your prospects.
But that doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have to cost a ton of money or be overly dramatic in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are five creative and inexpensive ways to market your business in a digital world:
1. Get endorsed by a local celebrity.
Many business owners dream of having their product or service endorsed by a global celebrity. But instead of trying to get a superstar to support your business, try seeking out a local celebrity instead.
Who exactly are local celebrities? These are people your local paper is writing about — perhaps an “unsung hero” such as a teacher or a resident who’s doing something positive and newsworthy. Since they’re in your neighborhood, these people should be relatively easy to locate and contact by phone or e-mail. Let them know you’d like to send them a gift, namely your product or service.
The only catch: you’d like to follow up with them in a few days to get their honest feedback. Their responses can make for useful blog or marketing content.
2. Create a LinkedIn group.
Not only is a LinkedIn group free to create, it can enable you to offer your professional network a vibrant, useful information resource all while driving traffic to your site and increasing sales. Just don’t use the platform to hard sell anyone.
It can take time and effort to get one going, but the goal should be to help provide resources and start discussions on topics that can benefit your community. Groups should also be a place for your members to network with other professionals online.
3. Get published on niche blogs.
While it may be difficult to get on the front cover of a major magazine, you can create marketing opportunities by being featured in a popular niche blog. Identify three to five blogs that target your market then contact the creator and offer a few ideas of how you’d like to bring value to his or her readers. You can:
- Demonstrate good will by offering the niche blog owner a small amount of your product or service for free, which they can give away to their audience as a gift. This is different than a product review, which only offers information.
- Send ideas for blog posts you’d like to write and explain why they would be helpful for their readers.
- Ask if you can interview them for your site. This might entice the blog manager to promote your content since it highlights his or her business.
4. Create videos for YouTube.
With more than 800 million unique visitors a month, YouTube can be a powerful platform for marketing a business online. To do so, go beyond simply posting random videos of your product or sharing your thoughts.
The marketing videos you create should include the following elements:
- A keyword-researched headline
- A clear editorial message (don’t try to accomplish too much in one video)
- A call to action (tell the viewer to do something, such as subscribing to your channel)
While you can spend a small fortune on cameras, lighting equipment and editing software, the camera built into your smartphone should be able to capture suitable online video. As for editing, if you’re on a Mac, for instance, you should already have iMovie in your applications. Even if you don’t have a Mac you can find free software online or hire a professional editor on sites such as Fiverr.com, possibly for as little as $5 depending on the scope of the work.
5. Write an e-book about the biggest issues in your industry.
No longer do you need a publishing company or thousands of dollars to get distribution for a book. Amazon, for instance, will let you upload a digital book for free, with a 33 percent take on every sale. The goal is not to make a profit from direct book sales but to use it as a lead generation tool, encouraging readers to opt into your website for further information.
Even time-strapped entrepreneurs who aren’t great writers should consider this. You can search sites like E-lance or Odesk to hire an affordable ghostwriter who can help you convert your blog posts or audio recordings into book format.
When it comes to marketing your book, set the price between $1 and $5 — which makes it affordable — then use social media, video marketing and e-mail list marketing to promote it. To generate more leads, keep in mind that Amazon allows prospective buyers of your book to take a sneak peek of the first few pages. Be sure to embed links into these early pages so you can capture leads from people who were interested but didn’t wind up buying your book.
Pick one social outlet that best serves your brand. Think hard about how and what you want to showcase. If you want to be a family/friend brand then pick Facebook and be as active as possible. Photography? Instagram. All business? LinkedIn. Pick the one that best fits your brand and engage!
Jim Joseph, Cohn & Wolfe