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Why Take the Pinterest Plunge?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

powerYou may be asking yourself what, specifically, is all the excitement about Pinterest and if you really need it as part of your marketing plan. After all, you are already using Facebook and Titter, right? Do you really need to ad yet another social media outlet to your already extensive business portfolio?

According to Factbrowser, Pinterest traffic has doubled since May 2012, placing it as the 4th largest source of traffic after Google, direct traffic, and Facebook.  Added to this, Social Media Delivered  points out that Pinterest users spend an average of 89 minutes a day perusing, beating out ALL other social medias combined, and only took a third of the time to reach ten million users as it took Twitter. Given its quick growth, the amount of time users spend clicking, the obviously undeniable allure of pictorial representation, and the fact that this is yet another FREE advertising method, it seems fairly obvious that missing out on the opportunity of twitter could be a huge mistake for your business.

What types of businesses excel on Pinterest? Well, over half of Pinterest repins are food oriented. Given that the largest portion of Pinterest users are middle aged women, these are statistically the demographics that make many of the actual purchasing choices for gifts and for the home. The number of men who use Pinterest is generally low, less than 20%. Pinterest caters to hobbyists, special interests, ideals, and aesthetically appealing merchandise.  Art, clothing, and even cars can do extremely well on Pinterest, where power tool companies may want to focus most of their efforts on Facebook , Youtube, and an outstanding, searchable company website. However, most products and services can be made Pinterest friendly. Even that power tool company can upload and repin video commercials, flyers, and visual jokes and sayings pertaining to power tools. Given that the Pinterest is a free resource, and even 20% more is 20% better than before, no company should entirely rule out this resource, even if you feel you primarily cater to men.

A search for “power tools” on Pinterest yielded this result, proving that nothing is off limits! Are you ready to take the Pinterest plunge? Check back for our in depth short blog series on how to use Pinterest for YOUR business. Also, feel free to contact the marketing professionals at APN Marketing for a free consultation for help reaching your marketing aspirations.

Marketing Your Videos

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

So you have uploaded all your clever/witty/informative videos to Youtube.  And there they sit. Your time and hard work are going unappreciated and your message is missing its mark (also known as the eyes of your potential customers). What do you do once your video is available for public consumption? Perhaps you let it sit in hopes that someone will stumble across it, love it enough to share with their  4 million friends, making you and your business the next overnight Youtube sensation, like Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce)?

Maybe you share it on your webpage, where you gain a few hits from customers already enjoying your excellent service. But how do you “get it out there”?

First and foremost, you have to market yourself. Share your work of art through social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Make sure your content is shareable, focusing on entertaining or educating, or even better, both. The more your content is shared across social media, the more people see it, and the higher your search engine visibility becomes, bringing in even more viewers. Even Tardar had help becoming viral through an incredible number of shares.

Secondly, don’t be neglectful of pertinent keywords. There is an entry for “keywords” for a reason! You can also use your title and other fillable areas to include your keywords and phrases.

And finally, follow up! Track your video, and use your analytic programs, such as Google analytics to see what venues are bringing in the most viewers and how many are clicking through to connect with you due to your video. Tardar started as a single Reddit picture, but when the owners saw the accumulating hits, they created Youtube videos in response. They could have missed the opportunity completely, without follow through!  It may be that you discover your clever video isn’t being as well received as you like, or that most of your traffic to the video comes from a particular originating source. Knowledge is power, use it!

As with most marketing this can be a time consuming process. But whether it is a labor of love or something you would prefer to hire a marketing firm like Alliance Partners Network Marketing to handle it for you, careful marketing of your videos can potentially pay off big in the future!

Using Local Search to Boost Business

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

searchIt goes without saying that to effectively promote your business and acquire clientele your business has to first be found. When searching for a company online, prospective customers tend to use a combination of online feedback and accessibility of information to determine what companies to patronize. Basically, customers tend to type in what they are looking for and the location and then choose the first business fitting those criteria that has positive feedback. Being on Page 2 or having one star out of five could ruin you.

Some tips on how to make local internet searched work for you and boost your visibility:

Claim your business on the main local listings, like Google Maps and Yahoo. Check out sites like Local.com and Superpages.com. Most of these sites will already have your business info available, and you can claim your business to have access to correct faulty information or fully personalize it. This is free advertisement for your business just waiting to be found! There are a lot of places your business could potentially already be listed. And if your business isn’t listed, there are many free listings you can create, which increases your possibility of getting online hits.

You may find you also have online reviews for your business. If any of these are negatives or your business has been subjected to a low score, you want to correct this as quickly as possible! Positive feedback can also help you understand where you stand with your customers and what you may be doing right.

And finally, participate in social media. Most social media, like Facebook and Twitter have “geotagging”. Your customers can use this feature to let their friends and family know exactly where they were that they bought that fabulous new item, or received such amazing service. Foursquare is a site dedicated entirely to location tagging, and is very widely used. Social media is also a great place to share your local pride and appreciation for your local clients.

These are just some of the ways to boost your company’s local visibility. There are a lot of options out there, and it can be overwhelming, and a marketing company such as APN Marketing can be of a huge benefit in sorting through the information and knowing where it should be visible. Call today for your free consultation!

 

Humor in Marketing

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Using humor in marketing can be a slippery slope. You don’t want your business to appear outdated and stodgy; however given the vast difference in what others perceive to be funny, you also don’t want to offend or use your humor at inappropriate times. Using humor can be risky and can result in shrinking your audience, but it can also proved your company with a home run advertisement.

Here is a collection of some of the funniest commercials for 2012 to enjoy:

Some tips on keeping humor in its place:

First and foremost, obviously, is not to be blatantly confrontational. Avoid hot topics that inflame the emotions of others. Most of can agree a cute picture of a puppy with a silly saying may cause a smile, but a political or religious joke can very easily backfire. Harsh or mean spirited humor will almost instantly diminish your customer base.

Keep your business in mind. How does the humor pertain to your business? Don’t allow yourself to lose sight of your marketing goals and your intended audience!  Your product or service should always be front and center. This can be a very delicate balance, too much product and you lose your customer, too little product and you lose the primary focus of the advertisement!

Get to the point! No one enjoys a joke that goes on… and on… and on… and on…well, you get the picture. Short and sweet is a good rule of thumb. If the punch line is too convoluted or outside of the general knowledge of your audience base, you will leave customers bored, scratching their heads..and, worst of all, not buying your product or service.

So how does your business balance humor and professionalism? If you are finding yourself at a loss on how to incorporate humor into your business effectively, a marketing service such as APNMarketing can certainly help. Contact us for your free consultation!

Gaining Customers through Pinterest

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Pinterest Power is an informative book written by Jason Miles and Karen Lacy regarding how to harness this new incredible social media. Recently, Jason Miles participated in a webinar on Awareness Networks addressing this issue. The webinar including more in depth information and statistics can be found here.

The webinar primarily dealt with his and his wife, Cinnamon’s, experience using Pinterest to launch her huge high end doll clothing business. They saw a monumental upsurge in business once they began marketing on Pinterest.

Pinterest is statistically one of the fastest growing social media to date, second only to Google+. It allows users to organize and share all their favorite things found online…and allows you, the business owner, to create personal ties to your client base, and enables companies with visual content to show the world what they have to offer, through the use of pin boards.

Not only is Pinterest useful for the sharing of visual fodder, such as products and ideals, it is also now the 4th best source of online traffic, displacing even Yahoo, Bing, and Google. Pinterest followers follow on average 9.5 online companies and 47% of consumers have made purchases based on Pinterest recommendations, according to statistics cited with Miles’ webinar.

How do you get started using this powerful marketing tool? Some quick suggestions:

1. Install pin-it buttons and update content on your personal website. Make sure your site includes as many pinable options as possible.

2. Create your own account on Pinterest, including a professional profile with a good clear business image or headshot, warm greeting, and thorough descriptions to draw users in.

3. Watch your analytics! Here is where you can track trends… what pins are working, and what users are pinning you.

4. Follow your pinners and followers. This gives you rare insight into the mind of those who are interested in what you have to offer.

5. Create a marketing plan. Start with creation (of your account), then follow through with invitation (to the customers you currently have). Utilize the analytics to help reach goals for your business, and create ways to generate interest, such as contests and specials.

Pinterest Marketing Plan

The primary beauty of Pinterest is the social function utilized on the site. On Facebook, you can “like”, “comment” and “share”, but the primary response by FB users is to “like” an item. Twitter subsists on retweets. The social function of Pinterest is to repin, which automatically shares your images to thousands of users in big bright pictures! It is the perfect noninvasive marketing form, and also gives you unique customer insight by offering the ability for you to see the boards of your customers. This also gives you the first “yes”, mandatory for sales. In sheer numbers, 80% of pins on Pinterest are, in fact, repins. If you aren’t using Pinterest you are missing on an amazing opportunity! For help tapping into this resource, contact us to receive your free social media consultation!

Pandas and Penguins, Oh My!

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Previously, our blog discussed the Google update algorithm Panda, and how this update can be used as incentive to improve site content to avoid being displaced in the rankings. Following this update, Google released a second algorithm, Google Penguin.

According to Wikipedia Google penguin is the code name for an algorithm used to decrease rankings of websites that violate Google Webmaster Guidelines by “spamdexing”, or deliberately manipulating search engine indexes by Black Hat SEO methods such as using hidden keywords, cloaking, and creating duplicate content.

The main source of contention for legitimate businesses is the inadvertent use of these SEO techniques, or simply not knowing how to market your business online effectively. Panda looks at many other factors, such as whether your site contains too many advertisements, had fresh content, and is listed on Google+.

If you feel you have been hit unfairly by the Panda update, you can fill out the feedback form, but this doesn’t guarantee your reinstitution to the site rankings you previously enjoyed. The main thing is, to recover in such a way to work your way up and avoid being hit again.

Some general tips to do this include:

Hire a reputable marketing firm to help you regain your footing. If your business has been hit hard and you are at a loss for what to do, this is definitely a worthwhile investment…there is no reason believe that Google intends to stop updating and applying website ranking algorithms such as Penguin and Panda.

Freshen your content. Thicken up thin content, and cut out duplications. Copyscape.com is a wonderful tool to help you search out your duplicate content. Clean up your content as well, removing dead and redirect links from your site.

Watch where and how you promote. Avoid spammy networks and make sure Google Adsense Ads are short of advertisement, but rich in content after the click.

Use social media to generate likes and traffic for your business, building your website rankings.

Watch this video for more helpful tips and information.

These are only a few ways to recover from a direct Penguin hit. Take heart in the fact that there IS life after Google Panda and Penguin, and with a little work and thoughtfulness on your part you can regain, or even better, surpass, your previous rankings.

‘Tis the Season…for Strategic Holiday Marketing

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

 

This is the time of year many businesses expect a dramatic increase in sales. Whether your company is product of service driven, the holiday gift giving season is a huge opportunity to reach out to new customers, as well as reap the benefits of having developed relationships with patrons who feel a loyalty to your business. The question is, is it possible to market your company incorrectly during the holidays?

The answer, quite simply, is yes. Consumers are practically buried under seasonal advertisements, quite often to the point where email inboxes have become a place for newsletters to grow old and die or become quick victims to click and delete. Even repeat customers could overlook your business if your marketing during this time period is unintentionally exclusive to certain groups, overly cliché or blends in too much with the rest of the overzealous crowd.

Setting your business apart from the crowd becomes even more important than usual when the crowd grows exponentially (and aggressively!). Some pointers on how to do this include:

Unless you are marketing to one specific religious group, market nondenominationally. It’s easy to want to showcase your faith in your advertisements given the religious implications of the season. However, if you wish to maintain customers of varying religions and faiths, it’s best to avoid religious symbols and verbiage. Rather, focus on seasonal images that everyone can identify with, such as snowflakes and fireplaces.

Keep it simple and creative. Don’t let your message get lost amongst the seasonal imagery! Make it clear to the customer what you are offering, and make sure you are offering something. This is the season for buying, but also the season for sales and incentives. It’s a competitive world out there, and it only gets more so during the holidays.

Use social media to establish holiday good will and rapport with your clients. This is such an easy time of the year to warm hearts and cause smiles. Use the “warm fuzzies” of the holidays to draw attention to you and your business. Not only will it make customers feel more connected to you, but may carry the added benefit of helping you enjoy your business more during the holidays as well, by focusing you and your employees onto other things besides only worrying about the bottom financial line. Share the holiday spirit, and you may get even more from it than you had hoped.

Market wisely this holiday season, and you could very well find yourself rewarded with increased sales, happy customers, and a feeling of contentment with your business. Need help? Contacts us at APNMarketing and receive a no obligation consultation, and see how we can help boost your business, not only for the holidays, but for the whole year around!

It’s All About Relationships

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Marketing is about more than making contact with a potential customer and making a sale. It’s also about building relationships with clients, ensuring repeat business based on customer loyalty. It’s about connecting on a personal level and making the customer feel as though they are appreciated and an integral part of your business.

Social media, newsletters, and personalized emails are the perfect platform to reach out to clients and pull them into your business “family”. You can do this by thanking and acknowledging your customers, either personally when the situation calls for it, or as a group. Newsletters, Facebook and Twitter are also perfect forums to hold contests and offer coupons, helping clients feel recognized as important to a company. These things take time, but can serve as reminders to your customers that your business values the loyalty of your patrons.

The real highlight of utilizing social media is the ability it gives you to forge a personal hands-on bond with your customer. Using social media to familiarize clientele with your employees by recognizing their achievements as well aids clients in feeling they know you and your company. If your company isn’t fully utilizing social media opportunities, then you are truly missing out!

Never forget that customers have a choice as to where they wish to spend their money and time. Repeat consumerism is the sincerest form of appreciation from your customer for your business. Take the time to return the favor by offering gratitude for their patronage and to assist a more personal relationship between the customer and you.

Don’t Fear the Panda (Google’s, That Is)

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Panda.

When you hear this word, what do you think of? Those big, adorable, bamboo-munching bears from Asia? Perhaps the cute little cub whose sneeze captured the hearts of YouTube viewers everywhere?

If you’re interested in driving traffic to your website through search engine optimization, however, you probably hear the word “panda” and immediately think “Google”.

No?

Well, if you’re still stuck on the sneezing panda cub, let’s get a few facts straight about Google’s fledgling search result ranking algorithm.

According to Wikipedia, Google released Panda in February of 2011 in an effort to lower the rank of “low-quality sites”. Panda utilized artificial intelligence developed based on what websites human testers found trustworthy and why. It actually has nothing to do with panda bears – it was named after the engineer instrumental in creating it, Navneet Panda.

What makes Panda great for people visiting websites…and not so great for SEO “specialists” who once made a living by keyword stuffing and content copying and link farming…is the way Panda is able to flag spammy and unoriginal content. So long as the content on your website is useful, relevant, and original, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting demoted by Google.

Some ways to keep your site “trustworthy”:

  • Hire a reliable marketing firm, one that knows the basic SEO concepts, to manage your site content and/or blog posts (we might just know one…)
  • Check site/blog content with a plagiarism checker like Copyscape before publishing.
  • Utilize SEO tools, such as the ones offered by HostGator, to make sure you haven’t accidentally gotten on Google’s “blacklist”.

 
There are a lot of rules out there, and most business owners are too busy running their businesses to become SEO experts. Just remember – Panda is not the enemy. Poor SEO practices are the enemy, even when employed unintentionally.

 

Nab that Offer with Sports Recruiting Videos

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

So you might have looked at the title of this blog and immediately asked yourself, Why the heck is this marketing and media company talking about sports? What you may not know is that a sports recruiting video is, in essence, a form of marketing. Instead of marketing a company or product, however, you’re essentially marketing yourself (or your child) to potential colleges.

And there’s your random bit of knowledge for the day.

The video generally consists of a certain number of an athlete’s best plays. Interviews with coaches and teammates can also be edited into the video, which can then be uploaded to YouTube with a player stats page.

The reason these videos are so important is that not every college in the US has the funding needed to send recruiting scouts all over the country. Many colleges will only consider student athletes who have sent in a recruiting highlight video, and if you have a professionally-made video that nicely highlights your particular talents…well, the chances of getting recruited by the college of your dreams will definitely rise.

You might be thinking, “Um, I’m not in high school, and I sure as heck don’t have a kid in high school. Why does this matter?”

For you, maybe It doesn’t, but for someone else, it will. And perhaps one day, later on down the road, you might have a student athlete of your own and wonder – how the heck am I going to get this kid into college? When that happens, if that happens, just remember this random little article and know that there are companies out there, like Sports Recruiting Highlight Videos, who know what they’re doing.