Small Business Marketing Advertising – Making Print Advertising Work For Your Business

Print advertising has always played a key role in small business marketing advertising. Newspapers, magazines, yellow pages, even yearbooks all have advertisements printed on them. If you have made an advertisement for printing before, your advertiser may have given you specific prices for different standard sizes. This is what they call display ads.

While display ads may be a good advertising tool for your small business marketing, if you just follow the most common and “standard” procedures of advertising your product, then you will likely end up with a boring, bland, or worse, bad, advertisement. Your ad will just end up blending and looking very much like the ad of your competitor.

How can this be?

The answer is really very simple. Because people tend to copy what the majority are doing. So plumbing services all have pipes in their ads, electrical hardware stores all have the same layouts, hotel ads have the same pictures and your small business may have incorporated what your “peers” in the business are using also. In the end, you are just another tree in the forest. And in this age of information overload, people have already learned how to ignore advertising.

Unfortunately, most so-called experts in print advertising really have no training in advertising at all and will probably just give you an offer on what the standard layouts are. And you can rightfully assume that these layouts are just based on what they have been receiving from their clients. The main purpose of having a standard layout is so that your ad will have the same look and feel as the other ads printed on the paper and therefore blend nicely with the others. But that’s exactly the problem! Your ad will just look and feel the same as any other ad.

So what you should do?

Simple. Be original. Make your ad stand out from among the other trees in the forest. Part of the strategies you will always hear in small business marketing is to keep your advertisements interesting and original so that your target audience will be interested in what you have laid out and printed. So what if your ads don’t look like the usual ads. That’s exactly the point here. You want your ads to be different and original.

Think outside of the box. There are literally thousands of great advertising ideas out there which have not yet been tapped and can give you an edge among your competitors. There is always a better way of delivering your message across your target audience aside from the traditional methods of putting your name, what you do and how “fair” you are with your “quality” service and “affordable” price. This could be true to your small business, but always remember that the words “fair”, “quality” and “affordable” or “cheap” have been used so many times that most customers have learned to be skeptical of them.

Have you ever tried monitoring your ads?

Here are a couple of good question for you: Have you ever monitored the success or failure of your print advertisements? How do you determine if it’s effective or not? If you have a small business and you want to keep track of your expenses, then you should be able to track advertising expenses also. So try maximizing direct response techniques in your small business marketing.

While it is a good idea to put your name on the ad, make sure that it is not the first thing people will see. In direct response advertising, a headline that catches the attention of the viewer should occupy the biggest space in the ad. Make a headline that would require a customer to make a decision within a few seconds after seeing your ad. And the most important decision would be: Should I go on reading this ad or not? Do not overly emphasize the name of your product in print advertising and making it the biggest part of your ad. This is because customers do not really care about the name of the product, they care about what they can get from the product. Instead of giving them the features, emphasize on the benefits!

What has this got to do with monitoring? You can simply ask your customer where they got their information. If you have already done an ad with your product name as the biggest headline, you can compare the customer response with your new ad which emphasizes the product benefits. If this is your first time to go on print advertising, then you can easily monitor the results.

Print advertising is an investment in your small business marketing advertising. You should carefully study your strategies in selling your product via print media. By simply following the tips above, then this investment need not become an unnecessary expense.

How To Avoid Business Marketing Advertising Failure

Today, it’s easy to build an business marketing advertising list because it’s
so easy to create a simple squeeze page offering a valuable free product which
gets people eager to sign up. But once you’ve captured the subscribers, then
what?

Do you know how to make money in business marketing advertising from these
subscribers? Or are you highly skilled at losing trust and losing sales? If so,
this article will turn that around for you.

Turning your business marketing advertising list into an income machine is
actually quite easy. You only need to concern yourself with 2 small words: test
and track.

Now before you turn tail and run because you’d rather give birth to a porcupine
than test and track your business marketing advertising email ads, listen up.
Testing and tracking only involves 5 simple things:

1. Test and track the day of the week your business marketing advertising
mailings go out; My own business marketing advertising marketing testing shows
good conversion rates for all days of the week except for Monday. So, I avoid
business marketing advertising emailing on Monday.

2. Test and track your subject line of your business marketing advertising; The
subject line is the most important part of your message, because if you don’t
grab them with it, you’ll never get them to your website and you’ll never make a
sale. Test

3. Test and track the length of your business marketing advertising messages; My
own testing shows the longer the business marketing advertising message, the
lower the conversion rates. So I keep my messages short and to the point.
Remember, people are always in a hurry, and you don’t have much time to grab
them. So get them early, and your conversions will be higher.

4. Test and track where you place your link in your business marketing
advertising email ad message body; In almost every instance, highest conversions
and click throughs result when links are placed high up in the email message
body.

5. Test and track how often you send out your business marketing advertising
mailings. Your goal is to keep your readers interested in your messages, while
not wearing out your welcome. Knowing how often to email your readers depends
largely on what you have to say. So the importance of testing and tracking
message frequency cannot be understated.

The key to making a lot of money with your business marketing advertising email
list is to get your messages opened and read. And the key to getting your
messages opened and read is to provide relevant, valuable content. Staying
focused on being a trusted information source by tracking and testing your
campaigns will allow you to develop the essential relationship with your readers
that will generate thousands of dollars for you as well as a significant income
source to last for years to come.

The 6 Critical Keys to Increasing Profits and Driving More Sales With Social Media and Technology!

I received a call from a potential client recently. This call was different than most I receive. You see, this business owner was angry! I mean outright ticked off!

He wasn’t angry with me. No. Not angry with his industry. He was very angry with new technology and marketing, and the people trying to constantly promise him the moon if they signed up for their service.

The call went something like this…

“Is this Bill?”

“Yes sir,” I said. “How can I help you?”

“My name is Bob. I am the president of XYZ Company (the names have changed to protect the frustrated.) I am so sick and tired of all the calls, emails, and letters I am receiving from people who say they can get me to the top of Google, start a Facebook page, show me how to Twitter, and promise me a ton of sales with this new marketing stuff. I have tried their pay-per-click programs and wasted a ton of money. They promised they could get me to the top of Google, and 1 year later, I am no where near the top. I am fed up wasting time and money!”

“I understand Bob. What made you call me specifically?”

“My friend is a client of yours. She told you can sort this out for me.”

“Thank you for calling Bob. Yes I can help you. Let’s talk about your frustrations and how we can turn lemon into lemonade…”

I can’t tell you how many times I hear those same frustrations from clients and customers. They weren’t as passionate as Bob, but you can hear the fear and desperation in their voices too.

The new internet media can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you approach it, your mood to embrace it or not, and your passion to execute a very good plan.

Part of my weekly ritual is to spend time studying trends in consumer behavior, electronic trends, ecommerce advances, and better understanding the lifecycle of the purchasing process.

Not only do I read research articles, I pay attention to my own buying habits and those around me. And have those habits ever changed in the last few years.

With the incredible growth of Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other mobile devices, consumer buying habits are changing literally right before our eyes.

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, are captivating consumers in every walk of life and creating opportunities to communicate with them like never before. We now have a tremendous opportunity to tell our story and capture that lucrative group of buyers who can be very loyal to your business.

Before I get into strategies and techniques on how to improve your sales and profits through better customer engagement, let’s look at some trends. Forrester Research, Inc, Pew Research, and the Nielsen Company have all recently completed studies. Here are some interesting statistics they discovered:

  • 43% of all U.S. retail sales are influenced by the web (Forrester 2010)
  • Preference by U.S. online adults to receive customer support via the phone has fallen from 32% in 2007 to 29% in 2010. (Forrester 2010)
  • U.S. online adults report they spend equal amounts of time – 13 hours a week – watching TV and being online. TV viewership has increased only 5% from 2005 to 2010. (Forrester 2010)
  • 79% of U.S. online adults read print magazines, down from 84% in 2007. (Forrester 2010)
  • 58% of U.S. online adults prefer to research a product online, up from 43% in 2007. (Forrester 2010)
  • As of February 2012, Pew Research states that 88% of all adults use cell phones. About 50% of those are Smartphones (Up from 17% in 2010.) Over 80% of Smartphone owners use the internet with the phones at least once a month.
  • Nielsen says that adults have increased access to social sites via their phones from 11.1% in March 2010, to about 40% in September 2011.
  • In 2010 Forrester Research stated that 10.3 million U.S. adults owned tablets, and will be about 82 million by 2015. CNET states that the ownership of tablets increased from 10% in mid December 2011, to 19% in mid January 2012.

I believe this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of accessing the internet, shopping, and buying. You will see these numbers climb dramatically.

What Does All This Information Mean?

These statistics mean a few things to your business. One, there is more and more opportunity to connect with consumers in a positive way. This new reality also creates more work, the need to have a deeper and comprehensive strategy, and you will need a dramatic shift in thinking if you are not already on board with the consumer’s changes.

With the world literally at the consumer’s fingertips (anywhere), his or her tendency is to bounce around on the internet very fast and can lose interest in your company, product, or service. You must use a number of different strategies and tactics to create a conversation with these consumers, methodically move them towards purchasing from you, and not lose them to someone else that has grabbed their attention.

Consumers can now enter the buying game from so many directions. They have more options, thus more directions than ever before. They can find you with a simple Google search for your company or product. They can see your pay-per-click ad. Or a large banner ad that follows them on the internet. They can find you on a Facebook ad, or if one of their friends likes your page, you show up on their friends Facebook wall. Or what about a prospect sharing your Tweet about a particular promotion to their Twitter followers?

And there are emails, direct mail programs, print ads, radio, TV… the list goes on and on. It is more important than ever to know your prospects/customer, your target market and find out where they spend their time. Then target your campaigns appropriately to your prospects.

Once the consumer enters your marketing lifecycle, the message you send is critical to better conversions and also repeat business. You need to think of your marketing lifecycle more circular now, rather than linear. The circle is the top of a funnel. The circle includes all the different media types. You still need to move them along through the qualification funnel, but now the size of the top of the funnel has gotten much larger, and is getting bigger every day. If you continue to exclude some opportunities, your funnel top becomes much smaller than your competitors. More leads into the funnel, the more sales and profits come out the bottom of the funnel.

6 Critical Keys

Critical Key 1:

One critical key to improving your sales conversions and revenue is to reduce the friction to your sales closing (conversion) by engaging the consumer in the channels they are engaged. Embrace where they go and spend time developing strategies that will convert them right there. Not distracting them to other channels.

If you have a lead on Amazon, get them checked out then and there. Don’t count on moving them to another site where they have to think about it again.

Critical Key 2:

Make sure you know your target market very well. Where do they spend their time? Do they use Smartphones? Do they carry their tablet into your retail store? Check your Google Analytics to see how they are reaching your site and to what pages. What is their income range? The list goes on and on.

Critical Key 3:

It’s really the old K.I.S.S. principle. Keep the conversion and closing very simple and easy for the customer to understand.

From and ecommerce point of view, the checkout needs to be very simple and streamlined. The customer needs to feel comfortable and understand everything about the sale. How much is shipping going to cost me? How long will it take? What is your return policy?

Critical Key 4:

If you are promoting a product in an email campaign or any campaign for that matter, the link from the media to the product needs to be directed to a landing page with a specific call to action, or directly to the product page. Don’t make the customer search for the item on your site, or other sales page. All too often I see clients directing their campaigns to the main page of the site instead of a dedicated page. A huge mistake.

Critical Key 5: Cross Channel Marketing.

Consumers use many different ways to communicate with their friends, family, and you, their retailer, e-tailer, or service provider.

Expanding your marketing message beyond just email, or direct mail is critical to your success. Those businesses who don’t engage with their prospects and customers through multiple channels and cross over between these channels will not be maximizing their opportunity to sell, and will not see their business grow.

Traditional marketing has always been explained as a three-prong approach. You need to deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time. We now need to look at a fourth prong, delivering all these through the right media.

Critical Key 6:

Embrace the opportunities. Check your mood about the new marketing opportunities. Be careful selecting multiple companies that will tell you they can promise to get you to the top of Google, or fix your reputation online, or will put together a pay-per-click campaign that will change your world.

Bob was a tough one to win over. Once I was able to help him understand the big picture, we were able to lay out a great plan and then execute making small adjustments along the way. I have to say, Bob is much happier today. And his qualified leads more than doubled once we were able to define his target market and refine his unique selling proposition.

All of these things can happen, but with a strategic plan, and a compelling message. Now, commit to yourself that you will first formulate a comprehensive internet marketing plan, and then execute the plan to bigger sales and bigger profits.

Good luck and great marketing!

Bill Mooney

5 Top Tips to Choose the Right Affiliate Marketing Software

To make money online at home, affiliate marketing is the right online business model for you. In addition, the choice of your affiliate marketing software can either sky rocket your online success, or guarantee a serious failure for you. Therefore, it is worth to devote time and energy to choose the right affiliate marketing software, but the question is how to choose your software?

What should you consider when you’ve to choose your software?

1. Your vendor must be reputable.

Affiliate marketing field is unfortunately crowded with non-serious companies that promise you the moon and deliver nothing. Therefore, in case you want to target the best affiliate marketing software:
o You need to choose a robust and well-known affiliate vendor that is ready to provide you with a list of their previous history with other customers that stayed with this vendor for years and not for days.
o Never spend a cent in getting any affiliate marketing software without checking at least 3-5 online reviews and forums to read un-biased stories and reviews how effective and efficient this software is.

2. Good customer support is a key factor.

Customer support is a significant factor to choose your affiliate software vendor. You do not need to buy the product and stay alone with it. Instead, you need to get a continuous support in case you need to change something. Therefore, I’d recommend you to contact the vendor and ask for more information about their software and a free trail as well and see how they react.

3. Never target small internet marketing software companies.

Unfortunately, some small internet marketing software companies try to offer very low price products, or even free products in order to show you that they are better than other well known vendors. Therefore, compare other things rather than the price when you target a software vendor like its popularity.
A dramatic problem with small software vendors that they sometimes accept more clients regardless if they can afford to serve them or not and you’d, therefore, suffer later on. Additionally, small companies with low reputation can be gone from the market without any previous alerts.

4. Ask your vendor if you can create your own reports with their software.

On key factor to target the best affiliate marketing software is to ask your vendor if you can generate your personalized report rather than having to live with an automatic generated report with no chance to edit its settings.

5. Explore several vendors to compare different features.

A brilliant approach to target the best affiliate marketing software is never to rely on only one vendor. Instead, explore multiple vendors and see what their features are in comparison with the first one. Then, ask your target vendor “Why I should buy your software”. I.e. tell them to inform you about that their features that are not offered by the other vendors.