Planning for the new year is upon us what will your best marketing investment?

It is that time of year again to decide where your marketing investment is best spent in the coming new year. Lets narrow it down real quick, since 92% of Americans search online for information when ready to make a purchase. I think we can rephrase the question to where will your internet marketing dollars best be invested? SEO or Display Ads, an increase in both would be best I believe, with the incorporation of social media marketing with the SEO. Display should also play major roll especially with over half of the buying population under 35 using smart phones or tablets now, putting local search information, pricing and reviews just a few taps away.

A recent survey by Sybase 365 and the Mobile Marketing Association reported 2/3 of the holiday shoppers ( over 30% increase from last year ) would make purchases from their mobile devises if they had received discounts, text alerts or coupons etc.. from their mobile device.

As a result I expect to see a significant increase in mobile device advertising in 2012, as well more businesses adapting social media marketing, realizing that what once was word of mouth marketing is now social media marketing.

So in 2012, to enhance your brand and sell more product or service, social media, mobile device advertising and social media marketing is the way consumers provide feedback, research, locate  and purchase products and services in today’s digital world. You don’t want to miss out on your opportunity.

 

Will Social Media Marketing be a key to our economic recovery?

The Government won’t, Wall Street won’t, it will, as always, be the American Entrepreneur that will bring US out of this economic downturn and into recovery and prosperity. Many of the household name companies of today were started during recessions or the great depression. Many people made fortunes during the great depression.

While painful, economic downturns forces people and companies to be more creative to have a chance to survive the times, this increase in creativity would also explain in part the number of start up companies birthed in tough economic times.

So often when talking with business owners about internet marketing many will react with I’m been in business 30 years (or so) without that and I ain’t about to start now, my business is all by word of mouth. ( alright it was just an idea ok , and I hope he’s lookin forward to retirement )

So I was happy to read recently a survey that Constant Contact conducted that more small business were willing to use social media marketing to engage with their customers up to 81% from 73% in the spring of 2011. Of those using social media marketing, 96% of the respondents reported, Facebook being their tool of choice.

This I feel is extremely good news as consumers have adopted social media in mass, there are over 800 Million Facebook users now, Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other website in the country. They are posting to their friends about products and or services you provide that they intend to purchase  now! That is where your customers are, are you there?

Not only do I believe there are companies that will start up and prosper in these times as a result of using social media marketing, but I believe many companies will watch competitors unwilling to change go out of business while those business who adopt social media marketing ( as the word of mouth marketing of this century ) will exit the economic downturn dominating their market.

SEO beats PPC and Social Media Marketing for generating Leads

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) beats Pay Per Click (PPC)

and Social Media Marketing

for generating leads according to the “2011 State of Digital Marketing Report”

While I believe Social Media Marketing is here to stay and should not be ignored, search engines are still going to give you the biggest bang for your buck in both B2B and B2C, according to the report.

Just over 54percent of the B2B marketing  respondents reported SEO making the biggest impact, followed by PPC at just under 25% and Social Media Marketing at 17.9%. When it came to B2C 41% responded  SEO having the greatest impact followed by PPC at 34.2% and Social Media Marketing at 24.8%.

What I found even more interesting is the allocation of internet marketing resources compared to the impact received The B2B marketing reported that while SEO resulted in over 54 % SEO was only allocated 33% of the Internet marketing budget whereas PPC resulted in 24.8 % and was allocated 27% of the budget and Social Media marketing only 9.5 %. With the B2C marketers the results were even more alarming with SEO coming in at 41% only 21% of the Internet marketing funds allocated and even worse PPC only resulted in 34% even though receiving 42.5% of the internet marketing funds followed with Social Media Marketing with only 15%of the Internet marketing funds.

It seems very obvious the smart thing to do would be to reallocate internet marketing funds from PPC and shift more funds over to SEO and Social Media Marketing in the Internet marketing budget as PPC seems to have come out the biggest loser in both B2B and B2C.

If you realize you need to expand your internet marketing for your business for search engines as well as with Social Media Market and you are interesting in investing your time to learn how you can do that here with a series of online videos.

Social Media – word of mouth advertising for the future? No the future is here NOW!

Social Media – word of mouth advertising for the future? No the future is here NOW!

I received some interesting stats about social media from a online marketing company I associate with that I just had to share. I have of late been investing a lot of time reading and going to seminars on social media. As a matter of fact I went to one about Facebook and one for Google + both within the past week and a half.

As I sit through these trainings and hear other peoples questions I have to wonder how many people pause and think to themselves (I am betting very few) as the sign up for a Facebook account for example: why do they let me have an account for Free, and why do I have to put in my birthday if  I don’t have to publish my birthday? Of course we both now the answer, it is all about marketing, social media marketing in this case.

That is why I believe Google is going to really promote Google +, they know what is a stake here. I remember way back when (like 10 years ago or so) before we the people made Google a noan and a verb. We used to Google everything we needed to find, but what do people do now? We go on social media sites like Facebook and ask our friends things like for example:  “does anyone know a good plumber I can call on the weekend?” ( if you had a plumbing company and this person was in your target area your ad could appear to the right of that post, this would be you using social media marketing)

So for those stats, is anyone using social media?

Facebook

Around 200 Million Facebook users access Facebook through their mobile phone.

More than 1.5 million pieces of content like web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos etc. are shared on Facebook everyday.

More than 700,000 local businesses have active Facebook pages. Is yours one of them?

Twitter

In the year 2010, 25 billion tweets were sent.

Twitter users tweet an average of 55 million tweets per day.

YouTube

YouTube exceeds 2 billion views per day.

70% of users on YouTube are from USA.

Social media marketing is here and if you want your business to compete you need to be online, but also need resources to save you time you so you can focus your attention on running your business.

 

Facebook – Google+ which will you choose?

Facebook – Google+  which will you choose?

I signed up for Google’s new social media platform, Google+, 3 months ago, back when it was by invite only, and while I liked what I saw, and got excited about it I just haven’t seen the activity I thought I would.

The people I know that seem to be in the know claim that with 5 million strong in just 3 months beta by invitation only that unlike Google’s previous entries into social media with, Buzz and Wave, Google+ is here to stay.

Don’t worry about Facebook disappearing anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see which is the king of social media in about 3 years from now. I reflect way back when we used to Yahoo everything, they were the big dog, and I still like Yahoo, but some little company, started up years after Yahoo, called Google absolutely dominates today and I believe that same company will do the same with social media, because they have to know that social media marketingis the wave of the future ( if you are a business owner, think of social media as word of mouth advertising – today ) so Google will go all out with Google+ to win as much market share as they can. In the mean time this competition will benefit the consumers, haven’t you noticed all the Facebook changes lately? They are both going to battle to provide more, to the consumer to win social media market share.

Network Marketing – Multi Level Marketing

Network  Marketing – Multi Level Marketing.

So if marketing is in the name, network marketing, why is it your up line tells you to Sell without marketing at all? And the worst part is they have you trying to sell to unqualified prospects, they tell you everyone is your prospect but that is a lie, not everyone wants to be in your network marketing business, being an independent contractor is great for some, but it is not for everyone. Some people love their job and don’t want to leave ever(glad they are happy really), some people are to scared to be self-employed, some people think MLM is some kind of pyramid scheme (how much of your time do you want to spend trying to reprogram the lies they have been told) and some people are just plain lazy.

I’m sure your up line tells you, like mine did,  it’s not sales (cause that word would scare most people away) your just presenting or explaining your business opportunity to all your friends and family, cause they want to be in business with you. (right) Truth is if this is the case, (and more times than not it is) your up line is just using you, to make money off you, through your friends and family members. And what happens when you run out of friends and family members to pitch to? Well your up line will no doubt train you on that after you’ve gone though your list. What really happens well if you can’t afford to buy leads and cold call or don’t want to be a telemarketer I guess you’ll do what most network marketers do an quit.

The REAL answer is you need to market all business market and then sell to the qualified prospects as a result of their marketing. That is what you need to do if you want to succeed in Network Marketing (MLM), I know I’ve made the list many times, meet hundreds of suspects(not qualified to be a prospect) at Starbucks, been to the hotel meetings and office meetings in the evening, but no more I put marketing into Network Marketing again. I prefer to use the Internet to generate qualified Leads, ( Note resource on the right column to generate MLM Leads for Free) no more making lists of people that don’t want to be in business for themselves, no more cold calling leads that have been sold to and called by everyone else before me. My Leads can contact me and I’ll interview them to see if I want them on my team. All via the internet via online marketing, social media marketing and such.

I believe you can be successful in Network Marketing (MLM), but you can’t  use the same methods as were used back in 1955.

Candyman – is now a online marketing Blogger

Candyman – is now a online marketing Blogger.

I was talking with a home inspector I know that is really into marketing online, he has been blogging for years.

He is not just your average home inspector he is a Forensic Inspector ( I’m not sure what that means but it sounds like something CBS could make a half dozen tv shows about). Anyway he frequently gets called as an expert witness anyway.

So we were talking about online marketing via Blogging and social media marketing, which we both agree is essential and he was telling me years ago he used to super glue a brochure holder onto a big candy dish and drop them off at real estate offices for the agents and he would stop by every week and refill the candy and the brochures.

He said he got to be known as the candy man, but it worked great for marketing, but it doesn’t work at all anymore, just because it used to work great doesn’t mean it will now, change is inevitable, in the “candy man’s case the real estate agents don’t come into the office much anymore as a general rule, they don’t need to they have technology they can even login to the MLS with their smart phones now.

So the “candy man” started blogging and now he is using social media marketing as well, he told me he often gets calls as a result of a blog post he wrote 2 or 3 years ago (when he would come across a unusual situation he would blog about it and 2-3 years ago I guess he was the only one doing it so people call him cause he obviously has be dealing with these situations for years.

If you haven’t incorporated social media marketing and Blogging as part of your online marketing I would encourage you to start now. An online presence in essential today.

What is Social Media Marketing?

What is Social Media Marketing?

I was talking with a business owner last week and I asked him if he has considered marketing with social media. He just shut down and got all defensive, he’s been in business for over 20 years and gets all his business by word of mouth. He may be right, he may have no need, if he plans on retiring in a few years.

What is social media but simply the current form of word of mouth. It was reported today Facebook surpassed 800 million active users and of those 350 million via mobile device, sounds to me like an opportunity for the good news about your business to spread to several times more potential customers than when the potential customers had to be standing right there.

Half the population in the United States is 30 years old or younger, these are the people buying (driving the economy) now and in the future. I was reading an interview article earlier today of the 25 year old co-founder of the Tech Support Group for Real Estate Agents on the topic of marketing to gen Y, he said not to waste your money on print advertising, when he and his friends were growing up they would never go to a movie without checking what their peers had to say about it first. He said gen Yers trust each other they don’t trust traditional advertising or marketing messages from companies. The idea that they would contact an agent based upon a television, newspaper or other print marketing ad is completely foreign to them.

So whether you choose to embrace social media marketing or not I suggest you make sure your customer service is in top form because word of mouth marketing ( via mobile devices ) is happening so you want to be sure it’s positive and not negative.

Is this one of those network marketing companies?

Is this one of those network marketing companies?

That’s what I felt like asking. About a month ago I had signed on with a new real estate broker and I had elected to enroll in some advanced training ( even after all these years am still thirsting for knowledge). About the second day of training my “advanced trainer” wanted me to start putting together a list of 500 of my closest friends so I can start to contact them about selling their house ( in a down market). Then he wanted me to start a “farm area” of about 200-300 houses and go door to door and create a newsletter every month to send them ( contribute to junk mail or maybe stimulate to post office’s business ). Seriously is this a network marketing company from the 1950’s or what?

First of all not only do I not have anything against network marketing companies, as a matter of fact, I happen to agree with Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki that network marketing is the best chance to most people to have an opportunity to have their own home based business. And there are some good companies out there but many still have a marketing plan that’s back from the future ( like 1950’s ) and that will have a very high failure rate in 2011 and beyond.

Getting back to my “advanced trainer”, the National Association of Realtors say 90% of the people going for real estate look online first, so this guy wants be to spend 100% of my marketing dollars and 100% of my marketing time targeting the 10%. I left, I am going to focus my energies on the 90% and pass out flyers or business cards to the 10% when and if I get bored. I now have 12 websites, 2 blog sites, own 17 or18 domain names and I haven’t counted the social media sites I subscribe to.

I believe it doesn’t matter if you sell real estate, are a distributor in a network marketing company or have your own restaurant down the street, if your business doesn’t have a web presence, in a few years your business won’t have a presence. I intend to go into more detail about online marketing, social media marketing and direct marketing for this century and the resources available for business development in future posts.