Archive for the ‘Online Marketing’ category

5 Ways to Get Positive Online Reviews for Your Brand

August 10, 2012

Positive Reviews as you may know are the ideal outcome marketers covet as a result of customer engagement with a brand’s product or service. With today’s online social community, Positive Reviews are gold and can mean the difference in your business making or losing money.

Positive Reviews

Positive Reviews are Like Gold

Why Positive Reviews Matter:

  • 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know
  • 44% of purchases are influenced by consumer reviews
  • 87% of people think the CEO’s reputation matters
  • 78% of people research a product/service online before purchasing it

These five secrets will help you protect your brand and build bridges to your next customers.

1.   Pay attention to the reviews you already have.

You can’t generate good reviews unless you have real customers to write them. Start by making sure to resolve any current complaints from your customers.

2.   Engage your customers on Facebook and Twitter

Create a Facebook group and Twitter account for your business. Younger customers in particular will share their thoughts here without any prompting.

3.   Respond quickly to bad reviews.

If a bad online review is warranted, thank the customer for their feedback and apologize   for the bad experience. Respond quickly and you turn a negative into a positive.

4.   Remember it’s a numbers game.

Even if you are providing the best product or service you can, some people will tend to     complain. The more reviews you get, the more likely you are to get one or more bad reviews so your goal should be a large number of mostly good reviews.

5.   Make reviewing as easy as possible.

Give customers easy ways to provide reviews and feedback on your website and on your social profile pages. If you are a bricks & mortar retailer-consider using mobile devices and QR Codes to gather reviews.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

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User-generated Content is Still King

July 31, 2012

User- generated content continues to power Social Media but it also is critical to driving sales for your business-both online and offline.

More than 80% of Gen Y, the largest consumer group in history is influenced by user-generated content when considering a purchase. In fact, 51% of them actually rate user-generated content more important than the opinions of friends and family!

Think about your own purchasing behavior when its time to buy a new car, book travel, buy electronics or purchase insurance. Do you do research online and read other (user-generated) consumer reviews before you buy? Answer this question honestly and you know how important Social Media is to your business.

If you are looking to boost your business now and the rest of this year, spend more time on your Website, Blogging, Twitter and be sure to try the new kids on the block Pinterest and Google+.

Consider it a gift to know that your own purchasing behavior is a guide to helping you attract more traffic and sales for your business.

Enjoy and prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

5 Tips When Using Retargeting to Lower Your CPA’s

July 26, 2012

Companies considering or already using display banner advertising demand a measurable ROI to justify display banner media in their budget.  Smart marketers don’t pay as much attention to impressions or click based metrics. The value of banner ads is their contribution to branding, the cost per action (CPA) and the resulting boost in sales.

CPA is unique to your business model and is whatever action yields the most sales and profits for you. An e-commerce or online retail sale CPA is based on a completed form and credit card transaction; an insurance CPA typically is based on a completed contact form or phone call.

When building your banner ad budget, set your maximum allowable CPA based on the average margin you earn per sale and the % of revenue you are willing to spend to acquire a new customer. Consider the lifetime value (in revenue) of a new customer when setting your CPA goal. Then manage your campaign based on your allowable CPA.

Audience targeting is used effectively in display banner ad retargeting campaigns.

With retargeting, your CPA improves dramatically because you are serving ads to previous and recent visitors to your website. This means prospect-visitors that have already shown an interest in your product or service will be exposed during your campaign to more ads when they visit another website that accepts advertising (the majority of some of the most popular websites).

After repeated exposure to banner ads-many will convert at a higher rate, resulting in an improved (lower) CPA. A lower CPA in turn allows you to spend more media dollars and/or improve your profit margins.

5 Tips When Using Retargeting to Lower Your CPA’s

1.  Bid higher for impressions that are likely to convert

Campaign performance data shows that the best keywords, when targeted in the right recency windows, will drive low CPA’s even if bought at higher CPM prices.

So don’t be afraid to bid at a $10.00 CPM or higher on the keywords that drive performance. This will win your campaign more volume on the best performing keywords, and if you are taking advantage of dynamic CPM pricing, you will pay a far lower CPM, often as much as 50%less than your maximum allowed bid.

2.  Consider keywords that don’t perform well in search

Some keywords don’t perform well in paid search because they are too expensive in search, too competitive, have low quality scores or other reasons. These same keywords, when targeted on banner impressions with the right characteristics, may be able to deliver favorable CPA’s in retargeting.

3.  Use audience targeting

Audience targeting including the use of external third party data and look-a-like modeling which identifies prospects with search patterns of existing converters on the advertiser’s site. By using this technology, additional keywords can be discovered and tested.

For example, Medicare consumers also tend to be searching for terms related to insurance. Insurance terms can be added to the campaign and tested for their ability to drive lower CPA’s.

4.  Ignore click through rate & cost per click

If your goal is a low CPA, don’t confuse matters by simultaneously trying to optimize to a high CTR or CPC. Likewise, don’t restrict your campaign to only the sites that can be won at very low CPM bids.

5.  Pay attention to recency

In search retargeting, the optimal time window between when the user performs the search and when the user is shown your ad can vary greatly by campaign and by vertical.

For example, verticals like restaurants have a short consideration cycle for reservations, and the optimum recency is often measured in minutes or hours.

For verticals like financial services, there is a longer consideration cycle and a 30-day recency window may drive the best results. Each campaign has its own optimum recency window, and understanding this will drive improved CPA.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

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Freemium Digital Strategy Can Help Build Your Business

July 12, 2012

Have you even heard of the term “Freemium“? According to Wikipedia, its a  business model that includes a free service but a premium is charged for advanced services. This includes software, media, games or web services today but if you think about it, direct marketers-many of whom have migrated over to the Digital side have been using freemiums since the Sears catalog was invented(free shipping with purchase).

If you are reading this Blog, chances are good that you already have used one or more freemiums such as:

  • LinkedIn is free, but they have great value added upgrades especially for job seekers.
  • Zoho is an excellent free CRM and online meeting tool, with lots of optional advanced features like CRM and  unlimited meting attendees.
  • Most businesses use WinZip which includes a free 30 day trial with upgrades to full service package.
  • How about Google AdSense who frequently and regularly gives anyone who wants to open up a new Adsense account $100 to spend on a paid search  test. Once your test is cooking and shows promise-most people are hooked and can easily type in a budget you want to  spend to expand your test and everything else is already done for you. Google is like eating peanuts-once you start, it’s real hard to stop!
  • Norton anti-virus software and its competitors started out by giving away Free Trials on disk, with an easy to upgrade to a paid service. This model has become a problem with the advent of freeware like a free download of  Microsoft Security Essentials and others.
  • Words with Friends-who hasn’t played this popular game by downloading the Free app on their smart phone only to finally concede that its better to pay for the game than be constantly interrupted by ads?

Then there are some of my favorite retro freemiums like the Gillette razor. With Gillette, they will give you the razor for free…if you but the blades! Acme’s summer of 2012 Sweepstakes promises cars, boats and a million dollars free if you buy their groceries and your name is pulled out of a hat with a gazillion to 1 odds of your actually winning. Webmasters can use stock digital images free…if they want to create a mockup with the photo credits superimposed in a watermark, and they agree to pay a licensing fee based on the number of exposures online. Entrepreneurs, consultants, doctors and lawyers typically offer a free initial consultation and once you get a taste-they charge you top dollar. And then there is the ubiquitous buy one get one free-just another form of freemium!

So now you have a new word in your vocabulary and maybe you will be inspired to consider how to use a Freemium for your business.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

Attention Marketers-Don’t Overlook Older Adults’ Internet Use

July 2, 2012

This post is for online marketers thinking about how to sell more to younger consumers who represent the majority of online users for their products or services.

Do so at your own risk but don’t ignore the surge of older adults with typically more disposable income and a lot more time on their hands to surf the web for just about everything.  Apple‘s i-pad is a big hit in nursing homes, age 60 is becoming the new 30 in consumerism and more consumers turning 65 and their caregivers are turning to the Web to find and compare Medicare plans.

Seniors are Internet Users too

According to Pew Research, as of April 2012, 53% of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.

As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day. By comparison, email use continues to be the bedrock of online communications for seniors. As of August 2011, 86% of internet users age 65 and older use email, with 48% doing so on a typical day.

Read the complete story here: Older adults and internet use | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

If you have any questions or need help with this topic, contact me at emorydigitalmarketing.

Steve Emory, President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

Top Five Small Company Sales Shortcomings and How to Fix Them

June 9, 2012

The more opportunities I have had to provide freelance help to small owner-operated businesses, the more I recognize the differences in their approach and the similarities in their sales and marketing shortcomings.

1. Disappointing and inconsistent sales performance

*invest more time to manage and participate in your sales effort

*improve the consistency of your sales effort with a modestly priced CRM program like  SalesForce, Eloqua, or NetSuite to formalize your calling, emails, sales calls, tracking and reporting no matter how small your sales staff.

*Change your sales compensation to include commission based incentive.

*Eliminate sales staff members who have nor performed over a twelve month period.

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Ninety Percent of All Data Created in the Last Two Years!

June 2, 2012

An IBM web page describes the company’s big data offerings by stating that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily now and as a result 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years.

 I never claimed to be a math major but if I understand the data progression correctly, it goes something like this:

1 Byte is made up of 8 bits

1 Kilobyte           KB          103          (or 1,000 bytes)

1 Megabyte        MB         106

1 Gigabyte           GB          109

1 Terabyte           TB           1012

1 Petabyte           PB           1015

1 Exabyte            EB           1018

 One Exabyte is equal to one quintillion bytes. To put this staggering amount of storage in some perspective, the world’s technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to 295 exabytes in 2007. This is equivalent to less than one 730-MB CD-ROM per person in 1986 (539 MB per person), roughly 4 CD-ROM per person in 1993, 12 CD-ROM per person in the year 2000, and almost 61 CD-ROM per person in 2007.

 Another way to begin to grasp the explosion is to realize that we are creating data at a daily rate of all the data that existed in 1986.

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