Get Adobe Flash player
Who is Stacy Kinney & What Does She Do ?

Internet Marketing

Use Your Blog to Rope Passionate Prospects Into Your Sales Funnel

Your Biggest Challenge will Be Attracting Prospects to Your Sales Funnel

In a previous article, Make More Money by Creating an Effective Sales Funnel for Your Business, I wrote about how developing a sales funnel can make it easier to capture sales. The purpose of the article was to make you think about whether or not your sales process is optimized for making you money. After all, I’m pretty sure you didn’t go into business for yourself just for the fun of it but to generate a real income.
sales funnel
One of the most important and also most challenging aspects of the sales process is attracting people to your business. In fact, client attraction is the first part of the sales funnel. Without a steady stream of interested prospects, it is doubtful that you will be able to build the profitable business you want. Selling is a numbers game. The more prospects you talk to the higher the probability someone will make it to the end of the sales funnel.

Use a Blog to Feed the Top of Your Sales Funnel with Passionate Prospects

A blog is an effective way to grab the attention of your prospects and lead them through your sales funnel. First, it provides a space where people can get to know you and your company. It is difficult to know who to trust on the internet. Naturally, customers are going to be hesitant about giving their money to a person they’ve never met face to face. A blog will go a long way towards demonstrating that you are a real person who cares about them.

And speaking of demonstrations, a blog will also give potential customers a taste of the value you have to offer them. People love working with experts and a blog is the perfect platform for showing prospects you have the knowledge and experience they are looking for which will encourage them to take the first step in your sales funnel.

Other reasons why starting a blog is a great idea:

* A blog provides a central place for your leads to gather from all of your marketing efforts.

* It is easy to capture leads for your sales funnel from search engines by implementing SEO/SEM techniques which redirect traffic from Google, Yahoo, and Bing to your blog.

* You can then send that traffic to targeted sales pages designed to lead prospect through the sales funnel to the cash register ring.

* If they are not ready to buy, you can still capture their contact information with a mailing list.

Tips for Using the Blog to Get Customers to Go Where You Want in Your Sales Funnel

* Write informative articles packed with keywords designed to draw targeted traffic to your blog and down your sales funnel. Keywords are the words and phrases people in your target market are using to find information on a topic that is important to them. For example, someone looking for information about blogging may type in “how to start a blog” or “blogging tips”. There are a number of keyword research tools on the market that will help you with this including Aaron Wall’s SEO Keyword Tool.

* Direct your readers by ending each article with a call to action to take the next step in your sales funnel. After they finish reading your awesome article, your visitor may be left thinking, “Now what?” Don’t leave them hanging. Point them to the next step in your sales funnel whether that is signing up for your mailing list, buying a product, or contacting you. Without this prompt, your reader may wander off without ever looking at what you have to offer.

* Have individual sales pages for your products on your website that describes what you are selling and why they should hand over their hard earned money to buy it. Make sure you include relevant keywords so you can get traffic from the search engines and into your sales funnel. Additionally, you will be able to refer to these pages in your social media marketing campaign.

* Integrate a mailing list sign up form so you can capture the contact information of your prospects. Put it in a conspicuous place, like the sidebar, where readers can see it. Even better, there are plugins you can use that will allow you to put a mailing list sign up form at the end of every article on your site. Talk about in your face.

* Encourage your readers to subscribe to your RSS so they can get continuous updates. Make sure your social media profiles links are in an obvious place so they can connect with you on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

* Make sure you have advertisements for your products in obvious places on your site. This includes putting graphics in your sidebar and even in the articles themselves. Be careful not to clog your site with too many ads that it overpowers your content. Strive for balance.

* Lastly, don’t forget to have a personality. People connect to people, not companies. Be personable. Get involved in the communities of other blogs. The more people see you hanging out in their neck of the internet, the more comfortable they will be with you and the greater the chance they will enter your sales funnel and become a loyal customer.

Are you still not sure how a blog can inspire people to take a trip down your sales funnel? Give me a call. I’ll be happy to spend an hour with you talking about the many ways you can build your brand, get it in front of your prospects, and make more money with a blog. Also, don’t forget to sign up for your free copy of my social media checklist that will take you by the hand and walk you through what you need to do each day to build your fan base and fill your sales funnel.

4 Quick Tips for Using a Blog to Build Your Email Marketing List

Now is the Time to Start Building Your Email Marketing List

Of all the tools in your internet marketing toolbox, blogs are the most versatile. They can be used in a number of ways to help you make money in your business including community building, search engine marketing, and social media marketing. In fact, I would say that your blog should be “Home Base” and all of your other marketing campaigns should funnel to it.

Among other things, your blog can help you fill your email marketing list with the names of prospects hungry for your products or services.

The Email Marketing List is Where the Money is At

People who sign up for an email marketing list are basically raising their hand as potential customers who are interested in what you are selling. They are aware that you exist and they like what you have to say so much that they basically open the door for you to contact them on a regular basis.
Email Marketing List
This direct contact provides an opportunity for you to send them marketing materials designed to get them to make a purchase from you or through your affiliate link. If you haven’t started building your email list then I highly recommend you get on top of it as soon as you finish reading this article.

4 Simple Methods of Email Marketing List Building

* Place a call to action to sign up for list at the end of your articles – When people make it to the end of your article they are often looking for the next step. You risk losing the prospect and the sale if you fail to take control and direct them as to what you want them to do next. Place a note at the end of your articles to sign up for your email marketing list. To make things even easier, you can place the actual sign up form at the end of the article.

* Put a sign up form in an obvious place – Most people put the form in the sidebar. With so many things crying out for your prospects attention, it is probably a good idea to draw attention to it in multiple ways. This includes putting a banner ad in the header and/or footer directing the reader to the sign up form for the email marketing list as well as placing the actual sign up form at the end of your articles.

* Offer something for free in exchange for signing up for the email marketing list – Very few people will just give you their email address. You have to bribe them for it. Give away a useful tool such as an EBook packed with useful tips or access to exclusive training in exchange for their contact information.

* Use MailChimp or Feedburner Email signup for sending blog posts – Encourage people to sign up for email notification of new blog posts. Both MailChimp and Feedburner offer this feature which allows you to build a list of people subscribed to your blog.

Bonus tip: Use peel down or pop up – While annoying, using a peel down or pop up to direct your reader’s attention to your email marketing list is effective. However, do your best to maintain the user-friendliness of your blog. Otherwise people will be scared away.

Now just because your prospects are signed up to your email marketing list doesn’t mean you can start spamming them. Like anything else, you must build a relationship of trust with your prospects by providing high quality information they find useful. The quickest way to get people to unsubscribe to your email marketing list is to spam them with useless junk.

Need more internet marketing tips for building an email marketing list? Then contact me for a free consultation. I will show you some effective internet marketing tools you can use to build a profitable business. Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Then learn how to build an impressive following by downloading my social media marketing checklist for free using the sign up form in the sidebar. For more tips on building an email marketing list sign up for my RSS feed.

Increase Exposure With Social Bookmarking and Website Directories

Internet Marketing Tools: Social Bookmarking and Web Directories

There are numerous internet marketing tools you can use to generates links to your blog and extend the reach of your brand. Social bookmarking and web directories are two passive ways you can increase your web presence.

What is Social Bookmarking

  • The first bookmarking website, itList was started in 1996. It allowed members to save links to web pages and make them private or public.
  • Bookmarking sites quickly advanced to allowing members to tag, categorize, and share their links with others.
  • Since then, bookmarking has gone social and has become popular internet marketing tools. Members contribute links they find to the community and have the ability to comment on the links, vote to promote the ones they like, and engage the other members of the site.
  • Some social bookmarking sites are considered social news sites as members contribute links to articles about a specific topic category (i.e. technology)

Different Internet Marketing Tools: Social Bookmarking vs. Social News Sites

  • Social bookmarking sites allows you to save links to website to any web page on the internet. You can connect with other members of the site, categorize your links, and vote on and leave comments about links that you like.
  • Social news sites have all of these things. However, typically, they focus on news in specific topic categories. For example, Digg is a technology news related site. This means articles on the newest releases from Apple are going to be popular rather than a list to tips on how to use a piece of technology.
  • Both types, though, are great places to market your business.

Benefits of Using Social Bookmarking Sites as Internet Marketing Tools

  • Social bookmarking is an excellent way to extend the reach of your brand because it allows you to widely distribute your content.
  • These internet marketing tools are great for building backlinks to your website which is important for increasing your rank in the search engine result pages for keywords.
  • Content that makes the front page of a popular social bookmarking site can generate thousands of hits
  • Bookmarking sites are a great place to find articles and information about a particular topic.
  • In addition to being great internet marketing tools, they are an excellent source of inspiration for articles.
  • By becoming an active part of the community you can also raise your personal profile, influence the community, and be thought of as a leader which will attract customers to you.

Social Bookmarking Strategies

  • The simplest way to use social bookmarking sites as internet marketing tools is to bookmark links to the content on your website.
  • When you bookmark individual pages, the site will create a page for it in the directory. This accomplishes two things. First you will receive a link back to your site which can help boost search engine rankings. Second, search engines love social bookmarking sites and will index that page quickly. Therefore, increasing the chances that someone will find when they do a search on the topic.
  • Another way to use social bookmarking is to participate in the community. The goal is to submit quality content that gets votes and develop a following of readers.
  • By becoming a contributing and active member,  you will build an influential profile which can make it easier to get your content to the popular (or front) page of the site and drive traffic to your business.

Tips for Making It Work

  • Your headline is everything. This is the only thing that people will see on the site. Sometimes there is space for a description of the link. However 90% of the time, users will only read the title and make a decision as to whether or not they will click through to your article.
  • Make the headline catchy and attention getting. Copyblogger.com is a great resource for learning how to write awesome titles.
  • Put your links in the right category. People who are interested in a specific topic will click on that topic to see what is listed.
  • Use appropriate keyword tags.
  • Try to use keywords in your article titles as well. People also use the search functions on the site to look for information.
  • Submit to sites that are geared towards people in your target audience. Submitting content of interest to them will make it easier to attract them.
  • Try to create content that your readers want to share.
  • As an added note, try to write content that speaks to the site’s demographics. If the people on a particular social news site likes Apple products, then your post should have something to do with Apple.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do fill out your profile in full so people know you are legit and not a spammer.
  • Don’t submit only your stuff. These internet marketing tools work best by when you submit content from other places.
  • Do submit to more than one site. The more sites you submit content to, the more dispersed your brand will be. There are literally hundreds of sites out there and internet marketing tools that will help you submit to many of them.
  • Do encourage friends to vote for your stuff. Try to get them to vote as soon as the article hits the site. Timing influences whether it will become popular on the site.
  • Don’t form voting parties but do strategically ally with other people to vote for or submit content. Social bookmarking sites abhor voting parties because it is disruptive. However, if you are discreet about it, you can partner with a few people to vote or bookmark your content in exchange for the same consideration. The operative word here is discreet.
  • Do ask your readers to submit your content to social bookmarking sites. Integrate buttons within your content to make it easy to do so.
  • Do interact with the other members and vote on their content. It is a social site, first and foremost. Engaging others will inspire them to return the favor.
  • Don’t spam. Social news sites especially do not play around. They will ban you.

Helpful Internet Marketing Tools

  • Ping.fm – Allows you to automatically submit links to your content to up to 30 social services.
  • OnlyWire.com – Another service that will let you submit your content to multiple sites. (About 20-25 sites available).
  • For WordPress Users, Sexy Bookmarks is a great plugin that will integrate the buttons of over 60 social sites for your users to bookmark your content.
  • Another good WordPress plugin is Digg Digg which will integrate social buttons as well as counters for up to 20 social sites on your blog.
  • Add To Any is an internet marketing tools that can be used on any blog or website and allows visitors to submit content to over 20 sites.

Popular Bookmarking Sites

  • Digg.com
  • StumbleUpon
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • Tweetmeme
  • Mixx
  • Fark
  • Slashdot
  • Friend Feed
  • Clipmarks
  • Diigo
  • Propeller

Web Directories are Great Internet Marketing Tools Too

  • Web directories are websites that categorize other sites by topic. The most well known web directory is DMOZ which Google (and many other directory sites) use to power its own directory.
  • There are two types of directories: Those that accept all websites (web directories) and those that only accept blogs (blog directories).
  • The popularity of social media has given rise to a third type of directory that integrates social elements alongside the basic website categorization. Examples of this is BlogCatalog and Socialrific.
  • There are also several directories that only categorize social profiles such as Twellow and WeFollow.
  • Directories allow both free and paid submissions to their sites. Paid directories tend to be better quality but not always.

Why Submit to Directories?

  • The majority of the benefits to using directories as internet marketing tools indirect.
  • The primary benefit is increasing the number of links to your website which will help increase your search engine ranking position.
  • Submitting to directories with social elements is also a good way to get noticed and find readers who will visit your site.
  • People search social media directories, like Twellow, to find other people to network with who have the same interests as them.
  • Some popular directories, like BlogCatalog, have pages that show up in search engines which can benefit you by indirectly funneling traffic to your site. Also, the more people see your profile around the internet the more comfortable they are doing business with you.

Tips for Success

  • Craft a description for your website that tells people what your site is about but also contains keywords.
  • Many directories allow you to submit keywords that are associated with your site. Come up with at least ten that are relevant to the topics you write about.
  • Make sure you select the most appropriate category for your blog or website.
  • Submit to multiple directories. Five a week is a good start.
  • Submit to a mix of directories: website, blog, and social.
  • Take part in the community when submitting to social directories. Post in the forums, follow other members. Your goal is to build a community.

List of Popular Directories

  • Open Directory Project (DMOZ) – http://www.dmoz.com
  • BlogCatalog – http://www.blogcatalog.com
  • WeFollow – http://www.wefollow.com
  • Twellow – http://www.twellow.com
  • Yahoo! Directory – http://dir.yahoo.com
  • Search Sight – http://www.searchsight.com
  • Turnpike Directory – http://www.turnpike.net/directory
  • Best of the Web – http://www.botw.com
  • Bloggeries – http://www.bloggeries.com
  • Blogged – http://www.blogged.com
  • Bloggapedia – http://www.bloggapedia.com/

Visit the Social Media Video Library for more blogging, info on internet marketing tools, and social media training. Contact me for a free 1 hour consultation on how to use the numerous internet marketing tools to your advantage.

 

internet marketing tools

Cut Your Blogging Time in Half with a Web Content Strategy

A Web Content Strategy Can Save Your Sanity

Even though social media marketing is getting most of the spotlight these days, blogging is still an effective way to reach out to your customers and sell them on your business. But unlike tweeting and posting status updates, blogging can consume a lot of time thinking of article ideas, writing the articles, posting them to your site, and then finding people to read them. Developing a web content strategy, however, can save you time, money, and sanity.

What is a Web Content Strategy?

A web content strategy is basically a fancy way of saying you should write out a schedule of articles you want to post to your blog. Developing a plan for your article writing is an excellent way to capitalize on your blog and your reader’s attention.
Web Content Strategy
* You will be able to plan the topics you want to tackle for times when the articles will provide the most value to your readers. For instance, writing an article about saving money shopping during the holidays.

* You will avoid writer’s block because you will have a list of topics on hand to write about. If you write the articles in advance, you can create a pool of articles to pull from for when you can’t think of anything to write about.

* Posting on a regular schedule makes it easier to build a following who will know when to expect your articles to come out. Additionally, you’ll avoid falling victim to the aimless rambling that trap many bloggers.

* It’ll be easier to break up complex topics into a web series that keeps readers coming to your blog to read the next segment.

* You can create theme days where you’ll post specific types of articles. For example, you could post articles about social media marketing every Monday.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of developing a web content strategy is the fact that you can take a day or two to write all of your articles and set them up to be automatically posted on specified days. Then you’ll be able to devote your free time to working on other tasks that make you money. A content development plan also makes it easier to outsource your writing to a professional if you just don’t want to be bothered.

Tips for Developing Your Web Content Strategy

At minimum, you should produce your content schedule on a quarterly basis (every three months). Some bloggers develop theirs every six months and others, usually pro blogs, will plan out an entire year of content. This doesn’t mean you have to sit down and bang out a year’s worth of articles in one sitting. Just having a spreadsheet of dates and article topics will work.

To determine the number of articles you need to brainstorm ideas for, multiply the number of days you plan on blogging each week by the number of weeks in the time frame of your schedule. For example, you would need 24 articles to cover three months of posts if you blogged two times per week.

Your blog writing schedule should have a mix of short and comprehensive articles. Generally, short articles are for giving quick, actionable tips to your readers while longer articles will allow you to delve deeper into a specific topic. Too many short posts will make your blog seem shallow while too many long posts will make your blog a drag to read.

When brainstorming topics for your blog look at your industry through the eyes of the people in your target market. What do they want to know about your niche? For instance, real estate agents looking to attract home buyers will want to blog about buying a home in today’s crazy economy or how to avoid buying a money pit. To be an effective marketing tool, your blog should meet the needs of your readers.

Your web content strategy can be as simple as writing down titles and dates in a notebook or you can use an electronic to-do list to schedule when you will write your articles. Don’t think, however, that because you have a web content strategy that you can’t deviate from it. You can still be spontaneous or rearrange things at a later date especially if notable things happen in your industry that your readers should know about.

The important thing is to make sure you are producing content your readers want. As long as you are giving them quality content, your readers will pay attention. For more tips on blogging for success, take a stroll through my archives. Or better yet, contact me for a free consultation on how to take advantage of the internet marketing tools available today to develop of web content strategy that will help you build the profitable business you deserve.

Should You Auto Follow on Twitter?

Is Auto Follow a Good Way to Build a Twitter Following?

In just under five years Twitter has become one of the top social media destinations for content consumers and producers alike. As a blogger and business owner you really cannot afford to not have a presence on there. In fact, every business should have a Facebook and a Twitter profile at minimum if you want to connect with your customers and become an integral part of their life.

However, many people find that staying on top of their social media marketing can consume a lot of time and effort. There are a number of  Twitter tools that can help you automate some or all of the tasks involved in building and maintaining a Twitter following. One of the things I’m noticing on the social media site, though, is that many business owners are using the Twitter follow tools to auto follow everyone who follows them.

Auto Follow on Twitter

Click to Follow Me on Twitter

I started thinking about this the other day. Is this really a good idea?

 

Reasons to Auto Follow

The main reason cited for auto following on Twitter was that it seemed like an easy way to build a following on Twitter. That’s sort of true. One piece of advice I often give people is to find your target market on Twitter and engage them by following their streams.

Suffice it to say, other businesses are targeting you as potential customers or collaborators. So they follow you in order to start building a relationship and they tend to stick around when you follow them back. If you have ten people adding you to their follow list every day, auto following them back can potentially net you up to 300 new followers per month.

Auto follow on Twitter is also convenient. I get about 100 new followers a day. With two kids, a husband, and a full time business I don’t always have time to go through and manually follow everyone back (Follow me on Twitter). It’s even worse for big brands and celebrities who get, literally, hundreds of people following them on a daily basis. So I can see the appeal of having a Twitter tool that tasks care of this task for you.

Reason to Not Auto Follow

But for all the convenience offered by Twitter follow tools, there are a couple of distinct disadvantages to auto following on Twitter.

- You will be targeted by spammers: Spammers love accounts that auto follow because it allows them to build their numbers quickly. They know that people are impressed by accounts that have large followings (a form of social proof). So they get lists of accounts on Twitter that automatically follows everyone and then they follow everyone on that list. Even worse, many of them will wait a few days and then unfollow you!

- Your account will be rendered useless: Being targeted by spammers brings me to the second problem with auto follow. Your Twitter stream will be filled with spam and other meaningless junk; not to mention the tons of auto direct messages you are likely to receive. Tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite can help you separate the wheat from the chuff. But that can be even more of a pain because then you have to manually look at each follower to decide where they should go or if you should unfollow them altogether.

So should you auto follow or not? There is no right or wrong answer. It really depends on what your goals are. If you just want to build a following then auto follow may be a good way to do it. If you want to build meaningful relationships on Twitter, though, then you will need to vet your followers either in the beginning when they first follow you or at the end when you are deciding whether or not to listen to their chatter.

What do you think? Do you auto follow on Twitter? Why or why not?

Speaking of Twitter, did you know I have a social media checklist you can download that will help streamline your social media marketing? You can download it for free. More information is located in the sidebar.

For one on one help with your internet marketing, contact me for a free one hour consultation where I will show you a few tools that will get your name in front of hungry customers just waiting to buy. You will never need to auto follow again.

So Why Should Anyone Pay Attention to You?

Getting People’s Attention is a Challenge

Major league baseball player Ron Kittle once said, “I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention!” Today it’s likely that many of your potential customers are saying the same thing. And not only are they referring to the sad state of their bank accounts, they are probably also talking about the sheer number of things in their life vying for their attention.
attention
They have their work, their families, and their personal goals. There is the television, radio, and the internet full of blogs, news sites, and forums producing billions of pieces of content for them to consume. If you have a blog for your business or are thinking about starting one, the first question you will need to answer, in order to be successful, is why should your readers pay attention to you?

Attention is the New Currency

Of all the resources available to your readers their time is the only thing that is not renewable. Paying attention to one thing means that they are sacrificing time they could be spending doing something else. If you want them to read your blog (e.g. pay attention to you) then it is imperative that you make it worth their while.

To do this, you must understand what drives your readers and make sure they are getting what they need or want from your blog. People search the internet for a number of reasons including:

* To find a solution to a problem

* For entertainment

* To learn something new

* To understand a new technology

* Find likeminded people to hang out with

* Get advice on making a purchase

* Improve their finances by making money

* Get information on a topic or issue important to them

* And so on…

Developing content that solves your reader’s problem is the key to getting them to pay attention to you. And knowing your target market is the key to understanding what their problem is. If you didn’t get a chance to view my free webinar on finding and marketing to your target market, I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn how to figure out who your best customers are and what they want from you.

Tips for Ramping Up the Value of Your Blog to Get Attention

One immediate way to increase the value of the information you provide your readers is to answer reader submitted questions. You will actually knock out two birds with one stone using this tactic. Answering reader questions gives the reader exactly what they want and provides you with a steady stream of topics to blog about. In addition to that, readers will view you as an expert in the industry they can turn to for assistance which will only increase your brand’s value.

Another way is to write articles that are relevant and timely. Although the world is a dynamic place where change is the only constant, there are some things which remain the same year after year. People set goals on New Year’s Day and break them by the end of January. They tell their sweethearts they love them on Valentine’s Day, travel more during the summer, and whip themselves into a buying frenzy the day after Thanksgiving.

Every industry has times when people are looking for information around a certain theme (e.g. how to set goals for a New Year). Aligning your content schedule around the key times in your industry maximizes your audience’s attention.

Bring in experts from other industries to talk about topics related to the theme of your blog. For example, if you are an insurance agent who sells auto insurance you could have a claims adjuster write about the process of evaluating the value of damage done to a vehicle. Collaborating with other experts boosts the value of your brand and extends its reach into other industries.

Your readers are always tuned into station WIFFM (What’s In It For Me). As long as you are broadcasting the right shows, your readers will always tune it to hear what you have to say. For more tips on how to use a blog to build a profitable business, read some of the articles in my archives. Or better yet, schedule an appointment for a free consultation where I will show you how investing in a blog can make you money. To have my articles on ways to market for attention delivered right to you, sign up for automatic updates by RSS.

Marketing on Facebook Opens Many Doors

Marketing on Facebook

Marketing on Facebook

Marketing on Facebook

Marketing in today’s world means thinking outside of the box. Social media marketing is even a part of the curriculum for many business and marketing degrees. When nearly everyone with internet access uses Facebook, marketing on the popular social media site is the premier way to really get attention. TV ads are becoming less effective since many people simply DVR their shows and fast forward through them.

It doesn’t matter what you’re marketing. It can be your company, a new product, or even yourself. It’s all about active promotion and marketing on Facebook is one marketing tactic that can definitely get you noticed. Facebook fan pages can get your company or its products and services in front of people who can then spread your marketing message simply by giving it a thumbs up. Coupons are an effective way to reward fans for clicking the “Like” button and providing you or your company more exposure.

Marketing on Facebook Requires Smart and Consistent Effort

Marketing on Facebook means setting aside time each day to add content and promote your page in addition to other marketing techniques you may be engaged in including developing a company website. In fact, marketing on Facebook can drive more traffic to your website since you are able to promote it on your Facebook page.

Make sure you add pertinent information about your company to your profile page. This may be the first contact anyone has with your company so make sure it looks its very best and puts your business in a good light. Take advantage of social psychology by working on getting as many people to like the page as possible. It’s strange but when people see that a lot of other people like something, they are more likely to get involved with it too.

Marketing on Facebook is Virtual Word of Mouth Marketing

Basically, marketing on Facebook comes down to friends. The more friends you have the more people who are able to promote your site. The more they promote your site, the more their friends will see your site and so on and so forth. Facebook marketing is virtual word of mouth marketing.

You can glean a lot of information about your user base from your Facebook profile or fan page. More specifically, you will be able to find out who your most passionate users are. Using this information, you can take advantage of their passion and connections by offering them special incentives for promoting your business. This can be more effective than any other marketing technique you employ since people are more likely to heed the recommendations of people they know and trust.

Feel free to contact me directly for a free consultation and to learn more about marketing on Facebook.

Marketing on Facebook

How To Use Facebook To Build Your Brand

Learn How to Use Facebook to Your Advantage

Facebook is the leading social networking site on the internet and it is only going to get bigger. In this video you will learn how to use Facebook to network with prospects and potential business partnets as well as the best way to position your business for marketing success on the website. Text included at the bottom so you can print out and follow along.

What is Facebook?

  • Facebook is a social networking site that was started by Mark Zuckerburg in 2004 while he was a student at Harvard
  • The site has over 500 million users and the average user has 130 “Friends”
  • Facebook is the second most visited site in the internet. The user base spends over 700 billion minutes on the site.
  • eens and adults use the site to connect with friends, family, work mates, and to connect with brands.
  • Businesses use the site to monitor brand interaction and reputation. Facebook makes it easy for businesses to market themselves on the site.
  • Facebook is a self contained platform. If it were a party, this is where people would sit down for a meal and socialize.

Setting Up Your Facebook Profile

  • Your Facebook profile is partially brandable. You don’t have control over how it looks, but there are apps you can use to extend functionality.
  • Set up a separate Fan Page for your business. Do not use the name of your MLM program. Brand yourself.
  • Upload a picture of yourself. Preferably the same branded picture you use on other social media profiles.
  • Have fun with your personal bio. Be professional but don’t be a cookie cutter copy of other people in your industry. Show your personality.
  • Let people know where else they can find you online.
  • You can link to all of your sites on Facebook.

Setting Up a Facebook Fan Page

  • When signing up for a fan page, use the Brand, Product, or Organization to get the best profile options.
  • Use a branded photo or logo for the image.
  • Use apps that add functionality to the page. For example, use the Welcome App to create a custom page for visitors.
  • Fill out the all the company info.
  • The mission statement should reflect what your fans can expect to get by being your fans.
  • Integrate your business Twitter account into the page.
  • Include links to other social networks your business belongs to.
  • Add the fan page widget to your website.

Useful Facebook Apps

  • Facebook Blog App – Allows you to post the RSS feed from your blog. Posts will be displayed on your profile.
  • Twitter App – Allows you to integrate your Twitter profile. Tweets will be displayed in your status stream
  • YouTube Box App – Post videos from your YouTube account to your profile
  • Skype Me – Skype is a VoIP phone service that costs pennies to use. If you have a Skype account or thinking about getting one, this application will allow users to call you right from your Facebook profile.
  • Promotions App – Use the Promotions application to set up interactive campaigns, such as contests or giveaways, on your Facebook profile or fan page.
  • Extended Info – Although your Facebook profile does have space for you to tell people about yourself, sometimes what’s available in the Facebook options is not enough. Extended Info is an application that allows you to add additional, custom information to your profile. If you had a personal profile, this would be a wonderful tool for adding information about your business.
  • Discussion Boards – an application that allows you to run a small forum on your Facebook profile.
  • Welcome Tab for Pages – This application allows you to create a welcome page for people who visit your Facebook profile or fan page. You can add text, photos, and video. The page can be set as a landing page on your profile.

Facebooking

  • Integrate the widget into your website and encourage web visitors to “Like” it.
  • Your business profile and your personal profile should be separate. This is important if you share personal information. If you get friend requests from people you don’t know, refer them to your business page.
  • If you wouldn’t say it to your grandma, don’t post it on Facebook.
  • After you get 25 people to join your business page, you can get a pretty URL from Facebook (e.g. http://facebook.com/yourbusinessname). Take advantage of this when you qualify.
  • Do not use the name of your MLM in your fan page name. You want your fan page to be portable.
  • Use Facebook’s friend finder tool to find people you know and friend them.
  • Your status updates should provide value to your readers. You are not limited to a certain number of characters so feel free to post information that is great.
  • How much you participate on Facebook is your personal preference. But be consistent.
  • Try to be on Facebook when your target audience is on Facebook. Popular times include in the morning before work, at lunch time, and after work.
  • You will receive page requests all the time. Which ones you join is up to you. However, to maintain a professional front, don’t join the crazy ones. They show up on your profile.
  • When commenting on blogs, if they allow you to connect using Facebook then do that. Your comment will also appear on your Facebook profile.
  • Don’t friend spam. If they refuse or don’t respond, don’t keep asking.

Definitions

  • Like = This is a vote for a page. Recommendations show up on your status page.
  • Friend = To request a connection with another member on Facebook
  • Unfriend = To disconnect from another member on Facebook
  • Status Update = Short messages to your friends about your status (or thoughts and recommendations). There are no character limits.
  • Farmville, Mafia Wars, and hundreds of others = These are in site games that will eat up your day if you let them.

Building Your Network

  • Know who you want to network with. Determine who you target audience is.
  • Use http://www.topfacebookfollowers.com/ to find people to friend.
  • Some people friend everyone and some people don’t. Be careful if you post personal info.
  • Go for quality over quantity. Take the time to get to know the people in your network.
  • Join Fan pages of other business associates and contribute to their wall. This will help raise your visibility and attract more fans.
  • Join Fan pages of your company brand and Like their news.
  • Integrate your Facebook profile into other social networks and your website.
  • Don’t be afraid to unfriend people who have stopped posting updates, only spam, or don’t engage with you. Quality over quantity.
  • Make use of promotions widget to promote your product, service or business
  • Use the testimonial widget and encourage colleagues and customers to write a testimony of you and/or your product, service, or business.
  • This is controversial but you can join Like parties where members like each others pages. The Likes are seen by everyone in your network so you can really extend the reach of your brand if you do this.
  • Send updates to your fans but don’t abuse this function because it sends a real email to them. Send out unique content to fans to encourage more people fan your page.
  • Use the Welcome app to create a custom welcome page that encourages people to fan your page.
  • Ask your Twitter followers to friend you on Facebook. Promote the link in your Twitter stream.

My Facebook Marketing Strategy

  • Self promotion – to my blog, articles, etc.
  • Promote other people

Facebook Etiquette

  • DO NOT SPAM. Spam on Facebook comes in several forms. 1 – Only promoting your stuff 24/7, 2- Sending personal messages that ask people to visit your business or buy your stuff, 3- Sending fake event notification to people asking them that are really invitation to join your program, 4- Letting robots Failbook for you.
  • However, don’t go the other way and never promote your stuff. Find balance.
  • Log in regularly to check and respond to messages. 100% automation is not recommended. People want to talk to you, not a robot.
  • Thank people for friending you and Liking your content.
  • Comment on other people’s status updates.
  • Engage in conversation.
  • Be yourself. No one else can do the job
  • Don’t argue on Facebook. You will end up on Failbook.com. Use the personal message function to disagree.
  • Promote your Facebook account like any other web property you own.
  • Don’t just talk business. Talk about your other interests as well. Be a real person.
  • However, your Facebook profile is not the appropriate place for drunk pictures of you on Halloween.

Promoting Your Facebook Account

  • Add the Facebook widget to your website
  • Add a link to your email signature
  • Place a link on your business cards
  • If you do article marketing, link to your Facebook account in your resource box.
  • Run specials or give away coupon codes to your Facebook friends to encourage other to join.
  • Participate in Facebook forums relevant to your business
  • Friend other people. Most people will friend you back.
  • Engage, engage, engage
  • Share your link on other social networks
  • Make your fan page a place where people can get exclusive information if they friend.

Using Facebook Ads

  • Facebook’s ad platform provides a great way to target consumers on the site.
  • To avoid wasting money, you should know who you are targeting.
  • Put some thought into the design of your ad. Use an eye catching title and graphics. Search on the internet for tips on designing a good ad.
  • Choose Pay Per Click (PPC) instead of impressions or you will end up paying thousands and not getting anything in return.
  • Set a daily budget you can afford.
  • Ask you users to Like your Facebook ad. More Likes usually results in lower pricing.
  • If you can, rotate you ads. Ads tend to go stale after awhile as members of the site get used to seeing them.

 

Visit the Social Media Video Library for more blogging and social media training. Contact me for a free 1 hour consultation on how to use Facebook and other social media tools to your advantage.

facebook

The Importance of Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing is required if you want to appear on your prospects radar. Although people are using sites like Twitter and Facebook to socialize, they are still using Google, Bing, and Yahoo to search for information about products, services, businesses, and people. This webinar focuses on teaching you the basics of search engine marketing and search engine optimization such as keyword selection and optimizing your website.

About the Search Engine Industry

  • Search engines have been around in one form or another for centuries. The most recognizable one prior to Google was the library cataloging system.
  • The first search engine as we know it today was called Archie. It was created in 1990 by McGill University computer science students Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan and J. Peter Deutsch. The number of files on the internet was so small that indexing was not necessary. They could be searched through manually.
  • Although there are thousands of search engines today, there are only a few which are truly independent, Google, Bing, and Ask. All others get their results from them or are site specific.
  • Yahoo! Is the oldest major search directory but Google is the biggest. Google averages over 11 billion searches per month.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine online with about 3 billion searches per month. It accounts for 28% of Google’s search traffic.

What is SEO/SEM

  • SEM = Search Engine Marketing: Umbrella term for paid and free tactics used to raise visibility in search engines
  • SEO = Search Engine Optimization: A variety of free techniques used to increase web page visibility in search engines.
  • The goal of SEO/SEM is to rank on the first page of search engine results to attract the most traffic.
  • The SEO industry began when search engines started indexing the web in the mid nineties. At the time, it was the realm of hobby webmasters. Today, it is a multimillion dollar industry with large and small companies dedicated to improving page visibility.
  • Currently, the SEO industry is shifting directions because of the rise of social media. More and more people are using site specific search engines (Twitter, Facebook) to find information.
  • - Why Should I Care?
  • It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of pages on the internet because the number changes by the minute. However, at last count there were over 110,000,000 distinct websites online. The average site has 50 pages which means there are at least 5 million pages online.
  • Although Social Engine Search is rising in popularity, traditional search engines are still the first place people go to look for information.
  • The majority of people do not click beyond the first 3 pages of search engine results for information.
  • If you want to attract targeted traffic to your website, you must rank within those first few pages. Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table because your potential clients will not be able to find you.

It’s All About the Keywords

  • The engine in search engines are the keywords.
  • Keywords are the words and phrases people use to find information online.
  • To attract targeted traffic to your website, it is import to use relevant keywords. These are the keywords your target audience uses to find information about the subject they are interested in.
  • Not all keywords are the same. Some are research words and some are buy words.
  • Research words are words people use when they are looking for information. They tend to be generic and non specific (e.g. refrigerators, social media marketing)
  • Buy keywords are words people use when they are “shopping” and ready to spend money. They tend to be specific and can include purchase terms (e.g. cheap Maytag dryer, search engine consultant)

Keyword Research Basics

  • Keyword research starts with your product. What are you selling? What words would people in your target audience use to find it?
  • Strangely enough, your product is not always going to be the exact keyword people use to find info on it.
  • For Instance, many of you are selling home based business opportunities. While that is a popular keyword, other keywords people use include work at home, home business, work online.
  • A great place to get ideas about keywords is your competition. Read the articles on their site. What keywords seem to be popping up frequently?
  • You can also view the page source of their web site to see what keywords they have listed in their meta tags.
  • There are several tools online that will evaluate websites for keyword activity. Examples include SEM Rush, Compete, and Keyword Spy.
  • Typically, you do not want to try and rank for singular or generic keywords (e.g. business, personal development). Not only are they nearly impossible to rank for but the traffic you receive from them is unfocused and doesn’t always convert well.
  • The longer and more specific the keyword, the more targeted the traffic will be.
  • Use tools to see how popular a particular keyword is. Keyword popularity tools include WordTracker, SEO Book Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Tool.
  • Typically, the less popular a keyword is, the easier it will be to rank for it. When you are starting out, shoot for keywords in the low hundreds. (e.g. home based business = 3790 searches per day, online home based business = 155 searches per day and is targeted to people looking for internet opportunities)
  • You want to rank for a variety of keywords associated with your business. However, start with one and its iterations until you get the hang of SEO/SEM.
  • Branding with SEO means you want to be associated with a particular keyword set. When people think of you, they think of the keyword and your business.

Search Engine Optimization Basics

  • The keywords need to show up on your website and often. However, overall keyword density should not exceed 5%. Going over that is considered keyword spamming and search engines will smack down your website.
  • Your keyword should show up in the title tag of your sites and your articles. (e.g. Stacy Kinney – Social Media Trainer, or A List of Work at Home Businesses You Can Do In Your Spare Time)
  • Your keywords should be a category or tag on your blog
  • In your articles, try to get your keyword in the first and last paragraph, then sprinkle it throughout the rest of the content. Vary the keyword with other iterations of it.
  • Use keywords in your image descriptions
  • Use subheadings in your articles with the keywords. Wrap them in header tags (h2, h3, h4). Search engines put more weight on words within header tags.
  • Offsite SEO is just as important as onsite SEO. Specifically, the links pointing to your website need to be abundant and optimized.
  • Search engines consider links to your website to be a vote for your website as the most relevant site about a particular keyword.
  • This is the primary reason why spammers do what they do. They are trying to improve their search engine rankings at your expense.
  • The links pointing to your site should include your keywords in the anchor text. (e.g. <a href=http://www.stacykinney.com>Social Media Marketing</a>)
  • Try to vary the keywords in the anchor text pointing to your site if you can to make your links seem as natural as possible.

Getting Backlinks

  • You can generate links to your site in a number of ways.
  • Post articles to article directories. In the resource box link to your website using keywords as the anchor text.
  • Comment on blogs. Leave your name plus your keyword (e.g. Stacy Kinney – Social Media). Using keywords only will make you look like a spammer.
  • Participate in forums. Place your link in the signature box.
  • Guest post on other people’s blogs. Place your link in your author bio.
  • Write content that people want to link to.
  • Exchange links with other people in your industry.
  • Create a giveaway product that links back to your site. Example, WordPress theme.
  • Get interviewed by other people in your industry.
  • Submit your site to web and blog directories

The Truth About Pagerank

  • Pagerank is the thing that put Google on the map and made it the giant that it is today.
  • Google uses over 200 factors to rank web pages. The number it spits out sits on a scale of 1-10. This scale represents where the site sits on the first page of the Google result pages. So a Pagerank of 10 sits at the #1 position in the results.
  • When Google introduced the concept of the Pagerank, webmasters went nuts. It was supposed to gauge the trustworthiness of a particular site but it quickly become a status symbol. However, the search engine giant continued to promote it.
  • Years later, though, Google is trying to mitigate some of the consequences that have occurred because of Pagerank by downplaying the importance of it.
  • The truth is, it really is not important to your success. As long as you are showing up on the first two pages of the search results for your keywords, you will get the traffic you need to be successful.

Integrating SEO Into Social Media

  • Google and Bing have started integrating social media into their result pages. Google has contracted with Twitter and Bing has a partnership with Facebook.
  • Optimizing your social media profiles for search engines is pretty simple. Just use your keywords whenever you can.
  • Use them in your bio and descriptions of the content you are linking to.
  • Use them in your tweets and/or use keyword hashtags
  • Try to use keywords in the anchor text when linking from Facebook.
  • On LinkedIn, instead of using the default anchor text for your links change to keywords.
  • Make sure you are using keywords in your article titles because they are often the only thing that will show when retweeted or Liked on Facebook.
  • Bing shows Facebook content according to how many Likes it has. Encourage your followers to Like your content. Integrate social media tools on your website to make this easy.

Definitions

  • Backlinks = Links pointing to your website from other sites on the internet.
  • Target Traffic = Traffic that is searching for your category product or service who are more likely to buy or join
  • Anchor Text = The words that sit inside of a hyperlink
  • Web Directories = These are directories that list websites by category. There are general and specialized directories for both blogs and regular websites.
  • Meta Tags = HTML code that is read by search engines which provides additional information about the website. There are several different kinds including a description tag and a key word tag.
  • Title Tag = This is HTML code that tells the search engines what the title of the page is.
  • Header Tags = HTML code that defines what words are the headers on the page.
  • SERPs = Search Engine Results Pages; The pages that display the results of your search query.

Tips and Tools

  • Your search engine marketing campaign should be slow and steady. Doing too much at once will cause the search engines to flag you as spam.
  • Organize yourself. Come up with a content and linking schedule that you can do on a regular basis. (Example: Each week, post 1 article to blog, 2 articles to article directories, comment on 5 blogs)
  • SEO changes constantly. Read blogs of SEO leaders to stay on top of what is happening in the industry. Search Engine Watch, SEO Moz, and Search Engine Journal are good ones.
  • Make sure the theme for your website is SEO compatible. This means that title tags are in the right places and that there are back end tools which will help you with your SEO.
  • Use plugins that assist in SEO such as All In One SEO Pack


Visit the Social Media Video Library for more blogging and social media training. Contact me for a free 1 hour consultation on how to use search engine marketing and other social media tools to your advantage.

5 Warning Signs of a Weak Social Media Strategy

Planning, implementing and executing a successful social media strategy is easier said than done. There are many components that can influence how well your brand performs online. Here are warning signs of a weak social media strategy that you need to be aware of before your efforts turn upside down: Read the rest of this entry »
Social Media Checklist

Get your FREE

“Social Media Daily Checklist”

Best Social Management Tool – Try Free
Build A Targeted Twitter List – Try Free
My Branding System
Product Overview
Step 3 — My Branding System Testimonial
Work With Me

Twitter Remote
Email Notifications

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Translate My Site
Chinese (Simplified)EnglishFrenchGermanGreekItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish