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Archive for March, 2009

As more businesses turn to social media marketing to grow their brands and increase sales, they’re quickly learning that real results require a significant investment of time. As a rule, those who commit the most time are the most likely to be successful.

According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report published by Michael Stelzner, data shows that time invested in social media increases with experience. It has been found that new participants of social media spend about 2 hours a week, those that that have been involved for a few months 10 hours a week, and those that have been at it a long time 20 or more hours a week.

The data implies that after gaining experience with social media marketing, it was found to be effective and worth the investment of additional time. It also implies that new entrants into social media underestimated the amount of time required to develop and maintain a successful social media presence when they first started out.

According to the Social Media Marketing Report, experience with social media marketing leads to greater time allocated for development and participation. The report’s findings are as follows:

  • 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week
  • 39% for 10 or more hours weekly
  • 9.6% spend more than 20 hours each week with social media

Couple the above figures with the fact that 72% of Stelzner’s 900 respondents had only been using social media for a few months or less, which reinforces that more experience with the medium leads to greater time allocated.

Hopefully these findings will help businesses to better understand social media as a cost-effective marketing tool, and of the investment of time required to make it a success.

More information on the Social Media Marketing Industry Report
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The idea of using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing to generate large volumes of new sales overnight sounds easy in theory. Yes, some marketers do achieve almost instant success using PPC marketing programs such as Google AdWords or Yahoo! Search Marketing. However, most find that they lose money quicker than they make it due to flaws in their PPC marketing strategies.

Effective PPC marketing takes a lot of time, research and refining to optimize for maximum sales and profits. Although, we can’t cover every detail to achieve PPC marketing success in a single blog post – by keeping the following common PPC marketing mistakes in mind, you will at least avoid the major pitfalls.

  1. Choosing the Wrong Keywords – The wrong keywords will deliver too much traffic that doesn’t convert into sales, or too few visitors to make any significant impact. This being the case, it is a must to conduct in-depth keyword research to find the most targeted and popular keywords people are actually using to search for your product or service. Continuous monitoring and refinement of you keyword selections must also be conducted. A lot of people simply set up their keywords and forget about it, until they realize how expensive this course of action is. Make sure you do your keyword homework and monitor the results for each and every PPC ad campaign you set up.
  2. Writing Ads that Attract Non-Buyers – It isn’t uncommon to see PPC ads that are very broad and generic, so this may make you think the words you use for your ads aren’t that critical. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure your ads are totally clear as to what you’re really offering. Otherwise, the majority of your PPC budget will quickly be blown on wasted clicks from people that aren’t seriously looking for what you’re offering. Make sure your PPC ads are descriptive and compelling so potential customers understand what you’re offering (and what’s in it for them) before they click on your ad.
  3. Landing Pages that Don’t Sell – Some businesses link their PPC ads to their home page in the hopes that the ad clicker will be enticed by everything offered on the site and buy tons of stuff. Wrong… When people click on your PPC ad they expect to be taken directly to what you’re offering, otherwise they will be frustrated and in most case immediately leave your site. Remember, PPC stands for pay-per-click. This means you can lose a lot of money very quickly if your landing pages aren’t converting clickers to buyers at a high rate. Now look at your landing pages. Are they clearly designed to sell? Do they have a clear call to action? If not, start reworking your landing pages immediately.

Keep in mind that successful PPC marketing campaigns will always require careful consideration of the above basics. If you’re new to PPC marketing, you should take some time to learn applying the basics before laying all of your money on the table. Experienced PPC marketers should also step back and take an objective look at their PPC marketing efforts to ensure that they’re truly optimizing for these ingredients.

There’s no question that PPC advertising offers a lot of potential for serious profits. However, it also offers one of the quickest ways to lose money known to mankind. Again, take your time to think it through and make sure you’re always covering these basics.

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So why would anyone want to take the time to participate in social bookmarking? If you’re not sure of the answer – reread the title of this blog post. Social bookmarking sites can introduce your online content to others seeking what you have to offer, increase your site traffic, and provide valuable backlinks to help increase your rankings in the search engines.

Social bookmarking sites help search engines to better understand how a site is perceived by others through the use of user generated tags and other classification systems. Also, social bookmarks can help both users and search engines find your online content as soon as it’s published.

Search engines regularly monitor social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Mixx, to help them with their job in numerous ways such as:

  • Faster Indexing of Fresh Content: Users of social bookmarking often bookmark web pages long before a search engine can find it on their own, which helps search engines to find and index fresh content quicker.
  • Deeper Indexing: Many web pages bookmarked via social bookmarks are pages deeper within sites that search engines may not be able to access as easily.
  • External Meta Data: Users who social bookmark web pages usually tag their bookmarks with keywords and descriptions, which help the search engines to better understand and rank content in the same way your own on-site Meta tags work.
  • Categorization: Like user tagging, social bookmarking categorization can better define the subject of a web page to help search engines categorize and rank content in their search results.
  • Measuring Content Quality: Ultimately, the more users that social bookmark a web page, the more quality and relevance the content is perceived to have. A web page that has been social bookmarked across multiple social bookmarking services by multiple users is considered to be more of an authority than a web page that only has a few bookmarks by the same user.
  • Number of Votes: Most social bookmarking sites have a form of voting for users to rate content. The more unique user votes a web page receives on StumbleUpon or Digg for example, the more useful the content is perceived to be by both users and search engines.

Here is a list of social bookmarking services that we recommend using to bookmark your own online content:

Not only should you social bookmark your own content – you should encourage others to do the same. For example, if you think this post is of benefit and worth sharing with others, please use the social bookmarking button below. We would definitely appreciate it.

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EPORIA is offering a 1-day personalized and in-depth organic SEO training class in Redmond, WA (just 14 miles east of Seattle).

Learn how to maximize your SEO opportunities and take your company’s website to the next level. Whether you’re a business owner or marketing manager looking to grow your online channel, this class will provide you with SEO skills you can immediately implement to gain maximum exposure.

Class will be held on Friday June 26, 2009

To learn more about this class and how it can benefit your website and business, please call us toll-free at 877-276-2402.

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