Find your ideal customers on social media with these 3 tips

social media marketingToday we are going to answer Jeff’s question, who writes, “What are three tips for finding the right customers on social media?”

That’s a great question. And if you are wondering that yourself, keep reading for the answer.

Identify your ideal customers:

If you know who your right customers are, you’re two steps ahead of many of your competitors.

The next step is to typify them in an archetype or in a demographic.
So for example, maybe your customers are typically affluent women in their thirties and forties.

Now you have concrete data you can use to research what social networks that particular demographic uses the most.

In this case of our example, that would be Pinterest. Doing a little bit of market research in the beginning will help you create the bare bones of a social media strategy and save you a lot of hassle and time making mistakes through trial and error.

Identify target location:

The second thing to do to find your ideal customers on social media, is narrowing your target down to a geographic area. Again, this provides you with a concrete benchmark, from which you can conduct more market research.

Specifically, there are hashtags that are used for each specific geographic area. Do a little bit of research and find out which are the most popular ones for both your geographic location, as well as the interests of your demographic so you can capitalize on their interests by getting involved in conversations about trending topics and more.

Pay for it:

Another thing you can do to get in front of your ideal networks is advertise.
The social media networks we participate in have amazing data collected on all of us. Thus, they’ve got very specific demographic information available for you to advertise and get in front of an audience that maybe isn’t part of your existing community.

Solicit Reviews:

The last thing that you can do is solicit referrals and recommendations on all your social media properties by having people endorse you. Endorsements not only provide new customers with a level of trust that you’re a reputable business, but this activity also provides exposure to your recommender’s network, who are much more likely to buy from you than a total stranger.

How have you found your ideal customers on social media? Share with me in the comments below.

And, if you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network!

You can also watch this one minute tip as well as others on our Youtube page!

3 Pro Tips for Choosing your Business Domain Name

internet marketing strategyWhatever your business or industry, choosing the right domain name for your online presence can have a big effect on your future success. While the wealth of options available to you mean there might not be one single best choice for your needs, making a bad decision can certainly hinder your efforts; your internet marketing strategy, your lead capturing, and ultimately your sales.

A good domain name should be unmistakeable and represent accurately what your company is all about, and there are certain ways to help ensure your chosen domain achieves these aims.

Once you’ve settled on what you decide to be the best domain for your business, you can even think about which others might work in your internet marketing strategy too.

Read on to find out how all this can be done.

Ease of use

Crafting the perfect internet marketing strategy, only to have it undermined by an awkward domain name, would be almost criminal in the modern business world. If you want people to remember your domain name and ensure it will always be typed in correctly, it has to be as catchy and simple as possible.

This means anything overly long should be avoided, as are aspects that can be commonly mistyped. These include double ‘L’s or ‘T’s, unnecessary points, dashes, underscores, or numerical figures.

Company initials are good for shortening long company names, easy to remember, and are very difficult to misspell. If your company’s initials are already taken, anything else you choose should be short, sweet and to the point.

Pros and .coms

For companies based in the United States, the .com domain is still the most desirable suffix for those wanting to be seen as an authority figure in their industry. Luckily, here in Canada, the .ca domain is just as recognized, and can actually be of benefit to your company image if you’re looking to serve mainly local customers.

Depending on the nature of your business, the recently released batch of new gTLDs (generic top level domains) can also help you to project the right image from the extension on your domain name. Although .gov has long been used by government sites, .edu by educational facilities and .org often used by non-profits, the options now include such evocative terms as .guru, .consulting, .world, and .ninja, extensions that are regularly played with in the world of the modern internet marketing strategy.

Smart use of any of these can result in a more memorable domain name for your business than .com ever could, meaning a little time and research before deciding on yours is highly recommended.

Domain event

If you are planning different campaigns, either as part of your internet marketing strategy or offline marketing, another tip is to create multiple domain names that include different keywords related to your business. These could be your location, your product or service, the benefit your product or service gives to your customers, or a combination of any of the above.

By registering bestpizzaincalgary.com or imhungrynow.ca, you can use them as a split test to see which yields the better results, both as part of your internet marketing strategy and on print material like flyers or distributed menus.

We’re often asked ‘what’s in a name?’ When it comes to domains, with all the options out there and the pitfalls inherent in choosing a bad one, there’s actually quite a lot. Take the time to make sure you get yours right.

To watch one of our one minute tips on this same subject, follow us on Youtube!

Get more sales using internet marketing: 3 steps to creating a simple digital sales funnel

As a small business owner, you have more in common with a fishermen and farmers than you may think. 
 
Image courtesy of Moz.com

Image courtesy of Moz.com

When you’re marketing your business, sometimes you’re harvesting the results of your efforts and and sometimes you’re planting.

And sometimes, you’re fishing for prospects.

In order to make the most of your marketing budget, maximize the return on your investment with a strategic sales funnel.

 
What is a sales funnel?
 
A sales funnel is the process which a consumer goes from casually interested, to actively purchasing. The funnel takes into account the emotional and logical stages the buyer goes through, and nurtures them on to the next phase. 
By creating a well thought out sales funnel, you will increase the yield of your harvest.
 
So, just because someone isn’t ready to buy the first time they see your website, flyer or sign, doesn’t mean that they wont ever be ready to buy.
 
By offering multiple ways to engage with you further, you’re effectively casting 3 nets to  capture prospects and turn them into clients.
 
Cast 3 marketing nets to capture the most fish
 
1. The net with the biggest holes will ask your prospect to contact you to buy- a certain  percentage of people will be in this phase of the buying cycle and will respond. For those who aren’t though, they could be lost to you, unless you offer some alternatives.
 
2. Offer a second option that is less commitment- join our VIP (newsletter) list for “sales, giveaways, contests and other specials”. This type of option will capture prospects that are teetering on the edge; they’re thinking about buying from you but aren’t quite ready.
 
 
3. Thirdly, offer a third net with the smallest holes. This “net” is designed to capture the information of those parties that are just in the beginning stages of the buying cycle, where awareness is key. Catch these smaller fish now and watch them grow into big fish customers. Ask them to like you on Facebook or join you on Twitter to get entered into a contest to win free stuff. 
 
Permission  Marketing:
 
Essentially, you are ensuring you have received permission to further market and build 
 a relationship with even the most timid and unsure prospect. This will dramatically
 increase the odds of this prospect making a purchase in the future.
Then, work to build value and nurture these relationships on your social media platforms.
 
Offer valuable insider tips, how to steps and information that help solve the problem your  customer has. Show examples of your work, testimonials, and profile your staff to build trust and rapport with your audience.
This is a simplified version of creating a sales funnel. But it’s this approach which will measurably increase the efficiency of all your marketing initiatives. 
 
Do you have a sales funnel working in your business? Tell us all about it in the 
 
comments below:

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH: Premiere Custom Homes

premiere-custom-homes2We are very happy to announce the launch of the new Premiere Custom Homes website!

This fresh, contemporary and hip design uses a minimal amount of text, which lets the dazzling images speak for themselves and make a powerful, lasting impression.

Plus, the responsive design means the website design is mobile friendly, and will automatically resize to accommodate each visitor’s device. So whether the website is viewed on a tablet, phone or PC it will always dazzle and look perfect!

Check out the new website at http://www.premierehomesltd.ca/

Also stay tuned this fall for video testimonials from some of Premiere Custom Homes’ satisfied customers!

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

 

A Digital Entrepreneur’s Manifesto

digital-entrepreneur-manifesto

A manifesto is a document that outlines your Intentions, Motives and Views

Being a business owner or entrepreneur, freelancer or contractor is inherently a political act.

You have the autonomy to create an economy from your 24 hour day.  You can make real your vision of the world and expand it outwards through your livelihood.

Be the change you wish to see. The world needs what you’ve got.

Now is the most potent time in history to be an entrepreneur.

Powerful reach formerly attainable only by the elite is now available for dollars or for free. The Internet frees you from the restraints of geography and time zone. Whatever reason you have to do the work you do, whatever change you seek to make, you can do it.

Now. Powerfully.

Harness the power of the internet- hire abroad, promote for free, work in your PJS, go viral, correspond with business royalty, automate tedious processes, sell your products.

 Anytime. Anyplace. Online.

No more do you need to be stifled by how it’s always been; top down, 9-5, cubicles, economic uncertainty. Don’t let that dreamer part of you die. It’s time. It’s here. It’s being done.

Working to live not living to work.

The four hour work week.

Laptops and wifi on the beach in paradise.

Say no to mediocrity in work and in life.

Harness the power of the Internet, show the world what you’ve got

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

 

What is a USP and Why Should You Care?

what-is-USP

 

 

 

 

 

When people ask me “what I do,” I can respond in two ways:

1. I can say “I have an online training program” and watch their eyes glaze over with boredom.

2. I can say “I help entrepreneurs make money using the Internet!” and watch their faces light up with interest and excitement.

Obviously, I choose option #2. And when you identify a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that makes your prospects sit up and take notice, you’ll generate the same positive response.

Creating your USP

The key to creating a Unique Selling Proposition (a.k.a. an Elevator Pitch) is to look at what you offer from your target audience’s point of view, and speaking to their needs. How can you BENEFIT them? How will you make THEIR lives better? What are THEY concerned about? And just as importantly: WHY are you a better choice than the competition?

Here’s an example using a fictitious dog training company. The company could say “we train dogs” and watch their potential customers yawn. Or, they can say “we help young families keep their sanity by turning problem dogs into family animals with my mobile training and exercise program” and make a positive, immediate impact.

See the difference? Your aim is to WOW people with your USP!

Where Your Opportunity Lies

A market that is not being adequately serviced existing businesses is where your opportunity lies.

To carve out a niche for, you can generally compete with other businesses on any two of these elements: Price, Quality, Delivery.

Competing on price is usually a bad idea, as you have to sell huge volumes in order to make a profit – and you’re vulnerable to getting undercut by a competitor who is willing to sell for less. What’s more, your customers won’t have any loyalty towards you, because you’re providing the cheapest price; not the best solution.

If you can find something in the delivery of your product or service that people will really value, and it isn’t being provided by your competitors, then you’ve got it made!

For example, my clients love that we don’t give them homework! We understand that they’re busy. So while our competitors find new ways to make life complicated and tedious, we pride ourselves on making the entire web design and Internet marketing process extremely EASY. Without a doubt, our ability to make our customers’ lives simple and easy is a major reason why they choose us vs. our competitors.

What’s more, although our prices are reasonable, we aren’t the cheapest – and we don’t try to be. Our customers are more than willing to pay for the value that we provide them. And delivering VALUE is what business is really all about! Can you give customers what they really want, at a price that they’re willing to pay?

Differentiation=Value

During your USP development, you need to find out what it is that you do differently – and better – than your competitors.

Remember: this has to be something that addresses a customer concern that goes beyond the obvious (or else your competitors would already be doing it!). If you’ve done any prospect or customer surveys, this information can usually be found in the answer to this question:

Why haven’t you purchased X yet?

A Simple and Powerful Formula for Creating Your USP

You don’t need to be a marketing expert to create your USP. Here’s a simple and powerful formula to get you moving forward:

“I solve TARGET MARKET’S PROBLEM with my UNIQUE SERVICE to deliver a BENEFIT.”

Or alternatively:

“I deliver BENEFIT to TARGET MARKET by SOLVING THEIR PROBLEM with my UNIQUE SERVICE.”

My company helps ____________________ (Target Market A)

Who ___________________________________(Target Market B)

By_______________________________________(Differentiation A)

To _______________________________________(Differentiation B)

OR:

I ______________________________( Differentiation B)

To ______________________________ (Target Market A)

By _______________________________(Target Market B)

With my ___________________________(differentiation A)

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

7 Principles for Social Media Success

7-principles-for-social-mediaIt’s 2013, and do you know where your target market is?

Social media provides vast opportunities for connecting with your target market.

However, the fast pace and info overload can make it challenging to carve out a distinct methodology for success.

It’s hard to cut through the social media noise overload and get down to marketing basics. If you’re looking to do that, here are some very clear principles for using social media tools to engage and grow relationships:

1. Thou shalt obey the 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your posts about your audience, promote    them, educate them, entertain them, poll them etc. When you have done so effectively, they will embrace the shameless self-promotion you’re doing the other 20% of the time.

2. Thou shalt be strategic: Using the info below, or one similar, find out which social media network your target market is present and engaged in.

a. Twitter is used by urban youth
b. Google + is used by college kids and software developers (and smart business owners like you that want to be found online)
c. Facebook is used by everyone – except elitists
d. LinkedIn is like Facebook, but for business. Essential for Business 2 Business companies.
e. Pinterest is where 30 something women spend an obscene amount of time

3. Thou shalt plan thy content.

a. Use a healthy mixture of styles, mediums and sources.
b. Keep in mind your target`s concerns, hobbies, lifestyle
c. Curate a community of like-minded businesses and people to share content from.
d. Share your social media network`s content, status updates etc.
e. Measure your results and tweak accordingly

4. Thou shall be authentic: Let your freak flag fly – Drew Barrymore said it. It’s your wild hair, or love of horses or biting sarcasm. Something about you and your business is distinctive, and believe it or not, is your competitive advantage. What is authentic is audacious and memorable and therefore captures social media market share.

5. Thou shalt encourage dialogue: Ask questions, solicit advice, conduct polls, and offer prizes for best feedback. Cater to the masses and benefit from ad hoc focus groups and market research. Everyone likes being asked as long as they feel heard.

6. Thou shalt reward engagement: Say thank you, offer prizes, feature a fan or follower, feature their business, offer fan or friend only pricing. Make your social media audience feel loved and they will return the favor.

7. Thou shalt be timely: Respond within 24 hours, post semi regularly. Don’t abandon your accounts and return months later. Once a week is minimum, 24 hours is preferable. 3 times a day is optimal. Social media is a 24 hour worldwide conference and every ones is invited. Don’t show up a week late talking about last year’s news.

Follow these 7 principles to engaging with people on social media and you will go far and do great things.

You don’t have to be perfect at it to start, you will learn as you grow. Follow and friend those you admire and watch what they do. And remember, social media is just a platform to connect with people.

As with real life, simply position yourself to be liked and trusted. Be intelligent, good looking and flattering. Help people. Provide value. With a little patience you’ll see your social media efforts will start to pay off.

 

Learn more about Social Media.

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

B&F Auto Electric – Web Development / Search Optimization- A Case Study

Here’s what we did for Mike of B&F Auto Electric. And, what he had to say about it

Objective: To update his outdated website, and ensure a presence on Google- ahead of his competitors.

Recommendations: Redo the website and optimize it for search engines.

Results: Within 30 days after the site launched, and without any additional costs beyond his initial website design, this Calgary client was happy as a clam to appear right on the front page of Google.

 

5 criteria of a successful seo provider

calgary skylineSEO is the techie acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and SEO Packages are a service that helps optimize your presence on the web in order to display on or near page one of the search engines for particular search terms.

You may have been approached by the big yellow book company preaching the merits of SEO packages, with prices ranging from $300-$3000 a month, but SEO in Calgary doesn’t have to be that expensive.

It’s common knowledge that a page one presence on the search engines is a great way to ensure a steady flow of leads to your website. So obtaining a reliable provider of your SEO packages is recommended, however it may be baffling that there is such a huge variant for SEO packages in Calgary. It can be confusing especially when you don’t understand what is being offered.

With SEO packages, whether you’re in Calgary or around the globe, it’s important to know what is being included and excluded from the package you’re looking at:

Here are 5 elements to consider when you’re shopping for a Calgary SEO provider:

1. Keywords.

a. Amount of keywords targeted aren’t as important as the quality of the keywords targeted. If no one is searching for the key terms your targeting, being on page one will not net you any new business.

b. Should the keywords be popular enough to have a lot of searches, ensure they are words that pertain to the segment of your business you want to grow. Getting traffic for fireplace repair when you sell new fireplaces, for example, doesn’t help your bottom line.

2. Time.

a. How long are they telling you it will take to get page one placement? Some places offer 24 hour turnaround and some offer results in 6 months.

3. Services:

a. Keyword Analysis and Recommendations
b. Site Analysis and Optimization Recommendations (even better if site optimization is included)
c. Google + Local – claim and optimize the page
d. Sync Google + Local with your site
e. Google Adwords Account creation, ad creation and monitoring
f. Reporting
g. Backlink creation – number doesn’t matter more than quality
h. Directory submissions – number doesn’t matter more than quality
i. Blog post creation, optimization
j. Article submissions
k. Tailored Strategy
l. Adaptable to new techniques/technologies

4. Adaptability:

A big downside to many companies that offer SEO packages in Calgary is that they are cookie cutter offerings that don’t factor in the ever-changing state of the web.

For example, there once was a time where you could get on page one of Google without paying a dime, within 24 hours simply by creating a keyword heavy Facebook or Twitter account name.

Now that isn’t the case any longer, but wouldn’t it be nice if your Calgary-based SEO company knew about ALL the factors that play into how your site is ranked, so you can be nimble enough to capitalize on these types of discoveries?

5. Placement:

Are you getting any kind of guarantee of where your website will rank on the search engines. This is one of the most important factors to shopping for an SEO Package in Calgary or elsewhere. Anyone can claim your Google + local page and charge you $300 a month for doing nothing, but will it be optimized enough to show up first in the search results?

 

Want to learn more? Book a complimentary 20 minute consultation with an experienced internet marketing consultant.

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

 

3 Solutions for Adapting to Mobile Web Design

mobile web site design calgaryThese days when you’re looking to improve or overhaul your web design, factoring in how it will look to handheld device users may be a factor to consider.

Mobile devices include smart phones and all manner of tablets.

Mobile device usage on your website

According to w3 schools, mobile device usage still accounts for less than 2% of overall web traffic, however in North America and Web Savvy cities like Calgary, these numbers tend to be much higher.

Check out your Google analytics or web traffic statistics to determine what percentage of your audience is on a handheld device when they land on your site. More importantly though, how are they behaving once they get to your website? Do you have a high bounce rate from handheld device users? Are their page views dramatically less than those on laptop or desktop devices?

If your handheld device audience is clearly turned off by your existing website design, and they’re a large percentage of your website visitors, you may want to consider a mobile web design.

That being said, you have 3 different options, with three different prices to address the needs of mobile device users on your website.

Here are 3 different options of mobile web design:

A mobile friendly website: This essentially means your website isn’t offensive or broken to the user. It ensuring your website is scalable and simply displays as a smaller version of itself on devices such as android, iphone, ipad etc.

Addition of a mobile plugin: A great and cost effective option for WordPress websites is a plugin that, when configured correctly, can display a mobile specific version of the website to your visitors. Essentially appearing as a large menu to start, this provides a quick an easy way for your visitors to get to where they want to go on your website. A mobile web design plugin can be installed in a medium sized WordPress website in roughly 10 hours. So, the cost will vary depending on your web designers rates.

Creation of a specifically mobile web design: For businesses with a large stake in the market of mobile users. An option where we create a whole new web design that is geared specifically to the needs of the user. All non-essential content and navigation is stripped down, providing only the required navigation and content that a user will need.

About as expensive as a standard web design, a specifically mobile web design takes into consideration the reduced screen size, and hurried nature of today’s users.

Often, screens will be basically empty except for a link to call, get directions with Google maps or place their order online/sign up.

The mobile web design user experience

Converting casual browsers to sales is typically easier for the retail business and handheld device user, as often the user is en route to purchase the product or service and needs simply to identify what location is the closest and most appropriate for fulfilling the user’s needs.

In this case, often all that is needed is a large phone number or map.

By considering the visitor usage, the 3 different options and the user experience, you can determine the best mobile web design solution for your unique business.

Learn more about web design services.

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.