Tag Archives: online marketing

3 Campaigns Your E-Commerce Account Should Have for Christmas

Search is continually growing as an important revenue source for e-commerce businesses. But it can be a difficult area to manage, especially if your business has thousands of SKUs, fast-changing stock, and ever-changing prices and promotions. Bidding by keyword in standard search campaigns will always give us the most control. However, it is easy for these campaigns to become out of date with what is on site, and can be time-consuming to build if the product is not going to be around for long.

On top of regular search, we have the use of two campaign types based on website and feed content that function in a very dynamic way: shopping and dynamic search ads. The automated element of these campaign types utilizes time efficiently and allows you to use your marketing budget effectively.

1. Shopping Campaigns

Every e-commerce client should have one because they are fantastic. The compulsory migration from Product Listing Ads (PLAs) recently to the new interface has shaken this environment up a little. Some functionality has been lost, but there are lots of new features, so if you haven’t already done so then now is the time to be perfecting your structure and optimizations before the Christmas rush.

Shopping campaigns are great at allowing us to organize our inventory and push key lines. Use the product group layering to gather similar products together so you can bid based on performance. Make the most of the campaign priorities to push your most important inventory. If your search queries are very brand-heavy, there is also now the potential to create a brand term campaign as well as a generic term campaign so you can optimize on these searches separately. The previous product meant we had to work with a combined CPA, so this is a great step forward for advertisers.


2. Dynamic Search Ads

If you have a fast turnover, dynamic search ads are great at covering all of the inventory on your site. These have been around for a while now so I won’t go into too much detail. Managing a keywordless campaign can be a little daunting, as it feels like you’re losing the control. However, as long as you exclude the page URLs of irrelevant content and are regularly making use of the search query report, it is a great way to cover all of your inventory. These campaigns offer a really relevant journey for consumers by matching Web pages to relevant search queries and creating a tailored advert. If you only have a product live for a short period, this is a much more efficient way of advertising on these areas, rather than building out lists of product specific keywords. You still set two description lines, so the ads are in line with both the season and the promotional messaging used throughout your other marketing activities.


3. Dynamic Search Ads With Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

If you are trying to find extra cover in your account with strong results, this is the place to start: it provides all the benefits of remarketing for search combined with all the benefits of dynamic search ads.

It is not immediately obvious how to set these up in the interface, as setting up a DSA campaign does not allow you to add audiences. Creating a search campaign using the campaign type “all features” and adding dynamic targets and audiences to this will give you the desired effect.

As with all RLSA campaigns, you can tailor really specific audiences that you know have previously engaged well with your brand. Breaking your audiences up will allow for a stronger bidding strategy: add higher bid adjustments for users who go deeper into the site and who go on to purchase, and less for users who got to the homepage and left again.


Any search term that matches to your site will show this user a relevant ad. This is a great way of increasing reach on your accounts. It’s also likely to drive lots of insight into which products on your site are working, which can be used as a tool to inform your main search strategy.

In four months, Christmas will be over. If you’re running a site with constant change shopping campaigns, a combination of dynamic search ads and RLSA are really powerful in covering your whole inventory. The automatic aspect of them gives you a really effective way to use your marketing budget in search throughout the Christmas season, making your campaigns as flexible and as fast-moving as your business.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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Virtual Marketing Empire


10 Tips for Aspiring Digital Marketers


Digital marketing budgets are expected to increase steadily during the next few years, according to Datran Media’s Annual Marketing & Media Survey, which reaches out to more than 5,000 marketing executives from Fortune 500 brands, top publishers, and leading advertising and media agencies.

This is good news for those of you hoping to break into the digital marketing industry. Whether you’re passionate about search, affiliate, social media, or another area of marketing, there are a few things you can do to prove your worthiness to prospective employers.

We asked five industry insiders about their top tips for aspiring digital marketers. Find their suggestions below and add your own in the comments.

1. Get Hands-On Marketing Experience

A degree in marketing or communications can take you a distance, but most employers are looking for candidates with marketing experience, whether that’s from a previous job, internship or side project. If you already have work experience in the marketing world, congratulations. For the rest of you, internships or other projects will be key.

“Any hands-on involvement with campaign creation, analytics, or optimization can be extremely beneficial to aspiring digital marketers,” says Traci Kuiphoff, online marketing manager at BareNecessities.com. “If you’re in school or a recent grad, the best way to gain experience is to do an internship at a company or agency that has a department or focus in online or digital marketing. Not only do you get real world hands-on experience, but it’s also great to put on your resume when you’re ready for a full-time position.”

If you are in college, look for paid or for-school-credit marketing internships at your college’s job fairs, via job search sites, and on social media sites. You could even land your next gig through Twitter.

If you don’t land an internship or find a position of interest, create your own project or enter a marketing contest. While studying marketing and international business at NYU Stern’s Undergraduate School of Business, a classmate and I entered the John Caples Student Campaign of the Year contest and created a digital marketing campaign for Pentel. Our campaign included a mix of digital, social and direct marketing communications, along with thoroughly gathered success metrics. Not only did we win first place, which included summer internships and a cash prize, but we also met industry experts who have acted as mentors to us.

2. Know the Lingo

Being able to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what worked or didn’t is the key role of a digital marketer — in order to do that, you’ll need to know (and love) the industry jargon.

“Understanding metrics on the web is key,” says Naishi Zhang, assistant marketing manager at Barnes & Noble. “The Internet provides so many ways of analyzing user behavior, and knowing how to gather and interpret data is important for success. Read widely and learn the lingo, so when someone asks about the CTR of a banner ad or the number of page views a landing page received, you’ll be ready.”

Mastering marketing terminology and metrics, and knowing what they mean, will take time and practice, but you can get a basic knowledge by picking up a marketing 101 textbook or attending an introductory course. Check out local college or continuing education courses. If that isn’t an option, the Internet is at your disposal. About.com’s glossary of marketing terms and HubSpot’s glossary of social media marketing terms are both very useful for beginners, and you should also read some of the top marketing blogs to get your daily fill of information.

3. Nurture Your Personal Online Presence

Rick Bakas, director of social media marketing at St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery said he believes a person’s online presence can be a major deciding factor on whether an aspiring digital marketer makes the cut for a job. “If an employer is deciding between two candidates,” he notes, “they might go with the person with the strong following online. Build your personal brand online. You have to show you can build your personal brand if you’re going to build someone else’s.”

Your personal brand is value-added in the job market.

“Your online clout is sometimes referred to as ‘social currency,'” he continues. “In other words, there’s a value associated with your online personal brand. Increased value carries as much weight as a great resume. A high Klout.com score for example, will help you stand out and validate what your resume says about you.”

Your Klout score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the size of your engaged audience, the likelihood that they will amplify your messages, and your overall influence within your network. Bigger isn’t always better. Bakas explains, “Aspiring marketers would do well to grow an engaged online following, not necessarily a large online following. Again, Klout.com is a great tool to evaluate the strength of your online presence.”

4. Dabble in Everything, Specialize in Something

There isn’t just one career path in marketing. You can choose to work for an agency, with an in-house team, or start your own firm. There are multiple marketing disciplines, including affiliate, search, social media, e-mail, mobile, and display marketing, to name a few. Teams come in all sizes — some in which teammates specialize in certain areas, and others where a team can be composed of just one stellar know-it-all.

The best way to get a taste of all of the options is to dabble in a bit of everything. “Digital marketing agency experience can be extremely valuable — at an agency you can be exposed to all avenues of digital marketing from paid search, social media, mobile and everything in between,” Kuiphoff advises. “Most likely, you’ll touch a number of different accounts which can help you choose a vertical focus or specialty.”

Once you have a base knowledge in each area of marketing, you’ll be better equipped to choose a more specific path of focus. Having a specialty enables you to hone your skills in that area and become an expert, which is a valuable asset to potential employees.

5. Attend Industry Meetups and Conferences

“Put the ‘social’ in social media and spend time engaging with people in the real world,” Bakas says. “Go to lots of events to create or nurture quality interactions that can later continue online. Use plancast.com to see which upcoming events are worth going to. These experiences are ripe with opportunities to meet other digital marketers. The strongest relationships are the ones nurtured online and offline.”

Kuiphoff adds, “Digital marketing conferences not only provide a great networking opportunity, but most offer in-depth workshops that can enhance your skill set.”

Some worthwhile conferences to consider include SXSW, Search Marketing Expo, Web 2.0 Expo, Ad Age Digital Conference, ad:tech, Search Engine Strategies and Pivot.

If you’re not into the hustle and bustle of industry conferences, you can consider a more toned-down approach by attending or organizing your own Meetups. There are thousands of marketing Meetups around the world. The NY Entrepreneurs Business Network and San Francisco Entrepreneur Meetup are two of the largest.

6. Keep a Pulse on the News

Because of the nature of the Internet, digital marketing is ever-changing. If you don’t keep up with the latest trends and news, it shows in interviews and on the job. Sarah Hofstetter, SVP of emerging media and client strategy at digital marketing agency 360i, says it well:

“Remember that standing still is going backwards. Yes, it’s an adage that has been used for years to inspire ambition, but it is blatantly obvious in the digital landscape. Not only does that technology evolve at a lightening pace that transcends Moore’s law, but consumer behavior is shifting at a radical pace, and media consumption becomes more and more fragmented.

“Being on top of consumer behavior –- understanding what they’re doing online, what motivates them and their social and mobile behavior –- and staying ahead of that by learning what’s in the market and what’s on the come, will help ensure you don’t get stuck on the sidelines when interviewing for jobs in digital marketing.”

Kuiphoff recommends subscribing to industry blogs and newsletters to stay on top of the latest news. Some of my personal favorites include Ad Age, ClickZ, eMarketer, BrandWeek and AdWeek.

7. Get Technical

You won’t be coding programs or building full websites as a digital marketer, but you will need to work with developers and designers or other web specialists to communicate your marketing design needs. A basic knowledge of how the web works, HTML, and one or two programming languages, such as PHP, JavaScript, CSS and Ruby, will help you understand the current boundaries and opportunities that will affect your marketing campaigns.

“It’s important for anyone working in the digital world, whether it’s marketing or designing features for a product, to have a basic understanding of coding,” suggests Dharmishta Rood, a research assistant at Harvard Business School and fellow at the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT. “There are great experiential benefits from understanding the underlying technologies that shape what we do online — it’s easier to understand how users can interact with content, what is possible for design with things like CSS and JavaScript, and understand the nuances of basic technical terminology.”

8. Perfect Your Resume

Everyone needs a resume; what you do with it is up to you. To help you stand out, here are a few tips from our digital marketing experts:

  • “Demonstrate that you can produce results and work in a fast-paced environment, whether you’ve had previous digital experience or not. Don’t be afraid to include things about yourself that may not be directly related to the job. Resumes get scanned quickly, so it always helps to inject something creative and clever.” — Naishi Zhang, assistant marketing manager, Barnes & Noble
  • “One way you can make your resume stand out is to get certified. Google has a certification program for Adwords. If you have a paid search marketing focus this can help assure a client/employer that you’re proficient in the system.” — Traci Kuiphoff, online marketing manager, BareNecessities.com
  • “I’m a big believer in making sure your resume is on LinkedIn, and to have recommendations on LinkedIn. Start asking for recommendations soon. LinkedIn is like your digital resume. Make sure the facts match up. Also, Google your name to see what comes up — your prospective employers will.” — Rick Bakas, director of social media marketing, St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery
  • “Use keywords to describe your previous experience that make sense for the specific job you’re applying for — if the job description or department does ‘social media outreach’ and your description of all those Twitter @replies, Facebook messages and moderated blog post comments is currently called ‘customer service,’ this does not play up your strengths as a digital marketer. Use common sense though. If their keywords don’t match your experience, don’t write anything untruthful, and consider doing things to get the types of experience for the jobs you want, such as volunteering to help with the social media of a non-profit whose cause you support.” — Dharmishta Rood, research assistant, Harvard Business School

To showcase your skills alongside multimedia and other online assets, check out some digital alternatives to the paper resume, including video resumes, VisualCVs, social resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

9. Let Curiosity and Passion Drive You

“Sure, it’s great to know about Facebook, iAds and whatever is coming next from Silicon Valley,” Hofstetter points out, “but when we’re looking for key talent at 360i, nothing matters to us more than intellectual curiosity and passion…In a business where answers and solutions aren’t always obvious, you need to be innately curious (about everything) and obsessed with the ‘why’ behind the ‘what.’ ”

It may sound cheesy at first, but she has a point. Without inquisitiveness and zeal, we’re just work drones on a mission to take over the Internet. Plus, these traits have a positive effect on the way we work, Hofstetter says:

“People who have these qualities can innovate and identify trends from seemingly ordinary data — they’re the first to try new things (platforms, tools, technology) and think about how marketers can benefit from them. They don’t always have the answers, but when you’re being asked to do never-been-done-before things, there isn’t a rulebook. That’s why when we’re recruiting, we look for people who know how to ask the right questions.

10. Unplug for Your Sanity

Staring at a computer screen all day long can take a toll on your body, mind and social life. Get away from that monitor and breathe for crying out loud!

Bakas advocates getting out every once in a while to work on who you are as a person outside of work. “Because transparency is important, it’s important to be a good person in the real world,” he says. “It’ll translate into the digital world — you can’t fake being a good person if you’re a jerk in real life. Unplug for your own sanity, but also to continue growing as a person in life.”

I second that. Now, get out of here and get a job.

Digital Marketing Job Listings

Every week we put out a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we post a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the best digital marketing jobs from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

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As we know consumers are experiencing many benefits from shopping online, businesses can also enjoy benefits from trading through the internet. Some of these benefits will be briefly discussed in this article.

Data Collection

Everytime a customer transacts with the company online, that transaction is captured. The firm can use this data in a number of ways. Firstly information can be analysed to find out most popular products/services sold. Secondly the data can be used to assist in segmenting their customers, profiling them and sending customers promotional material based on past buying habits.

There has been much controversy over the amount of information that is being collected online by various companies in particular social networking sites and whether customers should be able to opt out of that information being shared to third party users.

Personalisation of The Web Experience

When customers log into their accounts businesses can make their web experience almost unique. From offering special offers to that particular customer, offering add on to their recent purchase, much like Amazon.com does, or by allowing the customer to personalise their own products, like Nike does with their trainers . Personalisation allows the firm to form stronger bonds online with customers and form long term online relationships ensuring customers come back regularly.

Competitor Analysis

The internet allows businesses to analyse their competitor’s online strategy. A firm can keep abreast of new products that are released, react to price changes, or use the internet to discover secondary data on their competitors. The internet allows a firm to react quickly to a change in their competitors strategy, and try to provide a service that allows them to match or beat their competitors.

Cost Reduction

One of the major benefits of setting up or moving a business online is the cost advantages of doing so. A firm can save a number of costs. These include:

  1. Staffing costs: Fewer staff are needed online then in the high street thus reducing costs.
  2. Premises: The company will not need retail outlet just a centralised office and possibly warehouse space, saving on potential retail costs.
  3. Disintermediation: The channel of distribution is shorter online as the consumer has the opportunity to buy directly like with Dell. As one of the intermediaries is cut out this process is known as disintermediation.
  4. Financial management: As consumers pay for the product before it is dispatched, this improves the cash flow for the company, making sure for the firm that they can pay their suppliers and other costs on time.

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Monster Myth: Marketing To Women Alienates Men

By Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa

biz woman


It’s something every bouncer knows. Get women in the door, and men will follow—in droves. That’s because every smart marketer knows attracting both male and female consumers is a must. The general population agrees, too. According to the New York Times bestseller, The Athena Doctrine, millennials have a fundamentally stronger view of femininity and the role of women in society. Yet, successfully engaging both women and men is an art. How can marketers craft brand experiences that attract women, while still keeping men interested?

Traditionally brands have used a cookie-cutter, “shrink-it-and-pink-it” approach to design for women. This razor that men love? Let’s remove a blade, and make it fuchsia. That fancy computer? Women don’t care about speed, but they obviously want to match their laptop to their nail color. This approach is everywhere, but it hasn’t worked since Dodge tried it in 1955 with their La Femme car for ladies.  Over 50 years later similar tactics persist —messing with women’s minds and putting them on the defensive. The result is wasted marketing dollars and a female audience who is no longer listening.

Tone-Deaf Brands Equal A Tuned Out Audience

Marketers have entire research departments at their disposal but they are still going round in circles. So what’s stalling change?  This monster myth: marketing to women will alienate men. This misconception is entrenched in the modern marketing world but is especially strong in ads for liquor and cars. Slick, dark shots open on a woman gazing seductively at the camera while Jason Bourne-esque music swells.

For a marketer, this approach appears to be giving them more “bang for their buck” by talking to both male and female audiences.  But by diluting the message and possibly insulting women, they’re left with nothing. However, breaking the mold is scary and gender stereotypes and assumptions are everywhere.

Just look at your standard slate of ads during any NFL game. As male Editor and journalist Dana Jenning lamented: “For me, most ads on NFL games resemble funhouse mirrors. The marketers think they know the men who are watching — and it is still mostly men — and what their deep-down desires are: tank-like trucks, Arctic-cold beer, smoldering chicks (and the occasional pizza). But I just don’t see myself when I peer at these commercials.”

Yogurt is the opposite. In this industry, marketers have created artificial gender differences where they don’t exist. In a market that is known for stereotypically terrible “women’s ads,” there’s now a counter: men have their very own Powerful Yogurt that specifically targets their abs.

But there’s hope. In an effort to reinvent their image and sell their body wash, Old Spice uncovered critical research. After years of going after men, they found men weren’t the ones buying the body wash—wives and girlfriends were. So when the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign launched, it didn’t just connect with the true chief decision maker (women), it sold a lot of body wash.

Gender-tuned Marketing: 5 Ways to Reach Your Female Audience

With the exception of a few, many conventional marketing methods aren’t connecting, so what can you do? Here are five ways to successfully reach your female audience without alienating men

1. Enchant. As a 21st century marketer, the job is no longer to simply sell, but to “transfer emotion.” The question is no longer just, “Did your target buy?” but “How does your brand make your customer feel?”

This is where brand enchantment shines. In an age where we can instantly access any fact, and have almost anything delivered in 24 hours (thank you, Amazon), perfunctory services and messages don’t impress anyone. Limited attention spans and multi-screen lives have made thoughtfulness one of the scarcest and most attractive messages in a brand’s arsenal. Take Michelin-starred restaurants where you never notice your water glass drop below half-full, or a dry cleaner who remembers how you like your shirts pressed, every time. This detailed attention and care is what customers remember, and what elevates something that is okay into something worth talking about.

The recent story of Joshie the Giraffe is an excellent example. When the Hurn family left their son’s beloved stuffed giraffe at a Ritz Carlton resort, the simple act of returning and express shipping the giraffe home would have been enough. But the Ritz Carlton sent along a binder of pictures with Joshie driving golf carts, getting a massage and more. This story has created immense brand affinity for all who hear about Joshie’s adventure.

2. Help her do less. With all the demands on a woman’s time and attention, it’s no surprise that the female-focused blogs on The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are named Motherlode and The Juggle, respectively. Women are busy, and so are men. They’re reachable 24/7 and constantly distracted. It’s the brands that provide customers with a serene moment, or an “it’s-so-easy-it’s-magic” experience that get a hooked, loyal audience. A great example of this is Uber. They make it as easy as three taps on your phone to arrange for a driver to pick you up and whisk you away.

3. Give her more. More options, more time, more respect, and more value. With both genders under a time crunch, it’s important to make sure “more” is tempered with value and—for women especially—aesthetic and function.

Apple is a fantastic example where giving more has paid off big. Think back to new tech presentations before Apple. They were endless lists of specs and maybe a picture or two. Now compare to latest Apple presentation. It was brilliant storytelling at its best with beautiful visuals, clear use cases and engaging examples—captivating the audience from beginning to end. And of course, Steve Jobs’ signature line, “Oh, and just one more thing…”

Steve Jobs proves the key to giving customers more is with elegant solutions that give customers more through considered design. While Apple is asking for more of a consumer’s time, they’re willing to give it because of the thoughtfulness behind the stories and design and their consistent delivery of value and function.

4. Assume nothing. “Women suck at science.” “All women in their 20s are the same as the ones on GIRLS.” “Ladies your age just want to get married.” These statements are awkward to even read, yet broad generalizations inform the majority of brand messages we see. You’ve seen these ads, and you’ll recognize them by the tropes they feature. Exhibit A: The stressed mom in the kitchen (every cleaning and breakfast product, ever). Exhibit B: The sassy, know-it-all (Wendy’s, Samsung). The fact that you can name and identify these stock characters shows how meaningless— and easy to ignore—they’ve become.

However, brands that go beyond these stereotypes to change these tired approaches can have a powerful impact. The recent campaign for Goldieblox took a fresh angle. With engineering toys geared towards girls, their insightful message that girls are interested in more than pink princesses shot the brand to the forefront of America’s consciousness (and our Google searches).

5. Cultivate conversation.It’s a simple fact: if a woman likes your product, everyone will hear about it. So give her multiple ways to talk to you—and about you—within her circle of influence.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind: if she doesn’t like your product her friends and family will hear about it, too.

It’s exactly because women are high-touch communicators that brands must take their customer service seriously. Unfortunately, customer service for most major companies today is so abysmal that those who have Twitter accounts dedicated to addressing gripes are lauded (see @ComcastCares). This generally poor level of service for consumers creates a huge opportunity for brands. Those that can get it right are instantly rewarded.

Take Diapers.com. Founded by two New Jersey dads, the site has won from day one with unparalleled customer service. Emails are answered in 20 minutes, 24/7. Items ship for free, with next-day delivery. This level of service has made customers incredibly loyal to the baby gear website—and even gets them geeking out about the robots that power their diaper delivery.

Embracing the Female Economy: Meeting Women’s Higher Expectations

It’s clear that there are gender differences to consider, but the old ways of marketing aren’t working. Marketing for today’s female consumer requires a more thoughtful, evolutionary approach. By moving past stereotypes, marketers can focus on the deeper aspects of what appeals to women: delight, reverence, value, service and communication. Brands that successfully deliver on even one of these attributes won’t dilute the appeal of a product to men; but will allow brands to meaningfully connect to all.

When it comes to concerns on alienation, it’s hard to argue with the logic of Trendsight’s Marti Barletta, “When you meet the higher expectations of women, you are more than fulfilling the demands of men.”  It’s time to start meeting those expectations and claim that piece of the nearly $20 trillion female economy.

Ayesha Mathews Wadhwa is Founder & Creative Director, PIXINK. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Ayesha has more than 15 years experience crafting strategy and creative direction for global companies including Apple, Facebook, Sephora, Amazon Lab126, and Picaboo. @ayeshamathews


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Make it a great day!

Adele & Christina

Virtual Marketing Empire

Cloud Computing and Niche Marketing Impacts Local Market Potential for Local Business 2011

Cloud Computing and Niche Marketing 

Niche marketing

Internet Marketing is the key to success for any business large or small to generate traffic to their website and ultimately convert site visitors into paying customers. This article focuses on one of the key components called niche marketing that small, medium and even some large businesses need to consider when developing their website and/or online marketing campaigns. The methods presented in this series are based on strategies developed for real clients that delivered profitable results although the real names of the clients have been withheld to protect their identities from competitors. By applying what you learn from this article and the others in this series you will be able to develop successful niche and other Internet Marketing campaigns using Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Blogs, Article Publishing sites and others

Website and Home Page Content- 

When we talk about websites, the first thing to consider is that there is no one way to design a website that works. To further my example, Google’s website has about as simplistic a home page as you will find on the Internet and yet, it is the top ranked website in the World. Therefore, the belief that your website home page needs to look like a catalog with every from soup to nuts listed on that first page to drive traffic is not true. On the other hand, the home page on Yahoo, the number 4 ranked website (according to Alexa) has about as much information as any business should ever want to present on one page. Therefore, the answer to what your website’s home page should like look is somewhere between Google and Yahoo. Additionally, as you think about your website you need to account for the new 4G phones, smart phones and other high-speed mobile devices that are now being introduced across America. These mobile devices will help increase the number of daily searches due to inexpensive Internet access through near broadband quality speed that will also drive e-Commerce solutions for small businesses as well since consumers will be connect virtually 24/7 like they are with cell phones now.

Generating Traffic 

By now, nearly everyone in business has been contacted by one or more firms professing to have the answer as to the type of website design that will work best on the Internet. The only problem is that most of the Companies calling you don’t have a successful website themselves, so how do they know what will work for your business? Furthermore, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms typically only provide some of the services that you will need to be successful on the Internet. Unfortunately, modifying your website and organizing and/or incorporating a few keywords on your site will not likely result in generating lots of traffic for your website and/or becoming profitable. If traffic alone were the key to success then why not just hire some high school kid to stand at a busy intersection during commute times with a sign that says CALL MY BUSINESS NOW.COM.? While that will have some value, it certainly won’t generate enough traffic to keep you in business long term. Therefore, you need much more than just traffic. You will need the right kind of traffic and you also need that traffic to turn into paying customers.

Niche Marketing 

This is the one topic that will likely make or break your small business whether you have a marketing campaign on the Internet and/or promote your business offline. Many small business owners know what they have to sell and even have some idea of who will buy from them. However, very few business owners know which products or services have the most profit potential and/or how to develop them and this is why most small businesses eventually fail within 5 years. This article would be of little use to you if we did not use some real examples. Therefore, as part of this series, we will offer at least one Customer Case Study as an example to demonstrate that these strategies have been proven and why you might consider applying them to your business too.

Client Example: 

Mr. Metro Plumber (named changed) is a 30 year-old family owned business with over $5 Million in annual sales. The Company employs over 20 FT people and is located in one of the top 10 US metro markets. He did traditional advertising with Yellow Pages, Newspapers, Coupons, Radio, Cable TV, had a well designed website and used a local SEO firm, but was not happy with the results. When we met Mr. Metro Plumber, he told us that he had all the business he could handle and that his company was well known throughout the area. However, as we got to talking he complained about how some of his technicians were driving over an hour one-way to call on customers for $65 service calls. It seems that Mr. Metro Plumber was caught up in the low price game to get into people’s homes. While this might be a good strategy for a new business with limited overhead, it is not the best strategy for an established 30 year-old Company.

During our meeting, I mentioned that I had noticed that Mr. Metro Plumber had a small showroom on the first floor that showcased Bathroom and Kitchen Fixtures. I then asked him if that was something new to his business and he said that the showroom was 3 years old and was used for customers interested in remodeling. I then asked him what those jobs were worth and he told me that they ranged from $5,000 for small Bathroom Remodeling Jobs to over $100,000 for custom Kitchens. I then asked him how many of his customers were using his services for Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling and he said very few. By now, you probably know where this is going, but let’s continue anyway.

I asked Mr. Metro Plumber, if he had ever considered focusing more of his efforts on marketing remodeling jobs instead of the common everyday plumbing service calls, which he clearly had established with regular customers over the course of 30 years in business. I then pointed out that if he was successful in securing just one job per month (at an agreed average of $15,000 per job) per technician that his revenue would increase by at least 20% in the first year and that his overall profit would nearly double. More importantly, Mr. Metro Plumber would not need to spend one cent more in marketing than he already was spending. All he had to do was change the way he promoted his business and then redistribute how some of his marketing dollars were used.

Targeting Customers 

Now this article is not intended to go into the specifics of what we did for Mr. Metro Plumber, but it is designed to show you how you need to rethink how you too can increase business by identifying profitable niches within your business and then develop ways to drive qualified traffic to your business that can translate into paying customers. However, we will give you some ideas of where to look. The first thing to consider is that a 30 year old business should have a good repeat customer base to work with that they can market to. Additionally, the messages delivered in any kind of advertising should include promoting profitable niches. As it applies to the Internet, you need to decide how best to attract customers to drive traffic to your website and then how you can convert them into paying customers. There are dozens of ways this can be achieved and no one way will work for all businesses.

Below are some of the ways to reach your customers via Internet Marketing: 

Keywords and Phrases (on and offsite) 

Website Promotions 

Email Campaigns 

Local Online News Publishers and Directories 



Social Media 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 

Pay Per Click (PPC) 

As you begin to develop and/or expand your presence on the Internet for your business consider this: Google, the other major search engines, local and/or other sources can be effective marketing tools, but until you first understand how you can make money through developing successful and profitable niches for your business, neither Google, an SEO firm or anyone else will be able to help you make money on the Internet. Think Steve Martin in the old 1979 Movie  “The Jerk” Just because he was listed in the White Pages of a Telephone Directory didn’t make him somebody, it just made him another face in the crowd. To rise above the crowd you will need more than just a website. Therefore, implementing several Internet based solutions over the next 12-24 months will be critical to the long term success for virtually every small and local business in America.

Hope this article brought you value. Please tweet or comment below.


Make it a great day!!

Adele & Christina

Virtual Marketing Empire



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Ms. Susan Boyle: An Inspiring Story

Ms. Susan Boyle: An Inspiring Story


 susan Boyle

                                            Click here to watch her perform


By the time you read this, you probably heard of the inspiring life story of Susan Boyle. A 47-year old, unemployed, never been married (and never been kissed) woman from Scotland who elicited lots of praises and compliments not just from the three judges, but also from millions of people across the universe, thanks to YouTube.

Her inspiring story spread rapidly like wildfire and inspires others (especially underdogs and dark horses like her) to reach for your dreams no matter what. The Britain’s Got Talent contestant (by far the most popular these days), delivered a strong performance backed up with an even appropriate and inspirational song “ I Dreamed a Dream”  from Les Miserable s. I like watching that show, in the sense that Britain’s Got Talent is indeed about talent. It’s about talent through and through, despite your looks, and your age. And what I even like most about the inspiring story of Ms. Susan Boyle is that it’s as if she’s the epitome of dreaming and believing in your dreams and not putting an age limit to your dreams and goals. 

What makes this inspiring story so appealing to the masses, is the fact that we have a not-so-young dreamer dreaming to be a professional singer (wants to be as successful as Elaine Page at that!), when generally, dreaming is associated for the young and their promising future. But here, we have Susan Boyle to change the face of dreaming big and giving us her inspiring story. 

Truly, she’s not just a living example, but also a living inspiration as well! I know of other singing competitions that imposed age limits on their contestants. It’s good that Britain’s Got Talent never limits their contestants for a certain age bracket only. Why this allure about second chances and underdogs and dark horses? And why not? it just goes to show that all of us, at some moments in our lives, can relate to being underdogs, since we experienced what it feels like being an underdog ourselves. 

We want to inspired and strengthened after failure, rejection, and frustration. An inspiring story like Susan Boyle’s is just one strong validation and we felt justified that we can be like her. She’s also a real person (and not just any fictitious character) and she’s like one of us, living an ordinary life but who wants to have a better life. 

So, how who can resist this inspiring story? As we live our day to day struggle in our lives, we all need some bits of inspiration to make us smile, enlightened, hopeful and optimistic for our future. And we don’t need pretty faces, toned muscles, almost-perfect hair that light up our TV screens to make us inspired. 

On the contrary, it’s those flawed, ordinary-looking individuals which we can relate to that make us more humane and we can say, “If she can do it, I can too” !!  And I love that smiling aura of Ms. Boyle devoid of any arrogance or self-pity (unemployed, but still looking) when asked what she’s going to do onstage. 

She said, “I’m gonna wow the audience” , And boy, she did more than just that! She even received a standing ovation not just from the crowd, but also from the two judges.

Everybody’s got an inspiring story—what’s yours?


What is your dream?? Take action and comment below


Make it a great day!!

Adele & Christina

Virtual Marketing Empire



P.S. Statistics show Web directories are very important for businesses looking to increase their exposure & draw more attention to their products  

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