Strategic Internet Marketing for Small Business

Small business = limited budget (most likely). Internet marketing = the cheapest resource for strategic marketing. Small investment + good return = good online business

How to go about it:

a) Create quality content

What is quality content?

Internet Marketing Services
Internet Marketing Services

Quality content is relevant and useful content. Such content can establish you as the most trusted source of info regarding your product. It is also the reason why more people will buy from you once you create a reputation for yourself. If you are a business that sells sunglasses, for example, answer questions (on your own blog or relevant forums) such as:

  1. What kinds of sunglasses provide max protection to the eyes?
  2. What type is most suitable for a square face?
  3. Will I get after-sales service for my pair?

No need to spend precious dollars on advertising.

b) Market your content through email

  1. Send emails with informative content to clients and interested consumers.
  2. Give them links to the answers you have for them.
  3. Provide enough content and links in the emails to help them decide to visit your website.

c) Promote your best content on social networking sites

  1. Be a good listener – listen to what people are saying about your product or niche
  2. Create special posts to answer every pertinent question or issue
  3. Company makes the man – observe what the best businesses in your niche do on their pages
  4. Don’t blatantly copy what they are doing – just respond well
  5. Participate on social media sites. That’s important.

d) Ensure that people are visiting your website.

  1. Your website, over time, should evolve into a reliable hub for information on your products.
  2. Include links to the site on your social media pages every time you create an online post.
  3. Address issues relevant to your vertical and business well. More traffic to the site means more customers. Active and useful

e) Acquire visitor information.
Ways to acquire info on your visitors include forms and fields on the site to help capture info about the visitors. These can be:

  1. Forms to subscribe to blogs and newsletters or download whitepaper
  2. ‘Follow Us’ links for growing a fan base on social networks
  3. Sign-up for email list

Why do you need such info? Because you need to know who is interested in your products so that you can approach them more directly and avoid sending marketing messages to persons who do not want them. The more people sign up, the better you are able to streamline your marketing strategies.

All the best with your strategic internet marketing!

Social Media and the Redundancy of Excessive Advertising – II

Advertisers today have to be – and to an extent are – an extremely creative lot. Without creativity, the ads won’t be good enough to capture even momentary attention. Not only will they have to dump all black-hat practices, they will also have to take white-hat ones to new levels of innovation and creativity.

Recently (mid-March 2012), Google cracked down upon 800,000 advertisers and pulled off 130 million ads from the Google network. David Baker, head of ads policy engineering at Google, declared that Google has a vested interest in creating the least intrusive and the best ad experience for its users. Google ensures that user-friendly experience through the following:

  • Monitoring ad and landing page content to detect scams, malware, and the like
  • Manual reviews of ads flagged by an algorithm (these latter are feared and respected around the world, by the way)
  • User-generated spam reports

Television in particular, and other media in general, have been guilty of in-the-face advertorials. Too much of advertising is a bad thing. It can Social Media Marketing also backfire. People can choose to mute or turn off their television or ignore the newspaper page with ads. They can do that with social media as well. Where the ads are placed strategically, they can even move on to some other nondescript platform with a smaller user base but more relative peace.

Social Media Marketing Platform
Social Media Marketing

A thorough lack of maturity among the sponsors and providers of advertorial material has resulted in a climate where commercials are completely shunned by viewers or readers who are looking for the headlines that interest them. Today’s social media platforms are even participative, so they can simply choose to interact with other users. One cannot escape the feeling that all that investment in commercials is only serving to relieve startups and mighty corporations of their precious cash.

That feeling will be more pronounced in the days to come, when consumer awareness and providers’ responsiveness will be at all-time highs. Then, perhaps, you and I will not be bombarded by commercials coming from all directions. Until recently, Facebook was a platform where you could interact in peace with your ‘friends’.

If a given platform goes overboard with its advertisements, it will meet the same fate as television ads. It will be shunned and shut out by the millions of its current users, in the same way as they did with television commercials – first recording their favorite programs, then fast forwarding through the commercials. Those 8 minutes of recording at significant cost to the company go down the drain.

Repetition of the same ad even erases all recognition of the brand. What people tend to remember of the ad is the particular model or locale or anecdote used. They do not watch an ad and want to go flying out the door to buy the product.

A great and welcome ad is one that makes them.

The Suite Aroma of eCommerce Success

As an ecommerce business startup or established merchant, what would I not give for a custom-built, ebusiness management solution that comprehensively addresses all my business processes and allows me to manage my multiple ecommerce stores from a single dashboard?

“Dream on, man, there’s ain’t no such magic solution in the market,” you might quip. Not after taking a look at the e-Smart eCommerce Suite from Ydeveloper, however.

I mean, just look at the wide array of the features on this thing:

  1. It processes order management, inventory management, product feed management, return merchandise authorization, email marketing,
    eCommerce Success
    eCommerce Success

    and online auctions.

  2. It supports platforms such as custom-Built eCommerce Stores, Yahoo Store, Amazon Webstore, Amazon Seller Central, eBay Store, Facebook eCommerce Application, Sears.com, Buy.com, BestBuy.com, and NewEgg.com.
  3. Lets you use third-party tools alongside.
  4. Advanced reporting functionality enables you to understand your business performance.
  5. Fully SEO-compatible development ensures your business is noticed online.

And this is just the tip of the superb solution that e-Smart eCommerce Suite happens to be. Ydeveloper top it up with excellent support as well. So whatever unique business requirements I talk to them about, they are always able to help out with it.

This is a great solution from a very talented team of developers, designers, and other IT professionals that will go far out of the way to provide services just for your business. Promises more traffic and much better sales. That is only to be expected, however; if your processes are handled smoothly and on time, customers will definitely come back for more.

Boy, what a huge benefit this solution’s already bringing for my friends who sourced the e-Smart eCommerce Suite. Even in these uncertain times, they are merrily selling! The sweet returns on their ecommerce venture are already creating a sensation, with most capable support from Ydeveloper.

I’m gonna get it for myself. What about you?

Open Source or Hosted Solution is the Question

Finding the ideal solution for creating that perfect online store for your business depends upon what kind of a setup will go well with your business. There are two approaches to building one:

  1. Open source solution
  2. Hosted software-as-a-service solution

Each has its own specific relevance and application. What’s one man’s apple pie is another’s potassium cyanide – though that’s not how exactly it goes. But you get the idea.

Neither option is an ideal way to go. On the other hand, it depends upon your specific requirements and related factors.

Open source is not at all free of cost, unlike the popular misconception. Agreed, there are no license fees, but the hosting and the costs involved in hiring a web developer to set up your ecommerce store will be pricey enough to take the fun out of free software. Yet open source is the way to go where a hosted SaaS solution will simply not fit into the budget. Or where only the versatility of an open source solution can do justice to your business objectives. You might also want to create your own code on top of the open source solution you are already using.

When you have your own code at hand, it is quick and easy to make the changes you require. If you don’t own it, as in the case of the hosted SaaS solution, you will have to ask the developer to create updates that will address your issues.

Developers offer you both, a hosted solution and an open source solution. In both cases, they will be managing your code for you. Open source is just that little bit more flexible here since any developer should be able to effect the required changes to the source code.

A custom solution is your best bet. To get the best of both worlds, you could look for and opt for a custom solution that is based on open source software but is also managed for you by your developer.

All the same, there cannot be a final, decisive answer in a generic evaluation. But you can well ask which is the best way to go given the unique requirements of your business. Before you venture out to get your business a solution, it is useful to do your homework Know the options available and analyze them for suitability.

Some premier providers – such as Ydeveloper, for instance – can help you identify a solution that addresses every single business requirement. They’ll also actually build a store and help you with its management even after they have delivered it.

Find a flexible developer and you have found a flexible solution. Cheers!

Business Benefits of HTML5

Think of HTML5 and you are reminded of the high priority accorded to it by an authority no less than the late Steve Jobs. So what are the business benefits of web development based on HTML5? Here are three important ways in which it can bring significant business benefits:

  1. Search engines index your site better: HTML5’s new elements will be heavily relied on in the task of re-indexing the web. Search engines will find it easier to attach priority to content, based on the element that comprises it. In short, it will deliver a significant boost to your search engine marketing efforts. Your site, if built using HTML5, will find favor with the search engines and rank higher, which of course means more eyeballs landing on your site.

    HTML 5
    HTML 5
  2. Reduced page load times and bandwidth usage: As a direct fallout of the use of advanced CSS3 and HTML5, a top-end web developer will be able to adequately reduce the number of images needed to create your website. The use of HTML5 for website development will therefore considerably boost the speed at which your web pages load – also leading to a proportionate decrease in the amount of bandwidth required every time your site is accessed. Faster loading websites are more popular among netizens that slower ones. The speed also makes your website a memorable place to visit, which is good for repeat visits and conversion.
  3. Better experience for your visitors: HTML 5 will not directly ensure that your visitors and customers will be converted and/or retained, but as a result of the wide range of tools it offers to your developer and the second point above, it will definitely be instrumental in providing a great user experience – which is priceless, from business websites’ point of view. These tools can be used to add advanced drawings, video and audio, and animation without making a difference to the speed at which your site loads. What’s more important, however, is that all HTML5 features are backwards compatible, meaning that HTML5 web pages will also work just as seamlessly even on those browsers that do not as yet fully support it. If your browser does not provide such support, it can simply ignore the HTML5 feature and still load the page in double-quick time.

Ydeveloper is a team of developers expert at building websites using HTML 5, using the various features, and ensuring backward compatibility with browsers.  Once you have a website built on the HTML5 platform, you will find yourself delighted with the “wow factor” it generates.

Wishing you all the very best of HTML5 business benefits!