Archives for Mar,2013

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Tips To Streamline Your Business Operations – Part 6

When you make a conscious effort to super charge your online presence, you are opening yourself and your business up to a whole host of opportunities that you can’t get from simply being a brick and mortar establishment.

 

Let’s examine the concept of online shopping. It’s fast and hassle free — people no longer have to travel long distances to your store to buy something, and they can easily compare prices and brands online before they buy. Many service-based companies like physiotherapists, salons, and restaurants are now taking bookings online too. What does this all mean for you? You’re now able to:

 

  1. Process a lot more customers in a given time
  2. Reduce your operating costs and overhead
  3. Sell to people from around the globe.

 

Businesses that were once local can now open their doors to a GLOBAL clientele. No longer are you restricted by geographical boundaries.

 

The Importance Of Websites In Relationship Building

 

Having a website allows you to builds relationships with your clients by enabling two-way communication. Every page and element of your website should be designed to both encourage action (through email opt-ins and buy now buttons) and educate your visitors.

 

Create An Informative FAQ Section:

 

You can answer many of your customer’s initial questions by providing them with a good FAQ section. Not only does this add value to the customer since they are getting answers to their queries right away, it’s also a great way to show your visitors you’re prepared, professional, and ready to do business. My favorite part of an FAQ section is that it lets me do UNINTERRUPTED research on a company and its products.

 

The Power Of Contact & Quote Submission Forms

 

When you ask a question, you naturally expect a timely, informative answer. When a customer submits their information through a contact form or sends in a request for a quote, they are giving you the green light to pursue them. And, this is the goal of any business owner:  To have client’s come to YOU.

 

Listening To Your Customers

 

Happy customers let you know you’re doing your job well. Unhappy customers let you know where you can improve. The ability for others to see the testimonials of satisfied clients as well as how you deal with mistakes, is great way to show the public that you value their patronage and are ready, willing, and able to improve operations all the time.

 

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Does Traditional Advertising Still Work – Part 5

The average consumer has options when it comes to how they research product information. The accessibility of the internet means people can now:

  • Visit review sites like CNET if they’re looking to make a software or technical purchase
  • Do comparisons on different vendor websites to determine who has the best price for the best product
  • Hop onto different social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to see what other people are saying

 

So, if you’re still investing in expensive TV commercials and newspaper ads, how are you tracking whether or not you’re getting a return on investment?

In fact, the better question here is…

 

Where is your marketing budget going?

 

If people can SKIP television commercials by watching shows through a Hulu subscription, downloads, or recordings, how many of those viewers are actually seeing your ads? Probably not as many as the network promised you when you first bought air time.

iTunes and online music apps also remove the need to listen to radio commercials. Not to mention that trusted recommendations from social media networks water down the need for heavy sales pitches in print catalogues and brochures.

Print, radio and television are still fantastic ways to reach your target audience. But, perhaps it’s also a good idea to look into online marketing and advertising as a means to decrease your overhead while still capturing a massive segment of your client base — for just a fraction of the cost. Food for thought.

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The Correlation Between Internet Research and Online Shopping Statistics – Part 4

Gone are the days when a business owner’s only source of marketing was through print brochures, paper proposals, and sky-high, long-distance phone bills.

The whole concept of television commercials, radio ads, and printed mail outs are great… Except when one considers the following statistics:

  • 86% of People Don’t Watch Television Ads
  • 44% of Direct Mail is Never Opened

These numbers are rather dismal considering the huge expense associated with producing these traditional advertising vehicles.

Can You Afford NOT To Be Online?

Websites and Google ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of traditional advertising placements. Add that to the fact that you can reach many more people when advertising online and the question remains: Why WOULDN’T you want to advertise online?

Let’s consider the following numbers:

  • 88.1% of US internet users ages 14+ research products online
  • 83.9% of internet researchers will make at least one purchase via the web
  • 71% of internet users watch online video clips and ads

Being online means you no longer need to print brochures – all of that information should be on your website. Invoices, evaluations, proposals, and many other business documents can also now be sent online — saving you even more on printing and mailing costs. Skype and Facetime also make it easy to conference into a meeting overseas — or across the city during rush hour — for free.

Many product and service companies are putting their entire operations online now. And that means OPTING OUT of having a physical office altogether. The reasoning for this is simple: It helps them save big on office operating costs, while increasing their efficiency, customer service quality, and clientele base.

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The Benefits Of Having A Monetized Website – Part 3

Unlike your store or office, your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This makes it extremely convenient for all your potential and existing customers to find out information about your products and services anytime – no matter where they are in the world.

Unlike a brick and mortar store, you’re not bound by time or location. You now have a secondary sales person that works for you all day long – and won’t charge you for overtime.

The Economics Of Being Online

It really is quite simple, folks. When you start selling online, you start SAVING MONEY. When you’re online, you have the ability to not only sell your products and services, you also get to sell yourself and your brand. Our best advice to you is to be as involved as possible in the information and sales process on your website. Through a variety of free online tools, you can use your website to see:

  1. How your customers are interacting with your products and services depending on what pages they visit.
  2. What your clients are like in terms of gender, purchase behaviour, country of origin, and the kind of device they are using to view your site.
  3. How well your site is performing and insight into how you can improve the user experience.

 
You want to be able to optimize your site in terms of design and content to ensure you’re converting your visitors into paying customers. This is how you can use your website to adjust your online marketing strategy in real-time. This is how you can consistently stay interesting and relevant to your customers. And, this is how you turn your website into a secondary source of lead generation.

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The Debate — Traditional Advertising vs Online Marketing – Part 2

As mentioned earlier, a strong website is one that builds your brand equity and makes you money. Having said that, there are still those business owners that ignore the concept of technology. A monetized web presence, budding social media community, and video campaign just “isn’t for them.”

Let’s be fair: Traditional advertising methods like TV commercials, newspapers ads, and mail outs can be very effective — But, with what kind of return on investment? What these people don’t realize is that the internet provides a huge opportunity for every business to reach millions of people that they wouldn’t reach through traditional advertising.

Which Type Of Advertising Brings You The Best Results?

According to a recent statistic, only 14% of people trust traditional advertising. The majority of the population these days prefers to research companies and brands anonymously through the internet, without having to talk to a salesperson. With such a staggering amount of information online, people now have the ability to TRY YOU BEFORE THEY BUY YOU. And this occurs through a variety of ways including product review sites, forums, and of course, social media.

Today, 90% of all purchase decisions begin online. Your website needs to be a comprehensive information hub that people can easily find when looking to educate themselves about your brand and your products. Remember that the whole purpose of you being online is so that people can find you, read you, love you, and buy into you. Your website is the single most important point of contact between you and your potential clients. First impressions really are everything.

 

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