Tag Archive | "Target"

Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon


When advertising via social networking sites, targeting is the key, just like with any other marketing method. You want your ads to be seen by the right demographics, people whose profile and interests will make them more likely to become paying customers of yours. One of the most common issues with advertising on the social networking giant Facebook is that advertisers can’t target specific users with their ads.

 

But there are reports that this could change, maybe in the next few months. Facebook advertisers could have the opportunity to target users that are already their customers, or who have given them their information in some way, such as by signing up for their email list. The company is currently testing ways for advertisers to target Facebook users specifically by their user ID, email or phone number.

 

However, the information comes from a user who reported seeing a “custom audiences” tab in the Facebook advertising control panel, but then the tab was soon gone. It looks like a temporary bug allowed that user to see a feature that wasn’t intended to be operational yet. While this, in itself, is not surprising and has happened with many other websites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook will actually roll out this change. No official statements have been made by the company at this time. Furthermore, having the ability to target specific users that are on social media by using their personal information is likely to raise a few eyebrows among consumer and privacy advocates, many of whom already see social media as a serious concern for individual privacy.

 

This, however, may be resolved in a simple way. Facebook could make a setting that would allow users to opt out of being specifically targeted by marketers while they browse the social network. The feature could be left on by default and users who would see this as an intrusion on their privacy or who just don’t like being marketed to on social media could disable it if they wish.

 

Targeting your existing clients by social media also isn’t as bad as some other marketing methods, particularly those in use before the internet became popular. It’s actually quite common for many large companies to sell their user information to telemarketers as well as direct (postal) mail companies and while there is a possibility to opt out, the information is usually written somewhere in fine print on the subscription form or contract.

 

In any case, targeting your existing clients and people who have expressed an interest in your business is a good way to put your online presence to good use. This can be done in various ways, not just by social media. Among the most common ways to do this already is sending marketing emails to them, physical mailings like pamphlets and catalogs, or text messages on their mobile phones. Facebook’s move will just create a new opportunity for marketers to perfect something that many of them have already been doing for quite some time now.

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Business to Business Email Marketing

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Business to Business Email Marketing


Ever since the internet came into widespread use, email marketing has been seen as an efficient and cost effective way for businesses to promote their products and services to the consumers that they target. But one thing that shouldn’t be forgotten is that email marketing is not only used by Business to Consumer (B2C) companies, but also by companies that sell products and services mainly to other businesses (Business to Business or B2B).

 

While there is a lot of information available about marketers that use email for B2C campaigns, it would seem as if B2B campaigns are forgotten. But since email is now rapidly becoming the primary means of communication in the business world, it is important to understand the role that it can play for an organization. In the B2B world, there are several different ways in which email marketing can be useful:

 

  • Lead generation

 

This involves contacting subscribers to your email list and trying to turn them into someone who will place a request for more information about your products or services. As they would have expressed a stronger interest in what you have to offer, you would then have a better chance at converting them to a paying client.

 

  • Moving leads through the sales process

 

Once somebody has expressed more interest in your products, it is time to move them through your sales process and close the deal. Depending on the number of different products that you sell, this could be either very straightforward or a more complicated task. But in any case, email marketing allows you to deliver the right promotional materials in front of the lead’s eyes to make them more likely to choose your company rather than continue shopping around. At this stage, personally sent and hand crafted emails also come into play as you try to close the sale.

 

  • Engaging “sleeping” leads

 

Any business will have some leads that just haven’t communicated with you in a while. Sometimes, it is because they just aren’t interested anymore in what you have to offer, or they may have already found something better at another place. But in other cases, they may have been busy or have forgotten about your offer. In this case, email can become a powerful tool that would allow you to engage these leads again and make them pay attention to what you are currently offering. It’s also possible that the lead may not have found your previous offerings attractive enough, but they may be interested in buying something from your new selection.

 

Just like B2C email marketing, business to business email campaigns need to be conducted correctly in order for them to have the desired effects. There have been a few online studies about business to business email campaigns which shed some light on what is most likely to work in this type of online marketing, as well as some best practices that you can adopt to avoid wasting time and money when you advertise by email.

 

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How to Target Your Email Subscribers

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How to Target Your Email Subscribers


Previously, we’ve seen just how important targeting is when it comes to email marketing. However, many online marketers and entrepreneurs aren’t too sure about how to actually implement it as part of their online marketing campaigns. This is understandable, as there are actually few of them which truly segment their subscribers in order to deliver them personalized content when they send out email advertisements and newsletters. Here are some tips that will make it easy for you:

Maintain Separate Lists On Your Website or Different Websites

One of the most common mistake is putting in email submission boxes and capturing the client’s permission to email them on the checkout pages of all your websites, then putting all of these email addresses onto one big list. If you run websites that sell products that are very similar and which all target the exact same type of buyer, then this might be OK. However, it is better to keep separate lists for separate sites. Also, keep the email list that you got from customers that just signed up for your newsletter on your site without buying anything separate from the newsletter that you have for your paying customers.

Keep Track of What Your Customers Buy

If you have an e-commerce website that directly sells products to your customers, then keep track of who buys what. This will allow you to specifically tailor your promotions to them. Buyers who have purchased a specific kind of item are more likely to buy that type of item again, so if you include promotions on your products as part of the emails that you send to your list, you should show them products that are relevant based on their past purchases. This is something that’s already done by the leading e-commerce sites out there and is something you should definitely do as well.

Use Demographic Information

The most basic piece of demographic information that you could collect would be the country where the subscriber lives in. If you include affiliate offers as part of your emails, then this will ensure that you only include offers that accept traffic from that subscribers country. It could also allow you to display prices in the subscribers local currency. As for other demographics such as age, gender, income level, etc. you could include this as part of an optional survey when signing up for your mailing list or making a purchase. To increase the number of visitors that fill it out, you could offer a small discount or promotion of some sort.

Ask What Made Your Visitors Interested in Your Site

This is something else that’s good to include as part of the sign up survey. Ask your visitors what they’re looking for on your site and what they hope to buy in the future. This would allow you to create sub groups in your email list and then include offers and promotions that are relevant to these subscribers, thus making them more likely to actually buy something.

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Safely Using Social Media For Business: Part 3

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Safely Using Social Media For Business: Part 3


Using social media safely for your business is possible. We’ve seen a few pieces of advice previously that will help you do this. Here are some few final tips on this topic that will help you make the most of social networking sites all the while keeping your business safe from hacking and other security breaches.

  • Beware of compromised accounts

Just because your account is safe and you follow good security practices, doesn’t mean that everyone else in your contacts necessarily does the same thing, however. Be careful, as your clients, business partners, as well as personal friends accounts could be compromised. While most hacked accounts are used simply for posting spam, there are some other uses that hackers make of them. Beware of any strange links given to you by your contacts, especially if you don’t expect to be sent any links by that person. Very often, these would go to a phishing site, or a site that has been compromised by malware. Be careful about friends claiming that they need to borrow money or that they urgently need you to make a purchase for them on an e-commerce site. These are common scams that target social media users as well. If you’re unsure if the person that you’re talking to is really your contact, then get in touch with them in another way, such as by email, IM, text message or phone call.

  • Avoid discussing sensitive information on social networking sites

Don’t publicly post information that should be kept in private messages. For example, don’t post on your suppliers Facebook wall that you’ll be making an order for such and such product. This just gives information about your business to competitors. If one of your clients or partners wants to talk about something related specifically to business between you and them, then it’s better to do this in a more private environment such as by phone or email. Remember, there is always the potential that someone is impersonating a contact that you know on social networking sites, or that one of your contacts accounts has been compromised.

  • Keep up with developments in the security and social networking world

Read technology websites such as ZD Net, etc. They’re not just for computer geeks, but contain some very useful information about the latest technologies, in terms of online services, hardware as well as software solutions. You may learn more about a product that you’re currently using, or that you may find useful to get. But the most important reason why you need to keep up with technology news is that information about the latest security threats is reported a lot more quickly and thoroughly on these sites than on “general purpose” media websites. That way, if there’s a security threat such as a loop hole in site security that was found by hackers, or a piece of malware like a worm or trojan that is circulating through social networking sites, you will be the first to know about it and can find out ways to protect yourself from that security threat.

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Using PPC For Small Business

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Using PPC For Small Business


If you take a look at recent online marketing news, you will see that using pay per click advertising is growing online. In that past few years, this use has grown steadily. One of the reasons behind this growth is the fact that many small businesses are now using PPC advertising to get more visitors to their websites and customers to buy their products. If you want to get started as a small business user, then here are some tips that you can use to launch your first successful campaigns:

Take Advantage of Free Offers

Many PPC advertising service providers give free ad credit to members who join. You can find these free offers simply by looking online. Some web hosts also offer free advertising credit to clients that use their services. For example, you can get a $100 Google Adwords credit from many web hosting providers. Making use of these credits will allow you to start advertising at no cost on various platforms and see which ones will be the most suitable for your business and bring you the best quality traffic.

Don’t Forget to Target Your Ads

This is one of the most important aspects of PPC advertising: geo targeting, which means only serving your ads to web users that are in a certain defined geographic region. There are several uses of this: obviously, if you have a local business that only serves a certain area, you will want to limit your clicks to come from that area. Anything else will simply be a waste of money. Even if you do business globally, you may want to limit the countries that you target for your advertising, mainly due to the fact that there’s a much higher amount of fraud and poor quality traffic coming from certain countries.

Some PPC services also allow you to choose specific sites or groups of sites that your ad will appear on. They also have demographic targeting, meaning you can make your ads appear on sites that will be mostly visited by the demographics that are the most likely to purchase something from your business, thus making your traffic more useful for you.

Use Keywords Wisely

If you advertise on search services, like Google or Bing, then keywords for PPC are as important as for SEO. Even more so, as you will be paying for each click. Be sure to do your keyword research in thoroughly before and carefully select the keywords you will want to target. Avoid keywords that will be too broad, as they will result in getting traffic from people who may not necessarily be looking for what you’re offering. If your business sells clothes and accessories, instead of targeting general keywords like “fashion”, you may want to target more specific ones like “Diesel jeans” or “discount handbags”, etc. Basically, you need to think as one of your customers and target keywords that they would be most likely to search for.

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Some Easy to Avoid SEO Mistakes: Part 2

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Some Easy to Avoid SEO Mistakes: Part 2


Yesterday, we have seen some common mistakes that can be made when it comes to SEO. These are errors that plenty of webmasters make, regardless of their level of experience, as they are often caused by following bad advice and not researching things thoroughly enough, rather than by simple ineptitude. There are also a few other mistakes that are made by webmasters which are important to know, so that you can avoid them on your website. Here are some more things that you should be aware of when dealing with SEO issues.

Not Optimizing For the Proper Keywords

There are some keywords that you will want to target on your site and these would be the keywords that your site visitors would be the most likely to use when they search for something you would be offering. Your website visitors will probably not be typing in industry jargon, or obscure names for products when they search for them, but rather words that they would commonly use in everyday conversations. So for example instead of using “hooded sweatshirts”, they would use the keyword “hoodie”, which is far more popular in current language.

Not Using the Title Tag Right

The title tag is very important, as it is the place where you can include a keyword or keywords that accurately describe your site or page on your site. So instead of having just “Welcome” on your title, having something like “New York Real Estate” or “Discount Electronics Imports” would be far better for SEO.

Relying on Software Tools Too Much

Despite what some sales pitches and self proclaimed gurus will tell you, there’s no software, script or plugin that will make your website go from page 20 on Google to page 1 in just a few days with no work on your part. This is something that simply doesn’t exist, no matter what the tool costs or what testimonials it has. If it were true, then the word would spread like wildfire (the webmaster community is one where information is shared a lot) and everyone would begin to use.

This is especially true with regards to tools that claim they can instantly generate tons of high quality backlinks for your website. While these tools can definitely submit your site to directories, or submit your articles to content sites that accept them, their usefulness is often questionable at best. In many cases, the backlinks come from obscure directories that themselves are not well ranked in search engines. Also, the article directories where these tools submit to are basically repositories filled with low quality spam articles that were clearly designed only to have SEO in mind and not actual readability.

While there are some tools that could work well and help analyze your pages, plus in some cases make the needed changes automatically, if you want to have some SEO success, then you need to use your brain and take action, rather than simply relying on a tool to do everything for you.

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Securing Your Online Business

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Securing Your Online Business


Some recent security breaches such as the whole LulzSec affair have been reported in the media, where groups of hackers have targeted companies such as Sony, as well as agencies of both the British and American governments. Many online business owners are wondering what they can do to keep from becoming a target of hacking attacks. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make a risk assessment

This basically depends on how big and popular your website is. There is little prestige for a hacker group to attack a website of a small business which contains no sensitive information. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not take any precautions and there are still some reasons as to why you may get hacked, which brings us to the next point:

  • Avoid making people angry

Obviously, don’t go on “underground” websites and start taunting hackers. But also, you should know that certain hacking attacks have been motivated by revenge against businesses who are alleged to have engaged in disloyal competition, intentionally sold poor quality products, or otherwise ripped off their customers or business partners. So in other words, try hard not to make anyone angry at you.

  • Use security measures, such as encrypting your customer information database

While no e-commerce or content management system is completely secure, they all have security features either built in, or available as external plugins. Learn what they are, how they work and what they do. And don’t forget to PUT THEM TO USE! Also, avoid systems which store sensitive info, such as customer details in plain text without any encryption.

  • Secure your own computer as well

Make sure that any computer you use as part of running and administering your website or online business is free of malware, such as trojans and keyloggers. Quality anti virus and anti malware programs exist and there are some excellent ones, such as AVG, which are completely free. Therefore, there is no reason for you not to use them, as they are FREE!

  • Exercise common sense

This is quite simple to do… but yet a lot of people fail and fail hard here. Don’t use “password” as a password for your web hosting account. Don’t leave the passwords at the default password for the system you are using either. Don’t open attachments in emails if you have the slightest suspicion it may not be a legit file. And if you have to visit “naughty” websites or download pirated software… at least don’t do it on a PC you use for your business, as these are also a popular source of viruses and malware.

  • Get a security analysis of your site done

There are many online security firms that can do a complete security analysis of your website for a very low cost. They can point out any security vulnerabilities that your website has and then tell you which actions you should take to plug these holes.

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: Do Your SEO First

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: Do Your SEO First


One of the main attractions of advertising your business in the online world is that you are able to reach people all over the world. Anyone, from anywhere can visit your website and do business with you. However, for certain small businesses, this is not what they need, especially if they only do business in a certain local area. Therefore, for them, receiving visitors from all over the country and all over the world will be quite useless and will simply result in wasted time and wasted bandwidth on their website.

Think of it this way. If you run a local landscaping business, you don’t need people from the other end of the country seeing your website. It will be as useless to them as it is to you. The visitor will simply see that you don’t serve their area and then leave your site. For them, seeing your website would have simply been nothing more than a waste of time. But how do you target visitors that are only from the area that you do business in? There are many ways in which this can be accomplished. We will take a look at some of the techniques that you can use to make this happen.

Proper Local SEO

Sure, there are many different ways to get people to see your website. With dozens of different advertising options, many business owners don’t focus much on SEO, considering it too complicated to perform on their own and too costly to outsource to a professional firm. As you will see, both of these assertions are not necessarily true. In any case, even if you don’t expect search engine traffic to be your main source of clicks, doing some SEO work on your site is recommended, even if it is just the most basic type.

Basic SEO is not complicated at all for a local business. It simply consists of targeting the right keywords in the proper way. Therefore, you should optimize your content towards keywords that are more “local” than simply general keywords. So if you run a landscaping business in Boca Raton, Florida, you would optimize your content for keywords such as “Boca Raton landscaping” or “landscaping in Boca Raton”. By doing so, you will only be competing for rankings with local businesses, which is easier than trying to rank for the more general “landscaping”. Furthermore, a person doing a search for (product or service) + city is more likely to be in buying mode and seeking out a place where they can GET the service in your city. Even if they are not ready to make a decision yet and are just comparing prices, they are much more likely to contact YOU if they notice that your business offers the best value. On the other hand, someone searching for “landscaping” could simply be looking for landscaping tips and tricks and not interested in hiring anyone’s services.

But is it really hard to do SEO for local businesses and is it really costly to get help? These are topics that we will discuss in the second part.

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Understanding the Importance Of Long Tail Keywords

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Understanding the Importance Of Long Tail Keywords




If you are doing search engine optimization or search engine marketing, it is possible that you have seen some advice pertaining to long tail keywords. It is quite possible that you may have asked yourself: what exactly is a long tail keyword? And what benefit does it bring to my site exactly?

To give you a quick answer, long tail keywords are those which have more than 2 words in the main keyword phrase. What makes them so powerful is that these keywords are often what people search for when they are ready to purchase a certain product or service online. By making your site rank high for these keywords, you increase the chance that a buyer will see your site and therefore make a purchase from you.

Targeting long tail keywords during your online marketing efforts has a lot of advantages. Here are some of them:

These keywords convert better than general ones

Traffic that comes from long tail keywords is more likely to convert than traffic which comes from general ones. This is a known fact throughout the internet marketing industry. The reason behind this is because these keywords are a lot more targeted and specific than general ones. People who are searching for more detailed keywords such as “buy iphone” or “iphone discount” or “used iphone New York” are more likely to buy a product rather than someone who is just seeking for “iphone”.

You can put in your product name in them

Basically, people who are looking for a specific product online can be in two categories. They either have already made a decision to buy a certain product or they are seriously considering to buy it but they are seeking more information about it. In both cases, what you need to do is to target the necessary keywords and have a landing page that will be able to convince visitors that your product is exactly what they have been looking for.

Don’t require as much efforts to rank higher

In the internet marketing world there is plenty of competition. Unless you have a product or service that is extremely unique with no competition (highly unlikely… chances are somebody will copy you sooner or later) or is in a very obscure and specific niche, you will see others online promoting the same product or service that you are.

If you are in the dog training niche, you will see, for example that keywords such as “dog training” or “dogs” are already dominated by your competitors. The problem is that many of these competitors are large businesses which have a large budget and staff that is making sure that they stay on top of search engine results. Therefore, going against them is not the best idea. However, if you target a more specific, long tail keyword, such as “make your dog stop barking”, you will find that there are far fewer pages with that keyword phrase. This means that you will not have to do as much SEO work if you want to rank high for it.

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How To Place Your Affiliate Links

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How To Place Your Affiliate Links


Unfortunately some of the best ways to place affiliate links involve black hat methods, we will cover one of these methods but are mostly interested in how to place you links using all white hat methods (the two in this article are enough to build a successful affiliate career that is completely white hat).

Linking in eBooks

It is no secret that people on the internet love ebooks, however most beginning internet marketers become suspicious after their first few “Sell this ebook on forums” ebooks that they purchase.  Avoid and reshape this mentality by creating (or buying the rights for) ebooks and giving them away for free, now this activity might seem counterintuitive “How can I make money by giving stuff away?” but it is truly ingenious. What you are looking to do is create an ebook about how to make money online using different products, explain the overwhelmingly positive benefits of each of these products and each time you mention the product place it as a hyperlink with your affiliate link as the target.  You can use this technique with all sorts of different niches and some say targeting niches that are not internet marketing are more profitable because people tend to not be expecting affiliate links (did you know the average person does not know that there is any such thing as an affiliate link?).

Article Marketing

This technique will again be focusing on giving people free content and sneaking in your affiliate links. While article marketing can be sort of a shot in the dark, it is a nice way to put some of you links out on the internet and never have to think about them again. Your goal in article marketing is the same as with writing an ebook, provide quality content and advice that causes the user to realize they really need the products in the book, then put your affiliate links and the targets for the product hyperlinks. Article marketing is a much faster way to get your affiliate links out to the world.

Craigslist

This one is definitely blackhat, so only read ahead if you have no problems scamming ordinary everyday people out of their money.  One of the best ways to work affiliate links into craigslist is in the jobs section, when searching for jobs people are nearly as desperate as ever and will go to great lengths to get a job. Another excellent way is in the for sale section, you can actually get away with posting straight affiliate links to Amazon and surprisingly people will purchase through your link! Again, these methods are blackhat and can get you flagged on craigslist.

That’s all there is to it, it takes a little bit of work and patience once you have the links placed, but the internet is a big place and over time you will start seeing sales rolling in via your affiliate links.

Image Source: Bill Board Mama

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