Social Media Marketing: SEO For Local Search, is it The Way To Go?

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Now that you know social media’s Google Plus is an excellent way to increase your ability to being found, did you realize that your local search ranking has increased as well? That’s correct! When you post on Google Plus, especially from your mobile device, you’re geo-targeted and have the option to link your location to a post. What does that mean for you? Well, are you listed on Yelp or any other local search directory? Google now interjects its position within that arena as well.

What Is Yelp?

If you’re not on Yelp, you might wish to list your business and give it a test drive. Yelp began as a platform separate from, but accompanying, the Yellow Pages by means of being a localized review site. Back then, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and co-founder of Yelp, realized people thought the larger the ad in the Yellow Pages, the bigger the business. Thus, the more reputable that business was… or was it? Those Internet Marketers, who think Yelp was created to complain about restaurants, get a grip! You don’t acquire millions of dollars for a startup only to complain about restaurant service. Especially when a restaurant’s life expectancy is less than 5 years, if lucky. In short, Yelp was created to rate local businesses based on customer opinion, nationally.

Yelp, The Name

As for the name Yelp, a coworker (David Galbraith) to Jeremy, liked the word. There was no other reason for the name; it just so happens that it was a contraction of the Yellow Pages. In fact Jeremy hated the word, because when spoken, sounded like the noise a kicked dog makes.

How Does Yelp Work?

If you build a reputation, through your own business reviews or through commenting on others, your ranking in Yelp increases. As some marketers find that to be unacceptable, it’s exactly how every social media account operates. The louder your scream, the more attention you get! I read one review about Yelp, and the marketer was amazed that other businesses ranked higher. The issue was, that marketer only had one review from a year ago, and it was from a friend not a client. Hum, why were they upset?

Quality, Not Quantity

As I’ve stated time-and-time again in every article pertaining to this issue… QUALITY AND NOT QUANTITY! Let’s take a step back, IS SEO (search engine optimization) the answer to being found, ranking, local search, feedback, comments, or most important, making money? NO! You must engage authentically and with all your efforts. When you’re in the perfect ranked position, you can’t stop. The reason; there is always someone on your heels waiting for the right moment to pull you down.

Where Does Google Plus Fit In?

So why is this all so important? Google Plus has raised the bar by being directly intertwined with all the tools used by SEO’ers. A strong social media marketing strategy, and an even stronger social media engagement schedule, is necessary and key to starting off successfully.

Google Plus is Not The Answer

Google Plus is not the new answer, it takes the average person at least six months to a year to assimilate, and then accommodate new surroundings. Where is your business in relation to social media? The work involved in building a strategy requires a Facebook Page, engage with Twitter and LinkedIn followers, create a YouTube channel, and now Google Plus account. Maintaining and monitoring your account is difficult enough, and being a Social Media Strategist and Inbound Marketer, I’m lucky to have a team that cares for and nurtures those engagements.

Questions to ask before beginning your own Social Media program:

  • Who are my customers?
  • Where do my customers spend time?
  • Do I have the time to engage?
  • Are there bad reviews about my company I need to attend to?
  • Are the tools to analyze my efforts available to me?

Secret Tip!

Here’s a tip! Understand and engage with those who are loyal, allow them to spread the word about you, then engage with those who don’t know you, and bring everyone together in one circle to communicate. It’s a rough road, a time investment, and an understanding of human behavior (your customers). Create a strategy, a plan, a program, whatever you wish to call it, simply do it! If you build it, they will come…

Contact me if you wish to get some ideas, it’s free!

Inbound Marketing Strategy Tune-Up

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Successful businesses thrive off of originality… There are a few things that must be in place to push that originality into the market place. To begin, customer engagement and a solid inbound marketing strategy are the perfect pushers. However, continued originality is what keeps a successful business front and center, and without it your business becomes ordinary, then fades out like the slider on the front of a web page.

The Key Factors

Below are important building habits that you’ll find in any business development book or article. They are basic, easy to accomplish, and you use them everyday without knowing. Most importantly, they are key factors to being successful and must be used continually for your inbound marketing strategy to work. Remember, don’t let failure become a diversion to following these habits, you are human and learn from your mistakes. It was Thomas Edison who said “I didn’t fail, I found 2,000 ways how not to make a light bulb; I only need to find one way to make it work.”

The List

  • Be Inquisitive: Encourage everyone to ask and pose questions. The secret is to ask without being intrusive. Ask questions which allow others to speak their thoughts openly and without threat of judgment. How many times in your life did you wish to give an answer but didn’t because you thought it was wrong, and then found that you had the correct answer or a good idea?
  • Be Voyeuristic: Watching and understanding your competition is part of the game. Look at how problems are solved, issues addressed, management styles, and monitor talk about you and your business. Social media is a perfect starting point for monitoring your brand, be sure to have a good program in place to keep track of all your accounts.
  • Be Collaborative: Using networking events and joining your local Chamber will help your business develop by sharing information. Using others to act as sales reps increases your reach, and enables you to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. There is always one person, who knows another person, who needs your product or service. If you follow the chain, you’ll find leads coming in from all directions.
  • Be Scientific: Test, test, test! Break it down, take it apart, dissect it, put it together, run it, compare it, and then start over again. You must incorporate and encourage experimenting with new ideas and theories within your business. If you’re not testing your ideas, then you’re flying in the dark!
  • Be Analytical: Step back, relax, smell the roses, then come back and look at it again. Giving your ideas time to simmer and take hold before acting on them increases their ability to survive on their own. After spending hours in creating, step away from the creation and let it breath like a fine wine, you’ll see it tastes different after a little time passes.

Connecting The Pieces

You probably know the basis of how a business can flourish, but are you practicing your with knowledge everyday? We all get caught up in the daily grind; it’s those who find a way to slip through the grind, making these habits work together and becoming successful.

Conclusion

How have your habits changed the way you do business, or wish to do business? Habits are not permanent, and they do need care and nurturing. Are you nurturing the habits that will make you successful? Have you indulged in behaviors that will catch up with you and disrupt your business? Keep these questions in mind the next time you step back from your work. When you return, you’ll see things differently.

Internet Marketing: Selling to Personality Types

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

The last two weeks have been AMAZING involving Internet Marketing!

I’ve attended 5 business-networking events, had two meetings with new medium sized start-up businesses, and now sitting with over 200 new contacts. If you don’t attend networking events, consider the benefits of a face-to-face connection over a virtual connection. Internet and Inbound Marketing have great benefits, and they both promote having clients find you. What they don’t do is bring you into someone else’s space, feel who they are, and identify their personality type.

When I say space, I don’t mean the same room, I mean the pink-bubble that surrounds you called “your personal energy space.” In Reiki, it’s important to be conscious of this space because when someone enters with poor intentions, you need to adjust your distance. I know this sounds like hocus-pocus, but the truth is human beings sense danger, as do all animals. In addition, when marketing your products and services, you need to sense the person’s personality while in that space.

Mothers sense when their children need help, siblings sense when the other is in pain, you sense when “things” aren’t quite right, and we all sense RED FLAGS when meeting people face-to-face. I know if you’re reading this, you know exactly what I mean about red flags. How many times have you gotten into a relationship, and noticed those little hidden behaviors popping out from behind the mask of the other person? So what keeps you in trouble if you have this amazing power to sense danger or red flags? It’s called sacrifice.

You have a personal line you’re willing to cross to be comfortable, or in the case of business, make the deal. Within the realm of Internet Marketing, Branding, or any business in which you sell YOU, there is a line you draw for each potential client. The potential client’s personality is what gauges the line’s distance from you, and the distance you’re willing to travel into their space for the golden egg.

Remember the movie Wall Street? Once the deal was made, the sacrifice of self was instantaneous, and the stockbroker traveled deep into client’s world of deceit. How many times have you sacrificed you to make the deal? Did you lower your rate because the client was difficult, add services without increasing the rate, constantly do little things at no charge when added up is enough time for another paying client, or the worst of all, sacrifice personal time with those who care about you because you’re more concerned about your ideal-self.

The question is, how do you know what personality type you’re dealing with, and how do you cross the line safely without sacrificing self? The different personalities are Dominant Director, Interacting Socializer, Steady Relater, and the Cautious Thinker. There are ways to identify these personality types, and there are ways to close the deal with each one. Again, if you’re an Internet Marketer, Brand Strategist, or selling sneakers, there are ways to differentiate your client’s personality.

See the next posting regarding the breakdown of personalities and how to work with them with little effort.

Internet Marketing Road-Blocks and Closing The Deal

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

According to HubSpots’s Mike Goulet and Tyler Orfao, preliminary data shows that internet marketing agencies are having a greater difficulty in generating leads than any other single issue. Through a marketing survey, they found three main areas of difficulty (2/3 of the data) with a fourth comprised of a number of smaller issues not worth mentioning in the data.

Their intent is to help internet marketers and business owners find better ways to alleviate the pressures that plague the industry. They believe, with better insight into these issues, marketers will gain greater knowledge and have ammunition to meet their clients’ challenges… and their own.

THE ISSUES AT HAND

Not Enough Leads (Possible Reasons)

  • Choosing marketing channels that are interruptive based, meaning you’re disturbing potential clients with marketing material
  • Customers are less accepting of outbound marketing such as cold-calling and mailers
  • Prioritizing current clients’ work over daily lead generation practices

Not Enough Leads (Possible Solutions)

  • Reconsider your marketing channels; which ones are working
  • Incorporate Inbound Marketing Strategies: blogging, SEO, Social Media Marketing
  • Focus on top-of-the-funnel offers like downloading FREE marketing material and advice
  • Streamline your delivery processes allowing more resources for lead generation 

Variable Cash Flow (Possible Reasons)

  • Your strategy might be too tactical and focusing only on a few services
  • Offering mostly smaller services like website design or social media marketing, which are project in nature; you want retainers! 

Variable Cash Flow (Possible Solutions)

  • Develop a process, which encourages continuous collaboration with clients over a variety online marketing activities
  • Monitor lead activity from beginning to end so you can repeat it when sales increase
  • A comprehensive Internet Marketing Strategy ensures your position as a critical asset to the client

Difficulty Signing Clients (Possible Reasons)

  • Usually due to poor sales practices
  • Relying heavily on portfolio and past work as a sales pitch
  • Ignoring client needs and goals (How will you fix my problems?)

Difficulty Signing Clients (Possible Solutions)

  • Develop stronger sales methods determining needs, goals, and challenges
  • Think about using a CRM system
  • Evaluate your service offerings and offer complete Internet Marketing Solutions

To conclude, use the numerous webinars, white papers, and blogs available online to build your supply of FREE offers and a resilient strategy. It might take some time, but the goal is your client having a deeper interest in your services to close the deal.

Speed Networking, a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

How can Speed Networking improve your Social Media Marketing strategy?

Although this article is related to a recent local affair, this blog is read around the world, so I thought I’d share my experience attending a Speed Networking event. Never being to a Speed Dating event, I thought it would be interesting to try something similar, and possibly make connections, build leads, and make some extra paper (money).

THE LAYOUT

  • One room large enough to hold 100-300 eager participants
  • Rows of chairs where one row of chairs faces another row, and each set of facing chairs are 6-8 feet from the next set (allowing speaking room)
  • One event coordinator keeping time with a bell
  • And of course, your host to guide you through the process

THE RULES

  • Two people are seated facing each other
  • Each has 1 minute 30 seconds to deliver a message
  • The sounding bell: 1 ring stop speaking and switch turns, 2 rings move to the next person
  • The people in one row always stay seated while the other row moves to the next person
  • Bring water because you’ll be speaking for an hour or more!

THE CONNECTION

While sitting in front of another person, remember:

  • Over 80% of communication is none verbal
  • Dress smartly and not over dress
  • Smile from the inside; pretend your liver is smiling
  • Be conscious of your time and don’t take extra
  • Listen!
  • Speak clearly, if you find yourself saying “UM” a lot, slow down
  • Focus on what you know best, 1.5 minutes goes fast!
  • Be authentic and don’t extend your ideal-self
  • Learn how to shake hands, that’s a BIG part of connecting

BRINGING IT HOME

You’ll meet a number of people looking to do business, so be sharp and evaluate who can use your services, wants your services, and has the money to pay for your services. Once established, pick a few connections and spend the time building a relationship by offering tips and suggestions, direct them to recourses that are free, and guide them to obtaining a small goal that they had in mind but haven’t acted on. These few steps will rocket your relationship into making a more fulfilling connection, which will be enjoyable compared to frustrating.

Lastly, make sure you have a business card that is branded to your website, flyers, socks, underwear, and everything else. You must make a statement that is long lasting, and having a business card that is disconnected from your brand makes a bad impression. How many times have you been handed a card, which visually says nothing about the product or service? Simply having matching colors to your brand and text stating what you do is not enough.

10 Seconds To Deliver Your Brand For An Internet Strategy

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

 

A few articles ago, I asked you to…

“Sit in front of your computer, close your eyes for 10 seconds and then open them. What is the first thing you notice about your home page? Now, do the same for each internal page and write down your findings.”

Today, we’ll discuss your findings and compare them to the three marketing styles, appropriately named Whispering, Speaking, and Shouting. The branding styles all operate within an Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Branding Strategy. Choosing the right style makes the difference between killing your brand, imposing your brand, or propelling your brand and attracting quality contacts. These might be new concepts to you, or maybe you’ve forgotten them since your last marketing course. The point is, these styles are the basis of branding and a strong Internet Program.

The 3 Styles

The listing below is a summary of each marketing style including the Pros and Cons. See if your website fits into one of these styles and then read on briefly to evaluate you own site.

Whispering: Colors are subtle, soft, or pastel, causing your emotions or the impression of movement/action to be subdued.

  1. Pros: You’ll attract clients, who are quiet, have smaller businesses, and willing to use your Internet Strategies, giving you creative freedom.
  2. Cons: Clients who are energetic, have products that sell quickly, or provide services that are energized, will lose interest in your brand.

Speaking: Colors are medium, with some accents of loud or strong hues and will slightly activate an emotional response.

  1. Pros: The best of both worlds! You don’t scare the smaller quieter client away, and have enough influence to attract the movers and shakers willing to sign retainer contracts.
  2. Cons: Working at both ends of the scale might cause confusion within your Internet Marketing Strategy.

Shouting: Colors are bold, strong, and powerful, disrupting the flow of the message and activating a strong emotional response.

  1. Pros: Sometimes you’ll get a “big ticket” client with the budget needed to sign a retainer contract.
  2. Cons: The most difficult of clients who know enough information to be dangerous by doing research. They practice trapping you, with questions to test your knowledge and ability. Prepare yourself for a thousand meetings, and numerous hour-long conversations before they’ll sign a contract. Plus, your work will never be appreciated.

After looking at your website, and understanding the difference between the styles of branding, how would you categorize your website? Are you whispering, speaking, or shouting? How do your Internet and Brand Marketing Strategy reflect the styles?

The Close Your Eyes Test

Close your eyes, then open them…what is the first thing your eyes focus on? If the area or graphic you focus on is not telling a story or delivering a message, then it might be best to adjust your layout.

  1. Large screaming logos or graphics, which fill more than 1/8th of the front page (measuring above the fold to the top of the page) is wasting space if your message isn’t embedded in that area. If this is the case, reduce the size of the logo or graphic.
  2. Having loud colors benefit you as a Call-To-Action (CTA), such as buttons with a clear “Click Here” message. But, if your logo and surrounding graphics are, let’s say RED, then your delivery is subdued or lost.
  3. If you find that your eyes focus on a particular graphic, which is part of the layout, it might benefit you to place content relevant to your communication in that area. The graphic acts as a beacon, silently alerting visitors to read your message.
  4. Java Sliders of any size are perfect for delivering a message. The space used is increased by the amount of slides you have, and sliders raise your Click Through Rate (CTR) while decreasing bounce rates.
  5. If your eyes focus on an area that cannot be used to post content, or the layout cannot be altered easily, then the next best thing to do is change the tone of the graphics. This is not a major undertaking and in some cases, will only takes a few minutes with any number of art programs.
  6. Another method of directing your visitors’ eyes is using a process that artists use. Adding other graphics around the page, making a trail for eyes to follow is a trick artists use to deliver a subliminal message.

As you’ve read, there are a number of alterations you can make if your website’s message is not easily read. Having colors and graphics work to your advantage through the activation of emotion is one of the perks of design. You can always return, try something new, and change what doesn’t work.

What Works

The best blueprint for a general business is to have the graphics flow along with the content and the brand message you wish to deliver. The brand message could be strong customer service, trusting product quality, or overall reliability in your brand. The message is yours! Be sure you take the time to understand what your market requires, and deliver that message clearly, without any distractions!

Share your thoughts and ideas. Let me know how your website relates to the different styles.