9 Tips for Navigating Web 2.0 Social Networking Sites

web2.0Web 2.0 is the terminology that is given to this social phenomenon on the internet, in particular Facebook, Twitter, UTube, My Space and it applies to many more social sites.  Everyone seems to have their favorites for various reasons.

One thing is for sure though, is the fact that any serious internet marketer needs to learn the skills to use these social sites to their best advantage.  When you first go on these sites you may think that they are a waste of time because you will see a lot of comments like: “Had a chicken salad for dinner”.

When you are going onto these sites for business purposes the approach needs to be quite different and the way you use the sites needs to be quick and efficient.  You do not have time to spend an hour on these sites just for interest sake.   It is a matter of getting in, networking your business and getting out and moving on to the next one.  The idea of social marketing for business is to create a broad presence around the internet sites.  As you learn the skills you will be able to link one to the other which will save time as well.

9 Tips to help you move around these sites are:facebook

  • Keep your comments relative to your business
  • Keep your comments positive
  • Look for friends that could be potential clients
  • Look for groups that could help grow your business
  • Have basic comments in word and copy and paste when adding friends or confirming friendships – have several as these sites like variety
  • Be on the sites consistently – 10 to 20 mins a day
  • Have a system so that you don’t waste time
  • Don’t go joining 10 sites then only work one – join one and make it work then go on to another
  • Make sure your profile is complete on each site
Advertisements

Seattle Businesses – Don’t miss this brand and marketing workshop!

Maria Ross - Marketing and Brand Expert

Maria Ross - Marketing and Brand Expert

Defining a brand strategy is essential for all businesses and a task that many small business owners find daunting.  To be successful in any economy or market, businesses need to have a defined niche and a sound strategy for how they are going to position themselves in the market place.  Regardless of how good a product or service may be, positioning and perception make all the difference.

Taking the time to define a marketing and brand strategy are a wise time and money investment that will pay off quickly.  Two of Seattle’s big brand and marketing dynamos, Maria Ross, Marketing Director for Red-Slice and Whitney Keyes of Whitney Keyes Productions, are holding a workshop to guide you through the marketing maze and help you find practical and creative ways to attract new customers  – and keep the ones you have loyal to you.  The workshop is being held February 11th, 2009, and is an excellent opportunity to get practical strategies from Seattle marketing dynamos.  For more information about the workshop, just visit: Branding Workshop.

Best,

Heather

.

5 Essential Questions To Help You Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is one of the hardest and most rewarding aspects of marketing. Your niche is the group of individuals that are interested in your products or services. This group is who you will target your marketing plans and future products to. Knowing your niche will save you time and money in almost every aspect of your business. From research and development to marketing and sales, your niche drives your business and can be a constant source of ideas for more products/services down the road. Before you can market to your niche, you first have to find it. Here are five basic questions to help you isolate your niche market.

1.What problem does your product/service solve? Knowing the answer to this question will help you find the individuals who will benefit most from your product.

2.Who has the problem that your product solves? If you are selling insoles, for example, think about all the people who complain about their feet – athletes, cashiers & salespeople, waitstaff, elderly, overweight, and so on.  Think about all the people who could benefit from your product.  Solve the pain of your target market and they will be your loyal fans (and customers!).

3.How old are the individuals who have this problem? This will help you isolate your Niche from everyone else. If you know how old the crowd is your trying to reach, you will know some of what they are interested in, what they do, how they travel, how the communicate.

4.Do the individuals in your niche share any traits? Are they sky divers, scuba divers, race car drivers…? The more you know about your niche the more targeted you can make your marketing efforts. Individuals with shared interested have common media sources. Magazines, blogs, websites, etc.

5.What makes your product different than your competitors? Use the answer as your marketing angle. This is the one fact (or multiple facts) that sets you apart from the rest.

Just as you didn’t copy your product from something already available, you don’t want to copy your marketing plan from everyone else. Be unique, be memorable and always be honest. For help putting a marketing plan together or for implementing a current marketing plan, contact Champion Assistants at 425.605.0205.

Best,

Kristi

5 Basic Elements of Targeted Marketing

tragetThere are many styles of marketing, but only one that truly works in all applications. That one style is known as Targeted Marketing. Targeted Marketing uses information and planning to reach the right people at the right time. Below are the five basic elements to effectively and efficiently utilize this style of marketing.

1. Know Your Audience: Just like you know your products or services, you likely know who will benefit from them the most and why. What problem does your particular product solve? Are there any other problems that that same product solves? Who has these problems? Bingo, you have found your target. Now you must learn about your target market. What are there habits? Where do they shop? What media sources do they use frequently? Why do they hang out? What do they like and dislike? Knowing your audience in this way will help you to focus your marketing efforts toward them in an efficient manner. If you were trying to reach an 80 year old man you wouldn’t post an ad in Vogue would you?

2. Optimize Your Efforts: For every company this element will vary slightly, but the general emphasis here is to make sure the tools and information you have available to your clients are working for you. If you have a website, make sure the content is updated on a regular basis, the metadata is accurate and accessible including keywords and a site map. The same goes for brochures and other informational leaflets. The information needs to be accurate and honest and the appearance needs to be clean. No one likes looking at something that hurts the eyes. If there are too many bells and whistles or too many vibrant colors you are going to lose your audience. Simple is usually best!

3. Be The expert: Develop the ‘Know, Like, Trust’ effect by becoming an expert in your market. Write articles, have free information available, be honest and upfront. If you have the opportunity to share something that you know and enrich someone else’s business/life they will become a source of referrals down the road.

4. Plan Your Attack Strategy: Whit the information you now have you should be able to formulate your marketing plans. Know what you are willing to spend and where you want to spend that money. Figure out if your going to use mail marketing vs. email marketing and know where you are going to get your mailing lists from. (It is always best to use a source you can trust) Know what keywords are best for finding your information online. Figure out where you need to be so that your customers will find you instead of you having to hunt for them.

5. Befriend the media: The media is a huge source of referrals and are more than happy to learn about new inventions, new techniques, new anything. Use the media to your advantage by sharing information. Think of this as an extension of both elements 3 and 4. You are more of an expert in the public mind if the media mentions you or your business. Press releases, on air spots, and other media events should be a part of your attack strategy.

These five elements take planning and effort to be successful. Just as you wouldn’t leave the house without your keys, you don’t want to start your marketing with only one element in place. Figuring out who your marketing needs to reach, where to find them and how best to reach them makes a huge difference in any marketing plan.

Viral Marketing in Any Market

The term ‘Viral Marketing’ is fairly new however the concepts and practices behind it are not. All Viral Marketing is, is a message that is simple and catchy that gets forwarded on through a social network. Think of it as a chain letter. The original letter was sent to perhaps a list of 40 people. Those forty people sent the letter on to ten more, who sent it to ten more, and so on down the line.  By the time this one letter has been sent on 5 times it has reached 64 individuals. With every successive step, the letter goes to exponentially more people.

The Internet has made Viral Marketing faster and more effective by making it simpler and easier to do. Though mail or email is still the easiest format to have forwarded, website pages and social networking group sites are getting a taste of this trend as well. In an age of instant everything, viral marketing is an instant path to millions of people worldwide.

There are several ways to incorporate Viral Marketing techniques into your business.

First: you must come up with a short catchy tag line for your business. This tag line will be incorporated into every step of your business, so be choosy when making that decision.

Second, incorporate that tag line into all of your materials. This includes your email signature, your letterhead, business cards. Anything that is sent to anyone should carry your tag line.

Lastly: Integrate your tag line into your marketing plans. Your tag line becomes like a virus. It is remembered and referenced by anyone and everyone who comes into contact with anything from your business. This includes a newsletter that a customer forwards to a colleague, a business card that was handed from friend to friend.

Viral marketing is here to stay. The use of it will not only draw customers during a marketing campaign, but on an on-going basis.

Best,

Kristi