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Search Engine Marketing & The Online E-conomy

Search Engine Marketing: The Online E-Conomy

Marketing your business online is tricky.  This whole thing relies on the consent and cooperation between three existing parties. The company, the consumer, and the host service. The whole goal of a company who participates in online marketing is to make their target audience aware of their product or service. The consumer wants accurate information on what they are looking for. Search engine host services want to provide accurate information to the consumer.

Eventually, Search Engine Marketing became the answer to meet the needs of all three entities. Advertisers would pay for space on web pages, provided they didn’t tamper with genuine information on search results. The host would comb through the data, and allow a set form of advertising without damaging the integrity of the information offered to users. The users would click on that advertising for goods and services. This gives both the search engine and the company a chance to profit.

So, if that is how the system works, is it foolproof? Not exactly. That balance is still a precarious situation. If any of the three parties are not careful the whole thing will fall apart. How?  Well, let’s look at what happens when one part of the search engine market overpowers the rest of the participants.

search engine marketing todayImbalanced Scenario One: Corporate Interest Trumps Information Dispensation

This hypothetical situation is a little more plausible compared to the other two. This is because it is a common criticism in other forms of media like television, print media, and radio stations. There is even speculation that this is what is going on with search engines today. In this scenario, there is more advertising space than actual information on search engine results. These ads would be unrelated to the search bar. There would be several pop-ups for every single website that has ad sponsorships. Unchecked, this means the death of the internet since free and accurate information would require a lot of digging.

However, while this is the most plausible issue to occur over the internet, there has since been enough outcry and mitigation when the SEM landscape covers too much internet space. One of the things that Google does to offer free information to the public is to limit the ad space that can appear on the result pages. It also relies on relevancy to determine whether ad placement should be awarded to a company that bids for it. Google even tried to decrease the rate of unnessecarry pop-ups by creating its own ad blocker and allowing third-party extensions that do the same thing. Even if it is to the chagrin of news sites.

Imbalanced Scenario Two: The Overregulation of Search Engine Marketing

This scenario is less likely to happen. However, it is a very real fear among those who wish to utilize search engine marketing as part of their main marketing mix. In this case, ad space would be even more limited than usual. There would be an increase in both regulation and penalties all across the board. The public and businesses would have little information on how the policies work, and would probably need to pay for it to participate. Were this to happen, small businesses would definitely get caught in the crossfire, due to a lack of know-how and availability in the system. Larger businesses with more money would get a bigger chance of using ad space.

This model, however, is not likely going to happen. Because, while people don’t like too many ads, they still love to shop online. While Google would make some profit, it would not make near as much profit if they didn’t allow the PPC system. Too many limitations on ads would ultimately change the landscape of e-commerce by decreasing the incentive to shop online. But what about the shoppers? What would happen if they had control of the market?

Imbalanced Scenario Three: The Public Being in Charge of SEM Policies

The public has a lot more say with the fate of
search engine marketing, old internetsearch engine marketing than the general public realizes. If it weren’t for their spending power, after all, there would be no incentive for either search engine owners or companies to make SEM a reality in the first place. But what if the public had taken the reigns entirely on search engine policies and the market. We actually have a model for that during the early days of the internet.

In the late 1990s, during the Wild West of the Internet,  indexing was mostly determined by how people wanted results to rank. This lead to a lot of misinformation and dubious practices. The lack of regulation was so bad at the time that it was easy to scam people. They would run amok with false products, stuffing irrelevant keywords and littering the page with way more advertisements than people could keep track of.

The regulation of this behavior from the search engine owners, backed by the profit from corporate spending, helped reign in the chaos into something more functional. This, in turn, kept search engines from charging the public for their services and gave them a shout out if they played by the rules.

 

If you are interested in search engine marketing for your business visit our main page and contact us!

By |2019-05-11T14:28:22-05:00May 11th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Search Engine Marketing & The Online E-conomy

Digital Marketing Abroad

Digital Marketing for International Audiences

It is not hard to come up with a digital marketing campaign in a local area. For instance, if you have a brick and mortar store in a small place like Decatur, Alabama and you want to advertise it, you can come up with a generic strategy for a marketing mix. Some of the campaigns might be digital, and another part of it would be analog, but usually, you can come up with the right mix on a trial and error basis.

However, it is not as easy coming up with a digital marketing plan in places abroad. This isn’t because it is a particularly bad thing to do. There are just different sets of obstacles that come with the intended goal of doing international business. We have more access to people, goods, and services around the world than ever before, thanks to the Internet. Still, if you don’t know the market you are pitching to, locally or internationally, you are not going to succeed. So, let’s talk about some things to be aware of when making a digital marketing campaign abroad.

digital marketing international

 

Be Mindful of Cultural  Sensitivity

What will fly for advertising in America may not be considered appropriate for your target market. In fact, a lot of what is deemed advertiser-friendly in the digital marketing world boils down to cultural norms in that area.

For instance, things like patriotism, religious affiliation, and alcohol consumption aren’t seen as big of a deal in most of Europe compared to America. In Asian countries like China and Japan, things like humility and hierarchy carry more respect and honor compared to meritocracy and individualistic behavior.

Even Canada has different attitudes and customs compared to America about certain topics and personal practices. I had a friend once who married into a Canadian family. Their initial impression of America was from the news stations. They believed America to be a violent hellscape and they were in disbelief that my friend’s hometown Decatur, Alabama didn’t have any sidewalks.

This is why it is important to conduct research on your target market before crafting your digital marketing strategy. And to do that properly you need to make sure you have the correct perspective of your target audience. If you are forcing your ideas down their throat, you will not only do terrible business, you might even be viewed as disrespectful.

Translation Translation Translation

Language barriers are the biggest obstacle when it comes to a digital marketing campaign. Especially if you have no familiarity whatsoever. Even if you managed to learn the target audience language, there are nuances that are just native.  That is why it is important to have someone on your team that has an in with someone who speaks the language natively. Bonus points if they grew up in the area of your target audience.

Look into colloquialisms or terminology when you are focusing on abroad SEO. Maybe even format your English to match international standards in lieu of American English. After all, many countries teach English as a second language. Find a way to linguistically meet them where they are at. A little understanding goes a long way in digital marketing and sales.

Not All Digital Marketing and Internet Consumption Look the Samedigital marketing abroad

It is very easy to be blind to the conditions and attitudes of other people. This is especially true of the internet. We are so used to meeting people internationally over the web, that we assume that they are using the same internet. While that may be the case sometimes, it is certainly not the case all the time.

Internet connections vary from country to country, with both speed and access. This may surprise most people but in spite of the fact that an American and a British man invented the internet, England and America do not have the highest connection speeds worldwide. That title belongs to South Korea. Britain and America rank 15 and 10 respectively. But most people wouldn’t think that the case because of our high dependency on technology for things like digital marketing.

Then there is censorship and access differences. What you may have access to now, may not be the case for someone in Sweden or the Republic of China. The UN passed a recently controversial Article 13 to protect the rights of businesses and decrease access to violent or disturbing content. China and North Korea are notorious for censorship. Especially for political reasons.

And that doesn’t even cover format preference.  In fact, some countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia prefer the use of mobile phones for internet access over desktop computer use.

Conclusion

When you come up with your digital marketing campaign, these factors and more are just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why it’s important to have a crack team for your digital marketing needs. If you want to advertise your business locally and abroad, give us a call. Or you can visit our website.  www.purpletieguys.com

 

By |2019-05-04T11:13:13-05:00May 4th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Digital Marketing Abroad

Partnership Marketing: What is it Exactly?

Partnership Marketing: What is it Exactly?

The first thing that came to mind when I first heard the term was an old adage. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” When two companies that are remotely in the same field as one another, then the odds are they most likely compete with one another for the lion’s share of the profit.  However, not everything is about competition in marketing. If you think about it, if everything was in competition, we wouldn’t have a lot of the products or customization that were born out of cooperation in the first place.

So, what makes two or more companies cooperate in a partnership? What are some of the intricacies that are involved, and what makes them so successful?

partnership marketing

The Definition of Partnership Marketing

Partnership marketing, at least according to econsultancy.com, “…is meant to be a long-term coming together of two brands, whether it’s integrations, interesting sponsorships, innovative attractions, a series of marketing campaigns, or utilizing another brand as a reward mechanism.”

In plain English, that means that two companies join to create a series of marketing campaigns. Usually for the benefit of profit for both brands.

Why do Different Companies Partner Up?

The reason behind any partnership between two people or groups is the achievement of a common goal. However, these goals vary from company to company. In fact, it varies so much that people who have studied on the subject have found 10 reasons for partnership marketing.  These reasons are not rigid. In fact, it can often change according to market response.

 

This includes but does not limit to:

partnership marketing

  • Affiliation – “Affiliate marketing is a performance marketing technique where websites otherwise will promote your product or service in return for a monetary reward.” An example of this is youtube playing 10-second ads for another company’s product for some of the revenue.
  • Distribution – One partner agrees to attach a sample or giveaway of another company’s product for revenue. An example of this is a textbook company sending out a Starbucks instant coffee packet with book rentals.
  • Charitable – A primary brand sponsors or markets itself with a charitable organization or cause. Their primary motivation is publicity through those charity channels. An example of this would be a brand of dog food sponsoring an event for the ASPCA.
  • Joint Products –  “When two companies agree to create a new product or alter an existing product in order to provide additional value to the customer.” This is done to create something that would address multiple audiences. An example of this is a line of Star Wars makeup was advertised by Cover Girl.
  • Product Placement – This is the most common form of partnership marketing. This when the presence of a brand is made clear in any media channel. Examples of this are littered everywhere, but the biggest example that was the most blatant was the replacement of the famous dry martini in James Bond movies, for a Heinikin in 2012’s Skyfall.
  • Shared Stores – This is when two products that are often associated with one another share the same location. An example of this would be a coffee shop and a bookstore sharing the same building.

What Makes Successful Partnership Marketing?

There are brands who have succeeded in this tactic, and there are those who have failed altogether. And that makes sense, there is always a degree of risk that goes with a partnership involved with two businesses. So, if you are thinking about partnering your own company with another on a marketing campaign, you might want to consider these factors.

  • Is this Company Compatible with my Brand?

 When a group of people decides to work together, they almost always need to be on the same page.  That doesn’t mean agreeing on absolutely everything, but you at least need to share the same priorities, company values, aspirations and target audience.

  • Am I in it for the Long  Haul?

Marketing campaigns and promotions take a while to conceptualize, gather resources, and execute. What’s more, there is a certain level of transparency that is a requirement in this type of business partnership. If you think you are not comfortable with the possibility of months or years of coming up with a campaign with this other company, you might not be compatible with one another.

  • Are Both of your Brands Compatible?

People tend to like things that make sense in combination with one another. For instance, if you are an outdoor paint company, you might want to partner with someone in a related industry. A furniture company comes to mind. If you partner up that same paint company with a daycare, you are not going to get a lot of people to think about either business.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-04-25T14:40:58-05:00April 25th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Partnership Marketing: What is it Exactly?

Setting up an Ideal Digital Marketing Budget

Setting up an Ideal Digital Marketing Budget

Advertising plays a huge part of the American economy. As technology grows, along with the goods and services that come with it, so does the number of advertisements as well as marketing tactics. Digital marketing tactics have taken in the lions share of the advertising budget.   In fact, marketing is a growing service industry, based on the growing demand for advertising. In 2018, “digital ad spending has surpassed the $100 billion mark.” So, if anyone wants their business to grow, the business owner needs to invest in a proper marketing budget with digital marketing added in the mix. But how much are business owners are expected to spend on their marketing budget? Where should they allocate the funds, and how effective can a proper marketing budget be? Let’s investigate.digital marketing budget

What is an Average Digital Marketing Budget?

There is no specific cap on how much a company spends on advertising or marketing. It often relies on different variables such as the size of the company, how long it has been participating in the market place, its current financial situation, and the audience they are targeting.  There are also different methods that businesses can determine their marketing budget.

Percentage of Sales Model

One way to determine it is by allocating a specified percentage of sales revenue to the marketing budget. This is more popular with corporations and businesses who are firmly established, but the basic principle is easy to understand.

The CFO or Financial advisor for the company allocates a percentage of funds from last year’s profit back to the advertising budget.

Smaller businesses range often from 12%-20%. On average though, the allocation for larger businesses run from 9%-12%.

This is because larger company brands are often so well known, that they do not need to spend as much money on advertising.

If your company makes more money in sales, then more money is added to the budget by default of the percentage. This tactic is often utilized to prevent the depletion of the sales budget from unnessecarry spending.

Flat-Dollar Approach

If you are starting independently, or you just don’t want to deal with difficult math, then the dollar approach might be for you.

These dollar amounts come from the mindset of what a business can afford. This is good for one time expenses, or short term marketing plans.

Digital marketing, as a rule of thumb, shouldn’t cost as much as traditional avenues. However, it is not hard to spend a lot of money on paid advertising. The dollar amount will help you keep track and put a cap on what you are willing to pay.

Matching Competition

This method of creating a marketing budget based on the business plan of a competitor. While it is useful for comparison, it is often a terrible idea when scale is not taken into account.

For instance, if a small store tried to compete with Walmart’s advertising budget, they will go bankrupt quickly. You need to not just look at what your competition is spending, but how it is being used.  Check for effectiveness more than dollar signs.

If you want the right amount of bang for your digital marketing buck, you want to invest in these three things:

 

Where Should the Money Go in a Digital Marketing Budget?

digital marketing sales chart

Content Marketing: I have seen it time and again. A website that makes no content for their audience is going to be virtually ignored by everyone and Google. If you want to be seen on the first page of any search engine, you want to at least invest in giving people a reason to view and enjoy your website.

If you don’t think you can blog yourself, you can always hire a blogger to do the writing for you.

Social Media and Influencers:  I am not talking exactly about Facebook Ads. Just like content marketing, people want a reason to see a social media account. They want to fall in love with a personality, not be sold a product by a complete stranger. The more open you are about your business on social media, the more likely you will get a lot of engagement. Especially from future customers. Invest in Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media brand that you think your business can benefit from. If you want to do it yourself, that’s great! If you don’t, you can hire other influencers that might like your brand.

Tracking: If you know what works, and what doesn’t, you are more likely able to gain and keep more customers. And the best way to do that is to keep track. If you keep track, you can know what was most effective, and when to stop or keep promoting a product or an event.

If you want to know about this and more, contact us or visit our site @ www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-04-16T15:21:47-05:00April 16th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Setting up an Ideal Digital Marketing Budget

Why Do Some Local Businesses Hate Digital Marketing in Huntsville, Al?

Why Do Some Local Businesses Hate Digital Marketing in Huntsville, Al?

Have you ever tried to convince someone to see your point of view about a subject? Maybe you found yourself in a position of convincing someone to buy a product or a service. It certainly isn’t an easy prospect. It is doubly hard when a person or a group of people have a preconceived notion based on a reputation behind your product or service. Sometimes that reputation is a deserved one from previously poor business practice. Other times, potential clients might have been burned by other people in your profession some time ago. Nevertheless, you find yourself in an uphill battle trying to change their negative perception of you. Digital marketing in Huntsville, Al, while new and exciting to larger businesses, is skeptically perceived by the local business sphere. Especially if they have been established for a long time.

Why? What is it about digital marketing, or any form of new marketing, that sounds threatening or disadvantageous? In order to crack the mystery, we need to look into the mindset of these people who perceive digital marketing as a threat.

 

The Perceived Threats Behind Change

According to The State Of Local Marketing Report 2019, a study by BrandMuscle, “A disappointing 11% of local retail partners “aren’t interested in marketing and don’t make it a priority,” What’s more, few partners rank very high on the marketing maturity scale. Of those polled, 47% are disengaged, 42% are developing, 8% are equipped, 2% are executing and 1% are optimizing.”That is a little less than half of the local business sphere. What gives? Why do a lot of businesses not feel the need to engage in a form of advertising that is cheap, fair, and gets results?

Some of it has to do with a very fundamental human fear. The fear of sudden change.

technophobia, digital marketing in huntsville, alabama

Loss of Familiarity

Whether people realize it or not, we are creatures of habit. We like the familiar because we find it comforting, safe, and keeps us in control. While we do crave a variety of things once in a while, the basic standard for human behavior is to crave the familiar. According to Psychology Today, “Generally speaking, things that are familiar are likely to be safer than things that are not. If something is familiar, we have clearly survived exposure to it, and our brain, recognizing this, steers us towards it.”

Loss of Personal Pride

Another reason that might make local companies hesitant about addressing digital marketing in Huntsville, AL is personal pride. This is the sort of thing that we are all guilty of from time to time. If we already feel like we are handling our own business, we are less likely to want others to interfere. Because someone from the outside is urging a change in business habits, they are, in the minds of the business owner, discrediting their past accomplishments. “When change involves a big shift of strategic direction, the people responsible for the previous direction dread the perception that they must have been wrong.” Explains Harvard Business Review “Change is resisted when it makes people feel stupid … [People] might express skepticism about whether the new software version will work or whether digital journalism is really an improvement, but down deep they are worried that their skills will be obsolete. ”

Increase of Perceived Challenges and Threats

Change is not easy. It is an uncomfortable process that requires a lot of excess work and mitigated risk-taking. “Change is resisted because it hurts. When new technologies displace old ones, jobs can be lost; prices could be cut; investments could be wiped out. ” This puts people into a very uncomfortable situation. Especially when digital marketers introduce new technology to a client. This is where the utmost patience is required from people pitching digital marketing in Huntsville, Al.  That combined with complete transparency is crucial if you want people to get on board.

 

The Negative Reputation of Marketers

Another reason that local businesses are more hesitant to embrace the concept of digital marketing in Huntsville, AL, is the stereotype surrounding marketers and advertisers. It is not easy to get people to buy your line of work as a necessity when the people you are trying to convince thinks you are the devil incarnate.  This obstacle is a byproduct of several things all of which winds up hurting business owners, target audiences, and marketers alike.

 Abuse of Outbound Marketingpyramid scheme, digital marketing in Huntsville, AL

As someone who receives at least 7 or so bot calls a day, I absolutely understand why people hate it so much. It offers little to nothing for the client, it is an invasion of privacy, and it distracts you from the rest of your day. Outbound marketing is a marketing technique in which a company advertises to everyone under the sun. This includes cold calling, trade shows, email blasts, and purchase lists. Companies, advertisers, con artists, political campaigns, robots, and all sorts of other groups invasively interrupt thousands of people just to get maybe one or two solid leads, and even then, it isn’t a guarantee that it will work.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Abuse of the Term Marketing

If you were to ask any layman about the definition of marketing, you will get varied responses. There are a few older generations that think of door to door salesmen. Others think of telemarketers right off the bat. Then there is the Mary Kay and Lu-La Roe companies that do famous Multi-level-Marketing or (MLM) schemes. For stores, it is setting up a table or window display.  Usually, though, people think of salesmen who are slick, dishonest and are certainly willing to con a dollar or two off of friends, family, and complete strangers.

This is because both laymen and salesmen, marketing has become a catch-all term to mean sales. This is thanks to the need for shady businesses on both a corporate and local level to clean up language for their personal benefit. A “pyramid scheme” for example becomes “multi-level marketing” because it disassociates itself from a terrible business practice through rebranding.

 

Conclusion – Con Artists and Personal Insecurities are Getting in Our Way

This is what makes the job harder than usual. Convincing someone to embrace something new is difficult, sure. However, combining that hesitancy with our reputation smeared by con artists, and you get a cocktail of difficulty.  There is something we can do, however, to change the mindsets of local businesses in regards to the presence of digital marketing in Huntsville, AL. We will cover it soon. If you like this and you want to know more about our company you can check out our site: https://www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-04-03T15:50:37-05:00April 3rd, 2019|Post, SEO|Comments Off on Why Do Some Local Businesses Hate Digital Marketing in Huntsville, Al?

Internet Marketing Talk : What is a Marketing Mix

Internet Marketing Talk: What is a Marketing Mix?

While Purple Tie Guys are mostly disciplined in the form of internet marketing, we do acknowledge that there is an appropriate time and place for traditional marketing formats. But why? Shouldn’t we, as a digital company, discourage or at least underplay the use of traditional media marketing. Honestly, to dismiss a traditional avenue of marketing promotion entirely would be shortsighted. That is because any marketer worth their paycheck knows to keep their options open when coming up with a compatible marketing mix. What is a marketing mix, and when does a traditional marketing format come into play over the internet marketing version?

marketing mix, internet marketingThe Basics of a Marketing Mix

A marketing mix is a combination of 4 “P’s”.  They are product, price, place, and promotion. While there are oftentimes debate over just how many p’s to add in the term, the average consensus is just the 4.  In a perfect world, a marketer will have control over all four of the “p'”s. But, oftentimes, the job of the marketer is limited to the demands and resources that the client has available to them.

Aside: In my experience, marketers have little control over the actual product or the price because that is oftentimes already determined by the client. Unless you are in charge of creating your own products or are working with a company from concept to execution, marketers might not even have any control over 2 of the 4 P’s in place. However, I will still include product and price, because they are still viable strategies when it comes to adjustment in the marketing mix.

 

Product

This part of the marketing mix can range from a tangible good to an intangible service. It is the feature that is going to be promoted. And if you have any hope of promoting it to the right people for the right purpose, you need to understand it inside and out. That means a thorough examination of the product or service itself. Usually, it is best to apply a Socratic line of questioning to at least get a grasp of what it is and who it is meant for.

A few of these questions include:

  • What can a customer expect to get from this product/ service?
  • What features does it have to meet customer needs?
    • Are there any features you’ve missed out?
    • Is there a reason why that feature is missing in the first place?
    • Are you including features that the customer won’t actually use?
    • Is it breaking the bank for both the customer and the manufacturer?
    • Did the development of the product or service go through the proper legal channels and regulations?
  • How and where will the customer use it?
  • What does it look like? How will customers experience it?
  • What size(s), color(s), and so on, should it be?
  • How is it going branded?
  • How can you differentiate it from the competition?

 

Price

This part of the marketing mix can be determined even less by an internet marketing company or a traditional one. This is simply due to the fact that value is determined by the consensus of the market place and the inclusion of tax fees from the local and federal government. However, the adjustments can be made to affect the clientele’s perception of pricing appropriateness.

For example, you might want to charge a little lower if the target demographic you are aiming for is a bargain bin hunter. Or, you might charge more, just to increase the perception of importance/ necessity to a potential client. What’s more, some people are more willing to buy an item that visually appears cheaper.  In spite of the fact, it is objectively the same price across the board. $12.99 just looks better to some people than $13.00.

Also, if you are just dying to move product because there is damage to the packaging, then you can clearance it out, and still have a shot of moving a product that you previously had little chance of moving before.

This is because price sensitivity changes from client to client because their mindsets vary according to the situation. Just be observant and figure out the behavior of your buyers for a more effective sales tactic.

 

Promotion

This one is the one that most people come to marketers for in general. Promotion is about: What the message is, the way it is given to an audience, and the likelihood it is to entice a person.

Most marketers utilize something like demography to figure out what medium their target audience is most likely using. There is also the matter of timing, which is the right point the message should be heard, and how often that target audience should hear it.  After all, people get annoyed FAST when they start seeing Christmas promotions around August on their television screens. It is a delicate balance of finding where your target market is, analyzing their habits, and relaying the message in the correct way to garner a positive result.

Aside: If your client is unwilling to budge on timing, avenue, or even the message, especially if you have shown them your research, then there is really no point in working for them. There is at least a fiscal argument to Price. The argument for Product comes from the fact that it’s already mostly developed to the point of inflexibility. However, if the rigidity extends to the point where they are insistent that they know what they are doing, there is no point in leading that horse to water anymore.

 

Place

This one is about product distribution more than anything else. After all, you don’t want people just to see the advertising. You also want to make sure the product is just as easily distributed.  Even if the product is abstract, like a web service, if you are unable to provide what you claim to have or keep channels of communication open about its development, you are going to look like a con artist.

So, take the time to figure out where your target market is getting the stuff from. How easy can you distribute the product to other people? What is a cost-effective way to distribute your product?  Should it appear easily available to a large public, or should it appear specialized and scarce? This is the part where the magic happens. If you can’t give your customers a good impression of your product or service, you are not going to be able to keep their money for long.

 

Conclusion

Whether you are an internet marketing company or a traditional entity, the best you can do is to look at the situation from all angles.  The 4 P’s are certainly a good start. However, you need to go above and beyond if you want serious results. That usually involves putting yourself in the shoes of your client. Or humbling yourself to ask questions and get insight from others.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-03-22T17:39:16-05:00March 22nd, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Internet Marketing Talk : What is a Marketing Mix

Digital Marketing -What Are You Really Selling?

Digital Marketing -What Are You Really Selling?

As someone who has immersed themselves in a world of traditional and digital marketing, I have certainly picked up a few surprising things. I have learned to glean over data, look for retention, find what works and what doesn’t, and look into the latest in how technology is playing a role in things like implicit and explicit advertising.

But what intrigues me is the core of it all. What are marketers, digital or not, really selling? A lot of people assume that marketing and sales involve just getting the product to the consumer. From point a to point b. But if it was that easy, we wouldn’t have an entire study industry devoted to the concept. So, what is digital marketing? What makes it part of our culture on the Web?

 

Digital Marketing is Accessibility

digital marketingI might be showing my age a little bit, but I remember a time before the Internet got big. My only access to the world before then was through documentaries on television and books, usually encyclopedias. Those pictures of faraway places like China, Argentina, and Kenya were more or less limited to my imagination.

But when the internet was becoming more mainstream, I was giddy, if not outright enthusiastic, because I was able to talk to people from so far away. I made friends, got into arguments, and offered support to people that were literally on the opposite ends of the country. I even talked to people from other parts of the world that I always wanted to go to. It was risky, very risky. But it still opened a whole new world of possibilities.

And I will be forever grateful for it.

Now, if some random person can gain access to people, places, and ideas that they have never heard of, what do you think the possibilities could be for an advertising group? If a digital marketing company makes it big, chances are, they not only had financial backing but also the flexibility of time, location, and new ideas on their side.

However, involvement is no guarantee of success either. After all, the internet is a ridiculously critical place, because EVERYONE has access. Meaning…

 

Digital Marketing Demands Creativity and Willingness to Keep Pace

One of the most frustrating thing that seems to butt heads with traditional marketing groups that have long been established, is that they can’t rely on the same tactics and messaging over and over again and expect different results.

While people are for the most part, habitual in their day to day activities, that does not mean that they don’t get sick and tired of being told to buy the exact same thing, at the exact same place, in the exact same way over and over again. Even though people in groups may be easily lead, individuals are getting smarter. They work harder to pick up on when someone is selling to them, and what is actually in it for them.  What’s more, software, hardware, and algorithms are constantly changing in the world of technology. If you cannot catch up to any of it, you will be left behind.

Successful digital marketing cannot rely on laziness or complacency. The only thing that a company or a marketing group can do to shake things up is to at least alter the message, the format, or the product.

If you can do all that and keep up with the changes in technology, you will no doubt be ahead of the pack.

But how does a digital marketing company, miss the mark completely? What if they are missing the mark in communicating with the primary users of the latest technology, the youth? How do you even communicate with those Millenials and Aught’s anyway?

 

Digital Marketing Demands Sincerity in Message and Practice

The values of these two market demographics are vastly different if not outright incompatible with the messaging tactics of yesterday. For starters, these two generations are demanding something gen z, digital marketingthat exists way outside of the realm of traditional advertising sensibilities, authenticity. In the latest complaints about Instagram ads from its primary users, (ages 25-34), the biggest included:

  •  62% of those displeased with adverting in survey stating that, influencer content ‘takes advantage of impressionable audiences’.
  • 55% stated that aspirational posts were ‘too materialistic’.
  • 54% of that group said influencers ‘misrepresented real life’.

This is a far cry from the assertion from older generations that claim that the latest generation is more narcissistic than ever. If anything, they are the exact opposite. And they put their money where their mouth is.  According to Mckinsey.com, this implies three things that are up and coming for the digital marketing world with Gen Z as their target audience, “Companies should be attuned to three implications for this generation: consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern.” This means that brands should expect to share a level of authenticity and demonstrate a level of ethics that is far past the comfort zone of previous generations.

 

Digital Marketing Belongs to the Young

So just tying a brand to an event or paying lip service will not cut it anymore. Especially not to the first generation that grew up as “digital natives”. This probably outright terrifies brands and marketers who are very much used to navigating a traditional landscape in Gen X territory. Because it is vastly opposite to Gen X-er values.

It means doing an exact 180 degree turn around in digital marketing strategies and even branding. And not all companies are going to be willing to adapt. That is probably why there is so much negative pushback between established forms of marketing and media vs newer formats today. They both embrace the opposite values. Because the old values of status, materialism, and competition are slowly dying out in favor of uniqueness, authenticity, and cooperation, they know that their days are numbered.

 

Conclusion

And it is certainly interesting to watch as the field of digital marketing keeps growing.  We have seen so many changes in the past two decades alone in both the technological and marketing landscapes.  Either way, Digital marketing has become a lot of things to a lot of people. It is accessibility. It is creativity and the spirit of change. Most importantly, it is diversity and sincerity.

 

If you want more advice or are looking for a Digital Marketer in the Decatur, Alabama area, give us a call!

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-03-17T12:49:55-05:00March 17th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Digital Marketing -What Are You Really Selling?

Local SEO and Service Based Companies without Physical Locations

Local SEO and Service Based Companies

Marketers, search engine wizards, and techies alike understand the concept of search engine optimization or SEO. As a practice, SEO is an organic, long-term set of consistent actions that increases web visibility for specific sites. However, when it comes to local search engine results or local SEO, it can get a little hairy. It comes with the key word of that phrase, “local”. Small service-based companies, especially ones that don’t have a ‘brick and mortar’ base of operations, or have multiple locations, often find themselves frustrated with lack of acknowledgment as a legitimate business by everyone. If you aren’t in a business bureau listing or if you don’t have the brand recognition of a franchisee, it is all too easy for a small service-based business to look illegitimate. Especially to someone like their customer base.

That is why so many small service-based businesses, rely on the internet for connections, advertising, and revenue.  However, because there are so many people who are relying on the internet as they are starting out, it is far too easy for broken promises, lousy service, and outright scammy behavior.

So, what can a legitimate service-based business do to gain awareness from their potential clientele locally? And, what is the right/ wrong way to go about it? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

local seo

Be Mindful of Presentation

First impressions are everything, whether we like it or not. You cannot claim to know or have something without some sort of evidence to back it up. So, if you want to make sure your clients, and Google are less likely to turn you away, you need to put the extra effort in the visual aesthetic of your promotional materials. Whether it is a website or a printed out sign, you want to give a unified and comprehensive message about what service you offer.

So, don’t be sloppy when you are trying to advertise your local service based business on and offline. Ask a professional, or someone who is good at spotting details to make sure the message you want to send is the right one.

In terms of Local SEO, make sure that your information is relevant to what you offer in the immediate area. Talk about what your business entails and show visible examples of your training. This will increase the likelihood of a client picking up your company for a job.  Also, check to make your your website and social media is updated, and easy for others to navigate.  Google give you a small boost in both local and non-local search rankings if your site is easy for people to both navigate and understand.

 

Aside:

It is absolutely important that you want to put your best foot forward. But you also don’t want give off the impression of inauthenticity. If you are trying to promise something that you can’t deliver, or if you are trying to “cheat” the system both on and offline, you will pay in the long term. That can look like a Google penalty online, or a lawsuit/ out of business sign offline.

 

Keep a Constant Online and Offline Presence in the Local Sphere

The advantage of not having a physical location, is that you can go anywhere. You can make appointments at any place, with any person, at any time. The world is your oyster. However, the minute you stop meeting with people, networking, and making yourself visible, you are much more likely going to be completely and utterly forgotten.  The same principle works online as well as offline.  If you keep your website updated, reach others through social media, and keep your information updated, you will receive a higher priority for Local SEO rankings. However, if you leave it sitting on its own and do nothing to draw attention to your business site, and avoid listing your location to match for relevant searches, you are going to be much less likely to get a positive rating or attention from google algorithms.

 

Pay Attention to Accuracy in Local Listings

local seoIf you are working from home with a P.O Box, or if you have multiple locations and only one building, do not attempt to add a listing for a location that isn’t there.  Google Maps is first and foremost about the accurate indexing of physical locations. If Maps sends direction to a location that is not there, it looks bad for them. Especially, to anyone who is relying on Maps for credible information. Because Google wants people using it to trust them for information, it cannot afford to send out bad information in the name of advertising.  So if you go out of your way to falsify a location listing you will not only be penalized but will also lose out on the time and money that you spent trying to get it on there in the first place.

Some of the things that you can do instead, according to Miriam Ellis at MOZ is :

 1) Go after organic rankings for that city via the authority you build surrounding website content+links for that city.

2) Pay for visibility with locally-targeted PPC.

3) Use social media to try to build brand awareness for your work in that city.

4) Do everything you can to encourage word-of-mouth among existing customers. Customers in your location have friends and family elsewhere. Make a superior effort to offer the type of superior service that would cause the your customers to recommend your services to others. Consider how loyalty programs might assist with this. Perhaps every customer who brings you a new customer gets a voucher for a free dinner, free massage, etc.

5) Explore building relationships with related businesses in a nearby local location you are trying to break into. Perhaps your company does everything but bake the cake for weddings. Find the best bakers in City B and see how you can help one another in terms of lead generation.

 

Conclusion

If you are accurate with the information you have, are mindful of your presentation, and are actively communicating with your clientele, then you will no doubt see your service based business and your Local SEO search results grow. Just put yourself out there and make a conscious effort. If you don’t know about something like Local SEO, you can always ask us at www.purpletieguys.com.

By |2019-03-11T17:01:57-05:00March 11th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Local SEO and Service Based Companies without Physical Locations

Local Citations are Important for your Business

Local Citations are Important for Your Business

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Local businesses are not exactly at the top of the food chain when it comes to profit. With the rise of remote shopping through the internet and the one-stop-shop corporate giants like Walmart and Costco, there is little space for local business models to survive. It also doesn’t help that these sites and large corporations have a financial advantage. In fact, they have the resources to advertise to as many people, through any media format, as much as they want. It almost seems unfair.   Is there even a fighting chance for a local business?

The good news is that with a little creativity, know-how, and patience, there are a few ways that you can spread awareness of your business. And with little cost to you. Businesses can gain notoriety through a combination of local and digital word of mouth. And the best way to do that is to utilize local citations.

What are Local Citations?

According to Moz, “A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business. Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms. Citations help Internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings. Local businesses can actively manage many citations to ensure data accuracy.”

So any time a phone number, business name, address, etc are on a website listing, then search engines counts that listing in Google’s favor.

For instance, if you are running an auto repair shop and someone mentions your business on a Facebook post , you are more likely going to show up on a local search for “auto repair shop”.

Are There Different Kinds of Local Citations?

There are multiple types of citations, some of which involve participation from different types of people in different formats. With a few positive interactions and time set aside for listing your business, you can get the ball rolling on getting your business prioritized in relevant Google search results.

 

  • Major Local Business Data Platform- This is the first kind of local citation that I am going to address. This is the kind of local citation that is done by the business themselves. These platforms are websites with the sole purpose of listing businesses for people who are looking for them. Examples of these include: Google My Business, Angie’s List, Yelp, Insider Pages, etc.

 

  • Geo/Industry-Specific Platforms– This is the kind of local citation that delves further into specifics. If the major local business platform like a yellow page phone book of businesses, then this platform would be the white page equivalent.  Listings for a specific business type, like medical treatment centers, or churches fall under this category. It is the same for listings under a specific location like a town site or a chamber of commerce page.  You might need third party approval if you want to make a listing on a site like this.

 

  • Social Media and the Wider Web – This local citation is the sort that cannot be a result of any business owner or financial influence. It is the result of the attention of other independent users. This sort of citation can only be a product of a customer with interest in your business. This can come in the form of blog posts, social media responses, personal reviews, and press releases. If they like or hate your business enough, word will spread on the internet.  If you want to help the process along, you can always communicate with your customers in person.

 

Ways to Make Local Citations Work for You

There are a right way and a wrong way to list your business online. After all, information, whether on the internet or in real life, needs a clear understanding between both parties sharing it. If you want a better chance at local search results for your business, follow this advice.

  • Make sure that your listings and citations are accurate.
    • If you don’t want your customers in confusion about your location or your contact information, keep your information consistent.  If you think there is any chance that there is something wrong with a listing, get it fixed.  Or, if there has been a major shift in location or contact information, get it fixed. Get everything corrected on all of your citation listings as soon as possible.

 

  • Treat your citations as case or symbol sensitive.
    • Machines that have a programming language that is rigid in structure. While a human can see a symbol as a substitute for a word, a computer will only see the symbol and read it as is.  That is why it is important to keep the local citation listings as exact as possible, so the algorithms won’t discount them on accident.
    • Example: “And”, “-“, and “&” are read and translated as different symbols by the machine, even though our brains might all reinterpret it to mean the word “and”.

 

local citations

More Local Citation Tips

 

  • Cite as much as possible in as many different places as possible.
    • There is a fine line between repetition and spamming in the Google Algorithm. All of it has to do with placement. If a listed phone number or business name has been repeated over and over in one location, chances are this will be interpreted as an unwanted repeated message or spam. Diversify where you list your information and you are much less likely to be a subject of Google penalization.

 

  • Contextualize your citations.
    • If you simply offer information without any relevance or context to the subject matter at hand, this will also be a red flag of suspicion by Google algorithms.  You don’t want someone to offer their lawn care service to interrupt a conversation between you and a friend when you tell them you are looking for a baby sitter. It comes out of nowhere and has no context or bearing on what you are looking for. The same applies to citations on Google. Don’t cite your information unless it is relevant to your service, business, or customer base.

 

If you want to read more of this sort of thing, check out our website www.purpletieguys.com.

 

By |2019-02-28T14:40:48-05:00February 28th, 2019|Post, SEO|Comments Off on Local Citations are Important for your Business

Google Penalties

Google Penalties – Prevention and Recovery

Imagine that you are setting up a new website. You worked hard on it, and you want everyone to see it as fast as possible on Google. You might have limited on time, or you might just be ignorant of the SEO process. Either way, you hear that there is a guaranteeable way for your website to be at the top of Google search results within days. At first, everything turns out great! You are at the top of the search results for keywords you want and more people notice your site! Then, you wake up one morning to find that your site is gone.  None of the results are panning out. Y What happened?

Google is a search engine site that exists primarily for the purposes of helping people find what they need when looking for something specific. It relies on a system of indexing that requires accuracy and ease of access for people who are searching for information. If a site is indexed properly, they get higher on the search result list. If a site uses tactics that appear to be “cheating” or playing the system, it will suffer Google penalties. I suppose Google giveth and Google taketh away.

seo marketing, google updatesWhat are Google Penalties?

When Google penalties are afoot, your site will be much lower on Google search results. It is sort of an ironic punishment for people who are trying to “game” the system or take short cuts. Since Google was first created there are countless ways for people to try and cheat the system. At the same time, there are multiple ways that Google penalties were enacted and developed in response to cheaters.

So, what are the ways that Google penalizes cheaters?

There are two ways that Google serves penalties: Algorithmically and Manually.

Algorithmic Penalties

An algorithm is basically a program that runs one or more tasks automatically, based on a set of pre-written instructions on the behest of the person or people who worked on the code. Google is famous for them simply because it is much faster and efficient to use when it comes to checking the integrity of related links vs human intervention. Of course, algorithms still suffer from limitations due to the hyper-specific nature of the code. An algorithm can only work within the parameters that it is given in the first place.

For instance, If an algorithm is supposed to crawl all over the internet for signs of a broken link, then it will only catch and penalize broken links, and not any other violation, like a misdirect. A few famous ones over the years include:

  • Panda: Google Panda is all about vetting content. In this scenario, it checks websites to make sure there is enough relevant content on a website. If the content is not relevant or just bad quality, they will push it down the search result list. If the content is informative and relevant, the site gets more priority on the search results list.
  • Penguin: The Penguin update focuses on the “black and white” viewpoint of policing the internet.  It was released to catch sites that were keyword and link spamming its search results, either through buying and spamming people with unrelated content.
  • Hummingbird: Hummingbird is an algorithm focusing on each word in a query. It contextualizes the definition of words and applies them to the query. This adds a level of nuance to the search engine.
  • Pidgeon: Much like it’s animal counterpart, the homing pigeon, Google’s Pidgeon algorithm focuses on filtering search results based on location.

These algorithms along with others do their jobs with impunity and impartiality.

Manual Google Penalties

Of course, machines alone can’t run Google. There needs to be a level of human oversight in case an algorithm comes across Google Penaltya function it does not understand or people are contesting with their judgment. This is where manual penalization or “manual action” comes in.

The impact a manual action has on your site can vary. It often depends on the severity of the website misconduct. Also, just a side note for those who think large corporations get away with doing said misconduct…they really don’t. Surprisingly, sites like Overstock.com, BMW.com, and even its own company Google Chrome, got penalized for behavior that didn’t seem on the up and up. No one is immune from search engine scrutiny.

There are ways for you to rectify the things that they are looking for. It all boils down to whether or not you are willing to make the changes necessary to fix it.

Google can penalize your website for :

 This would be most likely a scheme on the part of the web developer. Basically, an unnatural link is an outside link to your site that appears unrelated or just exists to artificially inflate your page ranking. If you get caught, they will penalize you for it.

This wouldn’t be the fault of the site owner. However, the measure is a precaution to prevent the spreading of possible malware and computer viruses to visitors to your site. Once you repair the website and you tell Google, they will take back the penalties.

Naturally, this is exactly what it sounds like. If you have little in the way of written content or text, you are not going to be prioritized. This is due to the fact that visitors are just likely not to stick around a page that long with little content.

This one is also self-explanatory. If you are sending unwelcome messages to people and are blocking content access behind advertisements you are harassing users, plain and simple. Just avoid this practice altogether if you want your website to not suffer a Google penalty.

 This one is more for large messaging formats like forums or comment sections. Basically, when users are trolling or are offering inane or dangerous commentary for no reason but the “Lulz”,  your website will pay the penalty for it. If you aren’t up to date on the security behind the comment section or the forums, your site will pay the consequences.

If you disguise your link that will send the user to the wrong spot on a website, then you are cloaking. Just avoid doing this altogether.

Before Google was mainstream enough to start looking into security and algorithms, people would try to cheat the system often. One of their favorite ways to do it was to spam as many keywords as possible, relevant and irrelevant. These days, the algorithm catches it. Every time. This is so old that not even twelve-year-olds try it anymore. Just don’t disguise or spam your content.

No website host is free. And if they say they are, they are obviously lying. They just surround your sites with as much ad space as possible to the point where there is too much spam. Just pay for a simple drag and drop site if you need one cheap.

If you have too much incorrect information, missing data, or broken links, the site will look like the user stopped maintaining it. If you want to be visible again, clean up the site and make sure everything leads to the right place.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-02-19T16:11:41-05:00February 19th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Google Penalties