Advertising and Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to marketing and advertising your business, it is essential to develop a good marketing plan. Even the most solid plan, however can still fail if it is not implemented correctly. Avoiding these common advertising and marketing mistakes can help.

One mistake that many businesses make is to not market to a defined group or demographic. While it is important to appeal to a wide target audience possible, failing to identify your key demographic will keep your business from reaching the customers who are most interest in the product or service you have to offer. Focus your advertisements to appeal to your target audience, and you will naturally attract more business.

Effective marketing is based on a cohesive advertising strategy, so once you develop a logo and theme for your ads and promotions, make sure that you stick with it. A marketing strategy that is inconsistent will make your company look unfocused and unprofessional. This does not mean that you should focus your advertising and marketing efforts on one medium, however. Many businesses make this mistake because they are unfamiliar with certain mediums.

Don’t allow unfamiliarity with technology to hinder your marketing campaign. Make sure that you utilize all available media sources whenever possible, including television, print ads, radio, and online advertising. Many businesses fail to utilize online advertising tactics because they are unfamiliar with the technology. If this is the case, be sure to take the time to learn, and search for sites that make it easy for you to upload your video advertisements, even if you have little or no experience with this type of medium.

In the process of trying to attract new business, don’t make the common mistake of neglecting your repeat customers. Repeat customers make up an estimated 80 percent of most revenue, so be sure to target your marketing campaigns toward them as well. If your marketing message is unclear, however both new and repeat customers will be confused. Consistency is the key to achieving brand reputation.

The most effective marketing and advertising campaigns take into account the measure of their marketing results, so be sure to keep close track of what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to discard ideas that don’t work for your business. Remember, the best marketing strategies are the ones that evolve and grow over time to meet the changing needs of a business, its target audience, and emerging technology.

To learn more about advertising online and other online marketing tips visit our site.

Expand Your Business With Blogging

Statistically speaking, you’re likely reading this outside of normal business hours. Am I right, or am I right? Why? Because if you have a life (okay … admittedly many people don’t) the majority of your time is spent away from the office and outside of normal business hours. Usually, when the sun goes down you are already out the door. Frazier has left the building.

But the sun never sets on the internet. It operates 24/7/365 for online and offline businesses both. There are no doors to unlock and no lights to turn on. The doors are always open and the lights are always on. No brick; no mortar; no time clocks.

There are so many important online tools for both marketing (presenting your company and product to the market) and sales (trading that product/service for revenue) … if you’re not using them you’re soon to be extinct. Even the US government figured that out. Filed any corporate taxes lately? Most companies now do it online (it is called EFTPS, if you’re at all curious).

Low-to-No Cost – Many of the online resources available for your business are usable with no cost and can offer great results. Calculate the ROI on that: small investment (mostly in your time) and great results. Infinite ROI? No, not quite. But as a business owner if you use these available tools correctly it will make a difference in your business. Put another way, if you are not using online tools for your business, the wolves are at the door and your house is made of sticks. Not brick and mortar; sticks.

Blogging is increasingly being used to effectively to present businesses and products to the market. Websites like Blogger and WordPress make it possible to share value – your knowledge and experience – through blog posts. Helpful blog posts on relevant content establish you as a leader and creates a relationship that your consumers don’t normally get from just visiting your website. Just today in a phone conversation a client said, “I was so glad to see you are a real person!” The personal touch works.

Need a great example? Go look at 3PAR’s company blog called “StorageRap” (www.storagerap.com). No, I’m not associated with 3PAR in any way. But Marc Farley is awesome at what he does for the data storage industry. Take special note of the value that he delivers. Yes, it comes with a heavy dose of opinion, and more than a bit of controversy, but that is the whole point of blogging! Ever read a boring blog post … more than part-way? I rest my case.

If you are venturing into a company blog, ensure it has a clear objective. Brainstorm with colleagues on ideas of what to write and how to represent the company. Then just to it.

Don’t be stingy. And don’t be a twit. – Contribute to the communication in meaningful ways. A terrific way to increase your network is to be active and to comment on others’ posts. Respect the poster; comment on the post. Remember that a single post could be read by thousands, some of whom may take great interest in you and the products you represent.

Don’t Abuse the Blog – If you use your blog correctly, clients and consumers will appreciate your information and insight. But consistency is key. Deliver value to your business community by remaining active in blogging and in social networking forums. Don’t hold back. Give more, and you will receive more.

Brian Moore is a business coach and mentor that assists serious entrepreneurs in building a profitable online business with multiple incomes streams. Brian and his team have assisted hundreds of people in generating profits that exceed $250K or more in their first year. For more information and to contact Brian, visit: http://www.meetbrianmoore.com

How to Get Free Advertising in the Yellow Pages

I actually stumbled across this technique completely by accident when searching for a home cleaner in the Yellow Pages. There was a large full page display Ad and when I called it, the phone number had been disconnected.

At first I thought I had called the wrong number. Then, when I called it again (double-checking of course to make sure I had the right number), all I got was the “beep-beep-beep” sound that confirmed that the number had been disconnected.

I was amazed to say the least. Here, a company had spent $30k to place a full page Ad, only to have the number misprinted? Surely it was an error. So – I did a little digging out of curiosity only to find the cleaning company had gone out of business.

Bingo.

I couldn’t believe my luck. That particular edition of the Yellow Pages still had six months to run, and surely there were going to be plenty of people calling that number. So – I immediately contacted the phone company and bought the number.

Two weeks later, I created a joint venture with another cleaning company and took 20% of the resulting sales. All we did was set up a separate phone line to handle these new inquiries so we could track the results. Not only did we get new business, we also had repeat customers of the bankrupt business calling and we managed to get over 50% of these people to do business with us.

Talk about easy money!

Now, of course not many businesses who place full page Ads (or even half page Ads) will go bust throughout the year. However, if you look long enough you will find 1 or 2. A more systematic approach is to subscribe to an insolvency site that publishes new bankruptcies. When you are notified of a company gone bust, you can then check if they have an Ad in the Yellow Pages first, then buy the number once it’s disconnected. In my experience the phone number is almost never sold when a small or medium sized business is put in liquidation.

Also, there are lots of unpaid listings in the Yellow Pages that get disconnected or no longer apply to that business. The reasons vary, but usually the smaller businesses are operated out of home and when the owner moves or sells his or her business the number sometimes doesn’t get changed over.

Of course, there’s nowhere near the same amount of value in unpaid listings but they do still work. Otherwise they wouldn’t be there. My advice – don’t pay more than $50 for phone numbers that are in unpaid listings. –Marcus Maclean

If You Own a Service Business, Forget Advertising

Strangely enough, almost every business out there at some point in time will turn away potential customers, despite the fact they’ve paid thousands of dollars in advertising to get that customer to call. The reasons why businesses do this varies, but in the service industry, most of the time they’re just too busy, or their service is too expensive.

This true fact creates an amazing opportunity to quickly, cheaply and effectively increase sales by simply taking the business your competitor doesn’t want or need or can’t cope with.

There are two ways to do it.

ONE: When your competitor has so much demand they literally cannot keep up, you could offer to do the jobs they can’t do (for lack of resources or labor) and pay them a referral fee. For example, a panel beater might be fully booked up for the month but a customer needs a job done urgently. Rather than kissing the sale good bye, your competitor might as well give you the job and take a cut.

In my experience, many owners don’t like this idea for the simple reason that their name is on the line. After all, if a customer comes to THEM and they point them in the direction of a competitor who botches the job up, it’s THEIR name that suffers.

So, it’s important when you approach a competitor that you are confident in the quality of your service and you have a track record to prove it.

TWO: Almost ALL service businesses will refuse jobs from time to time because a customer is haggling them on price. In my experience, I have NEVER come across a business that doesn’t deal with the dreaded price shopper.

If you do offer a lower-cost service than your competitor, and you’re willing to deal with these types of customers if only to get the sale, you could offer to have them refer their price shoppers to you.

A word of warning though. I would only use this method in slow periods when you really need the money. Or if you are able to offer a lower-cost service and still make good margins. The only one fatal flaw in this technique is that you’ll often attract the annoying customers who complain and never pay on time. But if you need the money – it’s worth it. — Marcus Maclean

Article Marketing Blog Help

Article marketing is said to be a great way to generate money online in this day and age. It is actually being used by authors to promote their books or ebooks as well as it is also being used by businessmen in marketing their products and services. But don’t you know that you can also use article marketing even if you are not a certified author or businessman? You simply have to come up with good quality article contents which you need to post on your own website or weblog. As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to be a successful article marketer is by being aware on how to do the article marketing blog.

A blog is actually a web page or site which can serve as your personal journal wherein you can write anything and everything that you want. You can write your personal views and opinions about some things which can be of great help to other people. In point of fact, you can create your own blog and use it for article marketing purposes and gain extra cash eventually. You only need to make sure to arm yourself with some of the basic article marketing blog tips. The following are some blog help tips which you can consider to be successful in the realm of article marketing:

• Place your blog on a main website. This is essential in order to easily acquire more web visitors. You can actually choose a keyword or keyword phrases that would best describe your page and make your chosen keywords to be your blog’s title. You also have to see to it to create a URL for your own blog site.

• Link your blog to all of your articles. This is important in order to acquire greater traffic. All you need to do is to include your blog’s URL to all of your written articles. Furthermore, you should make sure not to publish your articles instantly on your blog. You only have to write on your blog some little explanations or remarks regarding your articles, its purpose, as well as its basis and link it directly to your original website.

• Do the link exchanging. Exchanging links works in a way wherein you are going to include on your blog the lists of online article directories, sites, newsletters, or even other blog sites which publish your articles. This is in fact another way on how to generate web visitors and traffics through other useful sites.

• Put a comment box on your weblog page. This is somewhat helpful in order for you to be aware on how people respond to all your written articles either on your blog site itself or to your original website. You need to accept all kinds of comments whether good or bad and consider all those comments when it comes to improving your blog, website, and articles to attain success in the realm of article marketing.

Indeed, you can use a blog in order to do article marketing and gain instant cash. You only have to keep the aforementioned article marketing blog tips in mind in order to ensure success in the long run. After all, the tips mentioned above are believed to be truly helpful and can be done without much effort at all.

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Should You Guest Blog?

Plan and simple, yes you want to guest blog, but you want to be picky about the sites you are guest blogging on. I say this because you want to make sure your blogging on a site that is actually going to help you get target traffic to your site. You don’t want to waste time and energy creating a blog post on say SEO (which is your specialty) on a blog that is dedicated to preserving Barbie. The point of guest blogging is that it is a win win for the webmaster and the guest blogger.

I am sure that you are not really interested in what guest blogging does for the webmaster at this point. You want to know what it is in it for you. That is the focus on this post. So here we go, the first benefit of guest blogging is that you get instant exposure to your blog. Let’s say that you just launched a new site that you are really excited about and you know offers great benefit to visitors. You want traffic now, not in a few weeks or months. Find an authority site or other site that is reputable in your niche, contact the webmaster and offer to guest blog for them. You blog post will offer informative content and a plug about you and your website.

The second benefit is that exposure you gain. If you don’t have a business that you are trying to promote, but skills you want to offer to hire… guest blogging can help you there as well. When you guest blog on a site, as I said above, you get to do a little blurb about you and what you do, and from there you can direct people to a place where they can learn more about you.

The third benefit and reason as to why you should try to guest blog is that you get a link back to your blog. We have talked in the past about how important back linking is. This is a great way to increase your rankings with links from reputable sites.

Notice that I have mentioned reputable sites. You want to look for sites that have a good ranking, because you know that they are getting traffic. You also know that they are getting crawled by the spiders on a routine basis and that what they say on that website is trusted by people in the niche you are addressing. You don’t want to waste your time blogging on a site that isn’t getting more traffic then you currently are, or worse yet, they are not getting traffic at all.

There are a few rules that you need to keep in mind in regards to your posts. You want to make sure that your post fits into the category of blog you are posting on. Remember, Barbie isn’t going to care much on how to SEO optimize. The blog post that you create must be original and unique. You can’t post an article that you wrote and posted elsewhere.

Also, we are talking about your reputation so you really want to post only articles that you have written. If you are going to farm out the blog posts writing then make sure that you have proofed what is said in the article. The last thing in the world you want to do is make yourself look bad or the website you are guest blogging on.

Finally, when you guest blog if you are going to use a link in your post, it must be a link that is related to the website you are writing for. You should NOT use your own affiliate links. This is just poor taste and not only will the webmaster kick you to the curb, it will get around in the industry that “type” of person you are and you will have a hard time getting another guest blogging spot.

Neil Bartlett is the founder of MyIMCoach.com. My IM Coach provides aspiring Internet Marketers with Tips and Techniques for getting started and/or improving their marketing skills. To learn more INSTANTLY grab his FREE report “How To Make It Online”

Free Marketing and Free Advertising For Your Business

We all know that marketing and advertising is essential if one wishes to build a successful business. No matter how great your product is or how fantastic your company is, if no one knows what you are or what service you can provide then you are effectively invisible. So once you have your business you need to tell the world about it and this is where your marketing and advertising comes in.

Now before you rush out to spend a fortune on marketing firms let us look at some very simple and free ways to promote your business. This will of course assume that you have a company website. If you do not then you should design one or have one designed for you. These methods may sound simple and they may sound incredibly obvious yet they are tools that can increase traffic to your company website and can draw much needed attention to a particular product that you are trying to promote.

1) Articles

Sounds simple enough yet article writing is an often overlooked form of advertising. It is great for highlighting a particular product or service. Obviously the main body of the article would feature the service being offered and would list all the reasons why this service is essential and why this service can be best provided by your business. The article would also contain links to the particular page on your site that features this service or product. The beauty of the article is that you will on most occasions be allowed to provide links to your business within the author’s biography box at the end of the article. Once your article has been written you can then submit it to online article sites and to article directories. Traffic to your company website can be generated by this form of advertising and your monthly visitors will increase as you add more articles.

2) Forums

Forums are great at generating traffic. However, this must be approached correctly or you will loose much needed credibility as soon as readers think you are a “spammer”. There is nothing worse than seeing an endless stream of one line postings promoting a business idea. No matter how good the offer may be or how genuine, people will switch off. A site such as Yahoo Answers can be invaluable. You will look for a relevant question and give a good answer. Only then will you throw in a link to your website. Again just posting something like “click here for a good business solution” will provide no immediate help and will turn visitors away. However, if you present a good answer that provides real time solutions you can then add your link from a “to find out more…” perspective. Your credibility will thus increase as readers see that you are offering genuine help. Again any biographical information will provide links to the company website.

3) Incoming Links

Now this is specifically geared toward generating website traffic but at the same time it can increase your company profile and credibility. Maintaining a page of business links just for the sake of it does not do much for your page rank. This is especially true if the links are irrelevant to your business. Even relevant links are not that helpful if they are there just as a reciprocal token. If possible try to gain inbound links from respectable websites such as university or other educational websites. Anything coming from a government website would be beneficial too. Again you would present yourself to the relevant organisation and give them a good reason for them to link to your company website. What would they benefit from the link and what would their visitors benefit from seeing a link to you? Try to avoid link farms for they just provide a list of irrelevant reciprocal linking that do nothing for your page ranking or your credibility. In fact they will do more harm than good.

4) Company Blog

The use of a blog is great for keeping your current customers up to date. Here you can provide latest information including new product releases or new projects that the company is starting. One must never forget the customers that you have and a company blog is a great way of keeping them in the picture and remaining loyal customers.

Here we have looked at only four possible marketing and advertising methods, yet they are four methods that can be very successful in the long run. They will also cost you nothing except perhaps the odd paid listing in a good directory.

All of this will take time to establish, however when these methods have been used for some time you will reap the benefits. Always maintain your credibility though and of course your enthusiasm and your patience.

John Hewitt is a full time freelance writer. He has worked in many fields including music, the restaurant industry, film work and as an RSPCA animal welfare officer. If you would like to see more of his articles and poetry then please visit http://www.john-hewitt.com and feel free to sign up to the RSS feed.

Graphic Display Systems

With a quality graphic display system, one can easily manage the display of goods. Get the best graphic display system and enhance your product marketing.

Need to have a sophisticated yet appealing display system

When there is a time to create an appealing and promoting graphic display system for your exhibition or trade show booths, it is imperative to have a professional, attractive and conveniently assembled and disassembled display system. Each person may be concerned with making the trade show backdrop a versatile one along with adding extraordinary and catchy graphics.

Trade shows are a great chance to exhibit different products and services offered by a business and that too in the most effective manner. The main aim of such exhibits and graphic systems is to draw the attention of various prospective customers. Displaying one’s products at an exhibition or trade show in an effective manner will definitely help to generate various new leads. Therefore, it is highly imperative to ensure that the display systems added are of high quality graphics and other appealing messages.

Displaying one’s products through graphic display system can also contribute in reconnecting with the old customers along with getting a new customer line at the very same instance. The color scheme and type of the products highlighted on the display systems along with the nature of business play a vital role in the overall designing of the exhibits at a trade show. There are various modular graphic systems also available that helps in acting as a stand-alone banner for displaying various products and services of a company thereby establishing the uniqueness.

Excellent graphics to be added in display systems

Well-designed graphic displays can be efficiently used in order to display the brand name and logo of the products. This will definitely contribute in more sales and better branding. Standard graphic displays are very famous and are generally found behind the podiums at most of the trade shows or conventions. The folding frames of such standard displays are normally made of aluminum or fiberglass tubes. The entire frame is brilliantly covered with various display and graphic panels in order to provide the visitors the best of display systems and grab all their attention. These graphical displays can be showcased in various color combinations and then laminated for complete protection.

There are printed graphic display systems as well that does not involve any extra graphical panels to be attached on the frame. These display systems are widely admired and demanded as they have the brilliant facility of creating a highly professional and sophisticated backdrop. The fabric used in such printed systems is both flexible as well as durable so that they can be conveniently folded and unfolded.

Promoting one’s business through graphic display systems

The fabric banner graphic display systems are the best low cost solutions in order to create a graphical wall, serving as the back of any trade show or exhibition space. Various messages, images and other promotional items may be added in these display systems in order to hold the interest and attention of the customers along with promoting and describing the company’s goals, motto or services. It is important to have rugged, innovative and patent designed graphic displays that are completely backed with a lifetime frame guarantee feature in order to ensure a trouble-free exhibition time.

For more information contact Capital Exhibits for all your Graphic Display Systems http://www.capitalexhibits.com or call 866-730-3746

Advertising and Effective Promotions

In any economy, the most important aspect of a business is their marketing mix. For small businesses and large corporations alike, it is important to get your name out and build brand equity and awareness. Although everyone is feeling the pressure of limiting expenditures, it is important to remember the old saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” You must spend, but spend wisely. It is important to continue to attend tradeshows, advertise and keep your product or service fresh on consumers’ minds. It is also essential when performing everyday business endeavors, such as sales calls, to keep watch on your brand message and alignment. To strengthen the message of your brand you must employ the basic marketing mix. Advertising and more specifically promotional items are key component to a business’ marketing mix.

Promoting new or existing products will strengthen your brand in addition to boosting sales. Promotions can also be the most cost effective way to maintain and build brand awareness. The key to promoting is to integrate the promotion with the brand identity. For this to be effective, you must work with companies that will offer unique items relevant to your product. Many companies like to leave customers or prospects with something they can keep on their desk or reuse. In this case, personalization is a key factor when choosing these leave-behind items. If it is personalized, they will continue to see your companies name and become more subconsciously familiar and aware of your brand. This familiarity will cause the consumer to become more comfortable with your product, which works in your favor for both a high impact and low impact purchase. An example of the perfect promotion comes from a local Pittsburgh bank. During the opening of 10 new branches they gave new account holders customized paint can coin banks filled with chocolate chip cookies. This was brilliant for a number of reasons. Not only was it a nice gesture for the patrons, but also after the treats are gone it will be reused. This gives the promotion holding power. The idea of a coin bank is also inline with the brand position of the savings bank.

Small inexpensive gestures that set you apart from the competition are going to leave a lasting impression on consumers. Smart marketing and advertising are important to a company’s growth. Low cost advertising tools that integrate your brand identity are the most effective way to continue to compete in any economy.

http://www.applecookies.com
To learn more about these and other economical promotions, visit the above website.

Top 10 Ways a Creative Artist Can Make Money

Artists are creative creatures that live each day to be inspired and inspire others. It is a gift that many share without ever asking payment for what they are really worth. If you are an artists remember that you are talented. You can continue to build upon the creative process and bring home an income that can fuel bigger projects and get you more exposure. Passion will drive you crazy but is there any other way to live as said by Howard Hughes. Turn your passion into a wealth of income.

The leap into profiting from your art can seem scary. You never have to compromise. You can always remain true to the spirit of your work. An artist never has to let go of his or her inspiration. Many are able to ignite a yearning that has long been inside them and create bigger masterpieces. These masterpieces need money to come into fruition. In the end you can achieve more than what you ever expected with these simple top ten tips.

1. Blog about your art or show case your art through your blogs.
2. Add Google AdSense to your artistic blog.
3. Create fun and innovative workshops and show case your talent while you teach others how to do the same.
4. Are you an artist such as a painter contact local coffee shops, small boutiques and shops in your town and ask if they can show case your art in exchange for a nominal fee or a percentage of the profits.
5. Are you a writer showcase your talents at local coffee shops, book stores, or open mic nights. How do you make money? Let the vendor charge a small nominal fee for others to come and hear you. You can take a percentage of the profits.
6. Showcase your art and sell it on others sites and share the profits. Start with your friends.
7. Time and time again we have seen it succeed for others but we forget that we to can benefit from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

May this journey inspire you to learn more about yourself and help you to become the expert in your creative field.

Bonnielee Cuevas is a successful Author, Business Coach, Entrepreneur, Fitness and Wellness Expert, and Motivational Speaker. She has inspired many through her entrepreneurial ventures, books, and coaching. Her goal is to inspire others through various avenues. Through inspiration she has also had the pleasure of creative amazing programs that assist others in achieving their dreams. For more information visit: http://www.bonnieleecuevas.com